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.” 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sexy Becomes Her ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS173

Welcome to the 173rd week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: Sexy Becomes Her

Have you noticed a sexy woman walk into the room? Sometimes they know they’re sexy and play it up, sometimes they don’t have a clue. Regardless of if they know or not, they draw people, both men and women, to them like bees to honey. Sometimes they are witty and make anyone in their sphere feel special even if they aren’t someone they love. Have you ever met someone like that? That person is what this week is about…and this week, I'm hosting Jami Gray on my blog. She just released a new book, "Marked by Obsession"


What is it about that moment when the one person who fuels every fantasy dancing through your head touches you and leaves you tied up in breathless, anxious knots?
Every romance tries to capture that illusive picture, and, as many a writer will tell you, it’s not always easy. There’s so much going on with your characters in that one, brief moment out of time. Insecurities are darting around like fireflies, desire plays tug-of-war with logic, obscure thoughts careen through your brain (OMG, did I have onions for lunch? Where’s a damn mint?), and impatience imprisons air in your lungs and your body aches with curiosity.
Yeah, it’s a lot to try and capture on the page. It’s also one of the hardest types of scenes for me to write. Yes, I realize that seems strange coming from someone who writes paranormal romantic suspense, but it’s the truth. I don’t want the scene to read like a manual (insert Tab A into Tab B), nor do I want it to read like a teenage diary filled with emotional angst. Finding that delicate balance between seducing the emotions and seducing the body means that I will spend days on these crucial scenes.
Like any good seduction, a writer needs to understand the wants and needs of their characters, because those will be the underlying drivers connecting these two hearts. I’ll actually spend a few days, move on in the story, then go back a couple days later and make sure it reads organically—so that nothing feels stilted or forced. No one wants to read wooden love scenes.
Here’s hoping I’ve managed to do my job!


Some betrayals hide behind love, others obsession...

The loss of her beloved brother and a series of unexplained events plunges Meli Dwyer into a dangerously unfamiliar reality. Alone and floundering, she turns to the sexy and unsettling Wolf Kincaid, PSY-IV Team’s skilled telepath, for help even as her battered heart whispers to steer clear of a man more dangerous than what hunts her.
Will Meli find the answers to her personal nightmare before one man’s obsession costs her the heart of another?
Pick up your copy here:

Want a sneak peak?
As I stepped through the door, he stopped, his hand tightening on mine. I stopped and looked over my shoulder. He was watching me with a strange intensity. “You sure about this, Meli?”
My mouth was dry and the butterflies in my stomach were going crazy. “Yeah.”
When my answer emerged in a squeak, I winced. He didn’t say anything, just arched an eyebrow in question. I tried again, this time swallowing past my nerves. “Yes, Wolf, I’m one hundred and fifty percent sure.”
That got me a small grin. “Just a hundred and fifty?” He stepped in until he could wrap an arm around my waist and pull me close. He let go of my hand and cupped my chin, dropping his head, his gaze never leaving mine, until our lips were just a breath apart. “Maybe I should wait until you hit two hundred.”
“Don’t you dar—” My husky complaint was cut off by his kiss. Held as I was, all
I could do was follow his lead. His tongue traced my lips, once, then twice. On the second pass, I met him with mine. Like adding gasoline to a lit match, the heat flared, breaking my desire free of whatever silly constraints existed. Our tongues teased and coaxed, until I was trying to pull free to turn to face him. What I wanted was to run my hands over those shoulders and down his chest, taking the time to trace the lines of muscle and explore the expanse of hot skin with my fingers and tongue. If I were really lucky, I might discover what caresses would break through his steely control.

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.

Hunt her down at:

Amazon Author Page:

And there you have it. Stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

My Sexy Stranger ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS172

Welcome to the 172nd week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: My Sexy Stranger.

Have you ever wondered just what it might be like to meet a sexy stranger? And what if that stranger becomes your lover? Or your lifemate? That’s what this week is all about. That sexy stranger coming into your story and being hot and sexy and oh so desirable.  
BLURB: Kate Rokov’s grades are plummeting. She needs to get the voice out of her head, or she will flunk her finals. Matthias Zrin, a three centuries old immortal, born into an aristocratic family as Miles Rusinic, is enthralled with Kate. It is his voice preventing her from sleeping and her ignorance is testing his limits. He wants her to write down his story to settle his late wife’s Earthbound spirit. His tragic love story has become Kate’s obsession since fifth grade during her summer trip to Rusinic Castle. Their coming together settles the old spirit and breaks an ancient curse and, in doing so, a flame spanning over three centuries reignites and burns with wild desire. In this tale of two life times and desire versus emotional need, both know some dreams will have to wait for the right time, but the magic between them is impossible to withstand.

Kate dug her fingernails into her palms. The loneliness must be getting to her at this dead hour or she wouldn’t imagine the incoherent whispers had taken a deep masculine tone. Impossible, she wasn’t that lonely or loony and she had been conversing with him for the past twenty or so minutes. 
He seemed less threatening and that smooth voice of his eased the tension between her shoulders. A spark of curiosity ignited to a full blaze. She must find out more about him. “Need me? What for?”
“To tell my story.” There was no mistaking this time as his fingers raked gently through her hair, making her chest heavy and spinning her mind. How could he have known she was a sucker for head massages? He moved his fingers down her neck and shoulders. Yes, dig in right there and loosen up the knot. Damn, this was good. She must stop him or she’d write down the complete saga. 
He eased the pressure on her skin. “How does that kink in your shoulder feel? Better?”
“It’s almost gone.” Bless him, the man worked magic on her in more than one way. “Hey, how did you know I had a kink in there?” 
“You rubbed that spot before.” Now he brushed his fingers over her neck. 
 Hmm, what else had he seen her doing? Oh no, those few times she’d stepped out of the shower and realized she’d forgotten to hang a fresh towel and ran to the linen closet wet and naked. Heat rushed to her cheeks, she sucked her lower lip between her teeth. The invisible visitor remained silent. Perhaps he hadn’t been in her flat during those incidents. 
“So, what’s your story about?” She arched one brow, tilting her head under his pressing fingers. Of course, everyone had a story, so why was she surprised an un-dead ghost consulted her to tell his tale?
 “You’ll find out soon enough.” A tickle ran along her arm once more. “And it can’t be told in one night.” Wonderful, that was what she got for sticking her nose in the paranormal stuff in the past. Now he’d cling around her for who knows how long. She had hoped to be rid of him, preferably tonight. The feel of his caring touches returned to her mind. From what she gathered by his closeness and the touch of his big hands caressing her neck and shoulders, he must be tall and, she imagined, quite muscular. Oh, if she could only see him, but she quickly shook the idea away. Why was she so accepting of this disembodied voice? Though she struggled to remain as calm as possible, from the literature on the subject, the best was to keep one’s fear in check in the presence of a haunted soul. Yet, her curiosity sprouted and spread through her veins like weeds.
 “Listen, Miles.” She exhaled. “You sought out the wrong person. I have to cram for my exams and I have term papers due. Can’t you find someone else?” 
“No.” He demanded, “I can’t let you go. I need you to write down what I can’t tell anyone anymore.”

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And that's all for this week, folks, but do continue to stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Sexy in Space ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS170

Welcome to the 170th week of My Sexy Saturday. 

This week’s theme: Sexy in Space

Nothing grabs readers more than a sexy hero or heroine from another planet or maybe space explorers from this planet. 

Though my story is not from another planet, it's set in another part of this world. 

For fourteen years, Dario Vitez, accumulated wealth and made a name for himself as the owner of Mezzaluna restaurant. Love is the only thing missing from his life ever since his childhood sweetheart, Irena Novak, was forced into a marriage of convenience and lives half a world away. Wondering about her for all these years, he puts his work on hold to find her.
Irena is not free from her marriage contract. Danger follows her in form of her husband, Fred Penne. Fred decided she knows too many of his secrets to live and doesn't care who else he hurts to get her. 
Discovering the truth about the danger Irena is in, Dario will stop at nothing to protect her.
Suspenseful, romantic and awash in Gypsy magic and Slavic folklore, "Gypsy Stone" captures the enchantment of the Adriatic coast and the power of love, family and friendship.

“Now you know why I had to run from your place. I left her alone for too long.” She crossed her arm over her ample chest. “Don’t worry about Ella’s attention. She adores you, that’s all.” 
“Why didn’t you tell me you had a child?” He didn’t intend for his tone to come out as scalding, so he tucked loose strands of her hair behind her ear and softened his expression. “Yes, I find her attention rather intimidating. Kids scream their lungs out over some teenage pop star.”  
“Ella’s not your typical teenager. When she was little, she wouldn’t go to sleep before I told her at least one story of our youth. Today’s kids don’t have what we had. Freedom from all this technology, that kind of life it’s foreign to them.” She drew in a long breath and blew it out. “So much has happened, I’m afraid I don’t know where to start.” 
He took hold of her trembling shoulders. Perhaps he’d overanalysed Ella’s reaction. Poor girl must be craving a fatherly figure in her life and assumed he’d fill in the position. And he gladly would if Irena would let him. “From the beginning, or in our case a new beginning.”  She only chewed her lips, and turned her head away from him.  
Her silence unnerved him. “Come on, Irena. You know you can always count on me. Babe, you’re shaking. Are you cold? Stupid of me, you’re wearing a tank top and yoga pants and I didn’t think before we stepped out in the cold air.” 
She wrapped her bare arms around his chest and he pulled her to him. A part of his body reacted to her closeness. Dammit, now was neither time nor the place, but she always had such effect on him. 
“It was a mistake to return to my home town. It doesn’t take an idiot to figure out I’d run back to you. I never should’ve sought you out, but I just couldn’t help it. And I didn’t know where else to go. We’ve been on the run for so long.” 
“No, love.” He kissed her forehead. “That’s crazy talk. Whatever kind of trouble you’re in, I’ll help you.” 
She tilted her head up, worry lines marring her beautiful face. “I was afraid you’d get involved, but it’s dangerous. You risk losing everything you worked hard for and perhaps your life and the lives of your loved ones.” 
“That is why you need to tell me everything. I need to know what I’m up against. I figured you’re on the run from Fred and…” He didn’t know whether to tell her, but judging by the receptionist’s reaction, she already knew. “We bumped into him in the lobby. You’re lucky that young guy was working the front desk. What would happen if there was someone who would’ve accepted the two hundred bucks Fred offered in exchange for the info? Fred already paid a visit to your mother. You’re not safe here or any hotel. Please, consider moving in with me.” 
“You went to my mom’s? Oh, my God, after all she put you through?” Irena pulled away from him and gripped his jacket tighter. She turned and faced the cast iron railing, her shoulders rigid. “God, this is so hard. I knew I shouldn’t have involved you in my mess.”

“Your mess is my mess now.” He placed his hand on her shoulder. “Please, there’s plenty of room for you and Ella and you can train in the rec room in my building.” 
She tilted her head, placing her cheek to his hand. “Fred is very cunning, all he has to do is ask around this town. Someone will tell him where you live.” 
Thankfully, no one could enter his condo building without punching the code into security system or if someone buzzed them in. And that was the flaw, for gullible tenants often pressed that buzzer and let door-to-door salesmen inside.  Dario cupped her chin in his fingers. “What does he want from you?” 
She closed her eyes and pulled her lips, stifling a sob. “It’s a long story. Come. Let me ask Ella if she’d want us to stay with you, although, I already know the answer.” Halting by the balcony door, she turned to him. “Did my mother have a word for me?” 
“Of course she did. Fred has agreed to pay for her knee replacement surgery. If you return to him. If you don’t, he will stop the payments to you father’s nursing home.” Dario propped his hands on his hips. Should he tell her the rest? Better not, it would only upset her more. Over the years Irena had plenty of reasons to go insane, but her mind seemed rock solid as always. No, Fred spread lies about her being mentally unstable. Irena was a pure diamond that couldn’t be cracked under pressure.  
“So my mom confused me for an obedient, gullible daughter? They don’t need Fred’s money.” Irena pushed the door open and stepped inside the hotel room. 

Get you copy here


Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.

So stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

My Sexy Dreamer ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS169

Welcome to the 169th week of My Sexy Saturday. 

This week’s theme: My Sexy Dreamer

This week’s theme is My Sexy Dreamer. Know that guy or girl with big dreams? The ones you always ooed and ah’d over. Yeah…that one...find the one we’re talking about? If you have stories with those heroes and heroines with big dreams, big hearts and a way to put it all together, then this one’s for you! 

BLURB: It isn’t the string of crappy jobs, or people’s irrational urge to spend their money, or even his inability to ask Julie out on a date that Zach can’t get excited about Christmas. It is the fact that today is his last day he gets to spend in his preferred human form.
When jealous Tia, a wicked sorceress disguised as the pack’s alpha female, tries to force his wolf out a day early, all-consuming anger sends him into a rage against her. She punishes shape shifter Zach, by changing him to a dog. He has 48 hours to save his family and trade his life for someone else’s in order to break the spell—the only problem, Julie’s cat Miss Molly knows who he is and won’t let him near her owner. But Julie’s safety is the greatest importance and he sticks by her side.
Julie can’t resist falling in love with the stray dog she rescues. She prolongs putting a found dog ad in the local newspaper just to keep him for another day. Strange thing is, the animal reminds her of Zach.
Confronted with the woman who stole the man she secretly loves, Julie discovers the truth about Zach. When his dog form proves useless against the powerful alpha werewolf, the help comes from unforeseen allies.

Careful not to wake Julie, he got down from the bed, but caught a look from the cat.
“Molly, is there a way out of the house?” he whispered.
She yawned and laid her head back on her paws.
“Come on, Molly. I have to get out.”
The tip of Molly’s tailed twitched. A sure sign she was annoyed by his pestering. “You canines are not good at holding it. Well, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Use the pet door, if you can squeeze through.”
All right, he’d seen people put those on the back or side doors. His paws slid on the smooth tiles, stopping in front of the white panel in the laundry room. He stared at the black, narrow rectangle. Could this be the pet door? A Chihuahua couldn’t squeeze through. Let alone a large breed dog. Then again, the opening was meant for Molly. Thankfully, it was still very early, barely dawn, and few humans would be up yet. Lexa would have to come to him. He emitted a high frequency whine, calling her to his location. She hesitated in her reply. How would she go to human school if she couldn’t break her shyness of people? This was a good test for her.
“Come on, Lexa. You can do it.”  He encouraged her through their special bond.
Soon, her paws sounded on the ground in front of the door. He peeked through, eager to speak to Lexa, yet fearing Tia’s curse couldn’t be broken. “Hey, I’m guarding Julie and her cat. Have you found out anything?”
“You’re sharing the human’s house with a cat?” Lexa couldn’t hide her teasing tone, or perhaps she didn’t bother to hide it.
“Now, now, she’s a nice kitty.” His words surprised him, but in truth Molly had started to get under his skin. He couldn’t deny she was rather pleasant, at times if she wasn’t coughing up a furball. Maybe he could learn to live with her around, to remain close to Julie. “I hope you have some good news for me.”
“The old ones summoned the Wizard.” Despite her soft tone, a tremor shook her voice.  “According to him, your dog’s appearance is a very powerful sorcery. The curse could turn permanent if not reversed in twenty-four hours.”
His stomach flipped. He had no idea what would it take to break the spell, but whatever the demand, his need for Julie and her safety would beat out any fears. “What must I do?”
Lexa lowered her head, but the sorrow in her eyes deepened his worry. “One ultimate and unselfish act.”
He blew out a breath of relief. Lexa got him all worried when in truth the counter curse wasn’t bad at all. “That shouldn’t be hard. I’m a giving guy.”

Lexa’s face dropped and sadness filled her voice. “Zach, it’s not as easy as giving up your food to feed me or our mom. You’ll have to trade your life for someone else’s.” 

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Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way. 

That's it, folks. Stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Sexy Holidays ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS168

Welcome to the 168th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: My Sexy Holidays

Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.

This week’s theme is My Sexy Holidays. There are so many wonderful holiday tropes like being snowed in, likes Santa’s elves, or maybe fantastic New Year’s party. Or how about a Christmas story about a woman looking for her biological family, a child wishing for an additional parent…one can go on and on…

So here's an excerpt from Love Remains. 

Christmas wrappings, ribbons, and bows covered the hotel’s suite floor and hung from the chairs. Dirty dishes covered the table. Olivia tucked her hand under her legs suppressing the itch to tidy the room up. Just a month ago, she would have expected maid service to do the job, and the thought to clean up would never cross her mind.   Enya’s “Silent Night” came from the speakers of Tom’s laptop, filling Olivia’s chest with the warm, fuzzy feeling of the season. Christmas with her family, the way she’d heard people around the water cooler describe year after year. She much preferred this over playing catch up with her paperwork while the cleaning crew paid her no heed. If only Tom would stop checking his email. He rubbed his palms. “So, all presents unwrapped? My hands are so chaffed from prying the toys out of the packaging. I don’t think I can open another one.” 
“Yes, Daddy. I checked it twice. No Rosie, the dolly is the present not the box.” Milo’s attempts to engage Rosie with her new toy were unsuccessful.  
“Alright. It’s a nice day, how about a walk?” Tom turned to Olivia. “We should get out so the maids can tidy up the suite.” 
“Yes, by all means.” She stood up. Now would be a great time to present him with her gift. Though the anticipation had been brewing in her for weeks, a sudden bout of nervousness stirred her. What if he didn’t like it?  “Not all the presents have been opened.” 
She reached behind the tree, pulled out a small box from its hiding place and handed it to him. “This one is from me.” 
“Thank you, honey.” He beamed, ripping the golden paper. His jaw dropped at the sight of the vibrant tile inlaid into the lid of the ebony box. “This is Glagolitic.” He traced his thumb over the intricate, white letter on the red background. 
“Neoglagolitic actually.” A smile stretched her lips, and pride filled her. She knew she would stun him with her gift. “The closest thing I could find. Open it, there’s more inside.” 
He popped the lid open and stared in silence for a few moments, then picked the item in his fingers, examining the golden tie clip from every side. “I love it. How did you know?” 
“Just a hunch. Since I saw your tie, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” But it was the constant, burning desire for him that had started her creativity. In the past, she certainly had not put any effort into buying presents. Nor had she ever given or received any. But now with her family, she’d spent hours scouring the malls and fighting the crowds in search for that perfect gift. Milo already couldn’t put his action figures down, Rosie’s booties fit her perfectly and would go nicely with her new winter coat, and Tadem loved her sweatshirt and matching pants.  
“This deserves extra dazzling tonight. Hope you’re up to it.” His slow wink rushed heat to her face. What was wrong with her? She never blushed at a man’s advances. 
“You have no idea just how up to it I am.” She rubbed her neck to ease her pent up passion. A walk in the cold air would help. “Let’s go.” 

Love Remains by [Jelic, Zrinka]BLURB: Olivia Owen, a busy, single, high-functioning, corporate executive officer, is not afraid to die a spinster for the sake of her career. But in an alternate reality world, bridged by the angel of her sister with Down syndrome, she meets Tom Medar, a dedicated, Croatian defense attorney who dreams of the right woman, but never has time to find her. Together, they foil an adulterous murder plot while discovering there’s room for love and family in their busy lives - but not before they are separated again.
When they awaken from their alternate world, will they be able to cross countries to find each other again?

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That's all, folks!

No, not really. Stay sexy by visiting all of the below participating blogs.