Archive for the ‘Sci-Fi’ Category

Sunday Snippet: Carnevale & Subterfuge

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CarnevaleAndSubterfuge_BySelenaIllyria-200x300Blurb:

If he can’t resist her, he’ll put her in danger…

On leave from her ship, Anarrae Lavender wants to indulge in her desires on Ill Doge. But a night on the town and one case of mistaken identity later, Anarrae finds herself in the arms of a charming and mysterious thief, having the hottest sexual encounter of her life. But who is that masked man with the talented hands who makes all her bondage fantasies come true? An when it’s over, how will she learn the identity of her lovable “Dodger?”

When Diego stops in at a pub for a drink he doesn’t expect to be mistaken for someone else. Intrigued by Ana, he kidnaps her for the evening and indulges her fantasies—and even some of his own. He doesn’t want it to be a one-night-stand, but his mission to protect the Ambassador from an assassin demands his complete anonymity. The assassin’s eyes are everywhere, and if he loses his focus again, he’ll endanger them all…

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Excerpt:

Diego was tired but his mind refused to shut off. Tomorrow was the last day for them. He would have to let her go. Sorrow lanced his heart. They had shared something special, and now he wasn’t sure which way was up or what day it was. All that mattered was this moment with her in his arms. “Goddess, help me but I think I could fall in love with her.”

He shook his head. He was going to have to talk to Roberto tomorrow. He would know what to do.

Finally, sleep took him. They slept for a few hours, only to have him wake her up again and again to make love. They paused only to eat, shower, and sleep. Diego didn’t care if they never left his flat. The world outside his door didn’t exist as far as he was concerned. All that mattered was spending as much time as he could with her.

That night, before they went to sleep, she’d ruined everything by thanking him for giving her such a memorable vacation. He’d wanted to argue, say something cruel to make her feel the pain that was slicing through his soul, but nothing came out. All he could do was say, “You’re welcome.” And he gave her a huge hug despite the fact that his heart was breaking.

When they went to bed later that night, he couldn’t sleep. All he could do was hold her and pray that he could stay away from her while onboard the ship. If he failed, there was no telling what would happen to them.

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Sunday Snippet: Carnevale and Subterfuge

OUT NOW at Etopia Press!

CarnevaleAndSubterfuge_BySelenaIllyria-200x300Blurb:

If he can’t resist her, he’ll put her in danger…

On leave from her ship, Anarrae Lavender wants to indulge in her desires on Ill Doge. But a night on the town and one case of mistaken identity later, Anarrae finds herself in the arms of a charming and mysterious thief, having the hottest sexual encounter of her life. But who is that masked man with the talented hands who makes all her bondage fantasies come true? An when it’s over, how will she learn the identity of her lovable “Dodger?”

When Diego stops in at a pub for a drink he doesn’t expect to be mistaken for someone else. Intrigued by Ana, he kidnaps her for the evening and indulges her fantasies—and even some of his own. He doesn’t want it to be a one-night-stand, but his mission to protect the Ambassador from an assassin demands his complete anonymity. The assassin’s eyes are everywhere, and if he loses his focus again, he’ll endanger them all…

 

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(Rated PG-13 Excerpt)

Excerpt:

Normally she liked to know more about her lovers, but this was supposed to have been a fantasy weekend, not form-a-connection-with-a-stranger weekend. She blew out a breath and looked around. One more day in this amazing place was all she had. The scent of coffee and incense perfumed the air in an odd mix that both soothed and energized. Ana couldn’t wait to see this world through his eyes. She was pretty sure they’d miss all the tourist traps and go straight to the gems.

As the people passed by the café, Ana sipped her coffee. Something inside her unwound. She felt more relaxed than she’d ever known. On the ship, there was always tension until she went to bed at night. Once she got up it started all over again. Here, right now, she could breathe and be herself with someone who seemed to care and who actually saw her. She just wished there weren’t so many things standing in the way. Captain Drogan would have little humor if he found out she’d willingly spent her weekend with a known criminal.

What would it be like to be with him always? To actually form a relationship with him? She pushed those thoughts away. The fact that she trusted him didn’t mean anything. Besides, all they had was attraction. That was it. Could one build a relationship with just that? She didn’t want to think about it anymore.

Ana finished off her coffee and waved over the waiter. After paying the bill she sat, unable to decide what to do. Dodger was still talking to that man. Part of her wanted to just go, to just leave this place and disappear into the crowd. The more time she spent with him, the harder it would be to forget him when it came time to leave. She did want to get the tour of the places the locals hung at, but not if that meant tearing up when they parted come nightfall. That’s exactly what she knew would happen.

After a bit of wavering, she made her decision and scribbled out a quick lie on the napkin about having been called back to the ship early. She thanked him for the wonderful time. Then Anarrae flagged down the waiter and asked that the napkin be given to Dodger five minutes after she left. She stood up and slipped into the crowd hoping, praying, that he wouldn’t come after her.

When ten minutes passed and she didn’t hear him calling after her, relief swept through her, but on the heels of that feeling an ache took residence in her chest and she wasn’t sure why. She told herself that it was only a weekend, nothing more.

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Snippet Sunday: Carnevale & Subterfuge

OUT NOW at Etopia Press!

CarnevaleAndSubterfuge_BySelenaIllyria-200x300Blurb:

If he can’t resist her, he’ll put her in danger…

On leave from her ship, Anarrae Lavender wants to indulge in her desires on Ill Doge. But a night on the town and one case of mistaken identity later, Anarrae finds herself in the arms of a charming and mysterious thief, having the hottest sexual encounter of her life. But who is that masked man with the talented hands who makes all her bondage fantasies come true? An when it’s over, how will she learn the identity of her lovable “Dodger?”

When Diego stops in at a pub for a drink he doesn’t expect to be mistaken for someone else. Intrigued by Ana, he kidnaps her for the evening and indulges her fantasies—and even some of his own. He doesn’t want it to be a one-night-stand, but his mission to protect the Ambassador from an assassin demands his complete anonymity. The assassin’s eyes are everywhere, and if he loses his focus again, he’ll endanger them all…

 

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(Rated R Excerpt)

Excerpt:

The beauty’s voice, soft and sweet, edged in huskiness, only enflamed him, and it had been so long since someone had caught his attention like that. A soft fire burned through his veins.

Screw it.

He paid for his drink and left the bar in search of her, despite the fact that he had a job to do. He hated the thought of some other man spending the night in her bed. The only problem he could see was whether or not she’d be interested in what he had to offer.

At first the crowd obscured his view of his prey. He looked left and then right. All he saw were masked revelers celebrating the planet’s annual Carnevale festivities. Frustration made him clench his jaw. He waded into the crowd of people, cursing himself for not going after her as soon as she’d left. There were too many people. With a sigh, he went around the side of the building into an alleyway, ignoring a couple currently fucking against the worn brick face.

Diego brought his wrist up to his mouth. “AI, show me all the hotels within a five mile radius.”

He lowered his arm and watched the mini device search its database.

“Closest hotel is two blocks away,” the AI’s soft female voice replied. “San Marco. Go west.”

“Thank you, AI. Send a message to my appointment that I will be late,” Diego ordered. He refused to say he wouldn’t be there.

“As you wish.” The machine automatically went into sleep mode, and he headed west. It didn’t take him long to come to one of the gaudy new metallic hotels that had been built by the nuovi ricchi of the city, who had wanted to modernize everything. He shook his head and went inside.

Diego made a beeline for the front desk. Once there he cursed himself. He didn’t know her name. The receptionist tuned to him, expectation on her face. Which approach should he use?

“Good evening, love. I’m new to the city and am in need of directions. I’m looking for the Il Grifone gardens? I’m hoping you could help me.” He gave her his most winning smile and watched as she grinned back at him. Her overly large violet eyes turned to her computer console and she typed in a few things. Frown lines creased her brow as she continued to type.

“I’m sorry, sir, I don’t see anything with that name.”

“Please,” he pleaded. “I must find this place. My grandmother, the Universe rest her soul…it was her favorite place in all of Il Doge. She asked me to see it for her and gaze up at the double moons on Carnevale night. She claimed it would bring me luck in love.” He knew he was laying it on a bit thick, but an honorable grandson worked better than a horny man.

The receptionist’s gaze softened. “I shall do whatever I need to do. Excuse me while I go check with my boss.”

Diego nodded and watched her retreat through the office door. That would keep her busy for quite some time, since there was no such place as the Il Grifone gardens. With a big grin, he rushed around the large counter. “AI, give the security team something to keep them busy. I’ll hack into the system and look for my girl.”

“Don’t you think you should just find someone else?” his AI asked.

Diego frowned. “Just do it. I don’t need your sass.”

He swore he could hear the device sigh. The lights dimmed and the various screens on the walls began showing porn. He couldn’t help but chuckle. He searched until he found the security footage and scrolled through the last hour until he found who he was looking for. He accessed and memorized her info. With that done, he ordered his AI to erase his tracks and dashed to the stairs.

By the time he got to her floor, sweat was dripping down his brow, making his skin itch behind the mask.

“She better be a good fuck, for all the trouble you’re going through,” his AI muttered, coming out of sleep mode.

“You can shut up before I put you in pause mode.” Diego threatened. His eyes roamed over the LED panels on the doors.

“You do that and I’ll take my sweet time coming back online when you need me,” she said.

“I should never have insisted you have an AI core. Keep this up and I won’t find you a body.” The AI had no come back to that.

Diego finally found Anarrae’s room and pondered whether to knock or break in.

“AI, access her file and find out why she was looking for a prossy.”

“First you threaten me and now I’m supposed to help you? Cristo, cosa non faccio…” she sighed and brought up the files.

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OUT NOW! Hades Helmet Crew 2: Carnevale and Subterfuge

OUT NOW!  Hades Helmet Crew 2: Carnevale and Subterfuge

from Etopia Press

Blurb:

If he can’t resist her, he’ll put her in danger…

On leave from her ship, Anarrae Lavender wants to indulge in her desires on Ill Doge. But a night on the town and one case of mistaken identity later, Anarrae finds herself in the arms of a charming and mysterious thief, having the hottest sexual encounter of her life. But who is that masked man with the talented hands who makes all her bondage fantasies come true? An when it’s over, how will she learn the identity of her lovable “Dodger?”

When Diego stops in at a pub for a drink he doesn’t expect to be mistaken for someone else. Intrigued by Ana, he kidnaps her for the evening and indulges her fantasies—and even some of his own. He doesn’t want it to be a one-night-stand, but his mission to protect the Ambassador from an assassin demands his complete anonymity. The assassin’s eyes are everywhere, and if he loses his focus again, he’ll endanger them all…

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Excerpt:

Diego watched the woman walk away. His cock pressed against his pants, urging him to go after the small package of deliciousness. He had to admit, he would have gone for her in a heartbeat if he hadn’t had somewhere to be. She was curved in all the right places. Her milk chocolate complexion had him wanting to see her naked and to run his hands over her body.

The beauty’s voice, soft and sweet, edged in huskiness, only enflamed him, and it had been so long since someone had caught his attention like that. A soft fire burned through his veins.

Screw it.

He paid for his drink and left the bar in search of her, despite the fact that he had a job to do. He hated the thought of some other man spending the night in her bed. The only problem he could see was whether or not she’d be interested in what he had to offer.

At first the crowd obscured his view of his prey. He looked left and then right. All he saw were masked revelers celebrating the planet’s annual Carnevale festivities. Frustration made him clench his jaw. He waded into the crowd of people, cursing himself for not going after her as soon as she’d left. There were too many people. With a sigh, he went around the side of the building into an alleyway, ignoring a couple currently fucking against the worn brick face.

Diego brought his wrist up to his mouth. “AI, show me all the hotels within a five mile radius.”

He lowered his arm and watched the mini device search its database.

“Closest hotel is two blocks away,” the AI’s soft female voice replied. “San Marco. Go west.”

“Thank you, AI. Send a message to my appointment that I will be late,” Diego ordered. He refused to say he wouldn’t be there.

“As you wish.” The machine automatically went into sleep mode, and he headed west. It didn’t take him long to come to one of the gaudy new metallic hotels that had been built by the nuovi ricchi of the city, who had wanted to modernize everything. He shook his head and went inside.

Diego made a beeline for the front desk. Once there he cursed himself. He didn’t know her name. The receptionist tuned to him, expectation on her face. Which approach should he use?

“Good evening, love. I’m new to the city and am in need of directions. I’m looking for the Il Grifone gardens? I’m hoping you could help me.” He gave her his most winning smile and watched as she grinned back at him. Her overly large violet eyes turned to her computer console and she typed in a few things. Frown lines creased her brow as she continued to type.

“I’m sorry, sir, I don’t see anything with that name.”

“Please,” he pleaded. “I must find this place. My grandmother, the Universe rest her soul…it was her favorite place in all of Il Doge. She asked me to see it for her and gaze up at the double moons on Carnevale night. She claimed it would bring me luck in love.” He knew he was laying it on a bit thick, but an honorable grandson worked better than a horny man.

The receptionist’s gaze softened. “I shall do whatever I need to do. Excuse me while I go check with my boss.”

Diego nodded and watched her retreat through the office door. That would keep her busy for quite some time, since there was no such place as the Il Grifone gardens. With a big grin, he rushed around the large counter. “AI, give the security team something to keep them busy. I’ll hack into the system and look for my girl.”

“Don’t you think you should just find someone else?” his AI asked.

Diego frowned. “Just do it. I don’t need your sass.”

He swore he could hear the device sigh. The lights dimmed and the various screens on the walls began showing porn. He couldn’t help but chuckle. He searched until he found the security footage and scrolled through the last hour until he found who he was looking for. He accessed and memorized her info. With that done, he ordered his AI to erase his tracks and dashed to the stairs.

By the time he got to her floor, sweat was dripping down his brow, making his skin itch behind the mask.

“She better be a good fuck, for all the trouble you’re going through,” his AI muttered, coming out of sleep mode.

“You can shut up before I put you in pause mode.” Diego threatened. His eyes roamed over the LED panels on the doors.

“You do that and I’ll take my sweet time coming back online when you need me,” she said.

“I should never have insisted you have an AI core. Keep this up and I won’t find you a body.” The AI had no come back to that.

Diego finally found Anarrae’s room and pondered whether to knock or break in.

“AI, access her file and find out why she was looking for a prossy.”

“First you threaten me and now I’m supposed to help you? Cristo, cosa non faccio…” she sighed and brought up the files.

The clear lens on Diego’s mask scrolled through the information. “Interesting. She’s come here for some sort of sexcapade. She wants to be tied down, fucked…oh, no names to be exchanged. Kidnapping optional.” Diego’s lips curled into a smile. “What the lady wants, she’ll get. Wait, what’s this? She’s a crewmember on the Hades’ Helmet. Oh, this night just keeps getting better and better.”

Diego pulled out a small plug on the side of the wrist computer and connected it into the monitor on the door. “AI, bypass the security systems, please.”

“Fine, fine, whatever you want, sir,” the AI grumped.

The screen flickered and then dimmed to black. A small click indicated the lock was undone. Diego slipped into the darkened room. “This is so much more fun than conning the rich and stupid at the Silver Ball. And much more interesting than fucking dumb socialites so I can get their gems.”

“Hey, you have to fuck them. I have to watch,” the AI whispered. “You better turn me off when you’re doing whatever it is you’re about to do her.”

“I wouldn’t do that to you. Besides, for her I want privacy.”

“Really? You’re gonna treat her like a person instead of a warm body? Nice. What’d you do, grow some feelings in the last few minutes? Last I checked, you’re still a conman right?”

Diego said nothing. Something about this woman intrigued him. He couldn’t tell whether it was the horror he had witnessed on her face at the bar when she’d been mistaken or the fact that she wasn’t like the spoiled brats he normally wooed and conned. Something about her made him want to see what was under the surface. He snorted silently to himself. Perhaps the AI was right. She wasn’t just a warm body to him.

He slipped carefully through the suite. He’d been in rooms like this hundreds of times. He’d never kidnapped a person before. He’d stolen large statues, large paintings, and even a suit of armor with ten arms, but never a person. He prayed his first kidnapping would go smoothly.

In the dark, with his cybernetic implants, his night vision was activated, and he saw large landscape paintings that could be found at any other high-end hotel. Diego refocused his attention on the task at hand. He was going to give the intriguing Anarrae the night of her life. With great care he passed through the sitting room, bypassed the kitchenette, and went into the bedroom, avoiding discarded boots, a uniform, some gloves, a com/GPS unit, a bra and some underwear.

“Oh, saints alive, she’s naked.” Diego’s cock pressed against the fly of his pants. He groaned as his stomach clenched. The pace of his heart increased as excitement rose within him.

“Get a grip, you moron. Focus and don’t let your dick do the thinking,” the AI said through a small com unit in the mask.

With a deep breath, Diego refocused his energy on getting to the bed. The soft rustle of sheets was like a gunshot in the silent room. He stilled and strained his cybernetics to hear her breathing patterns. Slow and steady. Relief washed over him and he began to move again. She wasn’t getting up. One single scream would send the sensors in the suite into panic mode, and security would be up to her room in flash, ruining his kidnapping attempt.

He approached her bed and paused to take in her sleeping form. The smell of jasmine from Earth, along with the barest hint of arousal, perfumed the air. It was a heady combination.

“Only screams and moans tonight,” he whispered before pulling the sheets back and scooping her body up in his arms. Then he stopped.

“She’s naked, idiot,” his AI said.

“I know.” Diego gazed down her body. She was fit, with small high breasts, flat stomach, and wide hips. Just gorgeous. Even her toes were perfect.

“Stop staring. Cover her up and then get out of here. Did you forget that you are wanted in three galaxies? Get her and get out of here, Casanova, or you’re dead meat.”

Diego pulled a sheet from the bed, laid her down on it, and wrapped her body up before picking her up again. She moaned but didn’t stir. It must have been the Nastro azzurro ale she had had at the bar. The alcohol on Il Doge was at least a hundred times more potent anywhere else in the galaxy. If she hadn’t eaten she’d be out for a while.

“This would be so much easier if you just woke her up and told her to get dressed,” his AI said.

“She’ll scream. Now find me the best route to get out of here. Also, screw with the security systems again.”

“Fine, fine. But when I get my body, it better be the best one they have. I want it all, you got me? I won’t be some freaking metallic monstrosity, with those weird-ass eyes and mechanical voice.”

“Yes, yes, whatever. Work your magic,” Diego said.

“Security system off. I’m logging off for the night.”

He felt the AI go offline. The slight buzz that usually went through his body was gone. Taking a deep breath, he left the suite and took his time going down the stairs, mindful that he had Anarrae in his arms. He managed to make it safely out of the hotel. It was Carnevale. No one would think twice about the sight they made. It was normal for this time of year. He carried her five blocks to his flat overlooking the river Rivergaro.

He managed to get into his building without the AI’s help and up to his apartment. Once there, he laid her carefully down on the bed, stripped her of the sheets, and shackled her to the iron headboard and footboard.

Her hair was spread out like a dark brown halo against his dark red, silk pillows. Her milk chocolate skin looked decadent, like an offering, surrounded by red and black striped silk. Diego couldn’t wait to feast on every inch of her body and make her scream and writhe in pleasure.

“You want a Carnevale you will never forget, bella? You got it,” he murmured, stripping out of his coat and throwing it on a nearby chair. For the next half hour he took great care choosing his implements of arousal for her. When she finally woke up, he grinned at her confused and sleepy eyes.

“Hello, bella, are you ready to be fucked within an inch of your life?” Diego asked in a gruff voice.

 

Book Tidbit:

First I will be forever grateful to Sophia Titheniel for her help with the Italian and for being so supportive and kick ass. Her feedback and giving me her time meant so much. *Sending Hugs and love to her* This book has a special place for me. Going to Carnevale in Venice is a Wish List item. Il Doge is based a bit on it and Venice. This book was previously published as two separate stories. Now it’s been combined and updated. I hope you like this book. I loved writing it. It brings me great happiness to share Ana and Diego’s story with you again.

Contest:

Tell me what place in the world you’d love to visit for a chance to win a copy of At Drogan’s Command the first in the Hades Helmet series.

Deadline: Friday, May, 05, 2014. Winner will be annouced Saturday May 06, 2014

Good Luck!

Se

OUT NOW! HHC: At Drogan’s Command

Series: Hades Helmet Crew 

Excerpt Rating (PG-13),  

Out Now! 

Series: Hades Helmet Crew 

Genre: Sci-Fi/Futuristic, Paranormal, Interracial, BDSM 

ISBN:9781940223391  

Novella 

 

Blurb:

He commands her body…but can he win her heart?

 

Who knew one little disc could cause so much trouble? Certainly not Rena, until the disc in question—the one in which she lives out every sexual fantasy she’s ever had, including a few inspired by her crush, Captain Drogan Carter—falls into the wrong hands. Drogan’s.

Rena is desperate to get it back—she can’t let him know all her darkest, dirtiest secrets…

 

When Drogan finds the disc and watches the very private contents, his first feeling is guilt. But that guilt soon turns to a raw, sexual need to have the wanton, carefree Rena in his bed. He knows she’ll never come to him willingly, but once he gets her, he’ll have plenty of time to win her over, and to prove to her that reality can be so much better than fantasy. But first he needs a plan, a way to get her right where he wants her: at his command.

 

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Excerpt: 

Captain Drogan Carter groaned inwardly. He tried not to stare at the firm backside of his assistant as she bent over to retrieve a paper. He clenched his teeth and tried to focus on what his second in command was saying, but out of the corner of his eye he watched Rena straighten up and place the paper back on the pile in her arms. She brushed a stray dark-brown tendril of hair out of her face and punched her access code into the security panel.

“So, the mission would be a good idea. We get to recharge our solar panels, fuel up, and buy supplies all at the same time. What do you think? Should we stop at Green-23t?”

Drogan blinked and pulled his attention back to his second in command, Lieutenant Jason Mercy.

“Sounds like a good idea. Have Rena put it on the schedule. We’ll do the run after we stop at Earth in the next few weeks.”

Jason nodded and made his way toward the captain’s private office.

Drogan blew out a breath. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue ignoring his attraction to Rena Morrigan. His assistant was driving him crazy. From day one, when he first hired her, he had been attracted to her. Now things were out of control. He couldn’t even smell the scent of jasmine without getting hard. If he thought he heard her voice, he would track down the source just to see if it was her. He found himself taking the long way to his quarters just to catch a glimpse of her.

He was obsessed and there were only two options before him: fuck her and get them both fired, or fire her and then fuck her. Neither option appealed to him. He loved his job as captain of the Venetian S89-class spaceship Hades’ Helmet. He wasn’t about to let some crush jeopardize his career. But his attraction to Rena had become a dangerous distraction. He wasn’t just dreaming or fantasizing about her at night. Now his mind would wander during the day, and he would find himself thinking about all the things he’d like to do to her.

He sighed. Damn it. She was one of the best assistants he had ever had. She put up with all his demands, and if he got even a toe out of line she would straighten him out in no time flat. More than that, she was a person he could confide in, have a laugh and a drink with, and just be himself around. The thought of being without Rena actually scared him.

Drogan looked over to his office and watched the doors slide open. Rena stepped across the threshold, smiling at Jason. Her smile warmed Drogan, even as he frowned. Jason Mercy was known to be one of the lady-killers of the crew. Was he flirting with her? Drogan glowered at the thought that Jason was after Rena. He almost stood up to tell his second in command to back off. Instead, he remained seated and gritted his teeth.

Rena looked up at him, her smile faltering on her lush, full lips.

“Captain, sir. Is something wrong?”

Drogan found himself pleased by her worried tone. “No, no, just tired. Been a long journey.”

“Oh, well, you should get some rest, sir, if you don’t mind me saying.”

He watched her look away shyly. Her concern touched him. His heart expanded in his chest and he grinned. The evil voice of a man who had gone six months with only his hand as a form of release slipped into his mind. He wouldn’t mind getting some rest after fucking her.

Drogan’s cock twitched in his pants and he clenched his jaw as an image of her curled up naked beside him entered his mind. He cleared his throat, trying to regain some of his control.

“Thank you for your concern, Rena. I will.” His voice was slightly husky from arousal.

Rena looked up at him and blinked, only to nod her head and leave the bridge. Drogan blew out a sigh and tilted his head back, closing his eyes and willing his body to calm down.

“You okay, Captain?” Jason asked.

“Yes, just tired.”

“Go on, Captain. I’ll take over. There’s nothing happening right now. Don’t worry about a thing.”

Drogan opened his eyes and stood up. Nodding to Jason, he left the bridge and headed for his quarters. The ship was silent and still. He loved this time in the voyage. No crew members rushing around bumping into each other. No murmuring through the halls and in the lifts. Just quiet.

He leaned against the back of the elevator and closed his eyes.

“Rena,” he whispered. He groaned aloud as the ache in his groin increased. He needed relief. Two years she had been on the ship, and not once had she given him a sign that she was interested. It was against regulations for crew to become involved, and Rena cared about regulations almost as much as he did.

 

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Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Cynnara Tregarth

Saving the Father- Hero’s Redemption of Evil

It’s not a secret, but somehow, not everyone knows I’m a Luke Skywalker fan. Yes, there’s the rogue Han Solo, but as much as I enjoyed him, there was an elemental call from Luke to me that profoundly affected me for many years. It wasn’t until I heard a speech given by a mythology professor that I realized on why Luke attracted me so much. He’s a hero not only defeating evil, but also redeeming it.
I spent much of my teen years in major angst over the whole Light side and Dark side of the Force. But more than that, I completely sympathized with Luke’s reluctant yet willing role as a hero. I wanted to be at his side as he helped the Rebellion fight the Empire as he became the last of the Jedi Order.
At the end of A New Hope, I was very much anti-Darth Vader. If I had a lightsaber, that villain would have been toast! The one thing I knew was that even though he escaped via Tie Fighter at the end of the movie, I knew one day he and Luke would face off and it’d be the kiss of death for the evil one. In fact, I was counting on that one point- in all major stories, good always triumphs over evil. Then I watched The Empire Strikes Back and my heart stopped dead in my chest as the most gods awful truth was revealed- the villainous Darth Vader was none other than Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker.
My core belief about good conquering evil was shaken. A Jedi Knight had gone to the Dark side! At this point, I had learned more about the Emperor and I was ready to unleash my fury because everyone knows that evil can’t be allowed to exist or even to win. There was a part of me that mourned the fact that Anakin Skywalker, called Darth Vader, was the reason for the wholesale destruction of the Jedi Knights. I didn’t know how anyone could do it to those he knew. How could Luke reconcile that one day he’d have to kill his father.
I impatiently waited until Return of the Jedi came out. Then the scene that foreshadowed exactly how Luke would handle that very question arrived. It was when he stood before Jabba the Hutt, demanding his friends to be released and let bygones be gone. His quiet faith, his calm demeanor was new, humbling and foretelling. By giving this galactic gangster a chance to do what was right, by embracing the truth of the Jedi way, I knew what would come when he faced Darth Vader for the final time. Luke had become the last Jedi and tried to emulate both Yoda and Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi.

Quietly came the confrontation on Endor. It became subtly, with comments from him to his father about sensing the good within him. Then we saw the true evil- the Emperor Palpatine. Their confrontation was in a way the true confrontation though it came down to Darth Vader and Luke fighting. Even as they fought physically, Luke spent the time talking to his father, trying to make him see reason and turn from Dark side. Each point he made was to remind Darth of the fact he wasn’t always Darth Vader, scourge of the universe, but also Anakin Skywalker, someone who was a Jedi Knight.
Yet in the end, it was Darth Vader who physically saved his son, when the Emperor attacked Luke. We can see Darth look from his son to the Emperor and back. You can almost see the moment when all of Luke’s actions and words have connected to push him into throwing the Emperor over the railing. In the end, we see a dying Darth Vader who has done what none of us considered possible- he’s redeemed himself in the eyes of his son and of the audience.

Heroes can not only learn and grow, but they can also redeem the bad guy. What amazed me is that in turn, I started thinking more and more about how bad guys aren’t always the bad guys in the long term. They can start off good or even start bad, but they can redeem themselves when things show to be in a new paradigm, requiring them to act for a bigger payoff- one that evil can’t top. Which is why for me, Luke Skywalker is my favourite hero and one I’ll never give up; he taught me the value of redemption.

Cynnara Bio:

Currently living in the state that resembles one of her favourite male body parts,(otherwise known as Florida), Cynnara Tregarth learned early how to read, write and entertain. Due to her mother, Cynnara spent way too much on books, but then again, it sent her on the quest for immortality.

Early in 2003, she found that route by getting her books published. Since then, she’s learned even more about love, life, sexuality, and how to annoy gods, goddesses, and siblings of all kinds.

You can find her at the following places:
Her website: http://www.cynnara.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cynnara-Tregarth-Author/120948877963246?ref=ts
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cynnara

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Mina Carter

Heroes are always a complex subject, especially in fiction and particularly in romantic fiction. On the surface of it, they seem simple. The hero is the good guy with the perfect moral compass, who always does what’s right and gets the girl. Right?

Yeah, I suppose. But, being honest? That’s the sort of hero who bores me to tears. I don’t like reading them and I sure as eggs is eggs don’t like writing them. A writer has to like his or her hero, and even fall in love with them a little themselves, otherwise how can we do their story any justice or even write a story that is credible?

My heroes are usually deeply conflicted, not perfect, and even sometimes can be considered down-right bastards. But deep within, there is something there that is redeemable. Something about them which is just waiting for the right circumstance, and the right woman to come along to make them shine, or show them the way to being the man they want to be, and of course, the hero I want to write about.

Let me share with you my thoughts on one of my favourite heroes. I make no secret of the fact I am a Jensen Ackles fan. I’ve been hooked since watching him play on Dark Angel with Jessica Alba. But my favourite role of his has to be Dean Winchester.

Like my heroes, on the surface Dean isn’t hero material. He’s rough, violent, has questionable morals when it comes to women (okay, the lad’s got the morals of an alley cat at times) and has a more meaningful link with his car than most people. He’s a liar, a conman and for a good portion of the series’es (how the hell do you make series plural anyway?) he’s wanted for murder.

If we dig a little deeper though, there is something compelling and actually heart-rending about the character. He lost his mother at a very young age, but not young enough that he doesn’t remember her like his brother, and grew up dealing with his Dad’s one-man war against everything that goes bump in the night.

He didn’t have a normal childhood, instead moved from pillar to post as John Winchester hunted, and being responsible for his little brother for large periods of time. Both boys were brought up with the knowledge that the monster under the bed isn’t a story, but is real, and how to kill it in a variety of bloody and brutal ways.

As the story progresses, we see different facets of Dean’s character revealed like little gems. His ability to kill can’t be questioned, and he’d rather take that on himself than let his brother do it and suffer agony over it. He spent time in hell and started the apocalypse, but he fights harder than anyone to put that right.

The sweetest episodes for me are the ones were we see what Dean actually wants. Far from the gung-ho, action-driven lifestyle he has, and which most men would kill for in their dreams, he wants a home and family. He wants to be normal.

However, when the shit hits the fan, and the world is about to end…even though he can’t do anything and the very attempt will probably kill him…he doesn’t back down. He faces down the devil himself to try and save his brother.

Violent, egotistical, arrogant…determined to do right, unbelievably noble and sweet as all hell. That’s why Dean Winchester is one of my favourite heroes.

Coming to Ellora's Cave March 11th

Mina Carter Bio:
Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.

Coming to Summer House Publishing March 28th, 2011

Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few. A veteran Star Trek RPGer, she’s run both games and groups of games but now finds her home in Bravo Fleet, one of the internet’s oldest Star Trek simm groups.

She juggles being a mum, working full time and writing, tossing another ball in the air with her cover artwork. For Mina, writing time is the wee hours of the morning before anyone wakes up and starts making demands, or any spare minute that can be begged, bought or conned.

Her first stories were penned at age 11, when she used a stationery set meant for Christmas thank you letters to write stories instead. More recently, she wrote for her own amusement and to save on outrageous monthly book bills. Now she’s totally addicted and needs her daily writing fix or heads roll!

Website: http://mina-carter.com/

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Kim Knox

Primal, dark and dangerous. What’s not to love?

I was twisted early into favouring the anti-hero, the man with ambiguous morality, the man who isn’t afraid to walk—and possibly cross—the line into darkness.

Kerr Avon, one of the main characters from Blake’s 7 was my first, if improbable crush. A thief, a convict, a murderer…in the end Avon went completely to the darkside. He realised it in the final moments when he killed the only man he’d ever admired. And then the BBC went and killed him. I’ve never quite forgiven them for that.

So…jump forward more than a few years and the imprint of Avon is still with me. I look for it in books, in films in the heroes that often pull me to write their stories. Primal, sometimes bitter, tough, clever, not willing to play by conventional rules but following his own integral sense of honour. He will do what needs to be done. Regardless. And there’s a vicious charm there too, edged with a dangerous sexuality…

In real life, I’d run like hell from men like this. In fiction? I eat them alive.
I think the darkest hero I’ve written is John Ramius in Breaking Chance. He started out as an idea between friends. We wanted to write stories with a very dark hero…and a high body count. So enter Ramius, a criminally insane convicted mass murderer who’d killed fifty three men in as many minutes. Avon would be so proud!

Then I had the fun of making Ramius exactly what the heroine needed…

Breaking Chance Buy Link: Samhain Publishing, AReKindle, Nook, Borders

Blurb
What a girl wants and what a girl needs are sometimes two different things…

For Melissa “Lucky” Chance, another stretch in Ganymede’s ice prison is nothing new. The flash-freeze that’s supposed to destroy her will only leaves her with an insatiable desire for the first hot body she lays eyes on. Except this time, she faces a death sentence. Her only hope of escape lies with the man known as The Butcher.

John Ramius understands the logic behind his conviction as a criminally insane mass murderer. No man should have been able to slaughter over fifty men in as many minutes, but no one sees the underlying curse that compels him to sense—and fulfill—someone’s deepest need. Chance’s skill will free him to kill the Sun-King; he will find no rest until he does.

As they run from the forces of the Jovian colonies, Ramius finds himself temporarily sidetracked, not only by Chance’s relentless desire, but by her underlying, unspoken need. Ignoring it—or his own compulsion to do every wicked thing imaginable to her—is not an option.

Only after all their defenses are stripped away do they discover that their meeting wasn’t by chance. Someone is manipulating them both, and the only way out is the path to their destruction…

Product Warnings
This book contains explicit sex, thieves, murderers, a sentient ship and a hero who will give you exactly what you need.

Breaking Chance Excerpt
©2010 Kim Knox
“You have a kink?”
Ramius snorted and his fingers paused as they unfastened the second gun. “Yes, you could say I have a kink.”

“All right, now I’m curious.”

He met her gaze, and the warmth of humour left her. The cold face of a killer held her, all sense— possibly pretence—of banter gone. Her heart thudded in the endless, silent seconds and, damn it, his dark side tugged at her. A light shone in his eyes, and Chance recognised the quick surge of lust, felt it echoed in her own flesh. His change was palpable. Had her curiosity sparked something in him?

“Don’t be.”

“Why?”

Ramius pushed himself up and her heart gave an excited jump. She was crazy, she was, to continue to push him. He was the Butcher and she’d seen the grisly evidence of his work…but… He was closing the distance between them with predatory grace. Blood pounded in her temples and her body ached. Sex made her feel alive, and every part of her burned right then.

Ramius took the mug from her lax fingers and put it behind her. His body blocked her and he gripped the edge of the counter, trapping her. Chance held his shadowed gaze, finding the familiar curl of lust and something else she couldn’t name. He leaned in, his mouth almost, almost, brushing her lips, and she drew in a sharp breath. “I don’t play games, Chance. I can’t.” His mouth moved and his whisper stirred the shell of her ear. She swallowed. “I’ve thought about fucking you, hard, fast, up against the nearest wall.” He paused, and in the short silence there was only the pounding of blood in her ears. “I know that’s the way you want it.” Ramius leaned in closer. “But I won’t ever do that.”

Her fingers curled into her palms, nails digging sharp into her skin, and she held her hands tight to her breastbone. If she pushed her hands against the hardness of his chest, felt the thud of his heart, the warmth of his skin…she would have to nip at his tempting earlobe.

His scent, spiced, seductive, wrapped around her. He was so tempting… Chance teased with the tip of her tongue, tasting his skin. She moaned. John Ramius tasted even better than he looked.

“Chance…” The soft growl forced her fingers to clutch at his shirt. “Stop now, and I won’t take this further.”
His words sounded reasonable, but she didn’t miss the need thickening his voice. A need that also spun though her blood. She nipped at his earlobe and his hiss burned her skin. “I think you will.”

Out Now at Ellora's Cave

Bio
Kim lives on an ancient boundary line, once marked by a Neolithic burial tomb. The tomb’s now a standing stone circle–thank the Georgians for that one–and stirs her mind with thoughts of history and ancient myths. She mixes the essence of the past into fantasy, along with the essential mix of magic and sex. She also writes science fiction romance, pushing out into the far future with effortlessly sexy men and the women who can’t resist them.

Website: www.kim-knox.co.uk
Blog: www.darknessandromance.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kim-Knox/100915259965690
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kimknox

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Silvia Violet

Captain Mal, The Ultimate Antihero

I love anti-heroes, men who make you question their motives and their morality but always come through in the end as men of honor even if their methods are a bit tarnished. One of my favorite anti-heroes is Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. Mal fought for the independents because he believed in a world where people could live free of the Alliance’s control. He did his best to care for the men and women who served under him. And later when he becomes captain of the Firefly class ship, Serenity, Mal truly cared about his crew even if he’s didn’t always show it.

Mal doesn’t behave as a traditional hero should. He prefers to shoot first and ask questions later. He takes jobs that put him on the wrong side of the law, content to steal when necessary to support his crew. He kills when he needs to and doesn’t spend time on remorse.

But “Bad” as he may be, Mal protects his crew even when he doesn’t like them personally, and he never leaves a man or woman behind. Once someone is under his protection, he’ll risk his life for them even if he thinks their predicament is their own fault.

Captain Marc Devlin from my Shifter’s Station Collection is a similar type of anti-hero. He served Terra Gov as a special forces officer until they chose to experiment on him and other members of his battalion, turning them into shape-shifting killing machines. A natural leader, he gathered a group of the genetically-altered shifters and helped them escape and form a mercenary company.

But he’s no do-gooder. He’s harsh and controlling, and he isn’t the least bit concerned with the legality of the jobs he takes on. As long as the money’s good and he can support his crew, he’s content. He’ll shoot any man or woman who threatens him or his crew without a second thought. He’s gruff and tough as hell on the men and women who work for him, but he has their loyalty, because they know he’ll do anything to keep them safe.

Captain Devlin is also not above abusing his power when it suits him like when Larissa delivers a faulty shipment of weapons to his station. He and his lover, Commander Kirlos Adesta, determine that she had no part in the sabotage attempt, but Marc wants her in his bed so he refuses to release her, eventually making her a wager he’s confident he’ll win.

Read an excerpt below of the meeting between Marc, Kirlos and Larissa and see if this anti-hero doesn’t make your pulse flutter…..

Coming March 1th to Changeling Press

Bio
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical. She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.

Blog: http://silviaviolet.wordpress.com
Website: http://silviaviolet.com (website redesign coming soon)

Shifter’s Station Collection by Silvia Violet

Years ago, the Terran Government betrayed special forces officer Marc Devlin, forcing him to flee for his life. He rescued several fellow officers and built a new life as the head of his own mercenary force. When he captures a beautiful Cerian diplomat, he thinks to torture the man to learn Cerian secrets. Instead, he finds a lover. Months later, Marc and his Cerian lover, Kirlos, take a young woman captive, fearful she might be an agent of one of Marc’s oldest enemies. The two men strike a bargain with her that lands her in their bed for a month. As they dole out exquisite torment with their Cerian sex table, passion builds and turns to love. But Marc and Kirlos must fight to keep her and the life they’ve made for themselves.

This e-book collection contains the previously released Shifter’s Station series novellas Pilot’s Bargain, Pilot’s Heart, Loving the Enemy, and Eye of the Tigress.

Buy it at Changeling Press: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1315
Buy it at All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifter039sstationcollection-419034-144.html

Excerpt from Shifter’s Station 1: Pilot’s Bargain

The commander cut off whatever Captain Devlin was going to say. “I have the ability to probe your mind to determine if you’re telling the truth. And if you are lying, I can compel the truth from you.”

Larissa studied him for a moment. He seemed sincere and somewhat dismayed by the captain’s brusque manner. “Do it.”

She felt pressure on her head, as if someone were mashing the heel of their hand against her forehead. Then the pressure turned to pain. It grew sharper until it felt like a needle was boring into her skull.

She felt tension radiating from Adesta. “Stop fighting it.”

“I… can’t. I don’t –”

Then the pain spread as if her skull had cracked. She fell to her knees, panting. The world began to go black. But just before she passed out, the pain disappeared.

“Fires of hell, she’s strong.”

The captain snorted. “Did you get through?”

“Yes, she’s telling the truth.”

Thank the god. They would have to let her go now. Larissa heard the men speaking, but they sounded very far away. A dull pounding still echoed in her head. Nothing like the tearing pain of the scan, but she still wasn’t sure she could stand.

Then she felt a hand on her arm. It was the commander. She wanted to refuse his assistance, but she didn’t want to be on her knees in front of the captain. He was arrogant enough without her prostrating herself like a slave.

When the commander helped her to her feet, she stepped away and forced herself to focus on Devlin. His dark eyes were narrow and cold. “Who taught you to shield your thoughts?”

“My boss.”

Devlin raised his brows. “You need this ability often on cargo runs?”

“When you take these kinds of jobs, you do.”

He laughed. “I suppose you are right. Federated Transport isn’t exactly a legitimate business.”

“And yours is?”

Adesta’s lips curled into a wicked smile. “You seem to be losing your touch, Captain. You usually have them trembling in their boots by now.”

Larissa just managed to keep from rolling her eyes. The captain might be one delightfully put together man, but she had no intention of rolling over for him. “Can I go now?”

Devlin scowled. “No.”

“The commander has established my innocence.”

“He has established that you were unaware that the weapons were faulty. But I still have one dead crewman and several more injured. Someone has to pay.”

“Yes. That someone is my bastard of a boss.”

“But he’s not here, and you are.”

“Captain.” The warning glare in the commander’s eyes gave Larissa hope he might convince his superior to let her go.

“She stays.”

Larissa’s heart pounded. “You can’t be serious.”

He gave a cold smile. “I’m always serious.”

Larissa clasped her hands behind her back to hide their shaking. “You can’t just keep me here.”

“I can do anything I damn well please.”

“But –”

The captain stepped toward her. She stabbed her nails into her palms, hoping the pain would dull her fear and help her hold her ground.

Devlin grasped the single braid that hung down her back and jerked her head to the side. “I am the law here. No one questions what I do. If I wanted to shove you out an airlock, that’s exactly what I’d do. No one would dare protest.”

She held her breath, and commanded her suddenly rubbery legs to keep her upright.

He let her go and stepped back. “Fortunately for you, I have something far more pleasant in mind as repayment for your crimes.”

Larissa’s lungs burned, but she couldn’t seem to fill them with air. She forced herself to look him in the eye. “I have no intention of letting you punish me for a crime I didn’t commit.”

Adesta smirked. “I like her spirit.”

The captain stared at her intently. “So do I. The spirited ones are so much more fun to break.”

Larissa’s heart hammered against her chest. She knew her eyes were wide and her fear shone all too plainly. She felt like a rabbit cornered by a wolf — a big bad wolf with plans to eat her.

Now why the hell did that thought make her body feel hot and tight? She was so damn wet she’d likely soaked through her flight suit. What was wrong with her?

Devlin took a long, deliberate inhale. “Mmm. I think she likes us more than she wants us to know.”

Shit! The last thing she needed was for him to be aware of how she was responding to them. She needed to convince them to let her go. But before she could think of anything to say, Devlin’s lips curled up in a wicked smile.

“Since you seem so interested in the issue of fairness, why don’t we strike a bargain?”

“What bargain would that be?” Larissa mentally cursed the quaver she heard in her voice.

His smile widened. “I will spend the next two hours convincing you that you want to stay. If you can resist, you go free. If you can’t, you agree to remain on the station as my servant for the next month.”

Larissa took a deep breath. Her initial reaction was to tell him to go to hell, but something told her this might be her only way off the station. “How will you convince me to stay?”

“That’s my secret, but you have my word you will come to no harm.”

“Why should I trust you?”

The captain’s face froze, and a sound too like an animal’s growl rose from his chest.

Larissa glanced at Adesta. He shook his head. “I wouldn’t go down that road if I were you.”

“Fine. If I were to lose, which I have no intention of doing, how would you expect me to serve you?”

The captain’s smile returned instantly. “With every last inch of your naked body.”

Purchase Link: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1315

Purchase from ARe: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifter039sstationcollection-419034-144.html

Contest: Comment and be entered to win a book from Silvia’s Backlist! Good Luck!

 

 

Silvia’s Blog: http://silviaviolet.wordpress.com

Silvia’s Website: http://silviaviolet.com

To watch episodes of Firefly online go to Hulu here: http://www.hulu.com/firefly

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Ann Jacobs

Heroes, Villains and In-Between…

by Ann Jacobs

Heroes always get the girl. But why?

Dark and dangerous, emotionally and/or physically wounded, my favorite heroes often have flaws that both attracts and repels the heroine. For the most part, they’re Alpha guys, Doms who compel their women to submit.

Guy, the hero of PLEASURE SLAVE, coming March 9 from Ellora’s Cave, has all these traits and more. Gravely injured and restored with cybernetics, he can never return to Earth, where such enhancements are forbidden. Posing as a sexbot, Guy entrances the Earthling woman he has chosen for a mate–but it takes all his powers of sexual persuasion to entice her to give up the life she knows to become his mate and make a brave new world with him in an unknown place–Luna Ten.

What makes a hero? I think it’s a tarnish on male perfection. For instance, consider Jared, the wounded soldier in ROPED; Kurt, the workaholic in A MUTUAL FAVOR who one wife has left and who needs another to play mom to his troubled son; Dave, the washed up pro quarterback looking for new life and a new love in HOT IN THE CLUTCH; Jack, who hands control of his sex life over to his Mistress to protect his career in END RUN; and all the others of my heroes. They have different problems, different limitations–but all sixty or more of the heroes I’ve written have found ways to solve their inner conflicts and find love.

Troubled heroes appeal to me in other authors’ books, as well. One of my favorites, a RITA winner from a long time back, is Justine Davis’ THE MORNING SIDE OF DAWN, about a former baseball player who lost both legs in an accident and now has trouble believing a gorgeous supermodel can possibly love him as he is.

I guess my taste in heroes can be summed up by saying I want them to be tortured–either emotionally or physically–but they must grow beyond their conflicts into the man their heroine can love.

 

 

Bio:
Ann Jacobs is a sucker for lusty Alpha heroes and happy endings. Erotic romance, to her, is the perfect combination of sex, sensuality, deep emotional involvement and lifelong commitment—the elusive fantasy women often dream about but seldom achieve.

First published in 1996, Jacobs has sold more than fifty books and novellas. She is currently nominated for Romantic Times’ 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in erotic romance, as well as having had books nominated by RT reviewers for best erotic romance in 2007 and 2008. Her books have earned awards including the Passionate Plume (best novella, 2006, second place contemporary, 2008), the Desert Rose (best hot and spicy romance, 2004) and More Than Magic (best erotic romance, 2004). She has been a double finalist in separate categories of the EPPIES and From the Heart RWA Chapter’s contest. Three of her books have been translated and sold in several European countries.

A CPA and former hospital financial manager, Jacobs now writes full-time, with the help of Mr. Blue, the family cat who sometimes likes to perch on the back of her desk chair and lend his sage advice. He sometimes even contributes a few random letters when he decides he wants to try out the keyboard. (Most of the time Blue just curls up, hides his eyes with his paws…and sleeps!)

She loves to hear from readers, and to put faces with names at signings and conventions.

Links:

To Visit Ann’s Website Click Here

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