Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a Great New Year!

Here's to a terrific 2013.  Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Last Day to Get TIP OF THE SPEAR Free!

I know, I know. I've been yapping about this free book. But today is the last day to get Tip of the Spear for free from Amazon. Note: in another two weeks, the book will be also available in other formats at B&N and All Romance Ebooks. 

Year 1156 NB, the New Beginning. Welcome to the New West, where the Nature Laws dictate who lives and dies by the way they treat the land, carnivorous horses and blood trees are accepted mutations courtesy of the sky rocks, and the Impact Zone separates the earth-friendly territories of the West from a more sophisticated, steam-powered East. Women are rare commodities, living in extended families with more than one husband, and children are a necessity in a world where sterility is often the norm. Life is full of challenge, romance and adventure. Something one courageous, wounded Amazon will find out firsthand.
Thais (Tay-iss) lost her mother, her queen, and most of her tribe at the hands of brutal foreigners, all while she enjoyed a respite from duty. But the young Amazon with vengeance in her heart refuses to lose anything else. She’ll bring back the queen’s stolen crown or die trying. Life in the Territories has its perils: the Nature Laws, carnivorous beasts, and treacherous men who survived the Time of Dying. One man in particular, a warrior in his own right, has an odd effect on her senses. She comes to desire him, to trust him, and she doesn’t like it. Men are good for war and breeding, neither of which Thais has time for, not when she’s so close to finding those responsible for the crown’s theft. In the course of her quest, Thais finds much more than atonement for her troubled past, but a pure and lasting love, if only she has the courage to accept it.
Available at Amazon

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tip of the Spear FREE!!!

Free today through the 29th at Amazon. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

One More Day until...

Christmas. And to celebrate, Tip of the Spear, with its new cover, will be FREE from Amazon 12/25-12/29. So if you know anyone receiving a new Kindle, phone or tablet for Christmas, tell them to head to Amazon for a free download. And make sure to head there yourself!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Cover: Tip of the Spear

Had to share! I've been working with the talented P and N Graphics to design a new cover for Tip of the Spear. I liked the old one, but it didn't convey that little-bit-different/sexy/earthy quality I was hoping for. It was nice for a Western, but the story is a little spicier than nice. So, with the help of the very patient Scott Carpenter, I now have the first of four covers for my Amazon Western series. Here's book one: Tip of the Spear.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Entranced at B&N!

Finally! Entranced is now available at Barnes & Noble 
as well as Amazon, Loose Id, and ARe

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's the Little Things...

Happy Monday. It's been snowing here, and school is delayed by 2 hours for the kids, so I'm already experiencing bliss before coffee--note, sarcasm. I've also talked to a friend about a critique I recently gave her. And it brought me to an interesting conclusion.

It's all in the details.

My friend wrote a young adult book about an angry teenager dealing with some major drama--the death of her family. There are paranormal elements to the book, and the whole concept is terrific. EXCEPT there were points of confusion for me in several places. What's funny is that we talked, and she had answers for everything. Not in a defensive, that's-why-I-did-that way, but because she really did have viable explanations for everything. Problem is, she didn't put them in the book.

And that's a problem many authors face. Have you ever read a book where you just don't understand why characters do certain things? I have. Heck, I've written drafts like that. Sometimes it takes another person, someone removed from the story and the backstory in the author's head, to see the issues. This isn't to pat myself on the back for doing a critique, but to point out how easy it is for an author to know what she or he means to say, but not put it in the story because the author understands and doesn't realize she/he hasn't shared that factoid with the audience. 

Once I spoke about these items with my friend, she realized she needed to put small bits in. Fortunately, the story is solid. It just needs some tightening. But that tightening makes all the difference. What a cool concept. And as I think that, the sun is coming out and the snow starting to lighten up a bit.

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last Day for FREE!!

Today's the last day to get Working Out for free at All Romance Ebooks. So hop on over and check it out!

A woman with a history of picking Mr. Wrong.

A man with a powerful kink for control.

When lust turns to love, who's really on top?

Maggie Doran is off men, having gone through a string of poor relationships. Then like clockwork, her libido fires up over her new boss--the epitome of bad choices. The man is built like a Greek god, sexy, and has a harem of eager gym groupies willing to give him anything he wants at the drop of a hat. Yet one more Mr. Wrong to add to her list.

Mac Jameson fell in lust with his newest employee the moment he laid eyes on her. Four months later he's still in no-man's land. Maggie ignores him when she's not glaring holes through him. The woman doesn't seem to realize he's in charge. Unfortunately, no other woman will do, but he's afraid if he does get Maggie in his clutches, she'll bolt when she understands he's got a powerful kink for control.

Except she doesn't bolt. She wants more. But just as Mac realizes Maggie is the woman he wants forever, she gets a shot at fulfilling a lifelong dream that might take her far away. Will she leave him when he's just found her? And did he really think she could love a guy like him? When push comes to shove, Mac only knows he's not giving up without a fight. He'll command and conquer her body, heart and soul. Because losing her isn't an option.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Working Out--FREE Today and Tomorrow

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to everyone. To celebrate my readers and say thanks, I'm offering Working Out for free through All Romance Ebooks (ARe), who graciously chose the book as part of their 12 days of Christmas promotion.  So December 15 and 16, you can download Working Out from ARe in whatever format you need. Here's the link. Spread the word, and enjoy!!

Free Friday

Make sure not to miss your chance to download not one, but two books for free from All Romance Ebooks.

Here's the link. Just click on the free link banner at the top, sign in, and download in whatever format you need. Note, my book will be available tomorrow! Which one, you ask? Stop by ARe and see. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Star Trek Trailer--Pass It On!

Friend of mine just showed me this, so I had to share. The new Star Trek trailer looks AWESOME.

Just One More Day...

One more day until All Romance Ebooks has their 12 Days of Christmas giveaway! For 12 days, ARe will offer free books. And here's a of mine is in there too! It's a great way to get introduced to authors and to read a great variety of romance--for free! I can't wait! Make sure to subscribe to their newsletter for updates.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Review: Tip of the Spear

Score: 4.50 / 5 - Reviewer Top Pick
It can’t get much worse than raining rocks from the sky, can it?  But wait, yes it can!  With the sky rocks came major changes to the planet and the creatures that inhabit it.  And so a new civilization was born, divided by the Impact Zone; old west on the left without any technology and snooty east on the right with technology.  You are stuck where you were when the rocks began to fall, since crossing the Zone is near impossible.  Enter our hero who has the ability to sense those around him.  He’s assigned to assist Thais in her mission to get information she needs to catch the man who killed her tribe.  What she doesn’t count on is falling for him.  And Hinto is shocked to find he feels the same.  As they tap-dance around one another trust is born, and from that love.  Two loners by definition and actions, Thais and Hinto form an unbreakable bond as they seek vengeance and justice.  

This was an awesome walk on the wild side.  A surplus of thought and imagination went into crafting this unique world and the romance that goes with it.  While I thoroughly got into Hinto and Thais, I’ve got to admit Hinto’s carnivorous steed Beast stole the show for me a time or two.  While over half the book is foreplay, watch out when Hinto and Thais finally consummate their feelings and cement their relationship.  I can’t wait to read Thais’ sister’s stories.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Questionable Content

For those of you not familiar with my earlier plight, Amazon refused to distribute my most recent work, Entranced, because my publisher had labeled the story with a rape warning. I feel the warning was overkill on top of the violence issue. In a book 57000 words in length, the questionable scene was a paragraph long (two technically in the overall scene) and occurred between the villain and a minor character. The scene was meant to show how bad the villain truly is, not to be titillating or to overtake the story, which is a psychic romance/romantic thriller. 

Not wanting this one small scene to overshadow the story, I changed it in five minutes. (Honestly, had the scene been of critical importance, I would not have changed it. But I felt the notion of its offense just bothersome. Fixing it was annoying but didn't insult my artistic integrity, if that makes sense.) So now anyone purchasing the book gets the "revised" story.

I promised to show what had changed, so here it is. Please be warned, this is not a nice scene. A woman is violated, but in context of the story, I thought it rang true. Here's the old scene from Entranced:

“I thought I told you to talk.” He took himself out, letting his brother get a good look at what he intended. He pulled Nera’s ass cheeks wider, demanding entry into the place she’d begged him never to go again. “I can’t hear you, dearest.” He moved closer, loving this power, the rush of satisfaction growing stronger.

She sobbed and talked while he rutted without mercy, telling him everything and anything while Klaus watched with wide eyes. When Ernst finished, he cleaned himself up and left her sobbing in a huge, bloody mess. In a much better mood now that he had information, he nodded to his brother.
 Now, the new scene:
“I thought I told you to talk.” He took her hand from his crotch and bent it nearly backward. She cried out, but he wanted to make his point clear. He snapped her wrist and twisted so the bone broke the skin. Blood trickled from the wound, and she shrieked as she went to her knees. “I can’t hear you, dearest.” He moved closer, loving this power, the rush of satisfaction growing stronger.
She sobbed and cradled her hand, telling him everything and anything while Klaus watched with wide eyes. 

When she finished, he yanked her head back by the hair.“Next time you answer as you’re told. No question.” 

“Yes, Ernst. Yes,” she panted, looking faint. 

In a much better mood now that he had information, he nodded to his brother.
So now you know what caused the ruckus. And yes, in the entire story, this one small section was apparently enough to make the book objectionable. Again, I DO NOT condone rape, but bad people do bad things. And overall, though brutal, I didn't think the scene was too over the top. But now it's changed, and I really don't think the change hurt or helped the story in any way. 

And that's as much drama as I can stand on a Monday morning without caffeine.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Entranced: Now Available at Amazon

Now available at Amazon, Loose Id, and All Romance eBooks

An Update on Entranced

An update on Entranced. Apparently, there has been a problem with the "rape" warning on the book. (This warning was set by the publisher--not me.) The act in question was one paragraph long and something the villain did to a minor character. The wording of the warning made it sound as if the entire book was about rape, at least the way I read it, and Amazon refused to distribute the book.

has been very frustrating as I've had my villains do dastardly things in the past but never had a weird warning or had the book not carried because of it.

However, the incident was so minor and the villain has done so many other bad things I had no problem amending said paragraph so there's no longer any hint of rape. *shaking head* Had this been an integral scene in the book, I wouldn't have touched it. But it really was so minor in contrast to the rest of the book that changing it took five minutes on my part. Thus I'm still bemused that that tiny scene caused such an issue.


I've never been a proponent of violence against women, in any form. However, when a bad guy does bad and gets his just desserts, I'm pleased to see justice done.

Despite the weird warning on my book, that Amazon is deciding what to publish and not publish is a bit scary. I read a wonderful Stephen King book where one of his novellas is about a woman being raped, and the actual scene, her terror and the resultant emotional fallout, is described in detail. The book remains at Amazon, and justly so. And man, the story is awesome.

Okay, I rambled. Point is, Entranced has been revised, has a new ISBN, a new warning (deemed by the publisher) and has been redistributed everywhere. So I'm hoping it will soon be available at Amazon.
What a nightmare.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Entranced--Jack's Journey


Every great romance has exceptional characters. I've been in love with Jack Keiser since he first started working for Mrs. Sharpe in the Dawn Endeavor books. Back then, he was an ex-CIA type with a wife, working as a handyman for a bunch of shapeshifting ex-SEALs.

Except his wife wasn't exactly his wife, and there was a lot more going on with Jack than even I knew. 

At first, Jack was support. A handyman and added security for the people he worked for. He could handle a gun, knew hand-to-hand tactics, and had gotten in and out of dangerous situations more times than he liked to think about.

I had no idea that he was psychic.

He'd been working for the Psychic Warfare Program (PWP) for the government while on loan to the Dawn Endeavor group. At the time, the PWP had helped him hone his psychic skills, even enhanced them, but then the project went bust. After the fallout of being double-crossed and manipulated, Jack decided to make his own way in the world.

Jack set up shop in Central Oregon and created the a new home and business with the help of a silent partner. A natural leader, he took a handful of psychics from the defunct PWP with him and started the PowerUp! Gym. While his team work as genuine personal trainers, they also have side jobs as psychic investigators. And their number one client is Jack's silent partner, a man with his own secrets to hide. 

Jack knows about secrets. The team thinks he's a natural leader, an enhanced alpha type that commands by sheer force of will. But Jack's other talent makes him an oddity among oddities. After touching a person just once, he can assume his or her shape at will.

He was born aggressive, and he's also a powerhouse when it comes to protecting what's his. And ever since taking on the mission to find his silent partner's missing sister, he's become increasingly drawn to her picture. And when he meets her face to face, he falls in love.

Impossible, since Jack doesn't trust women, not after what his so-called wife did to him years ago. He's strong, prickly, violent when he needs to be, and dominating as hell. Until he meets Heather and is overcome by the need to not only possess, but protect. It's a hell of a thing for a man who vowed never to trust another enough to love.  But we're talking about Jack here, and he's nothing if not adaptable.

And speaking of Entranced, don't miss the blog contest Carrie Ann Ryan and I are doing. You've got a few more days to get in on the fun. Click on the picture below for the link.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2 Authors, 2 New Releases: GIVEAWAY!

The incredible Carrie Ann Ryan is releasing a new book, and so am I! We love writing and reading, and let's face it, Carrie Ann is the queen of swag! *grin* Carrie Ann writes heroes you can sink your teeth into and heroines you can connect with. A two for go with our 2 releases!

ONE winner from either of our blogs will be chosen to win some prizes
1) Amazon Gift Cards
2) Print copy of the Dawn Endeavor series.
3) Print Copy of Charmed Spirits, Holiday Montana Book 1
4) Some swag!

Comment on both of our blogs to enter.  On my blog, you must answer this question:
If you could have one psychic power, what would it be and why?
You can find Carrie Ann's question here.

ENTRANCED ~ A PowerUp! story
Jack Keiser hasn't had an easy time of it. After a disastrous mission for the government years ago, he's been wary of trusting his fellow agents. Or ex-agents, since they no longer work for the government but for him. Keeping the psychics in line is a full time job, made harder by his own strangely developing talent. Jack has the ability to change his shape. He's a chameleon who can assum the appearance of anyone he's ever touched. Even among psychics he's an oddball.

Now Jack's in a bind. Heather Stallbridge, sister to his silent partner in the gym, has gone missing, and it's up to Jack to find her. His journey leads him into the German Alps and to a strange village with even stranger people. To top off an already bad situation, the moment Jack sees Heather, he experiences what feels like love at first sight. Their connection is irrefutable, but he can't trust that it's real. And that doubt is a problem, because without working together, they'll never find a way to escape the killers in the mountains, or to discover the unexplainable love growing between them.
Find it on:

Justin Cooper wasn't always the straight-laced Holiday Elementary School principal. In his youth he broke all the rules and enjoyed being the bad Cooper brother. One Christmas Eve night he got a little too rowdy and things changed forever. Now the consequences of that fateful night have come back in full force, and the myths of Christmas might be more real than he thought.

Rina Brewer is one of Santa's elves. Not the tiny cute little toy maker, but the sexy, petite, energy filled bombshell kind.  She's come to Holiday to aid Justin in his new role as Santa's executive, but as soon as she sees the sexy ex-bad boy, she realized the job may be more than she bargained for.

As they work together to make this Christmas one to remember, an old foe has come to town to make sure that his holiday is the coldest yet.

Warning: Contains a perky elf who dreams of something more, a Christmas myth who may be a baddie, and a sexy ex-bad boy who craves Christmas cookies...and a certain perky blonde.

Find it on:

Find it in print here:

A Nice Monday--Giveaway News and More

Happy Monday to you. I know for many it's nearly noon, but I'm happily on Pacific time, and I'm drinking my first cup of coffee. ah.

A few items to start the week. 

1. I finished two major projects and turned them in last Friday. So hurray, me.

2. Tomorrow Entranced releases with Loose Id, and I'm holding a contest with Carrie Ann Ryan to give away some cool stuff. So do check back to win Amazon gift cards, print books, and swag.

3.  Today I'm guest blogging at Read Our Lips, with another chance to win a copy of Tip of the Spear. And just as fun, a nice steamy excerpt from the book.

4.  I did mention I'm drinking coffee right? Yes, it's a fine, fine day. Enjoy yours.

Friday, November 30, 2012

3 More Days

3 more days to enter the Tip of the Spear giveaway at Cocktails and Books. Just enter under the Giveaway banner for a chance to win. :)  Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Self Publishing--And THIS Is Why You Need to Beware...

This is a reposting of information I think vital to those thinking of self-publishing who know little to nothing about the market. PLEASE take the time to read this. It could save you a lot of hassle in the long run. I advise anyone wanting to get published, independently or through a traditional or small print house, to research before jumping in with both feet. Ask around!!

Taken from my daily feed of The Passive Voice
From David Gaughran:
Simon & Schuster has launched a self-publishing operation, Archway Publishing, contracting one of the most disreputable players in the business to run the show: Author Solutions.
. . . .
But what if you need proper editing? Fear not! Simon & Schuster is here to help. For just $0.035 a word, you can have a thorough edit of your book. Which sounds cheap until you realize that a standard 80,000 word novel would cost you $2,800. So, in actual fact, the cheapest package, plus their edit, will set you back $4,799 for a standard length book.
As if that wasn’t enough, Simon & Schuster will also take half of your e-book royalties – after Amazon and the other retailers take their cut – and pay pennies for print sales.
. . . .
Author Solutions is the umbrella for (and owner of) several seriously shady self-publishing service companies (or vanity presses, if you prefer) – such as Author House, Xlibris, iUniverse, and Trafford.
Each of these companies has managed to achieve disreputable status on their own, but together they have screwed over more than 150,000 writers. Going through the full history of their rip-off schemes would require a book, rather than a blog post, so I’ll stick to the highlights.
The formidable Emily Suess has been covering Author Solutions for some time:
The short list of recurring issues includes: making formerly out-of-print works available for sale without the author’s consent, improperly reporting royalty information, non-payment of royalties, breach of contract, predatory and harassing sales calls, excessive markups on review and advertising services, failure to deliver marketing services as promised, telling customers their add-ons will only cost hundreds of dollars and then charging their credit cards thousands of dollars, ignoring customer complaints, shaming and banning customers who go public with their stories . . .
. . . .
At the time of the purchase, some commentators expressed hope that Penguin would clean up this cesspool. Instead, Penguin gave Kevin Weiss – the head of Author Solutions – a seat on the board.
A seat on the board!
And the scammy behavior hasn’t stopped; in fact, some of it is getting worse. I’ve received reports of Author Solutions staff calling prospective customers and asking if they want to be “published by Penguin.” Yes, they went there.
. . . .
Before you say that any writer who gets suckered only has themselves to blame, you must consider that Author Solutions is extremely disingenuous about how they target customers.
They prey on people who don’t understand the industry. Their whole business model is predicated on customer ignorance – and they are relentless at exploiting that, hounding people with incessant calls, pushing every emotional button they can think of, until they crack.
And it works. The average customer spends $5,000 getting their book published – which is crazy money – and Emily Suess has received reports of writers being tricked out of tens of thousands of dollars. After all that, the writers don’t sell anything anyway, and what little they do make is often delayed or unpaid altogether.
I can’t say it any plainer: Author Solutions are in the business of ripping people off.
Link to the rest at Let’s Get Digital
David’s warnings should suffice to steer anyone away from Author Solutions. However, if you need a second source, Victoria Strauss comments on Writer Beware:
It’s not an exaggeration to say that, right now, ASI is the most hated name in the self-publishing services world.
. . . .
ASI is the only self-pub service provider about which we get regular complaints.
. . . .
My problem is with how S&S and others have chosen to dabble in self-publishing–by choosing to work with a company that exploits authors through deceptive PR tacticsmisleading rhetoric, and terrible customer service. ASI’s poor reputation is not a secret–it’s all over the Internet. Could S&S and others not have chosen a more complaint-free service provider–or, even, created the service themselves?
Link to the rest at Writer Beware

Cocktails and Books: Blog Tour Guest Post & Giveaway: Tip of the Spear...

Cocktails and Books: Blog Tour Guest Post & Giveaway: Tip of the Spear...: We have Marie Harte with us today chatting about her release, Tip of the Spear .  Please help me in welcoming Marie to Cocktails and Book...

New Cover: Entranced

 Entranced--Coming out from Loose Id next week. The 7th book in the PowerUp! series.
Jack Keiser gets his happily ever after. Finally!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Heartthrob Haven: Guest post and Giveaway with Marie Harte

2 chances to win a Cougar Falls book at Hearththrob Haven today.  

Monty GrayClaw is sharing the details of his day. A lone wolf among cats, he has an interesting perspective. So drop by and comment to win Right Wolf, Right Time. And if you list the Cougar Falls books in order, you have another shot to be picked to win one of the Cougar Falls titles of your choice. So conceivably, if you list the titles, you can win two books, not one. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Now You See Me...

I don't post many pictures of myself, and then I came across this one. A flash from the past. This is a shot of me and some of my platoon during my time at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, in the friggin' cold winter. (Marine Corps officer training) What fun. *grin* Don't blink or you'll miss me. I'm the camouflaged one wearing the black beanie. Tricky, no? (Note: I had to use spellcheck to spell the word "camouflaged" correctly. Gah.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Publishers Going Under...Again

I've been reading the commentary on Silver Publishing's (SP) troubles and waiting to post my thoughts. I don't write for SP or have any friends that do. I've seen their books, however, and am always curious about publishing houses I don't belong to. Apparently, SP has been having problems paying their authors. Some question as to the quality of their work has been raised, and the typical good author/bad author bandying has gone back and forth.

One of their editors speaks out.
An author happy with SP comments,
as does an author not so happy with them.

So read the links, then follow along here. I've for the most part been lucky to be with stellar publishing houses. I've also been with one that went under (RIP Venus Press), and one I can't believe is still in business. There's nothing quite so horrifying as poor communication, no pay, and crappy-to-no edits from a publisher, which results in a low quality book which results in unhappy readers. 

Now to see Silver Publishing and their authors going through the same problems so many others have faced, it's sad. I recall when one of my old publishers went--to use the vernacular--bat-shit crazy. The owner cussed out authors for not wanting to renew contracts. Authors' real names were outed on the company website. And in at least one case, the publisher wrote a book using an author's name it had no right to use, since the author didn't write the story. (Not mine, thank God.) Whoa, Nelly! All that spelled trouble. Yet a solid group of authors stood by the nutty place and threatened to blacklist authors who merely questioned nonsensical behavior. 

"We're a family." "Tough times come and go, we'll be okay." "It'll get better." These statements were made years ago by authors loyal to that nutty publishing house. And SP's loyal authors are saying the same things about SP today. 

Hey, authors are allowed to stand by whomever they want. If they prefer to work for no pay for their families, God love 'em and wish them well. But for anyone new to getting published, for anyone considering signing a contract and wondering what the smart, professional thing to do in this situation? Get out. Fast. Hurry. Run. Get your rights back and take off if you're lucky enough to have them returned. Things don't get better. You can't borrow from Peter to pay Paul. That kind of thinking perpetuates debt into bankruptcy.

I don't know the full details of SP's issues. I only know the hell I went through with the crazy house I was with. I never named names, and I don't poke a stick at a buzzing hive. (Yes, authors are STILL, currently, having issues with this publisher.) After continued letters, the threat of legal action, and certified notices, I finally got out from under that place. I know what it's like to want to stick by someone who liked your story enough to publish it. How it feels to want to be loyal and dwell in that family togetherness.

But let's call that what it is--utter bullshit. Because business isn't cozy, and it's not "family." That's a happy ideal, but it's not professional. You work, you get paid. Period. No questions.  When rights revert back to an author over time, it's not disloyal to move elsewhere. Writers often forget that that this is a business, probably because we put a lot of ourselves into our creations, so it feels personal. 

I feel really bad for the authors hurt by their publishing house folding. I sincerely wish them the best, but holding on and working for free for months, holding benefits, raising money to help out your publisher, who isn't paying you, makes no kind of fiscal sense I can fathom. Hey, I'm no accountant, but I can guaran-damn-tee you that if I don't pay my CPA, she's not going to sit by and work for nothing until I can pay her, borrowing off my current work to resolve past debt--yet all the while still not getting paid what's owed her.

The best thing the publisher of SP can do is take out a loan, pay all those owed, then circle the wagons and find out how the hell to fix the current mess without taking anyone else down with him. My two cents, for what it's worth. And if you're a smart person, don't submit to any publishing house having obvious financial troubles until they straighten out their messes...unless you want to work for free.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Words: To Hunt a Sainte

I'm working on Love in Electric Blue, the third in my Westlake Enterprises series about psychics, danger and love. So I thought it fitting to include a steamy excerpt from the first book, To Hunt a Sainte. (All are completely stand-alone.) Enjoy! 

Two days later, Hunter stood grimfaced in front of a slate blue door and pounded again. He smelled lavender and clenched his jaw at the effort it took to focus on his present course of action. He knew the damned woman was home.
When no one answered after a few more minutes, he set to work. The lock proved no problem, her security alarm even less of one. He’d have a talk with her about that…afterward.
Hunter had tried, but he could no longer avoid the inevitable. This had to stop. He moved silently and swiftly through her open rooms, noting the tidiness of her apartment. Alexandra Sainte decorated sparsely but with a warmth that was inviting.
An eclectic mix of styles accented the cozy feel of a living room well used. A plush leather sofa and matching chair congregated around a teak coffee table covered with home design magazines and the occasional fitness rag. A few plants, all healthy and thriving, sat in her picture window, overlooking a common courtyard. The few bookcases along a far wall boasted an assortment of titles, none of which indicated her preference of reading material.
The sound of water splashing drew him down the hallway and through an untidy bedroom—a surprise inconsistent with the rest of the house. He walked through the doorway into her bathroom and froze.
Even though he’d been expecting it, the vision of Alex covered in bubbles struck him with the force of a physical blow. Surrounded by lavender and warmed by the humidity in the intimate bathroom, Hunter was overwhelmed with a sudden need to touch her golden skin, wet and shining before him. Calling on every ounce of discipline he possessed, Hunter forced himself to remain still and studied the sleepy beauty he couldn’t get out of his mind.
A man would have to be blind not to appreciate her looks—golden hair streaked with honey, exotically slanted eyes that hinted at mystery, and full lips promising everything a man might want. Her body curved in all the right places, yet had a toned toughness that told Hunter she wouldn’t break, even under a bit of rough handling.
The thought aroused him into taking a step forward. Desire engulfed him, and he literally ached, needing to touch her, to be inside that glorious body and discover just what it was about her that captivated him. Only one woman had ever come this close to making him lose control, and look at how that had turned out.
Angered at reminders of the poor choices he’d once made, he locked down his traitorous body and forced himself to handle this—her.
“All right, Sainte. Enough is enough,” he growled.
She shrieked in surprise and sloshed in the tub, allowing him glimpses of slick flesh while she tried to gain her feet. Forcing himself to ignore the impulse to reach out and touch, he handed her a towel.
She grabbed it from him and hastily wrapped it around herself. “What— Who—” She took a deep breath. “How the hell did you get in my apartment?”
He frowned. “You need to update your security. Pretty sad that I managed your locks in less than a minute.”
Slicking her hair back, she regarded him with caution and kept a firm hand on the top of her towel.
He forced himself to look no lower than her chin. “We need to talk.”
“No shit.” Instead of the fear he assumed he’d face, the woman had the nerve to step out of the tub right in front of him. No more than three inches remained between him and her delectable body draped with a thin towel. “You can’t just barge into private property whenever you feel like it, Greye. Now get the hell out of my bathroom. Get the hell out of my apartment!”
“I don’t think you understand me, angel. I’m here to talk. All you need to do is listen.” He stepped closer and inhaled her scent—feminine, floral and damned arousing. Pressed so close, she had to notice his reaction. When her eyes widened, he gave her a grim smile and leaned closer, caught by her tremulous gaze. “I didn’t want to do it this way,” he said darkly. “But you keep playing your games.”
“Games?” she parroted, her gaze glued to his mouth.
Disturbingly pleased he wasn’t the only one affected, Hunter strove to focus on the topic at hand. “The coffee? The chocolate? The feel of your soft skin under my hands? Projecting your bullshit is only distracting me from the mission at hand.”
She blinked up at him. “What are you talking about?”
“You know.” He couldn’t help himself and latched onto the firm strength of her shoulders. His thumb brushed the side of her breast, and she gasped. “You’re a beautiful woman, and you know it. You don’t need to play games to get my attention. Just let me handle this job, and I’ll give you exactly what you’ve been asking for.”
Her apparent anger stirred him past reason. Alexandra Sainte in nothing but a towel was bad enough, but in a passionate temper, her energy seethed and drew him like a moth to flame.
“Why you arrogant—”
The little witch thought to challenge him even now? The hell she did.
He kissed past her denial, knowing she didn’t mean it. He could all but sense her arousal as it pulsed through him. Feminine need and anger warred until her rage surrendered to the attraction between them. Everything she felt, Hunter felt as well, until he regained control once more, taking charge of his emotions.
Licking his way past her lips, he plunged his tongue inside and groaned. She tasted like candy, sweet and fresh. Angling closer, he ravaged her mouth, not satisfied until she panted, her taut breasts heaving against his chest.
Yanking the towel from her, he immediately cupped her firm globes, taken with the full swells and hard peaks beading for him. Reason lost to madness as he gave in to the instinctive need to take more.
Breaking from her lips, he leaned down and took her nipple in his mouth. He wanted to purr with satisfaction when she gasped his name and tugged his hair. Instead of pulling him away, she pressed him closer, shifting hungrily beneath him.
“God, Hunter. What are you doing to me?” She moaned again, soft and pliant under his hands.
“You feel like silk,” he murmured, tending to her other breast. He ran a hand over her hip and belly, seeking the heat between her legs. Thrilled when he found what he sought, he thrust one finger deep.
Alex let go of his head to grip his shoulders. “Hunter, please.”
He didn’t know if she pleaded for more or for him to stop, but he didn’t care. He would stop after he’d made his point…just as soon as he could remember what that was.
“You’re hot and wet, angel. So pretty under my hands,” he whispered, chancing a glance into her eyes. They darkened, gleaming like emerald green pools, slumberous yet lit with sexual energy. “Yes, that’s it. Follow my lead. Let me take you.”
“No, I…” She broke off when he shifted his thumb and began stroking that tight bundle of nerves at her core. “Oh, Hunter. Oh, yes. Please,” she begged.
Yes. Please her. Rip away the clothing separating you and please yourself as well.
He pushed at Alex’s will until she crumbled under his touch, helpless to stop the desire exploding throughout her body. She cried his name as she came, stirring his temper anew. God, he hurt. The need to possess her was animalistic, an intuitive need to conquer, the way he used to feel during his days in the military…and during his courtship of Anna.
Not liking this lack of control where she was concerned, Hunter strove to find distance. He withdrew his hand from between her legs and took a step back. Reaching down for her towel, he found it and wrapped it around her.
He made his second big mistake of the night when he looked into her eyes, because he saw not just an erotic playmate, but a vulnerable woman staring out at him. Not liking this need to offer comfort, he strengthened his inner defense with a harsh offense.
“Think that can tide you over until we’ve found Rebecca?” he asked. “Or do I need to fuck you to get the job done?”
The hurt on her face made him feel as if he’d kicked a kitten. But he should have remembered kittens have claws.
Lightning fast, Alex slapped him hard across the face. She fisted her hand by her side, and he wondered if she meant to hit him again, and if he should let her.