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Lindsay McKenna: Choosing Names for Characters
Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

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The name I choose for every character I write about means everything to me.  The name needs to resonate within me, inspire me, sweep me off to the hero and heroine’s personality, their thoughts, emotions, desire, dreams and wounds.  A name has energy to it and a very specific vibration.  That name is a template from which the character “talks” to me for the duration (and sometimes, after) the book.

When I start a new book, I’ll see a character come forward and introduce themselves to me.  I see what they look like, how they are dressed, the expression on their face, etc.  From that, I pick up a vibe about him or her.  I can feel who they are inside and out, as if they are utterly transparent to me on every level with me.  This is the magical part of creation which I love.

The only downer is my characters never tell me their names!  I go through a number of books, thumbing through them, muttering a bunch a names to see if one “fits” them or not.  I go to tons of baby names websites on the Internet.  I look for unique, interesting or oddball names.  I’ve written over 135 books and all my favorite names have long ago, been used up!

Choosing every name of every character is one of the most important things I do when developing a story.  Every time I say that name out loud, I get an instant telepathic and emotional hit on that character.  I never go out-of-character because of this.  Choosing a name that embraces the particular character’s personality is vital.

I favor short names over really long, convoluted ones.  I like names you can create a nickname from or around. For example, the hero of RUNNING FIRE is a US Navy SEAL named Kelly Ballard.  But everyone has, forever, called him by his nickname, Kell.  And so, he grew up with it.  There’s usually a reason why some people get nicknames spinning off their given name.  Sometimes, there isn’t.   In Kell’s world, people around him just automatically shortened it.  Besides, Kell is an easy going sort of man and wasn’t one of those people who went around correcting everyone every time they didn’t call him by his real name, Kelly. (There are people out there like that, believe me).  I also don’t care for a name I can’t pronounce without stumbling all over it.  I figure if I do, so will my reader.

It was tougher for me to find the heroine’s name: Leah Mackenzie.   Names sound strong or weak to me.  When I say the name, I want to investigate the layers  enclosed within its vowels and consonants.  In Leah’s case, when she came forward to introduce herself to me, I felt layers of steel, of grief, of suffering, but also, family meaning everything to her, a kindness and a loyalty that ran deeply through her.  She was a highly complex and compartmentalized person, so I needed a name that had far more layers than normal to it.

Above all, Leah was a person who cared deeply for family, and less for herself.  I needed a name with vulnerability built into it.  I wanted that softness that I felt deeply hidden and guarded by her.  I had to have a name that contained those juxtapose polarities:  marshmallow combined with steel.  I spent seven days and finally discovered the name that resonated with her:  Leah.

Afterward?  I always have fun looking up on the Internet what a name means by the country of its origin.  And also, any historical or religious significance to it, or not.  I’m always amazed, after I choose a name and then scour the basics of the name through history, that it ends up reflecting some basic tenets of my character. Go check the name Leah on Google, and you’ll get a ton of information!

I hope you enjoy the many layers, twists and turns of Running Fire!  Please run over to my website and sign up for my quarterly newsletter (free).  It contains exclusive information, giveaways, and surprises that only my subscribers will receive!  I love to hear from my readers, so make yourself known to me at www.lindsaymckenna.com.

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Click for other stops on the tour.

Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Running-Fire-Lindsay-McKenna/dp/0373788932
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23280201-running-fire?from_search=true
Author’s website:  http://lindsaymckenna.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/eileen.nauman?fref=nf
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/@lindsaymckenna

Flashback: Two Hot — What’s so hot about ménage? (Contest)
Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Ménage can be kind of irresistible. To write or read. Why settle for one hot lover when you can have two or more? I enjoy the challenge of writing it—figuring out how to describe all those moving parts, trying to make the scene move quickly, and still let the reader know who’s saying/touching what. And I’ll admit it. When I’m writing it, I’m that character, closing my eyes and imagining every kiss.

I’ve written a few. :) The book coming May 12th, Under a Blood Moon, features a foursome (a witch, two mermen and a sea draugr). To tide you over until then, take a peek inside Two Hot!

Comment for a chance to win Two Hot or one of the short stories on this carousel!

Do you like ménage stories? If so, what flavor of ménage do you prefer
— m/m/f, m/f/m, f/m/f, f/f/m? More mm’s?

* * * * *

Two Hot Cover_600

Click to Buy

Afraid to spoil their friendship, Emily had been reluctant to act on her attraction to the two sexy men next door. However, when she’s caught spying on them, the men decide a little punishment is in order…

Beads of condensation, glittering jewel-like in the sputtering candlelight, ran in rivulets down the sides of Jason’s ice-cold beer.

Detail I shouldn’t have been able to note, given the fact I was thirty feet away.

As I lowered my nephew’s toy binoculars, I reflected that I had indeed sunk to a new low. You see, my bedroom window conveniently overlooked Jason and Robert’s backyard. A fact that probably never registered with the previous tenants, but one that proved too delicious to ignore after the arrival of the handsome duo. Privacy fencing, which ran down to the pier that jutted into the lake, separated the row of houses where we lived. It was high enough the neighbors on either side of ours couldn’t see into their yard, but lucky me—I had the perfect view.

Upon discovering this, I had began a furtive surveillance. One that had me cringing in embarrassment each time I greeted them in passing and feeling even more ashamed when we struck up a friendship.

We’d shared meals, drinks, late afternoon swims, watched football games together on their wide-screen TV. And still, I peeked into their backyard, waiting for those moments when they popped outside to mow the lawn or catch a few summer rays. Their bodies gleamed with sweat while raw lust warred inside me, along with the fear that I’d mess up our relationship if I let the guys know how I really felt.

My convenient perch on the windowsill afforded me a window into their private lives, and from the very beginning, I was hooked. They’d become an obsession, one frustrated by the fact they treated me like a kid sister, rather than a woman one of them might desire.

And therein lay another problem. I’d resisted the urge to seek a deeper relationship because then I’d have to choose. My libido was completely fickle, lusting after Jason’s muscled physique, then sighing over the possibilities of what Robert’s tall, bony frame and large feet hinted at. That their personalities were perfect bookends, fierce and funny, confused my heart as well.

Lucky, lucky me. I licked the sweat gathering on my upper lip while this night one of the handsome men living next door tilted his bottle and took several long sips. The look of pure bliss that softened his otherwise stern features made my chest ache.

I watched the movement of Jason’s throat as he worked it down, imagining him sipping at my overheated flesh. My skin began to tingle. My nipples beaded, crowding uncomfortably against my lace bra. My thighs clenched as a delicious wash of arousal seeped to wet the crotch of my plain panties.

The sigh he emitted as he set the bottle on the table was echoed by my own painful groan. Watching either of them had never caused my heart to skip a beat like that hint of a moan sliding on the tail of Jason’s long exhalation.

Sure, it was hotter than hell out there. I too felt the effects of the enervating heat. Record temperatures had strained the region’s resources and planned service interruptions began that night. But something about that sigh felt…un-subtle, exaggerated, maybe even dramatic. And Jason was too straightforward a man for that.

I blotted sweat from my forehead, asking myself again, What am I doing?

Only this time, my peeping hadn’t been deliberate. I’d rushed home from work and showered quickly to beat the scheduled brown-out. Then I’d stripped to my underwear, pulled back the curtains, and opened the window, hoping for a breeze to cool my skin. Sitting limply on the sill, I waited for the world to flicker into life again.

That’s when I’d noticed him, sitting in a lounge chair alone in the dark.

He wore his usual work “uniform”—khaki trousers, white shirt and a tie. Tonight, the tie hung loosened and askew, his collar opened beneath it.

Despite the lack of electricity, I could see it all. Moonlight silvered his dark hair and reflected bright as a beacon against the white shirt. The golden light from the large Citronella candle leant warmth to his skin and the amber bottle he held between his hands.

As always, he was lovely to watch, but tonight, his expression drew my attention more than his breath-stealing features. A sullen slanting of his brows, a bit of pout plumping his masculine lips, an edgy energy to his slight movements—he was either irritated or aroused.

Wanting an answer to the “either-or,” I watched. My forte is observation; my people-radar exquisitely tuned to body language and a voice’s tonal cues. My curiosity and my lust were caught. No way could I back away from my window now.

The bottle tapped the table as he set it aside. A long-fingered hand tugged the knot of his tie, dragging it from his neck.

When he began to undo the row of buttons down the front of his shirt, I settled deeper on the sill, leaning closer, but taking care to keep my pale body hidden behind the sheer curtain.

The edges of the shirt parted over a broad, nicely muscled chest. My gaze zeroed in on taut lean abs dusted with dense fur the same color as his close-cropped black hair that stretched nipple to nipple then ran along a thin dark line to slip beneath his zipper.

His hand stroked his chest, scratching through the hair, the faint crinkling sound causing my own chest to tighten, my nipples to surge.

A light sheen of sweat glimmered on his chest and belly. Again, my tongue swept my lips, tasting salt, and I imagined I lapped the dew right off his skin.

When a lazily roaming hand slid over his belly, I tensed, fascinated as he swept the flat plane. Would he be hard or desk-soft? His stomach looked firm. So, I enjoyed fantasizing that he was and touched my own stomach, following his path.

His hand slid down to the knot bulging behind his fly, and he cupped it. Squeezed.

My own hands itched to replace his and grew still, clenching against the fantasy of holding his burgeoning cock as it roused. My cheeks heated and my breaths shortened. No need to tease my own body into arousal, moisture already soaked my panties.

The buckle clanked open, and the belt slid sinuously from the loops as he lifted his hips and pulled it free. A flick of his thumb and the button at the waistband of his trousers opened. His zipper rasped as it slid down.

Dark fabric formed a vee-like shadow as his hand rooted beneath his waist, and then he slipped the long, gleaming column of his semi-aroused sex from the flap at the front of his boxers and wrapped his fingers around it.

I swallowed the liquid pooling in my mouth. I blinked to moisten eyes that had grown dry and scratchy as I stared, wide-eyed. My breaths grew ragged, a little choked, and I must have made a noise, because suddenly his head swung my way.

His gaze narrowed on my bedroom window.

Holding my breath, I froze, hoping his gaze couldn’t penetrate the darkness.

But a crooked smile slowly stretched his lips, and his hand tightened around himself and began to pump up and down the thickening rod. All the while, he stared at me.

Jason knew I watched but didn’t seem to mind. I let out a deep, trembling breath and continued to stare, my own body heating, growing increasingly aroused in tandem with his hardening cock.

His head turned away, and his hand dropped from his engorged cock. It fell against his belly with a soft, muffled thud. Heavy, hot, thick—I knew its girth would stretch my mouth.

Another sound intruded. The chime of my doorbell. I bit back a curse and drew away from the window, slung on my robe, then headed downstairs to the front door.

Robert stood on the stoop, a lazy grin on his face, a sweep of lank blonde hair covering one eye and two beers dangling from his fingers. He was shirtless. Low-riding, blue knee-length shorts encased slender hips and revealed long legs. His large feet were bare. “Thought you might like to join us.”

Elle James: SEAL’S SEDUCTION
Friday, May 1st, 2015

My sister has a brand new adrenaline rush ready for you to devour! Check out SEAL’s Seduction! ~ DD

ejSEALsSeduction

SEAL’S SEDUCTION is book #6 of The TAKE NO PRISONERS SERIES
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-62695-019-1
Print  ISBN: 978-1-62695-020-7

A Navy SEAL puts his training to the test to rescue a sexy news reporter from a hostage situation

Home on emergency leave, Navy SEAL Dustin “Dustman” Ford didn’t expect  to run into his high school sweetheart, local news reporter Jenna Turner, figuring she’d have shaken off the dust of their hometown a long time ago. A woman as addicted to action and adventure as he was, he thought she’d have moved on. But she was still there, and every bit as distracting as she’d been when they were teens.

Jenna Turner never got over Dustin, but moved on with her life, establishing herself as a news reporter for the local station. In an effort to take on more than reporting social events and weddings, with the help of a cousin and an inside connection on the police force, she chases the hotter news items, determined to make her break into the national news scene.

Now that his father is on the mend, Dustin tests the heat with his old flame and finds it’s sizzling. When Jenna is taken hostage in a religious compound, Dustin and his brothers stage a rescue operation to bring her and others out alive.

Buy here: Amazon| Ibooks |Nook | Kobo |ARe

Excerpt:

With the sun glaring off the glass, he didn’t see what was behind it until he slammed into a young auburn-haired woman with a bandage around her forehead, rising out of wheelchair. He dug his boots into the smooth tile floor, but not soon enough to halt his forward momentum. Dustin barreled into the young woman, grabbed her around the middle, threw himself over onto his back and landed hard on the ground, the woman landing on top of him, forcing the air from his lungs.

“What the hell?” The female pushed against his chest and stared down at him, her green eyes shooting flames. “Of all the idiotic, stupid things to do, plowing into a hospital full of sick and injured tops the charts.”

Still fighting for his breath, Dustin opened his mouth but nothing came out. He sucked in a ragged breath, his mind clearing about the same time as recognition dawned. “Jenna?” he wheezed.

The woman’s skillfully arched brows puckered, and then a smile lit her face. “Dustin?”

She rolled to the side and air flowed into Dustin’s lungs.

Her joyous smile crashed into a deep frown. “Holy hell, can’t you enter a building like everyone else?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” Dustin sat up, grabbed her arms and stared into her face, memories of the woman crashing in around him. “Are you okay?” God, she was even more beautiful than when he’d left for Navy Basic Training a decade ago. He nodded toward the white gauze wrapped around her head. “Why are you wearing that?”

The bandage slipped loose and dropped down over one of her eyes. “Damn.” She unwound the binding from her head and wadded it into her fist. “I told them this was too much.” A butterfly bandage stretched over a cut on her temple, holding the edges of skin together.

His grip tightened. “What happened to your forehead?”

She snorted, shook free from his hold and pointed at the injury. “This little thing?”

“Don’t let her fool you. It’s a gunshot wound.” A tall, lanky man with a baby face extended his hand to Jenna. “Need a hand up?”

Jenna placed her hand in his and let him draw her to her feet, her color rising in her cheeks. “It didn’t hurt.”

“Yeah, but had it hit one inch over, you wouldn’t be falling all over a man in the hospital lobby. You’d be stretched out on a table in the morgue.”

Jenna’s face blanched.

“Damn, Jenna.” Dustin pushed to his feet. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Jenna smoothed her hair back from her face, like she did when she was avoiding an answer. She winced when her hand brushed over the bandage.

The lanky dude answered, “We were reporting on a hostage situation when the gunman started shooting at everything. After the gunman was hit by the SWAT team, his shots went wild. One nicked my girl, here.”

“Damn.” Dustin planted himself in front of her, cupped her chin and studied the injury, his hands tingling with the electricity that shot through him whenever he touched this woman. Even after ten years, she still made him crazy.

“The doctor said it shouldn’t leave much of a scar.” Jenna laughed shakily. “He glued it together, rather than stitching.”

Dustin shook his head. “What have you been up to since I’ve been gone?”

Jenna pulled free of his grip, the color returning to her cheeks. Rubbing her hands over her arms, she tilted her chin. “I’m a freelance reporter for the local news station.”

The young man behind her grinned. “Yeah, and she’s good. Today’s report ought to get us into the national news.”

Dustin glared at the man who’d gone with Jenna into danger. “Who the hell are you?”

The young man’s grin slipped. “Toby.” His own eyes narrowed. “Who the hell are you?”

His chest swelling out, his back stiffening, Dustin answered, “Dustin Ford. Jenna’s fiancé.”

Toby’s brows rose into the hair hanging down over his forehead. “Fiancé?” He glanced from Jenna to Dustin and back to Jenna. “Is there something you haven’t told me?”

She shook her head. “Former fiancé. A million years ago.” Jenna brushed her hands over her rumpled skirt suit. “We were teenagers in lust. Not a brain between the two of us. We’re lucky we broke it off before we made the biggest mistake of our lives.”

 

About the Author

ejElleNYT and USA Today Bestselling Author ELLE JAMES also writing as MYLA JACKSON is an award-winning author of stories including cowboys, intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edges of their seats. With over seventy stories in a variety of sub-genres and lengths she is published with Harlequin, Samhain, Elloras’ Cave, Kensington, Cleis Press, and Avon. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

Elle’s Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page
Myla Jackson’s links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Where did April go? (Contest)
Thursday, April 30th, 2015

April was crazy-busy! My daughter was scheduled for surgery and I’ve been taking care of her, her house and kids for the tail-end of the month, but before that there were tons of April goodies! (Be sure to read to the bottom for contest details!)

There were new releases…

Three brand new short stories!

Johnny Blaze TheRunawayBride_600 TailgaitingattheCedarInn_600

Free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers and just $0.99 for everyone else!
(Click on the covers to purchase!)

Johnny BlazeA firefighter moonlighting as a male exotic dancer gives a librarian a birthday spanking she’ll never forget…

The Runaway BrideAfter leaving him at the altar, a headstrong bride is captured by her cowboy and taught the pleasure of sensual discipline…

Tailgating at the Cedar InnTwo construction workers come to the aid of one woman looking for a last taste of freedom…

One hot new box set!

Seven Sinful Stories

 

SEVEN SINFUL STORIES
~The Second Collection~
Slip between the sheets with seven New York Times & USA Today bestselling authors in one anthology. These seven sizzling and sinful erotic stories are sure to burn up the pages!
~Available for a Limited Time~

FIND ME IN DARKNESS by Julie Kenner
A doomed woman. A dangerous and mysterious man. And an epic passion that cannot be denied…

BOND WITH ME by Anne Marsh
Fallen angel Brends Duranov offers Mischka Baran an unforgettable taste of sin and seduction when she visits his elite Moscow club, but she’s looking for her missing sister—and not an angel mate. But with a sadistic killer carving up his brethren, Brends is playing for keeps, hunting the one woman whose bloodline can end the mayhem, whose bond can restore his lost wings…and now he wants Mischka to bond with him.

PLANET MAIL by Kate Pearce
As far as job hazards go, Douglass Fraser didn’t think crash-landing on an alien planet and spending her recuperation being erotically pleasured by three gorgeous men was in the United Planetary Parcel Service’s courier handbook. There certainly wasn’t a section on what to do when a very sexy king wants you to have his baby and save his world.

UNMASQUED by Colette Gale
When not-as-proper-as-one-would-think Victorian woman Jane Clemons convinces her father to take her on a jungle expedition, her only goal is to find her lover, Jonathan, who disappeared three years earlier. But shortly after their party arrives in Madagascar, Jane finds herself enthralled not only by the freedom and beauty of the lush jungle, but a reclusive wild man who seems to be fascinated by her….

CORPORATE AFFAIRS by Nana Malone
Powerhouse project manager, Kyra Benson, loves her new job. If only her domineering boss wasn’t the bane of her existence & a boon to her fantasies. X2 Games CEO, Bryan Ross, has devoted his life to his company. The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked by a woman who thinks she knows more about his business than he does. Can the two adversaries negotiate a truce & find love?

ONE LAST NIGHT by Caridad Pineiro
An act of compassion leads to unexpected pleasure . . .
Thrown together, Trevor and Maggie can’t ignore the sexual heat between them. As they satisfy one set of needs, another slowly develops as passion breathes life into other emotions. Will Trevor and Maggie’s one last night together possibly lead to many other nights in the future?

WARLORD’S DESTINY by Delilah Devlin
Mora has no illusions she’s anything other than the sacrificial lamb to ensure peace between her peace-loving planet and the warlike world that demands a royal union with one of their own. However, when she meets the rugged warlord who will be her husband, she decides in that moment to win his heart—she’ll settle for nothing less.

What’s coming in May?

Two more sexy shorties! Details coming later!

And on May 12th, the sequel to Once in a Blue Moon releases! Have you pre-ordered your copy!?

Under A Blood Moon

Pre-Order Your Copy!
Read an Excerpt!

Contest

For a chance to win one of the three short stories released in April,
tell me what your plans are for May!

 

April Vine: Reclaimed by Her Master
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Note from Delilah: I’ve been absent, mostly, since late last week. For those of you who wanted to know, my dd’s surgery went well. The recovery’s about what you’d expect—painful, slow, depressing. The first couple of days she was sure she was going to die. By the third, she was asking her hubby to go buy a gun so he could shoot her—so you know she’s on the mend! :) Her three kids have been angels (NOT!); the dogs and cats are great company (sneeze, wheeze—there are 9 of them!). I’m getting naps here and there, so feeling a little sluggish. I haven’t quite yet figured out how to disappear so I can get a little work done. There’s always someone needing something. They even have ME cooking! You know that’s not good. I keep a Pinterest board called “Food I Want My Daughter to Make” FOR A REASON! But hopefully, I won’t be sleeping over there for too many more days. My mole-hole, office cave is looking like paradise! Later!

In the meantime, check out April Vine’s hot new book! ~DD

Reclaimed by Her Master

avVineApril_ReclaimedByHerMaster (1)

He’ll catch her in the act—and never let her go.

No one breaches the defenses of billionaire Dom Stephen Black—until Aria Swift does just that, stealing a priceless painting from his collection—along with his heart. But two can play that game, and soon a treasured necklace that belonged to Aria’s late mother ends up in Stephen’s skilled, waiting hands—along with a dare to retrieve it…

Eight years later, Aria is ready to put closure on her infamous past by meeting Stephen’s challenge. And suddenly, she’s caught in his trap…

There’s only one way to master a woman like Aria—and only one place to do it. Stephen’s luxuriously decadent Gold Room is where he’ll mete out her punishment, stroke by excruciatingly ecstatic stroke. Where Aria will submit to his every desire—and find in his touch, in his control, a frenzied yearning, and the ultimate pleasure of surrender…

Excerpt:

Stephen Black.

With her breath clogged in her throat, she swiveled around. The sight of him butchered coherent thinking, turned her blood hot and her body into a frenzy of chaos. Life sparked between her legs, and her pussy clenched. All against her will.

He hadn’t changed at all. Yet he had. Eight years ago, his clear blue eyes held less coldness, his aura nearly not as dangerous. The width of his shoulders had seemed far less formidable. He was thirty-two years old now, and still his natural masculine force bewildered her femininity, as it had long ago. She abandoned the crazy notion of succumbing to him without question, or hesitation, or even invitation.

Her boots whispered against the thick fibers of the carpet as she stepped toward his desk and moved in behind it, giving herself a few more seconds to gather her wits. She needed something solid between them, something that could protect her. Something with more substance than air.

She leaned into the gleaming wood and used it as support for her weakened knees while she faced him. He shouldn’t be here. She hadn’t prepared herself to see him in person. No amount of time or practice could have readied her for that, not in this life or any other. Instant arousal, confusion, anger, and fear cluttered her mind, as if the years between them had never occurred.

And she hadn’t betrayed him.

*~*~*~*~*

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reclaimed-Her-Master-April-Vine-ebook/dp/B00ONTR8YK/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427736902&sr=1-3&keywords=april+vine
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reclaimed-by-her-master-april-vine/1120723910?ean=9781616507046
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/reclaimed-by-her-master
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reclaimed-by-her-master/id931237660?mt=11

Bio:

April Vine is a nighttime erotic romance writer and a daytime professional dreamer. She adores books, chocolates and shoes, and is happiest doing all three at the same time.

She lives in a house with boys and a few four-legged furry things and has come to accept both species for the strange creatures they are.

Author links:
Website: www.aprilvine.co.za
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AprilVineAuthor?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/April_Vine
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/April-Vine/e/B008KGTHRS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427739148&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/april-vine
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/US/book/id931237660?l=en
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Adele Downs: Release Day! LIP SERVICE
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Do you believe in ghosts? I’m open to the possibility, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen one—despite my years as a ghost tour guide in an historic Pennsylvania town, and once owning a Victorian house in Philadelphia that I carefully restored.

Though I’ve had more than my share of opportunities for paranormal interaction, I seem only to have fueled my imagination during my years of entertaining tourists and renovating my old house. My new release, LIP SERVICE, set inside a Victorian home similar to the one I owned, was inspired by my years as a ghost tour guide—the most fun job I’ve ever had.

Here’s a little about my new release:

adLip Service_tent3LIP SERVICE by ADELE DOWNS

Some ghosts won’t take “yes” for an answer.

Jack Harris has loved Legs Anderson since they were kids. Now that he has her in his bed, he has no intention of letting her go. Aunt Ada has other ideas, even from the grave.

GETTING BETWEEN JACK…

Orphaned at a young age, Legs Anderson owes her Aunt Ada everything. The stoic old lady raised her, and Ada’s warnings about men—and the Harris boys in particular—have stuck, even after her death. Of course, that could be because Ada stuck around, too.

 …AND HIS LEGS

Patience is not one of Jack Harris’s virtues, and he’s waited too long to start a life with the woman he’s loved since childhood instead of them just knocking boots. Now Ada is interfering from beyond the grave, haunting the old Victorian house she bequeathed to her niece and reinforcing Legs’s fears of commitment. But Jack won’t give up. No matter what trouble may follow, the house will be renovated, Ada will learn to let go, Legs will put her money where her mouth is…and then Jack’ll put his lips everywhere else.

Excerpt:

The roar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Rachel’s block and the rev of a throttle in her driveway announced Jack’s arrival. Legs tried to appear nonchalant when he walked through the poolside gate, but the sight of his sun-streaked hair and tanned, muscular good looks nearly knocked her out her seat. She eased her sunglasses down the bridge of her nose to get a better look.

When he stepped into the pool area dressed in black jeans, black biker boots, and a white muscle shirt that framed his pumped-up shoulders and biceps, she caught her breath. Everyone in the group said “hey” and Rachel offered him a cold drink, but his focus had remained on her. He slid his sunglasses on top of his head and nodded in her direction.

Legs remembered his gaze meeting hers before his attention strayed to her gold and black bikini then savored every inch of her skin. An appreciative smirk curled his lips and desire flashed in his beautiful blue eyes. He took a long pull of the soft drink someone handed him and then set the can down on the patio table. He looked her way and said, “Want to go for a ride?”

The invitation came out like a dare. All eyes shifted to her, watching to see what she’d do. They all knew she wasn’t allowed to date Jack Harris. Taking a ride on his motorcycle might not have been the same thing, but there would be hell to pay if her aunt found out.

She stretched her arms over her head and offered a lazy smile. “I guess so.” Though she’d been as nervous and excited as a rabbit, she never let on. She stood and pulled on her shorts and shirt, slid her sandals over her feet, and made her way across the patio to him.

Her aunt’s spies might see her on the road, but she pushed that worry aside. Mere weeks remained before she’d move away to college and the subject would be moot. She’d be gone most of the next four years, and by the time she got back, Jack would probably be married with a couple of kids. Half the women in town had their eyes on him and his brothers.

The idea of Jack marrying someone else made her furious, and more determined than ever to enjoy this rare day alone with him.

His gaze tracked every step of her approach, as if memorizing the lines and planes of her face, learning the shape of her breasts, and tattooing the curves of her waist into his brain. When she reached his side, he smiled at her so intently she almost faltered. Her heartbeat raced when he took her hand. She barely heard her friends say good-bye as they exited the patio door.

His Harley was built in classic style—all black steel and leather with silver chrome, glinting majestically in the sunlight like a god. She ran her fingers over the warm plush seats.

“Ever been on a bike before?” he asked, watching her with eyes so blue she almost missed his question while she stared back.

She pulled an elastic band from her shorts pocket and tied her hair into a ponytail. “Uh. No.” Her hair swung with the shake of her head. He probably knew the answer, but she appreciated the benefit of his question. He hadn’t made her feel like a total geek.

He gave her a tutorial with simple instructions, including the demand that she hold on to him tight and not let go. No problem there. She resisted a fit of giggles, determined to act her age and accept responsibility for her own safety, as tenuous as that might be on the rear end of a motorcycle wearing shorts and sandals.

Yikes. Hormones really did rule the heart.

He slid his sunglasses into place and got on the bike, steadying it with his feet while she scooted in behind him. After shifting her weight to find her center of balance, she wrapped her arms tight around his chest. The solid feel of his body thrilled her beyond anything she’d imagined. He smelled fantastic too, like musk cologne, leather, and sweat tossed with August air and sunshine.

“Ready?” he asked.

Leaning closer for support, she pressed her torso against his back and stifled a gasp at the sensations the friction created. If he never started the engine, and they simply sat together like this, it would have been enough.

About the Author:

Adele Downs writes best-selling contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as a past-president. When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

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Sandra Jones: Warrior Princesses & Knights in Armor (Contest)
Monday, April 27th, 2015

I’m so delighted to be back at Delilah’s and grateful to have the opportunity to share my latest historical romance, His Captive Princess. Growing up, one of my favorite legendary heroes was King Arthur, so when the movie Excalibur came out, I loved everything about the film–from the noble Knights of the Round Table, to the shiny armor, sexy Sir Lancelot, and the dark mysticism of the wizards Merlin and Morgana.

As long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to anything medieval, so when I learned that most castles were located in Wales, I had to find out more about the country. Turns out, Wales also has lots of legends and myths. I eventually discovered the true story of Gwenllian, a brave medieval Welsh princess who fought the Normans herself, and then I knew I had a story to write! My bow and arrow-wielding heroine Princess Eleri is based on Gwenllian.

As the title of the book hints—His Captive Princess—our brave lady has met her match in the charming enemy, Warren de Tracy.

****For a chance to win a $5 Gift card****

Leave a comment below telling me who’s your favorite hero or historical character.

sjHisCaptivePrincess72lg

Earned respect is sweet…but deserved revenge is sweeter.

Warren de Tracy was assured the Welsh village of Dinefwr would be an easy conquest, as would the widow of its fallen prince. Wedding her will appease the locals and win the respect of his liege, the usurper King Stephen.

Instead, Warren is ambushed, taken prisoner by a hooded Welshwoman with skin that glows like moonlight. If he must die at her hands, at least his honorable death will silence the whispers of disloyalty hanging over his name.

Princess Eleri has never seen a knight as stoic—and as eager to die—as Warren. She’d love to oblige the bastard, but something in his ocean-blue eyes stays her hand. Plus, suspicion nags at her, for the arrows that wounded him and killed his men are Norman, not Welsh.

A ghostly prophecy portends danger that thrusts the enemies closer together, where hate explodes into passion that won’t allow Eleri to surrender Warren to her vengeful clan. But returning him to his king breaks more than it mends…and for Warren, retaliation will be sweet, indeed.

Product Warnings: Contains a Norman warrior with a thirst for justice, a Welsh rebel princess with second sight and a steady bow hand, magical prophecies, and a plot of royal proportions.

Excerpt:

“‘Your Highness’?” Warren jerked in astonishment, pulling against his bonds. The ropes chafed his raw skin, sending a fresh wave of pain down his arms. “You’re of royal blood?”

She leaned over him, reaching for his bonds. “Hush! In addition to your arrow wound, I trow your tongue has healed as well these past days. It would behoove you to use it less and just be grateful you’re alive.”

Her breasts hovered inches above his face. In fact, if he lifted his head, he could bury his face between them. What would she do, this spirited wench, if he chose to do so? He would’ve enjoyed finding out if circumstances had been different. “I’d rather be dead than be a prisoner. But first…I’ll kiss your feet if you’d scratch my nose.”

She made a choking noise in her throat that almost sounded like amusement.

He felt a tug at his ropes and the friction of a knife. By the saints, she was freeing him. He couldn’t allow it.

Air stung his raw skin as soon as one of his wrists came loose. With his one arm still useless in its restraints, he shot out his free hand and clutched her forearm. Using all his strength, he turned her over beneath him, wedging her between his torso and the bed. Nose to nose, he could make out her eyes gone wide with shock in the darkness. “No!” he growled. “Do not let me leave here alive.”

Suddenly, her warrior was upon him and his knife back against Warren’s throat. “Get off the princess, you cur!”

The woman’s blade touched his chest plate. She could dispatch him with ease. Her arms were strong and lean. Her body was far from frail, and he recalled her skillful defeat of his conroi. She twisted beneath his pelvis defensively, and the grinding of her soft mound awoke his sex. Shame heated his cheeks at his sudden need and dark desires. This one time, he would allow himself to speak his mind. “If you release me, Princess, I’ll go to Kidwelly and inform my commanders what has befallen my five men at the hands of you and your people. The king will strike at the subjects of Cantref Mawr with vengeance such as you’ve never known.”

Her expression shifted from stark panic to slow derision as her saucy lips curved up at one corner. “You think I don’t know what you’re capable of?” Her eyes flashed downward meaningfully, and he knew she’d noted the turn of his wicked thoughts. “You want to have your way with me. To tear my clothing from my body and part my legs. But you know nothing of my people, Norman. You haven’t even bothered to learn the language—” she broke off, slurring in Welsh at her vassal.

The burly guard grabbed Warren’s bandaged shoulder, twisting it back until bile climbed in his throat. “Umpff!” While he convulsed in pain, the woman slipped loose and turned him on his back, pinning his groin beneath two very sharp knees. He hissed through his teeth, “Par les saints!”

If he’d been successful in his mission, this devil-wench would’ve been his bride?

“You are my prisoner, knight.” She planted the flat of her hand against his neck, leaving no doubt of her desire for domination as her angry pulse drummed against his skin. “I am the Princess of Deheubarth, widow of Prince Owain ap Daffyd, murdered by your Norman peers. It will be my pleasure keeping you alive. We’re taking you to those who will do with you what they will. I care not. Until then, you are my dog. My captive. My slave. And you will obey!”

ISBN: 9781619224452

Buy Links:
(Samhain store) https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5407/his-captive-princess
(Amazon) http://www.amazon.com/His-Captive-Princess-Sandra-Jones-ebook/dp/B00TLIGB14/
(Barnes & Noble) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-captive-princess-sandra-jones/1121228851?ean=9781619224452
(All Romance) https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hiscaptiveprincess-1748538-161.html

About the Author

sjSandra Jones PicSandra proudly considers herself a history geek. She is the author of five historical romances including the new River Rogues series set in frontier America. When not researching or writing, she enjoys traveling, genealogy (she’s the direct descendant of a Norman knight) and watching British TV. She and her husband of twenty-five years live in a cabin on the river with two spoiled cats.

She also loves chatting with readers. You can connect with Sandra at any of the following links:

Author Links
Website: http://www.sandrajonesromance.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandra-Jones-Author/428923117143918
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SJonesRomance
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SandraJones
Monthly Newsletter: http://sandrajonesromance.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9d97eeae330d5fbc47f658f10&id=302aea1bc8