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Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 09:00 AM
Good Morning! - As you can see from the title, today is Contemporary Romance Theme Day Chat here in our forums.

This is the day to share your book covers, excerpts, blurbs, follow ups, information on a series, characters, WIPS, everything you can think of within this genre...share it with us.

Grab some coffee, and start chatting.

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 09:42 AM
I love it when my characters decide to stay away from trouble and concentrate on developing an emotional attachment. I've written and had 4 contemporaries published through Wings ePress and most recently Champagne Books added Alaskan Magic to my list with A Spirited Liaison coming out next April.

My story question for Alaskan Magic was: what does a fifty-something socialite do when dumped by her hubby for a chick with a slimmer chasis? She gets mad! She gets scared! She ventures into the unknown! Then she gets even!!

I've cruised to Alaska three times and each time have fallen in love with the wildness, with the native culture, and with the state's pure magic. The magic comes through loud and clear in relationships developed through the odd mix of characters Amanda Bennington, bush pilot Layne Brewster, a native, assorted wild animals and not to ever be forgotten--an obnoxious raven. I'll be submitting excerpts that I sincerely hope you enjoy.

Determined to counter the sudden upheaval in her life, fifty-something socialite Amanda Bennington adds to her difficulty by trying to cope in the Alaskan wilderness. ALASKAN MAGIC, now available in print and ebook from www.champagnebooks.com (http://www.champagnebooks.com/)

Please check out the website my own hero hadscreated at:
http://www.geocities.com/carolmcphee2003

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 09:46 AM
I am reading this right now and I have to say...Christina Skye doesn't disappointment me...as usual!

So here is the cover and blurb that I got from her web site to share with you!

CODENAME: BIKINI

http://www.christinaskye.com/images/bikiniCover.jpg
“I’m doing everything I can.” The head of ship’s security prowled the small cooking area angrily. “I don’t need an amateur telling me how to do my job.”

Gina Ryan cleared her throat. “Um—he’s not exactly an amateur, Tobias. Trace is in the Navy.”

“So what? If he was any good, he’d be in the Marines.”

Since Trace O’Halloran happened to be a Navy SEAL, he simply smiled. “Ex-jarhead, eh? I should have figured you for that.”

“Yeah, I’m an ex-Marine. And I’ve got my men working on that video feed,” the security officer said stiffly. “I’ve also got a computer expert coming aboard to beef up the galley network when we reach Mazatlan.”

“Not good enough.”

Gina shook her head. The men were striking sparks off each other, playing like it was a boy’s club with a boy’s rules. Those rules were partly what had driven her out of her last job.

But this wasn’t Seattle, and she wasn’t running ever again.

“We’ve got to do something to stop this sabotage.”

“Let her think she’s winning, then ambush her from a rearguard action. Remember, all warfare is based on
deception.”

“What is that, some kind of Navy motto?”

“No, it’s Chinese. Very old military advice from a genius named Sun Zi.”

Gina scowled at the stairs leading up to the passenger decks. “So I can’t just go kick her butt?”

“Nice for instant gratification, but not a long-term solution.”

“Okay, how about I grip her throat and strangle the last ounce of life out of her?”

“Nix on the strangulation, too. It’s illegal.”

“What kind of date are you? Can’t a girl have any fun?”

Trace O’Halloran’s lip curved. “Is this a date we’re having? I thought it was more like a security consultation.”

“It’s turning into a little of both. Sort of. Did I say thank you?”

“Not recently.”

“Thank you. I mean it.” Gina stood uncertainly, then gave in to pure instinct. Leaning close, she kissed him fast but thoroughly. Their mouths clung. Somehow their tongues slid close, teasing with sheer heat. She felt his hand rise, skimming through her hair.

She meant to pull away but somehow that plan went out the window.

There was more, she thought dimly. With this man there would be fire and surprise and risk. But she sensed the risks would be worth it.

She bit his lip gently and felt him do the same, following her lead smoothly. When she teased him with her tongue, she gave the same response.

Her knees turned weak.

Oh, the man was good. Way too good for her. He knew moves that she’d never heard of.

Then his breath caught. She felt his hands tense on her cheek.

Nice to know that he was feeling a little shaken too. Gina had never felt a kiss burn so deep. Her own heart was hammering so hard that she rubbed her hand protectively on her chest. When she pulled away, he watched her in tense silence.

No answers. Only more questions.

So she’d keep it casual. “Okay. Now we’ve got all the unpleasantness over with. First kiss syndrome and all that.”

His eyes were very dark. “I’m hoping there will be more. I like how you taste, Gina.”

She blew out a little breath, aware of people passing. “No fair saying things like that. I’m trying to stay calm here. In case you forgot, this is a public place. Gossip on a ship can be murder.”

She stepped away, feeling his arms tighten, then release her reluctantly. “You didn’t have to come along, you know. Blaine is my problem.”

“Are you kidding?” He moved easily beside her. “This is the most fun I’ve had in three days. A few hours ago I was ready to stick a fork in my eye, just for the distraction value.”

“You really are having a terrible cruise, aren’t you? Usually people love our ship. There’s always something exciting happening on board.”

“It’s not the events. The facilities are fine.” Trace cleared his throat. “It’s the female passengers—too much grabbing.”

“You mean being stalked? Welcome to the brave new world of high seas cruising.” Gina glanced down at his hand. “You could try wearing a wedding ring.” Then she shrugged. “Probably wouldn’t make any difference. A man like you would always be fair game.”

Trace muttered and shook his head he matched his stride to Gina’s.

“Not that I’m criticizing,” Gina muttered. “If a woman wants serial sex, that’s her privilege. Ditto for the man.”

His eyes cut to hers. “And you don’t?”

“Personal question. This is a security consultation, remember?”

“And a partial date. You need to eat and I’m prepared to feed you.” His eyes darkened. “All night long, if you want.”

Her breath tightened in her chest. Yes, she wanted to say. But this man was a near stranger, and she didn’t have sex with strangers. Not even strangers who had saved her life.

She avoided his eyes and walked faster. “You really don’t have to come with me to my cabin. I doubt I’ll be attacked in the corridor or pursued across the aft deck.”

“I’ve finally got something to do. You think I’m giving that up now? I was one step removed from body restraints and enforced confinement until this happened.”

Gina shook her head. “You really are an alpha-personality, aren’t you?”

“Name of the game. You must know about that, running a busy kitchen.”

Gina rolled her shoulders. “Tempers can turn short when we’re counting down the final minutes before a major event. The funny thing is, when you work together long enough, you know how to turn an angry comment into a joke. The laughter keeps us steady, able to cope.”

He held open the door as they reached the end of the hall. “Your field style is admirable, Ms. Ryan.”

Gina felt a blush cross her face. Ridiculous. Why should his compliments leave her breathless? “I have a feeling your field style is pretty good too, Lieutenant.”

But she wasn’t thinking about his skills at fighting. She was imagining him in bed, rugged and fierce. She imagined finding out how that tough body looked and felt naked under her fingers.

And that though led to serious mental meltdown.

After they took an elevator down two decks, Gina stopped outside an end cabin and dug in her pocket for a card key. “You really don’t have to stay—“

“I’m staying,” Trace said crisply. “Then I’ll walk you back to the kitchen. Tobias is nobody’s fool, and he seems to think you should take basic precautions. Now go find that list of missing emails that he wanted. I’ll be right outside.” His jaw hardened. “Just don’t take too long or I may decide to come in, and then we’d get very distracted fast.”

Gina stared at him. “I appreciate what you’re doing. But if you’re expecting this to go anywhere—well, don’t. You’ll be disappointed.”

“Go?” His face was unreadable.

“Don’t play dumb. As in a relationship. As in a week of uninhibited shipboard sex.” She shook her head. “It’s not happening, Trace.”

“Don’t worry,” he said calmly. “I won’t crowd you.”

Which wasn’t exactly an answer, Gina realized. But he didn’t seem ruffled by her warning, so she let the subject drop. After all, a gorgeous man like this could pick and choose, and there was no reason he’d pick her.

He waited at the door while she searched her desk, found a sheet of notes, and then flipped out the desk light. When she looked up, he was studying at the room. “What?”

“You don’t spend much time here, do you? No posters. No photos. No knickknacks. Strictly a place to sleep.”

For some reason the on-target assessment made Gina uncomfortable. “Sleeping is all I have time for, outside work.”

When he didn’t move, she frowned at him. “What now?”

“Something’s off. You just don’t strike me as a cook. You look more active. A lot more cynical, too.”

Another assessment that struck deep.

“Things happened. One day I woke up and said, ‘Gee, why don’t I make a mango chocolate cheesecake today.’”

Flippant was best. Things weren’t going to get personal, after all.

She waved the paper as she walked past. “I never wondered why three of my emails would go missing at once. I should have paid more attention.”

“Everyone’s got 20/20 hindsight,” Trace said dryly. He stood outside the door, legs apart, body relaxed but alert. Full bodyguard mode, Gina realized.

She didn’t know why the thought was so comforting. She wasn’t in any real danger, and she could handle Blaine.

She hoped she could.

“Be prepared. Things will probably get nastier before this is over.”

Gina closed her door and started walking, her expression fierce. “So what do I do next?”

“Watch your back. Trust no one. Back up all you important computer files and hide them in a safe place—better yet mail a copy to yourself.”

Gina sighed. “Defensive paranoia. Gee, there’s a positive life philosophy.” She stopped walking so suddenly that Trace almost ran into her.

“Increase your perimeter surveillance. Then update your base of operations and security. Work on field of fire and enemy reconnaissance.”

“Field of fire? That’s a little dramatic.”

“Symbolic but very real. Protect your back always. Keep records, lock your computers, and watch kitchen access at all times.”

That made sense, Gina thought. Why hadn’t she started sooner? “You’re really into this stuff, aren’t you?” Gina shivered a little.

“It’s what I am. What I do,” he said flatly.

Gina heard the edge in his voice. “I think I’ve heard enough.”

“Since you asked for suggestions, you get the whole enchilada.” Trace’s eyes narrowed. “I’d say there’s someone inside passing information to your competition. It may be someone very close to you.”

She shivered again and then felt Trace’s linen sport coat slide around her shoulders. Still warm with the heat of his body, it enveloped her in the energy of the man in a way that was palpably intimate. She caught the smell of citrus and leather.

The faint male scent of him.

Here, she thought blindly. Here was the need, like rain after months of dry days.

Here was the hunger, sprouting through urgent, parched earth.

Because she wanted to touch his hard jaw, she closed her hands and turned away. Forgotten on a deck chair, a paperback book shot across the deck. Carried by the wind, it struck her ankle.

She stumbled, wincing.

He pulled his jacket tighter across her shoulders as the wind picked up. In the process, his hand grazed her breast.

Gina shivered. Neither moved, struck by an aching awareness that made them feel alone beneath twilight sky and racing waves. Caught in a racing shimmer of nerve and need, Gina would have done anything to feel more.

But he had warned her clearly. He was tough and temporary. She’d seen enough to know that he was a professional who got the job done, no matter the risks or the odds. That kind of man would never get too close, and he’d walk away without a backward glance.

So why did she suddenly want to be pulled against that rugged body, to lose herself in the anonymous crush of his strong arms?

Because strangers didn’t ask questions. A man like this would have no expectations of a shared future. He wouldn’t press her or make demands.

Hot, detached sex. Amazing, impersonal sex. That’s what he’d want.

Okay. Right now that sounded good to her.

She didn’t have time or energy to play games, explore his interests and build a gradual relationship. All she had was now.

So instead of moving away, the way she had planned, Gina leaned in closer, surprising herself as much as him when she felt her breast meet his open palm.

His mouth tightened. “What are you doing?” he said roughly.

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“Obvious enough. But why?”

“Why not?”­

He looked down at his hand, fingers open, unmoving against her blouse. A muscle moved at his jaw. “This isn’t you, Gina. You’re a white-picket fence, three-and-a-half-kids kind of woman.”

“Was,” she said, feeling a little dizzy and a little frightened. “I used to think I needed those things.
Now I know I don’t.”

“You don’t play fair, you know that?” He took a harsh breath. He seemed to use raw force of will to step away from her. His hands rose slowly, settled at her shoulders and then tightened. “What happened to make you change?”

Gina leaned into the wind, feeling it cut across her shoulders. “I…grew up. It happens to everyone, I’m told.”She watched him pull his jacket tighter around her, turning his back to block the wind. “I’m not asking you for your life story. So why are you questioning me?”

“Because this all feels… wrong.” He frowned. “Because you look tired and just a little wobbly.”

She was definitely feeling tired and more than a little unsteady on her feet. She hadn’t been sleeping well, hadn’t been able to relax for weeks.

“So carry me back to your cabin.” She linked her hands behind his neck and let herself soak up the heat of his body. “Ply me with wine and talk me into bed. You might get lucky tonight, Navy.”

He muttered beneath his breath. “I’m not going to take advantage of you when you’re tired and distracted.”

“If I want this, it’s not taking advantage.” She was irritated, confused. What did a woman have to do to get seduced?

“Want what, Gina? Say the words.” His voice fell. “You want hard, impersonal, sweaty sex all night in my bed? Lock the door, anything goes—you’re okay with that?”

She gripped his jacket, feeling her hands tremble, trying to hide her jolt of nerves. She fought a wave of unsteadiness and raised her chin, defiant. “I just said that, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, you said it. But I’m not buying. Something’s going on. Hell, you’re so cold you’re shaking.”

“Fine, you’re not interested. Goodbye, adios, sayonar.” She felt a little disoriented. More than a little drunk, too, even though she’d had next to no wine. “In that case, I’ll just find someone else.” She blurted out the words, seeing the deck dim in the gathering darkness. She swayed slightly, but pushed away his steadying hand. “Don’t need any help. You deliver a nice, clean brush off, Lieutenant.”

“This isn’t a brush off, damn it.”

The back of her head throbbed. The pain was different from anything she’d had before. When she moved, she felt slow and clumsy, like someone trying to push through Jello.

What was wrong with her?

“Look at me.” The voice was too rough, too close. He held her chin, staring at her face.

She shoved at his hands. “Go away. You brushed me off, remember?”

“What’s wrong?”

“Don’t know.” The words slurred just a little. “C-cold, I think. Maybe…flu. Need to go.” She stared around her, blinking.

Twilight had bled into night. The sun was a thin line of gray in the west trapped by black water.

Rubbing her forehead, Gina tried to drive away the knife points of pain at her neck. “Going…going inside. But just for the record, this has been a really r-rotten date. Probably my fault.”

She faced the wind, gripping his coat when the wind picked up. “No. Your fault. You asked all the questions, made the lame excuses.” Things felt blurry, and when Gina rubbed her forehead it felt like slow motion. “Going now, Navy. Don’t feel so good. In f-fact—“

He caught her as she fell.


#

Trace still wasn’t sure exactly what had happened. Gina had simply plummeted. Now she was draped over his arm like a wet towel.

He remembered she had rubbed her head, then taken one of the pills from a bottle in her pocket.

Headache remedy, hell.

He slid an arm around her waist, steadied her against his chest, and managed to take her pulse. It was slow but steady. Her color was passable if a little pale, but she’d been pale before. Thigh to thigh, he guided her down the deck. She stirred once, shoving at his arm and muttering something about crème fraiche and a candy thermometer.

Trace almost smiled. She was off in a world he knew nothing about, and she was damned good at handling that world. But he couldn’t get the idea of pill tampering out of his mind, and it was making him see red. He thought about carrying her down to her cabin in the crew area, but he didn’t want to cause attention. Better to go back to his cabin one floor up and let her rest until she came around.

A young couple passed, smiling as they saw Trace’s arm around Gina and her head on his shoulder. The very picture of romance, he thought wryly.

Except she was out cold. And he was pretty certain it was because of tainted medicine

Keeping one arm around Gina, he started walking toward his cabin.

* * *

Five minutes later he had her settled on his bed.

She snuggled closer and sniffed his neck. “Cinnamon. Smells good.”

Her hand slid along his chest and worked under his shirt, pulling him closer. “Nice.”

Uh-oh.

Trace tried to ease away.“Time to hit the sack, honey.”

“Mwggh.” She buried her face in his chest.

“Back to earth. Let’s get you tucked in.”

But Gina moved restlessly, one arm stretched across his shoulder. Her other hand tunneled under his shirt.

Trace began to sweat.

Focus, dog-brain.

He tried to maneuver her onto her side, but she rolled onto her back.

Then, with a little sigh, she slid back onto his chest.

Trace’s jaw locked as her hand worked beneath his belt and burrowed toward the hot, aching skin beneath.

Trace bit back a curse as her hands closed around him. This was major trouble. He didn’t want or need complications, yet here was an unforgettable complication staring him in the face.

Gently, he pulled Gina’s hand out of the red zone and rolled her across the bed. She muttered a protest and tried to pull away, but he ignored her.

His hands only shook a little as he verified she was breathing well. Her color was good and her pulse normal.

Meanwhile his own pulse was a little unsteady.

He’d seen more women naked than he could remember, so there was no logical reason for the sight of a fully dressed woman stretched out groggy on his bed to leave him fully aroused.

But the evidence was unavoidable. The tight stretch of his zipper reminded him how long it had been since he’d had a woman in his bed.

No, not going there.

Grimly, Trace pulled off Gina’s shoes.

She twisted, tangled in his sheets, muttering something about rose petals and buttercream. Cooking again.

He took a harsh breath and forced his eyes away from her breasts, outlined perfectly against soft white cotton. But the minute he looked down, she twisted restlessly. Every movement gave him a glimpse of long, trim legs and gorgeous thighs with curves in all the right places.

He cursed softly. He couldn’t deny the personal attraction. He couldn’t pretend that her body didn’t drive him right up the wall.

What in hell was happening to him? They were strangers with absolutely zip in common. This woman’s life was wedding ganache and lemon cream; his life was free fire zones and high-yield det cord.

But she was here now, and he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Sweat trickled down his forehead as he fought a dangerous temptation to do a whole lot more than just look.
She was smart and prickly and sexy and he would have her moaning for him in seconds, making soft, breathless sighs as he wrapped those sexy legs around him and brought them both to brain-gelling climax.

“Brioche. Cheesecake—not done.” Gina twisted restlessly and shoved his quilt aside. Her lacy sweater pulled up, revealing a glorious curve of stomach and the edge of red panties.

He tried hard not to stare at the bright line of red lace.


CODE NAME: BIKINI
June 27, 2007

www.christinaskye.com

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 09:47 AM
Good Morning Carol! (hands you coffee)

Thanks for telling us about your book. Are you working on anything else for the future?

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 09:57 AM
ALASKAN MAGIC
By
Carol McPhee
Contemporary Romance


One
“Excuse me; you’re sitting in my seat!” The voice, a rich baritone, carried a definite edge.
Amanda Bennington looked up into a stranger’s dark, flashing eyes--eyes that snapped an order for her to move. “My ticket is clearly stamped row 8, seat B.” She held her boarding pass in front of his face. “See for yourself.”

“Ain’t that the truth,” the voice rumbled. “‘A’ is always a window seat on a plane. It’s the one I booked and it’s the one you’re sitting in now.”
Amanda’s face heated from her stupidity and the fire surged down to her black Italian designer pumps.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll move.”

“Thank you. Wise decision.”

The grouch’s mouth reverted to a tight grim line beneath his Tom Selleck graying moustache. Amanda grabbed her purse from beneath the seat in front and switched to Seat B. She leaned back to avoid the silver-haired passenger’s grizzly bulk as he squeezed past her scrunched knees. There wasn’t much room in the big jet’s economy class. She caught a drift of alcohol on his breath, but pain distracted her when one of his giant clodhoppers landed on her toes. “Ouch! That hurt!”

“Sorry, you shudda moved into the aisle and let me in first.” The oaf maneuvered onto his throne by the window.

“Turkey, ” Amanda muttered under her breath.

“Beg your pardon?”

“Er... I said I’m not perky. I’ve been up since dawn, and even at that I had to race across Seattle to get to the airport in time.”

Amanda hoped no one would take the empty aisle seat beside her on the early morning flight. She might move there if he breathed on her again.
Obviously not interested in her plight, the hefty man stared at something outside the plane, slapped his knee and laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“A big suitcase fell off the luggage wagon and burst open. The tarmac guys are kinda making a big deal out of picking up some woman’s underwear that’s rolling along with the wind. Good thing it’s not the sexy kind; they wouldn’t get a lick of work done for a while.”

“I admire a woman with modesty,” she sputtered. “They are rare these days.”

“Probably belongs to some little old grandmother,” he said.

“Ah... what color is the suitcase?” Amanda thought of her relatively new, black two-piece Samsonite set marked with orange tape for easy identification on the carousel.

“If that doesn’t beat all.” His laugh at the expense of whoever owned the luggage annoyed her.

“What?”

“The suitcase is decorated for Halloween.”

“Damn!”

“Pardon?”

“Never said a word.” Amanda’s fingernails dug into the seat’s armrest. The thought of strangers ogling her lingerie made her cringe. When her seat partner turned to stare at her, she got another whiff of liquor, this time so strong she could taste it. Mixed with a spicy scent--likely a cologne he had bought at a dollar store--the unbearable smells overwhelmed her. She almost gagged. The aisle seat looked better all the time.

The passenger shook his head and turned back to watching the tarmac.
Amanda studied him out of the corner of her eye. I can’t imagine a man traveling without shaving first. This guy’s scruffy leather jacket has seen better days. I suppose it serves the purpose of covering most of his wrinkled plaid shirt. She turned her head away and inhaled a big breath of non-alcohol-infused air, then surveyed him again. His new jeans stand in his favor, fitting as snug as they do. God, I hate sagging crotches. Why am I bothering with someone I don’t know? I’ve got more important things to consider.

She looked up the aisle and watched other passengers boarding for a while, then shifted in her seat. Was there something to see beyond the other Boeing 737 emblazoned with Alaska Airlines, parked next to hers? Not a damn thing! She was too far from the small window.

“Are you nervous about flying, ma’am? I’m sure they’ll let you off.” Her seatmate’s deep voice resonated like gravel hitting pavement.

“Am I bothering you?” she asked politely.

“Ah... no, but the way you’re squirming and sighing, I don’t want you croaking when we take off.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake! If I drop dead from fright, call the stewardess. They’ll dispose of me with little trouble to you.”

His forehead grew numerous lines. Amanda imagined they appeared often; they went so well with his scowl. Many passengers now flooded the aisle, each trying to find their assigned seat and stash their carry-on luggage. A baby, snuggled in a carrier against the breasts of the young woman sitting down ahead of her, would be a noise problem Amanda would have to endure. Whether she could tolerate the boozed up occupant beside her was another question.

The passenger in the seat behind had a bad cough. Amanda envisioned millions of germs forming a canopy over her head. Maybe the illusion was an omen to get off the plane. She watched the stewardess shove a passenger’s overnight bag into the compartment opposite her, pushing at it three times before the door latched. To take her mind off the unpleasantness of her surroundings, Amanda decided she would adapt like the stewardess, forget about present annoyances and mull over her yesterday’s disaster, instead.

Determined to counter the sudden upheaval in her life, fifty-something socialite Amanda Bennington adds to her difficulty by trying to cope in the Alaskan wilderness. ALASKAN MAGIC, now available in print and ebook from www.champagnebooks.com (http://www.champagnebooks.com/)

Carol McPhee: http://www.geocities.com/carolmcphee2003

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 10:02 AM
(Downs a quick slug of Java) Ah, that's nice.

I've got an anthology of romances that is due to be released in the near future by Aspen Mountain Press.

The title of it is Gillian's Place.

Here's what it's about.


A lot of people pass through a bar. As they do, they leave small pieces of their lives behind in the form of stories.

Come and listen to the bartender at Gillian’s Place as he tells the stories of the patrons he’s seen over the years.

There are five stories in Gillian's Place.

The first is Fatima, which is the name of the central character. She's a woman badly scarred by her past. She's been pretty much hiding from the world ever since, emotionally and physically. Fatima meets a man and the story follows how they fall in love, and how they get past her fear and hurt.

The second story is The Orange Slip. It was inspired by this painting (http://www.thebluedotgallery.com/GalleryDetail.asp?ID=151). You can see the work at one point in the story.

It follows the lives of two people, neighbours, and how their lives change and they become more than neighbours.

The third story is Bill and Ruby. The central character, Bill Corrigan, goes to visit an on line friend, Tamara 'Ruby' Masterson. Over the course of a day and a night, they become much more than friends.

The fourth story, Ruby and Bill is a sequel to Bill and Ruby. Several weeks after they met something happens to Bill and Ruby goes to see him. She ends up staying. The story deals with a small town woman trying to adapt to life in a big city. And with Ruby being left in limbo as Bill isn't gone from her life nor can he be part of it. This one's a real tear jerker.

The final story is Dinner Date. And that's what it's about, the perfect dinner date. It also has a little twist that ties all the other stories together.

My favourite thing about this work is that none of the characters are 'special'. They're all just ordinary people dealing with life and all the twists it throws at you. We don't see nearly enough of those stories in my opinion.

Gimme a few minutes and I'll post an excerpt.

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 10:04 AM
I'm always working on something for the future. How do I get the font in this message reply smaller. I don't see any button. Carol

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Ok I see it comes up naturally smaller. Whew! Carol

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 10:10 AM
As promised, here's an excerpt from Gillian's Place.

__________

Frank Johnston opened his eyes and squinted at the sunlight streaming through his bedroom window. Today is the first day of the rest of my life, went through his mind. The rest of my life alone.

Sitting up, he felt his head spin a little. He’d had two more beers than needed the previous night. The night after the last visit to his lawyer. The last visit where he signed the divorce papers. The papers that confirmed his marriage had ended.

He squeezed his eyes to keep the tears in. Damn, I loved that woman. Too much to let myself see what was happening. I was happy and that made me think she was happy.

The knocking came at the front door again. Frank realized that was what woke him up. He debated whether to answer it and decided he should. Grabbing his jeans off the floor, he stepped into them and headed for the front of his house. As he walked down the hall memories came flooding back.

There’s the spot where we first made love in this house. I was on the bottom, I didn’t want to risk Janey getting splinters in her ass. That picture was bought at a yard sale the next week. We put it up and went to bed, celebrating another step on the road of our lives.

He could feel his eyes tearing up again.

The knock sounded a third time. He turned left and went past the living room. The front entrance was in a small foyer just beyond it. When he reached the door, Frank looked out through the windows set in it. Standing on the front porch was his neighbour, Marian Capetti.

Marian was a short, slim woman. Her chestnut hair was almost shoulder length with a bit of a wave. Marian’s face was as slim as her body. Eyes of dark brown, an almost prominent nose and rosebud mouth made up the features of her face. Her skin was fair and flawless. She was dressed in suburban casual; a yellow nylon blouse and blue jeans did not display her body, but also did little to hide it. That nearly hidden body was well proportioned. Breasts, waist and bottom were alluring without being immoderate.

She was chewing her lip when he looked out, trying to decide whether to knock once more. A tentative smile crossed her face as she saw Frank peering through the window. He opened the door to her.

“Uh, hi Frank,” she said. “I came over to see how you’re doing. You told me last week that yesterday was the day. Are you all right?”

“Considering,” he replied, “I’m fine. I had a bit too much to drink last night, but I’ll be OK.”

“Janey wasn’t there, was she.” This was a statement rather than a question.

“No, she signed her copy at her lawyer’s office in L.A. We haven’t seen each other for three months.” A quick flash of pain crossed his face at that observation.

“Would you like some company? Ralph’s at work, my daughter’s at school and there’s nothing that has to be done today around the house. I can stay and talk if you need it.”

Frank expression lightened a little at that. It was good to have friends. “No, I’ll be fine. Thanks for the offer though.”

“OK. But if you need to talk, Ralph or I will be happy to listen. Don’t be a stranger.”

“Thanks, Marian. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Well, have a good…Oh that sounds so stupid! I’ll talk to you soon.” Marian turned and moved down the front walk.

Closing the door, Frank felt misery wash over him again. He went to the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror.

The same person he had seen for years gazed back at him. A tall, lanky man with graying hair was his reflection. Hazel eyes with a thin nose and mouth made up the face. The body got some exercise but not much. The muscles displayed were not soft but they weren’t clearly defined either. His skin was pale, hardly ever exposed to the sun.

Maybe that’s why she left? I wasn’t the physical specimen she wanted.

His reflection vanished as his eyes filled with tears.

Oh God. What do I do now?

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Great one! Thanks Rob!

(Here is some more coffee to keep you going):flowers:

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 10:13 AM
Ok I see it comes up naturally smaller. Whew! Carol

snicker...well at least the copy and paste works well! :turned:

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 10:14 AM
Great one! Thanks Rob!

(Here is some more coffee to keep you going):flowers:
Thank you, Karenne. :)

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Excerpt for Alaskan Magic

Lured by dappled sunlight, the welcoming chirps of birds she had never heard before, and the fresh woodsy smell of her new world, Amanda strolled along the track. I bet this leads to Layne’s cabin. It wouldn’t hurt to take a peek. What did Jenny say--he lived a half mile away? I can walk that at a good clip and start my exercise program.

As she hiked, she noticed white fog poured from her mouth when she puffed out her breath. This quiet is a wonderful change from the city roar at home. Lost in wonderment at the heavy growth around her, she stumbled headfirst over a hidden root and fell face down on the moss-covered, damp ground. She wrinkled her nose at the pungent musty smell.

They really ought to pave this trail. She laughed at her humor this early in the day, picked herself up and spat a fragment of dead leaf from her mouth. She was about to touch a sore spot on her cheek when something large flitted through the trees. Just as she looked up, a huge bird nose-dived straight at her.

She fended it off with a sweep of her hand only to have it propel a prominent white dropping onto her shoulder. Her heart racing, Amanda yanked off her jacket to use it to protect herself from the kamikaze flyer. The bird flapped noisily as it zeroed in on her twice more before it flew high into the trees. She was about to hurry back to the lodge when a rustle in the bushes brought her to an abrupt standstill. She dropped the jacket, frozen with fright.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

Layne scowled. “If that grizzly gets in the barn, all of your inhabitants, including you, are dead. Do I make myself clear?”

“I’m real sorry about missing him, Layne. I hurried too much.” Don looked glum. “I didn’t expect to get so excited seeing him. He’s a massive brute. And smart, too. He was aware of us before we were on him.”

Layne’s face softened. “Couldn’t be helped. The best we can do is put him out of his misery before he kills.”

“He’ll make a nice trophy for whoever gets him,” Don said. “Maybe you should remind that Indian that we paid good money to come here and one of us deserves the prize.”

“No call for getting hostile about Eden. He doesn’t kill animals. If it’s possible, you’ll get a good shot, but I’m going to be right on your tail in case you miss again.”

Silence, broken intermittently by the scrape of a fork or a clink of a glass descended on the room as the guests tore into the meal with gusto. The frown on Layne’s face reminded Amanda of the day they met on the plane. Once again she saw how badly she had misjudged him. She knew appearances didn’t make the man, but in her world it had counted--until Harold confessed his infidelity. With lipstick on his collar and the long, blonde hair she had picked off his shoulder, he could have done no less.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Excerpt

The frown on Layne’s face reminded Amanda of the day they met on the plane. Once again she saw how badly she had misjudged him. She knew appearances didn’t make the man, but in her world it had counted--until Harold confessed his infidelity. With lipstick on his collar and the long, blonde hair she had picked off his shoulder, he could have done no less.

Since Layne was sitting next to her, Amanda couldn’t remain focused on him without getting a crick in her neck. But she could take pleasure in the essence that was so much a part of him. His scent wasn’t of soap and shampoo this time. After their rush to get back to the lodge, it was of him, pure and simple. The smell of his sweat bred a craving for a sexual alliance in a dry environment. She wondered what in the name of heaven had come over her. Layne always seemed in control, except for those few minutes when she walked into the shower, naked as a... Heat rose up her neck and exploded in her cheeks. She looked at the end of the table to see if Jenny had noticed. Jenny’s eyes were fixed on her... alight with mischief. :notworthy:

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 10:22 AM
And you have a beautiful cover, Carol. I just realized that your book is available in ebook and paperback in our store! Congrats!

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookStore/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=69a57c5e416633d9e01d56af798bb70f&keyword=%22Alaskan+Magic%22

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookStore/images/Cover_Shot_-_Alaskan_Magic.jpg

penelopemarzec
July 25th, 2007, 10:26 AM
Hi,

I'm Penelope Marzec and I write contemporary inspirationals for Awe-Struck E-Books. A Rush of Light was released last year and received great reviews. It is the story of a burned out cop and a disillusioned lawyer. They are two wounded souls trying to find the answers to one unsolved murder before its too late for either of them.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

"Hey, the jukebox is playing one of my favorite songs."

Callie listened. "That's an oldie."

"It's a slow oldie. Let's celebrate and dance."

"Dance?" Her heart started pounding. Dancing with Nick would definitely be risky. "I've got two left feet."

"Any woman who can spin me around like you did has to have some natural rhythm."

"Karate is not like dancing."

"Sure it is." He stood up and held out his hand. "I'll show you."

Callie's mouth went dry. "Honestly. I really don't know a thing about which foot goes where."

"I lead, you follow. It's easy. And I don't bite."

But you kiss! Callie put her fingernails to her mouth.

Nick grabbed her hand. "None of that nail nibbling. Let's have a little fun."

The warmth of his hand tingled all the way up her arm. She went along with him, though she thought it might be easier to face a gang of hoodlums.

"Lock the storeroom door," he reminded her.

She blinked. How could she forget that detail? Because of him she seemed to have a brain made of pudding.

With the music blaring away, Nick drew her out into the center of the floor. Several other couples were already there, so Callie didn't feel too conspicuous. However, as soon as she moved into the circle of Nick's arms, she knew she had made a terrible mistake.

He swirled her around, then he tipped her over--very gracefully, of course. They glided all around the floor, dipping and swaying to the music until the other couples moved out of the way so that Nick had more room to maneuver her.
Breathless, she gazed up at him. "Tell me you're a magician."

"Nope. I took dance classes, of course the instructors told me I had some natural rhythm in me." He tipped her over again and lifted her up as if she weighed as much as little Buchette.

The song ended and everyone clapped. Callie blushed to the roots of her scalp.
That's when she saw Ralph Vernon. Neatly dressed in khakis and a blue blazer, he stood at the bar and lifted his glass in a salute.

"Thanks for the free beer Officer Turner. Funny seeing you dance with the man who got me out of jail when you were the one who put me in. I guess the law makes strange dance partners."

Callie lunged toward him, but Nick latched onto her and would not let her go.

"Innocent until proven guilty." Nick whispered a warning.

Callie yanked herself away from Nick's grasp, but when she did his right hand came down upon her shoulder.

"Being tried for assault and battery is not worth it." He muttered softly in her ear.

Glowering at Vernon, she wondered what his game plan might be.

"You never liked me. Did you, Officer?" Vernon went on in a conversational tone.

You can read more at:
http://www.awe-struck.net/AUTHORS42/arolight.html

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Here's another excerpt from Gillian's Place.

This is from the story Ruby and Bill.

__________

“That one goes into the front room,” Ruby told the movers. The cube van and the people she had hired to move her worldly goods arrived at just before noon two weeks after Bill was transferred. With the official start of winter a short time away, it had snowed the night before. The weather was a little cold making the job a bit more difficult. Also, getting some of her stuff up the stairs was proving a pain, but it looked as if they would be done shortly.

Then comes the unpacking. Ruby thought to herself. That’s going to be fun, she finished with a sarcastic tone.

The work was soon finished. Ruby thanked the movers and watched the van pull away. She turned and dragged herself towards her new abode, knowing it was going to be a long afternoon and evening. As she reached the landing of the second floor, the door to the apartment there opened.

Ruby drew back a little at the person who emerged. A very tall, and wide shouldered black man he was. Hair done in long dreadlocks framed a rugged looking face. A white T-shirt with blue jeans covered his body and sandals were on his feet.

Ruby didn’t quite know how to react. She had lived in a place where there were very few black people. The attitude towards them was not modern. The people in her small town tended to have unkind opinions. Ruby had tried hard not to pick these ideas up, but for a second all she had heard came rushing to the fore.

“Yo sistah.” His voice was deep and rather rough with an accent that Ruby had heard only in movies, from somewhere in the Caribbean. “You mus’ be our new neighbour. I be Jacob Tottenham.” Turning back to his apartment he called, “Honey, come meet the new tenant.”

Another person came on to the landing. This one was as opposite to Jacob as possible; female, petite, delicate and Chinese. “Hi,” she said with a bright smile, “I’m Kathy Tottenham.” Before Ruby could react, the woman had stepped forward and wrapped her in a hug.

To her surprise, Ruby found herself returning the embrace. Kathy let her go and stepped back. Joseph draped his arms across Kathy’s chest and shoulders as her back came in contact with him. In return, she reached up and took his forearms in her hands.

Ruby goggled for a second. This was something way outside her experience and expectations. She felt a distinct dissonance from the world as her mind scrabbled for purchase.

Then she noticed the loving way Kathy and Jacob held each other. It reminded her of the way she and Bill had been, that time they had waited for the bus back in Taylorton. It warmed her heart and washed away any doubts she had.

“I’m sorry,” Ruby started, “I didn’t mean to be rude. I just come from somewhere very different from Toronto. I’m finding it a bit of an overwhelming experience.

“I’m Tamara Masterson. You can call me Ruby. Every one does. I’m pleased to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s ours, Ruby,” replied Kathy. “Welcome to Toronto. I think you’ll like it.”

“I’m beginning to believe that too. Now if you don’t mind, I have to unpack.”

“You need some help, sistah?” asked Jacob, “movin’ heavy things an’ that?”

“I’ll be fine. Thanks though.”

It was Kathy’s turn to speak. “Maybe you would like some food later? Jacob’s a good cook. We own a little restaurant in the east end. You probably don’t have anything to eat and going out’s a little expensive.”

Ruby smiled at that. “Thank you. That would be nice.”

“OK then,” said Kathy. “We’ll make a little extra and bring it up before we head off for work. See you then.” She and Jacob went back inside.

Ruby opened the door to her apartment and went up the stairs. Heaving a sigh and squaring her shoulders she got to work.

AdelleLaudan
July 25th, 2007, 10:34 AM
Hello to all CoffeeTimers. :wazzapp: Since much of what I write falls under the Contemporary Romance genre, I thought I'd stop by and share with you all.


http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u39/AdelleLaudan/IronHorseRidercover-3.jpg
Iron Horse Rider is my first book in print. (Strong Language):censored:
Wild Child Publishing (http://wildchildpublishing.com)
Blurb:
After losing his wife in a terrible motorcycle accident, Shane flees from everything and everyone that reminds him of Kelly. He discovers solace in a summer Micmac camp, and with the aid of Chief Gray Owl and the beautiful Tia, Shane's heart begins to heal.
However, even paradise can turn chaotic. To save Tia from a man she fears, Shane is sent on a quest. Throughout his journey, he learns that sometimes friendship comes from the most unusual circumstances, that love never dies, and anything's possible when you're riding in the wind.

I have just posted the 1st chapter of this book at my MySpace Blog. You will find it HERE (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=155739439&blogID=291718836)

************************************************** ********
http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u39/AdelleLaudan/juliana_cover.jpg
Juliana (Sweet/Adult Subject)
Forbidden Publications (http://forbiddenpublications.com)
E Book
Now available at <a href="http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook46776.htm">Fictionwise</a> <p>

Excerpt
Juliana found this to be the hardest time of day. For the next few minutes she would try to predict how her evening would play out. There really weren’t many scenarios--in fact, only three. It would be an evening of time out, an evening of her being his own personal punching bag, or it would be a night of him claiming his territory as a man and a husband. After all this time, the sad reality was she would rather be beat than have him abuse her body in that way.
Enough of this lollygagging, dinner would be late if she didn’t get her act together. She thought she deserved whatever he could dish out, if she didn’t hurry. After all this time, she knew better. Over the next hour, Juliana took the cold supper from the table and reheated it at least a half dozen times. At this rate, supper would be ruined and she would end up wearing it. Finally, a knock came from the door. Juliana smoothed back her hair and hurried over to the door. To her surprise, it wasn’t Gary she looked up at.
The expression on the officer’s face said it all. There was no doubt whatsoever Gary was gone for good. The officer ran a hand over a mass of blonde hair before telling her there was no need to identify the body. The explosion had erased any chance of that. He handed her a badly charred watch the driver had been wearing, along with a wedding band. They were Gary’s, she was sure of it.
Juliana flinched when the officer touched her shoulder. She knew he merely intended to comfort her, but it didn’t stop the reaction. He handed her his card.
“Call me if I can help in any way,” were his parting words. <p>
Quite some time later, after the officer left, Juliana moved from her place at the table. When she finally stood, she walked from room to room, reveling in her newfound freedom. Did she dare go into his office? Juliana laughed out loud, startling herself, hearing the foreign sound. When was the last time she had laughed? She couldn’t remember.
Juliana turned the handle of the door, cautious to not make a sound. Once again she laughed, flinging it open. She’d lived here with Gary for seven years and had never set foot in this room. The door had never been locked; she could have walked in any time she wanted. Fear was a bigger deterrent than any lock could have been. The room felt cold, as cold as the man who usually sat behind the simple wooden desk. On the wall hung a picture of Gary. His steel gray eyes looked like they were following her around the room. She thought he’d been so handsome with his premature salt and pepper hair. A shiver ran up her spine and she ran from the room, closing the door behind her. Like a mouse being stalked by a big old alley cat, Juliana’s eyes darted in every direction. He can’t hurt you anymore. What are you supposed to do now? Maybe she should call someone… But who?

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http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u39/AdelleLaudan/destination_unknowncover-1.jpg

Destination Unknown (Sensual)
Forbidden Publications (http://forbiddenpublications.com)
E Book

Liadan at Coffee Time gives Destination Unknown, 5 cups! and says:
A story to make you cry with sadness over the harshness of the blows dealt to Aiyana. She is a very strong person and this story shows what strength of character can get anyone through. Ms. Laudan shows us that the love and caring of family and friends is important. Also that something as simple as taking a walk outside will do wonders for your spirit and your soul. This is a lovely story and one that I will not soon forget. Yet another wonderful work from Ms. Laudan.

Excerpt:
Aiyana was back at the shop in record time. She traded her sandals for riding boots, and instead of a skirt and belly top, she now wore her low-rise jeans and a white leather halter. She’d thrown the mandatory change of clothes in a bag and grabbed her helmet.
When she entered the shop, Tim whistled long and low. “Man, you look good enough to eat.” He looked her over from head to toe, licking his chapped lips.
“I don’t think your ol’ lady would appreciate that too much.” Aiyana watched with the unbridled passion of an expectant mother as Tim wheeled her bike down the ramp and onto the street.
“You be careful now, little lady. Take it easy ‘til you get the feel of her again after all this time.”
“Thanks Tim, I owe you large.”
Aiyana straddled Baby and brought her to life. Her eyes danced with excitement as she slipped on her helmet and pulled away from the curb. She gave Tim a wave before twisting the throttle. Heads turned as she rode through town. Someone once told her she had the epitome of the perfect ass from behind.
Gliding around town, Aiyana wanted to keep going and not look back. She’d given her word to make the remaining payments and if it meant sweating out a few more weeks at the bar, so be it. Being in the wind again was better than she imagined. The breeze that blew around her combined with the combined with the rhythm of the engine thrumming between her legs, gave her the same euphoric sensation of a self-induced orgasm.
Never again would she need anything from a man to keep her on two wheels. Nobody would ever have that power again…

Thanks for having me here at Coffee Time
Wishing you Miles of Smiles :)

Click on the banner to go to my Website. I invite you to sign up for my Newsletter while you're there.

<a href="http://adellelaudan.com"> <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u39/AdelleLaudan/AuthorBANNER.png" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a><p>

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 10:37 AM
HI Adelle! Glad you could make it! ohhh...lots of excerpts..thanks!!:notworthy:

Nicole Gestalt
July 25th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Summer of Fire will be released on Monday and will be available from Phaze.

Summer of Fire by Nicole Gestalt
Force - Contemporary $2
1-59426-477-5 978-1-59426-477-1
Release 7/30/07
1 Nova

Blurb: Helen is a young, sexy policewoman. Mark is a handsome, widowed fire-fighter. Together they are investigating a series of arson attacks that have earned themselves the nickname The Summer of Fire. As the tension between them gives way to passion, they soon find that its not just the flames that have been getting them hot, but will Helen live long enough to give Mark a second chance at love?

And now an excerpt.... :)

Mark lifted the weights above his head. His body was soaked in
sweat and all his muscles ached with use. His biceps strained against
the heavy load as he carefully lowered the weights. Lying on the
bench he started to think through the day's events. It had been just as
he started his shift that the call had come through. It all pointed to
another arson attack. The fire had been more ferocious but still
revealed all the signs of the other arsons that had been scarring the
city over the summer. Although there was collaboration between the
fire-fighters and the police, neither had been able to work out who
the culprit was nor how many people were involved.
He was giving out some information as head of the unit when
the sexiest policewoman he had ever seen sauntered up to him to ask
some questions. Her uniform clung to all her curves. Looking down at her he became painfully aware of how his body reacted to her
voice, and the closeness of her body. When the explosion had ripped
through the building his first instinct had been to protect her,
although he did feel a little guilty when he was lying on top of her.
He was certain she could feel his hardness pushing down on her,
seeing her cheeks going a delicate rose colour as she blushed, her lips
full and red, glistening in the light of the fire. He wanted nothing
more than to kiss her to see if she tasted as sweet as he imagined she
would.

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 10:41 AM
Nice excerpts, Adelle.

That one from Juliana got to me. I utterly loathe men who are cruel to women.

Ashlyn
July 25th, 2007, 11:10 AM
I just finished a contemporary and it's with my Ellora's Cave editor now. It's the sequel to Heaving Bosoms, called Quivering Thighs.

My next release is August 15th and it's also a contemporary romantica comedy. It's called Demolishing Mr. Perfect. If I can figure out how to attach the cover, I will. Otherwise, it can be seen at my website on my books page. Hubba hubba!

Ash
www.ashlynchase.com

Rebecca_Goings
July 25th, 2007, 11:16 AM
I have a contemporary romance coming from Champagne Books on August 1st, not too far away! It's entitled PROMISE ME FOREVER. Here's the cover and the blurb:

http://www.rebeccagoings.com/images/promisemediumcover.jpg

~*~

Emily Parker is a young widow with three kids who's accepted her lot that no man in his right mind would look twice at her. What single man wants to be saddled with an instant family? She doesn't want a fling. Stability and permanence is what she's looking for, as well as a man who is willing to be a father figure.

Once she meets David Callahan, he steals her heart almost from the first. But there's a catch. He has a strict 'no kids' policy with regards to women. Yet Emily has definitely caught his eye. Despite her children, he's vowed to get to know her better, and gives her a shoulder to cry on.

When their relationship evolves to the next level, Emily tells David that she wants a man who will take care of both her and her kids. It doesn't help matters any that he is an aspiring musician with a chance to make it big. But when she finds out she's pregnant with his baby, which will he choose—fame or family?

~*~

:) I'll be back with excerpts.

~~Becka
http://www.RebeccaGoings.com

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Good morning all!

I should be completing FAMILY SECRETS in the next few days. It's the first of a planned series centered around a Nashville PI agency made up of a blended family of six siblings. Each book will stand alone and each member of the family will have his/her own love story.

As for what I have out now, TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE is available in electronic formats at Samhain Publishing. http://samhainpublishing.com

I'm really looking forward to its print release on September 25th. I have several more coming from Samhain in the future.

LOVE ON THE RUN, a romantic suspense which hop scotches all over Europe, will debut November 6th, followed by a sequel, ONE TOO MANY, in late spring 2008. ONE TOO MANY is a mystery/suspense where murder most foul takes precedence over their honeymoon.

HOLDING HER OWN, a romantic suspense set in New Orleans casino with two undercover FBI agents who are supposed to be newlyweds, debuts in midsummer 2008.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 11:29 AM
I just finished a contemporary and it's with my Ellora's Cave editor now. It's the sequel to Heaving Bosoms, called Quivering Thighs.

My next release is August 15th and it's also a contemporary romantica comedy. It's called Demolishing Mr. Perfect. If I can figure out how to attach the cover, I will. Otherwise, it can be seen at my website on my books page. Hubba hubba!

Ash
www.ashlynchase.com (http://www.ashlynchase.com)

Ohhh..your site is beautiful!

http://www.ashlynchase.com/images/books/demolishing.jpg

By the way...love the titles of your books! Those are great...:whoohoo:

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 11:49 AM
I can't seem to get my excerpts posted. I keep getting a message that I've included 118 to 132 images in my message. I've tried posting in doc, rtf, and txt, but nothing works.

Marie-Nicole

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Do a preview post first...and then take out all of the extra stuff. When you copy and paste from a web site..sometimes we pick up extra stuff.

Or

you can copy and paste into a Word document and then select it all and click on "Normal" in the formatting and it will take out everything except the words including the codes that you can't see.:teacher:

AdelleLaudan
July 25th, 2007, 12:06 PM
Nice excerpts, Adelle.

That one from Juliana got to me. I utterly loathe men who are cruel to women.

Thanks, me too! I have much respect for the women like Juliana who go on to learn that love IS good.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 12:35 PM
http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/images/Home_For_The_Holidays_3x4.jpg

A woman with cancer is troubled about the future of her children. She confides in her male nurse and they become friends. He admires her strength and determination to protect her family, but she is trying to hide her illness from them also. How is ever going to deal with the after effect of her treatments and hide them from her children?

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 12:37 PM
I was working from a Word document. Sigh. I'll try again. And I took out all the >>

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 12:43 PM
http://www.jennaleighzone.com/images/Tiny%20Cover.jpg

Moms Gone Wild: The Early Morning Edition?
<O:p</O:p
Allie was sure she was three different women. There was Public Allie and then there was Worry Wart, the phobia queen, each day she got a little louder. But there was also Inner Slut. She’d been asleep since college, but this guy woke her up with a vengeance

Worry Wart squealed for her to run, run from the potential serial killer. Then Inner Slut suggested a few things she could do to make him holler instead. They involved chocolate syrup, whipped cream and if she wasn’t mistaken, a feather duster.

Inner Slut almost won the battle with the last little volley. It was a close thing for a minute there, but Worry Wart was a dirty fighter, plus she had Mrs. Lisbon on her side.

<O:p“Get in the car, M.J. I’ll handle Mr. Donally.” She intended to drive off before Mr. Donally reached them. She would bring him some money later, when she was properly dressed. But when she pulled her own door open all the papers fell onto the ground. “Well, shit!” She scrambled to pick them up.

“You broke my Bonsai.” He stood over her, looming like a vulture. Guilt swamped her at his hurt tone.

<O:p</O:pShe started to stand, only to have his hand on her lower back stop her. “How dare you?”

<O:p“No, wait. You–.” He began but she didn’t listen, just pushed his hand away and reared up intending to give him a piece of her mind.

<O:pUnfortunately, she slammed her head on the edge of the door and lost what little mind she had left after this morning’s debacle.

Allie hit the pavement and waited for the stars swirling overhead to subside from her vision. A pair of strong hands picked her up and turned her over.

Mr. Donally lifted her as if she weighed nothing at all and part of her sighed over that. But then she remembered how stupid she’d looked and decided it was a fruitless fantasy, despite Inner Slut’s suggestions to the contrary.

<O:pWhat's next with Allie, Jake and the rest of the Neighborhood Inquistion? For a sneak peek, click here (http://www.jennaleighzone.com/gpage6.html)

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Sorry, I can't seem to post anything but what I key into the message field. I've tried from a word document, etc.

Y'all have a good day.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 12:46 PM
Marie!

I sent you an email to help you out. I hope you see it before you leave honey!:teacher:

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 12:47 PM
http://www.sandeemccann.com/sitebuilder/images/proof_1_girl_hunter-167x250.png
After a damaging accident and a broken engagement, Detective Bailey Simmons has settled into his quiet, solitary existence. Then he found Katya Black, battered and left for dead in a case of mistaken identity. As her broken body begins to heal, Bailey must face some deep wounds of his own. While Katya and Bailey are falling for each other, their lives spiral into familiar patterns of jealousy, deceit, betrayal, and violence.

When Bailey's best friend turned vicious rival, Peyton Moran, begins to build a friendship with Katya, where will that leave Bailey? Will they be able to hang on long enough to escape Katya's attacker, and will they ever conquer the inner demons that keep driving them apart
<O:p

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 12:50 PM
Thank you so much, Karenne.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 12:53 PM
This is rated PG, pretty tame by today's standards.

LOVE ON THE RUN, © 2007 Marie-Nicole Ryan, Samhain Publishing
Available November 6, 2007.
<O:p
SETTING: Small Pensione in San Remo, Italy.

BACKGROUND: DCI David French has taken Miranda (Randi) Raines and her son Jamie on a dangerous hop-scotch across Europe. They’re on the run from her ex, a murderous arms dealer, who has escaped from a British prison and vowed revenge toward her and the chief inspector. Their enforced proximity has brought Randi and David closer, but tonight there’s one small problem.

David unlocked the door and walked into their room. To his surprise, Miranda had taken up residence in the armchair. “I thought you’d be asleep.”
“No, you take the bed. You haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in nearly a week. I had a long nap this afternoon.”
He shook his head. “I can’t sleep in the bed and know you’re trying to sleep in a chair.”
“It was good enough for you last night. It’s good enough for me tonight. Women’s Lib, you know.”
“Sorry, I just can’t.”
She unwound from her cramped position and walked toward him, a guarded expression in her eyes.
“There is only one other solution,” he suggested.
“Which is?”
“If we sleep like spoons, we’ll all fit. And it’s only for a few hours.”
Like spoons? The very thought of her spooned in his arms did wonders for his heart rate. How in blazes would he ever think he would be able to sleep like that?
“S-spoons?” Slowly she slid into the middle portion of the bed, scooping a sleeping Jamie up in her arms, then patted the portion of the bed behind her. “Like this? You’re insane. I can’t sleep that close to you.”
“Sure you can. Pretend like I’m your brother and we’re on a camping trip.”
“You don’t look like any of my brothers and my imagination doesn’t stretch that far.”
“Come on. It won’t be that bad. That way we can both get some rest.”
Lord, how he wanted to lie next to her. And her eagerness certainly was baffling and encouraging at the same time. How would he ever manage to not embarrass the two of them? Perhaps, if he kept his clothes on, it would help. He sat down on the side of the bed and kicked off his shoes.
“There’s plenty of room,” she said with a shy smile.
“Compared to what? A coffin?”
The woman had the temerity to snigger.
“I wasn’t joking,” he protested.
“Of course, you weren’t.”
“Grr.” He turned around and into position directly behind her, who, for some unknown reason, decided to wriggle into his portion of the bed. “You’re taking some of my space.”
“No, just getting comfortable,” she replied, giving a wiggle of her hips which connected with his groin.
He swore under his breath as his groin responded without his permission, straining against the confinement of his jeans. Lord, how he wanted her. She was actually teasing him. Why? Surely she had to know the effect she had on him.
“G’night.”
He groaned. “Good night, Miranda.”
His erection hardened further. Surely she had to be aware.
The sound of her breathing quickened. She was aware.
“Sorry,” he muttered, his own heart beat hammering in his chest. Could she feel that too?
She twisted a bit and looked at him over her shoulder. “It’s not your fault. The bed’s so small and we’re just so c-close. I’ll go back to the chair.” She tried to rise, but he restrained her.
“No,” he rasped. “Stay, please. I want to feel your body next to mine. Wanting you is driving me crazy.” He levered up on his elbow, leaned forward and touched her neck softly with his lips.
A sharp intake of breath.
“I won’t hurt you. I would never—”
“I know.” Her breath came in ragged gasps. “But we can’t. Jamie.”
“Come with me.”
Randi eased from the bed, dazed by the heat of her body’s response to David’s. She placed her hand in his and followed him into the bathroom and shut the door behind them.
“Now,” David said, lowering his lips to hers, and a blaze of desire ripped through her body weakening her knees. She backed away and gazed up into his eyes. The night light she’d thought to include for Jamie gave off just enough light for her to see the look of surprise on his face.
“Am I moving too fast?” David groaned. “We don’t have to do anything, but I’m dying of wanting you.”
“I need to catch my breath.” She clung to his body, her legs still limp as worn out fiddle strings. She trusted him, was already in love with him. Could she—should she—give into a single night of lust?
“I won’t hurt you. I’m not Stefan.”
“I know.” She buried her face in his chest and inhaled his male scent. His erection was rigid and pressed firmly against her belly.
“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. You can go back to bed—I’ll die—but you can.”
She giggled. “No pressure?” She gazed up at him and smiled. “I wouldn’t want to be responsible for your death.” Her heart banged against her chest wall like a cymbalist gone mad. Was she dreaming? Was she really about to make love with David?
“Hardly that.”
“Make love to me,” she murmured and slipped her hands underneath his T-shirt.
Slowly he slipped her shirt over her head and then unhooked her bra. Her nipples beaded into nubs of excruciating pleasure. He cupped her breasts and rubbed her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers. A moan ripped from her throat.
“You’re so beautiful…so desirable.”
His lips moved to her neck and left a trail of kisses all the way to her throat. Her head fell back. He fastened on a nipple sucked gently. Pressure grew in her belly and threatened to explode.
He unzipped her jeans and eased his hand inside. Her breathing grew ragged as he touched her wet inner lips. She gasped. One finger, then two entered her. Even more pressure built as he began to massage her clitoris in easy round strokes with his thumb. She moved against his hand, faster and faster, then frantically.
She cried out, but he silenced her with his mouth against hers his tongue battling with hers for possession. Wave after wave of pleasure coursed through her, each spasm of pleasure more intense than the one before.
Only his strong arms kept her trembling body from collapsing.
“Are you all right?”
“God, yes,” she gasped. Again the thought she was dreaming crossed her mind. Had David really just brought her to climax with his mere touch?
His hard erection jutting against her brought her back to a vague semblance of reality. She splayed her hands against his chest, circled his flat male nipples, and traced a downward path to his flat abdomen, carefully avoiding his wound. Hastily she unfastened his belt and unzipped his pants. After slipping the jeans down over his butt, she grasped his penis, marveling at the size and power of his erection. At the same time she, shimmied out of her jeans and kicked them aside.
Hindrance free, David hoisted her in his arms. She wrapped her legs around his waist as the head of his penis nudged at her outer lips. She wanted him inside her now before she exploded again.
“Mum! Mummy, where are you?”
“Oh, God,” she gasped. “He never wakes up once he’s asleep.”
David groaned, then resolutely set her down. “To be continued, sweet Miranda.”


--
Marie-Nicole Ryan, Believe in the dream...Beware the danger.
http://marienicoleryan.com
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, available now
LOVE ON THE RUN, coming Nov. 6, Samhain Publishing
ONE TOO MANY, late spring 2008
HOLDING HER OWN, midsummer 2008<O:p

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 01:00 PM
Thanks to Karenne for helping me post this excerpt. I don't have cover art yet, so I still have that to look forward to.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 01:02 PM
You are very welcome! You will have to show us your cover when you get it!:tt1:

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 01:09 PM
So, do you think it is easier or harder to write Contemporary books versus other genre?

Why?

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 01:24 PM
Good morning!

Getting Over It is my latest romantic comedy, and probably the one I've had the most fun with so far. Available now at Champagne Books (http://www.champagnebooks.com), it is also available at www.fictionwise.com (http://www.fictionwise.com)

Dumped by her long time lover while on a romantic getaway to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pParis </st1:City>, Abby Fulton figures she’s had about enough heartache in her life. When a sexy seatmate on her long flight home takes an interest and offers some carnal diversions, she gives in to some naughty moments.

Prince Willem of Ragnovia loves being a playboy and when opportunity knocks for a little mile-high fun, he jumps at the chance. When fate turns in his favor and delivers the airline cutie right into his arms, a seductive game of cat and mouse is on.

<O:pCan Abby resist the charms of the handsome prince, or will she end up as another notch on his royal belt?
http://champagnebooks.com/bookstore/images/uploads/Cover_Art-Getting_over_it.jpg

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Good Morning Jennifer!

Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your newest book!:hellobaby:

Adele Dubois
July 25th, 2007, 01:34 PM
Hi All!

I'm glad to be here again with Coffee Time Romance and am pleased to report that my contemporary erotic romance MOTORCYCLE HEAT has received great reviews. JERR called it "an outstanding first book." My Book Cravings said it was "Magic... Set my blood to boiling." A PG-13 rated excerpt is posted below. Please visit my website at www.adeledubois.com/ (http://www.adeledubois.com/) for additional excerpts and ordering information. I hope you'll visit my blog, too! Thanks for reading!





<CENTER>http://adeledubois.com/images/motor.jpg</CENTER>

An Excerpt from MOTORCYCLE HEAT by Adele Dubois
Available from Loose Id.


The woman on the sidewalk revived him like a swim upward from the cold depths of the sea.

His friends would say it was about time.

Antonio followed her on his bike, and she played along, sauntering down the street at an easy pace, smiling at him over her shoulder from time to time to let him know she accepted him there. For an instant he thought he saw a likeness to Estela in her smile, but the resemblance faded again with her profile.

He sped up for a better frontal view of her body. Scarlet lip-gloss covered her full mouth. Red and gold hoop earrings peeked from beneath her long mane of hair. A filmy red tank top stopped at her midriff, revealing a red rhinestone bellybutton ring. Antonio’s mouth watered. He wanted to drag his tongue from the hem of her blouse to the waistband of her shorts, lick a circle around the bellybutton ring, and feel her hips quiver beneath his hands.

His eyes swept up and over her again. The tank top was edged in red lace, capping the tops of her large, firm breasts and hugging her cleavage. Her nipples were hard and protruded like ripe raisins inside the light cotton fabric.

Antonio grinned. His presence excited her, and that was good.

Her straw purse swung from the hand at her side. There were no rings on her fingers. He smiled again.

Excellent.

They reached the corner, and the woman stopped to cross the street. Antonio slowed beside her. “What’s your name?” he shouted over the idle of his engine.

The woman lifted her mouth in a sly, foxy grin. “Why should I tell you?” she shouted back.

“Because I’m the man you’re going to marry,” he called out, wishing he could kick himself in the head for saying such a dumb thing out loud. If he hadn’t thought of Estela the moment before, he probably wouldn’t have said it. But the memory of his lover reminded him how close he had once come to the altar.

He shook his head like he was trying to clear it. Shouting “marriage” to the gringa on the sidewalk had sounded like a limp dick line.

Apparently the woman disagreed, because she threw her head back and laughed. The sound revealed intrigue, not scorn. Antonio relaxed.

She licked her incredible, glossy lips. “Lisa. Lisa Gibson,” she called.

The name would be tattooed on his brain forever.

Lisa.

She crossed the street at the next intersection and continued her walk. Antonio switched gears and kept pace beside her, keeping one eye out for cars, pedestrians, strollers, and roaming animals.

“Stop and talk to me!” Antonio called after her. The visit with his brother at the Naval Academy could wait.

She walked faster, teasing, as if trying to get away from him. The muscles of her trim legs moved in rhythmic time with the curve of her ass, and her high, full breasts swayed lightly as the breeze lifted her hair. She brushed stray strands from her eyes and looked over at him, clearly deciding.

“How can we get married if you won’t talk to me first?” He was into the banter now.

What the hell.

She shrugged, pretending disinterest. Her quick side-glance in his direction told him otherwise. Encouraged, Antonio followed, watching her limbs move between the breaks in the cars parked along this stretch of avenue.

He spotted a pub on the next far corner. “Want to stop for a drink?” He shouted over the hood of the sports car that blocked his view of her until she moved forward again.

She quickened her pace, keeping time with him. “Okay.”

Her mischievous smile reached all the way to her eyes, and his heart leaped. He imagined sliding his hand along her smooth inner thigh beneath a secluded table, and lifting the hem of her shorts with the tips of his fingers until they met heat.

Antonio gunned the engine, speeding up, anxious to get to the bar. But instead of keeping up with him, Lisa stopped dead on the sidewalk. Antonio twisted around in his seat just in time to see her raise her tank top over her chest and flash him her bare breasts.

The last thing he remembered before the crash was the perfect circumference of her pink, pointy nipples and the gravity-defying fullness of D-cup breasts that sucked the air from his lungs. The motorcycle seemed to take on a life of its own in that moment, with Antonio’s eyes riveted to Lisa’s magnificent tits. He sailed away between two parked cars and smacked the side of the curb with the Harley’s front tire. Man and bike moved in one continuous arc of suspended slow motion before Antonio hit the ground and the Harley turned over on the sidewalk beside him. The last words he muttered before blackness came were, “No fucking helmet.”

He opened his eyes through a haze of pain, flat on his back on the dirty sidewalk, to the most voluptuous breasts he had ever seen hovering over his face. Soft hands cradled his head. The white crescent moons lifted up and down, up, down with each breath; leaning so close he could almost touch them with the tip of his tongue. He wanted to lift his head just one more inch -- a tiny, nearly infinitesimal motion that would lead him to bliss, the place marked by the soft, round fullness of the heavy pillows skimming his nose. He strained to follow the deep, dark recess of her cleavage, lost inside the tight red tank top that stretched over nipples as taut and long as pencil erasers. He traced the areola with his eyes beneath the ultra thin cotton, and as he did, licked his lips. The sudden ache inside his jeans rivaled the bruise on his head.





<CENTER>© Adele Dubois, May 2007</CENTER><CENTER>All Rights Reserved</CENTER><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER></CENTER>

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 01:39 PM
So, do you think it is easier or harder to write Contemporary books versus other genre?

Why?

For me it's easier and harder at the same time. Let me 'splain.

The nice thing about contemporary is that you don't have to do the hoardes of research that you do with historical. You don't have to build a fantasy world if you're writing sci fi/fantasy. You do have to know what you're talking about though. You've got so many other things going on that have to mesh. Like locales. If you get something wrong in your description or make an assumption that seems right to you but isn't all that accurate, a reader WILL call you on it. If you're writing a medical story and you have inconsistencies with real life medical data, someone will call you on it. Same goes for computer programming, etc etc. Sometimes I think you have to be even MORE careful when it comes to fact checking with contemporaries.

I love historicals, but I prefer to tie them in with time travels in case I screw up.

Jennifer

dkeratsis
July 25th, 2007, 01:50 PM
"It's an amazing read…the author, Dina Keratsis, writes the kind of stories that parallel real life issues and situations. It's a story that you will relate to and if you're like I am, you will wish the book would never end." - (Sandie Vega, MyShelf on Kicking Sideways)

Hello all!

If you're up for a summer beach read, Kicking Sideways is available at Wings ePress (http://www.wings-press.com) in e-book and trade paperback format. Kicking Sideways, despite the cover, is not about a mule. It's a contemporary romance with a strong heroine and the hot guy that's in love with her.

Now, if you like contemporary with a little mixed genre -- say, paranormal and a little history -- pick-up Charlesgate, the predecessor to Kicking Sideways. It's a lot of fun -- at least, it was to write!

"Whether or not you believe in ghosts, this book will enthrall you as you become enmeshed in the lives of two young people who just may be doomed. Will they be able to break this curse and find happiness? It is well worth the read to find out. Kudos to Dina Keratsis. I’ve got a new favorite author. Give me more!" - (Alice Klein, Sime~gen Inc. on Charlesgate)

Happy reading,
Dina
www.dinakeratsis.com (http://www.dinakeratsis.com)
Capture the fairy tale...

dkeratsis
July 25th, 2007, 01:54 PM
I agree with Jennifer in that it's both easier and harder at the same time. Research is less extensive but still must be done and I find you have to be really careful not to plop in too much pop culture that hasn't withstood the test of time. For instance, a musical reference...Led Zeppelin is timeless but Ugly Kid Joe?

Dina
www.dinakeratsis.com (http://www.dinakeratsis.com)

HeartFelt Promos
July 25th, 2007, 02:04 PM
She Cries in the Dark (http://www.lulu.com/content/639047)

Debi De Santis (http://stores.lulu.com/debi)


This is a story of compassion, friendship, resilience and faith along with a few surprises thrown in along the way. Maci Sullivan is a young wife and mother who has the perfect life. She is blessed with a devoted husband and two beautiful children. But one split second changes everything. Maci is now forced to survive in a world that is no longer hers. The loss that she experiences turns her entire existence upside down and the wonderful life she once had, is in total chaos. Thankfully she meets Dr. Tad Russell, a compassionate and caring psychologist, who is thrown into Maci’s chaotic world. But after an unexpected twist of fate, Tad ends up being not only Maci’s good friend, but her savior as well. Then a secret from the past causes Maci to question the life she shared with her husband Steve; and an unexpected surprise will change her life forever. With any luck, Maci's lost soul will find direction and hopefully lead her on a path to healing and redemption.

HeartFelt Promos
July 25th, 2007, 02:07 PM
My Angel
Denise Skelton
http://www.deniseskelton.com/

Chapter One

Everything is settled. I'll have one of my clerks send the final documents to your office in a few days."
"Whatever," Matt nodded quickly. "That'll be fine. Let her know that I'm going to need a little time. I have a lot of things stored in the house and I'll have them moved before the weekend. After that she'll be free to move in."
"No, that won't be necessary. She doesn't want the house."
"What — I don't understand?"
"She says she doesn't want anything. Not the house, the condominium or its contents. Nothing."
"I had that house built for her," Matt told him. "She can have it."
"What can I say?" Matt's attorney, Larry Frankie, hunched his narrow shoulders, his head moving toward his body like a turtle preparing to hide in its shell. "Everything is settled. It's all yours — free and clear." He turned, ready to walk away and then stopped, looking back at his client in disbelief. He shook his head slightly. "I don't understand you. Most men going through a divorce would give their soul to be in your position. Your ex-wife says she has hurt you enough, and now that the divorce is final, she wants you to find happiness. Now you can finally move on. You should be elated."

http://www.deniseskelton.com/images/divider_orange.gif
Several days later, Mathew Turner was still playing that scene in his mind, repeatedly, like a DVD player — pause — rewind — play. He shook his head. That was three days ago, or was it four? He couldn't remember. He looked at the digital clock on the nightstand. The date read January 2. "Happy Fucking New Year," Matt mumbled and then sighed. He was astonished at how heavy his heart felt. At how sadness and despair were able to rip him apart and make him want his first drink at 8:45 in the morning. How it made him tired, dizzy and nauseated all at the same time. On the other hand, it could have been the half-bottle of whisky he'd drunk in the last two hours. He rolled over slowly, rose and sat on the edge of the bed holding his face in his hands.
"I'm free," he said in a raspy voice. Free to do what? For the last 10 years, his life had revolved around Wendy. He reached for the bottle of Jack Daniels and the glass on the nightstand. Pouring whisky in the glass, he raised it. "To the woman who was the love of my life. You were my reason for living. You were my world. But you ripped out my heart and squeezed all of the life from it, then watched as it dried up and blew away in the wind. To you, Wendy Kristin Turner," he said, his voice slightly slurred.
Then he chuckled bitterly, "No, I'm sorry, Wendy Kristin Warn. You don't want anything from me. Least of all my last name."
He set the half-full glass on the nightstand, taking a large swig from the bottle. The phone rang as he brought the bottle to his lips a second time. After listening to the greeting that he and Wendy had recorded on the answering machine, there was a short beep.
"Hey guy, where are you?"
Matt grunted at the yelling voice coming from the answering machine.
"I know you're there. Pick up the damn phone. Matt? Matt? Stop being a dipshit and pick up the phone."
"Shit," Matt cursed, as he snatched the phone up. "What?"
"It is about damn time," Matt's best friend, Josh Peterson yelled. "I've been calling you for almost a week!"
"Man, what the hell do you want?" Matt yelled back.
"Come on guy, you need to get off your ass and stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are not the first man who has ever gotten divorced and you sure won't be the last. You've had six days to cry about it. It's time to dry up your tears, pull your head out of your ass, and get over it."
"You just don't understand..."
"Like hell, I don't. The world is not going to end because Wendy does not want your sorry ass anymore. You wanna be a wuss about it?" Matt was quiet. "Or do you wanna be a man?"
Matt let out a heavy sigh.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," Josh said smugly. "Meet me at my house around five o'clock. Oh yeah, and wear something decent."
Matt let out a loud moan and sighed again. "All right."

http://www.deniseskelton.com/images/divider_orange.gif
The second and fourth Sunday of every month at the Porter's home was always the same. Often the meal changed, sometimes the faces, but the atmosphere would always remain the same. The aroma of barbecued ribs greeted them as they entered the small formal dining room. Gathering around the table, everyone settled in, and after saying grace, they prepared to devour the meal that Debra Porter had cooked.
Looking across the table, Simone Porter smiled faintly at Alan Whitaker. Her mother's newest idea of what was the best thing for her daughter. He glanced back at Simone. He was handsome with dark eyes. His clean-shaven chestnut skin stretched over his high cheekbones as he offered her a bold smile.
"Go on everyone, dig in," Debra ordered, her voice demanding and tired at the same time.
Simone knew that tone all too well. It was her mother's "look at this magnificent feast I've painstakingly created especially for you people and you had better praise me before you even bother to put one bite in your mouth" tone that she used so often it's part of her personality.
"Everything looks wonderful, Mother," Simone whispered.
"Yes, it does, doesn't it," Debra beamed. "I've really outdone myself this time."
"Yes, honey, you have," Simone's father, Joseph, added.
Out of the corner of her eye, Simone saw her father pick up a large slice of cornbread, pass it to her sister René, and gesture for her to put it on Simone's plate. René looked at her father, then glanced quickly at her mother before gingerly slipping the cornbread on the plate.
"There you go, baby girl," he announced.
Simone looked innocently at her father. "Thanks, Daddy," she said. Her voice, which was barely above a whisper, was fine and delicate like a perfectly tuned silver bell.
"Joe, don't give her that," Debra scolded him. "She doesn't need to be eating any bread. It'll go right to her hips."
Simone glanced uncomfortably across the table at Alan, then to her right, meeting her mother's disapproving gaze. She watched as everyone passed around the serving plates of green beans, potato salad and cornbread. When the plates were passed to her, she scooped out a tablespoon of beans and a tablespoon of potato salad.
"Simone, I made that rib just for you," Debra said, pointing to the lifeless, tasteless-looking piece of meat on the serving plate. "I steamed it first to get rid of as much of the fat as possible, then I used a new recipe that I cut out of some magazine." She paused as if trying to remember the name of the magazine, then waved her hand, dismissing the idea.
Simone groaned inwardly. Reluctantly, she speared the meat with her fork and placed it on her plate as far away from the other food as she could manage.
"Debra, let her have one of the other ribs. That one doesn't have any barbecue sauce on it ... " Joe said with concern.
"It doesn't matter, it's better for her that way .... Besides, you know I don't like to waste food."
"Why don't I just take Simone's rib," René said, reaching toward Simone's plate with her fork. "And she can have mine. That way nothing will go to waste."
"René," Debra warned, her voice low and stern. René looked at her mother, then sympathetically at Simone, saying I'm sorry with her eyes.
"Debra, leave Simone alone. Let the girl eat," Joe said, feeling embarrassed and sorry for his younger daughter.
"Joe, she's trying to lose weight. No wonder she's as big as a house, with you sneaking her food all the time," Debra shot at her husband. "Now I," she said, proudly placing the tips of her fingers on her chest, "am trying to help her."
"You know, Mrs. Porter, everyone needs a person in their life like you," Alan said, smiling at Debra. "Someone to guide them, you know, and to lead them down the right path."
"You know, Alan, this is so true, and I have always been there for my family. To help them make the right decisions, even if they do not realize or appreciate it. And with Simone and her diet, I happen to be in that very predicament. Why just the other evening, Joe and I met her for dinner and..."
Simone closed her eyes, willing herself to be anywhere but in the home where she had spent the first 19 years of her life, sitting across from the man her mother had hand-picked for her. A man who was intelligent, successful and very, very attractive. A man who was probably a great person. But something deep down inside Simone whispered that he was going to be the second most annoying person she had ever met. She crowned her mother with the title of "First Most Annoying."
She groaned. If God were merciful, then her latest diet would shift into high gear and she would shrivel up and fade away any minute. She opened her eyes, glancing quickly around the room. Nope, it didn't work. I'm still here.
"Excuse me," Simone said, rising from the table.
"But you didn't eat your dinner. I prepared that especially for you."
"I know, Mother, and I'm sorry. I'm just not very hungry." Simone averted her eyes from her mother's critical gaze. As she turned to leave the room, her mother's words followed her.
"Like I was going to say, I could not believe that she ate two whole pieces of fried fish."
Walking into the hall Simone took her coat out of the closet and went into the living room. As she opened the patio door, she stepped out into the frigid January weather. Taking a deep breath, she allowed the cold, crisp air to clear her mind. If she had known her mother had invited Alan to dinner, she would have made up some excuse not to come. She would rather have gone to the movies or to the mall. She suppressed a moan. She would have even preferred cleaning her house from top to bottom than spending the entire afternoon with her mother when she was in her "can someone please take our pathetic daughter off our hands, I beg you" mode.
Simone walked across the yard, smiling at the sound of fresh snow crunching under her feet. Brushing off one of the lawn chairs, she sat down and stared into space as she contemplated a quick exit that would bring her the least amount of ridicule from her mother. She decided it might be better just to hang out in the backyard for a while.
For as long as she could remember her mother had made every attempt to change her. At the age of 7, Simone wanted to take ballet and her mother made her take piano instead. At 10, Simone wanted to play on the community co-ed football team. Debra had told her that she wasn't allowed to play or even associate with the children at the community center, because most of them were what she liked to call street urchins. At 16, Simone wanted to join the Young Democrats Club in school. Under threat of losing her driving privileges, Simone again bowed to Debra's wishes and joined the Republican club instead. After all, that was the place to meet unattached young men of stature and wealth.
Now, at the age of 28, Simone still felt she was ruled and bullied by her mother. Debra never threatened. She didn't have to. She just had a way about her that made people do exactly what she said and when she said it.
"Hey baby girl," she heard from behind her.
She glanced up at her father's smiling face.
"I brought you something. Follow me."
She rose and followed her father across the yard to the garage that doubled as a workshop. Once they entered the garage, Joe crossed the room and lifted a napkin on his workbench to reveal a plate with a regular-size portion of food on it. He reached inside his shirt pocket to pull out a paper napkin with a fork wrapped inside, and held it out to Simone. She looked at the plate and back at him.
"Go ahead, take it. She didn't see me bring it out."
Sitting down on a stool next to the bench she reluctantly took the plate, carefully placing it on her lap. Joe pulled up another stool to sit next to her.
"Simone, your mother means well, really. She just goes overboard with almost everything she does."
"I know, Daddy, and I'm trying to lose weight. It's just not that easy."
"Simone, you're not overweight."
"Daddy, I'm five-foot-three and... "
"You still go to the gym a few times a week, don't you?"
She nodded.
"You take good care of yourself. You're in good shape."
"But Mother's the same height and she's barely 100 pounds."
He shook his head as she spoke. "You and your mother are two different people."
"But ... "
"No, you are different people and you are going to look and act different. And I'm glad of that." He sighed. "I love your mother dearly, but I don't think the world could handle another Debra Porter."

http://www.deniseskelton.com/images/divider_orange.gif
Matt inhaled the sweet fragrance of apples from the hair of the woman in his arms. It reminded him of Wendy.
Wendy had beautiful hair, he thought, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply the intoxicating aroma. An image of Wendy flashed in his mind, and the realization hit him that this was not Wendy. He would never hold Wendy in his arms again.
Cassie, the blind date that Josh had set him up with, snuggled closer, as they leaned against her car in the restaurant parking lot. Matt held her in a light embrace and loosened his hold a little more.
She stroked his back, slowly moving her hand along to his side and down to his belt. She ran her index finger along the top edge of his belt to the buckle and then traced her finger down the fly of his pants.
His breathing became ragged as he slowly licked his lips.
Drawing back, she tilted her head upward, allowing her lips to brush his.
"After all the things Josh has told me about you, I'm really glad we were finally able to meet," she purred, meeting Matt's gaze.
"Yeah, me, too," he said, trying to keep his voice even.
"Maybe we could do something? Go to my place if you like?" she said. He removed one of his hands from her waist, raising his arm as he squinted at his watch.
"I have to be going; I have an early appointment tomorrow."
She stepped back from his embrace and smiled at him.
"Now, that was a blatant lie," she said, her voice flat.
He flinched, not realizing that she could see through him.
"I'm sorry. It's been a rough week."
She laughed at the startled look on his face, and then said, "No, I'm the one who should be sorry. Josh told me about everything you've been going through." She looked around hesitantly, then back at him. "Do you want to talk about it?"
He could tell from her demeanor that she was just being kind. She did not want to hear his problems. He shook his head.
"No, not really, I just need to put it all behind me."
She nodded and pulled her coat tight to block out the cold air.
"Well, I'd better be going," she said as she reached in her pocket for keys and unlocked her car door. She turned back to him, "You sure you won't reconsider. I'm told I'm very good company?" she teased.
He watched her closely. "I'll bet you are, and that sounds like a great offer, but I wouldn't be very good company right now." She smiled broadly. "I'm good enough for the both of us."
He looked down at her. With help from a nearby streetlight, he could see the sparkle in her green eyes.
"Yeah, like I said, I'll bet you are, but I think I'd better head home." He leaned forward, letting his lips brush hers.
" 'Night," he whispered, reaching around her for the car door and opening it.
She slid in and rolled the window down after he closed the door.
"Why don't you give me a call on Monday? We can get together next week. I could make dinner. I make a mean lasagna."
He smiled down at her.
"Sure, sounds good. I'll call you. Drive safe."
He stepped back from the car and watched as she backed out of the parking space and drove away from the restaurant lot.
"Nope. Not Wendy," he whispered before he walked to his car.

http://www.deniseskelton.com/images/divider_orange.gif
"I've been waiting months for this," Jamison Cartwright said as he watched the tall figure walk across the parking lot and get into his car. "That son of a bitch has been a thorn in my side for more than a year."
"I told you to let me take care of him," his companion said, stretching his legs as he tried to get comfortable inside the cramped Porsche. "I could have just as easily walked up behind him and put one in the back of his head." He reached over and pointed his index finger at his friend's head like a gun, "Pop. It's that simple."
"It wasn't the right time. Wendy would have been more upset if he was killed. She would have been pining away for him, and I couldn't let that happen. And I definitely don't want to take the chance of having the cops trace it back to us."
"Why are you worried about the cops? Those stupid bastards couldn't find their asses with both hands. How are they going to find out who popped some loser? You need to stop being such a pussy."
Jamison looked over to meet the eyes of his friend Adrian Hirsch. Adrian's steel-gray eyes met his. Jamison suppressed a shudder before he turned away to see the car that they had been watching for the last hour and a half pull out of the restaurant parking lot.
"Showtime," he said as he started the car and put it into drive.

http://www.deniseskelton.com/images/divider_orange.gif
Leaning across the counter, Debra pulled back the curtains on the kitchen window to watch as Simone and Alan talked.
He will be good for her, she thought to herself. I know he will. This young man is going places. He has ambition, I can see him one day taking over my position at the institution, and Simone will be right by his side.
Debra Porter was the sort of woman who liked order. Her office was organized, her kitchen was immaculate, even her closet was arranged in order by color and season. She was in control of every aspect of her life. When she first met Joseph Porter, she knew that he was going to be her husband. And she was sure that when his butterscotch complexion and green eyes combined with her rich mahogany skin tone they would produce beautiful babies. Their children would have their father's looks and her intelligence.
She had met Joe at college. She had seen him walking briskly from the campus parking lot toward the library and followed him. After striking up a conversation, Debra had been able to arrange a date with him while letting him believe it was his own idea. She later learned that Joe's father was African American and his mother was German and white. This had not fit in with Debra's idea of having a husband with strong African American roots at all, but she later decided that she could learn to live with it.
When she had found out that Joe was in school on a scholarship and had to work to pay his living expenses, she nearly broke things off. She couldn't very well date a janitor. But after careful consideration she decided the end justified the means. A year after they started dating Debra convinced Joe that his idea of being a public school teacher just wasn't for him. They, as a couple, had aspirations, and they couldn't reach their goals on the salary of a school teacher. So Joe aimed higher and became a professor at the local university. Debra maintained a position as the head of a prestigious mental health facility.
Controlling her children was another story. When they were young she had told them where they could go, what clothes to wear, and who they could have as friends. As they got older, her three children started to go their separate ways. Her oldest, René, had chosen what Debra accepted as an adequate career, but she married a man whose ideas Debra thought were obtuse, with his anti-government ideas.
Her middle child, Charles, made the right career move and had married well, but at 32, Charles tended to be a little headstrong and immature. Then there was her baby, Simone. Simone looked more like her father with her fair skin and long, wavy hair. She also had his idealistic view on the world, but Debra had been able to control Simone longer than her other children.
When Simone and Alan started walking toward the house, Debra dropped the curtain and walked to the sink, pretending to fill the dishwasher.
"It's really gotten cold out there," Alan said as they stepped into the warm kitchen.
"Sure has," Simone agreed, briskly rubbing her gloved hands together.
Alan stepped in front of Simone, took her hands and removed her gloves. He set the gloves on the table and rubbed her hands between his, warming them. Once Alan released Simone's hands, he pulled out one of the chairs at the table for her.
Debra watched the exchange, smiling proudly.
"Alan, why don't you go into the den with Joe and watch the game while Simone helps me with the dishes?" Debra said pleasantly.
He nodded, then went through the dining room toward the den.
Simone picked up her gloves, putting them in her coat pocket. After taking off her coat and scarf, she hung them on the back of the chair that Alan had pulled out.
Debra glanced down at the coat hanging on the chair, preparing to say something about it, then decided against it.
"Is René still here?" Simone asked her mother.
"No, they wanted to visit Max's parents before it got too late. She said that she would call you one evening during the week."
Simone nodded. "What do you need me to do?"
"Nothing, I just wanted to spend some time with you. So, what do you think of Alan? He's great, isn't he?" Debra asked Simone. "I told you he was very nice and he's extremely intelligent, too. He went to Brown University, you know?"
"Yes, Mother, you already told me, on quite a few occasions," Simone said as she slowly sat down.
"And he's handsome, too. The two of you make a lovely couple. Don't you think?" Debra waited for a response.
Simone bit her lip before speaking. "Yes ma'am, he's very handsome."
"And when you start working together, you two will grow closer, and maybe even get married. Did you call personnel about that counseling position on Friday?" Debra asked as she wrapped the leftover food.
"No," Simone said, watching her mother's back stiffen. Quickly, she added, "I haven't gotten around to it."
"How do you not get around to making a phone call?" Debra asked, glaring at Simone.
"I just haven't," Simone said softly. She instantly averted her eyes.
"Well, if you don't do it soon, the job will be taken, and you'll be stuck working with those delinquents for goodness knows how long. Who knows when another opportunity like this will come along again?" she said, turning back to the counter.
Simone looked at her mother's back, "Mother, they're not delinquents, and I don't mind working at the youth center."
"Nonsense, your major in college was psychology, and we didn't pay all that money for your education to have you waste your time doing something like that," Debra said, waving her hand.
"I have to go, Mother," Simone said as she rose from the chair. She pulled her coat off the table and put it on.
"What? You can't leave," Debra practically yelled at her.
"Mother, one of the kids from the center has to go to court tomorrow, and I promised his mother I would accompany them. I want to call her before it gets too late, and I left the number at home." Simone turned and left the kitchen.
Debra grunted her disapproval and then followed her daughter through the house.
Alan looked up when he heard Simone approach. "Would you like to watch the game with us?" he asked, quickly moving over to make room for her.
"No thanks, I need to be getting home. Goodnight, Daddy," Simone said as she moved to kiss her father's cheek.
"I'll walk you out," Alan said, standing.
"No, you don't have to."
"Let him walk you out," Debra insisted, eyeing Simone.
" 'Night mother." Simone walked past her mother with Alan following her.
"I'm really glad we got a chance to meet. Your mother has been trying to get us together for weeks," he said as they descended the steps. Even though he stood a full seven inches taller than Simone, Alan had to walk in double-time to match her pace.
"It was nice to finally meet you, too," she said, suppressing a sigh.
"Maybe we could get together later?" he asked as they approached her car.
"No," she said, biting her lip as she realized she'd answered a little quicker than she had intended. "I really have to get home. I have a ton of things that I have to take care of tonight."
"Okay." He nodded, looking disappointed, and leaned close as she turned her head slightly to allow him to kiss her cheek. He pulled back, leaving a quarter-size wet spot on her cheek, and smiled as their eyes met.
She smiled back, praying it didn't show as a grimace and fighting the urge to wipe her cheek with her sleeve.
"Can I get your number from your mother and call you in a few days?"
"Sure — that will be fine," she nodded. Getting into her car, she started it, and watched Alan's tall, graceful form taking slow, steady strides as he walked along the walkway leading to the porch. Her mother met him at the door, giving him one of her rare, but impressive, award-winning smiles.
Simone shook her head, not because she was disappointed or angry at the way her mother tried to push Alan on her, but because she knew her mother's thoughts all too well. Debra thought that with enough hard work on her behalf she could mold Simone into the sort of woman that she could be proud to call her daughter. Simone sadly put the car in reverse to back out of the driveway and head to the only place she knew she could find sanctuary from Debra Porter. Her own home.

penelopemarzec
July 25th, 2007, 02:11 PM
Yep. You still have to do research for contemporaries. I was fortunate to have a detective willing to help me out with some of the details in A Rush of Light. He told me that it is a rare thing to have a line-up with criminals--though that is what you usually see on TV. In fact, I just saw that on TV the other night. In reality, a photo line-up is what is used to help the victim identify the suspect.

HeartFelt Promos
July 25th, 2007, 02:11 PM
What is the name on the first contemporary romance book you read?

HeartFelt Promos
July 25th, 2007, 02:14 PM
Does the Contemporary part of the story get lost when you add another genre to the book?

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 02:17 PM
For your Characters within your contemporary books..where do you get their names? Do you research baby name books? Do you look around your 'area' and come up with a name that you like? Is it a name you came across while growing up? Is there a special meaning/event behind on of your character's name?

Tell me!

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 02:19 PM
For your Characters within your contemporary books..where do you get their names? Do you research baby name books? Do you look around your 'area' and come up with a name that you like? Is it a name you came across while growing up? Is there a special meaning/event behind on of your character's name?

Tell me!

I start with babybooks. I usually have an idea for what I want, but if a name doesn't 'spring' out at me, I go to the baby book.

I once freaked out my husband when he saw me looking at babe names...lol

Jennifer

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 02:21 PM
:whoohoo: To funny! Thanks Jennifer!

HeartFelt Promos
July 25th, 2007, 02:22 PM
LOL Jennifer

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 02:23 PM
Does the Contemporary part of the story get lost when you add another genre to the book?

Nope. Depending on how you construct your story, the contemporary element is always there, just waiting to bubble to the surface.

J

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Wow! I never saw my book cover so large...gotta love that raven's spookiness. Carol

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 02:46 PM
That is the cutest cover I've seen in a long time! Sure to draw attention. Carol

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 02:48 PM
The cover with the skirt being lifted in case this message gets muddled. Carol

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 02:52 PM
The cover with the skirt being lifted in case this message gets muddled. Carol

Hehehe, thanks Carol. I thought it was soooo appropriate to the story, because the hero is just this big ole horndog who is always trying to get into Abby's pants.. er skirt.

And its a fun cover, which is good since it's a comedy.

J

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 02:58 PM
So, do you think it is easier or harder to write Contemporary books versus other genre?

Why?

Contemporary is much easier for me. It's not difficult to get the background that the story is set against right. Everybody knows where you are and what beliefs, mores, fads etc. the characters exist amongst.

I'm OK with SF and fantasy as I'm used to doing world building through my years of playing Role Playing Games.

Historical is very difficult, despite my knowledge of history. I tend to have a modern eye and so sometimes stumble over cultural points.

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 02:59 PM
Nicole, that excerpt's way too hot to be PG. ;)

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Did I boo-boo then? I can't even begin to write as hot as some of my fellow Samhain authors.

You did mean me, Marie-"Nicole", didn't you?

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 03:06 PM
No No! So far everything is just fine! Not to worry!:yes:

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:07 PM
What is the name on the first contemporary romance book you read?

If e-books count, Soul Sacrifice (http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/soul-sacrifice/prod_21.html) by fellow Aspen Mountain Press author Elisabeth Jason would be the one.

If it's print books, The Dark Garden (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Garden-Eden-Bradley/dp/0553589733/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3156520-6707119?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1185390395&sr=8-1) by Eden Bradley would be it.

I didn't start reading romances until I started writing them.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 03:08 PM
Okay..lets try a different thought pattern...If you could only do one thing to promote your book to readers, what would you do? (pretend here) You have an unlimited budget and unlimited time.:innocent:

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 03:09 PM
If e-books count, Soul Sacrifice (http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/soul-sacrifice/prod_21.html) by fellow Aspen Mountain Press author Elisabeth Jason would be the one.

If it's print books, The Dark Garden (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Garden-Eden-Bradley/dp/0553589733/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3156520-6707119?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1185390395&sr=8-1) by Eden Bradley would be it.

I didn't start reading romances until I started writing them.

Oh yeah..any format type book :tt1:

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Does the Contemporary part of the story get lost when you add another genre to the book?
Not in my experience.

I've only done one work, my vampire anthology In The Dark (http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/romance/in-the-dark/prod_42.html), where that happens though.

The world of vampires and magic fit well into the modern world in that one. Because one of the few rules of vampires is 'Humans can't know'. And they take what ever steps are necessary to keep themselves secret.

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Okay..lets try a different thought pattern...If you could only do one thing to promote your book to readers, what would you do? (pretend here) You have an unlimited budget and unlimited time.:innocent:

Something that would gain a lot of attention? Hmmm..

I'd walk around naked, with nothing but a sandwich board sign of my cover art.

Yep, that would get some interest going...lol

Jennifer

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:13 PM
For your Characters within your contemporary books..where do you get their names? Do you research baby name books? Do you look around your 'area' and come up with a name that you like? Is it a name you came across while growing up? Is there a special meaning/event behind on of your character's name?

Tell me!
They all come out of my imagination.

Just in case though, I have a random name generator (http://www.kleimo.com/random/name.cfm) bookmarked on my browser.

Although in one of the stories in In The Dark I used a somewhat famous person's name as a joke. ;)

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Okay..lets try a different thought pattern...If you could only do one thing to promote your book to readers, what would you do? (pretend here) You have an unlimited budget and unlimited time.:innocent:
Unlimited budget and time? Easy.

TV commercials. Good ones that appear on prime time television shows.

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Something that would gain a lot of attention? Hmmm..

I'd walk around naked, with nothing but a sandwich board sign of my cover art.

Yep, that would get some interest going...lol

Jennifer

:whoohoo: I am heading over to your place now! I have a new camera that is just waiting!

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:16 PM
Something that would gain a lot of attention? Hmmm..

I'd walk around naked, with nothing but a sandwich board sign of my cover art.

Yep, that would get some interest going...lol

Jennifer
http://bestsmileys.com/drooling/3.gif (Pauses to adjust anatomy.)

Yes, that would get my attention.

I'd probably also wander into traffic. ;)

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 03:19 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/drooling/3.gif (Pauses to adjust anatomy.)

Yes, that would get my attention.

I'd probably also wander into traffic. ;)

lol good thing yer in Toronto then!

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 03:20 PM
Have you ever wondered about the desperation of those sending letters into newspaper peronal columns? I love to skim down them and invariably find one or two that stand out as extra-interesting. Natural Persuasion is the imaginary end result of one such excursion.

The 'best before' date on her biological clock rapidly approaching, Julie Reagan, a marine biologist responds in desperation to a personal column ad from a rancher wanting a partner to produce an heir. The two have diametrically opposed concepts on conception--she’s in favor of the artificial means but he on the more natural method.

Jordan McIntyre wants an heir. A liaison with someone local is not in the cards, hence Jordan advertises for a woman to co-parent with him. When Julie, who has been researching artificial insemination, applies he finds himself physically drawn to her. A normal male, he wants intimacy. He invites her to his ranch, his intention being to convince her their goals could be mutually achieved. Though not attracted to Jordan, since he's not interested in a deep emotional attachment, she returns to her idea of artificial insemination, but sees a visit to his ranch as a way to persuade him to donate sperm to her cause. Which one will succumb to the other’s persuasion?

Available from www.wingsepress.com and www.fictionwise.com

Carol McPhee http://www.geocities.com/carolmcphee2003

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:22 PM
That one sounds, interesting, Carol.

Biological imperatives make fools out of all of us. ;)

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Unlimited budget and time? Easy.

TV commercials. Good ones that appear on prime time television shows.
I'd tour federal prisons convincing the guys to read my romance novels since they're a captive audience. Carol mcPhee, hmm, maybe I should give an alias.

catherinestang
July 25th, 2007, 03:26 PM
My newest release is Crossing the Line which is a paranormal romantic suspense.

Now available in print and e-book from www.whiskeycreekpress.com (http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/)
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p>
Blurb:
Police Detective Connor Galbraith only believed in things he could see, touch and send out to analyzed. So he’s more than a little skeptical when a mysterious psychic appears in his life and tells him exactly where to find the district attorney’s kidnapped daughter.
<o:p> </o:p>
Simone Spencer knows specific details about the case, and more about Connor than he would like, especially since he considers her a suspect. Connor is a loner, both on and off the job, but as they spend time together and the trouble surrounding them escalates, their connect turns personal, throwing him off-balance and in danger of losing his heart. Simone’s psychic powers accidentally open a destiny circle and involve her in Connor’s life in unexpected ways. She can see into his past secrets that he isn’t even aware of. Can she make him trust her enough to believe in her visions?

To see my cover check out my website www.catherinestang.com (http://www.catherinestang.com)

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 03:31 PM
This looks good, Carol. :)

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 03:33 PM
I like yours, too, Catherine. I'll go broke if I start buying books now. LOL

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 03:33 PM
“Hello, Dana? Can you come down? I really need to see you!” Julie Reagan’s hand trembled while holding the receiver. “I’ve done something so stupid I can’t believe it.”

“I’m on my way!”

Two minutes later, her heart beating ridiculously fast, Julie paced the hall in front of her apartment threshold.

Dana, dark ponytail bobbing, breezed down the stairs and stepped inside. “What’s this about being stupid? You’re too methodical to do anything dumb.”

Julie flipped back her coppery bangs and closed the door. Leaning against the foyer wall she folded her arms. “Dana, did you see yesterday’s personal column in the newspaper?”

When she nodded, Julie pointed to the edition spread wide on the kitchen chrome table.

“I always read that column after I scan the front page. Some of the letters are real dorky. Why do you ask?” Dana yanked out a chair and plopped down. “Well? C’mon; out with it.”

“I want you to read an interesting letter that’s in today.” Julie slid onto the chair opposite her friend.

“There usually are a few intriguing ones; that’s why I read them.” Dana raised an eyebrow. “Just be glad we’re not so desperate we have to advertise for a mate.”

“Speak for yourself; you’re engaged. No one rings my bell.” Julie hesitated, then stared straight into Dana’s questioning eyes. “One letter was so compelling, I answered it.”

“Tell me you’re kidding.” Dana sat up straight, her blue eyes widening with disbelief. “You’re not kidding. Which one did you answer? No, let me guess.” She hunched over the paper with keen interest, her finger slowly guiding her through each block of letters.

Julie watched Dana’s concentration, then noticed her friend’s finger pause and slide back up the column, landing on the very ad Julie had answered.
“That one!” Dana’s eyes sparkled with certainty.

“You’re right. How did you know?”

Dana tamped down her enthusiasm and looked thoughtful. “Because you’ve been talking about having a baby.” She shifted her glance from the paper to Julie’s face. “Did you give the guy your real name when you wrote to him?”
“No. I signed it LFC.”

“Good. What does that stand for?”

“Longing for children, which is what I am. I didn’t want to give my name.”

“At least this guy doesn’t beat around the bush. He lays out what he wants, and he’s not gross about it. You’re direct by nature, too, Julie. That’s why you picked this letter.” Triumph shone in Dana’s eyes. “He says he wants children. You’re shy. Could you go to bed with a guy you haven’t known for a long time?”

“Dana, he doesn’t say it has to be through intimacy. I can’t imagine sleeping with a stranger; I'm interested in Artificial Insemination. Maybe he’d be willing to settle for being a sperm donor. He appears to be straightforward, but there’s no way of telling what he has in mind unless I meet him.”

Excerpt 2
“Jordan, you didn’t say in your letter, but do you expect pregnancy by natural means or would you consider donating your sperm for artificial insemination?” She kept a straight face and bet on his answer.

His eyes almost popped out of his head as he choked on a mouthful of egg. The poor guy’s in shock. My question caught him off-guard. Better him than me. As she took a bite of bacon and followed it up with another of toast, she kept her eyes on his reddening face, wondering if she’d have to perform CPR.

Jordan regained his breath. “You believe in talking straight, don’t you?” he sputtered.

“Why not? The ad was notably inexplicit.” She licked the sticky remnants of syrup from her fingers.

His eyes followed her motion, then he spoke. “Only because I never thought of a way other than the normal route. The others I interviewed let me state my case. Their first question was to ask if I was willing to pay for the service.”

Julie took a gulp of coffee. Hot, strong, like she needed--to quell her disappointment. She’d had high hopes. Highly ridiculous ones. “Maybe they figured this was your way to get easy sex.”

“They think wrong.” He pursed his lips, seeming to grasp for the right words. His eyebrows raised, but he spoke slowly. “While natural conception is my preference, I suppose I could consider the alternative. In all honesty, I don’t see why there... ah... couldn’t be sex for mutual pleasure in achieving our goal. The clinical method brings cold comfort.”

“You mean you would accept anyone off the street, knowing little about them?”

“Of course not. There would have to be a neutral trial period at my ranch for at least three weeks. If our personalities meshed, sex would add to the fulfillment.”

“Three weeks wouldn’t cut it for me. While it may be all right for others, I don’t think I could go to bed with someone I didn’t adore. You probably can’t understand, but since I’ve studied the aggressive mating rituals in the sea lion population, the same uncommitted activity in humans holds little appeal.”

Beneath her declaration, Jordan had brought out the major problem with her method of choice: the cardboard clinical technique had the turn-on of a can of worms. The determination in his voice proved she’d been right. He expected sex; yielding to the woman’s preference was bull. In spite of feeding her a line, he had the nerve to stare straight into her eyes without showing a shred of guilt. She buckled down to the meal, trying to keep her mind on eating, not on the fact she’d been desperate enough to come on a wild fatherhood chase.

She could feel the heat of his stare, but after a few seconds of no response from her, he dug back into his food. Then she relaxed. She’d be out of here soon.

Suddenly, he offered more. “I was married before.”

She jerked up her head and waited.

“It wasn’t a good marriage. At least apparently it wasn’t for my wife. I’ll tell you up front, Julie, I’m not anxious to repeat the mistake. I’ll never make that emotional commitment again.”

“I wasn’t expecting a wedding ring,” she replied. “But if I considered the normal route, then there would definitely have to be an emotional commitment, marriage or not. It’s clear we have no firm base for going further, Jordan. I shouldn’t pry, but where is your wife, now?”

“Marsha died in an accident three years ago. Her Porsche slid off a snow-covered road.” His eyes clouded and shifted to look out the window.

“I’m sorry for your loss. It must have been difficult for you.” Julie tried to tone down the sudden gloom by concentrating on her pancakes. She understood his need for silence to cope with his memories.

Her regrouping soon subconsciously took a definitive path. Three years without easily available sex. They needed to get back on course and away from his obvious pain. “Sex without commitment seems... animalistic.” She stabbed at the last bite of pancake and smiled slightly remembering noncommittal didn’t bother the sea lions one iota. They just lolled over on their backs, letting their eyes roll back in their heads while they showed off their family jewels. Ugh!

“I’ll be honest from the outset, Jordan. I would only consider artificial insemination under your circumstances.” She had nothing to lose by telling him. He’d be playing her for a fool if he expected her to hop in the sack with no feelings involved. She might as well write “dumb” on her forehead for answering the ad. Did he think all women were gullible? Before he could comment she said, “I have a question.”



Carol McPhee: http://www.geocities.com/carolmcphee2003

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 03:35 PM
This looks good, Carol. :)
It was fun to write and I love the Canadian Rockies as a setting. Carol

pixie158
July 25th, 2007, 03:37 PM
Hi All!

I'm glad to be here again with Coffee Time Romance and am pleased to report that my contemporary erotic romance MOTORCYCLE HEAT has received great reviews. JERR called it "an outstanding first book." My Book Cravings said it was "Magic... Set my blood to boiling." A PG-13 rated excerpt is posted below. Please visit my website at www.adeledubois.com/ (http://www.adeledubois.com/) for additional excerpts and ordering information. I hope you'll visit my blog, too! Thanks for reading!





<CENTER>http://adeledubois.com/images/motor.jpg</CENTER>

An Excerpt from MOTORCYCLE HEAT by Adele Dubois
Available from Loose Id.


The woman on the sidewalk revived him like a swim upward from the cold depths of the sea.

His friends would say it was about time.

Antonio followed her on his bike, and she played along, sauntering down the street at an easy pace, smiling at him over her shoulder from time to time to let him know she accepted him there. For an instant he thought he saw a likeness to Estela in her smile, but the resemblance faded again with her profile.

He sped up for a better frontal view of her body. Scarlet lip-gloss covered her full mouth. Red and gold hoop earrings peeked from beneath her long mane of hair. A filmy red tank top stopped at her midriff, revealing a red rhinestone bellybutton ring. Antonio’s mouth watered. He wanted to drag his tongue from the hem of her blouse to the waistband of her shorts, lick a circle around the bellybutton ring, and feel her hips quiver beneath his hands.

His eyes swept up and over her again. The tank top was edged in red lace, capping the tops of her large, firm breasts and hugging her cleavage. Her nipples were hard and protruded like ripe raisins inside the light cotton fabric.

Antonio grinned. His presence excited her, and that was good.

Her straw purse swung from the hand at her side. There were no rings on her fingers. He smiled again.

Excellent.

They reached the corner, and the woman stopped to cross the street. Antonio slowed beside her. “What’s your name?” he shouted over the idle of his engine.

The woman lifted her mouth in a sly, foxy grin. “Why should I tell you?” she shouted back.

“Because I’m the man you’re going to marry,” he called out, wishing he could kick himself in the head for saying such a dumb thing out loud. If he hadn’t thought of Estela the moment before, he probably wouldn’t have said it. But the memory of his lover reminded him how close he had once come to the altar.

He shook his head like he was trying to clear it. Shouting “marriage” to the gringa on the sidewalk had sounded like a limp dick line.

Apparently the woman disagreed, because she threw her head back and laughed. The sound revealed intrigue, not scorn. Antonio relaxed.

She licked her incredible, glossy lips. “Lisa. Lisa Gibson,” she called.

The name would be tattooed on his brain forever.

Lisa.

She crossed the street at the next intersection and continued her walk. Antonio switched gears and kept pace beside her, keeping one eye out for cars, pedestrians, strollers, and roaming animals.

“Stop and talk to me!” Antonio called after her. The visit with his brother at the Naval Academy could wait.

She walked faster, teasing, as if trying to get away from him. The muscles of her trim legs moved in rhythmic time with the curve of her ass, and her high, full breasts swayed lightly as the breeze lifted her hair. She brushed stray strands from her eyes and looked over at him, clearly deciding.

“How can we get married if you won’t talk to me first?” He was into the banter now.

What the hell.

She shrugged, pretending disinterest. Her quick side-glance in his direction told him otherwise. Encouraged, Antonio followed, watching her limbs move between the breaks in the cars parked along this stretch of avenue.

He spotted a pub on the next far corner. “Want to stop for a drink?” He shouted over the hood of the sports car that blocked his view of her until she moved forward again.

She quickened her pace, keeping time with him. “Okay.”

Her mischievous smile reached all the way to her eyes, and his heart leaped. He imagined sliding his hand along her smooth inner thigh beneath a secluded table, and lifting the hem of her shorts with the tips of his fingers until they met heat.

Antonio gunned the engine, speeding up, anxious to get to the bar. But instead of keeping up with him, Lisa stopped dead on the sidewalk. Antonio twisted around in his seat just in time to see her raise her tank top over her chest and flash him her bare breasts.

The last thing he remembered before the crash was the perfect circumference of her pink, pointy nipples and the gravity-defying fullness of D-cup breasts that sucked the air from his lungs. The motorcycle seemed to take on a life of its own in that moment, with Antonio’s eyes riveted to Lisa’s magnificent tits. He sailed away between two parked cars and smacked the side of the curb with the Harley’s front tire. Man and bike moved in one continuous arc of suspended slow motion before Antonio hit the ground and the Harley turned over on the sidewalk beside him. The last words he muttered before blackness came were, “No fucking helmet.”

He opened his eyes through a haze of pain, flat on his back on the dirty sidewalk, to the most voluptuous breasts he had ever seen hovering over his face. Soft hands cradled his head. The white crescent moons lifted up and down, up, down with each breath; leaning so close he could almost touch them with the tip of his tongue. He wanted to lift his head just one more inch -- a tiny, nearly infinitesimal motion that would lead him to bliss, the place marked by the soft, round fullness of the heavy pillows skimming his nose. He strained to follow the deep, dark recess of her cleavage, lost inside the tight red tank top that stretched over nipples as taut and long as pencil erasers. He traced the areola with his eyes beneath the ultra thin cotton, and as he did, licked his lips. The sudden ache inside his jeans rivaled the bruise on his head.





<CENTER>© Adele Dubois, May 2007</CENTER><CENTER>All Rights Reserved</CENTER><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER></CENTER>
What's the rating on this? Sizzling hot? Lol. Carol

Jennifer Lynn
July 25th, 2007, 03:38 PM
An excerpt from "Getting Over It"

A noise in the hallway outside her apartment door caught her attention and she turned up the television's volume in response. Some fool was caterwauling out there and she wasn't in the mood to put up with it tonight. Normally her neighbors were quiet folk, and Abby rarely heard them. Someone certainly had a bee in their bonnet this evening.
A door opened and slammed. The voice in the hallway grew louder. Another door slammed. She lowered the volume and cocked her head to one side while she listened to the noise. Lord, but someone was singing out there! Badly.
The tune was becoming familiar but it was the same phrase over and over that got her attention. 'You are so beautiful to me'. Hell, even Joe Cocker's voice cracked on that one, and he was a professional singer. What made this idiot think he could do better?
Curiosity got the better of her, and Abby stood and crossed to the door. She peered through the peephole and then jumped back in surprise. The caterwauler wasn't some unknown person serenading one of her neighbors. It was Will. And he was grunting out that song in front of her apartment.
"Will," she hissed through the door. "Quit making a fool out of yourself and go away."
The singing stopped long enough for the lovelorn prince to respond in his native tongue. "Can't. My heart bids me to express myself in song."
He continued singing, slightly off-key. Can't you see-eeeee? You're everything I hoped for..."
"Go away before someone calls the cops and you get arrested!" she demanded.
"I have diplomatic immunity. Everything I neeeeeeed."
Abby dared another glance through the peephole. He was right up against her door now, serenading in all his talentless glory. "You are so beautiful to meeeeee."
"Go away!"
"Listen to her," Abby's neighbor from across the hall shouted. "Do us a favor and quit singing. You're hurting our ears!"
"Shut up!" another neighbor hollered.
"I'm not listening, Will." Abby walked away from the door with her hands over both ears. "Sing all you want, but I can't hear you anymore."
"You are so beautiful to me."
Abby couldn't stand it. She curled into the corner of her sofa and grabbed up two throw cushions and held them tight to either side of her head. They muffled the sound, but Will's voice only seemed to get louder.
More doors opened and slammed in their disapproval, but Will didn't stop. He raised his voice another decibel and kept right on singing. And then the neighborhood dogs joined in, in some sort of muttly harmony that only they understood. It was cruel torture to any music lover's eardrums.
"Stop, stop!" Abby wailed. She turned up the volume on her television and pressed the pillows tighter against her ears. Anything to drown out the God-awful sound coming from the corridor.
Not surprising, it wasn't long before a patrol car was dispatched to Abby's apartment building and she heard the wail of the sirens. Within minutes, an officer was banging on her front door. She turned off the TV and gingerly lowered the makeshift ear muffs. Nothing. No singing, no dogs howling. Just a nightstick whacking at her door and an exasperated cop demanding her to open the door.
"Yes officer?" Abby opened the door a crack and eyed the policeman and his partner. Will was quietly visible in the background.
"You know this man?" The officer glanced at Will's ID. "His Imperial Highness, Willem, the Prince Regent of Ragnovia?" He turned to his partner. "That's quite a handle."
Abby sighed. Any minute now, that sexy smile of triumph was going to cross Will's face. "Yes," she heaved a sigh. "I was his State Department translator."
"Well, translate this," the cop looked between Abby and Will. "You two will resolve this issue quietly. Don't make us return for another noise complaint again tonight. Or you'll both be locked up for violating the noise ordinance."
Will just smiled and indicated his diplomatic passport.
"Tell him that if you don't settle it, I'll lose that passport until the judge appears in the morning." With that, the policeman tipped his hat, motioned for his partner to join him, and headed toward the elevators. Another stern glance before they left the floor was enough to indicate that Washington's Finest weren't in a joking mood.
Will clasped his hands loosely behind his back, looked down at his feet and took a step toward Abby's door. When he raised his head, his blue eyes were twinkling in that way that Abby knew they would. Triumph. "Now," he said. "Shall we go inside and talk, or shall I start singing again?"

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 03:41 PM
<TABLE height="5%" cellSpacing=1 borderColorDark=#ffffff cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=center borderColorLight=black border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>A Hunted Heart
J.J. Massa
</TD></TR><TR><TD>


</TD></TR><TR><TD>A Hunted Heart by J.J. Massa</TD></TR><TR><TD>

</TD></TR><TR><TD>Like all great authors, FBI profiler Tatiana Branigan has drawn from personal experience in the creation of her best-selling thriller series. But few realize just how up-close-and-personal those experiences are. Ten years ago her fairy-tale marriage ended, wrecked by a man who has obsessively hunted her and a memory that’s haunted her.

For the past decade Von Branigan has been living out his solitary life estranged from the only woman he’s ever loved and isolated from anyone who might try to reach through the wall he’s built around his heart. He may be inconsolably immersed in feelings of bitterness and still wounded by betrayal, but when the police call and tell him that his wife was attacked by a madman and is in need of refuge, he can’t bring himself to refuse to help her.

Von takes Tatiana back into his home and as time passes and old wounds heal, back into his heart. A grave misunderstanding, a once-in-a-lifetime love, a wife’s sacrifice, a crime of passion, and a second chance for happiness—A Hunted Heart.

From Samantha Sommersby, author of As You Wish "A heart-pounding, heart-felt suspense romance that will leave you utterly breathless."

</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
You can find it at Linden Bay Romance--Here (http://www.lindenbayromance.com/product_details.php?product_id=124)

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Thanks Karen and Karenne for giving us a chance to do this. :)

rgraham666
July 25th, 2007, 03:49 PM
An excerpt from "Getting Over It"

:lol: I liked that.

catherinestang
July 25th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Hi JJ:

We met at RT. It is nice talking to you again.

Cathy

catherinestang
July 25th, 2007, 03:56 PM
Unedited excerpt from

CROSSING THE LINE

Available in print & paperback



www.whiskeycreekpress.com

Chapter One

It looked like a freaking movie set. Detective Connor Galbraith muttered a cuss word as he tightened his grip on the frightened little girl who clung to his neck. All around them cameras flashed. Every local channel along with all the major cable news networks were lined up just behind the barricade of squad cars. Not that he was surprised to see the press here in large numbers. It wasn't every day that District Attorney's daughter is kidnapped by gunmen who were holding the Los Angles Police Department at bay. It was a damn interesting story. He just wished to hell little Ashley hadn't been a witness to the bloody ending.
"It's just about over," he murmured into three-year-old Ashley Davenport's smoky blonde hair. "Don't let all the cameras scare you, Princess. You're going home."
"Promise?" Her voice was so soft that he could barely hear it.
He gave her a reassuring squeeze. "I promise."
Connor cradled her close as the S.W.A.T. team ran around him to secure the rest of the building. He hoped they caught the bastard who shot his back-up officer Harry. That suspect managed to escape during the gunfight.
An ambulance and coroner's wagon roared up. How had things spun so far out of his control? Damn. When Connor closed his eyes he could still see the blood darkening Harry's shirt. Why the hell didn't he wear his bulletproof vest? He just hoped Harry made it.
Connor hated making mistakes--especially ones of this magnitude-with the whole world watching. Killing suspects never sat easy with him. No matter how many candles he lit or priests he confessed to, killing stole pieces of his soul.
Just beyond the line of reporters stood the little girl's mother, the usually unflappable Julia Davenport from the DA's office. Morgan's underlings snatched her daughter from daycare to scare Julia into getting Morgan's case dropped. Now one of the kidnappers was dead and the other on the lam. Two more material witnesses were pulled out of a dumpster in an alley not far from here. Unless his partner, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:place w:st="on">Trenton</ST1:place></st1:City>, caught the other suspect that he was chasing Julia's case was over. Without witnesses the rest of state's case was based on flimsy circumstantial evidence. Which meant Judge Barnes would likely throw it out. Dammit to hell! Morgan would go free to peddle his drugs elsewhere. Two years of hard investigative work down the toilet.
He hardly recognized Julia in jeans and a loose T-shirt. She looked years younger and much more vulnerable. His gaze met her teary one for a brief moment as she mouthed "thank-you". He blinked back his own tears as amid a flash of cameras he lowered a struggling Ashley so she could run into the arms of her sobbing mother.
Connor straightened, preparing to face an onslaught of reporters moving towards him since the extra police officers had shifted them away from the mother and child reunion. With blood still pounding in his ears, he hoped he could rein in his temper long enough to deal with the press.
"Detective Galbraith, is it true that Ashley Davenport was kidnapped in an attempt to stop the Morgan Case from going forward?" A reporter from Channel 15 shouted over the crowd.
Connor grimaced as he raised his hands to silence the flow of questions. Damn. His breath caught at the sharp pain slicing through his side. They came too damn close to getting him this time.
He cleared his throat. "The Department has no official comment at this time. Chief Mitchell will have a press conference at two."
"But isn't it true one suspect and a police officer lost their lives in the rescue operation?"
He hoped to hell Harry didn’t die.
"I can't confirm or deny that report." Jeez, he could hardly wait for this sound bite to be played over and over ad nauseam all day long.
"Isn't there one suspect still at large?"
"Were the two bodies found yesterday connected to this case?"
"Sorry boys, you'll have to wait for the official press conference."
A groan came up from the crowd. As the reporters talked among themselves, Connor slipped through the crowd. He had to find Simone. Relief poured over him when he saw the delicate woman perched on the edge of a flower shop windowsill part way down the block. At least she hadn't fled. Although part of him wished she would, because he had no idea what the hell to do with her.
The connection he felt to her unnerved him. She and her eccentric aunt appeared out of the blue in his women's Tae Kwon do class. She claimed to have no previous training, yet, she followed his moves perfectly. They shadow fought as though they were of one mind. Then she disappeared as soon class ended. He tried in vain to find her. Then like magic, she showed up last night at the police station, claiming to know where Ashley Davenport was being held.
He didn't believe in such things as visions, but his partner, <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:place w:st="on">Trent</ST1:place></st1:City> and back-up, Harry wouldn't let him dismiss her so easily. With no other good leads, he let Simone ride with him as she told him where to go. It bothered him that she knew so much about the kidnapper's plans. Now that the danger had cooled, he planned to interrogate her further.
She stood as he walked towards her, hands in the pockets of a floral dress. She had on white sandals and he tried unsuccessfully not to look at her glittery pink painted toes. Nail polish was the last thing he usually noticed, but Simone's feet were too sexy. He had never known anyone who wore a gold toe ring and ankle bracelet. Especially not someone who seemed as bookish as Simone Spencer.
Enough. He forced his gaze to meet hers.
At a little over five feet, Simone had to look up at him, since he towered over her at six three. Her rich burnished red hair was cut in a flattering way that framed her oval face. She had a sultry, yet pixyish aura that kept him guessing.
"I was right about all of it, wasn't I?" Her soft inquiry tugged at his cold, hardened heart. In her deep blue gaze, he could read the anguish and fear. Eyes that usually reminded him of calm blue water were turbulent today.
Damn. He had to keep his feelings out of this. She was a suspect, or at best, an accomplice.
Simone closed her eyes, shuddering. "I saw death."
"One of the kidnappers was killed. Harry from my team was seriously wounded." He searched her gaze for shock, but saw only quiet resignation. How could she know exactly what happened?
"Do you think Harry will be okay?"
"You tell me. You're the psychic."
<O:p></O:p>

Karenne
July 25th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Thanks Karen and Karenne for giving us a chance to do this. :)

Hi JJ!

So glad you are here!:yes:

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 04:41 PM
http://www.lindenbayromance.com/big_img/product_124.jpg

Prologue<O:p></O:p>
<O:p

“Tatiana, my darling, you’re looking pale.”<O:p

Tatiana froze with her key in the lock of her apartment door. She stood immobile as she watched her worst nightmare emerge from the shadows.
</O:p
“There are cops right downstairs, you’re a fool to be here tonight.”
Breathless, she struggled to keep her head together.
<O:p</O:p
“But, beloved, it’s our tenth anniversary. I had to see you.” Her blood chilled at his words. Ten years. Ten years was long enough. She would end this tonight.
<O:p</O:p
“Is it? I’d forgotten.” She sounded indifferent to her own ears. Good, she couldn’t let him know how his appearance had shaken her.<O:p></O:p>

“Tatiana!” Bill...damn! She hoped she had enough time to push this madman over the edge before Bill could make it up the stairs.<O:p></O:p>

“Don’t pretend you don’t remember what I did to you—how it felt—how I altered your entire life. Don’t pretend...”<O:p></O:p>

With effort, she managed not to shake as she turned to him and looked into his eyes. “Only one man’s touch has ever affected me. It’s his touch I think about every day, not yours.”<O:p></O:p>

“You’ll die with my touch on your body and on your mind!” he roared, grabbing her by the back of the neck. “My touch, darling,” he snarled, his voice like broken glass.<O:p></O:p>

She heard Bill’s shouting and the sound of feet pounding up the stairs as if from far away. “A little caress then, my precious, until later,” he purred into her ear.<O:p></O:p>

Pain exploded in her as he slammed her head into the wall and flung her backwards toward the stairs. As she began to lose consciousness, she knew that Bill had caught her and that her tormentor had escaped.<O:p></O:p>

<O:p

Chapter One
<O:p</O:p
Startled from a sound sleep, Von Branigan sat up in his cold and lonely bed. Angel? She’s not here. She’s long gone.<O:p></O:p>

What had awakened him? Oh, the phone. The phone was ringing. He glanced at the clock, reaching for the telephone. Good news never comes at two in the morning.<O:p></O:p>

“Yeah?” he grunted.<O:p></O:p>

“This is Detective Bill Lester of the <ST1:place><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City>Yonkers</st1:City>, <st1:State>New York</st1:State></ST1:place>, police department.”<O:p></O:p>

Von sat up, disoriented but coming awake. “How can I help you, Detective?”<O:p></O:p>

“Sir, is anyone at this number acquainted with Miss Tatiana Branigan?”<O:p></O:p>

“Yes,” his answer was clipped; he was now fully alert.<O:p></O:p>

“I need a friend or family member to come here to the station, please. I’ll be here till ten in the morning. You need the address?” Von grunted negatively. “Thank you,

Sir.” With that, the detective hung up.<O:p></O:p>
<O:p
></O:p>
Later:
<O:p></O:p>

Von told the sergeant at the desk that he’d received a phone call from a Detective Lester. The sergeant showed him to a small room and said he’d let the detective know he was there.<O:p></O:p>

Trying not to think the worst, Von settled in a chair and waited. After he had been sitting for a few minutes, a large man came in.<O:p></O:p>

“Detective Bill Lester, sir.” A beefy, forty-something giant with a ruddy complexion, and a shock of red-blonde hair stepped in front of him with his hand out. He looked like a bar fight waiting to happen.<O:p></O:p>

“Von Branigan.” Von replied, shaking the man’s hand. “Look, what’s...<O:p></O:p>
The large man handed Von a Polaroid. The photo showed a thin, frail, young woman laying on a black surface. Her features were pale, her eyes were closed, and blood could be seen around a wound at her temple.<O:p></O:p>

“Can you identify that person, Mr. Branigan?”<O:p></O:p>

Von nodded, swallowing. “Her name is Tatiana Branigan.”<O:p></O:p>

Detective Lester stood. “Wait here, please, Mr. Branigan.”<O:p></O:p>

“Is she...” Von began.<O:p></O:p>

“Please wait here, sir.” The detective left the room, leaving the door slightly ajar.<O:p></O:p>

Von’s head was spinning. Had he just identified the body of his wife? Was she dead or alive? I don’t know if I can live in a world that she isn’t living in.
There must be something wrong with me. How can I still care so much after what she did?<O:p></O:p>

As he sat, trying to absorb what had happened so far this night, Von began to notice the quiet of the building. He heard footsteps approaching and began to focus on the voices he could hear nearby.<O:p></O:p>

“Go easy, Jim, it’s been a heck of a night.” Von heard a door open across the hall.<O:p></O:p>

“Bill, it’s bleeding again. I’m gonna check her eyes.” He had to be addressing the detective that Von had just talked with.<O:p></O:p>

“Stop it, Jim. You’re making my headache worse!” Von sat up straight. A voice that sounded seductive even when she was irate. That couldn’t be...<O:p></O:p>

“Tatiana, you need to be in the hospital. I know you have a concussion. You’re not really recovered from the pneumonia.” Jim sounded very agitated.<O:p></O:p>

He called that woman “Tatiana”! My angel is alive!<O:p></O:p>

“You know I’ll refuse further treatment. What are they going to do for me, Jim?” came her soft-voiced reply. “They can’t put my head in a sling.”<O:p></O:p>

“Tati, I’m going to call that number you gave me. You need someone to take care of you now.” That was Bill, the big detective.<O:p></O:p>

“Bill, nobody at that number wants to care for anything besides my remains. Don’t make me sorry I trusted you.”<O:p></O:p>

Is that what she thinks? And why wouldn’t she think that? I made it pretty clear she wouldn’t be welcomed back, didn’t I?<O:p></O:p>

“It’s only a happy accident you’re not sporting a toe-tag right now, dang it!” Von wanted to go in there but something made him listen for a minute longer. He waited for the pain of her betrayal to wash over him but he could only feel elation. He needed to get himself together. She’s alive!<O:p></O:p>

“He could have killed me any time in the last nine years, Bill. He doesn’t want me dead, he wants me to suffer.” Who is she talking about?<O:p></O:p>

“Up until tonight, Tati, I would have agreed. But you tipped the scales, didn’t you?” What is he talking about?<O:p></O:p>

“I don’t know what you mean, Bill...” Von could tell that, clearly, she did too know what he meant. <O:p></O:p>

“Don’t lie to me Tatiana Dmitri Branigan!” the detective barked. They must be pretty close. “He’s been torturing you for the decade or so, hasn’t he? Killing you slowly.” Von moved toward the sound of their voices. “But I heard what you said to him before I got up the stairs. You not only asked him to kill you, I think you gave him a reason, didn’t you?”<O:p></O:p>

“What number?” That was Jim again, Von guessed. He’d apparently stayed in the room, whether he could help her head injury or not.<O:p></O:p>

She’s even more beautiful than she was ten years ago.<O:p></O:p>
She wore a long-sleeved dress that flowed over her. It was dark green velvet and came to her ankles. Her long black hair waved and curled just above her elbows. Blood trickled from a cut on her temple.<O:p></O:p>

“Please, don’t call that number, Bill.”<O:p></O:p>

“It’s too late, angel.” At the sound of his voice, she grabbed for a nearby table.<O:p></O:p>

“Von,” she whispered. She looked as if she were seeing a ghost.<O:p></O:p>

He moved to stand in front of her and cupped her cheeks. Those eyes. Her big gray eyes nearly took up her face. He caressed her delicate jaw with his thumbs. He let his hands slide down her shoulders until he lightly held her forearms. Her whole body shook.<O:p></O:p>

“I thought you were dead, angel,” he couldn’t look away from her, his voice a hoarse croak.<O:p></O:p>

“I am dead, Von.” Her eyes filled with tears and she closed them whispering, “Go home. Please go home.”<O:p></O:p>

“I can’t angel. I can’t walk away from you.”<O:p></O:p>
<O:p></O:p>

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Hi JJ:

We met at RT. It is nice talking to you again.

Cathy

I remember meeting you! :) Great to "see" you again! :turned:

jjmassa
July 25th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Hi JJ!

So glad you are here!:yes:
I've had a weird and wacky spring/summer. I'm glad to be here! I've missed you! *hug*

I hope I can be around here a little more!

MimiRiser
July 25th, 2007, 05:24 PM
Hi, everyone! I'm Mimi Riser (http://www.mimiriser.com) and, since it's "Contemporary Day," I thought I'd join in by posting an excerpt from ROMEO'S REVENGE, my new contemp. erotic-romance, which will be released from Amber Heat (http://amberheat.com) in early August (very soon, in fact:))... Thanks for letting me share!!

Here's the blurb, first, to set things up:
* Twenty years ago, Giorgio and Angel starred in Romeo and Juliet, and their offstage affair ended almost as tragically as the play's. True, he let his father drive them apart, but the secret "Juliet" took with her when she left has kept them apart. Or so she thinks. How could she guess "Romeo" has a secret, too? What IS she to think when he grabs her from their high school reunion and carries her off to his bed? Certainly not that he wants her back. More likely this is the madman's way of paying her back. Definitely, she's in deep trouble now, about to go straight up in smoke as old passions flare to life. Will she find a way past the past? Or will her heart be broken again while the rest of her fries to a cinder? All she knows is whoever said "revenge is a dish best served cold" never had to deal with the scorching Giorgio Lorenza.

EXCERPT:

"Giorgi! Giorgio Lorenza!"

Angel Madison winced. She did love Tina--they'd been best friends since first grade, and business partners since their twenties--but the woman had a screech that made nails on a chalkboard sound soothing. Even worse, the reason for the screech now headed straight toward them. Scuffed boots crunched through the parking lot's gravel. Long legs strained the fabric of faded jeans with every supple stride. He approached like a panther on the prowl, all rippling muscle, flowing black hair, and hot eyes. Still the rich kid playing rebel without a pause.

Sweat beaded on Angel's skin, but not from the summer sun above.

"Looks good, doesn't he? The Lean Mean Sex Machine." Tina grinned with the words.

Angel fisted her hands at her sides to keep from smacking her. Ha-ha. Yeah, how they used to giggle over that name, but it fit him a heap better now than it had at eighteen. Damn him. Twenty years had passed. He ought to be fat and balding.

He was anything but.

"Giorgi Porgie, puddin' and pie, kissed the girls and made them fry," Tina chanted under her breath.

That did it.

"If you're going to act like an adolescent, I'm leaving. Now. Hell, I didn't want to come to this frigging reunion in the first place. It was your idea." Pivoting on the toe of a high-heeled pink pump, Angel managed two steps toward her Mercedes before being reeled back by the strap of her matching pink purse.

Tina's voice hissed in her ear. "Oh, no you don't, Juliet. Look who's just joined him. Davy the D**khead. If I can face my high school crush, you can damn well stomach a few minutes with Romeo."

"You were never married to Dave." Angel jerked her purse free.

Tina's grip shifted to her wrist. "Sh*t, I never even dated Dave. That was a one-sided infatuation. He just played on my feelings so I'd help him with his homework. Study." She spat out the word like a curse. "That's all we ever did together. But for the record, you weren't married to Giorgio, either."

No, but they'd sure tried, might even have succeeded if they hadn't stopped at that motel to have the honeymoon first--which had given his parents time to track them down and save their precious son's honor. But not soon enough to save hers.

Angel glanced over her shoulder to see the two men closing in on them, Dave with a stupid smile on his face and Giorgio...

His gaze locked on hers and the memories hit like a fist to the gut. Giorgio's mouth on hers...kisses tasting of the wine they'd shared, of young love, of sex... His hands stripping off her clothes...moving hot and eager over her flesh, stirring her desire to match his own... He'd known what he was doing, all right. She'd realized then she wasn't his first.

But he'd been hers.

God help her, it shouldn't hurt so much to see him. This pain should have died years ago. She'd thought it had.

She'd been wrong.
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http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/pics/med_RomeosRevenge.jpg
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Coming soon from Amber Heat (http://amberheat.com)...

MarieNicoleRyan
July 25th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Unlimited budget? Have it made into a Lifetime movie? Oh, that's Nora's budget for sure.

Budget may be one thing, but time is another--ah, unlimited time to write and promote--that's what we all need.

CNicholas
July 25th, 2007, 06:20 PM
If you're into contemporary romantic suspense then Running Scared is the book for you. It just came out in print as well.


Regina from Coffee Time Romance said, “Ripe with tension and suspense, Running Scared reads like a fast-paced romantic suspense with plenty of mystery added.”


In, Running Scared, Julie Marchant travels the world buying gems, mixing with the rich, the famous, and the sinister. Lured to Laos by the promise of fabulous sapphires, she meets Mitch Cartwright - just as the country spirals into civil war. They flee together, but their history, and a murderous secret, means the road to safety is treacherous.
If you’d like to read more about Julie and Mitch please check out the excerpt below.



http://www.caitlynnicholas.com/images/223t.jpg



As she stood watching the lights glisten on the harbour and listening to the waves, a shiver crept up her spine. Julie had the oddest feeling somebody watched her. Turning and rubbing the back of her neck self-consciously, she saw there was no one on the lawn behind her. The only other activity nearby was the frantic clanging and hissing from the kitchen as the staff went into overdrive to prepare dinner for several hundred people.
A strange smell tickled her nose. She frowned, trying to place it. Sort of like men’s aftershave, or perhaps it was the disinfectant they used in the kitchen. Shaking off the feeling and refusing to think about the ghosts said to haunt the fort, she gazed at the thousands of sparkling lights which lit up the shores around the dark harbour. “Beautiful,” she murmured to herself.
“Yes, isn’t it?” A voice sounded from the depths of the shadows only a few meters away. Julie jumped and swore. She stepped back in alarm as a large figure loomed out of the darkness.
“I’m so sorry,” the man said. “Did I startle you?”
The smell of cheap aftershave made her wrinkle her nose in disgust. Confused, she looked up into the most handsome face and the most beautiful dark eyes she’d ever seen.
Instantly all thoughts of strange smells were forgotten. It could’ve been the adrenaline from her fright or the spark of electricity which pulsed through her from his touch, but in an instant, desire began to uncoil in the pit of her stomach. Trapped by his compelling gaze, she felt everything around her fade away and, though it was only for a moment, it lasted an eternity. In the void, her world shifted slightly on its axis.
A crash and a stream of profanities from the kitchen broke the spell. Swiftly recovering her composure, Julie tried to cover her confusion. “No, no,” she said politely. “I was miles away and simply not paying attention.”
“You look like you could use a drink.” The stranger handed her a glass of champagne.
She took it automatically, then, realising she didn’t want it, balanced it on the battlement edge.
“Do you usually lurk in dark corners scaring the pants off people then plying them with alcohol?” she asked, just a little crossly.
“Yes,” said the stranger seriously. “It’s a pastime of mine. I also enjoy dressing up in women’s clothes and stamp collecting.” He flashed a winning smile.
“Um, how nice for you.” Just then Julie wasn’t in the mood for any smartarse men, no matter how witty they might think themselves.
“I was joking,” he clarified.
“Yes, I could see that.” Ignoring his charm, Julie didn’t give him an inch.
“Do you often have problems like that?” he asked.
“Problems like what?”
“Oh, you know, smitten youths, declarations of undying love.” He clutched a hand to his chest and assumed a look of such bucolic adoration that Julie almost smiled despite herself.
“It’s not polite to eavesdrop,” she said, weakening.
“Well, neither is it polite to enact passionate love scenes in the vicinity of those who have determined to spend the evening pursuing their favourite pastime of lurking in shadows,” he pointed out.
“I would’ve thought those who lurk in shadows might well be awaiting such an eventuality,” countered Julie with some asperity.
“I am not that kind of lurker,” the stranger denied with such injured offence that Julie laughed.
“Ah, finally she smiles.” He said it quietly, intently. In a split second, the light mood evaporated and the air between them crackled with awareness once more. Remembering where she was and firmly telling herself she ought to be inside schmoozing clients, not hanging about outside with a self-confessed cross-dressing stamp collector, Julie ended the conversation.
“Please excuse me,” she said, glancing over her shoulder toward the pavilion. “I should be back inside.”
“Just a second,” he said. “Before you go…” He leant toward her, fishing in his pocket. She stiffened in alarm, convinced he was about to kiss her. But instead he drew a large white handkerchief from his pocket and gently wiped it across her chin.
“You had lipstick on your chin,” he said, grinning as he handed the handkerchief to her. Julie glanced at it in dismay, realising the revolting Karl had smudged her lipstick. A warm flush crept up her cheeks as she spun on her heel and hurried to find a mirror.
<o>:p> </o>:p>
If you enjoyed this there's another excerpt on my website (http://www.caitlynnicholas.com).

Take care
Cait!
http://www.caitlynnicholas.com

Anna Fallon
July 25th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Hi all
Wow great excerpts! I don't think my TBR pile will ever recover. I don't think I had thought so much about contemporaries before, I love reading them and I do write them, I always think of me writing paranormal or erotica but the majority are set in todays time. A few exceptions, but mostly.

Here's the beginning of my Story from the Jaded Beasts 3 digest based on the animals of the Chinese zodiac the Snake and the Dragon.....there are 4 stories, two of each animal and four authors in each book. Not all are contemporary, but mine are.


Snakes and Ladders

“We need fifty volunteers. It won’t be pretty, maybe quite dangerous, but we’ll be helping to save a lot of the world’s uniqueflora and fauna. Not to mention human lives. Those who say yes just step up here, and I’ll take your details. If you can’t then that’s okay,
too. We’ll have enough of a time here, being fifty fighters short. So, if any of you, who can’t go, can step up to extra shifts for a week, it would be appreciated.”

Lily did not hesitate one second. India, home to her beloved python, called for world help. Raging wildfires ravaged the lands, and the unique habitats of many species would be destroyed if help didn’t come. Winds fuelled the fires, and every available person in India had
fought it for the past week.

If help didn’t come, India would lose much of the industries in farming and timber, and their water supplies would be soiled. Lily worried mostly about the pythons. Already an endangered species from trophy hunting, snake-skin-boot-wearing poachers, they looked forward to a possible decline in their natural habitat. Who would be thinking of them?

Lily pushed through the throng of co-workers, all talking, milling around and speaking into their cell phones. She needed to call no one. Each and every one of them had valid passports and up-to-date vaccinations for just such an event. Lily’s unit made sure of it. In fact, she’d never felt more ready for anything. “I’m in,” she said to Chief Peters.

“You sure, Lily? It’s going to be pretty rugged over there, along with the threat of wild animals.”

“Chief, put my name down. You know I can handle it. Besides, a change of scenery will be nice.”

“Fine, I will. But, Lily, do me one favor? At least, call your mother, and let her know.”

Chief Peters had been best friends with Lily’s dad, Barry. He always asked about her mother Carmel. The estrangement seemed to worry him. Once upon a time, the family shared a closeness, and the Chief became part of the family life they enjoyed.

“Lily, I know you miss your father. God knows I miss the best friend I ever had. But what hurt just as much is seeing the family unit crumble over petty arguments. It’s not what your father would have wanted. Look, if something happens over there, do you really want to
leave things this way with your mother?”

Lily considered his words for a moment. “I didn’t want her to not speak to me. I love being a Firey…sorry, fire fighter,” Lily apologized, knowing how Chief Peters hated slang terms for their job. She continued, “It’s in my blood. Why can’t my mother understand that? She cannot dictate my life.”

“Lily, listen and, just for a moment, think. Your mother lost the one person in the world she loved beyond recognition. Now she has to worry about her only daughter, as well. Your brother is already off
back-packing around the world. Can’t you see she just can’t handle anymore worry? Even if she won’t budge, at least leave this country knowing you told her you love her.”

Lily knew the chief spoke the truth. Five years, such a long time to go without the family. Throwing herself into the fire fighter training, plus her work at the hospital, kept her busy enough to never have to recall the night her father died. So proud of his little girl, wanting to be just like him, Lily intended to see nothing ever took
away that feeling. She strived for excellence, and she’d achieved it.

Seeing the pleading in the older man’s eyes, Lily conceded the truth. She missed her mother. He was right. She must try to make things right. Not ever sharing a true love with someone, Lily could only imagine how lonely her mom must be. “Yes, I guess I have been a little selfish. I will go see her.”

Chief Peters hugged her. “Lily, I wish your father could be here to see you now. At twenty-five, with a stubborn streak just like him. Give my best to your mom.”

“I will, Chief. Thanks.”

“We fly out first light tomorrow, so meet here at four in the morning and I’ll introduce you to your Chief for the mission. From now on, until you come home, you’ll answer to him.”

“I’ll be here.”

Back in her car now, Lily remembered the raucous laugh of her dad. A big man, he would pick up her mom and swing her around. They’d all laugh at her mom’s false protests.

Her dad bought her a small python as a pet many years ago. Long since dead, the love of a
much misunderstood animal remained steadfast.

Concentrating on her driving as the traffic weaved in and out, Lily finally made her way to the freeway. It took an hour’s cruise-time to get home. A long five years since Lily set foot in her childhood home. Her heart quickened a little in anticipation of all those memories flooding back.

Each time she called her mom to try and work out their disagreements, they’d end up in another argument. Well. I guess I can always try one more time. Lily never wanted to get close to anybody after her dad died in the fire. He saved three kids. Threw the last one
out to Chief Peters just before the burning building collapsed around him. Cited as a hero, a dead hero. Lily considered how the chief must have felt watching his best friend die before his eyes, powerless to help.

Recollection flooded back of her parent’s cuddling on the sofa at night and the looks shared between them. She remembered how her dad followed Joe’s football career and never missed one game as he climbed toward the big leagues. Lily remembered the rowdy sports on
television Dad shared with the Chief on many occasions.

Yes indeed, Lily now recognized her selfishness in all of this. So busy thinking about her loss and how she could get through it, she promptly forgot the pain of the others. The fire fighting, heralded as a way to feel close to her dad, in all honesty, became the way Lily hid
from her pain. Even more so, it helped her hide from the pain of those she loved most. Her brother, Joe, her mom, Chief Peters, all loved and missed her dad, just as much as she did.

Time she grew up and dealt with the loss, get this family back together again. Dad would hate this situation. His family unit, the most important thing of all to him, now lay crumbled. How ironic, this tragic event should draw them closer and not have the opposite effect.

* * * *


“No way! Peters. No way am I taking a woman on this trip. It’s too dangerous. I’ll have enough to worry about without mussed-up hair and chipped nails.”

“Damn it, Hughes, get your head out of your ass and come into the twenty-first century. Anybody would think you’re my age instead of thirty. She’s capable. Her dad was the finest this city has ever seen. And I’m still your Chief.”

“Sorry, Chief. I already have enough to worry about, is all. Women fighters and I don’t get along. I haven’t time to baby sit.”

“Well, you can stop worrying about this one. She’s going, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it, save stay home yourself. We don’t have volunteers crawling from the woodwork. As it is, we only have twenty-five on such short notice. Lily Marchant is one of
our best. If you have a brain in that chauvinistic head of yours, you’d welcome the chance of some intelligent female insight.”

This comment hurt Rob a little. He’d never considered himself a chauvinist. This would be his first position in command. A place he’d coveted since he started in the fire department. This one placement could spell great things for his career and put him into Chief Peter’s
shoes one day.

Rob knew he would worry about a woman more, and that might distract him from the job. It seemed he had no choice. She’ll probably be one of those Amazonian, masculine types, anyway. Rob recently transferred to this unit.

Moved states, from Western Australia to New South Wales, when the position became available in Newcastle he applied. With his background and qualifications, he secured the job. Rob wanted to be chief of the biggest and the best in Sydney eventually. Right here, at this unit in Newcastle, would be a great start and leading the volunteer squad in India could set him up to be chief. Auguring a chance to prove himself in India thrilled him; he didn’t want his soft spot for women to interfere.

His mom raised him to respect women and nurture the female presence in his life. Rob left no time for love interests. His schedule had no room for emotional connections. He didn’t expect any woman to wait around for him to get where he wanted to be. All his spare
time went to the fire fighters. “Okay, guess I have no choice then. I just hope she can do her job
and not get into any trouble.”

“You’ll be left in her wake, boy. Now, let’s get through this checklist. You’ll need some sleep. It’s an early start tomorrow. The Army says they’ll freight everyone in Hercules planes. We have about eighty all up. You’ll be in charge of our group, and called on to monitor the other groups’ placements. Think you can handle that?”
Chief Peters cast him a concentrated glance.

“No problems, Chief.” Rob knew he could, even though a few butterflies fluttered in his stomach. He could handle it. Busying himself with the last of the preparation, Rob felt sure sleep would not be his friend tonight.


Jaded Beasts 3 Buy Link (http://www.midnightshowcase.com/Jadedthree.htm)


http://www.midnightshowcase.com/images/DragonSnake_Ft200.jpg

SanBonaldi
July 25th, 2007, 06:56 PM
http://a614.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/01123/31/60/1123800613_m.jpg

Ben punched the gas pedal and the polished black Mustang shot forward with a vengeance all her own. With the radio blaring strains from Boston's “More Than A Feeling’ and the gravel kicking up under the wheels he hit the pavement with retribution. He’d left Marie standing in the bedroom of their spacious two story Colonial cursing up a blue streak. As she called forth every kind of damnation possible he’d slowly come to realize what he had done. Of course it had been three days too late. He’d give Marie some time to formulate her next plan of action as he knew that she would not go down without a fight. But as far as he was concerned it had been done a long time ago. Tomorrow was another day. He’d carry on just as he had carried on before because it was bred in him to do so.<O:p</O:p
There was no way possible that any woman would ever bring Bennett Brookes to his knees. Not in this lifetime. He gripped the wheel tightly as his foot pressed the accelerator the moment he hit the highway. He would not think of the ways that Jessica had brought him to his knees. He would not recall her beautiful brown eyes. He would not call to mind her luxurious silky chestnut tresses. He would not commit to memory that little hitch in her breath as he had breeched that small barrier of resistance. He would not recollect how drugging her kisses had been. He would not consider how she’d wrapped her legs around him to keep him with her. No. Tonight he would not think of Jessica at all.<O:p</O:p

Dani
July 25th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Sandra, this book sounds great! :whoohoo:

SanBonaldi
July 25th, 2007, 09:31 PM
http://a614.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/01123/31/60/1123800613_m.jpg

Ben punched the gas pedal and the polished black Mustang shot forward with a vengeance all her own. With the radio blaring strains from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Boston</st1:City>’s, “More Than A Feeling’ and the gravel kicking up under the wheels he hit the pavement with retribution. He’d left Marie standing in the bedroom of their spacious two story Colonial cursing up a blue streak. As she called forth every kind of damnation possible he’d slowly come to realize what he had done. Of course it had been three days too late. He’d give Marie some time to formulate her next plan of action as he knew that she would not go down without a fight. But as far as he was concerned it had been done a long time ago. Tomorrow was another day. He’d carry on just as he had carried on before because it was bred in him to do so.<O:p</O:p
There was no way possible that any woman would ever bring Bennett Brookes to his knees. Not in this lifetime. He gripped the wheel tightly as his foot pressed the accelerator the moment he hit the highway. He would not think of the ways that Jessica had brought him to his knees. He would not recall her beautiful brown eyes. He would not call to mind her luxurious silky chestnut tresses. He would not commit to memory that little hitch in her breath as he had breeched that small barrier of resistance. He would not recollect how drugging her kisses had been. He would not consider how she’d wrapped her legs around him to keep him with her. No. Tonight he would not think of Jessica at all.<O:p</O:p

pamelatyner
July 26th, 2007, 12:15 AM
Hello folks!

Just dropping by the share some info about my books :)


http://pamelatyner.com/FindingPassionJPG.jpg


FINDING PASSION
Now available from Whispers Publishing (ebook format only)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: Hot
<O:p</O:p

Nathan Collins is stunned when he’s served with divorce papers...almost as stunned as he’d been three weeks prior when his wife had suddenly asked him to move out of the house. At the time, Susan had proposed a thirty-day separation followed by marriage counseling. Nathan intends to hold her to that agreement.

He moves from stunned to pissed when Susan attempts to use blackmail as a means to obtain his signature on the papers. Damned if he’ll be blackmailed into anything, especially when he’s innocent of the accusations. He’d never cheat on his wife.

When an unexpected storm and a flooded road strand them together for the weekend, neither suspects that it will lead to a discovery of secret desires and fantasy fulfillment. But will their renewed passion be enough to revive their fledgling marriage? Despite Nathan’s vehement denial, Susan has some pretty convincing evidence of his extramarital activities.


http://pamelatyner.com/herprotector.jpg

HER PROTECTOR
Now available from New Concepts Publishing (ebook format only)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: Sensual
<O:p</O:p

After escaping from an abusive relationship and arriving in her hometown of Lexington, Oklahoma, Tricia Stephens needs help in a big way to stay one step ahead of her ex-boyfriend. Fearful of police involvement and flat broke, she's still reluctant to accept help from Clint Owens, a man she had a disastrous and humiliating affair with eight years earlier. His sudden appearance and white-knight-in-shining-armor act doesn't impress her, even if he does have the full support of her friends.

The sight of bruises on Tricia's face is all Clint needs to feel justified in doing whatever is necessary to keep her safe. When she balks at accepting his help, he doesn't hesitate to use force as a method of persuasion. He's determined to protect her, even if she fights him every step of the way.

With each passing day Clint's supportive and caring attitude slowly weakens Tricia's resolve to keep him at a distance. Still, it's imperative she remembers that he's already proven himself to be untrustworthy and capable of betrayal. And she mustn't forget that domineering side of him that had shown itself recently--a side she'd never known existed. It certainly hadn't been in her plan to trade in one controlling man for another.




<O:pYou can read excerpts, reviews, and find links to purchase the books by visiting my website at: http://www.pamelatyner.com/ (http://www.pamelatyner.com/)

</O:p

JudeAZ
July 26th, 2007, 02:02 AM
Hi and thanks for the opportunity to post about our contemporary romances! This one is available thorugh Alinar Publishing at http://www.alinarpublishing.com (http://www.alinarpublishing.com/books.php?title=The%20Wicked%20Waltz) under my pen name of Nia Little.

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u5/JudeAZ/picTWWLarge.jpg

Titled "The Wicked Waltz" it concerns an ignored, unhappy woman surprised with a chance of a lifetime love when the object of her adoration comes to town to film a movie. Unfortunately, he's saddled with a commitment of his own...

Excerpt:
[John Harrison has arrived with his companion, Brigitte DuBois and other actors to film a movie where Maggie Pearce lives unhappily with her husband. A twist of fate and a spilled drink in a nightclub has brought them together once again.]

John watched as the groups got busy moving chairs and tables, purses and drinks. He slipped away, unnoticed.

“Hey man.” The DJ looked up and grinned. “You signing up for the dance-off? Starts in twenty minutes.”

“I beg your pardon, what?”

The DJ chuckled. “Oh ho! Brit boy, huh? Well, tonight’s the ballroom dancing competition. You know—like ‘Dancing With The Stars?’ Valentine’s Day competition, five dances. Waltz, samba, foxtrot, rhumba, and jive. Winners get a weekend package for right here, whenever you want to use it within the year, everything included—two nights in a suite, gourmet dinner, golf, whole day spa with the works. It’s thirty bucks to enter.”

“Uh, no. I’m semi-professional, wouldn’t be fair, then would it? I was only hoping to request a song.” John raised his brows. “Perhaps you could play it before the contest?”

“Gee, buddy, I dunno.” The DJ shrugged, tilting his head—and extended his open palm across the board.

Minutes later, John slid into the seat next to Michael as Maggie returned.

They formed a raucous group. Stories flowed and laughter echoed. The waitress nearly ran bringing drinks. Tom's numerous golf jokes vied with Nick's Irish blarney. Brigitte and GD Barbie hit it off well, comparing shoe designer favorites. Michael had a drinking game going, too, and Husband even seemed to be enjoying himself.

Maggie glanced shyly at John to see him smiling at her with a raised eyebrow. Then she heard the beginning strains of Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose,” and felt her heart leap into her throat.

John turned to Husband. “May I dance with your wife?”

“What?” Husband peered drunkenly across the table. “Yeah, sure, knock yourself out.”

John nodded to Maggie and rose to pull her chair out for her. They didn’t speak. Two couples were bravely waltzing, counting their steps. He followed her through the maze of tables. She looked wonderful in that dress—the way she moved made it swirl around her. Cut with just a hint of cleavage, tantalizing without being risqu&#233;, John decided. She wore a delicate silver necklace, small silver earrings, simple high heeled pumps. Classy, marvelous, elegant.

“I don’t believe you,” Maggie said as they stepped onto the dance floor. “You remembered the song we danced to.”

“Of course I did,” John replied. “I remember everything; think on it all the time. You look absolutely lovely tonight, Maggie, the most beautiful woman here.” He slid his right hand to her waist, took her right hand in his left and looked down into her eyes.

Maggie couldn’t breathe. Admiration and desire blazed from his eyes to ignite in her heart. His cologne teased her nostrils and she felt her breasts respond. She turned her head to gaze demurely along her left elbow held high in proper ballroom stance, grateful he couldn’t see the blatant want that filled her now. His hands were so long that his fingers reached to the small of her back around the top of her hip, and she could feel the heat from his palm through her dress.

They stepped into the dance and reality faded. Swayed and suspended by the music, they became perfect storytellers in a tale of ethereal love. John led her slowly into larger twirls and slides, pausing, bending, leaning at all the right moments in the lyrics for dramatic effect. Maggie trusted him wholeheartedly, surrendered herself into his guiding hands. At the chorus’ crescendo they whirled rapidly, gliding on air above the floor, only to slow and end in a deep backward dip with the last fading note.

They hadn't spoken since they began, yet each had anticipated the other’s moves. They hadn't paid attention to anyone else, hadn’t realized the dance floor had emptied to give them all the room they needed. As the song finished, wild applause startled them both, woke them from their trance, suddenly alert to how watched they’d been.

He started to escort her back to the table as she blushed.

"John, I'm so sorry," she said, "I never meant to put you on display like that."

What a contrast, he thought. "No, no. I’m the one who should apologize," he said. "Your husband—will he be angry?"

"It's just a dance—"

“Is it?” He looked into her eyes as she had to turn toward him to navigate a chair, letting her see that for him it could be more, if she wished.

And oh she wished, he could tell. But—

"It has to be. I’m married. And you aren’t free, either.”

The sadness in her eyes wrenched his insides. “No,” he said, gently squeezing her hand before letting go as they approached the group. Everyone in the club stood applauding.




Hope you enjoy!

LindaAmbrosia
July 26th, 2007, 02:16 AM
Well, they say better late than never! Hello everybody. My name's Linda Ambrosia and I'm a brand new author with her first published book, courtesy of Laveder Isis Press:
http://hometown.aol.com/romanceadventure/images/liberation_banner.jpg (http://www.lavenderisis.com/liberationbuy.html)

I wanted to get in this "contemporary" conversation earlier this morning but my computer wouldn't let me ! I had all kinds of problems, but the one-eyed machine is finally fixed and here I am at last.

My book "Liberation" is listed as a "contemporary," even though it takes place in 1976! In fact, I patterned the novel after romances of the past, the seventies in particular.
http://hometown.aol.com/romanceadventure/images/libcover.jpg (http://www.lavenderisis.com/liberationbuy.html)

To quote the publicity cards my Husband cooked up for it:

"A dashing Arab rescues his girlfriend from her abusive family, in a romance that reads like an adventure novel. Theirs was a love that defied an entire town. Romance fiction hasn't been this much fun since the seventies!"


Whew! That's quite a mouthful there! I have a site where I keep my excerpts ready to be seen, and this link will give you a taste of the book's "fun" atmosphere:
http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewwork.asp?AuthorID=64871

Well, it's been a pleasure and I wish I could have been here earlier for the chat. But I'll make it next time! Anything you good folks want to tell me about the contemporary scene, feel free to do so. Remember I'm a "rookie" in this writing game!~Yours Truly, Linda Ambrosia

Karenne
July 26th, 2007, 10:01 AM
WOW! I have to say that this loop chat in our forums was the most successful yet. I would like to thank each and every author, reader, publisher, and lurker (wink) for coming by and chatting with us!

Have a wonderful week!:tt1:

Cynthianna
July 26th, 2007, 01:05 PM
Hi--I'm in the midst of moving, but I thought I shouldn't let this opportunity go by to tell you about my contemporary romantic fiction The Fixer-Uppers.

http://www.cynthianna.com/images/fixupmr.jpg

The Fixer-Uppers
by Cynthianna Appel
available in print and in e-formats from Moonlit Romance http://www.moonlitromance.com/fixeruppers.html

Can a single mom find happiness on a blind date--or at least dinner with a male who can cut up his own food? Cassie and Mike believe they're "in like" not "in love." But when down-on-his-luck Mike is evicted, Cassie takes him in. Mike starts fixing everything from window screens to broken hearts. Will Cassie let him fix hers?

You can read an excerpt at my web site, too: http://www.cynthianna.com/fixeruppers.html

And coming soon, another contemporary romance--Preachin' to the Choir

Cindy :)

rgraham666
July 26th, 2007, 04:14 PM
Thanks for the opportunity, Karen.