Welcome!

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

After Midnight - Black Phoenix #1

Re-edited, revised edition October 2013

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Dangerously Sexy Suspense

October 30, 2011

October 2011 Second Place Winner: After Midnight

 I'm thrilled to announce that my book trailer for After Midnight is the
October 2011 You Gotta Read Videos Second Place Winner!


Thank you to all of you who voted!
I also want to send out a very special thank you to my friend
Amy Louellen
who created the book trailer for me.





Title: After Midnight
Author: Sarah Grimm
Trailer Creator: Amie Louellen/Amy Did It Productions

October 29, 2011

Open Promo for Authors

Welcome to Open Promo for Authors!  I admit to being a tad bit burned out by my After Midnight Blog Tour, so I've decided to open the floor (or blog post as the case may be) and allow you, my fellow romance authors, a chance to tell me about your book. I'd like to do this once a month, and feature the next month's releases, but for today I'm open to any romance book that is already released or coming soon.

I do have a few pesky rules though:
  • The book has to be a romance. I don't care what genre romance, but my readership is romance so we're going to give them what they love.
  •  You can post for yourself or you can post about a fabulous new book you just read and think we should all run out and buy.
  • If you include a short excerpt in the post, please include a rating AT THE BEGINNING of the post. Let's be thoughtful of those readers who are uncomfortable with some heat levels.
  • Also, I reserve the right to delete a post if it promotes objectionable content. (incest, rape, etc.)
Simple enough, right? Post away!


October 26, 2011

Spread the Word Contest Winners!


 
First let me thank all of you for participating in the Spread the Word contest. I was overwhelmed by the positive response!

I also want to thank all of the authors who donated books to the prize package. I couldn't have done this without you!


Okay...let's get to the fun stuff, shall we?



Prize Package #1 - Print

AFTER MIDNIGHT by Sarah Grimm
NOT WITHOUT RISK by Sarah Grimm
SHARP POINTS OF A TRIANGLE by Rachel Brimble
THE PHANTOM LADY OF PARIS by Calvin Davis
STORM'S INTERLUDE by Vonnie Davis
BRODIE'S BRIDE by Amie Louellen
SHORELINE by Jennifer Loy
MISTLETOE RULES by Stacey Joy Netzel
JEZEBEL'S WISH by AJ Nuest
THE ART OF FANG SHUI by Sandra Sookoo


The winner of Prize package #1 is...Calisa Rhose!
Congratulations, Calisa! I'll be emailing you soon to get your address.


Prize Package #2 - eBook

AFTER MIDNIGHT by Sarah Grimm
MIDNIGHT CONQUEST by Arial Burnz
HEARTS IN DARKNESS by Laura Kaye
DITCHED AGAIN by Stacey Joy Netzel
JEZEBEL'S WISH by AJ Nuest
DEMONS AND STILETTOS by Sandra SooKoo


The winner of Prize Package #2 is..._Yay_ !
Congratulations _Yay_ I'll DM you for you email address.


Prize Package #3 - eBook

NOT WITHOUT RISK by Sarah Grimm
HERE'S BLOOD IN YOUR EYE by Kami Cummings (erotic pen name for Arial Burnz)
TEMPTING ADAM by Jill James
BRODIE'S BRIDE by Amie Louellen
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY by Donna Marie Rogers


The winner of Prize Package #3 is...Isabella Macotte!
Congratulations, Isabella, I'll contact you via email soon.


Last, but not least, taking my cue from Laura Kaye who did such a fabulous job with her shoutout to authors during her last contest, I thought I would share with you the authors who donated books to this one. 



Calvin Davis































































Thanks for helping me Spread the Word! Happy Reading!


October 24, 2011

Awesome Blog Post

No, I'm not talking about mine. :0)

Lea, from Book Lovers, Inc., has an awesome blog post this morning titled: The Power of an Awesome Read

I'm both thrilled and honored that she mentions After Midnight as one of her favorite reads of 2011.

Thanks, Lea!

http://dikladiesrule.blogspot.com/2011/10/power-of-awesome-read.html

October 21, 2011

5 Things Noah Clark Would Never Say

One of the things I’m repeatedly asked is whether or not I base my characters’ physical attributes on real people, and if so, who they look like? Honestly, I never do. When my characters first begin talking to me, I come up with the details – hair color, eye color, height, and skin tone – and an image of my hero and heroine takes shape in my head.

However, as a reader, I, too, enjoy when an author offers up a photograph that resembles how they imagine their character to look. And so I share with you the closest representation of the hero of After Midnight, singer/front man for the rock band Black Phoenix, Noah Clark.


*sigh*

Okay, with that visual in mind, I give you Five Things Noah Clark Would Never Say:

1. Music? I could do without it.


2. My family isn’t all the important to me.


3. I love the sound of my own voice. I never stop talking.


4. I wasn’t all that interested in Isabeau when I first met her.


5. It’s all about being a star – playing sold out stadiums and making the most money I can.




"After Midnight is one hell of a love story! I was hooked at the end of the first chapter. I had to read more. I had to know more. And Sarah Grimm definitely delivered more." ~ 5 Stars, Fire Pages







October 17, 2011

Characters Revealed: Isabeau Montgomery

My Dear Reader-

My name is Isabeau Montgomery. You may know me as the owner of Izzy’s Bar in Long Island City, New York, but thirteen years ago...

I’m sorry. The past is difficult for me to talk about. You see, when I was four I turned the music world on its ear by sitting down at a piano and playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor perfectly, after hearing it only once. I’m what they call a piano phenom, a child with an ear for music; a prodigy. Instantly, I became an international sensation. The media went crazy, people flocked from all over the world to watch me play. I didn’t understand any of it. I was just a little girl doing what I loved. Until what I loved was turned against me.

I survived the accident that took my mother’s life. I recovered the use of my left hand, but never played the piano again. I grew up, inherited the bar after my biological father passed away, and settled into life as a business owner. A life without music was a struggle at first, but I was doing fine. I was happy…until one night, after midnight, Noah Clark walked through my door.

He came to town to record a demo, secure a record contract that will help him reclaim his past and put Black Phoenix back on the charts. I recognized him the moment I saw him, not as the famous rock singer, but as the man who was going to change my life—whether I wanted him to or not.

Noah has this way of looking at me, of seeing me, the real me, not the mask I wear. I feel connected to him, felt it the moment he entered my world. He calls to me, on a level much deeper than simple sexual attraction. When I’m with him I’m not as lost or alone. When I’m with Noah…I hear music where for years there was nothing but silence.

Which is why I push him away. I can’t allow him to get too close to me or he’ll discover my secret, uncover the lie I’ve been hiding behind. Noah might understand me on a level no one before him ever has, but what he doesn’t understand—what he can’t possibly understand—is sometimes the past is better left alone.


October 16, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 10/16


Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday! Thanks for stopping by. I'm still in the middle of a blog tour, so here's a bit more from After Midnight, which recently made the 100 Romance Project top eRomances list!


“Are you thirsty?”

Dry mouthed, he shook his head while the image of her sprawled across the top of that bed sprang to mind. Longing filled him, along with the need to fill his hands with her incredible ass while his tongue explored the bloodstone in her navel—right before following that scar to the groomed treasure hidden beneath those tiny bikini bottoms.

“Hungry? I can…actually, unless you went downstairs, I can’t offer you anything to eat.”

I wouldn’t say that.


Don't forget to visit www.sixsunday.com for a complete list of participating authors. But be warned...your to-be-read list will expand! I know mine always does.


October 13, 2011

Modern Day Corsets: Have we come a long way, baby?

Please help me welcome Elizabeth Means to the keyboard today. After you meet her, make sure to check out her new release, Dangerous Charades.


I’ve worn the same bra size since I was 19. Wish I could say the same about my underwear. But despite those lower -half fluctuations over the years my bra size remains pretty constant. Perhaps it’s because bras are more forgiving. Or maybe it’s just Murphy’s Law that up top is generally not the area where excess fat goes first.

Being a lingerie fanatic, I collected hordes of bras all through my teens and twenties, amassed them like they were going out of style. I sometimes wonder if I didn’t single-handedly play a small role in the rise of Victoria’s Secret stock price in 2005. Anyhow, as a result of my…addiction, I built a collection that would put any lingerie store to shame. With bras popping out of five drawers (yes, five, don’t judge) I’ve rarely needed to buy any new ones since that time. But now, in my mid-thirties, it’s become evident to me my rag-tag collection is in desperate need of an update.

So last week I headed to my local lingerie store. I must admit I felt an adrenaline surge the moment I stepped through the door. I was on the hunt. The familiar anticipation of the search for the sexiest, silkiest, most push-uppiest bra came rushing back to me. One that flattered, but didn’t flatten. One that could create cleavage without pulling the skin all the way from around my back to do it. One that felt so comfortable I forgot I was even wearing it…

The daydreaming continued and with a stupid grin on my face I approached the racks. Imagine my horror when the first garment I passed looked like a torture device.

To give you a little background, I’ve just completed a novel set in Victorian England where corsets abound. Rigid, unforgiving, air-restricting devices meant to slim the waist and accentuate an hourglass form. And they were pretty much a requirement for many. Numerous times while writing the book the thought crossed my mind, “I’m sure glad I wasn’t born in THAT time period. Who could wear those hideous things?”

When I saw some of the frightening undergarments hanging on the racks in the lingerie store it left me wondering if perhaps the Victorian ladies weren’t the lucky ones after all.

The first item I passed was called a “high-waisted” brief. Talk about a marketing department taking liberties with words. I guess if your waist ends directly under your boobs it would be an accurate description. This two-foot long garment was made of super-strength elastic something or another and I kid you not the size “Medium” looked like it was meant for a two-year old. I was too scared to even take it off the rack. The next thing I saw was an even more bizarre item that looked a lot like the first one except it had additional super-duper stretchy stuff extending down the legs to the top of the knees. Also the high-waist part had straps that went up over the shoulders. I guess this was so the wearer could slim their knees, thighs, hips, butt, waist, back and shoulders all at the same time. And likely end up in the ER within a few hours from a seizure caused by lack of blood flow. It did have an area cut-out for the breasts so at least those would be safe from any injury.

I moved past this garment only to find another pair of terrifyingly slimming underpants that actually had padding built into the back of them to increase the size of the wearer’s derriere! Who would’ve thought? A pair of underwear meant to slim you down all around and then puff you up again on the backside. I decided I had to try this one out for myself. In case you’re wondering, by this time I’d completely forgotten bras were my reason for going to the store. I located a size “Medium” (this one looked like it was meant for an 18” doll) and headed for the dressing room.

Once I got inside and held the slimming perky-butt underpants in my hands I felt a slight wave of panic. You see I’m horribly claustrophobic. Trying on tight garments can sometimes set me off. I actually had to use the tiny nail clippers in my purse once to cut myself out of a shirt in a dressing room to ward-off an all out panic attack. I’ve since learned to stay away from really tight things that have to go on over the head.

Anyway, I managed to squeeze one foot through a microscopic leg hole, then the other. I struggled to wrestle the stupid thing up over my thighs and broke a nail in the process. At that moment I began to suspect the stretchy material was made from something supernatural. Or maybe even developed by the department of defense. I don’t know. What I do know is I finally managed to get it on and…wow! Were my thighs skinny. And I had the tiniest little American Girl doll waist! Excitedly I put my pants back on over the underwear and turned to examine my backside in the mirror.

I almost cried when I saw the spectacular sight. That night I bought two pair. I’d have bought more but that would’ve required a small loan. I wore the one I had on home, mostly because it was easier than trying to get them off again. That’s pretty much a two-person job.

Now here I sit on my perky derriere fleshing out stories and happily bringing my characters to life. And yet still very much in need of some new bras. Can’t wait to see what my next shopping trip brings.


To escape an arranged marriage Gabrielle Broussard flees her home to become an undercover investigator with an elite, all-female investigative agency. Her first assignment, as governess at Westford castle to investigate the suspicious death of the Countess of Westford, quickly becomes complicated when she finds herself attracted to her number one suspect.

Lord Julian Blackwell is a survivor. After his father’s bankruptcy, he becomes a self-made man in Victorian England’s booming industrial era. Trapped into a loveless marriage, he has survived the shock of his wife’s sudden death. But now he must survive rumors and outright accusations. Hiring a private agency to investigate and prove his innocence seems like a good idea…until desire threatens to compromise both the case and the life of the investigator.


EXCERPT: Dangerous Charade

Gabrielle raced across the lawn toward a side entrance most often used by the servants at Westford. Dawn was breaking and she needed to move fast. If anyone saw her, she would be hard-pressed to explain why she was returning from a ride at this time of day, in the dark. And carrying a fancy parasol, no less.

She’d almost reached the door when Julian’s voice cut through the still morning air like a knife.

“Gabrielle.”

“Oh!” Her free hand flew to her mouth as she whirled toward the sound of his voice. He stood close to the building, hidden in the shadows. “My lord, you nearly scared me to death! I didn’t see you there.”

“Clearly.”

“Just what are you doing out here, lurking about in the shadows?” she demanded, adrenaline pumping.

“What am I doing?” He stared at her incredulously. “Not that I owe you any explanation for my actions while on my own estate, but I came out to watch the sunrise. What the devil are you doing?”

“I was…checking on Buttercup. I’m told she’s been acting strangely.” Gabrielle took a few more steps toward the building. “But—good news—it appears she’s doing fine.”

In a flash Julian was between her and the door. He regarded her closely. “That doesn’t explain why you’re lugging a parasol around in the dark.”

Gabrielle swallowed hard. She saw his green eyes narrow. “One never knows what one might encounter lurking about in the shadows. I may have needed it to defend myself from something. Or someone,” she added pointedly.

Julian stepped closer to her; they were less than an arm’s length apart. “Do you think you need it now?” The suggestive tone in his voice was unmistakable.

Her breathing quickened, and she averted her gaze. “What I think is that you are most unnerving.”

Julian reached out and tilted her chin up with his fingers. “What kind of game are you playing, Gabrielle?”

She didn’t answer. And he didn’t ask again. Instead he brought his head down very slowly and claimed her mouth with his own.

Author Website:
www.elizabeth-means.com

Buy Link: The Wild Rose Press


October 12, 2011

After Midnight Blog Tour


 

With my After Midnight blog tour officially under way, I thought I would keep you posted as to where I am.

I have lots of chances for you to win, so mark your calendars and join me for the fun!




Here's where you can find me:


9/23/11: Watch for a special contest announcement right here to kick off the tour.

9/26/11: Author Interview at Rebecca Clark

9/28/11: Author Interview at Paty Jager

9/29/11: Guest Blog at Calisa Rhose's Blog

9/30/11: Meet the Author at Warm Days, Cool Nights and Hot Guys

10/01/11: Guest Blog at AJ's Tattered Pages

10/02/11: Guest Blog at Amie Louellen's Blog

10/02/11: Join me for a Cyber Launch Party at Author Island

10/03 - 10/07/11: 5 Day Spotlight at Long and Short Reviews

10/03/11: Author Interview at You Gotta Read Reviews

10/04/11: Guest Blog at Rachel Brimble's Blog

10/05/11: Guest Blog at Katherine Grey's Blog

10/06/11: Character Interview at Penumbra

10/07/11: Author Interview at Heroine's with Heart

10/07/11: Guest Blog at Jill James Writes

10/08/11: Guest Blog at Liz Flaherty's Blog

10/09/11: Sunday Spotlight with Stacey Netzel

10/10/11: Guest Blog at Biting Love

10/11/11: Guest blog at Vintage Vonnie

10/12/11: Guest Blog at Coffee Thoughts

10/14/11: Character Interview at Emma Lai's Blog

10/14/11: Author Interview at Lilly Gayle's Blog

10/15/11: Guest Blog at Desiree Holt Tells All

10/17/11: Guest Blog at Barbara Edwards Comments

10/18/11: Guest Blog at The Romance Studio Blog

10/21/11: Author Interview at Believing is Seeing

10/23/11: Tour wrap up right here!


She wants to forget her past.
He wants to reclaim his.
Can music heal a fractured soul? Or will it tear them apart forever?


October 9, 2011

Review!

Book Lovers, Inc. posted a fabulous review for AFTER MIDNIGHT. Reading it gave me a perma-grin that has carried me through the last week. There is nothing more thrilling for a writer than when a read totally 'gets' the characters.

While Isabeau exhibits strength of character and resolve, scratching below the surface of her armor reveals a fragility, and a firm belief that she is not attractive to men. Noah intuitively knows he must move slowly if he is going to earn her trust. Their romance is a slow burn and the build up to the scene where they finally make love is intense, electric. These two have such explosive chemistry, but even after they become intimate, Isabeau cannot give herself completely to Noah. He wants all of her and feels she must play the piano again to be whole as music is part of her soul. Noah makes a huge mistake in an attempt to force her to play. I felt their suffering when things go very badly.
...
After Midnight was a compelling, sensual page-turner and I was sorry when it concluded. The dialogue is crisp and tense, IMHO extremely well orchestrated. A number of themes are addressed in this novel that form the tapestry of Isabeau's character. Isabeau and Noah's story stayed with me long after finishing and it is a novel I will read again. If you enjoy an unique love story with endearing characters you may like to give After Midnight a try. I’m looking forward to reading more of Sarah Grimm’s work.

Thank you, Lea and Book Lovers, Inc!



October 7, 2011

Contest: Spread the Word!

It's only seven days until After Midnight is released! Seven. Days. So in celebration, I'm holding a contest. A contest that is open internationally. What's up for grabs? Three (3) prize packages. Yup, three.


Prize Package #1 - Print

AFTER MIDNIGHT by Sarah Grimm
NOT WITHOUT RISK by Sarah Grimm
SHARP POINTS OF A TRIANGLE by Rachel Brimble
THE PHANTOM LADY OF PARIS by Calvin Davis
STORM'S INTERLUDE by Vonnie Davis
BRODIE'S BRIDE by Amie Louellen
SHORELINE by Jennifer Loy
MISTLETOE RULES by Stacey Joy Netzel
JEZEBEL'S WISH by AJ Nuest
THE ART OF FANG SHUI by Sandra Sookoo


Prize Package #2 - eBook

AFTER MIDNIGHT by Sarah Grimm
MIDNIGHT CONQUEST by Arial Burnz
HEARTS IN DARKNESS by Laura Kaye
DITCHED AGAIN by Stacey Joy Netzel
JEZEBEL'S WISH by AJ Nuest
DEMONS AND STILETTOS by Sandra SooKoo


Prize Package #3 - eBook

NOT WITHOUT RISK by Sarah Grimm
HERE'S BLOOD IN YOUR EYE by Kami Cummings (erotic pen name for Arial Burnz)
TEMPTING ADAM by Jill James
BRODIE'S BRIDE by Amie Louellen
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY by Donna Marie Rogers


What do you think? See anything there you want to get your hands on? Each prize package comes with a few extras just for fun, so don't miss out! Entering to win is easy. Here's the scoop:


Blog (on your personal blog) or post to Facebook about the release of After Midnight. Every blog or Facebook post equals one (1) entry into the contest. Just MAKE SURE you post a link in the comments of this post letting me know where you helped spread the word.


Do you prefer Twitter? No problem. Tweet about the release of After Midnight. Every tweet that includes the hashtag #AfterMidnightRelease equals one (1) entry into the contest. But DON'T FORGET to use the hashtag or I can't keep track of your entries.


Want even more chances? Join me on Friday, September 30 from 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST for my Twitter Release Party where I'll be giving away Wild Rose Press gift certificates and free downloads of After Midnight. Every reply or retweet during my release party will earn you one (1) entry.


Wait, there's more...Write a review of After Midnight and post it on your blog, Amazon, Goodreads, etc between now and the end of my blog tour - wait, how about the end of October? Yeah, that's better. Write a review between now and October 23, THEN post a link in the comments below letting me know where you helped spread the word. For every location you post a review, you will receive one (1) entry.


At the end of my blog tour I will draw three (3) winners.  Winners will be chosen at random at the beginning of November and announced on this blog. Domestic and international entries welcome. Void where prohibited by law.

Easy, right? So come on everyone, help me get the word out!



October 6, 2011

From an Idea to a Story ~ Lilly Gayle

Did you ever wonder where authors get their ideas? Even before I started writing with the goal of publication, I pondered the various influences that must have come into play when the author was crafting his or her story.

With my own writing, it’s never just one event or historical incident that triggers an idea. It’s several.

When my grandmother died in 2004, one of the things I inherited was an old steamer trunk. Inside were quilts, blankets, and two books. One was an original copy of Miss Nell’s Everyday Cookbook, published in 1892. The other was a reprint of an 1894 Montgomery Ward catalogue. The cookbook inspired a western romance. The Montgomery Ward catalogue inspired an American historical.

Mr. Ward started his business in Chicago Illinois. His first catalog, published in August 1872, consisted of a single sheet of dry goods with instructions on how to order. By 1883, the catalogue had grown to 240 pages with 10,000 items. The 1887 catalogue was 540 pages.

Mr. Ward’s concept of selling products through the mail was innovative and creative. For years, he had no competition--until Richard Warren Sears introduced his catalogue in 1896. That inspired me to create a fictional catalogue business to compete with Montgomery Ward before Sears came on the scene.

After watching Gangs of New York, I chose 1888 New York as the year and location of my story and decided my hero needed to be an Irish immigrant. That meant my heroine would be the rich store owner. It also meant I had some research to do.

I started by typing New York+1888 in the Google search bar and hit pay dirt. In March of that year, New York was paralyzed by one of the worst blizzards in American history.

Before the storm, the weather was mild and unseasonably warm. By midafternoon Sunday, the day before the storm, it started raining. The temperatures dropped rapidly and the rain turned to snow. Shortly before midnight on March 12, 1888, the snow started coming down hard and piling up fast. The storm lasted until the afternoon of the 14th and is still considered one of the worst recorded blizzards in US history. Snowfalls reached 40-50 inches, and the storm packed sustained winds over 45 miles per hour. In some place, snowdrifts reached fifty feet.

The storm, referred to as the Great White Hurricane, paralyzed the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Coast_of_the_United_States East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. People were stranded for days. Horses froze in the streets. And people came together as a matter of survival.

The storm would play an interval part of my story. But I still didn’t have an opening. Then one afternoon as I was flipping through that Montgomery Ward catalogue, I thought of something my grandfather used to say about tobacco farming.

“It takes a strong back and a weak mind.”

I was never sure if he meant those who worked for him had weak minds or if he included himself in that statement. But his words stuck in my head and eventually became the opening line in my American Historical romance, Wholesale Husband.

“What I need, Mr. Tate, is a man with a strong
back and a weak mind,” Clarissa said as the hansom
cab lurched forward.


Blurb for Wholesale Husband:

She needs his name. He needs her money. But can a rich New York socialite and a poor Irish immigrant find true love in the gilded age?

Betrayed by her fiancé and heart sick over her father’s death, Clarissa Burdick is further devastated when she learns she can’t inherit her father’s company—the company she loves—until she’s twenty-five or married. And Clarissa is neither. So she sets out to find a husband strong enough to protect her from her uncle’s thugs, too uneducated to run the company himself, and poor enough to marry a woman in name only. But Irish immigrant Devin Flannery is smarter than he seems and more educated than Clarissa expects. Her Wholesale Husband soon proves a greater risk to her heart than her company.

~*~



Lilly Gayle writes paranormal and historical romance because love is an adventure no matter the century.

You can find her at http://lillygayle.com, http:/facebook.com/lillygayle, http://facebook.com/lillygaylebooks, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/lillygromwriter

October 2, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 10/02


Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday! Today I'm celebrating because not only was Friday my release day for AFTER MIDNIGHT, but it has already received two fantastic 5 Star reviews. Woot!


Here's six from one of the reviewers favorite scenes:


He deepened the kiss, stroking his hands down the sides of her body to settle on her hips. He used them to guide her as he stepped forward once, twice, until her back settled against the trunk of the maple. Awash in the smell of her, the feel of her, he pressed closer, until no space existed between them. Her breasts flattened against his chest, her hips arched into him. Heat from her body flowed into his, sparking a fire. His heartbeat echoed in his head.


Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to visit all the Six Sentence Sunday authors. You can find a list of them HERE. See you next time!