This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: UNMASKING KELSEY by Kay Hooper


In the hazy heat of a southern town called Pinnacle, all is not typical for the small, laid back community.  With only a few businesses to keep the town populated, a select few have more power and money than fit the equation.

This brings FBI agent, Kelsey, into town and his first objective is to find Elizabeth Conner, a top witness.  When he finds her, he almost forgets he’s on a case as her beauty and feisty mannerisms mesmerize him.

Elizabeth knows things and her sister's safety is in jeopardy, but can she trust the hard-headed, blunt speaking and hot man who claims he’s with the FBI and won’t prove it?

Hooper doesn’t waste time in getting the heat rolling between Kelsey and Elizabeth just as the business in question stockpiles its ammunition and wants witnesses dead.  The sheets stay hot along with a smoking trail to the hunted suspect as Kelsey draws Elizabeth into his life.  

Enjoy,
Dawn

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest Author Interview: Liz Adams


Today we are interviewing Paranormal Erotic Romance Writer Liz Adams. She is giving away a PDF of AMY "RED" RIDING's HOOD. 

Alexis: Hi Liz, thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. Can you start by telling us why you decided to write erotica? 

Liz: Sure! When I was 14, my girlfriend and I found a dirty newspaper in the bushes. She and I returned to her house and giggled over the pictures of naked women. But when she read aloud some of the letters of men's fantasies, more than just my face got hot! She was gracious enough to let me keep the paper. That is, I pulled it out of her trash can when she wasn't looking. When I think back on it, she made such a show of throwing it away, she was probably going to retrieve it from the trash herself after I left! Anyhow, I really wore that newspaper down as I read those letters over and over. I finally tried writing out my own fantasies when I was 16. About a year later, I sent one to Penthouse Forum and it was published! I was so excited, I decided to work hard at improving my writing so I took up creative writing in UCLA.

Alexis: Wow, I guess one man's trash is another one's treasure, especially in your case. So what is AMY "RED" RIDING's HOOD about?

Liz: It’s adult fairy tale erotica meets Romeo and Juliet, where the love between a young woman and a werewolf is forbidden. Amy “Red” Riding is tired of being a virgin. Her best bet is a lycan named Sean. He’s perfect. Crystal blue eyes, dimpled smile, buff chest, and wicked bulge! But being in a community that frowns upon human-lycan relationships makes loving Sean more challenging than she ever imagined. I had one reviewer say how refreshing it was to read about a couple fighting for their love instead of against it.

Alexis: That is a great comment from the reviewer. Where did you get the idea for this story?

Liz: I copied every other word from the original story, then inserted sexy words in the missing spots (heh, heh). Actually, the main characters and story line came from the original Red Riding Hood, of course. Then, when faced with characters that weren’t sexy, like the grandmother and the lupus (the wolf), I changed the characters to be more enticing. When it came to the forbidden love between Amy and Sean, I pictured the American attitude for love between a white woman and a black man before the civil rights movement. I asked my family what the common excuses were back then for why blacks had to be treated the way they were treated. I then incorporated those expressions like “everyone has their own place, blacks have their place, whites have theirs” into my fiction.

Alexis: Interesting research. I can see why you liken it to a Romeo and Juliet story. What are your favorite character traits of Amy and Sean?

Liz: I love how Amy is ready to fight the established bigotry against the lycan community. She is able to rise above the common mistreatment of lycans and look into her heart to learn what’s true. I also love her daring nature and challenging questions, like when she asks Sean, “What’s the one secret you don’t want me to know about?” Talk about chutzpah! 

As for Sean, I admire how he wants the best for Amy, even if it means respecting her parents’ bigoted views of lycans. Since he’s the wolf in the Red Riding Hood story, I thought it necessary to have him be an alpha male. His final treatment of Amy went further than I have ever gone before in the realm of dominance in a sexual relationship. Whew! It was hot writing that scene! I had so much fun editing the scene, you can bet you’ll be reading well-polished writing! 

Alexis: A well written scene is always a pleasure ;-) What is it about fairy tales that draws you to write with them at the center of your work?

Liz: I come at it from a reader’s perspective. I don’t feel a draw to read about characters I haven’t met, yet. Reading about Sarah and Max, or Tess and David, or June and Philip doesn’t appeal to me. But I’d love to read erotic versions of characters I already know. It doesn’t have to be fairy tales, it could be superheroes, television series characters, famous monsters. But at least with fairy tale characters, I know I won’t be stepping on any copyright toes.

Alexis: Very true. What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?

Liz: I actually have many new releases coming out soon. I’m very excited about the audio book versions of Amy “Red” Riding’s Hood, and Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land, and the two of them combined as a special bundled deal. Those should be released by the end of September, 2012. I’ve also just put out the bundled deal as an ebook on Amazon. 

Lastly, Naughty Night’s Press is coming out with Campus Sexploits 3, which has one of my short stories about a sexual experience of mine in UCLA. That will be out September 1st, 2012. As for works in progress, I’ll be coming out with an erotic version of Alice Through the Looking Glass sometime late in 2013. 

I’ve outlined the story to an erotic version of Goldilocks and The Three Bears whose working title is Goldie’s Locks. Goldie is a thief skilled at picking locks. But when the three men return while she’s in the middle of robbing them, even her seduction skills may not be enough to convince them to let her go. I love the surprise ending, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll be releasing it before or after Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Alexis: Wow! You have a lot on your plate which I'm sure makes your readers very happy :-) Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.

Liz: And thank you, Alexis! 

Alexis: For a chance to win a a PDF copy of AMY "RED" RIDING's HOOD, be sure to leave a comment for Liz. If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS.

For more information on Liz and her books, go to http://www.facebook.com/Liz.Adams.Author

Alexis: Check out this excerpt from 
AMY "RED" RIDING's HOOD

Amy floated back up to the surface. Her eyes opened. She saw Sean’s head above hers. Where was she? In her bed. In her bedroom.
Sean smiled and said, “That was amazing.”
Amy tried to remember what happened. “Did I fall asleep?”
“You passed out,” Sean said. Dark heavens, his dimples were gorgeous. “I always heard stories of how lycans can make humans pass out with their tongue. I wasn’t sure it was true until now.”
“Come here,” Amy said. She pulled him down into a hug. She loved his weight solid upon her. She really passed out from his oral skills? So the rumors were true. Lycans were great lovers and now she had her own.
“I can’t wait for my parents to meet you,” she said.
Sean snorted, “I’m sure they’ll be overjoyed to know I feasted twixt the thighs of their daughter.”
Amy pushed back to look up into his eyes. “I’m serious.”
He rolled off Amy and stood up from the bed. “Red, you know how much they hate lycans.”
“But once they get to know you....”
Sean charged to her closet to retrieve his coat. “You’re dreaming.”
“They’re not that dimwitted. Why won’t you give them a chance?”
After punching his arms through the sleeves of his coat, Sean buttoned it hastily. “Because I know them well enough to know they won’t give any lycan a chance.” He stormed to the window.
Amy huffed. “Well, if that’s true, why don’t you be the better person and confront them about it? What are you afraid of?”
He stopped at the window and sighed. “I just don’t think it’s a good idea, okay?”
“So, what then? You want us to see each other in hiding for the rest of our lives?”
He looked at her with defeated eyes, opened the window, and started to climb out.
Blazing skies. Amy called out, “Sean.”
He turned to look at her. Amy bit her lip. She said at last, “I’m going to Aunt Carmen’s tomorrow.”
Sean nodded. “Meet me in the woods.” He looked down, as though planning his descent at the exterior of the cottage.
“Sean.”
“What?”
She thought about the woods. Isolated. Romantic. She was ready. “The woods are a great place.” She smirked.
“For what?”
“For our first time?”
Sean fell off the windowsill and Amy heard a crunch of bushes outside. She rushed to the window. Sean lay in the bushes with a huge grin.
She laughed, relieved. “Are you okay?”
“Are you kidding? I don’t think I’ve felt this good in years.” He stood up and brushed himself off. “In fact, it’s too beautiful a night to walk home.” He took off his coat and threw it up to her. She managed to catch it and her eyes popped wide as she watched his nimble fingers unbutton his shirt.
Was he out of his mind? “What are you doing?”
“My clothes don’t fit me when I turn. Promise to keep them folded in a neat pile for me.” Revealing his entire rippling bare chest, Sean threw his shirt up to Amy. She let his coat drop to the floor and caught his shirt at her face, inhaling his sweet scent.
Bundling the shirt in her hands, she said, “Are you craz—”
His trousers caught her in the face. She dropped his clothes on the floor and saw him in just his drawers. Thunder and lightning! She wanted to taste every inch of that muscular chest.
“Promise!” he said.
“Shh!” For sure, he’d wake her parents.
“Promise,” he repeated with a forced whisper.
“Promise what?” Promise that I’ll claw your sculpted back as you plow into me? Sure! I’ll promise that.
“Promise you’ll fold my clothes.”
“Oh. Yeah.” She placed a palm on her breast and felt the pounding of her heart. Lycans were said to have acute hearing. Could he hear her beating heart?
“Good.” He yanked down his drawers.
Thunderballs! Amy covered her eyes. No, that was not a sausage she just saw. He was big!
Thinking about him made her tongue swirl. She bit her lip and peeked through her fingers, just in time to see the drawers being flung at her. She caught them.
“You sure you’re ready?” He asked. “You want tomorrow to be the day?”
Amy laughed nervously. Her eyes darted back and forth between looking inside her room and at Sean. How do you talk to a naked man? Where are you supposed to look? He wanted to know if she were ready to end her virginity tomorrow? Seeing his tall neck, broad shoulders, thick pecs, spectacular abs, and huge…biceps. Thunder and lightning, yes! She was ready to call him back up and hammer that lovely rod of his into her aching core now.
“I’m ready.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, then,” Sean said in all his naked glory.
He turned – snout bursting from his face, fur frothing from his skin, arms and legs bending to all fours – and pounced away into the inky night.
Amy brought his drawers to her face and drew in his musky scent. It was going to be a long night.
Alexis: Don't forget to comment for your chance to win AMY "RED" RIDING's HOOD.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cover Models


Do you remember when Fabio graced the cover of romances? You couldn’t walk past the bookstore without seeing his chiseled face or his long hair blowing in the wind. 
             
There’s a new man now gracing the covers of my favorite books. Over 3,000 covers as of this month, to be more specific. His name is Jimmy Thomas. And he is, in a word, gorgeous! Absolutely! Oh, be still my heart.
           
 Not only is he stunning with his dark hair and dark eyes, and those muscles! Oh my! But he’s also a very nice man. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at the Chocolate Affair in Glendale, Arizona, and what struck me more than his obvious good looks (did I mention muscles?) was his graciousness and kindness. He posed, with humor and infinite patience, with giggling young girls as well as giggling older ladies (myself included).
           
 In my opinion, a man can be drop dead gorgeous, but if he doesn’t have the other things we look for---kindness, humor, patience----he isn’t what we’re looking for, isn’t quite complete. Again, in my opinion, Jimmy Thomas is everything we women want….and more. The whole package. The real deal. And doesn’t he look just fabulous on the covers of those romances we love so well?

Don't remember those covers? Then check him out on his website  http://www.romancenovelcovers.com/

As always, happy reading (and drooling over those covers)
Marie

Monday, August 13, 2012

What Makes a Hero Hot?


Welcome to the Hot Summer Heroes blog hop! We, Alexis, Dawn, and Marie, the writers of Happily Ever After Thoughts, are thrilled to have you with us. We did a little brainstorming and each came up with what we think makes a hero HOT! We'd really like to hear what you think steams up the pages of a romance novel, so leave a comment for us. All people who comment will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon card from HEAT. In addition, the winner of our drawing is entered into the Hot Summer Heroes blog hop drawing for a $100 Barnes and Noble Gift Card, so be sure to leave a comment here AND on any of the other blogs on the hop. Enjoy the HEAT :-)

MARIE
What makes a hero hot? What makes me melt? Well, it can be so many things. I think one of the biggest things for me is a sense of humor. Yup, I love a man who can make me laugh, whether in real life or in the pages of a book. That and a pair of dancing eyes. And a charming, though devilish smile (commonly known as a sh**-eating grin). Oh, and broad shoulders…you know the kind….wide enough to bear the weight of the world but still soft enough to offer comfort.

Sorry, I’m getting off the subject. Confidence, most definitely. Confidence will make me take notice and makes a man, in my humble opinion, sexy. A man does not need to be drop-dead gorgeous, doesn’t need to be tall, dark and deadly, if he has confidence and humor. 

But the biggest turn on of all? Love for his family and respect for women. Show me a man who loves his mother, his wife (or future wife if he doesn’t quite realize it yet) and his children (or future children), and I’ve melted into a puddle. Show me a man who has respect for women—not just the woman in his life, but all women--and I’ll show you a man who will have respect for you. And believe me, that makes the hottest hero!

DAWN
I have to start with my amateur pledge…a man has to be taller, weigh more, and have shorter hair than mine.  That shouldn’t be too hard for most men-five feet three, license says one-twenty-five, and hair beneath the shoulder,-L’Oreal Chocolate Cherry. :-)

The things that really count are honesty, confidence, and a tad bit of strength in body and mind.  Or is it in mind and body?  

Getting technical, I like deep, straight stares from any color eye, big pecs, and the only “no” he’ll respond to is from me or his CO (Commanding Officer).  I do like a military man…can be historically or present, of course.  They’re all hot.

A hard, honest man is my choice…I have to go now…my mind is starting to wander…the cover I chose is calling me…

ALEXIS
What makes a hero hot for me is his soul. I like a man who is honorable, loyal, compassionate, and confident. If he has suffered and come through it with scars to prove it, be they physical or emotional, I'm there. He's lived and triumphed. There is also something about a man who has a need that a woman can fulfill that makes him hotter than hot.

Two other characteristics I like are that he makes me feel protected, and he thinks the world of me. If a man makes a woman feel like she can do anything and he will be there to support her and protect her, then that is hot. 

Of course, I also think strength, intelligence, and hair on the chest make a hot hero. What's with the shaved chest trend? Much prefer a man to look like a man, not a boy or, gulp, a woman. Maybe I'm showing my age.

Hmm, as I look at what I wrote I realize I just described my husband! No wonder I am living a happily ever after with my fireman :-)

So let us know what you think makes a hero hot and you will be entered into the drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card!

To reach the other blogs, click here:






Sunday, August 12, 2012

Guest Author Interview: Jessica Lauryn


Today we are interviewing Paranormal Romance Writer Jessica Lauryn. She is giving away an e-copy of DANGEROUS PROPOSAL.

Alexis: Hi Jessica, thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. Can you start by telling us why you decided to write romance? 

Jessica:  Hi Alexis!  I’m so excited to be here today.  I’ve always loved romance, ever since I was a little girl.  My mother was partially to blame—she got me hooked on Days of Our Lives when I was six years old.  I loved watching romances, and also loved the action and thrills that went along with it.  Of course, it wasn’t until I was much older when I finally decided to put pen to paper.  But there was always a love of romance, as well as a big imagination, hard at work within me.

Alexis: I can relate to that :-) What is your latest release, DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, about?

Jessica: DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, which is the second edition to The Pinnacles of Power series, takes place a few years prior to my debut release, DANGEROUS ALLY.  Though the stories can be read separately, and still make sense, readers of DANGEROUS ALLY will be excited to know that in DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, heroine Lilah Benson’s older sister Lena takes center stage.  As we know from DA, Lena Benson was once engaged to Lucas Ramone, (one-time-psychopath and reformed hero in DA.)  In DP, we learn why Lena ran from Lucas, only to wind up in the arms of small town doctor and dark-haired devil Alec Westwood.  

Because, of course, there is a bit more to it than that, here is a quick blurb about the story:

For ten agonizing years, Alec Westwood has been keeping a secret from the world. At nineteen, he nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assigned task with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the underground organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined… 

On the run from her psychotic fiancĂ©, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life, even if that means befriending a witch, and practicing the craft of the devil. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood, the man she believes her fiancĂ© hired to track her down, and the handsome stranger she kissed in a tavern, Lena vows to take matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots this time, even if that means resisting the man responsible for giving her the most intimate kiss of her life, a man who’s eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense…

Alexis: Oh, this sounds fascinating. Where did you get the idea for this story?

Jessica: Though a great deal of this story came straight out of my head, there was also a large part that was lightly based off of reality.  Like Lena’s, my own family has been vacationing to New Hampshire for years.  I love the environment—the rivers, the lakes, the mountains—and I have often dreamed of running away to my home away from home, just as my heroine does.  I also worked briefly at a day care center, and I was inspired by both the experiences I had there and the people I met.  

Alexis: Ah, New Hampshire is my old stomping grounds. There is a lot of fodder for stories in that beautiful state. What are your favorite character traits of Lena and Alec?

Jessica: Alec is such a clown!  I’m really not entirely sure of where he came from, as I have never met anyone quite like him.  But I have read DANGEROUS PROPOSAL about a hundred thousand times, and Alec’s constant feuding with his older brother Colin still makes me laugh.  As a hero, Alec encompasses just the right mix of sarcasm and charm.  Let’s just say I get what Lena sees in the guy ;)

And Lena…I’d have to say my favorite characteristic about her is her unshakeable class.  On the run from a mad-man, she’s dressed to the nines in a skirt and fancy blouse, and as Alec reminds the audience many times, she is never without one.  Her refusal to exhibit anything but 100% grace is challenged continuously by Alec’s cocky persona.  Put ‘em together, and you’ve got fireworks!

Alexis: I can see the bursts in the sky already :-) Now, this book is a part of The Pinnacles of Power series. Can you tell us a bit about how all the books will fit together and how many you foresee completing?

Jessica:  Originally, the Pinnacles of Power Series was going to consist of one book:  DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, then titled Moonlight Path.  One particularly inspiring afternoon on the treadmill, I realized there were many great characters in this story, several of which were deserving of their own story.

My plan is to make The Pinnacles of Power a five book Series.  Each of the stories will stand on its own, as well as play a part in the saga of Project Gemstone, the diamond smuggling operation that the majority of my heroes become obsessed with being a part of.

Book 1 (still to be released) is set in North Conway, New Hampshire, and it will introduce Project Gemstone for the first time.  The book is set a few years prior to DANGEROUS PROPOSAL.  Ryan Newberry (best friend of Alec Westwood) takes center stage as hero, and  Abigail (best friend of Julia Dyson) is his heroine.  

Book 2, DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, (currently available), follows.

Book 3 (still to be released) will explore the secret life of Alec Westwood’s vainglorious but devastatingly handsome older brother Colin.  In this action-packed story, Colin’s role as chief executive officer of Project Gemstone causes a valuable employee to go missing.  But little does Colin know that his employee’s daughter is none other than Julia Dyson, one of the nosiest and most infuriating women in town.  And when Julia starts sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, trouble is sure to follow.

Book 4, DANGEROUS ALLY, (currently available), follows.

Book 5, (still to be released), which may or may not fall into the category Paranormal Romance, reintroduces two old friends, whose feelings for one another never died.  Jack Madera (half brother of Lucas Ramone and antagonist in DANGEROUS PROPOSAL) goes off in search of his long lost father, only to come face to face with the girl who got away, one time-coworker Corrine Johnson.  This book will conclude The Pinnacles of Power Series, as well as the saga of Project Gemstone. 

Alexis: Wow, you have quite a series there. So what can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?

Jessica:   Since I think writing in order is so overrated…(Just kidding—I simply write where the muse takes me!), I am currently hard at work on the third edition to the Pinnacles of Power Series, Book 3, which I hope to call Dangerous Proposition.   As I mentioned earlier, Colin Westwood (operating solely as CEO of Project Gemstone in light of former partner Lucas Ramone’s death), learns that his right arm, Tucker Dyson, has gone missing.  Julia, Tucker’s daughter, who doesn’t know whether her father is alive or dead, goes off in search of the man responsible, only to find herself tumbling into the bed of Colin Westwood himself!

Alexis: All of these books sound very entertaining. I wish you a lot of luck with the series. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.

Jessica: Thank you, Alexis!  The pleasure is all mine!!

Alexis: For a chance to win an e-copy of DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, be sure to leave a comment for Jessica. If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS (under the Blog Hop)

For more information on Jessica's books, go to http://www.jessicalauryn.com/

Alexis: Check out this excerpt from DANGEROUS PROPOSAL. 

She ought to go. She certainly wanted to. But the idea of walking alone in the woods with the man she’d been warned to stay away from seemed most unimaginable.

Lena looked at Alec. He was smiling softly, no longer criticizing. His eyes were full of intent. They suggested one thing. Come with me. And your desires will be fulfilled.

Anticipation consumed her. She reached for his hand. Excitement melted into warmth. Warmth became security. They began to walk together along the moonlit path.

She felt…safe. As if for the first time since she’d left Westchester, everything was going to be all right. No one could hurt her. Not when she was with Alec. Her skin tingled with warmth as he brushed his thumb across the surface of her hand. 

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“I thought we were taking risks tonight,” he said with a grin. “You want to be surprised, don’t you?”

Her cheeks were flushing. She was grateful for the darkness that masked her anxious demeanor. 

He smiled. “Don’t worry. I think you’re going to like this.”

She imagined she would, considering how much she had enjoyed everything he’d done so far. A part of her was still afraid, but a larger part wanted very much to know where he was taking her. Alec stroked her knuckles as they walked. The feeling was intoxicating, like sweet, dark chocolate. The longer he did it, the more it seemed this simple touch was no longer enough. 

She was drawn from her thoughts as Alec stopped beside a bench. He took a red-and-blue-checkered picnic blanket and slung it over his shoulder.

“Is that yours?” 

He shrugged. “I just thought you might want something to sit on. Some of us tend to”—he cleared his throat—“dress up a little more than others.”

Lena laughed. With his hand around hers, she was almost appreciating his wit. “I guess some of us do.”

He leaned in, his warm breath coming against her ear. “I didn’t say I didn’t like it.” He gave her hand a squeeze. “It’s just past those trees. No peeking. I want you to be surprised.

“I promise I won’t peek.” She smiled and shut her eyes. A shiver shot up her spine when she realized he was kissing her cheek.

Lena took an uneasy breath as she walked forward, unable to see what was in front of her. Keeping her arms at her sides, Alec moved her in slow steps. She was taking quite a risk, allowing him to lead her along like this. He could do anything he wanted to her with her eyes closed like this. Oddly enough, the idea was more exciting than it was frightening.

Guiding her by the shoulders, he walked forward a few more paces. Then he stopped. “All right,” he said. “Open your eyes.

Lena did as she was told, looking out at the biggest, most beautiful lake she’d ever seen. It was vast in size, extending out as far as the trees that surrounded it. Moonlight shined against an uneven surface. Dark ripples glittered beneath a starlit sky.

She turned, looking up into two eyes as blue as the water. “It’s beautiful, Dr. Westwood.”

“Say my name, Lena,” he commanded softly. “I love the way it sounds when you say it.
Lena bit her lip. Once she did this, there was no going back. It would break the unspoken barrier between them. But how could she deny him anything when he was looking at her the way he was?
She suddenly became aware of Alec’s arousal pressing against her back. Her pulse quickened. He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, tightening his hold on her.

She took a deep breath. “The lake is beautiful, Alec.”

Alexis: Don't forget, for a chance to win an e-copy of DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, leave a comment for Jessica.