Tons of Winners!

I have lots of winners to announce today.  For the Romance at Random Reader Rally I have three:  Melanie Friedman has won a copy of My Favorite Countess, Dalila has won a copy of CaddyGirls, and Renee B has won a copy of my other V.K. Sykes contemporary romance, Hardball.

The winner of Margaret Mallory’s book, The Guardian, is Filia Oktarina.  The winner of Tina Gabrielle’s latest book, In The Barrister’s Chambers, is lisagk.

Congratulations, everyone!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog.  My featured author tomorrow is contemporary romance writer, Liz Flaherty.  Be sure to stop on by!

Guest Author: Elisabeth Naughton & Giveaway!

One of my favorite authors is once again featured on the blog today.  She’s Elisabeth Naughton and she writes sexy romantic adventures, and hot and dangerous paranormal romance.  From the beginning, Elisabeth’s books have received tons of critical acclaim.  This is how the Chicago Tribune described her Stolen Series romantic suspense trilogy:

“Naughton deftly distills deadly intrigue, high adrenaline action and scorchingly hot passion.”

Yes, she does!  Her paranormal romance is fabulous too.  In fact, her next paranormal, Enraptured, just got a starred review from the prestigious Publisher’s Weekly:

“Filled with sizzling romance, heartbreaking drama, and a cast of multifaceted characters, this powerful and unusual retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice story is Naughton’s best book yet.”

And can we just pause a moment to ponder that awesome cover?  *Vanessa fans herself*

Where was I?  I remember!  With Elisabeth’s latest book, always good news for her readers.  Like many top-notch authors, Elisabeth has moved into the world of digital publishing, this time with an emotional contemporary romance called Wait For Me.

Here’s the blurb for this intriguing story:

A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

Doesn’t that sound awesome?  And I’m going to give you a little flavor of Elisabeth’s book with this excerpt:

Ryan tossed his keys on the entry table and closed the front door behind Kate. She wandered into his living room without a word and stopped in front of the fireplace, where a series of framed photos of their life together still sat on the mantel. Their wedding photo, the day they’d brought Julia home from the hospital, a picture of the two of them on a hiking trip up one of those stupid mountains she’d always been dragging him to.

What did she think when she looked at those pictures? Did she feel anything? His palms grew sweaty. His stomach churned like it was set on the spin cycle of a washing machine.

Guilt slithered in as he watched her look from photo to photo, clamped on tight to his heart. Guilt for not looking for her when he should have. Guilt for what was happening now. Guilt over the fact someone had purposely hurt her five years ago and that it could possibly be because of him.

He raked a hand through his hair, knowing dwelling on that guilt wasn’t going to change anything. The only thing that mattered now was keeping her safe. “Are you tired?”

She turned to face him. Moonlight spilled through the picture window, illuminating her features. Those deep green eyes, the high-set cheekbones, that mass of curly hair that fell to her shoulders and which he ached to slide his fingers through. “Exhausted.”

Her tired voice was like velvet and sandpaper all wrapped up together. He wanted to hear her say his name in that same sleepy tone like she had so many times before. Wanted to pick her up and take her to his bed. Wanted to wrap her in his arms, slide inside her body, and block out the rest of the world.

But he knew he couldn’t. She still wasn’t sure of him. He’d been an ass to her when he’d first found out who she was, and now they both knew he was indirectly responsible for her accident. Her wariness was warranted, and he didn’t want to push her. As much as he wanted—needed—to touch her, he wanted her to want him back. Even if it was only a fraction of his want for her.

“Come on,” he said, gesturing for her to follow. “I’ll show you the guest room.”

He picked up her bag, the one they’d driven out to Moss Beach to get, and headed up the stairs. Her feet shuffled behind him, her sweet scent of lilacs drifted in the air. He hardened at just the thought of her lying in a bed down the hall from him tonight, so very close. So completely alive.

Cold shower. That’s what he needed right now. Maybe two. Or ten.

He pushed the guest-room door open, and when she eased by him, those silky strands of hair brushed his shoulder. His stomach clenched, and heavy tingling sensations shot straight to his groin.

“This is nice,” she said, turning a slow circle as she took in the pale blue walls, the white comforter on the queen-sized bed, the whitewashed furniture a decorator had picked out.

But nice wasn’t the word he was thinking of. Dressed in jeans and a fitted T-shirt, she was gorgeous. Curvy at her hips, tight through her legs and ass, and when she turned, the swell of her breasts tempted not only his body but his control. He’d had his hands on those luscious breasts earlier today, wanted his lips there now.


He glanced up and noticed her curious expression. “Sorry. Punchy. It’s been a long day.”

“Yeah, I guess it has.”

He set her bag on the bed, moved to open the adjacent door, and flipped on the light. Tried like hell to stop being so aware of every sound and movement she made. Couldn’t. “Bathroom’s through here.”

“Did I live here before?”

The soft-spoken question drew him around. What would it be like not to remember who or what you were? To have to rely on others to fill in the gaps? For the first time since she’d come back into his life, he realized how hard this must be for her.

He checked the urge to reach out to her and instead shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. “No. I bought this house about four years ago.”


She ran her hand over the blue-checked bedspread. He wished she’d touch him like that, couldn’t help but remember the way heat had sizzled all along his skin when her hands had brushed over him earlier in the day.

“Where did we live before?”

“We had a place in the city. After you…left…I couldn’t stand being there by myself.”

That was partly true. The real truth was he hadn’t been able to step foot in a single room in that house without remembering her being there, smiling at him, making love with him. Being in that house without her had almost killed him.

“Oh,” she said again. On a deep breath, she dropped her hand and looked at her feet.

Talking about the past wasn’t putting her at ease. And he didn’t want her uncomfortable. He went into the bathroom and pulled towels out of the linen closet, then set them on the counter. When he made his way back out into the bedroom, she was already going through her bag.

Her face was drawn, her mascara smudged under her eyes. She looked like she could nod off to sleep at any moment. “I guess I’ll just let you get some rest, then.”


“Yeah?” He stopped at the open door, glanced back.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“For this…for putting you out.”

“You’re not.”

She shook her head. “Yes, I am. I’m sorry about all of this. I shouldn’t have come to San Francisco. I didn’t stop to think about how this would affect anyone but myself. I’ve sucked you into this nightmare. I’ve caused nothing but confusion and heartache for Julia and Reed. And now I’ve put Simone and Shannon in danger.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong,” he said softly.

“Yeah, I did. I told myself I had to know the truth. Now…” She lifted her arms, dropped them in defeat, and sank down onto the edge of the bed. “Now, I’m not so sure I want to know anymore. Maybe it would just be better if I packed up and left.”

A knot twisted in his stomach. Panic pumped through him. He wouldn’t survive it if she walked out on him now. Losing her the first time had broken him. A second time would kill him.

He knelt in front of her, knowing if he touched her, he wasn’t going to be able to stop. But he needed that connection, needed to show her how much she meant to him. With shaking fingers, he clasped her hand in her lap. “You can’t leave now.”

Her eyes were full of anguish and remorse. The sadness he saw there tightened his chest to painful levels. He ached to wrap his arms around her and pull her close, to take away the pain for both of them.

“You can’t possibly tell me any of this is what you want,” she said quietly.

“I don’t want this mess, no. But in some insane way, it brought you back to us. I wouldn’t change it now for anything. What I want is to see you smile again, to figure out a way to make this easier for all of us. Walking away from me and the kids isn’t going to do that. It’ll just make things worse.”

Her eyes slid shut. “I know.”

Hearing the crack in her voice did him in. He could see himself pushing her back on the bed, tugging her clothes off, pressing inside her and driving the worry away. Wanted that so bad he could barely breathe.

Gently, she pulled her hand from his and ran it over her hair. “I’m just tired and not thinking clearly. I need some rest.”

He didn’t want to break the connection, but she’d already done it, was putting up those barriers again and blocking him out. Why couldn’t he read her? Why couldn’t he figure out what she was thinking? He’d always been able to do that with her. He didn’t want to admit she was different, but she was. So much about her was different from what he remembered.

Reluctantly, he pushed to his feet. “Okay. I guess I’ll see you in the morning.”


She smiled when he didn’t move. Not a seductive, made-for-him grin, but a forced, uncomfortable curl of her luscious lips that said it was way past time he left.

He pulled the bedroom door closed behind him, then gripped the handle for support. And alone in the empty hall, he closed his eyes and rested his head against the door. Everything he’d ever wanted was inside that room, and he didn’t know how to get it. Every move he made was the wrong one. Each step he took seemed to push her further away instead of draw her closer. Was he fooling himself into thinking he could ever win her back?

He sure the hell hoped not. Because he knew for certain he’d never survive losing her again.

Vanessa, here.  Doesn’t that book sound great?  Please check out Elisabeth’s website for details on Wait For Me, and for info on all her books.

For my readers today, Elisabeth is giving away a digital copy of her book, Wait For Me.  Just tell me which genre you prefer – contemporary romance, paranormal romance, or romantic suspense for a chance to win a copy of Elisabeth’s book!

And don’t forget that I’m participating in the Romance at Random Reader Rally

Just click on this link  to participate and for chances to win some fabulous books.  Or go directly to the Romance at Random contest page!

Guest Author: Cynthia Eden & Giveaway!

One of my favorite writers (and people!) is featured on my blog today:  she’s Cynthia Eden, and she writes sexy, action-packed paranormal romance and romantic suspense.  Cynthia is one of those authors that fairly early on was dubbed by critics and readers as a rising star.  I can attest to that – Cynthia is a dynamite writer and her books are fast-paced, exciting, smart, and oh-so-sexy.

But don’t take my word for it.  Here’s what Christine Feehan (yes, THAT Christine Feehan) had to say about Eternal Hunter, the first book in Cynthia’s Night Watch series

“It hooked me from the first page.”

Trust me.  That short quote says it all.  And then there’s this quote from a starred review given by Publisher’s Weekly about another one of Cynthia’s paranormal books, Never Cry Wolf:

“Nonstop action from the first page to the last makes this sexy paranormal romance a winner.”

Take it from me.  Cynthia’s books are a high octane mix of danger, suspense, and romance that pull you in from page one.  And they’re smart, which is one of the things I like about them.  Check out Cynthia’s bookshelf for the blurbs, excerpts, and reviews for all her books.  And make sure to read about her romantic suspense trilogy starting with Deadly Fear, which was nominated for the prestigious RITA Award.  If you like romantic suspense, I think you’ll love Cynthia’s trilogy.

Cynthia currently has a new paranormal romantic suspense book out, called Angel of Darkness.

This book has gotten great reviews, including this one from A Bookworm’s Haven:

“Cynthia Eden has quickly become one of my favorite adult paranormal authors and Angel of Darkness just reaffirms why I love her books so much! It was filled with all the elements we have come to expect from her, fast paced action, intriguing mythology and an alluring romance that will leave you craving more.”

Here’s the blurb for Angel of Darkness:

As an angel of death, Keenan’s job is to collect the souls on his list. He’s carried out his duty for two thousand years and never faltered once. Until he meets Nicole St. James.  When the moment of death comes, Keenan hesitates, and instead of taking Nicole, Keenan touches the vampire who’s attacking her.

Cast out of heaven for disobedience, Keenan plummets to earth. Six months later, he finally manages to track Nicole to a bar in Mexico. He’s stunned to discover that the woman he remembers has undergone a dramatic change—she’s become a vampire. And when he realizes that she’s the target of all manner of enemies—other vampires, demons, even shifters—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her, even if all hell breaks loose…

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  Be sure to check out Cynthia’s website to get all the details.  And don’t forget to stop by her blog to get her latest news and read great interviews and guest blogs by some fab authors.

For my readers today, Cynthia is giving away a copy Angel of Darkness.  Since we’re talking paranormal, let’s keep with that theme.  Who’s your favorite paranormal character on TV or in movies.  Mine’s Buffy–who’s yours?  Curious minds want to know!  One person who comments will win a copy of Cynthia’s fab book.

And don’t forget that I’m participating in the Romance at Random Reader Rally

Just click on this link  to participate and for chances to win some fabulous books.  Or go directly to the Romance at Random contest page!