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Archive for May, 2016



RAPID ENTRY is here!
Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

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I’ve written a few firefighters. Even produced an anthology of sexy firefighter stories. I understand the allure, despite the ugly, baggy pants. It’s the suspenders, right? :)

Just kidding. Mostly. I love the fact they rush into fire and other hellish situations while others flee. It’s that primitive, primal attraction hardwired in us to seek the mate most likely to protect and feed us. I understand that, but it doesn’t explain why I always envision firefighters playing dirty in a BDSM club. Which is how Firehouse 69 came to be. Me imagining. Letting the old muses (three of them, you know) boss me into telling the story their way.

Rapid Entry’s the third in my Firehouse 69 series, which was a spinoff of my Delta Heat series. Enjoy the excerpt!

Rapid Entry

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When temptation flares hot, the only casualties could be their hearts.

Firehouse 69, Book 3

Gage Eastwood races to the burning apartment next door and discovers a woman trying to put the fire out herself. As a professional, he can overlook the fact she’s in her underwear, except there’s a nosy neighbor snapping cell phone pictures. And soon everyone knows he rushed into action buck-ass naked.

Not many people know that shy, mild-mannered Viviana Moore is a bestselling romance author. But once the pictures of her scantily clad backside guarding the sexy firefighter’s dignity go viral, the entire city of Memphis wants to know if he’s the muse for all her heroes.

When Vivi accepts Gage’s invitation to his sex club, La Forge, she can’t bring herself to admit that while she writes about kink, she’s never done anything kinky. But soon she has more than enough material for a whole new series. And Gage is wondering if just one manly muse is enough to satisfy her…curiosity.

Warning: Contains a firefighter who doesn’t hesitate to throw himself into harm’s–or pleasure’s–way. And a writer who’s about to discover hands-on is the best approach to research. Keep an oxygen mask handy if you’re prone to shortness of breath.

Excerpt…

Gage Eastwood opened the door of his apartment and let out a sigh. Dead quiet greeted him—pure bliss, after sharing space with his firehouse buddies, no matter how much he liked his crew. A man needed quiet, time to screw his head on straight before facing another busy shift where a moment’s groggy hesitation could cost him his life. He closed his door, flipped the deadlock and began peeling his dark t-shirt over his head when he got a sour whiff of Sunday’s Chinese takeout that he’d forgotten to deposit in the dumpster before he’d left for his last shift.

Sighing again, this time in irritation, he tugged his tee back into place and headed to his trash can. On the way, he quickly sorted his mail, tossed unopened letters, not bills, into the sack (no one he knew would be writing him anyway—had to be junk mail), and tightened the ties. Then out the door he went, quickly making his way down the steps to the parking lot below where he chucked the sack into the large green dumpster. When he turned, his gaze moved from his apartment’s windows to the windows beside his. A figure passed in front of the glass. A woman with dark hair, wearing black-framed glasses and appearing to be talking to herself.

Did Herman have a houseguest? The old codger next door never had visitors. Something that didn’t surprise Gage because he was the most unfriendly person he’d ever met—which made him the ideal neighbor. He minded his business.

The woman passed again, this time closer, and her gaze shifted to him in the parking lot. Rather than politely looking away, she leaned closer, her lips still moving quickly as she stared down at him.

Gage smiled, slowly, as more of her came into view. Creamy skin. Dark brown hair that touched her shoulders. Despite the ugly glasses and plain sweatshirt, she was cute, and her interest was apparent as her gaze perused his firehouse uniform. He lifted his hand to give her a little wave, and she jerked backward, her eyebrows rising.

Hadn’t she known he was looking her way? He shrugged. Any thought of knocking on his neighbor’s door fleeing as she left the window. Just as well. He was beat. The last fire hadn’t wrapped until nearly three that morning—a house fire that had left only charred remains, although everyone in the family had escaped unscathed. And that was what counted. A “good” fire meant no casualties. He could rest easy knowing he’d done his job, and that no one, not the family left homeless, not any of his crew, had been lost.

As he traipsed back up the steps, he thought of Danny Truitt, the friend he’d lost the previous year when the roof he’d been venting collapsed beneath him. There weren’t any days that passed that he didn’t think about him. His picture was prominent in the hallway entrance to the firehouse and on his own foyer wall. The only way to honor the fallen was to remember them.

The brunette all but forgotten in his gloom, he entered his apartment, tapped the picture of his buddy, standing in uniform beside their truck, and headed down the hallway to his bedroom.

 

Sometime during the night, Gage kicked at the sheets twisted around his legs. He’d been dreaming about the fire that had taken Danny. Once again, Gage had been rushing up the ladder, his heart in his throat, trying to get to him and Coop who’d been standing next to Danny when the roof sank beneath his feet.

With the lieutenant shouting in the radio to get off the fucking roof, he’d grabbed the back of Coop’s jacket to drag him away from the hole. Fire was licking at the opening. There was no hope of rescuing Danny from above.

With smoke building, Gage wrapped his arms around Coop to tear him away.

This is a dream. A dream. Wake up!

He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling of his bedroom while he remembered to breathe. He hadn’t had that nightmare in a while. Why now?

Then he smelled it. An acrid scent you didn’t have to be a firefighter to recognize.

Fire!

Kicking back the covers, he rushed from his room to the kitchen, tore open the doors of the cabinet beneath his sink, and reached for the fire extinguisher. Then he loped to his door and flung it wide. He ran along the covered walkway, but didn’t have to go far to find the source. Bright flames flickered in Herman’s kitchen window. When he reached his neighbor’s door, he pounded on the thick oak. “Herman! Fire! Herman, you in there?” When there was no response, he turned sideways and rammed the wood with his shoulder, hoping he wouldn’t pop the ball from the socket. But the frame gave, and he was inside. Light, softened by the haze of smoke, gleamed from the kitchen. The fire alarm was blaring. Sounds of soft curses, interspersed with desperate, No, No No’s alerted him that Herman wasn’t the source of the cries.

No matter. There was a fire. He was a firefighter. “Ma’am, you need to get out of here,” he called out, crouching as he entered the smoky interior.

More coughing sounded, and he moved forward, only to smack head-on with a soft cushion of fluffy hair. He reached out, felt a bare shoulder and pulled the woman past him, then went to his knees and headed toward the fire flickering in the dark haze. Slipping the pin from the handle of his extinguisher, he stood, aimed the nozzle at the blaze and depressed the lever. In moments, the fire was extinguished, although smoke still billowed. Covering his nose with his arm, he reached for the window over the sink and opened it to allow the smoke to escape.

When he could draw a deep breath, he turned toward the figure huddled against the wall.

His jaw dropped. Her pretty features were so far from Herman’s wrinkled old mullet, he couldn’t help but stare. He locked glares with smoke-reddened green eyes through big black frames a second before he took in the rest of her lush, pale curves. It was the brunette he’d seen earlier, dressed in the sexiest lingerie he’d ever seen on a woman. The satin and lace was the same color of the creamer he used to lace the bilge water coffee the rookie at the firehouse made at the station, and still darker than her ivory skin. And the bookish glasses only made her sexier. He’d always had a thing for librarians…

Remembering his manners and the situation, he reached downward. “Ma’am, let me give you a hand.”

She tried to swat his hand away, but he grabbed hers, forcefully tugging her upward.

Her gaze landed on his chest, darted to the open window, and every place in between, but she wouldn’t meet his gaze. He supposed she had a right to be embarrassed at being caught in her underwear. “Don’t be shy,” he said gruffly. “I’ve pulled naked women from their beds in a fire.”

“That’s supposed to make me feel better?” She rolled her eyes. “I almost burned down this building trying to boil water.”

His mouth twitched. “Maybe you should stick with the microwave.”

In the distance, he heard sirens and the sounds of shouting.

“Over here! The fire’s here!”

And then, the voices were nearer. “In here!”

Gage glanced downward and tightened his jaw.

The woman’s eyes widened, and she quickly glanced downward as well. Shit.

A moment later, three men pushed into the kitchen, all wearing helmets and turnout gear.

“Damn, Gage,” Billy Sorensen drawled. “You’re supposed to put out the fires, not start ’em.”

“You put it out with your pants?” Tiger Murphy said, a grin stretching across his face.

Gage drew the woman closer. “Don’t move,” he said under his breath.

“You protecting my dignity or yours?” she said, a smile beginning to lift one corner of her very sexy mouth.

Gage grimaced, knowing there was no way in hell his buddies from the other shift were ever going to let him live this one down. “Someone find me a towel?”

“Should we come back later?” Moog said, his dark face split by a wide grin.

“A towel,” he said, gritting his teeth as Moog shouldered past him to lay down more foam on the stovetop.

“Doesn’t appear to be much damage to the wall, but we’ll have to tear it out anyway to make sure there aren’t any embers inside.” Moog glanced over his shoulder to give Gage a waggle of his eyebrows. “Might wanna wait next door while we finish up.”

Knowing his buddies weren’t going to help him out, he turned the brunette to face away but kept his hands on her hips. “Just walk. They’ve seen it all anyway.”

Outside her apartment, he heard laughter below from relieved tenants as they lined the walkway. Flashes nearly blinded him. “Son of a bitch,” he ground out.

Her shoulders shook, and she gave a laugh.

He was surprised by how casually she was taking the fact they were doing a walk of shame from her apartment to his—her in her underwear, him in his birthday suit.

She had to be in shock.

At his door, she halted and quickly spun. “Wait, my laptop.”

“Don’t stop now,” he said, gritting his teeth and turning her again to push her toward his door. “Naked, here.”

“But my laptop—”

“Will be fine,” he gritted out.

“You don’t understand.”

“Let me get some clothes on. I’ll get your damn laptop. Open the door.” When she still dug in her heels, he leaned closer, not caring his cock was mashed against her ass, and turned the doorknob. Once across the threshold, he pushed her further inside before closing the door behind them.

“I guess I should thank you,” she said, but her gaze wasn’t on his face.

Gage might have cupped himself to spare her, but her avid gaze only increased his irritation, so he let her stare while his cock slowly filled and rose.

“Fire always affect you that way?” she murmured.

“No, ma’am.”

A dark brow arched. “Rushing into burning buildings has to get the blood going. It doesn’t ever—”

“No. It doesn’t.”

“Oh.” She slowly dragged her gaze upward, past his chest, which she seemed to measure with side-to-side darting glances.

When she reached his eyes, he gave her a scowl.

Which only made her lips twitch.

Gage let out an exasperated breath, and strode past her. “I’ll find some clothes.”

“Don’t, on my account,” she said, laughing.

“Lady, don’t you have any shame?” he threw over his shoulder.

“None,” she called after him. “Ask my publisher!”

Jen Crane: Betrayal Foretold
Monday, May 30th, 2016

jcebook 625x1000 RARE FORM 3 -BETREYAL EXPOSED Jen Crane

Descended of Dragons, Book 3

A Bitter Betrayal

Stella Stonewall exposed her scaly side to save the man she loves, the soulful and sexy Ewan Bristol. But her troubles have only just begun. A treacherous betrayal at the hands of a trusted confidante leaves her running for her life.

An Impossible Choice

An unlikely savior offers Stella a way out, but it means leaving everything—and everyone—behind. Can she give up the only home, the only friends she’s ever known to save herself?

A Chance to Have It All

Stella learns of an ancient curse that, if lifted, could change everything. To alter the course of history she must trust her former lover Rowan Gresham, and she must trust the machinations of fate: that she may be the key to it all.

Betrayal Foretold is a fast-paced, emotional ride through the mesmerizing world of Thayer. This third book in the Descended of Dragons series, a new adult fantasy romance, is a can’t-put-it-down story of loss and self-invention, of survival, and of the selfless pursuit to secure the happiness of friends.

Excerpt

Time spent alone is precious.

It’s cleansing, it’s rejuvenating, it’s fortifying—until it’s not. I had soul-searched and introspected until my deficiencies clung to me like a throng of specters.

Over the last few days, the people of Thayer had learned dragons were not, in fact, wiped out hundreds of years before, and word had spread like wildfire that I was a member of the notoriously villainous species. My world turned upside down in a flash, and the capricious tide of public sentiment turned against me.

I sat, licking deep emotional wounds in the primitive cabin deserted only days before by the three Drakontos dragons—and my relatives—my Grandmother Bay, my Uncle Eiven, and my cousin Stryde. An official Radix committee and the Thayerian authorities conducted searches and quizzed my known associates to learn both my whereabouts and the extent of their knowledge.

My friends had proved faithful and generous in the days since I’d fled our magical grad school, Radix Citadel for Supernatural Learning, or The Root, as most commonly referred to it. But my friends couldn’t be expected to spend every waking moment at my cabin hideaway. Ewan, Boone and Timbra, and sometimes Layla visited when there was no risk of being followed, but it hadn’t been frequently enough to stave off my loneliness.

My arms hung at my sides as I stood in the center of the cabin, too restless to sit, to read, to think. The absence of sound was so prevalent that every tiny noise seemed to roar in contrast: the scratch of a branch against the roof, the drag-tick of an old clock, the whistle of wind through the dense forest.

“Hello,” a deep voice called from outside. “Stell?”

Ewan. Thank God. I raced through the cabin door and found him standing just beyond the front porch. Ewan Bristol rarely deviated from wearing black, and when he did, it wasn’t far. A dark blue V-neck lent contrast to his skin, which tanned easily and well.

I crashed into him, holding him close, and delighted in the solidness of him. Ewan always smelled of the forest, of juniper or fir, and I inhaled his scent while I had the opportunity; before he could leave again. I closed my eyes and absorbed the comfort of his arms, of his warm body.

It wasn’t just that I was so lonely I’d begun talking to the furniture. I missed the sexy squint his eyes took on, the uneven slide of his lips when he thought I was funny or clever. I missed the way his mouth went slack when my top slipped to reveal too much cleavage. I missed his level-headed advice and unyielding support. I missed the way people stopped and listened when he spoke. I missed Ewan.

“Hi,” I said and beamed up at him. His pleasure mirrored mine. It was there for me to see, completely unguarded in the depths of his dark eyes.

He kissed me high on the cheekbone before finding my mouth. Think me arrogant if you like, but I’ve always considered Ewan and me the best kissers ever to lay lips on one another. My mouth fit perfectly against his, his full lips complementing my smaller ones. With a groan, he pulled me so tightly into him I gasped for breath. He had missed me, too.

My Radix-issued personal interactive assistant, which I’d named Pia, chirped from the cabin just as I felt a buzz through the fabric of Ewan’s shorts.

“Stella,” Pia called, “you have received a message from Dean Livia Miles.” I shot a questioning glance at Ewan, who shrugged and fumbled in his pocket for his own device.

When I didn’t answer right away, Pia repeated the notification. “Stella, you have received a message from Dean Livia Miles.”

I hurried inside to see what Dean Miles could possibly be sending. The last I’d heard, she was on a vicious rampage to condemn and disgrace me.

When I emerged from the cabin, still scrolling to access the message, Ewan’s posture was bunched, coiled. A toy soldier wound too tight.

I dropped my arms to my sides, still clutching Pia in one hand. “Ewan? Ewan, what’s wrong?”

When he looked up, his dark eyes were black holes within his blood-drained face.

Someone died. What else could produce such a severe response?

“She…” Ewan cleared his throat. “She sent the entire school your journal entry.”

“What? Who did? What are you talking about? What journal entry?”

His face held such pity. “Dean Miles. She sent the entire campus a student journal entry you wrote detailing your dragon, your family…everything.” Ewan whispered the last. He walked to the fire pit and slid onto a log seat.

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Purchase Betrayal Foretold

Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B01D2BPH4W
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01D2BPH4W
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D2BPH4W
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01D2BPH4W
Amazon JP: http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B01D2BPH4W
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BFBandN
iTunes: http://bit.ly/BFiTunesBuylink
Kobo: http://bit.ly/BFKobo

About the Author

jcBW Best ShotThough she grew up on a working cattle ranch, Jen Crane has been into fantasy and sci-fi since seeing a bootleg tape of The Princess Bride.

Jen has a master’s degree and solid work histories in government and non-profit administration. But just in the nick of time she pronounced life too real for nonfiction. She now creates endearing characters and alternate realms filled with adventure, magic, and love.

Jen is happily living out her dream in The South with her husband and three children, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration.

Book 2 in Jen’s new fantasy romance series, Descended of Dragons, was selected by iTunes/iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy/sci-fi.

Sign up for sneak peeks, news, and giveaways at http://bit.ly/Jen_Crane_Newsletter

Find Jen Crane Online

Website: JenCraneBooks.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JenCrane
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/JenCraneBooks
Twitter: @JenCraneBooks
Instagram: JenCraneBooks
Pinterest: JenCraneBooks

Cynthia Young: The Importance of Costumes in Stories
Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Quick note: Yesterday’s contest is still open! Be sure to enter to win a free story!
There will be THREE winners!

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Delilah kindly posted here about what inspired “An Eye for Love”, the short story that is part of the Rogues anthology , so today I’ll talk a little bit about the importance of costumes.

Breeches or pantaloons? Hoops or petticoats?

Clothing plays an integral role in a story. The garments a character wears aids in setting the time period the story is taking place in as well as showing the character’s social status, how they view themselves, or the image they want to portray to the people in their world. When writing stories set in a historical time period, mentioning a character wearing a garment from a different era can throw a reader out of the story.

As a writer, it’s important to know the era and the clothing worn during the time the story takes place. The more detail you are able to acquire about a particular item the better. Knowing whether buttons were used in a certain garment, the length of a garment and the undergarments worn are details that can enrich a scene. Fortunately, there are many resources available for the person interested in learning about the garments worn during a particular time period.

Historical re-enactment societies are good sources of information. Some members of these organizations use the construction techniques of the respective era, making entire costumes by hand. Historical authors are another source and some are quite knowledgeable about the colors, fabrics and types of articles worn. Historical pattern makers and sewing experts can also provide research material.

I enjoy sewing when I have time. The photo is of a corset I made a few years ago using Simplicity® pattern 1819. It was time-consuming to make even with the use of a sewing machine. This corset is part of a Steampunk costume, and with its modern lines doesn’t fit the Regency time period I set my stories in.

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If you’d like to be kept informed of future book releases, sign up for my newsletter at cynthiayoungauthor.com

About the Author

Cynthia Young writes tantalizing, passionate romances set during the Regency era. She enjoys writing stories with strong characters that triumph over challenges to achieve their happily-ever-after. Cynthia lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain and numerous coffee houses make the perfect writing companions.

website | blog | facebook

Last in the PLANET DESIRE trilogy is out! (Contest–Three Winners!)
Saturday, May 28th, 2016

UPDATE! I chose 5 winners!

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Summer has officially started for the Devlin family! School let out yesterday. We’re overrun with kids. The pool is finally warm enough to truly enjoy (and the lime green algae is gone!). Now’s the time I have to establish rules about when I can be interrupted… Yeah, not going to happen, but I have soooo many projects I’m working on, I may just go nuts. But it’s a happy problem to have. I’ll be trying to come up with “projects” to keep them all from being bored. Of course, there will be crafting going on—painting rocks, beading bracelets, painting masterpieces for the fridge and wall (hopefully not painted on the walls)… If you have ideas for things to do, please pass those suggestions along!

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that the last of the Planet Desire trilogy is out! Planet Desire finds the pirates finally living in paradise. I hope you enjoy it!

This next week, I’ll start on a new Stepbrothers Stepping Out story, and I’m running a poll on my blog to find out what flavor of adventure you want me to write next. If you’d like to cast your vote, please head here: Delilah’s Stepbrothers Stepping Out Poll

I’d love to get you started on your Planet Desire journey. I’ll pick three commenters—three winners—to receive one of the prequel stories to Planet Desire

Planet Desire

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Love in a brave, new world…

Pirates have entered a pact to set down roots, self-govern without Dominion interference, and raise families on an uninhabited planet at the edge of the known universe. When one pirate grows restless in paradise, it takes two very clever women to help him realize his greatest adventure still awaits…

Get your copy at Amazon!

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Thank you for keeping this story a #1 bestseller!

SOWithHisDoctor 600

She’s in luck! The doctor’s in…

With the ink barely dry on their D/s contract, big brother’s ready to introduce Sasha to a very special friend…

Get your copy at Amazon!

~~~~~~~

And don’t forget there are five other stories in this series—with more to come! Story order isn’t important, because each is a standalone, but this is the order in which they released…

SOWithHisPartner 600
SOWithTheBoss600
SOWithHisProfessor 600
SOWithHisFriends 600
SOWithHisTeam 600
SOWithHisDoctor 600

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Thank you so much for your support.

With much love and appreciation for you, Delilah

Anna James: Creating the “Meet Cute” (Contest)
Friday, May 27th, 2016

Hi Folks,

My name is Anna James and I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense with strong heroes and heroines that conquer life’s trials and find their happy ever afters.

I’d like to thank Delilah for having me here.

I’m here today to talk about creating the “Meet Cute”. What’s the “Meet Cute”, you ask? It’s that pivotal scene where your characters meet for the first time. In a reunion romance it’s the scene where your characters come face-to-face again.

I love reading reunion romances as well as writing them. There’s something about getting a second chance at love that really gets to me, but crafting that “Meet Cute” for a reunion romance can be tricky. The characters already know one another. They could be friends, or enemies or somewhere in between. So, what crazy circumstances can bring them together in a memorable way?

In many reunion romances the hero and heroine were a couple at one time, but things didn’t work out.

This is the case with my novel THE BUSINESS OF LOVE – Book 1 Forevermore Series. I wanted a different twist for book 2. I wondered what would happen if one character couldn’t remember meeting the other. And voila, CHASING MEMORIES – Forevermore Series (book 2), came to life.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

Lucas opened the door to the conference room and stepped in. Piercing blue eyes gazed up at him. His heart raced, pulse soared and the breath stuck in his throat. Shit. He knew India Leone, and not from pulling her from Grams’ car before it toppled over the embankment. No, they’d met in person. A couple of months ago, at an investment seminar in Los Angeles.

Tall, goddess-like, her voluptuous body and raven black hair had sparked his interest from the moment he’d set eyes on her.

She’d joined him for coffee after the seminar and they’d talked long into the evening, discussing the best restaurants to dine in, they both loved a little eatery on East Second Street in Los Angeles. Favorite places to visit, she loved Rome and he preferred Rio. Movies they found entertaining. She loved spy thrillers, which had surprised him as he’d figured her for one of those saccharine sweet chick flick types.

Not his typical first date scenario. He’d have chosen dinner in a quiet, intimate restaurant, not drinking an espresso in a coffee shop. Still, he’d enjoyed the evening. Enjoyed spending time with her. More than he’d thought possible.

He hadn’t made the connection until now, why would he? The woman he’d met in Los Angeles had been named Dee. Maybe it was short for India? Regardless, the beauty he remembered had glorious, long, silky locks that cascaded over soft, alabaster skin, blue eyes that gleamed like sparkling sapphires and a smile that could light up a gloomy day. Not short, wavy curls or a bruised, swollen face filled with cuts and angry scratches.

India stood and extended her hand to Lucas. “Hello, Mr. Walker. It’s nice to meet you.”

Mr. Walker? She thought he was Brett?

“I want to thank you for considering me for this position.”

Not a hint of recognition. Did she not remember him, or was this all part of a charade? “Lucas Morgan.” He shook her hand. Guileless eyes stared up at him.

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CHASING MEMORIES – Book 2 Forevermore series

Trouble gets closer with every beat of their hearts…

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nec4bts
Samhain: http://tinyurl.com/ntd7nkz

 Interested in winning an ecopy of CHASING MEMORIES?

I’m giving 2 away! All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter here: http://annajamesromance.com/?page_id=1437 between now and May 31, 2016 (new subscribers only). I’ll do a random drawing on June 1, 2016 and choose two winners.

 If you haven’t read the first book in my Forevermore series, it’s a great time to get caught up. THE BUSINESS OF LOVE – Book 1 Forevermore Series

ajBusinessOfLove-The72sm

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/o7v92go
Samhain: http://tinyurl.com/zj2z8gz

Excerpt:

“Is everything all right? I heard—”

Sophia froze. That voice. Dear Lord, no. It couldn’t be.

“—the security alarm go off,” the newcomer finished tersely.

Her heart started to pound. Please don’t be him, please don’t be him. Slowly, stiffly, she turned around and faced the man who’d just entered and yes, Dante Leone stood in her kitchen, large as life. Her knees threatened to buckle. No! She wouldn’t fall apart just because he was here. She straightened her shoulders and lifted up to her full height.

So, he hadn’t been a figment of her imagination after all. She’d caught a glimpse of him at the church, but then he disappeared. When he didn’t show up at the cemetery or after the burial, with the other guests, she’d convinced herself he hadn’t really been there at all. Boy, had she been wrong.

Even from across the room, he was an imposing figure. At well over six feet he towered over her dressed in black trousers that fit his lean, narrow hips to perfection. His broad, muscled chest filled out a crisp white dress shirt and black suit jacket. His hair was shorter now than it had been when they’d last met. It suited him. The new style accentuated his high cheekbones and sharply chiseled jaw.

Lord, he was even more handsome than she remembered and, Jeez Louise, how pathetic could she be?

The man used and humiliated you, her brain screamed.

Yet there she stood, lamenting over his good looks and, my goodness, let’s not forget those gorgeous sapphire blue eyes and…

There you go again, her brain condemned scathingly.

What was he doing here? Okay, that was a silly question. Dante was second in command of Baker, her father’s financial investment company. It made sense he’d attend his funeral. But goodness, she wasn’t prepared to see him again. It had been six years since he’d burst into her life and then stormed out just as quickly, leaving her to cope with the damage and destruction left in his wake.

“Dante?” Was the croaking sound really her voice?

Trey gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze and she was grateful for his presence. He’d been there to witness the devastation that had followed their breakup. His friendship, like always, had been a lifeline.

“We’ve got everything under control,” Trey said curtly.

“I can see that,” Dante retorted. “Sophia, when you have a moment I’d like to speak with you.”

“This is not the time or the place,” Trey said, in a disgusted tone.

Dante’s lips tightened into a thin white line as he glared down at Trey. “I wasn’t suggesting we discuss business today.” He turned his attention to Sophia. “We can meet next week or the week after.”

Next week or the week after? Wouldn’t he be back in New York by then?

Trey opened his mouth to speak, but Dante held up a hand to silence whatever he’d been about to say. “I’ll be around, so whatever time is convenient for you. And Allen, of course.”

He’d be around? “How long are you planning to stay?”

“I’m relocating to LA.”

Her jaw dropped open and she couldn’t stop the gasp that came out of her mouth. “What?”

His eyes narrowed. “Temporarily. Until we sort out the business.”

Good god, no! Avoiding him when he lived in New York had been difficult enough. If he were there, in LA, she’d have to see him. Every day. A lick of heat raced through her and she had to clamp down hard to stop the excitement dead in its tracks.

She wasn’t interested in Dante Leone.

Not anymore.

No way. No how.

*~*~*

Coming Soon: CHASING SECRETS – Book 3 Forevermore Series

The front door opened. A burst of light blinded him as someone walked in. A woman, judging by the silhouette, carrying something in her right hand.

“Maddie!” Pam squealed.

Wyatt’s heart pounded faster than a freight train traveling at top speed. The door closed, and Maddie Scott-Smith came into focus. He stared. Couldn’t take his eyes off her. If possible, she was more beautiful now than the last time he’d seen her. Tall and slender, with curves in all the right places. Her long wavy brown hair had been cut to shoulder length. He liked the new style. It suited her high cheekbones and heart-shaped face.

A loud squeal sounded. Maddie turned. Her lips curved up. Same smile, too. It could always light up even the gloomiest of days.

“Pam.” Maddie waved with her free hand.

She came to see Pam. He should have figured as much. They’d been best friends since high school. Now that Pam was back in town…His gut twisted. Fool. He should have known. What an idiot he’d been to believe Maddie was different than any of the other females he’d known, other than his family. The sweet, loving woman who’d sworn his scars didn’t matter never really existed. She’d been a figment of his imagination. The real Maddie had latched on to better prospects the moment they’d come along.

Pam rushed over and enveloped Maddie in a big hug. “I’m so glad you made it after all. Oh, look at this little angel. I’m so excited to finally meet him.”

Him. She’d had a son. Bryce Beaumont’s boy. To think he’d almost believed her when she’d come to him and divulged she was pregnant with his child. Like that could ever happen. She was engaged to Bryce, and the sob story about him blackmailing her into it was a load of crap that stunk worse than a skunk. Bryce Beaumont didn’t have to threaten anyone to get them to marry him. Why would he when a parade of women swarmed at his feet? Not to mention the massive trust fund he’d have access to in the near future. Well, at least he’d learned the truth about Maddie before it was too late.

About Anna

Anna James writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels with strong, confident heroes and heroines who conquer life’s trials and find their happily ever after. While she’s been writing for years, her first published story released in 2010. Since then, Anna has penned six novels, seven novellas and one short story.

She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers of America), CORW (Charter Oak Romance Writers) and CR-RWA (Contemporary Romance – Romance Writers of America).

Anna is married to a wonderful husband who spends countless hours picking up the slack around the house so she can pursue her dream of writing, is the proud mother of five fabulous children, and a big, loveable rescue dog the entire family adores.

Although she’s lived in several locations throughout her life she now calls Connecticut home. When not writing, reading, or plotting, she can be found spending time with family and friends.

Want to learn more about Anna and her books?
Sign up for her newsletter: http://annajamesromance.com/?page_id=1437
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Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorannajames
Email her at: authorannajames@yahoo.com

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Erzabet Bishop: Three Times More Lucky
Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Quick Note: Yesterday’s poll is still active! I’d love your votes! ~DD

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Three Times More Lucky Box Set

ebthree times more lucky 3-D box set

Three Times MORE Lucky—six sexy tales of ménage and more!

Includes Erzabet Bishop’s Snow!

Fairytales can bite…

To look to the future, sometimes you have to unearth the secrets of the past.

Snow longs to find a man of her own far away from life in her father’s castle. When he returns from war with a new bride, her carefully planned out life slips through her fingers. Her new stepmother harbors a dangerous secret and one malicious kiss sends Snow tumbling into a world she never knew existed. Can she learn to use her new talents wisely or lose it all?

Darkness can hide the most sultry of nights.

Gideon and his men guard the king, but even they can’t protect him from his murderous new bride. When the castle falls prey to the queen’s ire, they find themselves under the spell of the moon. Can they harness their new reality to protect the newest target of the queen’s wrath or will they be yet again victims of her unholy power play?

ebSnow cover

Buy link:
Amazon Universal Link: http://rxe.me/UXP8NC

Excerpt:

The new Queen stood in front of the fireplace, her hand on the ties of her gown. She flicked her hair over her shoulder and smiled, knowing the King’s gaze followed her every move. It had taken her years to reach this place, to claim the blood-right her sister had stolen from her so many years ago. The King watched her with lust in his eyes, no different than any other man. All it had taken was some small manipulations and a lost battle for her to come to be in just the right place for him to save her.

He was a fool, but then she expected that. A pair of breasts and the opening between her legs would give her everything, but first she would take her time.  Her body lush with the essence of her victims, she tempted him, and he had succumbed. Now all that was left was to share herself with the man who would be her future. For a few mere hours.

“Do you find me attractive, husband?” She loosed a tie and the dress fell further down, revealing more of her pale flesh until it slipped from her lithe form, pooling into a heap of discarded fabric on the chamber floor. She edged closer to him, letting the glow of the fire outline her body in the dimly lit room.

“Come here.” He jerked her forward so she landed hard against his chest. Crushing her lips against his own, he fumbled with the opening of his breeches, taking out his cock. A chill blast of air slid through the room, and he shuddered against her.

“Is that your wedding gift to me then?” She pressed her lips to his and wrapped her hand around his shaft. “This hard pike?” She manipulated him back against the bed, knowing full well the power she held in the palm of her hand. She squeezed his shaft and brutally releasing him, shoving him back, a surprised expression flitting across his features that quickly changed to anger.

He laid there, his member exposed. “You dare.”

She climbed on the bed, rubbing her breasts and body up over his legs until she reached his cock once more. Wrapping her fingers around it, she smiled as he moaned, all but moldable clay in her hands.

“I dare much, highness.” She mounted him and impaled herself on his cock, taking great joy in the gasp that sprang from her husband’s lips. “This night is only the beginning.” Her nipples tightened against the chill of the room, but with each thrust of her hips, she grew warmer, and her magic stronger.

“You…” He tried to rise, but she slammed him back down, grinding herself into the root of his cock. “Ugh!” The King groaned, his eyes fluttering as his body toiled, twisted in the confines of the spell she’d wrapped around him.

“Yes. I am all that you desire, in this life or the next. Spill for me, my King. I have need of your soul.” She ground into him, rubbing her breasts against his chest and kissed him, her teeth catching on his lip, drawing blood.

“No…”

“Oh yes. Fuck me harder.” She rode him. Deeper and deeper, her tendrils of power sank into his body until the slack look on his face betrayed his vanquished spirit.

“Foul bitch. I’ll kill you.” But the words rang hollow as his strength poured into her.

She laughed, her pussy tightening around his cock as she pounded him into the bedding.

“Everything you have. Everything you desire, my King. It shall be mine.” She leaned down and gave his lip another vicious bite at the same time she lifted her body from his, only to slam down hard on his length once more. “I’ll take what should have been mine long ago.”

He came with a shout, his hot seed jetting inside of her then slumped down against the bedsheets never to rise again, jaw slack, his head lolling to one side.

The Queen rose from his body, letting it fall where it may. She sauntered to the trunks that held her belongings, running her hands over the tops of several. “There you are.” Pressing a hidden lever, she opened it to reveal an overlarge mirror set in a gilt frame. She stood in front of it, the mirror revealing her lush curves and now even tighter skin. The cool chill of frost crept across the chamber wall and her lips curved up in a diabolical smile.

Beautiful. There was no one to compare with her. No one at all. Her red hair fell to her thighs and she ran her hands along her concave stomach and shapely breasts.

“Now, let’s see who is the fairest in the land.”  The mirror panned to a young woman with long dark hair and plentiful curves. She saw her sister in the girl and her rage knew no bounds. “I should have ended your life on that night in the wood, the same as I ended your mother’s.”

About the Author

ebErzabetfloweryErzabet Bishop is an award winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow, Malediction (upcoming), Sanguine Shadows (upcoming), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Red Hot (upcoming), Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Sigil Fire, Glitter Lust (upcoming), Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.

Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop.

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POLL! Want more Stepbrothers Stepping Out stories? Tell me which ones!
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

I’m busy today getting the last Planet Desire story ready to send out—in between dropping off and picking up kids for their mother who has other obligations today. So, while I’m diving deep into pirates-turned-colonists, how about you let me know what you’d like to see next so far as shorties are concerned…

You can choose up to 4! And if you have more suggestions for titles, leave them in the comments!

Which Stepbrothers Stepping Out title interests you most?

  • With His SEAL Team (20%, 25 Votes)
  • With His Pack (paranormal) (19%, 23 Votes)
  • With His Wranglers (12%, 15 Votes)
  • With His Pride (paranormal) (11%, 14 Votes)
  • With His Warriors (historical) (10%, 13 Votes)
  • With His Biker Club (8%, 10 Votes)
  • With His Roommate (6%, 8 Votes)
  • With His Starship Crew (sci-fi) (6%, 8 Votes)
  • With His Mistress (6%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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And in case you haven’t already sampled my previous SSO stories…click on the covers!

Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His Partner SOWithTheBoss600 With His Professor

Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His Friends Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His Team SOWithHisDoctor_600