Archive for the ‘March 2010’ Category

RAWR! That is all I have to say. I haven’t read anything by Pamela Clare yet but I plan to now 😀


Coming May 3, 2011

While investigating border violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Denver journalist Natalie Benoit is caught in a bloody ambush and taken captive. Alone in the hands of ruthless killers, she will need every ounce of courage she possesses to survive.

Betrayed by another operative, Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride has endured a week of torture and interrogation at the hands of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel. Ready to give his life if he must, he remains unbroken—until he hears the cries of an American woman.

Although Natalie is only a voice in the darkness of their shared prison, her plight brings renewed strength to Zach’s battered body. With her help, he overpowers their captors, and they flee through the desert toward the border, the attraction between them flaring hotter than the Sonoran sun.

But past loss and tragedy leave both of them reluctant to follow their hearts, even when the passion between them reaches its breaking point. Faced with feelings neither expected, they fight to stay ahead of the danger that hunts them as forces more powerful than they can imagine conspire to destroy them both…

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Ever since her father was stabbed to death in a home invasion, Julia “Jules” Farentino has been plagued by nightmares. Her half-sister, Shaylee, now seventeen, has had her own difficulties since the tragedy, earning a rap sheet for drug use, theft, and vandalism. Still, when Jules learns of her mother’s decision to send Shay to an elite boarding school in Oregon, she’s skeptical. The Academy has a reputation for turning wayward kids around—but one of its students went missing six months ago and her body has never been found. There are rumors she may have died during one of the school’s questionable treatments. Once enrolled, Shay grows fearful, convinced her every move is being watched. And the deeper Jules digs, the more concerned she becomes.

On impulse, Jules applies for a teaching job at the Academy. Though the facility boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a breathtaking campus, Jules senses cracks in the director’s do-good demeanor. Shortly before Jules arrived, a student was found hanged, and a hysterical Shay believes it was murder. Staff members are wary and unwelcoming—all except Cooper Trent, another recent hire who has his own suspicions, and his own secrets.

Then another girl goes missing, and yet another is found dead. There’s no doubt something sinister is at hand—but Jules may be too late to stop it. Behind the Academy’s idyllic veneer lurks an evil force on a brutal and terrifying mission. And Jules has become the next target of a bloodthirsty killer without limits, without remorse, without mercy…



You know how people “Google” themselves?  Well, I don’t really do that, not out of any lack of vanity, but mostly because there’s so many listings of books for sale on such an amazing multitude of sites that, even I want to dig for some feel good mentions, it would take forever to get to them.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  I think maybe I just don’t want to take the chance of running across anything negative.  I can be a chicken that way. 

However, recently someone in the office did take a look and reminded me of an interview in which I talked about my sister (and now co-author of Wicked Game and the 2011 Wicked Lies!—plug intended) Nancy Bush and growing up in Molalla, Oregon, a small timber town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  The interview was tied to Final Scream, which was set in an Oregon timber town–apple not so far from tree.  I started thinking about how much I enjoy writing about the Pacific Northwest, even though I haven’t done it all that frequently in my suspense novels.  Fatal Burn is also set close to home, as is Nancy and my  Wicked Game

It made me wonder what took me so long to set a story in one of my favorite places—the truly breathtaking Siskiyou Mountains in the southern part of the state. That’s where Without Mercy is set, right on the Oregon-California border.  I wanted to set my fictional Blue Rock Academy somewhere rugged, beautiful and untouched.  Blue Rock is an elite boarding school for troubled teens so it needed to be hard to reach and hard to leave. And I wanted the contrast of an idyllic setting against the terror that is about to overtake the school’s staff and students.  I think it worked. Certainly it did for me.  Even when I did my best to view the story dispassionately, I was uneasy thinking about how the evil people can harbor can arise in the most unexpected, seemingly safe havens.

So, yes, amid the landscape I love, I had Jules Farantino walk into the unknown, determined to safeguard her half-sister Shaylee, whose been sent there instead of juvenile detention.  Jules is troubled by the rumors surrounding the disappearance of a student months ago and, now, by Shay’s insistence that the missing girl was killed by someone at the school. 

Jules heads to Blue Rock” undercover,” managing to be hired as a last minute replacement for a teacher who left under accusations of an affair with a student.  She doesn’t know exactly what she expects to find, but it certainly didn’t include discovering her former lover on the staff and another student missing the very day she arrives.  Things get worse.

I’m not going to give any more away.  It’s not fair.  But I will say I hope you’ll read and enjoy Without Mercy and the trip to southern Oregon. I don’t think it will be too long before I’m drawn back home for another story.  First though, I’m heading back to New Orleans.  I hope you’ll meet me there next year.



Huge thanks to Lisa for being our guest today! for more infomation on her books and what she has coming out next, visit her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Without Mercy. Good luck!

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The Marquis of Chase is not a reputable man.

He is notorious for his wretched morals and never received in respectable houses. The ladies of the ton would never allow him in their drawing rooms… though some of them have welcomed him into their bedchambers. Rejected from his father’s house at the age of sixteen, he now lives a life of wanton pleasure. So what could the Marquis of Chase possibly want with Juliana Merton, a lovely, perfectly upstanding shopkeeper with a mysterious past?

A moment’s indiscretion?

A night’s passion?

Or a lifetime of love?

Even the wildest rakes have their weaknesses…


First I’d like to thank Fatin for inviting me to her blog. I can see she has a lot of chatty readers, the best kind. In case you don’t know me, I write historical romance for Avon. My books are set in the ever popular Regency period. Never Resist Temptation came out a year ago, a mystery romance featuring a heroine who was a pastry chef. The Wild Marquis was released this month. The heroine is a rare bookseller, down on her luck, whose business perks up when a rakish marquis with a terrible reputation walks into her shop. It emerges that both of them have mysteries in their pasts that are entwined thought a pair of rival book collectors. Along the way this very unlikely couple fall in love. (more…)

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Coming out a week from today, to shelves near you:


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.


First, thanks so much for inviting me here! This is my first official guest post of my first novel, so it’s really special.

I’m a believer in novels being exciting, and for big things to happen in them, on the relationship or threat level. But I’m also a fan of little moments of pleasure. Those times when a character gets to stop and smell the roses. (more…)

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Permission To Approach

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

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


Hello everyone.  A big thank you to Fatin for inviting me back!

My newest single title, LEAVE ME BREATHLESS (Kensington Brava, March ’10), just hit the bookshelves.  I have to admit it. I love this book. [Yeah, no ego problem here.] Mostly, the book makes me smile because of the mix of personalities of the hero and heroine.  The hero is Ben Walker, a superstar in the legal community and a very successful judge. The youngest judge on the bench, in fact.

And he’s a bit clueless about women.  (more…)

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Visit Fireworks Over Toccoa before March 30th to enter Jeffrey Stepakoff’s Sweepstakes. One Grand Prize winner will win a gourmet romantic picnic basket for two along with their copy of Fireworks Over Toccoa300 runners-up will receive a copy of FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA.

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers’ homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily’s heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a commitment she’s already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.

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Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…


Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…


I’ve said it before, I find Jack Bauer from 24 very sexy. Kiefer Sutherland doesn’t do much for me, but give him a gun, the ability to choke bad guys with his feet, and the task of saving the world, and I’m smitten.

Another brooding tough guy I love? Jason Bourne. Car wrecks, gunshots, broken bones, nothing stops this guy. But hidden deep beneath the action hero surface there seems to be a softer, sensitive side that makes him that much more complex and appealing of a character. (more…)

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From the ravens circling its spires to the gargoyles adorning its roof, Blackberry Manor looms ominously over its rambling grounds. And behind its doors, amid the flickering shadows and secret passageways, danger lies in wait.


Evangeline Pemberton has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of reclusive Gavin Lioncroft, who is rumored to have murdered his parents. Initially, Gavin’s towering presence and brusque manner instill fear in Evangeline…until his rakish features and seductive attentions profoundly arouse her. But when a guest is murdered, Evangeline is torn. Could the man to whom she is so powerfully drawn, also be a ruthless killer?



Rumor has it you recently returned to the US from an extended Euro Trip?

Yes! Thanks to the fortuitous alignment of various stars, (primarily the ability to do work from my laptop, and a friend’s offer to rent my house in my absence,) I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a year in Europe. I spent a few months each in Italy, England, France, and Spain. It was amazing! (more…)

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Bound by passion, branded by love, brazen enough to take it all…

In the wilds of Oklahoma, three sisters have a hot date with destiny. Valerie, Brea, and Jolene McMasters reunite on the family ranch that should have been called the Bar Nothing…


When Valerie left for the big city, she kissed her foreman husband, Mason, goodbye—along with the best sex she ever had. Now, seeing him brings back sizzling memories. But their rekindled fire threatens to burn them both.


Watching Gage wrangle untamed horses with a gentle but firm touch leaves Brea hot and bothered. But can she live out her fantasy with a man who may ask more than she’s willing to give?


Ranch hand Walker Morgan can’t afford to lose his job by getting too close to his new boss, Jolene, no matter how much she tempts him. But Jolene’s prepared to take the first step, because what Jolene wants, Jolene gets. And Jolene wants Walker.


Bound, Branded & Brazen is a ‘threesome’ story, but not in the way you think. It’s not a ménage, it’s three stories in one book, all connected. I did the same kind of thing when I wrote Wild, Wicked & Wanton. There are three separate stories in that book, but one story flows right into the next. In Wild, Wicked & Wanton, the three stories are connected by the three friends, Abby, Blair and Callie and the bet they make with each other. Plus their friendship and the characters move about within each of the three stories. (more…)

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At the Lowara Gypsy Camp outside Windsor, England, in 1806, a young woman will lose her independence in a common marriage market transaction. Jade knows she is promised to Dimitri, a possessive abuser.  Dimitri terrifies her.

When her father sends her to the arms of another man to protect her from Dimitri, she finds only slight consolation . . . until she encounters her intended. Evan Dark is a half-Gypsy gentleman—nothing like Dimitri. Caught in a battle between tribes, Jade is a piece of property, the ideal runaway bride. In order to escape Dimitri’s clutches, she sails for Charleston with Evan as his indentured servant. But, engaged to another woman as part of a plantation merger in South Carolina, Evan’s affiliation with Jade can never be more than professional.

Evan must choose between fulfilling his obligation to marry his betrothed or accept his overpowering passion for Jade, a woman his matchmaking Gypsy grandfather deemed the perfect Romany wife. In nineteenth-century America, where insincere tradition meets old money and arranged matrimony in upper-crust society, Evan faces the most difficult decision of his life: Remain loyal to the fiancée he holds in commitment… or be true to the lover he holds in his heart.


One of the perks in writing fiction is being provided with the opportunity to explore other cultures and answer a “what if” question in a way that inspires an interesting or outside the box plot idea.

My March 1 release, Stolen Promise, explores what might happen when two people from completely different cultures coerced into marriage might eventually find enough common ground to fall in love.  Stolen Promise features a young Romany (Gypsy) woman who yearns for a better life than the one planned for her, and the heir to a South Carolina plantation who finds himself forced to marry the fiery Jade after he travels to England to learn about this Gypsy heritage.  Jade and Evan’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but the following excerpt from the beginning of the book hints at a spark that soon becomes a flame: (more…)

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