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    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

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KC Klein on Inspiration and a Giveaway @kckleinbooks

Please help me welcome the lovely KC Klein to the blog today, talking about a writer’s inspiration. Also, make sure you leave a comment and your email to be entered in her giveaway : )

Finding Inspiration In Texas

First, I wanted to thank Amber for allowing me to come on her blog and do a guest post. What better place to talk about my latest book in the Texas Fever series, Hustlin’ Texas, than at a blog dedicated to romance? Amber has been so kind to work around my schedule and all my last minute postponements. Thank you so much Amber for working with me. Your patience has been amazing. J

A few years ago, before I even thought about writing a series, I started thinking about a sweet little love story that was centered on a headstrong young woman who had fallen for the cowboy next door. Add to it my heroine’s absolute passion for horses and a desperate rancher, and I had myself a story. So naturally when I started writing, I had to place my book in a small town in Texas. Well, the problem was I live in Arizona and had nUntitled-1 copyever been to Texas.

I was grateful to learn that the southern part of Texas has similar landscaping as Arizona and after interviewing and following around some local horse ranchers I was able to pull off a realistic Texas setting. But…I still felt the need to visit Texas and get the feel of the local flavor.

My best friend, Pam Silva, took pity on me and invited me to stay with her family who lived in the small town of Whitesboro, Texas.

Untitled-2 copy I learned a lot. I toured both small and large working horse ranches, saw long-horned cattle up close, found out in Texas that just about everything can be fried…catfish, hushpuppies, okra, sweet hushpuppies, and that no one I saw seemed as interested in pool like the woman on my cover. (What a shame.)

I also found that I wasn’t the first author, by far, to be inspired by Texas. In the Stockyard Museum in Fort Worth there is a wedding dress on display called the “Bad Luck Wedding Dress.” Due to technical difficulties I lost my pictures of the dress, but found a photo and the history of the gown on the museum website. Though you can’t tell from this photo all I have to say is that the women back then must have been very, very tiny.Untitled-3 copy

Alongside the dress was a romance novel by Geralyn Dawson who was inspired to write an entire series around the legend of this dress. Here’s her book cover. Untitled-4 copy

How cool is that to find your book kept in the Stockyard Museum alongside the actual dress that inspired your book—if only. (Insert heartfelt sigh here)

Well, maybe my book won’t make it into a museum, but I hope it will make its way into readers’ homes and hearts.

Thank you for letting me share a tiny bit of what inspired me in Texas. Below is the blurb and teaser of my latest book, Hustlin’ Texas. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, leave a comment below with your email address and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an e-copy of Hustlin’ Texas.

Thanks again and happy reading.

Hustlin' Texas (ebook) (2)Excerpt

Jett nodded, then glanced around the crowded bar. When he turned his gaze back on her, a person would be hard pressed to describe his eyes as anything sweet or candy like. “I was hoping you’d be up for a little game of nine-ball.”

Nikki took a sip from her beer and raised her brow in question. Nine-ball was the hustler’s game. It was short and quick, without all the rules of straight pool.

He nodded his head toward the tables in the back. “I heard you played.”

“Then you heard wrong.” She took another sip, eying him the whole time. “I’ve given it up for Lent.”

The corner of his mouth hinted at a smile. “Found God, have you?”

“Among other things.”

Jett glanced to the tables, then back to her. “One game. No money.”

Nikki shook her head. “I don’t play for fun. No thrill in it.”

He swallowed, and she could see his jaw work. “Then we’ll play for a favor. A debt. You up for a little more red in your ledger?”

She didn’t want to ask, not really, but gambling was too deep in her blood not to hear the stakes. “What’s the favor?”

He smiled, not the golden boy smile she’d come to know, but instead one that lacked any charm at all. “Well, Texas, that’s the thrill part. You don’t know until the end. Anything goes. No boundaries.”

Her heart did a funky jump-start in her chest at the possibilities, but her game face was ice-cold. “No limits?”

“None. Unless that’s too much heat for you? We could place some ground rules if you want to play it safe.”

Nikki knew what Jett was doing. It was so obvious, and yet, there was that achingly familiar thrill that zipped up her spine and buzzed in her blood. Some families were predisposed toward red hair or near-sightedness. The Logans were addicts. Throw a dart at the family tree and you’d hit a vice—drinking, smoking, shopping. You name it, and the Logans could turn anything into a compulsion. But really, under all the addictions, there was only one. One vice that was as indicative of a Logan as dark hair, brown skin, and blue eyes.

It was very basic, really. The Logans were gamblers.

There were stories as far back as her grandfather, if stories in the Logan family could be believed, who won his first car—a 1950 Cadillac—on the toss of a coin. Then there was her father, Dakota, who’d bet on every sports game invented, and even ones that hadn’t, like golf without clubs. Her father had once bet a hundred dollars on his ability to throw a golf ball through the eighteen holes. Legend had it, he’d won that hundred, but lost the money in the same night in an “I can piss into a can from the second story” contest.

So Jett knew what he was doing. And Nikki was smart enough to know this was more than a simple favor and way more than a simple game of pool. She also knew something else. Jett was no match for her in this game.

She hid her smile with a sip of her drink. The thrill of a “sure thing” was headier than any shot of tequila, more exciting than a leather-jacketed man on a motorcycle.

“Oh, I can take the heat,” she said.

“But can you handle this much heat?”

“Oh, I can handle it. Because we both know I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back and blindfolded.”

His eyebrows arched. “Then you’d best start figuring out what your favor will be.”

Nikki put down her bottle, no longer needing the buzz. “Already have.” Her car fixed…for starters. “You really think you can beat me at pool?”

God, he was so cocky. It was almost tragic.

His eyes narrowed and there was absolutely no humor in his voice when he spoke. “Oh, I’m betting on it.”

BIO: KC Klein has lived most of her life with her head in the clouds and her nose buried in a book. She did stop reading long enough to make a home with a real life hero, her husband, for over sixteen years. A mother of two children, she spends her time slaying dragons, saving princesses, and championing the belief in the happily-ever-after. Her debut novel, Dark Future, is a finalist in the 2012 Prism contest and has been honored with a reviewer’s choice award. Her other titles include a sci- fi, 2012 RONE award winning romance anthology, Hotter on the Edge, and the first two books in her Texas Fever contemporary romance series, Texas Wide Open, and Hustlin’ Texas. KC loves to hear from readers and can be found desperately pounding away on her laptop in yoga pants and leopard slippers or more conveniently at www.kckleinbooks.com. Sign for her quarterly newsletter for updates on her latest releases, sales, and free giveaways.

Blurb for Hustlin’ Texas:

“Sassy, sexy, fun, but sweet at heart, KC Klein knows how to spin a tall Texas yarn.”—Lori Wilde

“A sexy read. KC Klein’s hero is as hot as a Texan summer’s day. KC is an author to watch..” —Rachel Gibson

Only one person in Oak Groves is happy to see bad girl Nikki Logan back in town…

Oak Groves’ most beloved bachelor, Jett Avery, lives by a simple set of rules. Getting involved with a complicated woman isn’t one of them. He learned that the hard way two years ago when he spent one of the most incredible nights of his life with Nikki Logan. But then she hightailed it out of town, never to be seen again—until now. It might be time to break one of those rules…

Picking up the pieces of her life, Nikki is back in Oak Groves, face to face with the one man she’s done her best to forget. But she has her reasons for being here—and they don’t include winding up in bed with Jett. Especially since he’ll never forgive her once he finds out the truth about why she’s back…

Buy links for Hustlin’ Texas:

Amazon: http://kckleinbooks.com/HustlinTexas

Barns and Nobel: http://kckleinbooks.com/BNHustlinTexas

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/hustlin-texas

Blurb for TEXAS WIDE OPEN:

“A tortured hero, a love that defies distance and time…this is a book you won’t soon forget.” –Cat Johnson

Katie Harris loved growing up on a ranch. She had her horse, the beautiful Texas prairie, and Cole Logan, the cowboy next door. But there are a lot of secrets hidden under a Texas sky…

Katie always knew she’d marry Cole one day—until he broke her dreams and her heart. But now that Katie’s father is sick, she’s back home, older, wiser and nowhere near the love-sick fool she once was.

Cole knows Katie doesn’t want anything to do with him. But after so many years, he can’t pretend she’s no more than a neighbor. Holding his ground was hard enough when she was seventeen. Now that she’s her own woman, Cole’s heart doesn’t stand a chance…

“Passionate, gritty and fast paced…with a hot blooded, honorable hero to make every woman’s knees go weak.”—Diane Whiteside

Buy Links for TEXAS WIDE OPEN:

Amazon: http://kckleinbooks.com/TexasWideOpenAmazon

Barns and Noble: http://kckleinbooks.com/TexasWideOpenBN

Blurb for DARK FUTURE:

A woman caught between two futures…

Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go travel in time to save the world–and his life. Of course, her future self doesn’t tell her who he is just sends her into the darkness and straight into an alien invasion.

…must choose between the man who has her heart…

He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting military commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way for Smith to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy–slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the desire he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman.

…or the fate that saves the world.

As Kris and ConRad struggle to trust each other in a world on the brink of destruction, they each will have to face the ultimate choice of whether to fight or die… survive or forgive.

Buy Links for DARK FUTURE:

Amazon e-book: http://kckleinbooks.com/AmazonDarkFuture

Amazon print book: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Future-Kc-Klein/dp/0062117041

Avon Impulse: http://www.avonromance.com/buy/dark-future-epb/

Barns and Noble: http://kckleinbooks.com/BNDarkFuture

Website: www.kckleinbooks.com

Blog: http://kckleinbooks.tumblr.com

WordPress: http://kckleinbooks.com/writing-from-the-edge-blog/

Links To Social Media:

Twitter: @kckleinbooks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKCKlein

Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/kckleinbooks

Amazon Author page: http://kckleinbooks.com/AmazonAuthorPage

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5163507.K_C_Klein

New Release ~ Firestorm (Heart of a Vampire, #5) is here!

Firestorm_Kindle

Firestorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book 5)

Release Date: 11/13/2013

       Buy From   Amazon     B&N

Coming soon to: Smashwords    Kobo     Apple

A Viking vampire must face his tortuous past to save the woman who holds the key to his future.

Eric Wulfgar escapes from twisted dreams, only to find they have followed him into reality. Feeling like a shell of the man he once was, his king’s orders to help a New Orleans vampire clan might require more than he can give. But he has no choice to leave the shadows and return to the living.

Cat Bienville is frantic. Something strange is stalking the vampires of New Orleans. When the missing turn up dead with no explanation and her sire goes missing, she runs out of options. Left in charge of her coven, her duty is to keep her people safe. Only, she’s not prepared for help to come in the form of a chauvinistic male with a tattered soul.

When friends may be foes, Cat and Eric must find balance with one another in order to unveil the evil in their midst, even as a bigger threat darkens the horizon. Yet, Cat’s past may fracture their growing love. For how can she give Eric her heart, when her deepest secret may be more than he can ever accept?

Buy From   Amazon     B&N

Excerpt

Trapped.

Caught in the deepest recesses of his mind, Eric Wulfgar curled on an ice-cold stone floor. So very cold it seeped into his bones.

And pain.

Eternal agony ate at his limbs, into his very soul.

Laughter rang out from the unending darkness, so sweet and musical it should have warmed him. Instead it chilled him to his core. Fear shuddered through him as he realized where he must be. Her dungeon.

From the nothingness, a ball of light appeared. He blinked against the brightness. As his vision focused, he stared at his nightmare come back to life. The glowing orb highlighted long crimson hair framing an angelic face. Lines of cruelty etched around her shining green eyes and laughing red lips.

He stared at the sorceress, unbelieving, uncomprehending. She had killed his family, then captured him and his twin brother long ago.

He would not give in to the whimper building in his dry throat. The memories of this place and his time here with her, had been buried, locked so deeply he’d thought them gone. He’d not been forced to face them in a millennia.

Biting his tongue, he savored the coppery tang of blood filling his mouth, but it was faint, as if none of this was truly real. As he struggled to escape, she laughed harder. It was too late. He had no strength left.

And he cursed himself for such weakness.

Shadows crawled across the floor. Invisible hands grabbed him, flipping him onto his stomach, and yanking his arms and legs out wide.

Fire whipped along his back, burning from shoulders to knees, as she used her favorite whip–blazing with magical hellfire. Flames licked across his skin, over and over, digging deeper, until he was beyond hoarse and could only scream soundlessly. He welcomed the death hovering just beyond reach.

The lashes stopped.

Senseless from pain, his mind nearly broke as he remembered what came next. The sorceress would never let him die.

Her smooth, soft hands caressed his face and arms. She kissed his neck, her flowery scent making him gag.

“My beasts are hungry,” she murmured in his ear.

He wanted to cry out, to beg her to stop. But he was a warrior. A Viking. He refused to be as weak, as broken as she wanted. He would not bend to her desires.

When he responded with nothing but silence, she hissed, “Fine.”

Clutching his hair, she wrenched his head back, then slapped him. Her nails raked furrows down his cheek. The scent of his blood spiked into the air.

And the monsters came, drawn by their endless hunger. Wolves, bears. Other creatures so grotesque and hard to look at, he couldn’t even begin to name them.

Biting.

Chewing.

Devouring him alive.

Finally, blessed darkness took his mind. For a while, he floated, unfeeling, unthinking.

As always, she forced him to wake. Then the healing began, even more agonizing than the rest. Eric’s mind wavered and he knew he would thankfully soon be lost.

The memories dimmed.

It was a short respite. Another feminine laugh echoed around him, this one childlike yet holding a chilling hint of lunacy.

The vision of the sorceress changed, merging into another memory. Long blonde hair curled around a youthful, innocent face. Fiona’s image was comforting, the twin of his king. She skipped across the dungeon’s stone floor toward him, smiling shyly. Yet, like the sorceress, it was false, hiding pure evil.

More recent evil, he knew, not sure where the thought came from. These memories had never been locked inside that dark well. Instead, they were the force that had shattered the barrier he’d long ago erected to hide the past.

All too soon, the pain resumed. His skin burned. No whip this time. Fiona used shards of rowan wood, one of the few kinds of trees remaining with enough earth magic to hurt the vampire he’d become.

She slid the tip of a dagger beneath his skin, then shoved another sliver of rowan into the wound. She moved down the length of his body, adding long, rough scars to those he’d received millennia ago. His skin burned as if, at any moment, it would melt from the intense agony.

Uncontrollable shudders wracked him from the pain. Nausea followed. He would have vomited if there was anything in his stomach. All he could do was heave until the cramps mixed with the fiery burning from the wooden slivers.

He desperately prayed to Odin, begging to fade back into mindlessness. But release eluded him.

From the surrounding darkness, seemingly so far away he shouldn’t be able to hear, his brother shouted their family war cry.

Fear coursed through Eric as a new vision appeared before him. His brother stood in a strange, dark place. Multicolored lights flashed over Brandon’s angry face. A ball made of thousands of shards of glass dangled from a high ceiling. It spun in circles, shooting refracted light over his brother.

Magic filled the air, trapping Brandon. It stank of the sorceress. As her laughter washed over him, he realized she’d finally come to claim their souls as she’d failed to do long ago.

He had to save his brother. Save them both.

With a cry of rage, he called on his ancestors’ berserker strength. His vision blurred. Finally refocused. Blinking in the dim, flickering candlelight, he worked to sort out his memories and thoughts.

Pain no longer leeched at his body, though he still felt weak as an infant. He lay on something soft, facing a blackened, rock hewn wall that didn’t resemble the sorceress’s hellish dungeon.

“Hush, now. It will be all right,” a woman said softly from behind him.

Strangely, her voice soothed a part of his ragged heart. He cautiously turned. The woman smiled at him, breathtakingly beautiful, with an angelic face and short blonde hair.

His lungs compressed, forcing his breath to rush out. As he clenched his fists, he realized he wasn’t chained. He watched her, hiding his triumph. She would pay for that stupidity.

With a roar, he leapt up and lunged toward her.

“Eric, stop,” the woman commanded.

His body obeyed. More damned sorcery.

“You’re safe,” she said, then began to hum.

He remained locked in place. Slowly, the tune came to him. It had been his mother’s favorite melody, one she’d sung to him and Brandon as children.

His focus cleared and he realized she was neither the sorceress, nor his king’s sister. Her short blonde hair was streaked with… pink stripes? Her eyes drew him in, mesmerizing, calming his rage.

“That’s right,” she whispered. “No one will hurt you here.”

“Where’s my brother?” His voice was a hoarse croak.

“My name is Dalia. Do you remember me?”

He tried to shake his head, but still couldn’t move. An overpowering urge filled him. Not anger, as expected, but an unfounded, yet undeniable need to protect this woman.

“That’s all right. It will come in time.” She continued to hum and his tense muscles relaxed a little.

Across the room, a door opened, letting in more light. A large man stood silhouetted in shadow. Eric’s instincts screamed. Keep the woman safe at all costs. His duty.

She turned to glance at the intruder, and the magic over Eric slipped. It was all he needed to break free of her spell. He jumped between her and the doorway, crouching to a fighting stance, baring his fangs. He ignored the light-headedness, his body shaking from weakness.

He’d never win this fight.

It didn’t matter. He would do his duty until death took him. From habit, he reached over his shoulder, grasping for his battle-axe, BrynTröll. It wasn’t there.

The man stepped closer, from shadow to light, just as he’d done millennia ago.

Eric dropped one knee to the stone floor, bowing his head. “Sire.” His voice was little more than a choked whisper.

“Thank the gods you’ve returned to us,” his king said. Rough hands grabbed Eric’s arms, pulling him to his feet.

The rush of anger, the need to protect the woman, spilled from him as if he’d been drained of all energy. He slumped against the man, staring into his face. “Jordan,” he whispered.

“Don’t talk. And you shouldn’t be standing.” Jordan half-carried, half-led him back to the bed and pushed him down onto the mattress.

The woman, Dalia, poured a glass of thick, red liquid, then held it to his lips.

The scent of blood hit him and his stomach roared. When he tried to grasp the cup, his hands shook so badly he spilled the warm drink over his chin and chest.

“Let me hold it,” she said kindly.

He drank. The taste–salty, coppery, yet sweet–only inflamed his hunger. He gulped it down.

Needed more.

As if reading his mind, Dalia refilled the cup four times. Finally, the ravenous ache settled to a bearable level. As warmth rushed through his chilled body, his mind grew clearer. The recent past filled the gaps in his memory.

Dalia, his king’s charge. Vampires from their clan disappearing. He’d been following a lead, trying to find them, when it led to a trap.

Kidnapped.

His king’s twin sister, working with other vampires and, strangely, wolf shifters. They’d all taken pleasure in torturing him.

He fisted his hands in his lap, trying to shove the memories away before they engulfed him.

Pushed them back into the dark depths with the rest. Locked them all up tight.

Slowly, they receded, but didn’t go far. Ghostly whispers hovered at the edge of his mind, flickering like images seen from the corner of his vision.

He once more saw his brother facing evil.

“Where’s Brandon?” he asked again, this time stronger.

Jordan sighed. “We have much to discuss. But you’re with us again. Right now, that’s what matters.”

Pain lashed over Eric’s back. There, then gone. He heard laughter, the sound promising more.

Jordan and Dalia didn’t move, didn’t seem to hear anything amiss.

Eric stared at his king, realizing that while he might be awake, his sanity was lost.

***

Two Weeks Later

In the impossibly cold March night air, Cathrina Bienville raced through the edges of the bayou, outside her beloved city of New Orleans. Even with her vamipiric speed–the trees and miniscule glimmers of light from distant plantations flashed by–there didn’t seem to be any way she could win this race.

Behind her, the baying of the chasing wolves grew louder as they closed in.

She tripped over an exposed root and fell, splashing face first into a puddle of bitter brackish swamp. Spitting grit from her mouth, she rose. Snowy mud dripped down the front of her dark sweater and jeans. Appropriate spy attire, she’d figured earlier.

Running once more, Cat tried to breathe deep. The growing ache in her chest screamed from a deeper pain. She prayed her fall hadn’t damaged something internal.

A branch sliced across her cheek, ripped at her long red hair falling from its bun. Strands tumbled in her face, obscuring her vision. She shoved it back, leaves and twigs poking from the tangled mass.

Freezing sweat dripped down her face, stinging her cuts and scrapes. The heady scent of blood surrounded her.

The howls drew ever nearer, making her stomach lurch.

What was supposed to have been simple–checking out a deserted plantation for her missing coven members and hopefully finding her sire–had turned into a dark, breathless flight from at least six wolves.

All of them out for her blood.

Not good odds. Not in her favor anyway.

At least she’d eaten recently. Right before the alarm had sounded, she’d come across a wolf in his human form. Just as he’d swung his blade for her neck, she’d whispered her precious command. Fire rose from the ground around his feet, distracting him long enough for her to sink her fangs into his delectable throat.

The magic from the shifter’s blood, the only thing sustaining her desperate flight, was fading.

She flashed through the trees, dodging claw-like branches that seemed to surge out and try to capture her in their grip. The ground sucked at her shoes with each step.

The scent of magic drifted to her on the icy breeze. Her plantation, and the wards creating a barrier around it. Almost home, yet still seemingly so far.

Howls rent the air. They were so close now, she could hear claws scrabbling over the ground. She tried to push herself faster still.

The world became a blur, filled only by the sounds of her labored breaths, her thundering heartbeat, and the baying of the hounds at her heels. She caught the stench of wolves, wet fur mixed with decaying meat and blood.

The trembling in her legs slowed her pace.

Howls echoed as the pack sensed their prey within striking distance.

She broke through the last line of grasping branches. A few hundred yards ahead, a line of trees stood sentinel at the edge of her land, marking the boundary of the magical barrier.

A wolf snarled, slamming into her back, sending them both tumbling. It snapped its toothy muzzle at her neck. Fetid breath washed over her face.

She punched it in the throat. Clawing its fur, she shoved her last shreds of power into the command. “Incendium.”

Flames erupted from her palm, hungrily spreading over the beast. Its yelp escalated into a screeching wail of agony.

Shoving it aside, Cat rose to her knees. Not twenty feet away, the other wolves crouched. Bulky shadows glared at her with glowing, ice blue eyes.

She raised her arms, though the effort made her dizzy, and held her hands out, palms facing them.

The wolf beside her stilled. Burning hair and flesh wafted on the cold air.

The rest of the pack howled, the sound ear splitting. Then as one, they fell silent, watching her. None advanced.

Not giving them a chance to realize she had no strength left, Cat stood, trying to hide her shakiness. She walked backwards until she reached the barrier.

As she stepped through, magic swept over her skin in a tingling warmth. She lowered her hands and leaned against a tree. The pack approached the fallen wolf, their anguished howls resuming. Cat turned and stumbled over the stretching fields, towards her home.

She’d failed.

Again.

New Orleans had never been normal, not since the long ago days when her father had claimed the area for the King of France. But lately, dark magics were running rampant through the city.

Dark enough to take out her sire, the leader of their local coven. Jacques Gervais was the most powerful vampire she’d met in her centuries of life. Not only was he missing, so was Cat’s best friend. Just a girl–it had only been a hundred years since her turning–Abby Cameron was still nearly as weak as a mortal. She didn’t know how to use her vampire powers well. If Cat didn’t find the two of them soon…

As she climbed the porch steps to her front door, her head bowed, her shoulders drooping from the heavy weight of worry, she had to admit she was lost and sinking fast. With the mystery of the missing and murdered vampires, the sudden arrival of so many wolves, and the dark magic flooding the city, she needed help.

She couldn’t solve this by herself.

Not with her life intact.

An errant thought hit her. That of a young vampire she’d once helped and befriended. Niki DeVeraux had ended up in some small town in Arizona. More importantly, she’d been taken in by a huge coven of vampires.

Cat wasn’t comfortable reaching out and explaining her problems to others–she’d been brought up to be a proper lady who kept such things to herself–but perhaps they’d be able to help. She had to do something, or her sire and best friend would certainly end up dead… and she’d end up murdered, right along with them.

Buy From   Amazon     B&N

Hope you enjoy 😀

~ Amber

New Release~Woot! and other news

I’ve written everything from urban fantasy, to paranormal, to erotic romance, and I’ve enjoyed each story.

Recently, the whole 50 shades of you know what, has plopped erotic and BDSM stories in the news seemingly all over the place.

I think that’s awesome for authors, because in my mind, it’s just one more thing getting headlines and therefore getting people thinking about books and reading.

Okay, so I may be a bit optimistic, but I’m okay with that 😉

It also helped me to take the plunge and publish the first of a short story series I’ve had in mind for a couple years, based on Red Riding Hood… adult style, LOL.

So enjoy a PG peek of Red’s Wolf: Beginnings

Available at Amazon     Smashwords     Kobo

Most know of me, or at least have heard my tale.

Certainly you would recognize my crimson cloak, perhaps you have even been regaled by tales of my battles against the wolves.

But as with most stories, that is only part of my life.
Once I was the belle of my village. Men came from miles around to try to win my heart, and my hand.
Only one succeeded.
Yet, the story of my beloved Jonah remains shrouded in the mists of time. Nothing is mentioned of all we meant to each other, of the family we created, raised and sent out into the world.
If you are truly curious, then sit for a while. Join me and discover for yourself the truth about the woman with the dark red riding hood.
***
Samantha Grant headed down the wide, dirt path along the edge of the dark forest, swinging a basket of food. The late afternoon sun shone brightly. The air was cool and scents of pine trees and wild flowers filled the autumn air. It helped calm the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.
Brushing back a strand of long red hair from her face, she tried to soothe her nerves by whistling a simple tune.
Today she was to meet Jonah at the edge of the forest, for a picnic lunch. Her stomach quivered with a girl-like giddiness as she anticipated the tryst with her newly found love.
She was of marrying age. Her childhood friends were long attached, some already with babies. Men travelled from villages near and far, hoping to convince her to accept their proposals. Yet no one had managed to capture her attention like Jonah.
He reminded her of a pirate from one of the countless old tales Gran used to tell, late at night in front of the fireplace. From monsters to heroes, She’d known of a story for everything. A pang touched Samantha’s heart from thoughts of her beloved Gran, gone now for nearly a year.
The sun dipped behind some clouds as a chill wind blew over her from the forest. Scents of something she couldn’t name, almost irresistibly sweet, yet underlain by an odor of rot, swept through the air. Her steps faltered. Shivers crawled over her skin as the urge to turn and enter the thick, deep shadows between the trees beckoned.
Gran had warned her to always stay away from the frightening forest. Strange beasts roamed there, creeping out during the dark of night to steal children or rip townsfolk to pieces. Samantha backed up a step, ready to turn and flee back home.
But nearby, just a little further, was where Jonah wanted to meet. Her nerves thrummed, her pulse raced faster. For today, she and Jonah would consummate their love.
She ignored her feelings of trepidation and continued on, if a bit faster.
Finally, she rounded a large rock jutting up from the earth.
Jonah stood in shadow, his back to her as he stared into the forest.
She took a moment to watch him, enjoying how the wind pushed his shirt taut against the muscles of his back. Dark trousers encased thick legs, full of strength. His very presence was commanding, and comforting. This was a man who would always keep her protected and well cared for.
She tugged her bodice down a bit, adjusting her chemise to reveal more cleavage. She wasn’t quite indecent, but a thrill swept through her blood as Jonah turned. His gaze swept over her face, dropped to the swell of her breasts.
Strapping, strong, he towered over her slight form. His dark hair and strange golden eyes enhanced the image.
And when he touched her, she felt like a woman.
“Sami,” he whispered, his voice deep, husky.
The sound slid down her spine like silk. “I’m here.”

~Enjoy 🙂

And other News

Bloodstorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book 1) is now FREE at most major E-tailers. Check out the links on my personal blog : )

Take care and hope your weather is turning into fall. Ours is not ~ we’ve still been in the 110 range, with high humidity. *Steps outside and literally melts*

~Enjoy 🙂

Who doesn’t love free books?

Not just a ton of books for free! We also have gift cards and even a Kindle Giveaway!

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#Amwriting ~ Crows and plotting and brick walls

Well, thank goodness Mischievous is finally back. Although I must admit, I was looking forward to making me some crocodile skin boots.

Now that I mention it, though, I might just be able to…

Erm. Well, anyway. Welcome back Mischievous. I hope your captivity wasn’t too harsh… for the poor people who had you. I mean, come on. Kids couldn’t stand up to that crow’s mouth.

Anyway, I’ve finished the first book in my soon-coming Vampire series. It’s out to the wonderful Dwarves (and edits are already coming back).

The good news is, the book isn’t bad, LOL. I’ll be digging back into edits soon.

But I’m currently trying to write book 2.

I’m a plotter, I fully admit it. When I sat down and sketched outlines for the first three books, I was raring to go. Now that I’m actually writing book two, I realize I just can’t write with a sketch. I need an actual outline.

So, I hit the brick wall. (Don’t worry, I did more damage to it than it did to me.)

I fixed the first few chapters (for now) and am stuck again.

I was planning on trying to smash the wall, but since I have a sick kiddo home today, my well-laid plans have gone awry. The brick wall is safe.

Instead, I’m going to sit down and actually plot out the book. I use skimpy outlines, with a sentence or two telling me what should happen in each scene/chapter. I know we have flying pants writers in this group. And you know what? Awesome. It works for them.

Me? If I don’t have the bare bones of my plot written down, that brick wall just jumps right in front of me.

So, happy writing to ya’ll. Today, I’m gonna plot.

~ Snarky

Interview ~ Author Emily Cale

Please welcome the lovely Emily Cale to our blog today!

Emily Cale spent the majority of her childhood as a visitor to the worlds of her favorite authors. With encouragement from her English teachers, she put pen to paper and began imagining her own stories. Preferring the fascinating lives of her characters, she majored in creative writing. When not lost in a manuscript or a good book, she enjoys crocheting, rock climbing, and playing board games. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and a very spoiled cat.

What is a typical day for you like writing-wise?

I don’t have a typical day. My full-time job is being a PhD student and I work as a researcher for the University as well in return for my tuition. Depending on the week, I may get to devote an entire day to writing or only work on writing stuff at night. In general, I tend to work in batches, getting a ton done on school stuff one week and then switching the next week to focusing on my author duties.

What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?

I was actually working out of the country at the time in India and arrived in the office to find the email from a publisher saying they wanted my book TAMED. I was all alone and started crying and sending my husband IM messages that he needed to call me. Fortunately he got them (at probably 1AM his time) and called and listed to all the crazy sobbing that came before I was able to tell him about the email. No one I work with knows about my secret double life, so I then ate a half melted Twix bar that I’d bought to save for a special occasion.

If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your hero’s? Heroine’s?

My book actually has two heroines, so I guess I have to pick 2 women. Sam would be played by Reese Witherspoon. I’ve always loved watching her on the screen and I think that while she can look shy and unassuming, she has a lot of passion and spunk that shows through.

Lucy would be played by Anne Hathaway. She has been one of my favorite actresses since The Princess Diaries. I think Lucy undergoes a similar growth in the book to what Mia went through in that book/movies (from shy and unsure to much more confidents) and Ann would pull it off beautifully.

If you could be any animal, what would it be (real or magical)? Why?

I would be my cat. The little fluff ball spends 75% of her day sleeping in sun spots around the house and the other 25% eating and being petted. She is spoiled rotten and seems to have everything figured out.

What’s your favorite color? Do you decorate your space and/or dress in this color often?

Yellow is my absolute favorite color and always has been (I never had a pink phase). I think it is because my baby blankets were all yellow and green. The downside is that yellow is not a color that lends itself to clothing very well. I don’t have the coloring to pull off my shades, so I have to enjoy it in
little accessories instead. I’m trying to convince my husband to let me paint a room in our house yellow, but I’m currently losing the battle.

If you could time-travel, where would you go and why?

I wouldn’t want to go the future because I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, so I think I’d go back to 1925 London. I’ve always loved the fashion of the 20s and that time in general seems to be full of fun.

Why are manhole covers round?

(Confession: I asked my engineer husband) Two main theories: 1) Manhole covers are very heavy and the shape makes them easy to roll out of the way by workers (much harder if they were squares are triangles) and 2) A round shape doesn’t have a correct orientation, so it can’t accidently be put on and then fall down into sewer. This allows for fewer mistakes and frustrations.

Do you have any upcoming news you’d like to share?

I have another release coming out February 3rd with Breathless Press. This one is an m/f contemporary western and is the first in my Rodeo Stars series.

 And the Fast Five:

Coffee or Chocolate?

That’s an impossibly question. I want both. At all times. I’ll take a mocha if you’re offering.

Jewelry: Precious gems or gold?

Definitely gems.

Beach or Mountains?

Beach. Though I’ll happily settle for mountains since I’m currently living without either.

Early Morning or Late Night?

If I got to choose, I’d pick early morning. Unfortunately my schedule doesn’t allow for that choice, so I’m usually up late.

Fruit or Veggies?

Fruit!

And last, but not least, where can we find you on the internet:

I’m always on the internet. I blog semi-frequently (http://www.emilycale.blogspot.com) and spend way too much time on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/emilycale). I also welcome feedback from readers who can email me at Emily.a.cale@gmail.com

Release Date: January 20, 2012

Buy Link(s):

Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=448&osCsid=k53gm93p0ek26d54p935na45b7

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Public-Display-Affection-Night-ebook/dp/B006ZIHUBS/ref=tag_stp_s2f_edpp_emily_cale

All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-publicdisplayofaffection-673179-144.html

Time… Where does it go?

Man.

It’s October already. Not that you could tell here – it’s still in the 100’s.

I remember summer vacation, and school starting for me and the kids in early August.

The rest is all a big blur.

I’ve been so busy, I’ve barely had time to breathe. No writing, a heck of a little blogging.

Still have about 3 weeks to go.

Crap. Then it’ll be Halloween, November, the Holidays.

It’s come too soon.

So you tell me, where did the time go?

#AmWriting ~ Lessons on craft by Stephen King

Saturday was our group’s monthly Sat meeting at Smokey’s house. Good food, good conversation. Eerie brought up Stephen King (I’m finally getting around to reading Under the Dome). One of his comments really struck me.

He said, one of the remarkably great things King can do is to write a novel with 150 characters and yet, he always keeps them straight in the reader’s mind.

As i was continuing to read the massive Under the Dome (hard cover, talk about heavy), it suddenly occurred to me there’s another side to that.

Sure, there might be 150 characters in the novel. Yes, Stephen King reminds me of them just in time to make sure I remember who everyone is.

But in addition, I think one of the great things he does lies in Suspense.

Not every character is important as the handful who’ll determine the ending. Heck, in a King novel, I expect most of ‘em to die eventually.

What King does in his greatness, is by having the few who will be the ‘saviors’ of the story, then adding in clues and hints to OTHER characters.

We, the readers, know this information.

We know those ‘saviors’ need that information.

And yet, it’s the secondary characters who find it out.

As a reader, I’m shouting, “Go tell such-and-such, he needs to know.”

But they don’t listen. These characters don’t realize the importance of the event like readers do.

And that, by Stephen King, is suspense.

I know what the main characters need to know. I know who has that information. But as a reader, I can’t make the right people talk to each other while there’s still time.

And this is why King is one hell of a master of the craft. If even a little rubs off on me while I’m reading, it is a blessing.

(Xposted at The Romance Studio)

So, I sat down to write my blog post about 3 hours ago. Then, I was interrupted by our second annual rainfall here in Arizona. LOL 

As tradition in my house dictates, the four kids and I raced outside to play in the strange thing called rain.

It was fun, and beautiful. My kids and I even played a few rounds of Ring-around-the-rosie, and fell into puddles of wet grass.

By the time we came into the house, shivering and soaked. The kids decided since it wasn’t quite 8pm (by a few minutes) they should get to have ice cream. After a bit of banter, I said yes and we had a blast having a picnic in the livingroom. After another hour of playing, it was bedtime and off they went, talking about how fun tonight was.

I hope they keep these memories as they grow, and share them with their kids.

Each day is a day to make memories like this. Sure, it cut into my writing time. But I’d rather spend the time with them, hearing their laughter and having a blast with my kids… while I can.

School starts in just over a week. My oldest is in high school now, my second in junior high. I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly.

But we have all the memories, LOL.

Q4U:

What memories do you love making with your family or friends?

Motivating Mondays… if a little late

Remember, If you want to join in, Place your goal & how you’ll be tracking in the comments. Then, on Mondays, come back and let us know if you achieved it each day.

***I’ll be updating through the day as the dwarves check in.
Snarky – Daily Goal: 1500 words  – Week 1: Um. Let’s see. If you count homework, I’m 7/7. Otherwise, on my book, I’m a miserable failure this past week, AND this current week since it’s spring break. Kids home = NO Productivity. But, I’m getting more homework done. And won’t my editor NOT be pleased, LOL.

Sunny – Goal: 1 hour   – Week 1: Is going insane with family issues, therefore is completely excused because Family Comes First! Always. Love you.

Quirky – Goal: 1/2 hour or 3 pages – Week 1: He updated. Still trying to figure out where 🙂

Wicked – Goal: 1 hour    – Week 1: 2 of 7 this week, which is pretty darn good considering the move is this week. You go Chickie!

Eerie – Goal: 1 hour    – Week 1: We’re going with 1/7 this week, for the awesome blog post 🙂 Other than that, the whip is headed your way as requested. Wait, if you want to be whipped, does that still make it a punishment??? LOL

Smokey – Goal: 1 hour    – Week 1: Dude, 10/7. Go camp chef. You rock!!!

Hippy – 1 1/2 hours    – Week 1: Didn’t check in, but I bet ya’ll he’s 7/7 🙂

Till next week,

Write ON!

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