Category Archives: Authors
eBook copy of Designs of Desire
- eBook copy of Designs of Desire
- $10 Gift Card to Amazon, ARe, or Rainbow eBooks
- $5 Gift Card to Amazon, ARe, or Rainbow eBooks
- Rafflecopter Link is at the bottom of the post. Good luck!
Designs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
M/M Erotic BDSM/Kink Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 29th 2013
Length: Novel / 200 pages
Add to: Goodreads
Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.
As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.
James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?
667, 668, 669….
A file slapped the desk in front of James, distracting him from his attempt at counting the dots in the ceiling tiles above him.
“I know you’re busy and all,” Brian said, his usual sneer in place. “But do you think you’ll have time to help a new client?” The man just lived to give him a hard time.
James took a deep breath. He desperately hoped his hatred of the man towering over him didn’t show. James Knew open displays of boredom pissed Brian off, but James hadn’t had a prospective or existing client call in two days. He’d finished his purchasing reports, sent the work orders and e-mail. All calls done. What else was he supposed to do?
“Sure, Brian. Let me see what we’ve got, and I’ll head right out,” James replied. He tried to sound upbeat. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his job; he did. But Brian hated him, and he always got the leftovers—usually clients the other designers did not want for one reason or another.
“I’m sure this one’s right up your—” Cough. “—alley,” Brian finished with a snicker.
James never figured out how someone so hateful and narrow-minded as Brian stood working in their field, much less kept his job. In James’s opinion, art, even corporate branding and design, should attract people with a bit more open-mindedness. He had a few ideas on the latter but kept his opinions, and gutter-mind, to himself.
Forcing a smile across his face as he opened the folder in front of him, James called out to Brian’s retreating form, “No worries, boss.”
Brian paused and turned to look over his shoulder and with a nasty smile added, “Oh, and the guy’ll be here in about ten minutes. Don’t screw up.”
Ten minutes? Seriously?
He started to peruse the new client information, pleased that at least the file seemed to be complete—charts, images, budget, etc.—and his phone rang. He answered on the second ring. “Good morning, James Bryant speaking.”
“Ah, Jamie, got the file yet? ’Cuz let me tell you, this one’s something else,” came the disembodied voice of his best friend and co-worker, Chase Manning. “He’s not like most of the scraps Brian-the-dick tosses you.”
“I’m sure I can handle whatever he sends my way. The clients aren’t usually as difficult as Brian and the others make them seem. They just don’t want to deal with high maintenance or quirky. Which, when you consider the job, makes no sense. But—”
“Jamie, dear,” Chase said, cutting him off. “That’s not it at all. This guy’s hot, and I mean H-O-T, hot. He’s waiting for you already and man, I so wish I had your job today,” he practically squealed. “So hurry up and get your sexy ass down here. Now.”
“Shh…. Don’t be so loud. The last thing I need is you to offend a new client. Now, go back to work and let me read over the file, would ya?” He shook his head and clicked off his Bluetooth. James glanced over the information for his new client. Seth Burns? Carl, their senior manager, had been trying to get Mr. Burns of Carrington Enterprises as a client for years. Wonder what he’s looking for and how this project slipped past Brian to me?
Setting it aside, James pulled out his messenger bag and loaded it with the folder. He already had all his staples in there: pens, pencils, a notebook or two, and a couple of sketch pads. He carefully hung it across his neck and shoulder so the bag wouldn’t slip. He preferred his backpack, but his boss frowned on “casual.” James gathered his forearm crutches, the plain black ones he only used for work, and he began the arduous task of getting up before he slipped his arms through the cuffs.
Once satisfied he wasn’t forgetting anything, James slung himself down the hall to the elevator, where he waited. He hated standing there, given Brian’s office faced the hall.
When James reached the main floor, Chase seemed to vibrate as he waited for him. His face reminded James of a child at Disney World instead of the twenty-five-year-old man he actually was.
“Do you want to meet with him down here in one of the conference rooms?” Chase pleaded, batting his eyes for full effect. He knew better than to act like that, but, oh well.
“Relax, Chase,” James said with a smile. Chase, his sometimes assistant and best friend, always worried about James walking too much, but then he never managed to understand the idea of limitations versus inability. James could walk, though he couldn’t walk far or carry much of anything. He simply needed his crutches. Limitations James loathed but had learned to accept.
“I just hate you traipsing up and down the halls. I wish—”
“Don’t,” James snapped harder than he’d meant to. “Sorry. You know I appreciate your concern, but I’m a big boy and can manage fine. Now, go back to your desk and do your job so I can do mine.”
With a huff, Chase flounced back to his desk. “Fine,” he called over his shoulder. “Be that way.”
James ignored him and pushed on, maneuvering himself around to reception to meet his new client.
5 Random Q -n- A’s with James Bryant
Yesterday we cornered Seth over at Tali’s blog, but today we have a little “mini” Q-n-A with James Bryant, one of the MC’s of Designs of Desire, by Tempeste O’Riley. I hope you enjoy getting a peek inside James’s head. Don’t forget to check out the book and giveaway below.
Which living person do you most admire?
Hmm… Depending on the day I’d waffle between answering Chase or Seth. Chase is my bff and one of the strongest men I’ve ever known, though he argues with me when I say things like that to him. Seth is my love, and very powerful in and out of the bedroom, plus he’s infinitely patient and caring.
What do you most value in your friends?
That would be a toss up between loyalty and compassion. I could never be close to anyone that didn’t inherently possess both.
What is your favorite body part?
Oh, hands! Hands show what kind of person a man is. Is he strong, powerful, does he work with his hands or in an office (both are good, depending on he person), and of course… how would they feel?
What is your idea of the perfect evening?
Any evening I get to spend with Seth. I’m torn between staying in, curled up together or going out some place. Both are wonderful, when with Seth, as he makes me feel like the center of his world and heart.
What do you consider your greatest life moment?
My first gallery show is one of the highlights of my life. Though, what happens near the end of that show is my most precious memory now. I am still in awe of both events and the fact they happened together makes that night my greatest singular time in my life.
About the Author:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Looking for a fun, inexpensive way to meet some of your favorite Indie authors?
15 authors, 1 cool place, 1 big party!
Join us for the Southern California multi-author book signing event of the Summer!
Books, Music, Food, and Dancing!
Meet your favorite authors of indie sizzling romance in an atmosphere where it’s fine to get up and
dance to some rocking music anytime.
Friday July 12, 2013 — 6-11 PM
at Pomona Valley Mining Co. (less than an hour away from Disneyland!)
Cost of admission: $10 (includes event ticket, light appetizers, dancing, & swag bag)
Tickets and books can be purchased here on this site. Tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Space is limited.
We strongly encourage you to purchase books in advance to ensure you will have your book to sign at the event. You will be given a swag bag with your advance purchased books the day of the party for your favorite authors to sign. This is to ensure we have more chat time with our amazing readers.
And of course … more party time!
See you in July!
The Summer Lovin’ Indie Author Crew
Day One – REDNECK ROMEO RELEASE PARTY
Lorelei James is celebrating the release of REDNECK ROMEO with a SEVEN day party. SEVEN great giveaways, SEVEN different posts. Stop by all the amazing blogs participating in the party to increase your chances to win!!! Each blog will post a special REDNECK ROMEO post all seven days (no weekend posts)
1) Redneck Romeo charm bracelet
2) Kindle fire
3) Basket of goodies, including a McKay brand fleece blanket and other McKay branded stuff and conference trinkets
4) Full set of signed Rough Riders books
5) 1 of a kind handmade small Western purse
6) Arc of TURN AND BURN
7) $100 gift card to amazon.com
The last McKay standing is knocked to his knees…
Three years ago, Dalton McKay looked across the altar and saw the woman he knew he’d love for the rest of his life…only it wasn’t his bride. That’s when he took the McKays’ love-’em-and-leave-’em reputation to new heights—fleeing the ceremony and Wyoming.
Now a family issue has brought Dalton back to Sundance, giving him a chance to prove to everyone—especially the woman he thought he lost—that he’s a changed man.
Aurora “Rory” Wetzler has fallen for cowboy hottie Dalton’s smooth-talkin’ ways too many times. So he’s determined to convince her he’s playing for keeps this go around? Fine. She’ll call that bluff—she can’t ignore their intense chemistry or resist smokin’ hot sex, but she’s not willing to gamble her heart again.
Dalton has plenty of fences to mend with the McKays, but his biggest fear is that Rory doesn’t believe they have a future. He’ll have to pull out all the stops to show her they belong together for the long haul.
Warning: Contains a sexy cowboy who tames his sassy lady love with his romantic and his kinky side. In explicit detail.
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Hesperia Loves Books
Romantic Book Affairs
Tattooed Book Review
Regina May Ross’s
deal sharing aunt
Heart Breaking Reviews
Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books
Book Bitches Blog
Books Books and More Books
My Fiction Nook
Queen of the Night Reviews
hea’s romances with a little kick
All Romance Reviews
Angie’s Dreamy Reads
The Rambling Readerista
Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads
Book Obsessed Chicks
herding cats & burning soup
What’s On the Bookshelf
Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More
Blackraven’s Erotic Cafe
AJ’s Reading Nook
The Readers Roundtable
Dark Divas Reviews
Scorching Book Reviews
i love lady porn
My Odd Little World
Not Now…Mommy’s Reading
A Little Fiction of Every Flavour
Reading, Eating & Dreaming
My Life Beyond Labels
Harlie Williams, Writer
The Risque Redhead Reads
Musings From An Addicted Reader
Reading Between the Wines
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy Too1
For The Love of Reading
Reality Bites! Let’s Get Lost!!
Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews
Under the Covers
My Secret Romance Book Reviews
A Dream Within A Dream
Redheads Review it Better
My Life with Books and Boys
Tyler Cooper is the town sheriff and, in the past, had been the only person keeping Holiday steady. Though the community is now finding out that it’s town is magical, Tyler has always known it—it’s in his blood. He has always known his fate of becoming a cupid, striking love into the hearts others, but an enemy from his past is set on keeping him from finding his own destiny—and love.
Abigail Clarke is leaving Holiday for good. She has to. After years of trying to fit in and make Tyler notice her, she’s giving up. She’s watched her friends fall in love and it’s heartbreaking. Acknowledging that the one man she’s always loved doesn’t want her, it’s time to move on and find her own future.
Right when the stars align and Tyler opens his eyes, his enemy is back and has his sights on Abigail. Abigail is in danger and Tyler may be the only one to stand up to him and save her.
Warning: Contains one sexy sheriff who turns into cupid, complete with bow and arrow, the sweetest teacher you’ll ever meet who needs to find her bad girl side, and a love of candy hearts that’s sure to bring them together.
Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate – even if it’s just in her books. Happy endings are always near – even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.
Carrie Ann’s Redwood Pack series is an bestselling series that has made the shifter world even more real to her and has allowed the Dante’s Circle and Holiday, Montana series to be born. She’s also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.
Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:
Judas has never been very popular, not in any incarnation that he and Jesus and the others have lived through. But he doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is following the instructions of God as set forth in the script that they follow. And Jesus. For Judas has secretly loved the son of God for over two thousand years.
But now he decides that enough is enough, and he’s tired of watching Jesus die far too early, and for what? This time Judas is determined to see that Jesus lives a long and happy life, no matter what price he has to pay to accomplish it…no matter if he has to make a deal with the devil himself.
Revelations is a story of what could be, told by those who play it out, time after time after time, unbeknownst to the rest of mankind. They’ve come back again, for yet another round. But this time is going to be different.
It’s not always easy to sit on the sidelines and watch what is happening, to resist the urge to intervene in his best interest. My son’s that is. Jesus. But I do so, because I know it’s for his own good. As well as for the good of mankind. I can’t let my concerns as his father override my vested interest in the fate of man. But sometimes that is easier said than done.
This morning I am not alone. Someone else is with me, someone with his own agenda, although we are not as diametrically opposed as some would imagine us to be. Good and evil aren’t the simplistic concepts some would portray them as being—there are more grey areas there than you might think. And rightly so.
He smirks. Too much for my taste, I have to admit, but sometimes he does have his moments, and he too has a part to play in what is happening in the world of men. Someone needs to fill the role of the villain, after all.
The stage is being set for the third act, the scripts have been handed round, and the actors are taking their places. Will this time end any differently than the others? That depends on my son, on Jesus. I’m thinking this will be the time when he’ll make the change.
“He’ll change nothing,” Lucifer interjects, although I’ve asked him nothing, certainly not inquired as to his opinion.
I glance at him. He’s dressed to within an inch of his life, and wears the most ridiculous sunglasses I’ve ever seen. I decide not to comment on his fashion sense. “I think he might, this time. I think he’s ready for change.”
Lucifer snorts. “It’s been two thousand years, and neither one has exactly caught on yet. Why should this time be any different?”
“Care to put your money where your mouth is?”
He eyes me carefully. “I would, but you see you have this whole mystic omnipotent God thing going on. Personally, I don’t care for those odds.”
I arch an eyebrow. “I may be omnipotent, but Jesus does have free will and he does possess the ability to make his own decisions. You think I’d stack the deck in my son’s favor? Just to win a bet with you?”
“Let’s say I’m taking no chances.” He smiles. “Tell you what, though—give me free rein. Let me do what I want, and you not say anything or do anything to interfere with me? As far as they’re concerned, that is.”
I open my mouth to object, he hastily interjects. “No killing, I swear to it.”
That’s better. I still have some measure of control over the serpent.
“So be it.” I agree, turning my attention back to where it had been, to my son. I’m smirking now. Openly.
O ye of little faith, watch and learn.
Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me, Harlie! Well, obviously I’m a writer, have been for over forty years, which puts me on the other side of fifty lol I’ve lived most of my life in the St. Louis area, been married twice, have five kids, but only one still at home. I have two cats. My favorite thing to do is write, but after that I enjoy reading, watching movies, long drives in the country, visiting the Art Museum (St. Louis has a great one!), crocheting, knitting, cross stitch and needlepoint. I visit my kids when I can, and hope to do a lot more traveling in the future.
Is Revelations a single title, or part of a series?
Yes and no lol It isn’t part of a series, but there will be other stories that feature the characters. You might call them companion pieces, but they aren’t exactly sequels, and are still in the writing stage.
What were your inspirations for the story?
One of my biggest inspirations was Weber & Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve listened to it so often I know most of the words and can sing all the parts (not well, mind you, so only in private). After that, I drew on inspiration from other movies I watched and books I read, and I formulated my own ideas and they became Revelations. I think one of the biggest spurs came from listening to someone talking about the Second Coming and what would happen at that time, his vision of a fire and brimstone God that I found to be rather strange, as I began to think to myself, how do you know there hasn’t been a Second Coming already, a non-announced one? Maybe more?
Please share your setting for Revelations. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Revelations has no specific setting, not geographically. It all takes place within a small area, including the jail of a small town, and the site where most of the action takes place, just outside of town. But you can see it as you wish, it’s anywhere you want it to be. The characters are what counts, not the setting.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I was maybe nine or so. Our teacher was reading a book to us about some kids and the adventures they had and I began to imagine my own story and wrote it, a mystery involving an island and dinosaurs and an expensive diamond perfume (long before Elizabeth Taylor ever conceived of White Diamonds lol). Sad to say, no copy of this story exists any more.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
That’s a tough question, because there are so many. William Faulkner, P.G. Wodehouse are two. Charlaine Harris/Sookie Stackhouse, Sherrilyn Kenyon/Dark Hunter, Preston & Child/Pendergast series, Frank Herbert/Dune, Isaac Asimov/Foundation, not to mention great manga/yaoi series: Youka Nita/Embracing Love, Kizuna, Love Mode, Maiden Rose, and much much more. And great new upcoming m/m writers: M.A. Church, Chris T. Kat, Sui Lynn, and others. And let’s not forget graphic novels: Mike Carey/Lucifer, Neil Gaiman/Sandman, Mike Carey/The Unwritten, Joe Hill/Locke & Key
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Oh this would be fabulous! I’ll limit it to live authors, for expediency’s sake. Mike Carey, Joe Hill, M.A. Church, Sui Lynn, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, Christopher Moore.
Better stop there, that’s a full table lol
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
Yes, I love to crochet, knit, cross stitch and needlepoint. I don’t do anything useful, like sew, though. I love jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles, the harder the better. And Sudoku.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
That’s a hard question. I’ve seen a lot of things in my over fifty years. I heard the sound of my first husband being shot to death, although I did not see it. It doesn’t sound anything like in the movies. I’ve heard people talk in tongues, which I found rather strange. It’s hard to separate the strange from the normal sometimes, it all goes into the pool of our experiences.
Thanks for having me, Harlie! And thanks to everyone who stopped by!
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she’d never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, and MuseitUp Publishing, and she has also begun to self-publish at various places on the Internet.
My blog: http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com
My facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527332074
Museit Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_222
When I contacted by Mamie’s publicist at Simon and Schuster, I couldn’t breath. I mean, seriously? I’m a nobody in the reviewing world but some how I was contacted. Simon and Schuster is big. This is Mamie’s debut novel and I’ve already started reading it. Good lord…bring a hose, a toy or two and have your partner on standby. Harlie’s Books will be reviewing it on Monday, January 7th. *wipes brow*
An erotic debut novel featuring a young actress who makes a deal with a hotshot Hollywood producer: in exchange for stardom, she’ll do whatever he tells
her—including fulfilling his darkest desires.
When promising young actress Jessica Barry moves to Hollywood in search of stardom, she gets more than she bargained for. Jacob, a Hollywood producer who knows everyone, assures Jessica that he will help her rise to the top of the business, as long as she does “exactly what he tells her.” She soon discovers this involves following every one of his sexually sadistic rules—including obeying his second in command, Magali, a gorgeous Frenchwoman who toys with Jessica, sexually teasing and tormenting her.
In exchange for stardom, Jessica must seduce Hollywood superstar Thomas Mansell. Using the newfound powers taught to her by Magali, Jessica wins Thomas’s heart. But when Jessica actually falls in love with Thomas, Jacob cruelly reminds her that he owns her—body and mind. Erotic and sensual, this is the side of Hollywood that no one dares to talk about.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
This edition: eBook, 352 pages
Publication date: December 17, 2012
Official Publisher Page:
Mamie Center resides in the Hollywood Hills, just a few blocks from the guest house where she lived when she first moved to the city as a young, wide-eyed starlet. Most of Hollywood Hook is based on the cast of characters whom she met along her adventurous journey in the City of Angels. A committed hedonist, Mamie prescribes to indulgences in all forms, particularly exotic and unusual food, drinks, and her choices in company. When in town, she frequents several L.A. hotspots accompanied by former studio execs and producers, most of whom she has known intimately. She travels extensively while maintaining apartments in Rio and Madrid where she freelances as a travel writer and enjoys the company of the locals, especially the women in Brazil and the men in Spain. She speaks Spanish and French fluently and her hobbies include salsa dancing and playing the guitar. She is a connoisseur of all arts, aesthetic and intimate.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Mis sMCenter
After aliens invade and conquer Earth, Eva is transported to a distant slave trading planet. Escape and freedom are her only priority, but none of her martial arts training prepared her for what she faces. She finds herself enslaved to the warrior King Taio. Eva’s drawn to this sexy alien male who ignites her heart and body.
Taio is disgusted with the idea of owning a slave—until now. From the moment he sees her, he knows Eva is his for the taking. Torn between lust and duty, Taio knows nothing will stop him from protecting his little warrior.
Reader Advisory: Eva’s sexual awakening includes brief
Our Cover Price: $5.95
Eva pressed her face against the rectangular window in the training room, watching the lights of unknown origin whiz by. She stood in one of the training rooms Ship had sequestered for her. After lunch, she felt more than a little stir-crazy. She needed to work off some of the tension that coiled around her muscles. It took all her strength not to get up and leave the dining hall while Taio’s gaze bored through her back. Did he really have to keep sending those smoldering looks her way?
His lavender eyes locked on her whenever she entered a room. The intensity of his gaze made her body respond in a way that she didn’t want it to. No one would ever consider her to be a coward. But there was something about the way he looked at her that had her frightened.
And that tattoo on his face. Sometimes it intrigued her and other times it made her scared. Who would allow such an intricate drawing to be completed? The pain alone would have been enough to deter any sane person from getting it, alien or not.
His body was a whole different story. It was downright criminal to have a body like his. The man had a body that would make a nun want to sin. He was tall, unbelievably so, but he was all rippling muscle.
This vessel was full of men and the only one who would give her a second glance was Taio. The thought should have given her some type of comfort. Instead of beating off twenty men, there was only one she would have to worry about. There was no mistaking his intentions. Every time he looked her way, it was as if he were willing her clothes to fall from her body. Her only counterattack so far was to stay away from him.
But she did have to agree with Ship, being under the care of Taio was for the best right now. She was fed, the dining hall was open around the clock, which was a plus. Oftentimes she found herself standing in front of the computer, requesting the buro flank with nitlick soup after everyone else was fast asleep. These were the closest thing to Earth food she could find. They had the same taste as chicken and tomato soup.
She was finally clean. Although she would have loved to feel the caress of running water on her skin again, the ionized shower hit the spot. She had clothes, which, although they were tight, were at least clean. And most of all, she didn’t feel her safety was in any type of jeopardy, not at the moment.
She wanted to find Ally, but she had to face the hard facts.
She was far away from home.
In an alien world.
No money whatsoever.
Nowhere to go.
Finally, pulling herself away from the window, she pulled a training bag from the corner to start her workout. Hand-to-hand combat always made her feel primal, the main reason she loved it so much.
Within minutes, her training suit clung to her body, the lightweight material not constricting her movements at all. Perspiration covered her from head to toe, her once tied-back hair hanging wet and loose around her. Her muscles thrived under the workout, coming alive once again.
Heavy breathing behind her caught her off guard. She flipped away, landing in a fighting stance facing the intruder.
Taio stood in the doorway, watching. He gave a curt nod her way, the acknowledgement doing nothing to make her feel relaxed.
“You have good skills, Eva.” He hooked his thumbs in the waist of his pants and leaned on the doorway.
Her name never sounded better.
“Thank you.” She relaxed and straightened, her eyes still watching him. This was his first time speaking to her since their ill-fated first encounter.
She didn’t dare move closer, especially since she still didn’t know his intentions. She didn’t move away either, fearing he would view that as a sign of weakness. So she stood her ground, her body betraying her in the worst way. Her heart sped up a little and her breathing became more labored. Now she found her nipples hardening as her name rolled off his tongue.
I know trouble when I see it.
Eva willed her body to fight against whatever “mojo” he was throwing at her.
Taio walked into the room and took a sword off a rack on the wall. He began flexing it, testing its weight. The gesture caused his arm and chest muscles to ripple with each movement.
“Who taught you fighting moves?” he asked.
“My sensei, he lived back home.”
“Earth,” he said as a statement, rather than a question.
“Yes, Earth. Ann Arbor, Michigan, more specifically.”
She eyed the weapons on the wall. She was trained to use various fighting weapons—sais, kamas, knives, nunchakus, bo staffs and swords. She could show him a thing a two.
She walked over to the rack and took another sword off the wall.
It weighed a ton! No wonder he smirked when she picked it up. Even though she strained to hold it in both hands, she made sure not to let him know. She would give anything to smack that look right off his face. Instead, she concentrated hard on not dropping the sword. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. She dared not try to maneuver it as he had.
“A male taught you?” He sounded surprised.
“Yes. Thirteen Earth years of training.” Taio laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s not unusual on my planet,” she said. “A male can teach a female how to fight or even a female can teach a male.”
He laughed harder and shook his head. “There could never be such a thing on my world.”
She turned away. “I earned a black belt, first Dan in Kyokushin Karate. On Earth I’m considered to be a great fighter.”
“Your people did not fare well in the war against the Loconuist. The fighting techniques of your species mean nothing to me.”
If the sword in her hands wasn’t so heavy, she would have swung it at him.
“We didn’t know how to fight them. We’d never encountered aliens before.”
“Then it is good that I will take care of you from now on.”
Her head snapped around. “I don’t need you to take care of me.”
“You were captured by the Loconuist and the Tresdonians almost killed you.”
She shrugged. “But they didn’t.”
He smirked. “Because I saved you.”
“Thanks, but I can take care of myself.”
“It doesn’t matter. You are my responsibility now. You are my slave.”
Her eyes, squinting and cold, fixed on his. “Ship told me those assholes on that planet gave me to you. I think you got cheated. I’m not a slave. Not yours or anyone else’s.”
“If this arrangement does not suit you, I could turn the vessel around and give you back to the Tresdonians.” He turned from her and put the heavy sword back on the wall rack.
Her heart began pounding in her chest. He wouldn’t… “No. I’m not going back there.” She held her sword tightly in her grasp.
“Then you are my slave.” He stalked slowly toward her. His eyes locked on hers.
“No.” She backed away from him.
This cannot happen.
“You are mine.” He took another step toward her. “You will need to get used to the idea.”
He stopped his advancement. They stood facing each other. Her breathing came out in deep and heavy breaths. Her heart thumped in her chest.
Abruptly, he turned and walked from the room. She blinked at the empty doorway. The cold surface of the wall was against her back. She held the sword close to her chest, shielding her body. She stayed there until her arms shook from the sword’s weight.
She was no one’s slave.
Now available from Elora’s Cave – http://www.ellorascave.com/dangerously-mine.html
You can find out what else I’m working on by visiting: http://www.amgriffinbooks.com
Like my FaceBook page! http://www.facebook.com/amgriffinbooks
Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/AMGriffinbooks
The Secret Santa Wishing Well
Nikki Lynn Barrett
Published by: Nikki Lynn Barrett
Contemporary holiday romance
about 55,000 words
184 print pages.
Blurb: The magic of Christmas has been lost to Jacob Winston. At the suggestion of his ill sister, Jacob takes a job as a Secret Santa at the mall, hoping to restore his Christmas spirit. Even that doesn’t seem to work, until a special little boy ambles up to make a very special wish…
Cheyenne Jensen is struggling to raise her two kids without the help of her ex-husband who refuses to acknowledge his daughter’s existence and doesn’t provide for the son he does. This Christmas is shaping up to be as heartbreaking as the last, until her son Ben’s kind actions lead a stranger to them.
Ah, but it’s Christmas time and the magic has begun.
When Jacob and Cheyenne meet, neither can deny their immediate attraction to one another. As situations arise that require they spend more time together, their feelings grow stronger and stronger.
With Christmas fast approaching, the pair learn what matters most in life. Now, if only they could ditch the ghost of Christmases past.
Maybe this holiday will bring some wishes come true- for everyone after all.
It didn’t take long for her to come back. Jacob moved to the living room, standing and waiting. When he saw her coming, he closed the gap between them. Before he could could think twice, he touched her shoulder gently, wanting to thank her for the evening.
But instead of talking, he leaned in and kissed her. Just a light kiss. Gentle. Friendly.
Until she responded. She had her arms around him, pulling him for another kiss. Deeper. Sweeter. She tasted so sweet. Her need made him swell. He could do this all night. Jacob pressed her against the wall, their kisses deepening with urgency. He ran his fingers through her fine hair. Hers wrapped around. his neck, rubbing lightly.
Jacob pulled back abruptly. “Cheyenne,” he ground out. “We have to stop.” Before I lose it. He didn’t want to stop. He never expected her to reciprocate like this. Wow. Maybe it wasn’t one sided after all. Jacob sighed.
That halted everything. She pulled away, looking at him with wide, beautiful eyes. “I’m sorry. I pushed. You must think I’m a fool. I thought, when you kissed me…” Cheyenne attempted to move out of Jacob’s embrace. Oh, damn. She thought he didn’t want her. He did, oh, how he did.
“No, no. Honey, that’s not it at all. Kissing you was magical. Amazing. But we just met. I don’t want to take things too far. But I would love to see you again.” He pushed back loose strands of her hair that hung over her face when she’d moved. She looked so vulnerable. Was she going to cry? Oh hell, he wouldn’t be able to handle it if she did. The last thing he wanted was for her to be upset with him.
“I’d like that, too. It was a wonderful, amazing day, and I have you to thank for it.” She nearly whispered the words, choking up on the last part. “God, I’m a mess. I’m sorry. There’s been so much going on, and my signals are going crazy at the moment.”
Yours aren’t the only one, Jacob thought. He pulled his cell phone from his pocket, typing in her name in the contacts and handing it to her. “Can I have your number?”
She laughed. “Of course.” Her fingers brushed his as she took the phone from him, tapping in her number. She handed it back to him. Electric shocks of awareness zipped through him. His gaze lingered on her, knowing he needed to get the hell out of here before he lost it completely.
Welcome Nikki Lynn Barrett!
Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
I live in Arizona with my husband and young son. I long for cold and stormy days, but we don’t get many of those here…lol. I love all things creative! I have an addiction to Words With Friends and raspberry tea. I hate getting up in front of a crowd for a speech, but put a microphone in my hand and music in the background, and I can sing in front of any crowd. I often tell people that characters fight for my attention worse than siblings fighting for their parents’ attention.
Is The Secret Santa Wishing Well a single title, or part of a series? It’s a single title! Now, I have had one person ask for a secondary character’s story, but if I wrote it, The Secret Santa Wishing Well would still suit fine as a stand alone.
What were your inspirations for the story? I had an idea for awhile about a man being some kind of Secret Santa, meeting a child, and connecting to the mother that way. The first week in August when my son started preschool, I toyed with a few writing projects. Then all of a sudden, the complete idea for The Secret Santa Wishing Well hit me. I only wrote three days a week, as my son only goes to school for four of them, and one mid week day is dedicated to jewelry making with my mom. I wrote 38,000 in six weeks. After not being able to write and finish a project for years, this was astonishing for me! After rewrites, it turned into an almost 55k book! Anyway, I’m kind of straying, aren’t I? But that was the gist of it. Had an idea, rolled with it, and boom! There is the birth of The Secret Santa Wishing Well
Please share your setting for The Secret Santa Wishing Well. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? I set it in Prescott, Arizona. I love that city. It’s up in the high country, I love the cool mountain air, and it’s a nice escape from the Phoenix heat. I’ve been there many times since my first time in 2003. I’ve always said if I ever made it rich I was getting me a summer home in Prescott. Better storms up there in monsoon season, too. LOL
When did the writing bug first bite? You know….it always has been with me. I loved reading and writing from early on. By the time I was in fifth grade, I completed a book- well, an 80 kids book, lol. I used to write in those one subject spiral notebooks. I was happy if my parents bought me a ton of them and a package of pens. Stories turned into writing poetry for awhile, then song lyrics, and while I still wrote books, they weren’t the focus of my attention for awhile until I hit college and wanted to write them again. I finished my first adult romantic suspense in 2003, and unless it goes through MAJOR rewrites, it won’t ever see the light of day, although to this day, my dad swears he loves that book…..
Who are you favorite authors, book/series? I’m fairly eclectic. I grew up reading thrillers and horror. I will always love R. L. Stine. I’m stoked that he released Red Rain this year! I’m also a fan of Luanne Rice. Her stories are so emotional and always take me on a journey through characters that have suffered a loss, but always find a way to make it through. I love Wendy Corsi Staub. Excellent suspense. Same with Erica Spindler’s books. Diane Chamberlain, another women’s fiction author that always leaves me with a smile. Stephanie Bond. I fell in love with OUR HUSBAND, and crave more of her books! You can’t go wrong with JoAnn Ross, or Susan Mallery. And recently I’ve been reading erotic romances and fell in love- Maya Banks was my first, and now I can’t get enough of her stories! Same with Jaci Burton. But while I have a favorite group of writers, I always love to find new ones. I’m open to anything that looks good.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Ooooh. Nora Roberts. Luanne Rice. R.L. Stine, Wendy Corsi Staub,….kind of toss a variety in there. LOL
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time? Spare…time? Huh, what? LOL. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m blogging, spending time with my husband and son. Okay…I do have a little spare time. My latest venture is jewelry making. My mom and someone else were going to go into business with it, but the other person kind of flaked out. I was taking pictures of the jewelry for them, and I wanted to do it too. Now, I can’t stop! It’s fun, addicting and soothing. So now my mom and I are partnering up. I love photography, mostly weather, but I’ve branched out. Often times I’m at a nearby pedestrian bridge and sunset with the camera and tripod, or when a storm is near. I love long walks, and swimming. I love singing. I need to get back in my lyric writing and learn more guitar. I love long car rides with music blaring. Oh, and I love sleep…except, I rarely get enough of it! haha
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen? I swear this street I lived on when I was a child was haunted or something. We were always seeing and hearing weird stuff. I know we were kids, but I still remember a lot of it. I don’t know now how true it was, but I thought the house we lived in someone was murdered in. I wonder now if I could look that up and figure it out, but I don’t remember the address. Still, there were some weird happenings on that block….
Thank you for having me here today! I’m so excited to be here.
I have edits!!!! And a release date of December 28, 2012. Woo Hoo!!!!
Here is the official back cover blurb:
A woman has one thing on her mind tonight…sex. Dirty, sweaty, kinky sex with a cowboy. With her man gone more than he is at home, she needs the release.
After being away for two weeks, a cowboy goes looking for someone to play with for the night. Being away is part of the job but not having someone to come home to is hurting his soul. Feeling disconnected in his love life, the red head will be perfect.
Once they meet, can one night of pure passion led to more than just a one night stand for either of them? Communication is the key to every relationship. Can these two find a way to connect emotionally or are they destined for heartache.
What do you think?