This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James

Allyson James has once again captured the essence of magical myth and matched it with some tough characters who don’t know when to quit. This romantic urban fantasy, set in the deserts and mountains of the Southwest, is woven together more beautifully than any Southwestern blanket.

Janet Begay, our local Stormwalker is back, and the first item on her to-do list is to save her dragon boyfriend, Mick. She drags local Sheriff Nash Jones with her because he is immune to magic and she just may need him, but saving Mick is just the beginning.

Janet has no doubt Mick loves her and will do anything to protect her, but as she discovers new powers, she starts to doubt Mick won’t kill her, literally. Of course, he will have to stand in line. There are so many who are fearful of Janet’s burgeoning power, including Dragons, Kachina gods, the Coyote Trickster god, and even a resurrected human, that Mick may have to fight them all off only to find he has to do the deed himself.

But the cast of creatures isn’t limited to a Stormwalker, gods, and Dragon. It includes such magical being as Changers, Witches, Demons, Skinwalkers, a talking Magical Mirror who’s a bi-sexual (if he could have sex that is) and a Null, not to mention some humans thrown in for good measure. After all, humans are the ones who will most likely be hurt if things go south.

But the world James builds is more than simply creatures in a harsh setting. This story has great action, intellectual puzzles, smart dialogue, hot sex, and good humor. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very first scene. The individual characters are flawless in their uniqueness, the magic superb, the plot fascinating, and the ending completely satisfying.

The only downside to this book is it’s the second in a three part series and now we have to wait for the third, Shadowwalker. My suggestion is buy Stormwalker and Firewalker and read them very slowly (if you can) so you won’t have to wait too long for Shadowwalker (coming in June). Trust me. Even if you’ve never read urban fantasy, you will really enjoy this action romance.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Got A Contract!

I got a contract!

I sold a book!

For those of you who write, who struggle over each word, who’ve taken classes and learned your craft, who’ve given up sleep and spending time with family and friends to pour every ounce of your energy into writing your masterpiece, well…..these are the words you want to say. Say? More like yell, scream and shout all while doing the happy dance.

For those of you who submit, submit, submit and wait patiently (or impatiently like me) and risk rejection, who wear your hearts on your sleeve and admit to the world “Yes, I’m a writer.” only to answer the inevitable question “Are you published?”, this is the moment you can say “Yes!” It’s what we writers work for, wait for, hope for, yearn for. And, in my humble opinion, there are no sweeter words in the English language.

I’m thrilled to say (yell, scream and shout!) these words. Whiskey Creek Press has contracted with me for my historical western romance entitled Touch the Flame (love those cowboys!). I have not been assigned an editor yet, but still...being able to say those words is a dream come true! Soon, I will have a second romance novel to share with readers. I can’t wait!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: A Dark Love by Margaret Carroll

A Dark Love is a fabulous debut novel of romantic suspense. Margaret Carroll portrays a realistic fictional version of a woman’s fear of her own husband and her plan to get away.

Caroline’s husband is a renowned psychoanalyst in the Washington DC area. Everyone in DC’s honest, right? His clients are of the upper class and he’s favorable in everyone’s mind. Except the neighbor’s, Caroline’s sole friend.

Caroline plans her escape, changing her appearance and her identity. Her destination is Colorado, still snow covered in the early spring. She meets Ken, a former football star turned outdoorsman. Her nerves show through her façade, yet she is reluctant to reveal the cause of her anxiety. Ken is confident that he can protect her from anything or anyone.

But credit cards aren’t the only way to track a missing person. Don’t forget to delete your emails.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guest Author: Joyce DiPastena

Alexis: Hi Joyce. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Can you begin by telling us when you started to write and why?
Joyce: Thank you for inviting me, Alexis. Your readers probably don’t know that you and I used to be critique partners way back when. I am very excited for this opportunity to reconnect with you!

I started writing in short little fits and starts when I was in junior high school, always starting but never finishing anything. Really couldn’t tell you why I began writing in the first place. I’d never pictured myself as a writer, but I did make up stories in my head for as long as I can remember, so I guess they finally just began spilling out on paper. My first year in college, I began what I assumed would be another dead-end fit-and-start, but to my surprise, this one eventually turned into a full length medieval romance novel. That novel was never published, but it solidified my love for both writing and the Middle Ages and proved to me that I could finish something after all. I just needed the right characters to carry me all the way to “the end”.

Alexis: I was always impressed with your knowledge of the era. What are your joys and challenges in writing Medieval romances?

Joyce: The joy is making up stories in a time period that I love. Why I love the Middle Ages, I really couldn’t tell you. I just remember that even as a young child, I liked to pull out the “M” volume of our World Book encyclopedia and turn to the “medieval” section and look at the pictures. I can still see many of them in my mind all these years later. Most of them were in black and white. One was of a knight wearing chain mail. I think that’s when I fell in love with knights in chain mail. I’ve turned up my nose at knights in plate mail ever since. LOL! The challenges? I suppose finding just the right research book with just the right little tidbit of medieval knowledge that I’m looking for. Even using the internet, those tidbits can be almost impossible to find sometimes, unless you’re simply lucky enough to stumble across them.

Alexis: I can understand that. It’s easy to discover what a King decided, but trying to find out what a peasant ate can be difficult. So what is Loyalty’s Web about?

Joyce: Here’s the book summary for Loyalty’s Web:

In twelfth-century France, King Henry II of England has just finished crushing a rebellion by his power-hungry sons and now seeks to tame the lawless barons who supported them in this corner of his “Angevin empire.” To this end, the king has sent the Earl of Gunthar as his royal representative to ensure that Prince Richard and his former cohorts faithfully adhere to the terms of the peace treaty.

Far from being welcomed with open arms, Gunthar no sooner steps foot in the county of Poitou than he is greeted by a series of assassination attempts. All appear to be linked to the former rebellious prince through the agents of the family and friends of young Heléne de Laurant. A clever, intrepid young woman, she realizes that the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. Heléne races against time—and dark secrets of the past—to unmask the killer before the kingdom plunges back into war.

Fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction as Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor. But their blinding magnetism almost causes them to overlook an even deadlier threat from an entirely unexpected direction.

Alexis: Ah, it sounds like a true romance :-) What prompted that first germ of an idea for you to write Loyalty’s Web?

Joyce: Loyalty’s Web had an interesting evolution. Remember that first unpublished medieval I mentioned from my college years? I wrote an unpublished sequel to that book after I graduated from college. In both of those novels, there was an elderly couple who assisted my much younger hero and heroine to reach their happily ever after ending. That elderly couple (Gunthar and Heléne) had married for love in an age when love matches were nearly unheard of. Although I had dropped hints of their love story in those two unpublished novels, even I wasn’t sure exactly how they had gotten together. So I thought it might be fun to try writing their love story to find out. The result became Loyalty’s Web.

Alexis: So it is actually a prequel of sorts to your unpublished works. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Joyce: I have collected a fairly good sized personal library of medieval history books over the years. Pretty much all of my research has come from these books and from classes I took in college. (I was a history major.) If your readers would like to learn about some of my research books and how I use them in my writing, they can check out my medieval research blog, Medieval Research with Joyce at

Alexis: That is a great resource. Thanks. What are your favorite character traits of Heléne and Gunthar?

Joyce: I love Heléne’s willingness to risk herself for others, her selfless nature. I also love her spirit and unwillingness to meekly bow to the expectations of the age she lives in. I love Gunthar’s integrity, his strength of character. He, too, is one who puts others interests before his own. On that level, he and Heléne are very much alike. Gunthar is also a man who loves learning, a highly educated man for a warrior knight in the Middle Ages. He has a curious bent of mind, which has led to a certain boredom with medieval conventions and widened his view to appreciate Heléne’s unconventional nature.

What I love best about Heléne and Gunthar together is that they become friends, as well as lovers. They have many storms ahead of them in the very long lives they live together in my imagination, but they will overcome all and they’ll do it together because they grow to become truly “one”.

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

Joyce: I have a second medieval romance called Illuminations of the Heart, which is sort of a spin-off on one of the characters from Loyalty’s Web. Illuminations of the Heart is available on pretty much all the online booksellers. Next up I’m working on a medieval novel with a troubadour hero.

Alexis: You also have a number of blogs. Can you tell us a little about them in case visitors want to continue their conversation with you?

Joyce: My main author blog is called JDP NEWS ( Here I make announcements about my books, interview other historical authors, participate in author blog tours, hold various giveaways (there’s one coming up on December 21-22), and share random thoughts that wend their way through my head.

Medieval Research with Joyce (, as I mentioned above, is a blog where I share some of my research experiences and favorite research sources. I have a current giveaway in progress on this blog for a copy of Who’s Who in the Middle Ages if any of your readers are interested. (This giveaway runs through December 24.)

On Quill to Quill ( my heroines exchange letters with each other in between books.

Quill to Quill and Heart to Heart ( continues Heléne’s story through a series of letters after the events of Loyalty’s Web but before the events of Illuminations of the Heart.

Medieval Vignettes ( is where I put little snippets of scenes that were referenced but not included in my books, or where I might post an occasional random short story.

My LDS Corner ( is where I blog about my faith as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Alexis: Wow, you are one busy blogger! I really appreciate you taking the time today to visit us at Happily Ever After Thoughts. I hope you have a great Holiday Season.

Joyce: I wish the same to you and all your readers, Alexis! And to help celebrate the season, I’d like to offer an autographed copy of Loyalty’s Web as a pre-holiday giveaway here at Happily Ever After Thoughts.

Alexis: That’s great, Joyce. To get a feel for Loyalty’s Web, check out this excerpt.


It was not a request, and he caught her hand as she tried to snatch the bit from his fingers. An angry blush stole up into her cheeks.

“I don’t want--”

“I did not ask you if you wanted it. I told you to eat it.”

She closed her lips and glared at him.

“There has been enough of this nonsense, my lady. Everyone is staring, and above all things I abominate a scene. The meat is your own selection. Now open your mouth and eat.”

Perhaps it was his commanding stare. Perhaps it was her mother’s warning gaze, brimming with a promise of punishment for her daughter’s intractable attitude all evening. Or perhaps it was merely embarrassment at all the shocked eyes viewing her defiance of Gunthar. In any event, she opened her mouth and he popped the morsel inside. Glorying in his first victory of the night, he followed it with another and another, until the slice of venison was gone, and so was his currant tart. Her silvery eyes glared daggers at him, but she obediently swallowed each mouthful and he finally judged her ready for some wine to wash it down.

The cup was almost empty. He signaled Julian to refill it. This time he succeeded in doing no more than pressing it under her nose, for she refused to obey him further and obstinately kept her mouth shut.

Gunthar let her go and sat back in his chair, satisfied just the same. She would not dare to ignore him again. He would allow her to sulk a little, and when the meal was ended he would have the tables cleared away for dancing. She would be required to accept his hand. He would request something quick and complicated, involving lifts, that he might have license to span her waist with his hands. And perhaps while he held her in the air, he would grow clumsy and allow his grasp on her to slip. She would then slide down into his arms, and he would feel her slender body close to his...

His blood coursed at the thought and he reached again for the cup, this time to slake his own thirst.

A sharp slap dashed it out of his hand. The wine splashed across the table, staining the tablecloth and drenching a platter of food. Gunthar turned his startled gaze in the direction of the blow and saw Heléne on her feet, staring after the tumbled cup with wide, frightened eyes. Her hand still hovered in the air and she was shaking like a leaf.
“My lady--?”
“Cowbane,” she whispered. “Poison."

Don’t forget, for a chance to win an autographed copy of Joyce’s Loyalty’s Web be sure to leave a comment for her. The winner will be announced on Wednesday. Check the side column for your name and email me.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Seducing the Succubus by Cassie Ryan

Cassie Ryan delivers another hot, fascinating story with Seducing the Succubus. You don't want to miss this one! For those who aren't sure, a succubus is a female creature that must have sex to survive, but it’s much more complicated than that.

This story gives the reader three strong female characters to root for. There is Jezebeth, the Succubus of the title who is trying to get home before a rather vengeful ex-angel kills her. Then there is Lilith, Jezebeth’s boss and Queen of the Succubi, who is in love with an Archangel who is sworn to fulfill her every need except the one she wants most. And finally there is Gabriel, the female Archangel whose past love is a lost love, as in lost soul.

Of course, the male characters are just as complex and definite eye candy. Noah, a human, is Jezebeth’s protector, and he doesn’t have much respect for succubi . . . at first, but he goes through hell and back to protect her, literally. Uriel, the Archangel who helps Jezebeth and Noah until he is told he can’t, is a suffering but steadfast character. And then there is Rafael, the healing Archangel who always has a smile and a barb to go with it.

This romance is rich with Christian mythology which Ryan has maneuvered well. The world is easy to understand despite its complexity. The reader meets a Pestilence Demon right from the start, plus other demons, a Djinn, a few Archangels, and even Lucifer himself makes a brief appearance. There are rules to be followed and broken, and memories are tampered with. And just when it looks like Jezebeth and Noah have made it safely . . . well, can’t get into that. But it all comes together to give a completely satisfying ending along with anticipation for the next book in the series.

This is truly a wonderful masterpiece of myth, humor, action, tension and sex. A definite keeper. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Historical Romance, Take Me Away

Have you ever picked up a historical romance and found yourself immediately thrown back in time? From the words written, you might envision the rambunctious golden age of piracy, the horrors of the Civil War, the polite social rules of Regency England or the dangers of the Wild West.

A good writer will weave bits and pieces of historical fact into their story to make it real for the reader. It’s thrilling when an author can make you see and hear what life had been like during those times and places (I’m a self proclaimed history buff).

With my nose in a book, the real world ceases to exist beyond the pages and for a while, I am there, in the past, experiencing everything the author wants me to experience. I might see myself as a saloon girl (the one with the heart of gold), waiting for the hero to make an honest woman out of me or hunting for buried treasure alongside dashing pirates or dancing with a handsome Duke.

When I finish the story, I’m right back here in the present with dishes and laundry and a job. And that’s okay. There are always other stories, other places, other times to get lost in. And isn’t that one of the reasons we read historical romances? To escape into the past? To live in a time not our own?

Happy reading!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Unwrapping Chris by Nancy Lee Badger

It was a great pleasure to read Nancy Badger’s Unwrapping Chris. It’s a heart warming and fast moving short story about the reuniting of lost love. It pays a tribute to the service men and woman stationed around the world through the careers and life experiences of the characters.

Set in beautiful North Carolina, Jayne returns to her sister’s home with the intentions of attending a Scottish wedding and possibly staying permanently. The only thing she’s brought from her past is the wedding ring, still on her left hand, of her deceased husband.

In the same town Jayne’s first and never forgotten one-time lover, Chris, marches his platoon. On her way to apply for a nursing position, Jayne gives him a nudge with the side of her car. That’s the amazing moment of reuniting. Widowed long enough to accept her status, Jayne remembers the one and only heated moment with Chris. He remembers it along with noticing her wedding ring.

I flipped the pages as quick as possible to find out if Chris realizes she’s widowed and if each can admit to their smoldering feelings packed away so long ago.

Ms. Badger takes us to a Scottish marriage on Christmas Eve to witness whether Chris and Jayne's feelings ignite or are doused by time.

Definitely a good read for the holidays.

To buy this story simply click on the link below:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Guest Author Amber Kallyn

Alexis: Hi Amber. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Can you start by telling us what you like and don’t like about writing erotic romance?

Amber: Thank you for having me. I think I like the romance, the characters getting over issues and past baggage to fall in love the most. Everyone has issues, but in a romance, erotic or not, people actually manage to overcome them. If only... :) With erotic romance, we get to watch the falling in love with a lot of hot sex. What could be better than that?

Alexis: Good point! So, what is your new release Mistletoe about?

Amber: Mistletoe is about the first Christmas of Calla and Scott from my novella Dragos: Burned.

Something’s not right. Calla can't seem to stop the emotional rollercoaster taking over her emotions. But when she finally finds out why, she's going to celebrate by making Scott her own personal body buffet.

Alexis: Was it difficult writing a sequel to a Romance that already had a happy ending? How did you come up with a new conflict? Or had you planned this sequel all along?

Amber: Oh wow. Was it hard. There’s four books planned in the Dragos series with Calla’s brothers, but that’s different because it takes new characters and conflicts. This sequel, trying to come up with the idea seemed almost impossible at first. Here Calla and Scott were, happy and ready to stay together. Once I found my idea, writing wasn’t too hard. This was my first attempt at a short story with previous characters. I finished and sent it to my critique partners. Then buried my head in the sand when the comments came back. With a strong cup of coffee in hand, I rewrote parts so that first time readers would get to know Calla and Scott if they’d never read Burned. I hadn’t realized while writing that I wrote the short story as a continuation of the book, rather than a stand alone. It works better now :)

Alexis: I can imagine that was very difficult. Dragons seem to be coming into their own. Are there special powers your dragons have, limitations? How did you decide on the “rules” for your creatures?

Amber: Well, my dragons are based on different mythos’ from around the world, with a bit of imagination thrown in. Most can shift with their clothes on. Breathing fire, for women, is a product of the Dragon Burn, once they find their destined mate. The dragons are different colors. They can heal fast, like other shapeshifters, but it takes a lot of energy. I wanted other magical creatures in my stories, so I devised a way different types could mate. Most children take on the powers of their mother, and some have no powers at all.

Alexis: Sounds complicated, but very fun! What prompted that first germ of an idea for you to write Dragos: Burned?

Amber: I’ve always loved dragons. A few years ago, I was thinking about what would happen if a dragon fell in love with a fireman. When I sat down to write it, I knew I wanted to write spicy and short, so I outlined for a novella -- and well, there you go. Since Calla has seven brothers and sisters, I figured for a series.

Alexis: Seven? That will make for a nice long series. I bet your readers are thrilled. I see that Calla and Scott are your first couple. What are your favorite character traits of each of them?

Amber: I love Calla’s spunkiness. My friends call me Snarky, which I guess is nicer than smartass :) With her overprotective father and brothers, she’s ready to throw off the restraints and prove herself no matter what. I always pictured Scott as a fun-loving mix of alpha and beta, but a man who never lets anything interfere with his responsibilities. Plus, he’s sexy. Their relationship was a blast to write about.

Alexis: Hmm, I think I married a Scott :-) Can you tell us a little more about the Dragos clan?

Amber: Ah. The Dragos clan. Well, there’s eight siblings. Their mother was a dragon and their father is a water elemental. None of my Dragos men curse because their mother taught them not to. The men are very protective of their sisters and their mates. Even though they’ve been through some hard times, and they squabble like all siblings do, they’re always there for each other.

Alexis: Sounds like the typical Dragon family ;-) What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming out or a work in progress?

Amber: I do :) I have a ton. My next release is Dragos 2: Scorched in January 2011, and it’s the story of Calla’s older brother, Garreth. I’m really glad because I’ve had a lot of requests from readers for his story. There are two more stories in the series. I’m currently writing Dragos 3: Blazed, with Calla’s younger brother Ty and Bree, the fire nymph he falls in love with.

I have a short story coming out with Ravenous Romance, in their Fairy Tales Retold 2 Anthology, Alice (M/F/M Ménage). Alice takes a break from College and wakes up in Wonderland once more. But this time, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, in his human shift form, are ready to show Alice exactly the type of men they are.
I’m also hoping to soon place my novel length erotic romance Tiger Princess, which is about tiger shifters. Tiger shifter Valaria Darkolos must find her runaway betrothed and either convince or con him to return home, before her crown is lost to family who wants nothing less than to see them both dead.

Alexis: Wow, you do have a lot coming up. That’s great news! Thank you so much for taking a moment to visit Happily Ever After Thoughts. We really enjoyed learning more about your stories :-)

Amber: Thank you so much for having me, and letting me go on and on :) Have you noticed yet I love to talk. Happy holidays to all.

Everyone can also get 5% off any of my books from Changeling Press using the coupon code AK_Birthday from 12/6 to 12/19 as a present from me to you.

Alexis: Yeah, a bonus! For a chance to win Amber’s Mistletoe, be sure to leave a comment for her. Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Check the side column for your name and email me. And if you don’t win, you will still have time to buy her book with the special 5% off rate she is giving to Happily Ever After Thoughts readers. Don’t miss this chance!

For more on Amber and all her books, go to 


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Send Positive Thoughts and More

Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan visited Happily Ever After Thoughts in October and talked about her newest release, Seducing the Succubus. Now she is in need of help, both financially and spiritually. Tina is a wonderful, giving person who is truly bigger than life and an excellent writer. Please read below and help if you can.

Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan has been taken suddenly and seriously ill. She has an affliction called Arteriovenous malformation or AVM in her brain which has led to multiple surgeries and an extended stay in ICU. No family is ever prepared for such a thing and Tina's is no exception. In times like this, every dollar helps and her friends in the writing community are banding together to ask you to open your hearts (and wallets) to help get Tina's family through this.
Tina is well known to readers and authors across the country who have embraced her books, most recently, (writing as Cassie Ryan) Seducing the Succubus (Berkley/October 2010) and coming in April 2011, The Demon and the Succubus.

Please send your prayers, positive energy and love out into the universe with Tina's name on it. Cards can be mailed to: Tina Gerow, c/o SBP PO BOX 42255, Phoenix, AZ 85080.

Any donations you would like to make to Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan to help with the burden of mounting medical bills, can be given by visiting: or by sending a check to Tina Gerow, c/o SBP PO BOX 42255, Phoenix, AZ 85080.

Thank you, Alexis

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: Die for Me by Karen Rose

Another bestseller from a multi-published romantic suspense author.

Karen Rose is a master at suspense as she constantly keeps the reader guessing who the sadistic and psychotic murderer is, leaving his prey buried in the snow covered fields of Pennsylvania.

Rose has an extended cast of characters beginning with a beautiful, twice bitten archeologist, Sophie, who’s position is to analyze the medieval torture used on the victims. Detective Ciccotelli fights his attraction to the archeologist, yet guards her life, as he mourns the death of a former girlfriend.

The other characters are relatives, business associates, and friends scattered throughout the East coast. Rose does and amazing job of bringing all the issues of the characters to a connected and screaming climax, some dead and a few lucky enough to be alive.

A great novel to stay awake for.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guest: Grace Elliot - Lost in the Regency

Firstly let me say a big thank you to Happily Ever After Thoughts for hosting me today. It’s such a thrill to be here!

My name is Grace Elliot and I lead a double life; as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Like many authors I came to writing through my love of books, and I write what I love to read – historical romance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a veterinarian but it’s not all fluffy kittens and some days are hard, real hard, such as saying goodbye to a much loved pet – so what I need in a good read is escapism, and historical romance has that by the carriage load!

Curling up with a Regency romance, I find myself suspending disbelief. How much easier to believe my regency alter ego can waltz provocatively, or calm a bolting hunter, than my bumbling 21st century self.

Heck, I don’t want to read about the real world I’m trying to forget, take me back to when men rode stallions but couldn’t handle emotion.

Lord Ranulf denies his attraction. (From A Dead Man’s Debt.)

Every fiber of his body screamed to reach out and hold her hand, and yet he resisted. Never had he encountered a woman as dangerous as Celeste; her hair in a tousled plait and eyes all the colors of the sea. And yet it wasn’t her physical beauty but her honesty and trust that was bewitching. For the first time he could almost believe that he’d found a kindred spirit. His fingers tightened on the tumbler. He was staring and yet he couldn’t help himself. An inner voice warned him off. She deserved better than him.

And then there’s something about the Regency. Perhaps it those gowns, wonderfully impractical and yet so alluring with their tiny bodices and puff sleeves. And let’s not forget chaperones! How resourceful did the regency heroine need to be to snare her dark lord under the eye of a chaperone? And then of course there’s the bone tingling romance – how something long denied is so exciting….

Ranulf finds Celeste in his arms. (From A Dead Man’s Debt.)

But then she tipped her head back and he glimpsed the curiosity in her eyes. Acting purely out of animal instinct he tilted her chin to gaze deeper into those mossy eyes. Gladly she arched toward him, pressing the length of her body against his rising need. He brushed his thumb over her lips. With a soft groan she strained upwards, inviting the touch of his mouth against hers. He drew back, trying to distance himself from the responsive femininity pressed against his chest. That he desired Miss Armitage he did not doubt, and yet he held back and the reason puzzled him; more than propriety, more shocking than that… he liked her.

Ok, so if I’m totally honest, I’d hate to live in the Regency – I’m far too fond of hot and cold running water…but that’s where historicals come in: I can dream …and I hope you will to!


 A Dead Man’s Debt by Grace Elliot.
- A story of sacrifice, pain and redeeming love, against a backdrop of blackmail and family duty.
‘Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.

After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…

Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a façade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as a blackmailer tries to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. However when Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….’

A Dead Man’s Debt is available from most eBook retailers, Amazon Kindle bookstore and

If you would like to know more about Grace Elliot and her work visit:


I love this book already and I haven’t even read it yet! Thank you, Grace, for sharing a little of yourself and your book with our readers. I hope you will come back and visit us again.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bring On the Emotions!

I love a story that brings out my emotions, sometimes unexpectedly, don’t you? I’ve read books that have made me so angry I couldn’t speak and some that have made me giggle at the most inappropriate times. I’ve even read some that have made me cry…and I’m not talking about polite little sniffles and misty eyes…I’m talking flat-out sobbing here. Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook did this to me. On a bus. In Phoenix. During rush hour.

When I got to the part where all the pieces fell into place and I realized what the story was about, well, I couldn’t help the gasp that escaped me nor could I help what happened next….the unexpected flow of tears. I was so caught up in the story, so caught up in the heartbreaking reality of Alzheimer’s, I completely forgot where I was. On a bus. In Phoenix. During rush hour.

Needless to say, I was not the only one surprised by the force of my emotions. The poor gentleman next to me actually moved away, several people stared. One woman glanced at the book in my hand, nodded slightly and confessed she had the same reaction, but you know? I didn’t care that I was a sobbing mess. The story had transported me to another time, another place, into someone else’s heartache, and that to me, was worth all the tears. And isn’t that the reason we pick up a book in the first place?

Happy reading!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Special Guest - Vijaya Schartz

Meet my guest author today Vijaya Schartz, who has been around the blog circuit a few times and has a lot of questions to answer from readers, so take a look and feel free to ask your own. And remember, if you comment you may win one of her books :-)

Thank you so much, Alexis for inviting me to your lovely blog. Here are a few questions I was recently asked and their answers, of course.

Vijaya, what is your latest release, and your current project?
The Chronicles of Kassouk is my current sci-fi romance series with Desert Breeze Publishing. Book One, White Tiger, came out in 2009, Book Two, Red Leopard came out in April, and Black Jaguar is out this month. Two more books will follow, in 2011 and 2012. Black Jaguar is a story of exploration, not unlike the discovery of the Americas, except that my natives can read minds and are controlled by aliens with an agenda. Where would be the sci-fi otherwise?

Sci-fi romance?
Yes, I mix genres. My heroines are high-octane, kick-butt warriors who are not afraid of challenges. And of course, they need heroes who can take the challenge. No matter how strong, a woman needs to find a stronger partner, which is sometimes a challenge for a woman warrior.

Lots of new covers on your website. What’s happening to your out of print books?
They are being reissued in eBooks by a new Canadian publisher, BWLPP. They love sci-fi and romance. They are creating fresh new covers for my older titles, except for Ashes for the Elephant God, which kept the same cover. You can see my kick-butt, gun-toting heroines on the new covers of ALIEN LOCKDOWN, ANAZ-VOOHRI, AND RELICS.

Is this new publisher going to issue new titles as well?
Absolutely. In January of 2011, look for the third book in the Ancient Enemy series (one of the translations of the word Anasazi). After Anaz-voohri and Relics, the third and last book, contracted but never released by my defunct publisher, is coming under the title: KICKING BOTS. Also, look for a brand new sci-fi romance adventure titled SNATCHED, involving a modern woman warrior turned Amazon, and a deliciously sexy Viking, both snatched out of their own time and propelled into a parallel universe.

Vijaya, do you have any other series brewing in the back of your mind?
I always have other books and series on the back burner. The Chronicles of Kassouk's last book is scheduled for the spring of 2012, but I already have other projects. I have a fantasy Historical series (medieval faeries) I've been working on for years. I also have an angel series in mind, but it's only a twinkle in my eye at this time, although it is calling to me.

Do you ever work on more than one book at a time?I can't concentrate on two novels at one time. I can only have one story in mind. I write it, dream it, it never leaves my mind until the very end. I can do edits on one finished book while writing a new one, but I can’t focus on developing two stories at once. I guess it's one of my limitations.

Do you ever struggle with burnout, and if so, how do you overcome it?
Burnout to me is like writers' block. Just get over it and get your butt back in the chair. But sometimes after working too much, the writer just needs a vacation. Stress and overworking can deplete the imagination. Good sleep and relaxation are important to keep body and mind in tip top shape and the creative juices flowing.

What is the most effective means of promotion for your e-books?
eBooks are sold on the web, so that's where the readers are. Promotion should be done there. I used to promote on yahoo groups, but I recently discovered that Facebook and Twitter reach more people faster with a better volume of response. Blogs work, too, but it depends greatly on the traffic of that particular blog. In my experience, however, what sells the most books is a great cover and a great blurb. After all, that’s all the reader has to go by when they make their choice.

For more on me and my books, visit my extensive website at: 

My books are available at Amazon:

and in download at ARe:

Become a facebook fan at:

Thanks again, Alexis, for letting me share.

Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning Sci-fi and Romance with a Kick

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: Bound, Branded, & Brazen by Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton gives us three treats in one. Her novel, Bound, Branded, & Brazen, is actually three novellas, which reveal three sisters with three distinct personalities. The sisters reunite on the family Oklahoma horse ranch where their contemporary issues on relationships meet their match.
Each sibling has a fast paced and heated romance with their own particular conflicts. Valerie returns to face her ex-husband, whom she still loves, yet has a hard time admitting. Brea isn’t sure she can make a commitment and deliver what she assumes her target-man wants. Jolene’s the boss, so how can a man date his superior and still be a man?

Burton’s voice comes alive as she includes the necessary parts for a fulfilling story. My disappointment only surfaced in the fact that I was reading three intertwining novellas instead of one novel as I had assumed when I initially chose the book. When attached to a character, I like to stay with them longer. That’s actually a compliment!

I’m going to assume that Burton’s Wild, Wicked, and Wanton is written in the same style, so if you’re a heated novella fan, this is an author for you to check out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Special Guest Wendy Ely

Alexis: Hi Wendy. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. You’ve had quite a bit of success with e-publishers. Can you tell us what you like about e-publishing?
Wendy: I think the biggest things I like about e-publishers is how fast the production of the e-book goes. I can sign a contract and then have the book released in about six months.

Alexis: That is nice. I know the wait with print books can sometimes be over a year. How many books have you published so far and what are their titles?

Wendy: I have 4 so far with Lyrical Press. The titles for those are: Jesse’s Brother, Confessions, Cross the Line, and Midnight Secrets. I have 1 coming out from Captiva Press titled New Year’s Resolution.

Alexis: So your latest one is Midnight Secrets. Can you tell us what that is about?

Wendy: Midnight Secrets is the second book in The Desert Secret Series. Each book reads as a stand-alone so nobody should worry if they haven’t read them in order. In Midnight Secrets, Allison Montgomery is a single mom trying to keep her kids while trying to fulfill a dream of hers to open a bakery. Even though Miguel seems like her hero from the start, she fights off the temptation to rush into his arms.

Alexis: What are your favorite character traits of Allison and Miguel?

Wendy: Allison was a great character to write. She is so outspoken and passionate about what she believes in. She is tough on the outside but really has a kind heart which Miguel sees from the start. Miguel believes in the good of the world even though he has gone through some rough spots in life. When many people would lose that insight, Miguel didn’t. He stayed strong.

Alexis: I like Miguel already ;-) What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Wendy: Someone poisons the food in Allison’s bakery. Since I didn’t want to have a common poison, I had to do a lot of research on poisons and the reactions they had on the body. It was fascinating research which gave me the opportunity to interview new people on the subject.

Alexis: What a great way to do research. So why did you decide to start writing romance novels?

Wendy: I love the happily-ever-after that comes at the end of each one. I believe everyone has a happy ending out there and romance novels serve as a reminder to my belief.

Alexis: I agree with you. I believe there is a happy ending out there for everyone as well. I imagine writing novels based on your own belief in true love is fun. What do you find the most challenging about writing romance? Most rewarding?

Wendy: The most challenging is keeping the story lines and love scenes unique. It is so easy to repeat certain elements that you’ve already done, especially when you only write one or two subgenres. The most rewarding is going on the adventure each story takes me. I’m a pantser when it comes to writing, so when I start a new novel I never know how it is going to turn out.

Alexis: I know that feeling. It’s so exciting to see what happens in your own book. Do you have any other romance novels in the works?

Wendy: I always have several in the works. I’m about halfway done with Jesse’s Girl, the sequel to Jesse’s Brother. I’m also writing the third book in The Desert Secret Series and a contemporary romance about a ballet dancer.

Alexis: Good, so we will have plenty to look forward to from you. Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels especially with the people who write them :-)

Wendy: Thanks so much for having me here, Alexis! It has been fun and I’d love to answer any questions from visitors :-)

Alexis: Oh yes, that’s right. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Midnight Secrets, so be sure to chat with Wendy. Here's an excerpt from Wendy's Midnight Secrets.

She wasn’t like Christine, but that didn’t mean she would accept what he’d done. But how long would he be able to keep it from her? Each time they were together, he felt the words linger on the tip of his tongue, ready to slip out at any moment.

As he drove down Allison’s street, a nervousness settled over him. All the lights were off in the house. She always left her light on, but not tonight. He hoped she hadn’t fallen asleep. Even though he felt like a teenager again, sneaking in her house at night, he understood the issues she was facing tonight. Her mom was sick and no sitter. He’d do what he had to in order to see her.

As soon as he pulled into the driveway and flipped off the headlights, the front door opened. He climbed out, set the alarm on his car and hoped the beep didn’t wake anyone inside. She smiled at him as he ran across the yard and up the steps. His lips planted against hers. As far as he was concerned, he’d been away from her long enough.

She held the door open for him as she put her finger to her lips and said, “Shh.”

He nodded as he walked in and followed her down the hall. He peeked into a poster-covered bedroom and smiled at the sleeping teenager. “Hannah?” he whispered. Usually the doors were shut, preventing any sort of view of the kids.

She smiled back at him and stopped outside another room. “Kyle.” She pointed to her sleeping son.

She moved further down the hall, shut another bedroom door before stepping into her room. Done in creamy tones, the effect was very girly, but he liked it. It somehow fit Allison. She seemed nervous as she folded her hands in front of her and looked at him with wide eyes. “You can sit down,” she whispered, motioning toward the bed.

Miguel sprawled out on the bed and reached for her. “Come here.”

She slowly walked over to him as he kicked off his shoes. With her hand in his, she sat by him on the bed. He pulled her down until her lips met his again, his heart pounding in his chest. He had to tell her the secret so they could move forward. The thought of telling her twirled around in his mind as he tried to focus on her tongue pressing against his.

Pulling away from him, she slid up to the pillows and under the covers. Her mouth formed into a sexy smile as she patted the bed next to her. He loved the itty bitty shorts she wore and the tight t-shirt hugging her curves. Even though the shape of her body made her a little uncomfortable, he had never seen a sexier woman in his life and if it took every day to convince her of that attraction, it would be worth it to him.

But first the secret.

He moved to her side, but leaned up on his elbow so he could look in her eyes. If she told him to go away, he would honor that request, even though it would be less painful if she ripped his heart out. Taking a strand of her hair and looping it around his finger, he said, “Allison.”

“Yes.” Her gaze moved down to his lips, letting him know she was ready for another night of hot passionate lovemaking.

“I have something to tell you.” His heart pounded. His hands trembled. His heart prepared itself to break.

For a chance to win this book, be sure to leave a comment.  Thank you for stopping by Happily Ever After Thoughts :-)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Choosing A Book - The Goose-bump Factor

How do you choose a book? Or a new author to try? For many of us, this is a very personal matter and we all have our own way. We might read a review and just know, we’d love that story. Or we might get a recommendation from a friend who tells us we have to read this author or this story.

I have taken recommendations from friends and not been disappointed. I might choose a story because the review was fabulous. I do have a long list of favorite authors I regularly read (and have been reading for many, many years) but my own way of choosing a new book or author is something I call the goose-bump factor.

First, the title and cover must strike me enough so that I pick up the book and flip it over. If the blurb on the back gives me goose-bumps, I investigate a little further. When I open the book at random and read a page and the goose-bumps remain, I must buy that book. I’ve been buying books and falling in love with authors for over 35 years this way…..hasn’t steered me wrong yet!

Happy reading!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Bloggers Join Happily Ever After Thoughts

Happy Halloween! Please join me in celebrating this great holiday by welcoming two new Blog contributors to Happily Ever After Thoughts. I'm thrilled that Marie Patrick and Dawn Kunda, are joining yours truly, Alexis Walker, in writing this blog. We are so excited to be working together to make Happily Ever After Thoughts more fun, interactive, and informative for readers of Romance. To celebrate this new beginning, we are giving away a number of Halloween prizes to lucky commenters (hint: the pictures are worth a thousand words). But first, I think we need to introduce ourselves. I’ll start :-)

My name is Alexis Walker and I have been writing romance seriously for a little over three years now. I have completed three manuscripts and I’m currently shopping them to agents and editors. I’ve had some success with writing contests and have had an article published in the Romance Writer’s Report on that very topic, but no book contract . . . yet. However, I am, and always will be a reader of romance and count that occupation as one of my top five favorite pastimes. I currently teach for both the University of the Virgin Islands and Grand Canyon University. I live on the beautiful island of St. Croix in the Caribbean.

Hi Everyone! I’m Dawn Kunda, author of romantic suspense and great lover of reading, of course, romantic suspense. This is probably due to my background in the legal arena, of which I still have great interest in. I do like to read many other genres, so I will occasionally deviate from the suspense category in my reviews. I will only review books worthy of a review, also because I don’t like to pass on a negative opinion that may only be mine. I will have two opportunities a month to break away from my own writing to let you in on someone’s romance between the pages. In addition to reading, writing and reviewing, I absolutely love time spent in my backyard paradise where a multitude of flowers, trees and various plants sooth my soul simply by living or through my hard work in tending to them.

My name is Marie Patrick. I've been writing, on and off, since the age of fourteen (that's many, many moons ago) and have an unknown number of completed manuscripts under my belt (some of which made really lovely bonfires). I've been a reader of romances (as well as horror and mystery and just about anything I can get my hands on) almost as long as I've wanted to be a writer. My day job is as a Provider Services Representative for a health insurance company, which really keeps me on my toes, but my real love, my real passion, is writing, which I would love to turn into a career. I have published one novel and I'm seriously trying to contract more. I am married with one son. Transplants from New Jersey, my husband and I live in sunny, hot Arizona, along with our three furry four-legged daughters.

Dawn, Marie and I will be contributing different topics to Happily Ever After Thoughts. I, Alexis, will be interviewing at least two authors a month every other Sunday or Monday depending on their schedule. Dawn will be reviewing romances every other Wednesday to help you choose the next book to add to your TBR list (To Be Read list), and Donna will continue the tradition of talking about romance novels from a reader’s perspective. If there are additional pieces of the romance puzzle you are interested in, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Okay, so now for the prizes. We have four fun prizes to give away in honor of Halloween: 1. A Jerry Seinfeld Halloween hardcover book and CD because he’s much funnier than we are. 2. Handmade glass bat earrings. These guys are adorable. 3. Goth temporary tattoos because you never know when you are going to need to fit in with a specific crowd. 4. Handmade Pumpkin Spice Soap to clean the chocolate off your hands after raiding your child’s Halloween candy.

For a chance to win, be sure to leave a comment and let us know which prizes you prefer. We will pull winners on Wednesday November 3rd. Thank you so much for joining us. We hope to see you here at Happily Ever After Thoughts again soon.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Special Guest Dawn Kunda

This Week our guest is Dawn Kunda who will give away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave a thought for this new author :-)

Alexis: Hi Dawn. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Can you start by telling us why the switch from Private Investigator to Romance Writer?

Dawn: Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Alexis.

I chuckled when you asked this first question. It’s a huge, long story, maybe a novel someday, but I’ll try to condense it. I wanted to further my career, so I went to law school. Granted, I still worked as an investigator, but I wanted to be “in” further and be a part of civil procedures. I eventually left law school because, knowing myself, I would put 110% forward and work would be my life.

Through work and my education, I ran into so many situations that seemed like a movie or a novel that I couldn’t help but put them into words. I can stay home to do this, use my education, and still have a life.

Alexis: I bet you have run into many situations. They say truth is stranger than fiction. So this is your debut novel. I imagine you learned a lot through the publication process. Would you share something you learned?

Dawn: Two main things stand out in the process, the “editing crunch” and the marketing.

I’ve heard about the “crunch,” but I’ve never been privy to what actually happens until now. It’s an incredible experience to have a professional editor of your genre apply the “rules” of writing to your own work. I will never say that I know everything and will keep learning as I continue to write.

And Marketing. I’m still learning and ferreting out what works best. It could be a full-time job, but I’m always itching to get back to writing the next novel.

Alexis: So what is Court of Lies all about?

Dawn: I’m still excited to talk about Court of Lies, even though I’ve probably read it a hundred times through edits.

Court of Lies is about Brooke and Scott who have combined their talents, stained glass artistry and landscaping, to create a magnificent project. Another project evolves as they develop an interest in each other.

Someone isn’t happy about them interacting and tries to put a stop, or shall I say a bullet, in their way.

Evidence tampering and legal manipulations find their way into the court system during preliminary trials of the suspects of the shooting.

Who’s the “good cop” and who’s the “bad cop?” Or is it the district attorney changing the rules? Do suggestions from a psychic help or hinder the investigation?

Brooke finds it hard to trust anyone during the investigation of the shooting. This includes her ex-husband and her new love interest, Scott. They are both suspects and someone is lying.

Alexis: Wow, sounds like a real web of corruption, but your heroine and hero manage to get through it. What are your favorite character traits of Brooke and Scott?

Dawn: I adore Brooke because she does have insecurities and doubts throughout the legal process, yet she also risks her safety to dig up information that only she knows may exist.

And how could I not love Scott? He’s strong in body and mind. He risks the wrath of the law to watch over Brooke. Every man has his flaws, though. He’s a busy man, as many of us are today. Scott needs to find time for a relationship and accept that Brooke’s time with other acquaintances aren’t a threat.

Alexis: What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Dawn: I had a great time with the research. I interviewed a stained glass artist who described the how-to and how she comes up with ideas. If I weren’t so busy, I’d take it up as a hobby.

I also interviewed landscapers and do a lot of homemade landscaping in my own yard. I contacted legal personnel to make sure my use of the law portrayed a realistic fictional version. The fact that I worked with the law for a handful of years gave me a head start. I did peruse my legal volumes to create twists in the story because law is not as black and white as we’d like it to be.

Alexis: I know, but that might be a bonus for some cases I imagine. I understand this book is available electronically now, but it will be released in print sometime next year, correct?

Dawn: Yes, Court of Lies is in many forms for e-book readers right now. The projected paperback release is December or January. I don’t have an exact date yet, but I will announce it on my website,, when I know.

Alexis: Do you have any other romance novels in the works?

Dawn: Definitely. I’m about half-way done with my next romantic suspense, “Dirty Windows.” Briefly, it’s about a black-market baby operation with loose ends. In order to end the operation, the hero must distance himself from the heroine. Which is more important, a romance or justice? Or can there be both?

Hmmm…I don’t know exactly how I’ll answer those questions because I figure it out as I write and the characters put their two cents in, too.

Alexis: Ah, so the plot thickens :-) I understand you are going to give away a copy of Court of Lies to one lucky commenter.

Dawn: Yes, I want to give back to those willing to relay their thoughts. To know what readers want and think helps me write better stories.

Alexis: Well, that’s what this blog is all about, "thoughts." Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the wonderful people who write them :-)

Dawn: Your very welcome and thank you for chatting with me:)

Alexis: Here's a quick summary: Brooke's effort to start a new career along with love is shot to pieces as her ex-husband lurks around every corner of change. A bullet changes her course and Brooke must filter the evidence in a corrupt investigation with her ex-husband and lover as suspects of the attempted murder.

And a real teaser. Check out this excerpt from Court of Lies:

“What the hell are we doing here?” Ty demanded with a slight slur.

“Calm down. I have a reason for getting you in here this quickly. It’ll work to your advantage,” District Attorney Sabin said.

“You need to get me out of here, now. I have patients to see in the morning. Their needs don’t go on hold for emergencies,” Marla’s rattled voice added.

Remaining low key, District Attorney Sabin responded, “You both know you’re on the list of suspects?” He turned his attention to Marla, didn’t wait for an answer, and continued with a severe look. “You may have to give up a couple days of work, but this will be better than a whole lot of years.”

After a minute’s delay, Marla wiped the worried look from her face and said with defiance, “Many years? You sound as if you already have it figured out that we’re responsible for this horrible shooting. Maybe I shouldn’t be here period.”

Ty followed her lead. “I don’t want to be here long, either. Considering what we’ve been through, Attorney Sabin,” he stated snidely, “What makes you think you have the right to bring me in here without payback?”

“Trust me. I know this seems backward, but it’s in your best interest.” District Attorney Sabin stood and put his papers back into a brown and tattered brief case. He shoved the steel chair underneath a rickety, matching table provided in the bleak conference room of the county jail.

Frustration replaced the smugness on Ty and Marla’s faces as the guards surrounded them to lead them back to their separate cells.

Sabin approached Ty’s escort. “Leave him behind. I need a few minutes with him yet.”

The guards left the room with Marla in tow. As their footsteps faded, Ty shot out of his seat and turned on District Attorney Sabin. “I want that piece-of-shit Marshall away from Brooke.”

“Hey, I’m working on keeping you from being committed for attempted murder. I don’t think I owe you anything else.”

“I don’t care what you think. I have your job and your life in my hands right now. There’s no limit to what you owe me for not turning your ass in.”

District Attorney Sabin scowled and shook his head. “Okay, you tell me how I’m going to keep Marshall away from Ms. Bellin. You’ve got me there.”

Ty spoke slowly, enunciating his demand. “I don’t care how you do it. Charge him for trying to kill Brooke. Then you can arrest him. If you can’t do that fast enough, put a restraining order or something on him.”

“That’s impossible. I can’t charge him right now and she has to petition for a temporary restraining order.”

Ty glared and slammed his fist on the desk. “Then fake it.”

“Can’t do that.” Sabin paused and looked over Ty’s head, thinking. “I’m not the only one dealing with the evidence for the shooting, and the only way we can get a TRO on Marshall without her consent, would be if she had a guardian and that person petitioned. Marshall doesn’t have to be charged or arrested to be served a restraining order. We just need the right person to file for it.”

“Get her a guardian then.”

“Not that easy. It would take months and a mental or physical reason to have one.”

Ty calmed before he asked, “How does a person get a guardian?”

“The purpose that would best fit Ms. Bellin is to have a court order based on a referral by a psychiatrist claiming she’s incompetent. The court would appoint a guardian. The guardian can petition that she’s an individual at risk against a certain person, Marshall for instance.” Attorney Sabin shook his head. “I don’t see it happening.”

A sly smile escaped Ty’s lessening anger. “I can do that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, what do you think I did for the last two years when I was recovering from a stroke? I played games. Games on the computer, and not the kind that you buy at the store to download.” Ty rubbed his jaw. “Get me a pass to the computer lab, and I’ll be back in a couple hours with a form making me Brooke’s guardian.”

“Not gonna work.”
“Sure it will. I’ll get the form, scribble a psych’s name on it, and then you call in a quick favor from your buddy the judge. How long will it take to get Marshall the news?”

“If it works, which I doubt, the TRO has to be executed within one day.” Sabin’s mind began to whirl as he realized Ty was serious. If the document appeared authentic, he considered how long it would be until someone figured out the game. Wiping his hand across his forehead, he prayed that it would last long enough to convince Ty to keep his mouth shut.

“Perfect.” Ty locked stares with the district attorney. “Get Marshall away from my wife.”

Sabin adjusted his briefcase under his arm. “She’s not your wife.”

Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win Dawn's book Court of Lies.

If interested in buying her book click here for an immediate download!

And don't forget to stop by next week on Halloween for the introduction of my new blog contributors and some fun prizes. Hint: Halloween is my favorite holiday :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

I’m happy to announce the winner of an autographed copy of SEDUCING THE SUCCUBUS by Cassie Ryan is . . . Lyndee Henderson. Congratulations, Lyndee! If you visited last week, left a comment, but didn’t win, don’t despair. I have another wonderful author coming to Happily Ever After Thoughts next week and she’s giving away a copy of her book as well.

That’s right, Dawn Kunda, Romantic Suspense writer, will be visiting us starting Sunday, October 24th. This lady used to be a Private Investigator and switched to writing romance. There has to be a story behind that decision! So join us here and leave a comment for Dawn. At the end of the week, we will draw another lucky winner.

You may wonder at my use of the term “we,” when it has only been “me” writing this blog. The reason is, I am a lucky winner too because Dawn Kunda and another writing friend of mine, Marie Patrick, have agreed to join me at Happily Ever After Thoughts to provide reviews, thoughts for readers, author interviews, and a little bit more.

This combined effort will begin on Halloween, my favorite holiday, which means, of course, that I must give away something special to celebrate this new and improved blog. Hmmm, I wonder what it will be. Be sure to check back as the three of us concoct something interesting for you to read and win!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Special Guest Cassie Ryan

This week I have a fantastic multi-published author visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts and she has agreed to give away a personally signed copy of her most recent book, so be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win! And don't forget to check out the excerpt below from Seducing the Succubus. You'll be very happy you did :-)

Alexis: Hi Cassie. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Can you start by telling us what you like and don’t like about writing erotic romance?

Cassie: I absolutely love exploring the relationship between two characters and the blossoming romance and sexual relationship is all part of that. And I don’t have a problem writing hot, so that’s not an issue. I guess the only downside is that writing erotic romance is kind of the red-headed step child of the romance world and readers and even other writers sometimes mock my work as less-than-worthy. And let’s face it – no one wants their work to be belittled like that. I’m proud of what I write and I’m very glad so many readers enjoy reading it!

Alexis: You should be proud. You write great books! So what is your new release Seducing the Succubus about?

Cassie: Seducing the Succubus is about four succubi sisters in Hell’s Version of the Witness relocation program. There’s political intrigue among the supernaturals, there’s steamy heat and seduction, there’s action and even the beginning of the road to Armageddon :-)

Alexis: Okay, I’ll bite. What exactly is a succubus?

Cassie: A succubus is a creature who has to have sexual energy to survive. They prey on mortal men (and women) to tempt the mortal soul one way or another, which helps the humans shift their balance toward good or evil. There are varying myths out there about succubi and incubi—I took all those, layered in some of my own twists and my own brand of succubi were born!

Alexis: I'm guessing you couldn't exactly interview a succubi, so what kind of research did you do for this novel?

Cassie: I did a lot of mythology research on succubi/incubi, Lilith the succubus queen, Archangels and even some locales such as Greece. :-) I took all the facts and layered the supernatural over that to create the world in the series.

Alexis: This is quite a unique world. What prompted that first germ of an idea for you to write this story?

Cassie: I was actually watching a History Channel show on demons and they mentioned how Lilith was believed to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden along with Adam and Eve—and she’s often considered the first succubus. That made me wonder what it was like to be the “bad girl” from the beginning of time, and what kind of life she would end up leading for all of time. The world built itself out from there.

Alexis: I absolutely loved your last trio of erotic romances. How is this book different from that series?

Cassie: The Sisters of Darkness series is still very hot, but a little more mainstream than the Seduction Series. Also, this series is a bit more complex and fast paced than the last one. I had a lot of fun with my witches, and I’m having a great time with all the succubi as well!

Alexis: What are your favorite character traits of Jezebeth and Noah?

Cassie: I love that Jezebeth is both very secure in who she is, and just a little insecure—probably like most of us. She’s ancient and thinks she knows how the world works, but then Noah comes along and surprises her—which she thinks is a refreshing change. Noah is a writer, and sort of stumbled into the whole supernatural realm when he accidentally summoned Lilith. Now he’s escorting Jezebeth to pay the debt to Lilith. Even when confronted with tons of supernatural beasties and dangers, he’s still a writer and throughout the book finds himself wanting to take notes, interview the people he meets for future books and noodle over story ideas. I think there’s a little bit of every writer inside Noah, so I have a special soft spot for him.

Alexis: Hmm, I think I already have a soft spot for Noah, too. Obviously, there will be three more Succubus stories. When will the next one be out and what can we expect from Jez’s sisters?

Cassie: The Demon & The Succubus releases on April 5, 2011. In each book we’ll meet another of the sisters and the overall story arc will take us to Armageddon and beyond—with the existence of the human world at stake. :-) I hope everyone enjoys this journey through the world of the succubi!

Alexis: I know I can't wait! And if anyone has any doubts take a look at these reviews:
"Cassie Ryan's stories have it all: Smart heroines, sizzling heroes,
page-turning action, cool world-building, and best of all,near-volcanic
heat!"- Jennifer Ashley, USA Today bestselling author
"Very heart warming and entertaining. This is a great start to a new series!" Night Owl Reviews - Top Pick
"Seducing the Succubus is a promising new series with some heavy erotica overtones... If ultimate romance is your cup of tea, it will provide you with a terrific and sensual read." The Romance Studio


As Jezebeth glanced up and realized what Noah had suggested, she couldn’t help but giggle. A truck stop could very well be a Succubus Smorgasbord.

The sound of her amusement came out weaker than she’d like, but the fact that she still had enough energy to laugh gave her the freedom to wait and choose who she took sustenance from.

Noah had already made his disgust of her and her survival needs very clear back in the parking lot¾even though she could smell the musky scent of his arousal that wafted through the cab of the truck. Her skin ached with longing in response to the scent. It was too bad he felt that way because the glowing aura of nearly white energy that surrounded him like a pulsing mist looked as if it could totally heal her even with minimal contact like a deep kiss.

He was attracted, but also repulsed.

Interesting, but definitely irrelevant.

Jez had never been ashamed of what she was and what she had to do to survive. That would just be a waste of time since there was nothing she could do to change it. But for some reason, Noah’s distaste as he’d looked at the two men lying in the truck had stung. He’d risked his life to help her, and for that she found she wasn’t willing to broach the subject of taking Noah’s energy unless she was near death and didn’t have any other choice.

She was used to seeing men only as a means to an end¾survival. For the most part they were predictable, easy to manipulate and totally uninteresting. But so far Noah was a puzzle that intrigued her.

She mentally shrugged and concentrated on conserving her energy for the task ahead.

“What’s so funny?”

Even in the near darkness, she could make out his small scowl of confusion.

“You said the truck stop is a Succubus Smorgasbord if I’m willing. There’s no ‘willing’ to it. I’ll take whatever we can find at this point.” Her words were still weak, but she was glad to hear an underlying thread of strength that hadn’t been there before. Pure stubbornness might help her hold out long enough to find more energy.

When the next exit loomed, Noah took it and drove toward the large truck stop that sat on the side of the freeway--a halfway point between nowhere and nothing.

Jez tipped down the visor and checked her appearance in the tiny mirror. Dark circles rode under her hazel eyes, which looked too big for her pale face. She looked like she’d had a hard night of partying and hadn’t recovered yet.

A large sigh escaped. She’d been in worse forms and still found those willing to offer her their sustenance. She combed her fingers through her hair and used most of the rest of her energy to remove the blood from her arm and clothes until she slumped back against the seat, wishing she could just close her eyes and sleep.

Noah pulled around to the back parking lot and parked among the large semitrucks scattered in the extra-long parking spaces. He turned off the ignition and pulled out the keys before glancing toward Jezebeth. “So, how should we do this?”

“We?” She gave him her best sardonic smile. “You’ve already made it quite clear how you see my need for energy.” Her words came out more cutting than she’d intended, but she was surprised when Noah winced. But when she glanced again, his expression was haughty and unforgiving, convincing her she’d only imagined it.

“Yes, we. I promised I’d take care of you and get you back to Lilith safe and sound. You’re nearly out of energy, so the least I can do is help you . . . find some.”

Jez huffed out a breath of sarcastic amusement. “Don’t go all noble on me. I’m sure the night of hot sex with Lilith was well worth everything you’ll have to go through to pay for it.” She reached for the door handle. That was usually Lilith’s side of the equation, and got the succubus queen whatever she wanted in return.

“I didn’t have a night of hot sex with Lilith.” Noah’s words were defensive and low.

Jez popped open the door and glanced back at him. “Don’t worry, when Lilith gives her word or makes a deal, she keeps it. You’ll get your night when this is done.”

Noah frowned as he studied her. “Why would I want to be just another fuck among billions? This is my payment for not spending the night with Lilith.”

Jez frowned trying to understand the meaning behind his cryptic words. She was tempted to ask him for clarification, but she was already light-headed and needed to find energy fast. Besides, the distaste in his voice was obvious, and his words echoed through Jez’s mind like an accusation.

Why would I want to be just another fuck among billions?

She winced as anger burned through her. Who the hell was this guy to judge her and her kind? He was a mere human, and while his aura was distractingly clean and white, she was sure he hadn’t taken any vows of celibacy or morality. “Then you’ll be relieved to know that I’m a bit more discerning than my mistress. You’ll never get any type of offer from me.”

Noah snapped his mouth shut as if she’d surprised him, and she enjoyed a small surge of satisfaction as she slid out of the truck and closed the door behind her.

The cold night air hit her from all sides, stealing her breath and slowly leaching her low reserves of energy. She leaned heavily against the truck as she gathered her strength for the walk into the truck stop.

Noah cursed as he jogged around to her side. She thought she caught the words “stubborn fricking woman” within his mumbles as he stopped in front of her. “Let me help you get inside. You’re still weak.” He took her arm in his and pulled her close against his side.

His body was warm and firm, the muscles of his torso flexing against her as he moved.

Why would I want to be just another fuck among billions?

She stiffened and pulled away from him. “I’m fine. It’s time for me to go look for one billion and one, so if you’ll excuse me.”

Noah recoiled as if she’d slapped him, an expression of surprise flashing across his features.

“Miss? Do you need any help?”

Jez turned to find a tall, lanky man in his mid-forties wearing a thick flannel shirt, jeans, and boots approaching them, his keys jangled in his right hand. He had dark hair, piercing blue eyes, and a kind expression. But even more important, the hazy mist surrounding him was thick enough to call to her like a dark promise, and yet dark enough to show her that he might not take too much convincing to give her the sustenance she needed right here in the parking lot.

She didn’t look back at Noah, but instead willed her legs to hold her weight as she walked carefully forward toward the newcomer. “Actually, I could really use some help, if you don’t mind.” Jezebeth smiled up at him. “Maybe a ride?” She let her meaning show clearly in her gaze as it traveled down his body to center on the growing bulge just behind the fly of his jeans.

“Jezebeth . . .” Noah’s voice was a low warning behind her, and she ignored it, hoping he took the hint and shut up.

The man’s gaze flicked past her to Noah, and she could sense his primal protective instincts kicking into high gear. Humans were very territorial--especially about women. “Don’t worry about him,” she soothed the newcomer. “He just can’t accept that I’m not interested.”

Jezebeth could’ve sworn she felt a blast of cold air coming from Noah’s direction--an outward sign that her mark had hit home. But she knew that was only her own fancy at work. After all, he was only human.

The man held Noah’s angry gaze for a long moment before he said, “Of course, darlin’. My truck is right this way.”

“Actually, the lady is just fine.” Noah stepped forward placing his body between Jezebeth and the newcomer, wrapping a possessive arm around her waist.

Her mind sent a signal to her body to object and pull away, but her body refused to respond. Noah was warm and pulsing with energy, and before she could do anything further, he’d pulled her close, cupped her cheek in his large, warm hand and lowered his head to kiss her.

Alexis: Remember Cassie is giving away a signed copy of Seducing the Succubus to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave a comment :-) And to find out more about Cassie and her many books, you can go to