Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Current TBR List

Patty Devlin is new-to-me, and I've been itching to check out her works. This one, especially, event though I have a feeling I'm going to devour it.

Love Maren Smith. This one has such a fun premise that it's a must-check-out!

Another Maren, because you just can't have one...

Another Patty Devlin, too, one that's been on my TBR list and about to go onto my Currently Reading List.

Patricia Green with another book I just know won't last long in my grubby little hands.

REALLY intrigued to read this book and anything by this author!

Love the storyline, new author to me, too.

Have you read any of these? Please do share!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


He pressed up against the railing and patted the animal’s forehead down to just about his snout. He was expecting her to do likewise, to show affection for the horse rather than fear. Melanie mustered enough courage to pat his neck but withdrew her hand when he snorted.

He was recently broken. And Reeve had believed her when she’d said she knew what she was doing on the back of a horse.

He’s going to throw me. He’s going to injure me and I’ll die or be bedridden for the rest of my life.
Crazy talk. Or maybe not. How did she wriggle herself out of that mess?

“Would you like to saddle him yourself?” he asked.

Melanie forced a laugh.

“Well, I expect there’ll be time for that. I’ll do it for you—”

“Reeve, wait!

Her heart beat madly. He was going to be angry. Could she blame him? She’d lied to him.

Stopping, he turned. “You don’t like him.”

He looked so disappointed. “No, no, Reeve, I do—”

“I’ve got lots of other horses. I just thought you’d love this one.”

“Oh, Reeve, he’s beautiful. And I do appreciate you being so sweet and giving him to me. But I don’t…I don’t ride as well I told you I did.”

Back on the train. He was going to lose his temper. Then he would send her back to Maryland.

His eyes narrowed at her and he drew closer.

“How often do you ride?” he drawled.

“I’m sure nowhere near as you have.”

“And nowhere near as much as you told me you did.” He regarded her sternly but not with anger. “Not riding at all is not an option. You, Miss, are going to learn.”

Was that it? Was she getting off that easily?

Not easily at all, she realized. He was ordering her to learn, telling her she had to get over her fear and master riding and handling a horse to some extent. Better, certainly, than she was capable of now.

“Yes. You have my word that I’ll learn.”

“‘Your word.’ Hmmmph.” So he was angry. His hands fastened to his waist and he sighed impatiently. “Why did you say you rode before you could walk? Which I know isn’t true, but you exaggerated your skills.”

“Because I wanted to be your bride. I thought you wouldn’t want to marry me if you knew I—I’m a little scared of horses. And I usually walk or ride a wagon.” Seeing the fire in his eyes, she added, “But I can learn. And I will learn.”

“Oh, you will.” Giving a hard shake of his head, he asked, “What else did you lie about?”

She straightened up, afraid he could see right through her. “Nothing. That’s the only thing I lied about.”

“I was truthful with you. I told you this isn’t that easy life you led back in the city, Melanie.”

“And I just wanted to impress you—”

“How impressive would it have been if I’d let you on this horse and he hurt you badly enough? Or killed you? I’d have to live with that. And I do believe we talked about this. About lying.”

Her eyes grew larger. “You’re not going to spank me. That’s not a big lie. I just wanted to impress you. So you wouldn’t think I couldn’t—”

“I don’t want to hear your excuses, Melanie. And I don’t want any more lies. And, yes, I am going to spank you. You get your pretty little behind in that house and wait for me in the parlor.”

Her first instinct was to plead with him. To promise she wouldn’t ever do it again.

But there were other lies. Bigger than that one.

Nevertheless, she tilted her chin up in defiance. Without another word, she walked back into the house.

What an unreasonable, stubborn man! Melanie knew that hardheaded nature probably had been necessary when driving cattle across the states to reach Montana, where Reeve finally decided to settle.

It sounded as if that same rugged determination had gotten him through hard times as a child after his parents had died. Over dinner, he’d informed her he’d been born in New York. At the age of nine he was plucked off the streets, where he’d been living after his father had walked out and his mother had died. He was put on a train with other orphans, then taken to Texas. That was where a farmer and his family had adopted him.
That was all well and good. She did respect him for having not only survived that hard life, but also having the drive and determination to make his own fortune raising cattle.

But did Reeve really have to be so hard on her? They were to be married in two days. He didn’t listen and he surely didn’t compromise on anything, from what she could see.

“So did you like the horse, ma’am?” Arnie asked when he passed by the parlor. “He’s hearty, ain’t he?”

“Don’t ask.” The admonition, made in a flat tone, had come from Reeve, who had stepped into the house at that moment. “Arnie, you and Eli go outside for now. Miss Melanie and I have something that needs discussing.”

Pursing her lips, she turned and folded her arms across her chest. Something that needed discussing? Ha! With him doing all the talking, I’m sure.

“You’re sulking again,” he told her.

“I am not sulking,” she protested. “I have never been spanked before. And I sure didn’t expect a spanking right before our wedding.”
“And I wasn’t expecting to have to spank my bride before our wedding, either. And you keep making up stories instead of being honest with me, I expect you’ll be spending a lot of time over my knee.”

Emphasis on a lot. Maybe the episode would prove more embarrassing than painful.

Then she saw the large wooden brush in his hand. The kind with a long handle and a wide, hard brush.

He was using that thing to spank her behind? Instinctively, she shot a look at the door and wondered if she could save her bottom by making a run for it.

Why bother? When that cowboy could probably walk a lot faster than she could run.

“I’ll have you know,” she huffed as he sat himself down on a chair and pulled her across his lap. “I’m too old for this—this spanking business!”

“Are you, now?” That jovial lilt in his voice only infuriated her more. “Come to think of it, how old are you? Did you lie about that, too?”

Did he know? How could he tell? He laid the brush casually across her rump, making her blush.

“Melanie, I asked you a question.”

She gritted her teeth and stared at the floor. “I’m twenty-six.”

“You’re—Melanie, you said you were twenty-three!”

Yes, I did. I lied. And I’m not a lady, either. I could have been—I was supposed to be. Instead I was living as a prostitute back in Maryland. But you wouldn’t understand that.

“Reeve Larson, I am not the first woman to lie about her age!” she blurted.

She heard him heave a long-suffering sigh. Melanie hastily offered an explanation. “I didn’t think you’d want an old maid of twenty-six. Twenty-three didn’t sound so bad.”

“What I want is an honest woman. And you’ll be glad to know you’re not old at all. Not too old that you can’t get a good tanning.”

He wasn’t happy with her. So much for that kiss they’d shared, for their happy dinner and how thrilled he’d been to give her that horse. Suddenly, Melanie felt him toss her shirts up over her waist, forcing a squeal from her.

“Don’t you dare pull down my underthings!” She hissed.

“Don’t worry, darlin’. There's just too much dress here. I want to make sure you feel this spanking, but I won’t bare your bottom until we’re legally wed.”

“Well, that’s a relief!”

“A word of advice: It’s never a good idea to sass a man while he’s getting ready to blister your bottom.”

(Want a little more? There's another excerpt over on Goodreads !)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I would do "R" is for...but I've fallen way behind my co-bloggers on the Spanking A-Z Challenge! Though I don't consider it a loss, because I "met" some wonderful people during the process, plus got introduced to their blogs. (If I haven't already, I'll be listing them on here.) Loved being a part of it, all the same!

And here's the cover reveal for my Western historical, coming out this week from Blushing Books! An excerpt to follow this week!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"G" is for Garner Falls

(This will be a short-but-sweet entry, and I'm late enough with the Spanking A-Z Challenge, as it is. At this point, because like other writers I'm working on other projects, but hey, no excuses! LOL! As much as I can get done in the challenge, even if I don't go all the way to Z by June 30, I still want to stay in the flow with all of you, plus head over and read your blogs.)

So "G" is for Garner in, a fictional town in Montana, where THE RANCHER AND THE BAD GIRL, takes place.

This was my first Western historical. Rather, the first one I've written, because I've read and enjoyed a huge bunch of them. In fact, tomorrow, my "H" entry will consist of a few historicals, Western and otherwise, that I have on my TBR list, and maybe you will, too, if you haven't already read them. I enjoyed doing this book and this time period so much that I'm not sure why I didn't go there with my characters sooner. Already I'm planning, getting the groundwork ready for another book set in that same era. What can I say? Cowboys rock.

So like I said...short but sweet! Check back soon for a character interview and also a snippet.

THE RANCHER AND THE BAD GIRL is coming soon from Blushing Books!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

"F" is for "Foolish Little Details"

(By hook or by crook, I am going to catch up with this blog! LOL! Forgive me for my delay. I was sidetracked by my "civilian job," which had more drama than usual this week, and can you say, "How long until retirement????" Also, my grandson, that cutie, turned the ripe, old age of 4 this week, so we hosted his pool party at our house. My son and daughter-in-law did all the work; I just whipped up enough meatballs and pasta to feed the New York Yankees. Enough on that--on with the challenge! One more note: That's not a pic of me to the left, but I do dress something like that, with tops like that and denim Capris, and I'm also very attached to my phone and laptop, LOL!)

So "F" is for "Foolish Little Details," though it should really be named "15 Obscure & Quirky Things That Most People Don't Know About Me." Which most people probably don't care about, either, but they ARE foolish, little details, and I need an "F" for my A to Z Challenge. It'll do. So here goes!

1)     Under another name, I write vanilla romance and other genres.
2)     Even though I really am a Latina, I just *barely* can dance el merengue. However, before I die, I'd love to learn & master salsa dancing. I do listen to lots of salsa, so hopefully that makes up for my ineptitude with Latin dance.
3)     Some women love shoes; some love purses; I love both. I mean, really, can you ever have enough purses???
4)     In the same vein as No. 3, I love backpacks, especially the funky, teen-style ones. So cute and perfect for carrying your Ipad and notebook.
5)     I still do write a lot of first drafts with a pen and a notebook. Quaint, huh? But the techy side of me likes to write on the Werdsmith app on my phone, which I didn't think I'd ever use, but it's easier than I initially thought and comes in quite handy when you're at the doctor's and waiting to be seen.
6)     I am fluent in Spanish.
7)     My great-grandmother's name was America, like the actress, America Ferrera of Ugly Betty fame.
8)     Both of my grandfathers, maternal and paternal, hailed from Spain.
9)     While working in Sears at the age of 17, I dated their 18-year-old Santa, who was handsome and skinny under that red suit.
10)     My husband and I attended the same Tim Curry (best known for The Rocky Horror Picture Show) concert at New York's Bottom Line about a year before we actually met. Talk about fate! His date was a Tim Curry fan, as were my best friend and another girl who had me tag along with them that same night.
11)     I can make a mean Key Lime pie.
12)     I love writing and reading spanking romance. It's always fascinated me. That's a whole other entry, but I find it has helped me to grow creatively, because it's truly enjoyable to write.
13)     For my grandkids, I try to always keep cookies in the house. My daughter-in-law has given up scolding me for it. Hey, I'm a grandma. That's how we ROLL.
14)     I hate elevators, to the point that I actually always try to get a hotel room on the 1st or 2nd floors.
15)     Even though I'm in my 50s now, I am planning on someday (soon) getting a belly ring. While taking belly dancing, I noticed a few of my fellow dancers--even the older ones--wore them and just fell in love. I want one!


(Sorry about that! I'm a couple days behind on the Spanking A to Z Challenge. Hoping to catch up or, as Sesame Street would say, "This entry is being brought to you by the letters E and F!")

Let's talk about Everywoman. Of course, we don't call her that, and she comes in all different shapes and forms. She does all sorts of jobs and (if you write sweet romance) she ends up finding extraordinary and sweet love. Conversely, if you write erotica, she ends up finding extraordinary sex AND extraordinary love (with an HEA or an HEA-for-now). The really naughty ones end up finding a great hero who'll spank them, if their author happens to write spanking romance.  Everywoman always makes a fun spankee, or so I've found!

That's not to say the heroine who kicks butt in a romantic suspense as a cop isn't a fun read, because we all know she is. That would be the high-powered exec in high heels, the supermodel, the singing sensation, or the supernatural vampire or mermaid, that goes for them, too. I'm sure you could find lots of red-blooded and gorgeous heroes who'd be ready and willing to spank any of them, too, with just as fun results.

Yet this is in praise of the Everywoman. You would do her an injustice by calling her "an average woman" because no woman is average; there is something interesting to find in each woman: a secret buried in yesterday worth unearthing; how she brings love and tenderness into the life of some FBI agent or swashbuckling pirate or seasoned cowboy.

The reader can put herself in the place off the Medieval princess or the sultry alien from another galaxy, but she readily identifies with Everywoman. What you're probably saying, and you're right, is the heroine with the glamorous career or special talent or supernatural identity can also be revealed to be, at heart, an Everywoman. That is what makes the female spy vulnerable--finding that human part of her, finding out who the woman under the superheroine costume really is, and that's always even more enduring when the reader learns it through the eyes of an adoring hero.

Now I'm off to catch up with other blogs on the Spanking A-Z Blog Challenge!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

D is for...Desserts

"Stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts." Coincidence? I think not! -- Author Unknown

And now for something totally different: Let's talk about desserts!

Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate. - Author Unknown 

Leave the gun; take the cannoli. - THE GODFATHER, 1972

When I'm no longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg." - Snoop Dog

Ah, sugar, ah, honey, honey,
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you - The Archies

Pour some sugar on me
Oooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me,
C'mon, fire me up,
Pour some sugar on me,
Oh, I can't get enough - Def Leppard

And just for fun, match the dessert with the restaurant!

Match the Dessert:

Kahlua Ice Cream Pie
Black Tie Mousse Cake
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Thunder From Down Under
Warm Apple Crostada  

With its Restaurant:

Red Lobster
Outback Steakhouse
Olive Garden
On the Border

Good luck! And remember: "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart." - Erma Bombeck

THIS IS A BLOG HOP! Please click on the Spanking A-Z graphic on my sidebar & see more!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cowboys and the Bad Girls Who Love Them

Are you like me in this aspect?

Not to tear down other kinds of romantic heroes, but there's something about the cowboy that just grabs you. This week, I was checking out titles of books I'd like to read (wanted for my Nook or Kindle app) and I'm drawn like a bee to honey when it comes to those cowboys.

Guess that would make us, as readers and/or writers, fall into the "bad girl" category, along with our heroes, no? Listen, there's something to it when even the villains--those cowboys traditionally dressed in black--can give you heart palpitations.

That got me checking out some cowboys-as-outlaws stories. I have to confess that I was watching THE LONE RANGER on DVD this week, just totally ignoring Johnny Depp's Captain-Jack-Sparrow-as-Tonto. Armie Hammer's watered-down Lone Ranger isn't much better, either.

But then here comes William Fichtner, that charming, blue-eyed character actor, as Butch Cavendish. Let me tell you, they have him made up exaggeratedly ugly, with a gold tooth, stringy black hair--the works. They also added a gruesome touch (which I won't mention just in case you plan on seeing this film) that is pretty much unnecessary, which I also ignored.

Anyway, there's a scene where he goes and talks about getting "a taste" of the Lone Ranger's love interest, talking to her all low and dangerous and sexy bad guy-ish, all with that yummy Western twang, and that's it! I'm off to check out/buy/put on my TBR wish list anything with cowboy outlaws.

Conclusion? It ain't totally about the looks. Cowboys just have that magic, that attitude, that virility that earns them their rightful place in the romance genre. And that's whether he's a rancher, a rodeo star, or a soon-to-be-reformed outlaws.

A romance with a cowboy and his bad girl--or a good girl with some bad girl seasoning--is as delicious as a sinfully silky chocolate cake topped with a dollop of ice cream...only without all the calories! Bon appetit!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

B is for...BOHANNON

When making up my list for the A to Z blog hop, I had no problem coming up with my entry for the letter "B". Hell on Wheels' Cullen Bohannon, all the way, baby!!!

To give credit where credit is due, this whole show is well written. I mean, knock-your-socks-off, rock-your-world kind of well written. I can vouch for at least the first 2 seasons, which my husband had watched previously but re-watched on Netflix so that I would catch up. Looking forward to seeing Season 3 and upcoming Season 4.

Every so often you come across a show like this, in between all the dull and unimaginative dreck that passes for TV today. Hell on Wheels, a historical Western that revolves around the building of the railroad, is peopled with well-rounded and amazing characters that are multi-faceted and come to life, thanks to great writing and an equally awesome cast.

But right now, I'm just going to focus on the amazingness (is that a word?) that is Bohannon, the male lead played by the very talented Anson Mount. Outlaw, cowboy, gunslinger, mystery man, smokin' hot romantic hero. You have GOT to see the interaction between him and "The Fair-Haired Maiden of the West," Miss Lily Belle, played by the lovely Dominique McElligott. Bohannon is definitely Alpha, interestingly one of those damaged heroes, rebellious, brave, and I'm running out of adjectives to describe a hero who can leave any woman breathless!

If you haven't seen the show yet, you HAVE to give it a try. Just be warned: ALL the characters will pull you right into the story, just like a book that takes hold of your heart and imagination and refuses to let go.


Alpha Males

Years ago, a book reviewer rained praise on an earlier romance I'd written (under my other pen name). She only had one chagrined little criticism: The hero is unnecessarily dominant.

Really?! Any lover of spanking romance fiction is probably chuckling at that, because you know exactly what that statement was alluding to. Yes, amazingly enough, that typically politically correct New York editor had allowed me to get away with a spanking threat.

A threat, mind you. At no point had the heroine actually been turned over the hero'a knee (though, granted it would have made the book more fun!), and he'd made the threat (directed towards the heroine) in passing to a different character. But since it was 1999, long after New York publishing had decided spanking saucy heroines was a Big No-No, my hero was slapped with the dubious title of "unnecessarily dominant."

Recently I read a review on an upcoming film, where the male characters--all but one--were slammed for being ineffectual, weak, and of totally no use to the much stronger female characters. This is pretty much a trend in Hollywood, which as everyone knows has also mostly done away with spankings in movies and television shows. It's no surprise that the Alpha Male--Mr. Strong & Hunky himself--has been replaced by male characters who are considered dumb (or, conversely, overly intellectual Beta Males), and sometimes even afraid of the female characters, taking charge of nothing.

But then, with the advent of the Internet and ebooks, spanking made a comeback into romance novels. More accurately, spanking romance fiction was born. The Alpha Male was back--and that baby has never looked better! An actual, whole new genre was born, starring strong, take-charge AND smart heroes (my favorite Alpha has a sense of humor)....who are also dom when they need to be.

Come to think of it...why can't the Beta male, like ClarkKent, rip off his glasses, tear open his shirt and reveal that he's got a bit of the Alpha in his heart? Now that would be exciting! And what a great time to be a romance heroine!