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Review: Sanctuary’s Price by Moira Rogers

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 10-27-2009
Length: Category
ISBN: 978-1-60504-682-2

The Blurb

After a decade under a corrupt alpha’s thumb, Dylan Gennaro is still reeling from the changes in his life: a new home, a new alpha, a pack at war. Even normal things like an ending relationship. Still, when he’s asked to work with an outcast witch, he agrees without hesitation. Maybe by protecting her, he’ll rediscover his own inner strength. If, indeed, it exists.

Sasha Wallace lost her mentor in a vicious attack that left her scarred in spirit as well as body. While she’s grateful for the refuge offered by the Red Rock alpha, it’s tough living with the pack’s suspicion. Even though–or maybe because–she’s willing to use her powers to help them fight their war. Except for Dylan. When she’s finally free to find a new home, he’ll be the only one she regrets leaving behind.

Their attraction is a balm to their wounded hearts, until their journey for knowledge brings them face to face with a terrifying vampire. Neither has the strength for this fight–but if they can let go of their pasts and trust each other, they might just be able to do it. Together.

The Review

I admit it. I procrastinated on reading Sanctuary’s Price for months. I’ve loved the previous two books in the Red Rock Pass series but I didn’t think Dylan would be my type of hero. When we first meet Dylan in Cry Sanctuary, we meet a beaten-down shifter. No chest-beating alpha hero here. Dylan is quiet, reliable, and sort of blended in to the back ground. But we also saw a man willing to give his life to save his friends.

Then there is Sasha. We meet her in Sanctuary Lost. Sasha is traumatized and fragile. Once again, I’m thinking I will not like her as the heroine. Now I can happily say, I was wrong!

Dylan may not be an alpha but he does what he has to do to protect the ones he loves. And while Sasha may be traumatized by past events, she was in no way weak. Sanctuary’s Price was full of action, suspense, and steamy loving. And we get to meet some new characters (vampire lumberjack!)

So the next time I stall on reading a book by authors I trust, someone please tell me to shut up and read the book. My only regret with Sanctuary’s Price is that I didn’t read it soon enough.

You can read more about Sanctuary’s Price and the Red Rock Pass series here.



Tracy Cooper-Posey with Romantic Suspense…It Gets Into Everything

I just can’t seem to stay away from Romantic Suspense. I got the edits back from my latest Urban Fantasy tonight, and my editor said “nice mix of UF and Romantic Suspense, as usual….”

Huh? I thought I was writing straight urban fantasy. First I knew it was a blend! But I thought about it on and off all evening when I had a few odd moments, and I suppose she has a point, from a certain perspective. Urban Fantasy can be purely about the paranormal elements, but I beefed up my novel with high degrees of suspense and action, too, so technically, it was a blend. I just can’t help myself.

Does that make the novel poorer for being a blend? I don’t think so.

As it happened, tonight we went to see the new Ironman 2 movie. Now, there’s a romantic suspense in fairly thin disguise. If Harlequin can market their Silhouette Romantic Suspense novels with barely a passing nod at the romance subplots, then Ironman 2 qualifies as romantic suspense. I loved it. A tortured hero, an equally divided heroine, and a frenetically paced story that wouldn’t quit…and there was the perfect “ticking clock device” throughout the first half of the story. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was simply perfect – it had you chewing your fingernails for Tony Stark that really got the movie going with supreme low-key tension that was brilliant for the start of a movie.

Fact is, there are very strong suspense storylines in a lot of stories, and most stories are made better by beefing up the suspense properly, if there’s already one in existence. There’s nothing worse than a story with a suspense line that falls flat and lifeless because the author thinks they’re really writing a contemporary romance and can give the suspense bit just a passing nod because the readers won’t mind/aren’t interested, and besides, that’s not her usual genre and therefore it’s not her job to know how to right suspense properly.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of pure romantic suspense, you probably enjoy the by-products of damn good suspense in most of the popular fiction you read, one way or another, every day. It’s hard to get away from the benefits of fine suspense…like dairy products: it’s in almost everything you read.

I know I won’t be giving it up any time soon. The suspense, that is. I gave up dairy over a year ago. 🙂

What’s your favorite novel ever? If it isn’t a pure romantic suspense, can you absolutely say it doesn’t have a strong suspense or action story line in it? I’m curious!

Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-Posey
A small plane crashes in the Rockies, and the only two survivors, Jack and Sophie, help each other live until rescue arrives, seven days later. Only Sophie goes on to pick up the pieces of her life, which has now been irrevocably changed by big, gentle Jack’s love…and death. But Sophie learns that Jack’s death didn’t close that chapter of her life, after all.
A drifter called Martin holds the key to her heart, alongside a deadly secret. Combined with a corrupt and desperate police chief and her pressure-cooker life as a single mother in a small town, they plunge her head-deep into the after-shocks caused by those seven days in the mountains. The consequences will reach out to rock state governors, district attorneys, and one of the deadliest crime lords in the land, and all of them have reason to react. For Sophie, life is about to change again…for the worse.

Excerpt

Chapter Two
The sun was strong, warming her and making her sleepy. The removal of the crushing burden of loneliness allowed her eyes to shut. When she opened them again, Sophie knew she must have dozed, because it seemed little time had passed, even
though sand and rocks slithered down the channel again, heralding the return of the tall man.
But even stranger, she was impatient for his return. When he had first lowered himself to the shelf and smiled, merely lifting the corners of his mouth, she had felt a sense of recognition stir in her soul. He wasn’t a stranger, even though she didn’t know his name.
Then his smile faded and he’d simply looked at her, assessing, calculating. The frank stare was oddly reassuring. He was no man’s fool. A self-reliant man, who looked to his own instincts and made his own decisions. She knew that she would be all right, that this man could be trusted. Which was strange, for so far in her life, she’d found her greatest comfort and safety arose in moments of solitude, from depending upon her
own strength. “It’s just the circumstances,” she muttered.
But she felt a spurt of eagerness when the pebbles began to roll and bounce down the slide, heralding his descent.
He returned with treasures. Sophie watched in amazement as the pile of goods grew. It took him half a dozen trips, using the wire rope for stability, to bring each load down to the platform. In the end, there were three or four backpacks. From the top of one she saw foil packages and realized he’d repacked that pack with food. There were other anonymous bundles too.
He’d rigged another, slimmer rope made of luggage straps and pieces of fabric, including some of the fuzzy gray wall lining that had covered the lower half of the cabin. This little rope he used to lower down the most amazing load of all. Her jaw fell
and she watched, dazed, as a whole cabin chair slid and tumbled down the gully, triphopped and tumbled a couple of times, then came to a rest on its back a few feet from
her.
It was one of the double chairs, with the articulated arm in the middle. The gray upholstery with the elegant thin red stripe was scuffed, dirty and ripped on one corner.
She stared at a mangled bolt that hung from the bottom of the metal frame that served as legs. Had he wrenched it up himself or was it a lone survivor too?
He scuffled down the last few feet himself, smiling at her expression. “You can’t stay lying on the damp ground,” he explained.
She found herself laughing a little. “Luxury in the wilderness.”
He turned to sort out the bundles, revealing some of the bounty he’d gathered.
Wood, clothing, food and water. Two first aid kits. There was more but he put two of the packs aside, pushing them under the overhang, where it dipped down to within a few feet of the ledge’s nearly level surface.
Sophie watched him with mellow happiness, the pain in her leg fading to a detached, muffled hammering. Not only was she not alone on this shelf in the middle of nowhere but her companion was remarkably capable. He exuded the industrious air of someone who knew what they were about as he sorted and stored.
She wondered what he did for a living. He wore black jeans and a black polo-neck sweater flecked with midnight blue. A black belt threaded through the jeans, with a plain square buckle, silvery gray. Hiking boots, scuffed and well used. Ordinary clothes that gave away nothing. They even camouflaged the thickness of his shoulders but couldn’t hide their width altogether.
Whatever he did for a living, she was glad he was here, now.
“You okay? How do you feel?” He stepped over a bundle, crouched down next to her and laid his hand on her forehead. “Sorry I took so long.” Low and warm, his voice seemed to rumble in her mind and it took a moment for her to recognize and label the emotion. He cared.
The warmth enveloped her and for a second she felt an absurd need to cry. She blinked rapidly. “I’m fine.” Her voice was thick.
A faint frown puckered his brow and his hand fell away from her forehead. Again, the assessing, judging expression appeared in his eyes.
Sophie cursed her weakness and tried to master the helpless wail that battled to voice itself. She lifted her chin and tried to breathe deeply.
“No, don’t,” he said softly, his hand dropping to her shoulder. “Don’t hold it back. Cry if you have to. It’s okay.” He shook his head. “You’re allowed to be scared. Hell, I’m scared too, you know.”
The admission brought tears, hot stinging tears that broke down her hasty defenses.
Great racking sobs shook her and her vision dissolved.
Warm arms wrapped around her. A gentle hand laid her head against soft wool. Beneath that was the hard wall of his chest. She turned her face inward, shutting out the light, seeking warmth and wept her heart out.
Sometime later, Sophie told him quietly, “I’ve never done that before. The crying thing. I mean, in front of someone.” Let alone on their shoulder.
“I believe you.” His flat tone seemed to imply sincerity. He didn’t pause from stacking the wood into a fire pile.
“What’s your name?” Sophie asked.
He looked up at her and grinned. She guessed his thoughts. Now you ask?
“Jack. Jack Laubreaux.”
Sophie rolled the name around in her mind, measuring it against the shock of thick black hair, his deep brown eyes and clear, white skin. His features were lean, the jaw clean and well defined. To her eye, he looked more Irish than his name allowed. “It sounds French.”
“My father is French Canadian.” He arranged the last piece of kindling, reached into his pocket to pull out a book of matches, ripped one out and lit it. He set fire to the paper balls sitting beneath the wood. “He came south when he was fifteen. Been in the States ever since.”
She focused on the tense he’d used. His father, at least, was alive. “Was your mother Irish, then?”
“Sort of. Her grandparents were from County Mead but she was a mid-western farm girl, as corn-fed as you can get.”
“It’s very nice to meet you, Jack,” she said.
Again, he gave her that quick assessing look. “You’re okay now.” It was a statement rather than a question.
“I’ll be all right as long as the silence doesn’t last,” she said, reaching for a truth that came from several layers deep inside her. She hadn’t realized before that truth could be
seamed like that—that there was superficial honesty but one could choose to dip into the strata beneath, for a purer truth.
His assessment was longer this time and Sophie found her chin lifting, her shoulders squaring. Defiance, she suspected. She had just handed over a substratum of truth, a private slice of herself. Would he belittle it? She had never done this before and had no experience by which to judge.
He smiled. It was sudden, as if he’d been caught off-guard and was smiling despite himself. But his whole face lit up, including his eyes. Strong white, even teeth showed
and his eyes crinkled at the corners, filling the deep brown irises with good cheer. It was like watching the sun come out. Her breath caught, her spirits soared.
“We’ll just have to keep talking then,” he said.
Sophie tried to suppress her answering smile. “Can you talk that long?” she asked seriously. “How long will it take them to find us?”
“Oh, a day. Maybe two,” he said cheerfully. Quickly, he turned to one of the packs behind him and dug into it. “I have something here for you.” He pulled out a pair of jeans. “They’re probably too big but you don’t want to sit around in wet clothing. And we have to get it over your leg.” He dug again and came up with a dark blue sweatshirt, which he spread out for her inspection. On the front was written University of Chicago in white lettering, beneath an all white badge showing a stylized gryphon, its wings spread. “This, I guarantee will keep you warm.”
The flames from the fire were starting to lick higher and she could feel the warmth from them. In comparison, she realized that the wall of rock behind and beneath her was radiating a steady chill now the sun had passed out of reach. And Jack was offering warmth, dry clothing. She examined the jeans. “How do I get them over my leg?” she asked, somehow sure he’d have the answer.
He did.
First of all he pulled out one of the medical kits and shook out a small capsule shaped tablet. “Prescription strength pain killers,” he explained, handing her the water bottle along with the tablet. “Percodan. I busted up my arm once and the doc had me on these for a week. I was high as a kite to start, but man, do they work. I was taking two at a time, so I figure you’d better start with just one.”
She took the tablet without hesitation for her whole leg and her hip felt like whitehot pokers driving up into her body. While they were waiting for the medication to kick
in, he sat on one folded leg, his chin perched on the other denim-clad knee, feeding the fire up into a steady, comforting blaze.
Twenty minutes later her mind was buzzing, her body remote and her thoughts ethereal. The pain in her leg had receded to a dull roar that she could ignore.
She realized that Jack was watching her.
“Better?” he asked softly.
She nodded.
“Okay, now to get you comfortable.” He took out a knife from his back pocket—another memento from his treasure hunt?—and slit the left leg of the jeans from hem to waistband. Then, with the impartiality of a nurse, he helped her strip off her own grimy, damp suit pants. Actually, he did most of the work, for her own fingers were thick, clumsy and throbbing with the beat of her own heart. He took most of her weight
on his shoulder for she could only prop herself up with her good right leg. While she lifted herself up, he threaded the jeans over her foot and slid them up to her waist.
“No, don’t sit down there,” he said, as she tried to lower herself back down. His arm was around her waist and he was reaching for her right leg, sliding the other arm beneath it. “This’ll hurt a bit,” he said, his face very close to her.
“Yup,” she said inanely. She understood him well enough but her tongue had a mind of its own.
He lifted her.
It did hurt. It hurt like hell. Silver fire exploded in her leg and there was an identical flash in her mind, wiping out all the distant good humor and remote fogginess. She tried to bite her teeth together but couldn’t stop the guttural cry that broke through.
A few steps, then she was lowered onto warm softness. Cushioning her back. She looked to her left and blinked her teary eyes so she could focus. The cabin chair, of course. Jack must have set it up while the painkiller had been doing its work and she hadn’t noticed. Her broken leg was resting on a piece of internal fuselage, the mild curve of the metal holding it steady. One end was propped on the chair, the other on
one of the packs Jack had brought down the gully.
He was standing over her, one hand on her shoulder, holding her steady in case she listed to one side.
“I’m okay,” she said. It came out as a croak.
“Sorry,” he said. “But I had to get you off the ground.”
She nodded. “Yup,” she agreed, tiredness abruptly spreading through her. The chair was warm at her back and the fire before her deliciously hot.
“Wanna do up your jeans now?” he asked and she heard a thread of amusement.
“Sure,” she said and yawned. She tugged at the oversized jeans and fastened them, pulled up the zip.
“Sophie.”
She realized her eyes had closed. She forced them open.
“Don’t fade on me just yet,” Jack said. He held the sweater. “Can you get your jacket off by yourself?”
She struggled with it but the coordination needed to lean forward and remove one arm and then the other defeated her. This time, Jack’s amusement was audible. He chuckled. Hands gently helped her out of the jacket. The sweater was tugged over her head, her arms pushed into the sleeves. She could help with that much and straightened her arms as the sweater was pulled down. Warmth enveloped her. Oversized but soft and comfortable.
“Mmm…” The murmur slipped out. Her eyes were closing again.
“Drink,” he said.
The water bottle touched her lips. She drank.
The chair back behind her reclined and a small distant sentinel in her mind laughed silently. Of course. The seats in a plane always recline.
“Sleep,” he whispered.
Yup. She had no idea if she said it aloud it or not.
Much later, she awoke, rising through sleep layers enough to register the dark of night. The fire had died.
It’s late, she realized.
But the night was not fully dark.
She came a little bit closer to alertness. Why was it not quite dark?
The mountains, of course. Across the valley from them, marching north and south in broken, uneven rows, the mass of each mountain sat over them. Unlike the one they
clung to, the peaks across the ravine were sheer, treeless crags, with thick snowcaps.
The white stone, the snow, gleamed in the three-quarter moonlight, bathing everything with a ghostly radiance.
Keeping guard, her foggy mind suggested as sleep pulled her back down.
To buy Dead Again, click here.

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***Tracy will be giving away a copy of Dead Double to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment answering her question. Good luck! 😀

Employing Deception to Ensure Survival with Kami Evans

Nikki Duncan was going to be the guest today. She sent Kami Evans in her place. Kami is the heroine from SCENT OF PERSUASION. You’ll like her.

Lies, no matter how small, are bad. At least that’s the lie my father told me day in and day out, even while he assured my mother that her sequined dress was perfect for an afternoon tea. Funny, looking back, I’m surprised they were ever divorced the first time. He gave her everything she ever wanted.

Oh, hi. I’m Kami Evans, and my father was wrong. The truth will set you free. Unless no one believes it. Unless you’ve been maneuvered into making the lie appear as the truth. My step-brother Channing was. I miss him.

Sorry. I lose track of thoughts every now and then. It frustrated Nikki at times while we were working on SCENT OF PERSUASION, but it’s how I am.

Anyway… You don’t think it’s possible? To be maneuvered into making the lie appear as the truth? Maybe you’re right. Maybe in day-to-day life, if such a feat is possible, it is at the very least unfeasible or rare.

Fiction isn’t real, which sort of sucks for me. 🙂 Nope. Fiction only has to be written convincingly enough that you suspend belief. Your mind will make it feasible. Your mind will even allow you to buy into the possibility that lies are truths. Mine did. For a moment.

Granted, giant blue people can’t live on another planet while we have the ability to link to that world. But did you get wrapped up enough in the story to buy it? Breck made merciless fun of me, but I did. I enjoyed the movie and felt terrible when those people became the victim of a corrupt and greedy faction of the government. I enjoyed seeing the bad guys get everything they deserved, just as I enjoyed being a part of Breck’s team – for a very short time.

I hope you’ll check out the book and take the journey with me.

SCENT OF PERSUASION, Sensory Ops Book 2 is finally here!
Actress Kami Evans is tackling the biggest role of her life—as an escort. There’s definitely something going on in Madame V’s mansion, but Kami has to prove herself trustworthy before she can dig deeper and prove her stepbrother didn’t commit suicide.
Her first assignment: seduce a CEO and, oddly, steal his hair brush. He’s everything she avoids in a man: suave, sexy, suited. She plays her role all the way to the bedroom…and finds it stunningly difficult to walk away.
Breck Lawson’s undercover assignment, posing as a replacement CEO, is yielding zero clues as to why his friend tried to kill himself—until Kami comes on the scene. She’s everything he likes in a woman: safe, sexy, temporary. She also arouses him just by walking into a room, a sure sign it’s time to push her away.
Then he connects the dots she unwittingly shares, and realizes their investigations are linked by delicate strands of DNA. Keeping her near isn’t wise, but he has to know her secrets and keep her safe.
Unless they trust each other and come clean, those dots could lead to death for both of them…
WARNING: This title contains love found in the last place expected, call girls, disco sticks, Monkees karaoke, steamy sex and a conspiracy to murder through the need for sex.
Buy it Now!

Visit Nikki at her online homes:
www.SensoryOps.com – NEW with FREEBIES!
www.NikkiDuncan.com
http://nikkiduncan.com/blog/
http://twitter.com/nduncanwriter

Eek…Winners Galore

 

Winner of Sweetest Little Sin by Christine Wells is: 

Lori T

Please e-mail me at gw12cats03 @ charter.net (without the spaces) your mailing address. Please include “Christine Wells Book Giveaway” in the subject line. Winner will have three days to contact me or a new winner will be drawn. 

Using List Randomizer the winners of of the signed copies of Sweet Temptation by Maya Banks are:

Cecile

Anne

Amanda

Fedora

Kate L

Armenia

There were 41 items in your list. Here they are in random order: 

  1. Cecile
  2. Anne
  3. Amanda
  4. Fedora
  5. Kate L (Yzhabella)
  6. Armenia
  7. Sherry
  8. Chelsea B
  9. funkywaterdino
  10. Ina
  11. jeannette
  12. Mariska
  13. Anna Shah Hogue
  14. Lisa F
  15. Laurie D
  16. Roanaid Luckwell
  17. Booklover1335
  18. Cindy C
  19. Pamk
  20. Robin K
  21. InciDent
  22. Jeanette Juan
  23. Lyoness2009
  24. Beth B
  25. Connie T
  26. Sue Brandes
  27. Jane
  28. Lea
  29. Danielle Yockman
  30. Cindi Mitchell
  31. elaing8
  32. Alicia L
  33. Nancy Bristow
  34. Spav
  35. etirv
  36. Jen X
  37. CrystalGB
  38. Blanche
  39. Amy M
  40. RachieG
  41. Book Junkie

Timestamp: 2010-05-05 10:42:18 UTC 

Please e-mail me at gw12cats03 @ charter.net with your mailing address. Please include “Maya Banks Sweet Temptation Giveaway in the subject line”. The winners will have three days to contact me or new winners will be drawn. 

Giveaway: Win a signed copy of Sweet Temptation by Maya Banks


A couple of weeks ago I was extremely fortunate enough to meet one of my favorite authors Maya Banks at a book signing in Arlington, TX. I was able to get a couple of my books autographed including my very first Maya book  Colter’s Woman.  I have a picture of both of us on my digital camera however I’ve misplace the cord that attaches to the camera and plugs into the computer. I’ve been looking for it everywhere. 😦

The good news is I have six signed copies of Sweet Temptation and one of the could be yours, just tell me what was the first Maya Banks book you read and what was your favorite scene in that book. Good Luck 🙂

An Interview with Christine Wells about Sweetest Little Sin

A Marquis’ Betrayal
Lady Louisa Brooke has many suitors, but the only man for her is the wild and ruthless Marquis of Jardine. When Jardine suddenly abandons her after a long-standing liaison, he leaves her with nothing except the secret they share. Her future in ruins, Louisa recklessly accepts a mission from the head of the secret service and becomes embroiled in a perilous operation in which nothing is as it seems…

A Lady’s Revenge
The Marquis of Jardine is determined to destroy the criminal mastermind who’s sworn vengeance against all he holds dear. But when he hears that Louisa is to wed a dangerous enemy, Jardine is tortured by jealousy and fear for her safety. He tracks her down, only to discover that her mission collides with his.

A Love that Won’t Be Denied
Together, Louisa and Jardine must now foil a plan to betray the secret service and escape a diabolical revenge. But can they put the past behind them, and take the greatest risk of all—on love?

Christine, Thank-you for agreeing to an author interview today.

Hi Greta, thanks so much for having me!

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

A Love that Won’t Be Denied
Together, Louisa and Jardine must now foil a plan to betray the secret service and escape a diabolical revenge. But can they put the past behind them, and take the greatest risk of all—on love?

I live in Australia with my husband and two small boys. Thank goodness our dog is a girl or I’d be completely outnumbered! I’m a former lawyer who decided to exchange writing contracts and prospectuses for romance novels. I can’t believe I get paid to have this much fun!

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing with a view to publication since about 2001.

What is your writing process like?

I’m a fly by the seat of my pants writer and I wish I wasn’t. Things stew away in my head for a long while and then when it reaches some kind of tipping point I just blurt it all out on the page in a fairly quick draft. Then I go back and flesh out and cut and polish. I’d much prefer to outline and I have tried a lot of different processes but nothing else fits.

Can you tell us about your newest release Sweetest Little Sin?

Oh, gladly! The Marquis of Jardine, a ruthless government spy, and Lady Louisa Brooke were secondary characters in an earlier novel of mine, THE DANGEROUS DUKE. They have a long and tortured history together but SWEETEST LITTLE SIN opens with Jardine telling Louisa it’s over between them. Shattered by his betrayal, Louisa recklessly accepts a mission from a British spymaster, only to find that her objective coincides with Jardine’s.

What are you currently working on?

I’d love to tell you—I’m so excited about my next project—but unfortunately, it’s under wraps for the moment.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

I’m not sure where these ideas come from. Some spring from tidbits of research but usually certain characters and situations appeal to me and then the story unfurls from there.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

Yes, I love reading, of course! I often have two or three books on the go at one time. Auto-buys—Liz Carlyle, Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, too many to name. I also enjoy reading crime, C.S. Harris, Elizabeth George, PD James.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

My husband always grumbles that there are too many ‘keeper’ books in my collection. But also very special to me are books written and signed by friends. I’d never part with those.

What was the first romance book you read or the one book that has stood the test of time for you?

I think Georgette Heyer’s novels were the first romances I read and I still re-read them from time to time. I recently bought a wonderful audible book of Heyer’s Sylvester read by Richard Armitage.

If your book was made into a movie, which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Oh, that’s a tough one! I think Richard Armitage would be wonderful as Jardine. I’d pick a cool blonde for Lady Louisa but not someone conventionally pretty. Maybe Megan Dodds, who was in MI-5/Spooks.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

I’d switch lives with Louisa if it meant I could have Jardine!

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I love spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, traveling.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?

I’d like to know what romance novel you’d love to see as a movie and who you’d cast in the roles of hero and heroine. One commenter will receive a signed copy of SWEETEST LITTLE SIN.

Where can readers find you on the internet?

Please visit my website: http://www.christine-wells.com/

Or join me at the Romance Bandits blog: http://romancebandits.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Review: The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro

Spicing up her sex life sounds exciting…until the fantasy hits the fan.

When Maggie Drummond buys an erotic romance novel by mistake, she gets more than an unexpected eyeful. She gets an introduction to a world that arouses her to a fever pitch. Spanking.

Her boyfriend isn’t interested in pushing his vanilla-flavored sexual boundaries. Then there’s Connor Grey, who haunts her fantasies like a magical genie. As a source of masculine advice for her and her female friends, he’s off limits. The only safe place to explore her fetish is her anonymous blog.

The recent changes in Maggie don’t escape Connor’s notice. Now that her boyfriend has dropped her, he can finally—carefully—make his move. Given his family history, laying a hand on any woman, even in fun, is a line he’s reluctant to cross. But for Maggie? Anything the lady wants.

As Maggie gives in to the temptation to let Connor add some sin to her life, she finds herself juggling lies, half-truths, friendship and sensual delights. Her job is in jeopardy—and she’s falling in love. Exploring her fantasy is one thing, but she’s beginning to question if indulging her own pleasure is worth the cost to everyone around her. Especially Connor…

Warning: Contains explicit sex, spanking, and the good, the bad and the ugly about friendship.

This book was just what I needed, when I needed it. Maggie is the average woman. No secret agent/supermodel here. She lives in a small apartment, she works her 9-5 job, hangs out with her friends, and has a boyfriend that she knows isn’t perfect for her but keeps him anyway because it’s better than being lonely. Who couldn’t relate to her? Oh, and did I mention she starts a blog? 😀

Then there is Connor. Yummy, yummy Conner. He plays rugby but is completely comfortable sitting in a bar with his female friends. And he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win his woman. Of course, in typical guy fashion, he makes a few blunders which leads to some misunderstandings, but his heart is in the right place and it is all done to give Maggie what she needs.

The Bottom Line was such a fun and sexy read. There is a scene where the group of friends decide to try speed dating and Maggie starts off each meeting with “How do you feel about spanking?” I could recommend this book based on that scene alone but, luckily, I don’t have to. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Another keeper from Shelley Munro!

You can find an excerpt and purchase information at Shelley Munro’s site.

Winners!

The winner of  a digital book from Tracy Cooper-Posey’s backlist is:

Morning Glow!

Please email me at lillie80 @ gmail.com (without the spaces) with the title of your choice and preferred format.

The winner of Marked by Elisabeth Naughton is:

Jennifer D!

Please e-mail Greta at gw12cats03 @ charter.net (without the spaces) with your address.

Winners will have 3 days to contact us or a new name will be drawn. Congrats!

Q&A with Elisabeth Naught on her new release Marked!

Elisabeth, Thank-you for agreeing to an author interview today.

Thanks so much to Greta for inviting me back to talk about my latest release! I’m thrilled to be here.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I think my books are waaaay more interesting than I am, but here goes:

These days I write both romantic adventure and paranormal novels from my home in Western Oregon. Prior to being bitten by the writing bug, I was a junior high science teacher who used to drive my students nuts with the phrase, “All answers must be written in complete sentences”. (Oh, how my students used to hate me!)  I also had the reputation for being the hardass teacher (and not because I did aerobics 24/7) and often found myself in the principal’s office more than my kids. (Usually because I’d lost my keys AGAIN.)

Now that I’m not teaching anymore, I’m torturing my characters in new and interesting ways. And though my junior high students are probably glad to be rid of me, I can honestly say I got my start writing romance watching them. I mean, truly, who isn’t fascinated by raging hormones in constant motion?

Can you tell us about your upcoming release Marked?

MARKED is the first book in my new Eternal Guardians Series, which releases Tuesday, April 27, 2010. It combines Greek mythology with a modern day setting, hunky heroes, a millennia-old prophecy that could bring about the end of the world, snarky gods, seething daemons and a wicket hot romance.

You can check out the back cover blurb and read an excerpt here: http://www.elisabethnaughton.com/books/marked/

This is the first book in a new series, can you tell us about your new series?

I’m very excited about this new series. The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors who protect their realm from an evil god hell-bent on destroying them and the humans they protect. My guys are tough, alpha males, each with a unique ability/gift, but all are cursed by the goddess Hera in a way that will change their lives for all eternity.

Book one is Theron’s book. He’s the leader of the Argonauts and he’s been sent on a mission to find the one woman who completes an ancient prophecy that will protect his world from an evil god with a bad case of revenge. The catch? He falls for that woman, big time, and when it comes down to making the ultimate sacrifice, there’s no telling what will happen.

Your new series is based on Greek Mythology what type of research did you do or are you doing for your stories?

I’m constantly researching. There’s so much in Greek mythology, I don’t think I’ll ever learn it all, but I’m enjoying every step along the way.

I have oodles of books in my house all about Greek mythology – great big, thick encyclopedias. I also spend a lot of time online researching myths from different sources/perspectives. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my research it’s that not everyone explains each myth the same way. For most myths there are several different “possible” endings. For me, this is a good thing because it means I can easily take the myths and twist them the way I want for my books. For example, one of my guardians is a descendant of Jason and Medea, but in some versions of Jason’s mythological story, Medea killed all the children she had with Jason (after he betrayed her by marrying someone else). In others, one son from Jason and Medea’s romance survived to become king of Iolcus. I’ve (obviously) taken liberties with these discrepancies and other aspects of the ancient myths to make them work for my books.

You went from writing romantic suspense to writing paranormal, how different was that?

 Honestly? Not as different as I thought it would be.

I never planned to write paranormals. I love romantic suspense and always have. But one day, after researching Greek mythology for my debut book, STOLEN FURY (in which the main characters were looking for three ancient Greek reliefs of The Three Furies, the goddesses of punishment and evildoers), a paranormal idea hit me out of the blue. It was the first time a book had ever come to me as a fully formed entity. I knew the entire plot, beginning to end, and I took that as a sign I was supposed to write it. The end result was MARKED.

I knew the book had potential as a series, but I didn’t write any more books in the Eternal Guardians series until MARKED sold. At the time, I was already under contract for the Stolen Series, and was having a ball writing romantic adventure/suspense. Now, after I’ve done several books in both genres, I can say that I’ve learned writing both series isn’t all that different. Both are written in my voice. The paranormals are a little darker, but they’re still chock full of murder and mayhem, adventure and romance. And at the end? A book I hope readers will fall in love with.

Do you have plans to write any romantic suspense stories in the future?

Yes, absolutely! I love writing romantic suspense and don’t plan to give it up anytime soon.

I recently signed on to contribute to a Kensington romantic suspense anthology with Lucy Monroe and Jamie Denton. BODYGUARDS IN BED will be a June 2011 release. More details on this story to come, but I can tell you this much: a secondary character from my Stolen Series is going to be a main character in my novella.

I’m also working on a whole new romantic adventure/suspense series. When I have more info to share about that, I’ll post it on my website.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m finishing up book three in my Eternal Guardians Series – TEMPTED (February 2011). I won’t tell you who this book is about yet (don’t want to spoil any of the secrets in MARKED!), but I will say I’m having a lot of fun with this one.

After I finish TEMPTED, I’m switching gears and will be working on my RS novella, and then it’s back to the Eternal Guardians and book four in the series (which is yet untitled).

Do have any other books releasing this year?

Yep. MARKED (book one, Eternal Guardians – April 27, 2010) will be followed up with ENTWINED, book two in the series, which releases July 27, 2010. And book three follows six months later in Feb. 2011.

If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

Just ONE?

Okay, here’s what I want to know most:

What’s your favorite type of story to read? Reunion story? Secret baby story? Chase story? Whodunnit story? Arranged marriage story? What do YOU love to read? I’m always fascinated by what readers want to see authors write more of.

Where can readers find you on the internet?

Reader’s can find me at the following locations:

My website: http://www.elisabethnaughton.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/elisabeth.naughton1

Twitter: twitter.com/ElisNaughton

Mid-Willamette Valley RWA Blog:  http://www.mwvrwa.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much for having me here today, Greta!

***Leave a comment answering Elisabeth’s question and one lucky comment will win a signed copy of Elisabeth’s new release MARKED. Good Luck 🙂

Tracy Cooper-Posey and the Real Roman Britain

The Real Roman Britain, Much More Sophisticated Than We Think.

Some historians tend to lump “Roman Britain” in with the “Ancient Britain” era of that country’s history, which is somewhat unfair.  Just because parts of the Roman Britain era were into the BCE section of history, doesn’t mean Britons were all hairy people living in caves, wrapped in badly cured animal skins, with bad teeth and body odour.

Even though the historians are technically correct – Roman Britain is just a period and Ancient Britain is the era it belongs to, I tend to avoid the term “ancient” and use “Roman Britain” to describe the period I write in instead – it’s the same period, but it sounds more flattering.  The Romans were incredibly sophisticated, with a degree of culture, engineering and medicine that made life comfortable, healthy and refined that for the time was absolutely mind-boggling.

They extended that comfort and ease to every culture and society they came across.  Romans didn’t so much conquer as they seduced:  Who wouldn’t trade in mud and grass huts for a padded couch, hot bath and scented oils?  In this way, the Roman influence extended across half of the globe by the fifth century A.D., spread via flat Roman roads that saw traffic teaming back to Rome by the cartload.

We like to portray the Romans in films and books as barbaric pagans who slaughtered cows for their gods, had sex with their family members, gave their daughters to their friends in marriage contracts, kept slaves, held orgies, thought nothing of homosexuality, human sacrifice, gladiator fighting, and more.

And it’s true, they had their ruthless side.

But they did bring a settled influence upon more than half the world, that was far more progressive than any other civilization up to that point in time.  For instance:

  • They used indoor and outdoor plumbing, and kept human waste separate from clean drinking water.
  • They practised dentistry, including the use of coloured false wooden and metal teeth to replace missing permanent adult teeth.
  • They created and used prophylactics (condoms) to prevent unnecessary childbirth.
  • They used the most admired engineering the world has ever seen to build roads, buildings and other civil works that in some parts of the world are still intact even today, over two thousand years later.  Many of those engineering works were built without mortar, and they had an ability to cut stone with such preciseness that despite a lack of mortar, the stonework fit together almost seamlessly and can carry water without spilling a drop.
  • They used aqueduct systems to pipe water from long distances to towns and cities – a public water works.  The systems always used natural slopes and the fact that water runs downhill to maintain themselves.  They did not need outside energy to keep the water running like our modern water systems do today.
  • They used a hypocaust system – a system of indoor crawl spaces to carry hot air plus a central furnace – to keep their houses heated in winter.  In other words: central heating.

Around the fifth century A.D. the Romans began to turn their attention inward upon their own internal strife and political turmoil.  They withdrew their troops and legions from the extremes of the Roman Empire, including far flung lands like Britain.  The Romans named them Britannia, and it is the name that eventually stuck.

The Saxons swept through the land the Romans deserted, seeing only farmlands rich for the picking.  The native Celts and the Romano-British that had been born in Britain but raised in the Roman ways fought hard to keep their island to themselves.  It is this troubled time when Arthur, if he existed, would have stepped to the fore and lead the people that Rome deserted, against the invading Saxons who were desperate for arable land to feed their hungry families, too.  History shows that the British did hold back the Saxons for a time, but only briefly.  Then the Saxons won, and Britain became England and the civilized culture that Rome left behind was superseded by the mores and society that the Anglo-Saxons stamped upon their new land.

But the influence of the Romans is still felt even today.  Did you know that the British drive on the left side of the road (and Australians and other British Commonwealth countries) because Julius Caesar never personally visited that country?  In the days when chariot driving and whips were first developed, everyone drove on the left, in order to avoid accidentally whipping foot traffic (you hold the reins in your left hand, and the whip in your right).  But Julius Caesar was left-handed and insisted on driving on the right, so whatever country he visited changed the rules to suit his driving habits.

The United States first started out with traffic driving on the left, as the English did.  It was only after the Declaration of Independence that all states switched over to driving on the right.

There’s a lot of habits we take for granted today that originated with the Romans and survived despite repeated invasions of Saxons, Normans, punk rock, and the Spice Girls.

I know I’ll be grateful forever just for the idea of bathing in hot water, for instance.

Diana By The Moon


HISTORICAL ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
He is Arthur’s man. His duty is his life. She fears and mistrusts him. The only way they will survive is to work together.

Finalist, Emma Darcy Award.
___

Diana — a fiery kitten of a Roman woman, who hides a terrible past, and struggles to lead her people on a desperate quest for survival against famine and Saxon raids, unable to trust anyone.
Alaric — proud Celtic warrior and trusted lieutenant to the upstart British leader, Arthur, who must overcome his hatred of Romans if he is to fulfill Arthur’s ambitions in the north.
A haunting tale of two lives touched by the coming of King Arthur, and two hearts & souls struggling to come together against odds as great as those against Britain itself. Only together will they survive, or else be sundered…forever.
_____________________
Excerpt

Verus rested his hand on her shoulder in sympathy. He reached under his cloak and withdrew something, which he held out to her. “Here.”
It was his knife with the bronze and jeweled hilt. Eboracus, the Bishop of Eboracum, had given him the knife upon his christening. Diana had seen it in his hand at every meal she had ever shared with him.
“I want you to keep it, Diana. That little thing of yours has long passed the time when it should have been replaced. This knife has a good blade and it is long enough to reach any vital organs.”
Diana had reached out to take the knife but recoiled at his words, shocked.
Verus laughed. He picked up her hand and placed the knife in it. “Keep it as a reminder of me if you prefer, my gentle Diana. And when you think of me, remember that I made you a promise.” He straightened up and put his hand on his chest, over his heart. “If you need me, send word. I will come.”
Diana weighed the knife in her hand. “Where you are going, you will need every blade you have.”
“The jeweled hilt gets in the way and holding it throughout a whole day of fighting…” He reached for his belt again and withdrew a long, heavy knife with a plain hilt. “This is a much better tool for my needs.”
Diana stared at it. “Where did you get it?”
“Spoils of war,” Verus said offhandedly. His casualness told her how much Verus had truly changed. He meant he had killed the previous owner of the knife in combat. She swallowed.
Verus held out his hand. “Come, I’ll walk you back to the villa.”
“Where are you going?” She accepted his hand and stood.
“I’m meeting some of the men tonight to tell them tales of my glorious life in Arthur’s army. Bedivere the Great!” He laughed and started down the hill with her.
“Bedivere?” It was the Celtic rendering of Verus. “You call yourself Bedivere too?”
“It goes easier on most men’s tongues,” he said with a shrug.  “There are no benefits in being from a Roman family there. Every man is equal.”
“Equal?” Diana gave a startled snort of laughter. It was another revolutionary idea, one that kept her occupied all the way back to the villa.

* * * * *

The screaming woke her.
Diana lay blinking away sleep and listening, puzzled, when the door curtain was thrown aside.
“Diana!” It was Lucilla’s voice. Diana sat up.
“What is it?” she asked her sister’s shadow.
“Wake the children and bring them to the triclinium. Hurry!”
Diana automatically reached for her cloak and girdle, while her mind dealt with a thousand questions. The screaming was coming from outside. Beneath the shrieks was a low heavy booming that filled her with foreboding, even though she did not recognize it. She shook Minna.
“What is happening? Why are the women screaming?” Diana asked Lucilla.
“Saxons!” Lucilla hissed, then spun away and was gone.
Coppery fear flooded Diana. Saxons! Here! She shook Minna harder, her own body trembling violently. She now knew what the booming noise was.
The Saxons were ramming the gates to the villa.
As soon as Minna roused, Diana pulled her out of bed and threw her cloak around her shoulders. She scooped up Titus, the smallest and pushed him into Minna’s arms. Diana picked up Marcus, who snuggled sleepily on her hip, then pushed Minna out of the room ahead of her.
Predawn light filled the sky. By the stout villa gates, short Roman sword in hand, Ambrosius stood with Lucilla. As Diana and Minna hurried along the verandah to the dining room, Lucilla turned and ran for the wing where she and Ambrosius and their boys lived.
Diana pushed open the heavy door and they moved inside.
Her father was standing at the main table, his arms up in the air, while her mother buckled the fastenings of his grandfather’s old legionnaire armor. At the sight of the polished chest plate, Diana felt dizzy. Her father was too old to be fighting!
Yet he had to fight.
Diana put Marcus on his feet and pushed him toward the divan, where Minna curled up with Titus. The little boy ran over and climbed up with his siblings and sat watching, his eyes enormous.
Ursula stepped back from her husband and picked up the short sword from the table. Her eyes met Diana’s and Diana saw tears glistening there. Ursula turned back to strap the sword around Marcellus’ waist.
“Hurry, woman!” her father hissed, his voice trembling.
Lucilla came into the room weeping, shepherding her three boys with her.
Marcellus’ jaw clenched. “No tears, daughter. We are Romans. Have Verus and the others gone to defend the gate?”
“Oh, Father! He’s not here! Verus has gone and so have nearly all the men—slaves, freedmen, even the farmers! Gone!”
“Gone where?”
“Sosia told me—they left last night. They’re going to join the Pendragon. Ambrosius is out there alone. Father, we’re completely defenseless!”
Marcellus’ face grew gray and mottled. “Gone? Left us? All of them?” he whispered.
“Mama!” Minna wailed, reaching for Ursula who pulled her daughter into her arms.
“Hush, child.” Ursula looked to her husband expectantly.
Alarmed Diana stepped closer. “Father?” she whispered. She saw his lips working but no sound emerged.
Outside, the heavy pounding on the outer gates was punctuated by sharp cracking and a strange tearing sound. Triumphant cries sounded.
“The gates have been breached,” Lucilla breathed.
“Mother of God save us!” Ursula invoked.
Lucilla whirled and slammed the door shut. She pushed the bolts home, weeping again.
Diana caught her father’s hand. “Father?”
His hand suddenly clenched hers, mashing her fingers together and a rictus of pain contorted his face. His right hand grabbed at the metal over his breast.
“Mother!” Diana cried out in warning as her father began to fall.
Ursula pushed Minna aside and leapt to help Diana lower Marcellus to the floor. His whole body was contorting with pain.
“The armor! Get it off!” Ursula ordered.
Diana worked frantically on the old leather buckles, her fingers trembling and unwieldy.
Shockingly, the door to the dining room shuddered under an almighty blow.
Ursula looked up, her eyes wide with fear.
“Lucilla!” Minna screamed.
Diana whirled around to Lucilla. Her sister had Marcellus’ sword and as Diana turned, Lucilla pushed the sword deep into her body and sagged to the floor. “I go to join Ambrosius,” Lucilla whispered weakly. “They will not reach me there.”
Minna screamed again, a wordless cry of protest.
Another blow on the door dislodged the bolt and the door quivered aside. Diana leapt to her feet and backed away from the doorway, away from the warriors with horned helmets who stood on the other side with their bloody battle axes glinting in the rays of the rising sun.
They boiled into the room, dozens of them and the smell of hot blood came with them. The women and children, all who were alive in the room, shrieked and fell back.
From between their ranks stepped the tallest of them all. He was a huge man with a horned helmet and a dirty beard, which curled over his thick belt. He looked around, sizing up the room.
Diana looked to her mother for it was Ursula’s place to stand before their attackers.
But her mother lay across her husband’s body, her eyes glazed and empty. From beneath her glinted the handle of her husband’s sword.
Diana held back her cry of dismay and horror. They had deserted her and the younger ones—all of them had escaped and left her alone to face her fate.
She glanced at Minna, who held Lucilla’s three boys and Titus and Marcus. They were shivering, watching her.
If Diana had ever doubted how insignificant her place was in the family—her place and the place of those trusting children she looked at now—then she doubted it no longer.
She barely hesitated. With a cry that sounded like an animal in pain, a cry she would never have thought herself capable of sounding, she spun and rushed at the Saxons. She had no idea what she intended.
The leader dealt with her with an ease that astonished her.    She was flung across the room to smash against the wall with a solidness that stopped her breath and made her groan. Knowing there was no other choice, she turned and rushed back at him again.
He grabbed her arm and she froze as his knife pushed against her throat. He laughed, showing foul teeth amid the hairy lips.
He spoke a badly accented Latin. “Peace, woman. Dead I do not want you yet. There is fun to be had first.” And again he roared with laughter, his men laughing with him. As he laughed, his glance took in Minna and the boys and his laugh grew louder.
Fear grabbed Diana’s throat and clenched her stomach. But cold reason whispered to her.
I am alive. I’m alive and while I breathe still I will do whatever I must to keep us all alive. I, Diana, swear this by whoever listens.
And from the corner of her eye she saw the old wall fresco of the moon goddess, Diana, smiling upon her.
_________________________

To buy Diana By The Moon, click here.

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