Archive for the 'Whatever' Category

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
I recommend spill-proof travel mugs. Always.

Sooooo I got my Christmas present early over the weekend, a pretty blue Toshiba Netbook. I wanted one because they’re so portable. You can literally stick this thing in your purse and go. It’s useful for me because I write a lot on the go, at the coffee shop while waiting for my child’s preschool to end, for example. I also travel a lot, having a husband whose family is overseas.

My laptop is awesome. It’s my third arm, and my constant companion. It’s also somewhat unwieldy. This is my laptop’s “Mini Me”.

Of course, I didn’t want it *this* way, so early and under these circumstances. What circumstances you ask? Well, my cat, my ancient, doddering, toothless, senile cat, knocked over a mug of hot tea on my laptop Saturday night. I acted quick, immediately getting all the liquid I could from the keyboard, using a blow dryer on it, and then setting it over a vent to dry for the night.

I thought the laptop was done for. I also thought I’d lost about 9 thousand words on my current work-in-progress, Jeweled. Not devastating. I know authors who have lost much more than that in computer mishaps, but they were a GOOD 9 thousand words!

I had a sad.

But the computer booted right up in the morning. I backed up my work immediately and thought I was in the clear…and then *crash and burn* it started to act up. So, long story…er, long, I guess, the laptop went off to the Geek Squad for two weeks and I got my Netbook early. I did manage to save my 9k at least!!!

Good thing because I’m under deadline for Jeweled and it’s pressing me. That’s why you’re perhaps not seeing me around as much as usual. That’s also the reason I’m not blogging much lately.

I am, however, participating in a Round Robin Horror Story over at the Witchy Chicks blog, if you care to check it out.

I’ll also be at a booksigning this Saturday in Lexington, KY. Here’s: the info, if you’re planning to attend:

Kentucky Romance Writers Day
featuring — Lora Leigh, Toni Blake, Anya Bast and many more!
Saturday, October 31 at 1:00 pm

Meet some of Kentucky’s best romance writers, including Sheryl Brennan, Teresa Reasor, Jules Bennett, Toni Blake, Dianne Castell, LuAnn McLane, Rosemary Laurey, Patricia Rice, Shiloh Walker, Molly Harper, Anya Bast, and Lora Leigh.

Joseph Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY

I hope to see you there! We planned the event early so we could all get home and get to the all important trick-or-treating. My daughter is going to be a princess (for the second year in a row).

What are your plans for Halloween (if you have Halloween where you live, that is).

Saturday, October 17th, 2009
Snippet Saturday:Holiday

Today’s theme is “holiday” and, oh, lookee here, I just happen to have a story in an anthology titled Hot for the Holidays. 🙂 An anthology, I’m happy to announce, that has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for two weeks in a row!!!

Here’s a little taste of Sweet Enchantment. If you want more snippets, follow the list of links below.


Chapter One (Sweet Enchantment, by Anya Bast, appearing in the Hot for the Holidays anthology.)

Bella had vowed to never bind her life to this man’s. Now here she was, about to do it. Worse, she’d made the decision only two seconds after learning of his predicament.

Ronan still didn’t know she’d entered his cell. He knelt before her, his arms extended to either side, wrists wrapped in heavy charmed iron chain, and his gaze fastened on the cracked cement floor of the cell. How low the great mage of the Seelie Court had sunk. The only charmed iron chain in the whole of the Seelie Rose Tower resided within the walls of Her Majesty’s Prison, and he was wrapped in every inch of it. His long dark hair hung over his face, and his biceps and muscular bare back flexed as he moved uncomfortably against his bonds.

Bella liked the fact that the mage, Ronan Achaius Quinn, was in such a subservient position to her. He wasn’t a man who was subservient to anyone unless forced by charmed iron to be so. For a moment she allowed her gaze to trace over him. She’d never seen a more beautifully made man in her life. Not before the day she’d clapped eyes on him and not afterward. The sight of him made a woman want the iron silk of his body rubbing up against hers, made carnal thoughts crowd the most prudish of female minds.

His black hair shadowed his square jaw, the sensual pout of his mouth, and the icy blue eyes that were known for being able to draw the truth from the worst of liars. He wore only a pair of loose black trousers, leaving his feet and upper half bare. Ronan always wore black, even here in prison. His sculpted, powerful body moved a little as he tried to find the comfort his captors were so set on not giving him. He was strong not only in body and mind, but in magick too. However, the charmed iron neutralized the abilities he possessed. It was his sorcerer’s skills that normally kept him very high in the Summer Queen’s graces.

Not so tonight.

The Seelie wanted to kill him and she could hardly blame them. However, she couldn’t allow it. She couldn’t let Ronan come to harm, no matter what lay between them or what he’d done to land himself here. It didn’t matter that once he’d shredded her heart. It didn’t matter that she’d vowed never to offer any part of herself to him ever again. She’d been a fool to think she could ever keep a promise like that.

“I can smell your perfume, Bella,” Ronan said in a broken, gravelly voice, without looking up. “I’ve never forgotten your scent. I know it’s you.”
She shivered at his words and then shook it off. It was silly to think it was romantic. He was a mage, after all, even when stripped of his magick by charmed iron. He had a nose for different scents because of his work. His power was innate, allowing him to twist leaf, flower, and herb into powerful spells.

Not only was he a mage, he was only just on the barest side of Seelie. Ronan possessed Unseelie blood, enough to allow him to cast dark spells. The Summer Queen, the Seelie Royal, allowed him to remain in the Rose Tower because of the strength of his magick and, undoubtedly, his physical beauty. And perhaps there was a part of her that enjoyed thumbing her nose at the Shadow King, the Unseelie Royal, by denying him one of his strongest court members.

Ronan was one of the few members of the Seelie Court who possessed Unseelie blood, but he wasn’t the only one who had it.

She cleared her throat. “Ronan, it’s been a long time.”

“The last time we spoke in more than just passing, it wasn’t a happy occasion.”

A slight tremor shook her body. No, it hadn’t been a happy occasion at all. Ronan had broken her heart into so many pieces it had taken decades to put back together. Maybe it still wasn’t healed.

“Yes, and look at you now.” Her voice held the bitter edge of memory.

She walked around his body, her expensive gold and white heels clicking on the gritty cell floor and the trailing edge of her pure white stole brushing through dirt. She’d been at a Seelie Court ball sharing conversation with her dearest friend, Aislinn, when she’d received the news of Ronan’s arrest. It was cold outside—almost Yule. The Seelie often held balls, but they were especially frequent during this time of the year. Despite all that lay between them, not the foulest Unseelie goblin could have stopped her from racing to the prison.

She came to a halt in front of him.

Pulling against his chains, biceps flexing, he finally looked up at her. His hair slipped over his forehead, and he gave his head a sharp shake to move it to the side. The man was handsome enough to break any woman’s heart, and he’d broken more than just hers, Bella was certain. He was much older than she was—though they appeared the same age. That was the way it worked with nearly immortal Tuatha Dé Danann. Once they reached the age of thirty, their aging slowed to a crawl. However that didn’t hold for experience. At nearly a century her senior, he had far more life experience than she did, and that meant he’d broken far more hearts. He had kept his affairs quiet since their breakup, however. She had to give him that much. At least she hadn’t had to endure watching other women on his arm.

His gaze roved her body—clad in a filmy white and gold gown. She knew what he saw. The dress was low–cut, delving deeply at her cleavage, and it was tight, appearing to be painted onto her waist and hips and dipping down to the small of her back. He looked at her like he wasn’t in chains, like she didn’t hold his fate in her hands. He looked at her like he had a right. It piqued her that he thought he could stare her like that. It did other things, too. Things it shouldn’t.

“It’s been a long time, Bella.” He paused, swallowed. “You’re still the most beautiful woman ever to walk the streets of Piefferburg.” His voice was rich and deep, full of the sincerity she’d fallen for once.

Her cheeks heated. Anger welled, and she forced herself not to pull the stole around her body.

She slipped a hand to her hip. “What were you thinking taking a job from the Phaendir? Are you insane? You had to know that if you were caught the Summer Queen would want to kill you.”

He slanted her the cocky grin she knew so well. “Insane? Well, you know me, Bella. What do you think?”

She turned her face away and bit her lower lip. “They plan to take your head for this. Your status as the Summer Queen’s pet mage won’t protect you. No one allies with the Phaendir and escapes the consequences.”

“I’ve lived almost two hundred years, Bella. It won’t be a tragedy for the world to give me up, or for me to give the world up.”

“Sweet Danu, Ronan! “Do you have some kind of death wish? Is that why you did this?”

He only bowed his head in response, arms pulling at his bonds.

She paced away from him, toward the cell door, folding her arms over her chest and wrapping her stole more closely around her against the chill. The cold permeating her bones had less to do with the damp prison than with what she was about to do. She halted and closed her eyes, gathering her courage.

How could she just rip her heart out of her chest and lay it on a slab to be sacrificed—again—this way? But the alternative . . . She couldn’t bear to think about it.

“Ronan,” she started, turning toward him. “I’ve told the Summer Queen I’m taking you as my husband and she agreed to it.” She paused. “We’re getting married, you and I. It will protect you. It’s the only thing that will save you from the Wild Hunt.”

The Wild Hunt went out every night and gathered the souls of those fae who’d died. After the Summer Queen took Ronan’s head, the Hunt would be coming for him.

Ronan raised his head, but said nothing. For the first time in the thirty years she’d known him, apparently her words had struck him speechless. Finally, “Bella—”

“I can’t watch them kill you, no matter how stupid you are.” She lifted her chin. “I will marry you, but it will be in name only. You’ll get no . . . privileges from me. No money because I’ll want you to sign a prenuptial agreement. You’ll have to live with me, of course, but my apartment is large and there’s only Lolly, my housekeeper, and I there now. We’ll be able to stay somewhat separated.” She pressed her lips together. “You’ll get to keep your life. It’s a good deal.”

“So the great Bella Rhiannon Caliste Mac Lyr of a pure Tuatha Dé Danann bloodline has finally selected a suitor and he’s a prisoner slated for death. A man who pulled a job for the Phaendir, no less. Marked forever for scorn in the Rose Tower. A thief with Unseelie blood. The Seelie are laughing at you right now. Back at the ball you rushed from, they’re snickering behind their gloved hands and into snifters of cognac at this whole situation.”

All true, but it didn’t matter.

“You’re not a suitor.” Her voice came out in a harsh snap. “Once you were, maybe, thirty years ago. Briefly. Right now you’re just an old friend whose ass needs saving.” She turned away from him. “I can’t tell you how much I’m sacrificing to do this.” Emotionally.
Psychologically. “Aren’t you even going to say thank you?”

“I’m going to say no, Bella.”

“No?” She whirled. “What? You can’t say no. You—”

He gave his head a shake and looked up at her. His normally icy blue pupils were wide and dark, his hands clenched. “I want you, Bella, but when we come together, we do it my way. On my terms. I’ll make you mine, not the other way around.”

Danu, the arrogance. Nothing about him had changed. “The only thing you’ll ever lay claim to is the worms that will nibble your flesh when your headless body is buried.”

She whirled and went for the door, then halted, laying her hand against the cool steel frame and closing her eyes for a moment. It figured this was happening at Yuletide, the time of greatest darkness throughout the year. Even as stupid and stubborn as he was, she wouldn’t let him die. She’d go to the Summer Queen and figure out a way to force him to marry her.

She’d save his life today and he could hate her for it tomorrow.


Ronan bowed his head and made fists, working the blood through his arms and trying to ignore the slight sting of the iron. It was an effective torture for the fae. Normally charmed iron not only nulled a fae’s magick, it made him sick. Eventually, if the iron was left on the skin for too long, it would kill. However as a mage who was particularly susceptible to the metal, he’d worked for years on developing a resistance to it. He murmured under his breath and blue green magick sparked in his palms. His magick wasn’t as strong as when he didn’t have charmed iron touching his skin, but it was strong enough.

Bloody hell, could it be? Did Bella still have a flicker of feeling for him? He thought he’d killed that off along with everything else good in his life a long time ago. For the first time in decades, hope flared to life inside him.

Maybe he had something to live for after all.

He needed to find out for certain. That meant there was no way he was going to rot in here any longer. Not with Bella out there still caring for him.
And, bloody hell, she’d looked so good. His hands curled involuntarily remembering how satiny smooth her skin looked. He couldn’t wait to run his fingers over it, his tongue. That dress she’d been wearing was like sin woven into fabric the way it showcased her full, delectable breasts and how it tapered down her long, slender, kissable back. He wanted to plunge his hands into her thick fall of dark hair, wanted her legs around his waist while he fucked her until she couldn’t see straight. He wanted to put his claim on her, make her his in every way he could. It had been a long time since he’d been with a woman.

None but Bella would do.

Bella was his. He’d given her up once, but he’d learned his lesson. No way was he ever doing it again.

Ronan began to plot his escape.

Michelle Pillow
Mandy Roth
Anya Bast
Lacey Savage
Jaci Burton
McKenna Jeffries
Moira Rogers
TJ Michaels
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Jody Wallace
Ashley Ladd
Shelli Stevens
Shelley Munro

Saturday, October 10th, 2009
Snippet Saturday: A Character in Danger

Welcome to another addition of Snippet Saturday! Today’s theme is “a character in danger”. I give you Sarafina, from Witch Fury. Enjoy!!


Excerpt from Witch Fury, by Anya Bast

Irritation swept through her. “Look, you told me what I need to know, showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt my true nature, now it’s time for me to go. I have a life, you know? I have a job I need to get back to, bills to pay, friends who–“

“You’re not cut out for data entry, Sarafina.” He shook his head. “Fire witches don’t work in cubicles or fetch coffee for their bosses. Stay here with us so that we can show you your true potential, so you can harness your birthright and get all that is due you.”

Due her? Apparently she lacked the sense of entitlement that this man had decided she should have.

Sarafina looked down at Grosset. “Look, I’m grateful that you” –her mouth snapped shut as she searched for the right wording– “unlocked this unexpected part of me, but I don’t owe you anything, and I don’t think the world owes me anything, either. You’re fucking lucky I don’t call the cops on you-all.” She would, of course, but it was no help telling him that. Holding Grosset close to her chest, she stood. “I really am leaving now.”

Stefan stood, his handsome, pleasant face overcome with storm clouds. “You’re not going anywhere. You owe us, Sarafina. Don’t make us do this the hard way.”

Yeah, she’d been afraid he’d say something like that.

Her anger flared. In response, that seed of hot magick buried in the center of her chest pulsed with newfound power. Sarafina knew Stefan was a fire witch, one far more skilled than she at wielding the element as a weapon. Newly born, so to speak, she had no chance against him.

But there was no way she was staying here, and no way she wasn’t going down swinging.

Unbidden and largely untutored, raw fire magick bubbled up from her, streaming down the backs of her arms. Only a sheer act of will kept it from burning the small dog she held.

Stefan stiffened, sensing the swell of her magick. The air suddenly smelled hot as the witch in front of her allowed his own power to rise. Apparently, they were headed for a showdown. It was high noon.

Shouting came from beyond the room. Stefan turned his head and Sarafina took the distraction as opportunity.

She fumbled for a moment, wondering what the hell she should do next, when an uncontrolled burst exploded from her. It felt like she’d fired a cannon and hadn’t aimed well. It went wide, toward the door of the room.

The door burst inward, ripped from the hinges at the same time the uncontrolled blast of fire hit it. Sarafina screamed in surprise, stepped backward, tripped and fell on her ass.

For a hazy, confused moment she thought her magick had exploded the door. Then she focused past the smoke and saw the dark outline of a man–tall, muscular build, long dark hair, grim expression on his face.

The man glanced at her for the barest of moments. His long hair blew around his face from the force of the magickical battle behind him. His eyes were hard and dark. In his brutal expression lay control and power. Knowledge–deep and wide. Sarafina noticed all that about him in a second and it took her breath away.

What new nightmare was this man?

The newcomer turned and deflected an aggressive attack from Stefan. The room exploded into chaos. Two men barreled through the door after the intruder. Instead of using magick to defend himself, he punched one in the face, grabbed him by his shirt front and threw him into the second. Then he whirled to once again face Stefan.

The scent of white hot fire and dark, rich earth filled her nose as furniture slid across the floor and slammed into the walls. The floor itself rippled. It was like a battle of supernatural titans.

Sarafina clutched Grosset to her chest and crawled behind an overturned table, holding her trembling dog close and wishing like hell this was all some really strange dream fueled by her grief. Any second now she’d wake up and shake her head over it, tell herself she’d never eat cold enchiladas before bed again.

But this was no dream.

Shouting, cursing. Explosions. Fire crackling. Growing hotter and nearer until thick bursts of earth extinguished the flare-ups.


Footsteps pounded through the rest of the house. Shouting in the distance. In the room where Sarafina and Grosset hid behind the overturned table there was no sound. Nothing.

Maybe the intruders–whoever they were–had forgotten about her. Maybe the hulking man in the doorway had gone away. Maybe this was her chance to get out of here.

Moving slowly, she peeked around the edge of the table and saw only a smoldering fire in a trashcan over in the corner of the room. Smoke wafted through the air. She inched out a little more, straining to hear any other sounds from inside the house. She didn’t know who the party crashers were and wanted to avoid them. With her luck they were worse than Stefan and his ilk.

Movement. The swirl of a long black duster.

The man was still there. Peeking out, she watched him circle the room, languid, lethal. His muscular body seemed tense with the desire to kill something, didn’t really matter what. The man turned toward her and she ducked back behind the table and closed her eyes, praying he’d pass her by.


A hand grasped her collar and lifted her straight up.

Want more? Follow the links!!!

Anya Bast
Jaci Burton
Eliza Gayle
Michelle Pillow
Mandy Roth
Juliana Stone
Lacey Savage
McKenna Jeffries
Moira Rogers
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Kelly Maher
Sasha White
Ashley Ladd
Victoria Janssen
Shelli Stevens
Shelley Munro
TJ Michaels
Lauren Dane

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Impromptu Interview

Hi all! I posted this last Friday on Fire & Ice and thought I’d post it here too. 🙂

I was blog-blocked today, so I enlisted the help of those on Twitter and Facebook. They asked me questions (below) and I’ve answered them. I left off names and stuff like that, but I do want say THANK YOU to all who came to my aid. If you have any questions for me, go ahead! I’ll be around all day today to reply to comments (weather and internet connection permitting).

When did you know you wanted to write? What is it like? I know it’s a ‘job’, but how does it feel to create?
I knew very young. It was the thing I told people when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. “I want to be a writer”. I’m not really sure why I decided on writer as a child. I come from a family of pilots. Flying should have been my natural inclination since I was around it so much, but it was always writing. I read all. the. time. Maybe that had something to do with it.

The plotting stage and writing the first draft are the parts of the process that feel the most creative to me. I love forming the world, creating the characters, and getting everything out during that first draft. Some days the words come sluggish and slow, but other days they just pour out. When I’m “in the zone,” so to speak, there’s no better feeling in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

If you wrote a historical… what would it be?
I already did! My first book was a medieval historical that weighed in at about, oh, something like 200k. It was a door-stopper. It contained every rookie writing mistake known to man. It also skated the edge of paranormal. Back then, though, there was no such thing as paranormal romance, so my medieval historical was an odd book indeed.

I cut about half the book and rewrote it about ten times. It resembles almost nothing of its former self, but if you want to check it out it’s titled Strands of Sunlight and it’s for sale at Ellora’s Cave.

What is the one “position” you have written that you thought… oh dear god… is this even possible?
As a writer of many a ménage a trois romances and a few books with four-way scenes, I can’t even count the times I’ve stared at my manuscript, cocked my head to the side, squinted, then shook my head and deleted several paragraphs. When you get all those body parts in there, it can get confusing. Far too many arms, legs and other…appendages, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

Are u doing any more of the elemental witch books cos i really luved them they were so grippin!!! i read all the books in a matter of days :))
First of all, thank you so much! 🙂

At the moment I have no more plans to write Elemental Witch books, though I do get many emails from people asking for more. I am starting a new series, however. The first full length novel of the Dark Magick series is Wicked Enchantment and it releases in January. If you enjoyed the witch series, I think you’ll like the Dark Magick series. It’s just as action-packed and hot as the witch series. New world, though. New characters. I’m SO excited about it, too.

Out of all the books in your elemental witch series which was the most challenging to write? and why?

Looking back now I’d have to say it was Witch Fire, the first one, only because I was so nervous about the book. I nearly choked that thing to death trying to get it “perfect” because it was going to be my first mass market release. It wasn’t until a while later that I came to the understanding that there is no “perfect”. Or at least “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder. You can’t please everyone, you know? So I loosened up and just wrote. I’ve been having a lot more fun since then.

Witch Heart gave me some fits too because the plot arch for the series took an unexpected turn in that book. I plot out all my books beforehand, but loosely to leave room for the unanticipated. Witch Heart took a few surprising detours while I was writing it. It made me beat my head bloody on my keyboard a few times.

I would like to hear about your new series.
Why, thanks for asking because I love talking about it!

The worldbuilding of the Dark Magick series is fae-based and most of the action occurs in a prison-like territory called Piefferburg. Essentially it’s a resettlement area for the fae, in a reality in which the fae are real and the human population knows about their existence. In this world, humans both fear and are fascinated by the fae.

With the help of the Phaendir, an order of druids, the fae have been captured and are being held in this large, warded territory of the United States. Of course, the fae want OUT of Piefferburg. That’s their overall struggle in this series–how do the fae break out of Piefferburg? How do they defeat the Phaendir? How do they deal with the humans who fear them? As an added complication, there’s internal strife between the Summer Queen of the Seelie and the Shadow Royal of the Unseelie. Lots of political intrigue and lots of friction between the fae and the Phaendir.

The Dark Magick series is action-packed paranormal romance, just like the Elemental Witches series, with each book focusing on a single couple (with HEAs), but with the series telling an overarching story. If you enjoyed the Elemental Witches series, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one too. I do believe this one might be longer than the witch series, too. I think this one has some long legs. However that, of course, will be up to my publishing house, in the end.

Here’s a blurb for Wicked Enchantment, the first full length book of the series:

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…

I will say that this blurb is a little misleading…but in a good way. It doesn’t give any spoilers away. However it also doesn’t really tell the reader just how much conflict there is in this story. Big, sweeping change and conflict. I can’t say more than that without saying too much.

The Hot for the Holidays anthology has a taste of my series in it, too, with Sweet Enchantment. That one is available now.

Does your writing of sex scenes influence you sexually in real life or vice versa?
I get this question a lot. LOL. What I write is fantasy, just like vampires or faeries are fantasy. So, no, I’m not participating in lots of kinky sex acts every day, sorry to disappoint. Most of it comes from my own twisted imagination, just like everything else. I will say that I have a healthy (and not very repressed) attitude toward sex. I think that does help me to write sex scenes, but, then, I don’t know for sure. I know lots of very conservative and tight-buttoned women who write some scorchingly hot books.

Describe your writing day and your writing environment.

My dining room table. I have an office, but my toddler does not allow me to be secluded in my cave very often. I have to write when/where I can these days, as she takes priority. I’ve found that being in the center of my house on my laptop helps me be both a mom and a writer best.
Every day I set a writing goal for myself, usually something like two or three thousand words, depending. If I’m editing pages, I set a page count I need to reach. Sometimes I obtain my goals, sometimes not. I work until I reach my daily goal (unless I absolutely can’t). Some days I’m done by noon, sometimes I’m still working at midnight. I try very hard to be done by six pm every day, though, so I can take my evenings off. I can’t remember the last time I took a whole weekend off.

Thanks again for the questions, everyone!

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Snippet Saturday: Dialogue

I really couldn’t tell you why this excerpt popped into my head when I thought about dialogue. I probably have many better representations of dialogue I could post, but this is the one that called to me, so here you go. 🙂

witchfiresm From Witch Fire…

Jack walked back to sit on the desk. Thomas Monahan, head of the Coven, had tasked Jack with watching over Mira Hoskins as soon as they’d discovered she existed. If the Coven knew she existed, most likely so did Crane. Jack had been tailing her for about two weeks, sitting in his car in the freezing cold to stake out her work and her apartment. Normally he didn’t do straight body guarding jobs like this one, but this was special. Mira was special.

She moved on the bed, waking up slowly. Jack sat on the desk in the dark, flicking the Zippo on and off absentmindedly as he watched her.
Yesterday he’d felt compelled to make actual contact with her, so he’d gone into the diner and watched her work. Her eyes were hazel. Sometimes brown, sometimes green. Her smile was easy and seemed genuine. She actually appeared to like people, which was something he couldn’t say about himself.

“Mmmm, huh?” Mira murmured from the bed. She gasped as she caught sight of him in the darkened room and pushed up into a sitting position, her hand instantly going to her head at the abrupt movement.

Jack put the Zippo down. “How are you feeling?”

She took a few moments to answer. “Like I’ve been hit by a truck, abducted and am now in fear for my life. How are you?”

“You’re here for your own protection.”

“That’s probably what all serial killers say.”

He slid off the desk, walked to the side of the bed and flipped the light on. She eyed him uneasily and moved toward the center of the mattress, away from him. He watched her glance around the room, taking in the mahogany furniture, the paintings on the wall. She centered her gaze on each exit in turn–the door to the main part of his apartment, the door to the bathroom and the window.

“Don’t try the window,” he said. “We’re on the fifty-second floor. Are you hungry, thirsty?”

She licked her lips. “I want you to tell me what’s going on.”

“Your head must hurt. You want an aspirin, maybe?”

Mira hesitated. “An aspirin would be good.”

He walked into the bathroom to get the aspirin bottle and a cup of water. By the time he got back, she was gone. Unsurprising. He could hear her fumbling the locks at the front door in desperation.

Jack sighed, set the bottle and cup down and walked through the living room toward her.

She was just working the top lock and swearing a blue streak when he reached her. He pressed his body against hers and covered her hand with his own. She stilled immediately and shivered a little.

Jack tried hard not to enjoy the feeling of her pressed to him, but he couldn’t help it. The sound of her breathing, harsh in the quiet air, made his libido twitch with interest. It made him think of other situations when she might be flush up against him, her breathing ragged. A situation in which they’d be wearing far less clothing and Mira would be feeling far friendlier toward him. It was natural, he reminded himself yet again, the natural attraction of fire to air.

His pelvis cupped her gorgeous ass in this position, his chest bracing her back. He couldn’t help but wonder what she’d do if he slid his hands over her breasts, gathered the hem of her skirt and pulled it upward. How would her sex feel bared to his exploring hand? What kind of sounds would she make as he stroked her?

You stupid bastard, he scolded himself. She’d scream like a siren.

But give him some time and he could seduce her. Even if she wasn’t willing at first, he knew how to touch her to make her want him…beg for him. Even though he shouldn’t, he could tempt her into his bed.

The faint scent of her rose perfume teased his nose as he leaned down and placed his mouth close to her ear. “You’re incredibly predictable. Even if you’d gotten out the front door, you never would’ve been able to call the elevator without my security code.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean my apartment is the only one on this floor. I mean I have the elevator on security mode. You can’t access it without my code. No one comes up or goes down without it. No one even stops at this floor without my direct permission.” Beyond that, the magickal wards in place wouldn’t allow her cross the threshold once she’d opened the door.

“You’re a prisoner here. A princess in a tower,” he breathed silkily into her ear.

Want more snippets? Follow the snippet trail!

Kelly Maher
Jody Wallace
Shelli Stevens
Michelle Pillow
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Jaci Burton
Elisabeth Naughton
McKenna Jeffries
Moira Rogers
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Juliana Stone
Anya Bast
Lacey Savage
Shelley Munro
Sasha White
Ashley Ladd
Victoria Janssen
Eliza Gayle

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Hot for the Holidays

Wow, I dropped my daughter at preschool this morning and headed over to an obliging coffee shop to get some work done and immediately tripped on a curb and went sprawling. Haven’t felt like this since I was six and I went over the handlebars of my dirt bike (I was a tom boy). Ouch!

Anyway, in non-bloodied and bruised news, Hot for the Holidays releases today! My novella, Sweet Enchantment will give readers a first taste of my new Dark Magick series. The novella is stand alone, so it’s not necessary to read it in order to understand the plot of Wicked Enchantment, the first full length novel of the series that releases in January….but you know you want to read it anyway, right? (I’m so shameless.)

You can go here to read an excerpt of Sweet Enchantment.

I just returned from RAW, Lora Leigh’s reader appreciation con that she puts on every year. It was my second time attending it and I love it. She’s keeping it small and informal with a loose schedule during the day and fun parties at night. All of this is great because it provides a place for authors to meet with readers, sit around and talk in a comfortable, low-key environment. Honestly, it’s probably my fav con going right now.

Today I’m getting back to work on Jeweled, my historical fantasy (steampunkish) menage a trois romance for Berkley Heat. I need to write a lot on it today, which is good since it will keep my mind off the new release. Before I start to write, though, I need to go home and pick all the gravel out of my palms. *whimper*

Have a great day, all!

Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Snippet Saturday: The First Paragraph

I do love to write that first paragraph. 🙂 I like to tease a little and hook the reader if I can. Here are a couple of mine:

From Sweet Enchantment (releasing Tuesday in the Hot for the Holidays anthology):

Bella had vowed to never bind her life to this man’s. Now here she was, about to do it. Worse, she’d made the decision only two seconds after learning of his predicament.

And from Wicked Enchantment (releasing January, 2010):

“SEX incarnate,” the women and men around her whispered.
“Half incubus.”

Okay, that was the first paragraph. Seems kinda mean to leave it at that. Want more?

Aislinn didn’t know if it was true, but she did know the
man was Unseelie in a Seelie Court. That didn’t happen very
often, so she stared just like everyone else as he passed down
the corridor.

Dressed head to toe in black, wearing Doc Martens, a pair
of faded jeans, and a long coat over a thin crewneck sweater
that defined his muscular chest, he seemed to possess every
inch of the hallway he tread. He walked with such confidence
it gave the illusion he took up more space than was physically
possible. Seelie nobles shrank in his wake though they tried to
stand firm and proud. Not even the most powerful ones were
immune. Others postured and drew up straighter, offering
challenge to some imaginary threat in their midst. Not even the
gold and rose–bedecked Imperial Guard seemed immune from
his passing, as if they sensed a marauder in their midst.

And maybe this man was a marauder.

Want even more snippets? Check out all these other authors also participating in today’s Snippet Saturday.

Kelly Maher
Jody Wallace
Shelli Stevens
Michelle Pillow
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Jaci Burton
Elisabeth Naughton
McKenna Jeffries
Moira Rogers
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Juliana Stone
Anya Bast
Lacey Savage
Shelley Munro
Sasha White
Ashley Ladd

Friday, September 25th, 2009
Anthologies — Love Them or Hate Them?

Somehow I got lucky enough to be included in an anthology with Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, and Allyson James. It’s called Hot for the Holidays and it releases on Tuesday, September 29th. I admire all these authors greatly and have for some time. I’m not sure what good deed I may have done to have the honor of being included in an anthology with them, but I’m not complaining.

My story in the anthology is titled Sweet Enchantment and it will be the first installment of my new Dark Magick series. However the novella is totally stand alone and you don’t need to read it in order to follow the series.

I say that up front because I’ve heard from readers that one of their pet peeves is having to buy an entire anthology just to read one small installment of a series. So I made sure that anyone intending to follow my new series can start with Wicked Enchantment (Jan, 2010) if they don’t want to buy the Hot for the Holidays anthology. ***

Which brings me to the subject of this post. I asked this question recently in another forum and found the answers so interesting, I wanted to ask it again here.

As a reader I tend to like anthologies. Usually I’ll buy them for one or maybe two of the authors, but I’ll end up reading all the stories in the book. Sometimes that’s how I find new authors to follow. As an author I like them too, since I’ve had many readers tell me that’s how they found me. 😉 The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance is a good example. I can’t count the number of emails I’ve had from people who discovered me through the tiny little seven thousand word story I wrote for that one.

So, dear readers, how about you? Do you like anthologies? Dislike them? Can you think of an author you found through an anthology who then became an autobuy for you? Do you have any favorite anthologies? Tell me all about it. This fine Friday I’m at Lora Leigh’s Reader Appreciation Weekend, so I may not be replying to comments. I am, however, and as always, reading them with interest.

*** Of course, why wouldn’t you want to buy the anthology? Lora Leigh! Angela Knight! Allyson James! Cool fae-themed novella from me!