Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Excerpt from Self's Blossom              by DAVID RUSSELL

Six-thirty p.m. in the lounge - the prearranged rendezvous time if things had been normal. Selene was first to arrive. Would Hudson now feel inclined to turn up? Would he be in any state to turn up? She noticed on her way that his key had not been returned to reception. In fact, he arrived at seven, looking incredibly coy, bashful and apologetic - just like Selene felt. He was carrying a gold lacquered gift box. She gave him a nod and a smile, beckoning him to sit down beside her. They kissed tentatively - reticently. "Oh Selene, I really am sorry I got carried away like that. It was dreadful of me." Selene patted him on the knee. "Darling, I should be apologising for getting all hysterical like that." He put the box in front of her. "I went diving, wanted to come to my end in the depths; felt I couldn't live with myself, but I was obviously called to find something. I guess I realised one of my ambitions." He opened the box. In it was an oyster containing a huge pearl. Selene gave him a hug, tearful in her appreciation of his courage. "I've had to reflect an awful lot on my past experiences, you know. I've had to study feminism, and I really feel that if both sides - both sexes open up more, accepting more of each other, then life will be so full and enriching. I know that an awful lot happened between us . . ." he hesitated. "And?" A dreamy glow came over Hudson. "We've got so close, taken plunges together; you were so magnetic in that costume." A lump came to his throat. Selene was now aquiver with suspense. They were at the point of that final something for which she had yearned so desperately for so long. Selene took the words out of his mouth. " Let's make everything perfect - the absolute right time, the absolute right place, and in the perfect way. Let's take the bridal suite together for our last night here!" The final overt proposition synchronised absolutely with Selene's memory tensions. A split second before her utterance, she had a vision of being at a ceremonial hair shearing before becoming a nun, and then of a mythical white wedding (the reality of which had never come near her). She thought of the flying buttresses of a cathedral, stained glass tinted in the morning sun, angled to the light of daring love, lifting to heaven. Hudson had at last uttered the key word to the elusive combination of the ideal seduction! This just had to have one fragment of impulse and spontaneity in the context of everything else being utterly premeditated. The peak of experience had been rehearsed to the finest detail. True seduction was total theatre. To hell with all those 'ideals' of 'naturalness'! She had seen through them in that turgid forest. The true ideal lay in laced artifice! Here was the final trigger. Ages ago, they had talked away all thought of marriage and domesticity. But Hudson's superb artistry in taking hold of the last remnant of conventionality for the final act of defiance against it. The flouting, the inversion of all the oppressive concomitants of a straight wedding night, was genius. They went into a torrid clinch nearly upsetting one of the tables in the process. "Oh darling," said Selene in a half-whisper, "you've done everything right; let's go!"
* * * *
The suite was, of course, available, and the deposit no problem for Hudson. The labyrinth of corridors in the hotel did not slow them down. Having located the apartment, they rushed back to their separate rooms for their belongings. Selene was the quickest to pack, but had a little delay with the lift. They arrived at the suite door simultaneously. What a scene of luxury for the denouement. Selene now took firm control. "OK Hudson, you go and take a bath while I get ready, and get fully dressed again when you've finished. I've got some special things in store for you!" Now all of Selene's fantasies came flooding in to her. Tonight she was the greatest actress, singer, ballerina, priestess-demagogue. She would dazzle the universe in the visual sphere, and then go on to the realm of touch. Her mastery of the lovely art of dressing and undressing would now be shown to the full. In a flash, her clothes were off. As she fitted her cap, she got a tingling premonition of what was to come. When one had meditated on the art of love as deeply as she had, one knew that the extra precautions, far from detracting from the experience, could enhance it, by stretching the partner's anticipation. The outfit to replace her casuals was all in order in her expanding suitcase. First, her brief white satin underwear, then a pale blue body stocking, easy to confuse in the half light with a bathing costume, over it her diaphanous slip, then three petticoats - crisp, archaic, Latin and lusciously provocative, sheer white stockings, and then the purple ball gown in all its splendour. She stepped into a pair of white, lacquered high-heels. A touch of eye shadow and lipstick completed a breathtaking work of art. Hudson had seen her in her other gown, in a bikini, and a variety of outer garments. Now he would know all the stages in between, and then beyond, as she would of him. The bath water lapped mutely in the background. "Ready now, darling." The waste pipe gurgled for a few seconds, then Hudson entered. Crisp, white suite approached purple gown, as moon to tropical night sky. They embraced, near-chastely. Then Hudson drew back, a suspicion of anxiety on this face. "Darling, are you . . .?" His question needed no verbal answer, for Selene> had left her packet of pills conspicuously on the dresser. "Shall we?" Come on." So now for that languorous, full-drawn-out unrobing, decelerating to the depths of frenzy. For a few seconds, they both felt an adolescent shyness - quite naturally, for this was to be an eighteen-year-old's dream brought to fruition. They tiptoed. For all their obvious freedom, they each had a slight twinge about the hazard of being overheard. Selene's wardrobe planning had been right; something would have been lost if Hudson had started the encounter in a bathrobe. After Selene's hips propelled a last, tantalizing, elevated swirl of her gown, the grand undress began.

Knowing their beauty and proud of it, they matched each other's motions with caresses of sight. Shoes, stockings and socks peeled gracefully off to open the gambit. Hudson's jacket broadened his shoulders as it left his body. The buckle of his belt harmonised with the front clasp of Selene's gown as they were both undone, then the zip of his trousers with the back zip of the gown. Hudson's fine, tapered legs were now revealed. His torso was bared in two stages: shirt and vest thrust back, and pulled over his head without a> struggle, revealing gleaming white briefs - or were they bathing trunks? Selene loved those half way garments. She lit up. Great minds had thought alike about foundation garments for this occasion! Hudson had led in one stage of revelation. Selene was transported by his wonderful body control, with ballet assurance - this smooth, eased, arched shedding of reticence. The dream had come to roost. Who rules love, if anybody? The one who strips first, or the one with more finery to shed? But what did rules matter now anyway? The loose gown was ready. Gentle touches on the shoulder straps lowered it, shimmering, to rest. After that departure from simultaneity, action embroidered the first dream. Selene stepped out of the gown, cast it in the corner, and moved towards Hudson, holding him tightly in her beaming, commanding gaze - him with legs astride, deep chest out, briefs gleaming in the light from the open window. At his deft touch, petticoats flowered, rose and fell, floating to make a crest upon the gown. With a ripple of biceps, and lissom forward thrust of legs and hips, the cloudy slip came up head high, and was suspended for a second in the suspicion of a breeze, then, too, wafted to rest. Now they faced each other, almost as if for a first swim. Selene thrust her breasts forward, and tossed her head, making her hair cascade. Hudson took her hips and swung her round. With an almost imperceptible stroke, the zip of the one-piece parted. Hudson swirled her round to face him again, and slid the garment down the front. "Bikini belle," said Hudson, with a giggle. He sensed the precise moment when his briefs were redundant, enhanced his looks no more for her, or for himself. They dropped, with a thrust of thighs and swing of hips. By being> deferred, prepared so well, Hudson's nudity, for Selene, now became suffused with total beauty. "Undo me," she half-sang, raising her arms. Hudson's unerring hand tended the clip of her bra, which tumbled asunder and fell on the chair. A breeze kissed Selene's rising breasts as they were bared. Her own hands removed her briefs, finalising her own nakedness. The execution of those actions had been faultless on both sides. "What a fantastic sense of timing!" cried Selene. Each, to the other, became universe god and goddess. After so many times in their pasts when the brakes had been applied, when both had been frozen by reticence, or had their yearnings derided, the soul's - the universe's currents now galvanised their bodies. Now words could be uttered in acceptance of total immersion. With their slow speed they generated maelstroms, their every part revealed with deep exuberance, two bodies showing themselves as two complete presences. Now there was a full, tight-clinched embrace - thigh to thigh, torso to breasts, groin to groin. Hudson, a bit taller, took Selene round the shoulder with his right arm; his left beneath her buttocks, as he swung her on to the bed. "Now for the real backstroke" cried Selene. She pulled Hudson on top of her, thrusting her breasts alternately in his armpits. Gradually, Hudson hardened, as if with muscle and bone. He entered Selene delicately. When he had penetrated to full depth, he made a clockwise rotation. Fully erected, fully aroused, Selene responded to him anticlockwise. Slowly the two built up, using all their bodies, legs and groins, repeating the motions of their past swims. Bodies were kneaded, relishing their stately, relentless build-up, making love total in its depth, undulating, higher and lower alternately. Then full and strong it reared! There were two sighs, a lunge, slow whirlpools, swimmers' wakes. Hudson paused, then put all his weight on his torso. Then, recharged by Selene's breasts, now fully swollen, build up his speed and depth of thrust, had a body-absorbing struggle through some moments of near-exhaustion. Then the knowledge of certainty shone, flooded on them both, hips in friction – dams' swinging sluicegates, volcanoes' glows and thunder's shudders, glands pumping to fire's, water's synthesis, all metaphors blown by that endocrine cataract! At the end of the flow, Selene held Hudson in, turning him again on his back. Sleep claimed them, breathless, riding over their peak.
* * * *
Sweating and still clinched, they arose as a maroon dawn unveiled the night skies, lending a mellowed rosiness to their tanned bodies. With restored light, passion revived. Being two, they had to enact their fulfilment's wholeness twice. Tempered by one satiation's level, they went smoothly and took their time - finally to outbrim the first flow. After this, the bed could afford no further comfort. Selene got up. "We need to freshen up a bit."She took two bathrobes from the wardrobe, pulled one on, jerked Hudson up by the shoulders and draped the other one around him. "Come on." The bathroom curtains had not been drawn. Water now gurgled into the> capacious bath from both burnished antique brass caps. They held each other, half-draped, until it filled up. Hudson had almost begged Selene not to cover herself, but saw that, as a last delight, that extra robing and> unrobing would complete the idyll - cap the euphoria. Selene thrust the robe from his shoulders; it sank down his arms to collapse on the floor. "You may assist me," said Selene, holding her arms apart. Hudson's hands ran down her back as he pushed off the robe. Once more they matched each other in nakedness. The bath (designed for a bridal suite after all) was ample for them both, to soap each other over, put legs to hips, massage, and laugh amidst the bubbles. What an element! With seawater they had started; with bath water they ended. BUY

 Sample Review by Sherry Gloag:
I first want to note that I loved Selene’s character. This woman is not your average shy-but-coming-into-her-own character. She is anything but shy. Selene is super confident about who she is and is not afraid to say so. She knows that she has an amazing body and has worked hard for it. Her attitude is unapologetic and her self confidence really shines off the pages. One might be thinking, ugh what a snob; I’d totally hate to read about a character like that. Selene is an honest character, sometimes too honest, and she knows who she is and likes herself… what is not to like about that?

I love that Selene went on vacation alone for the holidays. How many of us women can take a trip alone, or even dine alone in the very city we live in? But as I read I realized that traveling alone makes room for an adventure, an experience of a lifetime, that which would be tainted or not had at all if she has not taken the plunge to go on holiday alone. I can’t get enough of her independence!

I also like the way Selene doesn’t dwell on her mistakes. When she falters from her master plan and has an experience with a man at the beach, she quickly realizes that it was a mistake and brushed it off, moving forward from him and the encounter altogether with not a hint of guilt or self-loathing. This is something I think more women, including myself, should learn how to do – completely forgive ourselves for mistakes without beating ourselves up about it.

Russell has an amazing eye for detail and writes with a certain flair that makes you believe you are standing next to the author while he paints his story, having it all unfold slowly but with great satisfaction. Russell did a fantastic job at setting up the story, leading me exactly where he wanted me to go, without any confusion. Russell also has fantastic insight to a woman’s mind. Reading Selene’s thoughts, plans, and take on her life is very pure and honest. It’s like reading the things we say in our heads but never dare to utter aloud.

Self’s Blossom is a fantastic hit. Definitely a strong 5 of 5. If you are in the mood for a different kind of heroine, and new kind of story, Self’s Blossom is the way to go!

More reviews links: Goodreads    The British Romance fiction blog and  Devine Destinies
Many thanks, David, for sharing with us -
it's been great to meet you!
Last chance to win a copy of Self's Blossom by leaving a comment

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write Self's Blossom?
From other people’s experiences told to me, from my own ‘secret yearnings’, from books and films. In this instance, I was catalysed by a friend’s work, and those strands came together.

In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character. What do you like best/least about him?
He is bright, observant, detached, aloof, calculating. He is somewhat lacking in warmth; one reviewer described him as ‘creepy’. I would not dispute this.

And the heroine? How do you relate to her?
I suppose I put her on some sort of pedestal, as supremely bright and beautiful. But I also felt I had some empathy for underlying self-questionings and insecurities.


Who controls the story – you or your characters?
I think my characters took control, the heroine especially.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading the book?
Plenty of food for thought, and complexities

What do you enjoy about writing romance?
One can imagine oneself in these exciting situations, and get away from irritating, humdrum stresses. It is also benign in that it dissipates anger and bitterness, and makes one feel philanthropic afterwards.

What do you like best and least about writing?
Best is that is its exciting and invigorating, worst in that mechanical chores are necessary to keep it up and running.

Do you have a writing routine?
I try to do some every day, however little, and even if it’s just amendment or proofing; there’s always something to go on with.

Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
Dialogue with others, prompts from their experience and their criticisms.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Always be receptive to criticism, but never accept the judgement of one individual as final Good advice!

What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
A sequel to my story ‘Explorations” (also published by Devine Destinies)

How do you like to spend your free time?
Painting, listening to and making music (I am also a singer/songwriter)

Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions you wish to accomplish? What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I would like some of my speculative fiction, and a translation, to see the light of publication.

What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult?
Are you currently reading anything? Franz Kafka’s The Castle  Must revisit Kafka sometime...

What is your culinary speciality?
Brown rice, lentils, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, onions and smoked mackerel

Which flower would best describe you and why?
The foxglove, because I like to think of myself as inscrutable.

Any other exciting plans coming up?
Only exciting reveries; I’d love to be able to enact my hero’s part for a brief stint.

Thanks for allowing us this insight into your world, David
Find David on Goodreads where there are some great reviews!
Don't forget to come back tomorrow to read an excerpt
And leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Self's Blossom

Sunday, 16 October 2011

A Big Welcome to Brit Author

First, a little about David:
Born 12 June 1940 and living in West London, UK, David is a writer in all genres, including poetry, fiction, and criticism, and he is a guitarist and singer-songwriter.
Some of David’s erotic poems have been featured in anthologies produced by Forward Press. He has a collection of poetry and prose entitled Prickling Counterpoints, that has been published in many magazines. He has written two novellas: High Wired On (speculative fiction) and Self’s Blossom (romance).
The latter, together with the short story Explorations, have been published by Silk’s Vault. His albums include Bricolage (Hangman Records, 1992) and Bacteria Shrapnel (Posterity Recordings, 1997).

And here's the blurb for Self's Blossom
A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure.

Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by
unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to “get one back” at Janice by having a passionate holiday

Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a
young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meets the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene
finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.

This is about a young woman's self-discovery. Selene is a 'success story', having become a top journalist, while retaining her dazzling looks. However, in the past she has had unhappy relationships, and feels she has missed out on hedonistic fun. This she obtains, firstly with a young stranger on a beach, and finally with enigmatic Hudson: tryst is preceded by cultural tourism, and careful sizing up of minds. Afterwards Selene returns to her 'I stand on my own' attitude.
While she is on holiday, her mind is free to ramble, often into Selene's chequered past. Flashback blurs into the present, past-rooted interior monologue into direct observation. The dialogue is sparse. Selene is a cautious, premeditative type, in whom thought, reflection and analysis outweigh direct action.
Selene’s subtle, monitoring mind coolly observes and controls all the events. Maybe she is super-confident, or perhaps has a deep, underlying insecurity. She is many things to many readers.

Self’s Blossom is now in its third edition. The first was a limited edition paperback with Public Press (Jazz Claw Publications), the second with Silk’s Vault (now defunct), the third, current, with Devine Destinies. Buy link

Read the excellent selection of reviews at Goodreads
The BritishRomanceBlog and Devine Destinies

Come back tomorrow for David's interview
And leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Self's Blossom

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Warm Welcome to Romance Author


First, Cherie shares how she got hooked on writing

It all started with an old fashioned typewriter.  When my family brought it home, all those stories and characters rolling around in my head could finally get out.  The press and click of the keys satisfied in their own right, but when I pulled out a finished page, I knew this was for me.  Since then, I’ve graduated to a laptop, but the stories still find a way out.
I’m a breast cancer survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and from the very beginning—a storyteller.  Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, I love to make people laugh and smile.  My goal in life is to achieve tact and stop procrastinating.  The battle wages on.   

Here's the blurb of her latest release   INTO THE FIRE

Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.
Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.
Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?

Publisher : Wild Rose Press  BUY link                       
And now Cherie Reveals...
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him?
            Luke Tracy is a New York City chef, transplanted from Texas, and he hates to lose.  Upstanding and loyal, he does the right thing, most of the time, but something about the heroine brings out the caveman in him.  The best thing about Luke is he’s finally figuring out his priorities.  The thing I like the least about him is how long it took to realize how important Shyann really is.
And the heroine? How do you relate to her?
            Shyann Devere is tough.  I think a female chef would have to be in order to survive the male-dominated culinary world, but she’s confident in her cooking skills and that confidence shows in her drive to win.  I’m sure this character shares characteristics with me, but she’s pretty far removed from my real life.  I’m not the best in the kitchen, and I don’t have a competitive bone in my body.  It was fun to take on that do-or-die mind-set for a little while though.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
            I’m totally in control of my stories, no matter what my characters might tell you.  Like, I knew exactly how Luke was going to get Shyann’s attention during the competition—oh, wait, that’s right, he kind of let me in on that plan in the middle of writing it, but most of the time, I’m the one in charge.  Most of the time.
What do you enjoy about writing romance?
            For me, a book is an escape into another world, an experience I might never have otherwise, or a peek into someone else’s life.  Many genres can provide an escape, an experience, or a peek, but not all of them provide a satisfying, happy ending.  Romance is one of the best-selling genres because it does provide all of these things, and I like being a part of that.
What do you like best and least about writing?
            Writing is a solitary job.  With the exception of when I show to critique partners, I’m pretty much the only brain involved in creating the characters and story.  I’m a team player during my day job, so sometimes, as a natural introvert, it’s nice to just listen to my own input for a while.  Yet, it can get a little lonely, and it’s difficult to know if you’re moving in the right direction when you’re the only decision-maker.  This is what I like best and worst about writing. 
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
            I have a couple stories in different stages of development, but I have one that’s pretty much writing itself (don’t you love that).  It’s about a girl who comes back to her small hometown with a different look and a different attitude.  That’s all I’m going to say about it for now.
How do you like to spend your free time?
            Free time?  Most of my free time is spent with my husband of 15 years and our three children.  We like to golf, swim, and see movies when we get a chance, but most of the time, if we have any free time, we’re doing all the things that keep a household running. 
My guiltiest pleasure for free time is watching some of the reality game shows like Top Chef and Project Runway.  These kind of shows can make me forget all my writing goals for an evening, but they're so worth it.
What is your culinary speciality?
            My culinary speciality is black bean soup and cornbread.  It’s a nutritious and easy-to-make meal that usually lasts for a couple dinners.  All you need is to saute’ some onions and red pepper with some garlic and olive oil.  Then mix together six cans of beans, chicken stock, the contents of the saute’ pan, and some spices like cumin, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes.  Let it all cook in a big pot and serve with the cornbread.  It’s a delicious, hearty meal that my whole family likes.
Sounds as scrumptious as the following excerpt 

Finally, let Cherie tease you with a brief excerpt:

            His hands burned with awareness of where they rested. His pulse raced, and her lips were mere inches from his. As if time stopped completely, they stared at each other, and for the life of him, Luke couldn’t seem to remember why he’d come in here. 

Shyann shook off the haze first. “Let me go. I can get this without you.”
Against his need and with exaggerated motion, he pulled his hands away. She stumbled and eyed him suspiciously but went back to jumping for a high box.
Although he appreciated the bounce of her breasts each time she leaped upward, he forced
himself not to stare, gathering some of his ingredients instead. But after watching for a few more seconds, with an irritated grunt, he reached around her, grabbed her target, and handed it to her.
“I said I didn’t need your help.”
“Fine, I’ll put it back.”
His hand touched the box, and she pulled it behind her. The motion caused their bodies to collide again. Her liquid brown eyes blazed up at him, and even as a small voice in the back of his brain screamed he didn’t have time for this, he couldn’t seem to pull away. She looked so damn soft and vulnerable, and all he wanted to do was step out of the way of her win, give it all to her because she deserved it. But first, he wanted to kiss her, a long, hot, turn-their-knees-to-jelly kiss.

Find Cherie on Facebook   Twitter  Her Blog   Website or email her at
It's been great to host you Cherie and I wish you HUGE success with INTO THE FIRE

Leave a comment to enter the draw for a $10 GC with Amazon or The Wild Rose Press        

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Warm Welcome to Erotic Romance Author ROZ LEE

Roz has been married to her best friend, and high school sweetheart, for over three decades. These days she splits her time between their home in rural New Jersey, and Southern California, where her husband works. Even though she’s lived on both coasts, her heart lies in between, in Texas. A Texan by birth, she can trace her family back to the Republic of Texas. With roots that deep, she says, “You can’t ever really leave.”
Roz and her husband have two grown daughters they couldn’t be more proud of, and are currently raising a ten-year-old Labrador Retriever, Betty Boop, who isn’t aware of her canine heritage.
When Roz isn’t writing, she says she’s reading, or traipsing around the country on one adventure or another. No trip is too small, no tourist trap too cheesy, and no road unworthy of traveling.

Here's the blurb for 'Still Taking Chances'
 out from Oct 1 

After a mission in a South American jungle goes wrong, DEA Agent Elgin ‘Hud’ Huddleston returns to his boyhood home to lick his wounds. Despite his better judgment, Hud is drawn to the woman across the street, a petite Dominatrix with a freeze your balls off name.
Mary Beth Winters packed away her toys and put the BDSM lifestyle behind her years ago when she realized the men she dominated didn’t need her as much as she needed them. But when a troubled bad-boy, Elgin ‘Hud’ Huddleston, moves in across the street, she dusts off her toy box and risks her heart to help him heal.
Just released !  BUY

More later, but first Roz reveals...

From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write STILL TAKING CHANCES? 
I wish I had a definitive answer to that question, but inspiration comes from all manner of things. It can be a person I meet, a news story, an event, a place.  It doesn’t have to be anything big, just a kernel will do. STILL TAKING CHANCES began with nothing more than a name, Elgin Huddleston. I don’t know where the name came from, one day it was just there, in my brain. The character arrived soon after to claim his name. I know it sounds nuts, but most writers have experienced something similar. I let Elgin simmer for a good long while, months, in fact, before I tried to write his story.

In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him?

Elgin ‘Hud’ Huddleston is a hero in every sense of the word. As a DEA Agent, he looks out for the welfare of others, and he puts his life on the line daily. As a child, he took a lot of chances, perhaps for attention, perhaps he was testing himself. Either way, as an adult, he’s adept at breaking the rules, if it suits him.
I’m most drawn to Elgin’s inner strength. He’s come a long way from where he started from. He isn’t afraid of much, but the idea of confronting his inner demons scares the wits out of him.

And the heroine? How do you relate to her?

Mary Beth Winters knows her strengths and her weaknesses, and where Elgin takes more chances than he ought to, Mary Beth is more cautious. That is, until she meets Elgin. She’s one strong lady, willing to risk everything to help a man who probably won’t appreciate her efforts. What woman can’t relate to that?

Who controls the story – you or your characters?

I’d love to say I’m in control, but that would be a lie! I let my characters call the shots. Sometimes I’m not too sure where they’re leading me, but I trust them to steer me in the right direction. It’s worked out pretty well so far.

Do you have a writing routine?

follow Roz at his link
 Yes, I do. I usually begin my day at the pit (aka the gym), then I run my errands and answer emails. I try to get serious around ten (that’s a.m.). I turn on my 70’s music and write. My black lab is my writing assistant. Betty Boop lets me know when it’s time for lunch, then she rouses me for an afternoon break. I stop in time to fix dinner, but my husband has gotten used to coming home to a cold stove. Let’s just say he knows where the pizza place is.

Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?

Good music and chocolate.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

Show up to work every day. Just like people with a regular job, you go to work. Every. Single. Day. No matter what, keep writing. Write something every day, even if you delete it all the next day. I’m pretty sure it was Nora Roberts who said, you can’t fix a blank page – or something like that.
That was two pieces of advice, but good ones.

What can we look forward to from you in the near future?

The fourth book in the Lothario series, FOUR OF HEARTS, releases next month, and I just finished the fifth book in the Lothario series and sent it off to my editor. I’m also working on a baseball themed story that I hope to submit soon.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Little known fact – I suffer from Shaggy Dog Syndrome. Open the car door, and I jump in. Want a travel companion? I’m your girl! I love to explore those places you won’t find on the tourist brochures. Local museums and mom and pop restaurants are high on my list.

What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?

My favourite book of all time is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, followed closely by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve read both more times than you can count.
Currently? I’ve been working my way through Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series for a while now. I still have a few to go.

Any exciting plans for the fall?

Next week, my husband and I are going to our high school reunion! Don’t ask which one, it’s a really big number. We’re going to take a side trip to the State Fair of Texas. We used to go every year when we lived in Texas, but haven’t been in a very long time. I’m a sucker for a cowboy, and Big Tex is the biggest one around. That giant wooden roller coaster? That was there when my parents were kids. And no, I won’t be riding it! I may be a lot of things, but crazy isn’t one of them. Oh yeah, we established my craziness in the first question, didn’t we? <evil grin>
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And now let her seduce you with this tantalising excerpt

           Mary Beth threw the deadbolt, and leaned her forehead against the cool, sturdy wood of her front door. Her heart pounded against her chest, and her body temperature had nothing to do with the oppressive heat outside. She’d moved to Prairieview five years ago, hoping a change of scenery would equal a change in other ways too, but in less than five minutes, she’d proved how unsuccessful her plan had been.

Those eyes. At first, she’d seen something so dark and wounded in them that she’d wanted to comfort him, but then he’d reacted to her jab, and she’d seen something completely different. Desire. And then it had all rushed back in on her and spilled out of her mouth before she could stop it. All her carefully guarded secrets were now in the hands of a complete stranger.

She pushed away from the door and headed to the kitchen. Her mouth was as dry as the Sahara. Too bad it hadn’t been too dry to speak earlier. Maybe then, she wouldn’t have hung her dirty laundry on the line and given a stranger enough clothesline to hang her. Granted, he was a sinfully handsome stranger, but still…. Who was he anyway, and why had he marched right into Mrs. Huddleston’s house as if he owned it? Now that she was away from his seductive presence, his words came back to her. His house. He’d been adamant that the house was his.

“You don’t suppose…? No, surely not.” The idea was too incredible to even think. As far as she knew, no one had heard from him, other than Mrs. Huddleston’s lawyer, in fifteen years. It couldn’t be.
Great hook... now I really want to know who he is too... BUY 'Still Taking Chances'  to find out 

Good luck with the rest of your tour, Roz
It's been great to meet and host you here!

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