Saturday, May 31, 2014

Scene Spotlight: THE SHAMAN'S TEMPTATION by Erin Moore

A Shaman’s temptation could be the undoing of his people…

Madeleine Greenway, perfectionist and analyst for Surety Bank, has no place in her rigidly organized life for something as unpredictable as a man, much less a Native American shaman. Sent to the White Mountain reservation to help the tribe finance its new casino, she meets Tak, a proud, beautiful Apache, and finds herself surrounded by something magical in the Arizona desert. His touch becomes a passport to otherworldly bliss, and the strange coyote she sees makes her question what’s real. But it’s the amazing sex with Tak that makes Madeleine lose sight of her goal—to guarantee that Surety Bank’s investment in the casino won’t fail.

Last in a long line of shaman shape-shifters, Tak Nah-Kah-Yen has sworn a vow of celibacy to his gods. But Madeleine’s lithe body and honeyed lips compel him to forswear his pledge, claiming her for his own. His passion for her overshadows his link to his gods at a time when he most needs their help. Desperate to find funding for the casino and lift his people out of poverty, he’d accepted start-up money from less than savory sources who are willing to kill to guarantee their profit—the profit Madeleine’s bank jeopardizes…

Publisher: Etopia Press
Date Publisherd: October 2013
Genre: Paranormal romance
Word Count: 19,000
Buy links:

The Scene:

Tak sensed the contained anger in Madeline’s tight walk and pinched mien. Gods, he didn’t want to deal with that. Not tonight. He unlocked the doors of his truck, not bothering to help her up.

But that was a mistake. She must have caught her heel in the grates of his steps; he heard her cry out in pain. He sprinted around back to the other door.

“Shit,” Madeleine cursed as she tried to free her heel with her foot still in it.

Tak shook his head and gently eased her foot out of its shoe as she held on to his shoulders.

“Thank you,” she murmured, barely audible. Evidently those words did not come easily to her. He pulled her down from the truck, and then knelt at her feet to put her shoe back on as she braced herself against him again.

He stood slowly, aware now of the scent of her, a sweet blend of vanilla and cinnamon.

“Madeleine.” He said her name for the first time, liking the feel of it on his tongue. He stroked her cheek with the back of his hand, sorry for his earlier dismissal of her. The shock of their contact ran through him like an electric current. He stroked the sensitive skin below her ears, one finger tracing a line down to her collarbone, calling to her primitive mind. Her body jumped in response and she inhaled, her breath a gasp of pleasure at his touch.

She tilted her head up, her large brown eyes doe-like and trusting, open wide in anticipated pleasure. Gods, but she was gorgeous. She ran her tongue over her pinkened lips, and he grew stiff at the gesture. He grasped her bottom and pulled her close. Her sweet, warm body conformed against his. He pressed her back against the door of the pickup, angling her legs apart with his knee. He forgot his vow, forgot the parking lot, forgot everything but the feel of her soft thighs opening to him.

He leaned in to dip his mouth to hers, his tongue licking at the soft underside of her bottom lip, tasting, exploring. She tasted like her scent, a sweet vanilla. Heat coursed through him, an ignition of the flames that they’d been stoking.

“Madeleine,” he growled against her and moved from her mouth to her neck, licking, sucking. He wanted to rip her apart with his teeth. She arched to meet him, exposing her throat to him. The call of the animal was strong; he was hard and excited. He slid his hands down her back to cup her ass and then pushed up her skirt, wanting to be inside of her. He bit at her neck as if he could consume her and watched her eyes dilate in pleasure. Pliant, soft, willing, she was ready for him. He pulled her tight against his erection, straining against his jeans to be inside of her delicate warmth. When she writhed against his hard cock, he groaned aloud.

She reached for him, making to unbutton his jeans, as if they weren’t in a parking lot. Shit, they were in a parking lot. And he had made a promise. Reality brought him up short.

He pulled back from her. “Madeleine, I can’t…”

Her face was dark, hurt, her eyes flashing. He should never have kissed her, never have agreed to take her around. This was torture.

“I’m sorry.” He knew the apology was lame.

She shrugged and pushed herself back even farther with her hands, and he recognized how hard she worked to maintain her evident anger.

“You’re right,” she said. “Let’s just have a pleasant evening together.”

Tak couldn’t think of anything less pleasant than being in her company and not being able to touch her, but he helped her into the truck’s cab.

Erin talks about what's happening in the scene:

Tak’s dad has asked Tak to take Madeleine out for the night, trying to curry her favor for the deal that she is managing for her bank. Tak agrees to please his dad, but he’s also seen Madeleine in a vision, and seeks to understand why. Tak has sworn a vow of celibacy, but it’ never been that hard for him to keep it under control. Until he met Madeleine.

This scene is their first time in each other’s company, other than a dream sequence, and it sets up everything that follows: they come from very different worlds, and for Madeleine and Tak to be in a relationship, they will both have to sacrifice.

Chaco Canyon Hungo Pavi ruins staircase:

Casting Call:

Kristen Bell would be my choice for Madeleine. She has the right combination of humor and yet you can tell that she’s not just fluff; there is a lot of substance to her acting style, just as there is in Madeleine’s life. They haven’t always made the easy choices.

For Tak, I was really inspired by Rick Mora. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any non-copyrighted photos of him, but he is absolutely beautiful. He has this dark pathos and a real sensitivity to his features, and he can also act; he was in one of the Twilight movies.

Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world.
She's an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing. Fantasy, historical fiction, and romance are her inspirations.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Free on Amazon: Romance Novels from The Wild Rose Press: May 27-30th

  A second-chance romance, an unruly foster puppy and an uptight new neighbor... things are getting a little crazy. 

Tragedy forces her to face the man who broke her heart...
and puts her directly in the path of danger.


A missing Picasso and 10 percent of a hundred million...
And she's On the Hook!

Should she forego the beefcake brigade
and give the sensitive type a try?

Monday, May 26, 2014

5 Werewolf Clichés For Readers and Writers by Melissa Snark

I'm guest blogging on Sheryl R. Hayes site today as part of my A CAT'S TALE tour.

5 Werewolf Clichés For Readers and Writers by Melissa Snark

It seems inevitable that every author of paranormal fiction encounters certain subgenre stereotypes/tropes during their journey to craft an interesting tale. As an author of werewolf fantasy stories, I’m particularly familiar with those that pertain to wolf shifters and lycanthropes. Here are a few of my favorites:
  1. Book title contains the words “Wolf”, “Alpha” or “Moon”. Yes, these words are inexorably linked in the public mind with werewolves so the use of these terms triggers immediate associations.  Must authors bow before this stereotype? I guess it depends, especially on whether you can get your book to market fast enough to snatch up one of the few moon titles left that haven’t been wretchedly overused.
Read the rest here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

WRITING A SERIES by James DiBenedetto || DREAM HOME (#7 Dream Series)

“Oh, my God, I’m not even starting the job for four months!  How can I have an enemy already?”

Sara thought she had found the perfect job, the perfect new house and the perfect place to build a bright future for herself and her family.

But her new life is not quite perfect.  Her husband and her children are fitting right in, but before Sara even shows up for her first day of work, her coworkers are dreaming about getting rid of her. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, the one friend she’s made is dreaming nightly about a disaster that could wipe out the entire town…and Sara is beginning to think he might be right…

Dream Home is the exciting seventh book in the Dream Series.

Available for purchase:

Dream Home

I didn’t set out to write a series, so it’s kind of surprising to me that my Dream Series is up to seven books as of today, with at least three more still to come.

I only began writing the first book in the series two years ago, and only then because a friend had just sold her first novel to a small publisher, and I said, “why not me?”  I had a draft of a novel I’d finished a decade before, which wasn’t all that good, and I dusted it off and rewrote it from the first page.  It went from not-very-good to (I like to think) pretty darn good, and when it was finished, I didn’t really plan on writing a sequel, but I had a lot of writing momentum, and when I stepped back and thought about it, I saw that there was a perfect opportunity for one.

That first book, “Dream Student,” ends with our heroine, Sara, planning to go to medical school and about to get engaged to her boyfriend.  So I had two things to explore: her life as a newlywed, and coping with her first few months of med school.  And, of course, there were her dreams, too.  In the first book, Sara kept visiting the dreams of a serial killer, and she had to use the clues in those dreams to figure out who he was in real life, and then track him down.  I didn’t want to repeat that formula, so I had to come up with some other problem that would arise in her supernatural dreams.  I reversed the idea from the first book: instead of knowing what the crime was, but not the perpetrator, this time she would see the dreams of several people, all of whom wanted someone (Sara’s least favorite teacher at the medical school) dead.  If the first book was (plotwise) more like “Silence of the Lambs” (in that book, the FBI knows who Buffalo Bill is and what he’s up to, but not how to find him), the second book, “Dream Doctor,” was more like an Agatha Christie mystery.

Again, I didn’t plan to write another book, but once I got to the end, I found that I’d left myself a golden opportunity.  The second book ends with Sara learning that she’s pregnant, and that brought up two wonderful issues to explore in a new book.  First, parenthood, and, second, what if Sara’s “gift” is genetic, and her child inherits it?  The idea of Sara having to interpret the dreams of a four-year-old to try and figure out a mystery was too good to pass up, and so “Dream Child” was born.  And this time, I came up with another kind of problem: a corrupt politician. 

As I wrote “Dream Child,” I knew there’d be a fourth book, and I had the perfect idea: someone outside Sara’s family with the same dream-visiting power she has, but who uses it for selfish, evil purposes.  AS I began the fourth book, “Dream Family,” though, the story changed on me.  I intended to have Sara be arrested and spend a night in jail midway through the book.  It was meant to be a minor plot roadblock, and possibly something that would be laughed off afterwards.  But as I wrote the arrest and jail scenes, they became something very different, and far more serious.  And I realized I was writing the wrong book.  The book I needed to write was about Sara going through a traumatic experience, one she was totally unprepared for, and which would break her – and how – or if – she would recover from it.

The idea of a rival dreamer was still there, though, and it became the plot for book #5, “Waking Dream.”  The weeds of the following book were sown there, as well.  Sara learned, in fighting her rival, that she had the power not just to visit other people’s dreams, but to affect them.  She also saw firsthand the cost of doing It, and swore never to attempt it herself.  So, in book #6, “Dream Reunion,” I had to challenge that – her problem in that book is an old college friend who’s been driven to desperate measures to save his business, and Sara is sorely tempted to go into his dreams to help him, or save him from the consequences of his plans.

That gets us to the book that’s out today, “Dream Home.”  I had to come up with another new challenge for Sara, and I went back to something I remember from high school English class: there are only three basic plots.  Man vs. Man (covered in books 1-3, and 5), Man vs. Himself (covered in books 4 and 6) and Man vs. Nature – which obviously had to be the story of “Dream Home.”  And so it is…please take a look at it, I think you’ll really enjoy it, and the rest of the Dream Series books!  

J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.
He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he's not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.
The "Dreams" series is James' first published work.

Social Media Links:

About the Dream Series
What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?  That’s the question Sara has to wrestle with in the Dream Series.  We first meet her as a shy, bookish college student who doesn’t think there’s anything extraordinary about herself.  And then the dreams start…
Over the course of the series, Sara learns to live with these supernatural dreams and all the trouble they plunge her into.  At the same time, she grows from a student to a practicing doctor; and from a single girl to a wife and mother.  But every time she thinks she’s got everything figured out, life – and her extraordinary dreams – teach her that she’s always got more to learn…
Purchase Links:

 Dream Student (Book 1) 

Dream Doctor (Book 2)

Dream Child (Book 3)

Dream Family (Book 4)

Waking Dream (Book 5)

Dream Reunion (Book 6)

A Box of Dreams (Books 1-5 in one Box Set)