I had a blast in New York City. Here are some pictures to enjoy.
Oh, I’m sure I can think of a dozen more. Some that I’ve even said before I caught myself.
Really, people, most of those statements are simply because you won’t stand up for yourself or open up. Yes. I’m an extrovert, but I do have moments where I feel insecure. You wouldn’t know it but when I was a kid, I stuttered. Not terribly bad, but bad enough for people to poke fun at me. I still stutter when I get angry or extremely nervous. Plus I have difficulties pronouncing certain words. A little quirk of mine. I know what they mean, just don’t use them often enough in speech. And anyone who sees pictures of me know I’m overweight. Over the years, I’ve heard enough about that to be self-conscious.
Okay, what I’m getting to is that everyone have issues and insecurities. When you feel dumped on, ignored, or/and left out, stop and think of how you can fix it. More times than I can count the problem starts with yourself.
If I don’t want to feel that way, I found if I open myself up, things change. If they act like an asshole, the world is large. look for another friend, nice acquaintance or companion. There are others out and about who are in the same spot.
So keep that in mind next time you feel like a martyr.
Why do you think all of those nerd movies are so successful? One nerd finds like minded nerds to hang around.
If you haven’t caught the news here or on Facebook, I’ve decided to give more people time to read CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE (novella – in other words, short story) and answer the questions for a chance to win the iPad Mini. The contest has been extended to June 30. If you’ve already read it, click here and answer the questions. They give you three possible answers. They’re not easy, and a couple are trick questions. BUT, if you read the book, you won’t have a problem.
CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE is only $2.99. And during the contest, I’ve made CIRCLE OF DISHONOR free during this time. So double bonus!
Here’s a little tidbit from CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE. (No answers given away.)
He lightly squeezed the woman in his arms. Who was he kidding? He was up shit creek without a paddle when Kat learned the truth. So, he’d keep her safe and when it was over, leave. Same old, same old. Chances were she wouldn’t want anything to do with him when she found out he still worked for The Circle, and they had set her up.
[June 30, 2015: Congratulations to Jenn Williams. She was one of the few to answer all the questions correctly. The iPad Mini will be mailed this week! Please keep reading! Thanks! Carla]
Please welcome Katherine Bone! I love this woman. She’s sweet and talented. Not only talented in her writing, but in making jewelry. I have a beautiful pair of cameo earrings she gave me for just being her roommate at a conference a couple years ago.
Lucky me! I’ll be your roommate anytime, Kathy!
In the hope that she will look favorably on me again, I will be giving away her book, My Lady Rogue (ebook). The winner will be picked from a commenter and announced on Wednesday night (May 27).
Everything Simon and Gillian have done has led to this moment… Will it be too late?
Baroness Gillian Chauncey thought she’d seen everything during her years of devotion to England. But as war escalates and political bonds are severed, a devastating betrayal forces Gillian to make a life or death decision to save the man she loves.
Lord Simon Danbury’s loyalty to the crown has never been questioned — until now. As death’s darkening veil cascades over London, a hostile mole inside Nelson’s Tea tries to assassinate him. Surrounded by the greatest spies in England, only one thing stands to defeat him — losing the one woman who has made life worth living.
“DO YOU REALLY think this will be the last time we are all gathered together?” Gillian moved into Simon’s welcoming embrace, swallowing back a heart wrenching sob.
Ten minutes had passed since Garrick had left the townhouse. Ten long minutes of watching Simon’s brows furrow ever tighter, deepening until the aristocratic lines of his handsome face were grossly disfigured. Gillian couldn’t bear the ugly transformation, for his expression only hinted at the war building inside him. His steadfast code of morality and honor had consistently succeeded in suppressing his own needs and desires. What of sorrow? Would the news of Nelson’s death prove a more impenetrable shield? Could she shore up this wounded man’s agony? And more importantly, how could she if she tried?
In the past, their separations had been purely physical, an exhausting distance no preoccupation could eliminate. Today, her new enemy held greater influence on Simon’s emotions than marriage vows and honor. And she knew well enough the folly of ignoring this new foe. She’d seen what despair had done to Garrick.
She ran her fingers over Simon’s shoulders, luxuriating in the feel of the exquisite lines of his tailored morning coat. They were as close as they could possibly be, and yet the distance had never been further. Too much stood between them, Lady Danbury’s and Nelson’s deaths, the fate of Nelson’s Tea, their unspoken feelings. Did he feel it too? She’d long dreamed of sharing a deeper intimacy with this man who haunted her days and nights, absorbing his scent of sandalwood and spice, taking all of him, holding nothing back. Now she suppressed a shiver in the resounding quiet. Her long wait for Simon had come to an end at last, hadn’t it? But at what cost?
Her heart cried out with longing. He was no longer married. He could be hers, if not for the sorrowful voices haunting their lives or the ones they heard pulsating throughout the city.
Nelson is dead! Nelson is dead!
Simon inhaled deeply, breaking the uncomfortable silence. “We cannot fail. Our business is not only risky, it relies solely on His Majesty’s grace. With Nelson’s assistance, leadership, and guidance, we were assured good measure. No longer.”
She hesitated to ask why. “And now?”
Surely King George respected Simon enough to allow him to continue Nelson’s Tea after he and Lucien had saved the king’s life at Drury Lane?
His winded sigh heightened her doubts. “I’m not as certain as I once was. Without Nelson at the helm, Nelson’s Tea’s motivation is gone. Once morale is gone—”
“Not all gone,” she said, clinging to him as if her life depended on it. And it did. Simon was everything to her. He was her night and day, her moral compass. He was the most intelligent man she’d ever met. His skill at disguise, his mastery of language, culture, and stratagem far outweighed any nobles servicing England in the House of Lords or the Admiralty Board.
He stepped back, only slightly, and lifted her chin, tilting her face up to his. Her gaze traveled from the lapels of his coat to his starched cravat, upper neck, and chin, finally settling on his generous sensual mouth. She held her breath as hundreds of butterflies fluttered to break free from her chest and waited for him to speak as if her very life depended on his next words.
“You and I are not of this world, are we?”
She closed her eyes absorbing his warmth like she’d been deprived of the noonday sun. “I am part of any world you reside in, Simon. I would follow you anywhere.”
When he said nothing, she opened her eyes, suppressing the chill that swept over her. Why wouldn’t he let go and just be? She leaned toward him, absorbing the power emanating from his body.
Dark hair draped over his forehead as he glanced down at her. Heaven help her, she was a selfish woman. She trembled with desire, wanting his mouth on hers, longing to know how he tasted. She wanted assurances, his promise that their dreams of being together hadn’t been crushed. It was wrong to desire these things, so very wrong. It was too soon.
Katherine Bone has been passionate about all things historical since she was an Army brat traveling all over the world. Initially, she dreamed of being an artist, but when she met and fell in love with Prince Charming, her own dashing Lieutenant vowing duty, honor, and country, she found herself saying, “I do.” Whisked away to Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals, where tales of swashbuckling adventure filled the lonely gaps when the Army called Charming away, Katherine’s imagination took flight. No longer nomadic, she calls the south home and spends most of her time daydreaming about Charming and heroes of yesteryear.
She will be giving away a $25 gift card to a commenter. Be sure to say hi.
Mega star Jensen Ford returns to his home state of Tennessee, to film a blockbuster film. Although the pretty local bakery owner catches his eye, she could never survive his Hollywood lifestyle. His mind knows its best to keep her at arms length, but how to convince his heart?
Cassie Tucker doesn’t like arrogant Jensen Ford, definitely doesn’t want to get to know him either. With a cupcake shop to run, an ex harassing her and her younger brother moving in, she doesn’t have time for the movie star’s antics.
Is it fate or happenstance that they end up alone together time after time?
Amazon bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves action, love and unusual settings. Author of western historical, Highland historical, paranormal and contemporary romance, she writes something every reader can enjoy.
Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.
Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.
She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and two unruly boy Chihuahuas and a spoiled rotten girl Chi named Lola.
Visit her website at www.hildiemcqueen.com
Be sure to go and buy CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE, read the whole novella (short book) and
for a chance to win an iPad Mini by answering the questions correctly. You really and truly have to read the book to answer them. There has been such a low number of people answering the questions (and getting them right), I’ve decided to extend the contest to June 30. So that should give you plenty of time to read it.
“I’ll take you up on your offer, but the money isn’t enough,” he said in a near growl.
“What? Are you kidding me? That kind of money could get me ten guys like you.” As soon as it came out of her mouth, she wished each word would evaporate into the night air.
The pierced eyebrow lifted. “If that was true, you wouldn’t be begging me to help you. You know I’m the only one who can protect and help you at the same time.” That smirk she hated was back.
Beg? He only wished. The handsome devil. He was evil.
She crossed her arms. “So you don’t want money. What will it take to get your help?” She avoided thinking about it too hard. The heated look he gave hinted at what it entailed. Would she have the strength or will power to say no?
“I want the money. That’s part of the deal. From what you’ve told me, there’s no guarantee the gold will be found. So I could do all that work and end up with nothing.”
“And?” She hated sounding like a smartass, but she really wanted him to get to the point.
He grinned and leaned forward, one hand resting on the wall behind her. She should feel trapped, but her body started melting against his. Yeah. She wanted him. Badly.
“Give me free access to your body for the next week and then if the deal goes tits up,” his grin deepened, “we’re even.”
His eyebrows rose.
Did she just say that without hesitation? Oh, Lord of Mercy, she’d lost her mind.
A new series is coming February 2016. Brothers of Mayhem. Yep, an outlaw motorcycle club and wait until you get to meet the heroes. Ohoooo, baby! Hot! The first book is HIDDEN HEAT!
Please welcome one of the sweetest and funniest authors, and a member of a family that’s awwwesome! So Naima, in her kindness, has joined in the giveaways this month. Say hello to her, and she’ll draw a winner of a $5 Amazon gift card. That’s anywhere between a deep discount on an paperback to five 99 cent books! YAY!
SECRETS AND SINS: CHAYOT, book 4
Some sins refuse to let go…
Six months after concert pianist Aslyn Jericho survives an attack at the hands of an obsessed fan, she is still trying to resume a normal life, despite the paralyzing fears that have stolen her ability to play and perform. Enter her gorgeous and mysterious neighbor with news that threatens to send her spiraling back into her nightmares. Her stalker has returned. And he wants Aslyn.
Months after security specialist Chayot Gray’s darkest secret was exposed to the world, he’s struggling to cope with the fallout. Shame and guilt threaten to consume him, and he longs for the anonymous, numb existence he’s known for two decades. Then he discovers a masked figure lurking outside his neighbor’s home. The pain-filled shadows darkening Aslyn’s eyes call to him, and her loveliness stirs a desire he didn’t know existed. Now Chay must conquer his inner-demons in order to save her from a madman determined to finish the job he started…
~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~
“You need to go,” Chayot growled. He didn’t backpedal, didn’t cower, but damn if he didn’t want to. One touch of Aslyn’s slender musician fingers, and that fractured armor that encased his emotions would shatter into splinters. In this second, she threatened him more than a counselor’s couch or demons he couldn’t beat back.
Ignoring his warning, she pressed on. “What’s wrong?”
“Aslyn.” He narrowed his eyes, hardened his voice to stone. “Go. Now.”
“No.” She moved forward again, eliminating the space between them. Compassion and concern radiated from her gaze, but underneath glinted something more worrisome. Determination.
The therapist had poked the beast within him, but Aslyn stirred it. Excited it. It reached out to her with eager, greedy claws, wanting to drag her closer, gorge on her sweetness. Satisfy the voracious need…quiet the relentless craving.
If he let the darkness loose, he didn’t know if he’d be able to cage it again. If she wouldn’t be collateral damage left in its wake.
“Aslyn, damn it. Get out.” The words rumbled from his chest on a tide of desperation.
“No,” she repeated. And then more softly, “No.”
She moved too fast or maybe he’d moved too slow. But before he could dodge her, she infiltrated his personal space, pressed her chest to his. Cupped his face. She murmured his name and he tasted the sweet scent of strawberries on her breath. He wanted it in his mouth. Wanted to taste it directly off her tongue. Lust, blistering and heavy, poured through him in a thick, molten molasses. It pounded in his chest. Pooled and throbbed in his c*ck so the hard length pressed insistently into her belly. No way she didn’t notice. No way she didn’t feel it damn near nudging her, begging for her attention.
But if he expected her to be appalled, he should’ve known better. Most women would’ve spun away or played coy. She cuddled closer, applying a teeth-gritting pressure to his d*ck that had him two seconds from pinning her against the wall, dragging down her jeans and panties, and pounding into a p***y he knew would be hot and tight like a vise grip.
“I don’t want—” he gritted out, squeezing his fists until his fingers pulsed in protest. The moment he removed them from his pockets, all bets would be off. He’d touch her, and there would be no going back from that.
“What?” She whisked her thumb over his cheekbone, under his bottom lip. “You don’t want to use me?” she breathed. “That’s what you said, right?” She drove her fingers through his hair, her nails scraping his scalp and arrowing tremors of pure need down every nerve ending and synapse in his body. He groaned, snatching his hands from his pockets and grabbing her hips, prepared to thrust her away from him before the tenuous leash on his control snapped beyond repair. “Use me, Chay. I’m right here. I’ll take you into the dark and promise not to leave you alone. We’ll go together.”
Then she kissed him.
~~~~ Bio ~~~~
I was born the daughter of a sharecropper… Okay, maybe not. But I am the daughter of a pastor from whom I inherited my love of romance. The man can preach a mean Song of Solomon! (There’s that plug, Daddy! You can pay me later!)
Although my first book starred a cucumber named Fred, my first romance came several years later in the seventh grade, when I wrote myself as a heroine opposite Ralph Tresvant from New Edition. Through the power of my pen and imagination, Ralph took one look across a crowded stadium, met my dark, mysterious gaze, fell passionately in love, and serenaded me in front of millions of fans. Out of all the girls in the world, he chose me! And of course, we lived happily ever after–once we had the inevitable fight, aka black moment, and made up with a passionate declaration of love and fidelity. This same story reincarnated itself many times over the years: with Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on the Block, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, and as recently as last night, Vin Diesel.
Though the characters have changed, my love of love has endured. Shaping the lives of unique men and women who experience the first hungry bites of lust, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love–nothing compares to it. Except maybe discovering new material for love scenes with my husband, the head of Research & Development!
Jack Drago is a renaissance man. A man’s man when needed but a pushover for women. He’s been used by his lovers, but still loves and respect women. Tattoos all over, head shaved, piercings in all kinds of places, Jack was everything Katerina needed. She knew he was a bad boy who grew up to be the type of bad man to get the job done, in and out of bed.
Be sure to read CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE before answering questions for a chance to win an iPad Mini. You can purchase it anywhere books are sold. Then click here to answer the questions.
Please welcome Susannah Sandlin! I’m lucky to see her once a year at Southern Magic’s Romance Readers luncheon every November. It pretty much consists of her waving to me and me waving back. Talk about a busy lady! Wow! That’s what happens when you have two personalities (both nice) as Susannah is also award winning author Suzanne Johnson.
She’s giving away a copy of LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP to a lucky commenter. The winner can choose from print, digital, or audio of the book!!
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.
When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.
He wasn’t sure what woke him, but the first thing Shane Burke saw when he cracked open his eyelids was the bottle of Jack Daniel’s, tipped over and resting on its side. He could’ve sworn he finished it off last night but there was at least an inch of rich amber liquid still resting inside.
Good. Now he didn’t have to wonder what he’d have for breakfast.
The second thing he saw was a great pair of legs. Well, technically, a great pair of ankles above a pair of leather sandals, and then the legs.
Obviously, he was starting his Saturday morning with hallucinations.
Only one good solution for that. He dangled an arm off the side of his bed and almost had his fingers wrapped around the neck of the bottle when one of the leather sandals kicked his buddy Jack Daniels under the bed, clipping his hand in the process.
“Ow.” Hallucinations didn’t take his booze and kick him in the knuckles.
Ignoring the throbbing in his hand and the stabs of hangover agony behind his eyeballs, Shane rolled onto his back and squinted at the rest of his nonhallucination.
Shoulder-length hair that fell in a sheen of dark chestnut brown, fair skin, fierce brown eyes, red lips compressed in a tight line, black skirt and white blouse, big briefcase-style purse. Had he picked her up at Harley’s last night? If so, he had to cut back on the sauce.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I forgot your name.” Pity, ’cause she was a hot little number, way classier than the regulars at Harley’s. It’s not like he got laid so often that he could afford to forget it when he did.
“We haven’t met.” She propped her hands on her hips and muttered something that sounded like, “And you’re supposed to help me?”
Help her with what? Wait, maybe she was a charter. Had he chartered The Evangeline out to a tour group or fishing party today? Surely he’d remember if there was money coming in.
Color him officially confused. He struggled to a seated position and gave her another look. “What am I supposed to help you with?”
She crossed her arms and raked a ball-shriveling gaze the length of his body. “I came here to offer you a job, but I don’t think you’re up to it.”
He tugged the sheet up in self-defense. “I’m not at my best. Ever consider making an appointment? Not dropping in at the crack of dawn?” He had no idea what time it was but it couldn’t be that late.
“It’s past noon. And I didn’t figure, given your financial situation, that you’d be so picky about what time of day someone offered you money.” She shook her head. “Never mind. This was a mistake.”
She banged her head on the low doorway out of the master cabin, which served her right, the sanctimonious shrew.
Shane eased himself to a standing position and waited to see if last night’s bourbon was going to make a reappearance or if he might topple over. Neither happened. Today would be a good day.
By the time he’d shuffled into the postage-stamp-sized bathroom, taken a leak, and brushed his teeth, he remembered the reason for last night’s bender. Not that he needed a reason, but last night he’d had one. First Bank and Savings, said a guy named Ralph (who bore an uncanny resemblance to a bullfrog), had grown tired of waiting for Mr. Burke to get current on his payments on The Evangeline. First Bank and Savings, so sorry, would need back payments in full within thirty days or the boat would be foreclosed on and put up for sale.
First Bank and Savings, so sorry, could go screw themselves.
Shane splashed water on his face, studied the dark-blond stubble on his chin, and decided not to shave. The bristle looked good with his bloodshot green eyes. Plus, he needed to get used to looking like a beach bum. If the bank took The Evangeline—which wasn’t just his boat but was also his home and his meager livelihood—he’d be doing any future shaving on a park bench or in the community bathroom of a shelter.
Shit. How was he going to put his hands on almost a hundred grand in a month?
He jerked open the bathroom door and almost fell over the brunette. “I thought you left.” He edged around her. “You’re taller than I thought.”
“I reconsidered.” The edge of her mouth quirked. “You’re wearing more chocolate than I thought.”
They both looked down at his boxers, black and covered with images of red foil-wrapped Hershey Kisses. “They were a gift,” he said. A total lie; he’d found them on eBay. “Think you could wait for me on deck?”
“Good idea.” The woman’s cough sounded suspiciously like a laugh. He doubted whatever job she had to offer would pay enough to satisfy the bullfrog at First Bank and Savings, but on the off chance that she was an heiress in need of a washed-up trawler captain, he’d dust off his manners and put on pants.
He watched her climb the steps and disappear through the hatch. Nice ass, but kinda wobbly on those sandals, which had silly narrow heels. Either she wasn’t used to wearing them or the almost-sighting of his man-candy had upset her sense of balance. Stranger things had happened. Probably.
Susannah Sandlin is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series. She’ll start a new romantic suspense series for Montlake Romance in 2016, beginning with WILD MAN’S BLUFF. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from TOR Books. Susannah was a finalist for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards in both 2014 and 2015, and is the 2013 winner of the Holt Medallion for paranormal romance. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, but is plotting an eventual return to the Gulf Coast.
Author website: www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSuzanneJohnson
The Kindle versions of both Collectors books are on sale May 8-24, $1.99 each.