Friday, April 14, 2017

Sexy to the Rescue ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS185

Welcome to the 185th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: Sexy to the Rescue

Don’t forget to check out Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets.

This week’s theme is Sexy to the Rescue. Think fireman, policeman, doctor or anyone that would come to the rescue of someone else. These are those sexy people who put their lives on the line every day to save someone else. They do it without thought of themselves getting hurt and it makes them sexy as hell.

From my freshly released rom-com, "The Wedding Date"

BLURB Nerissa (Neri) Runic, in her late thirties is deemed unmarriageable by her family. So she fabricated a story about dating Mark Warren, a sexy doctor and the gym owner she's been ogling for months. She thinks none of her lies will come back to haunt her. When her mother RSVP s to the cousin's wedding invitation on her behalf including a Plus One, Neri has no choice but to attend...or come clean and face her family's scrutiny. 
Frustrated with everyone trying to fix him up on a blind date, Mark Warren lied about dating an elusive redheaded member of his gym who caught his eye months ago. Only, he fully intends to turn this lie into truth. Once he musters enough courage to approach her, that is. 
With hardly a month before his cousin's wedding, he hopes his mother would reply to the invitation, declining his attendance. But getting out of this obligation is out of question. She expects him to reply with ‘happy to attend with a guest’. 
When they find out they are forced to attend the same wedding, Mark and Neri must practice their 'relationship' in an effort to fool their families into thinking they are a real couple. 
But the thin line between pretending and the real deal is easily crossed.


She did couple of reps, with him standing at the back of the chair and spotting her at each rep.
“You got it. Now, try counting.”
“One,” she said, lifting weights over her head. “Two.” She counted on her way down.
“Still one, but nice try. Only count in one direction, either up or down, but not both.”
She continued, counting to nine.
“Ten.” He counted for her, grabbed the dumbbells from her hands and setting them on the floor. “You’re so quiet. It’s okay to drop the weights, grunt and groan, huff and moan. Let us hear you’re working out.”
She flashed a tight lipped smile. He listed all the sounds she made during sex. “I don’t want to give people wrong idea of what I’m doing.”
He chuckled and tapped her shoulder. “Shake it off and stretch. Do two more sets of ten reps while I quickly call my mom, and remember.”
Her gaze followed his pointing arm at the sign on a wall stating, if you find it easy, add five. She turned to him. “Add five pounds or reps?”
His brows moved closer with his narrowing eyes, as if surprised she would ask him that. “Both,” he said, his voice confirming his expression. “I’ll be back in a few.”
She nodded, watching his reflection in the mirror, until he rounded the corner. Turning her attention to the task he appointed her with, she completed her first set of shoulder presses and put the weights down to stretch.
A shadow cast over her. She tilted her head upward and met Ashley’s pursed lips and narrowed gaze.
Ashley plucked a bud from her ear. “You couldn’t stay away from him, could you?”
“I’m a client just like you and if he wants to train me, you must be crazy to think I’d pass on the offer.”
“Oh, you poor thing.” Ashley’s tone turned into a mocking concern. “You think he’s interested in you? No, hon, he’s playing you. I already told you he’s engaged.”
“You wanna vouch for that?”
Ashley flipped her perfect raven hair. “I see, you probed him for truth.”
Neri tucked loose strands of her unruly and sweaty hair under the elastic band. “Besides, if he’s playing me, what’s it to you? I’ll find out if that’s true sooner or later.”
“I got rid of all of his other girlfriends.” Ashley pointed her French manicured index finger. “I’ll get rid of you too.”
“Including his fiancĂ©? Just leave me alone. I’m here to work out.” Neri bent to pick up her weights.
Ashley popped the buds back into her ears. The music seeping from her headphones indicating she had the volume cranked up to the max. She stepped away from Neri and grabbed a pair of twenty pounds dumbbells. She smiled and perched her tush in front of Neri. “Hey, would you mind stepping aside? You’re blocking my view.”
Neri moved the chair to the left, but Ashley stepped in front of her again.
Ashley only pumped her arm higher and with more vigor. The bimbo couldn’t hear over the blasting music.
Neri leaned forward as she tried to poke Ashley’s back and gain her attention. Her fingers came short of touching Ashley, so she scooted a bit closer, mindful of Ashley’s arm thrusting the dumbbell backward.
Before she could reach out, Ashley’s weight collided with Neri’s nose. Pain ripped through her skull and a distinct sound of bones crushing sent terror through her. She reeled backward, holding her face that felt like it was about to explode.
A body builder next to them, dropped his heavy weights like hot cakes and the gym’s floor shook. He jumped off the bench and pushed Ashley away as she was about to repeat her move. “Get Mark!” he hollered.
“Hey,” Ashley shrieked, dropping the dumbbells. “What the hell?”
“You did this deliberately.” He pointed his arm at Neri.
“Did what?” Ashley finally removed both earpieces and turned the music off.
“Don’t play dumb. I saw the whole thing. Mark’s gonna be pissed.” The bodybuilder held Neri’s head tilted back, but the metallic taste of blood dripped into her mouth.
“It was an accident. She moved toward me in the middle of my set. If she doesn’t know the gym’s etiquette, then let her get hurt.”
“It wasn’t an accident, Ashley. Looked very deliberate to me.” The bodybuilder’s voice took a deep, warning tone.
Mark ran up to Neri’s side. A bag of crushed ice in his hand. “How did this happen?”
“Ashly jammed a dumbbell into the girl’s face.” The bodybuilder stepped away as Mark took over.
Mark growled at Ashley. “I’ll deal with you later.”
The warmth of his hand wrapped around back of Neri’s counteracted the coldness of the ice he held gently over her nose.
“What?” Ashley gasped, pressing her hand to her heaving chest. “You can’t kick me out. I didn’t do anything wrong. Your pet project here doesn’t know not to disrupt someone in the mid-set.”
The anger burned in his eyes as he glared at Ashley, making Neri shiver.
Ashley finally moved from her spot and rushed passed him. “I hate you.”
The bodybuilder’s head seemed to be stuck in permanent slow shake at Ashley’s retreat.
Mark seethed not glancing behind him.
Neri never saw him mad, let alone this mad.
He brushed his lips over Neri’s forehead. “I’ll get you fixed in no time.”
His whisper sent a whole different shiver up her spine. “I’m fine. Really, no need for all this fuss.”
“Neri, your nose is most likely broken. I’ll get you to see a surgeon. Just let me make a phone call. Can you walk? Hold this, don’t press on it.” He let go of the ice bag when she took the hold on it and he wrapped one arm around her waist to hoist her up.
She didn’t protest, only leaned on his arm. The small key to her locker, hanging from the elastic wrapped around her wrist came to her focus. “My stuff is in locker twenty seven. Can you get it?”
“I’ll send a staff member.” He tightened his hold around her. “Don’t worry about a thing. Just know you’re in good hands.”
Her legs turned to jelly with his closeness. Good thing only a few members hang out at the gym as he led her straight to his Jeep. 

Hope you liked this little excerpt and you'll get the rest of the book. It's only $0.99 during the Easter weekend or free on Kindle Unlimited. 

Stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Read the first chapter of my new book here

I've taken a leap of faith and embarked into self-publishing waters with my first self-published romantic comedy titled "The Wedding Date".

I hope you'll find it funny and compelling. For a limited time you can pre-order the book for only $0.99 FREE on Kindle Unlimited.


Nerrisa (Neri) Runic, in her late thirties is deemed unmarriageable by her family. So she fabricated a story about dating Mark Warren, a sexy doctor and the gym owner she's been ogling for months. She thinks none of her lies will come back to haunt her. When her mother RSVP s to the cousin's wedding invitation on her behalf including a Plus One, Neri has no choice but to attend...or come clean and face her family's scrutiny.
Frustrated with everyone trying to fix him up on a blind date, Mark Warren lied about dating an elusive redheaded member of his gym who caught his eye months ago. Only, he fully intends to turn this lie into truth. Once he musters enough courage to approach her, that is.
With hardly a month before his cousin's wedding, he hopes his mother would reply to the invitation, declining his attendance. But getting out of this obligation is out of question. She expects him to reply with ‘happy to attend with a guest’.
When they find out they are forced to attend the same wedding, Mark and Neri must practice their 'relationship' in an effort to fool their families into thinking they are a real couple.

But the thin line between pretending and the real deal is easily crossed.

Chapter 1

Nerissa squeezed the hard shaft, running her hand along its length. The man next to her moaned, with pleasure or disgust, she couldn’t tell. Mattered not, her fantasy of making love to Mark replayed in her head. And she loved it.
“Miss?” The guy with the store’s apron popped up from behind the stacked melons and pointed at her hands. “Are you going to buy that cucumber?” 
Her daydream shattered. She tilted her chin at the vegetable. “Oh, I was just testing for freshness. The last one I bought turned soft in my fridge in two days. I had to throw it out. I hate to waste food.”
“Right,” the employee stretched the syllable. “Like those plums you squeezed last week.”
Okay, now she was officially the produce destroyer. Damn it, she had to make sure she was getting the quality goods for her money. Giving the guy her best leave-me-the-hell-alone look, she dumped the cuke in the grocery cart and threw in a bag of raw almonds. Where was her list, she’d start crossing items off. She’d left the notepad on the kitchen table again, and was trying to remember what else was on that recommended diet. If this weight reduction plan didn’t do what it promised, she’d have to bring out the big guns. Even her stretchy pants couldn’t stretch any more. The group power training wasn’t her thing, not with her coordination that could be outmatched by a one armed monkey climbing the tree. Like that Zumba class two weeks ago—whatever direction the entire class moved, she’d go the opposite way. No wonder people snickered and scoffed behind her back. Everyone in her gym bragged about the Cross-Fit and the instructor, dreamy Doctor Mark Warren. 
Maybe she could find a spot the back of the room where she would be inconspicuous and check out his training techniques.
The chime of her cell phone stopped her from reaching for a bag of Brussels sprouts. She dug inside her purse and retrieved the mobile. The word Mom flashed on the screen.
Crap, she’d meant to return Mom’s calls from weeks ago. Brace yourself, Neri, scalding is coming.  She’d be in for some real grind.
Neri took in a long breath, pressed her hand to her chest and phone to her ear.
“Hi Ma,” she quipped, mustering the sweetest tone possible. “I was just about to call you.”
“Don’t try that one,” Mom harped. “You know how to work the phone. Why didn’t you return my calls?”
The lump in Neri’s throat didn’t go down at her hard swallow. Of course her mom hadn’t bought the lie.
 “I meant to, but got busy and it slipped my mind.” Neri eyed the bag of Brussels sprouts. Judging by Mom’s irate tone, veggies would be of no help to get over whatever news mom was about to deliver.
“Aunt Hellen is still waiting on your R.S.V.P. It’s just a month away and my sister needs to confirm the reservations with the FantainBlu. Since I know you’ll find some lame excuse not to attend your cousin’s Sandra’s wedding, I’ve R.S.V.P.’d for you.” Mom’s words flew faster.
Neri took a sharp breath in and almost chocked. She didn’t supposed replying with maybe next time would be appropriate. “You did what?”
“I told her you’d be honored to attend.” Mom’s voice slowed and changed to cheerful tone. “Come on, darling. The family is flying in all the way from Croatia and you can’t make it two blocks away. Many haven’t seen you in years. It’s about time you introduced Mark to all of us. You two have been together for how long now? Some have started to think you made him up.”
Oh the gorgeous, blue-eyed, dark-haired and hard-bodied doctor is real, our relationship isn’t.
 “I’m more than two block away.” When it came to her family, moving away three cities away from them wasn’t far enough. “Oh, I don’t know…Saturdays are my busiest days at the school.” True she’d rather do anything else but listen to screeching violins while her pupils struggle through the exercises, but at the end of the day she left with wad of money and bleeding ears.  Mom had R.S.V.P.’d.  Now she’d have to show up at her cousin’s dreaded wedding. A million possible excuses zipped through her mind. Maybe she could say she won all expense paid trip that coincidentally took place the same week. Hmm, what are the odds that would happen? Or she could say she came down with a rare case of small pox, the disease had been eradicated—no one would believe her. No one would buy it if she said she must mow her lawn, even if they knew her yard was the size of Texas. Of course not, she lived in an apartment building. No, unless she got abducted by aliens, she was attending this wedding. How would she pull off showing up without her imaginary boyfriend Mark? Damn.
“Don’t give me that, Nerissa.” Mom’s stern tone returned. “You can clear your schedule for once. I’m sure the music school can give you one Saturday off. Besides, it’s time your mother met him, don’t you think? You’re not getting any younger, you know.”
And there it was your time’s slippin’ away speech.
“Mom.” Neri groaned inwardly, trying to get a word in, but her mom was on a roll. She turned her attention to the herbs in an attractive packaging, listening to her mom going on about Mark hopefully being a husband material and not to let him get away if she wanted kids with a good man.
“There is time for me to get married and have kids.” Neri blew a long breath of frustration. That would get Mom on a whole new rampage.
“Tell that to your woman parts. You think it’s an easy job to grow a baby inside you at a young age, but when you’re older...” Mom paused to answer something to Dad yelling in the background, then returned to the phone. “And if you want to use me for granny service, you better do it soon. You think I’ll have energy to run after a toddler in my eighties? Just bring that fine man to meet your family.”
Jeez, Mom, is that an order? Certainly sounded like one.
“Mark’s busy too, being a doctor and all. I can’t guarantee he’ll be able to free his time.” Neri cringed at how easily she lied. Mom was not going to take no for answer, but it was worth the try.
“You see that he does,” Mom barked. “In the meantime, you’ve dress fittings at the Urban Bride.”
Neri froze and gripped the phone tighter. “What the heck for?”
“Why, you’re a bride’s maid. And you’d know that if you bothered to return my phone calls. One of her maids is moving away and won’t be able to attend.”
No, not again. Hadn’t she had more than her fair share of being a bride’s maid? Why would her cousin do this? To embarrass her, by stuffing her into the ugliest dress and paring her with some dweeb of groomsman that every other bride’s maid avoided. Neri would bet anything the girl wasn’t able to stand bridezilla’s wraith. The poor maid most likely sold her house and moved miles away. Well, Sandra was about to find out Neri wasn’t one bit bothered by all her drama. Not anymore. The princess could throw her fits.
“I know you’re reluctant because you’ve put on a few pounds. By the way, how’s that weight loss coming along?” Her mother’s question startled Neri. Knowing her mother, she most likely unburdened her heart.
Neri scrubbed her hand across her face. “Mom, tell me you didn’t mention my weight to anyone.”
“I might’ve mentioned it.”
This time she couldn’t suppress a groan. “Why would you do that?”
“It’s not like no one will notice as soon as they see you. This way, they’re prepared.”
The orange in Neri’s hand threatened to burst under her grip.  She placed the fruit back with its friends on the pile. No need to enforce her unofficial title of produce destroyer. “You’re making it sound as if I gained a ton.”
The number on her scale had continuously crept toward two hundred pounds for the past year. No matter how hard she exercised and ate right, her efforts showed little improvement. Any few pounds loss was gained back and then some. 
However, standing in the middle of the grocery store was not the best place to wallow in self-pity. She needed to end this phone call. 
 “Okay, Mom. I’ll see you soon, and we’ll talk.” Mom’s voice still poured through the line when Neri tapped end call button.
In a hurry, she pocketed her phone, heading straight for the junk food. Today’s revelation would require heck of a lot more than a bag of Brussels sprouts. 
A little boy lay on the floor, kicked and screamed as his mother placed the bag of cheese puffs back on the shelf. If only Neri could have a meltdown like that toddler. Except, she could have all the chips she wanted with no one to stop her, and that was her problem, she was her own enabler. 
After loading her cart with bags with chocolate pretzels, ketchup chips and trail mix she’d denied herself for months, she picked up a large tub of caramel swirl ice cream and headed for the cash register. Yep, tonight was wallowing in self-pity night. Thanks mom.
At the checkout line, a headline on the front page of a fashion magazine caught her attention. She picked up the glossy publication and turned to the page eighteen. 
The summer is nearly here. Is your body ready for the beach?
A beach body. She huffed and rolled her eyes. The article sported pictures of all too familiar exercises that would straighten and tone the stomach, legs and butt. She stared at the models demonstrating the moves. Their perfect bodies squeezed into spandex shorts and sports bras. Why wasn’t her body like theirs? She’d done those same moves for years. Well, some people inherit money, others talent. Her? She got her mother’s thick thighs, and her father’s beaklike nose. Fat on her legs could get burned off with hard, consistent workouts. Her nose was a different story. The only option would be plastic surgery, if only she had the money.
“Miss, are you ready to check out?” The cashier’s gruff voice made her jump. She put the mag back.
No, she wasn’t ready. She backed out of the line, bumping into the other shoppers’ carts.
“Pardon me. ‘Scuse me. I apologize. I’m so sorry.” Jeez, the grumps all because they needed to make room for her to pass through.
In the snacks aisle, she placed the dangerous food back on the shelves. All but a small box of cookies, after all she was allowed one cheat day.
Mark’s cross fit class couldn’t be that bad. She was about to find out in a day or two, maybe three, maybe five…oh, what the heck she’d go and if she’d muster the courage to talk to him, ask what she was doing wrong in her get-fit efforts. She’d have to move aside the tall and skinny bitches who circled him all the time. Then she could try a chat. Stupid idea, she didn’t know any good conversation starters. Her tongue would tie up and nothing but incoherent stammer would come out of her mouth.
If, by some miracle, everything played out to her advantage, than she’d be over the moon, but she may as well dream in Technicolor. She could almost picture it, no not almost, she already did. The two of them entered the banquet hall together, him handsome as hell in his tux, her in a flowing gown. Everyone’s jaw would hit the floor when they saw her arm wrapped around Mark’s. There she went daydreaming again. There was no chance in Hell that would ever happen.
Life is too short to wait for the perfect moment. She’d blurt the question and hope not to make a total ass of herself. For over a year she’d been a member in his gym. They’d bumped into each other. They weren’t strangers. His smiles and friendly hellos could’ve been directed to someone behind her, or they could just be good business practices. Still, she could’ve mistakenly believed he directed them at her for personal reasons.
The thought of attending the wedding flipped her stomach. Without a doubt, it would be a grand affair and knowing her cousin, nothing but the best would suit her taste. Neri didn’t even own a nice dress, but why buy one only to wear it once. For she couldn’t see a time she’d ever have to don it on again. And if she went solo, she’d be stuck sitting with her parents or worse, at the singles, aka losers’ table. She was the last unmarried and not dating person over the age of ten in her family, only thank to her lies, no one knew that. If she couldn’t get Mark to accompany her, she could end up sitting at the kids’ table. Still, better than sitting between Mom and Dad.
"Historia est magistra vitae,” she murmured while squinting at the small print of some healthy snacks that had caught her attention. New and improved said on the box in bright yellow letters. Hmm, who bought it when it was old and crummy? A premonition that attending the wedding would turn into a huge blunder overwhelmed her. Yes, the past taught the life’s lessons…except when it came to her. She didn’t make the same mistake twice, but five or six times just to be sure.  Then again, those who claimed they haven’t erred— never did anything at all. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Author in Spotlight Nancy Weeks

Zrinka, I’m so happy to be here and meet your readers. I left a giveaway at the end of our interview.
Please tell us about your writing.
I write romantic suspense which means I weave a suspenseful and gripping element through the romance in my novels. The suspenseful element is not the driving force of the story. The romance between my heroine and hero, their internal conflict, the reason they can’t be together is what drives the story. Tossing a sniper into the mix, evil-out-of-control drone or nasty cyber criminal at my characters while they are working through their issues, and seeking a much deserved happy-ever-after is fun, okay, super-fantastic fun. [Insert loud MUWHAHAHA laugh here].
Can you explain the title without giving too much away?
This is a very interesting three book series to write and the title plays a big part. In the first book, The Eyewitness, my heroine, Emersyn D’Azzo is a bystander with a perfect view of a horrific crime. Hence, The Eyewitness. The three D’Azzo siblings, Emersyn, Tessa, and Ethan, witness this crime in their own unique way and it tears their lives’ apart. And the reader will discover how each character finds their own peace within each of their own stories. But let me assure everyone, while the last book will have a final resolution, each book is a stand-alone novel.  
What was your journey as a writer?
My journey began right about the same time as my youngest child began filling out college applications. I have always dreamed of writing a book. I would caress the books on the shelves and think, “I want to do this one day.”  So how did I finally get up the nerve to write that first page? Well, I owe that kick in the pants to my sweet sister, Mary. She called one day and told me she quit smoking. Thank God! I asked what I could do to help. She shot back the challenged, she wouldn’t smoke that day if I sent her several pages of my first book. I, of course, had never written a thing, and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. But if it helped Mary not smoke, I typed away, and sent her the first awful pages of In the Shadow of Evil. At the end of the year, I finished my first full length novel and Mary was so free for a year.
What are your future writing goals?
My most immediate future goal is to finish the next two books. Once the D’Azzo series, is in the world, I want to try writing something a little calmer, maybe a romantic suspense comedy.  I not sure that sub-genre exist, but I’m going to give it a try.
Whom do you see as your ideal reader?
My ideal reader is someone who loves suspense, mystery, and romance, but a wonderful happy ending. My stories revolve around family, usually a big, loud opinionated, but loving family. Some of my readers will love the romance, the journey my characters take to find love, something we all want in our life. But other readers will love the suspense element, and enjoy the ride I give them. It starts in chapter one and doesn’t let go until the very end. I twist things around in such a way that hopefully nobody can figure out how my hero and heroine will ever come together until I’m ready for them to experience their well deserved happy-ever-after.
When you have time, what would we find you reading?
I have a very hard time reading while I’m in the middle of a project. I constantly find myself analyzing how the author constructed the scene, and what he/she did to pull me into the story. I end up closing the book and getting back on my laptop. Once the novel is complete, I read like crazy. I love all kinds of different authors from Nora Roberts to JK Rowling. When I’m not reading fiction, I love science magazines like Spectrum. I’m always searching for new ideas for the next book.
What do you learn from your writing?
Persistence.  Commitment.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
My amazing family!
How are you promoting your work?
I have all the normal social media sites like a website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.  Just this month, I launched a new close group of Facebook called Nancy’s Corner. It’s a place where readers can have a weekly personal relationship with me. I encourage them to drop in and invite their friends who they think might like my books. It’s a page where if you just would like a happy thought sent your way or a prayer, then that’s what we’ll all do for you. Also, any promotional give-aways, Advance Reader’s copies of my books, this group gets first dibs.
What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Just write. That’s the biggest hurdle. Seek out workshops and conferences in your genre where you can really develop your craft. The publishing world isn’t always a nice place. Rejection is real, hard to deal with, but part of the dream. Don’t allow it to stop you in your tracks. When you are ready to jump into the pool, feel free to seek me out. I’ll hold your hand through it like so many authors held mine. Here is what I had taped to my laptop. Improve. Develop a thick skin. Write through it all.
Where can our readers find a copy of your work?
Here are all the links if you would like to stalk me. But…the best way to keep in touch is to sign up for my Newsletter and/or join Nancy’s Corner.
And finally, as an author, do you have any quirks or habits that help you write better?
When I’m stuck on a scene and written myself into a wall, for some crazy reason, brushing my teeth always clears a path.
Thank you for being my guest today. I wish you the best of luck with your writing. 
Zrinka, it was wonderful being here. Thank you. I left behind a short blurb and excerpt for your readers. AND…I have a giveaway. Hint: The answer is in the excerpt. 
Blurb for The Eyewitness:
Fans of TV’s Blue Bloods will love this dynamic new suspense series.
Maryland PD forensic scientist Emersyn D’Azzo has an explosive past with her father’s younger, sexy partner, Detective Alec Pearce. Then an ill-timed kiss destroys the thin line of trust between her and her dad, just before tragedy strikes and someone guns down her father.
The fatal bullet turns out to be tied to the ongoing spree of random sniper kills across the state, but Emersyn knows this wasn’t a random act of violence and is determined to find the killer.
To do so, she’ll need to rely on help from Alec, whom she doesn’t quite trust but just can’t resist. When they discover a connection to a decades-old disappearance of a college student, their investigation takes a deadly twist. Can they learn to trust each other with their hearts to save their lives? 
The excerpt for The Eyewitness: In this scene, Emersyn did something that she needed to do, but in the process, hurt Alec deeply. As always, they spend a few moments getting along before they turn back into vinegar and oil. But no worries, I eventually give them a good shake. They mix together just fine. Enjoy! J

Emersyn opened the driver’s door then faced Alec. He moved in close, the back of his finger brushing away the moisture on her cheeks. She didn’t pull away when his hand rested on her waist. “I’m sorry, Alec. I thought clearing my father’s office would help.”
“You don’t owe me an apology. I get why you came here, and it is me who should apologize. I took my mood out on you.”
He tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Emersyn ached to press her hand over his and feel his heat on her face. But at the same time, a new sense of self-preservation prickled across her skin. Who could she trust? Her own mother had warned her that she really didn’t know the man in front of her.
Fear had a way of distorting reality. Her world had become so damn confusing she couldn’t find balance. She slipped her hand into her pocket and fingered the flash drive. The small piece of plastic could be nothing—or it could be everything.
“Em, where did you go?”
She faked a smile. “Just thinking about work. I keep expecting an email from security requesting my badge.”
He drew her close, wrapping his arms around her, his warmth calming her immediately. She couldn’t pull away. She needed this—something else she couldn’t understand.
He finally dropped his arms and took a step back. “I know Angela McCain well. Regardless of how she feels about you right now, she will get to the bottom of what happened yesterday.”
“I keep running the events through my head. The fire had to come from inside the walls, but there was no burning smell.”
“The fire marshal and CI team are on scene. This wasn’t a lab accident, and they aren’t treating it as one.”
“Why haven’t they questioned me?”
“I’m sure they will at some point.” He lifted her chin. “Something else is wrong. I see it in your eyes. What else happened?”
“You are a terrible liar.” He let her go, resting his arm on the roof of her car. If he was trying to make her feel trapped, it worked.
“From my house to here, what could have possibly happened?”
“What do I have to do to get you to trust me, Em?”
The annoyance in his voice set her back up. “I’m not getting into this with you in the parking lot.”
“Answer my damn question.”
And they were right back where they always seemed to fall, at each other’s throats. She tossed her shoulder bag into the front seat. Hell, if it was a fight he wanted, then maybe a good bitch-slap was what she needed to clear her head. “For starters, you can stop pissing me off with things like this.” Emersyn knocked his arm off her car so she could drop into the seat. He blocked the door when she tried to close it.
“How, Em? I walk into a room, and your blood starts to boil.”
She couldn’t get the shields up fast enough. “You could at least pretend you don’t despise me, maybe treat me once in a while like you treat Tessa.”
He knelt and reached for her hand. “I don’t despise you.”
“Now who is lying?”
My simple pleasure is sipping my favorite coffee while reading a great book. I’m passing that on to you. Answer the question below for a chance to win a digital book from my backlist—including The Eyewitness, and winner’s choice of a $5 Starbucks or Teavana tea gift card. Hint hint—read the excerpt.

What is my hero’s favorite name for my heroine?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Worst Kind of Villain

James is a business and technology consultant, fiction and non-fic author, technology and futurist speaker.

One of my favorite topics is always the villain. If you have a character that is evil for the sake of evil, who cares. The best villain is the one who believes they are doing the right thing for the right reasons. And often, if the protagonist is the “evil” one, we find greater truths.

Starting with Maleficent, you get to see the betrayal that turned an innocent protector into a vengeful being. This echoes strongly with the story of Eris and the Golden Apple. You get to go from that view of the story told in Sleeping Beauty to see and empathize with her.

Other stories I love are the ones where you are trying to define the evil. In Cat People, both the 1942 and 1982 versions, you see a woman who is fighting with her impassioned human mind, against her animalistic instincts. A woman falls in love with a man, but because of a curse, she is unable to be intimate with him due to a curse. As things are wont to happen, another woman draws his interest, and the animal in the “villain” takes over. You have to question in a story like this, is the cursed woman evil, or is it the curse?

And if you’ve never seen the original “Let the Right One In,” (Not the American remake) it’s hard to really define the evil in the story. The obvious evil would normally be the vampire in the story. But if you look underneath, it’s really love and compassion for a bullied child that triggers the “evil.”

In all three of these stories, we see a female villain put forth, but as is often the case, it’s not that they set out to be evil, or commit horrors. We get to see allegories of the horrors that made those characters, and ultimately led to the decisions they make.

GIVEAWAY: Soon to be released are new covers for Books 1-3 in the Home Summoning Series, and an omnibus version. Anyone who signs up on my mailing list or sends me an e-mail with "Women in Horror" will get a free eBook version of Book 1!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Sexy About Town ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS175

Welcome to the 175th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: Sexy About Town

Ever have someone in your town or place of work or a place you visit that every time you see them, you think they're sexy. Or how about that hero or heroine sees someone they think is sexy in their town and they feel they are out of our characters reach. These are the ones we’re talking about. They exude sex but they really don’t know or show it. Or if they do, they try and play it down. This week is about them.

From my work in progress titled "The Wedding Date" 

Through the glass door of Get Fit Fitness, Mark spotted the redhead girl who occupied his thoughts for the past few months. His pissed off mood faded in an instant. This time she wouldn’t get away before they exchanged a few words. He pushed away from his desk and marched toward the reception desk just as she scanned her membership card. Nerissa or Neri in brackets appeared on the computer screen next to her member picture. He nodded to his staff, Kayla. She handed Neri a rolled up towel. He’d seen her refuse the towel before, and she did so today.
Neri turned toward the women’s locker room. Mark was quickly losing his chance to strike a conversation with her. “Hey, Neri, will I see you at Cross-Fit in fifteen?”
She halted and slowly looked over both her shoulders. Then faced him. “Oh, are you asking me?”
Her soft tone resonated with disbelief. So all the times he‘d smiled at her and she looked around, she was checking to see if he might’ve directed his smile to someone else. “You’re the only one here, and I’m pretty sure the only one with that name.”
He waited on her answer, but she shrugged and shook her head. Her breath seemed to quicken. “I don’t know.”