Guest Author: Stacey Joy Netzel & Giveaway!!

Staecy Joy Netzel

I’m so please to welcome my friend and very talented author Stacey Joy Netzel to the blog.  Stacey is an Amazon and USA Today Bestselling author who writes award-winning contemporary romance and romantic suspense.  She has a new romantic suspense book out in her fabulous Italy Intrigue Series, called Run to Rome.  Here’s the blurb:

Love him and leave him.

Nine months ago, undercover detective, Ispettore Evalina Gallo, protected her heart the only way she knew how, never expecting to see her savior-turned-one-night-stand again. When he returns to Italia—now a person of interest in an investigation of a local organized crime family—her personal connection to the rugged American gets her assigned to the case.

A second chance to make things right.

With his mother’s pleas ringing in his ears, Ben Sanders plans to retrieve a stolen bible his father shipped to Italy thirteen years ago, and then get out as fast as he can. But with the arrival of the beautiful detective, he suspects his mother’s desire to right past wrongs might not be the whole truth.

Destiny will not be denied.

Now, less than twenty-four hours after entering the country, he’s getting shot at—again. In a race from Milan to Rome to find the precious book before anyone else, time is ticking for the one-time lovers. Attraction burns hotter than molten lava, but amid secrets and half-truths, they must learn to trust each other if they have any hope of a future together.

Run to Rome

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  The first book in the Italy Intrigue Series, Lost in Italy, is also a wonderful read for romantic suspense lovers.  It was a Top Ten Amazon Bestseller, and was also nominated for Book of the Month at Long and Short Reviews.  Stacey excels at writing believable, very human characters who find themselves in all kinds of trouble–a top notch recipe for great romantic suspense!  I strongly suggest you check out her website to read blurbs and excerpts for all her books.  You won’t be sorry!

For my readers today, Stacey is giving a copy of Run To Rome.  Would you like to run to Rome?  Just tell us what foreign country you’d like to visit, and why, for a chance to win!



We Have Winners!

Lots of winners today!  The winner of Stacey Joy Netzel’s book is bn100.  The winner of Alexandra Hawkin’s book is Lexi.  The winner of the Amazon gift card from my part of The Hero Blog Hop is Jessie Llewellyn.  Congratulations, ladies!  I’ll be in touch.  For those of you who participated in The Hero Blog Hop, you can check out Carrie Ann Ryan’s website for all the winners.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My guest tomorrow is contemporary romance and women’s fiction author Meg Bellamy.  Be sure to stop by!

Guest Author: Stacey Joy Netzel & Giveaway!

My friend and very accomplished author Stacey Joy Netzel is on the blog today.  She writes fab romantic suspense and also lovely contemporary romance. Her heroes are rugged, her heroines resilient, and her books are a real treat.  I’m going to turn the blog over to Stacy now, as she asks us a very important question.

Sensual or Explicit?

What’s your preference in romance?

As a reader and writer, I’m a fan of sensuality in romances versus outright explicit sex. I like the promise of what’s to come, the delayed gratification of a sizzling attraction, and getting to use my imagination a little (or a lot).

I love the drawn out foreplay, not forever mind you, but just enough to get my heart beating that slow thud of anticipation like the heroine’s. Whether it’s in a specific scene, or through a good portion of the book, if it’s done right, there are times I enjoy the expectation more than the actual act.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the end result of the sensual foreplay and I’m even getting more comfortable writing it, but when a writer can make me experience that thrill of anticipation along with the heroine, that’s gold!

Here’s an excerpt of a sensual scene that I enjoyed writing in my contemporary western CHASIN’ MASON:

When his father announced his engagement to a gold-digger with a lying, scheming fourteen-year old daughter, seventeen-year old Tripp Warner left Warner Ridge Ranch and never looked back. Until the day he got the phone call that his father had died unexpectedly.

Reggie Reed lives with her guilt every day but can’t quite work up the courage to track down the son of the man who raised her as his own. When Tripp shows up at his father’s funeral eleven years later—and a hell of a man to be reckoned with—he has no interest in her too-late apology. Worse, they’ve inherited half shares of the family ranch—but only if they work together to catch Mason’s Gold, the stallion a young Reggie let escape and made sure Tripp took the blame for.

Tripp proposes a secret competition to the beautiful witch who stole his life: whoever catches the stallion first gets the ranch all to themselves. It sounds simple, but once they’re out on the range, tempers and passions flare in the Texas heat and nothing goes as either of them expects.


“You’d better put your boots back on, Princess. You never know when you might happen on a rattler.”

White-hot anger seared through her again. She whirled around so fast he took a half step back.

“It’s Reggie. Or, if you prefer the bitch version, then call me Regan, but stop calling me Princess.” She took a step closer. “And touching as your concern is, my boots are soaking wet because of you, so just leave me alone.”

One side of his mouth quirked. “Poor, Princess. You didn’t see him today, did you?”

Just that quick, he flipped her on the defensive. She crossed her arms over her chest and lifted her chin as he stepped past to spread out his wet clothes.

“At least I looked,” she griped.

“I looked.”

“Yeah, right, in your dreams, maybe.”

“Saw him, too.”

She was pretty sure he was lying, yet her stomach still flipped uneasily. “Where?”

“Like I’m going to tell you.”

Biting back a growl of frustration, she muttered, “Cocky jerk,” on her way over to the woodpile next to the cabin. Since she obviously wasn’t going to get the sleep she needed, she might as well start the campfire to dry out her boots and make some dinner.

Reggie piled her arms with a couple pieces of smaller kindling, a couple larger chunks, and—

An ominous rattle froze her in place.

Over the logs in her arms, her gaze sought out the source and spotted a coiled Western Diamondback who must have been sunning itself against the cabin logs—three feet from where she stood. In all her years out here, she’d never run into a rattlesnake. Because she was careful, watched what she was doing, and honestly, had just been plain lucky.

Damn Tripp and his warning—he’d jinxed her! Without her boots for protection, if the snake bit her, she’d be in real trouble.

The rattle continued and the snake’s head rose higher as it moved slightly to the side. Reggie’s fear mounted. What should she do? Throw a chunk of wood at it? Stay frozen? Run? God, she’d forgotten everything Judd and Ernesto had drummed into her head and her limbs started to tremble from the strain of holding perfectly still with the armload of wood.

“Don’t move now, Princess.”

Tripp. She would’ve sagged with relief, but didn’t dare move a muscle. She hadn’t even heard him coming up behind her.

“He’s big,” she whispered, her voice shaky.

“I see him. Easy now, I’m going to put my hands on your arms.”

She knew it was coming but still flinched. His firm grip revealed his tension, which only made her more nervous.

“Strike distance is half the length of his body.” Sure, that she remembered. “He looks at least six feet long.”

“He’s lucky if he’s five—we’ve got a good six inches on him,” Trip assured her. His breath fanned her ear as his body pressed against her back. “We’ll just give the little guy a minute to settle down.”

His hands slid inch by slow inch down her arms until he held her in the circle of his arms. She wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but she relaxed, leaning against him as he helped absorb some of the weight of the wood to relieve her aching muscles. Even though the air was still quite warm, she welcomed the reassuring heat of him against her back, somehow safe in his protective hold.

Quick as it’d begun, the rattling subsided. The snake uncoiled and slithered away toward the woods, mesmerizing in its gracefulness. Reggie followed the reptile with her gaze until the striped tail and lighter colored rattle disappeared. She closed her eyes in relief.

You’d think she could breathe now. Move. Do something.

“You can let go of the wood,” Tripp said, his voice somewhat gruff.

She wanted to press her ear against his warm mouth. Instead, she said, “It’ll drop on my toes.” He chuckled and the sound sent a curl of desire straight through her.

“Then let me help.”

Leaving one hand curved around her stomach, he used the other to methodically toss each piece of wood back on the pile. When her arms were empty, he slid his palms down along her forearms, twined his fingers with hers and wrapped her in the most sensual embrace she’d ever experienced.

With her eyes still shut, there wasn’t a single inch they touched she wasn’t aware of. His cheek alongside hers, chin resting on her shoulder, chest to back, his hips nestled just above the curve of her butt. As the tension drained from her body, she let her head relax back against his shoulder. She’d gladly stay right here for eternity.

Her eyes popped open. What was she doing? The danger was not gone—he would hurt her. He’d made no secret of the fact that his main goal was to get back at her, to take away everything she held dear, like she’d done to him.

She stiffened in his arms, straining to break free of his hold. She thought she heard him sigh as he released her, but when she spun around to escape into the cabin, he caught her arm and drew her against him.

Face to face. Chest to chest. Hips to hips.

Another wave of heat swept through her when she realized she wasn’t the only one physically affected by the moment of insanity in his arms.

“It’s only going to get worse, you know.”

“W-what is?”

“This thing between us,” he said. “It’s not going away, so why fight it?”

She refused to look up; she couldn’t let him get to her—even though he was probably right. “The only thing between us is the last eleven years.”

His fingers flexed against her skin. “And despite that, I still want you, Regan.”

The rough statement weakened her knees, but his use of her given name reminded her of his true opinion of her. It gave her the strength to finally meet his blue eyes, desire-darkened to the color of a midnight sky. When it came right down to it, she was fighting for her life.

“No, Tripp. You want to ruin me, and apparently, you’ll use any means necessary.”


CHASIN’ MASON has just been re-released with a brand new sexy cover and is on sale for $1.99 for a limited time (regular $3.99). Get your copy at: AMAZON, BN, SW, ARe

So, again I ask, do you prefer sensual or explicit in your romances? Let me know and I’ll enter you into a drawing for your choice of an ebook from my backlist.

Thanks so much to Vanessa for having me here today, and to everyone who’s come by to visit. Happy reading!

Thank you, Stacey, for that wonderful excerpt! Readers, Stacey is a wonderful writer–I’ve read her books and I love them. So answer her question, then check out her website for more info on her books!

Winners & Blog Hops

Are you ready to hear what your favorite romance heroes have to say? Well, we authors are ready to share our hunky heroes! Starting on Friday and ending on July 31st, over 100 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about romance heroes, a character post from them, and what we love about romance and men in general.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 100 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 100 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!


Yep. ALL of that! Whoot! Be sure to come back here on Friday and over the weekend to enjoy some stories and facts about our favorite Romance Heroes and enter to win!

I also have a winner today, too.  Winnie has won a copy of Cynthia Eden’s latest book, Angel BetrayedCongratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My guest author tomorrow is contemporary and romantic suspense author Stacey Joy Netzel.  And don’t forget to stop back Friday for the Hero’s Blog Hop!

We Have A Winner!

The winner of Claire Delacroix’s book is Muffy.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  Featured authors next week will be paranormal romance writer Cynthia Eden, and contemporary romance writer Stacey Joy Netzel.  Be sure to stop by!

Guest Author: Stacey Joy Netzel & Giveaway!

I’m so please to have my pal Stacey Joy Netzel guest-blogging with me today.  Stacey writes award-winning romance across several different genres; she’s a multi-talented, accomplished author, and one of the hardest working ladies that I know.  I’m going to turn the blog over to Stacey, so she can tell us what she’s been up to:

Hello! First, thanks to Vanessa for having me here, and thanks readers for stopping by!

Ever since my first book was published in 2007, my dad’s been bragging to everyone that his daughter is an author. Then he proceeds to say, “I’ve never read any of her books.” Nice, huh? Which always leads to “Why not?” “Well you should!” “Shame on you!” We’ve come to the conclusion he likes the added attention, even if it’s negative. 😉

However, he recently had foot surgery that’s put him on his butt for 6 weeks and he promised he’d read one of my books then. Which he has! One, then two, and right now he’s working on the third!! He says he’s impressed, he’s had a hard time putting the books down, but I’m the one who’s impressed–in the past 40 years, I think he’s read one, maybe two, books.

Anyway, the point of my story is that he’s been asking all kinds of questions. “How do you know this stuff? Do you know where it’s going when you start, or just start writing and see where it goes from there?”

And sometimes he has to look words up, or reread something again to figure out what the sentence meant. There was one such paragraph he asked me about as we were sitting around the campfire, and when one of my brother-in-laws mentioned that they didn’t know the word either, I thought it’d be a great question to post to readers to see if I’d explained sufficiently, or if I’d failed as an author in that instance, even though I thought I’d made it clear and my editor never commented on it.

Here’s the book clip from Shadowed Trust, book 3 of my Colorado Trust Series:

He unzipped his duffle and withdrew a bottle of Jack Daniels before going over to the knotty-pine cupboards to find a glass. Outside on the small porch with its two wooden lounge chairs in dire need of a fresh coat of stain, he sat down, poured a glass, then leaned to place the bottle within easy reach.

He held up the glass, considering the amber liquid. Wasn’t his usual Lagavulin, but given his current situation, beggars couldn’t be choosers.

My question for you (without Googling it!): do you know what Lagavulin is? If you don’t, and go back a paragraph to reread, can you figure it out?

Another question…are things like this frustrating for you as a reader, or do you not mind figuring things out? (Assuming it’s just occasionally in a book, and not every other paragraph, which would completely annoy me.)

I’d really love some reader feedback on this, so please leave your comments and I’ll give one randomly drawn winner their choice of one of my backlist ebooks, gifted to them, via whatever ereader they choose.

I’d also like to let you know I have a brand new contemporary romance out this month and share an excerpt, so thanks again for coming by and have a great day!

More Than A Kiss

When a kiss…

All reporter Sadie Barton wants is to be taken seriously and judged on her own merits, not her stepfather’s money. She and her actress sister left Wisconsin to get out from under his controlling thumb and leave behind the malicious whispers that they’re no better than their gold-digging mother. But California isn’t all sun and fun, and paying the rent while trying to prove herself is harder than she ever imagined.

…is more than a kiss…

Something about Sadie drew self-made millionaire Zach Robinson—and it wasn’t just the amazing kiss they shared as impromptu actors in his company’s commercial. He’s used to women being interested in his wealth, and Sadie’s fierce independence is an enticing breath of fresh air. He’s falling fast—until his brother suggests acting runs in her family and Sadie might not be exactly what she seems…


“You should’ve iced this right away.”

The first touch of the cold cloth on his sore lip triggered a reflexive jerk away. He hissed air through his teeth before relaxing to let it out slow.

She raised her other arm and laid her palm along his stubble covered jaw to hold him still. It seemed strange, her fussing over him like this when he could take care of himself. Warmth spread from her touch and started his heart thudding in his chest. As if someone smacked him upside the head, he realized this was the closest she’d gotten to him since they’d kissed on the set of the commercial. Voluntarily, anyway.

With her concentration fixed on his mouth, Zach let his gaze wander over her long, down-swept lashes, smooth skin, and enticing lips. Discomfort shifted to center below the waistband of his shorts. Didn’t help that she had the corner of that lush, lower lip caught between her teeth again. He wanted to nibble.

When he raised his gaze to find her watching him, his pulse stuttered. Color stained her cheeks, but she didn’t break the connection.

“I didn’t thank you yet,” she said softly.

“Sure you did.”

His grip tightened on the cold bottle in his hand. Shut up, idiot! Let her thank you however she wants.

“Not for taking me to get Gemma, I didn’t. Or helping us get out of there and taking the hit for us.”

“Two,” he reminded, throwing in a grimace for good measure. “I took two hits.”

A smile tugged the corners of her mouth upward. “Don’t worry, I was counting.”


She lowered the hand with the ice pack to rest on his shoulder, bracing herself as she leaned closer. The minty freshness of her breath filled his nostrils and he swallowed hard at the thought of tasting it on his tongue.

“So…anyway…thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Zach held still, afraid to even breathe in case she changed her mind. Anticipation sizzled through his body and what had been a refreshing ocean breeze now became a teasing caress on his heated skin.

Sadie’s lashes lowered as she closed her eyes and pressed her lips to his. Stomach muscles tightened in his effort to lean into the kiss, but she pulled away.

Well, damn. He had two chances here and one was already over? To hide his disappointment over the all too brief contact, he joked, “That’s one.”

The thumb of her right hand whispered across his lips. “How does your mouth feel?”


He barely had a chance to draw a breath before she leaned in for take two.

More Than A Kiss links:

Amazon AA link: Sand
BN: Sand
Smashwords, All Romance eBooks

Find Stacey and her other books online:

Amazon Author Page

Website and Blog:



Vanessa, here.  Great post, Stacey, and I love the excerpt.  Okay, readers.  You heard the lady.  Comment on Stacey’s question for  a chance to win one of her wonderful books!

We Have A Winner!

The winner of yesterday’s e-book contest is Cate Sparks.  Congratulations, Cate!  You’ve won the first two books in Stacey Joy Netzel’s and Donna Marie Roger’s small town series, Welcome To Redemption.  I’ll be in touch with you soon.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog on Wednesday.  And please stop back tomorrow.  I’m featuring the wonderful Alix Rickloff, who writes dark and sexy historical paranormal romance for Pocket Books.  We’ll be talking about her upcoming release, Lord of Shadows, and doing a giveaway.

See you tomorrow!


Author Feature & Giveaway: Stacey Joy Netzel & Donna Marie Rogers

Welcome to Redemption, the charming town in Wisconsin created by two talented authors, Stacey Joy Netzel and Donna Marie Rogers I’m really happy to showcase Stacey and Donna because, as critique partners, they’ve created a unique, interlinked series of wonderful stories about life and love in a small town in America’s heartland.

Stacey Joy Netzel

Donna Marie Rogers

Like many romance readers today, I love small town contemporaries.  The evocation of a quieter, gentler life, founded on deeply felt relationships between families and friends who’ve all know each other forever is deeply appealing in the fast-paced and often fractured world of modern society.  When life gets us down or feels a little two frantic, there’s nothing like a small town contemporary to ease the tension and bring some warmth and sanity back into our reading lives.

And that’s exactly what the Welcome To Redemption series does.  These are truly lovely, warm-hearted stories about ordinary men and women in this great little town, who fall in love and overcome life’s challenges to find their HEAs.  Here’s what Jane Toombs, the multi-published award winning author had to say about the first set of stories in the series:

“Welcome to Redemption by, Donna Marie Rogers and Stacey Joy Netzel offers four refreshing and heartwarming stories. These stories bring readers right into the heart of this town, and the lives of its people, with four happy and romantic endings. Reading this book was a real pleasure.”

The Romance Studio gave Welcome To Redemption 5 hearts, and called it “a marvelous book.”  And it is a marvelous book – I’ve read it and I loved it, and I’m a real fan of Stacey’s and Donna’s writings.  I also love the fact that the series is a collaborative effort that interweaves the talents of these two writers into a seamless collection of  four tales.

Both Stacey and Donna have garnered critical acclaim for their other books, too.  Stacey’s Mistletoe Rules was the winner of the 2010 Wisconsin Write Touch Contest, and also received a Top Pick from Night Owl Romance and was nominated for Best Book of 2009 at Long and Short Reviews.  And Donna’s contemporary romance, Meant To Be You, took second place in the prestigious Bean Pot Award and was also a finalist in the Wisconson Write Touch Contest in 2010.

For their next collaborative effort, Stacey and Donna have returned to the world of Redemption.  They obtained the rights back to their orginal WTR anthology, re-edited all four stories, and added additional contents to Books 1, 3, and 4.  Then, they each wrote two brand NEW stories to continue the series with Books 5 and 6.  I’m really thrilled for them, and very much looking forward to revisiting the inhabitants of the lovely small town of Redemption, Wisconsin.

On Thursday of this week, all six books in the series will be available as digital reads on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and for other eReaders.   And to kick-start the newly edited series, Stacey and Donna will be giving away some of the new books for free.  Be sure to check their websites on Thursday for all the details.

But I also want to celebrate the release of the new Redemption books, so I’m doing a giveaway today.  Just tell me what you most like (or don’t like) about small town contemporary romance.  One person who comments will win the first two books in this truly lovely series.