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Archive for the ‘December 2009’ Category

In a frozen wilderness steeped in darkness, the lines between good and evil, lover and enemy, are never black or white but drawn in Shades of Midnight.

Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt within herself but never fully understood . . . until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces–a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his own personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear.

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SHADES OF MIDNIGHT

In the end, it’s all about coming home.

Yesterday the seventh book in my Midnight Breed vampire series officially hit stores in the United States. Looking back on the stories that have come before and the ones still in development, I realize that despite all of the paranormal intrigue, the steamy sex, and action plotlines that have taken the series from Boston to Berlin, the Czech Republic, Montreal, and various points in between, there is a unifying theme that each of the books share–the theme of coming home, of finding acceptance and one’s true place of belonging.

Perhaps none of the books demonstrates this concept quite as literally as my newest release, SHADES OF MIDNIGHT. For this book, Kade’s story, a mission for the Order in Boston sends this prodigal son home to Alaska, where his life began and where his darkest demons still await him, still beckon to him like a siren’s call. Home, for Kade, is a dangerous place, one made all the more so when he finds himself falling for Alexandra Maguire, a young bush pilot whose report of a bloody slaughter in the remote interior threatens to expose the existence of the Breed to humankind.

Both Kade and Alex have been hiding from their pasts for years, both assuming that if they ran away from the truth of their beginnings–if they ran far enough–they might eventually find peace. But life doesn’t work that way, not in reality, for the most part, and definitely not in any of my novels (*g*). Sooner or later, you have to face those things that terrify you the most, the things that you are certain will destroy you, but in the end are the very things–perhaps the only things–standing between you and genuine happiness.

If you happen to pick up SHADES OF MIDNIGHT, I hope you enjoy Kade and Alex’s journey toward making their own home together. In the meantime, I wish you the happiest of holidays and a new year full of romance. Thanks for reading!

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Many thanks to Lara for being out guest today. For more infomation on this book and the others in this series, check out her website here. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment for this post as the winner picked on Sunday will get an authographed copy of SHADES OF MIDNIGHT. Good Luck! 🙂

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First in a breathtaking new series, the bold and passionate Lucan MacLeod—one of three brothers cursed by dark magic for eternity—is driven by desire for the one woman he dare not let himself possess…

A DANGEROUS MAN…

He is magnificently strong—and dangerously seductive. One of the fiercest of his clan, Lucan MacLeod is a legend among warriors, inspiring fear in man and woman alike. For three hundred years, he has locked himself away from the world, hiding the vengeful god imprisoned in his soul. But then, a young lass caught in a raging storm awakens his deepest impulses…and darkest desires.

A DANGEROUS PASSION…

Cara doesn’t believe the rumors about MacLeod castle—until the majestic Highland warrior appears like a fiery vision in the storm, pulling her into his powerful arms, and into his world of magic and Druids. An epic war between good and evil is brewing. And Lucan must battle his all-consuming attraction for Cara—or surrender to the flames of a reckless, impossible love that threatens to destroy them both…

 

 

 

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Scotland

Maybe it’s because I write historical, but one of the most asked questions I get is “would you travel back in time and to where?”

It’s an easy answer for me.  Yes, I would travel back in time, and I’d go to Medieval Scotland.  It would take some getting used to, especially the lack of plumbing, toothbrushes, caffeine, and pasta.

I have no doubt life would be more than difficult.  After all, we’re used to remote control TV, information easily – and quickly – accessible through computers, not to mention cell phones and iPods. We’re the information age with instant gratification.

Our world is so drastically different than Medieval Scotland.  In a few short hundred years, lives went from basic living off the land and seeing people daily to hectic days, buying food from grocery stores, and going months, if not years, without seeing or speaking to your neighbor, much less speaking to people you pass on the street or the mall.

Could we survive in medieval times?  Putting aside the leap in physical hygiene over the ages, life was much simpler back then.  If you had a problem with someone, you faced them instead of texting or emailing them.  If you wanted to call off an affair, there was no hiding behind technology.  You stood before them and said your piece.

There’s a debate in whether medieval life was more violent.  At least in medieval times, you saw your opponent attack and you had time to retaliate or hide.  Now, with bombs that can cross oceans, that silent, almost constant worry hangs over our head.

Still, knowing all of this, I would love to see Medieval Scotland.  I’ve always been drawn to Scotland.  Maybe that’s why I centered my new Dark Sword series there.  The first book in the series, DANGEROUS HIGHLANDER, releases today, and I hope you pick up the book to be transported back to another time and place.

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of either MUTUAL DESIRE or THE PLEASURE OF HIS BED to a commenter.  Happy Reading! 

To find out more about me or the Dark Sword series, please visit my website at www.donnagrant.com.

hugs,

D

 

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Donna — thanks for being our guest today! Happy Release Day! 🙂

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Betrayed By Her Own Heart

Sarah Spalding has learned to forge her own way and never to trust anyone—least of all a Yankee. But when her companion abandons her while on a train to Colorado, Sarah begrudgingly accepts the help of Whitman Kendrick—a Yankee, yes, but one with the most bewitching green eyes. Allowing Whit to be her traveling escort is one thing, taking him as a lover is another—even though she’s tempted beyond reason…

Whit Kendrick isn’t quite sure what to make of the sharp-tongued, sassy woman sharing his train compartment. All he knows is that Sarah is refreshingly different from most women—and his urgent, primal attraction for her is unlike any he’s experienced. Breaking down Sarah’s wall of defense won’t be easy. But Whit is determined to prove to Sarah that they’re more alike than different—and loving each other is all they need…

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Before I’m a writer, I’m a reader. I love a good romance, curling up on the couch with a book, to dive into another place and time, another life. It’s what drew me into reading romance novels in the first place. Being a writer, I found when I create a new story the most important thing is the emotions. If I don’t feel the story, I don’t enjoy it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a comedy as much as the next person but I read a romance for the emotion and the love.  I want to fall for the hero and for my heart to pound right along with the heroine’s.

So when I was writing The Stranger’s Secrets, the third in a trilogy for Kensington Brava, I started with my heroine. She’s Sarah Spalding, sister of Micah in The Redemption of Micah. Sarah has had a rough life for the last twelve years – a war, near starvation, and a crippling injury to her leg by a Yankee soldier. She’s a tough chick though, hard as nails with what most men would call brass balls.

The one thing she’s not is soft and feminine. It just wasn’t her. When she meets up with Whitman Kendrick, our hero, she finds herself remembering what it means to be a woman. She has hidden her heart for so long, falling for Whit is unexpected and unwanted. She doesn’t want to have feelings for him—he’s a Yankee, whose Army was the very reason she is crippled.

But it’s about the romance, y’all. It’s the unexpected that makes a romance what it is. In this case, it’s two people putting aside their ingrained behaviors and prejudices to see what’s right in front of them. I don’t know if I’d be strong enough, but Sarah sure is. Funny, I never realized that until I wrote that. LOL.

I fell in love with Whit even though I was just as pissed at him as Sarah because inside is what’s important. It’s the love he has for Sarah, the idea he’s willing to simply change the course of his life because of what he feels for her. Oh yeah, it’s about the romance y’all. And I love it.

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Many thanks to Beth for being our guest today. For more info on Beth and what she has coming out in 2010, visit her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of THE REDEMPTION OF MICAH. Good Luck!

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Though he is a titled nobleman,Royal Dewar is singulary unlucky… forced to choose between his soul mate… and his salvation.

After years abroad, Royal has returned to Bransford Castle to find his father dying and the family treasury nearly empty. Then the old duke wrests a final promise from his guilt-ridden son: that Royal will marry heiress Jocelyn Caulfield and restore the estate to its former glory. However, it is not his fiancee who quickens Royal’s pulse, but rather her beautiful cousin Lily Moran.

Penniless Lily knows that nothing can come of their undeniable attraction―but there is a way she can help Royal. Enlisting some questionable characters from her past, Lily concocts an elaborate ruse to recover some of the Bransford fortune from a notorious confidence artist. As the dangerous scheme unfolds, Lily and Royal are thrown together in pursuit of the very thing―money―that keeps them part…

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I’ve always wanted to write a bride series.  Something romantic with orchids and white lace.  For years, I toyed with an idea for a sort of Cinderella story about a duke who accidentally falls in love with the wrong woman.  Not his betrothed, the woman he has promised to marry, but his fiancée’s poor relations, a cousin hardly suited to become the wife of a duke.  Royal’s Bride was the result.

From conception, it was a book that involved three brothers, which gave me two more hunky Dewar men in need of the perfect bride.  In Reese’s Bride, the middle brother, Reese, is the kind of dark, brooding hero I love to write.  He is home from the war, retired from the cavalry and forced to live the sedentary life of a country gentleman, the last thing he wants to do.  Worse yet, Reese’s next door neighbor is the woman he once loved, a woman who betrayed him by marrying another man.

Elizabeth is now a widow, a forbidden temptation even more powerful than before.  Reese definitely has his problems, but so does his younger brother, Rule.

In Rule’s Bride, the handsomest, most rakish Dewar brother is shocked to find the young bride he wed in an arranged marriage three years earlier all grown up and sitting in his London living room.  Violet Dewar has matured into a delectable little morsel Rule can’t wait to seduce into his bed.

Unfortunately, all Violet wants from Rule is an annulment.

I had great fun writing this series, though the weddings were not all orchids and lace as the ladies and this writer expected.  Still, true love is worth the perils the characters must endure.  I hope you’ll watch for the Brides’ Trilogy.  Royal’s Bride is currently available.  Reese’s Bride will be out the end of December, and Rule’s Bride will follow the end of April.

Hope you enjoy and very best wishes, Kat

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Thank you for visiting, Ms Martin!

Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Royal’s Bride, the first title in the trilogy.

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England, 1816.

ViscountRandolph Dashford isn’t a bad person; he’s simply pretending to be one to avoid matrimony.

Heiress Evaline Pinchley isn’t usually a sotted wanton; she’s merely celebrating her birthday.

One full moon and one empty Madeira bottle later, Evaline wakes to find herself in Dashford’s bed!

While Evaline tries to salvage what dignity she can from this colossal blunder, family secrets and would-be fiancés run rampant around her. Just when it seems she might find a way out of the mess she’s made, Evaline realizes things are worse than imagined.

She’s lost her heart to Dashford, and that could be the biggest mistake of them all.

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“You’re giggling,” he stated.
“I am,” she agreed, and the sound she made then sounded unfortunately more like a snort than a giggle. “But please don’t take it personally.”

“Would you care to share the joke?”

“I was just thinking—” She paused to consider. What had she been thinking? Oh yes, about his godlike shoulders and how she might wish to succumb to them.

“I guess I was wrong,” she amended with another giggle. “I suppose you could have every reason to take it personally. Oh, but don’t be offended. It had to do with your wonderful shoulders and how I wish you weren’t wearing so many clothes.”

Now he made an odd sound. “Funny, I was having rather a similar thought.”

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I just love Evaline and Dashford, the heroine and hero of my December release, Mistress by Mistake. I love them partly because they’re just so fun and so witty and have to work so darn hard to get things together, but also I love them because they are my First. Yes, the hero and heroine in my first published novel.

Evaline arrived in my brain way back in January of 2007. She was kind of pathetic; alone in the world, unloved, and horribly mistreated by everyone. I thought the poor gal deserved a good stiff drink, and that’s what sparked my opening scene when Dashford discovers her a bit tipsy in his garden. I figured since her life had been rather dismal I’d be kind and give her a seriously drool-worthy hero. And I’d make sure the two of them had plenty of laughs—although I don’t think she appreciated all of them right at first.

Now finally my little Mistress and her dashing hero have made their way out into the world. I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to share Evaline and Dashford’s love story with readers. At this point I’ve got another book written that will be out next summer, plus I’m working on my next project, too, getting to know those characters and loving them. But there will never be another Dashford and Evaline.

We all have lots of firsts in our lives; first day of school, first true love, firstborn child, first day out of the house after fighting the flu, etc. In many of these cases we remember that “first” with a special warmth in our hearts. That’s how my Mistress will always be for me. I hope if you get a chance to meet her, some little piece of her will stick in your heart and you’ll remember her fondly, too.

So, tell me about one of your favorite firsts. What was your first car? The first romance novel you ever read? Your first pet? Your first pair of designer jeans in the size you’d been dying to get into? At the end of the week, I’ll select one random winner to receive a copy of Mistress by Mistake. I’ll even send it to you First Class!

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Thank you for visiting with us at Novel Thoughts, Ms Gee Heino!

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Available now from Samhain Publishing!

There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas… If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.

Peace… at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.

Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently. Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.

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All three of the books I’ve done for Samhain have been set in a small and thoroughly mythical town called Konigsburg in the Texas Hill Country. Now Texans know all about the Hill Country. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. But most non-Texans have no idea where the Hill Country is or even what it is. So I sometimes find myself explaining the whole area, although trying to explain it is a little like trying to explain a good sangiovese—some things are just better experienced. So, anyway, if you’re reading Be My Baby (a very nice idea, may I say) and wondering what’s going on, here’s a quick rundown.

The Texas Hill Country is located northwest of San Antonio and slightly west of Austin. The hills in question are large and made out of limestone, which means they have interesting contours, caves, and natural canyons carved by rivers like the Guadalupe. Highway 281 runs along the backbone of the Hill Country, from San Antonio to, more or less, Fort Worth. But it’s more fun to take some of the scenic byways that twist and turn through the limestone hills—I personally recommend the Willow City Loop outside Fredericksburg. In a good wild flower year, you can see fields of bluebonnets so thick they look like lakes in the distance.

The thing that really makes the Hill Country worth visiting, though, are the towns. Fredericksburg, Marble Falls, Boerne, Gruene, Comfort, Johnson City, Blanco, Mason, etc., etc., etc. Most of them have tourism as at least part of their economies, which means good restaurants, quaint bed and breakfasts, and, these days, wineries. The limestone soil of the Hill Country is ideal for wine-making and the Hill Country has a high concentration of the state’s wineries and a lot of its vineyards.

Beyond their amenities, though, these Hill Country towns also won my heart by being, well, contrary. Texas is a big place. North Texas is different geographically and culturally from South Texas, East Texas and West Texas. The Hill Country, however, has a long-standing history of cussedness. Hill Country Freethinkers from Comfort tried to join the Union Army in the Civil War (and were slaughtered by Confederate Texans for trying). Hill Country Lutherans bucked the trend of other counties dominated by Baptists by embracing viticulture and fine dining. Hill Country merchants are as likely to speak German as Spanish, and these days are quite likely to speak both.

My favorite Hill Country story comes from the time the DH and I stayed in a small Hill Country town one weekend. We were looking for a particular winery we’d heard about—very hard to locate but supposedly well worth the effort. We found them in the middle of town; in fact, we stayed in a bed and breakfast cabin they owned next door. The winery manager told us the restaurant attached to the winery was the best in town, and he advised us to come early to dinner “because we get really busy later on.” We came over around six and ordered our food. The waiter handed us the wine list. We stared at him. The county was supposed to be dry. He explained that since the restaurant was attached to the winery we could order a bottle (but not a glass) of wine with dinner from the winery store. The Texas legislature, in one of its more interesting moments, had decided that wineries could serve wine on the premises. The restaurant was more or less on the winery premises. And since the winery was quite small, they sold wine from all the other Texas wineries in the region along with their own. We ordered a bottle and sat back to watch. By seven the place was packed with citizens, all with bottles of wine and nachos or anticuchos or quesadillas. The citizens of the county, which extended a ways beyond the town, had decided to save everyone’s moral character by making alcohol illegal. The citizens of the town had decided they didn’t want to be saved and had found a perfectly legal way around it.

So now when you read about Konigsburg in Venus In Blue Jeans or Wedding Bell Blues or Be My Baby, you’ll know, sort of, where I’m coming from. Viva the Hill Country!

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Thank you for visiting, Ms Benjamin!

You can learn more about Ms Benjamin’s novels by visiting her website. And leave a comment to enter a drawing for a download of the first title in the Koninsburb books, Venus in Blue Jeans.

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Today in bookstores near you!

They guard humanity against supernatural threats from the five gateways into the world. The Shadow Guardians: a vampire, a werewolf, a demon, a dragon and a fae are united in brotherhood – and war. Shadow Guardian Kenrick is an alpha werewolf forever in his prime. When Sybil, a beautiful apprentice witch, unknowingly opens a realm to the Otherworld, there is a sudden influx of demons – and it’s up to Kenrick to help her stop them. Soon their passion flares and Kenrick desires Sybil as his mate. But to form their union, Sybil faces the ultimate test: She must bind herself to the Shadow Guardians by sharing herself with all five warriors.

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December came a lot faster than I expected this year. It’s been a busy year, with school changes and job changes and a move to Michigan. It seems like the last time I blinked, it was the first day of school. Now the Christmas break is fast approaching.

Of course, during that time I’ve had my head down writing, so it’s not surprising it went by in a blur. I’ve nearly completed a new contemporary series for Samhain along with the sequel to Animal Attraction, Red Queen. Two Knights in Camelot released from Ellora’s Cave. I participated in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance that comes out in the spring of 2010, and contracted a story for the upcoming Mammoth Book of Hot Romance. I contributed to All Romance EBook’s 28 Days of Heart promotion to benefit the American Heart Association with an erotic retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades. That’ll release in February of 2010.

On top of the new work that’s releasing in the near future, this year I’ll have had a total of 5 print releases and 3 ebooks. That’s a pretty full year.

As the year winds up, I like to look back and see what I’ve done, what’s ahead, where I might need to adjust my direction. The winter is a great time for rest, re-evaluating and planning the work for the year ahead, for celebrating all the good things the past year brought and enjoying family and friends. Winter brings a pause in nature and I think creative cycles have a pause, too. As life gets hectic that pause might be brief, but we can take moments to be still and just be. That pause is part of what brings about new growth and new work and new opportunities in the new year to come.

Reading is my favorite way to just stop the busyness and take a little time out. To encourage you to take time to pause no matter how hectic your December is, comment to win a copy of Animal Attraction.

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Thank you for visiting Novel Thoughts, Ms Teglia and best luck with your release!

You can learn more about Ms Teglia’s work by visiting  her website.

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Mariah Burrows has everything she wants: a position in her family’s brewery, a wonderful son and a large, loving family. True, she is living a lie; there is no Mr. Burrows off in the Alaskan gold fields, just an old friend who writes dent, miner Wes Burrows discovers he has a “son” and decides to come “home” for his wife and child. Wes simply wants the boy to have a father, but once he meets the headstrong, beautiful Mariah, he wants more then a pretend marriage. To letters to her son. After an acciher surprise, Mariah likes Wes. He fits in with her family and slowly makes his way into her heart. Though she is happy, her sister-in-law is suffering, and when things go from bad to worse, Mariah realizes the kind of wonderful man she has.

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Last fall when I saw the cover for Her Montana Man, December ’08, for the first time, I was ecstatic. I didn’t think it could get any better. And then this fall I saw the cover for Her Colorado Man (which are completely unrelated stories, by the way). I experienced a moment of pure cover elation. Cover love. Cover adoration. I love this cover.

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Set Phasers To Sizzle…

Special agent Roan Hendrix is a straight shooter with weapons and women, so he doesn’t appreciate it when his boss throws him a curve. But what a curve. A half-human, half-Nerakian who needs a one-on-one crash course in how best to channel her powers.

And while Roan’s usually a master at separating business from pleasure, one glance into Lyraka’s green eyes is enough to spark scorching fantasies of seriously close encounters with the tall, tanned temptress…

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Thanks so much for having me here today!

People often ask how did I came up with the idea for this series.  There were six of us who went on a plotting retreat at a friend’s lake cabin.  We had plenty of wine, Colorado Bulldogs, and Margaritas, along with lots of chocolate—a deadly combination for stirring up ideas.  And I had a vague idea for a book.  I knew I wanted my heroine to live on the perfect planet, with companion units—the perfect man.  He never talks back, he can clean, and give massages.  But Mala wasn’t satisfied with her world so she goes in search of a real man—on Earth.  My vague idea escalated as the weekend continued and we came up with so many ideas that the series was born.

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A kick-ass Yankee cop and her special-ops Cajun guide search the Louisiana swamp for a deadly virus, but succumb to a fever of a very different sort.

Mysterious deaths stalk the bayou. No-nonsense Louisiana State trooper Tara Reeves reluctantly enlists the aid of Marc Lafayette, a too-sexy-for-his-own-good Cajun heartbreaker, to guide her on her search for evidence so she can bring down those responsible. But the source of the deaths is more dangerous than Tara could ever imagine. A foreign terrorist cell, plotting an attack on U.S. soil, is testing a deadly biological weapon in the remote wilderness of the swamp.

But the terrorists aren’t the only ones with secrets…

What Tara doesn’t know is that her sexy guide is part of a covert special ops team sent to destroy the terrorist threat, and Marc is not happy about having to babysit a nosy cop—even one as temptingly beautiful as Tara. But as they search the Louisiana swamp for a deadly virus, they succumb to a fever of a very different sort. Both of them know that love and work don’t mix, a harrowing showdown with the enemy will make their steamy passion boil over…and change their lives forever.

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In my current release, If Looks Could Chill (out today, Dec 1!) I tried something I’d never done before. I wrote the story with two heroes and two heroines, all with points of view. Not only that, but there are two additional characters who also have POVs.

And I must say, I really love how it turned out! This is one of my very favorites of all the books I’ve ever written. Largely because of the tapestry of personalities that populate it.

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