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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Dangerously Sexy Suspense

June 29, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Babette James:

Birthday? November 14
Favorite color? Garnet red
Favorite animal? Horse
Siblings? 1 brother, 2 stepsisters & 2 stepbrothers
Favorite drink? Coffee
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Key lime Pie
Favorite author? J.R.R. Tolkien
Favorite dish? Shrimp Scampi
Ice cream flavor? Mango Sorbet
Favorite Season? Spring, if it weren’t for allergies
Plotter or Pantser? Pantser!
Hobbies? Bread Baking, Painting, reading, writing
Dream vacation? A tour of Ireland
Favorite TV show? Once Upon A Time
Musical preference? Classical and New Age Instrumental
Pet peeve? Rude drivers
Favorite place to write? My desk
Favorite song? Depends on my mood
Odd family fact? An ancestor sailed on the Bounty
Unforgettable moment? Being offered the contract on Clear As Day
Favorite Superhero? Batman
Spicy or not? Spicy
Cat or dog? Cats (But I love dogs too)
Favorite candy bar? Mounds
Favorite guilty pleasure? A spa day

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less:
She doesn’t believe in happily ever after. He dares her to risk all for love. What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?



To learn more about Babette James and her books, please visit her website:

June 26, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger J Corti-Petska

Writing two books (or more) at the Same Time

Women were created with the ability to multitask: birthing and caring for children; having a job, sometimes two, outside the home; chauffeuring; being a maid to keep her house clean, keeping the laundry fresh and meals cooked; gardening to make sure her exterior home looks beautiful, as well as the many other areas women have in their lives. I’ve handled all of the above simultaneously—in my twenties. I’ll be 60 in five days, and I now find it extremely difficult to multitask. Especially when it comes to writing.

To be truthful, writing was the one area in which I have never been able to multitask. For whatever reason, I could write only one story at a time. I couldn’t even think about the plot for a different story while writing my WIP. I have tried but failed miserably. Actually, it was often quite humorous.

For those who write contemporary, it may not be as difficult. But I don’t know because I write historicals. I tried writing a historical western while working on a medieval once. It was like balancing and twirling fine china plates on the tip of wobbly poles. Only one survived.

Writing westerns is vastly different than writing medievals—cowboys and knights—how dissimilar can you get? While the basic structure of a romance is the same, culture, attitude and speech cannot compare. About 25 years ago, I had written a few books with a co-author. Because we collaborated on westerns, I decided to work on a medieval that I’d been making notes on for months. We’d take turns writing chapters: I’d write the odd-numbered chapters, she’d write the even-numbered ones. The next book, we switched so we each had the opportunity to write the very first chapter.

One day, my friend called and asked why our 1870s cowboy hero was challenged to a duel—with a broadsword worthy of a hearty knight. Strange, I thought, but soon it faded from my memory. Then a few days later, she called again and questioned the reason I changed syntax. Hmmm… I reread what I’d written and sure enough, I had done just that. It wasn’t until I returned to my medieval that I realized what had happened.

For one thing, a knight doesn’t say, “Howdy, ma’am.” I kid you not. It jumped off the page and smacked me in my face when I went back to edit the chapter. Little nuances of historical westerns had begun creeping up in my medieval. I’d find my characters speaking with a southern drawl. My western characters began to speak quite stiffly. But when I outfitted my knight in denims, I knew I had to make a choice.

To this day, I can’t even think about another story other than the one I’m working on or I’ll lose the momentum in my WIP. Of course, these days, if I have more than one idea floating around in my head, it’s like a cowboy riding his destrier into a stampede. (Yes, I said destrier.) I carry a small spiral-bound notebook wherever I go so I can jot down the ideas popping up in my head. I don’t think on them too long, at least not until I’m ready to write the story based on a particular idea. I’d blame it on aging, but you already know that for the last 40 years, multitasking when writing has not been a waltz around the dance floor for me.

One story at a time, I continually remind myself. Otherwise, I’d never accomplish finishing a single book. I’m curious. How many writers out there can write two (or more) books simultaneously? Uh…would you mind sharing your secret?

DANTE’S FLAME, book 3 of my Italian medieval series (release date July 11, 2012)

Alessandra Podesta writes illicit tales unsuitable for a young lady. Exasperated, her father sends her to visit relatives in Naples to curb her wild imagination. But in her undying need for adventure, she toys with the affections of her tutor and is forced to marry him. When she unknowingly falls into a dangerous game of supremacy between two countries, she trusts the wrong people and endangers her life.

French tutor Dante Santangelo is secretly aiding the French in maintaining their rule over Naples. When he is manipulated into marrying the visiting cousin of the Valente Family, he seizes upon the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the family, who are under suspicion of helping the Spanish. When Alessandra's life is in jeopardy Dante must choose between love and duty. Will he offer up his life to save Alessandra? Or remain duty-bound to the French?


June 22, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Sandra Sookoo:

Birthday? August 22nd
Favorite color? Turquoise
Favorite animal? Elephant
Siblings? Four
Favorite drink? Unsweetened ice tea
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Cinnamon
Favorite author? Crichton
Favorite dish? Chicken low mien
Ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip
Favorite Season? Fall
Plotter or pantser? Plotter
Hobbies? Baking, reading
Dream vacation? Touring Europe
Favorite TV show? Big Bang Theory, River Monsters
Musical preference? Classical, Pop
Pet peeve? Lying, spelling errors
Favorite place to write? Home
Favorite song? n/a
Odd family fact? Family doesn’t read my books
Unforgettable moment? Meeting my hubby for the first time after exchanging letters for 3 years
Favorite Superhero? None. I’m a super villain kinda girl
Spicy or not? spicy
Cat or dog? cat
Favorite candy bar? Heath toffee
Favorite guilty pleasure? Watching Finding Bigfoot

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less:

Thirty-something woman seeks scandal in Regency-era England with a man who’s too charming for his own good in Lady Parker’s Grand Affair.

Available on Amazon, All Romance ebooks and Smashwords

To learn more about Sandra Sookoo and her writing please visit her website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com

June 19, 2012

The Progeny Series by Ashlynne Laynne

The Progeny
(The Progeny Series #1)


“No fate other than the one I choose.”

The timeless creed, and tattoo, bore by the Rousseau’s— a vampire clan with the purest bloodline of any vampire family. Out of this clandestine group came one who was different, yet the same: Ascher-a half-bloodling— half- human, half vampire.

Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula— a prearranged union to a woman he abhors — he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula.

Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna— a beautiful, bi-racial human Wiccan — and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.

Blood Bonds
(The Progeny Series #2)

“Forever. For always. For eternity.”

The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago.

It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna's sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity. But Ascher's ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover's scorn and her father's death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding.

When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna's bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.

About The Progeny Series

At its core, The Progeny is simply a story about a man and woman who fall in love, and the fact that he’s a half-blood (half-human, half vampire) and she’s a Wiccan human are secondary factors. When we meet Ascher, he’s grumpy. Frankly, who could blame him? He’s engaged to seal to Ursula—a cold and careless vampire who wants nothing more than to get her hands on a bloodstone— and he feels conflicted about his existence.

All of that changes when he meets Shawnette McCutchin. She’s beautiful, intriguing and possesses some of the most potent blood that he’s ever smelled. A war immediately begins inside Ascher. He craves Shauna’s blood just as much as he craves her body and the closer they get, the harder it is for him to control his urges. After Ascher calls off the sealing to Ursula, the trouble begins. His family’s peaceful period ends when Ursula’s army attacks the Rousseaus.

This series is about a family of which we’ve never seen before. They share a common mortal and immortal bloodline but loyalty is the thread that holds this clan together. Once you become a part of this family, the others will risk their lives to protect you. We see examples of this throughout the journey. There is no shortage of romance, steam and surprises in The Progeny Series but these books are for adults and contain adult sensuality, language and themes.

Book one of the Progeny Series—The Progeny—re-released on May 7, 2012. The “revamp” is a second edition full of extended scenes, new details and tighter editing. Book two—Blood Bonds—will release summer of 2012.

Excerpt from Blood Bonds:

Ascher and Shauna sat facing one another, hands clasped, their gazes locked and searching for the undying devotion and love in each other’s eyes. Ascher leaned into her, drawing her into his embrace, inhaling the sweetness of her hair—one of his favorite past times. The new information had to be disconcerting for her. His life had been one prophecy or prediction after another. He spent much of his existence minding the covenants and adhering to a prophecy that turned out to be false. Quickening was the only proof he needed to affirm his decision. Anything else was an afterthought and he’d treat it as such.

“You’re quiet. Are you okay? Do you need someone to check you out?” he whispered, pulling her tighter to gauge her pulse and breathing.

Shauna said nothing but sighed heavily, snuggling closer to him.

He knew what her sigh meant. She was overwhelmed by everything—the prophecy, the sealing, their wedding. “Can Zion be trusted? Klaus professed a false prophecy. Who says this isn’t one, as well?”

“Imagine how I feel. This is the second time someone has placed a sealing prophecy on my shoulders. I don’t know if it’s true and I don’t care, because no one can dictate to me what’s in my heart.”

“Which is?”

“That you’re the perfect one for me always, until the end of eternity and I don’t need some ancient prediction to tell me that.”

Their intense glances met and he saw the uncertainty burning back at him from her eyes.

“Something else is wrong. What is it, Shauna?”

Her fingers twisted in her lap as she stared down at them.

Placing a comforting hand against her face, he lifted her chin up to meet his gaze. “Eyes up,” he whispered. “What is it, really?”

“I had a bad dream last night,” Shauna managed to squeak out.


“The baby.”

Ascher knew she still dreamed of the baby that would never be. He often thought of him, too, wondering what Shauna would look like swollen with pregnancy, or what the child might have looked like. Once or twice, he’d even dreamed of a precious little angel with jet-black hair, a flushed, tanned complexion and the most beautiful dark eyes.

He’d hold on to that image until he held a baby in his arms to complete it.

“If I had not miscarried, I’d be showing by now.” She trailed her hand across her flat stomach as the tears spilled over in her eyes.

Ascher grabbed her, holding her to him as the grief vibrated throughout her body. “It’s okay,” he whispered in her ear. “It’s okay to be sad, love.”

“Sometimes I feel so empty and it hurts me so much, Ash,” she cried, while nudging her face against his gray sweater. “I think about the baby every day, wondering if I could have done anything different. I had to save my sister; I couldn’t let Ursula kill her.”

He set her away from him. “Shhh...Sweetheart,” he breathed, shaking his head and placing his finger across her lips to silence her. “What happened was not your fault. We’ve been over this before.” He stroked her cheek with his thumbs to wipe the tears from her weary face.

Ascher looked down into her sorrowful eyes and saw the raw emotion reflecting from them. He imagined that if he were able to cry he’d have cried a river over their loss. Sometimes, he wished he could cry to release some of the rage that he held pinned inside of him. Losing that baby cut him deep, like a knife slicing his heart into millions of pieces. He didn’t know anything could ever wound him so much, and yet the only thing that could hurt him more would be the loss of Shauna.

Ursula had it coming for her part in their misery. That bitch was on borrowed time and the hourglass was almost empty. He shoved down the growl begging to surface from his depths, until it rumbled and burned hot in his belly. Ascher embraced his love again, strumming his fingers through her hair and thinking about his revenge. The telltale pulsing deep inside him finally made it to his eyes, tinting the lush green landscape blood red with his ire. He would get satisfaction for the shedding of Rousseau blood.

A wave of sadness crested within him and replaced the anger, sweeping through him like an emotional tidal wave. He held her tighter to comfort her and hide the rage burning in his eyes, as his right hand joined hers to caress her vacant stomach. They sat seeking the comfort of one another's embrace, the only sounds their breathing and Shauna’s muffled cries against his chest as the warm wind rustled in the trees surrounding them.

When the crimson left his sight, he brought his hand under her chin lifting her face to meet his heavyhearted gaze. Placing his hand over her stomach again, he whispered, “We will make another life, Shauna, when you’re ready.”

Ashlynne Laynne has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny. The vampire/witch pairing is unique and different when most books pair vampires with werewolves.

Ashlynne loves writing on the edge and teetering between the erotica and romance genres, and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on books three and four of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Rocker Series, and an untitled novella WIP. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write full time one day soon.

Ashlynne lives in North Carolina with her husband and teenage son.

Connect with Ashlynne Online:

June 15, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Caroline Clemmons:

Birthday? September 16
Favorite color? Periwinkle blue
Favorite animal? cat
Siblings? one brother, two half-brothers, two-half-sisters
Favorite drink? Dr Pepper
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? cherry
Favorite author? Ooooh, mean question for someone who knows LOTS of authors.
Favorite dish? TexMex fajitas
Ice cream flavor? Bordeaux cherry amaretto frozen yogurt
Favorite Season? Spring
Plotter or pantser? plotter
Hobbies? Genealogy, oil paints, reading, browsing antique malls and estate sales, travel
Dream vacation? cruise to Alaska on one of those tours that includes lectures on the history, archealogy, and customs.
Favorite TV show? Blue Bloods
Musical preference? classical to write, Ella Fitzgerald or Carol King for email
Pet peeve? bullies
Favorite place to write? my office, that I call my pink cave.
Favorite song? Varies by mood
Odd family fact? We give a happy name to the term dysfunctional.
Unforgettable moment? When I met my husband
Favorite Superhero? Superman
Spicy or not? Not
Cat or dog? Cat
Favorite candy bar? Milky Way
Favorite guilty pleasure? Chocolate and a Dr Pepper

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less:

Who’s been poisoning Hope Montoya, and can Micah Stone catch the killer in time to save his BRAZOS BRIDE’s life?


For more information on Caroline Clemmons and her writing please visit her blog:

June 8, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Alana Lorens: 

Birthday? April Fool’s Day!
Favorite color? Pine green
Favorite animal? giraffe
Siblings? Three sisters
Favorite drink? Guatemalan coffee, fresh brewed
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Buttered popcorn
Favorite author? Anne McCaffrey
Favorite dish? Fondue
Ice cream flavor? Peanut butter/chocolate
Favorite Season? Fall
Plotter or Pantser? Pantser
Hobbies? Gardening, sewing, reading, WRITING!
Dream vacation? Two weeks at Disney World, staying in the Animal Kingdom Lodge
Favorite TV show? Firefly
Musical preference? Bad ‘80s music
Pet peeve? People who limit others’ right to love
Favorite place to write? Outdoors on a wooden deck overlooking the mountains
Favorite song? Hard to pick just one!
Odd family fact? I married the same guy twice. Wasn’t really a great idea either time. For real.
Unforgettable moment? When I got that first novel contract in hand
Favorite Superhero? Wonder Woman
Spicy or not? Heck, yeah!
Cat or dog? cat
Favorite candy bar? Reeses
Favorite guilty pleasure? Bacon donuts

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less: 

Single mom lawyer takes on dangerous domestic violence case, meets hunky cop who wants to protect her, but she won’t let him. Till she falls in love.


To learn more about Alana Lorens and her writing, please visit her website:

June 5, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Karyn Good

What a Girl Needs

Thank you for having me on your lovely blog today, Sarah. It’s a pleasure to be here and to be sharing a bit about my debut romantic suspense, Backlash, with everyone. I thought we might talk a little bit about heroines. We all love to read and write about fabulous female characters. Lily Wheeler, my heroine, is smart, passionate, and determined. At least, I hope she comes across that way. But she’s also human, she makes mistakes. Pride and stubbornness tend to trip her up more often than not.

But Lily does believe in the power of three things: girlfriends who always have your back, a good quality Chardonnay, and the necessity of a fabulous purse or bag.

We all know a close knit circle of girlfriends is good for our health. Women need other women to connect with and share with. These relationships make us happy and keep us sane. Try laughing, crying, and color coordinating your wardrobe with a guy. Even if he’s the love of your life, he’s not going to want to know. Or realize he should care. Or he might care, but not know what the heck to do about it. And who else are you going to complain to about the juicer you got for your anniversary. Or that nightmare blind date you agreed to then wished you hadn’t. The price of face cream.

Then there’s wine. That’s pretty self-explanatory. Or maybe your choice of drink is tea. Or maybe it’s anything as long as you get to drink it uninterrupted.

Our purses. Purses are sacred things, aren’t they? Men are scared of them. Children aren’t allowed to touch them or dig around in them. Girlfriends and total strangers admire them. Also different occasions require different bags, as do seasons. Men don’t understand this either. Lily’s purse is her security blanket. A purse, or handbag, pocketbook, satchel depending on what part of the world you live in, is her must have accessory. Not quite bigger than a breadbox, it’s a repository for all things needed to survive a surprise apocalypse, complete with escaped tic tacs clinging to the inside lining.

But mostly importantly the best heroines act in a way that is true to who they are. Whether they want to take over the world or simply survive the next twenty-four hours. It’s that deeply personal part of them that is revealed throughout the story that makes us love and relate to them.

What’s favorite thing to do with girlfriends? Or share you drink of choice. Maybe you want to tell us what the strangest item is you keep in your purse or bag?

by Karyn Good

What he’s sworn to protect, she’s willing to sacrifice to save those she loves...

When dedicated teacher Lily Wheeler interrupts a vicious gang attack on one of her students, she vows it won’t happen again. But her rash interference puts her in the path of a cold-blooded killer and the constable tracking him—a man she has little reason to trust, but can never forget.

Constable Chase Porter returned to Aspen Lake to see justice done, not renew old acquaintances. But when he rescues the woman he once loved from a volatile situation, he realizes his feelings for Lily haven’t lessened over the years.

Now, the dangerous killer Chase has sworn to capture has Lily in his sights. Can Chase and Lilly learn to trust each other again before it’s too late—or will old insecurities jeopardize their future?

Kate crossed her arms and frowned. “What have you done?”

“Nothing. I needed to make it clear I couldn’t care less that he’s waltzed back into town. But things kind of went downhill once he opened the door all dripping wet and gorgeous. And time stopped and I felt sixteen years old again. But then he opened his mouth and started issuing orders. Believe me, I understand the severity of the situation. But when he touched me? I don’t know … there was something.” She flopped back against the booth and sighed.

Kate sat unblinking. “The man’s been back in town for twenty-four hours. Why do you need theories? The severity of what situation?”

“Oh believe me, I’ll get to that horrible part in a second.”

Kate didn’t move. “And there was touching?”

“Well, not really touching. He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. That was all. I shouldn’t have mentioned it. It was nothing.” Lily lifted her shoulders in what she hoped passed for a nonchalant shrug and picked up her coffee cup up again. And set it down. “Okay, I threatened to shove an umbrella up his butt and I left. No big deal.”

Kate nodded in perfect understanding. “No big deal. Because you’re always threatening people with umbrellas.”

“He started it by calling me a Mary Poppins do-gooder.” She rubbed her forehead and let out a deep sigh. “I’m as pathetic today as I was back then.”

“Lily, you were a teenager.” Kate reached over to pat her hand. “Of course you were pathetic.”

To learn more about Karyn and her books visit:

Website:   http://www.karyngood.com/index.html

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karyn-Good/168409826555843?ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/#!/karyngood

June 1, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Katherine Grey:

Birthday? April 25th
Favorite color? Yellow
Favorite animal? I don’t think I have one.
Siblings? 4 sisters, 1 brother
Favorite drink? Lemonade
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? I’d be Jelly Belly’s red apple
Favorite author? Too many to name.
Favorite dish? A bowl. I’m kidding, it’s homemade pastitsio
Ice cream flavor? Vanilla.
Favorite season? Summer
Plotter or Pantser? Pantser for the most part
Hobbies? Reading and baking
Dream vacation? Taking my mom to Switzerland. She’s always wanted to go there.
Favorite TV show? Person of Interest
Musical preference? Anything but rap or really heavy metal
Pet peeve? People who don’t know how to use an apostrophe. It drives me crazy!
Favorite place to write? The dining room table
Favorite song? If I have to pick only one then it’s Nessun Dorma sung by Pavarotti
Odd family fact? Even though my mom’s family has lived in the North for generations, we are related to Robert E. Lee.
Unforgettable moment? When I thought I lost my 3 year old nephew in a store. I will never forget that feeling.
Favorite Superhero? Wolverine
Spicy or not? A little, but not too spicy
Cat or dog? 2 Cats
Favorite candy bar? Twix
Favorite guilty pleasure? Wise Cheez Doodles with a good book

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less: 

Blaine Hobson wants nothing more than to join his beloved in the grave until he meets a seamstress who is determined to keep him alive.


To learn more about Katherine and her writing, visit her blog: