Goals for 2012

As I said in my post earlier this week, I make goals not resolutions. It feels like a positive step towards making my dreams come true.

Goals MUST be something that are within my control. I want to make a million dollars with my debut release is NOT within my control and probably not realistic either – lol!! But writing another book by the end of May is hopefully something I can achieve.

So here goes… my goals for 2012 for you to hold me accountable:

1) Finish rewriting Hollywood Heartbreak and sub to Carina Press.
2) Finish my new Single Title – Man Drought – edit and sub.
3) Write the second in my Hollywood series (hopefully by the time I start, I’ll know whether the first has been sold).

4) Write a novella – this is something that has always terrified me, so I’m going to read lots of them before attempting one. It’ll either be a themed seasonal novella or one linked to Man Drought that can maybe be a free promo.
5) Read more (it’s ALWAYS on my list).
6) Re-do my website.
7) Publish my non-fiction book BREASTFEEDERS ANONYMOUS on Amazon.
8) Start a new ST to finish in 2013 🙂

So, what are some of your goals for the New Year? If you’ve written a goal blog post, please do let me know in the comments section of this blog and I’ll pop over and check yours out.

And HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!!!


Books Read in 2011!

Every year I keep a list of the books, I’ve read. I’m always amazed by how many it numbers, and this year, more so than ever. I felt like I hardly read at all. That was the one depressing thing about writing so much and all the lovely, yummy contracts that came with deadlines this year. It meant my reading potential decreased 😦 In the end though, I only read 12 books less than I did last year, so I guess it wasn’t too terrible. I’m hoping for a lot more in 2012 – somehow!!

Here’s the 52 books I read in 2011 (with an * next to the ones that truly captivated me from start to finish):

Perfect Kate – Bec Sampson
Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles *
Goodnight, Beautiful – Dorothy Koomson *
Every Girl’s Secret Fantasy – Robyn Grady
Best Laid Plans – Sarah Mayberry
Blue Skies – Fleur McDonald
The Undomestic Goddess – Sophie Kinsella
Claudia’s Big Break – Lisa Heidke *
Molly Cooper’s Dream Date – Barbara Hannay *
St Piran’s: Rescuing Pregnant Cinderella – Carol Marinelli
The Woman He Loved Before – Dorothy Koomson
Shattered Sky – Helene Young
Heart of Gold – Fiona Palmer *
The Ice-Cream Girls – Dorothy Koomson *
Beyond Fear – Jaye Ford *
A Daddy For Jacoby – Christyne Butler
Getting Even With Fran – Christine Stinson
The Man She Loves to Hate – Kelly Hunter
North Star – Karly Lane
Shipwrecked With Mr Wrong – Nikki Logan
Addition – Toni Jordan
Rules of Attraction –  Simone Elkeles
The Search – Nora Roberts
The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
Cupcakes and Killer Heels – Heidi Rice
Exclusively Yours – Shannon Stacy *
Undeniably Yours – Shannon Stacy
Meddling With The Millionaire – Cat Schield
When One Night Isn’t Enough – Wendy Marcus
Road Signs – M.J. Frederick
It Started With A Pregnancy – Scarlet Wilson
Lakeshore Christmas – Susan Wiggs
Last Summer – Kylie Ladd
Marrying Daisy Bellamy – Susan Wiggs **** BEST READ OF 2011***
Promises – Cathryn Hein *
Secrets and Speed-dating – Leah Ashton *
The Secret History of a Good Girl – Aimee Carons
Sizzling Sixteen – Janet Evanovich
Turn It Up – Inez Kelly
Young Wives – Adele Parks
Tempted by Trouble – Liz Fielding
Lola’s Secret – Monica McInerney *
Summer at Willow Lake – Susan Wiggs
When Harriet Came Home – Coleen Kwan
Irresistible – Susan Mallery
What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty *
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
The First Night of Christmas – Heidi Rice
Mistletoe and Margaritas – Shannon Stacey
Nowhere Else – Fiona McCallum
Yours to Keep – Shannon Stacey
I’d love to know some of your best reads for 2011 and maybe I’ll add them to my massive, ever-growing TBR pile for 2012!!

2011 – the year that WAS!!!

At the end of each year, I make goals for the next year. Not resolutions. Sometimes I keep them, sometimes I don’t but I like listing the things I want to achieve. I do find that whether big or small, if I write something down and make a commitment, I’m much more likely to achieve.

Below are the goals I set for 2011 and the result in bold!!

So my goals for 2011 are as follows (not all writing related):

*Finish my revisions for Carina Press on ”His Christmas Fairy” and sub it. – I subbed this in February and heard on Apirl Fools Day that Carina Press wanted to BUY it!! 

*Finish my single title – I finished this in July. It was here and on Twitter known as #TheBookThatWontEnd but it actually did. It came in at 110,000 words in the end. Part way through writing it, I was actually worried I wouldn’t crack 80k. 

*Write one category novel – I wrote Hollywood Heartbreak which came in at 75k (and I subbed it to Carina – I’m currently in the middle of rewrites for this book). 

*Enter a couple of contests – I entered the STALI but had to withdraw because I sold to Carina Press before the final round of judging. 

*Attend Romance Writers of Australia conf in Melbourne – I certainly did and as usual, I loved EVERY MINUTE of it! Particular highlights were catching up with my best writing buds, meeting Angela James and going to the Harlequin Author dinner. 

*Read lots and analyse the books as I go – I’m not sure I can tick this one off. Reading has unfortunately been sacrificed with the advent of deadlines in my life.

*Join the gym again and tone up – Um… does going four times to PUMP aerobics and starting Couch to 5k THREE different times count? FAIL!!!

*Spend some more quality time with my hubby – hanging my head in shame cos I’m not sure I achieved this one either. It’s been a mad year business and writing wise and my poor man has probably suffered neglect. Hey, the good intention was there!

So that’s me. I hope you feel happy with what you achieved in 2011. In the next couple of days, I’ll be drafting my goals for 2012 and posting them to my blog. Please let me know if you do the same!! 

Training the perfect man! And Merry Christmas!

It’s a running joke in our marriage that I knew when we tied the knot that DH wasn’t romantic and he knew I was a writer, so these were two things we just had to put up with. Apparently not being romantic also includes having a MASSIVE FEAR of buying the wrong present for me and therefore he generally avoids this at all costs. For the last eight years, I’ve been saying I want jewellery and he’s been telling me to go and choose something and buy it then. Ah… not the same, come on ladies, you agree, don’t you?

Anyway this year, I sent him with three helpers and told him that our middle son (cyberly known as Trouble) would know what to get me. Whenever I’ve been shopping with Trouble I’m astounded by his fabulous taste. Well, he’s only five but he won the prize for best pressie this year. Hubby let all three of them choose something. From High Maintenance I got a lovely pair of earrings (bit dressy to wear everyday though) and from His Lordship I got five romantic comedy DVDs (think Hubby chose these)! But from Trouble I got possibly the funkiest and most beautiful necklace I’ve ever laid eyes on. It has words inscribed on the silver ovals – Passion, Serenity, Success, Energy, Patience and Love.

I actually CRIED!! And then I looked at my gorgeous five year old boy and thought, some day, he’s gonna make one special girl a VERY happy lady!

I hope you all had lovely Christmas’ with people you hold near and dear and got some pretty special presents too.

Remember if anyone got a new e-reader and needs books, ONE PERFECT NIGHT is available at Carina Press and Amazon 🙂

Don’t Snitch the Sprinkles with Jen Tucker

Thank you to everyone who’s followed and commented on my Christmas Book blog party. It’s been an awesome month, with lots of lovely giveaways. There’s still the chance to win Stacey Kennedy’s book in the post below (so go ahead and comment) but today I’m delighted to introduce to you hilarious and gorgeous girl Jen Tucker. I met Jen through Twitter and she’s always a whirl of happiness and positiveness. I love it. She’s not talking about her own book today but her most recent release is The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and it sounds like a hoot. It’s on my must-read list in 2012!! Without further ado… here’s Jen herself!!

     Oh Christmas!  How I love thee, and I can count the ways.  So manyfond memories, so many calories that end up on my rear end.   Iattempt to embrace both of those things equally.  Curse you chocolate fudge!  Curse you my sister-in-law’s homemade toffee!  Wow, where did that hostility come from?   Okay, maybe I am not yet at the place toembrace my expanding waistline that can accompany the holidays.   For me however, the sweetsof Christmas go hand in hand with the memories, and both are wrapped up intoone of my favorite little packages that I want to share with you.
     TheChristmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher, written andillustrated by Virgil Partch, is my favorite children’s book.  Although it is a Christmas story, I think itcarries with it a lesson that holds true year round.  It was first printed in 1969, which is *AHEM*older than most of us, right?  I firstheard this story when it was read to me at a Christmas party.  The company my father worked for as anelectrical engineer threw a huge Christmas bash for employees and theirfamilies every year at their corporate office. I remember one particular party in 1978, when I was just a blonde,seven-year-old little girl that answered to “Jenny” then.  I can recall that I was worried that waitingin line to give Santa my wish list was going to interfere with the story timethat was about to take place.  Even then,I was a girl with priorities about reading. Plus, I knew that Santa reallylived at Gillmore’s department store in Kalamazoo, Michigan so who was thisimposter?   I think I did the quick exchange; list forSanta and candy cane for me, and made it out in record time.  I quickly found a seat in a large auditoriumwith my parents.   My father, noticing myline of vision was obstructed by other people’s heads, scooped me up onto hislap so I could have the best view possible. I love my daddy. 
     I can still clearly remember trying tolean in closer and closer, caught up in the illustrations projected on thescreen and getting lost in the storyteller’s animated voice.  My mom took notice, because the next dayafter school there was a gift waiting for me; the book itself.  I remember grabbing it from the kitchencounter, kissing my mom on the cheek, and running up to my room to get busyreading.  I know, I know!  You all are saying, “Jen what is this bookabout already?  Sheesh!” 
     This big, meanie snitcher decides to robthe town of all its sprinkles.  Thechildren wake up to find that their baking is stopped short because thisimportant ingredient is missing from every kitchen cupboard in every home.  A little boy, Nat, dries his teary eyes andtreks off to find the sprinkles and the snitcher because:
“Christmascookies without sprinkles
arelike raisins without wrinkles,
arelike sleigh bells without tinkles
areChristmas cookies without sprinkles.”
     Little Nat follows the trail of sprinklesleft behind to the snitcher himself, The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher (itsaid so on his mailbox, so no mistaken identity, plus he had the goods onhim).  Nat tells this snitcher that his sprinklesnitching fun has spoiled the fun of others. There is remorse and amends to be made. In the end, the sprinkles are sprinkled onto all the children’s cookiesand The Snitcher tells Nat:
“ThoughI haven’t a sprinkle
I’venever been richer.”
       Wecan learn a lot from Mr. Snitcher, can’t we? Christmas brings with it the importance of looking at all the blessingswe all have in our lives.  Times aretough.  Wallets feel like they areshrinking, and time feels fleeting these days. We are so busy with the hustle and bustle in life, that sometimes it isdifficult to stop and realize the richness our life already contains.  What richness do you find in your life evenwhen there might not a sprinkle to be found? I know it’s there, because it is something no snitcher could ever snatchaway from you.  It belongs only toyou.    
MerryChristmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year to you and yourfamily!  May you all bless others, and beblessed this holiday season.

A Christmas Present From Stacey Kennedy

Today is the LAST Christmas author post  – but tomorrow I have one last little Christmas surprise from another very special author. And today I’m happy to announce the winner of Serenty Woods’ book prize is Janette Radevski – Serenity will be contacting you shortly. 

And now we have the hugely talented Stacey Kennedy, with an extract that will leave you hot and wanting more of her fabulous prose. 

WOOT! Hugethanks to Rachel Johns for letting me stop by, share my new Christmas BDSM release,and hold a giveaway!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!What can I say? I love getting all curled up by the Christmas tree, with thepretty lights, and opening gifts! Yes—I might be in my early thirties, but Istill act like a total child when it comes to Christmas. I decorate like crazy,watch Christmas movies, and even hum Christmas tunes.

Needless to say, when I was asked towrite a 1NS story for Decadent as part of their Christmas anthology, I jumpedon the chance. I loved the scene it set up. How the winter night surrounded thecouple as they took on an adventure of BDSM.

It set up for a very romanticatmosphere. Locked in a lodge, nestled in between mountains, where a burningfire lit up the room—you can see why I enjoyed it so much. Nothing sexier thana man with the casting glow of a fire dancing over his bare chest. Yum, right?!

So, want a Christmas present of someintense, but sweet BDSM under your Christmas tree? If you do, leave a commentwith your email address to be entered to win a copy of ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS HER DOM. Don’t forget to come findme on Facebook and Twitter.I love to chat!!

MadameEve’s 1NightStand service has brought together Blake and Taryn on a coldChristmas Eve at the Castillo Lodge. The two will set out on an adventure ofpain and pleasure surrounded by Alaskan snow-capped mountains and nestled in awarm country lodge. But as the night develops, Taryn discovers it’s notChristmas presents that will surprise her but instead the very man who masteredher through a night of intense BDSM.

WARNING-This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material thatsome readers may find objectionable: INTENSE BDSM theme and elements.

Teaser:(WARNING – BDSM ELEMENTS – Not for readers under the age of eighteen)

Thesuite in the Castillo Lodge far exceeded Blake’s expectations. Rustic inappearance with log walls, hardwood panel floors, and the rich scent ofevergreens filling the air, it was exactly what he requested and fit the moodfor a Christmas getaway. The room delighted him, but the woman who stood beforehim enchanted him more.
Heled the blindfolded Taryn over to the four-poster wooden bed with a quilt ontop and placed her hands on the railing over the footboard. “I suggest youpresent yourself.” She bent over, spread her long, sexy legs, and angled herhips to expose her ass decorated by a thong. Her straight brown locks hungloosely down her back, covering the crimson lace bra that looked lovely againsther pale skin. “Nicely done.”
Herchest rose and fell quickly. Nervous? The thought only lingered on hismind a moment—no one paired with him would hold anxieties. As a Dom, hedemanded much of his submissives. He needed them to be strong and obedient. AndMadame Eve, a matchmaker out of Las Vegas who had arranged the encounter, hadbeen well aware of that fact. As he examined her more closely, he equated herreaction to being aroused, and relished the thought that his mere presencecaused her reaction.
“I’mhere to please you, Sir.”
Thefire in the large stone fireplace on the far side of the large room cast alovely glow over her skin. “Your desire to entice me is working.” He pressedhis hard cock against the seam of her ass to declare she hadn’t been the onlyone affected. “I appreciate you addressing me with such respect, but for now,we can do without it. I’d advise, though, to use the term when you believe Iwant to hear it.” He rubbed himself against her and held back his groan. “Is mycock what you want?”
“Mypussy aches for you.”
Hechuckled before he moved away and saw her stance falter. “That kind of pleasureyou’ll have to earn.”
Sheproved she was a skilled submissive as she recovered her position withoutpause. “I want to earn it, Sir.”
Hestrode toward his bag on the floor by the stone fireplace and took out hisflogger. She tensed as he flicked his hand to allow her to hear the sound ofthe tails whooshing through the air. “Do you have a safe word, my pet?”
Hepositioned himself behind her and trailed the flogger over her backside.“Explain why that word holds significance?” He smacked her ass with a hard hitto test her limits.
“I’ma U.S. Marshal in Texas.” She groaned. “Supervisory Deputy to be exact.”
Heran the flogger over her bottom again to tease her. “Is that why the submissiverole appeals to you, because of the job you hold?”
“Itfeels wonderful to give up the control I carry in my day-to-day life.” Shemoaned as he issued another hit. “And I enjoy being punished.”
He’dalready known she enjoyed pain play. Madame Eve had sent him an extensive listof her limits, but he preferred learning for himself where those limits weredrawn. “How long have you lived the BDSM lifestyle?”
“Fiveyears.” She squeaked as he delivered a hard hit on her back then let the tailsof the flogger tickle down the sweet cheeks of her ass.
“Butyou haven’t had a lifestyle Dom?”
“I—”She paused. “I’d prefer not to discuss it.”
Unacceptable. He hit hard twice.She bowed her head and cringed. “I didn’t ask what you preferred. Answer thequestion.”
Shebreathed deep as he hit lightly along her thighs. “I did have someone, but notanymore.”
“Wouldhe be jealous that I’m your Dom tonight?”
“I’dimagine he would be.” She gasped when he flogged her on the shoulders andcontinued down her back.
“Isuppose then, I’ll need to leave my mark on you for all to see, so they’re wellaware who you belong to now.”

Stacey Kennedy’s novelsare lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, andeven give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’llfind fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needsto be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series havehit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’tplugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got hernose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.
Be sure to drop her aline at www.staceykennedy.com, she loves to hearfrom her readers.

Laura Browning talks Christmas Presents

Today Laura Browning graces my blog, chatting about something we ALL love PRESENTS!!! 

My son is a man on a mission. He’s beennagging me for what seems like weeks already to go Christmas shopping, postinghis list in a prominent place on the refrigerator where I will be sure to seeit each and every time I open the door. He knows his “big” gift is already inthe house—somewhere—and because I went shopping again last evening, he alsoknows some of the other things he wants are…somewhere.

So I know that as soon as he’s left alonein the house for any length of time, the great Mission Gift Search begins. Howdo I know this? Not because he’s given himself away…well there was the incidentlast night with the flashlight in the room where the tree’s located…but becauseI did the exact same thing every single year growing up.

I found them in the trunks of cars.
I found them in the cedar closet in ourbasement.
I found them in my Dad’s Army footlocker(thanks for already wrapping them, Mom).

But then came the year of the bicycle. Ihad asked for a ten speed. And I knew my mother well enough to know that shewould never wait until the last minute to get a gift. After all, this was thewoman who documented in a little notebook any toy trades or sales betweensiblings, which we then had to sign so no one could argue over what belonged towhom. This was the same woman who yawned at day-after-Thanksgiving shoppingbecause she was already through. So I knew the bicycle must be somewhere aroundour house.

I looked everywhere I could think of, evenquestioning neighbors and friends to see if she might have sneaked it over toanother house. I finally had to draw the conclusion that I just wasn’t going toget the bike I wanted. Another thing my parents were strict about was budgeting,and the bike was on the upper limits of what they would be willing to spend onany one child.

Christmas morning arrived. I promisedmyself that no matter what was under the tree, I would be happy with it. When Ireached the bottom of the steps and turned the corner into the living room,there sat a gleaming white and chrome ten speed bicycle, parked right in frontof the fireplace.

In the garage, where I had looked manytimes, sat our ski boat with its canvas cover in place. I had looked under it,behind it, and on top of it. I had just never pulled the cover off to look init. You got me, Mom.
So, Jacob, search away. This year yourpresents are buried.

The issue of presents plays a role in myholiday release, Santa’s Helper. Theheroine, Merry, is working three jobs to support herself and her son, but alsoin hope of being able to provide him some sort of Christmas. Jack, the hero isringing the bell for charity outside the local mall where Merry’s workingpart-time as an elf.

Despite the fact she’s short on cash,Merry’s not short on the idea of Christmas giving as you can see:

“Ithought you might like a cup of coffee.”
Jack looked down for what seemedlike forever to a pair of bright blue-green eyes and curly red hair stickingout from beneath…an elf’s hat? He blinked. Was he delusional? Had the coldgotten to him to the point where he was imagining elves?
Her smile disappeared as she bither lip. “I noticed you when I came in to work. I thought you might be cold ifyou were still out here. And we—we had some leftover coffee.”
He took the cup from her.“Thanks.”
She shifted from one foot to theother. “Right. It’s black. I hope that’s how you like it.”
“It is.” Jack knew he was makingher nervous, but he couldn’t resist. He remembered her now. She
was the woman in the tailoredovercoat who’d been so cheap…tossing in just a buck. And here she was
dressed like an elf.
She hadn’t entered the mall toshop; she’d arrived for work. The woman in the tailored camel hair coat wasworking as an elf.
A small shiver shook her slenderframe beneath the costume.
“You’ll freeze out here. You shouldgo in unless elves have some sort of magical protection.”
This time she blushed, as ifonly now realizing she still wore her elf suit, and nodded. “I should goinside.”
She turned to hurry away fromhim.
“Wait!” She stopped and glancedover her shoulder. His gut clenched with sudden desire. “What’s your name?”
She blinked. “Merry.”
“Merry—likeMerry Christmas.”
And that is exactly what I wish for all ofyou. Santa’s Helper is availablethrough TheWild Rose Press.
If you’d like to check out my otherreleases, you can visit my website www.laurabrowningbooks.com.

Writing Santa’s Elf with Paige Tyler

Today I have Paige Tyler talking about her latest novel Santa’s Wayward Elf – I’m just totally besotted with the idea of an Elf heroine!

But first I’m very excited to announce the WINNER of Kelly Hunter’s WISH – congrats to Catherine!! Please contact Kelly through her website to claim your prize!

I love writing holiday romances, especially Christmas-themed ones, butwhen my hubby (who is also my writing partner!) suggested we write a storyabout one of Santa’s Elves, I was like, “You’re kidding, right?”Silly of me, actually. I mean, we pulled off a zombie romance in DEADSEXY, which turned out to be an EPIC Award Finalist, by the way. Hubbystill had to do some convincing, but he did it, and as we outlined the story, Icompletely fell in love with the heroine Sosie, a guileless elf who doesn’t fitin up at the North Pole and ends up stranded in NYC on Christmas Eve where shemeets and falls head over heels for a hunky cop. I think you’ll fall in lovewith her, too!
Happy Reading!
Being one of Santa’s elves isn’t all sugar plums and candy canes.
At least not for Sosie. Taller than the other elves, she’s always had aproblem fitting in at the North Pole, so when the transport sled she’s onbreaks down in New York City on Christmas Eve, she can’t resist slipping awayto explore the world of the “big people.” While she’s having fun, the transportsled takes off, leaving the naïve elf stranded.
Fortunately, handsome police detective Derek Clayton comes to herrescue, offering to let her stay at his apartment. Having heard horror storiesabout the big people, Sosie is both surprised and relieved to meet such a kind,sweet man. Not to mention one so gorgeous and well-built.

Even though Sosie expects the North Pole to send out a search party anyday, she finds herself falling for Derek. She desperately wants to tell himshe’s an elf, but knows he’ll never believe her. When the lies and omissionsstart to pile up, Derek can draw only one conclusion—Sosie is working for themob boss he’s been after for years.
Just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, the chief of elfinsecurity shows up to drag Sosie back to the North Pole. How is a runaway elfsupposed to overcome a determined security elf, dangerous mobsters and asuspicious boyfriend all while keeping her pointed ears a secret?

By the time the party wound down a few hours later, Sosie was morearoused from her fantasies than she’d ever been in her life. She was an elf inlust and nothing was going stop her from getting Derek into bed with hertonight. She didn’t care how much of a gentleman he was, there was no way hewas sleeping on the couch again. In fact, if she had her way, he wasn’t goingto be sleeping at all.

After they got back up to his apartment, however, her confidencefaltered. But then she thought of the frustrated night she would assuredly haveahead of her if she didn’t proposition Derek, and how much she would regret itwhen she left.

Taking a deep breath, she turned to face him. “I had a great time at theparty. It was very nice of you to invite me.”

He grinned. “I’m glad you came. I had a good time, too.”

Sosie nibbled on her lower lip. Okay, it was now or not at all. Time tobe a bold elf. She looked up at him. “You know, I feel awful about putting youout of your bed again. I was thinking maybe you might want to sleep with metonight.”

He studied her in silence, his dark eyes unreadable. Sosie held herbreath as she waited for him to say something. What if Tracee and Linda hadbeen wrong? What if Derek wasn’t as “into her” as they’d thought?

“If I share the bed with you, Sosie,” he said softly, “sleeping is thelast thing either of us will be doing.”

She gave him what she hoped was a flirtatious look. “Good. Then themistletoe won’t go to waste.”

His mouth curved into a grin at the tiny sprig of greenery dangling fromher fingers. “Mistletoe, huh?”

“I thought I could put it wherever I want you to kiss me.”

He chuckled. “Honey, you don’t need mistletoe for that. I’ve spent thepast two hours fantasizing about kissing every inch of you.”

Her pulse skipped a beat. “You have?”


 Cupping her face in his hand, he bent his head to cover her mouth withhis. This time, there was no hesitancy in the kiss. This time, his mouth movedover hers with an urgency that left her breathless, and she had to cling to hisshoulders to keep from melting as his tongue plunged into her mouth to takepossession of hers. It was as if he couldn’t seem to get enough of her. Thedesire was mutual. She couldn’t get enough of him, either.

With a groan, Derek swung her up in his arms and strode toward the bedroom.She’d never had a guy do something so romantic before—mainly because she wasalways taller than the elf guys she’d slept with—but she decided it was veryhot.

Once beside the bed, Derek set her on the floor, letting her slideslowly and deliciously down his body. Arms still looped around his neck, shepulled him down for another kiss. This time, she was the aggressor, her tongueseeking his and exploring every inch of his tasty mouth.
Derek groaned and ran his hands down her back to firmly cup her ass throughthe tight jeans she wore. She murmured her appreciation against his mouth as hepulled her more tightly against him. His erection strained against his jeans,pressing into her tummy. Mmm. Well, that answered the question as to whether hewas well built everywhere. It felt as if he had a huge candy cane hidden inthere.

Suddenly impatient to see how well built, Sosie ran her hands down hischest to the bottom of his shirt and urgently pushed it up. Derek must havethought she needed some help because he reached back and pulled it over hishead to toss it on the floor.
She’d thought getting a glimpse of him without a shirt last night hadbeen a treat, but seeing all that sculpted muscle up close was even better.Figgy, he was gorgeous.
Watch the Trailer!
Buy it on Amazon Kindle!
Geez, and I thought MY heroine had an interesting career!! Any ideas for crazy characters Paige should pull off next?

The Gift of Giving with Scarlett Bailey

Today I have Scarlett Bailey, author of The Night Before Christmas (not the picture book version – lol), talking about something close to my heart…

The thing I find most tricky at Christmasis buying presents for men, or more specifically the man in my life. There isthis myth that women are mysterious, contrary and indecisive, which mightsometimes, rarely, be true. But I know one thing, at Christmas its men whobecome the mysterious, and difficult ones. They never ever know what they want.

            Wegirls always know, we always have a pre-prepared list, with a selection ofitems of varying prices, some of the with a little gold star next to them, justto show exactly how much we want them (what, is that just me?). After all forwomen, its like Rachel Barry says to Finn Hudson in the Glee Christmas special.‘All I want for Christmas is you, and five things from this list.’

            Buttry to get a man to tell you what he wants, and its like getting blood from astone.

            ‘Um,I don’t know….you know, something like…well you know. You choose.’

            Andthat is the principle reason that men mainly get pants for Christmas, bothfiguratively and literally. Men don’t like stuff in the way that women do. Theydon’t have a thing for shoes, or a love for jewellery or clothes. You know fora fact they will take nowhere near the same pleasure in aftershave as you wouldfrom a nice bottle of Chanel No 5.

            Onmy first ever Christmas with my true love, three years ago, I search high andlow to buy him two period Aubrey Beardsley prints, discovering them inAustralia in the end, and shipping them all the way here, because I’ddiscreetly discovered that he loved the work of Beardsley. And he wasdelighted, with them. And so touched that I’d gone to all that trouble, I scoremaximum brownie points. Which was when I ran out of ideas. The next Christmas Ipanic bought him a PlayStation 3, which arrived on Christmas Eve, meant that Ispent all of Christmas watching him gaming, and then by boxing day he’d goneoff it and has never touched it again. Good for our love life, bad for mychoice of gift not to mention my bank balance.

            Thisyear I have no idea what to get him. I’ve looked at pants, and decided againstit. I’ve thought of clothes, but I notice that those three shirts I bought himfrom his birthday, which he allegedly loves, are still hanging in the wardrobewith the tags on. Its not like I can get him a Spa day, or the lovelyChristmassy romantic novel….. So here we are, literally hours away from the bigday and I’ve got him nothing, nada, zero, zilch.

            Sigh,maybe it will have to be pants after all. At least he will know, they are pantsbought with love. 

Great post Scarlett – and I’m curious readers  – what are YOU buying for your beloved this Christmas??

Scarlett’s book The First Night of Christmas sounds delightful, blurb below: 

All Lydia’s ever wanted is a perfect Christmas…So when her oldest friends invite her to spend the holidays with them, it seems like a dream come true. She’s been promised log fires, roasted chestnuts, her own weight in mince pies – all in a setting that looks like something out of a Christmas card. But her winter wonderland is ruined when she finds herself snowed in with her current boyfriend, her old flame and a hunky stranger. Well, three (wise) men is traditional at this time of year…

You can also find Scarlett on Twitter and Facebook.

Guess what I’m doing tonight folks?

Tonight I’ll be drinking champagne with my beloved and toasting to one of my biggest ever dreams coming true because today ONE PERFECT NIGHT releases from Carina Press.

I want to take this chance to thank my gorgeous hubby and my wonderful Mum for being so supportive as I traveled this road to publication. Thank you for listening, for cleaning, for babysitting and for simply putting up with me when my mind was elsewhere lost in a book. Without you guys, I couldn’t do it!

Thanks to my three little heroes in training for putting up with me too.

Also thanks to my fabulous CPs and writing friends who actually come to quite a massive number.

To Bec, Jackie, Melissa, Janette, Cathryn and Joanne – who have been CPs and friends to me almost from the beginning of me pursuing this road and joining RWA Oz.

To Leah Ashton from Perth who absolutely rocks and talks almost as fast as me. Thanks also for your support.

To Fiona Lowe who actually read this book in its entirety between revisions and re-subbing to Carina Press. Without you, I might not have done it!

To Suz, Julie-Anne, Rosalie and Tracey who really were with me from the beginning. We may not crit or chat much anymore but you guys are all fabulous too!!

To Scarlet Wilson a recent addition to my plethora of writing friends – thanks for your enthusiasm and support.

To the Sassy Sisters for taking me on recently and accepting me as one of your own 🙂

And to Rachel Bailey, Anna Cleary, Nikki Logan and Robyn Grady who have all at some stage or another read some of my chaps and offered wise advice.

And also to Helen Lacey, Lacey Devlin, Anita Joy and Coleen Kwan who’ve been happy to help in the release celebrations.

See there was NO WAY I could thank you all in the actual book, so I refrained from mentioning anyone in particular, but you are all special to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me get to where I am today.


On this special day, I’m also blogging on three other fabulous blogs and at each one there’s an opportunity to win a copy of One Perfect Night. For details follow the links below (some of the links may not go live till US time):