Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Do It!

A lot of newbie’s ask – how do you get over writer’s block? I’m usually quick to answer this question with Just Do It. Just Write. Write a grocery list, a journal entry or babble on your WIP. Eventually the words will come and you’ll want to write.
So why can’t I take my own advice? When I go weeks without writing I forget that sage advice. Instead I ignore my wip or open it and stare at it, never writing a word. LOL Am I a hypocrite?
In all reality I think we need breaks from time to time. You need a break from the norm and do something different. We need to recharge our brains and to do that we need to step away from routines.
On Sunday the DH and I had lunch on the bay. As I sat watching the boats on the water I realized how much I missed this view. It’d been so long since I’d been near the water. There’s something about the water, more so the ocean that soothes me. It recharges my brain. There are days when I can drive to the state park, sit on a bench or the rocks with my laptop and get lost. Sometimes I don’t even write. I just sit, watch and let time pass.
The lull of the water wading in and out or the rising waves is therapeutic for me. So next time you’re stuck and the motto Just Do It isn’t working – do something that makes you happy. Take a break and don’t stress about not writing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What has reading romances done for our daughters and our sons?

What have we taught our children about love and romance simply by having the books in the house?
I have a few thoughts on this and today I am over at to show you how these discussions happened in our house!
Come over, comment and one person will receive a giveaway LORD STANHOPE'S IMPROPER PROPOSAL!
Heaven knows on Mondays, we need a laugh--and goodies, eh?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back from vacation...too tired to move...

I feel sort of like this little guy...

Except that I don't look half as cute.  Well...I spent a week sort of resting...dealing with veterinary problems when my black Pugi-nese Hakku decided to get a whole mess of hot spots all over under that silky black rug he should see him now.  The vet shaved his back and butt and the base of his tail down to the skin to make it easier to medicate his red spots, then my daughter and I trimmed him as far down as we could and I showered his body to clean him off, and we started putting on topical antibiotics as well as oral antibiotics...what a restful vacation. :P  He is still wearing the "collar of shame". Looks as silly as heck.

My condo is 24 miles out of town in the Wasatch Mountains...and I think I drove up and down that canyon about six times during my quiet vacation instead of resting. Blech...

Ah, well...maybe next year I'll have some fun.

Hugs to all...
Fran Lee

Friday, May 27, 2011

My bad!

In my defense, I have out of town company. She is sick and she's infected the entire household. Virus shedder!
I have a long post over at my site,
about my week. Stop by!
(Normally I wouldn't send you in a different direction, but man, I'm just not feeling all that hot!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cowboys? Yes, Please!!

Cerise is here today to chat about one of my favorite type of romantic hero!!!! Take it away, Cerise!

Cowboys make beautiful lovers!
As an author, I know it. As a reader, you probably do, too, especially if you are here reading this!

Being an East Coast gal who has been transported to deep in the heart of Texas, I tell you I never knew a cowboy till I got here. Never even hoped to meet one. True. True. My idea of a sexy guy was a Suit with the Suave of 007.

Now, 15 years after moving to southwest Texas and cowboy country, I have a craving for genuine western men. Cowboys. Rodeo contenders. Ranchers. Sheriffs. Texas Rangers. They are different from their coastal counterparts. Living with longhorns and cattle, fighting dust and draught, scorpions and cacti, hard winters and summers without water make a man tough. Sturdy. Inventive. And funny.

Definitely, they appeal to us for their legendary individuality. But their roughness—and their need to be rough means they have the grit, true grit, to love a woman hard and fast.

More than that, I think these men are much stronger characters in erotica--and more true to life! The rough, tough type of man we think of as a cowboy, is best personified by a man with a load of testosterone. Hence, a hot and heavy erotica fits best.

I like writing these men with a great sense of understanding and I got that way because living in cowboy country, I know these boys! I have worked with them, played with them (at the local Chamber of Commerce and other local events.)
They are truly independent. With a capital I.

They do not mess with details. This, of course, can get them in trouble. But they tend not to care. They let others work on that pesky little stuff for them.

They have other traits I love. For example, they know how to use a lasso. They do rope animals. Corral them. Kill them. And stuff them. Then mount them on the walls of their living rooms, if their wives will let them—or if not, on the walls of their den. If that fails, the front of their trucks can bear a brace of 15 foot longhorns. Yes, indeedy.

They do take care of their appearance. They are fit. Very. And need no gym membership to hone those delicious muscles. And as for attire, beard, etc? They are not particular but pull on those worn, comfortable jeans and plaid shirt to be out there on a horse. Chaps (yum, yum) if necessary. But at home with their women, at a dance hall to do a graceful (do not use that word, though, puleeez) Two Step, they dress. Knife-pressed, starched jeans. White, starched shirt. Damnedest big silver buckle on their belt. Bigger than...well, any one else's, donchaknow. Boots. Knee high. Polished. Leather or Ostrich. Hand tooled. Cut to a fare thee well. Spurs. (Tingly, yet?)

They also know how to cook. Well. Really, they know how to barbeque. Hottest, damn coals are best, thank you, ma'am.
What do they cook? Ribs. Beef, pork, baby backs. Fajitas, especially down here in south Texas, this is our specialty. They also do Mean Beans. MEAN. (Bring your constitution, please.) Brisket, they will smoke till it falls apart in your fingers. You get all gooey and you must lick yourself clean.
Hmmm. Method? Madness?

What else can they do?
They know how to wield a bull whip.
A carving knife.
A lasso.
Biggest trucks I have ever seen.
They are not good with eloquence of the East Coast variety. But they do know how to speak their minds...and their hearts.

Gimme a cowboy every time.
Here’s a nibble of my newest, I CAUGHT THE SHERIFF, over at EC ( ) Here the hero is a rancher and the sheriff is a redhead with a whole lot of attitude! (Copyright 2011, Cerise DeLand)

She had as much chance of landing Lex Coltrane in her bed as there was rain in the forecast. Both were zero. But if getting next to him was as good as she got, she would chalk up her discretion as a job requirement. She needed to make friends here in this county where only last month she’d been appointed to replace the deceased sheriff. So hooking up with Lex Coltrane was an urge she should keep under wraps. In her panties. Her very damn wet panties.

But few men ever challenged her. They were too stunned by the combination of her looks and her job. Yet since this man had walked into her office the other day and shown her his own hot determination and fiery good looks, he had obsessed her. His swagger in tight jeans and his broad-as-a-barn shoulders made her as horny as hell. The coal-dark hair and deep purple eyes made her purr just to look at him. The big hands weren’t bad, either. Oh, lord. Could he put those hands on her? Please?

Hold on there, Sheriff! Lana patted her horse’s mane and fell in step with the most luscious man in the county. He was a widower, too, and unattached to any one female, she’d learned from her deputy.

“What’s your pleasure?” Lex interrupted her reverie as he led her toward the food stands. “Sausage? Tacos? Corn dogs?”

“One of each.”

He whistled. “Sheriff, ma’am, you better plan to work all that off fast.”
She so liked his easy manner, all smooth-talking Texas charm and tough rawhide.

“Advice from a man who knows women?”

“I had a wife who watched every morsel she put in her mouth. Loved her to bits, but she drove me nuts counting calories.”

Lana chuckled. Word was around town that Suzanna Coltrane had won every kind of local beauty queen crown that existed. “And I heard you were proud of her.”

“Very.” He seemed to suppress a wince as he scanned the lines in front of the booths.

“What’s first?”

Lana dug a ten dollar bill out of her back pocket. “Sausage on a stick.”

He stared for an overly long second into her eyes. “Broiled or boiled?”

“Broiled and big.”

He cleared his throat and turned away. “Who would you like to meet first?”

“Anyone who comes our way.”

“That’ll be a stampede of all the single men, you realize.” His mouth hatched up at one corner in humor.

“Maybe so. I’m not really interested in them, though.” And that was the gods’ honest truth. It’s only you who rile me up with your gruff looks and casual demeanor. “I’m not usually interested in men.”

“No? Women then?”

“Oh, no. No.” She scuffed the toe of one boot into the dirt. Why couldn’t she keep her big mouth shut instead of leading him down the garden path to sex?

He clamped a hand over hers and she flinched at the electric charge of his hold. “Really? Well, then we’ll just take it nice and easy. Whatever the day brings.”

As the zing from his touch pulsed through her body, she wondered why in tarnation she had to take this slowly. Her panties were soaked. Her pussy was throbbing. Her breasts were puckered up so high and hard, they were screaming to get out of her bra. Demanding he put his mouth on her there to lick her and bite her.

“Oh, god!” She ran a hand over her hip. “Can we just meet a few people and get this over with?”

“You want to skip the introductions?” He frowned, confused.

“I’d rather talk to you.”

“Works for me,” he told her in that voice that made her heart leap like a doe in rutting season.

She put palm to his chest. Yep. She’d been right. His heart was racing like a wild pony. She had to know if it was for her so she bit her lower lip and went for broke. “I want to celebrate Independence Day in a whole new way.”

“Is that right?” His hand clamped down on hers while his expression went from part surprise to raw need. “I like bright ideas. What did you have in mind?”

Courage, Sheriff. “Want to bring that sausage over to my house?”

His brows inched upward. Amusement competed with desire as he licked his lower lip with a lazy tongue. “Theirs? Or mine?”

“Just yours.”

I'm itchin' to hop on a plane and head out West right now!!! Thanks, Cerise~


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Hit Me" is a Hit with Me!

I just finished reading, “Hit Me” by Amber Skyze and loved it! This is a fast paced very sexy story featuring two smart, driven people who definitely belong together but instead find themselves competing for the same sparkling prize.

“Hit Me” is Amber Skyze's second release from Loose Id and part of their very fun and steamy “Battle of the Sexes” series.  The title is a Black Jack reference and the story takes place in Las Vegas.  The mood and flavor of Vegas is used to great advantage in this story.  Reading this book strongly brought to mind the excitement and thrilling possibilities of being in Sin City.  I have to warn readers: this book will make you want to be bad in Vegas!

“Hit Me” is the story of two powerful people, business mogul Deacon Burke, who’s late father originally built the Pleasure Palace Casino, and Holly Perkins a spitfire business woman eager to make a name for herself and take possession of the Pleasure Palace for her own reasons.

These two souls luck into meeting each other on the steps of the Pleasure Palace and instantly feel a mutual attraction. Neither of them knows why the other is in Vegas. Sparks quickly fly with good reason, Deacon and Holly are two of a kind and perfectly matched to do battle on the bed sheets or at the Black Jack table completing for the same prize.

The story begins at midnight with a jet-lagged and soul-exhausted Deacon returning to Vegas after a self-imposed ten-year absence. As he trudges up the steps of the Pleasure Palace—a place haunted by the memory of his father and riddled with loss, he meets a very attractive woman in a business suit. The woman is fresh and bright-eyed and not at all like the kind of Las Vegas hooker he so desperately needs to get kinky with.

Holly is in town on her own agenda. She can’t believe her good fortune when she spots famous mogul and super eligible bachelor Deacon Burke on the steps of the same hotel where she’s staying. She’s even wearing one of Burke’s signature fragrances “Lady Luck”. Deacon looks even better in person and Holly can’t resist the temptation of flirting with this exceptional man. When Deacon invites Holly for a drink, they’re off like a shot.

They end up renting a specialty room in the pleasure tower of the casino where Deacon asks for Holly’s full submission in a hot BDSM spanking scene. Holly’s not the submissive type. She’s naturally headstrong and wants to win and be on top, but she doesn’t want to lose the opportunity to be Deacon’s lover either. She allows Deacon to dominate and pleasure her and discovers—she really likes it.

Deacon likes it too and asks Holly to be his companion the entire weekend. Things are going great until they realize they’re both on the same errand, and are direct competition to each other in a tense bid to gain possession of the Pleasure Palace. Whoops…

There’s a lot of erotic content in this book but all the scenes move the plot forward and take the reader deeper into Deacon and Holly’s lives. There’s a razor thin balance between Deacon and Holly, each is able to dominate and submit in turn. I especially enjoyed watching Deacon and Holly show compassion for the other when it would have been so easy to allow their strong competitive personalities to ruin the fun. The high stakes Black Jack game and the power-switch, glass elevator scene were real highlights, as is the ending, which I loved.

This was one “Battle of the Sexes” where everyone wins. I highly recommend, “Hit Me” if you’re in the mood to gamble on a kinky love affair in a frisky, anything goes atmosphere read, “Hit Me”.

“Hit Me” is available now from Loose Id, it’s part of the “Battle of the Sexes” book series.



Did you ever notice how they just creep up on you? all of a sudden it’s Tuesday and I’m supposed to be blogging on two different blogs. One I couldn’t get into today. Not sure why. I tried to comment on another person’s post, but couldn’t do that either.
So all this frustration has taken away from my writing time. which is a valuable commodity at this point. My dreaded day job has been busy as all heck, illness after illness has caused me to lose time and now blogger doesn’t want to work.
The painting begins tomorrow at our house – four rooms. The DH doesn’t do small, he has to take on large projects all at once. On top of that he seems to think he has to squeeze in every single home improvement project over the next ten weeks.
Luckily I can only sit and watch because I get frustrated very easily. :o)
I wanted to share something writing related, but I’ve got nothing. As you can see from this post my mind is fried!
Hopefully I’ll have something better planned for next week.
Oh, I’m about 30 pages from finishing Sugar Roux Voodoo Queen. If you haven’t picked up your copy run over to Ellora’s Cave and get it. I’m telling you this is another bestseller from Katalina Leon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crazy day. Pictures anyone?

The look on the heroine's face in this new cover for UNTIL TWILIGHT, soon to debut at EC, just KILLS me. Desiree and I are tickled the art dept. went with our suggestion.
And then we have the embrace (yes, another Jimmy Thomas stock art shot) for LADY VARNEY'S RISQUE BUSINESS, which captures the mood of this Regency period parlor-comedy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I took my muse and headed for the mountains!

I was so happy when I got my royalty statement...

Even though I have not released a new book in many months, some of my back list are still selling fairly top selling backlist book for February was Jillian's Job.  It's been nearly two years and it is still alive and well.

I am on vacation at my condo in Snowbird for this week, and I awoke refreshed and relaxed.  I love it up here in the mountains.  Folks are still skiing this week because of all the snow the resort has gotten this past month.  It's utterly gorgeous.

Cross your fingers...hoping that my muse feels as refreshed and ready to write as I do.

Hugs to all!
Fran Lee

Friday, May 20, 2011

So sorry - too much!

Coming soon!

Incorporeal, by J.R. Barrett

More to come - I am just sooooo busy right now!
Have a wonderful weekend! No end of the world on Saturday! :)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Terminator's Judgment Day.

Who moved the rock? It feels like someone moved a huge rock and all the ugliness in the world oozed out.

So far if 2011 has a theme it seems to be rock shifting of the literal and figurative kind.

Despots of the Middle East, if your reign has lasted unchallenged for decades—we have some bad news. This is the year your rock gets moved and you get the boot. Please pack your things and be out by Monday. Take a hint. Nobody wants you anymore.

Note to Gadhafi: How can someone who dresses in the same turbans and caftans, as Elizabeth Taylor not be stylish? Actually you look extremely foolish.  It’s time for bad actors everywhere to get off the stage, so exit stage left. We look forward to tossing your rock at the back of your head, good-bye.

Captains of Finance you’re not safe either. Dominique Strauss-Kahn we’re talking to you. Did you hear the gravel trickling down the cliffside? Of course you didn’t because while the world was falling down around you—you were busy sexually assaulting maids, who earn minimum wage in the $3000 per night hotel you cavort it. Shame on you.  I hope the turndown service on Riker’s Island meets your high standards.

Admittedly, this last one hurts. I loved this guy, took inspiration from him and I wanted him to be a better man than he is. Arnold, you’re a very smart man so why did you do something so stupid and hurtful? That’s all I can say.

Who or what is next? I’m sure 2011 has much more to surprise us with in an icky way, but I suppose those rocks do need to be lifted, so a burst of bright daylight can clean up the slime.

I’m sorry we had to move the rocks and see the gunk beneath but it needed to happen. Hopefully our garden will soon be a cleaner brighter place.



Sick and in bed....sorry I can't blog today. I do have a new release from Loose Id called Hit Me. if you want to check it out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday the 13th!

I don't have much to say today, too busy with house guests, but...

I was born on a Friday the 13th. It was 11:55 p.m. and the doctor told my mother that if she was superstitious, he could change the date and time on my birth certificate, making it 12:05 a.m., Saturday the 14th. Can you imagine?

Fortunately, my mother is not the superstitious type, at least not when it comes to Fridays. I consider this my lucky day! Have a great and lucky day and weekend! Julia

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tina Donahue "Take Me Away"

Today Seven Sexy Scribes has a sexy guest! Tina Donahue, the “Mistress of Intimacy” is going to share a taste of her latest Romantica “Take Me Away”. If you don’t already know about this terrific romance you’ll want to read it after you see this.
She’s everything he escaped…and all that he desires

Three years ago, Kyle turned his back on a pro-football career and being the target of tabloids or gold-digging groupies. Craving privacy, he gets it at his roadhouse in Northern California until Lexi Sands invades his life. Indulged and surely phony, she’s exactly what Kyle fled.

An actress since childhood, Lexi’s fresh out of an anger management program, court-ordered when she lashed out at a badgering paparazzo. Weary of the press’s harsh scrutiny, she sees Kyle’s secluded cabin as the ideal place to hide out and him as a damn-near perfect alpha male. Deliciously virile. Protective. Principled. She offers him serious cash to let her stay for two weeks, assuring there will be no complications or touching.

Yeah, right. Passion flares, along with tenderness. Kyle recognizes how lonely Lexi really is, while she’s falling hard. Through intimate days and impassioned nights, they explore their most shameless needs, until a cruel betrayal exposes their growing love, forcing a choice neither anticipated.

And here’s the excerpt: “Take Me Away”

“Let me get this straight,” Kyle Griffin said. His attention remained on the flat screen TV suspended above the bar, the Braves-Phillies game. “You’re asking me to shack up with Vampira.”

Pete Wolnecki made a strangled noise.

Kyle had no idea if Pete was stifling laughter or choking on his five-alarm chili. Its spicy aroma mingled with an abundance of fragrances—the sweet scent of corn, tomatoes and cheese from the other Mexican fare, the tang of foreign and domestic beer, smoke that clung to the patron’s clothing, faint perfume from the ladies and a hint of pine from the Douglas firs surrounding this place.

Clearing his throat, Pete spoke in a raspy voice just loud enough for Kyle to hear. “Her name’s Lexi.”

Several men groaned before Kyle could.

The guy closest to him whined, “Did you see that? The receptionist in my office plays better ball.”

“With any guy she can find,” his buddy said.

They both laughed.

The game broke for a commercial. Good thing. The Braves were having a shitty night, no different than the kind Kyle had experienced during the worst days of his pro-football career. With his back to the TV, he planted his elbows on the lip of the polished oak bar and regarded two young women who stood yards away at the pool table.

Dressed in stretchy halter-tops, denim short-shorts and black flip-flops, the ladies giggled in unison, like a well-practiced duet. The guys with them winced when the shorter of the girls overshot the ball, the tip of her cue just missing the table’s green felt.

With a look that was all innocence, she asked her date, “It’s still my turn until I hit it, right?”

Kyle couldn’t watch. He swung his gaze to the left of them, the small stage for local bands that played on the weekends. Beyond it, snuggled against the wall, were a series of booths that offered subdued lighting and privacy. In the last one, away from everyone else, sat Vampira.

 Her name’s Lexi.

Whatever. For the second time tonight, Kyle regarded her black shoulder length hair and bangs, black clothing, black lipstick and nail polish. The Goth/vampire look with a touch of Frederick’s of Hollywood thrown in given her denim mini skirt and short-sleeved top. His eyes flicked lower. The ends of her top tied beneath her ample breasts to bare her midriff, a smooth expanse of taut, creamy flesh.
He cleared his throat at its sudden tightness and inched his gaze higher. Anywhere else, her get-up would have gotten her noticed. Here in Marin County, California, staring was politically incorrect. The weirder one appeared the less attention one got. There were simply too many locals who looked as she did…slightly strange.

Of course, they weren’t also oddly seductive.
Against his better judgment, Kyle dragged his gaze over her again, taking his time since she didn’t seem to notice him or anyone else. Her full attention remained on the TV commercial, as though she was really into the product. Pepsi by the sound of the jingle.

Its music grew thunderous, frenzied with fake joy. Around him, beer bottles clinked against each other or on top of the tables and bar. The guys at the pool table laughed.

Warmth radiated from Kyle’s chest to his neck. Her irises sparkled, reflecting the light from garish neon signs for Coors, Bud, Miller, Corona. From this distance, her eyes appeared to be light blue, framed by sooty lashes. She was young, no more than mid-twenties, her features not beautiful but decidedly pretty, her figure definitely worth a third or fourth stare.
The game resumed. Men readjusted their bulk on their chairs or stools.

Without pause, she lowered her gaze to the drink between her hands, its dark amber color making it soda or ice tea.

Kyle glanced at her glass, sweaty with moisture, then edged his scrutiny back to her breasts. The lush globes wiggled slightly with each of her deep sighs. She did that a lot. He wasn’t about to consider why. Riveted by her clingy top, he imagined her sweet little nipples hard and puckered, prepared for a man’s mouth. So, what color were her nipples anyway? A dusky rose to match her black hair or were they pink to complement her milky skin?  Unless she’d painted the areolas and tips black too.

Rather than surprising Kyle, the thought intrigued. Would they taste of licorice or chocolate or something even better, the succulent flavor of soft female flesh?
She shifted slightly and brought her hand to her top, pulling the deep V of the neck closer together, covering herself, keeping the view from him.

Busted, Kyle wasn’t about to look her in the eye or encourage her in the least. Ignoring the dull, needy ache in his groin, he gave a parting glance to her fringed cowgirl boots, and turned to see the girl who’d nearly desecrated the pool table. Or rather, his pool table. For three years now, everything in Kickoff’s Roadhouse belonged to him, Pete and the bank.

Bent at the waist, the girl wiggled her ass while preparing to take her next shot. The backs of her legs were seamless. Her black thong peeked from the top of her short-shorts, which bared the bottom of her ass nicely.

At any other time, Kyle might have enjoyed the view. Knowing the damage she might inflict on his table, he clenched his teeth and waited for the worst.

 “Sands,” Pete said, dropping his spoon into the bowl.
It clattered loudly. The girl’s cue clacked against the side of the table, no doubt denting the wood with her missed shot.

 “Oh shit,” she moaned.
Blindly, Kyle reached behind himself for his Heineken.
Pete leaned so close Kyle could smell chili pepper and a hint of Coors on the man’s breath.

“Lexi Sands,” Pete said, his voice at a pitch those around them couldn’t possibly overhear. “And I’m not suggesting you shack up with her. Like I said, she needs a place to stay for a couple of days, away from the publicity, the crowds, you know? No more than a week. You have an extra room in your cabin. She’s willing to pay. Three grand. I did mention that, right?” He eased away and plowed ahead, not waiting for an answer. 

“We could use the dough for this joint.”

There’s a book trailer for “Take Me Away” too.

Tina Donahue “Take Me Away” available now 
from Ellora’s Cave Moderne Line.

Thank you being here today Tina! We always love a visit from you.

A big shout out to Amber Skyze who has her 25th book release today! Congratulations Amber and best wishes fro big sales with “Sex on the Beach”!

(Pssst…Romance Writers Reviews gave “Sugar Roux Voodoo” 5 Stars! Thank you RWR!)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Release Tomorrow - #25

Wow, it's hard to believe that my next release will be number 25 for me. It seems surreal after almost 3 years of publishing. Okay, so I was surprised when my editor told me this would release on May 11th...two weeks after edits! Look for my newest release tomorrow. Here's a little taste.

Allie only wanted two weeks of peace and quiet at her friend’s beach house to get her life in perspective. She wasn’t looking for sex, drugs and a kidnapping. But that’s what she gets when she encounters not one but two tasty men.

Tony, her gorgeous next-door neighbor, has a body any woman would want to explore, and Allie crave him licking, teasing and ravishing her body with those strong hands and kissable lips. Little does she know Tony’s on the trail of a drug dealer.

Then there’s Paul, who also wants a piece of Allie…if he can possibly tear her away from Tony.

An Excerpt From: SEX ON THE BEACH

Copyright © AMBER SKYZE, 2011

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

Chapter One

The wind blew wisps of Allie’s long blonde hair back toward the road she’d just traveled. She sped along the California coastline in her yellow convertible Spyder, enjoying the sunrise in the distance. The sun sparkled across the ocean, glimmering orange as it rose. The rays would threaten to scorch her skin later in the day. The weatherman had said the temperatures would reach well into the nineties again.

She pressed her flip-flopped foot harder on the gas pedal. Allie allowed the car to accelerate because she knew no one in their right mind would be on the road at this ungodly hour. Not everyone woke before the crack of dawn. While most were still sleeping soundly in their beds, the air conditioner cooling their skin, Allie was up grocery shopping.

It wasn’t unusual for her to be up and going at four in the morning. She loved those first few hours of the day when life was quiet. She could sip her coffee leisurely. The hustle and bustle came later when she left the house to fight the highway traffic on her way to her job as a marketing executive for a pharmaceutical company.

At least that was her life before she’d lost her job. She punched the steering wheel.

“Fuck,” she cursed to the open wind. While she missed the craziness of her old life she had to admit the last six months were the most stress-free she’d felt in years, right up until she returned to work.

The long hours and stress related to her job contributed in the onslaught of health issues she hadn’t known existed. After three consecutive months with a bout of what she thought was the flu Allie finally sought the advice of her doctor. He put her through numerous rounds of testing and came to the conclusion she suffered from acid reflux and Crohns disease. Both were brought on by stress, food choices and not taking care of her body.

Allie spent five agonizing days in the hospital while her doctor tried to get her disease under control. It was the worst experience in her life. There were times when she thought she’d die and sometimes she silently prayed she would. It was devastating and debilitating, but she swore she wouldn’t let it control her again.

Once Dr. Robinson managed to get the disease under control she looked pointedly at Allie.

“Look, your job is slowly killing you. Your body can’t handle the stress or long hours you’re demanding of it. You need to make some lifestyle changes or I’m just going to see you back here in a few months,” she’d said.

The reality of the doctor’s words was like a knife being twisted in her chest. She didn’t know how to not be on the go 24/7. That was the way she’d lived her life since turning sixteen.

Allie pressed even harder on the gas pedal.

She couldn’t get to the beach house fast enough. The idea of spending two weeks of quiet, soaking up the sun and sand appealed to her on so many levels. When her friend Pam told her she could use her beach house, Allie had immediately jumped on the offer.

The next few weeks would give her time to readjust to being unemployed and hopefully clear her mind. Eventually she’d have to decide what direction she wanted to take with her life. She had enough money saved to get her through six months of unemployment, but Allie didn’t want to totally deplete her savings. It was there as a safety net, nothing more.

Quitting had never been a word Allie thought she’d use, but her boss left her no other choice. She’d had a career as a marketing executive for almost five years before she’d up and resigned.

“Asshole!” She gripped the steering wheel, fighting back the tears stinging her eyes. She refused to cry. She wouldn’t give that shithead the satisfaction of beating her down. She wiped away the drop with the back of her hand.

“Screw you, Marty.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ready for some Risque Business? Read about LADY VARNEY's!

LADY VARNEY'S RISQUE BUSINESS debuts Wednesday at and I am thrilled about it!
My previously pubbed Regency eroticas have all been in the Top 5 Best sellers on 3 different sites. Hope you will read this and be tempted to read the others and see why.
Here's a nibble of my story about a widow who decides to open a match-making business and gets caught in her own snare by the man she once loved and could not have.
Copyright 2011, Cerise Deland. All rights reserved.

“Your list limits me severely,” Kitty objected to his outrageous list of qualifications for a wife.

“I am aware of that.” Justin remained cool, indifferent, unchallenged at all.

“There are few women who possess all the qualifications,” she objected

He rose and came to stand before her.

So close now, she breathed his cologne. Smelled the mint on his breath. Admired the dimple in his left cheek and the facets of green and brown in his large heavylidded eyes. “In fact, there are only three women who meet all of your requirements.”

“Ah. But wait, you have not heard them all.”

“No? Preposterous! There is a very small pool of possible candidates, Justin. To add more requirements would be burdensome—”

“But my fortune will be very large. My homes, here and in the country, are grand estates. I will be married to this woman for many decades, and I need the best companion possible.” He frowned, very determined looking. “I have the right to declare to whom I shall be joined!”

“Precisely so, my lord, but we must be prudent.”

“You be prudent! I shall be as I am!”

His virulence shocked her.

“Your fees are high. I shall have whom I want! Who is best suited to me.” He strode closer and seized her arms, his powerful body dwarfing hers. Once his might had been comforting, but now, full of fury, his size made her wince. She had been intimidated by her husband far too often and she would not be by any man ever again.

She stiffened her spine. “Tell me your other requirements.”

“She must spend twenty-four hours with me at Belmont Manor.”

“Oh, I see.” She let out a breath, relieved. “You want her to visit.”

“No, I want her in my bed.”

Kitty blinked. “I...I’m sorry. You want her--?”

“Naked. I want to learn if she likes men. Me, to be exact.”

“I see.” Women do like you, from what I hear. One mistress in particular who boasts of your prowess in the art of pleasing a woman. “Why wouldn’t she?

“I need to learn if she is a dry piece of toast. Or a willing woman who likes a man’s touch. If she’ll be a desirable partner.”

“Most women are.”

Really? You think so?” With a sound of derision, he spun away and walked toward the window. “I have learned that women in English society tend to be naïve and foolish. Certainly the ones who have been shoved at me as appropriate are witless ninnies, reared in tiny rooms by smaller-minded governesses. I want a woman in my bed, a full blown beauty with brains.”

“I see.” Did you also think me witless? A ninny?

“Can you find one?” He peered at her with narrowed, merciless eyes.

She felt undressed from so far across the room, but she lifted her chin and carried on in a snit. “Indeed, I can, my lord. To fit your qualifications, I have two candidates.”

“Two. Damn me! So many!” he scoffed—and his expression implied he was surprised at her capabilities. Odd. He ought to be damn pleased. “I am delighted at your resourcefulness, Lady Varney. I wish to interview each of them, naturally. At my home in Kent.”

“First, I shall inquire if each is interested and accepts your terms.”

He waved a hand. “Of course. Do it within the week. I need to know quickly. My uncle is not well and he wishes this matter of my marriage resolved before he sheds his mortal coil.”

Kitty frowned. Had she been wrong all these years to remember Justin as kind and caring? Had she varnished him with a romantic veneer of her own making?

He strolled closer. His magnetic allure nearly buckled her knees. But she stood taller, met him toe to toe, damn his eyes!

“And who are these women you have chosen for me?”

She gathered her courage. “Maribella Winter, Baroness Avon. And Susanna Curtis, Marchioness Hamill.”

“But to be honest, there is one more. Is there not, madam?”

“A third? No, none that I—”

“What of the illustrious blonde beauty who travels in the best of Society? What of the widow who has a son by her deceased husband? What of the heiress who holds through her own ancestry the ancient title of Lady Downey?”

Kitty caught her breath at the mention of her own ancient title. “She is not available.” Not rich.“Not suitable.”

“I say she is.”

She stared at him, tempted and hating herself for it. “She is older.” Wiser than to do this.

“She will be presented to me at Belmont Manor.”

She shook her head. “No.”

“I triple my fee.”

“Triple?” she parroted like a simpleton.

“One sum of five thousand pounds for each candidate.”

She could not refuse him. Not that sum. That amount would nearly free her of Henry’s gambling debts and give her enough to buy a few new frocks for next Season. The ability to hire a governess for her son. “Justin, fifteen thousand pounds is a startling sum. But I cannot take it. Cannot ask three women to rendezvous with you. Really, how could I? I want to, but I cannot because--”

“Kitty! Stop this!” Justin stepped toward her so quickly, she scarcely noticed that he’d moved. But his arms crushed her close. His fingers lifted her chin. His lips took hers. Once, twice. Damn him, three times. Her own arms twined around him. She whimpered and moaned into his mouth while her breasts beaded and her nether regions flooded with a wet hot desire. She had not felt so gloriously wanton since last she stood in his embrace.

“Oh, you’ll take it. Look at me,” he demanded. “Tell me who the third candidate is.”

She stared up at him, the devil. He had planned it this way. Devised this scheme to torture her, punish her for how she had not fought to stay with him eleven years ago. Poor man, he believed the ton. Thought she was rich. But he’d get no wife in her, only a lover. For one day and night. One risqué affair. “The last woman is me.”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wallflower, by Holly-Jane Rahlens

I don't normally do 'official' book reviews, but here's my first.

I'm not two things:

1. I'm not a big fan of YA literature unless I'm reading it with a child.

2. I'm not a reviewer.

But a friend and book blogger who reviews mostly paranormal, sci fi and fantasy literature asked me if I'd be willing to read and review a more or less contemporary YA written by an American ex-pat living in Berlin. As the protagonist is a Jewish girl, my friend thought the story, Wallflower, might be right up my alley. I'm Jewish as are at least two of my heroines - Mari in Captured and Eva in Beauty and the Feast.

I pondered her request for a few minutes, and then I decided, why not? I'm in a writing slump anyway, so what the heck...It seemed like a good idea to read something out of my comfort zone.

Wallflower can best be described as a day in the life. Actually, it's more apt to say four hours in the life of the protagonist, Molly Beth Lenzfeld, an American teen living in Berlin with her father. She's tall, gangly, morose, lacks self-confidence and feels out of place at her American school. She's actually on her way out. Molly plans to return to the States to live with her older sister. The Berlin Wall has only recently come crashing down and now that she's leaving Germany, Molly decides to make a pilgrimage to East Berlin to visit her deceased mother's original home, the site where her mother was born, the place she left behind with her parents when they fled Nazi persecution in 1938.

Traveling from West to East on the train, Molly is sidetracked, first by an unpleasant acquaintance and then by a young man, a tall, enigmatic, East German drama student, Michael Maier, or Mick, as his friends call him. Despite Molly's doubts and insecurities, Mick's interested in her. Not only interested, but persistent. During the four hours Molly spends traveling from West to East, she never manages to find her mother's home, at least, she never finds it when we're watching. She finds something else entirely. Hope.

My thoughts...Holly-Jane Rahlens, a journalist by profession, writes lovely prose in the style I prefer - her words are clean, clear and crisp. There's an unusual amount of detail in the short story, yet nothing is extraneous or trivial. Those sensual and tactile details included are absolutely necessary. The reader can hear, see, feel and smell the train car, the subway stations, the foods of East Berlin, even the streets themselves. I swear I could smell the worn yet welcoming scent of Mick's leather jacket.

Wallflower is a delicate story. Not much happens in four hours. No one is murdered, there is no great catastrophe, even the climax of the story is calm and thoughtful. Yet in the space of four hours, a seventeen year old girl is transformed from a wallflower into a young woman. The story is exquisite, actually. The teenage voices are realistic, the characters believable. Wallflower is a refreshing change from what's become the formulaic YA novel containing absentee and/or incompetent parents and super-powered teens. Molly's father cares about her, her sister cares about her, and every character is a regular human being, warts and all. This is a quick read and I do recommend it.

Wallflower was first published in German in 2009, by Rowohlt/Reinbek.

It was released in 2010 in the United States by Berlinica Publishing, LLC, website:

I couldn't find a website for the author, Holly-Jane Rahlens, but her bio says she was born in New York, and moved to Berlin shortly after college, where she's remained, working in radio, television and film. In 2003, her novel Prince William, Maximillian Minsky and Me earned the prestigious Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis as the best young adult novel in Germany.

Ah…found a website!

Since I don't normally do this, I guess I have to say the following: a copy of the book was received from the author. This reviewer did not receive any financial reimbursement for the review.

Reviews for Pampering Jessica

I always wait anxiously for the first reviews of my books. I'm breathing a sigh of relief that there are now two wonderful ones for Pampering Jessica!

Night Owl Reviews: 4 stars

"I thoroughly enjoyed this hot (and encouraging if you’ve reached a certain age) story and recommend you have some free time for your significant other for after the story ends."

Sizzling Hot Books: 5 stars

"Reading Pampering Jessica by Tessie Bradford gave me a wonderful start to my day... I like that Tessie Bradford gave us a story of love and passion with a couple that has been married for years and are in their middle ages. Passion is not just for the young. I will keep Pamering Jessica and read on days that I feel older and just plain dowdy."

Hubby and I are off to Central Michigan University again tomorrow - Saturday is GRADUATION DAY!!

S is graduating cum laude with the degree of 'Bachelor of Applied Arts in Apparel Merchandising and Design with a minor in English and a concentration in Design and Merchandising'!!!

Have a great weekend everyone~


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

He's Gone!

So far 2011 has been a year of breakneck change and unpredictably and we just started the month of May! No doubt there’s much more to come.

Every time I turn around another formerly unlikely or downright impossible thing takes place. 

The people of Egypt were victorious.

The people of Libya are defiant and persistent in the face of the ultimate bad actor, who just doesn’t know when to exit the stage…  

The people of Japan showed us how to be brave and resilient in the face of the unthinkable and now this, bin Laden is finally gone.

I was falling asleep with my radio on when I heard someone casually say bin Laden was dead. I thought it was a false alarm and dismissed the radio announcement as a wishful rumor the morning would expose as a lie.

I fell asleep. A little later my husband woke me up and told me the news was true. 

I was so relieved.

So, in an unpredictable world that offers shocking, rocking and gawking surprises around every turn—I will predict this: (Drum roll) 

Ladies and gentlemen brace yourselves, we are about to be inundated with SEAL Team Six movies, books, television shows, tee shirts, special edition custom car parts and anything else you can think of that can be associated with SEAL Team Six.

And why not? These guys are total heroes, along with all the supporting professionals who stood behind the SEALs and made the mission possible.

SEAL Team Six is this generation’s astronauts, rock stars, and avenging angels rolled into one and we may never know their faces or names. If anonymity can help protect them and ease their return to normal lives in the future, perhaps that’s how it needs to be.

But in my heart of hearts I do hope a day will come when their names and faces can be publicly known and honored. I thank them for taking right action and showing restraint.

I’ll end this by saying I also predict quite a few SEAL Team Six romance eBooks are already well underway and a few of those eBooks will be for sale before the end of June. Anyone want to bet me a dollar?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Brief Update

Sorry I’ve been a bad blogger as of late. I’ve had a few too many sicknesses and a lot of other stuff going on in my personal life. Hopefully the worst is behind me and I can resume my normal activities. I’m currently working on a tight deadline for a book for EC. They’re doing a Text Theme and I’m excited about the book I’m writing.
Yesterday was a bittersweet day for Americans. The death of Osama bin Laden after nearly 10 years in hiding surprised me really. I honestly didn’t think I’d see the day. I thought he’d continue to elude the military until his death of old age. I praise the men and women who have worked tirelessly to capture the terrorist and applaud the ones who put the bullet in him.
Okay, so like I said earlier I’m working on a tight deadline and must get back to writing.
Until Next Tuesday!