Monday, December 19, 2011

Giveaway - Lesserblood Lies by Ainsley Davidson

A couple years ago, I read an EPPIE winner called A Greater Art. It was a rich, fantastic sci-fi romance. So color me surprised to see that the author has revised and republished it with Carina! I loved it before, so I can't even begin to imagine how much better it must be now.

To protect her children from the despotic Trueblood, Merianne defied them by taking her girls and fleeing the planet. Even though Merianne's daughters are Lesserblood, they have the Talents. The Trueblood would train her children to use their dangerous gifts, but their methods are cruel, and Merianne would never see her girls again.

Merianne tries to give her girls a safe, quiet life, but when they befriend Thorne, a brilliant scientist, she finds herself drawn to the kind and captivating man—despite his uncanny resemblance to the Trueblood.

Thorne wants to help the girls control their emerging Talents, and he's intrigued by their mother. But just as Merianne finally accepts Thorne's help, two of her children are seized. To rescue the girls, Merianne and Thorne must risk death at the hands of the Trueblood, who will kill to protect their lies.

You can read an excerpt at Carina.

All you have to do to enter is comment to this post. That's it. Next Monday at 9am PST, I'll choose a comment at random to win.

You don't need an account to leave a comment, but if you don't have one, please consider leaving an email address you can be contacted at. That guarantees I can get a hold of you in case you win.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! For the next two months, I'm highlighting one of my Zodiac books, Capricorn: Forgotten Faces. Caleb and Leandro have kissed, but afterward, Caleb discovered that Leandro bears a tattoo on his chest that only Caleb has, and that only Caleb could infuse with the power it has. Problem is, he doesn't remember Leandro or ever sharing his tattoo with anyone.

“...If I’d had anything at all to do with sharing my design, I’d remember.”

The shake of his head could only be described as forlorn. “Not if you’d erased me.”

“If I’d erased you, you wouldn’t be standing right there, annoying me to death.”

“You can’t die.”

“How do you know that?”

To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jingle Bell Hop winner

I hope everyone had a blast with the Jingle Bell Blog Hop! Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by. I loved having the chance to share Rayce and my little story with you.

And now, it's time to pick the winner of an Amazon gift card and a free book from my backlist. I've picked a random number from everybody who commented and the winner is...

Meagan B!

I have your email address, so expect a message from me soon! :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! For the next two months, I'm highlighting one of my Zodiac books, Capricorn: Forgotten Faces. Last week, I introduced Caleb, a creature created by the Higher Powers to erase lives. He's given an assignment that sends him to Alaska and a man named Leandro. The man has proved a real puzzle, and Caleb figures that perhaps a more intimate approach will help fathom him out. This is their first kiss, one Leandro actually initiates.

The first caress was almost chaste, his ripe mouth catching on my lower lip where my skin was dryer than his. I smelled coffee on his warm breath, which inexplicably prickled my taste buds. I’d only just sipped my own, but this hinted at something richer, more sunshine like that created by his music beating down on the back of my neck. My lips parted for more of it.

He took that as an invitation.

I think, perhaps, it was.

To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three French Hens

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by today. If you're following the Jingle Bell Hop, you've come to the Third Day of Christmas. If you've just stumbled upon my blog, well, this weekend, I'm taking part in a multi-author blog hop, celebrating the holidays. If you're interested in following the whole hop, just follow this link to take you back to the hop's central page. A lot of excellent authors are participating, and there are a ton of prizes up for grabs. Go ahead! It'll be fun!

For my post, I've written a short story, using my day as inspiration. I hope you enjoy!

Three French Hens

Simon didn't mind so much not getting home for Christmas. He wouldn't miss the way Aunt Penny always got smashed on Southern Comfort and forced everyone to sing along with her as she played every Barry Manilow song ever written on the piano. He'd be free of Dad's new tool frenzy, where anyone with testosterone--and a few without--were herded into the garage to play with whatever Mom had bought him this year. He'd especially be free of the New Year's clean-up where he and Dad were left fixing everything he'd broken during said frenzy, like new holes in the garage walls or wiring that suddenly made the coffeemaker turn on every time somebody used the nightstand lamp in the upstairs guest bedroom. There'd be no game night with all the sore losers, or getting sick from eating too many of Grandma's rum-laced mince pies, or listening to his little sister Kim prattle on and on about her new boyfriend.

He sighed as he turned off his laptop. Who was he kidding? He was going to miss the whole shebang. As well as the fact that the only person who didn't mock him for using the word shebang in everyday conversation was his nephew Cooper who still thought Simon was the coolest guy ever even though Christmas was the only time he ever got to see the kid.

The faint strains of Christmas music filtered through his closed door. Though the party wasn't in the office, everybody else had stopped working at lunchtime, getting prepared early to walk over as a group to the restaurant down the street the company had reserved for their holiday blowout tonight. The Paris satellite office wasn't that big--only eighteen people, almost half of which were out on a daily basis on face-to-faces with clients--but VMI believed in celebrating success. Simon had seen the numbers for the Christmas budget. Small countries could run on what VMI was throwing at their employees this holiday season.

He wasn't going. Though he'd been working in the Paris office for a few weeks now, he didn't feel like pretending he was happy about spending Christmas alone. The conversion to the new warehousing system had to be fully operational--which meant coded, tested, and installed--before the New Year. Nine days to get it done, which was why he couldn't afford to lose any of them by flying back to San Francisco to see his family. Add in the fact that he didn't really need to watch his office crush--a guy named Rayce with killer blue-green eyes who zipped through the streets of Paris on his motorcycle like he had a death wish--flirt with everyone with a pulse except Simon, and the whole night had misery written all over it.

So he had a plan. Because he didn't normally log off work before six, if he was already gone by the time the others came looking for him, he'd be safe.

Safe went out the window when the doorknob turned in his grasp and he was brought up short by the one person guaranteed to foil his plans.

"There you are." Claudie's upturned smile beamed as bright and innocent as always, but the calculating gleam in her brown eyes gave away the fact she knew exactly what he'd been about to do. Her pixie-like youth fooled almost everyone. Only those in the inner circle understood how dangerous that facade truly made her. But a woman didn't reach a VP position like hers by the age of twenty-six without a few tricks. "Just the man we're looking for."

We included Claudie and the two women flanking her. The Juliettes. Juliette #1 was the office receptionist, a voluptuous fortysomething divorced mom with a Brad Pitt fetish and a yen for Buttery Nipples, while Juliette #2 ranked low girl on the marketing totem pole, a soft-spoken, bottle blonde who'd shocked Simon his first day with her encyclopedic knowledge on all things eight-legged. The trio dogged Simon's free, and not so free, time. Not maliciously. He didn't think there was a malicious bone between all three bodies. He liked to imagine them as the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty. Except more organized. And French.

"You found me," he said. "What can I do for you ladies?"

"Now how's that in the spirit of Christmas?" Stepping forward, Claudie looped her arm through his, trapping his laptop case between them. "Christmas is about giving, what we can do for you."

"And good will," chimed in Juliette #1.

"Don't forget mistletoe," came from Juliette #2.

"Which, of course, leads to kissing."

"And then more kissing."

"And we're getting a little ahead of ourselves," Claudie said. "Come. Let's go to the party, shall we?"

The party was the last place he wanted to be. "Actually, I'm not feeling very well," he tried. He hunched his shoulders a little and grimaced to simulate a stomachache. "Something at lunch disagreed with me, I think."

"You had half a cheese sandwich and coffee," Juliette #1 said. "How could that make you sick? You eat it every day."

His lips tightened into a hard line. Damn it. He'd forgotten she knew everything on everyone when it came to their schedules and eating habits.

"You just need something to distract you." Claudie tugged at his arm, but he kept his feet glued to the floor which only ended up in him bowing over even farther. "The party is perfect for that."

Technically, Claudie outranked him. His director position back in San Francisco was vital, certainly important enough to make him the go-to guy in the international conversions, but this wasn't his native soil and her title carried more weight than his. If she wanted, she could order his attendance and not bat a thickly mascaraed eyelash. That wasn't her style, though.

"We have a surprise, just for you."

That was.

As gracefully as his overladen shoulder allowed, he extricated himself from her grip and stepped back. "I'm not so good with surprises."

"You don't have to be." Juliette #2 came around to his other side, leaving #1 blocking the doorway. He wouldn't get through it now without bowling her over. "We've done all the work for you."


"It's not work," Claudie said quickly. She shot #2 a sharp glare that vanished as fast as it had appeared when she swiveled back to Simon. "Why would we give you a Christmas gift that was work?"

"So...this is a gift."

"Of course."

"And you couldn't just give it to me here?"

All three of them tittered. Only French girls could do that and not make it sound ridiculous.

"It's not wrapped," #1 said.

#2 looked thoughtful. "It's got a bow."

Another round of titters.

"It's too big to carry through the office," Claudie explained. "You have to come out and get it."

Her trap was so blatant, he was almost disappointed. Of course, there wasn't a gift. This was their way of making sure he went to the party. Somehow, Claudie had figured out he didn't want to go and planned this ambush to guarantee he attended.

He made one last ditch effort for freedom. "This seriously couldn't wait until tomorrow? I could get it when I come in."

Claudie shook her head. "Now."

With a sigh, he turned on his heel and went back to drop his laptop onto his desk. The three women waited patiently for him to come back, both Claudie and #2 linking arms with him in case he tried to make a run for it once they were clear of the door.

The music grew louder as they approached the receptionist area. At the last minute, Claudie steered him away from the clustered desks and into the narrow corridor that led to the conference rooms. He frowned. Had he got it wrong? Maybe they really did have a present for him and they'd feared his antisocial behavior would trump their generosity.

They stopped at a closed door, one without a window so he couldn't get a glimpse of what might be inside. Claudie disengaged from his arm and reached for the doorknob, glancing back and smiling as she pushed it open. "Merry Christmas, Simon."

The light was on, but the only thing the long conference table had on it was Rayce's backside as he leaned against it. He straightened when they appeared, pulling to his full height and drawing all eyes up and down his long form. Six-three, the body of an Olympic swimmer, legs encased in jeans Simon knew for a fact had the most delicious wear across the seat, a white, long-sleeved sweater molded over his broad shoulders...and a big red bow hanging around his neck.

Rayce smiled, and everything inside Simon knotted together into a bow Martha Stewart would be jealous of. "Merry Christmas, Simon." His English wasn't quite as good as most of the office's, but his heavier accent gave his baritone a lilt that was better than any vibrator Simon could've bought and laid directly on his balls.

"What's this?" Simon croaked.

"Your gift," Claudie announced proudly. "Nobody should be alone for Christmas."

"But..." Words failed him. He didn't get it.

"You don't have to go to the party." Claudie's voice had taken on a gentler tone, as if she could feel his confusion. "It's been obvious you didn't want to for days."

"This was my idea," Rayce added. "We'll finally get the chance to get to know each other."

His face went hot, probably beet-red from the feel of it. "I'm not...I didn't..."

"Oh, cherie." Claudie patted his arm. "You are, and you do, but I knew you'd never say a word to Rayce. And he likes you, too, so all is good, non?"

He didn't know about good, but short of skittering away like a roach away from the light, he didn't have much choice but to try and brave this with as much dignity as possible. Rayce's amazing eyes twinkled warm and steady on him, too, appreciative in ways Simon had only witnessed aimed at others, never at himself. As far as presents go, he wasn't sure if he could've come up with something he'd wanted more this year, outside of going home for the holiday.

"You wanted this?" he said carefully. "You've barely talked to me since I got here."

Rayce tilted his head. "What I say...I thought you'd be bored. You're the smartest man here." He laughed. "And I'm not."

But there was more to a potential date than being an intellectual match, even if that actually mattered to Simon which it didn't. There was also compassion and laughter. Simon had known about the latter, but until now, he'd wondered about Rayce's capacity for the former. This banished any lingering doubts.

"All right." He smiled, hoping he didn't still look nervous. "I'm game if you are."

With a bold laugh, Rayce pulled the bow over his head and sauntered forward until Simon could feel the heat radiating from his body. "I like this." He looped the bow around Simon's neck, using it as a rein to draw him closer, close enough for his hot breath to fan over Simon's ear. "We'll both be game."

Behind him, the Juliettes tittered before Claudie shushed them. As she herded them out the door, leaving Simon and Rayce alone to discuss the particulars of their evening, he made a mental note to take a long lunch the next day to go buy Claudie the best Christmas gift he could find.

He already had his.


In case you're curious about Rayce, this is how I envision him:
That's French model, Willy Monfret. I'm absolutely in love.

Remember those prizes I mentioned? I'm giving away an e-book from my backlist and a $25 Amazon gift card to a random commenter, as well as adding a copy of my 2012 Epic finalist, Capricorn: Forgotten Faces, to the Kindle Fire we're giving away as a grand prize. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the tour!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Look what's coming!

This weekend, I'll be taking part in the Jingle Bell Hop with a ton of other fantastic authors. Wonderful prizes, great posts to read...there's no way you can go wrong.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Giveaway Winner

I'm still in love with all my restructured fairytales, and today I get to announce the winner of last week's story inspired by Rapunzel.

The winner is...Alanna Coca!

I've got your email, so expect a message from me very soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! For the next two months, I'm going to highlight one of my Zodiac books, Capricorn: Forgotten Faces. It's a finalist in the Paranormal Romance category for the 2012 Epic eBook Awards this year, but I figure it's appropriate for the upcoming months.

Some call Caleb the Angel of Death, but he knows better. He doesn’t kill. He erases life. Centuries ago, the Higher Powers created him to walk the terrestrial plane, eradicating those from existence who have either earned punishment or asked for dissolution. This is the story about one assignment that doesn't go as usual.

Were it not for the instruction "fast," I could find it simple to indulge in the man’s allure before eradicating him from the terrestrial plane. His was a body that wouldn’t break easily. I knew that without even having seen it in all its glory.

But time was not a flexible mistress. I lacked it and would lack even more if I didn’t start moving.

The paper went into my pocket, unnecessary for now, but not forgotten.

To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.