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Sylvie Grayson: Writing a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series
Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

This was new for me as a writer. The first thing I realized as Book One developed was that I needed a map. I started out with a couple of countries in the story, but that quickly grew, and the map kept me straight on where I was—literally.

Now, I publish it in the front of each book, because readers say it has been very helpful. My daughter has drawn it for me, and it grows, depending on where I get in the next book.

The next thing I worked on was a list of names. Many people have noted the names in my books are unique, in that they often reflect the character’s occupation. That has been fun, but it’s still hard to keep track of all these people in a whole new world.

The third thing is a compendium of new words. Again, I began to develop a list, just to keep the words and definitions straight to ensure I use them the same way each time. All of this information is in my Last War bible. Each new book adds characters, towns and villages, devolving use of languages. It’s been a lot of fun.

Prince of Jiran

A Penrhy prince caught between duty and desire. Can he win the impending battle?

Shandro, Prince of the Penrhy tribe of Jiran, disagrees with his father, Sovereign Pollack, on nearly every issue that arises between them. But his goal is to uphold the family values in spite of Pollack’s conniving moves as he deals with the hotbed of competing nations surrounding them.

Then Shandro is sent on a mission across the mountains into Khandarken to bring back Princess Chinata, a bride for Emperor Carlton’s Advisor. In exchange, Jiran and the Penrhy tribe are given a peace agreement, protection against invasion by the Emperor’s troops. This seems a good trade, as Carlton is hovering on their borders with his need for more land. However, not far into the journey, it becomes apparent someone is not adhering to the terms of the peace accord.

Near the tribal border, Shandro and his troops have come under direct attack from unknown forces. He digs deeper into Chinata’s background to find strong ties to the New Empire. Is it too dangerous to bring Princess Chinata into Jiran? Or as her escort, does Shandro become her defender against the Emperor’s troops?

Get your copy here!

When I wrote the first book of The Last War series, I expected there would be two or three books. Here we are at Book Five, and Six is just hovering at the back of my brain! It has been a lot of fun to write this fifth book. It dives into the culture of Jiran, a loose collection of tribal families that travel the plains across the mountains to the west of Khandarken. These people don’t have good relations with the other countries around them. They stayed out of the Last War, keeping to the sidelines and refusing to take part in the struggle between Emperor Aqatain and the rebel forces that finally defeated him. Thus, the Prince of Jiran is stuck with trying to mend relations at a time he is suffering an assault of his own and needs support. And of course Princess Chinata has caught his eye, and that complicates an already complicated situation!

Read an excerpt!

It had begun to snow again and the flakes were coming thicker, a steady silent fall that muffled sound and blinded them as they rode. The air was icy against China’s skin. Soon the wind picked up and it looked like another blizzard setting in. She watched Prince Shandro ride ahead to consult with his commander, then rein in and wait for Haggskyll and Boz to catch up. She studied him as he talked with the men, first gesturing toward the women and then ahead to the trail leading through the trees.

He was a handsome man in a very physical way with his broad muscled shoulders, lean frame and golden-brown skin. The attraction to him only got stronger as the days passed. What would she do when they arrived at their destination? How to concentrate on being bride of the ancient Judson Lanser when this virile young man had guarded her through the mountains, and looked at her with such focused attention her breath caught in her throat?

There was a muffled shout up ahead, then a sharp bang. The men halted immediately, all attention focused on the trail before them. More loud roars, and the guards were galvanized into action.

Everyone rushed to pull weapons from their harnesses or behind their saddles, and crowd in around the women as others galloped forward into the blinding snow. Shandro moved quickly, riding in her direction and waving at his men.

“Go back,” he yelled. “We don’t know what’s ahead.”

The men were milling in a circle now, trying to herd the women back the way they’d come. Horses neighed and reared in the confusion. China grabbed her reins in one hand and the saddle horn in the other as her mount sidestepped swiftly and plunged into the mount beside her.

Suddenly new riders appeared on both sides of the churning group. They materialized out of the trees, riding low in the saddle, weapons in hand.

Mass confusion ensued. One of the guards grabbed her bridle, dragging China’s horse around to go back down the trail the way they’d come, and she clung desperately to the horn as she swayed in the saddle. There were more sharp sounds, what must be the firing of weapons although it seemed muffled by the falling snow, and in the milling of bodies she couldn’t see where they were.

Then something hit her, knocking her sideways in the saddle. She reached for the horn but her hand didn’t work. The pain arrived in an overwhelming wave and she cried out low, unheard in the rush around her. Looking down, she saw blood bloom on her cloak and ripple in a slow wave down her arm.

She was falling and someone was bellowing in surprise or rage, a wild cry that followed her down.

About the Author

Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and murder and has published contemporary romantic suspense novels, all about strong women who meet with dangerous odds, stories of tension and attraction. She has also written The Last War series, a sci fi/fantasy adventure, the fifth book, Prince of Jiran, newly released.

She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada, in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She lived for a year in Japan. She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. She lives in southern British Columbia with her husband on a small piece of land near the Pacific Ocean.

Sylvie loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at, on her website at or on Facebook.

Bronwen Evans: A Dream of Redemption (Contest)
Sunday, February 18th, 2018

How do we stop our past from defining us? My latest release A DREAM OF REDEMPTION 20 February 2018 follows the journey of two people who have much to overcome in order to find true happiness.

A forbidden love and a chilling mystery tease the senses in this sensuous historical romance from the USA Today bestselling author of A Kiss of Lies and A Love to Remember.

Bookish and independent Lady Helen Hawkestone is expected to marry well. But, having grown up with warring parents, the institution holds little appeal. The trick, she realizes, is to marry for love—a task that’s easier said than done. Only while Helen is raising funds for her do-gooder sister’s orphanage does she meet a man who arouses her curiosity. Lowborn and yet so dignified that Helen can’t help but try to elicit a response, Clary Homeward is an enigma—a heart-stopping, body-stirring, forget-her-social-upbringing enigma.

A single offense against a noblewoman such as Lady Helen would ruin a man like Clary. Her sister, Marisa, rescued him from hellish poverty and employs him with her charity work. Try as he might to push her away, Helen tempts him to want things he could never have. But when girls from the orphanage start disappearing, destined for a grim fate Clary knows all too well, Helen insists on helping. And soon Clary wonders whether something more were not just possible but inevitable—even right.

Isn’t it funny how characters creep up on you? It’s one of the many joys of being a writer. When I wrote the part of Clarence (Clary) Homewood in A Whisper of Desire, I had no idea of the relationship that would develop between Clary and the sister of his savior, Lady Helen Hawkestone.

Clary has a sordid past to become comfortable with and he is full of self-loathing. Helen does not know of his past. All she knows is he is her sister’s overseer of several orphanages and a man who puts all others in the shade.

Innocent and naive of the horrors in the world for those less fortunate than herself, Helen, intrigued by Clary, begins to fall in love. Little does she know just how impossible a life with Clary would be.

But what really defines people is how we overcome the mistakes we make or those made against us. Can Clary forgive his past sin and can Helen convince her family to stand with her against insurmountable odds…

Here is a taste of A Dream of Redemption:

The women walked off toward the pond, Mary following Helen. Leaving Clary facing Fairfax and his male friends.

“Go and catch up with Lady Angela, I want a private word with Mr. Homeward,” Fairfax uttered to the other gents.

Once the others were out of earshot, Fairfax hissed, “What the blazes are you playing at? How dare you walk in the park with a lady.”

“Good afternoon, Lord Fairfax. If you excuse me I should catch up to her ladyship. Your behavior is being noted, and I don’t think you’d want me explaining how we met.”

With that threat hanging in the air Clary made to walk around Fairfax but the lord grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “You mention one word about me and that club and I’ll see you’re put back in the gutter where you belong.”

He wanted to shake off Fairfax’s hand, the feel of it on his person made him sick, but he noted Helen and Angela’s group was staring at them. “Let go of me, you are drawing attention to yourself.”
Fairfax looked over at his friends and quickly let go of his arm. “This is not over. I don’t know who you are pretending to be, but I’ll see you run out of town.”

Clary stood up proud and tall. He looked down his nose at Fairfax. “I work for the Duchess of Lyttleton and any scandal about me will impact on Her Grace and I won’t allow that. If I hear you are telling tales I shall ensure every mother in the ton understands your particular hedonistic tastes. You’ll be shunned, or worse, but without proof probably only shunned. Something you’ll care more about than I would. I have no reason, or wish, to enter Society nor any reputation to uphold.”

He glared at Fairfax whose face became very pale. “You would not dare.”

“Try me,” and Clary tipped his hat at Fairfax and made to move round him. Just as he was about to take a step Fairfax stuck his walking stick out and sent Clary headfirst onto the path. He wasn’t quick enough to put his arms out and so he rolled and let his body take the full impact. He landed on his injured side and pain raged through his body mixed with the anger and a driving need to pummel Fairfax into the dirt. Of course he couldn’t do that. Attacking a peer would carry a sentence of transportation. Probably what Fairfax wanted.

Then he heard the sound of dainty running feet and a feminine cry of outrage. “You did that on purpose, you swine.” He looked up from the ground to see Helen hit Fairfax with her reticule.


I hope you enjoy A Dream of Redemption and urge on Helen and Clary’s journey to their HEA.

Win a copy of A Whisper of Desire by leaving a comment below telling me the name of Helen’s sister.

Buy links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia
Google Play

Ruth Kaufman: Writing What You Know
Monday, February 12th, 2018

Hello, everyone! Thank you for stopping by. And Delilah, thank you for having me as a guest.

They say, “Write what you know.” I didn’t for my first four novels and a Kindle World novella, which are medieval. But I really enjoyed extensive research on topics as diverse as the last battle of the Hundred Years War (my first book), stained-glass painting (second book) and tournaments (third book) so I could include appropriate descriptions of actual events and daily life.

I decided to take that advice for my fifth novel MY LIFE AS AN EXTRA (humorous women’s fiction). Why? I’ve accumulated quite a bit of knowledge about the film industry while working as an extra on more than 80 films and TV shows.

My first was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (parade scene, you can’t see me), and one of my last was the ABC TV show Betrayal (as a juror, you can see me). I’m pursuing principal roles now, and you usually can’t audition for speaking roles on a film/show if you’ve been an extra on it.

I set the book in Chicago, where I live and the vast majority of projects I’ve worked on have filmed. And, since I’m over 40, I decided the heroine should be, too. I did my best to incorporate accurate details, but even in a city I know well, things change, such as beer prices at Cubs games.

A challenge was figuring out how much to incorporate that’s actually true, how much to base on truth and how much to create from scratch. Only my hairdresser knows for sure what the final blend is. Another challenge was finding the balance between making a day on set seem believable and real vs. overloading the reader with information. Finally, though I’ve been in scenes with and worked with many famous directors and stars, since it’s a novel and not a memoir, I wanted to be careful about how many I mention and for what purpose. Bonuses included not having to look up many words to see if they were in use at the time and not needing to double check historical details.

The sequel, coming later in 2018, is MY LIFE AS A STAR (romantic comedy). I had to do some research, because that hasn’t happened…yet?

MLaaE and MLaaS are about pursing your dreams because someday is now. What have you been wanting to do that you’ve put off, and how can you make room in your life for it?


After an unexpected divorce, Marla Goldberg yearns to believe “someday is now” and pursue her dream of being an actress in Chicago. But how can she quit her frustrating radio station account executive job when she’s only booking work as an extra?

When she dips her toes into the daunting dating pool, her first “date” wants to meet in a pet store parking lot. Other forays yield equally unfortunate results that make her friends laugh out loud. As she seeks a talent agent and speaking roles, it’s one step forward, one step back. When told to eat a muffin at a commercial audition, her mouth is so dry she can’t spit it out in time to say her line.

Dealing with overachiever siblings, judgmental parents and longing to make her dreams come true, she struggles to learn the hardest lesson of all: how to feel special when you’re not the star.

Brief excerpt from the middle of Chapter 1 when Marla is on a film set as an extra…

After another rehearsal, my hand and feet warmers have already failed and are bean bags weighing down my mittens and crowding my boots. How much more freezing can I take?

Adam Markham gets off his high canvas chair with the movie logo embroidered on the back in bright yellow and his name on the front and comes over to us.

My surprise is real, because usually the director talks to the assistant directors, or ADs, not extras. The second AD, or sometimes the first, passes on what we’re supposed to do. Almost everyone wears earphones and microphones, so you don’t always know who’s telling what to whom.

His furry hood covers most of his narrow face, but I glimpse light blue eyes as he looks at me.

My heart starts to race. A famous, award-winning director has noticed me. Will he pluck me from obscurity? Will I be upgraded to a slightly better role and higher pay, or will he even give me a line, a boon bestowed on rare occasion?

“I don’t like the way her scarf is blowing.” The director walks down the row of extras and borrows a dark green, fringed wool one from some guy. For a second the guy’s face perks up. I know he thinks he’s going to be moved to a better place in the shot, my place, but Adam, if I may be so bold, just wants his scarf. I put it on and a wardrobe person safety pins it to my coat.

“Rolling….” a voice calls.

“Rolling!” several people echo.

“Picture’s up.”

“Background action!”

Leaning over the wind machines as the train rolls by, I and the others brave icy blasts. My hair and the borrowed scarf blow straight up. The cold has pierced my coat and layers, so I’m shivering harder. I know my nose is bright red. The woman beside me jumps up and down.

We endure a few more takes.

Adam comes toward me again. My heart starts pounding again. Why an intelligent person such as myself gets nervous because a famous movie director approaches is beyond me, but I can’t seem to help it. I hope I’ll get to do something good and fear I did something wrong at the same time.

“Will you step out of the shot, please?” he asks.

Buy Links:
Amazon- Available in print, e-book and in Kindle Unlimited:

Audio book (Ruth voiced the female characters and hired a colleague to voice the males)-

About Ruth

Ruth Kaufman is the author five novels including MY LIFE AS AN EXTRA (humorous women’s fiction) and the Wars of the Roses Brides trilogy (medievals), AT HIS COMMAND, FOLLOW YOUR HEART and THE BRIDE TOURNAMENT. Accolades include winner of 2016 Booksellers’ Best Historical and Best First Book and Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® awards.

An actor and speaker with an M.S. and J.D, Ruth has had roles in independent feature films, web series, pilots, national TV commercials and hundreds of voiceover projects. She enjoys chocolate peanut butter milkshakes and singing in a symphony chorus.

Learn more or join Ruth online at:
Acting website:
Twitter: @RuthKaufman
Facebook: Ruth Kaufman Author & Actor
Amazon Author Page:

Brent Archer: Rain City Tales and Stormy Seattle
Thursday, February 8th, 2018

The logo for the Rain City Tales includes a couple embracing under an umbrella for a reason. Except for three months out of the year when the sky is blue, the days and nights are warm, and the tourists are lulled into thinking Seattle is always beautiful, most of the year is a torrent of drizzle, wind, rain, and bone-chilling cold no amount of fleece can keep out. Not one-hundred percent of the days between late September and July 6th (seriously, like clockwork most years) is dismal. In fact, most of these days are schizophrenic. As I write this post, the sky is blue with fast moving puffy clouds. Only an hour earlier the dark and stormy day had been dumping rain. The storm clouds on the horizon are quickly approaching, pushed along by a chilly and constant wind.

I’m Yours starts out on just one of those blustery days. Toby Hayden battles the wind and the rain of downtown Seattle on his way to a job interview only to have a gust destroy his umbrella and soak his slacks. Meeting Merrick Hamilton, and his lucky handshake, definitely brightens Toby’s day. The weather doesn’t deter Toby and Merrick from a Valentine’s Day date. Merrick even declines a ride home, opting for the bus after getting rained out from their walk in the park. The storm raging at Toby’s work gives the weather a run for its money, and, unlike true Seattle weather, doesn’t appear to be abating. Though a Seattleite, Toby may not be able to weather this storm. It all depends on his former partner’s reappearance and whether the swirling chaos intensifies, or the controversy blows over and the sun comes out again.

The third installment of the Rain City Tales, I’m Yours, is now available for download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo today!

Stay tuned for Rain City Tales Book 4: The Wedding Weekend, out in May 2018.

You can order the first Rain City Tales story, The Officer’s Siren, here, and the second story, Past Secrets Present Danger, here. Checkout Brent’s website for more details on upcoming books.


Surveying his suit, Toby Hayden frowned at the soaked slacks below the line of his pea coat. Hardly how he wanted to show up to an interview, but he didn’t have much choice. Though the job market had picked up, he hadn’t worked in two years. Each passing day made him less employable, and he was already starting at a disadvantage.

“Damn you, Mark,” he muttered. A cloud as dark and threatening as the ones in the sky descended on his mood and self-confidence.

The sidewalk lightened, and he marveled at the sudden change in the weather. Sunshine reflected off the glass, metal, and polished stone of the downtown skyscrapers. Fifteen minutes ago, a bone-chilling wind had blasted up the hill of University Street, sweeping a pelting rain sideways. Moments before the clouds parted, a strong gust ripped between the buildings and cracked the thin, metal arms of his umbrella. With a snap, the metal broke and punched a hole in the fabric covering. Now as the wind continued to whistle around the skyscrapers, blue sky promised at least a few minutes of respite from the February storm.

The new steel and glass building rose before him, and he did his best to shake off the excess water from his clothes. After depositing his wrecked umbrella into the trash can on the street corner and straightening his tie, he entered the lobby. A young man perched on a stool at the concierge desk — probably mid to late twenties and the most piercing ice-blue eyes — stared through a wavy lock of black hair. The badge on his grey suit jacket identified him as Merrick.

Their gazes locked, and Toby felt compelled by an immediate attraction to approach. Though he knew what floor his interview was on, he gave into the urge to speak to this young man. “Hi, I’m looking for Herrington, Fisher, and Scallione. Do you know what floor I need?”

Merrick’s face brightened into a professional smile. “Certainly, sir.” He stood, towering over Toby’s six-foot frame and sweeping his long arm toward the elevators. “Take the second bank to floor twenty, and it should be the third doorway along the hall on the left.”

“Great, uh, thanks.” Reluctant to leave, he lingered for a moment. “Are you having a good morning?”

The smile turned more genuine. “I am, thanks for asking. What brings you into the building today?”

“An interview. I’m pretty nervous.” He again glanced over his suit with a frown, though his mood had vastly improved being in the young man’s company. “And the wet pants won’t exactly give a good first impression.”

“My friends constantly tell me I’m the luckiest person they know.” Merrick stuck out his hand, a gleam in his blue eyes. “Maybe some will rub off.”

Deciding he didn’t have much to lose, Toby clasped the offered hand. Soft skin squeezed in a firm, but not competitive, grip. For an intense moment, all other sounds and movements disappeared in the bustling lobby. Toby’s focus narrowed to the contact between them and the deep blue gaze that held steady with his. Before releasing Merrick’s hand, he gave a quick squeeze. Their fingers drifted apart, and the sounds of the city returned. Both men slowly let their arms return to their sides.

Clearing his throat, Merrick, momentarily startled, resumed his seat. He quickly recovered his smile and gave a wink. “Up the elevator to twenty. You’ll do great. I’ll look forward to hearing how it went.”

Brent Archer began writing in 2011 at the nudging of his cousins. His first story sold, and he was hooked! Keep up with Brent Archer and his current releases at his website, and follow him on Twitter: @brentarcherwrit.

Flashback: Baby, It’s You (Contest)
Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

We’re still on grandma watch here. Her respirations are slowing, and she’s only woken up a couple of times the past day or so. My sister, Elle James, and her dd arrived yesterday to provide much-needed relief. We’ll likely be holed up in grandma’s room, tending to her while we try to sprint through some pages today. Anything to keep our minds engaged elsewhere.

Do you have big things planned for today? I have a suggestion! Read the excerpt below from Baby, It’s You, and tell me you’re not tempted to find a SEAL book-boyfriend to spend your day with!


Comment for a chance to win one of my Uncharted SEALs stories!
Click on a cover to explore the series!

Watch Over Me Her Next Breath Through Her Eyes Dream of Me

Baby, It's You Before We Kiss Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Between a SEAL and a Hard Place 

Hard SEAL to Love   Head Over SEAL

Baby, It’s You

Baby, It's You

Carter Vance, Jr. stands at the fork in the road. Wounded in action, the Navy SEAL has a decision to make: whether to find work with a spec ops unit, or return to his family ranch in Texas and repair his fractured relationship with his dying father and the woman he wronged. Complicating the decision is his reignited attraction to Melanie Schaeffer and his confusion over his feelings for his dead brother’s little girl, whom Melanie has raised since his brother’s and her sister’s deaths by a terrorist’s bomb.

Read an excerpt…

The morning that would change Melanie Schaeffer’s life forever began quietly enough. The whoosh of a curtain opening sounded a moment before sunlight spilled across her bed. Melanie rolled to her back to see the maid picking up clothing Melanie had left draped over a chair the night before.

A blush crept into her cheeks. She didn’t think she’d ever grow accustomed to having someone else handle her intimate items. “You don’t have to do that,” Melanie said as she pushed another pillow behind her head. “I can clean up after myself.”

The maid gave her a cheerful smile. “It’s my job. And I wouldn’t have woken you at all, but you did say you wanted to get used to the time change…”

Yes, there was that. After two days, she still felt a little muzzy-headed. The nine hours’ difference in time zones from Austin to this little city bordering Asia and the Middle East took some getting used to. Melanie rubbed her eyes and blinked, focusing on the sun peeking through the arched window and the view of the lovely, lush garden beyond it. Bushes exploding with large cabbage roses and tall, fruit-laden palms nearly obscured the ten-foot wall surrounding the estate nestled in the diplomats’ sector. Read the rest of this entry »

Desiree Holt: Sometimes the oldies are the best goodies! (Contest)
Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Take Note!

Leave me a comment. One lucky person will receive a copy of Quarterbacks Sneak, about a hot football player who knew how to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

When I first dipped my toes in writing I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. I finished my first manuscript and didn’t even know where to submit it or how. Thank the lord for SARA—San Antonio Romance Authors—where I met wonderful, lifelong friends who guided me through the bumps and bruises of the publishing world.

My first novel was contracted in 2005 under a different name, but I did not write my first erotic romance until more than a year later. If it had not been for Delilah Devlin, and my other friends at SARA, I might never have written. Why? Because Dee is the one who told me Ellora’s Cave had an open submission call for Valentine-themed Quickies—novellas 15K or less.

Well, that was certainly a challenge for me since I hadn’t a clue how to write that.  But my late husband, who thought I could do anything in the world, suggested I buy a couple, read them and see if I felt I could do it. Well, I was never one to shrink from a challenge, so that’s what I did. And my first erotic romance was born.  Imagine my shock when I received a contract for it!

But Ellora’s Cave began its slide into oblivion, and I was able to get the rights back for it. Celebrate!

And so February 13 Totally Bound will rerelease Cupid’s Shaft and I can’t wait. It ‘s a hot, fun story to keep you warm on Valentine’s Day. And what better place to tell you about it than here. On the blog, of the fabulous author who started it all for me.

A freezing winter’s night, a hot stranger and a sexy female with erotic plans. One hot Valentine’s Day coming right up.

When Jessie Rawlins’ boyfriend dumps her just before Valentine’s Day, she ends up by herself at her isolated cabin in Maine with all the trappings for the holiday—including a bag of kinky toys—and no one to celebrate with. Then a snow storm dumps gorgeous Riley Malone on her front porch. Running from a broken relationship himself as well as a business partnership gone bad, Riley thought his good luck had run out. Until fate—and Cupid—strands him at Jessie’s cabin.

What woman hasn’t fantasized about having a sexy, handsome stranger come out of nowhere and rock her world? When Riley shows up on her doorstep, frozen half to death, Jessie knows exactly how to warm him up. But will Riley want to play along with the games she’d planned for her Valentine’s celebration? A night of hot, erotic, sizzling sex answers that question. But what will happen when the day for lovers is over, the storm is gone and it’s time for him to be on his way? Will he take a piece of Jessie’s heart with him, or will Cupid’s arrow strike them both?


Riley Malone thought for sure he was having a heart attack. For one thing, he should be back in Florida where it was warm, not up here in the godforsaken wilds of Maine. But the fight with his business partner in the hotel in Boston had been the final straw in a rapidly disintegrating relationship. He’d offered to sell out his share and Curt had jumped at it. Good riddance. He could start another construction company. Building was going on in all fifty states.

Then, of course, there was Veronica the bitch. Too bad that she bought tickets for a Valentine cruise without telling him. When he told her he couldn’t get back in time to make it, she blistered the telephone line with a string of curses that would have made a longshoreman blush and hung up on him. Okay. Good riddance to her, too. He was tired of her selfish whining and demanding. And it would have been nice if just once in bed she’d asked him what he wanted. Veronica definitely was focused on her own pleasure, on her own terms, at times barely tolerating some of the things he wanted to do.

So he got in the damn SUV he’d rented at the airport and started driving. Just heading north. He had no idea how he even got where he was. And then the damn truck broke down in the middle of the damn snowstorm. Hiking to the only light he could see about killed him and the last thing he expected to see was a naked woman—a mouthwatering naked woman, with a slick, hairless pussy—pleasuring herself in front of a mirror.

He banged on the window again. If she didn’t open the door pretty soon, he’d freeze his damn balls off and then it wouldn’t matter who he went to bed with.

He watched her pull on a robe—too bad, she was an eyeful—and then pick up the fireplace poker. Jesus, was she going to brain him with it? As she walked slowly toward the door he stamped his feet and banged his hands together to stimulate circulation.

Finally the door creaked open and she eyed him through a narrow opening.

“What do you want?”

“For one thing I want to get out of this damn snowstorm before I turn into an ice statue. I promise not to rape or kill you if you just let me go stand in front of the fireplace.”

She frowned at him.

Come on, lady. Dont take all day to make up your mind.

“A-All right. You can come in.” She opened the door wide enough for him to step inside.

“Thank you.” His throat felt frozen. “You’re an angel of mercy.” He pushed past her and planted himself immediately in front of the fireplace. Pulling off his jacket and gloves, he held his hands out to the warmth. “God, I was beginning to think I’d never get warm again.”

“What are you doing in this storm?” She kept her distance, still holding the poker.

“That’s a long, unpleasant story, which I won’t bore you with.”

“You have to be out of your mind to go out driving in weather like this, Mr…Mr…”

“Riley Morgan.” He glanced at her over his shoulder. “And I swear you can put the poker down. I’m too cold to do anything but shiver.”

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Charlotte O’Shay: Telling the Tale — Keeping Secrets & Speaking Up (Contest)
Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Hey there Delilah!

Thanks for the chance to appear on your super blog where today I’m talking about

Authors Telling Tales and Characters Making Decisions

Authors are always asked how they get the ideas for their books and like most writers, for me it’s a combination of elements.

When it comes to plot twists and sexy scenes I let my imagination go into free fall and let fantasy take over.

Sometimes a random overheard conversation is gold and my mind races with what ifs and a story pops out of nowhere.

And ever since I was a kid, my vivid dreams and nightmares carry pieces of ideas and feelings that morph into a person caught at the center of an overwhelming crisis.

The idea for A Model Engagement came from a bunch of whys and what ifs in my head as I watched the TV news one night. Yeah I know, TV news- dangerous thing to do, right?

 It was a sexual assault case, involving a powerful, famous, beloved man in media with a sterling reputation accused of sexual misconduct by an unpowerful woman—a relative nobody, well before #metoo and #timesup.

I kept thinking- why don’t people believe her? That thought sparked ideas about why and how this situation could happen and A Model Engagement was born.

 In A Model Engagement, Lacey is an ex-model with a tabloid past. She keeps her sexual assault secret to protect a loved one. Then she realizes she must speak up to have any hope of making the predator pay for his crime and any chance of regaining her piece of mind.

Lacey doesn’t think she’s strong; she blames herself for her predicament, and judges herself harshly for her naiveté. Somehow she finds a courage she didn’t know she had, tells her secret to her best friend, (Sabrina from The Marriage Ultimatum) and fights back.

Where is the romance you say? In the midst this crisis, Lacey meets Connor and man does he fall hard. Connor is used to jumping in and solving everyone’s problems but he’ll do anything to be the man Lacey chooses. And Lacey learns to accept the love of a strong, swoony, teddy bear of a man while reclaiming herself.

There are no graphic scenes of sexual assault in this book.


Lacey needed to get it out before she lost her courage. “I’m happy for you, Sabrina, I really am. And I’m not trying to cut you off. It’s just, I’ve got something to say to you, and if I don’t do it real fast, I may lose my nerve.” And my dinner.

“Yeah, of course, Lacey, sure.”

Lacey cleared her throat. “Ok, I’m just going to say it because I don’t know how else to do this. Several months ago I was given a date rape drug and then I was filmed in some sort of, I don’t know, porno, and now I’m paying blackmail.” There she said it. It was sordid, it was horrible and it sounded even worse out loud than it had in her head but she’d finally told another person.

“Wh—at? What! Oh no, Lacey. Oh my God. How did this happen? Who would do such a thing…?”

It was so dark outside that Lacey could see her face reflected in the window. How weird—she didn’t look any different. Outside, beyond the window, beyond the house, nothing was visible. She couldn’t see anything but she could hear the tide beating against the rocks at the bottom of the sandy grass before retreating, then coming back to do it again. The tide grew louder until it roared in her ears like her own blood. She swayed and had to sit on the floor before she fainted. Sabrina was yelling, cursing a blue streak in her ear—who, what, when, where, why.

In contrast, Lacey’s voice when she interrupted her friend’s tirade was unnaturally calm. “Okay, here it is. Remember that photographer who said I was the front runner to be the face for that big Mon Secret campaign?”

“You mean Barry Bixby?”

“You remember.”

“Duh, of course I do. He’s the guy in fashion photography. Since I’ve gotten more into photography, I’ve become more aware of his work. Are you saying he did this? He’s so, so highly…”

“Yeah, highly regarded in the industry. I know.” Lacey put a fist under her chin, pressed her lips together but a small sound escaped.

Not okay, you’re crying, all right sweetie, don’t make a move,” Sabrina said, “I’m coming over there right now.”

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A Model Engagement by Charlotte O’Shay

Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer.

With her savings gone she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.

Though dazzled by Lacey, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. He hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job and he has a bandage for a family crisis.

When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down— no matter what the consequences.

Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?

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About the Author

Charlotte O’Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.

The drama! The noise! The inspiration!

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters. She lives on the far westside only 3 subway stops from where she grew up.

When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes with issues, she’s on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses.

She LOVES to hear from readers.

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The City of Dreams series are standalone books linked by the wedding in The Marriage Ultimatum.
Book 1, The Marriage Ultimatum ~ Sabrina & Vlad
Book 2, A Model Engagement ~ Lacey & Connor
Book 3, Their Short Term Affair ~ Honey & Jake