Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Silver Medal Readers Favorite Award Winner NOT WITHOUT RISK!

A few weeks back, I finished Not Without Risk by Sarah Grimm, winner of the 2011 Silver Medal - Readers Favorite Awards, and afterwards I emailed her saying I needed MORE. More Justin, more Paige, more EVERYTHING. So Sarah graciously acquiesed and sent me this yummy post about her Hero, Justin Harrison. AND GET THIS! Sarah, has agreed to host a GIVE-AWAY! One lucky commentorwill receive a free e-book of RISK! Don't forget to leave me your email!

I very rarely base a hero's (or heroine's for that matter) physical description on a real person. Anytime I post photos of how I imagine my characters look, it's because I discovered the photograph, the actor or model, after I wrote the book. With the exception of one character...Sergeant Justin Harrison, my hero from my romantic suspense, Not Without Risk.


To me, Justin has always resembled one person:  Country crooner and total sweetheart (yes, I've met him) Ty Herndon.

Check out that smile!  Isn't he gorgeous?


Sorry, got lost for a minute there. Okay, with that visual in mind, let’s get to know Sergeant Justin Harrison.

What is Not Without Risk about?
Murder. Proving to myself and my colleagues that I was fit to return to active duty after a .38 punctured my lung. And how a sexy brunette, with the longest legs I’ve ever had the pleasure of having wrapped around my hips, changed everything.
What did you think the first time you saw the heroine, Paige?
That she was stunning—and that it had been far too long since I’d been with a woman.
What was your second thought?
She could be a killer.
Why did you become a cop?
I have no stomach for people who take advantage of others weaknesses or misfortune for their own gain. I can’t stand violence against others, especially women. And when bad things happen, someone needs to help restore order, solve the puzzle and uncover the identity of the bad guy. I’m very good with puzzles.
What do you like most about Paige?
Her courage and strength. Even injured and bleeding, facing the knowledge that someone wanted her dead—would stop at nothing to see it happen—Paige didn’t break.
If you could change one thing about her, what would it be?
Why would I want to change her?
What is your biggest fear?
That I won’t be able to protect Paige. I pushed myself, my body, too hard in order to get back to the job—the thing that defines who I am. Then I met Paige, and discovered something more important than being a cop. Injured, exhausted and facing one of the toughest cases of my career…I don’t know if I can do it, if I can solve it before the killer gets his hands on her. But I have to. I can’t lose the woman who’s shown me I have worth other than the job—the woman I’ve come to need as much as my next lung full of air.

Not Without Risk is available at both Amazon and The Wild Rose Press.

Sarah Grimm is an award winning author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two sons and three miniature schnauzers. Between mom's taxi service, parts runs, and answering the phone for the family marine repair business, Sarah can be found curled in her favorite chair, crafting her next novel.

Find Sarah here:

Sarah's latest release which is also available through Amazon and The Wild Rose Press

Thirteen years—that's how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother's life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar...

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal--one that doesn't include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won't be easy, but he can't get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nancy Jardine Gets Interviewed!

Poor Nancy subjected herself to an interview for Tattered Pages, and what a trouper for answering all of my questions -- not to mention she brought us a fabulous excerpt from Monogomy Twist!

Thanks for being with us today Nancy! To start things off, tell us how your writing career began.  

What I call my ‘personal’ writing career has happened in fits and starts. In 1999, a contemporary romance went to Harlequin. A big fat rejection ensued…I abandoned romance writing.  In 2003 a children’s novel (Romans in Scotland AD 83) was written, but was abandoned since a current archaeological dig was uncovering new facts…that ms went on the back burner! During late 2010 I got serious about my WRITING FOR PLEASURE. I reduced my teaching to 3 days per week. On ‘free’ days I wrote a historical romance: sadly it has been rejected twice. :-(  By Dec 2010 I had also completed a new contemporary romance. I sent it to TWRP and by beg. March 2011 I signed a contract for ‘Monogamy Twist’! In Jan 2011 I did a complete rework of the archived novel for children. That full manuscript is currently being considered by a publisher in Cambridge, England.

How cool are YOU! Romance AND a children's book! Bravo! So, while writing in the romance genre, do you stick to one sub-genre or write across lines?

No, I don’t stick to one sub-genre. I’ve completed two contemporary romances, (1 published, a 2nd recently contracted by TWRP) and one completed/ reworked historical romance. (I now think it’s much better than the rejected version!) My current WIP is another contemporary, but I have also started a family saga historical.

So, you've got a ton of projects in the hopper. Of the romances mentioned, what heat level are they? And while I'm at it, what heat level to you prefer to read? Are we keeping that bedroom door open or closed?

My TWRP published ‘Monogamy Twist’ is categorized as sensual. My niece-in-law, however, called it her ‘favorite bonkbuster’. My friend (since age 7) almost had a heart-attack when she read the sexy bits! My second TWRP Champagne Rose will probably also be rated sensual…but watch that space, it might be called spicy! Spicy is about my limit in both reading, and writing.    

Give it to me Spicy! A girl after my own heart. So tell us, of the characters you created, which one is your favorite and why?

I really like Nairn in the newest TWRP contracted novel (not sure what the title will be yet). He has a lot of s*** heaped upon him at the beginning, but he resolves it in his (I personally believe) uniquely undaunted style. Sorry! No more sneak peaks of that plot!   

DANG! You had me all frothing at the mouth there. I assume since you've got so many contracts out right now your super-busy. But have you ever considered self-publication as an alternative to traditional publishing?

How about a NO, and also MAYBE in around 5 years for my own novels if I have a stack written by then! Confusing? Well, I’m such a sucker! I’ve had my fingers burned already over self-publishing of my writing, but in a very different sort of way, for it was not novel writing. If profit from book sales is the main aim then I’ve a whole other self-publishing story to tell…if you’ve time to read it!  I self-published years ago but for TOTALLY NON-PROFIT reasons (I’m cringing now!) In 1999 during my summer vacation of 6 weeks I volunteered to personally research/write/and create 50 packs of teaching materials for a special Millennium 2000 non-profit project commemorating my local Railway Locomotive Works (1898-1969). Each pack had 100 ‘letter sized’ photocopiable worksheets, all 5000 sheets physically printed and bound by me. Would you call that self-published?  (BTW each pack also contained a CD Rom version-techie help from hubby with creating 50 of them-and a cassette tape of ex-workers ‘oral’ memories.) I loved doing it all but vowed I’d NEVER self publish again. By then I was regretting the NO PAY deal I’d agreed on since it was for ‘charity’. BUT GUESS WHAT?  I was wrong about the NEVER. My 2005 summer vacation was spent writing my ‘History of Kintore School’. Again I’d volunteered, and there was no profit to me since it was for the village I live in and the school where I was teaching. (The School Fund got all the profit.) Lots of historical research was involved since the village school can be dated back to around 1506. I’m not joking, there’s evidence for this, and I had fun finding it! I self-edited the 100 letter sized pages; my hubby proof read. Again sort of self-publishing? NOSTALGIA RULED since the school had just moved to a brand new school building. I used the official opening day as the marketing target-400 copies were sold, but I truly was thankful that the school authority had helped to print and bind it. After that I said I’d NEVER EVER ‘self-publish’ again for no personal profit. Can I use these two projects as evidence of previous writing and publishing when I send out query letters to publishers for my current novels? Not really, since there was no ‘company’ as such who produced them! So self-publishing my own novels…in a few years…MAYBE.

Uhhh...Holy crap? Wow. This makes every other story I've heard about self-publishing seem like a stroll in the park. Determination does not seem to be your downfall, Nancy. That being said, what are you working on now?

My main WIP is a contemporary started late Sept. 2011, set in different European locations. Like my ‘Monogamy Twist’ this current work is a bit of a ‘history mystery’ (my working title). I have also plotted out, and tentatively started a family saga historical.

And after finishing this manuscript, will you take some time off or dive right in to the next story?

I usually promise myself a few days off to sort out all those little jobs that have been neglected. However, I’m not too good at managing that.

LOL Me either. Tell us what's on your nightstand (or downloaded onto your Kindle) right now.

Right Name/Wrong Man by Mona Risk, the MacLomanin series x4, A Broken Crhistmas and Cursted to kill both by Claire Ashgrove- await me on my Kindle and Adobe...and 4, early released to book club member, Harlequin Historicals in paperback (I get x 8 Harlequins a mongh now-used to get x16 but haven't the time to read them any more!)

Now for some fun stuff...

Which Superhero would you most love to date and why?

I tell you at my age and stage…any big hunk would do. I prefer not to tell you the why!

Oh pooh. Fine. Does your husband read your work, and if so, what’s his reaction?

He proof read my children’s novel quite happily, but I think he’s too scared to read my romances, though he says he’ll get around to them when he’s finished studying for his Masters Degree!

Favorite cocktail?

I love most liqueurs; most cocktails. My favorites had no real names but were produced at a hotel beach bar at the Al Bustan Palace, in Oman. I got to know the barman at the 4-7pm slot pretty well and he created me something new each evening. I’d pick whatever took my fancy that evening eg Aurum, Cointreau, Baileys, Kahlua, Tia Maria, Coconut rum…After my first choice he’d pick more items to add to my ‘base’, he shook ‘em all up, and they were FABULOUS!

That's totally cool! Got any hobbies you'd like to share with us?

Err. Don’t seem to have time. Reading: if I don’t do some leisure reading in a day (escapist novels) I go to bed feeling deprived. Gardening: which I avoid at times, but have to do as I’m the sole caretaker of our large garden.  Ancestry:  I’ve researched the Family Trees back to the 1600s. I now have 5 huge binders of details and use an on-line Ancestry program that takes up loads of my time!

That sounds like plenty of hobbies to me!! LOL What about pets?

If you don’t count my lovely husband when he’s three sheets to the wind? No, I don’t have any pets.

You're too funny, Nancy. Thanks so much for sharing with us all the special things that make you who you are!! And now (can I get a drum roll, please), on to Nancy's latest release, Monogomy Twist!


“Rhia!” he snorted instead. “Of course it will. How could I ignore such a valuable property?”
Rejection and then disappointment flashed across her lovely face before she answered, “You’ve lost me.” Her gaze drew away. “Do you want it or not?”
“Rhia, please take heed,” Luke sighed, his voice enticing her to turn back. He didn’t dare touch her. And he did want it…but knew that wasn’t what she meant. He didn’t dare use his fingertips to turn her delectable little chin toward him, for he knew one fingering would never be enough. “It would be a crying shame to leave that house to rot for another fifty years. It’s a valuable house and valuable land. It could be converted to multiple uses for corporate business, or as a hotel facility.”
“Ah…future revenues?” Her eyes held that astutely impressive derision again.
His face crept closer, his lips only a pout away. “Rhia, you wouldn’t want to be responsible for that house to fall into even more disrepair, that house you’ve already professed to love? Would you?”
She was floundering like a non-swimmer in a forest puddle, indecision hovering over her gorgeous eyes. He was confident she couldn’t resist him. His libido kicked in triple time, but his resolve quadrupled.
“Would you want that on your conscience? Knowing it was your fault it happened?”
My fault?”
He knew his propinquity was keeping her spellbound, but by her glower she wasn’t taking the flack. Her disgusted expression informed him in no uncertain terms what she thought about his last words.

You can find Monogomy Twist at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble

Here's a bit more about Nancy, and where to find her on the web:

Born in Glasgow, Nancy has lived in Scotland most of her life with the exception of 3 years when she lived in Holland, where she conveniently gave birth to 2 daughters. Convenient since elementary teaching was her profession (11-12year olds) and it was suitable to have a career break then. (Two months in Norway when the girls were under 5 doesn’t really count in the grand scheme of living in a country!) Nancy now spends her time writing contemporary romance novels having only recently given up teaching.



Luke Salieri thought he'd seen everything. But when he inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of—and with quirky conditions besides—it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her? Lucrative employment for a whole year? The job of researching the old house and its fantastic contents is enticing – but Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Four Days and Counting for Surrendor to Honor!

I'm so happy to have Jannine Corti Petska with us today at Tattered Pages, celebrating her upcoming release of Surrender to Honor, the second book in her Italian Medival Series, coming out November 25th from THE WILD ROSE PRESS!


Here's a sneak peek at both books...

Blurb for Surrender to Honor (Book II):

Prima Ranieri seeks retribution for her family's death and loss of home and land. Her plans go awry when the heir to the powerful Massaro family returns home. After only one glance, Prima's attraction to him undermines her furor toward those she blames for her plight.

After a fifteen year absence, Antonio Massaro returns to Palermo to find a war raging between his family and the evil Falcone. His refusal to accept his rightful position as the head of the Honored Society carries serious consequences. The welfare of the people of Palermo is at stake. But one look at the beautiful woman Prima has become costs him his heart. She's a deadly that jeopardizes her life as well as his own. 


Prima and Antonio are out for a pleasure ride and stopped in an orchard. Prima sets Antonio straight on the matter of her marrying.

“Think you age is on your side?”

She bristled. “I am not yet beyond marriageable age, or hindered like an old hag. But do tell, why must I have a husband?”

“You need a man, Prima, for you are like a wild horse before it is captured and tamed.”

“Such an insult! I’ll not be compared to an animal. And neither must I be captured or tamed.” She jerked on Amica’s reins, startling the horse. Antonio held the leather lines, preventing the horse from bolting.

“You act as if you are the only person ever to lose family. This bitter revenge you carry will one day turn you into a mean and spiteful old woman. Give up your fight. Marry and have children.”

“And bring them into a world of greed and senseless killing? I’ll not birth a son who is expected to rule and dominate solely because he is a man. And I’ll not birth a daughter who will be forced to bend to a man’s will simply because she is a female.
Marriage is not a path I favor. I want the freedom to choose how I ride a horse and to decide on the clothes I wear.”

“Those ideas will bode ill for you, Prima. You alone cannot change a society.”

“No, but I alone can choose my path in life; and no man will ever take that away from me.”

Blurb for Lily and The Falcon (Book I):

Bianca degli Albizzi is outraged when sworn enemy Cristiano de' Medici asks for her hand in marriage. With her father's blessing, she weds the handsome warrior to end the war between Florence's two powerful families. But headstrong Bianca vows to teach her husband that loyalty cannot be bought...not even by seduction.

Cristiano, a well-known warrior with the wealth of a king, could have any woman he desires. But for the sake of peace he ends up with a defiant bride who awakens his deepest passion. Her vengeful scheming puts them both in peril, but is he prepared to sacrifice his life to safeguard the woman who has stolen his heart?


In this scene, Cristiano and Bianca are betrothed and are out for a stroll with Cristiano's cousin and Bianca's sister as chaperones. The reference to the harlot's hose goes back to when he rode out of Florence to accompany Cosimo de' Medici to Padua, where he will be exiled. Cristiano had been stabbed in arm.

“Have you thought of me during my absence?”

“Surely you jest!”

“Then you have forgotten that I wore the harlot’s hose about my arm as I rode out of Florence?”

Bianca stopped abruptly, sputtering in exasperation. She paced two steps forward, two steps back, then whirled on Cristiano with eyes flashing. “You are undyingly arrogant.”

He simply shrugged, as if she had given him a compliment instead of an accusation on his character.

“Know you I would have preferred wearing your hose?”

Bianca blanched. She glanced about hastily as she prayed no one else had heard his ungentlemanly wish. It didn’t help that both Niccolo and Francesca seemed to find the comment amusing. Bianca raised her chin and directed her hostile gaze at the shine in Cristiano’s eyes.

“Is it your practice to wear women’s hose?” she asked pointedly.

Cristiano threw his head back and roared. When at last he contained his mirth, he replied, “Maiden, you humor me. I thank you.”

“Thank me not, my lord,” Bianca said, her mouth tight. As she flounced off, his iron grip yanked her back, forcing her to his side. They began walking again. Now and then he’d chuckle, deepening the color in her cheeks. She was surprised when he stopped and turned to look at her. Niccolo and Francesca went on ahead.

“Bianca, would you willingly marry me if I were not a Medici?”

She let her gaze sweep up the length of him and realized he was anxious to hear her response. Sighing, she replied, “Mayhap one day I would.”

“Your meaning?”

“I am only in my eighteenth year, my lord, and have years left to be free from one man’s rule.”

A new dawning came to light from her honesty. “Are you afraid you will lose your freedom?”

Bianca nodded.

At the entrance to an alley behind the bank Cristiano owned, he took Bianca’s hand and pulled her around the building. Backing up to the wall, he brought her into him, cradling her cozily between his hips.

“This is improper,” she protested.

“I care not, so do not burden me with propriety. I mean only to set your mind at ease, Bianca. The freedom you desire need not be lost to you Understand the importance our marriage will have on the Medici and the Albizzi.” He broached the subject, ever aware of her mistrust of his lineage. “We must proceed for the sake of Florence.”

“Mayhap you feel indebted to Florence, and I should as well. But marriage should be for lovers.”

A devil’s gleam came into his eyes. Bianca leaned back, but he pressed her into him, imprisoning her to his length.

“Then lovers we shall be,” he whispered. His mouth descended like a swooping hawk, closing over her lips in bridled passion. Carefully, he controlled his desire for her, restraining himself commendably, though he doubted she’d agree. Her inexperience enthralled him, and he wished he could understand how his intimate caresses affected her. Cristiano embraced her, glorying in the feel of her soft body stretching up his, thrilling to the knowledge that soon she would be his woman, no matter that Albizzi blood flowed through her veins.

Buy Link for both books in the series:

And here's a little about Jannine:
Jannine Corti Petska was born in New York but raised in Southern California. Her parents' first language was Italian, and Jannine was raised in an Old World environment. She began writing romance novels when her three daughters were young and she was a stay-at-home mom. In-between writing and caring for her family, she tutored Italian, Spanish, German, and English as a Second Language at a local college. Although she loves placing her stories in medieval Italy, she has also written romantic tales of the cowboy in the American West. To find out more about Jannine, please visit her website.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finding Inspiration (and a Ghost Story) in History

It is my distinct honor and privledge to host fellow Wild Rose Press Author, Beth Trissel at Tattered Pages today, who shares with us some great pics along with the inspiration behind her latest release! Take it away, Beth!

My fascination with the past and those who’ve gone before me is the ongoing inspiration behind my historical and light paranormal romances.  But in my recent release, the Christmas ghost story romance Somewhere the Bells Ring, I actually lived during the featured time period.   Those of you who write contemporary won’t get why this is momentous, but the closest I’ve come to being physically present in any of my settings is the opening of my time travels before we head on back.  But--wait for it--now that I’m old enough to be ‘vintage,’ I experienced life in 1968.  An adolesent then, I remember it well, think hippies, some of the best darn rock music ever written, fishnet hose, Bonnie Bell lip gloss, the maxi dress, Vietnam, the definitive Romeo & Juliet film, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy assasinations that rocked the nation…to quote a country neighbor, it was a ‘right mixy’ era with a major cultural revolution going on.  And yet, in many ways, a simpler time. 

In addition to my nostalgia over the late 60’s is a poignant draw to the early 20th century.  Old family photographs taken before WW1 portray ladies in long white dresses going on picnics, playing tennis, or boating with young gentlemen wearing white trousers, striped jackets, and everyone in hats…then the ones taken during the war and after, styles changed but life was still gracious, apart from the war, that is. The tragic death of my Marine Captain grandfather who distinguished himself fighting during WW1 then died of a heart attack a decade later when my dad was only three spread through my generation like a ripple on a pond.  I grew up grieving the loss of this amazing man I never knew and dedicated the story to him.

And then there’s the beautiful old Virginia homeplace where my dad was born and raised and I grew up visiting during the holidays that the home in this story is based on.  To that, add a vivid dream that had me stepping back in time in that house and encountering a mysterious young gentleman filled with angst, and pondering what his story was for a good ten years before I finally wrote Somewhere the Bells Ring.  Inspiration galore.


Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative's ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn't so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope--until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe--in Bailey and the ghost--before the Christmas bells ring?

I leave you with this pensive thought, ‘In a lifetime, there are many lifetimes.’
SOMEWHERE THE BELLS RING is available in ebook at The Wild Rose PressAmazon Kindle, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook & other online booksellers.
***If you leave me nice comments I will give away an ebook, pdf, ePub, or kindle, winner’s  choice.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ah...sweet, sweet Paris!

I've always dreamed of going to Paris, and after viewing this post, I almost feel like I've been there! Thank you, Mona, for bringing us these breathtaking pictures and for sharing with us a GREAT excerpt from your latest release, RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN, based in the land of romance. Ah...sweet Paris! 

What do the words France, Paris, Eiffel Tower, Loire Valley, evoke for you?

Do you think romantic settings? Visualize historical chateaux? Imagine a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower? Prepare your camera to snap pictures of the amazing architecture? Get ideas from the fashion capital? Prepare yourself to taste and enjoy the French Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon, Beaujolais Nouveau, Bordeau... Are you feeling fuzzy, maybe a little drunk?

After many visits to France—I stopped counting years ago— I can still rhapsodize about Paris and its thousand attractions. The Loire Valley, known as "the Garden of France", was the favorite residence of the Kings of France during the Renaissance period. They made this peaceful countryside the setting for their dreams, and surrounded themselves with the greatest artists and architects of this era.

Chambord is truly royal and combined the dream of King François I with the imagination of Leonardo de Vinci. In this picture, I’m standing in front of the Chateau de Chambord.

Chenonceau, the Ladies’ Castle, is my favorite, built on a bridge across river Cher. King Henry II gave it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers.

When my husband treated me to a special thirtieth anniversary with a trip to the Vallée de la Loire and a two-day stay in an authentic chateau, I fell in love with the area and have never forgotten it.

RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN, my new contemporary romance is set in this chateau. The count who owns the chateau is a handsome doctor adored by patients and nurses. Only one woman can’t seem to stand him because...

Chapter One

“Love you, Yves.” Marie-Beth Drake purred and cuddled deeper against her lover’s broad chest.

Already half-asleep, Steve squeezed her to his side, with a faint “Hmm”. Soon, his light snores filled the air.

Sated and relaxed, she stroked his silvery hair. “Love you—”

She froze.

What had she called him?

Oh God, oh God. Had she said Steve or… Yves?

Her fiancé grumbled in his sleep. She immediately yanked her hand away from his head. Her fingers flew to her lips and her stomach somersaulted. She couldn’t have whispered the loathsome name? She’d buried it long ago and forgotten the sexy French doctor and his charismatic smile.

Had Steve noticed the slip of her tongue?

Heart pounding, she studied his closed eyes and slightly gaping mouth. Not to worry. Her fiancé slept as peacefully as a man content with life—as he did every night.

Shivering with mortification, she slid out of his arms. Her throat ached with sudden dryness as she covered herself with a robe and rushed downstairs.

In the living room, she grabbed a bottle of Merlot from the bar, filled a glass and swallowed it, and poured a second one. Her mind in shambles, she settled on the sofa to organize her thoughts.

Hanging over the fireplace, her fiancé’s portrait focused a serious look at her. She blinked. “I don’t know how it happened. Honestly,” she groaned with an apologetic grimace.

Sultry images of the French surgeon obscured her vision. Yves smiling, his knuckles caressing her cheeks, his face reaching closer to hers. She snatched her head back and touched her lips, swollen from Steve’s kisses. And remembered Yves’s passionate embrace. “No, please.” Her world tilted on its axis.

Weary and confused, she emptied her glass. “You’re history. Gone, Dr. Malroux.” To think he’d left Boston the next day after the blissful night she’d spent in his arms, and never came back, never called the chubby medical student she’d been then. “No more crazy dreams or heartaches,” she scolded in a strangled groan.

Why did Steve have to mention his name a few days ago and ask her to participate in an exchange program of residents with his French colleague?

“Nope. Not interested,” she’d immediately replied, and Steve hadn’t insisted.

Training with Dr. Yves Malroux would tempt any residents but her. She’d hoped never to set eyes on him
again after she’d torn his picture into a hundred pieces.

With an automatic motion, she rotated the too-heavy engagement ring, token of Steve’s love and status. He’d forgotten to lock the five-carat diamond in his safe after their evening out. Dear Steve, in a few months, they’d be married, that is, if he didn’t ask awkward questions about her stupid blurt, and… She cringed, anticipating the worst.

After two glasses of wine, she’d developed a splitting headache. Torturing herself over the baffling mistake didn’t do any good. She was on call tomorrow and needed her sleep and a clear head to assist in General Surgery. She lumbered up to one of the guestrooms, sprawled on the bed and fell into an exhausted sleep.

“Oh Y-Yves, yes, yes.” Sweating and trembling, she bolted awake and clutched the blanket to her throat.

“Yves?” Heaving a deep breath, she shook off the haze of the haunting dream. Yves nuzzling her throat, kissing her open lips, caressing her naked flesh. Oh, God, am I losing my mind?

In the morning, she shuffled down to the kitchen. Steve didn’t mention anything unusual over breakfast. His satisfied smile contrasted painfully with her restless mood.

“You’re very quiet,” he said in a jovial voice that irritated her frazzled nerves. “Contrary to last night,” he added with a wink.

“Oh yeah?” she muttered, sloshing coffee over the table.

Buy Link:
“You mumbled and screamed and butchered my name several times. Eeeeve,” he mimicked with a strident tone before bursting out in laughter.


If you’ve enjoyed this scene, the ebook is available at Amazon for only $0.99

Come along with Mary-Beth and Yves for a memorable armchair trip to the Loire Valley and Paris.

Thank you AJ for hosting me on your lovely blog.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Mona! And here's where you can find her on the web!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A New Review for Jezebel's Wish!

I had to share this with the world today. I woke up to this review for Jezebel's Wish waiting in my inbox!

"Jezebel's Wish" is an outstanding work of written art. I found myself completely engrossed into the fictional reality of this sweet romance. I review a number of books and find myself rather jaded sometimes with reoccurring lack of originality, However with that said, this book did something that a book has not done for me in a long time, and that is; this book made me cry. I highly recommend reading this. A.J. Neust's talent truly shines in this creative, romantic epic. If you are like me, you will find that you cannot help but pull for these love-torn characters and who knows, maybe you will find yourself crying a little right along with them.
Debbi Farmer


If you are so inclined, you can read the actual review here:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting to Know Rachel Brimble!

I'm psyched beyond words to have the talented Rachel Brimble with me today, with a guest interview and a peek inside Paying the Piper, her latest release from Lyrical Press! Welcome, Rachel!

Assuming you write in the romance genre, do you stick to one sub-genre or write across lines?

I write across lines - at the moment, I have two romantic suspense, one romantic comedy, one Victorian historical and two straight contemporary romances published. I like to alternate between contemporary and historical with each book. It keeps me fresh, interested and excited. I hope that's true for my readers too!

Oh, that's fabulous - and a really great idea. So, is the bedroom door generally left open or closed?

The bedroom door is most definitely open in my books - I suppose I would class the heat level at sensual to spicy. This is the heat level I like to read, too. The most important thing for me when I am writing or reading a love scene is the emotional connection between the hero and heroine and what they are risking or sacrificing in that moment. Once the hero and heroine make love, everything changes whether they initially realize it or not.

After finishing a manuscript, do you take some time off or dive right in to the next story?

Always dive straight into the next story - while working on one story, I am always making notes for the next so when I come to finish the current one, the new one is alive and running in my mind. I love nothing more than starting a new book! It's so exhilarating when you start that chapter one and have no idea how the book will end up. I am not a complete pantser but often only have a two to three page synopsis and character sketches when I start - past that, anything goes and I love it!

What’s on your nightstand (or downloaded onto your Kindle) right now?

I am usually reading three books at any one time - a hardback for reading in bed, a paperback for the bath and when I'm walking the dog (I kid you not) and a book on my Kindle for when I am out and about, sitting in cars waiting to pick the kids up, doctor's office etc.
I am currently reading:
Close - Martina Cole (hardback)
My Lover's Lover - Maggie O'Farrell (paperback)
Storm's Interlude - Vonnie Davis (kindle)

Favorite cocktail? Cosmopolitan every time! Yum...

Any pets? Yes, my beloved black Labrador, Max, is my third child and my constant companion. He is with me at every possible moment, whether I am writing, reading, ironing or taking a bath (he sits outside the bathroom with his nose under the door, lol!).

As well as Max, my girls have a hamster each who Max likes to traumatize when he thinks no one is looking. We are definitely a pet-friendly family. Love animals!

Buy Link

Nightclub manager, Grace Butler is on a mission to buy the pub where her mother’s ashes are scattered – except the vendor wants to sell to anyone but her. And the vendor happens to be her father…with a secret Grace will do anything to uncover.

Social worker and all-round good guy, Jimmy Betts needs cash to buy a house for three special kids before their care home closes. In a desperate bid for cash, he agrees to a one-time ‘job’ for bad-man Karl Butler. But in a sudden turn of events, Jimmy finds himself employed by Karl’s beautiful, funny and incredibly sexy daughter, Grace.


Their lives are so different except for one unifying thread – they are both trying to escape the binds of their tyrannical fathers. But is the key to their liberty each other?

Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press.  She recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel hopes to have a further two novels, one contemporary and one Victorian published in 2012.
When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.  Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…