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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anytime Darlin' - Fallen Angel Reviews


5 ANGELS:

"When paramedic Jake McKenna responds to a call, he never expects to find an unconscious girl, beaten and fevered. Wide, terror-stricken eyes meet his and their hands clasp as he works to save her. It's soon discovered that the girl, Devlin, has recently lost her immediate family to a car accident. The man who did this to her was her own uncle and guardian, a ruthless man who will do anything to get a hold of Devlin's trust money, including taking her life. Jake doesn't understand why but they connect on a deeper level and he doesn't leave Devlin's side until she's better. After a kiss between the two that leaves him spooked, Jake takes off to his family's ranch to help with calving. Almost five years pass before they see each other again, but neither has forgotten the feelings they have for one another and soon they're together every day. Devlin loves being with Jake but never feels quite safe; she knows her uncle is still out there and will stop at nothing until she's dead. Anytime Darlin' is a fabulously suspenseful story of one woman's path from tragedy to joy. There is a part of the story where Devlin chronicles her ordeal at the hands of her uncle, and she includes the telling of her rape. While disturbing, it endears the reader to this character, and we're able to more fully appreciate the anger of the hospital workers and other characters in the story, to share in their emotions. Jake is a thoroughly compassionate, delicious sexy hero. At a time when Devlin had no family in her life, Jake's presence is a calming balm. Although Devlin is several years younger than him, they make a delightful couple and their smoldering sensuality fairly melts the digital pages. The secondary characters also round out this story, making a decent story even more robust. This is the first story I've read by this talented author. It certainly won't be my last." -- Bella, Fallen Angel Reviews

http://fallenangelreviews.com/2010/September/bella-anytimedarlin.htm

I'm also super pleased that Anytime Darlin' is up on Amazon -

http://www.amazon.com/Anytime-Darlin-Publishing-Allure-ebook/dp/B00440DUPO/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285893446&sr=8-1

I'd also like to thank Romances for More for featuring my menage One Four All: http://romancesformore.blogspot.com/2010/09/one-four-all-julia-barrett.html

I so wish I had something profound to say, but man, I am still so sick...sucks...

Welcome To My World


Welcome To My World
 
Dinner time; a joint effort between hubby and I on most nights. He grills, I spice or marinate meat, prepare side dishes. 
This particular evening, I’ve worked way too long, have no motivation and decide to embrace ‘tater tots’ as my only contribution to the meal. Hubs comes inside as I’m spreading oil on a sheet pan with my fingers. He leans in close and presses himself seductively against me.


Hubs: “This gives me all kinds of ideas.”


Me: “Huh? What are you talking about?” I pour the tots on the tray and move around a bit due to him invading my personal space by pressing his person against mine.


H: “Oil, on our fingers, rubbing, massaging…”


M: “Vegetable oil? Eewww! That’d be a freakin’ mess.”


H: “I wasn’t talking about pouring it.”


M: “Any amount would soak through the sheets and into the mattress.”


H: “We could get a rubber sheet.”


M: “You want to buy a set of special sheets so we can use cooking oil in the bedroom? Where would we go to get those? And wouldn’t it get so slippery that we’d slide off?”


H: “But how much fun would we have slipping and sliding around?”


M: “Do you realize what a cleaning nightmare that would be?” I shudder at the thought of filling a bucket with Pine Sol, finding the mop…


H: “Never mind."

Damn, I need a vacation!! 
Tessie

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Erotic Romance vs Porn?

Erotic Romance vs Porn?
 
I recently blogged about the difference between erotic romance and pornography and I’m posting the question again with a few additions because it’s an interesting question and I was desperate for a blog today. lol

As a writer of erotic romance I often see knowing looks on the faces of others when I tell them what I enjoy writing. I notice a lot of heading nodding and smirking. I’ve often watched in slight discomfort as the “Wow, I thought she was such a nice lady…” expression melted right off their face and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it except explain myself.

Men can be especially bad about jumping to the wrong conclusions. A few immediately assume erotic-romance must fall into one of two categories “silly women’s romance” or “porn for women” and they say so. “Oh you write porn, I never would have guessed.” Or “Oh, that silly woman’s stuff? Maybe I can pose for your next book cover?” (Then they actually pose)

I often feel honor bound to explain that the vast majority of well-crafted erotic romantic fiction deserves its own category and it’s not silly or pornographic. 

Porn is lonely. It doesn’t foster tender feelings or look for common ground between partners. It’s a purely physical focus. It’s about bodies meeting—not souls. 

If souls don’t meet in a story, it’s not a satisfying romance.

Erotic romantic fiction focuses on the sexual side of emotional bonding. Souls meet and bond through the physical act of love. Erotic romance has a heart. The partners involved care about each other and grow to love each other. 

In my opinion emotional intention is the big difference between porn and erotic romance. Erotic romance incorporates strong feelings for the other. The other partner’s thoughts and welfare matter before, during and after any sort of sexual activity—even a kiss.

Pornography doesn’t care about those involved in the act or ask about their feelings afterward and to my eyes, is not the least bit romantic. 

Erotic romantic fiction is about exploring love through the physical sensations and emotions associated with sex. 

In erotic romantic fiction (if not always in real life) sexual exploration must lead to a caring mutually beneficial relationship. Love and respect must exist between the fictional partners or else the story simply doesn’t work as a romantic fiction. 

The erotic part of the story has to be honest, emotionally engaging and trigger a physical reaction in the reader or else it doesn’t work as erotic fiction. 

An author of erotic romance has to seek a delicate balance between love and lust that oscillates between the panting, crazed, call of the wild and the highest, selfless expression of sacred love. 

When it all comes together the result can be some very memorable, soul-thrilling erotic romance.



The boundaries get pushed to the limits with erotic romantic ménage. The balancing act gets far more complicated. Multiple fictional partners equal multiple emotional entanglements and everyone needs to be included in the heart circle or else it’s not a romance, it’s just erotic. If the partners are simply enjoying sex and don’t really care about each other (gasp!)—it’s porn… 

Many authors handle the mixed emotions of ménage beautifully and have written some stunning love stories that can leave us all wondering “what if that could work?”

Where do you draw the line between the erotic and pornographic?

XXOO Kat

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Rainy Day and Mean People Suck



You know the saying When it Rains it Pours? Well today is one of those days. Last night I went to bed having to deal with an issue I thought we put behind us last school year. It seems the girl who was tormenting my daughter about the loss of her brother has started up again.

Of course L was very upset by her taunts. I got to witness firsthand what the girl was saying when my daughter showed me on Facebook. So now I’m dealing with the police and a cyber bullying issue.

Then I wake to learn a close friend has lost her husband unexpectedly. My heart goes out to her and her family. To make matters worse another good friend had some unfortunate things happen to her. Enough already.

I’m not sure what I had planned to blog about originally, but needless to say it’s gone.
On a side note, my Loose Id Adrift is up for Favorite 5 Heart Review over at The Romance Studio; if you would like to vote please do so here. 
I’m up against some awesome writers so I’ll understand if you cast a vote for someone else .:)

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nibble on UNTIL THE DAWN by Desiree Holt & Cerise DeLand

Already out over at http://www.jasminejade.com/ is the first in a series of erotica thrillers by my good pal and talented award-winning author, Desiree Holt, and me!
Yes, we have taken our suspense to the highest level to give you...a thriller!
This one, UNTIL THE DAWN, introduces you to women who are, to be blunt, kick-ass wise and strong. No. Not superheroines, except in the most real sense. The first heroine is Madison Sommers who hires a man she should resist. But can't. Doesn't. Once she has him, she wishes she'd done it sooner. YEP. Dan Foreman is that luscious.
Want a taste of our trailer about Dan and Maddie?
Feast!
Then come read!
We have the second coming soon, UNTIL MIDNIGHT.
Our tag line?
Danger has new mistresses.
UNTIL THE DAWN.
You'll be thrilled.
Desiree and I will see you both at Romanticon next week, won't we? DO HOPE SO!
And for your pleasure, here is our trailer:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Need your opinion...

I have been buying a few stock photos to use in learning to create banners and covers.  

I didn't notice until after I pressed the "Pay" button that this hot dude is sporting a bit of body piercing jewelry. Now, I don't mind seeing a bit here and there, but a man's nipple is sacrosanct, and must be unadorned, to be admired, nibbled, and licked without anything getting in the way. But in a photo, the offending bit of glitter can be photo-shopped away gently to leave that nipple as pristine and sexy as ever.

Tattoos are really becoming the "it" thing to do now. Back in my youth (Ahem...better known as the Crow-Magnon days) only sailors, prison inmates, and an occasional drunk teen after the Junior Prom had tats...and women? Gasp! Never!  It used to be a skull and a name. Now, tribal tats are extremely popular.  Unfortunately, I see very few members of any tribes I know personally with a tribal tat.  I live in an area where five different tribal reservations are centered, and I have yet to see a tribal tat on any naked biceps!

But I digress.  Back to nipple adornments.

I love hot male nipples. Does that mean that I am a hopeless degenerate? But I love the purity of design of the au naturelle nipple.  Does that make me hopelessly outmoded? I have had guys tell me when I have interviewed them that they love the "look" of female nipple piercings, but when they get down to the touchy-feely-sexy part of foreplay, the hardware gets in the way, and some get turned off.  

So how about you? Do you think nipple rings are hot?  Oh...you have a couple?  Um...okay...how about on men?  You tell me what your thoughts are, and prove I'm completely outdated, silly, and antiquated.  :P

Fran



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anytime Darlin, from Two Lips Reviews







Paramedic Jake McKenna responds to an ambulance call and finds Devlin Barre emaciated, raped, and beaten to near death. He instantly feels a connection to her and becomes a constant support during her stay at the hospital while she recovers from her trauma. However, he’s 24 and she’s only 17, so he knows they cannot have a relationship and decides to put some distance between them.

When Jake doesn’t call on her 18th birthday, Devlin realizes that she needs to get over Jake and learn to take care of herself. Although her uncle, who raped and beat her, got away, she knows she can’t live in fear forever. She has no family left, but she leaves her new friends and heads back home to go to school and find out what she really wants in life.

Four years later when Jake and Devlin reunite at a friend’s wedding, the sparks fly. They realize that the feelings they had for each other never went away, only this time there’s no reason to deny it. But Jake isn’t the only one hoping to reunite with Devlin; her uncle is still looking for revenge. Can Jake and Devlin forge a life together or will it be too late?

I would have liked to see the relationship between Devlin and Jake develop more slowly. It was love at first sight and I never got a feel for why they were so in love with each other so quickly. Although if you can get past that, the relationship between the two is so sweet and endearing that it really doesn’t matter why they got together in the first place. Plus, the sizzling hot sex scenes burn up the pages and you can definitely feel the attraction between them.

I almost didn’t read Anytime Darlin’ because of the rape of the main character, but I’m so glad I did. I thought Julia Rachel Barrett did an excellent job of touching on this sensitive subject but not making it the central focus. Devlin is a memorable main character who has a series of tragic events happen in her life that she overcomes with strength and grace. Jake is the perfect hero for this story because although he knows he could be with Devlin when he first meets her, he does the honorable thing and lets her go.

This book has it all, suspense, real life characters, and a heart-warming love story. It will make you think and will stay with you long after reading it. Definitely a recommended read!








I Love a Good Book


My Wednesdays are medically ordered days of “rest”. For the last I can’t remember how long, they have been spent having treatments, tests or regular doctor’s appointments. Yesterday, I had nothing scheduled and was giddy with the prospect of sleeping in and lounging around like the Queen of Sheba.
This translated into getting up at regular work time, doing a huge grocery shopping, cleaning the fish tank, schlepping the laundry and paying bills. I finally decided ‘screw this’, crawled into bed and picked up the book on the top of my towering ‘to be read’ pile. They are in no particular order.

I bought Laced with Desire because it is four shorter stories and I’m a big fan of both Jaci Burton and Joey W. Hill. After re-acquainting myself with the blurbs on the back, I started with Hill’s Honor Bound. My intent was to lose myself in a well written erotic romance that I didn’t have to invest a lot of time into. I actually planned to read for just a bit before drifting off to nap goodness. What happened was me bawling like a baby as I was blown away by a story so emotionally intense and subtly layered that I can’t get it out of my head.


I’m not a reviewer, I’m just a huge fan of what we all do!
Tessie

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"One Four All" and all for fall!


Today is the Autumn Equinox and the first official day of fall, so I’m going to offer you a harvest hodge podge of all kinds of good things.
First, Julia Rachel Barrett’s new ménage spectacular “One Four All” is available today from Siren Press. This story is erotic Sci-fi and it looks damn good!
In “One Four All” we get a beautiful kidnapped princess Lira and three (!!!) gorgeous bodyguards for consorts. (Yes please!)
Click on the cover above to visit the Siren site.
I also read Julia Rachel Barrett’s “Anytime Darlin’” this week and I loved it. It’s a romance with plenty of suspense and villains truly worth hating.
Fran Lee’s latest book “Woman On Fire” got a great 4.5 heart review from The Romance Studio. Congratulations Fran!
Seriously Reviewed treasured Tessie Bradford’s “Treasuring Evie” This Quickie has been getting good reviews!
Cerise De Land was reviewed no less than three times including a fantastic 5 Siren Stone review from Siren Book Reviews for “Carried Away” On top of her Tough Texan Hombre releases this week Cerise carried everyone away!
Amber Skyze charmed 5 Siren Stones from the Sirens for that hot little romp “Submit with Me”. She also had her first book released from Loose Id “Adrift”. From what I read this one’s great. I got really drawn in…
I have a little of my own good news to post, this morning I got an Ellora’s Cave contract for my holiday short novel about a couple who escape the day after Christmas without the kids to a beautiful lodge to play games and reconnect as lovers. The husband brings along a big red box filled with erotic surprises… What did I name a story about a box full of toys for good girls? “Nice Package”
Happy Autumn Equinox. Now go do something fun and Equinoxy!
XXOO Kat

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Voyeurism

Voyeurism is something I write about occasionally, but over the last few months we’ve been living it! You’ll have to excuse me, but it’s not anyone in our house undressing or performing sexual acts. It’s my neighbors. It seems they don’t like to wear clothes often.
It started when my husband was out on our deck tossing the ball for one of the dogs. The neighbor’s sister in law, who lives with them, was in her bedroom. Her window faces our deck. It was dusk and she went into her room and stood in front of the window with the lights on and took off her shirt. If that wasn’t enough she then removed her bra.
The DH was mortified. LOL I know you’re all thinking, “REALLY?” But yes. At first he thought it was a mistake that she didn’t realize she was exposing herself. Then it began to happen almost daily. Finally the DH gave up playing in the yard with the dogs and took them to the park.
The next encounter with the woman was with my daughter. She was out on the deck watching her daughter play in the yard when, you guessed it, she started stripping again. B came in the house flabbergasted.
About a week ago I’m out on the deck enjoying the weather when I look over and the husband is out in the yard in boxers and a t-shirt. Mind you he’s older than my father and well…not what I wanted to see. He was casually trying to hide himself. I waved and quickly went back in the house.
I may write about it in my stories, but I never imagined living it. Let me tell you it’s sexier in books!
Until next Tuesday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Want ONE TOUGH HOMBRE, a hard drivin' Texas Ranger?

ONE TOUGH HOMBRE debuts today over at http://www.total-e-bound.com/ and wow, do I hope you like my big ol' Texas Ranger who has one damn big problem: He's got the hots for the sweet thing who owns the bakery shop. Name of Kandy. Tastes like it, too, he imagines. He is fixing to have a big taste.
Only problem is Kandy does not date. She does not sleep around. She only marries.
And our man, Dane Masters, does not date...or marry. He only craves Kandy.
Who's gonna get what they want?
(You can in this series, because there are two more where Dane Masters came from. TWO TOUGH HOMBRES and THREE TOUGH HOMBRES coming soon from me at Total-e!)
Here is a nibble to know:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting back into the saddle...


Started writing again on the sequel to Hallie's Cats...Telling Cal's Story.

It's been a rough several months for me. I got stalled on two stories by my editor, and no matter how hard I tried, thinking about her comments made it very hard for me to get back into Cal's story. You may recall that Hallie's Cats was a major menage with leopard shifters? My editor thought that having the menage continue into the sequel would "detract from the romance between Cal and his lady". 

Helloooo? The name of the plot is MENAGE?

I have written 2/3 of Cal's story, but I can't put the menage back into it at this point. Ever had something like this happen to you? What would you do in this case? Don't have the same editor anymore...but so much of the book is in the can, it would be difficult to switch it now. And will fans be looking for another shifter menage? Will they get P.O.'d that it is a m/f with no hot three-ways? You tell me...and I will work something out with your feedback.

Thanks!

Fran

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crossed over to the dark side...


Menage me!

Ya'll made me do it, write a menage. Ah well...what can I say? Sometimes you have to listen to your friends and take a chance.

One Four All, my science fiction f/m/m/m comes out over at Siren on September 22 - yikes! Am I ready for this? I need all the support I can get! Seriously.

Lira Pakan, heir to the Throne of Zhinshu, has vanished. Her zealots gather along the border with the neighboring state of Khubuk, awaiting the outcome of her father's pleas to the World Court.

Captain Tanner Kepp serves in the elite Special Forces of Khubuk. When the captain is ordered to choose two men to accompany him to Land's End, an isolated compound on the maritime border between Khubuk and Zinshu, the last thing he expects to find is the missing princess.

Captain Kepp, Arms Master Cer Watso and Sergeant Redda Till realize they must rescue her and avert all out war.

The princess, however, has other plans. These men can be more than her rescuers. According to the law of Zhinshu, she must choose three men as consorts. Her people say: "one to guard the right hand, one to guard the left hand, and one to guard the back, always."




3 Cherries from Whipped Cream!!


In the world of reviews, which is more important, the words or the numbers? At the beginning of my career, the number was what I wanted. To be able to post a 4, 4.5 or the coveted 5 on my website was all that mattered.


Then I started investigating the online sites that post reviews. They range from well respected, long standing e-publishing sites, to blogs dedicated to the craft, to ‘trashing the genre’ hate sites. Each one has its own rating scale and they differ widely in their criteria.


From Whipped Cream’s website:

3 Cherries -- Good. Mostly enjoyable. You made it through and didn't consider it a waste of time or money. The story was strong enough or the conflict tight enough, so even when the book faltered, it was able to draw you back in and keep you. There's a chance you'll recommend it to a friend, but it wouldn't go on your keeper shelf.


I am a very tough critic. Few books end up on my keeper shelf. I’ve read a great many that I considered a waste of money or time. A story has to really stand out for me to take the time to recommend it to someone. “Good, mostly enjoyable” is something to be proud of.


From the review:

“I like stories where the hero and heroine aren’t twenty-two, slim, and vivacious. Don’t get me wrong, the characters in this story are great, they just aren’t run-of-the-mill. Evie and Matt have lives, they’ve been there, done that and are now having a chance to find out what they want out of what’s left. That sounds odd, but it’s true. People in the middle part of their lives fall in love and in the case of this book, it’s steamy hot…
If you want a hot story with a little voyeurism and a lot of sex, then you need to read Treasuring Evie. I give it 3 cherries.”


A successful review in my eyes is one where the reviewer “gets” what I was trying to convey and takes the time to elaborate.
Tessie
P.S. I'm actually out of town on a short business trip right now. I look forward to reading and commenting on comments when I get back!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Today, I’m very proud to share a special treat from Amber Skyze. I just finished reading her newest book “Spend the Night with Me” and I loved it!
“Spend the Night with Me” is the latest installment of the “Freedom Fantasies” series that includes, “Pretend with Me” and “Submit with Me”, and this one might be the best yet (but I might be a wee bit biased and I’ll give you a hint why later). If you’re not familiar with “Freedom Fantasies” you’ll want to be. Freedom Fantasies is a mansion run by women for women who need a special place to heal their hearts and make their fantasies come true. In “Spend the Night with Me” the heroine, a shy, single woman named Brooke finds herself in the early stages of emotional recovery following a crushing personal loss. Her first act as a whole woman is to bravely approach Freedom Fantasies and simply sit in the bar to be around others, especially men, but because Freedom Fantasies is a somewhat magical place the young bartender Liam, who is a hazel-eyed, charming hunk offers Brooke a “Blue Hawaii”. After a few sips of the drink and a bit of flirting with Liam, Brooke’s shy, good-girl demeanor instantly goes bye-bye.
It’s not just the fruity drink that turns Brooke into a sexually confident “older woman” of thirty who can suddenly speak her mind and aggressively pursue the pleasure she’s starved for, it’s also the magic of Freedom Fantasies and Liam’s incredibly sweet and sexy personality. Liam is smitten with Brooke at first sight and eager to bed a beautiful, sophisticated woman. He’s also equally eager to please her and get to know her as a person and this terrifies Brooke whose heart is still on the mend. Liam has a sense of humor and innocence to him that provides a strong contrast to the heartache and loss Brooke has endured in recent times. They agree to one night together in Liam’s modest apartment and it’s a sizzler. Brooke loves what Liam does for her body but fears what might happen to her shattered heart if she surrenders to a younger man. Before the night is over she finds herself pushing Liam away without telling him what she has been through. Brooke is a bit commitment shy and I found it refreshing to be genuinely worried about the man’s feelings.
Chemistry and fate guarantee Brooke and Liam can’t stay apart. When these two rent a room in the Freedom Fantasies mansion complete with a stripper pole, toys, and a swing over the bed—watch out! I’m not going to tell you what happens but I wholeheartedly encourage to buy “Spend the Night with Me”, blend up a Blue Hawaii and enjoy the steam! Fair warning: Freedom Fantasies is an uninhibited place and this is a face-fanning read.
XXOO Kat
PS. Before you run off with a handsome young bartender, don’t forget to check out the beautiful dedication at the front of the book —it made my heart pound!
Amber Skyze “Spend the Night with Me” available now from Ellora’s Cave.
More good news, more Freedom Fantasies are headed our way—“Play with Me” will be available October 15 from Ellora’s Cave.
“Ignite the Flames” a trilogy of Amber Skyze classics now available in PRINT! From Ellora’s Cave.

New Release - Adrift


Today is release day for me. My first book with Loose Id. I'm very excited about this book and enjoyed writing about a heroine who wasn't Barbie sized. Check out Adrift available now.
Here's a little taste:

“I expect everyone to be there.” Mr. Carlton stood up and continued talking to the small group in the conference room. “My wife looks forward to this every year, so I don’t want to disappoint her. There will be boats at the dock to take people back and forth to Carlton Island.”
Kari cringed just thinking about getting into a boat and being escorted over to her boss’s island. The last thing she wanted to do over her weekend was spend it with him and fellow coworkers. Kari enjoyed the peace and serenity of her apartment. She didn’t have to make small talk except with Pepper, her cat.
Last year she’d been able to get out of the company picnic, but something told her this time she wouldn’t be so lucky.
“This is bullshit.”
Kari swiveled her chair to see who else felt like she did, but was brave enough to voice his opinion. She was met with the most amazing blue eyes.
Ben.
Her heart caught in her throat. Was he speaking to me?
Ben Eckhart hadn’t uttered a word to her in the three years he’d worked at Carlton Technologies. Kari had admired him from afar, knowing he’d never be interested in someone like her. She wasn’t a size 2 pinup model like Ben probably dated.
“Does he think we don’t have a life outside of work?”
He was talking to her.
Hanging out on her deck with a book wasn’t in the cards for her this weekend.
“Have you ever been?” he asked.
“Once. I’ve managed to escape all the other yearly get-togethers, but I don’t see that happening this weekend.”
“I heard people have gotten let go for not attending.”
She’d heard that too, but thankfully it hadn’t happened to her. With the economy in dire straits, she wasn’t risking it this year. “That’s what they say. I can’t afford to take any chances. I’ll be going.”
“Me too, I guess.”
Kari groaned inwardly. She didn’t want to spend the weekend lusting over Ben. At work she could cover up her scars, but on Carlton Island she’d be expected to dress more casually.
Maybe she could think of a way out of this.
“Spouses and significant others are more than welcome too,” Mr. Carlton continued.
Kari turned her attention back to her boss. Right about now, she wished she had someone in her life she could bring along to ease the pain of watching Ben. Fortunately he wasn’t aware of her feelings for him.
He leaned closer to her chair and whispered in her ear. “You bringing someone?” Heat from his breath trickled down her neck, straight to her core. Images of Ben wearing only swim trunks filled her mind. She pictured a hard, smooth chest and abs of steel she could run her fingers along.
“No,” she snapped.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
She swiveled her chair slightly and glanced over her shoulder. His lips were close. Close enough that if she leaned just a little bit, she could graze them with her own. “I didn’t mean to snap. I’m just really frustrated about having to go this weekend. I’m going alone.”
“Hmmm. I guess I’ll see you there.”
“Guess so.”
Mr. Carlton ended the meeting. Kari gathered her notebook, pen, and coffee mug before heading back to her office. She wondered if Ben would be coming alone or if he would be bringing some lucky lady.
She prayed he came alone. He’d broken the ice by talking to her in the meeting. Maybe they could get to know each other better over the weekend.
As she sat in her chair, she realized she was fooling herself. Ben would never be interested in a size 12 disfigured woman. Even if he did show an interest, Kari couldn’t take her clothes off for him. Her scars were a reminder that she’d never have a love life again. It was bad enough that the memories of that horrible night still haunted her; visible scars stared back from the mirror. They screamed at her, taunting that she’d be lonely the rest of her life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

HARD DRIVIN' MAN: Do you REALLY like Alpha men?

With the release of my new contemporary Texas western today, I am asking the musical question, how well do you really like hard drivin' men? Yep. The Alpha kind in many romances.
Are they too hard to handle or can you ever get a grip on them?
Here's a man in this novella, I'd love to get my hands on.
And he has a real mission in life: to get the woman of his dreams.
Now that is the kind of man who can put his boots under my bed. ANY TIME.
HARD DRIVIN' MAN is a release at http://www.total-e-bound.com/ . Next week, I have another Texas man for you at total-e. He's a Texas Ranger, in ONE TOUGH HOMBRE. Come back to nibble that, but now, here is a taste of my HARD DRIVIN' MAN.

HARD DRIVIN’ MAN, my newest over at www.total-e-bound.com, reflects my love of Texas men. Come see if you like this one. He’s rancher with the hots for the gal next door who has always been rather elusive. And now?
Here’s a nibble of my newest cherry:

Jessica shoved the gear shift of her ten-year-old pick-up into ‘Park’ and sat staring at the bright red door of Trey Hardwick’s sprawling Texas ranch house. Though her young brother-in-law had arrived home here on leave from the Army two weeks ago, she hadn’t come over to visit. Couldn’t. Even though Trey had asked her to come to dinner last Friday, she had refused, not risking the chance she’d reveal to him how foolishly she craved his kiss-me-quick six-foot-six wall of masculinity in her bed. Inside her body.
Stop it, Jess. Your appetite for him is a widow’s hunger. Born in minutes of shared laughter with him over the decades. Born in moments when you thought he understood you better than Clint ever did. Killed by common sense, your age difference—and your decision to never seek another man to love.
She inhaled, summoning the courage she’d corralled back home this morning. This appeal would have been easier if she could have approached the ranch foreman hired by Trey and his dad years ago to run the place. But it wasn’t friendly Frank Harmon she had to face this morning. Damn it.
She flicked off the ignition and threw her keys on the dash. She hadn’t been to the Rocking H in nearly a year. Not since her father-in-law, Taylor Hardwick’s, wake. Still, she marvelled that the rambling Hardwick homestead looked as fresh as it had when she’d first seen it as a teenager. Then she’d been young, so very young, and so much more naïve about how life would treat her. How she’d treat life. She’d had hope then. In love with the high school quarterback, she’d been honoured and amazed that Clint Hardwick loved her back. That the second son of the legendary Hardwick dynasty wanted her as his bride. Claimed her for himself before any other boy could. And Jess had welcomed Clint’s proposal. Needed him. Wanted him.
She snorted. And look how well that turned out.
She reached across the seat for her summer straw Stetson and jammed it on over her pony tail. But vanity and pride had her straining up to check out her face in the rear-view mirror. What she saw made her frown and question her simple approach. No make-up, no cleavage showing for the hunky specimen most females in town would drop their panties for. Is this the way to win Trey over? Or a sure way to fail?
She squinted at her reflection. The lines around her eyes came from years of sun-drying her skin as she rustled cattle on the range. Her lips, still full and pink, didn’t widen in laughter often. True, her cheeks were high and elegant, but her green eyes showed the weary strength of running her ranch alone since Clint’s death three years ago. She’d come far since then, freed from worry when she no longer had to worry each day about Clint’s preference for bourbon over her.
Forget that! She snapped away from her image. Ask for Trey’s help now—or never! On a small cry, she thrust open the cab door, slid down out of the truck and slammed the door.
Palms running down her denim-clad thighs, she strode up the circular drive towards Trey’s house. And what she needed.
What she had to have to survive.
And Trey, Clint’s younger brother, had to give it to her. Didn’t he?
She knocked. Folded her arms. Tapped her toe. Dug the heel of her boot into the floorboard.
No answer.
She tried again, banging the big brass knocker against the sturdy red wood with loud purpose.
“Hey, hey!” She heard Trey yelling from inside. “I’m here, Jess!” He swung the door wide.
She stood there, glued to the porch like a stunned kitten, looking up at the black-haired giant whose umber come-to-daddy eyes could melt a girl at twenty yards and make her mush at this distance. Jess had to swallow back all the desire that pooled in her mouth at the sight of the way his shoulders filled the doorway and the way his full lips curved to smile down at her.
“Come on in, honey.” He reached for her with one big hand and pulled her through the doorway right into his massive arms. “God, it is good to see you.”
(copyright 2010, Cerise Deland. All rights reserved.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I guess it's my fate to have 09/11 as my blog day...

The horrifying images...

The shocking realization that so many lives were lost to an insane act of terrorism...

The repercussions that rocked the entire world...
All left us weeping and sick at heart as we waited...and watched.

Watched the news...hoping for survivors...praying for those lost souls and those who lost loved ones.

I was at work before we opened to the public when the office manager called us into the break room and announced the attacks.  The TV was on.  You could have heard a pin drop. Then we had to go out into the interviewing area and help people who sat numb, tears flowing down their cheeks as they discussed the horrors they had heard on the radio as they drove to our office. 

This horror, in the wake of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City, left all of us feeling the renewed agony of watching so many lives lost to bigotry, hatred, and intolerance We wept...again.

Outpourings of support and sympathy came from all corners of the globe.  The millions of international tributes, and cries of outrage at the attacks were heard around the world.

I think that one of the most amazing tributes seen over the following months came from a team of eight graceful, beautiful equines...and it made the feelings of Americans all the more poignant.




Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spontaneous Combustion - writing that first encounter!


News!

Daughters of Persephone, Book Three Reborn, Book Four, Red Demon, was released by Resplendence on the 8th. This is a great cover and you get a two-fer - two fun books in one volume....and you can win a copy from me.

Check out my site: http://juliarachelbarrett.net and find out how to participate in my contest - I'm offering two copies of each of my books!

I'm blogging over at Bookwenches about that dynamic, scorching first encounter. http://www.bookwenches.com/guestblog.htm
I'd love to have you drop by and leave me a comment.
To everyone - have a great weekend! Julia

Movie Night


It’s a rare treat for me to see a movie in the theater. Hubby thinks it is a waste of money and it is a proven fact that the most obnoxious, coughing, chatting, seat kicking person will sit directly behind him! Over the holiday weekend, my daughter and her sig other invited us to go see Avatar. Of course, two of the other six people in the theater sat right behind us and talked non-stop during the previews but my turning around and flashing them the stink eye when the movie started effectively shut them up.

I was completely blown away by this film! I found it intensely sensual and romantic on a multitude of levels. Visually it was beyond stunning. The 3-D was used to enhance the experience, not to shoot images off the screen for effect. The colors, the movement, the richness of details combined perfectly to evoke a deep emotional response.

The story itself was predictable but what surprised me the most was how it explored love with subtlety and finesse. The relationship between Jake and Neytiri, beings about as different as two can be, was built slowly and believably. Understanding, friendship and respect came before any hint of physical love. The spirituality of the Na’Vi people, their love and connection to their planet and the other creatures they shared it with was intensely moving. The relationship that developed between Jake and the Na’Vi warriors, Tsu’Tey in particular, perfectly depicted the love of beings bound together by a common cause. I also completely understood (though I was still glad when he bought it in the end) the passionate emotions of Colonel Quaritich.

Hubby told me he “really liked” the movie – high praise, indeed! I took that as an opening to verbally dissect the nuances of the film until his eyes glazed over.
Tessie

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A true Southern gentleman...

My husband is a real Southern gentleman. I never catch him looking at other women when we’re out together.
Thank you honey, my ego appreciates it.
However his childhood best friend is incorrigible. When “S” sees an attractive woman his eyes focus like lasers to track her across the room as if he were a stalking wolf. Many women find this intense level of interest attractive. Some run for their lives. “S” has been married four times. I think that sums up how that behavior makes women feel.
I’m just as bad. When the three of us are out in public “S” is looking at women, I’m looking at men and my husband is talking to dogs and petting them.
I have to qualify what I’m looking at. I try not to be creepy but I love studying people. I’m a people watcher. I also love to paint so I’m always on the lookout for an interesting face. If I spot an interesting nose with a bump on the ridge I’m in heaven.
I love little flaws and I do not mean that in a gloating way. I truly believe so-called flaws are marks of merit. For instance I almost have a fetish for men with rough, scarred skin. Something about that look hijacks my eye every time I see it.  I don’t think, “acne scars” I think “warrior.” I got the ultimate thrill many years ago as walked into a health food store. I passed a black, convertible Porche with its engine running a phone, a wallet and an appointment book were set on the seat. I hurried into the store to warn the car’s owner of their foolish oversight. It was that wonderful villain, Robert Davi’s car. He was buying vegetable juice and he was very polite, very tall, very handsome in person and I got a very good look at his sparkling black eyes and rough, rough scarred skin…Lucky me. 
Now if only Clive Owen would come to town and leave his car engine running, I’d sure love another chance to be a good Samaritan.
I’m not just looking at superficial things such as nose bumps and scars. Now that I write I’m also on the prowl for an interesting personality or even an oddly spoken phrase. People watching is like gold mining you have to be patient and sift through a lot of dross but its sweet when it pays off. I’m a fly on the wall and I overhear lots of outrageous stuff. I enjoy listening to people as they pass and then make up the parts of conversation, in my mind, that I couldn’t hear. Sometimes I mentally put words in the speaker’s mouths, “I would have said…
Now that I’ve admitted to being a voyeur and spying on the general public, how do feel about being watched and listened to in public if it’s done in an un-judgmental way?
XXOO Kat

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ignite The Flames



Three books for the price of one! Now in print at Ellora's Cave

Splashing Good Time
Reece Collins craves a no-strings-attached, torrid sexual encounter. Problem? The only person offering is ten years her junior.Nathan Donovan has lusted for Reece forever. One brief encounter leaves him yearning for more, but when she splashes cold water on his plans, he has to choose between walking away or spanking some sense into her.


Ignited
Nikaya is celebrating her birthday with a new Mustang. As she races up the side of a mountain in her new car, a police officer comes out of nowhere. He pulls her over, spanks her then whisks her away to a secluded cabin. There, the officer—and a friend—have a few surprises for the birthday girl.Surprises that include whips, floggers, blindfolds and more.


Research Required
On the run from the mob, the last thing Ethan needs is a distraction like Bailey. She’s sexy and sassy—and he wants to take her where she stands. Of course, Bailey would never have sex with a stranger. Then again, Ethan is her best friend’s brother, so that makes him a friend too, right? And what’s a little sex between friends?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Men, covers, movies. A new cherry!

Hoping you are ready for another devastatingly scrumptious cover, man, and story! WHENEVER WE MEET debuted August 20, launching the new line at Ellora's Cave, BRANDED, stories about marital heat.
My two lovers marry early in the book...and you must come read what happens to them, how they grow and change and what happens whenever they meet!
Enjoy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Anytime Darlin' - two great reviews


My favorite romance/suspense!

From Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust:
http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspot.com/

OOOOH, I have got to tell you about this great new book, Anytime Darlin'. Yes, it is by my friend Julia and she sent me an e-copy as a gift with no expectation of anything since she knows the scope of my blog. But it was so good, so H.O.T. that I told her I am plugging this on the blog on Friday.

There are two main characters, Jake, a cowboy/emt with parents who own a super profitable cattle-ranch. The girl he happens to get a call on is Devlin, found half-naked, starved, beaten and raped. Something in her eyes bonds them together more deeply than super-glue. Jake is 24, but Devlin is 17, a victim of her uncle's psychopathic rage. Jake knows he is too old for her and spends a few years away. She has no family, some close family friends help her but when she turns 18 she takes off to heal herself. It is a few years before they can get back together.

When I began reading this I thought the writing was outstanding. Super natural; nothing rang untrue or out of character. The story is really quite unusual, sad and sweet with loss and triumph. The heat level is up there past Scotch Bonnet, to Habañero. You know the hottest of the hot peppers. The sex in this made my toes curl.

But really what made me like this the most was the writing, the story and the development of the characters. There is a story with the sex; it is not just sex. Even the supporting characters are well developed. The villainy is complex and interwoven.

I know, I know, this might be hot but it's not paranormal. But the writing is super an it is natural, and it is about love and what is more magical than that?

Anytime Darlin' is available from Bookstrand.com

and from Book Wenches: http://www.bookwenches.com/august10reviews.htm

ISBN: 1-60601-352-1
Length: Novel
Format: Electronic
Genre: Contemporary
Source: P
Sensuality Level: 3
Rating: 5.0

Reviewed by: Teagan S. Boyd

A girl beaten within an inch of her life is found in the backroom of Kmart, and no one knows who she is. With the girl barely clinging to life, a paramedic holds her hand, and she refuses to let go. Aquamarine eyes drag him into her pain and suffering, and he can't resist being there for her.

This is how Devlin and Jake meet. Two people who form a bond one fateful day. When the terrible secret of Devlin's life the last two years comes out, Jake wants nothing more than to see the monster that did this to her dea, and to take care of her forever. But Devlin is young, and Jake realizes he must walk away and let her heal. When they meet four years later, has their love withstood time? The man of her nightmares has never been caught . . . will Devlin ever be safe?

********

Wow. This book blew me away. I expected romance, and I received so much more. This is a story with true heart and grit, and the spectacular romance just puts icing on the cake. I was drawn in immediately within the first few words and found that I was not able to put it down for a minute. The characters will be impossible to forget, and I wouldn't even want to.

I truly enjoyed that this story had so much "meat" to it. I got a bit of some of my favorite things: romance, suspense, and superbly written characters. The romance is sweet as well as spicy. The suspense kept me wondering what would happen, and my emotions were in full drive throughout the book due to the evilness of the villain. The characters are simply wonderful.

Devlin has a strength we all wish we had. She is a victim, yet we also see that she embraces her strength in order to overcome being a victim. I enjoyed her both as a teenager as well as a woman. Ms. Barrett brought her to life.

Jake is any woman's dream man. He is hardworking, sexy, and his compassion is almost as welcoming as his passion. I felt like cheering him on at times for his chivalry, yet he wasn't a softy pushover. The combination worked extremely well.

I must also mention the secondary characters. While they were very important, they didn't overshadow the main characters, they added superior depth to an already outstanding story.

Ms. Barrett has an uncanny ability to get my emotions in high gear, and her descriptions and stories come to life. As I have said before, she has a fan in me, and I will be waiting impatiently for more of her wonderful stories.

Thanks ladies!



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoroughly Insulting insults!


My father just sent me this email and I realize it may have been making the rounds and you may have already heard these gems but just in case you haven’t, I’m posting them here today. 
The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:

She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."

He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."  Clarence Darrow
 "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second.... if there is one." -  Winston Churchill, in response.
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial" - Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork" - Mae West
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts.. . for support rather than illumination. " - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder
 
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx
Slightly snippy but very inspiring…
XXOO Kat