Dress Up Dress Down

Dress Up, Dress Down with Addison Brae

 Allison Brae

Allison Brae

Please join me in welcoming author Addison Brae!

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Harvard honors graduate. Accountant. Bartender. Narcotics dealer. Can Gillian’s clothes cover all roles?

1) What does the choice of clothing tell us about your heroine?

Becker Circle’s opening line starts with Gillian, the main character and heroine, heading to her first night bartending, her second job. She lacks confidence and feels like she’s jumping into uncomfortable territory. Her only boyfriend controlled her every move, cut her down, and sucked away her self-esteem.

I peek back at my butt in these loose-fitting jeans and all I see is sad.

2) Does your heroine change her style of dress over the course of the book? If so, how, and what does it mean, if anything?

Clothes often make a character—just like the way we dress can help us feel good about ourselves. So much to experience. Giant past to forget. Change is certain for Gillian. She’s determined to do whatever it takes to reach her dreams to believe in herself and find love.

3) Is this how she wants to dress? If yes, why? If not, what would she choose to wear and why?

Gillian asks a stylish neighbor to help her pick out new clothes the new Gillian would wear. She likes the results—at first.

All it takes is a haircut and new clothes for a three-hundred buck tip night? Until someone comments on her new look.

4) What happens when or if your character wears the opposite style

I’d rather crawl under the bar rather than believe someone really thinks I’m pretty. 

Some of you will understand how Gillian feels as she rebuilds her confidence whittled down by a narcissistic boyfriend. I’ve certainly had those moments. The way she dresses affects how her co-workers, customers, and guys respond to her. It takes time to grow into her new look that takes her down a rollercoaster path:

Harvard honors graduate. Accountant. Bartender. Narcotics dealer.

Can she live up to her style by the end of Becker Circle?

Bio

Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. 

When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing, and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.

Learn more about Addison on her website. Connect with Addison on TwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookbub, her Amazon author pageTirgearr Publishing, and YouTube.

Purchase Becker Circle on Amazon USAAmazon UKAmazon CanadaSmashwordsiTunesKoboB&N Nook.

Book Blurb

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My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.

A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer. Watch the trailer.

A portion of the author proceeds will go to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center to help fight domestic abuse.

Excerpt from chapter three

All it takes is a haircut and new clothes for a three-hundred buck tip night? And the pub was pretty slow for a Saturday. If I can top that today, or even come close, I’ll buy more.

It’s a football Sunday, so beer has to be well-stocked. On the way to the back, I check for my new Harvard opener in my back pocket and smooth the fitted blue top Julie picked out over my new jeans. At least it’s the game in some tropical destination between the playoffs and championship. People might actually pay more attention to eating and drinking. They might stay in a happier mood so they don’t skimp on tips.

Kyle’s at his usual table outside, bottle of his usual beer in hand and glued to the game. When I pop up from stocking the fridge, Moneybags Bobby stands next to the bar. The chair where the mystery guy sits and watches him remains empty.

“Usual?” I ask even though I’ve already started pouring. He nods and hands me the two twenties I’ve come to expect, and then works his way around the bar speaking to each person. Every time he walks near the sofa, I wonder if someone else dives in deeper with another score.

The TV by the fireplace isn’t tuned to ESPN yet, and it’s the blasted one that doesn’t work right. The remote has to be about five inches from the TV, so I climb onto a barstool, and then I feel a sting on my butt. “Ahhh!” I wave my arms to get my balance.

“Steve! What the…?”

“You’re looking pretty hot in those jeans, Gillian.”

“Don’t smack me again. Scared the crap out of me!” I right myself and put both feet safely on the ground. “Do you fancy taking this shift solo tonight while they put me back together in the emergency room?”

“Sorry, love, didn’t mean to.” His braided beard bounces as he chuckles. “You just look different than when we first met. The hair. The clothes and makeup. Lookin’ good.”

He’s the first one to notice and actually say something. “You think so?” I’m never sure if people really mean what they say or if they just want something.

He stops wiping down the bar and looks straight at me. “Wouldn’t say it if I didn’t.”

“Thank you.” I’m glad my hair covers my ears so Steve doesn’t notice they’ve turned fiery red.

“Have you seen yourself?”

I look up and Steve’s pointing his phone at me. “Did you take my picture?”

“Look. Especially the smile.” He shows me the photo he took. “You look so much happier with yourself. You’re very pretty.”

I’d rather crawl under the bar rather than believe someone really thinks I’m pretty.

“I’m sending this to you so you remember.” Then he turns his attention to the bar.

Dress Up Dress Down With James DiBenedetto #MFRWAuthor

Join me in welcoming Jamies DiBenedetto to LAM!

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•   Tell us about your hero’s or heroine’s typical style of dress. What is the condition of the clothing?

Sara is the heroine of the Dream Doctor Mysteries. She starts off as a quiet and studious college student, but over the course of the series, she gets married, becomes a doctor, has a family, and solves murders and other mysteries with the help of her supernatural dreams.

Sara is a pretty conservative dresser, which goes along with her shy and reserved personality, especially when we first meet her. She’s in college, so it’s usually jeans and a sweatshirt, without regard to style as long as it’s clean.  But as events force her out of her shell, and she finds herself in new situations, she changes things up on a few occasions.

•   What does the choice of clothing tell us about him/her?

Sara’s preferred style goes along with who she is at first – she’s quiet, and her clothes don’t make a big impression, either. When she does dress up (for a New Year’s Eve dinner at a fancy restaurant with her new boyfriend), she barely recognizes herself in the mirror.  

•   What happens when or if your character wears the opposite style?

When Sara dresses against her usual style, she usually finds herself acting against her usual behavior, too – almost as if she’s wearing a costume and acting out a part.

•   Does your hero or heroine change his style of dress over the course of the book? If so, how, and what does it mean, if anything?

As the book goes on, and in later books, Sara becomes a lot more confident, and while she’s still has a pretty conservative style, she’s much more willing to try new things, and to try to make a statement with her outfits when the occasion calls for it.

Dream Student Cover (ebook).jpg

EXCERPT:

It’s nine o’clock, and everyone’s waiting downstairs for Beth and me.  She looks great, which is no surprise.  She generally does.  What isa little surprising, at least to me, is just how good Ilook.  That sounds immodest, but what the heck.  I’m allowed to be immodest once in a while, right?   

Beth spent the last two hours helping me do my hair and makeup, and she absolutely demanded that I wear the dress I bought with my birthday money.  It doesn’t quite say “do me”–nothing I own says that–but it might say “buy me some drinks and dance with me and I’ll think about it” if I wear it with the proper attitude.  It’s black and strapless and–for me, at least–very short.  It’s such a change from my usual wardrobe that I barely recognize myself in the mirror.   Especially with my hair up and the way-more-than-usual makeup job.

She gives me a final once over, and claps her hands.  She’s thrilled.  “There may be hope for you yet!”  She doesn’t need me to check her over, she knows without even looking in the mirror that everything’s right, not a hair or anything else out of place.  

I have to take one last good long look at myself, though.  The woman staring back at me has my eyes, but the rest of her…

I hear my own voice asking, “Who is that?”  

Blurb:

 College junior Sara Barnes thought her life was totally under control.  All she had to worry about was her final exams, Christmas shopping, applying to medical school – and what to do about the cute freshman in the next dorm with a crush on her.  Everything was going according to plan, until the night she started seeing other people’s dreams.

It’s bad enough that Sara is learning more than she ever needed to know about her friends and classmates, watching their most secret fantasies whether she wants to or not. Much worse are the other dreams, the ones she sees nearly every night, featuring a strange, terrifying man who commits unspeakable crimes.  Now Sara wonders if she’s the only witness to a serial killer – and the only one who knows when and where he’s going to strike next.

Dream Student is the prequel to the Dream Doctor Mysteries.

BIO:

J.J. DiBenedetto is author of the Dream Series and the Jane Barnaby Adventures and lives in Arlington, Virginia with the love of his life and a white cat who rules the roost. 

His passions are photography, travel, the opera, the New York Giants, and of course writing. 

Mr. DiBenedetto is devoted to writing books with a sense of mysticism to entertain and perhaps invite his readers to suspend belief in a way they might never have.

Since he was very young , he has always been intrigued with the supernatural and things that can't be explained rationally.

By always asking way too many questions, it piqued his interest to the point of setting his writing off and running when he grew up! All the curiosity building up all those years were finally getting put into words to captivate readers. And it hasn't ended. His main goal is to share all the stories he has inside, putting pen to paper. And that's how the Dream Doctor Mysteries were born.

Mr. DiBenedetto welcomes queries and feedback from his loyal readers. You can email him at jj@jjdibenedetto.com or at his website www.jjdibenedetto.com.

The next Jane Barnaby Adventure will be ready soon and he's anxious to hear what you think!

Social Media:

www.jjdibenedetto.com

www.facebook.com/jjdibenedettoauthor

www.twitter.com/jjdibenedetto

www.tinyurl.com/jjdaudio

www.tinyurl.com/jjdvideo

http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto

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Thanks for stopping by, James!

Dress up Dress Down Tuesday Featuring Daryl Devore #MFRWAuthor

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Please Welcome Daryl Devore to Living After Midnight!

Hello. I’m happy to be on Dress Up Dress Down Tuesday.

Dark Chocolate and Strawberries revolves around junior accountant Esmerelda “Red” Hood. She works at Hood’s Chocolatier -the largest independent chocolate maker in the country.

Her work wear is “Corporate World”. She prefers to wear slacks than dresses. As her personality is more laid back and casual, she feels more comfortable wearing slacks. But there are days when she’s feeling sexy and flirty and a designer dress and heels is her clothing style of choice. 

When the story begins it’s in the middle of a miserably cold Chicago winter. Parka, scarf, mitts, thick wool sweaters and snow boots make up the majority of her clothing.

An unexpected cruise to the Caribbean makes a rapid change in her attire and summery shirts, shorts and sandals fill her suitcase. Oh and of course – a bathing suit.

On the cruise, she meets two men – Chopper and Willem.

Chopper is a low paid, over worked teacher. His style is super dress downcasual – scruffy blue jeans, and a crumpled shirt.

Willem is a fashion photographer. His style is a casual jacket over a white T and well fitting jeans.

The really interesting parts happen when no one is wearing anything – but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

I’ve created a Pinterest board for this - https://www.pinterest.ca/daryldevore2013/dark-chocolate-and-strawberries/

Plus there are boards for my other books.

Here’s an excerpt – The moment Red meets Willem and Chopper

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“My grandmother is a passenger. Can you tell me if she’s boarded yet?”

The purser clicked a few keys on her keyboard and asked, “Her name?”

“Sarah Hood or Mrs. S. Hood. I'd suggest Grandma but there seems to be a lot of them on the ship.”

“Yes, we're close to full. We do two senior cruises a year and this is the busier one. Yes, she boarded earlier.”

Red checked her own cabin number. “Even numbers on port side, right?”

“Yes. Is there anything else?”

“No, thank you.” Red walked in the direction of the elevators.

The immaculate gleam of the polished brass fittings sparkled in the late morning sunshine. Passengers passed by excitedly chatting to each other. Standing near the railing was a tall, dark haired, heart-melting, and close to her age, hunk of masculinity. Red pulled in her stomach and arched her back as she passed him. Her knees buckled when she caught a whiff of his aftershave. 

Two strong hands caught her. “Guess you don't have your sea legs yet,” a deep voice whispered in her ear as he helped her stand.

“And we're only in port. I'm going to be a disaster once we get out to sea.” She flashed her emerald green eyes at him and her best sexy smile.

“I guess I'll have to watch out for you and be ready to catch you if you fall.” His grin seemed to stretch from ear to ear displaying Hollywood white teeth. He reached for her hand and brushed a kiss across the back of it. “Willem Olf. My friends call me Will.”

“Red Hood. Pleasure to meet you.”

“Pleasure is all mine.” He bowed his head then slid his sunglasses on. “Much too bright. I'm more of a night creature.”

Stifling a giggle, Red said, “I gotta go. Still have to unpack and—”

The blast of the ship's horn cut off her sentence. She waved good-bye. That's one hot piece of man. Kinda continental. Sexy. And damn, he smells good.

Waiting for the elevator, Red checked her cell phone. Clicking through the messages, she found one titled Sara Hood's cabin number. She opened it and was pleased to discover she wouldn't be neighbors with her grandmother.

Room 1231, three floors apart and opposite sides of the ship. Good, this way hot and sexy Will can sneak into my room and not be seen by curious grandmother eyes.

The elevator doors opened. Red stood aside for the occupants to depart, then stepped inside, pressed button 15, port side. The ride was swift and silent. She held her plastic key card and checked her ticket as the doors opened. She stepped out as he stepped in…to her.

After bouncing off the stranger, Red picked up her purse and smartphone. “Oh my God. I'm so sorry. I wasn't paying attention.”

“No, no. My fault. I'm so lost.” He picked up his ticket and Red's, glanced at them then handed Red's to her. Adjusting his shoulder bag, he asked, “You wouldn't happen to know…” He held out his ticket.

Red checked his room location and tapped the elevator call button. “This side of the ship. When you get out of the elevator go left. Room should be on your right.”

“You seem to know your way around. Do you work on a cruise ship?”

She laughed and looked past the ticket at the man. He was nicely built, blue eyes and sandy blond hair and cheeks with adorable dimples. “No, I've cruised before.”

“This is my first. I'm so lost. Oh, I said that already.” He took a big breath and released it. “Andrew Woodsman. My friends call me Chopper.”

“Hi Chopper. I'm Red Hood.” Second cute introduction inside of ten minutes. And on a senior's cruise, at that.“You know, I have to ask - why Chopper?” Sexy helicopter fighter pilot?

“I'm gonna go for broke here. How about I tell you at lunch? Burgers and beer?”

His face had that lost puppy look that could melt any girl's heart. It melted Red's. Smiling, she nodded. “Sounds good.”

The elevator doors opened. He put his hand on it to hold it until he entered. “I'll come and get you, say, 12:15?”

Blurb

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What's a naughty fairy tale like Red Riding Hood without Red, the huntsman, grandma and especially, the big bad wolf?

Esmerelda 'Red' Hood is summoned to her mother's executive suite only to learn her sweet granny is headed for a romantic cruise with a gigolo. Horrified, Red races off to save her grandma before it's too late.

On board, Red meets Andrew Woodsman and Willem Olf. One a cutie with the biggest puppy eyes and the other a dark, sophisticated predator. Her grandmother's warning rings in Red's ear "Never trust a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Even with the warning, Red has trouble choosing which man could be the big bad wolf and which could be her happily ever after.

Note: This book was previously published by New Dawning Bookfair under the title Sexy Red Hood.

Tag line:

What's a naughty fairy tale like Red Riding Hood without Red, the huntsman, grandma and especially, the big bad wolf?

Amazon

Where to Find Daryl Devoré 

Blog - Romance - Sweet to Heat

Twitter

MEWE  

Facebook

Website

Google+

Amazon Author Page

GoodReads Author Page

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Book Bub

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Thanks for stopping by, Daryl! You’re welcome any time!

Dress Up, Dress Down with Kryssie Fortune

Please join me in welcoming author Kryssie Fortune to the LAM Blog! Great to have you here, Kryssie. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you, Trevann, for letting me drop by to talk about my book Sex, Scandal, and the Sheriff.

My hero is a former Seal who turned sheriff when he was invalided out of the SEALS due to a leg wound that cost him his speed in the water. He wore his SEALS’ badge with pride.

Everyone knows Navy SEALS are special. It’s no surprise their badge is too. The badge’s formal title is Special Warfare Insignia, but mostly it’s known as a SEALS Trident, or even better a Budweiser. Apparently, the eagle looks a lot like the eagle on the famous beer bottle so the name isn’t a hint on SEALS celebrating finishing the 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition / Seal’s training—usually referred to as BUDS.

The Special Warfare insignia consists of a golden eagle clutching a U.S. Navy anchor, trident, and flintlock style pistol.

The photograph below shows SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, from Patchogue, N.Y., and Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, of Cupertino, Calif., taken in Afghanistan. Since the photograph was released by the US Navy, I have no qualms about using it. To me, both men are heroes. As you can see they are wearing combat gear.

By U.S Navy Photographer, U.S Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tagline

Starting over in Westhorpe Ridge wouldn’t be easy, especially since she’d already enjoyed a spanking and a one-night stand with the sheriff.

 

Blurb

Jasmine Stewart (Jazz to her friends) falls for the blond stranger when he spanks and seduces her at a Washington soiree. Later, when she discovers her flatmate is trying to draw her into a spy ring, she goes to the authorities. The ensuing publicity costs her her job, her security, and her future. Starting over in Westhorpe Ridge is her only option.

Sean Mathews, former SEAL and Westhorpe Ridge’s sheriff, can’t forget the woman he spanked when he visited Washington, but he thinks she’s a spy. When she turns up in Westhorpe Ridge, he tries everything to make her leave town. Despite their misunderstandings, though, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

As Year’s Eve looms, the spy ring resurfaces. Jazz will need all of Sean’s SEAL prowess to survive. But because his wounded leg cost him his speed in the water, will it be enough?

  • Note: A stand-alone romance this is the second story in The Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge series, featuring Sean Matthews from Marriage, Mobsters and the Marinesand Jasmine Stewart (Jazz to her friends). 

Buy links

Loose id           http://www.loose-id.com/sex-scandal-and-the-sheriff.html

Amazon.com   http://amzn.to/2iOBqn1

Amazon.co.     http://amzn.to/2inBoBE

Kobo               http://bit.ly/2igip8T

Nook               http://bit.ly/2iGigfP

Kryssie Fortune’s social medial links – I’d love to hear from you.

Facebook      -  https://www.facebook.com/KryssiesFortune

Twitter         -  https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune,

Blog             -  http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/

Website       -  http://kryssiefortune.wixsite.com/kryssie

Excerpt

“New start. New life. New ambitions,” she told herself as she drove away from her dream of being a teacher.

By the time the winter sun crept over the horizon, she’d passed the halfway point between Washington and Westhorpe Ridge. She made good time, but fifteen minutes from her destination, the car handling changed. Praying nothing expensive had happened to her trusty vehicle, she pulled over to take a look. She got out the car, walked around to the rear passenger side, and sighed when she realized the tire had blown out. Damn, my spare’s in the trunk, beneath my suitcases and bedding. Shaking her head, she heaved her first suitcase onto the grass verge. It hadn’t felt so heavy when she’d packed it.

A police car pulled up. “Sheriff Mathews, ma’am. Can I be of assistance?”

His voice flowed over her like molasses, rich, thick, and so sweet she wanted to taste its owner. Instead, she panted slightly but kept moving. “I’ve had a blowout, but my spare tire’s under all my stuff. Don’t worry. I can manage, thank you.”

When she turned back to the car, Jazz’s eyes widened. The man in the uniform looked enormous, blond, and way too familiar. Handsome didn’t come close. In his long-sleeved fawn shirt and standard-issue brown trousers, he looked like a sex god come to earth. And are those handcuffs dangling from his belt? I can find a way to put them to good use.

Given their history, drooling over him felt wrong. Despite what the doctors had told her, traces of the spies’ lust drug must still linger in her system. Her heart beat faster and her pussy grew damp. Even breathing seemed hard around him. “Ethan Mathews? I thought you were a scientist involved in some hush-hush stuff, not a sheriff. Why are you in Westhorpe Ridge? I thought you were some high-flying scientist. And isn’t impersonating a police officer a criminal offense? Shit, you’re driving a real police car. Are you really a sheriff?”

He did a double take, glowered right back at her. “Jazz Stewart? What the hell are you doing here? Have you jumped bail? Keep your hands where I can see them while I radio in and run a check on you.”

Jazz shivered despite the winter sunshine. Everyone except the CIA had made her out to be the bad guy, her former employer included. The damn sheriff was treating her like a criminal, but he’d been at that damn party too. Judging by the way he’d climbing on his high horse, he probably believed everything he’d read about her in the papers. Out of everyone she knew, she’d wanted the man she’d been dreaming about since the soiree to be on her side. He’s even sexier than I remembered, but what’s with this running a check on me? Surely he knows the truth by now. She hated the way he smirked at her, but she couldn’t resist taunting him. “So, Sheriff, spanked any other females lately?”

Dress Up, Dress Down with Patricia Preston!

Please join me in welcoming author (and fellow Supernatural fan) Patricia Preston to the LAM blog! *****************

In Everything His Heart Desires, Brett “Hot Rod” Harris is a cardiologist, but he’s also a guy who was raised on the wrong side of town by his uncle who took him in when he was a little boy. He grew up working in his uncle’s car garage and he has a passion for muscle cars, which he collects. He’s considered the “James Dean” of the medical staff because he often wears a brown leather bomber jacket instead of a white coat. When he’s not in scrubs, he prefers tee shirts and jeans along with his jacket, all of which go perfectly with his fast cars from the Sixties and his attitude.

The heroine, Natalie, who has known Brett since high school, sums up his appearance in an excerpt from the book:

She had left the summer of her graduation from Lafayette High School fifteen years ago and never returned. Not until now. She had never expected to have another cup of coffee in the Country Corner Café.

And she’d certainly never expected to see Brett Harris again.

She shook her head, amused as she thought of him, checking her out in the elevator and going for it. He still oozed with confidence and cockiness. The genius from the wrong side of town who didn’t let anything intimidate him.

Nobody could sport a leather bomber jacket and jeans as well as Brett.

She had to admit he was actually better looking now than he had been in high school. More mature. Laugh lines enhanced his hazel eyes, which were a blend of deep green and light gold. His coffee-brown hair was thick and unruly, which she’d always liked, and he was in need of a shave. He wore masculinity well.

EVERYTHING HIS HEART DESIRES

The man most likely to drive her crazy…

Growing up in Lafayette Falls, senator’s daughter Natalie Layton hid her sorrows behind a bright smile that charmed everyone in high school—except Brett Harris. Hardworking and highly motivated, Brett disissed Natalie as a slacker. Instead, she’s become an acclaimed photographer. And when Brett, now a successful cardiologist, needs her family’s help to secure a coveted position, Natalie’s more than happy to prescribe a little payback…

Hailing from the wrong side of the tracks, Brett believed he could never win the school’s popular princess. Now he’s intrigued by the complex and compassionate woman Natalie’s become. Gaining her grandmother’s goodwill is the key to becoming chief cardiologist—and Natalie has no intention of making it easy. But as mutual mistrust gives way to pure chemistry, there’s more at stake than either ever expected—and much more to learn about matters of the heart…

Buy Links: Amazon Nook  Kobo Google Play iTunes

 

 

 

 

 

Patricia Preston loves writing mainstream romantic fiction where love matters most as well as short stories and historicals. She has won the William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition for Historical Romance, and Harlequin's World's Best Romances Short Story Competition. The small Southern town where she resides and her work in local medical clinics and hospitals both provided inspiration for her “Love Heals All” series. Besides writing, she enjoys photography, cooking, movies, bargain hunting, driving the Natchez Trace and visiting historical sites.

For info on new releases and contests, sign up for her newsletter

Visit her Blog. Follow her Twitter and Amazon

From the Author:

Thanks for joining us today. I write mainstream romantic fiction as well as funny short stories. Must haves in my writing cave include sweet tea, epic music and plenty of notebooks. Besides writing, I love music, history, the French Quarter, photography, reading and anything containing chocolate. I’m a fangirl of Supernatural and Walking Dead. I don’t do much with my life other than write.

If you like single title romances that are filled with family, friends, drama and fun, check out my Love Heals All series, set in the picturesque town of Lafayette Falls, south of Nashville. Or if you like historicals filled with adventure and passion, you might enjoy “To Save a Lady,” set in the sultry French Quarter in 1814 featuring a dashing captain and an elusive French spy.

You can follow me and check out my titles at my Amazon author page

or visit my website at www.patricia-preston.com and stop by my blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter! Thanks!

Dress Up, Dress Down with Author Rosalie Redd

Thanks, Rosalie, for dropping by the LAM Blog!


What do my characters wear? The characters in my Warriors of Lemuria series live in an underground Keep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Tanen is the hero in Unimaginable Lover, book 3 of my Warriors of Lemuria series. He is a Stiyaha, one of the shape-shifting Lemurian warriors sent here from the planet Lemuria to battle over Earth’s most precious resource—water. Educated and cultured, Tanen has an affinity for the finer things in life, including his clothing. He wears hand-tailored slacks, a finely crafted belt, button-down cotton shirts with a starched collar, the required warrior boots, and his lapel pin. The finely crafted jewelry represents Lemuria or “Mu” and life ever after. The slightest wrinkle or crease in his clothing is not tolerated, and he wouldn’t be caught dead without his pin.

As council leader, Tanen must uphold the laws. When he takes on a solo mission to track down a traitor, things don’t go as planned. Mortally wounded, he seeks shelter from the sun’s killing rays in the closest structure he can find—a ramshackle shed on human territory. Rescued by a kind-hearted woman, she nurses him back to health. The disarray in her home grates on his nerves, but not as much as his desire for the forbidden human female.

Blurb:

A shifter and a human together? Unimaginable…

One careless decision. The colony betrayed. Tanen’s only course is a desperate hunt for justice, but his solo mission is cut short when he’s mortally wounded. Rescued by a sweet, innocent woman, he can’t deny the passion that burns between them. Now he must choose between his duty and honor or his desire for the precious, but forbidden, human female.

Broken promises and ruined love hardened Sheri’s heart. When she finds an injured and extraordinarily sexy man on her property, she’s pulled into a world she never imagined. As she nurses him back to health and they bond over their love of books, she’s torn between the lessons she learned from her rough past and the need to seek solace in Tanen’s arms, but she must learn to trust him, and herself, in order to survive.

Bio:

After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for award-winning author Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing.

Social media links:

Website: http://www.rosalieredd.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosaliereddauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RosalieRedd

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/34148783-rosalie-redd

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rosalieredd/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/rosalieredd 

Excerpt:

A nervous chuckle bubbled from her lips. “See, Coop, no problem—”

Coop pushed past her, and a low growl eased from him. In all the time she’d had him, he’d never reacted this way before. She gripped his collar, holding him in place.

Thump.

Her heart skipped a beat before revving into overdrive. Adrenaline surged through her veins, her face tingling from the rush of blood. The urge to flee overwhelmed her, and the muscles in her legs and arms tensed.

“Ahhhh…” a distinctive male voice eased from the gloom.

Coop lunged, yanking against her grip. His barks continued.

“Quiet, Coop!” Her companion hushed, but he strained against her hold.

A dark form slumped against the far wall.

She inhaled and took a step back.

The man groaned louder.

“Who are you? What are you doing in my shed?”

The only sounds, his labored breaths and her own heartbeat.

She emboldened her tone with as much confidence as she could. “You’re trespassing. I’m calling the police.”

“No…don’t.” His words were short, strained, yet the tenor of his voice weaseled its way into the deepest recesses of her soul. The sensation warmed her insides. She held her breath.

He moaned again. His dark form moved.

Her medical training kicked in and she had the urge to rush to his side and help him, but she remained wary. “Are you injured? Should I call an ambulance?”

“Is it dark outside?” His strained speech carried across the small space.

A strange desire to hear him speak again washed over her. She fisted her hand. “What difference does it make if it’s dark outside? If you’re injured, you need help.”

“Please, tell me…is it,” a quick intake of breath, “…dark yet?”

The cultured way he spoke made her still. She’d never heard his accent before. Sweat broke out on the back of her neck, dampening her collar. He seemed in pain, but she wasn’t sure. Her curiosity warred with her fear, and she wavered between barricading herself in her house with Coop and rushing to aid him. Instead, she remained fixed in place.

“It’s dusk,” she choked out, her throat tightening from her confusion.

He leaned his head against the wall. She couldn’t see his features, but from his outline, she could tell he was a large man. “Don’t…fear me. I’ll leave…soon…dark.” His words washed over her again, stroking her insides.

With a quick move, he stood. A stifled groan eased from his lips, and he rested his shoulder against the wall.

She took a step back. It took all of her inner strength not to run.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7K0PCU

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N7K0PCU

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N7K0PCU

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N7K0PCU

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unimaginable-lover-rosalie-redd/1125333110

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unimaginable-lover

ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1185271791

 

Dress Up, Dress Down with L.M. Brown: Falling into Darkness #MFRWAuthor

Falling into Darkness is a story that takes place over a lengthy period of time. And when I say lengthy I mean epic. The story begins shortly before Lucifer falls from Heaven and sets himself up against God, continues right up to the present day, and then on into the future. You’d think that would be a lot of costume changes for my guys, wouldn’t you? I’m afraid that isn’t the case. Much of this story is set in the realm of angels or in the Underworld, where clothing doesn’t move with the times. Michael and the other archangels like their comfortable robes too much to give them up. They are creatures of habit and quite set in their ways. The classic angel attire is what they wear most of the time.

In the Underworld, the domain of Lucifer and the demons, things are a little hotter and the robes have been discarded in favour of tunics, which are cooler to wear, but still very old-fashioned.

What both the angels and demons need to remember, is to change into modern clothing when they walk the Earth.  At some points in the story, this turned out to be a handy way to show the passage of time. The modern era, as we know it, was entered the moment Lucifer decided to torture Michael by dragging him round clothes shops. Since angels (and Lucifer) can change their clothes with  falling-into-darkness-500-x-800nothing more than a thought, it was an entirely unnecessary venture, but it did help highlight the time period for the reader.

So there you have it, my angels are mostly dressed in typical robes of a bygone era, but with the power of a thought, they can blend into any culture by donning the appropriate garments. A handy power to have, I’m sure you’d agree.

Falling into Darkness by L.M. Brown

A Male/Male Romance

Blurb

Their love could save the soul of a fallen angel or damn an archangel to an eternity in Hell.

The realm of angels was created as a paradise where angels could watch over the earth as mankind took his first steps. For the archangel Michael, it is the only home he has ever known and he could never envisage another life. Michael’s life changes the day his path crosses that of the favoured son of the morning. From the moment he sees him, Michael wants Lucifer for his own. When the two angels come together the passion surprises them both.

Their love is forged in Heaven, but is doomed the moment Lucifer falls from grace to become the leader of an army of demons.

Separated by war, the former lovers know the time will come when they must face each other in battle.

Their confrontation will set in motion events that neither could have foreseen. For Lucifer it is the chance to persuade Michael to stand at his side, as his partner as leader of the demons. For Michael, it is a mission to save his lover’s soul, while risking his own.

Torn between his love for Lucifer and his duties as an angel, Michael walks a fine line, where one wrong step could result in his own fall from Heaven, and an eternity in Hell.

Excerpt

Across the table from him, Gabriel’s jaw dropped in apparent surprise as he stared at something over Michael’s shoulder.

Next to him, Raphael twisted in his seat and his expression morphed into one of shock too.

Michael wondered what might be happening behind him, yet he couldn’t move a muscle to see for himself. His spine tingled and he had the strangest sensation someone was staring straight at him.

“What is it?” he whispered, and in the silence of the room even his quiet question seemed obnoxiously loud.

“The son of the morning,” Gabriel murmured as he set Michael’s plate back in front of him with a shaky hand. “Lucifer.”

Michael must have misheard. Lucifer never came into the communal areas of Heaven. He, along with the other favorites, remained solitary, rarely associating with the rest of the angels, and never in a crowded setting such as this.

Slowly, barely able to draw breath, Michael faced the entrance.

Lucifer stood in the archway, the morning sun behind him. There could be no mistaking his silhouette for that of another.

In the brightness of the light, Michael couldn’t tell what Lucifer searched for, at least not for sure. Only his instincts told him Lucifer had eyes for him, and him alone.

Slowly, Lucifer strolled into the room. Every angel in his path stepped aside to let him pass. Some bowed their heads respectfully, but he didn’t acknowledge their deference in any way.

Finally he arrived at Michael’s table and came to a halt.

“Good morning,” Lucifer said.

“I…” Michael mumbled, once again silently cursing his ineptitude.

“I see you still have trouble forming sentences,” Lucifer commented. “Let us hope you can manage more than a single word by this evening.”

“Er…”

Raphael gathered his wits together first and rose to make a sweeping bow. “Great angel, welcome to our table. Won’t you join us and partake of the fruits?”

Lucifer spared the archangel a momentary glance. “I have already eaten this morning.”

Raphael didn’t seem to know what to say, so he sat back down with a bump.

Lucifer returned his attention to Michael. “This evening, at sunset.”

“Where?” Michael asked, his voice croaking embarrassingly.

“Rumor has it your beach is quite pleasant.”

Michael nodded, not trusting his voice enough to try speaking again.

“Tonight then, Michael,” Lucifer said, before sweeping away in a flurry of robes, everyone once again stepping aside to make way for him.

“The son of the morning knows your name?” Gabriel asked as soon as Lucifer had gone. “Is he the one you’ve been meeting each dawn?”

Michael ducked his head. “I wouldn’t say I was meeting him, exactly.”

“But you have been with him in the mornings?” Raphael pressed. “You kept that quiet.”

There would be no escaping the interrogation and Michael accepted he had to come clean.

“I couldn’t sleep one night and ended up walking through the lands to the north of here. I chanced upon Lucifer coming to the pool of jewels one dawn. It seems he visits there most mornings.”

“And you’ve been at the pool with him,” Gabriel concluded.

“I wouldn’t say with him,” Michael mumbled. “I just happen to be in the area at the same time.”

“Just happen?” Raphael chuckled and leaned in to whisper. “I heard a rumor that when Lucifer is diving for jewels he disrobes completely.”

Michael’s face heated again.

Gabriel roared with laughter. “You’ve been spying on Lucifer?”

“I wouldn’t call it spying,” Michael replied.

“But everyone else would,” Raphael teased. “Oh, Michael, what would we do without you to keep us entertained?”

Raphael and Gabriel laughed and teased him for a little while longer, until Gabriel asked the question that had been bothering Michael ever since Lucifer’s appearance.

“If all you’ve been doing is ogling him, how did Lucifer know your name?”

Michael shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe I projected it telepathically without realizing.”

“Or maybe he’s been watching you too?” Raphael suggested.

Buy Links

Pride Publishing - https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/falling-into-darkness

Falling into Darkness will also be available at Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and other online stores from 13th December 2016.

falling-into-darkness-email

Bio

L.M. Brown is an English writer of gay romances. She believes that there is nothing hotter or sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three.

When L.M. Brown isn’t bribing her fur babies for control of the laptop, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

Links

Where to find L.M. Brown

Website & Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Brown.author

Twitter - @LMBrownAuthor

Dress Up, Dress Down with L.M.Brown #MFRWAuthor

Please join me in welcoming L.M.Brown to the LAM Blog. What do you think of when you think of vampires?  Elegant and sophisticated is often what springs to my mind.  The classic Dracula as portrayed by such greats at Christopher Lee in the old-fashioned suit, for example, is such a staple in how vampires are portrayed.  Men frozen in time and wearing clothes of another era, no matter how many centuries have passed.

I don’t know about you, but I believe vampires would have to adapt a little better than that, if they hoped to stay under the radar and avoid all those vampire slayers.

Tom, the vampire hero (and I use the word hero in the loosest sense) of my newest release has been around for about a hundred years, but unlike the vampires of literature he does his best to blend in and adopts modern clothes to help him do that.  Rather than finding him in a dark suit and cravat, he’s more likely to be found slobbing around the house in jeans and a t-shirt.

My vampire is one who moves with the times and his clothing reflects that.

That doesn’t mean he is entirely against the classic vampire attire, but he sticks to that sort of garb at Halloween, when he’ll still manage to disappear into the crowd.  Of course when the crowd is a bunch of half-dressed, covered in body glitter, Twilight fans, he still sticks out like a sore thumb.

But he does try not to draw attention to himself, even if he isn’t very good at it.


frenchkissingvampiresforbeginners_432French Kissing Vampires for Beginners by L.M. Brown

A male/male romance

Blurb

Tom is your typical modern vampire.  He lives in a detached house in the suburbs, pays his taxes, and bemoans the price of bottled blood.  He doesn’t usually tell people what he is, but sometimes it can’t be helped, like now, when he has toothache and needs the assistance of a dentist.

Martyn’s night isn’t going too well at all. He’s working late, his patient is a vampire, and now they’re being mugged. But what sort of a vampire is Tom if he can’t leap to the rescue and use his superpowers to save them?

There’s only one way to find out and Martyn, a self-confessed geek with a love for all things vampire, intends to get to know Tom better, despite the bloodsucker’s fear of dentists.

Excerpt

Outside, the street seemed to be deserted, but in this part of town, you could never quite tell for sure.

“Where are you parked?” Tom asked.

“The staff car park, round the back.” Dr Coleman gestured down the street, toward the corner he had hurried round earlier.

“I’ll walk you to your car,” Tom said.

“Why?”

“Because it’s late at night, and this is a rather disreputable area.”

“I’m a grown man and perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

Tom could tell he’d insulted the dentist, but decided to ignore the man’s annoyance. He walked toward the alley leading to the car park and waited for Dr Coleman to join him.

The dentist rolled his eyes and marched ahead of him, leaving Tom hurrying to catch up.

Half way down the alley, a shadowy figure stepped into their path.

“Your wallets, now,” the mugger demanded.

Tom caught the quick flash of a blade, and he flashed a smugly satisfied, albeit brief, smile at Dr Coleman.

Dr Coleman stared at him expectantly. Tom frowned. He had a feeling the dentist was trying to convey some silent message to him, but he had never been particularly good at interpreting body language. Mind reading would have been real handy right now. Unfortunately, while fictional vampires had the ability, Tom didn’t.  Life as a vampire had been disappointing from day one, and it hadn’t improved over the years.

“Hurry up,” the mugger snarled. “If you poufs can stop making googly eyes at each other.”

“Excuse me?” Tom asked. “What did you call me?”

The mugger jabbed the blade toward them. “Stop stalling and hand ‘em over.”

Tom sighed, gave a moment of thanks that he had very little cash on him, and tossed his wallet at the mugger.

“What are you doing?” Dr Coleman asked. “Aren’t you going to fight him?”

“Fight?”

“Using your, er, unique abilities.”

“I don’t have any.”

Dr Coleman frowned. “What? None at all?”

“No.”

“But you insisted on escorting me to my car. Wasn’t the reason in case something like this happened?”

“I was being polite.”

Buy Links

MLR Press Amazon (universal link) All Romance Ebooks

Kobo

Bio

L.M. Brown is an English writer of gay romances.  She believes that there is nothing hotter or sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three.

When L.M. Brown isn’t bribing her fur babies for control of the laptop, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

Links

Where to find L.M. Brown

Website & Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Brown.author

Twitter - @LMBrownAuthor

 

Where It Begins: Writing a Prequel

At first glance it would seem that writing a prequel would be easy. After all, the outcome is known. The problem is how much and what needs to be included to tell the story. After Midnight, prequel to House of the Rising Son, had a particular problem. Cheyenne is introduced in HOTRS as a single father of two children. You, the reader, asked who and where were their mothers.

Of course I know. I have the backstory. I know why the children are with him. But I presenting their mothers, Ria and Jewel, as women/vampires who love their children AND care for Cheyenne was tricky. They didn't easily give up the kids. They made the tough decision to part with their children as a matter of safety. The children's safety.

Obviously After Midnight was not a book that would have a Happily Ever After ending. But a Happy For Now between Ria and Jewell was necessary. So the story ended at a moment of joy for them.

It was an interesting novella to write. I hope it supplies some answers to readers and perhaps raises questions about when and where the moms reappear. As for the actual transfer of the children to Cheyenne, that story will come. When they make their next appearance Ria and Jewell will tell us.

After Midnight is available on Amazon

Dress Up, Dress Down with Marie Dry

Happy Friday! Let's welcome Marie Dry to the LAM Blog today, talking about her book, ALIEN BETRAYED. ********************************

NAKED ALIENS AND CLOTHES DOING DOUBLE DUTY

I thought it was really amusing, doing a blog about my characters clothes. Why? Because mostly I forget to put clothes on them. I literally have to go in afterwards and make sure they’re not running around naked. In the process I learned a lot about the function clothes serves in a story.

The first editor at Black Opal Books who worked on Alien Mine thought the Aliens in the Zyrgin Warriors series walked around naked. I was shocked that she could miss the wonderful description of their uniforms, loaded with weapons that became the size of pennies when placed in their pockets. Then I went searching for the specific paragraph where I described it. It wasn’t there! I had to go in and put clothes on them. I was mortified, this was my first book to be published and I did something so careless. The worst part was that I could see their clothes so clearly and knew the function they served and it only happened in my mind. And I managed to forget to put it down on the manuscript.  I knew from the beginning that their clothes were made of some really strong material with some amazing properties, allowing them to simply step out of their shoes without using laces and their uniforms were developed to withstand most weapons. I wanted their clothes to juxtapose their primitive joy in battling with swords. To illustrate that this was a culture with advanced technology even though they come across as rather primitive in their ideas.

After that I went and checked a contemporary I’ve been fiddling with and yip, no clothes. Once again the heroine’s clothes were clear in my mind, but not on the page. She’s a rather frumpy dresser and much more interested in developing her mind than her fashion sense. To make matters worse, her way of looking at herself and what she wear through the book, illustrate her acceptance of herself as a beautiful woman by the end of the book. Or it would have if I’d just taken the time to really describe her clothes. Since I made the changes and ensured that the clothes mirrored her development the story has improved.

What I learned from this was that clothes can illustrate aspects of the character, they can show the technological stage of development of a civilization or poverty or riches, it can illustrate the characters jobs or lack of jobs. In other words, clothes has their own job to do in a story. They can also do absolutely nothing if the author, namely me, don’t use it as a tool.

Mary Buckham wrote an excellent craft book. Active Settings by Mary Buckham. I cannot recommend this enough. She has examples that illustrate what I tried to say above. Here is a link to amazon to her book. A Writer's Guide to Active Setting

Thank you for inviting me to write for your blog. I’m off to make sure my Gargoyle is wearing clothes and not running around Cape Town naked.

More about Marie

All her life Marie Dry has read romances and was fairly young when she decided she would travel the world and write the perfect story that had all the elements she looked for in a romance. In 2007 after living in Morocco for four years and back in South Africa, she shared a pizza with a friend and promised to go all out with her writing and to work at getting published. In 2014 her first book was published by Black Opal Books. Two more books has since been published and a fourth contracted.

There are several wonderful moments in her life that she would never trade for anything. One of them is meeting President Nelson Mandela and the second being published.

www.mariedry.com

Marie's Amazon Page

Find Marie on Goodreads

BOOK BLURB

MD picALIEN BETRAYED

In a bleak and apocalyptic future, where the Zyrgin Warriors are getting ready to conquer Earth, Marcie is sent to infiltrate the alien stronghold in the Rocky Mountains, only to be betrayed by her own people. Instead of stealing the alien’s technology and accomplishing her mission of causing mayhem and destruction among them, she is captured by Larz, an arrogant alien, who wreaks havoc with her heart when he insists that she will be his woman. Still, he may no longer want her when he discovers her secrets…ones she doesn’t even know she has.

EXCEPT: CHAPTER 1

Larz clasped the training sword with both hands and swung it in a wide arc around his head, conquering his favourite patch of the Rocky Mountains.This was the closest a Zyrgin warrior came to the human emotion of joy. The sword fit his hand like an extra limb. His body moving with strength and fluidity gifted to him by generations of the strongest blood on Zyrgin. Still swinging, he moved the sword to his left and then his right hand, increasing his speed until his movements became a blur.

Every day after his warrior duties, he came to this rocky patch on the mountain.Practiced to ensure he was worthy and ready for the day the leader of all Zyrgin territories would give him his sword of honor. That was the moment all warriors lived for. When their leader, who they called The Zyrgin, gifted them with a sword that would respond to the touch of a certain warrior only. Warriors from a strong bloodline, and some warriors born stronger,received swords that, with the aid of technology, could be made to shrink to nearly invisible size. To the enemy, it looked as if they disappeared and appeared as if by magic.

Many warriors used their cloaking technology to make it seem as if they had received such a sword from The Zyrgin. Larz knew he’d never have to resort to such measures. He was from The Zyrgin’s bloodline, descended from the strongest Zyrgin that ever ruled.

Larz lunged sideways then stepped back, performing the sequence of the warrior conquering with his sword with ease. Instinctively compensating for the uneven boulder strewn patch he stood on. Though his movements were swift and smooth, as a warrior’s should be, today he performed without his usual fierce concentration.

Worry for his human occupied his mind. Months ago, shortly before his second change, he claimed Marcie as his breeder after they rescued her from a raider camp. Everyone else called her a loud, mean woman with ugly red hair. Not a day went by without one of the warriors offering to kill her or bring him a better human. When he looked at her, he saw his breeder. A woman he’d never give up.

If he claimed her after he went through his third change, it might mean he had to give up his need to do battle in their wars, to serve on the Zyrgin homeland. The friend of Natalie and Julia, Sarah had disappeared more than a year ago and it had taken many months to find her in a raider camp. She had been starved and bruised and told them Marcie was responsible for many of the things that happened to her in that camp. They may have rescued Marcie from a raider camp, but they were certain she was sent to infiltrate them. Her attitude made her very unpopular. Shortly after they brought her to their guesthouse, she’d tried to hurt Sarah and Sarah had been moved to live with Natalie. Larz had to go through his third change soon, or he might not be able to claim her.

From the time the first Zyrgin ruled, millions of centuries ago, Zyrgin warriors were not allowed to claim a breeder before their third change. It was a strange knowing each warrior carried within. Larz turned and decapitated an imaginary enemy behind him. His third change was months away, and he needed to claim Marcie before she got herself killed.

He stumbled and compensated for the uneven rock beneath his boots. Adding challenge to his workout, he closed his eyes. A warrior who owned a foul-mouthed human had to be prepared for anything.

This barren patch of the alien planet he was born on, this little piece of earth, always drew him. On the hard rock, where no trees grew and no reintroduced wildlife ventured, he was reminded of his home planet. Out here, with the exotic earth sun shining down on him, he could think about claiming a strangely compelling woman with a mean mouth and ugly red hair. Make plans for keeping her safe from the consequences of her actions.

Zorlof, his brother, ran up to him, his pre-second change body small, but stronger than that of a human male. Their doctor couldn’t explain why he took so much longer than Larz to go through his second change, but all indications were that he would be very strong once it did happen. Zyrgin warriors were born with the knowledge of battle, with strength in their small bodies. With each change their knowledge and strength grew. In Zorlof’s case, he suspected that strength and knowledge might be much stronger in him than the average warrior. Even taking into account their strong bloodline, Zorlof was taller and stronger than any pre-second change warrior born for centuries.

Zorlof easily leaped over a few boulders and increased his speed until he skidded to a halt in front of Larz.

“Marcie tried to kill Zanr to get to Sarah. She screamed she’d kill Sarah the whole time,” Zorlof said.

The mountain blurred around Larz and noise rang in his ears. Like their ship’s klaxon, instead of danger to the ship, it heralded danger to his human. Larz sank down on his knees and leaned his head on his sword. “That human will drive me to Solarian drink.”

If she had simply gone after Zanr, they would’ve laughed at the idea of a human woman trying to overcome a Zyrgin warrior. No warrior would give an attack from a human woman any serious attention, beyond ensuring she didn’t hurt herself. Threatening the Zyrgin’s breeder? Larz might not be able to save her.

His time was up. He had to choose between Marcie and being a warrior and probably his life. Give up everything that defined him to save that female who had no concept of honor. He didn’t understand her mean nature and why she hated Sarah this much? If she was sent to infiltrate them, wouldn’t it make more sense to befriend them?

Larz closed his eyes and prayed for patience. Would the woman never stop putting herself in danger? When he claimed her, he’d make sure she understood that such behavior would have severe consequences for her. Ever since they rescued Marcie from the raider camps six months ago, she’d angered every human and Zyrgin who came into contact with her.

 

 

Dress Up Dress Down with Rachel Leigh Smith

Please join me in welcoming Rachel Leigh Smith to the LAM blog! ~~~~~~

imageMy Name Is A’yen is set in the far distant future, after humanity has spread through the stars and encountered another species, the Lokmane. Out of fear, humanity enslaved them and so succeeded in wiping out the past that the Lokmane don’t believe there was ever a time they were free and had a home.

A’yen, the main character, also believes this. As a slave, and a male of his species, he can’t afford to dream like that. Humans are afraid of him due to his size and strength. Lokmane men always top six feet in height, and they’re telepathic. Though most of them aren’t able to use it.

He’s not a big fan of clothes. Neither are the other Lokmane males. Starting at the age of 18 and broken up into three sets, they’re covered with metallic ink tattoos to provide humans with an easy way of controlling them. Because of how their bodies process electromagnetic energy, the tattoos, called markings, are torture to endure. Both having it done, and living with it.

Unfortunately, going around half-naked is dangerous for a Lokmane male. A’yen prefers wearing cotton shorts and soft t-shirts when he has to get dressed. In his ideal world, he never has to wear a shirt. He’s not fond of shoes either, since one of the marking sets covers the tops of his feet.

His heroine, Fae Hart, is an archaeologist. She’s almost always in cargo pants, boots, and loose, breathable shirts. Since he’s helping her on her dig, and they’re on an unexplored planet, he’s wearing the same things. Much to his dismay.

A’yen has lived most of his life in pain, so his clothing choices are designed to lessen it as much as possible. It’s something I have personal experience with, unfortunately.

The excerpt I’ve chosen is one where he’s stripped down to go swimming. And he can’t help thinking about Fae. Though at this point in the story, he doesn’t really like her.

Bio: imageRachel Leigh Smith was swept off her feet at the age of six by Magnum, P.I., then again at nine by Frank Hardy. She remembers her favorite romance novels by the hero’s name, so of course she writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family, a half-crazed calico, a ginger tabby lion, and a menagerie of book boyfriends.

www.rachelleighsmith.com www.facebook.com/rachelleighsmithauthor www.instagram.com/rlsauthor www.pinterest.com/rachelleighgeek www.goodreads.com/author/show/8425584.Rachel_Leigh_Smith

Blurb:

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

Excerpt:

He kicked back again, eyes closed, and Dr. Hart’s face filled his mind. For the first time, he didn’t shove it away. Instead, he ignored the fact she owned him. Still couldn’t bring himself to think of her as mistress. To him, the word was intimate, symbolic of a relationship they didn’t have. Without doubt she was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. In a playful, impish sort of way. Her nickname fit.

What would it be like to kiss her? He didn’t shove that thought aside either. Full lips begged to be teased, tasted to their fullest. Her green eyes, almost too big for her face, captivated him. Whether he was ready to voice it or not. So deep, almost mysterious. Glossy black hair with just the right amount of wave. How would it feel on his skin?

A physical attraction like this wasn’t unusual for him, or the other Loks Mé men he’d talked to over the years. Fantasizing was safe. No one got hurt this way. It was acting on it that broke hearts and families.

Which meant he needed to stop it now before the urge to act on it became a need and ruined everything. He’d acted on his attraction to Tala without getting to know her first. Not a mistake he needed to repeat with someone he was likely stuck with for the rest of his life.

On the other hand, Mother was right. He had to let her in, show her he wasn’t a smart-ass all the time, that he could accept her authority. If he didn’t give a little and show her he could be obedient and respectful, she’d never give him even an inch of freedom. He’d spend the rest of the journey locked in their quarters, bored out of his skull. Not be allowed to explore the planet where he’d tasted the closest thing to total freedom any Loks Mé had ever known.

Before he could change her expectations, first he had to meet them.

Easier said than done.

Dress Up Dress Down with Ava Cuvay

Please join me in welcoming "out of this world" romance author, Ava Cuvay to the LAM Blog! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi! Thanks for letting me come chat about the importance of attire in my upcoming book Love and the Corps. My character’s choice of clothing in this book, and in specific scenes, was particularly fun to write because it helped to complement/contradict my characters.

My heroine, Captain Jo Behsue of the Corps, has a large scar across her face and a strong, sturdy body (thick in all the right places). Rumor has is she is 90% dude, and she has never bothered to prove the rumors wrong. Because she is career military, her clothing choices center around her Corps-issue, boxy, sexless uniforms. She finds the prospect of having to wear a delicate satin evening gown more terrifying than being inserted in the middle of battle with only her fists as weapons. While her uniforms intrigue my hero—is she a plentiful handful or a sweet little mouthful? —the sight of her womanly charms beautifully displayed in a gown sets his passion aflame.

By contrast to his love interest, Lux Krotah of the Klorakian mercenary army—like all his kind—is tall, lithe, and silver, with a beauty nearly effeminate in nature (except for his muscles!). Where the Corps is a blunt, brute-force type of military operation, their girly Klorakian counterparts embody grace in all things, from their physical features to their combat tactics to their architecture and clothing. So, while Jo must wear a gown to the royal ball, the Klorakian ceremonial formal dress is… a skirt. A kilt of iridescent scarves covering just enough of Lux to make Jo’s mouth water.

In Love and the Corps, I enjoyed dressing my characters to contradict stereotype, while trying to keep them sexy in the eyes of the one person who matters: Their Happily-Ever-After. At the very least, I get to have an alien character dressed in a sexy kilt!

Love and the Corps Snippet

Two harried hours later, Jo eased her way through the palace corridors. The quiet halls echoed the soft patter of her sandals—dainty, strappy sandals which were the epitome of femininity, but at least their heels were flat. Her steps were careful, cautious. She attempted a slow, gliding gate, unnerved by how her unsupported breasts swayed and jostled within the bodice of her dress. If she was overly cavalier with her movements, her breasts might escape their delicate confines.

Only one layer of luxurious satin rested between her naked body and disaster.

K’Ahla and the servant girls had transformed Captain Jo Behsue of the Corps into a creature she did not recognize. They had crafted a flowing, watery gown from satin sheets purchased but never used by the former dictator—Jo appreciated the subtle insult to his failed legacy—and swept her thick hair upon her head in a simple chignon she could never replicate. They applied enough make-up for her eyes and her lips to catapult off her face and diva-slap her scar until it faded to obscurity. Jo had stared at her reflection, wondering who the lovely woman was on its surface. Tendrils of dark hair curled at her nape and temple. The dress revealed enough of her olive skin to tempt without putting her on vulgar display. The bodice fell gracefully from one shoulder, over her full breasts, and cinched at her waist. The skirt cascaded to the floor and, as she walked, the hem fluttered like her own ethereal cloud of blue. With each step, the side slits allowed a long, muscular leg to peek through before ducking shyly behind the folds of the fabric.

Jo had to admit K’Ahla and the other women had accomplished the impossible. She was beautiful.

As she made her way to Lux’s room, eager to see his reaction to her transformation, she tried not to ruin their miracle with unnecessary movement. She was accustomed to clomping around in fatigues and boots, giving no regard to how her hair looked or how she moved her body. One wrong turn or a carelessly placed foot could ruin all their hard work.

She turned the corner and saw his door was ajar. Her heart hammered in her chest, her inner soldier immediately at arms. Had someone entered and killed him? Had the despot brother achieved revenge without raising a single alarm? She tiptoed through the opening, her hand at her thigh where her knife was strapped. Even for such a formal occasion as tonight’s ceremony, she was not about to go completely unarmed. Though what she saw next did a damn good job of it.

Lux was alone. And alive. And naked but for a skirt of wispy scarves held low on his waist by an intricate, gem-studded silver belt. A wide collar of matching gems glittered at his neck. What was left was a long, wide expanse of smooth, silvery skin filled to rippling with sleek muscles. Muscles she’d explored with her hands several times. Muscles which could kill in a flash, yet had made her body sing so divinely. Her mouth watered and her body heated. She’d never seen a man in a skirt before, and knew many planets where such a sight was a death wish. Had anyone asked her opinion before this moment, she would have assumed the clothing choice would render the man effeminate.

The vision before her was anything but.

Lux was all man, and one hundred percent sexy. Like Klorakian architecture, he was a perfect meld of power and elegance, fluid grace and fierce strength. He leaned back against the wall, an arm slung casually over his head, the other resting on the exposed thigh of a leg propped against the wall at his back for support. The pose was both relaxed and seductive, an upright version of how he might look in bed after lovemaking. What would it be like to kneel before him, part the scarves like a curtain, and take him into her mouth?

Fire burst in her nerve endings at the thought.

Ava’s Bio:

Ava Cuvay writes out of this world romance featuring sassy heroines, often-alien-but-always-sexy heroes, and an alcoholic beverage or two... Set in a galaxy far, far away. Think "Star Wars" meets "Firefly", without Jar-Jar Binks, and with a lot more heat.

She resides in central Indiana with a hubby who makes her laugh and kiddos who are growing up way too quickly. She enjoys the world of wine and spirits, amusement park thrill rides, and laughing at her own foibles (yeah, she laughs a lot).

She believes life is too short to surround yourself with negative people, and Han Solo shot first. When not writing, Ava is thinking about writing. Or wine. And she’s always thinking about bacon.

Look for “Love and the Corps” Book two of The Heart Nebula Series. To be published by the end of the month!

www.AvaCuvay.com

Ava Cuvay Amazon Author Page