What Song Makes you Cringe?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Mine was full of chaos, but it was worth every minute. On Christmas Eve we have a tradition with my mom and dad where we all pile into the car and see Christmas lights before we do our Christmas Eve dinner. We do this every year, and every year one song comes on the radio that makes me groan and want to jump from the car.

Don’t think badly of me because of the song, I can’t help it and I will explain. I absolutely cannot stand to listen to The Little Drummer Boy. The moment the rapping of the drums start, I want to throw my hands over my ears and repeat la, la, la, la, la. My mom laughs about it every year and then reminds me of how I used to hide the record when I was little.

You see, during Christmas, my mom played that record over and over and over again. Every. Year. FOR eighteen years. When I say over and over again, I’m being literal, not exaggerating. It was like no other Christmas song existed in our household. Apparently, I’ve carried my feelings into adulthood.

I do have another. The Doors Riders on the Storm. I used to wait tables at a pizza joint that had a jukebox. A co-worker of mine used to play that song every night after we closed while we were cleaning up. I grew to detest the song, and I still can’t stand to hear it.

Is there any song from your childhood that immediately makes you cringe when it comes on?


Guest - Jolyn Palliata

Did you ever get a song stuck in your head? Or part of one? How did you get it out? Did you avoid the song at all costs in the blind hope it would stop hammering you into submission? Or did you listen to the song over, and over, and over, until you were so obsessed that all you could think about was that delicious, devilish little laugh….er, what was I saying? (Right. Song stuck in my head. Ahh...I mean, your head.) Now, I know this has happened to every person reading this post, so I’m hoping you’ll relate to my little story here. 

Let me give you some background. In October, I released Connected (Twists of Fate #1), and here’s a brief description of the story: A rock group’s rhythm guitarist, Rhys Alexander, dies and finds himself bound inside the body of a woman he’s never met. Can she help him move on to the other side, or will he end up finding the love of his life…after his has already ended?

For a time, I had this for free on Wattpad (where I posted as I wrote it). And several readers asked me how in the world I came up with the concept. The short answer was ‘By taking the longest route possible.’ The more involved answer is this…  

It all started with a song—Imagine that, huh?—which began with a synthesized-sounding guitar and a sinful, maniacal laugh that made my gut quiver. (Yes, I do realize this may be an issue I need to fully address later.) It was Disturbed’s “Inside The Fire”. Add a little Framing Hanley (with that oh-so-sexy voice), and Tavion, lead singer of the band Persevere, was born. And what kind of woman would knock a strapping rock star to his knees? Why, a best-selling author, of course.  

So here I had two people who worked in the entertainment industry, but were worlds apart. What could possibly bring them together? The answer seemed so simple, really: Fate. Then my next though was “What if Fate was a living, sometimes-breathing, entity? What an interesting point-of-view that would be!” And it spiraled from there. I dug deep into the protag, Devan (the name of the girl in Disturbed’s song), and put pieces of me and my personality into the mix. Naturally, then I had to mock myself and my works along the way. (i.e., Suddenly Impending Reprisals became Devan’s masterpiece, and guess what…it made it all the way to the NYT Bestsellers list! Way to go, Devan!!)

Now, the question was ‘What inspired me to write Connected’, and so far, I’m telling you how I started writing Twisted (Book 2). Yeah, well, I’m getting there. (Remember how I said it was the longest route possible?) 

So there I was, writing Twisted and having a hell of a time. And then the unthinkable happened (insert suspenseful music here)…I got writer’s block. I’m talking a stint of writer’s block that could only have originated from the deepest, most vile and sulfuric, bowels of Hell. And, man, was it stubborn! Over a year went by before I picked it up again, and even then it wasn’t because I came up with a grand master plan, or that my head was swimming with ideas. No. It was simply because I missed my characters. So I started to reread/revise/edit the 30K words I had written, hoping it would shake something loose. Enter: two new inspirations.  

The first was the Demonica series by Larissa Ione. In the series, paired up mates can sense each other’s emotions and I got to wondering “What would that be like?”  

The next piece of inspiration came from Avenged Sevenfold (A7X). I was studying up on rock bands for Twisted (and can A7X ever ROCK!!), and checking out the band members (*drool*) and it inspired a new character—Rhys.  

From Ione and A7X blossomed Connected (finally!) where Rhys’ spirit was stuck inside Addison (my protag), and they could sense each other’s emotions.  

But I had one problem. I absolutely REFUSED to walk away from Twisted again. Soooo…how could I use this? Well, first of all, Rhys couldn’t be a lead singer since that’s what Tavion is. And secondly, I wanted this to be a fast-hitting novella used to compliment Twisted’s story. What I needed was a supporting member of the band... Hello, Rhys, my luscious rhythm guitarist!  

But then I had another problem. (Because I needed more, right?) I couldn’t picture Rhys in Tavion’s band, Persevere, which is a more mature, established group. No, he belonged with some just-making-it-big band that wasn’t afraid to play with the formula, to take chances, and was just enjoying the ride and what life had to offer. He belonged with the guys of Black Codex.  

Then problem #3: How did Black Codex and Persevere tie in to each other? I mean, if Connected leads into Twisted, they have to know each other somehow, right? Well, as luck would have it, they’re all friends. (Who knew?!) Eh, okay, so actually two members from Black Codex are brothers and they grew up with a guy from Persevere, so, by association, they became friends. (It’s all in the details, right?) ;)  

All right. Now what? I didn’t want to introduce Fate (my sassy, capricious entity) in Connected even though he’s definitely hard at work behind the scenes. It would’ve been too distracting from the plot, and I had plenty to maneuver already! (Hello…dead rock star stuck in some chicks head!!) So what I did was plot Connected so it all occurs during the same timeframe as the first half of Twisted. Perfect! Then when people read Twisted, they’ll get all the behind-the-scenes-extras that were going on in Connected that either 1) I didn’t have time for, or 2) I couldn’t smoothly transition in.  

At the end of my long-ass journey, not only did I have Connected, but I shook myself loose on Twisted…aaand came up with storylines for the other eight band members. (I’ll spare you the details on those. LOL) Thusly, the Twists of Fate series was born.  

So, let me ask you again: Did you ever get a song stuck in your head…? 

For more information on the Twists of Fate series: http://jolynpalliata.wordpress.com/romance/twists-of-fate-series/

Christmas Gifts & a Great Review for RISK IT

For many, today is a time to relax after the craziness of the holiday weekend and enjoy some of those gifts Santa left under the tree. Hubby has already hooked up his new blu-ray player and I'm enjoying a cup of French vanilla coffee brewed in my new Keurig coffee maker. I've actually used my new workout gear too. Yes, I feel good about that.

If any of you got a new e-reader for as your gift, I can heartily recommend all the Fierce Romance authors. Take a look at the covers displayed here. Stop by the author websites, We have a great variety of stories for your enjoyment. I'm honored to be among such an amazing group of authors!

And just this week I was thrilled to read this review for RISK IT, from Fresh Fiction:

Amy Carter is at the end of the line. She has the ideal life with 2 kids, a job she loves and a big house provided by a great husband. Everything except sex, that is. It seems everything has fallen by the way side with the machinations of everyday life between Will and her when it has to do with the bedroom. Too tired and too overloaded with the everyday humdrum, it's time to take matters into her own hands.

Amy rents a room at Paolo's Playhouse, a place to perform all your fantasies while watching others through a one way glass. Dressing in her new black lace sexy underwear, Amy loses faith that Will is going to show. Losing herself in her own sexual fantasy as she watches the couple next door, Will shows up. They renew their erotic sexual fantasies to reignite the flame they once shared.

The sexual fantasies described in RISK IT will blow your socks off. It's probably quite a little more than I am use to reading and is more explicit than anything else I have ever read before. If anyone is interested in detailed sexual eroticism, then this is the book for them.

So what did Santa leave under the tree for you?


Holiday Greetings

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Fierce Romance! Thanks so much for visiting and reading our blog. May your grandest wishes come true. Wishing you health, wealth and happiness in the New Year.

Doune Castle Winter

Eilean Donan

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Um. No. It's not. And I have to say that I'm a little bummed about that.

I'm a Chicagoan. Granted, I'm a transplanted one, but I'm a still Chicagoan nonetheless. All of us who live here may not like every aspect of our glorious winters, but at the same time we trudge through (sometimes literally) and deal with them. And there are certain things we expect. Snow, especially around Christmastime, is one of those things.

Earlier this fall, there were all sorts of reports saying how "This will be the snowiest Chicago winter evahhhh..." (Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little on those headlines :)). My point is this: It's now December 23rd and what do I see when I look out the window? Grass. Green grass, to be precise.

Not a hint of the white stuff anywhere.

I've woken up twice in the past month to a dusting of snow on the ground. That's it. Oh, and it all melted right away, too. I've yet to actually SEE it snow.

One of my favorite things to do when it's snowing is to light a fire in the fireplace, sit on my couch in front of the window with my laptop in my lap, and write my little heart out. I've lit the fires. I've sat on my couch with  my laptop. But without the snow falling, it's just not the same.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not a fan of the aftereffects of getting hit with 2 feet of snow all at once (although being snowbound isn't always so horrible :)), and I may be in the minority when it comes to actually wanting snow. But, come on. It's Christmastime. Isn't snow at Christmas a must?

Darn. This year, I suppose not.

Sigh. Oh, well. I'll get over it :)

I wish everyone a Happy Holiday season -- with or without the snow!!


5 Hoots... "refreshingly new perspective"

Hi, everyone, I had an awesome review from Nocturne Romance Reads that I wanted to share with you.

Blade of the Wolf – Nicole North
Ellora’s Cave
5 Hoots

Review: Blade of the Wolf is a sizzling adventure and sated even my infinite fantasy for hot Scottish werewolves. This is not your run of the mill romantic urban fantasy, which I greatly appreciated. I was mesmerized by this refreshingly new perspective on the normally redundant paranormal romance/shapeshifter genre.

The development of all the character’s individually, as well as, cumulatively is exquisitely in-depth. Who could resist the yummy immortal Scottish Sgian Dubh Guardian, Ronan Graeme. He is the bad boy with the heart of gold. Syrena Ellis, a voluptuous psychic, is the forbidden fruit Ronan never knew he craved. She is the perfect counterpart to his serious nature. The sexual tension and erotic fantasies is orgasmic. The ardent attraction between Ronan and Syrena is instantaneous. What made it believable is the gradual building of the bond, despite their burning desires and intense emotions. This made the erotic scenes that much hotter. As I progressed through the book, I could feel my temperature rising to match Syrena and Ronan’s blazing passion.

Even with a heat index of scorching hot; the story wasn’t just about the carnal delights. I was surprised it had such a multifaceted, suspenseful plot. The villain is the most intriguing character. This is my first encounter with a hybrid vampire incubus. At least for me; this is uncharted or rarely explored territory. It definitely gave Blade of the Wolf a unique and exciting twist. All and all; this is a positively arousing and climactic story that I will read again.

Hats off to Nicole North for a superb job creating an edgy and erotic paranormal romance!
Reviewed by Kyami

Thanks so much, Kyami!!!

Summary: Blade of the Wolf

Ronan, immortal werewolf and Scottish Sgian Dubh Guardian, faces his most challenging, yet enticing, mission in centuries. He must protect sexy clairvoyant medium Syrena Ellis from an evil incubus intent on stealing her powerful life force. She awakens a raging arousal in Ronan, but if he gives in to temptation, he will be punished. Dark and edgy, Ronan captivates Syrena. He is hot, hard and in control, yet his scorching glances and sinful kisses tell her he yearns for her. Even though she’s only a job, she finds a way past his iron-willed resistance. She’s determined to explore the depths of erotic passion with him. They’re unaware that their explosive sexual encounters are providing the enemy incubus with heightened energy, making him almost impossible to defeat. Syrena’s forbidden desire and scorching lust for Ronan could destroy them both.

Blade of the Wolf is available at Ellora's Cave, Amazon, B&N and other online booksellers.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Guest: Renee Vincent + Book Giveaway!

Today our special guest is Renee Vincent. Welcome, Renee! Please tell us about yourself.

I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields.

When I am not writing, I love to spend my time on the back of a horse, whether with my family or with my friends. There is nothing like feeling the sunlight on your face, the wind in your hair, and the power of the animal beneath you as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. Seeing the world from a saddle is, by far, the best view and the best therapy for a heavy heart or a troubled mind. My therapist's name, or my horse's, rather, is  "Statues Suddenly Lucky", a full-blooded Tennessee Walker, and of course, he goes by the name of Lucky for short.

I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar...and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can't resist watching great epic historical movies.

Q: Your cover is beautiful! Please tell us about The Fall of Rain. Do you have a review you could share with us?
A:  Here’s the blurb for The Fall of Rain:
Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.

For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.

Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.

Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?

"I know for myself I enjoyed the first two books very much. So much so, that I was excited for the third book to come out. Little did I know what book three really had in store for me. OMG doesn’t even cover it. This is my absolute most favorite book of this series. Where the first two take place deep in the past, book three finds us in the present time. How does that work, you may be asking . . . well, I would have never thought it possible until I read it for myself. Taking present time activities and adding in flashbacks from centuries past, this book offers the reader everything; drama, romance, comedy and even mystery. People and things aren’t always what they seem. In fact, you may walk away from this book never looking at that moment of déjà vu the same again. Maybe, just maybe when something feels right . . .we should remember, just who are we to question it? If you enjoy historical romances and love a story with men you would love to sink your teeth into, this is your series to get lost in. Not an ounce of disappointment to found in the pages of these books."
~ Rose That Rules All - MAGNIFICENT! ~ Romancing The Book ~ Read more >>>

Q: What inspired this story?
A:  The credit would have to be given to my little sister, Lindsey, who passed away in 2005. She was the only one who read the first chapter of Raeliksen (Book 1 of The Emerald Isle Trilogy.) Her inspirational words of “finish it” months before she died led me to complete the whole story and then some. Her encouragement had helped me more than she ever probably thought possible.
Q: Why do you write romance?
A:  It’s a genre I dearly love. I read only romance and they always say to write what you know. Consequently, writing heartwarming love stories comes very easy to me. If I didn’t write, I don’t know what I’d do with all these great stories in my head.
Q: Why did you choose your setting and why was it perfect for your book?
A:  I chose my setting of Ireland because it’s a place I feel most at home with.  Most of my research into the Viking era led me to this magical land, when the courageous men of the North stepped foot on the beautiful isle and intermarried with many of the Irish king’s daughters. I had always been intrigued by this time period in history and the brave men who ventured out on their longships with only a dream and the stars to guide them.
Q: Which of your characters is most like you? And why?
A:  Lorraine O’Connor from The Fall of Rain is me to a T. The things she likes (i.e. the specific way she enjoys her coffee, the car she drives, the farm she lives on etc.) and the personality she bears, are all pieces of myself. Those who know me, should recognize the subtle character traits in the story and, honestly, it was so much fun to inadvertently put myself into the thick of the plot.
Q: Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A:  Yes. This title (along with the heroine’s name) came to me on the day of my grandmother’s funeral.  She had told the family once that her nickname growing up was Rain (short for Lorraine) and since my story takes place in Ireland, the play on words for the title was ideal. My search for the perfect title, which helped to put closure to my Emerald Isle Trilogy, had ended on that fateful morning.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Ireland first. Norway second. I’ve not been to either, but have hopes to go to the Emerald Isle in the very near future. I’ll keep you all posted. haha
Q: Please tell us about your other books.
A: The first in the trilogy is Raeliksen. It begins with the love story of a Norse warrior who’s in love with an Irish princess. The second book, Mac Liam, introduces the reader to an Irish hunter, also in love with the same heroine. Both books show how much the heroes love this VERY lucky woman, but The Fall of Rain, lets the reader know just how far a man in love is willing to go for that woman, even if it means sacrificing everything for her. The Fall of Rain will bring the reader full circle, and leave them with an utter feeling of content. It’s a love triangle, I swear, no romance fan should miss out on.
Q: What’s next for you?
A:  I am currently writing the first book in another series called the Warrior Saga series. The hero is the older brother of Daegan Raeliksen, by the name of Gustaf, and the heroine, Aesa, is a fiery redhead he’s fallen in love with as he’s avenged his father’s murder. Gustaf was a character I introduced in Mac Liam and he’s gotten a lot of fan mail on the subject of his story. The book is called The Temperate Warrior and since I aim to please my readers, I felt compelled to give them a story they’ve begged for.
I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of any one of my backlist (Raeliksen, Mac Liam, Silent Partner – winner’s choice.) Please remember to leave your email address with your comment so we can contact you if you win. Thanks!
To buy The Fall of Rain please click below.
Amazon print
Turquoise Morning Press
All Romance eBooks

Places to find Renee Vincent

Deep In The Heart Romance

Thank you, Renee, for being our guest!

Baby, It's Cold Outside

A white Christmas is not unusual here in western New York, but up until yesterday it looked as if our Christmas would be green this year. But the snow started coming down and doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. So I'm finally in the Christmas mood and have been shopping and decorating and wrapping. It has nothing to do with the fact that Christmas is less than a week away!

This is the time each year when I like to share a few of my favorite holiday songs. We hear them for such a short time (although some we seem to hear over and over again!) and I love to pull out my old CDs and play them while I decorate the tree and wrap gifts. Since I just finished wrapping gifts, the songs are fresh in my mind.

Here are Natasha's top picks (in no particular order) for Christmas songs this year:

1. The Bing Crosy/David Bowie duet of Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy
2. Kathy Mattea's haunting rendition of Mary Did You Know
3. Eartha Kit's sexy Santa Baby
4. Barry Manilow and KT Oslin singing Baby It's Cold Outside (this is the one I seem to play over and over again this year.)

So, any suggestions for songs to add to my playlist?


The Case of the Missing Cats

We have three cats. Although the two kittens were a mutual decision between the three adults that lives in this house, those kittens are mine. Everyone knows it, even the kittens. I feed them. I cuddle with them, and yes, I use baby talk when they come up to me. Sick I know. But I love them. They’re my babies.

So one of my roommates put up the Christmas tree last night. This is her Christmas tree. I could have cared less if we’d put one up—yes I’m totally Grinched out this year. It’s gorgeous. One of the biggest freaking Christmas trees I’ve ever seen. Did I mention it's HUGE!

Anyway, the cats have to be attached to me almost 24/7. It’s gotten so bad that they even bother me when I’m sleeping and I’ve gotten to where I sleep with a squirt bottle beside me. I don’t even allow my kids to sleep with me at night, so I’m sure as heck not going to let a cat. My bed is my bed.

Last night I got eight hours of solid sleep. When I woke, I quickly realized that I didn’t once have to spray a cat for swatting at my face or wrestling on the end of my bed. Kind of freaky really when it’s been a nightly process for weeks.

So I got up, hunting the babies. Didn’t take me long to realize why I was left alone:

If they knock this thing down, my roommate will kill me. LOL.

Merry Christmas:)



Scotland in Winter

I haven't been to Scotland in winter. I don't like driving on icy roads here, much less on the opposite side. But I have to admit I'd love to see Scotland transformed into a winter wonderland, especially around the holidays. The landscapes turn magical in a different way and everything is frost covered and sparkling. I found some photos to show you what I mean. I didn't take these but I wish I had.
I visited Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire when everything was green and gold and when the flowers in their impressive gardens were in bloom. It is much different in the above photo.

Rannoch Moor
 I have been by Rannoch Moor a few times but never when it looked like this. Brrr!
Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe.
 I photographed this mountain in May when it was much greener. We even saw some snow in Glencoe but not this much.
Thousands of Red Deer call Scotland home and apparently they are tough enough to withstand the extreme temperatures. We saw around 300 when we visited.
A furry Highland cow eating hay in the snow.
Here is an amazing video showing snowy Scotland: Scotland Revealed: In Winter If you watch this, chances are you will fall in love with Scotland too.There are also several other episodes of Scotland Revealed you can watch on YouTube. They are excellent!

Happy Holidays!!

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.

Using Food in Romance Novels - Guest: Cassandra Carr

Several times now I've used various foods in scenes between my hero (or heroes, as the case may be, *cough*) and my heroine. I know lots of people out there also incorporate various types of foods into their sexual repertoire, and I'm here to tell you - be careful what you use where!

In my book releasing tomorrow, Caught, the hero uses a candy cane to, um, pleasure the heroine. Here's my word of caution - don't insert anything that has a lot of sugar into any orifice - well, besides your mouth. Hello, yeast infection! We all know yeast infections aren't sexy, right? So how did I pull off that scene? I made my hero a candy cane purist - he buys these big, pure peppermint candy canes from some far-off specialty candy maker.

Here's an example, though the ones my hero gets are much larger. http://www.purefun.ca/products_candyCanes.html You'll notice if you look at the nutritional facts that there's very little sugar in these candy canes. But even if you use a candy cane like this it's a good idea to take a shower immediately afterward. Same goes for chocolate syrup and whipped cream, two of the most popular foods used during sex.

So, please do play, have fun...but be careful. Yeast infections are no fun, and since you oftentimes can't have sex while taking a medication to combat them, that's a double whammy! This concludes your public service announcement.

Do you have any tips for using food during sex? Leave them in the comments!


'They’re really taking this politically correct thing too far.'

Stepping from the foyer into the living room, Callie spied a twinkling Christmas tree in the corner. On the mantel, a lit menorah burned, the candles flickering as the people nearby jostled for position as more and more guests crammed into the room. This was a boisterous crowd; already drinking like it was New Year’s. Advancing further into the room, she noticed the Kwanza decorations and rolled her eyes.

'Pick a holiday and go with it, people. You can’t please everyone.'

She sought out the host and hostess, old friends from her grad school days, and said hello, handing over the obligatory “Thanks for inviting me” bottle of wine. They chatted for a bit to catch up before she grabbed a cocktail and made her way toward the dining room in search of other former classmates and some food. The smells of the various delicacies wafted by, making her mouth water in anticipation. She had just gotten into town and was starving. Plopping a slice of Cheddar cheese onto a cracker, she stuffed it into her mouth and then looked up -- and everything inside her came to a screeching halt.

Jack was there.

With a beer hanging from his long, rough fingers, he leaned against the wall, casual as can be, while her world tilted on its axis. He looked so good-- still the same tall, well-muscled body, still the same olive skin, black hair, and full lips. His Italian ancestry lent him an air of exoticness, and she’d always been a sucker for that.

Her stomach roiled. The cracker caught in her throat, choking her. As she began to cough and sputter, he turned to see what the commotion was, and their gazes met. Callie watched as his eyes went dark with heat and recognition. A blush rushed up her chest through her neck and into her face. With suddenly cold fingers, she touched her burning skin.

He brought his beer to his lips and took a long pull, his tongue sneaking out to catch a stray drop from his top lip. Her gaze followed the movement. His own intense gaze never left her face. Even when his companion said something to him, he merely nodded and kept the whole of his attention on her. She took a fortifying sip of her vodka and cranberry juice, then another, longer gulp, trying to dislodge the cracker from her throat. And still he stared.

And she did the same damn thing she’d done three years ago when she’d gotten scared by his demands, his power -- she ran. Cursing herself for her cowardice, she nonetheless wove her way through the crowd, setting her drink down on the nearest available surface as she rushed past. But before she made it to the front door, she felt his hand, still chilled from holding the beer bottle, curl around her overheated arm. “Long time no see. Leaving so soon, Callie?”

Cassandra Carr is a multi-published erotic romance writer who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. Head Games, Buffalo Intimidators book 1, released on November 2, 2011 from Siren Bookstrand, Caught will release December 13, 2011 from Loose Id, and Impact is coming in early 2012 from Ellora's Cave. For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com, "like" her Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.


Friday Guest: Mari Freeman

I'd like to welcome my good friend and fellow author Mari Freeman to Fierce Romance today!

I have two things to help boost my Christmas spirit right now.

First, Hot Hard & Howling comes out in print Monday, the 13th. Merry Christmas to those of you who wait for the solid form of books. It’s always exciting to my hands on a print release.  Also makes a great gift, people.

Second, Hot, Hard& Hexing is out right now in ebook! Wooo Hooo..

The story is a stand alone, but it continues the saga of the Half-Demon Ambercroft sisters. Their human side makes their Demon magic somewhat uncontrollable, so it tends to get them in a bit of trouble.

Sonja’s Demon power is psychic abilities. But in this story, she’s up against a Dreamstalker who has taken to influencing her dreams and her psychic visions in a very sexy way, distracting her and helping her make poor decisions.
Enter Ray Burgess, who quickly becomes the star of those very sexy visions. It gets hot in New Orleans as they try to rescue Sonja’s cousin from the Dreamstalker.

Lots of steamy New Orleans fun to warm up the chilly winter nights and to help relieve the stress of the season. You know…the shopping, the decorations, the bills, the rushing from one house to another….

Here’s another way to relieve stress of the stress of the season. I’m trying this recipe tonight.

Christmas Cookie Recipe (follow directions closely)
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequilla

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Turn on the electric mixer... Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar... Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup ... just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off floor... Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.

Who giveshz a sheet.

Check the Jose Cuervo -- Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window,

finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher..

Visit Mari at: www.marifreeman.com
Have a great weekend!

Research can be sooooo Frustrating!

So I'm at the point in my WIP my hero's former career is coming to focus. Up until this point, I’ve alluded to what he used to do, but now I'm getting into the nit and grit as he has the talk with the heroine on why he left.

I’ve found I know nothing about business and researching it is a bitch.

Funny thing is, I've done some crazy things in the name of research. For an MMA hero, I went to a training facility, watched them train, talked to the fighters and even took a few boxing classes--and I'm truly hooked on the sport. I also had a good friend who has fought amateur help with everything else. And I had fun doing it.

For Defying Convention, I went to a Sci-fi convention. Man, was that a weekend. I have geek friends who could help me with some of the more crazy scenes that happened--yes, a friend was checked out by a nun in an elevator. And I had fun doing it.

Now I'm faced with a business career, and not just any business, it's tycoon, mega-richie business. I'm completely tycoon stupid, people. The more I research, the more I'm like what in the hell have you done, girl? I've never felt like there isn't a career, setting or plot I can't tackle. But, boy, I'm teetering on that edge now.

I don't have any Donald Trump type friends. (I would kill for some of those, and not just for research. LOL) No one to help me make what he does authentic. I'm flying blind here. Reading about it only makes things even more confusing. What should I include? How deep do I need to go? If I leave this out will the reader question me? It’s frustrating.

So what has happened? I'm at a standstill until I'm certain I have a grasp on his career. So my question today, has one of your characters ever had a career that has been hard to research? If so, how did you get over that obstacle?


A Trip Through Glen Orchy

As we were leaving the B&B in Argyll, Scotland, and heading toward Loch Ness, the owner suggested we travel through Glen Orchy to check out the incredible scenery. We're glad we did! This is one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland and different from some of the other Scottish scenery.
The River Orchy 

From what I can find out, traditionally the MacGregor Clan and the Fletcher or MacInleister Clan resided here, before the MacGregors were outlawed and driven from the glen in 1432. Later, the Campbells were Lairds of Glen Orchy.
A single track road runs through the glen.

Eas Urchaidh (the Falls of Orchy)

I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip through Glen Orchy. Thanks for stopping by!


My Fierce Highlander
My Wild Highlander

3 Weeks and Counting

There are three weeks until Christmas and I have only bought four gifts so far. Aack! I usually am much farther ahead. I've never been one of those people who has all her shopping done by July, but I've also never been one to wait until the last minute. This year, however, I seem to be adding to my stress level. I need help!

I have ideas for our children and their families, I just have to brave the stores and make the purchases. However..I'm appealing to our Fierce Romance readers! I need some ideas for gifts for my husband. He doesn't like to get clothes. He likes something he can fuss with or play with. Last year I got him a new scanner/printer. He's working on his model railroad and gave me some ideas of train cars to buy...and then went out and bought them for himself. There should be a law! I may have to resort to a gift certificate to the local hobby shop, but I'd love to have a package or two for him.

So women, what are you giving your husband or boyfriend? Men, what would you like to find under the Christmas tree?

FLAUNT IT - Samhain
RISK IT - Samhain
BIRTHDAY GIRL - Coming Feb 2012

Dark Diva's Review for My Fierce Highlander

This review was done a few weeks ago but I only found it yesterday at Dark Divas Reviews. It was so awesome I wanted to share with you!

My Fierce Highlander by Vonda Sinclair
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 300 pages


A scandalous English lady banished to the Highlands of Scotland and an injured enemy chief join forces against her malicious and violent family. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. When a difficult choice faces Gwyneth, will she have to give up the honorable Highlander she has grown to love? 91,000 words

Shelly’s Review:

Gwyneth hated senseless battles with all the blood and death. She’s a healer and when she finds an injured warrior, Alasdair, she knows she has to help him. Gwyneth knows he’s the enemy, but when she finds a peace treaty on him she hopes it’s the end of the needless bloodshed.

When her clan tries to retaliate against her for helping the enemy, Alasdair takes Gwyneth and her son under his protection. When they’re in close proximity to each other, their hidden passions ignite.

A romance including a sexy highland warrior is always at the top of my favorites list, and My Fierce Highlander is just scrumptious! It’s very romantic and the sex is oh-so-steamy. Alasdair is always coming to Gwyneth’s rescue and who wouldn’t want a handsome warrior, who also happens to be a laird, coming to their rescue? She just can’t resist those sexy encounters with Alasdair and Ms. Sinclair makes them so sensual and romantic you’ll wish you were Gwyneth!

My Fierce Highlander is definitely a Must Read and you’ll be so engrossed you won’t be able to put it down! This one’s a keeper!

I’m sure you won’t want to miss the next book in the series either, so please keep an eye out for My Wild Highlander, also by Ms. Vonda Sinclair!

Rated 5 Delightful Divas by Shellyl!

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.