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Melanie Jayne: Why can’t we be proud of our work?
Monday, September 26th, 2016

I have a friend that has worked with many authors for a number of years, and I respect her intelligence and creativity. I e-mailed an update on what was happening in my writing life. I told her about the book that I have coming out, and how much I love it. Her response stopped me in my tracks. She said I was only the second author that she had ever met who didn’t downplay her work.

At first, I worried that I had come off as too boastful, but then she clarified that she knew I put a lot of work into this book, and she was proud of me for saying that I liked it and that I was proud of it.

I started to listen a little more closely to my author friends, and I found that so many downgrade their work. One lady who wrote about a military character pointed out how little she knew about the Army. I know that she did hours of research and interviews; however she still acted as if she didn’t think that she knew enough to write an accurate portrayal.

Why can’t we be happy or proud of our work? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about a three-page Christmas card letter or a brag post on Facebook. What I’m talking about is a simple, “I like it very much” or “I’m happy with how it turned out.”  We put the work into the project, why can’t we be proud of the outcome?

As a romance writer, I write the story, then read it at least five times. My beta reader has seen it, my editor has prettied it up, and my proofreaders have argued the value (or not) of semi colons. I’ve made my cover artist pull her hair out because I’ve asked for just one more little tweak. When the book is finally published, I’ve put in hours upon hours of work into the product. I’m proud of it.  I’m ready to share it with the world. I know there will be some who don’t like it or find fault, but that’s just the way it is. I believe it is perfectly all right to dislike my book, but don’t disrespect the work that went into it.

I worry that when we devalue our work, it contributes to others seeing us as lacking.  I went to a huge book sale and signing five years ago. As I walked the aisles, I would stop when a book’s cover caught my eye. I was shocked at the number of authors that couldn’t describe their work in a positive light. There were so many “well it’s not” or “I don’t know if you’ll want to buy it,” that I made up the rule that if they couldn’t describe their work in a positive, coherent sentence, then I wasn’t going to buy it.  If you don’t like your book, why would I want it?

This doesn’t apply to only authors and their books. I hear so many of my women friends downplaying their contributions to life. Be it great cooking, a fabulous idea, or doing something nice for another. They shrug it off or list five ways that they could have done it better. Do me a favor, just say “thank you” when I compliment you.  Be honored that somebody noticed your good work and accept the compliment. Be proud of what you have produced and yourself.



I should have known better. Women like me, average and unseen, don’t have our dreams come true. And the one chance I had for my dreams, I watched die in our doorway while I hid on the stairs.

Now I spend my days terrified for my life and my nights resigned to the fact that I’ll be dead soon.

He can protect me. Forde has the reputation for handling cases that blur the line between right and wrong. Yes, he can help me, but he’s asking for too much from me – my trust, my body and for the chance to make my dreams come true.

If I could… everything would be Better.

Get your copy here!

About the Author

Melanie Jayne lives on a grain farm in central Indiana with her husband two English Mastiffs, Ginger and Duncan Keith. Still searching for what she wants to be when she grows up, she is currently writing full-time, and has worked retail, provided services in a federal courtroom, traveled across the state to close home loans and spent eight years behind the scenes at a casino.

She loves sports, reading and ridiculous TV shows. She loves to meet readers and attends many signings and conventions. Please stop by and say “hello”.



Tara Neale: What it means to be a Master and a Man
Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Almost five years ago, I met this amazing couple. I am sure they are tired of hearing the story, but it had such an impact upon me that I have to keep telling it anyway. They had been married more than twenty-five years…and He was her Master, she his slave.

He taught me in a single moment what it meant to be a Master and a Man. And never again will I ever settle for anything else.

All night He looked at her with such love and adoration. What my older daughter calls, the Mister Darcy look after the final scene in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when he professes his love. All I could think was how much I wished a man would look at me like that.

But he had only begun to teach me about love and Domination. You see when she started to feel unwell He knelt before her. A Master on His knees. Was He submitting to her? Hell, no, He was caring for, protecting, cherishing and loving what was His.

He spoke softly to her, gently caressing her. But when He turned to face us, there was nothing soft or gentle in this bear of a man’s eyes. It was the look of a predator, ready to defend to the death that which was His. To lay down His life if necessary to protect His sub and wife. And like that bear, He roared that she was ill and would be leaving us.

That night changed me forever as an erotic writer, a woman and a submissive. This man became the measuring stick against which I compared all others. And try as I feebly might, my paltry words have never been able to capture the power of that very REAL moment.

Was He a millionaire Dom about which best sellers are written? No, He was very much a working bloke who did His best to provide for His family. While He had once served Her Majesty with honor, His body was no longer the corded muscles that grace covers about Navy SEALs and Marines. His dark hair was liberally sprinkled with more silver than dark peppery hues. The six-pack that may have once graced His middle was hidden beneath more than enough cushion for the pushin’. In short, this man was nothing like the heroes that fill pages of romance fantasy.

Nonetheless, He was everything that women desire most…devoted, loving, protective and through it all very much a Dom.

So here are just a few of my thoughts on what it takes to be a true Master and Man like He was…

A dom thinks ‘kneel bitch’ are powerful words…a Man knows that ‘I am sorry’ are the most powerful ones He will ever need…and is not ashamed to use them.

A dom gives pain…a Man feels pain when you are hurting.

A dom commands obedience…a Man earns your respect.

A dom takes what is his…a Man gives of Himself without reservation.

A dom owns…a Man loves.

Luckily for us subbie girls, sometimes on very rare occasions you can find two-for-one sales and get the Dom/Master along with the man. But hold out for that sale, girlfriends…because one ain’t worth a damn without the other.

And, yes, after a rather convoluted path with lessons and pain galore, I too found that special two-for-one sale. Right now, my writing is taking a bit of hiatus as we settle into our new lives, move homes and deal with the realities of raising an autistic child.

Because the hard truth is that the REAL story begins where most of our books end. The words ‘I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you’ is not ‘The End.’ It is only the beginning.

And trust me, even life with the millionaire Dom/Man of your dreams is not without hiccups. The difference is that while life may still suck…love makes it so worthwhile. It is the only thing that will.

And while book boyfriends maybe nice…the REAL thing even if He is not book cover material is sooooo much better.


**If slightly ageing millionaire Doms who are devoted to their families even after the ink is long dried on the divorce papers appeal to you, then look for Rings of Fire, Book 2 in Tara Neale’s Apocalypse series. Coming in the New Year (2017).

Check out Tara Neale’s Author Page!

Meg Benjamin: Just Get Over It
Saturday, September 24th, 2016


In my newest book, Running On Empty, the heroine is a reality show survivor who willingly takes on another reality show (and a fake triathlon) even though she suspects the cards are stacked against her. Why? Because she wants to show people that she’s smarter than they think.

Let me explain. My heroine, Ronnie Ventura, was a supporting character in the first book in this trilogy, Finding Mr. Right Now. She was the bachelorette on a show called Finding Mr. Right, and she was a sweet but naïve participant who ended up walking off the show in disgust. She’s changed a lot by the beginning of Running On Empty (she also had a supporting role—an important one—in book 2, Love In the Morning). She’s more self confident, more assured, and a lot less innocent. But she still wants to try her luck with Fairstein Productions one more time because it annoys her that millions of people once thought she was an idiot.

When I showed a draft of Running On Empty to one beta reader, she was mystified. “Why would she care what other people think? That’s silly,” she said. I didn’t exactly know how to answer her because from my point of view it wasn’t silly at all. I’m a person who worries about other people’s opinions of me. It would probably be better for me if I didn’t, but I’m old enough to know that’s not going to change.

But my beta reader’s point of view was helpful because that was exactly the point of view of my hero, Ted Saltzman. He can’t understand why Ronnie would care about what people think. The citizens of Salt Box, Colorado, know that she’s both savvy and sweet. They love her, and so does he. Why worry about anybody else?

This conflict between Ronnie and Ted becomes the central problem between them. He can’t understand why she’s putting herself out there for Fairstein Productions to step on once again. And she can’t make him see why it matters to her. It finally becomes An Issue:

“I think Fairstein is run by a bunch of jerks who don’t want you to succeed. I think they’re stupid. I’ve always thought that. But I never thought you were the problem, Ronnie.”

She blew out a quick breath. “The people at Fairstein are a bunch of jerks. Well, most of them, anyway. But I still want to do this. I can’t explain it—not so that it’ll make sense to you. And I shouldn’t have to.”

I think both points of view here are valid. It’s understandable to care about how you come across to others. But it’s also understandable to think that not all opinions matter. The central plot of Running On Empty is Ronnie’s struggle to triumph over Fairstein’s machinations (she does, of course—it’s a romance). But the romantic plot centers on this question: if someone you love does something you don’t really understand or sympathize with, can you learn to accept it? To his credit, Ted does. But it takes him most of the book to learn how.

Here’s the blurb for Running On Empty:

She’s running her heart out to stay in the same place.

Ronnie Ventura has every reason to distrust Fairstein Productions: she’s had run-ins with their shows before. But Fairstein’s newest reality show offers Ronnie a chance to redeem herself from looking like a blonde bimbo. All she has to do is win a modified triathlon. Simple, right? Except this is Fairstein, and nothing is ever simple with them.

Ronnie’s boss at the Blarney Stone bar and café, owner Ted Saltzman, is a lot less convinced that another Fairstein show is just what Ronnie needs, particularly when he’s head over heels about Ronnie himself.  But she’s determined, and he’s a man in love.

Ted becomes her running coach, which fans their budding romance to a fever. But can Ronnie’s newfound confidence stand up to the usual Fairstein plots? And can Ted find a way to keep his true love in Salt Box if Hollywood tries to steal her away again?

You can find it at Amazon.

Teresa Noelle Roberts: Buck Naked
Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Sorry this is late! Real life interfered! DD


The first two books of the Chronicles of the Malcolm science fiction romance series (Thrill-Kinky and Bad Kitty) are interspecies romances. But even before I started writing Buck, Naked, I knew Buck’s heroine had to be human. Buck says in Bad Kitty: “Xia and me, we understand each other. And because she accepts me, maybe someday I’ll be fit company for a human woman.” Human Buck feels he has more in common with felinoid Xia than he would with a woman of his own species—and Xia’s a natural predator with training as an assassin and childhood trauma that left holes in her memory. But he still holds out hope that someday he can be with a human.

Unfortunately, he’s only mostly human. In the opening scenes of Buck, Naked, we learn Buck was subjected to alien medical experiments as a POW. As a result, he’s stronger and faster than most humans, and his senses are enhanced to the point he can sometimes see through time and space. (The alien experiments are also why he’s learned to live with one leg. Regeneration technology won’t work on him because of the extent of genetic and neurological meddling he endured.) And as a result of his horrible experiences, he has PTSD that sometimes triggers violent flashbacks. He rightly figures he’s too volatile and dangerous to be a safe sexual partner, let alone a romantic one. And the alien senses are getting more powerful—and are pushing him toward insanity.

This made it challenging to create the perfect heroine for him. She had to be tough enough to handle his dangerous side, wise enough to see past his “ignorant hick” demeanour to the smart, though uneducated, man inside, and, for storytelling purposes, quirky enough to fit in with the rest of the crew. Someone sweet and semi-normal was not going to cut it.

Enter Aleema: scientific genius, former military officer—and, due to her own run-in with the same meddling aliens, immortal and practically unbreakable. Oh, and she’s done research that can help Buck learn to live sanely with his altered body and brain. Sounds perfect, right?

Did I forget to mention that some of her alien modifications make her resemble the species that tormented both her and Buck? This guarantees their first meeting is the opposite of lust at first site.


At first glance, Aleema was good-looking, a tall, curvy human woman with black hair brushing her shoulders and skin far darker than Buck’s own fair complexion, though lighter than Mik, who was as close to actual-factual black as a human got without cosmetic mods. Maybe this gig wouldn’t be so bad. Awkward, sure, telling his woes to a complete stranger and a pretty one at that, but at least he’d have something nice to look at while he was getting his head shrunk.

Then he took a second look.

She had human features, human coloring. But her eyes were solid black and when she extended her arms to hug Gan, Buck saw her left hand had webbed fingers like a Seera. She had only five fingers, like a proper human hand, not seven, but it was close enough to a Seera to register as a threat. He reached for his laserpistol before he could stop himself.

The voices in his head screamed no.

Not his conscience, although that was making some noise about the notion of shooting a friend of Gan’s in cold blood, but the voices in his head, the horrors that more often than not prompted him to do stupidly violent things.

This time, the horrors were reminding him of things he’d rather forget about his time as a prisoner of the Seera. The experiments they’d performed on him and other captured soldiers. Stars, the things they did to themselves sometimes, just for fun or curiosity, best as he’d been able to figure out. A Seera scientist never met a natural body that couldn’t be “improved” in some way.

If Aleema was a survivor of a Seera experiment herself, one worse than what he’d undergone or at least leaving more obvious traces, it made sense why Gan wanted them to meet.

Buck was still creepified, but he’d give her a chance.

He could always shoot her later.

To save him, she must strip him bare.

Security expert Buck’s senses are inhumanly keen, to the point he can see through time and space, and that’s just the start of his odd abilities—thank you, alien captors. He also experiences paranoia, flashbacks, and the occasional hallucination—thank you, PTSD. No wonder he fears he could hurt one of the Malcolm crewmates he lives to protect, the closest thing to family he has left after the destruction of his home planet.
Brilliant scientist Aleema can teach him how to use his modifications without triggering PTSD. She’s survived the same meddling aliens and suffered even more dramatic alterations. At least her unwanted immortality means she’s had time to figure out how the modifications work and use the knowledge to aid other survivors. Helping Buck means spending some serious time together.

Time enough to fall in love.

Just as happiness seems within their grasp, Aleema realizes one of Buck’s modifications dooms him to an unthinkable future. To save him, she must place herself in the hands of their common enemy and leave Buck to face his worst fears without her.

Buy links: Amazon / B&N Nook / iTunes / Kobo / All Romance Ebooks

Chronicles of the Malcolm Series blurb:

In the 26th century, humans and numerous alien races share the galaxy. Technology has advanced massively. Old Earth is a vast preserve and museum, and humans have spread to the stars. But some things remain the same. Love, lust, and money motivate both humans and other sentient species. Politics can get ugly. And crime can pay very well indeed.

Meet the wacky crew of the independent freighter Malcolm. They usually succeed in keeping things only a little bit illegal. But then a seemingly legit job goes supernova—and they’re on the run, hiding from assassins, a planetary government, and their own dark pasts.

It’s the perfect time to fall in love!

About the Author

tnrTeresa Noelle Roberts 72 dpi for WEB-11Teresa Noelle Roberts started writing stories in kindergarten and she hasn’t stopped yet. A prolific author of short erotica, she’s also a published poet and fantasy writer—but sexy science fiction romances, BDSM-spiced contemporaries, and hot paranormals have become her favorite things to write.

Teresa is a crunchy granola girl who enjoys belly dance, yoga, cooking, hiking, playing in the ocean, and growing more vegetables than she and her husband can possibly eat. She’d enjoy sleeping too. She thinks. But it takes so much time!

She shares her home in southern Massachusetts with her husband, a Leo in law enforcement, and three cats. She and her husband often plan vacations around food, history, and/or proximity to water.

Subscribe to Teresa’s newsletter at Learn more about Teresa at If you’d rather be conversational, follow her on Twitter at or become a Facebook fan at


Adele Downs: Luxury Model Wife
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

I’ve always been attracted to blond, blue-eyed, muscular men with sun-streaked hair and golden tans. Whether he’s on the beach in a lifeguard stand, wearing low slung cutoffs and work boots on a construction site, or dressed for business in a suit and tie, a blue-eyed blond will make my heart beat faster, every time.

I like blonds so much, I married one, and many of the heroes in my books have blue eyes like my husband and our son. The hero of Luxury Model Wife, Steve Carlson, is the embodiment of the rugged, blue-eyed blond archetype who wears jeans, a t-shirt and work boots, and could be a model for a home improvement store. He’s also an Afghanistan war hero and a successful businessman who owns an upscale antiques shop catering to the country club set. When he meets the beautiful dark-haired, brown-eyed young widow of his best customer, Steve begins the most challenging journey of his life…on the road to happily ever after.



Antiques expert Steve Carlson must face the mistakes of his past to discover a treasure he never imagined: the heart of a vulnerable yet determined widow.


Twenty-eight-year-old Victoria Van Orr just lost everything. With the death of her billionaire husband went his mature patience and warm encouragement; and the veneer of acceptance from everyone else. His friends and colleagues now ignore Victoria, and if his son succeeds she just might be forced back to the streets upon which she was raised. But money was never her goal. All she wants is love. Real love.

Antiques expert Steve Carlson knows the value of everything. Pain and betrayal? Those he gave away–and now they’re coming back. His worst mistakes were all with one man: an old friend, the son of a father figure, now the stepchild of a beautiful young widow who wants Steve to help her auction off the family estate. To help Victoria, Steve must face his past and become a better man. To find true love, he will discover her surprisingly pure heart, vulnerable yet determined. And beyond price.

Get your copy!


Steve tilted his head, his bright blue eyes sizing her up. “Sorry, but I gotta’ ask. Do you always talk like that?”

Victoria felt her cheeks warm. “Whatever do you mean?”

There.” He studied her again with not-so-subtle curiosity. “You sounded like your late husband James just now. Funny, you don’t seem like the snooty type to me. More like a regular girl.”

His comment touched a nerve like hot wires to stripped cable. Victoria bit back a retort while blood rushed through her ears. She closed her eyes against the sound to clear her head. Twenty-eight was hardly a girl, and she was damn tired of defending her right to be a Van Orr.

For five years she’d tried and failed to fit into the privileged world of her older husband—learning couture, keeping her posture as straight as a modeling school graduate, rounding her O’s when she spoke —apparently fooling no one on either side of the social spectrum in the process.

Defeat swept over her and her shoulders sagged beneath five-thousand dollars’ worth of silk and linen. No matter how hard she tried, she’d forever be exposed as the abandoned kid who’d grown-up in shelters.

Strange though… when she opened her eyes and returned them to Steve Carlson’s handsome face, she sensed his remark was meant as a compliment, and not a reminder that she lacked James’s pedigree. It was like he saw her.

Her. Not James’s luxury-model second wife.

Still, his manners were disgusting. Even store-owner-janitors should know how to behave. Snooty type. Who was he to say that to her? She was a potential client for heaven’s sake.

Victoria stood to leave. She was sick and tired of people voicing their opinions about her and her late husband’s disparate lineage. She’d been bullied and belittled since the day she’d become engaged. “You don’t know me well enough to analyze me, Mr. Carlson.” She kept the annoyance out of her reprimand. The rich had taught her that cool distain wounded more deeply than anger.

Steve grimaced, rubbed his jaw, and then stood to face her, his expression sheepish. He waved her back to her seat. “Please. I’m sorry I offended you. I’m a friend. Really. We’ve gotten off on the wrong foot.”

He ran a hand through his hair and his bicep bulged with the movement. Victoria’s gaze followed the lines and curves of sinew and muscle and took in the military tattoo peeking from the hem of his tee shirt.

She resisted the images that teased her dormant libido, and brought her eyes back to his face. Damn. That didn’t help. Why did this annoying man have to be so good-looking? Her attraction to him only made her feel guilty, like she’d betrayed James’s memory.

Widowhood came with a unique set of baggage.


About the Author

Adele Downs is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 20 romance titles, including those written under another pen name, and a former journalist with hundreds of articles to her credit. When not writing in her home office in rural Pennsylvania, she can be found reading a book on the nearest beach, taking photographs, or riding in her convertible.

Find books by Adele Downs on Amazon!
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Monday, September 19th, 2016

I’m so excited to share my newest release with you, HER ROGUE ALPHA, Book 5 in my X-OPS Series!

I introduced you to feline shifter Layla Halliwell and injured Special Forces lieutenant Jayson Harmon earlier in the series, then gave you glimpses into their relationship in each subsequent book. Well, HER ROGUE ALPHA is all about them!

Layla went to college to become a psychologist because she always wanted help people. After graduation, she got a job at the DCO so she could work with shifters like her. She didn’t intend to ever become a field agent, but now that she’s training to be one, she’s excited at the prospect. If only her boyfriend, Jayson, were as thrilled about he career change.

Jayson used to be in the Special Forces, but got injured during a mission in Afghanistan and was medically separated from the Army. He takes an experimental drug that’s supposed to not only heal his injuries, but give him shifter abilities. Problem is, people who were given previous versions of that same serum either died or ended up like wild, uncontrollable animals. But
thinking about his girlfriend Layla out there in danger without him to watch her back is driving him crazy with worry and he’ll do anything to be her partner in the field.

Hope you enjoy it!




Former Special Forces Lieutenant Jayson Harmon can’t believe that his war scars don’t matter to beautiful feline shifter Layla Halliwell. Why would she saddle herself with a broken man?

But Layla knows that Jayson is a hero to the core, and that only she can heal his wounded soul. So when Jayson is deployed on another deadly mission, no way is Layla staying behind…

Read the First 3 Chapters for FREE!


Purchase at: Amazon | B&N | iBOOKS | Kobo:




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Leslie Jones: Cyber Warfare
Sunday, September 18th, 2016

ljnight-hush-mailThis month we marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. As I pondered this senseless act of terror and violence, I was reminded of the radically changed face of world war. In a post 9/11 world, we’ve seen the creation of a whole new scope of battle — cyberspace. On this modern battlefield, a lone attacker sitting thousands of miles away can create havoc and cause terror with just a few keystrokes. It’s frightening to know our banks, nuclear power plants, missile silos, military aircraft, and the Pentagon have all been targeted by enemy nation-states. Critical infrastructure, air traffic control systems, classified secrets, and defense initiatives are all potential targets. The Office of Personnel Management hack of 2015 stole more than 20 million records of current and former federal employees. As a former Army soldier working in the intelligence arena, I was a victim of that breach. It’s terrifying to think that every detail about my life, my service, my security clearances, and my fingerprints are now in the hands of terrorists.

ljbait-signatureBut American war-fighting evolved to meet this new threat, and a dedicated new breed of warrior has emerged.

The more I dug into the world of cyber-espionage and cyberterrorism, the more fascinated I became with the idea that more battles are fought every day on a keyboard than in the trenches. The fourth book in my Duty & Honor series, Framed, teams a hacker-turned-FBI cybersecurity expert with a team of Delta Force special operators; my heroine, Lark, is assigned to deconstruct a piece of malware infecting an FBI server, which leads her to a horrific plot to detonate a small nuclear bomb on US soil. What she discovers is a harrowing, realistic scenario of what our enemies are now capable of doing.

Virtual enemies stalk us daily. Cyberwarfare has the potential to temporarily cripple a nation-state. The good news is, we’re just as good at preventing these hacks as we are perpetrating them against our enemies. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this new battlefield. My money’s on us.

ljdeep-cover-signatureWhat do you perceive to be the biggest threat the US faces in cyberspace? Do you think we can win this virtual War on Terror? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


RITA® nominated and award-winning author Leslie Jones has been an IT geek, a graphics designer, and an Army intelligence officer. She’s lived in Alaska, Korea, Belgium, Germany, and other exotic locations (including New Jersey). She is a wife, mother, and full-time writer, and currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her books can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and HarperCollins Publishers.

Framed (Duty & Honor Book 4) will be available on February 28, 2017 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and HarperCollins Publishers. Catch up on the series with Night Hush, Bait, and Deep Cover.

Connect with Leslie!