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Archive for January, 2012

Wolf in Waiting by Shyla Croft
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

A shape shifter unable to shift and a male shifter next in line for the throne shouldn’t mix, but the passion between them transcends all.

A shape shifter who can’t shift sounds like a punch line to a joke. But for Luz Dryden it’s a complicated reality. The one bright light in her life has been her long-time love Kalyx Hunter.

Kalyx shares her strange malady and worships Luz with a passion that overshadows everything else. When Kalyx shifts unexpectedly, Luz flees Blackburn Falls and vows to never look back.

Five years later she’s forced back to her home town for her sister’s wedding, and Kalyx is determined to convince her they belong together. Luz fights him at every turn, but her body’s needs overrides her will.

Kalyx is prepared to take on anyone who tries to keep them apart. But neither anticipated the twisted web of deceit and betrayal they would find themselves tangled in.

Luz has come to terms with the fact that she can’t shift over the last five years.  She has made a place for herself in the world where she feels wanted and needed.  She is good at her job and has been able to let go of the issues of self worth she faced while living with the pack.

Now she is back home for her sister’s wedding and has to face Kalyx, the former love of her life.  Kalyx was her best friend and confident all through high school until he shifted for the first time late in his teens and didn’t need her anymore.  It has taken her 5 years to get over him, at least that is what she has been telling herself.

Kalyx has never forgotten Luz, his first love.  He has continued to wrestle with his wolf’s aggression since his first change.  The older the wolf is when the change occurs the bigger chance that the wolf will go feral.  His father is constantly reminding him of that fact and his duty to his pack leader and family.  All thought of duty leaves him as soon as he spots Luz and his wolf recognizes its mate.

I loved this story and couldn’t put it down until I reached the end.  Luz has had a rough time growing up as a non-shifter; she was viewed as one of the lowest members in the pack.  She may have run away when her heart was broken but she made something of her life and she is proud of the woman that she has become.

The scene in the bar when she calmed his wolf and accepted was one of my favorites.  It was sexy and hot but yet, still tender and loving.  It was obvious that these two have a very deep connection and they never stopped loving one another.  Once they acknowledge this, everything seems to fall into place.

Kalyx’s grandmother may not be pack leader but she is still the matriarch of the pack.  She loves her grandson and is willing to go against his father to help him.  We are introduced to several interesting characters that help move the story along without taking away from Luz and Kalyx’s story.

I loved this short story and look forward to more in this series.  I give Wolf in Waiting 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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Buckle Down by Sommer Marsden
* I received a copy of this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Buckle Down
Procrastination is the perfect excuse for Edward to teach Carling a lesson. Employing his own worn leather belt to bind her bare and secure to her desk chair, he shows her that buckling down to do your work can bring some spectacular, heart-stopping rewards.

Carling is supposed to be studying for her exam but she can’t seem to stay focused.   What she needs is a little incentive to buckle down and study and her boyfriend Edward is there to help.

 
Still Life
For Marilee–who doesn’t quite feel real having been wrapped in a world of physical perfection–seeing her handsome Jess with “a real girl” is the ultimate foreplay. His dalliance with a gum popping, question asking, hard fucking little blonde is just what she needs to see. And the appetizer of spying from a sea of plasticine figures helps her connect sexually with Jess on a level unlike any other.

Once a year Jess gives in to Marilee’s sexual fantasy; even though he hates the idea of being with other women he does it for her.  The only time Marilee feels real is while watching Jess with these women, while she hides among the mannequins.

Paradox
A gladiator movie spurs to life a brand new obsession–a fresh new need–for one couple. When Deni askes Alec to whip her, to make her hurt the way she wants–the way she craves–he’s hesitant to do so. But the pleasure found in his act of dominance and her moment of ultimate trust is undeniable.

While watching a movie with Alec, Deni is moved by a particular scene where the gladiator is whipped.  She can’t get the scene out of her head and has watched it multiple times and can’t wait for Alec to get home from work.  He is shocked by her request and the fact that she trusts him completely to be the one to unleash her fantasy.  Both are extremely turned on by the act that and agree that it is something they will have to try again.

Barber Shop Girl
Confession is good for the soul. And good for the sex life as Piper finds out when she comes clean about a secret job. All her dirty daydreams come true in the Barber Shop when she admits to her long-time friend and recent crush Rob, just what she does to make money and how much of an inspiration he is to her.

Piper brings a magazine for inspiration when she meets Rob for her haircut.  She secretly hopes that he will see the article in the magazine that is all about him.  Piper’s story about her secret fantasy with her hairdresser is there for everyone to read, now if Rob will make her fantasy come true.

My favorite stories were Buckle Down and Barber Shop GirlBuckle down because Carling can’t seem to concentrate on what she is studying and with the help of her significant other, they come up with a unique motivator to help her study for her exam.  I just got out of school so I can definitely sympathize with her in that respect.  Barber Shop Girl was just a sexy story about two friends that finally give in to their feelings for each other and have some fun.  I loved how he would read about her fantasy then have to try it out.  In the end, she finds out that she isn’t the only one with secret fantasies.

This book contains four sexy short stories that are each unique but enjoyable.  Overall I enjoyed it and give it 3½ Flaming Hearts.  

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Priestess of the Nile by Veronica Scott
* I received this ARC free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Egypt, 1500 BC

Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile God is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.

Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.

Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. When he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?

The only time Merys has any peace is when she is on the beach near Sobek’s temple.  Her grandmother was his last priestess and has handed down the stories and songs to Merys so she could continue to worship him even though their town had turned to another God.

She is treated like a servant in her own home where she is expected to care for her younger sisters and prepare the meals.  She desperately wants a family of her own but she doesn’t have a dowry, that money is reserved for her younger step-sisters.  The closest thing she will ever have to a child is her youngest step-sister, Tyema.  She has a deformed leg, which makes her deformed in her own mother’s eyes; it’s the love of Merys that propels her forward.

Bek continues to visit his temple even though his people are no longer worshiping him.  He is drawn to the beach by a heavenly voice singing a familiar tune.  He and Merys spend stolen moments on the beach where Bek falls in love with her, even though he knows they have no future together.  Events out of his control lead to new beginnings for him, Merys and his people.

Merys is a strong female that has the best out of the life she was given.  She loves her little sister, despite her handicap and wants to pass the legacy down to her.  My heart was breaking for her though because all she wanted was to be a wife and mother.  She had lost hope of ever achieving those goals until she met Bek.  She fell in love with him and believed he could be “the one”, even after he revealed his true self to her.  I love the twist at the end where everything comes together.

Bek may be a God but he is lonely.  When he hears Merys he is mesmerized by her voice.   He enjoys her company and the talks that they have on the beach.  She has shown him that not all people have forgotten about him and that true beauty is found within the person, not on the outside.  He loves her to distraction and has to be extremely careful so Isis doesn’t find about her.  In the end Isis turns out to be their savior.

Bek tries so hard to keep his hands off of her but after the incident with the crocodile he can no longer deny his feelings for her.  He wants to give her a better life but she is loyal to her family and doesn’t want to leave Tyema alone.  Because of Merys love, Bek took care of the people of the village and appointed a new Priestess for his temple.

I love that the story focuses primarily on Bek and Merys, while highlighting a couple of secondary characters.  The author did an excellent job of describing the temple ruins, the beaches and other scenery; I had no problem imagining them there.  I also love that it is set in ancient Egypt and included the Gods and Goddesses of the period.

Overall I really enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend it to others.  I give Priestess of the Nile 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

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Rocky Mountain Haven #2 by Vivian Arend
* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

It’s the quiet ones that take you by surprise.

Six Pack Ranch, Book 2

Beth Danube’s emotionally abusive husband is dead and buried. So is her heart. It’s no big deal, she has all she wants: her three little boys and a fresh start in a small Alberta town. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever.

After ten years of unsatisfactory, missionary-position sex, she never expected her libido to reawaken. One look at sex-in-boots Daniel Coleman in a Calgary bar, though, blows the dust off her sexuality.

Sensing an edge of desperation, even fear, beneath Beth’s come-on, Daniel finds himself giving in to the powerful urge to let his normally subdued desires run wild. The lady wants non-judgmental, non-vanilla sex? She’s got it—in and out of the bedroom.

At first, friends with blazing-hot benefits is more than enough. Then she realizes Daniel is burning away the protective fortress around her heart…and the guilty secret she dare not reveal.

Warning: One woman determined to retake control of her life, a man with the single-minded purpose of offering her—and her body—everything she needs. Inappropriate behavior in barns, change rooms, and oh-my-gawd phone sex with a cowboy.

While out with his twin brothers, Daniel meets a woman that lights his fire.  Beth is unlike anyone he has met before and he wants to get to know her, unfortunately she has other plans.  To his surprise Beth not only turns up in his home town, but she’s been living in his grandfather’s old house on their property and he didn’t know it.

Beth and her boys are still recovering from the abusive life style they were living.  Her husband is dead and her leg was severely injured in a car wreck but she and the boys are free to start a new life.  She craves physical contact but she isn’t sure she can handle it; she is ready to take back over every aspect of her life, including her sexuality.

She is everything that he wants in a woman, including her boys and he wants to make them his. Little by little Daniel has worked his way into her heart and shown her that not all men are like her deceased husband.  Neither one is satisfied with their arrangement any longer, they both want it all.

I loved this book even more than the first one.  Daniel is a super hot cowboy but he is far from perfect.  He has issues that make you want to cry for him.  He has come to terms with it, even if his ex-girlfriend couldn’t.  Now everything his heart desires is within his grasp but he has to be careful or he could lose it all.

I admire Beth.  She is a very strong woman that would do anything for her children.  She finally realizes that it’s ok for to do something for herself too and does something about it.  The scene in the barn with her and Daniel was classic, I loved his response.

These two are extremely hot together and their chemistry is evident from the very beginning.  I love how Daniel was “courting” her along the way and she didn’t even realize it.  He also made it his duty for them not to have “vanilla” sex and I think he made good on that promise.  They had the pages sizzling.

There was so much more to this story though then just the attraction between Beth and Daniel.  The scene by the lake with the bench about broke my heart, it was so touching.  It also invoked anger when Nathan crawls up in Daniels lap after his bad dream, no child should have to go through that.  There are so many memorable scenes in this book and we get to visit with other members of the Six Pack Ranch.

I truly adored this book and can’t say enough how much I enjoyed it.  It evoked so many different emotions that I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and see what happens with Matt, Blake and Jaxi and all the other brothers.  I give Rocky Mountain Haven 4½ Flaming Hearts.  

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Thou Shalt not Covet by Roger Frank Selby
* I received a copy of this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

For a handsome man in his prime, when a goddess lives next door, with an apparently undeserving partner, mischief is not too far away. Jaguar E-type enthusiast Jake can’t believe his luck when a plumbing emergency get’s him inside his sexy neighbor’s house while the other half’s at work, especially when something as simple as wet feet leads to strange but encouraging behavior on her part. Gorgeous Lynda is obviously attracted to our Jake, but Nerdy neighbor Olly seems to have command override on his woman.  Jake has to wait until Olly’s Dusseldorf trip to make his game-changing move and now Lynda seems very willing, particularly when lured onto Jake’s own territory.  But heavenly poolside frolics with the neighbor’s partner become complicated when an apparently healthy young woman turns out to be completely allergic to – water! There has to be an answer – and Jake eventually finds out Olly’s amazing secret on his return from Germany – with an equally stunning fraulein!

Jake loves to show off his Jaguar, especially to his sexy neighbor.  He has been eyeing her for awhile but she belongs to Olly and is hands off.  Lynda has a major water leak while Olly is gone so Jake grabs his tool kit and gives her a hand.

When Olly takes off on a business trip, Jake invites Lynda over to sit by the pool.  After a round of “fun” he tries to convince her to take a dip in the pool to cool off.  He never imagined that she would be allergic to water and rendered unconscious upon contact.  When Olly returns, he chastises Jake for getting “friendly” with Lynda but introduces to him to Klara.

This was a sexy short story with a fun twist at the end.  Jake seems kind of pompous and very into material things.  He wants Lynda because he thinks she’s too beautiful for his geeky neighbor Olly.  There is more to Lynda than meets the eye.  The pool scene was super hot with an unexpected ending.

Overall I enjoyed Thou Shalt Not Covet and give it 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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Nightshiftby Kate Douglas, Crystal Jordan and Lynn LaFluer

* I received a copy of this book from Kensington in exchange for an honest review*

Their human form is ephemeral, but their sexual desire is endless. Enter the mysteriously sensual world of the shapeshifters and share in their erotic passion. . .

 “Dream Catcher” by Kate Douglas
She comes to him at night in dreams of carnal pleasure. Real or imagined, Mac doesn’t know and doesn’t care. For his body throbs with a need that only his mystery lover can satisfy. . .
 
“Taken Between” by Crystal Jordan
Kira lives to protect her queen, but the king’s brother is the one who commands her desire. She longs for him with a feral sexuality and ferocious passion she can barely control. . .
 
“The Right Number” by Lynn LaFleur
Jay may have dialed the wrong number but the right woman answers. She is the mate he’s been looking for all his life. And when he hears the sexy purr of her voice, it arouses the hungry wolf inside. . .

I am going to post my review today in two parts because both Kate Douglas and Crystal Jordan agreed to take some time and answer some questions to go with the review of Nightshift.  Welcome back – sit back and enjoy Crystal’s interview.

Please leave a comment on this post or Kate’s post and answer the question below.

Who are 3 people you would love to meet – Living or Deceased?

Kensington will be giving away a copy of the anthology Nightshift.  The contest will be open through Midnight next Saturday, January 21st.

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Taken Between is the second story in the Between series by Crystal Jordan (book 1 can be found in Sexy Beast 9, Between Lovers).  Elan has taken over as King of his people.  He has been trying to repair the damage his father did when he told the world about them.  Now his brother has returned and is heading up the King’s guard, along with his second Kira, their childhood friend.

Kira has been in love with Max forever but he is a prince and she is just the daughter of a serving girl.  One of her best friends is now King and she has returned home as part of his guard, she will be taking over the Queen’s guard once Rhiannon and Elan get married.  Now that they are both back, she is determined to get what she wants, Max.

Max has returned to help his brother but he is still battling demons from his childhood.  He can’t believe it when Kira reveals that it’s not his brother she wants but him.  He cares for her but he has vowed to never love another because of his past.  He believes everything his father has told him over the years so he doesn’t believe he is anything other than a henchman to protect his brother, the King.

Max and Kira are good together.  They have been in love with each other for years but both are too stubborn to admit it.  It took them both leaving home to realize what was missing in their lives.  They are able to provide each other with what they need to help with the healing process.  It takes a near death experience for the two of them to realize that they both want a future together.

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I have read several of Crystal Jordan’s books and she is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.  I was excited when she agreed to take a few minutes and answer the questions for this post. So sit back and enjoy her Q&A session.

Taken Between, is the second book in The Between series.  Will there be other books in this series?

I’m not planning on more books in this series right now, but I never say never. There’s definitely potential for more stories, but nothing solid os planned.

When I read or write my reviews, I usually have the television or radio on.  Do you listen to music when you write?  If so is there a specific genre you listen to?

Anything and everything, depending on the book or scene I’m writing. I might need hard rock music or a creepy thriller movie for a suspense book, or sexy jazz for a naughty scene. It just depends.

“Be careful or you’ll end up in my book!”  You have been writing for awhile now and have multiple series, do any specific characters come to mind that are based on friends or family members?

Absolutely. “Write what you know” is an old adage for a reason. Even when you’re writing about vampires, werewolves, or aliens, you’re still writing about people, so that’s the part you know even if you make the rest up. I use people and situations from my real life all the time. Sometimes I even use their real first names (with their permission, of course).

Lightning round!
Favorite color?
Lime green!
Favorite beverage? Chai tea, with hot chocolate as a close second.
Favorite Food? It’s a toss up between a turkey sandwich and pepperoni pizza.
Favorite animal or pet? Cats…I haven’t written that many cat shifters for no reason.
Sweet snacks or salty? One of each, thanks.
Morning person or night owl? Morning person. That’s not to say I’m one of those chipper people in the morning, just that I’m most alert and productive then.
Mac or PC? I have both. They each have pros and cons.
TV, Radio or Nothing when you are writing? Depends on my mood. It could be any or all of the above.
And because you’re a romance author:  Sweet or smutty? All for smut, and smut for all!

Fun Facts

Three Fun Facts About You, the Writer

I’m a pantser, so I write by the seat of my pants without planning much, if any, of the story in advance. I write out of order, so I could write the ending first, then the beginning, then the middle. I’m part of an awesome group of writers called the Smutketeers, and we do a steampunk themed photoshoot every year.

Three Things You Have Around You When You Write

My comfy chair, my lap desk to put my MacBook on, my TV and a cup of hot tea, a pad of post-it notes (in a bright color so it’s easy to spot), and a pen.

Three Little Known Facts About You

I can sing with my mouth closed, I like to dance in the rain, and I know how to pick awesome friends. J

Three Accomplishments That Have Meant the Most to You

I sold the first story I ever finished writing, I got an agent a year later, and I’m the first person in my family to have gone to graduate school. One of the few to go to college too, so it was a big deal.

Three people you would most like to meet and why – Living or Deceased

Queen Elizabeth I, because she ruled England by herself in a time when that really wasn’t done. So cool!

Albert Einstein, because he was wicked smart.

The Brothers Grimm (they totally count as one!), because they wrote down all the best fairy tales. How neat is that? All the paranormal goodness a girl could ever want to get some inspiration from.

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Thanks so much to Crystal for taking the time to visit with us.  Please leave a comment and answer the question below.

Who are 3 people you would love to meet – Living or Deceased?

Kensington will be giving away a copy of the anthology Nightshift.  The contest will be open through Midnight next Saturday, January 21st.

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Nightshift by Kate Douglas, Crystal Jordan and Lynn LaFluer
* I received a copy of this book from Kensington in exchange for an honest review*

Their human form is ephemeral, but their sexual desire is endless. Enter the mysteriously sensual world of the shapeshifters and share in their erotic passion. . .

 “Dream Catcher” by Kate Douglas
She comes to him at night in dreams of carnal pleasure. Real or imagined, Mac doesn’t know and doesn’t care. For his body throbs with a need that only his mystery lover can satisfy. . .
 
“Taken Between” by Crystal Jordan
Kira lives to protect her queen, but the king’s brother is the one who commands her desire. She longs for him with a feral sexuality and ferocious passion she can barely control. . .
 
“The Right Number” by Lynn LaFleur
Jay may have dialed the wrong number but the right woman answers. She is the mate he’s been looking for all his life. And when he hears the sexy purr of her voice, it arouses the hungry wolf inside. . .

I am going to post my review today in two parts because both Kate Douglas and Crystal Jordan agreed to take some time and answer some questions to go with the review of Nightshift.  Please enjoy Kate’s portion now and check back later today to get to know Crystal and find out who she would most love to meet.

Please leave a comment on this blog or Crystal’s blog and answer the question below.

What are 3 things you always have at your fingertips, no matter what?

Kensington will be giving away a copy of the anthology Nightshift.  The contest will be open through Midnight next Saturday, January 21st.

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Dream Catcher is the first installment in Kate’s new Dream Catcher series.  Mac has lost everything but his best friend Dink, all because of money and jealously.  He had his graduate work stolen and has lost his grants and access to the computer labs on campus.  His dream girl suddenly appears in his apartment, complete with violet eyes, after a night of drinking.  There is something off about her but he can’t put his finger on it.

Zianne hears Mac’s call and realizes that he could be the one to help save her people.  She can’t believe how sexy Mac is and enjoys her time with him but she feels guilty for not being able to tell him the truth about her true self.  Between the two of them, they begin work on a computer program that will eventually be instrumental in saving her family.

Mac and Zianne are sexy together, the shower scene was super Hot but the scene with them and Dink was a page scorcher.  Strange things keep happening when Zianne is around but when Mac is with her, all of the doubts and concerns seem to fly out the window.  I love that the characters were kept to a minimum in this short story.  This book provides us with the back story and foundation for future Dream Catcher books.

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I have had the honor to get to know Kate Douglas over the last year or so and was excited to read the first installment in her new series Dream Catcher.  I am so excited that even though she is extremely busy, she agreed to answer a few questions to go with this review.  So please enjoy.

Dream Catcher, the first book in your new series was a lot different than any of your other books.  How did this story come about and how many do you have planned in this series?

This series is the result of a lot of things coming together at the right time. Wolf Tales was ending and I needed a new erotic paranormal series to propose to Kensington, my husband was ready for a trip to the mountains, and I’d recently read about the Allen Telescope Array up at Hat Creek in the Sierra Nevada mountains http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Telescope_Array and wanted to see it.

We took a trip up there and took an extended tour of the array, which is a series of satellite dish antennae pointing to the heavens. They have multiple purposes, but are a part of the SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) project. As we were wandering through the array, I got to thinking how these dishes captured radio signals from space…but what if you could use them to SEND signals, and what if there was someone on earth sending out their sexual fantasies—what would an alien think?

That eventually evolved into my series premise for Dream Catchers about a race of alien beings made of pure energy who are slaves aboard another alien ship. They discover they can take corporeal form from the strength of human sexual fantasy and decide to use that ability to finally gain freedom from their captors. It’s complete in a three story arc beginning with the novella in the NightShift anthology. Dream Catcher takes place in 1992 and the first book, Dream Bound, occurs in the present, but has some of the same characters, twenty years older. I’m currently working on the final book, Dream Unchained, which is about the eventual rescue of my enslaved aliens, known as Nyrians.

Do you have to limit the amount of time that you spend blogging, updating Facebook or answering emails?

I try to, though it’s not easy. I get a lot of mail I have to deal with every morning. For instance, it’s now almost one in the afternoon and I’ve been at it since eight this morning and still have to write. I set a 5000 word goal every day. Obviously I don’t always meet it, but I do try. After two, when my NY editor and NJ agent are calling it a day, I try and just shut down the Internet entirely and write w/o any interruptions. I’ve given myself an hour to answer your interview questions, and then I have to get to work on the rest of my mail and check my social networking, but at two I will be off line and writing until late tonight. I didn’t shut my computer down last night/this morning until almost one a.m.

I know you enjoy reading – what are some of the books you’ve read lately?  Are there any that stand out above the rest?

I think most of us who write are readers first, and I’ve read some wonderful books lately. Joey Hill’s newest Vampire Queen novel, BOUND BY THE VAMPIRE QUEEN, Meljean Brook’s HEART OF STEEL, Morgan Hawke’s LOST STAR, Jennifer Estep’s KISS OF FROST, Nalini Singh’s ANGELS OF DARKNESS anthology, Eileen Wilks’s BLOOD CHALLENGE, Dani Harper’s CHANGELING DAWN, Robyn Carr’s HIDDEN SUMMIT, Judi Fennel’s GENIE KNOWS BEST, and I’m currently reading JoAnn Ross’s ON LAVENDER LANE. And those are just the ones that stand out from my reading over the past few weeks. I’ve read a few others I can’t recall, so guess they’re not quite as “stand out” as the rest? Or it’s just my crappy memory! My book bill is like the national debt!

“Be careful or you’ll end up in my book!”  You have been writing for awhile now and have multiple series, do any specific characters come to mind that are based on friends or family members?

In some ways, most of my male characters have at least some of my husband’s attributes because I really admire the man I married forty years ago. He’s a combination of Anton Cheval and Stefan Aragat with the tall, lean build and over-long dark hair. (His is gray now, but it was dark brown when we met—and it’s still long!) He’s got Anton’s sense of honor and that Alpha “I’m in charge” personality, but definitely has Stefan’s sense of humor. Other characters are all combinations of people I know or have met—the ones I like get to be the heroes and heroines, and the ones I’m not so fond of are my villains.

On the other hand, I have killed off a few tall, lean bad guys over the years. I think it keeps the marriage healthy. Whenever I’m a bit ticked off at the Lord of the Manor, he dies an ugly death between the pages. Sometimes I even let him know!
 
Lightning round!
Favorite color?  All shades of green
Favorite beverage?  Ice water
Favorite Food?  Anything I don’t have to cook, but if I have to get specific,  probably something that’s either sour or hot and sour.
Favorite animal or pet?   Rufus the mutt, a little terrier mix we rescued over thirteen years ago. He’s the one who really runs the place around here.
Sweet snacks or salty?  Salty, though I will occasionally need a sugar rush and then I want something totally bad for me, like Nerds or SweetTarts.
Morning person or night owl?  Night owl, though I love my mornings, too. Luckily I don’t need a lot of sleep.
Mac or PC?  PC, but a laptop, not a desktop.
TV, Radio or Nothing when you are writing?  Nothing—rarely music when I need it to get into a scene. For instance, a really emotionally draining and brutally sadistic scene in Wolf Tales 10 when both Oliver and his mate restrain Adam Wolf and beat him bloody took some absolutely violent sounding Finnish heavy metal music in order to get me in the right frame of mind to write it. It was emotionally exhausting to write, but I think it works because of the rhythm the music gave me—a discordant, almost painful sound translated to words. Weird the way that works.
And because you’re a romance author:  Sweet or smutty?   It honestly doesn’t matter—if the story is good, the emotions between the characters powerful and the writing catches me, I’m going to love the story. I can go from Joey Hill’s vampire novels which take kink to a whole new level, to Robyn Carr’s sweetly satisfying Virgin River stories and be equally enthralled by the story. It’s all about the writing and whether or not I connect with the characters.

Fun Facts

Three Fun Facts About You, the Writer
I love being a grandmother, but the grandkids are NOT allowed in Dabba’s office because my book covers are framed on the walls—and they’re not suitable for little ones!

I love to “play with rocks.” BIG rocks. When I have time to go outside and get dirty in the yard, I’m generally moving rocks around. Some of them weigh as much as me, but I love building rock walls and gardens and such. Unfortunately, I don’t always like the way my muscles feel the next day!

Cooking is something I do for relaxation and I actually co-published a cookbook for a winery many years ago.

Three Things You Have Around You When You Write
Rufus sleeping on my little bed here in my office, a glass of ice water on the table beside me and my little heater going next to the recliner chair I work in with my laptop and notes from whatever current books I’m working on.
 
Three Little Known Facts About You
LOL…there ARE no little known facts about me. I blog about all of it or tell my tales of woe in my newsletter. My readers are my friends and just about my only social life, so they have to hear all my crap.

But just a quick list—I’ve had multiple sclerosis for over twenty-five years and am currently in full remission, but for a long time I needed a cane to get around. I’m klutzy, but that’s a great excuse for occasionally landing on my butt in public.

My father was from Memphis, Tennessee and I grew up in Stockton, California, in the San Joaquin Delta. Lots of Saturday mornings were spent on the levee fishing for catfish, and one of my favorite breakfasts as a kid was fried catfish and cornbread.

My very first published writing was a poem in the Stockton Record in 1959. I was 9 years old.

Three Accomplishments That Have Meant the Most to You
Raising two absolutely amazing kids who are wonderful adults and terrific parents on their own. I don’t think any accomplishment will ever mean more to me.

Getting published—sticking with it for twenty years through rejection after rejection until I finally sold Wolf Tales to Kensington Publishing, and got to watch the series take off like a rocket. It was and still is a damned good feeling.

Staying published—this is not a business for sissies, and I’m proud of the fact I’ve been able to hang in there and not only continue to get contracts, but I’ve continued to love every minute of the process. I feel as if I’m doing the job I was meant to do. It’s a good feeling.

Three people you would most like to meet and why – Living or Deceased
Michelle Obama—I really admire our first lady, more than any other First Lady in my lifetime, and at my age, there have been a lot of First Ladies!

My great-grandmother. She died giving birth to my grandmother in July of 1890, and I would love to be able to tell Jennie Fesmire Armstrong some of the things her descendants have accomplished.

Anne McCaffrey, who passed away just this past November. I have always loved Annie’s writing and we got to be great friends online, but I never got to meet her in person. I wish I could have met her before she passed away—I was an ardent fan of hers for years, and you can’t imagine the thrill when I discovered she was a fan of mine. She was in her eighties when we first began corresponding, and she loved Ulrich, one of my older characters in Wolf Tales. I still have her note where she wrote to me and said, “I want my OWN Ulrich!” She will always be an inspiration to me—she’d turned in her manuscript for her newest book just days before she died. I hope I’m still writing my tales when I’m in my eighties!

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Thanks so much to Kate for taking the time to visit with us.  Please leave a comment and answer the question below.

What are 3 things you always have at your fingertips, no matter what?

Kensington will be giving away a copy of the anthology Nightshift.  The contest will be open through Midnight next Saturday, January 21st.

**Don’t forget to check back later today for Crystal’s Jordan’s interview and review**

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