Sara Daniel Romance Author: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Other Side - New Release from @ZeeMonodee and @DecadentPub #Africa #multiculturalromance

The Other Side
Series: Book #1 in the Island Girls Trilogy
Author: Zee Monodee
Line: Ubuntu (geared to African Romance)
Publisher: Decadent Publishing, LLC
Release date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Comedy/ Interracial Multicultural Romance/ Bollywood
Length: 272 pages
Heat Level: Sensual/ 2 flames
Cover Image: Attached (300x450 size compressed for easy loading on web pages)

Divorce paints a scarlet letter on her back when she returns to the culture-driven society of Mauritius. This same spotlight shines as a beacon of hope for the man who never stopped loving her. Can the second time around be the right one for these former teenage sweethearts?

Indian-origin Lara Reddy left London after her husband dumps her for a more accommodating uterus—at least, that’s what his desertion feels like. Bumping into him and his pregnant new missus doesn’t help matters any, and she thus jumps on a prestigious job offer. The kicker? The job is in Mauritius, the homeland of her parents, and a society she ran away from over a decade earlier.

But once there, Lara has no escape. Not from the gossip, the contempt, the harassing matchmaking...and certainly not from the man she hoped never to meet again. The boy she’d loved and lost—white Mauritian native, Eric Marivaux.

Back when they were teens, Eric left her, and Lara vowed she’d never let herself be hurt again. Today, they are both adults, and facing the same crossroads they’d stood at so many years earlier.
Lara now stands on the other side of Mauritian society. Will this be the impetus she needs to take a chance on Eric and love again?

Buy Links:

About the author Zee Monodee
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture

Zee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.

From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.

Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is a head-over-heels wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween son, best-buddy-stepmum to a teenage lad, an incompetent domestic goddess, eternal dreamer, and an absolute, shameless bookholic. When she isn’t penning more stories and/or managing the Ubuntu line at Decadent Publishing, you can bet you’ll find her with her nose in her tablet, ‘drinking in’ a good book.

Tidbits about this book & series:

Back in the year 2000 (when this story takes place), divorce was an almost-alien, shunned & vilified concept. People were still supposed to marry ‘for life’ and a wife left her husband’s home only in her coffin. Those who dared brave this silent edict did it at the risk of becoming marginalized and cast away. Like Lara, the author, Zee, divorced her British husband and returned to the island to face such drama. Much of the divorce angle in the book comes from her own experience.

Eric Marivaux stood in the office of his private practice, staring out of the window at nothing in particular. The Grand Baie summer sun beat down on the pane and licked at his skin, burning him with the rays that passed through the glass, but he paid the physical sensations no heed. All his focus lay on his memories, especially of the encounter he’d had with Lara earlier.

Lara, whom he’d loved and lost so many years ago.

How did meeting her again make him feel? He didn’t have a clue, and this uncertainty rattled him beyond the pale. A part of him didn’t dare browse his feelings for the full effect this meeting with her had had on him. But he couldn’t hide, and the sooner he faced the truth, the easier it should be for him to keep on moving forward. At least, he hoped.

He didn’t want her back. Not in his proximity, not in the same place, not on the same soil. The more distance between them, the better. He’d had to work so hard toward finally accepting such a reality, so why had fate chosen that precise moment to put her back onto his path?

He ran a hand in his hair, letting his fingers work at untangling the knots. He should cut the long locks, but damn if he found the time.

Why now? He’d recently reconciled to the idea none of his relationships would work out, because she was the only woman he’d ever love. Peace with that notion had come hard. If he hoped to settle down someday, he’d do so for convenience and companionship, but never for love. It took one face-to-face meeting with her to send his certitude spinning like a crazy top.

No, she shouldn’t be here. He had no desire to see her and be reminded of what he’d let go. He’d wanted to run when upon recognizing her earlier. Run as fast as his legs could carry him. Run away from the hurt and the anger that inevitably crept into his whole being and consumed him completely whenever he even thought of her.

Yet, he hadn’t been able to resist. One glance at her, and he’d been a goner. Again. So he’d given in, and revelled in those short but sweet moments they’d shared. She’d felt so good in his arms—

He sighed and ran his hand over his face again in a gesture fraught with weariness and frustration. Lara. He’d stumbled aback when he recognized her. She’d changed in the past twelve years, since the last time he’d seen her.

She was a woman and not a skinny seventeen-year-old anymore. The long hair had also tricked him. The straight black locks framed the sides of her face, whereas in the past, she used to draw it into a high ponytail that bounced with her every step. He loved to tug on her long hair, which would annoy her so much, and when she frowned and narrowed her gaze at him, he would swoop in and steal a kiss. After which she would smile. Reluctantly, but she’d smile nevertheless.

Why was she back? He had returned to Mauritius because she wouldn’t be there. Her life was in London. What was she doing here? He prayed she was on vacation.

He closed his eyes and let his head touch the surface of the window. The glass felt hot against his skin. As drained as he felt, he couldn’t bother with a possible burn to his sun-sensitive skin. Meeting her again had shaken him up. More so, because he couldn’t bear to see her and know she belonged to another man now.

To that darkly handsome husband of hers, who, he’d been loath to admit, resembled Tom Cruise, Lara’s teenage crush. The guy also had brains, since he was some hotshot actuary or something, working in investment. And Lara had seemed happy with him. He remembered the joyous expression on her face when he’d seen them once on Piccadilly Circus in London.

That day, he’d known for good she was lost to him, stupid fool he was. He’d been an idiot to leave so abruptly for France all those years ago, his relationship with her hanging as unfinished business.

But it had all been a long time ago. A different lifetime, even. He forced his eyes open, and rubbed the nape of his neck as he peeled himself from the window and stepped closer to his desk. No use pondering the past, especially one that had not gone as planned.

Would they have worked out, the two of them? He’d never know. Better this way.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Listen to Your Muse @HolleyTrent's Muse Likes #Cowboys

My Muse Like Cowboys
by Holley Trent

Last fall, I was on Colorado’s 287 driving south to a meeting—doing my usual in-car sing-along to…oh, I want to say "Panic! at the Disco." Suddenly, with the mountains of the Front Range in view, my muse plopped her mouthy self into the front passenger seat and said, “Hey, you need write a cowboy romance.”

Naturally, I scoffed. I’m a Carolina girl (lapsed, but still). We didn’t have ranchers back east. We just had farmers. What do I know about cowboys (beyond the fact they tend to wear their jeans quite well)?

Muse said, “You’re thinking too literally. You can tell a cowboy story without it being a treatise on ranch management.”

And I said, “Oh yeah? You want to tell me what, precisely, this story should be about? ’Cause I’m plenty busy already.”

Muse said, “Picture it. A single dad workaholic living in the middle of the Wyoming boonies.”

I said: “Wyoming?”

Muse said: “Yeah? Remember that road trip through southeastern Wyoming and that never-ending dirt road that tested the mettle of your marriage?”

I said, “Oh. That. That was…educational.”

Muse said: “Now imagine a community so sparsely populated because of the size of the ranches that most of the kids are home-schooled.”

Me: “Uh…”

Muse said: “And because few people are really qualified to home-school those kids, a couple of those ranchers have to hire a tutor from a service.”

Me: “Ah. I see where you’re going here.”

Muse: “Fish out of water. Carolina beauty queen intellectual versus stubborn Wyoming rancher.”

Me: “Hmm. I might could work it. Can I have a big cast?”

Muse: “The biggest. Grey’s Anatomy didn’t have a cast this big.”

Me: “So I can write in some insane secondaries. Can I make it snarky?”

Muse: “The snarkiest, babe. I’ve got an idea for a sidekick named Phil. He can be this book’s resident misanthrope. Oh! And a bossy mother. You can have one of those, too.”

Me: “Okay. I’m tempted. Maybe after NaNoWriMo.”

Muse: “No. NOW. You don’t want to ignore me. Remember what happened last time?”

Me: *glowers*

Muse: “Oh. Since it’s going to be a doorstopper of a book, anyway, why not just go on ahead and add in a secret baby?”

Me: “Leave.”

Muse: “Fine. Be back next week. I have an idea for a—”


And, that’s how the story of Ronnie and John came to be. It’s called Teaching the Cowboy and will be trotting into e-readers sometime this fall. Watch the TtC page my blog to learn more.

Holley Trent writes contemporary and paranormal romances with Southern sass. Her previous Musa releases are the chick-litty Executive Decision and Her Resident Jester. Holley's comedic paranormals Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas and Love by Premonition.

Learn more about Holley and her upcoming works on her website and blog. Stay in touch with Twitter.

Monday, July 29, 2013

#MondayMunchies - Zucchinis gone Wild @lizzietleaf has a #recipe to save you

This time of year my zucchinis completely take over until I'm begging friends, neighbors and perfect strangers to take them off my hands. Lizzie T. Leaf has the perfect recipe for all those zucchinis. In fact, this year I just might not even want to share!

Note: I have some many awesome recipes to share that I'm starting a semi-regular "Monday Munchies" feature. Enjoy!

by Lizzie T. Leaf

This recipe has a beautiful flavor and is easy to prepare. Add a fresh salad and a chilled bottle of white wine and you have the perfect dinner. The extra bonus is that leftovers freeze very well.

Zucchini with Meat Stuffing
6 zucchini of the same size, weighing about 1¾ pounds (800 g) in all
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized onion
1 clove garlic (or more if you like garlic)
1 small bunch fresh parsley or 2 tbsp. dried
¾ cup brown rice (cooked)
1 egg
4 tbsp. grated Parmesan or mixed Italian cheeses plus extra for topping
½ pound Italian seasoned ground turkey (or add seasonings to regular ground turkey)
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh thyme or basil
Small can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 375°

Cut zucchini in half and scoop out the pulp. Place the shells into a pot of boiling water. Return the water to a boil. Boil shells for 5 minutes. Remove and place upside down to drain and cool.

Mince the pulp with onion, garlic and parsley. Sauté the mixture in oil until it is lightly browned.

In a medium size bowl combine the vegetable mixture, rice, egg, cheese, and the meats. Mix well. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Pam a baking pan or oven-proof dish.

Fill the shells with the stuffing, pressing it down firmly but carefully so as not to tear the shell.

Arrange the zucchini in the /pandish. Spoon tomato sauce on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with additional cheese and bake 5-10 minutes more.

Now that you have dinner in line, take a moment or two for yourself with my latest adult paranormal.

Will family secrets let her find love with a guy that cats around?

Sharla Gomez’s dream encounter with the man she’s lusted over for months turned into rain-soaked nightmare. Her hopes of love and passion have gone to the dogs. Being a shifter is hell, especially when you’re a Pug/Chihuahua mix, or as some call the breed, a Chug. Even dogs don’t want to be told they’re so ugly they’re cute?

Dorsey Smith wants to get to know the exotic number-cruncher in charge of the strip club’s books. Just his luck she disappeared before he could ask her out for coffee. Instead of taking home the woman he lusts for, he takes home the small, drenched dog shivering in the rain. When he discovers the animal missing the next morning and he senses magic in the air. Has his safe haven been discovered and will his secrets be revealed?

Can two people with deep secrets discover the truth about each other and still find love. Or will the secrets and the evil lurking drive them apart?

To read an excerpt or purchase a book, please click on a vendor's name.
MUSA Publishing
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

#MySexySaturday - A Man Worth Fighting For #WiccanHaus @MySexySaturday @MusaPublishing

“Got a better idea?” she challenged. Only the reminder of how he’d left her in the elevator kept her from molding her body to his and exploring his hardness and softness and everything in between.

“Yeah. Sit in front of me.” He spread his legs and patted the mat in front of him.

She looked down and then back up at his tantalizing lips. “Why?” She certainly wasn’t opposed to having her butt between his thighs, but she wanted to know exactly what she was accepting by doing so.

“Trust me. We’re going to breathe together.”

“Breathe together?” Whatever she’d expected, that wasn’t it. It was sweet, innocent, and oh-so-sexy all at the same time. She looked around. The rest of the class was lying on their mats absorbed in their own breathing. Trixie was working with someone else. No one was looking or cared what they were doing off to the side.

Careful not to bump his bad knee, she sat between his thighs with her back to him. Justin wrapped his arms around her. “Feel my chest against your back?” he whispered.

She nodded. That wasn’t all she felt. His erection was rock hard against her ass. She wanted to forget all this breathing nonsense and pull him inside her.

He has nothing left to offer. She's determined to show him just how much he's worth.

Shot by a member of his military team, Justin Lawson retreats to the Wiccan Haus. Holly Walters refuses to accept her boyfriend's out-of-the-blue rejection without an explanation, even if getting the answers forces her to be trapped on a bizarre island for an entire week. She's going to use every minute to work Justin out of her system once and for all. Justin's body and spirit begin to heal under Holly's loving ministrations. As she talks about never seeing each other again, he realizes he never wants to let her go. But the rogue assassin who had gone after Justin before is after him again. Before he can fight to make Holly believe in their love, he'll have to fight for both their lives.

Buy Links:
Musa Publishing
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Friends - What's in a Name? @ElenisKafe Explains #WritersLife

What’s in a Name?
by Eleni Konstantine

Many writers write under a pen name and I decided I was going to do this as well. Firstly, I had been working as a librarian and I had wanted me the writer separate from that identity.

So why did I choose Eleni Konstantine?

Well, Eleni is actually my real name. Confused? When dad registered me at the Australian consulate (I was born as an Australian overseas as my dad by this stage was an Australian citizen), they used the Anglicized version of my name – Helen. So Helen I became as well as Eleni and I’ve been answering to both all my life. I believe if you’re going to pick a pen name, pick one you will respond to. If someone is calling your pen name and you don’t respond, that doesn’t bode too well for your brand name.

Hence, Eleni was a good fit.

But why Konstantine? Believe me when I tell you it took me a long time to find the right last name. I went through variations of different places, names, and influences. But nothing seemed to fit. Then one day I happened to look upon an icon we have at home (being Greek Orthodox, we have some of the Byzantine styled icons) and I had an ‘aha moment’. It was one of Saint Konstantinos with his mother, Saint Eleni (Konstantine and Helen). My godson’s name is Konstantinos (Kosta for short) and we celebrate the same name day, and so whammo, there it was. My name.

Eleni Konstantine.

What’s a name day?

Those in the Greek Orthodox faith, baptize their children using the name of a saint. When the saint has their religious day in the calendar, it is said to be a name day (yiorti). All those who have that name celebrate that name day. Konstantinos and Eleni are May 21st.

So belated happy name day to me and all the Elenis (Helen, Helen, Helen, Elena) and the Konstantinos’ (Kosta, Con, Kon) out there.

Hronia Polla!

So, my small name day gift to you is a little from my latest release to tease your imagination. I hope you like it.

Thom may be used to the dangers of the forest, but nothing has prepared him for this. When he stumbles across a woman dressed in weird clothing lying on the ground during a storm, he has no choice but to help her.

Ellie finds herself in another world, having traveled through time and space thanks to what Thom calls The Rifts. The question is whether she will ever be able to find her way back, or if she will be stuck in this new world forever. Or if she will even want to go home…

Vera’s dreams are haunted each night by a man she only knows as Angel Eyes. He feels more real to her than anything else in her life, including her fiancĂ©. Vera must try to forget her childish dreams of soul mates and happily ever after… but are they really only dreams or can she find a way to be with Angel Eyes forever?

To read an excerpt from Enchanted Realms, please click HERE.

Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Learn more about Eleni Konstantine on her website and her blog Eleni's Taverna.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#TuesdayTeaser - Cool Down with Some Snow Fun courtesy of Mr. Forever

I grew up in a house that's literally built into the side of a hill in northern Illinois. In the winter, we would sled down one of three courses -- the "bunny" hill in front of our house, the big hill across the sandy creek from the house, or the "jump run" alongside the house. The "jump" on this last hill had an upward curve in the middle that gave us just enough lift to bruise our backsides on the landing after we caught air and occasionally to throw us off our sleds.

All this has been great fodder for those "remember when ..." family stories. In recent years, we've resurrected the old sled runs for my children to make memories on, as well. I'd never considered using this family fun in a book. Then stuffy marriage therapist Caleb Paden showed up on Olivia's Wells doorstep in the middle of a snowstorm. He desperately needed someone to teach him how to have a little fun. Olivia and her six-year-old son were just the people for the job. And what could be more fun in the snow than sledding? As far as I'm concerned -- not a thing!

Here is Caleb's first experience sledding in Mr. Forever:

“You’re not scared, are you?” Austin's lips curled in a sneer.

“Of course not.” But to prove it, Caleb had to sit down and trust his life to a flimsy piece of plastic. He could do this. As her guest, Olivia would stop him from doing anything that wasn’t completely safe. He hoped.

He sat down gingerly and grasped the sides of the plastic disc. Austin shoved on his shoulders.

Olivia shouted something about steering, but it was too late. He was already flying down the hill toward a group of trees. He was gaining speed. The trees were getting closer. He had to stop. He had to get off this thing. Now.

He planted his feet on the ground in front of him. They stopped, but the sled carried the rest of his momentum forward. The world became a white blur of upside-down trees as he tumbled head-over-heels down the hill. After what seemed like an eternity of hurtling without control over the speed or direction of his body, he came to a rest face first in the snow.

Extremely cold snow.

Not exactly smooth sailing! The road to happiness follows a similar path with some head-over-heels tumbles for Caleb and Olivia.

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

7 Sexy Sentences from Wyatt's Guilt @MySexySaturday

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Giving you a souvenir.” She shot him a smug look.

The glow of the houselights revealed a silhouette of pale lacy fabric hanging from his mirror. He nearly choked on his tongue. “You took off your underwear?”

“There’s only one way to know for certain.”

Wyatt’s Guilt
Nicole trusted Wyatt with her heart once. She won’t make the same mistake twice.

Nicole DeMonde’s car breaks down the moment she returns to her hometown for her brother’s wedding. The cop who stops to help her is none other than local hottie Wyatt Truman, who slept with her then dumped her when they were teens. She has no choice but to accept his help. However, she knows better than to trust him with her heart twice.

Wyatt is determined to earn Nicole’s forgiveness and make amends for his callous past. Once he lays eyes on her, he can’t help wanting a lot more than forgiveness, despite his intention never to hurt her again.

Just as Wyatt starts thinking his best intentions are of the forever variety, Nicole decides to work Wyatt out of her system with a one night stand. Can either of them make peace with the past in a single weekend, let alone survive with their hearts intact?

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Friends - This Time Next Year by @lexcade @DecadentPub #1NS #BlogHop

I'm so excited to be included in Catherine Peace's blog hop for THIS TIME NEXT YEAR. For this post, I've asked to tell us five things we may not to know about This Time Next Year. After you check out her cool tidbits, don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

5 Things You May Not Know about This Time Next Year
by Catherine Peace
  1. Tandy’s nickname for Moira (sugarplum) comes from Moira’s obsession with The Nutcracker, which she saw when she was a kid.
  2. Speaking of Tandy, it’s possible that she’s some sort of supernatural critter, too, and I might even write her a story.
  3. Kiernan is loosely based on Louis de Pon du Lac from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Even though I adore Lestat (and he will always own a piece of my heart), I have a soft spot for Louis….
  4. Moira’s work in studying addiction is a direct result of being raised by drug dealers.
  5. Willem is actually my favorite character (I know, I know). I love feral vamps, the creepy ones like in 30 Days of Night and also Russell Edgington from True Blood. Really, good ol’ Russell was the inspiration for my baddy vamp. Mythology and folklore helped me make him more real.

Vampire Kiernan Shaw has never forgotten the night twenty years ago when he’d been forced to stand by while another vampire killed a six-year-old girl’s parents in front of her. He’s spent the better part of the last two decades watching over her, protecting her and hoping for an opportunity to make amends one day.

Ever since surviving the vampire attack that killed her parents, Moira Curran has dealt with the resulting nightmares and abandonment issues the only way she could—by throwing herself into her biochemistry career, preferring a life of a hermit in her lab to facing the reality of her lonely life.

Madame Eve brings them back together for one fateful night. An immediate bond of sizzling chemistry and respect forms, but can it heal her fears and his guilt?

Buy Links
Decadent Publishing
All Romance

Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. She often blames two things for her forays into speculative fiction—Syfy (when it was SciFi) channel Sundays with her dad and The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. She graduated in 2008 from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in English and is still chasing the dream of being super rich and famous, mostly so she can sit around in her PJs all day and write stories. When not being a slave to the people in her head, she’s a slave to two adorable dogs.
Reviewer for Indie Books R Us

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox – Pinterest for Authors

I resisted joining Pinterest when it first broke onto the scene. I’m a word person, not a picture person. But promotion is about connecting with readers in their comfort zone and where they’re receptive to you. I also couldn’t ignore all those “Pin It” icons that were showing up everywhere, making it easy to add a pin to my boards.

At first I just pinned my book covers and covers from other authors I love, along with some outdoor pictures that I found inspiring. But then I realized that I could do more.

I have lots of ideas in my head of what my characters, their settings, and important objects look like, but descriptive writing is not my strength. Pinterest gives me a place where I can show readers a really good visual by repinning other people’s pins, and hopefully the people I repin from might be inclined to check me out. Maybe they’ll even be intrigued by what they see or remember my name.

I’m currently developing a couple multi-book series, and I’ve discovered Pinterest is a wonderful tool for connecting these books, both in my creative mind and for readers. For each series, I created a Pinterest board for all the books and characters in the series to mingle together.

For example, on my “Small Town, Big Dreams” Series board, I have the two pictures you see here. I also have pictures of Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon to represent Matt and Veronica from Construction Beauty Queen. I also found an awesome Halloween costume of a construction couple. In addition, I’ve posted some pictures that tie in to my upcoming release Love Him or Leave Him. Surprisingly, the pins of an abandoned bowling alley that I posted are quickly becoming my most repinned items. I’m catching the attention of people I never would have connected with otherwise.

Take a peek at my Pinterest boards. I’d love to hear which pins are your favorites, what you’d like to see added and how you think I could make my boards even better.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Friends - Guest Post by @samcheever The Devil You Need

by Sam Cheever

This is Book 6 in my wildly fun Dancin' With the Devil series. For those of you who aren't familiar, here's the series premise:

My Dancin' With the Devil fantasy series is a fun, action packed series based on a heroine who will touch every emotion you have. The series includes six books following the antics of Astra Q Phelps. Astra is a Tweener, part angel and part devil, and, aside from running her demon exterminating business, she helps the Big Guy and the Celestial Army beat back the dark world. She generally gets the job done, but sometimes it ain't pretty! And to complicate things for Astra, she finds herself strangely attracted to the consummate bad boy. Royal Devil Dialle is gorgeous and incredibly sexy, but Astra's just never sure whose side he's on! The series takes them on the roller coaster ride of their relationship, as things around them continually change and become more complex. It's sometimes a terrifying and always an entertaining ride. I hope you'll jump on board!

Book 6: Dancin' With the DevilBook 6: Dancin' With the Devil

Astra Q. Phelps was stripped of her magic and the experience has understandably changed her life. While she’s no longer a slave to the constant sexual demands of her Settling, she’s now powerless and emotionally bereft.

The uber-sexy Dialle, king of the Royal Devils, is also in trouble. He’s lost his anchor to the light and dark forces are threatening to pull him under.

Through it all, deadly forces battle to keep the two lovers apart, plaguing them with doubts of their future. Is Dialle really the devil she needs? Is Astra the devilish miss he wants? They’ll have to decide if their love is worth the risks…or if they’d be better off letting it slip away.

Praise for other books in the series:

The Devil You Want: "Sam Cheever never ceases to amaze with the stories she weaves. They continue to be intense, very hot and filled with enough twists and turns to keep the reader amazed and intrigued. The ending is electrifying and you know we have not seen the last of this couple. Beautifully done – The Devil You Want by Sam Cheever. I know he is the devil I want." ~ 5 stars from Elise at

The Devil You Know: "This is one sensual and spirited read. It is the entire cast of colorful characters, both good and bad and the in-between, that make this such an unforgettable story. I loved the tone of this book, while keeping up a fast-paced action it balances the catastrophes with a lightheartedness that kept me chuckling throughout. If you are looking for a steamy paranormal this is it and it proves just why this author has a spot on my must-read list." The Romance Studio

Here's a taste of The Devil You Need...

I was pulling on my ankle-length leather coat, preparing to leave, when the air thickened a few feet away and two forms shimmered directly into my office. My aunt Myra and my new guardian Aubrey. I cringed when I saw them. No two creatures had ever been better equipped or more motivated to piss me off.

Adding to my discomfort was the fear that they were there to give me news on how Emo’s Settling had turned out. I had a very bad feeling about my friend and former partner and I was uncharacteristically reluctant to face the bad news. So much so that I was considering making a run for it before either of the two bossy guardians opened their mouths and rained on my day…maybe even my life.

Despite my fears, however, they didn’t launch right into the ruination of my life. In fact, my aunt Myra looked just a little too pink cheeked and smiley for my comfort. I hoped like hell it didn’t have anything to do with the tall, sexy blond god of a guardian angel standing next to her. The thought made me grimace. I mean, really, clocking in at a couple thousand years between them, weren’t they just a little too old to be doing the nasty together?


“Hello, Aubrey. Auntie. To what do I owe the…erm…pleasure?”

Aubrey lifted a sculpted blond eyebrow and gave me the once over. I stood my ground, refusing to look down to see if my inadequacies were hanging out or my ineptitude was unbuttoned. I already knew they were. Instead, I lifted an eyebrow right back at him.

Tit for tat.

“We came to see how you fare, Astra.”

Sexy Aubrey might be—and a truly fine guardian for a girl who finds trouble more easily than the Plutonian Star Polo team on vacation on sunny Mercury—I was beginning to suspect he had even a longer stick up his ass than my aunt Myra.

“I fare just about as well as could be expected.”

This non-answer brought clouds to Auntie Myra’s sunny skies. “There’s no need to be flip, Astra.”

I shrugged. “I’m not trying to be flip, Auntie. Just honest. My life pretty much sucks without a straw these days. I’m barely surviving from day to day.”

Aubrey frowned. “Straw? What is this?”

I grinned. “I guess you’ve been skipping your Human Pop Culture Orientation workshops?”

Aubrey’s fine, straight nose lifted a notch and his celestial arrogance came out to play. “I can’t possibly keep up with all the human weirdisms, past and present. I’ll let you focus on that since you live down here among them.”

I grabbed the small bag I’d started carrying since I’d lost my ability to shift from place to place. Turns out magic comes in handy for lots of things besides kicking demon ass. Who knew? “Yeah, and besides, now I’m one of them, so…” I threw him a glare and started out the door.

I could almost hear the double-barreled air-sucking as the two snotty celestials realized Aubrey’s mistake. The air shifted and Myra was suddenly standing directly in front of me, blocking my exit.

“Get out of the way, angel. I’m going home to drown my sorrows in a hot shower and as much frozen milk sugar as I can stuff down.”

She glared down at me. Funny, I would have thought contrition and apology would have looked a lot less hostile. “Astra, stop being such a baby. We’re going to find a way around this little problem, and until we do, we need you to stay positive.”

“Good, because I’m positive there’s no way I’ll get my magic back.”

Myra crossed her arms over her chest and her face pinkened with pique. I was pretty sure she grew an inch or two, as warrior angels tended to do when they were pissed off. “Despite your defeatist attitude, Aubrey and I have come to make you a proposition. Are you going to listen to us or not?”

I groaned. “Not. I’m full up on propositions today, angel. How about we pick this up again tomorrow…or next millennia?”

Queue the good cop-angel. Aubrey touched my arm. “Astra, I’m sorry. My remark was heartless and—”

“Insufferably snotty?”

His frown slipped away and he actually smiled at me. It was one of Aubrey’s better things…his ability to laugh at himself. It was a trait Auntie Myra didn’t share. “Yes. That too. But none of us think of you as a human. You’re a magical creature of great power. You’re just currently a little low on voltage.” His smile widened.

Despite my foul humor I couldn’t help smiling back. “Okay. Got it. You haven’t given up on me. I appreciate that. I really do. But you need to understand that this is really hard and I’m dealing with it as best I can.”

“We do understand that,” Aubrey said. He even seemed sincere. “Which is why we’re offering you some help.”

Uh oh. “What kind of help…exactly?”

“We want you to come up for some celestial counseling.”

My shocked gaze flew to my aunt. “You what?”

“Our trainers have actually had considerable success helping magic users through their rough spots,” Aubrey assured me.

“Hello. Earth to angels. This isn’t a rough spot folks, this is a dead zone.”

“We don’t actually know what’s going on,” Myra informed me. “For all we know your magic is still in there, hidden behind some kind of wall—”

“That would be a hell of a wall, Auntie.”

“Yes. It would. But…” Her pretty face finally softened and she reached to touch my arm. I flinched, scarred from years of being force-shifted all over the place by my pushy guardians. She sighed, letting her hand drop without touching me. “We think it’s worth a try. Will you let us help you?”

“Worst case is that we can help you figure out how to deal emotionally with this issue, Astra. That’s not all bad, is it?” Aubrey’s impossibly handsome face clearly showed his concern.

My mind raced. Heaven. Ugh. I was pretty much allergic to white. Even the silver and gold of the higher angels’ wings couldn’t do much to take the sting out of a world that was almost entirely white. I wondered if I could smuggle some red or blue into the place. On the other hand… I had been considering going away for a while. The Celestial Realm was definitely away. “It’s worth thinking about,” I finally allowed.

I was rewarded for this reasonableness by being the unlucky recipient of two wide, happy, angel smiles. “Good.” Myra nodded as if it was decided.

“I said I’d think, Auntie.”

Myra opened her mouth to argue but Aubrey reached out and gently clasped her arm. “We’ll give you time then, child.” He fixed my aunt with a look that took the militant starch right out of her wings.

I wondered if he could bottle that look and sell me a case of it. I’d been trying to introduce my aunt to the concept of capitulation for almost two decades.

She finally nodded. “We’ll check back tomorrow and get your response.”

I was on the verge of asking for more time but then decided I’d pushed her enough. “Tomorrow works.”

Aubrey nodded and stepped back. “Good. We’ll see you then, Astra.”

Myra stared at me for a long moment and then, seemingly on impulse, stepped in and gave me a hug. I almost swallowed my tongue.

First Darma was nice and now my acid-tongued aunt was going all mushy on me. I figured I only had a few hours to live.

“Please let us do this, Astra. I think we can help.”

I was too shocked even to say something snarky. So I just watched them blip away. I stood there for several moments before I found the energy to move again. Then I went in search of Bob and Ralph.

Maybe Bob could do an empathic read on me and discover if I’d lost my mind or something. The Big Guy knew I must be in dire straits if my family was being nice to me.

Buy information and excerpt

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

#TuesdayTeaser - Love Him or Leave Him #smalltownromance

To celebrate yesterday's release of Love Him or Leave Him, I am offering this teaser:

“We’re creating a cocoa scientifically,” Becca explained. “We’ll record each ingredient used and the reasons why we picked it, as well as the reasons why we reject the others. We’ll also record our response to each flavor.”

Connor could handle a taste test. After all, he judged the Chili Cook Off each year. “And the audience is supposed to find this entertaining?”

“Hey, be thankful I saved you from boredom and you get to be up here doing the fun part.” She shook her head. “I can only imagine what people do for fun in real cities.”

“You don’t think this is real?” Connor asked.

“I don’t think our community is a fair representation of what the rest of the world is like. And really,” she teased, “would you want a chipped ceramic mug of brown liquid to rank at the top of your memorable life experiences?”

She pulled a tray of spices from her bag and arranged it between them. “Why don’t you taste the plain cocoa first, so we have a starting point?”

Connor dutifully lifted the steaming mug, trying not to be stung that he wouldn’t count as a memorable part of her life.

“Your response should include whether the smell and taste of each ingredient makes your partner feel more romantically inclined,” Pauline added to the group.

He nearly spewed his drink. He was supposed to not only admit, but rate the increase in his attraction to Becca?

“Good, you firmly established us as a zero on the romance scale.” She smacked him on the back. “That’s where I intend to stay. If you start moving up the scale, I will poison you.”

He pressed his lips closed to keep from smirking. It wouldn’t do to let her know her murderous threats made him feel more romantically inclined.

For pictures that inspired me as I wrote Construction Beauty Queen and Love Him or Leave Him, check out the Small Town, Big Dreams series board on Pinterest.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Release Day For Love Him or Leave Him @RomanceIsBliss

Release Day is finally here! The Small Town, Big Dreams series that began with Construction Beauty Queen last September continues with Love Him or Leave Him!

Sometimes dreams are where you least expect them

Connor O’Malley and Becca Sanders were once high school sweethearts, ripped apart by rumors in the small town of Kortville, Illinois. Connor left to join the military, and Becca stayed, waiting for her younger brother to graduate so she could live her dreams of traveling the world. But now that Connor's back as the town sheriff, Becca finds herself struggling to resist the too-handsome man who once broke her heart.

Connor loves Kortville—its quaintness keeps at bay the painful memories of Afghanistan he’s sure make him unworthy of any woman, particularly the beautiful brunette he’s always secretly dreamed of a future with. But when a scandal rocks the town, suddenly Connor and Becca must trust in each other if they want to weather this storm…and come out on the other side of it together.

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble

Sample the first chapter of Love Him or Leave Him here

The Small Town, Big Dreams series consists of sweet and sassy small-town romances published by the Bliss imprint of Entangled Publishing and is an on-going series with more books to come! For pictures that inspired me as I wrote Construction Beauty Queen and Love Him or Leave Him, check out the Small Town, Big Dreams series board on Pinterest.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Friends - Interview with @PattiYager @MusaPublishing

Today I'm interviewing multi-published contemporary author Patricia Yager Delagrange as my Friday Friend about her life and writing career.

Welcome, Patti. Please tell us what or who inspired you to start writing?
In 2009 my daughter came home from school and told me her friend asked her why her mommy didn’t have a job. I had been a stay-at-home mom since becoming pregnant with my son in 1993. This gave me pause. I realized I had more time since my two kids were becoming more independent. So I went to the Apple store, bought a MacBook, and told my family that I was going to write a book.

How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Ideas come into my head for whatever reason. For Moon Over Alcatraz I’ve always been intrigued by how parents live through the death of a child. Being a mom, it’s always bothered me to see Amber Alerts and news reports about children who are kidnapped and found murdered. How do parents get through that? So I decided to write about the loss of a child at birth and how the couple deals with their subsequent grief.

What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
I write women’s fiction with romantic elements which centers around a main female character and how she deals with whatever difficulties are thrown in her life path. Women’s fiction novels may or may not have a Happily Ever After, but my novels always do. I believe attitude is everything and in my books the woman always finds her inner strength, jumps through life’s hurdles, and makes it through to the other side.

What expertise did you bring to your writing?
It's the simple fact that I’ve lived a varied life which I believe enhances the quality of my novels. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have attended universities in Madrid, Santa Barbara, and Oregon. I’ve traveled throughout Central and Eastern Europe and lived abroad for a year. I’ve worked in various offices, from Price Waterhouse in San Francisco to an office of a Chinese entrepreneur in Alameda. I own a horse and have been learning to ride for the last ten years. I love all animals and have two chocolate labs. I am a mother of two teenage children. I think a full life has given me the opportunity to write about a wide variety of characters and themes.

What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
That “riding” my 1,425-pound horse Maximus is harder than “writing” an 80,000-word book. Learning to ride has been the biggest challenge of my life and I bring that persistence and determination to my writing. I am an extremely determined person and when I decided to write a book, nothing was going to stop me. And when I finished, I knew then that I could do it, so I started writing another one. I now have four completed, edited, and critiqued novels.

As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
My plans are to write a fifth book as soon as I have a bit of time. Right now I’m in the end stage of edits of my fourth book and will be sending it back to my agent in a few days. That’s when the REAL intense “waiting period” will start - finding a publisher for Brenda’s Wish. I’m already nervous.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I would be Jessee Bradford in my book Taken Away. Jessee is a veterinarian whose wife and child disappear. He moves away from his home in Santa Barbara, California, and takes over his grandfather’s vet practice in Earlham, Iowa. There he finds love, a family connection, and his own happily ever after.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

For my first three books, I was a complete “pantser.” I had an idea of the theme for the book and the people involved and I would sit down and start writing. When I finished I would spend as much time editing to get it right. For my fourth novel, I had complete writer’s block. The author who edits and critiques all my work suggested I write out a synopsis and chapter outlines after we talked about possible ideas for a novel. I did as she suggested and was able to write my fourth book much easier than ever before. So now I’d call myself a “plantser” where I do have a plot, yet I don’t outline everything down to the last detail.

Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
My biggest hobby is riding my horse. I have incorporated that in Taken Away. Jessee Bradford, the veterinarian, meets a woman who is a horse trainer in Iowa and their relationship blossoms. There are several scenes with her and her horses and it’s obviously a big part of her life.

Do you have an all time favorite book?
One of my favorite books is the Horse Whisperer, for obvious reasons. I loved seeing Tom Booker bring an extremely damaged horse back to its owner through his kindness, love, and understanding.

What is your favorite reality show?
My favorite reality show would be Animal Cops: Houston. Although sometimes it makes me cry, I love the happily ever afters for a lot of the animals. I am an animal lover to the max. I often blog about endangered animals.

Who is your favorite actor and actress?
My favorite actor is Russell Crowe. When I saw Gladiator (for the first of a gazillion times) I fell in love. My favorite actress is Meryl Streep.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
When Brandy and Weston are at their baby’s funeral you can feel she’s in the pit of depression. He’s also very sad, but since she carried the baby to term, she’s having a very hard time accepting it wasn’t something she did during her pregnancy that caused her child’s death.

If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
I’d love to see Sandra Bullock as Brandy and Keanu Reeves as Edward. I love the way those two work together.

Weston and Brandy’s marriage splinters beneath the burden of sorrow following the death of their child, and after an accidental meeting with her high school friend, Brandy ends up carrying more than just the weight of grief inside her heart.

Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty. But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.

Musa Publishing
Barnes & Noble

Learn more about Patricia Yager Delagrange on her website and blog. Stay connected on facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

American Flag Cake for Independence Day #recipe

Nothing beats Independence Day for showing our pride in our country. Flags wave proudly, and red, white and blue are suddenly displayed on every piece of merchandise in the local discount store.

While I don’t have flag plates, napkins or—God forbid—a star-spangled bikini, I love bringing out my once-a-year crafty side to make an American Flag Cake for a cool patriotic treat.

So to satisfy your sweet-tooth I offer you my easy and delicious recipe.

American Flag Cake
Pound cake
8oz Cool Whip
Strawberries, sliced

Pound cake can be store bought or made from scratch. Here’s a quick recipe:
    1 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    4 eggs
    2 cups flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325°. Beat sugar into butter 2 tablespoons at a time until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake in a greased and floured 9 X 5 pan for 1 hour. Cool completely.

To Assemble American Flag Cake:
Cut pound cake into slices and lay across the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan.

Cover cake with a smooth layer of Cool Whip.

Turn pan horizontal. In upper left corner, fill an approximately 3-4 inch by 3-4 inch square with blueberries.

Make seven horizontal lines of strawberry slices. The first four lines should begin from the blueberry section to the far right edge. The bottom three lines should span the entire length of the pan. The top and bottom lines should be touching the top and bottom of the pan respectively to create 13 alternating red and white stripes.

The last step is very important - Thank a member of our Armed Forces and/or a Veteran, and share a piece of patriotic cake.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox – Keep Track of Characters in a Series

I usually pick out my character names by making sure I don’t duplicate first letters or cadence, like I detailed in the January 29th Tuesday Toolbox. But as I embarked on writing Love Him or Leave Him, the second book in the Small Town, Big Dreams series, I realized that wasn’t enough. I was racking up so many characters, both on the page and in passing mention, that I needed a way to organize the names (and characters without names) and record which book(s) they appear in.

For me, the perfect answer was a spreadsheet. I made columns for first name, last name, and notes describing who they are and their relationship to other characters. I also made a column for each book and potential book in the series, putting an ‘X’ in the column if the character appears on the pages of the book and an ‘m’ in the column if the character is simply mentioned or referenced.

Then I took the spreadsheet and sorted it by first name so when I needed to add a character, I could quickly see where in the alphabet I’m overloaded and which letters would add more diversity and fit well within the already existing cast.

Some people use a notebook, word processing document, or a database to keep track of character information. I like the at-a-glance handiness of my one-page spreadsheet.