Monday, July 21, 2014

Cut Scene from Her Knight in Black Leather #99cents #IARTG #deletedscenes #FRWST

Hey guys!

Her Knight in Black Leather is on sale for 2 weeks! 99 cents from July 21-31. So, I thought I’d share a scene that was cut from the original version of the book that I wrote…way back when.

Her Knight in Black Leather went through a few revisions before it became the book that’s now published. The hero, Michael Brant, originally began his life as Logan James, the brother of Dillon James, from The Playboy’s Baby. I got all the way to the end of this book and something still felt off. Something was missing. I tweaked, I tried fully fleshing out the story, but it still didn't feel right. So, on a whim, I decided to try changing his name. Low and behold, Michael’s story opened up.

So, in this scene, you’ll notice the hero’s name is still Logan. I’m leaving it as is. This is the version I originally sent to my agent. I originally aimed this one at Harlequin. I got a revision request, but it ultimately got turned down. 

“You haven’t been answering my calls, Cat.”

Standing beside her car in front of the bookshop, fishing her keys out of her purse, the sound of the all too familiar voice had a stone of dread dropping in Cat’s stomach. The one person she hoped never to see again. Nick. He hadn’t stopped calling her since those last two pictures of her and Logan had hit the paper a week ago. Along with her prank caller, it was yet another annoying phone call she was trying to avoid.

“Take a hint, Nick.” As the sound of his footsteps moved closer, she didn’t bother turning around. She concentrated instead on pulling out her keys and unlocking her car door, hoping to get inside before he reached her. From the way he slurred his words, he’d been drinking, and Nick always became very confrontational when he’d been drinking.

Just as she shoved her key into the lock, his body pressed against her back, his hands coming to rest on the car on either side of her. His head moved down beside her ear. “How is it you’d rather be his whore than my wife?”

His breath reeked of alcohol, turning her stomach, and the low, menacing tone of his voice sent chills skittering down her spine.

With her heart pounding like a jackhammer in her chest, she darted a glance around. Being ten o’clock at night, the street was empty save a few cars parked in front of the club, and the only people awake were in it.

She glanced over her shoulder, jabbing her elbow back into his ribs, hoping it would push him off her enough that she should yank her car door open. “Get off of me, Nick.”

Being twice her size and not one to take no for an answer, he only laughed. He leaned his body weight into her, his arousal clear as he pressed her up against the car. “It really turns me on when you’re feisty, Cat.”

This time his lips skimmed the side of her neck, and shivers of disgust raced down her spine. God what had she ever seen in him?

Fear and the beginnings of panic now starting to settle into the pit of her stomach, she shoved back against him, pushing as hard as she could against the car in an effort to free herself.

“I said get off of me!” She jabbed her elbow back again, this time connecting with his side, and he grunted. His hold on her slackened enough that she managed to squeeze out from beneath him, but she only managed to get a two steps away. His hand closing painfully around her arm, he yanked her back and turned her to face him.

Remembering the self defense her mother had taught her when she was little—one of the few good things her mother had ever done for her—she drew her knee up hard, connecting with his groin. Rather than dropping to the ground as she’d expected, Nick merely grunted again. His eyes went hot with fury and he snatched her wrist, twisting it in a painful direction, forcing her to drop her keys. Then snatching both wrists, he folded her arms up against her chest and slammed her back against the car door. The vehicle rocked against the force and the air rushed from her lungs.

“You’ll give it out to a complete stranger, but somehow you have a problem with me?” He growled the words, half sneering at her, his free hand sliding down her thigh, slowly inching her skirt up above her knees. “Maybe I should just take it from you. You always did like it a little rough.”

Cat closed her eyes and swallowed hard, tears pricking behind her eyelids as full on panic grabbed her by the throat. For a single pounding heartbeat, she could only concentrate on dragging air into suddenly oxygen starved lungs.

Her mother’s words rang in her head, the day she’d taught her to fight back. Focus, Cat! It’s you or him. Nobody’s going to save you. If someone attacks you, you’re going to have to save yourself.

Nick leaned in closer, flicked his tongue over her jaw, his hand settling on her inner thigh.

Ignoring the sudden urge to retch, she drew in a deep breath, preparing herself for the fight when Nick’s body abruptly left hers. She opened her eyes in time to see Logan slam him back into the car beside her, sending it rocking again. Holding Nick by the front of his shirt, Logan leaned his body weight into him, his brow furrowed in anger.

“Try something like that again, Cambridge,” Logan said, his voice low but oddly cool and detached, “and you’ll find yourself in the hospital next time.”

Purchase links:

Crimson Romance (epub)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lamenting the (gluten free) diet--yeah, I can do this #dieting #glutenfree

Ahh, the joys of dieting. If you look around the net (or the grocery store), gluten free seems to be the “diet du jour,” but for me it’s become a necessity. And I'll tell you what, it hasn't been easy. 

A year ago, I ended up in the ER in excruciating pain. I thought I had back pain. Turned out it was my gallbladder, so I had that baby removed. In and out of the hospital in 6 hours. That'll be $40,000, please pay the lady on your way out. (that's meant to be tongue in cheek, in case it's not obvious).

From that point on, I've had to re-learn how to eat. At first, it was easy. Eating bad stuff had disastrous results. I'll tell you, pain is a damn good motivator. But the more my body adjusted to not having the gallbladder, the more I could return to semi-normal eating. I ventured outside of the strict diet. 

And learned something. Turns out, my stomach is now super sensitive. To darn near everything. There are almost more things I can’t eat…than things I can. My acid reflux got significantly worse after surgery, and I’ve become gluten sensitive. Here's a peek at what I can't eat:

  • No wheat products (you'd be surprised what they put wheat in), but this essentially means no bread (aka no sammiches, no bagals...).
  • No honey
  • No citrus—which means no oranges, tomatoes, lemons, grapefruits, strawberries (I really miss fresh, summer-sweet strawberries), pineapple, vinegars…
  • No artificial sugars (they’re in everything!)
  • No soy (also in everything!) Though I can eat edamame in small amounts.
  • No nut butters (too high in fat), makes my stomach hurt
  • No broccoli (gas, nuff said)
  • No cow’s milk. Though this one is subtle and was hard learned.
  • Which also means no yogurt. Though, I can tolerate Greek yogurt in small amounts, but it has to be a “pure” variety. The major brands (like Yoplait) usually have too many fillers and additives that my stomach doesn't like.
  • Also means no cheese. (sigh. I miss cheese)
  • Beans are limited so far to three: black, kidney, and garbanzo
  • No cucumber. Apparently, they’re very acidic. Who knew?
  • No bell peppers either (I'm assuming they're acidic).
  • No carbonated drinks--I don't drink a lot of soda, but I do occasionally like a glass, but it's the carbonation my tummy reacts to.
  • Chocolate needs to be limited. I can eat a small amount (couple of squares) of certain kinds, like Dove. 
  • No alcohol (acid reflux I'm assuming; makes my stomach hurt)

And because I’ve had my gallbladder out, I still need to eat very low-fat as well. Which means lovely things like nuts are out as well (they make my stomach hurt). And I know there’s more to this list I’m forgetting. All those lovely gluten-free products are a no-go for me. Anything but rice or (gluten free) oatmeal gets instantly rejected.

I have found I can have some gluten…in small doses, and only if I’m good the rest of the day. So, I tend to save it for dinner. For example, I can have a small amount of pasta and a small piece of garlic bread…if that’s the ONLY gluten I eat all day. You know how they tell you to eat whole grain, because it’s good for you? I can’t. Processed white flour is actually easier for me to digest (again, in small amounts).

The hard part of this diet is how restrictive it is. It's flat out difficult to go the complete opposite direction of the way you've been eating for 40+ years. To go cold turkey. As a carb addict, this is akin to quitting smoking. In fact, when I quit smoking ten years ago I found it easier. When a craving hits, I get downright crabby when I have to force myself to reach for an apple instead of that piece of toast. Add those hormones we women over 40 are subject to... oy. My poor hubby. lol   

There are some positives. I’ve come to adore my morning smoothie for breakfast (the Dr. Oz diet, recommended by a friend and found on the net). It’s easy on my stomach and I enjoy it.  

And I am finding that when I eat good and take my vitamins, I actually feel better. The doc told me once, a few years ago (before surgery) that I was slightly anemic (I was exhausted all the time, so I finally went in). But eating all the spinach in the world didn’t help. But cutting gluten? Has helped a lot. I actually have energy to walk my dog now.

I have to admit snack times (late morning and late afternoon) is when I crave the junk the most. I get the afternoon munchies BAD. I also love to snack while I'm writing/editing. Crunchy stuff. I used to drink low-sodium V8 juice, to help fill me up and curb the cravings, but with the acid reflux, I can't anymore. I also miss sweets. If I don't allow myself something, I tend to fall off the wagon and then I pay for it, so, finding a balance has been difficult, because there's so much I can't eat. 

So, baby steps. This month is a bad month. I'm stressed, which means I want to stress eat. But I start fresh every day. That has to count for something.

Anybody else out there going gluten free? Or making any changes in your life you’re finding difficult? How’s it going?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Werewolves with Karen Michelle Nutt, author of Soul Taker #giveaway #shifters

Werewolves have a large fan base and many legends. I enjoy reading and writing about preternatural beings. Their legends and myths have always intrigued me. Many countries have their own versions of the werewolf tales of horror. In my story, SOUL TAKER, I have taken creative license with Ireland’s Werewolf myths by incorporating my own interesting twist.

In my tale SOUL TAKER, Harrison Connell is a werewolf from the Mac Tíre  (pronounced Mock-tee-ra) clan of Ireland. They prefer to be called moon shifters and not werewolves. Harrison has left his clan to help Garran with preternatural business, but to Garran’s annoyance, he’s always looking to add members to the team. Isabella is his first recruit. She may be human but she has abilities that will help them bring down the Soul Taker.

I intertwined the behavior of the gray wolf with the moon shifter’s attributes to give a more authentic feel to the Mac Tíre world.  Wolves are fascinating animals with their own social structure with an alpha male and an alpha female to manage the pack.  It isn’t uncommon for a female to run the pack.  If the wolf chooses a mate, they stay mated for life.  It is very rare they have multiple partners.

In Ireland, the wolf is often referred to as the Mac Tíre.  I thought since my werewolf pack or moon shifters fled from Ireland that it deemed appropriate they call themselves the Mac Tíre.  I first introduced the Mac Tíre mythology in my novella, Moon Shifter published by The Wild Rose Press.  

About the Book Soul Taker:
No soul is safe…

A vampire from the Grim Sith sept is sucking the souls out of young women from the Boston area, but this sinister crime is far worse than a vampire seeking substance. He’s selling the souls to the highest bidder and it seems business is booming.

A vampire, a werewolf, and a Necromancer are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison, and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.

About the Author:

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”. You can also check out her published cover art designs at Western Trail Blazer and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

5 Audio Book Giveaway of Soul Taker. 5 winners! Good Luck!
Soul Taker Audio Book Giveaway! Stop by each of the blogs for more interesting tidbits about Vampires, Werewolves, and Necromancers. Each day you tweet and leave a comment, you’re entered for another chance to win. J

July 17 Sara Elwood's Blog
July 18 Long and Short Reviews
July 19 JM Stewart's Blog
July 20 Theresa McClinton's Blog
July 21 The Romance Room
July 22 British Romance Blog
July 23 Once Upon Word
July 24 KMN Books

Friday, July 18, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with Katie Kenhercz--meet Carter Phlynn! @Crimson_Romance #heroes #romance

Hey guys! Welcome to Favorite Hero Friday! It’s my pleasure to have a fellow Crimson Romance author with me today. Welcome Katie Kenhercz!

1: Who’s your all-time favorite hero (one you’ve read)? Why is he your favorite. What makes him special?
My all time favorite hero doesn’t even come from a romance book, though there’s heartbreakingly sweet romance in it. My favorite hero is the title character from Odd Thomas. Odd can see spirits. They often come to him for his help getting justice for their murders. In the first book Odd is twenty years old but not a typical man of that age. He’s an old soul. Through the novel, he demonstrates selflessness, bravery, courage, humor, humility, and an unflagging dedication to his soul mate, Stormy. He adores her and never loses faith that they’re meant to be together. Odd is definitely one of a kind!
2: Now tell us about a hero from one of your books. What makes him who he is? And where can we find this sexy beast?
Carter Phlynn from On the Fly, book 1 in my Las Vegas Sinners series, is part alpha and part beta. He’s captain of the team and one of the guys, but when he’s with my heroine, Jacey, he’s gentle and a good listener. He doesn’t play games. He knows what he wants and goes for it. He’s not afraid to be vulnerable.
On the Fly:

Jacey Vaughn has a newly minted MBA when her father dies unexpectedly and leaves her his NHL team. Well-versed in business but not so much in hockey, Jacey navigates this new world with a few stumbles. She definitely doesn’t plan on falling for the team captain. At the first hint of scandal, a local Las Vegas reporter latches on, and Jacey finds herself in the newspaper with headlines that hurt instead of help. Jacey’s determined to keep her father’s legacy alive and make the team successful, but while she has no problem denying her feelings to the media, she can’t lie to herself.
Carter Phlynn has known nothing but hockey his entire life. Drafted into the NHL at age eighteen, winning the Stanley Cup is all he’s ever wanted. Nothing has ever disrupted his focus. Not until he meets his new boss. Jacey gets under his skin like no one else, and while dating the team owner would be a disaster for his career and reputation, he can’t get her out of his head. Carter has never had a relationship last more than a month, but the more he’s around Jacey, the more he can’t picture his future without her.

Where to buy:

Author bio:

Katie married the military man of her dreams, so home is wherever the Air Force sends them. She loves hockey and writes about hockey love. Her fictional team is the Las Vegas Sinners, and her real-world team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. She likes strong, capable heroines who bring out the vulnerability in their tough guys.


“Jacey, stop.” Carter stilled and gave her no choice. She faced him, her expression curious, and it broke his heart a little. “You didn’t ask for any of this, did you? You probably had some job lined up with a Fortune 500 company. Then your father passes and leaves you with a basically new hockey team to run all by yourself. The way you talk, I can tell this isn’t the first time you’ve assumed responsibility for your brother. Why do you do it?”

“What else would I do? My father is the reason I had the chance at the best education, made the best contacts. This team was his soul, and he left it to me. I can’t walk away from that. I won’t. And Madden…he’s the only family I have left. Yes, he’s a screw-up, but I’m not giving up on him. He needs me; I’m there. It’s who I am.”

The passion in her voice and the certainty in her eyes touched him. What would it be like to have someone feel that way about him? Shock set in as he realized he wanted to be on the receiving end of that devotion. It was a scary thought and one he immediately questioned, but the answer remained the same. Any man would be lucky to have Jacey on his side.

He stepped forward. When she didn’t back away, he cupped her jaw and kissed her. It started out soft, but when she didn’t protest, he deepened it. A few seconds went by before she returned it, tentative. He pulled back just enough to rest his forehead against hers and looked into her half-lidded eyes.

“What was that for?”

“Being you.”

She smiled and leaned up to kiss him this time. He slid his free arm around her waist and hauled her closer. It elicited a surprised purr from the angelic devil woman, and the sound stole his last scrap of reason. “Your street’s one block over. Mine’s around the corner, and it’s still relatively early. Do you want to come over for a while?”

He fully expected her to say no. Jacey, the list-maker, the pro/con weigher, the only person who could define Type A better than he could would never agree to it—especially on a work night. He could see the mental war on her face, and every silent second made his heart beat harder. Had he gone too far? They’d more or less obliterated the boss-employee professional boundary tonight. But if she said yes, they were likely to do something they couldn’t take back or laugh off.



“I don’t know what this is. I know professionally that I shouldn’t, but tonight, as crazy as it was, I relaxed for the first time in a really long time. I like being with you, God help me.”

The last part sounded so resigned that he had to laugh. “Gee, thanks.”

“You know what I mean.”

He brushed a light kiss to her lips, the corner of her mouth, then the base of her ear. “I like being with you too. Let’s go work on that relaxation some more.”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Modern Love--Excerpts #3-- #bundle @Crimson_Romance #FRWST #99cents

Get your copy here: 
Crimson Romance (ePub ) -- Amazon US -- Amazon UK -- B&N -- Kobo

The last three excerpts from the bundle! 

Bundle Blurb

When love calls, it’s rarely easy but always memorable, and definitely worth turning the pages. Recapture the thrill, the delicious anticipation of finding your happily ever after in these 10 unforgettable, hot stories by some of today’s brightest names:

Her Knight in Black Leather – J.M. Stewart
Destination Wedding – Robyn Neeley
Drawn to Jonah – Jennifer DeCuir
On the Fly – Katie Kenyhercz
Wildly – Debra Kayn
Falling for You – Heather Thurmeier
Beginning Again – Peggy Bird
Spiraling – Rachel Cross
Save My Soul – Elley Arden
Sweet Gone South – Alicia Hunter Pace


From Spiraling by Rachel Cross

“Am I being played here?”
Shane asked.

“I'm not going to try to take naked photos, if that's what you're asking,” Amy said.

He ignored the dig. “Why did you agree to go out with me?”

“You're hot,” she said, playing with a strand of hair, blinking up at him with her best princess smile.

“I think you're here with me for the same reason I'm with you.”


“Publicity,” he said.

She stilled. “Is that why you asked me out?”

“My agent encouraged it. He's in the throes of panic over my image,” he stated.

“He's the one who set up the . . .” she glanced around furtively, “lessons.”

“I need the lessons, obviously, but he's trying to kill two birds with one stone here.” Shane said.

So he was using her the same way she was using him. “Why me?”

“You have to ask? Amelia Astor, princess, New England blue-blood. You're the ideal woman to rehab my image.”

It was the way he said it. As though he would never in a million years be seen with her otherwise.

“And here you are just in time to resuscitate my contract with Enchanted Ice.” Amy raised her glass. “Cheers,” she said, without the slightest bit of pique reflected in her tone.

Goaded, she stretched out a hand and laid it, palm down on his rock hard, jean clad thigh, one finger tracing a pattern on the soft cotton. She leaned in and whispered, “I'm not incorruptible.”

He tilted his head back, and she watched his throat work as he finished his drink in one swallow and scooted closer. “No?”

“It doesn't have to be fiction, but I don't do fidelity,” he said as his long fingers tucked a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear and he shot her a half-smile that sent a throb of excitement through her traitorous body.

About Rachel
Fueled by black jelly-beans and Pinot noir, Rachel Cross writes contemporary romance with brave heroines and sexy heroes. She lives in coastal California, with her surfer/pilot husband and two daughters. Her past includes stints as a firefighter, paramedic, clinical manager and Weekly World News tabloid model.

Novel Praise:

"This book was filled with so much angst and turmoil that it was more than just a romance. The attraction between Shane and Amy was scorching, and Rachel Cross knows how to write a hot love story between tormented characters." -- Michelle from Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

From Save My Soul by Elley Arden

Jordon didn’t stop at the end of the cart. He came around and grabbed her by the hips. “We’re done with this conversation. I’m not going to let you push me away because of your misguided notions and over analysis.”

Her mouth opened at his absurd insults. Before she could say a word, his fingers rested on her chin and he closed her jaw.

“Maggie, transference is bull shit. Freud was a flake. You shrinks like to wield power over weak-minded patients. I’m not weak, and I’m not your patient.” He slid his thumb across her bottom lip. “I do…feel exactly the way I said I do, but I won’t say it again until I’m damn sure you’re going to say it back. Until then, keep your shrink wrap away from my head. There’s enough going on in there without you digging around.”

Despite the hypnotic sensation of his thumb stroking her lip, she couldn’t keep quiet anymore. “I find you offensive.”

“No you don’t.”

Jordon leaned his face closer, and she swallowed. Her tongue reflexively brushed over her lip, tasting the tip of his thumb. He stepped into her, and she swallowed again, knowing his mouth would be covering hers in the middle of a busy supermarket. But the minute his arm wound around her waist, she didn’t care where they were. She wanted him to take what he wanted and leave her begging for more.

About Elley
Elley Arden is a proud Pennsylvania girl who drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

Novel Praise:

“Elley pens ‘Save My Soul’ in an unique and original plot that is full of hardships and romance with a touch of humor. With strong, well developed characters that had some great chemistry throughout, I fell in love with this book from the very first chapter.” - My Cozie Corner

From Sweet Gone South by Alicia Hunter Pace

Luke, a widower with a toddler, and Lanie have recently gotten engaged. He calls their love a quiet and settled kind of love. Lanie, who has come to adore his little girl, is all right with that—until she isn’t.

Lanie was about to enter the bedroom where Luke was talking on the phone when she heard him say. "Yes. A mixed bouquet for Mother's Day. I want them delivered the Friday before."

He was ordering flowers for her! For Mother's Day! She hadn't thought about it, but it made sense. Emma called her mommy.

"No carnations," he went on. "Yellow roses, orchids, and tulips. Yes, I know. I don't care how much they cost. Yes. That sounds fine."

She wasn't that particular about flowers but she wasn't surprised that he was. And it was so like Marcia at the Blossom Shop, to point out that someone might be spending more than they intended.

"On the card," Luke continued, "'We love you so much. Luke and Emma.'"

Lanie's stomach tumbled out of her body, onto the floor, and flew out the window. We love you so much. There was something in his tone when he said it. Tenderness. Longing. It wasn't quiet and settled—that was for sure.

"Yes. L-u-k-e and E-m-m-a," he was saying. "Spelled just like you'd expect."

We love you so much. He could have said Love, Luke and Emma but he hadn't. 

Luke spoke again. "The address? Hmm. I don't know the street number right off but I don't think you'll need it. Deliver them to Magnolia Cemetery, there in town. Plot 1784. Yes. Luke Avery. I have an account there but I have a new mailing address. It's—"

Her heart stopped cold. Her gut turned inside out. She ran down the hall, past Emma, into the kitchen. She had dinner to get on the table. And a quiet settled evening to get on with—just like she'd signed up for.

About Alicia
Alicia Hunter Pace is the pen name for the author team Stephanie Jones and Jean Hovey. Stephanie teaches third grade and wishes for a bigger bookstore in her small town. She likes civil war history, and people who follow the rules. She is happy to provide a list of said rules to anyone who needs them. Jean is a former public librarian who lives with her husband in a hundred-year-old house that always wants something from her. She likes to cook but has discovered the joy of Mrs. Paul’s fish fillets since becoming a writer.

Novel Praise:

“Charming and clever with richly drawn characters and a heartwarming, sigh-worthy happily-ever-after, Alicia Hunter Pace is a natural-born storyteller.” -- Rhonda Nelson, New York Times Bestseller and National Readers’ Choice Award Winner

Thanks for joining me this week! Hope you enjoy these superb reads!