This blog is for those 18 and older.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guest: Wendy Ely, Win a Free Book!

This week my guest is Wendy Ely. Her second book CONFESSIONS has just become available. One lucky commenter will win a downloadable copy of her book! Welcome Wendy.

Alexis suggested I talk about how I came up with the plot for my novel but honestly, I can’t remember where I got the idea for CONFESSIONS. I’ve racked my brain since the date was set for her blog and the closest I’ve come was this: My mom came from a family of 9. My maternal grandmother kept the two boys and got rid of the 7 girls. My mother had been sold at age four. That premise with the other details swirled together and now we have CONFESSIONS.

What I do remember clearly is an incident that happened to me while writing CONFESSIONS. I had been in a relationship with a guy and we were getting ready to take the next step~ move in together. One morning, after staying the night with me, he got up for work as usual. He woke me long enough to kiss me goodbye. The man left. He went to work (he’d been a store manager) put the keys in the safe, went home to pack his things, and left town with no word to anybody. I was in the middle of CONFESSIONS at the time and had already written the big emotional scene between Chelsea and Jordan. When my boyfriend left, I was so upset; I had a million questions whirling through my head. After my two week depression, I took all my anger and rewrote some of the scenes. All of my feelings were fused into those pages. It’s crazy to know I experienced something I had already written about, but his disappearance turned out to be a blessing in more ways than one.

The conclusion to my story is: He ended up emailing me three months later and asked if I’d move to Boston with him. I told him to go to… well, it wasn’t a nice word. What about the conclusion to Jordan and Chelsea’s story? Well, you’ll have to see for yourself but I’ll share the scene I’ve talked about in this blog.


His presence seemed to be intruding on the living room. Earlier, he had been so welcome here, now it seemed he’d become a stranger in her sacred space. She wanted him to leave so she could curl up and cry alone until she reached her state of denial.
“What are we going to do now?” She didn’t want to be having this conversation. She wanted him to walk out the door so she wouldn’t have to feel anymore. Feel the loss of her child, feel the love for him, or feel the sadness of what she’d done.
“Damn it all to hell.” His voice boomed through the room.
“Jordan, I’m sorry,” she whispered, tears streaked down her face.
“Stop saying you’re sorry! I’m tired of hearing it. If you hadn’t sold our baby we wouldn’t be here right now. We’d be home. We’d be happy. We would be a family.” His strong voice flung out as if a bomb had gone off.
“Are you ever going to forgive me?” She shrank farther into the chair.
“I have every right to be angry with you, Chelsea. Do you know what I went through when you disappeared?” He took a few steps toward her.
“No,” she said, lowering her voice. “I won’t even pretend I do.”
“I went through hell.” His fist banged into his chest.
“As if I haven’t gone through anything.” The words shot at him like bullets.
“You?” He spat. “What have you gone through? Missing your daughter? You, darling, chose this! I didn’t.” He stomped over to the window and looked outside.
She kept her legs curled up in the chair, as if it would shield her from the hurt she’d caused him. It seemed like they had come so far in mending the issues between them, now they were taking ten steps backward.
“Jordan, please.” She swiped at the tears trickling down her cheeks.
“Please what? Please forgive you? Please accept my daughter is gone? Please forget about my love for you? You might be able to, but not me!” He turned to her, his eyes blazing with fury.
She shot up from the couch. “Forget? You think I can forget you? Look at this.” She undid the zipper on her jeans to reveal the tattoo. “Remember this? I can never forget you with this branding on me! I can’t even look in the damn mirror without remembering!”
“I hope it haunts you like it did me for ten years.” His voice lowered but didn’t lose an ounce of anger. “I didn’t know what happened to you. I didn’t know if someone abducted you, or if I did something wrong to make you leave.”

To read more of CONFESSIONS or find out more about the author visit

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do You Buy E-Books Online?

My first guest blogger, Laura Breck had her first book, SECRET VEGAS LIVES, published by Red Rose Publishing. Her next book, SCANDALOUS L.A. DESIRES, will also be published by this well established epublisher. I have always been an old fashioned book buyer. You know the kind. I'm the one who hears about a book coming out and goes to the book store to buy it, only to leave with three more books than I planned on. Yup, that’s me. But with so many romance writers publishing with epublishers, I realized I was behind the times. So recently I bought my very first book from an epublisher. It was sooooo easy, I couldn’t believe it! That made me wonder if I was the last to discover the ease of buying from epublishers. Have you bought a book from an epublisher? How many ebooks have you bought electronically?

ANNOUNCEMENT: I have another guest blogger coming to Happily Ever After Thoughts next week! Her name is Wendy Ely and her new Romantic Suspense, CONFESSIONS, came out this week by Lyrical Press. She’s actually going to give away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter, so be sure to stop by next week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What to read next?

Wow, what a great blog last week with guest blogger Laura Breck. Thank you everyone who commented. The winner of the goody bag was Hannah Howell! Congratulations, Hannah.

Since I’ve already read Laura’s book, I was looking at my “To Be Read” shelf and wondering what to read next when I decided to expand my horizons and see what others might recommend. So that’s my question for this week. What have you read recently that you just couldn’t put down and think I should read? I’m open to all possibilities as long as it’s romance and it is available for purchase now. Give me the name and author of the book and a little about the story to wet my appetite. Whichever commenter’s book I choose will win a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble so she can buy her own next book. Don’t be shy. I need some suggestions!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Good Idea! And a Goodie Bag Contest!

It is my pleasure to welcome my first guest Laura Breck, to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Laura's new romance SECRET VEGAS LIVES just came out and it is fantastic! She has included an excerpt of her book and is giving away a prize to one lucky commenter, so don't forget to comment! Laura, take it away!

Sometimes, a good idea deserves a 102,000 word book written around it. That’s how SECRET VEGAS LIVES grew from a suggestion to a novel.

I lived in Las Vegas for three years at the turn of the century. It’s a wonderful city; good, caring people flock there from around the world. I chose to base my first romance/mystery novel there because it’s such a popular place, and nearly everyone can relate to it and to its Sin City patina.

The “sin” is what gives SECRET VEGAS LIVES its mystery - Antonio’s decadent addiction that, in Vegas, could be any one of a hundred legalized indulgences! The idea of creating a book around this sin came from a friend at a bachelorette party, late one night/early one morning, somewhere on the Vegas strip. “You should write a book about this,” she said. And I did!

I love telling a story that can sweep a reader away, take them completely out of their life and immerse them in whichever city they choose to visit; Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio, Chicago. And I write a sweet/spicy romance. Sweet, because I believe in a physical relationship between two loving, committed adults, and that’s what I promote in my books. Spicy, because I like to write detailed love scenes, something to steam up a reader’s windows.

SECRET VEGAS LIVES focuses on Dr. Valerie Kane, an eminent psychologist who is at the wrong place at the right time, and is mistaken for a blackmailer by crime novelist Antonio Daniato. They both swear they’re not the blackmailer, but their suspicions keep them from exploring the intense attraction between them. When they learn to trust each other, the passion is red-hot. But there’s a reason they’re being blackmailed, and when they learn each other’s secrets, their perfect romance is torn apart.

The places in the book are real, and I’ve visited them, so my research consisted of remembering what the restaurants looked like, and doing a little online research to make sure they were still in business. My heroine in SECRET VEGAS LIVES volunteers at a shelter. Since each of my books is partnered with a charity in the city in which it’s set, in Las Vegas a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Shade Tree Shelter, a shelter for women, children, and their pets. Read more about The Shade Tree on my website

Here is a scene from SECRET VEGAS LIVES that I love.

Valerie looked at the lapel of Antonio's tuxedo. "I hoped you wouldn't do anything rash."

"You give me too much credit, princess. I'm not ethical like you."

She looked into his eyes, disappointment knotting her stomach. "You would have caused a scene here tonight?"

"If not here, then somewhere. Yes, I would have."

She blinked, fighting back tears. How could someone be so cruel? He would have ruined her reputation on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. She hadn't misjudged him. He was a bastard.

He snapped, "Don't look at me that way."

"What way?" Her throat closed, tears were imminent.

His voice dropped low, sensual. "As though your sexy blue eyes can see right into my soul."

Uncertainty gripped her, the room closed in. "Imagine how surprised I am to find you have no soul."

"Ouch." He flinched. "You've got claws, princess." His smile flashed evil.

She wanted to wipe it off his face--with her lips. She choked on the desire, zinged with energy, amazingly alive. Like she hadn't felt in days, like she never felt with Troy. Guilt, fear, passion, anger. The conflicting emotions warred with her sanity, and panic swamped her.

"I can't do this, Antonio..." Her voice broke and she gasped for breath.

She broke away from him and ran. The opposite direction from where her boyfriend's big, safe arms would protect her. In the empty lobby, she veered toward an exit, then changed direction and darted around a corner where a couch sat hidden in a dark alcove between two potted palms.

She sat and began the steady breathing technique and pressed the reflexology spot on her wrist which together should hold off anxiety. Then gave up and dropped her head into her hands and broke down crying.

"Cara mia,no." He sat next to her, his warm arm wrapped around her shoulders, comforting. He stuffed his handkerchief in her fingers. "You know I'm not worth crying about."

She sat bolt upright and glared at him, allowing her anger to emerge, effectively preventing the panic attack from overtaking her.

"You arrogant bastard."

"That's one of my best features."

"I'm not crying because of your cruelty, I'm crying because of mine! I never act this way. Something about you brings it out in me." She tried to shrug off his arm, but he wouldn't budge.

"Should we analyze it? We've got a couch right here," he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

"You are not funny!" She dabbed at her eyes with his handkerchief. She must be a mess. Her makeup running, her eyes red, and her nose sniffly.

He laughed. "You're sexy when you're mad."

"Don't. Don't try to laugh this off. This is the cure I need to get you out of my system."

His face sobered. Quietly he said, "How can I be in your system when I've never held you." He tightened his arm around her, with the fingers of his other hand he caressed her jaw. "And I've never tasted..." His lips pressed hot against her neck, his tongue teased her skin.

"Wait," she murmured breathlessly.

He continued his assault. "And we've never really kissed," he whispered, nipping her ear with his teeth. The bite sent waves of passionate chills down her body.

Oh, God, what was she doing? They were in the middle of Caesar's Palace and she'd arrived with another man.

"No." She straightened her arms and pushed him away, looked into his beautiful brown eyes and almost lost her willpower again.

"Yes. It's going to happen." He smiled his charismatic, irresistible smile, "Runny mascara and all."

She broke free and stood, catching her breath. How was he able to make her lose control? Her knees shook with excitement and her libido commanded her to fling herself onto his lap and let him kiss her senseless.

"Antonio." He sat there patiently waiting for her, so handsome it made her ache to touch him. His smile was too confident, as though he knew there wasn't a woman capable of resisting him.

She took a step toward him...

Just as her boyfriend came around the corner.

Sometimes ideas for my books come from dreams, some pop into my head while reading other books, and once in a while, as with SECRET VEGAS LIVES, someone blurts out an idea for me at a completely unexpected moment!

I’d love to hear how you’ve found ideas for your books, or what plots you’ve found in romance novels that you’ve found ingenious. Please leave a comment, and one lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a goodie bag of my promo items.

Thank you so much to Happily Ever After Thoughts for hosting me today, and I’ll be around to answer any questions. I appreciate everyone’s stopping by, and I look forward to reading your comments.

Happy Reading!
SECRET VEGAS LIVES is available at