Welcome to my little part of the blog world of reviewing.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sensation Play by Ann Mayburn-Guest Post & Review

Are you Brave Enough?

One of the things that I hear over and over from my readers is they wish they could meet a man like hero xxx in real life, or that they wished their husband or boyfriend acted like a romance god. A man who would fulfill their deepest desires, a man who manages to have 2% body fat and can lift 400 lbs without ever having been in a gym. Oh, and most importantly, he must be sexually psychic and know what you want before you even know it. You know, the kind of guy you see all over the place. ;)

I try to tell them, especially the ones in committed relationships with good men, that they can have a man like that in their life. Here’s the thing...men want to be our romance sex gods. They want to sweep us off our feet, make us see stars, and give us the best orgasms that the human species has ever seen. But they can’t do it without a little bravery on our part.

See, many women are too embarrassed to talk about sex with their lover. Which is kinda odd when you think about it, you trust them enough to invite them into your bed but you don’t trust them enough to tell them what you want them to do once in the bed. You can’t be disappointed that your husband didn’t tie you up and use nipple clamps when you’ve never, ever said a word about being even slightly curious about BDSM. He’s probably afraid that if he even mentioned it that you would freak out and he’d be sleeping on the couch for a week while you told all your friends and family what a horrible pervert he was.

Cut the poor guy a break. Give him a tinsey hint of what you want. If you can’t tell him to his face, send him a text/email/etc. Tell him that you think it would be really hot, really sexy, if he tried X Y Z with you. Tell him that it would turn you on like never before and you can’t wait for him to do it to you, or you to do it to him. ;) Start out slow, introduce little things, before you know it you may be able to actually talk to him about it without passing out from embarrassment.

If you can find the strength to admit what you want, wonderful things will happen, just like they did for my leading lady, Erica, in Sensation Play. Erica is tired of boyfriends who won’t experiment with her and signs up with a dating service for a 1 night stand. Well, not just any 1 night stand, Erica wants a big, strong, dominant man to fake break into her hotel room and force her to have multiple orgasms. And boy does she get her wish, in spades, with Jonas. He...well I won’t ruin it for you but let’s just say he’s a master of sensual torture. ;)

Thanks to Harlie for having me on your blog today, I hope you enjoyed Sensation Play!

*side note*  I totally agree with Ann's post.  Most women are too scared or shy to tell their partner what they want from them.  Really?  Is this the Dark Ages?  I thought that with Sex in the City, Cosmo and the Internet that women had evolved?  I guess some of us are still living in the Dark Ages.  Trust me, I've been with my husband since 1999 and it wasn't until we were married that I finally started to talk to him about what I wanted and its been great ever since.  Your partner might surprise you with what they want too.  Communication is the key in any relationship.  Don't ever forget that.  *end side note*

Retired German cage fighter, Jonas Becker, has finally settled down in Las Vegas to open his own training center. A chance meeting with his dream woman at a charity ball leads him to hanging out at her favorite coffee shop where he overhears the perfect opportunity to win her over. One orgasm at a time.

Erica Alman is sick of her overprotective older brother's ruining her love life, especially after they chased away that amazing mystery man that she had danced with a the charity ball six months ago. With the help of her best friend, she signs up with the 1 Night Stand dating service. Her request is simple. She wants a dangerous, rough man to fake break into her hotel room at the Castillo resort and force her to have multiple orgasms. Oh, and she wants the man to be big, bald, and have a German accent, just like Jonas.

Using every ounce of his skill as an experienced Dom, Jonas hopes to win Erica over before the night ends. He can only hope that the pleasure he can bring her will make the beautiful woman look past his scarred and battered exterior to the man within who can give her sensations like no other.
As a major fan of Decadent's 1 Night Stand series, I jumped at the chance to read and review Ann Mayburn's entry.  I had heard of Ann before and most people told me, "You will love her writing.  Her books are Awesome".  She did not disappoint me in the least.  And I will be gobbling up her backlist.

When Erica and Jonas meet for the first time, Jonas fell hard but felt like he wasn't worthy of someone like Erica.  Plus, it didn't help that Erica comes from a family of way overprotective brother's.  The brothers have decided that no one is good enough of their sister and put an end to any kind of relationship that Erica has with a man.  At this point in the book, I just wanted to smack the brother's but I kinda had a feeling about one of them.  All Erica could see when she meets Jonas is someone that is strong yet gentle, sexy, dominant and mysterious.

Erica was a true spitfire and confident woman.  She knew what she wanted in a man and in the bedroom but getting past her brothers was another thing all together.  When she decides that enough is enough and signs up for Madame Eve's service, its make or break time for her.  Her fantasy is to have someone break into her room and completely dominant her from the beginning.  Don't worry...Ann handles what could have been a very taboo subject with a deft touch and grace.  Its role playing at its best.  You can feel the sexual tension build up from there and its just ratchets up. 

Jonas knew that having a one night stand with Erica would never be enough for him.  He has loved her from the first time they meet.  In his eyes, he didn't think that he handsome anymore with the scars and battle wounds that he had gotten over the years being a cage fighter.  His speciality in BDSM is sensation play and he plans on using everything that he has in his arsenal to bring Erica to heights that she never thought possible.  Trust me, I learned something new about sensation play in this book.  The "wheel" is quite intriguing and I can't wait to see one for myself. 

While this is a 1NS, the role playing, sensation play and sex were very well thought out and highly emotional.  BDSM stories can go so many different ways and Ann's writing of the genre is vivid without being overly done and harsh.  I felt what Erica felt while reading and yes, a cold shower was needed.  When morning came and all was revealed between Jonas and Erica, I thought now that is a perfect HEA.  But wait, there is more, so much more.  I laughed and I cheered and shouted "Right on Sister".  Trust me, you will know what I mean.

I highly recommend Sensation Play from Ann for a couple of reasons.  She handles a somewhat taboo sexual fantasy with grace and with a soft hand.  The inner dialogue from Jonas is priceless and I really felt for him and his feelings for Erica throughout the whole book.  And finally, the end scene with Erica and one of her brother's is priceless and a prelude to maybe a sequel.  Please, pretty please? 

5 Harlies and please read this series.  It is one of the most thought out, sexy, laugh out loud books that I have read in a long time.  And I hope that Ann doesn't mind that I found parts that were funny.

Where to find Ann in cyberspace:

Website     Facebook    Twitter

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Winner of Lisa Renee Jones Blog Tour

The winner of Lisa Renee Jones Zodius book tour is......


You're name has been sent in the tour hostess and Lisa's assistant.  Look for an email soon.
 Winner was choosen by random.org

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Night with a Dom-Review & Guest Post

Night with a Dom
Casea Major

Thanks for having me on your blog today.

I came up with the idea for this 1Night Stand story while watching football one Sunday afternoon in late fall. I wondered what kind of catalyst would propel someone into experimenting with their darker sexual desires. What would cause someone to take a small step out of their comfort zone to seek fulfillment for a craving they'd never satisfied. That is how Night with a Dom was born.

And as for the football tie-in -- If you buy the story and can find the hidden football reference email me and maybe you'll get a prize.

Blurb :

Melody Manning’s workaholic ambition, coupled with a slave-driving former boss, has made her the youngest market analyst in her firm. It’s also killed her personal life, including losing her fiancĂ©. When she receives a message from him on New Year’s Eve announcing his engagement to another woman, Mel loses it. Her new, more compassionate boss has the perfect solution for her—get laid. Good and laid.
At his suggestion, she signs up with the 1Night Stand service, listing her deepest sexual desires on the application.  A speedy response from Madame Eve has Melody on her way to Sonoma Valley wine country and a one-night stand with a mysterious Dom.

The sexy, masked Master promises to get to the bottom of her guilt and provide ultimate satisfaction under the safety of his stern hand. After an emotional night of submission and uninhibited passion, will her lover’s unmasking lead to the end of their encounter or give Mel another chance at love?


The following excerpt has been bleeped out to make it a PG-13 excerpt. Please keep in mind that the book does contain adult themes and language, and is not suitable for minors. Thank you.

Mel sucked in a breath, and opened the door. The darkened room flickered with the light of at least a dozen candles. She squinted as she walked in. The smell of incense and roses wafted in the air. Her sight adjusted, and the darker shadows of the space became visible. She scanned the scene.

In the middle of the room sat an oversized bed covered in black velvet and satin. Her arms and legs quivered. A roughly made wooden table stood with two straight-backed chairs in the corner, and a tray of appetizing food awaited.

She stood frozen, anticipating his appearance. Her heart thumped in her chest. Was he hiding? She began to turn—

“Do not turn around, Miss Manning.” His voice whispered against her ear.

She jumped at the husky sound, but didn’t try to move away.

He ran his hands across her shoulders and trailed his fingers down her bare arms. “Are you frightened, kitten?”

Her skin tingled at his simple, but intimate touch. The heat from his massive body radiated against her back though he never made contact with it. Although she couldn’t see him, his presence filled the room, and the walls seemed to shrink at his closeness. “I’m a little scared. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I guess you do—”

His finger glided up her shoulder to press against her lips and his whispered rebuke filled her ear. “Silence.”

Her eyes fluttered closed. Pleasure and fear mingled in her mind and over her skin. She wanted so bad to turn her head and look at him, but somehow she knew she shouldn't.

The spicy masculine scent of him filled the air, and his moist, heavy breath sent waves of heat  down her neck. “During this portion of the evening you will only speak when asked a direct question, and you will address me as ‘Sir’. Understand?”

Concentrating on his words, she had to strain to hear him over her pounding heart but nodded. In the dim light of the candles, her chest rose and fell rapidly. Excitement and fear zinged to her extremities and every place in between.

“There’s nothing to be frightened of.”

He trailed his tongue from her earlobe down to her nape. She gasped and tensed her shoulders as he nipped and sucked the sensitive skin. Goosebumps covered her from head to toe. Her nipples hardened and throbbed. The mystery of him enticed her as much as his touch and scent.

He swept his hand slowly over her stomach. She melted back against him, the heat of his body wrapping around hers, instant, carnal and very real. Throbbing need pulsed between her legs, replacing the chill of fear.

“I’m going to remove your dress.”

“Okay.” The word whooshed from her. Dizziness caused her to sway. Is this really happening? His velvet baritone held a familiar lilt she couldn’t place, but surely if she’d heard that sexy sound before, she’d remember. Right now she was so aroused, it could be her high school boyfriend and she wouldn't know—or care.

“Okay, what?”

Her body tensed at his rebuke. “Okay, Sir.”

“You have enough discipline coming this evening for past transgressions, Miss Manning. Let’s not complicate matters by increasing their number. All right?”

“All right, Sir.” She sucked in a breath at the mention of punishment. What would he do to her? She had stipulated mild discipline, but what did that mean to him?


Wow, just wow.  I read Ms. Major's first 1NS and I was blown away with her sense of humor, richly drawn characters and time travel aspect that I really thought that this would be somewhat the same.  I was wrong on all accounts only to find that this 1NS was even better than the first.

To this reviewer, Melody was a people pleaser but didn't please herself.  When she gets a IM from her ex telling her that he is getting married, she breaks down.  She realizes at that point, she really needs to do something about her life.  Her old boss was a slave driver but he has left the company.  Her new boss is kind and has tried to encourage her to have a life outside of work.  One problem, she doesn't know how to do that.  When her boss calls her in his office on New Year's Eve, she breaks down and spills out her sordid life.  She didn't except him to understand and be willing to help her out.  She decides, why not?  One night of pleasure is worth it right?

Dominic is the type of Dom that I would love to meet.  He is loving and tender but knows how far to push his sub to get her to fully open up and trust him.  When he meets Melody for the first time, its hot, heated and just a precursor for what the night will be like for him and for Melody.  Dominic came to the 1NS with one goal in mind...make Melody realize that she doesn't have to harbor the guilt of a broken relationship and that its okay to open up and love someone.

I will say the BDSM scenes were intense.  I read alot of BDSM but never has emotional intense as these.  Let's just say when I read this, my rear was sore and I was seriously squirming in my chair.  I really felt like I was part of the scene with Dominic and I normally don't feel that way when I read the sub-genre.  Awesome job, Ms. Major.  And thank you!

The emotions that Ms. Major invokes in Melody are realistic and timely.  When it all came down to trusting Dominic or walking away, Ms. Major deftly handles the conflict that Melody feels with a soft touch and surprisingly real feelings.  I felt for Melody during her session with Dominic.  I felt the hand on her bottom and the final realization of what she really wanted.  I had to come to that realization in my own life and it was a hard decision but worth it in the end.  When Dominic laid it all on the line for her, I couldn't help but sigh and then tear up.  I waited with baited breath on Melody's answer and smiled the biggest smile with her answer.

I highly recommend Night with a Dom for anyone that likes a steamy, emotional read that will have you squirming in your seat and sighing in the end.  This is NOT your typical BDSM read folks.  Its a highly emotional and gut wrenching tale with a Dom that pushes and a new submissive that realizes what is important in her life.

5 Harlies and a run, don't walk Recommended Read

Major Love ~~~ Major Romance

Prior to becoming a writer of romantic fiction, Casea Major worked in the legal field for a non-profit dispute resolution company for ten years.  She is now a full-time mom to three preschool children with whom she and her husband live happily...most of the time.  When she isn't chained to her laptop, she enjoys Cary Grant movies and crocheting.

The Best Mistake-review

Millionaire's Club-Series from The Wild Rose Press

Her biggest mistake might be the best thing ever to happen to him.

Deri "The Mistake" Crandall wants nothing more than the love and acceptance from a family. After her mother dies, she finally discovers who her father is—except he and his family aren't exactly everything she's dreamed of. Not about to let a little thing like that bother her, she strives her hardest to fit in. Though honest to a fault, she even lies to gain their affection. But who could have predicted the one man with whom she immediately clicks is the very millionaire her grandfather orders her to betray?

Cole Harrety’s life is all about work and ignoring play, until a petite, curvy bundle of quirky woman literally tumbles into his lap. From the moment he loses a staring contest with her, he knows Deri is exactly what's been missing from his mundane life and no other woman will ever compete with her.
With a web of deception already woven, can their new bond survive a shattered trust?


“How’re you doing?”

Deri gritted her teeth. “Hurts.”

His chocolate-brown eyes filled with sympathy as he lightly stroked her hair. “We’ve almost got you free. Just hang in there.”

A moment later, some unknown person yanked the ladder away. The release of pressure was almost more brutal than the pinching agony, but it soon dissipated to a dull throb.

“I’m going to check your ankle out, okay?” Large, capable fingers slipped off her shoe.

She ground her teeth and swallowed yet another whimper.

“Sorry,” he rasped. He gently cupped her heel as he examined the damage, prodding with the barest of pressure from his thumb.

When she heard, “Holy mother of God,” her eyes flew open, and she lifted her face.


Hot Guy shifted to block her view from the damage. “Don’t look.”

That didn’t exactly placate her. “What’s wrong?”

“Well, it’s…it’s swelling and bruising already. We need to get you to a hospital. Now.”
She nodded. “Okay.” But how was she supposed to walk out of here? Gah, even the thought of standing made her stomach pitch with nausea.

“Wrap your arms around my neck,” he answered her unspoken question. “I’ll carry you.”

The sheer, noble romance of his command caused Deri to lose her breath.

What? Run away with you and bear your twenty children?

Sure. As long as he kept looking at her exactly as he was now, she was pretty much game for any suggestion he made.

She stared deeply into his brown eyes and nodded. “Okay.”


This book had me from the first page.  There is humor, romance, miscommunication between Deri and Cole.  The difference with The Best Mistake is that there was a twist in the end that I didn't see coming and Ms. Kage's voice is fresh and inviting. 

Deri is the "mistake" in her family.  Everyone in her family thinks that she is a failure and she has believed that for so long that she actually believes it.  She doesn't strive to really better herself and when confronted with a task from her grandfather, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to her family.  I really felt for Deri because she really is a great person but she has been beat down so much by her family that the self doubt had taken over.  When she falls and twists her ankle she never realized what fate would bring her.

Cole is your basic workaholic that leaves little time for play.  When he sees Deri trip and fall literally in his lap, his life is changed forever.  As he and Deri get close, he doesn't understand why is suddenly quits the company and refuses to see him.  She is his perfect woman and knows it.  With some time and romance, they might have a chance.  What Cole didn't see coming was that the tangled web that Deri was in would ultimately be his and Deri's test of the trust with one another.

I have never laughed so much in a book in a very long time.  The excerpt is just a teaser for the rest of the scene.  Trust me, you will have tears streaming down your face.  Ms. Kage writes with a sense of humor that is true to the characters that she has created.  Deri doesn't mean to be funny but with her self doubt, wanting to be part of her family that she was denied and her time with Cole, you really can't help but laugh and feel for her.  Cole is a dream but I honestly had my doubts towards the end. 

Ms. Kage has written a great story about two people that meet under the funniest circumstances but ultimately realize what is important in their lives and find the strength within themselves to reach for their own happiness.

5 Harlies and a recommended read

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Winners of the Maya Banks Book

Congratulations to the following for winning a copy of Maya Banks books.  Winners have been notified and picked through Random.org. 

June M., Mary Keith, Miki, Amber and Pam

*throws confetti*
Don't worry, I'll have more in a couple of weeks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet Author Lisa Renee Jones & The Men of the Zodius Series

UPDATE AS OF Friday, March 9, 2012----To anyone that leaves a comment, you will be entered to win a copy of either Michael or Sterling.  Woo Hoo!!!!!  Keep commenting because the contest doesn't end until March 20th, so hurry!!!!

Meet Author Lisa Renee Jones

The Men of the Zodius Series

The world will never be the same…

Inspired by The Underground Guardians Series  – Read about the Underground Guardians that inspired ZODIUS SERIES HERE

A little about future heroes including Caleb’s story   HERE

Area 51 has proven to be more than a place from which alien rumors originate. It is there that the United States government  created Super Soldiers under the top secret “Project Zodius,” soldiers they called GTECH enhanced. Alien DNA purported to be immunizations was injected into elite soldiers, and a new race was created—soldiers with unique powers. Human to the normal eye, but not quite so human anymore.

All Super Soldiers are dangerous but some are stronger and more powerful than others. All are fighters with incredible strength and speed along with unique mental powers. Rapid metabolism delivers them an amazing ability to heal from injuries, and a simple bullet is no longer deadly against muscles like steel. They are deadly fighting machines who can travel with the wind.

Along with this new breed of soldier had come a thirst for power. A thirst that Adam Rain intends to sate. This soldier had developed a vision for a “perfect race.”  He became the new Hitler, calling his followers, those enhanced soldiers, the “Zodius.” The first step in Adam’s plan to rule humanity had been to take over Area 51. The main obstacle to his plan had been breeding, and he had a team of scientists working to solve the problems: a GTECH  can only bear children if mated; and a Zodius only has one true mate (Lifebond). This meant he had to find compatible women for his men, an obstacle he became determined to overcome. This had left him searching for genetic and alternative birthing methods. He had used humans like tokens, promised them power or conversion, or threatened their families. Once he has perfected a way to grow his race, there will be no stopping him.

A group of these Super Soldiers led by his brother, Caleb, has defied Adam’s rule and formed “The Renegades.” These Renegades operate from a hidden facility deep in the Nevada mountains below the surface of the earth, designed to hide the Renegades from Zodius radar. These Renegades will form an uneasy alliance to the United States government, protecting humanity.

But Adam aspires to rule the world, and he believes he can do so with Caleb by his side. Adam is taking every step possible to ensure that Caleb joins him, and that the Renegades become part of the Zodius.

Caleb and his Renegades will do anything to see Adam fall and humanity saved from his wrath.

Now meet the men of the Zodius Series!

Zodius Series, Book 1, The Legend of Michael
Sourcebooks  (May 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402251564
ISBN-13: 9781402251566

One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.
Fate leads Michael back to Cassandra Powell, for she holds the key to defending his comrades. With their loyalties divided between duty and the people they love, only together can Cassandra and Michael overcome insurmountable odds to save humanity from the wrath of a madman.
But no ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same…

Read an excerpt HERE
Sourcebooks Casablanca (November 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402251599 ISBN:978-1402251597
He may be invincible to everyone else…
Sterling Jeter has remarkable powers and has shown himself to be just about indestructible. But beautiful, brilliant Rebecca Burns knows that even a Super Soldier needs comfort, and so much more…
But she can see that deep down, he’s just a man…
Sterling and Rebecca’s teenage romance was interrupted, but years later the heat between them flares back to life. Even though it endangers everything they’re fighting for, it’s impossible to resist picking up right where they left off…
Read an excerpt HERE

Zodius Series Book 3: The Danger that is Damion
Sourcebooks Casablanca (May 2012)
Available for Pre-order at BN and Amazon
General Powell from book 1 has returned and he’s developed a way to create and control a new generation of female GTECHs. He plans to use these women to bring both, the Renegades and the Zodius soldiers, back under his command. The world will be his. Now, Damion, a Renegade, who readers met in book two, will be pitted against one of those soldiers, a woman destined to be both his Lifebond and his enemy. Damion will become her only hope of salvation and their trust in each other the only chance they have to save the world from a madman.
Read an excerpt HERE
For more information about the Zodius series and to learn fun facts please visit Lisa Renee Jones’ website and her Zodius Series Page HERE

Award winning author, Lisa Renee Jones, has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance – contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. In each book the hero is dark, dangerous, and sexy. She debuted for both, Nocturne and Blaze, on the Bookscan bestseller list. You can find Lisa on TwitterFacebook, and her blog for regular updates. Lisa now has a Fan Page at Facebook.
Lisa enjoys receiving e-mails from her readers! If you would like to receive information about Lisa Renee Jones’ latest books and news about contest giveaways, as well as any other information that might be fun or interesting to you, sign up for Lisa’s Newsletter:
If you’d like to have Lisa visit your blog or website or would like to learn about reviewing one of her titles, please contact her assistant, Wendy Keel, at wendykeel@gmail.com.

Free Book by Maya Banks

 Okay, here's the skinny.  I'm a Harlequin Ambassador which means a few times a year I get free paperback books to pass out to my friends.  Today when I got the mail, this book was in my mailbox.  I have already read it so I have 5 copies to give out.  There are no hoops to jump through to get your hands on a copy.  Just tell me your favorite Desire writer besides Maya.
Easy peasy...also, I have winners from the Undercover Blog Hop that have never emailed me regarding their prizes.  If you have won a prize on this blog, please email me at maw1725@gmail.com so I can arrange for your prize. 
Enticed by His Forgotten Lover
“Have we met?”

Answer: a right hook! Because Bryony Morgan pulls no punches. Even when she’s very pregnant and facing down the father of her unborn child. She fell for wealthy hotelier Rafael de Luca when he courted her for her beachfront real estate. Then he disappeared. Now, she’s in New York for answers—and she won’t accept a brush-off.

But selective amnesia after a crash has Rafael puzzled. How could he ever forget a combustible beauty like Bryony? Solution: return to the island where they met, and relive the unforgettable nights in question—until he remembers everything….

From the book
Rafael de Luca had been in worse situations before, and he'd no doubt be in worse in the future. He could handle it. These people would never make him sweat. They'd never know that he had absolutely no memory of any of them.
He surveyed the crowded ballroom with grim tolerance, sipping at the tasteless wine to cover the fact that he was uneasy. It was only by force of will that he'd managed to last this long. His head was pounding a vicious cadence that made it hard to down the swallow of wine without his stomach heaving it back up.
"Rafe, you can pack it in," Devon Carter murmured next to him. "You've put in enough time. No one suspects a thing."
Rafael swiveled to see his three friends--Devon, Ryan Beardsley and Cameron Hollingsworth--standing protectively at his back. There was significance there. Always at his back. Ever since they were freshmen in college, determined to make their mark on the business world.
They had come when he was lying in the hospital, a yawning black hole in his memory. They hadn't coddled him. Quite the opposite. They'd been complete bastards. He was still grateful for that.
"I've been told I never leave a party early," Rafe said as he tipped the wine toward his mouth again. As soon as the aroma wafted through his nostrils, he lowered the glass, changing his mind. What he wouldn't give for a bloody painkiller.
He'd refused any medication. He despised how out of control painkillers made him feel. But right now, he'd gladly take a few and pass out for several hours. Maybe then he'd wake up without the god-awful pain in his temples.
Cam's lips twisted in a half snarl. "Who gives a damn what you typically do? It's your party. Tell them all to--"
Ryan held up his hand. "They're important business associates, Cam. We want their money, remember?"
Cam scowled as he scanned the room.
"Who needs a security team with the three of you around?" Rafael drawled. He joked, but he was grateful for people he could trust. There was no one else he'd admit his memory loss to.
Devon leaned in quickly and said in a low voice, "The man approaching is Quenton Ramsey the third. His wife's name is Marcy. He's already confirmed for the Moon Island deal."
Rafael nodded and took a step away from the shelter of his friends and smiled warmly at the approaching couple. A lot rode on making sure their investors didn't get nervous. Rafael and his business partners had located a prime spot for their resort--a tiny island off the coast of Texas just across the bay from Galveston. The land was his. Now all they had to do was build the hotel and keep their investors happy.
"Quenton, Marcy, it's wonderful to see you both again. And may I say how lovely you look tonight, Marcy. Quenton is a very lucky man."
The older woman's cheeks flushed with pleasure as Rafael took her hand and brought it to his lips.
He nodded politely and pretended interest in the couple, but his nape was prickling again, and he squelched the urge to rub it. His head was lowered as if he were hanging on to every word, but his gaze rapidly took in the room, searching for the source of his unease.
At first his gaze flickered past her but he yanked his attention back to the woman standing across the room. Her stare bore holes through him. Unflinching and steady even when his eyes locked with hers.
It was hard for him to discern why he was so arrested by her. He knew he generally preferred tall, leggy blondes. He was a total sucker for baby blues and soft, pale skin.
This woman was petite, even in heels, and had a creamy olive complexion. A wealth of inky black curls cascaded over her shoulders and her eyes were equally...


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Love's Own Time Guest Post

Title: In Love's Own Time
Author: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Length: 71,000 Words
Sub-Genres: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Time-Travel

Call it faith, kismet, fate, karma or just luck, I like to believe there’s some plan for our lives.  I want to think we’re born with some basic framework, a few skills or talents to equip us for a particular path in life.  Whether we choose it ourselves to work toward karma or a deity lays the groundwork isn’t important.  An old proverb I happen to like says we must know where we’ve been before we can see where we’re going.  I believe the course of our life is very flexible and we can make decisions which change directions and make differences in what might have been.

                The question of a life plan leads to the often heated debate whether writers are born or made.  I’ve watched some wild quarrels erupt on internet sites on the topic and my personal views fall in the middle somewhere.  But I believe I was born to become a writer, to tell stories and tales, to use words in a way to touch others.  I look back over my life thus far and it seems to me, knowing it better than anyone else, each step of the way was another building block toward a writing career.  I may have been born with a flair for words, some gift for writing but I’m also the first to admit I’ve worked hard to hone the skill, to improve the talent.  Any musician will confess how much practice is required to master an instrument and to maintain a level of expertise.  The same applies to writing.  No one and I repeat no one is such an outstanding writer he or she doesn’t need practice, to continue learning, and to face editing.

                In writing In Love’s Own Time I drew on my own background, growing up in a vintage house in a small city filled with history.  My grandparents were my earliest caregivers because both my parents worked and so I spent most of my waking hours in their company until I began school.  Their home, although not as old as my own, offered its’ own peek into the past.  I listened to their stories and grew up believing the past was almost close enough to touch.  It’s no wonder I embraced the idea of time travel or speculated how amazing it would be if it were possible.   In Love’s Own Time isn’t my first time travel romance and given my interest in the possibility it could be real I doubt it will be my last. 

                Although I call it my time travel/contemporary/historical/paranormal/fantasy romance, the novel demonstrates a little of what I’ve speculated.  There’s a framework to every life and as we build it, we make choices.  I’m no carpenter but I know when building a house, changes can be made as it’s constructed which alter the end result.  So can our decisions.  In my novel, Lillian makes decisions which impact her life and change it forever.  With stubborn will and a strong love for Howard, she manages to shift the course of his life as well.

                Curious? You can always read the novel to get all the details!
There may be no place like home and nothing like love…..when history teacher Lillian Dorsey inherits a three story Edwardian brick mansion from the grandfather who banished her pregnant mother decades before, it’s a no brainer. She’ll visit the place, see it and sell it. Instead Lillian’s captivated by the beautiful home and intrigued by the ghost of the original owner, Howard Speakman. Soon she’s flirting with the charming, witty gentleman who’s been dead for more than a century and before long, they admit it’s a mutual attraction. Still, when she’s alive and he’s dead, any shot at being together seems impossible.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way….one afternoon while pretending to visit the past the impossible becomes a brief reality. If they visited 1904 before, Lillian knows they can do it again and if so, she can prevent Howard’s untimely death. With a combination of love, powerful hope, and stubborn will, Lillian bends time to her will and returns to the summer of 1904. But Howard’s death looms ahead and if she’s to find a happy ending, she must save him from his original death.



Here’s a little taste from the day they inadvertently return to 1904 and realize just what may be possible:
“Lillian.” Howard sounded hoarse, his voice cracking with emotion although she wasn’t sure which one, fear, elation, or sorrow. “This is 1904.”
“How could it be?” Even as she protested, she knew it was true. The old house was new. The smell of fresh paint mingled with the Dutch cake aroma and as she’d noticed earlier, the book covers were bright. Howard’s sheet music pages never yellowed but sparkled unblemished white. It was true and if it was 1904, then Howard was alive. He wasn’t a ghost.
Lillian reached for him, stretched out her hand to touch him, and closed her fingers over his arm. Through the wool of his sleeve, his skin was warm, so alive, and tears formed in her eyes. Her right hand stroked the curve of his cheek and she clasped his hand with the other. He twined his fingers through hers, tight as if he might never let go, and pulled her right hand to his lips, brushing her skin with a faint, soft kiss.
“Oh, Howard.” Her voice broke. “Howard, you’re real.”
She could touch him now and she could smell him, a rich masculine aroma of soap and leather, and the outdoors. Before, he’d been a ghost, not tangible, not touchable but for now, he was both and she reveled in him with every sense. She touched his hair with trembling fingers and rubbed her cheek against his suit jacket. When she lifted her face, his eyes blazed with emotion and she knew before he bent down they’d kiss.
In her dream, the kiss’d been sweet but in reality, it was sweeter. His lips heated hers, melted, and moved against her mouth until she couldn’t breathe. She put her arms around his neck and he held her, one hand flat against her back. Until now, he’d been unattainable, almost fantasy, but now he was a man, a man who held her in his arms, and she wanted him. Desire burned like a wavering candle flame but without warning, Howard released her.
“Lillian, I forgot myself. You must forgive me.”
Her lips, bruised from his mouth, stretched into a smile. “I’ll never forgive you if you don’t kiss me again, Howard.”
“I shouldn’t.” His voice sounded muffled. “But I’ll, sweet Lillian, though I shouldn’t. However, for the moment I’m alive. Carpe diem!”


“Damn!” The aggravation would kill her if the suspense didn’t. Love relationships were hard enough with a flesh and blood partner but Howard’s disappearing act was beyond difficult. There must be some way, she thought, to cross the boundaries of time so she and Howard could be together and Lillian resolved to figure out how.
Although she would rather bawl with frustration, she took action. The local library was the only place which might have the materials she sought so she Googled Einstein’s theories on one of the public computers. What she read led to her read about Goedal, the other Princeton scientist she mentioned to Howard and to others, everyone from Stephen Hawking to Igor D. Novikov. A search of simply “time travel” linked to Washington Irving’s legend of Rip Van Winkle, King Arthur’s daughter Gwenth, to Carroll’s Alice, and even to Sleeping Beauty. The mish-mash of information was confusing but as she sorted through it, reading and considering it all, a sense of excitement crept over her. Repeatedly from very diverse sources, she read time travel might be possible, not from crackpots or harebrained pseudo scientists but from people at the top of their field.
No one explained how it worked but most acknowledged the possibility. As she surfed the World Wide Web, she jotted down books to read and movies to watch. Dean Koontz wrote a novel about time travel called Lightning and a woman named Diana Gabaldon penned an entire series of novels based on time travel. Movies like Kate and Leopold and Somewhere in Time, the last based on a novel by Richard Matheson, intrigued her.
Lost in research, Lillian didn’t realize how long she’d been there until the librarian tapped her shoulder.
“I’m sorry but we close in fifteen minutes.”
Head aching with fatigue, mind whirling with information, she gathered up her copious notes and walked out to the parking lot. Her car was alone beneath the vapor lights and although she was weary, Lillian was too restless to go home. Instead, she drove across town and up the business highway to where Howard’s farm once existed.
The neat orchards she hoped to find were gone and instead a housing subdivision sprawled over the fertile ground, the foundation of Howard’s fortune. Most of the ranch style homes dated to the late 1950’s or early 1960’s but on the far edges, newer homes ringed the original neighborhood. The railroad track she recalled from her dream and the hills with a few gnarled old apple and peach trees were all remaining of the former fruit farm. The idea brought sadness and Lillian knew Howard’d feel the same. As her headlights swept through the subdivision, she searched for any other signs of Speakman’s Farm but found none so she retreated to Seven Oaks.
In the humid summer night, her fatigue felt like a heavy blanket and Lillian was almost too tired to drag herself up the stairs. As she wandered through the dark downstairs rooms, she called his name but Howard didn’t answer. Missing him was an ache and so weary, emotions drained, she lay down across the bed, too tired to even undress and fell asleep.
Shadows of the tree branches made lacy silhouettes across the ceiling of the bedroom when she woke, moving shadows dancing with the wind. Although she’d no clue what time of day it might be, Lillian felt too somnolent to rise so she lay, tangled in the bedspread and tried to sort her myriad emotions. Joy at Howard’s declaration of love dimmed when she considered the difficulties of their unique relationship and a strange prickling delight came as she remembered visiting 1904. As the wind rushed through the trees like whispers, she struggled to make sense of time travel, to figure out a way to make it possible on a permanent basis.
Details, theories, and thoughts warred until she sat up, limbs protesting the motion after too many hours of deep sleep, with a revelation. They didn’t need the books, she wouldn’t have to know the properties of relativity after all, and there was no set format certain to succeed. It didn’t matter because she’d done it. If they managed once to travel to the past without trying, they could and would by design.
“Elementary, my dear Watson,” Lillian murmured, stretching as she swung her legs to the floor. “It’s simple, really.”
With one ear cocked for any sound to indicate Howard’s return, Lillian bathed and dressed, brushing her teeth to rid her mouth of an unpleasant film coating both teeth and gums. She picked up her watch from the dresser and nodded. It was just now noon; she’d not slept away as much of the day as she’d guessed, a good thing since she needed to handle many details. Singing, she floated with elation downstairs to make coffee and a list. Time travel was possible and she’d do it or die. Either way, she’d end up Howard.
By the time, he appeared, dapper in a blue and white checked Madras shirt worn over dark brown trousers held up with suspenders striped the same colors as the shirt, she’d scribbled half a notebook full of things to do or buy or look up. Intent on the next item, she didn’t realize he was with her until she felt his spirit caress, light as a breath, across the back of her neck.
“What are you plotting, my dear heart?” He asked, sitting down across the kitchen table.
“We can do it, Howard.” She put down her pen to reach out for his hand and then remembered she couldn’t hold it. “Time travel, I mean. All we have to do is believe it and live it. If we could do it when we were just pretending, we can do it. Everything has to be just right and I’ve so many things to get and things to do but we can. Isn’t it wonderful?”


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/In-Loves-Own-Time-ebook/dp/B007A209G6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329492235&sr=8-1
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Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is a full-time romance author. A native of the old historic city of St. Joseph, Missouri, one time home to both Jesse James and the Pony Express, she now lives and writes in the beautiful Missouri Ozark region. Her romance novels include Wolfe’s Lady (December 2010 Evernight Publishing), Love Tattoo, (March 2011, Evernight), Love Scars (June 2011, Evernight), Love Never Fails (May 2011, Rebel Ink Press), Kinfolk (July 2011, Champagne Books), The Marriage Cure (Astraea Press, July 2011), Love Scars, July 2011 (Evernight Publishing). Love Tattoo, Love Scars, and Love Knots, Love Shadows are the first four books of the six book Love Covenant series. Other novels include Witness Protection Program (Rebel Ink Press, A Time To Love (Champagne Books. Sing We Now of Christmas (Rebel Ink Press, December 2011). 2012 is already kicking off with more novel releases including A Patient Heart, Miss Good Samaritan, Guy’s Angel, In Love’s Own Time, Heart of the Ozarks) In The Shadow of War, and a novella, Long Live The King (Champagne Books). Her work also appears in more than twenty anthologies and she has multiple short story/non-fiction credits.
She is a member of RWA, Missouri Writers Guild, EPIC, and the Ozarks Writers League.
Her work also appears in multiple anthologies. She earned a BA degree in both English and History from Missouri Southern State University as well as an AA Degree in Journalism from Crowder College. She worked in broadcast media for a decade and also has a background in education. Her weekly column “Hindsight” appears each week in the Neosho Daily News.
She is married to Roy W. Murphy and the couple has three children, Emily, Megan, and Patrick Murphy.
If Lee Ann – or Lee as many of her writing friends know her – isn’t writing, she’s reading or spending time outdoors.
In Neosho, Missouri, the small town she now calls home, she serves on the local library board, is active in the annual Relay For Life fight against cancer, has worked with the local Arts Council, and is active in her parish.