Status Update

And no…I’m not talking about my book, Status Update. I’m talking about my life. So here it goes…be ready because this is going to be a rambling mess.

Basically, in a nutshell, my life has been completely out of control! Summer is typically my time to catch up, to lay down some serious wordage and to relax. Apparently someone forgot to mention that to Summer 2014…or as I like to refer to it …”The Summer that Wasn’t.”

Where the hell did it go? I mean…it started out okay. I cruised through June, happy as a lark, writing my days away in peaceful bliss. Then…July came and it all went to hell in a hand basket. Because of a schedule change at the day job, I had to work a week in July. BOTH of my kids were moving out to attend college, which meant plowing my way through the bedroom messes (OMG the stuff I found under their beds…seriously…horror movie fodder) so that we could at least attempt to pack them up.

July 4th weekend, my husband lost his FREAKING mind and decided to completely redecorate our entire downstairs, which entailed moving my office into the back room, the family room into the dining room, the dining room into my office as well as slapping fresh coats of paint on the upstairs bathroom and the stairway (you don’t want me to describe the way I was holding that ladder so he could reach the second story heights) because what the hell…we had the paint and paintbrushes out, right?

The in-laws arrived from Liverpool at the end of July for a month-long visit and around mid-August, I suddenly–and unexpectedly–acquired the rights to thirteen stories back from a publisher. Which meant I needed new covers, new formatting, a marketing plan, and time to re-upload them all to the etailers. GOD BLESS Valerie Tibbs (who has been working her ass off daily to make me 13 new covers) and RG Alexander’s lovely hubby, Cookie, the formatting genius, who counsels me on the side in terms of marketing and “talking me off the ledge” style advice.

School started two weeks ago, so I’m back at work, running around all day, resetting passwords, teaching lessons on plagiarism and MLA, dealing with no functioning printers, updating the library website and teaching my journalism class.

My kids moved out last week and I’m still not finished crying. This house is too damn quiet. I hate it. I miss them.

In the midst of all of this, I turned 45 and consumed ridiculous amounts of wine. My ass is huge, but that’s September’s problem. So…there you have it…all the sordid details of my crazy life. There are 5 more days in August and I’m ready to say good riddance to the bitch. Bring on fall…I mean…fall should be peaceful, right? RIGHT?

 

August 26th, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (11) | Permalink


Quote of the Day

“The stories we love best do live in us forever.” – JK Rowling

August 25th, 2014 at 1:11 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


Like Outlander? Try these…

I don’t think I’ve made any secret of the fact I LOVE the Outlander series. So much so that when I first started writing, I was certain I wanted to write historical romances and I definitely wanted the time travel element. I loved the idea of a modern woman being thrown back to a time. What could be more interesting than the idea of an old-fashioned man coming head to head with an independent woman? I explored that idea in my June Girls stories. Now…I’m not even pretending I write as well as Diana Gabaldon. That woman is an amazing storyteller, but I had a lot of fun writing the genre…even if it was only for two books. If you’re a fan of Outlander, I hope you’ll give these a peek and let me know what you think.

No Recourse

June Girls, book one

Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?

When Hayley Garland finds herself out in the English woods late one night, she’s nearly struck by lightning during a freak storm. But what she thought was a near miss is actually a direct hit.

Captain Jack Campbell is riding along the Dover shoreline, cursing his ill-timed trip in a torrential downpour. Before he can find shelter, he discovers something much more interesting: a beautiful redhead.

Sparks fly whenever Hayley and Jack are together—in and out of the bedroom. But between a wicked earl, a missing woman, Hayley’s penchant for finding trouble, and the inconvenience of an unexpected trip through time, they have to find a way to work out their differences before events from the past threaten to take away their future.

Amazon

 

 

 

No Regrets

How far would you go to help a friend?

Tori Hamilton’s friends have disappeared without a trace. Mysterious clues lead to their possible whereabouts, but is she willing do what it takes to find them? Even if it means traveling back in time?

Lord Benjamin Sinclair is losing his mind—literally. He’s inherited a rundown estate and become guardian to a little girl—a self-imposed mute—with a tragic past. He’s also found himself in possession of a beautiful amnesiac who seems to have no past at all. On top of all that, he’s suffering from serious nightmares—remnants from his time at war—and an overwhelming sexual attraction to his strange lady.

Soon, Ben and Tori aren’t merely fighting to keep their hands off each other. They’re forced to do battle with a villain determined to silence Ben’s ward once and for all.

AmazonARe

iBooksKoboNooksmashwords

August 24th, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


A View to a Thrill

As if August wasn’t hot enough, along comes the incredible Lexi Blake to fan the flames. Hello Hot and Steamy. Come on over to my ereader! I’ve been waiting for this book!

Lexi Blake’s A View to a Thrill. OUT NOW. What????? Yesssss!!!!

51LDdxzyUVL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_A Spy without a Country

Simon Weston grew up royal in a place where aristocracy still mattered. Serving Queen and country meant everything to him, until MI6 marked him as damaged goods and he left his home in disgrace. Ian Taggart showed him a better way to serve his fellow man and introduced him to Sanctum, a place to pursue his passion for Dominance and submission. Topping beautiful subs was a lovely distraction until he met Chelsea, and becoming her Master turned into Simon’s most important mission.

A Woman without Hope

Chelsea Dennis grew up a pawn to the Russian mob. Her father’s violent lessons taught her that monsters lurked inside every man and they should never be trusted. Hiding in the shadows, she became something that even the monsters would fear—an information broker who exposed their dirty secrets and toppled their empires. Everything changed when Simon Weston crossed her path. Valiant and faithful, he was everything she needed—and a risk she couldn’t afford to take.

A Force too Strong to Resist

When dark forces from her past threaten her newfound family at Sanctum, Chelsea must turn to Simon, the one man she can trust with her darkest secrets. Their only chance to survive lies in a mystery even Chelsea has been unable to solve. As they race to uncover the truth and stay one step ahead of the assassins on their heels, they will discover a love too powerful to deny. But to stop a killer, Simon just might have to sacrifice himself…

A Masters and Mercenaries Novel

August 20th, 2014 at 1:10 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


Never Been Kissed

So…I’ll admit this is an extra special release day to me. Yes…I love all my books and I’m always thrilled when they hit the shelves. However, there’s just something about this story…and this day. Shelly’s story has been rattling around in the back of my mind ever since I started the Second Chances series. There was just something so beautiful, yet broken inside of her. It was torture waiting through four books until she had a chance to find her happily ever after.

And in addition to celebrating Never Been Kissed coming out today, I’m also enjoying my 45th birthday. When I look back at the past decade, it feels like I’ve been living in a dream. It was another birthday–my 34th–that had me reflecting on opportunities not taken and feeling lots of regret. My husband encouraged me to follow my heart…and before I knew it, the stories were falling out of me. I’m delighted to say that now, eleven years later, Never Been Kissed marks my 67th release! It’s going to be a very happy birthday indeed.

NeverBeenKissed72lgNever Been Kissed

Two’s company. Three is perfection.
Second Chances, Book 5

Shelly MacIsaac has pretty much given up all hope. Hope that she’ll lose weight, that she’ll find any excitement in life, that there will ever be any man in her bed besides Barney, her cat.

When her friend Zoey suggests the wine girls come up with resolutions for the New Year, Shelly latches onto the one everyone expects her to choose—the tried-and-true commitment to go on a diet and get into shape. Deep inside, however, Shelly knows she needs to change a lot more than just her physical appearance.

After a year licking his wounds over a broken romance, Christian is through. He’s been quietly lusting after Shelly at work, and he’s not wasting any more time. There’s something about her that makes him believe she’s the one. Unfortunately, Shelly’s kickboxing instructor, Lance—Christian’s best friend—has set his sights on the sweet blonde as well.

Instead of pistols at dawn, the two friends come up with a deliciously erotic answer to their shared dilemma—if the shy beauty will accept their racy proposal.

Excerpt:

Current weight—245 pounds

Weight loss—I’ve lost seventeen pounds since September, which is pretty lame, but it was the holidays. I challenge anyone to pass up my mother’s cream cheese mashed potatoes. Or her green bean casserole. Or her homemade stuffing with real bacon, not those fake bits from the grocery store.

January goals—To stop donating a monthly fee to the gym—I will actually go there and work out. I will also hire a trainer and start exercising regularly. And to shut Georgie up, I will try to have at least one non-work-related conversation with Christian.

Shelly dragged herself downstairs and turned on the coffeepot. Barney was standing beside his bowl, mewing loudly to be fed. She’d found the kitten under a hydrangea bush in the courtyard in October. His mother had abandoned him. Shelly had adopted him and since then, the townhouse had felt just a tiny bit less lonely thanks to the adorable little cat.

Until Barney had entered her life, she hadn’t realized she’d been suffering from loneliness. She hadn’t admitted that discovery to her friends. What good would it do? She was twenty-eight years old and nothing—not a damn thing—had changed in her life in the past few years with the exception of the cat. She lived in the same house, worked at the same job, ate the same meals and slept in the same cold bed.

Maybe that was what had alerted her to the difference. Barney made the bed less lonely, curling up night after night at her feet, purring her to sleep with his sweet, kitty sounds.

Unfortunately, despite Georgie’s determination that she have sex, Shelly didn’t hold out any hope that this year would be different. All she knew was she sure as hell prayed it would be.

She glanced at the clock. Seven a.m. She was wired, wide-awake. Surprising considering how much she’d tossed and turned during the night. Her sleep had been so restless, Barney had given up around three and abandoned her to spend the night elsewhere.

Shelly caught sight of the diary Georgie had given her. She’d tossed it on the dining-room table, thinking if she kept the thing in plain sight, maybe she’d actually feel compelled to write in it. It had worked—sort of. Yesterday, she’d penned a few lines, promising herself she’d try to keep up with it.

Picking it up, she dropped into one of the chairs and grasped the pen she’d left lying next to it yesterday. She opened the journal and stared at her entry from the previous day. Short and sweet and full of nothing but meaningless words. She turned the page, staring at the blank lines for nearly ten minutes before throwing the pen down and rising.

She had nothing to say. Typical. Apparently there was only one thing she excelled at and that was work. She gave Barney a snuggle, kissing him on the head as she said goodbye, then she grabbed her coat and keys and headed to the bank.

She was only partly surprised to discover Christian had beaten her there.

He looked up as she walked in and gave her a tired smile. “At some point, we’re going to have to evaluate the fact that neither of us appears to have a life.”

She laughed as she hung her coat on a rack by the door, then fired up her computer. “I think I’m past the evaluation stage. Right now, I’m dead-center of acceptance.”

He shook his head. “That’s sad, Shell.”

She shrugged and tried to force herself to concentrate on her computer monitor.

Shelly had spent her first few years at the bank working at a smaller branch for a supervisor who didn’t know her ass from the escape key. The woman would spend hours hemming and hawing, looking up useless crap in the manual, too afraid to admit she didn’t have a clue how to fix anything. As a result, employees at the bank eventually started skipping the middleman, walking past her supervisor’s desk and coming straight to Shelly for help. Of course, rather than appreciating Shelly’s skills, her supervisor had viewed the employees’ preference of Shelly over her as an insult and she’d proceeded to make Shelly’s life a living hell. Until the bank president promoted Shelly to lead the main branch’s IT department with Christian.

Shelly glanced his way, watching as he concentrated on something on the screen, his fingers flying across the keyboard. Lately, she’d caught herself stealing too many long, lingering peeks at Christian. While she suspected he wasn’t what most women considered conventionally handsome, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt she’d never met a more attractive man. Most of his features were nondescript. He kept his dirty brown hair cut short in the tried-and-true, get up, run a comb through it, ready for the day sort of way. His eyes were dark brown, but hidden most of the time behind thin-framed glasses he wore whenever he worked on the computer.

His wardrobe consisted of an assortment of dress shirts and ties. She was certain he simply went to the department store and picked up the pre-packaged combinations because she’d seen the color groupings on the shelves herself. Christian wasn’t the sort of guy who’d waste any more time than necessary shopping. He’d get in, get what he needed and get the hell out. It was one of the things she liked best about him. He didn’t waffle or waver when it came to work either. He analyzed a situation, ran through some problem-solving techniques, and then he fixed the problem.

Christian mumbled something about the spammer from hell. She grinned, used to him making comments under his breath whenever he was annoyed. Then her gaze lingered. The best part about Christian was the one thing she suspected no one else had ever noticed. His lips. While they were sort of thin, he made up for it when he smiled. His grins took over his entire face, raising his cheeks, drawing laugh lines by his eyes, painting on an expression that never failed to take her breath away.

He was usually serious when they were working, his brow creased in concentration, so she always felt lucky whenever he sent one of those full-face smiles her way. He was a nice, friendly guy to everyone at work, but there was something about the way he looked at her that made her warm and fuzzy inside. His smiles reminded her of going home, putting on comfy clothes, crawling under a fleece blanket and having Barney curl up on her lap. That time of night was the best part of her day and Christian’s smiles produced that same feeling of warmth, peace, blissfulness.

“How was your New Year’s Eve party, Shell?”

She blinked rapidly, feeling her face heat up when she realized that despite her efforts not to, she had indeed been staring at Christian. God, the last thing she wanted to do was make him feel uneasy around her. She turned her focus back to her monitor. “It was okay. Not sure I’d call it a party. Just did a happy hour with some wine and my girlfriends from the townhouse complex.”

“Yeah, well, that sounds like Mardi Gras compared to my celebration.”

Shelly couldn’t resist stealing another peek at Christian. Usually when they chatted like this, neither of them looked at each other. They were both pretty good at multi-tasking, managing to answer emails, run virus scans and countless other things, all while talking.

The difference this time was they weren’t discussing work, but personal things. Shelly recalled the list of conversation topics she’d generated with Georgie, Zoey and Josie yesterday at lunch. They’d laughed ’til they cried over some of the suggestions, and Shelly—much to Josie’s amusement—had taken notes, recording the serious ones. Shelly didn’t take offense at her friend’s teasing, especially when, as they were leaving the restaurant, Josie had asked her to make a copy of the list for her. Discussing weekend and holiday happenings was at the top of the list and now Christian was giving her an opening.

“What did you do?”

She was surprised when he took his eyes away from the computer to face her as he answered. “I ordered a pizza, polished off the better part of a six-pack of Coronas and fell asleep on the couch around ten.”

“Seriously?”

He chuckled at her shocked tone. “You expected me to do more?”

She honestly didn’t know what she thought. They never shared details about what they did when they left here. Shelly had known about his ex-girlfriend only because he’d kept the woman’s picture on his desk and she’d overheard phone calls, where the two of them would discuss dinner plans or other mundane things like car trouble, needing to do laundry and stuff like that. When she thought about it, Shelly realized most of the things she knew about Christian, she’d learned more through osmosis than actual conversation.

“Yeah,” she admitted. “I guess I did. I would have pegged you as the type to head out for some bar crawl, drinking, dancing, and then finding a pretty girl to kiss at midnight.”

His expression confused her, but Shelly was accustomed to that. She’d never had a boyfriend. Not one. In her entire life. So when it came to understanding what guys thought or felt she was completely blind. Stupid and inexperienced.

Christian tilted his head. “I’m not a fan of any of those things you just said.”

She leaned back in her chair, her words falling out before she considered what she was saying. “Bars? Dancing? Kissing?” She blushed when the last question fell out and a light went on in her head. This was why she didn’t indulge in small talk. She was really bad at it.

Christian laughed loudly, the sound so happy, Shelly smiled despite her embarrassment.

“I stand corrected. I’m not fond of bars and dancing, but the kissing is a different matter.”

She lowered her eyes to her hands. “I’m sorry. That was a personal question.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

She twisted her hands, wondering how she could extract herself from this conversation. Maybe if she just started working, he’d follow suit. She’d stay quiet the rest of the morning and hopefully by this afternoon, they could forge on like normal.

Dammit.

No.

Georgie’s words echoed in her head. Any time you feel like pulling a Shelly, pretend you’re one of us.

Shelly considered going with some Georgie-style outlandish comment, but realized there was no way she could pull that off. So instead, she tried to channel her inner-Josie. Unfortunately, her mind went blank, the list of things she could talk about gone.

Think.

Think.

Christian saved her. “Shelly, look at me.”

Her gaze lifted at his firm tone and her chest tightened with something that felt nothing like nervousness and everything like desire. Given Josie’s resolution to have wild, kinky sex during every full moon this year, Shelly guessed at least some part of her pretending was working. While she couldn’t think of a damn thing to say, she had managed to actually feel like Josie. She was hot and horny.

Great.

Because that didn’t make things even more awkward.

Christian was looking at her. “Go to lunch with me today.”

Unlike the previous times he’d made the lunch request, this time he hadn’t invited her. Instead, his words felt like a demand. One that had her body responding completely inappropriately. Her chest—and nipples—felt tight, her pussy tingled and her palms were suddenly damp, sweaty. Insecure Shelly reared her ugly head, leaving self-assured Josie in the dust.

“Why?” She winced at the question, then cringed when she realized he was still looking at her.

“Because I want to get to know you better.”

“Why?”

He gave her a crooked grin. “I did a little reflecting on my life over the holidays. Isn’t that what New Year’s Eve is about? Resolutions and all that crap?”

She nodded. She’d done the same evaluation.

“I’ve become set in my ways since Elaine and I broke up. I work long hours here, then head home to a dinner for one and a little bit of TV before I go to sleep and wake up to do it all over again.”

“That routine sounds familiar.”

His smile faded a bit, replaced by something that looked a lot like understanding. “Yeah, I’m sure it does. You and I have a lot in common. I was hoping maybe this year we could help each other break some bad habits.”

“By going out to lunch?”

He lifted one shoulder casually. “For a start. Then maybe we could graduate to dinner. And if we ever get a wild hair, we could hit one of those bars and do a little dancing too.”

Shelly wasn’t sure how to respond. Was Christian asking her out as a friend or were these invitations supposed to be dates? She dismissed that insanity the second it popped into her mind. Christian was a confident, intelligent guy who could get any woman he wanted. She’d seen the picture of Elaine on his desk—a petite redhead with big blue eyes and perfect body. Shelly wasn’t his type.

So obviously he was simply asking for her friendship. She nodded slowly. She could do that. She’d actually like doing that. After a lifetime spent alone on the outer fringes, it might be fun to have a friend who was a guy.

Besides, Shelly was a master at controlling her emotions, pushing her desires down so deeply, they didn’t have a chance of creeping out and hurting her. She’d had plenty of time to come to terms with her crush on Christian and the fact nothing would ever come of it. A line in a song from Wicked wove its way into her mind. It was a simple lyric, but one that had stuck with her ever since her mother had taken her to see the play on her twenty-first birthday. It helped her stay grounded.

I’m not that girl.

She’d never be that girl, the one who turned a handsome man’s head and made him think of wicked kisses and hot sex. She was destined to be just a friend.

Releasing a long sigh, she resigned herself to her role and feigned a smile. “That all sounds great.” Even as she spoke the words, her stomach twisted—with nervousness.

Regardless of what these outings meant to him, she’d just agreed to go out to lunch with Christian. What the hell were they supposed to talk about? Once more, her mind whirled over the list she’d made with the girls. They’d already covered the holiday happenings. It sounded like neither of them had much more of interest to add to that topic.

Shelly turned her attention back to her computer, clicking through a few scans, the activity so familiar to her, it didn’t require any thought. Once she finished the mundane, she’d start plowing through the list of help-desk tickets in her inbox. She needed time to think. Part of her was tempted to excuse herself to the restroom with her phone so she could call Georgie, but she knew her friend well enough to know whatever advice she offered was bound to suggest Shelly flirt—yeah right—and drop some sexual innuendoes into the conversation. Shelly wouldn’t know a sexual innuendo if it bit her in the ass.

Oh wait…maybe that was one.

Shelly snorted softly at that thought, causing Christian to glance her way.

“You okay?”

She tried to cover up her mirth with a cough. “Um…fighting a cold.”

Christian nodded, but his smile made her think he didn’t believe her. Heat suffused her cheeks, so she ducked her head, trying to hide the blush from him. She counted to ten, willing the color to die down. Then she glanced back at her computer monitor and opened the Internet. She Googled How to stop blushing.

Amazingly enough, there were sites devoted to addressing the problem. Nice to know she wasn’t the only flushing fool in the world. Unfortunately, the suggestions ranged from accepting that she couldn’t change an unconscious reaction to trying to direct the flow of blood to her hands by imagining standing by an open fire. Seriously?

She closed the tab. Forget it. Christian had been around her long enough that chances were good he didn’t even notice her blushing any more. After all, he’d seen her bright red cheeks more than her natural color over the past few years. Maybe he thought fire-engine red was her natural complexion.

God. She was pathetic.

 

Christian snuck covert glances at Shelly throughout the course of the morning. Whenever he wasn’t watching her, he was staring at the clock and willing lunch hour to hurry up and arrive. Part of him expected Shelly to come up with an excuse to back out. She’d even faked that cough and pretended to be getting sick. Then a few minutes ago, she’d muttered something about a mistake someone had made in one of the smaller branches while uploading new software. She’d told him it would likely take her the rest of the week to fix. He merely nodded, not willing to give her an out on their lunch date.

He’d asked Shelly out consistently for nearly four months. Every single time, she’d turned him down. He hadn’t lied to her about making a resolution over the holidays. He just hadn’t been forthright about exactly what it was. Essentially, he was determined to pursue a relationship with her. He understood the potential hazards of dipping his toe in the office pool, but common sense had vanished, leaving him alone with only infatuation and desire. He’d become addicted to the pretty shade of pink that colored Shelly’s cheeks and he was determined to produce the same hue—in the bedroom—maybe even on her other cheeks.

They’d worked together for nearly six months before Shelly’s shyness faded enough to allow her true personality to shine through. Since then, he’d learned she was intelligent, sweet and funny. He knew she was a bit self-conscious about her weight, but what woman wasn’t? The truth was Shelly was pretty in an adorable, cuddly sort of way. Her blonde hair hung to her shoulders in fluffy waves he ached to touch. It was always shiny and he longed to see if it was as soft as it looked.

Shelly glanced up and caught him staring. He started to look away, then stopped. Her big brown eyes captured his. Her eyes narrowed, silently questioning. Shelly was inherently quiet, but it didn’t matter. Her face was more expressive and open than she realized. He’d become a master at reading her thoughts. Or at least, he thought he had. There were still parts that were hidden, which made him even more determined to get closer to her.

Right now, she was trying to figure out why the hell he was gaping at her like a fool, but for the life of him, he couldn’t look away.

Shelly raised her hand, swiping at her mouth. “What? Is there something on my face?”

He shook his head. “No. You look really pretty today.”

Her cheeks caught fire. He grinned until she shook her head, dismissing his compliment immediately.

“I look the same as always.”

Her tone told him she never considered herself attractive. That fact tweaked him, made him continue. “You know what? You’re right. You do look the same. You’re always pretty.”

She raised one eyebrow, then glanced at his coffee cup. “Did you Irish up the coffee this morning?”

Christian laughed. “No, smart ass. I didn’t. And you suck at taking compliments.”

She shrugged good-naturedly. “I don’t need anyone to tell me I’m pretty. I’m perfectly aware of what I look like. I’m not blind.”

While she didn’t come right out and call him a liar, her denial annoyed him. “Shelly. Look at me.” It was the second time he’d issued the command. And just like last time, her eyes lifted to his without hesitance. Her quick response stirred the same one in him. His cock twitched. “Tell me what you see when you look in the mirror.”

His question confused her, but he didn’t bother to explain or let her off the hook.

She wrapped her arms around herself, the response so defensive and scared, Christian longed to hug her. “I see me. I mean, I don’t think I’m hideous or anything. I’m just plain old Shelly.”

There were a million words he’d use to describe Shelly and plain wasn’t one of them. “Interesting.” Her admission made him more determined to date her. Maybe that was a weird realization to come to, but it occurred to him that Shelly needed him as much as he needed her.

They’d spent three years proving to everyone at work what a great team they made. Despite their quiet natures, he believed their similar personalities would lead to a strong relationship outside the office as well. Their main obstacle—as far as he could tell—was the fact neither of them was very good at talking about their feelings. They spent too much time in silence and, while he felt confident about his ability to read her thoughts, what if he wasn’t as good as he thought?

After all, he’d had no idea just how low Shelly’s self-esteem was until now. She was assured in her abilities at work, no-nonsense, capable. He’d assumed that was true in her personal life. But now…he wasn’t sure it was.

Shelly looked as if she’d say something else, but then—in typical fashion—she turned her attention back to her computer, letting the silence swallow them once more. Christian let her escape for fear he’d push his luck too far and she’d bail on their lunch date.

Finally, the clock hit noon. Christian pushed his chair back and rose, reaching for his coat and shrugging it on. “You ready?”

Shelly looked up from her monitor and hesitated. She was searching for a reason to stay behind, he could see it on her face.

He grabbed her coat from the rack and approached her. “Here.” He held the material open, intent on putting it on her. Shelly stood slowly and accepted his help.

“Thanks.” Again, she paused until Christian placed his hand on her lower back and lightly pushed her toward the door.

He wasn’t sure if he’d imagined her slight shiver at his touch or not, but the reaction gave him hope. Maybe she felt the same attraction he did.

They spoke about the unseasonably cold weather as they drove to the restaurant. Not exactly stimulating dialogue, but Christian figured it was an improvement on their typical all-things-work conversations.

Once they were seated in a booth at the small café, he leaned back and relaxed, thrilled he’d finally managed to get her out with him.

Shelly looked around the restaurant and he wondered if she was hoping to find the nearest exit or a savior. Then she broke the silence. “Do you think we should go over our presentation one more time before the meeting tomorrow morning?”

He shook his head. “We’re ready, Shell. Besides, we’re not talking shop.”

She bit her lower lip, drawing his attention to how plump and pink her mouth was. It was made for kissing. For the briefest moment, Christian wondered what Shelly would do if he leaned across the table and placed his lips against hers. He’d spent more than a few hours imagining the two of them together. Hell, lately, she only had to take a sip of diet soda from a straw and he’d have to will away his hard-on by doing algebraic equations in his head. He’d nearly asked her to stop getting fountain drinks from the convenience store across the street, but he didn’t want her to think he was some sex-depraved pervert who couldn’t control his baser instincts.

“So what do you want to talk about?” Shelly asked.

“Tell me about yourself.”

She frowned. “We’ve worked together for three years, Christian.”

“Which is why is it’s pretty sad that I know so little about you. Tell me about your family, your friends, what you do for fun on the weekends.”

She smiled. “Most weekends, I’m living the glamorous life with you at work.”

He chuckled. “You’ve got a point there. We really need to find a way to scale back on our hours.”

“You’re right. We do. As for the rest, my mom still lives in the house where I grew up in Preston. I make the one-hour drive there once a month for Sunday dinner. And I have some really great girlfriends who live in the same townhouse complex as me. We do a Thursday night happy hour every week.”

“Ah, I wondered why you always made more of an effort to escape on Thursdays than other nights. Didn’t realize you were living it up at the bar with a bunch of wild women.”

Shelly shook her head, though a light laugh escaped. “We’re hardly wild and we don’t even go out in public. We just go over to Laura’s place to drink wine and gossip and unwind. So, how’s that for a boring life story?”

“Where’s your dad?”

Shelly’s smile faded a bit and Christian was sorry he’d asked. However, now that she’d opened the door a crack to let him peer in, he felt greedy for more. “He died when I was six.”

“I’m sorry.”

She shrugged. “I don’t remember him that well. Most of my memories of him aren’t actual recollections as much as stories my mother told me about him. Whenever I see him, it’s the pictures we have of him hanging up in the house, more than his real face, that flash in my mind. It’s been over twenty years, but my mom still misses him like crazy, so I pretend I remember him because I think it makes her feel less alone in her grief.”

Christian was touched by her story. It solidified what he had learned about Shelly over the years. Her heart was as big as New York City. He’d watched her sneak money and even a coat to the homeless woman who rambled by their bank every now and then. Every year, Shelly organized an Angel Tree for their colleagues, encouraging everyone to adopt a needy child over the holidays. Once each person had chosen a name, she’d claim every single angel left hanging on the tree to shop for. Christian had started buying for three kids, rather than one, simply because he didn’t want to leave so many for Shelly.

“Are you an only child?” he asked.

Shelly nodded. “Yep. I’m it.” Her soft response was laced with loneliness that made him understand exactly how quiet her childhood must have been. “How about you? Any brothers and sisters?”

Christian made a comical, pained face. “Sadly. Yes.”

Shelly laughed. “What’s that mean?”

“I’m number six in a family of nine kids.”

Her eyes widened. “You are not!”

He sighed. “I’m afraid so.”

“Wow. Nine kids. I can’t even imagine.”

“Let’s just say there’s no joy in being number six. I was so far down the line-up, my parents were completely overwhelmed, their spirits broken by the older siblings, so even when I was being a complete asshole they didn’t notice or care much. Plus, with three babies behind me, I didn’t get much coddling. I was kicked out of my crib at thirteen months to make room for my baby sister. There was one rule in my house and it was based solely on a survival of the fittest mentality. Eat or be eaten.”

Shelly’s face was such a perfect blend of horror and humor, Christian couldn’t resist reaching across the table to tap her playfully on the nose.

“No worries, Shell. Clearly I wasn’t eaten.”

Her adorable blush appeared, no doubt provoked by his friendly touch. There was an innocence in her gestures that was refreshing…and completely appealing. Christian could only assume—given her shyness—Shelly hadn’t done a great deal of dating in the past. The thought led to his next question.

“So what about boyfriends? Tell me about all the broken hearts you’ve left in your wake.”

The easygoing banter at the table died an almost tangible death. Shelly’s expression froze with a fake smile that Christian couldn’t begin to interpret. Had he crossed some line?

He started to tell her never mind, anxious to end the deafening silence booming between them, but Shelly filled it first, dodging his question with finesse.

“I’d rather hear more about this huge family of yours.”

Part of him wanted to push her to answer, but panic had snuck into her eyes and he couldn’t stand the thought of scaring her. He wasn’t sure what had driven the response, but he could only assume someone had hurt Shelly recently and she still wasn’t over the pain. He’d have to tread carefully if that was true. God knew he wasn’t interested in being a rebound guy and he certainly didn’t want to wind up a replacement boyfriend. His interest in Shelly ran deeper than casual dating. His gut kept telling him that she was special, that she could be the one.

That idea scared the hell out of him because he’d felt the same way about Elaine and look where that had ended up. It had taken him quite a while to nurse his wounded pride over being so completely wrong about her. Months had passed before he’d overcome being trigger-shy, nervous. Now that he’d made it this far with Shelly, he needed to be careful not to blow it right out of the gate.

So he regaled her with family stories throughout their lunch and on their return trip to work, keeping the conversation light and fun. Once they made it back to the office, they slipped into their familiar roles, both of them working quietly, preparing for their presentation, keeping everything professional.

Christian forced himself to accept that and to stay cool. There would be opportunities later for them to delve into the deeper things.

For now, he just wanted to ensure there would be a next time.

AmazonAReGooglePlayiBooksKoboNookSamhain

August 19th, 2014 at 1:16 am | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink


Rough Draft

RoughDraft_draft3It’s release day for the latest story in my Big Easy series, Rough Draft. Like the other books in the series, Rough Draft features yet another member of that crazy Lewis clan from New Orleans. This time, it’s younger brother, Jett, who finds love in the very last place he expects it – PARADISE. This story is a bit different from Blank Canvas, Crash Point and Full Position because while the story begins in the Big Easy, most of the action happens on the island of Eden, a paradise where anything and everything can happen. Rough Draft is one of the stories in the Invitation to Eden collection. Not sure if you’ve been following this collection, but it’s a fun one and I hope you’ll consider checking them all out. The basic premise presented to the 27 authors involved was “Fantasy Island.” We’ve each brought our characters to this magical place in search of answers, excitement, love, hot sex…you name it! Now…let me answer the FAQs!

1. Do I have to read all the Invitation to Eden stories? Do I have to read them in order? No. The stories aren’t connected by anything more than setting and theme. Each author has taken their own characters and put them on the island. Sometimes there are cameos from other characters, but they are just fun little “extra” appearances. However, it’s a very cool concept and there are some INCREDIBLE authors participating, so why not check them all out?

2. Are any other Invitation to Eden characters involved in your story? YES! I had a great time collaborating with several other authors to feature their characters. Lauren Hawkeye’s Master of the Island appears, as well as Eden Bradley’s Roan, RG Alexander’s Joely, Roni Loren’s Dr. Magdalene and there’s a fun conversation at the island bar between my heroine, Rissa and Steena Holmes’ leading lady, Lauren.

3. Do I have to read the Big Easy books in order or is Rough Draft a standalone story? Rough Draft, like all my books, is a standalone story. While characters from the previous Big Easy books do appear, it’s not necessary to read the books in any particular order to enjoy them and understand.

4. Will we ever see Dani, the foster sister who disappeared, in a future book? Hmmm…interesting question. And…YES!

5. How many other Big Easy books are you planning? When I created the series I knew I wanted to write another family…like the Collins clan in Wild Irish (I still miss them). The Lewis family came along and I just loved the idea of this very strong matriarch raising not only her own four children, but many other foster kids as well. Because Mama Lewis has a big heart and tends to take in lots of children in need, the potential for future stories could grow. Right now, I have seven mapped out (the four that are published – Blank Canvas, Crash Point, Full Position and Rough Draft) as well as three more involving Dani, Noah and Zac.

Now…how about a peek at the story?

Capture, bondage and fantasies fulfilled. It’s all fun and games until someone gets killed.

Bestselling crime novelist Jett Lewis is stumbling over a wicked case of writer’s block, his fast-flowing words having run dry. His publisher’s screaming “deadline”, the fans are ready to riot, and Jett just wants to disappear. His friend Carissa suggests he get away, clear his head…get laid. And she has just the ticket. Literally. Two passes to Eden, an exclusive island paradise.

Recently sans girlfriend, Jett convinces Carissa to go with him, and the resort is more than either of them bargained for—especially when the simple beach trip turns to murder. Thrust into a plot sinister enough to rival Jett’s books, the couple embarks on a search for the killer. The most shocking revelation of all might be their mutual attraction…and how much Jett and Carissa love working undercover.

Excerpt:

“Why are you here, Carissa?”

She stopped trying to break free of his grip. She tried to turn her head once more, but Jett merely tightened his grip in her hair. The tug on her tresses had another, more sensual effect, however. Her voice was breathless when she asked, “What do you mean?”

“Roan said you were new. What brought you to the dungeon? What are you looking for?”

She laughed softly. “Shouldn’t that be obvious? Sex.”

“You’re a beautiful woman. I hardly think it would be difficult for you to find a man to share your bed. You don’t need this dungeon for that.”

“You’re right. I don’t. I want more.”

Jett loved her honesty. Loosening his grip, he stroked her hair lightly before closing his fingers again tightly. He applied more pressure, enjoying her heated response to the pain.

Carissa moaned quietly, then asked, “Who are you?”

“My name doesn’t matter. You’ll call me Sir.”

She shivered at the title. Jett fought to restrain a grin.

“Answer my question, my love. Why are you here?”

She took her time, choosing her words carefully. Jett had always respected Carissa’s cautious nature, the way she thought before speaking or acting.

“I want to see if…I think I might be…”

She struggled with the word. Jett wasn’t surprised. Carissa was too independent to release her grip on the reins for long.

“Submissive?”

She released a breath. “Yes, but I think it will be hard for me to…I mean…I don’t think I’ll submit easily.”

He chuckled. “I like a challenge.”

Carissa stiffened at the sound of his laughter. “Do I know you?”

He’d nearly revealed himself. Until he convinced her he was the right man to indulge her fantasy, he couldn’t let her know it was him. Carissa would never risk their friendship on what she would think was just sex. He deepened his voice once more. “No.”

She didn’t seem convinced, but mercifully she let it slide. “I can’t let a man drag me around on a leash.”

Jett grimaced. The asshole had scared her, given her a bad impression of what it meant to submit. “I don’t drag women around.”

“He was cruel to her.”

Jett wanted to go find Gregory and beat the shit out of the man. “The only pain I give would bring you pleasure.”

“Even if I did something wrong? I’ve never done this before. I don’t know how—”

“I would like to teach you. How long are you staying at Eden?”

“A week.”

“Give me the week. Promise to be my submissive and I’ll show you exactly how incredible it can be to put yourself in the hands of a man whose only goal is to give you as many orgasms as you can stand.”

She laughed. “Orgasms sound nice.”

Carissa wasn’t shy about asking for what she wanted. It was a refreshing change, given his last few girlfriends, who preferred to play games and make him guess what they wanted.

“Should we start your lessons?”

“Now?”

Carissa’s courage was faltering in the face of making her fantasy a reality.

Jett lifted the hand wrapped around her waist to her breast. Cupping it, he pressed firmly, applying pressure until he heard her gasp.

“Now.”

August 12th, 2014 at 1:16 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


Your Invitation to Eden

Early this year, I was asked to participate in a fun collection of books called Invitation to Eden. I think it took me all of three seconds to reply YES when I was invited. The collection contains books from some of my all-time favorite authors. I was completely thrilled and honored to be asked. I thought I’d take a moment to explain how the collection works. There are 27 authors involved and each month from April until December of this year, three new Invitation to Eden stories release. The books are connected only by setting and theme. What I mean is each author was invited to bring their characters to Eden, a Fantasy Island-style paradise, and take them on a romantic adventure. So there is no order to the books or overlapping story arc or anything like that. You can read them all or you can simply read the ones from your favorite authors.

Tomorrow, I’ll share more details about my Invitation to Eden story, Rough Draft. But today, I want to shine a spotlight on my August release sisters, Steena Holmes and Roni Loren and their wonderful books!

August-FB-Cover-revised

Blurring the Lines by Roni Loren
A year has passed since Gretchen lost her fiancé, but she still can’t sleep. Or paint. And her new home in New Orleans is either haunted or she’s finally going crazy.
Her bet is on the latter.
So when her best friend, Burke, offers to sweep her away to a private luxury island for a break, she can’t say no. Maybe if she can be someone else for a few days, the ghosts of the past will quiet. At least for a little while.
Burke knows what she’s going through. She lost her fiancé, but he lost family. He gets her in a way no else can. But lately she’s noticing things she shouldn’t about her former fiancé’s younger brother—his sexy smirk, that spicy Cajun accent, and the way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not paying attention. A week alone with him? Dangerous. If she blurs the lines between them, she could ruin the only friendship that means anything to her. She could ruin it all.
But the island of Eden has its own agenda. The island knows what you need. That’s what the invitation says. She just never imagines it will grant her the one wish that could destroy them both.

Kindle Nook Kobo iTunes

51M+-6vi7DL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Return to Sender by Steena Holmes (Return to Sender trilogy, Book 1)
Lauren Summers is the stable sister, the one who runs the family company while her sisters take off and travel the world. One weekend a year she hides herself away and mourns a love she lost six years ago. That weekend is now, except she’s being whisked away to a mysterious island despite her protests. After being pampered with luxury, massages and the best chocolate a girl could taste, she starts to realize that its time she left the past behind and moved forward with life, and maybe with love. What she doesn’t know, is that someone from her past has other ideas…

Kindle Nook Kobo iTunes

August 11th, 2014 at 1:01 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


Full Position

Full-PositionAnyone up for a menage? How about a flirty, dirty little affair with your sexy-as-sin bosses that begins in a sex club? Full Position, the third Big Easy book, contains just that scenario! Lucky heroine, right?

This time it’s Justin Lewis, the oldest brother in the Lewis clan, who knows his happily-ever-after is never going to come in the traditional sense. He feels the need to share the woman he loves with his best friend, Ned.

How much is she willing to risk for a forbidden fantasy?

Though Bella Carper has crushed on Justin and Ned since her first day on the job, she’s smart enough to know a ménage with her hot bosses is probably number one on the list of workplace no-nos. But a frigid genius wouldn’t say no to their exceptionally tempting offer — a no-holds-barred night of wicked fantasies at a local sex club.

Justin and Ned believe in propriety in the workplace, but falling for their sexy graphic artist has blurred the line between professional and personal. These Big Easy men might surprise their small-town girl with their bedroom habits. But the biggest shock could come the morning after…when Bella discovers what they really want.

Excerpt:

“Open your legs. I want to see exactly how wet you are.” Justin tugged on her knee as he issued the command, then felt Ned’s hand on the other. Her thighs parted easily as her skirt inched higher. She tried to tug it down, but Ned caught her wrist, his voice deep, stern.

“Leave it.”

“Ned,” she whispered, uncertainty creeping in again. There was a difference between talking and doing. They’d test her limits tonight, push her completely out of her comfort zone.

Justin leaned closer, trying to set her mind at ease. Ned was always too intense, his need to control a woman coming out stronger, darker. While Justin didn’t think Bella was balking, she was still a novice and probably not completely confident in her decision to pursue this adventure. “Trust us, Bells. We’ll never hurt you.”

Her expression cleared, showing him just how much faith she had in them. It twisted Justin’s insides, made him warm, happy.

She touched his face gently. “I do trust you. Completely. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Unable to resist any longer, Justin ran his hand along the inside of her leg. He sat close enough to hear her sharp intake of breath. The heat of her pussy hit him before his fingers reached their goal. Their girl was on fire.

Then he hit pay dirt. Bella’s eyes closed as he stroked his finger along her slit. She was heat and moisture and sex incarnate.

Ned leaned closer. “Don’t close your eyes, Bella. Look at what’s happening on that stage.”

Bella lifted her eyelids slowly and he watched her struggle to focus. Justin studied her face and realized when she recognized what was happening in the performance.

“She misbehaved,” Ned whispered as Justin circled her clit. Bella bit her lip so tightly, he worried she’d split the skin and draw blood.

Ned continued to talk about the show onstage. “Her teacher is angry with her. He’s punishing her.”

The actor onstage—the professor—had bent his naughty schoolgirl over his desk and taken out a ruler. The scene was an old, familiar one, but Justin could tell from Bella’s responses it was speaking to some hidden desires. Did she like the idea of being punished by an authority figure?

She slid down on her chair—just a little, but enough—to allow Justin better access to her pussy. He didn’t accept her invitation, determined to crank the heat even higher. While the silent actions of her body told him she wanted a stronger touch, he wouldn’t give in until she was pleading, begging. He dragged his finger over her clit once more, making the touch lighter this time.

She groaned softly.

“We’ll punish you the same way the next time you’re late to work.”

Bella’s gaze jerked to Ned’s face. No doubt she wanted to reiterate the time limit she’d placed on this encounter, but neither of them was in the mood to continue that pretense. Justin pressed on her clit again, distracting her before moving lower to circle the entrance to her pussy.

Bella’s breathing became more labored. Between Justin’s touches and Ned’s dirty promises, she appeared to be losing her grip, relinquishing control of her inhibitions.

“We’ll pull you into my office, bend you over the desk, lift your skirt and yank down your panties.”

“I don’t wear skirts to work,” Bella whispered, though it was clear she was turned-on by Ned’s story.

“You will from now on. We’re changing the dress code for you.”

She looked as if she would argue, so Justin went for more distraction, pressing the tip of his finger into her wet pussy.

She closed her eyes, her expression betraying how much she loved this. She gave herself up to the moment.

“I’ll pull a ruler out of my desk drawer and Justin and I will take turns spanking you. I want to see that sexy ass of yours blush as prettily as your cheeks are right now.”

Justin pressed his finger deeper, realizing Ned’s fantasy wasn’t just working against Bella. His cock was so stiff it hurt. The tight clench of her pussy didn’t help. She felt like heaven.

Ned added more fuel to the fire building in her body. “Once we’ve finished punishing you, we’ll take turns fucking you from behind. You’re going to spend hours with our cocks inside you from now on, beauty.”

Full Position is available at AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwordsGoogle Play and ARe.

AND…

RoughDraft_draft3Rough Draft, Big Easy, book 4 is OUT NOW!

Capture, bondage and fantasies fulfilled. It’s all fun and games until someone gets killed.

Bestselling crime novelist Jett Lewis is stumbling over a wicked case of writer’s block, his fast-flowing words having run dry. His publisher’s screaming “deadline”, the fans are ready to riot, and Jett just wants to disappear. His friend Carissa suggests he get away, clear his head…get laid. And she has just the ticket. Literally. Two passes to Eden, an exclusive island paradise.

Recently sans girlfriend, Jett convinces Carissa to go with him, and the resort is more than either of them bargained for—especially when the simple beach trip turns to murder. Thrust into a plot sinister enough to rival Jett’s books, the couple embarks on a search for the killer. The most shocking revelation of all might be their mutual attraction…and how much Jett and Carissa love working undercover.

AmazonAReGooglePlayiBooksKoboNooksmashwords

August 10th, 2014 at 1:58 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


Crash Point

Crash Point-HIGHRESThe second book in my Big Easy series, Crash Point, was also part of a fun box set called Riding Desire. I’m thrilled to say Riding Desire hit the New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller lists. In Crash Point, it’s sister, Chloe who finds herself face to face once more with her first love, the bad boy biker who broke her heart.

When they reach the crash point, will love be enough to save them?

Chance has brought Blake Mills back into her life. The textbook bad boy Chloe gave her young body and tender love to ten long years ago. He betrayed her trust, broke her heart, stole from her family…proved just how bad he truly was. Her fury still rages a decade later–so why does she want him more than ever?

Blake never stopped wanting Chloe Lewis. Through years of bad choices, Chloe was his guiding light, leading him away from a life of crime to turn him into the man he’s become, a respectable, decorated member of the NOPD. Now, seeing her again, Blake understands the mere memory of their love, their combustible lust, will never be enough.

Excerpt:

“I know, Mama. Yeah…Yeah…Mmmhmm.”

Blake Mills leaned against the doorframe of the studio. He watched the petite blonde—who had her back turned to him—set up her camera equipment while balancing her cell phone between her shoulder and cheek. Her head was fully tilted to the right, yet she worked with ease.

“I understand how important this fundraiser is, Mama. I’m just not all that jazzed about taking a bunch of beefcake pictures of some brainless mimbos with more muscles than sense.”

Blake stifled the urge to clear his throat, slightly offended by the photographer’s insult, but he let it slide, unwilling to let her know he was there. He’d never been referred to as a male bimbo before. Even so, he was fairly certain he’d find a way to make her eat those words. He might not be the smartest guy on the planet, but he wasn’t an airhead with a penis either.

The woman sighed heavily, continuing to speak. It occurred to him there was something vaguely familiar about her voice.

For now, he held his tongue, intent on enjoying the view as she bent over to retrieve something from her camera bag, her firm, perfect ass pointed in his direction. She wore skintight jeans that accentuated the bottom half of her generous hourglass just right.

“Fine,” she said in reply to something her mother had said. “I won’t insult the models. At least not to their faces. But I’m reserving the right to make fun of them at Sunday dinner. I can’t believe that last guy was able to squeeze his ego through the front door.”

Ah, Blake thought, her annoyance started to make sense. The last guy had been a tool. He sympathized with the pretty woman. He’d been roped into this charity calendar bullshit too. Sounded like neither he, nor the photographer, were here willingly.

She stood up with her back still to him as she snapped her camera onto the tripod. It was clear her mother was giving her an earful by the short, cutoff replies the photographer was making.

“Yeah, but…”

“I know that. All I’m…”

“Alright, I can…”

Finally the woman pulled her cell away from her ear and mimicked the action of throttling it. Blake lost his ability to remain silent. He chuckled.

The photographer turned to face him and he sucked in an astonished breath.

Chloe Lewis.

For the briefest of moments, he hoped she wouldn’t recognize him. After all, ten years had passed.

That wish was squashed instantly.

Her eyes narrowed when she saw him. “I have to go, Mama.” She didn’t even wait for her mother to say goodbye. Instead, she clicked the end button and slid the cell into her back jeans pocket. It was on the tip of his tongue to express surprise that she could squeeze anything else into the tight denim, but he was starting this conversation on thin ice as it was. No need to make it worse. Though there had always been something about Chloe that had him longing to tease her…just so he could hear her loud, joyful laughter. He’d never met anyone before or since who could laugh with such unrestrained, utter delight.

It was the first thing that had drawn him to her all those years ago. Chloe had trapped him in her tractor beam within minutes of their initial introduction and held him there for months—the best summer of his life. There was no denying the two of them had set off fireworks together—in and out of the bedroom. He’d never understood the word tumultuous until that summer. Perhaps enough time had passed that Chloe would forgive him and they could let bygones be bygones.

Chloe’s eyes flashed fire.

Nope. No bygones.

“Hey, Chloe. Good to see you.”

It was clearly the wrong opening. “Fuck you, Blake.”

AmazonAReGooglePlayiBooksKoboNooksmashwords

 

 

AND…

RoughDraft_draft3Rough Draft, Big Easy, book 4 is OUT NOW!

Capture, bondage and fantasies fulfilled. It’s all fun and games until someone gets killed.

Bestselling crime novelist Jett Lewis is stumbling over a wicked case of writer’s block, his fast-flowing words having run dry. His publisher’s screaming “deadline”, the fans are ready to riot, and Jett just wants to disappear. His friend Carissa suggests he get away, clear his head…get laid. And she has just the ticket. Literally. Two passes to Eden, an exclusive island paradise.

Recently sans girlfriend, Jett convinces Carissa to go with him, and the resort is more than either of them bargained for—especially when the simple beach trip turns to murder. Thrust into a plot sinister enough to rival Jett’s books, the couple embarks on a search for the killer. The most shocking revelation of all might be their mutual attraction…and how much Jett and Carissa love working undercover.

AmazonAReGooglePlayiBooksKoboNooksmashwords

August 9th, 2014 at 1:37 am | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink


The countdown begins

In a few days, Rough Draft, the fourth book in my Big Easy series will officially release. So…I thought from now until August 12, I’d take a few days to highlight the first three books in the series.

Have you met the Lewis clan from New Orleans? They’re a unique cast of characters led by the very strong and loving matriarch, Mama Lewis, a powerhouse of a woman who raised her own four children, while her beloved husband (and former boxer) was away working on an oil rig. In addition to caring for her own kids, Mama Lewis took in many foster children, providing them a loving, safe home when their own families couldn’t.

Blank-Canvas-mockup5-goldThe first book, Blank Canvas, involves brother (and tattoo artist) Caliph. Caliph works at Midnight Ink and while there, he meets Jennifer, a lovely, lonely woman recovering from a broken heart and divorce.

Excerpt:

“Caliph?” she whispered when the silence continued a beat too long.

“How wild do you want to go?”

She frowned, then gave him a rueful grin. “I love my tattoo more than I can say, but I’m definitely not ready for another.”

He shook his head. “That’s not what I mean.” He lowered his voice. “I’m attracted to you, Jen.”

She licked her lips, the action a perfect blend of nervousness and arousal. Caliph’s cock thickened even more.

“I want you too.” Her admission came out more air than tone, but he heard it, let the beauty of it soak deep.

“Friday night, after the jazz club.” He didn’t say more. He didn’t need to. Jennifer was already nodding.

“Okay. I’d like that.”

“So would I.”

Then her brow furrowed. That didn’t take long. Less than five seconds in and she was already reconsidering.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” he prodded.

“I’ve never had a one-night stand.”

Caliph was touched by her honesty, but bothered by it as well. That list of reasons he should have stayed away rained down on him again. Women like her didn’t do casual sex, but he was pretty damn sure that was all he had to give her. He hadn’t lied about his disinterest in marriage. “Jennifer—”

He started to offer her an out, but she cut him off.

“No. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s actually a really good thing. I might be putting the pieces back together, Caliph, but the truth of it is, I’m still pretty broken. At this point in my life, I have basically nothing, but sex to give you. Besides, something tells me you’d be a great guy to go wild with.”

He grinned. “I’m glad you have such faith in my abilities. I’ll do my best not to disappoint you.”

She laughed. “I’m not worried.”

Caliph knew he should take her agreement to sleep with him and run with it, but he couldn’t lie to her when she looked at him with those gorgeous, trusting eyes. She needed to know exactly what she was agreeing to.

“Maybe you should be. Because, Jen, you will need a safe word Friday night.”

Her cheeks flushed a pretty pink, but she held her ground. His respect for her went up several more notches.

“Does it make me sound completely twisted if I say that’s the hottest thing anyone’s ever said to me?”

He barked out a laugh and shook his head. “You’re a fascinating woman, Jen. And I can’t wait to paint on your canvas some more.”

Blank Canvas is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play and ARe.

August 8th, 2014 at 1:13 am | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink