Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Monday, August 26, 2013

When the Fantasy Hits the Fan! The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro.



Today we’re spicing things up with The Bottom Line, Love and Friendship, Book One, an erotic contemporary romance by Shelley Munro. So sit back, relax, think sexy and check out the fabulous interview below!

Date of Publication: April 2010

ISBN: 978-1-60504-985-4
ASIN: B003BGUO92

Number of pages: 272 pages
Word Count: 85,000

Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter



Book Description


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

Love and Friendship, Book 1

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

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

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

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

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

Interview time!


SHELLEY:  Thanks very much for having me to visit today. I’m excited to share the first book of my Love and Friendship series with you.

SKY:  Always a pleasure to have you over, Shelley! This series sounds fantastic! Tell us, how long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

SHELLEY:  I’ve always wanted to write romance. After reading my first romance, I was hooked. I mean, who doesn’t like a happy ending? Before age twenty I made a few starts that came to an abrupt halt. At that time I didn’t have a computer and the Internet hadn’t taken off. Sigh. I know. I’m older than I look *grin*

My husband and I did a lot of traveling during our twenties and spent six years away from New Zealand. Too busy soaking up new experiences, my desire to write took a back seat. It was only when I returned to New Zealand that I started to think about writing again. In 1998 the stars aligned and I became an aspiring writer. E-publishing—my comfortable niche—was just taking off and I targeted Harlequin for a few years before admitting defeat and searching for a publisher that fit me better. In 2004 I sold my first book, and I’ve been writing ever since. So—let me do the addition—I’ve been writing for almost 16 years and I’ve been a published writer for around ten years.

SKY:  Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

SHELLEY:  I have an office, but I tend to get more done if I leave the house and write in a cafĂ©. I can’t get up and wander around or do anything else because someone will steal my chair or worse my laptop. I have several favorite cafes (coffices) around Auckland and it’s easy to rack up the words while the people watching and things I overhear can be very inspiring.

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?

SHELLEY:  The Bottom Line is set in Auckland, New Zealand. I chose this setting because it’s familiar to me, and I think Auckland is a great city. It’s an exotic setting for American readers without being too different, and I love to showcase my country of birth.

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

SHELLEY:  Maggie, the heroine in THE BOTTOM LINE has an interest in spanking. My working title was Spank Me, but I decided THE BOTTOM LINE works on two levels. It gets the bottom and spanking part into the equation and since this book deals with the good and bad of friendship—the nitty-gritty—I think my title works well in this respect too.

SKY:  Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

SHELLEY:  Maggie is interested in spanking, but she’s recently split from her boyfriend. Connor has had a thing for his friend, Maggie for a long time and decides to suggest a friends-with-benefits arrangement with her. He hopes to woo her into a real relationship, but he’s worried when he learns of her desire for spanking since his father used to abuse his mother, and he can’t imagine hitting anyone for pleasure.

Meantime, Maggie and her other girlfriends have a pact about Connor. They value his friendship and don’t want to lose him from their group. They’ve agreed on a hands-off policy and now Maggie and Connor are secretly messing around. Hot sex and white lies abound until it all blows up in their faces, and Maggie thinks she might lose everything including Connor and her friends.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

Connor Grey, my hero is a bit of a ladies’ man. At the start of the story he’s never without a girlfriend and he changes girlfriends on a regular basis. He has the knack of remaining friends with his past girlfriends though. At work, he hangs out with Maggie, Julia, Susan and Christina. They call themselves the Tight Five, which is a rugby term. Connor is very much a people person, although he works with computers. He loves to play rugby and is outgoing.

SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

SHELLEY:  I’ve just finished writing Susan’s story. Susan is one of Maggie’s best friends and she enters a reality show called Farmer Seeks a Wife in order to find a husband. Julia, another of Maggie’s friends, has her story out on 10 September at Samhain Publishing. It’s called Past Regrets.

I’m currently working on a spin-off series and then I’ll start writing Christina’s story. Christina is the last of Maggie’s friends. She likes men in twos. I have the start of her story knocking around inside my head but need to think about the plot a little more before I start writing.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?
I’m an equal opportunity writer and have never met a genre I didn’t like writing. This year I’ve been focusing on writing contemporary and historical romances, although I’m starting to feel an insistent itch to write another feline shapeshifter book. One day I’d like to experiment with steampunk. That always strikes me as a fun genre to write.

Excerpt


An excerpt in which Maggie, our heroine, tells her friends about her interest in spanking.

“Secret. Secret. Secret.” Christina banged her palms on the edge of the table. Julia and Susan joined in the beat, their eyes gleaming with challenge in the dim light of the booth.

Maggie picked up her margarita and gulped to moisten her dry mouth. “Okay. Okay.”

Placing her glass on a coaster, she glanced around the bar. No doubt about it. People were starting to stare. Time to spill her secret before things turned ugly. After another deep breath, she dropped her gaze to her clasped hands. “I’ve started a website called BigBadAss.com.” She spoke so quickly the words ran together. Once finished, she scanned each of her friends in turn, anxious now for their reactions.

“Big bad ass?” Christina’s watchful eyes held curiosity while her lips curved in an approving smile. She pushed her frameless glasses up her nose with perfectly manicured copper fingernails. “Isn’t that pretty racy for you?”

“What’s the big deal?” Julia scoffed and tossed her head before Maggie could answer. Her blonde hair stirred and settled in sexy curls around her almost bare shoulders. Shoestring straps held her low-cut black top in place. “It’s just a website.”

“Who’s a bad ass?” Susan smirked. “Don’t say Greg has gone and found some balls?”

“Bother, I have a smear.” Christina rifled through her handbag for a tissue to clean her glasses. “Anyway, I want to hear more about this website.”

Questions. Maggie had expected them, but the comments and queries didn’t put her at ease. Her stomach vibrated like one of her younger brother’s toys—over-wound and about to fly apart. She wiped sweaty palms on her sensible navy skirt, swallowed and said, “It’s more of a blog.”

“A blog about what?” Julia asked, rolling her eyes. “Desperados? Bandits? What’s a bad ass?”

Maggie closed her eyes briefly to summon courage. This next part was worse. Her teeth clacked when she closed her mouth. The longer her hesitation, the worse the mental strain would become. Big bad ass, she wasn’t. More like a marshmallow, burnt on the outside with a gooey interior.

“I explore…um…my adventures in spanking,” Maggie said, forcing a smile. “Does anyone want another drink?”

“Spanking,” Susan cried out as the band ended their song and the haunting notes of a sax faded. Everyone in the vicinity heard her shocked shriek. Heads turned, customers surveying them with distinct interest. Two men at a nearby table leered. Their dark suits suggested they worked at the lawyer’s office next door, but their toothy smirks told Maggie their minds crawled in the gutter, armed with floggers and paddles.

“Shush,” she muttered, aware of the two plum-sized patches heating her cheeks. “It’s a secret. I don’t want everyone to know.”

Christina picked up her drink, golden bracelets jingling with musical grace. “Since when were you interested in spanking, Maggie?”

“Yeah,” Julia demanded. “How long has this been going on?”

Susan smirked, her gaze darting from Christina to Julia and back to Maggie. “Does Greg spank you?”

“Um…” Oh, heck. She’d known they’d have lots of questions. Greg was her boyfriend. Solid, dependable and boring. How was she going to tell him? True, she was still a spanking novice, but Maggie was determined not to chicken out. She would explore spanking. It wouldn’t be like the fad diets she tried and failed.

Her spanking interest—or sickness, depending on how a girl looked at it—began with a book and some in-depth soul-searching along with a bottle of wine. She’d hauled her drunken self off to bed and, after reading more of the erotic romance, she’d had the best orgasm ever. Yeah, if she could scale those heights by herself, a real extravaganza lay ahead with a male lover. Right there, she decided to explore her wild side and the naughty spike of pleasure that jolted her right to the core every time she considered a swat on the ass. The fiery heat…

She could see the curiosity filling Susan’s blue eyes, the nosy interest mirrored in Christina and Julia’s faces. “You asked for one secret. I’ve given you one and you have to promise not to tell anyone.” Maggie had no idea where this new bravery had come from. It reminded her of her teenage years, and she liked its return. The inner Maggie cheered, enjoying the nonplussed expressions on her friends’ faces.

About the Author 



Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.

Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing.


Friday, August 16, 2013

She Caught His Eye. But Can He Be Part Of Her Future? Dream Lover by Lynn Davis.



Happy T.G.I.F. everyone! Today it’s my pleasure to feature Dream Lover by Lynn Davis. Let’s learn a bit more about this book and then it’s on to a fabulous excerpt. 

 Description


Kayla Johnson decided to focus on school and not get into a relationship. Although she made the grades her curiosity was peaked when Bill White joined her study group. 

Kayla had no idea that she had caught Bill's eye and he is everything she hoped a lover would be. She is ready to move on with her life and Bill wonders if he can be a part of her future?

Will Kayla let go and just fall into his Bill's arms?           

Excerpt  

Daydreaming 


Kayla was both nervous and excited. She had waited for this day for a long time. So far, everything was perfect. She awoke almost two hours earlier than she normally would. It was 5 a.m., and she could not get back to sleep. She rolled over to her side and gazed out the bay window that overlooked her back yard. She could almost hear all the voices of her friends and family congratulating her for completing her degree in record time and with honors. She sighed with satisfaction. Today was graduation day. She decided to get up, turn on The Morning News show, and make sure the weather forecast had not changed. It was supposed to get at least ninety, and there hadn’t been any clouds in the sky yesterday. She hoped for the same today. 

Grabbing the remote, she turned on the TV and headed for the kitchen to start the coffee. She smiled as she remembered the gift that her mother had given her a month an earlier to help her save money. She had been frequenting Starbucks about five times a day, getting her favorite drink, a tall Caramel Mocha Macchiato. 

Her mother had gasped at Kayla’s admission, and three days later she bought her a coffee maker that had all the bells and whistle for making any coffee beverage Kayla could think of. 

Kayla entered the kitchen and looked around. There were a few dishes in the sink from last night, and the floor could use a good sweeping. She decided to start the coffee maker and then clean the kitchen while she waited. Once her kitchen was clean, she returned to her room with a fresh cup of coffee in her hand. Now she needed to decide what to wear. 

Looking at the clock it was only 5:45 a.m. Graduation did not start until 11 a.m. Her sister was coming at 9a.m. to do her hair and makeup. Kayla rolled her eyes. Alice was such a girl and made such a fuss when it came to special events. However, today was a special day and Kayla wanted to look special, especially when Bill saw her. 

Kayla and Bill had been in the same study groups a few times, and she had to admit that she really liked him. He was very attractive. He seemed a bit serious most of the time, but when he smiled, it lit up his face. His hazel eyes were bright and intense. She could get lost in those eyes. She found herself watching him as he explained a case study or read. She just liked looking at him. Kayla felt her body heating up. She had noticed her body responding more and more to him. She wasn’t sure how she felt about it but, she didn’t seem to mind it this morning. 

She sat on the bed and decided to read for about an hour. While in school, other than reading for class, she really didn’t have time to read. She sat her back against the headboard and pick up her Kindle. Scrolling through the carousel, frowning at the titles that scrolled by, she finally decided to read Absolution by Susannah Sandlin. She recalled reading Redemption the previous summer. 

“Let’s see what the Vampires in Penton are up to now,” she said aloud. 

Kayla looked up and gasped: it was 8:15 a.m. She shut down her Kindle and jumped up to take a shower. Her sister would arrive in 45 minutes and Kayla had to be dressed. She cursed under her breath. Her sister wasn’t one to run late, and if anything, she would be ten minutes early. 

Looping her towel on the towel rack, she stepped under the hot, inviting spray. Turning her back to the shower, Kayla let the spray pound into her shoulders giving her a massage. After relaxing a few more minutes, she soaped her loofah and swiped it across her body. Relishing in the smell of Black Orchid and Juniper Oil, she went over her body again. 

Tilting her head back, she let the water run over her forehead and hair. Pouring the thick silky cream of her Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Cream Shampoo into her hand, Kayla stepped out from under the spray and smoothed it over her head. Closing the lid, setting it back down, she lazily worked it into lather, letting her mind daydream while she did so. 

She was getting excited about seeing Bill. She let her mind wander to his lips, his broad shoulders, his arms that were toned and muscular. She liked watching them flex and relax as he turned the pages of his books. His thighs looked strong, and from what she could tell when he wore jeans they were just as toned as his arms. She let her imagination take her to what she thought his chest and stomach looked like. She felt her knees grow a bit weak. 

She chuckled and thought, Look at you girl, the man has not even given the slightest notion that he likes you and you are already fantasizing and daydreaming about him. Get a grip! 

Tilting her head back again, she rinsed her hair, turning up the hot water. Pouring her companion Conditioner onto her hair, she lathered it up and let it set in her hair as she picked up her shaving gel and applied it to her under arms, legs and bikini area. Picking up the razor, she began to shave her legs, and then touched up her bikini area, smiling as she pictured Bill watching her. Satisfied with the newly shaven skin, she finished with her underarms. Rinsing the soapy hairs off her body, she remembered a time when her body was velvety smooth to a man’s touch. 

Kayla liked that she had been so busy with school over the past three semesters that she had lost that extra 20 pounds, her tummy had become taut, and her legs were slender and shapely like they had been in high school. The study group members had decided to go to In-Shape City to set up a membership so they could go once a week, often as a group. That had helped her to start toning her arms. She liked the way she looked naked now. Her breasts were firm and perky, thank God. Her nipples were extremely sensitive, and she had caught Bill sneaking peeks a few times when she wore something that was thin enough to show her erect nipples through the material.    

Visit Lynn's Website

Purchase Dream Lover  at Amazon and Smashwords

About the Author



Lynn Davis is an emerging author from Literotica.com. Her stories Danielle and David, I Never Meant to Fall in Love and A Lesson in Love has jump started her writing career. With an average of about 10K viewers, she is ready to launch in to the literary world. When Lynn is not writing, she is a life coach of women empowerment, non-profit director and an entrepreneur. Her favorite thing to help her relax is cross-stitching, reading a good book or watching a good movie (girl flicks, of course). Lynn lives in California as a single woman who loves life but often she hangs with her niece and nephew. She is interactive with her loyal readers and welcomes you to contact her. She actually loves hearing from you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And YOU Thought You'd Seen It All!


Wow! Only a few weeks left in August. If you’re anything like me that means you’re doing your best to R&R before things start to get crazy again in September when the kiddos go back to school.

But it's not over 'til it's over. I know a way you can really enjoy these last lazy, hazy days of August. In fact, I know a way you can end your summer with a BANG. Ready to have a little fun and win TONS of great stuff? Of course you are! Check this out…

Night Owl Reviews is hosting a Summer Fun Scavenger Hunt. What does that mean? OMG, great things! Baskets of swag! With several big-name authors participating such as Ash Krafton and Eliza Knight, you’re not going to run out of amazing reads to win. Did I mention all the gift certificates being given away? We’re talking $100 GC’s folks! 

And count me in! I'm part of the event. My prize? A $50 Amazon gift card. 

Are you ready to discover??? Are you ready to win??? Then c'mon over!

Click HERE to get started.

Good luck and have fun!!!

xo

Monday, August 12, 2013

From An Ancient Battle Comes Forbidden Love. Starfire by Michele N. Zugnoni.



 Happy Monday readers! Time to cozy in and enjoy some 'you time' because there’s a “Must read!” new adult paranormal romance to be shared. Give a warm welcome to Michele N. Zugnoni, author of Starfire, Book One in the Chronicles of Shadow Mist. Not only is there a super interview ahead but Michele has a to-die-for  pile of loot up for grabs!

Publisher: Forbidden Press
Date of Publication: July 30
ISBN  978-0-9895690-0-2
ASIN: Not assigned yet
Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 110,000

Cover Artist: Michele N. Zugnoni


Book Description


From an ancient battle comes a forbidden love … and the chance to hope again.

Destined to destroy vampires, or refuse and be executed, seventeen-year-old Julia Kirkwood finds herself drawn to two things: a life of partying and rebelling against the law, and Clay Blackwell. The trouble is, Clay happens to be the son of the Lumince high priestess, the leader of a race of peace-loving vampires, and Julia’s father’s unspoken enemy. For Julia isn’t just a Reaver, she’s the daughter of the Reaver Chief. And Julia’s father is furious to discover she’s secretly dating and falling in love with a Lumince, particularly after an attempt at peace crumbles in bloodshed.

When her father intensifies his attack against the Luminces, endangering the lives of Clay’s people, Julia’s forced to take a stand. She must choose to accept her destiny as a Reaver, or claim her heart and find the inward strength to declare war against her own flesh and blood. Interwoven with her fate are the ramifications of a love story as forbidden and passionate as her own: the ancient romance that sparked the creation of Reavers and Luminces, igniting this centuries-old feud. Will Julia’s feelings for Clay be enough to transcend centuries of love-turned-hate? Or will their final hope for peace be incinerated in a fiery war?

Book Trailer



Interview Time!


SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?

MICHELE:  You know, it’s interesting. I had no idea I was going to write STARFIRE. I was happily typing away at an entirely different story, enjoying getting to know my characters and their world, when BAM! I experienced a bout of writers’ block. And when I say writers block, I mean that with a capital WB. It came on all of the sudden, it was especially severe, and it led to several conversations between myself and my computer in which I threatened to throw that blasted machine out of the window if it couldn’t help me figure out what I wanted to say.

And then I walked away. And I went swimming. And I drank a bottle of Corona. And I went to sleep. And when I woke up, I had this characters’ voice in my head. It was so clear, I swear I could see her flipping her wild mane of crimson hair when she spoke my name. I knew right away that her name was Julia, and that she had a story she wanted me to tell.

Well, that day I sat down at my computer and I started typing. And typing. And typing. When I was done, I knew not only Julia, but also Clay, her forbidden lover. And I knew I had to know more. I couldn’t wait to get inside these characters’ heads, to slip inside their world, to discover their story, their romance, their love.

That was the day I started writing STARFIRE. From that moment on, I was up at night, dying to find out  more. The other story is still on my hard drive, but STARFIRE? It’s come to life in more ways than I ever anticipated and I cannot wait to share.

SKY:  Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

MICHELE:  From an ancient battle comes a forbidden love … and the chance to hope again.

Julia and Clay live in the hidden realm of Shadow Mist, where their kind has been at war for centuries. Marked by the gods as a Reaver, Julia is destined to hunt and destroy vampires, even if she believes some are good people who do not deserve the bad rap of their kind. And when she meets Clay, son of the vampire high priestess, she finds herself rebelling against everything she is and everything she knows simply for the sake of love. The problem? Julia’s father is the Chief Reaver, and he’ll do anything to destroy the vampires even if it means going head-to-head with his daughter in a war more brutal and vicious than any Shadow Mist has ever before witnessed.

SKY:  If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

MICHELE:  “I’m the only person in the world standing between you and certain punishment. You think just ‘cause your daddy’s Chief Reaver, it’s gonna spare you the pain of rebellion? You think you can go against everything you are and emerge unscathed? Think again, little girl. It doesn’t work that way.” – Josh Woodley, a Reaver who just happens to have a crush on Julia and a yen for becoming her father’s right-hand man

SKY:  Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

MICHELE:  Do you like it? I actually designed the cover myself. There’s a very special scene during the second part of STARFIRE in which Julia and Clay run away to the forest, where magic starts to happen. It’s the first time they venture outside of Shadow Mist, the first time they begin to get close, and in the midst of their very first … Well, I wouldn’t want to give too much away. But let’s just say that in the middle of a very romantic scene, the most magical incident of all takes place. The cover depicts that journey.

SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

MICHELE:  Of course I’m working on another story! As if I could stay away. I’m getting ready to release GODDESS KISSED, the STARFIRE short-story prequel that centers around Clay’s mother before she became High Priestess of the vampires. It tells of her rise to power, and all the struggles she must overcome before taking the throne. One of the biggest problems? The Reavers have learned of her immense power (she’s been granted more power than any high priestess thus far), and they’ll do about anything to stop her from ascending to vampire leadership, even if it means all-out war.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

MICHELE:  Clay  is a very sweet, poetic guy who will do anything for the people he loves, including standing up against the Chief Reaver himself. That said, he sometimes suffers from a lack of bravery. His journey centers around finding the courage to do the right thing, even if it means placing himself in mortal danger to keep his loved ones safe.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

MICHELE:  Julia is a rebel and a party girl of the strongest sort. She knows what she believes, and no one’s going to change her mind. And Julia believes that not all vampires are evil, and not all Reavers are good. She does, of course, suffer from the problem of being the daughter of the Reaver Chief. Julia’s journey centers around finding the strength within herself to stand up against her own flesh and blood, even if it means going against everything she is to protect those she loves most.

SKY:  Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

MICHELE:  Do you wanna know a secret? My favorite writing environment isn’t indoors or even outdoors. Not really. It’s actually in the middle of Disneyland park, and on any and all Disney rides, surrounded by the rich, sweet smells of Disneyland and the sound of laughter and excited screams. In fact, the first part of STARFIRE was actually composed in Disneyland, while I waited in line for rides like Pirates and Star Tours, and at tables inside Blue Bayou and Ariel’s Grotto. At one point, I started jotting down a scene as the car for Space Mountain raced into the dark tower, jetting me into the stars. And if you really pay attention, you’ll find certain traces of Disney echoed within STARFIRE. There’s a reason one of my characters looks like Abe Lincoln; I created him while watching the show on Main Street. I also think there’s a reason why Julia has red hair; she really came to life on The Little Mermaid ride. So as you read through STARFIRE, you might try to pick out some of these influences. Go on. I dare you.

SKY:  How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

MICHELE:  I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to discover that crayons make excellent pencils if the paper is just the right thickness. My very first story was about a troll who looked an awful lot like my father (the poor guy had just punished me for something I probably shouldn’t have been doing; sorry, Dad!). Aside from an anthology in which my story, “Whisper,” was honored with third place, this is the first novel I’ve ever published. And I really cannot wait to share. So what are you waiting for? Go on! Buy your copy of STARFIRE. You know you want to. ;-) 

An excerpt from chapter 2, Clay’s POV…

“D’you ever wonder,” Julia’s fingers glided along her cat’s back, blazing a path into its fur, “if there’s a place so far away, it just has to be perfect? That –” she sighed, “that maybe if we traveled far enough, we could – I don’t know, we could maybe cut around the bull shit and the lies and just live the life we’re supposed to live? Free of everything but the truth and ourselves?”

Clay tilted his face toward the stars. “Maybe. If there’s a place far enough away.”

“Sometimes I feel like there has to be.” She pulled her gown around her legs, letting the material drift against her skin. “Otherwise, what the hell else is there?”

“Mrow,” agreed the cat, nuzzling its cheek against Clay’s hand.

“Nice cat.” Falling onto the deck, Clay scratched behind the creature’s ears. “What’s its name?”

“Pandora.” Julia pushed herself to her elbows, causing the feline to fall onto her lap with a startled mrow. She smoothed her apologies against its fur. “Named her after a story my mom told me once. When I was a little girl.”

His heart sprinted as he stared into her eyes: stained with starlight and sparking with secrets, they grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go. “A story?”

“Hmm.” She nodded. “About a girl who just couldn’t take no for an answer. She opened this box she wasn’t even supposed to touch, and let out all the dark, evil things of the world. Anger. Jealousy. Spite. Malevolence. Everything bad. Until she got smart and slammed the lid shut, trapping just one thing inside. You know what that was?”

“Tell me.”

Julia tilted her face to the heavens. “Hope,” she murmured, her answer mingling with Clay’s whispered: “Hope.”

A crease formed between her brows, and she lowered her gaze to skewer Clay with her fiery stare. “Thought you hadn’t heard the story, Lumince?”

Clay shrugged. “I’ve heard it. I just wanted to hear you tell it.”

The starlight faded from Julia’s eyes and she reached for her bottle of champagne. “Aren’t you breaking the rules? Coming out here to talk to me?”

Clay smothered a grimace. “Rules?”

“Yeah, you know.” Curling her hand around the bottle’s neck, she lifted it to her mouth in a fluid yank. Her throat spasmed around the rush of alcohol; plunking the bottle onto the deck, she moistened her lips and leveled him with her stare. “Should any vampire be caught keeping company with a human,” she air-quoted the law with her fingertips, “that creature will suffer no less than two years in a Reaver-run penitentiary and –”

“And no less than thirty lashes of a pinewood whip.” Clay tugged his fingers through his curls, swallowing a sigh as Pandora curled onto his lap. “I know the law.”

“Then why are you out here talking to me?”

There was a dare in her eyes, in the way she pushed her fingertips against his hand; capturing one between his fingers, he held it in his grasp. “Last I checked, Reavers didn’t exactly qualify as human. Or have the laws changed again?”

Julia arched a brow. “Nice,” she drawled, twisting her fingertip from his hand. It fell against his arm, where it burned her touch into his skin. “Do you talk like this to all the girls, or am I just special?”

Clay met her gaze and took a breath. “I’m still trying to figure that one out.”

She blinked. “Well, let me know when you do. ‘Cause I’m just dyin’ to find out.”

She tilted her head for another drink, and Clay watched as the neckline of her dress fell open, revealing the Reaver mark etched into the skin below her collarbone. Unbidden, his fingers drifted to the design: a jagged “R” seared within a circle, smooth against his touch. “Did that hurt?”

He thought he heard her breath catch; he knew he saw her eyes widen as her gaze drifted to his hand. “Enjoying the feel?”

“Sorry.” Clay yanked his hand away, his cheeks burning against the warm September breeze. “I just…I’ve never seen one this close before.”

“You mean my cattle brand?” She skimmed the mark with her hand. Her forehead creased and her mouth puckered as she stared at the fingers he’d touched her with seconds before. “It’s okay, I guess. It’s just – I’ve never had anyone touch it before. It’s . . . kinda weird.” Her hand brushed against his arm, causing his breath to catch. “But it didn’t hurt. Or, it did for a minute, when I first got the flash.”

“The flash?”

“Yeah.” She nodded. “It’s like…a moment, when you know you were chosen. A searing pain, and then you get the mark. It happened when I was thirteen. A full year before any of my other friends were chosen, which really kinda sucked.” A sip from the bottle, washed down with a tuck of her mouth. She smacked her lips together. “But it’s okay. I’ve gotten over it.”

“Wow.” Clay raised his brows.

“Yeah. I guess.” Shivering, Julia swigged another long drink. He took the opportunity to caress her hand with his thumb, sliding it beneath his palm.

She shifted until she was sitting, her gaze drifting to his mouth. “I wonder…”

“What do you wonder, Jewels?”

Her eyelids fluttered at the endearment, a spark of surprise sizzling through her gaze. “I – I wonder if …” Julia’s free hand glided into the air, and she skimmed her fingertips against his lips. “Do you mind?”

Clay swallowed and leaned forward as her touch seared itself into his skin. “D-do I – Oh.” He blinked. “Oh, yeah. Um, okay. Sure.” He slid open his mouth to reveal a pair of gleaming white fangs.

She smoothed her fingers over their tips, wincing as they pricked her skin. “They’re sharp.”

“It’s okay.” Flipping his hand, he captured her fingers between his own. “I don’t bite, and I never hurt.”

He was caught within her stare, pulled within the molten fire flashing through her eyes. His heart dipped as she yanked her hand from his touch, a guarded mask slipping over her features. A second later, and the bottle was at her lips, the rush of liquid flooding her throat. He caught the bottom with his hand, causing her to lower it until it hovered between them both. “Why do you drink so much?”

“Why do you care?”

“Actually,” he lowered his hand and she plunked the bottle onto the deck, “I guess I’m trying to figure out why you pretend so hard like you don’t.”

“Maybe it’s easier that way.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Clay scratched behind Pandora’s ears, making the creature purr. “Or maybe you’re just too scared to try it any other.” Her eyes flashed fire, but he caught her hand before she could flail him with her words, flipping it to run his fingertips along the lines of her palm. “I told you. You don’t have to be afraid of me. I don’t hurt, and I never bite.”

“No.” She ripped her hand away. “You only touch.” 


SKY:  Loved the interview, Michele! Thanks for joining me today. 


About the Author


 
Michele is a recovering demon (AKA attorney) who left the legal field to follow her dreams of writing and teaching college-level English. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling as far as her credit card will take her, reading an assortment of fantasy and paranormal, and playing with her frisky animals (two black cats and two loud-mouthed cockatiels).

She’s loved vampires since she was four, when her BFF confided that her older sister was a vamp who enjoyed drinking blood. Like any four-year old, Michele thought this was the most awesome thing ever. Michele currently lives in Modesto, California, but will move to Santa Barbara to begin a Ph.D. program in education and literacy this fall.

Visit Michele's Facebook ~ Website ~ Twitter

Party Time! 



Starfire came out July 30'th, and to celebrate, we're lookin' to give away some loot. To enter this rockin' contest, simply follow the actions below, and you'll receive the corresponding number of entries!!!


1 ENTRY

*Comment on any tour or Facebook post (see www.starfireseries.com for tour dates and info)
*Like Michele's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MicheleNZugnoni)
*Share Michele's Facebook page on your own Facebook or blog
*Like Michele's Twitter account (www.twitter.com/Michele_ZZZ)


3 ENTRIES

*Purchase Starfire and comment on Michele's Facebook page "I just purchased this fiery new
paranormal romance! Can't wait to read."


5 ENTRIES

*Review Starfire at Goodreads, Amazon, on your blog, or anywhere else on the web (but be
sure to let us know on Michele's facebook page).
*Host Michele on any virtual tour stop (interview, review, spotlight, etc.) 


*1 Starfire shot glass
* 3 Starfire mugs (2 Julia/Clay, 1 Mia/Brennan)
*5 autographed copies of Goddess Kissed, the Starfire short-story prequel coming out Sept. 1
*10 red or black velvet bookmarks (with assorted charms)
*2 $25 gift cards to Amazon.com
AND THE GRAND PRIZE... 
*1 $50 gift card to Amazon.com!!!





Friday, August 9, 2013

Strong, Clever Women. Tough, Sexy Men. Blaze Ignites by J.L. Madore.



Welcome! Today I’m interviewing J.L. Madore, author of Blaze Ignites, Book One in the The Scourge Survivor Series. If, like me, you enjoy a great fantasy/paranormal romance, then this book should be right up your alley!

ISBN: 978-0-9916763-1-6
Number of pages: pdf- 276, epub- 172
Word Count: 107,000
Cover Artist: David Wysotski


Book Description


Blaze Ignites blends strong, clever women and tough, sexy men in a fast paced, volatile cocktail of action, seduction and wicked humour.

"Destiny my ass." Jade Glaster refuses to believe the Fates rule her life. Orphaned after an attack by Scourge soldiers, a young Jade vows never to be powerless again. Once grown and strong, wielding the affinities of fire and healing, Jade protects innocents as an enforcer for her world's elite policing agency—The Talon.

When an emissary mission to reinstate a race of exiled Elves brings Galan into her life, Jade finds herself overwhelmed by new passions, some welcome, some not. Although Galan's antiquated views on women offend her to her heated core, when the Scourge attack his family, she helps him navigate the outside worlds he knows nothing about—the magical Realm of the Fair and, stranger still . . . the modern streets of Toronto.

Through their sensually charged pursuit of justice, Jade discovers that when dealing with the Fates—destiny is never random.

Interview time!


SKY:  If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

J.L.:  That's a tough one. I find so many of them interesting (which sounds funny and a little conceited considering they sprang from my head, but they intrigue me) I can't lie, I have a major crush on Bruin, but I think the one who I'd really like to spend time with is Aust. That guy has so much going on under the surface. He's quiet, yes, but it's only because he's been dumped on for a century. Over the course of the series, I think he's the one who grows the most to discover who he really is. And come on, he's a hot, sweet Elf, who can turn into a white tiger and speak to animals. He's f-awesome.

SKY:  Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

J.L.:  Jade is a strong, sassy woman who overcame a childhood tragedy and swore she'd never let herself be weak again. But when Galan comes along, they're sexual chemistry draws her into his life, even against her own will. With the push and pull of their relationship escalating, the war against the evil forces in their world takes a turn and they're all left scrambling. Blaze Ignites is a sexy, humorous journey about figuring out where you belong and who you belong with.

SKY:  Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

J.L.:  I love my cover. My artist is a local guy, David Wysotski, who is not a buddy of my brother's, but happens to be insanely talented. I think the cover speaks for itself. He took my description of Jade in her battle gear added Naith by her side and showed her element –fire. The details of her whip and Bruin's claw skirl all tie in to the content of the book. We didn't put Galan on there, because this really is Jade's story (and I think everyone will have their own image of Galan in their mind's eye and I hate ruining that for anyone).

SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

J.L.:  I'm working on so much I'm almost paralyzed. Books 2 and 3 in this series are written and in edits, book 4 is mostly written. I also have a paranormal erotic romance series in progress and headed to an agent next week. I also have another series floating in the back of my mind but I haven't had time to research it or get much on paper. I need more hours in my day.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

J.L.:  Jade is me. Anyone who knows me laughed when they read the book and instantly made the connection. I think being my first novel and being in first person, alpha-female perspective, it just happened. She's confident (stubborn), honest (blunt), vocal (smart-mouthed) and is fiercely loyal and committed to her family. And what do you know, I paired her with a hot Elf. Who could have seen that coming . . .lol.

SKY:  Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

J.L.:  Yeah, I loved writing the grotto scene where Jade and Galan finally have it out and then get naked. I write lineally, but that scene came to me and was written well before I got there. I just knew where they were headed and thought it was tense, sexy and then, of course, I had to have Tham and Lexi finish it with some humour.

SKY:  Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

J.L.:  I do most of my editing at my desk in my home office, but if I'm treating myself to a block of indulgent writing, I take five or six pillows, pile them against the headboard of my bed, lay back under my blankets, bend my knees and set my laptop up on my lap. I can lay there for hours typing . . . and often do. Usually with my hubby sleeping beside me. (He works far too hard through the week and usually sacks-out on the weekend.)

SKY:  What sources do you use for research?

J.L.:  Depends. For genre research, I have books I love, marked with Post-its so I can see how other authors handled things. For real issues, I either use internet or try to get an actual source. For example, I've been in contact with a few Canadian First Nations Bands regarding my heroine for book two in the series. If it's real I want to get it right. If it's fantasy based, I just make shit up.

SKY:  Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

J.L.:  Yes. I haven't managed to write a single title yet. Every time I think I might, my imagination starts doing the . . .  and then they'll . . . and that guy will . . . then the bad guys will . . . and before I know it. It's a series. I think I'm too chatty to get it down in one book. And forget about a short story. My writing group has 350+ members and we're always having short story contests. I help with the admin because everyone knows I'll never be entering. I just can't contain myself to 1500 words.

SKY:  Great interview, J.L.! Thanks for joining me today.

Excerpt


~ Chapter 1 ~

Gun versus wand.

Lexi and I saw the standoff escalating beyond the crush of half-naked, leather-clad bodies on the dance floor. The patrons of the tavern, human and not, ceased shimmying to the techno-rock of the house band and drew wands and daggers in every direction.

"Let us through people." Raising my palms I called my powers. "Castian, come to me." A surge of arcane energy lifted my hair as my affinity awoke. "Down!" I shielded Lexi and avoided the white-gold energy bolt zinging past our heads. It hit the mirrored wall over the bar, bursting into a shower of sparks and jagged shards.

A shot rang out. Shit.

Magic buzzed and crackled in the air like a bug-light in August. I threw out some heat to part the remaining sea of bodies. Ignoring the sneers of rubberneckers, we pushed through and my sister and I joined the altercation.

A scruffy, brute of a man sporting a bandana stood, gun poised, staring straight into the wand-tip of one of the Academy of Affinities' fifth-year wizardry students.

"Problem, gentlemen?" I asked, easing into their circle.

With shoulders rigid and wand steady, the student, Nash Blackpaw, focused straight ahead. "Jade, this asshole thinks he's dragging my friend back to the Modern Realm."

I assessed the native girl shielded behind his back. She looked shaken but unharmed.

"I don't think," the brute hissed. "This is a family matter. Jade is it?"

Pushing down the urge to wipe the amused sneer off the bastard's face I tried to remain professional. "Jade is what friends and students call me. You can call me Blaze. That is my official nom de guerre."

I held up my wrist and revealed my Talon brand. Cold, sharp eyes narrowed on my copper skin as the trademark golden hawk of a Talon enforcer appeared. "Sir, you are armed with intent to do harm on Haven grounds. This entire mountain is a sanctuary. According to Fae law, the girl is welcome to claim refuge here."

"Screw the laws," he spat, shifting the business end of the gun toward me. "Fae laws force our race to live in the Modern Realm—force us to hide who we are as if we're worth less than those fucking humans. The gods won't care about one worthless runaway. Tell your boy here to lower his wand and we're gone."

Catching Lexi's eye, I glanced toward the girl and my sister dissolved into the crowd.

"Again, that would be no." The muzzle of the gun pointed at my chest at an almost point blank range. My skin tingled warm. I pushed back my temper. "I know how you must feel—"

"You know nothing," he snapped, spittle flying. "You are human."

With his full attention on me, I wove more persuasion into my words. "As a Talon enforcer, I ensure the laws of both realms are upheld. You smuggled a gun from the Modern Realm onto sanctuary grounds. There's no chance you're leaving with the girl. The Portal Gates are sealed for summer solstice and you have things to answer for. Your only option here is to lower your weapon."

My suggestion had the barrel wavering. He clutched the grip with both hands and stabilized it. His jaw clenched as his index finger tightened on the trigger. I gave another push of energy and when I thought I was at my limit, I pushed further. Perspiration beaded across his furrowed brow. I held on. Needles of pain ran through my jaw as I clenched my teeth. After another minute, the Glock clattered to the tavern floor.

He lunged.

My feet left the ground as his shoulder caught my cheek. Something solid connected with my ribs and I hit the dance floor in an awkward half-twist. My back connected with the wood plank right before my head bounced. I was still seeing white splotches bursting in front of my eyes when the brute's staggering weight lifted and two Were-lion bouncers took control.

One snatched the weapon and shoved it into the waistband of his jeans. His litter-mate grabbed the guy's thick arms and wrenched them back until I expected to hear the snap of bone. Rumbling like a storm cloud, the pair of Weres cable-tied the guy's hands and signaled to everyone that the show was over.

"And a good night was had by all." Lexi rolled her amethyst eyes and offered me a hand up.


About the Author



September 2009 marked the beginning of my journey with writing paranormal/fantasy romance novels. After spending a year hiatus in Panama with my family, I returned to Ontario relaxed and ready to let stories flow from my mind onto the page. The only problem was—I didn’t know a thing about the craft of writing.

Almost four years later, after dozens of workshops, reading hundreds of books, joining a writing community and two critique groups, I've won two writing scholarships and believe I've got a handle on what I’m trying to say and the voice with which I want to say it.

Currently, I am working on the five book Scourge Survivor Series as well as a darker, erotic/romance paranormal series currently called Watchers of the Grey.

Visit JL Madore's Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads