Kissing at Midnight (and other musings) by Holley Trent

new year's eve

Do you remember Fantasy Island or at least know what it was?

(If you don’t, you might be too young for this blog.)

Who wouldn’t love the idea of going to some tropical resort and having their dreams turned into reality? And what if those dreams were of true love and finding that special someone?

The Den of Sin series came about back in 2013 because of a rambling “What if?” discussion in a marathon-length Facebook chat between me, Melissa Blue, L.V. Lewis, and Ambrielle Kirk. It started as a musing about Fantasy Island’s host-with-the-most Mr. Roarke. One of us commented that some television network could be making money hand over fist right now if they recast that role with David Gandy.

Since none of us have any clout in Hollywood (as far as we know), we figured we’d take matters into our own hands. New Year’s Eve was coming up, and we thought it’d be fun to launch a series of connected novellas set a fictional hotel where a…um…certain kind of dreams come true.

800midnightseductionsflatOur “Mr. Roarke” is a talk, dark, handsome, and mysterious New Orleans hotelier named Henri Beaudelaire. Every so often, he opens the doors of The Hotel Beaudelaire for an invitation-only event called The Den of Sin. Guests are told to leave their inhibitions at the door, and if they’re lucky, they’ll go home with the loves of their lives (or at least with smiles on their faces).

Those Den New Year’s Eve stories are currently bundled in the Midnight Seductions collection. It’s a buck at Amazon through early January, and it’s a great introduction to the Den world, which now has four seasons of stories.

If you can’t be kissing your special someone at midnight, you can live vicariously through the characters in the collection. Watch the Coming Soon page here at LL&L in the next few weeks to find out what’s happening next in the Den world.

Happy reading!

Wishing you lots of luck and love in 2016. (Be gentle on yourself with the resolutions.)

-Holley

My Secret is Revealed!

My secret is a double whammy…

I have 2 books coming out in January!

For some, that’s no real surprise. But it was for me.

I was scheduled to release Captivated in Cancun in the fall of 2015 and I apologize to all my readers that it wasn’t available when promised. For personal reasons, that got pushed back.

Captivated in Cancun-HighRes (2)But I am thrilled to announce that Captivated in Cancun, Cancun series book 2.0 will release January 20th!

A year after her divorce from he-who-will-not-be-named, Lilly Girard is busy rebuilding her life and future. Devoted to her two small boys, she’s a successful attorney for her family’s international corporation, runs in Chicago’s elite social circles, and has a full life. She doesn’t want a man around every day to complicate things, but when her brother’s former boss offers to make her bedroom fantasies come true, is Lilly ready to retake that part of her life back?

Josh “Madman” Madden is using the Cancun wedding of his friend and former Lieutenant Jack Girard, as cover to hunt down a group of ISIS terrorists headed to the United States. Because of his job, Josh isn’t a good candidate for marriage or fatherhood, but he can spend his nights fulfilling the dreams of his buddy’s very tempting sister. What he doesn’t expect is to find he’s created new dreams of his own.

When their worlds collide, Lilly needs a super hero, but Josh has to leave her to save the United States.

Claimed-by-a-SEAL-mockup3Then, on January 26th, Claimed by a SEAL, a Cancun Crossover novella 2.5 with Cat Johnson’s Hot SEALs will release in Kindle Worlds.

Three years ago, Stacie Vandercoy was stuck undercover in Iraq for six months with Jeff “Rock Star” Lennon, the arrogant SEAL who thought he was God’s gift to women. But he couldn’t have her. Fraternization is against the rules. When they were both captured, he proved he couldn’t be trusted with State secrets. She didn’t like or respect the man, but her professionalism had allowed her to work with him recently in Cancun. Thankfully, he hadn’t been in the next bedroom, or walking around shirtless, or singing love songs accompanied by his guitar, tempting her, like he had in Iraq. Now they are required to work together in Norfolk, Virginia. Again. Can she still resist him? Does she have to?

Jeff Lennon had been forced to do things he didn’t like as a Navy SEAL, and as an agent for the terrorist division of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol. For years, his only real regret has been what he’d had to do to Stacie back in Iraq. He’s been given another chance to make amends and prove he’s not the man she believes him to be. Then, maybe, he can claim her heart, body and soul. In the meantime, he has to stop a terrorist attack somewhere in the Norfolk area, during Fleet Week.

Even the agency’s psychologist isn’t sure Stacie can pull off pretending to be Jeff’s wife. What lengths will Stacie and Jeff go to assure the mission’s success? And what will they both lose in the process?

So, tell me what you think about my next two books? Sound interesting?

And do you like my covers?

COMMENT below and you will be entered for a double whammy of a prize: Advance Reader Copies of BOTH books AND a “shot” of Cancun prize.  I might even give away two prizes since it’s a Double Whammy.

New Year, New World… and a Game of Would You Rather by Annie Anthony

There’s nothing I would rather contemplate at the end of 2015 then the end of the world as we know it.  Not for real!  But in a zombie post-apocalyptic fictional kinda way, with a lesbian romantic twist.

I really am excited for 2016. New year, new stories, new possibilities in all areas of life. I’ve been working on a new story–a lesbian romance set in Los Angeles after of course the zombie apocalypse. And I mean, immediately thereafter, like before the main character figures out exactly who’s left alive in her building and what that means for her survival.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with this story, especially the “would you rather game.” In this yet unntitled story, the main character, Beatrice, and her roommate Rowena (Weena) hole up in their apartment at night and play games to help themselves prepare for and figure out who to save, who would survive. For example:  Lenny Kravitz and Mike Tyson are battling a horde of zombies? Who would you rather survive and why?

Here is an excerpt from my work in progress.  I’d love to hear what you think, and get your help… any ideas for a title? Right now I’m calling this “lesbian zombie romance” which really I think just won’t work…

 

Los Angeles- post zombies credit: Linnaea Mallette

Los Angeles- post zombies credit: Linnaea Mallette

Excerpt:

I was never someone who had those star-crossed encounters, you know? Meeting someone’s eyes in a coffee shop or a crowded bar.  If I had been unlucky in love before, my chances of simply finding another lesbian now—let alone experiencing mutual attraction and affection, shared interests—is about as likely as internet service magically being restored to greater Los Angeles. Ever.

The person I would most want by my side during the zombie apocalypse was also the woman most likely to ferret out women with even the most remote homosexual tendencies—my roommate.  Weena could get laid in an elevator of straight people—in between floors.  She had one of those larger than life personalities:  tall, big laugh, teeth so bright and a smile so engaging, women noticed her, looked at her, liked her.  And then of course they also fucked her, with a frequency that spun my 30-something spinster heart.

If you’d told me six months ago that it would be me still here, still fighting, I would have laughed at you.  For starters, I’m severely lactose intolerant.  Like, if they accidentally butter my toast at IHOP, I nearly shit my pants before the check comes—that intolerant.  Weens—full name Rowena Louise Mcgowan—Weena or Weens for short, was a security guard, for goodness sake. She carried a firearm, real handcuffs–not just the ones she used with her girlfriends for fun–and she had both the skills and the stature to overtake a fleeing man and bring him to his knees.  And she had.

But when the shit got real and we lost electricity, internet—for God’s sake cold beer—Weena decided to leave, to give up.  About two weeks into the new reality, we were on self-imposed lockdown in our apartment.  We shared a two-bed one-bath in a 30-story building overlooking Skid Row—which is how I know she could get laid in an elevator full of straight people between floors. She had.

We were playing a game we’d invented since the shit out there turned bad.  The game was a variation on “would you rather” but with a post-zombie apocalypse twist.

“Kristen Stewart and Kate Moennig are surrounded on all sides. You have an ax and a dagger which means you have to get close to the dead to kill them and you won’t have time to save them both. Who would you pick to survive? Kristen or Kate?”

I groaned a hungry—no, anguished, sound.  I weighed the choice out loud.

“Is there a chance she will be so grateful that she’ll immediately fuck me senseless for saving her life?”

Weena threw a cushion from the couch at my face.  She has perfect aim.

“Duh, Bug! What the fuck would the point of saving one of them be if there was no ‘I’m indebted to you for life’ fuck?”

My name is actually Beatrice and back when people called me, they mostly called me Bea, but Weena wouldn’t be bound by the nickname everyone else used.  She took a spin on “Bea” and from the first day we met, she’d called me “Bug.”

“God, I hate these choices. Ok,” I played this out. “For the immediate thank-you fuck, I’d probably have to choose Kate—“
“I knew—“ Weena screeched.

“Wait, wait, let me finish.” I pulled a long strand of hair through my fingers, imagining what I would have done a year ago to make myself gorgeous for the chance to fuck either one of them… or anyone else for that matter.  “We’re gonna need some women to help us repopulate the world assuming the world doesn’t completely end. Based on readily available information, Kristen might still have sex with a man.”

Weena shuddered.

“But… I also wouldn’t want to take the chance that I’d lose her to some guy who’d want to screw the gay right out of her. With Kate, I’m suspecting a lot less likelihood that she’d leave me for a wanger, even if it meant human civilization would end with us. That has a romantic sound to it, doesn’t it?”

Weena rolled her eyes, took the pillow back that she’d thrown at me, tossed it in my face again. “Choose!”

“Kate.” I settled it.

“That could have gone either way,” Weena took notes. Every time we played this game, we kept score in a log book. As though some day when faced with these choices in a crisis, we would look back on our decisions and know exactly what to do. As if anything that was happening around us could be studied, prepared for.

“Your turn,” I grabbed the legal pad and pencil. “You can take a steaming hot bath for one hour in an extra deep tub—yes, the water comes out of the tap just like before—or you can eat a full-on Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings in peace and safety. Your choice—one hour of clean or an entire meal of dreamy food.”

Weena’s expression darkened as she contemplated the choice. “Neither,” she said. “I don’t want either of those things, not anymore.”

“Are you sure? No strings attached? We’re talking straight up sweet potatoes, homemade dressing. Gravy so thick you could lie on it. A bed, I’m talking a bed of gravy.”

Weena shook her head, her lips thin as the lines on the paper. “Bringing back any taste of the real world, the old world, would only make coming back to this one that much harder. If you got to fuck Kate Moenning, shit, that would almost be worth splitting open zombie heads and shitting in buckets and foraging for jerky or something edible that hasn’t yet been ruined. But a turkey and stuffing or a hot bath? Jesus.  I can’t imagine how sick I’d feel if for one minute I had hope that the old world was still out there somewhere.”

Thanks for reading! If you like Bug and Weena’s story and want to hear more, let me know.

Check out my Pinterest board for photos that helped inspire the story Inspiration Board Lesbians and Zombies and my blog Annie Anthony Blog for more!

And whether you’d rather stay in 2015 or are looking forward to all the possibility of 2016, have a safe, happy, zombie-free New Year!!!

A Shifter And A Lightbearer Walk Into A Bar…

Have you heard that one? What? No? You mean you haven’t read Into the Light, the first in the Lightbearer series? What the heck are you waiting for?

Wait, hang on, don’t start yet. Into the Light is no longer the first. That’s right. I’ve written a prequel, a novella that takes place about 500 years before the Lightbearer series picks up, right here in the 21st century.

Beautiful Woman Posing With a Wolf Outdoors

It’s called First Light, and it features Sabine, James, and Zander. Sabine is a Lightbearer who can’t seem to do a damn thing right, James is the King of the Lightbearers, and Zander is the shifter who didn’t kill Sabine when he had the chance. Does it sound like the perfect setup for a love triangle? You aren’t far from reality with that one.

Before we get into any more detail, here’s a quick synopsis of the rest of the series (you know, in case you want to check them out, too):

Template to be used to assemble cover art for Liquid Silver Books.  It was created in PhotoShop CS6.

Lightbearer #1 – Into the Light
Shifters and Lightbearers. Mortal enemies. Until the day shifter Tanner Lyons rescues Lightbearer princess Olivia Bennett from his own father, who intended to kill her to steal her magic. Now, instead of wanting to kill her, Tanner wants, well, let’s say his intentions are anything but pure.

 

Dawning of Light Cover
Lightbearer #2 – Dawning of Light 
Finnegan Hennigan’s job is to protect Lightbearer Cecilia Druthers, often from herself. But Cecilia doesn’t want to be protected. Not even when is becomes apparent someone wants her dead. Good thing her protector is persistent. Oh, and he’s hot, too, which makes it damn hard for her to stay away from him, like she keeps insisting she wants to do…

Lightbearer #3 – Light Beyond the Darkness
Carley Santiago ran away from the Lightbearer coterie to escape an abusive LightBeyondDarkness_Coverrelationship. When she stumbles upon a shifter in the middle of a crowded human city, she doesn’t know whether to run away – or into his arms. Lucky for readers, the second option is far too tempting to resist.

Lightbearer #4 (which releases on 1/4/2016) – Change in the Light
Rachel Whitaker is supposed to distract shapeshifter Josh Tigre so his enemy can take him down. But she doesn’t know he’s not human. Oh, and she’s starting to fall for the guy she’s supposed to help destroy. This can’t possibly end well. Can it?changeinthelight

Like what you’ve read so far? Tempted to start one-clicking? Well, go ahead, don’t let me stop you! Oh, wait, that’s not why I’m here, writing this blog post. I’m doing this because I want to give you a Christmas present. That’s right – a free book! But you gotta download it before Christmas, because as of December 27, it releases, and then it costs $1.99. A good deal to start a pretty cool paranormal series, but still. Can’t beat free. Right? So get to it. Here’s the link, to download First Light, FREE, only until Christmas: START READING.

Oh, and if you like it, I hope you’ll leave a review to let me know. And don’t forget to grab the rest of the books in the series. They’re all available on your favorite e-book retail sites.

Happy Holidays! 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is an author. And a wine drinker. She loves romance, and writes happily ever afters, one book at a time. Curious? There’s plenty more info over on her website.

Sara Daniel’s Candy Cane Cookies…with Watermelon???

For me, this week is all about those special memories that can only be forged during the most wonderful time of the year. I’m not writing. I’m not Tweeting. I’m not checking out a hot shirtless model for next book cover. … Okay, maybe I peeked at that last one!

img_5330What I’m mostly likely doing is opening my recipe book to the cookie section and dragging a family member into the kitchen to help me get flour and sugar on every available surface. My favorite holiday recipe is for Candy Cane Cookies. I love these festive cookies for their hint of almond flavor and the crushed candy canes on the top. I only make them once a year, and I double the recipe below.

I will warn you to make sure that you only use peppermint candy canes (or candies). A couple years ago, I went around our family Christmas tree, plucking off all the red and white candy canes. I crushed them into the topping, which I then sprinkled onto the cookies. Well, you can imagine my dismay when I took a bite and discovered mixed in with the refreshing mint flavor was also the not-so-refreshing taste of watermelon candy. Yes, unbeknownst to me, one (or more) of the candy canes I crushed was watermelon flavored, not mint, and the combination was not-so-yummy.

Last year I used round peppermint candies to ensure there was no mix-up, and I’ll do so again this year. But the watermelon candy cane cookies are the ones I’ll reminisce over as I roast chestnuts on an open fire and Jack Frost nips at my nose.

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 t. salt
½ – 1 t. red food coloring
1 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candy

Mix butter, shortening and powdered sugar. Mix in egg, almond extract and vanilla. Continue mixing as you add in flour and salt.

Divide dough in half. Place in separate bowls. Blend food coloring into one bowl of dough.

Shape one tablespoon of dough from each color into a rope. Place ropes side by side on a cookie sheet. Press together lightly and twist. Curve down the top third to form a candy cane.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minute.

Immediately after removing from oven, sprinkle cookies with crushed peppermint candy. Wait until cookies are cool to prevent breakage when removing them from the pan.

Enjoy the tastes and smells of the season. Happy holidays!

-Sara Daniel
http://www.SaraDaniel.com
http://saradanielromance.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/SaraDanielSaraShafer
http://www.facebook.com/SaraShaferDaniel
http://www.twitter.com/SSaraDaniel

We Have WINNERS!

banner3There were over 170 entries for the wonderful prizes offered by the Ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops as part of The Hottest Christmas List Around. Thank you for participating in our Holiday promotion.

We hope you enjoyed the Christmas Lists of our Hot Characters and learned a little about our books. Be sure to FOLLOW LL&L blogs for more contests (I happen to know KaLyn Cooper has 2 releases in January and that means more….Diamond jewelry!)

The WINNERS are:

Kristin Arpin won the prize from Annie Anthony – One Exquisite Night in E-format

Joye won the prize from – Annie Anthony – a burgundy surprise box (you’ll appreciate this surprise when you read the book!). US or Canadian residents only to win the box. Winner must be at least 18 years old. 

Cindy Hazelwood won the prize from – Belinda McBride – Bad Angels books in E-format (3 books)

Artemisgeminii won the prize from – Emilia Mancini – Seducing Kate in E-format

Patricia Westover won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Manhandled E-format

Kenderly Woods won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Sinner in E-format

moosehog83 won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Prymal Lust in E-format

Catherine Maguire won the prize from KaLyn Cooper Cancun Series in E-format (3 books)

necklaceCharlene Whitehouse won the prize from Lynn Lorenz – E-book and jewelry

cosmicread won the prize from Robin Danner – Bound in E-format

Diana Michelle Tidlund won the prize from Robin Danner – Christmas Spirits in E-format

Melissa Graham  won the prize from Sara Daniel – Captivating the CEO in E-format

Teresa Jensen  won the prize from Sara Daniel – One Night with the Bridal Party print anthology – US only

Paw Print Rhinestone BraceletJeannie Platt won the prize from Tami Lund – Into the Light in E-format and a silver paw print bracelet (US residents only for the bracelet). If winner is outside US – 2 EBooks – Into the Light & Dawning of Light, first & second in the Lightbearer series.

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Diamond Necklace

Laurie P  has won the Grand Prize Diamond Necklace.

If you are listed above, PLEASE Comment below with your email address so the LL&L Ladies can contact you concerning delivery of your prize.