Archive for February, 2016
Monday, February 29th, 2016
I blinked and February was gone. And just like January, I blew my goals. This time I know why. I let life get in the way. So, to try to help my flagging concentration, I instituted a fresh organizational tool—a bullet journal. I’ll let you know how that works for me after I’ve maintained it for a month.
What did I accomplish in February?
- I wrote five chapters of the next Firehouse 69 book, and finished it! Then went through two rounds of edits.
- I completed 1/2 of the revisions needed for an older title I’m republishing.
- I wrote three chapters of a new cowboy story.
- I wrote one brand new short story and published it.
- I expanded an already written short story and published it!
Just so you didn’t miss those newly published titles, here’s a reminder…
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[Click on the covers to go to Amazon!]
Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His Friends—When a college student joins her stepbrother at the family lake house, sparks fly when she realizes he’s invited his best friends as well…
The Weekend— That’s what this weekend was all about. A last chance to renew our connection. Or maybe this was goodbye…
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What’s coming in February?
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Answer this for a chance to win a small Amazon gift card…
(Then be sure to leave a comment so I know you entered!)
I’ll be sending out a new newsletter later today and announcing this month’s winner of a handmade gift from me. If you aren’t already a subscriber to my newsletter, go here:
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Sunday, February 28th, 2016
For me, the most traumatic scene in Star Wars (the original trilogy) was when Darth Vader took off his helmet and he wasn’t the hot, hunky sex god his voice promised he’d be. I loved Darth Vader’s (James Earl Jones’) voice. I fell in love with it. I dreamed about it. It was deep and low and oh so very dominant.
Forget Luke and his issues. I wanted Darth to be MY daddy. (naughty grin)
In Crash And Burn, the most recent standalone story in my cyborg romance series, Safyre, the human heroine, falls in love with Crash’s, the cyborg hero’s, voice (though she’d never admit to that). They talk for months before they meet face-to-face. She doesn’t know what he looks like but she knows how he thinks and how he sounds.
And, woo wee, does he sound sexy!
When I first met my dear wonderful (now) hubby, we lived in different cities. We met in person and then mostly talked on the phone for the next four months. I fell in love with him at first night but man, oh, man, hours of listening to his sexy voice sealed the deal.
For some women, it’s an accent that does it for them. Scottish accents. (bites fist) Slow Southern twangs. That Irish accent I always associate with bad boys.
For some women, it’s how deep the man’s voice is, that low rumble that rolls along our spines and settles inside us, hot chocolate for the eardrums.
According to Smithsonian Magazine ( http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-women-like-deep-voices-and-men-prefer-high-ones-41492244/ ), we subconsciously use voice to determine how large a possible mate is. Women are more attracted to deep voices because deep voices signal that men are physically large. We also like ‘breathiness’, which indicates lower aggression and anger toward us.
My brothers-in-law tell me they always know when my hubby is talking to me, simply by listening to his voice. The caring wrapped around his words is obvious.
Have you ever fallen in love or lust with a person’s voice? What accents do you find sexy? What actors do you think have the sexiest voices?
Crash And Burn
Crash was manufactured to be one of the best warriors in the universe. The cyborg has spent many human lifespans fighting the enemy. But, unlike his battle-loving brethren, he doesn’t enjoy killing. When he escapes the Humanoid Alliance, he vows to never end another life.
Then he meets Safyre, an infuriating human female, and he considers breaking his vow.
Safyre will do anything to save her friend, the being she loves like a sister. She’ll ravish a huge hunky cyborg, kiss his best friend, and invoke scorching hot desires the male never realized he could feel. Dark soulful eyes, a quick wit, and a tempestuous passion won’t divert her from her mission.
Love, and a planet-destroying weapon, however, might stop her permanently.
Buy Now: On Amazon US | On Amazon UK | On ARe | On B&N | On Kobo
She paused outside the medical bay and swiped a cleaning cloth under her dripping nose. The fabric sucked up the blood, rearranging the molecules into air, removing all evidence that the device was affecting her.
Tifara would have a solar storm-sized meltdown if she realized the operation had aftereffects. She’d force Safyre to remove the device, and that couldn’t happen. It was Safyre’s only means of contacting Crash.
He wasn’t one of the warriors. Half human, half machine, cyborgs were designed to follow orders. Crash didn’t blindly obey any being.
He was a human conduit, a go-between. His communications device was more modern, having once belonged to an E model cyborg, and he claimed he could access transmission lines she couldn’t reach.
Female, the mysterious male transmitted through the cyborg communications device.
Did you speak with the cyborgs on board the freighter? That intergalactic freighter was her ride to Tau Ceti. It was transporting cyborgs to the planet and had the landing clearance she required.
Yes. The male’s deep voice coiled around her heart and tightened her nipples. A female could come simply from listening to him. If her head wasn’t splitting in two from pain.
Safyre winced. Can you control them? She’d crafted a plan. He’d control the cyborgs, ordering them to subdue the crew. She’d sneak onto the freighter before he arrived and take command of the vessel. That would give her control over Crash.
They’ll follow my direction. The certainty in his transmission reassured her.
Safyre was a pilot, not a warrior. She couldn’t defeat one cyborg on her own. The freighter carried one thousand of the manufactured warriors.
This is a reckless plan, female, Crash told her yet again. Discard it before you cause lasting damage to yourself.
The plan is set. She wasn’t changing it. Worry about yourself, not me. For a male interested in obtaining a cyborg army, he was overly concerned with her well-being. That was a strange experience for Safyre, a war orphan. She didn’t know how to deal with it.
And if I back out of the plan—
I’ll implement plan B. There was no plan B, not yet. She’d been contemplating other options, fearing no being would respond to her communications, when he answered. None of the alternatives were feasible.
You will not implement plan B, Crash barked and her spine straightened. I’ll meet with you on board the freighter in one planet rotation.
The line went silent. He must have severed their connection. Crash had the ability to open and close their transmission line, controlling communications. She hadn’t yet mastered that skill.
Crash would communicate with her again. They’d been conversing several times every planet rotation. She couldn’t sidestep Tifara’s questions and avoid his subtle probing at the same time.
She wiped the cleaning cloth under her nose, stuffed the fabric into the front pocket of her navy-blue flight suit and hurried into the medical bay.
About Cynthia Sax
USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.
Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com
Saturday, February 27th, 2016
Today, I’m plugging away at a Texas lawman story, but I have to look forward to the thing I’ll write next, so I’m not staring at a blank screen, drooling while my body slowly petrifies to stone, because I wasn’t prepared to to write the next thing.
*wheeze* Long enough sentence for you?
A while back, you helped me come up with a list of more Stepbrothers Stepping Out titles. I narrowed my list down to: With His Team, With His Ex-Wife, With His Boyfriend, With His Bodyguard, etc.
And then, I was poking around a site where I buy art for covers and came across this picture, and the first thing that popped into my head was with his girlfriend.
I have an idea how I’ll write my story, but I’d love to see what story this picture would inspire for you. Have fun with it. It can be as short as “the sister finds the brother in bed with his girlfriend and the girlfriend pats her side of the mattress…” Be ridiculous, if you like.
Any entry, lame or electric, will be considered to win a small Amazon gift card!
Psst! And while you’re having fun weaving tales of illicit threesomes, why not also do one little thing for me? Go to this page on Amazon and click “Follow”. XOXO ~DD
Friday, February 26th, 2016
Have you ever stopped to think about that parallel universe where the books you read are set? I’m not referring to science fiction or fantasy titles. What I had in mind was cozy mysteries, romances, all sorts of genre fiction that’s apparently set in the world we inhabit but, when you inspect it closely, it’s a case of “it may be the earth but it’s not as we know it”. Jasper FForde famously plays with the whole oddity of book characters in his Thursday Next series, but that really is set in an alternative Britain so doesn’t quite count for the purpose of this blog, no matter how amusing the premise is. Except that he makes a running joke of the fact that his characters don’t do ordinary things like use the toilet or have breakfast, because characters in books hardly ever are seen to perform these everyday activities.
Now clearly there is an element of judicious editing that goes on for stories, because the reader really doesn’t want to see every aspect of the leading man’s day, do they? And if it isn’t relevant to the plot then we don’t need, for example, a description of how he drives to the supermarket and what he sees en route. Nor do we really want all the graphic details of that handsome Regency buck performing his morning wash and brush up because he probably wouldn’t pass muster for our twenty-first century noses.
But I do get frustrated, as a reader or viewer, when basic human needs are treated as though they don’t exist. No, I don’t want the minutiae of what goes on when that hostage tied up in the small garden shed or wherever has a desperate need to pee, but it might be nice to have, at least in passing, an acknowledgment that such a need exists.
Do we as readers/viewers have to suspend all disbelief? Like with that Regency buck, who wouldn’t have been in life as clean-looking nor as fragrant smelling as we assume Colin Firth was in his guise as Mr. Darcy. We certainly have to take a lot of things with a pinch of salt in the realm of mysteries, where the home counties of England seem to be the crime centre of the universe. There is a multiple murder every few weeks in the books and shows based on the Morse/Lewis franchise. If that were real life, nobody would allow their son or daughter to study at Oxford University and you’d surely never be able to get life insurance if you lived in the city.
In the real world, Sussex is not awash with mass murderers, little old ladies don’t solve crimes which have baffled the police, and princes don’t disguise themselves as dustbin men then court and marry shop assistants (even if I could name a real live prince who used to sometimes get his sandwiches at a garage). All of which is a shame, really. Some aspects of the fiction parallel universe seem extremely appealing!
Don’t Kiss the Vicar
Vicar Dan Miller is firmly in the closet in his new parish. Could the inhabitants of a sedate Hampshire village ever accept a gay priest? Trickier than that, how can he hide his attraction for one of his flock, Steve Dexter?
Encouraged by his ex-partner to seize the day, Dan determines to tell Steve how he feels, only to discover that Steve’s been getting poison pen letters and suspicion falls on his fellow parishioners. When compassion leads to passion, they have to conceal their budding relationship, but the arrival of more letters sends Dan scuttling back into the closet.
Can they run the letter writer to ground? More importantly, can they patch up their romance and will Steve ever get to kiss the vicar again?
About the Author
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.
She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, Lethe, MLR, and Riptide. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
To sign up for her newsletter, email her at email@example.com, or catch her at:
Thursday, February 25th, 2016
What was it like to be a woman Army officer and West Point cadet in a male dominated environment in the 1970s? Find out by reading Refined by Fire and Trailblazers, two historical fiction books by Ruth VanDyke and Yvonne Doll.
Book 1: Refined by Fire:
Book 2: Trailblazers
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh11Gcpimoo
Except from Trailblazers:
Anne leaned forward a bit as Maura resumed in a reflective, quiet tone, “He told me he had some sparkling mineral water and nuts in his room and a nice balcony with two chairs and a small table we could sit at. I told him that sounded wonderful. We were no sooner in the room when Eric reached over to touch my face and kiss me.” Smiling contentedly, Maura whispered, “I just felt like I was floating on a cloud. He picked me up, laid me on the bed.” Blushing, Maura paused, “Eric ran his fingers through my hair, told me how much he wanted me and asked if I wanted to get undressed myself or have him undress me. That’s when it hit me, and I freaked out a bit.”
“What happened?” Anne asked a bit tersely.
“Well, I hate to admit it, but I started shaking and couldn’t find my voice. He was so sweet and concerned. He asked me what was wrong and I told him that I wanted him very much, but I was really scared.”
Anne realized later that she had bitten her lip in an effort to not scream at Maura for dragging the story out, but managed to stay silent and appear nonchalant as Maura haltingly continued.
“He was so sweet and confused and asked me what he had done to scare me. That’s when I burst into tears and told him, it was nothing he had done. I was just nervous, because this was my first time and I wasn’t really sure what to do.” Maura giggled quietly at the reminiscence of Eric’s reaction to her announcement that this was her first time.
“You’re killin’ me Maura! Did you guys do it?” she asked bluntly.
“Yes, eventually,” Maura giggled again.
Throwing her arms up in mock surrender, Anne said, “Okay, I don’t need every detail, but could you please put me out of my misery and finish this story?”
Maura chuckled quietly, “Sorry I don’t remember all the details, but my confession obviously surprised, no, shocked him. He said something like, ‘Oh shit, no!’ I just nodded yes and he got up from the bed, walked over to the small cabinet that had the mineral water and a bottle of scotch, and took a huge gulp of Scotch directly from the bottle.”
Anne was leaning forward again, listening intently as Maura quietly continued.
“He turned around and told me he was sorry. He didn’t realize I was a virgin and told me to get off the bed, and he’d take me to my room.”
“Oh Maura!” Anne said in a hushed, tone of voice.
Maura nodded, “Oh it gets worse.” Maura was now emotionally ready to share the highly charged atmosphere that night. “I burst into tears and told him I didn’t want him to take me to my room, that I knew he was a big playboy and I wasn’t making any demands on him, but had already decided that I wanted him to be the first.”
Anne didn’t quite know what to say at this point, so she just sat there until Maura resumed her tale.
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
You tried to move the pieces on the picture, right? LOL
Today’s scheduled guest is a no-show, so you’re stuck with little ole me again. I found a very cool website recently when I was brainstorming fun things to do here. Do you like jigsaw puzzles? This one’s not terribly hard! Just click on the cover-button below to give it a whirl, then hit the back button to come back and enjoy a scene from the book!
An excerpt from the story featured in the puzzle…
When the moon was high above them, Sam and Ash said their farewells and he held open the Warricks’ gate, letting Ash pass. The scent of oranges followed her, and he drew a deep breath.
“I like your friends,” Ash said.
At her quiet words, Sam reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze. But he didn’t let her go. And since she didn’t tug it away, he released a sigh. He liked the way this physical connection felt. Walking close together. Their fingers intertwined. When she leaned her head against his shoulder, he knew she let down her guard, and his chest swelled. Since he’d never brought a woman around his SEAL friends before, the moment felt bigger. Their approval of this woman only cemented the thought that she was The One. “They liked you,” he said softly.
“They had some pretty interesting stories about how they met their fellas. Suri said their connection was ‘insta-love’.”
“Danger has a way of bonding people in an instant.”
“Like you and your SEAL buddies.”
“Yeah.” The warm sand shifted beneath his feet as they approached the cottage.
She angled her head toward him. “Makes me almost wish for a firefight.” And then she laughed. “Sorry. I know how that sounds…like I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”
“I bet you have pretty good idea, Ash. I get what you’re saying. But you’re wrong. Maybe we don’t have drug runners on our tails, but you and I have something else pretty traumatic that’s drawing us together.” He tensed, waiting for her response.
“We have Marc,” she whispered. “You never said how he saved your life. But I’ll tell you the way he saved mine.”
Sam already knew the story, but he kept silent as she described responding to the robbery, the man hidden behind the door. From the tension in her voice, he knew the experience would forever haunt her.
“I think, all the time, that I shouldn’t have ducked. That I should have taken the shot. Maybe the bullet would have embedded in my vest. Maybe I would have pulled through.” She drew a deep, shuddering breath.
His gut twisted. She was guilt-ridden over her actions, reliving the moment over and over her mind, second-guessing her decision. Something he could relate to. But he knew how futile that was, and that she had nothing to feel guilty about. One of them would have died. The one left behind would forever be marked. He halted, turned, and drew her into his arms, cupping the back of her head to coax her to lean against his chest.
She was quiet, but her hot tears soaked the shoulder of his shirt. Slowly, her arms encircled him, and she leaned closer.
Skimming her skin through her thin dress with his hands, he gave her comfort while he learned the strength of her back, the sweet indent of her narrow waist. With her small, soft breasts pressed against his chest, he was content to stand on that spot, would have done so for hours just for the gift of holding her.
But she stirred and leaned back; her face tilted away. Moments later, her gaze met his, and he didn’t stop to think. He bent forward and sealed his mouth over hers.
What he’d intended was a chaste kiss, but her lips parted beneath his, opening herself to his touch. He groaned. The kiss deepened as each stroked the other’s tongue and their lips suctioned together. His cock slowly filled, and her belly rubbed against it.
Pulse racing, Sam broke the kiss. “Aislin?” He couldn’t put his question into words. Whatever she wanted of him, she’d have to take.
She swallowed. “Sam…” Her gaze dropped to his chest while her hands stroked his back. “I’d like…to be…with you.”
Sweet, sweet Ash. He closed his eyes and hugged her close again. “Whatever you need, sweetheart.”
“This isn’t about need,” she whispered. “I want…you.”
He cupped her cheek with one hand and slipped his thumb under her chin to lift her face. Her tears were gone now. Her glossy gaze was steady.
Taking a moment, he searched her expression, looking for any signs of hesitancy. He gave her a nod, and then stepped away, holding out his hand.
Smiling, she reached for it, and they held tight as they walked the rest of the way to her bungalow in silence.
Purchase Dream of Me
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Maybe you missed it. The series was short. Just a trilogy of stories about cowboys who never got over their first loves. That they were brothers and owned a ranch was just part of the fun. Two of the heroines were older than the cowboys. One was his high school sweetheart. Yes, I’m talking about those boys from the Triplehorn Ranch.
I’ve been thinking about summer for the past couple of weeks. Wish I had time for a short cruise somewhere hot, where I could soak up some rays, dip my toes in saltwater, and dispense with all these layers of clothing! Hell, I wish I could just hit the fast-forward switch and make it May so I could start using the pool!
I’m looking forward to swimming, and hopefully finding time to do it more than once a day! Are you looking forward to summer? If so, what are you wanting to do most?
Comment for a chance to win one of these stories!
From A Long, Hot Summer
One shared past. One weekend to make things right—and make it last forever.
The TripleHorn Brand, Book 3
Sarah Colby has never quite managed to shake off the emotional scars her ex-husband left behind. Nor has she been able to shed the shame of the one indiscretion that still haunts her memories.
When she asks the Triplehorn Ranch for help to move her cattle to an auction, the man they send has her working double-time to shore up the walls around her heart. He’s older now, harder—and hotter—but he’s the same Tommy Triplehorn she couldn’t resist all those years ago.
Tommy couldn’t be happier that his brothers have settled down, but he’s feeling a little smothered by all the domesticity. At the same time, carousing and drinking no longer appeal—and he thinks he knows why. Sarah Colby.
He’s waited too long for her to get over being ashamed of what they shared. He’s old enough to know what he wants. It’s her, and he’s going to use every second of their time together to dismantle her resistance. Even if he has to call in a little backup.
Warning: A cowboy on a mission to prove to the woman he loves that the only number that matters is the number of fantasies he’s willing to fulfill—even if it means sharing her for a night.
The kiss Tommy Triplehorn planted on Candy’s mouth made Sarah Colby’s mouth dry right up. She knew all too well how his kisses felt and couldn’t help the jealousy stirring up inside her as the couple walked down the sidewalk to a motel room door in plain view of every person inside the saloon.
The man had no shame. The red in his cheeks as he’d exited the bar had likely just been from the liquor he’d consumed.
Sarah tamped down the disappointment that soured her stomach and summoned a smile for the man she was meeting this night.
Blake Morrow was thick-shouldered and tall. A burly man with a booming voice. His wealth and standing in the community made him a very suitable suitor. The fact he already had children from a previous wife, was a relief to Sarah, who had resigned herself long ago to her barren state. Blake liked her and desired her property even more. He was honest about that, gently respectful of her intelligence by not trying to romance the Rocking C from under her as so many men had.
His gaze noted her blue jeans, and he arched a brow. “I take it we’re eating steaks here?”
She shrugged. “I ran into some problems before I could break away. No time to get dressed up.” She made no apology. Blake knew her responsibilities as a ranch owner came first.
“You still look beautiful,” he said, his tone gruff.
She appreciated the compliment and smiled, not wanting to read too deeply into anything he said. Surface congeniality, quiet respect. That was more than she was accustomed to. It would do.
Any stray thoughts of handsome cowboys like Tommy Triplehorn were consigned to her fantasy life, not her real life. The young rancher had been a mistake. One she’d regretted the instant she’d let him slip beneath her reserve. She’d felt alone, afraid for her future. She’d mistaken his rock-hard shoulder for maturity, his hot kisses for love. Eventually, she’d fallen from the clouds that had obscured her good sense and faced the cold hard truth. She was a plain woman, a natural woman. A barren, wealthy woman. The only things a man would ever want from her were what she owned and perhaps a bed partner. As sparsely populated as this section of Texas was, she had no illusions that convenience was on her side.
No, she’d learned a hard lesson all those years ago about what men wanted from wives. One she’d never forget. Her destiny wasn’t some fool’s gold of a lover’s promises.
Blake’s strong hand settled at the small of her back to guide her toward a table, something she couldn’t help flinching from. She didn’t need to be led. Didn’t need some big strong man showing her the way. But she kept silent. He was only doing what he’d been taught. He couldn’t know that the last time she’d been led, she’d been forced to submit. The action that left her cold, made her more reserved with men than other women might be.
Not that Blake seemed to notice as he smiled warmly across the table. “I’m surprised you accepted my invitation as many times as you’ve refused.”
She blinked, surprised he was getting straight to the point without any polite preliminaries. “You’ve been asking me for a while. I thought we should get to know each other.”
He nodded, the rugged face tightening just a little. “You know I want to court you.”
“I appreciate your candor,” she said softly. “I understand you have some expectations. I’m willing for us to explore a relationship.”
Good Lord, they sounded like the oil men who’d come to her ranch a few years back asking to sink a test well on her property.
Blake reached across the table and cupped her hand. Just a brief squeeze before he withdrew and flipped open the menu.
The waitress arrived. Relieved by the distraction, Sarah ordered a steak and salad. Blake ordered the same, adding shrimp and potatoes. She supposed such a large man would need the calories. Hopefully, he didn’t expect for her to let him finish her steak. She wasn’t some deskbound rancher. She rode the fences, supervised the movement of the cattle to fresher pastures, participated in the branding every spring. Every calorie she ate fueled her body, just like a man’s.
She forced herself to uncurl her fingers. What was she doing? Looking for problems? For judgment? Was she simply hoping to find a compelling reason to send Blake on his way like she’d done the past eight years with every other man who’d approached her since her husband’s untimely death?
Sarah forced herself to uncurl her hands in her lap. In any other situation she’d have been comfortable, in charge. But here, knowing Blake wanted to marry her, that he’d expect intimacies at some point, left her cold inside.
A damaged heroine in a romance novel, she certainly was not, but she had been tainted by a violent man. Left untrusting and wary. Glad for a long while for her self-imposed celibacy.
Pretending ease with the man sitting across from her seemed an insurmountable task. Who was she fooling? Sooner or later, he’d make a move and she wasn’t entirely sure who she’s react. Would she wouldn’t flinch or lean away. Or simply freeze in place.
The more she considered the idea of intimacy with this man, the more the knot in her stomach hurt. The last thing Blake wanted was problems. He had his life mapped out. He hadn’t looked any further than skin deep to determine she was his next move.
So although he’d be disappointed in the short term, she knew she couldn’t string him along with hopes she’d learn to deal with a husband in her life and bed. Before the salads arrived, Sarah made her apologies and quietly excused herself, leaving a befuddled Blake without a clue what he’d done wrong.
She headed straight to her car, hat in her hand, not looking around the dark parking lot. A scuff of gravel sounded, and she instantly regretted waving Blake back into his chair when he’d offered to walk her out. She cupped her keys, spreading her fingers around three to use as a weapon.
“You didn’t stay for dinner,” came a quiet voice behind her. Smooth as whiskey. Achingly sweet. Tommy Triplehorn. Read the rest of this entry »