Thursday, May 28, 2009

Morning Mojo Is A Go Go!

I've recently been found to have Celiac - an intolerance to gluten, all things wheat - and most things I eat. The stuff acts like a poison in my body and blocks my ability to take in nutrients. It would explain a lot of reasons why I've felt lousy for the better part of three years. The only known cure for Celiac is to stay away from all products containing gluten and all the weird words that mean the same thing. If I want to feel good, I have to pay attention to everything I put in my mouth.


Okay fine, I'm a big girl and I can handle the fact I have to make changes if I want to be around to write that best seller. And I do want to be around. So for five days now I've been gluten free. In between my writing I've been doing research, looking up tasty recipes that don't skimp on taste, and pretty much educating myself on what I can and can't eat. I've found gluten is a tricky little thing and enjoys hiding out in some of the most fantastic foods. Imagine that - pretty much all my favorite foods have some form of gluten in it.

*double sigh*

But there is some good news. I found out that my ultra favorite morning mojo - my Oregon Vanilla Chai Tea - is gluten free. Yesssssssssssssss! I was terrified to find out otherwise. And when I did find out it was like the sun peeked out from behind the nasty gray storm clouds and sent a big bright ray down on me while some angelic voices sang in the background. Or that might have been my cats, but at any rate, my entire universe is not shattered!

Chai tea is my morning confetti. It's my ritual. It's the key to my survival. Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating, but only a teeny tiny bit. It's my comfort, a reward for working my butt off all week, and my one sweet treat that always brings a smile to my face. My morning is not complete - or worth mentioning when I think about it - unless my Chai is beside me. We need each other. It's the wind beneath my wings. It' think I'm going too far? Fair enough. I won't bore you with the 101 reasons why I love Vanilla Chai. No, it's too late now. Begging won't help. Those 101 reasons will stay my secret ;)

Do you have a favorite drink that you *dramatically speaking* can't live without? Or wouldn't want to live without? A drink that makes you feel good inside and gives you that added boost? Maybe hot cocoa or a smoothie? A specific coffee - or are you a tea drinker too?

I can live without the gluten - in fact I WILL live without the gluten. And fortunately I can start each day with my morning mojo. Life is good. Well, at least until the last drop ;)Oh, an incidentally, Oregon Chai is found all over, not just in Oregon. Here's their site: Oregon Chai

~Ann Chai Drinker Cory

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Work out

It's been a rough school year around here that's winding down as we speak. Only a few more weeks left. They've both struggled with their own issues.

However, the struggles have hopefully helped them to learn something about themselves. My oldest learned that she's got to work hard to get anywhere. The youngest has hopefully learned that anything worthwhile in life, you have to work to get.

Both of them saw some hard work pay off last weekend. The oldest applied for and got a position on the school's A/V team (they do morning announcements over the TV). And at long last, my youngest moved up a level in gymnastics.

While I've been happy for them and congratulatory, I've stressed that I'm proud of their hard work. And I hope they come away with the idea that hard work can get results.

It's a great lesson that I've had to learn sometimes, too. I played with writing for a long time before I found my niche. I dabbled at it. It was when I started working hard, that I got somewhere with my writing.

Does it pay off?

Well, I've acquired both a new contract and a contest final in the last month. Settler's Mine 5: The man was contracted by Loose Id. And Settler's Mine 3: The Woman finaled in the 4th Annual Passionate Plume. So the hard work is paying off.

Of course I still have to work. I have a submission into my editor I'm waiting to hear back on. And deadline of July 1st.

No rest for the wicked!

Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How much sex is too much?

Today I decided to blog about sex. How much is too much sex? Is that even possible? Based on the genre, the answer is both yes and no.

I write very blistering menages under the pen name of Eve Adams. It isn't unusual for sex to happen within the first two chapters. If it doesn't, the characters are at least imagining it happening. Are the first couple of chapters too soon to have your characters engage in sexual congress? No way. When a reader picks up a menage, they know they are going to get sex more than M/F, and they know they are going to get a lot of it. Have you ever read a tame menage? I didn't think so.

In Under the Covers, my heroine works in a "gentlemen's club" as a courtesan. My alpha hero is an undercover agent working the nightclub scene to seek out a killer. He sees her and BAM! He has to have her. They don't have sex right away, but they are definitely... ahem... hands on by chapter two. When the beta hero makes his appearance, the three of them really crank up the heat. None of them knew each other before meeting in the club, so I didn't want them just jumping into the sack. However, she is working as a courtesan and there is an expectation that she will perform. Believe you me, she doesn't disappoint. Over. And over. And over.

Riding Double takes a different approach. The heroine already knows both her heroes. She's a wildcat who loves to raise hell. The very first scene she starts a bar fight with the hero, just to turn her on. What results is HOT sex up against a...well, you get the idea. This is all by the end of chapter two. By the time they make it back to the ranch, where the other hero awaits, she's ready to pick another fight, just to turn her on again, and pull hero #2 into her wild game. Together, the two cowboys teach her how to ride double. Lots of sex, from start to finish.

I also write sizzling romantic suspense as Allie K. Adams. Although the sex isn't any less hot than my menages, it is strictly between a man and woman, and the story builds up to the actual deed.

In At Any Cost, the heroine is a rookie agent desperate to prove to her idol that she has what it takes to be part of the elite team. Her idol is a seasoned agent who not only thinks she'd be better off working at McDonalds, he doesn't trust her any further than he can throw her. The only problem is, he also thinks she's the funniest, sexiest agent he's ever seen and can't help but fall in love with her. It makes for great tension the entire story watching these two deny their feelings while at the same time saving the world. They save the actual act until midway through the book. There four sex scenes in the entire book because it isn't the focus of the book.

Seek and Destroy is the second in the series. The hero and heroine still must save the world (it is, after all, romantic suspense), but instead of them working for the same agency as the agents did in the first book, they work for rivaling agencies that form an unlikely alliance to catch a madman before he strikes again. The agents try to out do each other the entire book. It also makes for great tension watching them work through their issues. These two agents end up in the sack sooner than later, and keep the heat going throughout the entire book. Still, sex isn't the focus of the book.

That's what really sets stories apart. Is it sex for the sake of sex? Romantica? Menage? You expect to read graphic, explicit sex scenes when you read erotica. You don't when you read mainstream. If you picked up a mainstream story and it was sex, sex, and more sex, you'd probably be disappointed. Same goes for erotica. If you pick up an erotica story and there were maybe two sex scenes in the entire book, you'd probably throw the damn thing across the room.

When you pick up a book by Allie K. Adams, you know it is going to be a hot romantic suspense between a man and a woman. It is more mainstream, less sex, but not at all light on the sexual tension. When you read Eve Adams, you are assured the menage stories will be hot, will have multiple partners, and will be full of sex.

It's all about the genre.

Monday, May 25, 2009

J.J.'s May

Hey all! Have you heard that TRS is opening a GLBT spot?

Of course you have! I’m looking forward to it, myself. I love GLBT stuff. Of course, eighty percent of all people are apparently bisexual. So we’re all sorta gay, right? Some more than others, of course. I figure that, even though the statistics say that we’re all bisexual, that doesn’t mean we’ve done anything about it. Or maybe we have. Whose business is it, anyway?

Since, according to whoever it is that figures these things out, such a large slice of the population is said to be sexually flexible, maybe reading about it is all it takes to meet that need? It could be. I love reading about Male/Male relationships as much as I love writing about them. The thing is, I’ve never been physically attracted to another woman, but I’m not a single gay man either. So… my options are sort of limited.

Well, while I’m busy indulging the gay man who lives in my psyche, I figured I’d share a little bit with you. Here are a few excerpts from books that are on their way—none of them are edited yet, so these are smallish sections and might have typos. Hope you like ‘em!

(rated adult for some language and possible situations :->)

By J.J. Massa

*Who am I fooling? He turns me on. Turns me on in a way that no one, anywhere, ever has. I’m even attracted to his nasty disposition—I’m sure there’s something wrong with that.*

Madoc pulled into his garage, making certain to open the second door so that Rune would know to park his motorbike there. No sense in inviting the neighbors to speculate, not that they needed his encouragement there.

He led his companion through the foyer and into his well appointed house. Most of the rooms were dark, though not overly so.

“I would be happy to give you the tour,” he offered, “But all you really need is the kitchen…” here he slowed and indicated a gleaming, airy room with chrome appliances and stone counters. “…the bathroom…” he opened a door near the end of a long hall and gestured that Rune should precede him. He enjoyed the well appointed bathroom, but they could investigate it more closely at a later time. Opening another door, opposite from where they’d entered, Madoc extended an arm indicating the room beyond. “And finally, the bedroom.”

Rune considered him silently for several moments before commenting. “You’ve only the one bedroom, then?”

Madoc smirked. “This is the only one that matters.”

It was a large room and the bed was proportionate. Four lumberjacks could have spread out in it and never touched. He was quite sure that he and Rune would be comfortable, though he expected that they would touch a great deal.

He would never have admitted that he was nervous, wasn’t even sure he knew how to recognize the sensation. Still, he felt much more relaxed when Rune crossed the threshold of the room, tacitly implying that he would be staying there.

“We can fuck, but this is not a commitment,” Rune said bluntly.

Madoc took the saddlebag that he’d been carrying and placed it on the floor near the wall. It would be easily enough to find when it was needed.

“No, not a commitment,” Madoc agreed easily as he slipped the brushed leather jacket from Rune’s shoulders, tossing it toward a wingback chair. He never noticed if it landed there or not.


A Friend in Need
By J.J. Massa

Emrys carefully rolled Tyson onto his back so that the larger man half covered him. “What are you thinking, tiger?” he questioned, dipping in for a kiss. “What do you find surreal?”

Tyson lifted one nervous hand to cup Emrys cheek. He wasn’t used to touching him yet, touching anyone at all, for that matter. “I thought about you every day. Daydreamed, even. Last week, three-four days ago. And then I’m at work, this…horrible thing happened. All I could think was that I wanted to go home.” He averted his eyes, swallowing. “And you were home,” he confessed. Emrys palmed his face and urged him to look at him again. “I just needed you. Couldn’t think straight, everything was pain, and I needed you.”

Then Emrys’ lips were covering his, teasing, opening them with the slight insistent pressure of his own. Slowly, hesitantly, Tyson laid his hands against Emrys chest slipping off to the sides, inch by inch around his ribcage until his hands stroked the smooth skin of Emrys’ back.

Warm lips traveled his face, skimming his jaw and tasting down his throat. Tyson let his hands smooth their way up to Emrys’ shoulders and hair as the other man kissed, licked and nipped his way along Tyson’s clavicle to stop and tease his nipples. First one, and then the other, Emrys nipped, sucked, and tugged, causing Tyson’s back to arch and his body to tighten.

Emrys teased and tasted every one of his ribs, back and forth, licking along every ridge of bone, though carefully skipping over the bruised and injured area. “You’re much too thin, love,” he murmured into Tyson’s skin.

Before Tyson could respond, Emrys mouthed his way down until he was trailing the waistband of Tyson’s boxers with his tongue. Tyson couldn’t have spoken if he’d had anything to say, though he could moan and proved it convincingly. Emrys paid such close attention to every centimeter of skin, and now, now he was nuzzling Tyson’s bellybutton, fingertips just under the elastic at his waist.

“All right?” he asked, easing them down bit by bit.

“Ye-yes,” Tyson forced through a dry throat. “Yes, please.”

“Good lad,” Emrys purred into the line of fur on the flat of his stomach. “That’s my lovely tiger.”


(working title, but you’ll see why I’m using it for now)
By J.J. Massa

Garret Angston was the most tight assed, old before his time, frustrated, stunted…

Lang blew out a breath. Mentally railing on Mr. A did him no good at all. It just made him resent the old bastard more. The truth was, Mr. Angston wasn’t really all that old.

Not only that, the occasional bend or twist in just the right light had informed Lang that the old boy wasn’t all that badly formed, either. He had what promised to be a halfway decent ass if Lang was any judge. And frankly, he felt himself something of a connoisseur. He liked older men. Not old older men, of course, but slightly older, yes. And lately, he found himself in the mood for someone who knew what they wanted and how to get it. Okay, really, he was in the mood for anybody who wasn’t attached to Lang’s current sex partner—that is, his own right hand.

He sighed quietly and nodded sharply without looking up. The other thing that was fine about Angston were those eyes. Man he had a fine set of eyes. Talk about windows to the soul. It could be that he was nothing more than a seething bed of bitter angst. But those looks were intense. Sometimes, maybe when Lang was still half asleep and not quite put together in the mornings, well, those burning brown eyes screamed hunger, ravenous, mine-mine-mine, hunger. Like this morning. Unfortunately, that usually led to a small spate of verbal abuse, because Lang found himself stopped short at the look. And that look always happened when he was already a bit late.


Garret had seldom been so grateful to see the clock hands reach five. What a day. What a long and tedious day. His assistant had been late again. The little bastard. Did he have to be so damned sexy in the mornings?

Langley Johnson had a natural, just out-of-bed look that ate at Garret. It wasn’t fair. Did any other manager have this to deal with? How did the young man find suits that fitted his tight little ass like t hat? Did he have them measured? Most men aimed for something a little less… revealing, perhaps.

That messy dark hair, those heavy-lidded blue eyes, sleep soft face…it was worse if he came skidding in with his tie half off like this morning. He had a freshly-fucked look that fairly screamed to the ravenous beast Garret kept locked away most of the time.

He’d kept that part of himself contained for so long. He was from an old fashioned family and he worked for an old fashioned firm. It had taken him many years to get where he was today, not at the top, maybe, but still, he was settled. That is, settled until his assistant stumbled in looking debauched and Garret had to fight to keep from making sure the job had been thoroughly done. ..

Yes indeed, he was going to have to get his own ashes hauled, post haste.

And that’s what’s going on with me this month. : o ) At least you know I’m doing SOMETHING, right? Like everyone else, I just need real life to give me a break long enough to get some work done. Funny how that works.

Ahh, well.

Take care!

J.J. Massa

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Join me at Balticon!

Join me - Leigh Ellwood, Helen Madden, and Alessia Brio as we talk dirty and literary in Baltimore for what will prove to be a terrific party. This is to be my first Balticon, and I'll speak on two panels, one on Saturday night and one on Sunday night. It'll also be the first time in a while where I don't have put in time at a table or booth, and I don't mind that at all. It will be nice to play tourist for a bit and see the con through those eyes. Next year we'll get the booth and do the hard sell.

I will have gift certificates for free eBooks, though. Just look for the tired old lady in the pink Coming Together t-shirt and I'll give you one.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good Vibrations

Since this is the start of the Memorial Day weekend, I thought an excerpt from my Vietnam-era story, Good Vibrations, seemed appropriate. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Lyndi Lamont
When Sunny McCafferty heads off to protest at the 1968 Democratic Convention, the last person she expects to meet, much less fall for, is a wounded Vietnam vet.

Not all of Joe Marcellino's wounds are on the outside. Being with Sunny makes him feel alive again. But can two people on opposite sides of a bitter divide make a go of it?


Grand Central Terminal, New York City, August 1968

"Your train is leaving on Track 13, sir," the attendant said as he slipped the train ticket across the counter.

Joe grimaced and pocketed it. "Great," he muttered under his breath as he turned to leave. He'd been dogged by bad luck all year, ever since he was shot during the Tet offensive. "Should have taken a plane instead."

He grabbed his duffel bag with his left hand, leaned on his cane with the right one, and headed across the Main Concourse toward the information booth in the center. The place must have been something to see in its heyday, but age and neglect showed everywhere. The huge Kodak sign over the East Balcony blocked the sun and added a note of tackiness. Ditto for the model hawking the latest model Cadillac.

He glanced up at the windows and ceiling high above. His dad had come through here on his way home from WWII and raved about the station. "Don't forget to look at the ceiling," he'd told Joe over the phone just the other day. Joe glanced up, but the mural of the heavens was dimmed by years of grime. Yet another difference between his homecoming and his dad's.

The station wasn't crowded. Hell, the few people there seemed lost in the cavernous space, but he was aware of the stares that followed his slow progress. He hobbled along, back rigid and eyes straight ahead. He hated the stares. Some were merely curious, others hostile. Worst of all was the pity he saw in some faces.

It would have been just as bad at the airport, he told himself. Worse, maybe, since there would be more people and a longer walk. And there was no way in hell he could bend his injured leg enough to sit in an airplane seat. The train should be better.

He hated wearing his uniform in public, but he'd had no choice. Not if he wanted his military discount. Besides, all his civvies were at home in Chicago. Along with his huge family eagerly waiting to welcome their wounded hero home. They'd shower him with love and attention and food until he was ready to scream. He loved the hell out of them, but his loving, smothering family was one of the reasons he'd joined the Army after finishing college.

When he arrived at the gate area, he checked in with the New York Central conductor for his train ticket, then stood in line to check in with the Pullman porter. He'd reserved a roomette, a small second class sleeping room for one person, insuring room to stretch his leg and privacy for most of the journey.

"Do you have any checked baggage?" a porter asked.

"No, just my duffel bag," Joe replied.

"I can take that for you, sir."

Joe handed over the bag and told the porter his room number. He could manage the bag, but the porter probably needed the work. Not many people took the trains any more.

He turned to head toward Track 13 and saw her. It was hard to miss her, from the top of her head, covered with wavy red hair, to the impossibly long legs revealed by her short tan wraparound skirt. His breath caught as he surveyed her. A finer example of American womanhood, he'd not seen in years. She was tall, only three or four inches shorter than his five feet eleven inches. She turned and saw him and smiled. He nodded and smiled back, his heart suddenly racing. Hers was the first friendly face he'd seen all day. He read no curiosity, no hostility, no pity in her expression, just open friendliness.

He headed down the walkway and she fell into step with him, letting the other passengers rush by them. They walked in silence for a few minutes while he tried not to stare at her breasts as they swayed gently with her every step. He was pretty sure she wasn't wearing a bra under the embroidered peasant blouse that had slipped off one shoulder.

God bless America. Land of free love and home of the braless.

Good Vibrations is available from Amber Heat. Click here to view the video trailer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Best Laid Plans...

In April, I announced here that May was "Hero Month" on my website, and well, I kinda sorta followed through on that concept. Though not quite. *w* Sometimes my plans go awry. But usually for a good reason, as was the case this time. Just before I started the series on hot, hunky heroes (which I'll get back to soon!), I found out my Ellora's Cave book Until Jake won Best Book of the Year for 2008 in its category from Romance Reviews Today!! So, needless to say, I got all excited and decided to host a couple of contests for readers to win a copy of the book if they haven't read it yet, and a contest for those who have read it! So, if you're looking to win a steamy read, or if you've read Until Jake, hop over to my website and enter my contests!

Leave a comment on this blog, and you'll have an additional chance to win!

And... starting this weekend, I'll be holding contests to win some cool stuff related to my upcoming July release, Object of Desire--an action-packed, sexy spy novel! So stop by website and blog throughout June for excerpts and contests! And if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, you can do that on my website as well--and subscribers are privvy to special "members only" contests!

Happy Memorial weekend to you all!



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chocolate for a Writer's Soul...and Sanity

Good day, Leigh Ellwood here. Very happy to be back for another great blog day at TRS. It's been a busy month, between appearances in DC and another one coming at Balticon this weekend, but I manage to find the energy. Chocolate helps, and lucky I have lots of it stashed away under the bed.

So if you're curious about what I do in between promoting my books (by the way, did I mention I have a free short at Phaze Books, called A Daring Twist? Go to the free erotic short stories page for it. Also, check out my homepage for news on when my latest anthology, Metropolitan Passions, Volume 1 comes out. It features my M/M short, Why, Why Zed?), I basically blog about chocolate. Not just Twix, either. I'm talking the good stuff - the brand names with accents and umlauts from places like Costa Rica and Switzerland. Rich in antioxidants, bold in flavor, it's a snack that offers some health benefits, provided you don't sit on your tush all day and wolf it down. Indeed, I limit myself to about two ounces a day. I almost have to, for some of the chocolate I buy is so rich I really don't need more than that. I find, also, that chocolate helps me with my writing.

You see, consumption of chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, which help make you feel goooood. The better you feel, the more apt you are to write hot romantic scenes. Yes, I do sometimes joke about needing to swallow all of Hershey, PA to get the novel written, but I've had few complaints so far.

What's the best chocolate for writers? I've been asked to make recommendations before, and truthfully I cannot give a definite answer. I can tell you, however, what I prefer best: a dark single origin solid, usually around the 70-75% cacao level, where the taste is not too bitter and not too sweet. The bar should snap loudly and easily when broken and give off a rich aroma. If I had to pick five must-haves to keep near the keyboard, I would choose these (in no particular order):

Endangered Species Supreme Dark (72%) - Strong snap and a smooth finish, great in moderation. You can find this brand in most organic and health food type stores. Look for the labels with the wild animals.

Chocolpologie Dark (71%) with Burnt Caramel and Sea Salt - Recommended only if you like savory stuff mixed with chocolate. It's a thick bar permeated with strong, sharp flavors.
Sea salt is a great compliment, provided there isn't too much of it. You might have to order this one online.

Green and Black's Dark (70%) - A popular organic bar, found in most grocery stores these days. Strong aroma and flavor, good beginner bar for those new to dark chocolate.

Patric Chocolate (67%) - Probably some of the best dark chocolate I've ever had! This company makes bars in micro-batches, thereby preserving the flavor of the bar and the integrity of the brand. You'll have to order these online unless you can find them in a specialty shop.

Waialua Estate Dark (70%) - Excellent stuff! The cacao is grown entirely in Hawaii o on the Dole plantations by the Guittard Chocolate company. You can actually taste pineapple in the finish. You'll have to search for these.

And if do you find some, send some my way?

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Quit! Or... not.

I had a challenge to write a short-short story on giving up writing and why we shouldn't. It should be heartwarming, they said. Riiiiight. If you know me, I do action, sex, humor... but a sweet heartwarming story? Uh... *scratches head* Not...really. With that dilemma in mind, I wrote about how another writer might handle a similar assignment. Enjoy.

Vote for Adam Lambert!

Every day, I get up and I look in the mirror, and I say, "My name is Kris, and I'm a writer. Today's the day, baby! I'm gonna be famous." As you can see, I don't just talk to myself; I lie to myself too.

Yeah, well today, I quit. No, not lying. Duh. As if... No, I gave up writing.

Why? The last line of my editor's email said, "Make it more heartwarming, and it'll sell."


I'll give him heartwarming! How many hours did I sit here, at his suggestion no less, staring at the screen, trying to come up with ways to increase action? Okay, so now you've got your slam-bam action. There's a crisis on every page. And he wants "heartwarming."

I'm an action writer. Heartburn is more like it.

My hero's a player, smart, in great shape, face and body like one of those models from New York. He can do anything. Problem is, he's all mouth. You know the type. Knows everything, and makes sure you hear about it. Here's one of his lines. "I'm so much more intelligent than most of my friends that they don't seem to like me. Apparently, they have ego problems."

How do you make a guy like that heartwarming?

He's a spy. Carries an arsenal in his pants, in more ways than one. Kills for a living. Crude and rude. Think Dirty Harry meets James Bond. What does this editor want, Dirty Harry meets Love Story? Cute little warm fuzzies all over the place? My poor hero would puke.

I can see it now: "Love means never having to say I'm Bond. James Bond."

My friends would laugh themselves silly. Hmmm. Wait a second. What if I made it a comedy? I could do comedy. Dirty Harry meets Love Story... I could call it "Dirty Love Story." Yeah... I kind of like that. Maybe the hero's got a thing for love stories. Reads women's erotica on the sly, to find out what women really want in bed. Yeah! That could work. That's heartwarming, isn't it?

I gotta get my laptop. Today's the day, baby! I'm gonna be famous.

Anyone care to share a similar misdirection from an editor or when looking for kind of book -- you end up buying something totally different from what you expected?

Oh, and btw, yes, that pic is of Adam Lambert, one of the final two contestants on American Idol. Hey, it's my blog today and I can post what I want. GO ADAM!! Ok... back to your regularly scheduled blog. =^_^=

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thank You Romance Studio!

For the great review you gave for "THE COWBOY WAY". I'm so excited! Since it's release in April my third torrid romance has received three great book reviews.

Whipped Cream Reviews - Best Book Rating
Romance Junkies - Blue Ribbon Rating of FIVE
The Romance Studio - FIVE HEARTS

Blurb -
Artist Lacey Owens comes home to her father’s ranch for a little R and R. She's not prepared for becoming the means for revenge by an old enemy he helped send to prison. Getting involved with her father’s ranch foreman and partner Chase Saunders isn’t in her plans either. But as unexplained incidences occur and Lacey’s life becomes threatened, fate throws her and Chase together when he makes it his mission to protect her. Her independent nature rebels against his arrogant high handed methods and tempers ignite, but it soon becomes apparent that their animosity is only a ruse for the intense sexual longing stirring in their blood.

Excerpt -
He crushed her to him and slammed his mouth down on hers, locking any protest deep in her throat. Lacey struggled but it didn’t seem to matter to Chase. He over powered her easily, while managing to control his stallion’s nervous movements with ease and expertise. Lacey brought her hands up and pushed against his massive, rock hard chest. But it was like trying to move a mountain. She whimpered beneath his attack, becoming aware of things she didn’t want to notice.

She began to slip towards the ground and ceased her movements, bringing her arms up to cling to Chase’s neck. It brought Lacey closer to him. He growled, forcing her mouth open until he could slip his tongue inside. Unwillingly, she began to melt under his rough kiss, returning the thrust of his tongue against hers. A sharp need of desire uncurled inside her belly, turning her blood hot. She was afraid of not being strong enough to deny him if he should seek more than a kiss.

Lacey had never been handled so ruthlessly by any man before, no one had dared. And while she balked at his arrogance, she couldn’t deny the feelings he roused. The thrill of his mouth on hers, the feel of his whiskers against her tender skin and the taste of something sweet on his breath heightened her arousal. Her nostrils flared, greedily taking in the masculine scent of sweat, leather and horse.

Most of all his arousal.

Lacey’s breasts swelled against his chest, her nipples hardened into painful knots. When his hands traveled down her arms he left a trail of tingles behind. But when his hand closed over her breast, Lacey knew real desire, and fear. For her betraying flesh swelled even more into his caress. She shivered violently and moaned as his thumb flicked across her nipple, and arched her back before she realized what she was doing.

Without warning Chase broke away, promptly ending the sizzling moment between them. Lacey’s lungs screamed for air, and it gave her little pleasure to see Chase was just as out of breath. His expression frightened her a little. Dark like polished stone, his eyes were glazed over with heated passion, his nostrils flaring like a wild animal. Lacey could feel his heart beating in rhythm with her own.

She tried to turn away from his all too seeing eyes but there was nowhere to go. His horse moved beneath them, but Chase kept him under control with the steady pressure of his solid thighs and knees. Realizing her arms were still locked around his neck, Lacey slowly broke her hold and lowered them, humiliated and angry.

Tory Richards

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Let there be Peace...

Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.” John F Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” John Adams said, “Fear is the foundation of most governments.”

When I created the Tarthian Empire for my books, I also created laws, a history, and a culture for the people. Just as the quotes above represent many ideals of the American people, quotes of great leaders from the Tarthian Empire represent their world as well. I thought you might enjoy seeing a couple.

Destine Pietan (an immortal now known as Rheyn Destoiya) was an empress who unified more than a dozen planets under one rule. Her most famous quote is, “It has been true throughout history that a crossroads will always be fought for. Let us be known as the generation that put an end to territorial bickering. Let us be the generation of peace.”

Ran Holding (another immortal, now known as Luc Saint-Cyr) was a champion for sharecropper rights on the planet Mjuka. He also introduced breeding techniques for cattle, launching an entirely new industry. His most famous quote regards peace as well. “Poverty plagues every sharecropper farmer on Mjuka. When we go to bed at night, we pray not only for peace, or prosperity, we also pray for freedom from the tyranny of debt. Because only when we own our lands will we know the true meaning of either peace or prosperity.”

What are your favorite quotes? Post some, and tonight I’ll pick one at random and provide a download of my first two books, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only. Here are their blurbs.

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

If he tastes her passion, will he be at the mercy of her pleasure?

Senth must suppress his feral, non-human side to work beside a Better, an enhanced woman whose addictive pheromones could sever all his hard-won self control. He must resist her, because what if it's true about Betters, that just one taste of her passion, and he'll be at the mercy of her pleasure, forever?

For Women Only

Will she free his heart before his betrayal breaks hers?

To protect the remnants of his family, Khyff must overcome his hatred of the Kin long enough to seduce and betray their ambassador -- the one person among them with the power and will to mend his broken heart.

Remember, post your favorite quotes, whether about peace or simply words to live by, and I'll draw one name from among those who post!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Do you like your Vampires tall, dark, and brooding? Then check out Vampire 101!

I've had a thing for vampires ever since I first saw the tall, dark, and hunky Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so when I decided to write a vamp paranormal romance, I thought why not write about a heroine who was as into him as I am? Of course, Savanna, the sexy heroine in my new book from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Vampire 101, the first book in my Modern Day Vampires series, ended up getting a little more caught up in the whole vampire thing than I think I would like. For one thing, she likes to hang out at Goth clubs on the weekend, figuring that's as close to the dark, brooding Angel as she's ever likely to get. Now I can honestly say I've never done that! It was fun to write about it, though.

Since she's read just about vamp book ever written, and watched every television show and movie ever made about them to boot, Savanna considers herself somewhat of an expert on the subject. Of course, she doesn't really believe in her heart that vampires exist. It's just fun to think they do. She'd be happy just to find someone with a few vamp-like qualities - hence the Goth clubs. But then her whole world is turned upside down when she's bitten by a real-life rogue vampire and left for dead outside a Goth club. That's when she discovers the hard way that they really do exist after all. And when the sinfully handsome vampire Kaige, the hero of Vampire 101, comes to her rescue and saves her life by turning her into one, she learns that everything she thought she knew about vampires is wrong.

But just because she was wrong about the details, it doesn't mean that she isn't in for the wildest, craziest, most sensual ride of her life! Time to hold on tight and find out how a modern vampire really lives!


Being a Vampire Isn't What It Used to Be!

Savanna Royce is a weekend Goth-girl who has always been fascinated with vampires. She doesn’t really believe in them, of course, but that changes when she is bitten by a rogue vamp and left for dead.
Fortunately, two-hundred-and-seventy-eight-year-old vampire Kaige Travers is there to rescue her. Unwilling to let her die, he turns Savanna into a vampire to save her life, not knowing if she’ll thank him or hate him for it.
While Kaige is teaching Savanna what she needs to know about being a vampire, neither of them can deny the chemistry that’s there. Somewhere between getting her registered at the local vampire admin office and teaching her how to order blood on the internet, they fall for each other, fast and hard.
Just as things are heating up between the sheets – and everywhere else – they encounter one minor problem. The rogue vampire who attacked her is back and this time, he wants to finish the job he started.


Heart hammering in her chest, Savanna lifted her head to see a tall, dark-haired man coming into the room. Even as fuzzy as she was, there was no mistaking those rugged good looks. He was the guy she remembered leaning over her.

“You’re awake,” he said. “That’s good.”

His voice was deep and velvety, just like she remembered. Savanna jumped to her feet and she backed away from him on wobbly legs.

“Who are you?” she demanded. “Where am I?”

The man held up his hand in a placating gesture. “Just take it easy. I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. “My name is Kaige Travers, and you’re in my house.”

Savanna’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. What the heck kind of name was Kaige, anyway?Probably fake. “Why did you bring me here?” she asked, not bothering to return the introduction.

Kaige regarded her thoughtfully for a moment. “How much do you remember about what happened at the Goth club?” he asked.

Savanna’s pulse began to race. He couldn’t possibly be referring to that crazy stuff from her dream. “What are you talking about?”

He hesitated. “You were attacked. I had to bring you here to save your life.”

She frowned. “What do you mean, you brought me here to save my life? Why didn’t yojust take me to a hospital? What kind of attack?”

“The hospital wouldn’t have been able to do anything for you,” Kaige said. “That guy who dragged you into the alley…he was a…you were…” He sighed. “You were bitten by a vampire.”

Savanna stared at him in disbelief. Okay, that did it. No more Goth clubs for her. She might like to dress all in black and pretend that vampires really did exist, but she knew enough to separate fantasy from reality. Unlike the handsome, but obviously insane, Kaige Travers.

“Look,” he said. “I know it sounds crazy, but –”

“It doesn’t just sound crazy, it is crazy!” she snapped. “Vampires aren’t real.”

Kaige folded his arms across his broad chest. “Actually, they are.”

She laughed. “Right. Next you’ll be telling me that I’m a vampire because I got bitten by one. Sorry, but I think you have your vampire and werewolf lore mixed up. In order to become a vampire, a person has to have their blood drained, and then they have to drink the blood of the vampire who bit them. Are you telling me that the guy who bit me gave me his blood?”

The muscle in Kaige’s jaw flexed. “The vampire who bit you left you to die. I was the one who turned you.”

Savanna blinked. “You?” she said incredulously.

He nodded. “After I chased the other vampire off, I gave you my blood.”

“Please tell me you’re joking,” she said.“It was the only way to save your life,” he said.

Savanna’s stomach churned. It was one thing to think vampires were sexy, but the idea of drinking blood was too disgusting for words. She swallowed hard. “So, you’re telling me that you’re a vampire?”

He nodded. “Yes.”

“Riiiiiight,” she said, drawing the word out. “Look, no offense. I mean you’re hot and everything, but you’re definitely not vamp material. Take it from me, I know.” She picked up her evening purse from the bedside table. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go ahead and leave.”

Alarm flickered in Kaige’s golden brown eyes. “You can’t leave yet. You’re still weak. You need more blood.”

Savanna made a face at that, her stomach churning again. “What I need is a shower and a cup of coffee.”

Giving Kaige a wide berth, she headed for the door. As she did so, she glanced at her reflection in the mirror over the dresser and immediately stopped when she saw the puckered red scars on her neck. She reached up to lightly run her fingers over them.

“Now do you believe me?” Kaige asked.

He had moved across the room to stand behind her and she met his gaze in the mirror. She was tall, but even in the high-heeled boots she was wearing, the top of her head didn’t quite reach his chin.

She lifted her own a fraction of an inch. “No. If I were a vampire, I wouldn’t have a reflection. Neither would you.”He muttered something she didn’t catch under his breath. “You’ve been watching too many movies. Of course we have a reflection. We’re vampires, not ghosts.”

Savanna spun around to face him. “You’ve got an answer for everything, don’t you?”

His mouth quirked. “But unfortunately none of them seem to be enough to make you believe me.”

“Because what you’re talking about is crazy,” she told him. “Vampires don’t exist.”

Kaige lifted a brow. “You certainly seem to know a lot about vampires considering you don’t believe in them,” he said, folding his arms over his chest again.

Savanna felt her face color. “Just because I’m into vampires, that doesn’t mean I think they’re real. Or that you’re one of them.”

His eyes narrowed. “What if I could give you proof?”

“What kind of proof?” she said.Kaige didn’t answer, but simply opened his mouth. As she watched, his canines elongated before her very eyes, and then retracted.

Savanna backed up until she hit the dresser. Holy crap! “Where the heck did you find a dentist to do that?”

He clenched his jaw. “I didn’t have a dentist do it. I’m a vampire. They come with the title.”

She chewed on her lower lip. This guy really believed what he was saying, she realized. And while the fangs did look sexy as hell on him, the whole thing was still way too weird even for her.
“I’m out of here,” she said, heading for the door.

He followed her down the hall. “Look I won’t stop you from leaving, but if you start feeling weak, you need to come back here immediately.”

She glanced over her shoulder at him as she hurried down the stairs. “Oh, sure thing. I’ll do that.”

“And watch out for the sun,” he said when she yanked open the front door.

She turned to give him a superior look. “Let me guess. Because I’ll burst into flames, right?”

His mouth tightened. “No, but you will get one hell of a nasty sunburn faster than you ever thought possible.”

Savanna just shook her head. The guy might be gorgeous, she thought as she closed the door behind her, but he was also completely certifiable!

For more of my sexy, erotic fiction, visit my website at


"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Going Behind the Scenes with Destiny Blaine

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One of the most exciting times of my youth was when my mother told me “Hollywood is coming to our farm!” Months later, the movie The River was filmed. Some of the most picturesque clips in the movie were snapshots of Dad’s property, located across the river from the main movie set and what is now known to locals as Laurel Run.

When the filming took place, I drove my mother bonkers because Mark Rydell was the movie director and I wanted to find a way to stay on his heels. I was a huge fan of On Golden Pond and The Rose, so Mark Rydell was the man of the hour. Unfortunately, Mr. Rydell was rather busy making a movie so Rydell sightings were numerous, but mostly from a distance.

Today, I often think about those good old days. During The River filming, I found it more interesting to watch what went on behind the camera rather than in front of it. The work involved was unbelievable and so many folks were dedicated to the movie’s success.

As a writer, I crave the finished product even though I enjoy the process of writing a manuscript. However, a writer’s job isn’t over with “The End” and in many ways, it’s just begun.

After a writer turns in his or her manuscript, the real effort begins. Marketing a book, especially an e-book, is generally up to the author. The success realized is often dependent on exposure. There are some fabulous books out there that will never be read because they aren’t marketed properly. No one knows about them.

On occasion, I receive an email from a new author who wants to know how they can entice readers to buy their book. I don’t mind putting some elbow grease into promotions and a great number of my books exceed the national average because I never lose sight of my goal and expectations for a project.

According to data found at Don Poynter’s Para Publishing ( ), the average book in America sells about 500 copies. I’m assuming this number is based on book sales alone and doesn’t take into account short novellas.

The reason sales are mentioned here is because it’s important for readers and writers alike to see that in order for a book to sell, or exceed the national average and sell well, a writer must constantly work behind the scenes to generate profits. According to Don Poynter’s Para Publishing report found at the link above, “only 25,000 books sold more than 5,000 copies and another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies”. In Don Poynter’s report and the Publisher’s Weekly article he quotes, “Of the 1.2 million titles tracked by Nielsen Bookscan, 950,000 titles sold fewer than 99 copies.”

Wow, that’s disheartening and honestly, unacceptable. Anyone who wrote one of those 950,000 books should take a step back and look at what they can do behind the scenes because there lies the problem. If a book isn’t selling, it isn’t always the writing behind the material, but instead, it’s the writer behind the published product. An author must promote aggressively because it often determines how well a book will sell.

A Matter Among Four is one of my all-time best sellers under the pseudonym of Destiny Blaine. The novel exceeded the national average and will most likely meet other goals we have for the book once it’s in print. There were a lot of factors that played an important role in the success of A Matter Among Four. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is important to find the right vehicle for any work of fiction, particularly romance. A Matter Among Men and A Matter Among Four were published by Siren Publishing, a publisher known for quality erotic romance as well as western ménage romances. Both books were set in Lewisburg, Tennessee, an area I know well enough to actively work the old fashioned way. When A Matter Among Men released, I was in Lewisburg promoting it on release day. A Matter Among Four released several months later and I headed back to Lewisburg. Did it help sales? Since both books have exceeded the national average, it probably didn’t hurt.

Readers are a lot like movie goers. Who out there decides to see a movie based on print advertising or the movie trailers viewed? Most of us reach our decisions on the marketing we see or word of mouth, but in order to have a recommendation for any book or movie in the first place, consumers have to know about it.

Readers and movie goers seldom think about the work that goes on behind closed doors but it’s the effort behind the curtain that leads all of us to a book worth recommending or a movie worthy of a little praise. I don’t mind to roll up my sleeves and work a little. I’ll pimp my book until the cows come home to reach and exceed that national average and the effort doesn’t stop there. After all, if the story was worth writing, it deserves exposure and just like in the movies, few people understand the work involved behind the scenes. Still, it’s rewarding for everyone involved in a project when the extra effort pays off with a little recognition and a few pennies on the dollar.

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Destiny Blaine is one pseudonym for an award-winning, best selling, Tennessee author of romance, non-fiction, and young adult books. All of Destiny Blaine’s non-fiction books have sold more than 5,000 copies per title and ninety-five percent of her fiction novels and novellas have either exceeded or are on track to surpass the national average. Several of Destiny's books are best sellers. Destiny lives in East Tennessee with her husband and two teenagers. You can visit Destiny’s website at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity
by jj Keller

Tess glided home on a haze of euphoria, her research paper about the epic John Steinbeck was going to be published in the English Teaching Professional magazine. At lunch her roommate, Robin Deal, declared a celebration was in order and purchased box seats for them to attend a Russian ballet. Later that night they’d go to University Theatre…granted Robin had to write a report about the troupe for a recreation class, but it was the thought that counted.

Tess didn’t mind, the ballet would provide her the one opportunity to wear her grandmother’s mink wrap. A hand-me-down, the brown sable had a perfect blending of fur. The worn patches of silk on the backside didn’t bother Tess one little bit.

She showered, spread honeysuckle lotion all over the dry patches on her skin, and dressed as her Gram would say, “to the nines”. She selected an A-line gold dress, slipped on dark brown, above the elbow-length gloves, and forced her toes into clacker-heels. To top off the outfit, she swept her hair into a French Twist. A few days before, she’d watched a documentary on Audrey Hepburn and wanted to appear as sophisticated as she. The outfit was certainly over the top for a small town, but she so wanted to wear the mink and jeans didn’t seem fitting for the venue.

“Well don’t you look like a princess?” Robin rested her arm on Tess’s shoulder, rubbing the decadent mink. She wore a Caribbean-blue tight blouse and a lime green short skirt. Her floral perfume matched the outfit, pungent and striking. With flats, she stood a foot taller than Tess. Robin was the foil to Tess’s pixy-self― slim, blonde, and exuberant.

“Thanks, I think Gram would be pleased.” Tess glanced in the full length mirror, not recognizing the scruffy student she’d been two hours before, she now witnessed the image of a shorter young Audrey Hepburn. She rather liked how the gold in the dress highlighted her brown hair. Her nose was shiny as well, wishing it was more aristocratic in length and style. She shrugged and reapplied her lipstick, downplaying the peaks on her lips. “You’re not dressing for the thee..atre?”

Robin snickered. “Ah, no. But I think you should wear my mother’s ring.” She ran into her bedroom, clapped open her jewelry box and rushed to Tess’s side. “Here, this is my mom’s emerald ring. It’s rather large, so wear the ring on top of the glove.”

Tess shoved the large, square-cut, jewel onto her middle right finger, if nothing else she could use the digit to send a message about a bad performance. She admitted to herself she wasn't the kind of person to give the finger to someone, but someday she’d walk on the dark side and find the nerve to use that key phalange in an obnoxious way.

“Oh, how pretty, the stone matches your eyes perfectly.” Robin smiled. “Let’s go, we’re already late.”

Although in walking distance, they drove to the theater, adding two extra blocks in order to enter Theater Lane going in the correct direction. Robin illegally parked near a red door, marked private. Once out of the car Tess had reservations about entering through an obviously restricted entrance. Robin threw open the metal entrance and tugged Tess across the threshold, landing them near the backstage.

“Ah there you are. We thought perhaps you’d changed your mind about attending the ballet tonight. I’m Andre.” The young man wore a tux, and his hair was shinier than the brown heels pinching her toes.

Tess glanced behind her to see if perhaps someone else had entered the theater with them. Nope. She shot a look at Robin.

Robin smiled and smoothed a wayward curl behind her ear. “We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Please allow me.” He held out his arm, elbow kinked. “Baroness Oxonya?” He stared at Tess, waiting for her confirmation or denial.

Baroness? Was he kidding? Despite not having a clue as to whom he was referring, she straightened her back and her chin notched higher. She’d deny the mistaken identity, with dignity, and admit entering through a private entrance. Tess quickly glanced at Robin. Her eyes glittered, indicating she knew what was afoot.

“That’s pronounced, Ox-ann-ya,” Robin spouted, confirming her prior knowledge. The night was a set-up. “I’m her assistant.”

“Ms.Paonce?” he asked and dropped his arm to his side.

“Robin,” Tess chastised.

Robin quickly covered. “You can call me Robin. We better get moving, the band’s playing.”

He bobbed his head and pirouetted to lead them down the shadowed hallway.

Tess grabbed her roommate’s hand, questioning how good of a friend she was. “I’m not Baronessa anything. What happens when she shows up?”

“She won’t. It’s a small production, at a university in Indiana. Think about it. We’ll get great seats, maybe champagne.” Her eyes glowed.

They had reached an elevator and Andre prevented the panels from closing. “Baronessa?”

Tess couldn’t say anything. Her throat had numbed. She pressed her fingers to her gullet, massaging the muscles, urging the words to come forth. Tell him, before this goes any farther.

Andre’s eyes widened. The enormous green rock reflected in his brown irises. Crap.

They boarded, and the elevator raised two levels. She exited what she’d come to think of as her cell. Doom waited. Several twists and turns later he opened a door and held out an arm, flagging them forward. Hopefully, they would be alone in a separate box. When the true royalty showed up, they would say oops, sorry, and run like Pegasus.

Robin slithered in front of Tess, moving to a table boasting shining crystal flutes and dark labeled wine bottles. Tess’s eyes adjusted to the lowered lighting straight ahead. Two other figures were outlined, one small wearing a hat and the other tall with wide shoulders.

“Baronessa Oxonya, it’s a pleasure to meet you. The Senator had a situation to handle and couldn’t make it. I’m his assistant, Murdock…Murdock Jameson, and this is my Grandmother, Julia Jameson.” He was tall, blond, chiseled cheeks, and a true smile, not just appearing on his perfectly shaped lips but in his sea blue eyes. Tess’s heart melted.

“Sea warrior,” Tess murmured, her voice gurgled in her throat, so she sounded foreign. A slight accent filtered through, an intonation she didn’t recognize.

“You’re right my dear, Murdock is Gaelic for sea warrior. My grandson is all that and more.” The woman’s aged blue eyes, so like her grandson’s pierced Tess, making her heart pound harder and not just because of lust for her grandson, but impersonation guilt.

Tess held out her hand. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Jameson, Mr. Jameson.”

Each gave her a slight tug on the tips of her fingers.

“Please call me Murdock.” He took hold of the crook of her arm and his grandmother’s, and escorted them to the four seats located in the box.

Robin sat in the second seat, her small skirt suddenly shorter. One hand clung to the stem of a wine glass. She patted the chair beside her. “Hi, I’m Robin.”

“Murdock and Julia Jameson.” His voice tone resounded to the string section currently strumming in the pit and plucking away at Tess’s heartstrings.

Murdock assisted his grandmother into the single seat by Robin and Tess on the other side of her friend. He sat at the end. The two interlopers were sandwiched between lies. On the up side, Tess had Murdock all to herself.

Tess removed her left glove. The theater went completely black. The silky long mitt fluttered to the floor. She gripped the arm rest and leaned forward to retrieve the scrap of cloth. Murdock placed his hand on top of hers. His warm skin relaxed her. She snuggled into the padding of the seat, leaving the glove on the floor.

“The blackout took me by surprise.” How stupid. She sounded as if she’d never attended a production at a theater before.

He whispered into her ear. “Your voice is so soft I didn’t hear you. Have your eyes adjusted to the darkness?”

Her heart was what needed to adjust. His perfect mouth touched her earlobe, and she had the strongest desire to turn her head a few inches, so her lips could connect with his. Sandalwood cologne scented the air around her.

His hand lingered on top of hers. She glanced into his eyes. Desire, or fear of being caught, heated her to the point of explosion. Tess had to get out of there.

“After the ballet, would you…and your friend be interested in going to dinner with my grandmother and me?” His lips were near her cheek. The orchestra played louder.

Doomed― Tess lifted her eyes to meet his. Her mouth a fraction of an inch from his. A brief touch, a soft kiss and she would be sunk.

“I des not cares who you says entered. I am ‘ese Baronessa Oxonya.” A heavily accented voice drowned out the beautiful orchestra music.

“Time to leave!” Robin shot off her seat and grabbed Tess’s arm.

“I’m sorry.” Tess removed her hand from under his, stood, and nodded to Julia. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Jameson.”

Murdock stood, his beautiful blues changing from calm seas to raging violent waves of emotion.

Robin jerked Tess toward the open door and a crow-headed harridan with a ferocious look on her face.

Tess didn’t want to leave. Her heart pattered as she considered taking a stand, apologize for the confusion and start fresh.

No time.

Robin grabbed Tess’s bare hand and pulled her across the threshold, shoving the empty flute into Andre’s open palm as they passed. At a run Robin flung open the stairwell door and shoved Tess down a flight of stairs.

Tess clackity-clacked all the way down two flights and stopped by the exit sign.

Robin, already with keys in hand, pressed the lever of the exit.

Will this mistaken identity story have an HEA? Find out on my website,

If you want to experience the sizzle, the desire of being with someone you’ve just met and are attracted too, purchase The Tarot Card at THE WILD ROSE PRESS.COM.

jj Keller

Fantasies with spice and humor.
Trade Agreement,
All rights reserved.

Released on May 6, 2009 at The Wild Rose Press.
SBN: 1-60154-437-5ard
ISBN 13: 9781601544377, May 6, 2009
A stalled elevator.
A sexy gypsy.
A straight-laced CEO.
Fate has a sense of humor.
Kerry McClure must secure her future as head of her father's corporation. She simply needs to sign a contract with Rune Technologies to ward off a hostile takeover.
When Kerry's mistaken for a gypsy fortuneteller, she plays along, but could one night of fun jeopardize her CEO confirmation?
Stein Laxdale needs the business deal with McClure Ventures or he'll lose control of Rune Technologies. He must decide if Kerry is his biggest threat or his greatest hope for a happily ever after.

Trailer: The Tarot Card

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New release - Her Private Dancer!

Amber Quill Press

Invited to go out at the last minute by her perky, younger coworkers, Harriet Wallace is enjoying the show at the male strip club. What she doesn't understand is why the sexy Latino dancer dressed as a matador is checking her out. She's divorced, in her thirties, and dressed for the office.

That doesn't, however, stop Alejandro Campos from invading her personal space during his dance and convincing her to go home with him later for the best night of sex she's ever had.

Just one problem. Aside from being gorgeous, Alejandro is young, single, and in grad school. He's just getting his life going. How can a lonely divorcee with a banking career with a cat ever hope to keep a sexy younger man like him in her life?

Then again, how could she ever let him go?

Thank you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Three Great Reviews!

I'm thrilled that my third torrid romance, THE COWBOY WAY has received three fantastic reviews in two weeks!

Whipped Cream Erotic Reviews gave it their Best Book rating.
Romance Junkies gave it a Blue Ribbon rating of FIVE.
The Romance Studio gave it Five Hearts.

Tory Richards

Real Heroes

Heroes. Good subject. There's all kinds of heroes out there who live in our imaginations. Makes me think about the kind of men I write about in my books. Alpha males through and through. Whether he's a fire fighter, sheriff or cowboy my heroes are big and sexy. Tough. They always seem to come out the winner. Don't we all dream about bigger than life heroes like that? I mean, how many of you fantasize about the Maytag repair man or a shoe salesman?

I look over at the sofa at my hero, and smile. He's been many things in his life time. A pilot, professor, principle, trouble shooter for large companies, golfer. He knew Jimmy Hoffa. He's been in the war, on a sinking ship, shot, and broken a few bones. He's survived open heart surgery and cancer...twice. He survived a couple marriages before ours.

Wearing faded pajamas, he's eating a bag of popcorn and watching an old Clint Eastwood movie. Course he's oblivious to the ones that have missed his mouth and are now on the floor. Guess he thinks the cats will clean it up. He spoils the cats.

My hero is retired. Which means he's home...all the time! The advantage to that is he helps out around the house. Does the cooking, laundry and grocery shopping sometimes. If I do the supper dishes he'll put them up for me the next morning. The dishes won't actually make it into the cupboards, but he'll at least take them out of the sink and leave them on the counter beneath whatever cupboard they go into to. All I have to do when I get home is open the cupboard door and put them away:)

If I ask him why he couldn't do that he'll say, "I don't know where they belong."

I've noticed lately that my hero is a little forgetful, and he'll start something and not finish it. I chalk it up to his advanced age. He's a lot older than me. I remind myself of that when we go somewhere and I have to slow down for him to catch up. Or when he thinks he's helping me but he's really treating me like a kid. I remind myself that everything he does he has my best interest at heart.

Heroes don't live forever. The ones in our books do. The ones we share our lives with live on in our hearts.

Tory Richards

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dark Heroes

Dark Heroes!
N. J. Walters

Dark heroes. Wounded heroes. Hard men, with murky pasts, who live by a code of honor, which shapes their lives. These are the anti-heroes, the reluctant male lead. And we can’t seem to get enough of them.

What is it about these bad boys that we love? They’re strong, physically and mentally. That doesn’t mean they haven’t had their share of torment and hardships. Just the opposite in fact. These men almost always have something dark in their pasts, something that has shaped them, making them into the loners they are.

But, they also have a code by which they live. Often times, it differs from that of normal, polite society. A dark hero is not an easy man to understand and live with. He’s driven by demons of his own, his actions sometime seeming be that of a villain. But there is always a reason behind it.

That’s where the heroine usually comes in. She’s a strong woman. She has to be in order to deal with the hero. She’s not as physically strong as he is, but mentally and intellectually, she’s more than his match. And sometimes she can kick butt too!

There is something about gentling a hard man that is irresistible. You know you can never tame him, but sometimes he will show his softer side to a very special woman. This is a combination—hardness with an underlying shadow of softness—that makes all of us head back to the bookstore in search of more novels about dark heroes.

Vampires, demons, werewolves, burnt-out cops, wounded soldiers, jaded businessmen—the dark hero can be any one of these men. Whether he wears leather or a designer suit, it’s what makes up the man on the inside that is most important.

As a writer, I can’t resist the wounded hero. Lucas Squires, from Craving Candy, is a man who ended up in prison for almost beating his father to death for abusing his mother. Lucas’s father finally kills his mother while Lucas is in prison. Years later, Lucas has made a life for himself but his past still haunts him.

Then there is wounded cop, Patrick O’Rourke, from The Return of Patrick O’Rourke. When his partner is killed and he is shot in the line of duty, Patrick returns home, looking for meaning in his life. He’s jaded and cynical, but he can’t quite stamp out the hero lurking beneath his dark façade. And when a woman from his past is in trouble, he can’t stop himself from coming to her rescue.

Then there are the Dalakis brothers from my vampire series. These are dark, brooding vampires, who definitely have their own code by which they live. They protect what is theirs and nothing is dearer to them than the women they love. They won’t hesitate to destroy anyone or anything that threatens their family. In Endless Chase, my latest Ellora’s Cave novel, that becomes a problem when the threat may come from inside their family itself.

Warriors, vampires, businessmen, and paranormal creatures—I’ve found dark heroes lurking amongst all of them. And that’s a very good thing. Because what would we do without them?

Some of my favorites dark heroes come from J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters and Christine Feehan’s vampires, to name a few.

Who are some of your favorite dark heroes? (newsletter group)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Building a Man Cave

Building a Man Cave
Becoming a One-Woman Economic Stimulus Package

My original college major was interior design. Somehow I ended up with a degree in business and education, but ID is still my passion. Well, one of them along with writing and horses.

Anyway, in my book, The Dance, my heroine is an interior designer. In my latest WIP she started out as a designer, but I made myself get out of my rut and have her be an aspiring veterinarian.

My hubbie and I are lucky, we recognize that. We both have relatively safe jobs and in this economy, that’s saying something. Not to mention, I’ve had the same house for 15 years and was fortunate enough to have built up quite a bit of equity in it. So it's no surprise when my husband and I decided to build a long-anticipated addition on our small house that I became a one-woman economic stimulus package. Furniture stores fall at my feet when I walk in the door. The staff at Home Depot and Lowe’s have become my best friends.

So many people have asked me: What is a man cave? By my husband’s definition, it’s a big room with a bigger TV and no female interruptions. Did I mention it’ll have a wet bar? So he thinks that’s what we’re building. But I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s really going to be my den with bookcases and a desk to write at. We’ll see who wins. Wish me luck. I’m guessing it will really be a combination of the two.

I’m getting a laundry room and a small powder room. My current laundry room is a closet. I just brought home a new washer and dryer to replace my 15+ year-old Maytags. (Did I mention that Sears’ appliance department loves me, too?)These things are smarter than my laptop. They toss the clothes around a few times, figure out what the load weighs, then calculate how to best wash clothes and give me the time it’ll take to wash or dry them. They even play a happy little song when they’re done. Now if I could only convince the little suckers to fold my clothes and put them away.

So here’s a before picture of the house. The patio you can see through the trees is now gone and a foundation sits in its place.
I’m tracking the progress on my blog if you want to see how this project turns out. Here’s the foundation with the forms still on:

Since I’ve spent my furnishings budget, I’m not haunting Craig’s List for bargains. I picked up a solid oak mantel, six and a half feet long, last weekend for $80. I just need to strip it and re-stain it.

I’m excited because this will be such a good environment in which to read and write. Where do you do your best writing or where do you like to read?

Friday, May 1, 2009

FREE BOOK - Not Just an Orgy

Here's another free book read as my way of saying THANK YOU for being such loyal readers!


Alexia was in trouble the moment Haden Tate kissed her. The months trying to gain access to him had been worth it. His passion overwhelms her and Alexia's plans come undone in a moment of lust. Desire burns her to her toes and her resolve to remain unemotional about the handsome man and his secret sex club melts under his possession.

Haden is hiding more than a private voyeur club within the walls of his Savannah nightclub. He's protecting a darker secret and if this sexy bombshell reporter doesn't stop teasing him, he may just reveal the naked truth to her.

Title: Not Just an Orgy
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
ISBN: 9990100000060 Ebook (Digital)
Publication Date: April 20, 2009

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.

An Excerpt From: NOT JUST AN ORGY

Copyright © SALLY PAINTER, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Alexia Wrightman knew she was in trouble the moment Haden Tate's demanding lips touched hers. Her pulse throbbed. She had to remind herself to stay focused on the reason she was there. It had taken three months to charm him into this date. Every night during those months she'd pretended to be a thrill-seeker determined to be his next most-willing conquest.

And here she finally stood on the precipice of uncovering the truth about the club, River Rat, and its rumored private room, and all she could think about was how good he tasted—a hint of wine mingled with spicy hot. She wanted more. Excitement pounded through her, yet it wasn't because she was so close to landing the biggest story of the century. The tingling sensations racing down her back were because of the man. Not his naughty secret.

She tugged from his kiss, gasping for air. The last thing she wanted to do was sabotage herself by allowing this sexy man to distract her beyond all reason. And the way he kissed…such firm soft lips…

Focus! The mission was to ferret out the rumor of a mysterious secret room called The Sanctuary where he held private orgies. Only a handful of nightclub patrons were invited to enter and tonight she'd just become one of the lucky few. She was alone with Haden. The man of her dreams. The man she'd wanted for her own ever since she'd first seen him months ago. The mysterious club owner who could have any woman he wanted and he'd chosen her.

"Don't you like kissing me?" he asked, and tilted her chin to receive another one.

Firm lips covered hers. Groaning, Haden trailed his fingers down the column of her neck, dipping over the exposed mounds of her breasts. His touch scorched her flesh and her breath caught in her throat as he fingered the bodice edge of her dress. She sensed his longing to plunge his hand beneath the silk and tease her nipples into hardened buds, and held her breath, waiting…

Anticipation trembled all the way to her toes. She was on fire and rubbed against him, writhing under the excited pulses throbbing to her clit. Her nipples ached for his touch and when his fingers finally brushed over the silk bodice, her heart slammed against her chest. A low moan vibrated in her throat. He stroked her, rubbing his thumb in circles to tease her nipples. A streak of pleasure shot to her clit.

Alexia broke from the kiss again and her head fell back against the steel door. She was tempted to remove the rhinestone barrette from her hair and end this charade, but the hair clamp concealing the mini-spy cam was her only protection should things get out of control. She wondered what her cohort Ollie Underwait was able to see through the scope of the lens. Right now, probably the ceiling.

Haden pressed kisses over her cheek, working his way down her neck to the cleavage of her breasts rising above the bodice. She didn't look down, not wanting her best friend on the other end of the hidden camera to witness her succumbing to Haden's skillful seduction. She was lost in a riot of delightful sensations.

Her fingers caressed his strong muscled back beneath the crisp dress shirt. All concerns about Ollie vanished. All desire to prove her journalistic skills seemed unimportant. She nuzzled Haden and he lifted his head. At that moment she only cared that her wildest fantasy was coming true.

"Haden," she panted, and he stopped kissing the fleshy mounds and straightened.

"You're so beautiful," he whispered in a deep silky voice that made wet heat dampen her panties. His brown eyes darkened with desire and fire lashed at her throat. He leaned down to kiss her and she was lost once more. His tongue teased her lips open and slipped between them inside her mouth. God he felt so good. She combed her fingers through his black hair, marveling how soft it felt.

Not Just an Orgy (FREE BOOK)

Thanks and I hope you enjoy it!