I'm Lana, a life long Texan, dog lover, and writer of sensual romance. When I say 'sensual romance' I mean I include real life in my stories, and real life includes sex.
I divide my time between Austin Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I've been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I've got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.
Writing is much like reading, I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren't afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it's the only way my reader will as well.
Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It'll be fun!
1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?Fannie Flagg, Julia Child, and J.K. Rowling. Can you imagine the laughs and the fun that would be? It would be a potluck of course. Country cooking, French cuisine, and Butter Beer. Sounds like a grand time!2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?My grandmother ran the ranch, ran the house, and smiled the whole time. She was as comfortable with barbed wire as she was writing poetry. Everyone who knew her felt loved, what better thing can be said about a person? Sadly, she died young, but not without leaving her mark in my heart. I’ve spent my entire life trying to emulate her unique combination of grace and strength.3.How would your best friend describe you?Ten years ago I met one of my best friends, Claire, in a book club. Of course, no surprise there. My friend is outgoing, has tons of friends all over the world, and could chat up a post with no problem. That summer, when she went home to Montana to visit her folks, apparently Claire kept talking about “Lana” this, and “Lana” that… finally her father, a life-long rancher who says very little, asked her, “Who is Lana?” My friend stopped, looked him in the eye and said, “Lana has the kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever known.” Her father nodded and said, “Is that so? When is she coming to visit?”It’s probably one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said about me.
4.How do you handle criticism?I cry, bite a pillow, ask my friends to tell me it isn’t so, learn from it, and move on. I'm mostly joking of course, but tone that down some and that’s roughly how it goes. I’m new to writing, so I’m working on that "thick skin" thing. Why have you heard something bad? (Just kidding!)
5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry?-You need to want to write regardless if anyone ever reads your work.-You need a community. As in most things, a support network and shared knowledge is essential.- You need to keep working on your craft forever and ever… Amen.
6.What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?I always say the coin has two sides when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. I’m too sensitive, which causes me to suffer. Not only for myself, but for others. This same sensitivity allows me to think ahead about the needs of my friends and family. It also allows me to put myself in the heads of my characters. I can easily imagine what it might be like to walk in another persons shoes. I feel like it adds a richness to my storytelling.
7. What type of writing environment do you prefer?I like a writing space with a view. It can be out a window, or over a balcony, or across the room at a coffee shop. I need to be alone if at all possible, but I’m getting better about that as well. A cuppa something warm with caffeine helps a lot too.
8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?When I was in high school I saw a banned book display in a local bookstore. One of the books was a completion of erotic short stories. Looking back on it now I realize it was even more graphic and raw than most of the romance novels I’ve read. So, I guess it blew the lid off my mental limits in terms of sex in a story. I’m sure my parents would have been horrified to know I had it tucked under my pillow. I can’t recall the name, but the cover had a beautiful period drawing of a courtesan with flowing robes. The cover is what drew me to take a closer look. It was beautiful.
9.Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time? I love to grab my hubby and explore the small towns surrounding Austin and Shiner. Texas is chock full of stories and atmosphere. My favorite thing is finding mom and pop diners and trying the pie.
10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.My last book was my contribution to Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World, it’s a novella called THE SONG OF HER SIGHS. The main character, Lola, goes back to her family ranch after a break up. I love the idea of getting a second chance at life and Lola gets that in more ways than one. Lola is starting over in life by leaving the city. I’m finding myself spending more time in the city these days and I’m not happy about that reality. I wish I could be on our family land more often. I would love to do what she’s doing and find a way to move out of the city. I also relate to the passion and love she feels for Rodney. It’s something all my characters share, loving deeply and for the long-haul. I am happy to have that in my own life, so it’s easy to write about those feelings.
Sex, Secrets, and Second Chances…
Rodney Regent works hard running the family ranch, and it shows in every rock-hard muscle on his body. Known for his jaw-dropping smile, he has captured the hearts of women, young and old,
all over the small Texas town he calls home. Rodney is single and loving it, until he sees a photograph that grabs his heart and won’t let go. As his luck would have it, the one woman he has always wanted is engaged to someone else. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t forget her.
Then the news comes that Joseph and Cady McCoy will visit Regent Ranch. The change they bring with them includes more than just Cady’s magic touch, it brings the woman of Rodney's dreams to his doorstep.
Excerpt from THE SONG OF HER SIGHS:
Lola Maie woke to Rodney moving fast out of bed. “Get dressed. Someone’s outside.” His voice was low and firm. It was no doubt a command, which she followed immediately trusting him completely.
A multitude of lights moved across the long windows lining his bedroom. People were outside. A lot of them.
Then she heard it.
It was a low thumping, something she felt in her sternum before it registered in her ears. Lola Maie’s eyes went wide as she recognized the rapidly growing sound of a helicopter.
Rodney pulled on a pair of jeans laying over chair. In the moving shadows of flashlights racing back and forth, he looked enormous. His broad shoulders, silhouetted against the shocking white of the helicopters eye, seemed six feet wide. Rushing toward her, he all but lifted her off her feet, tucking the bed sheet around her as he swept her towards a small door. “I want you to get in this closet and lock the door. It’s a panic room. Under the carpet in the left corner is everything you’ll need. You don’t open this door until I tell you and not before.”
Lola Maie just stared at him.
“You hear me? Promise me. Right now, say it!”
“I promise.” She breathed.
Then he shoved her inside and slammed the door. “I want to hear it click Lola Maie!” He yelled through the metal door. The command in his voice brooked no argument and with a shaking hand she reached out and turned the deadbolt. After such a warm night of intimacy, having the cold hard door between them felt deeply wrong.
“Good. Now wait for me, baby. I’ll be back”
Lola Maie’s heart squeezed listening as the thunder of his steps became more and more faint as he ran. Until finally there was silence. It was the worst sound she’d ever heard.
It's all my mother's fault.
She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues to feed my imagination...and boy could I eat!
As you no doubt figured out, this lead to my writing career. After several starts in between having a son, twin sons then a daughter, I didn't get serious until my youngest child entered 1st grade. Now, I'm multi-published with several publisher and self-published in e-Book and print with a ton of voices in my head. I love those voices! They helped me achieve award winning status, and become a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author. Hope they never stop!
1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party? Oh wow, this is very hard. The choices are way too many for me, so I’m going to narrow it down to literary and present day. So, that makes it very easy: Jill Shalvis, HelenKay Dimon, and Kristan Higgins. Those three authors are naturally funny and very generous. I’d love to just sit down with them and learn, and laugh while doing it.2. Who has inspired you in your life and why? Both of my parents. My mom, for encouraging me to read, and for her strength, which she inherited from her mother. I get my middle name from them (Louise), and their perseverance. And my dad, well, he’s the easy going dreamer. I get my vision and creativity from him.3. How would your best friend describe you? I’m the Ethel to her Lucy, or Lucy to her Ethel, depending on the day. Right, Kandi Silvers? Oh my goodness, the stories we could tell you, especially when we’re together for conferences. Let’s just say we put a smile on the faces of those watching the security footage at the hotels.
4. How do you handle criticism? Hopefully, with grace. I try to find something in it that I can learn from and work to improve.
5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry? Clones. Lots of clones. No, seriously, you have to have somewhat of a thick skin to be able to take the above mentioned criticism, because you should always strive to learn and improve. You need great time management skills to be able to do marketing and promo and socialize, oh… and write, writing is important. (Hence my comment about clones.) But most of all, you need readers. You need to engage them on social media, or at conferences, at the food store, dentist…etc., and hope, once they read one of your books, they’ll want to read more.
6. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? They are one in the same, actually. Thinking the best about people. Trusting them. Seeing the good in them. I am an optimist, and yes, it can come back to bite me in the butt, sometimes. But, that’s who I am.
7. What type of writing environment do you prefer? I am easily distracted, so I need to shut myself in a room, turn on a floor fan to block out household noise (there are 9 people and 6 cats living in my house at times, depends on if the college kids are home), and no phones.
8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why? I honestly don’t remember the very first romance I read, other than it was a Harlequin and I loved seeing two people with odds against them finding an HEA. I bought a bunch at a yard sale when I was 12 years old, and I was hooked ever since.
9. Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time? Besides reading, and taking walks with my husband, I love to watch movies. I’m a huge movie freak, all genres, but especially RomComs and action/adventure.
10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters. lol Oh, this is an easy one! The last book I wrote is HER HELL YEAH COWBOY for Sable’s Hell Yeah Kindle World. I very much relate to the heroine, Chloe Davis, because…hello, Lucy/Ethel here, and I gave some of those qualities to poor Chloe. She has horrible luck and crazy things happen to her like her many Lucy moments. The one person in all of Texas she did not want to run into…she runs into…literally. That would most definitely be my luck, so I had to do that to my poor heroine. But, it’s okay. I made sure to give her lots of good moments too, plus, a hot hero I modeled after my own National Guardsman.
HER HELL YEAH COWBOY
Harland County Series/Hell Yeah KW
Crossover Novella/Book 8/Loganhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K5YZJE2
Years ago, he unknowingly rescued his soulmate, now she’s back in Texas and about to save his guarded heart.
Blurb:Unlike his twin, Texas National Guardsman Sgt. Logan McCall would rather march barefoot and blindfolded through a cow pasture than date the same woman twice. After an active duty injury during a flood washed away his promising sports career and engagement years ago, Logan guards his heart more than his life until, fresh from deployment, he runs into a friend of the McCoys…literally. Hill Country’s newest resident is hotter than the wing sauce soaking into his shirt. Mission on.Graphic designer and carrier of misfortune, Chloe Davis is a danger to herself and those around her, so entertaining thoughts for the sexy cowboy wearing her hot sauce should be a no-no…not a hell yeah—especially considering he’s the guardsman linked to a horrible instance in her past. But when he turns out to be one of her clients, she can no more avoid him than the attraction sizzling between them. Chloe’s back in Texas determined to make a fresh start, and she succeeds in business but fails to resist the handsome soldier’s relentless pursuit.But when he discovers her past, will he trust his heart or lose her forever?Cover photo by Cover Me Photography with Orestis PapapetrouFirst Kiss Excerpt:
She tossed her purse inside her truck through her open window but didn’t get in. Her air conditioner was temperamental, and it was too hot to chance it not working. “Ready?” Chloe turned around and bumped into him, grossly miscalculating the distance between them. “I’ve got you.” Two strong hands grabbed her arms to steady her, sending her pulse into orbit.She automatically palmed his chest for balance and was hit with a delicious déjà vu from yesterday. Damn, there was something extremely sexy about a soft T-shirt on a hard body. Awareness spread in all directions, tingling her neglected good parts deliciously lined up hip-to-hip with his, thanks to her heels. It wasn’t until she met his dazed gaze and felt his heart rock under her palm that she realized Logan was just as thrown by the crazy connection. She opened her mouth to apologize for her miscalculation but nothing came out. Then his gaze dropped to her lips and heated. The world kind of fuzzed away like that control she’d regained for a fleeting second while he’d paid the bill. But now he was here, holding her, eating her up with a gaze hotter than the sun beating down on them. “Chloe,” he rasped out, his breath warm, lips so damn close all she had to do was lean forward just a hair and they’d touch.Which would be foolish. Dumb. He was her boss. Her client. The dream guy she didn’t deserve. So, she ordered her body to step back. But her mush-for-brains mixed up and propelled her forward. His grip on her arms tightened as his mouth brushed hers, forging a connection of current that pinged through her body with unexpected force.He groaned and covered her mouth fully, kissing her hot and wet and deep. She knew it. She knew kissing Logan would be mind-altering and amazing. That’s how he tasted. He made her head swim and legs weak so she ran her hands up his chest and down his arms to clutch his biceps, her thumbs brushing over his flexing muscles. That sexy tattoo. The scar.Shit. The scar.The reminder of how she’d ruined his life had the effect of a cold soaking.She broke the kiss and stepped out of his arms. “I’m sorry. You’re a client. I shouldn’t have done that.” Blaming it on work kept him from questioning her odd hot-to-cold behavior.She hoped.Social Media links:Find out more about me here: www.donnamichaelsauthor.com**Sign up for my newsletter for exclusive content, sneak peeks at new books and covers, members-only contests and more. Each month I give away a $50 Amazon GC. http://tinyurl.com/zaxbqe6https://www.facebook.com/DonnaMichaelsAuthorhttps://twitter.com/Donna_Michaelshttp://donnamichaelsauthor.blogspot.com/http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-michaels/8/879/408 http://www.goodreads.com/Donna_Michaelshttp://pinterest.com/donnamichaels/http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Michaels/e/B008J24XR2/Thanks for reading,~Donna
We’ll see how my powers work this week, I’m going to try and be in two places at once – I’ll let you know how it works later. Split personality. Twin souls. Doppleganger. Ha! I know I sound mysterious, but I’m in a mood. Speaking of two – two is always better than one – right? Two for the price of one is always a draw. Two cookies. Two kittens. Two kisses. Two pieces of cheese. Two margaritas – you get the idea.
Well…. I’ve been wanting to write a menage for a while. It’s a fantasy of mine. I’ve set two different scenarios up in two different series, but I have as yet decided how I wanted to write them – until now. In Texas Heat, a series I need to get back to, I have two Hispanic Texas Ranger hunks by the name of Rebel and Jagger Cruz. They helped Aliyah in her battle with the Taliban/Isis/drug cartel types who were trying to kill her and Ty. I implied then that they shared a woman…
OKAY – I’ll be honest, I read these types of books!
I have dozens and dozens of menage books on my kindle. F/M/F – ZERO. M/F/M – probably 200. Two men, one woman – that’s what I want to read and what I want to write. The second threesome I have set up is a HELL YEAH! – Ryder and her two men, Samson and Gideon Duke. And I think I must tell you, even though I’ve read many of them, I really had to make an adjustment in my thinking.
Let me explain. In my books, I’ve focused on women and their men who fall so hard and so deep for one another that nothing could ever tear them apart. How was I going to create that same dynamic between 3 people? I’ve read some that really don’t address the emotions, they concentrate on the physical, but I wanted my readers WHO KNOW THE MCCOYS SO WELL to read this and believe that Ryder McCoy could fall for two men and that these two men would want to commit themselves to one woman.
Now, I won’t give away the whole story, but I decided to make the men come from a family where this was not a far stretch – sharing. So, I started doing some research and I found out having more than one husband was a thing with Polynesian royalty in Hawaii years ago. So…I have Gideon and Samson descended from this culture, their mother is Hawaiian and has two husbands and I also got to play in the islands and have some scenes set on a magnificent ranch there.
But explaining Ryder’s penchant for two was harder – let me show you how I set it up. If you’ve read my books, you know the prologue usually consists of glimpses into the past to show why people are doing what they’re doing in the present – read this:
Ryder - Love Enough for Two
“Please, Papa, I want them both,” Ryder pleaded with her father, looking up at him with big, blue eyes shimmering with tears. She clutched two squirming puppies tight to her chest. “I can’t just leave one by himself, he would be so lonely.”
Christian McCoy dry-scrubbed his face. “Your sister and brothers each chose one apiece. Why do you have to have two?” He let out a long sigh, meeting his beautiful wife’s amused gaze, as she watched on indulgently. “Two horses, two puppies, two dolls. What will be next?”
“Let her have them, dear.” Carolyn sat on a bale of hay, sewing a button on Tennessee’s shirt. “This boy is so rough on his clothes. He seems to rip off a button every day.”
“All right, go.” He held up his hand and pointed toward the house. “Don’t let me see you with both of those dogs up in the bed, Ryder. Make them sleep on the floor.”
“Yes, Papa,” Ryder jumped up and scampered off, her long, brown braid flying in the wind behind her.
“What’s up with our oldest daughter? She’s never satisfied with one of anything. Two cookies, two chicken legs, two candy bars. Ryder seems to think she has to grab onto everything with both hands or she won’t have enough.”
“All of our children are special, Christian. Ryder has a big heart; she has love enough for two.”
Christian went to his beloved wife and pulled her into his arms. “She must have inherited that trait from you. You make each member of our family feel like they’re the most special person in the world.”
Carolyn laid down the shirt she’d been darning. “Do you need to feel special, husband?” She glanced around. “We are alone…in a barn…with hay.”
A gleam came into his eyes. “Hell yeah.” Taking his wife by the hand, they climbed into the hay loft.
Life was good.
What do you think? Do you buy it?
Now, the family angle was tougher and one I’m still working on. You know the McCoys – they are powerful, alpha, Southern – TEXANS. Which translates to CONSERVATIVE in most things. How in the world was I going to make Heath McCoy except that his baby sister is going to have two men in her life? Well, it’s going to take some shenanigans, I tell you. Those two are going to have to prove their worth to the protective men in Ryder’s family, that’s for sure.
As far as the sex goes – well, I’ve employed one of Desiree’s techniques – using small action figure dolls to get them into positions so I can explain where this body part is joined with this one and where this spare one goes - haha – I’m making sure the editors watching for missing male parts. We don’t want to lose any of those sexy things.
ANYWAY – I’m excited to announce that RYDER’S SURRENDER is up for preorder. Here’s the link – and the blurb – and the cover – and an excerpt – ENJOY!
Ryder and Pepper McCoy are the pampered sisters of the Highland McCoys – Heath, Philip, Jaxson and Tennessee. The brothers have always been over-protective of the girls, vetting every man who is brave enough to even ask them on a date. Both sisters are spirited, giving their brothers a run for their money – but one is about to give them a heart attack.
Two men are vying for the hand of Ryder McCoy, Samson Duke and his brother Gideon. But this isn’t a rivalry, the Duke brothers plan on sharing her. They are determined to lasso, corral, and mark the feisty filly with the DD brand. Resisting one of the Duke boys is difficult, keeping both of them at arm’s length may very well prove to be impossible.
But who should she choose? One or both? Could she break one brother’s heart to gain the other? Ryder is torn between keeping the relationship with her family intact and following her own desires.
To complicate matters, there’s more going on than meets the eye. The Dukes and the McCoys may very well have a common enemy. When Ryder becomes the pawn in a madman’s scheme, all of the men who love her will have to work together to save her. Still, entrusting their baby sister to the wild, powerful Dukes is not something the McCoy boys think they can accept.
Will Ryder bend to her family’s and society’s expectations or will she surrender to what her soul and body craves? She soon finds out that true love doesn’t always follow the rules.
Samson and Gideon stood at the window, watching the McCoys head down the drive. “I don’t have to ask you what you’re thinking,” Gideon muttered at Samson’s side. “I can feel it.”
“Yea, she bowled me over. Tonight wasn’t the right time, but I think we should make our move.” Samson leaned his forearm on the window sill, gazing out into the night. “She’s sweet, soft, smart, and sexy as hell.”
“Just the thought of something happening to her and we never got the chance to meet her…to touch her.” Gideon turned abruptly, heading to the tray and pouring himself another glass of the expensive wine.
“Unthinkable,” Samson agreed. “Our only problem will be convincing her to accept us both.”
Gideon laughed. “If you think that will be our only problem, you didn’t meet the same group of cowboys tonight that I did. Those McCoy men would die for their sister. And I have the feeling they’re pretty traditional.”
“I guess we’ll just have to convince them, as well as Ryder.” Samson drained his glass and set it on the tray. “How do you think we should proceed?” Gideon tried to ignore his cock, which had been hard anytime she was near. “Slowly and with as much finesse as possible.” “No, what I mean is should we be honest from the start or should just one of us pursue her first and…?”
Gideon interrupted Samson. “Gradually get her used to the idea of a threesome?” The brothers could always finish one another’s sentences. From the time they were born, their connection was inexplicable to other people.
“Yea, I guess.” Samson mused. Gideon heard his brothers unspoken concern. “We’ve done that in the past and I don’t think it’s a good idea with Ryder. I prefer we were honest from the beginning. This is just too important – she’s too important. If Ryder can’t accept us for who we are, there’s no use putting our hearts on the line by getting involved in a dead-end relationship.”
“I’m not sure she picked up on it, but we didn’t exactly hide it from her tonight.” Samson recalled all that had been said. He also remembered how she felt in his arms, how beautiful her face was, and how her curvy little body was beyond delectable. They would give her more pleasure than she’d ever dreamed. “True.” Gideon laughed. “I wish I could read her thoughts as easily as I can yours.”
“Damn, I’m going to bed.” He clapped his brother on the back and headed up the stairs to his suite. “I’m right behind you,” Gideon called out, knowing he’d be doing the exact same thing his brother would be doing. Fantasizing about Ryder McCoy.
Upstairs, Samson shed his clothes, tossing them in the hamper. Even though they had household help, he was by nature a neat person. He and his brother enjoyed sharing their women, but each had their own private space. Since moving to central Texas, they hadn’t participated in their favorite form of eroticism, but the size of their beds certainly allowed for the possibility. Samson and Gideon were big men and their choice of furniture reflected the amount of room it would take to play with their woman of choice. Custom made beds, oversize chairs and an in-suite hot tub were just a few of the built-in luxuries they’d had installed in their new home. Needing to relax, Samson grabbed a towel and headed for the Jacuzzi tub. As he passed the bed, he imagined Ryder stretched out between them, her beautiful body bare to their hands and lips.
“Ah, yea.” He rubbed his cock. “Making you feel good would be such a pleasure.” Stepping over the side, he lowered himself into the bubbling waters and sighed. The warm water churning against his skin felt incredible. Leaning back against the side, Samson closed his eyes and took his cock in hand, remembering how her breasts had rested on his forearm as she’d nestled against him astride the horse. As he stroked himself, he thought of Ryder’s sweet scent. He couldn’t wait to see her breasts, suck her nipples, find out how sweet her little clit would be on his tongue. “Fuck, baby.” She’d said yes to his phone call, he prayed she’d say yes to seeing them again. Up and down, he pumped his dick. The silkiness of the hot water against his skin a poor substitute for the creamy heat of Ryder’s pussy.
For years they’d searched for the one woman they could call their own, one who would love them both, be receptive to their needs and desires – want them as much as they would cherish her. “Oh, yea, let me love you, baby.” As he worshiped Ryder in his mind, his whole body bowed, shafts of fire licked at his balls. His hips bucked in the water, sending little waves beating against the sides. “Ryder!” he shouted as his cum boiled up, jetting out of his body in white ribbons of ecstasy.
In the opposite wing, Gideon was having a similar fantasy. He stood in the shower, his back against the smooth marble wall, fisting his cock. Tonight they might have met the woman of their dreams. He treasured the memory of how his lips had felt on her skin. Drops of water glistened on his heaving chest as he let go, sending plumes of cum shooting across the tile. “I’ll take you to heaven, baby. Just give me a chance.”
After finishing his shower, Gideon dried himself off with a Roma bath towel from Neiman Marcus, which his housekeeper had informed him cost a hundred and sixty dollars when she’d found it wadded up in the tub. He pulled on a pair of Hermes woven boxers with two fourteen karat gold buttons on the waistband which had been on sale at five hundred dollars a pair. The sheets on his bed were one thousand thread count made by Charlotte Thomas, the price for these bed linens per his decorator’s invoice were a cool twenty-four hundred dollars. No creature comfort had been spared in their home and their five car garage held a Bentley, an Aston Martin, a Lamborghini, a Porsche and a King Ranch pick-up. The Duke brothers wanted for nothing money could buy. Yet – something was missing. The value of material things fades fast if there’s no one to share them with – no one to make smile. That night, as they closed their eyes in sleep, both would have given most anything they owned to have Ryder McCoy lying next to them.
PICK IT UP NOW, YOU’LL RECEIVE THE FULL-LENGTH NOVEL DELIVERED TO YOUR DEVICE ON NOVEMBER 19th - I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO READ THE THANKSGIVING SCENE – IT’S GOING TO PUT A WHOLE NEW SPIN ON TURKEY DAY!
Ryder and Pepper McCoy are the pampered sisters of the Highland McCoys – Heath, Philip, Jaxson and Tennessee. The brothers have always been over-protective of the girls, vetting every man who is brave enough to even ask them on a date. Both sisters are spirited, giving their brothers a run for their money – but one is about to give them a heart attack. Two men are vying for the hand of Ryder McCoy, Samson Duke and his brother Gideon. But this isn’t a rivalry, the Duke brothers plan on sharing her. They are determined to lasso, corral, and mark the feisty filly with the DD brand. Resisting one of the Duke boys is difficult, keeping both of them at arm’s length may very well prove to be impossible. But who should she choose? One or both? Could she break one brother’s heart to gain the other? Ryder is torn between keeping the relationship with her family intact and following her own desires. To complicate matters, there’s more going on than meets the eye. The Dukes and the McCoys may very well have a common enemy. When Ryder becomes the pawn in a madman’s scheme, all of the men who love her will have to work together to save her. Still, entrusting their baby sister to the wild, powerful Dukes is not something the McCoy boys think they can accept. Will Ryder bend to her family’s and society’s expectations or will she surrender to what her soul and body craves? She soon finds out that true love doesn’t always follow the rules.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Randi Alexander knows a modern woman dreams of an alpha cowboy who takes the reins, and guarantees they're rode hard and put up satisfied.
Published with Cleis Press, Wild Rose Press, and self-published, Randi writes smokin' hot romance with heroes who'll have you begging to ride off into the sunset with them. When she's not dreaming of, or writing about, rugged cowboys, Randi is biking trails along remote rivers, snorkeling the Gulf of Mexico, or practicing her drumming in hopes of someday forming a tropical rock-band.
Forever an adventurous spirit with a naughty imagination, Randi is also family oriented and married to the best guy in the world, her own cowboy, Kick. Give in to the allure of erotic passion, strong but vulnerable heroines, and irresistibly seductive cowboys, as Randi's emotional love stories sweep you off your feet and leave you breathless with passion.
1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party? The first person who comes to mind is Jimmy Buffett. I love his music, but even more, I adore the whole island lifestyle he embraces. It takes away the troubles of my real life, and lowers stress levels to the point where I can face the world news every morning. Two more people to add to this soiree? Fabio (because meeting him is on my bucket list) and Kelly Pickler (because my husband Kick loves her, and I want to do something nice for him since he will have to clean the house for this dinner party!)
2. Who has inspired you in your life and why? I started reading romance novels before I was even a teenager, and my favorites were Johanna Lindsey and Kathleen Woodiwiss. They inspired my first attempts at writing historicals. When my mother gave me books written by LaVyrle Spencer, I fell in love with contemporary romance. And when my husband introduced me to Michael Connelly, I knew I wanted to create characters like his, ones you wanted to meet in real life. All these authors have touched my life and had a positive impact on my work.
3. How would your best friend describe you? Honest, caring, wanting to make a difference in the world, and (because I’m a Libra) not good at making decisions. Oh, and addicted to popcorn!
4. How do you handle criticism? I’m always open to constructive criticism. I remind my beta reader to be brutally honest (and she is, so you can thank her for the decent quality of my books.) Non-constructive criticism I just laugh off. One of my favorites – the person who gave my free book download a one-star rating because they finished reading the book before they finished their cup of morning coffee. I’m smiling right now!
5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry? For new authors: 1) Know the rules. Learn grammar, punctuation, point of view, verb tenses, etc. before you write a whole book. Once you’re comfortable with the rules, you can focus on the story without having to worry about the basics. 2) A mentor - whether it’s a well-seasoned writer, a critique group, or an online RWA chapter. You don’t have to do it alone, and your writing will benefit so much from the input of those who have done it all in this business. 3) Many professionals to make your manuscript shine. I strongly suggest to my mentees that they publish their first book through a reputable small press so they learn how the process works. Everything from editing to cover art to marketing, a small press is dedicated to helping you succeed. Where you go after that is your choice, but you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to publish professional-quality stories.
For published authors: 1) Integrity 2) Personality 3) Thick skin. REALLY thick skin.
6. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? One of my strengths is that I’m compassionate. I really do care about people, and I never intentionally try to wound anyone. My greatest weakness is the inability to forgive those who intentionally hurt others. I un-friend them and know that Karma will make their lives ten times as miserable as the lives of those they’ve harmed.
7. What type of writing environment do you prefer? I like quiet, I need a snack and some lemony water nearby, and I have to pull my hair up in a bun and wear a muu muu. Lovely picture, isn’t it?
8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why? It was an historical Johanna Lindsey novel, I don’t remember the name, but I still remember some of the scenes, how the characters remain in my thoughts, and how I had shed tears when I first read it. I knew I wanted to write novels that transported readers completely from the worries and stress of everyday life, creating a vacation for the mind. Stress can do so much damage to the body and the soul. I need to read books that help ease my troubles, if only for an hour, and I hear from many of my readers who need this, too.
9. Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time? I bike, play the drums, bake, and compulsively seek out fun and educational experiences for the family – who sometimes appreciate this, and sometimes do not!
10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters. My latest release is Saddle and a Siren, Book 3 of the Heroes in the Saddle Series, and one of Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World books. I wrote the heroine, Kally, as a competent, intelligent, hands-on rancher who has gotten herself in an untenable predicament and needs the assistance of our hero, Clint, to see her through. I relate to her because she is strong and resourceful, she chooses to obey her heart instead of shying away from love, and she’s got a colorful vocabulary of cuss words which she isn’t afraid to use when necessary.
Buy Link for Saddle and a Siren: http://amzn.to/2aNWKEF
Blurb of Saddle and a Siren:
Responding to a late night 911 call, Paramedic Clint Black finds a T-boned pickup truck and livestock trailer tipping precariously at the edge of the highway. The injured driver is more concerned with her cattle than with her own welfare. She surprises Clint with her desperate need of his help for more than just her medical problems.
Kally Zappa hasn’t exactly been telling her family the truth. By taking on complete responsibility for her Chiangus breeding stock, she has left herself in a risky position. When her paramedic hero Clint turns out to be the answer to all her problems, and her heart races at his every touch, she can’t help wonder whether fate has tossed them together.
Finding in each other the missing part of their existence, Kally and Clint explore the captivating physical connection that keeps them running for the privacy of his bedroom. But when Clint believes she has ulterior motives for being with him, can Kally find the right words to convince Clint he is her forever hero?
Excerpt of Saddle and a Siren:
Kally watched Clint leading Paz around the ring as if the man was born to it. He used the show stick to set the heifer’s legs when they stopped, and rubbed the hook on her underbelly to help her remain calm. He spoke quietly to her, and held her head high. He even combed the fur on her side the way he would after a judge worked his fingers in by the animal’s ribs to test for fat coverage.
“You’re a natural.” She walked over and took the show stick from him. “I’m really impressed.”
“I’m kinda impressed with myself, actually.” He seemed surprised, as if this was not a skill set he could have ever learned. He removed the halters from the cattle and smoothed their fur, petting them like he would have a dog or a cat.
“Why?” They headed out of the corral and she took a rag from her tack box.
Rex had left when they’d started working the livestock, and the guards took turns walking the area around the barn. It felt like Clint and she were never alone, and they had kept their interactions professional, when all she wanted to do was to head back up to the house and finish what they’d started earlier.
He took the rag from her and wiped everything down. “I’ve never been much good around the ranch.”
The words set heavily on her heart. Had his parents – or his father – told him that?
He laughed. “No, it’s not like that.” Clint set everything back in the box and closed the lid. “I was never interested, so I just did my own thing while my dad and the ranch hands did all the work.” He gestured to the back room and the big sink.
They washed up together, sharing soap and talking about their childhoods, which were diametrically opposite.
When they were clean and dry, she stepped right in front of him. “Clint, I’m so grateful you want to do this for me.” She shook her head and set her hands on his chest. “What I mean is…” She swallowed and puffed up her courage. “If I wanted you before we came outside, which I did, now I feel like I wouldn’t be able to breathe if I don’t have you.” Had that sounded stupid?
Clint’s face went tight. “You say that to me here, and all I can think of is getting you alone.” He looked around then grabbed her good hand and hauled her with him through a maze of hallways toward the back of the barn, and stopped at a big wooden door. He punched in a code on a keypad and the door opened.
Inside, a large desk stood in front of a big window looking over a gully. Two heavy leather chairs sat on one side of it, and a leather swivel chair took up the space on the other side. “What is this?”
“The office.” He backed her toward the wall, which was paneled in dark oak.
“Your office?” Her bottom hit the wall, then he leaned in to her, his hands on each side of her head.
“It’s mine now.” His head tilted and his lips covered hers. “And I want to share it with you.”
Oh yes, they were going to do it right here? She writhed against the hard length of his body pressing against her soft curves. He demanded entry with his tongue, and played with hers, tasting and nibbling, their breaths mingling as he found her breast with his hand, softly squeezing, playing with her nipple.
This was what she wanted. She’d been waiting for her hero for so long, she’d almost forgotten. There had been too many boys. This was the answer to her dreams. She reached for his belt buckle, figured it out while kissing him back, while heating at the touch of his hand on her breast. Unbuckling, unzipping, then she cupped the longest, hardest cock she could ever imagine any man possessing.
“Jeez, Kally.” His breath panted from his mouth. “Is this okay? I think I lost my gentlemanly finesse somewhere back there.”
“Yes, this is okay, Clint.” When had anything felt this okay? “I’m probably more comfortable in a barn than I am in a fancy-ass house like yours anyway.”
He paused, leaned back to look at her, and laughed like he’d heard the best joke in the world. “You’ve got the best lines, Kally.” He brushed his lips against hers as his fingers traced her belly to her own belt buckle, unfastening and unzipping. “You’re so real, it’s like I can finally…breathe.” In a second, he slid his hand into her jeans and touched her through her panties. “I never thought this kind of real existed.”
With his fingers rubbing her pussy, her whole core tightened, heating, expectancy built her need to nearly the point of spontaneous orgasm. “I think we should talk less...”
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WOW! I’ve been spinning around in circles. I cleaned house this morning – remember, last week I was worrying about it. I also packed up my swag to send to Wyoming AND I finished the GUIDE TO THE HELL YEAH! World. Let me tell you a little bit about this insider’s collector book. It has everything you need to know about the original hell yeah – all 22 books! Covers, blurbs, list of characters, a playlist, insider notes from the author, even blogs that were written while I was penning the book. There is also a generous excerpt for each book plus a heads up about what characters are getting a book for themselves. There’s also a section about the new HELL YEAH! Kindle World books and – I’m excited about this – a novella that is new and available NOWHERE ELSE. The name of this short book is A McCoy’s Favorite Sport and follows Aron and Libby & Heath and Cato on a trip together – a trip that is a comedy of errors but also includes some hot McCoy sex – of course!
Let me show you the cover.
Now, let me show you something else – this book will soon go up on preorder –
Here’s a taste –
“You’re right.” He gave her a sensual look. “I feel very blessed right now.” They rode deeper into Falconhead land where the trees were thicker – ancient live oaks and massive pecans whose branches hung low enough to be used as benches or places where small children could climb up and lay down for a nap, warmed by the dappled sunshine. “Look.”
Ryder let her gaze follow his pointing hand and what she saw made her gasp with wonder. Ahead lay a small clearing lit by thousands of tiny white lights that had been strung in the trees. A table and chairs sat in the middle adorned with flowers, a white table cloth and candles. “How beautiful,” Ryder breathed. The closer they came, the more she could see, the table was set with china and dishes covered with silver domes awaited them. All of it looked like a fantasy scene that had jumped right off the pages of a magazine…especially the dark, handsome man who stood there waiting for them.
“Yes, Gideon is waiting for us.”
Everything Ryder thought she knew and understood about what was going on between her and Samson flew out the window. Wasn’t this a date? What was his brother doing here?
“I…don’t understand,” Ryder muttered as Gideon stepped forward to meet them, coming to Ryder with a smile on his face. His dark hair tousled in an I don’t give a shit fashion that he wore so well.
“Hello, Ryder. It’s so good to see you. I’m glad you could join us.”
Ryder looked at Gideon, then back at Samson. “Hello.” Her mind and heart were in turmoil. She shivered with excitement, but that excitement was accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. Truth slipped from her lips before she could call it back. “I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”
Instead of seeming disturbed, Gideon gave her a heated look, reaching up to lift her from the mare’s back. “You didn’t tell her I’d be joining you, Samson?”
Ryder allowed his hands on her body. Truth be told, she enjoyed his touch. Confused, she looked from one brother to the other. “What’s going on?” She couldn’t fathom their motives. Was this some kind of joke? Were they having fun at her expense? Despite the holdings and wealth her family had accumulated, she wasn’t sophisticated – she was just Ryder. “Are you two making fun of me?”
Samson dismounted and came to stand near to Ryder. She was surrounded by two men who overwhelmed her senses. Each in their own way – one light, one dark – each possessed enough raw male beauty to take her breath away.
His smile had faded and his expression was completely sincere. “We would never make fun of you. You, Ryder McCoy, have captured our complete attention in no way any other woman has in a long, long time.”
“He’s right,” Gideon whispered. “You’ve taken over our dreams, overwhelmed our senses. I’ve been able to think of nothing else.”
“I don’t understand.” Ryder shivered as she felt Samson run his hand beneath her hair, caressing her neck. He wasn’t the only one touching her, however. His brother ran a finger down her arm from elbow to wrist, causing frisson of excitement to rise along the path. “I thought Samson and I were here on a date. And now…” She closed her eyes and swallowed nervously. “Am I supposed to choose?”
Samson chuckled. “No, sweetheart. This isn’t some kind of weird competition between us.”
“No, Ryder, no competition.” Gideon took the same finger he used to caress her arm and lifted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “We share.”
Ryder heard his voice, but she couldn’t process the meaning of his words. “Share?”
“Surrender to us, Ryder,” Samson whispered, his lips branding the sensitive skin of her neck. “We’ll give you more pleasure than you ever knew possible.”
“Just a chance, Ryder,” Gideon murmured as he kissed her palm. “You’ll be the center of our attention, the focus of our passion. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for you.”
In a haze of confused excitement, Ryder trembled at their touch. “Both of you want me?”
“More than you’ll ever know,” Gideon pressed her small hand between both of his, engulfing it in secure warmth.
Fantasies warred with expectations. Ryder’s heart raced as a wild, raging desire rose within her, trying to override all she believed, all she’d ever held to be true. “I can’t.”
“Oh, yes, you can.” Samson moved in front of her, taking her face in his hands, capturing her mouth with his. Giving her one long kiss after another, only pausing so they could take a breath.
“Don’t kiss me, please.” Her voice didn’t sound convincing as she blindly sought Samson’s mouth again with her own.
“We have to,” Gideon teased in her ear, “look at all the mistletoe.”
“What mistletoe? It isn’t Christmas,” she whimpered, her body on fire, her nipples as hard as river washed pebbles.
“Look up, beautiful, it’s all around us.” Samson pressed his lips to the upper swell of her breast.
In an erotic daze, Ryder lifted her head and saw the hundreds of green clumps hanging from the branches of the oaks like lush decoration. Her action exposed the creamy expanse of her neck and Gideon took advantage, blanketing her from behind. As she gave herself over to Samson Duke’s hunger, his brother’s lips blazed a hot trail across the tender flesh of her shoulder. “You won’t be sorry. We’ll worship your body, fulfil your every fantasy.”
As surely as she could feel their excitement, their hard aroused bodies pressing against her front and back, Ryder could feel her resolve slipping. She wasn’t afraid of these two men, they’d never hurt her, they’d proven that. She was afraid of herself, afraid of what she wanted – of what she couldn’t have.
“No!” Pulling away, she broke apart from them. They didn’t try to stop her, they only stood watching as she backed away, an unspeakable sadness on their faces. “I have to go. I shouldn’t be here. This is wrong. I’m not the type of woman you need.”
“You’re all we need,” Samson beseeched her, holding out his hand. “Let us show you how good it can be.”
“Give us a chance, Ryder.” Gideon stared at her with a hooded intense gaze.
“I wish I…” With a choked sob, Ryder turned and ran from the grove of oak trees, catching the horse’s bridle. Through a haze of tears, she mounted and rode back to the Highlands as if the devil himself were on her heels.
She saw nothing she passed – not Jaxson leading a breed bull by a bridle, not Tennessee driving a huge tractor from the hayfield – Ryder was intent only on reaching the house and the sanctuary of her room.
Entering the barn, she gave an apologetic glance at one of the ranch hands. “Would you make sure this horse is tended and returned to Falconhead, Hanse. I don’t feel well.”
“Of course, Miss Ryder.”
Without looking back, Ryder ran across the yard, barely glancing at the rose garden she and her sister lovingly tended in their mother’s memory. She only hoped Pepper wasn’t home. At the moment what she needed most was to be alone with her thoughts.
Flinging open the door to her suite, she flung herself on the bed and let the tide of despair wash over her.
Ryder felt like her heart was being torn in two. How could they do this to her? She didn’t know what to think. “I can’t choose. Don’t make me choose.”
The tormented whisper echoed in the empty room, and even as she said the words, she didn’t really know what they meant.
Was she talking about choosing between Samson and Gideon?
Her feelings for both men were so far beyond anything she’d ever felt or imagined feeling for a man that denying them was impossible.
Or was she talking about choosing between what she wanted more than air…and her family?
There was no question…a decision like she was tempted beyond measure to make would crumble the very foundation of the McCoy clan. Her brothers would never understand and the impact on her father could be deadly.
“I don’t know what to do.” Ryder sobbed into her pillow, realizing her happiness might come with a price tag higher than she was willing to pay.
And remember – this one is up on preorder now!
This is going to be an emotional, sensual read, this excerpt isn’t sexy – but it touches my heart. EXCERPT Oak Hill Plantation - 1816
“I don’t understand.” Jolie held her bare arm next to Charlotte’s. They lay on the floor of the attic basking in a bright beam of sunlight. “My skin isn’t any darker than yours.”
They compared their little arms. They did look the same, small, still baby round. The only difference they could see was that Charlotte had a smattering of reddish freckles where Jolie had only one or two darker freckles. “Mama called them beauty spots, Grandmere called them moles.” She wrinkled her nose and let her finger trace over her skin. “I’m not sure why, moles are those blind little creatures that live in the dirt.
“Yea, I don’t understand either. You look okay to me. I’m not sure why mother says you’re different but you are, I guess.” She raised up on her elbows. “Do you feel different?”
Jolie rolled to her back. “No, I feel like me. Abraham was darker, his skin looked like the fine obsidian stone that Grandmere used to wear for protection. She said it came from a volcano that stood right behind her home on Martinique. But when we would catch our skin on bramble bushes, the color of our blood was exactly the same.” She rolled over to gaze at Charlotte. “What does that mean? How can we be different if we’re all the same on the inside?”
Charlotte sighed. “I don’t know, Jolie. I don’t understand a lot of things. Like ciphering. I hate numbers. And I don’t want to learn how to speak French.” A sudden smile lit up her face. “Was your grandmother a witch?”
“No!” Jolie made a face. “She had a broom, but she didn’t ride it. She just swept with it and would wallop me on the behind with it when I acted ugly.”
Charlotte giggled. “I wish you could come to Sophia’s birthday party with me.” She captured her cousin’s hand in her own.
“Me too.” Jolie stared at the ceiling. “Grandmother Dora says I’m a shame and a disgrace. I’ve tried to be better. I stand up straight and I don’t talk back. I haven’t played in the dirt all week.”
Charlotte sat up, placing her hands on her knees. “When we grow up, Jolie. We’ll go to parties all the time. We’ll have them right here at Oak Hill.” She spread her arms wide. “Grand parties and we’ll wear beautiful clothes and fine gentleman will come to call on us.”
Jolie giggled. “Do you think we’ll ever get married?”
“Oh, yes.” Charlotte put her hand under her chin and batted her eyes.
“My mama and papa weren’t married. He loved her, though.” Jolie was certain of this. Although, the thought did bother her.
“Charlotte! Charlotte! Come downstairs this instant. It’s time for you to get dressed!”
Charlotte and Jolie stood, dusting off their dresses. They could hear Lisette ascending the narrow staircase. “Jolie, are you up here?”
“I want you to get downstairs and stay in the kitchen. Help Cook get ready for dinner and don’t come into the parlor under any circumstance. Do you hear me?” By the time she finished her speech, Lisette was standing on the top step looking Jolie hard in the eye. “Charlotte, did you finish your lessons?”
“Yes, ma’am. Mr. Cryer said I did a fine job. Why doesn’t Jolie have to take lessons?”
“Jolie doesn’t get to take lessons. Why would we waste the money?”
Jolie bowed her head. She didn’t like to be the topic of conversation. “I don’t mind. I’ve already completed the level that Charlotte is working on.”
This bit of information didn’t seem to make Lisette happy. “You have no need for an education!”
Jolie didn’t argue, she didn’t know if she did or not. All she knew was that she missed her family. Her real family. The relatives she lived with now didn’t make her feel welcome. As she made her way slowly down the stairs, keeping out of Aunt Lisette’s way, Jolie wondered if she’d ever feel like she belonged anywhere again.
The buy link for the preorder is: myBook.to/Godsend
As you can see, I have a lot to do! Have a good week.
Happily-ever-after is something Ciana believes in with her whole heart. Love may be a bumpy road and there's bound to be some perils along the way but in the end love should win. She tries to take that attitude into her writing and thinks that love, hope and laughter are some of the best medicine there is. Along with books. 1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
Robert Downy Jr. , Kevin Costner and Jimmy Fallon
2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My honeyman. His steadfast love and belief in me along with his view of life, has always made me feel the world is place of possibility and potential..
And as odd as it may sound, my mother-in-law. She sees life and people through special lens, always seeing the beauty. She taught me to look for the best in people and to count blessings rather than bemoaning whatever hardships befall me.
3.How would your best friend describe you?
Hmmm, that’s a good question and honestly I had to text her for the answer. “Someone who’s always there to listen, whose love is genuine, who makes me laugh even when I’m crying and someone who knows no boundaries and wears me out with just hearing about her daily routine.”
4.How do you handle criticism?
If it’s honest, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been an artist all my life and there’s not an artist alive who doesn’t suffer criticism. Regardless of whether your critic can do it, there will always be one telling you how you did it wrong.
If it’s criticism that is just offered in the spirit of meanness then it (a) disappoints me and (b) pisses me off that I’m wasting my time on someone who’s only goal is to tear me down. We all know those people are out there. They will have nothing to say about your actual story, but will say you’re trash, can’t write your way out of a paper bag and no one should waste their money on your books. And their reviews will clearly show that (a) they haven’t bought your book, (b) were not given your book so (c) didn’t read your book, but (d) feel the need to tear you down.
Which takes me back to being pissed off that I wasted any time at all on a person like that.
5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry?
1. Be able to tell a good story.
2. Be able to market/ promote your books
3. Genuinely love what you do and the people who read your books.
6.What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Determination. I have my dad in me and his motto in life “I may give out but I won’t give up.
Imagination. Loyalty. Devotion. The capacity for love.
I want to do everything and there’s never enough time.
I tend to spoil the people I love which is bad for my bank account.
Gadgets – electronic gadgets. Gah!
7. What type of writing environment do you prefer?
Just someplace I am comfortable. Sometimes my office, sometimes the patio, or maybe my chill room or the family room or the bar in the kitchen. Doesn’t really matter when I am in the zone.
8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?
First romance…. I don’t know if this qualifies, but Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susanne. I remember finding it in my mama’s beauty salon when I was in the fifth grade. I guess a customer had left it behind as they often did when they finished reading a book.
I always walked to my mom’s shop after school and I remember the cover of that book – all those pills. It really made me curious. What did a bunch of pills have to do with dolls?
Well, I obviously found out as I dove into Neely, Jennifer and Anne’s stories. Wow, this wasn’t anything like life as I knew it in my small town. These people were miserable, and no matter if they succeeded in what they were doing, they couldn’t find a way to be happy.
That book bothered me for a long time and probably was instrumental in helping me decide what I wanted most in life. To be happy.
9.Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time?
Well, let’s see … being with my honeyman, spending time with family, doing artwork, reading, riding one of my bikes (I have a new bike love called a Halfbike), working out, swimming, working in the yard, talking with friends and lying in the pool watching the wind blow the Spanish moss and the clouds float by.
10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.
The last book I wrote is Playing for Keeps, which releases in August 31st. I relate to the character Cade Beckett. He’s enjoyed enormous success in his career and had a host of beautiful lovers and then one day realizes that what he wants more than riches, fame or success is to have a home and be happy. Now, I’m not a millionaire, or a household name, but I am a person who recognizes the real wealth of life and that’s to love and be loved, to have a home and family.
And to be blessed by being able to write.
Connect with Ciana
Yesterday, I looked around at my house and realized I had neglected my housekeeping duties. I’m living in a wee Sable pigsty. Dishes in the sink, unfolded clothes, makeup all over the bathroom, clothes not hung up. As I surveyed the havoc around me, I heard my mama’s voice coming back to me over the years and down through time. “You need to clean this mess up, girl.”
As always, my rebellious nature prevailed. “Why?” I asked myself. “No one’s going to see it but me and the dogs don’t give a rat’s ass.”
And then I heard her speak again – plain as day. “Because I said so.”
And I smiled. That phrase that she used so often for so many reasons was going to be the hook in my next book.
I’m working on several books at a time, and yes, I’m nutty as a fruitcake. I think its hormones, I don’t have hot flashes, I have plot surges. Scenes, hooks, dialogue – it all comes pummeling into my brain like a herd of buffalo. The other day I was working on a book called BIG D, it was going to be a TEXAS HERO book about the fireman, Dallas, and I was going to play on his size, coupled with his name and the reference to the Texas city, Dallas, and how we’ve always called it Big D. And yes, I was certainly going to make references to the length and girth of his manly business!
Well, the story took on a life of its own. Instead of being a lighthearted romp, like what would more appropriately accompany a title like BIG D, my brain went in another direction and the words pouring forth from my stubby little fingers were heart-wrenching. (I do have the shortest fingers and the tiniest hands, my mother used to stare at them in sorrow because it was always her dream that I play the piano. But who could play with a pinkie finger less than two inches long. Well – I CAN! Ha! I showed them! I can stretch my reach to two notes above an octave. I digress) So, I decided to save Dallas and the title of BIG D for another book.
Now the hero’s name is Brodie Walton. He’s a First Responder, an EMT with Logan Gray’s Stonewall VFD unit. He has experienced the greatest loss a man can face, and he’s trying to rebuild his life by memorializing the one he loved through establishing an ambulance service so no one will have to suffer the needless grief he has endured.
Brodie never intends to love again.
And then…he gets a new partner – Shane Wilder. Shane is running from her own demons, and also has no desire to make herself vulnerable to another man. But here they are – together and Shane doesn’t understand why Brodie acts the way he does toward her. He doesn’t let her get close, he pushes her away. They might be partners, he says, but that doesn’t mean they have to be friends. The truth is that Brodie resents Shane because Shane is alive when Brodie’s, Mary, is gone. He also resents Shane because he’s attracted to her and he feels guilty for his weakness.
So begins a tug of war between two hard-headed people.
Shane holds no illusion that she could ever make Brodie love her, but she is determined to do everything she can to bring him back to the land of the living. And Brodie…he fights his attraction to a woman who is fast becoming more important to him than he could ever imagine.
His catch-phrase, BECAUSE I SAID SO, fast becomes a bone of contention between them. He wants his way and she wants an explanation. But over time…the phrase comes to mean more, she even uses it a few times in…certain situations. What was a battle cry, becomes a love song. Honestly, this book has brought me to tears several times and I’m not one to cry.
So, there you are – a fast glimpse into the chaotic, crazy world of Sable Hunter as she plots and writes. I hope you’ll like this book, I’m working through some issues about love and loss as I bring it to life. And you, you have a good week. Why?
BECAUSE I SAID SO! Ha!
Maddie James writes romance - but don't try to pin her down to one genre! From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head.
She is the bestselling author of forty-two romance titles published worldwide in at least seven languages. Available in ebook, trade paperback and audio, her titles span the romance genre from contemporary to paranormal romance. Winner of the Calico Trails Cameo Award, and the Romance Book Scene's Best Novella of the Year award, Maddie has enjoyed numerous Top Pick and 5-star reviews, and has been listed as a Top 100 Contemporary Romance author at Amazon. Affaire de Coeur says, "James shows a special talent for traditional romance," and RT Book Reviews claims, "James deftly combines romance and suspense, so hop on for an exhilarating ride."
Thank you, Sable, for inviting me to your blog today! 1. Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
Olivia de Havilland. I just think she’s one of the coolest of the old-timey actors.
My grandmother. The one I never met. I have questions for her. Besides, I think she would like Olivia.
Glinda the Good Witch. I like her bubble.2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Wow. That’s a toughy. I’ve had a number of mentors. I have family members who support me no matter what. But inspire? I think my inspiration comes from somewhere inside myself. I don’t say that to be egotistical or narcissist – I say it because I think my inspiration comes from some place that I can’t quite define. Okay, better stop now before it gets weird. 3.How would your best friend describe you?
Creative. Funny. Hard worker. 4.How do you handle criticism?
In life? Sometimes well. Sometimes not. Generally, it depends on who the criticism is coming from, and the kind of relationship I have with that person. If I trust you, I’ll take all the criticism in the world and turn it around to a positive. If I don’t, well…
Now, if we are talking about writing, that’s different. It all depends on how the criticism of the writing is handled. 5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry?
A thick skin. Because… Yeah. You know.
Patience. Even overnight successes take years to come to fruition.
Sticktuitiveness. Because you can’t give up.6.What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I’m a workaholic. I’m a workaholic.
I’m a mentor and I’ll help others out all day long. Yet, I sometimes forget to do for myself.
Oh, and puppies. I’m weak there.7. What type of writing environment do you prefer?
I’ve learned to adapt. I’ve written in airports, hotel rooms, in my car, at work, and penned scenes on my cell phone. But I prefer to be in my “happy chair” in my sunroom, with my feet up and my laptop on my lap. Total quiet. No music, no TV, no people talking around me. I like the sound of silence. That way, the people in my head get their say.8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?
Gone With the Wind. And I’ve been trying to change the ending ever since. Drat Rhett Butler.9.Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time?
Gee. Spare time. Hm. I work full time, write at night and weekends. If I do get some downtime, I love to cook. My guy and I also like old movies and to binge watch American Pickers on the History Channel.10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.
Seducing Sarah is the last story written. This is my story for the Hell Yeah! Kindle World. But the last book written that is available is Trust Me. Here’s the blurb and details.
What if you were the last blue-eyed woman?(Futuristic/Paranormal/Romance)
The year is 2095. The Americas Revolution has ended. And Cyan Sebastian—the last blue-eyed, Caucasian woman known to exist in the Western hemisphere—is on the run. Her safe and sequestered life ripped apart, she is running with a man who has sworn to protect her. A man who once hunted her for the bounty she would fetch. The man whom days before, killed her father.
Devin McCrae is that man. Having tracked Cyan and her family for years, Devin never dreams her father will one day drop her in his lap, with a proposition he cannot refuse. He never imagines that instead of hunting Cyan for the bounty on her head, he will become her protector to the end, and safeguard her from all the others.
Most of all, he never expects he will fall for her. If ever there was a woman who is hands off—Cyan Sebastian is that woman. Turns out though, keeping her hands off him, is the bigger problem. And it’s a deadly one, at that. IBOOKS
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And an excerpt:
McCrae crossed the room. “This doesn’t change anything.”
Cyan threw her arms into the air. “It changes everything! My face is plastered all over the country. The world, probably. I can’t make a move without someone noticing me. And everyone will be looking. Watching! A goddamned bounty on my head?”
McCrae shook his. “Cyan, you and I both know there has been a bounty on your head since the day you were born. Nothing different. But you are in danger. We both are. A new, different kind of danger. Have been. More now that it’s hit the media. This is a game changer. We have to be cautious.” And I need to make contact with Chaco—if he is still alive…..
She turned away, hurling her body toward the wall. “Fuck! I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore! I want my life back. I want my dad and my fully barricaded home. I don’t want to see anyone. I want to read and paint and play music. I want to feel things. Good things! I want my life back, dammit!”
She was close to tears, he could tell. Close to spilling over. Losing it. Tired, he imagined, of the humming awareness of danger spilling over into every facet of her life.
“Or I don’t want it at all!”
“Yes. I’d just as soon die—”
He reached for her. “You don’t mean that.”
She bolted backward. Eyed him. Glared. “Don’t touch me.”
He exhaled. “Look. I’m sorry, but that life is gone, Blue.” He paused, searching her eyes. The contacts were in. Damn, he missed the turquoise. “But you want life. I assure you, things will get better.” And who am I to reassure her of this?
Those brown eyes narrowed. “Get better? What the fuck, McCrae? My life is shit. I haven’t even lived a life. It’s true what that newscaster said. I’m still a goddamned virgin. I’ve been sequestered away without any choice all of my life. I have no home. No friends. My mother has been gone for years. My father is dead, thanks to you. And now I have to rely on you to protect me? My father’s murderer? What the fuck do I have to look forward to? Tell me. Seriously. Because I don’t know.”
Devin watched her fists clench, unclench. “It won’t always be like this, Cyan.”
She laughed. “The hell it won’t. It’s been like this since the day I was born. You have no clue.”
“Actually, I do know. And believe me, things could be worse.”
Her laughter pitched higher, slightly hysterical. “Seriously, McCrae? My father died this week, and guess who killed him.”
Devin’s gaze shifted to the brown-stained rug. “He told me to kill him.”
“He told me to kill him, Blue,” he said louder, and then lifted his gaze back to hers. “He feared he could no longer protect you. The life you, he, and your mother had lived for so long had taken its toll. He didn’t want to go on, couldn’t bear to see you suffer the same fate as your mother. He asked me, under certain circumstances, to kill him. And I did as he asked.”
He growled and batted at the light switch. The room sank into darkness. He hadn’t wanted to go there. Fuck.
A glimmer from the fluorescent light in the bathroom flickered through the crack in the door. Cyan decided to leave the door ajar. She needed the light on. Didn’t want to be left in the dark any longer.
Yes, dammit, she needed a night-light.
Chase away the boogieman.
Thing was, the boogieman was probably going to sleep beside her in a few minutes. She wasn’t eager to face McCrae after that last revelation.
Her father had wanted to die. Told McCrae to kill him. Knowing that gripped her heart and wouldn’t let go. He couldn’t take the pressure, yet she was expected to go on, in the hands of her father’s killer?
“He was a good man. Been through a lot.” She stood in the dark, watching the flicker.
“Who am I to judge? I’m not like that.”
“I don’t know what you are like. I barely know you.”
“Your father knew me better than most people, I suspect.”
She glanced over her shoulder. “He knew many things. It was his job.”
“He was protecting you. He did it for you.”
“Yes, that too.” Sudden exhaustion was setting in, her knees weak.
His voice came from behind her. “I’m sure your entire family has been through a lot.”
She huffed out a breath. Shook her head. “I watched them take my mother. I saw more than she knew. It wasn’t pretty.”
McCrae cleared his throat. “I’m sorry.”
“It was terrible.” Cyan turned toward him. “Can’t you see why I would be better off dead? It’s only going to happen to me too, one day. Either I’ll be raped or…worse. Dying might be a piece of cake.”
He touched her shoulder. She jerked away.
“Some days I think that too, Blue. About me, I mean. I expect my death will happen on its own terms though. I have no desire to rush it.” She heard a grunt and then the groan of the double bed as he fell into it. But she stood fast. Standing, staring at the damn crack of light in the door. Her back to him. Not knowing what to do, which way to turn.
His voice came to her on a feather-soft whisper. “Blue. Lay down. Go to sleep.”
Involuntarily, her head lurched toward him at his words. “I….”
Resigned and tired, she slowly lowered herself to the edge of the bed. Not too close to him. Then after a few minutes, still staring at that small beam of light coming through the door—her safety net—she sank onto her side, her head cradled in a dank, smelly feather pillow.
It felt better than anything she had experienced in a long time.
Within seconds, she slept.
Maddie James writes romance – but don’t try to pin her down to one genre. From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head. Find out more at www.maddiejames.com.