Monday Mayhem – Smoke & Mirrors Edition

That’s right, I’m about to use a little trickery to distract you from the fact that I have nothing prepared. Are you shocked? This is supposed to be mayhem, right?

I’ve been working on stuff, I swear.

Every day I write, edit, redit, and then edit some more. My life is dedicated to eradicating the mysterious words I swear I did not type but show up in my manuscripts anyhow.

I’m about knee deep in Containment and psyching myself up to wade in deeper. This book is already an emotional rollercoaster.

Did the final read though on Always the Groomsman – the short story I’m including in TMP’s Wedding Day Collection due out this summer. Did I tell you about my story? It’s Tom and Maggie’s wedding! Squee!

I’m also compiling the Long Distance Love short stories for release later this year. Remember Jack and Ellie? Well, I’m tweaking the older stories so they flow and working six new stories over until they come up to snuff. Want to see the line up so far?

Concourse Christmas

New Year, New Expectations

I’ve Got You to Talk to Me

Be Mine

Kiss Me, I’m Full of Blarney

Going the Distance

The Feeling is Pari-Mutuel

Declarations of Dependence

Labor of Love

A Voyage of Discovery

Hallowed Eve

Veterans of Domestic Wars

Thanks Be to Grandma

Taking Off

It was so much fun to spend some time with those two crazy kids again. Oh, who am I kidding? It was fun to crawl inside Jack’s…head again. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!). I missed Jack. Oh, I love Ellie too, but there’s something about Jack Rudolph that tugs at me. So…You want a taste?

I figured you might. Just to bring you up to speed…When last we saw our couple (Declarations of Dependence), Ellie’s reticence had poked a few sizable holes in Jack’s ego. This is taken from Labor of Love

Before the whole debacle at her parents Fourth of July cookout, he would have called her. Hell, there would have been at least two or three messages waiting on her phone if she hadn’t called until ten o’clock. But not these days.

These days he only called her when he was calling her back. Despite the new job with the Chicago field office and a schedule was more flexible than hers, he hadn’t come to see her in eight weeks. Eight long weeks. As a matter of fact, he hadn’t even suggested a visit. That was the straw that broke Ellie’s back.

He answered the phone and she said only, “I think we need to talk,” in greeting.

His sharp intake of breath cut the silence that hummed between them. He let it go with a hiss and punctuated the sentiment with a low grunt. “So talk.”

“I’m downstairs, but I can’t find a parking spot.”


The shock in his tone triggered a smile. For once, she got one over on her very special agent.  “Surprise.”

“You’re here? In Chicago?”

“Right in front of your building, Rudolph,” she confirmed. “Do you think you can come down and guide my sleigh to a parking spot? I might need your nose to scare off the creepy guy lurking in the alley a couple of blocks over.”

Jack hesitated for a moment. Her stomach dropped to her toes as she heard the rustle of bedclothes. He juggled the phone. “Uh, hang on.”

The echo of a woman’s voice sent shivers down her spine and alarm bells started clanging in her head. Mortification burned hot in her cheeks. It could have been the TV. She hoped with all her heart it was the TV. She was almost one thousand percent certain the voice came from the TV. Still…

“Maybe I should just go to Laurie’s.” The thought of turning up on her sister’s doorstep in a flood of tears wasn’t particularly appealing, but it beat the crap out of coming face to face with the infinitesimal chance that he wasn’t watching TV. Oh God, what if he wasn’t? Why did she ever think it was a good idea to just show up?

Jack’s derisive snort yanked her back. “Are you kidding me?” The exasperation in his tone stoked the dying embers of hope in her heart. “Come down the alley. I’m opening the gate to the lot. My neighbor’s out of town this weekend. You can park in his spot.”

The TV. The voice had to be coming from the TV. Surely Jack wouldn’t be cruel enough to invite her in if he was…entertaining company. Niggling doubt chased her taillights. She held her breath as she made the sharp turn from the narrow alley into the crowded lot.

“Joe’s space is next to mine,” he huffed.

Ellie pulled into the spot and killed the engine as the back door opened. Fluorescent light spilled into the parking lot. He stood silhouetted in the doorway. The gate rolled shut behind her, trapping her there. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to open the door. She cast a glance over her shoulder as she climbed from the driver’s seat, keeping her hand wrapped around the top of the door. She had questions she needed to ask, and she was hoping the reinforced steel could shield her from any answers she didn’t want to hear.

Pressing the phone tight to her ear, she stared straight at him. “Do you still love me, Jack?”


Dun dun dun!

That was fun, wasn’t it? You know what else is fun? Talking about book boyfriends.

Jack is one of mine. I’m also partial to Jamie Fraser, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series, and pretty much every Eversea and Redmond male from Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series. Oh, and Morelli. I know, I know. Ranger is hot, blah blah blah. I like the guys who are the keepers, and that’s why I’m a Cupcake.




I am a Weekend Writing Warrior!

My first entry as a Weekend Writing Warrior! Here’s a bit of delish from my upcoming release, March Madness (Book #3 in the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series) 

Eight 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. The fridge rocked in time with her circling hips. Her hands fluttered, touching him everywhere, but not nearly enough.


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.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out the snippets posted by my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!


Friday Flashers 3/1/13

Friday Flashers

Hello and welcome to my first Friday Flashers entry! The cover art fairy dropped a bit of yum into my inbox. Wanna see?


You like? How about a little taste of what’s inside?

Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please

E Is for Entice by Emily Cale

Coast Guard Petty Officer Evan Marshall knows it won’t be easy proving to his hometown that he’s matured—especially his former girlfriend, Ciara Knowles. Though they soon re-create some very hot memories, it may take a disaster to truly bring them together.

F Is for Fallout by Ginny Glass
When Spencer Corwin returns from Iraq, all he can think about is finally meeting the woman he’s been corresponding with in the flesh. But will their red-hot passion survive the fallout of learning they’ve both been living a lie?

G Is for Gun-Shy by Christina Thacher
Colonel Jack Travis doesn’t want to be partnered with buttoned-up military strategist Davina McCall—even if she’s the sexiest woman he’s ever seen. When a freak storm traps them in Jack’s cabin, the buttons start coming undone…and things really start heating up.

H Is for Hotshot by Maggie Wells
Smoke jumper Luke Whitehawk usually fights fires—when he’s not fighting his sizzling attraction to pilot Tara Ferris. And Tara’s determined that this is one battle Luke is destined to lose…

Here’s a little flash:

Sucking air between her teeth, Tara tripped the latch and threw her shoulder into the door. Without looking at him, she dropped a booted foot over the side and jumped from the pilot’s seat. “If you don’t like the way I drive, don’t climb into my bird, Hawk.”

A hard hand wrapped around her elbow. Blunt fingertips bit into her arm as he lifted her off the ground and held her snug against his chest. She slid halfway down his body before opportunity registered and instinct kicked in. Her arms and legs locked at his neck and thighs. She shimmied back up his long, lean body like a lumberjack scaling a tree trunk. She locked her thighs around his hips and dug the worn heels of her battered cowgirl boots into the hard muscle of his ass. Staring up into the jagged planes of his soot-covered face, she match him scowl for scowl.

“You could have killed yourself,” he rasped.

“I would never endanger my crew,” she retorted. “It was an engine alarm. I had her under control.” Luke opened his mouth to speak but the words caught. Startled by his strangled cry of frustration, she stared straight into his ebony eyes, willing him to truly see her for the first time. “Don’t you know me at all by now? I would never risk you. Never.”

His hand slipped into her hair, pressing the damp strands to the back of her neck. “Goddammit, Tara,” he rasped.

She held his gaze and exhaled a tremulous breath. “Goddammit, Hawk.”

A bead of sweat trailed down his temple, cutting a swath through the black soot that seemed embedded in his pores. It trickled into the crevices that fanned from the corners of his eyes, then attempted to scale that high, arcing cheekbone. Favoring him with a shaky smile, she caught the droplet on the pad of her thumb and swirled it into his skin.

Her lips were dry. She ran her tongue over the parched skin and traced the outline left by his safety goggles with her eyes. “You look like a reverse raccoon.” She wiggled, inching a bit higher so the crotch of his personal protective gear slid against the slick fabric of her flight suit.

Shudders rumbled through his body but he cradled her ass in one big hand. “And you look like more trouble than any man my age should go courtin’.”

“I’m not asking you to court me.” Her grip on his nape tightened. She leaned in and caught his earlobe between her teeth, rolling the tender flesh before releasing it with a flick of her tongue. Her breath bounced off his ear, warm and moist with anticipation. “All I’ve ever wanted was you deep inside me.”

Be sure to watch for Love Letters Volume 1: Obeying Desire coming in April!