Guest: Gwyn Brodie + Beneath a Highland Moon Book Giveaway

Gwyn Brodie loves Scotland, its amazing history, its wonderful people, and travels there whenever she can. While in Scotland she enjoys learning about her ancestors the Murray, Clark, Boyd, Ramsey and McTavish clans. She lives with her husband in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and besides writing Scottish historical romance, she also loves gardening, reading and refinishing old furniture.

Q: Welcome, Gwyn! Please tell us about your new release. 
A: Beneath a Highland Moon is Book 1 of The Highland Moon Series. After her clan's castle falls under siege, the fair-haired Lady Jillian MacRae finds a way to escape with her four-year-old brother, seeking help from the handsome Kade MacLachlan, laird and master of Ravenskull Castle. Four years past their love had been strong—until her father betrothed her to another man who was later killed. Now, it is Kade she turns to for help in regaining control of her own castle from the wicked man who has taken over and intends to marry her. Once she is again face-to-face with Kade, she realizes the love she thought she'd put aside is alive and thriving.
Kade is speechless when the beautiful Jillian offers herself to him in exchange for protecting her young brother and banishing the intruders from her castle—an offer he is more than willing to accept. He has no intention of allowing her to slip through his fingers again. And when her life hangs in the balance, he will not let anything—or anyone—stop him from saving her, even as his own life dangles by a thread.
Q: This is a wonderful book! (I know because I read it twice. :)) What inspired this story?
A: Thanks! I have always loved reading Scottish historical romance, and decided to create my own series of Highlanders.  I love everything about Scotland and enjoy traveling there whenever I have the chance. 
Q: Why do you write romance?
A: I write—and read—romance because I like the emotional connection between the hero and heroine. And you always know beforehand that sooner-or-later, everything will turn out okay.
Q: That's true. I love the happily-ever-after. What do you enjoy most about writing?
A: When I'm writing, It feels like I become a part of the world I'm writing about, in some way. And I like that.
Q: How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?
A: Since the setting is 1600's Scottish Highlands, the language, clothing, customs, everything, was impacted by the setting.
Q: Why did you choose this setting and why was it perfect for your book?
A: I wanted the setting to be in the 1600's and in Scotland. I just needed to make everything else fit that particular setting.
Q: Which of your characters is most like you? Least like you? And why?
A: I would hope to be a bit like Lady Jillian, not in appearance or age, but I wanted her to be a strong female character.
Gordon MacRae is the least like me.  He's a nasty fellow!
Q: That's for sure. How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I wanted to use old Scottish, Gaelic, or Celtic names. I searched different sites until I found names that seemed to fit my characters.
Q: Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: Yes, I chose it, for no particular reason. It just came to me and I liked it.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Scotland. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and love it here. But I would also love to live in Scotland for several months a year.
Dunnottar Castle
Q: I would too! Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: I have two favorites, Jillian and Kade. They both have been through a lot.
Q: Which part of this story is your favorite?
A: Probably Jillian's escape and then her kidnapping by the villain.  I also really like when Kade rescues her.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: The more intimate scenes between Jillian and Kade. I spent a lot of time trying to get them just right.
Q: What inspires you? What motivates you?
 A: I think wanting to write—and have people read--about love, romance and happiness inspires me and motivates me. And learning things I didn't know while researching also inspires me by giving me fresh ideas to put into my story.
Duart Castle
Q: Please tell us about the next book in the series.
A: Book 2, Galen's story, of The Highand Moon Series, Once in a Highland Moon, will be coming out in the fall of 2013.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be an author?
A: For as long as I can remember. I used to tell my younger sisters stories I made up. I would write poems and little stories all the time.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
A: I tend to write scenes that I want to use and decide later where they should go exactly, adding them as I write and as they fit the story line.
Castle Stalker
Q: Please describe your journey to publication.
A: I've been published in several magazines, but Beneath a Highland Moon is my first novel. I quickly found out it is one thing to write a short story, but another to do a full-length book.
Q: What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before your book was released?
A: Proving to myself that I could do it! And now that I know I can, I don't intend to stop writing anytime soon.
Q: Yay!! What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
A: That if you don't start, you won't finish. I regret that I waited so long to do it!
Q: Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: Yes. Don't give up, never give up!
Q: What’s next for you?
A: At least three, maybe four, more books in The Highland Moon Series.
Q: Would you like to ask readers a question?

A:  Yes, what do you like most about Scottish historical romance?

Everyone, please remember to answer this question or leave a comment along with a way to contact you if you are entering to win Gwyn's book. Thanks! Also please check out this romantic excerpt!

Kade poured himself a second dram of whisky and drained the goblet. He couldn't get Jilly off his mind. She'd walked into Ravenskull two days ago and taken him over, both mind and body. Not only that—she'd taken over his dreams. She'd shoved the cloak from her head when she'd first arrived, and taken his breath away. Her beauty had hit him like a kick to the gut. She'd always been a pretty lass, but she had blossomed into a young woman of tremendous beauty. Her eyes were the same color as a still loch reflecting the blue sky above. How he ached to run his fingers through her long, blonde hair, and bury his face in it. It would smell as sweet as a Highland rose—Kade was certain of it. He'd noticed the intoxicating scent the moment he'd sat down on the settle beside her. And those full lips of hers. They were perfectly made for kissing, and he wanted to be the one to kiss them. Kade stood up from the chair. 'Twas late, but no matter. He had to see her.
Jillian had just crawled into bed, when someone softly knocked. Perhaps 'twas her mother come to tell her good-night. She opened the door. Kade.
He stood in the doorway, the scent of whisky on his breath. "Might I come in?" he asked, his voice low.
She hesitated. No man, other than her father, had ever stepped foot inside her bedchamber.
"I ken 'tis late, Jilly, but I must see you. I promise it won't take long."
The look in his eyes begged her to allow him entrance. She couldn't refuse. Jillian stepped aside.
He hurried into the room, locking the door behind him.
"If my father finds you in here, there's no telling what he might do."
"Aye." He nodded, but I had to see you."
Jillian shivered.
He moved closer to her, his gaze settling on her lips. "Jilly, you make me daft. I'm as a thirsty man in need of a drink, and I'm afraid the only thing that will quench my thirst is a taste of you."
Her knees trembled and her heart raced.
He leaned down and gently brushed his lips over hers.
She closed her eyes, savoring the amazing sensation. Then he covered her mouth with his, devouring her. He tasted of whisky and smelled of sandalwood.
Slipping his arms tightly around her, he pulled her closer, softly moaning.
Her whole body feverish, she clung to Kade's shirt as she returned his kisses. His muscles felt hard beneath her fists and she yearned to touch him. Jillian let go of his shirt and ran her hands over his chest, his shoulders, his back. What was wrong with her? She could barely breathe.
He lifted his mouth away, leaving her wanting more kisses.
"Och, lass," he whispered against her throat, "I must leave you now or I'll not be leaving you at all this night." He kissed her one last time before her bedchamber door closed between them.
Jillian still trembled as she slipped beneath the covers, certain she'd get little sleep. Her whole body felt strangely different—more alive, all because of those marvelous kisses of his. Jillian knew she'd have been considered wanton if they'd been found out, but she wished he'd not left so soon. She'd never realized how much she might enjoy kissing and being kissed.
Kade stepped out of Jillian's bedchamber and immediately spotted Shaw, a good friend, and a MacLachlan guard, standing in the corridor. He'd obviously seen Kade leave Jillian's bedchamber. Shaw grinned broadly and gave him the signal that all was clear. Kade nodded his thanks and hurried back to his room. Once inside, he breathed a sigh of relief and grabbed up the whisky bottle, pouring himself another dram.
He'd believed that if he kissed her, he'd be satisfied—he was wrong. It had but whetted his appetite for her. And the way she'd passionately returned his kisses with a need that surprised Kade, had fueled his already heated body. When her hands moved over him, he knew he had to stop—before 'twas too late. As much as he hated leaving her, it couldn't be helped. Even now, he wanted her so badly that every part of him ached. She would be his. For Kade couldn't stand the thought of anyone else touching her.
The MacRaes had been at Ravenskull for over a week, when the snow storm finally blew itself out and the skies cleared. At supper that evening, Jillian's father announced they would be leaving for Lochstorm the following day—and her heart sank.
After the night Kade had come to her bedchamber, he'd decided it better he not return—for her sake—he'd said. But that hadn't kept them from being with one another during the daylight hours. In fact, they'd shared kisses in every nook and cranny of Ravenskull. But the more they shared, the more they wanted—and no longer just kisses.
The pale light of the full moon illuminated Jillian's bedchamber. Unable to sleep, she decided to go down to the MacLachlan's library and choose a book to bring back to her room. Lighting a candle from the still glowing embers of the fire, she pulled on her slippers, wrapped her cloak about her and quietly slipped out into the cold corridor. Jillian had gone no more than a few feet when she heard the sound of footsteps behind her. Her first thought was to hurry back to her bedchamber and lock the door, and then a familiar deep voice whispered her name. Kade. An instant wave of excitement washed over Jillian. She stopped and waited for him to catch up to her.
"I'm glad you're awake, lass," he whispered, smiling down at her. For the past hour, I've been trying to decide whether I should risk knocking on your bedchamber door and wake you, or wait until morning to talk with you. Either way, I didn't want you to return to Lochstorm without us having a private word."
Whatever was he talking about?
"Come with me," he said, offering her his arm.
She took it, feeling the familiar and enticing warmth of his body beside her. "Where are we going?" Not that Jillian cared—not when she'd be with him.
 Beneath a Highland Moon is available at Amazon, and Smashwords. Also please visit Gwyn's website at

Guest Post - Tamaria Soana

Southern Embrace by Tamaria Soana

Hello, and thank you for stopping by. I’m Tamaria Soana a contemporary romance author. My stories tend to be on the steamy side and always end with a happily ever after.

Southern Embrace my newest release was a very different story line for me to tackle. The story opens with Savannah my heroine trying to pick up the pieces of the broken heart her high school sweetheart Lance left her with when his family moves away the summer after graduation and he cuts her out of his life.

With some prompting for her best friend Nikki, Van (Savannah) goes out with the girls to a club and meets the handsome older Stephan. He sweeps her off her feet and she begins to heal. The stories over and they live happily ever after right? WRONG. The story is just beginning. In chapter 1 we learn that Stephan was killed in a car accident (I hated doing that). Savannah is twenty-three and the grief consumes her. Nikki her best friends steps in once again and arranges for Lance to run into her at the mall. Will Savannah give Lance a chance to explain and let him back into her life?

Southern Embrace is an emotional story about overcoming grief, forgiveness, and second chances.
I hope you’ll fall in love with Savannah and Lance as much as I have. Southern Embrace is from Savannah’s POV. I’m currently writing Southern Desire, the story from Lance’s POV.

Southern Embrace
Can a long lost love mend a grieving heart?

Widowed at twenty-three, Savannah Grant is devastated and consumed with grief, a grief that she can't seem to move past. When her high school sweetheart, Lance Peterson, re-enters her life, Savannah struggles with the feeling that she would be betraying her deceased husband by moving on. Plus, she can't forget the way Lance broke her heart all those years ago.

Lance never stopped loving Savannah. He wants a second chance, and he's willing to do anything it takes to convince her to give him one. Will she give in and let Lance love her, showing her a passion beyond anything she thought possible?

Content Warning: adult language, explicit sexual situations, anal play


It was a beautiful Friday afternoon. Van grabbed her purse and headed out to the mall. Nikki's shower was the following weekend, and Nikki had been on her to get a new dress for days, threatening to drag her shopping kicking and screaming if she didn't go herself.

Once at the mall, Van picked up some last minute gifts for Nikki. After trying on a few dresses, she found a knee-length, strapless coral dress. She purchased it and was off in search of a pair of shoes. When she found the perfect pair of coral and silver heels, Van concluded the trip to the mall a complete success.

Her cellphone rang as she was leaving the shoe store. She dug around in her bag to find it. With her head down and her steps brisk, she ran right into someone.

"I'm so sorry. I'm such a klutz," she said as she looked up into the brown eyes of her first love. She gasped and took a step back, surveying him. His light brown hair was a little shorter and he was built like a man now, not the boy she used to know. She stood frozen in place, staring at him. This can't be happening. A tidal wave of emotions rushed through her at once. Anger, resentment, hatred, but mainly pain…so much pain.


"Lance? Oh my God!" She took another step back. "How?"

"I-I talked to Nikki. She told me you would be here. I needed to see you. When I heard what happened…" He paused. "I knew I couldn't stay away any longer. I'm so sorry."

The more he talked, the more Van's anger flared. Who does he think he is? He left me! Turned his back on me when he cut all ties!

"What exactly are you sorry for, Lance? That my husband died or that you broke my heart all those years ago?" The words she spoke were full of acid. "You have a lot of nerve just showing up here like nothing ever happened. Go away." She turned to leave.

"Please, Van, just talk to me. Give me a chance to explain," he begged as he reached for her hand.

"Don't you dare touch me," she said through gritted teeth, yanking her hand away. "What do you want from me?" She stared at him while plotting all the ways she was going to torture Nikki for her betrayal.

She seethed as he looked around. "Calm down, Van. People are starting to stare. Please, can we go somewhere more private and talk? There is so much I need to tell you."

"What could you possibly have to say to me that would make up for what you did? I mean, I know you had to move, but you cut all ties with me. Like the three years we spent together meant nothing to you, like I meant nothing to you. Damn you, Lance, you didn't even try to make it work."

"Please, Savannah. Give me a chance to explain."

"Give me one reason why I should."

"Because I still love you. I. Never. Stopped. I cut all ties with you because I had to. Long distance relationships never work out. I was afraid you would wake up one day and resent me. Being apart from you was killing me. I thought this way we would both be able to move on. But I was wrong, I never was able to move on. I let the love I have for you consume me. I wanted to come back sooner, but then I heard you'd gotten married. When I found out what had happened, I wanted to rush here and be by your side, but I figured you would need some time."

His words shocked and confused her. After she took a few moments to process everything, she shook her head. "I can't do this." She turned and walked away, then stopped. "Go back to wherever it was you came from and leave me alone."

"I won't give up on you. I won't stop trying, and I most definitely won't ever leave you again."

"Just go away, Lance. You're good at that," she snarled before she walked away. She didn't dare turn around because looking at him as he begged her to give him a chance to explain would certainly weaken her. Van needed to focus on how she was going to kill her so-called best friend.

Buy links: Beachwalk Press Barnes & Noble Amazon

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About the Author:

Tamaria Soana is middle aged, but just feels her life has begun. She writes sexy contemporary romance stories that always end with a ‘happily ever after’. Growing up she loved to read and make up new places in her head to escape to. In her late teens she began writing short stories and poetry; it wasn’t until her late thirties before she began to spin a full story.

She’s married and a stay-at-home-mom of two beautiful young girls, they reside in Western New York. Cuddling up with a good book under an electric throw is her way to escape the cold Buffalo nights.

Besides writing, she co-owns Shades of Rose Marketing and hosts a talk show on Talkshoe called Live with Tamaria ~ Giving authors a voice.

Author Links: Site Facebook Author Page Twitter

The Secret Pt. 2

So last month, I talked about the book The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, and asked you about your experiences with/belief in it. I want to thank everyone who responded here on the blog as well as those who e-mailed me personally. I really was amazed at the results you say you’ve had using the strategies outlined in the book. 

I also got some interesting advice from you. Instead of banking on the check I had downloaded from the website and written out to myself for $10 million dollars, you advised me to start out small. Set my sights on things that I could actually achieve.

So I did.

Ask. Believe. Receive.

My dad is having major heart-related issues, and is in his third hospital in as many months, this one in Tampa, FL.  I am not familiar with Tampa, and driving there the other day to visit him was a bit nerve-wracking for me. So I put this “belief” out into the universe:  find me a parking spot near the hospital because I have no idea where I’m going. 

On the 90-minute drive from my house, I kept repeating:  I will find a parking spot, I’m going to find a parking spot, I can’t wait to park my car in that perfect parking spot. (That last one put a smile on my face.) 

You guessed it. Even though the hospital is in the middle of busy downtown Tampa, I found a parking spot very near the hospital entrance.  

One of you suggested I “believe” that every traffic light I come to will be green. I’m working on that one now (and get kind of giddy when it happens) but I’m still hoping to one day work my way up to cashing that $10 million dollar check. 

My boss at work wants to discuss a promotion with me on Monday. I don’t expect the pay raise to equal $10 million, but maybe I’m on my way…  

Until next month,


I am psyched! Over the last two days, I’ve spent about four hours slaving over my computer…planning. Oh, yes. I’ve been plotting and planning and searching and booking and…
Sorry. I couldn’t hold it back any longer. Yes, we get to go on a vacation this summer. It’s been a very long, stressful year on the job front (not writing, my other job), and last year we didn’t have the money to do anything. This year, though, we’ve saved enough to take a week and get away from it all.
I can’t wait!
It’s been months since I’ve been able to clear my schedule enough to even think about a vacation, and we finally booked it. It was a great four hours bringing it all together, and now the Caribbean, one of my favorite areas in the world, is on the horizon. The best part of it all? I will get writing time. I will have time to work on stories that have been bouncing around in my head for weeks and months and maybe I’ll even finish one. I’ve been working on revisions quite a bit lately, but not really generating anything new, so that will be a great thrill.
I’m psyched!
I’m going to start counting the days until we leave, enjoying every minute of it, every single anticipatory second. I know some people don’t like to do that because it’s like some holidays—a lot of hype up until the day and then a sudden letdown when it’s all over. No worries on that front. I’m going to revel in thinking about it, daydreaming about it, planning for it, and then doing it. Then I’m going to sit back and reminisce about it for weeks to come.
I feel very lucky that I get the chance to take a vacation when others may not, like we couldn’t last year. I hope that everyone, whether traveling or not, gets to enjoy some much needed down time.
Have you ever had a vacation you enjoy just because it was so needed? Where did you go? What did you do? Please, do share!
Happy Reading!

Celebrating Spring!

Photo of Biltmore House I took in February.
Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C. is one of the few castles in America. It was built in the French Chateau style, and completed in 1895 by George Vanderbilt. Not only is the house impressive with its 250 rooms, it is surrounded by a large estate, including beautiful and extensive gardens. One of the highlights each year is the tulip display in the Walled Garden (designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead). Since I love castles so much, I'm lucky to live nearby. I decided to go yesterday and take some photos of the tulips and other flowers. It was a lovely spring day, not too hot and not too cold. Just right. I thought it was a good day to celebrate spring.

 If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Violas among the ajuga
 Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

white tulips

 He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.
Mary Howitt

 Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.
Carl Friedrich Gauss 

 Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'
Robin Williams 

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

 Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.  ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
~Emily Dickinson

 It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

 Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower
William Feather

 Love is flower like; Friendship is like a sheltering tree.
 Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.  ~William Shakespeare

Redbuds in the distance
 The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:  four perfect movements in harmony with each other.  ~Arthur Rubenstein

I stopped by the lake to take this photo of the gazebo.
I hope you enjoyed this spring visit to the Biltmore Gardens!

I also want to announce that my book, My Wild Highlander, is a finalist in the OKRWA National Readers' Choice Awards!

Lady Angelique Drummagan, a half-Scottish, half-French countess, has suffered much pain and betrayal in her past. She wants nothing to do with the sensual Scottish warrior that the king has ordered her to marry because the rogue could never be a faithful husband, but she has little choice in the matter. Dangerous, greedy enemies threaten her from all sides and she's in dire need of his protection.

Sir Lachlan MacGrath, known as Seducer of the Highlands, possesses a charming wickedness and canny wit which has earned him much popularity. After the king decrees that he wed the fiery hellion, Lachlan discovers there is one woman who can resist him--Angelique. Can he break through her icy fa├žade and melt her heart, or will the dark secrets lurking in her past not only cost them their future together, but their very lives?


Voluptuous - Cover Reveal

I'm thrilled to be able to share the cover for my upcoming release from Ellora's Cave, Voluptuous. This novella will be part of their Curve Appeal series, all the stories will be featuring plus-size heroines.

Today I'll share a rough blurb to give you all an idea of what the story is about. I'll be sharing the official blurb and release date once they become available.


For plus-sized Meredith Larkin, one-night stands are all she expects. After being stood up by another blind date, she hooks up with sexy coworker Sam Burrows at the local bar. She’s drooled over Sam for months, but getting to know him better in a back booth makes her wish guys like him wanted to stick around with a girl like her.

Sam’s been attracted to Meredith’s lush curves, bright-green eyes and throaty laugh ever since he met her. Sharing drinks, bad date stories and sexy innuendos make him like her even more. But her lousy one-night stands have convinced her she’s not worth a second glance. Spankings and a little bondage just might help convince the voluptuous
Meredith that not only can they share adventurous sex and pizza at midnight, but a future together as well.

I had a lot of fun writing this story. It was one of those that just seemed to flow from my fingers to the keyboard to the screen. Man, I wish they all came that easily.

Silken Canvas - available now
Voluptuous - coming soon from Ellora's Cave
Playing for Real - coming in 2014 from Samhain

Hot guys, and sun, and...sharks? Oh my!

So, about a month or so ago, I was writing along on my WIP -- a  hot, sexy menage that takes place in the vacation spot we hit every year in Florida -- and I had an idea for a scene. It'd be full of action, and suspense, and....


Okay, wait. Back up. There's a little backstory (I know, I know... :)) that you need to hear first. When we started visiting this spot along the Emerald Coast in Florida's panhandle, we met some wonderful people, who have since become amazing friends. They'd been vacationing in that area for years, so they knew what was what. So when they said to us, "Hey, you know what they say about Inlet Beach?" and we replied with a "Well, no...", their response shocked us.

"Inlet Beach has some of the best shark fishing around."


Sharks? And my kids were swimming in that water? Whoa, baby. In the eight years we've been going down there, I KNOW we've seen a couple here or there. They tend to stay pretty far out, but they're still out there. And no, I'm not confusing them for dolphins. Those bob up and down when they swim. Shark fins glide nice and easy along the water. Big difference, there.

But back to my story idea. I wanted to include a shark fishing scene in this book, but I know absolutely nothing about shark or deep-sea fishing. Helloooo internet! I started out at YouTube, where I looked up shark fishing in general. I came across a poster who had a bunch of videos up there, and wouldn't ya know, he had a website. So, I took a chance and emailed him. Jim Summers, Captain of the Fat Jax out of Pensacola, Florida, responded the same day. He gave me valuable information--vivid descriptions of what a trip out on his boat might be like--along with the nitty gritty of the equipment he used and such. After going back and forth via email a few times, I wrote the scene, and I have to say, I love the way it turned out. I couldn't have done it without Jim's help, though. This was actually my first time officially interviewing someone for information for one of my books, and it was a great experience. Now, if I only had the courage to do what my characters did... Take a look...

Here's my one and only experience with a shark. This was summer of 2011. And yes, we released this little guy right after I petted him...

I'm off to work on finishing this book. I can't wait for you all to read it... Stay tuned!


Happy Early Earth Day!

Happy Spring! I think it's finally here, and I'm thrilled. It's one of my favorite seasons, the other three being summer, autumn, and winter. :)

I do love all the seasons, each one for its own special contribution to the beauty of our dynamic earth. If I sound like a nature lover, it's because I am, so much so that I wrote an erotic romance, Second Nature, set mostly in the forest in which an environmental activist tries to resist the advances of an arrogant developer who is not what he appears to be. It's one of my first published novellas and was one of my favorites to write because of the nature theme and the abundance of passion Graham and Claret share, even when she despises him and all she thinks he represents.

In honor of spring, and since April 22nd is Earth Day, I thought I'd share the description and an excerpt from Second Nature in case anyone is in a green mood and looking for a red-hot read. :)

Enjoy, and Happy Earth Day!

"Mate with me."
This is the insistent demand wealthy tycoon Graham Norton makes on passionate activist Claret McDaniel. Never, "Make love to me." Never, "Let's have sex," or even a crass, "Let's do it, baby."
But whenever he sees her, whenever they meet to argue over his recent land development plans to destroy her beloved forest, the only place she feels at home, Graham urges Claret, "Mate with me."
And all of Claret's attempts to remain professional and pure are slowly melting away under the persuasive gleam in his eyes. She begins to sense under his carefully groomed businessman's exterior beats an untamed heart. There's something primitive about Graham. Something mythical. Something not entirely human. And whatever it is, she is about to find, deep within her unnatural human body...its mate.


“You know, Claret, you could stop this if you wanted to.”
Graham Norton’s hand reached for Claret’s, and she instinctively pulled it from the table, settling it gently in her lap. His intense gaze shot fire through her, but she straightened in her chair and cleared her throat.
“Mr. Graham, I have told you before that I am not interested in using those types of methods to convince you to change your development plans. If you met with me tonight thinking I would give in this time, you were wrong. Again.” Claret finished her practiced speech, her voice sounding even and polished, although her insides quivered and her throat felt suddenly parched. It was probably all the throat-clearing she had done throughout dinner.     
Claret forgot the danger sitting across from her and reached for her water glass, but with one deft move, Graham clasped her hand in his and offered a sinister smile.
“Why not?” he questioned her, his thumb finding the tender spot on her freckled wrist where her pulse throbbed. “Why not mate with me tonight and let me show you what you are missing, what you have missed for most of your life?”  His thumb rubbed gently across her soft skin in time with her heartbeat, which quickened at an alarming pace.
Claret shook her head and sighed, trying to pull her hand from its warm embrace. She had long given up trying to figure out why Graham’s arrogance allowed him to think that mating with him would be the highlight of any girl’s life. He was oddly handsome, yes, with dark chestnut hair that neatly curled above his ears, and the most sensual amber brown eyes she had ever seen. But really, did he think Claret was so inexperienced that she’d climaxed before?
And mate with him--why did he always say that way? He never said “have sex” or “do it” or “enjoy carnal bliss” or anything different. It was always “mate with me.”  Claret shook her head again. Why did she even come tonight? Did she really think that this time he'd would offer anything but another invitation to his bed?
“Claret, do you want to know a secret?”
Claret rolled her eyes and tried to tug her hand away, but Graham’s grip was strong. Gentle, but very strong. Her heart began to pound.
“Your eyes are like the greenest emeralds—I dreamt about them the other night, you know. And do have any idea how much I envy those black waves that tickle your face and neck? Your pixie cut suits you, Claret. Won’t you be my pixie tonight? I need you.”
Graham intensified his attentions at her wrist, and his steady gaze, infused with an odd hunger that intrigued and challenged her, caused her to shift uncomfortably in her seat to relieve the slight pressure she had begun to feel between her thighs.
“Mr. Norton, tell me one thing,” Claret started, trying to draw his attentions away from her wrist and back to their conversation.
“Anything you wish, Claret.” Graham’s response was filled with mirth. He was humoring her.
“You are not unattractive, as I am sure you have noticed every woman in her staring at you throughout our meal.” An amused smile played across Graham’s face and his eyes flickered dangerously. “So I don’t understand why you can’t just bang one of them? Why does it have to be me? What is it? Haven’t you ever had an activist before?”
Graham stopped rubbing her wrist and sat back in his seat, his hand lightly touching her fingers and his gaze as intense as ever. That’s one for me, thought Claret. Graham Norton hated coarse language; she had figured that much out over the last few months, and he especially seemed to not like it coming from her. Finally, after a minute, he spoke.
“That’s common, Claret, and not like you at all. I offer you something beautiful and you try to make it ugly. Was the idea of mating with me beginning to appeal to you that much that you had to make it seem so…so human?”