I might have mentioned that I am a huge NERD! But I have been a comic superhero fan for most of my life. I’m a Marvel and DC girl, I’ve followed lots of different storylines, celebrated their triumphs, mourned their losses, and cheered when they rose again. Needless to say, since the launch of the MCU, I’ve been able to indulge my passion and fantasy with every new film.
This week, we get Thor:Ragnorak, the third of the Thor films, and his fifth appearance in the MCU. In no particular order, we’re celebrating Thorsday a couple of days early this week, as I’ll be spending Thorsday itself in the theater watching the movie!
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family.
She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
Heather is best known for her 18-book paranormal romance series Wolves of Willow Bend, which begins:
Prequel: Wolf at Law
1: Wolf Bite
2: Caged Wolf
3: Wolf Claim
3.5: Wolf Next Door
4: Rogue Wolf
5: Bayou Wolf
6: Untamed Wolf
Heather’s other fantasy romance series include the paranormal westerns Fevered Hearts starting with Marshal of Hel Dorado, Black Hill Wolves which start with What a Wolf Wants, Witches of Mane Street, Mongrels, and the forthcoming Bravo Team WOLF series.
Her contemporary romance series include: Always a Marine, Going Royal, Elite Warriors, The Love Thieves, beginning with Catch Me and Lone Star Leathernecks, beginning with Semper Fi Cowboy.
Heather is well-represented in fantasy wither her superhero series Boomers, a sci-fi western called Space Cowboy Survival Guide, an urban fantasy series called the Chance Monroe Adventures, and a stand-alone ghost novel titled Haunt Me.
I don’t know about you, but Halloween/Samhain/Dia de los Muertos is kind of a big deal around here. We don’t buy candy because we live in the boonies—no one goes door-to-door with their kids. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be working with my dd to get the kids’ facepaint right. We have one zombie and one sugar skull to create.
All this made me wonder what sort of prep you do for the big date? Tell me about it and you’ll be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
In the meantime, enjoy an excerpt from an appropriately scary/sexy tale, Zombie Love.It’s a short story and just $0.99!
A woman desperate to save her infected boyfriend from certain extermination faces her battle alone, in secret, until one day she has to trust he’s still inside the monster she feeds…
No one knew where the infection began. However, rumors abounded. It was a government experiment gone awry. Or an ancient plague released by melting icecaps. If anyone knew, they weren’t saying. Before long, no one cared about its origin. We were too busy trying to survive in our new world.
A bite…a kiss…was all it took to change everything. We eyed our neighbors with suspicion, held our families close, until, one by one, they were struck. The contagion spread, leading to panicked looting and murder. Businesses and homes boarded up windows, locked doors. Travel was limited. Curfews enforced. Silence settled over cities, interrupted only by the rattle of gunfire or the screams of sirens. Haunting but distant—someone else’s tragedy, until it arrived in your home. And then how did one face the horror? Well, there were regulations to follow, specific entities to inform. However, I chose a different path from everyone else I knew. One I hoped I wouldn’t regret.
Over the long weeks since Danny’s infection, I noted the mindless roars lessened in their intensity. He ceased slamming his fists and head against the walls and thick Plexiglas until they were bloody. His features, though coarser than they’d been before, and gray-tinged, were no longer frightening. Bruising faded. Split lips, cheekbones, and knuckles healed.
The clumsy jerking motions he made as he moved around the space where we’d trapped him eased into something less inhuman. Still unsteady on his feet, he used his hands to push off the walls or press against the ceiling to keep the wavering from sending him to his knees.
Physically, he was improving. I recognized him now beneath the dirty clothes and scruffy beard. But his eyes still betrayed his savage soul. They gleamed red. The darkening of his irises, one frightening red fleck at a time, had been the first sign the disease had struck. Red had eventually consumed the brilliant blue.
I’d defied the law, refusing to report him or quarantine myself, and instead, had locked him in the garage studio he’d built when he’d been an aspiring musician, but which now served as his prison cell.
I’d watched the news as the disease continued to spread. The virus which caused an unending hunger for raw meat, turned law-abiding citizens into mindless murderers. At first, the sick had been quarantined in hospitals then prisons. When those reached capacity, the infected were loaded onto train boxcars and sent to internment camps, or so the government said, until a cure could be found.
But rumors had started almost immediately that everyone who boarded those trains was destined to be “put down”—a humane solution, which protected the rest of the population. But still, the disease ran rampant.
Businesses operated, but only because people needed basic commodities and the money to buy them. There was a military presence on every street corner.
Hiding Danny had proven tricky. The need to purchase large quantities of fresh meat meant I spent a good part of the daylight traveling to grocers in other counties so that my buying habits weren’t noted. I couldn’t risk having my home raided and losing Danny.
I’d do anything to protect him from extermination. No one knew whether the illness was reversible, but I was willing to wait, and hoped the signs of improvement that I noted every day in my journal weren’t just my wishful thinking. I’d loved him since high school—the shy girl who’d fallen for the bad boy rocker. The engagement ring he’d given me days before he’d become ill was hidden away in a drawer—something I pulled out when I wanted to remind myself why I was doing this.
Today, his gaze followed me through the thick glass without blinking. The raw, intense hunger was tinged with something else. Regret perhaps? Was he remembering us?
As I did every day, I unlocked the door to the studio and carried in a fresh set of comfortable clothing, a towel and washcloth, soap, and a tall pitcher of warm water.
Unlike days past, he didn’t rush toward me only to be jerked back when he reached the end of his chain.
I slid everything as close as I dared, and then backed away from the door, all the while holding his smoldering gaze. “Please bathe, Danny. I’ll bring you food in a little while.” I reached the door and turned the knob behind me. “I love you.”
My life was reduced to this. Foraging for food. Cleaning the perimeter of the dirty enclosure where I kept him. He’d helped prepare his own prison, installing a toilet where the old mudroom sink had hung on the wall before he’d converted the space. Welding chain to a manacle and testing the length to ensure my safety when I entered. He’d removed his sound equipment and instruments. Placed a sturdy metal cot in the corner.
The morning he’d woken, feeling as though he had the worst hangover ever and rushing to the fridge for the hamburger I’d thawed the night before, he’d recognized the signs.
I’d awoken with him standing in the doorway, his eyes haunted.
“What’s wrong?” I’d asked.
He’d given me a tight smile, but then I’d noted the deep gray shadows beneath his eyes, the slick of perspiration on his forehead. The reddening irises. “Danny?” I’d asked, sitting up on my elbows as my stomach roiled.
No, it can’t be happening. Not to us. We’d done everything right. We’d stayed clear of quarantined areas. Used our own vehicles rather than public transportation to get back and forth to work. We never drank after one another. Didn’t eat out in restaurants where we couldn’t watch the cutlery and plates being sterilized. Didn’t kiss.
“How?” I’d asked, my throat thickening with tears.
He shook his head. “I don’t know, baby. But I have to go. I’ll walk to the center. Turn myself in. I won’t tell them where I live, but you’ll need to sanitize when I’m gone.”
My stomach tightened in rejection. “You aren’t going there.”
His sweet smile stretched, although his eyes watered with unshed tears. “I don’t have any choice. I’m already scared to death I may have infected you.”
I shook my head, the back of my throat burning. “You know what they say about those places. I won’t ever see you again.”
He spread his hands and gripped the doorframe, his head bowed. “I love you, Trish.” Then he backed away from the door.
I threw back the covers. “No! We’ll find another way. Wait this out. They’ll find a treatment.”
But he walked away, down the hallway toward the front door.
I scrambled from the bed and followed. Before he reached the door, I encircled his waist with my arms and held him back. “Don’t do this. Stay with me. We’ll find a way to keep me safe. You still have a little time.”
While he’d finished the raw hamburger and I’d drank a pot of hot coffee, we’d conspired. By the end of the day, I’d hit the hardware store two counties over, and he’d cleared his beloved studio.
That hug at the doorway was the last time I’d touched him.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that three of my five published contemporary romances take place primarily in the fall.
There’s something about this time of year, when the air gets a chill, the leaves turn, and swap sandals and swimwear for boots, sweaters and jeans. I love the smells, the foods, and fun— whether it’s lazy drive on sun-drenched backroads taking in the fall colors, or dressing up for Halloween.
As a kid, I dressed as a witch one year, a 1950s girl, another. In college, my costumes got a lot raunchier. One year several of my friends and I went as “Killer Bimbos from Outer Space.” We carried plastic ray-guns, wore mini-skirts, stilettos, Vulcan ears and inflatable boobs that transformed our modest B and C bustlines to epic proportions.
My only picture of the Killer Bimbo squad seems to have vanished, but I still remember the feeling of slipping into a sexy and outrageous disguise.
Recapturing that thrill was part of the fun of writing a sexy scene in my new release Shining Through.
Good girl heroine Tabitha, a well-known champion figure skater, goes to a dive bar in search of smokin’ hot Russian bad boy Daniil Andreev. Tabitha’s desperate to break out of her straight-laced public image and is (rightly!) convinced Daniil is the perfect guy to help her do it.
But as America’s wholesome blond ice princess, she can’t just march in and steam it up with sexy tattooed Daniil.
Her solution? A disguise, that transforms her into a blue-haired wild child, eager for a good time, and a man ready to show her one.
Enjoy this excerpt!
Heart pounding, she spun around, brushing his face with her synthetic hair. He stepped back, grinning a little as their gazes locked.
He wasn’t tall, which wasn’t unusual for a skater. But his well-defined upper body, tattooed arms and rock-star eyes made him look tough, cool and confident. She hadn’t a doubt he was good in a fight, and definitely not afraid of one.
She threw what she hoped was a sexy look. “Want to be on my team?”
“Sure.” He smiled and moved closer. “Which are we, stripes or solids?”
“Either. We made up our own game.” She leaned against the table and ran her tongue over her white frosted lips. “Whoever gets the most balls wins.”
He gave a low chuckle as he gazed into her eyes. “I’ll bet you play very well.”
“Actually, I’m quite new at it. But eager to learn.” She angled herself to show off her body, accented by a fitted black tank, and a red mini-skirt. His admiring gaze took in all her hard work in the gym. Even as he bent to take his turn at the pool table, his gaze lingered on her until the very last minute.
Pool balls collided with a sharp crack, and the solid-color green one rolled into a pocket at the opposite end. Tabitha licked her lips. “I like your technique. Maybe you could show me a few things.”
“Happy to.” A smile played at the corner of his mouth. “I’m Daniil. And you are?”
“Hildegard,” she answered. “Hildegard Snarski.”
“And people think Russian names are strange.” Peering at Tabitha, he followed her around to the other side of the table. “It’s funny. You don’t look like a Hildegard,” he said. “I think you look more like a Tabitha.”
Crap! He was onto her. She could either retreat in shame… or she could play the game. She looked up through her fringe of blue bangs. “Nope. Definitely not Tabitha.”
“I see.” His alluring sideways grin suggested he not only liked the game, he wanted to dial it up a notch. He gave a low chuckle and moved closer, so that his shoulder brushed against her bare arm. His nearness and the aroma of Polo Black filled her senses. “So tell me….Hildegard Snarski… is it true what I’ve heard about American women?”
She felt the familiar adrenaline rush that accompanied a daring leap. Usually it was a leap off the ice, but not this time. She twirled the square of blue chalk around the tip of the cue stick and blew away the excess. “Tell me what you’ve heard, and I’ll tell you if it’s true.”
He trailed his fingertip over her arm, whisper soft against her skin. “That they’re after a good time. No expectations, no strings. Just one night, and then goodbye.”
She blinked and her cheeks felt hot. Though she couldn’t possibly date Daniil Andreev, the way he’d put the question front and center was disconcerting. “Is that what you’re after?”
He brushed the pad of his thumb over the swell of her bottom lip. And then his mouth was on hers, hungry and demanding, taking what he wanted.
She gripped the edge of the table, as his arm snaked around her, pressing against the small of her back. His tongue probed her mouth, triggering wild spirals of desire that blocked out the sounds of the bar, and awareness of people around them.
Blood pounded through her veins, and her core felt like liquid, soaking her panties, driving her wild. His warm breath against her ear sent shivers through her body.
“Want to get out of here?”
When the sweetheart of American figure skating falls for the bad boy of Russian figure skating, it puts her quest for Olympic gold on thin ice. Dirty Dancing meets Olympic figure skating in this sweet and sexy sports romance!
The Biggest Season of Her Career…
America’s sweetheart Tabitha Turner is on track to win figure skating gold in the Winter Games. Her family has sacrificed everything for her career, but the pressure is taking its toll. Burned out and living a lie, can Tabitha let off a little steam without melting the ice?
The Last Chance of His…
Russia’s bad boy of skating Daniil Andreev is determined to prove the toughest thing about him is his competitive fight. When Tabitha tempts him to help her take a secret walk on the wild side, he gives her a taste of the freedom she craves, never expecting that one unforgettable night could turn into something more.
Two Hearts on Thin Ice…
Chicago, Vancouver, Paris… the international figure skating season unfolds. Tabitha and Daniil compete and fall in love, but as the pressure mounts in a make-or-break season, can they set aside their painful pasts and spiral into a shining future together… or will their dreams shatter like thin ice?
At the Winter Games, the torch isn’t the only thing burning..
I just wanted to show off my meager graphics skills today. I made that image in Canva, and I think it’s pretty darn eye-catching—don’t you? Helps to have great covers (thank you, sis!).
These are the first three stories in the series. Early next year, I’ll begin releasing the next three. After that? Well, it’s up to you. If you’d love more cowboys who ride hard and love harder, just let me know…
This coming Thursday, The Cowboy and the Widow releases. I know. It’s a clunky title, but it tells you what you need to know, right? And I promise it’s sexy as hell! It has these themes goin’ on: older woman/younger man, reunion, widow overcoming disappointment, a cowboy with all the right moves… Uh huh… Go reserve your copy! ~DD
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, answer me this:
What is your favorite romance genre?
Wearing His Brand Texas Cowboys, Book 1
An accident involving barbed wire gives Lyssa McDonough the chance to play damsel-in-distress to capture rancher Brandon Tynan’s attention. Brand promised Lyssa’s older brother he’d keep an eye on his kid sister when he went off to war, but the sexy cowgirl tempts his code of honor past the breaking point when her actions beg for his brand of sensual punishment.
A little TLC turns into one hot encounter neither can just brush off. Now, Brand is determined to put the brakes on Lyssa’s reckless behavior–just as determined as she is to find a way to stay in his bed, forever.
The Cowboy and The Widow Coming November 2nd! Texas Cowboys, Book 2
Following her husband’s death, Maggie McDermott faces the onerous task of running the family ranch. She doesn’t know the first thing about horses, so she knows she needs a capable hand. But Daniel? Guilty memories of the time she’d tempted the younger man keep her blushing.
Daniel Tynan is more than willing to show sweet Maggie the ropes. His gentle ways melt her heart, and his sensual passion burns away her inhibitions. He may be younger, but he’s not without the right kind of experience…
Fresh from war, “Mac” McDonough wants just two things: whiskey to drown the pain in his damaged leg and a woman. But one look into Suki Reese’s haunted eyes, and he knows she needs the kind of muscle only an ex-soldier can provide.
Mac’s brooding gaze and hard body leave Suki Reece breathless and disturbed. The rugged ex-Marine won’t listen to a word she says until Suki distracts him with a sexy striptease. That gets his attention.
While Suki may have gotten the upper hand, Mac is going to be on top.
One of the joys of reading is escaping to places you’ve been or always dreamed of going. One of those places that should be on everyone’s bucket list is Venice, Italy. The city is magical! The canals, the alleyways, the people and Carnival are amazing and take you back to another time.
I chose Venice for Ronin’s Return because I so loved the city. Hotel Eden is a place where we stayed, and I described it just like it was when I went there. I’ve included a picture of my daughter standing beneath the sign at Hotel Eden. The picture of Venice on the cover is one I took while there. I loved the colorful buildings and the reflections of the buildings in the water. I hope you enjoy visiting Venice, even if only in the story.
Navy SEAL helps Italian heiress evade bounty hunters set on collecting the price on her head, while navigating the canals of Venice.
Navy SEAL, Ronin Magnus, has his first real vacation since his visit to Italy two years ago when he met the woman who continues to haunt his every day and night dreams. His mission: Find Isabella and prove to himself two years of fantasizing has blown her image and attributes way out of proportion. In order to move on, he has to get her out of his system.
Isabella Pisano, daughter of the multi-millionaire Pisano family of Venice had spent the past two years trying to forget a handsome Navy SEAL who’d turned her views on love upside down. Not satisfied to be just the daughter of a wealthy man, she had set out to make a difference in the lives of the women being raped, tortured and sold into slavery in the ISIS raids in Syria. Disguised as the gun-toting Angel of Mercy, she entered Syria and helped hundreds of women and children escape ISIS brutality. When ISIS puts a price on her head, she returns to Venice, resumes her life as Isabella and prays her alter ego and the bounty on her head doesn’t follow her
Unfortunately, their reunion is beset by killers who’ve discovered Isabella’s secret.
Chased through the streets and canals of Venice, Ronin and Isabella must elude their enemies or die. But they cannot escape the burgeoning love, threatening to consume them.
My favorite cause—finding forever homes for homeless pets—is also the inspiration for my Klein’s K-9s Service Dogs contemporary romance series. In fact, all of the pets in my books were adopted from animal shelters or rescue groups. There is a long-held, erroneous idea that shelter animals are pathetic mutts, flea-bitten cats, or vicious, antisocial pets. The majority are wonderful animals in need of love and a family. Through our writing, authors have the opportunity to reinforce that fact and encourage responsible pet ownership, such as spaying or neutering pets.
Smokey, my author logo and the Chinese crested hairless drug-sniffing dog from my first book, At Her Command, was adopted from a shelter. The idea of such a talented, tiny dog working for DEA appealed to my sense of humor, and I’ve included a crested in all of my books since.
My Klein’s K-9s series features wonderful working pets—from police and military dogs to service and therapy animals. In Racing Hearts, the first novella in the series, a toy-sized dog is a trained seizure alert dog. Tom Tyler, my race-car driver hero, suffers a traumatic brain injury and is at first skeptical that a dog who barely reaches his ankle can help him. But soon he’s relying on the little pooch and falling for Meg Klein, the dog’s trainer.
The second in the series, 8 Hounds a-Howling, is a humorous story about the photographing of a dog-themed 12 Days of Christmas calendar. This novella includes 78 dogs, along with several cats and a pot-bellied pig. The third Klein’s K-9s novella, Nothing But a Hound Dog, finds a country music star working off his community service sentence at the local animal shelter. The fourth, Scrooge & the Secret Santa, pits an anti-Christmas police dog trainer against a holiday-loving therapy animal trainer. Love, of course, wins.
Not surprisingly, I enjoy stories that feature pets. I’d love to hear your favorite books, TV shows, and movies that include animals.Tomorrow, I’ll randomly pick several commenters to receive a free “Racing Hearts” ebook! I hope you’ll drop by my website to check out my books. Happy Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and Happy Halloween!
About the Author
Marcia James finaled in 11 Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first contemporary romance. A national and international Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller, she writes hot, humorous romances featuring heroines you can root for, heroes to die for, and funny dogs. In her eclectic career, Marcia has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events, and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she’s enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels’ steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.
The best part of writing in a Kindle World is the feeling of being invited over to a play with your best friend’s toys, in a playroom loaded with the latest gadgets and fun. Nowhere is this more true than Robyn Peterman’s Magic & Mayhem World. This isn’t my first time playing in the sandbox.
My first mini-series was The Witch Singer. We meet Bridget, a witch on the run with the power to create spells with her songs. She meets Martin the Skunk on the way to Assjacket, and the crazy just keeps going from there.
When I wrapped up that trilogy, I wanted to play again. It’s kind of like Supernatural, with a twist—my characters hunt bad boy and girl witches. They take wild and crazy risks, and well…the first one is out right now. Meet Madison and Grady…a bad ass and a hard case.
It’s the perfect recipe for a little Halloween fun, a trick and a treat.
Every Witch Way But Floosey’s
Meet Madison—badass lady who is always bringing in the realm hoppers. Her targets have horrible habits and steal things.
Meet Grady—he’s a hard case who brings in targets of his own. He’s got his own team and a penchant for flings. When the fairy tale collides with a legend…will they still be standing after the dust clears.
Kindle Worlds is an Amazon exclusive program. The titles written for the world can NOT be purchased at other ebook retailers or anywhere besides the Amazon US site, but they can be read on any tablet, computer, or smartphone using the free Kindle App.
Who is Robyn Peterman? So glad you want to know!
Robyn is a fantastically funny and kind author. I had the great good fortune of meeting Robyn while I was Romancing the Capital in Ottawa in 2016. What a great meeting that turned out to be. From the moment she clasped my arm, I knew I’d found a friend. More, I’d found someone who got me and who possessed a wickedly delightful sense of humor. When she invited me to participate in her Kindle World, I was over the moon, but I had no idea just how much. I immediately devoured all three books upon which the Kindle World is based. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. Don’t miss all the fantastic authors who are also participating, I adore these women. My tales are meant to illuminate the stories of witches who want one thing, but get something else entirely. Sometimes the best prayers and wishes are those that remain unanswered.