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ANGEL IN CHAINS–New Release!

Cynthia Eden Icon

Update: The winner of the gift certificate is…Allison W. Congrats, Allison! And thanks to everyone for sharing their paranormal romance love with me. Have a great weekend!

When a new book releases, I’m always both very excited (Yay!! It’s out in the wild!) and very nervous (oh…I hope readers enjoy it!). Yesterday was the release day for my latest Kensington Brava, ANGEL IN CHAINS, so I was definitely feeling that mix of excitement and nervousness all day.

I loved writing ANGEL IN CHAINS–the hero, Az, was more than a bit wicked in my the first two Fallen books (ANGEL OF DARKNESS and ANGEL BETRAYED). I wanted to keep him on the wicked side, but I also wanted to show that he could be more than just the bad guy.

Here’s the blurb for ANGEL IN CHAINS:

As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death.

Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions…

***

To celebrate the release of ANGEL IN CHAINS, I’m going to give one commenter a $10 Amazon.com gift card. Just tell me…why do you like paranormal romances? What draws you to these stories? The giveaway will stay open until noon on Friday, and then I’ll pick one random commenter to win.

Good luck!

a Thanksgiving sing-along

Heidi Betts Icon

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I know it’s a few days late, but I hope you had a wonderful holiday…& are maybe even still celebrating. ;)

Since I suspect we’re all functioning under the effects of tryptophan from turkey leftovers, I thought I’d post something just plain old fun today.

It’s no surprise that I’m very easily amused, & one of my favorite Thanksgiving amusements is the turkey version of “I Will Survive”:

But this year, I just have to add “U Can’t Stuff This”:

Did you enjoy them as much as I do?

Tell me you didn’t start singing along! :mrgreen:

Interview with heroine, Amy Shipton…

I released my latest Regency historical romance this month. It’s the final story in my Wicked Wager’s trilogy, TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD. For those of you who don’t read eBooks, I’m putting all three eBook stories into book format in late December early January 2013. What do you think of the cover? Isn’t it beautiful?

To celebrate the release of TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD, my wonderful helper Kati, has organized a Wicked Wagers Blog Tour for me. The tour runs Monday to Friday for the month of November, and you can WIN copies of all my ebooks and $30 Amazon or B&N giftcard (International)… Simply visit each blog post and follow the instructions…

Today I thought I’d let Amy Shipton, the heroine, tell you a little about TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD.

Bron: Welcome to the Brava Authors Blog, Amy

Amy: Good afternoon. Thank you for having me. I’m a bit nervous as I’ve never been interviewed before.

Bron: Relax. It will be fun! Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s Lady Amy Shipton’s life like?

Amy: Well, (licks her lips nervously), I’m twenty-one and the only legitimate daughter of my father the duke, and I have an older brother. I also have several half siblings from the relationship my father has with his mistress. I have obviously never been formally introduced of course. I’m not supposed to mention them but they have a bearing on my story. I pretty much live a life of balls and parties because my father is parading me like a virgin sacrifice to any man with a title and money. He wishes to see me married off as quickly as possible without it causing raised eyebrows and scandal.

Bron: Marry you off—quickly? Are you a bit of a trouble maker then?

Amy: Unfortunately no. I’m the proverbial good girl. My father wants me married so that he can retire to his country estate and move his mistress and other family in. He can’t do that with an unmarried daughter. Sigh, I’m a nuisance he wants swatted aside like a fly.

Bron: Is there a man who interests you? Surely you fancy someone.

Amy: Yes, I do think one gentleman is perfect. He’s an absolute dream. Henry St. Giles, Lord Cravenswood. My next door neighbor. He’s tall, broad shouldered, regal in his posture, with hair the color of dried barley. His eyes sparkle brighter than my emeralds, and his lips, one smile turns my insides to mush.  (Sigh). But he’ll have none of me. He still sees me as a young girl.

Bron: I’d do something about that. Make him notice you.

Amy: Easier said than done in my world. I have the eyes of the ton following my every move. I did dance with him at Lady Skye’s ball. I moved scandalously close to him and I think it had the desired effect. But it all went wrong later that night in his garden.

Bron: ohhh- there’s a story here. Please do share…

Amy:  (blushing furiously). Needing fresh air after Lady Skye’s ball, I found myself wandering in Henry’s garden at about three in the morning. I never expected to find anyone and I was startled when I came across Henry, lying face down by his fountain. He had a large gash on his forehead and naturally I went to his assistance.  The poor man wasn’t quite with it and he… and he… well, read for yourself what happened next…

Amy dropped to her knees next to Henry’s prone body. The sounds of his groans of pain were sweet music; it meant he was at least alive.

She smelled the brandy fumes and noted his hip flask lying discarded nearby. Henry had often seemed worse for drink on his late night ramblings, but when she lift his head to cradle it on her knees she saw the ugly gash on his head. He must have hit the side of the fountain.

She dipped her handkerchief in the water and bathed the gash, wiping the small specks of gravel out of the wound. “Henry,” she scolded softly, tenderly wiping a stray golden lock away from his wound. “What am I to do with you? You can’t let your brother’s death destroy you with sorrow and guilt. Richard would have wanted better for you.”

She gazed spellbound at the beauty of the man she tended. His long lashes were dark crescents smudged over his pale cheeks. His brows, the planes of his face, looked oddly relaxed; his lips, full and beckoning, were gently curved in a child like smile. Her heart expended under an emotion she didn’t wish to face.

She pressed the cloth to his head until the wound stopped bleeding, all the while gently singing to him.

Amy didn’t know how long they’d sat there, but now that the blood no longer flowed, she decided to move and find help. She tried to lever him off of her but Henry groaned deeply and snuggled deeper into her lap, wrapping his arms around her hips, anchoring her to him.

Despite her precarious situation, Amy’s lips lifted at the corner. He was so atrociously handsome, the silky locks of his gold-kissed hair feathered his chiseled cheeks, his long-fingered hands gripped her hips as if he didn’t ever wish to let her go, his long body lay boneless across her lap. She resisted the urge to kiss his wound-just.

What now? Amy looked toward Cravenswood Court. She’d have to summon help to move him. She couldn’t leave him out here with a head injury. She bit her lip and considered the trouble she was in. How would she explain being alone with Henry in his garden—Henry had no idea she often kept him company. All right, she growled under her breath, he had no idea she spied on him. Besides, her reputation would be tarnished and her father might insist on Henry doing the honorable thing. A shudder of delight raced along her nerve endings. That didn’t sound too terrible a fate.

Her smile died as a very large hand suddenly molded her breast and a thumb and finger tweaked her nipple through her clothing. She gasped. Fire danced low in her belly. She should stop him. She closed her eyes and let his hand roam her breasts. His touch was like fire—hot and dangerous. Better than she’d dreamed.

No, it would not be terrible to become his wife.

She heard him mumble and she bent lower to hear his words. His face lifted from her lap and his lips brushed her mouth. He moaned again, the sound was not of a man in pain, more in pleasure. His hand cupped the back of her neck and pulled her closer. His lips teased hers and encouraged her to allow him access. She didn’t even hesitate, but opened for him. He swept into her mouth as if he’d been there before. He tasted of brandy and cheroots, a masculine combination that saw her surrender to the passion his clever tongue provoked.

So caught up in the magic of the kiss, she did not notice his hand expertly freeing one breast from the bodice of her gown until the cooling morning air brushed across her heated skin. She broke from his kiss and sat back on a gasp. He levered himself up and on a deep groan, crawled up her body, gently pushing her down onto the path.

She’d never experienced the weight of a man on top of her. It was thrilling and scary all at the same time. Before she could decide what to do, his mouth found her bare, taut nipple and the hot moistness of his mouth stifled any protest. This time the moan came from her.

She heard a rustle and felt his hand glide seductively under her dress and up her trembling thigh. He stroked her leg while devouring her breast with his mouth and wicked tongue. She let the magic of his love-making consume her. She knew she should protest. She knew Henry would be mortified at what he was doing. He wasn’t in his right mind.

Bron: He’s certainly noticed you all right. So what happened? Why are you actively discouraging Henry’s pursuit of you?

Amy: Here is why. It’s mortifying…

His mouth left hers and trailed a molten path toward her ear. His hand sunk deep into her hair, holding her head at an angle while he nipped at her ear lobe. She struggled for air, panting, urgently seeking some kind of release from the slow building torture of pleasure.

“How I love your responsiveness to my touch, Millicent. Come for me, I’ve missed you so much…”

Amy froze. Pain lanced her chest. How stupid could she have been? Of course he thought she was someone else. Henry never noticed her—not in this way. Why, only last year he’d been more than instrumental in arranging her ‘almost’ engagement to his friend, Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone.

“What’s wrong my love?” He noticed her lack of response because he stilled, his hand leaving her.

Amy was thankful it was dark, but with such a starry night he might not be so drunk that he couldn’t recognize her. Panic took hold. She put her hands on his chest and pushed him sideways with all her might. He rolled off her with a grunt of surprise. Too mortified for words, she pushed clear and jumped to her feet. As she righted her clothing, covering her naked breasts, she barely glanced over her shoulder to ensure Henry would be all right before she raced for the safety of the darkness and her home.

Bron: OMG – he thought you were someone else…

Amy: See? And it gets worse. He has one of my earrings and he’s trying to trace the owner. If he learns it was me he fondled in his garden he’ll offer marriage and my father will make me accept-

Bron: So, he’s very handsome, rich and obviously knows how to—pleasure a woman…

Amy: But he’s in love with this Millicent. How can I possibly marry him knowing that? To be married to a man who loved another- (she’s shudders) it would be like my mother and father all over again. No. I have to stay hidden. I’ll do anything at all to ensure that happens. The first thing to do is get my earring back.

Bron: Good luck with that. You’ll need it. Let us know how it all works out.

Amy: I will. Thanks for lending me your ear. I did need to vent. Now I’m off to a house party at Lord and Lady Wolverstone’s country estate. Henry will be there too. I feel it’s the perfect time to steal back my earring.

Bron: Come back and tell me what happens, I have to know.

If you’d like to learn how Amy got her earring back, leave a comment below and be in to Win an eBook copy of TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD Open internationally.

The Wicked Wagers Blog Tour runs Monday to Friday for the whole month, and you can WIN copies of all my books and $30 Amazon or B&N gift card (International)… Simply visit each blog post and follow the instructions…

About Bron:

New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?

She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence release in late 2012, The Italian Conte’s Reluctant Bride.

Bronwen loves hearing from avid romance readers at romance@bronwenevans.com
You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website www.bronwenevans.com

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Read All About It!

Carol L is the winner! Please e-mail me at maggie@maggierobinson.net!

Lord Gray’s List, the first in the London List trilogy, has been on shelves for a couple of weeks and seems to be doing well. It’s been in the Top 100 Regency Romances for Amazon Kindle, is a Top 100 bestseller at the Rhapsody Book Club, and has gotten some great reviews. My favorite, from Kirkus, ends like this: “A charming, fun Regency romp that combines an innovative, compelling plot with characters that jump off the page and a hot, captivating romance that will tug at heartstrings.” Whee!

For those of you who don’t know, the fictional London List is a weekly Regency newspaper. Everything you want and want to know about is right there in black and white. You can find a job, a lover, or an umbrella stand. And on the front page is all the racy stuff, in this case, whatever my hero, bad boy Lord Benton Gray has been up to.

My late mother-in-law was addicted to tabloids like the National Enquirer. She lived with us for the last three years of her life, and I used to be ashamed on the grocery line as I put those papers on the conveyor belt. I’d always tell the cashier, “They’re not for me, but my mother-in-law.” I’m sure I wasn’t believed, and I’ll confess I sometimes skimmed them quickly before I put them in the recycling box. But I’ve never been attracted to gossip or gossip rags–People Magazine is about as low as I’ll go. I’ll admit to my share of schadenfreude when some hypocrite gets his or her comeuppance, but generally I try to avoid the train wreck culture.

That’s really hard to do with 24/7 media exposure. I think we’ve seen just this last week that Washington, D.C. truth can be every bit as ridiculous as a Desperate Housewives storyline.

Do you pay attention to gossip? What’s your favorite source for dirt? Can you keep a secret better than a C.I.A. guy? I’ll give away a signed copy of Lord Gray’s List to one commenter!

 

Attraction of Opposites

Susan Fox Icon

There is some primitive chemistry to the notions of opposites attracting. It’s a perennially popular theme in romance. But, of course, love will only work if there’s common ground too. That’s often the fun in the story. The heroine and hero think they’re polar opposites and the relationship could never work – but the author and the reader know better. Bit by bit, the similarities are revealed. And, often, bit by bit the characters grow and change to be better versions of themselves.

That’s the magic I tried to capture in my November 27 Brava, Body Heat.

Maura Mahoney is a buttoned-up accountant who loves her job at Cherry Lane, a seniors residential facility, but is less happy about her single status. The child of older, academic parents, she’s looking for an intelligent, articulate, well-educated man who will be compatible with her – and with her parents.

The last thing she wants is to have to supervise community service for some juvenile delinquent.

Jesse Blue sure isn’t thrilled about doing community service, but it’s better than the alternative: jail time, for beating up on the guy who’d been abusing Jesse’s good friend.

Jesse’s a construction worker, a blue collar guy who didn’t finish high school. He likes sexy, fun women and knocking back a few brews with the guys. Raised in a succession of foster homes, he secretly craves a home and family of his own, but believes that dream is beyond his reach.

Opposites, right? Well, here’s a peek at their first impressions on the day they meet.

Maura has just been told by a lawyer that her predecessor (who just left on maternity leave) agreed to supervise community service, and now Maura’s stuck with the job. She doesn’t even know what crime the delinquent committed, she has no idea where his file is, and she hates being caught off guard.

“Where’s your client?” she asked the young lawyer, a Richie Cunningham lookalike.

He glanced at his watch. “Should be here any minute, and—”

The roar of a motorcycle engine cut him off. Maura glanced through the door, open as usual when the weather permitted.

A huge, shiny black bike pulled into the parking lot.

The bad feeling was back, in full force. A juvenile delinquent on a motorbike, wearing a black leather jacket. Like Marlon Brando, in that film where bikers terrorized a little town. The Wild One. Double-aagh. Why did this have to happen on her birthday?

The machine pulled to a stop under one of the flowering cherry trees that gave the place its name. The rider slung his right leg over the bike and got off. A breeze stirred the tree and a drift of pale pink blossoms fluttered down, onto his leather shoulders.

“Let me guess,” she said wryly.

“That’s Jesse. Jesse Blue.” The lawyer stepped through the open door and Maura followed, jaw firm and head held high.

The bike rider’s back was to them. He stretched, and Maura realized how big he was. Well over six feet, with broad shoulders and lean, jean-clad hips. The build of a man, not a teenager.

His head was hidden by a black helmet so shiny it reflected the light. Lazily, he reached up, unfastened the helmet, and pulled it off. As he leaned forward to hook the helmet over a handlebar, cherry petals drifted to the ground like delicate flakes of pink snow. Then he stood tall, legs apart, and ran his fingers through the wavy black hair that fell to his shoulders. Finally, he turned to face his welcoming party.

Oh yes, this was Marlon Brando, James Dean, Russell Crowe, all the bad boys come to life. To my life! She was going to kill Louise. She doubted this man’s crime was shoplifting beer. Possession of drugs, perhaps? Car—or motorcycle—theft? A brawl in a bar?

She gripped her notebook tightly as Richie Cunningham went down the steps to meet Marlon Brando. The men shook hands, the biker dwarfing the lawyer. Then they walked toward her and she got her first good look at Jesse Blue.

He was a gypsy. A rugged gypsy with bronzed skin, winged eyebrows, a craggy nose, and full, sensual lips. He even had a gold earring: a small hoop in his left ear. The longish wavy hair would have looked feminine on another man, but not on Jesse Blue. He was the single most masculine creature she’d ever seen in her life. She felt a fizz in her blood, a tingle low in her belly. The kind of feelings that—to date—she’d only experienced when watching sexy actors in sensual love scenes. Triple-aagh! She definitely wasn’t herself today. Is this what being thirty—and incontrovertibly single—did to a woman?

Standing beside the boyish lawyer, Jesse looked close to her own age, and his face said he’d seen things she wouldn’t dare even imagine. His eyes were slitted against the sun and she couldn’t tell their color. Nor could she understand why she was curious.

He was studying her from head to toe in a lazy, insolent way that brushed tingly heat across her skin. It startled her as much as it offended her, and she felt color—that embarrassing color she tried so hard to control—flush her cheeks. She wasn’t used to a man looking at her like that. A guy like Jesse couldn’t be interested in a plain, tailored woman like her—not that she wanted him to be—so in all likelihood he was trying to throw her off balance. Little did he know, she’d been off balance since the moment she first heard of his existence, not to mention laid eyes on him.

She firmed her jaw again and narrowed her eyes. He was an offender and she was the boss here. He’d do well to remember it.

So would she.

And as for Jesse’s impression of Maura . . .

Jesse squinted through a dazzle of sunshine to see the woman who stood in the doorway. The woman who controlled his future. This lame-ass community service thing was fucked up. But he had to admit, it was way less fucked up than doing jail time.

And hell, he’d done what he had to do to protect Consuela, and now he would take the consequences like a man. With any luck, this supervisor person would give him a few straightforward chores and leave him alone to get on with them.

As he walked toward the porch, his first impression was of height. She had to be around five ten, only four inches shorter than he was.

He mounted the steps, the overhang cut the sun, and he saw the woman fully. Awareness rippled through him, and an unexpected throb of arousal.

She was lean, that ritzy leanness that verged on skinniness but never got too close. Oh, yeah, she had curves. His gaze lingered on small, high breasts and gently rounded hips as he scanned her from head to toe. Boring shoes and plain clothes—a tailored shirt and pants. Kind of classy, but Jesus, they were gray. What woman under the age of eighty wore gray?

How old was this one? She could be a few years older than his own twenty-seven, or a few years younger. Her kind of poise and elegance made it hard to tell. He didn’t have much experience with classy women like this—and what he had told him to steer clear.

His gaze returned to her face, guessing from her coloring that she was Irish. Framed by pulled-back reddish-gold hair, her features were flawless. If she wore makeup, it was just a touch to darken brows, lashes, and lips. The flush on those ivory cheekbones was all her own, as much as the freckles that dusted them.

Her eyes were incredible, somewhere between blue and green. He’d seen that color in Hawaii the time he went there on holiday.

And then, saving the best for last, there was her mouth. Fuck, what a mouth. It was one of those wide, lush ones that got a man hard just thinking what she might do with it.

She reminded him of someone, in a good way. Who was it? In the crowd he hung out with—mostly other construction workers and their girls—he didn’t see women like this. An actress maybe?

Her brows arched and suddenly he knew who she looked like: a lingerie model he’d seen on the cover of one of his friend Consuela’s Victoria’s Secret catalogs. Oh, the clothing was way different—the model’s dynamite body was barely covered by sexy scraps of black silk and lace—but the women had the same vibe. Elegant, yet lush, and totally self-contained. Both had hair pulled back in a knot, calling attention to every perfect feature of a classic face. Gorgeous eyes, though the model wore glasses, thin-framed ones that magnified rather than disguised those stunning eyes. Somehow, all that prim-and-proper stuff that should’ve been a turn-off actually had the opposite effect. The advertising folks knew what they were doing.

Thank Christ his new boss didn’t wear glasses. Already, Jesse’s temperature was climbing and his dick thickening as he tried to imagine what lay under all that buttoned-up clothing.

Stick to your own kind, he reminded himself. The couple times he’d forgotten that rule, he’d ended up feeling like crap.

Not only was Miss Priss his supervisor on this community-service gig, but he knew all about her type. She was way too good for him and she damned well knew it. Even if she was attracted to him—and lots of gals were—she’d consider it slumming. She’d view him as a charity case, try to make him over, the way Nancy, a nurse he’d once dated, had done. Or, worse, she’d act like that rich bitch Sybil: treat him as her dirty little secret, good enough to fuck in private but not to acknowledge in public.

He wasn’t letting himself in for any more of that shit. Yeah, it’d be best for both of them if the ice queen stayed frozen. She was his boss. That’s all it would ever be.

So, what do you think? Could these two ever fall in love? Well, it’s a romance novel, so I bet you can figure out the answer to that question.

How do you feel about the attraction of opposites theme in romances?

Time to Vote

Mia Marlowe Icon

Update: My DH did the random drawing and PJPuppyMom is our winner. She’ll be receiving MY LADY BELOW STAIRS, my Christmas novella, in her choice of Kindle or Nook format. If you didn’t win, I hope you’ll pop over to my website and enter my ongoing contest. The Grand Prize there is my newest release: LORD OF DEVIL ISLE along with the entire Touch of Seduction series.

Finally, the end is near. We’ve all been deluged with contradictory commercials, push-polls and robo-calls. We watched the debates. We’ve tried to sort through conflicting reports on the news media about the candidates to find the truth of the matter. Tomorrow Americans will settle the question in, hopefully, the most civilized manner possible.

We’re going to vote.

Your vote counts.My DH and I come from a long line of voters. When he was a kid, the polling place for his precinct was in the basement of his parent’s farmhouse. Friends and neighbors from all over the county would come to this central location, cast their paper ballots and stay for a cup of my mother-in-law’s coffee. Yes, she served members of both parties.

My parents are volunteer poll workers in the small Missouri town where they live. Each election, they spend a day in training on the correct procedures to make sure the election is free and fair. Then on the day of the election, they rise at oh-dark:thirty and stay till the last ballot is tallied and secured.

Whoever you intend to vote for, I encourage you to do it. As ponderous as this process is, it’s still the best one we have. And it’s been bought and paid for in blood.

So thank a veteran and go to the polls.

I’d love to hear from you. Now I don’t want to know who you vote for unless you feel compelled to share, but I would love to know where you are and when you vote. Tell us if you have to wait in line. What’s the mood of the precinct? Did you vote absentee or cast an early ballot?  Will you wait up watching for results? Is there a referendum issue you’re concerned about?

Click to order!

THE GIVEAWAY

For sharing this info, I’ll give one random commenter a copy of MY LADY BELOW STAIRS, my Christmas eNovella in their choice of Kindle or Nook formats.

Hot-blooded Vampires and Halloween

Rebecca Zanetti Icon

Hi all!  Halloween was just the other night…where I live, it was a perfect, spooky, rather warm night to go trick-or-treating.  I love the Fall – when the leaves drop, the moon somehow gets closer, and something howls late at night.  It’s the perfect time of year to write about vampires and shifters.  In my Dark Protector series, the vampires are hot-blooded.  Very hot-blooded.  The newest book released on November 1st.  Provoked features Kane Kayrs, a smart, scientific, logical vampire…and Amber Freebird, a fun, easy-going, pacifist.  The two have nothing in common…or do they?  :)   Here’s a quick excerpt for you:

Kane peered down at her. “Amber?”

“Yes?”

“If you’re going to attack with whatever’s in your right hand, could you hurry it up? We need to get going.”

She started, her gaze slashing up to him. “How did you know?”

He shrugged. “What kind of a knife do you have?”

Her cheeks pinkened, and she drew her hand forward. “I have a pen.”

A blue ballpoint pen. He blinked twice, his gaze on the harmless tool.

Maybe it was the ridiculousness of the pen. Maybe it was the woman’s courage in planning to use it on him. Or maybe it was the sheepish half-smile she gave.

Either way, his heart rolled over.

Warmth flushed through him, so hot, so fast, his ears rang. His mind blanked. For the first time in centuries, his brain shut off. The woman was crazy. Stepping in, he grasped her chin, tilting her head back.

Her eyes widened, and then her gaze lowered to his lips. A soft sound of surprise emerged with her breath.

He dove in, allowing the animal within to awaken. For the first time in three centuries, there was no thought. All instinct ruled as his mouth took hers…no finesse, no calculation, just pure, raw need. He shoved her against the truck, his other hand clutching her hip as he went deeper.

Honeysuckle exploded along his taste buds as his tongue swept inside her mouth. Not gentle, not persuasive, just taking. Claiming.

And it wasn’t enough. Not even close to enough.

Pressing into her, body to body, heat to heat, something clicked. Beyond his brain, beyond his body…somewhere deeper.

Finally, he found home.

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween…and that your Fall season treats you well!

 

To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood…

Bronwen Evans Icon

The election results are in…. and so is the winner of my latest release – Suzi Love…

Gosh, here in New Zealand I’m watching the developing ‘Sandy’ perfect storm with trepidation. I can’t imagine what that must be like if you live in it’s path. We’re lucky here in New Zealand. We don’t get hurricanes, but we do have a lot of very strong winds. It’s not unusual for planes at Wellington airport to have to land in 120kph winds. So I cannot imagine what 90 mph winds are like! Please take care…

To take your mind off the storm, I thought I’d share a snippet of my latest Wicked Wagers trilogy release, TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD, book#3 in the trilogy. I’m really sad the wagers have finished. They were great fun to write.

Here’s the blurb-

To live happily ever after…

Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soul mate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he’s searched for all his life. He just has to find her.

Lady Amy Shipton is determined to marry for love instead of sharing her husband like her mother did. So why did she let her handsome neighbor and romantic fantasy, the Sinful Saint as he’s called for his bedroom prowess, seduce her in his garden? And what can she do when in the middle of their passionate encounter; he whispers another woman’s name. Now Henry is hunting the owner of the earring Amy left behind, and she’s determined to retrieve it before her identity is revealed. She’s not about to give her father the ammunition he desperately wants to force her down the aisle.

Want a taste of Henry’s story?

“Do you ride, Lady Amy?”

Turning to look up at Henry, Any froze as she met his intense gaze. He stood looking at her in a manner he’d never used before. Like a starving man at a feast. Just like Marcus sometimes looked at Sabine. Her heart stuttered as did her mouth.

Today had altered the balance between them. They’d shared something special. Witnessed something personal and unique, and she was having difficulty keeping her feelings for him in check. She had to move their relationship back to formality in order to keep her distance. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Henry, she didn’t trust herself.

“P-Pardon?”

“Ride…”

He looked utterly gorgeous. Speaking of starving… He looked good enough to eat. She put her hand on her chest and felt her heart begin to race wildly.

His tawny fringe was pushed to the side highlighting long sweeping lashes, which lowered slowly as his gaze swept down her figure, then lifted again so that his stare captured hers. One perfect eyebrow lifted.

Amy licked her lips in order to pry them open. Her mouth suddenly dry. “Yes, my lord. I do ride.”

“Then perhaps you’d like to accompany me on a ride in the morning. The Roman city ruins near Silchester are said to be worth investigating, and it’s only a half-hour’s ride from here.”

Breathe. “I’d like that, thank you.”

Amy found his continued perusal disconcerting. He’d never paid her this much attention before. From a distance he’d been enchanting, but up close he hummed with vibrancy, heat radiating from his body in waves.

“I haven’t had the occasion to formally thank you for helping Sabine. You’ve made my good friend, Lord Wolverstone, very happy.”

Her face began to heat. “It was nothing that anyone else would not have done. Marcus was the hero. He got to Sabine in time to save her.”

His smile momentarily slipped, why she was not sure.

“I’m not sure many young ladies would have helped as you did. Not when they could become Countess Wolverstone by remaining silent.”

There seemed to be some hidden meaning behind his words. His face was alert, searching for…what?

“Marcus did not love me.”

Henry laughed. “That has not stopped women before. The ranks of nobility are full of marriages void of any love or real affection.”

Amy promptly scolded herself. Of course he would laugh at her notion. Yet it hurt. After listening to his late night discussions with his dead brother, she thought Henry wanted what she did—love.

Perhaps not. He was looking for the owner of the earring even when he’d whispered another’s name. Men. They were all alike. Love was convenient when required to gain what they most desired. Trouble was love lasted only as long as the pleasure.

She rolled the stem of her empty glass between her fingers and wished Sabine would call them all into super.

She risked a glance at him. She wished she could think of something clever to say. Instead she burbled forth quite forcefully, “I will only ever marry for love.”

“Very wise,” he replied.

Was he teasing? She was saved from further conversation by a servant. Henry stepped aside to let the man refill her glass. As soon as he’d left, Henry took the seat beside her on the settee. She gulped back a moan. She should have invited him to sit, but his presence was throwing her off-kilter.

A gleam entered his eyes. He leaned close, his thigh touching her leg through the silk. “Did you have anyone in mind?”

Amy glanced at him uncertainly, wondering if he were making fun of her, but his countenance screamed seriousness. “I beg your pardon?”

“Are you in love? Come, it’s a simple enough question.”

Amy looked quickly around the room, was he serious? As if she would tell him such personal information. She looked across to Marcus and caught his eye, pleading for help. He simply lifted his glass and smiled back at her.

“Marcus is considered to be an extremely handsome man. He has broken many hearts in his time. Not intentionally, of course.”

She tried to repress her flush of embarrassment. “I’m sure you’re right, but I think of Marcus as purely a friend.” She had not meant to have her words come out so sharp but really! “Why are the secrets of my heart so important to you, Lord Cravenswood? Perhaps you’d like to share who your heart belongs to?”

There, that will put him in his place. Who is Millicent? But to her horror he picked up her hand and brought it to his lips. They scorched her skin even through her glove. Suddenly he gave her a slow, charming, devilish grin that seared all her nerve endings. “There are many secrets I’d like to share with you, my sweet.”

She opened her mouth to reply, then shut it again, deciding it wiser to halt this conversation before she got herself into real trouble.

At her muteness, the gleam in Henry’s eyes intensified. “For instance, did you know men find the thrill of the hunt very exciting?”

Hunt? Amy’s eyes flared and she stifled a gasp. Was he indicating his hunt for the owner of her earring? Did he know it was hers or was he simply ferreting for information?

At her confusion he leaned further toward her and whispered, “However, it’s what we do once we’ve caught our pray that is pleasurable.”

Scandalous. His words were scandalous.

Tell me where the ancient ruins Henry wants to visit with Amy are located, and one lucky commenter will WIN a eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. Open internationally. Closes 31 October.

Halloween fun!

Heidi Betts Icon

Must Love Vampires by Heide BettsAs you may have guessed from some of my books (MUST LOVE VAMPIRES & THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS to name two ;) ) I just love Halloween.

It’s my favorite holiday, with its vampires & werewolves & zombies (oh, my!)…ghosts & witches & goblins…full moons & costumes & trick-or-treats…

Oh, yes, I love Halloween.

So this month, just for fun, I thought I’d post some quizzes to find out just how into Halloween the rest of you are. :mrgreen:

Be sure to post your results for everyone to see! Mine are below, but there are links to each quiz for you to follow…

What’s Your Halloween Personality?


You See Halloween as Scary

A bit of an introvert, you like the special occasions just as much as everyone else.  You just have your own unique way of celebrating Halloween.

You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side.  And part of having that dark side means not showing it.

Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous. You truly fear the dark side of humanity.  You are a true misanthrope.

You’re prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic.  Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind…even if you don’t admit it.

You are picky and high maintenance.  If you wear a Halloween costume, it’s only when you really feel like it.  And it has to be perfect.

Take the Quiz!

What Halloween Treat Are You?


You Are Candy Corn

Your Halloween personality is whimsical, colorful, and creative.

You see Halloween as a time to get your creative juices flowing.Each year, Halloween can’t start soon enough for you.

You tend to go all out for Halloween.  You decorate like crazy and always dress up.

Take the Quiz!

From my haunted house to yours…

Lord Gray is on His Way!

Maggie Robinson Icon

On October 30, the first book of the new London List Trilogy, Lord Gray’s List, will debut! I’m getting excited, and the recent reviews make me even more so. Here’s what RT Book Reviews Magazine has to say:

“Sexy, fun and smart, Robinson’s latest is pleasurable. Her strong, independent heroine meets her match in the alpha hero, and their battle of wills will have readers smiling with glee just to see who ends up wearing the pants in this relationship. The lovely touches of historical detail and secondary characters flesh out the story, but readers may simply want to focus on the sensual and humorous aspects of Robinson’s writing.

Evangeline Ramsey proves that “Hell hath no fury” and “the pen is mightier than the sword” when her scandal sheet, The London List, simultaneously presents her with the opportunity to care for her ailing father and pay back Lord Gray for breaking her heart years ago. Baron Benton Gray is determined to unmask the reporter who has made him the ton’s laughingstock (why, even his mother is amused!). However, discovering Evie’s identity only increases his anger — and his passion.”

And from Rogues Under the Covers:

“This book had everything I have come to expect from Maggie Robinson; heart, humor and heat.  The heat starts off rather quickly, with Evie and Ben already having a torrid affair in the past but then the sexual tension sets in and just keeps building.  The humor was just wonderful.  Our couple are constantly trying to prove who is the man and should wear the pants (literally)…Ben wants Evie to wear dresses and be a female and take care of her while Evie wants to continue doing her job and the pants suit her just fine.  Evie is a strong, bold, confident woman and does not need a man to take care of her!  (Even if he is devilishly handsome, wealthy and shows himself to have a very generous heart).  The heart comes from all the secondary characters that add a nice sense of completion to this story.  Evie knows what it is like to struggle and when Ben decides to shut down the paper, she shows him how many people depend on The London List to find jobs, homes, and helpers, that it is far more that a scandal sheet… I also really enjoyed seeing some of the day to day operations involved in running a newspaper!  Overall, a delightful, sensual romance that will surely please romance fans who enjoy a perfect blend of heart, wit, charm and heat.”

From Publishers Weekly:

“Robinson (Mistress by Marriage) launches a Regency series with this appealing tale of sin and redemption. Baron Benton Gray is finally fed up with the way the editor of London’s most popular scandal tabloid, the London List, describes his bachelor exploits. He decides to put his wealth and power to the task and approaches the List’s editor, hoping to buy the rag. Much to Ben’s surprise, the rascally editor is Evangeline Ramsey, his first love, masquerading as a man. She declines his offer, so Ben goes over her head, wheedling a sales agreement from her ailing father. But when he shutters the newspaper, its advertisers and readers threaten to riot. With endearing good humor, Ben rehires Evie, and the two work side-by-side—and sometimes front-to-front—as the smoldering embers of love rekindle flames of passion…witty…wordplay and pure fun.”

And biggest squee of all, best-selling author Eloisa James is going to feature Lord Gray’s List in her monthly Barnes & Noble column!

You can read the first fun chapter right here.

What makes you buy a book? The excerpt? The cover? The cover copy? Reviews? A recommendation from someone you trust? Enquiring authors want to know!