A Special Snippet Saturday *contest*

I’m changing things around and instead of giving you a snippet of one of my books, I thought I’d share a snippet from one of the books I’ve read this week.  After reading Lexxie Couper’s excellent story in her Down and Dirty Bundle, I moved on to her Heart of Fame series. And have been glomming them up like chocolate. Nom Nom Nom.

Lexxie Couper

Now normally it’s better to promote an author’s latest work (which is Getting Played, the lastest in her Heart of Fame series), but as one of those readers who must read series in chronological order, I’m going to start you off with Tropical Sin. Why not feature the first book of the Heart of Fame series? Well, while Tropical Sin isn’t technically part of the Heart of Fame series, it’s sort of a prequel, since it introduces Nick Blackthorne the way Private Property introduces my readers to Sam Watson…

Nick gets his own book in Love’s Rhythm, which is technically book 1 in the Heart of Fame series, and you don’t have to read Tropical Sin to understand his story in Love’s Rhythm. But, trust me, you want to get the full Nick effect.

TROPICAL SIN

Copyright © 2011 Lexxie Couper

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Nick Blackthorne weaved his way through the smattering of guests milling around the Bandicoot Resort’s massive reception area, a small smile curling at the corners of his mouth. It wasn’t the fact he was here, at the soft opening of the resort, that made him happy, nor the fact he was walking around without a minder or bodyguard or groupie to be seen. It was simply because the woman laughing behind him had a delightfully throaty, infectious laugh.

He stopped himself from shooting a look over his shoulder, concentrating instead on finding the correct passageway that would lead him to the Oasis Bar. He was a touch jetlagged and needed something more than coffee to wake up.

A touch? You’ve been on one plane or the other for the last three days. You’re more than jetlagged, you’re jet-freaking-dragged-through-the-turbines stoned. Besides, the need for something more than caffeine has nothing to do with jetlag. You just want to sit out in the sun and pretend you’re a normal person for a short while, don’t you?

He smiled wider. The truth was always less sensational. It had been a long time since he’d been able to sit at a bar and relax. When his agent had offered him the chance to attend the resort’s soft opening he’d jumped at it. Minimum number of guests, all hand-picked by the hotel’s manager, all—Frankie assured him—too discreet or important in their own rights to worry about him being in their presence. A nice change from where he’d just been, that was for sure.

The thought made his smile falter. A little. He wasn’t going to let his mind turn to where he’d just been. Not when he was walking through Eden.

Ah, so the romantic you used to be is still buried in that craven pit you call a soul, is he?

Behind him the woman laughed again, another low, throaty chuckle and, before he could help himself, Nick turned.

Whoa.

She was only a few feet behind, grinning up at a guy almost half again her height, her long, strawberry blonde hair a flaming halo in the sun’s warm rays, her pink lips stretched in a grin that said very clearly, “Yes, I am completely in charge of this situation.”

Nick let his gaze flick to her companion, noting with an experienced eye the man’s latent strength in his six-foot-plus form, his fluid, steady movements, and his utter adoration for the woman gripping his arm.

Christ, they were a sexy couple. Damn sexy.

He scowled, turning away from the young lovers. There was a time he’d have walked straight on up to them and suggested something far more depraved than either could probably imagine. Something very dirty and very enjoyable. That time had passed, however.

The woman laughed again, the delicious sound accompanied by a lower, deeper chuckle. The guy’s laugh. Relaxed. Easygoing. Coming up from his chest to slip past his lips in a humored rumble. Equally as infectious as hers.

He drove his nails into his palms and scanned the lush gardens on the other side of the glass wall. Where the hell was this bar? Somewhere outside beside a pool? He needed a drink.

No, not a drink. You need—

A face of an angel with filth on her mind,

I pray to burn in her fire,

I pray to die in her arms.

The words—lyrics of a song he hadn’t written yet—whispered through Nick’s head and he raised his eyebrows, his heartbeat quickening. Just as it had been too long since he could relax in public, it had been even longer since words of music came to him. Whoever the redhead was, she stirred something in him.

Yet the arms of her lover reach out for more.

Like a sinner I will burn in his fire,

I will die in his fire as she pleads for more.

Nick came to a halt, the unexpected lyrics floating through his head. It seemed they’d both stirred something in him he hadn’t felt for a long time, not just the woman.

The whisper of a rhythm teased him and he closed his eyes, a familiar sensation stirring in the pit of his gut. Carnal thoughts and lyrics? Coming to Bandicoot Cove really was a good—

“Excuse me, but can I ask you a question?”

The soft, husky voice speaking beside him could only belong to one person. Opening his eyes, Nick turned around, leaving his sunglasses firmly in place as he fixed his gaze on the flame-haired woman smiling up at him. This close she wasn’t just sexy, she was stunning. Stunning and gorgeous. As was the man standing next to her, his expression unreadable, that sleeping strength radiating from him in waves of…

Like a sinner I will burn in his fire,

I will die in his fire and beg her for—

“You’re Nick Blackthorne, yes?”

The woman’s question took Nick by jarring surprise. It shouldn’t have, but with the words of a hidden song taunting him and the unexpected lick of sexual interest teasing him, he wasn’t prepared. Especially for what she said next.

“I’m McKenzie Wood from Goss Weekly.” Her clear blue eyes turned direct. Intent. “I’m wondering if you’d like to comment on your stay at the Vergnügen sex clinic in Germany?”


I’m going to give away a copy of Tropical Sin, to get you hooked on Lexxie’s series, but I’m also going to be giving away a copy of Down and Dirty to give you a taste of Jess Dee, Sami Lee and Rhiann Cahill’s writing too.

Now the rules — you must be 18 years of age and older, Facebook doesn’t endorse the giveaway and has nothing to do with it, void where prohibited…and one prize per winner, in other words, you can enter both, but you can only win once, so if you win the Down and Dirty Bundle, you can’t win the Tropical Sin bundle too, and vice versa. (But I’m betting you’ll want to go and buy more of Lexxie’s books afterward!)

And remember, if you like an author’s books, the best way you can help them out is to leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever you bought the book — Amazon and the other places use the number of (good) reviews in their algorithm when determining who else to show the title to in their “Readers who bought this also bought…” bar. Which means more people get to hear of your favorite author and it’ll encourage the author to keep writing.

P.S. (I’ve met Lexxie in person a couple times — first in Kansas City, and then in New Orleans, so now whenever I read her stories I hear her narrating them in my head in her wonderful Australian accent. If you want to hear her reading an excerpt, watch this video)

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Going to be at RT 2014? Join the Great Author Hunt

author hunt
In every registration packet, you’ll find a player card and a bright green button for you to wear so authors will know you’re playing. Then you go around and try to spot the authors with the bright red button and tag them–they’ll give a sticker to you to put on your card. (Hint on how to find me — I’ll be at Club RT on Thursday May 15th at 10 a.m.) Collect 25 out of 30 of the stickers and place your card in the Great Author Hunt box in Club RT by 4 p.m. Friday, May 16th (when Club RT closes). On Saturday, we’ll be drawing the winners — prizes include an iPad mini, a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ or a Kindle Fire HD 7″.

Participating Authors:

Author Badge Button1Cherry Adair
Randi Alexander
Anne Marie Becker
Meg Benjamin
Jennifer Bernard
Brinda Berry
Leah Braemel
Jaci Burton
Robin Covington
Christine D’Abo
Cynthia D’Alba
Lauren Dane
HelenKay Dimon
Nikki Duncan
Avery Flynn
Eliza Gayle
Mandy Harbin
Lynn Raye Harris
Kimberly Kincaid
Parker Kincade
Ciara Knight
Ella James
Cat Johnson
Darynda Jones
Laura Kay
Kim Law
Angi Morgan
and Liz Talley

Celebrate Texas Romances!

In honor of Texas Independence week, 22 authors who write books set in Texas have gotten together on Facebook. There’ll be lots of giveaways between today and March 9th, including a grand prize of a Kindle and lots of books. Click on the banner below to pop over…

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Ever wanted to write a romance?

If you’re in the Oshawa / Durham Region on February 12th and write romances, or just want to learn more about what is behind writing a romance, drop in at the Northview Public Library (it’s the one at the corner of Beatrice and Ritson, across from the Five Points Mall.)

Members of the Toronto Romance Writers (including me, Ann Lethbridge and Mary Sullivan) will be there, and in the afternoon Harlequin editors will be there talking about their books, editing and submission processes.  You can find out the entire schedule here (or you can click on the graphic below.)

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So whatcha reading?

I participated in a lot of contests recently and am sending out the prizes today. So check your inboxes if you’ve entered any recently.

question markJust a note when you enter a contest and are asked what format you like, also let the author or contest arranger know if you’re in a specific country, especially if you are requesting a Kindle version. Since Carina doesn’t supply me with Kindle/mobi versions of any of my books, I find it easiest/best to actually purchase them and send them to the winners as gifts from Amazon.com but I’m always worried that I’ll send one to someone who doesn’t use the US site.

* * *

As you may have read on my New Year’s Day post, I’ve been grappling with my writing the past few months. In order to figure out how my favorite authors handle deepening POV and emotion, etc. I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite books. Which means one of the series I’ve been reading is JR Ward’s entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’d re-read a lot of the earlier books multiple times, but this time I read all the way through and picked up some details that I’d missed the first time around, though I still am disappointed with the lack of emotion between Phury and Cormia (I really really wanted his story to be so much better, so much more romantic, and I’m still not sold on Tohr’s and Autumn’s connection either, since I’m being honest but as an author I know books are often judged based upon the baggage/expectations the reader brings to the story so I’ll take that disappointment all on me.) But on the whole, the series is holding up so well, and since I love the world building JR has created, I’ve pre-ordered The King and look forward to seeing how certain issues are dealt with. I have a few theories. ;)

woman reading_for webAnd on my mother’s recommendation I picked up JK Rowling’s newest The Cuckoo’s Calling. JK of course released that book originally under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, so when Mom picked it up she didn’t realize who the real author was. She’s been waxing rhapsodic about the vocabulary in it and how it wasn’t dumbed down the way so many books are these days. So I’m reading it now too.

So what are you reading these days?