Showing posts with label Bookstrand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bookstrand. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Got Knocked Down (But I Got Up Again)

by Michelle Graham

Like many writers, I tend to have a combination of extreme arrogance and harsh self-criticism. It may not seem like these two things can go together, but they frequently do. In my case, the self-criticism is usually the more dominant part of me. I am riddled by feelings of doubt and inadequacy. There are lots of writers out there who are better than me, who manage time and produce more than I do, who sell more books, write more blog posts, and on and on and on. When I sat down to write my first book, the process was filled with moments of second-guessing myself and thinking that I was wasting my time.

So when a publisher actually told me they were going to publish my book, my ego inflated like a balloon on a helium tank, and floated up into the sky. It was helped along by addition of more publishing contracts and more books released. The only problem with that? The helium leaked out and sent me plummeting to the ground. 

All of my books so far have been erotic romance, which I really enjoy. ;)  But I decided to take a chance and submit a novel in another genre to a different publisher. And I got a rejection, but that didn’t really phase me. It was one of the bigger companies and I fully expected it. So I submitted to someone else, and was thrilled to get another contract. 

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the edits for this book, and in the meantime have spread the word far and wide that I’m going to have a book published (it’s mainstream so no need to hide behind a pen name on that one). And the arrogance took over and I was convinced I was hot shit.
Then the edits arrived. Talk about bursting my balloon. 

I know an editor’s job is to take a book and make it the best it can be. I’ve been through the process before, but it’s never been that big a deal. I know they have to point out the flaws in order to make it better. Unfortunately, this one tackled me from behind and pushed my face into a sea of criticism. And most of it was extraordinarily harsh (for example, “This is dull and uninteresting.” That comment came up a lot). The book was so bad that it needed to be “ripped down and rewritten”.
Needless to say, I spent the evening curled in the fetal position, sobbing and feeling like I’d been dropped from a building. My arrogance disappeared in a flash, my confidence shaken so badly, that every time an idea came to me, I was immediately questioning it’s validity and viability. 

Thankfully, I had the support of some wonderful people (my hubby and my Siren sisters), and I was able to pick myself up again. Slowly. But I’m getting there. With the help of a few good suggestions from the publisher, and a bunch of scribbles in a notebook, I managed to work out a new plan for the rewrites. I’ve made huge strides with it over the past few days, and no longer feel like crawling behind the couch and hiding for days. 

I’ve learned a couple of lessons. The first is that it’s important to keep the balance between the arrogance and the self-criticism. I’m not hot shit, or the next mega-bestseller. But my ideas have worth, and if I take the time and the effort to get them down on paper, someone will want to read them. I have enough publishing contracts to prove that, even if I’m not making millions. The second lesson is that there will always be critics, people who will make you feel more worthless than a bag of doggy doo. But if you let them get to you, and give up, you’re giving them power they don’t deserve. If they knock you down, get the hell up! Put on your big girl panties and prove them wrong. It will take persistence and dedication, and it’ll be a lot of frickin’ work.
But you are worth it.

Author Bio

Michelle Graham is an erotic romance writer for Siren Publishing. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her hubby, two kids, and a kitty. She enjoys doing research for her books (as does her hubby), and getting paid to have a dirty mind, and hopes one day to write about naughty things full time. 

Where to find Michelle

Book Blurb

Training the Help: Hedon Falls 3 coming April 27th

Unemployed and running out of resources, Sophie LaPlante is desperate for a job, when the perfect one appears before her. A wealthy couple from Hedon Falls requires a live-in housekeeper, and Sophie is just what they’re looking for.

Jack Sullivan, a powerful CEO and Dom, is married to actress Kendra Hughes.  He immediately senses submissive tendencies in his new housekeeper. His wife can never be the sub he needs, so while Kendra is away on a film shoot, he begins to train Sophie. When Kendra returns, she joins the training to explore her own Dominant desires. While their sessions were not intended to involve sex, they find themselves fighting a losing battle against their mutual attraction.

The three of them are caught up in a web of lust, guilt, and infidelity, all complicated by an ex-boyfriend who can’t leave Sophie alone.

Rafflecopter Contest

What could be more hedonistic than FREE books???   Join our Rafflecopter contest to win a free ecopy of Michelle Graham's new book Training the Help, coming out April 27th.  

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  Time to create your celebrity menage list! What two (or more) celebrities would you want a menage with?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Heather Rainier talks about Unlikely Heroes

Thank you, Pearls and Tink, for the chance to share a little of myself with your members.

The book I have in the works right now, Tangled in Divine, has been an experience I won’t forget. In my writing process, I usually have the groupings or couples for subsequent stories planned out two or three books ahead. By doing this, I have a clear idea of where the series is headed, and I enjoy giving my readers a peek at who might possibly have their story told next.

There are times when secondary characters get introduced that I didn’t necessarily intend to write a book for. Gwen Henderson from Heavenly Angel was one of those characters. Gwen charmed readers but she went on the back burner for ten books. I knew if she was meant to be, then my muse would let me know. With characters like this, it usually happens that their heroes or heroine present themselves and I clue into the connection.

Hero number one was Julian Alvarez, from Lusty, Texas. (See Julian’s crossover from Cara Covington’s Lusty Texas here: ). Julian was made for Gwen. I already knew exactly where I was going with him. But I write ménage.

My heart kept telling me that Chris Potter was Gwen’s other lover. But I knew nothing about him at all. Nada. It was as though he was hiding, which irritated the crap out of me. I couldn’t hear his voice, and he wouldn’t show himself. Then I met him one day and realized why.

During an unrelated Google image search, a picture of this random muscle-bound guy, in flowery swim trunks, making this ridiculous kissie-face for the camera popped up in the search results. He looked like a Jersey Shore cast member. Thick neck. Big, broad shoulders and chest. Clearly of Italian descent. I said, “No, thank you. No way. Nope. Can’t be.” Then he started talking and I knew it. Damn it. It was Chris Potter.

I showed my husband and the first words out of his mouth were, “I bet you ten bucks his name is Guido.”

I could imagine him, talking like Joey Tribbiani from Friends, when he flirts with any woman he meets. “How you doin’?”

I showed my critique partner, Corinne Davies, the picture and she said, “Huh?” Not one to pat my head, she was pretty clear. “WTF are you thinking?”

Every time I looked at his picture, I felt challenged. I started listening to Chris. I’d look at his silly kissie-face and I could almost hear him saying it. “I dare you. I double-fucking dare you to write me and convince readers to love me.”

“Challenge accepted, Guido.”

I put the picture in the book file and I have to be honest—I got a little defensive about Chris. I didn’t share the picture or even want to talk about him. He’d revealed some of his flaws to me by that time, and I was getting attached, but there was another problem. He had the body, but he’s not handsome. Not every hero has to look like a Greek god so I didn’t let that deter me…much. I began writing the book still thinking that I was screwed if I couldn’t come up with believable characterization for him. His enormous family had roots in New Jersey but I didn’t want him to become stereotypically predictable.

My husband and Corinne both thought I was insane when I sat down to watch a few episodes of Jersey Shore. Not to develop the story but because I’m from the South, and can’t relate in a family or among peers the way a Jersey boy would.

I got totally sucked in on Netflix. I had to find out what happened to the big jerk who hit Snooki! WTF? Anyway, once the marathon of shame was over, I came away with some great imagery and I knew a few new words.  

As if he knew I was committed, Chris started peeling back layers for me, and to quote him in one scene from the book, “Holy fuckity fuck!”

As the story developed, he shared his tender side with me and gradually became a classic example of what happens when a plain-looking man practically oozes personality. Looks don’t matter. I knew I was on the right track when Chris won Corinne over during one of our sprinting exercises. I shared a bit of the story with her and she flipped.

In a recent conversation regarding his nearly over the top personality, Corinne compared Chris with one of the characters I got to know in my “foray” to the Jersey Shore. I’m paraphrasing here…

Corinne: Remember, the picture you showed me of Chris? I said, “huh?” And now I want to hug him every time I see his name.
Heather: Yeah, if I was single I’d climb him like a tree.
Corinne:  It’s his personality that makes you want to climb him like a tree. That “Situation” guy from Jersey Shore should be dropped in the Atlantic with cement overshoes.
Heather: Yeah, I remember liking him at first but then he screwed up, going for the “easy lay” and I hated him.
Corinne: That’s my point. You have two men who have the same look but one makes your panties wet and the other makes you wish you had a gun license.

Chris Potter is one of the biggest, most multi-faceted heroes I’ve ever written. He’s tough as iron until he sets eyes on his woman, and then he melts like a marshmallow at a Homecoming bonfire. I love all my heroes, but when they show me as much of themselves as he did, I’m their willing captive at the keyboard. I know. I say that about all of them.

Let me show you just a little of what I’m talking about…from Tangled in Divine:


Chris hummed along with Gary Allan as he sang “Right Where I Need To Be” on the radio, while pulling into the drive-thru at Divine Drip. He had a hankering for a snack, and one of Cassie’s kolaches and a fresh cup of coffee would do the trick. He eased past the decrepit horse trailer and truck that were double-parked in the parking lot and shook his head. It looked like moving day for someone, since the horse trailer was filled to the roof with plastic bags, boxes and dropcloth-covered furniture.
“Damn, I’d hate to be moving on Christmas Eve.”
The rig had crud caked to the wheel wells and fenders like it had come a great distance through snow, salt, mud, and ice, which was slowly melting into great clods on the ground around the tires. It was cold as a well digger’s ass in Divine but wherever that rig had come from it was even colder.
He pulled up to the drive-thru window and greeted Cassie when she ran up and opened it, gathering her sweater around her to ward of the frigid blast of air.
“Hey, Chris! I just pulled some fresh sausage kolaches from the oven! Want some coffee too?”
Chris grinned at the vivacious woman. “How you doin’, Cass? I’ll take a couple of those kolaches and the biggest cup of coffee you got.”
Cassie blushed as she set to work putting his order together and called out, “Cream and four sugars, coming up! You all ready for Christmas? Seeing family tomorrow?”
“No, I spent Saturday night at home with them and came back yesterday. Got to see my folks, my brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles—you name it, I saw it.”
“You’re from Junction, right? That must be nice to have so much family, and for them to be not too far away.”
“Yeah, it’s nice,” he said with a nod as she handed him his order of kolaches in a white paper bag. “But a little loud when we’re all talking, which is all the time. My ears are still ringing.”
“I can imagine! I put an extra kolache in there for you. Merry Christmas!” He returned her wishes and began to roll forward as Cassie called out. “Wait, Chris! Don’t forget your coffee!”
Chris stopped the truck with a jolt, and laughed as Cassie leaned out of the window with his big cup of coffee and he met her in the middle. “Merry Christmas to you too, Cass!”
He winked and rolled forward as she blew him a cheeky kiss. He heard a frightened yelp and a soft thump on the hood of the Dodge, and his heart lurched with fear.
Holy shit! Engage brain before accelerator!
He squinted out the windshield and his heart did a double take when he saw the frightened little face peeking out from the fuzzy Elmer Fudd hat that was just inches above the truck hood.
Oh God! Did I hit her?
He shifted into park and sat there, glued to his seat, staring like a dumbass, watching as the fear and pain left her deep blue eyes and was replaced by absolute fury.
She slammed her bare hand down on the hood and began shouting at him. Firing obscenities at him until the air practically turned blue, she was the most stupendously, majestically beautiful angry woman he’d ever seen in his life.

 How to Find Heather Rainier books

Heather Rainier writes erotic romance exclusively for Siren Publishing at  Tangled in Divine, the fourteenth book in The Divine Creek Ranch Collection, is scheduled for release on April 19, 2013. 

Visit her website and blog at and on Facebook.

       Discuss her books on our forum at and on our Goodreads group at



Thanks for visiting Divine with me and thanks again, Pearls and Tink, for welcoming me at Inner Goddess. I love hearing from readers. 

 Leave a comment here sharing a memory of someone you’ve known who was the classic Teddy bear or Gentle Giant type and I’ll enter your name in a drawing to take place at the end of this week, on March 30th. The winner will receive a free digital copy of Tangled in Divine when it releases on April 19, 2013. **Make sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact the winner.**

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Getting Ambushed by Cute, Fuzzy Plot Bunnies (Giveaway)

To say that a writer's hold on reality is tenuous is an understatement — it's like saying the Titanic had a rough crossing. Writers build their own realities, move into them, and occasionally send letters home.

My friends and family can attest to the truth of the above quotation, because they have occasionally had to send out search parties to hunt me down and drag me away from my keyboard and back to reality. But even then, part of me is still with my characters, listening them converse with each other, myself and occasionally even arguing with me over the way the story is going to go. Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a child? Me too, but mine never left.  With each new story I simply add more to the legion that exist within the confines of my mind, and in the books I write. I’ve come to accept that having the mind of a writer is simply another form in insanity. Fortunately for me it’s a type of crazy that’s more or less socially acceptable.

As I type this I’m actually playing hooky from my current manuscript. My muse vanished in a puff of smoke somewhere around 1 am on Friday night and hasn’t been seen since, so I’ve been taking advantage of her absence to write this entry, prepare some work for my own blog, and re-work part of my current work in progress to fix some minor issues that popped into my head while I was driving home from the hair dresser. Even when my muse is in a snit, apparently she’s still willing to send me memos on where I’m going wrong.  This is what it means to be a writer, that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, part of my brain is still wandering on another plane: plotting, planning and building imaginary worlds while invariably getting ambushed by cute, fuzzy little plot bunnies who do their best to distract me with yet more ideas for new worlds and new characters.  

Some scientists theorize that there are an infinite number of realities in existence, and new ones are being created all the time. Every writer I know is living proof this is true, because we spend part of our lives forever inhabiting the realities we create. The rest of the time, we’re trying to write about these places so that we can invite our readers to come and explore them with us. 

Consider this your invitation: Come and escape with me.
Susan Hayes

 Bio:  Susan Hayes lives on the Canadian west coast.  She’s passionately in love with the written word (and a few of her more hunky creations.) Writing is her joy, her escape from reality and the only way she knows of to quiet the nagging harridan of a muse she claims the universe assigned to her.  She has written three paranormal series, The Paladin Protection Agency, Daemons and Angels, and Kismet Cove, and the novel Whispers in the Dark.  

Latest Release ~~Guarding Valentina, book 3 of the Paladin Protection Agency series

 Determined to keep hunter Valentina safe from the vampire’s vengeance, Aedan appoints himself as Val’s personal bodyguard. Then he makes sure he’s guarding her beautiful body up close and personal, every chance he gets. As the body count rises, Valentina and Aedan’s new bond is tested to the breaking point. Trusting each other with their lives is one thing, but can two solitary warriors find the courage to trust each other with their hearts?

Upcoming Release ~~ Riptide, book 1 of Kismet Cove series out April 11, 2013

Rory Frazier is destined to be the next leader of Kismet Cove, a secret colony of seal shapeshifters known as selkies. The catch? Rory can only claim his birthright if he and his blood brother Evan Sinclair find a suitable mate.

Contact and Book Buying Info

Susan on Twitter:  @capricia13

Find Susan Hayes' books at  BookStrand/Siren  and Amazon

Contest Time!!!

Win an ECopy of your file choice of Guarding Valentina!!!


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Discussion Topic:  In honor of paranormal author Susan Hayes:  If your plot bunny was a patronus, what animal would it  be? 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Providing the Blanket of Freedom You Sleep Under (Giveaway & Excerpts)

I interrupt this blog with an important message:  Laurie Roma just dropped off 2 excerpts from her new series, INTO THE DREAM, book 1 of the ARCADIAN series, coming April 16th on Siren Bookstrand Publishing.

Allison Summers is having the mother of all bad days. As a surgeon, Allie is a strong woman who has led a difficult life. She is fighting to make the best of her situation, but everything changes when she is struck by lightning and finds herself transported to another world.

Arcadian Princes Tynan, Cael and Ryder Dracor have been looking for the woman who will complete their souls. Born in a world with a shortage of females, they fear that day will never come. When a golden-haired goddess suddenly appears they are shocked, but know they want her as their mate. Allie wants to go home but now that they’ve found her, they don’t want to let her go…

When wills clash and legacies are unveiled, it seems as though Allie was destined to become part of this world. But as she struggles with her new life can she find a way to truly be happy and embrace being an Arcadian?



Allie stared up at the dark-red sky and two, count them, two purple moons in horror.


She was in a coma. That was it. She must be in a coma having some fucking weird-ass dream. The lightning must have damaged her brain somehow. That was the only explanation that made what she saw plausible. And even then she had no idea she had such an active imagination.

She slowly sat up and looked around. The air felt thicker here, as if her lungs had to work harder to breath. Her body moved, but it was as if it were in slow motion, like she could bend the very air to her will.


Allie looked around to see she was in some kind of metal structure. It reminded her of the building that had just been started, the foundation all metal beams and drywall. Only there was no drywall. There were metal sheets acting as the walls, and gossamer lengths of dark material hanging from the beams, casting eerie shadows through the room.

She was on a ledge of some kind, on the second floor. There was a big cutout in the center of the structure of the four-story building that allowed her to see the ground floor. Down below there were plastic-looking containers stacked against the far wall, making it look like a warehouse of sorts.

It was all familiar but not, and what scared her more was the colors of this place all looked brighter, more vivid like she was seeing everything in HD color or something.

This was really fucking weird, but at least she dreamed herself some shelter.

Allie scrambled to her knees as a noise sounded in the distance. Grabbing hold of her fallen backpack, she hurried toward the dubious safety of the back wall where she could still view downstairs in case anyone came at her, but she would be hidden away in the shadows. She took a few steps back and bumped into something hard, something warm…something very much alive.

Allie tried to scream, but a hand clamped down over her mouth, holding it in. A deep voice rumbled from behind her, far above her head. Panic washed over her as she began to struggle. She fought with everything she had but couldn’t free herself. She bit down hard on the hand over her mouth, but the enormously strong arm wrapped around her just held her tighter against the body pressed up behind her.

The man spoke again, his voice a deep growl that made her body shudder. Part fear yes, but part something else that she didn’t want to think about.

What the hell was she thinking?

Allie gave up struggling and shook her head, trying to convey that she had no clue what he was saying. The man must have understood because he spun her around, holding tight to her arms to look down at her.

Holy shit…

The man holding her was a fucking giant. He must have been at least seven feet tall, far bigger than any man she had ever seen before. He towered over her with his powerfully built frame. He had a strong, chiseled jaw, high cheekbones, and lush, full lips made for kissing. His long black hair hung loose around his shoulders with two braids at the sides of his temples.

The giant had on black leather pants and a soft leather vest that had a variety of knives and other weapons sticking out of the specially made garment. Around his waist he wore a belt with an actual sword hanging down the side of his leg

He was a warrior, like something out of her wildest fantasies. Allie would have said she had never seen such a beautiful man before...but he wasn’t a man. Whatever this was holding her had bright, glowing gold eyes that seemed to pierce straight into her soul. And by glowing she meant glowing an iridescent-golden glow that was definitely not human.

Maybe this was a dream after all…

That was her thought until he opened his mouth to speak again and she saw his fangs.


Or maybe it was a nightmare.

Allie’s gaze flew up to those glowing eyes and tried to keep her voice from trembling as she spoke. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. I have no idea what you’re saying!”

The man froze. He used one hand to push the hood off of her head so he could get a good look at her. He sucked in a breath, and as those golden eyes burned into hers, Allie wasn’t sure if she should be relieved or try to run as one of his large hands reached out to gently trail his hard, callused fingertips down her cheek in a reverent touch. He touched her hair lightly, rubbing a few strands together between his fingertips as if he couldn’t believe it was real.

In the next second she was swung around in his arms again, her back held tight to his chest with one of his large hands over her mouth.

Shit! The animal man was going to eat her or something.

And not in a good way…


 “You declared you needed time alone in the bathing chamber, yet you reached out to us in your mind as you shaved this little pussy,” Tynan’s voice rumbled out as he lowered himself to his knees so he was perfectly aligned with her now soaking pussy. “It is only fitting that we should get a tasty treat for being good mates before we dine downstairs.”

“Look at all that sweet juice,” Cael purred, his voice making Allie’s body clench with need. Allie’s gasp was caught by Ryder as he swept his tongue deep into her mouth. He swallowed her moan of pleasure as she felt Tynan stroke his tongue over the bare folds of her pussy.

Tynan growled with pleasure. “She is delicious.”

“I can smell her cream. Hurry, so we can have our turn,” Cael ordered.

Allie’s eyes opened wide at his words, and she watched as Cael grinned down at her.

“Yes, mate. Each of us is going to eat your sweet little pussy until you come in our mouths. Only then we will take you down to the festival.”

Oh god, she would be a mess by the time they were through with her. They couldn’t possibly…but they did. Tynan chose that moment to shove his tongue deep inside her pussy, stabbing and fucking it into her as if it were a small cock.

Allie writhed in ecstasy on the table. Ryder and Cael held her in place, and Tynan continued to fuck her with his tongue. He continued to shove his tongue inside her as he used the flat of end of two of his fingertips to slap lightly on her clit. Before she knew it she screamed into Ryder’s mouth as she came, her pussy rhythmically clenching on Tynan’s invading tongue.

When her body settled back down onto the table, she felt Cael taking Tynan’s place between her legs. Cael immediately went to work licking and sucking up any stray juice that Tynan had missed, which soon had her pussy creaming even more.

Ryder released her and moved back as Tynan leaned down, sharing the taste of her own juices with her as his kissed her deep. There was something deeply erotic about tasting herself on her lover’s lips right after he had tongue-fucked her to orgasm. Allie reached up and shoved a hand into his hair, drawing Tynan down closer to her while she felt Ryder’s mouth close over her breast, sucking onto her aching nipple.

Cael’s hum of pleasure at the taste of her had her body shaking in pure rapture as she felt the sound settle straight into the tight bud of her clit. As if he heard her, Cael moved up so his lips clasped tightly around the tiny bud, sucking gently while he flicked his tongue over it. Allie’s body began to shake as he continued his tender assault on her body. Suddenly Allie felt Cael shove a long thick finger into her clenching pussy. He hooked the finger inside her, rubbing at her G-spot with such accuracy it brought her to another startling release that made her cry out into Tynan’s mouth.

When Cael was finished, he pulled back and stood up. Tynan and Cael stared down at her with love burning in their glowing eyes. Cael reached out to stroke his large hand over her platinum-blond hair while Tynan rubbed his hands over her breasts, massaging them gently, making her moan.

Allie’s eyes flew open as she raised her head to look down at Ryder, who had taken up position between her parted thighs. “Oh god,” she moaned as she felt an oiled finger slowly making its way up the tight channel of her ass, parting the tight muscles to gain entry. Ryder sent her a wicked grin before he began to lick and suck at her pussy while fucking his finger into her ass in a steady rhythm.

“You are so beautiful when you come, little one.” Tynan growled softly as Ryder continued to torture her body with exquisite pleasure.

“I wish we could eat your pussy all the time, spread you out for us to taste and suck whenever we wished,” Cael added.

“She was so tight on my tongue,” Tynan said to his brother, “it is a wonder that we can fit our cocks into that hot, silky heaven.”

“Oh, but she likes it when we shove our cocks into her.” Cael looked down at Allie as she lay panting on the table, moments away from another shattering climax. “You like it when we fuck our cocks so deep that you feel every spurt of our hot seed when we release inside you, right, Allison?”

The combination of their words and Ryder sucking on her clit with his finger stroking her ass made her explode. It was so overwhelming she sobbed out as she came, tears leaking down the side of her face. Ryder pulled back and placed a soft kiss on her bare mound as Tynan gathered her into his arms. Cael stroked his hand over her hair as Allie tried to pull herself together. She moved to pull her legs together, but Ryder and Cael held her still as Ryder gently cleansed her skin of any traces of their play with a soft cloth.

Tynan and Cael each picked up their own cloth. Tynan used his to clean the tears from her cheeks as Cael stroked the soft material over her body. When they were finish cleaning her, Tynan lifted the deep-red dress and smiled down at her. “Lift your arms for me, mate.”

Like a child, Allie did what he asked and let him dress her. Thoroughly sated, she looked at each of them in confusion. “What about you? You didn’t—”

Cael pressed a finger to her lips to still her words. “This was for you.”

“Your pleasure is ours,” Ryder replied solemnly.

Wow, Allie thought. At times like this she was damn glad to be stuck in their world.

Code Name: Slade

We now return you to your previously scheduled excerpts.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it!... you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.—A Few Good Men

The bad guys don’t play by the rules; and the good men and women of the IAD defense agency are charged with stopping them at any and all costs.  When the fight strikes close to home, to the person that has stolen their heart—well, then all bets are off.  They are the best of the best, the elite of the elite, but when it comes to love:  the bigger they are, the harder they fall.  

Meet the men and women of IAD.  Excerpts from Book 1 and 2 
(Book 3 Excerpt from NEW menage series to be added on Friday!!!)

Book Blurb #1:  Under Pressure

Jason MacBain is the perfect agent. Tall, dark, and deadly, he is a man who lives by simple rules—kill the bad guys and protect the world. Closed off from his emotions, Jason has never believed in love and doesn’t need anyone. But all that changes the night he meets Bella Moretti…

Isabella Moretti is a famous chef struggling to reclaim her life after she survives a vicious attack. Moving back to Chicago to recover and be closer to her family, Bella meets Jason and is frightened by the passion he stirs inside her. But now that Jason has found Bella, he is determined to claim her as his. And when her stalker reappears, Jason is under pressure to gain her trust, find a way to keep her safe, and do whatever it takes to end the threat to her for good.

Bella is forced to trust Jason with her safety, but does she dare trust him with her heart?

Excerpt #1 from Under Pressure

Her screams stopped, turning into whimpers. Shudders wracked her body as she clawed her way from the dream back into reality. Bella’s breath came out in sharp gasps as she battled to force air into her lungs. She shoved the nightmare back, held onto the sound of his voice.
She could smell him, the spicy, sexy scent of him, close. Offering safety. Gripping the body that held her close, she clung to him and buried her face into his neck, just breathing him in.
Son of a bitch.
Nothing could ever compare to the sheer terror Jason had felt when he had snapped awake to the sound of Bella’s screams. Reacting instantly, he wound his arms around her flailing body and held tight. The devastating pain he heard being ripped from her was utterly petrifying. Never had he flinched in battle, always a cool steady hand in every combat situation he had been in. None of that shit mattered right now.
Jason was terrified.
Right now Jason was shaking like a leaf in the wind, and he was chilled to the bone. Her pain, her anguish had become his own. The glimpse into her nightmares had destroyed him. Soothing words spilled from his lips. Unknowing what he said, as long as they gave her comfort.
For fuck’s sake, get it together, man.
It was still night. In the darkness, Jason pulled her chilled body against him. Wrapping himself around her, he ran his hands down her back, trying to will her pain away. Bella burrowed into him.
“I’m okay…I’m okay…” she repeated over and over. She was fighting the tears, determined to regain control. Minutes faded as she finally calmed. Deep embarrassment swamped her.
Whispering “I’m sorry,” she tried to pull back, putting a hand on his chest to push away. Muscles flexed beneath her hand, and she found herself trapped underneath the large body of a very pissed-off male.
In the moonlight, she could see his face, fierce and savagely beautiful. “Never, never apologize to me for having a nightmare,” Jason snapped in a cold, commanding voice.
“I’m not finished.” His voice was as sharp as a knife. “I’ve things to say, and I will bloody well say them now. Never apologize for what that animal did to you. Let me be here for you, damn it. Don’t hide it from me. I will not accept you pulling away from me after that.”
He could hear the words that were spilling from his mouth, but he couldn’t seem to stop. Jesus, was he crazy?
He gulped in a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm his own frantic heartbeat. “Christ, I’m sorry. I’m being an ass again. I dinna mean to snap at you. I don’t deal well with being…scared. Just let me hold you, love. I need to hold you. Please just let me be here for you.”
Bella wound her arms around him as he rolled over to his side, pulling her into his secure embrace. His body was rock solid, pure muscle wasn’t that comfortable to lay on, but the immense warmth of his body helped chase the last of the chill out of her body. His leg trapped hers, and he curled up as if he were trying to shelter her with his very being. Her head rested over his heart, listening to the strong powerful beat calmed her more than anything she had ever known. One of his hands came up to stroke her hair, and the other remained wrapped around her middle like steel, holding her to him.
“Bloody hell that was a bad one, wasn’t it?” He could feel her nod.
Jason held her tight to him, wanting to absorb her into his own body where he could keep her safe. “Don’t ever hide from me, okay? We can get through this together. You just have to let me help you. I handled this badly, but just know I want to be here for you. Love, I need you to let me.”
Bella turned and pressed a kiss directly over his heart. He in turn kissed the top of her head and pulled her closer. The heat of his body seeped in and melted the bitter cold she always felt when coming out of the nightmare. His protective embrace comforted her just like the reassurance given with his words. Time passed as she counted the beats of the strong heart beneath her head.
“Do you hear that?” His voice was soft, a deep rumbling of sound that touched her very soul.
She kissed his chest again. “What, your heart?”
“It beats for you now.”
Touched beyond belief, she felt hot tears slowly trickle out of her eyes to slide down to his chest. Her throat closed up, but she forced herself to give him the only thing back she could think of. “I heard you calling me,” she said softly. “You pulled me back, out of the nightmare. I just had to find you. I heard you, and I knew you would keep me safe. You…you make me feel safe.”
Jason felt his own eyes mist and closed them in defense. Jesus, what was wrong with him? Fuck, he loved her. Those words, so simple, so bravely spoken had torn down the last of his defenses. Bella’s eyes fluttered closed again, words slurring with exhaustion as she burrowed into his heat. “I need you. I hate needing you so much. Hold me until I sleep? Don’t let go, okay?”
“Never,” he vowed, pressing a kiss on the top of her precious head. “I’ll never let go.” 

Book Blurb #2:  One Shot  

Tara Toshi is a woman on the edge. Code name 'T-rex', Tara is one of the elite agents of the IAD Agency, modern day warriors tasked with taking down terrorists and keeping the world safe. She doesn’t believe that happily ever after exists for her, until her world collides with corporate tycoon Julian King…

Julian King is the owner of a multi-million dollar hotel empire and personally runs the Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He is a man who rules his kingdom with an iron grip and knows that the house always wins. But when he meets agent Tara Toshi all bets are off. As a terrorist plot threatens his city, Julian realizes that he is also jeopardy of losing his heart.

Passion explodes every time Tara and Julian come together, but can she risk taking this one shot at finding happiness and give her heart to a man she barely knows?

Excerpt #2 from One Shot

Music thumped a steady rhythm like a heartbeat.
The low throb of a Hayabusa motorcycle cut through the night as the rider pulled up in front of the club. The rider coasted the bike a few feet down past the valet stand, then shut it off with a flick of the wrist. A valet rushed forward, reaching out with a ticket in his hand. His eyes glazed over with anticipation as he looked at the bike. At least until he got a good view of the rider.
Then he lost his ability to speak.
Eyes turned from every direction as Tara took off her helmet and shook out her hair. She had on a long black wig, highlighting the China doll look she was going for tonight. Skillfully applied makeup made her look younger than she really was and accentuated her exotic features to a tee. Both the wig and makeup helped hide her real features. The darkness inside the club would also be a plus, helping to dissuade anyone from truly recognizing her.
At least the her she was right now.
She had dressed to be noticed, wanting people’s attention on the whole package she presented instead of why she was there. Dressed to kill in a tight, black strapless corset with red lace covering that had her boobs busting out of the top, tight black leather pants, and black knee-high boots, Tara was a walking wet dream.
Tara had spent the afternoon familiarizing herself with Ricardo Mendez and his organization. Not much was known about this up-and-coming drug lord besides he was pissing off his competition left and right. Tara had spoken to a DEA agent earlier who was an old friend. The DEA agent had given her what she hoped was useful information and she had made sure to dress the part. Ricardo Mendez, it seemed, had a taste for young women with a dominant streak…Asian women in particular.
Well, she’d give him what he wanted.
Tara purposefully arrived early, wanting to scope out the crowd and watch for Mikayla’s arrival. She hooked her helmet onto the bike then turned to the waiting valet, gifting him with a slow smile. “Could you do me a favor…please?” Tara’s voice purred out in with a hint of a Chinese accent.
“A…anything,” the valet stuttered out.
“Would you make sure my bike stays right here? I would worry about him otherwise.”
“Hmm…yes, I call my bike a him. I…ride him after all…don’t I?” She traced a finger seductively over the collar of his shirt, making him gulp.
“Oh yeah,” he whispered reverently. He tried to speak normally, then had to clear his throat before he tried again. “I will watch it…him for you. I will be right here waiting for you when you leave. I mean, it…it will be right here.”
“Thank you”—her eyes drifted down to his nametag—“Dennis.” She leaned in close to press a kiss to his cheek and heard him sigh as she walked away. Tara made her way back toward the entrance of the club with a slow swing of her hips, her steps confident and controlled. Her team was already in place inside and she was ready for the night to begin.
A noise chirped in the earpiece she wore and immediately slowed her step. “This is God to T-rex. Can you hear me?”
Tara smiled to herself as she heard Adrian’s voice in her ear. “God? Sugar, even you are stretching that one.”
Tara heard Rock’s amused reply over the comms. “He’s just pissed that he lost the toss for who gets stuck in the van.”
“Fuck you, asshole,” Adrian replied. “Everyone is in place, T-rex. We’re a go.”
Tara saw her friend Mikayla pull up in front of the club in a flashy red sports car. The valet rushed forward to open the passenger door. “Lynx is here,” Tara murmured, knowing her team would hear her.
Mikayla swung long legs out. Taking the valet’s hand, she allowed him to help her out of the car. She had on a tight green dress with thin straps that stopped just this side of decent. Her thick gold bracelets and chain necklace seemed innocent enough, but Tara knew better. She had seen Mikayla use that gold chain around her neck to garrote someone a few months ago and those bracelets were very handy in a fight.
The gold rings on Mikayla’s fingers might look pretty but Tara knew that with a flick of the stone, a tiny needle would pop out of the band, holding a powerful drug that would take down a two-hundred-pound man in less than three seconds. Tara knew because she had a similar one on her own hand. All the women of IAD shopped together for their jewelry.
Both women were walking arsenals and no one would ever know it.
Time to go to work.

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Laurie Roma lives in Chicago and is the author of the IAD series. She has always loved immersing herself in a good book and now enjoys the pleasure of creating her own. She can usually be found tapping away on her keyboard, creating worlds for her characters while she listens to music. Of course her playlist depends on her mood…but then again, so does her writing.

An avid reader of the romance genre, nothing bothers her more than annoying characters. Seriously, who wants a happy ending for someone that pisses you off? She loves tough alpha-male heroes and strong heroines that have brains as well as beauty. Her novels are filled with both passionate romance and down and dirty lust-driven interludes, as she believes both are essential to a good love story. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at

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