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Archive for November, 2015

DREAM OF ME, Book 4 of the Uncharted SEALS series, is here!
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

It’s heeere! I’m excited it’s finally out, ready for you to read! As I wrote him, I loved everything about Sam. He’s kind, loyal, doesn’t back away from the gritty emotions, and he doesn’t give up. Wouldn’t we all love a guy who doesn’t walk away when things get real?

I hope you’ve already got this loaded to your Kindles! Remember, it’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers! If you want to do an author a favor, be sure to page through every page of the book. And if you have time, why not leave a review? Let another readers know what your experience was. Who else can they trust to give them the straight scoop?

I’m out of here! I have other books to write! If you want more Uncharted SEALs, let me know.  🙂

After losing her partner and lover in a shootout, New Orleans police officer Aislin Dupree is tormented by memories of the past and the day she lost Marc LeBrun. At her darkest hour, she discovers that Marc had planned a romantic getaway on a Caribbean island before his death . All expenses paid. She decides to take the trip, hoping the island getaway will help her come to terms with her sorrow. Instead, she meets a man, a friend of Marc’s from his time served as Navy SEAL.

Sam Blalock is like Marc in so many ways that he makes her ache for what she once had. Strong, rugged Sam is her rock, holding her when she breaks, encouraging her to move on, because he knows about the pain of loss and the horror of violence all too well. She soon finds her waking hours consumed by Sam while she roams her dreams in search of Marc. As the time approaches for her to go home, she’s afraid to let go of the connection she’s found, and she fears she might be holding onto Sam for all the wrong reasons while she imagines another reality where dreams do come true.

Read all the Uncharted SEALs:
Watch Over Me | Her Next Breath | Through Her Eyes


Cynthia D’Alba: 14 Days of Hustle (Contest)
Monday, November 9th, 2015

Hi All! Cynthia D’Alba here. Thanks to my fabulous hostess, Delilah, for opening her door to me today. Luckily for you, today’s blog is short! 🙂

I am so excited about the next two weeks. Tomorrow (Nov. 10) marks the kick-off of 14 Days of Hustle. To celebrate the release of TEXAS HUSTLE, book 6 in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series, I’m hosting 14 days of excerpts and prizes! A new excerpt and prize every day. Lots of different (and unique) prizes that could be yours! You only have to drop by daily and enter that day’s drawing! How easy, huh?

So what’s up for grabs? I don’t want to spill ALL the beans, but I’ll share a couple of items…

  1. 50 x 60 Fleece Texas Hustle Blanket. If this can’t keep you toasty this winter, nothing will! cdTexas Hustle Fleece Blanket
  2. Antique turquoise braceletcdTurquoise Blossom Bracelet - Copy
  3. 7” HD Kindle FirecdKindle Fire HD 7

But you’ll have to stop by to see what else is up!

Wait! I forgot to tell you where to go!! Head over to my blog ( A new link to the daily excerpt and Rafflecopter will be there!

A little more about TEXAS HUSTLE



Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 6

Porchia Summers was born into a family who gave her everything except affection. She acted out until her parents sent her to Whispering Springs before their high-society friends found out about her arrest record.

She builds a good life in Texas, but then the old boyfriend who got her in trouble tracks her down. Desperate to find a way to keep her past and present separate, she places a bid at a bachelor auction on the one man who’ll get her out of town for a few days.

Darren Montgomery is thrilled when Porchia wins him and a week of camping with his entire family in a charity bachelor auction. He’s also curious. He’s been flirting with the town’s sweet, sexy baker for years. Sometimes she flirts back, but she’s never let things go further than that. Darren’s not complaining, but he wonders just what’s going on behind Porchia’s pretty eyes.

Warning: Watch out for chigger bites, love bites, and secrets that bite.

Pick up YOUR copy at

Thanks for coming by. I’ll be looking for you for 14 Days of Hustle!

Lexi Post: Favorite Christmas Story (Contest)
Monday, November 9th, 2015

Yay! I’m on the wonderful Delilah Devlin’s blog! Thank you Delilah for inviting me back 🙂

For those readers who don’t know me, all my erotic romances are inspired by classics, so when I decided to write a Christmas story, it wasn’t hard to find the one I needed for inspiration. My favorite Christmas story has always been A Christmas Carol.  I have read it, seen it performed on stage, and I think I own every movie version of it :-} What I didn’t realize was that this one story would inspire a whole series!

PLEASURES OF CHRISTMAS PAST is the first book in the series and it’s primary focus is on the Spirit of Christmas Past. In my book, instead of Scrooge, I have Holly, a very young widow who is steeped in grief. Instead of Marley, I have her husband Cameron who supervises the spirits. And then there is Jessica, the soft hearted social worker who has been assigned to Holly as her Spirit of Christmas Past, except this is Jessica’s first case and she is required to have a mentor. That mentor comes in the form of the very hot, very single, and very Scottish Duncan Montgomerie who has been training spirit guides for over 200 years!

I have to say this story, which I wrote this summer, put me in the Christmas mood very early and it seemed like forever before I could legitimately start singing Christmas carols (I did wait until after Halloween). Now I can’t wait to start watching Christmas movies, particularly A Christmas Carol 😉 Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Is there one you make sure to watch every year? I’d love to hear which one.

And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win an ebook of your choice from my backlist because I just love giving away prizes! It’s sort of like giving a Christmas present 😉

Always, Lexi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pleasures of Christmas Past


When present-day American social worker Jessica Thomas is assigned her first case as a spirit guide, she’s excited to serve as the Spirit of Christmas Past for her client and prove she knows her profession well. Unfortunately, her mentor, the very hot, very single, and very Scottish Duncan Montgomerie has little faith in her ability and plans to catch her when she falls. As far as she’s concerned, he’s going to be waiting a very long time.

Bachelor Duncan Montgomerie hails from late 18th century Scotland where he enjoyed life to its fullest, something he continues in death. Having been dead a while, he is well equipped to handle the afterlife where time doesn’t exist and phasing is the norm. What has him stymied is his connection to the uptight Jessica and the strange feelings he’s experiencing being around her, even though she refuses to listen to his advice. Duncan needs to figure out what it all means and fast because the rules change after death and the path Jessica is headed down could cost her her soul.


Purchase at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo |
Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Amazon DE

From what Jessica could tell, there was no such thing as calories in the afterlife. Thankful she’d finally mastered the art of solidifying and phasing at will so she could enjoy her earthly pleasure, she took a bite of the sweet, cold dessert. As the nutty flavor washed over her tongue, she closed her eyes in sheer bliss. Now this was heaven. Opening her eyes to take another bite, she froze. “What are you doing here?”

Duncan floated on the arm at the other end of her couch, looking absolutely delicious in his jeans, t-shirt and socks. Socks?

“This is when your private lessons start.” The sexy grin he gave her had her swallowing hard as excitement skittered across her skin and into her groin.

Shit. The man was a walking tease. Make that a floating tease. She wanted Mr. Knows-It-All back. He was easier to deal with. Not sure what to say, she dipped her spoon in the carton and took another bite as her mind raced. What kind of lessons? From his look, her bedroom would be the proper place for them.

“What are you eating?” He leaned forward and squinted at the carton.

She swallowed and tried for a professional air. “Pistachio ice cream.”

“I dinna think I’ve ever tried that flavor.” His body phased to solid and he plucked the carton from her hand.

“Hey! The least you can do is ask.”

He shrugged as he dipped his finger into the green ice cream. “You’d just tell me I could have some, so why bother?” He lifted his finger and stuck the ice cream in his mouth. “Hmmm, this is good. No wonder it’s your favorite.” His grin could have talked a Sunday school teacher into stripping.

She stared, her body revving at the sight of him dipping his finger in again while her brain caught up to his words. “How do you know it’s my favorite?”

He winked. “I know everything about you.”

She flushed as her body heated. Crap, this man was a flirt if she’d ever seen one and his lilting accent didn’t help. She reached across the couch and grabbed the ice cream out of his hand. “If you don’t mind, I was enjoying that.”

He chuckled. “Oh, touchy.”

Why did she now feel like a bitch? She wasn’t like this usually. Mr. Distraction had her off balance and she didn’t like it.

If only Cameron could have given her a different mentor. Duncan Montgomerie would ruin her concentration and make fun of any mistake she might make. Her definition of “mentor” was not that. “I’m assuming you came here for a reason? I mean, besides the beautiful view.” She pointed toward the windows with her spoon.

He glanced that way before letting his gaze roam from the tops of her bare feet, over her legs, past her shorts to the stretchy fabric of her white tank-covered chest. She held her breath, waiting for his eyes to meet hers, but they stayed riveted on her breasts. Thankful she’d left her bra on so he couldn’t see how hard her nipples had turned at his perusal, she moved the ice cream to block his view and took another bite to cool down.

He smirked at her move. “As I said, it’s time for your private lessons. I thought you’d be more comfortable here than at my castle.”

She stilled at his comment. “You live in a castle?”

Author Bio:

lpLexi Post (2)Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi believes there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature. Her books are known as “erotic romance with a whole lot of story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Website | Lexi Post Updates | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | Email | TSU

Afton Locke: Deeper Than Perfect – Sexy 70s?
Sunday, November 8th, 2015


The psychic who sends Desiree back in time in my latest release, Deeper Than Perfect, promises scorching sex with R&B superstar Bernie Benson. Sounds like a good reason to travel back in time to me! The 70s were the decade of free love. I was a kid at the time, so I missed out. But one day I had a little fun. The family business had a really sexy employee with Paul Newman blue eyes and a toned tan body adorned in nothing but a pair of cutoff jeans. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing. He wore no undies!

I discovered this one day while having a conversation with him. He leaned against the bumper of a pickup truck, and those shorts had ripped, loose legs. I suppose I shouldn’t have looked, but once I saw it I couldn’t look away. “It” being my first glimpse of male junk. What an incentive to grow up! So, what’s your sexiest 70s memory?

Deeper Than Perfect by Afton Locke

Get your funk on!

Release Date: 7 November 2015

Stay tuned for reviews and more:

Watch the Book Trailer:


Desi Warner is ready to end her life after an accident disfigures her face and destroys her modeling career. Instead, she goes back in time to 1974 to meet her destiny—R&B superstar Bernie Benson. Although her scars vanish, she and Bernie only have one month before a car accident will supposedly claim their lives.

The enigmatic singer ignites her senses, but her restored beauty is an illusion she can’t trust. Abandoned by his mother in childhood, Bernie has his own trust issues. Obsessed with completing his album, he’s just as hooked on his perfect singing career as Desi is to modeling.

Although they open each other’s eyes to different paths, change is not easy. When the fated day of the crash arrives, they must choose between life and perfection. A love that is deeper than perfect may be their only key to survival.

Excerpt (explicit)

Deeper Than Perfect – Copyright © Afton Locke, 2015

He cocked his head toward her hand. “What have you got there?”

The forgotten photo nearly burned her fingers. Why hadn’t she returned it before he walked in?

“Is this your mother?” she blurted out.

Ten more walls went up around his serious face. “Yeah. I thought I’d put that away.”

“Why? Are your parents still living?”

He took the picture from her. Instead of placing it back on the bookshelf, he tossed it into the top desk drawer, which he closed with a resounding click.

“My father is. She died when I was ten.”

“I’m sorry.”

He sat on the desk and crossed his arms. “I should have asked you to wait in the kitchen instead. Have you eaten?”

“Yes. Bernie, you clearly want to be alone. Why didn’t you let me leave earlier?”

The corner of his mouth turned downward. “Because I don’t want you to.”

Desi’s sandals clicked on the hardwood floor as she paced in a tight circle. “What do you want?”

He dropped his arms and stood. “You.”

What? The man made no sense today. Before she could say anything else, he embraced her and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. As usual, the texture of his sculpted mouth hardened her nipples to rigid peaks.

When she gazed into his eyes, they were warmer. So was her belly. Even without his erection pressing against her short scooter skirt, she had no trouble heating up her nylon panties after that kiss.

“I’m so confused, Bernie.” She rested her palms on his shoulders. “Why did you shut me out earlier?”

“Now you know how it feels,” he said quietly.

“What are you talking about?”

He held her closer, staring over her shoulder. “You were someone else at the photo shoot. Somebody I couldn’t have.”

“I was just doing my job,” she protested. “I loved knowing you were there, though.”

“They wouldn’t let me see you.” His hushed voice was especially raspy. “Those assholes turned me away like I was nobody.”

Now his earlier coolness made sense. The fact that he’d wanted to be with her so much filled her chest with melting warmth.

“I’m sorry.” She tweaked his mouth, coaxing a grin out of him. “I guess neither one of us can be ourselves when we’re working.”

“You’re probably right.” His hand perched on her hip and rubbed the curve of it. “You looked so beautiful in that bikini. I wanted to rip it off of you so bad.”


His fingers curled around the hem of her skirt and tugged. “I wish you were wearing it right now.”

“Bernie, I told you I’m not ready for a sexual relationship.”

His hot mouth seared her skin as he kissed and nipped the side of her neck where it met her shoulder. “Then when, Desi? How long do I have to wait?”

Her pelvis throbbed with an insistent pulse. Having his mouth and hands on her, especially after his puzzling coolness, was more than her body could take. If they had less than a month left to live, they might never make love again. Thinking of it filled her veins with ice water.

“Can’t we kiss?” she asked.

He gripped her chin. She gasped when his mouth devoured hers, whipping her head from side to side with the force of it. Despite herself, she found the opening of his soft shirt and skated her hand across hot, caramel-colored flesh. Her fingers tweaked his nipple before she could stop them.

“I need you, Desi,” he whispered with a half-cry.

How could she ignore such a desperate plea? She only had to remember the sight of Cole’s back the night he walked out of her apartment the last time.

But staying here and torturing Bernie with lust wasn’t fair either.

“I-I should go.” Her heart beat so fast with passion, she could hardly talk.

Instead, he lifted the backs of her thighs until they sandwiched his slim waist. Because they were similar in height, it couldn’t be easy for him to carry her that way, but he managed to deposit her on top of the desk.

The length of her canal swelled and filled her with delicious sensations of anticipation. She probably wanted him inside her again even more than he wanted to enter her.

After pressing her legs together, he lifted them by the ankles until they extended in front of her and rose toward her head. She reached behind her to support the straight-legged pose. If she hadn’t practiced yoga and pilates for years, she’d never be able to hold this position.

His tongue glided down the length of one and then the other. Her skin melted under the insistent, wet heat of his mouth. Keeping her legs together instead of spreading them took every shred of her willpower.

“Bernie, you have to stop.”

He slid her buttocks close to the edge of the desk and rubbed his erection against the damp crotch of the shorts built into her skirt. His head dropped back as he bumped her fabric-covered slit with his hardness. Stars prickled behind her eyes as her core swelled even more.

“I respect your decision,” he said, gripping his crotch, “but I need to have you right now. Somehow.”


“Please, Desi. Don’t turn me away like those people did today. Let me have you, some kind of way.”

She bit her bottom lip when he unzipped his jeans and pulled out his erection. His fire-and-rain scent, mixed with sexual musk, tickled her nose and put each nerve cell in her body on alert.

With his eyes squeezed shut, he stroked himself with ferocious intensity. The sight of it accelerated her heart so fast she could hardly breathe.

She caught his fingers with hers—to stop him or rub that delectable cock—she wasn’t sure which. Unable to resist touching him, she stroked the tip, which was covered with a pool of clear fluid.

“Yes, Desi,” he moaned. “Feel me.”

She had to make love to him again but not yet. With her fingertips, she circled his shaft and rubbed. She loved having this mysterious, elusive man in her palm—even if only for the moment.

Coming Soon

Cali’s Hurricane (Oyster Harbor Series Book 4) – interracial historical romance

Where readers can find me

Web site:

Sneak Peek at DREAM OF ME (Contest)
Saturday, November 7th, 2015


This lush and lovely novella is coming your way Tuesday! I can’t wait to hear what you think! I love everything about it.

I love the cover. I chose the images, but my dear sister, Elle James, put it together! I had the cover before I wrote the book, so the story was greatly influenced by how that cover made me feel.

And I had that title before I knew anything about the story. Which made it fun trying to figure out how it would come into play in the story. Not that I consciously figured anything out at all. The story just kind of “happened.”

This time, the person suffering the PTSD and survivior’s guilt is the heroine. We love our tortured hero’s, but this time, you get to see what the heroine’s pain does to our lovely, sexy SEAL. And yes, Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing is playing in my brain… Sam really does rise to the occasion… Okay, so that was a little crass, but how can I describe my hero? Patient, except in bed. Gentle, except in bed. Rough and rugged…in bed, too actually. In love at first sight? Yeah, but he doesn’t know it right away…

This is the fourth story in the series. I hope you’re already hooked and ready for more. So have you pre-ordered your copy?

Enjoy the excerpt!

Comment below for a chance to win one of the prequel books to Dream of Me.


After losing her partner and lover in a shootout, New Orleans police officer Aislin Dupree is tormented by memories of the past and the day she lost Marc LeBrun. At her darkest hour, she discovers that Marc had planned a romantic getaway on a Caribbean island before his death. All expenses paid. She decides to take the trip, hoping the island getaway will help her come to terms with her sorrow. Instead, she meets a man, a friend of Marc’s from his past when he served as a Navy SEAL.

Sam Blalock is like Marc in so many ways that he makes her ache for what she once had. Strong, rugged Sam is her rock, holding her when she breaks, encouraging her to move on, because he knows about the pain of loss and the horror of violence all too well. She soon finds her waking hours consumed by Sam while she roams her dreams in search of Marc. As the time approaches for her to go home, she’s afraid to let go of the connection she’s found, and she fears she might be holding onto Sam for all the wrong reasons while she imagines another reality where dreams do come true.

Pre-Order Now!

Dread weighed her down, making her feel sluggish and stupid. I have to find the right door. She stumbled into a long corridor, wood paneling below wainscoting, and tattered, dark teal wallpaper with faded pink roses above. Like she’d seen in her grandmother’s house when she was a child. Only this corridor was endless and lined with teakwood doors—all identical, all closed.

How could she possibly find the right one? The panic in her body made her want to run and try them all, but she knew she didn’t have much time—a lesson she’d already learned. And turning the wrong knob led to horrors best left unknown.

She wanted to run but couldn’t, because her feet were as heavy as lead, mired in invisible muck, slowing her steps, making her tired. Her stride shortened. She dragged her feet on the floral carpet, staticky sounds following her, sparks biting her naked ankles. At last, she came to a halt, her body swaying. Too tired to care what she might find, she opened the door…


Aislin Dupree tugged at the collar of her dark uniform. She’d have a rash—a rosy red ring around her neck—because she’d sweated so much the collar was stiff.

“Stop messin’ with it, Ash,” her partner drawled from the driver’s seat. “You’ll only make it worse.”

“This stickiness is making me crazy. Heat’s so bad I wonder why I bother taking a shower before shift. I’m drenched again before I’m dressed. And why aren’t you sweating?”

She watched as Marc LeBrun’s smile in profile stretched in that lazy way that never failed to make her tingle from head to toe and exciting all the sexy parts in between.

He made a turn before glancing her way, flashing a smile. “I don’t fidget. Chillax, baby. It’s just another mornin’ in easy town. Good times…”

Good times… His sly code for sex whenever they were in company. “Stop,” she said, holding up her hand. “That’s not helping.”

He chuckled, but kept his gaze on the road ahead. “You think about Grand Isle?”

“Fishing on Grand Isle is not my definition of a sexy getaway.”

“Won’t be no fishin’, sugar. Just you ’n’ me. Bed and breakfast on the beach.”

“The sight of oil rigs kinda spoils the view,” she grumbled, but only half-heartedly. The thought of getting away from the city, which smelled foul this time of year, due to the rain and humidity and the sewage floating just beneath the street grates, did sound good. “Should just head to Thibodeaux. Nice hotels there. Might find one with room service. We can take an airboat ride into the swamps if we get bored…” she said, giving him a teasing, sideways glance.

“And that’s sexier than a B&B on the beach?” His chuckles grew and grew.

And she grinned, happy she was there beside him. Just another day on their beat. Most cops rode single, but this part of town was more dangerous. Extra manpower had been added to the shifts in this ward. They’d been paired now for six months. Lovers for the last three.

However they spent their time together didn’t really matter. It was always…good times.

Dispatch broke the silence with the code for robbery. “Be advised, female at location says pedestrian forced her to empty her register.”

The location was only five blocks away. Marc gave her a short nod and flipped on the lights.

Ash pressed the button on the mic. “51-12 responding. Five minutes to location.”

“51-12. 10-4. All units in the vicinity be on the lookout for a male, medium height, wearin’ a gray hoodie…”

The next few minutes passed in a blur. They arrived at the shop with its barred windows and shabby, white-washed exterior.

Marc entered first with his weapon drawn. “This is NOPD,” he called out.

No response came from inside.

Ash edged closer to his body, turning to watch their six. The hair on the back of her neck rose. She knew Marc felt it too because, for once, he was quiet and moving slowly.

The shop was small, just a twenty by twenty square filled with rows of racks stocked with snack foods and drinks. Glancing over the top of the racks, Ash spotted a door toward the back, partially open. Dark.

Both officers crouched down behind the racks as they made their way steadily toward the darkened doorway.

Marc pointed down an aisle, indicating she should come at the door from another angle.

Keeping her breathing even, she nodded and sped silently to the end of the row.

Another nod, and she moved with her back to the wall, easing toward the doorway. From this angle, she could see the bottom of a dirty sneaker, unmoving on the floor.

She lifted her finger and pointed to the door, indicating she saw one person. When they stood flanking the door, she reached out an arm to open it wider, a loud creak sounding in the silence. It thudded softly against the wall of the small office.

Marc edged around the corner, stepped over the young woman on the floor and went to the door at the far side of the room, which stood wide open, sunlight streaming inside from the alley.

Ash bent over the young woman and placed a hand on her chest, felt movement, and then pressed her mic to call for an ambulance. But behind her, she heard another creak and stiffened.

Marc swung around, his weapon raised. “Get down!” he shouted.

Ash ducked toward the woman, not wanting to get in Marc’s line of fire. Above her, a loud blast boomed—a shotgun round. Her body stiffened, and she glanced toward Mark. Blood burst from multiple places on his face and neck, spraying outward. His arms flung wide.

She screamed and came up, swinging back with her elbow and connected with hard muscle. No time to think. No time to pray. Marc had to be okay. She had to get to him. But first, she had to live.

As she turned, something struck her cheek. She went down, watching as though in slow motion as a man in a hoodie raised a gun and pointed it at her. Her own weapon entered her line of sight. A loud explosion sounded, the recoil jolting her arm. He jerked, his arms going limp, dropping the shotgun, and then he lurched past her, stepping on Marc as he exited through the door.

She got back to her knees and crawled toward Marc who lay so still, too quiet. His face was a mess, blood dripping down both sides into his thick black hair, pockets of flesh gone. What worried her most was the sluggish pulsing river flowing from his neck wound. She pressed her hands over it and leaned toward him. “Marc, hang on, baby. I’m here. I’m here.”

He didn’t blink. Didn’t move.

She pressed harder with one hand and lifted the other to her radio. “108. Officer down. Officer down. Shots fired.” She knew her voice sounded ragged, strained. They’d know the situation was bad. Please come fast.

She fought to control her panic. Do her job. Again, she pressed the button to let them know the suspect was fleeing the scene. “Six-feet-four male, gray hoodie, jeans, sunglasses. On foot.” She released the button and let the mic hang from her shoulder as she bent over Marc, all her concentration going now to her partner who was dying. She knew he was. Her chest pinched, and she could barely breathe. No miracle would save him.

Ani Keating: From Fanfiction to Published Author — Five Things I Learned In the Process (Contest)
Friday, November 6th, 2015

akExcerpt 2 First Kiss Photo

When Delilah invited me to post on her blog, my first reaction was a fangirl squeal.

My second reaction was a Carlton dance.  And my third reaction was a complete, paralyzing writer’s block, which continued until last night.  How the hell do I choose what to write on Delilah’s blog? This is Delilah! Everyone has been in bed with her, and I’m just popping my publishing cherry!! Oh, the stress.

But I have a generally-calm, down-to-earth, hold-your-hand-through-hell hubby who said, “That’s what you write about.  Popping your cherry.” And he was right. With my first book only eleven days away, I haven’t taken a full moment to pause and articulate what I learned in this amazing process.  It started out as a small story on Fanfiction, then it grew on my blog, and now, finally, it’s hitting the stands.  It has been a beautiful whirlwind, filled with lessons.  And because I’m a list person (blame my legal job), here are the top five:

  1. Write with my heart, then edit with my head. Oh, the blood and tears of that first draft. How precious each adjective, how darling each adverb! I had to step away in the end (okay, was dragged away by my hubby, but tomayto- tomahto).  I went out, saw my friends, combed my hair. And I learned that, for me, some distance was crucial. I needed it to be able to return to the manuscript with a gimlet eye. To delete huge chunks of it, and rewrite entire chapters.  To realize that adverbs are almost never needed if I use the right verb.  And that the best story is not the one I tell, but the one I show.
  1. Pick my battles. So I could delete adjectives and adverbs on my own. But what would I do if my agent wanted me to strike an entire background story or remove a whole character? I learned to compromise. Not everything I thought was vital was actually interesting.  And not everything that was interesting was actually vital.  So that’s when I came up with my formula:  if it takes me more than three sentences to explain the importance of a background story or secondary character, that information is not vital.  Delete it.
  1. Trust my gut. But there were some things that took more than three sentences to explain. Some things that were integral to my main characters, even if all my legal training couldn’t persuade my agent to see my point. For example, my alpha hero, Aiden, is a U.S. Marine with total recall. He can never forget anything. Especially not the horrors of war. My agent wanted to delete his memory. We talked, we argued, we tried hard—with zero progress. My head told me to listen to the agent—she was a pro; I was a newbie.  My heart wanted to listen to her, too—she was the first one who saw my potential.  But my gut kept saying “no”—loud and clear (and in Aiden’s deep, husky voice, which made it irresistible). In the end, I had to make the hardest decision of my writing journey: I had to part ways with my first agent. It would take up all of Delilah’s blog to explain how difficult that was. What the hell was I doing? I was lucky to have an agent at all! But my gut was absolutely right. Because, shortly after, I found another agent who loved the book the way it was, and an editor, and a publisher who followed.  And, above all, the 63,000 readers that visited my story online.  In the end, instincts matter.  (And that’s a big lesson for a newbie author.)
  1. Listen to my readers. Looking back now though, I wonder: would I have had enough confidence as a baby author to follow my instincts without all the readers who followed my story online? See, I posted Thirty Nights on Fanfiction first—before it caught the attention of an agent. I thought I’d be lucky if I had one, maybe two readers. I ended up finding quite a few more.  And every single one of their 3,000 messages, reviews, and emails did its little magic. It allowed me to understand what they liked, what they didn’t. And to appreciate that although I write for myself, what I write is theirs.
  1. Be prepared to gain about seven to ten pounds. This was a surprise to me. My Debut Author 15! All those nervous chocolate nibbles and take-out food around deadlines have left me with some pounds to shed. But that’s okay—it was worth it.  Because the final lesson in this whole process has been to give my body and brain what they crave every so often.  This writing business is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  (And with that, I’m getting on my trek suit, and going for a run.)

Thank you for reading and please check out information on Thirty Nights below. And thank you, Delilah, for inviting me on your blog!


Thirty nights. Two hearts. One fate.

After her parents’ tragic deaths, Elisa Snow wanted nothing more than to escape her past. Eighteen and alone, she fled her quaint English village and moved to the United States. A starving science student by day and an artist’s muse by night, Elisa has slowly built a new life. She never dreamed she would lose everything again.

She is one week from graduation when her visa is unexpectedly denied. Given thirty days to leave the country, she must face the one thing she cannot survive again—saying goodbye and leaving her home. Yet within minutes of her world shattering, she meets a man with the power to piece it back together.

After finishing his tour of duty in Iraq, Aiden Hale traded battlefields for boardrooms, becoming one of the most successful venture capitalists in the nation. But all his wealth can’t buy him reprieve from the horrific memories of war. The only thing that gives him peace is a painting of Elisa.

Drawn together by their invisible wounds, they begin a passionate affair as they race against the clock to defy their pasts—and fight for their future.

Warning: Contains a blistering exploration of desire, sacrifice, and redemption…and love’s power to equalize us in ways laws cannot.


The door rattles under four sharp, loud knocks. According to my dad’s watch,

I still have one hour before Hale gets here. I peek through the hole and freeze. Bloody hell, it’s the Dragon, with a capital D this time. What did I do today? Oh, maybe he is canceling the painting. I put a half-baked plan together and open the door.

“Mr. Hale, what a nice surprise,” I start with a big smile, my voice high enough for the bats to hear it.

He steps inside. I think he’s trying to calm himself but it’s hard to tell with the smoke coming out of his ears. He runs a hand over his hair. What the devil is wrong with him? He takes one deep breath and explodes.

“Are you so above the rest, Miss Snow, that you will not deign to attend even your graduation from the institution that has granted you its highest academic honor? Or is this how little your own life means to you?” He speaks through gritted teeth.

Oh, bollocks! How did he find out, and why does he care? Be strong, Isa. “I’m sorry, but that’s none of your business.” I ignore his second question. Something about it makes me recoil.

He looks at me like I just insulted his mother. Honestly, I think I see fire from his nostrils. “None of my fucking business? Is that your answer?” Still gritted teeth, which I suppose is better than fangs.

“Yes, that’s my answer.” I stay calm, hoping some of it will rub off on him. No such luck.

“Over three thousand people watched President Campbell announce Miss Elisa Cecilia Snow, valedictorian in absentia, and a full minute of silence fell over the crowd, and you say it’s none of my fucking business?” He is spitting fire.

Damn it! Why would President Campbell announce it? I emailed the traitor. Well, one thing at a time. The Dragon first. “No, I didn’t say fucking business. I said simply business.”

He looks at me with flared nostrils and roars, his fists hanging down.

“What is wrong with you?”

Oh, this is rich. He is morphing into a Tolkien creature and I’m the freak? I am usually a calm, rational agent. It’s probably not apparent based on this last week, but I am. But right now, with my newly shaved legs and my lacy knickers on, after practicing his name all day in front of a stupid fan, I want to scratch his eyes out.

“There’s nothing wrong with me, Mr. Hale. However, based on your behavior these last two days, may I suggest the very real possibility that there is something seriously wrong with you? I strongly recommend that you visit a psychiatrist, sir, and soon, before you become a menace on the streets of Portland and incinerate us all for exercising our right as free human beings to go wherever we bloody well please,” I hiss, feeling a kindred spirit with Medusa because he has turned to stone.

Before I can draw a breath, he takes the two steps between us and his mouth closes in on mine, his hands like a vise around my face.

The force of his kiss slams me against the wall and makes me gasp. His lips mold with mine, and his tongue is dancing inside my mouth. My knees shake a little. As if he knows, one of his hands leaves my face, trails down my body and rests at the small of my back, arching me against him and supporting all my weight. I move my tongue shyly around his. I taste cinnamon and something else, something Aiden. My blood ignites, and another gasp escapes me. At the sound, he presses his hips against me, and his long fingers reach into my hair. He pulls my head back until my mouth opens wider. Our tongues move together, and his anger changes to desperation and then to a slower rhythm that I can follow. Of their own accord, my arms reach up around his neck and my fingers knot in his hair. He tenses, so I try to let go but he draws me closer until there is no more space left. I feel every line of his body against mine. His teeth graze my bottom lip. It takes me a moment to realize that the moan I hear is coming from me. He pulls away, his breathing harsh and labored.

“Impossible woman,” he growls.

I open my eyes. His sapphire depths are blazing. Without his arm supporting me, my knees go back to shaky and weak. Then it dawns on me. Bloody hell, I’ve just been kissed by Aiden Hale! And what a kiss it was. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have much experience with such things, but I am willing to bet my supplement’s formula that no girl, anywhere, has been kissed like this. I pinch myself discreetly to make sure I’m awake. Yes, it was real. My lips are tingling.

“Are you ready to go?” he asks, his breathing now back in control. Apparently, we are not going to talk about it. That’s good. What if his next words end this? And what is there to say regardless? By some miracle, he wants me at some level, and I want him at all levels. That’s good enough for now. Good enough for forever for someone like me.



I love this giveaway.  It’s Tiffany’s Iconic Necklace in Silver and Tiffany Blue.  Check it out and enter the raffle. I want this beauty to end up around someone’s neck.



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Lizzie Ashworth: A Peek inside Caerwin and the Roman Dog
Thursday, November 5th, 2015

labraid promo copy

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Delilah! I’m excited to share my new book, Caerwin and the Roman Dog. Release day is November 10!

When the opening scene first formed in my imagination, I thought, OK, a short story, we’ll give it a shot. As I wrote, the characters kept gaining strength and their interplay swept me away. I always knew how it would end, but I didn’t know the end would demand a sequel. Dang it! Now I have another book to write. (Warning – this is historical romance with strong BDSM elements.)

Not complaining—I love research and this book required a lot of it. I had general ideas about the Roman invasion of Britannia, but not the details I needed to make a story come to life. The more I researched, the more fascinated I became, not only with the tragic destruction of Celtic culture in Britain but also with the powerful Roman state. Did you know that much of our current military structure is modeled on the 2000-year-old Roman army?

So here’s the short summary:

laCaerwin cover

Caerwin, a young Cornovii princess, watches from the rocky battlements of her tribe’s hillfort as Rome’s legions approach. Surely the valiant warriors of her tribe will fend off this swarm of foreign invaders. Disbelief slowly changes to horror as Romans overrun her home.

Captured and held in Roman camp, Caerwin faces Legate Marcellus Antistius who makes it clear she will submit to his demands. In spite of her resistance, he forces her pleasure. She begs to die.

Caught between his increasing infatuation with this Briton princess and the demands of his military command, Marcellus must come to terms with his past.

A fiery novel of domination and submission, this historical romance follows Caerwin as she refuses to accept her new reality. Life as she knew it is over. Forever. In its place stands a man she can never love.

Want more? Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:

The man she had seen on the white horse paused in the opening. His stare fastened on her and sent chills down her spine. He stood taller than the other men, his body of a stature more like her own people than these rat men of Rome. His layered metal vest had been removed as had his helmet and other outer garments, so that he wore only loose breeches that ended at his knees. She swallowed, casting her eyes away after her first long frozen moment.

“Do you like what you see?” he asked quietly.

The words shocked her, spoken fluently her familiar language. She turned to face him. Words rose to her lips but remained unspoken. He examined her, openly casting his gaze up and down her body as if he owned her. The terrible realization struck her—he did own her. She had been caught up at his command and now stood captive to his whim.

She spat in his direction and turned her face away. Tugging against the tight leather bonds, she succeeded only in chafing her wrists. Her nerves heightened to brittle pitch as she sensed him approaching. She knew what he would do, what such men did to captured women.

He placed himself in front of her, so close she could not look away without seeing his chest. His scent stung her nose, sharp and edged with the copper hint of blood. Stains marked his arms and face, sweat-encrusted dirt and smears of blood. His voice startled her, so close and so quiet.

“What is this trinket?” he asked, fingering the torque.

She glared at him. “Shall you steal it from me like you have stolen our lives and our land?”

“I wish only to converse with you, to ease this friendship we’ve started.”

She snorted and strained at the bonds holding her. “I wish only to kill you. I would leave your body for the crows.”

He grabbed her face and held her still while his mouth tasted her. His lips moved against her lips. His tongue sought the seam and when she refused to spread her jaw, he bit her lower lip. Her shocked cry gave him entry, and his tongue invaded her mouth, probing and pushing.

Hate rose in her chest, blinding her. She clamped her teeth down on his tongue, savoring a brief taste of blood as he jerked back.

Vipera!” He wiped his hand over his mouth. “You won’t win this battle, but if you wish a contest…” His big hand closed over the neck of her garment and ripped it down the front of her body. The beautiful woolen dress she had so carefully woven hung off her shoulders.

“I will have you,” he said in a hoarse voice. “Whether you wish it or not. Let the others portion out the gold and silver, whatever meager wealth your tribe held. I have wealth enough in coin. You with your hair like copper,” he added, fingering her long braid, “your eyes blue as sky—you are my pillage for this day.”

Evening damp had risen from the nearby river, and the cool air hit her exposed skin like a slap. She refused to look down on her nakedness or to meet his smirking gaze as he made a show of his careful examination. He pinched her nipples and probed the thatch of red hair between her legs.

“A virgin?” He laughed, pressing his finger deeper. “I’m surprised you’ve reached such an age without marriage. I will find much pleasure in this.”

She flinched with his intrusion. Were it not for the ties binding her ankles and wrists, she would have flown at him and gouged out his eyes. She cursed him, calling down the wrath of gods on him and his company.

“Your gods won’t help you,” he said, removing his finger and inspecting the faintly-red stain. “I’m your god now.”

lahair pull copy

Pre-order by November 9 at only 99¢!

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Thanks again Delilah! It’s been great.