Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Off to Orlando

Just wanted to let you know that I am on my way to Orlando for the RWA National Conference. I'll try to blog from the conference, but my schedule is pretty jam packed. If nothing else, I'll make sure to blog as soon as I get home-- and to include a bunch of pictures! Have a great week, everyone :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm Blogging at Romance Bandits Today

Hi everyone! I'm blogging over at www.romancebandits.com/blog today and giving away a copy of Dark Embers. So if you're still looking for a chance to win one, stop by and leave a comment!

Happy Friday :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just Got This!

Lookee what I have! My first UK edition of a Superromance! Usually, my books go into printing in Australia and India, but this is the first one I've had in the UK. They showed up in the mail yesterday/ Leave a comment today and be entered to win a copy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What I'm Working On Now ...

I'm just starting a new project that may or may not ever see the light of day. It's an Urban Fantasy/Romantic Suspense mix that features a supernatural heroine whose gift is to see dead people. And whose day job is to have knives thrown at her in a traveling carnival ... Here's a quick excerpt. It's rough because I'm only at the beginning stages of the project, but I would love your feedback. It's so new that I don't even have a working title for it, so any suggestions for that would also be greatly appreciated ...


I see dead people.
I know, I know, you’ve heard that before—but that doesn’t make the fact that I see them any less true. And, just so you know, when I say dead people, I don’t mean ghosts. Believe me, I’ve spent the last twelve years of my life wishing it was that simple.
But it isn’t. Because what I see is infinitely worse than your friendly, neighborhood ghost—or even your unfriendly, pissed off, happy or miserable ghost.
No, what I see is what is left behind when the spirit, the soul, the whatever it is that weighs that extra ounce or two scientists like to document, is gone.
I see the bodies where they’ve been dumped—raped, murdered, mutilated, burned, destroyed.
I see the victims after violent death has claimed them.
And it is this picture that haunts me, this picture that is a razor blade inside me-- scraping, slicing, opening old wounds and new ones alike—until I find them.
Until I uncover them.
Until I make sure they are not, as their killers intended, lost forever.
It’s a shitty job, but someone has to do it. Too bad that someone is me.

Chapter One

My five-inch, sequined Jimmy Choos make a squishing sound as they sink into the water-logged earth of the forest and a sucking sound as I pull them back out to take another step forward. Squish, suck, squish, suck … I concentrate on the noise in an effort to keep myself sane.
This can’t be happening again. Why is this happening again?
It’s been nearly six weeks since the last-- I squash the thought like I would a particularly disgusting bug. I’m not ready to go there yet, not ready to acknowledge that that is what this late night foray into the patchy wilderness of North Austin is all about. But even as I refuse to give the thought purchase, even as I lie to myself, the truth niggles through.
Somehow, it always does.
The wind picks up, turning the heavy rain into whips that lash against me. It stings the bare skin of my arms and legs and not for the first time I wish I had taken the extra five minutes to change out of my ridiculous costume. After all, the hot pink and silver beaded leotard is the perfect attire for having knives flung at me-- there's not much for the blade to catch on-- but it leaves much to be desired when tromping through a wet, snarly forest at close to midnight.
But it hadn’t been raining when I’d started out, and I hadn’t realized just how far I would have to go before the compulsion would release me from its grip.

Besides, I have a show to do. Or at least I did. I’m not sure how much time has passed since I left my trailer planning to help Sebastian get his cats ready for their performance. The passing of time is a nebulous thing for me even on the best days and when I get like this— I pause, take a deep breath, try not to freak out as the world around me closes in. When I get like this, hours can pass in what seems like the space between one heartbeat and the next.
In an effort to get my bearings, I glance behind me, hoping that I am still close enough to see the merry sparkle of the carnival lights in the distance. But, like the sounds of Mikhel’s voice booming from inside the big top, they have faded into oblivion.
I am on my own.

But then, these days, I almost always am. It’s the curse of my gift. Or the gift of my curse—I haven’t yet figured out which arrangement of words is most accurate. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t really matter what I call this thing inside of me as long as I get the job done.

And so I keep walking, straight into the dark obsidian of the forest.
The storm is crazy loud out here, thunder booming and rain falling in torrents. Every once in a while lightning scrolls across the sky, illuminating the world I have walked so blindly into. More than once, between flashes, I have stumbled over shallow roots. More than once I have plowed straight into the thick trunk of a tree.
I put my hand to my head, where it still stings from my last close encounter with a branch. I wonder if I am bleeding—think that I probably am-- but the rain is coming down so hard and I am so wet, that it makes it impossible to tell.
I’m not normally so careless. I keep a flashlight in my purse and another one stashed in the drawer of the small desk in my trailer, for just such occasions. I’d even stopped long enough to grab one on my way into the forest tonight. But some time ago—I’m not sure how long—the batteries had petered out, leaving me alone in the inky blackness.

I should have gone back then, should have turned around and walked right back towards camp and the responsibilities I’d been doing my best not to shirk.
It’s what a smart woman would have done. But then, no one’s every accused me of being overly brilliant, especially when one of these compulsions is on me.
I nearly laugh, might have if I wasn’t so drenched, so miserable, so scared of what I might find. What I would find. After all, compulsion is a nice way to explain what I feel, a nice way to say that I’m a slave to the sensation that comes over me, that wraps itself around me, that invades my very soul until I know nothing but this.
Want nothing but this.
I wish I knew how to explain to you exactly what I experience at moments like these, but I don’t. God knows, I’ve tried to tell Aunt Sybil so many times through the years, that both of us are tired of the old argument.
But if I had to try to explain, had to try to tell you, I would say it is like someone has wrapped a wire pulsing with electricity all around my torso, has burrowed the end of that wire straight inside of my stomach so that every molecule of my being feels like it is being lit up, being burned, by thousands of watts of electricity with every breath that I take. And then it’s like someone starts to tug on that line, to reel it in—to reel me in-- yanking me closer and closer to destruction with each step that I take.
The more I struggle, the harder they pull-- which only makes me struggle more. It’s a vicious circle, one I have no hope of escaping.
I stumble onward, doing my best not to break my ankle out here in the middle of hell.
Suddenly the burn ratchets up a thousand volts, jangling every nerve ending I have. It sears my skin, my lungs, every organ in my body and I swear, if I hadn’t felt this same thing many times before, I would think that I was being struck by lightning.
It isn’t lightning that’s ripping through me, though. It’s the knowledge that I am close to the forgotten. So close that images of her last moments are ripping through my brain with the power of a jackhammer.
She fought hard, this one, kicking and screaming and struggling, while he raped her. She clawed his face, pulled his hair, bit at him until he slammed her head first into the wall. Then she didn’t fight anymore, even as he nearly ripped her apart.
For a second my own thoughts go cloudy, confused. There’s a ringing in my ears and a sickness in my belly that have nothing to do with my own situation and everything to do with hers.
This is what she felt like in those last few moments—disoriented, confused, in pain. So much pain.
I try to shake it off, try to concentrate on the here and now, but it’s impossible. Her agony is all-consuming and it hits me like a runaway semi, rips me right off my feet and sends me tumbling into the muck.
I gasp for breath, start to scramble back to my feet, but that invisible force has me pinned to the earth. It’s never been this bad before, never been so all-consuming that I actually experience what the victim did.
Fear rips through me, and as I feel his hands closing around my throat, I tell myself desperately that it isn’t real. That it isn’t happening—not now. Not anymore. I am not that poor girl and he, the monster who did this, is far away from this desolate dumping ground.
It almost works.
At least until lighting splits through the sky, so bright and all-consuming that it illuminates everything around me for one heart-stopping second.
The trees, with their long, leafless branches.
The large rocks strewn along the side of the makeshift path I have been wandering.
The huge mound of newly disturbed dirt that I am standing only inches from.
In that split second, as light fills up the world all around me, scorching my retinas and making me slam my hands against my eyes in protection, I know that I have found her.
Ignoring the agony ripping through me, I drop to my knees and begin to dig.

Thanks for taking the time to read the excerpt! Hope your Monday is going fabulously well!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

From Friend to Father Winner

Congrats! Cories is the winner of From Friend to Father, so drop me an email with your snail mail at tracy@tracywolff.com and I'll get it in the mail to you :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


To celebrate this week's release of Beginning with Their Baby, I thought I would give away From Friend to Father (how's all that for alliteration?????) It's the first book in my Austin, TX trilogy (BWTB is the second one and the third one, Unguarded, comes out in December of this year). Since the first two books have babies in them, and I'm desperately trying to name my characters in my new book, I thought I'd ask-- what's your favorite name (for a baby or a character)? Leave a comment to be entered to win From Friend to Father. I'll choose a winner sometime tomorrow afternoon.

And here's another quick excerpt from Beginning With Their Baby, just because :)

“What are you stocking up for, World War Three?” Camille asked in amusement as Matt loaded their grocery cart with three different types of apples.
“I’ve got a busy week ahead—I don’t have time to come back here.” He dropped two heads of broccoli in a bag, then laid them gently on top of the apples.
“Yes, but I happen to have an almost completely open schedule this week—I can stop in and pick something up anytime.”
“Why would you want to?” he asked as he headed toward the dairy section. “It’s easier to just get whatever we need for the week in one trip.”
“But how do you know what you’re in the mood for all week? What if I suddenly get a craving for Fettuccini Alfredo on Thursday and all we’ve got is chicken and broccoli?”
He looked at her sharply. “Are you craving fettuccini?”
“No. That was just an example.”
“Are you sure?” He wheeled down the pasta aisle, pulled a box of the thick pasta off the shelf. “Because we can get some—"

“Matt, you’re missing the whole point.” She let out a disgusted sigh.
“No, I’m not. You don’t want to be tied down, even to something as basic as chicken on Thursday night.”
“It’s not about being tied down—it’s about not knowing what I’ll be in the mood for.”
“It’s about the fact that you can’t commit to anything more than forty-eight hours in the future.”
“I’ve committed to having this baby, haven’t I? And to living with you.”
“Yeah, but for how long?” Matt smirked at her, and though his tone said he was clearly teasing, the look in his eyes had an edge of seriousness that made her uncomfortable.
“You don’t really worry about that, do you? Me walking out?”
“Come on, Camille. Let’s just get the shopping done.”
“No.” She reached out, put a hand on his arm and felt the familiar zing as his energy rushed through her. When was she going to get used to it? To him? They’d been living together for almost a month and he still curled her toes whenever he looked at her. “I want to talk about this.”
He glanced around the busy supermarket. “Not now.”
“Why not now? If you’re really concerned—“
“Concerned? Shopping more than forty-eight hours in advance is too much commitment for you. Why wouldn’t I worry about you getting bored and taking off on me?”

She stopped dead in the middle of the aisle, tried to assimilate his words. “I wouldn’t do that, just take—“ She paused in mid-sentence as Matt skewered her with a patently disbelieving look. And she guessed she couldn’t blame him. She had left him high and dry once before—was it any wonder he thought she’d do it again?

But this was different. She was happy living with Matt, happy with the commissions she’d picked up to do portraits instead of having to struggle to sell her art on the streets of each brand new city. Her restless feet had lost their urge to run, and though she didn’t know how long it would last--- surely she’d get the itch to move on sometime—for once she was in no hurry.
It took her a minute to sort her thoughts out and by the time she worked herself around to what she wanted to say, Matt had already turned the corner on the next aisle and she was forced to rush to keep up with him.
It made her uncomfortable, was too reminiscent of her parents’ relationship for her to brush it off. She’d spent her whole adult life blazing new trails and she resented the fact that Matt expected her to follow him blindly, even as he was insulting her. She wasn’t some meek little housewife to follow behind her man, no matter what he said or did.
She watched as he turned yet another aisle, not even glancing behind him to see if she was following, and the little itch between her shoulder blades ratcheted up a notch. Turning on her heel, she walked in the opposite direction, toward the front of the door and then out the big, sliding glass doors at the front of the building. If she remembered correctly, there was a little jewelry and handbag place over to the right …
Camille spent the next few minutes browsing through purses and earrings, two of her favorite things. Though she only owned one bag—how many could she carry, after all—she’d had a love affair with earrings since she was a kid. She had a traincase full of the dangly, sparkly things.
Her cell phone rang as she was holding a pair of bright red chandelier earrings up to her ear, trying to get an idea of how they would look. For a second, she contemplated letting it ring, but figured there was no need to be bitchy. Surely, she’d made her point.
Fishing the small, purple phone out of her bag, she wasn’t the least surprised to see Matt’s number on the caller ID.

“Where are you? I’ve searched the entire store for you.”
“I’m next door, at the accessory store.”
There was a long silence. “You’re where?”
She made sure there was a shrug in her voice when she answered, “You didn’t seem to need me, not the way you were blazing trails up and down the aisles.”
“You couldn’t tell me you were leaving?”
“I would have had to run to catch up with you.”
“And God forbid you should do that, right? Camille Araby doesn’t chase after any man.”

Again, leave a comment for a chance to win the first book in the trilogy, From Friend to Father :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Exciting News!

Wow! It's just been a week filled with exciting news. First off, I found out that thanks to all of you, Dark Embers debuted in the top 15 of a lot of the major book store lists (top 10 at BN, BGI, Bookscan, etc). So seriously, thanks so much! I really, really appreciate all your wonderful support.

And secondly, Woo-hoo, I just sold a second YA series that I'm writing with two friends of mine. It's called the International Kissing Club and is about four teenage girls from small town Texas who go out on exchange programs with the intent of discovering themselves and kissing as many hot, foreign guys as they possibly can. It's a fun, happy project and I'm excited to be working on it!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Release Day!!!

Beginning With Their Baby hit the shelves today! Yay! And for those of you who have already found it and read it and sent me wonderful notes about it-- thanks so much! I really appreciate all your kind words.

Today I'm blogging over at the amazing and wonderful Nalini Singh's blog, so stop on by and comment for a chance to win Dark Embers! I'll be back tomorrow with another giveaway to celebrate Beginning With Their Baby!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beginning With Their Baby

On Tuesday, my fourth Harlequin Superromance-- Beginning with Their Baby--hits the shelves. It's a follow-up to my June 2009 book, From Friend to Father, and will be followed in December by the third book in the trilogy, Unguarded. Anyway, I'm excited about this release as I love Camille-- who was voted "most likely to sail around the world" by her graduating class. But all that adventurous spirit hides a wounded soul and uncovering hers to put on the pages was both heart-wrenching and rewarding for me.

Here's a quick excerpt to whet your appetite.


“Do you have to go?”
A twinge of uneasiness worked its way down Camille Arraby’s spine at the words, though she continued to load her overnight bag. “My flight leaves in two hours—I’ve got to get to the airport.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” Matt Jenkins climbed off the rumpled bed where they’d just spent another incredible night, and crossed to her.
She watched him prowl across the room, his long, lean, nearly naked form a truly beautiful sight this early in the morning. His dark auburn hair had fallen over his eyes and his too full lips were curved in the sexy grin she loved.
The twinge got a little more pronounced and for the first time that she could remember, Camille regretted the fact that she had to go. She wasn’t nearly as ready to leave Austin—and Matt—as she’d expected to be.
But Brazil—and Carnaval—were in full swing and they wouldn’t wait forever. Besides, it was better to walk away now, on a high note, than wait for things to sour as they inevitably would.
“So what did you mean?” she asked, lightly, as he circled her waist with his hands and pulled her close.
“I was asking you to stay.” He nuzzled her neck and she sighed, letting her head fall back as desire moved through her all over again.
“I can’t.”
His mouth moved lower, to the hollow of her throat, and she actually felt her knees tremble. “You can.”
“Matt. You knew all along I was leaving today.”
“I know.”

“So what’s the problem?” Her voice hitched as he flicked open the first two buttons of her shirt, ran his tongue over the curve of her breast.
“The problem is that when we made the deal, I didn’t expect that I’d want you to stay.”
“And now you do?”
He lifted his head so that his warm brown eyes met hers and Camille shuddered with unfulfilled desire. She’d never met a man like Matt, who could make her respond so effortlessly—and powerfully—to his lightest touch.
“Now I do.” He stroked the back of his hand down her cheek. “Stay, Camille. Please. I’ve never felt like this before and I want to see where it goes.”
“I’ve already given up my room and my job, already have my flights booked to Rio and then on to Italy.”
“You can stay with me for a while—and getting another one of those temp jobs of yours can’t be that difficult. You’ve been through three in the two months I’ve known you.”
For one long second, Camille let his words sweep over her. Let herself imagine staying here with Matt indefinitely—spending hours and days and weeks together, in bed and out.
Doing all those wonderful things couples did when they were falling in love.
The images that flashed through her mind didn’t send her running for the hills as they normally would have, and that—more than anything else could—had her taking a cautious step back.

Pulling free of Matt’s embrace, she turned back to her bag. Rearranged the items in it, once, twice. Made sure her favorite brushes and palette were safe from shifting during travel as she struggled for the right words to say. But nothing came and silent minutes dragged by as Matt waited patiently for her answer, not pushing her but not backing down either.
As she slid her make-up case to the bottom of the bag, Camille wanted nothing more than to run—as fast and as far as she could.
Wanted nothing more than to fling herself into Matt’s arms and stay until this thing between them burned itself out.
But doing that was only asking for trouble, only asking for entanglements. Already Matt had sneaked through a crack in her defenses and taken up residence in an untouched spot in her heart. If she stayed, his presence inside her would grow until she was no longer complete without him. And that was something she would never, could never, allow.
When she finally looked up at him again, Camille made sure none of her doubts—none of her longing—showed on her face. “I can’t stay, Matt. I was perfectly clear about the fact that I was leaving when we hooked up.”

“I know. But plans can change.”
“Not mine.”
“Bull.” This time when he grabbed her, his hands weren’t quite as gentle as they had been. Somehow, the edginess was just as arousing as the care. “Your plans change all the time. They change with the wind, with your whims. Why can’t you change them now? For me?”
“My plane tickets are non-refundable.” Her answer was flippant, but her heart was pounding hard and fast.
He cursed. “I’ll pay for the stupid tickets. I’ll pay for a hundred tickets if you’ll stay for just a little while longer.” His hands slid up her arms and neck until he was cupping her face. “Please, Camille.”
“Matt.” She shook her head, fought against the lump in her stomach that was growing with every word he said.
“Damn it, do you think this is easy for me? I’m not used to having to beg a woman to spend time with me.”
Of course he wasn’t used to begging—he was gorgeous and smart, and if not rich, certainly well off from his partnership in one of the city’s leading architectural firms. He was a prime catch—just one more reason she was determined to throw him back before he could do the same to her.
Before she broke her own rules and forgot why she couldn’t settle down.
Before she was the one pleading with him to stay.
“I don’t want this.” The words came out sharp, stilted.
“So what do you want?”

“To see Carnaval. To dance in the plaza and run through the streets with the parades. To visit the art museums and hanglide through the hills. I want to stand on the beach at dawn and watch the tide roll in.”
“Okay. All right.” He closed his eyes, ran a hand over his face. “Give me a couple days, let me rearrange my schedule and I’ll go with you. You’ll still see plenty of Carnaval.”
The twinge turned into a full-blown panic attack as she slung her bag over her shoulder. “Come on, Matt. It’s been fun, but we both know it’s time to move on—before things get messy and predictable.”
“They don’t have to—“
“Sure they do, sweets.” With a sassy grin, Camille reached up and patted her soon-to-be-ex-lover’s cheek. “That’s the way of relationships. Short and fun turns long and nasty, until both people wish they’d gotten out when the getting was good.”
His jaw clenched. “Do you really believe that?”
“I do. And so do you—at least you did six weeks ago, when we first met.”
“That was different.”
“Baby, it’s always different.” She started to say more, but a car horn sounded from the street in front of his house. “I’ve got to go. My cab’s here.”
“I thought I was taking you to the airport.”
“It’s still early—go back to bed.” Standing on tiptoes, she brushed her lips against his once, twice. Then gasped as his mouth turned frenzied on hers.

He kissed her like no one ever had—hard and hot and with a desperation that nearly overwhelmed her.
That nearly had her dropping her bag and following him back into bed, where he was so sure they belonged.
That nearly had her saying to hell with Rio and Italy and the world—she was more than content to stay right here, in Austin, Texas.
But then the horn sounded again and she was pulling away. Smiling at him. Walking out the door and reminding herself, with every step, of all the reasons she was doing the right thing.
After all, there was a big, bright world out there and in her thirty-two years she’d only managed to see about three-fourths of it. It was time—past time—to get started visiting the last quarter.

Have a great weekend!

Barnes and Noble Gift Card Winner!

Lori (mctlover) is the winner of the $100 gift card supplied by Lauren and me. Congrats, Lori! Send Lauren and me both your information and we will get the gift card to you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Blogging Today ...

I'm blogging at the Penguin blog today and at Silk and Shadows, where I'm giving away a copy of Dark Embers. Stop by and say hello for a chance to win!

And, if I can, I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you again for all the incredible well wishes and support you've given me these last few weeks. It means the world to me-- I really do have the absolute best fans, ever!

Lauren Dane Winner Day #15

Sorry this is so late, but Lauren and I have been drowning under release day pressure along with deadlines (again!) The winner for Dark Embers from Lauren's blog is Bonnie Ferguson! Congratulations, Bonnie! Send me your info and I'll get it in the mail to you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Release Day!!!!

It's release day, finally!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dark Embers hits the shelves today and to celebrate, I'll be blogging all over the place in the coming weeks-- and giving away books-- so check back regularly.

Today you can catch me at:

www.authorsoundrelations.blogspot.com and www.myfriendamysblog.com so stop by and say hello if you have a minute.

And make sure to stop by later to check out who won the $100 BN gift card Lauren and I are giving away :) Have a great rest of the week and thanks so much for participating in the Take You to Another World Contest! I've so enjoyed reading everyone's answers to the Questions of the Day these last two weeks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Grand Prize Winner!!!!!!!!

Congratulations, Amy Kathryn! Your comment number has been selected from Random.org as the winner of my entire Tracy Wolff backlist, plus some cool swag and other goodies! So contact me at tracy@tracywolff.com with your info to claim your prize :)

Lauren Dane Winner Day #14

Congratulations! Yesterday's winner of a paperback from Denise Agnew's backlist is...Glenna! Contact Lauren with your information to claim your prize!

Take You to Another World Contest Day #15: Lauren Dane

Today, Lauren and I pulled a little switch. I'm over at her blog talking about Dark Embers and she's over here talking about Insatiable. Make sure to comment today for your last chance to win the Grand Prize bag of Tracy Wolff books and swag. It's also your last chance to comment for the mega prize, a $100 gift card to BN, from Lauren and me. We'll announce the winners tomorrow. Thanks so much for playing along with this contest for the last couple of weeks and come back soon!

What a fun two weeks this contest has been! Thank you to everyone who participated in the daily contests. There have been a lot of great answers and responses and of course now my TBR pile is even larger with all the guest authors and the recommendations from the commenters.

I'll be announcing the my grand prize winner at my blog today, so be sure to check to see who wins! My Grand Prize is: My entire Federation Series in trade paperback: UNDERCOVER, RELENTLESS and INSATIABLE along with the iTunes tracklist for INSATIABLE. As well as a digital copy of TRINITY and a digital ARC of REVELATION. I’ll toss in a signed tote bag, a LD water bottle and various and sundry other swagadelic stuff.

On top of that, Tracy and I are giving away a united grand prize that we'll announce at both blogs tomorrow - we'll take all the comments from her blog and mine and choose a winner from them!

So tomorrow, the third Federation Chronicles book and the first in the Phantom Corps mini-series - INSATIABLE-- will release. I'm beyond thrilled about this book - first because I have fallen in love with this futuristic world and I'm always pleased to revisit the characters, but also because the book has two unlikely characters as the hero and the heroine. Writing Insatiable was not a smooth experience. It was probably the toughest novel I've written so far because I wanted very badly to be sure the characters were exactly right.

Daniel was the easier of the two because I'd written him in RELENTLESS and I knew him better. But he's an assassin. He kills people and he does so knowing it's for a greater good. But I wanted to include that darkness in him. I wanted to not ignore the struggle that would have to exist inside any person who had a job like Daniel's. I wanted to do justice to the journey he took and to the way he worked hard not to lose himself to the darkness of it. To the sort of unfettered power he has.

And then there was Carina who is the hardest character I've ever written. Or, rather, the process of writing her as a character was the most difficult process I've had writing a book. I knew in my gut what I wanted her to be like. How I wanted her to experience Daniel and the events she went through. But it was easier to feel it than to get it right on paper. She's all sorts of things and I wanted that balance right or she could have been too much or too little and neither would have been right for her or for Daniel.

I wrote, waiting for her to unveil herself to me completely and it didn't happen until later in the process than it normally does so I had to go back and revise. But in that work I think I was truly able to know her and see her and grow to absolutely love her. And I think it makes her connection to Daniel come to life.

In other words, the work was hard but in the end, I truly believe it was worth it and as a result I find myself very proud of how it turned out. And really, I can't ask for much more than that.

So here's the cover again, because I love it so...

And the blurb:

Desire is the most dangerous sensation of all.
With tensions between the Federation and Imperial `Verses rising, one woman may hold the key to victory. The dangerous mission to smuggle her out of Imperial Territory falls to Daniel Haws and his team, the ultra secret Phantom Corps. This elite squad of the Federation Military is the only one trusted and skilled enough to remove her from under the watchful eye of her father, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial `Verses.

Carina is used to wearing a mask. Her father and his men think her little more than a pretty prize to be won by a man more ruthless than the rest. When he announces his intention to marry her to one of his henchmen, a man known for his cruelty, Carina knows she has to move as soon as possible to get out. But getting secret information to the Federation has served her well for years and she appeals to them for help.

She expected rescue from a man who'd been her enemy. But she wasn't prepared for just how intense her attraction to Daniel Haws would be. Born as adversaries into different ranks, and on the run for their lives, they now need each other to survive-by holding on to the only thing they have in common: a growing desire that is dangerous, irresistible, and insatiable..

Again, thank you all so much for playing along and to Tracy for doing this contest with me! I hope you all enjoy INSATIABLE. If you'd like to read an excerpt, you can head over to my website and check it out.

Make sure to comment on Lauren's fabulous new release for a last chance to be entered in the contest. And thanks so much for following the Another World contest with us!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lauren Dane Winner Day #13

Yesterday's winner of any book in Beth Kery's backlist (print or digital) is Kate Davies. Congratulations, Kate. Contact Lauren with your information to claim your prize.

Take You to Another World Contest Day #14: Skyler White

My very cool friend Skyler White is here today, to give us a sneak peak into her new book, In Dreams Begin (cool title, right?) This is a fantasy novel heavy on the romance and if it is anything like her first book, and Falling Fly, it's guaranteed to be a kick-ass ride. In Dreams Begin isn't available until November, but you have a chance to win a copy of her debut novel, and Falling Fly, by commenting below.

“Close your eyes tightly—tightly—and keep them closed . . .”

From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.

“Every passionate man is linked with another age,historical or imaginary,where alone he finds images that rouse his energy.” W. B. Yeats

Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de siècle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.

With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.


Halloween Night, 1893, in Samois’s small graveyard . . .
In Paris, Halloween festivities would be mocking the rites and devils Ida and Maud hoped to make real tonight, in the little village of Samois. Through the provincial streets to its tiny cemetery, Maud had walked, a priestess or a secret witch cloaked and hooded with Ida, her familiar bird, wing-in-elbow beside her. But inside Georges’ little burial chapel, Maud shrunk to an Irish crone, her ritual robes a weathered shawl wrapped over curling shoulders and the hollowed-out hole where her heart had been, and Ida, her carrion bird behind her.
She plucked the pins from Maud’s hair. “Let’s prepare you,” she whispered.

Maud did not move while Ida’s pecking fingers unwound the braided skeins of rust and shadow. It slithered free over Maud’s shoulders, and she absently pushed back the strands snaking into her face. She caught Ida’s hand in an icy grip. “Ida, I’m frightened.”
Maud choked on the blood-scraped whisper, but Ida had heard, and her smile broke like a towering thundercloud. Maud’s deathbed promise to her father broken—to never to be afraid of anything, not even death—and Ida here beside her. She sank down beside Maud’s shuddering shoulders and wrapped her robe-winged arms around them. “Shhh,” she murmured, cheek in flowing hair, lips to sunken throat. “You must master your fear. There is no other way. The moment Lucien arrives, we must begin.”

Since Skyler writes about the difficult to understand, I thought I'd ask how you guys feels about it. Do you believe it is possible to travel through time and space? I've always been a huge fan of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and spend a lot of time imagining just what would be possible if we could travel the speed of light ... Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lauren Dane's Winner Day #12

The winner of Shelli Stevens' Need Me is is Kylie!

The winner of an ebook from Shelli's Backlist is Anna Shah Hoque!

Congratulations, ladies. Contact Lauren with your information to claim your prize.

Take You to Another World Contest Day # 13: Helen Kay Dimon

Today's guest is Helen Kay Dimon, who is giving away a copy of her March Release, Leave Me Breathless. Don't forget to answer the question at the end for a chance to win this smokin' hot book!


According to Judge Bennett Walker, trying to kill him is a dumb idea. They might make him wear a big black nightgown to work, but it covers a lot of muscles, and he’s definitely packing beneath it. He’s also an ex-prosecutor and an ex-GI Joe. So when his brother brings in Callie Robbins to protect him, Ben has a few issues. First, he doesn’t need a bodyguard. Second, she’s a 130-pound girl—more smoking hot than smoking gun. And third, what if his body wants her guarding the night shift?

Callie has no problem brushing aside Ben’s disbelief. She left the FBI to escape the boys’ club, but she can be deeper undercover and twice as lethal as any beefy John Doe. As for whether someone’s after Bennett or not, the death threats and car bombs look pretty convincing to Callie. Of course, she might get distracted, sitting inches from the sexiest judge in DC for ten hours a day. Keeping him safe is no picnic. Keeping it professional—that might be impossible.

"I don't need a bodyguard." Judge Bennett Walker delivered his observation as he unclipped the top of his black robe and stripped the garment off his shoulders.
Callie Robbins had to fight hard to keep from rolling her eyes. Three denials in two minutes. Yeah, she got it. The big tough guy in the flower print tie somehow thought he could stop a bullet simply by pretending it didn't exist.
Gavel or not, she was not a fan of pigheaded stupidity, even if it did come in a six-foot-three package of smoldering eye candy. And this guy had the smoking hot thing down. A square jaw and light brown hair that fell in a soft line over his forehead were just the beginning of the impressive package. She'd heard about the broad shoulders he hid under the required work outfit. Watching his white shirt pull across his chest, she now could vouch for his linebacker form. Thirty-eight and sat on his butt all day but there wasn't an ounce of fat on the guy that she could tell.

Still, all of the idol worship surrounding him in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, struck her as overkill. From what she could tell, Ben Walker was a prosecutor-turned judge-turned-superstar in the uber-wealthy area north of Washington, D.C. He wielded a heap of power and had all of the female courthouse clerks scurrying around to catch a peek at him. But, really, he was just a man. And from Callie's one-hundred-twenty seconds of experience, a very stubborn one.
"If there's nothing else..." Ben let his voice trail off as he slid into his oversized leather desk chair.
Callie didn’t bother to respond to the not-so-subtle dismissal because he wasn't talking to her. Hell, he hadn’t even sent a small glance in her direction since she'd dodged his gaggle of admirers in the outer office to follow him into his private chambers. No, the judge saved all of this wrath and attention for the other man in the room, his older brother by one year, Mark Walker.
"This isn't up for discussion, Ben." Mark said in a clear attempt at reason. "You have a target on your back."

"I'm not the one in danger."
Mark shook his head. "Your job is to rule on cases. Leave the law enforcement decisions up to me, will 'ya?"
Callie knew Mark could handle the worst. He had turned his tenure at the FBI into a position with an undercover division within Homeland Security charged with protecting high profile targets in the D.C. metro area. Callie wasn't sure what the job entailed, but she knew it was a big one. The kind where her record would likely disqualify her for regular duty, which explained why she was an independent contractor doing Mark a private favor on this job.
Since the judge hadn’t acknowledged her presence except for a brief nod after Mark's introduction, she decided to force the issue. She was standing right there next to the judge. Hard to imagine he could miss her, what with his big brain and all.

"Did you forget the part where someone blew up your car?" she asked.
Silence slammed through the large room. For a second, nothing moved. Callie was pretty sure even the wall clock stopped ticking. Then the judge turned in his seat and glanced up at her with a blank expression. "Hard to do that since it burst into flames about ten feet away from me."
"A smart guy would take that as a sign," Mark said.
With that, the judge went right back to talking to his brother. "Emma was the target, not me."
The long breath eased from Callie's chest. Something about having the man's sole attention turned on her made her nerve endings jump and twitch. An odd shakiness flooded through her. And she didn't like it one bit.
She watched the brothers argue, marveled at how different two men who were raised in the same household could be. Mark sounded reasonable, smart, focused. The judge came off as a pompous jackass. Attractive in a make-your-eyes-cross kind of way, but still a pompous jackass.

He tried to put her in her place by pretending she barely existed. She had seen the tactic before. A woman didn’t rise in the ranks of the FBI without throwing a few elbows. Sure, she'd thrown one too many, which explained why she was here without her badge instead of sitting behind her desk in an office nearby, but she could fight back. If the good judge wanted attitude, she could shovel plenty of it right on top of him.
"Look, Your Honor," she said in the least respectful tone she could muster. "Your girlfriend has security protection. You've refused it. From what I can tell, that makes her the smarter of the two of you."
He smiled. "Emma Blanton is not my girlfriend."
Not exactly the response Callie expected, but at least he finally bothered to stare at her for more than two seconds. And without throwing her in jail, that had to be considered a success. "You and your girlfriend would be barbeque right now except that the bomb went off too early."
Ben folded his hands together in front of him on the desktop. "True, but she's still not my girlfriend."

Talk about fixating on the wrong point. "Fine. What do you want me to call her?"
"You could try Judge Blanton." Ben glanced at his brother. "And the bomb was meant for her."

Question of the Day: Since it's the Fourth of July weekend, I thought I'd ask if you have any plans for it? Family, friends, fireworks, anyone? We're sticking close to home, but I am having a few friends over and making my mom's famous potato salad and barbecue chicken tomorrow afternoon. Other than that, we're hanging by the pool and the boys are doing yard work while I write blogs for my blog tour that kicks off next week.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lauren Dane's Winner Day #11

The winner of Michelle Pillow's Realm Immortal series (digital) is: Kris! Congratulations and be sure to contact Lauren with your information to claim your prize.

Take Me to Another World Contest Day #12: Shiloh Walker

The wonderful and talented Shiloh Walker is here today, giving away a copy of The Missing, which is being reissued in mass market. If you haven't read this book, make sure you comment. It's the first book of Shiloh's I ever read, and it made me fall in love with her writing. The main character, Taige, is such a strong, sympathetic character that she stayed with me long after I finished reading the book.


As a teenager, Taige Branch was able to do things with her psychic gift that others couldn’t understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy her stole her heart. He did his best to accept her abilities, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing her death.
Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragic event. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her.
A LOVE THAT NEVER DIEDWorking together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them…


After all these years . . . she’d known she’d see him again. Even when she drove away from Cullen Morgan’s home in tears, she’d known it wasn’t over between them.
Why he was coming to her now, she didn’t know and honestly, just then, she didn’t care.
She was so desperate to see him again, it was almost pathetic.
No, it was pathetic. It had been twelve years, and she was all but panting at the thought of seeing him, of staring into those amazing eyes and standing close enough to smell him. How much had he changed? Taige wondered. Instinctively, she knew that Cullen would be as devastating at thirty-three as he’d been at twenty-one. The truck came to a stop close to the house. She couldn’t see anything beyond the back bumper, and when the taillights went off, she jerked as though somebody had used a Taser on her.

She took a deep breath and then groaned as her shirt dragged against her nipples. They were stiff and erect, throbbing under the thin layer of cotton. Embarrassed, she folded her arms over them and wished she could manage to get a damn bra on. Her hand hurt too much to manage it, though.
Facing Cullen braless and in her bare feet: how much more disconcerting could it get? She held herself stiff as the knock came, pounding on the door as though he wanted to tear the door from its hinges. It came a second time, and third. Finally, she made herself move, shuffling through the dark living room with her arms crossed over her breasts, the wrap on her cast abrading the bare skin of her left arm and rubbing against her nipples.

Nerves jangled in her belly. No butterflies; this felt more like she had giant gryphons taking flight inside her, gryphons with knife-edged wings. She reached out and closed her left hand around the doorknob and slowly opened it, half hiding behind the door. She kept her gaze focused straight ahead so that all she saw was the way his white T-shirt stretched across his wide, muscled chest.
Through her peripheral vision, she saw that he held something in his hand. Something clutched so tight, his knuckles had gone white. She hissed out a breath and forced herself to look upward, up, up, up until she was staring into his eyes. It took a little longer than it should have; he was taller than he had been. At least by an inch. She was five foot ten—she didn’t have to look up to many people, and she decided then that she didn’t care for it at all.

She didn’t say anything. She couldn’t. Her throat felt frozen, and forcing words past her frozen vocal chords seemed impossible. She just stepped aside to let him come in, and when he did, his arm brushed against hers. She flinched and pulled away, backing away until a good two feet separated them. Once he was inside, she closed the door and leaned against it, resting her left hand on the doorknob and holding her right hand against her belly and studying the fl oor.
He turned to stare at her. From under her lashes, she watched as his shoulders rose and fell, his chest moving as he blew out a harsh breath, almost like he’d been holding his breath the same way she had.
“God, Taige . . .”
Shoving away from the door, she kept her head down as she moved around him and headed into the living room. He followed behind her slowly. She heard a click, and light flooded the room. She shot him a look over her shoulder, just a quick glance, enough to tell her just how dead-on her dreams had been.
“So, are you going to look at me or just let me stare at the back of your head all night?” he asked softly.

She shot him another quick, almost nervous glance over her shoulder, and Cullen blew out a breath.
When he spoke again, his voice was closer. “Aren’t you going to ask me why I’m here?”
Aren’t you going to speak to me at all? Cullen wanted to ask.
Instead, he waited until she finally turned around and faced him. In the brightly lit room, he noticed two things. The first was that she had her arm, her right arm, in a cast that went halfway up to her elbow. A chill raced down his spine. The second was that her left eye was puffy and nearly swollen shut, a dark, ugly bruise that Cullen suspected was every bit as painful as it looked.
“I already know why you’re here. You need my help.” A bitter smile curved her lips as she stared at him. “Why would else would you be here?” She glanced at the file in his hand and held out her hand.
Cullen swallowed and lifted it, staring at it with the metallic taste of fear thick in his mouth. “You don’t owe me a damn thing, Taige. I know that. I’ve got no right being here, and I know that, too.”
She sighed and dropped her head, covering her eyes with her uninjured hand. “Cullen, stop. You want something. Out with it. I’ve got better things to do than stand here and have you brooding all over me. So just spill it.”
“I . . . look, if I didn’t have to have your help, I wouldn’t be here. But it’s not me that needs you—just . . . just don’t—”

Taige cocked a brow. “You don’t have much of an opinion of me, do you, Cullen? Whatever brought you here in the middle of the night twelve years after kicking me out of your life has to be pretty damn important, and considering the kind of help you probably need, I’m going to assume there’s somebody else involved.” She stared at him, her gaze shuttered. “You think so little of me that I’d refuse to help whoever this is just to make you suffer because you and me got some history?”
History . . . Is that what we had?

Question of the Day: How do you feel about reunited lover books? Some authors never write them, some authors always write them. Do you like books about lovers who have been separated for years and then find their way back to each other or do you prefer ones where they meet for the first time on the page?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lauren Dane's Winner Day #10

The winner of Anya Bast's Wicked Enchantment is Heather S! Congratulations and contact Lauren with your info to claim your prize.

Take You to Another World Contest Day #11: Shayla Black

Most of you know Shayla's a friend of mine, and judging from the response to her erotic suspense, Delicious, you know she's a really good writer as well. Today, she's here to talk about Entice Me at Twilight, book four in her Paranormal Doomsday Brethren series, and if you haven't tried this series yet, you're seriously missing out. Leave a comment below for a chance to win Possess Me at Midnight, book three in the series.

In national bestselling author Shayla Black’s electrifying new novel, the Doomsday Brethren fight their mortal enemy for the newest weapon in a bloody magical war: the only woman a magical warrior shouldn’t claim…and the one he can’t resist.

Dangerously handsome Simon Northam, Duke of Hurstgrove, and his uptight barrister brother hardly get along, but crashing Mason’s wedding and stealing his fiancée take sibling rivalry to a new level. Duke’s family knows nothing of his magical prowess or the Doomsday Brethren, so how can he explain that mankind’s fate lies with the beautiful, tenacious bride he longs to seduce for himself?

Felicia is an Untouchable, a rare human whose presence disables magic—even the impenetrable forces surrounding Morganna le Fay’s tomb. The evil witch’s malicious powers could propel nefarious wizard Mathias to ultimate world domination . . . if he can resurrect her. To conceal herself, Felicia must heed her simmering desires to mate with Duke, but he risks binding his life—and sanity—to a lover whose loyalty may be forever torn. He faces a terrible choice: betray his brother for ultimate survival . . . or lose the woman who tempts him beyond control.Excerpt
Duke had walked perhaps twenty meters down the corridor when the flock of young beauties darted for him again. He groaned. Not now…

Through the window behind him, a flash bulb went off. Paparazzi, damn them. Duke had little doubt these images would appear on some tabloid or another come morning.
At his side, Ice chuckled. “Right hell to be so popular. Are these the same girls who surrounded you earlier?”
“I think.” He hadn’t looked that closely.
Searching for a gentle but insistent way to throw them off, Duke said, “Ladies, there will be plenty of time after the—”
One pressed her lips to his, cutting him off in mid-sentence. Another stepped behind him and wrapped her arms around his middle, then whispered exactly what she’d like to do to him if only they had a bit of privacy—and she wasn’t shy. The rest swarmed around, not allowing him an inch of air.
Bloody hell! Not that he hadn’t experienced such unladylike behavior before, but at his brother’s wedding, steps outside the chapel?
As he tried to jerk free, someone shoved the women aside with a feminine growl, then grabbed him by the arm and whirled him around. Felicia, in white lace, surrounded by a halo of golden curls. And she looked furious.
“Every time I see you, you’ve surrounded yourself with panting women. Are you mad or simply unable to control your libido for a few minutes? I’m attempting to have an important conversation and your behavior is disruptive. I don’t know how your mother or brother abide this.”

She sent a severe scowl to the women still hovering about, trying to gain his attention. “You all have seats somewhere. Find them!”
The women backed away—though not happily. At the moment, Duke could have kissed her for freeing him. Hell, he wanted to kiss her anyway. Deeply. Lips, tongues, clothes dropping to the floor as he lowered her to the bed…
No, I must not think that about Mason’s bride.
“You will not embarrass Mason or your mother this way,” Felicia vowed in a low-voiced breath. “This stops now, or I’ll throw you out myself.”

Too bad Duke was too distracted by the fact that, this close, he could see the glistening of Felicia’s pouty red lips under their gloss…and right down the front of her gown to the sweet swells of her breasts. Heat ripped through his blood. Need compelled him. Grab her. Take her. Possess her. The words were a chant in his brain, loud and getting louder until he could scarcely remember why he was resisting.
Honor. Family harmony.
Damn it. He sighed.
Felicia gripped his elbow tighter and pursed her plump lips in displeasure. Bloody hell, she smelled like gardenia and female. Duke only got harder. Blast it, he hoped his dinner jacket covered that. Somehow, he had to keep his hands to himself…
Question of the Day: I love couples whose chemistry literally sizzles on the page and work really hard to write those kinds of relationships in my own books as well. So I thought I'd ask what some of your favorite couples are from romance novels: Some of my favorites are Ranger and Stephanie (Evanovich), Adam and Mercy (Briggs) and Blue and Dean (SEP). Leave a comment for a chance to win Possess Me at Midnight.