Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meet my good friend, Regina Carlysle!

Regina has been my inspiration since I first came to Ellora's Cave...

Her books are fabulous, and and here is the newest!

Eagle's Refuge

Book three in the Texas Passions series.

When Callista Hill settles in tiny Morgan’s Creek, she vows to make a better life for herself. She never figured lust and screaming-hot orgasms were part of the equation. One look at the local bar owner and she’s flooded with the need to have him in her bed. He burns her to ash with every erotic touch, bringing her sex-starved body achingly to life.

The instant dark, moody Mac Moreno claps eyes on Callie, he knows he wants her. Her lush curves turn him inside out and have his libido racing from zero to sixty in three seconds flat. Burning up the sheets with this sassy, sweet lady brings him back to life. But when her stalking ex hunts her down, will Callie run?

Not if Mac can help it.

An Excerpt From: EAGLE’S REFUGE

Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2010

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One

Mac Moreno leaned back against the corral fence and looked out over land that now belonged, in part, to him. A year ago, he would never have imagined such a thing but with Joe Morgan’s death, the White Eagle Ranch had been split into thirds, leaving his half sister Leah, half brother Dash and himself with a legacy that was pretty overwhelming to a guy who’d scratched out a living alone for most of his life.

Heavy noonday sunshine beat down on him. Mac swept the battered straw cowboy hat from his head and mopped his sweaty brow with a bandana he kept tucked in his back pocket.

Damn hot today.

A savage shriek ripped through the air. Mac squinted at the violently blue Texas sky and watched a lone eagle glide through that vivid palette to land on the roof of the barn where it pierced him with an unblinking gaze. Eagle and man shared a moment of utter communion. No doubt the bird of prey wondered what the hell a nobody like himself was doing out here laying claim to this land, this ranch.

Mac had asked himself the same question a million times over the past few months. Sending his gaze over the immediate area, taking in the stately ranch house in the distance, the corrals, the barn, he wondered about the fickleness of fate. His mother Elena had been the housekeeper for Joe Morgan thirty-odd years ago and on one hot Texas night, she’d slept with the boss and wound up pregnant. That event had ended her employment at White Eagle Ranch and she’d moved on to clean the houses of wealthy folks in the town of Morgan’s Creek, scratching out a living as a single mother until the day she’d died.

Mac’s jaw tightened.

As he shifted his gaze to the side of the barn, memories assaulted him, bitter and ultimately humiliating. He’d been sixteen, a gangly kid who knew full well the rich, powerful Joe Morgan was the father who’d never claimed him, never wanted him.

“What the hell are you doing here, boy?”

Mac swallowed hard. His hands were shaking but he didn’t want his father to see so he shoved them in the pockets of his jeans and tried like hell to look cool. “Looking for work, sir.”

Joe scowled at him. He was a big man with a shock of white hair and as intimidating as hell. This was the man who didn’t want him, didn’t speak to him on the streets of Morgan’s Creek, the town that bore his name. The big man looked down and then up, taking him in, sizing him up, and Mac knew Joe Morgan didn’t like what he saw. Nope. He didn’t measure up but had he thought he would? He’d been fooling himself.

“Aren’t you Elena Moreno’s kid?”


Silence fell. Mac sucked in a breath and held it. What the hell had he been thinking? Had he imagined his dad would call him son and hug him like he meant it?

Suddenly Mac felt stupid and dumb and more on the outside than ever before.

Why would the all-powerful Joe Morgan ever in a million years acknowledge a poor Mexican kid from the wrong side of the tracks? To most of the town, Mac was nothing but trash. He had no hope of college and could lay claim to no kind of future. Hell, his mom had saved for years just to buy him a class ring so he could remember his high school days. Dumb thing but it made Elena proud to do it. She’d saved every dime so he could have a couple of new pairs of jeans at the start of every school year. She’d worked her fingers to the bone, scrubbing toilets and polishing floors, to give him the bare necessities of life. Joe Morgan had never contributed. Not once.

In the distance, a horse galloped across a pasture. Pretty Leah, his half sister, the legitimate child of Joe Morgan, was out riding her beautiful mare, her ponytail whipping out behind her like a shiny flag. Resentment welled up deep inside him. His heart tightened and frustration dug steely spurs into his belly. She had everything. He had nothing. The fact that she didn’t know he was her brother wasn’t the issue. Mac was so jealous he wanted to just die.

He was the unacknowledged bastard kid of a rich dude who apparently hated his guts.

Mac focused on the older man and wanted to kick his own ass. His being here was stupid, ridiculous.

Joe shifted his stance and gave him a fierce look. “Think you’ve got what it takes to be a cowboy, kid?”

The spit dried in Mac’s mouth. “Yessir.”

“Well, I don’t think so,” he drawled. “Got plenty of hands and they don’t need to be babysitting you. Now you get on out of here, kid. You don’t belong here.”

Mac watched him walk away without a backward glance, standing there, his eyes burning like hellfire from tears. Then he turned and ran as fast as he could to the old beat-up truck he’d borrowed from a friend. Slamming the door of the truck, he rubbed his stinging eyes before driving away.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And we have two winners!

The back list contest winner for First and Ten is Tamsyn!

Congrats! Your prize is on its way!

The back list contest winner for
Dictated by Fate is Molly!

Congrats! The book is on its way!

Sorry...I meant to do this tomorrow morning, but I promised Regina I would blog about her new release on the 23rd, and she is in Houston right now...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Promoting Back list Books...

Here is a great little novella with a tiny pricetag...

First and Ten
Fran Lee
Resplendence Publishing

This one came out last year, and is priced at the pittance of $3.00! How on earth can you lose at that price? :) Here is the blurb:

A Carnal Reunions tale...

What Fran Jamison and Jack Gerrard have in common, you could balance on the head of a pin. And to make things worse, Jack blew his chances to hell back in High School with the BBW.

Neither goes to their 10th college reunion expecting sparks to fly, but when they collide in the airport, painful old memories quickly evaporate to make way for two people desperately needing to scratch 12-year-old itches.

Jack royally blew it when he let other people's opinions stop him from pursuing the 5'11" bombshell so many years back, and by the time he realized he was a jackass and tried to apologize, a traumatized and hurt Fran had shredded his ego in public, leaving him to lick his wounds and move on.

She thought she would hate him on sight. She didn't. She thought she could walk away. She couldn't. She certainly didn't expect to find herself making out like a madwoman on the hood of a borrowed car in the airport parking ramp. But she did expect one thing...she was not going to walk away again. Not when he was so damn good at scratching those itches...




Hello to all of Gracie’s Girls, class of 1999. Once again, thanks to all of you for the flowers and phone calls after my aunt Gracie’s passing last winter. You all meant so much to her, and to me.

As I’m sure you all know, our tenth college reunion is coming up this summer. Since I now have Gracie’s big rambling house all to myself, I’d like to extend an invitation. If any of you are coming back for the reunion, you’re more than welcome to stay here, in your old rooms. Gracie quit taking in college students several years back, so there’s no one here but me, and I’d love to have some company while I’m getting the house ready to put on the market. So what do you say? One last time as roommates? It would be great to see all of you again.



* * * *

She hadn’t planned to attend, at least not until she received Karen’s guilt-inspiring e-mail. Every instinct she possessed screamed at her to hit the delete key and pretend the e-mail hadn’t arrived, but she just couldn’t do that. Karen was having financial problems, and had to sell the historic but dilapidated old Victorian house they had all shared in college.

She shouldn’t feel so gun-shy, but even after all these years, it would be hard for her to go back and see all her old pals with the memories of her college years slamming hard into her refurbished self-image. A self-image that had taken her seven long years of analysis and hard work to create.

Fran sighed and rubbed her temples, shoving her reading glasses up onto her sleep-tousled head. She received the formal reunion invitation last week, but she had tossed it. No use reliving the whole college scene just to see how everyone else looked…see how many of her friends had kids…how they had changed over the ten years since she’d last seen them. Listen to them telling stories about new babies and favorite pets and how they’d met their husbands.

All the things Fran had excluded from her life in favor of monetary success and being “her own woman”.

Fran was a realistic woman now. She refused to kid herself. She had never found the man of her dreams and settled down to raise a family, mainly because it had taken her seven years to get past her own demented mental image of herself. And now that she finally recognized her own worth, and had learned to love herself as she was, she was way past the desire to flaunt her wares and try to trap some unwary male. Besides, most men in her age bracket were already married…or divorced and on the rebound. Or just looking for a one-night stand. So far, that had never quite appealed, no matter how damned good looking the man in question happened to be.

Men were not a necessity to life. Besides…she’d royally screwed up with the only man she’d ever really wanted any sort of relationship with, long ago.

She ran her fingers through her wild curls and pressed her thumbs against the bridge of her nose. Back then, she’d been so sure the tentative advances he’d made were simply another way for the jock community at WIU to have a laugh-fest at her expense. She’d reacted defensively, tearing his ego into tiny strips. And then he’d basically left her alone. Damn…

Only years later, after many long sessions with her uber-patient therapist, had it flashed with astonishing clarity into her mind. Jack Gerrard…her dream man… and he’d actually tried to ask her out on a date. And she had gone off on the man as if he’d just asked her to jump naked into an anthill.

She gave a sigh of resignation. The worst part of it was she had always had the most pathetic crush on the man—most girls had crushes on the hot, sexy hero of the WIU gridiron.

Even in high school, Gerrard was always in the company of cheerleaders and prom queens and the most popular girls. They hung all over him like bees around a honey pot. One look from those riveting blue eyes could make any girl drop her panties with a scream of delight. But Jack had ignored them most of the time, keeping up excellent grades so he could play varsity football. She supposed that was the true attraction.

Sure. There she went, lying to herself again. She had been hot for his ripped body, just like all the other girls. But it had gone deeper than that with her.

He had offered her some modicum of friendship, and good-looking guys did not want to be pals with Fran Jamison. So when that friendship was withdrawn without explanation or reason, it had torn her up inside.

Fran leaned back into her leather desk chair. Getting through high school and completing college had taken every ounce of strength she possessed…but she had managed it with top grades. She had avoided Jack Gerrard as if he no longer existed. She had made certain that she built a shell around her mind and soul, and in college, she had toughened up that outer shell to ward off any painful quips the guys made about her size or her height.

She had graduated first in her class, with a full post grad scholarship to Harvard Business School for her Master’s studies. She’d left WIU behind and had never looked back.

She had spent the last ten years methodically building one of the most sought-after consulting firms in the world. She had parlayed a first class education into a multi-million-dollar corporation using government grants for seed money, and a sharp business acumen that took her to the top of her profession. Eight and a half years of working 24/7 on her business. Seven years of therapy. A totally new Fran Jamison.

And now she was actually going back to the beginning of it all? She had more guts than she’d thought. And it almost made her physically ill.

She typed a quick acceptance, and then slowly closed her laptop. She rose from the desk chair and scratched her head as she yawned capaciously. Glancing into the mirror that graced the far wall…the one with the giant slogan hung over it that said “See not the world through the eyes of others”, she smiled grimly and said, “Okay, Fran…that gives you exactly four days, thirteen hours and twenty six minutes to get your shit together.”

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Promoting backlist books...

Promoting Backlist Books

To an author, back list books are what keep you solvent while you are attempting to write that next big seller. Unfortunately, without any current new books out from that publisher, those back list books sit there unseen.

Most of us really go gung-ho on the new releases, hoping to attract attention to those, so that folks will automatically see and perhaps buy one of our back list books. But that leaves some of our best books languishing in the shadows, unseen and ignored.

For example, Dictated by Fate, my full length novel (240 pages) has been relegated to that dark corner of my back list, despite the fact that it is one of the best I have written. I have folks complaining about how short the novellas are, and how they wished I wrote longer books, but this is one they will never see, since it is from a different publisher, and is not displayed on my Ellora's Cave back list, where most of my back list sales come from.

This one is over at Resplendence Publishing. Because Resplendence is fairly new (barely three years old this summer), they don't have as much visibility as other e-pubs, but they do send the books out to a great many second-party sales vendors such as Amazon, ARe, Fictionwise, B&N and more. I just got a Google alert for my one and only print book from Resplendence, "Carnal Reunions Anthology", that is selling in Hindi, in India.

Needless to say, the shades need to be drawn up, light needs to be let into this particular back list, and the spotlight needs to be turned on bright.

Dictated by Fate

Fran Lee

Copyright 2009

Chris has been through hell, and is about to become homeless. Losing that great job has left her scrambling for pennies working fast food and working temps to make ends meet. But after many months of struggling, her rent is in arrears, and the landlord is evicting her. She finally got another good paying job, but they won't let her have another couple of months to catch up the arrears. She would pray for a white knight to rescue her, but there are no such things. She learned that the hard way long, long ago.

Antonio is in a pickle. His father's will stipulates that he must marry within a year of his death or lose the huge Rodriguez fortune. It will go to a cousin, leaving Tonio and his little sister with virtually nothing. Tonio has no desire to wed...not after his one horrendous experience with love. It all boils down to marrying one of his sister's friends, and being hogtied for life to a woman he can't stand, or quickly finding an acceptable alternative. One that will last only the two years required by the will. One he can get out of, and live his life free again.

She needs a rescuer. He needs a rescuer. Fate drags them together and offers them both what they desperately need. Now, if they can only get around their extremely inaccurate assumptions about each other...


At twenty-nine she wasn’t in the first bloom of youth, and despite all that crap about equal opportunity employment, she found herself fighting over scraps with busty young things fresh off the farm, scrambling to get a job until they could get that big break—and she had lost one hell of a lot of the battles. Most likely because she was unwilling to file a job app on her back in some sleazy store room.

She had managed to snag a few temps, a few fast food stints, and one or two short-term accounting jobs that had helped pay the bills and fend off bankruptcy. But the good paying, permanent job had come too late to save her this terribly embarrassing and depressing eviction.

She had managed to convince Mr. Anderson that she was far more efficient, and ten times more knowledgeable than the bevy of busty beauties applying for this particular job, so he had magnanimously given her a try, at half the salary she had been drawing with Erlinger and Dunn. But it was steady work, and the pay was better than she’d had for the past few months. If she could just have three weeks, she would have a handle on this.

Maybe she would try Mrs. Allen again in the morning. If she could only convince her to give her another month, she could catch up the back rent within a few weeks at the pay she would be getting. She drew another calming breath and decided to try again. Anything worth keeping was worth fighting for, even if it was going to be $200.00 more expensive next month. It would be terribly hard to rebuild her savings, spending another $200.00 on the rent, but what choice did she have? Of course, that was assuming that she was a good talker, and Mrs. Allen was a willing listener.

She sank down onto the bed and leaned her chin on her crossed arms. Maybe some miracle would happen to take her away from all of this. She rolled onto her back and closed her eyes. Some wildly handsome knight in shining armor, maybe, whisking her onto the back of his huge black stallion to ride off into the sunset.

Sure. Just like the last one.

She gave a groan and shook her head. There were no knights in shining armor. There were no saviors riding in and carrying the fair maiden away from a fate worse than death. Those guys had all been figments of some writer’s imagination. Lancelot and Arthur had been myths—chivalry had only been for the rich, not the poor—and if she had brought any naïve illusions out west with her at twenty three, they were all completely dispelled by now.

There would be no rescuer to save her from this mess. She had been looking for him since she was sixteen, and she was quite certain she would die an old maid because the men she had seen didn’t even come halfway up to her slowly evaporating ideal. Of course, the only men she knew were either married but looking, divorced and on the rebound—or gay.

In her age group, the pickings were pretty slim. Oh, there were plenty of opportunities to hop into the sack with someone. But she wanted more than a one-night stand. She had those in her dreams. In real life she wanted more—so much more.

She had decided several years back that she didn’t want to get involved with married men, nor was she interested in nursing a sick ego back to health for some other woman. She was doomed to remain unplucked, as it were, rotting on the frigging vine. She flushed at her naïve thoughts, and punched her pillow into submission with an angry fist.

“Wake up, stupid!” she growled. “There is no such animal as Prince Charming!”

Sleep came unwillingly, and only after a long fist fight with her uncooperative mattress and pillow. At least in her sleep Prince Charming did exist. He was a welcome visitor to her restless nights, and as she sank into weary oblivion, he was there waiting in the silken darkness to help her forget.

He was standing where she always found him. He was looking out over the rooftops toward the black, roiling ocean, with the wind blowing his dark hair across his shadowy face, his body hidden in the mists of her dream. Strange, how she never managed to actually see him. Only feel him. Sense his intensity. He turned to face her as she floated from the door of the stairwell, and the only part of his face she could see were his lips, those sinfully wicked, curving lips that did such heavenly things to her body. Why couldn’t she see him?

As always, he said nothing. Reaching out to her, he pulled her close with lean, strong hands and took her mouth savagely, needfully, hotly. His tongue was strong, hot, decadently delicious, tasting of delights she desperately wanted to know. There was heat in his kiss. Deep, sizzling heat. Devouring her. Building within her an aching hunger as his mouth and tongue left her faint and desperate for more.

His hands—oh, those marvelous, strong hands. Hands that moved slowly, decadently, torturing every place they moved, making her hot and greedy for more. Hands that cupped her barely covered breasts as he demanded everything.

He was naked. He was always naked. His smooth bronzed skin hot against hers as her own virginal white gown melted beneath his searing touch. She desperately wanted to see all that seductive, sweat-sheathed skin. She could never see his body clearly, and it was so hard and strong, so completely masculine and hot. She could not see his rippling muscles—only feel them as her own hands frantically moved over his chest and shoulders. Her palms caressed the hard nubs of masculine nipples, and when she tried to look at his body, he kissed her again, passionately, hungrily, preventing her from looking her fill.

He smiled down into her face as he held up the black cloth that he invariably wrapped around her eyes, and she shook her head. No! She wanted to see him! And then she was lost once more in the black folds of cloth as he ran his mouth down her body to her navel, his hot tongue swirling over her skin as she clutched his thick dark hair and begged him to finish this time—just once—so that she would know what it felt like. Her body was aflame, her lips trembling as she begged him to take away the cloth so that she could feast her eyes on him.

He laughed softly at her cries, ignoring her breathless need to see. His mouth moved over her trembling lips then tracked lower over her aching throat as she moaned and clung to his shoulders.

His fingertips trailed over her aching nipples, to be replaced by his hot, wet mouth suckling, teasing—his tongue swirling seductively around her breast’s puffy tip, his hot breath making the painful tightness of her nipple even more desperately unbearable.

“I want you to—oh, please—touch me! Please, let me see you,” she sobbed as her hands dragged his body closer. Oh, the enthralling feel of his body beneath her fingers—under her aching palms. Her mind swirled in a miasma of unsated passion as he laughed and moved to the other nipple, tugging it deep into his hot mouth as his hands—oh, God! Those wonderful, talented hands—cupped her breasts as he licked, nipped, and nibbled until she wanted to die of the pleasure. Don’t stop! No! Please don’t stop.

He moved downward, his lips and tongue leaving a trail of devastation in their heated wake as he slipped down her body, his hands cupping her ass and lifting her hips to press a wanton kiss above her wet coppery curls. Oh, please! Yes!

He was pressing her thighs apart—seeking, teasing—until she lifted her hips and threw her head back, panting in desperation. She felt his delicious fingertips slip into the wet, swollen cleft between her legs—felt the heat swelling—that hot, sensuous beginning of ravening passion. She felt his long, lean fingers dip and swirl over her clitoris and into her throbbing center, felt the sweet, hot torture of his mouth as he kissed her wet sex, his tongue swirling, dipping—offering paradise! Almost—there—please—oh, please—oh—yeah…

Oh, shit!

The alarm brought her up from her bed with a strangled curse. Damn him! Even in her dreams, Prince Charming was just a frigging tease! She calmed her raging pulses and closed her eyes, falling back onto her damp pillow with a groan.

How many times had she felt him in her dreams? How many times had she so nearly felt the explosion she desperately craved? Oh, yeah, he was a damned tease.

But at least he wasn’t gay.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Cassie!

Happy Birthday Cassie!

Cassie is my DIL, and the mom of three of my grandchildren, wife to my middle child, Dave. She was sick all day on her birthday, so I thought that maybe this would perk her up a bit.

Cassie helps me review books for St. Martin's Press and others, and a voracious reader. She had taken great care of my son, my grandkids, and she feeds me well (she is a wonderful cook!). So thanks, Cassie!

Sorry you were sick all day...but we'll get that ice cream and cake in somewhere during the next couple of days.

Hugs, girl!