10:02 AM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women...On Thursday

"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."

- Joan Crawford

8:52 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Julie will deliver a free read of Tangled Web to one lucky winner. Make sure to leave a comment along with your email address for a chance to win. Good luck!

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

Julie: Thank you for having me. This is my first interview after completing the book Tangled Web, to be released in June. May 26th is my lucky week!

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

Julie: I consider myself lucky to be here. I had no sooner finished the first TW edit with Champagne Books when I broke my right leg and arm. My “last words” were “get the book out.” You can appreciate my sense of values!

AL: Please share with us about your upcoming release.

Julie: Tangled Web, a mainstream romantic suspense, is a true book of the heart. As an adoptee, I had researched my background. My heroine, Catherine, is a projection of my mother’s life as I hoped she lived it after she was forced to give me up. It covers the period between the thirties and 1951.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Julie: During my “unmentionable” experience in the hospital and rehab, I came upon an unlikely hero, an occupation no romance writer has featured. He’ll be in my next book. In real life, he saved me from anaphylactic shock after one of the nurses gave me codeine by mistake. The Working title, “Man Enough.”

I also love to read current fiction and autobiographies.

AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?

Julie: I love the rush of good ideas, that other world, the zone. I hate when my favorite gems don’t work. But I’m a disciplined writer and I will “kill my darlings” as Stephen King suggests.

AL: You write both fiction and non-fiction; do you ever have trouble switching from one to the other? Do you prefer to write fiction over non-fiction, or vice-versa?

Julie: My Nonfiction consists of short, essays or articles about people or places of interest. I write the travel column for a local senior tabloid. It helps that I’ve’ been interesting places, such as Easter Island. I also have fallen in love with flash fiction. www.bewildering stories.com has six of my best.

I don’t have a problem switching. One genre feeds the other and all my works are show don’t tell, even the travel stories.

AL: When was the moment you decided to sit down and put your words to paper?

Julie: I was eight and having trouble reading. But it was 23 years ago that I got serious.

AL: Okay, let’s dig a little deeper…If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Julie: Thomas Jefferson. I’m already a friend of his four-time great grandson, a childhood friend with whom I’ve stayed in contact. He provided me with the inside story and science research on how Jefferson could not have fathered Sally Heming’s first four children and that another relative likely did. I receive a prize from Writer’s Digest for that article exposé.

AL: Summer will be here in a couple weeks. What is your favorite part about the season?

Julie: We live in Florida, spring and fall are our summer. I’m originally from the northeast. Florida is very humid in the summer and it’s hard to stay outside. I do a lot of reading and swimming in the summer.

AL: There are so many good movies coming out, or that have been released recently. What’s the best movie you've seen recently?

Julie: Julie and Julia. It was brilliant from beginning to end. I read the book and it followed her life story well. Also, I have made many of Julia Child’s recipes.

AL: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Julie: Our first vacation, which started our traveling years, was a flight to Tahiti from the Cleveland Hopkins airport during a record-breaking blizzard (January 26, 1978). The other scary adventure more recently happened when we were in Kenya on a road between Mambasa and Nairobi. Guys with machetes roamed around our bus while one of our caravan buses had a tire change.

AL: Silly question… If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of three laws to enact, what would they be?

Julie: We have plenty of laws; we just need to enforce them.

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

Julie: My own is: “God is not an enabler; grow up!”

I also collect quotes from favorite authors. Greg Isles opening line, “Midnight in the garden of the dead.” From The Devil’s Punchbowl is a doozy.

And I like Barbara Kingsolver’s description of a Fourth of July celebration. Paraphrasing: “A woman cycling with the moon and men having sex with the sky.”

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

Julie: You’re welcome. Now, everyone buy the book!

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




Wilkes-Barre’s cohesive Welsh community was a haven of Protestant values and mutual support. It was also a hornet’s nest of gossip. Neither a canary’s death nor a girl’s fall from grace escaped the locals chatter.

Good girls avoided the attention of the grandmothers’ grapevine by behaving—in public—as ladies were expected to behave with good manners and self-control. In private, emotions roiled, passions were explored, appetites satiated, and the end results “talked about.”

Or hidden.


A hush fell over them as they pushed through the door. The lush Oriental rug deadened the sound as it had the night she first saw Mary lying in the double bed. The lined draperies were pushed back, allowing the waning afternoon light to radiate into the room. The bed, its spread matching the curtains, was made up tight. The closets stood open, the rose sachet fragrance gone. Jack had placed packing boxes around the room in anticipation of her agreeing to this chore. Did he know she’d be willing? Catherine approached the largest closet, remembering the night that Mary had offered her the red dress.

“She told me she had small feet.”

“Yes. No point in saving the shoes for you.” He laughed, pointing to the shoe rack below. “Let’s put them into these two boxes first.”

They worked for almost an hour. Catherine took the dresses off the hangers and folded them in tissue paper prepared for the boxes. Jack sealed and marked each box as it filled. Eventually, she came to a cloth bag that held Mary’s heavy fur coat. She unsnapped the top and peered in. Pulling it free, she ran her hand over the luxurious dark sienna and black fur. “A genuine mink. This is gorgeous. You shouldn’t give this to charity unless you plan to auction it for a monetary donation.”

“It’s sable, Catherine. Would you like to have it? It matches your hair.”

“I couldn’t! It’s not proper. Anyway, it would make my other clothes look out of place.”

“Um.” He stood back, his eyes roaming over her, appraising her figure. “I think it’s perfect for you. Try it on.”

Catherine blushed, but slipped the silk brocade-lined fur over her arms and shoulders. She stood, self-conscious as it tickled her knees. It was a perfect fit and enveloped her like cream in a warm bath.

“Mary said it took someone with more color in her face to wear it. She was right.” He licked his lips. “She usually wore the squirrel cape. You must keep that coat.”

Catherine shook her head and began removing it. Jack raced across the room and grabbed her elbows. “Leave it.” He was panting, perhaps from the sprint. She smoothed the sleeves, tears beginning in her eyes. “It’s beautiful,” she breathed, “but I can’t take Mary’s lovely coat.”

He looked down at her. “You deserve it.” He touched her lips with the tips of his fingers, then encircled her waist and pulled her close to him. “You’re a delicious morsel in this coat,” he said hoarsely. “You would be beautiful, in it or out of it.” He slid his moist lips down her neck and kissed his way back up to her lips. Then he took her breasts in his hands, kneading them, making them swell. Her nipples were marbles. She gasped and sagged in his arms. He caught her, lifting her onto the bed. His hands traced the line of her legs; his fingers worked at her garters.

Her back arched.

“This is wrong, Jack. I’m your employee, and you’re out of your mind with grief.”

“I’m out of my mind with... you,” he growled. He lay down close to her and buried his face in the crook of her neck, trembling. “I know it’s wrong.”

She felt his tears soaking through the collar of her blouse.

“I can’t stop,” he said. “I want you.”

She rolled away from him, and slipped off the bed, but he caught her hand, kissing her palm. “Forgive me. It’s just that I’m so dammed lonely.”

She nodded and sat on the edge of the bed, her feet to the floor. She smoothed her blouse and pulled her skirt over her knees. “That’s no excuse,” she said primly.

He sat beside her, his head in his hands. “I’m sorry, Cath. I’m lost. My marriage wasn’t real, just a sham for convenience. Mary deserved better. God knows she tried to please me, but my heart strayed, distracted by you. I’m crazy for you. I know it’s too soon.”

Catherine’s heart stopped for a beat before falling over itself. Had she heard correctly? “You... you care for me? You love me?”

“Since I first walked though the factory and saw you bent over your machine, your hair tracing the line of your face, I knew that you were special. You were so intent. The others looked up, put you kept that pretty nose of yours bent to the task, dedicated. I fell for you then and there.”

Catherine took her elbows in her hands and shimmied back on the bed, extending her feet, examining her slender ankles and trying to decide if this was what she wanted. “I don’t know what to say, Jack. We can’t be seen together this soon. It’s not proper. The first time the servants are gone and here I am sitting with you on Mary’s bed... I’m not... It’s not... I’ve never--”

“You’re innocent. Pure.” He kissed her cheek and ran his tongue around her earlobe.


“Then I want to show you what real love is between a man and a woman.”

Catherine felt her will dissolving. Wasn’t this what she had dreamed of, what she had wanted, what her body was telling her? She nodded and looked up at his handsome face. “But not here--not in Mary’s bed,” she said.

He stood and took her hand. “Leave your clothes but bring the coat.”

She shucked her clothes and reached for the fur to follow him downstairs. He flung open the door to the yellow guestroom where Catherine had stacked the coats the night of the party. It was much smaller than the master bedroom. A mixture of Bay Rum and apple blossoms made the room cozy and intimate.

“I’ve been sleeping in here. Mary never came into this room. She didn’t like the color; the yellow striped wallpaper washed her out.” He turned toward Catherine, devouring her with his eyes. “You absolutely glow in it. You belong in this room.”

As a guest, she wondered, or...?

He turned on the radio and pulled the bedspread off, dropping it in a heap on a chair. “Someone to Watch Over Me” played into the room.

Catherine swallowed. “I... I don’t know.”

“You belong with me now.” Jack dropped to his knees and embraced her around the waist, circling her hips and stomach, fingering her waist. “You have the tiniest waist I’ve ever seen.” He massaged her thighs and breathed onto her stomach. Her breasts tensed in the chill room.

“It’s cold in here.”

“We diverted the heat to the other parts of the house. When I’ve finished undressing you, put the coat on and lie down on the bed.

Jack’s words sounded like a command. She did as asked, not really sure what he would do next. She slipped on the coat, pulling it around her, crossing the generous folds to cover her nakedness. Her face burned.

He lay down next to her, smothering her with kisses and murmuring, almost singing with the music, one of her favorites. Before she could move, he was inside the coat, pressing into her, warming her body with his rough shirt and hard, muscled skin. His pants had disappeared. She could tell that he was a big man, determined, with his own purpose, bent on making love to her. She gave herself up to her feelings and returned his love. The sharp pain was quickly gone, and a warm glow replaced it as her desire climaxed in tender release.

When he was done, he rolled off and stood. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. You really were... innocent.”

She sat up, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I told you that. Didn’t you believe me?”

“Girls always say that.”

All her ambitions crashed around her. Pieces of her life detached from her plans. Nothing but shame remained. She’d slept with Mary’s husband.

“We’ll just pretend this never happened,” Jack said.

“How can I pretend? I... I love you, Jack. I wouldn’t have let you... if I... hadn’t. What if I get... you know... caught? What if I get a baby?”

“It never happens your first time, Cath. Don’t even think about it. But there can’t be another time. This was a mistake. We’ll have to stay away from each other, at least for a while. You’re a temptation I can’t afford. I’ll hire another secretary--”

“No! I can work out of the mill office when you’re not there. You can leave me assignments.” She knew that if she had no reason to see him, she’d have no chance with him later.

“I suppose we could arrange that. I don’t want to ruin your life. Are you all right?”

“I guess.” Catherine blew out a long sigh. “You don’t think I’m bad, do you. I just didn’t expect...”

He took her in his arms gently stroking her in the coat. “Shush, my poor Catherine. You’re not a bad girl. You’re still sweet, and innocent in your way. You gave me comfort when I needed it.”

“Is that all you felt? Comfort?”

“Not like that sounds. But it’s natural for two people in love to express themselves together. Don’t question it.” He pulled the coat up under her chin, smiling. “You must keep the coat.”

“I can’t. It would be like payment. I’d feel like a... a kept woman. A prostitute,” she whispered.

Jack guffawed. “You’re one for the books, Catherine Jones. You’re no chippy. I’ve met a few in my day, and they are nothing like you.”

“You know... them?”

“It’s quite common among men. We have needs.”

She shimmied into the arms of the coat. He pulled her against him. “Put on your clothes. I’ll wait in the foyer and drive you to the bus.”

Catherine pulled the coat tightly over her chest, sashayed past him barefoot to run upstairs and retrieve her clothes. She dressed in the adjoining powder room, which she locked.

She peered into the mirror to see if she looked different than the night Mary had offered her the dress. The glow was gone; in its place was an aura of betrayal. She’d been used. Put on a brave face, Catherine; you’re an adult. Adults are not virgins or old maids. When she was ready, she opened the door, peeked out, grabbed her old cloth coat, and slipped into it. It felt harsh against her neck.

She presented herself in the foyer where Jack waited, dressed and composed. He looked at her and frowned. “Let me fix your hair.” He took the combs out, re-combed her hair, then put them back into sausage rolls behind her ears and at the nape of her neck. She basked in his gentle touch, hoping the tenderness would last forever.

He tucked the hair into her snood, and kissed her neck, sliding his thumb over the curve of her throat to the hollow of her neck, all the while caressing her breast with his other hand. Her belly pulsed. Their kiss deepened. He stood back, clearing his throat. “Ready?”

“Yes,” she said, her chest thick with emotion.

They left the house and drove beyond the trolley to Coal Street Park, where she could catch her bus.

“I’d take you straight home, but we don’t want to get the neighbors talking.”

Catherine looked at Jack’s passive face and wondered. Perhaps her worries had only begun.

REMEMBER: Julie will deliver a free read of Tangled Web to one lucky winner. Make sure to leave a comment along with your email address for a chance to win. Good luck!

8:52 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Tarra will be offering a $5 gift cert to Bookstore and More for one lucky winner. Please leave a post along with your email addy to be entered for a chance to win.

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

Tarra: Thank you for inviting me! This is my first author blog and I’m equal parts nervous and excited.

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

Tarra: Life’s pretty hectic right now, but I’m crossing my fingers for a calm, relaxing, writing-filled summer. A girl can always hope!

AL: Tell us about your new release coming out this week, Break.

Tarra: When one of my critique partners told me about Samhain’s Angels and Demons anthology call, I instantly decided I was going to submit. Yet, I couldn’t come up with a single idea that grabbed my attention for weeks and weeks. One night, though, I had a dream that, with [quite] a bit of editing, turned into the first half of my novella. It was quite the dramatic slumber, I must say. Break is a paranormal romance set in the near-future where the planet becomes the battleground for a power struggle between angels and demons. Being human, Layla Roads wants nothing to do with it, but unfortunately for her, she’s about to be blackmailed into her worst nightmare with a demon who will either save her or destroy all she cares about. It’ll also be coming to print next winter with two other fabulous stories by Victoria Davies and Madelyn Ford.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Tarra: I always have a myriad of ideas in progress. One tale I’ve begun writing more than the rest (and am very excited about!) is a retelling of a Brother’s Grimm tale, and not one I’ve ever seen retold before. As a child, I used to read their collection of stories over and over again… all five thousand pages of them.

AL: Is Break your first published work? How long did it take you to write it?

Tarra: Overall, from the first to the last sentence minus editing, I’d say it spanned over two to three months. Break is my first published work, though it most certainly won’t be the last!

AL: Is there such a thing as too much in an erotic romance novel?

Tarra: “Too much” is in the mind of the reader. I can’t answer for anyone but myself, so for me, no, unless it’s simply a personal “not for me” factor. As long as the romance is the strongest thread that continues to influence all other aspects of the story, then I’m satisfied.

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?

Tarra: Let’s just say if my writing habits were a heart rate line, I’d be alive and kicking. I can go a week or two without writing a single thing, and then in one weekend pour out thirty to forty pages. Routine has lapsed as of late, and I look forward to reviving it. There are plenty of difficult sides to being a writer, but something I did not expect was opening up that blank document to start a new story and thinking to myself, “is it possible I can do it all again?”

AL: Now, settle back and relax… If I asked your best friend what type of person you are, what would he or she tell me?

Tarra: Warm, fuzzy comments aside… there’d probably be some kind of reference to my love of snarky jokes and quotes. The more inappropriate, the better.

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

Tarra: Dark chocolate. How cliché is that? My apologies, but really, it’s true. Add a bit of flavor like sea salt, raspberry, or chili and I’m in heaven.

AL: If you have two hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

Tarra: Read. I would love to read. My TBR pile is exploding and I can’t wait until I can open that first page and be swept away into another person’s story full of action, romance, and suspense. There’s pure magic in the amount of escapism a great writer can pour into the written word, and it’s writers who can do that for me that serve as inspiration to write my ideas onto the bookshelf, too.

AL: Besides being a total book junkie -- I love music. When you write do you have a favorite sound track you like to listen to or get ideas from? What type of music is on it?

Tarra: It depends entirely on the scene, as I genre-bounce to help set different tones. During editing, the softer it is, the better I can work. Here’s one song I listened to about 50 times:


Some of the more tranquil Deadmau5 tracks are fantastic background music for me as well.

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

Tarra: Chocolate’s such a classic, and for good reason, too!

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

Tarra: I don’t have one, or even a top ten. It’s impossible. Anything with a sharp sense of humor that I can identify with makes my day complete. Here’s a recently discovered one that never fails to make life a little easier:

“A person who knows how to laugh at himself will never ceased to be amused.” - Shirley MacLaine.

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

Tarra: My pleasure!

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




Layla Roads’ life is a laundry list of irony. Trailer trash. High school dropout. Beautiful liar. Highly skilled computer hacker. And one additional, extraordinary gift: the ability to see the demons and angels engaged in a ferocious battle on the urban streets at night.

When kidnappers hold her brother, Layla finds herself up to her neck in a plot to bring down a powerful blood demon. A crude, sexual, violent demon who kills without flinching, pushes her buttons, and looks at her with too-knowing eyes. What’s worse is she feels an answering tug of desire.

It doesn’t take Gethin long to figure out he has a pretty traitor on his hands—and that she’s being blackmailed. As a lone human female her quest to save her brother is hopeless—just like the attraction between them. For even if Gethin helps her save all she holds dear, she can never be his…


The sheer sexuality of the blood demon shook Layla Roads down to her core every time her gaze met his heavy-lidded red eyes. Through the transparent walls of her high-tech cubicle, she had a clear view of him prowling across the empty office with all the dangerous, lithe grace of a panther. Given how his eyes fixed upon her with blatant hunger, she couldn’t help feeling as if she were the prey. Prey that, as casually as possible, hid the computer document she’d been in the process of memorizing and pulled up another one on-screen.

There was no one in the office besides her and Gethin. The downtown LA cityscape that sprawled out behind her through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls had yet to be tinted with the orange hues of morning. In the teeming metropolis that extended for miles beyond the heart of the urban jungle, most humans remained in bed behind locked doors, pretending to be safe from the shifting shadows of the night. Night was the battleground for the demons who had escaped from Hell and the angels who wished to push them back in.

The snowy white carpet beneath her heels would soon be stained black with blood. She didn’t know when, just that it was a matter of time. Her trembling fingers removed the prim plastic glasses from her face to check the wire core visible through the gray frames of her glasses. A bad habit, but one she hadn’t been able to break yet. The information she was memorizing was the only thing that could save her brother’s life, but it did nothing to save her own. She was well aware that she was a liability. What demons did to liabilities caused her to wake up night after night drenched in her own sweat and muffling screams of terror.

Perhaps the air demons would be merciful and kill her quickly and painlessly once her role in their scheme was done. If they left her behind Gethin would know that she had betrayed him, and she knew very well what he was capable of. His vengeance came from a deeper, uglier part of Hell than theirs did.

She had decided long ago that Gethin never slept. Despite this, there were never signs of exhaustion on his face, just carefully controlled violence and good old-fashioned lust that never failed to ignite a matching heat in her. This morning was no exception. The flimsy door to where she worked swung open with a speed that made her jump in her chair, even though she’d steeled herself.

“Ms. Gills.” His voice was darker, deeper than the crevices his kind had crawled from, she thought bitterly. It was underscored with pure steel. Heat too—a weapon he used on her without mercy. He wanted her. He’d made it clear by the second day. Anyway, anywhere. In his bed. On her desk. On his desk. On the floor. Against the wall. And no matter how much indifference or discouragement she threw at him, that list grew longer and longer with every passing day. If she’d been exactly who she pretended to be, then who knew? Perhaps then she could act on the desire he stoked. But she wasn’t Ms. Lana Gills as he thought she was. So she could never let it go further than words.

There was no hesitation showing on the hard, angled planes of his face or in his stride. His dark eyebrows formed a heavy, disapproving line across his forehead as he stalked behind her and pulled out the umpteenth hair clip she’d purchased, letting her heavy hair tumble down about her shoulders.

The heat of his fingers burned her scalp as if he’d branded her. “That,” she said in the most frosty voice possible, “was uncalled for.” Her voice didn’t shake the way she worried it would.

Gethin simply sat on the corner of her desk and tilted her face up with a relentless hand. She didn’t fight his superior strength, especially as he opened his other fist to let small pieces of silver rain down on her lap. She scowled at him, meeting his intense gaze squarely. “You owe me a new hair clip.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I thought I’d told you to keep your hair down, Ms. Gills. It suits you.” His gaze, crimson red where hers was brown, moved slowly from her eyes to caress the golden curls he’d just released. She’d been warned he had a thing for blondes. They’d been right.

“I generally find that women with tight buns are restricting their sexuality.”

She couldn’t help it. She snorted. “This, sir, is a workplace.”

He grinned wolfishly, and her heart skipped a beat. Whether it did so because the rare humor that graced his face made him even more desirable or because he was fooling around with her bloodstream again, she didn’t know. She’d once made the mistake of accusing him of elevating her heart rate as blood demons were able to do. She’d nearly ended up flat on her back on top of his desk, shirt unbuttoned, skirt around her waist, begging for more.

Well, if she had to be honest, she had ended up there, but given how quickly she’d come to her senses and scrambled away, it didn’t count.

REMEMBER: Tarra will be offering a $5 gift cert to Bookstore and More for one lucky winner. Please leave a post along with your email addy to be entered for a chance to win.

11:36 AM



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, but 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 for her 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. Now she 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.

1:10 PM

Life Happening Around Me

Hi all -

Have some family situations happening. Sorry for the absence. Will be back on the ball shortly.


10:20 AM

Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women

"If you are never scared, embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take chances."

- Julia Soul

9:27 AM

In the Author Spotlight

Amber Green

AL: Hi Amber Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week. So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Amber: We got a new puppy on the first day of April. My fifteen-year-old golden retriever mix had died a year ago in January, and my big sweet white shepherd had died four months later, so we'd been looking for a puppy since St. Patrick's Day. On our last visit to the pound, one little brown fuzzy-butt just stood out from all the rest. His name's Baron. He will probably grow up to be 70 or 80 pounds.

AL: Shifters in Lust…oh my! Tell us about your newest release?

Amber: My newest release is Golden Boys, recently released in ebook form by Aspen Mountain Press http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/new-releases/golden-boys/prod_309.html and soon to be released in paperback by MLR Press as half of the Smart Ass: Pressure Point anthology. Golden Boys is my best shot at a fluffy dick-lit beach read, even though both heroes do get shot.

AL: What upcoming works do you have in store for us?

Amber: I'm working on a sequel to my Prohibition-era menage story Steal Away, which was released in February as part of Loose Id's salute to Black History Month. The sequel will be set in 1930 and partly in New Orleans, so it has to include some paranormal elements. I'm also working on a light-hearted m/m story tentatively called Crisco Twister and a war story set in Afghanistan. I'm also wrapping up the third Turner & Turner story, which started with One Good Turn at MLR Press.

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'? :-)

Amber: I get an idea and I chew on it a while, writing one scene or snatch of dialogue and then another, while researching. Then I throw out all but one (maybe two) of those bits and fly with it.

AL: Of your books, who’s your favorite hero and heroine?

Amber: Oh, my--that's a difficult one. The answer keeps changing.

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

Amber: Reading.

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

Amber: A pile of cushions by the fireplace, slices of apple and crystal ginger, a bowl of whipped cream, the two of us leaning together while reading by firelight. Happy sigh.

AL: Spring is here! What is your favorite part about the season?

Amber: Putting out new plants for the garden. Come summer, it will be too hot to enjoy them, but the beginnings are just irresistible.

AL: If you could have any car in the world; would it be a slow rider, or one that the wind has to hurry just to keep up with you?

Amber: Fly or poke? Fly!

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

Amber: I haven't watched TV in ... probably more than a year. I did recently pick up the new Star Trek movie to watch on my computer. Loved it.

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?

Amber: I'd be a supervillain. Someone sleek and mysterious, who acts seldom but terribly and with an inexorable...Ah, tell the truth--I'd be a meddlesome frizzy-headed finger-shaker who needles and pesters people into action, and they'd refer to me in terrified whispers: Oh, Shit!

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

Amber: "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)

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

Amber: Thank you for having me! I'll check back in a couple of times a day. We'll need to think up some contests, won't we? I love giving out prizes.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Amber please visit:
Nobody expected me to take risks, much less fall prey to the street culture my family so abhors--while Jell was a living enticement to take chances, to test the rules. They say after you break one rule, all others become suggestions. But how far does that go? I had to wonder, when the FBI asked me to betray the guy I've had a crush on since ninth grade.
So Jell and I have one less secret between us. Which would be better news if we weren't busy escaping a psychiatric clinic in the middle of the night, half naked, with people shooting at us. The only refuge we can agree to head for is my crazy cousin Gator's retirement village. Now we're lost. We're cold. And did I mention half-naked?
I've never been so alive.
Jell plopped sprawling in the chair beside the bed and sneered again. "What happened to med school? Or did you switch to divinity school?"
"I flunked out." I pulled the old fashioned blood pressure cuff out of the wall rack, and turned on the conveniently placed miniature spotlight so I could better see what to do with it. My penlight cast a bluish light that would make his skin look like something dead. In the spotlight, he was not quite the color of penuche, or pralines. His skin was fine-grained doeskin, stretched taut over wiry muscles. He'd lost weight since I'd seen him last.
He sat a moment, while I tried to remember how to wind the cuff around his arm. When he spoke, his voice had lost its serrated edge. "Ethan? For real? Your parents must've shit.
"Metaphorically speaking, yes. "You might have heard them from wherever you were, but you might've mistaken the noise for sonic booms."
"Did they throw you out? Hey, you need money?" He put his hand on my arm. A study in contrasts.
I'd been the golden boy all the time we were growing up. He'd had the bright skin, but I'd had the bright future, the parents still married to each other, the certainty I wouldn't just graduate--I was going to be a doc-tor. I was going to have a three-car garage and a house on the beach so I could watch the waves roll in at night. Now Jelly Richardson had a beach house and I made my living washing crusted vomit out of people's hair.
And self-pity wasn't going to get me anywhere. "They didn't throw me out, and I have a job." I also have a side job, which I have to take on faith won't involve betraying you. My finger fell on the problem, and why I'd blurted out my mission at the first opportunity. If this job did constitute screwing a friend, there wouldn't be any subterfuge about it. I'd twist his arm as best I could, but I wouldn't lie to him.
"You can't tell me the folks are down with this shit."
"No. But they're just giving me those...looks, you know?" And besides, since Monday they'd been a lot more concerned about my sexual orientation.
"You 'spoze to wrap it with the tube thing coming out right in the crook of the elbow. If you need a place out from under them, come stay with me. I have plenty of room.
"And plenty of people to share it with. Including a girlfriend. "Go from bumming off my folks to bumming off my friends?"
"You could tell your uncle you're keeping an eye on me. He might pay you for that."
"Why? What have you been doing to catch the attention of the FBI?"
"Is this place bugged?"
"If it is, they didn't tell me. And if it were, would they hire me to lure you out of here so they could talk to you?"