Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Show & Tell: Made For Her by Jessica E Subject

Made For Her
Jessica E Subject
Decadent Publishing

After terrorists murder the love of her life, Colonel Mikayla Jones trains squadron after squadron of the clones he brought to life, to take to the skies. When she discovers a young clone of her husband in her newest class, her world spins out of control. How can she command the look-a-like when she can’t help but yearn for him to fill an ache in her heart?

Dare was created to be the best. As the first Daniel clone to leave Onatria labs, he needs to prove he is more than just a DNA copy. To do that, he must rely on the wife of the man who donated his genes. But when she refuses to train him, Dare faces discharge and returning to the labs. Can he convince Colonel Jones to finish his training and find a way into her bed? Or will long kept secrets unhinge the entire clone project?
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Colonel Jones eyed each one of her new cadets, examining the neatness of their uniforms, while inspecting for signs of stress or over-anxiousness. She’d never seen the telltale muscle twitches or sweats in any previous clones, only in human-borns, but she had to look for them anyway.

The first generation of clones didn’t live long enough to become cadets. Their hearts gave out within a year after incubation. But the scientists at Onatria had plowed on, utilizing more of Daniel’s research, speeding up the aging process with hormones to create the perfect generation she saw before her.

She’d had female clones in previous squadrons, but the government filled the one in front of her with testosterone-driven masculinity. If she’d been younger, she’d have a hard time concentrating. But her days of crushes and fantasies were long over. She was devoted to serving her country and planet, and nothing else.

That didn’t stop her from going out on the town for a stress-relieving fuck from time to time. But these young men in front of her appeared so virile, sure to last longer than any of her previous sexual partners.

No. As junior officers, and more importantly, as clones, they were off limits.
Inspecting them gave her the opportunity to check out more than their fatigues and tics, but if they knew her thoughts, they’d walk all over her. She’d be done.

They were of varying nationalities, builds, and heights, all fit to serve the planet. None of the cadets revealed any indication he would put the lives of others in jeopardy. This will be an easy squadron, every one of them ready to fly in a matter of weeks.

She reached the last cadet and froze. Her stomach clenched. No, they couldn’t have!
She pivoted on her heel and rushed off the tarmac, leaving the squad without an instructor.

Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn't reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Stand By Me

As painful as I expected and yes, I have said for months they needed to burn the Gilbert house to the ground--too much pain and blood in that house. While this is not my full post mortem as I am hitting the road today, I wanted to give you a place to chat about it. So come share your thoughts.

What did you like?
What did you hate?
What did you love?

For me? I liked Matt reaching out to Elena and Caroline's need to plan. I loved that Elena absorbed all of Bonnie's crazy and rejected her premise. She has so many people she misses, but opening the door to every supernatural that has ever died? Talk about releasing the gates of hell on Earth. She was able to let her pain in when she heard Bonnie's nutty idea and as she began to fall apart--Damon told her to shut it off because she needed to be able to block out the pain.

Oh and before I forget...way for Stefan to make it all about him. He didn't want to break through to her because he didn't think he could handle it.

No new episodes till March 14 - Happy Spring Break to us...

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Release Day! Combat Barbie is Here!

HL_Combat barbie_SM

This is the eleventh installment in the Always a Marine anthology. It is also the first in the Women in Uniform series.

Combat Barbie

Always a Marine #11
Women in Uniform #1

The high school beauty queen…

The face of baby food, the darling of surfing commercials, and the exotic stunner who walked away with the Miss California title at eighteen, Mary Phillips has heard “you’re so beautiful” from childhood on. Tired of being her mother’s personal Barbie, she traded in her tiara and a lucrative modeling contract for combat boots and life as a Marine. She's lost good friends and seen more walking wounded than she cares to admit, but this Marine wouldn't trade her assignment for all the Manolo Blahniks in the world. What does it matter she has no one waiting at home?

The class nerd…

Kyle Stewart heard every variation as he went through school: nerd, geek, four-eyes, weirdo—and he rolled with it. He could count on one hand the number of girls who ever deigned to talk to him about something other than tutoring. But as the only self-made millionaire from his graduating class, he has the last laugh.A high school reunion…Despite the invitation, Mary didn't plan to attend the ten-year reunion. The last thing she wanted to hear was—"you could have been so much, what happened?" But running into Kyle at the local coffee shop reminds her that not everyone judges by appearance. Kyle once swore to rub his former tormentors noses in his success, but when the reunion rolls around, he’s reluctant to go. Seeing Mary again encourages him to confront his one lingering regret, and the millionaire dares to reach for happiness.

Can Combat Barbie and her nerd overcome the past to love another day?

Read an excerpt.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem - Down the Rabbit Hole

We've had to say goodbye to so many characters on The Vampire Diaries beginning with Uncle Zach back in first season. No character on the show has been spared grueling loss since the Salvatores returned to Mystic Falls, but the one who lost the most--Elena--has persevered, fighting to hold onto her hope and her utter humanity in the face of such utter cruelty.

Breaking Elena

Since waking up a vampire this season, Elena's faced many challenges--not the least of which was holding onto her humanity and continuing to try and protect her baby brother from all of danger surrounding them. Pawns in a vicious game begun long before they were ever born, but they worked so beautifully together to take down Kol that we were all given a deep sense of hope for a real win for the Gilberts.

Fighting Fate

Klaus helped decipher the map so he could tell Rebekah where to go and warned her there was only one dose of the cure. She took out Stefan and went off on her own. Vaughn dragged Damon to the cave where they encountered Rebekah and he managed to take down the Original and Damon--escaping them both.

Stefan and Elena freed Damon, but Damon told Elena to go--there was only one dose of the cure and while he didn't want her to take it, he wanted her to have what she wanted. It was a damn hard choice for him to make. He sure as hell didn't want to leave her alone, but I don't think he trusted himself to descend into the cave and not order her to stay a vampire.

Interestingly enough, Rebekah recognized his sacrifice for what it was and hopefully so will everyone else.

Tyler Says Goodbye Again

Meanwhile in Mystic Falls, Klaus promises Caroline he'll give Tyler a head start to get away but he still intends to kill him so Caroline bids Tyler goodbye. A part of me feels like that was a great grand show they put on for Klaus and I think Caroline chose to stay because she didn't want Klaus to murder Liz if she fled with Tyler.

Black Magic Bonnie

Using Jeremy's tattoo magic, Bonnie leads Jeremy to Silas, and encounters Grams along the way. Jeremy who can see ghosts pulls Bonnie out of the fugue state and tells her its a trick. They make it to the petrified vampire, but they can't get the cure out of his hands. Vaughn shows up and knifes Bonnie in the back--too bad it didn't kill her because I couldn't get that lucky.

He and Jeremy fight, and Vaughn tries to convince him that they are on the same side. They have to stuff the cure down Silas' throat so they can kill him before he wakes fully. Meannwhile, Elena is attacked in the darkness of the cave.

Katherine's Back

It should surprise no one that Katherine shows up at quite possibly the worst time. She takes out Vaughn, but doesn't kill him and when Jeremy won't cooperate with her, she feeds him to Silas so she can steal the cure. Silas snaps Jeremy's neck after he's fed and flings the body to the ground.

It's a horrifyingly chilling moment on every level--Jeremy's death is a catalyst, severing Elena's final human tie. Despite wearing the Gilbert ring, Jeremy isn't human anymore--he's one of the Five. He won't wake up. In her own way, Katherine may have created her worst enemy. Katherine didn't really become Katherine until Klaus slaughtered her family. She's now done the same to Elena.

Rest in peace in Jeremy Gilbert. You will be missed.

Show & Tell: Frost by Taryn Kincaid

Taryn Kincaid
A 1Night Stand Story
Sleepy Hollow - Book 3


Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing sex. But as Valentine's Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist created the works.

Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art - until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point. He needs sex. Now.

When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine's 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle?


Dagney followed her sister's glance, and her heart flipped like a gymnast unable to mail a vault. Darkness swathed the gallery with the exception of the lights above or below each of the paintings. The large man emerging from the shadows help her rapt. Waves of pure, unadulterated lust smacked her with such force she didn't even see Lily and Campbell leave. The blast of raw desire crumpled her to the floor. Her gaze remained riveted on the tall hunk of ferocious male stalking toward her, radiating undiluted carnality. He set something carefully on the floor and grasped her by the elbows, his touch surprisingly gentle when he lifted her to her feet.

"I'm Maxwell Raines."

Yeah. No kidding. Who else could a guy so hot, so studly, possibly be?

She told herself not to swoon. Ordered herself not to swoon. But, Goddess, that rumbling voice. More potent than a train barreling over the tracks. And he smelled so good. Sexy scents. Reminiscent of tangled satin sheets that had been given a good work-out.

Taryn Kincaid
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Author Liz Borino - Favorite Quotes

Favorite Quotes
My name is Liz Borino, and my greatest passion is that of the written word. I love writing it, sharing it, and reading other peoples’ words. The phrase ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ comes to mind. Without reading and thinking about what those who came before, I believe we would cease to grow as people.  Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes, and explained how they influenced me. I would love to hear some of your favorites.
*    “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships were meant for,” unknown author. Sure, it would be easy to write what I ‘know’ will sell (as much as you can know).  I could do a little bit of market research and write exclusively in the ‘it’ genre, the one where authors are selling a million copies per book. But if that genre doesn’t speak to me, the work would come off formulaic and dry. There’s no joy in playing it safe, nor do I believe there’s success.
*    “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” Michael Jordan. Okay, let’s be honest, writing is scary. Putting my thoughts on paper, living through a set of characters with lives unlike my own. Or scarier still is illustrating my experience on the page, reliving the pain and joy of life. And then the idea of publishing, whew! What if no publisher accepts it? What if you don’t earn any money? What if no readers connect with your baby… I mean, book? What if they do, though? What if your story touches just one life? These are the things I tell myself when my insecurities threaten to get the best of me.
*    “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are,” Max DePree. Editing is a dirty word for many authors. But, so many protest, the first draft is amazing and tells the story exactly how I want to! Why change it? Because no matter how fantastic a first draft is, the true genius can’t be reflected until their darlings are murdered. My own, especially.  
*    “Maybe it’s not my weekend, but it’s gonna be my year,” All Time Low. This is a good quote to remember when writer’s block hits or numbers are down. A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. The important thing when those ‘off’ weekends happen is to keep writing, and take steps (promotion, advertisements, etc.) to make sure the good weekend is turned into a great year.
*     “It’s risky breathing, let alone needing,” Leeann Womack. I, like most authors, write first and foremost to fulfill a need, a burning desire in my heart and soul to get these stories down on paper. To show the world the beauty of possibilities: love, passion, and a life many don’t get the chance to live. Writers need to write to get it out of their souls. We share it with the world because we think the world needs to hear it. At least, that’s why I do.
From the moment Steve Michaels met actor Zack Greene in the men’s room of a press conference, the director knew his snarkiness mixed with angelic features, excited him. What he wasn’t prepared for was the vulnerability underneath the hardened exterior. And he really wasn’t prepared to fall in love.
But they did.

Zack needed some positive press and a second chance after getting out of rehab. He found the director of Ben’s Life, the series he planned to audition for. Steve helped him within a loving structured relationship. 

Follow Zack and Steve as they face the challenges of work, family, injuries, and pasts together as they redefine family.

Warning: Contains spanking, Light BDSM, Dom/sub relationship, and two men who can’t get enough of each other. Vol. 1 includes Casting, Action, Cutaway, and That’s a Wrap. E-book Paperback

Casting: FREE- Steve Michaels had one goal for the evening: drink just enough to get through the press conference in promotion of Ben’s Life, the new television series he’s directing. Plans change for him when the seedy producer of the show zeroes in his seduction efforts on Zack Greene, the bad boy of the moment. Now, Steve has to make sure Zack doesn’t sue.

Instead of finding the hardened bad boy he expected, Steve finds a vulnerable man whom life has beaten down. Can Steve help build him back up with a loving structured relationship? Find out how being cast in right roles enriches their careers and lives. Smashwords

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How I Love Arrow, Let Me Count the Ways

This has been an amazing set of days for me. I have my first knock it out of the park best seller (I can't say thank you to my readers enough), I'm wrapping up projects, starting new ones, and working on a dozen new ideas--and my television shows are back on.  Most of you know that I adore The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon a Time, but I have to tell you that Arrow is must-watch television for me every Wednesday night.

  • Stephen Amell is amazing as Oliver. You can't tell me this man doesn't have some serious PTSD issues.
  • David Ramsey as John Diggle is the perfect temper for Oliver's unflinching, steely resolve (and a sweet nod to the Green Arrow writer)
  • Moira Queen was a character I questioned initially, but I love the layers she brings to it
  • The actions
  • The duel layer storytelling as we see Oliver's origin story in parallel to his life in Starling City
  • The complicated relationship involving Tommy, Laurel, and Ollie
  • Felicity Smoak - a character who has to find out about Ollie if she hasn't already figured it out
  • A series that thrives in the shadows between right and wrong, good and evil
  • John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn--there is so much story there

I could go on and on--but how about you check out this mid-season extended trailer. It sums it all up so much better than I can

Are you watching Arrow?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Show and Tell Tuesday: Discover Turkish Delight with Liz Crowe

Do I have an author for you today!  You may or may not know Liz Crowe. The multi-published author has several books to choose from, but one of my favorite series is her Turkish Delights. Smart, sexy and appealing are just three labels I can think of for these books which are part of the 1Night Stand line from Decadent. Check her out, I bet you'll find something you like here, too!

Meet Liz Crowe

Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.

When she isn’t sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.

Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.

Turkish Delights (Book 1)
The fifteen year age difference between Elle Kensington, expatriate American executive and Emre Demir, son of Istanbul’s most successful businessmen, has not kept them from becoming fast friends as they toured Istanbul together. But the time has come for him to return to the U.S. to finish his master’s degree, and she has just been named CEO of the pharmaceutical company that brought her to Turkey in the first place. Elle adores her adopted country, and is alarmed to find herself falling in love with the young man who’s been her impromptu guide for the last few months.

She knows they can never be. She will return home to California within a month, leaving behind all she loves about the ancient city. In a rare fit of spontaneity, Elle has contracted with Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand dating service, hoping to find a way to forget the dark, handsome young man who has captured her heart. Little does she know what awaits her in the ancient recesses of the Ottoman palace turned luxury hotel under the hands of her one-night stand masseur.

Blue Cruise (Book 2) 

Caleb and Tarkan were an odd couple—men from two different cultures—so in love, they were determined to overcome any obstacles. But fate had different plans for Tarkan. Shattered and unable to function a full two years after tragedy strikes, Caleb faces the hollow shell that is his life.

Adem Broussard is happy enough, as owner and chef of his restaurant on the Turkish southern coast. But a tall, American Adonis he saw once, years ago on a Turkish Blue Cruise haunts his most erotic dreams, and he hopes contracting Madame Eve’s 1NightStand service for an unconventional date will help him forget.

When Caleb caves in to his friend Elle’s insistence that he return to Turkey and exorcise some of the demons that haunt him, he reluctantly climbs on board a private yacht for a special 1Night Stand Blue Cruise. There he comes face to face with the man who remembers him well…and helps him heal.

Tulip Princess (Book 3)

Lale Deniz was always prone to wildness. But when her family is ripped apart at the seams, she becomes more reckless than ever. Desperate to stop her self-destructive slide, her parents step in and send her to America to live with her brother, Emre. Just the chance, she thinks, to escape the tragedy suffusing her Istanbul home.

Andreas Michos, Greek former NFL star, the recently divorced athletic director at UNLV, floats through life seeking fulfillment. He has reason to doubt his own abilities as a natural Dom and has given up finding his perfect mate. Until he agrees to a 1Night Stand.

Set against a backdrop of ancient cultural clashes and Mediterranean family dynamics, Lale and Andreas meet in Las Vegas at the Castillo resort for their date. But it seems Madame Eve and destiny will both fail this time, unless Lale and Andreas are willing to relinquish enough control to discover what happiness can be found inside the soul of the other. Will stubbornness keep them from connecting, or can they let go long enough to heal?

The Diplomat’s Daughter (Prequel to Turkish Delights)

When Vivian Kincaid’s eyes meet those of a hunky local at the Turkish university her father forces her to attend it only takes her a split second to recognize her dear childhood friend. Levent Deniz was the servant boy who taught her to run the streets of Istanbul years before, giving outlet to her wild streak even as a child.

Now face to face once again as adults, the only thing standing between them and happiness is her father. The newly appointed Consul General for the United States has other plans for his only daughter. Ones that do not include a former servant, now successful entrepreneur and businessman. He will do everything in his power to keep them apart.

The Diplomat’s Daughter is set in 1960s Istanbul and tells the story of pre-destiny, passion and the rebellious power of true love.

Flower Passage (Book 4) 
What would you do if the lover, brother, son and friend you thought you’d lost forever was returned to you?

Brutally battered emotionally and physically for the past two years, Tarkan Deniz has escaped his captors. When the Deniz family discovers the shocking truth they rally and do everything in their power to bring him back safely. But all have been affected by the tragedy of his loss, and must come to terms with the new reality, each in their own way.

When Happily Ever After seems like a nightmare…one man can bring healing to all, but will he ever be the same man again?

Flower Passage teaches the lesson that love once lost, can be regained, even if it takes a slightly different form than before.

This fabulous series will be released as a print anthology soon! So keep your eye out!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Into the Wild

You know, it's rare when I don't have a lot to say about an episode--but for the much hyped first step onto the "Lost" island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Our not-so-merry band of volunteer castaways includes Shane, the shady professor, Stefan in the role of Millionaire with Rebekah his faux wife, in the role of Mary Ann--oh yes, hello Elena while Bonnie's burning bright as the Witch Star--that leaves Damon in the role of Captain with Jeremy his erstwhile Gilligan.

Sadly, the stretching metaphor continues to play out on the screen. We got little in the way of plot advancement. We found out that Shane's wife was a powerful witch who died trying to resurrect their son from the dead. He ventured to the Island following some mysterious legend about raising the dead and fell in the hole--nearly bleeding to death.  This is where he had his epiphany and his wife told him all about how they could be reunited. He just had to arrange a few deaths.


Jeremy is attacked by some random islander, who is then slain by a thrown axe---and no one goes to find out who threw the axe?

Damon lets Elena go off with Stefan and Rebekah, alone so he could keep an eye on Shane.  I get that Damon doesn't trust him--but Rebekah and Stefan are hardly that trustworthy. 

Meanwhile, Bonnie casts a spell and follows a trail of FIRE into the woods and no one notices her leaving. 

Damon gets Shane's story out of him and is ready to rip his head off because at the end of the day, Damon doesn't give a damn about Bonnie Bennett (Yay!), sadly Elena intervenes.

In his second out of character moment of the episode, Damon stalks off and leave Elena alone with the professor--who doesn't waste time beating feet to get away.


Oh and did I mention that back at the ranch--I mean Mystic Falls, Tyler enjoys taunting Klaus until Klaus stakes Caroline and drags her into his prison and bites her. He wants Tyler to watch her die, but he can't kill his vampire barbie and eventually gives her his blood.


Sorry, I am just not feeling this episode, by the end of it, we find Jeremy trussed up by some witch who was waiting for Shane. He introduces Bonnie and tells her. Oh and by the way, Jeremy's tattoo isn't a map--it's an actual spell. Cue the ominous music.

Meanwhile, Damon gets into a scuffle in the dark with another hunter and gets taken down because he hesitates to kill the hunter.

Points of Order

For a show that rushes, a lot of what happened in this episode could have been done in fifteen minutes. It didn't advance the plot. Rebekkah hates being a vampire. Damon doesn't want to be human. Elena is torn. Stefan wants the cure for himself. Jeremy wants to free his sister. Bonnie is Shane's bitch. Shane's a kook with a plan who arranged lots of sacrifices and Damon is curious about the third sacrifice which is never answered...

So anything we didn't know here? Nope not much.

Sacrifice Recap

Pastor Young killed himself and eleven members of the Council to see his wife again. But Shane only arranged, he didn't actually kill them.

Klaus offed the twelve hybrids courtesy of Haley and Tyler freeing them from the sire bond.

So that leaves...?

The Originals themselves (Shane was so delighted when he met Kol and Rebekah)
The Five themselves (if the tattoo is an actual spell, that doesn't bode well for Jeremy)


Kol and his entire sire line filled the needed twelve to the nth power of random deaths

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about this, but I think they have written themselves into a corner with two parts of this -- we know Klaus cannot die or they won't have their Original spinoff.  So far, Claire Holt is not signed to the spinoff which means either Rebekah ends up human or dead or both. So no big shockers there and I think that weakens the suspense.

I don't buy the presence of a cure and if they wake up someone more powerful than Klaus when they haven't been able to get rid of Klaus? Yeah, not a good thing.

The bait and switch is coming, I just hope they don't take too long to get there.

In the meanwhile, where is my Elijah? I keep waiting for him to just step out from around a corner, and completely screw Shane's plans--because he's the only one Shane hasn't accounted for.

What did you think?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Release Day! A Marine and a Gentleman is here!

I'm thrilled to announce the release of the latest in my Always a Marine series from Decadent Publishing and the first M/M I've written. The book debuted in the top 100 on Amazon yesterday and blew me away. I am terrifically fond of both Brenden and Liam. I hope you will be, too.

All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Bookstrand


Lieutenant Brenden Fitzpatrick is a dedicated Marine, loyal son, and devoted uncle, but he's lonely. When he went Marine, the rule was don't ask, don't tell. His brothers-in-arms pretty much didn't ask and didn't care. Watching so many friends settle into long-term relationships highlighted the absence of someone to come home to in his life. When his unit encourages him to give the 1Night Stand service a try, he asks for the impossible—a night with the one man he almost gave up the Marines for in the first place. A man he called best friend but let time and distance carry away.

Liam Gardiner grew up on the same Boston block as his best friend, Brenden. Unlike Brenden, Liam always accepted that he was gay—a fact he didn't mind flaunting to all the bullies and naysayers in school. It got his ass kicked more than once, but Brenden always had his back, rescuing him time and time again, until the day Brenden left for the Marines. He missed his buddy—the crush he never confessed, lest it cost him the precious friendship—so when Madame Eve's invitation to meet Brenden arrived, Liam faces uncertainty for the first time.

Life made them best friends, can Madame Eve help them become so much more?


Liam stepped out of the rental car and handed the keys to the valet. The Dallas nightclub was not at all what he’d expected. Heavy wooden doors offered a gothic touch to the façade. A red canopy stretched out to the circular drive, matching carpet that led to the doors. A doorman dressed in a nineteenth century, double-breasted coat, top hat, and tails held out his hand for the card from the mysterious 1Night Stand service.

“I think I’m going to wait out here. It’s a beautiful night.” Sliding the card back into his wallet, he walked along the curb to a quieter spot away from the foot traffic and arrivals—and, unsurprisingly, no departures. It was just after six-thirty in the evening, local time. After renting the car at the airport, he’d bypassed his hotel to come straight to the club. He hadn’t decided whether he planned to stay the night or not, no matter what he agreed to with the 1Night Stand service.

Even the name brought a half-smile to his lips. The woman who sent him the three emails offered an uncanny and accurate assessment of his situation. At the end of the day, the forwarded request from Brenden prompted him to say yes.

Extracting a cigar from a case in his inner pocket, he trimmed the end off of one and lit it. The fragrant tobacco filled the air and calmed his mind. He handled power lunches and dinners every night of the week. As a professional banker, he knew when businessmen tried to bullshit him or when they had a plan.

He knew how to say no.

He always knew when to say yes. Reading people for a living wasn’t pretty work, but it proved lucrative.

Another couple arrived, huddled together and dashing up the steps as if it were cold. The forty-five degree temperature and dead still air were hardly cold to his Boston-forged blood.

Why Dallas? Liam would’ve preferred to meet Brenden at home, at the Tipperary on the Green, to toss back a pint for old times. But no, Brendon invited him to the cow town in the middle of the country where big boots, big steaks, and big boobs seemed to be everywhere.

Big hair, too. He eyed the next couple arriving. It looks like the 80s threw up on her. He puffed the cigar and kept his acerbic opinion quiet, but the distraction helped.

Thirty-two years old and on the ropes over an invitation to drinks. The drinks aren’t the problem. Come meet the guy I’ve lusted after for over half my life and spend the night with him? Yeah, nothing to be nervous about.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Author & Giveaway: Heather Lire

Why I love romance…

Someone recently asked me why I loved the romance genre so much. I honestly didn't have an answer for him other than to tell him because it was what was available at my local library twenty something years ago when I practically lived there.

In fact I can tell you it was Victoria Holt and her dark, gothic romance that started it all for me. After reading all of hers I moved on to Kathleen Woodiwess and from there it was Johanna Lindsey's Brave the Wild Winds, which to a sheltered fourteen year old was quite a shock, and I loved every page.

From the first moment I discovered Happily Ever After and real life heroes (I was never much into fairy tales) I was hooked. There was just something about those flawed heroes and the heroines who not only put up with all their crap but also love them for it.

One of my favorite heroes is the hero in Catherine Hart's Temptation. Grant Gardner has it all, a horse farm in Kentucky that breeds some of the best race horses in the country, a fiancée he desires, and the perfect life. That is until riverboat rat (what he calls her) gambler Amanda shows up claiming she owns half of the horse farm. That she won it of his brother in a card game. The antics of this hero and the things he does to get his horse farm back kept me tuned into the story so much that twenty years after I last read the book it is still with me. Because at the end of it all, he realizes that the horse farm can go to hell, but that Amanda was essential to his happiness.

This is why I read romance. This is why I write romance. I want my readers to know at the end of the day that the heroine is the most essential person in the heroes life. I want my readers to feel that same sense of belonging and importance, to know and understand that regardless of the day to day lives we live, love is the most important thing in our lives.

I know at the end of the day I am the most important/essential person in my husband's life. I trump everyone including his mom.

For Ryan (my hero) his world starts and ends with Morgan (my heroine). From the moment they meet they have an instant connection, however it is only as they spend time with each other that the connection becomes stronger and they begin to build something. When they are separated because of…well I'll just say they are separated….and then reunited years later they discover that connection has only gotten stronger over the years, whether they wanted it to or not. As they work through everything Ryan recognizes Morgan always has been and always will be his essential person…I can share that because this is a romance and we know the hero always gets his girl.

Second Chance at Forever 
Available in Digital Only February 1st 2013

When Morgan Sanderson left her grandparent’s anniversary party, she had no idea how much the previous week would impact her life. Four years later she's living a content life, teaching literature and being the best mom she can be, even if she knows something is missing. That thing being the one person she can’t forgive and yet can’t get over.

The week Ryan Cartwright spent with Morgan was the best week of his life until tragedy struck, one that changed his life completely. Four years later he discovers he’s has three year old twins with Morgan the one woman he’s never been able to forget and let go. Can he forgive her from keeping the knowledge of his son’s from him.

As they uncover the truth behind their separation, they discover the love they've always felt for each other is still there, but can they ever trust each other again.

When Ryan had accepted the invitation for a week of nothing but sailing, drinking and hanging out with friends from college, he'd had no idea he would end up at a house party of a couple who resembled his grandparents and their relationship.
All he'd wanted was to relax and decompress after a very stressful couple of months on the job, not spend his vacation constantly fending off advances from women, and ignoring pointed questions about his job from the men.
When he'd stumbled across the hammock on his first day there, he'd thought it was a godsend and spent a very enjoyable afternoon lazing in it, thinking of nothing.
When he'd gone back the next day he'd discovered sleeping beauty had commandeered it. She'd been lying there, a mountain of pillows surrounding her. The sun shone through the trees, creating a halo effect around the hammock. Her long legs were stretched out. God, he loved long legs on a woman. His blood hummed like it hadn't in a long time.
With her face turned away from him, he'd used all his training to get closer without her noticing him. Then he accidentally stepped on a twig. He'd silently cursed, hoping she'd been so caught up in her book she wouldn't notice. No such luck, as she lifted her head and her gaze swung toward him.
The piercing glare coming from the most gorgeous set of eyes he'd ever seen had rocked him to his core, drawing him in like a moth to a flame.
Ryan shook his head at that thought, like a moth to a flame. If the guys in his squad had heard him say it out loud he would never live it down, and his brother would be giving him shit about it for the rest of his life if he heard him say it.
At the slight rustling of leaves he turned toward the walkway and sucked in his breath. No matter how many times he'd seen her over the last two days, she still managed to steal his breath away. She had the tall lean lines of an athlete, and a face that kept him coming back to it every time he'd seen her.
She wasn't one of those women who had to be done up at all times. She was quite comfortable going about with only a hint of make-up, and with her hair in a ponytail. For a guy raised with three sisters he'd learned at an early age about the importance of hair and makeup, whether he'd wanted to or not.
He'd never been attracted to simple but, as he watched Morgan approach wearing shorts, which showcased her incredibly long legs, a simple tee shirt with a hoodie tied around her waist and athletic shoes, he admitted to himself, on her it was perfect.
He took the picnic basket she carried and extended his arm to her. "What do you have here?"
"I thought a picnic on the beach would be good." She took his arm as they moved to where he'd parked his Jeep.
"Sounds like a plan. How do you feel about driving up the coast and exploring some of the small towns?" Ryan stowed the picnic basket in the back and helped Morgan into the Jeep.
Morgan paused with a surprised look on her face. "That's something I would love to do, but it isn't what I expected you to suggest."
The look on her face was one of pure innocence, belaying the sarcasm in her voice. As she looked at him he couldn't resist and leaned forward, brushing her lips with his. A spark of electricity shot through him, making him want to sink into her and take more. He held himself back, however, instinctively knowing if he did more she would be out of the Jeep and buried back in her books.
He stepped back and looked at her, a bemused look on her face, like she couldn't believe what just happened. Good, he thought to himself. It was only fair if she confused him, he should confuse her in return.

Giveaway: I'm giving away a copy of Second Chance at Forever in either pdf, mobi or nook. Just leave a comment using the Rafflecopter. 
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BioHeather Lire has been telling stories for as long as she has been talking, at least according to her mother. After years spent in academia Heather was encouraged to share the stories she was writing and sending to her sister with the rest of the world.

When she isn't writing - which is never - she can be found attending whatever sport her sons are playing at that time, accompanying her husband on his photo shoots and playing online.

For more information on Heather and what she's currently working on please visit her website www.heatherlire.com

Second Chance at Forever is her debut novel.

Places to Find her around the internet:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kickstarter for A Fistful of Dreams

Good morning, can you believe it's February already? I can't. But here we are in February 2013 and we're powering forward into spring.  Yesterday I finished a 5K graffiti run (I promise I didn't run, I just power walked because running and my knee don't agree) and it was a blast!  I have a lot of projects in the hopper including new releases from Samhain, more Marines and the highly anticipated new installment in the Fevered Hearts series.

Friday, I launched a Kickstarter to help make A Fistful of Dreams a reality.

A Fistful of Dreams is book #4 of the Fevered Hearts series and came in at a whopping 95,000 words.  Stay tuned for excerpts over the next few weeks.

Learn how you can help by checking out the Kickstarter here.

A Fistful of Dreams

Friday, February 1, 2013

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: A View to a Kill & More

Oops, I didn’t do a Post Mortem last week, I knew I did one in my head and I certainly talked about the episode, but with deadlines I just didn’t get it done. So here’s a quick hit list about last week:

Damon summoned Elena to him, but Klaus through a wrench into it by turning an entire town for Jeremy to kill. Unfortunately Kol has other plans—he really doesn’t like the idea of raising Silas.

Point of Order: I knew Kol would compel Damon, but he had to drain the hell out of him to get him to that point and even though he told Damon he wouldn’t remember being compelled—he did. He fought the compulsion and he told Jeremy to get away from him. He held himself back when he did confront him and he let Jeremy shoot him.

Funniest scene ever when Damon wakes up after being shot in the head. He is trying to save Jeremy’s life—even from himself.

Another interesting note, it’s violently important to Jeremy that Damon like him for him and not just for Elena. I think Damon does—but only in the sense that Jeremy is another younger brother for him to look after. Jeremy could have killed Damon and he chose not, too. Those choices weren’t about Elena. So kudos to Jeremy and Damon—they both miss Alaric and while neither can be a replacement for the fallen vampire hunter, they are trying.

In other news, Bonnie is totally Professor Shane’s bitch. I can’t stand Bonnie’s father and Liz is turning into a plot device, Caroline is missing (still), Klaus and Stefan’s mutual whining is tiresome and Rebekah isn’t interesting. Kol reminds me of a younger, more reckless Elijah and I loved Elijah mention.

Oh and the guy biting off his own tongue? Ewww.

And Stefan goes to Rebekah for revenge sex. Too damn funny, because Damon’s revenge sex with her worked with Elena, will Stefan’s? I don’t care.

The episode concludes with Elena coming up with a plan—if Jeremy kills Kol, it frees Damon and completes Jeremy’s map all at once.

A View to a Kill

Hands down, this is my favorite episode of the season—why? Because the episode got so much right from Elena giving Jeremy and Matt hell about not cleaning up to pointing out that they needed to put away the weapons before Jeremy accidentally staked her to Klaus wanting Damon’s advice on how he got Elena to forgive him.

Succinctly put, Damon pointed out that he was bad with a purpose. He wasn’t a reckless douche.

Bingo J

Mommy Issues

Kol goes after Bonnie at the school, but she expresses herself and leaves him crumpled on the ground before getting away. Only, her Daddy takes her cell phone and grounds her and apparently, called Mommy.  Hey look it’s Abby—seriously, I just don’t care about this storyline. I used to like Bonnie, but somewhere along the way between her judgy bits and her inability to see past her own prejudices and now the fact that she’s Shane’s puppet—it’s just not doing it for me.

I did get a giggle out of Jeremy going to stake Abby—vampire hunter boyfriend, vampire mother—not going to work out well for Bonnie. Course she was able to distract him and sent him away. Oh and Elena’s alone with Kol? Oh well, let me deal with my problems because Abby says no more helping Elena Gilbert.

Stefan and Rebekah Dance

Nope. Still not caring. Stefan thinks Elena is nuts to want to kill Kol. As he points out, the lunatics may bicker, but Klaus will flip his lid if they kill his brother.

Umm…Stefan, you’re still alive and you participated in killing Fin and setting up Klaus to kill his hybrids. Not really sure you’re the best to give advice here. You also left unstable boy babysitting your brother. But Stefan’s backbone folds and he agrees to Elena’s plan.

Damon’s in the Dark

Damon was benched for most of the episode, and he didn’t even try to leave—in large part because he doesn’t want to kill Jeremy. He knows he’s compelled and he misses Elena, but better to stay where he is—even if it is in Klaus’ company. Klaus taunted him about not being able to fight the compulsion the way Stefan did.

May I point out that Damon did fight it? And if it had been Elena he’d been compelled to kill we’re talking a whole different ball of wax? Apples and oranges, but I digress.

Wonder Twin Powers Activate

At the core of this episode—the part that had me cheering—was the relationship between Jeremy and Elena. These two siblings haven’t always been on the same side of every issue—he didn’t like her erasing his memories and she hates that he has to be a hunter and he hates that she’s a vampire, but at the end of the day, they are the only family each has left and they are determined to protect each other.

Elena doesn’t want the cure and hasn’t wanted it, but everyone uses her as an excuse. What she wants is for Jeremy to be safe and out of the pawn game with her. They know Kol is coming for them and they plan to have Bonnie hold him while Jeremy kills him or at least daggers him.

When Kol shows up at the house, she sends Jeremy and Matt away with their missions and tells Kol they will invite him in if he lets Jeremy leave. He agrees and Jeremy invites him in before slipping out the back door.

Alone, Kol and Elena talk, make drinks and Kol knows Elena is playing him, but he indulges her. Kol tells her he likes witches and he’s hung out with several over they years, they all tell stories about Silas and why he needs to stay locked up. See, Kol doesn’t want the world to end and he’s determined to make sure it doesn’t.

The Moment of Truth

Jeremy is frustrated—Matt can’t find Rebekah’s dagger and Bonnie is grounded—so he returns home. He finds Elena alone and is relieved, but Kol was just waiting for the hunter to return. He kicks in the door and comes after them—after informing Klaus that they set a trap for him and plan to kill him. He’s going to rip the hunter’s arms off and kill Klaus’ blood bag just for spite and then he’s coming for him.

What ensues next is a fun battle as Elena and Jeremy face off against Kol. They can’t win in a direct confrontation, but they do a lot of damage. When Kol leaves Elena pinned to a wall with a staircase rail through her gut, he drags Jeremy downstairs to cut off his arms.

He promises to heal him with some blood as soon as he’s severed them. Elena pulls herself off the rail and lays into Kol, again. Jeremy gets himself free and hoses Kol down with vervain courtesy of the town water in the taps. Elena pulls out the white oak stake from Kol’s pocket and tosses it to Jeremy.

And bam.

Goodbye Kol.

The Gilberts saved themselves with Elena channeling her inner Damon and yes, it felt very much like a Damon plan—because it worked.

Of course, Klaus is pretty pissed and he comes after them. He declares he never wanted the cure, he wanted to destroy it and planned to kill them all when it was done. But now he’ll just burn the house down.

Klaus in a Box

Bonnie shows up and she tells them to invite him in, once he’s inside, she traps in him a holding spell in the living room (kind of like the one that used to be on the tomb).  She’s bought them a few days. They head to the Salvatores where Jeremy’s skin hurts like hell when all of Kol’s sired line drops dead around the world.

I love that it never slowed Elena down that they might be descended from Kol. They still don’t know. It was never about that. They may assume they are descended from Klaus, but they don’t know

Damon and Elena are reunited and it’s sweet when he tells her he’s sorry he missed the fight—he would have been there if he could have been without killing Jeremy and he’s proud of her. It’s all there in that moment.

Stefan shows up and Damon gets to drop the revenge sex bomb, making sure Elena knows that Stefan’s not as ‘alone’ as he’s pretending. Stefan also didn’t dagger Rebekah.

Time Limit

It’s time to go find the cure, because they only have 4 days with Klaus trapped and Rebekah it seems is on their side (yeah right) – so they’re off to the Island next week. Shades of Lost anyone?

My only quibble—when Klaus raged at Elena for killing Kol, she should have said “Yeah well, now you know how Jenna felt, bitch.”

But that’s just me.

I adored this. The Gilbert siblings saved themselves using everything Damon taught them.

Yoda did good.

What did you think?

P.S. I'm totally waiting for the Dark Willow moment for Bonnie when Elena has to truly face off against her best friend.