May 9th, 2012
Winners!

The grand prize winner is Jennifer Wilson!

The winner of prize one is Diana Fryer!

The winner of prize two is Betty Lewis!

Please email me at anyabast(at)gmail.com within two weeks to collect your prize. Congrats!!

May 1st, 2012
Release Day Giveaway!

Embrace of the Damned releases today!

Order Print at Amazon | B&N | or your favorite bookstore.

Order eBook formats: Kindle | Nook

A damned Viking warrior.

Centuries ago Broder Calderson committed murder. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to an immortal life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel.

A mysterious woman he can’t resist.

One thousand years to the day he was damned, Loki allows him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. Once Broder sees Jessamine Hamilton, he is overcome with need. But Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who-and what-she is could have dangerous consequences.

A tormented man she can’t deny.

Though a future together is impossible, the warrior’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, will Broder surrender forever to his darkest impulses?

Review quote: “A tormented warrior and the woman who awakens his desires…. With vivid storytelling, [Bast] brings readers into the world of the Brotherhood of the Damned with its immortal warriors and blood-sucking demons. This novel grips you from the start.” — 4 stars, RT Book Reviews

Review quote: “Anya Bast has created a dark and thrilling world of demons and damned men. The romance is H.O.T. hot! Embrace of the Damned is completely engrossing; I didn’t want to put this book down.” Kristie ~ Dark Faerie Tales

CONTEST

Usually I do a big contest leading up to a new release, but my life has been way too crazy lately for me to pull that off. I’m running this shorter term contest instead. It’s really easy.

1.) Read the excerpt below and send the answer to the question BY EMAIL TO anyabastgiveaways(AT)yahoo.com. If you post the answer to the question here, I’ll delete the reply and you won’t be entered in the contest.

2.) For a second (third, fourth) chance to win the prizes, post this contest to Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or wherever and post the details here. You get a separate entry for each posting you do, so the more postings the better your chance of winning.

The prizes are as follows:

Grand prize ~ $100 GC to the book store of your choice

Prize two ~ Complete set of the Enchantment series, signed

Prize three ~ Complete set of the Elemental Witches series, signed.

~ Excerpt ~

Set up: Jessamine Hamilton has just escaped a demon attack in a parking garage, rescued by a leather clad man on a motorcycle. The problem is her rescuer seems more dangerous than the demon.

Just as she’d nearly reached the exit ramp, the rough sound of an engine reached her ears and a black motorcycle appeared in front of her car…and stopped, blocking her path.

Jessa slammed on the brakes, sliding on the pavement, hot rubber scenting the air and stopped the car a breath’s space from Biker Guy’s leg–he looked completely unworried.

Her breath shuddered out of her. She gripped the steering wheel and stared through the windshield at the man, taking stock. A chunk of her long hair had come free from her ponytail and lay over her face. It rose and fell with her panicked breaths.

He was tall and he was ripped. The roll of his muscles could be seen easily underneath his clothes. What was worse, and completely inappropriate, was how he made her respond–like a woman to a man. It was instant, primal and wholly unwelcome. This man made her whole body sit up and take notice.

Even so, he was definitely not someone she’d want to encounter in an empty parking garage late at night.

Biker Guy swung off the cycle, leaving the admittedly beautiful thing blocking her way, and stalked toward her, long worn leather coat trailing behind him like the wings of a fallen angel. He walked with anger set into his shoulders and with a hint of menace and easy arrogance in his swagger. That anger made his body seem like it would be hot to the touch, as if he identified so strongly with rage that it affected him physically.

She hoped his eyes didn’t bleed black. She’d have a heart attack and save everyone the trouble of having to kill her.

“You!” he bellowed through the window. She jumped at the commanding sound of his voice.

“I don’t know you,” she said in a shaky voice, glancing at him, then moving her gaze to fix on the cycle blocking her path. “Move your bike. I gotta go.”

“No.” He paused. “Roll down the window.” Absently, she noticed he spoke with an odd accent she couldn’t place.

Jessa took a deep breath and tried her mojo–funneling all of it she possibly could at the man. She didn’t know exactly how it worked, why she could do it, or, really how she was even able to do it, but if she concentrated hard enough, she could make people bend to her will. Sort of like a Jedi mind trick–this is not the woman you’re interested in. Move away from the vehicle.

The man lifted his brows. “Roll down the window,” he repeated, slower this time, as if she was an idiot.

Damn it! Why wasn’t it working?

When she remained still and unresponsive, completely freaked out and unmoving, he tapped the glass. With effort, she peeled her fingers off the steering wheel and rolled down her window a crack. She glanced up at him. God, he was beautiful. Sculpted, strong jaw, full lips that compelled a girl to want suck on them, deep, oddly expressive brown eyes. Despite all that physical yumminess, he didn’t look friendly. At all. He looked heartless.

“Uh, thanks…for your help. I appreciate it.” She looked at his motorcycle. “Really. I have to go now. Can you move that, please?”

“Why was he targeting you?” The man’s voice was deep and rough, like he didn’t use it very much–like honey and gravel.

“Who? That guy back there? Listen, I’m still processing all that, okay? I have no idea who or what he was, let alone what he wanted to do with me.” She set her jaw. Savior or not, gorgeous or not, this man was starting to piss her off. “Look, buddy, I’m all out of pepper spray, but I’m sitting in a car and I’m not afraid to use it.” She looked meaningfully at the shiny, expensive Harley blocking her path.

His gaze traveled over her, catching on the painful, damaged sections of her skin. “You need healing.”

“Yeah. I’ll go the hos–”

He reached out and pulled her car door off the hinges, then threw it aside like it weighed nothing.

“No. Just no.” Jessa shook her head and scrambled into the passenger side. “No, okay? No.” She opened the passenger side door and prepared to run.

But he was there, blocking her path. “You don’t understand. Where there is one of those things, there are more. You are in danger.”

The man radiated a palpable aura of menace as he loomed over her. She gave him an up and down sweep of her gaze. He still had ice in his hair. “Clearly.”

“You’re not in danger from me.”

“And my father was the Easter Bunny.”

He grabbed her wrist and she yelped. Right below her wrist was one of the light gray expanses of skin. The area had the imprint of Fanged Thing’s fingers on it, like she’d been marked with frostbite by his skin touching hers.

The man laid his hand over the injury and it warmed immediately. When he lifted his fingers, her skin was back to its regular peachy tan color.

Jessa took a step back, her eyes wide. “I didn’t just see that. I didn’t–”

He grabbed her other arm.

“Stop doing that!” By the time she’d uttered the sentence, her other arm was healed. Then he pressed his fingers onto the few places where Fanged Thing’s saliva had dripped on her.

“Anywhere else?” he growled at her.

She shook her head, blinking rapidly with nervousness.

“You’re healed.”

“Thank you.” She tried to step away, but he held her fast. “Uh, you can let me go now.”

He stared at her as though he hadn’t heard a word she’d said. Tipping his head to the side, he examined her with thorough interest. A strange, intense light had entered his eyes and she took a step backward.

There was something about this man that told her to back off–apart from the outward signs, the cycle, the leather, the scowl. There was something inside him that screamed danger, cross to the other side of the street no matter how heart-stoppingly gorgeous he was.

She had the urge to rip her arm away from him, but she stood her ground. He was so close to her that his breath stirred the fine hairs around her face. The heat of him rolled off and she absorbed it into her own skin. Despite the threat he emanated, her body started a slow, sexual burn. She tried to ignore it, push it away. Now was the not the time and this was definitely not the man.

And man, oh man. He was every inch a man.

The lines of his face were hard and cold, set in an almost cruel expression. This was a man who was both brutal and beautiful. But even though his expression was harsh, his brown eyes were filled with heat and emotion. It softened him.

As he stood staring at her, his eyes clouded, becoming distant, and a muscle worked in his jaw. As though he might be warring with himself over something. She’d never known brown eyes could look that hot. It made her whole body tighten with sexual awareness. Worse, his gaze probably mirrored her own.

Well, hell.

Then the man reached out, snagged her sweater with one big hand and pulled her flush up against his chest. His body heat rolled off him and enveloped her, making her heart rate speed up.

A huge, strong hand grasped the nape of her neck, the other hand going to the small of her back. She made a small noise in her throat, but it wasn’t of fear–not exactly… not totally. She should have been frightened, should have been fighting him, but there something inside her that thrilled at this man’s touch. She didn’t want to get away, even though that desire made no sense at all.

Pulling her head to the side, he exposed the column of her neck, then slowly lowered his mouth to it. His tongue flicked out, tasting her skin. Goose flesh erupted all over her body and a shiver traveled up her spine.

This was wrong. This was so, so very wrong. She knew that, so why was her body reacting this way to him? He was a forbidding stranger and–

He gently bit her throat, almost as if he wanted to mark her, and she moaned, closing her eyes.

She should have been worried that fangs would suddenly erupt in his mouth. She should have been having post traumatic mental explosions of blood and flesh tearing –of icy, frostbite-giving skin and freezing saliva. Yet all she could think of was bare skin, tangled limbs, a bed….

What kind of magick did this man possess?

Kissing her skin, he murmured words in a foreign language that sounded tender, almost like endearments. His hand traveled up to cup the back of her head, his fingers raking through her long hair. He made a noise in the recesses of his throat, his body tensing, as though holding himself back from tearing her clothes off her. She wasn’t sure she wanted him to resist his impulse.

Question: What’s wrong with Jessa’s skin and what does Broder do to it?

Remember to EMAIL the answer to me at anyabastgiveaways(at)Yahoo.com. Don’t post the answer here. The only thing you post here are the details about where you pimped out this contest in order to get additional entries. Thanks so much. :)

This contest is, as always, void where prohibited and you must be 18 years or older to enter.

THIS CONTEST WILL END ON TUESDAY, MAY 8TH. Good luck!!!

April 24th, 2012
A Letter from Broder

Cross-posted from Between Fire and Ice.

In one week, Embrace of the Damned will release. Broder Calderson has written a letter of introduction to you.


Dear Reader ~

My name is Broder Calderson and I was once a Viking. I have lived for over a thousand years, most of them under the sadistic control of Loki, the trickiest and cruelest of the Norse gods. Loki stabbed a sliver of demon through my soul in punishment for my sins. It is a dark part of me I must always keep under control. Loki imprisons me through the sliver, along with other men, as warriors in a fight to prevent Ragnarök, an apocalypse for the gods. We are the Brotherhood of the Damned.

It’s not like I didn’t deserve punishment for what I did. My damning was born on a bloody night when I became something other than myself, a berserker of old, cutting down all those in my path. For that crime, I deserved death. Instead I got the never ending torment of eternal life and enslavement.

My advice to you, never offend the Norse gods.

I thought my suffering couldn’t get worse, but then Loki decided to “reward” me. A thousand years to the day of my punishment, he unlocked my chains and allowed me a woman. Not just any woman. Jessamine Hamilton is the single most perfect creature to have ever walked the earth. With an attitude to rival any Viking female and curves sweet enough to make an immortal warrior cry, she’s the one person in centuries able to bring me to my knees and make me surrender to my darkest impulses.

With Jessa, I see a future for myself, the first one I’ve seen for a thousand years that’s worth living for. Before her, I only desired death. Yet our time is limited. Loki can yank on my chain whenever he chooses. For now I enjoy my time with Jessa, even though she drives me insane with lust. I try not to think about the time I’ll have to let her go. No thought could be more painful.

And it’s not just our limited time together that’s a concern. Loki never does anything that doesn’t cause chaos and Jessamine is no exception. She is much more than the human woman she appears to be. Her secrets run deep and the danger they cause run even deeper. I will be forced to return to my brutal Viking ways to protect her.

Sincerely, Broder

April 18th, 2012
Spring has Sprung…

(cross-posted from Fire and Ice) ….and it’s that time of the year. Gardening time. As I sit writing this post, a man is out next to the house tilling up massive amounts of ground for me to plant things. I’m, erm, sort of being ambitious about my planting projects this year.

For years now I’ve been wanting to do a large, proper organic garden. I want to be able to grow food we can prepare and eat at our own table. We’ve recently moved and now I have all the planting space I need.

So…yeah, kind of ambitious. I’m planning to plant a row of raspberry plants, blackberry bushes, a strawberry patch, make a blueberry hedgerow, and grow a whole slew of vegetables. Oh, did I mention grapes, I’m going to grow those too.

And all of this will be done without pesticides or any chemicals that I, or my family, will have a chance of ingesting. I’ve done my research, but, honestly, I’m a new gardener with a limited amount of experience.

I know that in order to control for birds (berries, yo. Birds like berries) I’ll have to set up scarecrows. I also know that to control for bugs and weeds, I’ll have to lay straw beneath the plants and plant marigolds and garlic (repels bugs). The jury is out on the black weed-prevention material. People keep telling me it’s not worth it.

As usual, I didn’t wade in, I just threw myself headfirst into the deep end. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. (Hold me, I’m scared.)

Does anyone have any good advice for me? I need all of it I can get.

April 10th, 2012
The Old Becomes New Again

I started off writing erotic PNR for Ellora’s Cave. That was more years ago than I would like to think about. So long that I’m now beginning to get the rights back to all those novellas I published way back when.

I’ve been taking them one by one and updating them. Changing language I used back then, but wouldn’t use now, changing scenes here and there. After that I’m having new covers commissioned and releasing them as self-published ebooks for the Kindle, Nook, and on Smashwords.

It’s been interesting revisiting my older works on a number of different levels. I thought I would find the writing shakier, since I’d just been starting out and we all grow and develop as writers over time. While I have changed and updated certain things in these novellas, the writing was much stronger than I’d imagined.


The Embraced series has four novellas total. They follow the stories of four vampires. The first book, Blood of the Rose is set in the 1800s. The next two, Blood of the Raven and Blood of an Angel are contemporary. The final novella, Blood of the Damned, is futuristic. They all feature common secondary characters. You can do that with vampires since they’re immortal. Love it. ;)

I’m excited to give new life to this series and also excited to be dipping my toes into the world of self-publishing.

Another title I’m re-releasing is Ordinary Charm. This novella remains one of my personal favorites because not only does it feature a witch as a heroine, Serena has a few more curves than you see in your average romance novel heroine.

The hero is pretty interesting too, since he’s the physical vessel for a pagan god called Cernunnos.

Gotta love that, right?

I like the cover, too. Pretty eye-catching and straight to the point, don’t you think?.
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March 27th, 2012
Family Day

Our family celebrates an extra holiday every year (well, actually more than one), and it’s a very special one. It’s Family Day, the day when we all became a family. We did that through adoption.

Five years ago, the sweetest little 9 month old baby was placed in my arms. She’d lived her whole life in a Social Welfare Institute with a bevy of nannies in Chongqing, China. Her name was “good luck flower.” She was in shock that day, and sucking her thumb like mad. She wouldn’t eat for a while and didn’t cry. Instead of crying, after her initial shock wore off, she laughed, smiled and was incredibly adorable in general.

Most babies cry for attention, to be fed, to have their diaper changed. Our little girl had learned that charm got her the most attention in the SWI. It was a survival strategy, one she still displays today in certain circumstance. There were only two such babies in our group. The rest were hell raisers.

From the first moment I saw her picture, (that had been almost three months prior), she was mine, heart, body, and soul. To have her finally placed in my arms on the top floor of that hotel in Chongqing was like a hole being filled inside me. She’s the sunshine in my life.

I worried and worried I would get pregnant during our two year process to adopt her. If I had become pregnant, the adoption would have become invalid and I wanted to adopt rather than have a biological child. It was like I knew my little good luck flower was out there somewhere; I just needed to clear the path for her to get to us.

So every year, we mark Family Day (and Chinese New Year and the Moon Festival, too). Her presence has upped the amount of celebrations in our life in more than one way. Every year I look for a special way to mark the event. We’ve made special keepsakes at Build-a-Bear (when she was really small), visited China Town, and had Dim Sum. I have five days to figure out something special this year, but I’m thinking jewelry in a keepsake box.

Do you have any holidays or mark special days that other people don’t? If so, how do you celebrate?

February 21st, 2012
Winners!

Winners of the “I Went Away, So You Get Cool Stuff Contest” are as follows:

1.) Niki Isaac

2.) Dawn Branscum

3.) Becky Jean

Whoever contacts me first gets her first choice. Second gets second choice, ect. Please email me at anyabast(at)gmail.com. Congrats!

February 15th, 2012
The Crucial First Kiss

Cross-posted from Fire and Ice.

In view of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d talk a little about that all important first kiss in a romance novel.

Kissing scenes are hard to write anyway, but the first kiss scene? Argh! The pressure! The expectations! It makes it all the harder. You have to get it just right, you know? The charged erotic climate. The blossoming attraction between the hero and the heroine that might, juuuust might turn into something more.

You have to nail the sensuality of it. The slow glide, lip to lip. The taste of each other’s mouth. The scent of their skin. The slip of tongue against tongue that sends tremors of want through them both. The twining of their breath, a little bit of their souls. How to get it exactly right… What are their hands doing? Are his hands at the small of her back, holding her flush against his chest? Are hers curled into the fabric of his shirt at his shoulders?

It makes me crazy getting the details straight.

I’m not holding this one up as an example of a good first kiss scene (I’m way too critical of my writing to ever think that), but I do really like this one from an older, less popular title of mine, Water Crystal (Ellora’s Cave).

~*~

Excerpt

The room was empty save for the two of them. Steam billowed from the surface of one filled tub. To its right side stood a shelf containing shampoo and soap. On the other side stood a rack of large towels.

Angelo uncuffed her and turned to leave, but hesitated at the door. “Let me check the boards on these windows, Bianca.” He went around the room, making sure the windows were nailed tight enough that she couldn’t pry them off.

“I’m not going to try and escape.”

He turned and gave her a look of disbelief. “After what you pulled at Hank’s, am I supposed to believe that?”

“Angelo, I swear. I’m much safer with you than without you at this point.”

“I agree with you for the first time since we met.”

“The water’s getting cold,” she complained.

“Just give me a few more minutes, okay?”

She gave him that sly, secret smile that was fast becoming her trademark. That smile meant she was up to something. “Well, if you won’t leave me alone, I guess I’ll just have bathe with you in the room.”

Before he had a chance to protest, she unbuttoned her pants and sent them sliding down her legs to pool at her feet. Shapely calves flowing into strong, beautiful thighs met his view. Above that was a peek of blue material under her shirt, blue cotton with tiny, faded red roses.

She kicked her pants away with one slim foot and the smooth muscles of her legs rippled. He couldn’t look away from her. Damn, he couldn’t even move. There it was again—that tightness in his body, settling in his groin. He hated that she had such power over him. He hated it even more that she knew she had that power over him.

Her hands went to the bottom of her shirt, as she prepared to slide it up over her head. Her flat abdomen came into view.

His paralysis broke and he went to her in four fast strides. He caught her hands and pushed them down, forcing her shirt back into place. She looked pleased with herself. Too damned pleased. She knew that she had the upper hand, and that she could bring him to his knees if she tried hard enough. He knew it and so did she.

Playing with fire, that’s what Bianca loved to do…but she could she handle the inferno once it was started? Angelo doubted it. Maybe it was time to turn the tables. Maybe it was time to push her buttons and reveal the truth at the same time.

Winding one arm around her waist so she couldn’t step away from him, he caught her chin in his fingers and tipped her face to his. “Are you going to be ready for me, Bianca, when I finally call your bluff?”

She looked uncertain for a moment. That same raw look of innocence wounded crossed her features. A fake smile flickered across her face. “Bluff? What do you mean?”

He drew his thumb over her lower lip. It was soft and smooth. He couldn’t help but think about how her mouth was going to feel under his, so lush, warm and wet.

“This is what I mean.” He lowered his face toward hers, and he felt her stiffen.

“Look, I’m sorry I teased.” She snaked her hand between them. Her palm pressed against his chest. “This is a bad idea, Angelo,” she whispered so low he almost couldn’t hear her.

He nodded his head slightly, his intent gaze on her lips. “It’s the worst idea I ever had.” He drew his hand from her chin to the base of her spine, and then pressed her into him while his mouth descended on hers.

Her lips were unmoving at first and then her body relaxed, curving to fit him perfectly. Her mouth moved under his, returning his kiss with a sudden urgency. He coaxed her lips apart and let his tongue explore within.

Her hands came up tentatively, fluttering against his arms as though she was unsure what to do with them. She finally curled the fingers of one hand into the hair at the nape of his neck. The other she pressed tight against the back of his shoulder. It almost seemed as though she was willing more of him against her.

Her tongue found his and moved against it artlessly. Her inexperienced strokes simply served to stoke the fire that was already burning hot and high within him. All his resolve about staying celibate dissolved like sugar stirred into water at the press of her lips and tongue against his.

He brought a hand around and cupped one small breast, brushing his thumb back and forth over her erect nipple through the material of her T-shirt. She moaned deep in her throat and arched into him. Reveling in the feel of her taut breast pushing against the thin fabric, he pressed his hard cock against her so she could feel what she was doing to him, and how much he wanted her.

She pulled away a little, gasped, looked surprised for a moment, then smiled and sealed her mouth back on his with a new urgency.

He found the edge of her T-shirt and pushed his hand under it to caress the skin of her lower back. She felt firm and warm. He wanted so much more than she was going to be able to give him. His body ached with the desire to lower her to the floor and help her discover all the ways a man and woman could find pleasure together, because for all her teasing she didn’t know.

He’d been right all along about her. The truth of it was in her kiss. She wasn’t ready for him. Suppressing a groan of frustration, he released her and backed away.

He looked at her and couldn’t help but smile. Now who had the upper hand? It had nearly killed him to get it, but he’d savor it while he had it.