Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Beauty of Ravenswood by Faye Hall

I grew up only a few hours from Ravenswood, the township in which my new release ‘She’s A lot Like You’ is set.  It is a now small mining town in North Queensland, Australia.  As children we thought nothing special of Ravenswood other than somewhere locals travelled to for work, or hunting.

The first time I went there, I was taken on ‘the tour’, which in the most basic of terms is a half hour drive around the town.  At first I thought there wasn’t much to look at other than old decaying houses, but as I came around a corner I was graced with the image of the graveyard.  It was so very small, fenced in, looking like something out of an old Sherlock Holmes movie.  Not far from the graveyard was the only remaining  original miners shack from the 1800’s.  Obviously now it is a tourist attraction, but looking at it, at its simplicity, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must have been like back in the day.

Looking around then at what I always thought to be little more than a dusty old town, I began to envision the people who had once lived here upon Ravenswood’s settlement.  I could see women in their long, English styled gowns walking down the streets.  I could see carriages taking people to and from the places they needed to go.  I could see…but then I wondered if indeed what I was seeing had ever been a reality.

My trip to Ravenswood that day started weeks and weeks of research.  To my most pleasant surprise what I discovered about this township was so much more than I could have ever dreamed possible.

Before the town was gazetted and named Ravenswood, it was one of the quickest growing townships in North Queensland.  People – gold miners, cattle farmers, estate owners – had been settling there since 1840’s.  The wealth that once circulated this town – the gentry that once filled it – it was a romance writers dream.

And that’s why I chose this town to set my story in.  I didn’t choose it for the town I grew up hearing stories of, or for the place it has now become.  I chose it because I now realise the beauty it had once held.  I’m only sorry so many of the old estate houses and dance halls are no longer left standing because they surely would be a sight to behold.

Ten Facts About Leslie C. Ferdinand

1. Since Leslie no longer uses her married name, Leslie C. Ferdinand, is, in fact a combination of her name and her mother’s name. However, Leslie C. Ferdinand is Leslie’s real name.


2. Leslie is a Leo and her mom, Shirley is a Scorpio. Fire and Water signs. Can we say head-butts?


3. Shirley began reading to Leslie when she was 4 months old and Leslie began reading to all her girls while she was still carrying them.


4. Leslie wrote her first “novel” at 12. Shirley wrote her first short story at 16.


5. Leslie’s favorite drink is champagne and sparkling wine. Shirley’s is wine.


6. Leslie’s favorite times of the year are Mardi Gras and Christmas. Shirley’s is Christmas.


7. They’ve written 12 books together as Christine Holden and Leslie C. Ferdinand. To date, 7 are published.


8. Leslie loves all types of music. Shirley loves jazz.


9. Leslie loves spicy food. No comment about her mom.


10. hey will be 2 of the honorees at the Romantic Times’ program: Celebrating the Pioneers & Legends in African-American romance at the 2014 convention in New Orleans.

What Authors Need to Know About Launching a Series by Donna Del Oro

LIES IN WAIT is Book 2 in my Jake Bernstein FBI mystery-thriller series. As I was writing this book, I tried to keep in mind several tips I’ve gleaned over the years—good tips for any author of a series. They are:


Begin with a strong stand-alone book.


This is my highest priority in launching a series. I had to pick my strongest idea and write the best book I could, as if it were to be the only one. In other words, I couldn’t sacrifice the story for my plan for a series.


With this in mind, I wrote  A BODYGUARD OF LIES, an FBI mystery-thriller with echoes to World War II. This story introduces Jake Bernstein, ex-Navy SEAL and FBI analyst-undercover agent, a handsome, single man who’s an admitted adrenalin junkie with a high degree of intelligence. He’s sent to England, as a favor to MI-5, as part of a joint investigation into an elderly, naturalized American grandmother. His job: Uncover the truth. Is she the ruthless spy and war criminal, known as Hummingbird? While probing MI-5’s case against the octogenarian, Jake falls in love with the woman’s grand-daughter and finds himself at the brink of losing his promising career. When I finished this novel, I wasn’t sure if I’d continue but readers wanted more of Jake Bernstein.


Establish a structure that is both predictable and extendable.


Since Jake’s strongest skill as an FBI agent is his unique set of undercover abilities, I felt I had plenty of future cases for him to investigate. He’s not only fluent in several languages, he picks up new languages like a sponge. He’s a chameleon and can pass for a Hispanic, a Middle-Easterner, an Italian, and so on. He’s quick-witted and is highly adaptable to any situation. Because of this, he doesn’t operate strictly by-the-book and occasionally runs the risk of straying off the FBI reservation. Nevertheless, he’s a valued operative and so, in LIES IN WAIT, is sent undercover to Silicon Valley to infiltrate a suspected terrorist cell that’s lying in wait. While Meg, his lover from BODYGUARD OF LIES, starts a new life in San Diego, Jake assumes a new identity as a disaffected, Lebanese-American scientist whose knowledge of anthrax makes him acceptable to the terrorist cell. In this case, however, Jake finds himself taxed to his limits in ways he did not expect. What he discovers shocks him to his very core.

Interview with Elle from Taken in the Night by Tara Fox Hall

Today at Heartfelt Promos, I’d like to welcome Elle from the Promise Me Series!


I: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

E: Hi. <smiles nervously> I’m a werecougar, and I’m…um, my apparent age is about eight years old.


I: Why do you say “apparent age” Elle?

E: <shifts in her chair> Because I’m really only a couple years old. I spend a lot of time in my other form, as a cougar. They age faster. So I’m also aging faster. <smiles> But that’s a good thing. I want to be a grown up.


I: You mean that because cougars mature at a much faster rate and you’re part cougar, that you’re also going to reach human adulthood faster?

E: <rolls her eyes> Isn’t that just what I said?


I: Does this happen with all werecreatures?

E: <frowns> I’m not sure. See, I was born in my animal form. Most werecreatures aren’t, they’re born human, because their mom’s are pregnant in that form. Mine was, but she died. And so I didn’t know how to get back to human…<swallows, then takes a deep breath> But the night my Dad came to see Mom, I changed for the first time.


I: What prompted the change?

E: <flushes red> I was scared for my mom, Sar. I thought she needed me, because I heard her scream. But she was just excited because Dad was drinking her blood.


I: Wait, I’m confused. Isn’t your father a werecougar named Theo?

E: <angry> No! My dad is Danial. He’s a vampire. He drinks blood.


I: Your biological father is Theo, though, even if you call Danial your dad.

E: <icy cold tone> Danial is my Dad. He’s my father. Theo is just Theo.


I: You seem to be estranged from him. Is that because he went missing for a year and a half?

E: <looks down> Mom said he didn’t want to go away, that he got abducted. But I think there’s something more going on. Why didn’t he ever call us? There’s such a thing as texting and cell phones and satellite phones.


I: I understand that Theo was hurt pretty badly, Elle. So badly that he sustained scarring, which almost never happens to a wereanimal.

E: <nods> He was, that night I first scented him. He came back one night to Danial’s house. In some places his fur was gone. There were just raised white patches. <voice builds in volume> He didn’t say a word to me! He went with Terian and the next thing I knew he was gone again.


I: And you didn’t tell anyone what you saw, that Theo was alive, did you?

E: <lip trembles> No.


I: Why not?

E: Because I knew he was going to ruin everything! <she lunges up, her blue eyes now yellowing to cougar> And he did! Why couldn’t he have stayed away! I hate him!


I: Please calm down, Elle.

E: <enraged> My dad’s wonderful and mom loves him. We’re happy. We don’t need Theo! I wish he would never come back! I wish he were dead!


<Door opens, and Danial strides into the room, dressed in a business suit and immaculately groomed.>


D: (to interviewer) What is going on here? I told you no interviews! <looks at Elle> And you, young miss, are due for your history lesson. Get going. NOW.


<Elle scampers out of the room without a backward look. Danial turns his attention to the interviewer>


D: <draws closer>How dare you try to gain information from my child? I made it clear you were not to talk to her.


I: She wanted to tell her side—


D: When she is old enough, she can. But she’s not ready. And you are not welcome here, dredging up old pain she is better forgetting. <heads to the door>


I: But Theo is—


D: <turns slightly, red eyes gleaming> Theo is dead. Elle is my daughter now, just as Sar is now her mother. Do not interfere with us again. <gestures> Take him to the forest and teach him respect. Gag him, too. I’ve heard enough of his blathering.


<two burly men come in, grab the struggling interviewer and gag him, then lead him struggling from the room>


Blurb for Taken in the Night: When Theo disappears, Sar is left bereft, the uncertain guardian of Theo's newly born werecougar daughter, Elle. As months pass, clues emerge about Theo's disappearance, yet the twisting trail ends repeatedly without answer. In her grief, Sar turns to Danial and hesitantly begins to build a life with him and Elle.




Promise Me Series FaceBook party Saturday 6-30-13, 2pm -6pm EST!

Excerpt: “Can you forgive me for what happened that night?” he whispered. “Can we start again, you and I?”


“I forgave you,” I said softly, my anger lessening. “You tried everything to stop Devlin, but he was too powerful for you to fight. There wasn’t anything more you could’ve done.”


Danial took my hand. “You know I love you, Sar. You know I want you with me. Will you come and be with me now? Let me help take care of Elle and you?”


“Do you really want to try again, after all that’s happened?” I asked. “I’m no closer to handling your immortality than I was six months ago.”


“You need me like you didn’t before,” Danial answered. “Being a parent alone is not the same as being on your own. I was a father once, a good one. Elle doesn’t just need food and shelter, she needs love and guidance.”


“Yes,” I said softly. “I want to try again. But I’m afraid how this will affect her if it doesn’t work out between us.”


“It will work out,” Danial said firmly. “I’m not asking you to oath to me, or to give me any promise. I’m asking you to let me help you raise Theo’s child, to come and live with me until she’s grown.” He kissed me gently. “If you want to, view it as duty. I feel responsible for her. You do not have to share my bed.”


“Like I’m going to live with you and be able to resist,” I said with a chuckle.


“You said it, not I,” Danial said huskily. “Though of course, I’d welcome your affections.”


“What if Theo somehow returns?” I asked. “Could you let me go, if he did?”


“You would still want to leave?” Danial said unbelievingly. 


“Depends on his reasons for not coming back,” I replied. “I can’t say, not for sure.”


“Do you expect me to be that cold?” Danial said, closing his eyes and grimacing as if in pain. “To say such things to me as if I had no heart?”


“I don’t mean to hurt you,” I said apologetically. “I meant to be honest.” I reached out to him, and touched his face. “I can’t truly let him go, not knowing what happened, if he’s dead or not. Do you understand?”


Danial sighed. “I understand you want him, not me.”


“Don’t give me that,” I said angrily. “Do you understand I’m upset, that my life just fell apart? This is the second time I’ve lost a loved one in two years.” I moved to get up. “This is probably the wrong time for another try, Danial. It’s not going to work.”


Danial moved fast, gathering me in his arms. “Don’t say that. I’m sorry I got angry. But it’s hard to have just made love with you and listen to you talk as if I don’t matter to you at all.”


“You do matter,” I said softly into his neck. “I’m just a wreck. Why would you even want me like this?”


Danial hugged me. “When I saw the ring he was planning to give you, I knew that any chance I’d had with you was over.” He kissed me. “I’ll take whatever you can give me, Sar, for as long as you’ll give me. Please let me help you. If you don’t want me, that’s fine. Do it for Elle.”


“I’ll come,” I said softly. “But not just for Elle. I’ll come because I want to be with you.”




Author Links:


Email: tarafoxhallATgmailDOTcom


Tara's Blog:


Tara's Facebook Page:





Buy links  AMAZON US

                     AMAZON UK




        ;jsessionid=DB44BA4156D8D250C3BA986B45BE5C02 Print copies-Lulu


        Melange Books (HTML and PDF) All Romance E-Books  Barnes and Noble



Gastronomy by Laura Tolomei

Sensual pleasures

Recipes & Excerpts by Laura Tolomei

Yes, unexpected as it sounded, he loved life with Sean and not just for the sex. His heart warming rituals with wine and cooking, the easy relaxed atmosphere of their weekends, the sunny disposition no matter what, never asking for anything except to be with him, the fun and laughs they shared alone were all part of a magic the blond beauty wielded so effortlessly.


(Excerpt from Tasting Leon’s Mark, Book 2 ReScue series)


I do so love eating and drinking, and so do my characters, especially before or after sex. Of course, being my characters, they have my tastes, particularly in what they love to drink. So here’s a gastronomical tour inside my books–starting with cocktails, I’m posting recipes and related excerpts, in an ideal menu of sensual pleasures. Enjoy!!!




My favorite drink of all, extremely alcoholic, bitter and sour tasting that is best to drink with a full stomach, if you want to keep walking straight afterwards 😉
The name is very Italian, but then the liquors used are very Italian as well. Here's the recipe and excerpt from Re-Scue, Book 1 of the ReScue series.



2 tablespoons gin

2 tablespoons Campari

2 tablespoons sweet vermouth

1 orange twist

Prosecco (optional)




Combine gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass; stir gently and garnish with an orange twist. More-formal types prefer it straight up in a Martini glass. My wife likes it topped with Prosecco for something a bit more celebratory






“This place serves the best vodka lemon of all Atlan­ta,” Sean assured confidently. But even if it had not, he needed a stiff drink to recover from the emotional turmoil or whatever train had hit him. “High on the vodka please,” he added to the new waiter who had come to take their order.



The young man scribbled something incomprehensi­ble on a dirty pad, then looked at Leon. “And you, sir?”



“Negroni for me.”



After a second equally undecipherable chicken scratch, the waiter moved off, and before Leon trapped him into another risky confrontation, Sean excused himself, hur­rying in the direction of the men’s room to ease tension. Damn! To be actually sitting at a secluded table with the most attractive man in the world seemed a dream come true—or a nightmare in disguise if it did not turn out the way his straining erection demanded. Not that he had any choice in the matter. The longer he stuck around Sterling, the deeper he fell into the man’s spell, increasingly harder to ignore or resist to the point he had to leave before he made a stupid pass at his boss and ruined his chances for a decent job forever.



Frustrated, he shook his head to clear it. This reaction was not like him at all, not with gorgeous men obviously expecting something very specific from him. Sex, because that was what most people wanted from him, came easy to Sean, always had since he discovered his orientations. Leon, though, seemed interested in something more, and whatever it was, Sean could not picture him as taking no for an answer. In the end, it would work just as fine. Sean wanted nothing better than to let him do whatever he pleased with his body—a marginal allowance considering he was already fucking with his mind, he and the damnable nagging sensa­tion of knowing him from somewhere else. And everything be damned! Rationalizations included!



Mind made up, he looked at the mirror above the sink one last time, making sure his eyes held no trace of uncer­tainty, somehow knowing he could not afford to be weak with Leon. Then after washing his hands, he returned to the booth with the drinks already on the table.



“I appreciated your honest answers.” Glass in hand, Leon leaned across the table once Sean sat in front of him. “So I’d like to level with you.”



Vodka Lemon



I love this cocktail. It’s great when you’re very very thirsty. It’ works ‘cause it’s sour. This, too, is another of the drinks I use in my books. Here’s the recipe and two excerpts, one from Tasting Leon’s Mark, Book 2 of the ReScue series, the second from To Seduce A Soulmate, Book 1 of my Soulmate series.




1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water, plus 8 cups

4 lemons, juiced


Ice cubes




In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook the sugar until dissolved but the syrup is still clear. Do not cook the sugar until it starts to turn color. Remove from heat and cool.



In a pitcher, combine the syrup, 8 cups water, the lemon juice, vodka and ice and stir to combine. Pour into tall glasses and enjoy!



Tasting Leon’s MarkPG EXCERPT



Holding a vodka lemon, Sean shrugged. “Don’t know, Jemmy. It’s the third night in a row he goes out.”



“And hasn’t bothered to telling you, right?”



With Jeremy, his friend and confident ever since high school, he had perceived from the start they shared too much not to become close. They had also been lovers for a brief period, but it had not worked out, at least for Sean. To cure his broken heart, Jeremy had moved away from Atlanta, their hometown, to San Francisco without severing the link, rather managing to keep in touch with his ex-lover until Sean returned with full force into his life, now a well-known cover artist living in the heart of Castro. Yet, despite the time and space that had driven them apart, Sean sometimes had the feeling his friend had never outgrown his teenage crush.



“Damn you, Sean. You’re just as gorgeous as you were in high school,” had been Jeremy’s comment after seeing him again, “if not more. Hell, time only made you more handsome.” Another careful look over, before adding, “Exciting and…unavailable,” had been his conclusion on learning of Leon.



Now sitting in the half-lit pub, Jeremy shook his head. “I hate to tell you, but I told you so.”



Though the dim lights made it hard to see, Sean stared at his friend’s eyes, hidden behind John Lennon type glasses on a long, lean face. Time had not fared as well with his ex-lover. Always on the thin side, now he looked skinnier than ever and somehow even taller. Sean shrugged. “He’s a hunter. He needs the chase.”



“I told you, Shauny. You can’t trust married men. It was inevitable he’d look for a woman sooner or later because that’s what he really likes.”



“He likes me.”



“Not enough apparently, if he still needs women.”



No woman, or man for that matter, will ever give him what I can. That sounded like a pitiful female’s desperate cry, even if Sean knew it was true. Naturally, he could not say it…not even to Jeremy. Speaking of Leon, he had left out the bloody sex part that tied them through several lifetimes, too disturbing and incredible to comprehend. Sometimes even Sean had the impression it was just a figment of his imagination until Leon’s strong hands running on his body made it all come alive again. “It’s probably just a phase,” he excused his hunter at last. “Once it’s over, he’ll return to me.”



Jeremy looked skeptical. “Has he ever told you he loved you?”




To Seduce A SoulmatePG EXCERPT



Vodka lemon in hand, the devil’s favorite drink as Drake learned, they sat on the high stools, the space so tight their legs could not help touching and this probably contributed to the illusion he was alone with the devil, in a place all their own despite the confusion. Another dimension? Then he recalled the same sensation he had perceived at the office just the day before. And the ease with which Martin drew him into his enchanted magic was surprising in itself.



Taking a generous sip of his whisky, the pirate glanced at Martin’s stunning profile and shiny blond hair that lit up the place. He would have liked to run his hand through the thick strands, to feel the texture, but of course, it did not seem appropriate. So he repressed the urge, forcing his mind to focus on more practical subjects. “Why didn’t you tell me you were splitting up?” He fired the question point blank.



Martin’s look showed no surprise as if he expected the inquiry. “Would it have changed something between us?” His Irish tone challenged.



“Of course not, but—“



“Then what would’ve been the point?” He sipped his drink. “I don’t see how it could interest you anyhow.”



“Jenny told me some of the things you told Aline and—“



“They were the exact same ones I told you in that hamburger joint. Nothing less.”



“I didn’t think you’d act on those…” Drake paused to search for a kind word, in spite of his skepticism, “notions.”



Martin flashed angry green eyes at the pirate. “I happen to believe in those…notions.” Turning abruptly to his drink, he gripped the glass. “Besides, I thought we agreed we wouldn’t talk about it anymore.”



“That was your decision. I still don’t understand half of it.”



“Because you don’t want to and talking about it won’t help, just like it didn’t the last time. So I ask you again. What’s the point?”



Demon Drink



All right, I admit it, I don’t have any recipe for this. I just made it up, but hen what else can The Demon Waiter serve?



The Demon WaiterPG EXCERPT     



Magically, two glasses full of a red, blue and green liquid appeared on the table, both steaming and hissing with hot vapors.



“Drinks on the house?” Laurent lightened up amused.



“More of a peace offering.” Stretching over the table, Viridial took a sip from his, then opened his mouth to speak.



“My story starts a long time ago when human civilization was just at the beginning.” Viridial’s deep voice managed to cover also the annoying music. “Back when you were building pyramids for tombs—”



“You’re that old?”


Melanzane alla parmigiana



I love this Sicilian recipe–Eggplants with Parmesan Cheese. On my trip in Sicily, I ate it practically every day and would’ve kept eating it had I not had to return back home, in Rome. Anyway, I love it so that I had Sean cook it for Leon, as a way to make up after a very big fight they had and after Sean walked out on Leon, leaving him alone for five days. So here’s the recipe and Tasting Leon’s Mark, Book 2 of the ReScue series.




2 large aubergines
1 tin of tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
olive oil for frying
salt and pepper
flour for dredging
toasted breadcrumbs
plenty of fresh basil
150g mozarella cheese, sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese






Slice the aubergine (I sliced mine lengthways to make for fewer pieces to fry!). Salt on both sides and leave the slices to stand upright in a colander so that any bitter juices can drain away.



Prepare the tomato sauce – fry onion and garlic until soft but not browned. Add the tin of tomatoes and a teaspoon of sugar (and a pinch of dried oregano if desired) and heat the sauce through.



Blot the slices of aubergine with kitchen towel. Mix some plain flour with salt and pepper on a plate and dredge each slice in the seasoned flour (both sides) before frying in the olive oil. (The flour stops the slices from sticking to the pan – makes your life a *lot* easier!) Although some recipies suggest deep-frying, I shallow-fried mine and it worked just fine. Each batch of slices takes about 4 minutes, turning once. Drain the slices well on paper towels and keep warm.



Butter a baking dish (mine was about 30x18cm), sprinkle the bottom with toasted breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Layer the aubergine slices, follwed by the tomato sauce, some fresh basil leaves, mozarella slices and grated parmesan. Repeat these layers to use up all ingredients, finishing with sauce topped with only parmesan.

Cover the dish loosely with alumin



Tasting Leon’s MarkPG EXCERPT



Sean bent slightly to check the tower-high oven. “It’s an old recipe of my grandmother, Melanzane alla Parmigiana.” He pronounced it with a slight accent. “It’s a wonderful dish she used to cook when she had time to spare.” He opened the oven to take out a baking pan, then evidently satisfied with what he saw, put it back inside. “I had to run all over town to find the right ingredients.” His gaze returned to Leon. “Only some specialized food stores carry fresh, genuine Italian products, like mozzarella cheese and parmesan, which are fundamental for this plate.”



The hunter sipped his wine. “So your grandmother didn’t only teach you the language.”



“No, she taught me the basics of Italian culture, though I remember little. But we used to spend long afternoons together since my mother had to work the entire day to support the family.”



“That’s after your father left you?”



Sean nodded. “She came from Italy to help my mom out. At first, all she could speak was Italian, then she learned a little English, but never really knew it that well.”



Leon turned the glass in his hand. “You know, you should’ve told me sooner about the languages. Where we are, it’s an invaluable skill.”



Sean shrugged, leaning on the peninsula across from Leon. “I didn’t want to brag about it, lover.”



“That wouldn’t qualify as bragging. Hell, there are some people who can’t wait to tell me about their latest bullshit just to show off while you hide an important thing like that?”



The blue eyes flashed in protest. “I wasn’t hiding it. I was waiting for the right time to tell you, only it never came.”



“And I suppose you didn’t even tell John.”



The blond beauty shook his head. “I didn’t see the point of telling him.”



“He made you the artistic consultant of anything that goes out of FDC. I mean, you can practically go over my head, but didn’t think he ought to know?”



“Lover, you and I know exactly why he gave me the title and it has nothing to do with my skills, not the intellectual ones anyway.”



Leon grinned. “You’re becoming an obsession for him. I think he’ll want you to be at the big meeting he’s planning.”



“Me? Why the hell would he want me? I’m certainly not a manager.”



“As you said, he doesn’t give a damn about your skills. He probably wants to see you again and that’s as good a way as any other.”



Sean sipped his wine slowly. “It would be embarrassing, everybody wondering why I’m there. I mean, what could I tell them? That John wanted to admire me in person?”



“I told him it wouldn’t be a good idea, but you know how he is. If he’s made up his mind, nothing’s going to stop him.”



“I trust you’ll be able to handle him.”



The hunter smiled ruefully. “Not when it comes to you, I’m afraid. For everything else, he takes my advice, but if it concerns you…” He shrugged. “He only listens to his dick.”



Sean grinned. “Spoken like a true man.”



“Don’t get me wrong, sweetie, but I wasn’t happy with his decision to make you artistic consultant. This position jeopardizes your relationship in the team because it places you a step above everyone else. That scene with Michael—”



“He’s a jerk and you know it! But in a way, I’m glad we had it because it made me think long and hard about so many things.”



“Is that why you asked me publicly for a date?”





This is my real passion–whether white, red or rosé, still or sparkling, prosecco, spumante or champagne, I think there isn’t a type of wine i don’t love. True, i prefer the dry kinds over the sweet ones, but if there’s nothing else, i’ll take the sweet kinds, too. Sean Davis is exactly like me–he can’t live without wine. And he educates his lover’s taste to it, because he can’t possibly think of being with someone who doesn’t appreciate it as much as he does.





“Mr. Sterling, do you think beautiful people always stick together?” Spencer rolled his glass of red wine, chosen by Sean, the only wine expert Leon had ever known. “Sean might get tired of the competition.”



“It’s hard to be competitors when you have different tastes.” Shamelessly, the hunter spared no facts, even the most intimate ones, to keep John hooked on their personal antagonism.



“Come on!” Spencer’s eyes widened. “Don’t tell me you wouldn’t go after someone like Sean, even if you’ve never considered fucking men.”



“Just as much as you would,” Leon retorted.



“Touché.” An ironic snarl curved the old man’s lips in a sort of admiring grin. “But for the record, you wouldn’t be the only one in SDM interested in him.” After taking a sip of the ruby liquid, he leveled his gaze with Leon. “Besides your president, who I know for a fact has tried more than once to convince our blond friend to have sex with him, also—”



“Please, do we really have to talk about my personal, and I repeat personal, sex life?” Blushing violently, Sean gulped down a generous amount of wine probably to calm the tension Leon perceived tightening his muscles. And his imperceptible edging nearer seemed a silent request for a protection that made the hunter’s heart go out to him.


Tasting Leon’s MarkPG EXCERPT



“Care for some white wine, lover? I just opened the bottle.”



“And you were planning to drink in two glasses?” Leon grinned, noticing the two elegant flutes next to the bottle.



Sean poured the chilled wine in both glasses. “I knew you were about to return, even if you’d find the time to get your hands on…” He leaned against Leon to smell him deeply before handing him the full glass. “Brenda.”



“Actually, it wasn’t my doing. She offered to replace you tonight at John’s dinner.”



“Oh, I’d forgotten all about it.” Sean’s sigh of relief was louder than he intended. “I’m sure John was just as thrilled at the switch.”



“He sure was.” Leon grinned sarcasticly. “He hardly spoke two words to her, wanting only to know why you weren’t there.”



Sean shook his head. “Wasn’t he planning to discuss about FDC’s expansion?” And even if he knew the answer, he could not help asking anyway. “What difference would my presence have made?”



“None whatsoever.” Leon paused to take a generous sip. “But you know how much he’s hooked on you.”



Sean shrugged. “Only because I fit his type of idealized beauty. Like you, only certain kinds of people appeal to him.”



Leon’s green eyes blazed in surprise. “I don’t have standards for people.”



“Sure you do, lover.”



“And what would they be?”


ReScue Series






Contrary to popular belief, pizza does not have an Italian origin. It was first made in Greece, and only in modern age did the Italians claim it as their own. Thus said, there is one of my characters who looooves pizza, to the point he’d eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s how much Martin adores pizza, and the people who love hi knowi t all too well. So here is the recipe for Pizza alla Margherita, which is the most popular in Italy, and two excerpts from the Soulmate series–To Seduce A Soul Mate Book 1 and The Pirate’s Surrender Book 2.



Pizza Dough:

1 cup warm water

1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup passata

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 12 equal pieces

8 leaves fresh basil



Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add salt and 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir with the spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to incorporate as much flour as possible.



Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until you have made a smooth, firm dough. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside to rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.



Cut the risen dough into 4 equal pieces and knead each portion into a round. Cover again and let rest 15 minutes.



Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a clean pizza stone in oven to preheat.



Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour. With your fingers and palms, flatten one of the dough rounds into a 10-inch oval about 1/4-inch thick. Spread 1/4 cup of the passata evenly on entire surface of dough, leaving 1/4-inch of dough to form edge of pizza. Take one piece of mozzarella, slice into 4 uniform slices and put on top of passata. Rip 2 leaves of basil into smaller pieces and sprinkle on top of mozzarella. Slide pizza directly onto pizza stone and bake 15 to 18 minutes, until edge of pizza is golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Repeat with remaining 3 dough balls and serve hot.



To Seduce A Soul MatePG EXCERPT



They walked in silence, both following their own thoughts. Inside, the waiter brought them to a far-off booth, half hidden from sight and left them with the menus. Aline glanced at it briefly before telling Drake she would have a small pizza. “Just extra cheese, nothing else.” Leaving it to him to order for both of them, she leaned back on the seat.



After the waiter left with their order, her gaze traveled to the nearby tables. “Martin loves pizza. He could eat it three times a day without getting tired of it.” She took a sip of water. “I’ve always wondered where he put it since he never seemed to gain any weight.”



“Some people have all the luck.” Suppressing a grin, Drake pictured the devil’s lean, naked body.



“And he certainly does. I knew it was too good to be true, but I believed him when he told me he wanted to change.”



“What do you mean?”


The Pirate’s SurrenderPG EXCERPT



“How about I heat up a pizza?”



“You’ve got pizza?”



“Just the frozen kind, if it doesn’t bother you.” A recent purchase, it was all in Martin’s favor. Before the devil, he never thought of keeping them in his freezer.



“Bother me?” Martin practically jumped up. “I love them!”



Laughing, Drake got up, too, and went to the kitchen, located next to his bedroom. The house was all on one floor—large living room and kitchen, two medium-sized bedrooms, a huge bathroom and a small yard in the back. More than enough for two people and Drake could hardly wait for the day Martin would become its second tenant.



“Returning to my ass-fucking boss, you’re absolutely right. I have an agenda of my own, though I’m biding my time until he falls apart, ‘cause he can’t handle it for sure.” Plopping down on a chair, Martin watched Drake busy heating up the oven. “The pressure’s getting to him, I can feel it. Already he’s not making as many contracts as when he first started.”



“Isn’t that inevitable?” Going to the freezer, Drake pulled two pizzas out. “I mean he probably went through all the major Atlanta companies wanting to make a video clip of some sort. Now he’s got less uncharted territory in which to move.” After placing the pizzas inside the oven, he grabbed two beers out of the fridge, setting one in front of the devil. “I think you guys should broaden your field. There must be plenty of clients outside the greater-Atlanta area, like in Athens or Helen—”



“You really think Channel Eight’s future is out there?”


Soulmate Series


Dinner in Sendar



Maybe you haven’t noticed, but everyone in the Virtus Saga is vegetarian. No one eats meat, only vegetables, cheeses, legumes, eggs and breads. So I can’t possibly post the many recipes, but here’s a romantic excerpt, a testimony of the growing feelings between Chris and Ylianor, taken from the 4th Book of the saga.





“That’s what Arthur did with us last year,” Chris cut in, gesturing at Duncan, then at Ylianor. But something about her caught his eyes because he pulled to him the cheese platter and fixed her. “Would you like some to finish up?”



Actually, Lady Caldwell’s plate was still half-full, contrary to those of others, already half, if not entirely, empty. And no, she had not gone for seconds either.



“Up to your usual tricks, Princess?” The leader’s gaze strayed to her plate, too, and there was a note of concern in his voice.



“I’ll take care of her,” Chris offered immediately, with the knife poised over the cheese platter.



“Yes, please.” Ylianor sent him a radiant smile—and by the gods, it was Charles smiling at him. “I’d like a piece of—”



“I know exactly what you want, sleeping beauty.” After carefully selecting one, Chris sliced a piece and handed it to her at knife’s point.



She did not just take it. Oddly, she also ran a finger on the blade, only for a quick second, before swinging her gaze back to Chris. “Thank you, Demon.”



The look he sent her confirmed in James’s heart this was no convenience pledge, no last-minute scramble to comply with tradition. No, there was something deeper between the two of them, not anything like what his son shared with the leader—that was a one of a kind, which made Chris’s heart stand still. Yet there was a strong connection in development with the woman his son had chosen, and James was only glad he was so lucky to have found not one, but two people who would surely stand by him.


Virtus Saga


Laura Tolomei


Check out my blog @LallaGatta for fiery hot excerpts on all my series & sags!


Visit my website


Facebook, Twitter, Google+1, Likedin, MySpace, Goodreads




“Behind THE DELPHI BLOODLINE by Donna Del Oro”: Interview of Kas Skoros, one of the Guardians of the Bloodline

THE DELPHI BLOODLINE: A smart, romantic thriller about an ancient bloodline of psychic women, the ruthless tycoon who wants to enslave them, the mysterious man who wants to protect them, and the modern-day descendant who must fight to stay alive and free!



Interviewer: You have an unusual name. What’s the background?



Kas: Kas is a nickname, an acronym of Keriakos Alexander Skoros. I’m Greek-American and the males in my family have been Guardians of the Delphi Bloodline since the days of ancient Greece.



Interviewer: Now that the modern-day descendant of the Bloodline, Athena Butler, is threatened, how have you tried to connect with her?



Kas:  She’s a stubborn young woman who resists my help, but I’ve got my ways of persuading women to do what I want them to do. Athena may be a gifted clairvoyant but she’s also human. Very human. And very pretty…



Interviewer: What do you think is behind all those kidnappings of American psychics?



Kas: It’s such a well coordinated and widespread problem. There’s a lot of money behind these kidnappings. Some mastermind who wants to exploit these incredibly gifted women of the Bloodline is behind this. But why? That’s what I want to know. Athena’s mother, Annabella, has an idea who’s behind it all.  Regardless, as a Guardian, I’ve taken the oath to protect this Bloodline with my life.



Interviewer: Do you think it’ll come to that? Is the mastermind that ruthless?



Kas: Yeah,  six have already disappeared. Then Annabella, Athena’s mother. True psychics as well as charlatans, so the FBI think the kidnappers are taking them and testing them. The ones that fail the test, they think, are …discarded. Killed.



Interviewer: So you think the Delphi Bloodline is composed of true psychics?



Kas: Absolutely. If you only knew what these women were capable of. My own mother is one of the Bloodline heirs. I know firsthand what they can do! Someone or some group that can control them, enslave them—wow, you’ve got one powerful dude. I won’t let that happen!


Available: MusaPublishing/Kindle/Nook/Apple




Blurb & Excerpt:


Present day descendants of the ancient, psychically powerful Delphi bloodline face the threat of extinction when an evil tycoon hunts them for his own nefarious intent, a global spy network.


When artist Athena Butler, the modern-day descendant of a powerful, ancient bloodline of psychic women, realizes she’s the target of mysterious and dangerous kidnappers, she gets help from strange sources—the spirit of an ancient ancestor and a handsome man who claims to be one of her bloodline’s Guardians. Her mental powers and his brawny skills keep them one step ahead of the mastermind behind these kidnappers. Until the time when an FBI task force decides to use Athena as bait.




Chapter One


Pyramid Valley, Nevada
Thursday AM


Athena Butler’s eyes blinked open and she sat up. 


Coming back from The Flow was always jolting. Emerging from the stream of spirits was like a water skier lurching out of the water, pulled by a strong, invisible force. The mind caught up later to the body as if it required a rough snap to break free.


Likewise, to go there was like jumping out of a plane and feeling the air rush to your face, your limbs weightless and wobbly. Most of the time, it was a joy to enter this world of unseen spirits. Athena welcomed her visits, especially at night when she found herself invariably alone.


When she was a child, she’d often emerge from The Flow with a fearful whimper and a cry. She’d wept and wanted to stay in The Flow. Now, at twenty-six, Athena had grown accustomed to her mental flights. They were no longer fear-inducing for she understood their purpose. But her exits were still mind-wrenching and she often lay in bed afterwards, disoriented.


This morning, fear clutched her heart and she could barely breathe. With a trembling hand, she reached for her phone.


Breathless, she raked her other hand through her hair and kicked her legs over the side of the bed.  Six AM, Nevada time. She punched her mother’s mobile numbers. It was nine o’clock in D.C.


“Thank God, Mama! Where are you?”


“I’m in Baltimore, near the—.”


“Mama, I had a dream about you. A Flow Dream. The spirits—they want me to warn you! Whatever you’re doing right now, get off the streets.  Go home and lock the door. Call the police!”


Her heart felt like a ticking bomb in her chest.  Athena could barely speak. But her mother knew her and understood her Flow dreams. They were seldom wrong though sometimes a little off in timing. Today, a threat was imminent. She knew it.


“Slow down, Thena. Take a deep breath and tell me slowly about your dream. I don’t doubt you but we must be able to interpret it correctly. You know how these Flow Dreams are. Sometimes the symbolism is strange and difficult to interpret.”


“Okay—just go home and lock the door. Now, Mama!”

Athena had to swallow hard and take big gulps of air in order to speak. Losing her mother was unthinkable. She’d already lost her father, and in a way, her brother.


“Where are you, Mama?” 


She inhaled and counted to five. Her mother wasn’t in Georgetown, where she lived with her second husband. Athena sensed water nearby, a large body of water. Her mind jumped ahead. The body of water in her terrifying dream was vast, a bay leading to the ocean. The Baltimore harbor—of course!


“Near downtown Baltimore. I’m heading toward a section of the city where I believe a little girl’s body was hidden. The police need the evidence from that location.  They think she was hidden somewhere, killed and then a day or two later dumped into the bay. I think I’ve found the monster’s hideout.”




“I had a session with the homicide detective last night. I handled a few articles of the poor child’s clothing, what she was wearing when they found her. I got some visions so I drove up here to pinpoint the location. It’s not in a very nice part of town but I thought I’d drive around, and then call Detective Bonner when I got something.”


Athena groaned. Her mother was at it again.  Getting involved with homicide cases and trying to use her powers to bring killers to justice.


“Mama, get out of there, please! Go home—”


“I’ve had no sense of this danger, Athena, not to me personally,” her mother said. “Listen, we must talk soon. There are other dangers that I’ve seen…but don’t fret, my car doors are locked, I’m driving my big SUV. I’m in traffic, so relax.”


“Maybe you’re too focused on that homicide case,” Athena stressed. Her mother had no idea the danger she was putting herself in. First-hand experience had taught Athena that working with the cops was a dangerous business. Let them do their work and solve their own cases.


I’m done with all that.


Her mind darted back to the vision in her dream. She took a deep breath and steadied her voice.


“I saw you in your car, Mama. You stopped to get out. A black car pulled in front of you and another one—a long white one—blocked you in back. There was a woman driving the car in front and she was with men who had guns.  Someone grabbed you and carried you to the white car. I could smell salt water and then they took you away. Some place far away. And then I was in the mountains, the Sierras, searching for you.”


Athena bent over, clutching the cell phone, her lifeline to the one person she loved most in the world.  Her stomach cramped into a hard ball.


There was silence. “Mama, go home,” she repeated.


“Okay, Thena, I’m turning back toward the freeway. The harbor shops are on my left. Remember that eight-sided tower, the one with a great view of the harbor and breakwater. The octogon tower. You remember going there on your last visit here, don’t you?”
More silence followed then as an image sprang to Athena’s mind. Yes, they’d had lunch there…


Her mother gasped loudly.  A screech of brakes, metal crunching, glass breaking. Her mother cursing a blue streak in her native Italian.


“What happened, Mama? Are you all right?”


“Yes, dear. Just a stupid fender bender. Merda! Daniel’s going to throw a fit. My second one this year! I’m getting so distracted with these cases—not paying attention to what I’m doing. I swear this car pulled right in front of me, cut me off. It’s not my fault this time.”


More angry muttering followed.


“Dio, I really smashed up that rear end! Thena, I’ll call you right back as soon as I exchange insurance information with the driver. Be right back, Thena.”


“Mama, don’t get out of the—”


The line went dead.  With a cry, Athena sank to her knees on the cold, tile floor. Shivers of dread rippled through her. Her mind went numb with panic.


For God’s sake…Think! Get help!




Choosing the Perfect Excerpt by Tara Fox Hall

Anyone who has blogged as a guest will know that one of the requested items on the host's list is usually a book excerpt. But how do you go about choosing the perfect excerpt? Which few hundred words out of the tens of thousands that make up your novel will have readers captivated to the point that their next stop online afterwards is to buy your book? Here is a list of pointers, from my experience:

  • Try to choose something from the first chapter of the book. Unless your book is part of a series, and the scene you choose involves only characters that are already known to readers, people reading the excerpt will not know what's going on. Nowadays, there is rarely a lead up to action, and books often are expected to start off with a bang. If your book does that, then you can even pick the very first 300 words.
  • Take into consideration where the blog will appear and pick the excerpt with that in mind.  If you are on a romance site, and your book only has romantic elements, this is the time to showcase them, not the other elements of your book. If you're on a blogsite which emphasizes erotic elements, choose a hot sex scene. If you're on a family-friendly site, this is not the place to include the hottest scene of the book: choose something enticing, but wholesome. For the first books in my two series, I tended to use the same excerpt for all blogs. I will be changing this for my follow up books, to increase reader interest. 
  • End on an exciting note. There are a lot of excerpts that show a couple meeting, and some cute hijinks, ending with a longing look. That may not be enough to intrigue a reader who sees this same scene in every romance novel they read. Which leads to …
  • Think outside the box. What is it about your book that makes it different from the rest of the books out there? What elements are included that are unusual for your genre?
  • When you are doing your last edits, pick a few key excerpts out, and copy them into a doc. They will be all ready to go when it's time to promote your book!


Blurb from Broken Promise:

Shocked at Danial's betrayal, Sarelle returns to her old home to consider her options. Yet even as Sar plans a reconciliation with Danial, Terian arrives, confessing his desire. When Theo witnesses Terian and Sar kiss, he angrily confronts Sar, leading to startling consequences. Will Sar's heart choose Danial, Terian, or Theo? Excerpt from Broken Promise: Danial followed me. "Sar," he said hesitantly.
I turned reluctantly to face him. "Danial, say whatever you have to say and get out," I said wearily. "I'm exhausted."
"I love you," he said, his eyes tearing.
"I know you do," I said evenly, meeting his gaze with my own, before turning from him to start washing the dishes.
I felt him behind me in an instant, and put down the dish I'd been holding before I dropped it. His hands rested on my shoulders, and then slid down my arms, enfolding me as he pulled me close. His hands were cool, as they had been the first time we embraced.
How many nights had I longed to be back in his arms? How many nights had I wished he would come to me like this, and tell me he loved me? Almost every night since we parted. But it didn't change anything between us.
"I was wrong, Sar. I was wrong to do what I did." He leaned his head on my shoulder, holding me. "I want you to know, I didn't have sex with her. I left her, after talking to you. Please forgive me, for the things I said to you that night," he whispered into my ear. "Please forgive me, my Oathed One."

Buy Link:

What I Learned From Three Queens of Romance by Rhonda Jackson Joseph

I had the distinct honor of moderating a reader’s panel in June at the National Black Book Festival here in Houston that consisted of Rochelle Alers, Kayla Perrin and Francis Ray. Each of these women is phenomenal and I almost forgot that I was moderating when the conversation flowing between them entranced me. There are numerous reasons why these women are undisputed Queens of Romance, but a few stood out to me as I chatted with them and during my encounters with these wonderful ladies at other times.



I first met Ms. Alers when she arrived at the festival, fresh from travel. She looked exactly like what she was: a woman who was glad to have reached her destination. There were no best selling writerly airs, or any diva requests. She held several regular conversations with the people who were milling around the area.



I also met Ms. Ray in the same manner. When I began to gush over her work, forgetting I was supposed to be working at the festival, she humbly thanked me and insisted that she didn’t do anything so grand. There was no looking down her nose at us other writers, many of whom could only dream of reaching her level of success.



I’d previously met Ms. Perrin at a Romance Slam Jam festival a few years ago. I was dismayed to find that I, an unknown writer with only one book to her credit, had been paired in a reader panel to discuss my book with THE Kayla Perrin. When I arrived, Ms. Perrin treated me as a colleague and even handled the situation with majestic aplomb when I went all fan girl on her during the session and it changed from a two writer reader’s session to a “let’s all grill Ms. Perrin” session.



The first thing that struck me during the session in Houston was how humble and graceful all these women are. To have attained the type of success they all have in the often vicious writing world is an amazing feat. Each of them is thankful to be able to work in a field that they love and make a good living doing so.



And work, they do. Ms. Ray has been writing for over twenty years and has several awards to her honor. Over twenty years. Ms. Alers says a good work day is when she cranks out around thirty pages of writing. Thirty pages. And Ms. Perrin has published around forty seven books in the fourteen years she’s been writing. Forty seven. These ladies may be word wizards, but they’re taking the numbers by storm as well. They understand that to be successful in their field, they have to work hard and never take anything for granted.



Another trait they have in common is that of perseverance. They each began writing African American romances at a time when no one was sure the books would even sell. Yet, they carried on, writing the books like the ones they wanted to read and the stories they knew other people needed to read.



In a publishing world where writers take fame for granted and don’t take the time to learn all they can about their craft as they navigate their writing careers, yet stop at every turn to throw diva fits and tantrums, these queens stand out above the crowd. It’s clear to see why they are on top of their game and why they will always have success and relevance in the writing world.



I cannot attest to what their intended messages were for the discussion, because I have not consulted any of them on that. What I am sure of is that the lessons I learned from this royal court are far reaching and unforgettable. I aspire to be a queen of romance, too, one day.

Finding love can make us Impetuous at times… By Nicole Morgan

Most of us have visions of finding that special someone who sneaks up on us and takes our breath away. Whether women or men, we all hope to find our soul mate. The problem is I think far too many of us are looking for that person. It would seem that the trick is to stop looking!


When I wrote Impetuous I wanted to write about a couple which were the least likely to meet. Even more so I wanted them to have a relentless attraction toward one another. An attraction that neither one of them could resist.


In this story Beck and Jenny are polar opposites. He is charming and laid back, while she is a serious and career driven executive. He lives life with a smile and easy going confidence. She lives every moment on the edge, never quite relaxing until she is alone. The beauty of their relationship is they bring out the best in one another. He’s the yin to her yang and vice versa. They balance one another like any couple who truly loves each other should.


Please enjoy this sneak peek into the whirlwind relationship of Jenny and Beck… and remember that special someone is out there. We’ll find them as soon as we stop looking.




A smile cocked up on one side of his mouth. "I asked if you had considered shutting off the water valve before doing any plumbing repairs."


For the first time since he'd walked into the room she was finally getting a good look at him. This man, whoever he was, was tall and slender, but his wet T-shirt showed her what was hidden underneath the cotton fabric. His chest was defined by muscles and while he didn't have large, overly muscular arms like so many men she saw on the beach these days, they were definitely the arms of a working man. The smile he was giving her wasn't half bad, either. In fact, if she had the time for a boyfriend, she would say he was just handsome enough to be her type.


Time for a boyfriend?


That thought brought her back to reality. Bracing her hands down at her sides she pushed herself to a standing position. Holding out her hand toward his, she meant to shake it, but when his hand met hers she lost her balance, slipped and fell to the ground, taking him with her.


A loud crack echoed in her head when it met with the tile floor. It disoriented her for a second. That was until she felt the strong, hard body lying on top of her. Opening her eyes she realized their faces were just inches apart and she could feel his breath caressing her lips.


Heat warmed her wet body, despite lying there in inches of water. Her heart began to race again, but not like it had before in her office. She swallowed a lump of nervousness as it hit her throat. She attempted to speak, but no words came out.


"Well, sugar. You know, normally I like to spend a little time getting to know someone before I get horizontal with them, but since you're so forceful, I might just make an exception for you." He winked at her when he spoke the last word.


That wink, or maybe it was the words he used, caused that heat she was feeling to sink to her belly. A throbbing tingle shot down to her pussy and awoke all of her nerve endings. It caused moisture to pool in between her thighs which had nothing to do with the leaking pipe.


Had anyone else said that to her she would have smacked him and laughed in his face, so why did this man give her the desire to wrap her legs around him and grind her hips into his?


"Who are you?" Jenny asked.


Nicole's Website


Nicole's Blog


Nicole's Yahoo Group For Readers


Nicole's Facebook

Show Not Tell by Tara Fox Hall

I forwent the treadmill today for walking out side with the dogs. Beautiful evening, even though I got caught in the rain. This was one of those times it added to the experience, and was relaxing. Such a lovely stormy sky, with no lightning or thunder to make me worry.


Now, while that paragraph might have been enough to give you facts of what and when, was it enough to bring you, the reader, into that moment with me? I daresay not. Let’s try again.


The freshly plowed fields were dark with remnants of rain that had fallen only a few hours before. Yet the path was only slightly muddy, something I was grateful for, even as I picked my way along. The alfalfa was already green and growing, signaling spring was here. The first trilliums had opened their petals just inside the forest edge, spotting the many hues of brown forest floor with spots of white. My dogs, large shepherd and small mutt, sniffed excitedly, tails wagging as they trotted beside me. There was only the sounds of the wind in the treetops, and the footfalls of our brisk pace. Then a coyote’s howl pieced the silence, answered quickly by some of his fellows far off to the northwest. As we neared home, the stormcloud sky darkened slightly, and rain began to fall, pattering gently on us, as if in blessing. Blissful, I closed my eyes and raised my face, the sensation of the rain both relaxing and freeing. This was a moment of perfect peace, and also renewal of hope and anticipation for the evening still to come.


Same subject, yes, but anyone reading this felt something more with the second paragraph. This is the infamous “Show, Not Tell,” that every writer hears at some point in their career. It was very hard for me to learn at first. It’s in our nature to tell people what we’ve been doing when we communicate with them, to give them a synopsis of what happened, without too much detail. In essence, I had to relearn how to tell a story to capture not only what happened, but how it felt to the subject of the story when it happened. Include sensation, emotion, perception, and any good details that lend reality to your story, so the characters are believable as possible. Only then can the reader truly identify with your character, and lose themselves in the story.




Metal shop worker Sarelle “Sar” McGarran is the ultimate tomboy and considers herself capable of handling whatever life throws her way. Recently widowed, she takes refuge in quiet country life until the day she stumbles upon an unconscious vampire on her property. Unable to leave the wounded man, she takes him in.


Danial Racklan is a sexy bad boy with a complicated past and questionable motives. Yet before long, he has Sar completely captivated. He introduces her to his secret, supernatural world, in the process reawakening emotions and desires she hasn’t felt since her husband’s tragic death. Soon Sar finds herself drawn into a dark, dangerous reality in which her desire for Danial is second only to her wariness that he may break her heart. Yet Sar must soon face there is much Danial has kept from her, even as she begins to love him. When Danial asks her for an Oath of forever, will Sar give Danial his greatest desire?


When your lover is a vampire, a promise of forever takes on a whole new meaning…PROMISE ME




Danial was dying.


He could feel it in his blood, the burning in his flesh. He pulled the truck onto a side road and accelerated. His pursuer couldn’t be far behind. He glanced at his arm, at the small gash that was even now healing. It might be better for him if he opened it up again. He’d cleaned it the best he could, but it wasn’t like he’d had time to do more than pour water on it. It felt as though a razor had cut him and was working its way deeper into his flesh.


Had to be poison. And no run of the mill arsenic or derivative. 


His mind worked frantically. What poison had been on the tip of that arrow? Who had that been in the shadows? Who’d known he’d been working on the Donaldson contract that he’d be there tonight, watching? And most importantly, who had dared attack him?


It was possible the attacker hadn’t known his name. But whoever had done this knew the breed of man he hunted and had prepared a special end for him. He’d gotten a glimpse in the shadows of what had hunted him; red eyes and a masculine form moving at supernatural speed. In his world, that still left a long list of possible suspects. For certain, it had been another of his kind.          


He came to a crossroads and went west, then to another and headed south. There were no headlights behind him, at least so far. Best to leave the most complicated trail he could.


With some bitterness, he wondered why he was fighting so hard to survive. His life had been pointless for the last half century. Modern books and novels talked about how fun it was being a creature of the night; so romantic and glamorous. What a crock of shit.  If he hadn’t had his business, he’d have gone crazy. And as for there being so many women who wanted to be with . . . someone like him . . . for the most part, it was a phase girls in their twenties went through. Looking for a bad boy to titillate and seduce them.  Not one had been anything of substance. It never lasted very long. But the ones who wanted in for the long haul were worse. There was always the vow of doing anything for him and the promise of eternal devotion. Until they found out that he couldn’t give them what they wanted. Then it was wheedling and hints of what he would do if he really cared for them. He’d stayed away from any serious commitments lately, say the last thirty years. Why bother, when they were doomed to fail?


Enough of depressing thoughts! God, wasn’t death at the end of the night depressing enough? He smiled at that and checked the rearview mirror. Still no lights. His attacker was either a master tracker or an amateur.


Maybe his life wasn’t everything he’d hoped for when he was young. But he’d be damned if he’d give it up without a fight.


He felt a wave of nausea, and swallowed. If there was going to be a fight, it had better be quick. He could already feel himself getting lightheaded, and it was getting worse by the second. He had to pull in somewhere and get out of the open. The night was more than half over. He’d never make it to the campsite he’d planned on, not how he felt.


Tara's Links:




Email: tarafoxhallATgmailDOTcom


Tara's Blog:


Tara's Facebook Page:


For info on my recently published books Lash and Promise Me, click here: and here