Sunday, 27 January 2013

#SexySnippets - Isle of Sensuality


I hope everyone’s having a fab weekend. Don’t know about everyone else, but I’ll be glad to see the end of January. This has to be the most depressing month of the year…Anyway, ‘nuff moaning about the weather :o) 
 
This is the first Sunday I’m participating in The Nut House Scribblers’ Sexy Snippets. My seven sentences are from Isle of Sensuality. 
 
His hand cupped her cheek and his thumb brushed her lips making them burn and swell. “We won’t be. Trust me.” Jake’s head lowered and he brushed his mouth against hers gently.
The shock of the sensations rippling through Caitlyn made her mind go blank for a second. Then her lips parted and the taste of him filled her mouth along with his tongue. Caitlyn lost composure. Her hands fisted his lapels and pulled him closer, pressing herself tighter against him.
Need more? You can get it here:

Be sure to check out other participating authors…

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Chapter One of Isle of Sensuality

I posted the first chapter of The Monster of Fame on my blog and it had such a great response I thought I’d do the same for Isle of Sensuality. So, without rambling on… 

Location: Beach. Action: Frantic lovemaking.
Caitlyn Hart’s cheeks warmed and her pulse thumped in her veins. The bound script slipped from her fingers, landing with a thud on the coffee table. No matter how many times she read the words they still came as a shock.
Pull it together, Cait. You’re an actress. Act.
The only problem was she had no idea how she was supposed to. Short of picking up a stack of blue movies the next time she was in Rio, there was no way to learn how she was meant to act in that particular scene.
Thrumming her fingers against the wooden table top, Caitlyn glared at the glass wall. Rain pattered against the small villa in a soothing rhythm. She tried to relax, but couldn’t quite alleviate her temper enough to do so.
It was bad enough filming had been delayed a week already, now they would have to wait until the rain passed before they could begin. This, however, was all dependant on whether or not her co-star would actually show up. Jake Campbell, movie star and playboy alike, was the only true star in the low budget movie, Caught in Action.
Caitlyn’s phone vibrated on the table, and she slid her finger over the screen to read the text.
Hey, Cait. God, I’m terrified about the show. Wish you were here already! How’s filming going? xxx
Amanda’s text kicked her anger up a notch. Her younger sister looked to Caitlyn as a mother figure at times. In three months, Amanda was doing her first fashion show and her twenty-two year old sister wasn’t strong. Amanda needed support, and Caitlyn was the only one who had been there to provide it. Not that she would have ever done anything differently, but sometimes she wished she had someone she could rely on.
She sent a quick reply to Amanda promising she would try and be there. She had to be there. Rather than spend the week sulking or worrying she wouldn’t be finished filming in time, Caitlyn had spent most of it learning as many of her lines as possible.
The character she played was so unlike herself that it was exhilarating; Sandra Fell was a kick-ass detective with only one goal—to find the man who killed her family in a drug bust and put him behind bars. Caitlyn was never forthright, nor had she ever confronted anyone in her life.
Not to mention, it was a vast change from playing a spoiled socialite on an American soap opera. Still, Caitlyn had to admit that while she was enjoying lying in the sun all day—yet still managing to stay surprisingly chalk white—she was eager to get the movie shot and head home. The private island the filmmakers rented was beautiful, but felt crowded with most of the cast. She rapped in a staccato beat on the mahogany table top with her fingers. Was it really too much to ask that someone showed up at a job when he was supposed to?
The sound of helicopter blades chopping through the air caught Caitlyn’s attention and her fingers froze mid-rap. She knew it must be Jake. Everyone else had taken a speed boat from Rio, facing wind and water spray to get here. It figured a hot shot movie star like him would find that mode of transportation beneath him.
As she rose from the armchair, its legs scraped the tiled floor. She paced across to the glass wall and cupped a hand over her eyes to see out. The sun had set and the island was in darkness. Of course the ugly black clouds in the sky hadn’t allowed much light through when it had been daylight. It reminded her of English autumns, though she’d never returned to the UK since she left all those years ago.
About fifteen feet away, she saw a makeshift landing pad, illuminated by spotlights pointing toward the gloomy sky. The beams highlighted the sheets of rain which fell diagonally, hitting the sand with such force that little divots were left behind and the grains scattered at impact.
After a moment, the chopping sound grew louder and Caitlyn saw the dark outline of a helicopter as it flew into the prism of light created by the spotlights. Once grounded, the pilot practically stumbled out of the aircraft until he had opened the rear door—as if it were a limousine!
Flabbergasted by the grandiose behavior, Caitlyn squinted so she could see more clearly. A tall, muscular figure stepped out from the helicopter and landed as gracefully as a jungle cat on the sand. Once straightened, the man towered above the pilot. Golden hair glinted in the light and Caitlyn’s tummy flipped.
It was Jake.
Her anger at his lack of professionalism and consideration for others’ schedules boiled to the forefront of her mind. The way he casually strolled across the sand—with the air of a Greek god—followed by the pilot and another man, all struggling with his luggage, made her temper flare hotter.
And that is exactly why actors and actresses are considered high maintenance.
The lights of the larger villa opposite Caitlyn’s flared on and she ducked into a shadowed corner of the glass wall to continue snooping. Jake at least held the door open for the men as they carried his cases inside. When the two emerged, Jake pulled out a roll of notes from his tight jeans, counted out several bills, and then handed them over as if it were nothing. Caitlyn couldn’t see his expression from this far, but his lazy actions suggested he perhaps wore a casual sneer.
Never having met the man, she really shouldn’t judge. Although anyone who didn’t take their work seriously enough to actually show up on time couldn’t be all that nice. After the door closed and the two men retreated to the heliport, Caitlyn made a decision. Before she could change her mind, she pulled on a crocheted cardigan and headed for the door.
It was about time Mr. Campbell realized that he couldn’t just arrive when it suited him, especially not when they were on such a tight schedule. Sure, he was absolutely gorgeous in the magazines and films she’d seen him in, but good looks—or even great looks—didn’t excuse poor manners. Caitlyn was new to the film industry, but she’d worked on Days and Nights since she was eighteen, a solid eight years of acting experience.
As she threw open the door and the wind whipped rain across her face in hard slashes, Caitlyn’s anger grew. To her, work was a way of supporting those she loved—namely her younger sister and her nephew, Kale. Family was everything to Caitlyn, and it was what she’d lived for all her life.
Wet sand flew up around her ankles with sludge-like consistency as she stomped her way across to Jake’s villa. The rain plastered her hair to her scalp and the humidity made her feel sticky, but she didn’t care. She was mad on too many levels to worry about appearances.
As she neared his house, illuminated with lights shining from every window, the better part of herself was screaming reason at her.
What on earth are you doing? He’s your co-star, and let’s face it, the only star! Why antagonize him when the movie needs him?
But the voice of logic was grossly overruled by her newfound temper. After all, it was his job to be there. So why let everyone wait in limbo—no, wait for him—for a whole week before strolling onto the island like nothing was out of sorts? Well, she was about to find out.
She had to make it back to LA in time for her sister’s fashion show. Ever since Caitlyn had run away from their alcoholic and abusive father, taking her fourteen-year-old sister with her, she’d been there for Amanda every day. The acting—although a way to escape real life, if only for a little while—was for Amanda as much as it was for herself. Caitlyn wanted to support her in every way she could, and now that Amanda had Kale, she needed to help more than ever. Amanda relied on her. Caitlyn took her work, and her family obligations, seriously. After all, Amanda was all she had left. Jake was making that task impossible.
She climbed the step and reached out a hand to knock. For a split second, Caitlyn wondered if this really was the best idea.
How about sticking up for yourself for once?
Decided, Caitlyn knocked once. After a few seconds ticked by, her impatience rose. She turned the handle, pushed the door to the villa open, and gasped at the sight before her.
* * * *
Whiskey was exactly what Jake needed.
After spending the morning at the bank and then the rest of the day and night traveling, he was exhausted. Yet he knew sleep wouldn’t come. Not when his father’s company was in the state it was.
Disposing of his shirt—the humidity from the storm was stifling—Jake made his way through the coffee colored hallway, heading straight for the kitchen. Sean Brennon, the director and his long time friend, knew Jake’s choice of refreshments and he had no doubt a bottle of the finest Scotch would be in there somewhere.
And it was. A bottle of malt sat on the center of the metallic breakfast bar. A crystal glass sat next to the whiskey with a white envelope propped against it. Jake lifted the note.
Hey, man. Hope your day wasn’t too shitty. I really appreciate this. The fridge is stocked with British crap and there’s another bottle of Scotch in the cupboard. Knock yourself out, and give me a call when you’re ready to start filming. The crew’s getting antsy.
Sean
Jake dragged his free hand across his face. It had been a hell of a day. Filming this low-budget movie was a risk, and not something he particularly needed at this point in time. All week, he’d been held up in London trying to find a way to keep his father’s business, which was now run by his two brothers, afloat.
After their parents died, Jake had taken over the business, and while he’d enjoyed the challenge running the UK’s leading engineering supplies procurement company presented, he’d also felt trapped and suffocated.
For the last seven days, he’d been arguing with his brothers about the best way to proceed. Jake had tried to push them to sell given the recession, but Tom and Sam vehemently disagreed. Knowing he had other commitments, Jake finally invested a chunk of capital into the business to keep the company afloat until filming ceased. When he got back to London, he’d convince them to change their minds. He had to. With his youngest brother Sam’s sole skill being selling, and Tom lacking even basic people skills, they had no chance of running the business without him and there was no way he could face running his father’s company all over again.
It had been enough to be the sole guardian of his younger brothers after their parents were killed, never mind taking control of the family business as well—and all at the age of eighteen. And then there was Sarah and her ultimatum. Jake poured a two-finger nip of whisky and swallowed it in one burning gulp. The burn helped push away the lingering rage just thinking of Sarah brought. Still, it wasn’t enough.
Pouring a heftier shot, his mind unconsciously wandered back to the months after his parents had been killed. No one, not the social worker, the principal at his high school, or the counselor wanted him to take over the reins of Campbell Engineers. They’d all tried to persuade him to finish school and let the social department look after his brothers, all so he could go to college.
Jake shook his head at the absurdity of the memory. Like he’d ever let his brothers go into care. Another sip and the warmth of the alcohol spread through him, making it easier to ignore the confused guilt welling up inside.
Three months, he told himself. After that he could get back to London and work on his brothers. Surely they would see the logic in selling a failing company in today’s economy. They could use the proceeds to start their own small business, maybe even invest in the stock market. After all, share prices were at their lowest in decades.
Yet, as he relaxed back into a lazy-boy recliner and stared out at the darkness beyond the patio doors, an uneasy feeling swelled in his chest. Was he wrong in asking his brothers to give up on their legacy?
Before he could convince himself he was being an idiot, Jake heard scuffling coming from the front of the house. A moment later, the sound of flip-flops slapped against the stone stairs leading to the door of the villa and then, a light knock. Jake propelled himself out of the chair, headed for the hallway—picking up the coat rack just in case—and waited. The door swung open and a tiny, dark figure entered the house.
Jake flicked the light switch and after his eyes adjusted, he raised his brows in surprise at the sight before him. Caitlyn Hart, his co-star whom he’d yet to have the pleasure to meet, stood in his doorway resembling a drowned mouse.
The rain had turned her fiery red curls a dark cherry shade, enhancing the creamy skin of her face and neck. A familiar burn coursed through his veins as his gaze lowered to her white top, clinging to her like wet, translucent skin. He noticed the twin peaks pointing at him from her chest and swallowed. How had he missed how utterly sexy she was when he’d seen her on television commercials and in magazines?
Caitlyn cleared her throat in irritation and he realized his gaze was still molded to her breasts. He lifted his head and met her glare head on, resisting the urge to laugh at her expression. Her scowl was adorable.
“Would you mind getting dressed? I was hoping we could talk.”
Jake felt his eyebrows pull together before it hit him that he was standing there shirtless, wearing only a pair of jeans. Still, she was the first woman who had ever asked him to cover himself up. His lips curved.
“And let you miss all this?” Jake swept a hand across his torso. “I’m not that selfish.”
Most girls would have giggled at the joke. He waited, but her scowl only deepened. What was her problem? He placed the coat stand down, folded his arms across his chest, and then lounged against the door frame.
Her gaze darted down to his folded arms and for a moment, the scowl vanished. Her expression was hard to decipher, but before he could figure it out, her attention focused back on his face. He noted the emerald color of her eyes had darkened and a flush glowed in her cheeks.
Caitlyn wiped her expression—was it lust?—clean of any trace of emotion and glared at him some more. “Since it seems you’d rather do this half naked—” At that he did laugh and her frown deepened. “—then I guess I’ll say what I came to. You may think you’re some big shot movie star who doesn’t need to abide by the rules, but your actions have consequences for others!” Caitlyn’s voice rose as her anger flared.
He was gobsmacked at her outburst. Falling back on his charm to try to alleviate some of her anger, Jake grinned from ear to ear.
Her eyes flashed. Caitlyn stomped toward him and poked her finger into his chest. “Some of us have lives,” she continued her angry torrent. “Commitments, things we have to do after work. You know, work? Where you were supposed to be last week? Now filming will run on longer and I have places to be in three months.”
Jake eyed his co-star with his brows drawn together and his jaw taut. What kind of a woman would come into a man’s house and give him grief just because his timekeeping didn’t suit her? Exactly the same kind of woman Sarah was. He couldn’t marry Sarah quick enough for her liking.
But Jake wasn’t twenty-one anymore and didn’t let women try to rule him. Plus, he had to work with Caitlyn. If he threw her out now, surely the next three months would be torture. He considered whether to continue to play the dumb, self-centered hot shot movie star she had accused him of being and decided it would be fun. Well, more fun than telling her the truth about the week of hell which made him late. Not that he would ever confide such a thing in someone like her in the first place.
Jake shrugged and pulled his expression into his best I-don’t-give-a-crap look. “Sweetheart.” Caitlyn visibly bristled and he had to fight a smile. He grabbed the finger still prodding his chest and for a second, saw fear flash in her eyes before she pulled her hand out of his grasp. “We all have commitments. So we’re stuck on a fancy island off the coast of Rio with all the luxuries we will ever need for the next few months. I don’t see what the problem is. I could think of worse places to be.” The last part was true. Back home, shouldered with the responsibility of his family’s company, was one of them.
“You are beyond selfish!”
Caitlyn spun around and headed for the door. Her black leggings clung to a perfectly shaped bottom. His heart raced at the sight and arousal hit him like a knee to the groin, effectively dissolving his irritation. With his exhaustion from the long journey forgotten and the whiskey creating a warm glow inside—not to mention her sexy body messing with his head—Jake decided to at least try to make amends. Being at odds with her while filming was a headache he didn’t need, regardless of what he thought of her. Time to turn up the charm.
“Caitlyn, don’t go. Come on, let’s have a drink. We can get to know each other.”
Meeting his gaze head on with eyes burning green fire, she said, “I think I already know enough about you.”
Jake cursed under his breath. Yeah, he’d acted like a shallow arse, but mostly just to annoy her. Even though she reminded him of his witch of an ex, he liked it when she was all fiery. It suited her. But working with someone for three months who couldn’t stand him would be a nightmare.
She had the door open by the time he reached her, but he managed to grab her hand, turn her around, and then close the door. With her petite curves squeezed between him and the exit, he forgot what he was supposed to be doing. The scent of pine and berries drifted from her damp hair and those nipples straining against her top were now piercing his chest.
He was harder than a steel girder instantly and he despised his body’s reaction to her. Hadn’t it learned the first time around with Sarah? Her eyes grew huge as she stared up at him, but she didn’t push him away. He noticed her lips stood out like a single red rose in a bouquet of white against her angular face. This close, he could see her skin was bare of makeup—a sight he didn’t see very often.
The women he dated would never leave the house without makeup. Hell, half of them made sure they woke up before him just so they could be polished and pristine by the time he was up. He found Caitlyn’s natural look appealing, and although it irked him to no end, he couldn’t pull himself away. He wondered if Caitlyn tasted as good as she smelled.
With a different part of his anatomy overpowering his judgment, Jake decided to find out and lowered his head. The need to taste those lips and find out for himself whether she tasted as sour as she appeared overruled his common sense.
* * * *
One moment, she’d been storming away, intent on avoiding Mr. Big Shot as much as possible, and now she was squeezed between the door and an undeniably magnificent chest. Caitlyn’s breath sped and her heart pounded. With her thoughts in a confused muddle and the heat from Jake seeping through her wet shirt, the anger drained away, replaced by a fierce fire burning at her core.
His head tilted toward her and his blond waves cascaded around his head like a halo. With a face seemingly carved from tanned marble and eyes the color of Swiss chocolate, he truly was beautiful.
For a moment she was lost in his eyes, which seemed to turn darker as she stared. Before she knew what was happening, Jake’s head descended toward her and she caught a whiff of whiskey on his breath.
Her thoughts spun back almost ten years. It wasn’t Jake in front of her anymore, but her father pinning her to the floor, his beefy hand bruising her shoulder and the smell of stale alcohol on his breath choking her senses as he yelled at her.
Fear burned adrenaline through her veins and she dashed to the side, maneuvering away from both him and the door. The old terror of entrapment made her heart pound wildly in her chest. She edged into the hall, trying not to resemble a skittering rabbit and failing horribly. He stepped closer and Caitlyn feinted back.
She knew he wasn’t her father, but still the fear gripped her. She’d spent her whole life carefully avoiding the opposite sex as much as possible. The intoxicated beatings her father had subjected her to were only one of the many reasons for her wariness.
And now, here she was, flirting with danger, all because she was angry he was making her late. It wasn’t any of her business if Jake Campbell was a self-centered, unreliable, egotistical male. The possibility of missing her sister’s fashion show was hard to accept, but she’d work something out. She would work with him and do nothing else. Why had she been so stupid as to come over to confront him?
“Caitlyn, are you all right?” Concern etched Jake’s forehead.
Some of the terror eased. Logically, she knew she was overreacting and now her cheeks burned with embarrassment. “I have to go.”
His eyebrows shot up his forehead. “I’m sorry.” He held both his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “How about we start over?”
His grin made her knees weak and her pulse race—but not from the fear. No, her body’s want for him had almost eradicated that. Jake really needed to put a shirt on. She couldn’t think around the jitters in her tummy his near-naked state was causing.
As he was blocking the door, she didn’t have the option of leaving. For now. “Could you please put on a shirt?”
Jake’s grin grew huge and she immediately regretted saying anything. Now he knew his half-nakedness bothered her, she wouldn’t be surprised if he slipped off his jeans.
For a second, she was distracted by the idea, but she forced herself to focus—no easy task when he stood in front of her, muscles rippling and smooth, velvety skin on display.
“Does my shirtless state offend you?” The teasing glint in his eyes contradicted the note of innocence in his voice.
“No, it’s just rude to be half-naked when you have company.” Caitlyn bristled at her prissy tone.
Jake stepped closer and panic tightened her chest. She tried to quash it. He wasn’t her father, he was in the public eye and if he was prone to violence, wouldn’t the world know about it? But then again, so was her ex-boyfriend, and it didn’t stop him from dishing out verbal attacks.
God, get a grip, Cait! You’re acting like a crazy person.
Jake bent down outside a closed door in the hall, unzipped a suitcase, then pulled out two white cotton t-shirts. After slipping one on, he held the other out to her. Caitlyn’s brows drew together as she looked at it.
“Put this on. You’re not topless, but you might as well be. Water makes most white clothes transparent.”
Caitlyn glanced down at her top and to her utter horror noticed it was see-through! Without thinking, she grabbed the shirt, turned her back on Jake and pulled the soft cotton over her head.
“I’ve clearly pissed you off,” Jake said, stating the obvious.
She nodded, even though it wasn’t a question. The familiar prickle of fear tingled her spine and, though a part of her thought it was sensible to feel it, she felt utterly stupid. She’d been alone with men—albeit in public places—since she ran away from her abusive father. But men in general scared her. Especially after Archie had turned nasty when she’d refused to sleep with him.
“Because you have somewhere to be after the scheduled filming?” Jake pressed, dragging her from the murky thoughts. Caitlyn nodded again. Before he could carry on with whatever it was he was going to say, his mobile rang. Jake pulled a Blackberry from his front pocket and cursed when he read the caller display. “This won’t take long. You can wait in the lounge. I’ll just be a minute.”
He stalked through to the end of the villa and closed the kitchen door behind him. Along with the annoyance crossing his expression when the phone rang, she’d also seen guilt flicker across his features.
Caitlyn stared at the closed door and saw it as her only opportunity. Now that most of her anger had gone, she felt horribly embarrassed for her outburst, not to mention the fact she’d shown him fear.
She’d learned from early on if she showed fear in front of a bully, the beatings were always much, much worse. Not that she had proof Jake was one. No, he was just an inconsiderate ass. Still, old habits died hard.
She needed to get away, regroup, and figure out how to work with someone who both infuriated her and made her feel all hot and bothered at the same time.
She removed her flip-flops, sneaked toward the front door, and fled before his call ended, realizing the only danger she was in now was from her own wayward feelings.
Thanks for reading! If you want to find out what happens next you can grab the book here
XOXO

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

It's all going on...

What a great week. Isle of Sensuality was officially released yesterday and already I have lovely four and five star reviews on Goodreads. Of course, all this good news is offset by me being an absolute plonker and locking myself out my house today, but I’m in now. I won’t do that again if I can help it.
I’ve been working on edits for my April release, Never Say Never which is book 2 in The Price of Fame series and can’t wait until I can share Sander & Chloe with you. I got the cover today and absolutely love it! What do you all think?

Here’s the working blurb:-
When pretend turns to need, heartbreak is unavoidable.
Sander Chase wants Chloe Butler on his arm at his ex-fiancé’s engagement party and the bribe he offers means victory is sure. But he doesn’t need a relationship. Between working on the show and his band reforming, Sander doesn’t have time for a woman in his life.
After losing her dream job, her movie star ex and finding out her mum has dementia, Chloe returned to the UK determined to put her life back together. The last thing she needs is to parade around London on the arm of a celebrity, and she swore after the last she’d never get involved with one again. Sander offers her a chance at her dream job and it’s not something she can turn down, even though she’s unsure about what he wants in exchange.
Ignoring the insane chemistry between them should be easy, especially since Sander carries a secret that means there can be no future for them, but the more time he spends with Chloe, the harder it is to keep his hands to himself. As Chloe gets to know the man beneath she learns he’s nothing like her scumbag ex. Torn between wanting him and needing to keep her heart safe, Chloe struggles to fight her attraction to him and fails. With their separation closing in, all she can hope for is to protect her heart. 
You don’t need to have read The Monster of Fame to understand the story, it works well as a standalone, but it does have a teensy spoiler which hints at how TMOF ends.
Hope you’re all having a great week! I’m over on Susie Medwell’s Blog today chatting about my favourite holiday destinations and would love some suggestions for future travel. Tomorrow I’m over at The Hot Pink Typewriter and Unwrapping Romance for Wacky Wednesday. Hope to see y’all there.
XOXO

Monday, 21 January 2013

Interview with Tara Mills


I was lucky enough to read Friends & Lovers this month and absolutely adored it. Today I have the author, Tara Mills here to chat about her newest release.  

You can find the review on Goodreads here.

Plus Tara's given us a sneak peak.
 



Dealing with issues such as domestic abuse in a romance is tricky, but you pull it off effortlessly and entwine it in the story so well. What gave you the idea to do this? 

There was a point a few years ago, where I was reading about domestic violence in the newspaper every day, one distressing, heart-wrenching story after another and I simply had to examine it closer. Too many women, too many children, were falling victim to the men who were supposed to love and protect them. 

As a romance writer, I could only imagine how awful and terrifying it would be to watch a Mr. Hyde emerge out of the Dr. Jekyll you fell in love with. How long do you hold out hope? At what point do you start focusing on survival?    

Can you could sum up Lauren and Wes in fifteen words each? 

Lauren: She's cautious, driven, passionate, caring, smart enough to know when to be scared. In love.

Wes: He's honorable, noble, protective, true once committed, persistent, a giving lover, playful, determined, and sexy.  

Wes came across to me as seriously hot, cheeky, caring and protective. Is there anything about his personality that annoyed you? Any problems you encountered while writing his scenes?  

No. I only write heroes I could fall for so I'm very fond of Wes. I wanted him to get his girl. He'd waited so long for her.

I loved Lauren from the get go. Life’s been hard on her, but she doesn’t give up, even though she pushed the people she cared about away. What do you admire the most about her?

Lauren is so caring. She reacts, often dramatically because she does experience things deeply. She truly wants to make a difference in the lives of others and she's willing to put herself out on a limb to fight the injustice in the world. I admire her spirit. She doesn't take on the system to make money. She does it because it's the right thing to do. Wes and Lauren are two sides of the same coin, both doing what they can to protect people. Together, they're the beautiful balance to the relationship that went wrong.
 

As well as being contemporary, the story has a huge suspense element. Is that a genre you enjoy reading/writing? If so, do you see yourself writing another in the future? Personally I’d like to see more of these characters.

Thank you! I love suspense. My second book, Forest Fires was published as a suspense because of a gripping section in it. I'm currently wrapping up edits on another suspense for Crimson Romance titled, In Love and War.

As far as seeing characters again, Ken's sister, Kelli Murphy is in my romantic comedy coming out with The Wild Rose Press titled, Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder 

Glad to hear that. I’ll keep an eye out for it.  

Now for the fun bit… 

Cooking or take out  - Cooking. I'd love to say take-out but it's an hour drive just to pick up the mail, groceries, and gasoline. We plan our trips. Just stopping at McDonald's is a treat since the nearest Mac's is three hours away.

Pepsi or Coke - Caffeine-Free Diet Coke with a splash of Black Velvet. That's my poison.

Great answer! Mine is vodka with Diet Coke :D

Dark or milk chocolate - Either. Together is good too.

Wine or beer - I love a good wine. Reds and whites, on the dry side.

Chic flic or action - depends on my mood and the eye candy.

Reading or writing - I can't choose. Both are in my blood. I was probably eleven or twelve when I converted my vanity into a desk and started typing away. I've been a book worm even longer. 

Favourite:

Meal? A good hamburger with sauteed onion. Yum.

Band/Singer? Probably Sting

Book? Pride and Prejudice. I have a beautiful hardcover that my husband gave me for Valentine's Day many years ago and I read that every year.

Author? Bet you expect me to say Jane Austen, don't you? I would except when I'm in the mood for a smile, I always reach for something by P.G. Wodehouse. I actually doff my literary cap to him in my contemporary romance, Caution: Filling is Hot. Fans of Wodehouse will catch the reference.

Pastime? My husband and I play a lot of games. We're also big movie buffs.

Thanks for letting me pick your brains Tara. I love Pride & Prejudice too. Now for a little more about Friends & Lovers…
 
Can the man of Lauren’s dreams save her from the man in her nightmares?

Wes Dunlop was a hot commodity in high school and the ruin of good reputations, so it was easy to criticize the guy when his sister did it too. Then Lauren McKay actually met her best friend’s brother, and she was intrigued. When he came to her rescue, she was doomed. Afraid to admit her change of heart, Lauren hid her secret from both of them.

Fifteen years later Wes is back. Now a dedicated cop, he’s determined to win Lauren—the girl he can’t forget and the only one his sister demanded he leave alone. But he finds that Lauren’s life is a lot more complicated than he imagined.

Personal tragedy made Lauren a fierce defender of battered women. However, when a dangerous gunman tracks his wife to Lauren’s shelter, the protector becomes the target.  Her life suddenly in the balance, nothing will stop Wes from doing everything in his power to rescue her.


Excerpt: 

Turning from the window, Lauren went to greet their guests. She circled her assistant's desk, fluffing her hair before she stepped into the foyer. Seven warm bodies in that small space made it feel crowded but they'd had more. Counting on Jackie to distract the young girl, Lauren approached the mother with an extended hand.

"Hello, Patricia. I'm Lauren McKay. I'm so glad you found us."

The cop jerked slightly at her name, but just as his head tipped to the side to see around the boy in his arms, Lauren shifted her attention to the girl.

"And I'll bet you're Morgan, am I right?"

The girl nodded bashfully.

Lauren smiled. "What's your brother's name?"

Morgan pointed with her thumb. "He's Josh."

Lauren's expression softened on the small boy. She reached out to touch his back, and froze, stunned to see a familiar face looking back at her over the boy's shoulder.

Those warm eyes belonged to a man she never expected to see again. He'd haunted her for years, and now she felt desperate and weak, and yes, more than a little afraid. He'd always thrown her without even trying. His slow, intimate smile sent her heart rate galloping like a thoroughbred's.

Flustered and shaken, Lauren turned back to the mother. "Why don't you go with Jackie? She'll show you to your room, and while the kids make themselves at home in the playroom, you can come back and we'll go over a few things in my office, okay?"

The woman nodded and reached out to take her son from the officer. Relieved of his burden, the man lightly brushed the back of the boy's head. He watched them walk downstairs before turning back with a more personal smile for the woman in front of him.

"Lauren." His voice caressed her name, and she trembled.

"How are you, Wes?" Her warm response didn't betray the inferno inside her.

"I'm good. Oh, this is my partner Chuck Townsend."

Lauren blushed with embarrassment. She'd barely noticed the other man.

"Hi, Chuck," she said with an apologetic smile.

"Nice to meet you, Lauren." He chuckled and winked at Wes. "I'll just wait outside. Take your time." Chuck bolted for the door.

Wes turned with a laugh. "Well, that was smooth."
About Tara Mills
I write stories I like to read—contemporary romances with identifiable characters and themes. Life is hard, love makes it bearable. If you like stories with heat and humor, I have a title for you.
I'm a pampered wife, lucky mom to three amazing sons and one wonderful daughter-in-law, and I just became a very young grandma. I should probably underline the word very. Oh heck, why not the word young too? Nah, you get the point. I’m also the daily monitor of one naughty dog with an attitude. 
Oh, I suppose I could provide you with some links. Duh.  My website is Tara Mills Romance I'm on Facebook, obviously. Tara Mills Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter - Tara Mills16

Sunday, 20 January 2013

#sixsunday Isle of Sensuality


Hope you’re all having a good weekend. This week’s been crazy, as usual. Yesterday Isle of Sensuality went live on Amazon and tomorrow it will be up on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Are, Book Strand and a few other places. Next week I’ll start my virtual tour kicking it off with a review & spotlight on A Tasty Read’s Blog, then I’m over at The Hot Pink Typewriter and Unwrapping Romance’s blog on Wednesday. Hope to see you all there.  

My six is from Isle of Sensuality. Jake and Caitlyn are filming a love scene and they both get a bit carried away. When the director shouts cut, they’re both left feeling frustrated. 

She could understand his frustration. If he felt even an ounce of what she did, then this would be torture for him too.
If you wanted something to happen, I certainly wouldn’t protest.
Jake’s words rang in her head, and at that moment she wanted to grab his offer with both hands. How could she not want more of this? If he could rouse so much pleasure from a barely-there touch, what would it be like when he did touch her? When his impressive length was hard inside her? 

For more Six Sentences stop by Six Sunday’ssite.
XOXO

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Happy Saturday!

Anyone else can't wait for January to be over? I'm done with the cold, and the yucky snow, and the dark. Bring on the spring! 

If you're looking for a little something to heat up the freezing nights until then, Isle of Sensuality just went live on Amazon. The official release day is Monday and should be up on B&N, Kobo, etc then.

You can pick it up here:- Amazon UK, Amazon US

There's a few great reviews on Goodreads so far. Hope you enjoy. 

Right, I'm off to get my gloves else I'll end up with frostbite. 

XOXO

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Interview & Giveaway - Master of the Inn


I’ve nabbed Ella Jade to pick her brains about writing and her latest release. If you enter the rafflecopter at the bottom of the post you have the chance to win a copy of Master of the Inn.






Great to have you here Ella, can you tell us about your new release.

Master of the Inn is the first book in the Pleasure Inn Series. In this novella, the reader meets Elyse and Logan. We get to see how Pleasure Inn came to be. Each story that follows will center on a new set of guests at the inn but we’ll continue to see Logan and Elyse’s relationship progress.

What traits does the hero posses that makes the heroine swoon?

Dominant, handy and caring. I could have stopped at dominant. LOL

Who is your favorite character from this book? (Can you include an excerpt involving this character?)

Logan. I’m a sucker for a hot, dominant hero. Here’s a little exchange between the two…

“Things happened between us so fast. When I came here, I never expected to find someone like you. I was looking for an escape. A way to forget my past. That first night we were together, I didn’t think it would be anything more than just sex.”
“What’s between us is much more than sex. Do you want to know how I know that?” Logan asked.
She nodded.
“I’ve never had anything more than sex with anyone else. With you everything is different. We happened quickly, but it feels right.” Logan had never put himself out there for anyone, but he’d never experienced such intense feelings. “Can’t you feel it?”
“I do,” she whispered.
“Give me a chance to show you I’m not Phillip. The fact that you stayed with me without knowing me proves you want more. I want to give you more.” He’d give her the fucking moon if that’s what it took.
“You’re a complicated man.”
“I’m trying not to be.” With Elyse he wanted to be himself.
“I don’t mean it in a bad way.” She trailed her fingers over the hard plains of his chest. “You’re take charge, especially in the bedroom.”
“I thought you liked that.”
“I do, but there is another side to you. You’re soft and tender. Sometimes I catch you looking at me and you look so sweet.”
“Only with you.” He kissed the top of her head. “I like the games in the bedroom and it drives me nuts how receptive you are. You’re so willing to give up the control, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to…” He stopped. He wasn’t sure he should finish. Maybe Elyse wasn’t ready to hear what he had to say. She’d already been hurt. He didn’t want to rush her into the emotions he felt.
“What, Logan? What do you wonder?”

I’m a sucker for your Doms too. :o)
How did you get started?

I’ve been writing stories my whole life. The plots and characters have always played out in my head but I never knew what to do with them. Once I found the eBooks industry, I knew I’d find my creations a home.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the next book in this series. It’s called Indulging the Professor. Marcus and Sophia will be guests at the inn. Logan and Elyse will find a way to make all of their fantasies a reality at Pleasure Inn.

Can you describe your daily writing routine?

Now that my kids are in school all day, writing has become my full-time job. I try to spend at least four days a week writing for six hours a day. In a perfect world that would be great, but there is editing, blogging and promo that needs to be done as well. So, sometimes my writing has to take a backseat.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I start out as a plotter but I let the characters guide me. If my initial plans for a book don’t feel right for a hero and heroine, I let it fly and see where I end up.

Where do your best ideas come from?

I hold whole conversations in my head. Often I can plan a book around just a few lines of dialog. My best ideas are born just before I drift off to sleep. I guess my mind is quiet then and I can let my imagination take over.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. No matter how many times your book is rejected. You’ll find it a home. You just need to be persistent and know your publishers and market.

Where can my readers find you?

I love connecting with readers. You can find me at http://ellajadeauthor.blogspot.com

Thanks Ella! Now for a little more about Master of the Inn.

Pleasure Inn… Where all of your fantasies become reality.

Executive chef Elyse Clapton has had it with city life. She’s spent the last few years building her cheating boyfriend’s trendy New York City restaurant into a success. When their relationship ends, so does her desire to be in his kitchen. She flees to a quaint inn she remembers visiting as a child. She gets more than she bargains for when she meets the sexy, reclusive inn keeper.

Handyman Logan Cole inherited Pleasure Inn against his wishes. Ever since he got caught up in a scandal involving another man’s wife, he keeps to himself – finding solace in a bottle. He didn’t realize how lonely he’d become until Elyse shows up on his porch. He’s instantly drawn to her and convinces her to stay at the Bed and Breakfast.

Elyse comes to town looking for a getaway. She never expects to fall for Logan. It doesn’t take her long to believe the inn’s motto. Logan’s dominance in the bedroom makes all of her fantasies a reality.

Excerpt:
A light came on in an upstairs window indicating someone was there. Elyse walked up the front steps and tried the door, but it was locked. Just as she reached for the bell, the door flew open and a large, muscular figure appeared. The old screen door and the absence of lighting in the foyer concealed his face.

“Hi,” Elyse said. “I was driving by and wondered if you had any vacancies.”

“Here?”

“This is an inn, isn’t it?”

“It hasn’t been for over four years.” He turned on the porch light. “I thought everyone in this town knew that.”

His disheveled appearance made her think he wasn’t planning on entertaining visitors. His dark, thick hair looked as if he’d run his fingers through it causing it to stand on end. He hadn’t bothered to button his faded blue jeans or put on a shirt before answering the door. Elyse couldn’t help but notice how his well-defined abs disappeared into his waistband.

“I’m sorry.” She moved away from the entrance. “I’m intruding.”

“No.” He stepped out onto the porch in his bare feet. “I just didn’t expect anyone out here at this time of the night.”

“I drove from the city. I thought I might stay the night. I used to come here as a kid.” She looked past his shoulder into the foyer. She saw a fresh stack of wood in the corner and several cans of paint. “Are you renovating?”

“Trying to.” He nodded. “It’s a work in progress.”

She caught a wave of alcohol on his breath.

 “Are you just passing through?”

“I’m not sure. I just needed to get away and I remembered how perfect this place always was.”
“Yeah,” he looked over his shoulder. “Not so much anymore.”

“What happened?”

“My uncle owned the place, but he couldn’t keep up with the maintenance. He and my aunt retired and left it to me. It’s just been sitting vacant since then. It needed a ton of work. I didn’t realize how much until I actually started ripping things out.”

“How long have you been renovating?”

“A little over six months.”

 “Well, thanks for your time. Maybe I’ll visit when you’re finished,” She smiled encouragement, but disappointment filled Elyse’s heart at the thought of not staying there. “Good luck with the renovations.”

When she turned to leave, he stopped her with a hand on her shoulder. “Wait.”

When she turned, his ice blue eyes held her gaze. The intensity there made her stomach flutter. It should have been a warning sign to run fast and far, but her body responded in other ways. The sensation he created from just one touch coursed through her system, landing straight between her legs.

Oh my…

“For the past few months I’ve been renovating the third floor. If I’m going to live here and run this place, I wanted my rooms to be done first before I started on the rest of the inn. There are two bedrooms up there; both have private bathrooms. You could stay if you want.”

“That’s very nice of you, but—”

“Your room has a lock.”

As if that would keep you out. You have the keys.

“I’m not ready to have guests yet, so I wouldn’t charge you.”

“I couldn’t, but thank you.”

“You drove all this way to Pleasure Inn. There isn’t another place for miles. Spend the night and then you can leave in the morning.”

She wasn’t familiar with the surrounding area and the drive had made her tired. What if she couldn’t find another place to spend the night?

“I don’t blame you for being cautious.” He shrugged. “You do what your gut tells you: but you’re more than welcome to stay here.”

She stared into his deep eyes for a few moments. She’d left the city to get away and forget about the disaster of a relationship with Phillip. She’d done nothing but work for years. She hadn’t been to a restaurant or on a vacation in months. She was too busy cooking for others. Would one night in a beautiful Victorian inn be so bad? How could it be, especially when the inn keeper looked like a goddamned Calvin Klein model?

“I’ll stay on one condition.”

“Sure.”

“You have to tell me your name.”

“Oh.” He ran his fingers through his hair and smiled for the first time since greeting her. “Forgive my manners. I’m Logan Cole.” He extended his hand to her.

“Nice to meet you, Logan,” She said properly as she shook his hand. “I’m Elyse Clapton.”

“Welcome to Pleasure Inn, Ms. Clapton.” He dipped his head as he held the door open for her. “Where all of your fantasies become reality.”


About the Author:
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you'll get lost in her words.

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Giveaway:
Ella is giving away a digital copy of her book during her Tour. For a chance to win please fill out the Raffle copter below.

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