Friday, July 27, 2012

A Hero's Blog Hop: My Heroes and Why I Love Them #HeroHop

Friends, I'm super excited to welcome you all to A Hero's Blog Hop. Starting today and ending on July 31st, over 100 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about romance heroes, a character post from them, and what we love about romance and men in general.

We have THREE Grand Prizes and many authors are offering their own prizes. The more you hop, the more you win!

Why I love Heroes

My name is Kristine Cayne and I'm a hero addict.They can be dark or not, military or ordinary, covert or superstar. That doesn't matter. What does matter is that they must be alpha. Yes, alpha heroes are my drug of choice.

I love writing about strong men who are willing to lay everything on the line for the woman they love. Men who might chose not to show their feelings or emotions, but who aren't afraid to do it when the time is right. Their lives are raw, often violent, and they are forced to making difficult decisions that sometimes cross ethical lines, in order to do what needs to be done.

A few months ago, I wrote a post for Black Velvet Seductions called "He's an Alpha Not an Ass." I think it sums up very well why I love heroes, specifically alpha heroes :)

Meet My Heroes

Nic Lamoureux

Nic is the hero of Deadly Obsession, the first book in my Deadly Vices romantic suspense series.

Nic's perfect movie star life is shattered by a stalker who threatens any woman who gets close to him. When he meets photographer Lauren James, the attraction is instant--and mutual. She's exactly the sort of woman he craves, but the stalker makes it deadly clear Lauren is the competition. And the competition must be eliminated.

Deadly Obsession is currently on sale in ebook format for only 99 cents! Get Deadly Obsession here: Amazon ebook, Amazon print, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, iTunes/Apple USA, Diesel, Sony.

Rémi Whitedeer

Meet Rémi, the hero of Deadly Addiction, the second book in my Deadly Vices romantic suspense series.

Alyssa Morgan is a maverick cop with nothing to lose. Rémi Whitedeer is a native warrior with everything on the line... Rife with crime and drugs, Rémi's home, the Blackriver Reservation, is a powder keg. When a radical sovereigntist lights the fuse, these two natural enemies must join forces to save a nation. But will Rémi and Alyssa's forbidden attraction bring them together--or blow them apart?

Get Deadly Addiction here: Amazon ebook, Amazon print, Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords, Apple/iTunes US, Diesel.


We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 100 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

Note: The Kindle prize can be international if needed. If you live in a place that supports Kindle, we will work it out to get you the appropriate version.  Also, if you already own a kindle, we will get you a $199 gift card. The gift cards are also international. As for the large swag pack. That is US only. 

But that's not all! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to AMC Movie Theatres. These tickets are good for any movie (except IMAX) in any AMC theatre in the US (sorry Canadian friends). To enter, leave a comment with your email address and the name/handle you used to either:

1) Like me on Facebook (, or
2) Follow me on Twitter (@KristineCayne, or
3) Subscribe to my newsletter (

Start Hopping

You like the prizes? You want to win? Start hopping. The more blogs you visit from the links below and leave comments with your email address, the more chances you have of winning.

Best of luck to all of you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Hero's Blog Hop is Coming!

Are you ready to hear what your favorite romance heroes have to say? Well, we authors are ready to share our hunky heroes! Starting on Friday and ending on July 31st, over 100 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about romance heroes, a character post from them, and what we love about romance and men in general.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 100 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 100 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

Yep. ALL of that! Whoot! Be sure to come back here on Friday and over the weekend to enjoy some stories and facts about our favorite Romance Heroes and enter to win!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blog Tour - Alexandrea Weis' The Secret Brokers

Alexandrea Weis stopped in for a guest post. Here's a little about this amazing woman. 

Alexandrea Weis is a registered nurse from New Orleans who has been published in several nursing journals and textbooks. She has been writing novels and screenplays for over twenty years. Her first novel, To My Senses, was a finalist for commercial fiction in Eric Hofer Book Awards, a finalist for romance in the Foreword Magazine book of the Year awards, and a finalist for romance in the USA Book Awards. Her second novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader's Favorite Book Awards and was named best Romantic Suspense by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2011. Her third book, Sacrifice, closes out the Nicci Beauvoir Series. Her fourth book, highlighting her love of rehabbing wildlife, called Broken Wings, is now out in paperback and ebook.
Ms. Weis is also a permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and when she is not writing, Ms. Weis is rescuing orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives outside of New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of pets.
Blog site:
Amazon ebook:
Amazon print book:

A Word from Alexandrea

 The rhythm of the resurrecting city of New Orleans is reflected everyday in the unified heartbeat of its determined residents. And no matter the devastation, New Orleanians will continually fight to hold on to their beloved little bastion eight feet below sea level. Like the memory of a first kiss, the warmth of New Orleans pervades your soul and forever becomes a part of you. To travel among the wide oaks and antebellum homes of the Garden District makes for beautiful postcard pictures, but it does not give you a true indication of what it means to be a New Orleanian. You have to immerse yourself in the old world atmosphere and varied traditions of the people of this town in order to understand them, and, hopefully, become one of them.
     You need to dine in the myriad of exceptional restaurants and take part in a heated discussion about where to find the best bowl of gumbo. Spend a Monday morning drinking coffee and chicory in an old uptown kitchen while learning how to cook the perfect pot of red beans and rice. Experience the wrong way to eat a muffaletta sandwich, the right way to shuck an oyster, and the only way to eat a beignet. And you will always have to remember that if your food isn’t boiled, blackened or fried, it just ain’t cooked.   
          You will want to traverse the different sections of the old city divided not by points on a compass, but by proximity to the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain. Because no one in the Crescent City could ever tell you where to find the south end of town, but they could recite by heart the neighborhoods along the bend in the river. From the Bywaters to the Irish Chanel, from Lakeview to the infamous Ninth Ward, so many smaller sections alive with their own unique histories make up this city. Each part of New Orleans has a rich heritage based on the struggles of its French, Spanish, Irish, African, or Italian founders.
     Then head over to Canal Street, where the local term “neutral ground” was created in the early 1800’s. In those days, the wide thoroughfare was first used as a common market area between the feuding French and Spanish occupants of the city. Take a streetcar ride down legendary St. Charles Avenue to see the world renowned Audubon Zoo. Along the way, soak up the different styles of Victorian, Greek Revival, and Colonial architecture represented by some of the city’s finest homes. Let the soothing rocking motion of the streetcar ease your cares, as the sweet scent of magnolias streams in from the open window beside you. At the end of your streetcar ride, walk the broken cobblestones of the French Quarter, and take in the alluring sights of the tightly packed Creole cottages. Listen for the seductive sounds of Jazz music resonating around you, the smell of great food hovering in the air about you, and let your imagination linger on the romantic wrought iron balconies above you. Make your way to Jackson Square and take in the tall spires of St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in the continental Untied States. Walk through the adjoining Cabildo Museum, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. Stroll on over to the Moonwalk, by the edge of the Mississippi River, and enjoy the calliope music coming from the Delta Queen Riverboat. After you have learned to bargain like a pro with the vendors at the French Market, then saunter down the shady sidewalks of Esplanade Avenue. The street made famous by Tennessee Williams and his tale of hidden desire. Finally, let yourself wander the narrow alleys of St. Louis Cemetery Number One, where you can visit the above ground tombs of famous former residents Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen, and Paul Morphy, the chess phenomenon.
     But there is another, more important, criteria for being an ingrained member of this eclectic southern city. You have to learn to appreciate life. Not the day-to-day hurried existence that shortens the lives of stockbrokers and businessmen, but the easy lust for the fulfillment of the senses. For everything about New Orleans is tailored to the forgotten art of self-gratification. In these days of such soulless existence, it is a heartwarming relief to find a place unashamed of its abundant way of life. No one in New Orleans regrets the way they live, they only regret when they have to leave it.
     So the next time you think about my hometown, don’t linger on the unforgettable disasters of our past. Instead, revel in what makes our city unique, shamelessly flamboyant, and stoically unapologetic for its transgressions. New Orleanians have moved on from Katrina. Despite the numerous media attempts to bury the residents under clouds of negative press and dim outlooks, the people remain resilient. Because they know that when Mardi Gras is over, crawfish season is right around the corner. We may have paid a heavy price for our time in paradise, but we know that somewhere up in the heavens, someone is answering our prayers. After all, the Saints did finally win the Super Bowl.        

Excerpt from The Secret Brokers

Dallas rubbed his hand over the back of his neck and silently cursed. If Carl Bordonaro had ventured outside the safety of his New Orleans lair, then something big had to be up. His thoughts quickly turned to Nicci. Perhaps something had happened to her. He then shook off his apprehension. He knew she was safe with her husband, David Alexander. David would have contacted him before now if there had been a problem. He and David had been in touch constantly ever since he had returned to New York to take over Simon La Roy’s network of specialists. Burying himself in Simon’s business of buying and selling secrets had kept Dallas going over the last several months. It was only at night, alone in Simon’s king-sized bed, when the past caught up with him. His thoughts would always stray back to Nicci in the darkness. He missed reaching for her, touching her skin, and holding her slender body against his. That was the hardest part of loving someone—letting go. He sighed once more into the silence of his office, then squared his shoulders and headed for the door. Time to get back to work.

When Dallas walked into the drawing room, he saw a short, round man in his early sixties, with a bald head and a pasty face, admiring Simon’s collection of ancient Greek vases. He was dressed in a tailored gray suit, wore thick, black-rimmed glasses, and seemed to sport a five o’clock shadow despite the early morning hour.

“Loutrophoroi?” the man queried in a deep voice as he turned from the mahogony display cabinet.

Dallas eyed the black and red vase the man had been admiring. “They belonged to Simon. I have no idea what it’s called.”

“Used for weddin’s and funerals in ancient Greece, I believe,” he said in his thick New Orleans accent. The man lifted his big brown eyes to Dallas. “Quite a collection the little guy had,” he added, seemingly amused.

“He was an avid collector of art and antiques.” Dallas placed his hands behind his back and stepped into the room. “Lance gave me the impression that you never left New Orleans, Mr. Bordonaro.”

“Oh, I leave all the time,” Carl Bordonaro acknowledged as he surveyed the room. “The feds try to keep an eye on me, but there are ways to get around their tails. Lots of ways.” He held his hand out to Dallas. “And you can call me Carl.”

Born and raised in the tough Irish Channel of New Orleans, Carl Bordonaro had learned from an early age to embrace a life of crime in order to get ahead in the world. His underworld dealings had landed him on every FBI Most Wanted List for the past fifteen years. But like many Louisiana politicians, Carl Bordonaro seemed immune to federal indictment, having survived five arrests with no criminal convictions.

Dallas took Carl’s hand. “How is Lance?”

Carl Bordonaro gave Dallas a firm handshake. “Waitin’ anxiously to become a great uncle.”

Dallas let go of the man’s hand. “From what David tells me, she doesn’t have long to go.”

“Yeah, Lance told me Nicci is due in another few weeks.” Carl dipped his head. “I mean Jenny, of course. Still haven’t quite gotten used to her new identity yet. I guess she’ll always be Nicci to me.” He paused and stared into Dallas’s eyes for a moment. “And to you too, I think,” he suggested with a grin.

“So what have I done to garner this unexpected visit?” Dallas asked, desperate to change the topic of conversation.

“It’s not what you have done, my friend. It’s what you’re about to do.”

Dallas raised one eyebrow. “About to do? I’m not sure if I like the sound of that.”

Carl moved toward a mahogany chair not far from the display case. The chair was upholstered in the same blue and cream fabric that covered the walls. He looked from the chair to the walls and shook his head.

“Simon La Roy always was a flamboyant little guy.”

Dallas eased his way across the room to a chair close to Carl’s. “He tried not to let his sexuality influence his business, but his restraint did not seem to undermine his decorating skills. All in all, he was a very private man.”

“Yeah, well.” Carl sighed as he took his chair. “Now he’s a very dead private man. Lucky for you the world wasn’t too upset to hear of his passin’.” He looked about the room once more. “Seems you have worked yourself right in here. Lance told me you have had very little opposition to your takin’ over his business.”

“Once it was finally leaked to the press that Simon was dead, there was little to no resistance encountered. Many of Simon’s past associates were more than pleased to hear of his death. Seems the man had only enemies—myself included.”

Carl Bordonaro sat back in his chair and folded his hands over his protruding belly. “Glad to hear that I was of some help to you and David last summer.”

“Which is, I am sure, why you are here, Carl,” Dallas replied with a slight grin.

“I figured cleanin’ up that mess at David’s place entitled me to ask for a favor.”

Dallas leaned back in his chair, scowling. “A favor?”

Carl ran his hand over his bald head. “I want you to do a job for me, a job you and your organization are well suited for. Now, I’m a man of considerable influence, and could entrust this job to any one of my associates, but none of them are as skilled as you in gatherin’ exactly the kind of information I need.”

“What kind of information are we talking about?”

“Secrets,” Carl answered. “Simon La Roy was known around the world as the man to go to when one needed secrets uncovered. As his successor, you’re the man to see. And with our past dealin’s together, I figured you were a man to be trusted.”

“Who’s the target?”

“Target? Odd chose of words.” Carl raised his dark eyebrows worriedly. “I don’t want her killed, Dallas.”

“Target is the person who we are sent to investigate. My people don’t eliminate.”

Carl smiled. “Of course.” He nodded his head as he looked down at his stubby hands. “There was a former associate who knew a great deal about my business ventures. His name was Earl Yeager. Three years ago, Earl was diagnosed with cancer and spent his last days in a hospital bed. He was given the best of care, and I paid to have private nurses see to his comfort. One nurse became very close to Earl—so close, in fact, that I think he may have told her a few secrets about me. If these secrets were released to certain federal agencies, it could cause problems for me and several other men throughout the country.” He looked up at Dallas. “Some of these other business men want this young woman killed, just to make sure she doesn’t talk, but I can’t do that.”

“Because you want to find out what she knows first?” Dallas inquired.

Carl shook his head and sighed. “Her father and I are…old friends. He was a liquor distributor in New Orleans. For forty years he supplied my house and businesses with liquor. Ed Pioth was good to me, and I’ve known his daughter, Gwen, since she was born. I attended her christenin’ and her first communion, so you can understand my dilemma.”

“You want me to send out a specialist to find out what she knows. See if this Earl Yeager said anything that the feds could use against you and your…friends?”

Carl stared into Dallas’s eyes. “I can’t afford for anyone else to be involved at this point.” He pointed at Dallas. “I want you to go and find out what the girl knows.”

“Me?” Dallas balked. “I’m right in the middle of taking things over here. Simon’s death was only leaked to the press a few weeks ago. I can’t just hop on a plane and—“

“I would consider it a personal favor,” Carl interrupted.

Dallas warily eyed the man and then shook his head. “And being a personal favor to you would mean what for me exactly?”

“That whatever you need from now on, I will do everythin’ in my power to accomplish.”

Dallas took a deep breath and mulled over the man’s words. Carl Bordonaro was a powerful friend to have, and considering the instability of the business he was trying to operate, a man with such connections could only prove to be an asset in the long run. Dallas leaned forward in his chair and rubbed his face in his hands.

“Tell me about the girl,” he finally said.

“Do you like animals?”

Dallas sat back in his chair, shaking his head. “Animals? What is she, a vet? I thought you said she was a nurse?”

“Yes, Gwen is a nurse, but she is also an animal lover. She lives on a farm outside of New Orleans where she keeps her rescued race horses.”

Dallas fidgeted slightly in his chair. “I live in New York City, Carl. I don’t know anything about horses.” He gave the man an impatient glance. “Tell me more.”

Carl nodded his bald head. “All right. Gwen is thirty-four, divorced, with no children. Her husband was a physician from a very wealthy family in Houston. Needless to say, her divorce settlement left her more than well off. She bought a fifteen-acre farm in a place called Folsom, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. She retired from nursin’ after the divorce, but she took the private duty job as a favor to me.”

“Which would explain why you are here,” Dallas clarified. “But if you’re such an old family friend, why don’t you just talk to the girl yourself?”

“I already have. But that ain’t enough…you and I both know that. The people I’m lookin’ to appease wouldn’t take my word that the girl knows nothin’, but they will take yours. And there is another reason I want you with her.” Carl paused and turned his eyes down to the cream-colored Oriental rug beneath his feet. “Until other interested parties can be—let us say, distracted—away from the girl, I need to know she’s safe. And with you she will be,” he asserted in his deep voice.

“Then let’s pull her out of there and put her somewhere I can keep an eye on her.”

Carl’s brown eyes returned to Dallas. “Then she would look guilty and I would be caught in a finger pointin’ game with those other interested parties. No, the girl must stay put on her farm for now and not be seen as changin’ her routine in any way. Let’s just say there is someone already watchin’ her and if she were to be moved, a lot of problems would suddenly develop for me.”

“Who’s watching her?” Dallas questioned.

“Some former associates of yours at the FBI. Seems they’re also pretty interested in what the girl knows.”

“And another reason why you can’t just sweep in there and take her away,” Dallas pointed out.

“So you see my dilemma. I need someone on the inside close to the girl, makin’ sure she doesn’t talk to the feds, and also makin’ sure she stays alive until I can learn what she knows. I have assurances from the individuals who want the girl eliminated that a certain amount of time will be allotted for you to learn her secrets, but I will need you to move as quickly as possible.”

“How long do I have?”

“Two weeks,” Carl declared.

“Damn it.” Dallas jumped up from his chair. “Do you know how hard it is to set up a target and then gain their confidence? What you are asking takes months, not weeks. How can I get this woman to confide in me in two weeks time?”

Carl stood from his chair. “In my experience, there are only two methods that can get a woman to talk quickly; torture and sex. I leave the choice up to you.”

“I don’t torture people, Carl.”

He gave Dallas a mischievous grin. “I know.”


Thank you, Alexandrea, for sharing your fabulous insights into the city of New Orleans with us. Readers, I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from The Secret Brokers and that you'll check out the sample on Amazon. Thank you!

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blog Tour - Charlotte Blackwell, Author of the Embrace Series

I'd like to welcome Charlotte Blackwell to the blog today. Charlotte is on tour this week, talking about her YA paranormal series, Embrace. Do you like paranormal? Do you like reading about vampires and other supernatural creatures? I know I do! Read Charlotte's guest blog below and find out why she writes about teenage vampires.

Charlotte Blackwell Blog Tour Post

So many people ask me why I write about vampires. Well the answer is easy, I write about what I like. Vampire witches, anything supernatural is what I like to read and now it’s what I like to write. I know the market is saturated with vampires, but hey I like mine. Being vampires is not all they are; the Pierce family is fighting for a better life, to be important members of society. Sound familiar? Yeah well it is, because isn’t that what we all fight for? I try to write my characters to have similar struggles, insecurities and challenges that all of us have. This way you the reader and I as the writer can relate to them. The twist is they have powers and magickal friends to help them. The supernatural aspect of my novels is there, but I feel it’s secondary to the main plot.

Almost every teenager struggles to fit in and be accepted for who they are, heck even some of us adults do this. Acceptance into the main stream is all the Pierce family wants, more so all Sophia wants. She struggle with self esteem, and just can’t understand why anyone would want to be her friend. Throughout the Embrace Series Sophia learns not only to accept others, but to accept herself as well. Once thins happens she finds friendship, love and the true meaning of family, but most of all she finds herself.

I watch my teenage daughter deal with similar struggles every day; I have had the same struggles. It wasn’t until I started writing full time that I realized who I really am and what I wanted out of my own life. I think the most important thing is to find happiness within and that’s what my characters try to do. The supernatural aspect of my story just makes it a little more fun. I mean who doesn’t want a fountain of youth, or super powers.

Now the other thing I get is comparisons to other paranormal books. I love that readers would think to compare the Embrace Series to the other vampire/witch books and shows out there. The funny thing is I have done tons of research for this series and obviously other authors have done the same. These comparisons can be traced back to the first vampire novels. Twilight is not the first vampires to drink animal blood, Vampire diaries uses a crystal to walk in the sun, well that comes from a stone that is believed to cure blood diseases and a family of witches is not uncommon in fiction or in real life. I love writing about this kind of thing and love the readers that enjoy it as well.

With four books out in the Embrace Series I have decided to try my hand in a new genre though and am currently working on a contemporary romance. I’m really enjoying taking my writing to a different level, but find it difficult to stay away from the paranormal. I find myself always wanting to throw in a power or a ghost or something. I think once you fall in love with the paranormal it’s hard to leave it behind and that is why I write about vampires and such, because I love them and hope you do too.

Immortal Embrace Excerpt

“So, Sophia, the winter formal is only a few weeks away, and I was hoping you would allow me the privilege of escorting you,” Nathanial asks with complete confidence.

“I would be honored,” I agree.

“Perfect.” He smiles, and we both let out a little chuckle. He excitedly moves closer and hugs me.

At this moment, time seems to slow. We gaze into each other’s eyes. As we move slowly toward each other, I can feel his breath and hear his heart racing. I begin to feel weak. I have to be careful, and every instinct I have tells me to turn away, but whatever piece of a heart I have left wants to hold him and never let go. As we move closer, our lips touch ever so softly. Nathanial’s arm slowly tightens around my waist, pulling me even closer. This is the most amazing feeling, like millions of fireworks exploding inside my body. The kiss continues with his left hand cupping the back of my head, moving around to my cheek, and stroking along my cheekbone. His right hand is still wrapped around my waist. This kiss is so soft, gentle, but utterly passionate. A crowd starts to form, and everyone is in shock. Nathanial has never been interested in anyone, let alone kissed anyone before. At least that’s what I’ve been hearing from the gossip.

We don’t even notice until Alexander taps Nathanial’s shoulder. “Hey, get a room, bro, or else we should start charging admission for this,” he jokes.

We part and realize we are in the school courtyard with an audience. As is par for the course for his usual class clown antics, Nathanial turns to the crowd and shouts, “Thank you, thank you! Hope you all enjoyed Act 1. Please tune in next week.”

I bury my head in his chest and giggle a little.

Find it on Amazon.

Forbidden Embrace Synopsis from Chapter 11

“DANIKA! Where the hell are you?” I holler.

Alexander comes running out of his room, “Sophia, calm down. Killing her is not going to solve anything.”

“Alex for once mind your own business, this is between me and that little bitch. I knew she was trouble from day one” I yell with such anger and passion.

Nathanial is hot on my heels trying to calm, however unsuccessful he may be. The rest of the family comes to see what the racket is all about.

“What on earth is going on here?” Isaac asks rhetorically. Finally I see Danika laying on the sofa in the family room, watching TV and obviously pretending not to hear me. She does a little stretch and glances over her shoulder at me only to turn back to her program. With one swift motion, I grab her by her neck yanking her to her feet.

With attitude she yells, “What the heck is up your butt Sophia?” Breaking free from my grasp she steady’s herself.

“Like you don’t know; would you care to explain why you seem to feel entitled to kiss my boyfriend?”

“I…I…I’m sorry,” she stutters, slowly inching further away from me.

“Sorry? It never should have happened. Do you see why I can’t trust you? You have zero respect for anyone, not me, not Nate, not even this family.”

“Oh Sophia get over it, it was no big deal. Honestly just let me explain.”

“There is nothing to explain, you crossed a line here and I’m so done with you.” I feel my features begin to change as rage takes over, first the burning in my eyes and the ache in my jaw. I can’t restrain myself any longer. I’m going to kill this girl. At the same moment Alexander reaches for me, I lunge at Danika tossing her to the ground. One fist after another I punch her square in the face, each hit bringing satisfaction. Blood spatters from one side of the room to the next. With one fist tangled in her short mess of fire red hair, I slam her head to the ground. Lifting my arm and tightening my fist I prepare to strike her again. Elijah, Alexander and Isaac pull me from the beaten young vampire, and restrain me. Florence and Constance move in to help Danika.

“Will you let me go? I want to deal with this once and for all.” I pull and push, but even my strength is no match for the two older male vampires. Through my peripheral vision I notice Nathanial and I can see the terror and what I perceive as disgust on his face. Immediately I begin to calm down, feeling the features of my face retracting, embarrassed and ashamed that he saw me in all my primal rage. “I’m fine, just keep her away from me for tonight; we can deal with this in the morning. I do hope that someone will discuss the issue of her behavior with her, I can’t promise I’ll stop next time.” I push the boys off of me and race back to my room.

Find it on Amazon.

Excerpt Mystic Embrace - Chapter 4

Crawling into bed next to me, Matt pulls up the blankets and wraps his arms around me in a loving embrace. I've been so lucky to have him in my life. He’s supported me since day one even when I tried to push him away after finding out I was witch. He's always been so understanding and supportive of my friendship with vampires and was even open and honest enough with me about his guardian training. I bury my head deeper into his chest, realizing how lucky I truly am to have him in my life. Matt leans down and kisses my forehead. With a slight smile, I look up at him slowly moving towards him for a soft gentle kiss.

“I love you Matt. Thank you for being here for me,” I whisper with a soft sincere tone.

“Ebony, I couldn't love anyone more than you.”

He lightly runs his hands through my hair and places them on either side of my face with a passionate look, he kisses me again. Pulling myself closer to him and moving up slightly, leaning on one elbow, I place one hand on his cheek, rubbing his ear lobe between my thumb and index finger. We begin kissing each other, more passionately than ever. He slowly runs his hands down my back. I get up onto my knees in front of him. He pulls himself up to the sitting position, and I climb on his lap. He begins to kiss my neck and moves his hands up the back of my shirt on my bare skin. I reach down, grabbing his shirt and pull it up over his head. With a slight push back, I kiss his lips then taking my time and move with gentle passion to his neck. Running my hands over his bare chest I kiss my way down to his navel.

“Ebony, I want this more than anything, but are you sure this is the right time?” He says as he pulls me up towards him.

Find it on Amazon.

Excerpt from Everlasting Embrace chapter 5

Walking into the learning annex with Nathanial and my family at my side, I feel a sense of pride at what we’ve accomplished. We walk down the stairs to the front of the class. Looking up, I see the many rows of chairs all equipped with fold down tables. The students begin to get settled in their seats and pull of various types of note books.

Isaac steps forward. “Thank you everyone. Please settle down. I would like to explain how things are going to work here. We’ve ordered homeschooling assignments, tailored to each of your educational backgrounds. We’ll be set up in the main corridor, and first each of you will see someone at table one and will be issued a school ID. Then you will proceed to the next table and get your books and assignments. The following table will issue you a locker and combination; then you may go and put your books in your locker. If you didn’t notice, the lockers are located just down the hall from here, in between the classrooms. When you return, go to table four, where you will receive a Mac-book and your Internet pass code. This will be very important, as most of your assignments are online through a site called Moodle. We also use Rosetta Stone for languages; you will be required to learn at least French, Spanish and Latin. If you wish, you may take on extra language courses as well. The mornings will be allotted for educational training, and there will be instructors at your disposal for any help needed. We’ll be able to contact a certified teacher through the homeschooling department if the help we have to offer does not suffice. Your physical and power training will be in the afternoons. All your fight training equipment is already located in your rooms. If you have not found it yet, I suggest you look in the drawer under your bed. Fight training will consist of learning of other supernatural entities, magickal powers and other training tailored to your unique needs and abilities. We will be taking you in smaller groups after lunch, and you will each receive a proper tour. Anything that you need is located here, and if it isn’t, we can get it for you. You are not prisoners here and will have outdoor time, as well as free time. Does anyone have any questions?”

We search the wide-eyed students, but everyone is quiet. “Alright then, we will meet you in the front in ten minutes. Thank you for your attention,” Constance adds. Then we proceed back up the stairs and out to the main entrance, where Alexander, Nathanial and Dakota set everything up this morning. Skah and his wife will be here later as they will be helping to run the school. His new wife, Waniyya, majored in mythology in college. Although she is mortal, her knowledge and understanding will be much needed. I think they will both be great assets to the school.

Find it on Amazon.

Thank you, Charlotte, for sharing your amazing series with us! And thank you to everyone for joining us on Charlotte's Embrace Series Blog Tour!

P.S. Remember to sign up for my Goodreads giveaway for five copies of Deadly Addiction (open to residents of the US and Canada). But hurry - entries close at 11:59 PM on July 19, 2012.

Happy Reading!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

NEW RELEASE: Dragon Defense by Diane Rapp

Today, I'm honored to be sharing my blog with Diane Rapp, who has just released her latest book, Dragon Defense. Diane is talking about how the characters in Dragon Defense experience personal choice and are faced to live with the consequences of their decisions. Please take a moment to read Diane's fabulous blog below, then visit Amazon and read the synopsis of this great new book, which has already earned a five-star rating on four reviews.

Title: Dragon Defense
Series: Heirs to the Throne (Book 3)
Author: Diane Rapp

Genre: Science Fiction
Available from: Amazon

Personal Choice - Can we live with the consequences?

Guest blog by Diane Rapp

Teachers advise writing students to develop a “theme” for their books.  The idea stumped me until I examined two characters in my new book, Dragon Defense.  My novels are character driven, so I never established a theme in advance.  During my writing process, I pose broad questions and let my characters provide the answers.  Hopefully readers deliberate the questions and arrive at their own conclusions.  With that said, I believe “Personal Choice” is the theme of my new science fiction novel, Dragon Defense.  What personal choices do we make for our lives and can we live with the consequences?

Shariel is the biological daughter of a samurai woman and the villain, Jarrack.  She’s afraid of the “mind control” talent she inherited from her evil father.  Can evil be inherited?  When Shariel starts using mind control to defend herself and her foster mother, Aunt Bess, she worries that she’ll become evil like her father.  To reinforce her fear, Shariel’s birth mother, Ronda, sees too much of Jarrack in the grown girl and rejects her.  When Shariel discovers a purpose for her life, she makes a choice.  Connecting with a flock of dragons, Shariel carves out an exciting new future for herself and her siblings by using her gift without fear.    

Jarrack faces a new dilemma in this part of the saga—he could choose to reject evil or return to the Institute.  As a young man Jarrack was promised immortality and joined the Institute’s assassination squad.  He enjoyed his work because never felt the suffering he inflicted on his victims.  By transferring his mind into clones, he’d never grow old or die.  When the Zebulon landed on Drako, the Transfer equipment was destroyed and the entire crew faced normal mortality.  Desperate to discover another way to live forever, Jarrack bred defenseless sons to use as replacement bodies.  Telepathic wolves interfered with his scheme, and Jarrack gets changed physically!  Inundated by the pain and thoughts of other people, he finally understands the consequences of his evil actions.  Will Jarrack choose redemption over immortality?

Humans enjoy free will.  We’re guided as children by our parents, given further direction by religion and social influences, but we must decide the final path to follow.  These two characters in Dragon Defense make choices for their future.  Can they accept the consequences?  What would you do?

Learn more about Diane’s books through her website
Connect on Twitter: @DianeRapp
“Like” her author’s page on Facebook:

Contest and FB Lauch Party

Win a 15" x 24" poster of the Dragon Defense cover.  To enter visit Diane's website: and check out the Dragon Defense launch party on Facebook at

Thank you everyone for visiting and have fun at Diane's Party!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Author Spotlight - Jessica Lauryn, Author of Dangerous Proposal

It's my great pleasure to host Jessica Lauryn, an author of romantic suspense. Today, Jessica is discussing her new release Dangerous Proposal, the first in The Pinnacles of Power series. She's provided us with a fabulous excerpt and is giving away a beautiful leather-like notebook similar to the one used by Lena, the heroine of Deadly Proposal. (See Rafflecopter below to enter the Giveaway.)

Title: Dangerous Proposal
Author: Jessica Lauryn

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Steamy

Published: July 2012

Available from: Bookstrand, Amazon

A Short Note from Jessica
I love bad boys, and for my debut series I wanted to create a group of five heroes who like living life on the edge. In Dangerous Proposal, Alec Westwood, who is driven strongly by his ambition and his envy of his older brother Colin, finds himself thickly embedded in a world of danger and suspense. If you like a story full of twists and turns, danger and excitement, passion and great sex, then I highly recommend this very unique story!

Thanks so much for having me, Kristine! Best of luck to you all in the drawing for the giveaway!

For ten agonizing years, Alec Westwood has been keeping a secret from the world. At nineteen, he nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assigned task with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the underground organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined…

On the run from her psychotic fiancé, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life, even if that means befriending a witch, and practicing the craft of the devil. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood, the man she believes her fiancé hired to track her down, and the handsome stranger she kissed in a tavern, Lena vows to take matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots this time, even if that means resisting the man responsible for giving her the most intimate kiss of her life, a man who’s eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense…

Excerpt from Dangerous Proposal
As he opened the door to his office Alec realized that papers were rustling. He stopped, blinking in disbelief. Shock turned to anger. Anger turned to rage. Lena was there, her back turned toward him, her hands in his filing cabinet. She was going through his files!

The papers in the cabinet said nothing about him whatsoever. But it was obvious enough what she’d been looking for. And she was about to find out there were consequences to her actions.

Alec slammed the door, causing the pictures on the wall to shake. The files slipped from Lena’s hands. They scattered as they hit the tiled floor.

Fear quaked in her hazel eyes as he walked toward her. God, he could just lay her back and take her right there on the desk…

“What the hell are you doing in here?” he demanded. He watched with fascination as she swallowed, her Adam’s apple moving lightly against the curve of her neck.

“I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t think—”

“Didn’t think what, that you’d get caught? I’d imagine not, or you wouldn’t have broken into my office. I’m calling security.” He reached for the phone.

“No, wait!” Her soft hand came against his. “Please don’t do that. Please.”

Alec winced. The desperation in her Lena’s voice struck him somewhere within. The tempting view of her cleavage didn’t hurt either. No, he hadn’t just spent the last ten years trying to escape the past only to be destroyed by it now.

He captured her wrist. “Do you have any idea what you’ve just done? Those files are confidential! I guess whoever trained you failed to inform you that you just broke about five different laws. I hope it was worth it.”

“Trained me?” There was surprise in her soft voice. “No one trained me. I came here on my own.”

Stunned by her statement, Alec released her. Was she serious? What reason could she possibly have for coming there aside from the obvious? The woman was either the greatest liar on the planet or else the world’s worst underground spy. Either way, those quivering lips of hers were just demanding to be kissed. He slid the phone back into the receiver.

“You came here on your own?” He stalked toward her. “No one sent you?”

“No one. I sent myself.”

“Is that right?” he said, smiling as she backed into his desk. “And just why would you go and do a thing like that?”

“Because.” She looked at the floor. “I don’t know. I was curious. About you, I guess. I’m sorry.”

Alec smiled. It was oddly thrilling to hear that she had gone to so much trouble to gather information about him. Even if it was only part of a plan to take his life.

“You broke into the private office of a doctor because you were curious? Of course it means nothing to you that my diplomas are hanging around the room. Tell me, Lena, what is it about me that’s gotten you so curious?” He put his hands at her sides, pinning her in place. “Had I been in the same position as you, my dear, I suppose I might have been just as tempted. I am a rather fascinating subject matter, aren’t I? But I guess that’s just the difference between you and me. I have something called ethics. A good thing to have when you’re in my line of work.”

Alec found himself regretting his last statement. Why did she have to look at him that way? What reason could she possibly have to be hurt? “Lena, I—”

“You have the nerve to lecture me about ethics? You lure me into a hallway, kiss me against my will, and you have the nerve to say I’m unethical? Perhaps you ought to be looking in the mirror when you say a few of these things, Dr. Westwood!”

“Perhaps I should.” His voice rose. “But I’m not the one investigating people. Am I?”

“Investigating people?” She blinked.

Alec drew a breath. Not only was she an excellent liar, but he never dreamed he’d succeed in getting her as steamed as he was. He wondered if she was equally aroused.

“No, of course not.” He leaned in close. “A sweet, innocent woman like you investigating a dark scoundrel like me? You and I both know that’s not what’s going on here. Don’t we, Lena?”

“What do you mean?” Her hazel eyes sparkled with question.

“You play it like you’re so naïve. You play it very well, in fact, but you and I both know it’s just an act.”

“An act?” She bit her lip. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He ran his fingertips down the length of her sleeve. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. The way you become so flustered every time I get close to you. You try to hide it, but it’s written all over your pretty face. You weren’t satisfied by our last encounter, and you thought you’d come over here and try again. Only this time”—he looked into her eyes—“I believe you want more than just to be kissed.”

“Who the hell do you think you are?” she demanded, fighting to slip free of his grasp.

He held her in place. “You’re a smart woman, Lena. If you didn’t want to be here, you wouldn’t be. Go ahead. The door’s right there.”

Alec bit his tongue. He’d definitely gone too far with that one. He’d all but offered her a way out. Releasing her, he watched and waited. But to his astonishment, Lena didn’t move.

A smile crept upon his lips.

She wanted him. Wanted him as much as he did her. There was no denying that now. She wanted him, and he was going to give her exactly what she’d asked for. Not to worry, my sweet. No reason for either of us to be ashamed about something we both want so much…

He brought his face to hers so that their lips were almost touching. But he didn’t kiss her. Not yet. Lena believed she didn’t want him, thought herself immune to his charm. He was going to make sure she knew exactly how much she wanted to be there.

About Jessica
At two years old, Jessica became a devoted fan of both listening to and reciting the books her parents would read to her at night. When she was a little older (about four), she sought a greater challenge in her life, and began making up stories of her own, acting them out with her dolls. “When the dolls got “boyfriends,” she says, “I knew I was getting too old for dolls!”

As a romance novelist and a reader alike, Jessica is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact. “Isn’t it the hero’s job to seduce?” she says with a grin.

Jessica loves to see the sparks fly when a stubborn, domineering hero crosses paths with a bold, feisty heroine, and uses the combination frequently in her stories.

When she’s is not writing, Jessica enjoys listening to as much 80’s music as possible, watching the same re-runs of Smallville over and over, shopping for exceptionally unique cameos, and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in Central New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.


Enter via the Rafflecopter below to win this beautiful leather-like notebook, similar to the one used by Lena, the heroine of Deadly Proposal. You'll love writing your poems, stories, or even grocery lists in it :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Contact Jessica
Linked In:

I'd like to extend a big thank you to Jessica for joining us today and sharing her wonderful new story. And, of course, thank you to everyone who stopped by - best of luck with the giveaway!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Author Spotlight - Gary Starta, Author of Demon Inhibitions

Happy Monday, everyone! It's my great pleasure to host Gary Starta on my blog today. Gary will give  us an inside look at his new release, Demon Inhibitions.

Title: Demon Inhibitions
Author: Gary Starta
Publication Date: June 2012

Genre: cross-genre (see Gary's great explanation below)
Available from: Amazon

Price: $4.99

(See Giveaway below for a chance to win this great book!)

Take it Away Gary!
I tend to write mix genre, or, what I dub fiction on the fringe of genre.

My new release, Demon Inhibitions, threads sci fi, urban fantasy, suspense, romance, horror and mystery.

I usually anchor my novels in science fiction but find it fascinating and almost impossible not to blend these other genres into the mix. You could compare it to a meal. While there's nothing wrong with eating a piece of fish by itself day after day you might find it more tasty to add broccoli (horror), rice (mystery), salad (romance), bread(fantasy) and dessert (suspense).

To be more precise, Demon Inhibitions consists of:

Sci fi: Agent Caitlin Diggs believes a genetically made soul stealer is responsible for recent murders.

Horror: The soul stealer has escaped custody and crosses a parallel universe dragging Diggs with him via wormhole.

Urban Fantasy: Diggs is assisted by a Wiccan investigator and a succubus. In her parallel universe, demons outnumber humans and a preternatural branch of the FBI deals with their crimes.

Romance: Diggs enters an altered reality and a love triangle emerges. Her new boss Charles Grant is beyond handsome but the other version of her friend Stanford Carter is stirring feelings she never had for his alternate.

Hitches: Grant doesn't know 'his' Diggs has been killed by the soul stealer. Alternate Carter has been turned into a demon. Would romance with Carter change her as well?

Mystery: Why is the soul stealer hell bent on eradicating a teen whose singing voice inhibits demon violence?

Suspense: Diggs faces the prospect that conventional weapons will not subdue her fugitive. Can her newly acquired paranormal abilities give her a fighting chance?

I'm sure we've all read great stories that brought some or all of these elements together. They usually get boxed under one category for sales purposes. Maybe someday a multiple-genre tag will be born. After all, paranormal romance is still a fairly young genre and is ever growing. Change does happen.

Please read on for an excerpt
Demon Inhibitions came out in June.

Demon Inhibitions Excerpt
When she found I had visited Manners, Briana began scurrying about her house, scooping up a pair of scissors and a red candle. Before I could speak further, she came at me. I backed away from her in fright. Her placid face revealed nothing malevolent. But the shears were headed right for me. I tried to dive away from the contradiction. Who was the real Briana? The sweet woman who made cookies for me--or her shears wielding maniac counterpart now standing before me? She screamed not to worry. I heard a snip. I felt a strange sensation. Not pain. But something was no longer attached to me. It was a piece of my hair. She caught the floating lock in her hands as if it were a runaway feather.

“It is very important we get to work, Caitlin.” Too stunned to process the weird moment, I could barely utter a groan.

Then she explained how she must protect me. “He’ll surely make a visitation now that he has met you.”

I tried to explain it was a good thing. I would probably get a vision of him and then I could determine his part in the slayings.

She interrupted. “A visitation is what he’ll do to you. I don’t know how to break this to you but the cat judge is an incubus. He’ll surely come to you in your dreams. And in case he is our murderer, you’ll need a protection spell, pronto.”

I reminded her I carried a firearm. I had worked in the FBI.

“No earthbound weapons can harm the judge once he joins with you. An incubus enters your dream world.”

“How do you know this?” My tone grew edgy. She had obviously withheld knowledge of Manners. Maybe the two were friends or even lovers. And she just admitted an incubus could have committed these crimes without fear of being harmed or caught.

“I know things because I’m a witch, Caitlin. That explanation will have to suffice for now.”

“If you’re truly a witch, Briana, you must know he’s our best suspect.”
She had me there.

I settled in for the spell.

“I will create a mind shield for you, Caitlin Diggs.”

She began to chant, inviting me to join her.

“I call upon the helpful powers of my ancestors. Please protect and shield me from harm. By the ancient ancestral power, blessed be!”

Briana played soft Celtic music for me as we waited for the spell to take effect. I tried to distract myself with the lovely dulcet tones of harps and violins. It almost worked until my stomach rumbled--again. We never had supper. Briana was too intent on saving my ass. For what seemed hours we held hands waiting for the candle to burn down. I had plenty of time to drink in the ambience of the McFadden household. Floral print furniture and lacy doilies surrounded me. But most disturbing, a poster of Cher is depicting the actress as a witch in the film Witches of Eastwick, hung right before my eyes. When the candle finally expired I yawned and thanked Briana.

“Don’t thank me yet. The night is now upon us. We must return to your house if we hope to engage the judge.”

“Won’t your presence discourage Manners from coming?”

“No.” She paused to smile. “You could have twenty police armed to the hilt and he’d still come. Nothing from the waking world can harm him.”

I muttered something unintelligible even to me.

“I’ll be in the next room to supervise so to speak. When he comes I’ll sense it. I will then cast a binding spell so he can’t attack you – or worse, drain you. Now the spell won’t last indefinitely so you won’t want to waste time with small talk. Hopefully you’ll be able to determine his innocence or guilt in your dream.”

I had once interrogated an evil man named Crowley in a dream state. It didn’t go so well. But at least he didn’t threaten to harm me. Maybe he couldn’t. I still don’t know; but I was sure of one thing if the judge threatened me in any way I would defend myself. I didn’t care what Briana said about the dream and waking worlds. I went to bed packing a handgun.

~ * ~

A full moon bathed my bedroom in bluish haze. It kept my eyes from closing. Normally I would have drawn the curtains on the nocturnal intrusion, but tonight I was hosting so to speak. I felt I was setting a better trap or “invitation” to Manners if I left the light on. Briana would have probably scolded me if she were capable of listening to my silent ranting. She had explained to me several times Manners would not be traveling via car, plane or broom for that matter. His appearance would be completely ethereal to all waking humans. He would meet me via an altered state of mind, in a dream or alpha state, where his thoughts and presence could transcend any physical traps an overly anxious former FBI agent (me) might feel compelled to set. It wouldn’t matter if I shined a lantern in my window or posted Rottweillers on around-the-clock guard duty, Manners would be oblivious to it. Briana stated this very emphatically, employing wild gyrating arm movements that nearly had me fearing she would turn me into a rat if I didn’t give her my undivided attention. So I sat and listened to her for an hour after we completed the spell. When my eyelids began drooping, she ordered me to bed. She took up residence in the adjoining guest room with Celeste. With a click of a doorknob, Briana could be at my bedside in seconds. But when I finally began to absorb the notion that Manners would not be using the front door to meet me, fear began to take hold. How would her presence help me? She could monitor my dreams all she wanted, but ultimately it would be up to me to break free of Manner’s paranormal grip-provided one: he was an incubus and two: he would still deem an appearance necessary to either protest his innocence or quiet my suspicions of him once for and all. My mind finally began to drift into that sleepy state where your thoughts start running into one another. How would I converse with him in the dream world? And would my gun be at my bedside in this dream? My brain felt like rubber. My eyelids finally shut. A faint hint of blue light seeped through them and then the next thing I knew…

“Who, what…what do you want?” I sat straight up and stammered as a presence took shape over my brass four-post bed. At least I determined I could talk, albeit not very intelligently in my dream state. The shape continued to hover over me, within arm’s reach. I twisted in my covers, attempting to lunge towards my dresser drawer where I kept my gun. As my hand continued to fumble for the dresser knob, coldness brushed against my backside. At that instant, I gave up my hunt for the gun and reverted to my backside, hoping confrontation might keep the invading demon at bay. I shouted. “Back off and identify yourself.” I felt silly. I couldn’t very well command this thing to put its hands behind its back--if it had hands--let alone expect it to adhere to laws and protocols devised by those living in the real world.

The thing, best described as a floating transparent body of liquid, actually started to comply. It reversed itself away from me, about a yard or so. Now it hovered over my Victorian vanity chair. I seriously hoped its liquid makeup wouldn’t drip all over my prized antique. It began to glow blue, probably because it was in the direct path of a moonbeam.

“Now tell me who are you.” Hoarse and raspy, my voice no longer sounded like mine. I tried to recall my vision where I had been speaking to the spirit of Alastair Crowley. My voice had sounded like mine then. In fact, I’d felt no different in that dream state whatsoever; I had classified that experience as a vision. But now, as I sat cowering in my bed, I felt more as if in a dream. I willed my legs to move, but like in a dream, they were uncooperative as if an iron vise was keeping them in place. As I struggled to escape my covers, the thing spoke to me in a whispered voice. Whatever it was, it was now inside my head!

Where to Find Gary
FB Author Page:

Gary is giving away a copy of his new book. To enter, fill in the rafflecopter below. There are many ways to earn additional entries, so read them all.

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Thank you, Gary, for sharing your story with us and thank you, readers, for stopping by. As always, I appreciate your comments :)

Happy reading!