6:45 AM

In the Author Spotlight


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

Bonnie: I’m happy to be here and to get a chance to share my book, The Thief and the Desert Flower. It’s released from Samhain and is now in print as well as all digital formats.

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

Bonnie: I’m working through some empty nest issues. I didn’t think it would bug me to let my kids go, but now that they’re so busy they never stop by, I miss them surprisingly much. I didn’t expect that. And there’s a pervading low grade sense of anxiety because everything they do is now beyond your ability to influence. It’s like having bits of you scattered around the world doing their own thing. Very odd feeling.

AL: You have many sizzling tales for us to read. If possible, please pick one and tell us all about it.

Bonnie: The book I want to profile, The Thief and the Desert Flower, came out last year. But it never got the readership I had hoped for. It’s such a great adventure story. Really tons of fun. And the reviewers who did take the time gave it five star and top pick reviews. I’m not quite certain why it didn’t catch on with readers but maybe it was because they didn’t know quite what to make of the premise.

Set in a fantasy world, a princess is on her way across the desert to marry a neighboring head of state and seal a bond between two kingdoms when her caravan is waylaid by thieves. The chief of the desert clan takes one look at the gorgeous princess and decides to have her for himself, despite the fact that he’s told his men they must never kidnap or rape the women in the caravans they rob. He’s set on wooing the princess until she wants to be with him, but is unprepared for the battle of wills that follows. It’s an old fashioned, fun adventure tale and the “desert flower” of the title is no shrinking violet. She is a strong-willed woman who, in the end, saves the day.

AL: What other works do you have stirring in the pot?

Bonnie: I’m currently writing a vampire ménage and another m/m historical with Summer Devon set in turn of the century America in a traveling carnival. Moving back and forth between stories is a productive way to work. When I get stuck on one, I can always work on the other—unless it’s with Summer so she can add her part.

AL: You write m/m, m/f and m/m/f in historical, paranormal, contemporary, etc. Do you ever find it hard to move from one genre to another?

Bonnie: I don’t get confused about where I’m at in terms of style or tone if that’s what you mean. Some stories are more angst-filled; some are lighter romps that also have a helping of drama. There are genres I enjoy more than others. I like historical the most, even though some readers of the genre are quick to call a writer on any errors. When I get tired of the nit-pickiness of that, it’s nice to be able to switch over to a completely make believe world – as in the Thief story – where I don’t have to worry about any inaccuracies other than those within the context of the world I’ve created.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Bonnie: I jot down the ideas that spawned the story, and a sort of stream of consciousness ramble which might include several directions in which the story could go. Then I launch into those easy first chapters when everything’s shiny, new and easy. About half way through I start to bog down and wonder what corner I’ve painted myself into. It’s great to have a writing partner to give input and help set the wheels in motion again. And when a story is co-written, we pass it back and forth every few thousand words or so – not even necessarily full chapters.

AL: What is one glaringly/specific personality trait that you put into your hero/heroine that is all Bonnie? You know, the one that a family member or friend’s head pops up and they say, “Hey, this is so you!”

Bonnie: I tend to work from a center of logic rather than emotion, which is why I believe (though I could be wrong) that I’m pretty good at a male point of view. I tend to invest my heroines with the same pragmatic, level-headed quality. They usually aren’t girly girls who are easily emotionally injured or take things to heart.

AL: All right Bonnie, let’s get personal … Who is a great example to you and how you live your life?

Bonnie: Well, if we’re really getting personal…I follow the teachings of a yogic master and practice meditation techniques—when I’m not being lazy. The Eastern philosophy of balance suits my logical soul. There is no point in getting too invested in anything in this world. We’re only here for a limited time. Which isn’t to say you should be blasé about life, just take it with a grain of salt and don’t allow yourself to become too ruffled or get sucked into unnecessary drama. I’m not saying I live that credo perfectly by any means. I’m as prone to desires and anxiety as anybody, but I try to keep an even temper and a sense of humor about things when they go sour.

AL: What is this romance writer's idea of the "perfect romantic evening"?

Bonnie: I’m sorry. I may write romance but I’m not too much of a romantic. No roses and candlelit dinners required to entertain me. I love movies with a passion and would rather be treated to a movie than anything else. My husband and I like riding motorcycles and often go out with friends. Don’t know about romantic but it’s fun.

AL: Lots of good movies out. What’s the best movie you've seen recently?

Bonnie: Not Sex and the City II, I can tell you that. I went with my daughter and her girlfriends, and while the gals’ night out was fun, the movie sucked. I would rather have seen Prince of Persia, which I still haven’t gotten around to. Honestly, I can’t think of something I saw recently that was a keeper. I’d been looking forward to Robin Hood but it was pretty generic. Nothing special.

Ah, I did download and watch an Irish film with Colin Farrell that only had limited release in the U.S. Ondine is the story of a fisherman who draws up an unconscious woman in his net. His young daughter decides she’s a selkie and the woman soon brings the man luck with his fishing. Romance ensues and eventually the mystery of her background is revealed. It’s a pretty good little movie, if a little scattered at times.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2010 and beyond?

Bonnie: I have several releases coming out in 2010. Awakening Beauty is the third installment in Marie Treanor and my Fairytale Fantasies series. Aurora is awakened, not by a kiss but by a guy shaking her awake—in modern times. How does she adjust to the strange new world she faces? We’ve really enjoyed taking familiar tales and giving them a new and sexy twist. Others in the series are Cinderella Unmasked and Demon Lover.

Summer Devon and I have co-authored another m/m historical, The Nobleman and the Spy which will be available from Loose Id in fall. There’s romance, mystery and political intrigue in that one.

I also have my first attempt at steampunk coming out at Carina Press either this year or next, not quite sure when. Like Clockwork is about an alternate Victorian England in which automatons have been invented to take over all the menial jobs. But what work does that leave for the poor and uneducated laborer? Social politics and a serial killer all come together along with a romance.

AL: Silly question… You are the heroine and you have the hero on the island in the middle of your kitchen. What food would you be feeding…nibbling off each other?

Bonnie: I suppose melted chocolate. It would sting and burn a little as it landed on the skin which can be a painfully sexy sensation. Plus it tastes good, so bonus.

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

Bonnie: Oh my gosh, there was something I read just a few weeks ago. I remember thinking, “I have to remember that line. It’s priceless” but I have horrible memory issues. I can’t tell a joke and remember the punchline correctly for anything. But if you want a quote that kind of reflects my personality, I think it might be, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.” I can tend to be rash and impulsive, which is at odds with the Zen state of being I’m trying to cultivate. It’s a conundrum.

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Bonnie.

Bonnie: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to chat about my favorite subject—ME! Just joking, I’m not self-absorbed, I promise. Or at least not any more than everyone else is.

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

Twitter ID: http://twitter.com/Bonnie_Dee
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile=1&id=1352577313

FEATURED TITLE: The Thief and the Desert Flower


Can a princess find love in the arms of a desert thief?

Princess Chala is facing an arranged marriage to a man she’s never met. When her caravan is attacked in the desert and she’s kidnapped by the nomad leader, she thinks only of escape—at first. But the charming rogue, Kyo is set on seducing her until she freely gives him what he’s craved from the moment he saw her. The fiery-tempered princess and the unscrupulous scoundrel engage in a battle of the sexes.

Lust slowly turns to love as they share details of their lives and realize they have more common ground than expected. But Chala’s powerful bridegroom, Brachas isn’t about to let a merger between two kingdoms dissolve without a fight. His soldiers find and reclaim the princess, who now has an agenda of her own.

Can a clever princess and her determined lover save a desert people, bring a despot to justice and find a future together in a world of their choosing?


What had he been thinking of, bringing the ganza princess here? Of course, he could hardly take her to camp, letting everyone know what he’d done, but showing her his hideaway practically ensured he could never let her go. If he returned her to her people now, she might not be able to draw a map through the wilderness, but could describe his lair, giving them a starting place for their search. Stupid, Kyo, blinded to reason by a beautiful face and a throbbing cock.

The girl slipped on the shale again, flat gray stone sliding from beneath her shoe and down the slope. Kyo pulled her upright once more and around the big boulder that served as excellent cover for him to watch over the surrounding valley.

“Where are we?”

“Middle of nowhere. Ass of Karachi,” he teased.

That’s what Tanjia, his adopted brother, had called the desert when they were young. Tanjia was originally from Gendera, a survivor of an attack on his village who had stumbled into their camp. He’d won Kyo’s mother’s heart and a place in their tent. In all the years he’d lived with them, he’d never gotten used to the desolation of the nomads’ land and used to make Kyo laugh by calling the desert “God’s asshole”.

Kyo guided the girl into the pitch-black cave. If the desert was dark, the cave was blindness. It sucked up light like the sun drank water. Even Kyo, who knew the layout and right where to find his flint and a torch ready for lighting, stubbed his toe on a rock. He struck sparks from the flint and the oil-soaked torch flared to life. Several large mirrors Kyo had confiscated over the years reflected light around the cave, sending black shadow demons dancing across the stone walls.

He glanced toward his guest, checking out her reaction to his secret domain.

She stood just inside the entrance, brown eyes wide as she gazed around. Kyo looked, too, seeing the place with fresh eyes. He owned nothing larger than could be carried on a pack horse, so there was no furniture, but no one in his tribe had ganza furnishings, which were too hard to transport as they moved from place to place.

The floor boasted several thick carpets with rainbow colors, which gave some cushion against the rocky floor. Sometimes he liked to lie belly-down on them, tracing his finger over the intricate woven patterns. Would the princess think the carpets pretty? Would she find the cushions, mirrors and trinkets gained from years of thieving as rich as he did? Kyo saw only dismay in her eyes. He studied his meager possessions again and realized they were a collection of junk. To her they were scavenged odds and ends only an ignorant desert rat would think luxurious.

His gut twisted and he turned away from her to ignite the previously laid campfire with the torch. After that he lit his oil lamp and set it on the flat rock he used as a table. He gestured at a pile of cushions on the floor.

“Sit. I take care of horses.” He bound her hands together, but doubted he needed to. She’d slumped exhausted onto the pillows and her eyes were nearly closed.

Kyo retreated from the cave and drew a deep breath as he gazed across the shadow-filled land below. What had he done? What was he going to do with the woman sitting in his den? His expectation she’d adjust to being his prisoner was ludicrous. Just then he’d have given anything to start the day over. This time he wouldn’t look twice at the ganza princess—simply take her jewels and ride away.

Night was plunging the valley below the rocky outcropping into blackness. His torch would be visible for miles. He’d better tend the animals quickly. He rubbed down both horses and left them cropping the sparse grass.

As he walked back up to the cave, Kyo clenched his hands lightly at his sides, his stomach fluttering. What was wrong with him? Where were his balls that he was allowing this woman to make him suddenly nervous? This was his land, his kingdom in the desert. He was in charge and what she thought of him or his den didn’t matter in the least.

With that attitude, he strode into the cave, shoulders back, chin up, his arrogant bearing proclaiming him a leader among his people and a fine figure of a man. He stopped short when he saw the woman. She lay on her side on the pile of cushions, eyes closed, fast asleep or pretending to be. Her bound hands were drawn up near her face. One naked leg gleamed pale in the lantern’s glow. The open flap of her split skirt showed everything. He couldn’t take his eyes off that smooth, gleaming leg from the ankle above her shoe up to the lacy edge of her underwear.

His cock rose hard and full, pressing into his pants. He tore his gaze away from her casually bent leg to look at her face. Thus far, he’d only caught flashes of snapping brown eyes and a jutting lower lip. For the first time, he was free to study her features without interruption.

In sleep, her face was relaxed and very young. Shinjate! How old was she? Her sun-flushed cheeks were as soft as a young child’s, not weathered by sun or wind. Her pouting rosebud of a mouth invited kisses, and he imagined sucking the plump lower lip between his teeth. Her brown hair gleamed golden in the lamplight and tumbled around her face in flowing waves.

A frown creased her finely drawn eyebrows and she made a small protesting sound in her throat. Guilt struck him like a snake’s fangs that she must be dreaming of the raid with Kyo as the demon of her nightmare. He wanted to sit beside her, stroke her tangled hair and soothe her fears away, but very likely his touch would only startle her awake into her real-life nightmare.

Instead, he carefully spread a length of lightweight jamoma over her body. After watching her sleep a few moments longer, he headed to the back of the cave. Kneeling beside the spring-fed pool that bubbled up in a crevasse in the rock, he drank his fill then peeled off his clothes and washed the sweat and grit from his skin. This abundance of water was an indulgence he would never take for granted. His appreciation for cleanliness had reached the point where he could hardly stand to spend time in camp, where water was strictly rationed and sweat-soaked fabrics dried stiff against dirty bodies.

When he’d cleaned up, he put on a fresh shirt and set his other to soak. He scooped a dipperful of water and padded barefoot across the cave to set it near the woman. If she woke in the night, she would be thirsty.

Stroking his hand over the jagged tear she’d made in his cheek, he wondered if he dare untie her hands. He decided against it, not wanting to wake with his head bashed in. After smothering the torch and turning the lamp wick low, he paused to stare at the sleeping woman again. Her eyelids flickered and he wondered if she was faking sleep.

Kyo considered lying beside her, holding her snug against him, but for tonight, he would sleep separately, letting her know she was safe with him. Soon enough he’d wrap himself around her, cover her body with his, touch her, kiss her, lick her… He swallowed, his cock hard as granite.

“Time. Patience. Persistence.” His grandfather had repeated those words many times. That creed was what gave the desert people the strength to survive in a land no others would inhabit.

Taking the words to heart, Kyo wrapped himself in a plain, woven blanket and lay down. He would be as steady and inexorable as the wind that shaped the desert to its whim. And slowly he would bend the woman’s will to his.

If you would like to buy The Thief and the Desert Flower you can here:

9:09 AM

Movie Phrase Friday

" Ladies! Will you please shut it? Listen to me. Yes, I lied to you. No, I don't love you. Of course it makes you look fat. I've never been to Brussels. It is pronounced 'egregious'. By the way, no, I've never met Pizzaro but I love his pies. And all of this pales to utter insignificance in light of the fact that my ship is once again gone. Savvy?"

What movie is this from? Better yet, who said it?

8:59 AM

Out Now!
thru Smashwords

CONTEST: In honor of my first release on my own (woo woo) I will be giving away 3 free downloads of Bradon's Way to those who leave a post. I'll draw the winners Monday next week. Best wishes and check out the excerpt below. To read the first chapters (1 - partial of 3) visit: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/17390. Hope you check it out!


Marisa Rand fled Oklahoma ten years ago, the day before she was to marry Brandon Spotted Eagle. Now, Marisa is a determined career woman making a name for herself on Wall Street. Her work is the only thing that matters. When she gets a call and it’s Brandon’s voice on the other end—her world is thrown off kilter. Marisa's mother is battling cancer and it's time to return home.

Marisa returns to the one place she’s made every effort to leave behind and comes face-to-face with the one person she’s been running from all this time…Brandon. They are both bitter and horns lock right away, but the desire raging between them will not be denied.

Brandon wants Marisa to come home for good, but Marisa has a fiancé back in New York and a successful career. She’s terrified to leave the only things she’s ever known and take a chance on the love she never really left behind. Marisa must face who she’s become, be the daughter she once was, and discover if she’s truly strong enough to give Brandon what he wants...Brandon’s Way.


Everything in Brandon screamed to rush into the room, pull her into his arms and kiss those delicate lips, to run his hands through her hair and cup those all too inviting breasts. How many times did he cup those small mounds? Suckled them? His mouth watered and he wanted to do more than just touch. He wanted Marisa just as much now as he did ten years ago, to feel her beneath him, her legs wrapped around his waist as he buried himself deep inside her, over and over. In the back of his mind he heard her crying his name as he made her his all over again.

He straightened, meeting her gaze when she stopped, turning slowly toward the door. She didn’t say anything, only stood there staring at him for a moment. Then she moved, visibly shaking as she took those precious steps toward him.

Marisa grasped the door in one hand, looking up at him. Her emotions shown in her eyes, he could see the aching need in them. Then just as quickly it was gone and anger flickered in those pale green eyes. He went to speak and she slammed the door shut, hard and fast.

Brandon stood there stunned then furious. Grabbing the knob, he shoved the door open. Marisa spun around, her shock mirroring his own when she slammed the door in his face.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, taking the headpiece off and tossing it on the desk along with the phone clip.

He stormed into the room undeterred by her cutting glare. “Mom was worried about you and she -”

“Mom? You mean mom as in my mother?”

Brandon tossed the black Stetson he held onto the desk. “That’s exactly who I’m talking about.”

Marisa flew across the room to stand nose to nose with him, though forced to stretch and stand on her tiptoes to do so…still coming up short. “You lost the right to call her Mom ten years ago.”

“No, Marisa, you lost the right. You’re the one who left, remember?”

Her eyes widened at his words. “I left you, not my mom.”

“No, you ran,” he shot back at her. “You ran from all of us. Where were you when your mother needed your help?”

She shoved against his chest, but he didn’t budge. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction. “I didn’t know.”

He smiled sardonically. “Well, now you do. Things are rough, Marisa. Are you going to run away instead of facing your troubles? Or, are you going to hide in here and bury yourself in your work so you won’t have to face the world?”

Her hazel eyes flashed daggers and it amazed him that he wanted to hurt her - hurt her as she did him. He wanted to make her angry to feed his own pain and anger.

“I don’t know, maybe we should ask Connie Matthews about it,” she retorted.

Brandon knew that card was coming, but it was still a slap in the face. Her words dripped with accusation.

Marisa left the day before their wedding thinking he’d cheated on her with Connie, when he’d been faithful during their entire relationship. It hurt. It hurt like hell when she’d run and didn’t believe in him. Granted, the situation looked bad, very bad. But if she’d stayed she’d have seen it wasn’t what it appeared.

He clenched his teeth, fresh rage boiling as the memory surfaced, furious at the words she threw in his face. His hands balled at his sides as he looked her in the eye, speaking with tight restraint. “I never slept with Connie and if you had given me a chance, given us a chance, you would have realized it.”

Marisa reared back, her face registering shock. “You actually expect me to buy that story. You were in bed together, in her arms, both of you in nothing but your underwear.”

Grabbing his hat and placing it on his head, he turned toward the door. Stopping in the doorway, Brandon looked back. “I don’t know what I expected, Marisa, but I thought you loved me enough to trust me and at least hear me out. But no, you ran. You’ve been running for ten years and I would have never thought that about you when we were together.” He paused looking down the hall toward the kitchen before returning his dark gaze back to her. “Your mom wants you to come eat lunch. She worries about you.”

Without another word he walked away, his footsteps fading until she heard the distinct sound of the porch door slamming shut. Leaning against the desk, Marisa fought against the emotions threatening to overwhelm her. She worked to control her breathing, her hand fisting over the sharp pain in her heart. The rhythm of her heart pounded hard beneath her clenched fist.

Brandon could still take her breath away.

His long black hair hung loose to the middle of his back. His cheekbones were high, sculpted, nose straight with slightly flaring nostrils, full sensuous lips, and his eyes were dark as onyx. They still managed to grab her, claim her…brand her as his.

His chest was broader, his body lean, hard and defined beneath the tight fitting, black t-shirt. His hips tapered down to long, muscular legs, the faded jeans molded to his shape perfectly. Her spirit ached for him, but his betrayal weighed heavier on her heart.

Looking up at the ceiling, she blinked rapidly. She was strong, independent. She didn’t need him or any man to make her happy, especially one who cheated on her.

Pushing away from the desk, she walked toward the door. She was so enraged with Brandon and so on fire for him at the same time it made her even angrier. With that in mind, she walked out of the study toward the front of the house.

Her determined strides took her through the living room. Her mother jumped up from her sewing, smiling. “Hi hon -”

Marisa rushed past her and out the front door. Her feet stomped across the porch then she hurried across the drive toward the stables, where she found him cleaning out one of the stalls. With fists clenched and heart pounding, she walked up to him. He whirled around in surprise then she shoved his chest hard, with all her might.

He fell backwards into the pile of hay. His eyes flew up and clashed with hers. She pointed down at him. “Don’t ever act high and mighty to me, Brandon. Don’t think to tell me who, what, or how I should be or even used to be. You lost your say over my life, about anything pertaining to me long ago.”

He went to rise, but she shoved again, hard, knocking him back down in her angry tirade. His hand snaked out, wrapping around hers and dragged her to the pile of hay with him.

Marisa screamed in outrage. It was the only way to stifle the gasp of pleasure that tore through her body as his long frame covered hers, pinning her to the itchy straw. His hard body pushed into hers. She fought the urge to bring her legs around his so he fit against her throbbing juncture. Instead, she shoved against his chest to put distance between them, but he grabbed her hands and roughly pulled them above her head.

“Get. Off. Me,” she managed to grit out.

“Are you going to calm down so I can let you up?” he asked through clenched teeth. They were perfectly white and even, stark against his dark skin, snapping together in his anger.

“I knew this was a mistake coming back.”

“Well, it’s about time you did come home. Your mom has needed you for a long time.”

It was on the tip of her tongue to ask, what about you? Had he needed her at all? Had he missed her? But she didn’t speak, only stared up at him, letting herself fall into his dark gaze. For a moment she saw warmth in his eyes, desire. She went soft beneath him and she wanted his lips on hers. For him to somehow make the past disappear and love her again, but that was impossible.

“Get off of me,” she said again, but softer this time, unable to shield the hint of sadness.

His sigh brushed at the softer side of her heart, but she ignored it. Slowly, he released her hands, and rose. Leaning down, he offered to help her stand, but she refused, slapping his hand away. “I don’t need your help.”

“What do you need, Marisa?” he asked, on a hint of sarcasm yet there was a gentleness in his tone, in his eyes.

She stopped from picking the hay off her clothes. What did she need? What? She had everything she could possibly want in life, a penthouse in New York City, a successful fiancé and her own successful career. So, what was missing?

She looked at Brandon who seemed to be waiting patiently for her answer. He leaned against the wooden rail of the stall, staring down at her. His whole posture was laid back, but the tension in his arms, the way the muscles would bunch, belied his emotion. Her eyes met his again and Marisa fought for strength. All she needed was the memory of that day, Brandon in his boxer’s and Connie in her pretty bra and panties…his look of bewilderment at being caught.

Marisa’s mouth tightened into a firm line and her eyes narrowed as she crossed her arms and lifted her chin in a haughty gesture. “Nothing. I don’t need anything, especially from you.”

She turned and walked away.

REMEMBER: In honor of my first release on my own, (woo woo) I will be giving away 3 free downloads of Bradon's Way to those who leave a post along with email addy. I'll draw the winners Monday next week. Best wishes! To read the first chapters (1 - partial of 3) visit: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/17390. Hope you check it out!

8:39 AM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth."

- Lillian Hellman

8:41 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest
Jane Toombs

CONTEST: - Jane will give away a PDF download of Dragon’s Pearl to the first person who posts the name of her calico cat in the comments of this blog. She will also send a CD with excerpts of all her recent books to everyone who emails her with their snailmail addy at jtoombs@jamadots.com.

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

Jane: Delighted to be here.

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

Jane: I’ve recovered nicely from aspirating a pill last month. But if the Viking hadn’t been around to do the Heimlich maneuver I might not be here at all.. As it was, the pill casing popped out, but the oily gunk inside the pill slipped into my lungs. I could breathe, but not well. So a few days of hospitalization, a lung CAT scan, a scope of my esophagus and a lot of nebulizer treatments later, I’m back home, doing fine and down to two nebulizer treatments a day. Never try to talk and swallow a pill at the same time!

AL: Tell us about your newest release.

Jane: Dragon’s Pearl is the first book in my A Darkness of Dragons Trilogy published by Devine Destinies. http://www.devinedestinies.com./The second book, Dragon’s Diamond is scheduled to be released later this year. I’m currently writing the third book, Dragon’s Stone.: If you like dragons, and paranormal suspense romance, these books ate definitely for you.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Jane: I’m also finishing up The Turquoise Gown for Jewels Of The Quill’s Takes From the Treasure Trove Anthology VII. JOTQ, where I’m Dame Turquoise, is a group of 12 authors who promote each other, partly by doing these yearly anthologies. My story is a period piece about of a time when formal balls were still important for young women The heroine longs to fit into a magic turquoise gown which will bring her heart’s desire. But, alas, she knows she’s far too fat. Instead of a fairy godmother coming to the rescue, she’s forced into what for her is a nightmare situation. But since I love happy endings, the story does have one.

AL: You have published over 80 books! What a fantastic accomplishment. Among that you’ve written which is your favorite book and why?

Jane: I believe it’s a book I did years ago for a packager who was doing fiction stories of ethnic groups who came to America for a better life. I chose to do The Scots because a good deal of my heritage is Scottish. The book took tons of research, and in the doing I learned a lot abut what life was like in Scotland in the bad times that caused them to emigrate. The book covered multiple generations and took me a year to write, but I enjoyed doing it.

AL: What is the most difficult part of being a writer and do you write whenever the mood strikes, or do you have a specific routine?

Jane: I don’t exactly have a routine, but I do try to write every day. Sticking to that is probably the most difficult part of writing for many of us.. I also made a New Year’s Resolution to finish the first book in every series I’d started. A Darkness Of Dragons was the first I chose to do, and the first book was picked up so fast, I had to write the second and now the third. So I haven’t had a chance to get going on another series .yet, but I have at least six others waiting in the wings.

AL: You’ve been in the publishing game for thirty-some years now, what has changed? What has remained the same? Has there been any difficulties adjusting, or do you flow with the “winds of change?”

Jane: I’ve seen gothics fade in popularity to be replaced by historicals, and those fade for contemporaries. Now paranormal is king of the hill—and my favorite .to read and write. I’ve mastered each genre as it became popular and enjoyed writing in it. My main problem was when the gothic, which at that time had no more sex than a few kisses and a lot of yearning, gave way to sexier historicals. In these, the main characters actually—gasp—had sex. Which was probably the most difficult thing for me to learn to write. But I did . Had to or my books wouldn’t sell.

AL: Let’s get to know Jane… What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Jane: My Indian books. I worked for packagers a lot and they’d ask my agent to choose authors who could do what they wanted written.. So when he called me and asked if I knew anything about Indian tribes, I said I’d grown up among the Chippewa.. True, in the sense that my village was at the former site of an Chippewa village. So I got a contract to do Chippewa Daughter. At least by then I was used to research, which was lucky. One of the first things I learned was that Chippewa was an enemy’s name for them—they were really the Anishinabe. But the packager wanted the Chippewa name kept, so I had no choice. That book and the other I did for the series, Arapaho Spirit, were a real adventure into a realm I never would have known otherwise. Trying to understand the past of a different ethnic group is difficult, but I did my best. The greatest compliment I ever received about any of my books was from a elderly Anishinabe woman who told me, “What you wrote was how it was done in the old days. You got it right.” What more could an author ask for?

Did you mean a personal adventure? That would be in 1944 when I was seventeen and decided to leave college during WWII and become a Cadet Nurse by entering a government program. My parents put me on a train that went from my home village to Chicago where I transferred to one going to Los Angeles. My aunt met me there and helped me get to Los Angeles County General Hospital, which had already accepted me. The hospital had a patient population then of 3000, which was the same population as the village I grew up in. I was too young to join any of the women’s military groups (had to be twenty-one) but I was just barely old enough to join the Cadet Nurses. When we graduated, we had to promise to go into one of the armed services as a registered nurse. Mind you I had never really wanted to be a nurse. Though the war was over before I graduated, I did become an RN. Let me tell you I got more than a medical education at that hospital. It was real eye-opener for a naïve little teen-ager from the sticks.

AL: If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Jane: I’d probably find E. A, Poe too moody, and maybe drunk. H.P. Lovecraft might turn out to be as weird as his books. I loved their writing, but I doubt the men themselves would be easy to be with. Maybe Emily Dickinson. Her poems have always moved me—so much said with so few words.

AL: Summer is here! What is your favorite part of the season?

Jane: All of it! The Viking from my past and I live across the street form Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness. And we definitely look forward to the summers, as does our calico grandcat, Kinko. Because our cold and snowy winters seem to last forever and we’re now too creaky to ice skate, go skiing or even snow-mobiling.

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

Jane: I don’t watch much TV, but I did enjoy the House series. Dr; House and the cast of characters that worked with him were great actors, all. . The House series, alas, is over. But I really prefer to read to read a book, anyway.

AL: Silly question… If you were a cartoon, which character would you be?

Jane: I’m a Capricorn, so tend to be practical, but I’ve always thought it might be fun to be a vamp like Betty Boop.

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

Jane: I’m paraphrasing something I once heard Nora Roberts say: “If you find your story’s lagging, it’s time to kill one of the characters.”

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Jane.

Jane: I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to be here. It’s been fun.

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


In Sixth Century Wales, Merlin steals magic from the Sacred Black Dragon to try to heal the dying King Arthur. This fails, tainting some humans with dragon’s blood, and turns the black dragon against mankind. To keep humanity safe, Merlin appoints a human Keeper, blood of his blood and Guardian, chosen from those who now have dragon’s blood. These he teaches how to set wards to block the dragon’s evil, and warns the wards will need renewing. As long as those from these two blood lines remain in Wales, the dragon is forced to stay in his mountain cave lair.
Today, after all descendents of these two blood lines have migrated to the United States, the black dragon’s lair is now deep within an abandoned copper mine in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The wards are failing, but the modern descendents know little or nothing about the dragon or their duty. Will evil demolish the world?
The wind was rising. Vran Pendar glanced at the darkening sky where no stars shone. This part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan--the U.P. as they called it--was lonely country with sparse settlements and little in between except second-growth woods—tress that were already pretty big . To his right, dwarfing the other trees, towered a rare stand of virgin white pine that had somehow escaped the loggers' axes back in the 1870s. The wilderness he was passing through gave him the illusion he'd stepped back in time.
Back in Ojibway they'd warned him he'd need an ATV to negotiate the dubious road to and past Thirteen Mile Point, but he'd figured his Jeep could handle it. The oncoming storm made his decision dubious, unless he reached the Terrick House before the rain sluiced down.

To his left, hidden from view by the gloomy dusk and trees, he could hear the angry plash of Lake Superior, roiled by the wind. One part of him reveled in the sound, anticipating the June storm, even though logic reminded him that the dirt road, little more than a rutted trail, might soon be a well-nigh impassable morass of mud.

He'd been waiting all his adult life for this summons. "Your duty as the only male Pendar," his mother had told him at eighteen, handing him the letter his father had left for him to read when he reached manhood. "The Pendar line carries ancient blood." He'd known then he had his ancestors to thank--or, more likely, curse--for what had happened to him the year before.

A far-off flicker of lightning caught his attention. He'd started to count the seconds until thunder rolled to estimate how distant the storm was, when the sweet, sickening scent of rot seethed around him. Danger!

Before Vran had a chance to take action, a smothering pall of pitch darkness shrouded the Jeep. He stomped on the brakes, feeling the Jeep skid sharply to the left, toward trees he couldn't see, but knew were there. He braced himself for impact and the whoosh of the airbag.

Despite his seatbelt and the inflated airbag, the breath was knocked from him. As he struggled to take in air, he also fought an invisible menace the darkness carried, an evil that sought to enter into him.

He knew then that Enid Terrick was dead.

In her snug little cabin by the long abandoned copper mine, an old woman wearing a shapeless black garment listened to the rising wind as it whined about the corners like a starving dog. For two days Louhi had waited, and now she was almost sure. Crossing to the nearest window, she pulled aside a red curtain and peered into the gloom.

Lighting lanced down the sky, momentarily blinding her, but she didn't need her sight to sense what crept about her house more tentatively than the wind, its power small as yet. The fact any of the darkness had escaped confirmed what her noita skills had told her. The Keeper had gone beyond; the ward was failing.

Her time had come. Louhi smiled in greedy anticipation.

Mona Rhys, alone in her bedroom in Great-aunt Enid's isolated, cupolaed house, tried to remember if she'd locked the front door against the night and the rising wind. She always had before, but now that Enid had passed on, the house seemed so empty that unease gripped her. Tonight, she and Nala, Enid's aloof Siamese cat, were alone here. Enid's body remained, but her essence had fled.

The cat knew her owner was no more because she'd left the room at almost the exact moment Enid had expired. Mona wondered how she was going to go about getting her aunt's body into the lidded pine box Enid had insisted be left in the bedroom. She'd washed her aunt's body and covered it with a clean gown, but the transfer to the box would have to wait until tomorrow. Tonight she was too exhausted.

The house sat by itself on a promontory thrusting into Lake Superior in a wilderness area so lonely she wondered how her great-aunt had stood living in this house for so many years. Tomorrow, when the storm passed, Mona would have to see to getting her great-aunt's remains into town so Enid's last wishes could be carried out. There was certainly no way a hearse could negotiate these primitive roads even without the storm.

The lights flickered, but that was no worry, since the house had a generator in case of power failure. Not that Mona was afraid. She'd brought her grandfather's old .45 Colt--his sole legacy to her--along with her when she left New York State to come here to take care of Enid in her final illness. But even without the gun, she wasn't much given to nerves.

She could make no decisions about her own future until her cousins arrived and all the instructions in Enid's will were carried out. Sighing, she started for the stairs to check the front door, then paused, the hair lifting on her nape.

As a nurse, her unease didn't come from being in a house where a dead body lay. Nor was it caused by the lighting flash and roll of thunder, but from something intangible. Ridiculous to suspect evil was abroad with the storm. Still, she felt something dark lurked outside the house, waiting, like a panther, to pounce.

Turning back, she lifted the loaded Colt from the drawer of her bedside stand. Ridiculous or not, there was no harm in being prepared. As she reached the head of the stairs, Nala the cat shot past her and down to the entry. Nala's black mask turned toward the entry windows, flanking the front door, the panes suddenly lit by a great bolt of lightning. Thunder crashed and rain slashed against the glass.

As Mona started to descend, gun in hand, the front door burst open, blowing in a blast of wind and rain--and a dark figure. Mona stood stock still on the staircase, her heart hammering as she stared at the stranger--a tall, naked man, dripping wet, who was calmly closing the door.

REMEMBER: Jane will give away a PDF download of Dragon’s Pearl to the first person who posts the name of her calico cat in the comments of this blog. She will also send a CD with excerpts of all her recent books to everyone who emails her with their snailmail addy at jtoombs@jamadots.com.

9:32 AM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

"Women want men, careers, money, children, friends, luxury, comfort, independence, freedom, respect, love and a three-dollar panty hose that won't run."

- Phyllis Diller

10:18 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest
Annabel Joseph

CONTEST: Annabel will be giving away a free e-copy of her featured release, Firebird. She'll draw a winner next Monday from whoever posts a comment this week. Make sure to leave your email addy. Best wishes!

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

Annabel: I’m very happy to be here. I love your site.

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

Annabel: Oh, it’s the Summer of Fun here! The kids have been out of school for three weeks now and I’ve been trying to keep them busy with “theme” days. Yesterday we planted a garden for “Butterfly Garden Day” and today was “Board Game Day” so I’m sort of Monopoly’d out. We’ve also had themes like Zoo Day, Puppet Day, IKEA Day, Pool Party on the Patio Day, and the kids are really excited about “Harry Potter Day” coming up soon. As for me, all I have to say is, eight more weeks to go—I hope I survive.

AL: Tell us about your new or upcoming release.

Annabel: Firebird is out this week, June 15th, at Loose-id.com. It’s a BDSM contemporary romance about a dancer from the back of the corps who is selected by the new choreographer to dance the lead in his production of Firebird. She’s sort of shy and a real perfectionist, and through a plot twist he becomes not just her choreographer but also her Dom. It’s sexy and hot but there’s a nice emotional storyline too about two people trying to connect on a much deeper level than just the sex and D/S.

AL: What other works are you “whipping” up for us?

Annabel: Tee hee. I’ve got two more BDSM romances that are contracted to Ellora’s Cave and should be out the second half of this year. The first is called Deep in the Woods, and it’s an exploration of the issue of abuse and personal limits in the world of BDSM. It’s a bit dark in places, but the hero and heroine overcome her past traumas and find happily ever after in the end. The second is called Fortune. Fortune came about because I fell in love with one of the secondary characters from Deep in the Woods, an origami-obsessed surgeon named Ryan. I thought he needed his own book and his story came to me almost like magic. I found a great little reckless club girl for him to fall in love with, and boy, are they an odd couple! But it’s really fun. Fortune is about the whole idea of fate and finding true love when it seems least likely to work out.

AL: You write in a couple different genres, do you favor one genre over another?

Annabel: I’m always drawn to writing historical romance, but it’s really difficult for me because I also want to write the kinky sex and D/s, and the two don’t exactly fit together. I’ve actually got three historicals I’m working on, but I’m not sure where I want to go with them. The BDSM contemporaries sell really well for me and they seem pretty popular as a genre, so that’s where I concentrate most of my writing.

AL: You write submissive/dominant story lines. How do you know when you’ve crossed the line between romance/erotica to something else all together?

Annabel: Oh, I wish I did know! I know some readers find my work a bit “edgy.” It’s funny, but since I’ve been doing the dominance and submission thing in my own life and marriage for so long, there are a lot of things that seem natural and fine to me that sort of freak out your average romance reader when I put them in a book. I’m trying to find that balance between writing the edgier, really sexy D/S stuff I enjoy, but still making it palatable to the more mainstream BDSM romance readers. I don’t want to turn anyone off, but at the same time, I want to be true to what I personally find beautiful and sexy within the realm of dominance and submission.

AL: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?

Annabel: I think first time authors need to understand the importance of listening to other people’s opinions and advice when you’re getting started. It can be hard to hear that your writing isn’t perfect and that some things you’re trying to do aren’t working, but editors and other people in the business really know what they’re doing and what readers want. You don’t necessarily need to take every bit of advice and follow it verbatim, but at least listen. Don’t shut yourself off and be inflexible, because you might miss a really great opportunity for growth.

AL: Now, let’s take a splash into the pool…Summer is here! What will the readers find you in; a bikini, one piece, or a full body wet suit diving into the waves?

Annabel: I’m a tankini girl! Something to hold in the tummy and push up the boobs.

AL: Where would you like to travel if you had the chance?

Annabel: I’d love to go over to the British Isles and tour historical sites and castles, and even go up to the Orkneys and Scotland. Ooh, I am crazy for a Scotsman in a kilt!

AL: What is your favorite food?

Annabel: It’s probably a toss up between fried zucchini and boiled peanuts. What can I say? I’m a southern girl.

AL: What’s your biggest regret in life?

Annabel: Oh, this is sad to say, but I have a lot of regrets. I suppose my main regret is that I tend to be a terrible bridge burner. I have a temper, and I say things that I can’t take back, and I have a lot of regrets related to that.

AL: Silly question… If you were a Super heroine, would you wear tights and a cape?

Annabel: Oh, yes. It’s all about the drama with me. And I love to wear tights! I’m sure I’d have some garish bright baby pink and crimson get-up going on.

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

Annabel: Henry David Thoreau said, “The world is but a canvas to the imagination.”
I love to look at the world as an artist and writer and see things no one else sees.

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

Annabel: It was my pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

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




Prosper is thrilled to be plucked from the corps de ballet to dance the lead role in Stravinsky’s Firebird. But Jackson, the guest choreographer, is as sexy as he is demanding. Prosper soon finds herself flustered by his closeness and his unforgiving gaze. She gets caught up in kinky fantasies that make it difficult for her to concentrate on his steps. She imagines him as her Dominant, turning her over his knee for flubs in rehearsal. Just as sensual tension at work builds to an impossible level, a surprise encounter outside the studio results in Prosper’s fantasies being realized. Jackson takes his protégée home and ties her to his bed. Soon Prosper is receiving the discipline and domination she craves -- and much, much more.

The pair maintain a secret off-stage relationship -- scorchingly intimate encounters several evenings a week. But Prosper begins to feel the burden of carrying the Firebird ballet on her back, and Jackson knows that his time in New York will draw to an end all too soon. Will Prosper crack under the pressure of pleasing her lover and bringing his vision to life? Will Jackson find a way to help his struggling Firebird take flight?


Foolish of her. When he’d said, “Let’s sit for a minute and have a drink,” she had imagined actually sitting somewhere, perhaps on the plush textured sofa he’d just beaten her over or at the table over by the kitchen. But no. She was tied spread-eagle to his iron headboard and footboard while he had a drink and occasionally had her lick some drops from his fingers. She wasn’t much of a drinker, so she didn’t know what it was, and she was too mindless with lust to ask.

She had never in her life given a successful blowjob. She’d tried, but invariably the guys had stopped her, given up, and decided to try to come another way. Honestly, her heart had never been in it. She’d thought it gross, icky. Dirty. Well, she had before. Obviously she felt differently now. She had sucked him off eagerly and enjoyed every moment of it, driven on by his insistent hands in her hair.

She looked at him now, and he gazed back at her with a lazy smile. She looked away, blushed. He dipped his fingers into the amber liquid for her to suck on, then brought an ice cube to her lips. “Hot, girl?”

Damn it. She was burning, while he was calm and satisfied. The agitation, the intensity he’d greeted her with had disappeared with his convulsive orgasm. Now she was the one who was agitated, while he seemed perfectly content to play.

“Lick it nicely,” he chided when she tried to bite the cube he held to her mouth. “Toy with it like you toyed with my cock before.”

Half-embarrassed, half-aroused, she tongued it, using the tip to swirl around one pointed end of the cube. She opened wider, stuck her tongue out, and lapped at the broad icy surface.

“Mmm, that’s right. Very fast learner. Inborn talent. But I knew that already about you.” He replaced the cube in the glass and looked down at her, tracing his finger along the stays of her corset. “I bet your mother was a siren, wasn’t she? A total slut.”

“My mother was Amish.”

Jackson did an exaggerated spit take that started her giggling.

“I know — it’s weird. She’s not anymore. They shunned her when I was just a baby.”


“It came out that I…I wasn’t my father’s daughter.”

She saw understanding dawn. He reached for a lock of her hair.

“Next-door neighbor was a redhead?”

“Something like that. My mother and the man she had…sinned with…were driven away. But he went back to the People before long. He left her, and they took him back. My mother married again and…” She waved her hand. Jackson played with her locks, twirling the curls around his fingers.

“I can’t imagine hiding this hair of yours away under one of those staid white caps. Criminal. Thank God she didn’t return when he did. You’d be sitting somewhere reading a Bible right now.”

She shrugged. “It was never the life for my mother. She was a dancer too. Well, she wanted to be. When she was little, she would hide away and dance in secret because it wasn’t permitted. She had to make up her own songs to dance to. She was a free spirit, though, all her life. When I started to dance, I was very little. Two or three. She was overjoyed.”

She fell silent. He looked at her expectantly, but she didn’t go on. He took another drink, and while she wanted his fingers in her mouth again, he gave her more questions instead.

“You said she was. Is she still alive?”

“Oh yes. She is.”

“Still overjoyed that you dance?”

“I guess. I don’t see her very much.” Her voice wobbled. She felt the familiar agitation that overcame her whenever she talked about her mother, her family. She knew he noticed, but mercifully he let that line of questioning drop.

“So Prosperity is Amish in origin, I suppose?” He drained the last of the drink and then set it on the table beside the bed. She watched the muscles of his stomach shift and contract as he bent and straightened, watched the perfection of his outstretched arm, his wrist, his hand. He resumed his seat between her thighs, pinching the tender skin above her stocking.

"Answer me.”

“No, Sir,” she said, tearing her gaze from his thickening cock. “My Amish name was Mary. My mother changed it after she left.”

“In a fit of optimism for her new life?”

“Yes. Maybe. I don’t know.” She was finding it hard to concentrate on the conversation as his hands ran up both her thighs. She tried hard to be still, to not buck and fidget the way she wanted to. She wanted to lift her hips and thrust her throbbing clit right against his hand. Please touch me; please touch me; please touch…

“Hot, Prosper?” He knelt over her so his eyes were inches away from hers. The expression on his face told her he expected her to answer this time.

“Yes, Sir.”

“‘Yes, Sir, I’m hot,’” he prompted.

“Yes, Sir. I’m hot.” She practically whimpered the words.

“I can see that you are.” He moved one hand to her breast, pulled the cup of the corset down so her nipple was exposed, taut and pointed. “Hot indeed.” His fingertips brushed across her nipple, making her breath stop. With each light stroke, the fire in her clit flared. Then the fingertips clamped down, hard, harder, twisting. The pain became excruciating, shocking. Her plaintive groan rose to a cry. “Ohhh! Please!”

"Shh. I’m just getting started with you. You’re not very good at sex, remember? I think I’ll need to work on conditioning some appropriate sexual response.” As he spoke, his fingertips moved to torture her other rock-hard nipple. Then he took both firmly between the pads of his thumbs and forefingers and squeezed.

Oh God! The pain in her nipples and the throbbing in her pussy became one crippling ache. She needed more; she needed less. He was making her lose her mind. She panted, throwing her head back.

“You seem to like that well enough.” He released her and slid one cool palm down the length of her smooth black corset to where her hips arched, searching for contact, searching for release. “Let’s see how you like this.” His palm stroked over her mons and stopped, one dexterous fingertip brushing once, twice across her clit.

She gasped and strained at the bonds.


“Please, what?”

“Please, again! Please, again, Sir!”

He pretended to consider it. “Okay. First I want to hear you say you like sex.”

“I like sex!” she babbled immediately.

“‘I’m good at having sex –’”

“I’m good at having sex!”

“‘I’m a slut for cock.’”

“I’m a — I’m a –”

He stroked her again, the lightest touch to tease. She whined and twisted her hips as he withdrew his finger, aching to feel the pleasure again.

“Say it.”

“I’m a s-slut for cock.”

“Like you mean it.” He held her hips still and leaned over her to pull a taut nipple into his mouth. He nipped at it with his rough lips, then bit down on it.

“Oh God!” she cried. “I’m a slut for cock!”

“Yes, you are.” He licked the beating pulse in her neck. “And you’re going to come for me like the sex-starved, cock-loving slut that you are. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, Sir!”

He put his hands on his thick length, stroking it before her eyes.

“If I give you my cock, you better let me know how much you like it.”

“Yes, yes, please — I will –” She watched as he reached for a drawer in the side table. He pulled out a condom and ripped open the package. The five seconds he took to put it on seemed an eternity. She wasn’t able to move more than a few inches in any direction. She felt helpless and trapped, which only made her pussy ache harder.

He gentled her with a hand on her shoulder, a firm kiss on her hair. She steeled herself not to shift, not to fidget. He hadn’t told her specifically not to, but she was pretty sure by now what was expected of her at times like this: pure, still obedience. The concession that she was his. That every sound, every movement, every gasp or sigh was to be the result of his own hand. His palm stroked down to rest on her pubic bone. She shivered as he aligned himself even more closely to her. Now truly they would be joined in every manner of the word.

Please. Sex.

She felt the unforgiving steel of his muscles press against her front, felt him positioning his cock at her entrance. She just thought over and over:

Please…I don‘t care what our relationship is. I don‘t care.

I don‘t care if I get in trouble; I don‘t care if everyone knows.

I don‘t even care if you hurt me.

Please. Please. Have sex with me now.

REMEMBER: Annabel will be giving away a free e-copy of her featured release, Firebird. She'll draw a winner next Monday from whoever posts a comment this week. Make sure to leave your email addy. Best wishes!

2:57 PM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

"My mother is a woman who speaks with her life as well as her tongue."

- Kesaya E. Noda

1:21 PM

In the Author Spotlight

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

Nikki: Hey, Ann. Thanks for having me here.

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

Nikki: I’ve been watching American Idol, and am eagerly waiting, more so than years past, to see who wins. I’ve picked the winner the last 2 years, but in my mind the competition hasn’t been as close as this year. I really liked several of the contestants this year, but no matter how good they are, my pick this year is Lee Dewyze. Admittedly, Crystal is great, but for some reason I am more drawn to Lee.

I’ve also been catching up on our fave TV Shows and am looking forward to many of the summer shows: Burn Notice, Royal Pains, In Plain Sight, Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS LA, Bones, The Vampire Diaries, House, and many more. The TV time helps me slow my mind down a little.

AL: Tell us about your newest release, SCENT OF PERSUASION.

Nikki: SCENT OF PERSUASION is book 2 in the Sensory Ops series. Unlike book 1, I do not have a character with a handicap. Rather, the sense comes into play as the murder weapon. It was fun to find an interesting way to kill people that isn’t done over and over and to play with the motives.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Nikki: I am currently editing a book that spins off the Sensory Ops Series. It’s still suspense, but it’s a little different than the Ops books. I instead have a treasure hunting couple. Think a Lara Croft lover’s reunited story with a more traumatic backstory.

AL: Is SCENT OF PERSUASION your first book published work? How long did it take you to write it?

Nikki: It’s my second. SOUNDS TO DIE BY, book 1 in the Sensory Ops Series was my first. Though they were not my first books written. As for how long to write it, I think from beginning the plot to the finished product it took me around 3 months. I can work faster than that, but I like to feel somewhat human.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Nikki: I have some amazing friends who help me think out the major plot points at the beginning of a book. Some books I plot more thoroughly than others, but I always have a pretty solid idea of where I am going and what suspense elements must be tackled.

AL: If you weren't writing, what do you suppose you'd be doing?

Nikki: Living a much more dull life with more TV and reading time. Living the life I used to lead. This one is more exciting.

AL: Now, settle back and relax…What is this romance writer's idea of the "perfect romantic evening"?

Nikki: Actually, settled back and relaxed sums it up very nicely. Whether it’s an evening with the kids asleep early and hubby and I on the couch with favorite shows, a night at the movies with just us, or even the recent walk on a beach in San Diego at sunset, my idea of a romantic evening is just about anything that includes quiet time with hubby. It’s the reconnection time.

AL: Is there an author(s) out there that you’d love to do an anthology with?

Nikki: Hmm, I haven’t thought much about this. There are a lot of authors I respect and would enjoy working with, but I’m not sure I have an answer.

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

Nikki: That I could quite easily go days or weeks without seeing other people and be perfectly happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with people, but I also love my alone time.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2010 and beyond?

Nikki: Aside from writing a couple more Sensory Ops books, I am looking forward to SOUNDS TO DIE BY releasing in print in August, and my first book signing at the RWA Nationals Literacy Signing.

AL: Imagine if you will…If you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?

Nikki: Interesting question. Maybe a lightning sniper. I would be tough to track. As for a name...Anya Sparks, because it doesn’t sound like a killer’s name. Who would suspect such a sweet sounding person?

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

Nikki: Women who behave rarely make history.

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

Nikki: Thanks for having me here. It was great fun.

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




Actress Kami Evans is tackling the biggest role of her life—as an escort. There’s definitely something going on in Madame V’s mansion, but Kami has to prove herself trustworthy before she can dig deeper and prove her stepbrother didn’t commit suicide.

Her first assignment: seduce a CEO and, oddly, steal his hair brush. He’s everything she avoids in a man: suave, sexy, suited. She plays her role all the way to the bedroom…and finds it stunningly difficult to walk away.

Breck Lawson’s undercover assignment, posing as a replacement CEO, is yielding zero clues as to why his friend tried to kill himself—until Kami comes on the scene. She’s everything he likes in a woman: safe, sexy, temporary. She also arouses him just by walking into a room, a sure sign it’s time to push her away.

Then he connects the dots she unwittingly shares, and realizes their investigations are linked by delicate strands of DNA. Keeping her near isn’t wise, but he has to know her secrets and keep her safe.

Unless they trust each other and come clean, those dots could lead to death for both of them…


“You didn’t dance with me.”

“You didn’t ask.” She wrapped one arm behind him and reached across herself with the other, resting her palm on his stomach.

“I’m asking now.” He covered her hand and assured himself the sentimentality he was feeling toward her was a strict product of a successful night. She was being paid for a job, and he would be a fool to ignore the opportunity. “Will you dance with me, Kami?”

She tilted her head slightly and met his gaze with her sparkling green eyes. “I would love to.”

Breck led her to the dance floor. The band shifted to an instrumental piece, slow and somewhat melancholy. Sexy. He set her hands on his shoulders and then placed his at her waist.

Kami fitted her body to his. Their cheeks brushed as they swayed to the beat. Without her shoes, she’d fit neatly tucked against him with the top of her head under his chin. Her heart wouldn’t beat right against his, like it did now, unless he picked her up.

He turned his face into her hair and inhaled her sweet orange blossom scent. “Sorry you didn’t win the Heat packet. Though I don’t recall meeting a Channing Harris.”

She shrugged and wiggled against him. “No worries. It went to a great cause.”

Wishing Trevor had been able to see the night’s success, Breck settled into dancing and was surprised as always that the childhood lessons from his mother had stuck with him. Tonight’s difference was the pleasure the moves and the music brought him. Since losing his mom, he’d found no interest or delight in either.

With Kami’s arms around him, he wondered what else he’d missed out on. And that was a dangerous thought.

She sighed. Warmth washed over his neck and slid beneath the collar of his shirt and down his back. Her body pulsed with each move. He hardened against her thigh.

“This is nice.” She hummed low in her throat—a sultry accompaniment to the song that had the hair at his nape standing at attention.

He scanned the few remaining couples as he guided her in a circle. He wanted them gone. The tuxedo jacket grew warmer by the minute with his rising temperature. He wanted Kami to himself. He wanted to discover the treasure of what she concealed beneath her silken dress.

He’d paid for an escort all night and though he hadn’t intended to keep a woman with him until morning, the temptation of Kami and hot sex had him reevaluating his plans.

He swallowed and glided his palms up her back. The strings would snap against the smallest pressure. The dress would fall to the floor. If they were alone…

He kissed her beneath the lobe of her ear. His pulse raced as the band shifted into a song about sexy love that had a throbbing opening beat more suited to a flirtatious striptease than a slow dance. “You’re staying the night.”

She arched intimately against him, her pelvis bumping his erection, and moaned deep in her throat. “If you like.”

“We’ll both like it.”

“That sounds like a promise.”

“As soon as the last couple walks out that door it’s a promise I’ll make good on.”

10:14 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest
Kimberley Troutte

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

Kimberley: I am so happy to be here. Wow, a week? That’s a whole lot of spotlight.

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

Kimberley: I am preparing for my sweet boy to graduate from 8th grade. I can’t believe this. High school next year? How did this happen? Wasn’t he just learning to crawl? Wasn’t I just in high school? Um, no that was cough—twenty plus years ago—cough. Ahhh, time goes so fast.

AL: What do you have for us to read?

Kimberley: Catch Me in Castile. It is a paranormal romantic suspense. A ghost story.

AL: Any new works rolling around in your mind?

Kimberley: Too many. I’ve got to get cracking. I’m in the final stages of three books. I’ve got a paranormal suspense involving a philanthropist, a doctor, and two old voodoo priestesses who are plunged into the epicenter of Haiti’s greatest earthquake. I have a women’s fiction about a mother who is hiding her son from an abusive father when the boy becomes famous due to an ear surgery that allows him to hear God. And a middle grade adventure about two boys who join forces with a miner forty-niner ghost to save an old mining town.

AL: Who inspired you to follow your dream of writing?

Kimberley: That’s an easy one! My family. My dad is an avid reader who passed down books that he enjoyed. From him I learned to devour books like fudge. As a kid, I read hard-boiled detective stories, adventures, and mysteries. My mom gave me her books too which included sweeping epics and books set in interesting locales, like China, Japan. My sis introduced me to Romance.

All of them, including my husband and kids, have encouraged me to follow my dream. I couldn’t have done any of it without them.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Kimberley: No outline. I’m not a “plotter” or “pantser”. I’m an “in-betweener”. I start with the premise. For example: A 15th Century nursemaid gets pushed out of the Alcázar and for the next 500 years haunts the tower.

Then I go to the “why’s?” and “how’s?”. Why was she pushed? Why can’t she simply move on? What’s the mystery? How is the ancient story related to the modern-day one?

Then the “who’s”. Who is the ghost? Who is the modern-day woman who becomes embroiled in the ghost’s mystery and tries to solve it? Who is/are the love interests?

I get out a pad and paper and work on the character sketches. I need to know everything I can about these people from the way they look and act, to their deep internal secrets. Then I do quick scene sketches. I know the opening, a few important key scenes, the climax and the end.

By this time, my pantser side is so antsy to get going that I have to start writing or my brain will explode. I’m hearing dialogue in my head when I close my eyes at night, seeing the scenes, dreaming the story. I panic that if I don’t get it all down, it’ll be lost. I choose a scene that I can see most clearly in my head and start typing. From then on, it’s a mad, frantic, wild push to the end. It’s a little crazy. Maybe a lot crazy. When that first draft is done, I celebrate with a chocolate chip cookie, or an ice-blended mocha, put my feet up (yeah right, this is where I usually tend to the things I’ve let slide for a month or so. Housework, bills, cooking…) and let the story sit a few weeks.

Not looking at it for a while is important. I need fresh eyes when I go back and do the REAL work—the edits.

In the editing stage I add the depth, emotion, description, twists and turns that I missed in the first draft. Sometimes I realize that a scene would be best “seen” through a different character’s eye. I polish and shine my way to the end. Then I let it sit again. For the next pass-through, I look for anything that doesn’t “ring true” to my writer’s ear. I also look for dialogue, actions, plot points that don’t move the story forward and cut them. I’m big into cutting. Ask my critique partners.

Oh, speaking of them, my fabulous crit partners are crucial to this whole wacky process. Anything that pulls them out of the story, or doesn’t work for them gets fixed or cut on the third or fourth pass through.

AL: How do you decide upon your settings? What about the names of characters? Do you ever change either mid-stream into a story?

Kimberley: After I went to Spain, I knew I wanted the story to take place in such a romantic, beautiful place. Segovia is amazing!!! Towers, ancient Roman aqueducts, the history? Perfect for Catch Me in Castile.

The names of my characters do change. Usually the names just pop into my head. I try them on and see if they match the character. Deborah Nemeth, the editor at Samhain who bought Catch Me in Castile, asked me to change the ghost’s name. She felt the original name Teresa was too similar to Teresa of Avila who was born in a later time period. The ghost is now Serena.

In another story I changed character names mid-stream. It sort of messes with your head for a while, like calling your kids by new names. I’ve never changed a setting in the middle of the book, although, I have added places.

AL: Okay, let’s get personal… Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

Kimberley: Hmmm. There’s so much to choose from. LOL. Oh, I’ve got it. Cleaning the fish tank. I’ve have sons and they have pets. Who do you think feeds and cleans up after them (the sons and pets)? Mom. The other day I was scrubbing the green yuck off the fish tank. I had scooped out pitcher after pitcher of the gross water and dumped it on the grass outside. It was my intent to refill with nice crystal clear water. As I scrubbed and scooped, the water became so murky that we couldn’t see the fish. My sons came unglued thinking that mom had dumped their fish out with the gross water. I didn’t think I I did, but wasn’t 100% sure. So here we were, on our hands and knees combing the grass, retracing my steps, searching for the poor fish as time ran out. After several minutes, just like the doctors on Grey’s Anatomy, my husband and I looked at our watches and called it. No fish could live out of water that long. My kids were furious with me until…you guessed it…the water cleared and they saw their fish right there in the aquarium where it had been all along.

AL: Best movie you've seen recently?

Kimberley: Sandlot. It’s an old kid’s baseball and coming of age movie that I love to share with my boys. Oh, and the Bourne Supremacy. I love Jason Bourne.

AL: What were you like as a kid?

Kimberley: A teacher’s pet goody two-shoes. I liked to please and didn’t get into trouble. My mom and I were always close and I told her everything, which my teenage friends that was really UNCOOL. I still phone Mom several times a week. Family is the most important thing to me. What else? I married my fifth-grade sweetheart. Not in fifth-grade! No, we waited until we had graduated college. He was adorably cute as an eleven year-old, but I swear he’s only gotten more handsome over the years. God, I love that man.

AL: Where would you like to travel if you had the chance?

Kimberley: Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Australia…Lots of places.

AL: Fun-off-the-wall-question… You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for. (A) What’s the movie about? (B) Who’s your character? (C) And who’s your leading man?

Kimberley: Hmmm. Let me try this in my deep voice…

In a world run by evil villains who’ve set the earth on a collision course into the sun, one person can save us. Kimberley Troutte, the kick-butt author who has been hiding her secret abilities to (fly, shoot lasers out of her eyes, breathe under water, and stop a bullet with her teeth) joins forces with sexy bad-guy turned good but still fighting for justice (combo of Brad, Tom, Mel, Johnny, and Matt) Jason Bourne. The clock is ticking…

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

Kimberley: This one is from my dad. When I told him that I was finally going to be published he said,

“I’m so proud of you, honey. It’s great the way you’ve put your guts to the pavement and kept going.”

It’s all about following your dream even when there are a few bumps in the road and you get scrapped and pebbles get stuck in your belly… Well, maybe that’s not it exactly, but you know what I mean. Don’t give up.

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Kimberley.

Kimberley: I love it. Thanks for having me.

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




Seeing dead people is bad enough. Loving him could make her one of them.

When the mother of all panic attacks prompts Erin Carter’s boss to pass her over for promotion, her mind doesn’t just crack. It explodes like an egg in a microwave, shattering her career along with the company car she crashes into the office building.

The death grip she’s kept on her sanity slipping, she takes a friend’s advice and flees to Spain. There she finds comfort in the healing arms of surgeon Santiago Botello—until a fifteenth-century ghost warns her that being with Santiago is dangerous, possibly even lethal.

Santiago has his hands full protecting his sister from a dark curse and his family from a very modern-day psychotic killer. The last thing he needs added to his plate is a neurotic American. Yet something about Erin tugs at his heart so hard he wants to wrap her in his arms and never let go. No matter the risk.

Erin’s attraction to Santiago makes her the killer’s next target. Survival means she must face her greatest fear, solve an ancient murder mystery—and hang on tight to the one man she’s fallen crazy in love with.

Warning: This book contains a woman willing to lose her mind for love, a hot Spaniard with hands a girl could die for, deadly family curses, a ghost with memory disorder, and a really mad killer.

Excerpt (PG-13):

I couldn’t save myself. I was dying a gruesome, humiliating death that was far from over.

There’s no point in continuing the interview,” the Big Guy said. “You’re not handling this well, Erin.”

Backed into the corner, my pride bleeding all over the place, I did what I had to do. “I’m not? Handle this: take your job and jam it straight up—”

He gripped my shoulder. “Be sensible.”

“You want to keep that hand?” Sensible? Any sense had flown out the window fifteen minutes ago when the most important meeting of my life had turned into all-fiery hell. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to pull out the “I Quit” card. This place, this job, was my life.

He tipped his palms up in his typical “let’s negotiate” stance and turned on his plastic smile—the one he flashed before grinding opponents under his wingtips.

Had he forgotten I knew all his moves?

“Think about what you’re doing. If you walk out of here, it’s all over.” His plastic smile slipped, just a hair.

I didn’t want it to be over. Silently, I begged. You want me to stay. You need me. Please, don’t let me go.

“It’s your call. I won’t stop you,” he said.

“You think I should stick around to—what, rub my nose in your asinine decision?” I trembled with rage. He didn’t want me…he never had.

His nostrils flared. “I was wrong. Obviously, you’re not the best person for the job. I’m sorry.”

He wasn’t sorry. “The only thing obvious is I’ve been robbed.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “No wait, screwed and then robbed. Sums it up, doesn’t it?”

“You’re acting like a crazy woman.”

I leaned in close enough to kiss him. Or bite his nose off. “You haven’t seen crazy yet.” No one at the firm had, but I tilted dangerously in that direction.

Breathe, Erin, breathe. Don’t lose control, my psychiatrist droned inside my head. I had never been so humiliated, or so viciously used by anyone before. This hurt.

YOU breathe, Dr. Stapleton. I want to pound something. Hard.

My gaze flicked down to the thick folder in my hand.

The Big Guy saw the look in my eye. “Erin, don’t you dare. Those charts belong to DH&L.”

Meaning that after eight years of devoting every waking hour to the brokerage, Erin Carter was no longer a part of the company. I’d become a non-entity.

My head threatened to explode.

I dumped the presentation I’d spent weeks preparing over his perfectly trimmed, meticulously styled salt-and-pepper hair. Life as I dreamed it rained down in glossy color and spanned out across the gray-flecked carpet. Trashed, all of it. Without looking back, I shoved the conference door open with a bang and hustled out of there before I strangled him with my bare hands.

Halfway down the corridor, reality set in. What had I done?

My stomach flopped. I was going to be sick. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.

I was numb and yet my legs were moving. Fast. The click of my heels on the faux-marble tiles sounded a lot like, “Screw up, screw up, screw up.”

I grabbed my purse, fled through the lobby doors and ran like a demon chased me into the parking lot. Making it to my car, I shrank down in the front seat, covered my face with my hands and sobbed. The silk blouse I’d paid a kidney for was spotted with tears. How had things gotten so messed up? I felt…destroyed.

Rooting in the glove compartment for a package of Kleenex, my hand skimmed across the DH&L emblem blazoned on the Car’s User Manual. That’s when another important truth sank in—this wasn’t my car. I drove the firm’s navy blue Buick as a top commission producer. Some perk. I only drove it to and from work, even on weekends.

The windshield went fuzzy. Panic seized my brain and careened through my body like a high-speed police chase on the Hollywood Freeway. I wouldn’t outrun the attack. This one was going to be colossal.

“Sweet God,” I begged. “Not again.”

Fingers of terror scraped down my spinal cord. A thirty-pound weight smashed the air out of my lungs. A strange sound filled the car’s interior like air squeaking out of a busted balloon as I hyperventilated in the car that wasn’t mine. The world spun madly. Gripping the steering wheel, I hung on, but nothing would stop the fall. No one would catch me.

My mind didn’t snap. It exploded like an egg cooked on high in a microwave. Heartsick, panic-stricken and blinded with fury, I turned the key, stomped on the gas and floored the Buick.

Straight for the firm’s lobby doors.