Grab your favorite beverage, relax, and let me tell you a story…

After Midnight - Black Phoenix #1

Re-edited, revised edition October 2013

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May 31, 2011

Sizzling Summer Reads

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Sizzling Summer Reads (Romance)

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May 30, 2011

In Remembrance

In remembrance of all who served ~ who gave all so that we could have so much.

May 29, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 5/29

Six sentences from After Midnight. We pick up right where we left of last week, with Isabeau and Noah.

“What do you want from me?” she inquired before he could comment.

“That’s a good question,” he replied, more to himself than in answer to her. “How about your name?”

The way he looked at her made it very, very hard for her to look away. “Isabeau.”


Thanks for stopping by every week. Really. I appreciate it more than I can express.

And don't forget to stop by the Official Site for a complete list of everyone participating this week. I know they all appreciate your comments as much as I do.

May 28, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet? Me?

It must be true. After all, Vivien Jackson, Laura Kaye and D.F. Kreiger all awarded me with this blog award yesterday:

Isn't it great? The rules of this award are:

1) You link the person who sent it to you
2) List seven random facts about yourself
3) Pass the award on to 10 other awesome blog buddies
4) Contact them and let them know

Seven facts about me:

1. I love cars ~ especially classic cars ~ and can change my own oil, do a tune up and rebuild a carborator.

2. Hubs and I have been married 19 years and we still have lots to talk about every day. I can't imagine life without him.

3. I was a night person until I had kids. Now I can't stay awake past midnight and I'm up by 5 a.m. ~ even on weekends.

4. My son and I text each other like teenagers. Okay, so he is a teenager, but I'm not. ;)

5. I love the smell of coffee, but can’t stand the taste.

6. The worst thing anyone can say to me is that I can’t do something. That is, unless you really want me to do it. I take statements like ‘it’s not possible’ or ‘I can’t foresee you ever being able to’ as direct challenges. You tell me something like that and I will go out and show you why you’re wrong.

7. I have no problem approaching people and talking to them. I’ve always been this way. Even people others are intimidated by, I will approach just to say hi. I’ve met a lot of people this way: agents, editors, NYT bestsellers, even rock stars. It’s just a part of who I am.

I'm passing on the Irresistible Sweetness to:

May 26, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Margaret Tanner


I have to say I love all my books, (sorry about the self adulation), but my favourite would be Holly And The Millionaire, my one and only published contemporary romance. It might seem strange because I call myself an historical writer, but somehow Holly got under my skin and stayed there. She was a gutsy little fighter whose soldier husband was killed in Iraq and left her with a toddler to support. She didn’t let being dealt a bum hand in the game of life defeat her.

I didn’t need to do much research for Holly’s story. My youngest son has been in the army, so I obtained information from him, and the newspapers were full of the war in Iraq. Sadly, Afghanistan has now becoming the killing field for our soldiers.

I actually got the idea for this novel when I was flying back to Australia from London, after visiting my oldest son who lives over there. A good deal of the story is set in Melbourne where I live. I tried to imagine how a young woman would feel, all alone with her baby, and on the run from her husband’s ruthless parents. They want the baby but not her, and they will stoop to anything to get their son’s child. How devastating and frightening that would be for Holly, especially as her husband was barely cold in his grave.

I wanted to make Justin the opposite. Wealthy, confident, ruthless to a point, but underneath that hard exterior, a man with a heart, who falls in love with Holly and her baby but doesn’t realize how much he cares until he almost loses them.

Fleeing from her ruthless English in-laws who are intent on stealing her child, Holly Kirwan boards a flight home to Australia and meets Justin Devereux. They are instantly attracted to each other.

Justin doesn’t want a permanent woman in his life, particularly one with a baby in tow. Holly, still grieving for her soldier husband who was killed in Iraq, doesn’t want to be disloyal to his memory.

Can the young widow and the commitment shy tycoon ever find happiness together?


Justin Devereux fumed as he strode on board the aircraft. Heads would roll over this debacle. If he hadn’t needed to get out of England so urgently, he would have waited for another flight. To hell with the risk of being grounded by a blizzard.

He showed his ticket to the flight attendant. He hadn’t flown in economy class for years, wouldn’t be doing it today either if he had any say in the matter.

“I’m so sorry about this mix-up, Mr. Devereux. The airline did everything it could to get you a last minute business-class seat, but like first class it was completely booked out.”

Well, you didn’t try hard enough, he nearly said, but bit back the angry words. It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault that his booking still floated around in cyber space.

“We were able to get you an aisle seat near the front.”

“Thank goodness for that at least.”

On being shown to his seat, he took off his cashmere coat, folded it neatly and stowed it in the overhead locker. If he had even an ounce of luck, the seat beside him would remain empty, but he wouldn’t take bets on it. Setting his briefcase on the floor, he rested his laptop on the vacant seat. What a shocking few hours it had been.

At least it was a little more spacious here. He couldn’t understand why there was extra leg space and only one other seat, when there would be normally at least three, sometimes four jammed together.

Closing his eyes he thought back on the last twenty- four hours. Deanna and Simon had betrayed him. He didn’t care so much about Deanna dumping him for Simon as their relationship had just about run its course.

Running off with millions of dollars of his employees’ pension funds. Now that was something else. Despicable and criminal, and they did it in such a way that the blame fell on him. He was ruthless. He had to be to claw his way to the top of the business world, but he had always acted with integrity. There were only two choices in the short term. Risk tarnishing his good business reputation or discretely pay the money back. He chose the latter.

I’ll hound them to the ends of the earth; I don’t care how long it takes. No one cheats Justin Devereux and gets away with it.

“Hell,” he yelped, as something hard and sharp rammed into his groin. His eyes flew open. God, someone was trying to castrate him.

“S… sorry,” the wavering female voice said.

Justin looked up into a pair of blue eyes that were swimming in tears.

“Here, let me help,” he growled, pushing the weapon away from his crotch and handing it back to her. It’s a wonder they let her bring the thing on board. She took the folded-up baby’s stroller, but dropped a large pink bag onto his foot. Where were the attendants when you needed them? This was definitely going to be the flight from hell.

He watched the girl struggling with the stroller, her handbag and a baby all at the one time. His first thought was she didn’t look old enough to have a baby, his second was how tiny and frail she appeared, with the fine, ice-blonde hair tumbling out of its restraining clip.

“It’s all right, don’t get flustered.” He felt strangely moved by her pale, heart shaped face and trembling lips.

As she reached across his briefcase to sit the baby on the floor a swathe of hair brushed his face, and he smelt a faint elusive perfume. Flowers perhaps? Like enticing fingers, it captured his senses.

Before he could offer to help, she lifted up the pink bag, trying to put it in the overhead locker, but she wasn’t tall enough to reach. As he got up to assist her the bag tilted and a jar of baby food hit him on the head.

This girl was a walking disaster area.

“I…I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right. Accidents happen.” Grimacing, he rubbed his head. “Let me put the bag up for you.” And that lethal pram too, he thought, not wanting to risk being run through again. He valued his manhood too much.

As he stowed everything in the locker, he noticed that the white-haired and blue-eyed baby played with his briefcase – its plump little fingers trying to pick the lock.

The girl darted under his arm and scooped up the baby, and sat down as quick as a flash. Thank goodness, he’d be safe for a little while at least.



I have always been a writer from as far back as I can remember. I used to write these pitiful sad little ditties then I moved on to short stories. I was quite successful with short stories, had a few published and won a few contests.

One contest win really sticks in my mine. Years ago I entered a competition for a sock company writing about feet. And guess who won? I dutifully collected my prize - twenty pairs of socks. Dad and my brother were ecstatic, so were their feet.

I graduated to novel writing and fell in love.
I won the 2007 and 2009 Author of the Year at AussieAuthors.com.

My novel Frontier Wife won the Best Historical Romance Novel at the 2010 Readers Favorite Award, and another novel, Wild Oats was a 2011 Finalist in the EPIC awards.

I am a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Melbourne Romance Writers Group (MRWG) and EPIC. I am married with three grown up sons, and a gorgeous little granddaughter. Outside of family and friends, writing is my passion.

Website: http://www.margarettanner.com/
Publishers: The Wild Rose Press and Whiskey Creek Press.

May 22, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 5/22

I'm going to keep posting from my upcoming release, After Midnight, but I decided to leave a few gaps in the story as some of it needs more than six sentences to make sense. Anyway, here's how the heroine, Isabeau, sees herself:

She was not a beautiful woman. Taken separately, her features held the potential for beauty, but together, with her mix of cultures, she had a face like a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces didn’t fit together. Her cheeks were too sharp, her lips too large, and her eyes, pale enough they all but disappeared beneath the dark tones of her father’s heritage. Neither blue nor gray, her eyes brought her the most displeasure. Most people spoke of her eyes as “peculiar” and “haunted.”

Isabeau couldn’t handle such a reference from him.

Be sure and drop by the Official Site and check out all the fabulous participators!

May 19, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Paty Jager

Thank you Sarah for having me here today!

Growing up in an area rich in Native American history has made me curious and empathetic to the band of Nez Perce who summered in Wallowa County many generations before Lewis and Clark entered their lives.

The Wallowa, or Lake Nimiipuu as they call themselves, are a band of the Nez Perce(Nimiipuu) who moved like nomads across the Pacific NW and into the plains with the seasons. They wintered along the Imnaha River in the lower warmer regions of Wallowa County, spent the early spring in the camas meadows of Idaho, and summered at Wallowa Lake, fishing the Columbia in the fall and returning to their winter home before the snows became too treacherous. The warriors and some of the women went out on hunting expeditions to the plains for buffalo.

They were nomadic, but they had a fierce love of the land in their hearts.

Spirit of the Mountain
, the first book of the trilogy, showed their love of the lake area and how they came to carry it so deeply within them. The heroine, in this book, carries the mountain in her heart and when she falls for the spirit who looks after the mountain and its occupants, she loses her heart to him as well. You can find a full review for this book HERE

My May release, Spirit of the Lake, is the second book in the trilogy. This book deals with the Whiteman encroaching on their land and the way they are willing to look the other way to avoid being forcefully taken from their home.

The spirit entity in these books is all a figment of my imagination, but it felt real to me. My fascination with the Native American culture, their healing herbs, chants, legends, myths, and vision quest all primed my imagination when I came up with the spirit siblings who are the main characters in the books.

In the first book, I use the vision quest as the means to bring the chief's daughter to talk with a white wolf, the hero and spirit of the mountain. In her vision quest, her weyakin(the spirit who visits her) is a white wolf. So when her life is thrown upside down by her believing her vision quest means she must marry a warrior from the enemy Blackfeet tribe, she feels talking to the wounded white wolf she encounters is natural. When he turns into a handsome warrior, doing her duty becomes harder as she must leave the mountain and spirit of her heart.

The second book has Wewukiye (Bull Elk) as the hero. He is the white wolf's younger brother and a spirit as well. He lives in the lake as the antlered legend who comes out of the lake and takes bad children. Yet he is the fun loving practical joker of the three sibling spirits. In his book, he befriends a Nimiipuu maiden who has been raped by a Whiteman and becomes pregnant, but the band believes she is not telling the truth to avoid trouble and perhaps being tossed from their land because the treaty of '68 was not signed by Old Joseph, yet the government believes the other chiefs who signed spoke for all the Nez Perce.

Sa-qan (Bald Eagle) is the youngest of the three. She soars in the sky above all the Nimiipuu land watching over them. In the third book, she is desperately trying to keep the Nimiipuu from annihilation as the U.S. Army chases them from their homes on a four month, 1400 mile trek where they fall short of freedom and end up on reservations far from home. During the campaign she falls in love with a cavalry officer and together they try to save the Nimiipuu.

This spirit trilogy is my proverbial book of my heart. I spent countless hours on research to make sure the Nez Perce culture is correct in the books and the historical information is accurate.

Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye, the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove's shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?


Wewukiye tugged her hand, drawing her closer. His warm breath puffed against her ear.

"You need only think of me and you will have strength."

His soft silky voice floated through her body like a hot drink.

Dove swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, "When will I see you again?" The thought of sleeping on the hard ground next to the fire in Crazy One's dwelling didn't sound near as inviting as using his lap to rest her head.

The days and nights grew colder; to be wrapped in his arms would warm her through and through.

"You will find me at the meadow every day when the sun is directly overhead." He brushed his lips against her ear.

She closed her eyes, relishing the silky feel of his lips and the heat of his touch.

"Think of me," whispered through her head.

Dove opened her eyes. She stood alone. Her palm still warm from their clasped hands, her ear ringing with his whisper.

Readers: This post is part of my blog tour. Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs at you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog: www.patyjager.blogspot.com The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I'll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie I will draw a name.

You can learn more about me at; www.patyjager.blogspot.com website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook.

May 16, 2011

Spotlight On... Mary Hughes

Today please help me welcome Mary Hughes, author of super-sexy, super-funny vampire romances. Mary, I'm thrilled to be a host of your Biting Me Softly blog tour. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Sarah, thanks so much for having me here today! Basics: wife and mother, earn my living with my passions writing, computer programming, and playing flute. I think and read way too much but compensate for it by listening a lot more than I talk.

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

My first experience with writing was transcribing my favorite story, Bambi, at age seven via an old Underwood manual typewriter. I started typing my own stories on a new PC when pregnant with my first child. I made my first sale twenty years later (I tended to write two novels for every rejection I got :)

The Call (or The Email actually) came after an unlikely sequence of events. I like combining weird things so tend to be ahead of the market (like mashing mystery and paranormal, which twenty years ago just didn't sell). I'd gotten totally fed up with rejections and let loose, writing a story incorporating all the things I knew I did well. It combined vampires, action, comedy, and explicit sex and I had a total ball writing it. But when it came to selling it, well, nobody was buying all that in one package. Until an anthology call from the amazing Samhain Publishing asked for exactly that. I wrote a shortie in the series and submitted it. It didn't make the anthology but was passed on to another editor who requested revisions. Since I had a full-length novel in the series ready, I asked to submit that in the meantime. She read it, loved it, and bought it.

Tell us about BITING ME SOFTLY and where we can find it

He’s a candy box of sex appeal wrapped with a golden bow. She’s on a diet.

Blood, sex, violence. Blood, okay, but computer geek Liese Schmetterling had enough S&V when her cheating ex fired her. Now security expert and lip-smacking gorgeous Logan Steel saunters into her Blood Center, setting fire to her libido. And threatening her job.

Visions of pink slips dancing in her head, Liese tries to push Logan away without touching his jutting pecs& or ridged abs. Or petting the Vesuvius in his jeans. He’s hiding something, but it doesn’t seem to matter when his smiles stun her, his kisses crank her to broiling and his bites rocket her to heaven. Fangy bites which, if she weren’t grounded in science, would make her think ampire-Vay.

Centuries old and tragedy-scarred, Logan’s mission is to fortify the Blood Center’s electronic defenses against his nemesis, the leader of a rogue vampire gang. He’s ready for battle but not for Liese, who slips under his skin, laughs at his awful puns, charges beside him into dark, scary places and tastes like his true love.

No matter how often Logan declares his love, Liese can’t bring herself to trust him. But when his archenemy comes after her, not trusting him may cost her life.

Warning: contains explicit vampire sex involving absurdly large male equipment (hey, they’re monsters), unbelievable stamina (just how long can he stay underwater in a hot tub?), hide-your-eyes violence and horrendously bad puns. And, just when you think it can’t get any worse, a computer geekette trying to play Mata Hari.

What is the hardest scene you had to write in this book?

I write stories that are explicit in both sex and language, packed with action and definitely mature. But I also think they're emotionally safe stories. I'm not going to kill off any good guys or seriously compromise their morality. So I always work hardest on the scenes that poke at a soreness in an important relationship. In this book my heroine Liese deals with her mom going rebellious because the mom's dealing with cancer. Heavy topics and potentially dangerous so I work very hard on painting the topics honestly but with a light enough brush that they're dramatic but not maudlin. It's a delicate balance.

What was your first reaction when you got a glimpse of your cover art?

I drooled. Honestly, I'd buy this one for the cover alone :D

So would I! Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer? Why?

Probably Bite My Fire. It was the first I wrote in the series, but I learned so much after publishing Biting Nixie that I went back and rewrote Fire. Then my editor had more changes and I did another rewrite on the beginning three chapters. Of all my books, I think Fire was the one that I most had to use technique rather than muse.

As an author, what makes a book great in your eyes?

Half is clean vivid prose. Dorothy Dunnett can do more with a single character gesture than most authors can in a whole chapter. The other half is compelling story, but compelling is mostly dictated by a reader's personal taste.

What advice would you give to the new/unpublished author?

Write the story inside you that demands to be told. Then put it away and write another. Take out the first after you've forgotten what you wrote. Read it like a reader, not the author. Mark the places you're uncomfortable. You may not know how to fix them right away, but it's the first step in learning the vital art of self-editing.

Never give up is great advice too, but I think superfluous. If you're an author, you can't give up. You're always writing, if only telling yourself stories in your head. Oh, and make a card that says * SUCCESS* and post it where you can see it. That's you, baby.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you began your writing career?

How about the three things I wish I hadn't known? :) When you're published you have to deal with negative reviews, marketing yourself, and challenging yourself to get better at your craft every day. I knew all that and wondered if I would be up to it, which scared me, which really ended up making me doubt myself and my writing. Which I think delayed my getting published at least a decade. The fact is, you'll learn what you need and do what you need to in order to reach your readers. In the context of reaching readers, it all becomes much less frightening. It's a lot of hard work (and negative reviews still blow), but understandable, good work.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be?

The Introverted Performer

Is there anything you would like to ask your readers?

Dear Reader: What makes a story memorable to you?

Thanks for visiting with me today, Mary!

Biting Me Softly
by Mary Hughes

When I first clapped eyes on Logan, I thought, Hot damn. Look what the Sex Fairy brung me!

It was eight p.m. Sunday night, and I was at work. I do computers for the Meiers Corners Blood Center. The staff is me, the executive director and a part-time nurse named Battle. I was the only one who worked insane hours, but I was new and still trying to prove myself.

I don’t know what made me look up. The cool March air, perhaps. Maybe the aroma wafting in, mystery and magic with overtones of raw sex.

Whatever it was, my eyes lifted and there he was, the most stunning male I’d ever seen. Smack-me-between-the-eyes gorgeous. Bright blond hair rippled to broad, muscular shoulders. Lean strength roped a long, lithe body. Laughter and intelligence sparked gold-flecked hazel eyes. Perfect lips curved in a smile so sensuous it made my innards go bang.

Then he opened his mouth and spoke. Talk about ruining perfection.

“Hello, gorgeous.” His tone was deep and lazy. “I want to speak to the computer man in charge.”

Right. Well that just spoiled everything, didn’t it?

I crossed my arms under my breasts. “You’re looking at him. I’m the head apple. Minus the stem, but those are overrated anyway.”

My sarcasm didn’t even faze the man. He tucked one spectacular ass cheek on my desk and leaned in, so close I could feel his warmth on my face. “You’re L. Schmetterling? How…fruitful. And what, my Red Delicious, does the L stand for? Laurie? Lucy? Lovely?”

All that male beauty and a tight ass on top of it. I’d been burned once by a man with a flabby butt and no hair. This man would incinerate me.

I clutched the reminder of male perfidy on my ring finger and screwed up my most forbidding expression. “It stands for Leave. As in Me Alone.”

“I live to do your bidding, princess,” the man crooned, his lips inches from mine. He had perfect, chiseled lips-the kind designed by Michelangelo for kissing. “But if you’re L. Schmetterling, I can’t leave. I have business with you.”

“Look, buddy.” It came out all husky-voiced. I let go of the ring and tried to work back to reasonable. “Look, I don’t know you, and it’s late. Business hours are nine to five Monday through Friday. Come back tomorrow.” I turned to my laptop and pretended I wasn’t quivering to taste those chiseled lips. “You’re just lucky I was here.”

“Oh, I knew you’d be in.” The man stood with lazy grace, the kind latent with power. I watched him from the corner of my eye. He was really quite big and though his body was lean, his shoulders were stunningly broad. He would be immensely strong. He leaned knuckles on my desk. “You work late every night. Most nights you’re here until ten or eleven. Alone.” His tone held a touch of censure.

Strangely enough, I hadn’t been afraid of him until then. My eyes jerked to his. Hard steel underlay his friendly expression.

I swallowed rising panic—though I was a black belt in Taekwondo, short and kicky was shit against strong and prowly. “What did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t.” He pulled a small leather case from his jeans pocket and tossed a business card on my desk with a careless snap of the wrist. The card should have skipped like a stone and sailed into my wastepaper basket. It landed right under my nose.

Gorgeous and talented. This guy would bear watching. Aw, shucks, my libido said. I ignored it. Eyes locked on him, I picked up the card. Dared a glance. Logan Steel, CEO Steel Security.

Smack me in the face with a Toshiba. Steel Security was the firm that installed a multimillion-dollar security system at Andersly-Dogget Distribution, my first job—one week before I was fired.

“Water under the bridge, Liese,” my mother would say. “Put it behind you.” Moms are always right, especially mine. But right doesn’t equal easy.

I threw the card back. It hit the desk and rebounded into the trash, making my cheeks heat. “You can’t be serious! Steel Security is the Ferrari of security firms. They do the biggest names in the world. Why would they be in little Meiers Corners?”

“We are here to install a system.” Steel perched gracefully on my desk again. In his tight black T-shirt and open leather jacket he looked more like a well-muscled fashion model than a CEO.

“No way. Our Blood Center isn’t Red Cross. Most people have never heard of the Hemoglobin Society. On the galactic scale of Steel Security, we’re not even a comet.”

Steel grinned at that, a smile so sharp and white that I was momentarily blinded. “Nice pun.”

Wow. Mr. Fortune 500 (and Body 300) thought I was amusing?

Then reality kicked me in the teeth. I was a geek. When I talked, eyes glazed over. Amusing? Sure, and the Sex Fairy was real. “Why are you actually here?”

“Here’s the work order, if you don’t believe me.” Mr. Logan Great-Ass pulled a paper out of his back pocket. Since his jeans were so tight they must have been painted on his incredible tush, I wondered how there could possibly have been room. He unfolded the paper and tossed it onto my desk with as much flair as the card. “You’re wrong, Ms. Schmetterling. Gorgeous, but wrong.”

Gorgeous? I shot to my feet. “Now I know you’re lying. Fun time’s over. There’s the door.”

Sleek eyebrows arched. “I assure you, everything’s in order.”

“You’ve forged those papers. Or…or maybe they’re real, but the company’s been typed over. I don’t know what your game is, Mr. Steel, but this woman’s not playing.”

“No games, Ms. Schmetterling.” Leaning across the desk, he hooked my chin with one long finger. “Though if you want games, I could be persuaded.”

And he pressed his sculpted mouth to mine.

Steel’s lips were smooth and warm and he knew how to use them. His kiss was the magical brush of angel wings. Heavenly golden heat spread through me, stunned me. My eyelids fluttered closed. Excitement hit me low in the belly, hot, shocking excitement that bubbled up as a soft moan of pleasure.

At the sound, Logan licked my lips open. Angel wings became angel fire. “You taste wonderful. All hot and wet. Mmm, can’t get enough.” His kiss deepened, his tongue started to plunge.

Heat flamed through me, spiraling quickly past my temperate zone. I was kissing a virtual stranger but it was so good, better than seven-layer chocolate sin cake. Logan nibbled at my lips, his teeth extraordinarily sharp. Instinctively I knew I was about two seconds from clamping my ankles around his superb ass, and damn the consequences.

Hugs from Hughes! Bestselling author Mary Hughes is a computer consultant, professional musician, and writer. At various points in her life she has taught Taekwondo, worked in the insurance industry, and studied religion. She is intensely interested in the origins of the universe. She has a wonderful husband (though happily-ever-after takes a lot of hard work) and two great kids. But she thinks that with all the advances in modern medicine, childbirth should be a lot less messy. To learn more about Mary, please visit www.maryhughesbooks.com


May 15, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Marie Tuhart

Back in 2009 right after I’d sold my first book to The Wild Rose Press, they put out a call for stories for their new Cowboy Kink series. The title of the series alone should give you an idea of what the books needed. I read the requirements, but since I’d just sold and was knee deep in edits, I put the series out of my mind.

Several months later when I was done with In Plain Sight, I went back to the requirements and read them again. It was the first time I was going to dip into the world of ménage. I wasn’t against the idea, but I had to figure out how to make to work the way I write.

So I started thinking what kind of cowboy book could I write? I pondered this for a few days, then I came up with a dude ranch, okay that was good, but not really a kink type of place until the muse in my head said “what about an adult dude ranch.”

That idea had possibilities. Figure the idea out, I emailed the senior editor and asked her if she thought the idea of an adult dude ranch would work. She told me to write it. After several stops and starts, I wrote Quick Silver Ranch in 6 weeks. And that was my rough draft, several critiques later and revisions, I sent it off to The Wild Rose Press.

It worked and I sold the book, but the title needed to be changed. I wasn’t married to the title, but then my editor came back and said to me if I was willing to write the secondary characters story they’d put the books out as a series, with Quick Silver Ranch as part of the title.

I fired an email back to my editor and said “Sure I can do that.” Two seconds after sending the email my head hit my desk and I muttered “no conflict, no plot, what was I thinking.” Of course it all worked out for the best.

Tyler is my hero in Quick Silver Ranch: Roped & Ready. While he works with the horses, he has a degree in human sexuality as well as animal husbandry. This means he can have his two loves together, horses and sex. LOL

Quick Silver Ranch: Roped And Ready
by Marie Tuhart
Available at The Wild Rose Press

Quick Silver Ranch is no ordinary dude ranch.

After Becca Dalton finds her fiancé in bed with her boss, she ends the ill-fated engagement on the spot and quits her job. She heads to Quick Silver Ranch, looking to regroup before an interview for the job of her dreams–an executive position at a five-star hotel.

Becca’s best-laid plans are ruined when she discovers the exclusive ranch is for consenting couples who spend their days and nights exploring their most wicked sexual fantasies. For Becca to remain at the ranch and take advantage of all the arousing activities, she needs a partner.

Her sexy college lover and part owner of the ranch, Tyler Carson, is willing to break all the rules, partner up with Becca and have her roped and ready for a week of unimaginable pleasure. But is a week enough to satisfy his desire for Becca?

This is the first cowboy book I’ve written in over 10 years, but it reminded me of how much I love these alpha men. There will be more to come.

The next one in the series Quick Silver Ranch: Saddle Up is about Jared, who is Tyler’s business partner and a sexual psychologist.

Quick Silver Ranch: Saddle Up
by Marie Tuhart
coming soon The Wild Rose Press

Angie Davidson finds herself at loose ends after her best friend's wedding and in need of a vacation, so when sexy yet aloof co-owner of the Quick Silver Ranch, Jared Turner, insists she stay to explore their sexual attraction, she agrees. Though she loves being a submissive in the bedroom, Jared's distant air after lovemaking brings back bad memories. Can she show this strong sexy man he has nothing to fear from her, or will he abandon her like everyone else in her life has?

Sexy yet aloof Jared, co-owner of the Quick Silver Ranch is eager to explore Angie's submissive side with two weeks of toys and other naughty play. However, the last time he was this attracted to a woman--mentally and physically--she wasn't able to put up with his Dominant streak. Can Angie see that her vacation with him can be the perfect way of life?

Find Marie Online:

May 8, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 5/08

This week picks up where last week left off, with Isabeau studying Noah's...um...jeans. In case you missed it, you can check it out HERE.

Her body reacted before she could steel herself against it. A burst of heat snapped along her nerves. Her pulse raced. She was staring. She knew she was staring but she couldn’t stop.

He moved, sliding onto the stool directly before her, so that suddenly their gazes locked.

Check out the other Six Sunday posts at the official site:

Want to join in the fun? It's easy.

  1. pick a project – a current Work in Progress, contracted work or even something readers can buy if you’re published
  2. pick six sentences
  3. post ‘em on Sunday

May 5, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Sue Fineman


Have you ever read a book and wondered what happened with the other members of the hero or heroine’s family? What’s their story? What comes next? This is why I love to write a series of books about different members of the same family. So my readers know what comes next.

THE GREGORY SERIES features the family’s three adopted brothers. Greg and Bo lost their natural mother when they were very young, and Chance came from a Korean orphanage. His natural father was an American soldier.

Greg is the youngest sibling, the one who was always in trouble as a kid. He’s the macho brother, the fearless one who always jumps in with both feet without considering the consequences. In ON THE RUN, he’s a former DEA agent working undercover with the FBI, trying to find Neen Summers, who was in the house of a big drug lord during the raid three years ago. Neen’s been on the run since then, staying one step ahead of two men who chew apple gum and suck on menthol eucalyptus cough drops. At least she can smell them coming. Then there’s the man who claimed to be her uncle and invited her to L.A. for a visit. Who knew Uncle Julio was a big drug lord? Nobody told her what he did for a living. And who knew the hunky guy she met jogging was a DEA agent?

Bo is the responsible brother, the one who held the family together after their police officer father was killed in a domestic violence call. A former Marine, Bo’s elbow was shattered in Iraq, a painful injury the surgeons made worse. In spite of his injuries, his siblings still expect him to take care of Mom. In ON THE LAM, Callie shows up on Bo’s doorstep. He doesn’t need more responsibility, especially a woman hiding out from a husband who likes to beat on her, but he takes her in. Then her husband shows up. Why didn’t she tell Bo her husband was a Sheriff and has a warrant out for her arrest? Callie looks like Snow White, speaks with a soft Texas drawl, and cooks better than Mom, but this woman is pure trouble!

Chance is the oldest of the Gregory siblings. In ON THE EDGE, Chance’s ex-wife was murdered, leaving him with three grieving children. But the killer has a list of people he wants to kill, and Chance’s name is on that list. So is Baylee Patterson’s. She’s a newspaper reporter who wrote some not-so-nice things about the killer. Chance had a brief fling with Baylee the night his divorce became final, then neglected to call her. He’s still kicking himself for that mistake. When a police detective advises them to leave town until the killer is caught, Chance talks Baylee into coming with him. It’s an awkward situation at best. There’s no place in his life for a girl reporter who’s crazy enough to play games with a killer’s mind, but he can’t leave her behind to be murdered.

Excerpt from ON THE LAM: (While Callie’s abusive husband, Sheriff Tommy Ray Caldwell, was in Washington searching for her, she and Bo flew to Texas and snuck into the old ranch house to get the contents of her daddy’s safe.)

While Callie went to the closet to open the safe, Bo wandered around looking at the run-down house. Although it held a certain old-fashioned charm, the floors felt soft and the ceiling sagged with water stains. There were three small bedrooms, one dinky bathroom, and tiny closets. The hardwood floors must have been nice at one time, but they hadn’t been maintained.

“I take it Tommy Ray doesn’t like to clean.”

“No, sir. He wants everything done for him.”

Bo swore under his breath when he saw the handcuffs on the headboard and footboard of the bed. While Callie worked on the safe, he opened the nightstand to find a small whip and blindfold and other sex toys or instruments of torture, whichever way you wanted to look at it. She said Tommy Ray beat on her and slapped Brady around, but she never said what went on in her bedroom.

After living with Tommy Ray, she should be afraid of men in general, yet she’d crawled into his bed last night, and she’d not only let him kiss her, she’d kissed him back. Knowing how she’d lived made him appreciate last night even more. The nightmare woke him and he’d found himself snuggled up to her soft, warm body. Still half asleep, he’d wanted her to be there for other reasons. Maybe someday she would come for sex, but he wouldn’t push it. He couldn’t, not after learning about the rape and seeing the bed she’d shared with her husband.

“I got it open,” she called.

Bo glanced out the window and saw an old pickup truck coming down the dirt drive toward the house, kicking up a cloud of dust. “Looks like we have company.”

“Oh, no. We’ll have to hide until they’re gone.”

Bo closed and locked the kitchen door as the pickup, country music blasting from the radio, stopped near the front door. Callie held a flowered pillowcase knotted on the end. The contents of the safe, he assumed. She pointed to a door in the kitchen and followed him down the basement steps, closing the door behind her without making a sound.

“Hey, Dwayne,” a man called. “I’ll check the bedrooms.”

“Will you look at this mess.” Dwayne laughed. “I do believe the sheriff is a bigger slob than me, and according to Mama, nobody is a bigger slob than me.”

“Ole man Winthrop musta left that map here in the house somewheres,” said the other man.

Bo whispered in Callie’s ear. “Do you know those men?”

“Dwayne and Leroy Richardson. They have a small ranch on the north side of us.”

“Brothers?” asked Bo.

She nodded.

“Did you hear something?” called Dwayne.

“Nah. Hey, I found a safe. What you ‘spose is in here?”

Dwayne’s voice faded toward the bedroom. “Probably what we’re looking for. Can you open it?”

“Hell, no, not without the combination. Let’s just pull it out of the wall and take it home. Go get the tire iron and we’ll pry it out.”

“What if someone catches us?”

“You turning into a chicken shit, or you gonna help me with this thing?” Leroy sounded angry.

Colorful language poured from Dwayne as he walked through the house and outside. The door slammed and seconds later Bo heard footsteps on the front porch, and then the sound of prying and hammering came from the bedroom.

Bo tripped over a bucket and it made a godawful noise. The activity in the bedroom stopped.

“What the hell was that?” Leroy said.

“I’ll get the gun from the truck.”

“Oh, dear God.” Callie’s words came out on a whispered breath.

Footsteps sounded on the floor above them and the front door slammed. Seconds later, the door slammed again and Dwayne called, “It ain’t in the truck. You used it to kill them birds, remember? I don’t hear nothing now anyways. Probably just a cat or coon or something.”

“Yeah, probably. Help me with this. Damn thing weighs a ton.”

Callie crept up the basement steps, and Bo followed right behind her.

“If it wasn’t for that damn sheriff, Callie and me’d be married by now,” said Leroy. “She always did favor me.”

Dwayne burst out laughing. “Then why did she let me feel her up in high school?”

Callie gasped and Bo put his hand over her mouth. His body shook with silent laughter, and she jabbed her elbow in his ribs. She obviously didn’t see anything funny about it, but he did. It was meaningless guy talk.

“Did she let you get inside her panties?” Leroy asked.

“No, and she didn’t let you neither.”

“Wanta bet?”

Callie had heard enough of this nonsense. She broke away from Bo and ran into the kitchen sputtering, “You lying fools.”

Dwayne dropped the safe and Leroy yowled. “Where in the hell did you come from?”

“I flew in on my broomstick, you idiot. What are you doing in my house?”

“Ain’t yours,” said Leroy. “Tommy Ray says it belongs to him.”

Callie crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. “Does the safe belong to him, too?”

Leroy stammered, “Uh... well... you see... we uh—”

“Y’all broke into the sheriff’s house and stole his safe, and I’m gonna tell him I caught you. You’re in deep trouble, boys. If he don’t shoot you, he’ll lock you up forever.”

Dwayne hung his head. “Mama’s gonna kill us for sure this time.”

“Tell me what you’re looking for and I won’t tell.”

Leroy, the older and more intelligent brother, which wasn’t saying much, said, “Well, now, we can’t—”

“Fine.” She walked to the kitchen phone and punched three buttons. They had no way of knowing the phones didn’t work.

Leroy grabbed the phone from her hand and hung up. “Daddy told us there was something buried out by the river and your daddy had a map, so we thought we’d—”

Leroy and Dwayne didn’t have the brains to think anything through clearly.

“Y’all thought you’d find it and get rich?”

“We woulda shared it with you, Callie,” said Dwayne.

One lie deserved another, so she pointed to the safe. “Well, go ahead and take it. I can’t get it open anyway.” If Tommy Ray couldn’t open it, the Richardson boys couldn’t either, but having it gone might keep Tommy Ray off her back.

The two men struggled under the weight of the safe and somehow got it through the door and into the back of their pickup truck.

Bo stepped into the kitchen with Callie. “Why did you let them take the safe?”

“So Tommy Ray won’t know I emptied it.”

“Won’t they tell him?”

“And admit they were here?”

”Good point.” Bo glanced around. “Anything else you want to take while we’re here?”

Callie took a few things from her son’s room and stuffed them in his pillowcase. “I think that’s it. I wouldn’t mind taking my pistol, but I can’t get on a plane with it.”

“Then leave it here.”

Leaving the ranch again tore at her spirits. It was supposed to belong to her some day, so why did Daddy have to go and give it to Tommy Ray? She would’ve been better off without a husband. So what if she was pregnant? The ladies in the church would’ve shunned her, but that wouldn’t have been half as bad as the things Tommy Ray did to her.

Sue Fineman is a grumpy old lady who lives with an even grumpier old man in a small town in Washington State. She writes women’s fiction, light paranormal romance, and romantic suspense novels. Most of her books have a little humor sprinkled in.

On the Run, On the Lam, and On the Edge are now available at Amazon and BN, and they’re only 99 cents each.

You can find her latest release from The Wild Rose Press, THE MITCHELL MONEY, at TWRP, Amazon, and BN. Happy reading!


May 4, 2011

Hump Day Hottie & A Review

Check out the review for Not Without Risk TWRP author Amie Louellen posted on Amazon! Isn't it fantastic? I wonder if she likes chocolate?

"I LOVED this book!! First and foremost this is a romance novel. And it delivers! Paige and Justin are perfect for each other. A cop who doesn't believe in love and a woman who doesn't date cops. Add in a murder mystery and a killer on the loose, and you have a recipe for a great read. Grimm's characters are real, the novel gritty yet true to the genre. The book focuses on the characters and how the forces around them pull them together even as they fight against the attraction they have for one another. The love scenes are HOT. But it should come with a warning--Caution: contents of this book are hard to resist. May cause late nights and continual reading! You won't be able to put it down!"

Amie, I'm so glad you enjoyed my book. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to post a review for me.

And now, for your Wednesday viewing pleasure... This guy should come with a warning, too. Don't you think?