Guest Author: Mary Behre & Giveaway!!


It’s always exciting to introduce debut authors to readers, and I have that treat in store for you today.  I’m so pleased to host paranormal romance author Mary Behre, whose debut book, Spirited, is out tomorrow!  Listen to some of the advance praise for this book:

“Spirited is an intriguing blend of romance, mystery and ghosts to keep you up late at night.”  New York Times bestseller Dianna Love

Great! A real-page turner.Be prepared, once you sit down to read, you won’t want to get up until you’ve finished the book.”NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lynsay Sands

Lynsay Sands, people!  And I completely agree with that assessment.  I know Mary and she’s a superbly talented author.  She’s here today to share an exclusive excerpt of Spirited.  Pull up a chair and enjoy!

Jules sat dumbfounded in the bedroom of a Greek god. He had espresso brown eyes, curly black hair, a long nose that had probably been broken a time or two, and a sexy, dimpled chin. His tan, muscular body was covered by a chest full of springy hair that begged to be touched. Dang! He even smelled good, like soap and the salty Tidewater air.

Ohmigawd, he’s a walking condom commercial.

He scowled at her, waiting for an answer. Although to save her life she couldn’t think of anything. Where was she? More important, what was she doing here? Then a mental switch flipped and it all became clear.

That freaking ghost! Jules couldn’t very well tell a cop she stumbled into his apartment because a ghost made her do it. He’d haul her off to the loony bin.

“Well.” Jules fidgeted against the cuffs and tried to adjust to a more dignified position on the bed. So not happening. “No, not really. I was trying to go home but, uh . . . locked myself out.”

He arched an eyebrow at her but didn’t say anything.

“I know this looks bad but just ask Big Jim. He’ll vouch for me.”

“And Big Jim? Who’s that, your pimp?”

“What? No!” She laughed and shook her head at the absurd thought. “He’s my dad.”

“Is that what they’re calling them these days?” He scoffed but didn’t give her time to respond. “There’s no one named Big Jim in this building. Try again, the truth this time.”

“Ernie Ward! Ernie is my dad.”

“I thought his name was Jim.” He shook his head. He made a sound like a buzzer. “Wrong again. I’ve known Ernie for years but I’ve never seen you before. Want to try another name, honey?”


His biceps flexed, arms still folded across his chest, as if he wanted to move but barely restrained himself. The sight was distracting. He wasn’t exactly muscle-bound, just finely honed. He stood fierce and masculine like an ancient warrior. Intimidating but ruthlessly sexy. It made her want to . . . She shook herself inwardly.

Why couldn’t she think straight? This so wasn’t like her. She didn’t go gooey over any guy, regardless of how ruggedly handsome. But her heart pounded at an erratic pace and she’d once again lost the thread of the conversation. What had he just asked?

Think, Jules! Ignore the instant pull of pointless physical attraction. It had never done her any favors in the past anyway. Something about him must be repellent. Find it!

She looked at him again, this time skating her gaze past his naked chest and sexy arms and moving down.

Oh, it couldn’t be.

She blinked, astonished.

He wore bright yellow pajama pants, covered in lambs.

Resisting the urge to laugh, she latched on to righteous indignation and straightened her shoulders. This condescending jerk treated her like a criminal, handcuffed her and called her a liar. Oh, he was going down.

“My name’s Jules. Not honey,” she snapped. “And Big Jim—Ernie—is my father. He lives in this building and I live with him.”

“I highly doubt it. Hookers don’t live here,” he said, tugging a red T-shirt over his head.

“Excuse me?” she yelled. “I’m not a hooker, and you owe me an apology!”

“Really?” he said, giving her an obvious once-over, his gaze settling on her bustier.

Her cheeks burned.

“Wait. I can explain.”

“Enlighten me.” He narrowed his eyes, doubt etched on his face.

“See, there was this costume party and . . .” Her words trailed off. How to explain the theme of her college reunion without sounding like an imbecile for dressing in the ridiculous outfit just to win a blue ribbon? Now that she thought about it, stupid might aptly describe her decision-making skills tonight. “Well, there was a Pimp and Ho party earlier tonight. I was on my way home from it—”

“And you just happened to climb into my window?”

Jules opened her mouth to respond, but doubted he’d believe her anyway. So she settled on a half-truth. “It was a mistake. I meant to climb into Big Jim’s window, but it was jammed and yours was . . . open.”

“Ah ha!” His mouth twisted into a satisfied grin. “You admit to breaking and entering.”

“Not breaking. Just entering. And who in his right mind sleeps in this city without a screen in his window anyway?” Oops! She hadn’t meant to say that last part, but she pushed on. “If you’ll just let me go find Big Jim—”

“Don’t think so.” With a grim expression on his face, he tugged her to her feet. “Time to go.”

“Where are we going?” Jules dragged her heels, her stilettos scraping the wooden floorboards.

Still in his pajama bottoms, he jammed his feet into a pair of loafers.

Jules gaped. The gladiator image of him fizzled with each passing second. “Are you really planning to go out in public dressed like an overgrown four-year-old?”

“Shut. Up,” he growled, jerking on a knee-length, brown leather coat. “Say another word and I’ll charge you with resisting arrest.”

“Wait, uh, I think there’s been some mistake.”

“You bet your sweet ass, there has.”

“Where . . . where . . .” Jules swallowed in an effort to keep her voice from shaking. “Where are we going?”

“You’re gonna spend the night in lockup.”

“Please, not jail!” Her words ended on a squeak, but she couldn’t help it.

Earth-bound ghosts, bent on driving the living crazy, seemed to love hanging out in graveyards and jails. When they realized she could actually hear them, she’d be defenseless.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?  Here’s the blurb:

She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life–preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s ability for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding–no matter how impossible the truth may be…

You can order Spirited from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and BAM.

For my readers today, Mary is giving away a copy of Spirited, book one in her Tidewater Series.  Just tell us about some of the books you’re looking forward to in the next few months for a chance to win!

PS.  I’m visiting with the lovely ladies at The Romance Dish today, with an exclusive excerpt from my upcoming book, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom.  And the ladies are also giving away an ARC of Confessions.  After you comment on Mary’s excerpt, stop by and visit with me at The Romance Dish!


Guest Author: Laurie London & Giveaway!


Isn’t that an awesome cover?  It’s from bestselling author Laurie London’s latest paranormal romance, Rogue’s Passion, #2 in her Iron Portal Series.  Laurie’s books are wonderful–and don’t just take my word for it.  Publishers Weekly calls them “sexy” and “sizzling.”  Yum!

The Iron Portal world is very cool, too, featuring warriors with special abilities and portals hidden in the Pacific Northwest that separate the modern and ancient worlds.  Here’s the blurb for Rogue’s Passion:

For years, Olivia Crawford has kept a low profile in order to keep her para-ability secret. If the army finds out she’s a Healer-Talent, they’ll force her to work for them—just like her brother who was taken as a boy and never seen again.

But when a terrible explosion rocks New Seattle, she risks everything to save the injured, including a handsome stranger with secrets of his own.

Blaming himself for the death of a friend, Iron Guild warrior Asher Kane vows to bring those responsible to justice. After he’s hurt on a mission and nursed back to health by a beautiful yet mysterious woman, this dangerously sexy bad-boy finds himself falling for her…even as he struggles to stay away.

But stalking them on the streets of New Seattle is a cruel and vengeful evil—one that threatens to destroy them both…

You can read an excerpt of Rogue’s Passion on Laurie’s website, and also be sure to check out her Iron Portal Pinterest board!

One person who comments today will win a digital copy of Rogue’s Passion.  Just tell us what ancient civilization you’d like to visit for a chance to win!

Dark And Dangerous Now On Sale For Only 99 Cents!


Boy, have I got a great deal for you today!  Three stories by fellow Rock*It Reads authors Bonnie Vanak, Laurie London, and Erin Kellison are featured in a new paranormal romance anthology that also includes other fantastic authors like USA Today Bestseller Jennifer Ashley.  Even more exciting, this collection is now on sale for ONLY 99 cents!  Trust me – I’ve already downloaded my own copy.

Here are some of the stories included in this anthology:

THE MATING HUNT by Bonnie Vanak
After a childhood trauma left Arianna Sanders terrified of sex, the only man the pretty Lupine werewolf desires is her fiercely protective guardian. But the sexy, mysterious shifter harbors a dark secret, one he’s determined to hide from Arianna.

Kyle Morgan hungers for the voluptuous Arianna and dreams of consummating the passion smoldering between them. When he’s forced into mating with her to save her life, he must tame the savage, sexual beast inside him before taking the virgin he’s vowed to protect from those hungering to claim her, including himself…

ASSASSIN’S TOUCH by Laurie London
Two worlds. Two enemies. One fated touch.

Former fashion designer Neyla Trihorn had the perfect life until a deadly accident revealed her latent para-abilities–now she’s the army’s hottest asset in their fight against invaders. Rickert D’Angelus, the dangerously sexy assassin from Cascadia, leads a group of warriors into New Seattle to stop enemy soldiers from finding the Iron Portal into his world.

When he captures the beautiful Protection-Talent, a passionate vision appears and stirs something deep inside him. Rickert must decide if it’s a Talent trick, designed to foil the enemy…or the answer to his deepest desires.

SHADOW BOUND by Erin Kellison
Dark fantasy meets modern fairy tale…

Adam Thorne founded the Segue Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow. Twilight is the place between life and what comes after–a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.

HARD MATED by Jennifer Ashley
Spike, a wildcat Shifter and the champion fighter of Shiftertown, is stunned when Myka, the best friend of a dying human woman, announces that Spike has fathered a cub. What’s more, the mother is giving the boy to Spike to protect and raise.

Spike is torn between the cub and his duties as tracker to the Shiftertown leader, and begs sassy and sexy horse-training Myka, the only person who understands, to help him. When Spike’s job puts his cub and Myka in danger, Spike is forced to choose between those to whom he’s pledged his loyalty and his need to protect the woman and cub he’s come to love.


Wow!  What a great collection, and there are two other stories contained in this anthology as well.  If you love sexy paranormal romance, you really shouldn’t let this deal pass you by.  You can find Dark And Dangerous on Amazon, B & N, Kobo, and most e-retailers.


Guest Author: Colleen Gleason & Giveaway!!

Colleen Gleason

I’m really pleased to be featuring acclaimed paranormal and historical romance author Colleen Gleason to the blog.  Colleen also writes Young Adult novels, and she’s got a fabulous new book out this week–the first in what is sure to be a really cool series about the sister of Bram Stoker (of Dracula fame) and the niece of Sherlock Holmes, who team up to solve mysteries in Victorian London.

The Clockwork Scarab is already getting great reviews, too:

“The author’s writing exudes energy, romance, and humor, and she gives her heroines strong, vibrant personalities as they puzzle out the expansive mystery unfolding before them.”—Publishers Weekly

“This book has it all… the vivid setting and the finely drawn, compelling heroines make this a fine choice for readers who like their stories with steampunk spice and smart, strong women.”—School Library Journal

Clockwork Scarab

Here’s the blurb:

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood.

And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate. Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab.

The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  You can find out more about the book on the website dedicated to the new series.  And check out this book trailer with a great steampunk vibe!

For my readers today, Colleen is giving away a $10 gift card to the winner’s choice of retailer.  Just let us know which actors play your favorite version of Sherlock Holmes or Dracula for a chance to win!

Guest Author – Jennifer Stevenson & Giveaway!!


I’m really pleased to invite fantasy romance writer Jennifer Stevenson to the blog today, for a fun and fascinating interview.  Let’s get right to it, shall we?

You write fantasy romance with crazy fun stories.  What drew you to work in this particular romance sub-genre?  What do you like about it?

I’ve always loved comedy. My favorite authors all write comedy—PG Wodehouse, Georgette Heyer, Carl Hiaasen, Daniel Pinkwater, Jennifer Crusie, Terry Pratchett. (Quite a few of them are Brits. Dunno what to make of that. I suppose it helps take me out of ths world!) Comedy makes me relax. The world isn’t so bad while you can laugh at it. Plus, stories about mean people wake me up screaming, which is hard on my husband. I read my favorites aloud to him, and he reads them to me.

As for the Hinky Chicago series, for twenty years I had this idea for a possessed brass bed. I wanted to write it for Harlequin Spice, if I could bang it into shape…a paranormal romance with a sex demon and the woman who gets hold of  his bed.

But then I got one of those amazing opportunities nobody ever gets. The editor in chief of Del Rey books wrote me and said she had heard from a mutual friend, Nalo Hopkinson, that I had this wack idea about a brass bed, and had I sold it yet? I had not. I didn’t have much story, either. I had thirty pages of dark, angsty, broody fantasy focused on the hero, and thirty pages of fluffy funny romcom about the heroine. I sent ’em both. The editor picked fluffy.

What’s the premise for your Hinky Chicago series?  Does it have two heroes?

To clarify, the series didn’t have a name at first. It’s usually called “The Brass Bed series,” after the first book. The other titles featured a velvet chair and a bearskin rug, but you really can’t hustle “The Furniture Series.”


So the books are now The Hinky Brass Bed, The Hinky Velvet Chair, The Hinky Bearskin Rug, The Hinky Genie Lamp, and A Hinky Taste of You. The Hinky Brass Bed came out September 3. The rest are launching weekly until October 1 at Book View Cafe.

So Jewel is a fraud cop with the Department of Consumer Services in a version of Chicago—and the world—where magic is invading cities and making messes. Pigeons smoke cigarettes (and set fires by dropping their lighted butts everywhere). Magical pink smog covers the highways at rush hour; people vanish, or grow tails, or have other weird things happen to them. Jewel’s job is to investigate “hinky stuff,” try to make the citizens of Chicago happier about it, and keep them from reporting it to the media. Other cities have collapsed because they overreacted to magic. But Chicago is da city dat woiks. Da mayor’s Hinky Policy, unspoken but fiercely enforced, is “Don’t ask, don’t tell, cope.”

Then Jewel is sent undercover to bust Clay, a fake sex therapist. Turns out, he’s not all that fake—his “treatment bed” is possessed by a sex demon, and she accidentally releases him from the bed.

The sex demon Randy was once an ordinary English lord. He was also bad in bed. His mistress complained. He pissed her off by claiming, “You women don’t enjoy sex anyway, you just use it to get money or marriage or children.” Turns out his mistress was a magician with a short temper. She turned him into a sex demon and bound him with a curse: “You don’t get out of this bed until you have satisfied a hundred women.”

Fast forward two hundred years. Jewel is the hundredth woman.

There’s a sting in the tail of the curse. The hundredth woman must love Randy, and he must love her, before the curse is resolved. Until then, if he freaks out or has a fight with her, he ends up zapping into the nearest bed. Or car seat. Or massage table. You should read the scene where he vanishes into the Home Furnishings department on the eighth and ninth floors of Marshall Field’s. Clay has to sneak them into the store after hours so Jewel can find the bed where Randy is imprisoned, lie on it, and give him an opportunity to…satisfy her. That was fun to write.

As for the two men in Jewel’s life—the editor wanted an open-ended fantasy series, not a one-off romance. I knew she was thinking about Laurell K. Hamilton and Janet Evanovich. Plus, the only way to keep the romantic side of the story moving was to throw in a second hero, right? Otherwise it sort of collapses into a happily-ever-after and boom, the story’s kinda over.

So Clay was added in. I’ve had lots of lovely conflict out of Clay’s introduction to this romantic triangle.

You’re someone who grew up close to nature, but your heroine is a savvy, urban fraud investigator?  How did you come up with the idea for Jewel?

Cities are fascinating. I adore Chicago and I’m a bit of an infrastructure geek, so I love writing about how things work in cities.

But I kind of miss writing nature, actually. My first book was very nature-oriented (Trash Sex Magic, from Small Beer Press). I’ve been thinking lately about how to add nature to Jewel’s stories. Of course, she and Randy are always having sex in “demonspace” and he often provides her with nature-based settings for their carryings-on.


Jewel was hard for me. I needed a heroine who would drive this particular hero crazy. The usual virginal girlygirl wouldn’t do. (Do I ever do girlygirls? Or virgins? Actually, yes, sometimes.) If she were the kind of woman who had her first orgasm and fell in love with the guy, she’d be no use here, because the story would be over too soon. I needed somebody with a “lifestyle problem,” a girl whose little black book is a foot thick. She wants to tell Randy, “That was nice, now go home, I have a strict no-sleepover rule.” She’s allergic to relationships. She needs her space. For an alpha male with a compulsive woman-pleasing curse, this is ideal torment.

Of course, because Randy is liable to zap into a bed anytime they fight, they’re pretty much joined at the hip. Because she’s not mean enough to condemn him to eternal sex slavery in someone else’s bed. So Jewel suffers too.

This is how authors think.

What’s up next in your writing life?

Next I embark on rewrites for the last book in my Slacker Demons paranormal romance series. I thought of calling it Gods Just Wanna Have Fun, but my editor says no. Now I’m overhauling one of the two heroes and maybe one of the two heroines.

The slackers are five guys living in a man-lair in Chicago. They’re all hot, all sex demons, all working for different hells in different religions, all this close to losing their jobs. Because, while they’re good at meeting girls, they suck at the paperwork. The first one’s called It’s Raining Men.

In the last book I settle the hash of Baz AKA Ashurbanipal, a warrior-god who lost his job and is still mooching around the planet. He’s assigned to get the virtue of a hard-working young rock star who is willy-nilly turning into a love goddess. At the same time I’ve still got Veek AKA Vicomte Montmorency on my hands. Veek ran away from his stuffy French aristocratic family because they hated that his mother was black. Then he ran away from his mother’s voudou family because he pissed off a voudou god. He’s got to stop running now, and I’ve got just the heroine to make him stand and deliver something besides amazing sex demon sex. Sophie is another out-of-control heroine. I love those!

Find me on Facebook and let’s talk.

For my readers today, Jennifer is giving away a copy of The Hinky Brass Bed.  Just tell us what’s your favorite comic novel, TV show, or movie for a chance to win!