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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Hot Hump Day Excerpt: Dangerous Indenture by Kelli Wilkins

Thanks to Kelli for this hot hump day excerpt!
Ashton stroked her palm with his fingertips, and her nipples hardened under her dress. How could his simple touch have such an effect on her?
“I’d hate to think of anything hurting this pretty little hand,” Ashton said, kissing her palm. After a second, he settled her hand on his bare shoulder.
“Forgive my boldness, but I hoped you might want to rest your hand here for a moment.”
“That’s a good idea,” she replied as she trailed her hand down Ashton’s shoulder. Up close, he smelled like a combination of manly sweat and spicy cologne. Touching his hot skin made her body pulse. To hell with promises. Ashton was half naked in front of her, and she wanted him.
“Forgive my boldness,” she said as she flung her arms around his neck and drew him close for a kiss.
Ashton groaned as she covered his mouth with hers. Had he been teasing her, waiting to see if she would kiss him first?
Their mouths melded together, and she pressed her breasts against him, eager to let him know how much she wanted him.
Ashton clutched her around the waist and thrust their lower bodies together. A hardness jutted out from his breeches, poking her in the belly. Lord, he was huge. His tongue teased her lips, and she opened her mouth wider, eager to accept a part of him inside her. He slid his hands to her buttocks and arched his hips forward. His cock rubbed against her.
God, yes . . . that was what she wanted.


Eager to escape her past in Ireland, Shauna Farrow signs on to become an indentured servant to Joshua Stewart, a wealthy man in Pennsylvania Colony.

But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and her hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.
Shauna fights her growing attraction to Ashton, torn between propriety and acting on her emotions. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants will work for the strange Stewart family.
Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.
When Shauna’s investigation leads her too close to the truth, it’s up to Ashton to save her before time runs out.

Order your copy of Dangerous Indenture here:

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, seventeen romance novels (for Medallion Press and Amber Quill Press), and four non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli had two historical romances published in spring 2014: Wilderness Bride from Amber Quill Press: and Dangerous Indenture from Medallion Press:

Kelli publishes a blog: ( filled with excerpts, interviews, writing prompts, and whatever else pops into her head. She also writes a monthly newsletter, Kelli's Quill, and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Kelli invites readers to visit her website, to learn more about all of her writings.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Author Interview: Palessa

Please welcome Palessa as she talks about her newest release and about how she gets her inspiration...

What’s your name and where do you come from?
Palessa. I was born in Jamaica, was raised in the US, Miami, specifically, and I moved back to Jamaica in 2011 after 25+ years of being away and it's been a bit interesting

Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Well, the current book is the second in the Baxter Family series called Portrait of Gray. It's about the life of Grayson Baxter, the first born son of Julian Baxter. In Book 1, Unchained Hearts, you get a glimpse of Grayson and he's got the worst of it. On drugs and just seen as the prodigal but he changes in the book and in Portrait of Gray you understand just how he transformed his life

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think the characters in my head, some of whom have a tendency to yell kind of get me in the mood, so to speak. I spent many years ignoring them and now that I'm open to them, they are taking full advantage. I'm glad about that so I guess you could say, I get inspired by the fact that the voices aren't quiet anymore.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?
You know, right now, it's Grayson. The transformation, the journey, it's really been heart wrenching and I find him to be a very loving guy especially for someone who spent a good chunk of his life being so hateful to himself. He's a tender heart, emotionally very vulnerable and isn't afraid to be open. That's part of the reason he became a therapist.

What trait do you find the sexiest?
I recently had an experience that was very simple but eye-opening. A Facebook friend was going through a tough time medically and I was able to call him and just offer some support. We chatted for a bit and he was very sweet and about half-way through the conversation he asked me what I was up to. I was bowled over and that is something that I find attractive. A guy who genuinely engages in a conversation with me, who really is interested in what's going on with me…simple, sexy and means more than how gorgeous he is.

How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?
You know, I don't. The chemistry, the feelings between the characters takes care of that for the most part. For characters who've got that special bond, then it tends to be deeper. If there isn't much between them but curiosity, then that's a different feeling. I find that helps a lot to create a more unique heat.

Is there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about?
You know there are some of my colleagues, like Katherine Rhodes, who's into BDSM. It's not that I'm censoring myself but I don't feel like I could ever do that justice. She really knows that better than I so I don't think I would necessarily go that route. Then again if a character comes up and that's a part of their life, I'm going to have to go there…and beg her to help me out. I will say this, I'm totally good with integrating toys so who knows?

Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Well, everyone has a family full of drama. The level of drama varies but I'm happy to say none of them have tried to rob me of my life nor have I ever taken drugs so, it's highly exaggerated experience to some degree. Mostly imagination and just books I've read or movies I've watched that inspired that "what if" factor I like to use.

What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
Being with a great man is a start for me. The kind of man whom I like, respect, am inspired by AND who feels the same way about me is a start. I'm all about getting to know someone so talking in a private, quiet setting is a must. Laughter, feeling so comfortable that we can just talk for hours. Of course, if you're that comfortable, you get to define your own dessert J .

What do you do when you’re not writing?
I find that even if I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing so I don't know what it's like to be away from it. I am laying the ground work for some online business opportunities as well as marketing and promoting the current book. We also have a farm that I help out with from time to time. Then there's my own personal gardening project that I'm planning…too bad there are only 24 hours in the day, really.
Grayson Baxter, first born of Julian and Joan is in trouble. His drug use has gotten worse and he's headed down a dangerous path despite his family's efforts. It takes a life changing event and a revolutionary treatment to save him and put his life of track. As he creates the future he's destined to have, he experiences love, tragedy, loss and the devastating secret of his birth that nearly devastates him. Secrets will push him to the edge and make him contemplate going back to his old life. Will he survive the upheaval and have the strength to open his heart to discover the love he was meant to have?

Unchained Hearts is Palessa's first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing. Book 2: Portrait of Gray is scheduled for release April 2014. She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy and a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad.
Check out Unchained Hearts: Baxter Saga Book 1,
Portrait of Gray: Baxter Saga Book 2 –

You can connect with Palessa on her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, and Goodreads

Reads of the Week

A woman running from her past…straight into the arms of a wild stranger.

In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and lacking a means of escape, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride. Kathleen calls herself Michelle and begins living a lie with her “husband,” Luther, in an isolated mountain cabin. She tells herself the arrangement is temporary until she can move on.

Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful blonde bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. She has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from. But Luther is harboring a secret about his background and fears Michelle will abandon him if she learns the truth about him—and his family.

The couple tries to maintain their rocky relationship as they work to fight brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When circumstances force Michelle to stay longer than she expected, she succumbs to her growing attraction and falls in love with Luther. But when they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past catches up with her, putting her and Luther in grave danger.

Small moments can seem insignificant until they change the course of a life forever. The sound of a bulldozer. A chance meeting at a gas station. A gust of wind through a chime. Benign events become something more when viewed through the lens of fate.

Emma Santori is a prisoner of tragic memories. Locked in a spiral of depression, she leads a desolate and empty life, trapped in her decrepit home. Rooted in routine, she’s numb and vacant. As a lonely Catholic school teacher, her only joy comes from her young students. One Saturday morning, her isolation is infiltrated by a mysterious architect building a home beside hers.

That man is Eric Wilder and he’s keeping a secret—a secret that’s destroying his life. Filled with guilt and self-loathing, he’s forced to move often. He chooses the small northeastern town of Pine Lake as his latest refuge, and hopes to make a successful attempt at starting his life over. As always, he’s unable to make that happen.

That all changes when he meets Emma.

She finds herself drawn to Eric when she accidentally bumps into him, but Eric’s unfazed by their first meeting. When a gust of wind brings these two people together once again, Emma discovers Eric’s secret. She’s forced to battle between her Catholic faith and her desire for this stranger.

Their attraction is intense and they soon discover they’re each lonely and longing for what the other has to offer. As their friendship blossoms, Emma realizes her passion and lust for Eric are the remedy to her depression. Eric discovers his feelings for Emma are the only antidote to his secret burden.

They begin an erotic journey, which leads these beautifully broken people to discover that love can be both righteous and wicked.

To save her soul, he’ll let her burn. 

Grayce has been on the run for years. Having escaped an abusive relationship with a violent psychopath, she is trying to rebuild her life one small step at a time. Things are going well until Zander crosses her path, badass and sexy as hell. His presence awakens heated desires she long ago buried. Last thing Grayce wants is a man, and the way her body reacts to Zander scares her more than the threat of being found.

Tyr will do anything to get his little dove back. She is a Beacon, and her raw, burning energy gives him power and strength. More than the evil that already compels him. But a blond giant of a man hovers protectively around her. No matter. He’ll play with him too.

When Zander rescues Grayce from Tyr’s first attempt to reclaim her, he reveals his superhuman abilities. Power that Grayce also has, but is yet to understand. As predestined soul mates in a race of fallen angels, Zander must help Grace control her rage before her fire threatens to destroy everyone and everything in her path. But his true challenge is more than that—to show her it’s possible to trust and love again.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Spring Fling Winners!

Spring Fling Blog Hop Winners

Thank you to all the authors, bloggers and readers who took part! 

Grand Prize Winner 
Kindle Tablet

Jeanette Green

$5.00 Starbucks Gift Card - Ursa Bear
Paperback copy of Fire Angel by Susanne Matthews - Tina V. Young
Gift Card - Lori Joyce Parker
Amazon Book up to $3.99 - Stephanie Sandefur
Gift Card, e-book - Angela Boudreau Searles
$20 GC - Cyndi Flores
$5 Amazon Gift Card - Lauren Seiberling
$5 Amazon GC - Tori Whitaker
Paperback copy of Falling for Bentley by Shawnte Borris - Sonya McAlister
$10 Amazon Gift Card - Dani Daniela
$5 Gift Card to Retailer of Choice - Heather Hand
$10 Amazon giftcard - Lois Losh
$5 Amazon Card - Julia Cosgrove
Musa Gift Card - Chelsea Nicole Hunter
$10 Amazon Gift Card - Michelle Bledsoe
$5 Amazon Gift Card - Andrea R. Cooper
Swag from Sotia Lazu - Tammy Turner

Congrats to all our winners! Please bear with us as we send out your email addresses to all the wonderful donors! 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Elle Evans

Please welcome Elle to our blog today as she talks inspiration and weaknesses...

What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Elle Evans and I’m originally from the West coast of Florida (Saint Petersburg, FL USA)

Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Stranded is a “moresome” tale about Ashley Carpenter, a Creative Director whose husband, Joey surprises her from time to time with erotic adventures. She playfully calls him boring and Joey uses that as an excuse to turn up the heat. This adventure really begins when Ashley goes off script. She finds herself scantily clad, in a Las Vegas hotel and thinks she is following a plan that her sexy hubby has prepared for her. While waiting impatiently for Joey to pop up and spring the “surprise,” she begins to second-guess her decision to participate in the weekend’s steamy, erotic situations.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Wow. Well… Can I plead the fifth on that?  Let’s just say that I have *friends* with some fantastic stories. I take these real life sexy situations and ask myself how I can, as an author, elaborate and push the limits to make them even more incredible!

What’s your biggest turn on?
The ocean. There is just something so sexy about fresh salt air. If I could spend the entire day on the trampoline of a catamaran with the warmth of the sun on my face, I would completely melt.  I love seeing shorelines of places for the very first time. There is a certain mystique about a new place, whether it is a quiet cove or the skyline of a busy city. It’s like there are hundreds of new experiences waiting right on in front of me.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
When people buy large boats, I’m talking about the 40’ + sail boats they don’t just go to their local hardware store and pick one off the shelf. Someone has to deliver (read: sail) the yacht from point A to point B. I would love to be that person. 

Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?
Absolutely. Annie Linder is a character in a series that I have been writing for years. Although my first published book with Secret Cravings Publishing is “Stranded,” the Annie Linder series begins with a novel called “The Brisbane Experiment.” I really want to build a base of readers and fans before I introduce my pride and joy to the World.  Don’t get me wrong; I love Ashley and Joey—mostly because I sort of know those [sort of] people outside of the story. Annie Linder is just what tugged at my psyche to even begin writing. Her transformation from a quiet, reserved young widow into a ruthless sexy temptress is what drives me to keep typing away.

What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
I once had someone clear my schedule for an entire day and send me on a sexy scavenger hunt that ended with a lot of dark chocolate and wine.  The interesting part was that I didn’t see my lover until the end of the evening. The anticipation of what I would find next was exhilarating.  Each little sexy clue led me to another, as I was chauffeured around town. By the time that we reunited at the end, I was so turned on that I could have easily passed on the scallops and smashed plantains and went straight to bed. But… hello? Scallops and smashed plantains!  I love it when someone knows exactly what I want most.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I actually enjoy a good Scotch.  It’s ironic though because I may pour a glass of a 12-year single malt to relax, but then as soon as I settle into my favourite chair and get into that quiet, comfy state of mind, the floodgates open and the ideas for new material pour in.  Although we have never met in person, I even thanked Malt Master, David Stewart at The Balvenie Distillery, for being my liquid muse for “Stranded.”

What’s your greatest weakness?
Those rippled oblique muscles that almost beg your eyes to follow the “direction” that they are pointing… yeah, that’s like Kryptonite!

What trait do you find the sexiest?
Physical trait? See the comment above.

How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?
They are always going to be steamy, burn your fingertips hot! Real life has plenty of mediocre “hot” moments. Personally, I like to take it up an octave and give the readers a little nudge into an experience that pulls them just outside their normal comfort zone. I want to make them realize they were actually that person all along; perhaps they just didn’t realize it until they put the book down and picked the phone up.

Is there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about?
Yes. I don’t write male on male scenes. I don’t have anything against those stories, I just feel that there are people better equipped to write those scenarios. (Ha! No pun intended there.)

Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Now you are putting me between a rock and a hard-place. If I say experience, I may scare away potential relationships for fear of becoming fodder for my next tale. On the other hand, that could be a great way to throw down the gauntlet! The truth is a little of both.  I’m just really good at embellishing.

What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
Romance?  For romance I would have to say bobbing up and down with the waves in an anchorage with a freshly caught meal and a nice wine. …But since I write more Erotica than Romance, let me also add that I prefer tequila body-shots and passionate sex on an open patio during a heavy downpour! I suppose romance is nice too, but it’s not as inspiring.

What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc?
I like this metal band from Atlanta, Georgia called Sevendust. But you have to remember that my love scenes are usually torrid. …Don’t judge me.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Sailing, exercising, shopping.

Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I have A.D.D. I actually stopped half way through this interview to watch an episode of Scooby-Doo and I’m not ashamed for it. I assure you that there are plenty of surprises in Stranded, though!

Ashley Carpenter is a Creative Director for an advertising
agency in Los Angeles. Her husband, Joey, is a designer
with a wild imagination of his own. To keep their sex life
as steamy as possible, he often plans erotic adventures to
surprise her. After a hiatus from their usual shenanigans,
Ashley taunts Joey by calling him boring. In response to
her challenge, Ashley finds herself thrust into his most
extravagant role-playing scenario yet; or so she hopes.

Find Elle on her website.

Friday, 25 April 2014

First Chapter Friday: A Siren's Revenge by Lauren Pilla

Late 1880s
Liza had a dark secret. A secret so dangerous that if revealed it could lead to death. She agonized over and over whether or not to expose her secret earlier to her family. But now, sixteen years later, she had no choice. She had to confess to her husband and to her daughter.
Liza was not like other women outside of her small town in Massachusetts. Sure, she cleaned and cooked for her family. She attended social functions like any other lady, and even cared for a sizable garden full of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The one thing that made her different from those respectable women was that she was a siren.
Although she didn’t turn into a mermaid, she did have the power of song. A song, chant or even a hum heard from a siren could be dangerous and deadly.
Sirens are drawn to the water—compelled to make their home by the sea. Even the droplets of rainwater against their skin were a power all their own. It revitalized and strengthened them. Liza miraculously convinced her husband to make their home near a lake. Often she would take her daughter, Grace, down to the cool stream and frolic like a young child herself. But what she enjoyed the most was the pure joy on Grace’s face when she played in the water. Liza watched as her daughter’s eyes sparkled with magic, even though her powers wouldn’t manifest until her sixteenth birthday.
Her husband had been oblivious to their hydrating routine. Even now, Liza knew Grace spent most of her after school hours playing by lake. She was a wonderful child and would grow into a beautiful woman some day.
Though Liza appeared to be the age of a thirty-something-year-old, she was close to three hundred and fifty. Sirens age, yes, but extremely slowly.
Grace’s sixteenth birthday had finally come. She would soon learn Liza’s secret and learn why she prefers to play out in the rain. Soon she would come into her powers and learn all about the ways of a siren.
Grace and her friends, Annabelle and Tessa, raced through the small cottage past Liza, who stood boiling water and sugar, to add to egg whites to make frosting for the birthday cake.
“Mother, can my friends stay over for my birthday?”
“Of course, darling. He should be home in a few minutes and then we will wish you a happy birthday.”
“Thank you, Mother.”
Liza smiled as her daughter walked the few feet into her bedroom. Their cottage was simple. A room for sitting, decorated with some cushions and drapes Liza had made herself. A kitchen with a wood burning stove, washtub and in the center was a small table with four chairs. Grace had the tiniest room with a small bed, complete with handmade linens. Liza and her husband, William, shared a similar room next to the washroom.
Lost in thought, Liza jumped when her husband entered in the kitchen. He kissed her cheek gently, “Good evening my wife. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“Good evening, William. I was just thinking and drifted off.”
“You’ve been doing that a lot of late. You can talk with me, Liza.”
“Thank you, William. I would like to talk to you before we celebrate our daughter’s sixteenth year.”
“Ah, I am the father of a sixteen-year-old. She is beautiful, looking very much like her mother.”
Liza felt her cheeks flush. William was certainly not making this easy. Her husband was her soul-mate, he was supposed to be her true love. The one person her songs didn’t work on.
Once she revealed her secret there would be no going back. How would he react? William was quite religious, anything other than a pure, devoted catholic was an abomination!
How would she explain she was a siren and that in a few hours their daughter would develop powers as well?
Liza had a sudden memory of witches burning at the stake. As a small girl, barely four feet high, scared to death, she had gripped her mother’s apron and watched, horrified at the actions of supposed Christian villagers. She asked her mother why they were burning her.
Her mother had said, “They found out their secret, Liza. You must guard our secret with your life child, or you will burn like them. Some women were truly witches, others ordinary women with a mental sickness, but some were sirens, like you, my child.”
That same terrified girl, returned to face her soul-mate now. It could go one of two ways. Acceptance or rejection. She feared the rejection.
“William, I need to tell you something. Something about me—something about our daughter.”
Liza heard the sounds of feet shuffling and scrapes against the door and knew Grace and her friends were listening as well. She’d hoped to tell her daughter separately from her husband but, she was glad her friends were there to comfort her while she learned the truth. Liza knew the girls would learn of their powers soon enough as well.
“Whatever is the matter dear? Please talk to me,” William said.
Liza took a deep breath and mentally prepared the words she needed to say. She had faith in their love. They would get through it.
“William, I am different from other women outside this village.”
Her husband looked puzzled. “Outside this village? Are you ill?”
Liza stood tall, proud of her heritage and of her abilities.
“No, I assure you, I am not ill, nor is Grace.”
“Then out with it, woman. Enough with these riddles!”
Frustrated, with her husband, she gave him no more niceties. “I am a siren, William. Your daughter is a siren as well.” She took a deep breath.
He stared at her, and his face paled. Then she saw his temper rise. His nostrils flared, his face turned red, and a growl escaped his throat. “Are you saying you’re a witch? Some vile creature spawned from the devil! Why, after all this time, have you not told me until now?”
“No! William, a siren…a child of the sea. We have the gift of song.”
“It’s a gift from the devil! Witch! My wife is a damned witch! How could this have happened?” He towered over her petite five-foot frame.
“You have lied to me for years. I can’t believe this, a damn witch! I will not have the presence of evil in this house,” he yelled again, knocking off the small dishes on the counter. She heard the girls scamper around in the room when the plates crashed. It was not supposed to happen this way. It was supposed to be a happy occasion. She was thankful her daughter wasn’t alone, but she heard the cries from bedroom and desperately wanted to comfort Grace.
“Husband, please. Let me explain—”
“Do not call me husband, you devil woman!” He backhanded an oil lamp and it crashed to the floor. “Have you cast spells on me? Did you make me love you? For I would never love some vile creature like you.”
“No, William,” she sobbed, “You are my soul-mate.” He was not her true love. She knew that now, sadly. He would have accepted her without any hesitation. Deep down she knew their marriage was just a mutual caring for one another. Though she was fated to be his by the powers that be, he wasn’t truly, madly in love with her. “My songs’ powers do not work on you. I don’t even use my gift. I do not do anything evil. Please stop all this madness.”
“Do the women you drink tea with know they are sitting with a creature from Hell?”
“They are just like me!” she blurted out. Instantly she covered her mouth. Liza had just jeopardized the rest of her colony. The only family she had left. They were her friends, her siren sisters. They all chose to live in the village and live without magic.
He shattered more dinnerware, flipped over chairs, slammed his fist into the table, destroying everything in his path while he roared loathsome obscenities.
Finally, he stormed out of the cottage. Liza steadied herself against the counter, her eyes red and burning from her tears.
Grace opened the door and ran to her mother. William despised her. Called her a witch! She didn’t understand. He was supposed to love her, no matter what. That’s what soul-mates in love did. Why didn’t he truly love her?
Grace hugged her mother tightly, but Liza felt numb inside. She was in a trance as her world began to crumble around her. How could he?
“Mother, is it true? Are we witches?” Grace sobbed.
Liza snapped out of it, looking down into her daughter’s eyes.
She grabbed her shoulders. “My darling, listen to me carefully! You are a siren, not a witch. We have the gift of song. We can use our voice for good. But listen to me carefully, Grace. We have the power to take free will away. We can be dangerous, and we can be deadly. You must use your power for good only. Do you understand me?”
Grace nodded.
Liza turned her head toward the window, hearing the chants coming from the other villagers. It was as she feared. A repeat of so long ago and it was all her fault. She saw her husband leading the way with a burning torch.
She assumed he’d gone to the local tavern, ranting and raving like a lunatic that his wife was a witch. The simple-minded men of that town, unfortunately, believed just about anything and rushed to his aid to defend their pure town. Not one of them knew they were the evil ones. Each one carried a fiery torch while chanting “Witch!”, and each ‘Christian man intended to destroy their families.
Liza gathered all the girls, instructing them to stay together. “Children, the three of you are all sirens. I fear after this night, you will be the only ones left.”
“Wait. Only ones left? You mean we are all like Grace, a siren?” Tessa asked.
“Yes and you girls would’ve found out on your sixteenth birthday as well. It should have been a celebration, but I’m so sorry children.”
“I can’t believe this,” Annabelle said.
Enough talk, you must go. Follow the lake until you reach a small cottage in the woods. The woman there will take care of you. Go!”
“No buts. Go, now!”
She hugged her daughter tightly, kissing her cheek. Liza made her way to the other two girls kissing each one on top of their heads.
Grabbing a sharp blade from one of the cabinets, Liza made her way over toward the brick wall at the back of the kitchen. With the knife she began to carve between the bricks. Once a few bricks were freed a small secret passageway was revealed.
“Mother, I can stay and help you. I’m a siren at midnight, you said. I can sing to him and make him stop. I can save you.”
“No, Grace. ‘Tis still hours before midnight. But you will be immensely powerful one day. I can feel you will be the most powerful siren of all time. You must protect yourself, my daughter. Do not fall in love—it’s a weakness. Now you must go. You, Tessa, and Annabelle must be safe. I will take care of this. Now, Go!”
“But Mother, I don’t want to leave you.”
Liza shoved the children down the passage, screaming at them to go and not come back. She breathed a sigh of relief when she could no longer see them. They had escaped. They would be safe.
Outside Liza heard the screams of women and children. She ran outside and witnessed a terrifying sight. The men threw their torches into their houses, murdering their wives and children. And for what? Purity?
“Damn you, William.”
The flames devoured their small cottages, engulfing them in fire, smoke, and despair—nothing would be left. Screams echoed through her head and she clenched her chest in pain as her heart shattered. Liza could feel each one of those souls dying. Her family—gone in an instant. She would make it right. She would avenge them here and now!
She looked at her husband, her soul-mate, with hatred. She’d been weak to love someone, to open her heart and soul, only to have it destroyed. “William how could you?”
“You are a devil woman, Liza. All of you, the devil’s work! You will not enslave me witch!”
Liza shook her head. “Such a small minded man. Did you ever truly love me?”
“I was content with you.”
Not the answer she was looking for.
“I’m not a witch, William. I’m a siren.” Then Liza sang, grabbing the men’s attention. Each one stopped and stared, awaiting her command. Her arms stretched out, her gown billowed as the wind around her stormed in and dark clouds filled the night sky. She sang louder, her voice getting stronger by each note. Oh, it felt good to sing. She hadn’t used her gift in a very long time.
William screamed for them to cover their ears, even tugged on his fellow man’s arms to try to stop them but it was too late. Liza had them. She willed them to step inside their burning houses. Commanded them to be with their families and condemned them all to death.
After the men walked into their fiery graves, she turned back to William. “It didn’t have to end like this.”
“Yes it did. I will have no evil in my village. The devil has you now.”
William tossed the torch he’d been holding at Liza’s feet. Her skirts instantly caught fire. She stood as long as she could before her skin began to burn and sizzle and then Liza collapsed. She screamed in agony as her body went up in flames. Her skin charred and her nostrils inhaled only the smell of burnt flesh while the amber flames danced around her. Thick smoke smoldered around her, suffocating her. She locked eyes with William, who stood watching her go up flames, and all she saw was pure hate. But before her life ended she managed to shout out her last words to her husband.
“You will pay, William.”

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Cover Reveal: Hate to Love You by Elise Alden

Despite my slutty reputation, I was technically a virgin at eighteen—though that tosser Alex sure shot hard and reached long. The faint positive on the budget pregnancy test sent me spinning, moments before I was supposed to meet my snooty sister's new fiancé.

Shaking hands with upper-crusty James was like downing a triple shot of vodka. Dizzy with desire, confused by my body's reaction, and shocked by the possessiveness flashing in his eyes, I deceived him that night and told the world at their wedding reception.

The truth?

I slept with my sister's fiancé. Hot and sweaty, all night long in a room so dark he couldn't tell I wasn't her.

The lie?

Said fiancé is the father of my child. The one I signed over my rights to just before he was born.

That was seven years ago.

It's time to come clean.

Available for pre-order now!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Spring Fling Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Spring Fling Blog Hop! Over fifty authors and bloggers have joined together to bring you some amazing posts, great giveaways and lots of fun! Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter to win a Kindle tablet, gift cards, paperbacks and swag and be sure to check out the other blogs taking part.

On a Monday we chose three romance/erotica titles that we are sure will titillate and interest our readers, so because we're celebrating spring and (hopefully) some warmer weather coming our way, we've chosen some hot, exciting reads for you!

Scotland, 1230

Sent on a rescue mission, Finn Mac Chaluim is prepared to do his duty, hand over the lass and return home.

In the midst of a Norse invasion, Catriona barely escapes with her life. Masquerading as her sister, she finds herself in the hands of Finn who intends to hand her over to her sister’s betrothed, Laird Gillean. In the interests of bringing peace to her home, Catriona is determined to continue the ruse—even if it means going along with the marriage and denying her growing attraction to a man who keeps his hurts hidden behind a quick grin.

If the green faery, Tèile, has anything to do with it, Catriona and Finn will come together—but only at the right time. Thanks to her last attempt at matchmaking, many paths were changed and now it’s up to her to put it right. Can she help Finn— who learned the hard way that sharing your life with someone only leads to heartache—get past his doubts? And will the battle-scarred Catriona even accept him into her heart? When Laird Gillean’s attentions toward Catriona become dangerous, both Finn and Tèile will find they have an uphill battle on their hands.

When a construction crew shows up at Isabella's house for a remodel, she never imagined it would include her love life, too.

After one too many broken hearts, Isabella has sworn off love...and men altogether. When hunky Luke shows up to remodel her house and starts coming on to her hard, she's sure he's just a player using the wrong head. With Luke, however, Isabella quickly learns there's more than meets the eye. Will she let her guard down and let him in, or will she be forever Jaded?

A haunted past, a marriage of convenience…a love for a lifetime? 

After a tragic accident leaves Loyal Redfearn alone and pregnant, she writes to her deceased fiance's ne'er-do-well brother, August OíDell. Her hope is he’ll help save her beloved home. What she doesn't expect from him is a proposal so soon on the heels of his brother's death. Although they grew up together, she’s never thought of August as the man she would marry, even as a means to save face with her family and friends. 

Although returning to the township where August spent his troubled youth means facing the past, he sees an opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of the woman he's loved since boyhood. They agree the marriage is in name-only, but August works to earn Loyal's trust and waits for the day she'll see his hard work as proof that she didn't marry the wrong brother after all. 

 When evidence from a crime committed years ago points to August as the culprit, he and Loyal must face the reality that their newly forged family may be torn apart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Susanne Matthews

Please welcome Susanne to our blog today as she tells us about her latest release!

What’s your name and where do you come from? My name is Susanne Matthews and I’m from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
Tell us a bit about your latest release. Just for the Weekend is a contemporary romance set in and around Las Vegas, Nevada. Reserved Cleo James, kindergarten teacher, agrees to go to Las Vegas with her friend Mitch to attend a sci-fi convention. Cleo is very much a by the rules girl, who worries about her widowed father and always doing the proper thing. When she meets Sam, a man pretends to be a male exotic dancer, the attraction is so strong she’s willing to step out of the box for once in her life. She gets far more than she ever expected from her weekend in Vegas.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Inspiration generally comes from day to day activities and the news. I generally start my books by choosing the names for my characters, their occupations, and the situation I plan to put them in. Most of my novels tend to have suspense in them, so situation is critical. One of my books started off based on the costume I had to wear in an Easter pageant. Another was inspired by my husband’s sci-fi themed birthday party. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? That’s easy because I came to writing after my first career ended. I spent more than thirty years as an educator, primarily at the secondary school level. I taught English and Special Education, but I would have loved to have been able to teach creative writing and literature at the college or university level. How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be? The hottest my books will ever be is two flames. I write under my own name and since I’m heavily involved with my church, and many of my friends read my books, those are my guidelines. 
Is there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about? All of my love scenes are very tame with most of it left to the imagination. I won’t write anything involving rough or forced sex, sex play that includes toys, pain in any form, or anal sex. I only write love scenes involving one couple—a male and a female.  
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination? Mostly imagination. I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. I’ve never been to most of the locations in my novels. The plots are a convoluted mix of things I see on television or hear in the news, and my wild imagination. Sometimes an incident will happen or I’ll hear something said by a friend and I’ll think—hey, that might make a great thing to put in a story. A story can grow out of almost nothing. 
What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening? I enjoy a romantic dinner with good food and fine wine and then just spending quality time alone, talking, getting to know one another. My husband and I have been together 43 years. At the moment we both work at home—each in our own home office—and yet we rarely spend quality time together. The meal can be home cooked, not necessarily in a restaurant. Some of my most romantic evenings have been spent camping, sitting out under the stars in front of the fire. My favourite love songs are playing in the background and we get up and dance together. No business, no children, no television or phones. It’s perfect.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I lead a pretty boring life. I do housework, read, and occasionally babysit. In spring and summer, I’ll garden and spend time outside. In winter, I’ll watch television and movies
Tell us something that might surprise our readers. I’m probably the world’s worst athlete, but I’ll watch almost any sport as long as I can do so in person. I’ve been to a boxing match, North American football games, curling play downs, and baseball games. I’ve attended every game of soccer, basketball, football, and volleyball, my children played, and now I do the same for my grandchildren who live in the city. I’ve been at the start and finish of my son’s marathons and other races. The only sport I’ll watch on television is curling, and I have been to live games as well.
Sometimes, you have to step out of the box. Kindergarten teacher, Cleo James, needs a break. For the past three years, she’s put her life on hold to help her father deal with grief, but now she’s ready to move on. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention may be just the place to start. She’ll be costumed as an alien and no one will recognize her. What could go wrong? Things get complicated when she’s attracted to a conventioneer whom she believes is a gorgeous Chippendale dancer. Can Cleo set her strict moral code aside and enjoy what promises to be a once upon a time weekend? Multimillionaire real estate developer, Sam Mason has sworn off serious relationships. In Vegas to visit family and friends, he’s talked into attending a sci-fi convention for the night. Dressed as an alien, he’s confident he can elude the usual gold diggers looking to star in the role of Mrs. Sam Mason. When he spots a beautiful woman dressed as a green-skinned slave girl, he’s captivated by her and changes his plans to leave Vegas in the morning. The more time he spends with her, the more he realizes she’s unlike any woman he’s known. Fantastic sex and too much alcohol find him married to his alien siren, but before he can tell her the truth about himself and see if they can make their marriage work, the bride vanishes. Finding her is going to be a challenge.

Friday, 18 April 2014

First Chapter Friday: Midnight Caller by Haley Whitehall

Chapter 1
July 8, 1866

Emma sat in Mrs. Dimshire’s opulent parlor feeling extremely out of place surrounded by plush green carpet, silk curtains, and a chandelier. The oak table was carved with intricate flower-and-leaf motifs. Mrs. Dimshire was among the first families of the area, inheriting a fortune from her father.
Mrs. Dimshire dismissed her maid, carrying in the tea tray herself. Her cornflower-blue eyes were sharp, despite the fact she was nearing sixty. Her face certainly didn’t show her age. Emma wished she knew the woman’s secret for stopping the hands of time. Mrs. Dimshire walked with grace, her back straight. The ease with which she carried herself made Emma jealous.
Emma shifted in her chair, her lavender skirts rustling. She had always felt socially awkward and her three years with Hank failed to help. If anything, his scrutiny made her even more self-conscious. Mrs. Dimshire is a nice lady. Granted she’s the leading socialite…but she doesn’t bite.
Visiting Mrs. Dimshire without Hank made the event a little daunting. Could it be mere coincidence her invitation to tea had come the day after she chose to come out of mourning? What did her hostess have planned?
Mrs. Dimshire set the tea tray on the table and gracefully took her seat. A proper woman worthy of a painting with her blue silk dress, waist belted to help emphasize to her shape. She reached for the silver tea service.
“What is your preference, Mrs. Bennett? Strong or weak?”
Being called “Mrs. Bennett” increased Emma’s already rapid heartbeat. She breathed through her nose, hoping the constant rise and fall of her chest was not visible. “Strong, please.” Really strong. Maybe add a little brandy.
The smell of tea and wisps of steam encircled Emma’s teacup. Perhaps the steam would hide her nervousness. She wished the fog could conceal her from Mrs. Dimshire’s probing gaze. She felt she was being evaluated—for what she didn’t know. Moisture dotted the china surface and Emma’s tanned skin.
Gardening had been the one indulgence Hank allowed her even though it made her look more like a farmer’s wife than the wife of an accountant. Perhaps her sun-darkened skin now garnered attention.
Since her husband had died, were they going to forbid her from attending social events? Had they found out her secret?
Emma placed a hand on her chest, the warmth of her palm soothing the dull ache.
“How much milk would you like, dear?” Mrs. Dimshire’s voice was honeyed and light. But the woman’s tone did nothing to put Emma at ease.
Mrs. Dimshire picked up a small china pitcher, her eyebrows raised in question.
“None, thank you,” Emma said. She did not need to dilute the tea.
“Two, thank you,” Emma replied. Just enough sweetness, not too much to be overpowering.
Emma took the cup, her back tense. “Thank you, Mrs. Dimshire.” Conscious of every move, every breath, she stirred her tea and then took a dainty sip. She would be the proper lady Hank expected. Hank had said she needed to overcompensate for her shortcomings.
“You are welcome to a scone,” Mrs. Dimshire said, motioning to the plate between them.
Emma swallowed another sip of tea. Nausea roiled her stomach. She took the smallest scone. “Thank you,” she said, flashing a polite smile. She took her time spreading the strawberry jam.
“How are you doing, dear? It has been a long year and a half.”
“Yes, it has. But I’m fine.”
Mrs. Dimshire held the cup to her lips, gazing at her while she took a drink. “You seem lonely. That was why I invited you for tea.”
“Thank you. I appreciate the invitation. I’m happy to be wearing color again.”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“It has been an adjustment learning to be more independent. Of course you would know about that.”
Mrs. Dimshire nodded. Her husband had passed away five years before. “I think I will live the rest of my life alone. I’m too old to remarry, but you have many years ahead of you.”
Emma’s cheeks warmed, and she bowed her head to hide the blush.
“Nothing to be ashamed of, Mrs. Bennett. It is time for you to move on, live your life.” She paused and leaned a little farther across the table. “Have children perhaps?”
Oh my word. Did Mrs. Dimshire have someone in mind? Did she want to set her up immediately after she became socially available?
Her hands grew clumsy, making the teacup slippery in her fingers. She set the cup down and took another bite of biscuit. She wasn’t ready to court. Yes, it had been a lonely eighteen months, but she wanted to experience her freedom.
She didn’t want to cook and clean for a man.
“You know, Mr. Hawthorne is interested in you.”
Emma gave a slight nod. Everyone in town knew Mr. Hawthorne was interested in her. Hank had forbidden the telegraph operator to come around her again, but now Hank was gone, would he pursue her?
“Mr. Hawthorne is a respectable man,” Mrs. Dimshire said.
A throbbing pain began above Emma’s left eye. Surely, the old lady wouldn’t try to set them up. Out of all the eligible bachelors in town…with his thinning auburn hair and long, homely face, he was as attractive as a gnarled tree. She couldn’t imagine sleeping next to him. Her lungs compressed, making each breath a chore.
“He isn’t my type,” Emma squeaked out. He was worse than Hank. He would be more than demanding and controlling. He would be jealous and overbearing, maybe even violent.
She picked up her cup again, hoping the tea would be soothing. It wasn’t. Her hands shook and she set the cup down before she spilled it on the white lace tablecloth.
Mrs. Dimshire’s wrinkled hand grabbed her wrist tenderly. Emma’s heart punched her ribs. The touch was probably meant to be comforting, but she felt trapped.
“Do you know how I get through each day without Connor?”
Emma shook her head.
“Whenever I feel the need to have a man next to me, I satisfy that need.”
Emma’s eyes bulged. Had the leading socialite in Louisville just said she shared her bed with a variety of men? But there would have been gossip, surely. No one had said a word.
Mrs. Dimshire’s eyes were sincere and she spoke as matter-of-factly as if she had just ordered a cut of beef from the butcher.
“I know you are not ready to remarry.” The older woman’s fingers slipped away from her skin. “But I thought you might like some male company once in a while.”
A thrill rushed from Emma’s head to her toes. Being with a man, no-strings attached. All the power and freedom she wanted. She could control the affair.
“Ah, I see the glow in your eyes,” Mrs. Dimshire said. “Yes, it is exciting and invigorating for a woman to take charge. I can tell you where to go. No one will ever find out.” Mrs. Dimshire paused and leaned back in her brown-and-burgundy striped chair. “And I trust you will keep my secret.”
“Yes, ma’am. Of course.” Going against Mrs. Dimshire would be social suicide.
“There is one thing though that might dissuade you,” Mrs. Dimshire said and then dabbed her lips with a linen napkin. “The men are colored.”
Emma blinked. The men are colored? Her eyes bulged in pretend horror. She gasped and a hand rose to cover her gaping mouth. Most would consider that demeaning. Wouldn’t it be safer to juggle knives? It would certainly be safer on ones’ reputation!
If the rest of Louisville knew Mrs. Dimshire had…she shuddered. She couldn’t picture the respectable woman lying with a black man. She tried to, but the visualization hurt her brain. It just didn’t seem possible.
The sudden turn in conversation dried Emma’s throat. She took a large gulp of tea, forgetting her manners.
Mrs. Dimshire waved her hand in the air. “They know their business though. They are clean and gentle and bring protection. Does that bother you, Mrs. Bennett?”
Emma’s fingers tingled. She had always fantasized about being with a colored man. Hank had been so boring, bless his soul. Lie on your back. Spread your legs open. Get it over with. With a colored man, the danger factor would at least be arousing, even if the sex wasn’t.
But she just knew it would be different, better.
A colored man who did this regularly, who was not so restrained in his sexuality…
“Not at all, Mrs. Dimshire.” She smiled, hoping she didn’t look too eager.
“I didn’t think it would,” Mrs. Dimshire said. The firm undertone in her voice made Emma’s insides shiver.
Why was she so sure? Did she know…? No. She couldn’t.
“I’ll set it up then. You will have company the night after tomorrow.”
“And you are sure no one will find out?” she asked, a schoolgirl waver to her voice.
“Think about it, Mrs. Bennett. If the rest of town finds out, your paid lover will be dead.”
Emma felt all the blood rushing out of her face. She gripped the table, suddenly light-headed.
Mrs. Dimshire offered a calming smile. “Try to relax and just let it happen. I’ve been doing this for some time now. You will be fine.”
Emma swallowed around the large lump in her windpipe. This was her first step as a free woman. Granted, it was not the step she had expected. But she could do this.
Being so adventurous gave her jolt of adrenaline. She squeezed her thighs together. She needed to fill the hole in her life. This burning desire for her mystery man brought her that much closer.

Her midnight caller.