Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Wishes

Here's wishing everyone around the world a joyous and peaceful holiday, no matter what your religion or beliefs.

Thanks to everyone who helped put "Doll" on the bestseller list at MBaM. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to write out loud the stories that come to me. Gratitude also to my family, my darling man, and the new family that has accepted me into their lives so sweetly.



Let's meet again in the next book, shall we?

Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year -

Juniper Bell

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday Flash Holiday Blog Tour



Welcome to your next stop on LSB's Sunday Flash Holiday Blog Tour. You should have come here from Emily Ryan-Davis' blog. To start from the beginning of the tour, go to Liquid Silver's SEx blog. Now that you've made it to stop #3, may I offer you some hot buttered rum?

Or perhaps something more tropical ...

Ahhh, that's better. While you're here, feel free to explore my blog, open some books and read some hot excerpts. I have a Free Read available for download, and a new release.

Now, back to flashing. You will find the next installment of each author's flash in the comments below, including my flash, "The Invitation." The next stop on the tour is Jeanne Barrack's blog.

Thanks for playing with us. Feel free to flash, comment, or just sit back and enjoy the stories. And after the tour, you're invited to join us for an open house chat at Gem Sivad's place.

I'll see you there ... is the next round on you? ;)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

DOLL - Released



How fun was that Holiday Hottie Blog Tour??!! Congratulations to all the winners! I'm sure we'll be doing more blog tours, so stay tuned...

Meanwhile, back to our regularly scheduled programming. "Doll" is coming out on Tuesday, December 15. I'll be celebrating all over the Internet. Here's a list of upcoming events:

DECEMBER 13 - I'll be featured in a Spotlight Interview at Whispers of the Muse.
DECEMBER 14 - I'll be chatting with Blackraven at Blackraven's Erotic Cafe.
DECEMBER 15 - RELEASE DAY! If you haven't joined the Samhain Cafe Yahoo group, I highly recommend it! It's tons of fun, they hold lots of contests and parties, and I'll be chatting there on release day.
DECEMBER 15 - Guest blogging at Nikki Duncan's blog and Savvy Readers.
DECEMBER 16 - Blogging at The Samhellion.
DECEMBER 17 - I'll be interviewed at I Do Not Want to Wait I Want the Book Now!
DECEMBER 17 - Guest blogging at Three Wicked Writers.
DECEMBER 18 - You'll find me blogging at Romance Junkies.
DECEMBER 20 - I'll be blogging at Midnight Seductions.
DECEMBER 20 - LSB SUNDAY FLASH BLOG TOUR! The tour starts at the SEx blog.
DECEMBE 21 - Nina Pierce is kind enough to host me on Around the Writer's Block.
DECEMBER 27 - I'll be interviewed at Jeanne St. James blog.

I'll be giving away eBooks and, on occasion, chocolate!

More to come in January, but that's probably enough for now. ;) HAPPY HOLIDAYS - And don't forget -- eBooks are an affordable, ecological, enjoyable gift!

I'll leave you with the blurb for "Doll."

Even a plaything can be pushed too far…

Chloe Barnes thought her marriage to a wealthy politician would be the stuff of fairy tales. Instead, he took advantage of her naiveté and used her as a plaything to fulfill his twisted sexual needs. Ten years is enough. She returns to Bellhaven Island to sell the summer cottage she inherited, hoping the money will buy her freedom—and custody of her daughters.

Fisherman Dustin McDougal never forgot the childhood crush he once had on the fairy-like Chloe. The woman she’s become has a haunted look that brings his feelings back, stronger than ever…with a mature edge. Along with all his protective instincts.

Their passion blows stronger than a Maine nor’easter, awakening Chloe to the joy of true love. Yet it may not be strong enough to free her from the past…

BUY NOW - the link is live!

Peace and love, Juniper

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Hottie Blog Tour

Welcome to the Holiday Hottie Blog Tour! Santa's here and he knows exactly what you want this holiday season ...

Someone to take care of the cleaning ...













Someone to do the cooking ...


















Someone to wrap all those presents ...





















And someone to make you a drink after all that hard work!

Here's to a stress-free holiday season! Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win some amazing eBooks:

Preja Vu by Alanna Coca
3 paperbacks from Emily and Elise
For a Price by Olivia Brynn
Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad
Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Bound by Deception by Christa Paige
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
Banged Up by Jeanne St. James
Endangered Hearts by Jolie Cain
Flesh and Blood by Tina Holland
Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
The Challenge by Serena Shay
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler
Human Nature by Cat Kane
Backlist book by Dee Carney
Semper Fi by Jambrea Jo Jones
Red Lioness Tamed by Savanna Kougar
The Spirit of the Place by PG Forte
Iron by PG Forte
In the Dark by PG Forte
Winner's choice of any book by K.Z. Snow
Six Foot Hero by Shea McMaster
TBA by J. Morgan
Hearts Afire December by Emily, Elise and Ella
Signed print copy of Destiny's Magick by Rae Morgan
The Omegas by Annie Nicholas
The Extremist by Juniper Bell
Tastes of Pleasure by Shara Lanel


And a bonus prize! To celebrate the release of "Doll" from Samhain Publishing on December 15, I'm offering a delivery of Dagoba Organic Drinking Chocolate to one commenter who can name the heroine of "Doll." (Hint: scroll down for the blurb.)

Your next stop on the Holiday Hottie Blog Tour is Alanna Coca's blog. And don't forget to join us for the after-tour chat party at Gem Sivad's Place. There will be authors dropping in all day long, so come on by! No password necessary.

One more hint for a relaxing holiday: eBooks make an easy, affordable, fun, ecological gift. ;)

Happy Holidays,

Juniper

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DOLL - Adult Excerpt

COMING THIS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15 -- "Doll" from Samhain Publishing.

Even a plaything can be pushed too far…

Power.

Chloe Barnes thought her marriage to a wealthy politician would be the stuff of fairy tales. Instead, he took advantage of her naiveté and used her as a plaything to fulfill his twisted sexual needs. Ten years is enough. She returns to Bellhaven Island to sell the summer cottage she inherited, hoping the money will buy her freedom—and custody of her daughters.

Memories.

Fisherman Dustin McDougal never forgot the childhood crush he once had on the fairy-like Chloe. The woman she’s become has a haunted look that brings his feelings back, stronger than ever…with a mature edge. Along with all his protective instincts.

Sexual healing.

Their passion blows stronger than a Maine nor’easter, awakening Chloe to the joy of true love. Yet it may not be strong enough to free her from the past…

Warning: This title contains politicians doing all sorts of nasty things and flashbacks of male domination. It also features hot sex on a boat, hot sex in an attic, hot sex on a work bench…you get the idea

Excerpt:

“Have you been on your boat?” Chloe asked dreamily, as Dustin ran his hands over her back.

“Had to fix a bearing. That engine’s always making some noise or other. Sometimes I think it just wants my attention.”

“I don’t blame it.” He found the lower edge of her sweater and snaked his hand under it. At the feel of his work-roughened palm on her skin, a shudder went through her. Immediately he stopped.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes! You’re not following the rules. If I want you to stop, I’ll tell you. I don’t want you to stop. As a matter of fact—” She drew away from him. “Let’s take off our clothes. Together. At the same time.”

He looked amused. “On the count of three?”

“One…” Chloe stepped out of her skirt. Underneath, she wore woolly leggings for warmth. “Two…” She started to pull off the leggings.

“Hang on! You’re getting ahead of me.” He unbuttoned his jeans, revealing boxers and a huge erection. She felt the breath leave her body.

It was a good feeling.

She put her hands to the hem of her sweater and slid it over her head. It was quickly followed by her turtleneck. She stood in front of him, wearing only her pink lace underwear, while he unbuttoned his flannel shirt. Under it, he wore a “Save the Whales” T-shirt, which she found so endearing, she laughed.

“Am I that funny-looking?” he asked with a wounded look.

“I didn’t know you were a tree-hugger.”

“Some of my best friends are trees.” There was a twinkle in his deep blue eyes that put her completely at ease. “The rest are whales.”

“I think that might be a whale in your pants.”

He waggled his eyebrows lasciviously, then laughed, an infectious chuckle that made her answer with one of her own. Never before had she laughed during sex, or the buildup to sex. Never before had she even smiled. Or joked. Or teased. If they stopped right now, this would still be a groundbreaking experience for her. But she had no intention of stopping. “You’re still wearing boxers and a T-shirt.”

“And you’ve got the bra and panties. Not that I mind the view.”

For a moment, she stiffened. Fearfully, she raised her eyes to his. Would she see that same calculating hunger she was used to? That greedy look that reduced her to a thing, a possession, a trinket? But no. His expression was the opposite of that. Happy appreciation shone from his eyes. His smile had a touch of the devil in it, and a promise of delicious fun.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nothing. A ghost. We haven’t said three yet.”

“If we don’t do it soon, I’m going to forget how to count.”

Giggling, she put her hands behind her back, on the fastening of her bra. He grabbed the bottom of his T-shirt, poised for take-off.

“Three!”

Clothes flew into the air, a flurry of underwear. Surrounded by discarded clothing, they stared at each other. Chloe felt her rib cage rise and fall with quick breaths. Without looking down, she knew her nipples were already at attention. As was his erection. It rose from a thick nest of black curls and pointed straight toward her, as if it had eyes only for her.

Suddenly, desperately, she wanted to know what he saw when he looked at her. “Do you think…do I seem like…a…” she whispered, “doll?”

“Oh, no. You’re no doll.”

What did he mean? Did he think she was ugly? Maybe he was used to a different type. She crossed her hands over her breasts.

“No! Don’t hide.” With one quick stride, he was in front of her, holding her face in his hands. “You’re beautiful. Wonderful. But you’re no doll. You’re too alive. Too sensitive. Look, I can feel the pulse beating in your throat. I can feel your skin warming under my hands. You’re a living, passionate being. How could anyone think you were a doll?” He ran his thumbs over her cheeks with a touch that seemed to treasure the very shape of her face. When he bent his mouth to hers, the depth of his kiss brought tears to her eyes. His tongue searched her mouth, as if he wanted to track down whatever sadness remained in her and soothe it away.

She let herself sink into the comfort of that kiss for a long moment. But then she moved restlessly against him. Enough gentleness. She needed heat. Fire. Stepping back, she put her hands on his and drew them to her chest. As those warm palms encircled her breasts, she let out a long moan. Already stiff, her nipples hardened even more as he filled his hands with her flesh. “That feels nice,” she heard herself say. In the past, she’d never said anything during sex. She’d become that mute doll Andrew had demanded. Never once had she asked for anything. “Can you lick my nipples, please?”

“No need to be polite, sweetie. I’ll do anything you ask.”

“Lick them, then. A lot. Don’t stop until I ask you to.”

“I wouldn’t think of it.” He tilted her face up one more time, and smiled into her eyes. Then he bent his head to the rosy nipples begging for attention. As soon as his mouth enclosed her right breast, her head fell back with a groan. Her nipples were used to being tweaked, fondled, squeezed, displayed in provocative lingerie, teased and tormented—but this was what she’d always longed for and never gotten. Long strokes of a loving tongue. Moist nibbling that sent electric jolts to her lower belly. A heated mouth tugging on those sensitive points, pulling moans from her.

And Dustin’s mouth didn’t stop. Not when her nipples had swelled to the size of rose hips. Not when she shuddered from the pleasure. Not when his erection jerked against her thigh. She wasn’t at the mercy of his mouth. No, that mouth was at her service. She could ask it to do whatever she wanted.

“Dustin,” she said in a whisper. “Go lower.”

This BUY LINK will be include "DOLL" on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Juniper Bell




Friday, December 4, 2009

"Falling Star" by Olivia Brynn

Time to welcome another fabulous author friend, Olivia Brynn! Falling Star is coming out this Monday, December 7 from Liquid Silver Books. I've been looking forward to it for a while! Here's a little bit about it:

Falling Star - Blurb

Adam Nash is a superstar. House, cars, money, women … he’s got it all. Yeah, he’s conceited, but with his looks and talent why shouldn’t he be? Not until he’s banned from another hotel for his drunken antics does he realize that it’s time to grow up and treat his music as a career and not a free ride. Now Adam has set his sights on florist Jade Graham. She’s not the kind of woman he’s used to, she’s too smart to play the role of arm-candy. Adam is going to have to keep his celebrity status a secret for as long as possible, because what woman in her right mind would get attached to a playboy without a conscience? Jade Graham is going to be one tough case, but she seems hell bent on proving that there is more than one way for a star to fall.

And here's an Excerpt:

“Good morning, Earth Scents.”

“Is this Jade?” Adam smiled. He recognized her voice, of course it was her.

“It is. Who is this?”

“My name is Adam. You sold me some lilies last week.”

His grin only widened at the pause. Probably as soon as he walked out of her shop that day, she figured out who he was. He’d just given her his first name, and now she was too flustered to speak.

“I apologize sir, but I sell a lot of lilies, and I couldn’t possibly remember each order. Was there a problem with your bouquet?”

You’ve got to be kidding. So he really was going to have to go through with this charade. On to plan B. “No Jade. Nothing was wrong with the flowers. She especially liked the teddy bear.”

She laughed. Adam could almost see the bright smile through the phone. “I’m glad she liked them. Is ... was there ... I’m sorry ... Adam. Your name just doesn’t ring a bell.”

“I don’t think I gave you my name, I apologize.” And you didn’t ask, he added silently. Seriously, this was getting a little ridiculous.

“Well, I appreciate the call sir. I hope you’ll think of us the next time you need to spread a little sunshine.”

Was she brushing him off? He stifled a laugh. “I assure you I will, but that’s not why I called.” Jesus she was making him work for this, wasn’t she? He purposefully waited to continue, just to irritate her a bit. “The lilies were such a hit, I wanted to take the florist out to celebrate.”

“Well now, if they were that big of a hit, she probably wouldn’t want you to celebrate with the florist.”

“I doubt my secretary would mind if I took you to dinner.”

“Oh,” she laughed. “I see. That’s ah...” Her voice faded.

He hadn’t been turned down by a female since seventh grade, but he had the feeling that was what was coming. “When do you close Earth Scents?”

“Mr. ... uh Adam, I haven’t agreed to dinner with you.”

Was he scaring her? “No, but you haven’t hung up on me yet either.”

“I’m at a disadvantage, here. When did you come in?”

Was he that forgettable? Even if his face wasn’t plastered all over every tabloid in the supermarket checkout line, he liked to think he was a fairly good-looking guy. “I’m trying very hard not to be offended that you don’t remember me. Maybe it was just because it was my first time in a flower shop.”

Another pause. “Oh! Yes, I remember now. I embarrassed myself when I assumed you were gay.”

Adam laughed. “That was me.”

“No, you didn’t give me your name.”

“Well, now you have it. Can I pick you up at home, or would you rather I stop by Earth Scents?”

“I don’t remember you as being this tenacious when you were in my shop.”

“You don’t remember me at all, so that’s not saying much.” Is this what the average man has to go through? “Look, it’s just dinner. I’ll even spring for dessert.”

He couldn’t believe he was bouncing his leg impatiently. Who cares if she turns him down? There was always that supermodel who gave him her phone number last week. Though at this particular moment he couldn’t remember her name. Really Adam. Who cares if she turns you down?

He cared. Probably just out of pride, but he cared.

“I’m not really dressed for a dinner date. I’m afraid I got in a fight with some foliage this afternoon and I’m covered in soil. By the time I get home and change...”

Okay, Plan C. “We can save the dress-up thing for another time. All I had in mind tonight was a greasy burger at a family restaurant, maybe a beer or two. No one will notice a little bit of dirt.” At her continued reluctance, he couldn’t believe he actually added, “Please?”

It worked. She laughed, and gave in. “Alright. I close the shop at six, should I meet you somewhere?”

“What kind of gentleman would I be if I didn’t pick you up?”

“Oh, so you’re a gentleman?” He could actually hear her smile in her words. Why that pleased him so much, he didn’t know.

“You bet your ass! Oh ... oops.” He tried to sound contrite, and was rewarded with another throaty laugh in his ear. Damn it was sexy.

“Well, kind sir, I have a customer so I have to bid you farewell. I’ll see you at six.”

“Good bye Jade.”

“Good bye Adam.”

He waited until the phone went dead before he hung up his phone. Well, Carley’s office phone. He didn’t want to give too much away. Not yet.

He grinned. This was going to be good. “Change of plans Carley,” he yelled through the open door. “Buster’s instead. Let the others know.” He’d let Carley tell Tyrell. That man hated any change in his organized schedule.

Carley walked back into the office, her footsteps muted on the plush grey carpet, but she couldn’t hide the stumble in her step. “Buster’s? You’re taking a woman to a ... chain restaurant?” Carley’s voice told him she was shocked, the look she gave him from behind those grandmotherly eyeglasses hinted at her question of his sanity.

“Is that a problem?”

“I ... I don’t know.” She patted the tight coiffure of silver curls, and adjusted her glasses. “I’ve never worked with them...”

“How hard can it be?” Adam leaned back in Carley’s coveted chair, folded his hands behind his head and shot her the cocky look that he knew irritated her to no end. Just for fun, he propped his crossed ankles on her desk. “They should jump at the offer. I’m bringing in fifteen tables, and I’ve been told I’m a pretty good tipper.” Maybe he’d have to add a family to his cast of players. Damn. There wasn’t time.

“That’s not it and you know it.” Carley stormed over and knocked his feet to the floor. “Marc’s restaurant is used to you high and mighty types. I’m not sure Buster’s is willing to close its doors for an hour so you can dine in peace.”

Adam stood, framed her lined face in his hands, kissed each cheek, and then sat her down in her chair that he’d just vacated so she could get to work on his project. “I trust you to work your magic. Buster’s off Huntington Drive at six.” He crossed the room, surprised when she didn’t bluster after him. “And Carley?” He turned in the doorway. “I’ll need at least three.”

He couldn’t decipher her grumblings, but he would put money on swear words. “Three what?”

“Three hours.” He winked, and then took off down the hallway before his words registered, and a stapler could fly at his head.


Doesn't this sound fun ... and juicy? Here are some links for more, and a buy link that will be live on Monday.


Olivia's website link


Have a great weekend!

Juniper

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

News about Doll's Release

DOLL's release is almost here (December 15), and I'm going to be chatting and blogging all over the web. I'd like to share some dates ...

But first of all, I have a Free Read available on the Samhellion website. This story is called "Doll, Interrupted," and it sets the scene for "Doll." Download and enjoy. And let me know what you think!

DECEMBER 4 - Win a free Kindle (International edition)! You have from the 4th to the 10th of December to take part in Samhain's Holiday Decorations Scavenger Hunt. All the instructions will be at the Samhellion site. I'm playing along with other amazing Samhain authors!

DECEMBER 7 - I'll be chatting along with the great PG Forte at the Realms of Love site from 9pm to 10PM EST.

DECEMBER 11 - Join me and some wonderful authors for a Holiday Hottie Blog Tour and an after-tour chat party at Gem Sivad's Place. Everyone's welcome! I'll be giving away a copy of "The Extremist."

DECEMBER 14 - I'll be guest blogging at Blackraven's Erotic Cafe.

RELEASE DAY!!!

DECEMBER 15 - If you haven't joined the Samhain Cafe Yahoo group, I highly recommend it! It's tons of fun, they hold lots of contests and parties, and I'll be chatting there on release day.

DECEMBER 15 - Guest blogging at Nikki Duncan's blog and Savvy Readers.w

DECEMBER 17 - I'll be interviewed at I Do Not Want to Wait I Want the Book Now!

DECEMBER 17 - Guest blogging at Three Wicked Writers.

DECEMBER 18 - You'll find me at Romance Junkies.

DECEMBER 20 - I'll be blogging at Midnight Seductions.

DECEMBER 21 - Nina Pierce is kind enough to host me on Around the Writer's Block.

DECEMBER 27 - I'll be interviewed at Jeanne St. James blog.


More to come in January, but that's probably enough for now. ;)

And don't forget -- eBooks are an affordable, ecological, enjoyable gift!

Peace and love,

Juniper

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Discovering the Cover

It's a stunning image, so simple, so unique and such an absolutely perfect representation of my story, DOLL. It captures so many aspects of DOLL -- the mood, the theme, the style. How did the artist -- Kanaxa -- do it?

I'd like to say I worked closely with her, providing her with brilliant suggestions and design elements. Or that I had this genius idea for a black-and-white photo, and she took the concept and ran with it.

Sadly, none of that happened. Here's my personal, particular experience with the cover art process.

At the beginning, I submitted some basic information about the story, characters and setting. I also offered up my suggestions for what the cover should look like. I had all kinds of ideas ... mostly having to do with the Maine island on which DOLL is set. I pictured looming cliffs, moody pine trees and a sexy, bare-chested fisherman. With maybe a doll somewhere in the mix.

Well!

When I saw this cover, I was blown away. There's Chloe, my heroine. In a pose that completely expresses the turning point at which she finds herself in DOLL. Torn between her past and her future. Haunted by memories, struggling to free herself for a new life, a new love. This cover says so much about the story, and yet it's so simple and unique. But would I ever have come up with it? No way.

So I'd like to give a shout-out of gratitude to Kanaxa and to all artists who lend their creativity and skills to writers like me who have absolutely no visual talents.

For more about DOLL, here's the link to Samhain Publishing's "coming soon" page, with the blurb and other details.

And on the Samhellion site I've posted a Free Read called "Doll, Interrupted" which sets the scene for "DOLL." Click here to download it.

Gratefully,

Juniper

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Wicked Kiss by Trina M. Lee

Trina M. Lee writes delicious paranormal romances, and her new one, The Wicked Kiss, will be out on Monday! Here's a peek:

Blurb for The Wicked Kiss

When two men share the heart of the same woman, the drama escalates quickly. Alexa O’Brien’s two lovers have been at each other’s throats. The fact that one is her wolf mate and the other, a vampire bonded to her by power, only increases the tension. She fears being forced to choose between them, knowing it’s something she cannot do.

Due to the bond she shares with her vampire lover, Arys Knight, Alexa has more power than she knows how to handle. Soon, power hungry creatures are drawn to her, including Arys’ sire, Harley Kayson. Believing he is entitled to her, Harley makes it his personal mission to get a taste of Alexa for himself, whether she likes it or not. If he doesn’t kill her, she just might wish that he had.

Alexa’s wolf mate, Shaz Richardson, feels the need to prove his dominance after a nasty dispute with a fellow werewolf. The battle for Alpha Male ensues, a position left unclaimed since the death of the former pack leader. Despite fearing for him, Alexa has no choice but to support the man that has loved her unconditionally, even at her worst.

Alexa feels as if nothing remains within her control, least of all the precarious co-existence between her two men. When she learns of the one potential way to protect herself from Harley, she is faced with the biggest decision yet. This one decision will forever alter her very mortality, but can her lovers put aside their differences when it matters most?


And ... an excerpt from The Wicked Kiss


When my conscious mind became aware that somebody was in the house, I was wide-awake, on full alert.

My instinct had me swinging before I’d identified the intruder. All at once, I realized it was Arys, but he had already deflected each of my blows, catching my wrists tightly in his grasp.

“Alexa,” he whispered loudly. “It’s me. But, a word of warning. Don’t fall asleep with the front door unlocked.”

I stopped struggling against him and sat up on the futon. Arys leaned down over me; his face, more battered and bruised than it had been previously. He released my arms and stepped back as I pushed my disheveled hair from my face.

“What happened to you? That’s not from Shaz.” I reached out to brush a finger across his bruised eyelid but he caught my hand in his, kissing it softly.

“No. I saw Harley tonight. At The Wicked Kiss.” He stared at me with an intensity I felt in my toes.

Arys looked worried, almost afraid. He wasn’t the fearful type in any way. He pulled me into his arms, burying his face in my hair and inhaling my scent. I tried to pull away, pushing on his chest so he had to look at me.

“Tell me what happened.”

He studied me, his jaw clenching hard. “We had a little confrontation. It didn’t go so well.”

“You don’t say.” I cocked my head to the side, taking in his battered appearance. “Start talking, vampire.”

He reached out for my hand, and I surrendered it but didn’t abandon my stiff position. That had never deterred this vampire though, and it certainly didn’t now. Arys advanced on me, tipping my head up with a hand under my chin, kissing me with a fervor that I felt in my loins.

“That’s not going to get you out of trouble, mister. Start talking. I want to know about Harley.” I managed to pull away though I would have loved to let him continue as if nothing else mattered.

He tensed noticeably, looking away from me to stare at the gruesome horror flick that played quietly. His averted gaze told me plenty. I had to bite my tongue so that I didn’t ramble on in an attempt to pry the information out of him.

When his piercing, blue gaze swung back to me, there was an angry fire burning in their depths. He ran his hand through his always bedroom-messy hair, a sign that he didn’t want to tell me. I chewed my bottom lip nervously. If he didn’t start talking, I was going to burst.

“He’s bad news, Alexa. He wants to see what could possibly be so tasty that even I can’t get my fill.” Arys eyed me closely as he spoke. I felt his gaze like a weight. “He wants to sample you for himself. His exact words were a little more crude, which resulted in the punch in his face that started our little brawl.”

I swallowed hard around the lump that had suddenly formed in my throat. Ok, now I was a little nervous.

“You’ve got to be joking.” My hand went to my mouth, and for a moment, I thought I might throw up. “What is it with people from your past wanting a piece of me? Why? What did I ever do to them?” My voice took on a frantic, high-pitched lilt.

“Oh, Catherine was nothing worse than the jealous-high-school-girl type. Harley is like the evil cartoon villain that never dies. But worse, because he’s real.” Arys lightly touched a finger to one of the bruises lining his strong cheekbone, a thoughtful expression on his eternally beautiful face. “He seems to think you’d make a great toy. And, I know he’s egotistical enough to think he can have whatever he wants. But, he can’t have you. I’ll kill him first.”

I drew him to me, a hand tracing the line of his jaw. “We have nothing to worry about. The very thing that he wants from us is what will give us the upper hand. I’ll be ready for him.” I pressed my lips to his in a kiss that had him wanting more, if his reaction was any indication.

Arys crawled up on the futon so that he hovered over me on his hands and knees. Each of his legs was on either side of mine, and his hands came to rest on my pillow with my head caught between. The position forced me back so that I had to tip my head back to meet his eyes.

“You can’t underestimate him, Alexa.” He nipped lightly at my bottom lip. It sent a hot tingle through me, from head to toe. He had a way of always rousing the most savage energy within me. “He’s powerful and so fucking sadistic, it turns my guts to think of him touching you.”

There was a sharp pain as he bit my lower lip; the blood welled instantly. Before it could spill down my chin, he caught it against his tongue. The warm, moist touch against my wounded lip was heavenly.

“I know that, Arys. But, don’t underestimate me. I take out vamps like him all the time.” It irritated me that he spoke to me like I was defenseless.

“I’m sorry, Alexa, but you have never dealt with a vampire like him. I guarantee it.” He pressed a kiss to my bleeding lip. “And, don’t you dare make this into a damsel in distress scenario. You know it’s not like that.”

The power rose around us in response to the blood and sexual energy. It danced along my body like a strange second skin. His tongue slipped inside my mouth, and I tasted my own coppery blood. It made my heart race, and I sought to pull him closer, needing to feel him pressed against me.

“Don’t start with me,” I said, even as I gasped breathlessly. “It’s always like that with you. I’m not a breakable item that will crumble into dust at the wrong touch.”

“Yes,” he growled down at me. “You are. I’m not arguing about your safety. Nobody is safe when Harley sets his sights on them.”

Just when I loved where we were headed, he pulled back, a serious expression on his face. “I need you to promise me that you’ll stay away from The Wicked Kiss. And, watch for Harley. Seriously. Just until I know how far he’s willing to take this.”

“Arys...” I wanted him to stop talking about danger and getting killed. It was really cramping the mood we’d started.

“I mean it. Don’t make me beg.” He gave me an imploring look, and it was enough to unsettle me.

“This isn’t like you,” I commented, trying for casual. “What’s with the extreme worry? He’s not going to kill me.”

His wane smile grew sad and accepting all at once. “That’s what scares me most. Harley has a penchant for collecting things, most of them being people. Like me. If he gets his hands on you, that’s what you’ll be. Another toy. But, what’s fun for Harley is never fun for his toys.”

The creepiest chill crept over me as he uttered the words. Harley loved torture, and if he got his hands on me, I’d be praying for death instead.

“Stop,” I whispered, suddenly afraid to speak any louder. “I don’t want to go there right now. You have to leave before sunrise. Let’s not spend our time talking like this.”

A small bead of blood overflowed from my lip, down my chin. Arys’ eyes followed it, and his little finger was quick to catch it.

“Alright.” He brought the little crimson splash to his lips; his eyes glazed with the rush of energy, which he openly embraced. “For now, it’s all about us.”


This sounds fantastic, Trina! The Wicked Kiss will be available Monday, November 23 here.


I'll be chatting with Trina, Gem Sivad and Alanna Coca right here on Monday starting at 7pm Eastern time -- that's 3pm Alaska time! Stop by and hang out with us for a while, we'd love to see you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tease me, Please me ... The Art of Excerpts.




They're enticing, tempting, mouth-watering...they make you long for another taste, no, crave more deliciousness. So you try another one, and it's even better, and suddenly you've gotta have more, you can't live until you devour another, then another... and finally, nothing will satisfy ... you have to consume the whole thing. No, I'm not talking about chocolates, drugs, or men. I'm talking about excerpts.

I love excerpts. They're like foreplay. They tease and arouse. They tantalize and pleasure you. And just like during foreplay, at some point you commit to the act. You go from "hmm, this feels good," to "hot damn, I'm going for it!"

So what makes a good excerpt? Short or long? When the characters first meet, or later on in their relationship? Dialogue or action, character development or hot sex? Speaking of sex ... For us erotic romance writers, how much should we show in an excerpt? Should it be a tease, or should we show actual, um, completion of the act?

Writers, how do you approach excerpts? Readers, what do you like to see in an excerpt? What takes you from "this sounds kinda cool" to "I gotta get this, now!"?

Personally, I don't like lengthy excerpts. I'm usually scanning them so if they're too long I tune out. But I need more than a few paragraphs to get a feel for the writer's voice. I admit I'm drawn to the "adult" excerpts. (I'm not ashamed!) And I like to see how the characters interact, so I like to read dialogue in excerpts. But that's just my opinion. Anyone else?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad

I'm so excited to feature my friend and 2010 Eppie finalist Gem Sivad's new book Wolf's Tender on my blog! She's an amazing writer of historical Westerns. Wolf's Tender is her second book with Liquid Silver Books and it's coming out on Monday, November 16. I can't wait! Here's the blurb.

Blurb: Wolf’s Tender


Book One: in the Bounty Hunters series

Rough and tough Charlie Wolf McCallister knows he needs to get laid when even a spinster school teacher with a sharp tongue starts looking good to him. But, cad that he is, he operates on the philosophy that a bird in hand is better than no bird at all. And so he offers to trade service for—servicing.

When Naomi Parker's students are snatched from their school by marauding Comancheros, she can't believe that she hid like a coward and let it happen. The only way to ease her conscience, and get the girls home safely, is to hire half-Kiowa bounty hunter, Charlie Wolf McCallister. His price seems a bit steep to prim and proper Naomi, who must choose between her virtue and her students’ lives.

When one straight-laced spinster tenders her body to one cynical sometimes savage, the unexpected bounty is love.


And, as an extra bonus, here's an excerpt.


Excerpt: Wolf's Tender


“You’ve been following me all over town.” The woman didn’t even deny it, leaning toward him instead, patiently waiting as he took her measure—thin face with brown hair skinned into a tight knot, straight teeth, and nose spattered with freckles across burned skin. Deep exotic cornflower-blue eyes met his.

Charlie’s gaze came back to the eyes for a second look.

“My name is Naomi Parker.” If it weren’t for the unusual shade of her eyes, Miss Naomi Parker would be written off as old-maid material. She was a tall, skinny female, past the first flush of maidenhood, with prim and proper written all over her.

Not being a prize himself, nor considered civilized, he rarely came in contact with females of social standing, but he recognized one now. He intended to run this one off as quick as possible and get on with his bath. Knowing what he did of her kind, he didn’t think it would take much.

She held out her hand and for a moment he wasn’t sure what she wanted. Then he realized she intended it as a greeting. He grabbed the extended limb and pulled hard, rolling her down his arm, and into his embrace before she realized she’d been captured.

He pulled her against him, wrapping his arms around her like bands of steel, pulling her so close her chin brushed his bare chest. The contact sent a frisson of heat coursing through him which made no sense since her body was encased in iron, or at least something that felt like it.

“What the hell kind of contraption do you have on, Miss Parker?” His hands automatically fell to her hips, holding her against the swell of his erection, stealing a moment’s pleasure.

Accept for the slight mound of her breasts, she had the body of a fifteen year old boy—thin for his age—but a tall stripling. He noted all of this unconsciously, surprised that his cock had roused with fierce interest. Jesus, I need a woman.

His shirt and handkerchief were smashed between them. She tilted her head to glare at him as she struggled against his hold. Her hips moved in his hands and in her struggle, she accidentally rubbed against his arousal. She froze.

“Stupid to offer your hand to someone you don’t know,” he admonished her even as he blatantly rubbed his swollen flesh against her hip.

Her breasts that were, as near as he could tell, about the size of robin’s eggs, were nevertheless heaving, and she was pissed not scared, as he stared into eyes that had darkened. He wondered what color they would be when she came, and then flinched at the thought.

Jesus, all pussy’s the same in the dark. What the hell difference if she’s a dried up old prune. His cock demanded, Fuck her.

Old maid material or not, his cock was erect and urging him to make friends.

“You’re lucky you survived the raid. Think about that, instead of wallowing in guilt, and let the law take care of your friends.”

He had a cigar and the rest of a bottle of good whiskey waiting for him and minutes before he’d thought that was enough.

He’d meant to scare her away so he could climb into that tub of hot water while it still had some steam coming from it. Instead he had a woman wrapped in his arms and his body seemed determined to keep her. His cock said this woman could service him just fine—and she could do it now.

It was pleasing the way she fit up against him, hip to hip, thigh to thigh. His first assessment that she was skinny, gave way to new knowledge. She was a slender armful, her softness hidden under the iron casing she’d wrapped around her flesh. The thought of her long white legs sliding around his hips while he sank into her, filled his mind.

He let his thoughts play over the impossible possibilities for a second, before he let her go, allowing inches between them and dropping his hand that had been stroking her back.

“I’m planning on being in that tub of water in two minutes, naked as the day I was born, whether you get out of here or not.”

He released her abruptly, expecting her to hurry from the barn. Instead, she continued the connection between them, pressing her body against his, her unwavering blue eyes staring up at him. Her lips trembled for a moment, and then she repeated her request.

“I need your help.”


Way to go, Gem! This buy link won't be live until Monday, but check back then to get your copy of Gem Sivad's Wolf's Tender.

Have a great weekend!

Juniper

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

City Life vs. Alaska Life

Almost three years ago, I left my high-stress L.A. lifestyle and landed in Alaska. I didn't expect to stay very long, but then I met this great guy ... ;) I guess I'm here for a while.

So many things are different, it's hard to know where to start. So here's a side-by-side comparison.

City life versus Alaska life

Drove adorable VW convertible beetle/Drove Subaru down a ravine

Dated dysfunctional comedians/Fell in love with a sweet-hearted carpenter

Learned how to program my TiVo/ Learned how to run a chainsaw

Avoided vicious office politics/ Avoid vicious hungry bears

Never left the house without makeup/ Hoping to take a shower this week

Favorite designer: Cynthia Rowley/ Favorite accessory: duct tape

Thought fifty degrees was a cold snap/ Would kill for fifty degrees

Kept a running tally of celebrities spotted/ Saw twenty moose the other day

Big project: organize shoe closet/Big project: dig a new outhouse

Awesome view of neighbor's driveway/Awesome view of Grewingk Glacier

Two actress/models for every guy/Two bearded eccentrics for every gal

Obsessed with losing weight/Hey, that extra fat layer's for survival

I could go on and on. As you can see, so many things in my life have changed, but the only really important one is number two. My sweetie. I'd live anywhere with him, and I think I'm proving that on a daily basis. ;)

Peace and love,

Juniper

Oh, and if anyone knows how to post in a two-column format, let me know!