Monday, October 29, 2012

Drum roll please...welcoming the talented author, Elodie Parkes

Open Mic Monday is casting the spotlight onto the exciting erotic romance author, Elodie Parkes.  Welcome, Elodie!    

Elodie lives in Canterbury, United Kingdom. It’s famous for the Cathedral, Chaucer. She works in an antiques shop and writes. Elodie has two dogs that keep her fit with their need for walks. She loves to browse in antiques markets and visit art galleries.
Elodie writes romance, contemporary and always erotic with a twist of mystery, paranormal, and suspense now and then. She likes to make the story unusual in some way, by a quirk in the tale

Welcome Elodie tell us a little about why you write erotic romance.

I started writing when I was seventeen. I never did anything like submitting to publishers etc. until I was about twenty-five and then queried to no avail.
I started writing again seriously a couple of years ago because I had so many stories in my head.
I have published three erotic romance books to date and I am working on another book right now.
They are available on Amazon kindle. I love eBooks myself, and it’s rare now for me to buy a paperback or hardback.
I read heaps myself from across all types of genres. Right now I am reading the new release from Christine Feehan, Dark Storm.

For my own writing people and emotions inspires me. The complexity of life spurs me to write.
I find the world harsh. There’s not enough love in it. Lots of people never find love. I write love stories with happy endings to spread a little lightness around.
My books fall into the category of erotic romance because I do write the sex scenes graphically and that’s because I want the love the characters feel to show up properly in my stories.
I think too that readers have become used to reading more. They don’t want the description of the romance to stop at the bedroom door.
My latest release is ‘The Horoscope Writer’ and it is contemporary romance with a twist of paranormal.
Dominic Reed the horoscope writer is desperate for love. He doesn’t know he has never had the kind of love he suddenly finds with Cassie the female lead character. It ignites a sexual passion in him he didn’t know he could feel.
My books do contain graphic sex in the love scenes but they are love scenes, romantic and the characters are driven by love.

When Dominic Reed looks out of his study window and sees Cassie, he’s not sure what to make of her at first. That’s before he sees her lovely gray eyes and pretty skin. He’s a writer and works alone, which to his sadness has become his way of life.
When he asks Cassie to have coffee with him, it’s the start of an intoxicating romance for the both of them. If only Dominic didn’t have to hide some of his writing, if only he hadn’t inherited a strange gift from his great uncle Aubrey. Cassie ignites a passion in Dominic that he has never felt and he seeks for a way to bind her to him.
Cassie is an artist and when she falls in love with Dominic she paints him a picture of his wonderful back garden where they have made love, little knowing that it will have a special effect on Dominic.
This is an erotic romance, and has graphic sex in the frequent love scenes, suitable for age 18+.
This is a love story, erotic and enticing.

ADULT ONLY (18+) excerpt of The Horoscope Writer 

Cassie smiled. “This is some garden Dominic are you sure you’re not a botanist?”
They had stopped and he put both arms around her hugging her close.
His face was in her hair and he pressed their hips together whispering.
“Not a botanist”.
Cassie lifted her hands to hold his face and kiss him.
She kissed him tenderly and then hungrily when the need to feel his skin against hers made her throb with need.
Dominic left her lips and kissed down her throat to suck a little at the base. He was cupping her bottom now and kneading her as he kissed her mouth again. His tongue finding hers and making her want to sigh with pleasure. She let out a little moan of appreciation and Dominic kissed the side of her mouth. She felt almost weak with the need to have Dominic make love to her.
“Cassie I promised you coffee and it’s become cold again out here”. He moved to hold her around the shoulders and walk back to the house. Cassie felt as if she wouldn’t be able to stand up now he had stopped holding her to his body, but she walked with him silently back through the garden to his house.
They were in his kitchen before she felt as if she could speak. The desire she felt for him had kept her silent.
He pulled out a chair for her to sit at the polished wooden table and was making coffee.
“I’m going to make instant Cassie. It’s actually a nice blend and we’ll get it quicker. Are you cold?”
She shook her head. “No Dominic I’m just desperate to make love to you”. Cassie was almost surprised to hear herself say this and she looked at him for affirmation.
Dominic was bringing the mugs of coffee to the table and he sighed.
“Cassie you are my dream come true. I already feel so much for you it’s scary”. Dominic meant what he said, and after putting the coffee down on the table, he knelt before her, and placed his head in her lap with his arms around her hips. The gesture touched Cassie deeply because it seemed to lay bare Dominic’s fear.
“Are you scared that it isn’t real, what we feel I mean?” She traced the side of his face with her fingertips.
Dominic looked up. “I know what I feel is real”. Cassie leaned to kiss him.
They were clinging to each other and Cassie whispered to him between kisses. “Dominic make love to me. Let me feel your skin against mine”.
He was captivated and stood with her in his arms to nuzzle down her neck. She had taken off her jacket and now Dominic moved aside her shirt to bite her shoulder gently. He sucked and kissed, and Cassie kissed him where she could reach, his ear, his neck, with her hands in his hair.
Dominic stood back and pulled off his sweater, and then almost tore the buttons of Cassie’s shirt open to reach her breasts. He pushed her bra down to her waist exposing her breasts and cupping them in his hands. Cassie’s breath was coming in gasps as Dominic sucked on her nipples, and then turned her around to clasp her to him, and kiss down her neck from behind. With his other hand, he unzipped her jeans and slid his hand down her stomach.
Cassie was desperate to feel his fingers inside her, and she arched towards his hand, pushing her jeans down for him to reach her. Dominic moved his fingers down to reach her wet and throbbing for him. He held her gently around her neck to reach her jaw and bring her head back to kiss her lips. With his fingers inside her, his tongue in her mouth, and his own hard desire pressing against her bottom Cassie moaned as she came. She was weak from the sensation, and Dominic was groaning low and whispering something to her. She turned her head more bringing her arms up around his head to keep his kiss on her lips.
“I need you so much”, Dominic was whispering, and he gently pressed her to bend across his kitchen table. Cassie knew what was going to happen and she craved it. Dominic pushed down his own jeans to free his erection before the hardness killed him.
He was tender as he pushed into Cassie from behind, holding her around her breasts so that she was not pushed hard against the polished wood. He slid into her and thrust deep wanting her to come again as she sighed with the pleasure of his hands on her breasts, her hips, and the way he filled her.
Dominic was in love with her, but she ignited a sexual need in him that drove him to thrust hard, and he let go of her breasts to bring his fingers to her bud at the same time as he thrust into her. Cassie couldn’t breathe as she came and gasped his name. “Dominic”.
He knew she was coming again because she instinctively pressed her delicious bottom up to his thrusts so that he drove onto her bud and made it last longer. He held her hips as he felt his orgasm start and then it overtook him with an intensity he had not expected. He was pumping into her and moved his hands to hold her stomach to keep her in place, and then he almost collapsed onto her as he leaned down to kiss her face where she had turned it to receive a kiss.
Dominic couldn’t move and stayed there holding Cassie tenderly for a few moments and then he slowly withdrew from her, helped her up, and turned her to kiss her lips.
Cassie kissed him, her arms around his waist, and whispered to him. “Dominic”. Just his name and it sent waves of sexual feeling over him.

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2012

Find Elodie online:

Find her  books:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

An interview with Author JT Cheyanne

Today I'm happy to host author JT Cheyanne as she kicks off her virtual book tour for her new release, Ocean's Kiss.  Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below the author bio.  Enjoy!

Thank you, J.T. Cheyanne, for taking the time to stop by Moxie Girl Musings today.  I really appreciate your time. Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release?

This is my first ever release and I'm really excited you've invited me here to discuss it. Thank you.  Ocean's Kiss tells the story of 
Dominic and Devan . Drawn to the ocean all of his life, Dominic Cole, a retired Navy SEAL, settles in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida to pursue a career in marine biology, and to stay close to his unit. Once there, one of his fellow SEALs arranges a blind date with Devan.

As a child, Devan suffered from a mysterious illness that doctors could not diagnose or treat. On vacation to the coast, Devan walks into the waves and finds a new outlook on the world. One without the illness. When she meets Dominic, she's thrilled to learn he dives and asks for lessons. The attraction sparked on their first meeting continues to grow, and develops into something more, but Devan is scared to reveal her secret. For his own reasons, Dominic tries to keep his distance due to Devan's innocence . Unfortunately, his past comes back to haunt them. Devan's secret saves them.  

What inspired this novel in particular?  I was asked to write a story revolving around water. That presented a challenge. There were so many possibilities. Mermaids, shifters, but nothing seemed to click. My brother is in the Navy so I decided to go with the SEAL. Boy, did I have to do my research to make sure I portrayed them accurately.. But, it was worth it. I enjoyed the way it turned out.

Who is your favorite character in this novel and why?  While I loved Dominic and Devan, my favorite character is Malachi. I'm looking forward to writing his story. He appeared in my mind, strong and sexy. My daughter read the book right after I finished it. She said, "Mom, you have to write his story next!"

What comes first--characters or plot ideas? For this book, the plot idea. Like I said, I was asked to write a story around water so the plot had to reflect that aspect. 

How many books have you written? This is my first release. I currently have another under contract with a co-author. We are also in the process of writing a series together.  This is in addition to the solo works I have in process.

What is your favorite aspect about being a novelist? It's bringing the stories in my head to life, sharing them with everyone. 

What inspires you as an author?  My angel, Laziel. 

What draws you to this particular genre? I love all genres, I remember in fourth grade I picked up my first recreational book. I wasn't reading because I was told to, but because I wanted to. I've read a wide variety of genres since then. My greatest love is vampires, but I couldn't figure out a way to tie the vampire to the water. Maybe next time.

Are there any other genres you can see yourself writing and why/why not? Oh yes. I want to explore. My imagination runs riot. I certainly want to delve into the paranormal world with vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, the entire works. I am presently writing a m/m romanceand look forward to completing it. I firmly support the LGBT community. I'm not sure about the horror genre. My imagination gets too carried away and I can't sleep for the monsters lurking in my head. 

As a romance author, do you truly believe in happy endings in real life?  Yes, I believe in happy endings, but I believe you have to work for them. 

What's your typical writing routine like? I work full time so once I get home from work, I pull out the laptop and pull up whatever manuscript I've decided to work on for the evening. I eat with the laptop in front of me and work until close to midnight. Sometimes I have the television on, I have to watch Dancing with theStars, and other times I hit the radio. I"m more of a music fan.
To you, what's the most challenging aspect of being a published novelist and why? Prioritizing my time between edits, family, work and getting the new stories written. 

Chocolate or vanilla? I am so grinning. Chocolate. 

Dogs or cats?   Dogs. The unconditional love is amazing. 

What's your favorite meal to prepare or are you more of take-out queen?  All of my friends are laughing right now. It's well established I cannot cook. I am the Chinese takeout queen for myself, and my kids could probably recite the dollar menu at McDonald's.  

Tell us 5 little known facts about yourself.  Not sure how to answer that, I'm pretty open about everything.  1. I started writing after being asked to roleplay with the Warden's group on Facebook. 2. I don't like bacon. 3. I detest washing dishes. 4. I love the smell of rain and newly cut grass. 5.  I cry watching movies, television shows or even commercials. My kids laugh at me for the last one.

Ha!  I relate to the crying over movies, television shows and commercials, JT. You are not alone.  Thanks for stopping by, now let's look at the book blurb and excerpt for Ocean's Kiss.  

Ocean’s Kiss
by J.T. Cheyanne
Published by Decadent Publishing
24,000 words (eBook format)
Contemporary Fantasy Romance/Romantic Suspense
Contains Elements of Action
Heat Level: Sensual

Available at:
Decadent Publishing


At the age of seven, Devan McDaniel awakened to a new world full of color, noise, and clarity. On vacation with her mother, she waded into the warm waters of the Atlantic and her life changed. It, the debilitating affliction she’d struggled with since birth, disappeared. But, Devan wasn’t free. To control It, she maintained a strict routine of daily visits to the salty depths. Lack of vigilance sent her careening back into Its black void of sensory deprivation. Devan didn’t mind the swims. She loved the ocean and her Furies. The three dolphins had shown up almost a year after her family moved to the seaside and were her constant companions when she entered the sea. But lately, Devan yearned for more. She longed to find a man who could love her and accept It.

Dominic Cole lived and breathed the ocean. He’d entered the Navy and qualified for one of the elite SEAL teams. After a disillusioning mission, he retired. Unable to separate from his love of the sea, he settled down in Florida, where he set to work as a marine biologist. The small cove he researched offered up many interesting surprises, including three friendly dolphins. Dominic’s peace didn’t last. His highly tuned senses warned him danger lurked.

A blind date arranged by mutual friends brought Dominic and Devan together. Stunned by his immediate reaction to her, Dominic found himself agreeing to diving lessons. In a matter of weeks, Devan mastered the skills required and in the process, fell mask-over-flippers in love with the powerful, stoic instructor. Resisting Devan’s allure, Dominic struggled to keep his hands to himself. When he finally gave in, his worst fears were realized.

Would he find Devan before It and his enemy ended her life?

Ocean's Kiss excerpt:
Devan woke to darkness and fear. Her hands, secured behind her, throbbed painfully from the tight bonds. Tape covered her mouth. Vaguely, she remembered waking and fighting with someone during the night, the cloth over her nose. She’d been…drugged…and abducted. She pushed back the panic and sat up. Quickly, she looked around the small space. Except for the iron bedstead and the bare mattress she sat on, a very barren, depressing room greeted her perusal. No carpet, no windows…nothing. She glanced down and saw she wore one of Dominic’s T-shirts and a pair of pajama shorts. Like the makeshift prison, her feet were bare. She fought off the terror threatening to overwhelm her. 

No time for hysteria, Devan. You have to get out of this room before It shows up. Shoring up her courage, she looked around again more carefully. If she didn’t get to the ocean very soon, she would be completely and totally at the mercy of whoever held her. She would die without even being able to fight her assailant. Galvanized into action, she stood up from the bed, thankful her feet were not also bound. Carefully, she made her way around the tiny area, searching painstakingly for anything to cut through the tape looped around her wrists. Back at the bed, she hung her head, tears stinging her eyes. 

“Dominic’s coming. Be strong, Devan. Help yourself until he gets here.” The mini pep talk strengthened her crumbling resolve. She turned back to the wall and stubbed her toe on the baseboard. A stinging pain snapped her gaze to the floor. A bright spot of red dotted her big toe. She hit the floor, her back to the wooden panels, her hands searching the baseboard. A sob of relief welled when she felt the sharp nail sticking out. Devan contorted her body, trying to reach the spiked point. Painfully, she managed to get the bands around her wrists even with the nail. Working until her arms were numb from pushing against the unforgiving barrier, she finally heard the nail pop through her bindings. With very little room to maneuver, she thrust frantically to weaken her ties. Her shoulders sagged in exhaustion and more tears leaked from her eyes as the tape finally gave way. Her victory was short lived. Heavy footsteps sounded in the hallway outside. She pushed to her feet and hurried to the bed, the tape clutched in her hands. Her head hit the mattress seconds before the door swung inward. The man from the elevator strolled in, a cruel smile on his face.

About the Author:
J.T. Cheyanne resides in the beautiful state of Alabama with her two sons and daughter. An avid reader since fourth grade, she has only just started writing her own stories. She also has several works in progress with a co-author. When she’s not writing, she enjoys coaching cheerleading in her local youth organization.

Visit J.T. online at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the above Rafflecopter link doesn't work for you, go to the one below to enter the giveaway.  You can also follow JT's tour here:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Choosing a title for the "masterpiece"

I'm often asked how I choose a title for my novels.  What comes first, the title, the characters or the work itself before a title really screams "this is the right one"?

Well, for me it's a combination of factors that really nail the title in place.  With my novel, Kiss Me Slowly, the title resonated from the very beginning.  I knew the story would be very fast paced, would be about running out of time and love on the run.  The fact that there would be no time for indulgences such as lingering kisses prompted the title Kiss Me Slowly--it was ironic, in a way.  

With Riptide, that wasn't the case at all.  It was originally called Free Fall, but as I wrote and revised, the title simply felt wrong to me.  For a short time I called it Notorious, but that's so overdone I hated it from the moment I slapped it up on the header.  Then I called it In Too Deep, but thought it could be misconstrued as a porn title.  Then it just came to me...Riptide.  The definition of riptide is "a stretch of turbulent water in the sea, caused by the meeting of currents or abrupt changes in depth. Also called rip current, a strong current, especially one flowing outwards from the shore, causing disturbance on the surface."  Because of the intense nature of this story, which happens to take place on or near the Caribbean Sea at all times, this title slapped me in the face with its rightness. 

My next novel is called Reckless Endangerment, but it didn't start out that way either.  At first it was called Entangled...which changed to Tattered Angels, which became When Angels Fall and finally Reckless Endangerment perfectly summed it up for me.  

And that's the real key here...what resonates with me as the author.  I know the story better than anyone and love the characters as if they are real.  I owe it to the story to find the title that conveys the tone of the novel.  It's not an easy task.  A lot rides on the title--marketing, cover design, first impression with the readers--so getting it right feels like a daunting task at times.  Think about it...if you don't like the title of either a book or a movie, how likely are you to check it out further?  Probably not likely.   

As far as what comes first, the characters always tell me their story.  They drive it, they shape if only they would introduce themselves politely and say, "this is what I'd like my story to be called, please."  If only it were that easy.   

Monday, October 15, 2012

Welcome "Beautiful Ink" author, LC Dean

Today I'm happy to host, Beautiful Ink's author, LC Dean. We South Dakota natives need to stick together! Ha.  We're talking tattoos, book blurbs, excerpts, and...oh my.  Welcome to "Open Mic Monday!"  

Tattoo Recommendations by LC Dean

At one time tattoos in America were reserved for bikers and sailors. Today, everywhere you look they adorn the arms, ankles, back, shoulders and other body parts on people of all ages. Colors and styles abound. So in honor of the tattoo artist from Beautiful Ink, here are a few things to keep in mind when getting that special ink.

Many people try to put sentiment behind their choices, but there are certain things you don’t want to permanently put on your body so choose with care.

A deceased friend or family member – yes.
Your children – yes.
The love of your life (who has more ex-whatevers than you can count) – maybe think about it.

Wise quotes that have guided your life – yes.
Mottos from community groups or the military – yes.
The latest cool saying emblazoned across your chest – Gag me with a spoon! - probably not.

An eagle/flag representing the country you love or have fought to protect – yes.
An image of hope, peace, or strength which symbolize your life philosophy- yes.
A finger lifted in a rude gesture on your cheek – wouldn’t recommend.

In addition, no matter how much you love a saying, be cautious about your editing. Below are some actual tattoos I have seen and there are endless sites on the internet with more examples. My best friend would not let me make corrections on strangers’ bodies with a Sharpie marker but oh the temptation.

Across the back of a very large shirtless man
Life is Short – Keep the Throttled Wide Open (Then are they really throttled?)

On the wrist of a waitress
Strengths Priceless (Strength is Priceless and so are apostrophes)

Down a woman’s spine and framed nicely by the strings of her halter top. 
Be true to your friends – their always there for you

Beautiful Ink book blurb: 
Too many days of living on soda and energy drinks have left Ink Monroe too keyed up to sleep. She needs a good ride to release her sexual tension so she can get some rest, but when the perfect hottie turns her down flat, she’s too pissed to keep looking.

Hooking up with a stranger is not Jet Ryan’s style, but when he rescues the beautiful tattoo artist from the groping hands of a drunk, his personal boundaries fall to a desire to make her scream. He just needs to get past her anger, prove he’s not a serial killer, and show her what letting go is all about.

Beautiful Ink excerpt
Jet Ryan leaned on the deck railing of the Easyriders Saloon. The human mass pulsed below, dancing to the beat of the eighties rock band dominating the stage at another bar down the street. The smell of leather and motorcycle tainted the air, accented by the stench of burnt rubber from the burnout pit some tire seller had set up across the way. Sturgis, South Dakota throbbed with the influx of bikers, tattoo artists, and vendors for the largest motorcycle rally in the world, and he wanted them all to get the fuck out of his hometown.

He sipped his whiskey and water and wondered again how he had let his buddies talk him into coming to town. Everywhere he looked, people swarmed like damned locusts. Half naked women strolled up and down the sidewalks while rowdy idiots hooted and hollered and took their pictures. Human beings packed too close together generated a stench no one should have to suffer. A man ought to be able to breathe without smelling some guy who hadn’t had a decent bath in nearly a week. The bikes were cool and the music not half bad, but crowds in general set his teeth on edge. He should have stayed at the ranch where he belonged.

“Jet!” His friend Luke slapped him on the back with a laugh. He had one arm draped around a hot young blonde in a barely there top and even smaller skin-tight shorts. “You look like someone shot your dog. Cheer up! It’s a party!”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m outta here in twenty minutes if not sooner.”

“God, when’d you become such a stick in the mud?”

Jet glanced at the woman and shook his head. “’Bout the time you became a man whore.”

Luke grinned and hugged the girl closer. “Don’t mind him, baby. He needs to get laid.” The two of them staggered toward the steps.

“I mean it, Luke. I’m going home!”

His friend just lifted his hand and waved.

Turning back to the show on Lazelle Street, Jet debated if he should wait to leave until people headed to the Chip and Full Throttle for the evening concerts. The traffic would be going in the opposite direction if he hung around for another hour or so. A hand on his arm caught his attention a moment before the soft scent of feminine perfume pulled him from his musings. He turned to find the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, studying him. Long chestnut hair lay in a braid over her left shoulder, the tail curling above a perky breast covered in a skimpy bikini top. Well-done artwork started at the center of her chest and swept down and around, disappearing behind her back in a swirl of black-inked lace and blood-red roses. Intelligent dark brown eyes met his gaze head on. She had his attention without a word. “Can I help you, ma’am?”

A slow smile curled her lips. “Was your friend right?”

He couldn’t remember a damned thing Luke had said. “Right about what?”

Before she could answer, a drunk chick lurched toward them. “Oh, my God! What beautiful ink.” Clumsy fingers traced an intricate crimson rose.

Obviously tense about being touched without permission, the beauty stepped away with a scowl at the stranger’s familiarity. Jet didn’t think, merely caught the other woman’s wrist and stepped between the two. “It’s airbrushed, don’t rub it off.”

The girl started to protest, but her friends led her off to the next drink.

He turned back in time to catch the end of a sexy perusal.

“Are you always so gallant?”

“No. Sometimes, I’m a real prick.”

Her laugh awakened his cock with sudden and unexpected heat. “So, you didn’t answer my question. Was your friend right?”

“Because you didn’t answer mine. Right about what?”

“About needing to get laid?”

Is that a trick question? “I do all right if that’s what you’re asking.”

“It’s not. I want to know…do you want to fuck?”

Beautiful Ink (Sturgis Rally Riders #4)
by L.C. Dean
Published by Decadent Publishing
5,000 words (eBook format)
Erotic Contemporary Romance
Contains Elements of BDSM and Light Bondage
Heat Level: Sizzling

Available at:

“Amazingly sensual story by LC Dean. She pulls you right into what is happening between Jet and Ink. Ms. Dean's words are descriptively stunning and take you right there with Ink & Jet, showing what they both need to overcome to make it as lovers. It's a must read quickie novella & I give it 5 stars!”--Vicki Rose, Bitten by Love Reviews

“I will keep this review short and sweet. Beautiful Ink was both hilarious and hot at the same time. I loved the heroine's sassy mouth and the hero's take control attitude. I have to say I read this during lunch at work and needed a soda to cool off but wished I had a bullet on me to slake the itch this read left me with.”--Mahalia Levey, Amazon 

About the Author:
Although L.C. currently resides in Minnesota, South Dakota remains home on many levels and will forever hold a place in her heart. She loves to write but her day job keeps her from it more often than she would like. If you get a moment, drop her a note. She always loves to hear from readers.

Contact L.C. at:
The Hangout (blog) -

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy 1 year anniversary, Kiss Me Slowly!

One year ago today my first published novel, Kiss Me Slowly, was officially released.  Unlike Riptide's release, I had no idea what to do.  When release day arrived, I was filled with anxiety, joy and confusion.  What to do now?  Blog tour? What's that?  Twitter?  Huh?  Author page on Facebook?  Really?!  What if no one buys a copy?  What if everyone hates ME?  (yes, we authors take it all very personally.)  Do I have a head shot?  Of course not.  Media kit?  Um...nope, didn't have that either.  Book trailer?  What the hell are you talking about now?!?!

One year ago today I had just driven back from my uncle's funeral in South Dakota, was exhausted, had dropped my daughter off at driving school and was in the middle of looking for fabric for my son's school project when I got the call, "happy release day!" Yeah, that's released earlier than I expected so was taken off guard in that respect, too!  Not too glamorous, huh?

Well, I've learned a lot during this past year.  To say it was a steep learning curve would be an understatement.  So today I invite you to celebrate this roller coaster ride with me!  Here's a steamy excerpt of Kiss Me Slowly, which has done me proud over the past twelve months.  Thank you to all of you have joined me on this journey, without readers an author is simply a dreamer spinning her wheels.  Muuuuuuuuuaaaaaah!

Excerpt of Kiss Me Slowly:

Through the cotton of his T-shirt, he traced the scratches that marred his chest. She was right. He walked past her into the living room. There had to be a notebook somewhere. Maybe writing it all out would help him remember something new. Or maybe it would simply give him time to clear his head from the confusing emotions she triggered in him. 
“Where did you put that card I gave you, by the way?” she asked after a long silence.
Notebook in hand, he looked to where she hesitated on the stairs. 
“The card I gave you?” she asked again when he only stared. “I wrote this address on the back…what did you do with it?”
Anxiety bordered on panic as he thought of the discarded pants he had left behind in Ashley’s bathroom.
“My pants’ pocket,” he said after finding his voice. “I left them at Ashley’s.”
They stared at each other without speaking. Her fingers drummed against the wall, teeth caught her bottom lip and eyes stirred with thoughts. 
“Who would think anything about your business card?” Even as he asked the question, he remembered the Panama Hat Man who had paced beneath the streetlamp outside the condo. He swallowed hard. “It’s just a business card. We did business together, that’s all. Nothing personal…at the time.” 
“Nothing personal now.” She crossed her arms across her chest and paced away from the stairs. From the way she focused on her feet, he suspected her nerves were on high alert, too. 
Nothing personal, huh? The woman pushed all of his buttons. Nothing personal? How could she say that? If it weren’t personal, they would not be standing in this house together right now. If it weren’t personal, she would not be risking God-only-knew-what to protect him. 
“I thought you were going to take a shower, clear your mind, wash the beach off of you.” He clenched his jaw, suspecting that she needed to wash away the memory of his hands on her. 
“Yes, I need to do that,” she met his gaze, “I can’t stand feeling this dirty.”
“I would think you would be used to feeling dirty after sleeping with Alejandro for…how long have you two been together?” 
Fire snapped in her eyes, but still she kept her cool. “My personal life is none of your business.”
“Liar. When did lying become so easy for you, Grace? When you started harboring a fugitive and protecting Sarah? When you started doing whatever it is you’re doing with Jerry that has you looking over your shoulder?” He took a step toward her. “Is that why a man like Alejandro Barron turns you on? He has a shady side.”
“Says the man currently running for his life.”
“Maybe that’s why you were all over me on the beach? You like the danger, is that it? If we were to meet under normal circumstances—in other words, without anyone shooting at us—you would be bored, right?” He took another step toward her, not truly sure why he wanted to fight with her. All he knew was that he could not stand this tightly controlled woman in front of him when he knew this illusion wasn’t true. This aloof version of Grace paled in comparison to the woman he knew she was, the woman he had seen on the boat and on the beach, the woman he remembered. 
When she met his gaze again, her expression was hard. “Ashley was no angel. That house in Miami Beach served no other purpose than sex and secrecy. Lose the image you have of her, Jon. Ashley wasn’t a saint either.”
“She’s dead and can’t defend herself. Off-limits.” He gritted his teeth. Well, he had said he wanted it to get ugly.
“She and Alejandro were sleeping together. She must have liked the bad boys, too. He alluded to it Sunday afternoon. That would explain how I was dragged into this mess. She set us both up.”
“Ashley and I have known each other for years.” He refused to accept the idea that she had set him up. “She ended up dead.”
“She drugged the sangria. Maybe you were the one who was supposed to end up dead, have you thought of that?”
“You’re wrong.” He pinched the ridge above his nose and tried to make sense of the thoughts in his mind. “We weren’t…I wasn’t…” 
“Why did you go home with her instead of to a hotel or with your brother?”
“Because she offered, she was there, she…”
“Did you call her? How did she end up there? Was she in the building when you were taken in for questioning?”
“This is bullshit.” He slammed his fist against the wall. “I don’t know how she ended up there, Grace, because I didn’t question it. Why would I? Her father is a partner in the business. I don’t know how she found out where I was or…maybe Craig called her…”
She followed him as he paced the room. “Think about it, Jon, how did she know? What did she say when she called you that morning while you were with me?”
 “She said she was fixing…” The reality of the situation hung over his head like a dagger. “This is all wrong. Maybe she and I weren’t meant to get married, but she would never betray me like this. Never.”
“And you’re in denial.”
“No.” He shook his head. “She wasn’t capable of hurting me.”
“She cheated on you while you were away, Jon. She was at Flashback so many times and with so many different men it made my head spin.”
“Don’t say another word.” He pointed at her. “You’re wrong. She loved me.”
“Maybe that’s why she ended up dead.”
“That’s right, listen to yourself. She is dead. I don’t want to hear you say another word about Ashley.”
“Too bad. It makes sense to me. While you were off sailing, she was partying in the love shack in Miami Beach. Did she go with you for even a part of your trip? Did you talk every day?”
“Stop.” He opened the front door and stormed on to the porch. He strode toward the road without thinking or caring about where he ended up. 
Grace followed. “You got engaged and then left to sail around the world alone. I know if you had been my fiancée I would have been pretty pissed off by that.”
“If you were my fiancée you would have gone with me.” He kicked a fallen palm without looking over his shoulder.
“Like hell I would.”
“Like hell you wouldn’t.” He turned abruptly and stalked toward her. “I don’t know why you infuriate me so much when I know you’re trying to help me, but I do know that you would have gotten on that boat with me and sailed away if you had been my fiancée.” Oh, he wanted to throttle that smug expression off her face. 
“I’m not saying she’s the mastermind, but—”
“Oh my God.” He reached for her but didn’t know what he would do if he actually touched her. “Stop. Just stop.”
“Get it through your head that you have enemies out there in the world who hate you more than I can even imagine.” Frustration and anger pulsated off of her like a force field. “This is personal. This person had access to your passwords, your house, your family, everything. This is someone close to you.”
“Not Ashley.”
“Then who drugged the sangria? Isn’t it possible that while you were away on a self-absorbed adventure—”
“Self-absorbed adventure? What the hell?”
“—that she met someone else? Maybe even Alejandro? Hell, I know I didn’t give him enough attention. Then you come back and—” 
“She had a goddamned wedding binder!”
“—Did you really think she would be celibate while waiting for you, Jon? Didn’t you sample some local attractions yourself?”
Sample local attractions? “You’ve crossed a line, Grace.”
“What? Did you truly believe that Saint Ashley kept her legs crossed to all these hot men in Miami while you were indulging yourself across the world? Typical male, thinking you have no competition.”
“Go to hell, Grace.” Fury quaked through his body. “She’s dead. Don’t say another hateful thing about her.”
“Hateful? All I’m saying is that Ashley was a pretty socialite who you left alone. What’s a girl to do? She met someone, got greedy, you came home and decided to stay. Like you said, her dad is a partner in the firm…maybe she hated all of you.” 
The choice was clear in his mind, either strangle her with his bare hands or walk away to cool off. “I’m going for a walk.”
She grabbed his arm when he tried to step around her. “To hell with you. I’m going back to my boat. Jerry will be here Thursday. Try to stay in one piece until then, I’m finished with all of this.” 
She jogged back to the house. He watched her go with a mixture of disbelief and…terror. Chest heaving with pent up rage, he ran back to the house and found her pacing in the living room.
“Thought you were leaving.” He slammed the door closed behind him and wondered if he was too young to have a coronary. 
“I can’t think. I need to think. Damn it, you make me mad.” She shoved her hands through her tangled mess of loosened braids and dangling strands of hair. “You’re too hard headed to admit that Saint Ashley had tainted wings. Consider me gone, you spoiled son of a bitch.”
“You are such a smart-ass.” He grabbed her arm. “Do you even see how you diverted the conversation from you and Alejandro? What’s wrong, Grace? Can’t claim your own tainted wings?”
“You’re an idiot.” 
“Do not walk out that door.” He yanked her against him.
“Let me go.”
Before he knew what had happened, she had twisted free and held both of his hands behind his back with his face pressed against the kitchen wall. 
 “I should have kept right on sailing last night, dropped you off here to wait for Jerry and been on my way. I’d be in the Virgin Islands by now.” Hot breath licked his neck.
“Why didn’t you?” He twisted free and faced her. 
Hair stuck to her mouth. Eyes flashed with anger. Chest heaved with rage. 
“Because I don’t give up.” Her fists pelted his chest. “I’m not giving up on you.”
“You’re not giving up on me?” He grabbed her face between his hands and dropped his forehead against hers. “I thought you were sailing off into the sunset, leaving me behind?”
“Bluffing.” Fists stopped their assault.  
 His rage cooled to a simmer. Repressed energy snapped through his veins. 
“I think we lost our cool,” he said.
An answering grin tilted her mouth. “You think?”
“Just for a minute.” He slid his hands into her hair and tangled his fingers there. 
“Promise me something, Jon?”
“Anything.” He closed his eyes and breathed her in.
“Remember me.” Her hands wrapped behind his neck. “Not as some teenager, but as who I am now.”
He opened his eyes. He wanted to be inside this woman, to have her wrapped around him, to forget his life, to erase the fear of what might happen tomorrow. He wanted her. Now. Here. Any way he could have her. All ways possible. 
“Kiss me.” She licked her lips. “Slowly.” 
“Slowly?” He pressed her against the wall, one hand moving beneath the tank top. “You ask a lot.”
“I am a demanding woman.” She kissed his neck, hands dipping beneath the waistband of his shorts. 
He liked demanding. Smiling, he stood back long enough to pull the shirt over her head. Beautiful. Both hands cupped her breasts, thumbs caressed her nipples.
“Let’s get naked.” She grinned, wet hair veiling half of her face. 
He pulled off his shirt while she unsnapped his shorts. Her hand moved over his erection with the ease she had shown sailing her ship. Possessive. Confident. The thought turned him on even more. 
   He fisted his hands in her hair and pressed her against the wall. Eyes open to one another, they kissed. Slowly. It took all of his self-control to rein in the urge to ravage her. They savored one another’s mouths. He pulled away when she tried to deepen the kiss. If she wanted slow, he would give her slow. He would torture her with slowness. 
His mouth sucked her lower lip, pulling, teasing. Tongues danced together in a slow waltz. He released her hair to travel over the length of her. Breasts filled his hands. His erection pressed against her flat abdomen. 
She rose up, arms around him and moaned into his mouth. “My room. Upstairs.” 
“Here. Now.”
“I want to make the most of you, sailor boy. We need a bed. A big one.” 
Well, he couldn’t argue with that idea. 
Without breaking contact, they moved toward the stairs. Lips clung together. Eyes watched each other, lids half open. Every inch of him throbbed with the need to be inside of her, to make her beg for release. 
She stumbled but he caught her. 
“Why the hell do you still have pants on?” he asked. He lowered her back against the steps and pulled the pants over her legs. 
Propped on her elbows against the stairs, she smiled when he licked the inside of her thigh. “I’m sorry I said slowly.”
“Too late,” he whispered against the silkiness of her abdomen. He kissed her navel while his hand pushed her panties down.
He slipped his fingers inside of her as he rose up to claim her mouth again. He wanted to come. He hadn’t even been inside her yet and he wanted to come. Squeezing his eyes closed, he broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers.
“I need you inside me. Now. Forget the damn bed.” Her thighs wrapped around him.
“Next time,” he agreed. 
He plunged inside of her and rocked away the anxiety. She clung to him, lips against his neck, nails biting into his shoulder, thighs holding him inside. He braced himself against the stairs with his hands over her head. He couldn’t get deep enough, wanted to be as far into her as he could possibly be, wanted her to know she had been possessed by him, wanted her to feel him inside her for days. 
She called out his name against his neck.Her body quaked beneath him. Her hands were in his hair, holding him close. Mouths found one another and savored, lingered… And he came with a ferocity that sent the world spinning.
“You were right,” she whispered against his lips. 
“About what?” He propped himself up to look into her face. Damp hair spilled against the clapboard steps and tangled around his arms. 
“I would have gotten on that boat with you. Absolutely.”

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Book trailer (yeah, I figured it out!)