Tag Archives: romance

Our New Baby Has Arrived…Get Your Copy Today!

Christmas In Garland Creek is available for purchase in ebook today!  This is Volume 4 of the Butterscotch Martini Shots Series, and we are excited to say that this set has four brand-spanking-new Christmas stories that will warm your heart on a cold winter night.  So get your e-copy today!

A print version should be available on Amazon by early next week, and we will let you know when that is up for order.

Remember, books in any format make great Christmas presents, and this one will set the tone for a warm, snuggly holiday.  Add this book to your Christmas list NOW.

AMAZON     |     BARNES & NOBLE     |     IBOOKS     |     KOBO



by Tina Swayzee McCright

Carter stepped away from the holiday cheer. And away from the ghosts of Christmas past.


“I’ve got you!” The voice belonged to a man standing behind her, who managed to sweep in and catch her before her derriere, or her camera, could hit the tile floor.


“Coffee is always good.” This had better not be a game he’s playing to get me in the sack. For the sake of her fledgling business, she needed to find out. “I can meet you in the cafe in an hour.”

“An hour it is.” A Cheshire cat smile brightened his eyes.


“Another valuable piece of jewelry was stolen. This time a two-karat ring.” The angry voice projecting a sense of urgency belonged to the manager. Joe had an easygoing reputation as long as no one pressured him. A threat to the resort’s reputation qualified as volcanic-sized pressure.


“I don’t want to keep you.” Her voice softened with concern.

“You’re not. I’m finished.” He shot her a smile. “You can relax. I gave up on trying to date you.”

She blinked as if confused. “You did?”

“Yes. It’s too much work,” he stated matter-of-factly.

She laughed. “Well, that’s a relief. So, why are you sitting with me if you don’t want to date me?”

“I didn’t say I didn’t want to date you. I said I’m not going to pursue it.”


Garland Creek Cowboy

by Kayce Lassiter

Myca slipped by the pair. “Come on, Colleen, it appears the bar is now open. “Let’s give it a whirl.”

Colleen followed her to the bar, where Myca ordered, “Two butterscotch martinis, please.”

The silver-haired bartender in starched Wranglers, a black jacket, and a red vest with a bolo tie, smiled. “Okay, ladies, but I’m just a volunteer. I don’t do this for a living.”

Myca smiled. “Seriously, Ben Monroe? We’ve known you since we were all kids together. We know who you are and what you do for a living.”

He winked. “Then you know I have no clue how to make a butterscotch martini. But tell me what’s in it,” he leaned forward flirtatiously, “and I’ll try anything for you, Myca.”

She froze and cut her gaze to the side to stare at him, then to Colleen, who gawked at Ben like he’d just pissed on the floor.

Myca put one hand on her hip. “Are you flirting with me?” She’d discovered a long time ago that the direct approach either made a guy back off, or made him even more determined. She wasn’t sure which option she hoped Ben would take. She’d decide how she felt about it after she saw which way he jumped.

Ben straightened and held her gaze as he announced, “I’ve been flirting with you since you were sixteen years old. It’s about time you noticed.”

Huh, really didn’t expect him to jump that way.

The only thing she could think to say was, “Well, let’s see how good you are at bartending. That might make up my mind.”

Then she turned to Colleen and growled, “You can close your mouth now.”

Colleen snapped her jaw shut, but continued to stare.

He picked up the drink shaker. “Shoot.”

Myca stepped forward and leaned on the bar. “Okay, four jiggers of Buttershots, four jiggers of Bailey’s, and two jiggers of vanilla vodka.”

He tipped his head to the side. “That’s ten shots of booze.  How many martinis am I making.”

Myca scowled at him. “You are making two martinis.” She extended her hand across the bar and pointed to the shelf below. “And you’re going to use the two large martini glasses I put down there earlier.”

He raised a brow, but said nothing, simply reaching for the martini glasses, which were much larger than the glasses the resort had provided.

Ben smiled. “Maybe I should join you,” he teased as he poured the shots.

Myca glanced up at him. “If you’re going to join us, you’d better put more booze in the shaker.”

Ben Monroe laughed as he dumped in some ice, shook the container, and poured two very full martinis. He slid them across the bar. “Enjoy, ladies.” Then he leaned close and lowered his voice as he addressed Myca. “And be sure you come back and see me when you’ve finished that drink.”

She could feel her face heat, as she shot back a snappy retort. “Of course, we’ll be back. This is only our first drink.”

* * *

Devin watched as his grandmother and Melayna’s turned away from the bar. “You suppose those two will stay sober tonight?”

Melayna laughed. “Not a chance.” She pointed at them. “Those glasses are way full.”

He groaned, then met her gaze. “I recognize those drinks. They’re butterscotch martinis, and they are all alcohol.” He shifted his gaze back to the grandmothers. “And it would appear they have brought their own glasses, which are twice the size of the martini glasses the hotel provided.”

Melayna snorted. She covered her mouth with her hand. “Sorry. I’m just picturing the two of them fighting over a toilet to puke in.”

“Oh, let’s don’t go there. I don’t even want to think about that.”


her christmas wish

by Tia Dani

The area around the gazebo buzzed with activity. People milled about. The massive tree decorated with lights and ornaments glittered and danced. The band playing Christmas music had an energizing effect throughout the square. Minutes later, Sam joined them.

“Wow, this place got crowded.”

“Yep. Isn’t it wonderful?”

“Wonderful for Garland Creek, that’s for certain.”

The long blast of the train’s whistle broke through the sound of music. Sam turned to her. “Hey, the train’s coming. Let’s go take a ride.”

Kandee smiled. “I’d love to. If the line isn’t too long.”

“Won’t be if we hurry.” He grabbed her arm. “Come on.”

Kandee, Sam, and with Essy between their legs fell into line. While other passengers in front of them boarded, Kandee glanced down at Essy. “You know, I’d swear this dog intends to go on the ride with us.”

Essy, with a twist of his head, gave her a look as if he understood and agreed.

Sam shook his head. “If you ask me, I’d swear you and Essy communicate.”

“Of course, we do,” Kandee laughed.

It was almost their time to board the train when Kandee heard the familiar “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Santa, the very realistic Santa with rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes, appeared beside them. “Merry Christmas, you two. Having fun?”

“Absolutely, Santa.” Kandee couldn’t contain her smile. She undoubtedly looked like a grinning fool.

“I second that,” Sam offered.

Santa beamed and reached into a felt pouch attached to his black, wide belt and retrieved two candy canes. He held them out. “These should make your evening even sweeter.”

“Oh.” Kandee accepted the candy and handed the second one to Sam. “Thank you.”

“Ho! Ho! Ho! I see you’re in good company.” Santa bent and petted Essy on the head. “How you doing, Eishund? Find some new friends? Good thing Harald is over in Pinetop today. No worries, eh? Well, good for you. Stick close to them, okay?”

Kandee studied Santa with bemusement. He apparently knew a lot about the dog. She opened her mouth to ask more but stopped by Sam hollering over his shoulder. “Let’s go, Kandee. We’re next. Or maybe I should say we’re last.” He handed their tickets to the trainmaster. “We’ve got the caboose.”

“Bye, Santa.” Kandee turned to board the caboose with Sam. To her surprise, Essy bounded into the front seat, forcing Sam and her to take the back one.

Santa walked up to the caboose. With another hearty laugh, he leaned forward and whispered in Kandee’s ear, “Don’t worry. You’ll get your Christmas wish.”

AMAZON     |     BARNES & NOBLE     |     IBOOKS     |     KOBO

Another Ah Ha Moment ~ You’d Think I’d Learn ~ All About Obsessions

I don’t know about you, but I have obsessions on occasions. Sometimes it’s about counting my calories, sometimes it’s about needing to get home to watch the Amazing Race because it’s the finale. Or I’ve discovered a new author and I have to get their next book ASAP. For the longest time, the second a Dean Koontz book was out, I’d make sure I’d get it in my greedy little hand.

Obsessions_blogpostWell, for decades now I’ve been obsessed with writing. Sometimes I ask myself why? I’m sure other writer’s ask themselves the same question. I’ve known I’ve been obsessed for years now, but this week I got myself an ‘ah ha’ moment to tell me just how freaking obsessed I am. We’re taking OBSESSED or delusional. Probably delusional comes into play too.

Just a couple of days ago I was at  the doctor’s office getting some blood work done when I see a magazine. The title calls to me. Obsessions. Yeah, I get it. I know what that is all about. So, since I know I have time (I’m at a doctors office. Of course I’ve got time!), I grab the magazine and take a quick look at the title. First thing I see is Joseph Conrad. Now please realize that some wacky part of my brain was malfunctioning because I’m OBSESSED. Then on the top of the magazine, I see the words and think wow, this is perfect: Live My Bestseller Life. It took me a full minute to realized I’d pretty much gotten every phrase and name on the magazine WRONG. No they weren’t talk about the writer, Joseph Conrad, but Conrad Anker, a mountain climber. Hmmm…  Bestseller wasn’t even close to the wording on the top of the magazine. “Live Your Best Life” How the heck did I turn the letters around to read “Live Your Bestseller  Life”?

Because I’m OBSESSED. Actually it’s not just the writing but books itself. I used to have a used bookstores for almost a decade. I LOVED it. Nothing beats walking into a room where it smells like books.

So what is your OBSESSION?Knock Knock - Anxiety

I guess we’re all a little obsessed about something. I know Jake in the book Anxiety has his own obsessions. I know I would too if I was him. He has to find an antidote to a formula which is slowly killing him. If he doesn’t find it in Margot’s house, he’ll end up dead. But then again, he still might end up dead with a murderer after him.

Oh, on a side not, the first episode in Anxiety: Knock Knock is free on Amazon. If you like it, you can also by the full version or the other episodes in the series.

New Release from Tia Dani

51JGL5PwhxL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_New from Tia Dani:

Call Down the Darkness

A vicious curse stalks the pristine Scarlet Canyon Ranch. Veterinarian Robyn Truesdale arrives for a business trip and triggers a battle of metaphysical beliefs with reality.

Architect Taylor Martin refuses to believe the Apache legend of a recurring 40-year cycle of life and death originated by a shape shifter’s promise…until he is possessed by a mysterious spirit determined to kill an ancient enemy.

After being forced to relive several past lives, Robyn and Taylor understand the need to overpower their relentless killer—one who can never die. Will they have the courage to face their supernatural assassin to free the Apache lovers…or will it cost them their own lives?

Would you like to review this book?  

Please click here and let us know.

Tia Dani is the writing team made up of good friends, Christine Eaton Jones and Beverly Petrone. Together they create endearing and realistic characters, humorous dialogue, and unusual settings.

Storytelling has been a passion for Christine since childhood when she regularly enthralled the neighborhood children with make-believe fairy tales and wild adventures.

Always a lover of a good romance, Beverly’s goal is for you to step into the shoes of her heroine, fall head-over-heels in love with her hero, and most of all believe in the magic of love.

Christine and Beverly happily call Arizona home where they play in the sunshine and dance in the twilight of the beautiful Sonoran desert.

Find more books by Tia Dani on Amazon


My Obsession: New Release by Cassie Ryan

Available Now – Released July 21, 2015

my obsession, cassie ryan

In this erotic story of temptation and total surrender for readers of Sylvia Day and J. Kenner, a powerful master gives his dream girl a new beginning in the dungeons of decadent ecstasy.

Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.

My Obsession is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences. Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-1-101-88381-5
Published by : Loveswept


Loving the Writer’s Life

There’s nothing like a fabulous vacation to get the creative juices flowing. As writers we’re always looking for an exotic location for our next book.  So when my dear friend, and Ellora’s Cave author, Lexi Post, invited Cathy McDavid and myself to visit with her and her husband, we were absolutely thrilled to accept the invitation. They live on the island of St. Croix in the Caribbean. And she asked us to bring our books. The local bookstore invited us to have a book signing while there.  

St. Croix is in the United States Virgin Islands so a passport wasn’t needed. This was perfect because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough time for one to be issued before we planned to leave.:

As soon as our plane landed we got a craving for a tropical island cocktail. The first one I ordered was a Pina Colada. Cathy ordered a Mango Daiquiri. Both were absolutely delicious. However, it wasn’t long before we switched to rum punch. It seemed to be the drink of choice for the island.


We spent the first morning relaxing on the porch enjoying the view. We worked on our current work in progress (cause that’s what writers do) until noon then took a drive to downtown Frederiksted.    

Frederiksted was named after Frederick V of Denmark, who purchased the Danish West Indies in 1754.


A cruise ship had docked and all the local shops had set up tents along the sidewalks. We had to check them out and buy a few souvenirs.

We were invited to brunch by Lexi’s friend, Tanisha.  Tanisha has lived in St Croix all her life and would not consider leaving her island paradise lifestyle. And who can blame her?

How’s this for a view?

Next we stopped by the Domino Club in the rainforest. We had to see the beer drinking pigs.  Do I look a little scared? Yep, kinda was.

The rainforest and this tree is absolutely huge.

We made history on the island of St. Croix. We were the first romance authors to ever hold a book signing on the island. Thank you so much. Undercover Bookstore, for giving us such a warm welcome.

Cathy McDavid, Lexi Post, Tia Dani

The following day we did a tour of the island. We walked where Columbus and his crew landed and came ashore. We drove over to Point Udall. Point Udall, St Croix, V.I. the Easternmost point of the United States of America. Named for Stewart Udall, United States Secretary of the Interior under Presidents John F. Kennedy and L.B. Johnson. Then on for drinks at a nearby resort. Rum punch on the patio.       http://www.gotostcroix.com/historic-sites

After a quick stop by the casino it was on to dinner in Christiansted.

There is plenty to do while on the island. if you plan to go check out the cultural events.http://www.gotostcroix.com/crucian-culture

For a great Chai stop in the local coffee house, Polly’s. https://www.facebook.com/pollysatthepier 

We decided we could not leave the island without taking a sunset cruise. The cruise definitely turned out to be one of the high points of the trip. We had so much fun. Our captain and his mate were quite handsome and the run punch flowed.

Great story about these two guys. They met on the island and turned out they were half brothers. Wasn’t long before they started up a business together.

The beautiful sunset

Tia Dani, Cathy and Lexi

All good things must come to an end including vacations. now it’s back to work finishing our book in progress while dreaming about where our next adventure will take us. Hawaii anyone?

BTW the next trip will include both Tia and Dani.  Who knows, maybe we’ll all go and make it a Butterscotch Martini Girls vacation? We can’t wait to find out.

Tia Dani

Time's Enduring Love



Top 10 Reasons to write romance!!


I love what I do. I know a lot of authors hem and haw when asked what they do, but I’m proud of it and don’t mince words when I tell them I’m a writer. And when they inevitably ask what I write, I proudly say, Paranormal Romance and Erotic Paranormal Romance.

After they wrinkle their noses and notice my total lack of embarrassment or shame over writing romance or even…gasp….erotic, you all know the question that comes next….

“Do you have anything published?” And have you ever noticed the condescending almost pitying tone that usually comes with that?

I’m also proud of saying, “Yes. I’m multi published under two pen names.”

Then they usually say, “Are you published with a “real” publisher? Anyone I would recognize?”

For a while I bristled at the “real” publisher comment since I was first published with a small press and I believe them to BE real publishers!! But, most people are oblivious to that fact so I don’t even bother to point that out. And I’m also proud of being able to say, “I’m published with a few places, but the two New York publishers are Kensington and Berkley…which you might know as Penguin.”

Most people have heard of Penguin and even though they probably know next to nothing about publishing OR Penguin that usually derails their condescending tone, at least a little.

But even when I was only published with a small press publisher, I would proudly tell people what I did and was never shy about writing romance.

So with a huge thanks to Virginia Nelson for giving me this blog idea, here are the top 10 reasons to write romance!!

1. I get to fall in love all over again with every book!

2. How many people get to experience the excitement of that first sexual encounter with someone new over and over again while remaining totally faithful to their spouse? And even having their approval? And a total side note and probably TMI, but….you know I don’t shy away from that… To understand this, you have to realize that if I don’t get hot and bothered while WRITING a scene, my readers won’t be when they are reading it. SO, when I sold my first erotic romance trilogy to Kensington…and was writing them….hubby came home one day with a HUGE package of batteries he bought at Sam’s club and slapped them down on the headboard of our bed with a smirk…. Smart ass! 🙂 But you get the point…snerk!

3. I believe true love is out there, and that soul mates exist. I love getting to show that possibility and inspire people to look for it. For those who argue that romance gives people false hope – I would rather have people putting out good energy and believing in true love and drawing it to them than exuding doubt and fear that they’ll be alone forever and attracting THAT back into their lives.

4. I get to be a part of helping people rekindle the passion in their relationships! I’ve gotten several emails from couples who thanked me for rekindling the spark in their relationships. Especially my erotic works! I’ve heard from couples who read chapters of my Cassie Ryan books together and then let nature take its course. I’m glad that the hard work and time I put Into creating these stories and these worlds helps people and inspires them. What could be better than bringing people back together and reminding them of what they saw in each other in the first place? One year at a book singing they mistakenly sat me under the “Inspirational” sign since the “Erotic” table was full. I took it in stride and told the people who came by my table that my Cassie Ryan books are definitely inspirational, just in a different way than the other ladies at the same table 🙂

5. I get to show that all kinds of women and women can find romance, love and fulfilling sex lives. None of my characters are perfect. They aren’t all skinny blondes with perfect bodies and perfect personalities. And the men aren’t all cover models who always say the right thing and sweep the women off their feet and save the day! In fact, most of the time, my heroines save themselves and sometimes even save their hero as well! I try to make my characters “regular” women and men who are put into irregular circumstances. And all of them need to “find” or “accept” themselves in order to truly find love. So through my work I get to show people it’s possible to find love, acceptance, and companionship no matter who you are and what you look like. And that’s very rewarding!

6. In my Cassie Ryan books, I get to explore all kinds of kinky and off the wall sexual things that I would never try out in real life! If you’ve read my Seduction series you know that can sometimes get pretty out there 🙂 In fact there’s a sex scene that has about 30 people in it… Snerk! Not something I would sign up for in real life, but I have to admit that it was REALLY fun to live out in my imagination. Yes, I admit it. It WAS fun. But then I have a really good imagination!! LOL!!!!

7. After a long, hard day of work, I’m still smiling and feeling good, even if it’s during the big black moment where all looks lost, or I killed someone off that day!

8. I get to do my job in my pajamas, sipping butterscotch martinis, on a comfortable patio with the breeze blowing or sitting in a squishy chair at Starbucks with a hot chai tea latte next to me 🙂

9. I get to meet the ‘good guys’ who are still out there waiting to fall in love and meet the right woman for them 🙂 Yes, I do have quite a few male fans. Granted, they prefer to think of my books as ‘sci-fi with sex’ rather than paranormal romance, but it works out the same in the end, and they do even enjoy the romance parts since I don’t write soupy, scholcky romance that makes you want to gag or get a toothache…or so I’ve been told! (And I’m glad!!)

10. I get to people watch and mentally stalk people and not get arrested for it! After all, anyone and everyone who comes across my path are fair game to be book fodder!! Mwaaahaaahaaaa!

I really do have the best job in the world. Not only do I get all the perks above, but even beyond that I get paid to make stuff up and even to be sarcastic!! Who else can say that?


The Hinkiest Fairy Godmother in the Universe Rides Again!

The Hinkiest Fairy Godmother in the Universe Rides Again!

Delta Jane is back and Loons of a Feather is now a reality.  Yep, I made it…got it loaded, proofed, and released on time.  Was there really any doubt I would get there in time, you ask?  Well hell yes…it’s me, people!  Did you forget who you were talking to?  I’m the master procrastinator and there was much panic, many late nights, lots of bleary-eyed cursing sessions, and twisted belly pains.  But my new novel, Loons of a Feather, is finally available on Amazon.   Yeah…happy dancing across the pasture again.

Ya-Hoo!    (Throws cowgirl hat in the air!)

The official release date is tomorrow—February 1—but if you go to Amazon right this very minute, it’s up and available for order.  So pass the word!

Loons of a Feather_Small_200x323x300dpi

Tell your mother, your sister, your neighbor, your cousin, your niece, your grocery store clerk, your therapist, your gynecologist…tell ‘em all!!!  Wait…maybe not your therapist…Delta might not help your cause any.  🙂  And don’t forget to tell the guys too.  I was amazed at how many men bought a copy of Katie’s Rock and Midnight on the Double-B at my book signing last weekend…some as Valentine’s gifts for their sweetie and some as Valentine’s gifts for themselves.  So contrary to popular opinion, men DO buy romance…at least, the smart ones do.  🙂

Click Here To Buy Now

Don’t forget to tell me if you like the cover or not…I designed and created it myself and I’m not above begging shamelessly for compliments.  LOL

And if you click on the link at the top, it will take you straight to the book on Amazon where you can order it either in print or e-book format.  Yeah again!

Now…if you are local and looking for a print copy, I’d much rather you come see me next weekend at the Chocolate Affaire where I will also have Katie’s Rock and Midnight on the Double-B.  (Hint:  You can get the book cheaper there at conference pricing and without the shipping charges.  Who doesn’t love cheaper?!)

Midnight Cover_Small_206x320x300dpiIn case you haven’t yet read Midnight on the Double-B, follow this link to Amazon where the ebook version will be FREE…yes, FREE…for 3 days.  Pick up your e-book, read it next week, and if you love Delta, zoom back to Amazon for your copy of Loons of a Feather…or trot over to the Chocolate Affaire next weekend to get a signed copy from yours truly.  Remember, Midnight on the Double-B is a short story and a fast, easy read—and it’s the precursor to Loons of a Feather, which is Book One in the Delta Jane series.  So for those of you who wanted more of Delta…here she is.  I hope you enjoy her!!!

Click Here To Get Free E-book

zzz playfile mergedOh, one more thing—leave a comment here by midnight Saturday (2/1) for a chance to win a free copy of Loons of a Feather in ebook format.  So leave a comment and I will contact you when the winner has been drawn.  What could be better?  A cranky, hinky fairy godmother…and FREE.  Yeah, baby!

That’s my story, wahoo and wazoo, and I’m stickin’ to it.  Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,


Loons of a Feather is on its way!

Hi…it’s me, Kayce.  I know…….long time no talk here on the Butterscotch Martini Girls site, but we’ve got the band back together and we’re rolling into the new year with big plans.  So welcome…it’s good to be back!

And…in case you haven’t heard, I have a new release coming out February 1st.  Yeah!!!  The title is Loons of a Feather and it features my kick-ass fairy godmother Delta Jane.  She rides a Harley and she has a pair of lips tattoo’d on her ass–and she’s not afraid to use ’em.  She makes love matches and cleans up after her baby brother, Bubba Ray.  So if you enjoyed Midnight on the Double-B, ride along with Delta and Bubba Ray on their new adventure.  And here is a sample of what the cover will look like…


So…do you love it?  I do!!!  And just to toot my own horn, I built it myself…so if you hate it, don’t tell me.  There are times when remaining in the dark ain’t so bad.  LOL  On the other hand, if you L-O-V-E it, tell me, tell your mother, tell all your friends…and be sure to tell them they will be able to find it on Amazon.com when it’s released on February 1st. 

Now that we have that settled, here’s another excerpt for ya…hope you enjoy it.  And if you do and you’re local, be sure you plan to stop by the Romance Writers’ booth at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire on Friday evening (2/7) or Saturday/Sunday morning (2/8-2/9) and say “Hi” and pick up your signed copy…and be sure you bring enough cash for chocolate whatever you want.  The selection is decadent, to say the least.

That’s my story, fun and fantastical, and I’m stickin’ to it.  Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

 Love ya,  Kayce

 Loons of a Feather  (excerpt…)

Across the street, in the shadows of a recessed storefront, Delta stood with Bubba Ray and Mac at her side.  She’d watched Shannon and Jackson leave the restaurant and round the corner earlier.  Now she waited for Michael to leave as she worked on another plan. 

With a grunt of frustration, she spoke to her brother.  “Bubba Ray, these people are gonna be the death of me.  Why the hell can’t they just roll with the program and realize they can’t make up their own rules?  Destiny has its own plan and so do I.  But they keep screwing everything up.  Just when I get the right two together, another one comes along and horns in.  I’d hate to have to put one of them in the hospital, but it’s damn tempting.”

Bubba Ray stared at her, horror written all over his cherubic face while Mac whined and bumped her leg with his wet nose.

“Yeah, I know, Mac.  It was just a thought.  Guess that’s why they have me.  But I’d much rather be sitting somewhere having a cold beer than standing here in the dark thinking up ways to throw these two together.  Hell, I’ve spent the last two days running ridiculous errands for that tight-wad Fairy just to smooth his feathers out over the fifty thou I requisitioned to cover the damages.  Now I’ve got a cop to get rid of too.  Could these people be any more of a pain-in-the-ass?  And let’s don’t forget about the old bitch that’s rattling her sword over the stupid smoking cat.  I still don’t have a clue how I’m gonna make her go away.  Fairy boy says I can’t kill her off.  Hell, that’d not only fix this case, but it’d make me feel a damn sight better.  She’s really getting on my nerves.”

There was silence as Delta tilted her head and listened to a voice only she could hear.  A moment later, she looked straight up into the dark night sky and snapped, “Oh, shut up!  I’m working myself to the bone down here and I don’t need your smart remarks.  I know performance review time is coming up.  It’ll all be resolved by then.  Just you don’t worry about it.  How’d you get your batteries recharged so fast, anyway?  Don’t you need some bed rest or something?”

A moment later, she froze as her breath hitched in her chest.  The boss had never spoken out loud to her, always just a disembodied voice in her mind, so the soft, deep baritone voice that spoke out loud took her by surprise.  She looked right to see if Bubba Ray had heard it too.  His wide eyes told her he had.  Now, this was downright embarrassing.

“Holy shit, Fairy boy, you did not just proposition me!” 

He had.  The boss had never made any kind of off-color or suggestive remark to her, had never given her any indication he might be interested in her, although it wasn’t uncommon among the fairy god folk.  Working with love matches all day long could be rather…stimulating.  But inviting her to join him in his bed and “recharge his batteries” had proposition written all over it.  Unfortunately, it also had strategic parts of her body at full attention and nodding furious agreement.  It had been a long time.

What the…

Apparently, seven decades was too long for a fairy godmother to go without sex.  She’d have to find a way to remedy that, but not with the boss.

Delta’s brain was scrambled as she searched for some other explanation or some way out.  Bubba Ray was blushing furiously and staring at his feet, refusing to make eye contact.  Hell, even Mac wouldn’t look her in the eye.  What the hell was happening here?  Where’d that come from?  She was absolutely right about what the boss hinted at and she had to find a way to change the subject…fast.  This was downright embarrassing.

Then a thought occurred to her. 

Time to pick a fight. 

With a huff, she stabbed her fists on her hips and scowled skyward.  “Fairy boy, I wouldn’t recharge your batteries if you were the last stinking fairy in the universe.  You meddled with my case.  You threw Jackson in the middle of all this out of the clear blue without a single mention of him in the case recommendations.  You did it because you didn’t know what the hell you were doing and now you’re trying to distract me.  Well, it’s not gonna work.  I’m onto you.”

Again the soft baritone slid over her with the whisper of a soft sheet. 

“Of course I did it, but I knew exactly what I was doing.  You needed a challenge.”

“What?  Challenge?  Delta doubled up her fist and shook it at the sky as her heart fluttered in her chest.  “Why, you double-dealing, sneaky, soot-feathered…”

“You’ve been getting too comfortable in your current role.  It’s time you moved up to the next level and to do it, you need tougher assignments.  The big guy thinks you need more challenge, so I gave you some stretch goals.  Think of it as an…opportunity.”

“You’re damn straight I’ve been comfortable in my current role.  I’ve got it figured out now and I can work it in my sleep.  I don’t want to move up to the next level.  I don’t need any more headaches and I don’t want any more challenges.  I like it right where I am.  Don’t you go screwing up a good thing…and I can tell you where you can put your stretch goals and your opportunity if you need directions.”

The disembodied baritone voice chuckled.  “Well, they don’t call you Bitch Number Two for nothing, that’s for sure.  I always know I can count on you to liven up a boring day.”

Bitch Number Two?

Delta was stunned.  She’d always had top billing.  Who was poaching in her territory?  “What the hell are you talking about, you big flop-footed faggit?  Bitch Number Two?  Oh hell no!  I’m Queen Bitch and you damn well know it.”

“Not any more, you’re not.  After the stunt Bitzy pulled down in Florida, you’ve been bumped.  You’ve got to admit, an alligator in the punch bowl to break up the wrong wedding was a stroke of twisted genius.”

“Stroke of genius?  Are you kidding me?  She put two people in the hospital and almost blew her cover with that little stroke of twisted genius.  Shit!  You corporate types are all alike.  Doesn’t matter how many bodies you leave in your wake, as long as the case comes in on time and within budget.”

“Oh, not that tired old song and dance again,” quipped the fairy godfather.  “Give it a rest, Delta.  You’ll understand once you’ve moved to the next level.  Just hang in there, hag, and you’ll get up to speed yet.”

Delta’s temper blazed red-hot.  “Hag?  Who you callin’ Hag, you puffed up pile of horse-feathers!  And for your information, I am not moving up.  I like it here and you can’t make me do it.  So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!  Don’t you have some real work to do—like knitting a sweater for that ugly-ass bald cat of yours?”

Mac barked his agreement.

A split second later, there was a peal of thunder and lightning shot across the clear night sky.

Delta rolled her eyes and cackled as she shouted.  “Yeah, you talk tough for a guy in tights and wings.”  With a glance at Mac, she added, “Whose idea was it anyway to assign a Fairy in tights to the redneck task force?  The big guy must’ve been having a slow day.” 

Mac whined his agreement just as a louder, larger bolt of lightning shot across the sky and struck her Harley parked next to the building changing it into a moped.

Delta stared at the moped for a moment and then cursed under her breath, “Ass!”  With a wave of her fingers, the moped was restored to the Harley she rode in on.

Another bolt of lightning, the moped was back and the back tire was flat.

“Shit!”  Delta glared at the moped.  “I hate working with fairy godfathers.  They’re so damn temperamental.  You’d think after three hundred years, they’d have gotten past all the sensitivity crap.”

Some Get Rained Out…

Hi there!  Did y’all think I’d died?  Nope…still here and still kickin’.  Just been buried trying to dig out from under life…you know how it goes, don’t cha?  Sure you do…we’ve all been there.  I have a good friend that says some days it’s like being stoned to death with popcorn…none of the individual pieces is big enough to kill ya but put ‘em all together and you sometimes think it might.  LOL  Well, it hasn’t…killed me, that is.  In fact, I think I’m actually winning the battle.  Woo Hoo!!!  Doing the happy dance.

Now, I’ve had a couple of people email me recently to ask how the internet dating thing is going and what ever happened to Mr. Confused, so I thought I’d bring ya up to speed on that…since this is, after all, a “romance” writers site.  LOL

Mr. Confused…he’s still out there…still emailing and calling occasionally…and after almost two years, I still have not met him face-to-face.  Surprised?  No, I didn’t think so.  LMAO  He did make it to Florida last October (2007) and was only one day late getting there.  Then he made it to Houston in time for Thanksgiving dinner (he’s a man…what did you expect?)…where he stayed for a long, long time.  Guess his sisters are really good cooks.  (wink-wink)  Anyway, toward the end of this last summer, he started for home (remember…that was Oregon).  Well, the trip home rivaled the trip out.  He was headed for Phoenix…slowly, but surely…and then the van and trailer started breaking down in one town after another…and I’ll be damned if he didn’t lose his way and miss Phoenix again on the way home just like he did on the way out.  Before we knew it, he was back in Oregon.  Go figure!  I know what you’re thinking…I scared him and he’s afraid to actually meet me.  I promise, I didn’t do anything kinky or weird or scary to this man.  Really!  Oh…maybe that’s the problem.  Hmmmmmmm……    ROFL

Mr. Wonderful…this was the one that got away…the one that stole my heart and then squished it like a bug on the sidewalk.  Yep…he did.  I found one that I thought was the one made in heaven.  It was a wonderful, whirlwind romance that I thought (at my age) I’d never see again.  It was fabulous.  It was beautiful.  It was sexy.  It was short.  LOL  Anyway, long story short, I fell in love (little l…not enough time, thankfully, to give away my entire heart).  On a Sunday he asked me for exclusivity (which I was delighted to agree to) and three days later on Wednesday, sent me an email breaking it off with virtually no explanation…then refused to take email, text, IM, or phone calls…just dropped off the face of the earth.  Yes, you read that right…an email…a stinking email!!!  I was stunned…sent me for a loop because this was absolutely the last man on earth I would have expected such unfeeling and inconsiderate treatment from.  I really did expect more from him.  But apparently, we’re never too old to be taken for a ride…and apparently they’re never too old to be ijits.  Now, before you start feeling sorry for me…I must reaffirm that this was a wonderful few weeks.  I’ve got some really warm and special memories…some of the most romantic moments in time that I’ve ever had…and the images are burned permanently into my mind.  So it wasn’t a total loss.  This was one of those once in a lifetime romances that is the stuff our stories are made of…complete with butterflies in the stomach, long hot kisses, long hours of conversation until the sun comes up, laughing together at stupid movies, and long romantic moments staring into each other’s eyes where there is no one else in the world but the two of you.  So no matter what the outcome was, I will always be grateful for those very special memories I’ve got.  And if nothing else, it will help me out a lot in those love scenes.  J  Ya gotta love that!

Mr. Scammer.  Normally, I wouldn’t give this guy any space in my blog, but this one was just so damn stupid…and such a bad scammer…that he’s got to have special mention.  I figured out real early on that this was a scammer…and most likely one of those Nigerian scammers…since he was supposedly living in Meadview, Arizona but was spending a lot of time in the UK and Africa.  Long story short, he took me through the normal bum’s rush where they try to make what they think is a desperate and lonely woman believe that they have actually fallen in love with her through 2 very brief emails…all on the strength of her tremendous beauty and earth-shattering personality.  Duh!  Can you say…”Are ya kiddin’ me?”  Well, this one was priceless.  He eventually decided I wasn’t coming around fast enough, so as George Straight once said in a movie, he “cranked up the fire under the dancing chicken.”  He sent me an excerpt that he had clearly cut and pasted from a romance novel somewhere.  It was so good that I’ve just got to include it here…

I miss you. I want to be with you and hold you. I want to gently touch your face and cup your cheek in my hand as I look into your beautiful blue eyes.. I want to snuggle and cuddle with you, to just be close to you. I want to rub your leg and stare across the couch as we talk of our feelings for one another. I want to hold your hand across the table at a restaurant. I want others in the restaurant to be jealous of our intimacy and our tender affection for one another. I want to lie next to you in front of a fire and gaze into your eyes while I rub your back.. I want to romance you. I want you to know how beautiful you are in my eyes. I want you to know how much I cherish and adore you. I want to give my heart to you. I want your heart, I want it all.

Nice you say?  Yes, it most certainly would be…if my eyes weren’t brown.  LOL  Yeah, that’s a pretty stupid scammer…one who needs a spreadsheet to keep track of his communications.  The really funny thing is that I finally decided to stop playing the game with him because he was getting really creepy and the train wreck was no longer fun to watch.  So when I told him to never contact me again, he sent the same cut and pasted excerpt, begging me to reconsider…apparently forgetting he’d already sent it to me once before.  ROFL  I replied that he was an idiot…and that my eyes were still brown.

Well, that’s my dating experience over the last year or so in a nutshell…some wonderful moments, some broken heart moments, some good laughs, and some head-scratchers.  All in all, a good time, but no Mr. Right yet.  (Although there is still a very cranky man in Cornville and a very sexy man in Tennessee that will forever be my friends.)

The moral of the story?  You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out.  But everything you survive makes you smarter, stronger, better.  The only wasted lesson is the one you don’t learn from and the only regretted love is the one that doesn’t somehow leave you better than it found you.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!  Hang on tight ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,


Why romance?

This is a question I’m asked quite a bit by pretty much everyone except for other romance writers or people who already love the genre.

Our genre takes quite a bit of flack from those who don’t really understand modern romance novels, and, in fact, quite a few of them have never read a romance novel.  That part always amazes me, but then again people often criticize without full information in this day and age.

I remember when I was younger, borrowing my mother’s Harlequin romances and reading about heroines who waited for alpha males to save them and swooned at the slightest provocation.  I wanted to shake some sense into them and tell them to grow a backbone!  My twelve-year-old sensibilities just couldn’t stomach more of that, so I didn’t touch another romance novel for sixteen years.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Harlequin.  Those were the kind of romances the core romance reader wanted at that time, and that’s what Harlequin provided, and they have grown and changed with the times and are still a strong company today.  However, from my “worldly” twelve-year-old perspective at the time, those books made me shudder!

That’s not to say that I wasn’t an avid reader during those years.  No, just the opposite.  I devoured Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan and anything else that caught my interest in the sci-fi/fantasy section of the bookstore.  But I made a wide berth around the romance section.

Now here’s a funny side note.  My parents and most of my friend’s parents thought we were reading books with wizards and dragons and spaceships in them, which was true.  But if they had only known the amount of steamy sex (and yes, even romance) in those books, they would’ve taken them away from me post haste!  In fact, my son KNOWS I know what he’s reading and what he’s not since I’ve read most of the books he is starting to pick up, and if I haven’t read it, I’m such a quick reader that I finish it before he gets very far.  (Poor kid!  LOL)

Anyway, back to my main point.  I spent those sixteen years of my life sneering at the romance genre without really realizing all the changes that had taken place.

But then, fate intervened.

I went on vacation with a friend and ran out of books.  (I mentioned I’m a quick reader, right?  I meant it…lol)  We weren’t close to a book store (sacrilege!), so I borrowed one of hers–BORN IN FIRE by Nora Roberts.

I can still remember diving into that book and becoming thoroughly hooked!  Not only did it have a rich plot, great setting (one of the richest descriptions of Ireland I’ve ever seen in a novel), characters that jumped off the page and made me believe that if I got off the plane in Ireland today that these people actually live and thrive there.  However, it also had some great love scenes and took me through an entire range of emotions before I got to the words “The End.”  I was hooked!

I finished it within the day and the next day drove an hour into the next town to find a book store.  You can imagine my surprise when I found the other two books in the trilogy (BORN IN ICE & BORN IN SHAME) in the romance section!!  A little more time spent perusing books in this section I hadn’t stepped foot in in sixteen years showed me that many of my favorite genres had now blended with romance.  There was sci-fi romance, fantasy romance, horror romance, paranormal romance, romance with suspense and even erotic romance, just to name a few.  This was my kind of romance!

Needless to say, as I sit here today, a multi-published romance author under two different pen names, I’m very glad to have stumbled onto that Nora Robert’s book when I did.  And, in fact, I did thank Nora when I finally met her at a Romance Writers of America conference in 2004, and she weathered my fan adoration with poise and a smile. 🙂  Thanks Nora!

So, what made me think of this blog?  I just finished a book that sucked me in, kept me interested, introduced me to characters who will stay with me for quite a while, and took me through a gamut of emotions from outrage to sadness to joy, and there were tears of happiness in my eyes as I read the last line of the book.   The book was THE PERFECT KISS by Anne Gracie, a historical romance, and I highly recommend you read it if you haven’t yet.

If like a lot of others, you haven’t given the romance genre a try lately, or at all, you may be missing out on some of the best books you’ve ever read.  Not to mention some great gargoyles, vampires, fairies, Klatch witches and angels. (self promotion, plug, plug, plug…lol)  But seriously, give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.