Six Sentence Sunday – 9/30/12

My story, Portrait of Passion, will be a part of Passionate Exhibitions anthology coming the week of October 8th from Turquoise Morning Press! Check it out:

Museums. Places of grandeur and mystery, hidden corners and secrets. Walk the halls of any museum and find a past life in a necklace, an alternate reality in a painting, a terrible curse from a statue, or your wildest fantasies come to life. From the distant past to the far-flung future, these stories will titillate and tantalize. Welcome to the Passionate Exhibition.

Here are my Sunday Six from Portrait of Passion:

Alarm bells clamored in his head the moment recognition clicked. Kelsy Tecato. Artist in Residence. Painter of hard-on-inducing nudes. Live and in person, standing in the Templeton Museum after hours as if she owned the place.

And naked as the day she was born.

Want to discover new authors? Check out all of the Six Sentence Sunday participants! There’s a fresh crop of goodness each week!

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Monday Mayhem – Meant to Be

I’m happy to have my very good friend Karen Stivali here to talk about her latest release, Meant To Be! Welcome Karen!

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I’ve only recently started telling people in my real life that I’m an author and as soon as they find out that I write erotic romance, contemporary romance and sexy women’s fiction they all ask the same question: why those genres?

The answer is simple. I’m a first kiss junkie and I get to recreate a perfect, wonderful, hot, steamy, sexy, buckle your knees, OMG-kiss-me-now moment in every single story. How cool is that?

My latest release, Meant To Be, is women’s fiction with strong romantic elements (and yes, a smoking hot delightfully decadent first kiss scene). In fact, given the nature of the story, the whole book is sort of one long delicious prelude to a kiss (though I’ll tell you up front, once that magical moment happens they do  a lot more than kissing).

In honor of the celebration of the release of this novel and my love of first kisses I’m going to give a free e-copy of either Meant To Be or any of my backlist books (winner’s choice). All you have to do is tell me your most memorable first kiss in the comments below. I’ll choose one lucky winner at random.

In the meantime I’ll give you a peek at the blurb for Meant To Be and a quick glimpse at an excerpt of a moment between the two main characters, Daniel and Marienne.

Blurb:

Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

Teaser excerpt:

Marienne watched as Daniel grabbed a bottle of Coke out of her fridge.

He unscrewed the cap and took a drink. “It’s quite difficult to understand American slang when English isn’t your native tongue.”

He continued speaking but Marienne’s mind was caught on the words native tongue. Or, more specifically, tongue. More precisely still, Daniel’s tongue. She’d always loved the sound of his voice, the expressiveness of his choice of words, but sometimes she just enjoyed watching his mouth. This was one of those times. She studied his tongue as it moved to form his words, as it licked his lips when he paused to think, as it pressed against the Coke bottle when he drank. Heat prickled through her.

Is it hot in here or is it him? She was unable to focus on the thought as once again she was mesmerized. Now it was curved upward, pressing against the back of his top teeth as he looked at her, eyes narrowed.

“Are you all right?” he asked. The concern in his voice caught her attention as did the puzzled look on his face.

“What?” She no longer remembered what they’d been discussing.

“You’re not listening to a word I say, and that’s not like you. I’ve been speaking total gibberish and you didn’t even react. Are you okay? You’re all flushed.”

She tried to think of a way to explain to her best friend that she’d been too busy obsessing to concentrate. He’s divorced. Frank’s gone. Maybe I should. Her heart galloped.

He leaned over and felt her forehead. She held her breath, dizzy from his touch. She wanted to scoot forward and kiss him, hard, on the lips, but didn’t dare to move. Thoughts of the kiss, and his tongue, flashed through her mind.

“You’re really warm.” His hand trailed to her cheek, flipping over so he could assess her with the back of his fingers. They felt cool and silky along the contours of her face and she pressed against them.

His brow furrowed. “You’ve got a fever.”

What? Her hand flew to her forehead. “Shit,” she said, as even she could feel the burning warmth.

He grabbed a glass from her cupboard and held it beneath the ice dispenser. The crystal chunks tumbled into it. “You must have finally caught whatever Ella had last weekend.” He filled it with water and handed it to her.

“Oh, God. You’re right.” Ella had come home sick from preschool three days ago and that was the standard grace period Marienne usually got before catching things from her daughter. She rested her head on the kitchen table.

****

Daniel smiled at Marienne’s whining; she was acting like Ella.

“Drink your water.” He opened another cabinet and reached for the Tylenol. He shook out two and returned the bottle to the top shelf.

“Here.” He rubbed his knuckles against the top of her hand. “Take these.”

She groaned.

“Take them.” He nudged a second time. Heat radiated from her skin. Enticing. Alluring. He shuddered, trying to shake the thoughts from his mind. “Come on now, be a good girl.”

She sat up and scowled. He smiled and dropped the tablets into her upturned hand. The backs of his fingers grazed her palm and a tingling flush rippled through him.

She stared at him, eyes defiant, then popped the pills into her mouth and took a sip of water. She flipped her head back and swallowed hard, an action that caused Daniel to gulp as well. He wanted nothing more than to swoop down and kiss her with total abandon, to feel her overheated body, to be immersed inside her.

He said the only words he could think: “Let’s get you up to bed.”

See? What did I tell you? One long prelude to a kiss. Now, I’ve shown you mine (or Daniel and Marienne’s)—you tell me yours. Best. First. Kiss. Share it below. Good luck all! Xo

For more information on this book and my other novels, please visit my website: http://karenstivali.com (You’ll also find some yummy recipes there for foods that are mentioned in the book!)

I can also be found at the following places:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenstivali

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Stivali/e/B005KWSFGO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Author Bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.

Buy links for Meant To Be:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Meant-To-Be-ebook/dp/B0092GWS0S/ref=la_B005KWSFGO_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1346196986&sr=1-5
AllRomanceEbooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-meanttobe-923889-148.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/meant-to-be-karen-stivali/1112675856?ean=2940015227789

Publisher’s site:
Turquoise Morning Press: http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/meant-to-be-by-karen-stivali

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Six Sentence Sunday – 9/23/12

Today’s selection comes from the upcoming Hot Nights in St. Blaise series. Here’s the blurb for Bustin’ Out All Over:

Terri Ecklund wishes she’d never agreed to be Miss June. As billing manager for SBRMC, she could appreciate that the damn thing had raised a healthy amount of money to fund hospital improvements, but it also cost her big. She could deal with the sly snickers, crude jokes about her ‘assets’, and the perfect strangers whistling ‘June is Busting Out All Over’, but her boyfriend couldn’t.

When the pro-fisherman she hooked long ago cuts bait and takes the contents of their joint bank account with him, Terri scrambles to patch the pieces of her life back together but not before tearing a strip off the smarty-pants internet genius who set the The Men and Women of St. Blaise Regional Medical Center up to go viral.

Internet millionaire and St. Blaise native Quent Halliday nearly swallowed his tongue when Terri Ecklund, St. Blaise, Missouri’s god-given rebuttal to Pamela Anderson’s plastic surgeon, stormed into his St. Louis office spitting nails over the loss of her almost-fiancé.

Drawn to the sparks flying from her eyes and the lure of her bountiful curves, clever Quent knows the opportunity of a lifetime when he sees it. Without hesitation he drops everything to chase after the girl of his fantasies, and when he catches her, they’re both shocked to discover he may just be the man of her dreams.

Six Sentences from Bustin’ Out All Over:

She hauled off and did a little marking of her own when the palm of her hand connected with his gorgeous ass with a ringing slap.

His groan came out tangled up with a startled laugh. “Yes, please.”

“Never in my life have I ever met a guy I want to hit as much as I want to hit you, Quentin Halliday.”

He flashed a cocky grin as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed. “Never in my life have I ever liked kissing a girl as much as I like kissing you,” he called over his shoulder as he strolled toward the bathroom.

Want to discover new authors? Check out all of the Six Sentence Sunday participants! There’s a fresh crop of goodness each week!

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Six Sentence Sunday – 9/16/12

Today’s selection comes from the upcoming Hot Nights in St. Blaise series. Here’s the blurb for Mr. Mayhem:

Lab tech Melanie Curtis claims Dr. Marc Mayhew’s shy smile won her vote for Mr. May, but the fact is, she’s been aching to get a taste of the delicious Pathologist’s mochachino skin since the moment she set eyes on him.

Quiet and reserved, Marc was happy to take refuge in his research until she walked into his lab. He tried to ignore the attraction that sparked and sizzled each time she drew near, all too aware of the strict edicts issued by the hospital’s Human Resources department, but he couldn’t deny that he wouldn’t mind subjugating himself to his bossy little subordinate. Over and over again.

The only variable he couldn’t predict was how far Melanie was willing to go to get the results she expected. When she tests his mettle, Marc finds he’s more than willing to risk everything on a case of chemistry run amok if it means he can claim her as his. For keeps.

Six Sentences from Mr. Mayhem:

“You don’t get to call all the shots.” His voice came low and soft, wrapping around her ankles like wisps of smoke. Staring into his ebony eyes, it was impossible to pretend she didn’t know exactly what he meant. “I don’t mind you callin’ some of them.” His drawl deepened, flowing thick and rich as molasses over the rough edges of a raspy laugh. “As a matter of fact, I like a woman with a take-charge attitude.”

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Monday Mayhem – It’s a keeper!

I kind of did. I took a little vacay over Labor Day week, and boy was I good at it! Between bouts of napping, eating, and reading smutty books, I managed to write a new novella. It’s to meet a call for submissions that closes this week, so I am scrambling to edit and polish so I can slip it into the queue at the eleventh hour. But it was fun to write something not-quite-so-spicy. Maggie has been monopolizing all the brain time lately.

My plan is to start working on Containment during NaNoWriMo this November. The plot bunnies are hopping.

Enough about business, let’s talk pleasure…

At the moment, I’m rereading an old favorite I came across in a bargain bin. Carnal Innocence was the first Nora Roberts single title romance I’d ever read. Guess what? I still love it just as much as I did in 1991. I also scored a couple Judith Krantz classics – Mistral’s Daughter and Princess Daisy.

I often reread. There are newer books on my keeper shelf, but I love reacquainting myself with some of the characters that helped turn me into a romance fan for life. Just a few of the more well-worn books on my keeper shelf: Scruples by Judith Krantz, Crossings and Family Album by Danielle Steel, Perfect by Judith McNaught, and Bygones by LaVyrle Spencer.

What about you? What are you reading these days? Do you ever reread books? What’s on your keeper shelf?

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Six Sentence Sunday – 9/9/12

Today’s selection comes from the upcoming Hot Nights in St. Blaise series. Here’s the blurb for Always Miss April:

The tender feelings Sheriff Delavan Cormack has for his lifelong best friend, Marilyn Dumbrowski, are the worst kept secret in a tiny town where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

When Marilyn’s teenage son starts acting out, Del uses his badge and their friendship to force the marriage he has wanted for too damn long. What Del didn’t know was the cool, competent ER nurse and hardworking single mom has been keeping a secret that has her burning red hot day and night.

With everything he dreamed of having in the palm of his hand and so much more than he bargained for happening in the bedroom, Del is faced with figuring out exactly how far he’s willing and able to go when he discovers that the power of his love may not be enough to satisfy the woman he adores.

Six Sentences from Always Miss April:

“I can’t believe you’re asking me to do this.”

“I’m not asking, I’m telling.” The correction was laced with the confidence of a man who was used to having his authority obeyed without question. “Get it. Use it. I’m going to hear you come, Marilyn, and when you get home, I’m going to demand an instant replay.”

 

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Six Sentence Sunday – 9/2/12

Today’s six sentences come from March Madness – part of my upcoming Hot Nights in St. Blaise series. Here’s the blurb:

Shelli Ann Jones never considered ‘It takes one to know one’ an effective pick-up line, but when she runs headlong into St. Blaise Regional Medical Center’s elusive Mr. March, she revises her opinion.

Trauma Surgeon Kevin O’Shea should come with a sign that reads BEWARE OF THE DOG, but Shelli Ann couldn’t hold that against him. She only wanted him for his body. At first.

Kevin is fascinated by his new neighbor. So fascinated, he might be turning into peeping Kevin.

The tables turn when Shelli Ann uses the same meaningless flirtation, casual intimacy, and careful standoffishness Kevin thought he had trademarked against him, forcing him to unleash the full force of his dogged determination in his pursuit to win the heart of the only woman who could break his.

Six sentences from March Madness

“Christ, you’re hot,” he growled.

“You’re hot too.”

He laughed. “No, I meant…I can feel you…”

She arched her back and the sensation of hot woman pressing against hard dick blew up the tracks his train of thought had been traveling. Turning on his heel, he pinned her to the nearest flat surface and reclaimed her mouth.

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