2:06 PM


Due to personal commitments (nothing bad) just life and other
outside activites I will be unable to resume the blog until after
the New Year.

Please check back in January.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

9:33 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: One lucky commenter will be chosen on Thursday, Nov. 10th to receive a copy of Serena's recent release, A Magical Return. Good luck!

AL: Hi Serena! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Serena: Hi Ann! Thanks so much for having me here for the next few days, I can’t wait to check the place out…you know peek around corners, meander down forbidden hallways, burst through closed doors. I’ve read your Eternal Series, so I just know there must be some sexy vamps here somewhere… ~wink~

AL: Naughty girl, but true...I'm sure you'll find a vamp or two in a shadowed corner waiting to nibble on someone. So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Serena: Well, the hubby and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this year…and I’m happy to report that we both looked at each other that morning and said, “lookin’ good, how about another 15?” My eleven year old, Darling Diva, has decided that rather than a jewelry designer, she would like to be an actor/singer (Man those were the days, weren’t they? Every kiddo must want to perform at one point…I sure did.) And I am, hopefully, going to be rid of my yearly bout of bronchitis. Yep, a writers dream…let’s write some sex today, hack, cough, hack. LOL

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Serena: My current release is entitled A Magical Return. It’s a story of somewhat human lovers, who have an affinity to the elements and a special ability to carry inside themselves another being. An Other, or a magical essence, here to help protect humans from evil.

Unfortunately, as is the case in romance, all hell breaks loose (literally) and tears our couple apart. But, as the title implies, they get a second chance at love; if they can get over all the bumps in the magical road home.

AL: Sounds like another great read. You know this reader will be checking it out. What other works are you deep into?

Serena: Well, right now I’m nearly finished with my second Jaguar shifter story, The Submission. This time it’s all about Marina’s (heroine from The Challenge) sister LeAnn and her mate’s, Rick and Trent. I had originally thought to have The Submission out quite a while ago, but the characters threw me for a loop the first time I was close to the end. I found myself dismantling the entire story and starting over… Frustrating, for sure, but the characters are always right though, and now the story is that much better.

AL: I have a couple that's like that. You've me them. Christian and Alynn. Who is the author(s) that inspired you to write?

Serena: Wow, you know, I have so many authors I just love to read and find inspiring so it’s hard to pick just one. I will say that while I’ve always had the writing bug, it was my first paranormal romance that made me say, “Oh yeah, I am so going to do this one day.” And the author I was reading at the time…Christine Feehan.

AL: Of your books, whose your favorite hero and heroine?

Serena: Gasp, but I love all my characters!! Currently, though, it is not a character from one of my published works or WIP who I find the most fun to scribe for. I’ve been writing flashes on my group blog Shapeshifter Seductions http://shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com/ that take place in a fictitious town by the name of Talbot’s Peak. This is a wicked fun town, with a cast of characters as long as my…leg. ~wink~

My favorite to write about is Ziva and Nick. Alpha werewolves who put out the town paper and still find time to torment each other.

AL: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?

Serena: All the free-wheeling time! LOL I swear I must have the mouthiest, and orneriest, characters around. All the time with what they want and how they want it, never mind what the actual author wants to do… BUT ~I have to whisper this so as to keep the hooting and hollering inside my poor brain to a minimum~ much the same as good customer service, the character is always right. Yep, I said it; I let my characters get away with anything and everything they want, because in the end, they are always right.

AL: It’s time to get personal! Do you have a favorite sport, &/or team that you follow?

Serena: Oh my, when you said personal I thought for sure we were gonna talk sex! Ooooh wait, can we include sex as a sport?? No…Okay, but, what if… No again… You’re killing me here, Ann ~wink~

Now, where was I? Oh yes, sports. See, I’m not much for sports, unless we’re talking the Olympics. Baseball, Football, Hockey…I can take them or leave them, but The Olympics are a must watch for me. Summer or winter, doesn’t matter I like them equally. In the summer I can watch them swim and dive, in the winter bobsledding and skeleton. How awesome is that!

AL: Come on, Serena. A man in a football uniform. Now that's a sexy-sport on a stick. Yum! All those hits, and running and more hits, all that male verility on display. Wait....fanning myself. Now, can you describe yourself in 3 sentences or less?

Serena: How about 3 words…Sexy, Sassy and Sensual!

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

Serena: Beating back the voices in my head! And probably working an office job where I’d drink too much coffee and gossip incessantly! So, for the safety of others, I’d best continue to write. Heh heh

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

Serena: Everywhere! I was bitten by the travel bug at a young age and the need to see everything has yet to wear off. I would love to take to my car, with my hubby and Darling Diva, and see every one of the states in this here country…top to bottom, side to side and with a slow boat to Hawaii at the end. When it’s all over…we’d be off to Europe!

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2012 and beyond?

Serena: Writing, writing and more writing! I have such a back log of idea that need to be written and new ones jumping in everyday, that I could be busy for the rest of my days! I’ve also given some thought to getting my toes wet in the indie publishing market with a few of my Talbot’s Peak shorts, but I’m still trying to decide on that end.

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

Serena: Here are a couple of my favorites. Wise words I try to remember every day.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in. ~Arlo Guthrie

And lastly, the quote that speaks to the reader, the writer and the dreamer in me…

If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! ~Shel Silverstein

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Serena.

Serena: Thanks for having me here, Ann! I always feel so incredibly welcomed in your lovely writer’s cave. Plus, this time I found the room you keep your naughty night dwellers in, so I may never leave! ~wink~

AL: Have fun, Serena! If you’d like to find out more about Serena please visit:

http://serenashay.blogspot.com/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shapeshifter Seductions-grp blog- http://shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com/ 
Serena Shay’s Fan Page- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Serena-Shays-Fan-Page/267531343271739 
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/serenashay



The Loss

Conleth “Cole” Douglas, warlock and vessel, needs a miracle. A destructive force has taken hold of his town and it will take more than just he and his magical Other, Cole, to eradicate the Evil. When an attempt to open his lover, Emterra, to their shared destiny fails, Conleth and Cole take extreme measures to stop the rising darkness. Their only option: take it, and themselves, into another realm.

Emterra “Irene” Azzurra, untapped witch and vessel, has given up on finding her own happy-ever-after. Devastated by the loss of her one and only love she becomes disinterested and remote, closed off from a life without Conleth. Even her job as the mayor of the dying town of Douglasville, MO, fails to sustain her, until she gets a blast from the past…

The Return

He’s back, alive and whole, but he didn’t come alone. The evil they’d hoped to contain in a distant realm has returned with him and is out to finish the job it started. There can be no failure this time, the now middle-aged, Emterra must accept her Other or doom the town to an agonizing death.

Skeptical of his sudden homecoming, Emterra is afraid to hope that his return could be true. She balks at the idea of opening her heart to him again. Especially when he looks like the same young Goth from ten years ago and tries to convince her she’s sharing skin with a magical being.

Can Conleth prove his claims of magic and the Others to be true? Can Emterra allow herself to believe in love and his wild claims? Or will the returning Evil finally swallow this town and all its inhabitants into the deepest realms of hell.


April 1st, 10 years ago

Northern Missouri, outside of Douglasville, in a barren tobacco field

Giant plumes of fire shot into the air, bracketing both the stage and Conleth ‘Cole’ Douglas within their heated embrace. The pyrotechnic display filled the night sky with showers of crackling flames.

An unknown force had let loose a demon within the town of Douglasville. Malevolent was too nice a word for this beast. This evil was a promise maker, a soul sucker, a bloody life taker, and now it was Conleth’s job to send it back to Hell. The only problem—he wasn’t nearly strong enough on his own. For this, he needed Em.

Emterra Azzurra was many things to him, his friend and lover, his soul mate—but right now what he needed the most was the thing inside her. Deep within the body, he knew quite intimately, was a being of magic, a source of goodness, an Other—one who had the ability to work with his own Other to defeat the evil bearing down on them now.

“Terra quod ventus nos queso ye, adeo nos, reperio vestri populous.” ‘Earth and wind we beseech ye, come to us, find your host’.

Together Conleth and his Other called the wind and summoned the earth. The task put a strain on their waning energy, as neither power was theirs to wield. Yet, they could only hope there was enough force to release Emterra’s powers, link her to the earth and air around them, and free her Other.

Magic spiraled through the crowd, seeping into pores and burrowing under skin, looking for its host, looking for Emterra. She was here. He could feel her; his Other had scented her life force as she’d entered the field of battle.

Con knew Emterra had the power to control the wind and a body to embrace the being she carried inside. With practice, she would hone the skill to become truly powerful, a force to be reckoned with, but time was an indulgence neither could afford. He had to encourage her to try, right here and right now. A gentle introduction to her new life was something he could not give her this time as he had in the past.

He prayed she would forgive him.

“Em,” he whispered inside her head. Her thoughts were a confused jumble of fears and questions. She didn’t yet believe in psychic links as Conleth did, but this was the only way he could find her in the mass of humanity about to be used as food.

“How can I…in my head…Con.” Her emotions were scattered, but in her newly cop-like way, she’d locked them deep down inside. “What are you doing?”

“Something good, my love, nothing that can hurt you.” He hoped. “But I need you to trust me.”

“Con, I’ve always trusted you, but…but this time, you’ve gone too far…please stop.”

“Do you remember our last concert, Em?”

He flashed a vision of them into her mind, taking her to a past where they soared into the eclectic world of musical freedoms and expressions, while around them, drugs and liquor flowed freely. Amid the rabid throng, they too screamed and beat their hands in the air to the squeal of the electric guitar and each bang on the skins of the drum.

“Don’t, please don’t make me remember this, Con.”

Her mental plea broke his heart. A heart that had always and would always beat for her and her alone. Unfortunately, his love and devotion to her were not enough to keep him from what he had to do, no matter how painful it may be.

“I’m sorry, my love, but you must remember. I need, no—we—need you to remember.”.

He sent her another vision. This time it was a memory of those magically successful moments when she had relaxed and let go enough for her Other to come close. She stood in the past, her hands high above her head as he’d cupped her breasts from behind. They swayed to the ballad screeching from the massive speakers. Nipples hardened to painful points between his fingers and thumbs as he squeezed them. He held her tight as she shook, he knew, from the shocking power filling her body.

“Say it, Em,” he’d whispered. “Say the words.”

“Vicis congelo,” she screamed into the sky above them. The Latin words for ‘time freeze’ rang clearly through the air.

Everything slowed. The band, being further away from them, moved as if they were stuck in a muddy bog, starting and stopping, their sounds low and slurred. The fans surrounding them, however, froze in pre-and post-head-banging modes. They stood amidst the previous chaos, enthralled by the strength of this new gift.


A steel door ended the vision with a finality that worried him. They were back in the present, with evil all around them, and again she squashed the emotions and thoughts inside her. “Em, please…”

“No Con, that vision is nothing more than a drug-induced nightmare of a time best forgotten. It wasn’t real…”

Conleth’s Other began demanding release. “It was very real, Em, and what you did then, controlling time, is what we need now.”

“Stop it, Con, just stop this. The time for foolish pranks and pretending to be magical are over—it’s time to grow up!”

Goddess, he thought as he was pushed back into the background of his mind, exchanging consciousness with his Other—they were screwed.


Yep, clearly, Emterra had taken too many hits, swallows, and pills that crazy night, but youthful stupidity in the past did not explain the weirdness of tonight. First up on the loony list, Con “speaking” to her, inside her own head. That was just not possible, right…

“It has to be a drug flashback or a bad trip.” Of course, she no longer took the short road to psychedelic bliss. Self-preservation and a career in law enforcement had curtailed that activity long ago. What was it then, did she just long to hear Con’s voice in her head? Did she miss their youthful hijinx enough to imagine the gothy, witchy phase was real?

“Am I going crazy?” If talking to one’s self and hearing voices was any indication, she’d jumped on the crazy train the moment she stepped foot on this barren tobacco field.

Hordes of people writhed under the oppressive heat of the flames bursting into the air on stage. The energy was similar to what it had been like at the concerts of her youth, yet the mood was vastly different. The power, drawn from every soul she passed, beat at her with excitement, arousal, and agony. She yearned for more of their pain, but cringed at the cruelty inside her. These people were hurting and she was enjoying it on some level.

Tonight, she didn’t even have mind-altering drugs to blame.

Bodies writhed in the dirt of the farm field, screaming for release. Children sobbed next to adults who begged for it to be over. Wisps of red smoke swept over the crowd, a bloody evil probing for a way inside each soul it passed.

The leader of this invisible raping, pillaging mess of hellish torment, it seemed, was Conleth. Arms lifted skyward, he chanted words she’d never heard before, sounds that pulled at her. His words fed life into the columns of fire beside him. Higher they climbed, releasing the bloody red wisps, or possibly pulling them back in—she couldn’t tell. Her heart beat faster, pounding to the rhythm of his words. She had to get to him, stop him before it was too late.

She ran full out, palming her Taser as she made a beeline toward the man she loved. Electrified air charged the hair flying around her face. She never faltered; it was as if she were running on the wind.

“Conleth, stop,” she screamed at him from the dirt in front of the stage. “Please.”

“Malum phasmatis, reverto volo.”

Emma shook. He was speaking in Latin, and again she understood. ‘Evil spirits, return to me’. Oh Con, what have you done?

“Conleth Cole Douglas, cease and desist. Now!” She used her best cop voice in an attempt to take control of the situation, though she had no idea what the situation was. This night was to have been a magic show to support the families hit hardest by last season’s crop failures. The invite extended to the entire town with a request that everyone dig deep and give what they could—food, time, money. Anything would help.

Rumor had it, Martin and Wilhemina Douglas sponsored this worthy cause; but suspiciously, their son Conleth had been the only one to show. He’d promised big name magicians, bands, as well as a plethora of rich and famous people, ready to lend a financial helping hand.

Again, Con was the only one here. He was looking guiltier by the second, but of what? Mass hypnosis? Con was a master at hypnotism, but more one-on-one than a crowd this big. One look at the Labradorite stone he wore around his neck and she was a goner. The grayish-blue gem, with its green and blue flashes could pull her under in less time than it took an arsonist to flick his bic.

But that was one small gem; there were hundreds if not thousands of people gathered in this field. No way was he putting all these folks under, unless it was really the chanting doing the work.

Still he went on. “Malum phasmatis, reverto volo.” Over and over again, but that didn’t make sense. How could ‘evil spirits, return to me’ be used as a focus?

“Ut is est, sic vadum is exsisto.” A Latin phrase forced its way past her lips, ‘as it is, so shall it be’. The words seemed random to her, but to Con, they appeared to make sense. His head turned to her and the blood red eyes staring back at her climbed inside her skin and stilled her heart.

“Emterra Irene Azzurra, finish it,” the man she loved said in a voice not his own. “Please.”

“Con, get down. Now!”

“Finish it!” He screeched into the night sky.


“Finish it!”

“I can’t, I don’t know what you mean.” Fear seeped under Emma’s skin while bugs skittered around her brain. The pain was unbearable.

Tendrils of fire weaved through her body, meeting the air pushing its way in through her pores. A bright star burst to life beneath her skin. The light was more brilliant and loving than anything she’d felt in her entire life. The presence filled her, touching every lonely spot inside her with calm and well-being. There was safety within the light, protection. Yet she struggled to get away from the nexus of peace.

As quickly as it had come, the presence departed—torn from her with the subtlety of a rusty axe. The pain of it dropped Emma to her knees. She writhed upon the ground with fellow town members, praying for death, wondering how and why Con would do this.

Briefly, Latin words whispered through her brain, perfectus, per meus mos– ‘finished, by my will’, but the pain swept the words away, leaving only Conleth’s voice to fill the void in that dying field with a Latin rhyme.

“Per meus mos–‘By my will’, may this adnihilo, ‘demon’, return to me, cling to me. Take me, leave them be. Alive, but ten years more before we settle thy wicked score. Per meus mos,” he screamed, before disappearing in a flash of flame, miles high.

The blessed darkness overtook her.

REMEMBER: One lucky commenter will be chosen on Thursday, Nov. 10th to receive a copy of Serena's recent release, A Magical Return. Good luck!

3:51 PM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Silvia will give away one download copy of Seduction of the Captain. How do you enter for a chance to win? Simply leave a comment for Silvia. Best wishes!

AL: Hi Silvia! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Silvia: Thanks for having me here, Ann.

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

Silvia: I’m enjoying soaking up summer – going to the pool with my kids, wading in creeks, taking hikes, and spending several long weekends to visit friends

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Silvia: My most recent release is Seduction of the Captain, a BDSM sci fi story set on a mercenary ship. I enjoyed examining the power dynamics of my characters’ relationship. Kajinek is a Dominant pilot must who follow his Captain’s commands when he’s on the bridge, but when they’re in private, she submits to him.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Silvia: I’m working on two m/m stories now, one is sci fi story featuring intergalactic spies and the other is set on an underwater research station.

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

Silvia: I typically meet my characters first and they give me the setting but sometimes they are reluctant to reveal their names. I have changed a characters name after getting a few chapters into the story and getting to know the character better.

AL: Do you ever have certain music you listen to when you write? Does it vary from book to book?

Silvia: I often write in silence (or the closest thing to it in a house with little kids). But when I write the steamier scenes I often listen to dance music like Pitbull, Flo Rida, or Enrique. Occasionally a song will seem perfect for the feel of a story. One of the characters in the sci fi story I’m working on now has chosen Shontelle’s Impossible as his theme song.

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

Silvia: My stories range from light play with power dynamics (the hero holding the heroines hands down while they have sex) to BDSM books where the interactions between the characters gets very intense (literal whips and chains). In these more intense stories, I spend some time examining the psychology of dominance and submission, but to me they are all still romance/erotica stories because they focus on the developing relationship between the characters. The BDSM scenes advance and deepen the characters relationship and by the end they have fallen in love with each other.

AL: It’s time to get personal! What is your favorite coffee drink?

Silvia: a local coffee shop has a drink called a Mayan Mocha – it has cayenne and cinnamon in it and is delightfully spicy and oh so good

AL: What annoys you enough to be considered a pet peeve?

Silvia: People who expect you to do all the work on a “group” project

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

Silvia: chocolate frosting and bacon

AL: Here it is: Torchwood or Doctor Who? Does it upset you as much as it did the hubby and I when they stopped Torchwood so early in its series? Or could you care less – just give you more John eye-candy? 

Silvia: Torchwood. I can’t get enough of Captain Jack. I would watch endless episodes of Torchwood, and I wish I had Starz so I could watch Miracle Day without having to wait until it’s available streaming. In the meantime, I’ll take all the John eye candy I can get. :-)

AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

Silvia: My muse is leading me to explore the m/m genre right now. I’d like to find homes for the m/m stories I’m working on now. I took a long hiatus from publishing and I’m still getting back in the swing of things. My primary goals now are to continue to push myself to write daily and to get my name out to readers.

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

Silvia: Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. -Thomas Carlyle

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Silvia.

Silvia: Thanks for talking with me, Ann.

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




Kajinek is a Lalatian Dominant who must feed on fear, pain, and sex for survival. Since leaving his homeworld, he hasn’t met a woman who could truly satisfy his needs.

Mercenary captain Saida Alexander needs a pilot for the most dangerous mission she’s ever undertaken. She chooses Kajinek, because he’s reputed to be the very best. She never suspects that he’ll awaken the submissive desires she’s ignored for years.

When Saida knocks on Kajinek’s door, he senses that she’s the partner he’s been looking for. He agrees to fly her ship under one condition; she must personally feed his darkest desires. Can Saida give in to what her body wants or will submitting sexually shatter the careful control she wields over the rest of her life?

Kaj opened the door of his resort-class suite and nearly stumbled as a heady female scent hit him with tangible force. He’d yet to probe the mind of the woman who’d interrupted his quiet afternoon, but her submissive needs screamed at him, begging him to take notice. His cock hardened instantly.
Her long blonde hair was pulled back in a braid that reached her waist. He fought the urge wrap it around his hand and crush her against him. Her skintight flight suit left little of her body to his imagination. Her muscles tensed under his gaze, and her green-gold eyes studied him suspiciously. She reminded him of a feline preparing to spring. He could smell her desire. Apparently he was affecting her as much as she affected him.

“Kajinek of Lalatia?”

He nodded, not sure he could keep the predatory growl out of his voice.

“I’m Captain Saida Alexander of the Allied Mercenary Corporation ship the Ascendant. I’ve come to offer you a job.”

Kaj smiled. He’d heard of Captain Alexander. She was well respected as a hard-ass leader who always accomplished her mission objective. For a captain of her standing to show up unannounced at his personal quarters, she must be desperate for his help. This must be his lucky day. “Do come in.”

He pressed at the edges of her impressive mental shields and gleaned just enough information to confirm what was already clear to him. While he doubted anyone else realized it, Captain Alexander longed to find a man strong enough to dominate her. She was desperate for the release she could never find with a partner who refused to test the limits of her strong will.

He’d not met a woman this compatible for his needs since leaving Lalatia. And he wasn’t about to let her get away. Before this day ended, she would be his.

“Have a seat, Captain.” He gestured toward the plush chairs in the small seating area near the window, which overlooked the station garden. “I’ll order us some refreshments.”

The sexy captain moved through his quarters with silent, controlled grace. He suppressed a shudder of anticipation as he imagined how she would move under him as he thrust deep in her body. If he didn’t watch it, he wasn’t going to be able to focus on the business at hand. He’d take whatever job she was offering, but he doubted she’d like his terms.

He knew his smile must be particularly predatory when her eyes widened. By Varin, she was going to be a feast. “Would you like some coffee?”

She still looked wary, but now he saw a hint of a smile. “Real, honest-to-God coffee?”

He laughed. “Of course.”

“Yes, please.”

He walked to his comm unit and pressed down the button that connected him with the resort concierge. “Please send up coffee and an assortment of pastries immediately.”

“Yes, sir.”

Captain Alexander smiled, briefly losing her controlled exterior and looking almost girlish. “You needn’t go to the trouble, but I do appreciate it. I haven’t tasted real coffee in months.”

Her joy at this simple gesture stirred something in him even stronger and more potent than lust. Hearing her cry out his name as he whipped her ass would be delicious. But satisfying her enough to bring that smile to her face might feed something more than physical hunger in him. The thought unnerved him but made him no less determined to have her.

He sat in the chair facing hers. “So you’re in need of a pilot?”

The captain nodded. “The last pilot I hired proved unsatisfactory. We have a job in three days. I’d like you in the pilot’s chair.”

“What is this job?” His sensitive ears heard her pulse accelerate. What was she up to?

“We will act as escort for three ships intent on sailing through the Rebel-controlled sector of Quadrant 16. They’ll appear to be private cargo ships, but they’ll be manned by Imperial Intelligence agents.”

Kaj snarled. “I don’t do Imperial jobs.”

Captain Alexander arched a brow and held his gaze. The delicious smell of her fear belied her confidence. “I’ve heard you’ll take any job as long as the price is right.”

He gestured at the opulent room. “Does it look like I’m in need of work?”

“Lovely as all this is, you don’t strike me as a man who likes to sit on his ass. I think you need to fly. I think you need the rush of danger.”

He smiled, knowing she could see the swirl of orange and yellow flames in his eyes, a sure sign of a Lalatian’s anger or lust. “I do enjoy a thrill, but I can get that right here. You seem like a rather dangerous woman.”

Anger flashed in her eyes. The scent of fear deepened.

The doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of coffee. Kaj was thankful for the distraction. His cock was harder than a steel rod, and he was close to pinning Captain Alexander to the wall and taking exactly what he wanted. His lack of control was appalling, but she was doing things to his libido that made him feel like a boy with his first trainer.

He took the tray from the delivery bot and poured coffee for the captain. As he handed her the mug, he let his fingers brush hers. He was rewarded by her sharp intake of breath.

The contact distracted her, and he felt her fear ease, supplanted in part by lust. He couldn’t help but smile as he sat down, taking a sip of the delicious, strong coffee he’d grown addicted to. “What’s Allied Merc doing working for the empire?”

She stared at him, her face revealing nothing of the emotions he could smell swirling around her. “Making money.”

He arched a brow. Something felt off. He tasted apprehension, and he was certain she wasn’t a woman to be unnerved easily. She would never have been made captain otherwise.

“We have no allegiance. We go where the money is. They want the best, and they’re willing to pay for it.”

Allied Merc might not owe anyone allegiance, but he damn well bet Captain Alexander did, and it wouldn’t be the empire. “Why?”

The captain shrugged. “That information is classified. But whatever will be on those ships is worth a hell of a lot to them.”

Kaj shook his head. “You can’t expect me to believe you’re guarding a ship without any idea what’s on board.”

“I don’t give a fuck what you believe as long as you do your job.” She handed him a nano tablet. “This contract should answer further questions. If you would like to contact me after you’ve had a chance to peruse it, I --”

“No. Stay. I would rather settle our business now.” He sensed that she was disturbed by the lust he stirred in her. No way in hell was he going to let her run away.

He read through the details of the contract, impressed by the sum she was offering him and more than satisfied with the level of responsibility he would have in the pilot’s chair. Now it was time to see how she would react to what he really wanted.

He passed the contract back to her. “A nice offer, but there’s only one thing that would tempt me to take an Imperial job.”

Captain Alexander raised her brow. “What might that be?”

“First, tell me what you know of my people.”

“Lalatians are born dominant or submissive, and you must feed on the energy of others.”

He nodded. “As a dominant, I feed on fear and pain and sex.” He paused a moment to drink in the torrent of lust and unease pouring off her. “Are you prepared to feed me?”

REMEMBER: Silvia will give away one download copy of Seduction of the Captain. How do you enter for a chance to win? Simply leave a comment for Silvia. Best wishes!

2:01 PM

In the Author Spotlight


CONTEST: Anne will give away a PDF copy of A Familiar Evil to one lucky winner and will draw the name Sunday. To enter for a chance to win simply leave a comment for Anne. Best wishes!

AL: Hi Anne! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Anne: Thanks for having me Ann!

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

Anne: Well I recently returned from visiting family and friends in Oklahoma. I try to make it back a couple of times a year but summertime is my favorite because of the cookouts and outdoor games.

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Anne: My latest release is A Familiar Evil. I also have one coming out in August called Journey to Redemption.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Anne: I'm presently working on the second book in my Wounded Heroes Series. Kill Shot: Book One releases in November.

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'? :-)

Anne: I'm a panster. I love not knowing what my characters will do next.

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

Anne: Don't be discouraged by rejections. We all get them. Stick with it, believe in yourself and what you've written, and never give up.

AL: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?

Anne: Oh yeah. I let them take the lead and see where it goes. All of my books are character driven so usually I'm just along for the ride.

AL: It’s time to get personal! You do a lot of traveling around the world. Where is your favorite place to visit and why?

Anne: I've been to both El Salvador and Honduras in Central America and fell in love with both the countries and the people. They're so genuine and down to earth, and I loved their beaches!

AL: Summer is here! What will the readers find you in; a bikini, one piece, or a full body wet suit diving into the waves?

Anne: Definitely a one piece

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

Anne: There are so many wonderfully talented writers out there it would be hard to choose. I have had the honor of appearing in two anthologies with Victory Tales Press and loved the experience.

AL: What’s your biggest regret in life?

Anne: That I didn't start my writing career sooner.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2011 and beyond?

Anne: I plan to keep writing and hopefully land on the NY Times bestseller list. Hey when I dream I dream big :).

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

Anne: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Anne.

Anne: Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Ann. It's been fun!

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




Jordan Russell had the perfect life until the brutal monster from her childhood resurfaced, opening up scars she thought were healed.  With the hope of finally finding closure Jordan leaves her cheating husband, and her career in the FBI, and returns to where her nightmare began.  But what awaits her in Thorny Creek will push her to the very edge of sanity and bring her face to face with her abductor.
Excuse me. I’m looking for Chief Russell.”
Jordan’s stomach did a nosedive at the familiar voice of her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

“You found her,” Frank answered.

Jordan looked up just as Sam smiled. “Indeed I have.” He started toward her desk.

Colleen barged through the opened door. “Chief, there’s an Agent Russell here to see…oh, I guess you found her.”

“Agent Russell,” Frank repeated. He turned back to Jordan, “Isn’t Russell your married name?” He then shifted his gaze back to Sam, “That must mean you’re her husband.”

“Not for much longer.” Jordan hurried around her desk and ushered Frank out the door. “You’ll be hearing from me.” She closed the door and looked at Sam. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here at your request.”

“I specifically requested someone from the Charlotte field office.” Anyone but him.

He looked at her with the gorgeous smile that used to make her go weak in the knees. “And they forwarded that request to Agent Haines, who assigned me.”

“We’ll see about that.” Jordan marched back to her desk, and was four digits into Haines’ cell phone number when Sam pressed his finger down on the button and disconnected the call. Eighteen and a half months of built-up rage boiled to the surface. She doubled her right fist and spun around with lighting fury.

Sam, just as quick, stopped the fist within inches of his jaw. With his free hand, he took the phone from her left hand and placed it back in its cradle. Jordan felt his hot breath on her face as he peered down at her, and was keenly aware of the heat generating from his body through the hand which tightened around her wrist.

“Let me help you, Jordan…please.”

She swallowed hard, summoned all her courage, and met his smoldering gaze. “I need a profiler who can tell me exactly what I’m up against here.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve lost your touch.”

She ignored his smirk. “I need a fresh pair of eyes who can look at this guy objectively.”

“Who hasn’t allowed themselves to get too personal?”

“I just need someone other than you,” she spat.

“Too bad, you’re stuck with me. Now, what do you say I release your hand and you don’t take my head off? Or we can continue to provide the day’s entertainment for your co-workers.”

Jordan shifted her gaze to the glass separating her office from the command center. A half dozen familiar faces scattered like rats. She twisted free from his grip, grabbed her cap from her desk and shoved it down over her head. “Fine!” She was already halfway out the door before she realized he wasn’t with her. She turned back and found him smiling at her. “Are you coming or not?”

REMEMBER: Anne will give away a PDF copy of A Familiar Evil to one lucky winner and will draw the name Sunday. To enter for a chance to win simply leave a comment for Anne. Best wishes!

12:31 PM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Amber has a Khyber Run T-shirt to give away. She will draw her winner at the end of the week. To be entered simply leave a comment for Amber. Thanks and good luck!

AL: Hi Amber! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Amber: Thanks for inviting me back!

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

Amber: Well, my older son is home from the Marines and looking to start college. My younger son is at tech school learning to repair aircraft. We're up to nine cats, having collected an abandoned little gentleman named Merlin. About two weeks ago, I found out that the US Marshals have a Violent Fugitive Task Force! As it turned out, the marshals who came in search of a former housemate were all Marines, and one of the first things they saw was my son's boot camp portrait. They spent a while chatting, probably trying to figure us out. They might also have been disarmed by my Clifford-sized pit bull; Baron is certain that the only reason anyone comes to our door is to play ball. Meanwhile I'm not bringing in enough royalties (yet) to replace my wardrobe with floaty stuff from The Pyramid Collection, I'm ticked off at Wal-Mart for discontinuing a line of shoes wide enough to fit my feet, and Governor Voldemort is messing with my day job.

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Amber: My newest release is Khyber Run, a contemporary military romance, now available at Loose Id and at the Sony Reader Store. Zarak abandoned that Warrior Code crap long ago. Oscar personifies it. In a war-scarred land, two men fight for justice, honor, and who gets top.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Amber: Right now I'm working on a contemporary and a fantasy, both of which persist in ignoring my attempts to plot them out.

AL: If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?

Amber: For m/m, probably Golden Boys. It's loosely tied to the Turner & Turner series but not part of it. It's also my best approximation of a fluffy dick-lit beach read, even if both heroes do get shot.

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

Amber: Not at all. Changing genres is a great way to circumvent writer's block.

AL: Do you have a mentor or critique partner that you work with consistently?

Amber: I have a crit group, ERA, which keeps me going when everything outside says stop and give up. I also belong to a group called WeWriteStuff, which focuses more on creativity than production. I call on other people here and there when I need to.

AL: It’s time to get personal! Who is a great example to you and how you live your life?

Amber: I wouldn't want to hang the blame on anybody for the way I live my life.

AL: When you have time just for you (if only) what do you do?

Amber: If that ever occurred, I'd probably spend it trying to remember my to-do list. Seriously, I hang out with my writing buddies and brainstorm or do Power Hour writing sprints. Or I throw a ball for the dogs and let them wrestle over which one gets to bring it back.

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

Amber: How about an evil T'Pau, from the Spock-with-beard universe?

AL: If you could go anywhere in the world and in any time…where would you go? What would you do? And why that time-period?

Amber: It depends on how long I'd be there. If you're talking about a permanent relocation instead of a visit, how about Tahiti in the 1400s? It's isolated enough to decrease risks of plagues and invading armies, there's no snow to shovel, and it didn't get wiped out by a drought, volcano, earthquake, or tsunami.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2011 and beyond?

Amber: Well, we're halfway through 2011 now, and very little has gone according to plan--sort of like my plotlines. My Man of Mystery story is simmering on a back burner, with only one chapter written, instead of being a complete draft ready to go through revisions. I've only learned to cook a handful of Pakistani dishes, and somehow my kitchen and pantry have failed to rearrange themselves according to plan. I hope to revamp my website pretty soon.

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 us, Amber.

Amber: Thank you so much for asking. It's always fun to spend a few days at Blog Bites.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Amber please visit:




After being transplanted from an Afghani battleground to a Florida playground, Zarak Momand grew up trying to instill in his younger brothers the ancient Pakhtun Way. A generation later, he’s a burned-out US Navy hospital corpsman who has lost touch with his brothers and his heritage alike.

Then he’s kidnapped by USMC scout-snipers hell-bent on recapturing a deserter who murdered a brother Marine. Z uses Pakhtunwali to navigate the ambiguities of fourth generation warfare, where there are no front lines and where the moral high ground shifts from situation to situation. At his back stands Oscar, who is every bit the seasoned warrior young Zarak had once hoped to be.

Secretly crossing the border into Pakistan, Oscar and Z take help where they find it, and become more of a couple than either man has ever known. But is Oscar’s rough passion a betrayal between brothers? And what happens when the deserter would rather die than go back?


I woke muddled, thinking the ship’s engines sounded wrong. Red light glared on my eyelids. Breathing meant gagging on the seagull-shit taste of a hangover. And that sound was not my ship’s engines. More like a sardine can’s engines or…a plane?

Opening my eyes took effort. A plane. From the rear of the fuselage, I faced up an aisle between rows of knees hugging sea bags. Not sea bags: MOLLE-packs. Red lights in strips overhead barely illuminated a couple hundred hunched forms in desert camo, a row of males in body armor along each bulkhead, facing inward, and two rows of females jammed into back-to-back seats in the center. Male or female, each of them clutched one of those carbines the sponges called an assault rifle.

What am I doing in a plane packed with camo-assed bullet-sponges?

The plane’s deck angled down sharply. Screams rang in my ears, going dull. My ears cleared, painfully, and the shrieks sharpened.

Crashing. That’s what we’re doing.

The deck roller-coastered up, then yawed faster than physics should allow. Whiplash. I saw stars. The stench of vomit wrung my empty guts.

A dive and another yaw brought more screams ringing off the bulkhead, prayer in Spanish close by, retching farther away.

How did I stay in my seat, with gravity halving and doubling and snatching me starboard to port? When the plane steadied long enough to let me look down, I saw bands of dull silver duct tape strapping my thighs to my seat, and another red-streaked silver band over my belt.

Something hung on my lower face. I had some kind of mask. No. Somebody had duct-taped a puke bag to my face. It sagged obscenely against my chin, like a giant used condom.

Pulling it off hurt. The stench blasted from it.

Where do I put this? I looked around, blinking, trying to make sense. The screamers in the middle seats were mostly army. The hundred or so men squatting in the seats lining the bulkhead were marines. Some laughed at the women. Others hunkered down, as if waiting for shrapnel to find them. A few threw curious glances at me, the only squid in sight.

A cluster of pops rapped at the bulkhead, like popcorn in my mother’s big pot. One of the sponges grinned at me. “Small arms fire. Welcome to Bagram.”

Bagram? A map of the giant air base flashed in my eyes, then a dim memory of riding my father’s shoulder, hiding my face in his turban while a trio of Shuravi—Soviets—stomped an ominously silent laborer. Couldn’t be…

“He means hold on,” added another sponge.

I dropped the puke bag to grab my seat. The plane tilted, again nose-diving but this time braking hard. Instead of falling to the deck, the bag shot forward, splatting against a female’s ear.

“I’m hit! Aaah!”

“God! Brains! Oh, God!”


The plane swerved and jinked, each jerk redoubling the shrieks. The smell of fear, sharp and sour, fought with the smell of vomit.

One of the marines chuckled, despite the sweat beading on his face, and pitched his voice low enough to hear under the shrieks. “You know you’re going to have to police that up, Squidward.”

“No-go, sir. The doc’s our volunteer.”

Volunteer? WTF? I twisted to see who’d called me a volunteer, but his rifle caught my attention first. A bolt-action rifle. A sniper’s weapon.

Behind the rifle, teeth flashed in a grin. He didn’t seem to exist, except as a rifle, a hint of helmet, and a grin. Then the grin vanished.

The deck flipped overhead. The unsecured marines bounced, sending bellows among the screams. I hung from my seat, still taped in place.

The deck flipped again, then slammed up at us. A marine fell across my lap. I caught his weapon before it could bean him. The cool metal slapped into my hand, rousing memories like an old lover’s name.

REMEMBER: Amber has a Khyber Run T-shirt to give away. She will draw her winner at the end of the week. To be entered simply leave a comment for Amber. Thanks and good luck!

9:28 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Jami will give away an electronic copy of one of her older books to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. Best of luck!

AL: Hi Jami! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Jami: Thanks so much for having me here, Ann.

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

Jami: I’m enjoying the summer on our beautiful little farm in the Pacific Northwest. I’m an avid horsewoman, but my horse is no longer rideable. This is the first time in over 25 years that I haven’t had a horse to ride. I’m adjusting slowly.

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Jami: My most current release is Fourth and Goal, a football hero romance I’m really excited about. If I have a book of my heart, this is the book. I’m a big football fan, and I wanted to write a different kind of football romance—not one where the heroine doesn’t like football or know anything about it and the football is just background stuff. I wanted to write a football romance that would appeal to female football fans as well as fans of romance.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Jami: I also write hotter, shorter works under another pen name. I just finished two books under that pen name and am almost done with the third. After that I’ll be finishing the sequel to Fourth and Goal, followed by a small-town romance I’ve been dying to write.

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'? :-)

Jami: Mostly, I start with an idea and fly. That being said, I am doing a little more plotting than I used to because plotting is my weak point, while characters are my strong point.

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

Jami: Don’t polish your voice out of a story. I did that a lot when I first started writing.

AL: Do you have a mentor or critique partner that you work with consistently?

Jami: Yes, I have a couple. Dawn Calvert and Jodi Lynn Copeland. They’ve both been invaluable to me. Allie K. Adams and I plot together.

AL: It’s time to get personal! You love horse riding. Do you own horses? If so, what are their names and whose your favorite?

Jami: I have one horse named Gailey. Gailey is a very nice Hanoverian mare that I used to show in dressage. I bought her as an unbroke three year old. She’s now 16 and is going to be a mama for the first time next year. Due to some suspensory issues in her hind legs, I can no longer ride her. I’m hoping to buy another show horse next year.

AL: Your first book was named after a Garth Brooks song…Are you a big Garth Brooks fan? What other music do you like?

Jami: When I get an idea for a book, it’s as simple as hearing a song and thinking that would make a great book. The Dance was one of those books. I do like Garth, but mostly his older stuff. I love country, jazz, and rock.

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

Jami: Susan Elizabeth Phillips for the tamer stuff and Bella Andre or Jaci Burton for the naughtier stuff.

AL: 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?

Jami: Do you really want to know? I had to clean up cat vomit. I also scrubbed the refrigerator.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2011 and beyond?

Jami: I’m working on Tyler’s story, Forward Passes, which is a hoot to write. After that, I’m starting my Small Town Saturday Night series, set in the small town in Eastern Washington that I grew up in. The first book will be based on a true incident a bartender told me about. It’ll give you chills to hear it.

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

Jami: A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting right next to you saying, “Wow, that was fun.”

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Jami.

Jami: Thanks so much for having me, Ann. It’s been fun!!!

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

Website: http://www.jamidavenport.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jamidavenport
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jamidavenport



In a game played on and off the field, only one of them will emerge the winner.

Armed with an uncanny ability for evaluating football talent, a dogged determination to succeed in a man’s world, and an empty bank account, Rachel McCormick agrees to help struggling wide receiver Derek Ramsey get his game back. Rachel believes Derek, her former best friend and lover, knows the truth behind the points-shaving scandal which ruined her father. She vows to expose the secret even if it destroys Derek in the process.

When Derek’s coach suggests sex as an excellent tension reliever the night before a game, Rachel takes one for the team. The next day, Derek has the best performance of his not-so illustrious pro football career.

As Derek and Rachel rack up nights in bed and other places, the team racks up wins on the field. Rachel is torn between her loyalty to her father and her growing affection for Derek. Now it’s fourth and goal, one second left on the clock. Their hearts are on the line. Do they trust each other enough to go for the long bomb or do they get dropped for a loss?


Hiring the one woman he could never forget was a dumb-assed idea and the wrong play to run, but Derek Ramsey took the ball and ran with it anyway. Five years ago, his one-weekend affair with Rachel McCormick had tackled him for an emotional loss. She’d been his best female buddy, and he’d fucked up a good thing by following his dick instead of his brain. After battling a half decade of guilt and coulda-shouldas, he dreaded and anticipated this reunion.

She’d been employed as his caretaker and living in the little house next to his barn for a few days. He’d managed to avoid contact by taking an impromptu weekend visit to his dad and stepmom a few hundred miles away. But he couldn’t stay away forever.

Weary of postponing the inevitable, Derek walked down the driveway from his ranch house to the barn and small caretaker’s house. Pausing halfway down the hill, he whistled for backup. Consider him a coward, but his chocolate Lab would serve as a diversion if this reunion didn’t go well. Oddly, Simon didn’t come running. Derek shrugged. He must be chasing rabbits in the woods or something.

He’d have to go it alone. As he rounded the last bend in his driveway, Rachel McCormick stomped up the hill toward him.

Oh fuck. He knew females. He’d endured growing up with an older sister. Rachel had that close-fisted, furious carriage to her stride that meant only one thing: someone was going to die. Please, God, don’t let it be him.

Even as he planned possible escape routes, his male head perused her body and responded with a resounding thumbs-up, though it wasn’t really his thumb that was up.

The woman marching toward him with murder in her eyes barely resembled his tomboy buddy from his high school and college days. This Rachel wore a navy blue blazer with matching skirt and shoes, complete with manicured nails and makeup. The suit hugged her tall, lean body and accentuated her curves and straight-to-heaven legs. Long reddish brown hair was pulled back into a tidy ponytail. While he preferred the blue jeans and T-shirt version, this one was just as gorgeous and way more unapproachable. Don’t mess with me radiated from every pore in her body. Not a glimpse of the shy, sweet Rachel he had once known.

“Rachel, good to see you again.” Derek spoke calmly -- hoping to defuse the bomb -- and halted a few steps from her.

She didn’t return his small talk. Green eyes blazing, she scowled, as dangerous as a hand grenade with the pin pulled in the hands of a chimpanzee.

“Problem?” he asked conversationally and forced a pleasant smile on his face.

“Do you own a demon chocolate Lab?”

Derek barked a laugh and sealed his death sentence. Her expression went beyond homicidal. “I have a Lab named Simon. He’s opinionated and untrainable. It sounds like you’ve met him.”

“How long has he engaged in a life of crime?”

“Oh shit. What did he steal now?”

“My truck keys. My only set.”


“Where is the little delinquent?” She glanced up and down the driveway.

“I called for him earlier. He didn’t come. I suspect he’s busy burying the evidence.”

“I missed a job interview because of that hoodlum.” Her laser-tight glare sliced through his defenses.

“I’m sorry. I could get you a cab.”

“It’s too late now.” She spoke through gritted teeth and visibly drew in a long, calming breath. A split second of uncertainty flashed across her face, peppered with a vulnerability that brought memories flooding back to him of the girl he had once known. Sweet Rachel with a passion for football and a kind word for even the most unworthy person.

He watched as she gathered her composure and hid behind an emotionless mask. “I still need my keys.”

“I doubt we’ll find them. He’s very good. A serial digger.”

“What do you expect when you name a dog Simon? It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.” She stared up the dirt road. “My keys could be anywhere.”

Derek didn’t hold out much hope. Dense woods surrounded the driveway on both sides. At the end of the woods was a large field, cross-fenced into several smaller grassy paddocks. It’d take an act of God to find her keys. He truly doubted the Big Guy considered such a trivial matter worthy of his attention.

“So Simon’s on your hit list along with me.”

“Right up there at the top.” No denial of his place on the list.

“Are you a member of AAA?”

She pointed down the driveway. “That’s my truck. What do you think?”

He knew what he thought. He thought her lips looked pretty kissable, even without lipstick or gloss. He thought she was the sexiest thing he’d seen in a long time. And he thought -- oh damn, every thought bordered on dangerous and impossible and stupid.

“Derek.” She stared at him as if she expected an answer, but he’d be damned if he could remember the question.


“I said I’ve scaled back on material goods and choose to live life simply.”

He raised one eyebrow, not buying that one. “Judging by the dents in the thing, you might want to part with a few bucks…for your own safety.”

“Harvey has character.” Her anger still simmered below the surface, and a stranger stared back at him with frosty green eyes. Still beautiful, but formal and cold. He liked her better mad.

Derek snorted. “Harvey looks like he escaped a life sentence in a wrecking yard.”

“He runs great.” Rachel squared her shoulders and stood up straighter. She gave him her most charming smile, as if she didn’t have a care in the world. “Look, champ, I’d love to stand out here and shoot the breeze with you, but I’m a busy woman. Your agent already discussed the particulars of the position with me.”

He imagined all sorts of particular positions he’d prefer to do with her. She’d feel pretty good in his arms right about now, all soft and warm. And then he’d take her to bed and bury his cock deep inside her. She’d scream and beg for more, just like one weekend so long ago. Derek shook his head. This line of thinking headed nowhere but trouble and stopped now.

“I’ll get you a locksmith.”

“Don’t bother. I’ll call one.”

Derek wiped sweat off his brow and shoved his hair off his forehead. Damn. Was she so oblivious to him that she wasn’t picking up on his thoughts? He hoped so. As far as money, he knew better than to offer any. She had her pride. He’d let her keep it. He knew how valuable pride was. Since college, his none too lustrous pro career had severely dented his.

A joyous bark caught his attention. Simon trotted down the road toward them. A stick hung from his mouth, and his tail wagged with enthusiasm. No sign of stolen goods. On his best doggy behavior, the felonious Lab sat down next to Derek, grinning for all he was worth and incredibly pleased with himself.

“Simon, meet Rachel. Rachel, meet Simon.” Simon thumped his tail on the ground and gazed up at her.

“We’ve met.” Rachel glared at the dog. Undaunted, Simon took it as a compliment and drooled on her foot.

“Rae, I’m sorry. He’s my dog. I’ll take care of this.”

“A dog-skin rug in front of my fireplace would be payment enough.”

“You don’t have a fireplace.”

“One small detail. I’ll build a campfire on the porch.”

“You’re a heartless woman.”

“Don’t you forget it.”

9:20 AM

In the Author Spotlight

Deirdra Eden Coppel

AL: Hi Deirdra! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Deirdra: Hi! Thank you so much for inviting me.

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

Deirdra: Well, this summer my hubby is being a stay at home dad so I can work on my books. I have a private office at a secret location. My goal is to get five books written by September. I have three done so ahead of schedule.

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Deirdra: I just had an article accepted in an international magazine. It was fun getting that acceptance letter and signing the contract. I was also asked to be a presenter at a large writer’s conference next spring.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Deirdra: I’m also a graphic designer, illustrator and writing coach. I’ve been presenting at workshops for writers and staying super busy with my illustrating and book cover business. My main project right now is getting those five books finished by summer’s end. Editing and querying take months, so I write another book while I’m waiting to hear back from editors and beta readers. I keep sending stuff out in waves to keep the progress flow constant.

AL: What is one glaringly/specific personality trait that you put into your hero/heroine that is all Deirdra? One that a family member or friend stops and says, “Hey, this is so you!"
Deirdra: She is a cat lover. LOL. My character is driven and determined. Hopefully that doesn’t sound too much like bragging, but I think all successful authors need to be driven and determined.

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

Deirdra: My books are historical in nature. I usually research something in history until I find something that sparks a bunch of ‘what if’ questions. I research names and find out what they mean or pull something from history.

AL: What got you jumping feet first into writing fantasy?

Deirdra: Fantasy is a powerful way of teaching metaphors without being preachy. It was also one of the ways I escaped from reality when I was a child.

AL: It’s time to get personal! What’s your favorite comfort food?

Deirdra: Chocolate doughnuts, chocolate mint ice cream with hot fudge, cream puffs, Friday’s Brownie Obsession, strawberry cheesecake, carrot cake with extra frosting, ripe raspberries and black berries, truffles. Oh boy, you and your readers are going to think I’m a junkie. I hardly ever eat that stuff, really, I haven’t had a cavity in years. (knock-on-wood)

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

Deirdra: Lately my family and I are watching old re-runs of ALF. I love a good Lord of the Rings and I get teary eyed while watching Princess Bride and Chronicles of Narnia.

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

Deirdra: I jousted – yep, on horseback. I wasn’t even wearing armor. I also hunted down a few zombies in the mountains. I had a baby, that was pretty rough, but I got a cute little boy out of the deal. I’ve written nine books, how crazy is that?

AL: If you could go anywhere in the world and in any time…where would you go? What would you do? And why that time-period?

Deirdra: Okay, I fantasize about this all the time. I wish I had a huge semi-truck and can take it back in time when the pioneers were crossing the plains to give them all a lift.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2011 and beyond?

Deirdra: I’m getting an agent this year. I’m not sure who it is yet, but I’m getting one.

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

Deirdra: “We are what we believe we are.” C.S. Lewis

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Deirdra.

Deirdra: Thanks for a fun interview. You asked some really great questions.

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


9:29 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Since I just came back from RWA, I’ll give away a gift pack of fabulous books, hardcover and paperback, including books by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Madeline Hunter, and Meg Cabot. I’ll throw in a few other goodies from the conference too. All you have to do is leave me a comment!

AL: Hi Juniper! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Juniper: Hi Ann, it’s great to be here, thanks so much for having me!

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

Juniper: At the moment I’m roaming the East Coast visiting family. I just attended the RWA conference in New York, which involved meeting tons of amazing authors, drinking gallons of coffee and getting no sleep. So now I’m catching up with family in Rhode Island and Maine, trying to squeeze in a nap here and there. I’m calling it the Sleep Deprivation Tour. It’s been lots of fun, but I’ll be glad to get home to Alaska.

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Juniper: My current release is Restraining the Receptionist, which came out on June 14 from Samhain. It’s a follow-up to Training the Receptionist, which began the adventures of Dana Arthur and her two sexy bosses. This book takes their steamy three-way relationship even further, but you can enjoy the second book without having read the first.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Juniper: My next book, ironically, is called Go Deep. It’s set during a winter festival in Alaska with the motto, “Anything goes, nothing counts.” An amateur hockey coach and his wife seize the opportunity to break through some barriers into a much deeper intimacy. And once they do, they find out all sorts of things about each other. Go Deep is coming out from Ellora’s Cave, but I’m not sure when.

AL: When was the defining moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Juniper: I’ve always expressed myself best through writing, but I didn’t try to be a fiction writer until about four years ago. I was going through a terrible time in my personal life and, as always during stressful moments, I turned to romance novels. In the middle of a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book it clicked that if I loved romance so much, I should try writing one. Shortly thereafter I realized it’s not as easy as she makes it look.

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

Juniper: What I like best about writing is the writing. The real world so rarely matches what I think it should be. But when I’m at the computer writing, I can do something about that! I love creating a different world to spend time in for a while. And I love my characters. My least favorite thing is the worry about whether other people are going to like my creations.

AL: Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest - hero/heroine? Why?

Juniper: My favorite heroine is Dana Arthur from my Receptionist books. She’s a street-smart survivor who relies on her sense of humor to get her through life. She’s also deeply vulnerable, though she’s learned to hide it and rely only on herself. She has to learn to let down her barriers in order to find pleasure and joy.

AL: It’s time to get personal! Do you have a favorite sport, &/or team that you follow? I love football and my Missouri Tigers.

Juniper: I have an obsessive personality, and after an especially intense season of following the New York Mets baseball team, I quit cold turkey. I decided that my blood pressure couldn’t take it. I transferred all that obsession to the Olympics because it only comes around every couple years and only lasts two weeks. That’s my sports fix now. I tune out everything else. Does that sound crazy?

AL: Best movie you've seen recently?

Juniper: I loved Easy A. I loved her attitude, in fact she reminded me of a younger version of Dana. I put that movie in the same category as another of my favorites – Clueless. Easy A is a light, contemporary retelling of the Scarlet Letter, Clueless of Jane Austen’s Emma. Putting classic novels in the context of modern-day high school is a genius idea. I’ve found that high school keeps repeating itself over and over again, no matter how old I get.

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

Juniper: Just about anywhere. I live in Alaska where the quiet and isolation is great for writing, but it can turn you into a hermit. I’m pretty much willing to go any place that isn’t cold and buried under six feet of snow. The tropics are at the top of the list.

AL: Do you have a top 5 actors list? You know that list of men that make you go yum, yum that would be inevitable, if only….

Juniper: In no particular order, Daniel Craig. LL Cool J. Bradley Cooper. Ewen MacGregor. George Clooney. George Clooney is on the bubble. His confirmed bachelor act is getting old – I’m ready to see him settle down. On the other hand, Daniel Craig broke my heart when he got married recently. Bradley Cooper is new to the list. But I don’t think I’ll ever let Daniel or LL Cool J go. They just do it for me.

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?

Juniper: It would have wings so it could fly over traffic, and a paddle wheel for crossing water. It would be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in other words. I also really like the idea of jet packs for getting around town.

AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

Juniper: I’m a big believer in the saying, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”. I want to keep having fun with my stories. I want to keep getting better at writing, keep finding more things to explore and try. I hope that readers will keep enjoying what I offer up.

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Juniper.

Juniper: It’s been a blast, thank you so much for the opportunity!

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




Every deal has a loophole …the Receptionist, Book 2

Dana Arthur’s new job with the firm of Cowell & Dirk is going well. Translation: the occasionally kinky ménage with her two bosses, Ethan and Simon, has been several months of politically incorrect bliss.

Except the relationship feels unbalanced. While Ethan is the undisputed master, the partners’ iron-clad agreement stipulates that Simon must be present as she performs her “duties”. And she senses there’s a subtle, powerful tug-of-war developing for more than just her body.

Simon had agreed to share the firm’s fiery, sensually daring receptionist…to a point. With Simon out of town, Ethan plans a feast of erotic temptations designed to have Dana begging him to break the deal. He didn’t realize his heart would be a casualty.

Once she surrenders to his wicked demands, Dana realizes there’s no going back. It’s time for a three-way renegotiation…this time, all or nothing.

Product Warnings

NSFW!! Do Not Try This at Your Job. Contains highly inappropriate workplace behavior including m/f/m, m/m, bondage, creative use of office space and a high-stakes trip to Atlantic City.


My unpredictable number one boss showed up in a new mood the next day. I’d never seen him light-hearted before. Now that I had an idea about his history, not a big surprise. But that’s exactly how he seemed when he breezed into the office. He wore casual clothes, blue jeans and a light blue open-collared shirt that made his eyes look like summer without the smog.

“I’ve got no pesky clients today, luv,” he told me, without pausing by my desk to check my outfit, which he usually did. “I’d like you to order us a picnic lunch.”


“Picnic. You have those in America, right? Or are they banned in the great state of New York?”

“We have them, but you can’t even spread out a blanket without kicking aside a stray used needle or two.” As soon as I said it I remembered the heroin. “I…I’m sorry,” I stammered.

But my thoughtless reference didn’t make him miss a beat. “A little local color will add to the experience, I’m sure. Handle the details and we’ll go around noon.”

Did a picnic violate the terms of our deal? Ethan and I would be doing something outside of work, just the two of us, something intimate. Almost like a date. But he hadn’t suggested anything physical. It was lunch. We both had to eat, right? It seemed perfectly harmless.

Since I was working from the company petty cash fund, I called up the neighborhood yuppie café where they served giant organic sandwiches. On my budget, I would have gone for a Subway footlong. But Ethan would no doubt demand something better.

We held our picnic on a concrete bench in a sweltering park a few blocks away from the office. Dog walkers and stroller-pushers, listless from the heat, wandered by now and then, but otherwise we were alone. The humid heat pressed on us like a steam iron. My hair stuck to my cheeks as I bit into my upscale sandwich.

Ethan didn’t comment on the slabs of free-range chicken that had probably been hand-raised and read bedtime stories before being slaughtered and inserted into a sandwich. He did remove the unruly mound of bean sprouts and toss it to a nearby pigeon. The pigeon pecked at the stuff, clucked scornfully and waddled the other direction.

I couldn’t help giggling at Ethan’s wounded expression. “I wouldn’t take it personally,” I told him. “He’s a New York pigeon. He’s used to eating dog crap.”

He chuckled. “Have you lived here your whole life, Dana?”

The sheer ordinariness of the question unnerved me. “Well, except for that semester abroad in Paris, and the year I spent in Fiji with the Peace Corps. I’m joking,” I added, when he didn’t laugh.

“Oh. Well, I’m certainly familiar with your sense of humor, but I confess I don’t understand the joke. You could have done those things.”

I let out a spurt of laughter that startled the pigeon. “I had other things to do.”

“Like what?”

“Like dodge my father’s fists after a drinking binge.”

“Ah.” Ethan didn’t show sympathy or disapproval or anything else. He chewed on his stack of multi-grain goodness. “And your mother?”

“No clue. My father always said she ran away, but for all I know he has her body dismembered in a freezer somewhere.”

That earned me a sharp taste of Blue Fury.

“I’m kidding. I have a dark sense of humor. My father’s not that bad. And my stepmother would have gone for poison instead.”

A crack of laughter from Ethan. “You really are something, you know that? You fascinate me.”

I filled my mouth with sandwich so I didn’t have to answer that. I was very much afraid the fascination was mutual. We settled into a munching, digesting kind of silence. He had one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, and occasionally his bent leg would brush against mine. Every time it happened, a little jolt of awareness zinged straight to my groin. Did he know it was happening? Was he doing it deliberately?

“Your knee keeps touching me.”

“Does it?” He didn’t move away.

“That’s against the rules.”

“So sorry.” But he didn’t look sorry. He looked entirely unconcerned, even though he moved his knee away. “One of these days we must write these rules down. For instance, is all physical contact forbidden while Simon is away, or only that of a sexual nature?”

Lord, why did he have to say “sexual” with that spark in his eyes and that slant of his eyebrow? It wasn’t fair, damn it.

“Another example. I’ve been longing to tell you how delicious you look today and how the shadow of your nipples through the fabric of your blouse keeps drawing my eyes. But is verbal praise also off-limits, since I’d be unable to keep it G-rated, I’m afraid?”

“You can’t see my nipples through my blouse!” I looked down to make sure.

“Oh, yes, I can. I know what they’re doing right now. They’re just beginning to stir to life. You’re probably feeling a pleasant prickling as they become engorged. I’ve realized something about you, you know. The sound of my voice has a powerful effect on you.”

So right he was. I tried to block out his voice. Might as well try to stop the Hudson River.

“In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I could bring you to orgasm just with my voice. I wouldn’t have to touch you at all. All I’d have to do is tell you what I wanted to do to you. I’d tell you how much I want to bend you over this bench and take you in the open air. Or how much I’d like to tie you to that birch tree over there, open your blouse and bring you to orgasm with my fist up your cunt. Sure, someone might see. For instance, those three fellows playing Frisbee over there. It’s entirely possible they’d start to notice when I tied your hands behind the tree and ripped off your blouse. Maybe they’d even come running to your rescue.”

His gravelly voice hypnotized me so I could practically picture the scene. My body melted into a shivery puddle of craving.

“And then, of course, I’d have no choice but to invite them to join us, either as witnesses or participants. They look like red-blooded, able-bodied, clean-cut gentlemen, nothing to fear. I’d have to convince them you were willing. More than willing. Eager. I’d have to show them how wet you already were, just from having your breasts exposed. You like being exposed, don’t you?”

“Stop,” I murmured. This was going into an area we’d never touched. Other men had had no place in our games so far.

As soon as I told him to stop, he did. And as soon as he did, I wanted him to start again. After all, what was the harm? He was going there in imagination only.

“Well…” I cleared my throat. “Would you let them touch my breasts?”

“I’d give them a chance, see how they behaved. Not just anyone gets to touch my Dana. Our Dana, I should say.”

I winced at the reminder of the absent Simon. But I was too caught up in Ethan’s hypothetical scenario to be bothered for long.

“Our Dana’s luscious nipples deserve nothing other than sweet tender care. Long, lingering suckles. Perhaps a man to each nipple, and one to jerk himself off as he watches. That should get you started, I’d say. You’d be making those adorable little whimpering sounds. But perhaps I’d begin to sense that you want more, that you need the grip of cold metal on your flesh.”

The image made my belly clench with need. My nipples were as hard as the bench we sat on. I thought I would suffocate if this went on much longer. I turned a pleading look on him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of nipple clamps.

This was way over the line, totally against our rules, but I banished that thought from my mind. I nodded, biting my lip. I didn’t care who watched as he reached inside my blouse and fastened the silver clips to my nipples. The sweet pain of it made me sag against him and sigh. Exquisite relief flooded me. I leaned against him as if he were a boulder. When I looked down, the clips were clearly visible through my blouse. But I didn’t care. Ethan would take care of me.

REMEMBER: Since I just came back from RWA, I’ll give away a gift pack of fabulous books, hardcover and paperback, including books by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Madeline Hunter, and Meg Cabot. I’ll throw in a few other goodies from the conference too. All you have to do is leave me a comment!