BDSM Backlist - Nothing to Fear

One of the great things about e-books is that they never go out of print. With all the recent mainstream interest in 50 Shades of Grey, I thought this would be a good time to remind readers of the BDSM releases I’ve had over the last few years. Then I realized I really have too many to list in a single post, so I’ve decided do BDSM Backlist once a month for the next few months. It's been fun to go back and remember these stories, re-read the excerpts and think, hey, these are good! :)

My very first release from Ellora’s Cave, Nothing to Fear, has a BDSM theme. This Halloween set Quickie is still one of my most popular. I wish all my stories would come as easily as this one did. Once I had the hero, the heroine and the premise, the story practically wrote itself. Yeah. I really wish they would all flow like that.



Here’s the blurb:

Mason Blake's dark good looks and domineering personality give Kelly Long all sorts of forbidden fantasies that frighten her. When she agrees to help out at the community Halloween haunted house, she never expects to be tied to a bed, playing damsel in distress to Mason’s masked, whip-wielding villain.

Kelly can’t run away from Mason this time. He knows she’s fighting her sexual needs and he hopes that a few hours of playing out her fantasies with him will prove to her that bondage - and Mason - are nothing to fear.


And a little excerpt for you:

“I have to tie you to the bed now,” he said smoothly, picking up the first length of rope. He lifted her right arm and ran his hand along her skin from shoulder to wrist, his fingers causing hot shivers to run in their wake. His fingers easily ringed her wrist. “I have to make it tight enough that it won’t come undone while you’re thrashing about.”

The thought of thrashing about underneath him made a hot flush sweep over her body. She swallowed. “Do what you have to do.”

The rope wasn’t as rough as she thought it would be. He wound the other end around the tall bedpost, and gradually stretched her arm almost straight up and to the side, then tied it off.
“Okay, give it a pull. Will it come loose?”

Kelly yanked with all her might, but it didn’t give a bit. Mason nodded and glanced at his watch.

He grabbed another length of rope and ran his hand down her leg, starting up at her hip, smoothing out the skirt of her dress as he went along. When he reached the bare skin of her calf, she shivered at his touch. He reached her ankle and lifted her leg a bit, looking at the sparkly pumps with the high heels. “Hot.”

She wanted to blurt out that they weren’t her shoes. She’d never owned anything so blatantly sexy. She’d been raised to never draw attention to herself like that. But she couldn’t force any words out of her mouth at the moment. She could only feel his hands on her leg, the rope slowly wrapping around her ankle, the gentle tug as her leg was stretched out and Mason secured it to the bedpost at the bottom of the bed.

He slowly rounded the bottom of the bed. She may have been covered with this cotton dress, but she felt naked as his gaze roamed over her body. He caught her left foot with his hand, lifting it from the mattress and rubbing his hand over the high instep, the arched top. “I love you in these shoes. You never wore shoes like this when you were with me.”

“They’re Lisa’s shoes. I don’t own a pair of shoes like this.”

“I’ll buy you a pair.”

You can download your own copy of Nothing to Fear through the links below and at other e-book sites:

Ellora's Cave
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Have a great Monday!
Natasha
Plaything - Coming May 8th!
www.natashamoore.com
I'm going to post a few pictures of a wonderful vacation spot and see who can guess it. Because I love guessing games. lol And I'm also wishing for warm weather.
Here are a couple members of my family on a jet ski. The last time I went on a jet ski was in a different tropical location. I was riding with my husband, who is a maniac and had to race with one of his friends. I finally jumped off in the Atlantic Ocean and swam to shore. It was preferable.

Pretty idyllic, huh?

But this vacation destination also has its bustling side.
This is one of the views from our hotel. Though we had booked individual rooms, the hotel kindly upgraded us to 2 suites. What a treat! I have to give my husband full credit for that.

And here's the giveaway clue. This is an iconic picture for this particular vacation paradise.



So where are we?

Going Back to Where it all Started...
 I had to write a new author bio this week. I really hate writing these things. I’m never one to really talk about myself. Great listener, bad talker. I struggled through it and ended up with a pretty decent one, or at least I’m telling myself that.
While I pulled my hair out over it, I took a trip down memory lane to sixth grade.
Why this time?
This was the school year I discovered romance. What book was it, you ask?
It was a series actually.
Sweet Valley High.
Anyone else read these?
While Elizabeth and Jessica’s antics were fun to read, it was Elizabeth and Todd’s off-again, on-again relationship that kept me coming back for more.
I had no idea that getting into these books would become the first stepping stones to one day writing romance novels.
Thinking about this series for the first time in years, had me thinking about other things that brought a smile to my face and made me chuckle.
The biggest one was hiding my romance novels from my dad, who was anti-anti romance. Under my pillow, under my mattress, wherever I thought he wouldn’t find them.
Unfortunately, I sucked at hiding them or he was a genius at sniffing them out. He found them almost every time. It was like a game. Can I finish this book without my dad finding it? I remember reading in front of a window and as soon as his car pulled into the driveway, I’d race to my room and shove the book it under something.
Then there was my mom, a woman who devoured romance as much as I did and feed my romance addiction. Secretly, mind you. When my dad found them, she never knew anything about them and had NO idea how in the world I kept getting them. Thanks Mom. But I never ratted her out in fear that she’d stop slipping me new books.
Then there was my classmate who sat next to me in 10th grade math. Before the bell rang each day, she’d snatch my book off my desk and then flip to the sex scenes. She teased me mercilessly over heaving bosom, and all the other purple prose that was included in the early 90’s romances, especially where pirates were concerned.
What started it all for you?
Esme
Guest: Babette James - Clear as Day



Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.


Q: Welcome, Babette! Please tell us about your new release. Do you have a review you could share with us?
A: Clear As Day is my debut from The Wild Rose Press and just released on April 4. It’s a contemporary romance about two friends “with benefits” facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship. I loved writing Clear As Day, it’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story published is a dream come true. I hope you enjoy their journey to love as much as I have.
Blurb:
What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?

Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.

The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.

I’m delighted to share the 4 1/2 star Scorcher review Clear As Day received from RT Book Reviews in their May 2012 issue:
“Though very sensual, this is still a sweet romance. The heroine must come to terms with her unhappy family life and accept that her choices can be the right ones for a future built on love, with an outcome of peace and contentment.
Kay Browning is disappointed when she learns that none of her friends will be able to join her on their annual camping vacation. She will especially miss Nate Quinn and the sexual encounters they’ve shared for two weeks each summer for the past six years. She’s very surprised when Nate shows up and tells her the gang’s all at another campsite to surprise her. She’s shocked when Nate produces a ring and tells her he wants to make their association a permanent year-round affair. But Kay likes the fact that they are just friends with benefits. She has an unacknowledged past that has her running scared from any type of committed relationship. Can Nate convince her that the future is hers to choose?” ~Susan Mobley

Q: That's an awesome review! Congratulations! Why do you write romance?
A: I write romance because that is the kind of story I enjoy reading and I want that guarantee of a happy ending.
Q: I know what you mean. I need a happy ending. :) Why did you choose your setting and why was it perfect for your book?
A: The book grew out of the setting. When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places. Clear As Day began as a short story years back when I was in college, an exercise featuring the July desert heat and cool waters of Lake Mohave, a reservoir downstream from the Hoover Dam formed out of stretch of the Colorado River by the Davis Dam. My cover shows a glimpse of the shoreline. It’s a starkly beautiful location and lets you feel you’ve gone somewhere completely remote even though it’s accessible in only a little over an hour from Las Vegas.
Q: It sounds like a fantastic setting. How did it impact your plot or characters?
A: My hero, Nate, and his friends go backcountry camping at Lake Mohave every July to get away from it all for two weeks of friends, fun, fast boats and fishing. My heroine, Kay, specializes in desert landscape paintings and she has been taking trips to Lake Mohave nearly all her life. For Kay, the desert is familiar, safe, and provides inspiration for her art. However, Lake Mohave stirs memories, good and bad, and has her conflicted between the pain of her past and her desire to be with Nate and their friends. Their camping site is only accessible by boat, keeping everyone in the group in close quarters, privacy isn’t easy to find (a challenge for more intimate scenes!), not everyone enjoys rough camping or the heat, and several of my characters discover that getting away from it all doesn’t guarantee their troubles stay at home.
Q: Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: The title Clear As Day came from a bit of dialogue in the story by one of Kay’s friends. The story had a working title that I wasn’t completely settled with, and that phrase just struck me one day as perfect for the story. I was delighted that The Wild Rose Press let me keep the title.
Q: Interesting! Which element of story creation is your favorite?
A: Characters. I love seeing them emerge and reveal their stories. I’m a pantser, so it also can be frustrating as they send the story off on in a dozen unexpected directions. Creating characters is like making new friends and rediscovering old friends—always full of surprises.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: Keeping the conflict between Nate and Kay from resolving too easily into happily ever after was a challenge. They were already friends and lovers and, as Nate assumed, pretty much in a committed relationship. But, as I explored Kay’s and Nate’s backstories, as well as their friends’ lives, and how this group of friends intersected and affected one another, their simple friends-with-benefits relationship proved not so simple. Despite those years of close friendship, Kay and Nate painfully discover just how much they didn’t know about each other and had assumed. They needed to learn to really talk and listen to one another, take risks, and truly trust, if their friendship was to survive and love they’d always shared have a future.
Q: I love discovering characters' hidden depths. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
A: I’ve always loved writing and making up stories and I always wanted to be an author. I remember carting home armloads of books from the library, loving all the different stories and worlds and I wanted to write the stories I imagined, too. I remember playing out complex tales with my dolls and studiously writing out pieces of stories in spiral-bound notebooks and on backs of school papers.
Q: Can you share with us “the call” story?
A: What was I doing when I got the news? Well, that day last August, at a little after 5 a.m., I sat down to my computer with my cup of coffee, Pookie the cat curled up in my lap, and I opened my email. Just another ordinary Friday morning. And there it was, at top of the inbox. The email from The Wild Rose Press. Good thing I had already swallowed my mouthful of coffee. I had to read the preview twice: “Congratulations! I’m very happy to offer you a contract…” The magic words. And, yes, I cried. And everyone I was bubbling over to tell was still asleep or off-line. My husband works crazy hours, so I was trying not to wake him. Thank goodness for Twitter, and I found my friend, Kim, was in chat already, so I could share before I burst.
Q: That's so inspiring! Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: Never give up on your dreams and keep on writing. Clear As Day started life years ago as that “story under the bed you love but can’t do anything with.” There were many times I felt like giving up, but I kept on writing new stories. Then, the day came I finally knew what to do with Clear As Day and how to really write Nate and Kay’s story. Because I didn’t give up, now I can share this story I love.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: As Clear As Day expanded into novel length, I needed to explore their friends’ lives, and additionally, ask what happened next to all of them, after Kay and Nate reached their point of happily ever after. I found that the story of Kay and Nate and their friends had not ended, but had more still to tell. I’m currently hard at work to finish and submit the sequel, tentatively titled Love Burns. I love this new couple, who are two of Nate and Kay’s friends, and I have enjoyed seeing their story come to life as they work through their personal trials and find their own happily ever after together. And other friends will be joining Kay and Nate in falling in love at the river.
Thanks so much for letting me visit here today!
Come fall in love at the river.
Excerpt from Clear As Day:
With a splash, she erased the frustrating daydream. This wishful imagining fixed nothing. Her sheltered little camp would still be empty. Should she give in, pack up the camp, and hit the road north to Lake Mead instead? Just break her routine for once.
No, but it was definitely past time to get her tush out of the water and do something constructive. This lonely gnawing in her bones and brain was unacceptable. Kay pushed to her feet, facing out to the scenic lake created out of a stretch of the Colorado River and the rugged land beyond shimmering with heat.
Work, right, but it was too early in the day for the hard afternoon light she needed for the Coyote Point painting. She was too restless to read or fish and not in the mood to take the boat over to the marina, chat with George, and buy ice.
She rolled her shoulders and stretched, enjoying the hot air licking over her wet skin. As she wiggled her feet in the sand and gravel-bottomed shallows, a flurry of minnows darted past her ankles, and her silver toe ring glinted beneath the clear water. She paused, caught by the possibilities in the sparkling sun on water and the intricate, shifting reflections over gravel.
Yes! Exactly the distracting challenge she needed. Shaking the water from her ears, she pivoted toward camp.
“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.
“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.
Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.
Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…
She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.
Nate.
She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.
Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—
“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.
“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?
The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.
Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.
Wow. Whoa.
---
Find Clear as day at:
Thanks so much for being our guest today, Babette! Everyone, please visit Babette online:


Writing Romance, Meeting Great Friends, and a Gift Card Giveaway!

Thanks to my good friend Natasha Moore for having me on Fierce Romance Author Blog today. I am so excited to announce my debut book, Random Acts, will be released tomorrow by Samhain Publishing. And I owe Natasha a huge mwah for that. Let me give you some background. See, I met Natasha some years ago at our local RWA chapter meeting and we became friends. Natasha had success much sooner than I and I hear she just signed her twentieth contract. Twenty! Wow! Congratulations, Natasha!

Over the years, we’d often brainstorm ideas and she’d graciously read my manuscripts when I needed an objective eye. I write romantic suspense and Natasha was always quick to remind me not to forget the romance. I had a knack for getting caught up in plotting the suspense and forgetting the hero and heroine hadn’t been together in oh, say five chapters. :) So, I’d tweak the manuscript, making sure to keep the romance front and center even while the villain lurked in the shadows.

Last summer when I was at a crossroads with my current manuscript, Natasha recommended I submit it to Samhain. My first reaction: “Uh, Random Acts doesn’t have any S-E-X in it. Remember?” I write sweet romances. I knew Natasha wrote smokin’ hot romances for Samhain. After she pointed out that Samhain also published sweet romances—and two were on the bestseller list that very week—I contacted my agent and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since then I have sold two romantic suspense novels to Samhain. Both are considered “sweet” on the heat level. I am thrilled that the initial reviews for Random Acts are positive.

This romance with a slightly inspirational flavor is recommended for readers who are looking for a sweet, “clean” romance that still packs an emotional punch. The suspense angle works, too. This reviewer caught the red-herring but didn’t uncover the real perpetrator until the very end. Well done, Stone. ~ From Library Journal

Built with elements of suspense, emotion, a little bit of inspiration, and characters that are well worth reading about, Ms. Stone creates a heartwarming and intriguing tale in Random Acts. The pacing flows great, there's not a moment that's dull, and I was left guessing until the very end. ~Long and Short Reviews

The beautiful thing about romance is the vast selection of subgenres: from romantic suspense to paranormal, from sweet to hot and everything in between. A wonderful thing about my path to publication has been the friends I’ve made along the way. Here’s a big kiss kiss to my good friend, Natasha. Thanks for the hot tip! I probably owe you lunch or something. :)

If you’re in the mood for a little something sweet, check out Random Acts. Tomorrow is the big release day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favorite type of romance. Or perhaps you like to mix it up and read in different genres. One lucky commenter will win a $5 gift card to Samhain Publishing. (Winner will be selected from all comments made prior to midnight EST April 27, 2012.) Be sure to leave your e-mail in the comment section so I can contact you if you win.

Author Bio:
Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison sold two manuscripts that will be released in 2012. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Random Acts is her debut novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit www.AlisonStone.com.


Blurb of Random Acts (available April 24, 2012):

Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.

As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.

A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.

Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.

Random Acts available at:

Samhain Publishing
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Don't Ask...
What I love about writing romance is that I get to learn about the male species, and this can be quite enlightening. To be able to write a convincing male hero, I've had to have a number of conversations with men of all types, from singles to married to really, really married (like for 50 years or so). They've come from all walks of life, all ages, different cultures, etc. It doesn't seem to matter, though, their insights always amaze and--most of the time--delight me.

I've also learned quite a bit just from cohabitating with my hubby, including which questions to ask and which to withhold if I want to avoid a heated discussion about, literally, nothing at all.

We all have these relationship questions, those seemingly innocent inquiries to which we already know the answer but can't resist asking anyway. Don't know what I'm talking about? Let me give a couple of examples:

1. What do you want for dinner?
This questions is ALWAYS useless. We have this discussion endlessly, and it always turns out with a tie or default, however you wish to view it. Neither of us wants to foist our dinner menu choices on the other, for some unknown reason, and so this question usually starts a dialogue that can end only one way--with the IChoose app on my cell phone. Seriously, we've discussed dinner options for hours until I pull out the app and Hubby realizes that control has been taken away from both of us. Relinquishing control is not something he enjoys (writers take note of this very male trait), but he lets me whip out my cell phone in the spirit of cooperation. Ultimately, no matter what pops up as our selection, he chooses what he wanted in the first place or has me pressing buttons until we've played the best two out of three. Sometimes I wonder exactly how many relationships this app has saved. lol

2. How does this dress look on me?
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking a woman shouldn't ask this because the man will say something about her butt looking big, and animosity ensues. In truth, that's the least of my worries. I avoid asking how clothing looks on me because my dear spouse will inevitably say it something like, "Great! I like that blue on you." Which is very complimentary, except the color I'm wearing isn't blue. It's green. Not even sea green or greenish blue, but G-R-E-E-N like bad lunchmeat. However, Hubby, who is not colorblind, sees blue. He insists it's blue, too, even when I try to explain to him the subtle differences between, say, what color a turtle is and the color of the sky. Apparently, to him they're all the same. This goes for orange, red, and pink as well. I could be wearing a daring fuchsia dress that garners the attention of everyone at the King's ball, and Hubby, instead of acknowledging my bold choice and the social implications thereof, reduces its significance by labeling it red. Plain old red. Jeesh.

The outside colors, as I like to call them, are yellow and purple. Yellow falls under the orange category, while purple is a sub-color of red, although depending on which day of the week it is, the grape-y hue might qualify as a blue. Can you see my dilemma? How does a wife trust the judgement of a man to tell her how big her butt looks in a pair of pants if he can't even figure out that the pants are a fine shade of chartreuse?

Those are just two questions, and there's many more. However, I'd like to hear from our readers. What question do you know to never ask you significant other? Please do share!

Happy Reading,
Cameo
Romantic Times review for My Fierce Highlander!
I was thrilled to get this review today from RT Book Reviews! It's in the June issue.

My Fierce Highlander
Vonda Sinclair
4 stars  HOT
Setting: 1600s Scotland

The mystical 1600s are the perfect backdrop for this hot and heavy historical romance. The romance between Gwyneth and Alasdair is absolutely believable and gets the heart racing from the moment they meet. Sinclair has done a wonderful job of crafting a truly interesting plot.
SUMMARY: Healer Gwyneth only wants peace. She longs to leave the Highlands before her son is old enough to fight for the evil Donald MacIrwin. After a skirmish, Gwyneth cares for the laird of the MacGrath clan — a family that has had a 200-year-old feud with the MacIrwins. As the tides turn, and Gwyneth must flee with her son to save their lives, she’s taken in by Alasdair MacGrath, the man whose life she saved. She receives his protection and works to bring her son to freedom before it’s too late. vondasinclair.com
Amy Lignor

My Fierce Highlander - ebook - print
Also available for Nook, Apple, etc.
Lewiston - A Wee Scottish Village
Today I wanted to share a place in Scotland that we visited which isn't a famous tourist attraction. It's off the beaten track, but still not too far from Loch Ness. I love small Scottish villages. They are so peaceful and beautiful. They make me feel I've traveled to an alternate time and place because the houses and buildings are generally historical. And the whole atmosphere is very different from the US and it's very refreshing.
Columbine outside our hotel room
Wikipedia says this: Lewiston is a small linear village, situated less than 1 mile southeast of Drumnadrochit, in Inverness-shire, Scottish Highlands and is in the Scottishcouncil area of Highland.

Not much info but it tells you the shape of the village and it's location. Hopefully these photos will provide you with a virtual visit.


My husband and I were traveling between Argyll and Dunrobin Castle. We'd stopped at Urquhart Castle earlier in the day. We only spent one night in Lewiston but wish it had been longer. We fell in love with the place. When we arrived that evening, we took a walk along this very long, linear street (mentioned above) but I don't think we reached the end of it. We thought it might rain, so we headed back. We didn't want to get too far away from the hotel without an umbrella. Since it was late May, full dark didn't come until really late, around 11 pm.
A beautiful wood carving we saw on our walk through the village.
The temperature and weather here was actually very nice. No harsh winds and driving rain. It seems to be a protected location between mountains.
Another view of the street that runs through the village. Some of these houses are B&Bs.

We loved staying at the Loch Ness Inn. Wish I was there now!
Just before dark, we watched small Roe deer playing on the hillside from the window in our room. Since it was gloaming (dusk) my photos of the deer were too dark and blurry to be useful. We went outside to see if we could find more deer or get closer to them. No luck.
Our room was on the top floor. You can see the window above the closed umbrella. It had some gorgeous views of the gardens and hills. It was a very cozy, clean and wonderful room. We wish we could've stayed more than one night.
A golden chain tree in the gardens. In the background, you can see the hills and fields where we watched the Roe deer. We also took a walk along the country road which runs between the trees in the middle of the photo and the fields above them.

Golden chain tree

A stream runs between the inn's gardens and the country road. We loved the natural beauty all around us.

Do you enjoy walks through small towns and/or nature walks? I hope you liked this virtual visit to Lewiston, Scotland.

Thanks!!
Vonda
www.vondasinclair.com

Gwyneth Carswell, an English lady banished by her father to the harsh Scottish Highlands, wants nothing more than to take her young son away from the violence of two fighting clans--her own distant kin, the MacIrwins, and their enemies, the MacGraths. She risks everything to rescue the fierce MacGrath warrior from the battlefield where he’s left for dead by her clan. She only knows she is inexplicably drawn to him and he wants peace as she does. When her clan learns of her betrayal, they seek vengeance. Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family?

Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins. But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her--give up her son or the man she loves.

First Review for Plaything

Plaything, the 4th story in the Paolo's Playhouse series, will be released May 8th. Less than a month away! It's available for pre-order at Amazon & Barnes&Noble, and at the Samhain site it's even on sale for only $1.75!

I'm excited to bring Paolo's story to readers. He's the hero who started the whole series in my mind and, in my opinion, one of the sexiest heroes I've ever written. The first review is in, from Stacey at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews! It says in part:

"... Plaything is an enjoyable and quick story that delves into a very successful woman ready to take a chance on her desires."

You can read the full review here.

All the stories in the series are short for a reason. I wanted to show a couple at a crossroads and how, by living out their sexual fantasy at the playhouse, their lives are changed forever. I've loved these stories and the characters who all came alive for me. I'm sorry to see the series end, but I suppose it's always possible that later on there might be other couples who need playhouse therapy!

But even more possible, and pretty darn probable, there will be a longer book telling the rest of Paolo's and Julianne's story. I'm looking forward to delving into their lives as they fall in love while they struggle to make their life together work.

Natasha
Plaything - Coming May 8th
Birthday Girl
Risk It
Flaunt It
www.natashamoore.com
Spring Break. YAY!...Not.

This week is spring break. I hate to admit it, but I’m going to, I don’t like it when my kids are out of school. It really messes up my entire schedule. I try my best to do all my writing when they’re gone. It makes everything easier. They get my undivided attention when they’re home and I get six hours of uninterrupted writing time everyday. It’s a great compromise for us.

We’re on day three of spring break and I’m already dreading summer. Dreading it. For those that don’t know my living situation, I live with a friend of mine, who has three kids of her own. Between my two and her three, we have five kids running amuck in this house between the ages of seven and twelve.

Can you say freaking noisy?

I’m in the middle of writing my second MMA book that is contracted. This actually puts a new stress on me. Hell, a new worry. I haven’t written a word since all the kidlets got out of school. Yes, I know it’s only been three days, but it’s got me stressed out. They get out of school in eight weeks for TEN weeks. TEN WEEKS.

I sat them all down yesterday to try and explain things to them. Why things will be different this summer than it was last summer. But they’re kids, I don’t think they grasped the importance of just watching a movie for a couple of hours instead screaming. (Man, when all five of them are together they do that ALL. DAY. LONG.)

When it's just my two, I really don't have an issue, but when they have friends to play with it's a whole different ballgame. The noise level reaches maddening, and its been at maddening all week.

I wish I could toss their little butts outside but that’s not an option. We live on the intersection of two busy streets with no fenced yard. So going outside is counterproductive even when I’m out there with them. I’m more focused on where they are in the yard, keeping count that I see all five of them at the same time, than I am on my laptop.

So the question of the day: Writers with large families. How in the hell do you do it?

Thanks for letting me vent.

Esme

Guest: Camryn Rhys - Airship Seduction
Camryn's new release is Airship Seduction:


Sacha Camomescro, an Empath demon with an airship, is rescuing refugees from Victorian Europe’s war on magic when she meets a man unlike any other. Javier Vargas is a lone alpha werewolf, his pack nearly decimated by assassins, his appetite for justice superseded only by his desire for her.
But Sacha’s gift is also her curse. While reading minds is helpful in eluding the assassins sent by Europe for Progress, it cripples her ability to trust men, and enjoy sex, for she can always see the fantasies men have when they’re with her. But Javier has a single-minded focus when it comes to his pursuit, and he wants her.
Just when it seems she can trust him, Sacha’s crew starts getting picked off mid-flight, and it seems there’s a rabid animal at fault. Javier and his lone remaining pack member fall under suspicion, and in the hysteria, Sacha begins to lose control of her mission. Blindsided by passion, she must decide if she can trust the one man who wants her just as she is.
Q: Welcome Camryn! Please tell us more about your new book.
A: My latest release is called Airship Seduction. It came out in the end of March from Ellora’s Cave and the Twilight line. It’s a Steampunk Paranormal Erotic romance. Basically, the concept of the book came about when I thought, “I wonder what would happen if Victorian Europe had a magical Holocaust.” And the whole series was born from that. Sacha’s whole job in the first book is to fly her airship from country to country and rescue magical refugees. I love her.
Q: Wow this sounds fascinating! How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?
A: Because the book is set mostly on an airship, it affected the way the characters could interact. And because the layout of the ship was so important to me, and the way Sacha’s quarters were more inaccessible, it was a very interesting preparation process to write this book. Lots of drawing, and I suck at drawing!
Q: Why did you choose your setting and why was it perfect for your book?
A: The close quarters made the seduction possible, really. Because Javier was essentially isolated, and Sacha had self-isolated because of her powers, the two of them had a lot in common from the start. Plus, it provided them a lot of… privacy, let’s say… to explore their relationship. ;)
Q: Which of your characters is most like you? Least like you? And why?
A: My boyfriend would say that Sacha practically is me, in some ways. We’ve had several conversations about how similarly she and I look at relationships, and how we trust and allow people into our lives. But in every way I am Sacha, he is Javier. Thankfully.
Q: That's so interesting! How do you choose names for your characters?
A: Actually, for this book, I held a naming contest on my blog, where I gave away a tin of Walker’s shortbread cookies to a commenter, just to lure people in. J Javier and Raul were the top contenders, and I really was rooting for Raul, but Javier was chosen. So I ended up naming another character Raul, and he became my favorite.
Q: That's an innovative idea. Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: Actually, Raul (the bad guy) is my favorite character. He just has such an overbearing personality and puts on this big show about being an alpha male, but he’s really hiding a lot of fear about his wife and son who are being held hostage by the Empire. So he’s got this whole side that you don’t really see in the book, until the end. But I know it’s there the whole time and I find myself laughing at him, because he tries so hard to cover up any sign that he cares about anything, when really, he cares more about his son than anything else in the world. I love him, and I can’t wait to see what happens later in the series, if he’s part of it.
Q: I'm hoping he is a villain who could turn into a hero. :) What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
A: I wish I had known that you should really focus your career. Right now, I have five series worth of books in the air, and I can’t start any new projects until those are finished. It’s going to take me years to get through all the writing, and while I love it, it makes my time really precious. I definitely would have decided differently a year ago if I’d known where I would be today, I think.
Q: That's a lot of series! Would you like to ask readers a question?
A: Definitely! As a reader (whether you’re an author or not), do you prefer to have an author write in just one genre? Or do you want to see them write in lots of different sub-genres? Does it bother you when you hear an author has a book out, but it’s not one you’d necessarily read?
Good question. Would you like to tell readers about your amazing giveaway?
I have a huge release party giveaway, where every comment on this post enters you to win an e-reader and two different packages of reading materials. Some of my books will be in the packages, along with some other writers you might know. Check out my website for more information!
Thanks so much for having me! I do love to guest on Fierce Romance!
Thanks so much for being our guest! We love it when you visit! Everyone, remember to leave a comment along with your email address. Find Camryn on the web:

Sharing My Joy!
My daughter and her husband have been married for nearly five years. And have been struggling with infertility for most of that time. It's been heartbreaking watching them wait month after month, go through tests and procedures, have their hopes raised and then dashed. So many of their friends are having babies, and while they celebrate with their friends...it's been very hard for them.

And as a mom, it's been especially difficult to watch my child go through this, wishing there was something I could do for her. Knowing that all I can do is be there for her, to hold her when she cries and try to boost her spirits. To listen and share her hopes and disappointments.

I just wanted to give you a little background so you will know how truly joyful is was when our daughter asked us on Friday, "Are you ready to be grandparents???" OMG! The second IUI procedure that they thought didn't work?? Surprise! She only took the pregnancy test because she was feeling so lousy she wanted to rule it out before she went to the doctor to see what was wrong. She's so happy and she's feeling like crap! LOL Morning sickness all day long. Poor thing. Doesn't it figure?


So there will be a new baby before Christmas. I think I better increase my Christmas shopping budget. I have a feeling I just might go overboard this year!

Natasha
www.natashamoore.com
In Need of Inspiration
So I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’m 20k into my new WIP and I still don’t have an image for the background on my laptop for inspiration. That NEVER happens. When I was writing the first book in my MMA series almost three and half years ago, George St. Pierre greeted me every morning.

Who wouldn’t want to open their computer to that every morning?

When I was writing Defying Convention, Luke was none other than:

Yes, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. I love Wolverine.

When I was writing my paranormal that I have yet to send out into the world, McArmy was a perfect model for my Aidan.

I have a major soft spot for a red-head.

And the second book in that paranormal series already has a super inspiring muse.

Thor, anyone?

My background is lonely. It’s so sad to have 20k written in this story without an inspiring picture to look at each morning. So here’s a bit about Tommy ‘Lightning’ Sparks, my next MMA fighter. He’s tall, muscular and...blonde. I don't write very many blondes. Nothing against them, I just happen to be a more dark-haired, light eyes sort of girl. Maybe this is why I'm having a hard time finding the right image.

So I’ve done some searching for the perfect Tommy tonight. Here's what I've come up with.

There is always one of the most popular blondes out there:

Then I came across Josh Lucas. He's got gorgeous eyes. Just freaking gorgeous.

And, I can’t forget Ryan Reynolds. (After this picture, I think I’ve made my decision:)) Umm... hello!!

What’s your vote?

Esme

A Spring Garden
Spring has come early to most of the country. I thought I would share some photos of flowers from my garden.
Ajuga and ivy groundcovers (and a spider.)

Primrose


Lenten Rose from earlier in the spring

Bluebells and Hostas

Trillium

Primrose

Yellow primrose and fern fiddleheads

Primrose

Tulips
Thanks for checking out my garden photos! Do you like to garden? What is your favorite flower?

Vonda
Looking for Computer Suggestions
I've had my Toshiba laptop for six years and the old girl has been very good to me. When I bought this computer I hadn't even signed my first contract yet. I've written most of my releases on this keyboard. Set up my website, communicated with readers and editors and other writers with this computer. But it's starting to let me down.

So before it totally crashes and dies, I need to start shopping for a new laptop. There are so many choices out there that it's easy to be overwhelmed. And besides the many brands of PCs, there is the on-going Mac vs PC debate.

I know what I want. First and foremost I need to write on it. But while I'm writing, I like to have Twitter open. And listen to music on Pandora. And run focusbooster, so I don't get sucked into the internet for too long. And while doing all this, I don't want the computer to slow down to a crawl. Am I asking too much?

So readers, I'm asking for your help. Do you love your computer? What models should I be looking at? Help!

Natasha
PLAYTHING - Coming May 8th
BIRTHDAY GIRL
RISK IT
FLAUNT IT
www.natashamoore.com
  • Defended by a Highland Renegade

    Defended by a Highland Renegade
    Vonda Sinclair, 12/1/16

    In the Court of Love and Loss

    In the Court of Love and Loss
    Jenna Ives 11/15/16

    A Very Jaguar Christmas

    A Very Jaguar Christmas
    Terry Spear 10/4/16

    Choose Me

    Choose Me
    Natasha Moore 9/24/16

    Taken by a Navy SEAL

    Taken by a Navy SEAL
    Carly Carson 9/5/2016

    Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply

    Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply
    Terry Spear 5/3/16

    Conqueror Vanquished

    Conqueror Vanquished
    Leigh Court, 4/26/16

    The Viking's Highland Lass

    The Viking's Highland Lass
    Terry Spear 4/4/16

    SEAL Wolf In Too Deep

    SEAL Wolf In Too Deep
    Terry Spear 2/2/16

    Covert Cougar Christmas

    Covert Cougar Christmas
    Terry Spear 12/18/15

    Her Royal Mistake

    Her Royal Mistake
    Natasha Moore 8/20/15

    Her Royal Rendezvous

    Her Royal Rendezvous
    Natasha Moore, 10/5/14

    The Cottage Next Door

    The Cottage Next Door
    Natasha Moore, 9/16/14

    Playing For Real

    Playing For Real
    Natasha Moore, 2/4/14