Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Tour for The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Before we learn more about this older woman/younger man story, I want to thank Goddess Fish Promotions for letting me be a part of this tour.  I also want to thank Jana Richards for being here to talk about older woman heroines and providing a giveaway with two different prizes.  So make sure to read the entire post to find out how to enter.  And now I bring you Jana Richards......

When She’s Older

One of the central problems in my novel “The Girl Most Likely” is that Cara is eight years older than Finn. The age difference bothers her to such an extent that she at first refuses any kind of relationship with him. She’s afraid of looking ridiculous for pursuing a younger man, and afraid that one day he’ll wake up and realize he was no longer attracted to her.

At one time it made sense for a man to be older than the woman he married. An older man was likely to be more established and better able to look after a wife and children. He wanted a younger wife who could bear his children. As well, women tend to mature faster than men, so an older man and a younger woman were likely more ready to settle down than a man her own age or younger.

These days, however, reasons for the man in the relationship to be older don’t hold up. A woman can be just as capable of financially caring for a family as a man is. Medical advances mean that women can have children later in life if they choose. And in many cases, couples are choosing not to have children, even if they are able to.

But old, updated ideas still persist, even though the social reasons for them existing in the first place are no longer valid. There is still a resistance to older woman, younger man couplings. Dr. Kathryn Elliott, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, says that we are plagued by the ‘shoulds’. “We think we should only weigh 120. We should marry people within two years of our age. We pathologize anything that isn't within those shoulds."

Though relationships between older women and younger men are becoming increasingly more common, even outside of Hollywood (eg: Ashton and Demi), there are still issues that such a couple must face to make their relationship work.  First, let me explode a few myths, courtesy of Susan Winter,  co-author, with Felicia Brings, of "Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance". She and her co-author interviewed more than 200 couples. Although this is not a scientific study, three myths kept popping up:

Myth #1: ”He’ll leave you for a younger woman.”. Winter says they didn’t find one man who did this, at least not for a specific younger woman. In some cases the man wanted children and the relationship fell apart as a result.

Myth#2: “The older woman is always the seducer – a Mrs. Robinson.”  In all the cases that Winter studied, the man was the initiator.

Myth #3: “It will never last.” The average length of the relationships that Winter studied was 13 years.
Psychologists and dating experts believe that though age may be factor in determining whether a relationship will work, there are other factors that may be of greater importance.

1.  Are your personalities similar? Are your energy levels similar? Dr. Elliott says that for an older woman/younger man relationship to work, “voltages” must be matched. She defines voltage as the person’s intensity for life. "What you don't want is one partner wanting to go out, the other stay in; one willing to talk, the other wanting space (and silence to enjoy it)." Is he the right maturity for you? Age doesn’t necessarily dictate maturity. Spend time with your younger guy and find out how he handles stress, money, work, etc. These things will help you determine his level of maturity.

2.  Do you expect the same things from a relationship? If you want some fun and a no-strings relationship after your divorce, and he wants family and commitment, you could be headed for trouble. Denise Washington says it’s important to match expectations: “Don’t be afraid to voice what you want. By being on the same page in the beginning, it will prevent frustration and heartbreak later if he doesn’t want the same thing.”

3.  What are your deal breakers? Figure out early on what you cannot live with. Is it immaturity, him living with his parents, not getting along with your kids or your friends, spending too much time with his friends and not enough with you? Is he looking a mommy or a midnight booty call? Asking questions at the beginning of the relationship will help you decide if he’s a man or a boy.

My couple in “The Girl Most Likely” eventually figure out that for them, age doesn’t matter. They learn that the things they have in common far outweigh their differences. Love, it seems, is ageless.

The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?


“I think you’re beautiful. You know that, don’t you?”

No, she really didn’t know that, but she nodded anyway. What happened when he woke up one morning and realized that she had a few more lines on her face? Would he still think she was beautiful or would he tire of her, just as Peter had?

“Are you sorry about last night?”

Her head rose sharply. He looked away, not meeting her gaze. However mixed up she felt this morning, she couldn’t let Finn feel that he’d somehow failed her. Setting her mug on the night table on her side of the bed, she caressed his unshaven cheek.

“Of course I’m not sorry. I loved our night together. Don’t mind me, Finn. I’m in a mood this morning.”
He tugged at her sheet once more. “Then let go of the sheet and let me hold you before I have to go.”

Cara held her sheet tighter. It was one thing to get undressed in the dark and another to let him see her body in the cruel light of day. “No, please. I’d rather not.”

Would he look at her in the cold morning light and see all her imperfections, her scars, her forty-three years of living? Would he look at her and want to trade her in for a newer model?


Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy.  She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side.  She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.



This giveaway is for one gc for $20 to Wild Rose Press & one gc for $20 to Amazon going to one randomly drawn commenter.

-This giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE.
-Just make a comment on this post, along with your email addy, to be entered.
-The more comments you make throughout the tour at each stop listed here, the greater your chances of winning.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 12/9.

Review for The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?


This was a pleasant read and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.  Although a bit predictable in some spots, I found the storyline to feel true with very likable characters that were easy to relate to.

Cara McLeod got dumped by her husband for for getting older and gaining a few pounds.  She's at an all-time low with two teenage daughters unhappy with their new life and a body that she'd like to improve before their high school reunion to show her ex what he's missing.  After being exposed on local television during an exercise trainer segment, her reasons for change increase even more.  This part of the story brought out a lot of sympathy in me and I found this moment especially relatable.  Being judged by others for your looks is frustrating but she kept her dignity and pride intact.  She was a wonderful heroine who I desperately wanted to get her HEA.  I was frustrated by her last minute fears over her age gap with Finn, but luckily this wasn't drawn out for too long.

Finn is a very sexy character with baggage of his own in regards to how he once looked and it brought an unexpected, yet wonderful aspect to his character.  He was charming and loved Cara for what was inside her.  He looked beyond their age difference and wanted everything about her, even becoming an automatic father.  Seeing him interact with her daughters more than their real father ever did made me like him even more and showed a mature side that Cara's ex is incapable of.  Finn was willing to fight for their relationship every step of the way and I was rooting for him every step of the way.
The romance between Finn and Cara moved at a pleasant and realistic pace.  They didn't just jump into bed, but when they got there the connection between them was intense.  The sexual interactions were few but what was there was very satisfying.

This was an enjoyable read from start to finish.  Every character and situation felt realistic and all-together made for a very satisfying read.  This was my first time reading a Jana Richards story but it definitely won't be the last.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Tour for Turkish Delights by Liz Crowe (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Before Liz joins us to talk about her favorite exotic locales, I want to thank Goddess Fish Promotions for letting me be a part of this tour.  Thanks too goes to Liz herself for taking time out of her busy schedule to be here and for the awesome giveaway that three people have the chance of winning.  So be sure to read this entire blog post to find out how to enter.  I now bring to you Liz Crowe answering the question I asked her......How does an exotic location add to the feel of a story and what is your favorite exotic locale and why?

Since my entire series is based in Turkey, you'd think that answer would be obvious.

But don't think too quickly.

I was lucky enough to live overseas for many years, and am a little embarrassed to admit that I've seen more of Europe than I have of my own country.  I spent Christmases in one of the most picturesque counties (Germany).

Toured WW2 battle sights, the Ultimate Over the Top royal residence and strolled Paris streets with a baguette under one arms just so I could say I did it (France).

Had my entire family's passports stolen, then restored while staying in a rental villa up a hill from a beautiful beach (Spain).

Rode Elephants (Thailand).

Shared beers with the Yeoman Warders in their private pub inside the Tower and visited one of the most mysterious an beautiful cities on the Isles while in Bath (England).

Sang in a mixed age choir in one of the oldest churches in Lucerne, then got shit faced drunk on ice cold schnapps with same in a city function hall (Switzerland).

Rented a farmhouse with another family outside Edinburgh and joined the Scotch Drinkers Club (Scotland).

Blew Waterford crystal, drank a legit Guinness and walked the streets of a charming city that reminded me very much of my southern US home (Ireland). 

Stayed at one of the most beautiful hotels in the world--a Ryokan, traditional Japanese "B&B"--and got dressed up and photographed like a Geisha (Japan).

Of all of these experiences, I've decided that France is hands down the most romantic place I have ever visited.  Granted I have not been to Rome, or Budapest, Naples or (hides face) New York City.  I know these each could vie for the honor.

But for me, top to bottom, France wins.  Nowhere else can you walk into the equivalent of a CVS and buy wine better than anything at a top local restaurant around here anyway--for about $10 a bottle, snag a loaf of fresh bread, some amazing cheese and sit in the back lawn of the most famous museum on the planet and just...picnic.  In Normandy we spent hours walking up and down the landing beaches, that were subtly marked with notifications of the June landings then toured the somber graveyard at the top of the hill. Driving into Paris after a few nights at a family style resort just outside Normandy we stopped at Versailles.  I am a HUGE fan of the Marie Antoinette era of French history so you can imagine how I was the entire 2 days we spent there.

Then Paris. And we drove. In our English car.  Within an hour of hitting our ultra charming, downtown, Euro-style hotel (read: small), a half drunk street cleaner shaved off our rear view mirror, but stopped, came inside and offered to buy us a glass of wine.  And he was flipping cute too.  And our GPS took us back to the coast out of the city around the Arc du Triomphe.  The biggest, meanest, scariest roundabout in Europe.  Well, if you don't count the one outside Heathrow airport.

No it was not all perfect.  No vacation is.  But we liked it so much we came back twice more to Paris.  The City where I shall someday be reincarnated.  Mark my words.

Since I have been to so many places I love to read fictional stories set in far-flung locales.  For my taste, it adds to the emotion of the story to have locals mixing it up with visitors be they tourists or ex-pats like I was. Writers who set their stories overseas typically do so from a base of experience and can add their own personal spin on what it was like, how they felt about the natives and their overall views on the country.  

I have used it once so far for my current series, Turkish Delights.  My 2 years in Istanbul were amazing and inspiring on many levels.

But am head writing something right now that will be set in Germany in the early 1800's at the height of the popularity of brewing.  Picture one of the hottest, but somewhat difficult tall blond brewers you can imagine. Proud, bossy, demanding, utterly alpha.  And a woman who owns a brewery in the U.S. who visits German in 2015 on a tour of the Spaten-Franziskaner brewery, peeks into one of the old lagering caves under the brewery building and is transported back in time, landing smack in front of Eldric, the brewer, while he is trying to work.  She thinks its a weird gimmick for the tour.  He doesn't know what to think.  They have One Very Hot night. When she wakes up and he's still "in character" things get REALLY interesting.......

Wow Liz, you've seen some beautiful sights!  These visuals definitely enhance a storyline and I look forward to reading more of your stories.

Excerpt for Turkish Delights:

The hands moved up her calves as the silk sheet covering her nudity shifted, like a whisper against her skin. The masseuse concentrated on one leg at a time, traveling up her calf, reaching her thigh then back down, again and again. With each stroke, she was aware of fingers very near her bare pussy.

She raised her head, shocked but embarrassed by the way her nipples had hardened. It had been a solid year since she’d had sex with anything other than the toy Caleb had given her for her birthday the year before. After Marcus broke off their engagement, she’d jumped into an affair with some guy in finance, had a few close encounters with a man she met at a bar, but lost interest as her job responsibilities ramped up, or so she told herself. Convinced she was unable to sustain anything resembling a normal human relationship, she dove into work, pouring everything she had into it, including her libido.

“Relax,” a soft male voice advised. “It’s okay.” She put her face back against the rest, giving in, taking his advice. His voice comforted her, and her battered psyche needed soothing. Something struck her as odd, though. She thought this was to be a couple’s massage. The fancy cloth covered screen to her right indicated there was another table, and another massage, on the other side. She had assumed the massage would be without barriers.  But she’d paid Madame Eve to come up with her ideal date.  Maybe this was all part of a plan.  Besides her masseur was deliciously distracting.  She closed her eyes and let the man’s hands reach up her legs again, and this time when he brushed his fingers against her pussy she didn’t flinch, but nearly purred, thoughts of some tall, dark, handsome stranger on the other side of the fabric divide gone.

The silky cover slid to the floor, leaving Elle fully exposed but something about it was suddenly, completely right. The hands reached her ass, caressed, worked her hips one at a time, before skipping up to her lower back. Just when she got used to that, the hands returned to her ass. She tilted her hips slightly.   Her swollen clit needed contact. She moaned softly when one hand thrust against the small of her back while the other gripped the inside of one thigh, pressing into both spots, fingertips grazing the edges of her pussy. When he touched her outer lips, his hand still held tight against her thigh, she gasped.  Dear God I am gonna…the orgasm surprised her in both its presence and intensity.  Her body spasmed.  Fluid gushed and coated her legs and his hands.  Elle moaned, in ecstasy and embarrassment.

Excerpt for Blue Cruise:

Adem climbed up from the hull of the boat. It was hard not to take over the kitchen. But the the current chef and captain kept pushing him out, gently reminding him that he was the client now, that this was a 1Night Stand event, and he needed to go meet his date. He laughed and took the steps two at a time. Determined to enjoy it, not to feel guilty about buying himself the good time he deserved, Adem looked up and saw the American Adonis that haunted his dreams. Ray Bans covered his eyes, and he appeared utterly dejected by the sight of the boat.

Weak kneed was a new sensation to him, but Adem gripped the ropes along the stairwell from the galley and tried not to gape. He cleared his throat and stepped out onto the hot asphalt, the four steps he needed to reach his dream date the longest he’d ever taken. Sweat trickled between his shoulder blades, but he squared his shoulders and smiled. The sad, beautiful smile that greeted him in return rolled over his heart like a wave.

“Hello, um, English okay?” The tall man held out a large hand. Adem noticed the distinct lack of the ring he’d watched him accept from the Turkish man on this very boat. Was it two or three years ago?

“Yes, it’s fine,” Adem croaked. “I can speak English, Turkish or French, if you prefer.”

“Oh, I’ll stick to English, thanks.”

The man’s soft blue dress shirt fit his torso like a glove. His jeans were worn, nice and tight, cupping his ass perfectly. Adem gulped. The memory of that cock he’d watched and dreamed about, encased in the denim within his reach, nearly overpowered him.

“Good, good,” Adem ran a hand through his long hair. Damn, I should have gotten it cut. This man probably preferred his dates a bit less…shaggy. “So, we can board if you like.” He gestured toward the boat, unsure what else to say.

The blond god spoke. “I’m Caleb, by the way. Caleb Blessing.”

Adem blushed. “Oh, sorry. Let’s start over.” He turned and stuck out his hand again. “I’m Adem. Adem Broussard.”

He watched as Caleb clenched his jaw.

“I know. I remember you.”

“Oh, well, then….” Adem didn’t understand the emotions flitting over the tall man’s face. When Caleb pulled his sunglasses off and rubbed his eyes, Adem would swear his fingers came away wet. He resisted the extreme urge to pull him into an embrace. Putting his hands in his pockets instead, he stood, letting the silence swirl around them.

“Well, let’s go, shall we?” the gorgeous, obviously unhappy man snapped, as he stomped toward the boat.

Adem’s gut clenched. This was not turning out like he’d hoped. Not at all.

Blurb for Tulip Princess:
Lale Deniz, young, drifting and prone to wildness that her Turkish family doesn't understand is seeking something to help her reestablish control over her life. Her beloved brother Tarkan has exited her life. His twin, Emre lives far away in America with his growing family. When Elle, Emre's American wife has a scary brush with death giving birth, Lale is dispatched to California to help with their five-year old daughter. But a recovering Elle has plans for Lale that involve a magical 1NightStand.

Andreas Michos, Greek former NFL star, now athletic director at UNLV also floats through life, unsuccessfully seeking satisfaction. His former wife and sexual sub left him when he took away the limelight of football stardom. He doubts his own abilities anymore and has given up finding an outlet for his natural Dom.

Set against a backdrop of ancient cultural clashes and Mediterranean family dynamics, Lale and Andreas do meet in Las Vegas at the famous Castillos resort for a date. But it seems destined to fail. Unless they are both willing to relinquish control and discover what can be found inside the soul of another.

Author Bio:

Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.  When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga.  Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly.  If you want a beer education follow her:  For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to:


Three Turkish themed prize packages awarded to randomly drawn commenters throughout the tour which may include, but aren't limited to:
-a holiday stocking made from authentic Turkish kilim rug
-a mug with the Turkish "evil eye", meant to ward off said evil
-a pewter dish, that is traditionally used to hold "lokum" or the actual Turkish delight confection/candy
-a box of traditional lokum
-a small Turkish kilim rug (reversible--authentic)

-Giveaway is OPEN TO US ONLY.
-Please leave a comment, including your email addy, to be entered.
-The more blogs you leave a comment on from this list, the greater your chances of winning.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on 12/9.

Teaser Tuesdays #44

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

TRUE SURRENDER by Tracy Cramer-Kelly

....from page 558 of 2036.

-Instead of flipping on the TV, he lay still and let his mind drift to his PT session.  Was it his two bum legs-like the young soldier Tam had mentioned-that had led Holly to that maneuver?  However she'd come upon the idea, it had certainly worked.  He yawned.  It had been a long time since he'd had a woman pressed against him.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness.....

Another week has arrived and we're another day closer to Christmas and my one year blogiversary.  Monday is the day of the week where we talk fashion and see what the celebrities are wearing.  So pull up a chair and let's see what the stars wore last week with........

The Good....

Kate Winslet is rockin' in this red and black cocktail dress.  It's simple yet stylish with just the right amount of accessories to compliment and not overpower the overall look.  The dress fits her perfectly with a color design that compliments her figure.  Kate once again wins raves for this look!

Leona Lewis sparkles more than the vampires from Twilight in this eye-catching crystallized gown.  The look is simple yet sexy with a fit that suits her to a tee.  With so many sparkles extra accessories aren't necessary and would've been overkill, so I'm glad she's going without.  The hair and makeup are casual and allow the dress to be the focal point.  Thumbs up to this former X Factor winner where in this case X marks the spot of perfectly dressed.

The Bad....

Debra Messing lives up to her name in this ensemble that's a bit of a mess.  The dress itself isn't the worst, but the fur shawl is a crime against nature and every furry animal on the planet.  It's overpowering and looks like something from the cavewoman collection of 200 BC.  It should definitely be sent back to The Land That Time Forgot never to be seen again.  The granny boots and tights add to the negativity and I miss the days when Debra was a fashion icon instead of a fashion flub.

Chloe Moretz looks all sorts of confused in this wildly patterned dress with its bizarre peekaboo cutouts.  Add in the wacky strapped shoes and she ends up with an outfit designed by a home-ec class.  For someone so young, she definitely doesn't look hip.  She's trying too hard to be cutting edge and ends up with a dress that should've stayed on the cutting room floor.  Better luck next time Chloe!

The Ugly....

Blake Lively has taken the Flapper look to an all new high....or low in this case with its overdone sparkle and fringe.  The look ends up being costumey and better suited to the Ice Capades instead of the Red Carpet.  The severe looking hair and overly large hoop earrings add to this dress' problems and I think she should retire this until next Halloween where it's better suited.

Courtney Love ends up making the list again this week in this horribly ill-fitting gown that looks to be made of a silk bed sheet wrapped around her and pinned together haphazardly.  She's practically spilling out of the top with its nonexistent and hideously askew bodice.  The bottom of the dress is unhemmed and billowy and completes the ballgown from Hell look.  The disheveled hair, drowsy eyes, and lack of makeup further enhance the rumpled bed look and Courtney should clearly retire this to the bedroom under the bed or back of the closet never to see the light of day again.

That's it for this week in celebrity fashion.  What do you think?  Sound off below in the comments letting me know your fashion raves and fashion flubs.  Come back for a week with me hosting two guest authors and giveaways and next Monday when we talk fashion again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review for Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi

Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.

The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who rose above the horrors of slavery to build a new life in Ohio. According to family lore, Justice left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War. Heavy with child, she carried untold riches on her journey north. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.

If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that an investigative reporter who has arrived in town will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie begins to discover a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she could imagine.


I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this book for review, but what I got was a very emotional story with a well developed romantic relationship between two characters trying to find redemption.  Throw in a small town full of colorful characters and an intriguing mystery surrounding lost treasure and you have a very satisfying page turner.

Birdie is a very likable heroine who's had a difficult past.  With parents who were thieves and brought her up in that life, Birdie would finally like to stop stealing and make something of herself even though the path to going straight is a difficult one for her.  Enter the townsfolk of Liberty, Ohio who make her feel like family which she's always longed for.  Through them, she's finally given a real reason to put her past in the past.

Hugh is a good match for her with his own baggage.  He's desperate for a good story to restore his career and Birdie could be just the ticket.  But he's been betrayed by love before.  So as he and Birdie become closer he's forced into choosing between career and love and like any good hero you can assume which he picks.  Their relationship is one slow burn which I liked.  I really bought into them as a couple because of the time taken for them to get to know each other.  They brought out the best in each other and gave a reason to be better people.

The citizens of Liberty are a wonderful group of secondary characters.  Each one is unique and reminiscent of your own family members.  They gave Birdie a home and it was heartwarming seeing them care so much about her.  The mystery, with its entertaining backstory, added an extra dimension to the overall story and kept me guessing all along and waiting breathlessly for the next clue. 

This was a satisfying story from beginning to end with characters that really stood out.  With just the right hint of romance and mystery this is one book I greatly recommend and a world I look forward to visiting again with a much hoped for sequel.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Review for Infatuation: A Little Harmless Military Romance by Melissa Schroeder

To prove her love and save her man, she has to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Infatuation: A Little Military Harmless Romance

Francis McKade is a man in lust. He’s had a crush on his best friend’s little sister for years but he has never acted on it. Besides that fact that she’s Malachi’s sister, he’s a Seal and he learned his lesson with his ex-fiancé. Women do not like being left alone for long months at a time. Still, at a wedding in Hawaii anything can happen—and does. Unfortunately, after the best night of his life, he and Mal are called away to one of their most dangerous missions.

Shannon is blown over by Kade. She’s always had a crush on him and after their night together, it starts to feel a little like love. But, after the mission, Kade never calls or writes and she starts to wonder if it was all a dream. Until one night, her brother Mal drags him into her bar and grill and Shannon gets the shock of her life.

Kade isn’t the man Shannon knew in Hawaii, or even the last few years. Twelve hours of torture changes a man, especially one who had never felt so vulnerable. He still can’t shake the terror that keeps him up at night. Worse, he is realizing that the career he loves just might be over.

Shannon is still mad, but she can’t help but hurt for the man she loves. He is darker, a bit more dangerous, but beneath that, he is the Kade she's known for so many years. When he pushes her to her limits in the bedroom, Shannon refuses to back down. One way or another, this military man is going to learn there is no walking away from love—not while she still has breath in her body.

Warning: This book contains two infatuated lovers, some drunken dancing, a hard-headed military man, a determined woman, some old friends, and a little taste of New Orleans. As always, ice water is suggested while reading. It might be the first military Harmless book, but the only thing that has changed is how hot our hero looks in his uniform—not to mention out of it.


Ms. Schroeder has done it again!  She's created a story that perfectly balances steamy sexual interludes with the harsh affects of war on our loved ones.  The hero and heroine of this story have to work hard to reach their HEA, especially the hero who has to learn to open up about his feelings.  Their journey is a hard one but well worth the emotional pain they experience along the way.

Francis "Kade" McKade has loved Malachi's little sister, Shannon, for years.  After a wedding in Hawaii he finally makes his move and they share a night of passion that both of them realize is anything but casual.  The next morning he's called away on a mission that goes horribly awry and returns to Shannon a changed man.  Kade no longer feels happiness, he's a man haunted by injury and death with a leftover physical impairment as a constant reminder.  He's realized that life is fleeting and can end at any moment and it's caused him to close himself off from feelings for fear of loss.  I was sad to see him so closed off from the world with nightmares haunting him nightly.  The author realistically shows Kade's depression and the subtle emotional issues of his two friends who return with him.  Ms. Schroeder shows that war really is hell in the eyes of our returning heroes.

Shannon, with her outgoing manners and speech, is just what Kade needs.  She too has loved him forever and has no intention of letting him go once they finally connect.  She forces him to confront his demons and makes the ultimate sacrifice of her love to help him heal completely.  His final romantic act is one that makes your heart ache and would make Richard Gere jealous.

The sexual interludes between Shannon and Kade are hot and perfectly spaced throughout the story.  There's a light touch of BDSM to these scenes that adds a nice bit of heat and excitement to their times together.  They were a great match for each other and complimented one another beautifully.

Also enjoyable in this story were two secondary characters, Shannon's brother Malachi and their older military buddy Deke.  Both of these men have their own demons that the reader just catches a glimpse of.  Deke's pining for a lost love while Malachi has commitment issues.  These men are strong, sexy, and full of charm and I look forward to them getting their own stories.    

This story had me enthralled from beginning to end.  With sexy yet angst-ridden men and a strong and likable heroine, I was drawn into this world that Ms. Schroeder created.  I hated to reach the end but look forward to the future and will be counting down the days until Deke's story is released.

My rating for this is an A.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Promo Day - The Vampire, The Witch and The Werewolf: Chains of Silver by Louisa Bacio

Louisa Bacio has a sexy new paranormal book out that is the second in a series of books featuring our favorite creatures of the night.  Courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours, I get to bring you a taste of what you don't want to miss.  So read the blurb and plan on putting this on your Santa list.

The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: Chains of Silver
Book 2
By Louisa Bacio
Genre: Paranormal erotica

Adopted at birth, Silver Ashe discovers her blood-brother Trevor Pack is a werewolf, with a vampire and witch for lovers. All her teachings about the evils of the paranormal Others come into question. She runs to a family friend, Nick, for help.

Nick Stake takes his hobby as a vampire hunter personally. He strives to rid the world of evil bloodsuckers. When his best friend’s “kid” sister comes to him for advice, Nick discovers Silver’s more than grown up. He battles his growing desire for Silver and blindly holds true to his convictions.

Once Silver reaches her sexual maturity, she’ll inherit her full genetic heritage and turn into a werewolf. When death comes calling, Silver and Nick must face their darkest fears in order to break free from the chains that bind.

The First Book In The Series.......

The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: A New Orleans Threesome
Book 1
By Louisa Bacio
Genre: Paranormal erotica

Haunted by paranormal abilities that she can’t control, and plagued by nightmares about a demon that seeks her soul, Lily Anima travels to New Orleans in search of salvation.

In the French Quarter, Lily dives into the paranormal world and enlists the help of an unlikely couple: a vampire, Lawrence Justice, and a werewolf, Trevor Pack.

As the trio encounters ghosts, voodoo and unspeakable evil, will Trevor and Lawrence be able to help Lily turn her powers into a gift rather than a curse? And when Lily discovers that she needs to lose her virginity in order to embrace her powers and get the demon off her back, will the twosome be able to survive as a threesome?

Author Bio:

Louisa Bacio enjoys soaking up the sun in Southern California, and spending time with her family.

Bacio’s work includes the Sex University series, with her debut novel Physical Education and the follow-up All-Girls Academy. Her story “Two’s Company” can be found in I Kissed a Girl: A Virgin Lesbian Anthology. Other short stories can be found in the Seducing the Myth anthology, and Rekindled: An Anthology of Reunited Lovers.

In addition to writing and editing, Bacio teaches college courses in English, journalism, film studies and popular culture.

Drop in for a visit:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Follow Friday......

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostesses Parajunkee & Alisoncanread.  We also gain new followers by joining each other's sites via GFC, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....

Q: It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for – blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?

A: I'm thankful for those followers/readers who leave comments.  It gives me motivation to keep posting since at least one person out there is enjoying what I write.  I've kinda been on my own from the start and muddled through things, which is why I still don't have my own blog button or decorative header (the technical process intimidates me).  I do enjoy reading PJV's Blogging 101 though and have had some enjoyable banter with Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos.  In two weeks it will be my blog's one-year birthday.  I'm proud of that achievement and hope to get myself out there more.  As to books, I'm grateful for Cole's IAD series, Ward's BDB series, and any book that feature a disabled character.  As a quadriplegic, I'm always hoping that me and others with disabilities will get better represented in romance novels.  After all, we want our HEA too.

Book Tour for Chasing Clovers by Kat Flannery (Excerpt & GIVEAWAY)

Before we learn a bit more about Kat Flannery's new release Chasing Clovers, I want to thank CBLS Promotions for letting me bring this tour to you and Kat for letting me host a giveaway.  So read through this entire post to learn how to enter.  Let's now learn more about this sweet historical romance......



Mail order bride, Livy Green, is desperate to escape the memories of her past. John Taylor will never love another woman again, but his children need a mother. Will they learn to trust each other, or will their pasts interfere?

Longing to escape the awful memories and the saloon she once sang in, Livy Green lies about her past so she can be a wife to John Taylor and mother to his two young children. Overwhelmed by the task, she struggles to put her resentment aside and love them as her own.

John loved his first wife and is still heartbroken over the loss, but he needs a mother for his children. When his distant and unfriendly mail order bride arrives, he begins to doubt his decision, though one glance into Livy's terrified green eyes tells him he can’t turn his back on her.

As Livy's past catches up with her and suspicious accidents begin to happen on the ranch, she is tempted to come clean and tell John the truth. But will he send her back if she does? Or will they forever be CHASING CLOVERS?


Calgary, 1884

The stagecoach pitched to a stop, jostling Livy Green from fitful nightmares of a past she longed to bury and the stranger she was about to marry. Her neck stiff and her back aching, she massaged her shoulders. She straightened and tried to stretch her arms, but the tiny space wouldn't allow it.

A loud sigh blew from her lips when she realized how rumpled her clothes were. Frowning, she ran her hands along her skirt. Nothing but a hot iron would get the wrinkles out. With only two other dresses in her wardrobe, and no time to change anyway, she had no choice but to meet her fiancé looking as she did.

Her stomach dropped. What if I'm not what he's expecting?

She peered out the window and wasn't surprised to see a few North West Mounted Police mingling with the other townspeople. Their bright red uniforms stood out like apples on a tree. She reached for her satchel and held it tightly before she stepped out the small door. You can do this. She squeezed the handle on her luggage.

You have to.

Fort Calgary was a bustling town with two hotels on either side of the street, a small dress shop with ladies hats and fabric displayed in the window, and a red-bricked bank on the northwest corner. She watched people walking along the wooden planks and filtering in and out of the shops.

A loud squeal sounded behind her.

Livy jumped. She was almost trampled by a young boy running from his mother. Her heart lurched at the sight of the child. The familiar ache inside her soul willed her to look away. But she continued to watch mother and child until they disappeared inside the mercantile.

She took a deep breath, forced all thoughts of the past out of her mind and scanned the streets again. Her face flushed when she thought of what she was about to do.

Bag in hand, she spotted the blacksmith across the street next to the barbershop. Her stomach twisted at the sight of the saloon two buildings down. The all too familiar swinging doors waved back and forth, taunting her.

Two drunken cowboys left the saloon, weaving their way down the boardwalk.

Livy clenched the satchel and tensed.

She turned away, closed her eyes, and took another deep breath. Here she would be the wife to John Taylor―a man she'd never met―and stepmother to his two children.

She took another breath. She would start over. Again.

She surveyed the busy boardwalk in search of a tall man with dark hair. Almost every man she saw fit the description he had given her, so she decided to move over to the bench in front of the mercantile and wait for Mr. Taylor to find her. Hands folded together on her lap. She tapped her toe restlessly. Where could he be?

A rough looking cowboy sauntered toward her. His brown greasy hair, and ripped denims were paired with an evil smile.

Livy tucked her chin into her chest. Oh, please don't let that be him. She'd seen his type before and knew what they were capable of. The man lingered beside her for a few moments before continuing on down the boardwalk.

She sighed with relief. How am I going to do this?

No longer Angel Green, she was now Olivia Green. The past was far behind her, except on those long dark nights that would not allow her to escape it.

She chewed on her bottom lip and stared at the busy street.

Her new life would begin here. She would survive.

She blew out a shaky breath. It was all she knew how to do.

"Olivia?" a male voice asked.

A tall man stood beside her, his hat pulled low so she couldn't see his eyes. He hesitated, then extended his hand. "Olivia?" He had a polite, resonating voice.

She shaded her eyes with a hand. "Livy will do fine." She was uncomfortably aware of his presence as he towered over her.

He smiled and took off his hat. Wavy black hair curled above the collar of his coat and his skin was tanned from the sun. He looked nothing like the dirty cowboy. Thank goodness. Instead, he wore a clean flannel shirt tucked into faded denim pants.

"John Taylor. Good to finally meet you. My buckboard is over there." He pointed the way, then peered around. "Where are your trunks?"

"I only have this one."

Her cheeks reddened as she lifted her tattered brown satchel. She held it slightly behind, not wanting him to see the holes and stains on it.

Nodding, he offered his arm. She ignored it. Friendly eyes stared back at her. After what had happened to her in Great Falls, she hated being touched by men.

"Do not be insulted, Mr. Taylor," she said, staring at his boots, "but I'd rather you show me the way instead."

She headed in the direction he'd pointed out earlier. When she heard a low chuckle from behind, she pursed her lips and walked faster. I need no one, least of all a man.

In truth, she needed John Taylor more than she could admit.

As soon as she reached the buckboard, she tossed the satchel up onto the seat, gathered her skirts and climbed up. She had sat down when she noticed he was still standing on the walk.

"Uh, Miss Green?" He tipped his hat back, crossed well muscled arms and smiled at her. "That's not my buckboard."

Her face flooded with heat.

If this wasn't his wagon, why hadn't he said something earlier, instead of watching her make a fool of herself?
Her eyes misted. How had she gotten here, in this place, with a man she didn't even know? She swallowed. How could she have thought he was the answer to her problems?

Amazon -
Smashwords -


Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or in school, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book. Kat has had her writing published in numerous periodicals. Her first novel, Chasing Clovers, was released by Imajin Books this Fall. She is now hard at work on her next book. When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three young boys and doting husband.

Website -
Blog -
Facebook -
Twitter -!/@katflannery1


3 Winners will each win a digital copy of Chasing Clovers by Kat Flannery

-To learn more about the giveaway go to CBLS Promotions here.
-Entry form is located here.
-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE.
-Giveaway ends at Midnight (US-EST) on 12/4.

*To learn even more about Kat's new release, visit Curse of the Bibliophile tomorrow (11/25).

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

To all my readers who celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a wonderful and happy day with your family and friends!  Enjoy all the yummy food too!

For me, I'm just spending the holiday on my own, but will have the parade and Charlie Brown to keep me company.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Tour for The Foxworth Coven by Kayden McLeod (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Before I introduce you to this sexy new magical series, I want to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour and Kayden McLeod for taking the time to visit my site today.  Not only that, but Kayden is letting me give away one of her books so make sure to read this blog post completely to find out how to enter.  And now, without further ado, is author Kayden McLeod.....

A Visit With Arcadia Foxworth

Dear Reader,

My name is Arcadia Foxworth, adopted son of Gregory and Canya Foxworth, Leaders of British Columbia’s biggest vampire Coven. We are also one of the most revered Covens in Canada.

When I was asked to write a short post about myself, or a topic of my choosing, I really didn’t have an idea what to tell you about. My Father chose to tell you about our history, my Mother and my wife, Korbin, spoke of families. What did that leave me?

Since I am a man of the strict code of honour and principle, perhaps I should tell you about my job that entails much of both. The humans who know about vampires and are permitted to live long enough to tell the tale, always ask me about my job as a Council Hunter, and how that differs from a Coven Hunter. I would assume many others would those same questions.

While a Coven Hunter is expected to do the bidding of the Council by hunting Rogues, their training and funding are left up to their Leaders, and because of this, they lack in so many areas. But A Council Hunter? Our government gives us access to unlimited financial and educational avenues in perusal of being the best.

When we start out with the Council, we are sent to Europe, where the International Council Headquarters and libraries are. We study all manner of magic, both light and dark, legal and illegal, anything a Rogue might throw at us. We are constantly tested in theory, before we are sent to practice under= the leading experts the world has to offer for magical and hand-to-hand combat. After that, the training can and does get gruelling on our minds, bodies and even souls, but it’s no worse than what an experienced Rogue will do to you while on the hunt.

Some civilian vampires have an inclination of what it takes to be a Council Hunter. Because of that, most fear us, just as much, if not more as we’re revered. It can be a lonely existence for some, but I am one of the lucky ones, who has a family and Coven who understands me. Even better, I have a twin sister, Ceanna, who is right along with me in every hunt, my partner in all things. Together, we have a solid track record, and our names are never spoken above a whisper by any Rogue.

Thank you for coming out to read a little bit about me and what I do for a living.  You can read even more about Natural Urges, Book Two of the Foxworth Coven. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Foxworth Coven E-Book!

Arcadia Foxworth

Death of Innocence
Book One of the Foxworth Coven Series
By Kayden McLeod

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance (Vampires, Deities, M/F)

Hate Rating: Three

Warning: Some violence, off-scene rape

Publisher: Solstice Publishing (Solstice at Night)

Price: $4.99


Even unconditional love cannot always banish an eternal nightmare

The Foxworth family has blazed a trail through human and vampire history alike, changing the ways of both races in Canada for all time. The Council has demanded a full report for the long and twisted tale of how the Surrey Coven had come to be the most powerful and feared; an assemblage that anyone would question before coming up against.

The Leader of the Surrey Coven, Canya recalls how her family came to be. A story filled with pain and heartache, until she meets Gregory Foxworth: a debonair CEO to the family shipping company. Gregory remembers taking her away from a life that shocks him, hoping to shelter and love her. But little does he know all he has done, was make her a target for a sadistically warped man. One who will have her and his own personal brand of vengeance. Sometimes, a grudge is forever.

Excerpt (Rated PG, with sexual references):

The sunlight shone over the light sprinkling of white snow. Her hair caught the surreal light, throwing blue highlights through the strands that now stretched past her waist.

She’d always enjoyed the outdoors. It was one of the many things about her that had dragged my attention, and held it so securely.

“I want you to realize just how important nature is to us. We draw our power from everything around us. We need blood to live, just as the land needs to be fertilized. But this is our world Canya—not the city. Look around you.” I held my arms out to encompass everything from the trees, to the ground, to the sky.

I wiggled my fingers and the snowflakes on the ground rose into the air, dancing at my bidding. They swirled into a small tornado, moving over the flagstones to where she stood.

Her laughter flowed over the picturesque landscape when she plunged her hands into the snow, coming up with a lump that she packed hard with her hands. A wicked light entered her eyes as she strolled forward.

I’d been caught up in the swing of her hips, so sensually seductive. And then she threw her white orb at me with deadly accuracy. It pelted me on the forehead while I’d stared at her body like the haven it was meant to be.

Dancing away from me she giggled. I gave chase when she caught up her skirts and took off into the middle of the yard.

“I am going to get you for that,” I called to her, knowing I could catch her at any time, but giving her the illusion of safety.

“I’m counting on it.”

Dark thoughts were forgotten as I flicked both hands and the snow fell from the evergreen branches above her head. White flakes rained down around her, creating a solid sheet in every direction. I watched her turn left and right looking for me, amusement bright on her face.

“This isn’t fair, Greg! How can I compete with this?” Canya called into the snow.

She moved forward and never left the enclosure while it moved with her. I stayed just far enough away, always behind her that she never found me.

“You shouldn’t throw those orbs at me then,” I whispered in her ear, moving with inhuman speed when she whirled, but I wasn’t there.

Canya chuckled as she plopped down into the snow. I watched her curiously as she began to pack more snow.

“Snow-balls Greg, they are called snow-balls. Get into this century.”

I couldn’t contain my laughter at her snide comment. Her head snapped up in the direction where I’d been. A snow “ball” came flying, exactly where my head had been.

“I am in this century, here with you.” I moved behind her, quiet as a mouse. She’d made a rather large pile of projectiles, completely oblivious.

“Actually you are not here with me. It would seem, for all intents and purposes that you’re hiding from your fiancé. I think you are scared of getting pelted again.” Her teeth flashed in the sunlight, the wall of snow creating a safe cocoon for her.

I grabbed her around the middle and she shrieked in my ear, tossing her over my shoulder with snow still grasped in her hands.

“Scared of a little witch like you?” I laughed as she tossed the snow over my head backward. I playfully slapped her enticingly vulnerable bum, while being slung so helplessly. “This is a very interesting predicament you have put me in.”

“Whatever predicament do you refer to?” Her mind became blank, carefully not thinking of anything.

Her tiny hand slid down my back, sending shivers through me the cold could never compete with. My own moved down her body and over her backside, so lightly she shuddered.

My breath caught in my throat. It was the first time we had touched in such a manner. Now I feared if I didn’t stop, I would drop her to the ground and indulge in every fantasy that had kept me up at night. It wasn’t that I hadn’t had sex before, but it had been a very long time.

Once Canya had moved in, I’d not taken a single lover: vampire or otherwise. More often than not, blood and sex intermingled so tightly that one often led to the other, no matter which came first. Sex was commonplace for us—as easy as breathing and we partook in it just as often.

My body grew hot and tight enough, I thought it would drive me insane. I wanted to run my tongue over every inch of her luscious skin. To lose myself in her mouth, move down her body with delicate slowness, until her cries pushed me over the edge.

“You are a cruel woman.” I set her on her feet. The look in her eyes made me growl with frustration.

My body protested, needing to touch her again in any way she saw fit. Canya looked like a mythical siren or a nymph, purely tempting. I had no problem with succumbing to this particular temptation, except perhaps her feelings on the matter. It was too soon. I knew this, though that did not make it any easier to bear.

“Revenge is always sweet. Since you’re mine now, I think it is acceptable.” She pranced past me. I flicked a hand in the direction of the whirling snow, and it fell harmlessly to the ground.

Natural Urges
Book Two of the Foxworth Coven Series
By Kayden McLeod

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance (Vampires, Shifters, Deities)

Hate Rating: Three

Warning: Some violence off-scene rape


Love conquers all...and evil seeks to destroy it.

Arcadia Foxworth has no idea what destiny has in store for him. He thought his life as an elite Council Hunter of Rogues was his perfect career choice. But little does he know his fate truly lies in one little powder keg, Korbin Callows. She’s beautiful, graceful—and a stripper. After having woken up, remembering nothing about her old life, Korbin had to pull herself together and make tough decisions to survive a harsh world. And now people she doesn’t even know are out to kill her. She finds herself relying on Arcadia to maneuver the new dangers presented to her, as she starts to recall who she really is. A powerful being that could make every vampire in British Columbia fall to their knees, including Arcadia.

Excerpt: PG 13

I stopped the truck and pulled to the side of the road on a partially built subdivision. The wooden skeletons of the houses rose like sentinels against the cobalt tinted onyx horizon studded with fiery crystal chips glowing an unearthly white edged in cerulean.

“What’s here?” Korbin asked when she reached for the doorknob.
It felt good to see she still trusted me. Even after what had just happened to her. It went leagues toward healing my self-annoyance.

“We will walk the rest of the way, if you don’t mind. You may want to change into your running shoes though.”

“Okay.” She got out, and went to the back, where her bags were and pulled out a pair of well-worn white and blue sneakers. She exchanged her footwear, and turned. Her face was excited to see what I had in store for her as I took her hand, leading her between the houses to the field behind them.

“Oh, Cad, look up at that sky. It’s so gorgeous!”

I followed her gaze to the full moon that set the landscape with enough light to see the outline of the tall spruce and pines that lined the opposite side of the field in front of us. The light also reflected off of the tranquil pond to our left, just behind a ring of trunks. The gentle breeze brought the scent of freshness and wildflowers to us in caresses.

I wrapped my arm around Korbin’s shoulders as we walked, missing this area, where Jana had taken Ceanna and I as children.

I didn’t often relax outside of my territory—but I wanted to take Korbin somewhere special. I remembered when Canya and Gregory had moved us to Surrey, from New Westminster when the other Covens had come to British Columbia, narrowing out territory from an entire province, to the Fraser Valley.

“I love it here,” Korbin said.

We crossed under the canopy of pine needles above, to stand on the edge of the small body of water. The moment we did, the green and white Christmas lights strung from tree to tree blinked on, illuminating the area. One by one, hunter green tapered candles burst with tiny flames, their bottoms buried in the sandy dirt along the shore. My sisters’ special addition.

The breeze picked up enough that a cottonwood tree nearby released tiny white particles into the air, to float around us like soft snow. Olive coloured cattails swayed back and forth, in a dance only nature could produce.

White rose petals alongside purple and magenta wildflowers scattered over the grass around a plush dark russet blanket, the colour of rich soil filled with minerals.

I took Korbin’s hand and led her to the blanket so we could sit down. “Thank you, Arcadia. I can’t believe you did all of this.”

“Actually, it was Ceanna and Josealynn,” I replied.

Korbin grinned. “Figures. It has a woman’s touch.”

“They are very good at what they do.”

Korbin sighed. “It must be so nice to have a family who cares for and loves you so much.”
The sad tone made me wince. “They are your family now too, you know. All of us have every intention of keeping you safe and happy.”

“I know,” Korbin said. “Tell me about them, your sisters and parents. I want to know more about them. They have been so good to me, and I can’t even tell you how much that means.”

“My parents have led a hard life, keeping our Coven together in the direst of circumstances. They aren’t my real parents, though. The people who bore me died some time ago in a war with an old Coven member, Antonio, who sought to destroy our people. He killed more than half of our ruling family. He was a truly evil man.”

“What happened to this Antonio?”

“Eventually he had been caught by the Council, and given the most severe punishment any vampire could receive—humanification. Afterward, he was taken to Europe for questioning. We’ve heard nothing else about him, but he left his legacy behind. My real Father and Gregory’s brother, Corbin had been mated to my Mother, Jana. Antonio wanted Jana enough to kidnap her and take her to Greece. While they lived there, they bore two sons, Ambrosios and Doros, my brothers.”

“That must’ve been hard for you. Were they taken to Europe too?”

I shook my head. “They were placed into a Coven who could take care of them, though they took off on their own not too many years after, to travel the world. My brothers visit from time to time, though they won’t stay long. Neither feel comfortable here; they don’t feel like part of the family because of the sins of their parent. But Ambrosios does come more often. He seems rather taken with my sister, Josealynn, who I suppose is my cousin, though Corbin.”

“It is strange that your Father has the same name as me,” Korbin replied.

“I thought much the same thing a few times. It could be coincidence or this destiny we share.”

“Does it bother you?”

“It did at first, but not anymore. If anything, it reminds me of the good times I had with my Father when I was a little boy.”

Korbin frowned. She took a moment before speaking. “I remember being told once, when vampires died, they became ghosts with a choice of leaving this world for the next life, or they stayed here in this realm. Did you get a chance to say goodbye?”

I looked over the water, feeling my chest grow tight. “They never moved on. Corbin and Jana are still here, but Ceanna and I don’t see them much. Corbin once told me that Ceanna and I were grown up, and we didn’t need our parents anymore. We had to stand on our own two feet, and allow them to live their lives.” I said the words slow, quietly as the anguish of missing them set in.

“That is crap!” Korbin burst. “How could they be so selfish?”

I winced. Frequently, throughout my life, people had commented on the same thing. But as usual, I couldn’t sully my memories of my Father enough to call him selfish. Not after all he had lost.

“We have Gregory, Canya and Josealynn. Ceanna and I have no need of people who don’t want anything to do with us.” And that was a frank as I’d ever been.

Korbin threw her arms around me in a tight hug. “I am so sorry, Arcadia, but I can never agree with that. No matter how old you are, or how many replace those who bore you, people still need their mom and dad. If they can’t see how much this still hurts you, they are blind and willingly ignorant. You are a good man, one who fights for what he believes in, and loyal to a fault. They should be proud of you and be at your side, not off gallivanting on their own whims.”

The emotion in her voice made my throat burn. My arms wrapped around her, and we just stayed like that for countless moments. Even with the sensitive topics of discussion, just touching this woman gave me a sense of peace I hadn’t possessed since I turned seven years old. A century was a long time to feel as I had.

Korbin centered me, and even more profoundly, she calmed my Curse. She allowed the darkness to flee long enough, so I could catch glimpses of the light; for that alone, I would be eternally grateful.

“I think it would be so easy to fall in love with you,” I whispered.

About the Author:

Kayden McLeod lives in beautiful British Columbia, and is the author of the M/F Paranormal Romance and erotica series, The Coven Series, which consists of three Covens; The Foxworths, The Cornwalls and The Jerichos. She also dabbles in a multitude of other genres that are in the works, like BDSM, Ménage, M/M and Horror. As well, Kayden is a freelance Graphic and Cover artist, a Cover Artist for XOXO Publishing, and an owner of Otherworlds Publicity and Siren Book Reviews.

Connect with Kayden online:




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The winner will receive an ebook copy of the first book in The Foxworth Coven series, Death of Innocence.
-This giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE.
-Just leave a comment, along with your email addy, to be entered.
-Winner will be chosen using and will have 48 hours to respond to my winner's confirmation email before a new winner is chosen.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on 12/2.