Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hallowe'en treats

Lick your lips, folks. This came into my blogreader today: it seems that sweets for Hallowe'en go back a long, long way, back to the Roman world of Flavia's Secret and beyond. Dates in honey, stuffed with pine-nuts, anyone? Here's the full article from the National Geographic.

~Lindsay Townsend

Just One Night

Just One Night is now available.
Paden Kerr wasn't used to anyone questioning his orders and Melina didn't adhere to the concept. Surprised by his interest in her, he wasn't sure if she hated all men or just him.
Melina let Paden touch her in ways not other man had, drawing her into the world of his creative, erotic lust. She'll accept his attention one night at a time.
Read an excerpt at

Claire, the Mudflat fortuneteller is back!

12 months and Which is Your Lucky One?

Claire is the heroine of the Mudflat urban fantasy series. If you want to see more of her predictions, or read a synopsis or chapter of a Mudflat book, go to

Based on the hour of your birth, what months are luckiest for you? Check it out!

Midnight to 2 AM: Need to smooth out relationships with your lover? Or maybe with your children? Two months after your birthdate adds luck. Four months after your birthdate is good for improving all kinds of partnerships. And the month of your birth? You communicate well with anyone, especially siblings.

2 to 4 AM: Money problems? You handle money better than most people and in your birth month, your luck runs high. Two months after your birthdate adds luck to your homelife and you find ways to upgrade your nest. Four months after your birthdate may be the time to think health, start a new diet, add exercise?

4 to 6 AM: In your birth month you shine, look your best, attract others. Two months later can bring good news from friends or family or maybe a surprise message? Four months after your birthdate should brighten your love life or bring a better relationship with a child.

6 to 8 AM: Your birth month is lucky for close friendships and should create good memories. Two months after your birthdate can help expand income. Four months after your birthdate is good for improving your homelife, relationships with family and maybe your home itself.

8 to 10 AM: Two months after your birthdate adds luck to self improvement, so go for that new hairstyle. Four months after your birthdate is good for straightening out confused messages. And the month of your birth? Great for making new friends, or maybe you’ll meet someone new and special.

10 to Noon: Two months after your birthdate adds luck to some secret area of your life. Four months after your birthdate is good for improving your money situation. And the month of your birth? This could be a lucky time to look for a new job, if that’s what you want.

Noon to 2 PM: Two months after your birthdate adds luck to making new friends, and could this extend to your love life? Four months after your birthdate is good for improving health, you know, the diet and exercise thing. And the month of your birth? You always love to travel, right? Bon voyage!

2 to 4 PM: Two months after your birthdate might bring a career change for the better. Four months after your birthdate you could be making some fun new friendships, maybe give a party. And the month of your birth? Financial pressures could start to ease up.

4 to 6 PM: Two months after your birthdate can find you traveling or planning a trip. Four months after your birthdate is good for widening your circle of friends, maybe doing some entertaining. And the month of your birth? Time to give a little more time to your significant other.

6 to 8 PM: Two months after your birthdate could bring an invitation or a surprise or something else nice, and someone else is paying. Four months after your birthdate adds energy to career improvement. And the month of your birth? Stay healthy, take care of yourself, and do what’s best for you.

8 to 10 PM: Romance often lights your birthday month. And if you party too much, two months later is a good time to start a new diet or exercise plan, anything that improves your health. Four months after your birthdate you may want to take your mind or yourself on a trip to someplace new.

10 to Midnight: Two months after your birthdate can see an improvement in your finances and we all need that. Four months after your birthdate someone else is picking up the tab, even if it’s only for lunch. And the month of your birth? Do what you like best and enjoy the comforts of your home.

Paranormal ~ First Halloween after Winter 2012

HALLOWEEN DAY, 2013 ~ after Winter 2012 in


"Wicked guano stench, cherub. Thanks for saving us so fast." Sedona smiled.
Volcano swept his arm in a large arc, creating their translucent sphere of protection deep inside the artificially designed cavern, part of an ancient underground travelway. The huge colony of bats, survivors of Montana’s ecological catastrophes, were in the first stage of hibernation. With her enhanced hearing, Sedona listened to their high-pitched frequency conversation about their sudden arrival, and the bats’ group decision to ignore them.
Protectively, she held Aru, their baby dog, in her arms. Even he had been worn out by their brutally long day of avoiding the constant attacks of their shadow-elite enemies. Aru’s eyes squinched closed in a light doze, as Volcano retrieved his sleep pillow from the superspeed cycle’s compartment. He tossed it close to the center of their sphere, his gaze running over them protectively.
Before placing Aru on his pillow, Sedona kissed the top of his silky fur head. Settling quickly, Aru curled up, his eyes blinking shut within moments. Volcano wrapped his arm around her waist, drawing her close, and for a few moments they stood companionably, gazing down at Aru like doting parents.
"How are you?" Volcano’s velvet tone tingled her ear, and sizzled her insides. Seductively, he handled her bottom, causing her mound to throb with sex-hot desires.
"I don’t know," she whispered. Turning inside his embrace, she slid her palms over his chest, caressing. "That smell as we entered, alone, could have given me a Halloween nightmare. Not to mention recalling all those vampire bat scenes. Too bad we can’t loose them on the hordes of evil following us."
"We could, precious woman."
"I know. It’s not divinely kosher." Sedona looped her arms around his neck, luxuriating in the feel of his muscle-carved body. "Mmmm, I love the way my breasts feel against your chest, carnal cherub."
"I’ll make them feel even better once we arrive at the cabin." His promise, spoken in black velvet, seared through her decadently.
"I know you will," she whispered, hearing the moan in her voice.
Volcano nuzzled her lips with his, and they kissed sumptuously, their passions rising as fast as a fueled bonfire.
Once their lips reluctantly parted, and with her breath in short supply, Sedona murmured his angelic name. Yet, she didn’t speak the tiny threads of love smoldering in her heart. She knew he heard them like harp strings, by the way he held her molded against him.
"We’re surrounded by psi spies, my Sedona. I have to remain awake, undistracted."
"Undistracted?" She raised a brow. "What a Halloween disappointment. I was looking forward to pretending you were Dracula in desperate need of my blood essence and my virgin-helpless body."
"I’m much more desperate than the blood-tasting lusts of Dracula, my beautiful one." Slowly, he stroked over the long length of her hair. "Your neck belongs to me," he badly imitated a campy version of Count Dracula.
"Count Chocula." Sedona chuckled.
"Count Chocula?"
"That’s who you sound like. Count Chocula in the old cereal commercial. It was a chocolate-tasting cereal for kids."
"You dare amuse yourself at the expense of the great and masterful Count Chocula, who, even now, bakes himself with superior chocolate flavor, just for you and your delectable-tasting sinful pleasures."
Sedona giggled as his splayed hands enjoyed the roundness of her butt. "Does that mean you’re going to taste like chocolate when I am allowed to ‘sinfully’ lick and ravish your incredibly hard, incredibly sexy body?"
"If you let me taste your naughty wet curls first." His gaze smoldered, flushing her insides to a sweet fierce heat. Only for him.
"Distraction," she murmured.
"Yes," he agreed, and gently released her. Holding her hand, he seated himself next to Aru’s pillow. Tenderly, he drew her down so she sat within the cradle of his body, her back to him.
Sedona vibrated with the strength of his protection for her, as if an ethereal song played inside her body. She should be accustomed to his care by now. Yet, she doubted she ever would be. Wearier than she realized, she leaned her head back on the hunky wall of his chest, and closed her eyes, hoping...
An instant later, her eyes snapped back open, and her adrenalin spiked. "I swear she must be a reincarnation of the Wicked Witch of the West. Even if that was a fictional character."
Immediately, Volcano hugged her closer, and Sedona snuggled more deeply into his embrace. She intimately covered his hands with hers. Still, she shivered violently, remembering her recent encounter with the Nazerazzi woman, a top operative, determined to capture her or destroy her. The fact, that the ‘Wicked Witch’ still possessed some manner of psychic connection with her was more than disturbing.
"I’ll make her vanish like a fake ghost once the immediate danger is passed. Talk with me awhile, precious woman."
"Fake ghost? Do you mean everyone wearing white sheets?"
"No. Pretend ghosts at Halloween parties. Fog machines. Mother talked about them."
"Oh, I guess that does make sense, handsome heavenly one."
"Your first Halloween costume?" He purred the words near her ear.
"You always know how to keep me awake and talking. Hmmm...let me see...spin some gray matter...take a trip back in time..." Sedona settled her head more comfortably against his chest. "It wasn’t the first one, probably. But it is the first one I remember. And it was before kindergarten. Mom made us three girls pajama footie costumes from a pattern."
"Sort of like tights. But these were sewn from flannel. They were winter pajamas."
"Winter pajamas? I don’t understand."
"We wore them to bed after Halloween. It was a more practical time, the middle 50's. But they were also a costume. I was the black cat. I remember loving that costume, especially my tail and my ears, but I was envious of the tiger and lion costumes my other two sisters got."
"Meow," he darkly whispered. "My own black cat woman for Halloween."
"In flannel pajamas?" she drily teased.
"Batman eat your heart out."
"Plenty of bats in here. Batman could be in disguise just waiting to swoop down. Okay, more like a bloodthirsty move Dracula would make."
"I’ve got better wings. Better than Batman or any vampire bat," he reminded, his voice utter passion.
"Ooooh, you do. Black gorgeous sexy wings." Sedona shuddered with desire, remembering their celestial lovemaking.
"I want my black cat woman," he growled possessively.
"Don’t you dare read my mind and create those black cat pajamas. I’m not wearing them for you."
"Yes, you will."
"No, I won’t."
"You’ll be my black cat beauty."
"Hiss and grrrr...I’ll claw you to divine particles, cherub."
"I’ll make you beg and mew for my tricks and my treats," he promised in a dark purr.
"I’m not begging. Or mewing. What? Have you turned from angel to demon for Halloween?"
"Did I forget to tell you?" His voice unmercifully teased. "For this one night, the whole fabric of Earth turns inside out, and, yes, I transform into your demon lover."
Despite herself, Sedona wantonly trembled inside. "More than you already are?" she whispered, her heart rate frenzied and soaring.
"Especially, if you wear black cat flannel pajamas," he sinfully tempted.
"You won’t even let me wear a flannel nightgown, you bad cherub."
"You’ve forgotten the rules, my Sedona. If you wear a flannel nightgown, I get to rip it off. Have my wicked way with you."
Sedona twisted inside with raw passion. "Trick, and no treat for you. Or me. Since we’re here. Deep in bat do-do. It’s closing in on midnight. And the psi spies are still hunting us."
"Before dawn, my queen of the angels, I’ll make you fly. Next Halloween, black cat pajamas, and I’m your demon lover."


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

Volcano’s Angelic Forecast for this week ~ ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth...Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes? ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday's Words for October 29, 2008

We have a walnut tree in front of our house. Because it is alive, every year this tree produces leaves, and then walnuts. In the summer, it provides wonderful shade for our porch from the morning sun. In the fall it produces falling missiles and a ton of leaves on the ground.

This is a small town, terraced as we have two rivers here. I’ve already described my back yard to you—stand at the top of our yard and you are quite literally above the house. We do have a driveway, but it comes into the back yard off a road that is on the same kind of incline as the yard itself. I use the driveway in the summer, and in the fall during the week that the bombardment from the walnut tree is in progress.

Aside from scaring the daylights out of you when they crash onto the roof, these walnuts make an awful mess on the road when they explode under the tires of passing cars. The neighbourhood squirrels do their part in collecting the bounty—and this year with the rain we received there was a bumper crop—but still, you end up with dozens of these fallen ordinance all over our small front yard, the sidewalk and the street.

The walnut tree is the last to get its leaves in the spring and the first to lose them in the fall. They begin to turn yellow and drop to the ground as soon as the walnuts are formed, and always before autumn. This year the first yellow leaves fluttered down during the last week of August. This was very discouraging for an end-of-summer denier like myself.

Our yard needed raking by the second week of September. When we first moved in, we would get out and begin that raking right on schedule. Usually we’d spend a Sunday afternoon in the brisk autumn air raking and carting the leaves to the back, where we had a compost pile. Then we’d come home from work on Monday, prepared to admire our nicely groomed yard, only to see that more leaves had fallen and the entire yard needed to be raked again.

It kind of reminded me of the perpetual nature of housework in the home of three small children.

Just when our tree would finally be naked and all the leaves carted off, the maple trees across the street would begin to moult.

“But it’s not our tree!” came the lament from my kids when I would ask them to help me clean up the new mess. “That’s true,” I would say. “But we all enjoyed the beauty of the tree in the summer as we sat here on our porch. So we pay for that now by raking.”

Teenagers are really good at rolling their eyes, aren’t they?

I have to admit I’m not what you’d call fanatical about maintaining the yard. I might be a little more active if the darn land wasn’t so sloped. But as it is, I’m hard pressed to do what needs to be done each season.

There’s a part of me that really wishes I could follow the lead of one of the utilities in the next town. The Gas Company built a new state of the art headquarters on a piece of land that is on a main thoroughfare. The building itself is quite impressive—all modern grey stone and glass. In the sunlight, the stone seems to sparkle as tiny fragments of quartz catch the light. It’s a large building on a large piece of land. One would expect the landscaping would have been equally impressive.

The only thing that is impressive about the landscaping is, for lack of a better word, their chutzpah. Where one would expect manicured lawns and tasteful gardens there are, instead weeds. Yes, weeds. The place resembles a country field left on its own. Oh, and there is one more thing. Every so many feet along the edge of the parking lot, white signs with black lettering that read: “Please do not pick or dig up the native wild flowers.”

It’s an ingenious ploy that saves thousands of dollars every year, but not a tactic the common citizen might emulate.

In the mean time, the leaves are getting deep out there, and I shamelessly cling to one very faint ray of hope: the forecast calls for snow. White, wet snow that will cover the yard...and hide the leaves.

Available today!
Mainstream contemporary romance

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Review - For One Night Only

Dr. Bethany Shaw has been called in to check out rock star Ruben Navarro who has been feeling ill while performing in Las Vegas. And check out the rock star she does. The chemistry is instant and Ruben is fascinated with Bethany. He can’t get enough of her and invites her to fly with him on his personal jet to his next show in LA.

Their lives are so different, Bethany, owns her own medical practice and is always in charge; while Ruben lives the pampered life of a rock star and has a constant schedule created for him, not by him. Yet, Dr. Shaw who is still hurt from a past relationship and trusts no one decides she can handle one night with Ruben. Ruben bored of all the readily available women and his crazy lifestyle has focused all his attention on his charity until he meets the sexy Dr. Shaw. The attraction is so strong that one night is not enough. Ruben wants more. As they try to form a relationship and work out all the logistics, Ruben is stalked by a crazy fan that watches their every move. The Fan, a young woman who wants to be with Ruben again at all costs won’t let anyone get in her way.

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY is a refreshing unique contemporary romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was riveted by the characters and read the entire story in one sitting. From the very beginning of the story where Bethany goes to medically check out Ruben, the chemistry and sexual heat is there between them, and sparks fly. Yet you can feel the characters struggles with leaving it as one night only or trying to build a relationship. How does a strong, independent doctor with her own career like Bethany Shaw emotionally build and maintain a relationship with a rock star, a person who is bigger than life, but is just an incredibly sexy man when it is just the two of them. Ruben’s life is open to the public and his every move is scrutinized and stalked, could Bethany handle his lifestyle and constant travel, would she want to, and what does she have to give up to be with him. The two travel to Miami and across the world to Paris together to see if there newfound love can work, while at the same time they are stalked by a crazed fan. As Ruben’s past transgressions in life catch up with him the story unfolds at an emotional heart stopping pace. I highly recommend this hot steamy love story and I look forward to reading many more stories written by Ms Ryder.

New review of 'A Secret Treasure'

Another good review of my romantic suspense story A Secret Treasure, this time from Snapdragon at The Long and the Short of It, who gave it a 'four book' write-up:

"Suspenseful from its opening lines, Townsend’s A Secret Treasure takes us on a journey through historic Italy and into a story that charms with its joys, terrifies with its suspense, and more than intrigues with very unusual and interesting setting.
Young Eve, a transplanted English girl, is desperate to discover the whereabouts of her brother – desperate enough to seek help from the authorities.

The Blackshirts run the charming Greek Island of Rhodes, during the thirties, but of course, but resistance is common. Many hate the fascists – and Eve is among them. To Eve’s horror, the one kind, sympathetic man who claims to be interested in helping her, is one of Them! In some ways, Julio Falcone, a carabiniero might not be considered one of them, but since he is introduced by corrupt Luigi Grasso, it doesn’t look good. Pretty and petite Eve seems to have caught his eye – but does she even want his interest?

Eve is far from sweet and timid. She is the child of scholars, with an interest in archeology, and can be both clever and confrontational. The reader will find themselves admiring her. Surprisingly, Falcone seems more forthcoming than expected… and intrigue builds around his efforts to unearth clues about Eve’s brother David’s disappearance. One worry becomes quite another, as unexpected twists develop. Poor Eve may yet regret involving the authorities!

The wonderful flavor of old Italy or, more correctly, Greece permeates this work, from cobblestone streets to the overhanging balconies. The jetty out over the sea seems fitting, and then we contemplate a simple dinner of fresh vegetables and fish. The time and place are well-established, descriptions delightful.

Local politics, gain and greed, and abuse of authority also are rife; perhaps revealing more about humanity than love stories usually attempt, and adding a great sense of depth (and contributing to the sense of foreboding). In all, the background details and sub-stories are immensely well-done and add quite an unexpected dimension to A Secret Treasure.

A few predictable occurrences hold this back from absolutely top notch, although it’s a more than worthwhile read as is. Especially wonderful, the main characters dilemmas – large and small – will keep you reading."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Author Interview!

Storycasting and a contest from Stella and Audra Price

So we have all our work at and we have been having a really fun time with it. What is Its a website where you can cast your choices for actors and actresses for characters of your favorite books. I love it, and have been playing with it constantly.

So with all our books on there, we figured we would do a cool contest. Join and cast our books. For ever book cast you have the opportunity to win a free print book of choice, as well as some other fantastic goodies. Its a fun new community, and we know you will enjoy yourself with it. See if your picks match ours! Keep checking back after you do, you may have won your choice of print books from us!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Angelic Forecast ~ VIII

Winds whip the autumn leaves from the trees, and escort the cold of the coming winter around my shivering body, as I stand waiting for the heavenly cherub.
"Miss me?" he whispers in my ear, before he fully materializes.
"Always," I jest.
"That’s what my Sedona says," he boasts, as his jet black wings vanish gradually. I watch, awe-struck.
"I’ll just bet," I banter...and wish...though, no star has appeared yet.
It’s late afternoon, and I hug myself against the chill, as well as the foreboding clutching at my belly. Instantly, the cherub with the knowing smile envelops me in warmth.
"Foreboding?" he asks.
I nod.
"Yes. The winds of change. And not all the changes will be greeted with favor."
"Isn’t that a divine understatement?" I ask.
He nods.

This following week is all about change, your personal life and on the world stage. With the terrific force of gale winds *Changes* will swirl around us all. Dance with the rhythm of the wind where you can. And take cover when the winds of change turn destructive. Change always brings opportunity, despite the cover of dark clouds. This week discernment is your ally. Do the storm clouds hide the opportunities you seek? Or, are they merely storms you no longer want in your life? For the answer, trust your own knowledge and listen to your sacred self.

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona


Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~
Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes?

Blurb: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar
What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? ...more

Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend, BookStrand author of FLAVIA’S SECRET and A SECRET TREASURE ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ adventure fantasy erotic romance ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~

Kiss from Savanna Kougar...

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You Never See Everything.

All shadows and mystery, Elissa Baker’s in hot pursuit
of something bigger, uglier, and meaner than Greg Moretti,
and she keeps her destiny with the scum of the Earth a closely guarded confidence.
Only Greg--muscles, brains, and passion—
can wreck her long-laid path by being Mister Right and refusing to let her go.

How can she resist her Latin lover’s dark-chocolate eyes
always arresting her, his hypnotic lure stealing her soul,
and dealing lusty persuasion like trump cards in a fixed bet?

Restauranteur Greg Moretti is crazy for a woman
who leads a smoke-and-mirrors life.
He’ll fix that by cooking up some heat, triggering a little hunger,
and melting the ice-wall protecting her soul.
Elissa will need to choose between Greg and the criminal world.
What keeps her from his total consumption? Why does Elissa keep so many secrets?

Greg will take no hostages nor will he back down from his chase
until he identifies his competition and makes Elissa
want him more than her other distractions.
Good boys can be bad too … and lethal to the heart.

The serendipitous solution to the cold-case murder of Greg’s father
leads to a gun battle that changes everything. Who invited the Mob?

Someone’s going to lose, and someone’s going to die. Another someone.
Everything changes with the pull of a trigger. Nothing looks the same after this....

Available NOW in e-book and Print!
Discover Hot Excerpts, Watch the Book Trailer, and Check out the Fabulous Reviews!
ISBN#: e-book 1-60601-045-X Trade Paperback 1-60601-112-X
Visit Me @ *
Don’t you love mystery? : - ) I do.

Authors on Goodreads

I've been busy lately and haven't been able to finish reading another Sirenbookstrand e-book to post a review. So this week I would like to introduce a wonderful website where authors and readers can interact.
Gracie C. McKeever
Bekki Lynn
Lee Silver
Jacqueline George
Phoebe Matthews
Silapa Jarun
Tara S. Nichols
Jami Davenport
Luxie Ryder

Other SirenBookstrand authors can post links to their Goodreads profile as comments!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The nights are drawing in...

It's almost Hallowe'en - pumpkins with faces on, witches' pointy hats, and all that - isn't it? Well, here in the UK the trick-or-treaters have certainly been around for a while, but not as long as Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night) on November 5th.

In theory Bonfire Night celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot in 1606, an attempt to blow up Parliament. The lightning of fires at this season of the year, when autumn changes to winter, is much older than that, though, and goes back to Celtic fire-festivals such as Samhain and the midwinter festival in Shetland, Up Helly Aa.

We have our own private, family bonfires on November 5th, or go to a larger, communal blaze. There are always fireworks, as there are for the Indian community who celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali, which happens at roughly the same time of year (October 28th this year). Nervous pets need to be kept indoors for about a week before Nov 5th and a week after.

Once the fire is lit, the little children love dancing about with sparklers. The older ones lounge about trying to look cool lighting rockets and pin-wheels and waiting for the arrival of the food: baked potatoes with butter, pie and 'mushy' (marrowfat) peas, parkin and bonfire toffee to follow. Here's a recipe for parkin. It's easy to make and a traditional Yorkshire favourite where I live.

(Photo by Ali Graney sourced from Flickr.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday's Words for October 22, 2008

Most humans think we’re at the top of the food chain; that we are in command of our lives, our homes, and our world. But I know differently.
We’re not in control at all. The cats are.

Anyone who has been adopted by a cat and permitted to remain in their presence (living in their house, sleeping in their bed) knows exactly what I mean. In the Ashbury household we’re doubly blessed, for when my daughter and grandson moved in with us they brought with them their cat.

Humans live by protocol. Though my daughter does feel quite at home here, as an adult woman she is very conscious that while this is home, it is not her home in the same way her last apartment was. When it comes to certain decisions, she of course defers to me.

Cats are not compelled by any such sense of social convention.

The new cat in our home is named “Crash”. My daughter claims that this has nothing to do with the feline’s lack of co-ordinated grace, but that he is in fact named after Crash Bandicoot which is, I’m told, a video game. I haven’t bothered to ask for the reasoning behind this choice of name. Crash is a cross between a Maine Coon and a Tabby with a coat in varying shades of brown and black.

My cat, Boots (who doesn’t, by the way, have any) has for the most part accepted the presence of this interloper in his domain. Boots is a completely black Persian with two extra-long fangs and a tongue a little too long for his mouth.

The two felines—both neutered males—have never gotten into an actual fight. The most they may do, from time to time, is to face off against each other, paws batting the air close to but not touching the other, and with claws in. I have on occasion come upon them fast asleep within fairly close proximity to each other—which in my mind pretty much discredits the whole competition thing.

Crash came with not only his own food dish, but also with an impressive array of toys. He plays often with these toys, amusing himself for long periods of time by batting around a tiny toy ball or catnip-stuffed toy mouse. Boots can often be seen looking down his nose at such frivolous and unbecoming activity. Boots will have you know that he has never played with a toy in his life. At least not when he was aware anyone was watching.

I can tell Crash understands that this is Boots’ house, and that Boots is the Top Cat—but he doesn’t really seem to care much about that fact. He’ll come over to me in full view of the cat who owns me and rub his head against my leg, an action, I’ve been told, equivalent to ‘staking his claim’ on me.

Crash is a generous owner, for a cat. Every other day or so, he goes out into the jungle of our suburban back yard, and hunts wild game. Then he brings it indoors and lays it at our feet. He’s totally impartial in this gift giving, too, bringing these poor victimized mice and moles to my daughter and myself equally.

Boots has taken note of this strange habit, one that he never had developed in the past, for which I am very grateful. However, just to show the interloper that not bringing creatures into the house was a matter of choice and not poor hunting skills, Boots decided to one-up the new comer and last week gifted us with a chipmunk.

Chippy, as we’ll call him, was not only not dead, he was not even injured and quickly managed to escape Boots’ grasp of him. Chippy screeched, Boots meowed, my beloved’s dog barked and tried to give chase, Chippy ran into the bathroom and I quickly closed the door behind him.

My grandson came downstairs and performed the search and rescue. You’ll all be pleased to know that Chippy was successfully repatriated to the great out-of-doors, where I have no doubt he quickly moved on to someone else’s back yard.

During this adventure, Crash was nowhere to be found.

Boots does have one characteristic that Crash lacks: while Crash does not wish to be held by anyone but my daughter, Boots demands to be picked up and snuggled on a regular basis, and he doesn’t care by whom. I believe he feels this bit of pandering to the humans in his domain is fair return for their being on call 24/7. Should he require any little thing, like having his dish filled or his chin scratched, he knows he has but to wake us up in the middle of the night and we will get out of bed and do whatever is required.

Yes, Boots has always understood the true meaning of the words “pecking order”: dogs have masters, cats have staff.


Win, Lose or Tie - Released today

I have no idea who the woman on the cover of Win, Lose or Tie is. But she certainly has the figure of the heroine, Carol.

The book explores male frailties and how women exploit them. And, ladies, even if your guy doesn’t read many books, he will definitely read this one. If you don’t believe me, read him the excerpts on the BookStrand site. Just click on the image of the book cover.

It’s rated as SIZZLING.

Billie Jaines

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't Wait For Your Ship to Come in Swim out to it!

In my morning reading today I came across this quote by Jonathan Winters: "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it."
There was another a day or too earlier that said something, "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." Abraham Lincoln.

In other words, the only thing that will create success, or create that book you've been waiting to write, or create some other printed words you dream to have written, is ACTION. There is no way around it if you don't put your butt in a chair and write - you will never publish a word. You need to banish all fear of failing, of making a mistake -- mistakes are the lessons of life.

This Frank and Ernest cartoon strip says it all. Frank is at the counter at an employment office he has a long long sheet of paper he is apparently reading from to the guy who is taking his application. The caption says--"I don't have any formal education so I brought you a list of the mistakes I've learned from."

Feel the fear and do it anyway is almost a buzz word nowadays, but it's absolute truth. Do not be afraid of mistakes, no one is perfect. Perfectionism will stall you in your tracks. Not that you should adopt a careless, reckless, not-give-a-darn attitude. You should do the best that you can do with what you have at this very moment and let the rest happen.

"You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know so much is because I have made so many mistakes," says Buckminster Fuller (a mathematician and philosopher who never graduated from college but received 46 honorary doctorates.

Write Like The Wind
Lavender Lust
ISBN 1-60601-136-7

Released Today: Secret Desires by Stormy Glenn

Siren Menage Amour #17: Erotic Paranormal Romance, Gay Menage a Trois M/M/M, Werewolves

Everyone has secret desires, especially werewolf, Leyland Summers. He dreams of two sexy mates to bring all of his fantasies to life. When he encounters a sexy cowboy who wants to take him for a wild ride, what does he say? Hell yes!
Coming to ranch country for a picture shoot, Leyland was shocked to find not one, but two mates. Being a tri-omega, he had always known that he would have two mates. He just never expected to find them in the same place. Or to find out that they had been lovers for years.
Having two mates is no big deal for Leyland. He grew up with two fathers. But having two mates that were already in love is something all together different. How is he supposed to share Lucas with Jake...or Jake with Lucas? And where does that leave him?

Find it at Siren Publishing. For more information on this book and more, come visit me at

Title: Secret Desires
Author: Stormy Glenn
ISBN: 1-60601-287-8
Publisher: Siren Publishing.
Publication Date: October 20, 2008
Sensuality Rating: Scorching
Genres/Themes: Siren Menage Amour #17: Erotic Paranormal Romance, Gay Menage a Trois M/M/M, Werewolves.


Leyland banged one hand against the steering wheel and turned the key in the ignition with the other. He heard nothing coming from his car but the slow dwindling wwwrrrr sound of his engine dying.
"Please, baby, don’t do this to me, not today. Start for daddy, come on, baby," he cried desperately, turning the key again and again. Nothing. Leyland let his head fall against the steering wheel, banging it there several times.
Lifting his head he looked around. There was really nothing as far as he could see. Wide open fields, fences, cows, some horses, and snowcapped mountains off in the distance. It just wasn’t fair. He was stuck in the middle of nowhere, his car dead, and his damn cell phone not getting any kind of reception. He felt doomed.
Leyland wasn’t even sure they had cell phone towers out here, wherever here was. BFE, if you asked him. He still couldn’t quite believe that he had agreed to come out here for a photo shoot at the insistence of his agent. He knew he should have stayed in the big city.
He just wanted to take pictures. He was almost obsessed with taking pictures. But there was a limit, and he had reached his. However…
Leyland quickly grabbed his camera from the passenger seat and flipped the cover off of the lens as he reached for his door handle. Climbing from his bright neon green Volkswagen Beetle, he looked around at the countryside laid out before him.
There was just something about the peaceful quite. With the exception of the occasional bird, silent reigned. It was eerie. Leyland climbed up on the roof of his small car, standing to his feet.
His hands itched. Before he knew it, he had his camera up to his eye, clicking away. He occasionally lifted his head to change the distance on the lens or to look around for more scenery to snap.
Looking at one particular hill off in the distance, his breath caught in his throat as he saw a lone rider riding over the grass-covered ridge. Leyland couldn’t make out any of his features. He was too far away.
That just made the scene before him all that more alluring. A lone rider, his light colored cowboy hat hanging low over his face. The white of his shirt reflected the sunlight shining down on him. The tightness of his faded blue jeans contrasted with the light brown of the horse under him. Perfect!
Leyland clicked away as the rider rode ever closer to his position, marveling at the darkly tanned skin and rippling muscles that he could see the closer he rode. He was magnificent. Leyland wanted nothing more than to keep clicking away until he ran out of film.
He didn’t even realize the man had ridden up to him until he was right in front of him. The man reached up and pushed the brim of his hat back, clearing his face from the shadows of his hat.
Leyland inhaled as he narrowed his lens to his strong square face. Even through the lens he could see that the man was breathtaking. He had a strong rugged look to him, his jaw and cheekbones chiseled in stone. The hint of a five o’clock shadow on his face accentuated his full lips.
Leyland slowly lowered the camera, taking in his powerful body—wide shoulders, a hint of brown hair showing through the opening of his shirt, strong muscular thighs. Oh, yeah, this guy was hot with a capitol HOT!
"Hello, handsome," Leyland smirked, trying to give the guy his sexiest look. He totally ruined the effect when he took a small step towards the man and his feet slipped off the edge of the car roof. Leyland let out a small yelp as he started to go down. He could see the ground below coming up fast to meet him. He quickly closed his eyes, fearing the worst.
Then suddenly, he stopped cold. He could feel strong muscular arms wrap around him. Leyland opened his eyes and looked up into the sexiest deep copper eyes he had ever seen. He reached up with his hand to lightly touch the side of the man’s face by his eyes.
"I don’t think I have ever seen that particular shade of brown before. It’s beautiful," he whispered. He suddenly realized what he was doing when the big man started chuckling. His face swiftly went from awe to embarrassment, his face burning.
He tried to sit up but the big man’s arms were still wrapped around him. He didn’t look like he had any intention of letting Leyland go any time soon, either. Feeling his face turn even redder, Leyland turned to look up at him.
"Um, could you let me go?"
The man chuckled, his voice deep and raspy as he spoke. "I don’t think I want to let you go just yet. You feel pretty good right where you are."
Hot damn!!!
"Um, okay. But it’s going to be real hard to get my car fixed sitting in your arms."
"I still don’t see the problem here," he chuckled again, taking Leyland’s camera and setting it inside his car through the rolled down window.
"Listen, cowboy," Leyland began, patting the nice man on his chest, and oh what a nice hard chest he had. Leyland knew he was going to start drooling any second now. "I—"
"What?" Leyland looked up at him, confused.
"My name is Jake, Jake McAlester. Of course, if you wanted to call me honey, or darling, I’d settle for that too. And while I do like the way you say cowboy, lover would be even better."
Leyland eyes widened as Jake nearly growled the last part. This big strong sexy cowboy was making a pass at him? Hallelujah! Leyland wanted to wiggle around and jump for joy. He couldn’t be in more agreement. He wanted this man, and bad.
"And what if I like cowboy better?"
"Then cowboy it is." Well, wasn’t he just the chipper one? "But I’m still hoping lover will be in there somewhere."



Stormy Glenn

Secret Desires ~ A Promise Kept ~ The Katzman’s Mate

MySpace ~*~ Blog ~*~ Web site ~*~ Siren Page

Angelic Forecast ~ VII

"What say you?" I ask Volcano, once he dismounts from his superspeed black motorcycle. I cast an envious glance.
"The time has arrived for careful steps," he answers. He gazes into the distance, and dark clouds seem to float in his eyes. Is it merely my imagination?
"Careful steps?" I parrot, not knowing anything else to say.
"There are many who delight in the deception. Careful steps are needed to avoid their traps." He concentrates his gaze on me, and I feel suspended, as if only the air surrounds me.
"The weekly forecast?" I murmur, wishing the sensation would remain.
He smiles, and the sun rises in the silvery depths of his purple eyes, for all of us.

This following week is about discovering more of what makes you, uniquely you. Also, the following week is one of treading carefully to reach your Happily Ever After. Consider that you cross an unknown stream with slippery hidden rocks and snakes swimming down in the dark depths. Yet, the water is sparkling, and running beautifully on its surface. To cross successfully, you must remain aware of your inner guidance, as well as remain keenly aware of the stream. Or, ground yourself in the reality of the present moment while staying in touch with your divine self.

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona


Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~
Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes?

Blurb: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar
What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? ...more

Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend, BookStrand author of FLAVIA’S SECRET and A SECRET TREASURE ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ adventure fantasy erotic romance ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~

Kiss from Savanna Kougar...

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Author discovery: All Shades of Blue Paradise by Savanna Kougar

Destiny and love can be denied for only so long...

Except for her daring equestrienne competitions, Lady Sheridan lives a quiet life caring for her family's estate, staving off financial ruin and keeping her brother's misdeeds from ruining his marriage and the life of her beloved nieces. Despite all his desperate efforts, Baron Zaggry has never discovered why his Sherfantasy broke their engagement. Now, his ruse successful, Sheridan is finally his, his slave lover. He has ten years worth of denied pleasures to make up for, to savor however he erotic chooses.

I savoured every delicious word of Savanna Kougar's ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE. Kougar is a powerful, sensual writer, a poet of language, and the world she creates is richly textured, sensual and voluptuous, with its own language, beliefs and symbols. Blue is the colour of life, of love and of so much more in this alternate world of warring, sensual aristocrats. The pleasures and pains of slavery and of mastery are fearlessly and seductively explored and I was enchanted throughout. Sheridan is a beautiful, complex, caring woman of great dignity, compassion and courage. She is always graceful under pressure - and what seductive pressure Baron Zaggry tempts and teases her with! This is a kind of war between the sexes where all desires are admitted to and expressed but where the 'victor' of each encounter is always magnanimous. Their powerful relationship kept me guessing throughout and utterly enthralled. To be slave-dressed by a man like Zaggry ...
what a wicked, delicious fantasy!

This is the revelation of a decadent, disturbing world, a world of high politics and high stakes, where the fates of many are discussed at elegant yet deeply erotic soirees. In the midst of this sensual, abandoned world, the love between Zaggry and Sheridan remains absolute, although the cruel misunderstanding that has been deliberately engineered between them by their enemies remains until almost the very end of the novel, offering a satisfying conclusion of one of many threads. The end of All Shades of Blue Paradise is also a beginning as another contest has been arranged, with Sheridan about to compete with an enemy and Zaggry determined to protect her.

I await the next book in this intoxicating series with keen anticipation.

Lindsay Townsend

Venture - Review

Romance, intrigue, top-notch dialogue, and an Australian backdrop are only part of what makes Bill Newman's Venture a really good read.

Unknown to John Day, Ingrid, the exotic blonde who picks him up at the local pub in Portsmouth, England, is interested more in the sensitive nature of John's scientific work than she is in John. He is somewhat surprised to be confronted by his boss two weeks later that his new girlfriend is a possible intelligence threat. John's boss suggests he take some time off and attend a conference in Sydney, Australia.

Beautiful Lydia Newton works for a drug company in Sydney. She, too, will be attending the conference. With her PhD in genetics and her workaholic nature, she's had little luck in finding a man who can match her intelligence and drive to succeed.

When Lydia meets John, the attraction is immediate, but life does not run smoothly for our protagonist. She wonders if he is in love with her or his invention.

John is fired from his job in England, and Lydia persuades him to set up a business with her in Sydney. Danger follows him to Australia in the person of Ingrid and some shady characters who are paying her to find out what John is doing. It seems there's a lot of money to be made from his invention, and more than one foreign national is interested in acquiring it, no matter what.

Bill Newman handles the necessary scientific details in Venture with dexterity, accuracy, and brevity. Laced with humour (which at times is laughing-out-loud funny), Venture takes the reader through some harrowing moments across the high-tension wire of romance, suspense and danger.

Sherrill C. Wark
Crowe Creations
member of Canadian Authors Association

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Some brainstorming sessions...

(A 19th century looking alternate cover for Katana Duet. The official cover may be seen here).

I sketched out some thoughts about two topics for Katana Duet: Samurai's Forbidden Love.

How much of Katana Duet is TRUE?

Katana Duet and "agri-gothic" literature. Read more here.

Next week I'll have a review for The Prince and the Nun and down the line I plan to read Venture.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


With my birthday on November 9th, and my romantic comedy, “MUCHO CALIENTE!”, released on November 12th, I thought next month couldn’t get any more exciting. I was wrong. On November 11th, I’ll be a rock star, too!

A rock star? Well, everything is relative. I won’t be smooching Britney at the MTV Awards, or bumping booties with BeyoncĂ© at the Grammies anytime soon. My participation in Drew6’s fabulous new album, We Kiss, is limited to a twenty-two second monologue towards the end of their red-hot cover of Blondie’s Call Me, so it’s highly unlikely that Simon Cowell will whip out his mobile and take me up on my breathy, multilingual request. However, I’d be surprised if Drew’s testosterone drenched solicitation fell on deaf female ears. The lead singer of Drew6 sounds like Chris Isaak gone wild in leather trousers. Sexy? You bet! Powerful? Blimey! Ask the Swiss police…

A few years ago, my husband and I threw a party to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary. Drew was scheduled to be touring Europe around that time, so I contacted him and asked him to perform live in our garden. Back then, we lived in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of a small village, and were confident that the only other living creatures likely to be kept awake by Drew’s powerful vocals were the cows in the fields surrounding our house. Consequently, we didn’t bother asking the local authorities for special, late-night permission to party.

We should have known better. The Swiss police are notoriously intense about enforcing national slumber after ten pm. They heard (or heard of…) Drew from miles away and descended on our party en masse at circa ten-oh-two to restore peace and quiet. Fortunately, the evening was salvaged by my husband’s diplomatic skills and a couple of expendable bottles of champagne. The policemen left, Drew lowered his decibels and we partied on for hours, eventually calling it a night when another party-pooper, aka common-sense, started yapping about having to get up early to take care of little children. The boogie-induced muscle pain and monumental headache I woke up with the next morning were soon forgotten, but my ten year wedding anniversary never will be. To this day, my children tell their friends that, once upon a time, an American rock star from Kansas City, Missouri, came to stay in their house and performed in their garden!

How did an Anglo-Italo-Swiss over-aged rock chick living in a sleepy village in the canton of Vaud meet a gorgeous young rock star from Kansas City? Why, in cyberspace, of course! I like to think that Drew and I were “introduced” (albeit very, very indirectly), by Gary Barlow, lead singer of the then defunct and now reformed (yay!) boy band, Take That. Drew admired Gary Barlow’s song-writing skills and Latino superstar Ricky Martin’s incomparable stage presence. He was also looking for ways to promote his own music in Europe. I was a housebound writer with a broken leg and soft spots for both Gary Barlow and Ricky Martin. A mutual acquaintance in Gary Barlow cyberspace introduced us, sparking a friendship that has proved both lasting and creatively stimulating. Drew read my short-stories and articles, liked my playful “voice” and encouraged me to move on to full-length fiction. I listened to his songs, enjoyed his smoky, silky voice and encouraged him to try his luck by performing in Europe. Months later, when Drew and I finally met, he didn’t just perform in my garden, but also in various venues in Ibiza, Geneva, Paris and London.

Drew’s career has now really taken off. He regularly performs in Kansas City, tours the United States with his band, and has played concerts with stars such as Maroon5, Rick Springfield, The Calling, Counting Crows, Ashley Simpson, Jordin Sparks and the Backstreet Boys. If Drew ever performs with Gary Barlow or Ricky Martin, I’ve instructed him to give me private telephone numbers, backstage passes, and mucho advance notice.

Meanwhile, I’d like to thank Drew for making me a rock star. My musical career will definitely be a flash in the pan, but at least I can say that I had one!

With love,
Francesca Prescott
October 2008

“MUCHO CALIENTE!” is an effervescent romantic comedy, available from BookStrand on November 12th, 2008

DREW6’s new album WE KISS, is available in stores and on I-Tunes on November 11th, 2008.
For more information on Drew6, please visit

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday's Words for October 15, 2008

This past Monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Times are scary for a lot of people all over the world right now. What the future will bring is really a case, for most of us, of wait and see – and that is a really hard stance to take in this age when we have all become accustomed to the things we want being much more immediately attainable.

Will the stock market re-bound? Will our pension plans and investments recover? Will our houses increase in value back up to what they were when we purchased them so that if we have to sell them we can at the very least break even? My instincts tell me the ultimate answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’; but the correct response is: we just have to wait and see.

I have learned over the course of many years that the best way for me to get through a period of uncertainty is to focus on the things that I’m grateful for. Note, I said that is a learned behavior, because it runs counter to my nature, and I would imagine counter to most everyone’s nature.

When times are tough, when people feel threatened, our natures generally give us two choices: fight or flight. There is a lot of anger and ‘fight’ showing these days as anyone who watches the news or TV shows like The View, or who reads polls or letters to the editor can attest. I’m sure there’s lots of “flight” happening as well, but the character of that response is such that it isn’t always easy for us to see.

So it’s counter to our “human animal” nature to respond to times of stress with an intellectual or spiritual tactic. But I happen to believe that one of life’s purposes is to provide us with opportunities to rise above the base creatures we were born—to rise above our natures.

There are so many things for which I am grateful. The top of the list, of course, is my family. I had parents who were in love with each other—my mother never even dated another man after my father passed, and she was a reasonably young widow of 45. I have a brother and a sister, both of whom I still have good relationships with. I’m grateful for my husband and the thirty-six years so far that we’ve been together. My children and grandchildren continue to be a source of joy and pride for me.

I’m grateful to still be alive—I nearly died six years ago when I had emergency triple by-pass surgery. I’m grateful to be as healthy as I am—I’ve already lived longer than my father did, and will surpass my mother’s lifespan in two more years.

We own our home, and while it is a humble abode it is all ours mortgage free, and I’m grateful for that. My husband has a good job doing what he enjoys, and has been with his employer for thirty years and we are both grateful for that. I have a computer and am very blessed to be able to spend my days doing what I love to do above all else—writing.

Those are what you could call the big ticket items for which I give thanks on a regular basis. But there are other items on my list. I’m grateful for the hard times I’ve been through, because now I know that I can rise to the challenge when necessary, and I know that I can survive with a lot less than I sometimes think I can. As well, when I am not going through really tough challenges I know how lucky I am then, too.

I’m grateful that I’m neither rich nor famous (I really am) , because I know my friends are my friends because they love me and not because of money or notoriety.

I’m grateful to be a Canadian and a North American, to live in a country, and on a continent, that embraces the concepts of freedom and the rule of law. Despite what I felt about some of the candidates running for office (our election was yesterday), I really don’t have to fear some despot coming to power and turning our society into a living nightmare, usurping our laws and our way of life.

And I’m grateful I’m able to post this essay every week and that, for the most part, you all don’t mind overmuch. Because what’s the point of being a writer if no one reads your words? But you do read, and sometimes you even write back.

And for that I am very, very grateful.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Video Trailer for Eternal Designs!

The leaves are falling...

It's autumn, so I just thought I'd treat you to a few pictures from the garden here in Yorkshire. The weather's been lovely for a few days, but there's sometimes a wintry nip in the air in the mornings now.
The roses are starting to go a bit quiet, but 'Shropshire Lad' is still going strong. There's a small chrysanthemum finally doing its thing after surviving as a sickly cutting on the bedroom windowsill over winter and battling the slugs all year.
The grass doesn't need mowing so often, the buddleias have been cut back for the winter and before too many more weeks the geraniums and pots of herbs will have to be brought under cover - but I noticed the other day that there's a primrose flowering! That's global warming for you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Angelic Forecast ~ VI

"Crash and the giant smash heard around the world’s economy," I say to Volcano.
He enigmatically smiles, then says with a mysterious lilt to his tone, "Pennies From you hear them rain down?"
"Sorta," I reply. "Is that the forecast for this week?"
He shakes his head, no. His eyes are deep pools of dark purple sparkle. "That is the opportunity."
I nod, because what else do you do? Except follow instructions from the irresistible carnal cherub, who won my heart with one smile. Shhhh...finger to my author’s lips...don’t tell Sedona.

This following week brings a variety of new opportunities to gain more freedom in your life. First, you must stand atop the highest mountain of your Self, and assess what freedom means to you. Then, look for how that can be expressed concretely in your life. For example, if you are a gardner, what new tool or what new book would assist you the most? What would ‘free’ you to be the kind of gardner you wish to be in the future?
For many, however, freedom will mean preparation, just as our friends in the animal kingdom now prepare for winter.

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona


Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~
Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes?

Blurb: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar
What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? ...more

Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend, BookStrand author of FLAVIA’S SECRET and A SECRET TREASURE ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ adventure fantasy erotic romance ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~

Kiss from Savanna Kougar...

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

5 Cherries for Ingenue's Choice!

“Zara is a very fun character, as she brings her own brand of humor and wit to this book. Keir is a hot, dark and mysterious character that just screams dominant. Patryk is such a sweet submissive; I could not help but love him. Combining these three wonderful characters, along with a great story of healing the pain from the past, made for an enjoyable read. If you enjoy M/M erotic romance, with a touch of BDSM, then this book is for you.” 5 Cherries, Amaranth for Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Author Discovery: Lindsay Townsend's "A Secret Treasure"

I haven't read a sweet romance in a long time so Lindsay Townsend's A Secret Treasure was very delightful.

The setting of Rhodes became a character within the story and served as a matchmaker for two very different people: Eve Burnett and the irresistable Italian Julio Falcone.

A Secret Treasure takes place during 1937 when Rhodes was dominated by the Italians. Therefore, a British woman like Eve is bound to believe that Julio, a policeman, must be a

Eve must decide whether or not to protect her parents and her brother David from Italian authorities such as Julio, who suspect that David is involved in the Greek resistent movement.

The courtship between Eve and Julio is traditional but strained due to the heroine's family obligations and complicated by a valuable treasure the natives must preserve at all costs.

Eve's character, to me, is represented by the treasure which I cannot reveal here. The young woman's character and ability to act under pressure is a bit like the treasure's ability to shine through the darkness.

Lindsay Townsend's work is the perfect read for someone who wants to experience an elegant romance with a touch of danger.

Another review of A Secret Treasure 5 Angels by Fallen Angel Reviews!

Ecataromance review.

author of

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blind Date After Dark: Mr. Right by Lara Santiago

Good morning!
My latest short book, Mr. Right, will be released later on today. It's available for pre-order at the BookStrand website. Yea!

Mr. Right is the first story in a series I call Blind Date After
Dark. And it takes place at a Halloween party. A little spooky and a lot sexy, Mr. Right is here just in time to be a Halloween treat. ;)

Following is a blurb and an excerpt.
I hope you enjoy my foray into the intriguing world of blind dates.

Blind Date After Dark 1
Mr. Right

Lonely Melisa agrees to meet a blind date at a Halloween party.

An unexpectedly delicious, masked vampire greets her at the door. Once into the party, David whisks her upstairs after she trips and tends to her skinned knee.

Has she finally met Mr. Right?

David hasn't made time for the "right" kind of woman in his life until an unwanted blind date falls into his arms on All Hallows Eve.

Is she the one he's been waiting for to share his life?

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Length: 12,000 words

"Have you ever been on a blind date? Chicken that I am, I never once chanced dating anyone unfamiliar who was “chosen for me” by friends or family. Therefore, I now explore the concept of blind dates and their infinite possibilities in my writing. I hope you all enjoy my very vivid imagination in the Blind Date After Dark series." ~ Lara ~


Melisa Berrand brushed imaginary lint off of her costume, took a breath for courage, but paused before pressing the doorbell. The spooky party house, decorated elaborately for Halloween, awaited her. She wasn’t trick or treating tonight, unless of course trolling for a man counted.

A shiver of apprehension raced down her spine as she faced the ornately carved gothic door. Was someone watching her? Was there some spook or ghoul also attending the party tonight hot on her trail?

She glanced over one shoulder at the dark sidewalk behind her. The dimmed streetlight didn’t even cast enough of a glow to reach the road below.

She patted a hand over her loose curls. Nothing was out of place, except the hair bristling on the back of her neck. The well-manicured yard looked empty. She pushed out a long breath. Get a grip. No one is even out there, let alone paying any attention to you.

Glancing down at her medieval wench costume, she wondered if her attire said, “Sexy party outfit,” or “Desperate single female on the make.” Did she really need a date that badly? Perhaps not a date, but she wanted a man in her life, even if only temporarily.

The mere suggestion of going home alone to hand out candy to the few kids in her apartment building made the decision for her. Blind date nerves trumped loneliness every time.

She was sick of being solo during holidays. Did Halloween even count as a holiday? It didn’t matter. Thanksgiving, followed closely by Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day loomed closer and if she didn’t find a steady date soon, Melisa fearfully imagined she was headed for permanent spinsterhood.

Lonely libido kicking her in the core, she resolved to make tonight’s blind date work, no matter what it took. Thinking back to the past couple of abhorrent men she’d gone out with, she hoped tonight’s blind date was at least tolerable in the short term.

She sighed and rang the doorbell. The eerie creaking sound registered seconds before the huge door opened all by itself.

A self opening door? Really?

Head tilted to one side, she leaned forward to peek into the entryway. The lemon scent of well-conditioned hard wood and the waxy smell of burning candles greeted her. The sliver of space she could see was empty.

The door continued to open slowly. A sinister laugh pealed when it reached halfway. Another riotous tingle swept down her spine. Not for the first time, Melisa wondered if meeting a complete stranger at a Halloween party was the best idea.

An acquaintance, or rather Bill, the boyfriend of the new girl in the office, had set up this auspicious blind date. He insisted that the “vampire” she would meet tonight would change her life.

Melisa wasn’t looking for a life change so much as a steady boyfriend to keep from sitting home alone during the coming aforementioned romantic holidays. Although, if he were a vampire, she would miss out on so many cool daytime activities.

Given the beastly behavior of her last boyfriend, foregoing the daylight seemed a small price to pay if this guy would simply not be a bastard. Chiding herself for even the momentary belief in vampires, Melisa gathered her strength. There was no such thing as blood-sucking dead people roaming the earth.

“Enter if you dare!” the sinister voice from within the house bellowed. The entry challenge was followed by maniacal laughter.

Taking a deep breath for courage, she lifted her long wench skirt and stepped across the threshold. A tall man in a mask and a long black cape appeared out of nowhere, startling her. Melisa promptly tripped over her feet. Arms flailing, she landed hard against the man’s body grabbing onto his outstretched arms to keep from falling to the floor.

The caped man slid his hands beneath her arms, clutched her torso gently and steadied her on her feet. The movement brought her face first into his chest. Cheek resting against a firm unmovable body, Melisa looked up and found she embraced a fabulously luscious man.

Her palms slid from his muscular biceps to his solid forearms. His hands remained firmly attached to her torso, which was not a hardship. Having a man’s hands gracing her body after so long without intimate contact made her long for more touching.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

She sucked in a breath to answer and with it came his delectable male scent. Wrapped in his strong arms, she inhaled another lungful of delicious man before responding.

“I’m fine. Thanks for catching me.”

“No problem. Sorry you tripped. The wires for the sound effects run under the step. I told my bone-headed friends not to put them there.”

“It’s all right. I don’t think it was the wires. My serving wench shoes are hard to walk in. I’m not sure why Dutch clogs belong with medieval serving wench’s attire, but they came with the costume.”

Melisa took a reluctant half step away from him without releasing his arms and lifted her foot to show him her clog. He didn’t let her go, either. As he glanced at her foot, she snagged a better look at the man holding her.

Dark, glossy hair framed a tanned, square-jawed face beneath the black mask hiding everything from eyebrows to cheekbones. A lock of straight, dark hair graced his forehead and rested above one eyebrow. His eyes, currently focused on her foot, were a sharp vivid blue and she decided he was incredibly easy to look at even with the mask. In fact, he was gorgeous. He lifted his gaze and studied her face intently with his vibrant sapphire eyes. When he grinned, she saw fangs.

Was this man her date? Oh, please.

“If you’re Count Dracula and looking for a blind date, I’m it.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday's Words for October 8, 2008

I realized just today that we’re almost at the end of porch weather here in Southern Ontario. Sadly, I’ve not taken advantage of my front porch as often this summer as I have in years past. That’s one of the bi-products of being so busy. But I have sat out on it a few times, and each time I do, I feel a sense of tradition. This is something I’ve enjoyed in every house I’ve ever lived in.

This porch is cement, wood covered, and decorated with wrought iron railing about waist high. It’s a good sized one, big enough to hold two chairs with a small table in between on one side of the front door, and a love-seat sized wicker chair on the other. The steps leading up to it—eight in all—come right up from the sidewalk. There’s not much of a front lawn here, and what there is, slopes up. There is a fairly deep back yard, and it too slopes—up away from the house, at such an angle that, if you walk it, you find yourself standing above the house. Literally. I do have a clothes line, as some of you may know. But I need to use my cane to get up to it.

This porch is a good one in that it meets my husband’s number one criteria for porches: he is able to sit on his chair and comfortably reach the railing with his feet. I like it because the view from it, that of our street, is pretty. There are plenty of trees, both green and red maples, some pine trees, and some decorative ones. It’s not a busy road, either, but a quiet street where the neighbourhood cats are in control, often forming a gauntlet from one end to the other, challenging vehicles to wait as each of them—in turn and at their own pace—gets out of the way.

There’s a walnut tree on the right hand side of our porch, as you’re looking out toward the road. This tree, when we first moved here in 1989, was a heck of a lot smaller than it is today. My husband thinks we need to see about having a few branches removed, as they’re beginning to hang over the roof. We both believe the tree’s speedy growth, over the last nineteen years, has had as much to do with our presence on the porch as with nature: the tree, we’re convinced, believes our conversations with each other over the years have actually been conversations with it.

We like sit out on our covered porch to read on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and we like to sit out and enjoy thunderstorms. Those times are best, of course, when the rain comes straight down in torrential sheets, without the wind whipping it about so that we remain dry. As we spend time together sitting on our porch, we’re often engaged in conversations that run the gamut from space exploration to corporate responsibility, from music to cars to world politics and natural phenomena. We’ve been married more than thirty-six years, and so far we haven’t run out of conversational topics.

Sitting in one corner on my porch there is what, on first impression, would appear to be an unusual rock. It’s cubical with a slightly rounded top, and has a round hole of about six inches in diameter in the center of it. This rock is not a creation of some ancient geophysical force, but rather of a more recent human one.

Years ago, when my parents moved us across the field to the larger house next door that they had purchased, one of the first things my father did was take down the green wire fencing that enclosed the front yard. I think his view was that as this was a simple rural house, there was no need for a “city-like” fence. All went well until he tried to dig out one corner post. His shovel hit rock – or so he thought it to be. He had do dig out and around and down before he finally discovered that what his spade had hit was in fact the ‘rock’ that was formed by the cement that had been poured to keep the fence post anchored in the ground. It was such a smooth and strange looking rock that he decided to leave it, on top of the grass, and actually it formed the corner of a triangular shaped garden that he put in, roughly where the rock had been buried. If my father was anything like me—and I have it on good authority that my sense of humor matches his—he also kept it because digging it out had been such bloody hard work.

The hole in the center is just the right size for a six inch flower pot, and this purpose the rock has served from time to time through the years. After my mother died, my husband and I moved into the house that my parents had bought, and thus we became custodians of the rock. When approximately ten years later we moved from that house to another neighbourhood, I decided to bring the rock with me, and I’ve had it ever since.

I do that. I cling to things that are perhaps odd things to have and are of no real value, but that stand as visceral touchstones—reminders, if you will—of times past and their connection to the present and the future. I need my few symbols, those things that no matter what, endure.

The older I get, the faster life moves, the more so much around me changes…the more cherished these symbols become.

Romance…with that extra bit of heat.