Tag Archives: Sleeping With Shadows

Book ideas from a hot woman on a gravestone?

Coveted Dreams JonVJones Where do book ideas come from? Everywhere and anywhere! Join me for a discussion of some of mine…funny, snarky and even serious. 🙂

I’m always asked where I find my book ideas. This picture by Jon V Jones was the inspiration for my popular Maiden series so I thought this would be a great place to start. I don’t even remember WHERE I first saw this picture. It was back in early 2004, so it might have even been in a local gallery.

I fell in love with the picture and stood looking at it for quite a while. My mind immediately started playing “What if?”  You know…that game we all played when we were little and got in trouble for when we got caught playing it in class and not playing attention?

Or maybe that was just me.

I think the part that fascinated me the most was how the stone was slowly flowing up her body as if she WAS turning to stone.

POOF!  My gargoyle warriors were born.  Some more “what if” time and it became Stone Maiden, the first book in my Maiden series, about 900 year old female gargoyle warriors who can turn to stone to fight and heal. God created them during the crusades to protect those being downtrodden in God’s name.  To date, that is my most popular and asked about series.

Unfortunately, the publisher I started it with, imploded, and my series was orphaned after the second book, Fire Maiden, but I do still plan to write Ice Maiden and Chaos Maiden! So stay tuned!

SEDUCING THE SUCCUBUSFor my Sisters of Darkness series, my husband and I were watching the History Channel. I don’t even remember the subject of the show, but they said that Lilith, the Demon who in Jewish Folklore was considered Adam’s first wife, made from the same dust of the earth he was. There are other folklore stories saying that she was the one who convinced Eve to eat the apple and then offer it to Adam in the Garden of Eden. For that treachery, that folklore considers her the first succubus.

That was about the same time I was trying to come up with a new series idea for my agent to shop around. So that little snippet fell on fertile ground…aka, my overactive imagination!

I started thinking what pressure that would be to be Lilith. Yes, per the story she convinced Eve to take the apple, but she didn’t MAKE her take it. And she didn’t MAKE Adam eat it, either. Humans were given free will. But Lilith ended up taking all the blame? Sounded like a bum rap to me!

So I started thinking about what a succubus would really do after that black mark on her resume…so to speak. For that matter, if they are immortal like many demons are thought to be, then what would they do with themselves as the world started to become more modernized.

What career path could you really go for when your only skills were temptation and killing men with too much sex? My snarky side first thought, “Lobbyist?” But that wasn’t really helping me with my new series idea. So I figured, if I were in that situation, with those jobs skills….I would probably go find a job at a high priced legal brothel. But then I needed some conflict for my book, so I started thinking that after living that long, they had probably pissed some other beings off. Thus, the Sisters of Darkness were born. The series is about 4 Succubus sisters in Hell’s version of the Witness Relocation Program.


rp_ceremony-of-seduction-sm.jpg For my Seduction Series, I had never written erotic before, and my friend and fellow critique partner, Brit Blaise, suggested I try my hand at one. My first thought was, what world can I build where it will be easy for my heroine to need lots of sex? After all, I like story with my sex in books, so it HAD to be integral to the story and make sense for my characters to need lots and lots of sex…LOL!

My son came home from school and said they were reading a book in class about how certain words became almost taboo in a culture. I don’t even remember what book they were reading now, but it ignited my imagination. I thought about the words I had issues with – which weren’t many. But I did find one that had always bothered me. In fact I saved that “C” word for the truly evil of the evil.

So, being my smart ass self, I decided to create a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. (Gives them a great reason to have LOTS of sex!). They started as one race on their home planet – they were called the Klatch. One faction called, yep – you guessed it…. the C%@*$, tried to overthrow the King and Queen and when they lost, they were banished to earth.  On earth the name of their race became synonymous with evil and betrayer…

I wrote the first three chapters and sent them off to Audrey LaFehr at Kensington. It’s a long story, but she bought a 3-book series off of that 3 chapter partial. She never blinked at my use of that word. I also used that offer to get my agent, Paige Wheeler, who also never blinked at that word.

I kept expecting somewhere along the way for someone to tell me I had to change it.  But nope…

In fact, Ceremony of Seduction is in its 2nd printing!! It is my best selling series under either pen name. I think that’s my most outlandish book idea story! And even better, it’s true!

rp_SleepingWithShadowsEbook_Medium-187x300.jpg Sleeping With Shadows came about because I was contacted by my first love who had found me on Classmates.com. He was older than me and in the Navy. My grandfather (a Navy SeaBee) had gotten his word that he wouldn’t do anything “dishonorable” with his granddaughter. They shook, and that was it. Anyway, I was too young and the intensity of emotion was too much for me to handle, and I broke up with him. But for a while there, I thought I had found the man I was going to marry. And many times after that as I grew up, got married, had my son, divorced, remarried etc, I thought about him and wondered what he was doing.

When we got back in contact we had a lot of catching up to do. We were both happy with our lives, but were grateful to have found each other again. In fact, he’s one of my oldest friends (no, smartasses – not in age!!) But once we were in touch again we kept in touch, emailing when our kids made some new milestone or we had fun things going on in our lives. My husband never minded me staying in contact, and in fact, when I was in the hospital for all that time just after my brain blowout, he called Phillip to let him know what had happened and so he could talk to me.

But during all those walks down memory lane, he and I did have quite a few discussions about “What if things had gone differently.” Neither of us would want to give up the happy lives we have today, but it was firmly planted in my imagination. Sleeping With Shadows came out of all of that, but, I, of course, had to add a paranormal twist and a bad guy! This book contains some true stories out of my past as well as a whole lot of imagination. It became a reincarnation with a twist story, and yes, I did send him a copy of it when I was done and he said he really enjoyed it 🙂

The Pleasure Project After my brain blowout in 2010, I was trying to get back into writing, and my wonderful agent, Paige Wheeler, found an opportunity for me to try to break back in. Kensington (who had bought my Seduction series) was looking for authors to be in a futuristic erotic anthology. They had a big name author as an anchor for the anthology, but they were looking for others to fill out the rest. Paige asked if was interested, and I jumped at the chance. I had never written futuristic, but I had read a lot of it and knew my critique group would help me brainstorm something.

My friend a critique partner, Kayla Janz, suggested a space pirate, and that got the imagination firing. But I like to turn things on their head, so rather than having the normal male space pirate, My heroine became the infamous space pirate, Red Death. She spacejacks our hero and takes HIM as her sex slave!!

There’s more to it than that, since she also drags him into a war between two worlds and much more, but that was the main idea. One of my favorite characters to write in that book has both been raved about and panned by different readers and reviewers. The idea came from my friend and critique partner, Brit Blaise. I had Dani (aka Red Death) using a sex toy in one of the early scenes. When Brit critiqued it, she pointed out (rightly so) that in the future, there probably wouldn’t be VIBRATORS….so, the Pleasure Probe was born. And my heroine regretted buying the talking model!!

Needless to say, this thing can also fly, and enjoys taunting all the male characters–especially our sexy hero, to prove they can offer Dani better “equipment” than the probe can…LOL.

I have several other books published and each of those have their own spark of an idea. All book ideas come from somewhere! I have a growing file of book ideas, and I would have to live to be 250 to write all of THOSE!

How about you? Any of you have great book idea stories?


Tina Gerow Special Edition @TinaGerow

Tina Gerow Special EditionTina Gerow Special Edition

Tina Gerow Special Edition published by Books We Love contains three complete novels.

Into A Dangerous Mind (Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Small Press Contemporary Paranormal)

What happens when saucy, independent musician, Cassidy James, finds herself with newly discovered psychic powers and must rely on handsome, maverick FBI agent Zach Hatcher to keep from becoming a psychic serial killer’s next victim? Cassidy must learn to control her powers to help stop the killer while learning that relationships between people with psychic powers are just as confusing, but much more steamy than normal ones. Zach fights to control his growing attraction for the killer’s intended victim, while overcoming his past, which has caused him to be leery of relationships with women who possess psychic gifts.

Stone Maiden
In Stone Maiden, Ariel Knight, a nine-hundred year old gargoyle and ex-warrior for God opens a present-day bodyguard agency with her three sisters. At the request of the Angel Gabriel, they take on protecting Logan McAllister, playboy country music songwriter, who has suddenly become a prime target for all of the evil supernatural beings in the area. While Ariel tries to unravel who is behind the mysterious attacks, she is also battling a growing affection and attraction for him. To make matters worse, Logan’s business manager turns out to be a master vampire who broke her heart two centuries ago and still seems to have feelings for her. Nothing like finding out your lover is a soulless bloodsucker to ruin a relationship.
(eCataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award; Desert Rose Golden Quill Finalist)

Fire Maiden
Prophecy is a fickle thing. Kefira Knight and her three Gargoyle sisters had hoped they were done with prophecy after Ariel’s pregnancy with the son of the blood (see STONE MAIDEN). But it seems that Kefira is to play a part in the prophecy as well. . .

Kefira’s sharp temper ignites when her former lover, Paladin Dagan Grayson, shows up on the doorstep of the ranch she and her sisters are sharing with Ariel’s new husband. Kefira still bears deep emotional scars from the loss of their child when she turned to stone for healing. Meanwhile, Jeslyn, Queen of the Succubus clan, has a nefarious plot afoot to halt the rise of Good. Kefira must choose a path- will she choose Good or Evil?

“Tina Gerow surpasses all expectations with FIRE MAIDEN. In fact, this book may even be better than the fabulous STONE MAIDEN. Tina Gerow demonstrates with FIRE MAIDEN that she is definitely an author to look out for in the paranormal genre. ~ CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

Buy it now!

Sleeping With Shadows by @TinaGerow

sleeping with shadows, tina gerowSleeping With Shadows

Can soul mates meet in a dream? Until their past-life karmic cycles are balanced, Matt Martin and Sarah Ryan are on a collision course pushing the world toward a disastrous end.

Will they allow their intense past-life connection to cause them even more missed opportunities in this lifetime? Everyone’s karmic tapestry is in jeopardy because of Matt and Sarah. Together they form the thread that threatens to unravel universal karmic harmony.

To make matters worse, a third person brings more difficulty for the duo. When Sarah’s spurned ex-lover threatens to destroy her to keep her to himself, he unwittingly dooms millions. Can Sarah and Matt work through this dangerous reincarnation with a twist?

Buy it now!

5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Paranormal Romance….basically the best of all genres, January 26, 2014
This review is from: Sleeping With Shadows (Kindle Edition)
If you’re looking for a new and suspenseful paranormal story then you are in luck, Sleeping with Shadows by Tina Gerow was just released. You will not be disappointed with the superb level of writing that Tina brings while taking you on an adventure that will have you wondering what is a dream and what is reality. Sleeping with Shadows follows the journey Matt Martin goes on to find his first love, Sarah Ryan. As Matt starts to see Sarah in his dreams he is not sure of what is real and what is a figment of his imagination. When things go from weird to supernatural, Matt enlists the help of his best friend and a private detective to try to piece together the dreams he keeps having. Sarah and Matt don’t skip a beat when it comes to sparking back up their relationship both emotionally and physically after years apart. As I was reading, I felt like there was a timer and if I didn’t find out what was going to happen next then it would be the end for these two. Sleeping with Shadows is remarkable and mind boggling so be prepared to stay up all night till you finish.

Buy it now!


My 10 “favorite” writing pet peeves @tinagerow


I suppose “favorite” might be an interesting description for pet peeves, but I think of it more as the ones that make me chuckle and shake my head at the same time rather than the ones that make me grind my teeth, if that makes sense!

I think in every profession, people have irritants or pet peeves. I know I have had in every job I’ve ever held. But writing has some interesting ones. And here are some of mine:

1. When people on Facebook send me an invite to an even that’s halfway across the country or even in another country. Uh….yeah, I’m in Arizona, so probably not going to make it to Australia this weekend to attend your book release party at that restaurant you listed. But thanks…

2. People on Twitter who get irritated when you have to abbreviate to get your message into the 140 characters. You know, like Sum1, or B4 etc. When you’re working with only 140 characters, you need to get creative sometimes and if it is still readable, don’t tell me I sound illiterate by doing it. Grrrrr….

3. People who tell me that I’m too Polyanna and shouldn’t post all that “positive” and motivational stuff because I’m a writer, after all, and should just post stuff about my books. Sigh…

4. When they find out you’re a writer, people who don’t consider you a “real” writer unless you’ve hit the NYT or USA Today Best Seller’s list. I WILL hit them both one of these days, but discounting my books, or me because I’m not there yet just irritates the crap out of me! Just me?

5. I had a woman send me an email that she had just read one of my erotic books (written as Cassie Ryan) and she just wanted to write me to tell me I was going to hell. Really? You just said you read the entire book! I’ll save you a seat next to the male hookers, lady! Yeah – she wasn’t too appreciative of that answer, and yes, I sent it….shouldn’t have lost my temper…but hey – I’m not perfect – which is apparently why she thinks I’m going to Hell…snerk!

6. Book promotion companies, freelance editors, cover artists, copyeditors etc who send me numerous emails or post on my Facebook wall about their services. If I need/want those services I’ll come find you. Usually by word of mouth from my trusted friends and fellow authors. If you’re being annoying and sound like a used car salesman with whatever you’re selling you’re going to end up on my “Nope – not doing any business with them” list.

7. Other writers who get mad/pissy when I don’t have time to critique their stuff, or when our critique group isn’t accepting any new members. It’s an established critique group of over 10 years. We work well as we are, and we are full. We are under no obligation to accept new members, and telling us we’re being elitist and snobby isn’t really a good way to get your name in the running if we ever ARE looking for a new member. Just sayin’

8. People who write to tell me what a horrible cover I have on whatever book they are looking at. I know not all my covers are wonderful. But honestly – I have little to no control over those published through a publisher. Some of them ask me for descriptions of the characters (and then don’t follow them) and possibly my suggestions for the cover (and then don’t follow them…lol) but other than my one self pubbed book – Sleeping With Shadows – I had little to no control over those covers. Interestingly enough – Ceremony of Seduction won worst cover of the year through some review site that I can’t remember the name of right now and the sales skyrocketed after that. Probably from getting so many mentions and the cover being reposted a gazillion times. Snicker…

9. When I’m sitting at Starbucks writing and sipping chai and I have to pee!!!!!! I can’t just leave my laptop there, so I have to slip it in my laptop bag, I’ll usually leave a coat or something like that on the squishy chair in hopes it will still be available when I come back, but then I drag the laptop bag etc to the restroom and then come back and pull the laptop out again and get re-set up so I can continue writing…snerk! It is SO much easier when I have a writing buddy to go with who can watch my stuff while I take a bio break, but usually at Starbucks I’m on my own. My critique group does sometimes have writing breakfasts at various places and then we can take bio breaks and leave our stuff there. Yeah – pet peeve, but not something I can do much about changing until I can convince someone to be my Starbucks writing buddy…LOL!

10. People who read over your shoulder as you’re writing/typing and then criticize what you’re writing. A few years ago I was writing at Starbucks in my favorite squishy chair and a woman asked me how I could write that “smut” all day! I told her that the chai lattes helped a lot. She huffed off… LOL. Then don’t be freaking reading over my shoulder, lady!!! It’s not like I was reading it out loud and exposing the masses to my “smut” 🙂

11. People who DO read their stuff out loud or make sure they talk loudly about what they are writing when they are at Starbucks… If I go there to write, that’s what I do. I’m not there to see and be seen. I love the energy of writing somewhere like that. I put my headphones in and listen to my writing soundtrack – which consists of lots of movie soundtracks (without words – otherwise I’ll type the words!!) and I sit, sip my chai and play with my characters. But lots of people apparently go there to see and be seen “writing” although I doubt they are getting much done! One guy even handed out full sheets of paper with his website and his list of twenty (self pubbed) books etc. I’m not knocking self pebbling – hell, one of my 14 published books is self pubbed. But generally, people like this guy didn’t want to go through the process of getting it published so he slapped a book together without editing or copyediting and added a cover (horrible, judging from the pictures he provided) and then will get pissed when people give him bad reviews or tell him that they refuse to pay $15 on Amazon for his epic 500K word ebook.

12. Top 10 lists that go over 10!!! Snicker…

For 99¢ Tina Gerow goes EROTIC!


As I mentioned in my last blog, I’ve received feedback that Sleeping With Shadows is erotic and not just sensual as I had thought when I put it out under my Tina Gerow name, so in light of my relaunch under its more accurate category, Sleeping With Shadows is on sale in its Kindle edition for only 99¢ for a limited time!

Here’s an excerpt of the book from my earlier blog:

WARNING:  We usually keep the material on the BMG blog a bit PG13, this excerpt is NOT.

Hope you enjoy it!


Tina Gerow goes erotic! WARNING: HOT scene enclosed…


For those of you familiar with my writing you know that as Tina Gerow I write paranormal romance that is sexy and sensual, and snarky.  And as Cassie Ryan I still write paranormal romance that’s definitely snarky, but it’s smokin’ hot erotic – usually with a little kink for fun 🙂

So each book that I write, I have to decide up front which pen name I’m writing under so I know what kind of heat level to include in the book.


When I wrote my latest novel, Sleeping With Shadows, it was with a definite Tina heat level in mind.  It definitely has some very sensual scenes and situations, but it was nowhere near the heat of my Cassie books…or so I thought…

Now some back story…

Sleeping With Shadows was the last book I wrote before my brain blowout.  My agent read pieces of it as it was finished and she did question a few of the things that were in there thinking the heat level might be much higher than other similar books in the genre.  However, after we discussed it, I went to the local bookstore and found books in the paranormal romantic suspense genre that had similarly heated scenes and “acts” to Sleeping With Shadows.

It was one of the funniest emails I’ve ever written to her outlining the similarities and listing the other books, authors and ‘acts’ that were comparable.  It was a pretty graphic email, but she and I both needed to know that it was within the “norm” of that genre and that it didn’t eek into the Cassie Ryan territory.

Okay, fast forward three years.  Even though my agent told me this was the best book I’d ever written, she wasn’t able to sell it to a New York publisher.  After all, Cassie Ryan has New York numbers, but Tina Gerow still doesn’t.  Tina Gerow has sold to small press publishers and even to foreign publishers, but not to New York, so would be counted as a new author.

Yes, I know – Cassie & Tina are the same exact person, but from a branding perspective, and thus a New York perspective, Tina is a brand new author and therefore a harder sell.

Anyway- that’s why I decided to publish Sleeping With Shadows myself.  In fact, it’s my first self published book.

My critique group, The Butterscotch Martini Girls, make it a habit to buy each others’ books as they come out.  Now while I was writing this one several of the girls were dealing with either health or family issues so I don’t think they had much of a chance to critique Sleeping With Shadows, so it was mostly new to them!  So when my long-time friend and critique partner Brit Blaise bought the book, I was eager to hear what she thought.  After all, she started our Butterscotch Martini Girls critique group back in 2003, and I learned a TON about this business called writing from her!

So imagine my shock when she came back to me and told me that Sleeping With Shadows was definitely NOT just a sensual book, but erotic.  Now she did say it was a “classy” erotic…LOL!  Which makes sense because the Cassie Ryan books, while erotic, do have a bit of a kink factor, and the situations are a bit on the kink side most of the time too.  But since I REALLY respect Brit’s opinion – she’s an amazing erotic author in her own right, and was the one who helped me take my Tina Gerow sensual heat level and turn it up to smokin’ hot to create Cassie Ryan when Kensington Aphrodisia was looking to start a new line of erotic paranormal romances, I was really looking forward to her feedback! And I got it 🙂  It’s erotic, not just sensual…

Sooooooo……  I’m rebranding the book as an EROTIC paranormal romantic suspense and letting the world know of this switch in categories.  And the best way I knew how to do that is to offer you up an excerpt as an example….  So, to take Brit’s comment, here’s an example of the “Classy erotic” LOL!


So let the games begin…

Matt woke to the sensual sensation of Sarah running her fingers lightly through his chest hair. He turned his head and could just make out the line of her jaw where she leaned on her elbow next to him in the darkness. Her hair tickled over his bare shoulder sending jolts of pure lust through him and straight to his groin.

“Sarah.” His voice came out sounding strangled as she laid a line of open mouthed kisses over his chest and continued downward to his stomach, stripping away the sheet and comforter ahead of her eager lips.

As the cool air hit his skin, rows of goose bumps pebbled over him in a rush.
Matt swallowed hard in a last-ditch effort to keep enough blood inside his brain to ask Sarah about being in a Houston hospital so he could judge her reaction. “I need to talk to you.”

A smug feminine chuckle against his stomach sent lava shooting through his veins and made his cock throb to life under her seeking hands. “So, talk,” she whispered against his skin as she closed her hot mouth over the head of his erection.

Matt hissed at the intense pleasure that rocketing through his system as she teased just the sensitive head by swirling her tongue over him and lightly sucking.

He dug his fingers into the sheets, trying to anchor his body against the skyrocketing sensations inside him.
“I can’t think, let alone talk while you’re doing that.”

Her throaty laugh vibrated down his length and sent searing heat shooting through his veins. She pushed his legs apart and settled between them. Her smooth curves brushing lightly against the hair on his legs was like a thousand erotic caresses, and he shuddered against the onslaught.

“Sarah,” he tried again as the last vestiges of blood left his brain, heading due south.

When Sarah ran her fingernails over the sensitive skin just below his testicles, he nearly jumped off the bed, and he sucked in a lungful of air against the intense sensations.

As if to sooth him, she slowly lowered her tightened lips over him, taking more of him inside the heated cave of her mouth. Matt groaned long and low, then bit his lip to keep from thrusting forward until she took all of him.

He closed his eyes against the sensual assault and let the heated pleasure spill through him like good whiskey, dark and slow.

Sarah gently cupped his balls as her lips finally slid down around the base of him, his full length buried deep inside her mouth and throat. He had only a second to register the sensation before she moved again, slowly sliding him out between her tightened lips as her tongue swirled over him in a torturous caress.

She set a steady rhythm, pulling him nearly all the way out, the head of his aching erection still captured in the wet heat of her mouth before she began to suck him inside once more.

Lost in a roiling wave of ecstasy, Matt opened his legs wider giving her full access to do whatever she wished. As long as she continued her erotic assault on his senses.

When Sarah sat back, releasing him with a small pop, she wrapped her fingers around him and cool air hit the tip of his wet cock.

Matt gasped until her warm tongue traced a path from just below his testicles, up over the sensitive sac. She gently sucked one of his balls inside her mouth as she stroked him from base to tip in a slow, steady rhythm Matt was convinced would drive him insane.

He buried his fingers in the warm mass of her hair, enjoying his unconditional surrender to Sarah’s whims.

She kissed a path over to his other testicle and then sucked that one into her mouth as well, while she continued to stroke him.

His balls slowly tightened under her ministrations and he felt pre come pool at the tip of his cock as he hardened further in her hand. “Damn it, Sarah. I want to be inside you.”

“Mmm.” She abandoned his balls and laved a slow line up the length of him until she could lick the drop of moisture away and tease the tip of her tongue along his slit spearing pleasure through him like an electric shock.

Matt’s hold tightened in her hair as his impulses screamed for him to roll her over on the bed and plunge inside her.

“I love the way you taste, Matthew.” She sucked the head of his cock lightly as if making sure she got every bit of moisture. “I want to feel you come inside my mouth.”
The dark, erotic words surged through his body like a wildfire out of control. Matt swallowed hard as vivid images of him spilling inside Sarah’s mouth while she watched him with those beautiful hazel eyes darkened with passion, flashed across his mind’s eye like a promise of things to come.

He had no warning before she leaned over him again and took his entire length into her mouth, his sensitive head bumping against the back of her throat before she slid him out again and repeated the process.

Quick, panting breaths were all Matt could manage as the barrage of overwhelming sensations drove him toward a cliff of insanity he begged to reach.
His heart pounded like thundering hooves, echoing through his head until he thought his ears might burst from the intensity.

Matt’s balls tightened against his body, and the familiar tingling began deep inside his pelvis as Sarah continued her assault on his senses, the sounds of enjoyment deep in her throat vibrating through him as her silky hair danced a teasing path over his stomach and legs.

Without warning, he exploded, sending hot jets of his release deep into Sarah’s waiting mouth.

She continued her ministrations, milking him until his body finished convulsing and a thick haze of euphoria had spread through his limbs.

He was distantly aware of her kissing the tip of his softening penis and crawling up his body to curl beside him, pulling the covers with her. She laid her head on his shoulder, tucked into the crook of his neck. Her hair was so close to his face, each of Matt’s breaths was filled with the soft musk of vanilla and the unique scent that was Sarah.

He curled his arm around her protectively and splayed his fingers over her bare hip. “Give me a few minutes to recover, and then we really need to talk.”

Her throaty chuckle was the last thing Matt remembered before sleep took him.

Sleeping With Shadows is on sale for only 99¢ #erotica


For a limited time, Sleeping With Shadows is only 99¢. That’s a full-length paranormal romantic suspense novel for only 99¢!

Grab it while the sale lasts!

Can soul mates meet in a dream? Until their past-life karmic cycles are balanced, Matt Martin and Sarah Ryan are on a collision course pushing the world toward a disastrous end.

Will they allow their intense past-life connection to cause them even more missed opportunities in this lifetime? Everyone’s karmic tapestry is in jeopardy because of Matt and Sarah. Together they form the thread that threatens to unravel universal karmic harmony.

To make matters worse, a third person brings more difficulty for the duo. When Sarah’s spurned ex-lover threatens to destroy her to keep her to himself, he unwittingly dooms millions. Can Sarah and Matt work through this dangerous reincarnation with a twist?

Click here to read an excerpt:



Top 5 Weirdest Things I’ve made a Character do in a Book

Tina thinking up snarky things to do to her characters...

Tina thinking up snarky things to do to her characters…

Especially writing paranormal romance I’ve tortured my characters in some pretty interesting and snarky ways.  So revisiting the Top 5 is kind of fun.  Be warned that this list includes both Tina books (sensual paranormal romance) and Cassie Ryan books (erotic paranormal romance) and both series have a lot of irreverent snark!

So here we go………in countdown David Letterman style!!

6.  In Fantasy Quest,Astiria, designs her perfect man in an online game and then gets sucked into the game.  The game, similar to Everquest II, which my family and I avidly played at the time, was a great backdrop for a fun, romantic romp.  She goes on a quest to achieve full citizenship of that world so she can choose her mate, after an unfortunate even with the Goblin King.  When one of his minions attacked her and tried to take her captive, she clamped down on his tender bits and twisted to get away…thus by the laws of Verrath, she is promised to the Goblin King…ack!  So the quest is important for her to be able to claim the hero she designed and has fallen for.  At the end she gets to choose a bonus for completing her quest and gaining citizenship….and decides to keep the “Stripper boobs” she chose when she built her own character.  If only we could all design our attributes!  I’d be willing to fight a few goblins for the ability to do that!!

5.  In Into a Dangerous Mind, my heroine, Cassidy, suddenly received psychic powers because of an attack by a psychic serial killer and then accidentally projects her elicit dreams out to my hero, her best friend and another FBI agent.  In other words, she ends up giving my hero a phantom blow job and giving the entire house a “happy ending”.  How could I pass up the opportunity for her to use her brand new powers in such a fun manner?

4.  In Take It Off, my heroine, Samantha, had to go and run a real life Nevada brothel—the family business–while her mother is unable to.  Unfortunately, the one night stand she had an amazing connection with shows up for a bachelor party and assumptions are made on both sides.  My poor hero ends up tied hand and foot to a bed upstairs in a “teach him his lesson” type joke.  It was really fun playing with that scenario 🙂

3.  In Vortex Blues, I made my hero, Mitch Guthrie, work a case to find a succubus serial killer who was leaving a train of only dismembered penises…no, I’m not a man hater.  In my world succubus drain power from their victims though sexual contact and after the men can no longer “provide ejaculate” to fuel the succubus’ energy consumption, their body starts to break down and dissolve muscles, tissue etc.  However, to ensure her continued sustenance, the succubus’ body produces a substance that keeps the male organ from dissolving with the rest of him.  Thus, the trail of pristine man parts left over after the “kill”   Snerk…

2.  In Ceremony of Seduction, Princess Alyssandra went through an “altar ceremony” with at least 30 other people.  Talk about a busy sex scene!!  It’s a fan favorite, however, and I’m often asked if I plotted that out with little dolls or stick figures to keep it straight where everyone was at any given time…snicker 🙂  In truth, I did not.  However, my wonderful Kensington copyeditor at the time said she did just to check facts while she was copyediting…tee hee!

1.  In Fire Maiden, Kefira was pinned to the side of a cow by a whole slew of arrows launched at her by the villains.  She turned to stone to heal (she’s a gargoyle) and the poor cow was running with her pinned to his side.

On a funny note, I had one reviewer on Amazon who had a huge issue with the physics of that whole scene.  In fact I think that review is still on Amazon 🙂  She was apparently fine with the idea of a 900 year old gargoyle warrior for God who can turn to stone to heal, but took offense at my grasp of physics and what’s possible and not.  That review is one of my favorites because it always makes me laugh 🙂

Wow, looking at my list, quite a few of these are sexual….and very snarky…I suppose I do have that kind of a sense of humor!

I’m sure there are others I could add to the list and I look forward to seeing all of you remind me of them in the comments section!  If you leave me one you might win a copy of my newest release Sleeping With Shadows!!


Excerpt of Sleeping With Shadows




Familiar laughter from several rows ahead of him caused a ripple of anticipation inside his gut and Matt scanned the rows in front of him.


Six rows ahead of him on the other side of the aisle he saw just the back, side of her profile, but it was enough.  His gaze skimmed over the dark hair that spilled over creamy shoulders.  A thin purple strap of a tank top peeked out between strands of hair, and the shoulders quaked slightly as she laughed again.

The sound arrowed through Matt like an icy knife to the heart.


He knew her laugh, and he definitely knew her profile.  Matt sat forward in his seat trying to get a better look and hoping she would turn around.

She cocked her head to the side as she listened to something her companion said, and a large hand squeezed Matt’s chest.  The mannerisms, the movements, the laugh–it was Sarah.

He downed the rest of his drink and nearly laughed when he realized his palms had suddenly become sweaty.  Now that he was faced with the prospect of actually finding her, his stomach was tied in knots and he was as insecure as a high school boy going on his first date.

Noting that the flight attendant was several rows behind him and not blocking the aisle, he tucked his empty cup into the seatback pocket, unbuckled his seatbelt and stood.

His back and legs popped and protested as he straightened from his long-cramped position and he stretched before he started forward.  As he took his second step forward, Sarah stood, stepped into the aisle and headed toward the lavatories in the front of the plane.

Matt’s breath caught inside his throat.  Now that she stood, he was absolutely sure it was Sarah.  She wore jeans that lovingly hugged her gentle curves, and her dark hair hung to just between her shoulder blades.  Each of her familiar movements brought to life a thousand memories that skittered through his system like tiny shards of glass–both sharp, but pain-dulled at the same time.

Matt quickened his steps and caught up to her just as they both reached the front of the plane.  He reached out, his fingers closing around the soft skin of her upper arm.  “Sarah?”

She turned and smiled, and Matt’s heart did a somersault.  He’d found her!

His gaze roamed her familiar features–her smile, her eyes, her dimple, and even the look of amusement dancing in her hazel eyes as she gazed up at him.  He’d finally found her.

“Excuse me?”

The voice–obviously not Sarah’s, slapped at him like a bucket of ice water thrown in his face.  He sucked in a breath as he blinked and glanced into the face of a woman who looked nothing like Sarah–and who definitely wasn’t smiling.



The Perils of having a Writer as your First Love…

First loves...

First loves…

In my latest book, Sleeping With Shadows, the story is based off of my own first love. He was older than me, and the connection between us was just so instantly intense that it scared me. We dated for a while but life and distance coupled with my fear over that intense connection eventually pulled us apart.

We met up again when I was in college, and the timing just wasn’t right, although he and I have always still had a very intense and special connection. We both ended up finding the loves of our lives, but that first love will always be a very intense memory for both of us.

When he found me again through classmates.com several years ago it rekindled all kinds of old memories and kicked my writer’s antennae into high gear. I started to wonder why that connection WAS so intense and why, even then, when we had both found where we truly belonged that our connection still hummed between us, even though nothing more could or would ever come out of it besides friendship. The story of Sleeping With Shadows spun out from there, and was the last book I wrote before my brain blowout in 2010. If you’re not yet up on that whole thing, here’s the link to the blog that will give you the scoop.

Many of you know that while in the hospital and under heavy sedation for all those weeks, I spent most of my time in a long, white hallway. There were many people there talking to me, guiding me and comforting me. People both living and dead. My grandfather, my brother and my stepmother I knew were all dead, and I saw them down there regularly. I also saw my hubby, my son, my good friend Bill from college and my first love, Phillip. So when I came out of heavy sedation and had enough of the drugs out of my system to actually be at least somewhat coherent I started to worry that the people I’d seen in the hallway who weren’t there at the hospital with me might be dead too! I could see and touch my husband and son, but what about Bill and Phillip? Lucky for me Bill was visiting from California already, here to see his Dad, so he was able to come to the hospital to visit me! My hubby was very sweet and called Phillip for me and I was able to talk to him on the phone. I’m sure both of those guys heard me being pretty loopy with all the meds I was still on, but they never let on 🙂

Anyway, when I got out of the hospital and got back home it took me a while to get back into writing, but when I did I came back around to Sleeping With Shadows and the story came to life again inside my head. I had written everything except the very end, and when I did finish it my agent said she loved it. She said it was the best book I had ever written, and I have to agree. My writing skills had grown by leaps and bounds since my first book back in 2003 and I think my emotional attachment to the story really made it the book of my heart.

Anyway, after much editing and smoothing, my agent did her best to shop the book around, but the tastes of New York had changed and no one was biting. Eventually I took the book back and decided to publish it myself. It isn’t erotic, but highly sensual, so that fit under my Tina name instead of my Cassie Ryan one, but since I do have a following for my Tina books, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a shot and wade into self publishing. It was better than the book sitting on my hard drive doing nothing.

So my critique partner and buddy, Kayce Lassiter helped me format it, and she made me an amazing cover.

Back while my agent was shopping it around Phillip emailed me to check in and see how the recovery was going, and I told him I had a new book that was based on us way back when. He was obviously intrigued, so I emailed him a copy. Hey, that’s the flip side of a writer using you as total book fodder, you get free books 🙂

Now I did warn him that it was slightly dangerous to be a close friend to a writer, but I don’t think he was quite prepared for all that I had mined out of reality with that book.

The picture described of the hero and heroine in Matthew’s grandparents’ back yard is based on the one you see above of Phillip and I.  I also shamelessly stole Phillip’s grandparents’ house and backyard, and even their first names. I took a few other things here and there, like the fact that he really does hate salmon and can only stomach it with BBQ sauce on it…lol! I did try to warn him, but I think it freaked him out a bit at first 🙂

Just like in most of my other books there are direct things stolen from my hubby, my friends and even in my Fantasy Quest online gaming characters – my son. Although hubby hasn’t ever read any of my books, and I’m not sure if he ever will, so he may not ever get to freak out over the facts I’ve blatantly stolen from him 🙂

Yes, this is why stories BASED on true ones come about the way they do.

The other facts I used in Sleeping With Shadows are the details from New Orleans like the Hotel Monteleone, the Moonwalk and even the Yo-Mama’s Bar & Grill.

None of these facts are earth shattering and definitely nothing embarrassing for Phillip in any way, but I did have a moment where I felt like a stalker.  I tend to file away facts about everyone and everything around me. And they do tend to find their way into my stories at some point. I’m sure those who know me well noticed several books with a PT Cruiser in them back when I had my beloved Cruiser.

Being close to a writer comes with its own perils. You’re always possible book fodder if you’re in our range of notice…. And yes, I’ve even killed off a few people in my books based on those I actually KNOW in real life. MUCH cheaper than therapy, and legal too!

That’s just one of the many perks of this job. I get to plan and carry out murders, kidnap people and make them do what I want, have all kinds of kinky sex, and still be totally faithful to my wonderful husband. And the best part…I get paid to make stuff up!

Anyway, I recently sent Phillip the final copy of Sleeping With Shadows with the wonderful cover, the dedication and all the rest. He hasn’t re read it yet, but I hope when he does, now that the shock has passed, that he can see that it was all ‘mined’ out of our lives from love and good memories. He was a great first love to have, and I will always treasure those memories, as I hope he does. And best of all, the love of my life isn’t threatened at all by those memories or even of the current-day friendship I have with Phillip. Phillip is my oldest friend – 31 years and counting! – and still means a lot to me, but my hubby, Jon, knows how much I love HIM and that I would never betray that trust or the wonderful love we have between us. Phillip and I had our time in this lifetime and we made the choices we did. And in the end it lead us both to our current happiness.

Jon & I at our 10 year anniversary dinner.

Jon & I at our 10 year anniversary dinner.

Phillip and I may get another chance in the next lifetime, but I’ll leave that up to higher powers to plan out, and just be incredibly thankful about what I have with Jon in this one. I really have been lucky to have both of them in my life. Many people don’t have ONE love in their lifetime, and I’ve had a few, but these two are the most special, and always will be.

So just like the book, this blog is dedicated to my first love, Phillip, and the love of my life, Jon, for gifts and love beyond measure.


If you’d like to check out the book and put into context everything I’ve mentioned here, it’s available on Amazon in both ebook and print. If you enjoy it, drop me a line and if you’re so inclined, I would welcome a review on Amazon!

Here’s the blurb:  Can soul mates meet in a dream? Until their past-life karmic cycles are balanced, Matt Martin and Sarah Ryan are on a collision course pushing the world toward a disastrous end. Will they allow their intense past-life connection to cause them even more missed opportunities in this lifetime? Everyone’s karmic tapestry is in jeopardy because of Matt and Sarah. Together they form the thread that threatens to unravel universal karmic harmony. To make matters worse, a third person brings more difficulty for the duo. When Sarah’s spurned ex-lover threatens to destroy her to keep her to himself, he unwittingly dooms millions. Can Sarah and Matt work through this dangerous reincarnation with a twist?

Happy reading!