Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Writer's Wednesday--Linda Winfree

Welcome to Writer's Wednesday. Please welcome Linda Winfree!

He’s nothing she wants…but everything she needs.

All I Need – Linda Winfree

Hearts of the South, Book 11

Two years after she buried the love of her life, ER physician Savannah Mills remains buried in her work, and keeps her heart under lock and key. But if anyone could tempt her banked desires to come out and play, it’s her neighbor. A couple of casual interactions with the former police officer has her considering a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

Emmett Beck is forging a new career after an on-duty shooting nearly cost him everything. His love life has been in cold storage during his recuperation, but when Savannah proposes a no-strings relationship, his body warms to the idea. After all, it’s just sex. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty—once Emmett realizes that hot kisses and steamy nights aren’t enough. And that he’s fallen in love with a woman who intends to never love anyone again.

Warning: Contains a younger man determined to be everything his woman needs, in bed and out, and an older woman unafraid to explore her wild side. Also features cops who talk like cops.



Damn, he hurt tonight. The ache twisted and snarled in his thigh, as though an unseen hand tied the muscles themselves into knots. The incision line itself itched with sharp twinges of intermittent pain. The discomfort made him restless, and he retreated to the back patio to throw punches at the heavy bag until the injured leg refused to hold him any longer. Then he dragged himself to the shower and stood under cool water, rinsing away the sweat and wishing the pain and the memories could be washed away so easily.


Afterward, he knocked back a couple more ibuprofen—stomach damage be damned—and took a cold longneck out to the front stoop, to sit in the Adirondack chair by his front door and wait in vain for the pain to simply go away. At least weariness tugged at him, and maybe he’d be able to catch a decent night’s sleep.


Head tilted back, he spun the bottle in slow circles on the chair arm and eyed the moths bumping and jostling around the dim ceiling light. Muted laughter, maybe canned sitcom revelry, drifted from the apartment upstairs. In the distance, a siren wailed, and he tensed before he remembered that when the leg cramped like tonight, tightening the muscles only made things worse.


Headlights flashed across the complex, and a sporty Mercedes purred into the lot. Security lighting gleamed off black paint as the luxury car came to a stop in the parking spot next to his. The bottle made another slow revolution. Must be the new neighbor he’d heard coming and going the past couple of days.


This is what his life had become—a new neighbor with whom he’d never pass more than a couple of words was the major excitement of his days.

On a smile, he sipped at the beer. Maybe his buddies were right—he needed to get out more.

The interior light flashed when the car door opened, illuminating glossy brown hair in a messy knot. The brunette stepped from the car and slung a leather tote over her shoulder. Dark blue medical scrubs skimmed over her tall frame, broad-shouldered and curvy. The car door closed and alarm set, she turned toward the apartment block.


While unlocking her door, she flashed Emmett a smile. She was a looker—a full mouth set in a slightly square jaw, pert nose, big eyes. “Hi.”


Sultry voice, a little on the husky side. He lifted the bottle in response. “Hey.”


Her front door partially open, she crossed the yards between them to extend a hand. “Savannah Mills. It’s good to meet you.”


“Emmett Beck.” Her hand, nails short and clean of any polish, was cool against his.


She clutched her bag’s strap and waved her other hand toward downtown behind them. “I’m new here and don’t know a lot of people yet. I find it’s valuable to get to know my neighbors. We should grab a beer some time.”


He froze with the bottle halfway to his lips. Wow, she came out of the gate quick. Wasn’t like he wasn’t used to that, but it had been a while and he was a different guy now. He’d learned that lesson really well. He dredged up a facsimile of a smile and concentrated on keeping all the bitterness and anger out of his voice, on producing the most even tone he could muster. The fact his love life – or lack thereof – seemed to be a constant subject of local gossip wasn’t her fault.

“Sorry, honey, but I don’t get out much these days.”


“I understand.” Her friendly smile widened. “Let me know if that changes. Good night.”


She spun on her heel and disappeared inside her apartment. The door closed with a muted snick. He shook his head on a quiet snort and downed the rest of the lukewarm brew. Yeah, he’d blown that for sure. He should have said yes, asked her to join him maybe.


Obviously, his hermit status had caused him to lose his mind.



Reading Order -- Hearts of the South
Book 1 -- Truth and Consequences (Jason & Kathleen)
Book 2 -- His Ordinary Life (Del & Barb)
Book 3 -- Hold On To Me (Tick & Caitlin)
Book 4 -- Anything But Mine (Stanton & Autry)
Book 5 -- Memories of Us (Tom & Celia)
Book 6 -- Hearts Awakened (Mark & Tori)
Book 7 -- Fall Into Me (Troy Lee & Angel)
Book 9 -- Uncovered (Ash & Madeline)
Book 8 -- Facing It (Chris & Ruthie, secondary romance -- Harrell & Jennifer)
Book 10 -- Gone From Me (Rob & Amy)

Book 11 -- All I Need (Emmett & Savannah)



Barnes and Nobles






How does an English teacher end up plotting murders? She uses her experiences as a cop’s wife to become a writer of romantic suspense! Linda Winfree lives in a quintessential small town with her husband and grand-dog Poe. By day, she teaches English/Language Arts and is an all-round education nerd; by night she pens sultry books full of murder and mayhem.

To learn more about Linda and her books, visit, follow her on Twitter @lwinfreewrites, or connect with her on Facebook at You can also contact Linda via email at 

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Truth About Pen Names

I never seem to be in the loop when it comes to controversy and drama in the world of publishing, but I have noticed various people talking about author pen names, writer photos, and privacy.

So why do I write under a pen name?

When I started in this business back in 2004 I was writing erotic romance and I still had a day job. Erotic romance was not accepted as a genre as it is today. Plus I was an e-book author. Again, in those days we weren’t considered “real” writers. But that’s a whole other subject for another day.

I’m also a very private person and like to keep my work life and private life separate, mostly for the sake of my family. It took me over a decade of publishing and making a living at it to tell anyone outside of close family and friends what it is I do. When asked previously, I’d say contract work, which is true, just not the entire truth.

My writing is very important to me. It’s also intensely personal. I pour my heart and soul into my books. I didn’t want anyone to criticize or belittle what I was doing. So I kept it private. Once the work is out in the public  domain I have no control over what is said about it, but I can control what happens during the writing process. Also, mainstream publishing as well as a good chunk of the public do not hold romance authors in high esteem, regardless of their dedication to their craft and the high quality books being produced in the genre. This business is filled with rejection and criticism, which is why I didn't feel the need to open myself up for more.

But times have changed. What I write is now considered mainstream romance, spicy hot but still mainstream. E-books are not only accepted but they are the norm for many readers. There are many writers making a living as e-book authors. The popularity of the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other readers has opened up the publishing industry. It’s a brave new world out there.

So why not publish under my real name? Because I’ve spent almost a dozen years building up my pen name as a brand. If I used my “real” name I’d be starting all over again.

Besides, my pen name is me. It’s the name I’ve put on over 80 books. N.J. Walters is the woman who gets out of bed in the morning, sits in the corner of the living room after breakfast, and writes. And in the end, all that matters is that the books get written.

So if an author you love has a pen name what does it matter as long as you love the books. For some it’s a matter of privacy, not only for them but for their family. Other authors have multiple pen names because they write in various genres and don’t want readers to buy a book expecting one thing and getting another. Still other authors write so many books, the only way to get them all published in a timely manner is to use multiple pen names.

I don’t think most readers care one way or another. I know I don’t. As a reader, all I care about is getting the books I love by authors I enjoy. Doesn’t matter to me what name they choose to call themselves.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday--Book Edition (Project Alhpa series)

Today's Throwback Thursday post is about me, or rather it's about an older series of mine that hasn't been available for quite some time. I got the rights back to the Project Alpha trilogy back in 2014 but I didn't do anything with it for quite some time.

That is all about to change.

For all of you who have been writing and asking me about this series, I'm absolutely thrilled to announced that Carina has contracted the trilogy. The series name will stay the same but the titles of two of the books are changing.

Project Alpha:
Embracing Silence (book 1)
Assassin's Awakening (book 2-formerly Have Mercy)
Alpha's Revenge (book 3-formerly Sweet Charity)

I'll be sure to post again when I get covers and release dates.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Writer's Wednesday--J. Rose Allister

Welcome J. Rose Allister  to Writer's Wednesday! Be sure to check out the details of her Summer Blog Tour Giveaway at the end of the post.

Dominus: God of Yule

Book 1 of the Sons of Herne series

Available on digital booksellers July 2016*

Blog tour special: Get it for only 99 cents during the Chillin’ in Summer tour (and follow the link in back of the book to receive Book 2 free!)



Loving Lorayna could cost him his sacred power...


Dominus, god of the sabbat, should never have had to spend half the year nurturing the latest light bearer himself. Now, months of visiting Lorayna in secret, present only as a whisper, has sparked a yearning inside of him that he cannot shake.


Lorayna is drawn to a presence she’s unable to resist. When she discovers her “holiday spirit” is in fact a mouthwateringly sexy god, she’s ready for whatever sabbat ritual he chooses. To her disappointment, his intentions are strictly hands-off.


When something goes wrong, however, Dominus is forced to break the rules and give into his urges before the Yule power consumes her. The ripples of their passion will alter many sabbat unions to come—and Dominus must defy his father, Herne, to follow his desires and prove to Lorayna that she was not merely another light bearer.



Dominus thought of his last visit to Lorayna, how he had stood at her bedside, whispering ancient secrets while her hair spilled across her pillow and her round curves beckoned. His male need flared into a sharp ache at her beauty, and how he longed to plunge his fingers through that silken hair, run his tongue over every sultry dip and swell on her body. He never touched her. He could not. He had stayed overlong on that visit, for he knew the time had come—a time he both longed for and resented. The time when his visits to her, unwanted though they had begun, would be at an end. A lump in his stomach punctuated the thought.


A figure passed by the sheer curtain drawn halfway across the front window, and his pulse quickened.




He heard the name dance through his thoughts, and try though he might, he could not wave it away. He typically preferred not to know the names of the women whose light he released. There was little point in it, for he would not see nor know anything of the females once his mission was complete. For their part, the women would know nothing of him, either. The majority of humans were blissfully unaware that their world sat tightly against a realm of immortals and magic, nor did they care to know just how much their gods were still at work to this day, walking the woods, tending to fields and lusty lasses, and generally keeping the balance of their worlds at peace.


Laughter rose to his ears, and he drew back instinctively behind the cover of trees. Humans would not see him while he wore the veil charm, rare few, anyway, but best not to chance it. The door to the cottage opened, and several people spilled out, happy and carefree and followed by a waft of alcohol that was apparent to his keen, supernatural senses. Then there she was, Lorayna, standing in the doorway with a wide smile that tightened Dominus’s chest. She wore a pure white sweater, oversized and yet clinging to her ripe figure, and while she chatted to her departing guests, she tucked a silken strand of dark brown hair behind one ear. Blue and silver bells tinkled on her earrings, jingling as she nodded and laughed. Her lips, painted pink and glossy, caught his eye, and he found himself staring at how they puckered and released with every syllable she spoke. Long, well-manicured nails had been painted to match.


His cock throbbed in earnest, already impatient with the guests who were lingering far too long at the threshold for his tastes. He was eager for their time together, yearning to see his months of attention to her physical and emotional well-being come to fruition.


One of the males leaned close to kiss Lorayna on the lips, and a swell of unpleasant heat rose in Dominus’s stomach. She was not his to own, of course, and he had no cause for jealousy. She would no doubt sleep with other men in the future, probably many others. But she had kept herself pure since May Day, because she knew deep in her subconscious that she was fated for no other until Dominus helped her birth the shining light he saw inside her even now. The sun’s energy pulsed from within, a bright, glowing force like a singular joy that was at the apex of its power. He alone would bring back that light, coaxing it from her in an explosion of climax. She would feel exquisite pleasure as she returned that energy to the universe, followed by a temporary sense of loss. She would move forward, however, unaware of her crucial role in the wheel’s turn of the coming year. 


The overly attentive male turned to a man beside him and laid a suggestive kiss on him, complete with a sweep of the tongue while squeezing his ass. Dominus relaxed his fists. So, the male had other inclinations. Good.


“Try not to be a stranger,” the other male said with a flourish. “Make a New Year’s resolution to come out into the world more than once a month.”


“It’s not New Year’s yet,” she said.


“Before you know it.”


“I just can’t believe it’s already over,” Dominus heard Lorayna saying to the two men who were now holding hands. “I’ve felt such a holiday spirit this Yule.”


She glanced over the man’s shoulder, looking straight at Dominus while those perfect nails raked strands of her hair smooth. “Of course. It just feels like it tonight, is all.”


He held her gaze, fully aware that she did not truly see him. At most, perhaps, she was aware of a by now familiar presence. As her dark eyes penetrated him, however, he began to wonder. 


About the Sons of Herne series:


The god Herne has appointed eight of his most virile, headstrong sons as keepers of the pagan holidays. To honor their sabbat, each must join with a mortal female in a ritual to maintain the balance between worlds.

The Fates have conspired to grant the gods one thing they lack--a true union of male and female that will last beyond the fleeting passion of a sabbat joining.

Herne’s sons will wrestle with the conflict between sacred duty and their own yearnings, a struggle that will not only challenge their beliefs, but may threaten the success of rituals that must be observed lest the mortal and immortal worlds collide in chaos.


About the Author:

J. Rose Allister has penned over twenty-five novels and numerous short stories from her home in Southern California, including ten publisher bestsellers. She is a TV and movie buff, enjoys the bittersweet discord between obsessing over chocolate while striving for the benefits of a fresh, organically-influenced diet, and is a firm believer that daydreaming, people watching, and yes, chocolate are the greatest fuel for the writing imagination. That and coffee. Or coffee with chocolate stirred into it. She has more books in her to-be-read pile than she can ever hope to find time to sit and enjoy, but this never stops her from adding more.





I’m spending my birthday month giving away gifts during my blog tour! I have some fun magnets, an ebook giveaway from my Sons of Herne series, and one grand prize of a $25 Bath & Body Works gift card! Chances to win every day of the tour, July 11-31. Get the full details and sign up here!

Also, because I want EVERYONE to come away a winner, I’m offering a free gift on your own special day to all who join my birthday club. Sign up here:



Sunday, July 17, 2016

World Emoji Day


Yes, there is a day to celebrate those small digital images and icons we use to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication. The first ones were created in the late 1990s. They haven't been around all that long but they've invaded every aspect of our online lives.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Weekend Book Club--Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan

I recently read SHADOW RIDER, the first book in Christine Feehan's new The Shadows Series. Interesting premise and story. This is a great start to a new paranormal series and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does in the next book.


Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please
. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her...

What are you reading this weekend?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday--Book Edition (Lover in the Rough by Elizabeth Lowell)

LOVER IN THE ROUGH by Elizabeth Lowell was originally published as a Silhouette Intimate Moments but has been republished many times. I don't have the original cover but one of the reprinted versions. I have some of her books, including this one, on my keeper shelf.


Reba Farrall was lost—until a kindly old gentleman took her under his wing and helped heal her shattered spirit. Now her dearest friend is gone, leaving her with a doubting, broken heart...and half-interest in a California gem mine.

But Chance Walker has burst into Reba's life—a daring adventurer who believes in nothing except the priceless uncut stones for which he searches the Earth. In the blistering heat of Death Valley—in the intoxicating presence of a jewel more exquisite than any he has ever seen—Chance must confront a dire peril that stalks the sad and sensuous beauty. For only he can save Reba Farrall from harm—and only she can teach him how to love.