Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday's Treat : LOVE GAME


Battling housework, Sandi wonders if the spark in her marriage has disappeared. When her husband interrupts their hot-shower lovin’ to take a call from work, she’s positive the magic is gone.

In an attempt to spice things up, she gets a makeover and sets a date with her hubby for a night of passion and romance. There’s only one problem—Roberto doesn’t show. But all is not lost. Alejandro, a silver-tongued Latin loverboy wrapped in an expensive suit, volunteers to keep her company for the evening. He says all the right—and deliciously wrong—things, leaving Sandi no choice but to see him again…and again and again.

One by one, Alejandro strips away her inhibitions, pushing her to act out her darkest fantasies, desires so privateshe’s never mentioned them to anyone, not even her husband. Blindfolds, bondage with silk ropes, sex on the roof—nothing is off limits. But everything is not as it seems. The game’s afoot—a love game—rekindling the scorching-hot passion in Sandi and Roberto’s marriage.

An Excerpt From: LOVE GAME

Copyright © CINDY JACKS, 2011

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

I perched on the edge of his bed as he hung up his sports coat. He walked over and took a seat next to me. Fingertips skittering to the hemline of my dress, Alejandro said, “Now, what about those panties I’ve heard so much about.”

“Not yet.” I pushed his hand away.

He pouted, sliding off the bed onto his knees. “You want me to beg you?”

Peering down at him, I put a finger to his lips. With a swipe of his tongue, he licked the skin between my thumb and forefinger. I laughed and gave him a gentle shove. His gaze boring a hole in me, he lunged and took me down onto the mattress.

I worked the buttons on his shirt and he sloughed off the garment. For a moment, I stared up at him and the gorgeous expanse of his unblemished chest. He nuzzled my jawline and moved his lips past my ear.

“Let me see you.”

At first, I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to do, but when he moved off me and propped himself up with pillows, arms folded over his torso, I realized he expected a show.

“I was promised sexy underwear.” He motioned with his hand as if to say the floor was all mine.

Taking a deep breath, I decided I could do this. In fact, it might be fun. I crawled off the end of the bed, kicking off my heels.

“Leave the shoes on.”

A mocking expression on my face, I stepped into the stilettos again and propped one leg on the bed, pulling up the skirt of my dress to give him a peek of the red lace beneath. A wicked grin parted his lips.

I unzipped my dress and slipped it down around my waist. Immediately, he focused on the plump mounds of cleavage formed by the cups of the camisole and he swallowed hard. The power I had over him went to my head and I grew bolder. I let the dress flutter to the ground and stepped out of it. Doing my best supermodel strut, I walked to the side of the bed. Knees together, I dropped low, licking my forefinger and running it between my breasts. For just a second, I spread my legs, giving him another peek at the panties and then promptly closed my thighs. A low growl rumbled in his throat.

I stood, hands on my hips, and swiveled to display the bow at the cleft of my backside, looking over my shoulder to watch his reaction. He clambered off the bed and caught me around the waist. For all his talk about wanting to see the lingerie, he stripped it off me and threw it to the floor.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday's Guest : Cindy Jacks!

It's Wednesday - time for a guest blogger to visit me! (It's a good thing too, since my computer has been acting temperamental lately...)

Now, I know the weather isn't quite as cold as it was when I dreamed up this heat-fest, but let me tell you, Cindy's writing is the Hottest. I first "met" Cindy when her novel ALL THE GOOD MEN was published last year by Moongypsy Press. You can find Cindy on the web at - - make sure you check out her steamy covers for Ellora's Cave publishers!

Without further babbling by me, I give you


Food Glorious Food

by Cindy Jacks

Food plays a huge role in our lives. It can be comforting, sensual, or just plain nourishing. Meals make up a big part of our lives, help with family bonding and help celebrate important events. And there's no denying food's effect on our health and mental well-being, too. That's why, as an author, I think it's important to describe my characters' eating habits. Also, can they cook? And if so, do they like to or do they prefer to eat out? These details can show a reader much about who the character is.

In my book, All the Good Men, food plays a big part of the manuscript. The heroine, Dahlia, goes on several blind dates to various restaurants which helped me differentiate the personalities of the various suitors. Not to mention there is also pie-flinging scene and scene in which the hero, Jackson Carmichael, is almost killed by a Caesar salad. Yes, that's right, lol, I said killed by a Caesar salad. My latest release with Ellora’s Cave, Love Game, features a seduction scene that centers around a box of chocolates and I’ve been told by one reviewer that she’ll never see buttercream frosting the same way again after reading my Quickie titled Leap.

With so much emotion capable with the manipulation of food, it's no wonder that many books and movies use it as an expression of love—as in Amy Tan's book The Joy Luck Club, to the ultimate slap in the, uh...face, as in the film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. Cuisine served as the heroine's only means of self-expression and the source of elemental magic in Laura Equivel's Like Water for Chocolate. In Fried Green Tomatoes, the movie's title recipe was hardly the most memorable darkly comic dish. Even the phrase I appropriated for the title of this blog entry, “Food, glorious, food,” came from the musical Oliver! There's no doubt in this author's mind as to the powerful cultural statement that can be made by exploring the eating habits of one's characters.

In honor of the fictional pie that gave its life to punctuate my character's frustration, I've included my grandmother's pecan pie recipe. Maw Maw Wiggins made the best pecan pie I've ever tasted—no way in heck I'd ever fling this pie at anyone, no matter how angry. Her secret to its gooey richness? Dark corn syrup and bourbon.

Maw Maw's Pecan Pie

Pie Crust

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, well chilled
3-5 tablespoons water, ice cold

Combine flour and salt. Cut butter into 1/2 cubes, toss into flour. Take out your pastry cutter and throw it away. It is an evil, evil device that will overwork your pastry. For an exceptionally flaky crust you gotta get your hands in there. Using your hands, quickly pinch the butter cubes into pieces about the size and thickness of dimes and nickels. Stir in cold water with fork until incorporated, then give the dough 2 or 3 more quick stirs. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in fridge while you prepare the filling.


1 cup dark corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon bourbon

3 eggs

2 cups pecans, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together all ingredients except pecans. Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with pecans. Place pie on a baking sheet and put into oven. Bake 15 minutes. Turn down heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until pie is soft set. If crust and/or nuts start to brown to much, cover with aluminum foil until the end of baking time. Cool pie completely before serving.


Cindy Jacks

Cindy’s links:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday's Treat : SWEET INSPIRATION

Today's treat is as sweet as a bite of sugar cookie, served with cocoa, on a cold, cold day. Like today, lol. No, really. Penny Watson has sent us a taste of her Christmas romance, SWEET INSPIRATION. I first read this book over the holidays... and can I just say, Yummmm..... !

If you enjoy this sample, click on over to The Wild Rose Press and order up the whole cookie!

And don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free e-copy of Penny's book! The winner will be announced here on this blog Friday, February 18th. Good Luck and enjoy this tasty treat...

Excerpt from SWEET INSPIRATION, by Penny Watson

Nicholas carefully folded his coat over the back of a café chair and watched Lucy giggle with the children, as the puppy (lucky bastard) licked her face like an ice cream cone. He could barely contain his irritation.

First of all, a dog had no place in a dining establishment. What the hell was the woman thinking? Secondly, if a customer attempted a last-minute order change, Nicholas would firmly instruct him that all orders were final five days prior to the gathering. How could one efficiently run a kitchen without rules? Thirdly, and most importantly, Nicholas could smell gingerbread. Cookies. And they were burning. Lucy was oblivious. And her young assistant with the nose ring was leaning over the front counter watching the puppy, utterly clueless about the impending culinary disaster.

Nicholas tapped his foot impatiently, waiting for someone to remember the cookies. He knew by the scent that the cookies were browning, probably a bit too dark around the edges. Still waiting. Now the assistant was snuggling with the puppy, and an old man was regaling Lucy with some ridiculous story. Oh, the hell with it.

Nicholas marched into the kitchen, which was surprisingly clean, found a pair of oven mitts shaped like Laurel and Hardy, and removed the cookies from the oven. He found wire racks in a cupboard and lined them up on the counter. Although the cookies were a tad dark, they were still salvageable. Thanks to him. Using a spatula, he carefully transferred each gingerbread man to cool on the racks. He washed and dried his hands at the sink, and turned around to find Lucy and her nose-pierced assistant staring at him in disbelief.

Lucy stepped up to him, hands on her hips. “Just what do you think you’re doing in my kitchen? I don’t remember inviting you in here!” Lucy asked him incredulously.

“Yeah!” added the assistant. Clearly not the brightest bulb on the planet.

“Since you and your assistant were too busy to tend to the kitchen, and an entire order of gingerbread was about to go up in smoke, I thought I would lend a helping hand. No need to thank me.” Nicholas smiled and raised his left eyebrow in a manner his brother Sven insisted was infuriating.

“Thank you? Kandy and I are more than capable of looking after the kitchen. We do not need your help, Mr....?”

“Klaus. Nicholas Sebastian Klaus. Is your assistant really named Candy? How... charming.”

“It’s Kandy Kane, with a K, not a C. I’m a performance artist.” The young woman gave him a rather lukewarm smile.

“Fascinating.” Nicholas turned to Lucy, who looked ready to murder him. Good going, Nick, how are you supposed to seduce her now?

“I run my own kitchen up north. I assumed you wouldn’t mind a little help, since you were...momentarily distracted. Have I told you that your sugar cookies are divine? They are, truly. I was wondering if we could discuss the subtle flavor profile...”

Lucy crossed her arms, glaring at him. “Mr. Klaus, while I appreciate your concern for my cookies, I can assure you I do not need any more help in my kitchen. Why don’t you sit down with a cup of cocoa, and I’ll bring you some gingerbread cookies. Nice and dark, just the way I like them.” And then Miss Lucy Anne Brewster raised her right eyebrow in an utterly patronizing manner. Nicholas simply could not help himself. He raised his eyebrow right back. Two can play at this game.

A young man rushed into the kitchen, grabbed the performance artist and began to thrust his oddly pierced tongue into her mouth.

“Oh Kandy, can you ever forgive me? Let’s get married right now. Vegas, baby, what do you say? I want our bambino to have a daddy.” Nicholas noted that in addition to his creatively pierced face, tongue-boy also sported a nice assortment of tattoos, all of candy. Peppermints, butterscotch balls, M-and-Ms, and of course, candy canes.

“Ray, I missed you.” Miss Kane began thrusting her tongue right back at him.

Nicholas turned to Lucy. “Ray? That’s not too original.”

Lucy shrugged. “Ray, as in Ray-of-Sunshine. They’re both performance artists.” Then she turned to her assistant and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Kandy, you are forbidden to leave me right now. It’s the middle of our busiest season, and I need you. You and Ray can get married after the new year...”

“But I don’t want to wait, Miss Brewster. I love him!”

Ray licked the side of his girlfriend’s face, and both Nicholas and Lucy shuddered. “Yeah, and I got tickets for us to see Celine Dion, your favorite, honey.”

Lucy watched in disbelief as her assistant bundled up in a parka, plopped on a red Santa hat, and flew out the door with the gangly boy. Nicholas bit his tongue to keep from laughing. Served the woman right for hiring such a flake in the first place.

Leaning down close to Lucy’s ear, he whispered, “Need a new assistant? I just happen to know the perfect gentleman for the job.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday's Guest : Penny Watson

Here's hoping everyone had an absolutely fabulous Valentine's Day celebration this week... and to keep the warm feelings flowing right along, we've got another wonderful author visiting the blog this week!

Penny Watson !

I first *met* Penny Watson through my wonderful local New England RWA chapter, although I don't think we've actually met in person! The chapter has a Yahoo loop, where members post their questions, comments, and successes to share. When my first novel was published, Penny jumped right in to congratulate me and give me advice on promoting myself.

When I had to write a recent magazine article on self-promotion, you can bet the first author I emailed was - you guessed it - Penny Watson. Sweet, funny and sharing, a blog or Facebook post by Penny never fails to make me smile. I'm thrilled to have her as my guest today and can't wait for you all to get to know her, too.

Even better, One very lucky commenter will win a copy of her ebook, SWEET INSPIRATION. Even though the holidays are over, the magic is still there!

Penny, for those who don’t know you, could you share a little bit about who you are?

Hi Katie! Thanks so much for having me as a guest today.

I am a former science teacher and lacrosse coach who married my college sweetheart, moved to Boston, adopted two great kids from the Philippines, and decided to write romance novels in my late 30's. Right now I am dividing my time between writing paranormal stories and reviewing romance novels on my review site, Penelope's Romance Reviews.

At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.

I've been writing creatively since elementary school. I have always loved making up stories and reading a lot! I wrote my first completed novel in 2008, a short holiday romance about Santa Claus and his five sons called Sweet Inspiration. I got a lot of rejections since it was short (55,000 words) and seasonal. I finally figured out which publishers were looking for these types of stories, and I got lucky with The Wild Rose Press. They published Sweet Inspiration in December 2009, and the sequel, Sweet Magik, will be published in November 2011.

How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

I'm a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants). I have very little idea what's going to happen with my stories when I start writing. I just go with the flow and see what happens. It's a really fun way to write.

What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

I love the simplicity of the premise for a true and happiness. The HEA is really important to me. There are not a lot of things in life that have a guaranteed happy ending.

Okay, I have to ask. Your obsession with bearded men. Can you explain?

Ha ha! Yes, I do have an obsession with bearded men. To me, beards are the ultimate symbol of masculinity. And I like super-alpha, masculine heroes in my stories. Lumberjacks are good. :^)

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Oh, great question! I adore Amanda Quick's historicals and Julie Garwood's historicals. They both have the perfect blend of humor, romance, a satisfying storyline, and delicious heroes. I also got hooked on the romance genre by reading Christine Feehan's Dark Series (Carpathian vampires). Her idea that each vampire has one "lifemate" is very romantic...I just love those books! Believe it or not, I am about to start reading a book about an Orca shapeshifter. Don't laugh!

I absolutely loved SWEET INSPIRATION and all of your Klaus brothers! I can hardly wait to read each of their tales. If Hollywood decided to make your book into a movie, which actors would you choose to play Santa’s hunky sons?

Thanks, Katie. I'm so glad you liked the book. Not that I've given this any thought at all (hee hee) but here are my choices for the movie (of course I would play the female lead, that goes without saying!)....

Nicholas--master pastry chef, eldest son: Dark hair, dark eyes, beard, wears glasses...Eric Bana

Sven--toy designer, wood worker: Long dark blond hair, usually pulled into a ponytail...Gabriel Aubry (we'll give him a few acting lessons, he'll be fine!)

Wolfgang--Director of Charitable Donations for Klaus Enterprises; tall, dark and bulked up with intense dark eyes....Joe Manganiello

Gregor--financial guru; has a goatee, slick and well put together...Viggo Mortensen

Oskar--director of elfin management, punk snowboarder, scruffy.....Bradley Cooper (he has that impish smile!)

So, Penny, what's next for you?

I have three WIPs going on right now...yikes! One is book #3 of the Klaus Brothers Series, called Sweet Adventure. One is a mystery called Diabolical. And finally I am working on a botanical paranormal romance called L'Araldo di Primavera.

Where can readers find your books and where can you be found on the web?

I'm all over the web!

Penny Watson's website:

my writer's blog:

my review site:

on Facebook , Twitter @PennyRomance and at goodreads

Sweet Inspiration: Available at Amazon

Sweet Magik will be released by the Wild Rose Press in November 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Great Day at the Bookstore and More Good News

Happy Valentines Day to All!

To celebrate, I spent Saturday afternoon meeting, greeting and signing copies of my book PERFECT STRANGERS at one of my favorite local independent bookstores, Where the Sidewalk Ends, on Main Street in Chatham.

While I didn't "sell out" all of my copies, I did have a great afternoon chatting with friends, neighbors and - yes - perfect strangers about the book and writing in general. Oh, and I sold a few books! Always a good thing ;-)

Many thanks to Caitlin Doggart of Where the Sidewalk Ends for inviting me to spend time in her shop, and many more thanks to the friends who made the trek to support me. (One of my summertime neighbors made a special weekend trip to the Cape just for my signing! Thanks, Pat!)

The time flew by and suddenly it was time to pack up my bag, get back behind the wheel of Mom's Taxi and shift gears to pick up my son from his band practice. Such is the life of a multi-tasking mommy/author ;-)

Today's big news is the request I received to visit with a Book Club in a suburb west of Boston, in the town where we lived when we were first married. One of my old friends (wait, I'm not calling you old, Julie! Just saying we've been friends for a while!) suggested my book to her book group and they were enthusiastic to read the book and then discuss it with the author (that would be me, of course!)

It's another slightly scary and daunting prospect, speaking to a group of well-read women and trying to sound intelligent about the writing process while answering questions... but an exciting prospect nonetheless! Thank you, Julie, for the invite and I hope your group enjoys the story!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone - remember, chocolate isn't fattening if you close your eyes while you're savoring it ;-)

Don't forget to come back and visit the blog later in the week to meet my latest guest...
Penny Watson, who writes light paranormal romance for The Wild Rose Press! She'll be here talking about herself and her writing process on Wednesday, and then posting a delicious excerpt from SWEET INSPIRATION for Thursday's Treat. See you all then!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My first Bookstore Event!

When I picked up the newspaper, I was really looking for news of my son's basketball team. I'd kind of forgotten that the signing this weekend might be advertised... and then there's my name in the promotional list, and in the Chamber of Commerce full page ad, and my book cover featured in the bookstore's ad, along with NYT bestseller Lisa Genova!

Oh. My. God.

Kind of exciting? You bet! I'm nervous too, I must admit... what if no one comes? I'll be that pathetic woman sitting there with a pile of books on the table next to her. But I'll be smiling ;-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Welcome to my second day at Katie’s fabulous blog! Today it’s all about treating YOU. So sit back, relax and enjoy a brief glimpse into my vampire romance e-book set... that’s up for grabs to one lucky commenter.

A taste of Darkest Memory

Gabriel led her toward a lovely wing-backed chair set somewhat near the fire. Made of dark wood and near white satin padding, its simple elegance complimented her gown. "You will sit here for the painting."

She sat and instinctually crossed her legs.

"No," he said softly and though he didn't move she swore she felt his hand on her knee. "Uncross your legs but keep them together as you will be gazing toward the fire."

She followed his instructions and focused on breathing. He was so close, his every little motion noticeable. The way his wide shoulders flexed beneath the black designer T-shirt. The way his dress slacks stretched over long, well-muscles thighs. She could hear Alex mixing her paints and knew she was adjusting the lighting in the room. Still, Gabriel towered and directed and made thought impossible.

He crouched in front of her and took her hands in his. The stroke of his fingers on her palms drew her eyes down. The gesture struck her more intimate than a kiss. Without a word, he took one of her hands and placed it on the chair's armrest closest to the fire and laid her other over it.

"Now," he whispered and her eyes flew to his lips. "Turn your head toward the fire, Calah."

She did.

"No." His knuckles gently brushed her cheek and turned her chin more. "Like that."

She hadn't meant to whisper back. "And what of my expression?"

His hand covered hers. "Just as it is, with unleashed passion caught within a mask of confusion and whimsy." He leaned closer. "I've put that look there. Alex will capture it and every time you look at this portrait you will think of me. You will think of this moment."

*What they’re saying about Darkest Memory* “Purington gives us a jam-packed vampire tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat! This is one vampire love story that will tug on your heart-strings!” ~ Night Owl Romance

A taste of Heart of Vesuvius (Sequel to Darkest Memory)…

She reached out a hand and walked slowly, let her fingers feel the rocky surface, every curve and nuance, every particular deviance made when the Earth had shifted and moved so very long ago. Even the bits of dirt and components embedded in the surface caught her attention, lent detail to whatever she may paint. She closed her eyes and kept feeling, familiarizing, let go of the world around her, for a second in time forgetting they all existed in extreme danger, forgot for a moment she caressed the inner belly of Mt. Vesuvius, destroyer of Pompeii.

“What should I paint?” she murmured to herself.

“What you feel living in the rock.”

Alex wasn’t surprised Salvator stood so closely by her side, that his hand covered hers while she caressed the rock. “You want what I feel?”

“Yes, bella, all you feel.”

Opening her eyes, she watched his long fingers ride hers over the stone. Alex wanted to debate with him, figure out his methods, yet another less used part of her didn’t care, adored the potential only an artist was capable of feeling. “You already know what I will paint.”

“No,” he said softly. “If I did this would not work.”

Turning, she curved into his side, repelled but needing his closeness. “So now you are a prophet as well.”

“I am vampire,” he whispered into her hair, sniffing as though she smelled unique. “I believe in your talent. If my instinct tells me to let you paint, I listen to it.”

“Paint, Alexandria,” he breathed close to her ear. “Paint.”

*What they’re saying about Heart of Vesuvius*… "...this haunting story about loves lost and found is certainly worth the read. …beautifully, heartbreakingly written." ~ The Romance Reviews

Watch book trailers for both at my website .

Best Regards,


Thanks so much for stopping by today, Sky! Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win an e-book set of these two steamy vampire stories!Winners will be announced tomorrow and notified by email. Good luck to all!

JUDY IS THE WINNER OF SKY'S CONTEST, AND WILL RECEIVE A PAIR OF SKY'S SEXY VAMPIRE BOOKS ;-) An email has been sent to the winner - Thanks to all who visited, especially those who left comments for Sky! Next week's guest: Penny Watson!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday's Guest : Sky Purington

It's Wednesday, and even though the Groundhog says spring is just around the corner, it's still Winter around here. Time to heat things up... with a visit from one of my favorite blogging friends, Sky Purington!

I "met" Sky online more than a year ago, and have been a guest on her blog, "A Writer's Mind" twice, promoting each of my books. With the recent release of her new vampire book, Heart of Vesuvius, I thought it was high time I returned the favor ;-)

Today, Sky will introduce herself to you and tell you a bit about what she writes. Tomorrow, she'll give us a few sample tastes from her delicious pair of vampire romances, Darkest Memory and, her latest novel, Heart of Vesuvius.

Let's hear some cyber-applause and warm welcome for paranormal romance writer
Sky Purington!

Katie, it’s so great to be here. Thanks for having me over! For those of you unfamiliar with my work I write a cross genre of paranormal/fantasy romance with a heavy dose of time-travel. From Druids to Scottish Highlanders, I adore all things Celtic and historical. Lately however, I’ve been dabbling far more into the paranormal end of things. Last year I celebrated the release of Darkest Memory and its sequel, Heart of Vesuvius. Both boast sexy, suave international vampires.

In Darkest Memory, you’ll meet Gabriel. Aristocratic to the bone, this English vampire secretly watches over Calah, his American heroine, until the day he has no choice but to reveal himself to her. From there, it’s a whirlwind ride in which the reader travels down a passionate road that includes revisiting Westminster Abbey the night of King Richard’s coronation. While the pages sizzle, in the end…there’s still an enemy out there.

Enter the second story, Heart of Vesuvius. On the run, Gabriel’s sister and fellow vampire, Alexandria flees the nemesis newly infuriated in Darkest Memory. Where does she run for safety? Into the arms of the last man she wants to, ancient and too-hot-for-words Italian vampire Salvator. This time the reader is thrust into an action packed, super-steamy trip into the mountains of Italy. And soon enough, the sleeping beast, Mt. Vesuvius. Might this include a trip into the distant past, more specifically ancient Pompeii? You’ll have to read it to find out!

Writing these stories was great fun. Not only was it my first time dabbling in the vampire realm but it was the first time I left behind my Highland warriors and explored penning about darker characters. After all, the enemies of vampires need be very dark indeed. Honestly, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be diving into the darker side of one’s mind. I know, kind of scary that! But I’ve always held an odd fascination with vampires and once you’ve knocked around in one of their head’s a bit, writing about an even darker character isn’t much of a stretch. And as in all quality stories, writing about the bad only helps you write better of the good!

Suffice it to say, I’ve now embarked on a new journey. One I’m sure my hostess approves of. I’ve just contracted my first ghost story, The Victorian Lure. But that my friends, will be talked of another time.

As the main focus of my visit at Katie’s blog is to chat about my vampire stories, I welcome questions. Between today and tomorrow, one lucky commenter will be drawn. The prize? Darkest Memory AND Heart of Vesuvius Ebooks!

Interested in winning prizes and finding new romance authors? Pop over to my blog, A Writer’s Mind and join in the fun during my Celts and More Blog Event.

I welcome feedback from readers! Contact me at

Learn more. Visit my Website.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Puppy STILL Growing...

March 2010

Puppy was a mere fuzzball of a thing when we adopted her last Spring. Over the months, she's grown into a larger Puppy, and a still larger Puppy. My husband has insisted at many points along the way that, "Okay, I think she's all done growing now."

She's not.

I had originally posted about this in June 2010, which you can read here , around the first time he insisted she was finished growing. When she looked like this:

June 2010

But she keeps growing. I thought it would be interesting to take yet another photo of her next to the exact same kitchen stool....

February 2011

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for a date with SKY PURINGTON and her delicious vampires...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dealing with Rejection

Okay, so maybe it's the awful winter weather that's had me down lately, but I've found myself unable to write, unable to finish the two works in progress that I've got going... and unable to even think about the MG manuscript that's just sitting there on my hard drive....

Rejection. It's a really long 4-letter word.

But the sun was out yesterday - finally - and it's making another appearance today, so in my mind, things are looking brighter as well. I found this great post about dealing with rejection at the fabulous blog of Rose Cooper, author of Gossip From the Girls' Room. If you don't read her posts, you should! Or at least read this one for a start, and cheer up. Even the famous have been rejected. And survived.

Rose Cooper's blog post is at:

And don't forget to come back Wednesday to meet and greet my guest author and paranormal romance writer extraordinaire, Sky Purington!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Puppy Plays with a (smaller) Puppy

Puppy met her new "cousin" Yoshi for the first time a few weeks ago. She's usually very shy around new dogs, believe it or not. She's a big chicken. Emphasis on big.

It always seems to surprise the other dog owners we meet when we're out walking in the fields in the mornings. Puppy always hangs back, lets all the other dogs meet and greet first. She especially waits until Big Dog gives the okay.

When we met Yoshi, Big Dog wasn't around. Puppy had to do it all on her own.

Yoshi, being a young puppy, didn't know any better. He was right in Puppy's face, saying hi.

Puppy survived, and actually had a great time with Yoshi. She picked up the smaller pup's leash and walked him around in the snow - him on top of it all because he's so light, her up to her belly most of the time. It's one of my Puppy's favorite tricks, to walk other dogs (she does it to our Old Dog all the time. Old Dog tolerates.) Unfortunately, those photos didn't come out so well with the blue shadows across the snow.

Well, off to meet our doggie friends to walk in the field. Our usual "gang" includes Puppy the Saint Bernard, the shepherd-y Big Dog, a small reddish Australian cattle dog and a rescued Pug named Forest Gump. Old Dog comes along when the weather is good - not today, with all the ice. It's a motley crew to say the least, but highly popular with the other dogs we meet along the way. Our gang has the right-sized dog for every occasion.

If you run into us, be sure to say hello - just realize that Puppy isn't being standoffish or rude. She's just a big chicken. (Emphasis on big.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday's Treat: PLAYING FOR KEEPS

Okay, who's ready for a little heat?

Jaydyn Chelcee is my guest this week, and she's kindly agreed to post an excerpt from her upcoming western romance, PLAYING FOR KEEPS. Let me warn you, it's a good one...

Ready? Here goes...

EXCERPT from Playing for Keeps, by Jaydyn Chelcee

“What are you doing?” It was the first calm words the woman had spoken in hours. Her voice quivered. For the first time, he detected a hint of fear in her voice, as if she believed he’d pulled off the Interstate for nefarious reasons. Good! Let her stew.

“I have something to do,” Duel grunted.

Shit, it hurt to move. His chest and arm were killing him. What he needed was a clean motel room, a hot shower, fresh clothes that weren’t covered in dried blood as well as wet, and a few sutures.

And pain killers would be nice. Wasn’t happening anytime soon, none of it was happening.

“What? Is this it?”

Squinting, he studied her. “Is this it? What it?”

“The end of the line?”

“Lady, you make very little sense. Just zip your mouth. I don’t even want to talk to you.”

“Aww. You’re mad because I stabbed you?” She sounded incredulous, as if he had no reason to be pissed.

“Am I mad? Horse shit. Yeah, you could say that. I’m beyond miserable, thanks to you. If you think this trip is going to be pleasant for you, you’re damned wrong. I hurt.”

“Good,” she said sweetly. “I hope your arm rots off.”

“Jesus Christ. I liked you better when you weren’t yakking your head off. Shut-up, or I’ll gag you. And you should know when I hurt, I get testy.”

“You’re a man, aren’t you? Never met one yet that’s not a wuss when it comes to a little pain.”

He glared at her. “Want me to stab you and see if you like it?”

“You think you can best me in a fair fight?”

“Fair fight?”

“Yes, fair,” she snapped. “You cheated. You slugged me.”

“You stabbed me,” he shot back.

“I was defending my home!”

“I was defending my body.”

She arched a brow. “Yeah, like it needs it. Where are we?”

Like it needs it? What was that supposed to mean? “No where important,” he replied testily. “And I told you to shut up.”

“Make me. Where are you taking me?”

“No where important.”

She snorted. “Anyone ever tell you you’re an―”

“All the damn time, so I don’t need to hear it from you.” Duel didn’t want to talk to her. He sure as hell didn’t want to think about her and her remark about his body.

She’d come around about an hour after they were cruising. At first, she’d mostly struggled to break free of the cuffs, but once she realized there was no snapping the links, she’d called him every name in the book, in between demanding her freedom, and making vile threats to his family jewels and its lone appendage.

Sure, he ignored her. Duel figured his cock and balls were safe as long as kept them out of harm’s way. He’d driven for hours now. They were a long way down the highway, a long way from her home in Virginia.

PLAYING FOR KEEPS... Coming in April from Moongypsy Press


The winner of Book One of the Montana Men series is LydiaK. Thanks to everyone who left comments!

Don't forget to come back next week for more romance to heat up your February. Next up: Sky Purington, talking about her latest release, Heart of Vesuvius.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday's Guest: Jaydyn Chelcee

It's February! Time to start heating things up...

The first guest on the list is Jaydyn Chelcee
, author of the best-selling contemporary western romances, the Montana Men series, In the Arms of Danger, No Holds Barred and Too Close to the Fire.

Jaydyn's a member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. and writes both western romances and paranormal romances. Her Winslow witches of Salem series, written under the name Tabitha Shay, have been nominated for several awards, including the prestigious P.E.A.R.L. Award for Witch’s Moon that was nominated for Best All Around Paranormal in 2008. She's also thrilled to announce that Witch’s Fire just finished Second Place winner earlier this week for Best Paranormal Book of 2010 at LRC. The next book in the Winslow witches series, Witch’s Touch, is coming soon from Moongypsy Press.

Please give a warm welcome to Jaydyn as she visits to help heat up the month of February...

Hi, Katie,

Thank you so much for inviting me to be your guest. For today, I’d like readers to get a chance to know a little bit about me and my upcoming release, Playing For Keeps. It’s book four of the Montana Men series and is scheduled for release in April from Moongypsy Press.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an excerpt. For a chance to win an E-copy of book one in this series, In the Arms of Danger, be sure to leave a comment so your name can go in a drawing. The lucky winner will be announced Friday, Feb. 4th right here.

BLURB: Playing For Keeps, by Jaydyn Chelcee

A touch of fire ignites a shocking murder…

From the moment Flayme Jansen looked into the slumberous green eyes of the sexy cowboy from Rimrock, Montana, she knew she was in trouble. But she’d never been in his kind of trouble: being taken into custody and placed in a witness protection program for national security.

Duel Remington has a job to do and no matter how difficult the feisty redhead makes it, he’s determined to protect her. Even if it means facing long cold nights handcuffed to the woman whose life he’s trying to save.

In the dead of winter…one man. One woman. One assassin. All are Playing For Keeps!

Be sure and scope out Jaydyn's website at

You can find Jaydyn's books at and

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome February... Wait, More Snow?

I've been looking forward to February - anticipating the end of the bitter coldness of January and hoping for warmer, kinder weather... and then the weatherman tells me we're starting the new month with a snow and ice storm - !!!

... noooooo!!!

...and to top that New England yuckiness, possible snow tornadoes off in the midwest! I've never even heard of that! (I think these weathermen are all getting a little too strung out on the hyped-up winter weather madness we've got going on this year...)

...which makes me all the more grateful that I thought ahead and scheduled a series of wonderful romance authors to come visit and share blurbs and excerpts from their hot new books!

Starting tomorrow I'll have a different romance author visiting each week - don't forget to visit each Wednesday and Thursday this month to see who's steaming up the joint...

As for the snow... at least the weathermen - and my Puppy - are all happy...