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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! Contest Winners & A Super Spicy Trailer to Start it out Right!

Happy New Year to You and Yours!

2010 was a year unlike any other. I celebrated three book releases but more importantly, I made new friends. Friends that I’m quite sure I’ll know for many, many years to come. Friends who are dear to me already. You know who you are.

I’d also like to recognize that in 2010 friendships from the past were only made stronger. As some know, I’ve been dealing with an illness in my family since September. My friends (new and old) have been a rock in my life and hosting this blog has kept my head above water. It’s amazing how simple human contact—even via blog—can make a world of difference. It will go down as the year in which I connected with everyone out there who truly matters. Thank you.

I’d also like to say a very heartfelt, “Thank You,” to my blog followers. Many of whom I consider friends simply by getting to know you better here at A Writer’s Mind. That you took the time to pop in and join my guests and I was so appreciated. Did we have an absolute blast in 2010 or what?! You have inspired me to make blogging a regular practice. And that, for a writer, is a gift.

So what do you say… are we ready to toast in 2011? It’s bound to be a year full of surprises. I feel it’s going to be a good year. One we all deserve. I’d say the best way to get started is to announce a few contest winners!!! (I know, I know, I’m so predictable *smiles*) But really, would I start out the New Year any other way?

As you know, I had two contests running this past week. One here at A Writer’s Mind, the other at the Roses of Houston blog. The winners have been drawn. Kristen, you won an Ecopy of Heart of Vesuvius and Carol, a $25 gift certificate to Amazon. Congratulations Ladies! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.

As you might have guessed, there’s to be a bit of a pause in the blog events here. Throughout the month of January I intend to focus on family and writing. I have a few blog appearances scheduled throughout the month to celebrate my release. All of which I’ll share with you.

Stay tuned though, my ‘Celts and More Blog Event’ launches February 7th. This time it’s all about the romance authors who not only write Celtic stories but those from other genres. Much like me! So be sure to mark it down now. Great line-up planned!

As a fun leave-off to this post, I recently created a book trailer for Heart of Vesuvius. Speakers up. There’s music. Kinda spooky but…we are dealing with vamps.

Enjoy the start of a Great New Year! WTG 2011!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Fun. Winners Drawn! An E-book and $25 Amazon Gift Certificate Still Up For Grabs!

It’s Christmas!!!...Countdown to the New Year begins.

I hope you’re all having an absolute blast and not reading this post. At least not until all has wound down and you’re looking for a bit of escapism. If that’s the case…I SO get it! We all need to sit back and warmly relish the day behind us. But at this blog, as promised…there’s just a wee bit more beneath the tree.

Are you ready?

First off, I celebrated a book release this week! Heart of Vesuvius (Sequel to Darkest Memory) is now available. As I know many of you will be popping in I thought I’d host yet another contest! As you’ll see, I’ve included a blurb and excerpt from Heart of Vesuvius. Answer the following in a comment by January 1st, 2011 12 AM EST for a chance to win an Ecopy. What profession do you suppose Alexandria pursues?

Two vampires, one goal.

Alexandria has no choice. She must flee to the last place she wants to. Straight into the arms of a vampire she was determined to forget.

Salvator, ancient vampire, finds this a clever fix to obtaining the one vampire who he has always desired, Alexandria.

Together, they must find a way to evade her powerful enemy, Salvator's brother Luciano. On the run, they struggle to understand one another. Deep, dark secrets are revealed. Denied passion ignites. Blood is spilled.

Within the Heart of Vesuvius, anything is possible. All can be conquered. But will it be? Can wrongs be made right? History is the locked door. Forgiveness is the key. Time will tell if ancient love can once again flourish.

A little taste…

“What should I paint?” she murmured to herself.

“What you feel living in the rock.”

Alex wasn’t surprised Salvator stood so closely by her side, that his hand covered hers while she caressed the rock. “You want what I feel?”

“Yes, bella, all you feel.”

Opening her eyes, she watched his long fingers ride hers over the stone. Alex wanted to debate with him, figure out his methods, yet another less used part of her didn’t care, adored the potential only an artist was capable of feeling. “You already know what I will paint.”

“No,” he said close to her ear. “If I did this would not work.”

Turning, she curved into his side, repelled but needing his closeness. “So now you are a prophet as well.”

 "I am vampire,” he whispered into her hair, sniffing as though she smelled unique. “I believe in your talent. If my instinct tells me to let you paint, I listen to it.”

“Paint, Alexandria,” he breathed close to her ear, tongue flicking out, sending shivers through her. “Paint.”

Before she could voice another word, his hand found hers and he slid something into her palm.

Sky here. *chuckles* Bet you’re wondering what Salvator slipped into Alex’s hand. Guess you’ll have to find that out on your own! Click HERE to learn more.

As promised, an extra winner was drawn from every post during my What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree blog event. It's time to announce the winners! Each and every one of the following won a...drum roll please....$5 gift certificate to Digi Books Café! Congratulations! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.






~Angel Martinez

~Lil Missy Molly

Interested in winning even more? Now through New Year's I have a contest running over at the Roses of Houston blogspot. What's up for a grabs? A $25 dollar gift certificate to Amazon! So hurry over and enter for a chance to win now. Click HERE to get started.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Monday, December 20, 2010

What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree. The Elegance of Designs by Dawn Marie. Jewelry Giveaway!

Welcome everyone! We’ve reached the final week in my What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree blog event. It’s been a festively spectacular event thus far. Thank you to everyone who has popped in to share their holidays with us this yuletide season! 2010 Christmas at this blog is certainly one that will go down on record…to be blog chatted about for years to come. Mark it on your calendar now, I will officially be hosting this holiday event every year. Are you a jewelry maker, novelist or other creative vendor? Then contact me now at skypurington@live.com and get booked for 2011!

While every single person who has been featured this season is the best of the best, I did save one of my favorites for last. Why do I think so highly of her? Loaded question. Dawn Marie came into my life earlier this year when I participated in Blogmania. Thank God for that event or perhaps our paths would not have crossed! Though she was part of the event, Dawn Marie took the time to comment on my post. (one of nearly 400). I read her comment and commented back on her blog. Within literally two email correspondences I knew she’d be a friend for life. Save a scant few others, I’ve never come across someone so kind and giving. How could I not adore her instantly?

Our mutual love for gardening definitely sealed the deal. Remember those 40 hostas Dawn? What was I thinking! LOL. Our only regret? We live quite a distance apart. Makes no difference. When you find a person like Dawn, you know distance means nothing. She’s a keeper.

Okay, it’s officially time to have some yuletide fun. This week (though Dawn Marie grumbled at me something fierce over it!) My treat (her talent) I’m putting a few things beneath this blog’s Christmas tree. And, bless her heart, Dawn Marie hand-made two jewelry pieces specifically for this blog event. A beautifully designed Rose Quartz Set - Earrings & Necklace on a gold plated chain and a Vintage Brass Pendant using a mix of bronze and brown tones on a Choker Style Necklace.

I couldn't help but steal what she'd said in an email to me about when she worked on the pieces being featured in this blog post. I feel this one sentence really drives home how much she cares about her work... 'It's sunny today, so that's what I'm going to do when the sun is "just right" in a bit.' Not sure about you but I was thoroughly impressed that she worked around the sun's placement. True artist I'd say! Two lucky winners will be drawn. How do you enter to win? Well, I’m all about holiday cheer and the memories that they invoke. So, to be entered to win share with us one of your all time favorite holiday memories in a comment at this blog.

Ready to get to know Dawn Marie a wee bit better? Aye. Good! Here we go…

SKY: Dawn Marie, it’s wonderful to have you back. Merry Christmas!

DAWN MARIE: I love stopping by! Thanks for the invite! Your readers are absolutely wonderful to chat with!

SKY: Must agree. Great bunch of followers here! While I intend to focus on your fabulous jewelry business in just a moment, I’d like to first dive into your life at the holidays. Do you have a favorite holiday memory you’d like to share with us?

DAWN MARIE: As a child, I always loved Christmas Eve. We would go to the children’s service at Church, then we’d drive around looking at Christmas lights all over town. By the time we got home, Santa had stopped by (because our house was always first on his list) and we’d have dinner of popcorn shrimp and all sorts of other kid-friendly finger food. Then we’d all get to open one gift before bed.

SKY: I too love Christmas Eve. My little one gets to open one gift as well! Many have traditions at this time of year. Mine is setting up ‘Santa Central’ with my son, picking out the perfect tree with my family and then hanging bulbs. What are yours?

DAWN MARIE: Now as an adult, the tradition has changed to incorporate my fiance’s family too. We celebrate Christmas Eve with Chris’ family doing a big, formal dinner on the fine China followed by hours of laughter and sharing of gifts. Then we get up bright and early Christmas morn and head over to my Mom & Dad’s for Christmas breakfast. We all gather on Christmas in our snuggly jammies… slippers and all!

SKY: That sounds wonderful! We’re both ‘mamas’ to dogs (Belgian Sheppard and Great Dane pup here). Their smiling faces are a huge part of my holiday season. Part of the family, they will always create a holiday memory. What about yours? Any moment in the past bring a fond smile to your face?

DAWN MARIE: My fur babies are quite comical. They always do a little shopping of their own and wrap gifts for their Daddy to get on Christmas morning. I have no idea how they learned to use the internet and all, but they never cease to amaze me! ;) Then we package them in the car with us to go over to my parents’ house. They are part of the festivities over there!

SKY: *Smiles* So sweet! Now, let’s chat about ambiance. As Christmas is nearly upon us, my house is decorated. As you might imagine, my tree is lit with blue lights, arched Victorian doorways framed with spruce, mantle speckled with red-berried holly. How do you decorate your space at this time of year? Does it influence you while creating jewelry?

DAWN MARIE: Great question Sky! Every year is different… I like tradition, but I also embrace creativity. So the one staple piece is the handpainted Nativity scene on our piano. Chris’ mom made is a few decades ago and it’s absolutely beautiful – complete with Swarovski crystals. This year, I decorated my office/studio with a small tree and all sorts of festive decorations. I have beautiful angels, santas from around the world and of course I needed to add the old school garland in bright red!

SKY: Sounds beautiful, Dawn Marie! I’m big on music, especially at this time of year. I love to cozy in and write to Highland Bagpipes Christmas while I write. What about you? Do you have a few favorite songs or perhaps albums that you listen to while working at this time of year?

DAWN MARIE: I love celtic music any time of year. While I have some traditional albums, I still gain unlimited creativity when I put in my Celtic Woman album. Their voices just speak to me! So even though it’s not their Christmas album, it still puts me in the festive mood and let’s my creativity bloom. The other album that you can count on in my holiday selections is the Kohls Cares for Kids annual holiday album. All the proceeds from the sale of those albums goes to St. Jude’s children’s hospitals and every year they have a different theme/genre or style. They’re all wonderful!

SKY: Oh my goodness, I love Celtic Woman as well. Their music is absolutely breathtaking. This is the first I’ve heard of Kohls Cares for Kids annual holiday album. Bravo my friend, I always try to bring awareness to this blog and the various ways people can help children in need. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

The season puts us in a festive mood. Have you created jewelry specific to Christmas? If so, what element of the holiday inspired the piece or pieces? What were you thinking as you spun your magic?

DAWN MARIE: Well I LOVE the glitz and glamour surrounding Christmas and holiday parties as well as getting all gussied up for New Year Eve. So rather than focus on Red & Green… I love to focus on big sparkle! Pieces that are perfect for a night out on the town or a holiday party and can still be worn throughout the year! This year I also wanted to add a touch of handcrafted to my Christmas Tree, so I designed a few beaded ornaments that are very festive too.

SKY: As this run is titled, “What Every Woman Wants under her Tree,” Christmas blog event….if you could choose two of your ALL TIME FAVORITE pieces you’ve ever made, what would they be and why?

DAWN MARIE: Can I only pick two???? That’s so hard. Each piece I make is really, really different. Much of the time, each piece is created for a specific person so I incorporate that person’s personality. This year I created a set for a bride that even I said “Wow” when I had finished it. The necklace in particular was stunning. It used ivory pearls and was created with swarovski crystal & pearl “charms” that looked like bubbles. It was really stunning and draped so beautifully across the neck and collar bones.

Another one of my all time favorites is in the purple family (are you surprised?) The necklace used varying shades of purple Swarovski Crystals, some silver accents and deep purple pearls. It turned out really beautiful and again, had the sparkle that just catches my eyes!

SKY: This set is positively stunning. I am SO impressed! WTG my dear! Dawn Marie, it was a pleasure meeting and getting to know you better throughout 2010. You are a truly fitting way to tie up this Christmas blog event. Thank you so much for joining us and bringing your holiday into our homes. Best to you always, my friend.

DAWN MARIE: Thanks so much for having me Sky! I just love sharing the love at Christmas time and I appreciate your readers taking the time to stop by and say hi! Have a blessed New Year too!

Learn more about all the wonderful hand-crafted pieces Dawn Marie has to offer. Visit her Website. Follow Dawn Marie day to day at her Blog. Enjoy social networking? Find Dawn Marie on Twitter and Facebook! Contact Dawn here.

What a spectacular thing having Dawn Marie here. Don’t forget, for a chance to win be sure to leave your fondest holiday memory in a comment at this blog. Contest closes Saturaday, December 25th 12 AM EST. All winners to be announced next week on the right hand side of this blog.

And that’s not all, one extra lucky commenter from every post from the start of this event will be announced Christmas day. What will you win? That will be a surprise, my treat to you! So be sure to swing back to A Writer’s Mind to find out if there was a little something extra for you beneath this blog’s Christmas tree!

And because I couldn't help myself, this one's for you Dawn Marie. My favorite Christmas song by none other than Celtic Woman...Carol of the Bells. I highly suggest you all turn up your speakers as these ladies are absolutely unbeliavable!

A very, very Merry Christmas to you and yours. May you find all you desire beneath your Christmas tree this year!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree. Rynne Raines Goes Naughty. Warning: Sexy Men Alert! Comment to Win Big!

Welcome! If it’s your first time to this blog, you’ve arrived at the perfect time. Why? My What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree is ‘full throttle ahead!’ and let me tell you, it’s been a hands-down festive blowout so far. I highly recommend you grab your favorite cup of java and spend a few minutes browsing the talented authors who have already visited during this event. Well worth your time!

Be forewarned, this post is full of super sexy stuff and more suitable to an 18+ crowd, definitely Rated R. Now that I've said that and we both agree you can handle it...read on ladies!

This weekend marks the last before Christmas itself and as you might imagine, I saved one of my favorites for last. Aye, we’re at that ‘dash of Erotica’ I spoke of way back at the beginning. And let me tell you, this ‘dash’ is extraordinary. I’d like to once more introduce paranormal and erotica author, Rynne Raines.

Because I consider Rynne one of my dearest friends, I have to share….she was recently married. By recent I mean December 3rd of this year!!! Yep, Rynne zipped down to Mexico and tied the knot with the love of her life, Andrew. Was I invited? Of course! Regrettably, I was unable to attend but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t totally there in spirit. Note: the picture above is them. How romantic is that! So before I begin this interview I say to Rynne and Andrew… “Congratulations. I wish you many, many years of happiness!”

Disclaimer sent Andrew's way: Sorry about the guy below with the funky colored hay on his...(Sky clears throat) You married an Erotic romance author! Guess you'll have to forgive many of the pictures in this post. *wink and a smile*

Alright, back to my blog event. Of course, Rynne graciously put a few gifts beneath this blog's Christmas tree and we all know whatever's placed beneath the tree is up for grabs! Two winners will be drawn. The prizes? One lucky commenter will win a $10 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. The other, two Ebooks from Rynne's collection, your choice! How do you enter to win? Easy as pie. Somewhere in this post Rykel Vincent Deveau (hero from Reflections) speaks to us directly and mentions he's been given several titles over time. Pick one and share with us why you chose it in a comment at this blog. 

Time to get to know Rynne a bit better during this holiday season!

SKY: Thanks so much for visiting. It’s a pleasure to have you!

RYNNE: Thanks for having me again.

SKY: Before we dive into your books I’d like to first dive into the holidays. What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

RYNNE: Hmm, it’s a toss up between spending time with loved ones and the endless amounts of food…lol. Usually those go hand in hand. I also love going to my mom’s place and decorating the Christmas tree—all of us kids have separate ornaments we need to put on. I don’t get to put a tree up at my place. My dog, Rogan, would destroy it…that is after he used it as a bathroom…lol.

SKY: No tree! Bummer. You’ve got to get one of those rounded doggie gates I have, works like a charm. Now, if you could ask for one thing to be delivered under your Christmas tree this year, what would it be?

RYNNE: Oooo, a one-cup-coffeemaker! My sister has one and everytime I go to her house I’m a bit envious.

SKY: I’ve seen those. Want one myself! If you could give readers one of YOUR heroes under their Christmas tree…which one would it be? Why?

RYNNE: Just one! Oi…how can I pick just one when they would all look so good in nothing but a big red bow? Can’t I do a combo pack? Oh, all right. If I have to pick just one it’ll be Cade Sinclair. Why? Well, he’s a hot Dom who would know exactly what to do regardless of whether the reader had been naughty or nice. *wink*

SKY: ROFL, combo pack, love it! But Cade’s delicious so I think you chose wisely. *winks* If you could pick one heroine from your stories who would willingly pass out gifts Christmas morn, who would she be? Why?

RYNNE: Evelyn Morgan. You won’t know her yet because she’s in the third Eden installment that I’m writing now but I’m nearly finished. Eve is a cut throat lawyer. Her career means everything to her. After growing up in poverty with an alcoholic mother, she has trust issues and few close friends even though deep down she longs to be loved. I think passing out gifts would be right up her alley.

SKY: Sounds it! Which one of your heroes and/or heroines in your stories would take one look at a Christmas tree and say, “no thank you.” If so, share. Why? It’s okay, we like the bad guys/gals too!

RYNNE: I don’t think any of my characters would say no to a Christmas tree! There’s a little bit of me in all of them and I have to say…I’m a Christmas nut.

SKY: Me too! (Still amazed you don’t have a tree up at home due to dog. Sees Sky flying up to Canada to put up doggie gate and getting your own Christmas tree up!) Okay, back to the warm and fuzzy’s. Share with us the scene (found within any of your stories) that was─ to this day─your favorite to write. Why?

RYNNE: Reflections was my second story ever released. It’s the only paranormal romance I’ve done without the erotica factor and I absolutely loved writing it. The opening scene, even when I read it over today, makes me smile like a total dork. So yeah, I hope it makes you smile as well.

Excerpt from Relfections

He woke with a start. Fiery beams of light streamed through the lace curtains and bounced off the glass of the Regency giltwood mirror. Sunset, Rykel Deveau realized with a silent groan. Centuries of isolation had dulled even the simplest of joys. With a resigned sigh, Rykel watched the sun’s final rays dance along his reflective prison.
What would this make it now…two-hundred, three years and forty-six days?

Ha! Don’t be a fool…it’s only been two-hundred, three years and forty-five days.

Bloody hell, even his mind mocked him now. True, after such a long time he should have been glad that he had his wits about at all…but he wasn’t. Only one thing would make him happy: to have his freedom back. Peering around the room, Rykel found himself cringing. Clothes and dirty dishes were scattered about the floor, nightstand and bed. Clearly, the Lady of the manor hadn’t found anything to improve her mood since yesterday. The place was in ruins.

A sudden muffled mumble gained his attention. Ah, so she was home. No doubt she was in the loft, sculpting, given that was all the woman ever did these days. Not that it bothered him. He actually admired her dedication and found it intriguing how one could take a lump of mud and transform it into a sensual masterpiece. Miss Lovel had talent; he would give her that. Perhaps he should peek at her work tonight.

With that, he cleared his mind, divided his thoughts from his physical self, and stepped out of the mirror. Of course, now he was no better than a bloody ghost roaming about the house, but it gave him some sense of freedom. Had he not stumbled upon this little trick a century ago, he would be mad from boredom now.

He ascended the winding staircase and noted that the chaos in the bedroom was nothing compared to the rest of the house. He dodged several socks and a few pairs of shoes along the way as the mumbling grew louder. Oh, Danica Lovel was home all right, and in a fouler mood the ever.

“I just can’t! No, even better, I won’t!”

Rykel arched a brow at the woman’s firm exclamation as he entered the loft. Silly little dove. It had taken him nearly a month to get used to the habitual conversations she often had with inanimate objects. This time her companion appeared to be an invitation of some sort. He rounded the table, then loomed over the woman’s petite frame and spied the inscription. A benefit was taking place tonight at the Manhattan gallery where her work was on display. Between the tattered pink robe and her favorite giant, pig-shaped slippers that oinked when she walked, he drew his own conclusion. She had no intention of attending.

“Ugh!” She let out a fierce growl.

Her arms flew up in frustration and Rykel ducked out of instinct. Even if she were to make contact, her limbs would have passed through him. Unfortunately, she could not touch him in this form. No one could.

She continued to mutter. “Seeing him with her, well it’s just too much!”
Aha! So, that was why she wasn’t going, because of Marc Montgomery, gallery owner and unfaithful rake.

Get over it woman! You’re better off without that fool.

Unfortunately for him, eavesdropping was unavoidable. Though he sympathized with her broken heart, it had been six dreadful months of her pining away. Frankly, he was getting a little tired of hearing about it.
At the sound of a soft sniffle, Rykel’s chest unexpectedly tightened. She was crying? Over one fool of a man? Within the duration of her short-lived romance with Mr. Montgomery, he had done nothing more than destroy her confidence and turn her into a wreck. Aggravated, he suddenly noticed her tiny red nose, and flexed his jaw.

Oh Lord, don’t cry!

An unforeseen urge to comfort her surfaced inside him, but he knew only one way to console a woman. As he couldn’t touch her, that was certainly out of the question. He stepped closer and stroked her pixie-short auburn hair. Although the gesture didn’t do her any good, it made him feel a tad more useful.

“Danni, are you up there!”

Both glanced up at the intrusion. A number of vile curses and the rapid clicking of heels pounded on the stairs following the shrill screech. Rykel cringed. He knew that voice. Erica.

“For the love of God, Danni; if your grandmother saw her place like this she’d roll over in her grave!” Erica hollered from halfway up the stairs.

Rykel stood back and folded his arms over his chest. He could only guess what color of feather boa the plump, flamboyant drama-queen would be wearing today.

Appearing at the top of the stairs, Erica shrieked. “You’re not even dressed!”


Danica turned away and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “I—I’m not going.”

“What? You have to go! This is the biggest benefit in Manhattan. Marc has been riding my ass about you missing the last five shows, says it’s bad for sales and as your publicist, I can’t say he’s wrong. Look, people want to meet the artists. It makes them feel more intimate with the sculptures.”

Danica groaned into her hands. “No one wants to see me. Look at me!” She yelped. “If people find out they’re purchasing sensual art from the least sensual person on the planet, it’ll do nothing more than hurt sales. Marc should understand that, he’s the one who said it.”

Erica let out a heavy sigh. “Listen, I’m sorry he hurt you. The guy is slime, but he owns practically every gallery in Manhattan and unless you want to relocate, we’re stuck with him. You have to get over this. It’s been six months!”

Rykel gave a sure nod. I’ll second that notion.
Erica continued, “Besides, by avoiding the gallery, it’s only letting him win. You can’t leave me alone with them again or I may be tempted to pour a glass of champagne down little Miss New Boob’s dress.”

A hint of a smile touched Danica’s mouth but quickly disappeared. “It’s not Jessica’s fault Marc told her we were through when we weren’t.”

“Oh, don’t stick up for her,” Erica snapped. “The woman’s a vulture. Now, whether you like it or not, I’m staying right here until you’re dressed and ready to go. I’ll even do you the favor of tidying up this place. Look at this. Junk, junk, and more junk.”

Erica began hastily swiping various objects off the floor and tossed them in the trash.

“And what’s this? It looks older than the hills.”

“No!” Danica leapt from the table. “That isn’t junk. It’s an heirloom, a journal written over two hundred years ago. Oh, please be careful. It’s fragile.”

Erica wrinkled her nose and flipped open the book. In less than a minute the woman’s fair brows were raised as high as humanly possible as her eyes darted from left to right, picking up speed with each line. “This isn’t a journal, it’s some kind of medieval porn!” she laughed.

“Oh, give me that,” Danica snatched the book and cradled it protectively to her bosom.

“If you must know, it’s my muse.”

Erica clucked her tongue. “Well, well, I’m beginning to understand how you went from sculpting bowls to erotic statues. It inspired me just by reading one page. I’ll bet the guy who wrote it even has a rating system in there for every one of his conquests.”

Insulted, Rykel narrowed his eyes. Only a cad would stoop so low as to rate a woman on her sexual performance alone. On the contrary, women who appealed to him were normally hidden treasures lying uncertainly beneath rigid shells, in need of coaxing and reassurance—the ones who failed to recognize how exquisite, inside and out, they truly were.

Appalled, Danica spoke through clenched teeth. “He does not have a rating system, and not every entry is like that; I mean, most are, but the man’s entire life is documented in here.” She tapped the book at her chest. “He was an adventurer of some kind, and yeah, so what, he was popular with the ladies but…” she bit off her sentence. “Look, you can’t just judge him from one page, he’s a complex individual. Oh, forget it. You’d have to read the entire book to understand.”

A frown creased Rykel’s brow. It had been a long time since he had seen his little dove speak with such conviction, and in his defense, no less. A muscle worked in his jaw as a strange tenderness filled him. He was at a loss. Perhaps some spark did remain inside Danica Lovel.

“Good God, Danni,” Erica rolled her eyes. “Always thinking there’s good in everyone. If you ask me, that book is nothing more than an old fashion scoreboard. I won’t deny whoever he is, he sounds delicious but truthfully, he was probably no better than Marc.”

Rykel hissed, overwhelmed by the urge to reach out and choke the feather-wearing prima-donna. He had never lied nor misled a woman with deceitful promises, or proclaimed love, and he sure as hell had enough decency to end one liaison before starting another. There was no denying he had dreaded the parson’s noose as much as the next man, but none of his deeds had been as malicious as this woman was making them out to sound. No. He was certainly nothing at all like Marc Montgomery.

Erica stormed round the table, purposefully cupped Danica’s shoulders, and pushed her toward the stairs. “Listen, go take a shower and put something on while I straighten up. Hey, why not ask Spencer from next door to come tonight, he’s always had great fashion sense.”

“Don’t all gay men have great fashion sense? I would have asked, but he’s in Mexico for a week doing some photo shoot.”

“Well, there’s some hunks down at the martini bar on seventh that I’m sure would love to be your escort, and then some.” She winked.

Danica gaped. “Are you serious?”

“Of course, I’ll just make a call—”

“No. I mean are you seriously suggesting what I need right now is another man? Look, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but the only man getting anywhere near me or my bed right now is the one in this book.”

Erica frowned at the sudden sharpness in her tone. “Sorry, I just hate seeing you torn up about this. I’ll tell you what…we’ll go to the benefit together, stag. I’ll call Richard and cancel.”

“No, don’t do that,” she murmured. “I’ll be fine attending the benefit on my own. Maybe you’re right. I can’t let this one thing stop me from succeeding.”

Erica smiled, her round cheeks gleaming. “Good girl, I’m proud of you. Your grandmother would be proud, too.

Rykel watched them share a moment of comfortable silence before Erica yanked Danica into a hug. He knew the little dove loved her grandmother dearly, as he had grown to as well, over the years of living in this house. After inheriting the estate, three months had passed before Danica had the strength to step into the deceased woman’s bedroom. Much had changed over the passing centuries, but Danica and her grandmother were of gypsy descent. There was no bond greater than between females who shared gypsy blood. The truth of it was one he knew all too well.

SKY: Super excerpt! Now I’m going to make you really think. You must have written a scene in one of your stories you weren’t sure about but you wrote it anyway. AND, you were SO glad you did. What was it?

RYNNE: I honestly can’t think of a scene that I wasn’t sure about. I’m a planner. And, a quite anal one at that. I suppose there’s been scenes that I’ve cut that I wasn’t sure about cutting at the time, but in the end, all the stories I’ve written have pretty much turned out the way I’ve wanted them to.

SKY: I say we leave off with some sizzle. What do you think? After all, that’s essentially what every girl wants under her Christmas tree (winks). SO, let’s talk hot, hot, hot. Share with us the story─the very scene─that will make every reader at this blog walk away….steamin’ ready, searching out your tale! (I encourage not only a response but an excerpt here. As hot as you like outside a sex scene)

RYNNE: The hottest scenes I have to date are from Pure Sin. It’s the longest BDSM I’ve written so far and I like to think the tension between the characters is off the charts. Hope you will agree. I won’t set this scene up too much since I chose another long excerpt that should make it clear what’s going on. Enjoy.

Excerpt from PURE SIN

Cade Sinclair circled his desk, dropped his weight into the chair, reached for the phone and tried not to punch the buttons as hard as he really wanted to.

Christ. Why did the woman have to look so damn good?

His plan had seriously backfired on him.

“Make yourself at home,” he told her, then cursed the edge in his voice. “I’ll be a few.”

Bianca didn’t seem to notice. In an elegance patented solely by her, she wandered the office, and paused at an oil painting of the San Francisco Bridge, framed in cherry wood. His grip tightened on the phone receiver. After all they’d shared together, passion and memories, hopes and dreams, how dare she treat him as a casual fling four years ago, then have the audacity to admire his favorite painting? She stared at it lovingly, appreciatively, with wide blue eyes and slightly parted, rouge lips that matched her deep, scarlet hair.

“Yeah, I’ll hold,” he grumbled into the receiver, forgetting who in the hell he’d called in the first place.

This meeting was supposed to bring him closure and make her feel like an ass for writing him off like a bad check after the week they’d shared. At the end of it all, he’d planned to politely decline Chambers’ offer and get on with his life.

Instead, his cock strained painfully against the fly of jeans at the mere sight of her. He couldn’t take his eyes off her goddamn boots, and the last thing he was experiencing was fucking closure.

Cade worked the muscle in his jaw to keep from growling. His only solace was that she wasn’t as indifferent as she portrayed herself either. He still had a physical affect on her. He’d seen her body react to his whispered command earlier in the hall. If she’d hesitated like that four years ago, he’d have bound and sprawled her over his knees then branded her sweet bare ass with his palm.

But the rules were different now.

Bianca wasn’t his submissive any more than he was her Dominant. She’d made the decision not to leave her real name and contact info at the front desk, as was the policy with a masquerade event. To ensure there was no pressure, always, the submissive retained final choice on whether or not there would be a relationship after the week was out.

It apparently didn’t matter to her it had been the most explosive week of his life. Pure irony had brought him to Eden, where his chance meeting with Caitlyn Ward Chambers at a lifestyle seminar had developed into a solid friendship over the last two years. If he hadn’t finally agreed to meet her husband, he never would have spotted Bianca at the club. Then the memories he’d fought to keep locked away would still be buried now.

However, his childish need to accept Evan’s offer and see the look on Bianca’s face had been too strong to decline. This was his payback for acting like the teenage dork spurned by the cheerleader.

“Cade?” Her soft voice had him glancing up into those pale blue eyes before he registered the dial tone blaring from the receiver dangled from his fingers. “I think whoever was on the phone hung up on you.”

“Apparently.” He dropped the receiver into the cradle and shoved back from his desk.

Only one woman could make him feel like an ass and make his cock throb at the same time. She was still in his system, revving it up, punching the throttle—he had to have her again.

Correction, he would have her again.

“I’m not sure I understand this. Evan said you wanted to meet me, but if you already knew who I was, why arrange this?”

“Evan misunderstood.” He drained the last ounce of cold, two-hour-old coffee from his cup, then set it down on next month’s schedule, ignoring the ring of moisture it left. “My concern had to do with being on the same page given our…colorful history.”

“How eloquently put,” she murmured and broke eye contact. The gesture made his gut clench and he wanted to curse himself. He wasn’t normally a supreme asshole.

Whatever her reasons for not wanting a relationship all those years ago had been her own. Who was he to question them? Although he’d been told on several occasions his temper often got the better of him, he didn’t consider himself a cruel man, particularly not when it came to the few people for which he harbored fondness.

As stupid as it sounded, in a single week she’d gotten inside of him, stripped him to the marrow and, in the end, left him with a bitter ache that, even four years later, he hadn’t been able to shake.

What he needed from her was closure.

How had she landed herself in this mess, Bianca wondered as she shifted her gaze around what had become a cage of dark mahogany panels disguised as an office with modest furnishings. Now she would
have to find a way to tame the lion behind the large oak desk long enough to escape before the claws came out.

“That was uncalled for. I apologize—you cold?”

Taken aback by his apology, she hadn’t noticed she was scrubbing her damp palms off on her arms. “No, I’m…I’m fine. I skipped lunch. Always get twitchy when I miss lunch.”

When he rounded the desk, she had the urge to dash for the door, but held her position.

“I could order something in while we discuss our terms. Chinese or Italian?” He ran his large hands up and down her bare arms and her heart backflipped.

She could deal with his anger. She could deal with his indifference. What she couldn’t deal with was his tenderness.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Why’s that?”

“It…it just isn’t.”

“That’s not a reason.” His hand traced from her shoulder, up her back, slid beneath her hair and curved around her nape. The pad of his thumb stroked just behind her ear. The fine hairs on the back of her neck rose and the walls she’d erected to protect her heart crumbled.

He leaned and dropped his voice to a whisper. “I don’t remember you ever being this disagreeable. I’m sure a proper flogging would change that.”

Her panties flooded and knees wobbled.

“Please, don’t do this…it’s bad enough we have to work together.” She encircled his wrist with weak fingers but hardly tried to pry his hold off.

“Do you have a Master?”

Her nipples instantly stiffened and scraped against the inner wall of her corset with each labored breath. “W—what?”

“I’ll rephrase.” He pushed her back and leveled his intense gaze at her. “Are you fucking anyone?”

She wasn’t startled by his blatant approach. He’d never been one to evade the point and, until today, neither was she.

“I don’t see how that’s your concern.”

“You’re right, it’s not.” He withdrew and propped a lean hip on the edge of his desk.

A vacant chill poured all the way to her toes the moment his fingers left her skin. She wished to God he’d touch her again. Nothing had ever felt as good as his touch.

“What if I made it my concern?” He casually fingered the rim of his coffee cup. “I have a proposition for you.”

“What type of proposition?”

“Well, it’s pretty damn obvious you’re uncomfortable with the thought of us working together. What if I turn down the job?”

A ray of hope.

“The catch?”

“I find myself in unfamiliar territory. When you cut our ties, I admit being left with unresolved issues.”

“I see.” Her heart turned over in her chest. Was there a possibility she hadn’t been the only one who’d lost sleep over their parting of the ways? She wanted to jump and click the heels of her boots together at the thought. Instead, she bit down hard on the inside of her cheek to feign a neutral expression.

“Chambers wants my answer by Wednesday but what I want is…closure.”

She searched his quiet eyes. Closure did sound wonderful—a single day without wondering what might have been, a night without closing her eyes and seeing his face, imagining his hands on her body, remembering the rich taste of his mouth while lying in bed alone. In four years she hadn’t been able to work him out of her system.

“What are you suggesting?”

“Your complete submission—five days—no strings attached.”

A jolt of electricity rocketed through her and shot all the way to her toes. She quickly touched three fingers to her lips to suppress a nervous giggle before clearing her throat. “You’re serious?”

“Entirely. After the five days are up, I turn down the job and you never have to see me again.”

A pang of resentment ricocheted inside her chest but it wasn’t enough to drown the excitement. He was offering her five days of pleasure, and an attempt at closure. There was a good chance time had manipulated her memory into believing things between them had been better than they actually were, creating a fantasy in her mind no other man could compare to, in order to protect herself from duplicating the pain of past mistakes. She’d already tried getting over him the old-fashioned way—casual dating, throwing herself into her work, yoga. None had worked.

Maybe a more unconventional approach was just what the doctor ordered. Maybe she could screw him out of her system. But was it a good idea becoming that intimate with him again? “Why this?”

“Do you really have to ask?”

“I suppose I do.”

“It’s simple.” He contemplated her a moment then tilted his head. “I want you.”

This time her low sigh did escape, and she couldn’t ignore the flash of satisfaction in his eyes.

And who was she kidding? She wanted his hands on her, his mouth on her, his thick cock pounding her. More than anything, she wanted to feel the bond his dominance would provide, even if it were only temporary.

Agreeing to his terms would give her time to discover whether or not her feelings for him were merely an illusion fashioned by a seductive setting, or mutual attraction, or fantastic sex. At the same time, she might discover what she felt for him wasn’t an illusion at all. If that happened, Bianca winced, she’d be back at square one, alone and with even more memories to torment her at night.

She forced herself to stop fidgeting with the sapphire pendant dangling from the thin gold chain strung around her neck and swallowed hard. “When exactly would we start?”


SKY: Delicious! However, there’s nothing quite like a sweet ending at this time of year. If you could leave ONE of your tales under your reader’s Christmas tree because it’s your personal favorite, what is it and why are you leaving it? If it’s the same story as your steamin’ hot story, I’m sure we all agree, that’s okay too! .

RYNNE: I’m not sure I have a personal favorite—all of them have a special place and are unique in their own way. If I’m going to leave one under the Christmas tree, I’d probably leave Reflections because it’s a story more focused on “wishes coming true”. Since I’ve already left an excerpt for Reflections, how about I leave a word from my hero, Rykel Deveau.

Hello Readers,

My name is Rykel Vincent Deveau however, I have been given several other titles over time—legendary lover, untamable rake, the master of seduction…but you darling, may use whichever you wish.

Adventure and women, is there possibly a more beautiful combination? Ah, I'm glad you agree. That is what persuaded me to begin documenting every one of my sexual exploits in a personal journal until the night my rakish ways brought a blasted curse down upon my head to suffer like no man has ever known—to experience solitude in the deepest sense of the word.

Two centuries have passed and here I find myself trapped in a house with a bloody mad woman. Her attire is hideous beyond anything ones imagination might concoct and on top of that, she sits in night and day pining away over a man who didn't deserve her attentions in the first place. I'm nearly at my wits end. Of course it wouldn't bother me so much if I weren't drawn to her in such a bizarre way. Oh, I want her. The only problem is, she has no idea I exist.

SKY:  Sweet! Thanks so much for joining me this holiday season!

RYNNE: As always, it was a pleasure to be here. Sometimes once I write a story, my return visits to them are far and in between. Thanks so much for coming down memory lane with me. Until next time, then. Have a wonderful holiday season and please be safe ringing in the new year.

SKY: You bet Rynne, it was my pleasure!

Learn more about this fabulous author, where to purchase her books and what she's working on now! Visit Rynne at her Website. OR, type Rynne Raines into my handy blog search bar and learn more about Raines at A Writer's Mind glance.

Don't forget, Rykel Vincent Deveau mentions he's been given several titles over time. Pick one and share with us why you chose it in a comment at this blog for a chance to win!

ALSO, there will be a second winner (third in this case) drawn from every post now through December 24th. On Christmas day all winners will be announced and given a little something extra. My treat!

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday filled with a bit of both Naughty and Nice!


Monday, December 13, 2010

What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree. Renee Vincent's Emerald Isle. Chance to win autographed books and Celtic jewelry!

Welcome to my What Every Woman Wants Under Her Christmas Tree blog event! It’s been nothing short of a festive splash of absolute perfection so far. First time to this blog? If so, you’ve popped in at the right time! Now through Christmas day I’ve got some exceedingly talented authors and a super creative jewelry artist who will be joining me here at A Writer’s Mind. Each and every one will be leaving a little something beneath this blog's Christmas Tree. What does that mean? Simple. There will be a contest held to give away whatever they donate!

This week I’m so thrilled to welcome an author who is definitively a cut above the rest when it comes to Irish and Norse romance. I ‘met’ Renee Vincent earlier this year at Coffee Time Romance and knew instantly that I would someday consider her a friend. I wasn’t wrong! Not only is she an amazing writer, but a wonderful person. Author of the Emerald Isle Trilogy, Renee is a true talent. No doubt about it, she had to be part of my Christmas blog event. Invitation sent, she responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” and so here we are.

Renee wanted to do things a little differently and skip the interview. Totally works for me! Besides, wait until you read what she has to say about what she wants under her Christmas tree. *Wide smile* And you certainly won't be dissapointed by all the goodies she’s put under this blog’s tree. Too gracious by half. Thank you Renee!

So now I give you Renee Vincent. What every woman wants under her tree...from her lips to my blog…

"Hm…well, I’m not certain what every woman wants, but I do know what I want. I want Gerard Butler dressed in nothing but his crimson cape and cod piece from 300 (six-pack abs included of course) singing to me in his beautiful Phantom of the Opera baritone voice, “I am your angel of good news” while holding a rolled newspaper in his hand which claims Renee Vincent is the next New York Times Best Selling Author!

What? That doesn’t count?

Oh, you mean realistically. My apologies Sky. I thought we were delving into the aspects of a fantasy world, considering Christmas is the season for magic and dreams coming true.

Ok, so realistically…I want a Kindle this year under my tree. Yes, that’s right, Renee Vincent, who swore to only read from paper and ink, is now looking toward the horizons of digital books. What convinced me? I actually don’t know the answer to that. But I do think it’s because there are a lot of e-books I’ve been dying to read recently and can’t unless they go to print. I’m not that patient and I refuse to read off of a computer screen at my desk. I still like the notion of curling up on the couch with a warm blanket, a cup of piping hot coffee, and a great read without having to be chained to my writing desk and a laptop. And with a Kindle, I believe I can still divulge my reading desires without having to compromise comfort.

Plus, I can keep the Kindle in my purse and pull it out during those surprise moments when the kids are taking too long picking out their books at the library, or the quick run-in-and-run-out intention at the dentist becomes a please-make-yourself-comfortable-in-the-waiting room kind of afternoon. Most times, I forget to bring my book along and then have to resort to reading the outdated Redbook and Highlights magazines.

And I’m not going to mention that having a Kindle will save me money on book costs. Sure, e-books are drastically cheaper than print books, but I know having a Kindle will not save me money at all…it will just make me want to splurge on more e-books, thus tilting the scales the other way.

But I can argue convenience. I like the direction the wave of technology has flowed—giving us instant gratification at the click of a button. And not having to pay higher shipping costs to get it.

And on that note, I would like someone to invent a button I can click on to get my dream hero, Gerard Butler, instantaneously under my Christmas tree, darnit! Is that really too much to ask?

*sees Sky crossing her arms and rolling her eyes* Fine. I’ll settle for a Kindle.

So what would you like under your Christmas tree? And let’s make this more interesting with a two part question. Give us both your fantasy wish and your realistic one. Come on…let’s have some fun! And if you do, I’ll send one lucky commenter autographed copies of both Ræliksen and Mac Liam as well as a Celtic bracelet hand-made by Kristy's Kreations! How’s that for a great Christmas gift?"

Sky here! OMG, still laughing away. You’re too funny, Renee. Gotta tell ya, I bought a Kindle this year and LOVE IT!!! I know, I know, not what you want to hear not owning one yet but wow, it was worth the cost. It fits nicely in my purse (not the hand held sort ladies- over the shoulder type) and super handy during those appointments. Mine’s already gone on an airplane. No problem with security and I could even access Amazon under 10,000 ft. *winks* Aye, no worries, you can still read away when you’re at 30,000 ft. Internet access however, a little tricky.

The movie 300 is to this day one of my all time favorites and the man himself, it's mouth-watering hero, Gerard...*Sighs* Oh yeah...the dramatic *swoon* as well. How could I not? Bloody Scotsman has me by the....anyways...

I can't help myself, have to share a little about each of the books Renee is so graciously giving away!

Raeliksin (Book I Emerald Isle Trilogy)...

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage? Read an excerpt here. Watch a book trailer for this novel on YouTube.

Mac Liam (Book II Emerland Isle Trilogy)

A tortured soul…. Breandán Mac Liam, the strapping young hunter from Ireland’s lush forests, is in love with Mara, an ineligible beautiful princess. For seven long years, he has been vividly haunted by her memory, taunted by the throes of his heartache. And not even the thought of her marriage to a Northman can extinguish the fierce, burning desire running rampant through his soul.

An innocent heart…. Mara, the spirited Connacht princess, has no idea she is the object of the Irishman’s longing. She is living out her days on Inis Mór, raising a troubled son and trying to endure the cruel loneliness that afflicts her heart.

A deadly secret…. Ordered by the king on his deathbed, Breandán must return to Mara and bring her through the perilous lands of Connacht to fulfill her father’s last dying wish. But as their worlds collide, Breandán not only finds himself wrapped in the arms of Mara’s embrace, but thrown into a struggle to defend his honor.

With Mara caught between the family she loves and the father she knows, can Breandán uncover the mystery of her past and still protect her from a secret that threatens them all? Read an excerpt here.

Interested in learning a wee bit more about Renee? Visit her at her Website and Twitter. Find Renee on Facebook as well. Blogger? Don't wait a second longer, join Renee at her fabulous blog, Past the Print. Can't wait and want to purchase Renee's books now? Buy now at Amazon (&Kindle), Barnes & Noble (& Nook) and many more bookstores.

It’s been so great having Renee over to share a little bit of what she wants under her Christmas tree this holiday season. *Sky and Renee try to yank Gerard in either direction, he's all ours!* C'mon, don't look at us that way...wouldn't you do the same?!

I almost forgot...there will be a second winner drawn from every post now through December 24th. On Christmas day all winners will be announced and given a little something extra. My treat!

Hmmm, before we vanish, I think I'd like to toss up a fun extra. From ME to YOU, RENEE. You had to know visiting my blog and mentioning Gerard that I might pull something like this. You bring out the 'let's have some fun in me, girl!" While I’m proud to be American, Ireland owns my heart…Scotland my soul. SO, to you Renee, my readers, blog followers, visitors and friends…here’s just a wee bit more of what every girl should most definitely have beneath their tree this year…a few moments with sexier than sexy, Gerard Butler. Enjoy a man with a great sense of humor. Sit back, take a breather from your busy holiday shopping and enjoy. He's funny as heck.Will make you smile, swoon, ‘then some’ I’m sure! (Speakers up lassies...soak up that accent!)

Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win! Contest ends Saturday, December 18th 12 AM EST. Winner will be announced next week on the right hand side of this blog.

A very Happy Holiday to you and yours.