LUMBERJACKS!

facebook twitter

For a mountain girl, there isn’t anything better: Hard-bodied men who brave the outdoors, work in and with nature, have their character molded by their environment. They rise before the sun, always smell of fresh-cut wood and have arms like steel. My favorite part of their bodies has got to be the rough hands that cradle you gently, yet masterfully handle an axe or saw to fell a massive 100-foot tree.

Yes, I married a lumberjack. Sort of. He’s been in the lumber industry for well over 25 years and filled a number of positions, all of them outdoors and blue-collar. He was raised in the business, really, since his father is still a logger, forester and anything else that the company needs him to be. I’ve heard every dirty joke out there about hard wood.

I decided it was finally time to write what I know. I took my love of my home state of West Virginia and combined it with my knowledge of the timber industry. The series, COUNTRY ROADS, kicks off with TAKE ME HOME and Matthew Shaw, the lumberjack with the heart of gold and a dark secret. Everything about him, from the saw-dusty clothes and muddy boots, screams “man of the mountains”.

But there is a new woman on his mountain, one whose very presence gives him trouble as much as she gives him wood!


Logging manager Matthew Shaw is wary when Kayla Edwards, the owner of Mountain Specialty Spices, hires his firm to harvest timber on her Appalachian property. It’s a place he knows better than the back of his calloused hand—it’s his family’s old homestead, lost years ago in a painful foreclosure. He’s hauled himself up from dirt-floor poor since then, and resolves to stay professional…but Kayla’s vivacious beauty makes it hard to focus on his job.

Home. That’s how army-brat-turned-foodie Kayla feels about her new mountain hideaway. What’s more, the hottest lumberjack ever to swing an axe has agreed to manage her timber crop and get the old maple syrup operations back on tap. Matt’s ruggedly sexy ways and passion for the land have her falling hard.

The heat between them grows wild…until Kayla discovers that Matt hasn’t been up front with her. She feels devastated and, worst of all, used. How can Matt prove it’s her he wants and not her land?

TAKE ME HOME is available at CarinaPress.com and all participating ebook retailers.

INEZ KELLEY was born and bred in the mountains of West Virginia. Although you can never take the hillbilly out of the girl, her knight in shining armor transplanted her to the Midwest along with their teenage drama queen, Spawnetta, and the Demolition Duo – Damien and his twin, the Omen.

Sign up for Inez’s newsletter to get sneak peeks and contest entries. You can visit her at her website http://inezkelley.com/  Follow Inez on twitter at @Inez_Kelley or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/inez.kelley

About those people who want to read my book

facebook twitter

So, as of release, there are a few avid readers out there who want to read TASTE OF PASSION because it’s a sexy sci-fi romance with a headstrong heroine whose empathy lets her taste emotion.

And then there are the people who want to read my book for another, more terrifying, reason: They know me in person.

Like:
– My usual waitress at a local seafood restaurant, who witnessed the big post-contract celebration with the BFF
– And every other waiter/waitress who’s had Laurie and I in over the last few months
– My mother’s friend from high school who is very active in her church community
– My brother, who heard on the news self-publishing is a great way to get rich quick
– My housekeeper, who has a hard time getting into books lately, but thought about reading 50 Shades of Grey
– All of the friends of my very enthusiastic cousin
– My friend Sam, who’s more into horror and thrillers and sci-fi and such
– My hair stylist, who has read 50 Shades of Grey, and made a not-impressed face when remembering the sex

Note, if you publish your romance debut in 2013, all mainstream world discussion jumps off from 50 Shades of Grey as a baseline. It’s like the Wal-Mart in a small town used for directions – “It’s one mile down from the Wal-Mart, take a left on Highway 81, second right.” So, if I’m talking with non-romance-fan friends, TASTE OF PASSION is “A lot like 50 Shades of Grey. They both have sex in them, and it’s just everything else that’s different.”

I guess real-life-person reviews will be trickling in over the next few months. Wish me luck on that.

Though, I do have one early review back – Sam’s gal loved it, and it made her want to read a lot more romance. I created a romance fan, guys! Man, is it dusty in here. It’s a localized dust storm, right around my eyes.


Taste of Passion by Renae Jones

About TASTE OF PASSION

21,000 word novella
Sci-fi erotic romance

Fedni, an empath who can taste emotion, was once a highly desirable courtesan. But the conquering New Earth Federation has abolished her temple, forcing her into early retirement and making her struggle to find her place in a transformed world.

Learn more about TASTE OF PASSION

Renae Jones on TwitterRenae Jones on Facebook

Yeehaw! Cowboys!

facebook twitter

Cowboys.

Need we say more?

Okay, we know we don’t have to, but we will. You see, there are few heroes as enduring as the cowboys of the American west. Strong, resilient, upright men of honor, a cowboy knows how to get down and dirty, but he also knows exactly how to treat a lady.

There have been many, many memorable cowboys in fiction and film. Today, we’d like to share a few of our favorites with you!

Maggie Wells:

Will Kane, former Marshal of Hadleyville, and the law man determined to face his destiny in High Noon. Strong without being overbearing, Marshal Kane was a man with a strong dedication to duty. He placed the good of the town above his own personal well-being, and will willing to sacrifice his deepest desires for what he felt in his heart was the right thing to do.  Oh, and it didn’t hurt that Marshal Kane was portrayed by the incomparable Gary Cooper, either!

Christina Thacher:

Well, it has to be Clint Eastwood for me. But which of his many cowboy roles would I pick? I think I have to go with Hogan, his drifter/mercenary/romantic hero in Two Mules for Sister Sara. I love the plot of Hogan being confused by Shirley MacLaine’s Sister Sara, who smokes cigars and drinks his whisky. Eventually he learns that she’s a prostitute pretending to be a nun. It’s not quite screwball comedy, but funny and sweet as well as dramatic and exciting. Not a great movie, perhaps, but when they ride off together, I’m rooting for them. And that’s a cowboy I can love. (Plus Maggie already bagged Gary Cooper, darn her.)

Emily Cale:

Will the others kill me if I say that I’m too young to remember most of these? The one I do remember watching was Guy Williams in the TV show Zorro. Even as a little kid, there as something about him that summed up exactly what I wanted in a guy. He was chivalrous, always after the bad guy and super dreamy. Even now, when the word Zorro comes up, I am immediately in (even if I am usually disappointed by what shows up on these screen these days).

Ginny Glass:

My pick may be a little unconventional – one of my favorite “cowboys” is Kevin Kline as Paden in Silverado.  As a former gambler and outlaw, you see him first in dire circumstances, robbed and left in the desert to presumably die. Have no, fear, though, our man eventually makes it to the nearest town with the aid of the equally awesome Scott Glenn and this leads into one of the best scenes in the film – Kline has a showdown with his attackers dressed in nothing but long, red underwear.

I love the character’s mix of humor, swagger, and even of moral conflict. Part comedic, part dramatic, intelligent and sensitive with hints of a rogue past, Kline is super-smokin’ in this movie – just enough bad boy and just enough hero to make the cowboy lover in all of us swoon a bit.

But the gals reminded me of a few other hot cowboys, too – guess I’ll have to hit up my Netflix queue and brush up on some hot outlaws and lawmen. Hope you’ll all check out the final volume of Love Letters and enjoy some of our heroes as well!

 photo LoveLetters6revisedconcept_zpsd9c56391.jpg
Love Letters Volume 6: Cowboy’s Command – available now from Carina Press!

These men know how to ride! Meet red-hot ranchers and captivating cowboys in five new short stories in Love Letters Volume 6: Cowboy’s Command.

V Is for Vindicated by Maggie Wells
Barrel-racing queen Michelle Kelly likes to ride wild–but her old flame Cole Powell might have what it takes to rope the woman he loves once and for all.

W Is for Wanted by Ginny Glass
When Samuel Thrasher is forced to return to his family’s ranch, he doesn’t want to revisit his past…except when it comes to Merrit Hightower, who’s definitely not the innocent girl he left behind!

X Is for XXX Ranch by Maggie Wells and Emily Cale
Jane Richardson is stunned to discover that the property she’s inherited isn’t the working ranch she imagined. Handsome neighbor Clive Boland offers to buy the XXX Ranch–and proposes more than just a business deal.

Y Is for Yearning by Christina Thacher
Cowboy Ben Hastings is everything Diana wants in a man. He may be quiet, but their passion between the sheets is anything but. Yet making a place for her in his bed and life may be a challenge…

Z Is for Zeal by Emily Cale
Rancher Aaron Lyons hates when tourists take over his local bar during rodeo week–until he meets Nathan Howell, and their encounter turns into a one-night stand neither of them will forget.
Learning the alphabet has never been so sexy. New to the Love Letters series? Start reading today!

 photo V1thumb_zps828e83a6.jpg  photo V2thumb_zps5a0b53ab.jpg  photo V3thumb_zps1b538cac.jpg  photo 845692ee-321d-4c86-b51c-e47bdbca4039_zps592396ff.jpg  photo 7e3e5399-d981-42ca-b154-df55b870c303_zpsb79969fd.jpg  photo dcd93639-9cb0-42c9-ac39-266dc333d06c_zps8506dec7.jpg

Who loves a mystery? Me!

facebook twitter

The sixth book in my Dylan Scott mystery series, Deadly Shadows, has hit the virtual shelves and I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am to be published by Carina Press and see my books alongside such wonderful mysteries. Seriously, you should check out the Carina Press mystery category.

I’ve read most of Carina’s mysteries and, although there are far too many to mention individually, here are some of my favourites.

Hunter Files
I’m addicted to W. Soliman’s Hunter Files series. Addicted, I tell you. Charlie Hunter retired from the British police force at 40 to enjoy some relaxing time on his boat, but ends up risking life and limb to solve a variety of cases. He does anything but relax on that boat. I fall in love with him all over again each time I’m treated to another in this wonderful series.

The Shoeless Kid
Kate Williams has a new job as a small-town police chief and is tempted to ignore the homeless man who walks into her police station clutching a kid’s shoe. But then a child actually does go missing and – well, no spoilers from me, but I couldn’t put The Shoeless Kid down. I became a huge fan of Marcelle Dube’s Kate Williams.

Allegra Fairweather
If your tastes run to paranormal mysteries, I heartily recommend the Allegra Fairweather series of books by Janni Nell. Allegra is a paranormal investigator (don’t call her a ghostbuster) who solves cases with the help of her very own, drop-dead gorgeous, guardian angel. And I do mean drop-dead gorgeous. Yum.

Scene Stealer
If it’s a cozy mystery you like, why not try Scene Stealer by Elise Warner? This begins with a chance encounter on the subway when a retired schoolteacher sees a child that she knows is afraid. Augusta Weidenmaier soon becomes determined to help the police in their search for a missing nine-year-old child actor. Augusta is a wonderful character who refuses to be intimidated by anyone. She’ll stop at nothing and I found myself cheering for her every step of the way.

As for my latest offering, Deadly Shadows takes private investigator Dylan Scott back to my own home, the somewhat bleak and forbidding hills of East Lancashire in the UK.

Deadly Shadows

Before his disgraceful dismissal from the police force, Dylan Scott worked undercover to get close to notorious drug dealer Joe Child. Now, Dylan works as a P.I. – and Child heads up a religious commune near Dawson’s Clough. But after two girls go missing from the refuge, the cops need Dylan’s help to find out if Child is saving souls as a cover for something more sinister.

The investigation means going back undercover as a petty crook – a tough gig for a detective who has recently worked some high-profile cases in Lancashire. Even on a remote farm, Dylan’s in constant danger of being recognized. Not to mention the strain his long absences have put on his family life.

Still, Dylan won’t rest until he finds the missing girls. But the longer he looks, the harder it is to tell the sinners from the saints. And the truth may be more than this bleak northern town can handle.

(Read an excerpt here.)

From the above, you’ll see that I love all sorts of mysteries, from the hard-boiled to the cosy, from police procedurals to paranormal. For me, the fun is in solving the puzzle, in figuring out whodunnit before the sleuth does. I also love a good battle between good and evil. Will the sleuth save the day? Will good overcome evil? I read a lot – romance, sci-fi, romantic suspense, anything – but mysteries will always hold a special place in my heart.

What about you? Do you enjoy a good mystery? If so, how do you like them? Hard-boiled or cozy? Paranormal? Brought to you with a large dose of romance? I’m curious. Also, if you have any recommendations of your own, please share!

Shirley Wells lives in Lancashire, UK, where most of her crime novels are set. She shares her home in the Pennines with her husband and two dogs. Her loves include dogs, books, chocolate, more books, football, and more books. To find out more about Shirley and her writing, visit her website, or chat via Twitter and/or Facebook.

The End?

facebook twitter

The Volatile Amazon is the final book in the four-book Alliance of the Amazons series.

 photo Volatile_Amazon_final_zpsa18a6c92.jpg
In many ways, I’m thrilled with its release. I strongly believe fans of the series will love the way Sarita’s story brings together all four books—from the Amazon sisters, to the goddesses, to the enemy they’ve hunted for so long.

On the other hand, I’m sad. To bid my Amazons adieu feels the same as saying goodbye to dear friends. Sarita, Gina, Megan, and Rebecca are just as “real” to me as any person I’ve known. I’ve lived and breathed their ups, their downs, their triumphs, and their tragedies.

So where do I go from here?

That’s a complicated question…

I have so many new stories swimming through my mind, I can now take the time to get to know all those characters the same way I became engrossed in the lives of my Amazons. There will be one big change for the time being—my focus is shifting.  photo rulesofthegames_zps1c51c4ab.jpg
Instead of writing urban fantasy—which I dearly love—I want to churn out a few more contemporary romances. It seems I have my greatest success in that genre. For example, my Carina Press contemporary romance, Rules of the Game, recently  photo holtimage_zpsf5820068.gif won the HOLT Medallion for best novel with strong romantic elements. It’s also a finalist for the Aspen Gold Readers’ Choice Award, the Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, and was a Golden Quill finalist. Rather hard to stay away from that kind of appreciation for my stories!

So if you’re looking to read more “Sandy James” books, keep your eye on releases in the contemporary romance arena. This might be “the end” of the Alliance of the Amazons, but there are plenty more stories full of tears, laughter, and love on the way!

***

The Volatile Amazon

Sarita Neeraj has never felt like a real Amazon. Compared to the obvious strengths of her sisters, her Water powers seem small as her stature. She’s determined to prove herself–unfortunately, all that gets her is captured by an enemy.

Ian serves a twisted goddess, preferring this to an empty afterlife. He’s taken Sarita hostage to coax the other Amazons from their safe haven. But in his ancient Scottish castle, the passion and love Ian finds for Sarita resurrect his honor, until he chafes at the dark will of his mistress. 

Sarita has finally found happiness–but before she can enjoy it, she’s “rescued” by her furious sisters. To save Ian from destruction at the hands of the Amazons, Sarita must risk wielding magick that could change her very nature. Only then can she prove the Water Amazon is the strongest of the four–and save them all from destruction.

Meet Earth, Fire, and Air in The Reluctant
Amazon, The Impetuous Amazon, and The Brazen Amazon.

 Find Sandy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Exposed!

facebook twitter

Oops! Sorry, didn’t know you were there…Okay, maybe we did.

The Love Letters ladies have been at it again. Want to get a peek at their thoughts on being exposed? Read on!

Be sure to stick around to the end – there’s a FREE BOOK in it for you!

 photo b5e7afd7-c25b-4812-806f-63099fa9c007_zps555ede55.jpg

Christina Thacher on why taking a chance can be so hot:

Here’s the thing about exhibitionism. It’s charming…as long as no one is watching! I know that’s contradictory, but really, it’s true. You want your lover to see you, sure, but you don’t want anyone else to watch. Still, there has to be the possibility that someone else can see. I borrowed a friend’s house in the country once. The swimming pool was open on three sides, but there were lots of trees and bushes between the pool and the road on the other side of the house. You know what that means: Nudie bathing! So awesome, swimming naked with a guy. Very sexy, very visceral. Until you try to uh, consummate the occasion and discover that those swimming pool sex scenes in books are wildly optimistic. Anyway, in theory someone could have driven by, but in reality they’d never have seen anything. It’s the feeling of exposure that ramps up the sexual tension.

Maggie Wells on sneaking a peek:

I admit it, I’m a peeker. I’ve never been able to resist a taboo. I’m also the type of girl who likes to cut to the chase. Christmas presents? I knew all my parents’ hiding spots. Mr. Wells learned to pay cash for Valentine’s treats and birthday gifts long ago. It’s not that I don’t like surprises. I love them—as long I’m prepared for them. In my mind, hot sex can be likened to a game of chess. A master might guess the other player’s next move, but that doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm for the game. Heightened anticipation is one of the most delicious bits of pleasure. One I believe is best savored with eyes wide open.

Emily Cale on why confidence is super sexy:

Um…so my heroine gets naked. This describes most of the characters in my books (I am an erotic romance author), but this one does it in public. How many of us spend time complaining about having to wear a swimsuit or skinny jeans? The other day I was talking with a friend about why some people can pull off any outfit they want while others always look out of place. I’ll save you two hours of rambling and tell you that the conclusion was that if you look confident, everyone else will go along with it. I’m not saying you should strip naked and let a bunch of strangers eat dinner off of you (though I’m not stopping you either), but maybe a little bit of confidence could go a long way. Hell, if you step out and tell yourself that you are the best looking thing around, I bet everyone else would agree.

Ginny Glass on having an audience:

I’m a drama nerd from way back, so no one has ever had to convince me of the merits of having an audience, but when it comes to sex, the majority of us aren’t breaking the fourth wall with any naked body parts. This doesn’t mean that the idea of an audience can’t be just as powerful – how often are you out doing mundane things with your husband, wife, significant other when they give you all the little flirty signals that let you know you just may be getting lucky? This is the mildest form of exhibitionism, and even if the cashier doesn’t know you’re headed home to immediately drop the groceries and  some clothing, it can still be a secret thrill. A lot of erotic romance gets a bad rap for catering to too particular of tastes – but next time your husband gives you the bedroom look over the produce section, remember, we’ve all got some kind of naughty streak in us!

Love Letters Volume 5: Exposed – available now from Carina Press!

Private passion meets public display in these four hot short stories in Love Letters Volume 5: Exposed.

R Is for Reality by Ginny Glass
Sheer desperation drives Mackenzie Alexander to persuade handsome cab driver Greg Redding to audition for a role she’s been forced to cast. A role that leads to steamy encounters on and off set…

S Is for Scandalous by Emily Cale
Taking a job as a nude serving dish at a party is a departure for model Kacey James. But the public event becomes something much more private when one of the guests turns out to be a man from her past.

T Is for Tango by Christina Thacher
Adam is shocked when his office’s sexy temp, Sonia, starts changing clothes at her desk when everyone else has left for the night–until she makes it clear he’s her intended audience.

U Is for Undone by Maggie Wells
Dr. Alec McCarthy has noticed hot nurse and neighbor Sofia Morales around the hospital–but she really gets his attention when she does a striptease for him in front of her window.

New to the Love Letters series? Start reading today! Volume 1: Obeying Desire is FREE for a limited time – download now!

 photo 9edc36e2-b628-4d85-bcdd-84511d69e89f_zpsa7408d35.jpg

Carina ~ Amazon ~ B & N

Learning the alphabet has never been so sexy. Love Letters Volume 6: Cowboy’s Command available for pre-order now!

 photo V1thumb_zps828e83a6.jpg  photo V2thumb_zps5a0b53ab.jpg  photo V3thumb_zps1b538cac.jpg  photo 845692ee-321d-4c86-b51c-e47bdbca4039_zps592396ff.jpg  photo 7e3e5399-d981-42ca-b154-df55b870c303_zpsb79969fd.jpg  photo dcd93639-9cb0-42c9-ac39-266dc333d06c_zps8506dec7.jpg

Finding Your Characters

facebook twitter

Every time I sit down to write a new story, one of the first things I do is delve into my characters. I build their back story by defining their upbringing, family, occupation, tragedies and triumphs. This brings out their personality traits including habits, likes, dislikes, routines, defenses, etc. I often spend hours researching specific occupations or hobbies or illnesses or… you get the point. I do this through talking to people, the internet, books, visits to locations and sometimes, actually experiencing it.

With all the publicity this past week about the newly casted members of the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie, I couldn’t help but wonder how those actors were going to learn about their characters. Will they immerse themselves in the world of dominance and submission in order to understand the mindset of their characters? It’s an interesting thought. I believe we’ve all heard stories of actors doing deep immersion into a character to understand how to portray them realistically. Do you remember the hype around Demi Moore when she visited strip clubs to learn from real women who were mothers working as strippers for her role in Striptease?

This is what Quinn Andrews does in Bonds of Hope. She used to be America’s sweetheart and a popular child star, but the transition to adulthood hasn’t been easy for her or her career. When she lands the part as a submissive in an upcoming television series based around a BDSM club, she knows that her knowledge is sorely lacking on the topic. There’s only so much she can learn from the internet. In order to better understand the mindset of her new character, she seeks out a professional to teach her the ways of the BDSM world. Only she never expected to learn so much about herself along the way.

How do you get into the mindset of your characters? I’d love to know what you do to uncover the core of who your characters are before you start writing.

“This is a rare book that can make you laugh and blush at the same time.”
– 4 stars, RT Book Reviews on
Bonds of Hope

Bonds of Hope, Wicked Play #4

Quinn Andrews has a lot to learn about the world of BDSM. Once America’s sweetheart, she has an opportunity to revive her career by playing a sexual submissive in a highly anticipated new series. Quinn is ready to throw herself into the role, and her hometown’s premier sex club, The Den, is the ideal place for a crash course.

At first Marcus Reese is reluctant to take on Quinn’s erotic education, despite his intense attraction to the stunning starlet. While she fulfills his every command perfectly, she’s also a consummate actress—and Marcus is determined to uncover the real woman hidden behind the mask.

Quinn’s been taking direction all her life, so submitting to a Dom comes easily. But it’s not just the most amazing sex she’s ever had—Marcus challenges her to define her own needs and make her own decisions. And when her training is over, Quinn will have to choose between continuing to play a part in her own life, or living by her own rules.

88,000 words

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Carina Press | ARe

New to The Den? Go back to the beginning with Bonds of Trust, Bonds of Need, & Bonds of Desire available now!

 

 

 

(BTW -Bonds of Trust is free at Carina Press for a limited time. Use coupon code BONFR913 at checkout)

 

Lynda has always loved to read. It’s a simple fact that has been true since she discovered the worlds of Judy Blume at the age of ten. After years of weekly travel as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies, she ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now, her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, cleaner and mediator.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Standing at the Crossroads

facebook twitter

Our lives take strange turns. Who knew I’d be juggling a home life far busier than the corporate one I left behind? Or that I’d be worried about book research and review blogs instead of balance sheets and sales figures? The tiniest leap of faith can put us on paths we never imagined, which is what I’ve always felt true romance is all about. Putting trust in that special someone. Being willing to risk everything for them.

That’s why I like to read and write romance. To remind myself, and others, I suppose, that the uncertainty of a new relationship can lead to great things, even if we don’t welcome such a change at first.

I remember that night twenty years ago when I first saw the man who is now my husband and life partner. He was gorgeous and funny and a little broken (I’m a sucker for that), but he didn’t really fit in my “plan.” He offered to buy me a cup of coffee at this up-and-coming joint in town called Starbucks. I have no idea where I’d be today if I’d walked away instead of accepting.

One tiny decision. One small concession. A leap of faith that changed everything. That cup of coffee—one cream, no sugar—was the first step to a happy, fulfilling future. It’s scary to think I almost left it behind.

In Bending the Iron, my character Michael has a similar decision to make. It’s the decision every hero or heroine must make: the new and unknown or the safe and familiar? Is now truly the right time to change direction and take a different path? Lucky for Michael, the man of his dreams is a good negotiator, both in and out of the bedroom. (I’m also a sucker for happy endings, in case you were wondering.)

In a life full of crossroads, how do we know whether to follow that special someone? We don’t. Twenty years ago, I took a chance. That’s what romance is all about.

 

Share a thought about this post or Bending the Iron. I will choose one commenter from today to receive a free copy and will announce the winner here on Thursday morning. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the book!

***

Bending the Iron

Michael feels trapped. In his conservative, poor hometown where he has to keep his sexuality hidden. In his dead-end job. In caring for his alcoholic grandfather. Everything changes when he meets Eric, the new curator for the railroad museum. His curiosity about the passionate man quickly gives way to an intense attraction—one that Eric happily returns.

Carefree and refreshingly confident, Eric guides Michael to places he’s forgotten, reminding him that it may not be too late to follow his dreams for something more in life. But the truth is, Eric knows exactly how it feels to be stuck in a bad situation. A failed relationship has left him with personal demons that may hurt his connection with Michael.

To give their future a chance, they both must fight being trapped in the past.

Available from Carina Press HERE.

***

Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school’s fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.

Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.

Libby’s first novel, State of Mind, was nominated for 2011 M/M Book of the Year by Authors After Dark.

Visit Libby’s:

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

Inking his own path

facebook twitter

The Adorned started off in November 2008…and yes, for those of you whose ears prick up like a bloodhound’s at the mention of ‘November’, its initial (and terrible!) first draft was written in the trenches of National Novel Writing Month. It wasn’t my first time in those trenches, and in order to be well-armed this time I’d gone in with an outline, a solid plan, a main character, and a folder full of tattoo pictures to inspire me.

I knew I wanted to write about a beautiful young man who becomes a living canvas and his life in the world of tattooed courtesans, and I thought I had that whole life planned out already. Etan, the young man in questions, started taking me by surprise no more than a few words in, though–and never stopped surprising me until I finally wrote the last few sentences of the book as it is today.

That experience is something most writers I know will recognise with a rueful smile: a character whose life you’ve planned out from cradle to grave will suddenly look up and say “no, sorry; I have my own plans”. The carefully plotted course I had laid out for Etan to travel fell away, and he took me down some roads I never expected–some leading into sunlight, and some into deep shadow, but never to a place I wasn’t interested in exploring.

Finding his own way is something that Etan struggles with a lot, and not just against the wishes of his ornery writer. When I first ‘met’ him, he was penniless, orphaned, caught between warring cultures, and with nothing except a pretty face to his name–the poor kid had the deck stacked against him. How he manages to survive in a land where aristocrats claim the power of gods’ blood and can turn someone’s life upside down on a mere whim…well, it takes more than a pretty face to do that.



My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.

A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.

But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I’d rather have Tallisk’s.

Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered–and Roberd and myself along with it…


John Tristan writes about hot guys navigating strange and dangerous worlds, and quite often falling in love with each other. You can find him at his website (www.johntristan.com) and on twitter at @johntwistan.

Tempted to Travel?

facebook twitter

It’s vacation time! In keeping with the release of Love Letters Volume 4: Travel to Temptation, we asked the Love Letters ladies about their real-life travel adventures:

Maggie Wells – I married a single dad, so romantic getaways have been on the back burner for the better part of the past decade. Now that our kids are mostly grown, we’re a little stymied by the choices. As you can imagine, analysis has led to paralysis, and I haven’t managed to book that dream trip yet. The good news is, the hubby got frustrated he swept me away for a romantic weekend at a nearby B&B. That’s when I realized that I should waffle more often!

Christina Thacher – I’ve been to both New Zealand and Majorca. I was visiting distant cousins in New Zealand, so I have to say the Majorca trip was a lot sexier. I went with a charming Brit and we stayed in precisely the house that Tara and Zane are forced to share. Of course, my British boyfriend and I had planned to spend the week there—no fighting necessary. Just long siestas in the heat of the August afternoons. :: fans self :: I feel warm just remembering that trip….

Emily Cale- Travel has long been a passion and vice of mine. My mom sent me off to Europe on an educational trip when I was 13 and I’ve never looked back. Fifteen years later I’ve been to 26 countries on 5 different continents. Right now, I’m dreaming of an adventure sailing down the Amazon and hiking through the rainforest. I have four more countries to visit in two years in order to make my goal of 30 by 30, so I am always busy planning.

Ginny Glass – I have never been outside of the Continental US, but I love big cities (Los Angeles and Atlanta are among my favorites) as well as tiny, out of the way places (any small town in Tennessee with good BBQ would win me over). Most recently, the husband and I took a little getaway to Northern Arizona, which is our favorite part of the state. I think I enjoy road tripping with hubby and the pup just as much as I would a visit to somewhere exotic – though in the future, I wouldn’t say no to a trek around Italy or Greece!

How about you? Where do you like to visit? Do you have a dream destination?

Love Letters Volume 4: Travel to Temptation

 photo 90890993-b0f8-4768-88c2-92825542027a_zpsa375f381.jpg

Passion is only a short trip away in Love Letters Volume 4: Travel to Temptation.

M Is for Melting by Maggie Wells
When Samantha Walters contacts childhood pen pal Luca Camilleri, she discovers the boy she knew is now an incredibly desirable man. And a not-so-innocent comment in an online chat spurs Sam to give in to impulse, heading to Malta for a vacation fling.

N Is for Naughty by Christina Thacher
Chasing a reclusive author sends Steve Collins to New Zealand–and into the bed of smart and sexy Gemma Robinson, the writer’s granddaughter. Can Steve earn her forgiveness when she learns he used her to find his idol?

O Is for One More Night by Ginny Glass
Winnie Caesar only intends to ask Silas Quinn for help in locating a stolen artifact, not to relive the steamy night they once shared. But when Winnie tracks him down in Brazil, her plans are derailed by their unstoppable passion…

P Is for Predicament by Emily Cale
Finally single and ready to move on with his life, Jason Logan plans a getaway to the Indian Himalayas…but so does his ex, Dillon Waters. Soon a simple chat leads to much more intimate encounters.

Q Is for Quarrel by Ginny Glass and Christina Thacher
The last thing Zane Harrison expects to find in his borrowed Majorcan villa is an undressed-to-impress woman! Turns out he and Tara Curtis were both promised exclusive use of the villa. They quickly discover a way to broker a truce by sharing a bedroom…

Available now:

 photo V1thumb_zps828e83a6.jpg  photo V2thumb_zps5a0b53ab.jpg  photo V3thumb_zps1b538cac.jpg  photo 845692ee-321d-4c86-b51c-e47bdbca4039_zps592396ff.jpg