Grab your favorite beverage, relax, and let me tell you a story…

After Midnight - Black Phoenix #1

Re-edited, revised edition October 2013

Join my Street Team!

Help me promote my books and get the word out about upcoming appearances and releases

Dangerously Sexy Suspense

August 29, 2011

Summer Scorcher Blog Tour Week 5 - Lord Almighty, I Feel My Temperature Rising!

If this is your first stop in the tour, you need to head back to the beginning:

Post #1 is here: http://ajbooks.blogspot.com
Post #2 is here: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Hot fire below!
*AJ grabs the nearest tablet of paper and fans her face*

Ahem…before we continue with any more “pretty” boys, I think it only right we pause a moment to pay homage to my favorite American hero…our nation’s firefighters. You see, I’ve got a soft spot (pun intended) for any man who would purposely risk his life in order to save a complete stranger – so much, I based my latest hero on a firefighter. This could easily be Grayson Greer from Flicker pictured above. He’s yummy, isn’t he?

HELLO! While it’s terribly cliché to say most firefighters are the he-men type that belong somewhere between the pages of a girlie-magazine, um…these guys really do. No, I mean really. These shirtless firefighters are just leaving a photo session for the 2011 South Florida Firefighters Calendar. Can’t you just imagine smoothing your palms over those muscles? Aloe Vera fights burns, you know.

Mmm, mmm, mmm…here’s the Dallas Fire Department, pictured just before they offered themselves for sale at the Hot Firefighters Auction. Check out Mr. Fourth from the Left…it’s enough to make you set fire to something, isn’t it? Too bad they don’t show up to battle the flames this way. Lucky dogs…

And here’s a firefighter from Little Axe, Oklahoma.
Drop that damn crank already and get over here! Water? We don’t need no stinkin water!

I now take you back to our regularly scheduled Man Candy Post. Click this link: http://arialburnz.wordpress.com I’m about to break some rules…but make sure to leave me a comment before you go, to enter the drawing for a free e-book copy of Jezebel’s Wish!

*My thanks to boise.pillblogger.com, weblogs.sun-sentinel.com, dallasvoice.com and okiedoke.com for the firefighting fotos! 

AJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the author of two contemporary romance novels.

Visit her on the web at:
Facebook: Tattered Pages

Jezebel’s Wish Buy Links:

August 26, 2011

Summer Scorcher Blog Tour week 4 - Things that make you go “ooooh!”

Hey, peeps! You’ve traveled over to the next blog, which tells me you’re eager for an excerpt that features some chocolate dipped strawberries and some shmexy good times. Enjoy!!

Hungry and still naked from a marathon lovemaking session that had begun the moment they’d entered the apartment, Halley had ventured into Nick’s kitchen. Craving something sweet, she’d pulled out the chocolate-covered strawberries that had gone uneaten earlier in the day.

Nick’s strong arms wrapped around her waist as she closed the refrigerator door. “You plan on sharing those, I hope.”

The sensation of Nick’s warm skin against hers was nearly indescribable. She turned in his arms and kissed his chest, right at the center of his collarbone. At roughly six-three, Nick towered over her, and she loved the feeling of being wrapped in his well- defined arms. “Of course I do,” she said softly.

Gingerly lifting a strawberry from the small gold box, she pressed the succulent fruit to his lips and cast him a wicked smile. “Open wide.”

Nick bit into the fruit and groaned. “Damn that’s good.” He plucked the chocolaty berry from her fingers and raised a brow. “But I think I know something that would taste even better.” Starting just below her neck, he traced the half-eaten strawberry down her chest and around the hardened tip of her left breast. A visible trail of strawberry juice and chocolate paved the way for his tongue, which followed soon after.

Halley threw her head back and moaned as his tongue swirled around her nipple, and when he grazed the tip with his teeth, her knees almost gave way.

He pulled back, his dark, passion-filled eyes ready to devour her along with the luscious fruit. “Oh yeah,” he groaned with a raspy voice. “Strawberry and chocolate is good. But strawberry and chocolate on that scrumptious tit of yours is a thousand times better.”

He repeated his actions with her right breast, licking and sucking until she was out of breath and dizzy. When her knees gave out a second time, he scooped her into his arms and lowered them to the floor.

Once she was resting safely in his lap, Nick lifted the strawberry, or object of torture, as she now thought of it as, and pressed it to her lips. “My bad, Princess. I’ve been hogging the dessert all to myself.”

Woohooo!! Yowza! (Fans self)

What about you? Have a favorite fruit or dessert that enhances your libido and makes you randy?

Leave a comment on this blog, as well as the other five blogs on the Scorcher Tour to be entered to win a free PDF copy of my erotic suspense, Obsessed. The winner’s name will then be forwarded into a final drawing at the end of the tour for a chance to win a $30 Amazon gift certificate.

The victim of both a brutal attempted rape and now a serial stalking, Halley Davis is broken, and desperate to glue the shattered pieces of her life back together. Tormented by a psychopath and battling a heavy dose of anxiety, sex and dating are the last things on Halley’s anxiety-ridden mind. That is, until she meets the man who rescued her from the hands of a would-be rapist. With a body made for sin, a wicked, sexy tattoo and an aura that screams “badass,” her rescuer not only calms the storm of terror raging inside her mind, he ignites a passion within her she’s never known before.

Tired of using meaningless sex to drown out the horrors of his past, Nick Ackart has sworn off women. In fact, if women were classified as meat, his ass is Vegan. Despite his determination to remain unattached, Nick is unable to stay away from the emerald-eyed beauty he rescued from a sadistic pervert. Immersed in a tangled web of sexual desire and deep emotion he was certain was long dead, he vows to protect Halley from the monster hounding her, even though he stands to lose his heart in the process.

Loose Id- http://www.loose-id.com/Obsessed.aspx
Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Obsessed-ebook/dp/B0053IK8JM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312759046&sr=8-1

Lisa Sanchez Blog- http://www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.com

To continue to the 6th and final stop, click the link to be taken to Amie Louellen’s blog: http://www.amielouellen.wordpress.com/ 

August 25, 2011

Spotlight On...Lynne Marshall

Happy Thursday! Please help me in welcoming Lynne Marshall to 'Off the Keyboard' this morning. Welcome, Lynne.

Thank you for inviting me, Sarah! I’m very happy to be here.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Yes. I’m a late bloomer when it comes to writing, having been an RN for thirty years, and only a writer for the last eleven. I didn’t tell my co-workers what I was doing with my spare time until I’d sold a short story to Woman’s World magazine. I live in Southern California, about forty miles outside of Los Angeles with my husband of almost thirty years. Our two children live out of state, so I help fill my empty nest with my writing. My husband and I love to travel. I’m a Curves devotee and a power walker. Our sweet dog died last March and we are in between dogs, right now, but I love dogs to bits. My RN background helped me break into the Mills and Boon Medical Romance line in 2005.

Tell us about ONE FOR THE ROAD and where we can find it.

ONE FOR THE ROAD is a midlife coming of age story for a new widow named D’Anne who happens to be forty-six years old. She’s stranded outside of Nashville and penniless and needs to take drastic measures to get back home to California. Tyler, a one-hit wonder ten years prior, needs cheap transportation for a three-week comeback tour ending in Las Vegas. Desperate D’Anne has one possession left, a forty-foot deluxe recreational vehicle. You get the picture by now, right?

Since I believe it’s never too late to fall in love, and love has a tendency to show up when least expected, I went ahead and wrote this road trip story. It’s got a fun cast of secondary characters, namely the band and D’Anne’s two grown kids. The three rowdy musicians keep things hopping along with their own problems, which D’Anne keeps sticking her nose into, and her sons let her know they think she’s taken a detour from Nashville to Nutsville by renting out her RV to Tyler and the band. I even threw in one sweet old dog named Dexter. Oh, and I should mention that somewhere between Nashville and Vegas, D’Anne and Tyler fall in love.

What is the most emotional scene you had to write in this piece?

There is a blowout scene between D’Anne, and her son Randy. As a mother, my children mean the world to me, and I’ve been blessed with great kids. Yet I’ve noticed that some kids come out fighting and make life miserable for their moms. Randy is such a character, and there comes a time in the story where D’Anne is completely sick of his harsh judgments about her and has to confront him. She tells him she doesn’t care what he thinks anymore, that he needs to grow up, get over himself, and let her follow her own path. It devastates him, and makes her feel like the worst parent on earth, but it is necessary. For both of them. It tore me up to write that scene.

That would be a difficult scene to write. How did you start writing?

I call it my late midlife crisis. LOL. I thought I was flipping out because these characters started forcing me to think about their story. I thought something was wrong with me, that I was going crazy or something, because they wouldn’t let up until I started to write their story down. Boy did that open a Pandora’s box of new experiences!

I bet! Which comes first, plot or characters?

Characters. Two faces push their way into my mind and I must be able to see the conflict before I can begin to plot.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m an in-betweener. *grin* I have a plot in mind when I begin a book and try to stick to it. This never goes the way I’ve planned because the characters keep surprising me with scenes of their own, which, of course, moves the story in different directions. So, though I do plot and develop a conflict grid before starting a story, I am totally open to my “pantser” side.

What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you? 

Since I was a young girl, I was aware that the books I liked the best had love stories in them. Yes, I enjoyed all kinds of books – To Kill A Mockingbird was the greatest book I’d ever read at age twelve – I discovered Forever Amber in my early teens and thought, wow, they can write these kinds of stories? From then on I kept looking for more. I came late to romance reading, but was really happy to discover it because it always irked me in literary books when the whole book was about a relationship and in the end the couple didn’t make it. What? I loves my HEAs.

Me, too! What are three things you wish you’d known before you began your writing career?

I didn’t begin writing with a career in mind. As I went along and discovered I could actually conceive a story, write it down, AND finish it, I changed my perspective and thought about writing to publish. Here are three things I would have liked to have understood before writing five full length novels.

1. Figure out which genre you write in and stick with it, because if you blur the lines of genres you WILL have trouble selling your book.

2. Category writing is one of the hardest jobs on the planet!

3. Promotion is an ugly beast that will eat you up if you let it, yet you must dance with that beast, whether you want to or not.

What’s next for you?

I am currently contracted for another Medical Romance for Mills and Boon. It will be number eleven. I am impatiently awaiting my first ever Harlequin Special Edition release in March 2012 titled, Courting His Favorite Nurse. I just contracted a Champagne Rose to The Wild Rose Press titled – An Indiscretion. (I’m very happy about that) And I have my fingers crossed for another Last Rose of Summer contract, though am currently holding my breath, and I see revisions in my future, first. Sigh.

Where can we find you on the web?

I have a lovely little website titled: Life, love, and the pursuit…, where anyone can find out about me and follow my blog, which I post once a week@ www.lynnemarshall.com

Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Yes, please! How open are you to new authors? With the gazillion books out there, how do you discover authors you’ve never read before, and what makes you give them a chance?

August 19, 2011

Summer Scorcher Blog Tour - Intimacy and Other Things Part VI

I hope you’ve been paying attention. There will be a pop quiz at the end of this blog. Okay, I’m just kidding. But if you have missed any other the posts, follow the links below to take you back to the correct one.

Part I   http://www.amielouellen.wordpress.com/
Part II   http://www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.com/
Part III   http://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com
Part IV   http://www.findingthewritewords.blogspot.com/
Part V   http://www.arialburnz.wordpress.com

And use them too if you need to go back and leave a comment! :-)

Brodie and Savanna just did things a little…different. They saw each other, got married, then scrambled backwards through the 12 steps even though they were fighting it the entire time. That’s a romance for ya.

Ever wonder why there are no uber romantic dates in romance novels? It would seem logical, huh? The 12 steps in order and falling into perfect place. Bor-ring. No sexual tension. Not enough conflict. But even after the hero and heroine surrender and make love, their 12 steps may be complete, but their journey is far from over. Here’s an example.

Now we know that Savanna and Brodie have already shared a wedding night pre-first page. But they have to still make that getting-to-know-each-other journey as a couple. Their passions get the better of them, and they make love. But all is not perfect in paradise…

Savanna awoke to bright morning light filtering through the gauzy curtains. The sun’s rays started the day with a golden glow. Birds chirped outside the window, their song floating in on a light breeze.

She closed her eyes in the sheer bliss of it all and stretched, rolling over onto her side and encountering...


Last night—him, her, in this room, in this bed—came flooding back with sterling clarity, bringing with it the earth-shattering realization that she loved him. She loved her temporary, accidental husband!

This was bad. Really, really bad.

It was one thing to sleep with him—share unbridled passion—and know she had never felt so glorious in all of her life. But it was another altogether to fall in love with a man she could never have. 

Pulling the sheet from the bed and tucking it around her, she raised up onto her knees and poked Brodie in the chest—hard.

His green eyes blinked once, then twice. She poked him again—even harder this time—as a surge of morning after panic rocked her.

“This changes nothing,” she practically yelled at him. “Nothing, do you hear me!”

“Yeah.” He rubbed the red spots forming on his chest and captured her hand. Undoubtedly so she couldn’t jab him again. “I’m sure the whole house can hear you.”

“It changes nothing. Not one thing.” She lowered her voice, but maybe if she said the words enough times, she could convince herself to believe them. Perhaps she could even convince herself that she wasn’t in love with him.

Conflict doesn’t mean it can’t all work out—one way or another. Of course, you’ll have to read the book to find out. Feel free to head on over to The Wild Rose Press and order a copy, but if you’re feeling lucky, leave me a comment. Maybe your name will be chosen. Yep, that’s right. I’m giving away a .pdf copy of Brodie’s Bride to one lucky winner.

And if that doesn’t make all of your dreams come true, at the end of the tour, the Scorcher girls are giving away a $30 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader. It could be you, but only if you leave a comment! <3 Amie

Just in case you missed a stop on the tour—

Part I    http://www.amielouellen.wordpress.com/
Part II    http://www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.com/
Part III    http://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com
Part IV    http://www.findingthewritewords.blogspot.com/
Part V    http://www.arialburnz.wordpress.com
Part VI    http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com

And thanks so much for listening to my ramblings. Good luck in the contest!

BRODIE'S BRIDE by Amie Louellen
Available Now
The Wild Rose Press

August 18, 2011

Spotlight On...Jennifer Johnson

Happy Thursday! Please help me in welcoming Jennifer Johnson to 'Off the Keyboard' this morning. Welcome, Jennifer. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a voluntary red head since turning 40. My right pinky is perpetually bent since an unfortunate incident involving a knife and frozen hamburger meat back in ‘96. I’d rather be in the woods than on the beach. My favorite adult beverage is a mojito, and I’m currently on a quest for canned pumpkin for a Rachel Ray recipe called ‘pumpkin pasta’. There is NO canned pumpkin in this town! Plenty of pumpkin pie mix, but no plain pumpkin.

Tell us about DOUBLE DOG DARE and where we can find it.

Double Dog Dare is about a woman who wakes up in a hotel room married to a man she’s never met. She considers herself a ‘good girl’ so this really throws her for a loop. Turquoise Morning Press has a cute little bookstore they just opened. You can find the digital and paperback there. Here’s the link. Other online bookstores carry it as well.

What is the hardest scene you had to write in this book?

This is difficult to answer without including a spoiler. Let me just say the first scene of this book opens when Cheris wakes up in bed with a stranger. Originally, the story began the night before in the hotel room. Early on I realized the morning after was the best beginning, but somehow I had to figure out how to include some of the interaction from their wedding night. How to do that if the heroine can’t remember what happened? I think I came up with a pretty good solution.

Who would you cast to play your hero and heroine in a movie?

Oh, my goodness. What a good question. Most movies I watch are classic so I’m not up on who is who these days. In fact, I incorporated my love for classic movies in the story. Every time Cheris, the heroine, gets nervous, she quotes from an old movie. Geoff, the hero, has seen enough classic movies that he can play along. I’ll go with Hugh Jackman for the hero. Honestly, can you go wrong with him?? Finding the actress is about to kill me because there’s a scene in the book in which the heroine swims in her underwear. When the hero sees her, he’s reminded of Sophia Loren. And let’s face it, most of the Hollywood actresses are so pencil thin. I’ll just play the heroine. I did mention I’d be playing opposite Hugh Jackman, right? *grin*

How did you start writing?

The first memory I had of writing was when I was about twelve, and I picked up some of my sister’s Harlequin books. I read a few, and thought ‘I think I want to write a story like this.’ From then on I carried a notebook with me everywhere. I tortured all of my poor friends by reading aloud my stories to them.

Which comes first, plot or characters?

Maybe this is weird, but usually there’s a scene which comes to me first. I write it down-make it three dimensional in my mind, then the characters take it from there. Sometimes the characters surprise the heck out of me because of what they do. I really do write by the seat of my proverbial pants.

Every book I’ve written has had that initial scene-like a photograph. Then the story is crafted around it.

That's great! I do the same thing. What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

I’ve always liked things in pairs. When I was a kid, I’d play with my brother’s matchbox cars. I’d have male and female cars and have weddings for them. With my Barbies there was always a Ken shortage. I’d have to steal my brother’s GI Joe (because at that time, GI Joe was Barbie size). They’d drive around in his cool jeep. GI Joe had more body joints than Ken so he could hug Barbie better also.

This sounds demented. I better stop here.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I’ve always considered myself a writer. I didn’t consider myself an author until I finished my first novel (The Jinx) which was probably around 1998. It was published in 2008.

What’s next for you?

I have a short story coming out in November for a Men in Uniform anthology and another short story for a River anthology. They are both from Turquoise Morning Press.

Where can we find you on the web?

Here’s my website:  http://booksbyjenniferjohnson.com

I also keep an active blog:  http://jennfrancesca.blogspot.com/

Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Sure! Who do you think ought to play Geoff and Cheris in the movie?

Here’s a bit about each of them:
Geoff is a college professor who can be found most nights gazing at the stars. He wears glasses and has dark hair which is a little too long. He looks really sexy in briefs.

Cheris is a computer geek. She beautiful in an understated kind of way with shoulder length hair the color of cinnamon. She’s curvy and is an excellent swimmer.

Also, if you know Hugh Jackman, ask him to call me. I’m looking for a pool boy. The pool is optional. And if you see my husband, don’t mention the pool boy thing. He doesn’t like to swim.

LOL! Thanks for visiting with me today, Jennifer.

by Jennifer Johnson

Available from
Turquoise Morning Press

“We’re all mad here.”   -The Cheshire Cat

When Cheris McDowell wakes up in a hotel room next to the husband she doesn’t remember meeting, she decides the only practical solution is a quiet divorce. 

Too bad the rest of the world disagrees.

As an Internet advice guru, Cheris ought to know how to fix the mess she woke up to, but when her own web master conspires to keep the marriage going, Cheris is at a loss.

Geoff Arrowood III, her new husband, isn’t helping the situation. He’s way too charming and looks a little too good in a Tuxedo. 

Will Cheris choose a little storybook madness or the sensible advice of the wisdom she’s followed all her life? 


Drink Me

“I dare you,” her companion murmured.

“I don’t take dares,” Cheris replied shooting him a disdainful look.

“What about a double dog dare?” He winked, and Cheris’ stomach fluttered. “Do you take those?”

It was silly, really, letting this stranger impel her to anything. Squaring her shoulders she stepped forward into the looking glass and retrieved the drink. Bringing it to her lips, she sipped once and discovered it to be mild yet sweet—similar to cantaloupe in the peak of its season.

“Mmm. Very nice.” She tilted the cup and drained it. “I’ve never tasted anything quite like it.” She licked her lips and tilted her head. Picking up another glass, she set the empty one in its place. “Go over there and drink one.”

The man raised his eyebrows, but walked to the chair. They faced each other as he determined the correct glass to pick up.

“Yes. That’s the one.” Cheris drank from the second glass enjoying the cool liquid. “I’ve got to find out what this stuff—oh!” She gasped as she tripped over the frame.

At once he was at her side steadying her. “Careful there, Alice. It’s the rabbit hole you’re supposed to fall into.”

Oh. My. Goodness. 

Cheris’ hands were on his arms, her fingers sliding over the material, reveling in the solid flesh underneath. She raised her face and blinked up at him. “Whoever you may be,” she drawled. “I have always depended on kindness in strangers.”

August 8, 2011

Summer Scorcher Blog Tour - Week 2 - Beauty

Congratulations, Linda Bolton!
You're the winner of an eARC of


Welcome to week two of the Summer Scorcher Blog Tour! Week one sure was hot, wasn’t it? And I’m not talking about just the weather we had here in Michigan, oh, no, I’m talking about Arial’s excerpts. Wowsa!

I have to admit that I had a hard time coming up with what to write about for this post. Right from the moment I was invited to join the tour I knew what I wanted to share with you — a SCORCHING HOT peak at my upcoming contemporary romance After Midnight — but a topic of conversation to open with? That was difficult for me. But alas, I think I found my topic…


I was surfing the internet a few weeks ago and came across an article that stated only 2% of women in the world today believe that they are beautiful. Let me tell you, my mouth fell open — literally fell open — as I read that figure again. Two. Percent.

Seriously? This breaks my heart. I mean, what makes a woman beautiful? Is beauty in the symmetry of a woman’s face? Her ‘perfect’ 36/24/36 figure? Or is it something else entirely? Is beauty something that can only be measured by physical perfection, or does ones soul play a role?

What makes us doubt ourselves, our ability to be termed beautiful? Is it upbringing? Did you have a neighbor/brother/cousin who called you ugly, fat, or any other degrading name? No? Then let me ask you this, do you count yourself with that 2 percent? Or are you one of the majority — the 98 percent who don’t believe themselves beautiful?

Right about now you’re probably asking yourself what all this has to do with a SCORCHING HOT BLOG TOUR? Well I’ll tell you…

But only if you visit Amie Louellen’s blog.


Leave a comment on this blog AND the other five blogs on the scorcher Tour to be entered into the drawing this week. One lucky winner will receive a PDF copy of AFTER MIDNIGHT and be forwarded into the final drawing at the end of the tour for a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate.

Can music
heal a fractured soul?

September 30, 2011

August 4, 2011

2011 Readers Favorite Award Finalist

On Monday, August 1 the list of finalists for the 2011 Readers Favorite Award was posted and guess what? NOT WITHOUT RISK is a finalist in their romantic suspense category. Wahoo! I just had to share.

And now back to the Summer Scorcher Blog Tour...


August 1, 2011

Scorcher Blog Tour: Why Vampire Are Sexy – Part 2


*We have a winner!
Congratulations, Na, you've won an

Welcome to Part 2 of Arial Burnz’s guest blog post on the Scorcher Blog Tour – Week 1! (If this is your first stop, you’ll want to go back to Part 1.) Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Sarah!!

Continuing with our topic Why Vampires Are Sexy: To be sure, there’s a deep intimacy in the embrace and the contact of the vampire using his or her mouth to drink from their victim or love interest. There’s an even deeper intimacy in the exchange of the life-giving force of blood. Add all that to the penetration of a hot love scene and…Ooooooh laah laah!!! All in all, sensuality is the key!

In this small excerpt, my hero Broderick has entered my heroine Davina’s bedchamber to try and read her thoughts to discover her involvement with his enemy and clan rival. However, Davina is not giving him the information he’s looking for. Feeding from a victim, my vampires learn everything about that person and their lives, so Broderick resigns himself to do just that:

Doh! You’ll have to go to the next blog to read the hot excerpt. Before you do, let’s check in and give a purpose to your post. Continuing to excite the six senses as it pertains to vampires…we’ll explore the sense of taste in this post.

What do YOU find hot about TASTE associated with vampires? Though the idea of drinking blood for us mortals might not be appetizing, many pieces of fiction explain that such tastes change upon transformation. Perhaps the idea of crossing over to that unknown territory entices you. In my novels, being fed from is a euphoric experience that borders on orgasmic qualities. Share your dark desires if you have any!


Leave a comment on this blog AND at the other five blogs on the Scorcher Tour to be entered into the drawing this week. One lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of MIDNIGHT CONQUEST and be forwarded into the final drawing at the end of the blog tour for a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate.

To continue to Part 3 – Visit Amie Louellen’s Blog

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST is available at the following locations in eBook format: