Wednesday's Witty Words
from Wise Women
Never marry for money. Ye'll borrow it cheaper.
- Scottish poverb
- Ann Lory
- Welcome to Blog Bites! I love writing and reading romance of all genres which is why I've created "In the Author Spotlight". That way you and I can find out who's out there and what more they have for use to dig our claws into. Are you an author interested in being in the "Author Spotlight"? Shoot me an email at AnnLory@gmail.com for a spot. Currently, I'm published in contemporary and paranormal. If you'd like to read excerpts and find out what's out, or what's in store for you please visit my website at www.annlory.com.
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- Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women Never ma...
- In the Author Spotlight & Contest Viki Lyn CONT...
- In the Author Spotlight & Contest Eliza Gayle C...
- Wednesday's Witty Words from Wise Women Everytime...
- In the Author Spotlight & Contest Jessica Lee CON...
- Bait and Switch is out today from Samhain Publishi...
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- ▼ September (9)
Wednesday's Witty Words
CONTEST: I am offering one lucky commenter a digital (ebook) copy of my novella The Tiger Within or Blue Skye. Please make sure to leave a comment along with your email addy so I can contact you if you win.
AL: Hi Viki Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Viki: Thank you for having me.
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Viki: I can't believe it's already going to be October! I'm going to my Mom's 87th birthday this weekend, so I'll be flying to California for a few days. I'm staying with my sister (one of three). It should be a blast. It's always fun when we're all together.
AL: Who’s up for some man love? We know you are. Tell us what you have for us to pick off your bookshelf?
Viki: I have two books that are completely different in style. Blue Skye (published with Aspen Mountain Press) is a contemporary love story about two childhood friends that are reunited after spending several years apart. Will they find a common ground for friendship after the choices they'd made. This is a pure romance with no vampires, shape shifters or evil creatures lurking in the dark!
The Tiger Within (published by Loose Id) is a shape shifter romance set in France in 1948. Antoine Fortescue is a French nobleman and a shape shifter. He's been living on the earth since the 1700's. He meets Jack Hunter, a super-enhanced soldier and a closeted homosexual, and he realizes he has found his lifemate. But Jack doesn't like Antoine, because he brings out his sexual feelings that's he kept hidden. When they find themselves working together, the tension rises and the sparks fly.
AL: What or whom inspired you to write gay romance?
Viki: I'm a yaoi fan girl - and for those who don't know the genre, it's Japanese Boys Love manga. I've always enjoyed reading gay fiction and watching gay movies. One of my het romance trilogies has a very strong secondary gay love triangle. I enjoyed writing about these three men, at times, more than my two main characters! I also lived in a gay neighborhood in San Diego, and became very close to my neighbors, D & C, who had a wonderful loving relationship for years.
AL: What do you have in the works?
Viki: Oh, so many things that sometimes I don't know which way my head is screwed on? I'm writing another M/M romance set in Woodland Village, the setting for Blue Skye. I'm on my first round of edits for my M/M vampire story titled Last Chance that will be released by Loose Id. This was a very fun book to write, featuring a seriously smart biologist and a seriously sexy college jock. I'm plotting out book two this week with my critique partner. I've also been getting feedback that readers want to see a sequel to The Tiger Within. And, I wrote a free ficlet (its posted on my website) that readers have been asking for more. And, in my other writing life, I'm editing a het paranormal romance between an angel and a priestess.
Whew! It makes me tired just writing about it.
AL: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Viki: Oh boy, that's a difficult one. I'm a murder mystery fanatic. Recently my favorite authors are Charles Finch, Scott Sherman, Josh Lanyon, Jacqueline Winspear and Qiu Xiaolong. I want to read Robert B. Parker who's writing is really tight. I've picked up a couple of M/M romance novellas by Katrina Strauss that I really enjoyed.
AL: Now, I’m going to get personal… What favorite movie; or T.V. show makes you hunker down on the sofa and settle in for the night?
Viki: I'm really hooked on Brothers and Sisters! The family is so dysfunctional but you come to really care about each and every one of them. The dialogue is really snappy and right on. And, Sally Fields is just so good in her role as the matriarch.
Ann: What is this romance writer's idea of the "perfect romantic evening" with her real life hero?
Viki: What if I confess I'm not really a romantic? I know, pretty ironic since I write romance, but my idea of romantic time is 'not possible' (quoted by my dh). We really enjoy traveling overseas, so a romantic evening for us is exploring a new city or village, dining at the local restaurant, people watching and ending our evening with a drink or coffee at a local cafe. See, I told you I'm not romantic!
AL: If you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?
Viki: Oh, this is really difficult for me. If I had to be a villain, I'd want to be really fast on my feet, agile, almost cat-like in skills. And I would have some super powers, too. I really dig comics. I'd shift into a black panther, all sleek dark muscles and intense green eyes. And, I'd have keen sight and smell and taste...let's see...I'd be known as The Black Kat...
AL: Now, that we know what you would be and your name, what nasty things do you have planned for your hero?
Viki: I'd chase him until I had him cornered. Then I used my super powers and stun him with my gaze so he couldn't fight back. He'd be under my power for the night.
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?
Viki: One that the wind has to hurry just to keep up with me! I own a red with a white top Mini Cooper!
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Viki: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Viki.
Viki: Thank you for having me. I've enjoyed answering your questions. It's been fun.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Viki please visit:
Sentinel agent, Jack Hunter, is blessed…or cursed…with superhuman abilities. He's horrified by the unholy creatures he's been hired to kill: renegade vampires, werewolves, and other unworldly beings spawned from hell. But none of these creatures terrify him as much as Sentinel's top agent and shape-shifter, Le Tigre aka Antoine Fortescue…for Antoine knows his most shameful secret.
From an ancient lineage of shape-shifters, Antoine Fortescue is the last of his kind. He is careful when it comes to love, preferring short-term affairs that don't involve the heart. Until the day he meets the enhanced soldier, Jack Hunter. The man fascinates Antoine with his All-American good looks and arrogance, and it doesn't take long for Antoine to realize Jack is his khalid—his life mate.
A stolen kiss in an alley gives Antoine hope that eventually he'll win Jack's closed-up heart. But Jack Hunter despises Antoine for his openly gay manner and outrageous flirting. When they must work together on a case that's close to Antoine's heart, he's hunting not just a killer but his khalid. He will have his prey, his Jack, and unleash the tiger within.
Antoine stood over Jack sleeping peacefully. Usually Jack was wound tight, but in his sleep, he appeared innocent, setting Antoine's heart racing. How wonderful it would have been to have known Jack as a boy. Before the war, before the ravages to his body, before his life changed.
With his forefinger, he feathered Jack's square jaw and pressed the tip in the dimple edging the side of his broad mouth. Antoine smiled at the memory of those enticing lips and that hot, wily tongue. Their first and only sexual encounter was enough for him to realize the importance of Jack Hunter. All-American in looks: healthy complexion, robust physique, tall and commanding. Once Jack had given in to his desires, he did not disappoint. His American arrogance remained, demanding and powerful. That kiss in the alley two years ago might not have led to sex, but it told Antoine all he needed to know. Jack liked men.
For someone of Jack's disposition, being a sexual deviant was paramount to committing the most horrid of mortal sins. If he learned the reason behind Antoine's seduction, who knew how he would react?
Antoine smiled tenderly as he smoothed Jack's short cowlick. His once-military buzz cut had grown out, his hair now a rich mahogany cap. It was not easy to love this man, but he was worth the long chase. Never had Antoine been in love, not really, and this man was his equal. Equal in power, intelligence, and courage. And equal in the depth of his loneliness, which was evident from the sadness in Jack's eyes.
Antoine kissed the top of his khalid's head, breathing in his scent, letting it seep into his being, exciting him. He knew he would settle for nothing less than love with his khalid, his life mate.
REMEMBER: Viki will be offering one lucky commenter a digital (ebook) copy of my novella The Tiger Within or Blue Skye. Please make sure to leave a comment along with your email addy so I can contact you if you win.
CONTEST: To those who leave a post and their email address, I’ll draw one winner for a give away of a copy of any ebook of the readers choice from my backlist.
AL: Hi Eliza Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Eliza: Thank you Ann for having me, it’s great to be here.
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Eliza: I have two teenage daughters…need I say more? I work full-time as well as write so lately my days are pretty full with work and keeping up with the family.
AL: What do you have for us to sink our teeth into?
Eliza: Well, my first Loose Id release, Obsession of Jayde is coming out next week and I’m really excited about it.
It’s a brand new paranormal that features a mortal woman and two very hot immortal men that are meant to watch over her in so many ways. *g*
When Jayde inadvertently releases sexual obsession, things definitely get interesting pretty quick.
I had so much fun writing this story and it didn’t hurt that I got to combine two of my favorite things. Chocolate fudge and sex. (Can you say kitchen sex? *g*)
AL: Witches, vamps, shifters and reality…oh my! What was the click that turned in your brain that sent you from kick-butt Marine diva and corporate world dominatrix to spicy erotica author?
Eliza: I was a voracious romance reader that read an average of a book a day. The library held books for me without even having to reserve them. LOL I’d thought about writing one a lot but either didn’t know how or lacked the motivation. One day I happened to pick up the Romantic Times magazine and a whole new world of romance opened up to me starting with Ellora’s Cave and I had a true aha moment that maybe I could write some of this.
AL: You write different genres, do you favor one genre over another?
Eliza: Sometimes I think I do but then I’ll switch to the other and remember I love it as much as the other. For me switching back and forth between contemporary and paranormal keeps things fresh and lively.
AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?
Eliza: I like a lot of things about writing but the best thing for me is about three quarters of the way through the story and I get stuck on how to twist the end, I have to step back and think about it for a while before I get that thunderstruck moment where the ending all falls into place. I love the satisfaction of that moment.
My least favorite thing is revisions. I try to write a pretty clean first draft so that when I go back I’m mostly just editing and polishing. However, inevitably there are times when revisions are required and while I do what it takes, I really do not enjoy it.
AL: Allright, let’s dig in deep. Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. Tell us…what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Eliza: Well…while I don’t exactly lead the glamorous life, I do have a husband who takes care of a lot of the unglamorous. I’m lucky like that.
But I do run a pretty strict routine for myself that includes working, writing and cleaning nearly every day of the week. And did I mention I have teenagers? *g*
AL: You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for. 1) What’s the movie about? 2) Whose your character? 3) Whose your leading man?
Eliza: It’s definitely a kick-butt action adventure movie with a touch of the paranormal thrown in. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say I’d be a witchy Lara Croft. Guns and witchcraft…sounds like a party to me.
I couldn’t possibly choose just one leading man so lets make it a love triangle with Gerard Butler and Ryan Reynolds. (I do love to write ménages. ;)
AL: Fall is around the corner. Literally! What is your favorite part of the season? Fall leaves? Sweater weather? Football?
Eliza: Why Halloween of course. Actually I love almost everything about fall but I always look forward to hauling out the fall and Halloween decorations. Some years we go all out and we have a full graveyard out front and a green glowing bat cave inside. Small children have been known to be afraid to come to our door on Halloween night.
AL: You are told you have to meet one paranormal creature, no safeguards, what do you choose? What do you bring with you?
Eliza: It’s so hard to pick just one. I want to meet a hunky faery. Does that count? Faeries are my absolutely favorite thing.
What would I bring? Probably some rope for obvious reasons.
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Eliza: “If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel then march right down there and turn it on.”
I wish I could remember where I got that quote but I’ve been carrying it around for a decade or more and it’s original source has gotten lost.
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Eliza.
Eliza: Thank you so much for having me, it’s been fun.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Eliza please visit:
When Jayde returned to Hickory Falls to settle her grandmother’s estate she didn’t know what she was in for. A secret antique puzzle box with a necklace and a note that only says Beware of the Obsession. A bakery everyone is anxious to see reopened despite her inability to cook and a pair of hunky too good to be true tenants living in the same house.
Marc and Anthony are lovers waiting on their third to complete them, the Guardian they have sworn to protect. When Jayde arrives they are anxious to get her in their bed until they see the necklace around her neck. Now they have to take things slow, seducing her before they reveal the duty she has been called for.
When the Guardian denies her calling, the protectors will do anything in their power to convince her but in the end it has to be her choice. Will she sacrifice her heart to do what is right? Sometimes free will is a bitch.
Marc stood propped against the wall right inside the doorway, watching Jayde sleep. She was everything he had imagined and more. Footfalls sounded on the steps leading to the bakery, and when Aidan came through the entrance, Marc grabbed his arm to get his attention. He placed his finger against his mouth and indicated for Aidan to stay quiet, before pointing to her sleeping form on the far couch.
Aidan turned in her direction, his straight black hair settling around his shoulders. “Is she okay?”
“I think she’s just sleeping.”
“Is it her? The one we were expecting?”
“I think so. She matches the vision I had of her, as well as the picture we found on Katriona’s nightstand. And the energy in the room matches what I’ve been sensing for hours now.”
“She’s even more beautiful than I expected.”
Marc froze, momentarily speechless at the longing that vibrated from Aidan when he spoke. “Getting to know her should be a very interesting experience.” He moved farther into the room to get a better look.
His gaze was drawn to the glow of her skin. Her beautiful face had softened in sleep, and she had a mass of curls that surrounded her head. But it was the fair, smooth skin that called out to him to touch her. To taste her. Katriona had certainly sent a woman to tempt him; that was for sure.
Marc bent down and touched her cheek.
Her eyes flew open, and she gasped. “What the --”
“It’s okay, Jayde; you’re safe.”
She sputtered awake, struggling her way to a sitting position, attempting to pull down her skirt. It had ridden up in her sleep, revealing the sky blue panties she wore underneath.
“Who…? What…?” She closed her eyes and inhaled before continuing. “How did you know my name?”
Marc rested a hand on her shoulder. “My name is Marc, and this is Aidan. We live on the third floor.”
“Oh…oh of course.” She stood and smoothed down her clothes and her long mane of fiery red curls. A faint blush tinted her cheeks, enhancing her natural glow. He imagined those long fingers touching his body or Aidan’s. He bit back a groan at that and seeing her standing in the light of the sunset, her head looked as if flames surrounded it. Beautiful.
She tugged at the edge of her blouse, pulling it over the rounded, sexy curve of her belly, and ended up revealing the deep cleavage of her breasts. Nestled between them was the blue moonstone he and Aidan had been searching for all these months.
His back stiffened. Katriona had said that it was hidden in a safe place, but this was not safe at all.
“That’s a beautiful gem you have there, Jayde.”
Her hand flew to the chain and lifted the stone, rubbing the smooth surface between her fingers. “Thank you.”
The husky tone of her voice sounded like sleep and sex. It made him want to get to know her a whole lot better. But he wondered if she had any idea of the danger she toyed with.
“Where did you get it? If you don’t mind my asking.”
She stared at him with her deep green eyes, a shadow of distrust touching her face. He could almost see her processing his question and trying to come up with why he was so curious about it.
“It was in my grandmother’s safe-deposit box. I don’t understand why she hid away such a beautiful necklace. I couldn’t resist putting it on.” The way she continued to finger the stone had him worried.
Aidan cleared his throat behind her. She jumped like a scared rabbit, letting the stone fall back into her cleavage and breaking the spell between them. She nibbled on her bottom lip.
“I’m sorry about your grandmother, Jayde,” he offered. “We both cared for her very much.”
“Thank you.” She didn’t look at him when she said it, and instead began gathering her things. “If you two will excuse me, I need to get changed and get a feel for the place a little. It’s been a long day, and I’m not feeling sociable at the moment. You don’t mind, do you?”
“No, of course not. Please let us know if we can be of any help. Miss Katriona is going to be missed.”
“Thank you.” She grabbed up the last of her belongings and headed out of the shop and up the stairs to her grandmother’s apartment, now hers. The one right across from theirs.
“What are we going to do now?” Aidan asked. “We need to get that necklace from her before it’s too late.”
“There’s not much time.” Marc nodded absently as he rubbed the front of his jeans, trying to adjust himself to ease the ache for her in his groin. They had more than one issue to deal with.
“You felt it too, huh? Any chance it’s just a side effect from the stone?”
REMEMBER: To those who leave a post and their email address, Eliza will draw one winner for a give away of a copy of any ebook of the readers choice from my backlist.
Everytime I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.
- Jennifer Unlimited
CONTEST: Jessica will draw the name of one lucky winner who leaves a comment to receive a $20 E-gift card from Bath and Body Works. A little something to spice up your nights.
AL: Hi Jessica Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Jessica: It’s my pleasure, Ann. Thanks so much for having me.
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Jessica: I’ll be celebrating my 18th wedding anniversary in December to my soul mate. We have one son who just turned five in September. He is our world. So when I’m not writing, my day is filled with all the new and fun stuff he’s coming up with.
AL: Tell us a little bit about your debut novel.
Jessica: Well, I have to say that if tortured, sexy alpha male vampires make you yearn, then the warriors of the Enclave have been waiting for you. *vbg*
Desire to Die For is a story about Kenric St. James, the Master of the Enclave and Emily Ross, the ER nurse who saves him. Body and soul.
AL: With your first release now out for the word to read 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?
Jessica: Over the next few years, I hope to create a nice backlist, containing terrific erotic paranormal romances for the public to savor. I’m sure that’s every debut author’s dream. And who knows, I may try my hand at other genres. Romantic suspense is always a fun read, but the research that’s involved in creating well done crimes, and the investigations that follow, takes some time to study to write them well.
AL: When you set about writing Desire to Die for, did you do a detailed outline, or did you just “fly by the seat of your pants” and let the story take you?
Jessica: I’m a mix of both worlds. First, I like to sketch out who my characters are, their GMC, and then outline the beginning, middle, and the black moment. For the rest of the story, I only plot a couple of chapters ahead as I go, allowing the characters to lead me from point A to point B. I love when they surprise me with scenes that tell me more about who they are, and I never saw it coming.
AL: You love paranormal. Do you have plans to branch out in other genres of writing?
Jessica: Maybe contemporary romantic suspense? I’m still very much a lover of erotic paranormal, so when, or if, I venture in another direction still remains to be seen.
AL: Now, let’s put our hair down and break loose. Besides writing, what other things do you like to do in your spare time?
Jessica: Spare time? Wow, let’s see… I would have to say when I do have a free night, I enjoy spending time with my friends. We have a ball when we can all pull off a girl’s night! My family and I love the beach and taking trips to the mountains of North Carolina.
AL: You’re snowed in for a week in the Swiss Alps. You’ve enough firewood and food to get you through the blizzard waging outside. What are three things that you would have to have with you?
Jessica: Hmmm… Good question. Oh, I know. Chocolate, a few good erotic romance novels, and a handsome man to wrap myself around. When do we leave?
AL: All the readers that come to my blog regularly know I love football season, college football, and my Missouri Tigers. Are you a sports fan? If so, what sport do you follow and who’s your favorite team?
Jessica: I’m not a regular follower of football, but when I do watch, and since I live in South Carolina, I have to pull for the Carolina Panthers.
I’m also a graduate of the University of South Carolina, so when it comes to college football, I’m a Gamecock’s fan!
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....
Jessica: Okay, right off the bat and on the top of my list is, Vin Diesel. LOVE me some Riddick. (that’s for you, Naima Simone.) My CP would hurt me if VD didn’t make it to the top of the list.
2. Gerard Butler, love that Scot.
3. Sweet and sexy, Alex O’laughlin in Moonlight
4. Alexander Skarsgard, Eric in Trueblood. Oh, yeah, baby!
5. Okay, he’s not an actor but I think Nathan Kamp, the cover model, is living sex on two legs. LOL I tend to be drawn to every cover he does.
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Jessica: I don’t have a profound or philosophical quote that I could say is my favorite, but I do have a favorite scene. It’s from Karen Marie Moning’s FAEFEVER:
And the sex, God, the sex! I never knew what sex was until him. It's not soft music and candlelight, a choice, a deliberate action.
It's as involuntary as breathing and as impossible not to do. It's slammed up against a wall in a dark alley, or flat on my back on cold concrete because I can't stand one more second without him. It's on my hands and knees, dry-mouthed, heart in my throat, waiting for the moment he touches me and I'm alive again. It's punishing and purifying, velvet and violent, and it makes everything else melt away until nothing matters but getting him inside me, and I wouldn't just die for him--I'd kill for him, too.
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Jessica.
Jessica: You are so welcome! It was fun. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity for readers to get to know me a little better.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Jessica please visit:
FEATURED TITLE: DESIRE TO DIE FOR
Kenric St. James wants revenge. Three hundred years ago, an ancient female vampire turned him against his will and killed the woman he once loved. He’s spent more than a century building an Enclave of warrior vampires who have sworn their allegiance to defend humanity and to eliminate the ancient vampire determined to destroy them all. After two centuries of denying his body’s needs and with vengeance finally at hand, the last thing he expected to find was the one woman he burns to claim as his own. If only giving her his love wouldn’t surely mean her death.
Emily Ross is a nurse struggling to start a new life. She’s a survivor, coming off the tail end of an abusive relationship and the tragic death of her parents. All she desires is time alone to learn who she is without a man and to save the home that holds her heart. The last thing she wants is another controlling, dominant male calling all the shots, in bed and out. Never would she have thought stopping her car one night to save a dying man might change her mind, and her life, forever. But is what they have, their desire, worth dying for?
His head hurt like a bitch.
Someone was trying to pickax their way out of his skull.
The metallic smell of dried blood weighed heavy in the air. A wave of hunger coursed through him, tightening Kenric's stomach into an agonizing spasm. His veins burned, demanding to be fed.
A thick fog clouded his mind. Where the hell was he, and what the hell happened?
Muffled voices chattered in the distance. The lethargy throughout his body had sealed his eyelids.
Pushing through the haze muddling his brain, he assessed his surroundings. Along with blood, there was an acrid scent of antiseptic. Above his head, the repetitive sound of a mechanical heartbeat pinged. Shit!
How long had he been in a hospital?
Through the insistent pounding within his skull, the memory of his battle with the DEADs returned. He'd been about to call Guerin when he'd blacked out. Where the hell was his phone? He had to get out of here. The itch beneath his skin, like a fucking sundial, warned him time was running out.
The heart monitor over his head lurched into a rapid succession of beats. Get a grip, Kenric. He couldn't risk drawing any unwanted interest. With a fierce hold on the gurney's rail for strength, he focused on the pounding of his heart, slowing it to a steady rate.
Now, to find his damn phone. He searched along his left side, feeling for the lining of his coat. A cool draft floated in under the thin sheet. Shit! Where the hell is my coat…and the rest of my damn clothes?
Approaching footsteps and a trio of voices grabbed his attention. Taking a deep breath, he stilled his movements.
“You guys go ahead and get out of here. Can you give me a rain check on breakfast? I want to check in on our John Doe one more time before I leave.”
“Come on, Emily. You've been here a year already, and you keep turning me down every time I try to get you to meet someone. Jake is really interested. I know you two would hit it off if you'd give it a chance.”
“I promise I will. Soon. Just not this morning. Not yet.”
“Fine,” a female said with a sigh.
The sharp sound of metal rings sliding over a rod near his head indicated one of them had entered his area.
Emily closed the privacy curtain of the trauma treatment room. The unidentified patient she'd found earlier at The Docks lay unconscious on the hospital gurney. Bloodstained bandages covered his flank and neck.
Once the paramedics had gotten him here, the ER had been able to stabilize him with a few universal-donor transfusions. He remained in need of additional units to bring his hemoglobin into an acceptable range, though. Unfortunately, the lab was taking longer than usual to type and cross-match him. They'd found some kind of anomaly present in his blood work. There was even talk that he possibly had some form of leukemia on top of everything else, due to the extreme elevation in his white-blood-cell count.
Emily followed the slow and easy rise and fall of his chest. She couldn't help but admire the sheer will this man had to survive. And she couldn't ignore the fact that even though he lay there covered in bandages, he was the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen.
His hospital gown stretched to encompass the breadth of his shoulders, while the arm openings strained to contain his biceps. She did love a nice set of biceps. The bedsheets covered the contours of his torso, but she remembered how his body tapered to a narrow waist and those amazing, washboard abs.
Wavy hair, a little longer in front than back, fell over his forehead, almost covering his eyes. The color was amazing. A black so deep, it shone under the fluorescents.
The dark waves framed a regally defined face; beautiful, but not in the feminine sense. Not too perfect. In fact, a pale, thin scar ran along his right cheekbone, ending about an inch above his lip. To others, the scar may have damaged his looks; to her, it added character that accentuated his masculine features. His nose was long and straight, ending above lips that, God, she could kiss all night. From the moment she had laid eyes on him, everything about him had captivated her.
Her tongue traced her upper lip, and her body tingled.
Stop it, Emily! You're a professional nurse who shouldn't be ogling a patient. Just take his vital signs and get out of here. She needed to leave this man alone.
Lifting his arm to check his blood pressure, she noticed a tattoo wrapped around part of his right bicep. Unable to resist, she traced the outline of the connecting loops. It formed a figure eight lying on its side. Infinity.
The symbol intersected with a dagger that pierced the center of the joining circles. Red drops of what looked to be blood dripped from the blade.
“What were you doing out there tonight?” she whispered.
Everything about this man was a very intriguing mystery.
Kenric lay perfectly still as the female approached him. Until he knew whom and what he was dealing with, he didn't want to give away any clue that he was conscious. She paused at his bedside for a moment before lifting his right arm and placing a cool device under his bicep. She must be a nurse. He savored the warmth of her hands on his skin as her fingertips glided over his bicep. She traced the symbol of the Enclave. His flesh tingled in the wake of the pads of her fingers.
Suddenly her touch disappeared as a cuff tightened around his arm. He clenched the fist of his opposite hand, struggling to maintain his tenuous control. Why had she stopped touching him? His fist ached from keeping such a tight hold on his denial. He wanted to grab her hand and beg for one more brush of her fingertips. Anywhere. Everywhere.
Her hair teased his chest, sending chills skating across his body. Desire stormed. He drew in a long, deep inhale in hopes of calming his thundering need. The scent from her hair and skin filled his nostrils, burrowed deep inside his mind. And did nothing to quell the storm or soothe the growing need that threatened to unravel the edge of his control.
Her fragrance reminded him of wildflowers after a spring rain. Warm, sweet, and spicy.
Another deep breath filled him, sparking every neuron in his brain. She was intoxicating.
Good God. The blood that remained within him surged into his groin, lust and hunger intermingling. Get a grip, man, before you do something you'll regret.
His mind struggled to hold the vampire in check.
As if starved for her scent, he inhaled again, stifling a groan. His fangs lengthened. The drive to feed the hunger twisted in his gut.
Time had run out.
Harnessing the strength that his hunger provided, Kenric opened his eyes and reached for the woman.
She swung her head around with a startled shout. A wave of dark auburn hair fell over her shoulder.
Long, dark eyelashes framed hazel eyes specked with a hint of blue, green, and brown at the center. Her heart-shaped face held a small, upturned nose and rose-colored lips, the bottom one slightly fuller than the top. Lips that were made to form a perfect, warm satin glove for the hard ridge of a man. No, not any man's cock. His.
Kenric dragged his gaze away from her mouth. He needed to concentrate on holding her attention, not linger on the fantasy his mind and groin wanted to study in greater detail.
“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you,” he whispered.
“I'm fine. Are you…okay?” Her gaze met his, giving him all the opening he needed. Kenric slipped inside her mind to give her the mental nudge she'd need to accept his verbal commands.
“Don't be afraid. I need you very calm and very quiet. You are safe. Do you understand?”
“Good.” His voice resonated, maintaining his hold. “What's your name, Wildflower?”
“Emily… Emily Ross.”
“Emily, I need your help to get out of here. I want you to disconnect me from these monitors and tubes without bringing attention to us.”
She didn't move; instead, her mind pushed back, attempting to block his control.
“Now, Emily.” He pushed in return, harder this time. His body trembled from the effort to maintain his presence in her mind and the rhythmic beat of his heart, so that the heart rate monitor kept its orderly beat. Red hair suited this female. The color matched the spirit of her fight.
Emily removed the leads of the cardiac monitor from his chest and the IV from his forearm. She moved about the room, as if on automatic pilot. Her compliance took every ounce of telepathic influence and skill left at his disposal.
Once completed, she returned to his side.
He caressed the right side of her face, the warmth of her skin a heated embrace to his cool palm. With the gentle persuasion of his hand, Kenric brought her gaze back to connect with his.
“Lean closer to me, Emily.”
She complied, lowering her head. Kenric pulled her in, positioning her neck near his lips, and brushed a stray curl away from her neck.
“I'm sorry,” he whispered against her skin. “If there were another way, I would take it. You see, you have something I'm in desperate need of.” He didn't know why he felt the sudden, overwhelming desire to explain. He had to feed. And he would make sure she didn't remember when he finished. But something inside him needed her to understand and not be scared. “I'm not trying to hurt you. I promise, I will be as gentle as possible.”
He savored another whiff of her sweet scent before tasting the area above her pounding pulse. She shivered, wringing a groan from his throat. He could wait no longer.
His fangs pierced her supple flesh. Tightening his hold, he held her immobile, not wanting to tear her skin. A moment later, Emily's body relaxed. He loosened his grip and gently caressed her arms, soothing her as he drank.
Her blood spilled into his mouth, a flood of hot and sweet. It filled his starved body in a tidal wave of sensation and pooled in his groin. He'd never tasted anything as luscious as the woman in his arms. And he wanted more. With each pull at her neck, his erection pulsed, greedy for her affection.
Reaching farther around her body, Kenric lifted her onto the gurney with him. He wanted, no needed, the feel of her whole body next to his. Her hip pressed against the length of him. His eyes rolled in exquisite pain. If he were in a different place and it were a different time, he would be buried so deep inside of her, she would no longer know where he stopped and she began.
Reluctantly, he withdrew his fangs, licking the remaining spicy droplets of blood from the small twin holes on her neck. Pressing his tongue to the wound, he held pressure on the area for a few seconds to ensure clotting had taken hold with the aid of the agent releasing from its surface.
“Thank you, Emily,” he whispered into her ear, easing his arms from around her. She slumped.
“Shit!” He hadn't stopped in time. What the hell was wrong with him? A frantic shuffle ensued as he worked to slide out from beneath her and onto his side. Holding his breath, he checked for a pulse.
There was a strong beat.
Air rushed from his chest with relief. She'd passed out.
Good man, Kenric. This is really the way to get out of here unnoticed. He punched the pillow beneath them and silently groaned when he'd have much rather shoved his fist through a wall.
Now, not only do they have a slashed-up John Doe who will go missing but also an unconscious nurse with bite marks on her neck.
Nice inconspicuous exit, asshole.
Kenric gripped the side rail of the gurney, pulling himself to a standing position while lowering Emily onto her back. His legs trembled under his weight, and he struggled to gain his balance. It would take a few moments to feel the full restorative effects of her blood.
Studying the auburn-haired woman in blue scrubs, he couldn't remember the last time he'd felt more alive than he did moments before when holding her. But he needed to get the hell out there, fast. Wipe her memories and be gone. He could take care of the mess he'd made after the fact.
With the back of her head in his palm, he closed his eyes, focusing on the memories he needed to capture from her mind.
He lowered her head back to the mattress, then whirled, giving an exasperated swipe to his hair.
“What the hell's wrong with you? You're not a damn fledgling.”
He couldn't concentrate. Every time he'd find the memory he sought, it faded, slipping from his mind. It wasn't like he didn't have to perform this little trick at least once a week when he needed to feed. What was different about her that had him so rattled?
Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and slowly let it out. Back at the gurney, he held her head in his hand, searching once again for focus. This had to be done.
His mind rebelled. With a grimace, he lowered her head and threw his hands up in surrender. He couldn't do it. She didn't deserve to wake up alone, confused and sick, lying in an empty gurney. She didn't deserve to be confronted for an answer to what the hell happened to John Doe. And maybe, he didn't want her to forget him.
Where the fuck did that come from? He shook his head and huffed. He didn't need the complication of being responsible for any woman.
But cleaning up all traces of the John Doe from the hospital, with help from the inside…
He stared at his dilemma sleeping on the gurney. If he trusted this woman to help him, he would place the entire Enclave at risk. Kenric ran an impatient hand through his hair. He couldn't and, in truth, did not want to leave her here like this.
“Guess there's only one way to handle this situation.” He brushed a stray auburn lock of hair from Emily's check. “Wildflower, you'll be coming with me.”
In a hospital bag on the counter in his room, he found his clothes and coat. He reached in and pulled out his shirt and jeans. Sliced pieces of denim and cotton dangled from his hands. Damn. The hospital gown he had on was going to cover more of his body than the scissored mess the ER staff had left behind of his clothes. His phone was still in the coat pocket, though, and luckily in one piece. He pressed speed dial one for Guerin, who answered on the first ring.
“Kenric, where the hell are you, man? We've been trying to reach you all night. Arran's been out searching for you for hours.”
“I'll explain when I see you. I don't have a lot of time. I need you to send a car to… Hang on.” Kenric eased closer to Emily. Picking up the ID badge lying on her chest, he continued, “Elizabeth Bay Memorial.”
“Elizabeth Bay Memorial! Shit, how the hell did you end up there?”
“Like I said, I don't have time for the details.” Kenric's pulse thumped in his temples. “Just get me a car,” he growled. “Pull up outside the ER, ring my phone once you're in position, and I'll phase into the back.”
“Give me about ten minutes. We found your Mercedes where you parked it. Michael's also out searching and should be near you. I'll get him to grab your car and haul ass over there. In the meantime, make yourself scarce.”
Kenric snapped the cell phone closed, leaving it on vibrate to wait for the signal. Damn good thing they'd left his car where he'd parked it. It wouldn't take but a few minutes to get here, and with the extra tint on the windows, it would keep his ass from going crispy.
Moving silently over to the curtain enclosing his private treatment room, Kenric pulled back the edge of the blue-checked material, scanning the area. A few distant conversations along with the clatter of equipment moved in the opposite direction. Good, the area's clear for now. Hopefully, it would stay that way for the next few minutes. He rubbed the stubble along his chin and sighed. With any luck, the staff would believe Emily had already left, her shift over.
Emily moaned and shifted on the gurney. Releasing the curtain, Kenric returned to her side. She was a little pale, but her pulse beat steady under his fingertips.
“Damn.” He couldn't believe he'd been so reckless. His father had trained him for discipline and self-control since before he could walk. In his childhood home, those traits either came to you naturally or you learned them under the whip.
He never lost control when feeding.
The phone buzzed in his palm. The car was here. He dropped his phone into the hospital bag he held in his hand, then reached down and slid his arms underneath Emily's shoulders and knees and lifted her. She was a full and curvy woman, soft in all the right places, and fit perfectly in his arms. He loved the way she felt.
She whimpered and snuggled closer. Closing his eyes, Kenric fought the distraction of her body in order to focus on bringing the image of the car's interior into his mind. It would take most of what energy reserves Emily had been able to restore to phase them both the short distance. He didn't have a choice. It was his only option for getting out of there unnoticed. A passed-out nurse in his arms, and his ass flapping in the breeze while he waltzed out the front door, would not make for a subtle departure.
Slowing his heart rate, Kenric sharpened the image of the car's backseat in his mind. His body tingled. A brief falling sensation and momentary disorientation confirmed the phase. Less than a second later, he opened his eyes. They'd made it into the back of his Mercedes.
“Glad to see you're safe, sir,” Michael said, turning around to toss a thick black blanket to his newly arrived passenger. Nodding his head of sandy blond waves at the woman in Kenric's arm, a slight smile curled at the corners of his mouth. “I see we'll be having a guest at the compound.”
“That's correct. And we'll also be keeping this between us for now. Understood?”
“Yes, sir. However you want it.” Michael faced forward.
“When we arrive at the compound, park the car near my private entrance.”
It would buy him some time. Keep her scent under wraps until he could explain—to her and to his warriors.
His skin stung even from the subdued morning light coming in through the tinted windows. Covering his face and body with the supplied blanket, and Emily as well, he eased back into the soft leather seat with Emily resting against his chest.
The car bumped and dipped leaving the hospital parking lot. Michael revved the engine, accelerating them into the flow of traffic.
Kenric's mind raced with the upcoming task at hand: How could he convince Emily to help him erase his presence from the hospital? Not to mention, how to tell her why he needed it erased in the first place?
He was a vampire. Not just any vampire, but one who had already helped himself. He squirmed in his seat. Damn, how was she not going to be scared out of her mind? It was scary enough for a human to learn vampires were not a myth. Top that little bit of information off with the fact they'd already been snacked on. Not good. Not good at all.
Inside the blanket, Emily's sleeping face lay pressed against his chest. His heart swelled at the sight, and he pulled her in tighter. He relished the stark contrast between the rough wool scraping at his arms and the softness of the woman contained within.
Draped in darkness, he found no escape from thoughts of her. Unable to avoid it, he drew another intoxicating breath. He hoped working with Emily didn't take too long, because when he inhaled her scent and embraced her like this, all his self-control turned to shit, and every cell in his body screamed one word.
REMEMBER: Jessica will draw the name of one lucky winner who leaves a comment to receive a $20 E-gift card from Bath and Body Works.
I hope you'll check it out. It's Book 1 in the Frisky Business series. Please visit this link to read an excerpt online and check out the blurb below:
One workaholic. One gigolo. One week in Sin City. You do the math…
Frisky Business, Book 1
Anna Jackson’s ex-boyfriend may have stolen her promotion, but she’s not mad. Not anymore. She’s getting even—by beating him at his own game. So what if she has to give up all her free time and any semblance of a personal life? With a partnership in a law firm as prestigious as Beckam, Beckam and Leland on the line, she’s willing to pay the price.
Las Vegas escort Devon McGuire is charming, sexy, and damn good at pleasing women. He’d better be, it’s what he gets paid for. Always up for a challenge, he’s looking forward to his newest job. Who wouldn’t enjoy a week as the companion of a smart, sultry, high-powered attorney—no strings attached?
Devon’s used to pushing boundaries, but there’s something about Anna that makes him want to turn up the steam. And when she learns to let go and unexpectedly opens to him, he finds himself falling right in.
Whoa, hold it. Love was never part of the plan…
This book was has been previously published.
Warning: This book contains a sizzling, drop-dead gorgeous, sex-on-a-stick gigolo who wants to make women’s fantasies come true, and a woman who won’t cooperate and let him do his job.
Have a great weekend.
In real love, you want the other person's good.
In romantic love, you want the other person.
- Margaret Anderson
(American founder, editor and publisher of the art and literary magazine The Little Review, which published a collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929.)
AL: Hi Catherine Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Catherine: Thanks for having me, Ann!
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Catherine: Well, it’s the beginning of the new school year here, and my day job has started in full swing for the year (I write educational psychological evaluations by day, fiction by night). I also have two of my three kids in middle school this year. God help me, teenagers!!
AL: Tell us about your upcoming release?
Catherine: The idea for Another Time Around came to me one night in the shower (where else is better for getting ideas?), and I wondered how a widow would react if her late husband came to haunt her just as she’s about to move on with another man. Then I added a stalker, a screwy mother-in-law, and a crazy assistant, and I knew I had a book.
AL: You and I have a lot in common. I did vocals music (first soprano pull me from the rafters), drama and taught drama for a couple years at a Junior High in Omaha, I did the whole debate scene as well, but since this isn’t about me…what got you diving into the art of writing?
Catherine: I sing first soprano, too. First note I ever sang on stage was a high A. As for writing, I’ve done it since I was a teenager when I wanted to write my own character into a TV show I loved. Didn’t realize until years later that I was writing fan fiction. After filling a couple notebooks, Mom gave me her old Royal manual typewriter, and I wrote everything from historical fiction to science fiction to my own version of Anne of Green Gables. None of it was worth the paper it was written on, but I learned a lot about the craft and found out it was great fun to create my own worlds. I took several years off (went to college, got a job, had kids, yada yada) but always had something going through my head. Didn’t realize most people don’t think in narratives. One day I had an idea that made me want to put pen to paper again, so to speak, and a novel was born.
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?
Catherine: Between jobs and kids, I just hope to have a writing career over the next few years! Kidding. I am currently working on a contemporary romance about a not-so-happily married veterinarian whose ex-fiance shows up dating her best friend, and hope to write a new paranormal about a psychic who gets mixed up in the murder of a cop. I’d like to submit both to an agent by spring.
AL: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?
Catherine: It’s so cliché, but it’s so true: just do it. Keep writing, keep learning, and, most importantly, keep submitting to agents and editors. For one, it’s an amazing learning experience and you can get valuable feedback on your work, but it’s also a bit of a crap shoot getting the right manuscript in front of the right editor or agent. Everyone has different tastes, and it’s no different with the pros. I think the hardest part of this business is to keep going when you’ve had a mailbox full of rejections, but it’s also the most necessary part.
AL: Let’s get comfy and dig in deep, Catherine. What's your favorite type of music?
Catherine: That’s like asking me what kind of ice cream I like – aren’t they all good? Honestly, it depends on my mood. My collection includes Queen, ACDC, Barry Manilow (yes, I do loves me some Barry) and opera and classical, too. I love musicals, and have a little bit of an unnatural obsession with the Mama Mia soundtrack right now.
AL: If you had to write yourself as a heroine, what kind of heroine would you be? What would you be named?
Catherine: To be brutally honest, I think all writers take parts of themselves to use in their heroines. Maggie in Let’s Dish was like me in ways, and so is Brin in Another Time Around. If I could write myself as a character, though, I think I’d like to be a kick-ass bounty hunter or a vampire killer.
AL: Now, tell us about your hero that plays opposite you…
Catherine: I don’t care as long as he’s Colin Firth. Or Jeff Goldblum.
AL: When you have time just for you (if only) what do you do?
Catherine: I should say something very high-brow here, shouldn’t I? Like racing polo ponies or something. Honestly, though, I think the answer is sleep. With three boys, you don’t get a lot. If I’m lucky enough to be rested, I read, watch shows on the BBC, and spend far too much time playing games on Facebook.
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Catherine: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Catherine.
Catherine: My pleasure, Ann. You didn’t make this easy on me. Made me think.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Catherine please visit:
FEATURED TITLE: Another Time Around
Brin Maxwell once lived the ultimate rock-n-roll fantasy as the wife of the frontman for Hell’s Fury. It all ended in a flash—literally—with a lightning bolt that took Max’s life and left hers in suspended animation.
Two years later she’s ready to move on, but there’s a stumbling block: her sanity. Max’s ghost has decided to haunt her, and he’s got a bad habit of showing up at the most inconvenient moments. Like when she’s about to plant a long wet one on event planner David Lyle, the man she hopes will resurrect her love life.
David is real, solid, and makes her heart do the tango. He’s also curiously inept at his job—yet he has certain other talents that leave her wondering just what he’s hiding in his shadowy past.
Then there are the death threats. As they escalate from notes slipped under her door to full-scale, Kodak-moment terror, Brin realizes Max’s return is no coincidence. And that the only one she can turn to is David.
The man with the skills to save her life—unless he’s there to take it…
She made her way across the generous space, ending up where the high ceiling gave way to the loft. She could only assume she was directly under his bedroom, but refused to let her mind wander further than that. In front of her were two doors beside one another. She looked back at David for guidance, but he was busy clearing the table. Taking a chance, she picked the door on the right.
When she entered the room, she searched for the light switch. She flipped it on, and was bathed in a glowing red light. Adjusting her eyes, she looked around to find photographs hanging from wires strung like clotheslines across the room. Some photos were of people, some of places and buildings. All seemed very artistic, though she’d be the first to admit she knew nothing about art.
A framed picture hung on the far wall drew her attention. It grabbed her and made her step closer and closer until she was standing right at the base of it. It was a close-up of a woman’s jawline, warm and dewy and glowing red in the light from the bare bulb that swung above it. Her lips were full and wet, barely parted to reveal a row of sparkling teeth. Though she couldn’t see her entire face, Brin could tell she was an extremely beautiful woman.
“You found Claudia.”
Brin jumped, startled by David’s entrance. “I’m sorry. I must have taken a wrong turn.”
“Quite all right. Easy to do.”
She pointed around the room. “I take it you’re a photographer.”
“Picked up the hobby at the academy. When we were training in forensic photography.”
“I take it you never went digital.”
David shook his head. “Nah. Film is much more vibrant to me. More personal.” He stepped up behind her to look at the photograph. “I took that while we were on vacation in Cabo.”
“Who is she?”
David grew very still. “Claudia Moran. She was my partner on the force in Virginia. The one I was telling you about.”
Brin’s mouth went dry. “Oh God. I’m sorry. I had no idea your partner was a woman.” She looked at the photograph again and noticed the raw emotion of it. “Were you…involved with her?”
“Yes.” He didn’t even bother to hedge. “We were very much in love once.”
“But this picture…” She turned back to it and saw it with a new appreciation. “You keep this picture up to remind you of her.”
He shook his head, moving between Brin and the photograph. “No. I keep it around to show me that I have a talent for art. To remind me that there are other things in life besides waste and crime and ugliness. I keep it because it stirs something in me and because it’s hard in my line of work to remember that I have an emotion other than disgust.”
Brin swallowed hard. She hadn’t seen this side of David before, and part of her wanted to turn around and run out of the place as fast as she could. But she was frozen to the spot. Only frozen wasn’t the word that was coming to her mind. It was heat. Blazing heat.
“Disgust?” she asked, her voice a mere whisper. “Planning parties?”
David’s eyes shifted suddenly. A smile came to his face, but Brin knew it was forced. And it made her heart pound.
“I simply meant the extravagance of it. Rich people will throw money at a cause, but it has to make them look good. They want their names on plaques acknowledging their supposed generosity. They don’t want to help. They want to be looked upon as benefactors.”
Brin had to swallow again. “Not all of them—us—are like that.”
David’s gaze fell, but it didn’t seem to break the tension. “No, you’re not. That’s not what I meant.” He brought his eyes to catch hers in a relentless hold. She just stared back, unable to even blink. “You’re different, aren’t you? You’re soft around the edges. Caring. You have a passion in your soul, but it seems to be dying.”
He reached up and brushed her cheek with his rough palm, making her shiver. The chill ran down her spine and up again, and her knees went weak. Parts of her she’d thought would never stir again went wild as his hand wound in her hair. Soon his lips were millimeters away from hers.
“Why is that fire dying, Brin? What could put a damper on that passion? And what could fuel it?”
Her eyes closed, but she had no control over her own body anymore. She was completely on autopilot. Baser instincts had taken over, and she was at his mercy now. She’d only felt like this once before in her life. Only Max could make her lose control.
She pulled back. “I’m sorry. I need to use the bathroom.”
Disturging? Funny? Or Both?
You Tell Me...
I say both.
Have a great weekend everyone!