Monday, September 29, 2014

Finding Julia by Desiree Holt

Today I have the phenomenal Desiree Holt on my blog. I'm a huge fan of Ms. Holt so I'm super excited to hear everything about her new release, Finding Julia,  including juicy character backgrounds!


Sometimes life is not fair. For Julia Patterson meeting Luke Buchanan opened the door to a new life and brought her to life as a woman. In his arms she learns for the first time how real passion and emotion can enrich your life. He claims her body with the pleasure of erotic sex and his heart with unrestricted love. But Fate was laughing at Julia, just as she is about to step over the threshold into a wonderful new life. When her almost-ex-husband Charles is diagnosed with a fatal heart condition her divorce is put on hold along with the rest of her life. Turning her back on Luke and the intense passion and emotion they shared is the most difficult thing she’s ever done. But Julia has a secret, one that Charles has discovered and uses like a club. Thirteen years later when Luke walks back into her life the passion and emotion are just as explosive as ever. Will they finally have their chance at happiness or will her secret destroy it forever?

Finding Julia Background

Julia’s background

She came from a middle class family with a domineering father and a mother who spent her life trying to please him. Her father, an accountant who came from a financially strapped background, always ascribed to a higher place in society than he was able to achieve and put them in a precarious financial position trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” They moved several times in is effort to “be someone,” sometimes to a better neighborhood, sometimes to a smaller house in a “good” neighborhood,” as their finances fluctuated.  He was very dictatorial with both Julia and her mother and controlled both of their lives as much as possible. He agreed she should go to college where she could “meet a wealthy man and get married and put us all in a better situation.” She met Charles, who swept her off her feet, treated her with care and made her feel special. She was vulnerable, unsure of herself, and Charles, the vulture, picked up on that. She saw with Charles the opportunity to create the loving family she’d never had. To treat her children with love and respect and create a strong family structure. It wasn’t until after they were married and the twins were born that she realized she not only hadn’t gotten away from the trap her life had been but fallen into a worse one. She had thought when she met Charles he was the key to her finding herself, having a happy marriage and a strong family with a lot of love. And maybe when the children were a little older, a career.

The wives of Charles’s friends disdained her as an outsider to their circle, his parents were no warmer to her than they were to their own son. In their circles nannies raised children until they were shipped off to boarding school, the husbands made a great deal of money and had discreet affairs and the wives satisfied themselves with gossip, alcohol and society functions. Not an environment Julia could fit into.

They say women marry men like their father’s and unfortunately for Julia that’s exactly what she did. If not for her friends Claire, her college roommate who remained her friend, she would be virtually isolated, since her parents live far away and she seldom sees them. When she does, her father is still the same bully he always was, just like Charles. She has created her own nightmare.

Charles’s background

A clone of his father, he grew up in typical wealthy fashion—prep school college, law school. Belonged to the top fraternity. Had the trappings of wealth his father believed were necessary, just as he himself had them. The word privileged was created for them and their friends. And like many of his friends, where no boundaries are set for behavior, he had a cruel streak. Unfortunately for him the women he felt would be his social equals but who would be malleable knew his reputation. When he met Julia he fastened immediately on her vulnerabilities. She was pretty, booksmart, more than presentable to the public and—most important for him—gave off all the signals of someone who could be molded and controlled. He could make her into the perfect wife for him. She would ask nothing, be grateful for what he gave her and be presentable in public. He bided his time, playing the charmer, until the twins were born and he had his son and heir. Then the control freak came out and stayed out. For Julia it was the nightmare of her childhood all over again, but she did her best until the twins were six and Charles began making plans to send them to boarding school (as he and his friends had done) and to dictate every aspect of their lives. He was unprepared for Julia to find some hidden spirit and begin to challenge him.


I am of two minds here for something that is behind is over the top dedication to Charles.

1) In college he developed a bad gambling habit. Unfortunately he was neither good nor lucky and ended up owing a lot of money to the wrong people. He saw his life disintegrating, his future disappearing, his parents cutting him off. When he used up all of his own resources, to save himself from broken bones and/or death, he asked Charles for help. Charles tapped into his trust fund to pay his debts and monitored Rod after that to make sure he didn’t backslide. Rod has since gone n to be a successful lawyer, a partner in the same firm as Charles, but he has never forgotten that Charles saved him from certain disaster.

2) Rod is a closet homosexual. Charles is the only one who knows and has kept his secret, shielded his activities and protected him all his life. Even helped him pick out a woman to marry who would make few demands on him, service as an icon of a society wife and leave him alone most of the time.

3) A remote possibility and it may be too outrageous for this story. Charles and Rod are both homosexuals, and have had a relationship since they went away to boarding school together. It is their deep dark secret. While Rod chose a wife that was part of their circle, one he could totally control, Charles had to look elsewhere because his overt cruelty didn’t make him a good catch despite all the money. He thought Julia too dumb to suspect anything and if she did who would she tell? So their relationship carried on all these years. He also was very much against the divorce. He saw the marriage as the shield he and Charles needed for their relationship. Another wife might suspect or question. When Charles has his heart attack, Rod is so beside himself he becomes enraged with Julia. And when Charles dies, robbing him of the only person he ever believed loved him, he is determined to have his revenge and make sure she never has a moment’s happiness.

Next stage

Julia’s illegitimate child, proof of her lover, sticks in Rod’s craw. Why should she have happiness when he has now been robbed of his? He tells her after Charles dies that if she even tries to contact her lover he will find out who it is and go after him. As a very powerful lawyer with connections everywhere. He can make someone’s life miserable, so miserable that it would be to the man’s advantage to save himself by breaking away from her. He tells her she has no idea how easy it is for someone in his position to frame someone for any kind of wrongdoing. By the time the truth emerged the person would be ruined. Julia is frightened at the thought of what Rod’s power and money can do. She can’t put Luke in that kind of situation. He’s already survived a disastrous marriage and difficult relationships with his sons. He doesn’t need any more grief in his life.

Why doesn’t Julia just take Charles to court to force the divorce? Bright Ideas, the agency she owns with Claire, is the boldest thing she has done to find herself, find who she is, not get lost in the prison Charles has created for her. he hates it and denigrates it at every opportunity. They are having mild success but as Charles continues to try and block the divorce, he tells her that his law firm can destroy the business. It’s very easy, he tells her, in the climate where he and his partners operate, to start sly rumors, dirty their reputation, start rumors of shady business practices, or that they are overcharging clients and falsifying invoices and bills. If it were just her she might go to war, but she has Claire to think of.

Why is she so desperate to hold onto the house? Because her own childhood was so unsteady. She moved so many times she didn’t know where home actually was. She desperately wants to guarantee security for her children, to have them grow up in the same place until they move out.

Also, when Rod comes to see her after Charles’s death, he threatens her again, tells her if she doesn’t toe the line he will have her declared an unfit mother, have the twins taken away from her. Charles’s parents will get custody and then ship them immediately off to boarding school. She’ll be lucky if she sees them twice a year.

His threats are reinforced every time she is at a public event for business and sees him there also, making it a point to engage one of her clients in conversation. Courtney, her child with Luke, is difficult from the moment she is born. Julia struggles with the child’s behavior, which escalates as she gets older. She resents being shunned by the elder Patterson, although Andy and Beth tell her she’s really lucky. And maybe Courtney is just a difficult, rebellious child despite Julia’s best efforts. (I know, I raised one! LOL!) I can get rid of “brat”-Beth uses it as kind of a term of affection but maybe we need to ditch it.


“Our executive vice president is tied up in a meeting right now,” Howard whispered as the executive staff filed in. “He’s the one who says yea or nay. He’ll join us as soon as he can.”
Great. Would he expect her to do it all over again for him?
She sighed and began her presentation again.
It was well into the afternoon and she was pulling out copies of the proposed budget to distribute when the door to the boardroom opened quietly, and Julia’s stomach dropped to the floor. She felt as if an electric surge slammed into her, plucking at every one of her nerve endings.
The man who silently took a seat at the end of the table wasn’t necessarily handsome, but he was one hundred percent male. Liquid brown eyes were framed by the thickest lashes she had ever seen on a man. She noticed the strong jaw and the lines of character etched on an incredibly masculine face. Straight brown hair, a hint of silver reflecting in the lights, was worn just a little long, giving him a slightly rakehell look.
The classic dark business suit barely concealed the power he radiated. More than that, he exuded an aura of self, of authority, of comfort in his own skin few men were able to attain. She could think of only three words to describe him. Dark. Edgy. Dangerous. In her entire thirty years, no man had ever affected her the way this man did. Certainly not Charles. She clamped down on her reaction, forbidding herself to let her thoughts wander into forbidden territory. As she’d learned, her judgment where men were concerned left a great deal to be desired.
“Let me interrupt a moment.” Manning jumped to his feet. “Julia, meet Lucas Buchanan, our executive vice president. He’s been in another meeting until now.”
“I’m pleased you could join us, Mr. Buchanan.” Julia pasted on her professional smile and hoped her voice sounded firmer to the others than it did to her.
Lucas Buchanan nodded at her. “Luke, please. Sorry to be late. Please don’t let me interrupt.”
She struggled to pick up the threads of what she’d been saying, her brain suddenly addled, and her hands unsteady. It took every ounce of personal discipline to keep focused on her presentation. 

About Desiree Holt

Known the world over as the oldest living author of erotic romance, and referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt
is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.
“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Learn more about her and read her novels here:
Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt
Also on LinkedIn and Google+

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

At Second Glance by Vicki Ballante

My great friend, Vicki Ballante has just released her new book, At Second Glance and I'm happy to help her share it with you. There's a hot excerpt too and don't forget to click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift voucher!


Four years after her divorce, Merryn decides she’s ready to find someone. Joining an online singles site, she connects with the perfect guy. Funny, sexy, sensitive. When he suggests they meet, excitement compels her to say yes.

Kirk pines for his ex-wife, but realizes he must move forward. After several stimulating online chats, he believes she might be the one for him. Smart, sexy, willing to experiment and learn. But when he happens across his ex, all his plans fly out the window.

Will Merryn learn to relax and have fun without giving her heart? Can Kirk forget the past and become the man he longs to be?

Excerpt  (Erotic – Only for 18+)

While the warm spray fell on her, he came up behind her, his male form tight against her. She gave a shaky sigh, longing rising within her again. He pressed his erection against her backside cheeks and eased in between them. She liked the sensation of pressure against her butt, teasing her crack. Was she ready to explore this?
“Tell me if you wish for me to stop.”
He kissed the back of her neck, the roughness of his slight stubble sending shivers down her spine. She arched her neck, and his cock hardened, entering her crack, enticing her. She twisted under his touch, the water making them slick and smooth against each other. Their bodies writhed together, and she spun around for him to put his dick into her. Her wet breasts rubbed his chest. He gave her a tentative kiss, tasting her mouth with his tongue. Fire shot into her belly as their tongues connected, but he didn’t thrust into her yet. As he slicked his torso against her nipples roughly, tingles of pleasure made delirium take over. Every part of her sexuality thrilled.
“Wait.” He stepped out of the shower, dripping wet puddles on a path to the room. He came back with another condom.
Her body was impatient. How could she wait? He came back to her and picked up where he left off, this time bringing his cock towards her. She had to stand on her tiptoes to take him inside her. With the moisture of the shower, he sank in with ease, the angle sending shards of pleasure through her core. He thrust gently at first, then more fervently. She could do nothing but groan as she climaxed, the sound of Kirk’s moans matching hers, his body thrashing against hers.
Exhausted, she soaped herself with her back to him, unable to face Kirk yet. She felt almost embarrassed at the way her wanton behavior took over.
Would he know how long she had wanted this? How she wished she had given them more of a chance? Or how much she still needed him? Could he know she’d dreamed about him at night in her sleep? Upon waking up, she’d regarded those dreams as crazy remnants of a disturbed marriage.
He picked up a facecloth and foamed it with soap. He rubbed it down her back, arms, legs, and derriere, all the while touching her gently with his body. Oh, how good his touch felt. Why couldn’t he have done this before, when she really needed it? The intimacy brought tears to her eyes, clogging her throat.
His reached his soaped hands around and cupped her breasts. She sighed with contentment. She’d needed his touch, his hands upon her in a perfect combination of firmness and gentleness. He showed no impatience or roughness except at their height of passion. Instead giving off all warmth and fire and sweet pleasure.
Was it the wretched wedding ring that had wrung out all the passion? Or had she changed? And he? There were no solid answers. She’d promised herself there wouldn’t be any emotional attachment. She had to leave before she wanted to stay the whole night. Without giving away her sudden panic, she stood under the spray to rinse, stepped out, grabbed a towel, and dried herself. While he soaped himself, she dressed and sat on the couch to wait for him, rubbing her hair with her fingertips to take out the intense moisture. Panic rose in her throat.
“Hi.” He came to the room, his hair glistening, his face relaxed, and a shy grin on his face.
A twinge of nausea ran through her. What had she just done? She’d made love to Kirk, her ex-husband, twice in one night, and had intimate contact in the shower. She’d bared a very personal need and part of her soul to the man she’d grown to hate years ago. He would expect more. His tenderness a few minutes ago had indicated that. She wasn’t ready for more. She’d already given him a part of her heart again. A part he could wring into a hurtful ball.

Author Bio:

Vicki writes erotic and fantasy romance. She loves taking her characters into an alternate world where strange and sexy things happen. She lives with her patient husband and three noisy kids in South Africa. In between being a busy stay-at-home Mom who hates housework and spends half her life cooking everything from scratch, she runs several blogs, writes under another name, and buries herself in the delightful world of her characters. When growing up, her school friends asked her if she wanted to be a nun. She always said “no.” Wonder whether they’d agree if they read her books.

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Online Links for Vicki:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Elemental Magic Series by Brynna Curry

Earth Enchanted
Elemental Magic #1

Blurb: Writer Liv Corrigan has the worst luck with men -- her telepathy tends to make them run for the hills. When she meets widower and ex-cop Jack Roarke, she decides to keep her talent hidden. Things are looking up until their third date crashes and burns as the man who murdered Jack’s wife turns out to be after him too.

Injured, Jack retreats with Liv to his house under armed guard. But with Liv’s mysteries rapidly coming unraveled, a diamond-thief killer to stop and passion in the air, the safe house is anything but safe for their hearts!

To Take Up The Sword
Elemental Magic #2
Blurb: Missing diamonds and a killer on the loose…will a schoolteacher and FBI agent escape with their lives and hearts intact?

After the acquittal of Gueraldi's right hand and favored killer for hire, Ashton Smythe, Special Agent Gabriel Spiller takes time away from his work with the FBI. Having failed in his mission to avenge his lost would be lover, Serena Roarke, Gabe returns to Alabama in search of the missing diamonds needed to reopen the investigation and to lay low from the death threats he's received since Smythe went free.

Almost two years after her sister's death, Leannan O'Neal feels the loss of Serena more now than ever. A secret meeting between them before she died left Lea with an ugly figurine and nothing but questions. Hang-up calls at work and a trashed house reminds her of the card Serena gave her. "If you find yourself in trouble, go to him and only him" were the last words her sister spoke to her.

With Smthye out for revenge and hot on her heels, Lea goes on the run in search of Serena's 'Angel', but how long can Gabe keep her alive, and is the cost worth more than her life?

Wait for the Wind
Elemental Magic #3

Blurb:  Kate O'Connell grew up loved by the Corrigan family, all the while suffering from the inescapable reality of her own alcoholic father. At a young age she gave her heart and innocence to Ryan Corrigan. For once happiness seemed within her reach, until in one horror-filled night, the monster she called 'Daddy' changed everything.

Too many misunderstandings forced Kate and Ryan apart, but now Kate's come home to open her clinic and raise her daughter, Allaina, closer to his family. Will she be able to open Ryan's heart to his magic?

Ryan is glad to be back on Irish soil, but the reason he left still haunts him. As he tries to build a new life and redeem his past, can he forgive Kate and reclaim his healing gift in time to save his sister and her twins? 

Sea’s Sorceress
Elemental Magic #4
Blurb:  Love can come along at the most inconvenient times...
Skye Corrigan treasures family above all else. Standing by his best friend Rhia while she suffers the heartache of losing her father to cancer has strengthened their childhood bond. Lately Rhia affects him in ways she never has before. 
Rhiannon O'Malley shares Skye's past and hopes for a future with him, but love must come with a willing heart. Her father's terminal illness has left her in charge of the family pub. Skye has always been there for her, but when their relationship changes, will she find the courage to claim the future? Or will a thousand-year-old curse keep its grip on two hostage hearts? 

Fire’s Ice
Elemental Magic #5 (series end)
Blurb:  Ultimate power, or endless love? 

Born the son of a Scottish laird a thousand years ago, but now trapped by his cousin's spell, Devin McLoch has seen countless battles and death. The erstwhile thief has turned away from darker pursuits to lead a life of peace, protecting those he loves and considers part of his clan.
However, there is one woman he can never forget, who must be given a chance to change, to accept her heart and his.

Arianne Farrell is just as dangerous and intoxicating as her power. Imprisoned in an ancient stone dance more than a thousand years ago, her only chance at freedom from the spell is through love—a love she denied. When Devin asks for her aid to save another from imminent death, she realizes there is more at stake than just her freedom or her heart.

Series Buy Links

About the Author:  Brynna Curry was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line. After living all over the southern states, she finally landed in North Alabama where she lives with her husband and their three children. Growing up, books fueled her dreams and imagination, ultimately becoming her salvation during the hardest times in her life.Writing is her passion, but she enjoys the fun of sharing those stories with others by reviewing books and working in publicity.
When she isn’t writing or promoting, she’s often found haunting the library for new books to read or just spending an quiet evening at home with Jackie watching old westerns on TV. Although her wizards, shifters and vampires are as real to her as anyone, she insists love is the truest magic and with it every day is another wonderful adventure.

Brynna’s Links: