Happy Halloween!

Eeks! Halloween already? Indeed it is.

I love Halloween. The one and only time I ventured into paranormal was for a Halloween short. I feel in love with these characters. Sarah Latham and William Fuller have the kind of love that can last centuries. And has.


latham postcard2

I’ve been asked several times if I’m going to revisit these characters.

Hmm…Maybe. But until there, here’s a little snippet of The Legend of Sarah Latham:

SSARAH LATHAM COVER_300arah stormed toward her new home, glaring at the front door until the force of her anger threw it open. She marched in, and the door slammed behind her, rattling the old house as the wood hit the jambs.

William stepped from the dining room, a towel in his hands, and looked across the open foyer at his wife. “Bad day?”

“You will not believe what this town thinks of us.”

“A witch and her demon summoned from Hell.”

She stared at him. “You heard?”

“I went to the pub while you were looking for your sons. Did you find them?”

Sarah exhaled her frustration and smiled. “I found Ethan and Jasper. And I met Jasper’s descendent. Her name is Sarah Elizabeth.”

“Isn’t that lovely?”

She rolled her eyes. “Not exactly. She was named after me in hopes that I wouldn’t drag her to the depths of Hell.”

“So she told you of the curse?”

“Yes, she did.”

“Well, did it work? Naming her after you. Do you still plan to kill her?”

Sarah slid her arms out of her coat and draped it over a chair. “That’s not funny. Anyway, she calls herself Elizabeth. She’s a police officer. She told me I was trespassing.” A bitter laugh left her. “Trespassing at my own children’s burial ground. Can you believe it?”

William gently caressed her cheek. After almost four centuries, she no longer noticed how his vampire skin was eerily cool. His touch was nothing less than soothing to her.

“Why are you so upset, love? It’s just a silly legend.”

“It’s not silly. What little there is left of my family thinks I’m a monster.”

“Generations ago they were your family, Sarah. This Elizabeth is a stranger. I am what is left of your family, and I know you are no monster. This story is a legend—a myth—nothing more than a tale to frighten children.”

Sarah looked up into his dark eyes, eyes that could resonate a dangerously menacing soul at times, but that now were soft and sorrowful. She slipped into his arms and cradled her cheek to his chest. “I think I’d have rather been forgotten than remembered as something evil.”

“No one believes it.”

“But they used to, years and years ago they believed it. They feared me. Elizabeth probably fears me now, even if she doesn’t know it. Why must every witch be believed to be wicked?”

His chest shook with a slight chuckle before he said, “Maybe the next civil rights movement will be for supernatural beings? Hmm? Maybe we can live loud and proud and be accepted among the mortals.”

“Maybe.” She leaned back and took in his face and soft features. There was nothing threatening about him. No one would ever suspect him to be a so-called creature of the night, a vampire. He went against everything history had made him out to be, as did she.

Deciding h
e was right, she slid from his arms. “She told me there is a museum.”

“A museum? Are we going?”

“Yes. Well, I’m going. With Elizabeth. I’ll take you another time if it’s worth visiting, but she is going to tell me all about myself. Now, what were you doing at a pub?”

“Getting to know the townsfolk, of course.”

She instantly grew suspicious. He never got to know the townsfolk. The temptation was too great for him. “William?”

“I know you’ve
been feeling down. I brought you something.”

Her eyes widened and she shook her head slowly. “No. We can’t feed so close to home.”

“I was very careful.”

“Darling, I appreciate that you want to cheer me up, but getting us hanged isn’t the way. Have you learned nothing?”

Check out the creepy trailer too!


Getting to Know You

Like others before me, I decided it was time for a reintroduction. Many of you know I haunt this blog as Robin Danner and Christy Gissendaner, but who is the real Christy? (I say Christy because that’s my actual, real first name.)

Keep reading to know more about moi!

I love visiting the zoo. Monkeys are my favorite.


I can’t tell the difference between my two youngest sons in baby pictures….unless they’re in the picture together. (They still sleep like this.)

The Manns 087

I played clarinet in my high school’s marching band. (I hated the white uniform pants.)


My grandparents have been married over 75 years! (My Big Momma’s had dementia over twenty years, but they’re still going strong.)


I married my first boyfriend after dating for 11 months. We honeymooned in Biloxi one month after my 29th birthday. (He started pursuing me the night of my 28th birthday.)

hard rock

I hate taking pictures, which is why you’ll typically see me behind the camera instead of in front of it. (And there’s not a selfie yet that my hubby hasn’t closed his eyes.)


I’m rereleasing The Princes, a series that is my favorite to date. Here’s a first glimpse at the new and improved cover for Bound, Book One ~ an exclusive reveal for Love, Lust, and Laptop fans.

the princes bound

Now that you know a bit more about me, check back as we bring a new, exciting post every weekday ~ with special treats on the weekends!

Push Those Buttons, Hit That Wall!

Hello! This is my first blog at Love, Lust and Laptops, and I’m very excited to be part of this group. I’ve been quite jealous of these authors and was beyond pleased at being invited to participate!

So. To start:

Here are some things I hate in my personal life:

Cheating. On a partner, on an exam, on your taxes. When I’m with someone, they know they have one shot with me. I have no compunction about ending it when I’m cheated on. Same goes for lying. Or even withholding the truth. I don’t like cheating in romance. I don’t like it in any way, shape or form.

Spanking. Don’t even consider coming near my ass with your hand. I will bite it off, chew it up…and swallow.

Twincest in romance. Ew. Just…ew. It’s the kinda thing that puts people in counseling.

Yelling. I hate it. Don’t do it unless you’re yelling at Lassie to untie the rope and rescue Timmy from the well so he can go get the little neighbor girl off the train tracks. Yelling puts me into automatic flight mode.

Television. Guns. Bullies. Tailgaters.


What does this have to do with writing books?

When we write, there are so many elements that go into the construction of a story: characters, an engaging plot, conflict, tension, setting and so forth. Way back when…in my early days of writing, I stumbled across a story that offended the hell out of me. It made me feel so icky, and I went online for days, doing anthropological research. It was a twincest story and the damned thing just rattled my brain. Was it bad? Good? I don’t really know. Remember my comment about people being in counseling over that sort of thing? I worked in Children’s Protective Services for a stretch of time and saw too many kids in unwanted sexual situations. Not always with adults. So I had issues with that story.

Nevertheless, I recognized that my reaction to this book was extreme. To make the scenario acceptable in my hysterical lizard brain, I dug back into my university days and found information on cultures around the world that practice variations of twincest. I eventually found a cultural mythos that was so beautiful, it worked. I can’t remember right off hand, but I believe it was a Mescalaro Apache tradition. They believed that an opposite sex pair of twins had been star-crossed lovers in a previous life, so the parents married the children at birth so they’d never be parted again.

I integrated elements of this mythos into the creation of the Somian species in Belle Starr. I created a species that believed twins were one spirit in two bodies, and a brother/sister pair would eventually marry and produce offspring who advanced the evolution of the species. Since it was removed from Earth and humanity, I was able to make some peace with the idea of such an extreme kink.

I pulled the same trick with spanking. I have such a violent reaction to spanking that I literally feel sick when I read it in a BDSM story.  So…I write spanking scenes. I make them make sense to me. I make those scenes playful or cathartic. I make those spankings something *I* can understand and accept.

This is how I take control my personal hot buttons. It’s not only like psychoanalysis on the cheap, but I believe it’s a method of instilling some potent tension into a story. I jokingly tell people I’m a Method Writer. I let emotions and sensations generated by my visceral reactions color my stories. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I just feel crappy afterward. Sometimes I feel better about myself and sometimes I write a bit of power into a scene.

Don’t be afraid to write or read out of your safety zone. Push your boundaries, hit those personal buttons. Take time to consider your reaction…physical and emotional. Even if you don’t understand what you’re feeling, embrace the fact that you are feeling.

I think indifference is poison to an author’s soul. Don’t be afraid to charge that boundary and hit that wall.

You’ll get up again.

Belinda McBride


Belinda’s newest release is the Bad Angels trilogy, now available through Pride Publishing, and at all major outlets. Now available in paperback!



Let’s Talk Shape-Shifters

Hey there! My name is Tami Lund, and I’m a newbie to the Love, Lust, and Laptops Blog. I’m thrilled to be here. *Waves* *Frantically* *Clenches teeth, keeps smile on face*

Whew. There you are. Just checking that someone’s out there, reading.

So I’ve spent the last two weeks agonizing over what to blog about today (which is funny, because my very first post was actually on Saturday, and it took all of twenty minutes to put together). I desperately wanted to make a good first impression, of course, but truthfully, I needed to get back to writing, so I couldn’t spend a ridiculous amount of time on research and analytics and statistics – and then I realized you all probably don’t give a shit about all that stuff anyway. You’re here for a blog post, not a doctoral candidate course. (Let’s not kid ourselves – even with research and analytics, my post would never be at the level of a doctoral candidate.)

And then, about a week and a half ago, I sent final edits for my next release to my editor over at my publisher, Liquid Silver. I still have to go through line edits and a proofread, and I don’t yet have a cover, but that first round is always the most intense, and whenever it’s finished, that’s the point at which it feels real to me.

This book – which comes out on January 4, 2016, by the way – is the fourth in my Lightbearer series, and is called Change in the Light. This series is about magical beings called Lightbearers – and the shifters who hate to love them.

Yep, I write shifters. Which (finally) brings us to the point of this blog post. Let’s talk shifters, shall we? I actually have two shifter series out – the Lightbearer series, and the first book in the Twisted Fate series, which released in July, 2015. The second book in that series is with the publisher right now, awaiting the decision to (hopefully) publish it next year. You see, I have a thing for shifters.

Here’s a question: why shifters? When I started the Lightbearer series, it was supposed to be about this brand new, entirely made up magical being called, well, Lightbearers. And then I threw shifters into the mix, and suddenly, the series became about shifters. How did that happen?


The answer is simple: shifters are one of my favorite genres to read. So not coincidentally, I also happen to enjoy writing about them. They are sexy, strong, powerful, hot, did I mention sexy? In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.

I’ve learned they all have one thing in common. All shape shifters have the ability to change from human form into…something else. And that, as far as I have been able to determine, is the single aspect that defines every shifter in every book I’ve ever read or written. Beyond that, well, every author interprets them a little differently. Which is the way it should be, right? We’re talking magic, and magic is defined by the imagination of the person writing it.

Some shifters can only change into the form of one animal. These are typically referred to as were-animals (werewolves, were-bears, were- you get the picture). Others are able to shift into pretty much any animal, or, as I like to explain in my books, the form of any warm-blooded being. The shifters in my Lightbearer Series can even shift into the form of birds, if they are so inclined. This comes in handy when one wants to escape rapidly and he’s on the second floor or at the top of a cliff (both situations occur in Into the Light, the first book in this series).


Many shifters’ clothing cannot shift with them. The clothing is either shed before the shift or, if the shift must occur with little notice, the clothing is torn to shreds when the body changes and alters, and the shifter must figure out another means of covering his naughty bits when he returns to human form.

The shifters in my books can shift while wearing clothing, and when they return to human form, their clothing returns to their body exactly as it was before the shift. I admit, I made this decision out of convenience. I considering the no-clothing route because, let’s be honest, that makes more sense, from a non-magical standpoint. But I was having a difficult time writing the whole, “Hold on, I have to strip and hide my clothing for later” aspect into the various scenes and plots and sub-plots of the series. So I decided if magic can make a person change from human to animal, then magic can make that person’s clothes reappear when they return to human form.

Some shifters have the ability to speak to each other telepathically. Some are able to harness other forms of magic, too. Some have glowing eyes. In my Lightbearer series, the shifters’ eyes glow when they are feeling strong emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, passion. Even if the shifter is trying to act stoic and passive, the object of his desire, if she is perceptive enough, can figure out pretty easily that he feels something, if his eyes are glowing. It’s practically a declaration of love.

Or lust.

Some shifters eat only red meat. Actually, the desire to eat red meat might possibly qualify as the second thing all shifters have in common, now that I think about it. Or maybe not. A vegetarian shifter could make for an intriguing storyline.

Many shifters have obsessive, jealous personalities. Like a dog, protecting his bone. Or his house. Or his mate. My shifters have this trait. In fact, it plays heavily into the third book in the Lightbearer series, Light Beyond the Darkness.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few common traits. What other traits do you notice in your favorite books about shifters or weres? Which traits are your favorite?


If you want to learn more about the Lightbearer or Twisted Fate series (or any of my books, really), check out my website (there’s also a free read): CLICK HERE.

I’ve also started a Facebook group called Come Wine with Tami Lund. It’s a place for readers and authors to gather, chat, and tip a glass or two. Once a month, we feature an  exclusive author Q&A. Check it out HERE.

Come Wine With Tami Lund-2

Writing + Real Life = Madness

Sara DanielI’m Sara Daniel, and I am so excited to join the fabulous ladies of Love, Lust, and Laptops. The group first hit my radar when they released the Lucky’s Charms anthology a couple years ago. Emilia Mancini clued me in, and I snapped up my copy. When I received an invitation to join the group, I felt like I’d won the lottery—only better, because where I live, the state budget is so messed up that lottery winners aren’t getting paid their winnings!

Since Emilia introduced me a couple weeks ago and Jianne Carlo provided a really fun interview last week, I thought I’d offer some different insight with a couple stories to illustrate how my writing life and my “mom life” mesh—sometimes very wrongly!—together.

When I start a new book, one of my favorite parts is pulling out my collection of baby name books and pouring through the possibilities until I hit on the perfect names for my characters. I was sitting in my living room doing just this a few months ago when my teenage son walked into the room. He looked at the book, and his eyes grew wide. “You’re having a BABY?!” he exclaimed, in a horrified, my-parents-just-ruined-my-life kind of voice. Hahaha! His days of begging for a little brother are definitely over!

This month, my tween daughter has been bring home something called “KenKen” for math extra credit. It is basically a sadistic form of Sudoku where instead of having some numbers already filled in the grid, all the numbers must be figured out using basic math facts within separate caged-in areas to produce a target number. We’ve been working on these puzzles for hours in the evenings to the point where my brain aches when I go to bed. So imagine my horror last week, when I was revising my latest manuscript, and in the throes of passion, my heroine exclaimed, “Ken, Ken.” Suddenly, the mood was gone, and instead of experiencing incredible pleasure at the hands of the hero, my heroine was now crying out over KenKen math puzzles. Yeah, no. I’m keeping hero’s name as Ken (for now), but my heroine will NEVER speak it twice in a row.

Pumpkin with frecklesDoes anyone have any odd, funny or creepy collisions between their personal and reading/writing lives? I’d love some assurance that I’m not alone in the madness that is my life. Meanwhile, enjoy the not-too-creepy Halloween pumpkin (with freckles!) carved by my family this weekend.

Not Me by Lynn Lorenz

First, let me say there is no defense for plagiarism. It doesn’t just happen. You don’t accidentally take someone’s story and change the names and pronouns, switch a few sentences around, and then say, “Oops! Did I do that?” I’m pretty damn sure my laptop doesn’t have a F key for that.

No. All you can expect to hear are excuses, or what some might hope are reasons. When you say reasons, it makes it sound as if they are valid. Reasons are just excuses disguised in fake rational. There is only one basic reason to plagiarize someone’s work, and that’s to make money. And like so many bad things, money is usually the cause, or the reason. Lack of. Need for. I wish we all had great sales, then maybe such crimes wouldn’t exist. And in a tightening market, does it really surprise us that someone would do this?

See? Excuses.

What is the real answer? Why would someone do this? Why risk your good name, your reputation as a writer, the only thing we really have, to make some money? Hundreds? Thousands? Is any amount worth damaging your reputation? Destroying your career?

I can’t understand it. I couldn’t understand it, when in my corporate job, we were asked every year to sign a document saying we’d never taken bribes, or received gifts from companies, like Christmas hams or tickets to football games. Or failed to report them if we were offered them.
I thought, who would risk a steady job, good pay, and the respect of their co-workers for seats on the 50 yard line? I sure as hell wouldn’t. I figured it’d be my luck to get caught on the JumboTron, with that ham in my lap. I needed my salary, my health benefits, my friends’ respect. But someone must have, since there is this document. Someone, somewhere, broke the rules, and now we all had to stand up and say, “Not me.”

And fuck, it’s this. This is why it hurts other authors. Why it taints all of us, even if you didn’t co-write a book with her or even know her. Because on Facebook, I’ve witnessed a rash of authors stating, “Not me.” Of writers “signing” the document. It’s the horrible need that those of us who didn’t take the easy way out, who struggle every day to create characters and stories, must now assure everyone we know that we didn’t cheat.

Not me.

Of distancing ourselves, and our reputations, from the offender. Of taking that big step back and leaving that person standing alone, like the old comedy routine of the reluctant volunteer.

Only no one stepped back. This person stepped forward, out of the line. Intentionally. Made a choice as she sat in front of her computer to step over the line, no matter what her “reasons”.

Now, I see posts about readers who have doubts about all of this person’s books. Of returning them. Asking for their money back. Of deleting them.

And I wonder if my readers are doubting me. Doubting others. Doubting all of us authors. And that hurts me. It hurts all of us.

It sucks the big one.

But as much as I hate this, I understand how they feel, because they’ve been betrayed. Cheated. Insulted.

I have a copy of the Deuce book. It’s the only book by her I own. I think it cost me a few bucks. Do I want my money back? No. Not worth the email, for me.

I think, instead, I’ll keep it, right there on my Kindle. To remind me, every time I scroll past it, that there are some things more precious to me than a few bucks.

Like my reputation.


Bewitching Desires Antho – The Down & Dirty

Once upon a time, I was chatting online with a group of authors. We affectionately refer to ourselves as the Writing Wenches – a small group, from all walks of life, all over the globe, and all different stages of our writing careers. Some write paranormal, some write contemporary, some write both (me!), some write erotica, some don’t really write romance, but they like to read it and incorporate love scenes into their otherwise entirely different genre books. One thing we all have in common: a love of writing.

So back to once upon a time, which was actually last spring. A handful of us wanted to do an anthology. Somebody threw out Halloween. Somebody else suggested paranormal. We talked timing, created a shared document, a private Facebook group, and an anthology prep group was born.

Bewitching DesiresFrom paranormal, we focused on witches. From there, we decided they should all belong to the same coven. We discussed various places readers would recognize that were also connected to Halloween or witches or hauntings, and then we selected Savannah, Georgia. So the Savannah Coven was born.

Then we took it a step further, and decided the stories should all connect to one another. Not only would at least one of each of our main characters belong to the Savannah Coven, but they would show up in each other’s stories. Their happily ever afters would interconnect. We created a shared document, describing the tie-in. Here’s what we started with:

The afternoon of Halloween, around two, the Coven gets together in the back room of the Occult shop owned by Rose. The store is full of anything a witch or other paranormal might need. In the back is a private room used by the Coven.

(Note: as our stories came together, the coven room was modified, to be down a set of crooked stairs, below the shop, hidden by a blue curtain and a variety of spells. As you walk down the stairs, you pass hand-drawn pictures of the past Supreme Witches of the Savannah Coven.)

Everything inside the store feels a bit old, although exceptionally clean. All the shelves are made of wood. The floor is covered in runes. On the right side is the counter. Behind the old checkout counter are jars upon jars of different items; spices, specimens, herbs, etc. There is also a locked dark glass case. The case glows with an eerie light and occasionally you can see something inside scurry past or screech or shake. It is full of the darkest elements for magic and cannot be come by easily.

There are so many rows of books, occult items, scrolls, candles, etc. that you cannot see all the way to the back of the store. It is hard to say how far it goes since it seems to go on forever. On the left side of the shop is a round staircase that goes up to a second level of bookshelves. This area is off limits except to the coven as well as a few select clients. The books upstairs are thousands of years old and contain powerful magic incantations. 

The Coven’s room is behind the counter area. To the left of the counter is a doorway with a deep blue curtain. The wooden floor is ancient and worn. The threshold of the back room has sage hanging from the sides and an inlay of dead sea salt and ash from the Salem Witch Trials on the floor which is replaced daily by Rose.

The inside of the room is a store room with shelves around the perimeter and a large wooden table with a pentagram in the middle. White candles sit in the center constantly burning but never getting smaller. 

The chairs are each unique in appearance. Above the table hangs an ancient bronze chandelier with twelve black candles lighting the room.

(PS – We even created a Pinterest board so readers could check out our visual inspiration!)

The table and chairs sit on a rug. On the rug are various different runes that are constantly changing and morphing into new ones. From under the rug sometimes whispers can be heard, or a scream or a cry. No one but Rose knows what is really under the rug.

The meeting itself is just a check in to see what everyone has planned for Halloween night. To remind everyone to report any sightings of spirits or zombies immediately to the Supreme witch and to remind everyone to be careful with their magic.

A simple meeting to the point and a basic check in since it’s the most powerful day of the year.

The meeting needs to be mentioned in the story. You can go into detail about showing up and the store and who you see when you sit down, but I suggest that no one really go into detail about who said what at the meeting so we don’t have inconsistencies through the stories.

If people want to meet up and intertwine their characters. Please post in the database who you are either arriving with, sitting with or leaving with.

Rose, the shop keeper, will be in the store for the meeting but leaves at sundown every day. The Supreme Witch (Tami’s character, Adanna) will have a key for emergencies.

From this document, we each created our twelve individual stories. The shop owner, Rose, turned out to be besties with my character, Adanna, who is the (reluctant) Supreme Witch. Another main character, Micah, is Adanna’s brother, and covets the position of Supreme, even though it’s something you’re born into, and he, unfortunately, wasn’t. In Adanna’s story, she wishes she wasn’t the Supreme, while in Micah’s story, he takes steps to attempt to become the Supreme. Luckily, both end up with happily ever afters and an unbroken sibling relationship, too.

Alls Fair_Love & Warlocks_Updated_CoverIn both Adanna’s and Micah’s stories, another main character, Brior, is sitting in the tavern where many of the witches hang out. And Cook, the owner of the local tavern and bed & breakfast, shows up in at least half the stories.

Some of the stories are based in Savannah and pretty much stick around the area. Others start there and end up traveling to other places. One story heads off to Romania, another to Phoenix, another to a motel in the middle of nowhere. Besides witches, the anthology contains reapers, angels, shifters, zombies, and assorted other paranormal beings.

Sometimes it was hard keeping up with each other, constantly fact checking, adjusting storylines accordingly. But in truth, I loved the process. It was fun. I love the way it turned out. I especially love the fact that each and every story ties in with the others in the anthology. That is my favorite aspect of them all.

So, happy Halloween, and happy reading. Bewitching Desires is only 99 cents at the moment – a steal for twelve interspersed short stories. How about I make it even more of a steal? Comment below – tell me your fave Halloween book or movie – and I’ll randomly select one winner, who will receive an e-copy of Bewitching Desires – free!

The contest will stay open until Friday, October 30, 2015. Now, comment away (and be sure to include your email address, so I know how to get in touch with you)!

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Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author. And a wine drinker. And a blogger. Really, all she cares about is figuring out how to give her characters a happily ever after. Okay, she wants to drink wine, too. Check out her work HERE.

Jammies, M/M sex, and Jeopardy: All in a day’s work

You know you’ve bonded with your editor/fellow writer when you can go out in public in your flannel jammies together. Okay, that sounds way more like drunken college antics than it really was.

10513326_10207892395364799_8133391169274372457_nI’m in Minneapolis this weekend with a whole slew of other writer peeps for the Midwest Book Lovers Unite Conference. And it just so happens that I convinced Annie Anthony to join me. The conference kicked off last night with a PJ Party, and we were all dolled up for the event.

12043145_10206890492493988_3663784181222794720_nSipping wine while listening to Annie read a M/M sex scene? Yup. That’s how I spent my Thursday night.

We are going to have tons more fun this weekend, including panels, cover art model shoots, Jeopardy games, a costume party, food, hanging at Mall of America, more food…oh, and this awesome book signing event Saturday morning from 10-1 at the Radisson Blu.

If you’re in the area, swing by and say hello. We’ll be there! Probably not in our pjs, though.


Tumble Into Myth, Magic, and Scottish Dragon Shifters


Dragon’s Dare, last book in my Dragon Lore Series just went live Tuesday. Here’s the book description, and an excerpt!

Bloated on chaos, the Morrigan leaves the Scottish Highlands to gather power. A trip through Hell yields quite the assortment of allies tagging along behind her. Fell creatures straight out of myth and nightmare that haven’t darkened Earth’s boundaries for centuries heed her call.

Heartily sick of the Morrigan’s maneuvering, the dragons are close to shutting their world off from everywhere, Earth included. If they do, every dragon shifter bond will be broken. Horrified, Lachlan and Britta launch a desperate campaign to hang onto their dragons.

Magic may bite back, but if the dragons take their magic ball and go home, Earth will fade, along with all other worlds. That suits the Morrigan fine. War and anarchy are her favorite companions, and she collects misery like children gather beloved toys.

Arianrhod’s fellow Celts found out about her fall from grace and her half-Druid son, Jonathan. With nothing further to hide, she goes back in time hunting Angus, Jonathan’s father. Forty years apart was a steep price to pay. The world needs Angus’s magic. And Jonathan needs all the help he can get. Late to accept the power thrumming through him, he holds a key role in keeping the world from spinning off its axis. Reluctant at first, Jonathan finally gets it.

Absolute focus.

Absolute commitment.

Anything less and everyone he loves will pay an unthinkable price.


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And here’s an excerpt from Dragon’s Dare.

…Jonathan Shea cradled Britta in his arms. She was asleep, the rhythm and cadence of her breathing revealed her exhaustion. He still couldn’t believe he’d found a mate, and a woman linked to a dragon at that. Britta KilKerran was actually the Countess of Cumbria, or she had been a few hundred years back. He wasn’t certain such a title still existed.

It didn’t matter. He’d offer up his life to protect the woman slumbering against his chest. He loved her dragon too, but Tarika scarcely needed his protection. When he thought of the scarlet-scaled dragon, one of the First Born, the place on his neck where she’d marked him with a mating bite tingled. It was her contribution to his bond with Britta.

She stirred in his arms. He stroked strands of long, red-gold hair away from her face and spun a small spell to keep her asleep. They’d just come from a major battle to free Tarika and Kheladin, another dragon, from the Morrigan’s clutches. Both of them needed rest, but his heart and mind were too full to let go quite yet.

After years of never believing the rumor about his mother being a Celtic deity, he’d finally met her. He brought it on himself by calling for her when they desperately needed help, but he never believed she’d actually show up. Regardless, he couldn’t deny her existence anymore—no matter how much he might want to. Arianrhod had abandoned him when he was so young he had no memories of her, and when he cut to the bone of things, he resented the crap out of her neglect.

Jonathan shut his eyes for a moment and summoned an image of his father. Tall and rangy with shaggy, rich brown hair and amber eyes, Angus had been a dreamer. He did his best for Jonathan, but often as not, he’d been caught up in some trance state or another. Though Angus hadn’t said so, Jonathan understood his father was relieved when he grew old enough to be on his own. Once Jonathan left Ireland, Angus vanished. Their modest cabin near Inishowen remained, but Jonathan knew better than to waste time hunting for a man who didn’t wish to be found.

Had Arianrhod seen Angus all these years he’d been missing? Jonathan could ask her, but she might just stare him down with those inscrutable eyes—one gold, the other silver—and not bother to answer.

He tightened his hold on Britta, and she nestled closer. She was more comfortable about Arianrhod being his mother than he was, but then she was far more comfortable with magic in general. He blew out a breath, recognizing his life would never be the same.

Not that he wanted it to be, but he would’ve preferred finding the love of his life without having to deal with a long-lost parent. Particularly one who stirred up a welter of prickly feelings. Now if Angus were to show back up, it would be a different story…

Britta wriggled against him, and her golden eyes flickered open. She regarded him sleepily through thick red lashes. “Ye canna rest, my love?”

Jonathan shrugged and offered a sheepish smile. “Lots to think about.”

She cupped the side of his face in one hand. “Do ye wish to talk about anything?”

He shrugged again, feeling uncomfortable. What was there to say, really? He was a little old to be struggling with parent issues. Besides he’d long since come to terms with his father’s magic being too pervasive for him to spend much time around normal humans. Jonathan dealt with some level of that as well, but his job as a software engineer who designed games let him keep to himself.

Britta brushed her hand across his lips. “Whenever ye wish, I’ll be here. Tarika too. She’s verra old and much wiser than either of us. If ye canna get the information elsewhere, mayhap we can figure out what sort of hold the Celtic gods had on your da.”

“Thank you. I’ll keep it in mind.” Jonathan reached around her and snagged a bottle of Irish whiskey off the nightstand. “Would you like some? I can get us glasses.”

“Och, and I can drink from the bottle. No need to get fancy.”

She smiled, and it transformed her into something so striking he couldn’t look away. A high forehead gave way to sculpted cheekbones and a defined chin. One of his old T-shirts covered her from chest to knees, but the outline of her breasts was clearly visible through the well-aged beige fabric.

His cock stirred, and he rolled his eyes. “We made love twice after we got here. I don’t understand why I can’t get enough of you.”

“Are ye complaining?” She quirked an arched red brow.

He shook his head and drew both of them to a half sitting position against the carved oak headboard. He uncorked the bottle and handed it to her. She drank deep before handing it back.

Britta narrowed her eyes and watched him drink. “We’re far from home free,” she blurted without preamble.

“Which problem are you referring to?” He placed the bottle on a side table not bothering to cork it. He wasn’t done yet, and likely neither was Britta.

She moved away and sat cross-legged facing him, her lovely face creased with concern. “We may have permanently removed Connor and Rhukon and their dragons from the action, but there have to be other corrupt dragon shifters. We must seek them out and destroy them too.”

Jonathan shook his head. “It won’t matter unless we get to the heart of things.”

“Aye, ye’re correct. We must find a way to corral the Morrigan, or she’ll just entice more mages and dragons with promises of limitless power.” Britta caught her lower lip between her teeth. “Tarika plans to warn the dragons. She believes the dark mages want to drain their dragon bondmates’ power.”

Jonathan straightened and recaptured the whiskey bottle, taking another swallow. “I thought mages became dragon shifters because they loved dragons and wished to share their lives with them.”

“Aye and that would be true—for most of us. Power lures dark mages, though. Far more power than can be had through the normal dragon shifter bond.”

“How do you know?”

“I saw it in Connor and Rhukon’s minds afore we thrashed them.”

“You didn’t say anything.” He handed her the bottle. Maybe they should eat something, if they were going to drink much more.

“I would have. Eventually. Tarika and I needed to determine just what it meant. And if ’tis really true, or just conjecture on our part.”

He kissed her forehead before swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “I’m going to cut up a bit of cheese for us and get some crackers.” He pulled on a pair of black sweat pants, securing the waist string to keep them from falling down, and got to his feet.

“Excellent.” She grinned. “Plotting revenge is hungry business, but ye dinna have to cover that amazing cock.”

He bit back a laugh, enjoying the compliment, and made his way to the kitchen. His apartment was small enough to keep talking. “Did you discuss this with Lachlan?” he asked as he chopped cheese off a block and opened a box of biscuits.

“Nay, but Tarika and Kheladin figured out what was going on while they were held prisoner.”

Jonathan returned to the bedroom and plopped the snacks on the bed next to Britta. “How does this bondmate thing work? Would Lachlan be privy to the dark mage problem, if it’s in his dragon’s mind?”…

Getting to Know KaLyn

KaLyn Cooper

Check out my website

Stealing the idea from my fellow LL&L blogger Jianne Carlo, I decided to interview myself so everyone can get to know me better.

Interview with KaLyn Cooper:
If you had to be on one reality show, what would it be? Amazing Race – I could NEVER do this with Macho Marine but my Favorite (aka only) Daughter and I would be awesome on this show. She would have to eat all the yucky stuff because I simply couldn’t but most people would be amazed at what this old broad can do.

If you were to write the number one best-selling cookbook, what would be the title? Kookin’ with KaLyn

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The sun climbing over the Great Smoky Mountains at dawn from my porch swing while sipping Italian Cappuccino. No wine before it’s time (after 5:00 p.m.) 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Answered that question when Macho Marine took the ultimate promotion to Mister…Eastern Tennessee, staring at the Smoky Mountains from my porch swing drinking wine.

How many pieces of jewelry do you wear on a daily basis? Four: wedding ring, engagement ring and 20th Anniversary rings are welded together so I count them as one; diamond 25th anniversary ring sits on top; 30th anniversary ring is on my right ring finger (diamonds surrounding a sapphire). Now here the test. Can you guess what Macho Marine bought me for our 35th anniversary? A ring you say. No. A Kimber Solo 9mm pistol with Crimson Trace laser. LOVE it!! And him.

Have you ever gone commando? Of course. Hasn’t everyone?

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You just have to love a man in uniform…or out of it

Which do you prefer: 
Denim or Leather on a guy? Camo uniform is always my first choice but denim is a close second

Chiseled jaw or Chiseled abs? Always abs – Check out the other 850+ on my Pinterest board Hunks and Junks

Chocolate or Popcorn? Definitely chocolate

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We get grape juice imported from all over the world and make some of the best Mueller Thurgau I’ve ever tasted but I’m partial to whites

Wine, Beer, or Soda? Wine usually, but I like a good dark beer with hot wings or burgers. Did I mention that we make our own wine, beer and a little shine?

Camping or five star hotel? We own a motorhome so it’s like camping in a 5-star hotel…without the maid service…but you know who slept in the bed the night before and what they did in that bed.

I hope you’ve gotten to know me a little better through these questions. Did you learn anything new?

Girl, I got you. And you. And you.

Annie Color Change Head Shot

I couldn’t start my inaugural post at Love, Lust, and Laptops without first thanking my fellow authors for welcoming me to the party. I’m so excited to be here and really appreciate the opportunity to talk love, lust, and other fun topics alongside such a talented crew of authors!

So where to begin?  No better place than the beginning, right? Some people are born to dance, sing, play soccer. I’m lucky I can cross the street without tripping over my own feet. And when I sing Wheels on the Bus to my 2-year old niece, she frequently says: “No sing.” I think that’s toddler speak for “you’re ruining my jam, Auntie.”

I like to think I was made for other things. When I was seven years old I wrote a story using spelling words and somehow made my mother cry. In that moment, my love affair with words was born.

The stories I enjoy telling the most are love stories. Stories about the truth of human relationships—the pain, the angst, the humor, the horror—with a dose of romance and a dash of sex. (Proportions estimated… I also don’t use recipes when I cook…)

In college, I got into a spirited disagreement with a lesbian woman in one of my women’s studies classes. At the time I was dating the first guy I had ever dated (yes, I was like 20) and Christina was a plaid wearing, combat-booted, short hair toting butch who lived with her femme girlfriend. Christina would not accept that I had any idea what life was like for her, as a lesbian. I disagreed.  As a compassionate human, I don’t think understanding someone else’s story is impossible. Walking a mile in someone’s shoes does not yield the same blisters… but it’s a hell of good way to start understanding.

I believe thinking and feeling people can understand experience and emotion vastly different from one’s own. On a really simple level, if we couldn’t do this, why would anyone watch horror films? I for one have never stabbed a zombie in the head, nor have I had a serial killer stalk the mansion where I was babysitting children, but I sure enjoy experiencing those things in books and film. Of course it’s not the same, but doesn’t hate happen when people refuse to see the sameness in us, in spite of the differences?

So Christina: girl, I get you. I did then understand in theory what your struggles were like. And I do even more so now. Since college, I’ve come out to myself and the world as a lesbian. So, I really, actually, in my own life “get” what Christina was talking about.  And maybe back then my understanding was influenced in part by my own awareness and questioning.

Back to writing. I write a lot, about everything, anything that strikes me.  But my lesbian romances have been really well-received by straight readers. Why is that? Don’t het people skeeve out when they read about same sex love, lust, etc.? Some do, I’m sure. But I think many readers see the truth in human experience that underlies any enjoyable story—no matter what uglies happen to bump in the end.

I’m really happy to be part of a group of authors who represent diverse stories, characters who are human first (unless they are aliens!) If you want to check out excerpts from lesfic (that is, lesbian fiction, or women-centered fiction), please stop by my blog.  I’m promoting a new anthology that I’m in called First Ladylove.  Seven authors have put together stories and we’re promoting excerpts from each book. You can check out my story, Fixin’ Biscuits, and learn more about little old me.

I’m so excited to be a part of Love, Lust, and Laptops. Expect to see the lesfic perspective represented, but know also that we’re all human. Truth, love, romance, sex, story. We’re all in this together! Right, Christina?

Visit Annie Anthony’s Blog

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