Prymal Lust – A Sneak Preview

I’m so thrilled this Magnificent Monday morning. Taliesin Publishing has not only contracted the first book in my new Prymal Series – Prymal Lust – they’ve agreed to contract the whole series! So, you know that means  I have to do a sneak preview today. First, here’s my hunky inspiration for the Prymal alpha hero of the book, Axe R. Smith:

FrankSepe18 (2)Here’s the blurb for Prymal Lust:

Tania, a Wylfen aristocrat, hooks up with a stranger right before her twin’s graduation from military college. Not hours later, the bottom drops out of her world when she’s introduced to Axe, her twin’s new SEAL commander. Then she discovers he’s a Prymal Wolf, the arch enemy of her people. Wylfen laws prohibit her from mating with a half-breed. If anyone finds out she’s mated with Axe, exile is the least she has to fear…

Prymal Lust – Sneak Preview:

Axe near swallowed his tongue, but not for a moment did he let his surprise show. Not in all eternity had he expected to look into Tania’s mismatched eyes and recognize the one woman in the galaxy fated to be his mate. Not in any scenario had he ever envisaged Tania propositioning him. He didn’t have a clue how to keep his wolf in check. He had gone from flaccid to sledgehammer erect in less than a breath.
The spice of her blossoming arousal swarmed him.
As intoxicated as if he’d downed an entire bottle of tequila, Axe splayed his fingers wide and battled his primitive instincts. He had to touch her. Taste her. Lick her from the tips of her ears to her sure-to-be-suckable toes.
Then it slammed him sideways.
His mate was a Wylfen female.
Her family would exile Tania if he even grazed her with a fingertip.
And then they’d stake him out and sever every limb.
She was his.
Play it smart.
Stifling a howl when he realized the two of them mating right away was the ultimate win-win, he grinned. A selfish win-win. He’d ruin her future because if Tania screwed him, she violated the sacred Wylfen purity and mate alliance laws. She’d be exiled. Have no safe place to go to. No one to turn to for protection. Except for him.
Careful to keep his scarred cheek hidden from her view, Axe reached for her hand, lifted it to his mouth, licked the center of her palm, and drew her scent deep into his lungs. Yeah. Soon he’d be buried inside her creaming pussy. “Do you one better. How about breakfast, lunch, and dinner?”
She sucked in a breath. Her cheeks flushed. Her gaze locked onto his tented shorts. She flicked her tongue to the corner of her mouth, and her nostrils quivered.
His dick was about to burst out of his foreskin. It jerked against his belly.
She hissed and her head whipped up.
He could drown in those amazing crazy colored eyes, one the color of honey, the other a soft, mossy green. But not right then. Not until they’d screwed. A couple dozen times. Maybe more.
The Wylfen as a breed abhorred physical flaws. Rumor had it that any cub born with any sort of disfigurement was quickly disposed of. Axe had no clue if she’d reject him out of hand when he had no choice but to let her see his whole face.
She tugged her hand out of his and gestured to a now damp spot on his gym shorts.       “While I can see you’re really, really, interested in eating a meal—”
Frick, she’d do him in. His canines ached. He salivated when the ends of her high ponytail kissed her claim spot.
Back down.
Get a grip.
He had vowed never to claim an unwilling mate. It had become the keystone of his existence. She was Wylfen. So out of his league. The wolf in him tossed his rational reasoning into the stratosphere. The alpha in him soared.

Hope that started your week with a bang!



A little dose of paranoia by Emilia Mancini

Don’t you just hate it when we LL&L ladies toss out the occasional “serious” blog post? Well, I’m sorry, but it’s about to happen again.

A few weeks ago a fellow author friend texted me in a panic. Someone had written to her and the content was familiar. Too familiar. Eerily familiar. Like stalker familiar. We talked about it a bit and realized that this person had probably spent an awful lot of time reading her social media. Not just her status updates and tweets, but her comments on other people’s status updates. They read all these random bits of her commentary and it was enough to piece together a frighteningly accurate picture of her life.

This kind of thing can happen to anyone, but when you are a public figure—as we authors are—the risk of connecting with someone who takes things a bit too far is significantly increased because, in our attempts to reach new readers, we intentionally interact with strangers. Not only do we interact, but we try to connect and when we feel a connection has been made, we oftentimes let our guard down.

We forget that we are talking to a stranger who can easily misrepresent him- or herself, and sometimes “fans” hide in the shadows and never present themselves at all. We comment on things that we don’t connect with other things, forgetting that others might.

Remember when agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg was attacked while on her way to pick up her kids from school? As a refresher on the case, she rejected an author who knew enough about her schedule based on her social media usage to know when and where she would be AND what she was driving.

Crazy can present itself anyplace and anytime and from anyone. We can’t protect ourselves 100%  of the time, but there are some things we all need to remember. has a great article on online safety, but here are few quick reminders:

  1. Whether you sell 50 books or 500,000, once you are published, you are a public figure and strangers are suddenly much more interested in your life.
  2. Social media is your friend, but it can also be your worst enemy. Never share names and locations of your children or family members on your public persona page.
  3. Using apps like FourSquare or Facebook Check-in confirms your location and can disclose more information than you may intend. If you frequently check in at a coffee shop or restaurant, you’ve just made it easier for people to find you and subsequently follow you to other locations. Like your home.
  4. Photos of your children are cute, but save those for your personal account where you are sharing them only with your “real” friends and family.
  5. Just because you delete a post, doesn’t mean someone hasn’t already copied or shared it. Once on the internet, always on the internet so think before you post.

Okay, so I may sound paranoid. But that’s because I am. Fourteen years ago, I had an ex who just wouldn’t let go. Things got bad. Very bad. When I finally went to the police to report what was happening, the officer taking my report made a very firm suggestion: Move before something bad happened.

I did and never looked back. But the paranoia lingers and when I hear things like what happened to my friend, it makes my pulse race and my hands tremble. There is a fear that comes with being stalked, a vulnerability that shakes you to the very core and it never really leaves.

The CDC estimates that one in six women will be stalked in their lifetime and an author’s chances of gaining this kind of attention is significantly higher because we are putting ourselves out there. The best way to avoid attracting unwanted attention is to make it too difficult for someone to find you to give you that attention.

Be smart. Be safe.

And I’ll stop being so serious before next week. Promise. 😉



The Prime Chronicles and World Building

primeobsessionMany of you know me as the author of the Security Specialists International series, but I also write scifi romance.  I’m currently working on the third and final book in the Prime Chronicles Trilogy, Prime Imperative.

I’d  always meant my foray into writing science fiction romance to be a three-book deal.  That was the story arc I had in mind, and nothing much has changed that concept since I first published Prime Obsession, the first book in the trilogy.  Three Prime brothers.  Three books.

There is a beauty in threes — and having a plan.

That said, I’ve put a lot of work into this world.  A. Lot. Of. Work. A notebook with tabs amount of work. Hours and hours of research.  So, while the SSI novels will have most of my attention once Prime Imperative is completed, I’ll never say never to a future novella or short in my Prime world. Another 90+K novel? — not in my head at the moment.  I have too many alpha-males in the SSI world demanding an HEA. 🙂

Just a note:  I’ll be teaching an on-line class on world building from both a macro and micro approach for the FF&P chapter of RWA. The class will include a world building exercise and I will share how I approach world building and how I keep it all organized.  You do not have to be an RWA member to take the class. Would love to see any aspiring world-builders there!

FF&P World Building Class, April 7-13th

Thus, we come to the real topic of this blog:  World Building–And a sneak preview of the cover for Prime Imperative and a chance to name a new species to the series.

All authors build worlds whether they are set in modern-day Idaho (and other familiar places) as my SSI books are or set far into the future in the Milky Way Galaxy as my Prime novels are.  Every time an author creates a set of characters and puts them on the journey to achieve their goals (the plot), he or she begins to create a world for those characters to populate, to move their way through to achieve their goal.

Many times the world in which the novel is set can add external conflict for the characters on their journey (the sea and the storm in The Perfect Storm or Oz in the Wizard of Oz, for example). Some worlds become almost another character, e.g., Simon Green’s Nightside.

Worlds have macro and micro aspects.  Macro can be a general time and place, such as Milky Way Galaxy in the far future.  Micro can be more specific such as a fictitious solar system called Cejuru in which the Prime live on the home planet of Cejuru Prime and the time is as the Prime come out of isolation to join the Galactic Alliance.

My world building begins the same way my plotting and characterization begin – – from large to small.

This means on my first draft, I get the BIG picture down, then I go back and revise — many, many  times — layering in the details of my world, giving it colors and smells and sounds and flavors, so the reader sees, smells, hears, and tastes the novel’s world.

Good world building  and good story telling are symbiotic — they are mutually dependent on one another. Together,  good world building and story telling pull the reader in and hold onto him or her until the words THE END. And if you’re very lucky, the reader is eager to return to the world again and again. When a fan e-mails me and tells me they had just read Prime Obsession and Prime Selection and can’t wait for the next book, then as an author I have done my job– and this makes me extremely happy and proud.

And now back to the Prime Chronicles part of the blog.

Yes, I have written two very long MM_TPC3_PrimeImperativebooks in this world, but in Prime Imperative (sneak preview of cover to the right — and no, I am nowhere near done with the book), I’m at the point of having to name a new species, one of those pesky micro details that adds depth to a scene — and I need HELP.

I could go to a name generator and enter the alien subpages and create a made-up name.  Been there, done that many times in this series already. You really didn’t think I pulled all those character and place names out of my a**, did you?

But this time I want to involve YOU — my readers — or any other interested persons chancing across this blog.

So — I will take suggestions for the creature’s species name.  You can give me a full species name, you may shorten it also, if you wish. You can  even tell me what solar system or planet the creatures come from. Be creative.

I will accept suggestions from March 27th through April 4th.  Please post them in the comments to this Blog Post.

I will choose the one I like best, and that person will be acknowledged in my personal blog, Romantic Imperative, in the front of Prime Imperative, and will receive an advance final copy of the book in PDF before the actual publication date.

What is the creature like?

Here are some unedited, and not final by any means, excerpts from Prime Imperative.  The scene is in Chapter 6. Dr. Brianna Martin aka Bria is on the run and has come to her adoptive brother’s (Damon) jump station on the rim of the galaxy. It is a rough place and danger lurks everywhere.  She has just come off her transport to the jump station:

As she and the captain waited for Damon to appear, her gaze was caught by a large pile of rags near the Mason freighter’s dock. She could’ve sworn they hadn’t been there when she’d first debarked. When the rags moved and moaned, she realized the pile was alive. Was someone buried under all the ragged clothing? Were they hurt? She moved away from the captain and started to bend over, her hand extended toward the outer layer of cloth.

“Don’t touch.” The Mason freighter captain turned, grabbed her arm, and pulled her out of the way of the shifting mound of fabric. His move nearly had them colliding with another robotic unloader. He dragged her to a rusted steel pillar, far away from the shuffling pile, pushed her against it, and growled, “Stay away. Has teeth and is poisonous.”


Her knees went limp as wilted lettuce. She moved to lean against a pillar and barely missed tripping over the pile of living rags.

She looked down at the quivering pile and muttered, “You were no help. You could’ve bit him.”

The pile uttered some high-pitched gibberish, then swirled away in a cloud of dust and moved toward the Erian.


Her brother snorted and muttered, “damn right I will.” Then he steered her around the bundle-of-clothing creature which had slid to where the Erian’s blood pooled on the deck. A slurping sound had her stomach clenching.

“Um, Damon, is that creature licking—”

“Yes. It’s a [need creature name and origins]. It’s a scavenger and keeps the docks clean.” He aimed a stern look her way. “Don’t ever come between one and its meal. Don’t ever touch one. They bite.”

“So the captain informed me.” She looked around as they walked into the central core of the station. “Are they all over the place?”

“No. If they come above dock levels, the security guards shoot them.” He touched the weapon at her back. “Your laser pistol will kill them. Full stream into the center of mass. Don’t hesitate and get all girly. Just shoot to kill.”


Okay, there it is.  Get me a great name and if you wish, some origins.  I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with! And thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.



New Release – Predator’s Claim!

Well, I’ve been a little bit nervous waiting for this week.

Yesterday saw the launch of my latest paranormal romance Predator’s Claim, Gemini Island Shifters 4. Yes, this dishy dude…the one with the major biceps. (Boy, did artist Lyn Taylor find me an awesome cover man, or what? Of course, the woman is beautiful too, but did you see those biceps??)

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop


Anyhoo, I’ve been anxious waiting for this one to drop because I have resisted writing about wolf shifters for a long time. Sure, they’ve been in the background on Gemini Island, patrolling and manning the security office, but I haven’t ever made a wolf a main character.

This was done intentionally. As much as wolves are by far the most popular shifters out there, I was concerned about writing “just another wolf.” Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some awesome wolves out there (just check out the work of some of my Love, Lust and Laptops pals). However, I was worried about my wolf getting lost in the mad shuffle of raging hormones and hairs standing on end.

As with any book, most writers probably think “How do I make this one stand out?” Well, Lyn’s cover art work has certainly helped! And as with all my shifters, I have put the emphasis not so much on the animal, but on the character’s humanity. Sure, it was fun researching wolves, and my hope is that in reading this book, you might even learn one or two interesting tidbits about the animal. But what I really want you to remember is their souls, the quirks that make Bart and Charlotte (almost) humans.

And in many ways, these two are very human. They have made mistakes, they have loved, and they continue to make mistakes when faced with a new, all-encompassing love. I think, of all my romances, this is one that runs deepest. You see, they’ve adored each other secretly for a long time, but like many humans, they are afraid to express it in so many words.

Luckily, for the reader, my characters’ failings result in some pretty steamy sex scenes! Hey…gotta put those raging hormones to use somewhere!

I really hope you love this book and get to check the rest of the series too. No matter what your favorite shifter is, I think I have just the man for you.

Predator’s Claim is available at and other outlets.





A Writer’s Heart – Handle with Care by Lynn Lorenz

A writer’s heart is a fragile thing. It beats hard, but is damaged easily.

By heart, I mean the thing that drives us to write, to put down the story buzzing in our heads. And that’s such a good thing, getting it down, working on it, tweaking and honing and making the words come out just right. It’s what a writer lives for, why he or she writes. The story.

But writers are by nature, insecure creatures. We fuss over our book babies, wondering if they are good enough. And to judge them we send them out into the world, to publishers, to be accepted or rejected. It can be soul crushing and kill the writer’s heart. A lot of writers are ground into dust under those cruel wheels, and never write again. Their deepest fears, that they stink as a writer, have been confirmed.

But the writers who ignore it, who keep writing, who don’t believe the rejections, for whatever reasons, those writers are made of stern stuff. They take a licking and keep on ticking. Driven by something inside, they keep going. Taking the shreds of rejections, looking for ways to improve, joining critique groups to receive even more rejection, then sending it back out. They hang in there, their writer’s heart hardened just a bit, and they keep writing. Keep submitting.

Sometimes they hit pay dirt – get an acceptance. And the fireworks go off. Crowds cheer. The heart dances!

Then the edits show up. What?? There are edits? To my baby? But I thought you loved it!
Yeah. Edits. And we go through it all over. Again, the writer’s heart is tested. We have to work with an editor who tells us, in several drafts, what is wrong with our baby, despite telling you they love the story. If you’re one of the strong ones, you cry and rant and bitch, then you make the changes. If not, you cry and rant and bitch, and then pull your baby out and give up the chance you had to be published. The heart is crushed.

So, let’s say you’re strong, make the changes. And it’s finally released. You’re excited! Thrilled! You’ve done it. The writer’s heart is soaring!

Then come the reviews. And it’s now the world, the readers and reviewers, telling you that your baby is ugly. Maybe not all the time, but it doesn’t take much to crush the heart. Strong hearts have learned something – this isn’t the end of the world.
Writing is subjective. Sometimes they get accepted. Sometimes not. Some people will love your book, others, not so much.

Those writers keep on writing. Because that’s why we’re here. To write the next story. And to refuse to let non-constructive criticism of their baby interfere with the next book.

Today the industry is changing. Some new writers are writing stories and completely avoiding all the heart crushing, heart building, experiences by self-publishing. Which, in a way, is a shame, because like our parents used to tell us when we failed, it’s a character building experience. All those steps between writing and publishing, the ones that toughen your heart, make you stronger as a writer, those are missed. And so, many new writers go in, expecting the best, and when the reviews, if they get reviews, are awful, they’re crushed. Their sales are non-existent. What happened to all the money they were supposed to make?? Why aren’t they rolling in cash and five star reviews?

Or course, writers who go through the publishing process experience the same things. Bad reviews and low sales. But maybe they’re a little more prepared for it. Maybe not. It depends on the writer. And the writer’s heart. It’s been tempered, like steel, to resist breaking.

But a writer’s heart can grow too hard. It can lose the spark, the joy of writing, chasing the reviews and the sales. Some go off the rails, pay for reviews or fake them, desperate for approval. We’ve all heard the stories. Writers get caught up in the game of being validated, by any means necessary.

Or get lost in the comparison game. Listening to other writers tell about their success, their money, their reviews. And then compare their results to the others, and usually find themselves lacking. And so goes the writer’s heart – crushed again. Unless they have learned not to play into the comparison game, and that’s hard as hell to do. Everyone does, it’s just how you let it affect you, that shows the strength of the writer’s heart.

And if a writer’s heart is crushed, so it that creativity, the spark, that something inside the writer that brings those stories to life. Self-doubts and fear can weight the heart down and stop the flow. Make a writer wonder if he or she should even keep writing.

Everyone goes through it. Everyone doubts their worth as a writer. It’s the strong ones who go on. Who keep writing.

A writer’s heart is a fragile thing, but with experiences that test and grow us, we can survive. We can keep writing, keep those stories coming, no matter which way we choose to publish them. As writers, we need to protect our hearts, learn to walk away from negativity, learn to take constructive criticism of our work and use it to grow as writers, know there are more opinions than there are books on Amazon, and not all of them will be good.

It’s all a matter of perspective. A writer’s heart can be strong, but only if we work at it.

What’s the condition of your writer’s heart?

Guest Author: Houston Havens

Today we have new LSB author, Houston Havens, on the purple couch. Check out the hot excerpt Houston has in store for us!

*Holds up finger to lips* Ssssh.


A word whispered from most mouths. Like polygamy or polyandry. And why are these words whispered? Because monogamy is the “normal” form of sexual relationships. So, what happens when monogamy is no longer the accepted form? How does a woman who was raise believing in monogamy find her way around in a polyandrous society? Let’s see how the heroine in Sinful Surrender grapples with it…


The rest of the day passed in silence. As the wind subsided, they found refuge for the night by a stream. Chandra and Logan made camp while Arlo kept Fay company with small talk. Fay glanced around. “Where’d everybody go?”

“I heard Logan mutter something about bathing, and Chandra, I think, went off to keep watch. Is everything all right between you and Logan?” Arlo gave her hand a soft squeeze. “You seem withdrawn tonight.”

“No, I’m fine. I’ve just got a little pain.”

He dug in his pocket before holding out a handful of pills. “You can have one of my painkillers. I don’t use this stuff much. I’d rather suck it up and suffer.”



“I think I hurt Logan today.”

He frowned. “How?”

“I said something not so nice, but he kept saying I was jealous of the melon-breasted tart who came offering herself up for his breakfast this morning.”

He smirked. “And were you?”

She tossed her shoulders back in defense. “Of course not!” Her shoulders slumped forward in confession. “Well, maybe a little, but it’s not because I like him … well, maybe I do but not like I like you.”

He smiled and her insides weakened. “Why do you struggle with saying you love me, let alone loving more than one man?”

“I don’t.”

“You do.” He pushed himself up to sit straighter and grimaced. “You went from liking me to loving me and back to thinking you just liked me when you realized you loved Drakker. Then you accepted you could love Drakker and me and loved me again. Now you’re trying to deny Logan the affection you feel for him because you already love Drakker and me.”

“Arlo, I—” She tossed her hands up in frustration. “Love and feelings just aren’t something I’m used to expressing. The world I come from … it’s a place that stifles such talk, such emotions.”

“I understand, but I think you’re letting your feelings for me and my brother affect your feelings for Logan.” He patted her leg. “As a woman in this world, you don’t have to make a commitment to loving one man. You can love all the men you’re lawfully married to. The depth of love you feel for one, shouldn’t affect what deep and abiding love you feel for the other brothers. What I mean is … you don’t have to love me less because you’ve discovered love with my brothers.”

“I don’t … well, I-I…”

“Don’t think you’re going to love each of us in the same way. You’ll love us in different degrees. Some days you’ll love Drakker more and on other days you’ll love us all the same. Then on another day, you’ll love me the most, only to think the same thing later in the day when you’re in Logan’s arms for the night.”

“I get the love thing, Arlo. What I don’t get is how do you make a three-way marriage work if the woman doesn’t like … love … all the brothers?”

“Are you telling me you don’t like Logan—at all?”

“Hey.” Logan walked up and took a seat beside them. “I won the toss. Chandra’s taking first watch up on the hill while the rest of us get some shut-eye. Are you two ready for some sleep?”

“Fay was just asking me how our society makes a marriage work should the woman not like all the brothers.”

“Really.” Logan’s brow raised in question at her. “I assume you mean me.”

“I didn’t say that.” Fay frowned at Arlo. “I just wanted to know how it worked.”

Logan’s silence made her fidget. He ended her suffering when he said, “I’d suggest to the brother outside of her affections to work harder at pleasing the woman he cares about, if he wants to win her heart.” He glanced at Arlo. “I’d suggest his brothers help him out. Perhaps, the brother on the outs and the woman got off on the wrong foot. Maybe neither of them knows how to step around that first awkward meeting to actually see each other for who they really are.”

“Just what I was thinking, bro.” Arlo smiled at Fay. “Tsi ge yu i—I mean, love, I’d like to introduce you to my brother Logan.”

“This is silly—” She felt her stomach flutter as Logan interrupted her with a kiss. She drew her hands up to push him away, but stopped in midair when his lips, so warm and soft, pressed against hers again with such tenderness. His mouth moved in a slow seductive kiss that said he truly wanted her.

He broke away. “It is a pleasure to meet you, my lovely Fay Avalon.

Christy, thank you for letting me come by and visit with everyone today. I hope you and your readers enjoyed the excerpt!


LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

Blurb for Sinful Surrender

Top psychic spy Fay Avalon saw too much on her latest mind traveling mission and is now on the run from her post-catastrophic dystopian government, searching for the truth and proof. She escapes but is shot down, landing in the arms of the enemy.

In Drakker and Arlo’s world, women are so rare the men have accepted a polyandrous lifestyle. When the brothers stumble upon Fay unconscious in the wreckage of an aircraft, they are immediately attracted to her. Arlo wants to keep her, but Drakker knows they can’t. They must take her to their brother Logan Abán, leader of their people.

Logan struggles with trusting anyone, even himself. When a beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing woman falls into their laps, his denied desires for intimacy challenge his need to trust the spy. He’s frustrated by romantic Arlo’s claims of her innocence. Even when pragmatic and dominating Drakker defends her as well, Logan refuses to trust his gut.

Can one woman satisfy the diverse desires of three men? Will Logan’s fears be realized by betrayal? Is Fay to be sentenced to death as a spy, suffer a fate worse than death by being returned to her government as a traitor, or will she find a new life and love as the wife of three sexy brothers?



Houston Havens retired from a successful modeling career and an adventurous jet-set lifestyle to set the world on fire with her erotic romance books. A tenacious Irish lass, she strives to entertain with seductive stories created from her decadent imagination and traces of a provocative lifestyle she may or may not admit to.

Her interest in the paranormal, fascination with quantum science, passion with myths, and the lure of her mysterious Celtic Irish-Druid bloodlines are combined with generally unknown truths, strange facts, and questionable fiction. Her novels reflect a mix of the past, present, and future, with sexy blends of futuristic science fiction, paranormal fantasy, western romance, and always love everlasting. An author of six romances, a seven book erotic romance series, and numerous articles in literary magazines, she has two award winning blogs. Stop by for a visit and leave a comment at

Grabbing the Bull by the Horns by Christy Gissendaner

A few days ago, the hubby and I got into a…conversation I suppose you could call it. We discussed the motto “It is what it is.” The hubby is quite fond of saying it. I told him I detest the slogan. No, it’s not what it is. It should be what you make it. Quite familiar with my determination and bullheadedness, the hubby decided to just let it slide.

Got me to thinking. How often do people accept what life throws out them and just shrug and sing Que Sera? Doesn’t work for this chick right here. When shit happens, I roll up my sleeves and figure out how to fix it. I’ve gotten bolder in recent months. I’ve become vocal about my career, earning not one but two promotions in the past year. I’m gearing up for a third, but that’s still in the works.  ; )

I’ve now turned my attention to my writing, which I’ll be the first to admit, has always been lackadaisical. I’m working on pinpointing my strengths and weaknesses…shout out to our very own Moni who is assisting me in this…and have now signed up for my biggest challenge yet. This May, I will be having my very first face-to-face with an editor at the RT convention.

For those who don’t know, I’m extremely shy around strangers almost to the point of having social paranoia. I can’t bear to look someone in the eye and I have a fear of my childhood speech impediment coming back to haunt me. To this day, I have to remember “Robot” not “Wobot”. I also have a bad mumbling habit. Throw in my Southern accent and you can understand my aversion of public speaking. I also have this tendency to get red-faced, so I’ll probably turn into a stuttering, mumbling tomato before it’s all over.

But what I do have going for me is a desire to achieve, a let’s-get-shit-done mentality, and a very strong work ethic combined with an overall likeability. Not to mention enthusiasm for my latest writing project. So this year I’m grabbing the bull by the horns…figuratively not literally (I’m not freaking crazy!)…and facing my biggest fear. As I told the other ladies of LL&L, even if I fail at least I can say I tried! But the acceptance of failure isn’t in my dictionary, so you know what happens next? I dust myself off, climb back onto that bull, and ride the hell outta it!

Shadow Maverick Teaser and Giveaway!

Happy Thursday, naughty readers! Are you ready for more cowboys? The second story in the Shadow Maverick Ranch novella series is almost complete!


© Valery Bareta –

Borrowed Cowboy follows Paxton Mathis as he comes face-to-face with his past … and she’s never looked sexier.

 Unedited teaser – in other words, there is no guarantee this will be exactly as it appears in the final, published version. 🙂 

Meet Reese Jameson and Paxton Mathis, as they are reacquainted…


“You think you’re gonna get lucky?”

His brows shot up. “Is that even a possibility?”

Reese hesitated long enough to see the wicked grin spread across his face. Damn it. She needed to work on her poker face.

“I suppose anything’s possible, if you really think about it,” she hedged.

“That’s not an answer.” He crowded her until her back hit the wall.

She put her palms to his chest with the intent to push him away. Once the heat of his skin hit her, all she could think about was touching him, dragging her hands down until they met the edge of the towel and then watching as it fell to the floor. “We haven’t seen each other in ten years.”

He brushed his fingertips along her cheek and tucked a curl behind her ear. “Still not an answer.”

Her stomach clenched as he leaned in, his breath minty and warm against her lips. Sweet mercy, he was going to kiss her. A kiss she was decidedly desperate for.


ParkerKincade_WhiteCollarCowboy_200pxNow, in honor of my continued celebration of the FIRST Shadow Maverick Ranch novella, White Collar Cowboy, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky winner! Here’s a list of dates and locations where you can enter to win!

3/20 – Rage, Sex and Teddy Bears

3/20 – Monlatable Book Reviews

3/21 – In The Pages of a Good Book

3/21 – For the Love of Bookends

3/22 – C&F

3/22 – Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess

3/22 – Mythical Books

3/22 – More Romance Please

3/23 – The Reading Cafe

3/23 – Vampires, Werewolves, & Fairies Oh My

3/26 – Toot’s Book Reviews

3/28 – Buffy’s Ramblings

3/29 – Eclectic Passions

3/29 – Kawehi’s Book Blog

3/30 – Kristina’s Books & More

3/30 – The Lusty Literate

3/30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

Until next time…


On unsympathetic characters…

Nobody loves a Mary Sue.


This is something we’re taught early on as writers. Don’t make your characters perfect. Make them sympathetic, but flawed. Make them complex, make them grow, make them earn that HEA.

I’ve written some sympathetic characters. But the pattern I’ve noticed over the last few years is my characters are often unsympathetic. They don’t think they deserve a Happy Ever After, and they demonstrate why, sometimes in ways that make me cringe.

So, of course, that means yesterday, while taking a break before writing the “black moment”, I was Skyping with Liza Gaines, and the conversation turned to “these assholes” I keep writing into my books. And I’m not talking about sex scene assholes.

*ponders last sentence, decides to roll with it, shouts “YOLO!!!”, and continues on*

As an author, sometimes I wonder if I’ve gone too far.  I’ve had them lie. I’ve had them fat-shame. I’ve had them kill without regret or remorse.

I mean, I wouldn’t choose to spend my time with fat-shaming, murdering assholes, so why would I write about them?

This is something I think about a lot while I’m writing, and even more while I’m editing/revising a story. Because truly? It’s about the story, and it’s about the character, and sometimes, writing a flaw does not mean the guy is walking around with an untied shoe or a crooked tooth. It’s about making my characters people from the inside out, and sometimes people are vain or smug, or so insecure when it comes to life and love that they lash out preemptively. Sometimes, the most realistic thing a character can think or say will keep me up at night for months wondering if I crossed some moral/ethical boundary by writing it.

Sometimes, I find myself tempted to give a character a Mary Sue makeover so readers will like him better. That’s dangerous thinking–that’s thinking that the readers always want to like the characters. But me personally, as a reader? I want to love a character in spite of their flaws. I want the characters to win me over–but I don’t want it to be too easy for them.

Do you have a favorite unsympathetic character? Someone you love to hate or hate to love? A character you fell in love with in spite of him or herself? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Tuesday Teaser!

I should tease, because it rhymes with Tuesday, sort of…er, well, it starts with the same letter! And I have a book coming out April 8th! It’s a new direction for me–BDSM. It’s also m/m/f. 😉 The book is called Bound to be Taken and it’s the first in a series called Emergence. I’m so excited about this book. It’s my baby. So, how about I share an excerpt to get the ball rolling!? Enjoy! Becca

BoundToBeTaken300“Stephanie.” Aiden waited for her to look up at him. “We need a sub.”
“A what?”
He had to tell her. Shit, they couldn’t just waltz into a fetish club on a Friday night with a woman this uninformed. It wasn’t fair to her. Plus, they needed to prepare her a bit. If they didn’t teach her a thing or two between now and then, she’d never fit in, and no one would believe she was submissive. Not that he cared much what other people thought, but it would sure make the evening smoother if he laid down a few cards now…and added to them every day this week.
“A submissive. It’s a…BDSM club.” Aiden paused for that to sink in.
There was a fraction of time when Aiden was sure the earth paused. At least for Stephanie. She stared at Aiden’s face in shock, her eyes wide and her mouth open. Aiden glanced at Dane when she flinched and found his partner’s hand had wandered up her thigh.
Stephanie jerked her leg free of his clutches and stood. She shook her head and mumbled under her breath while she glanced around. “I…I… I have to go. Did we leave my shoes in the kitchen? I…have to get back to work…somehow.” She scrambled for the door, and Aiden followed her with Dane at his rear.
Aiden pondered her last word. He doubted she was concerned about her method of arrival at work, but rather her mental ability to function this afternoon. She was flustered. And the look on her face had been priceless. She blinked several times. Her cheeks pinkened almost instantly. And Aiden’s cock grew stiff. He fought a groan.
They had to let her go. If she never spoke to them again, there was nothing they could do. All they could hope for was that she pondered the idea and faced them later.
“I know it’s a lot to ask.” Aiden intended to get a few more words in before she disappeared. “We don’t mean to insult you. And I promise we would never do anything that made you uncomfortable. We just need you to go with us, maybe participate a little? Just enough for it to be believable.”
Stephanie gathered her shoes, stockings and purse at the door. She turned back to them with her hand on the knob. She was shaking. In fear? Disgust? Curiosity? “Why are you so interested in pretending to be straight for an evening? Aren’t you gay?”
Aiden gasped. Oh God. She totally had the wrong impression. How stupid of them. He shook his head. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you thought we were gay. We’re bisexual. We enjoy women as much as men.”
Dane stepped toward her but Aiden grabbed his arm. They needed to let her go.
“Wait. If you thought we were gay, why did you want one of us to go to your company party on Saturday?”
Stephanie opened her mouth to speak, but then shut it just as fast and fled the apartment.
The door shut with a resounding click that made Aiden shudder. “Fuck.”
“Yeah. That could’ve gone better,” Dane added.

Guest Author – Mandy Harbin

Happy Sunday naughty readers! I’m thrilled to have my gal-pal and all around partner-in-crime, Mandy Harbin, here with us today. Mandy’s got a sexy new series that I know y’all are going to love! Take it away, Mandy!

Sex Isn’t All About Intercourse.

Whaaat? I know what you’re thinking. They’re mutually exclusive, right? Well, you could be thinking that unless you’re a romance writer and can think all things sexy without having to venture into the actual deed. I’m looking at you, Parker >_<

Parker: *snickers*

But there could be so much more to hot “sex” for the sake of getting off that doesn’t require a insert-tab-A-into-slot-B scenario. Sometimes situations prevent couples from having sex. Long distance relationships, giving birth, alien abduction…just to name a few. What’s a couple to do then? We live in a technology age where sexting is open discussed, not whispered about among the closest of confidents. Sexting can be hot…and there’s no penetration involved—assuming toys are out of the equation.

And what if you’re willing and able and in the same zip code? Sometimes the tease, the build up is so much hotter than the act itself. If I asked those of you who’ve ever salivated at a book, yearning for the couple to finally touch, to raise your hand, there’d be a breeze that rivaled a tornado. We usually think, “OMG, he’s finally going to kiss her!” Not, “OMG, he’s finally going to stick it in her!” Unless you’re a romance writer…I’m still looking at you, Parker. *snorts*

Parker: *whistles innocently* (psst, I like the sticking it in parts…)

My latest release, Blue Balls and Push-Up Bras, is one that touches on this. The series is one where women and men can’t get a little some-some for whatever reason. After years of writing romances that contain issues ranging from heartache, death, paranormal abilities, and general angst, it was time for me to have a little fun, and if you don’t know by now, I like to go big, or go home. So here’s my ballsy (pun totally intended) new series.

MandyHarbin_BlueBallsAndPush-UpBras_800pxSex would be nice. But after giving birth, Sophie is a little self-conscious about her body, and her husband, Sawyer, hasn’t even tried coming on to her. What’s a girl to do? Don’t blab to your friends, that’s what! Their reaction is a mix of shock and pity, but they unite under one common goal: to get her laid. In one week, she’s going to show Sawyer just what he’s been neglecting. At her reluctance, the girls all agree to break out their push-up bras for a night of showing off their assets in support of her mission. 

But Sophie wants it now. The talk with her friends sparks her to be the initiator, but when she tries turning on the charm, Sawyer still doesn’t give up the goods. Now the only big O she’s getting is offended. 

So she hatches a little plan of her own…

Purchase Links:



Barnes and Noble

About the Author:


Mandy Harbin is an award-winning, bestselling author of several books across multiple romance genres ranging from contemporary to paranormal erotic romance. She is also the number one bestselling author in teen romance under the pen name M.W. Muse with her popular Goddess Series. She is a Superstar Award recipient, Reader’s Crown and RWA Passionate Plume finalist, and has received Night Owl Reviews Top Pick distinction many times. She studied writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, earned several degrees, and even pursued an MBA until she realized becoming an author did not have to remain an unfulfilled dream. Mandy is a PAN member of the RWA and lives in a small Arkansas town with her non-traditional family, and although she is a direct descendant of British royalty, they refuse to call her princess. When she’s not penning her latest book, you can find her hanging out online where she loves to connect with fellow readers or stalking Mickey Mouse at Disney World.