Sep 30, 2013

In the Spotlight with Valerie Twombly!

Welcome this Week’s Featured Author


CONTEST: Comment below for a chance to win an eBook copy of Eternal Flame. Please leave an email address. Contest ends Saturday, October 5th at Midnight.


As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.

Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked.

Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL.


A woman he cannot have, a man who is only a dream.
When guardian Marcus Dagotto, discovers the Gods have gifted him with a mate, he is pissed. He has no room for love and even less for a human who has no idea he exists.
Cassandra Jensen, has a shattered heart and has given up on men. Only one man can set her body on fire, but he is a fantasy that haunts her sleep.
Two worlds, one desire.
When the two collide, fate will rip them apart and test their resolve. Will darkness and evil prevail? Or, will love conquer all?


She glanced at the clock, it was one a.m. But the last thing she wanted to do was sleep. She set her glass down and moved off the couch. “I’m not tired.” She reached for his hand and dug for her courage. She had a feeling he didn’t want to leave. “Kiss me.”
He pulled her close and ran his fingers down her cheek. He leaned down and brushed his lips against hers. Gently, he nibbled her bottom lip, coaxing her mouth open with his tongue. She parted her lips, he took full advantage, pressed his way deeper into her mouth, held the kiss before he broke away.
She opened her eyes and let out a sigh. “You’re a good kisser, Marcus.” She leaned into him and pressed her body against his. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pulled him to her, and their lips came together. Her tongue did a deliberate slow dance across his, making him moan. Her core turned to lava, the heat almost too much to bear.
He pushed her away. “Cassie. I could stand here and kiss you all night, but I’d better go before I make an ass of myself and you end up hating me.”
She reached for his hand, knowing what his aim was. “Why do you think I would end up hating you?” She worried it might be the other way around. Would he think her a wanton woman? She tried to cap her desire, but the need to live what happened in her dreams overruled her common sense.
“I will not lie. I believe in the truth, always. I want you. I want to lie you on the bed and make passionate love to you until neither of us can move.”
“Then what’s stopping you?” she whispered.
“Love, did I hear you correctly?” Disbelief was written on his face.
She gazed into his stormy eyes. “I will admit, I’m not the type who sleeps with a man on the first date.” She looked down at his chest. “Hell, not even the second or third.” Her eyes moved back up to meet his. “I can’t say what it is, this connection I feel. I just know I need you.”
He pulled her close, his mouth crushing hers. Their tongues glided across each other in a play for dominance. Her nipples hardened and strained against the fabric of her dress. With only the thin layer of material between them, she felt his cock harden.
She pulled away and gasped for air as she led him to the darkened bedroom. Her courage wavered for a moment. She’d come this far, there would be no stopping now. She didn’t want to stop.
“Marcus, I don’t know how to explain it. I trust you, and to be honest, your touch sets me on fire. I need you, but if this isn’t what you want, then I’ll understand.” She held her breath and waited for his reaction.
He traced a finger along her cheek. “There’s no way in hell I’m leaving now, unless of course, you toss me on the street.”
She reached for his shirt, her fingers trembling as she loosened the first button. He grabbed her wrists. “If at any time you want to stop, tell me.”
Her head shook and continued with the buttons until they were completely undone. She pushed the shirt past his shoulders and onto the floor. Breath escaped her lungs when the moonlight filtered in the windows and danced across his chest. He was remarkable, better than her dreams.
He removed the clip that held her hair. Her chestnut curls spilled around her shoulders. He moaned when his fingers ran through the silky mass. The dress became a second skin, and she was ready to be rid of it, but before she could make a move, he reached behind her neck and untied the halter. The dress fell to her waist, exposing her bare breasts. His eyes became drunk with desire. He tipped his head down and ran his tongue over her nipple, causing it to pebble. God, she had almost come undone right there.
“You have too many clothes on,” she said, reaching for the button on his pants.
He moved off her breast, and she cried out from the ache he left behind. “I could say the same for you, love.” He kicked off his boots while she dropped her dress to the floor. She was left standing in a red thong and black heels. There would be no turning back now.
Grabbing the waistband of his pants, she yanked them to the floor, and his erection sprung free. Her tongue traced her lips, desperate to savor him. He was much bigger than she had experienced, but that only heightened her arousal. She dropped to her knees and ran her tongue over the tip of his shaft. He tasted of salt and seduction. He wrapped a fist in her hair and groaned. She sucked him in, taking every inch. Drunk by the pleasure she gave him.
He threw his head back. “Oh gods, Cassie, you feel so good. Don’t stop.”
As if she could. No, she was a woman possessed, determined to take him over the edge. At this moment, she wanted nothing more than to make him scream her name.

Q. Is there a word or phrase you catch yourself overusing?

A. My husband tells me I swear like a sailor. I use the word “fuck” often, so needless to say some of my characters are pretty colorful.

Q. How do you know you’ve written a good book?

A. I have critique partners and beta readers. I count on them to tell me if something works or not. I would be truly lost without these wonderful ladies. I can honestly say, they are real ego boosters and if not for them, I’m not sure I would ever think my work good enough to publish.

Q. How do you keep your characters and stories organized?

A. I use Microsoft OneNote. I have a page for each character with their description and a picture. I have pages for general themes and ideas. I can’t tell you how many times I have to refer back to these pages. *I also love looking at the sexy men* Oops, did I say that out loud?

Q. Are you a Swooper (write first, edit later,) a Basher (edit each sentence as you go,) or both?

A. I swoop. I learned early on that editing as I went took the steam out of my writing and caused me to lose my muse. I will go back and read/edit if I get to a point where I’m stuck. This helps me come up with fresh ideas and I can then go back and pick up where I left off.

Q. What is the one thing you must have to be able to write?

A. I need quiet, I am easily distracted.

Q. Did you have any bad habits when you began writing? How did you correct those habits?

A. Lol, are you kidding? I hate commas, I think they are evil little creatures that should be banished. I had to learn to stop and take a breath in my writing. I still find myself rambling from time to time.

Q. What are you currently working on? How is it different from other books you’ve written?

A. I’m actually working on book two of Immortal Guardians right now. However, I did write an erotic paranormal romance that will be published in November, called Amazon Heat. Though Eternal Flame has sex, it was different writing something much steamier.

Q. What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

A. I actually love dialogue. I know many writers hate it, but I find it fun to flesh out a character and bring them to life using their own words. I find I can actually get to know them better through their dialogue.

Q. When and where can readers look forward to seeing you this year?

A. I don’t have any plans this year, but I hope to be attending RT Book Lovers convention in New Orleans next May.

Q. Are you always in the driver’s seat? Or do your characters drag you along for the ride?

A. I’d like to say I’m in control and would never let my characters run the show. With that said, they have made me rewrite entire chapters. They pester me at the worst times and are relentless. Have you ever dealt with a Dragon-shifter before? *rolls eyes* they are demanding to say the least.

Q. What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

 A. Edits. I would much rather scrub the toilet with a toothbrush.

CONTEST: Comment below for a chance to win an eBook copy of Eternal Flame. Please leave an email address. Contest ends Saturday, October 5th at Midnight.

Sep 23, 2013

In the Spotlight with Alice Brown!

Welcome this Week’s Featured Author

CONTEST: Comment below for a chance to win an eBook copy of Vampires Among Us. Please leave an email address. Contest ends Saturday, September 28th at Midnight.

I am a retired military wife and homeschool mom.  My husband retired recently after serving twenty-one years in the military, and is now home full time.  I graduated our daughter from high school last May.
It was about three years ago that my daughter started urging me to write.  “You have a great imagination for storytelling!”  She insisted.  I didn’t think so, but decided to give it a try.  We spent many hours sitting at our local Wendy’s brainstorming the storyline for my books.  And while she insists I have such a great imagination, she is the one that has given me so many fantastic ideas to incorporate in my books.
My books have become a family affair.  My husband runs my website; I would have never been able to set it up and have it running smoothly.  My daughter helps me keep up with emails, and keeps track of facebook and the website while I am writing.   The fact that the family is involved in this endeavor makes it just that much more fun for me to write.  We can be found sitting around the table tossing around ideas for stories, or how a story can be improved often.    
When not writing, I love to read, and play games with the family.  Friday night is family game night.  I make homemade pizza and we play cards, board games, or WII tennis and bowling.  I have broken at least ten WII tennis rackets from hitting the ceiling fan or furniture.  I’ve even come close to hitting my own daughter!   She doesn’t think it is very amusing, but still loves to sit on the couch and watch mom and dad at war.

What does a young woman do when she finds herself trapped in an abusive relationship with a vampire? She runs straight into the arms of another vampire family!

Erica knows she needs to leave her abusive, alcoholic, vampire husband. But just how does one go about doing that? It’s not like she can go to the police and state; “I need a restraining order for my vampire husband!”

She has befriended a guy at college, and not seeing any other choice, asks him for help. Little does she know she is running away from one vampire, and straight into the arms of another!

Kevin O’Rourke is the leader of the VCTF (Vampire Crime Task Force). The only reason he sits in college classes half the day is because his team has been called in to make a major drug bust. When he sees the bruises on Erica, he knows she is in trouble. A little investigation reveals Erica is married to one of his own that has gone rogue. When she finally agrees to leave him, Kevin is quick to offer her shelter at his family’s home. The only problem is Erica doesn’t know what he and his family are. And she doesn’t know she is his mate. Hmmmm……

“Are you trying to get me drunk?” She asked softly, as she glanced up at him through her lashes.
Not necessarily drunk, but loosened up couldn’t hurt.  “Would it help?” He whispered seductively in her ear.
He watched as she closed her eyes and a light shiver went up her spine.  He leaned towards her, placing a gentle kiss on the side of her neck.  A slight “mmmm” vibrated up from deep within her throat.
He let his tongue swirl around the spot he had just kissed, as he listened to her heart beat pick up in intensity.  She turned her head in his direction, as he lightly nibbled his way to her lips.  When he reached his destination, he started their kiss tenderly, seducing her with his lips as he went.  He waited until she was comfortable enough to wrap her arms around his neck and pull him tighter against her, and then he picked up the intensity.
 “Oh God Kevin, I want you, but I….” She started, as she grabbed both sides of his head, forcing it upwards.
 “Shhh, baby, I am not going to hurt you.  I won’t do anything you don’t want to do.  You are in control tonight.  Just tell me to stop, and I won’t go any further.”  His words came out as a seductive whisper as he trailed kisses down her cheek.  Yes, he was well aware of her cautiousness, but he was also a man on a mission. 
He waited, allowing her to relax in his arms again.  He didn’t need to wait long.  As he continued running his fingers lightly through her hair and across her forehead, she seemed to melt into him.   “That’s it, sweetheart, just relax and enjoy.  I’ll always take care of you.”

As Jennifer reached over and pushed a button on the dashboard, she was regretting having to make this call. She knew her brother would be livid the second he found out they were in trouble. There were only two options though, call Kevin, or take care of the problem herself.  She felt fairly confident she could wipe Shawn’s face across the pavement.  After all, he didn’t have a clue she was a vampire. The problem was, neither did Erica. Better to let Sir Romeo take care of this situation. Kevin’s voice was immediately on the speaker.
“Jennifer, what is it?” His voice came across low and stressed. He knew instantly something was wrong.
“I’ve got company following us home. Shawn picked us up as soon as we left the mall,” Jennifer stated. She purposely kept calmness in her voice, and tried keeping a calming atmosphere going
. “How far away are you?” Kevin inquired.
“About seven minutes out. I can make it safely, just be ready for when I pull in.”  
Kevin was relieved to hear Jennifer keeping a calm head while she was driving, and she seemed confident that she could get the two of them back home safely. It was Erica who wasn’t so calm. He could hear her mumbling about not making it through the speaker in the car, and he knew his sister would have already tried throwing a calming atmosphere around her. Erica was fighting the imposed atmosphere. She was scared, and rightfully so.
As Jennifer continued talking with Kevin on the phone, Shawn came around to Erica’s side of the car, trying to force their car off the road once again. Erica could see the road narrowed up ahead, and terror caused her to freeze up. She shut her eyes tight and sent a quick urgent prayer above that they would live through this nightmare. Erica forced one eye open and looked Shawn directly in the eye. There was only one word to describe the look on his face, murderous hatred. As the next minute ticked by, it was blatantly obvious that Shawn was not going to stop until he had succeeded in killing both girls. He was irate over Jennifer outmaneuvering him, which was causing him to act irrationally. He continuously veered sharply over, trying to ram his car into Jennifer’s, only to become even more enraged that Jennifer was able to avoid him every time. Even Erica was amazed as she realized that he hadn’t been able to hit them once.
As Shawn became more aggressive, his actions became more violent. Finally, feeling she couldn’t take another second of torture, Erica screamed at Jennifer. “Slow down so I can jump out, and then you can make a run for it. It’s me he wants. Let me out and he’ll let you live!”
The next sound that was heard was Kevin roaring over the speaker, “Hell no, don’t stop!”
Kevin’s roar was deafening as he lost all self-control when he overheard Erica tell Jennifer to stop the car so Shawn could have her, and then drive away. As if his sister would actually ever do such a thing! He knew as soon as he roared that it was a mistake, and quickly concentrated on controlling his temper and calming himself down. It was imperative that he communicate to Erica that they had the situation under control.
Kevin could be heard taking a deep breath over the speaker, and then with deliberate calmness, pitched his voice to softness before speaking again. “Erica, Jennifer is bringing you back to the house. When the two of you arrive, she is going to pull up to the back door. I want you to jump out and run into the house as fast as you can. Charles and I are ready and waiting for Shawn. I need to know you are safe and sound in this house before anything happens. Trust me sweetie, we have been waiting on him to show his face. I have this situation under control.”
“Kevin, no, you don’t understand.” Erica wailed at the speaker. Oh God, how was she supposed to tell Kevin that he was getting ready to die, right along with his father, and probably Jennifer also, for just trying to help her? How was she supposed to tell him that he was getting ready to face the devil himself, literally?

  1. Is there a word or phrase you catch yourself overusing?
Yes!  The word is “growl” as in he growled….  I used this multiple times in the Vampires Among Us and the editor kept writing little notes on the side stating that it was physically impossible growl more than 2-3 words.  My daughter’s response, “I need to talk to your editor mom, because she has obviously not met my father who can growl an entire paragraph when he gets mad!”   Needless to say I forbid my daughter from contacting my editor and changed the growling to make them happy.

  1. How do you know you’ve written a good book?
I start out “Yeah, this book is fantastic!” and then by the time I’ve gone through edits and it releases, I am starting to think, “Well, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.”
My spirits jump immediately the moment I get a good review, and then I level out to “Yeah, it’s pretty darn good!”

  1. How do you keep your characters and stories organized?
This is probably not a good question to ask me because I am still trying to keep organized.   Currently, I have a folder for each book I am working on which contains notes, names, etc. and then I also have a copy of those notes on One Note on my computer.
Thinking back on your first book, is there anything you would have done differently?
Well, since I re-wrote the first book so many times, and it has gone through so many revisions and changes I don’t even remember what the beginning book looked like; I might have done things differently.  I am my own worst enemy on my books. I finish them, leave them sit for a few months, then pick them up and reread them, making changes all along the way!  I need to learn to do more books like I did The Music Box which will be coming out Nov. 7th.  I wrote that book in a little over a week, went through and edited it once and sent it off!

  1. Has your perspective on the writing process changed since you became published?
Yes, it has changed.  I have a whole new respect for indie authors and what they have to go through to get their book out and noticed.  I had no idea of the time that is needed to set up good advertising, keep up with your readers and followers, keep up with a website, etc.  I am just now feeling like I am starting to catch up, which all takes time away from writing.  I try at least once a week to put my foot down and say no to everything so I can get the writing done.

  1. What is the one thing you must have to be able to write?
Peace and quiet.  No radios, phones, people talking, TV’s…nothing!

  1. What are you currently working on? How is it different from other books you’ve written?
I have started a new shifter series (this will be a first for me).  It is going to be shifter Doberman Pinschers.  I figure if we can have shifter wolves, bears, lions, tigers, etc. why not dogs also?  I am also working on a bit of a secret project with my daughter but it won’t be ready until next year.  I will give you a bit of a hint, just don’t tell her I told you, “Shifter dragons”!  So, I anticipate 2014 to be a very busy year!

CONTEST: Comment below for a chance to win an eBook copy of Vampires Among Us. Please leave an email address. Contest ends Saturday, September 28th at Midnight.

Sep 16, 2013

In the Spotlight with Zayne Michaels!

Zayne Michaels is a small-town girl who grew up and ran off to the big city. She currently resides in the Midwest where she spends her days dreaming up dark, sexy adventures in between soccer games and the never-ending pile of laundry.

Zayne's fascination with old and discarded treasures has always been a source of inspiration for her tales. From antique clocks to old, dilapidated houses, her imagination turns to the "what ifs" and "what used to bes."

Maybe this love for the abandoned is why she is a firm advocate of second chances, or perhaps she's just a little crazy. Whatever the reason, Zayne believes everyone chooses their own path, creates their own destiny, and is the author of their own story.

Once Upon a Midnight Moon

Declan Collins never wanted to be a vampire. He certainly never wanted to be a pawn in his Maker’s games

Lincoln Chastain never imagined the infamous Red Siren would turn out to be his intended. He can’t deny the attraction between them, but nor can he allow a pretty face to distract him from his quest for retribution.

Sometimes, things aren’t as black and white as they seem and finding the truth will come with a price. Will the secrets they discover give the mated pair the happy ending they desire? Or will the lies and greed of others destroy them before they’ve even started?
of cat and mouse. When their hunt for a rare and elusive breed of werewolf leads them straight to Declan’s mate, however, it’s game over.

Lincoln, big badass he professed to be, actually stumbled backward. “What are you doing? Are you…are you seducing me?”
“Depends.” Declan shrugged. “Is it working?”
“Are you doing that siren thing you do?”
“Lincoln, I’m not actually a siren. I’m a muse.” Adding a little extra sway to his hips, he gripped the hem of his oversized sweater—Lincoln’s sweater to be exact—and slid the fabric up his torso. “Are you inspired yet, or should I keep going?”
Unlike a siren, a muse didn’t seduce with his voice. When Declan amped up the juju, he secreted pheromones through the exhalation of each breath. These pheromones didn’t create obsessive behaviors but had more of an influential effect, creating a sense of calm, tranquility, and enlightenment. Hence, his ability to inspire creative minds.
In Lincoln’s case, though, he really was just seducing him. Sue me.
“I think it’s working.” Lincoln’s voice dropped an octave and took on a husky quality that sent a shiver of desire down Declan’s spine. “Maybe you should keep going.”
Almost there. Stripping the soft cotton shirt off over his head, he tossed it behind him and smoothed one palm down his flexing abs. “How about now?” Abandoning his powers as a muse, he simply allowed his body to do the talking. “Come on, Lincoln. I’m not so fragile. I promise I won’t break.”
“I think I’m starting to feel something.” His hand went to his groin to cup his swelling cock. “Yeah, definitely feeling something in this general region.”
Declan tugged the string on his sleep pants, loosening the waistband so that the fabric slid down his hips. “And now?”
Lincoln’s control finally snapped, and he took two long strides to close the gap between them, wrapping Declan in his strong, capable arms. Game over, cowboy. Oh, Declan did love winning.
“You make me crazy, angel.”
The heat pouring from his mate scorched him, but he reveled in the burn. No one had ever wanted him like Lincoln wanted him—pure, true, and without reservation. Okay, maybe with a little reservation, but he felt they were moving past that.
Fisting one hand in Declan’s hair, Lincoln jerked his head back on his shoulders and laid siege to his mouth, coming up long minutes later to gasp for breath. “This probably won’t end well.”
“Probably not,” Declan agreed.
Sure, the idea of a real relationship scared the hell out of him. He could crawl back to Cashel if things didn’t work out with Lincoln, but frankly, the idea held no appeal. He didn’t hate Cashel necessarily, but nor did he want to continue to be someone’s puppet. Things weren’t like that with Lincoln. Declan never had to worry that the next order would be the one that finally broke him.
The silence stretched on while Lincoln considered him, clearly warring with himself over how to proceed. “Be sure, mon bel ange. Be very sure.”
 Yes, he understood the risks, but from where he stood, the benefits far outweighed the potential consequences. “I am.”
A fierce, possessive growl was his only warning before Lincoln lifted him off the floor and encouraged Declan’s legs around his waist. One hand tangled in his hair while the other held a firm grip on his ass, and Lincoln attacked his mouth with an urgency that left Declan’s head spinning.
Their tongues tangled and twined, sliding together in a passionate duel, and Declan moaned in wanton delight as he rocked against his lover. Raw, untainted desire possessed him, and he dug his fingers into Lincoln’s shoulders, desperate to be closer.
The response surprised him, even startled him a bit. He couldn’t catch his breath, but the scary part was he didn’t care. No one had ever elicited this kind of response from him. No one had pushed him so close to the brink with nothing more than a kiss.
“Lincoln, please.” His plea came as a breathy whimper while his mate kissed along the column of his neck. “I can’t wait.” His insides burned like molten lava, and his nerve endings sizzled with every touch.
“Patience, angel,” Lincoln rasped before nipping at his earlobe.
A knock at the door pulled an uncharacteristic growl from Declan’s lips, and Lincoln’s answering chuckle did nothing to improve his mood. “Who the hell is that?”
“My guess would be the delivery guy.”
“Tell him to go away.” Declan was starving, but not for fried rice or egg rolls.
Lincoln scraped his teeth over Declan’s shoulder and laughed again as he spun them toward the door. “Grab my wallet.” He nodded toward the end table beside them.
With a grumbling sigh, Declan leaned to the side to retrieve the wallet, but once upright, he couldn’t resist another taste of his lover’s lips. Lincoln didn’t protest, even sliding his fingers into the waistband of Declan’s cotton pants to skim along his crease as he stumbled toward the front door.
With their mouths still fused together, Lincoln secured Declan with one hand and reached behind him with the other to turn the knob. “Pay the man,” he ordered, grabbing both bags and dropping them to the floor inside the foyer.
Declan threw the wallet at the delivery man’s head, reached over Lincoln’s shoulder, and slammed the door before returning to his task with a needy groan. Threading his fingers through his lover’s hair, he delved between Lincoln’s lips, leaving no crevice unexplored.
“Now?” he begged. His dick ached, throbbing painfully between his thighs as he rocked against his mate’s cobblestone abs like a bitch in heat.
“Now,” Lincoln rumbled in response, tripping toward the sofa and virtually throwing Declan down on the cushions.
Rummaging through the drawer of the end table while he attempted to undress himself one-handed, Lincoln proved to be the ultimate multi-tasker. Though distracted by the sight of his lover’s long, thick cock, Declan still had enough sense about him to question the availability of the lube Lincoln tossed onto the couch beside him.
“You keep lube in the living room?” He held up the clear, plastic bottle and arched an eyebrow.
“I live alone,” Lincoln answered as he dove on top of him, insinuating himself between Declan’s legs. “Where else do you think I watch porn?”

Behind the Scenes
Q: What do you feel is the hardest part of the writing process?

Knowing when to let go. With every story, I always think there is something that could be just a little bit better. I could spend forever tweaking my stories if I don’t stop myself, and then they’d never see the light of day.

Q: How do you keep your characters and stories organized?

Whiteboards, spreadsheets, notes, tables, and just about anything else I can find to write on. Plus, my betas are amazing at keeping me organized and on track.

Q: Are you plot or character driven? Please elaborate.

That’s a hard one, and I really think it depends on the story. If the characters come to me first, the story tends to follow the personality of the characters. If I get an idea for a storyline before the characters come to me, then that book is normally more plot driven. I suppose you could say I’m versatile.

Q: What is the one thing you must have to be able to write?

Re-runs of some of my favorite shows on in the background. I’ve watched them so many times, they don’t distract me. I can’t write when I’m listening to music, and I can’t write with absolute silence. This seems to work for me, though.

Q: Have you ever gotten writer’s block? How do you get past it?

Yes, I absolutely have. Though, I prefer to think of it as writer’s distress. I had stories in my head to be told, but I couldn’t concentrate or focus long enough to get them down on paper. So, I took a leave of absence, if you will, and gave the Muse some time to settle and recharge before diving back into the writing pool.

Q: What are you currently working on? How is it different from other books you’ve written?

Writing as Zayne Michaels is a lot like having another personality. These stories tend to be darker, and things aren’t always tied up in a nice pretty bow. I just finished the second book in the Once Upon a Midnight Moon series, and am currently working on a M/M contemporary.

Q: When is your favorite time of day to write?

I usually take the graveyard shift when it comes to writing. I’m not a morning person, and the earlier I wake up, the longer it seems to take me to get moving. So, I usually sleep during the day and write during the night when everyone else is sleeping.

Sep 9, 2013

In the Spotlight with Heather Rainier!

I live in South Central Texas, writing the type of novel I love to read: more erotic and edgy than the mainstream, with plenty of sweet romance mixed in. I write erotic romances exclusively for Siren Publishing, under their Everlasting imprint. My love of romantic fiction began as a teenager when my mom gave me copies of Kathleen Woodiwiss's "The Flame and the Flower" and Bertrice Small's "Skye O'Malley." To this day I'm pretty sure that was her idea of the "birds and the bees" talk.
My husband and I met in a scenario very much like the ones I've written about. He was the alpha hero who stepped in when this "damsel in distress" needed rescuing from a nefarious pervert. It's no wonder I went on to write erotic romance when I had him to inspire me. My favorite type of hero is the gentle, lovable giant but readers will discover a variety of heroes and alphas in my novels, from nearly perfect to very flawed. I hope readers relate to my heroines, and the challenges and dilemmas they face head-on.


Lucy Carter is striving to succeed as a self-employed licensed massage therapist and to bolster her flagging self-confidence. The ménage of her fantasies, featuring her best friends, seems to be on the back burner.
Single dad Patrick Owen has been refined in the fires of betrayal. Now he knows exactly what he wants—Lucy Carter—and he’s ready to claim her along his best friend.
Beekeeper Beck O’Malley’s heart has been shattered, and he withdraws from the world until Lucy heals his heart. He’s held the spirited woman at arm's length, until he can no longer fight his attraction to her. Unfortunately, Beck and Lucy clash nearly as often as they kiss, and his possessiveness sets her on edge even as she falls deeper in love with him.
When Lucy is drawn into a life-threatening crisis, all of their differences and struggles are brought into perspective. But by then will it be too late?

Tucked into the western edge of the rugged Texas Hill Country, Divine is located at the junction of Heather Rainier's romantic imagination and her wildest fantasies. Like many small towns, the citizens of Divine look after each other, gossip about the rule-breakers, and are in each other's business.
Divine has been developing an inner circle of characters involved in polyamorous love relationships, whose main goal is to stay out of the limelight, while staying true to each other and themselves. Judgment and moral outcry make this hard at times, but the lovers do their best to make it worth the effort.
How does a woman inspire two or more men to love her so much that they are willing to share her? Come to Divine, Texas and explore with Heather Rainier why it's possible for one woman to have a heart big enough to love more than one man…

 “What do I owe you for the massage?”
Lucy smiled up at him and gently rubbed his shoulder. The muscles felt loose and warm under her touch, and the pain and tenderness were all but gone. “Nothing, Beck. It was my gift to you.”
“That was over an hour of your time, Lucy. I owe you for that.”
“Okay. You owe me a date, and this,” she murmured as she hypnotized him with her wolf-blue eyes, tilted her chin up, and pressed her lips to his. He was surprised for a millisecond but then desire burst to life inside him as she slid her palms up his biceps and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her breasts were plush, pressed against his chest, and he groaned when she leaned her voluptuous body against his from knees to nose and moaned softly.
He slid his hands from her waist up her back and tangled them in her long black hair. Her lips were even softer than he’d imagined as she tilted her head and allowed him to deepen the kiss, stroking his tongue with hers as she opened for him. His cock, which had finally given him a respite was back to its previously erect state and she very subtly rubbed her pelvis against his, letting him know she was aware of it.
Usually pretty circumspect with the outward emotions, Beck was struck by how much he wanted to beat his chest and throw her over his shoulder. She unleashed something in him and instead of it being disturbing, it felt freeing. He wanted to crush her to him as the wave of emotional tension shimmered and then burst inside him and he was hard pressed to restrain himself from laying another passionate kiss on her.
“Wow.” Motion caught his attention through the glass-fronted entrance. “Uh-oh.”
“What?” she murmured as she rested her forehead against his chest and sounded like she was composing herself or catching her breath.
“We had an audience.”
Her head popped up and she turned to check the back of the shop then looked out the door. “Oh, crap. Of all the people.”
The dark-haired woman stood on the sidewalk, hands on hips, gawking in at them. She pursed her lips into a haughty twist and shook an accusing finger at them. He couldn’t hear her muffled words through the glass but could make out what she was saying. “Shame on you!” She turned up her nose and continued on her way.
Lucy growled. “If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m a newly self-employed and have several of her friends as customers, I’d flip her the bird and see if she can read my lips when I tell her to fuck off.”
“She looks vaguely familiar. Who is she?”
“Tabitha Lester.”
“That name sounds familiar.”
“She worked for Clay Cook and nearly got Lily killed a couple of years ago. She led Lily’s ex right to her. Psychotic bastard. I wasn’t here when that happened but I heard all about it from the girls. What’s crazy is that some people paint Tabitha as some kind of paragon of virtue, when the truth is she’s a hateful, bitter woman. Jealous of anyone who finds happiness, especially if it doesn’t line up with her rigid set of beliefs. She got a job as the secretary at one of the churches in Divine after Clay fired her for her part in endangering Lily.”
“I remember her now. She was working there when I came in to see Clay one day. Sort of snooty. Well that’s good she no longer works at Clay’s, I guess.”
“Yeah, except that now she kind of runs the local gossip mill through her other job. She’s in lots of people’s business. I guess that’s what you do when you have no life, but I can’t afford to piss her or her friends off.”
“Well, we just won’t give her further reason to gossip,” Beck murmured as he brushed his lips against her forehead and she giggled and shuddered as his beard tickled her nose. “Sorry. I need to shave this mess off.”
“It’s okay,” Lucy whispered. “I’ve wanted that kiss for a long time, Beck O’Malley.”


“I’ve wanted to do this so much, Luce. I’ve needed you.”
She raked her fingernails through his hair, gently scraping his scalp until shivers raced up and down his back and then she palmed the sides of his head and looked at him. She was tall for a woman, so in that position straddling his lap, she was actually looking down at him. Her beautiful face was framed by thick waves of long hair the color of midnight.
The heat glowing in her eyes gave her a powerful, almost regal air, and she smiled at him and rubbed her thumb across his lower lip as she spoke. “I want you. I want it all. I’ll never settle for less ever again. The way you look at me makes me feel beautiful. Desirable.” Something else flickered in her gaze and then was gone as her tone softened. “I’ve needed that.”
The thought flitted through Patrick’s mind that Lucy probably had demons of her own. Sharing his story had been cathartic and he planned to extend the same courtesy to her. For now, he’d settle for showing her how much he desired her.
He loved seeing the fire in her eyes because he knew self-confidence didn’t come easy for her. He didn’t know why, because she was one of the sexiest women he’d ever met. The memory of the hurt in her eyes the night he’d met her, when Beck had turned down her offer of a dance still stuck with him, and so did the guilt for not grabbing her himself. But he could make up for his inaction now.
He laid her down on the couch and settled his hips between hers, groaning as she rubbed her slippery pussy against his cock, and drawing a moan from her. His need to be inside her was fierce.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and cradled him against her as he tormented one of her nipples before switching to the other. The hardened points turned darker as he sucked at them. He lost track of time as she trembled beneath him, stroking the back of his head and his shoulders.
It made him feel powerful to evoke such a response in this woman who so often went out of her way to please others and make them feel good. She deserved all of his attention.
A shudder rushed through him as she slid her hand down his rib cage to between his legs and stroked and squeezed his balls until his eyes nearly crossed. He gritted his teeth and flickers of impending orgasm raced through him as her fingers traced through the crisp hairs surrounding his cock. How long had it been since he’d been tempted and teased like this?
“Woman, I’m not letting you go, regardless of what else happens. You’re mine.”
“Think so, huh?” she whispered in a voice laced with humor and then purred as she grasped his hardened dick. “You’re so hot and big. Is this for me?”
He flexed in her hand. “All yours, Luce.”
The need to be inside her was strong and he pulled back, unwilling to rush when he wanted to feast on her first. He stayed there for a moment just taking her in. Her pale flesh was luminescent against the burgundy upholstery of her couch in the dimly lit living room. Her hair was spread all around her and flowing over the edge of the couch in black waves that glimmered in the lamplight. He groaned at the sight of her completely bare pussy.
She gave him a playful grin and bit her lip, a hint of uncertainty in her eyes. “You like?” Her blush told him this must be a new development and despite her smile she’d been unsure of what he’d think.
“Like is such a weak word, Luce. I’d love your pussy no matter whether you waxed it bare or left it alone. You’re beautiful. All of you,” he murmured as he laid his fingertips against her. “You’re hot and wet. Is this for me?”
She panted as she rubbed her pussy against his hand and nodded. She gripped the sofa armrest above her head and her breasts swayed with her movements. Like a magnet to steel, he came to her and pressed his lips against her abdomen, just below her navel. Her belly fluttered at the stimulation and he smiled when he felt her tremble. He wasn’t the only one affected by the moment. “I’m on the pill, Patrick.”
“I’m clean. I haven’t been with a woman since Elizabeth. I was tested right after…you know…to make sure. I’ll use a condom if you’d like.”
“No need. I believe you. Just go easy. It’s been a while.”
No other words could’ve affirmed his desire to take good care of her like those did. She’d always inspired his protective instincts. The last thing he wanted was to be too rough with her.
“Oh, Patrick,” she whispered as he kissed a trail to the side of her mound, at the top of her upper thigh. He rubbed his beard stubble against her inner thigh as he moved downward and kissed her smooth pussy.
She clenched at his shoulder and a needy sound came from her throat as he parted her lips and traced the tip of his tongue over her swollen inner lips. The scent of her juicy, sweet cunt was nearly enough to make him lunge at her and plunder her ripe flesh like a caveman, but he held back.
He slid his tongue over the other side and she arched her back and froze, panting his name. He dipped his tongue into her entrance, heard the catch in her throat at the same time her cunt clenched on his tongue and he knew she teetered on the edge.
He played out the moment, licking deeper with the next stroke, and heard her tiny sob as she whispered, “Yes.”

The Inside Scoop

Q: What's your favorite quote?

A: "Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often." (Mae West)

Q: Of all your heroines, which do you have the most in common with?

A: There is something of me in each of my heroines, but Grace Warner and I share the most similarities. Although she's been hurt in the past, that didn't stop her from moving forward and pursuing her dreams.

Q: Very often, your heroes and heroines have made appearances in previous novels as secondary characters. Of those characters, whose story have you been asked to write most frequently?

A: Since their first appearance in Her Gentle Giant, Peter and Paul Morgan, the "celestially handsome," sexy twin chefs from Tessa's restaurant have been the most consistently requested heroes. When I finally meet the woman who can handle both those men, I'll write their story. The second most requested character would be Kathleen Stevens, the sophisticated redhead who dated Ace Webster before he and Kemp met Summer Heston. Kathleen will have her happily ever after some day too.

Q: The Divine Creek Ranch was written as a series. Can your books be read as "stand alones?" And are they all ménage romances?

A: Yes.and no. Any book in the series can be enjoyed on its own, without having read the others first. But for the full effect, and to understand all the nuances, it's recommended that readers start with the first book and read them in order. Book Two, Her Gentle Giant , Book Five, Spurs and Heels , and Book Twelve, His Tattooed Virgin are not ménage romances, but are definitely part of the overall storyline. They are every bit as hot and graphic as any of the ménage romances in the series.

Q: Which character in your series has unexpectedly won the hearts of women everywhere, despite his age?

A: Little Michael (Palacios) Martinez! Readers of Heavenly Angel will recall that he is the eldest son of Teresa Martinez, and adopted son of Angel and Joaquin Martinez. At the age of three, he captivated readers as he rode around his backyard, singing "Big Green Tractor" and dancing in the bathtub, singing "Stuck Like Glue." I'm asked regularly if I'll ever write his story, which is a hard question to answer. In the current timeline, he is five years old. I don't write heroes much younger than their early thirties, except for in flashbacks, so his story may have to wait a few years.

Q: Who was the most difficult character for you to write?

A: Without a doubt, it would be Richard Warner, one of the heroes in Maya's Triple Dare. Many of his scenes were written with tears in my eyes. His character absolutely gripped me throughout the creation of that novel.

Q: It's been bandied about that you talk to your characters. If this is true, who do you talk to the most?

A: Definitely true. There are several that I talk to on a regular basis. I talk to Ethan Grant, one of the heroes from Divine Grace, the most. He still has quite a bit to say.

Q: How often do you write? What is your writing day like?

A: Every day, when my schedule allows it. I'm a stay at home mom balancing a career as a fulltime writer, so I'm flexible. I write while my kids are at school, and then stay up late correcting and revising. You know you love what you're doing when you don't mind tired eyes and missed sleep.

Q: What do you like to read?

A: Any genre in erotic romance, as long as it is well-written, including paranormal, western contemporary, ménage, and BDSM erotic romance. If it has strong romantic / erotic elements I'll read it. I don't enjoy books that deny me a happily ever after.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

A: Many of the writers at Siren Publishing were my heroes before I started writing. I'm enthralled with Leah Brooke's Desire, Oklahoma series and Tymber Dalton's Triple Trouble series. I'm also a big fan of Sophie Oak's Bliss, Colorado series. My other favorite authors include Cherise Sinclair, Laurann Dohner, Lorelei James, Maya Banks and J. R. Ward. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is my one, lone holdout for buying in paper form. I mostly buy in e-book format these days.

Q: In regard to writing, what are your likes and dislikes?

A: I love writing hot, steamy, emotional erotic romance. I love having a publisher and editors who are willing to be tough, picky, and challenging when it comes to honing a manuscript and the staff who support them. I dislike children who stand near my laptop with an open beverage in their hands.

Q: What motivated you to start writing?

A: When my 25th high school reunion rolled around, I worried about what to wear, what to do about my hair, my whatever. The night of the reunion I realized none of those people noticed or cared about me, then or now. The ones who mattered were my husband, family and friends. I stopped worrying what everyone else thought and pursued my dream.