New release & excerpt: A NOBLE DILEMMA--Regency, PG

A New Year's treat for Regency aficionados!

A NOBLE DILEMMA by Susanne Marie Knight--now available at Aurora Regency/Aspen Mountain Press-- . Enjoy and Happy New Year!


Bethany has a guilty secret that if discovered, will scandalize Polite Society and her new love, the Earl of Ingraham. What would Jane Austen do??
Book Trailer:


The enameled door opened and in stepped the most handsome gentleman Bethany had ever laid eyes on. He was tall, so tall she had to lift her gaze to take in the length of him. His dark hair hung in tousled curls on his forehead while his long sideburns edged the line of his cheekbone. Dressed in a dashing woolen jacket, nankeen breeches and leather Hessian boots, he appeared as if he'd just entered the townhouse from an afternoon stroll.

And speaking of eyes, she couldn't discern the color of his. His eyes widened at the sight of her. Then he frowned.

She quickly stood and curtsied.

The young man hesitated for a second, and then bowed. "Good afternoon, Miss Branford. I trust you enjoyed a pleasant journey."

"Thank you, sir. I did."

After she spoke, silence hung in the air and he seemed loath to break it. The man flicked his gaze over her, adjusted the cuffs on his jacket and paced along the ornate side table, all at the same time. He certainly wasn't inclined toward conversation.

She tilted her head. Surely this young man could not be the earl. But whomever he was, his manner left a good deal to be desired.

"Excuse me, sir, but you have me at a disadvantage." She kept her voice level and cool. "I am quite unaware of your identity."

He stopped and lifted an eyebrow.

"Indeed?" He made another small bow. "My apologies. I am David Greyle. Lady Petunia is my sister."

As if that explained everything, he settled into a tub-shaped chair situated across from her and seemed intent on keeping his gaze upon her person, all the while drumming his fingers against the armrest.

Bethany struggled to recall, but no knowledge of a Lady Petunia nor David Greyle entered her brain. "Forgive me, sir, but I'm not acquainted with Lady Petunia. Perhaps I am in the wrong house. I was invited by the Countess of Ingraham to visit--"

"To be sure, there has been no mistake." He waved a negligent hand. "I am the Earl."

She blinked rapidly. She'd never met Lady Ingraham either, but if the woman had a married daughter as Elsie the maid had said, surely this man was too young to be the father. He could not be above thirty. Did that mean the Countess and the Earl's marriage was a January and May connection?

How romantic! She looked at Lord Ingraham with new awareness. Her heart beat faster. He was such a handsome young man with commanding eyes, determined chin and a fine masculine form.
A more tedious thought intruded. Then again, perhaps he only married for money in order to refurbish an impoverished estate.

How very prosaic. She looked down her nose at him. After all, he was rather ill-mannered.

Lord Ingraham jumped up, causing the tassels on his Hessian boots to swing with the violence of his act. "Tea. Would you care for some?" He didn't wait for her reply, but instead walked to the door. "I will have Stevens see to it."

Without a backward glance at her, he left her alone in the drawing room.

How extraordinary. What a very odd man. And what an inauspicious beginning to my visit.

She bit her lip. Oh, I hope Lady Ingraham is more hospitable.

Bethany tucked a stray lock back into her chignon, folded her hands in her lap, and waited for the edgy earl's return.


Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now available: A NOBLE DILEMMA (Aurora Regency, Aspen Mountain Press)
Bethany has a guilty secret that if discovered, will scandalize Polite Society and her new love, the Earl of Ingraham. What would Jane Austen do??
Book Trailer:
Coming January: The Minx Tobin Mystery Series: The Ill-gotten Insurance--Case Two (Desert Breeze Publishing)
Minx's dead friend turns up alive... but not for long. Will the life insurance have to be paid twice?
Book Trailer for Case Two:

Coming February: One Wife Too Many (Uncial Press)
Seven years after his bride is lost at sea, Wilson marries again. Bigamist!
Book Trailer:

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New Release Just in Time for Christmas - SEXY SECRET SANTA!

I'm so excited! My hot new erotic Exotica romance SEXY SECRET SANTA comes out today with Ellora's Cave! I love writing holiday theme stories, especially Christmas ones, so when I came up with the idea for a story about a hero and heroine who get locked in their office building for the night, I thought why not have them end up there because they sneaked off during the office Christmas party for a little nookie?! The idea worked and my editor at EC loved it! Hope you do, too!

Happy Reading and Merry Christmas!

Hollie Kerr has lusted after hot architectural engineer Dirk Fraser ever since they started working together, so she’s thrilled to discover he’s her Secret Santa at the office Christmas party. What she doesn’t know is that her friend has led him to believe Hollie prefers a good spanking over a boring, old
present any day.

Though Hollie is surprised when Dirk put her over his knee, she can’t pass up the opportunity to get spanked by a hunky guy like him. Her upturned bottom isn’t the only thing that gets hot, however, and soon they’re having sex right there in the office. By the time they come up for air, the party has wrapped up, their coworkers have left and the building is locked up tight.

What’s a girl supposed to do when she’s trapped all night in the office with
a gorgeous guy? Have sex in all the places she’s ever fantasized about, of


Hollie frowned as a thought abruptly occurred to her. What if the whole I’ll-give-it-to-you-later thing was a stall tactic to hold her off until everyone left the party? Maybe Dirk had forgotten to get her anything at all. She hated to think he was type who would do something like that.

She finished off the last of her cookie, determined to figure out what Dirk was up to. “Okay, I can’t take it anymore,” she said to him. “I want my present now.”

His brow creased. “Seriously?”

“Uh-huh. I think I’ve been patient long enough. I want it now.”

Dirk hesitated, as if debating whether to give in to her demands, but then he finally nodded. “Okay, if you’re sure. But I think I better give it to you in private.”

Setting her half-empty cup of eggnog on the table, he took her hand and led her out of the atrium and down the hallway. His hand was big and strong and warm around hers, and she had to bite her lips to stifle a little moan at the tingle that ran through her at his touch.Hollie opened her mouth to ask where he was taking her when they stepped into the computer drafting and design studio. Since she didn’t work in the architecture side of the business, she didn’t come down to this part of the building often, but she knew Dirk spent a lot his time working in the room and she wondered if he had hidden her present in here. Then again, the studio was the farthest away from the atrium where the festivities were being held back out in the atrium and he had closed the door after they’d come in. Maybe Dirk wanted privacy when he gave her the present. That made her squirm in anticipation. What kind of gift could require this much privacy?

“So, where is it?” she asked.

He let out a soft, sexy chuckle. “Impatient, aren’t you?”

She grinned. “I prefer to think of myself as eager.

Taking her hand in his again, Dirk led her over to one of the drafting tables in the back of the room. But instead of reaching underneath it and coming up with the Christmas present
he had promised, he sat down in the chair and began to guide her over his knee.

Hollie looked at him in surprise. “What are you doing?”

He frowned up at her, confusion clear on his face. “Giving you your Christmas present, just
like you asked. Are you saying you changed your mind and don’t want it?”

Hollie knew exactly what kind of present she would end up with if she let Dirk drape her
over his lap like he obviously intended—a spanking! And while she loved a good spanking
as much as the next girl—okay, maybe a little more than the next girl—she was shocked
Dirk had thought to give her one. Was her kinky side that obvious? Was the fact that she
had a thing for strong, masculine men who knew how to warm her ass written all over her

Well, however he knew, she wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity like this, not when a
guy as hot as Dirk was doing the spanking. Though she did understand now why he wanted to give her his present in private.

She gave him a sexy smile. “I didn’t change my mind. You can go ahead and give me my Christmas present.”

The corner of Dirk’s mouth edged up, but he didn’t say anything, just guided her the rest of the way over his knee. Familiar with being in that position, Hollie put her hands on the
floor to help balance herself. As he placed a strong hand on her back to keep her in place, she got the feeling he had done this sort of thing before, too.

Even though she liked getting spanked, Hollie couldn’t keep herself from tensing a little as
she waited for the first smack. But Dirk didn’t spank her right away. Instead, he gently
caressed her ass through her skirt. She had to stifle a sigh of pleasure. Regardless of the
fact that he seemed to know what he was doing, she had expected him to give her a dozen or so smacks on the derriere and be done with it. However, he was obviously going to take his time, which meant she was in for some serious fun.

When he finally brought his hand down on her upturned bottom, she gasped. The smack
seemed to echo in the room and she was grateful the rest of their coworkers were making
too much noise at the party to hear.

“Was that too hard?” he asked.

She looked over her shoulder at him. “No. You can spank me a little harder, if you want.”

His mouth quirked. “You really are a bad girl, aren’t you?”

Watch the Trailer!

Buy it from Ellora's Cave!

And for an excerpt from my other Holiday Themed Book, ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS and THE TROUBLE WITH NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS, visit my website at


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

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Excerpt and Free Promo Offer

I'm so excited! I've been thinking about this for a while now and finally took the time to do it. I've created a new blog called Sex Between the Covers, where romance authors of all genres can showcase their beautiful book covers only. You can include a one line teaser, and one link for readers to check out if their interest is peaked.

- send me a request to become a member so you can post book covers any time. There's also a FREE Author Spotlight twice a month if you're interested, sign up.
Publishers - send me your links and I'll post them
Promo/Review sites - send me your links and I'll post them

It's a new baby so don't expect too much right now. Please check it out, become a follower if you'd like, and let me know what you think.

Tory Richards

email me -

Marshall reached for his wineglass before sitting back on his stool. For the hundredth time in an hour, his eyes went to the beauty mark on Annie's face. The reason the small flaw captivated him was because it was so close to temptation, and he suspected a taste of heaven. He had a burning desire to kiss her and find out if her lips were as smooth and soft as they appeared.

More than that, he wanted to taste her, in more ways than one. His cock twitched with the thought of what it would be like to wrap his tongue around hers. Earlier, in the bedroom, it had been a struggle not to throw himself down on her and give in to the situation building between them. She'd looked damn appealing on his water bed, glaring up at him with indignant fire in her eyes.

He was willing to bet the fire in her eyes would intensify when it was replaced with passion. The innocence she eluded wasn't a ruse, but a thin layer protecting the woman he sensed was hidden beneath the surface. When was the last time he'd met a woman like her?

"That was good, Detective." Annie's compliment broke the silence. She pushed her empty plate aside and dropped her napkin over it before reaching for her glass of wine. "Either you've never been married, or you've been divorced a long time." She narrowed her eyes at him over her glass.

"Fishing, Doc?" Marshall grinned, pouring more wine into his glass. A tiny smile played upon her lips, making him wonder what she was thinking.

"What now, Detective?" She ran her pinky along the edge of her glass, dipping it slightly into the liquid before bringing it to her mouth.

In spite the sophistication that cloaked Annie, she looked extremely vulnerable at that moment. Her action under normal circumstances would have been a natural prelude to an intimate moment between them-like a kiss. But he knew she wasn't aware of the alluring quality of her movements. She didn't seem the type to purposely tease a man using seductive coyness. In fact, she seemed a thousand miles away.

The shower had done her good. She looked refreshed and sexy as hell in faded cut-off jeans that left her shapely, slender legs bare all the way to the tops of her suntanned thighs. A sleeveless top completed her casual look, something thin and airy that tied beneath her breasts, emphasizing their perky shape.

And I'd thought there wasn't enough there to fill my hands?

A tingle of awareness surged through his blood, warming him more than any wine. The throbbing erection behind his zipper demanded he do something about it.

He hadn't denied her comments about being horny. Hell, she'd hit the nail right on the head, but she was the one making him that way, turning him inside out. When Michelle had kissed him and pressed her body against his, he'd felt nothing. Not a twinge of the old passion had resurfaced.

All Annie had to do to turn him hard was be in the same room with him, like now. He wondered what her reaction would be if she knew how she was affecting him. If she knew how much he wanted to strip her naked and slide into her welcoming body.

*Previously released with New Concepts Publishing. With 20,000 words of new content including a new last chapter, if you enjoyed the ebook than you'll love the print version of this sizzling, suspenseful romance!

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RELICS, Book Two of the Ancient Enemy trilogy, is out today in ebook

"RELICS is an intense thrill ride of a futuristic romance; I highly recommend it." Marlene Breakfield - Paranormal Romance

" intriguing romance... all the staples of a good science fiction story." - Romantic Times

" ...will keep you captivated from beginning to end." - Gina - Love Romances - 5-hearts rating

"I consider this to be among the best reads of the year!" - Johnna - Fallen Angel Reviews - Rating: 5 angels


The year is 2023, and an alien invader has infiltrated the human race. In a dangerous future threatened by aliens and infiltrated by hybrids, archeologist Celene Dupres witnesses her father's murder. Vowing to avenge him and retrieve his precious alien relics, she finds the perfect ally and protector. But the man she trusts, the man with whom she is falling in love, is the secret agent sent to kill her. Kin, however is more than a killing machine. Despite his love for Celene, can he accomplish his gruesome mission, and save humanity from the threat embedded in her DNA?


When the officer walked away with his entourage, Celene thought of following him, but she didn't trust herself to remain calm. Besides, she felt relief at his disappearance, but she found it difficult to breathe, as if the dot of a phase-gun heated her nape. Then she recognized the uneasy sensation. Someone was watching her!

Celene spun around and stared straight at her observer. Twenty feet away, a tall Asian man in a tan Italian suit and black silk shirt leaned against the wall in an easy stance, sipping from a square glass. Who was he? An ORION hit man? Had he seen what happened to her? Was he watching her for personal or professional interest? He looked Chinese, with a curtain of wavy black hair framing a serious face. What a magnificent specimen of raw animal sex appeal. His splendidly muscled frame turned away from her gaze, and the very gesture made her ache for his attention. She hated herself for that weakness but could not help it.

Although troubled by her emotional response to the handsome Chinese, Celene needed to find out why he watched her, so she walked toward the mysterious man who made her pulse quicken. Careful, there. She felt light-headed. Was it the aftermath of her near invisibility, the champagne, or the adrenalin? She wanted him to look at her, she wanted to gaze into the depths of his wide, almond eyes. Even from a distance, he looked dangerous, like a Bengal tiger, never to be tamed.

It took no effort to smile when she reached him. "My name is Celene Dupres, archeologist." She extended her free hand.

With a surprised and slightly embarrassed smile, the stranger faced her in a graceful motion. "Armand Dupres' daughter?" She detected a hint of Mandarin accent. When he took her offered hand in a warm grip, his dark gaze made her legs feel like pudding. "Kin Raidon, avid collector, at your service."

I wish.

"You said something?" His open grin bothered her as he caressed the magnificent jade medallion of an exquisite dragon on his muscled chest. Could he read her feelings?

Celene felt herself flush. "And what do you collect, Mr. Raidon?"

"Please, call me Kin. I specialize in Anaz-voohri artifacts. Found any lately?" His enigmatic expression made the question sound even more dangerous.

Celene cleared her throat. "These relics are rare and most of them have been appropriated by the Global Government. I know of none available for purchase at the moment." She paused. "Why were you watching me earlier?"

His dark brown eyes glinted with flecks of gold. "Maybe I was watching the same man you were watching."

"I wasn't watching anyone." How unsettling to discover she had been so obvious despite her efforts to look natural.

"Yes, you were." Kin nodded in the direction the officer had gone. "He noticed you, and attention from him is never a good thing."

"You know the man?" Celene felt elated at finally learning something useful.

Sipping on his drink, Kin seemed in no hurry to answer. "His name is Jason Carrick, a powerful and ruthless collector. He always gets what he wants, one way or another."

"A collector?" Celene tried to sound casual. "Rather unusual for a military man."

Kin's dark eyes narrowed. "Men of action can appreciate art, too, you know?"

"And what in heaven is wrong with the man's eyes?"

"One of them is made of glass. A battle wound against a hybrid." Obviously, Kin knew much about Jason Carrick.

"Hybrid? As in half-alien, half-human?"

Kin shrugged. "That's his story."

Celene had to take a chance. She looked around to make sure no one stood close enough to hear. "How much do you know about the organization called ORION?"

Kin's face remained guarded. "Not much. They are rather secretive. Are you one of those conspiracy theory nuts?"

Celene did not like the insinuation. "I could take offense, but you know what? For some reason, in the last few days some of these theories are starting to make sense to me. How far do you think Jason Carrick would go to get what he wants?"

Kin sighed. "Whatever it takes."

Celene lowered her voice. "Even slaughtering a team of innocent archeologists?"

Kin remained very still then nodded gravely.

"And what about you?" Celene held his gaze. "How far would you go to get what you want?"

"You ask too many questions." As if to soften the blow, he chuckled, all charm. "It all depends on what I want and why."


Find out more about her books at:

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Nowhere to Hide

Nowhere to Hide, by Terry Odell

The Wild Rose Press, July 2010
Romantic Suspense

The trouble with running away is you take yourself with you. After a case goes south, Colleen McDonald leaves her police job in Oregon for a fresh start as a civilian in Orlando. The last thing she needs is some cop with killer blue eyes coming around, looking for her missing landlord. The quickest way to get Deputy Graham Harrigan out of her life is to beat him at his own game.

Finding Jeffrey Walters might be Graham's ticket to a slot in the Criminal Investigations Division. Determined to prove he's the man for the job despite the stain of an unsavory reputation passed down by his training partner, he can't afford to be distracted by the pretty tenant in Walters' guest house. A tenant who seems to know more about the case than he does. A tenant with her own demons.

Will Colleen's secrets destroy Graham's chances for a promotion, or will love make theirs a permanent partnership?

In the steamy cocoon of the shower, Colleen McDonald fingered the dimpled scar the bullet had left on her thigh, and the long, straight one where they'd repaired her femoral artery. She knew the scars were no longer a garish red, but she refused to look at them. Thankfully, the exit wound on the back of her leg was out of sight unless she worked at it. The physical pain had gone, but not the ugly reminders that screamed "failure."

She watched the sudsy water swirl down the drain, willing it to take her memories along.

Get a grip. It's over. Forget Cedar Grove. You made your choice, so get on with your life.

She declared yesterday a do-over. Hell, as long as she was changing the rules of time, the last three months had never happened. But then she'd still be a cop in Cedar Grove, Oregon, instead of a basket case in Orlando, Florida.

Wrapped in a towel, another turbaned around her head, Colleen padded into the living room of her new home, looking for the carryon suitcase she'd abandoned last night. She dragged it into the bedroom and dumped the contents onto the bed, mumbling a quick thanks to her mother's advice to pack a day's worth of essentials into her carryon.

A distant rumbling, like an approaching thunderstorm, reverberated through the room. She slid a corner of the curtain aside and peered out at a cloudless blue sky. Not a leaf or branch moved. She had a lot to learn about Florida weather.

The doorbell rang, and she grabbed her robe. Who came calling at seven in the morning? The airline delivering her luggage? That would be too much to hope for. More likely Mrs. Walters, her new landlady. Another ring, followed by a determined knock.

She wriggled into her robe. "One minute. Who's there?"

"Orange County Sheriff."

What the…?

Her pulse raced. She yanked the towel off her head, shook out her hair and went to the door. Tightening the belt on her robe, she squinted through the peephole at a man in a dark green uniform.

God, had someone on the Cedar Grove force called in a favor, asked the locals to check on her? Hey, I've got a friend who's close to the edge. Drop in, make sure she's all right. Right. As if they cared.

Take it easy. Find out what he wants.

Colleen pulled the door open enough to talk, not enough to invite him in. Tall as he was, and with his eyes obscured behind mirrored sunglasses, Colleen fought the urge to slam the door.

"What do you want, Deputy?" She heard the raspy tone of her voice and cleared her throat. Her eyes automatically sought the nametag pinned to his broad chest. Graham Harrigan.

"I'm looking for Jeffrey Walters," he said, removing his sunglasses.

Not for her. Exhaling with relief, she talked to his nametag. "I don't know any Jeffrey Walters. Only Doris Walters, my landlady, and I've never met her in person. I got here last night. Try the main house."

"I did, but there was no answer."

"Is there something wrong?" That low-pitched sound rumbled through the air again, but if the deputy heard, he gave no indication. She fixed her gaze on his chin and waited.

"His daughter said he wasn't returning her calls. Asked us to look in on him." He pulled out a small notebook and pen. "Can I have your name, ma'am?"

His voice was more bored than belligerent, but he was a man, a cop, and she wanted him gone. She paused. No need to piss him off.

"Colleen McDonald."

His tone warmed twenty degrees. "Good morning, Colleen McDonald. Scottish or Irish?" He gave her a congenial smile.

"Scottish." As if he could disarm her that easily. She pulled her robe tighter and put her hand to the doorknob. "Why don't you leave me your card, Deputy Harrigan, and I'll tell Mrs. Walters, or this Jeffrey person—if I see him—to call you. I have things to do."

He pocketed his notebook and handed her a business card. "As one Celt to another, thanks. I'm sure it's nothing."

Colleen tucked the card into the pocket of her robe. Before she closed the door, she heard the rumbling again. "Can I ask a question?"

"Sure." His expression was guarded.

"What's that noise? The one that sounds like Dorothy and Toto should be flying by?"

For more, visit Terry's website,
Buy links

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Get DEAD SEXY and Show a Zombie Some Love!

Readers often ask me how I come up with ideas for my books, so I thought I'd give you a little behind-the-scenes peek at how I came up with my new release, a paranormal erotic romance from Ellora's Cave called DEAD SEXY.

Before I say anything else though, isn't that cover too hot for words?! When the art department sent it to me, I probably gazed at it for a good ten minutes in mouth-drooling appreciation before I could email them back telling the artist it not only rocked, but totally fit the book. The hero is "Dead Sexy," after all!

Okay, back to the story and how I came up with it. First, to set the stage, I need to share a little something with you about myself. Well, about my hubby and me, actually. We love zombie movies, from the George Romero gems to Shaun of the Dead and everything in between, including "Walking Dead," the new series on AMC. You just can't go wrong with a movie full of walking dead people, can you? Well, if you've ever seen a zombie movie (or even you haven't), then you know the creatures aren't the heroes of the film. I mean, how can they be, right? They're all dead and decayed and downright unattractive, not to mention pretty damn scary. Which was why you can imagine my surprise when my hubby suggested I write an erotic romance about a zombie hero. I was like, you're kidding, right? What woman in her right mind would fall in love with a dead guy? No way could that possibly work, or so I thought.

Turns out, my hubby wasn't kidding. In fact, he started working up ideas for the story.

"The hero didn't have to be a zombie all the time," he told me. "Think outside the box - take a little literary license!"

Okay, I thought. I suppose I could be open minded.

My hubby told me that in his out-of-the-box world, the hunky hero got cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess and only turns into a zombie sometimes.

"I'm listening," I said.

"And when he does go zombie, he doesn't have to be like the kind in the movies," my hubby added. "Well, he has to look like one, you know all dead and stuff, but he doesn't have to be a mindless creature or attack humans or eat anything gross."

So, brains are completely out, thanks goodness!

"Think Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki, with a really, really, really dark tan - (yes, my hubby knows I've got a thing for the Supernatural hunks!) - well, maybe more gray and black than tan, but you get the idea."

I thought about that for a minute. "So, the hero's dead, but he's still sexy, is that what you're saying?"

"Exactly," he said, giving me a grin as my eyes lit up with understanding.

By that point, my hubby had pretty much sold me on the idea. Of course, I knew if I ran with it, I was going to have to sell it to a publisher, and I knew that could be tough since the hero is a zombie. But I ran with it anyway and ended up with a full-length novel. And it came out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself! I still had to find a publisher for it, though.

About this same time, It just so happens that several of my other books were in the process of being picked up by Ellora's Cave and I thought what the heck? Why not pitch it to my editor there and see what she thinks? So I did, and she told me to send it to her. She was interested to see how I handled the whole zombie-thing. Well, long story, short, she liked it. A lot! My zombie romance with it's dead-sexy hero had a home! I was thrilled and my hubby walked around for a week with a smug, "I-told-you-so" look on his face.

I've been getting the word out there about DEAD SEXY ever since I signed the contract for it and I'm thrilled with the interest from readers who can't wait to get their hands on it! I can't wait for them to read it, too!

Now that I've revealed the story behind the story, I thought I'd share the blurb and an excerpt just to whet your appetite for more!


Romance author Simone Kent thinks she might just have found the most perfect guy in all of New York City - in bed and out. But Drake Parrish is about as far from perfect as any man can get. Eight years ago, he was cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess to live part of his life as a zombie. Since then, he has lived like a recluse on New York’s Upper East Side, afraid to go out for fear he’ll suddenly turn into one of the walking dead.

The sex is the hottest either of them has ever experienced and Simone discovers just how naughty she can be with Drake, while he finds himself feeling things for her that he hasn’t felt in a very long time. When the Voodoo priestess learns of their relationship, however, she comes after him again. She is determined to make sure he won’t have a future with Simone, even if that means killing both him and the woman he loves.


As she led him up the steps to the second floor, Drake found himself wondering if she would ask him in. And wondering what he’d say if she did. When they came to a stop outside the door to her apartment, Simone turned to give him a smile.

“I had a great time tonight.”

“Me, too.”

She caught her bottom lip between her perfect white teeth and chewed on it thoughtfully as if unsure what she wanted to say next. It was probably an unconscious gesture, something she did whenever she was thinking, but to him, it was sexy as hell and all he could think about was kissing her.

Surely, one kiss couldn’t hurt. He desperately wanted to. He hadn’t kissed a woman in so long. It would be nice to see if he still remembered how.

Before he could stop himself, Drake tilted Simone’s face up to his and pressed his mouth to hers.

She tasted just as sweet and delicious as he thought she would. Her lips were soft and pliant under his as she kissed him back, her tongue eagerly seeking his out.

Drake groaned and slid his hand into her hair, deepening the kiss. Simone sighed into his mouth, running her hands up the front of his shirt to grasp his shoulders. The feel of her touch was like a tonic to his deprived soul and he let out another groan, deeper this time.

He ran his free hand up her side and around to her breast, cupping it through the soft material of her dress. He couldn’t stop himself and apparently, Simone didn’t want him to. She moaned and arched against him. He could feel the heat of her pussy through their clothes as she pressed up against his hard cock. Damn, she felt good.

Drake drew her bottom lip into his mouth and gently suckled on it before slowly kissing his way along the delicate curve of her jaw. Simone clutched his shoulders and tilted her head back. He eagerly trailed a path of hot kisses down her neck, then back up, his mouth finding hers again. Simone looped her arms around his neck, pulling him in even closer as their tongues met.

Down the hall, a door slammed, reminding him where they were.

Drake dragged his mouth away from hers, his breathing ragged as he tried to regain control. He had to get it together because he was about five seconds away from doing something really stupid. Like taking her to bed. “I should go.”

Her lips curved into a sexy, flirtatious smile. “Or you could stay.”

God, how he wanted to. But as much as he’d love to spend the rest of the night exploring every inch of her body, he couldn’t take the chance he might go zombie on her right in the middle of sex. Talk about coitus interruptus, And it had already been almost four days since he last turned, which meant he was already pushing his luck.

“You don’t know how much I want to,” he groaned. “But I can’t.”

Simone looked up at him with those big, blue eyes. “Why not?”

“Because I…” He hesitated, trying to come up with something that would sound believable. “I have a column due in the morning and I haven’t even started on it yet.” She knew all about deadlines, so she would understand that. Besides, he did have a column to write, it just wasn’t due until next week. “Rain check?”

She looked disappointed, but she smiled anyway. “Absolutely. How does coming over for dinner tomorrow night sound?”

It would be crazy to agree when he could be so close to having an episode, but he couldn’t say no. Not when she asked in that soft, sultry voice. “Sounds great.”

“Good. Be here at seven.”

“Seven it is.”

She pulled him down for another long, slow kiss on the mouth. “Don’t be late.”

His mouth twitched. “I won’t.” He bent his head to kiss her again, then groaned. “If I don’t go now, I’ll be here all night.”

Simone laughed. “Would that be such a bad thing?”

“Not to me, but my editor at Money Issues might not be too understanding when he doesn’t find my column sitting in his inbox tomorrow.”

She sighed. “Deadlines can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. Okay, go home and write your column. I’ll cuddle up with a bowl of ice cream instead.”

He chuckled. “Sounds better than taking a cold shower, which is what I’m going to be doing when I get home.” He closed his mouth over hers once more. “See you tomorrow night, beautiful.”

Resisting the urge to pull her into his arms again, Drake turned and walked down the hallway toward the stairwell. At the top of the steps, he glanced over his shoulder to see Simone standing where he’d left her, a sexy curve to her lips.

It took every ounce of strength he possessed not to go back and pin her against the door for one more long, lingering kiss. God, what he wouldn’t give to spend the night with her. Man, it was going to take more than a cold shower to get her out of his head.

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt and that you can't wait to read more! You can get DEAD SEXY from Ellora's Cave at

You can also check out the trailer here!

If you decide to pick up DEAD SEXY, let me know how you like it!


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Historical romance, 'Bronze Lightning' - now half-price at Bookstrand.

My mainstream historical romance 'Bronze Lightning' is now half-price at Bookstrand.

'Bronze Lightning,' historical romance, Winner, Christmas Award 2009 for Red Roses for Authors

Blurb: Ancient Krete, 1562 BC.

Sarmatia is a trainer for the Bull Rite, the dangerous, glamorous ceremony of bull-leaping that gave a young Kretan entry into adulthood. Fearn is healer from the distant northern Isle of Stones summoned for his skills to the sick-bed of Minos, the Kretan king. They meet on the dusty flagstones of the palace courtyard and both save a life.
A year passes. They are betrothed, but Fearn has returned home and is chosen king of his small northern country. As king, master of storms, he cannot return to Krete. Fearn writes to Sarmatia releasing her from her vows - but is this what they really want?
Sarmatia leaves Krete to search for Fearn. Many months and life-and-death adventures later, she is reunited with him. She and Fearn are still deeply in love but there is an unknown enemy working against them, one who will stop at nothing, even murder.
"In Bronze Lightning I wanted to show ancient Krete, ancient Egypt, Stonehenge and Avebury as they might have been when people lived and worshipped there, the magic and beliefs of Bronze Age Europe, and two young lovers, Sarmatia and Fearn, who are driven apart by fate but who both fight to be reunited." ~ Lindsay ~

A BookStrand Mainstream Romance : Lindsay Townsend

4.5 RED ROSES: "This is a remarkable book in that it takes you back in time. It is well written so that you get a glimpse of the world at that time and it gives you a wonderful mystery as to who is behind the attacks and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. The many twists and turns keep you engrossed as you try to figure out who is behind all the mishaps that keep happening." -- Linda Sole, Red Roses for Authors

4 STARS: "Bronze Lightning transports readers back in time. I felt as though I was watching the ancient rites into adulthood. I felt the fear of the young initiate fear and triumph. Bronze Lightning is beautifully written. Fans of historical romance will enjoy Bronze Lightning." -- Debra Gaynor, Review Your Book

Sarmatia spun away and was gone, somersaulting over her hands and landing with a soft clash of gold ankle bells. Their meeting of eyes had lasted no more than a breath, yet it kept returning to haunt her as the music shrilled to a climax and the piebald bull was let into the court. Even as the flute players left and the Bull Rite began, her gaze was drawn to the back of the courtyard.

Three of the seven had completed their Passage and two were gone: the fourth initiate should have been ready. As the bull came to a jolting stop at one end of the court, pawed restively and licked the painted flags, Sarmatia motioned to a creamy-skinned, gray-eyed girl. The youngster backed up a step. The bull raised its head, its horn scraping against a pillar. The girl blanched and looked wildly about, ready to run. In three strides Sarmatia made up the space between them and gripped her arm. Unseen by the families, she pressed the flat of her dagger into the initiate's side. Cruel to be kind, she threatened.

'This or the bull if you show your back, Pero!' she whispered, turning the blade for the girl to feel its edge. 'The only way out is through the horns.' Whatever Sarmatia's private disgust and unease, custom and the crowd demanded it. They would not forgive Pero if she failed.

'I can't!' Pero was shaking and near tears. A low murmur ran around the watching crowd like a wind through barley: the mob and the bull would not wait much longer. Pierced by pity, Sarmatia squeezed the girl's thin shoulder. 'Do you want to be a child all your life?' she asked gently.

'Sarmatia, I can't! Those horns, they're like knives, and the bull— Oh, Mother!' Pero's voice cracked. 'It's looking for me!' The bull had trotted out of the shadows at the back of the courtyard.

Sarmatia stepped in front of Pero, shielding the girl. 'Look, it's nothing.' She ran forward, clapping her hands.

The bull halted and its head slewed round towards them, a brown forelock covering one eye. 'To me!' she shouted.

The beast dropped its great horns. She heard the people applaud. With an explosion of dust the bull charged. She felt its hot, closed mind surrounding her. For an instant skill deserted her. She remembered she was too old for the Bull Rite. A blaze of gold spilled from the bull's horns, instinct returned and with it sureness. She caught the horns and let herself rise. Time and the horizon fell back, she could see the blue vault of heaven, the red-mouthed 'O' of the crowd, a flash of red-gold hair as Fearn turned his head, following her descent. Her feet touched the bony rump of the bull, she tucked in her arms and somersaulted off, running forward as she landed.

Behind her the beast gave a sulky grunt, swept this way and that with its horns and lashed its tail. Pero worked her way into its sight, swaying her hips to keep quick and supple. The piebald ambled off in the opposite direction then suddenly spun about and bore down on the girl in another burst of speed. Sarmatia moved to cover Pero's tumble and signalled to the remaining initiates to do the same. She heard the girl seize the bull's horns, with a great smack on each palm, and saw her tossed, arching like a dolphin in mid-air and rising clear of the deadly gilded horns. The time of peril would be when the girl landed. If Pero caught an ankle or winded herself, Sarmatia knew she would have to be in quickly to distract the beast.

There was a shower of dark hair and Pero touched earth to a roar from her family. Sarmatia grabbed her arm and pulled her clear, but was not fast enough: already the bull had skidded round. Too late, Sarmatia realized what the beast had seen. A child had kicked a hole in the fencing and was running out into the turbid afternoon light. No time to draw the bull off— all she could hope for was to reach the boy first.

Sprinting, her insides turning to water, Sarmatia rushed for the child. As her hands closed round his tiny—so tiny!—body and her cheek grazed the stones she thought, with terrible clarity: I promised they would be safe. I've failed.

For a second, a dark breathing shadow hung over her. Then came pain, the slow tearing punch of the horn.

                                                                  * * * *
She came awake suddenly, crying out. Firm hands kept her flat against the stones.

'Peace, Kretan,' said the man crouched beside her, pressing a cloth onto the spurting wound in her side. 'There's nothing to fear.' In the sun his hair framed his broad-featured face like a nimbus, yet there was darkness behind him. The bull was still free in the courtyard.

Sarmatia wet her lips with her tongue. 'The child?'
Fearn jerked his head to one side. 'Ramose has taken his son. He's safe.' The initiates were also gone, the crowd hanging back, uncertain what to do.
They were alone in the court, except for the bull. Fearn pressed on her side again then withdrew the cloth. A dark spiral of blood pooled under Sarmatia's ribs; blood no longer pumped from the wound. She scarcely felt it as he bound the gash with a bandage made from his tunic. 'You must leave, Sir, the bull—'

She broke off, eyes widening, and Fearn whipped round. Ready to gore, the bull was lowering its huge head, its face so close that its breath stirred the bristles of Fearn's beard. Fearn threw up an arm to fend off the horns and drove a fist into the face of the beast. 'Get back!' He hit the creature a second time. 'Learn your lesson!'
The bull snorted and the healer shifted, covering Sarmatia completely with his body. He stamped the stones and shouted at the beast. ‘Go on! Go on!’
As Fearn's boot hammered the flags, there came the rumble of a distant storm, like the muffled roar of a lion. The beast started back and with a bellow turned tail and ran

Best wishes, Lindsay
Lindsay Townsend

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I'm excited to announce that PROTECTIVE CUSTODY, my hot contemporary romance is now available from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid! If you like books about guys that come with their own handcuffs, then you'll love this sexy story!

If you're familiar with my other books, then it's probably no surprise that I love to write about strong, sexy, alpha males, and Gray Beckham, the hero in the book, is about as strong, sexy and alpha as they come!

Check out the blurb and excerpt below to get an idea of what PROTECTIVE CUSTODY is all about. It has romance, adventure, humor, and lots of hot, steamy sex! I think you're going to love it!

Paisley McCoy is a sexy reporter who writes about the San Francisco club scene for a local magazine. Having a dad on the force has led to one hard and fast rule – she doesn’t date cops. She likes her men sensitive and intellectual, two qualities in short supply in any cop she’s ever met. But now she’s stuck with this standard-issue cop – aggressive, opinionated, and sure he’s always right. In short, the complete opposite of the kind of man she usually goes for.

Gray Beckham is a no-nonsense cop who's peeved about being taken off a major burglary investigation to babysit the captain’s bratty daughter, even if she is gorgeous. To make it even more annoying, she acts like the whole thing is a joke and insists she doesn’t need his protection. And while she might be sexy as hell, there’s no way he’s going anywhere near the captain’s daughter.

Despite their differences, though, Paisley and Gray can’t deny the chemistry between them. But as that connection turns into romance, they find out that the stalker is a far greater threat than they had originally thought. And that if he can’t have her, no one will.


They spoke little on the ride to her apartment. Once they got there, Gray told her to wait in the entryway while he took a look around. It seemed like overkill to her, but she didn’t argue. However, she didn’t stay where he’d told her to, either. Instead, she went into the kitchen to open her mail. That earned her a dark scowl from Gray when he came out of the bedroom several minutes later. Paisley pretended not to notice.

“I’ve been on a stakeout for a couple of days,” he said after declaring the apartment clear. “Do you mind if I use your shower?”

She glanced up from the Victoria's Secret catalog she had been flipping through. “No, go ahead.”

“Thanks.” He picked up his overnight bag from the floor where he’d left it. “I won’t be long. Keep the door locked and don’t open it to anyone.”

Yeah, yeah. She went back to flipping through the catalog, only to pause when she heard the shower turn on a few minutes later. She had looked for a way to give Gray the slip ever since they’d walked out of the police station, and she decided she wasn’t going to get a better opportunity than right then. While she had to admit she really didn’t mind having the hunky inspector around, she hated being told what to do, especially by her father. Time to exercise her independence.

Tossing the catalog on the counter, Paisley hurried out of the kitchen and into her bedroom. Knowing she wouldn’t have enough time to do more than pack a few things before Gray came out, she decided to forget about the basics and instead, just grab a dress and a pair of high heels to wear that night. Everything else she could borrow from whichever friend she stayed with. At least until it was safe to come back to her place. By safe, she meant when there wasn’t some cop hanging around it.

Shoving the dress into an evening purse, Paisley picked up her shoes in her free hand and darted from the room. She had barely made it past the bathroom when the door opened.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Gray demanded from behind her.

Paisley stopped in her tracks at the commanding tone in his voice. Crap! She had hoped to slip out before Gray finished taking his shower. It just wasn’t fair that guys could clean up so fast.Squaring her shoulders, she whirled around to face him. And blinked. Though he had put on jeans, he hadn’t bothered with a shirt, and all she could do was stare at him in feminine appreciation. She had known he was built, but she hadn’t realized just how well. Broad shoulders, a chiseled chest, and rock-hard abs. Daaaaammmm! He had a body that just wouldn’t quit.

Gray crossed his arms over his chest. “Well?” he prompted when she said nothing.

Paisley tore her gaze from his perfectly sculpted arms to look up at him. She hadn’t realized he was so tall. Even in heels, she was still almost a head shorter than he was. She lifted her chin. “Out.”

His golden brown eyes narrowed. “Not without me, you’re not.”

She let out a sigh. “Look. Like I told you before, this isn’t going to work. I’m going to stay with some friends until this whole thing blows over. You can just tell my dad that I gave you the slip. He won’t hold it against you.”

“I don’t think so.”

She clenched her jaw. “I wasn’t asking for your permission, Inspector. I’m leaving and you can’t stop me.”

With that, Paisley whirled around and started for the door. She didn’t even make it halfway before Gray caught her arm and turned her back around.

“You’re not going anywhere.”

She glared up at him. “Oh, really?” she countered. “And just how are you going to stop me? Handcuff me to the bed?”

Her words hung in the air between them for a long moment before his mouth finally quirked.

“Though I’ll admit that’s tempting,” he said, “I have something more effective in mind.”

Before she could ask what he meant by that, Gray led her over to the couch. What was he going to do, sit her down and lecture her?

To her surprise, Gray didn’t sit her down at all, but instead took a seat himself. Totally perplexed, she was just about to ask what he was doing when a tug on her arm sent her sprawling over his knee. She had no choice but to drop the purse and shoes so she could put her hands on the floor to keep herself balanced.

For a moment, Paisley was so stunned she just lay there. She recovered quickly enough though, and when she did, she immediately tried to push herself upright. But a strong hand on her back held her firmly in place. Furious at being manhandled, she glared at him over her shoulder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

He returned her glower with one of his own. “Teaching you a lesson.”

Paisley opened her mouth to retort, only to let out a startled little gasp when she felt him smack her upturned bottom. He did not just spank her!

Watch the trailer!

Buy it from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

For more of my sexy erotic fiction and a sneak peek at my upcoming release, visit my website at


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

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'Twas a Dark & Delicious Christmas Anthology

‘Tis Christmas and everyone is stirring…

From the keeper of Santa’s naughty list, delightful little Elves eager to please, and the sensual love of a toy soldier—the holidays are filled with orgasmic cheer. Where wishes come true, Frosty is itching for a melt-down, fairies and angels are randy to grant your every wish, and ‘tis the season to be oh, so jolly-filled.

Unwrap your darkest desires…for this is Christmas, and it will never be the same.

Now available from Evernight Publishing.


Excerpt from A Christmas Curse by Ericka Scott

Nerves flapped against Amanda Spaulding’s spine like a floundering fish. Why was she so nervous? People did this didn’t they—knocked on the door of an apartment or house where they once lived? The resident would either let her look around or say no. No biggie either way.

Yet, it was.

She gazed at the gleaming apartment numbers. 666. You’d think with superstitions being what they were, the apartment management would have skipped this particular number. Raising her hand, she paused and then took a deep breath. No biggie.

The first knock went unanswered. It was awfully late on Christmas Eve, almost eleven o’clock, but it had taken her this long to work up the courage to come. She raised her hand again and hesitated. Perhaps the resident was asleep or out for the evening, although the sound of canned laughter wafted through the door. One more knock. If no one answered this last summons, she’d leave.

As her knuckles brushed the wood, the door opened. Whatever she’d been expecting, this man was not it. Tall, muscular, shirtless. Low slung sweats showed off his well-defined abs and an incredibly sexy, Apollo’s belt. His dark hair was slicked back, still damp from a shower and provided contrast to the brilliant blue of his eyes. He looked so good, and she was an emotional wreck inside and out. She tossed her hair out of her eyes, wondering if she’d even run a brush through it today.


Her courage failed her. She should just go, come back another day, except life didn’t guarantee the next minute let alone the next day, week, or year. If only the resident had been a kind old lady, she’d have known what to say.

“Can I help you?” He gave her an inquisitive look, one dark eyebrow raised high.
A hot flush crept up her neck. “You’re going to think this is weird.”

“I am?”

Surprised, she got a flash of a wicked sense of humor. “Well, maybe not. I used to live here—”

“What?” The man’s expression went from mildly amused to intense. “When?”

“Years ago.” Amanda wondered what she’d said to pique his interest, but nervousness over her own quest kept her from pursuing the thought. She gave a small laugh to cover her embarrassment. “When I was a little girl. Again, I know this sounds odd, but I was wondering if I could come in and look around. I’m Amanda Spaulding, by the way.”

“Hi, Amanda. I’m Frank Moran.” The door was already open wide, but her Adonis stepped aside with a flourish. “Mi casa es su casa.”

Almost literally, Amanda reflected. The apartment was owned by her father, although they hadn’t lived there since that fateful night.

An involuntary shiver shot through her as she walked through the door. The musky scent of body wash hung in the humid air, a direct contrast to the heavy balm from the funeral flowers her father used to bring home every evening. God, she didn’t miss that in the least.

The couch, the chair, even the old-fashioned television console were exactly as she remembered. On the edge of the fireplace mantle, one limp red felt stocking hung from a large nail. Amanda’s name, written in glitter and glue, still sparkled. The oil painting of a much younger Jeremy Spaulding, sole heir to the Spaulding & Sons Mortuary, hung on the wall. There were no sons in her generation, and Amanda often wondered if she’d change the name of the place when she inherited the business. Perhaps the lack of a male heir was responsible for her dad’s somber expression. Thinking back, she couldn’t remember a time when a true smile broke the mask he wore.

“Nothing’s changed.” She wasn’t being facetious. Nothing had changed. A large artificial Christmas tree hung with ornaments from her childhood, loomed in the corner. The Christmas angel sat askew on the top, looking serene despite the precarious perch. A flash of yellow on the floor next to the window caught her eye. Oh my God, even her fluffy teddy bear lay where she’d dropped it the night she’d…

“No changes allowed in the lease. Can I get you something to drink? Beer? Wine? Soda?”

While she wavered, unsure whether to take him up on the offer, he pressed her. “Don’t say no. I haven’t had much company in the past few months. I need to practice my hosting skills before I go back out into the real world.”

“A soda, then. Thanks.”

The snap and hiss could have been any of the hundreds of memories of her mother opening a can of beer for her father after work. A sense of sadness and loss enveloped her. She’d come here to find a sense of her mother, but was assaulted instead by an even stronger desire to reconnect with her own self.

She remembered what he’d mentioned about the lease. “What isn’t allowed?”

“Any changes to the apartment. I mean, I guess I can change things around, but everything has to be as it was when I moved in, or I forfeit the substantial security deposit.”

To live somewhere and not leave any impression of your presence seemed incomprehensible. “Why would you live here?”

Frank handed her a can of soda and took a slow sip of his beer before answering. She sensed he was stalling for some reason.

“Like everyone else who’s lived here in the past twenty years. A fresh start.” His mouth twisted in a painful smile. “My wife died a few months ago. I guess you could say this is just a layover until I head on to the rest of my life’s journey.”

She understood the need to get away from the familiar, to escape from painful memories. What she didn’t understand was why her old apartment was kept like a shrine caught in some bizarre time warp.

“I’m sorry for your loss.” The words came to her lips automatically.

Frank dipped his head in silent acceptance. Amanda was suddenly overcome by the need to convince him of her sincerity, to connect to him in some manner. “My mom just died a few weeks ago.”

“Is that what sent you on this quest?”

Was it? She supposed so.

Thankfully, Frank didn’t wait for her answer. “Well, look around all you want.” He motioned with his can and then plopped down on the stiff uncomfortable couch instead of the large black leather recliner that was once her father’s throne. Odd, although the majority of the furniture was well-worn, the chair appeared almost new.

Accepting Frank’s invitation, she headed into the depths of the apartment. The bedroom at the end called to her, but she would save that one until last. Thankfully, all the doors were open, allowing her to peer into her parent’s room without actually entering.

Pink chenille pillows tumbled across the old-fashioned white eyelet bedspread. A trio of prints, roses in full bloom, marched across the wall over the headboard. Smiles, laughter, tickle fights. Where had the mother who’d slept in that bed gone?
The next room had been the guest room, although when she was a child, no visitor had used the accommodations. Since she had no memories attached to the room with the large brass bed, she moved on.

Feet dragging, she paused and took a deep breath before crossing the threshold into her room. Twenty years seemed to evaporate in the blink of an eye. In the corner, she pictured her five-year-old self sitting in front of the doll house. A scattering of building blocks and stiletto-heeled doll shoes still lurked on the rug as if awaiting the return of their playmate.

The dresser where her dolls had once reigned now sported a trio of pictures in shiny gold frames. Frank, sporting a cap and graduation gown, flanked by an older man and woman, had his arm draped over the shoulders of a dark-eyed beauty. In another, he wore a tux while standing proudly beside the same lovely woman sheathed in a creamy white wedding gown. Beside them, she spied a photo of Frank, wearing a uniform and carrying a large red valise emblazoned with a white cross, perched on the running board of an ambulance.

Her tiny closet was crowded with uniforms, jeans and shirts, not the frilly pink dresses her mother had insisted she wear. Her pink bedspread, wadded into a ball and shoved into the corner, had been replaced by a thick red and black plaid comforter. Frank had been sleeping in her bed!



Have a great holiday season!

Ericka Scott

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Anniversary post: Mystery/Romance/Authors Getting Killed

In print, 2 years ago today. A tale of writing conferences, murder, romance, and book signings....

Setup: Bea Emerson (pen name B.R. Emerson) was present when a famous author died, autographing a book for Bea at a writer's conference. Bea is almost poisoned during an outing and the next morning she has breakfast with the detective in charge of the case.

Aqualung chimed from my handbag. “Saved by Jethro Tull,” I muttered, pulling out my cell phone.

“You couldn’t call me? I have to hear from your friends that you’ve been poisoned, were near death and are once again involved in murder?”

I sagged back. “Hey, Ma,” I said, trying to keep my voice low. Mavis was pissed, I could tell. She didn’t do her Jewish mother imitation unless she had a full head of steam. “You didn’t call Barb and Sadie, did you? They were probably trying to sleep in, we got back late last night.”

“I certainly did call them once I heard on the Today Show that Jim Quinn, the famous author, was murdered. You weren’t anywhere nearby, I hope.”

I looked up as Eleanor joined us and was introduced to Remarchik by Dora, who was obviously happy with my diversion. “It’s kind of not a good time right now.”

“You couldn’t call? Another writer dies, for heaven’s sake. He wrote such good books, too. Did you get his autograph?”

My mother, ever practical. I suppose she figured I could sell anything autographed now that Jim was dead. Then I felt awful for having such a mercenary consideration. I’d barely given Jim Quinn a thought all morning. From the little I knew of him, he was a nice guy. He probably had a wife and kids and a regular life. Nobody deserved to die the way he did. For a brief instant I remembered the sight of his ruined, bloody face. The food in my stomach compacted into a lump. I pushed the image away and focused on my immediate problem— my mother, the eighty-year-old snoop.

“It was late when I got in.” Remarchik was settled back in his chair but I wasn’t fooled. He was tilting his head to one side as though interested in what Dora was saying, but it was angled toward my conversation and me. “I really can’t talk right now, I’m with the detective who’s in charge of the case. We’re—”

“Put him on this phone right now.”

Oh, God. She was using her ‘Beatrice Raphaela Emerson, I raised you better than that. You didn’t grow up with trailer trash’ tone of voice. “Mom, he’s busy —”


I pulled the phone away from my ear. “Ow.”

Remarchik turned. “Is that call for me?” Before I could stop him, he pried the phone out of my hand. “Detective L.J. Remarchik here.”

Where was a black hole when you needed one? My mother, Mavis the Terrible, was berating Remarchik, who was nodding his head, his brown eyes intent on my bloodshot baby blues. “Yes, ma’am,” he said. Long pause. “I would have to agree with that, yes.” Pause again. I heard Mavis babbling as Remarchik nodded, his silver-gray curls catching the morning light and shining like a halo. He smiled, his mustache twitching like he was just this close to bursting out laughing but politeness prevented it. I revised the halo imagery. The look in his eyes was more devil than angel. “Ma’am, I wouldn’t say that. She may be impulsive but—” More babbling erupted. “Yes, ma’am. I will.” Babble babble babble. “Yes, I surely will. I appreciate that.”

He extended the phone to me. “Your mother invited me to meatloaf dinner at her house the next time I’m in Washburn Creek, Iowa.”

“I’ll tell her not to start rattling the pots and pans just yet.” I snatched the phone away from him. “I can’t believe you did that,” I whispered to Mavis.

“He seems like a nice person. Is he married? How old is he?”

“How would I know?” I longed to beat the phone against the table but restrained myself. There was no need to give Dora even more fodder for her gossip mill.

“It wouldn’t hurt to find out if he’s married.”

“It doesn’t matter if he is or not, this is Abilene, remember? I live in Minnesota.” I caught a glimpse of Remarchik’s interested look. I shifted in my chair, trying to attain a modicum of privacy. “I’ll call you later.”

“Did you call Brian?”

“Yes, I called Brian.” Once again I could sense Remarchik’s radar reach out. “Well, no, I didn’t, he called me. But I talked to him.”

“He’s worried.”

“So am I. I’ll talk to you later.” I folded the phone before she could demand that I get more marital info on the local male. Mavis was determined to see me “happily settled before she could pass on to a better life” as though my single status was the only thing preventing her from being bodily assumed into heaven. She’d even signed me up for a dating service, answering the “seventy questions to perfect love” in my name. Two Harley bikers interested in a ménage, a professional circus clown, an Episcopalian minister and a retired soldier contacted me before I got my name removed from their list. Only God knew what answers she gave to the questions. I certainly didn’t.

“So what workshops are you going to today, ladies?” Remarchik asked.

Eleanor immediately pulled out the conference program from the gigantic book bag on the floor at her feet. “I’ve got all of the interesting ones marked.” She handed him a program festooned with Post-It notes.

He took it and glanced at me. I shrugged. “I downloaded the program to my Palm. I marked the ones that looked fun.”

“I’m focusing on Craft, this year.” Eleanor’s tone of voice indicated that certain others at the table might benefit from a similar focus.

“I thought I’d try to get to the workshops that talk about plotting,” Dora Jane said, pulling out her own much-thumbed program summary to show us the pink highlighted paragraphs that described the different workshops. “There are so many, it’s hard to choose.”

“What are you focusing on?” Remarchik asked me as he flipped through the ten-page program summary.

“Staying alive.” I downed my cold coffee in one gulp.

“That’s my job.” He handed the program back to Eleanor. “Let me do it.”

My Palm chimed its merry little reminder that it was time to go.

Once again, I was saved by the bell.

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"...a love story and an adventure rolled into one... There is very little 'down time' in this fast-paced story, and this reader was glued to it until the very end." Four-angel rating - Fallen Angel Reviews

"...sensitivity over the issues facing people in Mexico who take the chance of becoming illegal immigrants and legalities involved. The tale is well crafted filled with romance and suspense. It's a great read." The Romance Studio. Five-hearts review

"Ms. Schartz also does a fantastic job of setting you right in the scene with her characters. She builds the suspense and follows through with vigor, sweeping her readers up in the action." Coffee Time Romance Reviews

"Vijaya Schartz always manages to produce stories that are a spectacular blend of romance and action and this one is no exception" Debbie - CK2S Kwips & Kritiques - rating: 4 clovers

"...a romantic adventure from beginning to end. Brimming with twists, secret identities and danger on every page, this is a page turner that will entertain any reader. I will be interested in checking out additional titles by this author." Katherine - Joyfully Reviewed

"..But you dear reader, will have to get this intriguing Little story and find it out for yourself. Vijaya Schartz is a talented author with a number of good books under her belt. You should get her back list, sit back and enjoy her work. I’m looking forward to more." Four hearts from Val - Love Romances and More

Rookie Border Patrol Agent Kaitlin Harrington hates Christmas and all men, since her lover jilted her and she lost her unborn child on Christmas Eve. This year, she guards the Mexican border in southern Arizona, but little does she know that her life is about to change. No amount of training prepared Kaitlin to arrest the gorgeous desperado who challenges her. His name is Miguel, and on this dangerous adventure through the Arizona desert, on Christmas Eve, anything can and will happen...

Miguel is kind for a ruthless criminal smuggling people across the border. He also seems fascinated by the green eyes of the feisty auburn-haired beauty bent on impeding his important work. But Miguel is a man of many secrets...

Many dangers lurk in the desert at night. Mountain lions, scorpions, rattlesnakes, and coyotes, the four-legged and the two-legged kind.


Did she just see something move? Maybe not.

Raising her infrared binoculars, Kaitlin focused on that particular area. There it was again. A flicker of movement. Then she saw people furtively running from rock to rock. She couldn’t tell how many. Fifteen? Twenty? Did they know she was watching? Had they seen the lights of the visiting Jeep? Heard the engine? The conversation?

Sliding down the slope, she searched the Hummer but couldn’t find the blasted radio. Then she remembered it hanging from Josh’s belt. Now it rode with the nitwit toward a damned titty bar.

She flipped the switch of the car’s com system. Only static. Strange, Josh had used it earlier and it worked then. She shrugged. Electronics could be so unreliable and she wasn’t computer savvy. As a last resort, she pulled out the cell phone at her belt and checked the reception. Out of range.

Damn and triple damn!

Light gravel dribbled down the incline. She dropped the cell phone and reached toward her holster. Drawing the Beretta, she turned around, her back safely to the Hummer. Her heart faltered as she held the firearm toward the sound.

“Sweet Mother of God!” She gasped as her target came into view.

Apollo himself couldn’t have looked more handsome under the full moon. Muscles rippled on the smooth torso, shirtless beneath the open denim jacket.

“Stop right there. Hands on your head,” she croaked rather than shouted.

He held up his hands, jostling the backpack on his shoulder.

Glossy black hair fell over his forehead, and the dark gaze of the Latino man burned with intense fire. He pinned her with his stare as if trying to say something important, but no words came out. He appeared to be unarmed, strong, yet she sensed no threat emanating from him.

“On the ground. Face down. Spread ’em!”

He didn’t move, maybe he didn’t understand, so she motioned with the Beretta. Would he resist arrest? Somehow the thought conjured appealing images.

He dropped the backpack and laid face down.

She took the four steps separating them, kicked away the back pack then reached for the handcuffs at her back. She spread his legs apart. Long, muscular thighs, calves bulging under his jeans. He turned his head to watch her, a half smile on his lips. His temple glistened with sweat. He must have been running but seemed hardly winded. Unlike her breath which came in quick gasps.

Fascinated by his physique, she could not think. But who other than an illegal would roam the desert on Christmas Eve? He didn’t look afraid. Why? The memory of the group she spotted came to mind, but she heard nothing move in her immediate vicinity.

She straddled the man. He didn’t resist when she cuffed his hands behind his back, then patted him down, looking for a knife or a handgun. Her hand only found the planes of his hard muscles. It had been a while since she’d felt a male body this close. He exuded the musky scent of sage. Astounded by her sensual musings, she rose and stared back at him. She hoped she looked fierce, like a predator hypnotizing her prey.

She slowly moved away and motioned with the Beretta for him to get up and get into the Hummer.

The man smiled as he stood up slowly and stared past her. “Ola!” he said in a deep baritone.

"Ola!” another man answered, disturbingly close behind her.

Kaitlin froze and a shiver ran up her spine. She’d made a mistake by leaving the protection of the Hummer.

Find this eBook at ARE HERE
Find it on Kindle HERE
Find it at Barnes & Noble in Nook HERE

Happy Holidays
Vijaya Schartz

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New Christmas Story: ALL THE WAY by Giselle Renarde

Okay, so I'm not the most impartial person to say this (considering I wrote the book) but I love ALL THE WAY! It's not just the family fun and Christmas-ness of the's also the SEX! The final sex scene in particular gets me every time. When I reread the manuscript a few months after finishing it, I kind of thought, "Did I really write that? Wow!"

Anyhoo, if you're in the market for a funny, sexy, MMF Ménage-y, Christmas-y read, I recommend my new release ALL THE WAY. Here's the blurb and an excerpt:

All the Way
by Giselle Renarde

eXcessica Publishing

Buy Link:

When Josie invites her long-ago boyfriend Kaz to stay with her family over the holidays, there are a few things she doesn't anticipate. Kaz admitting he's still a virgin after all these years? That's a weird surprise. Her husband Rob's attempt to give Kaz a little relief in the hot tub? A weird and very sexy surprise. But what about the threesomes in the attic, bedroom, and living room, followed by Josie's jealousy when Kaz falls for her older sister? Nope, she didn't see that one coming.

Warnings: This title contains graphic language and depictions of M/F sex, M/M sex, and M/M/F ménage.

Adult Excerpt from "All the Way":

Josie ran across the deck in flip-flops, kicking them off as she threw her towel over the cleared deck chair. The cold didn’t even manage to catch her up before she could slip her skin beneath the surface of the warm, warm water. It bubbled away like a witch’s brew as she leaned into the jets next to Rob. She reached for his hand as he reached for hers, and they found each other’s thighs instead, which was just as good. Kaz sat across from them, which seemed fortuitous. Even together in the same hot bubbles, they could get away with murder under the hydric hum of the tub.

“Your head’s not too cold?” Rob called to Kaz over the noise.

“Huh?” Kaz replied, placing a hand behind his ear. “I can’t hear you.”

“Perfect,” Rob whispered to Josie as he slipped his fingers between her legs.

Kaz shrugged and closed his eyes, at one with his jets. His seat was roughly the same as Josie's, with water flows attacking the stress in her lower back, upper back, mid back, not to mention her butt cheeks. The one thing Kaz didn’t have was a husband’s naughty fingers creeping under turquoise bathing bottoms.

The wetness that dear hubby came across was more than just pool water. It was the very nectar of Josie’s lust for him. God, she wanted him so bad! But she couldn’t very well mount her man with Kaz across the way, even if his eyes were closed. What she could do was squirm out of her bottoms and hold them tight in one hand while she worked her way down to Rob’s cock with the other hand. The very solidity of it made her gasp—or perhaps that was the fingers slowly stroking her clit.

Though she tried not to make much noise while he played with her pussy, it wouldn’t make much difference over the jets. She took a firm hold of his cock, dragging her hand up to the tip until she could feel that skin-on-skin sensation she loved so much. Handjobs were fun, both giving and getting. She opened her legs wide, tossing her thigh over Rob’s as he snuck a wayward finger into her wet slit. Pressing her lips together, she breathed in hard. As he pierced her and penetrated her body with his fingers, she set his cock against her outer thigh and gave it a good smack. Rob loved that; she could see it in his eyes. He reached up deep inside her to rub that sweet spot marked with a g and Josie went wild.

Pressing his palm flat against her clit, he rubbed it in circles. Josie almost felt guilty. There was no way what she was doing to him even half equalled the pleasure he was giving her. Wrapping her fist around his cockhead, she teased the tip alone, pulling on it while she cupped it in her hand. Rob liked being hard in her hands. He like the pressure and the jerking. She liked it too. She liked the rubbing feeling inside her body compounded by the swirling motion on her clit as he stroked it in circles.

Her pleasure mounted as she watched the enjoyment on his face. His lips formed the words I love you before he threw his head back in ecstasy. He held on tight to her pussy, like he’d caught her with a curiously finger-like fish hook. She writhed against his static hold, never letting go of his cock as she ground her pussy against his hand. His palm on her clit felt so good beyond good she couldn’t contain herself. Just as a wayward cry escaped her lips, the hot tub clicked and she knew she had to shut her mouth because the bubbles were going to stop in three…two…one…


Kaz opened his eyes wide.


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