New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia D'Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun. She was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she's thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she's not reading or writing or plotting, she's doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans. 

1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
First, I would invite Sam Elliott. I wouldn’t care at all what we discussed. I just want to listen to him talk. 
Second, I’d invite Tom Selleck because in between times when Sam is speaking, I could listen to Tom. 
And finally, since this IS Sable’s blog (and she would kill me if I didn’t invite her!), I’d invite Sable Hunter. Heaven knows I’d need some additional estrogen to tone down all the testosterone with the other two guests. Knowing Sable, she’d probably bring some SEALS and Cowboys along with her, so I’ll be quadrupling the food order.

2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
When I came to this question, I hesitated. If you mean my ENTIRE life, then probably my parents. They never doubted that could do anything I wanted to. 

Then, I got married and my husband (Fisherman) added to that confidence in me. In fact, it was HIS idea for me to write a book. He never once questioned my ability to do so!
If you mean who inspired me to want to write, it was be Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The first book of hers I read was First Lady. Loved it but the book that really stoked my fire was Lady Be Good. At the end of that book, I closed it. I’d laughed so much reading it. I was in the best mood and I thought…I’d love to make readers feel the way I feel right now. I didn’t mean laughter as much as I wanted to touch their emotions with my words. I hope I’ve done that. 

3. How would your best friend describe you? 
No clue, so I just sent a text message out. It’ll be interesting to see what I get, huh?

When I was in the seventh grade, all the various grade schools merged into two junior highs. I ended up in a group of about fourteen girls that ran together. We were together every weekend for sleepovers. Fast forward to today… There are eleven of us left (including me.) We are still best friends although we live in three different states! So I have polled them for this question. Here are the replies…

Fun, faithful, outgoing but at the same time very private, care, thoughtful, fair and boisterous! 

4. How do you handle criticism? 
I used to teach Obstetrics in a school of nursing. I had to toughen up because student evaluations can be rough at times! However, I learned to listen to criticism. Sure, some of it may be off base, but on the other hand, there might be something there that could help me improve. 
I’ll be honest however… when I get edits back, I usually let them sit for 24 hours before I open them. Part of that is that I’m nervous my editor didn’t love my “baby” and part of it is that I have to pout that I got edits! 
Still, you really won’t survive in this business if you have delicate feelings. 

5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry? 
The ability to tell a good story. You have to be able to suck the reader into the world you have built, get them to leave the real world for your world. 
The ability to reach out and touch your readers. I think social skills (and social media) are more vital today than they ever have been. 
Honest author friends. You need to have other authors in your life. No one will understand what you’re going through but another author. Need to kill someone? Need to have some kinky sex? I need to talk to another writer about things I my husband, parents and friends just might not get!

6. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I always hated this question. Every job interview I ever had asked this! LOL 
Strengths – I have no problem standing in front of a huge crowd of people and talking. However, one of my weaknesses is that I sometimes have trouble with one-on-one interactions. 

7. What type of writing environment do you prefer? 
At home, I want to be in my recliner with no noise, no husband in the house and my dog asleep. I used to write a lot at night, all night long writing sprints, but I’ve slowly changed my internal clock to day hours. 
However, I can write in public places like Starbucks. Noise there doesn’t seem to bother me like noise at home. 

8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?
The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Why? If you have to ask, you’ve never read the book! Seriously, it was the first true romance I read, my gateway book to romance. I’ve always (and I mean always like from age three) been a reader. I read a lot of mysteries growing up (Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys) but it was the romance genre that really pulled me in. 

9. Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time? 
I’m still a HUGE reader. I usually have at least one book going all the time. 
I also embroider. I went to a weekend class a couple of years ago and I was hooked. One of my favorite things is to do personalized gifts for my street team and as prizes! (See today’s prize listing
I also watch a lot of television. However, I’ve become much more selective in shows that I watch. No gore. No zombies. I have a very active imagination. Scary or gory shows will invade my dreams at night. 

10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.

My next release is CADILLAC COWBOY, a novella for Sable’s Hell Yeah Kindle World! I am so excited. When Sable asked me to be part of the world’s launch, I couldn’t write Hell Yeah back to her fast enough! I was thrilled and honored to be asked.  The purchase links aren’t yet up but as soon as they are, I’m sure Sable will be back here with them! 
One of the “characters” is a vintage convertible Cadillac. I have a thing for classic antique cars. There is a style and personality to them that I find lacking in today’s boxy cars. Plus, I might have a little “vintage” to me!
Cadillac Cowboy stars a Chicago detective relocating to Texas and a runaway bride. Never been a Chicago cop nor a runaway bride! (But thinking back to my first marriage, I probably should have been. Hee hee) Here’s a little more about Cadillac Cowboy…

A Texas lawman finds more than fall foliage during a drive in an antique convertible Cadillac to his new home.
New Texas cop Shade Gruber agrees to drive his grandmother’s prize car from Chicago to his new home in Whispering Springs. He expects some car issues. He doesn’t expect to pick up a runaway bride.
On the run from her mobster fiancé, Victoria Vaught dashes from the church thirty minutes before the I Do’s. Stranded in her bridal attire by an unreliable car, she starts walking, needing as far from Chicago as possible.
Their road to love is filled with twists, turns and bumps. Hanging on to the one you love can be roller coaster ride with surprising results.
I love my cover. It seems to fit the story so well. I love how the hero is looking at her like…Could you be a bigger pain in my butt, lady? 

Here’s a little sample from the opening…
Despite the moniker hung on him by his parents, Shade Gruber had never had trouble picking up women. Tall. Short. Blond. Brunette. Thin. Not so thin. Didn’t matter to him. He loved them all. 
However, in all his thirty-four years, he’d never picked up a woman walking down the road in a wedding dress. And not just any wedding dress. The bell-shaped skirt took up about one-third of his lane, the once-white hem now black from dragging along the pavement. A long train of veil flowed down from the tiara on the bride’s head to the skirt’s hem. 
His mind flashed to the late model Jaguar on the side of the road he’d passed a couple of miles back. 
He pulled alongside the bride. His eyebrows lifted in surprise. Of all the runaway brides in the world…“Howdy. Need some help?”
She stopped walking and glanced toward him. “Why would you think a woman walking on a country highway in a horrific wedding dress while wearing Spanx and high heel shoes would need help?” She blew out a puff of air that lifted her wilted bangs off her forehead.
Spanx? He couldn’t imagine what that was.
“Well, okay then,” he said. “Have a nice evening.” He let his vintage Cadillac convertible roll forward about a hundred feet to give her time to change her mind. 
And bingo.
She hiked up the front of the dress and jogged up to the passenger side, her heels clacking on the road’s pavement. Panting, she blew her hair off her forehead again. With the convertible top and windows down, Shade had been enjoying his drive in the cool, fall evening air. Now, all that openness allowed the renegade bride to pop the lock, open the door, and climb into the rear seat, scraping stiff lace over his head in the process. As his hitchhiker positioned herself in the middle of the seat, the volume of tulle and satin spread out around her. 
“Oops.” She leaned forward until she could get a hand on the open door and closed it with a slam. Then she settled back with a sigh. 
Thanks for joining me today! As a bribe, er prize, I’ll offer up a choice of either a $5 Amazon gift card or a personalize embroidered towel to ONE lucky person who leave a comment. The contest will close in 24 hours. 

You can find me online at all these places!
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Street Team:      D’Alba Diamonds

Check out my other books at http://cynthiadalba.com/books

MONDAY! I don’t remember what day of the week it is until Debbie asks me to do something that’s date sensitive. It’s 8 am, 81 degrees and I’m having my first cup of coffee. I am writing the epilogue today of a brand new Hell Yeah! short story featuring Aron and Libby & Heath and Cato called A MCCOY’S FAVORITE SPORT – just about 13000 words BUT with 3 sex scenes! – the story will be included in the Hell Yeah! Insider’s Handbook which will release in mid-August, to celebrate the launch of the first wave of releases for the Hell Yeah! Kindleworld. You need to watch for that, it will have a listing of all characters in the world, a synopsis of each original book, an excerpt that I chose, and some extra ‘insider’ info about how the book was written, it’s playlist, or what inspired it. There will also be recipes, some coloring sheets, information on the August launch books by the 10 other great authors, and the short story which will be available nowhere else – all for only 99cents!

Also 99cents is the price of the new boxset, HOTSHOT DESIRES, which includes my UNCHAINED MELODY – if you’ve never read it, now’s a good to get it, along with 5 other novels by great authors, at a rock-bottom price.


UNCHAINED MELODY was the 2nd book I ever wrote, and it’s a nod to Elvis. This was back when I was trying to convince a family member to write and I thought it would be a neat idea to write books where every hero was Elvis, but with a different name and occupation of course (just like his movies) so when you read it, you’ll find that Ethan is described as if he looks like Elvis. The other family member did write one book, but I stuck with the craft and now it’s 8 years and 50 books later. This one is still special though, I submitted it to Harlequin and they liked the idea well enough to request the full book, but turned it down because one scene was too ‘dark’. Oh well, that dark scene is essential and I’ve written scenes a lot darker since then – and the book is still out there and active – thank goodness.

Every woman’s dreaded monthly visitor has arrived to visit me today, and no – it’s not a mother-in-law! I’m working through the discomfort and planning on driving out to Lake Travis today to look at some houses. I’m always house-hunting. I intended to buy one out here by now, but when my lease was up last time, I was right in the midst of that episode of craziness I had after my surgery when I couldn’t sleep or stay indoors – not a good time to try and move – so I ended up signing another 13-month lease, so I can’t move until January. Today, I’m looking at houses but I’m actually just checking out neighborhoods because the houses I see today will undoubtedly not still be for sale this winter. Anyway, I’ll get out of the house, I need to do that every day or so to keep my sanity.

Ryan and I finished plotting LOVE FOUND A WAY, a HELL YEAH! about T-Rex (Revel’s friend who was introduced in YOU ARE ALWAYS ON MY MIND). We both agree that it’s going to be great, a real tear-jerker but with lots of laughs and lore and Louisiana mystique mixed in. Honestly – I love sharing with Ryan, a die-hard Canadian, my Louisiana and he never fails to connect with everything I throw at him. He’s the best writing partner ever. 

I had the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten over the weekend – a Hatch Green Chili Burger from Big Daddy’s on Burnet, here in Austin. It came with onion and pablano rings with some special sauce – I couldn’t eat it all, but I enjoyed every bite.

We were there to watch a family member do an eating challenge, a three- pound burger and a pile of onion rings. I swear he would’ve made it, if he hadn’t stopped to talk so much – he had two bites of an onion ring left when his time ran out. Oh well, I paid for his food, so he was still a winner – and I sure had a good meal. I’m going to go back and get that burger again.    

Let’s see – what else is going on today…

I can’t think of a thing – I guess that’s enough. I’ll continue writing and you continue reading and think about me every once in a while – I get lonely over here in my writing cave.


MCCOY BBQ BRISKET – Done Right – Ha! 

 Brisket – usually about 12 pounds
 Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Tony Chacheres’s Cajun Seasoning
 Garlic Salt
 Smoker, Wood to Smoke with, Heavy Aluminum Pans
 1 cup of brown sugar 

                                                                  BBQ Sauce
2 – 16 ounces of good honey bbq sauce
                                                                 16 ounces of jack daniels whiskey
                                                                 16 ounces of good red wine
                                                                 12 ounce can of root beer
                                                                  6 ounces of sliced jalapenos

 The first step is to pick out a brisket. Hard fat is not your friend, but you do not want to use a trimmed brisket. Packer trimmed is just perfect. Pick up the brisket and see if it bends easily. Hard fat will keep it from bending. Get a meaty brisket that bends or folds over easy. The second step is trimming: trim off any and all hard fat that you can. I also trim excess soft fat. Any fat thicker than a half inch should be trimmed.

 Next, season your brisket 48 hours before cooking. Season your brisket fat side down first. I season my briskets with granulated garlic salt (not powder), Tony Chachere’s, and freshly ground peppercorn melange. Evenly coat your brisket with these seasonings. Spread out enough good quality plastic wrap to wrap your brisket, overlapping the plastic. Place the brisket, seasoned side down, with fat side up. It is time to season the fat side. Evenly coat the fat side with the same 3 seasonings. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours.

 Lay enough foil on your smoker rack so that the brisket only touches the foil. I like to wet smoke my brisket. If your smoker does not have a water pan you can always place a pan of water in between the meat and the smoke. I smoke with red oak only. You can smoke meat with most hard woods, but I like red oak. Other woods that you can use are pecan and hickory. Place the brisket fat side up in your smoker and smoke for 4 hours at 250 degrees. After the smoking , comes the slow cooking time. 

 Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Put your brisket fat side up in a heavy, disposable aluminum pan. Crumble 1 cup of dark brown sugar on top of the brisket. Pack the brown sugar on to the brisket. Seal pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil, making sure not to tear the foil or make any holes. Place brisket in oven for 3 hours. Remove brisket from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice the brisket across the grain and eat. This is an important step, if you slice the brisket with the grain of the meat, it will be tough. The brisket slices better if you refrigerate overnight before slicing. I like to do this because I can trim some more of the fat off and can freeze the brisket in airtight or vacuum sealed bags for later use.

 BBQ sauce:  
Pour two 16 ounce bottles of any good brand of honey barbeque sauce into a large sauce pan. Fill up one of the empty bottles half way with Jack Daniels whiskey. Seal and shake the bottle to get the BBQ sauce residue dissolved. Pour into sauce pan. Do the same thing with the other empty bottle of BBQ sauce but instead of Jack Daniels use a good red wine. Add this to pan. Add a 12 ounce can of root beer. Put a 6 ounce jar of sliced jalapenos with the juice in a blender. Liquefy the mixture and add to sauce pan. 
 Cook this mixture stirring often until the mixture comes to a boil. 
 At this point the alcohol should be cooked out. This will not be a thick sauce but it will be spicy. 
 Enjoy it!

At the ripe age of seven, Jodi Redford penned her first epic, complete with stick figure illustrations. Sadly, her drawing skills haven't improved much, but her love of fantasy worlds never went away. These days she writes about fairies, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, only with considerably more heat.

She has won numerous writing awards, including The Golden Pen and Launching a Star.
When not writing or working the day job, she enjoys gardening and way too many reality television shows.

Currently residing in Michigan with her husband and overgrown lapdog, she is a member of RWA national and Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America. 

1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?

Okay, this will probably be an eclectic bunch, but here goes. *g*

Morgan Freeman. He just strikes me as someone you could sit down and have a really interesting conversation with. Plus I’m sort of in love with his voice. I’d probably make things really awkward by staring at him a lot and asking if he’d sing a duet with me.

Idris Elba. He’s gorgeous and has a great sense of humor. I’d probably make things awkward by staring at him a lot and asking him to dance with me.

Henry Cavil. Here’s another incredibly gorgeous man. And he has that accent going for him. I’ll probably make things awkward by staring at him a lot and confiding that I’ve freeze-framed his naked butt so many times while watching The Tudors that the DVD might be ruined now.

2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Oh, man. There have been so many people who’ve been an inspiration to me in one way or another. I guess if I had to pick the one who really impacted my life, it’s my third grade teacher. She was the one who encouraged me to be a writer. Who first saw that spark of something in me. I’d never even given it any thought before her. I just knew that I liked to make up stories about unicorns and aliens. Yes, even back then! LOL. But her encouragement stuck with me through the years, right up until the day I got published, and even now. When I have my low days and I’m convinced I can’t even string together a solitary sentence, I think about her faith in my stories. It’s a reminder to me to never give up and keep reaching for my dream.

3. How would your best friend describe you?

Quirky, loyal, funny, and a snappy dresser with mad dance skills. Okay, I might have made those last two up. Unless she never reads this, in which case all of it’s true.

4. How do you handle criticism?

Well, first I sharpen the pins for my voodoo doll...totally kidding! Maybe. I think it depends entirely on the context of the criticism and how it’s delivered. I’m a pretty easy going, go with the flow type of gal. It takes a fair amount to get under my toughened hide. But I fully admit that if someone dishes out criticism in a snarky manner it might trigger my own snark button, because it’s pretty loosey goosey to begin with. However, I never ever comment or engage with critical reviews of my books. We’ve all seen how that never ends well! Besides, I’ve been at this long enough to figure out that it’s completely impossible to be everyone’s cup of tea. All you can do is keep putting out books that you love and hope that your readers will too.  

5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry?

See my comment above about not being able to please everyone. I think that’s super important and goes a long way in keeping an author sane—as we can be! Next would be a healthy sense of humor. Anything and everything will be thrown at you in this business. Being able to take it in stride and possibly even laugh at it as you’re pulling your hair out will stand you well in the tough, trying times. It won’t help you with those random bald spots from all the hair pulling, but you can’t have everything, right? Number three is kind of big for me, but I realize it may not be as critical for some others. A strong support unit. This can be a significant other/family member or other writers. Ideally both. This is a really solitary business when we’re bunkered in our writer caves. Sometimes it’s really easy to forget you’re not alone. That there are other actual humans walking the face of the earth. We spend a lot of time in our heads, and that can be a wonderful, magical place to be. But it can also be scary and lonely at times too. Our support unit can pull us out of our vast pit of despair over a character not talking to us, or the certainty that we’ll never hit that deadline and finish the book. They’ll remind us that not hitting a bestseller list with our most recent book doesn’t mean we’re a crappy writer and should just pack it in and become a professional goat herder instead. Even though that would be an entirely kickass job. I mean, come on. GOATS!   

6. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Hm, I’d have to say that my greatest strength is my stubbornness. I know in theory that’s not supposed to be seen as a positive trait, and I’m sure that plenty of people in my life would agree with that assessment wholeheartedly. But my stubbornness means I’ll stick with something until I see it through. I’ll pretty much never ever give up on anything until it’s absolutely proven to me that it’s not meant to be. Then I’ll still probably try to find a way to turn that around for at least another week or so before finally moving on to something else. My biggest weakness is I’m a professional worrywart. I will literally lie in bed and think up a million different things I should be dreading over. Some of them incredibly ridiculous. Like I’ll recall that time in the fourth grade when that girl passed me in the hall and said “Hi” and I said “Hi” back, but now that I think about it there’s a good chance she wasn’t talking to me and now she probably thinks I’m a complete moron because obviously she’s still thinking about this THIRTY-FIVE YEARS LATER.     

7. What type of writing environment do you prefer?

I pretty much need a completely distraction-free zone. Which naturally goes right along with my need to blast heavy metal music in my earphones while I’m writing. I know, I don’t get it either.

8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’d read a ton of romance before picking up that book, but it was my first contemporary RomCom. I immediately fell in love with her voice and knew right then and there that I’d discovered the genre of romance that really called to my heart.

9. Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time?

Gardening, surfing the internet, furthering my obsession with Candy Crush, going for hikes, just to name a few. I absolutely adore crafting—I used to actually do that as a side business back in the day. Sadly I don’t have as much time to explore that creative side of myself these days though.

10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.

The latest book I wrote was Kinky Curves. It’s part of a multi-author box set that’s releasing on Friday. My heroine, Charlie, is a phone sex operator. And no, I don’t have a secret phone sex operator identity! Or do I...I’m never telling. ;) The thing with Charlie is that she has some serious body image issues because of some pretty despicable things that happened to her in the past. When I was a kid I had some similar issues with being bullied. Not so much with my weight, but my family moved around a lot and I was always the new kid on the block. That made me the outsider and different, which can make you a target with your peers. I hated going to school and I’d look for any excuse or opportunity to get out of it. It took me a long time to get over my issues and break out of my shell. And even now I still struggle at times, though trust me, nowhere near as much as I used to. So that’s my connection to Charlie, and she’s actually a little bit of a form of therapy for me.


Charlie Cross is the reigning queen of dirty talk. As a phone sex operator, she’s fielded every kink and fetish in the book. Nothing fazes her. Okay, not entirely true. There’s one client who’s gotten under her skin. Grady. He’s dangerously close to peeling back the layers she’s worked so hard to keep hidden. And the last thing she needs is for him to discover the truth—how completely imperfect she is.

Grady The Grinder Montana. With a name like that he must be a stripper, right? Guilty as charged. He’s damn good at it too. Forget moves like Jagger, his make the Benjamins rain. Women scream his name every night. On stage or in bed, the result’s the same. Not one damn bit of it matters, though. The only real thing in his life is Charlie. With her he’s only Grady. The Grinder doesn’t exist. Their relationship is uncomplicated, liberating, and...perfect.

Until the day their worlds crash together. No illusions. No safety nets. Just two damaged, dirty, perfectly imperfect people about to fall hard. Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it’s messy and real. And exactly what you need.

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B&N: http://bit.ly/25UTLlB
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1XWTM45
All Romance: http://bit.ly/1Qcgpyr


Charlie leaned against the sink basin, only to spring away from it a second later when something cold and wet seeped into her pants. Her focus veered from the puddle of water on the edge of the counter and up to the mirror. A big, incriminating wet spot sat smack dab on her left buttcheek. She smothered a groan. Could this get any worse? Don’t say shit like that. It was only asking for trouble, because the universe was usually more than happy to oblige.

Grady stepped around her and snagged a handful of paper towels from the dispenser. Before she could grab them from him, he pressed the crumpled wad on her soaked rear and began blotting it. And that was how fate reminded her it could be worse. So much worse. The hottest guy in the world with his hands all over her big booty. She should be enjoying this, but all she wanted to do was crawl beneath a rock. Instead she expelled a shaky breath. “You make me nervous as hell.” Oh God. Did she really blurt that out loud? Apparently she was determined to keep making this as awkward as humanly possible.

A frown pulled Grady’s eyebrows into a low V and he glanced up from his task. “Why?”

She couldn’t tell him about her baggage. Of all the insecurities she hoarded like a squirrel with a massive case of OCD. So she gave him a small snapshot of the bigger picture. “Look at you. I can’t get my brain to function with all of this going on.” She gestured to his muscular torso. “I feel like I’m stumbling over my tongue. I don’t know how to talk to you like a normal person. And I can’t even blame it on you having your hand on my ass.” Although, that certainly wasn’t helping matters.

“I’m still me, Charlie. Grady. Or McHorny. You’ve always been able to talk to me. Our openness with each other has always been one of the things I love about us.”

Us. He made it sound like they were a couple or something. Lord, that would be the oddest pairing in history. Other than their mutual kinkiness, they came from different worlds. He was sexy beyond words and ridiculously fit. She was...the opposite. No amount of crunches and squats would diminish her curves and get rid of her butt and tummy. She would never be one of those skinny girls who could wear Daisy Dukes and midriff-bearing tops without earning scornful ridicule from the masses. And right now, she felt like a big ole fraud. Because despite Grady’s claim of them being open with each other, she’d let him believe she was something she wasn’t—a perfect sex goddess who had her shit together. Well, now the illusion was pretty much shattered to smithereens.

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Two books in 30 days? Yes, LOVE ME, I DARE YOU, and now TEXAS MAVERICK – I’m either bat-shit crazy or I have some type of death wish. Or maybe I’m trying to cram as much living in the time I have left as I can, I’m not sure. Since I’m self-employed, the writerly type, I have to buy my own health insurance. Now, my goal is not to run out there and get a lot of preventive care and unnecessary tests done (I swear I think some folks love to go to the doctor) – oh, no. My goal is to stay out of trouble by having insurance and then not to use it at all. This nice woman called last night from Humana and asked if they could send a nurse out to take my blood pressure and listen to my heart and weigh me and she seemed so excited about it. I said, is this mandatory? (I think that means necessary) and she said no, this was complimentary. I told her not only, no – I told her, hell no, and hung up. I’d rather go to the dentist and have all my teeth pulled. Why can’t they just let a person live and die in peace? Yea, I’m in a mood. Anyway, I rode out to Bastrop on Sunday morning to get some fudge, but mostly to get out of the house. It was so, so hot, like 110 degrees and I had to travel east from my beloved hills to the flat piney woods. Yes, it was only 20 miles, but it’s night and day topography wise. I made the mistake of taking the dogs. Abby is nice, but that boy dog of mine is as bat-shit crazy as I’m purported to be – he whined and hassled every inch we traveled. So, when we got there, I was completely worn out and wanted nothing more than to just get them out of the car and walk around. There were two things that drew my attention at the SUGAR SHACK – the first was this fourteen-foot squirrel. Yes, there is a huge squirrel statue because the Sugar Shack is owned by Berdoll Pecan Farms and I guess a squirrel and nuts go together. Well, he was interesting and the dogs weren’t intimidated at all. They left him a little gift in the grass. Next…I found a swing. Which I wouldn’t sit in. Now, let me tell you the rest of the story... When I was a teenager, there were two things I loved. One of them was reading Harlequin romances and the other was a guy named Mike – no relation to the Mike in my family now. This was a younger guy, a good four years younger, which would’ve put me in the robbing the cradle area if he would’ve given me the time of day – which he didn’t. Mostly, it was all in my mind. But our paths did cross frequently. There was this little lady in town who we all would go to visit and her name was Mrs. Watson. I loved to go visit for two reasons – well, three – one reason was that she had boxes and boxes of Harlequin romance paperbacks (and she was in her late 80’s, women!!) that I could read, two was that she made the most wonderful tea cakes and THREE, Mike mowed her lawn, shirtless. So I would go over, raid her book box, get a tea cake, then go sit in this swing and watch Mike mow the grass. I would pretend to read while I lusted after my young Lothario. Well, one day – and this is burned in my memory…Mike got over there to mow before I arrived. Now, he was a kid and didn’t mean any harm and he, honestly, had no idea I was coming over – which made this sort of worse, because he could have killed that old woman! He was mowing, stopped to drink some lemonade Mrs. Watson made him, and flopped down in the swing. Now, Mike was a big, tall boy and when he threw his full weight on the swing, he tore one of the screws out of the porch ceiling and the whole thing came crashing down. Now, instead of telling Mrs. Watson, he was ashamed and he just stuck the screw back into the ceiling. Now, what happened next, was a blessing - - for Mike and for Mrs. Watson, not necessarily for me. Because if Mrs. Watson had sat in the swing, the fall would have probably broken her hip and Mike could have been sued. But no - - here I came with a Janet Dailey novel, two tea cakes and a huge crush – and plopped myself down, unfortunately with one leg under the swing and BAM! I want you to know there were several things injured that day – my leg was one, and my ego was another. I had enough going against me, I didn’t need to be known as the girl who’d broken the swing. Especially in front of a guy that I lusted after. But that was what happened – I was mortified. I was fat enough to cause a swing to fall, then I had to confess to Mrs. Watson that I’d broken her property. She wasn’t happy. AND I had to watch Mike turn red-faced and snicker watching me try to get up off the porch with my broken cookies and paperback romance novel bouncing around. It was a couple of weeks before Mike’s mother told my mother than he had confessed to breaking the swing and putting the screws back up. Later, as he grew older, we became better acquainted. Like I said, he wasn’t mean, just foolish. I got over my crush and our families were friends until I came out as Sable Hunter and then they all turned their backs on me, I wasn’t fit for decent folks anymore. BUT – all of that came to mind when I was at the SUGAR SHACK, in the heat, with the dogs. To say the least, I didn’t sit in their swing. We got back in the car and turned the air up, while the others went in to buy fudge. Then, we came home and now, I’m writing again, avoiding calls from the Humana insurance woman. Ha – try TEXAS MAVERICK, I can promise you – it’s a better story than this one!

Maverick Cross is a Texas hero, not the flashy kind, he's a war veteran who served his country overseas and now serves it at home as an Austin firefighter. To look at him, and women love to look, he's a ripped athlete who takes care of himself and has it all together. 
Only his next door neighbor knows the truth; Maverick suffers from PTSD. 
Everly Winterfell is almost invisible, blending into the crowd is fine by her. She's a hero too, not the kind who wears a cape, but the kind who isn't afraid to dig for the truth and expose it for all to see. Everly's alter ego is Eve Winters, an award winning journalist who doesn't seek the limelight, she's content with writing stories that change people's lives without drawing any attention to herself. 
Nothing much escapes Everly, she has a talent for seeing beneath the surface, reading people for who they really are. From her vantage point in Apartment #701, she has learned that the occupant in #702 is lonely. He has a habit of pushing people away before they can get too close, especially women. Maverick can offer a woman great sex, Everly can vouch for that fact. The walls are thin between #701 and #702 and many nights she has lain there wishing she was on the receiving end of his attention. He's intrigued by his odd little neighbor, who seems to want to be his wingman and he has no idea that her ulterior motive is to be his friend. After some negotiations, they strike a deal - she'll find him women who know the score, who won't expect more than he can give, and in return he'll see if he can advise her on how to attract a man for herself. To facilitate their odd arrangement, they install a chalkboard on the narrow wall separating their front doors, leaving messages about their shared adventures. 
The more time they spend together, the less important finding dates for the other becomes. Everly and Maverick discover they share a chemistry that’s off the charts, they can’t keep their hands off one another. There’s only one problem – Maverick has no idea Everly is his secret obsession, Eve Winters. Sometimes what we need is right in front of our face. Sometimes what we’re looking for is right next door... 

**CONTENT WARNING: This book contains adult language and sexual situations. It is intended for ages 18+ ONLY** 

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of sensuous romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the literature she loved while reading her favorite romance authors. It wasn’t long before she decided to marry her two first loves. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a steamy read with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
Well, we need to establish the fact that I don’t cook, but my husband is awesome at it, so he would have to agree to be the host. Luckily, he loves to entertain. So as for invitees… 
I’d have to invite Sam Elliott because he’s just such a cool, good-looking man and I could listen to his voice all day. Second, I’d like to invite someone from another planet because it would be awesome to learn what they do at their dinner parties. Lastly, I’d like to invite Homer and get the lowdown on exactly what part of the Iliad and the Odyssey is fact and what is fiction.  What can I say? My romances are inspired by the classics :) My first book, Masque, was inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story which is why I brought a mask with me to give away. Just sayin’. 
2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
I would have to say my husband. He’s inspired me by showing me exactly how a man loves a woman. Sometimes readers think my male characters from the planet Eden are a pipe dream, but they have a lot of the qualities that my husband has, with a number of their own quirks ;-) He’s also inspired me because he seriously believes I can do anything I set my mind to and he loves me just the way I am, hats, boots, ice cream, cat and all . 
4. How do you handle criticism? 
I generally smile through it and then mull it over alone and decide if it has any merit. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I also take into consideration the source. If it’s my critique partner or agent, I seriously think about it and may ask follow up questions. If it’s from someone who knows nothing about writing, who is telling me what’s wrong with my story, chances are I won’t give it any weight and move on.
5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry? 
A willingness to continually learn
People who support you
6. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
My greatest strength is probably my positive attitude. I think that came from my dad who always told me I was great. Yes, he literally said that as well as smart, beautiful, resourceful, creative, etc. With that kind of upbringing, it really helps to see the good things in life. My greatest weakness? My inability to control my writing schedule. Even when I schedule a day off, it never works out that way. I would so like a guilt-free day :)
7. What type of writing environment do you prefer? 
My office. It’s my haven and I am most productive there. It is very quiet (we just moved onto 4 acres in a rural area). I have my Venetian masks around which are colorful, my book covers which are colorful, and my family pictures which are colorful ;-) My kitty sleeps at my feet or on my desk (usually both throughout the day). I have my classic literature books nearby which inspire me, my unicorn tapestry, and I have my 3 calendars to keep me on track. And of course, my cup of tea. I drink tea all day, some in tea bags, some loose leaf. It’s my go-to beverage.
8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?
The first romance I ever read was Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna, but it was her book The Wolf and the Dove that stuck with me. The clash of cultures in that story with a strong hero and strong heroine torn between her own society and her feelings for him stayed with me. Plus, it took place in 1066 in England so I was hooked. I still have those two books, the very ones I read, along with The Flame and The Flower, on my shelves in my office.
9. Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time? 
I would love some spare time! I’m trying to fit that into my schedule. Okay, that sounds a bit paradoxical, doesn’t it? I do carve out time for line dance class as I love to dance. I have danced all my life. Other than that I like to spend time with my hubby. Even if it’s just a trip to the hardware store or a drink down at one of the riverfront bars nearby. Of course, the best time is when we get to go dancing. He loves to dance too. 
10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.
Oh boy, that is loaded question! My last book released, Cowboy’s Best Shot (Poker Flat #3),  contains a heroine who is a former high-end prostitute and now a bartender at a nudist resort. LOL. While I can’t relate to her profession, I do relate to the way she owned it. She loved sex and wasn’t afraid to indulge and felt no shame at having been a prostitute. That idea of being proud of what you do and who you are even if society snubs its nose is what I relate to. She also has a heart of gold and is so loyal to the other employees at the nudist resort that she would leave rather than have it lose business because of her. That loyalty is another trait I have, which can be a weakness on occasion. Also, she has great taste in men, a cowboy who has returned from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan and is seriously hot. I can relate to that ;-)

Cowboy Hunter McKade is former military police who survived two tours overseas, but when he came home, his wife and his life as he knew it, disappeared in an instant. Now a security guard at Poker Flat Nudist Resort, he exists in his dark place, requiring little social interaction – until the night he breaks the barrier that separates him from her.
As a former prostitute from a high-end bordello, Adriana Perez loves sex – any kind, anywhere – and her rules are few. Her new bartending job at Poker Flat gives her lots of hospitality opportunities, so why is someone trying to get her fired? Baffled, she gratefully accepts Hunter’s help and protection, and is more than willing to show him her appreciation. But the man has far too much control.
Pushing Hunter beyond his boundaries becomes Adriana’s satisfying distraction. But the evidence against her mounts, and she ignores her gut to take matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, her best shot at fixing this may not be enough to save her job…or her heart.

Amazon AU
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“Is something funny?” Hunter’s voice, though still low, sounded affronted.
“No, just laughing at myself and berating myself for my stupidity. I should have gone with the swinging foursome.” Adriana bent a little, testing the feel of her wound. “It’s probably good I got this scratch. It will remind me to be more careful next time.”
Hunter spun her around to face him so quickly, it took her eyes a moment to focus, and when they did, she forced herself not to pull away.
“This was not your fault. Understand?”
She nodded, the intensity in his eyes reminding her of the efficiency with which he’d wrapped the whip around the Dom’s throat.
“No woman deserves to be forced to do anything she doesn’t want.”
He clearly wasn’t seeing her anymore and her curiosity grew. Time to lighten the conversation a bit. She winked. “It’s pretty hard to find something I don’t want.”
He blinked, obviously not following, and then his lip quirked, but he didn’t say anything. Instead, he let go of her and screwed the cap back on the tube of cream. When he finished, he tipped his black hat slightly before turning and striding to the door.
She watched him, or rather his ass covered in black denim. When he opened the door and looked at her, she forced her gaze to meet his.
“Lock your door tonight.”
“Got it.” She moved forward, even as he pulled the door shut.
Turning the lock, she pulled the curtain aside to look out, but Hunter was gone.


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IN HIS CONTROL by Nina Bruhns

Enemies by Day... Detective Jean-Marc Lacroix is obsessed with catching a clever art thief who has outwitted him at every turn. Lovers by Night... Little does he know the thief is really the beautiful woman he just seduced. Or does he...?

HOT ON HER TRAIL by Sable Hunter

Sexy cowboy, Jacob McCoy, longs for a family. His wish is fulfilled when beautiful Jessie walks into his life. Pregnant. With his child. The only problem? They've never met before.

CLAIMING CARLOS by Rachelle Ayala

Choco Sanchez has been friends forever with chef Carlos Lopez until flashy food consultant Johnny Dee steps in to makeover both her and the restaurant. Carlos isn't about to lose his best friend. He sets out to claim Choco's heart by cooking hot, spicy, and steamy.

LOVE & REDEMPTION by Chantel Rhondeau

Former special agent Shelley Daniels is struggling to tame her bad-girl tendencies. Jewel thief Gavin Hart wants fast money and a fresh start--until he witnesses a murder. Gavin drags Shelley back to the world she was desperate to escape with rogue agents, assassin plots, and a frantic race to stop a terrorist group.

SHADOWS OF THE SOUL by Angelique Armae

When Hell's sexiest bad boy--Nicolai Valentine--defied Lucifer, he lost everything. Now Heaven's fearless human warrior--Isabel Heart--has come to Nicolai's aid. When the two meet... A haunting past is reborn...

THE DEAN'S LIST by Kelly Collins

Twenty-five-year-old honors student, River Roberts, knew her life had to change. With only forty dollars to her name, she was hungry, tired, and out of options. Sexy, charming and motivated, she met the requirements for The Dean's List, a university society that offered alumni anything they desired. It was the perfect job for her or was it?

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author Nina Bruhns pens adventurous romantic thrillers that contain a unique blend of interesting characters and settings, twisty suspense, and sizzling romance. To date, she has published over 35 award-winning novels, including several under the pen name Nikita Black.

Aside from hitting #16 on the New York Times Best Seller List, Nina’s had three RITA nominations, and her books have won a bunch of awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for the Year's Best Overall Mystery-Suspense Book, two RT Awards, and the National Reader’s Choice Award.

Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 50 books in 7 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She writes from sweet to steamy and believes that everyone should find love as often as possible, even if it's within the pages of a book. Rachelle is working on a sweet series of romances with pets and firemen, Have a Hart Romances, and one full of bad boys, Bad Boys for Hire. She also writes sports romances in both football and baseball, as well as many holiday romances, both sweet and spicy.

Bestselling Author Chantel Rhondeau became hooked on romance after picking up a romantic suspense novel she thought was a mystery genre. After reading that first romance, she never looked back. Chantel is author of several romantic suspense novels, Christmas novellas, and the McCallister’s Paradise contemporary romance/family saga series. She lives in the western United States and when she's not writing, she loves playing cards with her family, bowling, and binging on Netflix while snuggling with her lazy kitties.

Angelique Armae / J. C. Makk is a native New Yorker who loves all things royal, can trace her Irish roots back to the Scottish Highlands, is half Italian, and is owned by a long-haired Tuxedo feline. She spends most days writing, unless her cat deems otherwise.

Miss Armae's books and novellas have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the Sapphire Award, P.E.A.R.L. Award, and Word Weaving Award. Her books have also been featured on Midwest Book Review's Book Watch TV. Angelique's first novel, COME THE NIGHT, made Fictionwise's Best of the Best list, rounding out the top five bestselling Dark Fantasy books of the year. Her Urban Fantasy/Paranormal romance, SHADOWS OF THE SOUL, as well as COME THE NIGHT, were Kindle bestsellers. Under her J.C. Makk pen name, Miss Armae writes Contemporary romance. Her Royals of Countavia story—HIS ROYAL REDEMPTION—was featured in the International Bestselling anthology ROYALS AND ROGUES. 
Aside from writing, Angelique/J.C. also dabbles in digital art. She is the recipient and two-time nominee of the Dream Realm Award for best cover art.

When not working, Miss Makk enjoys traveling, learning about the ancient Celts, exploring history, and learning new languages. J.C. studied history and French literature at Skidmore College.

Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping the love alive. Always a romantic, she is inspired by real-time events mixed with a dose of fiction. She encourages her readers to reach the happily ever after but bask in the afterglow of the perfectly imperfect love.

Kelly lives in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her husband of twenty-five years, their two dogs, and a bird that hates her.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking the trails and visiting the mining towns like Cripple Creek. Could be there is gambling there, but she likes to think it's the ambiance that brings her there and not the amazing slot machine in the back of the casino.

In the winter, you'll find her tucked into her seat at The World Arena cheering her beloved Colorado College Tigers Hockey Team. After several losing seasons she knows there's a win coming soon. Kelly is no fair weather fan.

She has three amazing children, and she wonders how they all turned out to be engineers when only the creative side of her brain seems to work. She just chalks it up to the engineering genes her husband contributed to the mix.

Creative minds need an outlet and writing books is where she focuses her excess energy.

-- --- Bestselling author of Michal's Window, Broken Build, Knowing Vera, Taming Romeo, Claiming Carlos, Have a Hart series, A Veteran's Christmas series, etc... Website: http://rachelleayala.me Blog: http://rachelleayala.com Amazon Page: http://bit.ly/AyalaR Newsletter: http://bit.ly/RachAyala Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RachelleAyalaWriter ---