“A beam of red light shot through her window. Sunset already? She got up, fixed herself a drink, and took it to the balcony. She watched as the sun sank into the gulf, long, needle-like pincers of light stretching out as though it wanted to hook the horizon and hang on for dear life. Like Kilroy, whatever was pulling it from below won the battle and the sun dipped, leaving its signature green spot as a token of affection for the world.”
This is what it’s like to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. By day the sky is the deep blue of Paul Newman’s eyes; at close of day it’s flooded with a full palette of reds, oranges, pinks and purples. I have a lot of pictures of my granddaughter—I have even more pictures of sunsets in Sarasota!
Here’s the story of The Pit & the Passion:
At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later, workmen uncover a skeleton in an old elevator shaft. Who is it, and how did it get there? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, teams up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. A college ring they find at the dig site may prove to be their best clue.
Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, Charity soon discovers a warm heart beating under Rancor’s handsome exterior. While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be a villain, a publisher with a dark secret, and an irascible forensic specialist, Charity and Rancor unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.
The Milky Way spread a swath of cream overhead. One small cloud trundled across the sky. Behind it peeped a gibbous moon. The beach was wide here, sweeping south in a twelve-mile-long arc but ending only a few yards north of her at a severely eroded cliff.
Not a soul stirred on the sand, except for a couple of willets picking their way along the edge of the water. She turned and headed toward the cliff.
Someone had left a beach chair out. She sat and watched the waves, listening to the chittering of the sandpipers and the putt-putt of a trawler far out. She assumed the rustle behind her was a ghost crab and kept quiet, hoping to catch a glimpse of it. She loved the way they would stop, half in and half out of their holes, their eyestalks waving. They’re so sure they’re invisible.
She jumped straight up, knocking the chair backward.
“What th—?” Her heart pounding, she turned. At that moment, the cloud shrouded the moon, and in the sudden darkness she could only make out a form.
“It’s me. Rancor. Rancor Bass.”
She held out a hand and encountered a broad chest, lightly furred. She pulled it back quickly. “Are you…are you…”
He snickered. “Naked? As a matter of fact, yes.”
She backed up. A splash told her that her brand-new sandals were likely ruined. She vaulted out of the water and landed between two bare arms.
“Easy there, Charity. I hardly know you.”
“Stop it, Mr. Bass. And let me go. If I were you I’d drop that conceited tone. I wouldn’t be caught dead in your arms.”
His voice came low, laughter licking at its edges. “You don’t feel dead to me. In fact”—she tensed at the touch of a finger on the inside of her elbow—“you feel very much alive. And quite…fresh. Call me Rancor.”
“Rancor Bass, you leave me alone.” She tried to walk around the shadow, but an arm snaked out and caught her. She opened her mouth to scream and found two lips smothering hers. She stood quite still, fear and…something else…oh my God, desire?…taking over her senses.
He let her go. “Couldn’t resist. Wanted to see if those defensive walls could be breached.” He sat down in the chair. The moon came out from behind the cloud and cast a pale glow on his hair. “You’re a tough cookie, Charity.”
She wanted to deny it, to tell him how vulnerable she could be, but knew that would be very stupid. She wanted to kiss him again but knew that would be even more stupid. So she settled for a grunt and walked away.
He didn’t follow, and as she reached the dunes, she felt an unexpected twinge of disappointment. Could this man be the one? Nah. Still, preoccupied by this novel notion, she decided to skip the police station and go straight home. As she turned into her condominium parking lot, the obvious question finally occurred to her. What the hell is Rancor Bass doing naked on the beach in the middle of the night?
Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
Ms. Spencer has published eleven romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
Books are funny things. The idea of an eccentric heiress who leaves her fortune to a pet pig Matilda started out as one book in another series. Eventually, it morphed into a new, 3-book series. I had 3 women who are “chosen” to compete for custody of the pig (and control of the money). They are all family descendants in some way. Then I added 3 gorgeous men who are basically there to watch over the contestants. There’s the lawyer overseeing the will. He brings his two best friends to help make sure no one does anything underhanded.
Once I had the 6 main characters, I had a problem. They were all such great characters. I couldn’t figure out how to wrap up the heiress games & pronounce a winner, but still keep everyone around afterwards. I knew they all had a story to tell about what happened during The Heiress Games. So, I decided to have each book follow the same sequence of events but show things from the other characters’ point-of-view. I had to create an excel sheet laying out all the scenes and where everyone was at all times. The real tricky part came whenever there were group scenes where all the characters were present. I had to use the same dialogue, only the action is seen through someone else’s eyes. Not easy. Especially trying to keep everything straight and make sure any changes were reflected in all 3 books.
The structure also meant I had to make Books 1 and 2 into cliffhangers. I know some readers don’t like them, but I couldn’t see how to reveal who won the pig (and other mysteries) in Book 1 without spoiling the other books. Each book wraps up the romance nicely, but the ultimate reveal comes at the end of Book 3.
It’s not something I recommend doing, actually, LOL. I’ll probably never do it again.
Anyway, I hope readers do enjoy the intertwined stories…and forgive me for the cliffhanger.
Least Likely Heiress
A fortune…and love…is at stake
Eccentric heiress, Victoria Armington, has died and left her vast fortune to her pet pig, Matilda. Now three Armington descendants have been chosen to compete for custody of the pig…and control of the money. Then there’s the lawyer in charge of overseeing the competition, and his two best friends, who arrive to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Welcome to The Heiress Games…
Heiress #1: Eve Bennett
She’s a struggling single mother whose claim to the Armington name stems from an affair between Palm Cove’s founder and his mistress. Winning the money will mean her family will never want for anything again. There’s just one big, knee-weakening, mouth-watering problem…the talk, dark and gorgeous lawyer in charge of the Heiress Games.
For high-powered attorney, Cameron Reed, sorting out the craziest will he’s ever encountered could mean a partnership at his firm. He’s survived becoming an orphan and an endless round of foster homes, and now he’s one step away from realizing his dream. If only he can keep from losing his heart to the one woman who could ruin all his plans.
As Cam and Eve fight their feelings, there’s also a saboteur at work. Someone who might stop at nothing to make sure no one wins.
ALERT! The Heiress Games is like no other series. You’ll actually see the same events unfold in Books 2 (Not Quite An Heiress) and 3 (The Forgotten Heiress), but from the other characters’ points of view. Each romance will come to a satisfying conclusion, but you’ll have to wait for the ultimate winner to be announced at the end of the series. The author apologizes in advance for writing a cliffhanger, but knows you’ll love the journey to the grand finale.
I’m a writer, and sometimes, writers walk away from their computers—shocking, I know. What is it I do when I drag myself away from endless critiques, edits, blog post writing, beta reads, promoting—oh, yeah—and actual writing?
I ADORE yoga. I was hooked a long time ago, before yoga was cool. The studio where I take class is relaxed and full of energy.
People shy away from yoga because—I’m not in good enough shape, or, I’m not flexible enough, or, it’s too much like a religion.
Phtttp, I say. I’m not in the most fabulous shape, and I’m no longer 24 years old (quite a shock to me), but I still go to three yoga classes a week, at least. As to flexibility… I happen to be one of those who is flexible, but the other 99% of the people in class aren’t. Does that stop them from coming to class??? NO! As to it being like a “religion”? Sorry. Nope. You can get as deeply involved in yoga as you wish, adapting to an Ayurvedic lifestyle and living on a mountain in Tibet, or you can go to a couple of classes a week and revel in the calmness that flows through you at the end of class then stop for a burger and fries on the way home.
The studio where I take class has recently introduced wall yoga. I’m like a kid in a candy store. My favourite position is Bat. Yup, we hang upside down like bats. It looks scary, but it’s safe, and the stretch your spine gets is fantastic. (I’m the one in black.)
What kinds of yoga are there? The traditional ones: Hatha – Vinyasa – Birkram – Kundalini – Restorative – Yin and many many more. New versions of the older styles are being created – wall yoga, hot yoga, aerial yoga, paddleboard yoga, and so on.
I’d suggest starting with a gentle hatha and/or a restorative class. You will get the feel of yoga and begin to develop some confidence.
So, forget all your fears and go try a class. Don’t like that class? Try a different kind. Don’t like that studio? Find a different one. Just make sure the teachers are qualified. A cheap class with an unqualified teacher is definitely not recommended. Once you find your perfect match, you’ll know it.
What has all of this got to do with my latest book? Absolutely nothing. But here’s the book anyway. 🙂
Excerpt from Two O’clock with the Billionaire
Derek squeezed her hand and walked toward the entrance. Arianne looked at nothing but the uniformed and gloved doorman who opened the large glass door. Once inside, she realized she’d stepped out of the proverbial pan and into the fire. Before her was a crowd of black tuxedos, evening gowns and glittering diamonds. Derek leaned close. “We head over there and give our coats to the girl then we get a drink. We sip the drink. Sip, can you say sip?”
With pursed lips, she nodded. Her trembling fingers fumbled and her beaded Prada clutch fell to the floor with a loud thump. Arianne froze. How could she do something so stupid? She waited for the roar of humiliating laughter from the other guests.
Derek picked up the bag and offered it to her. “From the look of terror on your face, slamming vodka shots is the only thing you want.”
Glancing around to see if everyone was staring at her, Arianne mumbled, “Sip the drink. We sip the drink. Don’t slam the drink. Okay, I got that. Then what?”
About the Book
Two O’clock with the Billionaire is Daryl Devoré’s latest hot romance. A contemporary romance sweetened with a bit of vanilla sexcapades.
Where Derek Davenport is concerned, women only had one thing in mind: trap him into a marriage. The perfect way out? Hire a courtesan. While partying with his buddies he places an online ad that reads – Woman Wanted.
Unemployed and nearing financial desperation, Arianne is forced to step out of her comfort zone and answers an ad that reads Woman Wanted. With minimal hours and excellent pay, she accepts the position of courtesan to a handsome billionaire.
Their sexual antics cause emotions neither is willing to admit it. Will Arianne and Derek drive each other crazy…or will they fall in love first?
I will give away a copy of an earlier book—What Happens in Bangkok—to a reader who can correctly guess one of these three things:
My favourite colour – ???
My favourite pop/soda – ???
My favourite dessert – ???
First, I want to thank Delilah for having me. Again. She’s been one of my go to people this past year when things were tough. I don’t think I ever let her know but I thank her with all my heart.
Last year, 2017, was a harsh year on myself and family. My husband of over thirty years was diagnosed with colon cancer and my writing was put on hold for all the right reasons. That doesn’t mean I didn’t write, I did but all the normal things like submitting or getting an indie piece ready just didn’t happen. Most of the things I wrote didn’t make it to publishing at all with the exception of one or two small pieces for my very understanding publisher.
I’d been blessed in many ways and was always watching out for a great opportunity and found myself answering an email that was interested in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy type stories. Well, it just so happened I had one I’d done nothing with for years. It was a quirky story that really needed a home and it found one with Romance Collections. Since the story was already completed, I sent it off to an editor as we waited for final word on my husband’s condition.
I swear the hallelujah could be heard throughout the world as we learned he was in full remission. I then told him very bluntly that it was my turn. I needed to get back to publishing and everything about it. And yes, I’m writing nearly six to eight hours a day. I have to intersperse it with class work as I found a wonderful Folklore and Fairy Tales one that was just minutes from my house.
Though the journey to publication this time was harder than most, I must say that the reward at the end is always worth it.
First a little bit about the anthology itself.
Coming April 10, 2018
What goes bump in the night? What causes you a fright? While the answers for each may vary, I promise that these stories will not leave you wary.
From vampires and demons to shifters and creatures that you’d never suspect, this set will leave you breathless in the best possible ways.
So, don’t be afraid. Come, step inside our realm. Allow the mysticism of romance in many shapes and forms fall over you like a veil of sweet, soothing, spine tingling comfort.
We promise…you won’t be sorry.
Books inside this set…
Secrets of the Hollows (Book 2) – Nicole Morgan
What’s a girl to do once she falls in love with a demon?
Fallen – Tamsin Baker
Gabriel thought he’d do anything to earn his way back into Heaven. He was wrong.
Cursed – Tracy Goodwin
Forbidden love. Dangerous prophecies. Limitless power. Fate is a witch.
Avenging Aingeal (Protectors of the Earth 1) – Lynn Crain
Bound by vengeance, she is humanity’s one hope…
Her Fate, His Mate (Wolves of Windsor Woods) – Krista Ames
Can she accept all he is and all he stands for?
Sleeping in the Dragon’s Den – Lexi Thorne
His Hungry Dragon My Curious Desire; His Tattoo Curse My Wet Dreams
Dark Side of the Moon – Laura Baumbach
Vampire rentboy vs. the world.
Angel Vindicated – Viola Estrella
Some sins are hard to avoid…
A Wolf’s Touch – Christine Donovan
Can she love him–wolf and all?
Dr. Magic (Vampire Island, Book 1) – Jo Grafford
One more dance with the devil…
Dark Heat – Jan Springer
Betrayed by her two forced mates, she hides within Vampira.
Torkel – Mardi Maxwell
Love unites them in the mists of time.
Silent Storm – Sadie Carter
Sometimes the monster is the good guy…
Tangled Sin – Georgia Lyn Hunter
She was the light in his eternal darkness…
Seduction’s Scent – C.I. Black
Giving in to temptation threatens everything.
Ghost Mate – D. Anne Paris
She was going to kill him even though he was already dead.
Living on the Edge (Clan Book 1) – Laverne Thompson
Mate wanted. Dead or alive.
The Warrior’s Curse – M. Elliott & T. Eden
What comes next may be the end of it all.
Three Days From Hell – Dariel Raye
Can a permanent resident of Third Hell be trusted?
Just Tell Me What You Want – Tina Donahue
Her wishes will leave him breathless…
Lynn Crain’s story…Avenging Aingeal
Series Title: Protectors of the Earth
Book Number: 1
Aingeal Cochran is on a mission to save humanity from itself when suddenly she’s staring head-on at her forgotten past. Lukas Everhard must bring her up to speed regarding the real enemy before allowing himself to love her completely. In learning about her past and mission, Aingeal realizes the best is yet to be and she will do anything to protect those she loves. For Lukas, Aingeal is the mission.
Arching an eyebrow, I stared at him. No one in this facility could begin to hold a candle to me and I knew it. Worse, they knew it. “Whatever gave you the idea any one could kick my butt? Cause I know you can’t.” I sat there and listened to his buddies all crack up as Jonathan’s ears turned red. Now this was something I could really get into.
“Ever heard of Lukas Everhard?” The flash of puppy-like adoration almost made me lose it right then.
“You’re joking right? Everhard?” I couldn’t contain myself any longer and laughed so hard tears flowed from my eyes. That would be the day.
“You’re just a bitch who won’t know what hit her.” His face took on a hard edge and if I hadn’t been so bored, I might have backed away.
“And you’re just an ass who will.” The orb bobbed in my hand as I stood, dangerously close to being thrown when something huge grabbed my wrist.
“You know the rules here. No fighting in the mess hall.” The object didn’t remove itself from my body.
I whirled furious, jerking my arm away, energy in both hands now and was stopped short by the man who stood before me. I was not a small woman, yet this man dwarfed me. Slowly, my gaze moved from his chest to his wide shoulders to his face and stopped there. Ice blue eyes stared at me without one bit of emotion attached to the look. He’s one cold cookie. I blinked rapidly almost as if I had been hit in the gut. This man was not going to take my crap in any way, shape or form. While I might be able to fool Darien somewhat as I had learned since I had arrived, I would never be able to fool this one.
Then there was the fact I felt more aware of him sexually than I had been with anyone else. Ever. There was a charisma about him which made me want to throw myself into his arms and beg to be taken. And it was more than his physical appearance because if truth be told, this man looked good…the best I had ever seen…again a rarity for me to note. It was as if he were palpable under my hands even though we weren’t touching. My crotch tightened once more and I shook my head to clear my errant thoughts.
“Told you.” A snide voice commented somewhere off to my left.
I turned to look at my accuser, electricity leaping to my hand yet again. Some days I couldn’t control it at all. This could be a problem.
Stepping in front of me, the big man’s forefinger jabbed my chest in a hard push. “You. Me. In the sparring room immediately.”
I watched as he walked out the door, all predatory-like and with more purpose than I had seen anyone in this place have since my arrival. I eyed everyone else and realized it wouldn’t matter what I said, they were going to see if their man could best me. Sighing, I also knew I had brought this on myself. Vowing to make his fall gentle, I shook my head and followed him down the main corridor, wondering if I should even bother to introduce myself. I ran up to walk next to him and before I could even start, I was cut off by his raised hand.
“Don’t bother. I know who you are.” He kept his eyes straight forward.
Frowning, I watched him for a minute. “Yeah, but I don’t know who you are, now do I?”
He stopped in front of the sparring room door. “And that should make a difference how?” Shoving it open, he waved a hand. “Ladies first.”
“As if I’d fall for that one,” I muttered more to myself than anyone.
Scowling at me, he shook his head. “Look one of us has to go in first. The door isn’t big enough for us to go side by side.”
“Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. This would end bad, I could feel it in my bones.
NOTES: This book has adult situations and is meant to be read by those over 18.
Hope you enjoyed this little look into the process for getting my story out there. Writing is a fabulous career as it allows one to do it anywhere or that the necessary time off to handle a life challenge.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Mystic Realms anthology today!
Thanks and see you around.
About Lynn Crain
Award-winning author Lynn Crain writes full-time, weaving contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic. Her home is in the desert southwest with her husband of 32 years. Readers can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at http://www.lynncrain.com.
My blog guest for today was a no-show, so here I am again. 🙂
I’m always trying to dream up the next “thing” I want to write. How about you help me narrow the field of options? You can select up to two options. And if you leave any comments or suggestions, you’ll be entered to win your choice of one of my recent releases!
I should be better at planning stories. I teach plotting. I definitely know how to do it. But for some weird reason, when I sit down to plot out stories in a series, I falter.
Maybe it’s because I’m learning who my story peeps are as I write them. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid if I plot too well, I’ll lose that feeling of discovery, those breathless surprised moments I get as I write. I love for a story to reveal itself as I move through my characters’ lives. And I hate, hate, hate being trapped inside a story that bores me.
Do you like the graphic I made? Do you like that catch phrase—“Authentic Men, Real Adventure”?
I know that was jarring, but my mind hops like that. I played in Canva today, making that picture at the top. What was I saying?
Well, at least I know what the next book will be about, or at least WHO it will be about. I have a name. I found a piece of art I though portrayed him well, and my sis made me a cover. Often, that’s all I’ve got when I start writing. I’ll get to know Cochise (Do you like that name?) as I write him, and then I’ll figure out what story he has to tell. I also have a cover and a name for the next story, Hook, but no clue where to start. Hopefully, Cochise will meet him along the way…
Anyway, I wanted to share the pretty meme, and remind you that there are three stories already out there for you to enjoy. If you have any ideas for future adventures for my bad boy alpha guys, share. I could use a couple of jumping off points… 🙂
Where does pleasure come from? A lot of it comes from the mind, but an important part comes from the body. In modern culture, we take for granted what certain, er, body parts will look and feel like. But throw a little history and diverse cultures into the mix, and things can get…different. At a mission in Africa, Zenda and Gavin struggle with conflicting cultural mores and an overwhelming attraction to each other. Will passion define who they are or the other way around?
Gavin Douglas joins a Scottish mission as a carpenter to escape painful memories of his wife’s death from a back-alley abortion she tried to keep secret from him. The last thing he expects to find in Africa is instant attraction to a native.
For the past year, Zenda has devoted her time to Claymore Missionary, secretly erasing everything taught to her tribe’s children to prevent them from becoming whitewashed. Nothing else matters except claiming her tribal identity as a woman. But before her eagerly awaited rite of passage can take place, Gavin lays his own claim on her body, igniting desires she can’t face losing.
Gavin is horrified to learn of the physical transformation—and associated risks—she insists on undergoing. When he realizes his biggest loss may be yet to come, his only mission is to teach Zenda pleasure.
Daughters of Africa ~ African women who shaped the world and the men who love them
To his utter shock, Zenda grabbed the hem of her robe and lifted it up her legs and torso. Dumbstruck, he watched as it sailed over her head and landed neatly onto the nearest rock. Nothing remained on her body except her necklace and a brief loincloth.
Fully revealing her breasts. Tipped on the ends with nipples as dusky as soot, they made the most perfect picture he’d ever seen. A sudden weight pressed against his whirlygigs until he feared they might explode.
How could a girl who’d shied away from kissing flaunt her bare breasts as if they were no different than her elbows? He clearly had a lot to learn about Africans…
To cool his burning crotch, he waded in with her. Remembering the mission rules and the boy with the spear, he decided to leave his clothes on. Besides, he didn’t know what kind of sharp-toothed creatures might be lurking in the murky-brown pool.
Her chest looked even lusher with rivulets of water forming pearly webs across her dark skin. She couldn’t expect him not to touch her. The calm surface of the pond rippled as he scampered across the moss-slickened rocks underfoot.
She backed up a step, much more gracefully than he. When her eyes widened, he almost glanced over his shoulder to see if a lion crouched nearby. Until he realized the creature she feared was him. A dragonfly landed on her shoulder, flexing its lacy wings, ready to fly away at any moment.
What was she trying to do? Lure him into doing something that might get him into trouble? He’d broken the mission’s anti-lust rule today many times over. After all, he was a white man, the enemy. And she’d made it clear she didn’t care for the whites moving into her land and changing everything.
But a man had only so much self-control, and his had just run out. After locking an arm around her waist, he pulled her body into his and clamped his mouth on the peak of one breast. The dragonfly darted off, buzzing past his head.
Her sharp grunt raised the hair on his arms. Because he didn’t know if she’d done it from fear or pleasure. And what really shocked the hell out of him? He didna care.
She dug her fingernails into the back of his wet shirt as he sucked the other firm peak between his lips. His jaw convulsed, causing him to nick her puckered flesh with his teeth. She grunted again and churned the water into a frenzy with her flailing limbs.
He backed her against a half-submerged mangrove tree, grinding her soft pelvis against the curved root until the latter creaked and damn near snapped. He tugged on his belt, a heartbeat away from releasing his cock and spearing her with it.
Good God. I’m acting like a savage beast!
How could they exchange prayers about trees one moment and end up this way the next? He had no idea he’d been carrying around such pent-up needs. Never before had he felt such burning lust for any woman—of any color. Maybe he’d better head back to port and find a place where he’d be safer and saner. A place with no women.
With a wrench, he pulled himself from her. She wasted no time throwing herself at him, like a cougar leaping from a tree branch, until he fell into the water.
Sputtering, he surfaced for air. “What the hell did you do that for?”
She cradled her hardened, wet nipples in her pale palms, which didna slake his lust one damn bit.
“Y-you attacked me!”
“And you asked for it,” he said, still gasping from the water he’d choked on below. “Parading around in front of me half naked.”
She gazed down at her upturned breasts, understanding dawning on her face.
“Where I come from, lassie, you’re indecently exposed.”
Jamaican Vibration (sequel to Jamaican Temptation) – a steamy contemporary menage set in, you guessed it, Jamaica!