Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright: CANADA DAY Blog Hop!!!!

Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright: CANADA DAY Blog Hop!!!!

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books: In My Mailbox (19): ALA Recap and Giveaway

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Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life: BHSV – Guest Post by Michele Bardsley + A 25$ Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life: BHSV – Guest Post by Michele Bardsley + A 25$ Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

What's on the Bookshelf: Birthday Bash!!

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Once Upon a Twilight!: Book Tour: "Into the Past" with Author Lisa Desroc...

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Stuck in Books: 600 Followers Giveaway

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Canada Day Blog Hop! | Dreaming of Books

Canada Day Blog Hop! | Dreaming of Books

SHORTIE SAYS...: Hourglass Giveaway! (International)

SHORTIE SAYS...: Hourglass Giveaway! (International)

Book Faery: Guest Post and Giveaway with Merrie DeStefano!

Book Faery: Guest Post and Giveaway with Merrie DeStefano!

Book Excerpt - Flesh and Bones

From Chapter 1: Loaded Dice:
I was sitting at the end of the bar sipping single-malt Scotch — eighteen-year- old Glenmorangie at nine bucks a shot — when I spotted the tall blond woman with the large green eyes and the small gray gun.

Not that I knew she had a gun. Not that I even saw her at first, even though she was five feet eleven barefoot, and at the moment was wearing black stiletto heels. According to the A-Form later filled out by a bored female cop, the tall blond woman wore three items of clothing that night, and the Charles Jourdan shoes were two of them. The third was a scooped-back, low-cut, black tank minidress. Nothing more. No rings, necklaces . . . or underwear. She did carry a beaded black Versace handbag, which apparently held the gun, until she pulled it out and . . .

But I’m getting ahead of myself. When she walked in, I was twirling a snifter, admiring the golden liquid inside, trying to catch the smoky scent that had the Yuppies all atwitter, and likewise trying to figure out why I wasn’t home drinking beer, eating pizza, and watching ESPN, as is my custom. Life in the no- passing lane.

“Do you sense the reek of the peat?” Rusty MacLean asked me, while twirling his own glass. “Do the pepper and the heather transport you to the Highlands?” At the moment we were five feet above sea level, two blocks from the ocean on South Beach, with palms swaying and a Jamaican steel band playing, so you’ll pardon me if the outdoor club called Paranoia didn’t feel like Inverness or the Isle of Skye. “Can we drink it now, or are you going to keep blowing smoke up my kilt?” I asked.

“Patience, Jake, patience. Did you clear your palette of the Royal Lochnagar?”

“Palette clear, throat dry. Can we drink it now?”

“Did you appreciate the Lochnagar’s muscular, oaky flavor? The hint of sherry?”

“Okee? As in Okefenokee? As in swampy?”

Rusty gave me his exasperated, why-do-I-put-up-with-you look. “Jake, I’m trying to civilize you. I’ve been trying for years.”

Rusty MacLean had been my teammate on the Dolphins about a thousand years ago. He was a flashy wide receiver with curly red hair flapping out of his helmet. A free spirit, the sports writers called him. Undisciplined, the coaches said. Used to drive Shula crazy. Rusty loved to baby himself, nursing small injuries, sitting out Tuesday practices. It is a given in pro football that by midseason everyone is hurt. I’ve played — though not very well — with turf toe, a broken nose, and a separated shoulder, once all at the same time. Rusty, who had far more natural ability, could make a hangnail seem like a compound fracture. Rusty MacLean raised his glass and said something that sounded like “Slanjeh. To your health, old buddy.”

I hoisted my glass. “Fuel in your bagpipes.”

He sipped at his Glenmorangie, while I swilled mine, letting it warm my throat. Damn good, but I wouldn’t admit it. No need to spoil my image as a throwback and relentlessly uncool, unhip, and out of it. I am so far behind the trends that sometimes I’m back in fashion, just like the Art Deco buildings in the very neighborhood where we now sat, drinking and swapping lies. I wore faded jeans, a T-shirt from a Key West oyster bar advising patrons to EAT ‘EM RAW, and a nylon Penn State windbreaker. I thought I was underdressed until I saw a skinny guy in black silk pants, no shirt, and an open leather vest that couldn’t hide his navel ring, or his nipple ring. Rusty wore a black T-shirt under a double- breasted Armani suit, his hair tied back in a ponytail.

He savored his drink, eyes closed, a beatific smile on his face.

“Mmmm,” he purred. “I’ve screwed girls younger than this Scotch.”

“And you’re trying to civilize me?”

Rusty was signaling the bartender, pointing to another bottle of the single-malt stuff. We were going in some sort of ritualized order, from Lowlands to Highlands to islands, and The Glenlivet was next.

“Next Glenlivet,” Rusty had instructed me, “The Glenlivet.”

“I know. Like the Eiffel Tower, The Donald, The Coach.”

“Robust with a long finish,” Rusty said as the bartender poured the liquid gold into fresh snifters. “The marriage of power and finesse.”

A waitress slinked by, offering canapes from a silver tray, smoked salmon curled around cream cheese, caviar on tiny crackers. A long way from the trailer park in Key Largo. I remembered a tavern song my father used to warble after he’d had a few, none of them sips of single-malt Scotch aged in oak casks.

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey,
Rye whiskey, I cry.
If I can’t get rye whiskey,
I surely will die.

Funny thinking about my father at that moment, a knife plunged into his heart, dying on a saloon floor.

I watched her approach the bar, not from some sixth sense that trouble was brewing, though in my experience, tall blondes are trouble indeed. I watched because Rusty MacLean, using the peripheral vision that had always let him know where the safety was lurking, had just gestured in her direction and compared her knees to Dan Marino’s. Unfavorably to Dan’s, I might add.

A few minutes earlier, I had asked him why he’d given up being a sports agent to open SoBeMo, a modeling agency. His answer competed in volume with the Dolby- enhanced nihilistic baritone poetry of Leonard Cohen.

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded. Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.

“Forty percent,” Rusty said.

Everybody knows the fight was fixed; the poor stay poor, the rich get rich.

My look shot him a question, so he continued. “Twenty percent from the model, another twenty percent from the company booking the shoot. Compare that to four percent for representing some sixth-round, preliterate prima donna from Weber State, and I’ll take the babes every time.”

“We don’t call them babes anymore,” I corrected him, having been dragged into the nineties, just in time for the millennium.

Now, as I followed his gaze, Rusty said, “Here’s another reason. Whose knees would you rather look at it, Dan Marino’s or Chrissy Bernhardt’s?”

If they’d asked similar questions on the Bar exam, I would have passed the first time.

I watched Chrissy Bernhardt walk the walk, hips rotating with that exaggerated roll forward, the arms swinging gracefully so far back she could have been waving at someone behind her. A stroll down the runway in Milan. Her bare shoulders had the rounded, developed look of hundreds of hours in the gym. Her ash-blond hair slid across those shoulders with each stride, and in her black stiletto heels, she was as tall as me, though a hundred pounds lighter.

Twenty feet away now, headed right for us, Chrissy Bernhardt seemed to look at Rusty. He always got the eye contact before I did. I am not a bad-looking man, despite a nose that goes east and west where it should go north and south. I have shaggy, dirty-blond hair, blue eyes, broad shoulders, and a waist that is just beginning to show the effects of numerous four-Grolsch nights. Rusty has a different look, sleek and feral, and women love it. He always seems to send out sonar waves that bounce off attractive women and back to him. This time, though, when he smiled, she didn’t smile back.

Now I saw she was looking past Rusty at the beefy man on the next barstool. About sixty, a pink well-fed face, a nose that seemed too small for the rest of him, and thick arms with a golfer’s tan peeking out from beneath the short- sleeved guayabera. Earlier, the man had twice asked the bartender for the time. Then he had given me a look and grinned. “I know you. Number fifty-eight for the Dolphins, right?”

“Long time ago.”

“I remember a game against the Jets, you made a helluva hit on the kickoff team, recovered the fumble . . .” He smiled again, then continued in a deep, gravel- voiced rumble, “Then went the wrong way. You ran toward the wrong end zone.”

“I got turned around when I made the hit,” I explained, as I have so many times over the years.

“Lucky for you, your own kicker tackled you.”

Yeah. Garo Yepremian couldn’t tackle me if I was drunk and blindfolded. He had, however, fallen on me after I tripped on the twenty-yard-line stripe.

Everybody knows the war is over. Everybody knows the good guys lost.

Now the woman reached into the little beaded black handbag she was carrying. The deep-voiced man next to us seemed to recognize her, too, and a thin smile creased his face. When it disappeared, I glanced back at Chrissy Bernhardt, who now was holding a Beretta 950, a silly little handgun that shoots .22 shorts out of a two-inch barrel. It’s a lousy weapon for killing someone, but it weighs only ten ounces and leaves room for cigarettes and makeup in a tiny handbag.

Review - Flesh and Bones

“I was sitting at the end of the bar sipping single-malt Scotch when I spotted the tall blond woman with the large green eyes and the small gray gun.”

The next thing Jake Lassiter knows, the woman pumps three bullets into the man on the next barstool.

And Jake, the linebacker-turned-lawyer, has a new client.

She’s stunning model Chrissy Bernhardt, and the dead man is her wealthy father. The defense? Chrissy claims that she’s recently recovered repressed memories of having been sexually abused by her father. Jake wants to believe her but suspects that the memories were either implanted by a shady psychiatrist or fabricated by Chrissy herself. Complicating the situation, Jake falls for his client, clouding his judgment. Is she an anguished victim or a cold-blooded killer? And what about her brother, who stands to inherit a fortune if Chrissy goes to prison? Jake wades into a quagmire of dirty water deals, big money, and family corruption, all leading to an explosive finale.

My Review:

I went into this story not entirely knowing what to expect. I was hoping for a good crime novel with some twists and I was not disappointed. Paul Levine is a really good writer that knows how to weave a story.

The first half of the book is mostly spent introducing you to the characters and settings. While at times this seemed to drag a bit. All the info given was useful and contributed to the story.

There are two main characters - Jake, the former football player turned lawyer and Chrissy, the model who he is defending for killing her father. But they are surrounded by a cast of great and interesting characters. From her shrink and her step-brother to his Granny and his nephew (Kip). The shrink and step-brother are more on the serious end of the story. While Granny and Kip are characters you love from the moment you meet them. They are entertaining and fun and really help liven up the story.

By far the best part of the book though is the courtroom scenes. Here is where the author's writing really shows its skill. During this part you have Jake weaving his questions to get reactions and eventually the truth as to what has really happened. Until the end you really don't know if she was abused or even if she really killed her father. But it all comes out skillfully during the trial in scenes that would make an amazing movie scene.

If you are looking for a good crime fiction novel with a great court scene. Don't pass this one by.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Qwillery: Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22...

The Qwillery: Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22...: "Please welcome Jenn Bennett to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. TQ :  What would you say is your most ..."

Trailer - Small Town Sinners

The Qwillery: Interview with Jeannie Holmes and Giveaway - June ...

The Qwillery: Interview with Jeannie Holmes and Giveaway - June ...: "Please welcome Jeannie Holmes to The Qwillery. TQ :  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Jeannie :  I need two t..."

Once Upon a Twilight!: Author Interview and Giveaway: Kimberley Frost aut...

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ChicaReader: Giveaway: Minder + Adversary by Kate Kaynak

ChicaReader: Giveaway: Minder + Adversary by Kate Kaynak: "Minder by Kate Kaynak (Review HERE ) Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities bef..."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Post - M.J. Rose

A Writers Inspiration...

Inspiration is a crazy thing. I don't know where it comes from but I'm thankful it does come.

My characters are very elusive. They arrive like wisps of smoke. My first inkling about a new character comes as a question. A "what if".

"What if" a man was in an accident and woke up with memories that don't belong to him.

Then I start thinking of what kind of man would that be a conflict for. Who would hate that and fight it.

Slowly a person starts to emerge.

Then I work on their names - for a main character it can take me a month to come up with the right name. And all too often I think I have the right name - then start working on the book and realize I have the wrong name. In The Memorist I wrote the whole book with Meer's name being something else and she was wooden on the page. Then I changed her name and she came alive.

My real work with the characters is an evolution. For three months I don't write a word. Rather I do research and work on my main character's scrapbook. The very process of collecting her preferred poems, swatches of her favorite colors, and petals from the flowers she grows gives me time to find her.

I collect the ticket stubs for a performance of the Metropolitan Opera that she went to, a postcard from her mother's first trip to Europe, a piece of the red and white string on the pastry box from her grandmother's apartment: it's all in the scrapbook.

And only when I've found all the knickknacks of her life and I've done a fair amount of procrastinating do I even think about sitting down to write. And by then, I can't wait!

You can find out more about M.J.Rose and all her books, at You can also read an excerpt of her latest novel, The Hypnotist, her most mesmerizing novel yet. "It's an adventure, a love story, a clash of cultures, a spiritual quest, it is above all a thrilling capstone to her unique Reincarnation novels, The Reincarnationist and The Memorist."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paranormal Wastelands: 200 Followers GIVEAWAY!!!

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FANTASTIC BOOK REVIEW: Win Hourglass by Myra McEntire!

FANTASTIC BOOK REVIEW: Win Hourglass by Myra McEntire!: "This is your chance to Win... HOURGLASS  (HC) by Myra McEntire Swag: Bookmarks Rules  1 Winner! For your chances to win FILL OUT THIS FORM..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Him Danno!: Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Blog Hop June 21-24 - 2 ...

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Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight: Guest blog with Steph Haefner on Inspiration and M...

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Excerpt - Ladies and Gentlemen...The Redeemers

Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers tells the story of Bert Ingram, once a successful rep in the music industry, who has lost his way. Desperate for redemption, the perpetual dreamer decides to put together a band, recruiting musicians who have only one thing in common: the need to overcome a significant obstacle in their lives. The volatile mix of the musicians' personalities and backgrounds threatens to derail the band at every opportunity, but in time, the Redeemers begin to realize they have more to gain from one another than they ever could have imagined.

Chapter 1 - Abe and Bert

“Miss! Miss! Hi! You look like a patron of the arts. Could I trouble you for a small contribution for my friend Abe over there?” Bert matched a young woman stride for stride as she strode briskly across the subway concourse. He pointed toward Abe, who was standing along the white tiled wall, next to the Fresh Cut Flowers stand, singing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” The woman forged ahead.

“Fully tax deductible!” Bert continued cheerfully, and with that, the woman turned to look at Bert with a skeptical glance. “Okay, okay. It’s not really tax deductible,” Bert said with a laugh.

The woman returned a brief smile, seemingly somewhat amused by Bert’s approach. She unzipped her handbag and pulled out a crumpled dollar bill. She gave Bert the bill along with a distinct look of finality.

“Thank you, miss. God bless,” said Bert with a tip of his hat, ending a routine that had been rehearsed over many years of strolling through the subway corridors beneath San Francisco. He carefully unfolded the bill and wrapped it around the other six dollar bills he had collected.

The 7:30 A.M. rush hour crowd swarmed through the Montgomery Street station of San Francisco’s BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit, system. Bert headed back toward the spot where Abe stood, as he had for the last three years, every Monday through Friday except holidays, in the main corridor that led from the subway turnstiles to the stairs that led to street level.

A hulking, legally blind African-American, Abe Jackson towered over most of the subway crowd. He stood at 6’3” and weighed close to 250 pounds. His habitual costume -- black shoes, black dress pants, a blue crew neck, long-sleeved shirt, and black wraparound sunglasses – perfectly complemented the classic 1960s Motown tunes he sang. In his left hand he held a plastic, gallon-sized milk jug, filled about a quarter of the way with coins and bills.

Bert Ingram had stepped into Abe’s life about a month earlier, pitching Abe on the idea of working the crowd in order to increase the donations. Abe had not been particularly interested, being satisfied with his routine and his low-pressure approach. Plus, he showed an obvious distrust of the stranger. So Bert simply appeared every few days at first to give the crowd his sales pitch.

More recently, Bert had started showing up every day. Today, he wore chocolate-brown polyester pants, a cream-colored shirt, brown paisley tie, and a brown and tan checked sport jacket. His ubiquitous gray fedora rested on his head, pushed slightly back so the brim tilted upward. Bert always wore his signature hat whether it matched his outfit or like today, did not.

As Bert crossed in front of him, Abe spoke in a booming voice that resonated through the subway concourse corridors. “I told you, Bert, I don’t need your help. You ain’t my manager, I don’t need an agent, and you’re just stealin’ my money.”

“Are you crazy, Abe? I’m a money machine!” Bert countered. “I’ve collected seven dollars in just the few minutes I’ve been here this morning. We’re a great team. You just keep singing, and I’ll handle the sales and marketing side of things. You should feel lucky to have a manager like me. Bands used to clamor to have me as their manager.”

“Do we have to play this out every morning, man? I told you this is my territory and I’m quite fine, just singing and taking in what I take in.”

“Don’t be foolish,” replied Bert, ignoring Abe’s frown. “Don’t you get how much we’re pulling in together? How much did you bring home every day before I showed up?”

Abe’s frown deepened. “I don’t know. Thirty dollars, maybe forty on a good day.”

“See, and just yesterday you took home sixty-two dollars, and that was after giving me my share.”

“Yeah, well, I couldn’t help but notice that it’s not me ‘giving’ you your share, but you collecting the proceeds, taking your piece of the action off the top, and giving me what’s left.”

“Fine. Split hairs if you like, but I’ve raised your income over fifty percent, so what’s the difference?”

“We’ll settle this after the crowd goes. We’re losing precious time here,” Abe muttered, and with that, he broke into Sam Cooke’s “Cupid,” hitting each note, the high and the low, with expert precision.

By 9:30 the crowd heading into San Francisco had dwindled, and Abe wrapped up his last song. Bert was seated on a bench a few feet away, tallying the bills and coins he had collected on Abe’s behalf. He got up and walked over to Abe. “Here you are, buddy, seventeen dollars and thirty-eight cents. Add that to what you’ve collected on your own in that jug which looks to be around, oh, I’d say, ten to twelve dollars and you’ve had a pretty good morning. And we’ve still got the afternoon shift.”

Of late, Bert had also started to show up for the outbound commuter rush in the late afternoons.

“I do have to admit, Bert, you’ve got a certain talent,” Abe responded with a grudging grin. “But you’re still a leech.”

“Glad you recognize my skills. I’m just a born talent scout,” replied Bert. “By the way, I’ve been meaning to run a proposition by you. Can I buy you a cup of coffee and we’ll talk?”

Abe shrugged. “It’s your money, man.”

The two walked toward the north stairs, Abe using his red-tipped white cane for guidance. Bert took Abe’s arm as they reached the stairs that led up to the street level.

Abe jerked his arm away. “I’ve been coming up and down these stairs for years without you. I don’t need your help.”

“My apologies, my friend,” responded Bert quickly, trying to recover from the unexpected scolding.

“Yeah, well, I don’t like being touched, and I’m not one for help or attention. I just do my own thing, my own way. That’s all.”

Bert followed Abe silently up the stairs and into the sunlight. The early morning haze that enshrouded San Francisco had lifted, and it had become a typical clear, comfortable, seventy-five-degree late summer day. The two men followed Market Street in the direction of the bay, stopping at a Donut World. Bert bought them each a large cup of coffee, which he paid for by dumping a pile of coins on the counter, sorting out the correct change, then gathering the remaining change off the counter.

The two men continued on until they reached the plaza at Battery Street, where they headed for the unoccupied benches near the Mechanics Monument, the large bronze sculpture that served as the plaza’s centerpiece. Bert chose one where an overhanging tree threw some shade. People walked quickly through the red and gray brick plaza, and a couple of teenagers were kicking up their skateboards and trying to catch them, but otherwise the plaza was empty. The two men sat down, Abe placing the milk jug between himself and Bert, keeping a hold on the handle. He leaned the cane against the bench.

“Glorious day, eh, Abe?” started Bert.

“You gonna proposition me or what,” countered Abe.

“Okay, okay. All business. I get it.” Bert paused for dramatic effect. “Here’s the idea. I’m putting together a band. I’m the manager, and I’d like you to be the lead singer.”

“Are you bullshitting me?” Abe snorted.

“Of course not. I told you I used to manage bands.”

“You haven’t really managed bands. What would you be doing hanging out in the subway?”

That cue was all Bert needed to launch into the story. “Things change, my friend,” he started with a sigh. “Many years ago, in my previous life, I was in the recording industry, working as an A&R rep for Sapphire Records. I used to tour the country, going to bars and clubs, scouting for new bands. My job was to spot who had the talent, the energy, the drive -- that intangible quality that meant the difference between a bunch of guys having fun playing in a bar and getting their drinks for free, and being the next big thing.”

Bert took a long, slow sip of his coffee, then continued. “The guys at Sapphire loved me. On some of the high-potential bands, they put me in as the manager.”

“Uh huh,” said Abe. “Let me guess. You’re Berry Gordy’s long lost son?”

“Of course not,” answered Bert. “But I had some successes. You’ve heard of the Crooning Wombats, right?”


“Well, anyway. They were going to be the next big thing. They had kind of a funky blues sound. I discovered them at One-Eyed Jack’s in Olympia. That was long ago, of course.”

Bert paused to assess Abe’s reaction, but Abe just waited. “The band put out a few albums,” Bert went on, “and we had a few good years. But the band broke up before putting together any kind of breakthrough album. Too many egos. The band couldn’t agree on anything.”

“Keep talking,” said Abe, starting to display faint traces of a smile.

“Silent Scream did all right too,” continued Bert. “And of course there were lots of other bands. Those were the days. I had a place on Nob Hill and life was one big party.”

Abe stirred. “Okay. I’ll bite. Then what happened.”

“Then I lost the house in a messy divorce. And things change fast in the music biz. One day you’re a star, the next you’re odd man out.” Bert quickly added, “But that’s okay. I still have a few bucks left. I work when I want to, doing this and that.” He looked toward Abe. “I don’t let them get me down.”

“And what makes you think Bert’s going to get back to the top?” asked Abe. “Begging for dollars in the subway with some blind guy ain’t exactly the first rung on the ladder of success.”

“It’s been awhile but I’ve still got contacts. Listen to me, Abe. I can pull this off.” Bert’s voice grew in both excitement and volume. “Get this concept! I’m building the band from talented performers such as yourself, who got dealt a bad hand in life. It’ll be a bunch of --” He paused to think of the right words. “Gritty, street-hardened folks with the hunger and the passion to rise up and get one more chance at the world!”

Then Bert took on a quiet, passionate tone. “Abe, you’ve got the fire inside you, and you’ve got the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard. The band needs you.” He took a deep breath. “What do you say?”

Abe’s face broke into a wide smile and he started laughing heartily, his big body convulsing with each guffaw. “What do I say? What do I say?” He gave another chuckle. “I say you’re full of shit, brother. Great story, though.” He slapped Bert’s arm gently with the back of his hand. “But I’ll tell you what. I’ll call your bluff. If you can pull together the musicians, I’m in. But here’s the rest of the deal. Until then, you need to stay away from my turf.”

“Fair enough,” answered Bert cheerfully, and the two men sat on the bench in the plaza silently for several minutes. Then Bert spoke. “Hey, Abe. What’s your deal? How’d you end up singing in the subways for a living?”

“Look. Don’t get all chummy with me, all right?” Abe answered irritably. “You laid out a deal and I agreed to it. That’s all you need to know. I don’t need you getting inside my head.”

Bert looked at Abe, wondering whether to respond and decided to let it go. In any case, he had his singer. He stood and tossed his empty cup into a trash can. “All right. I’ll keep in touch.”

“You know where to find me,” said Abe.

Bert sensed that Abe figured that come later this afternoon, they’d be right back where they had been – Abe singing in the Montgomery Street Station, and Bert hustling for his money. He’d figure out soon enough that Bert was serious.

As Bert walked along the plaza and turned to head up Battery Street, he heard Abe bellow. “Hey, Bert! Your band need a sax player?” Bert froze in his steps and turned back to face Abe, who was still on the bench. “Sure,” he yelled back, unsure whether Abe was just setting him up.

“Go find Charlie at the Sixteenth Street Mission Station.”

“How will I recognize him?”

“You know how to play three card monte?”


“Good luck then.” Abe laughed, drank down the last bit of his coffee, crumbled the cup in his hand, and reclined on the bench, arms outstretched to take in all the sun that now shone on the bench.

– Book excerpt from Ladies and Gentlemen...The Redeemers. Purchase your copy at Amazon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Reverant

Happy book birthday to Sonia Gensler and THE REVENANT!

Excerpt - Recovery

Read the Excerpt!

Tiresome carols from department store speakers extolled the dreaded news that Christmas chaos had once again taken over the country. Newspapers would soon be filled with stories of fights breaking out among stranded air travelers at destinations where too much snow, too much wind, or too much airport security had taken its toll. Once at Grandmother’s house, loving families filled with potent eggnog concoctions would turn on each other and use dinner utensils as assault weapons, until SWAT units arrived to stop the bloodshed. Every commercial, greeting card, and holiday display was pressuring us to have the perfect holiday, which we knew did not really exist. But every year in December we once again pulled out the stale-smelling ornaments from the attic, fired up the plastic Christmas tree, and prayed that maybe this year would be better than the last.
I was suffering though my own Christmas hell, stuck in New York City, in weather far below what any decent southerner considered utterly obscene, to satisfy the expectations of my publisher.
I had originally balked at the idea of coming to New York. The only place I wanted to be during the holidays was home. But the city I called home had been erased from the modern era, wiped out by water, incompetence, and apathy. The New Orleans I had loved had been forever changed by the winds of Katrina.
Gone were the places of my past. The corner grocery that had always smelled of spicy boiled shrimp, the restaurant that had served my favorite gumbo, the home where I had gathered for the holidays, the neighborhood where I had grown up but had never left behind. How do you begin to cope with the loss of everything that has been part of you, completed you? In New Orleans it is said we are where we live, but who are we when we cannot live there anymore?
By the time I had finally gotten through to FEMA and was able to restore some semblance of order back into my life, my publisher had called with last-minute plans for a holiday book signing tour.
So there I sat in a downtown Manhattan bookstore, filled with longing for home and a line of women waiting for my signature on their copy of my book Painting Jenny.
“Was David Alexander really like that?” one round-faced woman asked as she cleaved a copy of my book to her chest. “The way you described him in the book?”
“He was as he is written,” I said. I always gave that response when asked about David. I wrote what I remembered about him, the good and the bad, making the character in the book almost as real as the man I had loved. Almost.
“You were his muse,” a hunched over, gray-haired diva draped in all her Tiffany finery exclaimed. “I saw some of his portraits of you, the ones he called his Jennys, last month on display at a gallery here in the city. He was very talented and his love for you was obvious. He painted you with such reverence, such awe.” She sighed and smiled weakly. “What a waste.”
I reached for the book the woman handed me with her spindly fingers and looked up into her beady gray eyes. I wondered if she had ever known love or if the cold diamonds that enveloped her body had somehow managed to work their way into her heart. I then gave her my best-practiced smile.
“He was very talented, and at least the world still has his paintings to remember him by,” I answered, keeping my voice free of the disgust churning inside of me.
The Madison Avenue maven smiled. “And your book. The world has that too. To remember you both by.”
A twinge of pain etched its way across my heart as a memory of David began to cloud my vision. We had been sitting on the floor of his studio after a frenzied night of painting. In an instant, I could smell the mix of paint and sweat on his skin. David had expressed his hope that one day his paintings and my stories would stand side-by-side declaring to the world what we had meant to each other. He had told me that he wanted nothing more than to be remembered for eternity with me. I closed my eyes and lost myself in the past.
“You must have been so devastated by his death,” a shrill voice said, tearing me away from my memories.
“Devastated?” I smiled up at a chubby, eager-looking woman standing before me.
Is that what you call this, I thought to myself. Perhaps heartache is a word that can only be experienced, and once experienced, it becomes devoid of description.
“Yes, of course I was devastated,” I coolly explained. “He was the love of my life.”
“Then how did you go…” Her hungry brown eyes looked down for a moment. “How did you go on after…he was murdered?”
“I wrote our story,” I quickly replied. “It was my therapy,” I added as I tried to quell my growing desire to taser this overzealous fan.

About Alexandrea Weis

Alexandrea Weis began writing at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen again and began her first novel To My Senses. Since that time she has writen several novels and sold two screenplays (White River and Blood Will Tell). Blood Will Tell is currently in pre-production with Buyer Group International. Her work has been critically acclaimed and is continually growing in popularity.

Her most recent book is Recovery, the second novel in the Nicci Beauvoir series which takes readers on a Big Easy thrill ride when a lover’s murder is so and a spy with a bulletproof bravado quickens Nicci’s broken heart.

Alexandrea is also a permitted wildlife rehabber and works rescuing orphaned and injured animals. She recently has been working to aid oil soaked birds in the Gulf disaster.

You can visit Alexandrea’s website at or connect with her on Twitter at and Facebook at!/pages/To-My-Senses/113609858681394.

Review - Recovery

About Recovery

Recovery by Alexandrea Weis is the second novel in the wildly sexy series featuring the enigmatic Nicci Beauvoir. A thrilling read, this character-driven book boasts a whodunit mystery, sultry seductions, and an unforgettable cliffhanging twist. Once a darling of New Orleans society, Nicci pens a novel about her departed love, the artist David Alexander. While promoting her book in the Big Apple, she’s approached by David’s former boss, Simon La Roy, who has a theory about David’s death that devastates Nicci. She learns David’s murder may be linked to someone from her past. Enter Dallas August, an elite member of Simon’s organization of corporate spies prized for his ruthless ability to get the job done. Playing the part of Nicci’s lover, Dallas returns to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans with her to flush out the killer. But everything is not what is seems in the Big Easy, and soon the couple finds themselves trapped in a psychotic’s twisted game of revenge. As the danger grows, Nicci’s relationship with the handsome spy turns from adversarial to amorous. On the run for their lives, Dallas and Nicci must confront their tormentor before it is too late. It’s a deadly decision that could cost Nicci everything, but it is her only chance for finally revealing the identity of the murderer. Just as the truth behind David’s death is discovered, another more compelling mystery is unearthed. It’s an unexpected turn of events that rocks Nicci’s world.

My Review:

This was a great mystery story set in New Orleans after Katrina. And it has everything you could want in a story from suspense to romance to a surprising twist. The characters are engaging and interesting and described well enough that you really get a feel for them and who they are, this goes for both the main characters and the secondaries in the story. And the backdrop for the story is just as well done. Most of us have not seen New Orleans after Katrina, but the way the city is described here can easily make you think you have seen it first hand.

There is not a lot that can be said that isn't in the description above without giving away the ending. And you definitely don't want to know who did it before you get there in the story. So I will leave the description to that above.

The story moves at a fast pace and I didn't want to put it down once I started. Also, while this is the second in the series you don't have to read the first unless you want to find out more about Nicci's relationship with David. And while you do find out more about the other characters from the other story, it is not at all necessary to read it before you read this one. The author does a great job of filling in newcomers while not making the story drag for those that have read the first.

If you are looking for a good modern mystery story that still contains some romance this is a series and author to check out. I am looking forward to reading more from her soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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Review - Queen of Kings

There’s more than one path to immortality…

Maria Dahvana Headley

A thrilling, chilling reimagining of the story of the most famous woman in history.

Once there was a queen of Egypt…a queen who became through magic something else…

The year is 30 BC. Octavian Caesar and his massed legions are poised to enter Alexandria. A messenger informs Egypt’s queen, Cleopatra, that her beloved Mark Antony has died by his own hand. Desperate to save her kingdom, resurrect her husband and protect all she holds dear, Cleopatra turns to the gods for help. Ignoring the warnings of those around her, she summons Sekhmet, goddess of death and destruction, and strikes a mortal bargain. And not even the wisest of Egypt’s scholars could have predicted what would follow…

For, in return for Antony’s soul, Sekhmet demands something in return: Cleopatra herself. And so Egypt’s queen is possessed. She becomes an immortal, shape-shifting, not-quite-human manifestation of a deity who seeks to destroy the world. Fighting to preserve something of her humanity, Cleopatra pursues Octavian back to Rome: she desires revenge, she yearns for her children…and she craves human blood.

It is a journey that will take her from the tombs of the Pharaohs to the great amphitheatres of imperial Rome and on, to Hell itself where, it seems, the fate of the world will finally be decided.

Blending authentic historical fiction and the darkest of fantasy, Queen of Kings is a spectacular and spellbinding feat of the imagination that fans of Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, Patricia Briggs, Philippa Gregory, and Ridley Scott's Gladiator won’t want to miss.

‘A page turner: an epic historical thriller that combines a great love story with slew of witches, gods, ghosts and classical monsters.’
DANIELLE TRUSSONI, author of Angelology

"QUEEN OF KINGS is a miracle, a marvel. Nothing on earth could make me read a novel about Cleopatra, but this book reeled me in almost instantly and kept me in suspense, charmed, and astonished all the way to the amazing ending." - Peter Straub, New York Times Bestselling Author of Ghost Story and A Dark Matter

"Serpents, sorcerers, sex! Egypt, Rome, Greece! A brilliantly energetic smorgasbord. Gird your loins, dear readers, because Queen of Kings is on the loose! Hug your loved ones, tuck your head firmly between your knees, and hope that you're praying to the correct god. Because if you're not? Well, read this book to discover your fate..." - Garth Stein, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

"If you like your history mixed with fiction, and full of sex and magic and violence - and let's face it, that's how we all prefer it - then you're in for a hell of a ride." - Ed Brubaker, Eisner Award-Winning Author of Incognito, Criminal, and The Death of Captain America

Neil Gaiman, New York Times Bestselling author of American Gods,Sandman, and The Graveyard Book says: "It's rare that a first novel is so magical, so dark, so well-researched, so smart or so compelling. QUEEN OF KINGS is a powerful work of the imagination, stalking the murky, dangerous territory between Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned and Robert Graves' I, Claudius and should appeal to those who like their historical fiction, and those who crave dark magics and sharp teeth in the night. I can't wait to read what Ms. Headley writes next."

My Review:

I think everyone knows at least a little of the story of Cleopatra. But no matter what you thought you knew this book will open your eyes to a new way of viewing history.

In this book you dont just read about the Queen of Egypt. You read about a wife, mother and queen who loses her one true love and will do anything to get him back and get revenge. Including sacrificing herself and in the end even her kingdom. She becomes almost completely inhuman after her ritual. But she still holds onto enough of herself to try and save her children and send Mark Antony to the afterlife all Egyptians dreamed of, even as she dooms herself.

The book is set against the historical backdrop of Octavian invading Egypt and Rome taking control of what was Cleopatra's kingdom. You get a lot of what we believe is historical fact for these events. Which when combined with the paranormal aspects the author has created has developed such a complex, interesting story you cant not read and find out what happens.

This is a well-written, well-researched novel that will open history back up for more people to read and enjoy. She cleverly weaves in both Roman and Egyptian mythology and beliefs. To a point where you can easily say, whats to say all of this really didn't happen. She seems to effortlessly weave together both history and fantasy (paranormal) to create a story that keeps you reading and turning the pages all the way to the conclusion.

Trailer - Queen of Kings

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stuck in Books: It's about time... Giveaway

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review - Love Bleeds

Book Blurb:

There’s no such thing as vampires…

Straight-laced Katarina Renót is well educated, logical and doesn’t believe vampires truly exist. But when a well deserved holiday in Europe turns into a torrid game of cat and mouse with a handsome stranger and her best friend is exhibiting signs of being allergic to daylight-Kat doesn’t think her life can get any stranger.

Every man has a weakness…Even an immortal…

Joseph Markus is an arrogant, wealthy entrepreneur who spends his free time as the raspy lead singer for the rock band “Slang” and seducing beautiful women. After decades of mourning the tragic death of the only woman he ever loved, vying to save his best friend from an unrelenting death wish- now he is accused of being a murderer.

An undeniable twist of fate…

Kat learns her Prince Charming is actually the “Prince of Darkness” and though she can’t resist falling for this sultry vampire, she still lives in denial. But when the lines are drawn, and Kat finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly plot for revenge she has only one choice--trust the seductive vampire who has captured her heart.

Despite his own arrogance, Joe finds himself inexplicably drawn to Kat. Her stubborn will to resist his seductive charms coupled with her endearing naiveté prove to be more than he bargained for and Joe soon realizes he is in way over his head.

But will love be enough to save their immortal souls from the grips of a twisted obsession?
Amazon book listing:
Amazon U.K book listing:

Barnes & Noble listing:

Smashwords listing:

My review:

When I first read the description of this book I knew I had to read it. As a vampire story lover it was just calling out to be read. I recommend it to any vampire lover out there.

This is the first story by Maggie that I have read. It was well written and the story moved along at a fast pace. At times I did think it moved along a little too fast but it definitely did not drag out, which I really liked.

I loved Kat and Joe and Nina and Phillip. I thought they were great characters. Well developed and described. I wanted to know more about them and see how their relationships developed. And this is where my only real problem with the book comes in. We really didnt get to see their relationships develop. It was all instant love at first site, overcoming any issues with them being vampires immediately. I would have preferred it to take a bit longer, meaning more than a page or two. And get most character background and development from it.

In this one book we get Nina and Phillips story, than Joe and Kat, and then later even Phillips brother. I would have liked it to almost be split into 3 separate books. Each focusing on the pair and their stories. That way we get more character development and feel more of a connection with their relationship seeming more real and lasting.

Aside from that one issue though I really did enjoy the story. I hope she writes more soon in this line and we get to find out more about these characters and their lives and backgrounds. They are all very interesting and diverse and would be fun to see how they all came together.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trailer - Wings of the Wicked

And check out the awesome giveaway here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review - Slave to Her Desires

Immortality is not always a blessing. Turned into a succubus against her will, Olivia Rhodes has lived the past 120 years as a slave to her cruel and vindictive vampire master. She's escaped him, but he's closing in fast. Her only hope? The fallen angel that abandoned her when she was turned, David Thornton.

But David's not the cold-hearted monster she's always thought he was...nor did he abandon her. And when Olivia's hatred of David turns to desire, will her need for revenge against her vampire master destroy the one beautiful thing in her life, or will she find a way to make David love her despite the creature she's become?

This novella (34,000 words), features a succubus enslaved to her needs, a sleeping beauty, and some explosive sex on a monastery floor.

(Note: While this novella is set in the world of the Succubus Diaries, it is not necessary to read the series to enjoy the novella.)

My review:

This is the first story set in this world I have read. And I loved it. I was drawn in from the beginning. The characters were well developed. The story happened at a good pace without any lagging. I couldn't put it down.

Olivia and David made great main characters. You wanted to find out more about them and wanted them to come together and get the ending they deserve.

The setting was believable and well developed. While not overly elaborate it was perfect settings for the story, well described and easy to picture the events taking place.

For anyone who is already a fan of Jill Myers, don't miss this story. Or for anyone who has been considering reading her series like I have. This is a great story to read and get a feel for the world she has created. If you are at all like me you will want to read more right away.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Readaholic: Giveaway: Everlasting by Alyson Noel

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review - The Vampire Who Loved Me


Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin hated nothing more than the vampires who had turned her loved ones into creatures of the night…until she became one herself. Now her experimental vaccine has become more urgent than ever, and has made her the target of vampire security chief Achilles Stefanos. 


Built like a god with golden hair and an irresistible allure, Achilles made her feel passion the way no mortal man had before. Beck could no more deny her craving for him than she could the hated bloodlust in her veins. But when her vaccine fell into the wrong hands, Beck has a difficult choice to make—one that challenged everything she’d always believed…..

Dark and dangerous, the Sons of Midnight are a temptation that few can resist! 

My review:

I loved this story. The writing was great and the story just flowed. If you read and liked The Truth About Vampires then you want to pick this one up right away. If you havent read it, then you still need to pick this up.

This is a well-written vampire story that takes place in Seattle. This also shows one of my favorite things about vampire stories. The myth has so much flexibility to it and allows new unique stories to be developed.

The book is not long, but the characters are still well developed as is the setting. You really learn a lot about Beck and Achilles and you enjoy watching their relationship develop and unfold.

The backdrop of their story is about vampires just being reintroduced to the mortal public after being in hiding for a number of years. It really helps set the stage for future stories and gives the characters in this one plenty of conflict to resolve.

If you like vampire stories, this is one series you should not miss. If you are a paranormal fan, its also a series you should not miss. Pick up copies soon you wont be sorry. Im anxiously waiting the next story in the Sons of Midnight, cant wait to find out who it will be about and what happens next in their world.

Guest Post - Theresa Myers - The Vampire Who Loved Me

The Fun of Series

One of the things you have to love most about writing is getting the opportunity to dig into the stories of your secondary characters and that’s part of the reason I really enjoyed writing The Vampire Who Loved Me. From the moment Achilles Stefanos popped into the living room of my hero in The Truth About Vampires, and asked if the heroine was take-out, I knew he needed his own story. He was just bigger than life. It turned out so was the heroine’s best friend, Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin (who goes by Beck, if that gives you a sense of her personality.)

Sure, they were totally wrong for one another, but that only goaded me further in deciding I was going to drag both of them along into a story of their own.
Now if you’ve read The Truth About Vampires, or even the novella Salvation of the Damned, you can tell I’m fairly into world-building. My characters are not just plunked down street side in Seattle and letting their little lives unfold. There’s so much more going on that we only see snippets of here and there. And the reality is you’re going to see a whole lot more. The vampire culture is only one segment of the Sons of Midnight world (but I’m getting ahead of myself).

I wanted to make sure, while writing about this vampire society, that I really understood all the implications of what happens to people who do and don’t follow the rules. What happens to them? Why are those rules there in the first place? What are the consequences to others in the society? It’s those kinds of questions that swirl around in my head when I’m thinking up scenes or what happens next in the story.

What’s great about the series is that you can show these different elements of a society through the stories of the individuals. And not all of it has to be in one book. While each story stands on it’s own (because it’s fundamentally about the relationship between that hero and heroine), it’s also a little greater insight into the whole world of the Sons of Midnight mini series.

Sometime characters do their own thing. And when they do, usually the story is better for it. Now I happen to be a fan of the British television show Top Gear. They did an episode where they were testing the fastest cars in the world and one in particular made Achilles sit up and take notice. It was a Bugatti Veyron. Sleek, ultra low, sinful looking even. It was him to a T. And when I went to go look it up for research, I found out they actually had a Sang Noir edition of the car (literally black blood – which is the color of my vampire’s ichor.) Really how could I not let him have one? Especially when I could special order it with a blood red interior?

Okay, SPOILER ALERT, SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU HATE SPOILERS. Sorry, didn’t mean to scream, but wanted to get your attention. The last scene in the book almost didn’t make it in. My editor was very concerned that it would make Achilles seem less sympathetic. Really I think it makes him look more sympathetic. See, I know what my own husband was like when I was at home with a mid-wife with both our kids. (yes, I did home-birth, and yes, it was amazing.) I couldn’t see a better illustration of how totally blended these two individuals had become as a result of their imprint than to have to have them go through a birth experience together. The whole epilogue was one of those character detours.

With each book I’m discovering more and more about the world of the Sons of Midnight mini-series. It means I have to keep copious notes. What the different emotions smell like to the vampires. What rules they have. How the hierarchy in their clan system works. Names, dates. I tell you it’s like a book itself!

But I hope that it makes a more vivid reading experience for you. Because in the end, that’s why I do what I do. I want to share a story that engages you.

So, have I done my job?

Theresa Meyers Bio:

Raised by a bibliophile who made the dining room into a library, Theresa has always been a lover of books and stories. First a writer for newspapers, then for national magazines, she started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer's Digest course and putting the book under the bed until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993. In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, three cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd puppy, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden. You can find her online on Twitter, Facebook, at her Web site or blogging with the other Lolitas of STEAMED!



This guy was a vampire. As much as she hated
to admit it, if anyone knew what to look for in the signs
of a person changing into a vampire, it would be one.
Which meant she’d be pretty stupid to send him away,
especially since the pain wasn’t abating.

“For once in your life, Beck, stop trying to have a
game plan for everything and just go with this until we
can be certain what’s going on,” Kristin urged.

Beck sighed. Desperation won out over indignation.
She sure didn’t want to die, but she didn’t want to become
one of them, either. “Fine. But I’m only doing it as a favor
to you.”

The tension coming through the phone from Kristin’s
side instantly relaxed. “That’s good enough. Call me if
anything changes.”

“Sure. Night.” She stared for a second at the phone,
then handed it back to the stranger in her room.

He took it, scrupulously avoiding her touch as he did
so. “You didn’t believe that Kristin sent me.”
Beck cocked her head to the side. “If a strange man
entered your bedroom, in particular a vampire, would
you trust his word?”


“Right. Then cut me some slack.” She latched on
to the anger burning in her chest formed partly at her
own inability to stop the virus and partly at her needing
assistance from the very beings she detested. She needed
something to help her focus past the pain she felt. She
sighed, shoved her crazed curls out of her line of vision
and peered intently at him.

He had a thin faded scar that bisected his right
eyebrow, the stubble on his chin seemed just as golden
as his hair, but a shade darker.

This was the first time she’d really gotten to analyze
a vampire up close. Beck had to mentally switch off the
scientific section of her brain that was ready to go into
full investigative mode. “So you’re a vampire, huh?”

“So I’ve been told.” He gave her a playful grin that sent
heat spiraling down to her toes. The scent of rosemary
that tinged the air changed slightly, now underlined with
the smell of warm ocean. If she’d closed her eyes she
could have pretended to be on a strip of sand gazing out
at the azure water. But there was no way she was going
back to sleep with him in her house.

“Look, before we get into this too far, let me tell you
that I’m really against becoming a vampire. And I’m not
into being a donor girl, so don’t even ask. Are we clear?”
Of course even as she said the words, her curiosity about
him spiked further. Up until now her observations of
vampires, with the exception of Kris, had been from as
far a distance as possible while she formulated a way to
reverse the virus.

Did vampire fangs get in the way when you kissed?
Beck wiped her hand across her forehead. Wow. Maybe
she was sicker than she thought. There was no way,
absolutely no way, that she should even be contemplating
kissing a strange bloodsucker, no matter how gorgeous
he was, no matter how real the fantasy in her dreams
had been before she’d awoken. After all, she reminded
herself, no matter how normal he seemed—okay, who
was she kidding, he was way better than normal—he
was still one of them.

“Crystal clear. My only mission here is to protect you
and to mentor you through your transition.”

“Oh. Good. Glad we got that all straightened out.”
She finally lifted a hand out to him. “My friends call
me Beck.”

He grasped her hand lightly in his, then brushed a
skimming kiss against the back of it sending an electric
arc zinging up her pulse points. “Yes, but I like your given
name.” His eyes glittered as the pad of his thumb stroked
the soft underside of her wrist. “Rebecca…Rebecca…
Rebecca.” Her name came out a soft, seductive whisper
said so slowly, so deliberately, that it sounded like a
lover’s mantra.

She yanked back her tingling hand. “Stop saying

“Your name?”

She fidgeted, bunching the comforter more solidly
around her. “It just sounds wrong when you say it like
that. It makes me…uncomfortable.”

A killer smile lit up his face and made her heartbeat
stutter step. “That’s even better.” He was teasing her.
Beck whipped her body away from him so quickly
that a few of her annoying curls bounced, but at least she
could hide the tightening points of her breasts from his
view. “I’m not sure this mentor thing is going to work out
between us. I might need to see about getting someone

He chuckled, but it held a sad, hopeless edge to it.
From the corner of her eye she watched him crook his
finger at a wooden ladder-back chair she kept by her
dresser. It seemed to hover across the room and plant
itself on the floor behind him. She pulled up the bed
covers and tucked them securely under her armpits, then
twisted to face him again.

“That’s funny to you?”

He smiled in a good-natured way that seemed completely
at odds with his ass-kicking appearance, then
relaxed back into the old wooden chair. It creaked in
protest. “No, it simply shows how little you truly know
about vampires. Once you’ve been given a mentor, that
mentor is yours until one of you dies.”

Curling her legs close to her belly helped with the pain.
It did nothing for the nausea or the growing hunger that
had her cramping stomach growl annoyingly. “Hardly
likely given you’re undead.”

He slanted her a mild look. “Precisely.”

“So I’m stuck with you if I turn into a vampire.”

He leaned, tipping back in the precarious chair and
propped big booted feet up on the edge of the bed.
“That’s right, sweetling.”

With a sweep of her arm, she knocked his boots off
her bed. They landed with a heavy thud on the floor and
he arched a dark blond brow at her.

Beck ignored the look then got up and strode with
all the confidence she could muster in her semi-dressed
state toward her closet where she grabbed a pair of jeans
and yanked them on. She glanced at the clock. Five in
the morning. With any luck there’d be no one to bother
her until 7:00 a.m. and she could make some progress
in figuring this mess out before she couldn’t think at all.
Anything was better than staying here with a massive
vampire brooding over her with a gaze that was too
intense for her liking. “Good. Then it won’t be too long,
because I’m not becoming a vampire.”

He deliberately placed his boots back on her bed,
blocking her path to the bedroom door. “Where do you
think you’re going?”

She glanced down at his legs, then stepped over them.
“To work.”

He stretched in the chair, spreading out his arms that
had bulging biceps. He managed to take up even more
of her bedroom, if that was possible. Then he relaxed.
“I’ll go with you.”

Beck turned and pinned her best no-nonsense glare
on him, the one that usually cowed the most persistent
interns at the lab. “No. You’re not. I’m going to work.
You don’t work there.”

“Aren’t you the least bit interested in playing doctor
with me?” He grinned, showing normal, even, very
white teeth. The effect of his killer smile would have
been devastating to any normal woman. For Beck is
was catalytic. She hadn’t had a date in so long because
she’d been too focused on her research. She’d managed
to forget how the air in the room could shift and change
in an instant, wrapping around you like a heated blanket
when a guy as virile as this was close by. Okay, being
truly honest, she’d never dated someone like this. Not
even close. Why would she? He was a vampire. Oh, why
on earth had Kris sent him?

The intensity of him vibrated in the room. She felt
like a hydrophilic molecule to water, helpless to resist
him and that sensation took her aback for an instant. She
couldn’t feel attraction to a vampire. After all, look what
it had apparently gotten her mother. It wasn’t logical. Her
common sense scrambled trying to come up with some
fact she could fixate on instead of the rush and tumble
of sensations crashing around her insides. There was no
way she was going to answer his question.

“I thought vampires had fangs.” How she managed the
words when her mouth was so dry, she had no idea.
He leaned forward resting his thick forearms on the
tops of his black jean clad thighs. God, she bet his butt
looked spectacular in those jeans. Snap out of it, Doctor.
Remember there’s an us vs. them at work here and unless
you want to start playing for the other team, you better
freakin’ pull yourself together.

“Wanna see?” His eyes glittered.

Beck shook her head pressing her fingertips to her
throbbing temples. “Yes. No. I mean I don’t need you
to show me anything.”

“But you’re curious.” The teasing tone of his voice
was seductive enough to make her nipples pucker.
He’d definitely taken her mind off the pain that was
lessening now. A dull aching throb she didn’t like, but
could ignore if she concentrated. “No. I’m a scientist.
Any interest is purely out of a desire to bolster my current

He glanced at the platinum Rolex on his thick wrist.
“It’s 5:00 a.m. I give you four hours, maybe five, max.
By then you’ll be so hungry you’ll be begging me to help

Beck huffed and started walking out of the bedroom.
She stopped midstep and leaned back past the edge of
the doorjamb to catch his intense green gaze. Ask help
from a vampire? Ha! That would be the day. “You might
want to make a note. I don’t beg. Never have. Never will.
See you.” She wiggled her fingers, grabbed her purse and
streaked toward the front door as fast as her wobbly legs
would take her.

If she’d learned anything from her mother and her
own experience as a woman in a highly competitive male
dominated profession, it was that a man like that was
trouble with a capital, neon-outlined, throbbing T.