Archive for the 'Jeweled Celebration' Category

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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
Winners Announced and Jeweled is Now Available!!

Thanks for helping me celebrate the release of Jeweled, which comes out TODAY! I’m so excited. You can read further it you want to hear more about the book and read an excerpt.

Without further ado, the announcement of the final round of winners:

Winner of the autographed copy of Jeweled, the book of the day from yesterday, is — Lauren, who said, “Not really emotional, soft hearted, but not so much emotional.”

Winner of the runner-up prize of a $25 gift certificate to the book store of the winner’s choice is — Susan, who said, “Change makes me anxious! I did make a big change this summer and helped my mother and youngest sister (both have health problems) move to my town. So I made new routines to include them!”

Winner of the grand prize of a $75 gift certificate to the book store of the winner’s choice is — Anne J., who said, “I have a lot of routines in my life, some of which I would like to change but don’t know how. Sometimes I think I’m wasting my life by not doing something different.”

All winner please contact me within 2 weeks from today to collect your prizes, anyabast(at)gmail.com Thanks so much for playing along with me, everyone. That was fun!


Jeweled

In JEWELED, the heroine, Evangeline, has not experienced her own emotion since she was a child. Her magickal gift is stealing emotion from others, trading it, and “manufacturing” feeling in others. A part of her gift is the ability to build strong walls against emotion for herself and after a very traumatic experience as a child, she did just that.

But when the palace where Evangeline lives is taken over by a mob during a bloody revolution and she’s turned out into the street, penniless, all her walls coming tumbling down and Evangeline is forced to learn how to feel again.

There to help her is Anatol, an adept of light and illusion. He is also a “Jeweled,” one of those with enough magick to earn him a precious jewel set into his flesh and be considered good breeding material for the royal family, (that, over the years, has bled out all the magick from their line through inbreeding).

The backlash of Anatol’s gift of being able to sculpt illusion is the ability to see truth. He sees that Evangeline is a very special person, but she needs lots love and support to get through the sudden changes in her life. He has loved for her for a very long time and is willing to give her anything she needs.

Complicating matters is Gregorio Vihkin, the scholarly mastermind behind the revolution that has disrupted Anatol and Evangeline’s lives. When the upheaval in the streets threatens Anatol and Evangeline’s lives, he takes them in.

At first Evangeline hates Gregorio for what he’s done, but when she gets to know him and sees the truth behind their former pampered lifestyles and how it hurt the rest of the people, her feelings for Gregorio warm. Warm a little too much for Anatol’s taste. Soon both men are in love with Evangeline and Evangeline has more than she can handle.

Together, in a world gone mad, they must find a way to come together.

Excerpt from Jeweled

She stood and he did as well. Smiling a little, she inclined her head. “Good night, Gregorio.” Then she moved toward the door.

“Evangeline?”

She turned back to him.

“Do you like me even a little?”

Her smile faded. The problem was that she liked him a lot. She wasn’t sure, exactly, why that was a problem for her, since Anatol didn’t seem to think it was one. “I do like you, Gregorio.”

“Do you still blame me for the deaths of your friends?”

She studied him for a long moment. “No. You were easy to blame in the beginning, but the matter is far more complicated. I see that now.”

“I’m glad.”

She turned to leave again, but he caught her gently by the arm and turned her toward him again. He had a hard, hungry expression on his face and it made her stomach do a warm flip. She knew that expression.

Reaching out with her magick, she tasted his emotions and found undeniable desire. Her body responded to it like a flame to kindling. “Gregorio?” His name came out almost devoid of breath. Suddenly she saw where this was going. She wasn’t sure she could stop him from initiating it—she wasn’t sure she wanted to stop him.

He pushed her backward step -by- step, until he was pressing her up against the wall behind them, the strategia game board long forgotten. This was not a game.

“Don’t do this,” she whispered.

“Do what? I won’t hurt you, Evangeline. Nothing in the world could ever make me do anything to hurt you.” The firelight lit half his face and left the other half in darkness. His breath was warm and sweet on her face, his callused grip strong.

“I know,” she breathed out in a sigh.

“I’m glad.”

Gregorio’s lips skimmed her cheek and her fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt. Her breathing hitched in her throat and her heart beat faster. Her body reacted, her sex growing warm and wet, her nipples going hard. She had strong feelings for Anatol and she wanted to be able to use them to push Gregorio away. Yet, there was a ragged emotional wound somewhere deep inside her that seemed to need what Gregorio was offering her.

His hands were rougher and stronger than Anatol’s, and his touch made her shudder with desire. He took her hands and pinned them above her head. Her wrists were so thin and his hands were so big, he only needed one to immobilize her.

“Do you want me?” His low voice rumbled through him as he limned her jaw line with his mouth. “Tell me to stop, Evangeline. Tell me stop and I will.”

She wished she could tell him to stop, but she yearned for his touch and for his kisses.

And so when he bunched her skirt up and slid his hand beneath the hem, she didn’t stop him.

Monday, November 1st, 2010
Book of the Day: Jeweled

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

The winner of a copy of Witch Fury, from Saturday’s contest, is Colleen, who said, “I like bad boys to have depth… many layers to dig through…be dark and dangerous with secrets…” Me, too, Colleen! Please email me at anyabast(at)gmail.com within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize!

Last chance to win a copy of Jeweled before it releases tomorrow!

Defined by magic. Ruled by desire.

In the Court of Edaeii, magic-imbued Evangeline is rewarded for her gift in manipulating emotion with a sapphire stone set into the perfect curve of her lower back. Her greatest rival in the royal court is the enigmatic Anatol, instilled with the power of illusion. He may better her in magic, but he is her absolute equal in passion.

They share something else—they’re both targets of low-born revolutionaries bent on overthrowing the palace of the privileged few. Rescued from the mobs by Gregorio, the brilliant revolutionary mastermind, they’re given sanctuary. But in this warm refuge, Evangeline soon finds herself torn between the magic of one man she has always desired, and the excitingly new and radical moves of another. For her, there is only one choice.

Evangeline, Anatol and Gregorio come together as one to explore the possibilities of love beyond reason, and to indulge in pleasure without limits.

“All I’ve ever had in my life to use was my looks and my willingness to have sex.” She swallowed hard. “Honestly, Anatol, I should go to the Temple of Dreams. It’s all I’m really suited for.”

His jaw locked and something dangerous flashed in his eyes. “We’ve had this conversation before.”

“Why are you so against the idea of it, Anatol? We could both go there to work. I know you say you’re in love with me, but that’s just silly—”

He rounded on her, arresting the end of the sentence in her throat. Fire jumped in his eyes. “Not silly, Evangeline, true. I don’t want to make love to any woman but you. I couldn’t do it. So you go, if you think that’s what you want.” He turned away. “I won’t stop you.”

She chewed her lower lip and let emotion rise up to swamp her for a moment in punishment. She deserved it; she’d hurt him. Wrapping the blanket around herself, she stood and walked to him. “I don’t want to leave you,” she murmured at his back.

He turned and pulled her into his arms. “Good. That’s a good thing to hear, Evangeline, because I don’t want you to leave me.”

She wrapped her arms around him, letting the blanket fall to the floor and his body heat warm her. Nuzzling her nose into his chest, she inhaled the scent of him. “I want you to . . . make love to me, Anatol. I want to know what it feels like.” The words came out as a whisper, like she was afraid to say them too loudly. She wasn’t sure why.

His body tensed against hers. “Don’t tempt me.”

She gave a soft laugh. “Haven’t you noticed that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do?”

“Yes, I’ve noticed.” He made a tortured sound in his throat. “The scent of you tempts me. The sound of your breath tempts me. You tempt me even when you’re not trying.” He turned her and she saw that the cracked head -to -toe mirror was directly in front of them. “Look at yourself, Evangeline. You’re beautiful.”

She smiled. “Like I said, it’s been my currency in life.”

He moved her closer to the mirror. “I don’t just mean your face, hair, and body. Look into your eyes, hold your own gaze in the reflection.”

She met her eyes, blinked, and looked away. Staring into her own eyes was uncomfortable.

He gripped her shoulders. “No, look, Evangeline. See what I see.”

Her face flushing, she raised her gaze to her eyes again. They were gray, the color of metal. That’s what she noticed first. But if she went deeper, which felt a little like diving into her own soul, she saw . . . vulnerability. Honesty. Emotion. Joshui, so much of it. Her eyes seemed to swim with it. She saw strength, too.

Anatol dropped his mouth near her ear. “Your eyes have always been this way, even when you were at your worst. There was always beauty in you, complexity, empathy, caring, and I always saw that beauty. Always. No matter what you did or what you said to me, it was there.”

Her lips parted as she stared into her own reflection in a way she’d never done before. Anatol was helping her see herself in a way she never had.
His hands rested on her hips as he took a slow sweep of her body. “You are, of course, also beautiful in the more traditional sense.”

“Touch me,” she murmured, meeting his gaze in the reflection.


In Jeweled, Evangeline is learning how to feel and deal with emotion after years of complete numbness as a backlash of her magickal gift. As a consequence, Jeweled is a highly emotional book. Do you consider yourself a very emotional person? Do you cry at that
Humane Society commercial on TV (I do!) Answer for a chance to win an autographed copy of this book.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Book of the Day: Witch Fury

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner of yesterday’s prize, a copy of What Happens in Vegas…After Dark, is Kathy, who said, “I think I’d have to choose Honolulu. The water just looks so beautiful. I’d love to just sit on the beach in the sun and READ!!!” Congrats, Kathy! Please drop me an email at anyabast(at)gmail.com within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize.


Sarafina Connell is having the worst week of her life. It takes an even darker turn when an infamous playboy kidnaps her and reveals a world she never knew existed….

It’s a world where magick is real, and where Sarafina is given a chance to join a secret cabal that is bent on gaining absolute power. They could use a woman like her—a witch with an untapped gift for creating fire. But she isn’t about to get in league with the devil.

Rescued from her captors, Sarafina is introduced to a coven that is duty-bound to fight the forces of darkness. She’s pleased that her savior is the imposingly seductive Theo—until the trust between them goes up in flames. However, as the war between good and evil is waged, Sarafina and Theo realize they have no choice but to unite in the battle for supremacy—that’s getting hotter by the minute.

Sarafina might’ve been named for the angels, but she’d always known one day she’d end up in hell. Her mother had told that a hundred times while she’d been growing up. She just never figured it would be while she was still breathing. But here she was—broke, dumped, and grief-stricken. It couldn’t get any worse.

Her fingers white and shaking, she released the yellow rose she held and let it fall onto Rosemary’s casket. It came to a rest on the polished poplar top, followed by many more released by those around her. Yellow roses had been Rosemary’s favorite. They match your hair, buttercup. That’s what Rosemary had always said, holding one of the flowers up to Sarafina’s nose.

Sarafina had scraped together every last cent for that shiny coffin. She hadn’t been able to afford it. The funeral had almost beggared her. However, her foster mother had deserved the best. And since Rosemary had never had what she deserved in life, Sarafina had made sure she’d had it in death. The only problem was that now Sarafina had ninety five dollars left in her bank account and rent had been due last week. She’d make it through, though, she always did.

She couldn’t cry. It was like all the tears were caught up inside her, stoppered tight. It would be good if she could. It would relieve this awful pressure in her chest.

“Bye, Rosemary,” she whispered.

Reverend Evans droned on, but Sarafina hardly heard him. She barely noticed the others around her, either, all of Rosemary’s friends who’d come to say their farewells. They clasped her hands after the funeral was over, squeezed her shoulder and offered condolences. Her foster mother had had lots of friends.
If Sarafina had still lived here in Bowling Green, she knew she’d have half a million sympathy casseroles on her doorstep by now. As it was, she was headed back to Chicago right after the funeral. Back home.
She couldn’t wait.

Still in a daze, she turned away from the grave and came face to face with Nick. His dark brown eyes regarded her solemnly from the handsome face she’d known for years. “You’re not fit to drive seven hours today, Sarafina. Stay the night and head out in the morning. You can crash at my place.”

A smile flickered over her mouth. “Oh, really? Amanda said that would be all right?”

She and Nick had been sweethearts during high school. Although that fire had long since flickered out and faded to friendship, Sarafina had lost her virginity to Nick. Sarafina strongly suspected Amanda didn’t want her on their couch.

Robin, another friend from childhood, came to stand near Nick. “If you don’t want to stay with him, you can stay with me.” She tilted her blond head to the side in a gesture Sarafina knew meant she was concerned.

Sarafina couldn’t swing a cat in Bowling Green and not hit someone from her past. As soon as she’d arrived, she’d been beset by old friends—and other people. Those other people were why she wanted to leave so badly. Like, now.

Whispers.

In Bowling Green there were whispers wherever she went. Hey, that’s the girl who…. Isn’t that the daughter of the woman who… She was a walking freak show. Even fifteen years after it had happened, people still recognized her. High school had been hell.

She leaned forward and hugged Nick, then Robin. “You-all are sweet to offer, but I have to go into the office tomorrow. I can’t miss any more work than I have already.” She had a funeral to pay off.

Nick shifted and frowned. “They don’t give you grief leave?”

Damn it. Caught right in the middle of her subterfuge.

“Yes, a few days.” She pressed her lips together. “It’s just that—I don’t want to—“

Understanding came over his face. “Oh.”

Sarafina relaxed. “Yeah.”

“It’s too bad, but I get it, Sarafina,” Robin said, her brown eyes sad.

“I’m glad you both understand. The other reason why I don’t want to stay is because I don’t want to wallow, you know? I need to stay busy, get my mind on something else. If don’t do that, it’ll be worse. The grief, I mean.”

If she lost her momentum now and allowed herself to be mired in the loss of the only true mother she’d ever known, Sarafina knew she’d just dissolve.

“This fall I’ll come to visit.” The words popped out before Sarafina realized it. She’d wanted to appease Robin, but they both knew that had been a lie. Sarafina only came back here when she absolutely had to.

“Will you, really?” asked Robin suspiciously.

“I-I promise to think about it.”

Robin patted her back. “Will you at least call when you get home? I’m going to worry about you all day.”

Sarafina nodded. “I will.” She paused, swallowing hard. God, she wished she could cry.

It wasn’t that she wanted to leave her friends. Sarafina loved them, as she’d loved Rosemary, but the town itself held too many bad memories. Once she’d turned eighteen she’d saved up her money, bought a car and had driven away. Spending time here now, just breathing the air, it made her feel suffocated.

“Why didn’t Alex come with you, anyway?” Nick asked.

Sarafina looked down at her toes. Ugh. “Alex and I broke up.”

“What? When?” Robin exclaimed.

“About a week before Rosemary died. It just wasn’t working out.” Alex had dumped her, actually.

“I’m so sorry, sweetie,” said Robin, cupping her shoulder.

Sarafina probably should’ve broken up with Alex first, a long time ago. Selfishly, she hadn’t wanted to be alone. She’d been afraid to be alone, to be perfectly honest. Because of that fear she’d stayed with him long after the fire had gone out, up until Alex had decided to give the relationship the axe. He’d done them both a favor. It’d been like pulling a dying plant out by its roots. It was a relief not to have to watch the leaves wilt anymore.

“Honestly, I don’t miss him much. I do miss you guys though,” she finished, her voice breaking.

Robin hugged her again, making Sarafina let out a small sob. “Well, then, come back,” Robin whispered.

Sarafina shook her head and held onto her friend for another long moment. “I can’t.”

Robin drew back and smiled sadly. “I know.”

Sarafina turned and walked away, toward her rusty Honda Accord. “I’ll call you when I get home,” she called over her shoulder. That was, if her phone service hadn’t been shut off.

Robin and Nick stood at Rosemary’s grave, waving.

She might be penniless and on the verge of bankruptcy, she might have no family left, and she might be newly dumped, but at least she had good friends. There was always a spot of light in the dark if you looked for it.

The Accord started with a little hitch that made her heart pound.

“God, please, no,” she whispered. The last place on Earth she wanted to get stranded was Bowling Green, Kentucky. “If you’re going to have trouble, do it far from here, okay?” she crooned at the vehicle. “Or better yet, don’t do it all. My bank account can’t take it.”

Holding her breath, she guided the car away from the curb and out of the cemetery. She’d take the long way back to the highway, avoiding the subdivision where she’d grown up. It was a pretty drive from here to Louisville, full of hills, gorgeous exposed rock walls and green trees. Kentucky was a beautiful state, but Sarafina couldn’t wait to get back to Chicago—where the scent of car exhaust filled her nose and the honking and voices of humanity constantly filled her ears. Where no one knew her on sight. No one knew her bizarre family history.

Where there were no whispers.

As she drove, a swell of memory assaulted her. Images her brain were able to suppress in Chicago reared their nasty heads here, so near her childhood home. In her mind a memory of her mother flickered. The middle-aged redhead stood on the lawn of their home brandishing a grilling fork, insane words pouring from her lips. Flames licked and the scent of burning…

Sarafina lunged for the radio and found a good station that played loud, hard rock music. She opened the window of her car and threw herself into the song, singing the lyrics out loud. She wouldn’t allow her mind to go back there, she just couldn’t.

Instead, she thought of Grosset, her Pomeranian. She’d left him with her neighbor for the trip south and couldn’t wait to see him again. Sarafina smiled. See? Life wasn’t so bad. She had friends, a job, and, most importantly, she had the love of a good dog.

Then there was that guy who kept asking her for a date. His name was Brian. No… Bradley. Cute, too. He was a UPS guy, came into the office every afternoon and sought her out specifically to sign for the deliveries. What was it about UPS guys? He flirted with her every day, cajoling her to go to dinner with him. It was flattering. She’d been turning him down because of Alex, but now she was free. Maybe the next time he asked, she’d say yes.

She rolled into the northern Chicago suburb in the early evening and parked in front of the beautiful eighteenth century home where her apartment was located. It was only a few blocks from her office downtown, though she always took the EL in to avoid parking problems.

Stopping the car at the curb, she turned off the engine and stared up at the beautiful, huge windows. Sarafina loved this place. The neighborhood was quiet and older, the street lined with stately old trees. Hopefully her landlord would give her an extension on the rent. Most likely he would. After all, this would be the first time she’d ever been late.

She knocked on her downstairs neighbor’s door and Alexis, a college girl, answered. “Grosset? Oh, he’s already at your place. Your boyfriend came and picked him up? He’s cute!” she squealed, then said, “Your boyfriend, I mean. Grosset’s cute too, though. Ta!” and closed the door in Sarafina’s face.

Boyfriend? God, she hoped Alex wasn’t having second thoughts. She stared at the closed door for a moment, anxiety making her stomach muscles tighten. Then she stalked up the stairs to her apartment, her mind whirling about she would say to him. Now that he was gone, she wanted him to stay that way.

Her apartment door squeaked open and she started down the hallway, hearing someone cough in the living room. “Alex, listen—“

She stopped short and her keys clattered to the floor. Shock held her immobile as she stared at Stefan Faucheux standing in her living room…holding her dog. Her mind stuttered.

Stefan Faucheux?

Everyone knew who he was. The rich playboy and CEO of Duskoff International, had been the media’s darling for a long time. He was everything they loved—handsome, interesting, intelligent and monied. Then one day he’d disappeared. For a year the world had wondered where he’d gone. Foul play had been suspected and investigations undergone. All the entertainment shows had been atwitter with the mystery.

Then suddenly six months ago he’d simply popped back into existence, taking up where he’d left off as if he’d never been gone. He’d been traveling, he’d explained. Mostly he has been in Costa Rica surfing. No one had been able to find him because he hadn’t wanted to be found. If you had enough money, Sarafina guessed you could do that, just disappear without a trace. Personally, she wouldn’t know.

Most people thought it had simply been a publicity stunt. Maybe they were right. Stefan seemed to like attention.

Right now he really wanted hers.

The bigger question was why? Why was he standing in her living room?

“Wha—” she started and then snapped her mouth closed as Bradley stepped out from her small hallway and stood next to Stefan.

What the hell was the UPS guy and Stefan Faucheux doing in her apartment?

Stefan inclined his head. “Sarafina Connell, it’s a pleasure. I think you’ve already met my associate.” He took a step toward her while Grosset panted and smiled a happy doggie smile at her. “We tried this easy way, but you were more resistant than most to Bradley’s charms. Women normally just swoon right at his feet, boyfriend or not, making our job so much easier.”

“What’s going on? What are you—”

“Since Bradley couldn’t get you alone, I’m afraid we’ll have to do it the less pleasant way. Trust me, we’re doing you a favor.” He clucked. “Data entry, Sarafina? You’re wasting yourself. We’ll make the most of your skills where we’re taking you. I just wish your initiation could have been nicer.”

That was a threat. Stefan Faucheux had just threatened her in her own living room, and he was holding her dog!

Sarafina opened her mouth to scream and someone grabbed her from behind, a big meaty hand clamping down hard over her lips. A needle bit deep into her hip and a thick drowsiness almost immediately closed over her. Her knees buckled and someone lifted her. Her head lolled to the side, unconsciousness closing over her in a slow wave.

Stefan tilted his head to the side and petted Grosset’s silky head, while the Pomeranian panted happily. “Now we have you and your little dog too.”

Stefan Faucheux was one of my favorite bad guys. Suave, sophisticated, handsome as all get out, he was like writing the devil, if the devil was a wealthy playboy. Right now, in my Dark Magick series, I’m writing Gideon P. Amberdoyal, who is definitely one of my favorites too. Gideon is deliciously creepy and twisted character who believes every nasty things he does is for the greater good. I like my bad guys to be layered, to have nuance to their personalities. I want to know their motivations, their family history, and to make them human enough for the reader to relate to them. I LOVE my bad guys.


How about you? What qualities do you like best in the bad guys you read?

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Friday, October 29th, 2010
Book of the Day: What Happens in Vegas…After Dark

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner of yesterday’s book, a copy of Lauren Dane’s upcoming release, Inside out, is Cecile, who said, “Oh I am a cover hussy! I absolutely love covers… With hot guys on them, beautiful colors, attention to details…. but… most of all… I love when the cover tells me the story of the book with one look! And eyes… I love eyes on the cover! Thank you for such a great contest!” Congrats, Cecile! Please drop me an email at anyabast(at)gmail.com within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize.

Las Vegas… it’s the town that lives up to the promise of its nickname, Sin City. A gamblers’ paradise for innocent tourists, it conceals a darker, sexual world where the ethereal and wraithlike meet to play a different game….

If there’s one thing succubus Deitre understands it’s revenge. That, and enticing men into arousing, exciting and, okay, perilous sex (for him). Beautiful on the outside, demon on the inside, she’s going to get back at the naughty firefighter in Darkness…unless he plays his cards right.


Bounty hunter Nell is a hell of a tracker. Now she’s in Vegas on the tail of the witch who dared to steal from her clan. She’s going to get the unsavory harlot through the woman’s ex-finance, and nothing about their charged encounters will be shallow, quick or friendly.

When the half-blood fae male comes to Club Darkness, Elena can’t resist acting on the mind-blowing heat coursing between them. She might be betrothed to another, but fae culture says sex with other men until marriage is most definitely foretold.

Tattoo artist Devi is the latent vampire the warlocks need to heal all wounds. But taking her power is a sexually exhausting and dangerous task requiring dark deception…and gambling on her life.

If you could pick one city in the world to visit for a week, all expenses paid, what city would you choose and why?

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Book of the Day: Inside Out

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner of yesterday book, an autographed copy of Witch Blood, is Kelly, who said, “I like the tough and fiesty ones the best. I don’t like it when they whine all the time and can’t do anything for themselves. I was my chick strong but lovable. :)” Congrats, Kelly! Please drop me an email within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize, anyabast(at)gmail.com

My friend Lauren Dane also has a book releasing on November 2nd, Inside Out. Love that tattoo and love Lauren’s writing!! Answer the question below for a chance to win a copy!

WORTH THE WAIT

Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.

Let’s talk about covers. I love the colors in this one, love the guy (yum), love the heroine’s hair. This cover has unique qualities you don’t always see and I like that a lot. What sort of book covers do you like the best? Do you find yourself drawn to any particular elements? (It’s always the colors for me.)

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Book of the Day: Witch Blood

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner of yesterday’s book, an autographed copy of Wicked Enchantment, is Jen B., who said, “I want to trust and believe in people so I forgive a lot of stuff. BUT, once you’ve crossed that line with me, I am not forgiving. In my whole life, I’ve only ever allowed a couple of people back into my life after they have crossed that line. And, I don’t trust them or their actions.” Congrats! Please drop me an email within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize. anyabast(at)gmail.com


A water witch, Isabelle Novak has always led a chaotic, nomadic existence. But her life spins out of control when her sister—her only friend and emotional anchor—is killed by a demon. Driven by grief and a desire for revenge, she turns her back on the Coven and the rede they hold sacred: Harm thee none…

When Isabelle first encounters Thomas Monahan, she’s running on pure rage and sorrow, channeling her pain into power—and trying to freeze the life out of a warlock she holds responsible for her sister’s death. Together, they form an uneasy alliance to hunt and destroy a demon of tremendous power. As head of the Coven, earth witch Thomas must thwart Isabelle’s dark impulses, but his very presence stirs deeper desires she never knew she had…

How to Catch a Warlock 101. Isabelle could teach that class.

Club music thrummed through Isabelle’s body. Eyes closed, she swayed her hips, dancing more to the ebb and flow of the subtle emotions around her than to the beat. Intoxicated by the sea of euphoria and lust, she allowed the seductive, primal weave to free her for a few blessed moments.

The trap she’d set for the warlock also trapped her.

A man’s hands grasped her waist. A lean, muscular body pressed against hers from behind. She knew that touch, those hands and the subtle, woody scent of his expensive cologne. It was the warlock she hunted. The one who thought she was a woman just like any other. Her eyes came open, moment of serenity vanquished by his presence.

Anyone able to see her face would’ve glimpsed revulsion pass over her features before her lips curved in a coy smile. She snuggled back into Stefan Faucheux’s arms. He rocked her back and forth, changing the sway of her body to the beat of the music instead of the soft waves of emotion. Stefan had no empathy.

Somewhere nearby a camera flashed, then another. Paparazzi. The media fawned over Stefan, an ultra-rich playboy.

Any woman he dated was a source of particular interest. Isabelle had managed to stay on Stefan’s arm longer than most. She was the mysterious red-haired, green-eyed woman on whom no reporter could find much information. Isabelle had paid a lot of money to ensure that was so. She’d worked hard to make certain she interested Faucheux for a while too. A lot of planning had brought her to this night.

Of course, the photographers didn’t know she was a witch and Stefan a warlock. Those were secrets best kept from the non-magickal population. That was the only thing the Coven and the warlock-controlled Duskoff Cabal could agree on. The non-magickals greatly outnumbered the magickals and, historically, showed a lot of bloodthirstiness for those perceived to be different.

Stefan moved his body with hers in a teasing semblance of sex that made her stomach roil. Soon, this would all be over. That was the only positive about having to suffer his closeness.

Isabelle pasted a smile on her lips and closed her eyes again. She thought of deep, rushing streams furrowing their way through the earth, the recesses of the ocean, where the water lay still and silent, the gentle eddies and ripples at the edge of a lake. Her power rose in response to the mental stimulus, just a little. It bled off a bit her stress, blunted the sharp edge.

Stefan’s arms tightened around her and he nuzzled her throat. More cameras flashed. They’d be on the front page of every tabloid in the country by tomorrow. She’d probably be touted as pregnant and making plans for a wedding. The Lady only knew what stupidity they’d come up with.

And then the other story would break. The darker one. The far more violent one.

Soon, she assured herself. Tonight. Because she was not a woman like any other and today was no ordinary day. It was time Stefan Faucheux paid for his sins.

Emotion welled in her throat for a moment. She’d barely had time to grieve. These days she was running on rage, sorrow and little else.

Use it. Don’t let it use you.

Immediately, the sudden swell of vulnerability faded into cold resolve. It was a lesson she’d learned long ago and learned well.
She’d had lots of practice stuffing away her pain, transforming it into a far more effective force. Her emotion had become a well-honed weapon.

He leaned into her, spoke into her ear loud enough for her to hear over the pounding music. “Time to leave, ma cheri.

It was, indeed, time.

Anticipation coursed through her, leaving a tingle of sweetness that warmed her more surely than Stefan’s skill with fire could ever do. Stefan was a fire witch, one of the more powerful she’d encountered. Though he couldn’t claim the title witch anymore, not technically. He’d betrayed the Coven, broken the rede too many times to count. Now he was a lowdown, dirty warlock.

Her own ability resided in the realm of water. That meant she and Stefan were direct opposites magickically. It had complicated her plans somewhat. Normally fire and water had a natural repulsion, whereas fire and air had a built-in attraction. Isabelle had had to work double time to snare her quarry because of that, especially since she couldn’t hide her abilities from a warlock like Stefan. He had a nose like a bloodhound for different types of magick.

He took her hand and led her through the crowd toward the door. The photographers detached themselves from the partying throng and followed. She could see them scuttling like crabs out of the corner of her eye. Stefan’s bodyguards flanked them, not allowing anyone to get too close. Earth charms helped. He’d had several created that compelled people to keep their distance.

They made their way out of the club and the heavy doors closed behind them, not quite blocking the bass of the music within that seemingly made the entire club throb on its foundation. Early morning chill raised goose bumps on her bare arms and legs.

She took a moment to inhale the fresh, not quite clean, air of the city, ignoring the surprised whispers and gasps of those in line to enter the club.

“Come, darling,” Stefan said, placing a proprietary hand at the small of her back and guiding her toward the limo. “La limousine attend.

She flashed him a ditzy smile. “I love it when you speak French, Stefan. It’s so sexy.”

Stefan didn’t know it, but she understood every foreign word he spoke to impress her. She’d been a child of the world, growing up the temporary resident of many countries, and spoke both French and Italian fluently.

He stopped her in front of the limo, tucked her hair behind her ear and leaned in to whisper, “I will speak it to you until the sun comes up, if you allow me, ma cheri.”

She moved her head and placed a lingering kiss to his neck. “Then send your bodyguards away.” Isabelle dragged his earlobe between her teeth and he responded with a shiver. Cameras flashed in abandon.

He spoke a few words to the warlock muscle near him while the driver opened the door for her and ushered her within. Regulating her breath, as she always had to do when entering a small area, she climbed into the cool interior of the limo and sank down onto one of the leather seats. Isabelle had a moment of unease at the dark closing around like a velvet fist. Close spaces weren’t her thing.

Stefan sat down next to her. As soon as the door was closed, he was on her. But not coarsely, or clumsily. That was not Stefan. He was a perfect gentleman until he decided not to be.

He slid his hand to her waist, tilted her chin toward his face and pressed his lips to hers. Suave, undemanding, seductive. His fresh breath invaded her mouth as his tongue sought entry.

She suppressed a shudder and placed her hands on his broad shoulders, the fabric of his suit cool against her palms. She hesitated, unwilling to allow him a deeper kiss. He pressed the issue and she yielded, using every ounce of her willpower to not push him away.

Outwardly to the non-magickal world, Stefan was a benevolent social icon, known for his goodwill and his generosity. In reality, as head of the Duskoff Cabal, the violent little club warlocks kept, he pillaged and plundered his way through witches as though in his personal stockyard, slaughtering here and there when he felt like it.

Like any sociopath worth his salt, Stefan was a charming, handsome monster. The world should thank her for what she was about to do, even though she’d had to turn her back on the Coven Rede to accomplish it.

He leaned in toward her, burying his nose in the curve of her neck and sliding a hand past the hem of her short, black Versace. “We’re finally alone,” he whispered, “as you requested.” The car pulled forward, rocking her against his body.

She tilted his face to hers and kissed him, pressing herself into the curve of his body. She cupped his groin through his black pants and felt his hardness. “So we are.”

“Then why so shy? Tonight you will not escape me, Isabelle,” he breathed against her skin with his smooth French accent.

Part of her plan had been to tease him sexually. It had been a little like taunting a starving tiger with a slab of meat, but she’d been successful. It had hooked him, made him want her more…and allowed her limited intimate contact with him. A definite plus.

She raised an eyebrow. “I think it’s you who won’t escape me, Stefan.” If only he knew. She unbuttoned his pants. “Take them off.”

He grasped the hem of her skirt. “You first,” he purred.

“Noooo, you,” she shot back coyly.

He shook his head. “Take off your dress for me, Isabelle.” His voice held a thread of steel and his eyes had a brutally cold glint in them.

Her sly, sexy smile faltered. Damn it! This was not going the way she’d envisioned it. In her head, she’d been fully clothed when she brought him down. Having no choice unless she wanted to raise suspicion, she allowed him to draw her dress over her head, leaving her in only a lacy red bra and panty set and her shoes.

“Mmm,” he murmured in appreciation right before he pressed his lips to the swell of her breast. Oh, yeech. Yeech, yeech, yeech!

She yanked him forward by the waistband of his pants and kissed him roughly, biting his lower lip hard. He jerked a little and she tasted blood. “Off now,” she commanded.

“I adore a woman who likes it a little rough.”

Then he’d love her.

He slipped his shoes and pants off. She glanced down and lifted a brow as if in sexual speculation. He gave her cocky smile, the smile of a man who’s sure he’s about to get laid. How wrong could he be? He was about to find out. She reached out and took him her hand.

And she squeezed. Hard.


So, we talked about heroes, now how about heroines? Isabella is a little chaotic and kind of kick ass, yet she has a thread of vulnerability apparent in her personality as well. I really enjoyed writing this character. Tell me a little about some of the qualities you like best in the heroines you read. One commentor will win an autographed copy of Witch Blood, but make sure to check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Book of the Day: Wicked Enchantment

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

The winner of yesterday’s book, BEYOND THE DARK autographed by all the authors, is Stacie, who said, “I love how a writer can throw out the rule book when writing paranormals. You characters can get away with behavior and experience situations that would be unacceptable in a contemporary story. Basically, you get to make your own rules!” Congrats, Stacie! Please drop me an email at anyabast(at)gmail.com within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize.

When you’re a half incubus, your reputation precedes you…

All eyes are on Gabriel Mac Braire the day he makes his first appearance in the Seelie Court, including those of Aislinn Finvarra. Despite deep bitterness over her last failed relationship, Aislinn cannot help but be curious about the half incubus who is known to possess dark magick, both lethal and sexual in nature. Rumors abound of the women who have become enslaved to his irresistible charms.


So when the Summer Queen of the fae orders Aislinn herself to act as his guide in the court, she is understandably on guard. She’s fallen under the spell of far less persuasive men before. In addition, Gabriel might be more than he seems and his true mission is far from innocent.

This time, Aislinn must protect not only her heart, but her very life…

Having no particular interest in women’s clothing other than when he was taking it off, Gabriel watched Aislinn. She touched the gowns, examined their size and length. Talked to the clerk about alterations, but she did it all with a dull look in her eyes. Whereas Carina seemed beatific in the shop with the ability to buy new things for court, Aislinn touched the garments with listless, roaming hands, as though searching for something that wasn’t there, something she knew she’d never find between the four walls of the building. While all the time she kept glancing out the plate glass window to the street and the passersby.

Aislinn Christiana Guinevere Finvarra of the Seelie Court, supposed purebred Tuatha Dé Danann, was bored. Bored with her life, yearning for more. That was another secret she kept from her peers. Add it to the pile.

She had to feel so lonely.

The heaviness that had settled in his chest earlier eased a bit. Maybe luring her to the Unseelie Court was the best thing he could do for her. At least in the Black Tower she could pursue her magick without fear of reprisal or banishment. She could even be tutored to enhance whatever skill she possessed. A woman as intelligent and as interesting as Aislinn deserved that and more. She didn’t deserve to be stifled and strangled in a toxic and delusionary environment like the Seelie Court.

She wouldn’t be bored anymore. She wouldn’t be alone. Sure, she’d hate him for what he’d done. This couldn’t end any other way. But in the long run she’d be better off in Black with her own people.

“I think I found it.”

Gabriel came back to himself, realizing she’d browsed over to the lingerie section. A distance away he could hear Carina nattering at one of the store clerks. He walked to her and saw she held a red satin and chiffon slip in her hands. It looked long and…fascinating. Sexy. Now these were the kind of clothes that men were interested in, at least for the couple minutes a woman wore them before they became a heap on the floor of the bedroom.

His eyebrows rose. “Try it on.”

She disappeared into the fitting room and reappeared a couple of minutes later. It covered her down to her ankles, yet still managed to be the sexiest thing he’d ever seen. The bodice cupped her breasts just perfectly, just the way he wanted to. His fingers curled as he imagined doing just that. The red looked incredible against her skin tone.

“Turn around.” His voice came out just a tad hoarse and he realized he was clutching a silk gown off one of the racks hard enough to wrinkle.

She turned and he lost his breath. The back dipped down very far, all the way to the top of her beautifully rounded bottom. He wanted to run his lips over every inch of slender, flawless skin from her the nape of her neck to the small of her back and then—

“Gabriel?” She’d turned around and stared at him, frowning.

He cleared his throat. “It’s beautiful on you. Your next lover will drool all over the carpet.” He knew that for certain because it would be him. No way was he allowing any other man to see her in that gown.

Aislinn was his.


Gabriel starts out doing everything for the wrong reasons. Aislinn doesn’t trust him in the beginning, and rightful so. At just the time she does start to trust him, the web of deceit he’s woven threatens to destroy them both. Gabriel’s actions create a lot of conflict between the hero and the heroine and it’s hard for Aislinn to forgive him and trust him again. Answer the following question for a chance to win an autographed copy of Wicked Enchantment

Do you forgive and forget easily, or does it take you a while?

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Monday, October 25th, 2010
Book of the Day: Beyond the Dark

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner of Saturday’s book, an autographed copy of Witch Heart, Julie, who said, “I love a combination of the rough and ready exterior, sense of humor, and soft marshmellow heart. Both hot and adorable!” Congrats, Julie! Please email me at anyabast(at)gmail within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize!

I wish I could find a better, bigger picture of the cover of today’s book. It’s gorgeous in person. All these authors were at RAW and I had a copy of this anthology signed by ALL of them. So, today’s book is a special treat — an autographed copy of Beyond the Dark.


Lora Leigh does it… in the lair of a strange breed, part man, part wolf, on the hunt for the woman he craves-and needs-to fulfill a hunger clawing at him from within

Angela Knight does it… in the psychic realm of a woman attuned to the touch of strangers-and the powerful temptations of a seductive and mysterious protector.


Emma Holly does it… in the fantastic Demon World where a powerful Queen rules-until she commits the sin of falling in love with the handsome son of her worst enemy.


Diane Whiteside does it… in an alternate universe of Regency magic where two lovers are threatened by a vicious mage, and swept up in a turbulent war off the Cornish cliffs.


Everything I write is paranormal and all the stories in this anthology are paranormal, too. As a reader, what do you enjoy most about paranormal stories?

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.



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