Archive for September, 2010

New Cave Release – Jocelyn Modo

Shifter lion Kissa Alassane has finally gone into heat and she has never been consumed by such raging lust. Too bad her lioness is demanding she mate with Venor Brun, a tortured and deadly male with a dark past.

Too bad she can’t keep her hands, lips or any other part of herself off him. They must mate three times to complete their bond. Just once can’t hurt, she figures, just once to soothe her aching need and clear her head.

When once becomes twice, Kissa flees to Austin, Texas, hoping to lose Venor and others tracking her in the big city. But a pride of rogue shifters is killing and turning humans in Austin, and Kissa finds herself thrust into a full-scale battle for survival. And while Venor may be the only male who can save her, he might be the biggest threat of all…especially to her heart.

Jasmine Aherne Interviewed Me!

Whoop! My crazy-arsed interview with Jasmine Aherne went up today. Please stop by!

OUT TODAY! Inferno – Book 3 in the Blinded Series

Lee and Ryan make their way back to the town where they grew up, but upon their return to Lee’s cabin, something isn’t right…


Lee buries his mother, confused with the feelings her death has inspired. He thought he’d feel free, but emotions he didn’t expect come to the fore. After an altercation with an old school friend, they pack up Ryan’s things and head for Biddingford and Lee’s cabin. Something isn’t right, though, and Ryan and Lee face a frightening adversary who just can’t let the past go…


Why I Write

Hi! I’m blogging over at Flirty Author Bitches today about why I write. If you want a chance to win my books, go on over! Bye for now!

New Release – Personal Research by Cari Quinn

Briefs are Elena Thomas’s life, whether they’re legal at her day job or on the men in the erotic novels she writes. She’s just fine with saving her imagination for her books until temptation appears in the form of Nunzio, the smokin’-hot office IT guy. When he discovers one of her scorching books shooting out of the printer, Elena’s not sure if he wants her because she’s inventive or because he thinks she’s desperate. That doesn’t stop her from taking advantage of his “services”.

On her desk. On the copier. And, oh yeah—in her boss’s chair.

Nunzio’s shocked to learn Elena’s wall-hugging persona hides a wildcat of a woman with delicious fantasies and an enticing wit. She’s exactly what he’s been looking for in an adventurous lover—and girlfriend. He knows she enjoys their sexual research. Now he just has to convince her that sizzling sex is only the first chapter of their blazing-hot romance.

New Release – Luscious by Amanda Sidhe

A book in the Dominant Blood series.

Luscious earned his nickname as a human servant to an ancient vampire clan. Willingly, he surrenders body and blood to their whims. Yet despite his devotion to his clan, Luscious’ closest bond is with his fellow human servant, Belle. The blonde beauty services the men and woman of the clan as Luscious does. Taboo alone prevents their friendship from developing into the deeper relationship they both crave. But sometimes the allure of the forbidden is too strong to resist.

Then everything shatters with the prick of a fang, putting more than just their hearts in the crosshairs. A dangerous game of deception and betrayal is the only way out, if they can just survive the night together.

Fantasies – Do They Make You Feel Guilty?

Come on over to Three Wicked Writers Plus Two and tell me how fantasies make you feel!

Interview! Shoshanna Evers

Please welcome Shoshanna Evers to my blog! Today her book, Punishing the Art Thief, releases from Ellora’s Cave. After the blurb, please have fun reading an interview with Shoshanna.

Security guard James Tannen has been lusting after art history professor Melissa Dwyer since he sat in on her class three years ago. She crashes a private art unveiling at his employer’s house—then costs him his job by stealing a previously stolen priceless painting. She’ll do anything to keep the painting for herself—and James will do anything to get Melissa into his bed.

They agree that if she spends the weekend with him, he won’t tell a soul about her stolen masterpiece. It’s blackmail, but it’s also the perfect excuse for Melissa to get to know James. He takes a few of her erotic books for research, even though she’s never tried any of the risqué sexual techniques she reads about and masturbates to. Bondage. Nipple clamps. Butt plugs. Spanking.

If James is using her personal book collection as a script for their weekend together, Melissa knows she’s in for a wild ride!

Nat: So, how does writing make you feel, darling?

Shoshanna: I love escaping into another world for a few hours. Writing makes my life feel infinitely more exciting than it really is.

Nat: I know what you mean. We can travel the world, do things we would never do in real life. Also, I like the fact that we can orchestrate things to end how we want them to, not how they might in reality.

Which book is your fave—and why? Gotta know the why because I’m nosey.

Shoshanna: The Story of O. It’s a classic—and so inspiring, especially if you write BDSM flavored erotic romance like I do.

Nat: I’ve never read that. Maybe I should. I’ve delved into writing BDSM too, and I find the lifestyle fascinating and somewhat beautiful. That’s another book to add to my TBR pile!

Do you need silence to write, or can you pen a tale with a household tempest swirling around you?

Shoshanna: Well, I have a toddler, so if I needed silence to write then I’d never get anything done! But I can’t have music or a television on in the background, that’s really distracting to me.

Nat: Oh yes, when children are around, you learn to write amid chaos. Been there and done that!

What books do you have planned for the future, or don’t you know until you open a clean document?

Shoshanna: I actually have a few already penned that I’m waiting to submit to my editor at Ellora’s Cave, because I don’t want to overwhelm her, lol. I also have a book in my head that’s been roaming around for a while now, dying to get out, but so far all I really know about that book is that it’s probably going to be set in post-apocalyptic New York City.

Nat: Oooh, that sounds interesting, although I’ll admit anything post-apocalyptic scares me silly.

How much writing time do you have each day/week, and do you wish you had more?

Shoshanna: My writing schedule is based around taking care of my toddler. So if he naps, I write. If he’s entertaining himself with his toys for a little while, I’ll write. And when he goes to sleep for the night, I write. So I get a couple hours a day, usually in bits and pieces. Every other weekend I work as a nurse, which means that on the opposite weekend I try to get several writing hours in. I have more time than the average person, I suppose, since I don’t work full time.

Nat: That sounds like a good deal! At least you get to write every day. I can’t imagine not having that option. Waiting for weekends would drive me batty.

Okay, imagine this, if you will… You’ve been asked to attend awriting convention, and a genie appears (come on, indulge me…), offering to magic one star who will accompany you. Who would you pick and why? Details, I must have details, and if it’s a star I’d pick, I’ll fight you for the sexy bleeder! *holds fists up and stands in a menacing position, just so you know I mean business*

Shoshanna: Clive Owen. Oh my! *fans self*. He’s dreamy. He just looks like the sort of guy who means business, ya know?

Nat: I’m terrible with stars. I hardly know any of them. Once again I shall head to Google and have a look… Ah, I recognise him but can’t think what I’ve seen him in.

Oh crap! The genie has appeared again—gosh, he’s an accommodating fella but arrives at the most inopportune friggin’ fantasy moment GRR—and grants you another wish. Personally, I think he fancies you, hence his reappearance, but he’s so shy he’s just making out he has to visit you with three wishes. Yeah, right, Genie Boy, whatever you say. Hmm. Why doesn’t he just say he thinks you’re lush? Men! Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. The genie says you can take your star on an all-expenses paid holiday. Where would you go and why?

Shoshanna: Going on holiday? That’s so cute. I almost forgot you were British for a second there. Going on holiday sounds so much better than going on vacation. Anyhoo, I’d go to Israel, because I only went once and that was many years ago, and it’s an expensive flight, so I’d like to make good use of the all-expenses paid thing.

Nat: So tell me, what would you do with him? You know, do-do *wink*.

Shoshanna: I’d invite him to read my erotica and let me know which scene he’d prefer to reenact. *Sigh* Not really. Even in my fantasies, I’d feel guilty snuggling up to Clive when I have a perfectly good hubby at home. So I guess Clive and I would spend the holiday playing chess.

Nat: Aww, I’m with you there. I wouldn’t feel right fantasizing either.

The genie offers you unlimited wishes if you go with him, but you can’t use one to keep the star as yours. Would you run away with the genie or stay with the star?

Shoshanna: Genie! I could make *very* good use of my own personal genie.

Nat: Me too! So, do you believe in love at first sight, soul mates, and destiny?

Shoshanna: Absolutely. The first time I met my husband, I felt a spark. Six weeks later, he proposed. That was six years ago.

Nat: Hey, that’s wonderful. I believe in it too.

Where do you see yourself in your writing career in five year’s time?

Shoshanna: Hopefully in five years I’ll have a whole slew of ebooks with Ellora’s Cave and also a literary agent and some books out with NY Publishers. Fingers crossed! Or, hey, hand me the genie.

Nat: I wish you all the luck in the world for that, and it would be wonderful if you met your goal. How brilliant it would be! Actually, let’s be positive here. It WILL be wonderful WHEN you meet your goal.

Well, it’s been lovely having you here, darling. I wish you much success and happiness in your writing career.

And now, dear readers, we have an excerpt of Shoshanna’s new release, Punishing the Art Thief. Enjoy!

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.


Copyright © SHOSHANNA EVERS, 2010

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Melissa peeked into the third door again and stepped inside, flipping on a light that illuminated the single large oil painting. Her jaw dropped. It couldn’t be.

Could it?

Was this really Rembrandt’s only seascape, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee? Impossible. It had to be a replica, because that painting had been stolen in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Two men in police uniforms had handcuffed the museum security guards to railings before the staff realized they weren’t really cops.

It was the biggest art heist in U.S. history. Those men stole about $300 million worth of paintings—not because they wanted to sell them, or ransom them, but because, Melissa presumed, they wanted to go down in history as having pulled it off. And the paintings were all still missing.

Melissa crept closer to the painting. The thieves who had stolen the Rembrandt had cut it out of its frame, destroying the outer margins of the canvas. So if she could just see if the edges were cut, she’d know for certain if it was the real deal or a replica. Although it seemed unlikely that a collector like Mr. Hamilton would have a replica at all, much less one hung in what seemed like such a spot of honor. It had to be the real thing—but she needed to know for sure.

Lifting the frame off the wall, Melissa stumbled under its bulk and weight. The little lamp that underlit the painting was knocked to the floor and smashed. She choked back a gasp of fear as the room fell into shadows once more. She laid the frame on the hardwood floor, wincing at the thud it made. Someone had to have heard that. She paused. Nothing.

Reaching into her beaded clutch, she pulled out her cell phone and turned it on so that the backlight shone down onto the painting. Feeling like a criminal, she carefully separated the canvas from the frame.

It was real. She was looking at Rembrandt’s original stolen painting, knifed edges and all.

She couldn’t just leave the painting there. She had to take it home with her so she could figure out how to handle the situation. She’d have to notify the FBI. But how could she leave with a painting without attracting attention?

If she could remove the painting from the frame, it just might be doable. Melissa slid the canvas completely out of the frame and methodically rolled it, setting it aside in the corner as she stepped back and pondered what to do next.

Lifting the now-empty frame, Melissa hung it back on the wall with only the light from her cell phone to guide her, and kicked the shards from the broken light against the wall. In the dark room, it was impossible to tell that anything was amiss. But that wouldn’t be the case forever.

What was going to happen when Mr. Hamilton noticed the painting was missing?

She sensed the presence behind her before she heard James’ voice. “Just what do you think you’re doing, Melissa?”

Melissa turned around, her hands trembling. “James, please, it’s not what it looks like.”

“Turn around,” he said. “Get down on your knees and put your hands behind your head.”

“Please, James—”

“Now. Or I’m calling for backup to help restrain you.”

Melissa took a shaky breath but she did as he ordered. The long satin gown billowed around her as she kneeled, facing away from him. She could hear him flip the switch and was grateful that she had broken the light, because the fact that the frame on the wall was empty wouldn’t be noticed in the dark. Hopefully.

James cursed under his breath, then said, “Mr. Hamilton hired me to make sure that none of his things are stolen. You’ve been upstairs for way too long. You tricked me.”

“I swear, James, I didn’t.”

“Mrs. Hamilton keeps her diamonds up here. Is that what you were really after?”

Melissa dropped her hands from behind her head in shock. “No.”

“How do I know you didn’t swipe her jewelry? Why else would you be standing alone in the dark except to smuggle the jewels out of here on your person?”

“You can check,” Melissa said, her voice sounding strained and false to her ears. “I don’t have anything.”

“Oh, I’ll check all right. I’m going to search you, and you had better not be lying.”

If only she could escape before he figured out she had removed the painting from the frame. But she had to get the Rembrandt in her possession first. It was still rolled in the corner of the room in shadows.

“Stand up,” he said. “And put your hands on your head where I can see them.”

Melissa stood. She carefully avoided looking at the canvas in the corner or at the empty frame on the wall. From the dim light her cell phone was giving off, she could barely see anything herself. She was woozy with fear and excitement from being alone with James. She would have to do whatever it took to keep all of his attention on her and only her. As long as he didn’t focus on getting the room lit up, she would be home free.

She felt him step up behind her, his powerful torso just inches from her back. He methodically ran his hands up the bodice of her gown, running his fingers across the underside of her breasts the way she had seen female prisoners on television get patted down for drugs and needles. He dipped his hand into the top of her gown and carefully fingered the underwire bra she had on. Did he just caress her nipple? Or was she imagining things?

His hands came down and patted across her hips and down her buttocks, reaching underneath the hem of the satin dress and gliding up her thighs. Melissa moaned involuntarily at the sudden need she felt in her core. She struggled to keep her hands laced on her head, to keep from reaching out and touching him. He’s just doing his job, she reminded herself. Just because she was getting turned-on didn’t mean that he was thinking about anything other than his employers’ diamonds.

“I don’t feel any jewels hidden away under your gown,” he said softly. He slipped his hand into her panties. “Or did you hide them deeper?” Melissa gasped as she felt one long finger run along the crease of her labia, pressing gently against her clit for just a second before he inserted his finger into her pussy. Melissa knew she was wet with need, which was more than a bit embarrassing if James really was just searching her body for stolen jewels.

But she heard James murmur appreciatively as he withdrew his finger and rested his hand against her bare skin under the gown. He pressed his body against hers, holding her back to his chest. Her breath caught in her throat as she felt his massive erection pressing against her lower back.

It seemed as if he was getting just as much out of this impromptu body search as she was. “See,” she said. “I didn’t steal anything.”

He slid his finger down the crease of her ass and, to her surprise, pushed his finger, already lubricated from her own juices, into her asshole. Her jaw dropped as he withdrew his finger. No one had ever touched her there before.

Angels Come When Darkness Calls

As slumber’s embrace held me tight, and I dreamed of nothing I can remember now, the sun’s pregnant belly rose over the horizon, the day keeping the secret from me a little longer. The secret that when I woke, the ills of yesterday would be gone. Not completely; no, they are still there, but the strength to deal with them has returned, to think of them as nothing but bobbles on a well-loved cardigan or a speck of dust on a recently polished desk—you wish they weren’t there but they are easily ignored.

I opened my eyes, and evil thoughts, coming in the guise of a creeping spider with carefully placed, light footsteps of stealth, seeped into my mind. I would not entertain them, bade them farewell, and surprise that they retreated without a fight brought a relieved smile. That curve, that tweak that shows the world I am happy, I am me again, had returned. A weight lifted, literally, and I turned in bed to find my angel had come to wake me up.

I asked if my eyes were puffy, if I looked wrinkled and old, and he stared down at me and said: Just puffy, not wrinkly or old. And he stared at me with such love that I wondered how a man such as him can look at someone such as me like that. Someone who thinks evil things and allows the darkness to claim her one too many times. But even that thought was an evil one brought on spiders’ legs—they had come again almost without my notice—and I shoved them away, thankful for the love in his eyes and the touch of his hand on my face.

I rose, the sun’s rays struggling through the curtains, and realised my body had lightened some more, as though the proverbial weight of which we speak was an actual burden. Weighty and oppressive. Tangible. And I smiled again, glad that it had gone—whether it be just for now, or whether it will return later doesn’t matter. This second matters, and then the next, the millions of them bleeding into minutes and hours and days and weeks and months.

The previous night I had dreamed of strange faces made of dull, black rippled silk, morphing into terrible shapes that had no authority to be in my head. These faces, these figures were my demons, all the badness manifesting into something I could see, something that gave them meaning. And what were they but ugliness? Gyrating bodies and scowling faces sent to push me to the edge, to pull me from sanity into madness.

They are gone now.

Angels come when darkness calls, as they always do. When my wings are broken, when I can’t fly, they lift me up and take me where I need to go, showing me the direction that I can’t see because it’s too murky and my sight is shrouded in pitch. Each of them brings their unique burst of light, throwing illumination on my tempest and highlighting the eye of the storm. And I see it then, when all the angels show me the same thing.

There is one more angel who has work to do.

That angel inside me who, broken many times in the past and reformed, with new feather growth and the drive to fly alone, must regenerate again. And she does—she did this day—and it is like the yesterdays never were. Like the silent hiss never existed. How is it that two days can be so different? How is it that twenty-four hours ago I sat here, despondent and weary, with no hope of ever feeling hope or happiness? How is it that today, the mettle, the nerve, the vitality has returned?

It was the prayer: Oh, God, help me. Somebody please help me.

Someone heard. And they listened because it was heartfelt and I meant it.

They did not give me what I asked for—no, they couldn’t do that; what I asked for was evil. What I requested wasn’t what I needed. They knew, and they waited, gifting me with strength instead of the wretched thing I wanted.

Still want.

I ponder whether my wanting of such terrible things is why the darkness comes. Is it a sign that I am secretly evil? Or does everyone, even the purest, kindest person, have thoughts as nasty as mine? Even if only for a second, do we all have those imaginings, only to be startled by their ferocity, our cheeks hot and flushed at the shame of ever having thought them?

I didn’t wear sunglasses today, despite the puffiness. Despite the wrinkles that are there, even though my angel said they are not. Perhaps he doesn’t see them. Perhaps he does and he loves them because they are a part of me, testament to the years we have been together. When we met, the wrinkles were few and far between, and now…now they are carved into my face, every line proof of the laughter, the scowls, and life. I should not wish that they aren’t there—not if they are the story of the years. Not if they are evidence that I have lived. Memory crevasses, each and every one.

Oh, that one was when you made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe.

That one was when you made me proud, when I made you proud.

And that one…that one right there, the very first new wrinkle after we met, is the joy you have brought to me. Of those kinds of wrinkles I have many—thousands of them, barely seen, brought by people I have met along the way. All angels at some point in time, some to remain in my life and others not, but they visited all the same.

The silence here is beautiful, not only that in my sanctuary but that in my mind, my soul.

The Silent Hiss

I looked in the mirror and saw a face that wasn’t mine. Bags under the eyes, puffy lids, and wrinkles that have no business being there.

The sun is shining today, and I am glad. Sunglasses. They hide a multitude of things. Hide the windows to my soul, the memories of yesterday, the desolation that clouds the blue.

Tears. Nothing but a release of pressure. The hiss of a newly opened bottle of Pepsi. They come again, later, when the bottle is opened once more, just not so forcefully. And I wonder: Will the hiss that ceases to come, eventually, on that bottle, be the same for me? If enough tears come, will the hiss disappear?

Tears. The silent hiss.

She stood on the street corner, nothing feet tall and attitude written all over her face. She looked at my girl, up and down, up and down, and her expression told me a million things: I’m better than, I’m more than, I’m… The cut of her cloth may have been better. The cut of her hair too. But her face—such disdain there, such…hurtful thoughts expressed—was not better than the smile my girl gave her. Differences. So big. So vast. Even then. Even at such a young age.

I felt dirty. Beneath. Worse than.

Photographs handed over, and I took them, walked home, head bent, gaze on the past. Memories flooded back, of how things used to be, when there was no silent hiss. And I went back there, just for a moment, for the duration of a time suspended in happiness, where nothing else mattered. A tree branch snagged in my hair. Just for that second, I didn’t mind. Not then, when she looked back at me from the paper and I remembered loving her to death and never wanting her to grow up. But she is, she has, and I cannot stop time. Nor go back to the place without the hiss.

Perhaps. Maybe. I think I can go back there, but anger, resentment, and many other negative things have blocked the path. There is so much more good than bad, yet the bad overrides. Obliterates. Devours. It is stronger. For now. And I wish it wasn’t, but the fight has gone. Evil thoughts come, ones that don’t belong to me, much like my face, and I hate that I have thought them.

The wind cuts, messes my hair and dries the silent hiss. And now I’m here, in my sanctuary, my head filled with nonsense. Nonsense on the page.

I could sit for hours and ponder yesterday. And the days, years before that. Head filling with more nonsense. The man of yesterday planned it this way. Sewed some seeds, and now he eagerly waits for them to grow. But I didn’t water them, and I wait for them to die. Wither. Decompose. And while they do, he waits, staring at the ground for the first glimpse of green to push through the earth.

A long wait, then.

In the future, there will be sunny skies. There will be a head filled with no nonsense. There will be a sense of having come through this…this blink of time and being stronger for it. Isn’t that the pattern, though? The same pattern. The same damn pattern.

I prayed yesterday. For guidance. Help. Oh, God, anyone, please help me. And the answer came, as it always does: Wait.

I’ve waited a long time. I will continue to wait, the pressure building, then the silent hiss. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. But I don’t believe what I need to wait for will ever come. This is just a game, and that same damn pattern will replicate until the day I die.

Weak. Weary.

Positivity is waiting for me around the corner. I’ll meet it soon, as I always do, and this blip will be a lonely memory, never visited or even acknowledged. I have too many little stones in my shoes to enable me to get around that corner without hurt, and I have no energy to take off my shoe and tip the stones out, but I’ll get there, and the sun will shine.

And there will be no sunglasses.

New Cave Release – Lynne Connolly

Before he became a jaguar shape-shifter and STORM agent, Jack Hargreaves was a librarian and archivist. Almost a geek. Working undercover in Oxford, England, Jack can almost believe he dreamed the last few years when his life turned around.

Except for sexy shape-shifter Shere, an Egyptian goddess with eyes of melting seduction and a body built for sin. And old friends who turn out not so friendly after all.

Shere already has a colleague—and lover—in Oliver, English lord, STORM agent and vampire. But when she sees Jack, all bets are off. She wants him badly, but she wants Oliver too. Can she have both?

What should be a routine operation rapidly goes bad, and Jack, Shere and Oliver, together with Chase Maynord, face danger that threatens them all and could blow the operation wide open. Along with their bodies, hearts and minds. Could Jack’s first field operation become his last?

Reader Advisory: Contains m/f/m ménage scenes. Don’t pretend you don’t like them!

New Cover Goodness


New Cave Release – J. R. Patrick

Zach is too hot for words but Marc has no intention of falling for his sexy coworker—no matter how many of Marc’s explicit dreams Zach stars in. With only a few months left of his stay in Germany, Marc doesn’t dare risk his heart with the beautiful man. But a train ride gone wrong changes everything when Zach comes to his rescue, melting Marc’s resistance in the process.

Zach’s patience has paid off. But now that the reserved scientist has turned up the heat from simmer to sizzle, four months won’t cut it. No. Zach wants forever. Will their chemistry be enough?

Free Read – Stockholm Seduction by Lily Harlem

I was having a fabulous extended gap year in Oz. Sun, sea, sand and seriously hot surfers rolling in on every wave. Mmm, what could possibly be better?

But then I was taken…taken against my will. Stolen like a prized object. I was tied up, held for ransom. I didn’t know if I would survive, if I would walk away alive. And then, to top it all off, I was tortured in the sweetest, most delicious, most sensual way imaginable.

That was when I realized my fun down under had only just begun.

Get Crazy with Me! You Know You Want To…

Blogging over at Three Wicked Writers Plus Two! today. Come and tell me what you’d do today if you had the chance!


Paul knows it’s time to leave Carl. Carl will do anything to make him stay. Vic wants to be his safe haven. Love that knows no bounds could save him or destroy him.


It’s been a while since Paul Miller fell for Carl, and now, he’s having a hard time remembering why. As the relationship slides beyond aggressive into dangerous and frightening, Paul wants a way out that doesn’t involve more violence.
To Carl, a bit of rough sex doesn’t even touch the tip of violent. The twisted path he’s has followed to show Paul the true depths of his love could lead them both a long way from where they thought life would take them.
When Paul is arrested for crimes he didn’t commit, one man, Victor Bradley, stands between him and the complete disintegration of his life.  But Vic is the cop who arrested him, and he knows way more than any stranger ought to about the details of Paul’s life.
Caught between the man he thought he loved and one who might be stalking him, Paul is due to learn some serious lessons about trust, friendship, and what love is really capable of.


Blog Revamp is Done & New Excerpt!

Today I revamped Nicole Zoltack’s blog using the template background she chose. I’m pleased with the outcome and just love the little fairy sitting on the books that I used for her signature and sidebar tabs. The main thing is Nicole is pleased too, and soon I’ll be doing the same competition again to give others the chance to win a new look.

On another subject, I’ve been working to expand a vampire tale, continuing from the end where I thought I’d finished LOL. Funny how a book has so much more in it than you first thought. I suspect it will turn into a novel now, and an editor is interested in it, which is always a bonus! With this publishing company I can supply my own cover art, so I created a cover and hope it gets accepted along with the book. Whatcha think?

I love playing on Photoshop almost as much as I love writing, so it’s a bonus when I get to make my own covers. Hopefully the book will be finished quite quickly once the kids are all back at school, but for now I’ll leave you with an unedited excerpt. Enjoy!

The roaring thunder reminded Emily of a night not so long ago, when the waves crashed upon the rocks below the lighthouse, slapping the cliff edge and spewing into the sky. Hundreds of droplets hung suspended for a moment, tinted white by the shaft of light streaming from the windows, the pitch sky a vast background littered with a million tiny stars.
She stared out the window now at a similar scene, her stomach in knots. Lincoln was out there, battling the waves, trying to reach the stranded sailor who had radioed in seconds before his boat capsized. A swathe of illumination from the lighthouse beacon flashed across the angry sea, showing the hideous choppy waves and foamy spume ridges. Emily hated times like this, her nerves strung taut, ready to snap if news came that Lincoln hadn’t made it. And she would feel it if he didn’t.
She lifted her fingers to her mouth as a flash of lightning staggered across the horizon. The streak of light vanished, and she thought of a time when she’d have seen her image in the glass, a haunted woman, black hair wild, eyes wide in a white face pinched by terror. Another growl of thunder brought the sensation of goose bumps to her arms and she covered her ears, a tangible rumble humming through the floor and up into her body. Closing her eyes, she fought to combat her nerves, telling herself Lincoln would come home. Home to hold her in his arms and whisper everything was all right. Home to carry her to bed and make sweet love to her until the sun snuck its orange scalp over the horizon and chased the bad weather away. Chased away their need to feed.
Emily’s gums ached, her teeth elongating as her belly spasmed for a different reason. Hunger gripped her, the need for liquid sustenance strong, leaving her arms and legs weak. Lincoln had to return soon or she would be forced out into the storm—or worse, to feed from old Ray, the mortal who lived in the apartment below theirs. He would be sleeping, oblivious to the storm, oblivious to her creeping into his room to pierce his neck and suckle.
No. I mustn’t. Lincoln will come back. He will.
The hunger consumed her and another hunger joined the race. She longed for her lover and turned from the bedroom window, moving to the kitchen in an attempt to occupy her mind. Thoughts of Lincoln intruded. She saw him as she had that first night, when the harsh waves tossed her small boat into the rocks. He had peered down at her from the cliff top, the slash of the lighthouse beacon bringing him into stark relief before plunging him back into darkness. Then the moonbeams behind glowed, giving him a silver aura, the only indication he remained in place. He shouted, his voice whipped away by the spiteful wind, and she cried out, clinging to a large rock, soaked to the bone and so very cold.
He disappeared and Emily lowered her forehead to the rock, hot tears spilling. The sea bombarded her, high walls of black fluid smacking her body, goading her to release her hold. She clung on, hoping she would be saved. Something about the man on the cliff had called to her, and a slither of belonging had unwound in her belly, swirling with the hope. She gripped the rock tighter. The faint sound of an engine filtered through the swoosh and shush of the water and she’d turned to see a cone of light directed her way, the shaft bobbing with the boat’s movement. The vessel drew as close to the rock as it was able without damaging the hull, and in the calm between waves Emily let go of the rock and swam toward her savior, lifted out of the water by a strong grip on her wrist. She spluttered, resting on her side, the cruel wind slashing at her body, her teeth chattering. A blanket covered her, and she clutched it in fists beneath her chin, willing the cold and body-racking shakes to leave her be. The boat lifted then sped away, jolting over waves. She closed her eyes for just a moment and silently thanked whoever had saved her, sensing it had been the man on the cliff.
A short while later the boat came to a stop and she forced herself into a sitting position, narrowing her eyes against the light spilling from a halogen lamppost at the end of a pier. Footsteps tapped on the deck, and Emily turned to face her rescuer. He stood looking down at her, a frown marring his brow, his mouth downturned with worry.
“Are you all right?” he asked, moving closer, holding out his hand for her to take.
She grasped it, her fingers curling around his wrist, and he hauled her upright. Her hair stuck to her temples and a gust of cold wind snapped at her cheeks, bringing on a fresh bout of shivers. Nodding, Emily stared at him, her tongue stilled by his beauty. A woolen hat covered his head, black hair peeking from the ribbed hem, and eyes the color of heated coal regarded her intently. How did they glow like that?