ThanksGiving Back Blog Hop

Happy Thanksgiving week!

I’m so excited to be involved in a blog hop that is near and dear to my heart–the Coming Together ThanksGiving Back Hop. A number of romance/erotica authors who have stories featured in Coming Together anthologies are posting this week. We’ve got e-book giveaways and a grand prize, so be sure to follow along and read all about it!

Coming Together is a small publisher dedicated to helping various charitable organizations via sales of erotic anthologies. From Doctors Without Borders to Autism Speaks to the American Red Cross–and so many other human, animal, and environmental nonprofits–the list of charities Coming Together supports is huge and humbling. 100% of all proceeds go to charity, which means that the lovely editors, authors, and artists who band together to create each book donate their time and talents to help make the world a little bit better.

I’m thrilled to be included in three Coming Together anthologies, and writing this post makes me anxious to send head honcho Alessia Brio more short stories because CT is such a worthwhile organization.

In the Trenches

Today, I’m spotlighting Coming Together: In the Trenches. This military-themed collection of erotica and erotic romance benefits Protect Our Defenders. In the wake of France’s recent devastation, and so many countless and senseless other acts of global aggression by terrorist groups, supporting those who fight to keep us safe is absolutely essential.

Coming Together



All Romance



Here’s a bit from my included story, Comando Especial:

Blurb: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Rojas commands Navy SEAL-trained soldiers in a special anti-narcotics division of the Colombian military, facing deadly enemies on a regular basis. But when Alex’s ex-girlfriend is kidnapped by a ruthless drug lord, the usual high-octane mission becomes personal. If Alex and Luz get out of the dangerous situation alive, Alex doesn’t plan to let Luz walk away a second time.



Luz couldn’t fake indifference any longer. She sobbed loudly as a knock came from outside the wooden dormitory.

“Don Jamie,” a voice called from the door. “Our second sub is in need of repair on the forward ballast. The men are working on it, but our departure will be delayed.”

“Fuck! I paid those bastardos over a million for that boat!”

Ramirez turned from Luz, his anger focused on the bearer of bad news. He pulled open the door, knife ready.

“No!” The man shouted as he stumbled forward, his hands held awkwardly behind his back. Ramirez, fueled by anger, only reacted. His blade slammed up into the man’s gut and cut his scream short. The dying man gurgled and dropped to his knees.

And then Luz saw the dark form behind him. The man, in military fatigues with a camouflage-painted face, materialized like a specter from the inky night. He sprang forward, lithe as a cat despite his bulk. Over the twitching body on the ground, he locked arms with Ramirez.

Luz used her feet to scoot her chair backward as the two men grappled.

Ramirez was a strong man. He was vain, and spent hours each day lifting weights. He had bragged to Luz on more than one occasion, saying the men would not respect a weak leader. He was certainly feared by the people he commanded, and was bigger than nearly all of them.

The soldier seized Ramirez’s knife hand at the wrist. Luz swallowed hard as granite biceps fought for control. The blade flashed above the man’s painted face, but the soldier’s familiar dark eyes were pinned on her.

“Alexander?” Luz whispered the name. The man heaved upward, displacing the knife as his left arm hooked around to land a bone-crunching punch to Ramirez’s cheek.


Please help support the ultimate in erotic altruism. Coming Together’s adorable tag line is: Doing good while being bad. They can’t do good without the support of amazing readers. I hope you’ll check out their $2.99 and under offerings. Maybe you’ll find something that blows your hair back and be a little bad for a great cause, huh?

For my giveaway, I’m offering a copy of either my MM novel Crossed Hearts, or my MF sci-fi, Star Catcher. Comment for a chance to win my prize as well as the grand prize, and don’t forget to hop along and check out everyone else’s posts and giveaways!



Sunday 22 November


Monday 23 November


Tuesday 24 November


Wednesday 25 November


Thursday 26 November


Friday 27 November


Saturday 28 November


Flesh Market by Kate Lowell



Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.

But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.

Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture–and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.

There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.


Leo stopped at the smoothie bar in the mall’s food court and ordered a green tea with acai and raspberries. He’d just turned thirty-seven, and according to his mother, it was time to start loading up on antioxidants. Head off those destructive free radicals before they got the better of him.
He didn’t care that she thought he was taking her advice—he liked smoothies, even if they didn’t quite fit in with the tough-guy image.

The teenager behind the counter popped a plastic top onto the cup and poked a straw through into the olive-green slurry inside. “Here you go,” she said cheerfully and slid it across the counter.

“Thanks.” He sipped, and stuffed a dollar into her tip cup.

She smiled even more brightly. “Thank you!”

Leo took his cup of mixed yogurt and water-soluble vitamins and wandered down the mall toward the lotto booth. Off to one side, a thin man with lank ashy-blond hair put down the dress shoe he was examining far too closely and drifted along in Leo’s wake. There was another as well that Leo was aware of, his usual tail, but that man was behind him now and out of his peripheral vision.

It used to be that just one would follow him on his trips to the mall or the bookie’s, but today there was a second one.

There was only one logical explanation. Leo hated to believe it, but there was no other choice—he’d screwed up, and now his bosses were suspicious of him. Not his real bosses at the FBI, but his fake bosses in this sex-trafficking ring he had infiltrated.

Leo stepped into line at the lotto booth and waited with feigned patience, sipping on his smoothie as he glanced around to locate his tails.
One of them browsed the shelves of a small store that sold knickknacks and did custom engraving. It took Leo a moment to track down the blond man, but he eventually found him standing at the cash register of the specialty candy store, holding a small brown paper bag. Leo kept an eye on both of them. When there’d only been one, he hadn’t let it bother him. He’d been nearly a year establishing the identity he wore now. The bureau had called in a lot of favors to build his cover. Criminals, federal agents, and police officers had all been involved in some fashion or other. The blinds and double-blinds almost had him convinced that he was Dale Leon. The history of Dale Leon, ex-cop and bully, was rock solid.
They’d learned their lesson after losing the first two agents.

Kate’s Page at Loose Id

Kate’s Amazon Author Page

Where to find the author:


Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?

Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.

Kate is giving away books she was inspired by during the creation of Flesh Market! Join the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BlackFriday Comes Early!

Crossed HeartsOne heart’s been broken. The other is secondhand.

My book, Crossed Hearts, is on sale for 99 cents during a limited time Black Friday event! That’s right, 212 pages of sweet romance, hot lovin’, and feels, feels, feels. It’s a bargain at twice the price. If you haven’t yet picked up Crossed Hearts, now is your chance to read Kory and Will’s story for mere pennies.

No one even likes pennies!

Okay, enough of my sales pitch, but, seriously, you should totally buy it.

Here’s an excerpt for ya:


When Kory stepped out of the shower, Will was gone. Kory opened the door and poked his head out into the early-evening humidity. No car. His eyes stung—had to be the neon orange of the drooping sun—and, shoulders hunched, he made for the kitchen to put together a shitty meal for one, made all the shittier by this rejection.

Probably for the best. Did you really think you could start a platonic relationship with an adorable gay guy?

Sure, Will played the stern authoritarian pretty damn well, but something about him seemed vulnerable and enticingly sweet at the same time. Maybe it was the odd expression that flashed across his face when Kory let his flirtatious nature win out. He couldn’t identify the vibe he got, couldn’t even say for certain it was real, but whatever those hopeful sparks followed by tiny frowns were, they called to Kory’s most basic instincts.

A guy who helps everyone else, but never has his own needs met. That Kory was the last man in the world who could add anything of value to Will’s life was irony at its best. Because he wanted to be the guy to do it, and he recognized that same yearning in his own eyes when he looked in the mirror. In his own heart now when it squeezed at the realization he’d misinterpreted Will’s cordial demeanor for something more—that he’d put himself out there and gotten turned down in the rudest possible way.

Not even a freakin’ note—

A scrap of paper on the pitted Formica countertop, right next to a pile of bills, caught his attention. He held his breath as he picked it up.

Ran home to change into comfy clothes. I’ll grab something better than mac & cheese. See you in a few.

Hot relief flooded him, tempering the ache of rejection with muscle-melting anticipation. Grinning, Kory rummaged through the fridge and stood with a shriveled apple. He cut the bruises off with a steak knife before demolishing it in a matter of seconds. Then he grabbed his sketchbook, a hard graphite pencil and a softer one for shading, and sat on the couch to wait for his new friend to show.

The loud rumble of the AC lulled him into a meditative state as he scratched the drawing of an emaciated apple core. He was putting the final touches on it and scrawling the word hungry in box letters at the bottom when a knock sounded on the door.

The bag in Will’s hand smelled amazing, but Will himself looked more than appetizing in dark jeans and a gray short-sleeved shirt that revealed toned arms lightly dusted with dark hair.

“Are you comfy now?”

Will frowned. “What?”

“Your note. I half expected you’d be wearing pajamas.” Kory waved him in, grabbing the grocery bag from Will’s hands. “What do we have here?”

“Umm, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. It was fast. Sorry it’s not the healthiest.” Will frowned as if he’d done something wrong.

“Are you kidding? You show up with Thanksgiving dinner and you’re apologizing? I could kiss you right now for saving me from powdered cheese and noodles.” Will pursed his lips, but it looked more like displeasure than invitation. Crap. I’m never gonna say the right thing. Friends, Kory. Friends. “Hey, my dead, starved body won’t be on your ambulance run in the next few days, especially if you leave the leftovers.” Kory pulled Will over the threshold before he could escape, and waved him toward the couch. “Did you get a chance to select tonight’s feature film before you left?”

Will scanned the apartment and then gave Kory a questioning look.

“The sweet rack of VHS over there. Someone was giving them away. Can you believe it? And I picked up a VCR at the Salvation Army for two bucks.”

Will burst out laughing. “I brought some tapes to the dump about five or six years ago. Wish I’d saved them for you.”

“Fucker.” Kory snorted, stuck between elation at Will’s contagious smile and his own embarrassment. “Go check out the selection. You don’t like anything you see, you can leave. Without your bird and taters.”

He walked toward the kitchen to scrape together plates and silverware, and hoped Will could handle his humor. If not…well, there were certain things he couldn’t glaze over and get past. No funny bone was one. Bad kisser was the other major offense he would never be able to overlook. If he had to choose which was worse—frog-tongue kisser or stick-in-the-mud humor—he was incapable of pointing out the greater evil. They both sucked at the root canal level.

Will expelled a relieved whistle as he examined the collection.

“What’s up?”

“For some reason I was afraid this would be a rack of porn.”

“What?” The potato fork spun from Kory’s fingers and landed on the counter with a clatter and a miniature explosion of spuds.

“Eh, just my ex-boyfriend’s idea of a movie night, I guess.” Will glanced up, his cheeks red. “The only VHS he held onto were old porno flicks. Not that I think you would…and probably not even the same…” He trailed off and turned back toward the tape spines, running a hand through his hair.
Kory coughed. “Never watch it, myself.” That’d be like taking work home. Besides, he inevitably hated the way he looked on screen, or the way he delivered some cheesy line. At the end of the day, being on a shoot for hours was way more porn than he wanted to see.

“Wow.” Will turned back with a cautious smile and still-pink cheeks.

“Not a porn fan and you have this? I’m starting to think I’m being punked.” He held up Labyrinth.

Part of Kory felt like a liar. Another part of him argued it was a harmless omission, a white lie even, given that sweet, wistful look on Will’s face. Kory wasn’t the same person anymore. What Will didn’t know wouldn’t hurt either of them. Kory could feel him out and maybe confess later, not scare Will away at the starting line. That Will didn’t watch porn made it perfect—made Will perfect. Here was someone without any preconceived biases about who Kory was or wasn’t. And more than anything he wanted to be liked for who he truly was, even if he was still stumbling his way through Kory Vansant 101 in many ways.


There you have it.

Actually, here you have it:


All Romance







Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway! #LVLOCTGIVEAWAY

Halloween is just around the corner and it’s time for the 4th annual Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway from Laughing Vixen Lounge. 7 wickedly fun shops have come together to create one spooktalcular Prize Pack ($225+) full of Jewelry, Perfume, Clothing, Accessories and more! All shops are offering Gift Cards or your choice of item(s) so there will be something for everyone. Many of the shops have items perfect for any book lover along with lots of other unique, handcrafted and custom designs. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below or visit the Main Giveaway Page on the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog HERE.

Join us daily on the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog during the giveaway for our Halloween Movie Marathon featuring the Guess the Movie Game and our Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt. Each event will get you daily entries in the giveaway plus a special giveaway for the Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt. Find full details for these events HERE.

October is the perfect time for watching spooky movies. Along with the Halloween Movie Marathon each of our participating shops, and many of our blog sponsors, will be sharing some of their favorite movie choices with you.

The giveaway runs October 18th – November 1st and is open worldwide. 1 winner will win the Prize Pack and 1 winner will win the Scavenger Hunt Prize Pack. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. Please visit the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog
HERE to see the full prize list, participating shops and daily giveaway events.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Odds and Ends: Cleaning Out My Drawers or Dances with Dildos

I’m not the tidiest person on the planet.

I admit it freely. But once in a while something will happen that makes me “see” my mess, and then I’ll go crazy on it like a Heart song. I don’t think I’m the only one who doesn’t notice fingerprints on the walls and coffee drips down the cabinets on a daily basis. When I eventually do, though, I’m mortified I’ve been oblivious, wallowing in shit for god knows how long, and I go on a scrubbing jag.

Well, my summer clothes are competing with my winter for dresser space and my underwear drawer was so full, it spilled unmentionables down the back insides of the dresser. My hubs had to get a grabby claw thing and pull them out so I could close my drawers again.

Clearly, I’ve been shit wallowing.

So, today I cleaned out my undies drawer. We’ll say nothing of the dishwasher I didn’t finish emptying or the rug that is in dire need of vacuuming or…well, basically any other space in my house. I moved slutty special occasion garments back to their spot in the closet and ditched thongs (condolences to my hubs and congratulations to my ass–I can’t believe I spent the 90’s in those fucking things).

And I found an artifact I’d completely forgotten about.

Enter the crystal dildo:

I shit you not.

I shit you not.

This beauty was a freebie I received for purchasing porn DVDs (and various other…stuff). In fact, I remember making sure I put enough sex accouterments in my cyber cart to ensure I got the glass dildo-to-end-all-dildos.

It’s lovely if not especially titillating. It could pass as a mushroom just as well as a phallus. I suppose the hearts are more than mere decorations as they’re raised for…someone’s pleasure. Shrug. It’s got a solid base so it can stand at attention unassisted or be easily retrieved from tight spaces. It even came in a red velour bag for classy storage (or gift wrap?).

I’ve never done more than hold this delicate masturbatory device up to the light and admire it.

Don’t get me wrong (as if you would)–I thoroughly enjoy my sextras. Just moments ago I sighed in fond memory as I stuck my crotchless panties right back into heavy rotation.

But, honestly, the glass dildo doesn’t make me want to abuse myself (or others). It’s like a stunning work of art.

That doesn’t vibrate.

It belongs in a china cabinet, not a vagina cabinet (sorry, I had to).

So that’s where I put it:

20151015_135012Right next to the shot glasses my Swedish buddy gave us for a wedding present, standing sentinel before the ugly Irish marriage blessing plate, and flouting the fancy-shmancy toasting flutes we were gifted on our special day.

Hey, why not a crystal dildo to celebrate the sacred covenant of marriage? Seems like the luckiest keepsake there (besides the shot glasses, of course).

Yup. I’m totally leaving it. Twenty bucks says no one notices and I eventually smash it reaching for a martini glass.

Okay. I'll tuck it behind this big soup tureen thingy that gets just as much action in case my MIL comes over.

Okay. I’ll tuck it behind this ridiculous soup tureen that gets just as much action. You know, in case my MIL visits.


#Book Blast: Jena Wade’s Roping Him In

Lucas and Jason have been roping partners for five years and this year, together, they are going to win it all. Nothing is going to stop them.

One night of passion puts a road block in Jason’s plans to win the title. A title he desperately needed. Lucas never dreamed Jason would still want to ride with him after their night together. They could compete together, but rules needed to be set to protect his heart.

Then again, rules were meant to be broken.


Lucas stood completely still, intent on making good on his challenge. With every fiber of his being, he wanted to run and hide from what he’d said. After five years of thinking about kissing Jason, it was hard to believe he’d said it out loud.

Arousal flared in Jason’s eyes, and Lucas’s heart rate sped up. Holy shit. This is actually going to happen.

He parted his lips in anticipation.

Moving faster than a stubborn calf from a lasso, Jason wrapped his arms around Lucas’s shoulders and pulled him close. “You asked for it.”

Damn right he had. He’d wanted to ask for years.

Jason’s lips descended on his. The world stood still. Fireworks flashed behind Lucas’s eyes. It was just like in his dreams. Only better.

For a moment, Lucas lost himself in the kiss. He delved into Jason’s warm, welcoming mouth and moaned. Nothing in the world should taste this good. Jason was pure ambrosia. Desire like he’d never known before, or even thought possible, fired within him.

With each passing second the kiss got deeper and faster. Lucas pulled at Jason’s shirt, intent on touching the bare skin underneath. Jason didn’t resist, which only spurred Lucas forward.

He ground his hips against Jason’s and shoved the two of them against his truck.

Jason pushed at his shoulders, and Lucas whimpered as the kiss broke.

“Holy shit. That was amazing. Better than I expected.” Jason reached down and adjusted himself through his jeans.

Lucas nearly groaned. He wanted to touch Jason’s hard cock.

“I think we ought to take this back to the hotel,” Jason said.

Blood rushed to Lucas’s cock. Was this for real? Was Jason serious? Or was he teasing him? Jason had never been the most serious person, but he wasn’t cruel.

The look in Jason’s eyes said yes, he was very serious.


Buy Roping Him In:


Loose Id

Connect with Jena Wade:

Rockin’ Reads #Giveaway Blog Hop!

Everyone needs a Rockin’ Read! Stop by Sept 23rd to 30th and find out which reads have rocked 2015 for us! There will be a giveaway on each blog so don’t forget to visit them all!

rockin reads

Hey, everyone! Today marks the beginning of the Rockin’ Reads Hop, and I’m stoked to be a participant. Whoop!

This is the part of my post where I should gush over a romance that completely rocked my world in 2015. The catch is, I’ve been reading a lot of history lately (yes, non-fiction, but often that shit is stranger than fiction). I’ve been doing a bunch of beta reading for writerly pals, and reading gardening journals (cough, cough–nerd). I’m re-reading some early Patricia Cornwell because those were the days…

So, basically, I’m not going to gush over a romance, although I’ve read a number this year, just nothing that’s sticking out like a knife handle from my back.

Anyway, I have a few books in my queue I’m looking forward to–a couple of KJ Charles’ I need to catch up on, some old school het bodice rippers (I think I’m having a midlife crisis–this is a scream for help), some YA stuff (including The Outsiders because I’ve not read it, my oldest is going to be hitting that for English class, and I thought, hey, buddy read).

So, there you have it. Don’t hate me because I’m in a romance funk. I’ll find my way out eventually, I promise.

For my giveaway, I’ll send one lucky winner an e-copy of either Forever is Now or Double Takes, both rockstar reads that fit nicely with this hop theme, I think. To be eligible, just leave a book recommendation for me in the comments. I want my socks fucking knocked off. Ladies and gentlemen, start my engines. ;-)

Oh, and don’t forget to visit all the stops in the below link! Freebies and recommendations out the wazoo! Think I’ll go check those out right now…

Scream! For the Cure Coming Soon! #auction #books @FxCKCANCER



Scream! For the Cure is an annual online auction to benefit cancer research. Every October, extremely talented and generous authors donate their time and books to raise money and awareness. This year’s auction proceeds are going to Dyin’ 2 Live, a non-profit wish granting program committed to helping those who are currently in the fight against cancer by giving them a one-of-a-kind experience that may be a source of hope, joy, and inspiration while they continue in their fight against these terrible diseases. Read more about Dyin’ 2 Live at their website:

Scream! For the Cure was started in 2014 and raised nearly $400 for Stand Up 2 Cancer. Let’s make this year even better!

For a complete list of participating authors and to follow along with the auction and read guest posts from some of the participating authors, visit

About the founder:

Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. Maybe even from the womb; no one knows for sure. Now, she writes delightful romances with enough spice to make Emeril happy when not masquerading as a normal person at the day job.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest |Goodreads


Ready to bid on some fantastic books?

I’m so excited to be a part of this event! Dyin’ 2 Live has got to be the coolest wish-granting program ever–seriously, check their site out. They’ve sent cancer fighters to see and meet some of their favorite bands (including Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, and Five Finger Death Punch–so fucking cool!). What an amazing and totally worthwhile fundraiser! I hope you’ll consider checking it out and getting involved. :)


New Release Spotlight: If I Were Fire by Heloise West


In 18th century Siena, Count Salvesto Masello has returned home to find the family villa and his father’s estate steeped deeply in debt. In order to save it, he has been selling off valuable family heirlooms, but he is running out of silverware. Somewhere in the villa his deceased father had hidden the art treasures that will pay the debt, but Salvesto can’t find them anywhere.

Amadeo Neruccio has been on the run from the vicious pimp, thief, and pawnbroker Guelfetto, but his toughs finally catch him and bring him to the cellar where Count Masello is selling off his silver. When the count learns what fate Guelfetto has in store for Amadeo, he intervenes and trades the last of his mother’s dowry for the young man’s freedom.

Salvesto had left home over ten years ago to live the life of adventure he craved. He had also hoped to leave his broken heart behind. When he rescues young Amadeo, he does not expect to find love again, or that his adventures had yet to end.



Seated in the shade of the loggia attached to the surgeon’s house, Amadeo waited for the conte, barely able to think for the pain in his body. Bone-deep pain, like a bad tooth. He sighed, but his breath hitched like an uneven stitch.


He jumped at the sound of his former lover’s voice. Glancing around, he espied Barone Malavolti standing in the narrow street beneath a chestnut tree a few arm lengths away; his expression was a mask of boredom, though he stood there without his hat, a little breathless and pink-cheeked. Leaning on a silver-tipped cane he did not need, he had dressed today in a beautiful dark gray velvet jacket and the long pale blue waistcoat beneath it embroidered with bright flowers, all held together with small ebony buttons. His creamy white linen shirt and cravat were spotless. All that fine cloth hid a mercurial character and a whippet-lean body that contained a fierce strength. Glossy black hair, brown eyes, and a slightly round, handsome face, the dark circles under his tired eyes spoke of a long night of debauchery. Amadeo turned quickly away, angry and embarrassed all at once.

“Don’t ignore me.”

“No, Barone.” Amadeo stood.

“I wanted to make sure you were—not dead, as someone said, murdered in Guelfetto’s cellar or sent off to Florence to pay your debt.” His clipped tone made Amadeo wince.

“It was never my debt!” He lowered his voice. “I came to you for help, but you did not believe me. He told everyone that I agreed to lose the race for payment. You believed that bandit over me.” Amadeo swallowed back his disappointment. “Me. Your bad habit.” It was terribly rude, but he had to sit in the shade and close his eyes, as the hot, bright sun pierced his skull and made his head pound even harder. To his surprise, Malavolti followed to stand beneath the loggia with him. Encouraged by that, Amadeo whispered, “You said you loved me, but you lied. How is what you think I have done worse than that?”

Malavolti said, “I am not a liar. And only a poet would see that as a crime.”

Amadeo truly wanted to shake the barone until his teeth rattled, but restrained himself. “Guelfetto had sold me to a bathhouse in Florence to whore for those stinking pig-dogs until I die. Conte Masello has rescued me. I do not need you anymore.”

Malavolti flinched. “What has Conte Masello to do with all this, Neruccio?”

“He was there….” Amadeo stopped and considered his words. Malavolti need not know the conte was there selling his mother’s silver plates. “He took pity on me when I said I would give myself to the Arno and paid my debt to Guelfetto.”

“Paid your price, you mean.”

Stubborn, prideful man! To think he wept at the lines I wrote for him and him alone. He believed me then, at least. Perhaps the new one in his bed has left him, and left him bitter.

“We have a bond agreement,” Amadeo said wearily. “I’m to be the new groom for the stables. At least I’ll be with the horses.”

“Ah, my poor poet,” Malavolti mocked. “Poor Cecco. ‘But to show wisdom’s what I never could. So where I itch, I scratch now.’”

A pet name for the famed Sienese poet of a long dead age, Cecco Angiolieri, and the old lines fell upon Amadeo’s ears like a slap. Malavolti had encouraged and supported his own poetic lines at one time, but no more. “If you do not believe me still, be gone, Gianni. No one torments me as much as I do myself, so you waste your time.” His grieving heart forced him to continue the lines: “‘I’m down, and cannot rise in any way; For not a creature of my nearest kin/Would hold out a hand that I could reach….’”

Except for one man.

The door to the house creaked open, and Malavolti turned away, continuing on his path up the street as if they had never spoken.

About the author:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mahem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Social Media:









Order If I were Fire:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US


Barnes and Noble

Google Play

All Romance

#Interview with #Author Olivia Night

Today I have Olivia Night visiting for a quick interview. Her new book, Seduction in Sierra Leone, just released in August, and Olivia was good enough to share a bit about her writing process and to catch a couple of left-fielders as well. :)

I love romantic suspense. Did you have a hard time balancing the two? 

I have been an avid reader of romantic suspense so I went into writing Seduction in Sierra Leone with an idea of how much suspense should be intertwined with the romance. I have read books where there is more suspense than romance and I found I didn’t grow attached to the characters. Conversely, I’ve read books that had more romance than suspense and in those cases I was never really “hooked” to the book.  I hope I did a good job at balancing the two. I love my characters and it was exciting for me to discover the story as I wrote it.

Sierra Leone is such an interesting and unusual setting. Do you have firsthand knowledge of Africa? How did you decide to place your characters there?

Africa is at the very top of my bucket list. I travel, each year, with a close friend to a different place. We have plans to visit Africa in 2018 (it seems far off but I am a HUGE planner). When I was younger I wanted to join the Peace Corps and go to Africa in that capacity. I went as far as completing the application. But I never hit submit. I have a really hard time taking risks and that was a huge one.  So it’s no surrpise to me that when Aislinn popped into my head she was a relief worker in Africa. (She also loves Coke’s and Dean Winchester, so she’s pretty awesome in my opinion)

I didn’t really “place” my characters there. Brandt and Aislinn came into my head pretty much fully formed people. I just had to write down their story and fill in the blanks.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I don’t know if it qualifies as a “quirk” but my writing process is more writing down what already exists in my head. In all three (and more recently four) books that I am currently writing the characters just kind of show up and say “Here I am! Write my story!” So I don’t have these thought out and planned ideas, my characters and their stories just kind of show up and I write them. I also listen to music for inspiration. Each character has a different “sound” and when I need a push I will sit for a while and just listen to the music, and the music only, for a while.

Twinkies by Hostess Brand (Photo: Creative Commons)

Twinkies or Devil Dogs?

Neither – something with dark chocolate.

Mayonnaise or Ketchup?

No competition- ketchup all the way.

Coffee or Tea?

If I only was allowed to drink water and one other beverage for the rest of my life I would forsake wine and embrace my beloved coffee. I’m a coffee-aholic.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a few things. I am finishing up Book 2- Seduction in Seville and am halfway through Book 3- Seduction in Scotland. I also am working on a second series (currently untitled which will be a four book series. I have written about thirty pages of book one in that and have jumped forward to book four and have that one pretty much outlined (partly in my head, partly on paper and partly on my iPhone notes app). I can’t wait to get all of these stories out on paper. I have this fear I will lose them somewhere in the recesses of my mind if I don’t. . The second book series will take place in Asheville, N.C. and starts with a tale of love and loss that makes even me feel sad for what the characters have gone through.

What is your favorite quote or catchphrase (can be from your writing or someone else’s)?

“You’re only given a spark of madness, you musn’t lose it.” Robin Williams

I have had this as part of my email signature for almost ten years and I’d like to think that when people see it they either smile or wonder what madness I am hiding….




In the mangroves of Sierra Leone, two strangers raised a world apart find themselves inextricably connected. Seduction in Sierra Leone, the first in a series of three novels, is a fast-paced tale of murder, lust, and love that transports the reader to a foreign and mysterious world of danger.

Aislinn Salameh, an American relief worker, is searching for purpose in her self- imposed lonely world. The stranger who enters her village on a blistering hot day looks more animal than man. She knows she should stay far away but can’t stop herself from being drawn to the mysterious man.

Brandt Fairlane is a man haunted by the sins of his past. Detached from others, Brandt has spent his life alone. His line of work is too dangerous for the luxuries of love and family.

When Brandt sees Aislinn and her haunting eyes, he knows he must possess her. But when Brandt’s past comes back from the dead and Aislinn is caught in the crossfire, it is up to him to keep her safe. In order to survive, they must learn to rely on one another. As they run for their lives, the heat between them becomes undeniable. Now, Brandt must not only protect Aislinn from a madman committed to stealing her away but he also must protect her from himself. Because if Brandt steals her body and her heart, he’ll never let her go.




Together, they watched the truck, a far better model than either had seen in their time here, tip and tilt as four men emerged. Aislinn couldn’t see any of them very well, though she could tell they were all very large, muscular men, all in different ways. One was short and squat, and one was short and lean and looked as though he really needed to eat. The other two were tall. Those two were muscular and looked more dangerous than the others. Perhaps it was the serious look on their faces, as if they had never smiled. But one was more muscular than the others. He was the tallest in the group. And he was really, really easy on the eyes. And as if he sensed her watching him—okay, staring—he turned his head and looked directly over at her.

His face was blank, his eyes unblinking. He looked across the short distance at Aislinn, apparently not even noticing that Geoff was standing in front of her. From the distance between them, his eyes seemed to be charcoal gray, a color she had never seen on a person. Animals yes, people no. His skin was tanned, and there was a slight sheen of sweat, giving him a sort of healthy glow. His dark black hair was cut short, but not in a military fashion that had that silly flat surface at the top. No, there was just enough to run her fingers through. His legs were huge, like tree trunks that made their way up to a tapered and slim waist. His chest flared back out to meet his thick neck. Veins stood out on his arms as he picked a bag up from inside the car, all the while staring at her. She fixed her eyes shamelessly at his full lips that were a dark pink, a color you normally didn’t see on a man. His nose had been broken before, judging by the uneven placement on his face. The rest of his face was perfect. Perfect angles, perfect mouth, perfect eyes.

She came back to his eyes and realized she had just, very slowly, given this stranger a full-body perusal. He didn’t offer a nod, or any other type of greeting; he just kept looking at her. She felt herself blush. And then, suddenly, he turned. Brima, the town elder, was approaching the men—quickly for an old man—with a broad smile on his face. Brima rubbed the man’s chin, a traditional Mende greeting, and, as was customary, the man did not return the gesture as a symbol of acquiescence to the elder. Then they both smiled and shook hands. The muted tones of their conversation drifted over to her as they walked to the elder’s home farther up the path, leading away from the road.


Author Bio


Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid read and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Seduction series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, runs, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.


Twitter: @olivianightread


Buy Seduction in Sierra Leone:


Barnes and Noble:


Liquid Silver Books:


Alexis Duran

Writer of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Erotic Romance

Reckless Indulgence

of the Written Word

piper vaughn

piping hot

Moonbeams over Atlanta

A writer's, and reviewer's, area to explore stories in erotica, romance, and love. Love is Love: Romance with a twist.

Mia Kerick

Love is What I See

The Smutsonian

Book Reviews From a Professional Reader of Erotica

Rosanna Leo

Star-crossed loves are my specialty.

The Paisley Kamyleon

Digital Designs, Photography & Fine Art by Kamryn E. Priebe

Books,Coffee & Captured Moments

A Place to share my love of MM romance, coffee, captured moments, dragons and more.

V's Reads...

Reviews, Rants and Rambles from a mom and pre-published author

Molly Lolly

Reader, Reviewer, Lover Of Words

Amy Quinton

Historical Romance Author - Romance * Sexy * Historical * Love * Magic


Where reader's choose their favorite M/M romance book and let them shine!

Natasha Snow Designs

Book Cover Design

The Drinkslinger

If you sell booze, this blog's for you!

Chris McHart

Love In All Colors Of The Rainbow

It's About The Book

(and some other stuff)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 261 other followers