‘Stranger’s Kiss’ Released Today!

Don’t Forget to pick up your copy of a Stranger’s Kiss today!

Buy the book on Amazon (Kindle format), or for other ebook formats and readers on Smashwords!

SAM HUTCHINSON was once motivated by power and money. But after his son’s murder, he alternates between losing himself in a bottle of scotch and researching James Ryan Morley, the still-at-large killer of the boy Sam never had time for in life. Broken and desperate, Sam traces Morley’s roots to Bandit Creek, Montana and an addict who once sheltered him.

There, against a serene mountain backdrop, he finds the woman’s resourceful daughter, Amy Tesher, and her eleven-year-old child, Renee. Lies are Amy’s camouflage—her age, her name, even the identity of her child’s father—all fabricated to escape the secrets of her past.

Unaware of Sam’s real mission, she takes him into her boarding house. Just as Morley returns to take possession of Amy…and her daughter.

Read excerpt.

30 Days of Secrets: Roxy Boroughs

I have a confession to make. At 52, I’m gaga over Gaga.

Yes, this quinquagenarian loves Lady Gaga. Sure her music is catchy, her costumes are fun, and she has the guts and eloquence to speak her mind. But those aren’t the reasons I like Gaga so much. It’s because she’s a trooper.

If you go on YouTube and look up ‘Gaga falling’, you will see the most amazing wipe-outs. Not surprising, since the poor dear is prancing around on eight inch heels.

There’s one particularly spectacular dive. Gaga’s got one foot on her piano, and one on her bench. Then the bench falls out from under her. She lands, hard, under the piano.

And doesn’t miss a note.

Yup, that girl has got the microphone up to her lips and is singing away as she gets to her feet.

Me? I’d still be under that piano – moaning, loudly. But Gaga perfectly illustrates that old adage, The show must go on.
That’s why I love her. Her perseverance is inspiring. Even though she’s still a young woman, almost half my age, she taught me a lesson about persistence. She endured rejection, struggled for “six whole years” as she tells us in one song, even getting dropped from her label at one point. But she got back up on her feet and tried again.

In the spring of 2011, I’d pretty much stopped writing. I figured, what was the point? I’d been typing away for years and never caught a break. Publication seemed as far away as Pluto. Then Carla Roma gathered a group of writers together to tell the tales of Bandit Creek and I was invited to participate.

This month, I’ve got two books out. “A Stranger’s Kiss” my Bandit Creek novella, and “A Stranger’s Touch” the prequel, though both are stand-alone books.

Have you faced a time in your life when you gave up? Are you thinking about giving up now? On anything?

Don’t. Try again. At least one more time. Like me, like Gaga – haul yourself off the floor, grab your mike, and keep on singing.

(And Rest In Peace Whitney Houston. We Will Always Love You.)

Roxy will be giving away a copy of her book, A Stranger’s Kiss, and a Bandit Creek book of the winner’s choice as a celebration for the release of A Stranger’s Kiss (and its companion novel, A Stranger’s Touch) on Amazon and Smashwords!

* The draw has been made. The winner is Catherine Lee! *

30 Days of Secrets: Kymber Morgan

Can you keep a secret?

The first time we’re asked this as small children, we have no way of understanding how this one simple phase can become one of the most complex and complicated challenges we face as human beings.

I believe the choices we make about whether to keep, or reveal a given secret, has much to do with who we become in life. Ones entrusted to us, or are those we hold tight to our own chests; when is it right to keep a secret and when is it wrong? Or is it that simple?

At an age when I was ill equipped to deal with these weighty options, I became a victim of abuse at the hands of an alcoholic step parent. Each time he’d warn me my mother would never believe me over him, and worse, threatened to turn his attentions on a younger sibling if I told.

In an insidious way he’d turned the whole thing into my choice. I could chose to continue to take what was being dished out in silence and protect my family, or I could save myself at the risk of them. Which was the right choice?

Now I didn’t for one minute believe my mother would react as he’d said, but I was old enough to know she loved this man, and it would hurt her to discover what a monster he truly was. And as the oldest I felt protective of my younger sibling.

So for a long time I chose to stay silent. It wasn’t until years later I learned I did so in vain. Not only had my sibling suffered under the same abuse but also under the same threat. And my mother did finally see past the Dr. Jekyll to the Mr. Hyde beneath. But her heart was broken at the loss of the man she thought he was – and that was without benefit of knowing the whole story – she never remarried.

I tell you this not to garner your sympathy or pity, but to illustrate how my choice was not clear cut, nor was the secret itself really mine. In the grand scheme it was his – as was the blame for what my family suffered.

Now add one more layer. As it turned out, as an even younger child than I had been, he too had been a victim. Not at the hand of one, but two of the adults in his life who should have nurtured him.

Even though I didn’t deserve to have my innocence and childhood stolen, neither did he. Would the chain have been broken had he told and the secret not been kept? Who knows?

My bigger, and far more important choice, was whether to let these events affect my outlook on life or – if not forgive – at least try to understand, therefore negating the power of the lies within the secrets.

As writers we entertain, but we also enlighten. We write engaging stories full of decisions made that are rooted in secrets. Decisions that drive the hero and heroine through their character arch lessons, without which, they couldn’t earn a satisfying and believable happily ever after.

In Shafted, the heroine, Callie, forsakes love out of fear because she’s not privy to a family secret. The hero, Anteros’s life is suddenly turned upside down by a different sort of secret. The lack of information they operate under because of it, is what drives them together and is also why they believe they must stay apart.

How they figure it all out, is what makes it so much fun, and allows them to become who they are meant to be – perfect for each other.

Is her love real or just a myth?

Returning to her summertime home of Bandit Creek, Callie Jamison discovers there’s a lot more involved to her grandmother’s legacy than a few cabins and some land, including a curse. The last thing she needs now is to fall in love.

Anteros, dark twin of Eros is responsible for avenging unrequited love, a job that’s been a lot harder since his brother succumbed to ambro-fever and has been running amok shooting all the wrong people – including Anteros.

The clock is ticking, not only on his immortality and Callie’s free will, but their hearts as well. Soon they’ll each have to decide if the overwhelming attraction they feel is the real deal or if they’ve simply been ‘Shafted’ and it’s all a cruel illusion.

To tell, or not to tell, without the secrets from my past, would I be who I am today? Would I have become the woman my husband – and love of my life – married? Would I have had the courage to put a little bit of myself into my characters so I could write the best story in me? Or even go after my dream to begin with? Maybe – but I don’t think so.

Kymber will be giving away a copy of Shafted to one lucky commenter today.

* The draw has been made. The winner is StacieD! *

30 Days of Secrets: Roni Loren

I tend to write characters who have a lot of secrets. Some of those secrets make their lives more difficult and really need to be told. Other times, the secrets are fun–like what they do behind closed doors at The Ranch, the fantasy resort in my erotic romance series.

So when I was thinking about this post, I had to go through what secrets I have. And I realized, I don’t have a ton of them. Of course, I have my own fun ones, but those are ones that lose their luster when shared, so I’m keeping those for myself.

But this got me to wondering–why the heck am I so short on secrets? Then it hit me. One of my big “secrets” is that I’m chronically truthful. I’m the worst liar ever. Seriously. I think this is why I mostly stayed out of trouble growing up because if my mom would’ve asked, “What did you do/where were you/who were you with?” I would’ve answered truthfully.

On prom night, my one big attempt at lying, I told my mom I’d be sleeping at a friend’s house and slept at my boyfriend’s instead. So what did I do? I woke up at dawn the next morning and called her to confess. *facepalm* Maybe she put some voodoo on me as a baby to make me this ridiculous.

My mother and husband have even tried to coach me on how white lies can be helpful and appropriate. Yeah, that hasn’t worked either.

But this affliction is also why I haven’t hidden from anyone in my life that I write erotic romance. It’s why I choose not to review/rate books I don’t like because I can’t pretend to like it and rate it higher. It’s why I don’t have a lot of secrets. Because if someone asks me something, unless it’s crazy personal, I’ll answer honestly.

So be careful what you ask, lol.

I’m giving away one print copy of CRASH INTO YOU to a commenter. (US/Canada only) So tell me, what’s the best lie you’ve ever gotten away with? Anyone else have this compulsion to tell the truth all the time?

* The draw has been made. The winner is June M.! *

CRASH INTO YOU Blurb:
Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat—a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one Master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn’s past.

Brynn knows what attorney Reid Jamison is like once stripped of his conservative suit and tie. Years ago she left herself vulnerable only to have him crush her heart. Now she needs him again. Back on top. And he’s all too willing to engage. But as their primal desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate—and so does the danger.  Their hearts aren’t the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules. And his game could be murder.

BIO:
Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it. Her debut novel, CRASH INTO YOU, is now available from Berkley Heat. Website: www.roniloren.com

30 Days of Secrets: Shanna Gekko

Trying to figure out a secret for this was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I’m a chronic over-sharer. If it’s someone else’s secret I can and do keep those, but if it’s my life? Fair game, no holds barred. I have to pull back from revealing it all.

But then there are some things that I don’t put out there as much, mostly because there would be a lack of understanding from others. I’d be deemed crazy, a freak, or a whole bunch of other things.

You see, as far back as when I was about 14, I’ve been able to see and feel the world differently than most. I began to see auras back then, especially in a classroom setting. It’s extremely distracting when you’re trying to listen to a lesson and all of a sudden blue, green, yellow, or purple halos start sprouting around people. What do they look like to me? Have you ever stared at a bright orange piece of paper for 30 seconds then looked at a white wall? You see the reverse colour bright blue on the wall after that. That is what auras look like to me, but around people instead, and people can be different colours all over. I’ve only ever once seen red in an aura and that person was in a lot of physical pain. Don’t want to see that again if I can help it.

It doesn’t stop there though. No figment of my imagination, every time I walked to the bus for over a year starting in Gr 10, I would reach a certain point and it would feel like wings would unfurl from under my backpack. They would disappear by the time I got to the bus stop, but they seemed to lift my spirits a little every day. When I experimented with them later on, a few other people could actually feel these spirit wings, making their hands tingle and me shudder…you don’t ever want to feel something going through a part of you. Probably why I’m so fascinated with writing about my Winged Fey among other stories I’ve started with beings with wings. I somewhat know what it’s like to carry those around.

I experienced a lot of interesting things before I had children, and my husband – the non-believer – became a believer because being around me he had no choice. After children, not as much happens, mostly because I’ve gotten so busy I can’t normally take the time to be open to it. The kids are sensitive to certain elements; I’ve had to chase a few nasties out of their rooms (these feed on negative emotions, so I swear fear is like candy to them). Other than that, I don’t see as many auras, I don’t even have the chance to let my wings out as much, though if I pause a moment and pay attention this other world is not far away.

Shanna is giving away a copy of Skin Deep to a lucky commenter!

* The draw has been made. The winner is Jen B.! *

30 Days of Secrets: Elle James

The Snake Lady

I love secrets, they make for good gossip, good tension in a story and great conflict! And sometimes it’s just plain interesting to learn more about people. I don’t have a lot of secrets because I’m pretty much an open book about my life. However, there are things that aren’t necessarily commonly known about me. The one “secret” I like to tell about myself is that I used to be called the Snake Lady.

If you aren’t much into snakes, that might crank up the ewww-factor. I’m fascinated by snakes. Not to the point of owning one as a pet, much preferring dogs to snakes, but I don’t think the best snake is a dead snake.

One summer I worked as a State Park Interpretive Naturalist. As part of my duties, I did a slideshow presentation in an open-air amphitheater about snakes. We also brought along the park’s collection of indigenous snakes to thrill the spectators. Our collection included: pygmy rattlesnake, copperhead, ribbon garter snake, black snake, speckled king snake, hog nose spreading adder and a legless lizard. I would get the “friendlier” snakes out for the audience to interact with. My favorite being Houdini, the speckled king snake.

I always loved the group dynamics of the amphitheater. All the children crowded on the front row leaning forward, wanting to touch and feel the snakes. Daddies sat in the middle, a little on edge, trying to look cool. Moms stood at the very back of the amphitheater, whispering, “Don’t drop that snake, don’t drop that snake!”

I always enjoyed the outdoors, action and adventure. Snakes were a part of it and didn’t scare me. Maybe that’s why I chose to write action adventure, mystery and suspense.

My next Harlequin release is my first for the Romantic Suspense Line.

PRIZE ALERT: Comment for a chance to win a download of HAUNTED.

* The draw has been made. The winner is Na S.! *

About the Author:

Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

You can reach Elle James at www.ellejames.com or email her at ellejames@earthlink.net

Deadly Reckoning

Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Available February 21, 2012

“You win for now, but it isn’t over.”

Trouble has followed pregnant artist Kayla Davies to a picturesque Oregon town where she hopes to paint away memories of a brutal attack. Instead she finds herself again gripped by fear when a woman’s murder and an eerily familiar stalker coincide with her arrival. Someone is watching her…and disappearing into the dreaded fog called The Devil’s Shroud.

Shaken, Kayla finds comfort in the arms of Gabe McGregor, the hard-bodied town sheriff and single dad. Though he and Kayla share a powerful attraction, neither wants anything beyond an earthshaking fling. Too many lies and secrets have come between them–until another vicious attack on Kayla changes everything.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

30 Days of Secrets: Caridad Piñeiro

Thank you so much for letting me share my secrets , Vivi!

You may wonder what I’ve come to share with you today since some of you may know that I’ve got a fear of heights.  Despite that, I force myself to brave certain high places, like some pyramids in Mexico, in order to not let that fear keep me from experiencing new things.

But today I’m here to tell you another secret (or two).  What’s the first?  I am totally scared of old buildings.

Why you may wonder?  Well, the answer to that is my second secret:  I’ve had an otherworldly experience in an old cabin and that is why I am scared of old buildings!
So what happened?  Many years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Mystic, Connecticut and ended up staying in a small cabin in the woods.   We had a lovely dinner, came back to the cabin and watched some television and then went to sleep.  But a few hours later, I woke up and sensed something very weird.

When I opened my eyes, I realized that beyond the edge of the loft in the cabin, something was hanging. Plus, there was loud chanting going on, as if for a Black Mass. Fear gripped me and my heart was pounding in my chest.

I closed my eyes, convinced that I was still asleep and dreaming. Taking a few deep breaths, I opened my eyes again, but something was still swinging in the air beyond the loft and the chanting hadn’t stopped. The fear from earlier was still as strong and as I focused on the swinging object, I realized it was a man dressed in Puritan garb.

He had a noose around his neck and was hanging from the ceiling.

I fought to wake up, but realized that I was already awake since when I looked around, I could see everything around me quite clearly. I pinched myself and felt it. I glanced at my hubby who was in bed beside me, sleeping soundly even though I was more afraid than I had ever been and even though I could still see the hanging Puritan man and the chanting seemed to have grown stronger.

Panic gripped me. Something was telling me that we had to leave. I knew that if we didn’t leave the cottage we would die. I don’t know why I believed that, but I did. I felt as if there was something evil there that intended to hurt us.

I woke my hubby and said that we had to go home. He thought I was crazy since it was one in the morning and our drive would take several hours, but he knew me and that I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think it was important.

We raced home and on the way, I told him what I had seen.  Since I married a Scientist Guy, he wanted to research it, but I had no interest in knowing whether or not I had actually connected to something from the beyond.

That experience made me really leery of staying in any old buildings, but just as I won’t let heights keep me from experiencing something new, I won’t let this experience keep  me out of somewhere cool either.  Well, not unless I get that uneasy feeling that tells me something may not be right.

I want to thank you all for coming by!  Take a moment to let me know if you believe in ghosts or if you’ve had an otherworldly experience like mine.

Also, I’m having a contest to celebrate the release of NOCTURNAL WHISPERS, my February erotic paranormal romance release which features a very scary mummy spirit!  Visit my blog at www.caridad.com to enter the contest for a chance to win a gift card  and some of my earlier releases.