Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest author Jan Graham: A Woman Who Loves to Write

About the Author 
I live on the fringe of both Sydney and the Southern Highlands in NSW, Australia. I have enjoyed writing throughout different periods of my life, but it is only now that I have the ability to work on it in a full time capacity. I love the imagery the written word creates in one’s mind and therefore I am an avid reader as well as an author.

At the end of 2010, after many years of working in the “real” world, I finally decided to make writing my career. Finding Angel is my first novel to be published.

I am pleased that I’m finally able to give the characters that swirl around my head on a constant basis the opportunity to put themselves down on paper, and hopefully entertain others as much as they amuse me.

Jan Graham's Blog

I’m really excited about the release of my first novel, Finding Angel. I’m also grateful that Tammy has graciously allowed me to guest blog on the day of its release. For me the Thirtieth of November will now always be remembered as the day of my first book release.

I didn’t know what I’d blog about today. I know, you would think it would be the book, but that didn’t feel like the right thing to do. When I read a blog I want to know about the person blogging, thoughts, ideas and the like. The only problem is I don’t think I’m very interesting. I think the characters I write are spectacular, me…not so much.

When you write a novel and someone says “yes we’ll publish it”, emotional reactions are expected. Dancing, screaming with excitement, jumping for joy are all typical responses I guess. I do those things now.  Well, I did that with my second contract. When my first contract came through, I burst into tears, reached for the phone and rang my best friend. The fact it was before the crack of dawn didn’t sink in, and consequently she thought someone had died. You know, really early morning phone call, someone crying on the other end of the phone. I’m not sure about the rest of the world but in Australia that usually equates to someone being dead, or some kind of bad news. But that’s not what I’m blogging about today, so I better get on with it.

When the time for publication gets closer, authors are asked to write a bio that can be used to accompany promotional material, and also to appear in the book. Simple request really, just tell everyone about you. I read other author’s bios. They all sound really interesting. They talked about where they lived, outside activities, family, children, writing awards and even pets…I contemplated buying a cat.

Finding Angel buy link
I do have family and friends, just none I live with. I enjoy going out, but didn’t see the relevance in telling everyone about it. Ultimately I decided I’m just a woman who loves to write. So that’s basically what my bio says, except I did fluff it out a bit. I think it’s a paragraph long now, some day it may read like a novel and fascinate people, but at the moment it’s just a woman who writes. I write about what interests me, I write the sort of book I like to read. Even though my bio may be one dimensional, my writing isn’t. I’m all for reading about down and dirty sex, erotic tales of decadence but I want more than just the naughtiness. I want a book that will engage me, make me wonder what’s coming next, not just who is. I like to write about characters motivations, what makes them tick and give them personality and life. I write characters that seem real, who have friends, interests outside of the bedroom. Ordinary people finding love despite the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in.

If you decide to buy Finding Angel I hope you enjoy the story, the characters, the humor, the action and of course, the down and dirty sex. Oh and just ignore the bio, unless you’re a woman who loves to read, then you’ll probably understand the life of me…a woman who loves to write.

Book blurb:
Angel Wylde is a woman with a complicated existence, a damaging past, and a desire to be normal. Unfortunately, what’s normal to Angel is unconventional to the rest of us. A crime boss will kill to get an incriminating ledger from her. Detective Steve Jax also wants the ledger from Angel, but the infuriating woman has disappeared.
Christian and Daniel Shore, Steve's two best friends, don’t know about the ledger. They just want Angel. A chance meeting has them taking her home and deciding she is the only woman for them—yes, both of them. Obviously, Angel isn’t the only one with unconventional desires. So who does Angel trust? Two kinky Doms she just met, a cop she doesn’t know anything about, or a nasty crime boss? Trusting all of them may save her life, and falling in love with two Dominant brothers is the icing on the cake.

Story Excerpt from Finding Angel 

Angel felt someone grab her arm and turned around to see the blonde Adonis she had just teased attached to it. As she got to the entrance of the foyer, he was still holding on to her, his arm now hooked through hers.
“Wait,” she heard him say. “Hello, I’m Christian, and I just came down to ask you to our party.”
Angel had no intention of going anywhere with him, even if he was good enough to eat. She walked a little further into the foyer, away from the downstairs crowd, and turning around, glanced up at the private club room window to see the other sexy man-God watching them. She looked back at the blond Adonis standing next to her and gasped. His eyes were the most gorgeous brown, just like milk chocolate, and she wanted to melt into them. Angel fought the urge to reach out and run her fingers through the shoulder length curls of his blonde hair.
“Christian?” she asked, watching him nod before she continued. “Thank you for the offer, but I’m going home.” Angel smiled before gently unlinking her arm from his.
“Come on.” He winked at her. “Come to my brother Daniel’s welcome home party. We’ll have fun, I promise.”
Angel sighed. He was standing so close, and even in her platform boots, she had to look up to see his dreamy eyes and perfectly formed luscious lips that begged to be kissed. Any other time she would have said yes, but not now. Everything was still too complicated to meet someone new at the moment. Angel hoped she didn’t have to get nasty if he kept insisting. He seemed nice, and she’d hate to have to get nasty and deflate his Dom ego. She glanced back up at the window to see that the dark-haired God had disappeared.
“I’m sure we would.” Angel took a step back. “But I didn’t come here to meet anyone. I just came to see friends and have a dance, which I’ve done. I apologize for doing that thing with the straw. I didn’t mean to give you the wrong idea. I get a little flirty when I drink.” Angel felt her face heat up. “I didn’t think you would come down here.”
Angel turned to walk away and was startled to hear a deep male voice that sent an erotic shiver up her spine.
“What if it’s just a no strings attached come and dance and get to know us invite,” he said.
Angel turned around to see the dark-haired God who had disappeared from the window moments before. He was nearly the same height as the blond Adonis but had short dark hair rather than the alluring curls of the other man. His shoulders were broad and firm, just the sort of thing Angel would imagine sinking her nails into as she orgasmed beneath him. She felt her heart begin to race and moisture pool between her legs. Being in such close proximity to them was intoxicating, but she knew these men were way out of her league. And she couldn’t let herself walk into something that would end up breaking her heart. Even though the sheer dominant male force they presented nearly overwhelmed her, she had the feeling that they were two really nice men. They hadn’t grabbed her boobs or used crude pickup lines on her, even after the now regrettable straw sucking incident. For a moment Angel nearly accepted, but then she suddenly remembered her genetic flaw and told herself that looks could be deceiving.
“I appreciate the offer, but I can’t accept, and if I don’t leave now, I’ll miss my train,” Angel stated politely. “I got the barman to call me a cab, and it’s probably waiting for me outside.”
“Fair enough. If you have to go, then we accept that.” Angel heard a hint of disappointment in Daniel’s voice and she got the distinct impression that it was far from what he wanted to say. If the look of lust that filled his gaze was anything to go by then letting Angel leave was the last thing he wanted to do.  
“Of course we don’t have to like that you’re leaving without spending time with us.” Angel’s gaze moved back to Christian. “Sure you won’t reconsider?” his smile was more than charming.
They were losing her. Christian wanted to grab hold of her and beg her to stay, or pick her up and kidnap her back to their house. As he looked at her succulent body and felt her sweet voice swamp his senses, he had to fight the urge to get all primal and claim her as his own.
“Thank you.” Her eyes moved from one brother to the other. “It was nice meeting you both. Maybe I’ll see you again.”
Christian saw her smile before turning to walk away. He felt like he was losing something more precious than life as she walked toward the door. She suddenly turned back around, her eyes locking onto Daniel’s.
“Oh, I forgot to say something.” her eyes twinkled as she spoke “Welcome home, Daniel.”
“Wait, what’s your name?” Christian called after her as she turned away again.
“Cinderella,” she yelled back over her shoulder, laughing as she walked out the door. 

How to find Jan Graham

Find out more about Jan and her latest release Finding Angel on Behind Closed Doors.  See you there!

From one woman who loves to write to another, thank you so much for sharing your release day with us!  Congratulations!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I am guest blogging today!

I'm over at Amber Lea Easton's blog Kisses, Caresses and Whispers in the Dark sharing an interview I did with one of my favorite characters from For the Love of Quinn.  Anthony Mancouso is Steve's best friend and had been in love with him for years.  Their friendship remains strong especially since he has made himself Quinn's gay husband.  Anthony will be seen again in all the books of this series and even have his own story told.  

Stop in and leave a comment on my post on Amber's blog and be entered to win another of my poems The Thunder and the Rain. Of course I will have it framed, decorated and signed for you too!

Happy Cyber Monday!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Blog Hop: Winter Holiday Blues

Welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day and the Black Friday Blog Hop.  If you leave a comment, you will be entered to win a framed copy of my poem Safe Harbor.   You can enter once each day this weekend and I will pick a winner on Monday 11/28/11.  At the end of my post is the list of the other authors involved in this hop. Please take the time to visit their sites and leave comments to be entered to win several fantastic prizes.

Winter Holiday Blues

Solitude by Idea go /

Many people go through the blues this time of year due to the weather or the fear of being alone.  For many, the holidays are extremely sad and lonely time even when surrounded by friends and family.  For the last few decades I have suffered from severe depression from the beginning of November until February.  My friends and family have been there for me each time, but the depression still overwhelms me.  It’s not always about making sure you are not alone in a room, but about finding some way to not be lonely in your heart.

            Watching my younger brothers and sisters get married first, become parents and basically have entire lives away from our family, made me feel like an outcast.  It wasn’t easy hiding those feelings.  I didn’t want to bring down anyone else.  Who wants to be known as the fifth wheel or the odd person at the table?  My family was always really supportive of me and I remember one Christmas when my Great Aunt Mary took me aside and said it would be okay if I brought “a friend” over for the family holiday parties.  I was always alone at these functions so my aunt assumed I was gay and not “out” yet.  Imagine her surprise when I said, “Thanks, Aunt Mary.  I’m not gay, just fat.”

            Yep, I was that overweight, extremely shy, smart girl who buried herself in books and classes until I graduated with honors from veterinary school.  It was much easier to hide behind those books and my weight than to admit to someone I was interested, only to have them “let me down easy.”  I was good enough to be their friend, but never a lover or a wife.  My heart really took a dive when I fell for a family friend.  I tried to work up enough nerve to tell him one summer after I lost a hell of a lot of weight.  He was always over our house for parties or just hanging around.  After seeing my transformation, he told me he was proud of me for setting my mind to it.  He already thought I was beautiful, but not my inner light shined for everyone to see.  He was a smooth talker that one!  I was head over heels in love with him and still too shy to confess.

            It was our annual July 4th pool party/barbecue.  Our house and yard was filled with family and friends all day.  I was in major flirt mode and it seemed to be working, but I was kidding myself.  The object of my affection was interested in my cousin, and I was soon forgotten.  I found out later that he knew about my crush, but adored me more as a sister.  That was a bitter pill to swallow for a bit, but his friendship came to mean a lot more to me over the next few years after that party,  More importantly, I came  to love him as a big brother too.

            His name was Paul and I can still hear his bawdy laugh and see his devilish smile.  He was there when my Dad’s Marine reserve unit was activated for Desert Storm.  I was in veterinary school at that time and unable to get away, but Paul was there for my family seeing Dad off at the airport, promising to watch over all of us until Dad came home.
            Paul was there when Dad took me back and forth to Michigan State my first year in veterinary school.  Both men wore their University of Michigan sweatshirts each time driving back to “enemy” territory, aka the Michigan State campus.  Sitting between the two of them for a couple of hours trying not to be embarrassed was a chore, but one I would gladly have back again.

            In the wee hours of Thanksgiving 1992, a drunk driver speeding well over 100 mph took Paul away from us. I still cry thinking of that phone call from my Mom telling me he was gone.  At this point I was in my clinical rotations of my senior year in vet school and could not get home for the funeral.  I didn’t get through the grief over losing him for a hell of a long time, and over the years the melancholy during the holidays was all the more raw without him.

            I didn’t think that pain could get any worse until we lost Dad on Thanksgiving Day 2005.  John McInerney was my stepdad in name, but Dad to me.  He was there for all of the growing pains, heartaches and joys.  He was there when I graduated from vet school and moved away to Detroit to work as an emergency vet.  He was there when I thought I had found the man I was going to marry and decided to give up everything in Michigan to move to the unknown…California.

            He was there when that all fell apart and was ready to come out to help me move back home if I needed him.  Dad was there when I decided to make it a go all alone in California for just a little longer, and he didn’t make me feel like I was a failure.  During that time, I met another man who I did marry.  Dad was honored to give up his right to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day in order to be the one to perform our ceremony.   He would joke to his coworkers that he was going to marry his daughter.  That got a few tongues wagging until he told them to get their minds out of the gutter!  He was performing the ceremony since the state of California allowed anyone to be an “officiant for the day” for a small fee of course!

            Dad was the rock of our family, retired Marine Corps sergeant, and computer geek.  He hid his pain for a bit before he had to admit that the Non-Hodgkins  Lymphoma was kicking his ass. Eighteen rounds of chemo and the cancer kept growing.  The doctors promised to get him to Thanksgiving and he held them to it.  Only ten months passed from the time he was diagnosed until he left us, and it’s still a bit raw.

            I lost myself in all of this, buried myself in my work and refused to see what was going on around me.  My marriage was over before it even started but I didn’t want to end it at first.  Dad married us and it seemed like it was disrespecting him to end it even though I was miserable and dying inside.  I had to remember what he always told us growing up.  “Do what you need to do to be happy.  Don’t do what you think other want you to do. That is not your path.  Follow your heart.  It will never steer you wrong.”

So I did.

            Now I have found quite by accident, the one my heart has been searching for all of my life, and every lifetime.  He is my Muse, my life partner and the part of my heart and soul that was missing.  Now the holidays are a time of joy. I’ve rediscovered my Wiccan faith and the happiness fills my life once again.  The holidays are no longer a time where I am depressed and melancholy, but a time to remember those I’ve loved and lost and be thankful for the time we did have together and the lessons I’ve learned from them.  It was Paul who showed me that true friendship never dies.  They are always with you, encouraging you along the way.  It was my Dad who encouraged me to follow all of my dreams wherever they may lead.  Both men would’ve had the biggest kick out of the fact that I’m a published author of erotic romance.  They would have been my biggest fans.  Well, I know for a fact they are “up there” smoking a couple of Cuban cigars, sipping scotch, and smiling down on me. 

            This holiday season, take the time to remember those who have made lasting impressions on your lives whether they have left this world or are still with you.  Light a candle or two for them at sunrise and allow it to burn until sunset.  When you see that light burning bright, smile.  Your loved ones are there with you now and forever.

This was one of Dad's favorite songs. We played it at his funeral at his request.  Every time I hear it, I remember my Dad.  For those of you who have read For the Love of Quinn know that this song plays an important roll in the story.  Quite a bit of my own life ended up in one shape or form in Quinn's story.  Curious? Read for yourself and you tell me!

Black Friday Blog Hop Participants

Christine Ashworth

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Self proclaimed Word Nerd author Chris Redding joins us today!

       Chris’ desire to become a published writer began at an early age. When she received her first A on a story she wrote in fifth grade, Chris knew she wanted to be an author. However, writing romance fiction books didn’t enter the picture until later in her life. She didn’t read many romance books growing up, but after college, discovered the genre fictions of mystery and romance. Her favorite authors are Suzanne Brockmann and Lisa Gardner, both of whom she has had the pleasure of meeting.
       After the birth of her second child, Chris was ready to take her writing to the next level and joined Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter. There she embarked on learning the real craft and business of writing.

       Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for her local hospital teaching CPR.

I’m a word nerd. Not surprising since I am a writer. Once had a boss who would engage me in wordplay. He really thought he’d win, but he never did. So here are two words for you today.

resplendent \rih-SPLEN-duhnt\, adjective:very bright or shining; splendid
      This is one of those words that I think sounds like what it means. It’s not a word I would use in my writing, but if I were writing an historical, I would probably use it more. To me it seems like an old word.
       We don’t have things that are resplendent anymore. The world makes me think of Versailles or Buckingham Palace.  You wouldn’t say a Yugo is resplendent. You wouldn’t even say a BMW is nor a Merecedes. It’s an old word for old fancy things.

Have you used it in your writing?

intimation \in-tuh-MAY-shuhn\, nounan indirect or slight suggestion; hint
        I often use this word. It’s one that when I do use it around non-writers they ask me what it means. Some words people can figure out in context. I guess this isn’t one of them. I’m also asked to spell it by some wiseacres. I can. I can spell lots of words.
        I’ve found in dealing with men, you don’t intimate. You tell them directly. Other women will pick up hints. Men will not. After I’ve been with women for a few hours, I go home and talk that way to the men in my house. Often my husband will just ask me what I want him to do. It’s a good strategy on his part. I then get back to man-speak and we all can understand each other.
        This is one of those words that sound dirty, but isn’t. Though an intimation can be for something dirty.

What was the last thing you intimated?

Chris's latest release Blonde Demolition is available now.  Get your copy today!

Blonde Demolition

Mallory Sage lives in a small, idyllic town where nothing ever happens. Just the kind of life she has always wanted. No one, not even her fellow volunteer firefighters, knows about her past life as an agent for Homeland Security.

Former partner and lover, Trey McCrane, comes back into Mallory's life. He believes they made a great team once, and that they can do so again. Besides, they don't have much choice. Paul Stanley, a twisted killer and their old nemesis, is back. 

Framed for a bombing and drawn together by necessity, Mallory and Trey go on the run and must learn to trust each other again―if they hope to survive. But Mallory has been hiding another secret, one that could destroy their relationship. And time is running out.


Books by Chris Redding                                                                
Corpse Whisperer
The Drinking Game
Confessions: Volume One

Where to find Chris Redding

Monday, November 14, 2011

I am guest blogging today!

Hello everyone!

Salvatore Vuono/
Join me over on author Nathasha Blackthorne's blog where she interviews me about how I got started writing and what inspires me each and every day.  She gets me to talk about my career as a veterinarian and why I think it's time to move on and write full time.  I had such a great time!  Stop by and say hello and learn a bit more about me, For the Love of Quinn, and the ideas for my next books.  I also share one of my latest poems.

Dipping A Red-painted Toe in the World of Erotic Fiction with Guest Author Carla Angela

click to find out more

I’ve always been partial to romance. Jackie Collins and Mills & Boon tomes were read under the covers as a teen and I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy flick.  Entering the world of erotic fiction as an author has taken it up another notch. Here are some of the things I’ve learned since joining the saucy writers’ crowd.

It’s not just the men with the same-sex fantasies (think pajama parties and pillow fights). Male/male fantasies are big news in the erotic fiction market – often written by straight women for straight women. Of course, it’s not hard to see how a Brad Pitt/George Clooney-inspired scenario could work. 

Three ain’t a crowd. Ménage à trois is de rigueur in erotic fiction. But there must still be a “happily ever after” – even if it’s three heading off hand-in-hand in the sunset together.

Erotic fiction isn’t porn. Unlike porn, which often doesn’t require much of a plot (or a good musical backdrop for that matter), characters in erotic fiction must have depth, must grow and must have a real connection with the object of their affection – beyond just sex.

There are oodles of names for your private bits. Who knew? And erotic fiction writers have lively discussions about such things on email loops. It’s the most fun you can have on a computer really (aside from writing erotic fiction, of course!)

Boaz Yiftach/
Women have sex drives. Far from feigning headaches when their partners propose sex, it seems many women are healthy in this department thank you very much, as witnessed by their voracious appetite for erotic fiction. (Then again, erotic fiction could be fulfilling an unmet need if their spouse – and his love handles – no longer do it for them…)

Cowboys are eternally sexy. From the Wild West to Brokeback Mountain, anything involving chaps and cattle drives can get readers hot under the collar. Soldiers and time-travellers are also considered very, very sexy.

Of course, these are just a few observations of mine as a rookie writer. I’m sure I have much more to learn about the world of erotic fiction – and I’m eager to explore it further!

Full Exposure by Carla Angela (Siren-BookStrand, surrounds photographer Lake Silva and her new business venture—taking professional online dating photos. Slick, appealing, and sizzling hot...with Lake behind the camera lens! What Lake doesn’t count on is meeting one male client who stirs up more than just business sense in her

By day, Carla Angela is a freelance journalist in Australia and, in the inky night, an erotic fiction writer. When she’s not tapping away on her keyboard, she loves shopping, socialising, renovating, and listening to music—from 90s R&B to retro 80s. Watching telemovies and obsessing over her star sign are also guilty pleasures. More on Carla Angela can be found at or She writes exclusively for Siren-BookStrand. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What if you had a do-over with the “one that got away”?

Kiss Me Slowly

Haven't we all had that fantasy?  What would you do if you had that chance?  I had just such an experience and it didn't work out as both of us had hoped at the time, but in the end, it worked out the way it was supposed to and I got to meet my Muse and soul mate.  

Today I am very happy to welcome author Amber Easton to Not Enough Time in the Day as she shares her own experience with getting the do over, and her latest release Kiss Me Slowly.

           There are moments when I find myself sitting quietly with a secret smile thinking about a boy who loved me with the reckless abandonment of youth.  We met at the movie theatre when I was sixteen, he tore tickets and I sold popcorn.  We fell in love when we were seventeen, I sold the tickets that he tore.  We had it all then--the feeling of immortality that all teenagers have, the romantic ideal of “us against the world”.  Making out in back seats, sneaking in through windows, walking for hours just to spend time together...ah, those were the days.
           Then I went to college and thought I needed “no strings”. I guess I had grand illusions of the kind of player I was gonna be.  (Didn’t happen--I’d seen too many movies! Stupid, naive me.)
           A few years ago, after going on with my life, getting married, having kids, and burying my husband, I met that first love again via Facebook.  Surprisingly, our lives had moved parallel to one another--at one point, we had lived in the same neighborhood in Denver without ever meeting.  His wife had also passed away.  So we talked...we flirted...we even had an argument about “the break up” that happened over twenty years ago.
           He still had that “take-me-to-bed-and-strip-me-naked” smile, that generous heart that I’d fallen for back in the day, but our grief for our spouses stood in our way of anything developing in the here and now. 
           Do you have that “first love” that sometimes creeps into your thoughts and makes you smile?  Even if you’re blissfully happy now, are there moments when you’re sitting at a stoplight and an image of that “one who got away” drifts into focus and you think...what if? 
           In my romantic suspense novel, Grace Dupont is reunited with her first love thirteen years after their break up, but he’s in trouble and needs her genius brain to save him.  Set up to take a fall for embezzling millions of dollars from the family company and with diamond smugglers aching to see him go down, they don’t have time for a leisurely trip down memory lane.  Trapped in a whirlwind of conspiracy and murder, they find themselves on the run together, with time working against them and love rekindling beneath Florida Key sunshine.  

An excerpt of Kiss Me Slowly:
She didn’t know if she was angry or frightened, but aiming a gun at his head felt pretty damn good. “What are you staring at? Get out of there.”
She motioned for him to exit the guest room and enter the main cabin. He looked like hell. Scratches ripped up his chest, blood darkened the once white bandage on his shoulder, soggy pajama pants were stained and ripped at the knees and his feet, and it looked as if he had walked for miles barefoot. He limped to the curving white leather sofa and fell against the cushions.
“What the hell happened to you?” she asked.
“Would you please put the gun down? You’re terrifying.” He slurred his words as he dropped his arms against the table as if they weighed a thousand pounds.
“Terrifying is my current goal. Tell me what happened.” She scrambled to lock the hatch overhead before sinking on the edge of the sofa a few feet away from him. She kept a firm hold on the gun. “Talk to me, Jon.”
His hands shook as he held them to his forehead. He looked like a shadow of the man she had encountered forty-eight hours ago. That man had owned the world and knew it. This one looked like the world was against him and knew it.
“How did you get here?” She bit her lip. She needed to get away from here.
“Someone took me from the house, dropped me on the street. I walked. Jumped the sea wall. No one is following me.” His gaze pierced into hers. “How did you know I was here?”
“I notice details, and you did a lousy job smearing your tracks.” She noticed the bulge in his waistband and realized he had a gun of his own. “What the hell is that? Take it out.”
His hands shook so violently when he laid the gun on the table that she worried he might shoot a hole in the hull.
“For God’s sake, just leave it alone,” she ordered. “I suppose you’re going to tell me you found that.”
“It’s not mine.” His eyes glazed over as he stared at the gun on the table. “It’s not mine,” he repeated.
“David said Ashley was murdered. The news thinks you may have been kidnapped. David brought it up because he thought my Jon Ryan resembled the infamous Jonathan Alexander. I swear, it’s one thing after another with you. Murder? What’s next? What can be worse than murder? Is that the house you’re talking about? Someone took you from Ashley’s?” Her own hands shook as she moved his gun further away from his trembling hands. “What happened? What have you done?”
“I don’t know.” He shook his head and stared at the gun. Defeat swirled around him like a swarm of mosquitoes.

Kiss Me Slowly, a romantic suspense novel by Amber Lea Easton, now available at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Welcome our guest today: author Natasha Blackthorne

Bio: Natasha always was a daydreamer who told herself stories of love and romance set in other times and places for her own pleasure. Eventually her story worlds became so real, they demanded to be brought out of the world of imagination and onto the page. It gives her great joy to finally share them with you. She hopes you enjoy her story world.
She is married to her own hero and they share they life with a very quirky calico cat. She is a total history nerd who loves to read. She enjoys literature, romance, psychology, and bits of everything else. She has a BA in History and she especially enjoys studying social history and biography and this is where most of her story ideas come from. She likes to know her characters from the bones outward, the air they breathed, the food they ate, the thoughts and social movements and morals that were influencing them in their times. She also enjoys reading psychology and sociology and literature and enjoys listening to music from many different genres.

Natasha joins us here today to give us some insight into the world she has created with the Carte Blanche novellas.  The first is Grey's Lady and is available now.  The second is due out December 26, 2011.  

                                                                 Grey's Lady buy link

Grey’s Lady is the story of a wealthy New York merchant prince, Grey Sexton, who falls for a poor but beautiful young seductress, Beth McConnell. Yet, for all their social and economical differences, at their most basic level, Beth and Grey are very similar. This is a story that explores how these similarities threaten to tear them apart before love can overcome the fear of being vulnerable.

Both suffered isolation and emotional neglect in childhood. The product of an adulterous affair, Beth grew up in the home of her late mother’s employer. Separated from her half-siblings and kept at an emotional distance, she felt lost and alone. At age eighteen, she was seduced and betrayed by a trusted wealthy gentleman. After this, she left her benefactress’s home, went to live with her half-siblings and help them in their struggling shop. Yet, she still feels out of place.

Grey grew up in an upper-class household, a privileged only son, heir to Sexton Shipping, one of the fledging nation’s largest mercantile fleets. Grey’s father was a stern businessman who did not understand his daydreaming, intellectually curious son. A child in this position might take solace in a closer relationship with his mother. However, Grey’s mother was chronically ill and unable to bear his childish energy. She kept to her chambers and died while he was still quite young. Later at age nineteen, Grey engaged in an emotionally scarring experience with a slightly older woman, something that is not covered in Grey’s Lady. All of these backstory issues and more are explored in more depth in the sequel, White Lace and Promises, which is scheduled for release Dec. 26, 2011.

In contrast, the focus of Grey’s Lady is on the immediate interaction between two wounded and self-protective people who feel an overpowering attraction to each other but who do not want to admit it to themselves or the other. Beth and Grey have unique insight into the experiences of each other and can offer each other understanding and sympathy that others could not. Yet past experience works against them. Both are conditioned to fear emotional exposure and to deny their own need for love. They both use sex to gain temporary, conditional intimacy while keeping their true selves distant from their lovers. Grey uses his wealth and sexual skill to keep his mistresses dependent on him and to gain their adoration and admiration.

Beth exploits her unusual silver blonde beauty to entice gentlemen into brief, purely sexual encounters. It took her a long time to get over the hurt and frustrated desire she suffered when her first lover betrayed her. She enjoys a sense of control being the one who makes the choice to seduce. She always picks handsome, wealthy gentlemen and she delights in turning the tables by leaving her lovers burning for her. It’s a way for her to maintain the illusion of power in relationships with gentlemen who are far above her in wealth and social position.

Both Beth and Grey employ rationalization to prevent these conditional relationships from growing into something deeper. Grey puts his business life up as an impregnable wall between himself and those around him. He's overly responsible. He tells himself he cannot give extensively of his time and energy because of the responsibility and demands of his position.  As the owner of Sexton Shipping, too many people depend on him to make the right decisions at the right times. If he allowed himself to be too distracted by fluttering lashes and the crinkle of muslin, the whole world would come undone.

Beth cites the very real fear that her secret erotic life may be discovered. Her older brother is very protective. Because of their mother's fall into adultery, he is very sensitive about the virtue of the women in his household. He might decide to engage in an affair of honor. Additionally, her young and impressionable nieces might try to emulate her example. Her childhood benefactress might suffer disappointment and shame and feel to blame for Beth’s bad behavior as an adult. For this reason, Beth tells herself, if she limits her clandestine sexual encounters to once then her risks for discovery are greatly decreased.

For Grey and Beth, these excuses are just that, excuses. Neither of them wants a real relationship with the opposite sex. This internal struggle, between the desire for the other and the fear of exposing themselves to possible hurt, results in a powerful external struggle. Grey’s increasing sense of possessiveness for this elusive and enigmatic young woman bewilders him. He holds firm to his old patterns, determined to gain her long-term commitment as his mistress. He tries to gain control over Beth with his wealth and sexual skill. Beth is equally determined to seduce and conquer Grey. Unable to forget him after their initial encounter, her answer is to indulge her desires for Grey until she’s sated. Then she plans to leave while he still wants her.

She resolves to be the winner yet so does he. However, neither can gain supremacy over the other. Can these two wounded, self-protected people find the inner courage needed to lower their defenses long enough to let the other know they feel something more than lust? Or will their fears and need to control tear them apart?
Coming Soon: December 26, 2011

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Read the first chapter of Grey's Lady 

Join Natasha over at Behind Closed Doors where she gets temptress Beth McConnell to open up and tell a bit of her story in her own words.

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