10:51 AM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

"The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous."

- Dame Margot Fonteyn

11:39 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Erin Nicholas

CONTEST: Keep reading to find out....

AL: Hi Erin Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Erin: Thanks for having me! It’s always fun to talk books and reading with book lovers!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Erin: Lately we’ve been attending school and church Christmas programs! I love these—of course seeing my own kids, but even seeing the other little ones all dressed up, excited and nervous on stage, singing all those songs I remember as a kid. It’s just such a part of the season for me! We stay busy with our kids, for sure! Plus I have this chronic condition where I can’t say no to anyone who asks for my help so I end up on lots of committees! But if you ever need someone to collect canned food, socks, stuffed animals—well, anything really—I’m your girl! Oh, and I am a champion phone tree chair, always have ingredients for an emergency pan of brownies on hand and make the most colorful flyers in town!

AL: Tell us, what’s on your author bookshelf for us to read?

Erin: My first book just came out with Samhain Publishing in November! No Matter What is a sexy contemporary about a sassy, strong physical therapist hired to privately rehabilitate a sexy, determined millionaire’s daughter.

AL: Now, you are currently published in contemporaries, but I see growing up you also read a lot of fantasy and paranormal. Do you have any plans to get your feet wet in these genres?

Erin: Definitely, maybe. I truly love writing the contemporaries and have several of them finished or in the works! But there are story ideas that keep coming to me that have fantasy and paranormal elements so, I’ll probably eventually give in! I do think that would be fun! There’s something very appealing about having some magic or mind-reading or time travel on your side!

AL: What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?

Erin: LOL. I had to take a three hour car trip with this woman who I didn’t like very much (in fact, she still drives me crazy!) and she told me all about her ex-husband, how they met, their courtship, marriage and divorce. I ended up thinking he sounded like a great guy and—with a few twists, of course—there were some great story elements there!

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?

Erin: Nothing too grandiose! I mean I wouldn’t want anything like a six figure deal, or a TV movie made from one of my books, or to hit number one on the NY Times Bestseller list. Seriously though, I’m focusing on having releases coming out regularly and, of course, getting my finished manuscripts on the shelves!

AL: What were you like as a kid?

Erin: Outgoing, bossy, stubborn, chatty, bossy, creative, sentimental, bossy … much as I am now!

AL: What decadent delight must you have no matter what?

Erin: Starbucks frappucinos! Every day! I don’t know what they put in that stuff but they should sell it on the street!

AL: If we were to look on your nightstand, what books would we find?

Erin: Well, it changes often, actually! Besides the scented candles and scented body lotions (my two weaknesses) you’d find a book about customer service called “Willy’s Way”, a copy of the Romance Writer’s Report (the August issue I think… I’m a bit behind), a non-fiction book my sister is insisting I should read but I don’t want to (sounds really sad! I like romances because they make me feel good!) and then a stack of romances including Lori Foster, Julia Quinn, Lucy Monroe and Erin McCarthy’s Hard and Fast on top (hard and fast on top sounds appropriate doesn’t it? Sorry, couldn’t resist).

AL: With the holidays around the corner what's your favorite tradition?

Erin: We have a few! To me, tradition is what it’s all about! Traveling to see family, of course. Another that comes to mind is what we put on top of the tree. We have a star and an angel and we rotate each year. We also rotate which of the kids gets to put the star or angel up. We can only keep track by writing a note and putting it in with the star and angel saying whose turn is next and what goes up each year. 

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Erin: “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” (anonymous)

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Erin.

Erin: My pleasure! Thanks for letting me stop by!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Erin please visit:




Adam Steele is good. Good at using his money to get his way. Money always works—until he realizes he can’t buy his daughter’s way out of her new wheelchair. Three private physical therapists later, he’s almost given up on Emily walking again. Then he meets Dr. Jaden Monroe. And his match.

Jaden doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”. But she knows a lot about “fired” after a public blowout with her ex jeopardizes the donation her hospital was counting on. Now the most tempting man she’s ever met has made her just the offer she needs to save the new children’s rehab wing—one million dollars to rehabilitate his daughter. In return she finds herself making Adam rash promises: that his daughter will walk in time to take the lead in the school play. And that he won’t entice her into his bed. No matter what.

But Jaden didn’t anticipate a teen whose injuries are more than physical. Or a man so passionate and devoted—and as tenacious as she is. As Adam wears down her defenses with kiss after kiss, the only thing harder than keeping her promise will be keeping a hold on her heart.


He leaned closer and she was acutely aware of his lips and the hunger in his eyes. Her instincts kicked in far ahead of any rational thought and she jerked back, ducking slightly and twisting away. Having his target move so abruptly threw his balance off and Adam pitched forward. He grabbed for the nearest thing…her arm.

Together they fell into the pool with a large splash.

They came up spluttering a moment later.

“I can’t believe you threw me in!”

Adam started laughing in spite of his soaking wet clothes.

She glared at him. “What?”

“I did not throw you in.” He wiped his hair back from his forehead.

“Well, you pushed me but…”

“If I intended to push you or throw you in, why am I soaking wet? I liked this suit.”

He was grinning as he spoke and that infuriated her. The first time she had heard him laugh and seen him actually grin, and it was at her expense.

“Then what was that all about? I disagree with you, do something a little deviant by coming to the pool instead of insisting Emily do a bunch of things she doesn’t believe in yet and you jump in, pulling me with you?”

“That’s not what happened and you know it.” He swam to where she was grasping the side.

“Oh? Then what happened?”

“I scared you.” He said it matter-of-factly.

“Scared me? What are you talking about?”

“I almost kissed you, you panicked and ducked, I lost my balance and we fell in.”

She opened her mouth to reply, then quickly snapped it shut again. Was she more shocked that he thought he made her nervous…or that he was right? She began shaking her head.

He nodded his head in response. “Yes. You panicked when you realized I was going to kiss you. You’re scared of me.”

“I knew that you were pretty full of yourself the first time we met, but this is way over the top,” she declared, but her voice lacked conviction.

She moved to pull herself out of the water and he quickly grasped her upper arm. “I don’t think so.”

She sucked in a quick breath, but she held still, even as she realized that was probably a bad idea.

“Look me in the eye and tell me that you didn’t know I was going to kiss you.”

She struggled to swallow as she looked into his eyes. But no words came out. Her gaze dropped to his collarbone and she said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He smiled and moved an inch closer. She stiffened but didn’t move away. “Jaden, just so you know, I had every intention of kissing you a few minutes ago. I don’t want there to be any confusion about that.”

Hot and cold, numb and tingling all at once. She was amazed what a few simple words could do. Though she also realized that it was the tone of voice, not the actual words, that affected her so profoundly. Several seconds passed before she found her voice and said quietly,

“I’m not scared of you.”

One corner of his mouth tipped up. “No?”

She shook her head and pressed her lips firmly together, telling herself she did not want to know what kissing him would be like.

“You’re not nervous at all about my attraction to you and your equal attraction to me? You’re not even a little anxious about me kissing you and where that might lead?”

She shook her head again and managed to pry her lips apart. “Even if you did kiss me—and I’m not saying that I think that’s a good idea—it wouldn’t lead anywhere. I think you should know that up front.”

“You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, Jaden,” he said soothingly, rubbing his palm up and down her arm where he still held her. “But I think that you should know up front that I’m very certain, eventually, I will kiss you and it will lead to something.”

He moved in a little closer, making her press her back against the rough side of the pool. “But because you’re skittish about this, today I’ll settle for this.”

He slid his hand down her arm slowly, creating goosebumps in the wake of his touch.

Then he took her hand and lifted it to his lips, pressing a firm but gentle kiss to the center

of her palm. A shiver went through her and she knew that it did not escape his attention.

He pulled himself out of the pool and shook water from his hair. He stood on the side and shrugged out of his jacket, tossed it onto the chair, pulled his shirt from the waist of his pants and began unbuttoning it. He peeled it off, wadded it into a ball and squeezed water from it. Jaden watched every move, unable to tear her eyes away even when he turned and saw her studying him. He kicked his shoes off, watching her the whole time. She didn’t move. But when his hands went to his belt, she shook herself from her daze.

“You’re not undressing right here!”

He looked around. “I can’t go dripping water through the whole house.”

She pulled herself from the pool and stomped to the chair where there was another dry towel. She tossed it toward him. “And I’m not skittish.”

He began toweling off. “That will make seducing you much easier.”

She spun toward him in the midst of pulling on a long T-shirt, only one arm poking through the sleeve. “Seducing me?” Her voice was almost a shriek.

Shrugging, he asked, “What did you think all the kissing would lead to?”

“We’re not kissing.”

“Not right now,” he agreed. “But that will change soon.”

“This is nuts. Is this the real reason Kathy and Cindy quit?” she asked, naming two of the three therapists who had come and gone from the Steele estate. “Because you were trying to get them into bed?”

Adam frowned at that. “The thought of taking either of them to bed didn’t even occur to me.” The resoluteness in his statement left no room for doubt.

Jaden stuck her left arm forcibly through the T-shirt and finally pulled it over her head and down to cover her body. She crossed her arms and regarded him with narrowed eyes. “But it’s occurred to you with me, after only one day?”

Adam stopped drying off and walked toward her, stopping only when he was close enough that she could see the gold flecks in his eyes. He put one finger under her chin and tipped her head up to look into her eyes.

“Taking you to bed occurred to me the first moment I saw you.”

He had to stop doing that. If she lost her ability to breathe and think every time he said something like that, she was afraid she would quickly lose her professional credibility with him. If she hadn’t already. Finally, she spoke. “Maybe that should have come up when we were discussing the job with Emily.”

He dropped his gaze to her lips. “I have every confidence that you can do both very, very well, but if you’re concerned, maybe you would be more comfortable not being Emily’s therapist.”

Anger welled up in her so quickly she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. “You want me to concentrate on you rather than Emily?” Then she took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. She shrugged. “Sure, that’s a great idea. You can bring in another therapist to work on her rehab while I have sex with you all day long. In fact, thank you for thinking of it. I was just wondering how I was going to accomplish all of that by myself.”

He lifted an eyebrow. “You would have an affair with me and let another therapist work with Emily?”

She took a step forward, her eyes narrowed, pink staining her cheeks. “You are unbelievable!”

Suddenly both of her hands were on his chest and before he could react, she shoved him as hard as she could.

Jaden stood at the edge of the pool, hands on her hips, glaring down at him when he came up for air. “Of course I will not have an affair with you and turn Emily’s therapy over to someone else! My first and only priority is Emily. You’re just going to have to find another…outlet…for your sexual energy.”

“So you’re staying?”

“That’s what I said.”

“No matter what?”

“No matter what.” Then she marched to the heavy glass door and jerked it open, turning for only a moment to tell him, “And, just for the record, I’m also not kissing you…no matter what.”

CONTEST: An added bonus for BLOG BITES readers:

• Read the excerpt posted here: http://www.erinnicholas.com/nomatterwhat.html and answer the question: What is Jaden wearing in the scene?

• Email the answers to Erin@ErinNicholas.com with “Ann’s Contest” in the subject line.

• All correct answers will be entered at Random.org and the winner will be #7 on that list.

• Prize is a free download of No Matter What!

10:29 AM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

Having a baby gives you a sense of what's really important. You still work like hell, but it's all in perspective.

- Nancy Badore

9:09 AM

In the Author Spotlight

Vivi Andrews

AL: Hi Vivi Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Vivi: Thank you so much for having me, Ann. It’s a pleasure to be here.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Vivi: Between the frenzy of holiday preparations and running off to a Caribbean island for my best friend’s wedding next week, life is pretty chaotic in the Andrews household at the moment – and I’m loving every second of it. Decorating cookies while blaring Christmas music one day, and then maid of honor listening to the wedding march the next. What’s not to love?

AL: Ghosts, lions and gigolos??? Oh my! Do you have an upcoming or recent release you’d like to tell us about?

Vivi: I do! My paranormal romantic comedy, The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant, is out in print now in the Tickle My Fantasy anthology. Lucy is a medium harassed by horny ghosts – until she meets in-the-flesh PI hottie Jake Cox and hijinks ensue. This was my first published story and seeing it in touchable form has been a genuine thrill.

And, on the other end of the paranormal spectrum, I’m very excited about the upcoming release (January 12th!) of my second sexy lion-shifter story, Serengeti Storm, following the villainess from the first story in her own intense affair.

AL: Do you believe a person has to have a special type of personality to write erotic romance?

Vivi: I think being open-minded certainly helps. You have to be able to put any judgmental tendencies aside and enjoy exploring the fantasy. I believe the readers will know if you don’t love what you’re writing.

AL: Who decides on the covers for your books and do you have any input?

Vivi: The ultimate decision comes from my publisher, but I do have input and I’ve been extremely lucky to get some absolutely gorgeous covers. Natalie Winters, the cover artist who takes such good care of me, is a goddess. And I’m very glad it’s not entirely up to me. I’m no artist!

AL: Out of all your stories do you have one that is more near and dear your heart?

Vivi: I couldn’t pick a favorite! I love them all in different ways. But I’m always most excited about the one I’m about to write. My next book is always the One.

AL: What favorite movie; or T.V. show makes you hunker down on the sofa and settle in for the night?

Vivi: Anything Joss Whedon touches does it for me – so I’m currently addicted to Dollhouse. And I recently discovered Glee – much to my delight. I adore the unabashed campiness of it.

AL: You are told you have to meet one paranormal creature, no safeguards, what do you choose? What do you bring with you?

Vivi: Definitely a genie! Then I could wish to meet more paranormal creatures, on my terms. Otherwise I’d be afraid I would ask for a sexy werewolf with six-pack abs only to end up being chased by a feral wolfman who badly needs a shave.

AL: What would people be surprised to know about you?

Vivi: Most people are surprised to find I’m from Alaska, born and raised. No, I don’t live in an igloo, but I have been to a dogsled race.

AL: With the holidays around the corner what's your favorite tradition?

Vivi: I have to pick just one? Well… on Christmas Eve, after setting out the cookies for St. Nick, we always read Twas the Night Before Christmas. One of my oldest memories of Christmas is my mother’s voice reading that story, and now my sister is the one who reads it each year, with her kids crowded around. I love the little moments that turn into traditions.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.


“Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” ~Robert Heinlein

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster." ~Isaac Asimov

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Vivi.

Vivi: Thank you, Ann. I’m delighted to be here. Such fun questions!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Vivi please visit:


Go ahead. Try to resist the magic. We dare you!
Carolina Wolf by Sela Carsen
Debra knows that the teensy amount of witchcraft in her veins isn’t worth getting excited about. Yet someone—or something—thinks it’s worth attacking her. Rescuing her seals Maddox’s fate, but only if he can protect her from a rogue of his kind. A werewolf with a nasty streak…and a preference for raw meat.

The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo and the Poltergeist Accountant by Vivi Andrews
Lucy is doomed. Not to death. To nightly visits from recently deceased Casanovas without the bodies to scratch her itch. Then a living fantasy arrives on her doorstep. Is her dry spell at an end? Not hardly. Jake has been sent to prevent her from getting laid until a particular horny phantom—and key witness in his investigation—pays her a visit.

ParaMatch.com by MK Mancos
Even though she lives without a paranormalady, Lucille has managed to carve a niche for herself with a paranormal matchmaking service. Enter Jager, deposed king of the Titans and successful paratrader. She can match anyone, except him. She doesn’t know that he’s out to negotiate the deal of a lifetime—a future with her.

Witches Anonymous by Misty Evans
Amy is done with Devil-worshipping. After swearing an oath never to use magic again, she’s in the market for a normal guy to complement her new lifestyle. And Adam looks like perfect hero material. Lucifer, however, isn’t about to be nice about letting her go…

Warning: This book contains hunky werewolves, smart-ass women and men who think that’s sexy, magic, angels, medieval legends, inter-species romance, disco music and flatulent Boxers. (The dogs, not the underwear.)


Lucy tumbled out of bed and padded blindly toward the front door to stop the drumming, keeping her eyes closed as long as possible to maintain the illusion of continued sleep. The front door vibrated under the rain of blows coming at it from the other side. She yanked it open and squinted blearily up at the raised fist that nearly landed on her face.


“Lucy Cartwright?”

“If you’re an evangelist, I feel I should warn you that I already know about death, and you’re going straight to hell for banging down my frickin’ door.”

Her eyes were still mostly closed or she never would have made that statement. The man who brushed past her into her apartment and slammed the door behind him did not look in any way related to God.

"Karma sent me.” His voice was direct—a take-no-prisoners kind of voice. Very macho. “Did I wake you?” Very annoyed.

Lucy forced her eyes open all the way. Her first, most general impression was of immense size. He was well over six feet and, although he was bulky, it was the bulk of solid muscle rather than stockbroker flab—the worn blue jeans that fit him to perfection left no question there. This guy did not spend all day in an ergonomic chair.

Lucy took a step back to get a better view and try to get her breath back. He seemed to take up too much of the room, her cozy, uncluttered entry suddenly claustrophobia-inducing. He had black hair, cut shaggily, framing features that weren’t smooth enough to be classically handsome, but were all the more striking for their rough edges. The rich caramel tan and up-tilted black eyes gave evidence of some liberal mixing in his family tree, but it was the attitude that really made him stand out. He exuded a sense of purpose and intensity that easily qualified him as the single most masculine person Lucy had seen in a month.

Although, admittedly, sexually frustrated ghosts didn’t set the bar very high.

Lucy blinked slowly as what he’d said registered. “Karma?”

Something clicked into place in her brain and Lucy was suddenly very awake.

Oh God. Oh God oh God, oh God. Karma had sent her a gigolo. She was a female John. A Jane? Lucy felt her face heating up and knew she must be turning seven shades of red, even as a sly little voice in her head cheered the fact that Karma had such excellent taste in gigolos.

“Karma sent you?” she choked out. She sounded like she was gargling frogs. Oh yeah, he wasn’t going to be able to keep his hands off her now.

“Are you Lucy Cartwright?” he snapped again, his eyes raking down her body. He was very abrupt, for a gigolo.

“Um…” Should she admit it? Was he going to throw her to the ground—or the sofa—and have his way with her until all of her sexual frustration disappeared into a pool of liquid satisfaction the second he had confirmed her identity? He didn’t want to have his way with the wrong woman, after all. Should she lie? Prostitution was wrong. Of course it was wrong. But he was so damn hot. Was it really so bad to do it just once? For the sake of her sanity? She had to get away from the strip-teasing stockbroker set. “Yes?”

“Is that a question? Do you not know who you are?” He sounded more annoyed by the second. He definitely needed to go to charm school for gigolos.

Luckily, her hormones didn’t seem to care. They were already heating up and charging south.

“I’m Lucy,” she said, nodding decisively—then ruined her newly confident image by taking a step backward and tripping over her own pajamas. His hands shot out, closing firmly on her upper arms and setting her back on her feet. The imprint of his hands burned through the silk of her pajama top. He was suddenly so close, his heat burning away all the oxygen in the room. Lucy found herself seriously reconsidering her moral stance on prostitution as her insteps melted away.

Then he released her and stepped back. When she swayed toward him unconsciously, he frowned and put out a hand to steady her. “You okay?”

“Fine,” Lucy squeaked. How did one talk to a gigolo? “Um, what’s your name?” she asked breathlessly, channeling her inner slut.


Cox. Of course. Lucy felt her face turning purple. She could not call her gigolo Cox. She’d never been able to talk dirty without giggling like crazy, and if she tried to say his name, she was going to sound like she was snorting nitrous oxide.

“Cox, like Madonna? Or do you have a first name? Or a last name?”

His eyes narrowed and a little frown formed between his eyebrows. What if he was having second thoughts? What if all he needed to derail a long and prosperous career as a deeply hot gigolo was one encounter with her? Karma would never forgive her if Lucy broke her gigolo.

A lock of hair had fallen over her eye. His frown deepened as he reached out to tuck it back behind her ear, and Lucy had a jolt as she realized what she must look like. She’d just rolled out of bed. Her hair must be sticking out at all angles and the men’s silk pjs that she slept in were far from sex kitten material—anything sexier was much too encouraging for her sex-starved ghosts.

Staring up at her gigolo—she could not call him Cox—Lucy wished she’d taken the time for a brush…and a curling iron…and makeup… before answering the door.

“Jake Cox.”

Thank God. He had a first name. Jake was a nice, normal name. She could moan, “Oh, Jake, yes, Jake, more, Jake,” in bed for hours without any inappropriate giggling.

Lucy smiled cheerfully. “Jake. Hi.” His eyes narrowed menacingly. “Ooo-kay. Cox it is. So, Mr. Cox…” Lucy snorted back a giggle, “…uh, what can I, uh, do for you?” Or to you. Or have you do to me.

“You’re the medium.” There was just enough disbelief in his tone to be insulting, but Lucy had long since learned to let skepticism about her profession roll off her back. He didn’t have to believe in ghosts to make her eyes roll back in her head from sheer pleasure.

“Yep. And you’re…” What was the right term? Did she call him a gigolo? Was that PC?

Mr. Cox thought she was pausing to let him fill in the blank. He jumped right in. “I’m a PI. I sometimes consult with Karmic.”

Lucy frowned, trying to figure out what PI stood for. Pleasure Issuer? It didn’t really matter. He could call himself Mr. Happy Pants if he wanted, as long as the sweaty, naked part of the afternoon started soon.

Mr. Cox kept talking, evidently expecting no response. “I’m investigating a series of murders, and Karma seems to think that the latest victim will be visiting you. Tonight.”

Lucy froze. Okay, what?

It was a sign of how far into the gutter her thoughts had sunk that it took her a solid minute to realize that Jake Cox was not a gigolo, or a pleasure issuer, or any such thing. He was a private investigator. He consulted with Karmic Consultants and he was investigating a murder.

Lucy’s face flamed with mortification as she ran through everything she had said to him in the last five minutes, trying to remember if she had made a complete idiot of herself, or just a partial one. As her brain scrambled in one direction, her mouth went another.

“I don’t do murders.”

Cox snorted. “I’m not accusing you, Ms. Cartwright. I’m here because you talk to dead people, not make more of them.”

2:58 PM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

"Who ever thought up the word mammogram?
Everytime I hear it, I think I'm supposed to
put my breast in an envelope and mail it to

- Jan King