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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP it Wednesday

Welcome back to WIP it Wednesday!

Today we'll be talking about my newest WIP, A Marietta Wedding.

I spent this past weekend at a writer's retreat and I got some great work done on this book with researching and finishing the first chapter. But today, I'll just share with you the premise of the book...

All Mandy Lachlan wanted was her own identity. All she had to do was run away to Paris to find it. Instead, she finds love, a baby, and a marriage proposal.

Julien Chevalier needs to be free of Paris and his life there. As soon as he graduates, he’s moving to New York. But when he falls for a young American professor in love with the charm of his birth city, he’s determined to sway her back to the states with him.

But will her reluctance to commit make Julien run away to New York without her? 

This book is going to be filled with challenges for me and I can't wait to get into the heart of the story. It will be my first novella-length story and also will feature a couple that is not only inter-racial but also from two pretty different cultures. It'll be the first book set outside of the US, and will be sprinkled with details of the beautiful city of Paris and French phrases. 

I'll be sure to share updates about the book as I progress. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, with Rach

As I promised last week, I'm sharing  Six Sentences from my new book, Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce. This past Wednesday (during WIP it Wednesday) I shared an excerpt from the beginning of the book, which you can check out here.

And now, without further ado, here is this week's Six Sentence Sunday.

          Amy stopped thinking as Mason lowered his head to hers. He crushed his lips against hers and she moaned, her eyes sliding closed.

        She moved her hands up his chest, snaking them into his curls, and holding him close as his hot mouth devoured hers. He pushed his body into her, and she slid her tongue out to lick across his lips. He slipped his tongue into her mouth, and she was glad for his body so tightly pressed against hers and the wall behind her. If not for both, she would have melted into a puddle of need at his feet.

And there you have it, folks. Check back often for updates on this book and more. I shall be revealing the cover within the next few weeks and sharing more with you about the characters and the joys of writing a holiday book as well as the difficulties of wanting a full Thanksgiving meal in the middle of July! :-)

Thanks for stopping by. And if you haven't seen it yet,

Friday, October 26, 2012

#Cover Reveal for my #Erotic #Romance His and Hers and Hers!

Good morning everyone! In case you haven't had a chance to pop by my website lately, I just want to share my fabulous cover for my upcoming erotic romance His and Hers and Hers! The artist is Ginny Glass, who did the amazing cover for my recent book Uncollared.

Here's what the story's about:

Kyla Denster and Jordan Brougham are passionately in love. Kyla knows she's lucky to have a guy who uses all his tricks to keep her happy in and out of bed. Jordan knows he's lucky to have such a hot, adventurous girlfriend.

But neither of them knows that their best friend, Cassie DeSantis, wants them both. Cassie's painful past has taught her not to wear her heart on her sleeve.  She keeps quiet, afraid that revealing her feelings would mean losing the two people she cares for most.  Things change one night when an impulsive kiss leads to the three of them spending an incredibly hot night together.

When the couple wants more of Cassie, she leaps at the chance to be with them. But problems arise at her insistence that no one mention the L word and when Jordan and Kyla clash over how to deal with disapproving family.  Their triad relationship will only survive if they all stand together to prove that three is the perfect number—when all three are in love.

The book will be released this fall, and is part of the Loose Id holiday series. This story begins late October and some *very* interesting and sexy events occur over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It's an FFM menage, and a bit of depature for me, but I really enjoyed writing it. 

As soon as I have a definite release date, you'll be the first to know! 

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP it Wednesday!

Hey folks and welcome to WIP it Wednesday. This week we'll be talking about one of my works in progress - Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce.

Here's a little bit about the book: It's a holiday book set between Thanksgiving and through Christmas. My heroine is Amy Easton and she meets Mason Rider in a grocery store the night before Thanksgiving. Of course, they're both headed for the same can of cranberry sauce - the only one left on the shelf. He's home visiting his mom for the holiday, and she's with her dad, visiting his old flame.

And now for a snippet from the WIP:

Where the hell was the cranberry sauce?
Amy Easton turned down the aisle of baking goods, searching for the last item Martha needed her to get. She had to find the damned can. This holiday would be perfect if it fucking killed her. The chains on her boots jangled as she hunted. The gallon of milk and box of stick butter froze her hands, but they’d been out of carts, and she needed them both for first thing in the morning.
She dodged an older lady pushing a heavy cart as she careened around the corner of the end of the aisle. She still didn’t spot the right display. The stock boy had told her it was on aisle six, and here she stood at the end of aisle six. Empty-handed. Sighing, Amy turned back around and headed up the aisle again, her eyes roving left and right. She forced herself to slow down, fearing she’d miss the display. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without cranberry sauce.
Martha was a domestic goddess. The way Mom used to be, the way Amy would never be. So when Martha had panicked after failing to get in touch with her son on his way from the airport, Amy had volunteered to go get it. She would be useless in the kitchen tomorrow, so it was the least she could do. Besides, it got her out of the house and away from the smooching her dad and Martha kept doing when they thought she wasn’t looking.
It was sweet, really. And Amy couldn’t be happier with the way Dad was slowly coming back to life under Martha’s tutelage, but she could do without seeing her dad making out. She wanted to throw up her hands or punch something. Where the hell was it?
She spotted the display across the end of aisle six. One lonely can sat on the shelf, as if it had waited just for her. She hadn’t thought Martha was the kind of person to leave the shopping till the last minute, but apparently a few items had slipped her mind this year. With Amy and her dad down visiting, she wouldn’t be surprised if Martha had been a little worried about how the holiday would go.
A tall man with reddish-brown curls was heading down the aisle across from hers, his gaze locked on the can.. She didn’t know where else to go around here to find one. She had to get to it  first. She picked up the pace, and just as he turned the corner at the end display and reached for the can, she bodychecked his cart. The cart slammed into the shelf and pushed back against her. The cart bounced into her hip and she flew back onto the hard floor, the milk and butter crashing to the linoleum beside her. Okay, not the most brilliant idea she’d ever had.  She glanced up at the man’s stunned face just as the can of cranberry sauce flew off the shelf toward her.

MASON RIDER GRABBED the can as it careened off the shelf and threatened to cave in the poor woman’s head. She flinched and yelped, but sighed when he realized it was only his hand before her face and not the can. Big hazel eyes and rosy cheeks greeted him when he moved his hand.
“Thanks,” she said.
He set the can on the shelf and then offered to help her up. She wiped the splashed milk off her hands onto her jeans and then took his hand. The slide of her soft skin against his brought a flush to his skin. He savored the heat, but tried not to let it show on his face. But as he gazed into her eyes, he saw an answering spark of lust within them.
He tugged her to her feet, and she wobbled. He grabbed her arm to steady her, wanting to prolong the physical contact between them as long as she would allow. The leather of her thin jacket was just as soft as her skin had been beneath his fingers. She gasped at the contact but stopped swaying.
“Are you all right, ma’am?” he said.
She nodded, still holding on to him tightly, and he wasn’t in any rush to let go. “Ma’am? Do I look old enough to be a ma’am?” Her voice was damned near acerbic and the spark he’d seen in her hazel eyes was gone. Maybe he’d imagined it. What in the world had he done to deserve such a tone?
She was definitely a Yank. And freaking feisty. She must be new to Austin, or she’d be used to everyone ma’aming her by now.
“No, of course not. It’s just…” How did he explain it was just as natural as breathing for him to call her ma’am?
She shook her head. “Never mind. I’m fine. I just broke my ass and spilled the milk. I’ll live. No use crying over it, right?”
He laughed at her caustic tone and choice of words. Broke her ass, huh?
“Did you really break it?” He barely stopped himself from laughing again. He let go of his hold on her upper arm, because it was becoming a bit improper to keep holding her. He licked his dry lips. She rubbed her derriere as she turned it toward him.
“No, it’s just bruised, I think.”
“Well, I can’t really see anything through the jeans,” he teased. Flirting was automatic for him. And Yank or not, the woman before him was gorgeous. He was here on official son business, not to have a one-nighter. His mother needed him. The first postdivorce holiday was certain to be difficult for her. Since Lewis wouldn’t be in until tomorrow, Mason was the only support she’d have tonight. He was already running late.
Damn his father for putting him in such a position. It was going to be hard with only him and Lewis there. Elly and Dan would spend Thanksgiving with Dad and his new girlfriend, which made Mason ill. They were supposed to switch parents at Christmas. As if Mason would voluntarily go see his father. The last thing he should do was pick up a woman in a grocery store.
But he couldn’t help the way his eyes followed the movement of her hand over her posterior. Or the way his gaze continued down the length of her legs to the leather biker boots covering her feet. Hmm. Biker boots. Interesting footwear for this weather. The women that usually intrigued him were office types or girlie girls. This tomboy intrigued him.
She stopped rubbing her nicely shaped butt cheeks and shook out her slightly wavy hair, using her fingers to comb through the long tendrils. They bounced with her every movement. Not a complete tomboy after all. The warm orange shirt she wore set off her peaches-and-cream skin perfectly, and a soft blush tinted her round, perky cheeks. She was a knockout, even in jeans, a sweater, and leather jacket. He wondered what she’d look like all dolled up.
“So what were you in such a hurry for?”
She took the can of cranberry sauce off the shelf. “Last one.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday with Rach

Welcome back to Six Sentence Sunday!!!!!!!

I was going to post something from my WIP, but decided to give you all another little taste of An Affair Across Times Square this week. So here it is...

          “What do you want me to do?” Her words shook as she spoke. She surfed so close to the edge. So close to coming apart that just a few strokes of a hand would send her spiraling out of control. God, how she wanted to be out of control.

          “Slip your panties off.”

Well, there it is. Your little tease of spice to heat up your Sunday morning. I hope you enjoyed it and that we'll see you back here real soon. 

~ Rach

#sixsunday Snip from Nona's Newest!

Happy Sunday, all! Here's a snip from my soon to be published FFM menage, His and Hers and Hers. This happens in the first chapter, before Cassie finds the courage to admit she's attracted to her best friends, Jordan and Kyla: 

"Okay. Open up now." Cassie obeyed and stared into Kyla's big brown eyes as her pretty round face hovered close. The scent of cinnamon made Cassie's nostrils tingle and her mouth water. Ky's full lips, glossed in a rosy shade, were close enough to kiss. All she had to do was lean in…

Don't forget to check out the other great Six Sunday offerings here!

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Friday, October 19, 2012

Reflections from The New Jersey Romance Writers Conference

The conference in New Jersey was exceptional. It usually takes me a while to absorb and process new information, and the past few days have given me a chance to understand what I've learned. The authors and presenters were so generous with their knowledge and experience. I was truly impressed and moved by some of the obstacles they had overcome.
Sabrina Jeffries was the keynote speaker at breakfast Saturday morning. She shared how she had to reinvent herself as an author at the same time she was facing many personal challenges.  Though she'd published a number of historical romances as Deborah Martin, her career had come to a standstill. She basically had to start over, building her career as a romance author from the ground up. As Sabrina Jeffries she took chances, listened to the advice of others, tried things she'd been reluctant to do before. Gradually, with drive and persistence, she met with success. Success? Hey, she's a bestselling author whose readers clamor for her next book! But it wasn’t quick and it wasn't easy.
 I also sat in on a Q & A session with bestselling author Susan Wiggs. Things didn't come quickly for her, either. She worked for years as a teacher, so writing had to be done in the evenings, on weekends, or during school holidays. She had to sacrifice some "fun times" in order to write—but as she put it, "If something's important enough to you, you'll find the time to do it." And it was fascinating to learn that though she was very successful writing historical romances, she wrote her first contemporary romance on spec. She had established such a niche in historicals, she wasn't sure how publishers and readers would react if she moved to contemporaries. How lucky for those of us who love her stories she took the chance!

That's the thing about these successful authors. They take chances, they make changes, they do what they need to do in order to connect with readers. I really came away feeling humbled by everything I'd learned from them.
A bit of news! My upcoming ffm ménage romance has undergone a title change. It is now called His and Hers and Hers.  It's coming this Fall, so keep your eyes peeled for more information! When I find out, you'll find out.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Great News -- New Book Title

Definitely a yee-ha and whoohoo moment! Decadent Publishing offered a contract for my MFM erotic-romance-thriller novella, BLADE DANCE. I don't have any particulars yet -- such as projected release date -- but I will post the info when I get it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Titillating Tuesday with Danica

We're baaaack!

After spending four days at the Renaissance Woodbridge hotel in Iselin, New Jersey, for the New Jersey Romance Writers' Put Your Heart in a Book conference, it was tough to leave, tough to return to our normal lives (if "normal" applies to anything writers do).

I frequently have brilliant writing moments on my laptop at motels and hotels (no, I don't work for an escort service [grin] -- my husband and I also travel with our Whippets to dog events), and this time was no different. I suffered a sticking point while moving scenes around in ALOHA MAN, so I traipsed down to the hotel lobby with my trusty legal pad and pen, and began scribbling away. Even the late arrival of a boisterous wedding party didn't detract from my mission -- by half past midnight, I'd solved the timing issues, returned to my room, and hit the keyboard.

Hindsight being twenty/twenty, working on the manuscript so late at night wasn't my best move. My brain continued to work overtime, and I didn't fall asleep until about 4 a.m. It's like having a tune running around in your brain from which there is no escape (last night, it was ABBA songs from the movie Mama Mia). As traveling companion Nona Raines already mentioned, the conference was fantastic, and there was so much to remember -- one should plan on a good night's sleep to take it all in.

I had two successful "pitch" appointments on Saturday morning, at which I promoted my/our next Sophia Roslyn book, HER SPECIAL FORCES, an erotic ex-military-themed romance with strong suspense and PTSD issues. Sophia books are those on which I collaborate with my daughter, Gina. She comes up with fantastic ideas, and then says, "Okay, Mom, now you can write the book." Kids -- ya gotta love 'em. Our first collaboration was DRAGONETTI'S MOUNTAIN, a erotic romance romp with a slight touch of suspense.

Since this is Titillating Tuesday with Danica, I hope you enjoy this quickie excerpt from my upcoming release, ABOVE THE LAW:

"Kiss me."

Joe turned into a pillar of salt, then he choked out a single word.


"Kiss me."

He thought Abigail's bright blue eyes seemed darker, duskier. Maybe with emotion. Maybe with passion. Maybe with tequila.

"But, I thought you and Glennon . . . ."

She made a pouty face, totally unlike her.

"For once, Joe, don't think. Just kiss me."

Damn, she must have hit the margaritas early.

He leaned forward, pecked her on the lips. Okay, that felt too weird.

She made a face. "You call that a kiss? That was pitiful. Kiss me like you're serious."

"Abby, I don't know if this . . . ."

She grabbed his shirt, pulled him close. Her arms slid around his neck. "Now, kiss me, Collins. Properly."

His hands went to her waist, held her, then he leaned in. His mouth pressed against hers, hesitant at first. Then not so hesitant. Her lips were warm, soft, flavored like tequila, with a touch of sea salt. The tip of her tongue swept the inside of his lips, and he couldn't hold back the groan.

Joe's body reacted straight away with urgent need, without waiting for any direction from his brain. His sex immediately grew rigid behind the denim, and he pushed his hips against her. Oh, hell. His heart sank. This is not supposed to happen.

"Oh, God, Abby, I didn't intend . . . . "

She slid her hand down his torso until she reached his groin, then outlined the bulge in his jeans with her fingertips.

"I did."

"But why now?"

"Because this is the right time. Long past the right time."

He groaned again, ran his hands down her firm back, over her slender hips. "Abby, you're awesome."

"Yes, she is."

Joe spun around like a little boy caught doing something naughty behind the barn.

Glennon leaned, tall and lazy, against the kitchen door frame, no sign of the shoulder sling.

"Don't stop on my account."

* * * * *

Danica St. Como

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Six Sunday with Rach

Morning everyone and welcome (back) to the Divas of Desire.

This am I'm going to tease you all with six sentences from my first book, An Affair Across Times Square

Hope you enjoy it...

TYLER LACHLAN COULDN’T believe what he saw through his office window. A woman across Times Square, eighteen stories high, scantily clad in the middle of her hotel room, pleasuring herself. And here he sat, staring at her like some sick Peeping Tom. His mother would be so ashamed, but he couldn’t look away. He could feel the way his body reacted to the sight of her. When he’d looked up from that morning’s briefing documents and gazed across the way to the hotel, he’d never expected to be greeted with such a sight. 

Well, there it is folks... a little snippet from An Affair Across Times Square. On sale now at these locations: 
Loose Id 
Barnes & Noble

Have a great Sunday everyone. Hope we'll see you back here soon. 

~ Rach 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Fragments: Hello from Beautiful New Jersey

Hi everyone, Nona here. This is  going to be a brief post, because I'm at the New Jersey Romance Writer's Conference, having the time of my life. The Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel is beautiful, the workshops have been terrific, and everyone I've met has been welcoming and friendly.

This morning I was at a fascinating pre-conference workshop by multi-published, best-selling author Susan Wiggs. This afternoon I attended  a two part presentation by Angela James, Senior Editor at Carina Press, on "Building Your Brand" and "Using Your Website to Support Your Brand." She had so many great pointers, and you better believe I took plenty of notes. In the evening authors were honored during the Put Your Heart in a Book and the Golden Leaf Awards ceremony.

Tomorrow there will more fabulous authors to meet, more presentations to attend, and so much more to learn. I can't wait!


Don't forget to scroll down, because the Hot In Handcuffs blog hop giveaway is still going on! I'm giving away a $15 gift certificate -- just check Wednesday's post for all the details. And don't forget to visit the other great blogs on the hop!

Have a wonderful weekend, all! 

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Finally, a release date for ABOVE THE LAW, Book Four of The Men of Sanctuary. I don't have the cover yet (which I'll share as soon as it arrives), but ATL is due to be released by Noble Romance Publishing on October 29, 2012.

Danica St. Como

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop begins Wednesday!

Hi, Friends! Nona Raines here. I'm so happy to be participating in my very first blog hop—and what a theme! Hot in Handcuffs. I think it's very fitting, considering my recent BDSM romance Uncollared has a very HOT handcuff scene, which I'll share with you in a moment.
But first, a little about the story:

Submissive Mia Manetti is devastated when her first Master uncollars her just as she was hoping for a permanent relationship with him. Trying to move on, she agrees to sub for a powerful and sexy new Dom.

Chess Ryan has wanted Mia from the first moment he saw her at Club Restraint, but it was always "hands off" because she belonged to his friend Philip. Now, thanks to that friend's maneuvers, Mia is finally his. But only for a little while.

Mia finds it increasingly difficult to keep her feelings in check as she experiences erotic delights with Master Chess, sensual and sexual fantasies that she's never known before. Is she setting herself up for another heart ache?

Guilt, secrets and misplaced pride all keep Chess and Mia from being completely honest with each other. As they connect sexually and emotionally, they realize their relationship has grown too serious to be called "play". How far are they willing to go as Master and slave?

I am offering a $15 gift certificate as a prize to one lucky participant in my contest: for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or (in case you're already swamped with bookstore gcs) Bath and Body Works. This will be a US contest only.

Since I'm a first-time blog hopper (be gentle with me please, lol) I'm going to KISS. Keep It Simple, Sugar! I'll tell you how to enter my contest at the end of this post.

I promised you a sexy scene, and baby, here it is! This comes a few days after Chess and Mia have caught a showing of the movie Laura on television:

The door led to the private rooms upstairs. Mia’s heart banged as she pulled it open.

A large suited figure stood at the top of the stairs. Chess.
He wore a brown suit and tie, a white shirt, and a trench coat. On his head sat a fedora, a type of hat that she’d seen actors wear in old black-and-white films.
“Miss Manetti?”
Mia nodded, wondering what was going on. “Yes.”
“This way, ma’am.”
She climbed the stairs, and he ushered her into a sparsely furnished room. There stood a large desk with a chair facing it. Mia felt so disoriented that she didn’t even hear what Chess said. She blinked. “Excuse me?”
He pulled a wallet from his suit coat, flipped it open momentarily, and slipped it back in his pocket before she had a chance to look at it. “Frank Ryan, ma’am, police department. I’m going to have to ask you some questions.”
“Questions?” Her brain had a hard time catching up. “I don’t—”
“First of all, ma’am, are you carrying any kind of weapons on your person?”
“Weapons? Of course not—”
“Then you won’t mind if I just check to make sure. Face the wall, please.” He spun her toward the wall, positioning her hands flat against the surface, fingers splayed. Suddenly her confusion vanished, replaced by raw lust as she became firmly entrenched in the scene.
“Assume the position, please.” He snugged up behind her, bumping her ass with his hip as he nudged her feet farther apart, widening her stance. His breath burned her ear as he whispered, “You do know the position, don’t you?”
Air hissed from Mia’s lungs, flames of need licking over her body. Her breasts grew heavy; her pussy ached. She flicked out her tongue to moisten her dry lips. “Yes, Officer.”
“All right.” His big hands moved down her arms, and heat lingered everywhere he touched. He moved from her ribs to her waist and hips. She bit her lip and almost cried when he bypassed her breasts. They needed his touch so badly.
It was surprisingly easy to get into her role, but not nearly so easy to withstand the power of his touch. Her voice shook as he went down on one knee to pat down her legs. “Please, Officer…can’t you tell me what this is about?”
“We believe you’ve been withholding important information.” His voice was uninflected, matter-of-fact. Just the facts, ma’am.
She pressed her forehead to the wall, needing that solid surface to steady her. “What kind of information?”
“That’s classified.”
Classified? Was he the police or the CIA? Mia couldn’t help the small chuckle that escaped her. He’d seen too many thrillers and was mixing his metaphors, so to speak.
His hands stilled on her calves. “I wouldn’t laugh if I was in your shoes, ma’am. You’re in some serious trouble. Very serious.”
His tone of warning made her melt. So did the hands creeping higher and higher under her skirt. She went still, holding her breath as his fingers skimmed the tender junction of her thighs. If he’d only move his hand one inch, just one little inch…
She almost moaned in disappointment as he got to his feet. “No hidden weapons. Hands behind your back now.”
Mia hesitated, not sure she heard him right. He gripped her wrists and moved them where he wanted them. “Behind. Your. Back.”
Holding both her wrists in one hand, Chess removed something from his jacket pocket, and a moment later Mia heard a click. Her hands were held fast. Handcuffs?
A fine mist of perspiration formed on her upper lip.
He grasped her arm and guided her to the wooden, straight-backed chair. “Sit.”
He shrugged out of the long coat and laid it and the hat on top of the desk. His dark blond hair lay slicked back the way Dana Andrews’s had been in the movie. He rested his ass on the corner of the desk and let go the weary sigh of a detective working too many hours on a case going nowhere.
“Now, like I said, lady. You’re hiding information, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get what I need.” A shiver ran through Mia. Whatever it takes. “So let’s just stop playing games.”
She shifted on the hard wooden seat with her hands cuffed at the small of her back, the hard metal circling her wrists. The cuffs weren’t comfortable, but neither did they hurt. They only made her aware that she was at his mercy, completely under his control.

I sure hope you enjoyed that little tidbit from Uncollared! Now, for a chance to win the prize I'm offering, all I'm asking is you do ONE thing to show a little love. You can:

THEN just leave a comment below answering this question: if you could re-enact a sexy or romantic scene from any movie, what would it be? Please remember to leave your email address so I can get hold of you if you win! The winner will be selected randomly.

Each of us in the HIH Hop is offering a prize, so make sure you check out the other sites in the link below.  There are lots of treats in store! The hop begins at 12:01 am October 10 and ends 11:59 pm October 15, so don't procrastinate!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop! You can find the other bloggers here.
Have a Happy Hop,

Nona Raines

Hot Contemporary Romance

Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Uncollared is available at:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reviews by Rach: Kiss the Dead by Laurell K Hamilton

Hey everyone,

So I'm going to be doing a few reviews of erotic romance, erotica, an urban fantasy books here and there to share with you. First up is Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton. Warning: There are a few mini spoilers below. Stop reading now if you don't want to be privy to them.

Kiss the Dead is the twenty-first book in Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. You'd  think after twenty books with the same main character, she'd run out of new stuff to tackle, but this book doesn’t disappoint. It certainly didn't disappoint me. 
Anita Blake, US Marshall, Vampire Hunter, Vampire Servant, Succubus, etc. finds herself once again in the middle of a police investigation right at the start of the book. She’s interrogating a suspect and is quickly thrown back into the throes of danger. Hamilton’s deep first person point of view allows readers to be inside Anita’s head at all times, with no authorial intrusion. As usual, Hamilton also uses quite a bit of second person through Anita’s eyes, but it’s done so seamlessly that it’s just another facet of Blake’s character.
The first third of the book focuses on the case, keeping Anita separate from both her “live-in sweeties” and her other lovers. The normal big bads, Marmee Noir, and Belle Morte are missing from this book, and readers can almost find themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop, but Hamilton keeps the pacing and adrenaline high throughout Anita’s case and readers are not left wanting.
Anita again battles with her character flaws – is she really the monster, is she emotionally too tapped to keep taking care of and be in love with this many people, will she be able to keep everyone safe? Aside from her main sweeties Nathaniel, Micah, Jean-Claude and Asher, the book focuses on three newer relationships. 
The first is Cynric, the blue tiger Anita picked up a couple books back, who makes Anita doubt her own judgment and ability to love anyone else. The second man who has a leading role in this book is Nicky, Anita’s Bride of Dracula and a vampire. The third guy in the spot-light this time is Mephistopheles, AKA, Devil, or Dev, another of Anita’s tigers to call. As usual, Nathanial and Micah take up a good portion of the book and Anita’s bed, but the other three also get a good focus.
Hamilton dazzles readers with her depth and specificity of characters. Only once or twice in the book did I get a bit confused as to who was doing what. Each character is physically and emotionally distinct, with scars, hair and eye color, body type, size, the way they speak and interact with Anita and one another unique to each individual. With such a huge cast of characters, she makes it seem effortless. By book twenty-one, I guess you get pretty good at this kind of balancing act.
Some readers might miss the hot and heavy action that isn’t in the first third of this book, but absence makes the heart grow fonder and as the book continues, Hamilton gives us the goods. Several times, in many different locations and with different characters. As usual, the sex scenes are multiple and HOT. 
Overall, it was a fantastic read and it was so nice to be inside Anita's head again. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Divas 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday with Nona

In my new f/f short story, Irresistible Impulse, Tania and Latisha meet at a speed dating event and feel an instant connection. But that's not their first encounter. They've seen each other once before, and today's six sentence segment has Tania remembering that:

She’d been out one Saturday, shopping and running errands, and stopped for a late lunch at the Eighth Moon Chinese Buffet. While reaching for some fried pork dumplings on the steam table, her arm brushed against someone’s reaching for the long beans.

"Sorry." Looking up, she found herself mesmerized by a face with intelligent brown eyes, soft cocoa-colored skin, and full lips glossed with red lipstick. Gorgeous lips. Plump and soft-looking, as tempting as ripe raspberries.

Irresistible Impulse is available at:

Thanks all, and don't forget to check out the other Six Sentence Sunday contibutors here!

Nona Raines

Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Love, Lies and Mai Tais

Welcome to Friday Fragments with Nona!
First up, congratulations to Tiffany N. York, whose name was selected among all our followers to receive a copy of An Affair Across Times Square by Rachell, Bombshell by Danica and Uncollared by me. Congratulations, Tiffany, and thanks to everyone who follows our blog, whether you're a new follower or an "old timer.
Check back here next Wednesday, because The Divas of Desire will be taking part in the Hot in Handcuffs giveaway blog hop sponsored by Under the Covers. The hop lasts from October 10th through the 15th. There are many participants and a lot of great prizes will be offered.  More details next week!
Last week when out to dinner with my family, I enjoyed a luscious lemon drop martini. I've got to confess, I'm a real sucker for those "girly" drinks.  I've even tried making a few at home, with not such great success.
The characters in my short story, Irresistible Impulse, enjoy the occasional fruity cocktail themselves. When Tania and Latisha both reluctantly show up at a speed dating event, they discover they're far more interested in each other than any of the men there. The women retire to the lounge for conversation and a couple of Mai Tais.
     They found a table in the cocktail lounge and ordered a couple of drinks that Tania insisted on paying for. As they chatted and laughed Latisha again felt that sensation vibrate through her body, that combination of nerves and sexual longing. She was light-headed with anticipation and weak with fear.
     Of course, the alcohol didn’t help. But as Tania shared some funny stories about her experiences working with the public, all Latisha could think about was leaning forward and pressing her lips to Tania’s pink mouth.
     Don’t go there.
At this point, Tania's already in love with Latisha, but Tisha's haunted by memories of an old romance. Will she lie to herself about her feelings for Tania?
Love is a mystery. According to Wikipedia, there's a bit of a mystery as to who actually created the first Mai Tai. Victor J. Bergeron (The Trader Vic) claimed to have invented it at his Oakland, California restaurant in 1944. Two friends from Tahiti were the first to be served and one of them upon tasting it declared "Maita'i roa ae!" Meaning "very good" or "the best". Thus the name Mai Tai.
Controversy rears its ugly head with the contention of Don the Beachcomber (Trader Vic's rival) that he created the first Mai Tai at his Hollywood bar back in 1933. Apparently, though, the two recipes are quite different and taste very different, too.
Well, just how does one make a Mai Tai? Here are the IBA (International Bartenders Association) specified ingredients:
8 parts white rum
4 parts dark rum
3 parts orange curaçao
3 parts Orgeat syrup (almond flavored syrup)
2 parts fresh lime juice

Shake the ingredients except the dark rum together with ice. Serve on the rocks in a highball glass.  Float the dark rum on top of the drink and garnish with a pineapple spear and lime peel. Serve with a straw and enjoy!
Mai Tais gained popularity in the 1950s and 60s.  I can imagine Don Draper of Mad Men indulging in one at a Tiki bar or an informal barbecue.
For more about the Mai Tai, go here
You can see a Trader Vic Mai Tai being made here

Ordinarily, Tania Talcott wouldn't be caught dead at a speed dating event, but she lost a stupid bet. Checking out the slim pickings, she's convinced the evening will be a total bust--until a classy, sensual, African American woman enters the room. A woman Tania met briefly once before and never forgot.

Latisha Hobbs is only attending this event to support her young cousin, who's ready to start dating again. Latisha's heart has been on ice for quite some time. But she finds herself immediately--and strongly--enticed by the friendly overtures of a vivacious redhead. Or are they more than friendly?

Fueled by an irresistible impulse, Tania wastes no time getting to know the beautiful woman. Latisha is drawn to Tania as well, but memories of an unhappy love affair make her reluctant to act. These two opposites definitely attract, but will their differences be too much to overcome?

Irresistible Impulse is available at:

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

(And don’t forget to check back for Six Sentence Sunday.)

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

'Tis (almost) the Season!

I'm very happy to announce that my next book will be out in just a couple months from Loose Id! It is a holiday book, which was so much fun to write. 

I just came up with the title a few days back and I wanted to share it all with you. 

Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce. I'm very excited about this book and can't wait to share it in all its glory with you. Here's the premise...

When Mason goes home to his mother's for Thanksgiving, he's determined to make sure to help her through the first post-divorce holiday without much heartache. Ever since she split from his jerk of a father last year, she's been walking around like the shell of the vibrant woman he once knew. So when she calls him in a panic with a list of things she's forgotten at the store, he braves the only nearby store still open the day before Thanksgiving. He sees the last can of cranberry sauce and is on his way to get it when a beautiful blonde in black biker boots slams into his cart. Boy, did he not see that one coming. 

Amy's a bundle of nerves this holiday season. It's the first time her father's been willing to celebrate since losing his wife over a decade ago. She's thrilled that Dad's finally ready to rejoin the land of the living, but she's terrified that one little misstep and he'll never celebrate anything again. She's praying it wasn't a mistake talking him in to accepting an old flame's invitation for Thanksgiving, and dreading what could go wrong. So when the sexy man she bowled into at the supermarket turns out to be Martha's son, she has no idea how to focus on holiday cheer and keep her desires in check. 

I hope that sounds as exciting to you as it does to me. The book was a lot of fun to write and now I can't wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Guess I'll have to get through Halloween and book edits before then. 

So, what do you think of the title, everyone? Has it intrigued you?? I hope so. Let me know your thoughts. 

Check back soon for updates on the book and don't forget to check out my first erotic romance, An Affair Across Times Square featuring two lawyers on opposite sides of Times Square and a murder trial. 

Talk to you soon, 



The Romance Reviews