- Ann Lory
- Welcome to Blog Bites! I love writing and reading romance of all genres which is why I've created "In the Author Spotlight". That way you and I can find out who's out there and what more they have for use to dig our claws into. Are you an author interested in being in the "Author Spotlight"? Shoot me an email at AnnLory@gmail.com for a spot. Currently, I'm published in contemporary and paranormal. If you'd like to read excerpts and find out what's out, or what's in store for you please visit my website at www.annlory.com.
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Author Spotlight Calendar - March
- 2nd BLOG BITES BREAK
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- 30th Xakara
- 4th J.A. Garland
- 17th BLOG BITES BREAK
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- ► 2011 (46)
- ► 2010 (72)
- In the Author Spotlight Leah Braemel CONTEST: I a...
- HAPPY FRIDAY ALL : : :BREAKING NEWS: : : Due to ...
- Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women There is ...
- In the Author Spotlight Melissa Lopez AL: Hi Meli...
- Wednesdays' Witty Words from Wise Women In orde...
- Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women As you cl...
- In the Author Spotlight & Contest Cora Zane CON...
- DON'T FORGET... TWOLIPS REVIEWS 3RD BIRTHDAY CELE...
- Hi all! I'm the guest blogger today on Leah Braem...
- In the Author Spotlight & Contest Lorelei James ...
- ▼ August (10)
CONTEST: I am offering one lucky commenter a copy of my novel Personal Protection (their choice of e-format). Please make sure to leave a comment along with your email addy so I can contact you if you win. :-)
AL: Hi Leah! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Leah: Hmm, my life is pretty much wrapped up in writing these days. If I’m not writing, I’m ferrying my two sons around making sure they’re ready to head back to school. My youngest son heads back to school on the 8th. Technically he graduated high school in June (though the grad’s being held in October), but he’s going back for an extra year to do a co-op program. (Since the Ontario government cancelled Grade 13 a few years back, they have the option to taking an extra year to prepare for college.) My eldest who finished his college course in Computer Animation a few years ago but hasn’t found a job in his field, will also be going back to school to become an electrical apprentice.
AL: What’s on the bookshelf for us to read?
Leah: I currently have two stories published through Samhain Publishing – an erotic romance novella called Private Property, and a sequel to that, a full length novel, Personal Protection.
AL: Anything new in the works?
Leah: I’ve got several irons in the fire at the moment. I sold Personal Protection as the start of the Hauberk Protection series (although Private Property is a sort of prequel), so I’ve got the next in the series in the works, and several more outlined. I also have an erotic romance novella that I’m just polishing up to send in to my new editor. *fingers crossed*
AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?
Leah: Best thing? That I can put to good use the little voices that have been telling me stories in my head for years ;) They like to be listened to. My least favorite thing is getting the little voices to co-operate and talk when I want them to. Some days they are awful quiet and it takes a lot of poking with a sharp stick to get them to co-operate.
AL: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Leah: For worldbuilding, there’s no one like Tolkien. But of contemporary writers? Patricia Briggs is probably highest on my list, followed by Ann Aguirre. Maya Banks and Lorelei James are auto buys. And thanks to Twitter, Victoria Dahl – a new discovery for me – is quickly becoming a favorite.
AL: Okay, now it’s time to get personal. My favorite season is here and I’m excited that my beloved Missouri Tigers will be taking the field in a few weeks. Who’s your favorite football team? (Don’t like football? I forgive you.) Is there any other sport or team you follow?
Leah: Oh oh – I’m not a football fan. I follow the Toronto Blue Jays (on occasion) and keep an eye on the Toronto Maple Leafs, but basically the only sports that gets turned to on a regular basis in this house (and I am NOT in charge of the remote) is golf. (Yes, I can hear the snores now. And yes, they’re often my own.)
AL: What is this romance writer's idea of the "perfect romantic evening"?
Leah: Wow, I think that depends upon the person, or for me, even depends upon my mood. Sometimes just sitting on the couch watching my favorite moving snuggled up to my hubby can be a perfect romantic evening. But for those extra special nights – I’d start with a wonderful meal at a restaurant (so I don’t have to cook or have dishes to worry about afterward), followed by a stay in a resort or B&B where you have the use of a private hot tub. Add a glass of wine (or two), lots of quiet conversation with your significant other, then the ability to retire to a comfortable king sized bed with no kids around – Heaven.
AL: Best movie you've seen recently?
Leah: The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock. Though I was totally bummed out to discover that beautiful mountain vista behind the bay was all CGId
AL: If you kissed a frog, what would he turn into?
Leah: My husband? Okay, let’s get a bit more imagination (though I really am happily married) If I kissed a frog, he would turn into … probably whatever hero I’m currently working on (I always fall in love with the hero, LOL.) They’re always tall, their hair color varies – though my current hero in my WIP is dark haired; he’d have grey eyes and be prepared to protect me while respecting me. Hmm, yup, I’ve just described my husband again. Well, except for the hair. It used to be dark, now it’s … well, we just say it’s getting lighter-colored highlights all on its own ;)
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Leah: I’ve got one on my webpage that embodies my two worlds: Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. ~Voltaire I used to do special pulled thread embroidery for an English designer, and since I write romance, it really fits. Stories are very much like the designs I sew – they’re often layered, and have all sorts of threads that have to weave together until finally you can stand back and see the grand design.
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Leah.
Leah: Thanks for having me, Ann. I’ve had fun answering your questions.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Leah please visit:
She can cover him with one hand tied behind her back. Maybe two.
Hauberk Protection, Book 2
Sam Watson excels at keeping other people safe. Now a stalker is targeting him, but so what? A few doctored photos and a couple threatening phone calls are no big deal. He can watch his own back. Then again, the view from behind the sexy spitfire assigned to protect him isn’t so bad…
Rosalinda Ramos has managed to keep her attraction to Hauberk Security’s owner tightly under wraps. It’s just as well he doesn’t know. One slip—in the bedroom or on the job—will cost her her heart and her career, so she’s got only one thing on her mind. Protect Sam, whether he wants it or not.
The stakes—and the heat—rise exponentially when she discovers Sam belongs to an exclusive sex club—one she must investigate for potential suspects. Suddenly she finds herself immersed in a world that pushes her boundaries.
Sam delights in leading Rosie deep into his sexual shadows—until they go one game too far. Making him wonder if he can allow the woman he loves to take a bullet for him.
To read an excerpt from Hauberk Protection please visit: http://www.leahbraemel.com/personalprotection.html
Remember to enter the contest for a chance to win.
Melissa: Besides being stranded with someone capable of surviving on a deserted island I'd want my computer. And I'd want the survivalist stuck with me to pick the third item. :-)
Cora: Thank you for inviting me.
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
AL: Vampires and wolves. Yum yum! Care to tell us about your recent releases?
Cora: I’ve had quite a few recent releases. Feral Instinct came out in Ravenous Romance’s Rekindled Fire anthology in April, I believe. That story features Adriana Holt, one of the supporting characters in my free erotic werewolf story Under a Midnight Moon.
In May, Moonlight and Shadows was released at Cobblestone Press. It’s a continuation of the Werekind Series, only I shifted the series to another locale and a rivalry between two new packs in this book. The Istvaan and Dartega packs are based out of the Shreveport-Bossier City area (Louisiana), which is where I spent my summers as a teenager. I thought it would be fun to write about urban werewolves since all of my previous Werekind stories have revolved around rural settings.
I’ve also had two erotica stories come out since June, both with Cobblestone Press. Wicked Desires is a short, vampire erotica, and a loose sequel to Wicked Temptation. It’s a graphic erotica story that delves into the hidden lifestyle of an acolyte as she presents herself as a potential protégé to a vampire. The story is very dark, and I know that it isn’t going to be for everyone, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out, nonetheless. No crying, brooding vampires with this one. Serge Dmitriev is centuries old, wealthy, sophisticated, and he knows exactly what he wants from a woman. Liliana Ashton is a born acolyte into the vampire realm, one looking to secure her bloodline for another generation. They both want something from the other, and plan to use seduction as a means to get it.
The other erotica story I mentioned, Wave Rider, came out in July. It’s a contemporary story about a woman who goes on vacation and meets two sexy surfers who teach her the meaning of “body rides”. This story is my going favorite right now. It gives you the romance of a holiday affair between mature people who know their time together is limited. I truly love this story.
AL: What got you so gung-ho on vamps and shifters?
Cora: I grew up reading comic books and horror novels. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized the stories I liked best had strong romantic elements in them. Once I worked out that you can have vampires and shifters in a romance, my book preference changed and I became a romance reader.
AL: Out of all your stories do you have one that is more near and dear to your heart?
I think I like this one so much because given the situation, the feelings of the characters seem especially genuine. Sunny, Paulo, and Matteo make a strong connection from the start, and yet they know their time together is short. That being the case, they make it a point to spend every moment they can together, focusing on the simple and pleasurable things that, when you think about it, can only serve to deepen their affections for one another.
The setup itself is pure fantasy, but you could still believe this is something that could actually happen to someone. It’s beautiful, and at the same time, a little sad.
AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?
Cora: I plan to keep writing, although I’m focusing on longer fiction now. I just finished writing a futuristic romance novel that I’m preparing to shop around. I don’t think I’ll ever give up writing short stories, but I’ve put off writing full length because, until recently, I just didn’t feel ready. I think I’ve finally reached the expansion point. With this next book, I’m hoping to step out and spread my wings a bit, but overall, as long as characters continue to show up to talk to me, I’ll keep writing down what they have to say.
AL: Okay, let’s get to the nitty gritty…If you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?
Cora: Hm. I’d be something inconspicuous, for sure. Maybe a demon or a shape shifter... Whatever the form, I’d definitely write myself in as a vicious personality hidden in a casual package. I figure if you’re going to be the villain, you better be good at hiding the fact. As for a name…I’m not really sure. I’d likely choose something unusual, maybe Imari or Jessamin.
AL: You have just won five thousand dollars! But...you have to spend it all today. What will you buy?
Cora: At the moment, I’d have to use that 5k to pay bills, haha. But if I were actually in some kind of financial shape to be selfish with money, I’d book a guided hiking tour across Europe. For me, that would be the trip of a lifetime.
AL: You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for. 1) What’s the movie about? 2) Who’s your character? 3) And who’s your leading man?
Cora: Without a doubt, the movie would be about some kind of zombie apocalypse. I don’t know what it is about those movies, but I can’t get enough! That being the case, I hope I’d be the character who runs fast and carries a very big gun.
As for my leading man, I’d want either Gary Oldman or Callum Keith Rennie in there, keeping watch with me. I can only hope I wouldn’t be terribly distracted in the presence of so much manly hotness. After all, I wouldn’t want to trip over my own feet and end up as zombie kibbles.
AL: The Howling or Lost Boys?
Cora: Oh, now that’s just cruel. I love both movies. But I guess if I have to choose one to watch over and over again for all eternity, I better go with The Howling.
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Cora: “I’m not trying to reach everyone, just reach like-minded souls.” ~Stobie Piel (author) I’ve had that quote on my blog for several years now, and it’s just as meaningful to me now as when I first discovered it posted on her website. Whenever I have a moment of doubt about my writing, I recite those words to myself. They lift me up.
AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Cora.
Cora: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me. :0)
Perhaps that was the reason the Dartega agreed to meet them here, upwind of the house, no access to the private cul-de-sac that lead into and off of their property. Nothing important seemed detectable from this distance, no entrances and no vulnerabilities.
Sylvie had known of the location of the Dartega pack den all her life, but this was the first time she’d ever set eyes on it for herself. Her brother had never seen it, and as far as she knew, neither had their father.
I'm the first, she thought, and her skin prickled at the dubious honor. How odd that she should be the one standing here now, on rival pack territory, sizing up the enemy’s domain.
“I’m telling you, they’re not coming,” Baird complained, and Sylvie glanced over her shoulder to see the young blond werewolf fidgeting, staring off in the direction of the maintenance parking lot where they’d left their cars.
Tynan dusted off his hands as he rose up from where he crouched at the base of a tree.
“They’ll come,” he said with dread in his voice. “They have to. We’re less than a two hundred feet from their den.”
“They’re watching us right now,” Bastien stated in a flat tone, and although Sylvie didn’t say so, she believed he was right.
The five of them waited together in a sheltered spot along the outer fringes of the rough. Here, deliberate rows of towering fir trees grew, an obstacle separating the eighteenth green from the rest of the course. The open yet out-of-the-way area might have been peaceful if not for the obvious dangers, but all things considered, the meeting spot felt like a deathtrap.
She’d vehemently disagreed with Bastien’s plan to meet their enemies here. Too much hinged on the honor of the Dartega alpha to take such risks. The arrangements were too one-sided. The Dartega’s men might very well emerge and kill them all where they stood, and after so many years of conflict between their packs, who would be surprised?
She looked up at the gauzy clouds stretched out across the sky like pulled cotton and found the bright disk of the moon glowing behind the haze. Restless energy buzzed through her. Anxiety. If only she could get through this mess tonight, in three days time the moon would be totally full, and she could insure that nothing like this ever happened again. In as many days she would choose a mate and take her rightful place among the pack, leaving Bastien no longer capable of holding her under his thumb.
Nerves stretched thin from weeks of stressing over the inevitable, she closed her eyes and resisted a primal urge to howl, to strip down to her bare skin and let the transformation take place. Her inner beast longed to emerge and reign free, but Sylvie restrained herself, tamped down the need. Shifting now would put them in even greater danger, especially since Bastien had given his word they would come to the Dartega in human form.
She’d just turned her attention back on the house when Garrett clamped a hard hand on her arm. Looking up at his scarred face, she saw he stared straight ahead, his pale eyes narrowed on something down the fairway. Sylvie followed his line of vision, and shrill unease scraped through her as several large black wolves emerged soundlessly from a stand of boundary trees less than twenty feet away. Bastien had been right all along. The alpha’s men must’ve been there for some time, watching them, lying in wait.
Red eyes flashed in the darkness as the seven lupines loped out of their hiding places. They fanned out in an offensive pattern that blocked off the path to their cars, a formation that made Sylvie’s entire body bristle with alarm.
She’d expected them to arrive in human form, fully clothed for a civilized meeting, but apparently they had other ideas. Forget the pleasantries; it seemed the Dartega pack intended to use their home field advantage in every possible way.
Teeth bared and grumbling lowly, the wolves stopped maybe twelve feet away from them, and a cool sweat popped out across Sylvie’s skin. If anything went wrong, there wouldn’t be time to shift before the males launched at them, brought them down and rent them to shreds in a coordinated effort. At best she might be able to transform partly, use her claws to defend herself for a little while, but that was a long shot, and she was sure they knew that even now.
The muscles in her left thigh twitched, urging her to embrace the change, but she ignored the instinct and waited for a clearer sign from the enemies. Beside her, a low growl rumbled in Garrett’s chest.
“Hold your form unless they attack,” Bastien snapped, and behind them, a man’s brusque laughter rang out.
“You would be dead right now if they planned to attack.”
Sylvie turned to face the source of that curt male voice and saw three dark-haired men dressed entirely in black striding toward them―the alpha flanked by two tall, powerfully built subordinates.
Bastien snarled in displeasure. “We came here in good faith, Niccolo.”
“Then I pray you’ll accept my apologies,” the pack leader, Niccolo Dartega, replied.
“Good faith isn’t exactly a reliable quality these days.”
The trio came to a stop under the tree, and the scent of distrust and hatred clung to them like pungent cologne.
Sylvie’s attention went directly to the alpha, their biggest threat. Black-haired and dusky-skinned, Niccolo stood directly in front of Bastien, his posture imposing, his height matching Bastien’s six foot stature eye-to-eye. “You are―?”
“So you’re Lange’s replacement.”
“I do the best I can.”
“Then I fear for your pack,” he said in return. “Only a novice would call a fool meeting such as this.”
The insult hit its mark. Bastien stiffened visibly, and for a moment his eyes flashed an angry, reflective red. “Someone’s hunting us. Our true alpha is dead―“
“And you would have me do what? Find the killer for you? Open my territory, perhaps, and let anyone come and go as they please so you can investigate, even interrogate members of my pack?” Niccolo scoffed. “To be kind, Lange’s death was untimely, but on the other hand”—he raised his arms out at his sides and shook his head—“it’s not my problem.”
Bastien’s face closed in censure, but those cruel words about Lange stung Sylvie like a slap to the face. It’s too soon. I shouldn’t have come....
She inhaled sharply, stifling a sob. At the same time, she battled an ominous spike of anger. It would be foolish to react, to show her weakness. Instead, she swallowed hard, internalizing the pain of loss until only a dull ache remained.
When she looked up again, she glanced at Bastien, who watched Niccolo with hooded eyes, the taut lines of his mouth drawn into a frown of stark hatred. Heat flared in her face. She couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for him. He looked bullied in the face of the Dartega, threatened, and not at all like the alpha male he pretended to be.
She’d never seen a male look so unmatched, and despite her dislike of him and the way he’d been leading their pack for the past few weeks, she didn’t wish this kind of humiliation on anyone.
“Regardless of what you think of me,” Bastien bit out, “my concern is for our pack’s safety. I can’t ignore what’s been going on.”
“So you came to ask me if I ordered someone to take out your alpha, is that it?” Niccolo raised his brows. When Bastien didn’t answer, Niccolo's mouth quirked into a grim smiled. “I see. Well, as much as I’d love to claim that honor, sadly, I cannot.”
“And you’re sure no one from your pack―“
“Are you questioning my ability as an alpha?” Niccolo snarled, revealing a flash of sharp, white teeth.
“Not at all,” Bastien answered quickly. “My intention is to find a killer―”
“One that you seem to think is residing in my pack.” Niccolo’s eyes sparked with fury.
“I can’t speak for Istvaan loyalty, but I can assure you no one goes against my orders, Bastien Weiss. I am the law here.”
“No one doubts that,” Sylvie interjected loudly before the discussion could sink any further south. The Dartega’s shrewd gaze zeroed in on her, and she lowered her eyes, her voice, in respect. “No one here doubts your authority, Mr. Dartega. Rather, I think what Bastien is trying to say is that these killings seem to have nothing to do with territory or dominance, or even allegiance to an alpha.” She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “The fact is we have no idea who’s killing the males in our pack.”
Tension throbbed on the air and coiled inside her. The Dartega turned toward her.
“And who are you exactly?”
“I’m Sylvie,” she said simply. No way in hell was she about to tell him her last name. “Nobody’s accusing you or your pack of killing Lange; nevertheless, someone did murder him. Someone who studied him, knew his routine, and in the end, tracked him down and killed him.”
He sneered. “And as I have said only moments ago, that’s not my―“
“―problem, yes, I realize you feel this way,” she said and stood rigid when he walked toward her. “And maybe you’re right. Maybe this has nothing to do with you or the Dartegas; maybe these deaths plaguing our pack are nothing more than random acts of violence. Unfortunate coincidences. But even you can’t ignore the fact that it’s not just Lange we’re talking about.
Niccolo watched her a moment, black eyes blazing. “Well, go on; I’m listening.”
“Human hunters won’t distinguish one pack from another. If they can corner one of us and kill us, they’ll do it. And if they’ve somehow figured out who we are, or who our alphas are, if that’s why they took out Lange―” She swallowed over the sudden lump in her throat. “You and your pack could be in just as much danger as ours.”
A shrewd smile crossed Niccolo’s face. He glanced at the man on his left. “Hear that, Erik? Leave it to the female in a pack to be the negotiator, the strategist.”
He dragged his gaze from her face and walked over to Bastien again. “Be thankful you brought your Dame with you tonight.”
Sylvie looked away from them, lowered her eyes and struggled to control her jerky, uneven breaths. Her nerves were shot for sure now. Her heart thundered so hard, the quick rhythm seemed to vibrate through her entire body.
It was a wonder Bastien didn’t get them all killed!
Flush-faced and shaky all over, she flinched when something stirred in front of her and looked up to find eyes the of color of a starless night watching her. The man Niccolo had called Erik stared straight at her, his gaze locked on her face with an unnerving intensity that sent an electric shiver skittering through her veins.
She locked gazes with him, and to her horror, she recognized him―who and what he was.
Her breath locked in lungs.
It can’t be.
She stared at him, and her lips parted in awe. Her heart knew the truth, that tugging, desperate draw to bridge the gap between them. She didn’t want to believe it and shook her head, a minuscule gesture that made his eyes narrow and a muscle tick in his cheek.
Numb inside, she ran her fingers across her throat as sadness welled inside her. Until now, with her dreams withering before her eyes, she’d never realized what high hopes she’d held in finding her true mate.
How fitting he should be so beautiful, this Erik. Her eyes skimmed the slash of dark brows and the straight, sophisticated nose. His lips were full―it was a kissable mouth. Sick to her soul, she swallowed hard and forced herself to look directly into his eyes again. After all this time….
Fury burned through her. Sorrow and disappointment. She felt cheated, and she hoped every ounce of pain that stabbed through her reflected in her face.
Erik’s nostrils flared, but nothing else about his expression changed. With a slight shake of her head, she tossed back her pale hair in defiance. To her shock, he took a step toward her.
A hand gripped her arm and gave her a yank backward, and a fierce growl rumbled in Erik’s chest. No one missed the stark warning, the dangerous light flickering in his eyes. Everyone grew still, watchful. Tension pulsed in the air.
Bastien withdrew his hand from her slowly and spoke near her ear. “We are leaving.” He annunciated every syllable with crisp diction, annoyance in his tone. With a wary eye on the male across from them, he herded her away, forcing her to move.
Without a word, Sylvie turned on her heel and stormed off toward her car, her head down, watching her steps. She pressed a hand to her forehead, overwhelmed and, for the first time in her life, uncertain about her future.
She’d always planned to take her place beside her true mate, to share the rule over her pack with him, but she knew now that would never happen. What am I going to do?
By the time she reached the maintenance parking lot where they’d left their cars, Bastien had almost caught up with her. He followed, hot on her heels. She heard him dogging her across the gravel, and she practically felt his hot breath on her neck when she reached the classic, T-top Stingray she’d parked near the lot entrance.
“Sylveria, I want a word with you.”
“Why am I not surprised?”
When Bastien grabbed her arm this time, she turned and snarled with venom, snapping her teeth in his face. He didn’t flinch, but he let go of her.
“What the hell just happened with that male back there?” “Nothing,” she lied. “He overstepped his grounds.”
“Overstepped?” Bastien raked his hands through his hair. “Do you have any idea who you were staring down back there?”
Misery clouded her heart, but she said nothing, only shrugged because she didn’t know who he was for sure beyond that one painful truth. It hardly mattered now, anyway.
“That was Niccolo Dartega’s brother. His right hand―his assassin. I can’t believe you didn’t know who he was, who you challenged in broad view of his Pack Leader. Probably half the Dartega pack council, too.”
Challenged? She blinked at him. Was that how it had looked to the others?
“We’re trying to prevent bloodshed,” Bastien bit out. “I can’t imagine what you were thinking, especially given the circumstances.”
“I’m sure whatever I did, it won’t be relevant come tomorrow.”
“How naïve can you be? Not relevant? Without my mark on you, one of these days you’ll make just as stupid a mistake, only I won’t be able to bail you out of it.”
“Bail me out?” she asked, her tone incredulous. “You mean, like I just did for you?”
Bastien’s face tightened in anger. He stepped in close, and for a moment Sylvie thought he actually meant to strike her. A growl rumbled inside her, and Bastien froze in mid-step, his eyes glittering. She’d have his throat in an instant if he laid a finger on her.
“You are way out of line,” she snarled.
“Sylveria....” He clenched his fist, and she could tell it took great effort to continue calmly. “Lange was my best friend. I loved him like my own brother. I swore to him only days before he died that I’d watch after you if anything happened to him. But you’re making it exceedingly difficult.”
“I don’t need you to watch over me,” she snapped in his face. “That’s Tynan and Garrett’s job.”
“Tynan and Garrett aren’t babysitters; they have pack business to attend to. And until I know for sure what’s going on with these recent deaths, I will not have you messing up what I’m trying to do.”
“And just what are you trying to do, Bastien? Get us killed by the Dartega?” She turned and walked the rest of the way to her car, jangling the keys as she tugged them from her pocket. ”Do your worst. Your days are numbered, anyway. Don’t think for an instant I plan to allow your position as a retainer to last any longer than necessary.”
He smirked at that. “Your brother made no secret about his wishes for the continuation of this pack.”
TWOLIPS REVIEWS 3RD BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!
TwoLips Reviews is having a scavanger hunt for their 3rd Birthday Celebration. There are tons of authors and publishers along with me, myself and I giving away great prizes.
For a chance to win you have to play: Please visit the link below to find out more: http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3455&Itemid=63)to
The deadline is August 31st. You'll want to get a jump on the game.
Happy hunting and best wishes to all who play.
I'm the guest blogger today on Leah Braemel's blog.
I'm doing a blog post I've done in the past. A lot of you seemed to enjoy it.
Also CONTEST: I'll draw a winner from those who stop by and leave a comment.
One winner will get a free download of Bait and Switch.
Please stop by at: http://leahbraemel.blogspot.com/2009/08/ann-lory.html
AL: So what handsome cowboy do you have for us to drool all over and about?
Lorelei: Ironically, my next book entitled…Shoulda Been A Cowboy, features Cam McKay who prides himself…on not being a cowboy. But I’m always on the lookout for cowboys, luckily living out here in the west, there’s plenty around. And I pretty much drool over all of them.
AL: When did you know you had to be a writer?
Lorelei: Most unglamorous thing. Hmm. Besides the mundane laundry, house cleaning, cooking, I’d have to say…picking up the ant-infested and muddy hammock that my youngest daughter rolled into the weeds.
AL: You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for.
2) Who’s your character? A rough and tumble bartender who has turned her life around and is skeptical on why one man would want her, let alone two good ones.
3) And who’s your leading man? My leading men would be…Jack and Sawyer from LOST. I cannot get enough of those two. Sigh. They fulfill my tall, dark and handsome, and blonde, dimpled and bad boy fantasies perfectly.
Lorelei: My dream car is a Dodge Viper. And a 350 diesel Dodge dually pickup.
AL: Young Guns, or 3:10 to Yuma?
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Lorelei: Nora Roberts: I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank page.
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Lorelei.
Lorelei: My pleasure, little lady!
Waking up in a sexy stranger’s bed with no memory of the havoc she wreaked the night before wasn’t quite what she had in mind. Nor was agreeing to his mandate—work for him at the tavern until she repays the damage. Or go to jail.
It helps that Willow is ready to dive headfirst into a no-heartstrings-attached affair. Which fits in perfectly with Blake’s temporary gig managing his friend’s bar.
Willow lifted her shoulders and studied the guy’s all-too-smug, all-too-handsome, all-too-close mug. “So if I’m at Dave’s place, where’s Dave?”
“Who are you?”
Two hundred pounds of warm male was right in her face. “My name’s Blake West. And who am I?” He swept a chunk of hair from her cheek. “Since I’m managing the bar while Dave’s fishing in Jackson Hole, that makes me your new boss.”
“I may be hungover, but I’m not stupid. I don’t work at LeRoy’s Tavern.”
He flashed her a dazzling smile. “You do for the next two nights, according to the sheriff.”
“Might go three nights, depending on how fast you fill up your tip jar.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about you being a very bad girl last night, Miss—”
“—don’t say it: don’t even think it,” she warned.
“I thought you’d be proud of the title, bein’s you’re still wearing the sash.”
Willow ignored his sexy grin. “That part of my life is over and it doesn’t matter. So tell me, Blake West, how bad was I?”
“On a scale of one to ten?” He paused. His golden green eyes twinkled. Twinkled. “Fifty.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“The proof is right downstairs. You smashed a barstool into the wall after Norbert Fossum pissed you off. Broke the table too. You did about six hundred dollars damage.”
“Way. And part of the reason the good sheriff didn’t toss your cute butt in jail was on the condition you work off the debt, not pay it off.”
“Said he wants you to learn a lesson about the high price of, as you phrased it, cutting loose.”
Shoot. Willow could imagine herself saying that. In fact, if she thought real hard, she could almost remember shouting it to the rafters after she realized her so-called new friends had stood her up. “And if I refuse?”
“Sheriff Mayhew reinstates the charges of drunk and disorderly, the destruction of private property and you hash out the details in court.”
She’d always admired the sheriff’s unconventional punishments to keep the peace in their town—until now.
Behind bars or tending bar…was there really a choice?
“Why’s he doing this to me?”
“Sunshine, you did this to yourself.”
He had a point. “So what are you getting out of this besides free labor? My humiliation?”
“Your humiliation? What about mine?”
“Yes. You working to pay for damages means I don’t have to tell my buddy that I let some smokin’ hot beauty queen distract me to the point she wreaked havoc in his bar on my second night in charge.”
Smokin’ hot beauty queen? Wow. Did he really mean her?
“I am not scheming! I don’t have a scheming bone in my body.”
Why wouldn’t he doubt her? If everything he’d claimed she’d done last night was true? “It’s just…I can’t believe I did something so stupid.”
“Everyone makes mistakes.”
“Well, prepare yourself for quite a few more because I’ve never bartended.”
“More used to knockin’ ’em back than making them, are you?” he drawled.
Willow glared at him.
Blake’s gaze trailed down her body. Not a covert glance from beneath his sinfully long lashes, but blatant masculine appraisal. When he deigned to look at her face, his eyes were heated and dark. “Oh yes, indeedy, you certainly are.” Then he shoved aside the blanket and stood.
Unlike her, he wasn’t naked. However, he looked damn fine clothed. And was there anything sexier than a hunky bare-chested man filling out a pair of hip-hugging jeans to perfection? Her head protested the exertion of imagining Blake West wearing nothing but his dimples.
“…out of hot water.”
Willow looked up. “What did you say?”
He smirked, recognizing she’d been ogling him. “I said I figured you’d prefer to go home and get cleaned up.”
“Don’t thank me yet. I expect to see you back in the bar in two hours.”
“What time is it now?”
“Noon. The bar opens at two.”
“How late am I working?”
“Something you need, sunshine?” Blake asked sweetly.
“Umm. Where exactly did you put my clothes?”
He grinned. “I didn’t put them anywhere. You did.”
“This is not funny. Where are they?”
“Now, that’s the question of the day, ain’t it? Look up and to your left.”
Willow carefully angled her head skyward. Her red bra and lacy thong dangled from one side of the ceiling fan, her denim skirt and red tank top from the other.
Fantastic. She flopped back on the mattress. Must’ve been a heckuva strip tease. How was she supposed to retrieve them without jumping on the bed like a naked, drunken monkey?
Thirty seconds later, a soft thump landed on the mattress. Willow turned her head to see her clothes wadded into a ball. “Thanks.”
“I’ll leave you to get dressed.”
“Will I be wearing a uniform today?”
“No. Just a white shirt and jeans. Or a skirt.”
At least she wasn’t expected to parade around in a Hooters-type get-up.
“Your purse and keys are in the living room. Don’t know what you did with your shoes.” His eyes narrowed again. “Remember. Be back here in two hours. Or I send the sheriff after you.”
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