Romance

Hope Restored Release Day

Hope Restored, the third and final novella in my Divine Temptation Series, released today from Ellora’s Cave and is topping the EC’s top rated list. For those who’ve read Thirteen Nights and/or Life Reignited, this is Marta’s story.  Everyone deserves their happy ending.

Marta’s hero is Paean, the brooding, exiled demigod, proudly displayed on the cover.  HopeRestored_MSR

Blurb

Marta, an Amazon warrior, is going insane. Born an empath, she cannot block the emotions of others. As the Greek gods she serves go mad from the loss of their powers in the modern world, they are dragging her down with them. Her only hope—find Paean—the demigod of healing, banished centuries ago from Olympus for crimes long forgotten.

Paean wanders the earth an empty shell. Stripped of his powers, cursed with immortality and the relentless carnal hungers of a god, he finds escape only in his music. Until Marta finds him. Her love-making restores his magic and her courage gives him something to believe in again.

When the Roman gods attack and weaken the Greeks, the Olympians wants Paean back. They will do whatever is necessary to keep him there.

Buy Links

Ellora’s Cave (Excerpt Available)

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

All Romance (Excerpt Available)

Brooding demigod anyone? #coverreveal

And so my non-writing life has been packed to the max, taking on that almost nonsensical level of busyness that marks the 21st century where the digital product has taken its role in the pantheon of gods.

Somewhere, somehow, stealing five minutes here and five minutes there, I completed the third and final novella in my Divine Temptation Series, Hope Restored. For those who’ve read Thirteen Nights and/or Life Reignited, this is Marta’s story. Its about time, don’t you think? Everyone deserves their happy ending.

Marta’s hero is Paean, the brooding, exiled demigod, proudly displayed on the cover.  Their story releases from Ellora’s Cave on July 24rth. I hope you pick up a copy. HopeRestored_MSR

Blurb

Marta, an Amazon warrior, is going insane. Born an empath, she cannot block the emotions of others. As the Greek gods she serves go mad from the loss of their powers in the modern world, they are dragging her down with them. Her only hope—find Paean—the demigod of healing, banished centuries ago from Olympus for crimes long forgotten.

Paean wanders the earth an empty shell. Stripped of his powers, cursed with immortality and the relentless carnal hungers of a god, he finds escape only in his music. Until Marta finds him. Her love-making restores his magic and her courage gives him something to believe in again.

When the Roman gods attack and weaken the Greeks, the Olympians wants Paean back. They will do whatever is necessary to keep him there.

What are you thinking?

Help Me Choose a Cover

Okay, I’m about to self-publish my first story. Its called A Flicker Of Power, and its part of my Divine Temptation series. Its number 1.5, between Thirteen Nights and Life Reignited.  The first thing I’m trying to master is making a cover.  I’ve come up with several variations. Take a look then vote as to which one you like better. Or just leave a comment telling me what you think.  Here goes.

Option1                                                                                                                                                                                 Option 2

A Flicker of Power_textA Flicker of Power_lightning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 3

                                                                                                                                      Option 4

A Flicker of Power_BW       A Flicker of Power_light

Jennifer James/Mina Carter Double Cover Reveal #romance

Jennifer James/Mina Carter Double Cover Reveal Tour Kit

Peyton’s Ride (Riding with the Hunt #1) by Jennifer James

JJ_Peytons ride_MBlurb–Peyton’s Ride

Divorcee Peyton Reynolds is ready to get out of town after her mother’s death. A month long cross country ride on her Harley, free from her estranged family’s judgement and the memories of her ex-husband’s betrayal. A last check-up on her new cruiser leaves her alone in the garage with sexy town bad boy, Ian Coghlan.

Ian Coghlan knows he’s nothing but bad news for a woman like Peyton. His killer affection has held him back from acting on a five year old attraction. One tiny grin in the gorgeous, curvy, brunette’s direction and sockets start flying out of the tool boxes.

Pixie pranks abound, his old biker gang roars into the parking lot…and that’s only the beginning of the mayhem.

When Peyton is left bleeding to death, he has to decide if he can let her go or if he’s willing risk her eternal hatred for changing her life forever.

Links–Peyton’s Ride

Goodreads

About the Author–Jennifer James

For a girl whose first book was called “The Scariest Forest Ever,” the jump to romance may seem to be a far one. But a love of happy endings and the stories she kept making up in her head for strangers on the street lead to an unhealthy amount of time spent behind the keyboard typing away and giggling mischievously over sassy heroines,

sexy heroes, and healthy sprinklings of geek humor.

With time split between a day job staring at teeth, two little girls, college courses, workaholic husband, and too many voices in her head, Jennifer still finds time to sneak off and devour all the books she can find – even if it means hiding in the closet to read them.

She insists on her jokes being dirty, drinks spiked, and tattoos placed in intriguing, muscular places you can only find when the clothes come off.

Author Links–Jennifer James
Website— http://www.authorjenniferjames.com/

Blog— http://www.authorjenniferjames.com/?page_id=14

Facebook— https://www.facebook.com/JenniferJames.Author

Twitter— https://twitter.com/JenniferJames34

Goodreads— https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6444267.Jennifer_James

The Reaper and the Cop by Mina Carter

MC_ReaperandtheCop

Blurb–The Reaper

Death’s big business. For Laney Larson, it’s a full time job.

The latest in a long line of Reapers, Laney hits Liberty, Oakwood expecting the usual ‘reap and run’ type of job. However the small town holds far more secrets than she expects, including a sexy cop who blind-sides her reaper instincts big-time.

Liberty. It used to be a nice town until the things that go bump in the night moved in.

Detective Troy Regan moved to Liberty to claw back a little of his soul after working homicide in the big city. But the sleepy little down has problems of the paranormal kind and it’s police department have gone from calls about lost cats to Boggarts in the basement. Then the seriously nasty stuff moved in.

Sparks fly when a sexy Reaper meets a hot as hell Cop…

Troy’s not sure exactly what flavour of paranormal Laney is, but he doesn’t care. She’s tiny, delicate and gorgeous. When he finds a Lycan looming over her in an alley, all his protective instincts flare up. He needs to get her home, keep her safe…in his bed.

But is she the answer he’s been looking for to fill the empty spot in his heart, or the most dangerous creature he’s ever met?

Links–The Reaper

Goodreads

About the Author–Mina Carter

Mina was born and raised in the East Farthing of Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England) and spend her childhood learning all the sorts of things generally required of a professional adventurer. Able to ride, box, shoot, make and read maps, make chainmail and use a broadsword (with varying degrees of efficiency) she was disgusted to find that adventuring is not considered a suitable occupation these days.

So, instead of slaying dragons and hunting vampires and the like, Mina spends her days writing about hot shifters, government conspiracies and vampire lords with more than their fair share of RAWR. Turns out wanna-be adventurers have quite the turn of imagination after all…

(But she keeps that sword sharp, just in case the writing career is just a dream and she really *is* an adventurer.)

The boring part: A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She’s addicted to coffee and would like to be addicted to chocolate, but unfortunately chocolate dislikes her.

Author Links–Mina Carter

Website— http://mina-carter.com/

Blog–http://pinterest.com/minacarter77

Facebook— http://facebook.com/mina.carter

Twitter–  http://twitter.com/minacarter

Goodreads– http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2920063.Mina_Carter

Giveaway

There is a reveal wide swag giveaway from Jennifer and Mina as well that ends. 2/14.

Reveal Party!

Join us for some FB fun and a Cover Reveal Party! Games, prizes, authors acting a little crazy. Guaranteed to be a good time. February 1st, 2014  6pm-10pm EST

To join visit… https://www.facebook.com/events/580802852013388/

Guest #Author MJ Flournoy’s A Matter of Trust

A_Matter_Of_Trust_Final_BANNERI am so pleased to welcome guest author MJ Flournoy to my blog today to discuss her recent release, A Matter of Trust. Welcome MJ.

While watching a news account of the rescue of an abducted child, I became absorbed in the story. So much so, that I took that one event and built an entire plot around it. The person in the news story encountered a small child and her intuition told her something was wrong. Being a teacher, I have often encountered situations where that intuition kicked in to help a child. Often teachers have a sort of sixth sense where the well-being of students is concerned.

I took that grain of an idea and built it into the plot of A Matter of Trust. Jolie Wyngate is a teacher with a gift, or curse, depending on how she views it. She tries to keep knowledge of her ability undercover, but when the well being of a child is at risk, she has to use her ability, regardless of the personal cost.

What would you do in a similar situation? If you had a special gift, but sharing that gift could cause you to lose the career you’d worked hard to establish, would you do it? Would you do the right thing regardless of personal costs?

I like to think that I would rise to the occasion. That my innate sense of always “do what is right, regardless,” would be strong enough to help me do what my conscious insisted I do.

That is exactly the dilemma Jolie faces in A Matter of Trust. She has learned through many personal setbacks that sharing her gift with others usually came with a steep price for her personally. Now she faces the ultimate challenge.

Mac Carlson is a man on a mission. Ex-Navy SEAL and security expert, Carlson’s mission is to save a kidnapped child. Jolie shows up on his radar as his major suspect. With serious trust issues on both sides, it seems unlikely that these two will be able to work together to save the kidnapped child, let alone develop a serious relationship.

Add to that the presence of the Maniac, the disembodied voice that is the source of much of Jolie’s information and the plot becomes very complicated. A Matter of Trust, by MJ Flournoy, available now.

A_Matter_Of_Trust_Final_LARGE

Excerpt:

A Coke, a fat one, or an orange soda.

“Not gonna happen.” Jolie Wyngate shrugged, climbed from her car and hurried toward the convenience store to pick up a quick snack before continuing on her way south.

And why not?

“Because I have to drive another hundred and fifty miles, and I don’t intend to stop every half hour for potty breaks.”

You are so not any fun! It’s just a Coke, for Pete’s sake.

“And you, lady, are so predictable.”

Make it chocolate then.

Jolie smiled. Chocolate, a compromise with which she could live. “Right.”

And stop speaking out loud, people will think you’re crazy.

“Me crazy? Get real, Maniac, I’ve talked to you since childhood. If I haven’t landed in the

loony bin by now, I hardly think it’s going to happen.”

Humor me, then.

Jolie shrugged, continuing toward the store. She’d pick out a chocolate bar to keep her unseen companion happy.

Serve you right if I quit talking to you all together.

“Put it in writing.” Jolie reached for the door handle.

A giggle erupted within Jolie’s mind. Then, in the tone Jolie hated hearing: Shush, pay

attention. There’s something wrong in there.

Oh, hell. Jolie bit the soft flesh of her lower lip. Her hand tingled as if the door was

electrified. Shit, this was the real reason for the Maniac’s sudden thirst.

The cool, dry air of the convenience store surrounded her when she stepped through the open door. For a second, the young clerk behind the counter looked up from the newspaper spread in front of her. Nothing. Jolie expelled a breath of relief, exchanged a quick smile with the clerk, and then headed toward the candy isle.

Then she saw her. The little girl wandered listlessly down the candy isle, her small hand

trailing over the rows of candy, gently touching, but taking nothing. Jolie watched her for a moment, then scanned the store and saw no one in sight.

The child turned, her gaze lifting until it found Jolie. She tilted her head to the side, her eyes searching Jolie’s for an instant. Then she moved closer and stared up at her. The expression on the small face caused Jolie’s heart to turn over. She knelt to the child’s level and touched the riot of red curls. A jolt of emotion skittered along Jolie’s spine, but Jolie forced herself not to pull away.

“Hey, sweetie, does your mommy know you’re out here alone?”

The little girl looked about three. She continued to stare mutely. Jolie smiled at her. “That your mommy behind the counter?”

She lifted the child into her arms. Unprepared for the sudden shock of pain and despair that engulfed her, Jolie almost dropped her. Instead, she tightened her arms instinctively around the frail body.

Something’s not right.

Blurb:

Her paranormal abilities had always caused her grief. But can they save the life of a child who has been kidnapped and the life of the man she loves?

Jolie Wyngate is a middle school teacher with an extraordinary gift—or is it a curse? Throughout her life, she’s been never been sure. Now, when she is implicated in the disappearance of a child, the ultimate value of her powers will be put to the test.

Mac Carlson, former Navy SEAL and security expert, is tasked with rescuing the girl, Rachael Anne. From the moment he meets Jolie, his suspicious and protective nature sets its sights on her as a prime suspect. Can Jolie clear her name and gain this man’s hard-won trust?

More importantly, can she save the girl before time runs out? She won’t be able to do it without her psychic abilities—but Mac has a hard enough time trusting Jolie as it is, let alone trusting her powers to lead them to Rachael Anne.

As Mac and Jolie realize they have no choice but to work as a team—and as they slowly warm to each other in the process—they realize they have a new problem: the man they are after has set his sights on Jolie. Now Jolie will need all of her abilities, and all of Mac’s strength and skill, to stay out of the fiend’s hands and bring Rachael Anne back home.

MJ FlourneyBio for MJ Flournoy:

MJ Flournoy loves crafting stories of romance and suspense. Her interest in writing grew organically from her love of reading. A late bloomer, MJ attended college as a non-traditional student and earned a degree in history with an eye toward writing historical romance.

After graduation from college, MJ became a middle school teacher, which helps to keep her grounded in the real world while her plots take her away to the extraordinary worlds of imagination and creativity. MJ enjoys adding a twist of paranormal to her plots.

MJ makes her home in rural Georgia with her husband. She has two children and two

grandchildren. Her favourite activities are writing, reading, and travel.

Links:

Trailer for A Matter of Trust

http://youtu.be/dM5jJO9KZCY

Buy link for A Matter of Trust

http://amzn.com/B00FDWOL3C

MJ Flournoy

http://authormjflournoy.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/authormj.flournoy

http://twitter.com/authormjflourno

Interview with the Hero: LIAR, LIAR, Alexa Bourne’s New Release

I’m thrilled to host my writer buddy Alexa Bourne who is touring with her newest book, LIAR, LIAR. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?  In this post, she’d interviewing her sexy, bounty hunter hero. Take it away Lexi.

Liar,-Liar200x300

Hello and thank you to Sabrina Garie for hosting me today! My latest book, LIAR, LIAR, was just released by Decadent Publishing.  I’m soooo excited to share this story with the world. Today I decided to introduce you to the hero of the book, Grady Cooper. Grady is a bounty hunter who works hard to see justice is served. He believes people don’t do things without a reason. But in LIAR, LIAR he meets a woman who challenges his views of the world (and himself), gets him all tied in knots, and is willing to put her life on the line for nothing tangible in return.

Alexa: Welcome, Grady. Why don’t you start with telling us something about yourself?

Grady: Thanks for inviting me, Alexa and Sabrina. There’s not much to tell. I’m a bounty hunter, which doesn’t leave much time for a real life, but I do love my job.

Alexa: I know that type of work can be stressful. What do you do for fun?

Grady: I like to spend time at the beach surfing and I like watching the Boston Red Sox.

Alexa: Tell us about how you and Devin met. What was your first impression of her?

Grady: My first thought was this woman knows how to kick ass. My thoughts after that were more about how annoying she was.

Alexa: Because she had a mind of her own?

Grady: Yeah. I mean, I’d try to talk her out of doing something dangerous, but she’d insist on doing things her way.

Alexa: And you didn’t like that.

Grady: Hell no. I didn’t want her getting hurt. Yeah, she can be annoying, but I kind of like her in one piece.

Alexa: Give me 3 words to describe Devin.

Grady: Stubborn, controlled, messy. Her office is clean and organized, but damn, you should see her house.

Alexa: What about 3 words to describe yourself?

Grady: Laid-back, loyal, and I can’t think of the word but I tend to “tell it like it is”, which a lot of the time gets me in trouble.

Alexa: What’s the best thing about Devin?

Grady: She wants the best for everybody and isn’t afraid to ask or fight for it. And well, she’s kinda hot, too.

Alexa: Okay, we’re running out of time here. So, last question. What’s 1 thing you want to share with readers about your story?

Grady: There’s lots of action in here as Dev and I hunt for…our client. We have a lot of disagreements, but damn, she’s on fire and at every turn I’m drawn in by her even more. You definitely don’t want to miss it.

Alexa BourneBio:

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.

Blurb:

Unable to protect her mother from her father as a child, Devin McQueen has made it her mission as an adult to protect as many abused women and children as she can. The rare moments she’s not consumed with work as a victims’ advocate, she limits her involvements to safe, predictable men….until she meets bounty hunter Grady Cooper. He is big, bold, brash, and has no problem speaking his mind.

Growing up in a broken home, Grady realized early on that good deeds had a price.  To survive, he learned to weigh every decision by what he could gain. Unfortunately, the successful, solitary life he’s worked so hard to create spins out of control when demons from his past shake his confidence. His boss has given him one last chance—bring in Devin’s latest client quickly, and quietly and maybe he’ll still have a job. It didn’t sound unreasonable until he met Devin.

Suddenly, Grady must make a decision: save his career or follow his heart?

 Excerpt:

If Grady Cooper had any hope of salvaging his professional reputation, he needed to charm Devin McQueen into giving him what she’d never given any other man.

He tucked his keys into his cargo shorts, stared up at the five-story office building and cursed the humidity.

And his dilemma.

Needing anyone was bad enough. Being forced to rely on a complete stranger to help prove he wasn’t a menace to society was as appealing as the Red Sox using his head for batting practice. If she refused to help him, he’d lose his job for sure.

“That’s not going to happen,” he whispered. He’d do whatever he had to, promise her the world even, to get himself out of this mess and restore his reputation. By the time she realized he had no intention of honoring his pledge, he’d be a free man and he could get back to chasing the bad guys instead of being labeled one.

Whatever it took.

He pushed the glass door open and flew up the stairs two at a time to the third floor. As he walked down the hallway, he glanced at the business names on the doors: law offices, non-profit offices, save the bleeding heart offices. Rooms of people he’d probably chased a bail jumper for at one time or another.

Loud thumps filtered into the hallway from somewhere up ahead.

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Trade rule number one: Always expect the worst. Still, the noises could have been any number of things: a fallen chair, a muffled voicemail message, boxes of printer paper being dropped. It could have been nothing connected to this woman.

As he got closer to the door with Soul Survivors carved on it, the name of McQueen’s business, the noises got louder. Glass shattered. A series of thumps passed from behind the door. A woman’s voice flew through the walls like a high-pitched war cry.

What if someone wanted Devin McQueen even more than Grady did?

Too bad. He had to put his own needs first.

Adrenaline pushed him. He turned the doorknob.

Damn it. Locked.

He shoved his shoulder against the wooden door. It budged. Barely. Inside, more glass broke. A male voice growled through a string of swear words.

Whoever stood on the other side of this door could not have her.

Grady gritted his teeth and jammed his shoulder against the door again. This time, it flew open and hurled him into the office.

Silence reigned across the room. With his shoulder throbbing, he scanned the scene. One upended chair, one thug cradling his nuts, the other, older one, bleeding from his nose and one wild-eyed woman in the center of it all. The bleeding man had his arms wrapped around the woman’s chest, crushing her…assets under his forearms.

Grady bit back a grin. If this was Devin McQueen, then some of the rumors were true. She could hold her own. But now she didn’t need to. “What’s the matter, guys? Couldn’t find anyone your own size to pick on?”

alexa@alexabourne.com

http://www.alexabourne.com
http://alexabourne.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/AlexaBourne
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexaBourne
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5818611.Alexa_Bourne

Thirteen Nights Releases Today, December 6 #Romance #Fantasy #Myth


THIRTEEN NIGHTS

IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM

ELLORA’S CAVE

thirteennights_msr

Thirteen Nights Blurb in Progress

Annie’s always been different. An empathic Amazon, she hides her emotional anomaly beneath her legendary fighting skills. To avoid passing on her genetic disorder, she’s always avoided the Thirteen Nights Ritual—the annual breeding rite among the warrior races of the Greek Pantheon. Only months away from 30, she is now duty-bound to participate. When she meets Tai, a half-human warrior who revs her up beyond legal limits and nurtures the gentleness she’s had to keep secret, thirteen nights of pleasure don’t seem nearly enough.

As a half human, Tai has survived by being faster, more lethal, and a whole lot smarter than his brethren. While the male warriors accept him for his achievements, the Amazons have never given him a second look. Until he meets Annie, whose smile is warm and real and whose body shudders with desire—for him. Determined to have her, he hacks into the Thirteen Nights database and rearranges the pairings to make Annie his breeding partner. Together, their strength and tenderness combust into pure love.

But Tai’s actions are forbidden under Amazon law, subject to a death. To stay together and alive, they must take on the Greek Pantheon and win.

Divine Temptation:  Series Description

The ancient gods live hidden among us. Their powers are waning, stripped away by modern life. To survive, the pantheons shun the mortal world.  Rebels, called game-changers, challenge the rules and join with humans.  Passion, they’ve discovered, creates its own kind of magic.  And they want more.

Buy Links:

Ellora’s Cave

Amazon

Kobo

Goodreads

Thirteen Nights Button 300 x 225 Dec and Jan

Details on the Blog Tour Coming Soon.

Friends with Benefits: Anya Richards’ Pre-Release Tour for Jaguar in the Sun

I am so pleased to welcome my EC peep, whose books I love, to my blog for her pre-release tour.  Welcome Anya Richards.

On the Tenth Day of Pre-Release the author gave to me…
…Friendship.

Have you ever turned around and realized someone you’ve known for a while has become a true and valued friend? One who’s friendship has become more important than you even realized? Sometimes we don’t even recognize just how precious a friendship is until we’re on the brink of losing it. Yet, sometimes what we’re assuming is strictly friendship, or even potentially just friends-with-benefits, is actually a harbinger of something more…

AR book cover

Cassie, the heroine of Jaguar in the Sun, book four in the Unveiled Seductions series, available December 4, 2013, admires the hero, Xbal for more than just his good looks. Sure, he’s gorgeous, but she also likes his characteristically cool and calm personality, business acumen and style. They share a love of music and the discovery and promotion of new and exciting bands and, although she’s attracted to him sexually, she’s comfortable with him too:

Neither of them said much for a while as they tucked in to the delicious meal. Partway through Cassie realized how nice it was to feel so comfortable with a man there was no pressure to make conversation, allowing her to enjoy eating the way she liked to.
As she was sopping up the last of her sauce with a heel of crusty bread, Cassie glanced up and found herself once more the focus of Xbal’s considered stare. Immediately, between one heartbeat and the next, her body went from contented to red-alert as a rush of awareness prickled across her skin.

And it takes something big, a life-changing event, to risk muddying the waters of friendship with sex, but Cassie knows it’s now or never if she wants to experience the thrill of being intimate with Xbal. What she hasn’t taken into consideration is just how closely linked friendship is to love…

Anya Richards
Journeys Through Seduction
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Jaguar in the Sun
Anya Richards

Book four in the Unveiled Seductions series.
Cassandra Solinar has a bucket list and jaguar god Xbal Montegro is on it. About to undergo an essential rite she won’t survive, she wants to wring every ounce of pleasure out of the time left. Including discovering if Xbal’s sex magic technique is as good as rumored.

It’s no hardship for Xbal to accept Cassandra’s invitation for one erotic encounter, but far more difficult to let her go once he gets a taste of the explosive passion between them. Now he’s determined to hold on to her, no matter what.

Cassie can’t tell Xbal the truth about what she’s about to do. It’s illegal, but without her death the entire world will perish. It’s a job she’s been preparing for from birth, but the loss will be greater now. For in Xbal she finds a soul-deep connection she doesn’t want to lose, and the one thing she made a point of not putting on her bucket list—love.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

AR graphic

My First SFR Brigade Presents: Snippets from Thirteen Nights

THE SFRB Presents

Rules: Snippet from my WIP for PG-13 audiences.  No problem. However, the book cover is not, so I’ve kept it small.

My modern myth romance, Thirteen Nights, Book 1 of Divine Temptation, releases from Ellora’s Cave on December 6.  Let me know what you think and then visit all the other amazing authors participating on the SFR Brigade.

Background

Thirteen Nights is an updated myth based on the Amazons in ancient Greece.  In my series, the gods and their pantheons still live in modern day under the radar but are losing their power due to the lack of human worshipers and the slow destruction of the natural world from which they gain their powers.  In Amazon history, the female warriors would mate on an annual basis with the Gargareans, their male warrior counterparts, to bear children. Females stay with the Amazons, males are given back to the Gargareans. It was believed that they should stay together for 13 nights to maximize the chance of a child. In this book, that ritual has been recreated as a speed dating event. Here’s a snippet of how that works. Our heroine Annie meets the first Gargarean during the event ( he is not our hero).

thirteennights_msrSnippet

A giant of a man swaggered into the now-open seat, all testosterone and appetite. Linebacker shoulders, six-pack abs straining against a muscle shirt chosen to show them off, thighs so big they could choke a horse—and probably had. Elaborate tattooing covered his left arm from shoulder to wrist, detailing every victory, every kill. Similar markings ran diagonally across Annie’s back.

He touched his card to the pad and instantly his resume popped up on her screen. Black belts in karate, kendo and Kung Fu, expert sniper, awarded the Golden Shield—the Gargarean symbol for valor—six times, hobbies included hunting, archery and jousting. Okay, the man could kill, but who was he really?

A Woman in Charge: How to Add Vulnerability to Strong Female Characters

I was cleaning my files and I found this blog post I had written as part of a collection of posts to market Next Move.  I had never used it with the way the marketing schedule played out, but I really like it.  Next Move looked at love and romance for characters caught in the morass of obligations most of us struggle with on a daily basis.  I’m sharing it now, as Thirteen Nights releases soon and starting this weekend, I’ll start sharing some of that. So enjoy. I still love this cover. 🙂

 

I adore strong heroine, especially those who carry as many scars as their heroes so that the love that blossoms between them has a healing touch for both of them.  The challenge to writing a strong heroine like Jocelyn Wade in Next Move, who leads in a male dominated environment, raises a child on her own, cares for her aging father and has the emotional fortitude to make it happen, is to figure out how to still make her soft and vulnerable when life does not let her be. But this is what Jared sees, and what he brings out in her.

Cover with cup2Here are a few of ways I did it. You let me know if you think they work or if I missed any.

1)      Changing the heroine’s usual style of dressing can help power down personality and alter the way she is seen.  Here’s a snippet

Jared hot-footed it to the restaurant after the hostess called. He scanned the dining room several times until he found a much softer Jocelyn. The auburn hair, no longer tied in a knot, spilled over her shoulders, teasing that elegant neck he’d earlier ached to taste. A heart-shaped locket dangled between full, shapely breasts showcased by a form-fitting v-necked t-shirt. The informal look washed some of the power out of her and made her look lighter, more vulnerable. Those full red lips promised wicked pleasures. She was ice and fire all packaged up, waiting to be opened. Good call, Wyatt. Peeling back some of the layers that made up Jocelyn Wade might prove a delightful evening.

2)      Having the hero see her when she does not think anyone is looking can offer an insight into the heroine’s vulnerability that she works hard to protect.

She was going to walk away from this. Why did he think she’d be different? Underneath the heat lurked a frozen core, just like Cara. Anger had him dressed and ready to run. At the door, he glanced back and stopped in his tracks. Pain had drawn dark circles under her eyes. Whatever demons lived in her memory spoke those words. Last night had touched her too. Her face revealed that truth even if her words denied it.

3)       Unexpected circumstances can create unique and interesting spaces for strong heroines to be rescued.  Even if they don’t want to be.

After the family left Jared helped her get the ruined jacket off. Big mistake. The juice molded the white blouse to her torso and revealed every thread of her beige lace push-up bra and her diamond-hard nipples to everyone in the bar.

Appreciation danced across Jared’s face followed by awareness. He threw his arm around her shoulder and yanked her against his chest to cover her breasts. “I was so right. You’re fire underneath the starch,” he whispered in her ear. She should hate him but was grateful for the cover and his look made her tingly. Grabbing her luggage, purse and phone and yelling a quick reminder to the bartender he’d be back for his suitcase, he shuttled her out of the bar to the ladies’ room to change. The man took control with panache.

4)       Show her depth through the eyes of others.  In the case of Jocelyn, I used her family members.  See what her older brother shares with Jared while they are sparring.  They are both former boxers.

Gideon nodded after moving far enough back to avoid Jared’s fists. “Most have been. That asshat of a first husband up and left after Kylie was born. She held the family together when Mom was sick. Now she shoulders Dad’s care, runs interference when I run too loose with the ladies, organizes Tommy days, when she forces all of us to make care packages to send to our brother. You want her? Fight by her side, no matter what. And take care of her. She pretends to not need it…but she does.”

Thanks for dropping by.  How do you like to see vulnerability in strong heroines displayed? What works and does not work for you?