Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mateo: Jazz Saxophonists and Kissing Carma

by Tara Rose

In SEDUCING CARMA, Passion Peak Colorado 1, hero Mateo Alvarado is a jazz aficionado, and he plays a tenor sax. He reveals to heroine Carma Mandanici his love of both the instrument and the music, but Mateo only plays for fun. In the first scene where Carma is inside Mateo’s wing of rooms at the ranch, she finds prints of jazz musicians on the wall, and Mateo plays his saxophone for her. I thought it would be fun to go behind the scenes and discover some of Mateo’s favorite jazz saxophonists.

In the 1930s, during the swing and big band era, Mateo’s favorite era of music, saxophonists like Johnny Hodges, who led the saxophone section in the Duke Ellington Big Band, were featured soloists.

In the early 1940s, jazz saxophonists such as Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt moved away from the strictures of big band jazz, shifting toward from danceable popular music that would come to be called bebop.

Coleman Hawkins had a unique, raspy tone, and he became the preeminent tenor saxophonist in swing music. He developed his style as a member of Fletcher Henderson’s big band, and later toured the world as a soloist.

Ben Webster, is best known for his time spent in Duke Ellington’s band, in which he was the leading tenor soloist for about eight years, from 1935 to 1943. He recorded a version of “Cotton Tail” that is regarded as one of the gems from that period.

PASSION PEAK release Passion Party 


We're celebrating the release of Tara Rose's new series Passion Peak, Colorado with a Passion Party.   Join us for fun, prizes and 15% off!  July 27-Aug. 2 at


Carma Mandanici is forced to confront her abusive past when an uncle she barely knows leaves her a large amount of money. She seeks comfort in the arms of longtime crush, Mateo Alvarado.

Mateo is more than happy to help Carma start to heal from her past, as well as explore her BDSM fantasies. But Mateo has a tragedy in his own past that he must confront before he can become a Dom to Carma, or allow himself to fall in love with her.

Blaine Peterson and Mateo have been friends since they met as freshmen in college. Blaine left behind a secret that involves his ex-submissive when he moved to Passion Peak to take a lucrative job and start over. He’s falling in love with Carma, right along with Mateo. But when his secret catches up with him, he might lose both his friendship with Mateo, and the one woman he can’t live without.


“I wanted an open concept up here, which is why this is one big room.” He pointed toward a hallway at the opposite end of the room. “There’s a half bath and a closet down there, and off the kitchen is a screened-in balcony that overlooks the east pastures.”
He motioned her through a second set of French doors and onto a balcony that gave a stunning view of the mountains in the distance and the swimming pool below. “I love to come out here at night and just sit.”
Carma scanned the horizon. “There’s Sleepy Cat Peak.”
“Yes. Do you believe in it? The legend?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I have about three hundred pamphlets from The Sleepy Cat Society that I’ve collected over the years, but I haven’t read one of them.”
Mateo laughed. “What do you do with them?”
“Put them in a drawer. I feel sorry for them, so I’m always reluctant to say no when they stand on the street corners downtown and pass them out.”
“They’ve been doing that since before we were born, Carma.”
“I know.”
“Don’t tell me you have a t-shirt or two as well?”
She shook her head. “No. But my oldest sister, Caprice, has one of those throw pillows they were selling last year.”
“Think I should get one?”
She laughed. “No. The colors are all wrong for your decorating style.”
Mateo put a hand up to his forehead to shade his eyes. “I just realized that Blaine can see this same view from his new condo.”
“Is that the new client you told me about?” She didn’t want to tell him that Van had already told her about Blaine.
He nodded. “Yes.” He led her back inside and toward a spiral wrought-iron staircase. “All the bedrooms are up here.”
They ascended, and he led her past the first two rooms, one on each side of the hallway. “I bought bedroom sets for both so now I have guest rooms, but I don’t have much use for either, to be honest. It’s just that I can’t figure out what else to do with them.”
“I wish I had three bedrooms. I live in a one-bedroom apartment that’s about the size of your kitchen.”
He smiled. “What would you do with the spare rooms if you had them?”
“No clue, honestly.” She laughed softly, and it felt nice to do so. Holding his hand sent warmth throughout her body. His touch helped fill the chilly places that had settled around her heart this morning.
When they reached his room, he motioned her inside first. It was decorated in rich tones of navy blue and maroon, and totally fit his personality. The room smelled faintly of sage and vanilla, which surprised her. In fact, the entire ambiance was different than in the other the rooms, though she couldn’t say why. “It’s lovely, Mateo. Really comfortable and inviting. I’d never be able to leave it.”
“Well, we don’t have to, Carma.”
She didn’t turn around, but she felt his presence behind her. The only part of his body she touched was his hand, and now that contact felt electrified, as though the air was charged with energy from a looming thunderstorm.
“Should we bring the chicken up here to eat?” he asked, softly.
This time she did turn around because she suddenly became convinced he was teasing her. She was wrong. His face held nothing but sincerity. As she stared into his eyes, she watched the emotions cross them, and just before he bent his head and kissed her, she’d known he was about to do it.
She clung to his hand and kept her mouth closed as his full lips moved over hers, sending jolts of desire straight to her nipples and clit. Carma had never been kissed like this. It filled her entire being, making her dizzy with need and a longing she couldn’t hang a label on. It washed away the guilt and the shame, and it soothed the fear and hesitation.
The scent in the room combined with his, and with the smell of the roasting chicken downstairs, until she couldn’t distinguish one from the other. She let go of his hand and wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders as his tongue teased her lips. When she parted hers to let it inside, a loud moan escaped her throat. So this was what it was supposed to feel like…this heady desire that made her feel as if she were melting into him.
Mateo’s tongue worked its magic inside her mouth as Carma pushed closer to his body, this time acknowledging the bulge in his jeans instead of ignoring it. One hand moved over her hair, softly stroking it, and the other brushed down her back until it rested on her left ass cheek. She moaned again as an image of that hand spanking her rose up. Where the hell had that come from?
She didn’t care. This time, instead of pushing away the decadent thoughts like she usually did while she was cutting his hair, she let them happen. This wasn’t sordid, and it wasn’t wrong. It wasn’t humiliating or embarrassing. It was erotic, and passionate, and she wanted more.
She moved her tongue over his, trying to imitate what he was doing. She must have done something right because the hand on her hair suddenly tangled itself in her strands. The hand on her ass squeezed the cheek, and then lightly slapped it.
Carma groaned and moved her lips and tongue more boldly now, pushing her body closer to his. An urge to grind against his erection overtook her, but she wasn’t feeling quite that uninhibited yet.

 About the Author

 Tara Rose is the author of the popular MFM/BDSM Racy, Indiana series.  She writes exclusively for Siren Bookstrand.  

Seducing Carma is currently 15% off at Siren/BookStrand. 

Win a free ecopy of Seducing Carma 

Tara Rose is giving away an ecopy of Seducing Carma to one lucky winner!
Contest ends Aug. 2 Midnight.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sherri Hayes Plays TRUTH or Dare in the Spotlight (Giveaway)

Our July Spotlight Author is Sherri Hayes, whose book TRUTH releases this week on July 25. 

TRUTH is the 3rd book in the FINDING ANNA series.  We are currently discussing the first two books, SLAVE and NEED leading up to our Book of the Month's release.  The series chronicles the psychological and emotional healing of a woman who has been rescued from life as a sex slave. Her rescuer Stephan was recently voted into the TOP TEN HOTTEST MALES in Literature.  Please join us on the forum as we chat about the series. Click here

We are excited to have Sherri join us on our blog today, so we can get to know her and her characters a bit more. 

InnerGoddess:  If you could be one of your own, or any book heroine from books you have read, who would you like to be and why? 

Sherri Hayes:
I think it’s safe to say I wouldn’t want to be any of my heroines. All my leading ladies have some pretty crappy histories: drug abuse, sexual slavery, spousal abuse, abusive and neglectful parents.  As you can see, I tend to put my characters through the wringer before I give them their happily ever after. 

Going through my list of favorite books doesn’t help with this question either.  All of the heroines have been through as much as the ones I write, or worse.  What does that say about me as a reader? LOL.

So that brings me back to my own heroines. 

I suppose if I had to pick, I’d go with Cali from Hidden Threat. Aside from her drug abuse, and losing her mother at a young age, she had a pretty good childhood. She’s a strong, independent woman, who for the most part, knows what she wants out of life, and goes after it. I also admire her strength when dealing with adversity. When she thinks she’s right, she doesn’t back down.

Blurb for Truth, Finding Anna 3:

For the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian’s slave for ten months, a fate she never imagined she’d escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has freedom she hadn’t expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not fearing what the day will bring.

There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart race with just the thought of him. Life is good.

Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna’s father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiraling out of control. He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian’s clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer?

As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested. She is forced to face her past head on and deal with the ugly reality of what happened to her. Will Stephan’s love be enough to see her through her newest challenge, or will the fragile trust they’ve built come crumbling down around them as the truth makes itself known.
Book 2
Book 1


Sherri Hayes' Bio

 Sherri is the author of five novels: Hidden Threat, Slave (Finding Anna, Book 1), Need (Finding Anna, Book 2), Behind Closed Doors (A Daniels Brothers Novel), Red Zone (A Daniels Brothers Novel), and a short story, “A Christmas Proposal.” She lives in central Ohio with her husband and three cats. Her mother fostered her love for books at a young age by reading to her as a child. Stories have been floating around in her head for as long as she can remember; however, she didn’t start writing them down until she turned thirty. It has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found helping her husband in his woodworking shop.

Author Website:
Twitter:  @Sherri_Hayes
Buying Link:


Contest for FREE book

Inner Goddess loves this series so much that we are gifting a FREE copy of TRUTH to one lucky winner on its release day, July 25.  To enter to win, either comment on the Spotlight discussions (each comment counts as a an additional entry) or make a comment below this blog (must leave contact info to win).  Winner will be chosen by at midnight July 24th. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ESCAPING REALITY and Defining the New Adult genre

If you're old school like me, you are scratching your head trying to figure out what New Adult (NA) literature is.  At first it was explained to me as YA, but a bit more grown up.  That worked for me:  a bunch of young 20 year old college kids as characters.  But then I found out that Beautiful Disaster was labeled as NA.  That sounded like a LOT MORE grown up.   I was back to square one.  So when steamy romance writer Lisa Renee Jones announced her first New Adult title, I had to know.  You see, I had avoided reviewing NA books since I didn't have a firm understanding of the genre.  But I would be reading The Secret Life of Amy Benson and writing a review.  Somewhere between fleeing forest fires and arriving at RWA, Lisa found time to explain it to me.

"The difference in New Adult and Adult is the coming of age storyline. For instance with Escaping Reality Amy is not only 24 vs Sara's late 20's because she was forced into hiding at 18 and unable to truly live, she is truly sheltered and learning to live. The thing I love about New Adult is the angst and overcoming adversity that is always present. Of course, I favor those things anyway as most of my INSIDE OUT readers and even my Tall, Dark and Deadly readers (Blake!) know. In New Adult, sometimes an older character helps advance the growth of the younger character as in Liam(31) and Amy. Often both characters are young and growing together though." - Lisa Renee Jones

Armed with this definition, I created my definition:
  • young, but past the age of traditional YA teens
  • delayed Coming of Age storyline/learning to live
  • angst (probably held over from teen not coming of age yet)
  • overcoming adversity
  • optional: mentor/teacher or partner in growth
And then I read ESCAPING REALITY, the first book in The Secret Life of Amy Benson storyline by Lisa Renee Jones.  In one day.

Conclusions?  Lisa's romance is still steamy and she is still the queen of the cliff hanger.  Nothing was diluted.  In fact, the added pressure on the heroine may have even upped the ante as she is overcoming adversity and learning to live at the same time.

Escaping Reality Blurb 

 Infinite possibilities….

Infinite passion…..

Infinite danger….

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breath? He is what I need.

 At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard down, the ghost’s of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.   

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes? 


Whatever Liam is, I WANT TO LICK HIS TATTOO!!


pearls' Review

You are on the edge of your seat from page 1.  Amy (if that is her real name) is in danger.  You don't know why or from whom, but it is grave danger.  She is (one again) on the run.  And she is just as clueless as the reader. The reader and Amy decipher the clues together.  Liam is the right guy in the right place at the right time.  Coincidence or Fate?  Either way he promises to teach her to control her fear rather letting it control her.  By the end of the story, we have more questions than answers to her plight, but Amy has matured into a woman no longer content to let others shelter her.  She wants the answers and is willing to swim with the sharks to get them.  Her angst and paranoia have grown into determination. A wild ride for the reader, full of mysteries and danger and steamy scenes.

Meet Lisa Renée

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT TRILOGY which has sold to more than ten countries for translation with negotiations in process for more, and has now been optioned by STARZ Network for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland).

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 30 books with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, NAL, Berkley and Elloras Cave, as well as crafting a successful indie career. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her through her website and she is active on twitter and Facebook daily.
Connect with Lisa:


Lisa is giving away a canvas bag with Escaping Reality on one side and Revealing Us on the other side, and a package of signed INSIDE OUT and ESCAPING REALITY goodies to one lucky winner when the tour ends.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

In My Mother’s Footsteps by Forbes Arnone

Author Guest Blog by Forbes Amone

A lot of people ask me where I find inspiration. My true belief is fiction contains a fair amount of truth. In my books, the stories are always based around a real life experience of mine. I like to take on complete memory and work it into my stories then add in a few other elements. In, In My Mother’s Footsteps, like Anela, I lived in Sausalito, California for a short time and traveled to Oahu, Hawaii. The sightseeing Anela did resulted from some of my family’s favorite places to visit. I like to put just a little bit of myself into every story.  Just like in this scene, Anela and her love interest, Christian, went to our favorite shrimp truck in the North Shore. 

We drove in comfortable silence until we arrived at Giovanni's Shrimp truck.
Parked in the middle of what looked like the front yard of somebody’s home and surrounded by several plumeria trees, sat the food truck. The shock of it being an actual automobile and the instantaneous doubt of the quality of food they served diminished at the number of people waiting in line. The ones that weren't in line were signing their names all over the truck.
How exciting!
What surprised me even more was that the crowds gathered there to eat weren’t just tourists, there were tons of locals.
“Have you eaten here before?” I asked as we walked toward the truck.
“All the time. It's delicious, but I must warn you, it's not conducive for kissing.” Christian laughed and gestured toward the picnic tables. It was a good look on him. “Go find us a seat and I'll get the food.”
I found one of the only empty tables under the shade of a beautiful plumeria tree and watched as Christian made his way through the line to order our food. Stuffing our soda cans into the front pockets of his shorts, he carried our plates of food over to the table. The scent of garlic wafted through the air when he placed everything on the table. It smelled so good.
“Thank you,” I said with a big smile.
“You're welcome.”
My plate was filled with a mound of rice, covered in shrimp, and all of it smothered in a garlic sauce. Christian brought a few extra paper plates to house the shrimp shells as we removed them. It was a messy affair, but one that proved to be worth it. The food was delicious. I moaned in delight as the buttery garlic touched my tongue and licked my fingers without shame.
“Oh my god, this is so good!” I exclaimed, humming in delight.
Christian shook his head with a slight chuckle, but seemed to enjoy it just as much as me.
“We are going to stink after this,” I snickered with a finger in my mouth.


Anela Alborn’s life is a lie. After growing up without the love of a father, her mother reveals his identity. Tragedy strikes and she sets off on an adventure that leads to more than she could ever imagine. Bumping into Christian Sivers distracts her from the real man of her dreams, her father. Will he live up to her dreams? And does she follow in her mother’s footsteps?


My brown, wooden, antiquated cottage sat on top of a hill in Sausalito. The shingles were bleached out from exposure to the sun’s rays. A beautiful, naturally-worn deck wound around the small chalet and gave me one of the best views in town. The bold, red peaks of the Golden Gate Bridge were visible through the light haze of fog over the ocean. With the hot sun working overtime to clear the sky, the fog always seemed to linger around the tops of the bridge. To my left, I could look down and see the rocky shore that the tourists often frequented. The slick brown and black seals liked to sunbathe on the boulders at the water’s edge. People would gather to take pictures or have lunch in one of the quaint restaurants that overlooked the choppy, aqua-blue ocean.
I had grown up in Sausalito my entire life. With the exception of when I went to Berkley, I hadn’t adventured into the city much. Sometimes, I'd take the ferry to Angel Island with my mountain bike and take leisurely rides or run the hills. I hadn't done that since I ran out of my mother's house, either.
Now that I had packed up all of her belongings — with the exception a few things I wanted to keep — I was exhausted. As I sat on the deck of my small cottage and stared out into the vast ocean, I felt anxious about the file that sat on my lap. Lennie had given it to me at his office three days before and I had yet to open it. The fear at what I'd find seeped in and turned my stomach.
Focusing my attention, I looked down at the folder and decided the time had come to face whatever was inside. My hands trembled as I lifted the two metal prongs and opened the flap. I tipped the folder upside down to empty the contents, finding the usual white sheets of paper that were full of legal jargon. How I wished I didn't know what they meant. Sifting through it all, I found a copy of the deed to the house, which stated that it had been transferred to my name. Also, there was the pink slip to my mother's car to be filled out and mailed to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and a small envelope with my mother's messy, artsy script on the front. One word had been written on it: Anela.

Author Bio--

Jennifer Garcia’s (aka Forbes Arnone) love of travel began when she traveled to the West Coast to visit her father at the age of three. Her home until she was sixteen was a small coastal town near Boston. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.
Her lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, will be published August 2013.

Find Jennifer on:

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