Friday, May 31, 2013

Sultry Summer Nights ~ Day One

To celebrate summer and the release of our newest joint venture--Nine Nights in New Orleans--which we premiered here a few months ago, and which is now available from Amazon and All Romance ebooks we're throwing a party all weekend long.

This is NOT a parody. These are nine separate short stories inspired by our trip to New Orleans last October. The only connection between the stories is the city in which they're all set...and three words we thought it would be fun to include in each one.

Over the next three days, we'll be posting blurbs, excerpts and pictures of some of the main characters from each of our stories. And we'll be giving away books! Two copies each day. To enter, just leave a comment. We'll pick winners from comments left here and on our Facebook page:

And now, let the good times roll...

Ash Wednesday by Meg Benjamin 

Blurb: Maggie Beaulieu is a woman with a mission—an errand for her late Uncle Claude that brings her from Houston to New Orleans’ famous Moon Walk beside the Mississippi. Only she’s the family screw-up. Can she actually do the right thing for once or is she doomed to failure? Derek Bartel sees the sad-eyed beauty standing above the river bank on his way home from his nightly gig as a street musician in Jackson Square. Is she really suicidal, or is he letting his memories of the past get in his way? And what can he do to help? Derek’s soft heart ends up entangling him in Maggie’s mission, which involves a perilous climb down to the Mississippi and an encounter with a grumpy cop. Now can he convince this visiting Texan to give NOLA more than a single night?

Maggie stepped back from the edge of the walk and felt a quick stab of uneasiness. A man was watching her a little way down the sidewalk. He carried something, and she strained to see what it was in the dim illumination from the street lights along the walk.

Looked like an instrument case of some kind, maybe a violin. Her shoulders relaxed. Nobody who played a violin could be threatening, could he? Unless he was actually hiding weapons in the case, like some Philharmonic Jack the Ripper or something.

Letting your imagination go a little crazy, right Maggie?

The man took a cautious step closer. “Good evening,” he said. “Nice night.”

Maggie nodded carefully. “Yes, it is.”

“Are you looking for someplace in particular? I live around here—I might be able to help.”

He looked a little like a poet, although Maggie wasn’t sure she’d have thought that if he hadn’t been carrying the violin case. His hair curled over the top of his collar, brushing his eyebrows in front. She couldn’t be sure of the color in the dim light, but it looked reddish brown. Brown eyes too, as far as she could tell. Tall. Slender. Long tapering fingers that were probably really good for playing the violin.

And other things.

Stop that. It wasn’t like she was here for a relationship. She had Uncle Claude to think about.

Blame It on the Voodoo by PG Forte 

A girl, a vampire, a dungeon, a love spell...or then again, maybe not. Either way, this is a love story that could only happen in New Orleans.

ExcerptOut in the street, warm night air caressed Rene’s skin and teased his tastebuds with a mélange of scents and flavors—bourbon, brown sugar, crawfish boil, dark coffee, rum—trivial things for which he had no longer any use. Ah, but there had been a time, he could still remember it, when he’d found them enjoyable, when such simple pleasures had the power to satisfy all his appetites. The sultry-sweet sound of a sax floated on the breeze and up ahead he could see a young couple dancing together on the banquette.  They look happy, innocent, in love; for a moment, he envied them that. Once, he had been just like them—before time and loss had twisted his soul. The pleasures he craved now were darker, hotter, more intoxicating and far more dangerous. Like the pleasure of mastering Zirondelle Doucette.

Bourbon Street Blues by Skylar Kade 

Alexa, Baron, and Stephan will return in late 2013!

“Eat, Alexa.” Baron offered her a forkful of something that looked delicious and smelled divine. “It’s not magic, but it’s so soothing you’d swear the pastry chef was a Voodoo priestess.”

Her lips quirked in a smile and she took the fork. True to his word, the cake melted in her mouth in a sweet, salty, chocolate explosion. “What is this?”

Baron took a bite and washed it down with a sip of his bourbon. “Chocolate pecan crunch cake. My very favorite.”

So there you have it. Check back on Saturday and Sunday for more! And don't forget to leave your comments below...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Thirteen: Recharging your creativity

Sometimes, despite our best precaution, the creative well runs dry. Instead of staring at the blank page, we step back and do something to "refill the well."
  1. Swim in the ocean. (Juniper Bell) 
  2. Go to a concert or a play or a hockey game--something that involves people who are really good at whatever they do. (Kelly Jamieson)
  3. Do something differently-creative - sing, act, paint, whatever gets those creative juices flowing. (Kate Davies)
  4. Attend a local writer's meeting--a great RWA speaker or commiserating with other authors does wonders for creativity. (Skylar Kade)
  5. Get out of the house and do something else--shopping always works! Otherwise, read a book, reorganize your closet, wash your hair--basically anything that doesn't require a whole lot of creativity. (Meg Benjamin)
  6. Read--old favorites, mostly. (Erin Nicholas)
  7. It depends. If it's the serious "well is dry, can't stand anyone's writing" kind of exhausted then I need to totally veg out--see several movies in a row, spend time in the garden, drive up the coast and visit wineries, go for a hike (or better yet, a sail)--anything that gets me out of my usual environment or provides sensory input but doesn't involve reading or require me to fact, better get someone else to drive. If it's more mild, the "I just finished this book and don't know what to work on next" kind of thing, then an extended date with my TBR pile is in order. If I'm merely irritated with my WIP, well, that's what housework is for. And, can I just say, my kitchen has never looked better than it does right now! (PG Forte)
  8. I know it's already been said, but my tip is reading. Although I'll add reading ANYTHING can help - a good book but also magazines (I get lots of ideas from Cosmo and Marie Claire, also news magazines like Macleans here in Canada (similar to Time or Newsweek) and the newspaper! (Kelly Jamieson)
  9. Watch something you've seen (and loved) before. Favorite movie, tv show, videos on YouTube. Anything that won't require too much attention paid, but makes you happy. (Kate Davies)
  10. Do some in-depth "research" with my husband. (Juniper Bell) 
  11. It's hard, but I try to get really busy with something else for awhile. Always helps to clean out the "garbage" and get a fresh start. (Erin Nicholas)
  12. Get together with non-writing friends, drink wine, and remember that life doesn't ENTIRELY revolve around my writing. (Juniper Bell)
  13. Listen to talk radio or a podcast. I like NPR's "This American Life" or anything that tells true stories. They always either inspire a whole new plot (or plot twist) or distract me enough to get over my creative block. (Skylar Kade)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Round Up for May 2013

Skyler Kade would like to announce that Heat Up the Night, a BDSM novella from All Romance, is available now! To celebrate, Skylar is running a contest until 6/6. You could win a copy of the book, a $10 credit to All Romance, or a $50 gift certificate to The Stockroom (for all your naughty toys). 

Kelly Jamieson's Rule of Three is free at most online etailers for a limited time.

Juniper Bell has received word that a print edition of The Receptionist -- all three novellas in one volume—is in the works. Stay tuned for news of a release date!

Sydney Somers wants to announce that the next book in her Pendragon Gargoyles book, Primal Temptation has a tentative release date of October 22, followed by the next Spellbound book, Must Be Magic, in mid December.

Erin Nicholas wants to remind fans that She's the One, book one in her new series, Counting On Love releases June 11th and It Takes Two, book two, is scheduled for September.

And speaking of awesome covers, Kate Davies is thrilled with her new cover. Carina Press art department has done it again. Check out Life Of The Party!  

PG Forte is running a contest in connection with her newest release, Ashes of the Day. Details can be found on her blog:


PG is also excited to announce the print release of A Taste of Honey, book four in her Oberon series.  The rest of the series is also scheduled to be released in paperback before the end of the year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Blogger Heather Long - What Part Of Marine Don't You Understand

Thank you to the Nine Naughty Novelists for hosting me today! From the first moment Matt McCall appeared in Tell it to the Marine, I knew his story would have to be told. Matt had such a powerful impact in that story, including an interruption for James and Lauren’s date. Matt made another appearance in Proud to Serve Her and things seemed to be going well for him in a job he took at Damon’s restaurant, but appearances can be deceiving.

In Her Marine, Damon used Matt as a red herring to get Brody on his "date," filling in for Matt who wasn’t up for it. Matt appeared again, often in the background or as a mention in passing at Mike’s Place, but I never forgot about him. I knew Matt’s journey was special and that he needed not only the right woman, but the right framework to let his story be told.

One morning while watching Good Morning Texas, I saw a story on Patriot Paws and the work they do providing service dogs to disabled veterans.

In a flash, I knew Matt’s story, I saw it unfolding and I saw the woman who would be write for him—and I sent the info off to my editor. She immediately wrote me back and said ‘do it.’

One year after Matt debuted in Tell It to the Marine, his story begins in What Part of Marine Don’t You Understand? Matt is not in a good place when the book begins, but he has a new friend—a dog named Jethro and together, they took me on an amazing journey of healing and hope.

Thanks to my Always a Marine readers who have supported this fantastic journey in exploring every Marine’s story. Matt will always have a special place in my heart—and I hope in yours. A portion of the royalties from Matt’s book will be donated to Patriot Paws ( to help them continue their work!

What Part of Marine Don’t You Understand?

Matt McCall’s struggles to reintegrate into civilian life have been an ongoing battle for the better part of two years. Daily group sessions and weekly one-on-ones have only allowed him to grow so far. Twice he’s returned to his home state of Indiana and twice, he retreated to Mike’s Place. Uncertain of where he belongs in the world, he silently battles depression. The unexpected gift of Jethro, a black Labrador Retriever, perks his spirit…and a chance meeting in the park gives him a precious gift…

Aspiring country singer, Naomi Sparks, comes from a long line of Marines, so she knows all about sacrifice and struggle. When her Congressman brother asks her to visit Mike’s Place on his behalf, she discovers a real opportunity to make a difference. And meeting former Marine Matt McCall inspires her with the real challenge of discovering love and daring heroes who takes risks. Writing music has never been so sweet….

Can one woman who believes in him really heal the wounds in this Marine’s heart?

All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookstrand | Decadent Publishing


“We should probably let you compose—without distraction.” He didn’t sound like he wanted to go.

“No, you’re exactly the kind of distraction I need.” Did she dare tell him? Oh, what the hell. He deserved to know. “You inspire me.”

Surprise rippled across his face. “I do?”

“Oh yeah. I even wrote a song about you last night….”

Wariness creased his brow. “Oh?”

Grinning, she started playing. If only performing in front of the world was as easy as singing for Matt. By the second refrain, he relaxed and by the last he laughed. The song detailed their kiss and exposed her vulnerability, her growing affection for him laid bare in every note. When the song ended, she held her breath and waited.

Matt leaned forward, rested a hand atop hers and brushed her mouth with the lightest, sweetest, and most heart-wrenching kiss. “Thank you.”

Her pulse jackrabbited. “You’re welcome.”

The bubble of tension wrapped around them burst with his slow grin. “No, I mean it. Thank you.”

“I didn’t do anything—I completely blame you for the song. You knocked on the door.”

He chuckled. “You opened it.”

“But you kissed me….”

Slanting his mouth across hers, he silenced any further words. He brushed his thumb across her knuckles, sending tingles racing across her nerves until she hummed like a guitar strung too tight. Every time she thought the kiss would end, he tilted his head to the other side and darted his tongue in and out, teasing her.

Nose to nose, he finally let her come up for air. “You kissed me back.”

“Yeah.” She laughed. “You kissed me again.”

“I did.” He nodded, brushing their noses together, whispering another kiss on her cheek and again to the corner of her eye. “You don’t mind, do you?”

Her laughter rode on a shuddering breath. “No, not at all.”

Learn more about the Always a Marine series | Always a Marine on Facebook

Monday, May 27, 2013

Release Day: Heat Up the Night by Skylar Kade (Excerpt and Giveaway!)

Today, my BDSM novella Heat Up the Night releases. I'm so excited about this one, guys! Not only is the hero a smokin' hot celebrity chef, but it's set in Las Vegas.

This novella is part of the 9 Shades of Naughty series and today at 4pm PST I'll be chatting with Lexi Blake and Eliza Gayle, two of the other authors. Join us on Shindig to chat about our stories, BDSM, and more. 

Heat Up the Night is exclusively available on All Romance (you can add it to your wishlist or purchase it here)
Can they find love without losing themselves…

Tovia Douglas has devoted her adult years to sheltering her mentally ill mother and ensuring her sister's independence. When Tovia turns 27, those lost years come into sharp, painful focus and she decides it's time to start enjoying life, starting with a little mental vacation through submission at her local kink club.

Keilor Branson grew up believing in love at first sight. He just figured his other half would feel it too. Instead, feisty new submissive Tovia runs from their emotional connection. Determined, Keilor must chip away at her walls and prove that love is worth the risk.

When family troubles lead to Tovia's change of heart, their roles are reversed. Now she must prove to her man, her Master, that while love isn't always perfect, they are perfect for each other.


To celebrate my new release, I'm doing a blog tour and giving away a $50 gift card to the Stockroom (anyone need another crop?), a $10 credit to All Romance eBooks, and three copies of Heat Up the Night.

You'll accumulate entries on Rafflecopter by commenting on posts and joining me on social media. Enter today (below the excerpt) and join me at each blog stop for another chance to enter!
6/2: The Book Reading Gals (get an extended excerpt in Sunday Snippets!)

His face hit her like a fist to the stomach. Even after seeing him in her dreams every night for a month, she was still awed by him. Dark brows framed laughing hazel eyes, now serious, which led to a nose that would have looked oversized on anyone else, with its reset-bone bump. It just gave him character. More laugh lines around his mouth, and the beginnings of a goatee. That was new. It was the only hair on his head.

She’d never been attracted to bald men, but Keilor was so sexy that even his bare skull turned her on. She knew it was by choice. She’d worked a little Google-Fu after their first scene together and found recent pictures of him with a full head of thick, brown hair.

Warning bells went off, but they were drowned out by his voice.

“I’m sure Master Mike will be tickled to learn he has such a steadfast champion.”

Waves of subtle lemony air drifted over her, as they always did in his presence. Or they did during their one scene together. She hadn’t been able to serve a Lemontini since without her panties getting wet.

Tovia sighed at his teasing even as the little hint of jealousy in his voice made her stomach jump. She shouldn’t react, but her body betrayed her so easily. “What do you think you’re doing here?”

Laughter rumbled her bones at every point of contact with his body. “I’m an elite member. I’m here all the time.”

“Not since we—” She bit off the rest of her sentence before she could dig herself in further and tried again to wriggle from his lap.

“Silly girl.” His words gentled, soothed. One rough hand slid up and down her arm. Damnit, she should not like that. “I was in Greece. The owner of the Hellena sent me over there to sample food and wine vendors. I assumed you knew.”

Now he’d think she was pining after him. Just because she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him didn’t mean she missed him. Or wanted a repeat that lasted all night.

No, because that would be ridiculous. Douglas women didn’t need men. It was practically the family motto.

To keep things light, she teased him back, ignoring the way her skin heated beneath his touch. “Oooh, poor thing. That must have been such a hardship.” A smile even teased at the corner of her lips despite her efforts to remain unaffected by his presence. When was the last time she smiled at a man who wasn’t tipping her for drinks?

Keilor stared down at her. “Actually, it was.”

Oh boy. She wasn’t touching the wealth of subtleties in those words. Not going down that path.

Keilor lifted her hand and pressed a kiss to her palm. Butterflies hatched in her chest, then died when he said, “You look tired.”

She scowled. “Well if that isn’t what every woman wants to hear from an attractive—” Her jaw clunked shut around the foot in her mouth.

He nipped her forefinger, zinging arousal to all her naughty bits, then stole her breath when he kissed her nose, her cheek. “Do you get a freckle every time you sass a Dom?”

An indelicate snort escaped her. “Sure. The freckles are a little-known Dominant Warning System saying ‘steer clear of the angry redhead!’” Yes, she thought, hold dear to your sarcasm. It was her current chastity belt of choice, and that was swiftly crumbling at the edges.

“Good. Less competition.” His lips drifted to her neck, where he pressed kisses to random patches of skin still exposed around the edges of the blanket.

Oh shit. She clutched the soft brown cover around her, remembering what she wore beneath—absolutely nothing aside from her short shorts. Like flipping a switch, her nipples hardened and her pussy clenched. He could so easily expose her. Not that she hadn’t been naked in the club every weekend, but it was different now, with Keilor watching her.


“What…what are you doing?” His exploratory kisses had turned into sizzling nips to her collarbone.

“Counting your freckles.” He tugged at the blanket, playing momentary tug of war with her until he stopped fighting and simply went around the mountain. His hand slithered beneath her shield to scald her stomach, then higher. When the back of his hand brushed across her nipple, she moaned. “I need a baseline count. Scientific study and all of that.”

Leave a blog post comment for three entries into my Rafflecopter giveaway, and let me know what city YOU think is made for sin!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flirty Friday - Jilted by Kelly Jamieson

Today's Flirty Friday entry comes courtesy of Kelly Jamieson's Jilted. Meet Josh! 

(c) istockphoto, all rights reserved

Cold hands gripped Devon, a feeling of dread and abject fear. It had been so hard losing him last time. Thinking back to her months of utter misery, her insides tightened into painful knots. Now after just this one week together, she was going to lose him again.

But he wasn’t even hers to lose. What had possessed her to think she could do this without her feelings for him getting all stirred up again? She shouldn’t have come here.

But he’d poured the wine and now handed her a glass. She took it and watched him cross to turn on the fireplace, then sit on the couch, stretching one arm along the back and crossing one ankle over the other knee. He looked at her. Oh. He expected her to sit beside him. Her feet in her high heels felt glued to the floor, her legs stiff. But she managed to somehow walk toward him and sit down. She sipped the wine.

Then she took a deep breath and asked the question that had been burning inside her all evening. “Josh. How could you possibly think I thought you weren’t good enough?”

He tilted his head. “I knew the kind of life you wanted. You had your big investment banking career in a big downtown office. You wanted the clothes, the shoes, the dinners in fancy restaurants. I was just a firefighter from a small town who didn’t know anything about designer clothes and gourmet food.”

“You’re a firefighter,” she whispered, her throat tight. “You put your life on the line to save other people. You’re smart and brave and strong. You were like a…a…” Her throat closed up and she swallowed hard. “You were like a superhero to me. How could you think I thought something like that?” She really, really didn’t get it.

His eyes shadowed. “A superhero?”

She looked down, afraid of what he’d see if he looked into her eyes. “Of course,” she said. 
“Jeebus, Josh.”

“I’m not a superhero.”

She peeked up at him through her eyelashes. He shook his head, his eyebrows slanting down.

“I’m just a guy,” he continued. “A guy trying to do the right things. Trying to figure out what the right things are.”

Her heart swelled up so big she couldn’t breathe.

You can  find Jilted here - and all major ebook retailers. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: authors we love so much we'd buy in hardback

After the RT Convention, with all its talk about e-book pricing and its disparity (sometimes) from print pricing, we got to thinking about good old hardback books. That double-digit price point can look awfully unfriendly next to a $2.99 e-book. 

Nonetheless, there are some authors who would impel us to veer into that territory because we need to have their next book that badly. These are authors that may never be in hardback (or may never want to leave digital). But if they *did* go hardback (or their next e-book had a hardback price) and that was the fastest way to get their newest release, we'd buy it in a heartbeat.

1. Meg Benjamin: Jane Haddam (Meg says: She's also an autobuy for me--I love her stuff so much that I shell out for it.)

2. Erin Nicholas: Susan Elizabeth Philips

3. Skylar Kade: Kit Rocha (Skylar says: They do digital self-pub, but I'd shell out hardback money to get their next release.)

4. Juniper Bell: any YA series that my nieces and nephews are into at the moment (Juniper says: I don't think I'd spend that much on a book for myself!)

5. Sydney Somers: Nalini Singh (Sydney says: I love her books and she was awesome to meet in person.)

6. Kate Davies: Suzanne Brockmann (Skylar says: oooh me too!)

7. PG Forte: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files (PG says: My daughter's a fan of the series)

8. Meg Benjamin: Loretta Chase
9. Skylar Kade: Sylvia Day's Crossfire series

What author's next release would you be willing to buy for $16.99?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sydney's Soundtrack

I've mentioned before that music is an important part of my writing process. Only when I'm working on a more intense/emotional scene will I skip music and embrace the quiet. And that doesn't happen very often. I almost always need a playlist running in the background, something to keep my brain occupied when I hit the rough patches or run out of words. Without music keeping me motivated, I may be tempted to play a few rounds of Candy Crush, and I usually prefer to play that at night where I can brag to Master Chef about beating his high scores :)

I didn't always need music when I worked. I'm pretty sure that when I wrote my first book--which is safely protected by a dust bunny commune under the bed--I didn't listen to music while I was writing. Somewhere between finishing that first book and my next, I became addicted to making playlists to go with whatever scenes I was working on. 

So here's a little peek at the music behind the books. The videos below often don't suit the movie trailers of my books when they play through my mind, but the lyrics definitely do.  

When I originally wrote Trust Me in 2005 Hanging by a Moment by Lifehouse became the theme song for the book.

I've talked about my mad love for Lifehouse before and they're song Whatever It Takes inspired the title for the third Spellbound book.

Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero definitely loosely inspired my vigilante romance, Waitin' on a Hero. I recently found a new version of the song that I love.

Behind These Hazel Eyes by Kelly Clarkson was Jordan's theme song in Unbreakable. It has an edge to the song that really fits with a kickass heroine struggling with the fact that the man she loved didn't actually die in her arms.

For my redo romance, Call Me Cupid (which was the fastest story I've written) I listened to something a little softer, Chantal Kreviazuk's All I Can Do.

I already blogged about what songs I listened to a lot while I was working on Busted. Most recently I replayed Rihanna's Stay while editing a scene from Primal Temptation.

Yes, I've got a slight music addiction and the iTunes account to prove it. :) It's my drug of choice when it comes to writing and I couldn't imagine not listening to it while I work. What about you guys? Do you like to work to music? What songs are your favorites right now?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guest Blogger Jenna Ives - Programmed For Pleasure

Thanks to the Nine Naughty Novelists for letting me guest blog today!

Imagine a world, just slightly in the future, where prostitutes are female machines called sexbots. They have starburst eyes. Synthetic skin. They’re programmed for pleasure. It’s all legal, in fact, it’s a highly lucrative business.

Into this scenario, my heroine – the very human police agent Jai Turner – is sent undercover to try and bring down the world’s most notorious arms dealer, Marque Callex, who’s about to avail himself of the services of Beautiful Dolls sexbots for the very first time.

Hmm… good cop vs. bad arms dealer…having sex with each other…both with two very differing agendas. Sound like an explosive recipe for a hot erotic romance?

Here’s a brief excerpt from Programmed For Pleasure. At the end, I’ll be doing an e-book giveaway based on a question that’s answered below!

“Turner, I’m sending you undercover as a Beautiful Doll.”

Jai Turner stared at her boss, Commander Talis Rainey, convinced she couldn’t possibly have heard him right. She and her partner, Leith Wyatt, had been called into his office at the end of their duty shift. “Sir?”

For an answer, Rainey pushed a button on the console on his desk. “Send in Mr. Carron.”

A minute later, a short man stood in the doorway. He was such a stereotype that Jai felt herself stiffen. Thick glasses… hair askew… frankly, all he needed was a lab coat with a pocket protector to complete the picture.

Maybe her boss hadn’t been making a joke after all.

Rainey cleared his throat. “This is Anson Carron. The creator of Beautiful Dolls.”

If the abrupt and impersonal introduction annoyed their guest, he didn’t show it. His eyes had locked on Jai, and were scanning her up and down in a way that felt decidedly intimate despite the navy blue one-piece uniform that she and everyone else on the Tau Cetus police force wore.

“Yes,” he murmured. “I suppose I can work with this.”

“This,” Rainey said hotly, “is Jai Turner, one of my best agents. She’s human.”

The little man seemed lost in his own train of thought. “Of course, it would be better if I could see her without her clothes on before I make a final assessment.”

Jai stiffened even more. “Commander!”

Rainey let out a loud sigh. “Sit. All of you.”

The three of them took the hard chairs arrayed around Rainey’s desk. Jai crossed her arms and legs defensively, and even Wyatt turned his chair around to straddle it. It was obvious neither one of them anticipated liking whatever the Commander might be about to say.

Rainey looked at the partners. “Before I start, I have just one thing to say to you two. Marque Callex.”

That changed everything. The infamous name had both Jai and Wyatt leaning forward in their chairs, now eagerly waiting for Rainey’s next words.

“You know how long we’ve been trying to get close to this guy. We may now have a chance, albeit by a very unconventional route.” Rainey nodded toward their guest. “A month ago, Mr. Carron here ran afoul of the law. No need to get into the specifics, but in an effort to save his neck – and his very lucrative business – he suggested a unique proposal in return for us not pursuing charges against him.”

“What kind of proposal?” Wyatt asked.

“Mr. Carron agreed to send out an… invitation… to Marque Callex, in the guise of offering ‘a select number of high-powered businessmen’ the chance to sample the latest model of Beautiful Doll for free, in exchange for their feedback on the product. In reality, Callex was the only person to get this invitation.”

Jai’s mouth set in a disgusted line. “And he accepted.”

“He did,” Rainey confirmed. “It was a gamble, but it paid off. Now all we need to do is to set you up for the assignment.”

Jai’s eyes went wide. “You want me to impersonate a sexbot?”

“If you’re agreeable.”

Jai scowled. There was absolutely no way she was going to volunteer for this. Have sex on command? Not a chance. Not even to bring down a man they’d long been after for suspected weapons smuggling. Besides, she could never pass for a sexbot. She had a heartbeat!

Rainey scowled. “This may be our best – and only – chance to get to Marque Callex. But if you’re not up to it, Turner, I’ll find another female agent who’s more committed to her job.”

“I’m committed to my job, Commander!” she protested hotly.

Silence stretched in the room while Jai considered her options. Her very limited options. As in, none. She sighed.

“I’ll do it.” What real choice did she have? Marque Callex needed to be stopped. “If this is our best – and possibly only – chance to get to him, well, then, I’m in.”

I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt, and are intrigued by the setup for an erotic romance.

For a chance to win a free e-copy of Programmed For Pleasure, answer this question: Why doesn’t Jai think she’ll be able to pass for a sex robot? Remember, the answer can be found in the excerpt above, and I’ll choose a random winner from the correct answers. Good luck, and thanks again to the Nine Naughty Novelists for letting me stop by today!

Jenna Ives

Jenna Ives writes for several publishers under a variety of names, but mostly the reason is to keep her poor sainted mother (who used to read sweet Barbara Cartland romances) from having a heart attack over how sexy modern romances have become! And Jenna certainly DOES write sexy. Visit her website at for a list of all her erotic romance releases.

Monday, May 20, 2013

There's Always a Band

The Music Man is one of those insanely happy musicals where everybody seems cheerful all the time. I mean, they sing “76 Trombones” for Pete’s sake. But there’s a moment late in the play (the Big Black Moment, for those of us in the writing biz) when it looks like Professor Harold Hill is going to get busted. Everything seems to be falling apart—even young Winthrop, who’s been the professor’s devoted follower for most of the play, accuses him of trying to trick the good folks of River City, of never wanting to have a band at all. To which the professor replies in all seriousness, “I always think there’s a band, kid.”

That’s a surprisingly profound statement when you think about it. The professor, after all, is a con man. He’s trying to trick the people of River City into buying instruments for a non-existent band so that he can abscond with the proceeds. But he has to believe in his non-existent band in order to do what he does. So in effect he has to con himself in order to con everybody else.

The thing is, I know exactly how he feels.

I’m in a fairly typical situation right now, one that a lot of writers go through. I’ve got several projects I could embark on, but there are also good reasons for not embarking on them. And I’ve got this idea. Right now it’s sort of embryonic, but it’s slowly taking shape and I kind of want to pursue it. What I don’t want to do is let myself do nothing. If you stop, it’s sometimes hard to get restarted, and you don’t want that to happen. So basically, you convince yourself there’s a band.

This idea, embryonic though it might be, is actually terrific. It will be the best thing I’ve ever done. I can hardly wait to get started. I already know someone who’ll want to publish it. Seventy-six trombones led the big parade…

You see what I mean. You have to trick yourself into getting into the process sometimes, but you can’t let yourself know it’s a trick. Like the professor, you have to deceive yourself along with the world at large until you’re well into the project. And I’d argue this technique works in a lot of situations, not just with writing. Doing a presentation at work? It’ll be the best presentation ever. Making gazpacho? It’ll sing. Planting an herb garden? You’ll be an earth mother.

Now this determination may not last throughout the project. In fact, it’s almost certain not to (see Big Black Moment, op. cit.). But with any luck, you’ll be far enough into the project by then that it won’t matter—you’ll keep going just because you’re already started and you don’t want to waste all that effort. 

The imaginary band is most necessary at the beginning of a project before momentum takes over and pushes you to the end. But it has to be there. At least for a while, you have to think there’s a band. And then, sometimes, there really is.

Friday, May 17, 2013

First BOOK Friday-- Kelly Jamieson

For the past year we've been having fun with First Line Friday, where we share the first lines from books by the Naughty Nine and some from our writing friends and have readers vote on their favorite without knowing who wrote which line.

Now we're trying something new on the third Friday of every month:  First BOOK Friday!  We're going to highlight the first book from each of the Nine Naughties.  Sometimes people find us further down our backlist, sometimes readers think they're picking up our first book when really it's number 3 or so, sometimes our first book was so long ago even we've forgotten!  (just kidding... it's true that you never forget your first!).  So we thought it would be fun to revisit the books that started it all for each of us!

This week we're featuring the first book by Kelly Jamieson, Love Me.

A Note from Kelly:

I’d been writing and submitting manuscripts to various digital publishers and getting rejected, and I decided I was going to try writing something hotter, something really erotic, and this story popped into my head and I wrote it really fast and easy. I sent it to my critique partner and she said, this is the one, you have a winner. So I sent it to Samhain and waited...and then they had a call for submissions for ménage stories, which I thought this one would be perfect for. So I emailed Angela James, at that time she was at Samhain, and asked if I could move my manuscript to that ménage anthology call for submissions. She emailed me back and said we could,  but an editor was about to contact me...and then I got the email offering a contract!

 Love Me

How far does she have to go to get his attention? Another girl's arms?

Melina Wenham is worried and frustrated. Lately, her boyfriend of six months seems to have lost interest in her. Yes, she knows he's stressed about his big project at work, but jeez, it seems like he'd rather go solo than have sex with her. Sexy lingerie, a Brazilian...nothing seems to get his attention.

Gavin's frustrated too. He's under enough pressure at work, without feeling more from Melina every time he gets home.

Another night, another party, and Gavin is off talking to the boys. Feeling ignored yet again, Melina confides her troubles to an acquaintance, Abby, who suggests shaking him up by flirting with another guy. Hmm. Not a bad idea, except there are no flirt-worthy guys at this party.

Then Abby suggests a different tack—flirt with her.

Could a little girl-on-girl tango be the match that reignites romance with Gavin? There's only one way to find out...

Warning: Hot girl on girl scene!


Gavin stared in stunned incredulity at the two women on the bed.

Melina was laying there with Kylie's cousin, both of them naked from the waist up, jean-clad legs twined around each other, kissing like crazy in a heated clinch. Holy fucking shit. Melina and Abby wrenched apart at his words and stared back at him.

His cock hardened painfully in his jeans and he almost put a hand down to it. "Jesus," he muttered. He shook his head, but couldn't drag his eyes away from the scene on the bed.

Melina's long blonde hair was mussed and her eye makeup was smudged under her big eyes, round with apprehension. Abby's hair, too, was just-out-of-bed tousled, both their lips shiny and swollen. He almost groaned aloud.

He should be pissed off, he supposed. After all, Melina was cheating on him. With another woman. But he was so fucking turned on he could have drilled wood with his dick.

"Gavin," Melina said. Uh, yeah, that was him. Her eyes flicked nervously to Abby. "Um..."

Nobody seemed to know what to say and the silence in the room dragged on painfully. Then Gavin became aware of voices in the hall and he shoved the bedroom door shut behind him, plunging them back into darkness. His eyes had to adjust to the dim lighting and he took a step toward the bed.

"Melina, what are you doing?" he asked again, his voice gritty like sand. What a goddamn stupid question that was. It was pretty clear what she was doing.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, moving out of Abby's embrace, and strangely, covering her breasts with her arms. Christ, they lived together. He'd seen her gorgeous tits a million times. He watched her swallow hard, lick her lips.

"This is all my fault," Abby said, sitting up, but not making any move to cover her chest.

Gavin tried, he really did, but he couldn't stop his eyes from flicking over her torso. In the back of his mind, "small but nice" registered vaguely. He jerked his eyes back to Melina's face.

"It's kind of a funny story."

He lifted a brow and looked at Abby, forcing himself to look no lower than her chin. "Oh yeah?" If she'd been a guy, he'd be hauling her ass off that bed and shoving his fist into her nose. He blinked, waited.

Abby grinned. "Melina and I were talking and she was telling me how she's been feeling lately and I had the idea that she should try to make you a little jealous. Just know...make you realize what a hot, gorgeous chick she is."

He blinked again. "I know what a hot, gorgeous chick she is," he protested. Wait a minute.
He looked at Melina. "You were trying to make me jealous?" Both brows shot up.

She nodded, looking embarrassed, miserable, absolutely adorable and utterly fuckable. He adjusted his stance to accommodate the hard-on growing in his pants. "There were no guys around to flirt with."

"So I volunteered," Abby said cheerfully.

"Hold on," Gavin ground out. "This is not flirting." He threw a hand out toward them. "This is way past flirting."

"Things got a little...uh...carried way," Melina said in a small voice.

Gavin gave his head a shake in an attempt to clear it. It didn't work. "I..." He stopped. "You...Melina."

"I know." She pulled her bottom lip in. "I'm sorry."

"Hey," Abby said softly. "You know what, Mel?" She glanced sideways at Gavin. "I don't think Gavin's mad. I think he's turned on."

He scowled and willed his hard-on to go away. It didn't. Melina stared at him, Abby smiled.
"So?" he growled.

"So," Abby said, tipping her head. "Why don't you join us?"

His eyes almost fell out of his head. "You must be joking."

She shook her head, still smiling, eyes sparkling. "Melina was being very um...brave and...adventurous. Maybe you should, too."

Pick up your copy here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

#ThursdayThirteen: Potent Quotables

Egos, us? Never...
Today, we're offering up more of our favorite lines from our own works--this time, we invited some friends to tag along! Thanks for joining us Pauline, Lacie, Leah, and Shelli!

1. PG Forte: "He grabbed for the soap—as if hopelessly fucked was a feeling that could ever be scrubbed away." --Brennan in the shower, contemplating his relationship with Julie (Ashes of the Day) 

2. Meg Benjamin: He put his hands on her shoulders, staring down into her eyes. “I’m about two seconds away from doing you here against the door, and I don’t want our first time to be like that. Come upstairs with me.” His voice rasped against her like something she could touch. –Danny, the first time he makes love to Biddy (Medium Well)
3. Pauline Allan: He turned to stand, then stopped. He leaned against the door so she could hear him. “Tell me your safe word.” –Adam to Lily, who is locked behind the door of a garden shed (Gilded Lily)
4. Kelly Jamieson: "Now just leave me alone for a while," he said to her, his voice thick. "Geez, woman." – Josh, after he and Devon have “reunited”…several times…enthusiastically. (Jilted)
5. Juniper Bell: “Do you know what obsession is about, Merriman? It’s about the details. All these tiny little details that burn themselves into your brain until there’s no more fucking room for anything else. They left around ten thirty. I lost track of them in Earlton Yard.” (Beautiful Obsession)
6. Leah Braemel: D.C. didn’t need him here—he could work out of the Atlanta office, no problem.
Atlanta. Where there were no spitfires with bitable asses to tempt him. Maybe then he could avoid future cases of blue balls he’d constantly been dealing with lately. –Sam Watson thinking about his heroine Rosalinda Ramos (Personal Protection)

7. Sydney Somers: “Are you actually going to open the door or are you waiting for a ref to blow a whistle first?” --Hayley, the heroine of Busted, to Jackson (Busted)

8. Lacie J. Archer: "Right, that'd be bad ... Especially since we still have quite the audience, and voyeurism is a pricey add-on to my base rate." –Dane, the escort (Rock 'n Roll Seraphim)

9. Kate Davies: “Because…” She floundered for an answer, gaze darting around the cluttered office. “It wouldn’t be appropriate.”
He snorted a laugh. “God, I hope not.”
Tess stared at him, her brow furrowed. “Excuse me?”
“I can’t think of anything more depressing than an appropriate kiss. I want deep, hot, dirty kisses with you. And so much more.” –Tess and Jeremy, first kiss (Life of the Party)

10. Kinsey Holley: "What, now? Taran, you idiot, once you stick your tongue down my throat and grab my ass, you don’t get to play big brother any more. We’re not that kind of rednecks." –Lark, the heroine (Kiss and Kin)

11. Shelli Stevens: “Are you high? Because we’ve got a history—a pretty complex one where I made it clear I wanted nothing to do with you. And beyond that, I’m not for sale, dammit.” –Sarah Rawlings, heroine (Good Girl Gone Plaid)

12. Erin Nicholas: “Learning to have orgasms with you would be like learning to play chopsticks with Beethoven. She couldn’t find a man with more expertise.” (Just Like That)

13. Skylar Kade: He nipped her forefinger, zinging arousal to all her naughty bits, then stole her breath when he kissed her nose, her cheek. “Do you get a freckle every time you sass a Dom?”

An indelicate snort escaped her. “Sure. The freckles are a little-known Dominant Warning System saying ‘steer clear of the angry redhead!’” –Master Keilor and his soon-to-be-submissive, Tovia (Heat Up the Night)