Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Romancing Flash Fiction ~ The Heart's Misunderstanding

Truthfully, I have no idea how or when what is currently called Flash Fiction came into being, or who wrote the first one. My first introduction to the creative challenge and extreme pleasure of penning 100 word Flashes began with Flash Fiction Sunday on the Liquid Silver SEx blog.
I was tentative about joining in the outrageous fun, at first, having no idea how to write one. While I haven’t really gotten into Sunday’s cyber-wild party of Chippendale dancers and free-flowing tequila that often goes along with the flash-ing, I have definitely discovered a niche for myself ~ what I call Serial Flashing. Or writing a scene or a story in 100, 150 or 500 word installments.
Flashes are not, obviously, limited to those word counts. It’s whatever size floats your creative talented boat.
Currently I have a Serial Flash in Two Hundred that I began last December 26, titled ~ Happy Courtship on Another Earth ~ which is still running on the
Liquid Silver forum and is written 200 words at a time, each day. First, I write the heroine’s voice, then the hero’s voice. I began it as an experiment to find out the response and because I enjoy creating Sylva and Zeke’s love story... boy! do I enjoy creating their Wild West meets modern times, alternative timeline story. Right now, I’m up to Part 122, or 14,400 words.
For this blog, I thought I’d share my flash from last Sunday, with an added two flashes... because it’s a happily ever after theme common in romance novels, especially of ye olden days when I began reading them. Part of the inspiration that flickered before my mind’s eye was Rhett’s love for Scarlett in Gone With the Wind... what would have happened if... well, if several things were different, including the culture itself. Although, to add, the heroine and hero do not resemble Vivien Leigh or Clark Gable.

The Heart’s Misunderstanding

Giddy with happiness, she raced down the long staircase. Surely wings were attached to her slippered feet. Pausing at the bannister, she caught her breath. He was here, waiting for her in the reception room. Terrance, the love of her life. She’d seen his personal coach from her balcony. At last evening’s ball, he’d hinted at his arrival this day. Her diaphanous daygown whispered around her ankles as she floated forward. What would she say when he asked for her hand in marriage? How would she say her acceptance? Would she smile demurely, or would her tears erupt in joy.

Terrance spun around on the heel of his superb cavalry boots, a wide smile on his solid handsome face. His gaze beamed with the strength of several suns. “Oh, Terrance,” she breathed out her heart. Kalvesta rushed toward him and swore her feet felt like hummingbirds’ wings. She halted as swiftly when he suddenly frowned, his countenance resembling the quiet before a storm. “What is it?” fell from her lips.
“Kalvesta, my sweet one.” He moved to her, grasping her hands inside his. “It was your sister, Lolenda, I asked to join me.” He paused, compassion owning his gaze. “I am sorry.”

Kalvesta’s world whirled and crashed around her. If she had been a tower she would have crumbled into unrecognizable dust. “I, I am sorry.” She stuttered over her words and felt everything inside her die. Her heart stopped and refused to start. Still, she noticed its tiny resilient thump inside her chest. How do I remain standing, she wondered. A terrible bubble of silence surrounded her and suddenly she could see nothing. “Please, do not let Lolenda know I was here.” Tearing her hands from Terrance’s kind grip, she fled. On instinct she found the garden doors and flew outside.

Dhaldago unfolded his arms, observing the woman he wanted with a ferocity that owned his soul, burst out the tall ornate door – as he had surmised would occur, once she discovered Terrance had arrived for her sister. Her lovely delicate shoulder had been coldly shown to him every time he’d made the slightest courting advance. Now, she would be his. He had carefully spoken his desire to her parents, gaining their consent. Although, it was his right to boldly take her in marriage, since her sister was the younger of the two. Shoving away from the stone wall, he sprinted.

Keeping a falcon eye on his Kalvesta, Dhaldago marveled at her fleetness of foot. Yet, wasn’t that one reason for his loin’s passion? Her female form was all fragile sumptuousness while her spirit in whatever sport she played was savagely glorious, and more often than not, she triumphed. Gaining on her, he watched her jerk to a halt beneath a weeping willow tree. Her small hand flattened on the trunk before she doubled over, crumpling onto the ground. Not caring how much she loathed him, Dhaldago raced to her. Before she could react, he scooped her up into his arms.

“What are you doing?” Flames owned her tongue. Still, she remained stunned and too emotionally weak to struggle against his hold as he strode with her along the path.
“My coach awaits for you, my intended bride.” He glanced downward, glimpsing her sea-sensual eyes, now huge pools of shocked realization.
“No.” He felt the force of her whisper.
“Yes. I have right of marriage.”
“I will despise you forever!”
“Your hatred is preferred over life without you, beautiful woman.”
“How can that be?” she fired on him with her tone. He acknowledged the scorch of her strike.
“Simple. I want you.”

“You are a fool just as I am a fool.” Her tone demonstrated she gave no quarter to herself. “I am betrayed by my own unreliable heart. You are betrayed by your baser desires,” she charged.
“Forgive my frankness so early in our life together, my precious Kalvesta, you know nothing of my heart, nor my soul... nor my baser desires.”
Dhaldago continued his long rapid strides, his obsidian-colored coach in sight now. The gold trim and his dynastic crest subtly gleamed in the lesser light of Autumn. The six elegant, yet substantial-bodied horses displayed eagerness, restless in their harnesses.

Their dark golden coats shimmered more brightly than his door crest.
“I must assume I will soon know your baser desires despite my unwillingness.”
Her pride and her trembling little fright of him sliced to his heart as if his chest had been opened by a battle axe. Still, his passion for her ruled.
“Oh, I shall cause your explicit and exceptional willingness,” Dhaldago darkly promised.
She thrust up her delicate and defiant chin, pretending to ignore him. Catching sight of his coach and horses, she started, then stared. “They are lovely as heaven,” she burst out softly. “Your horses.”

May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

Sizzle Romance Title coming from Savanna Kougar ~ MAY 1, 2009 release date.

HER INSATIABLE DARK HEROES ~ what does it mean when The Harbinger arrives on a world devastated by weather wars...where super powers are given to a few... coming from Siren-BookStrand ~ ~
Escape into the seductive fantasy romance of your choice ~ FICTIONWISE ~ ~
For my novels at KINDLE, MOBIPOCKET & ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS ~ Search *Savanna Kougar* ~
WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ >>>Now in Print<<<>

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Book with a View... and 5 Wings!

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I got to visit here, and I'm now a few days late thanks to a South African cyber-connection failure. Still, I'm here, and I'd like to share a little on a Book with a View...

The Look is set in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, a wide sweep of land that climbs up to become the foothills of the mighty Drakensberg Mountains. Now, for those who don't know, I have a thing for mountains. I love the towering peaks and tumbling valleys, and the shifting of light and shadow that give them an ever-changing, breath-taking beauty I seem to never tire of. The valleys are as much a part of them, as they have given to create the heights, and been blessed with a singular beauty in return.

Morgan heads off into the back of beyond in search of the truth and stumbles on an old house that draws her inexplicably to explore. The house has truths of its own to tell, but it also overlooks one of these same sweeping valleys....

"Instantly, as if someone had wiped a chalkboard clean, her mood changed. The huge living room, a masterpiece of wood and stone and glass, took her breath away. The entire length of the room, unbroken except for the narrow frames of the picture windows, looked across a valley. The panorama rolled out towards the shadow of the hills in the distance. High up, so the entire vista was easily visible, the house seemed to own it, the view simply an extension of itself.

Swathed in the lazy haze of afternoon sunshine, the valley, the house, the whole picture seemed to take on a magical, other-worldly quality. An odd but comforting scent of what she thought could be lavender drifted through the slightly dusty smell that surrounded her, hinting at things beyond the here and now. The silence crept in, crept around her, but with a sense of welcome rather than isolation.

Spellbound, Morgan crept forward to lean her forehead on the surprisingly cool glass. The place had a sense of completeness about it, like a homecoming, odd and confusing, but strangely normal at the same time. She didn’t even try to explain it. Just soaked it up like a dry, thirsty sponge."

I'm always astonished at how vast and immeasurable is the beauty that defines Africa, and how the images remain long after you leave them. The valley in The Look could be any one of the many I have seen, or all of them. It's a vision that stretches the eye and the spirit, and makes one look beyond the here-and-now, into a world of possibilities.

Here's what the Classic Romance Revival Reviewer had to say:

The emotions in the novel are subtle and powerful, shown rather than told so the reader can feel with the heroine. Morgan is a perky, sympathetic character and Blake a good foil to her. Morgan’s a lovely tease and Blake certainly needs taking down a bit so I enjoyed their back-and-forths. Beneath their banter is a far more serious issue, the reason why Morgan has come to Thornleigh, and that is handled with great delicacy.

The cat is adorable - if you read the book you’ll see why and how - and the whole easy-going way of country life in South Africa is very appealing. Clearly Judah Raine knows the country and knows what she is talking about: the rhythms of life and people and their speech are perfectly caught. Fishing can be romantic, too - if you read The Look, you’ll understand!

To view the full 5 Wings review, visit the CRR blog at

To find out more about my books, or see more of my Images of Africa, visit my website at or my blog at Or visit the Neverending Story at my RomanticSynonymous blog at

I hope to see you there! Take care,

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Astronomy has always interested me. When I was a kid, I would take my little Golden Guide to the Stars and my flashlight to the back yard and gaze up at the constellations. Winter or summer, and winter in New England is pretty cold, on most clear nights I would go outside and look at the stars. Back then, I didn’t have a telescope, or even binoculars. When I was in college I received a small telescope as a gift. I still have it buried in the basement, but I haven't used it in years.

Maybe my childhood interest in the stars had something to do with the astronomy theme in Lady of the Stars. I'm still not sure how the idea came about. Anyway, the telescope the hero, Richard, owns is a real one. I looked up antique telescopes on the web and found this Pallant.

This telescope is ideal for my story. It's a real, 19th century English telescope, perfect for Richard to own. The telescope is also small, less than a foot long, so Richard or Caroline could easily carry it to an observation position. It figures in Caroline’s and Richard’s courtship, as well as providing a link between past and present.

I rarely look at the stars now. Too many lights and too many trees obscure my view. I still remember most of the constellations’ names, and I always stay up and watch any lunar eclipses that are visible in my area. But, as Lady of the Stars shows, I haven’t completely forgotten my childhood interest. Maybe art does imitate life.

Thank you, all,


Linda Banche

Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal

Lady of the Stars--A legend spanning time, and the man and woman caught in it--Regency time travel, available from The Wild Rose Press

Pumpkinnapper--Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled, and a jealous goose. Oh my--coming September 30, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crazy Mind Control - Help, My Characters Hate Me!

Have you ever felt that way while writing a story?

Have you ever had things you felt you were adament about doing or not doing and then you find your characters taking advantage? While I never say never because that seals my fate, there are just things I don't want to do. Writing first person is one of those things.

Oh, my gosh!

If I could set the heroine up on a pole in my backyard and enjoy some target practice, I would. Shame it's illegal to fire a firearm within city limits. LMAO

She's out of control. All of sudden, she's decided she wants to be written in first person. No, no, no, I keep telling her. I was going along, doing just fine. I've never had issues with writing third person. Then bam, I find this entire scene is first person. The only scene at this point that is first person. I've tried changing it, she won't let me. I tried switching to his pov -- no go. Right now, they are both in time out. He's enjoying it too much. He's the type to sit back, egg her on, and watch for fun. And he's so darn cute doing it, too.

I know this is only the first draft and I can worry about it in the fleshing out stage, but damn! I want my way in this story. It's my turn to have my way. The characters in Contemptible Service won.

I know the story has a HEA. So, does it really matter how it gets there? I think it does. At least for some readers.

After yet another fight with Jaycee yesterday, I was browsing review sites - something to do. I'm not expecting more reviews on current titles, though one popped up the other day. So, I was in this one site and my heart stopped when I saw a one heart given. I felt so bad for the author and wanted to wrangle the reviewer. It's just wrong to post a review under a three for any author. If an author wants to post it, fine.

So, anyway, I read the review, curious as to what the reviewers problem was. For her, the first person written format didn't work period. It didn't allow for enough characterization, didn't allow for the fleshing out of the plot and so on. The elements and potential was there, but the author didn't go anywhere with it. While we all know reviews are subjective, it struck a cord with me.

While not many authors can pull off writing first person so I don't notice it's first person or feel like I'm invading privacy, my interest in the reviewers comment was purely in the respect of what I may lose by letting Jaycee win this battle. Will readers lose who she is and only see the emotions of the moment? And of course, things escalated from there. I cut the first person scene and set it aside. We'll see what happens.

Since I've seen the end of the story, the happily ever end is still in intact - I haven't lost what is and will be between the main characters and that's the important part, I think.

I'll just be glad to finish this series of stubborn characters. lol Never thought I'd ever say that.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gorgeous Men in Tight Breeches and Ruffled Shirts II

What's Wrong With This Picture/Excerpt?

In Part I, we discussed Regency men's clothes. Although the era saw the birth of modern menswear, Regency clothing is not exactly the same. Errors abound in many romances. In this post we'll discuss three common errors in the portrayal of the Regency gentleman’s wardrobe.

What's wrong with Gorgeous Gentleman #1's clothes? The problem is his shirt. Men's shirts didn't button all the way down the front until the end of the nineteenth century. The front was open to about halfway down the chest, much like a present-day man's polo shirt. There may or may not have been one or two buttons to keep the collar closed. And a gentleman always wore a cravat to keep his shirt top closed.

The only way GG#1 could show off that great set of washboard abs in a historically correct shirt was to pull the shirt over his head. Or, the heroine could tear it off him in a fit of passion--the modern version of the bodice ripper.

The shirt GG #2 is wearing is correct. But what's wrong here? His shirt is correct, and our hero even has ruffles at his cuffs (oh, I do like ruffles on a man!). The answer--GG #2 is wearing a belt. Regency men held up their breeches (generic term for what they wore on their lower bodies) with braces, also called suspenders.

My third example is a passage from Miss Lockharte's Letters by Barbara Metzger:

"And I saw you trying to corner her in the choir loft. If you ever managed to keep your pants buttoned, we wouldn't be in half this mess."

The error here? The word "pants" is an Americanism, first found in the works of Edgar Allan Poe, around 1840, according to An Englishman would refer to the garment as "trousers". And if he were in the presence of a lady, he would call them his "unmentionables", if he referred to them at all.

I found lots of pictures of gorgeous gentlemen as I searched for images for this post. But I hit the jackpot with GG#2. Unlike some writers, I don't use a picture of an actor or model as inspiration for my hero. But when I saw GG#2, I knew I had found Richard, the hero of Lady of the Stars.

GG#2's hair is a little too long, he's wearing that belt, and he would never appear before a lady without a cravat, waistcoat and coat (jacket). I like to think he's in his bedchamber, early the morning after he met Caroline, the heroine. He's thinking about her, and already falling in love.

And here's our Happily Ever After.

Thank you all,


Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal

Lady of the Stars--A legend spanning time, and the man and woman caught in it--Regency time travel, available from The Wild Rose Press

Pumpkinnapper--Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled, and a jealous goose. Oh my--coming September 30, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press

Friday, April 17, 2009

Marketing with Music

I have to say that the whole promotion and marketing aspect of writing is a challenge. I actually do PR for a local college here in NY. Promotion and community relations is what I do. It's really cool to do it for my own stuff though....especially for my books. Now, as an ebook author, it's a tad more challenging to promote your work to the masses. Traditional book signings aren't exactly the right fit. Also, the general public hasn't fully embraced ebooks yet. Some people, I know, look skeptically at me and wonder if I'm publishing "a real book". Sad but true. does an ebook author do a signing or a book launch event without a traditional book? Borders isn't going to host one until it's in print.

Here's my solution. I'm burning my book onto CD's, packaging it in a DVD case (looks more like a book than a CD case does) and printing the book cover in color, which is then inserted into the DVD Case. Okay...that problem solved. Second issue....where do you have it and what else can you do to get people in the door.

I found an amazing musician, Amy Petty, thanks to a DJ buddy of mine. She's on a record label and has new album out. One of her songs, Honey on the Skin, is the perfect theme song for my second book. Gratefully she and her label are allowing me to use it in the upcoming book trailer. Now...take that a step further. She's an up and coming musician who want exposure too. Why not work together?

I approached a popular pub here in NY, Fogarty's, and asked if I could host a book launch in the bar. I also have a talented singer/songwriter who's willing to play the event. They jumped at it.

So...we've got a nicely packaged ebook that people can hold in their hands and I can sign. We've got an incredible singer who's performing to boost the texture and feel of the entire event. It's all good!

You can check out her songs at her website

But it gets better. John Campbell, my DJ friend, then spoke with another band he works with, The Strike Nineteens. He told them about the vampire series that I'm working on. They wrote me my own bloody song. No kidding. In like 3 days this total stranger sat down and wrote my WIP it's very own song. How cool is that? It's titled Forever in Darkness and you can hear it on my website it's pretty cool.

Check them out on Myspace

I'm finding that by combining music with the stories is a great way to really draw people in and enhance the entire experience. Marketing with Music ROCKS!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

"Never Judge a Book by It's Cover". I know we've all been force fed this our entire lives. I've even written about it in my first book Charmed from Ellora's Cave where my heroine doesn't take the hero seriously because he's supermodel gorgeous. But today, while checking my email I ran into another top Buzz story on Yahoo!

Yes, I'm a sucker. And of course, I had to click on it and lo and behold the story was about one the UK's biggest moneymaker, "Britain's Got Talent" and one of its contestants, Susan Boyle who wowed the judges and audiences on a recent episode.

How did she do it? Ms. Boyle has a voice that rivals Leontyne Price or if you're too young to remember her, Charlotte Church (what happened to her anyway?). The Twist? Ms. Boyle is stuck in the body of Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch sans the trash can.

So, add her appearance, the fact that she's never been kissed, and was seeking fame and fortune at the age of 47 (Simon looked epileptic when she gave her age - what's up with him and age?) they pretty much put her on the shelf with William Hung.

But before Ms. Boyle could complete the first line of "I Dream A Dream" from Les Miserables, the crowd was standing on their feet.

And no less than thirty seconds into her performance, Simon Cowell looked as if wanted to propose . Or maybe he was counting all the money he was going to make off the diva who lives with her cat, who will one day perform to sell out audiences on Londons' West End? I'm sure it's the latter.

To see Ms. Boyle's tear jerking performance visit:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Baby is One Year Old

Darius Markum, a man Cheri London meets online, agrees to help her conceive a child she wants. Darius sets out to win Cheri's wary heart, but before they can meet, she's injured and a rescuer named Allen comes to her aid. After a night of passion, Cheri returns home without meeting Darius, until she discovers Darius and Allen...

A Psychic Hitch came out April 14, 2008. Today I’m celebrating the anniversary of my first erotic contemporary release. From those who comment, names will go in a hat for my husband to draw three winners. 1st – autographed copy of Servin’ It up, containing A Psychic Hitch and the second story in the series, Last Glass of Wine. 2nd - one of my logo hats. 3rd - A Psychic Hitch ebook.

Shush now, I know the real anniversary is tomorrow. We blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday here.

A peek into the history of the story:

This story came about in December 2006. In September and October of that year, I wrote a 60,000 word book in six weeks. November was NANO month where I wrote a bit over 50,000 words, had the flu and had a hard drive crash while working five shifts a week. Needless to say, when December rolled around, I was exhausted, burnt out. I had a couple of projects waiting, but I had no drive to dig into them. I needed something different.

So, one morning, I was on my way to work. I was thinking about a woman who didn’t need a man to be who she was and what she was. She could be strong, call the shots. One thing led to another and by the time I came home, I had the gist of the story and only needed to get it down on paper, so to speak. It was a much shorter story than the final product. I was encouraged to submit it for a ‘call’ and it was rejected within twenty-four hours.

I continued to work on the story, and after three more rejections it was picked up by Siren Publishing. While not all reviewers appreciated my a-typical heroine and hero, most did.

5 Stars – Manic Readers
4.5 Roses - The Romance Erotica Connection
4.5 Euros - Euro-Reviews
4 Angles - Fallen Angel Reviews
4 Cherries – Whipped Cream4 Cups - Coffee Time Romance
4 Moons – Moondance Reviews
4 Delightful Divas – Dark Diva Reviews
4 Stars – Joyfully Reviewed
B - Simply Romance Reviews
3 Stars - Review Your Book
Book Cove Reviews

It spent 59 days on the publishers general bestseller list and 43 of those days on the 30 day bestseller and has made multiple appearances back on the general bestseller. Basically, these are bragging rights, but still, I'm very proud of the response my first release has received.

Here’s an excerpt rated R:

“I’ve never met him,” she admitted.

“You came all this way to see a guy you don’t know? Why?”

She studied him, not quite sure how to explain. Would he think her stupid or worse—label her as a nutcase? “We met in an online service and I thought…well, he seemed perfect. Too perfect to follow through on the terms, I guess.” The thought of another wasted ovulation period threatened to depress her. She brushed her hands over her face to help wipe away the niggling fact she might never have the child she wanted.

“Terms?” He checked the cut and moved down on the floor. With his fingers, he checked the water temperature in the basin. “I need you to sit up and put your feet over the side of the bed.”
She scooted, wincing as she moved her foot. He cupped the heel as it came over the side. Instinctively, she pulled it back. The movement pronounced the throb, but his touch intensified the ache between her thighs.

“Go on, tell me about the terms.” Allen’s hand slipped up to her calf as he wet a cloth and washed the blood from her foot.

Cheri took a deep breath and let it out with a whoosh. He tried to be gentle, but it hurt. “I want to have a baby, so I went to see a psychic friend of one of my sisters. She confirmed I’d have the child I want.” Her breasts rose and fell when he ran the cloth between her toes. She’d never had anyone wash her feet before. Somehow it seemed intimate, sexual and a need spiraled through her midsection.

“And the problem is?” He dried her injured foot, being careful around the cut.

She jerked her foot when he again checked the depth, but he had a good hold on it. “It requires sperm to fertilize an egg.”

“Yes, it does, but that wasn’t what I meant.”

He tried to hide the smirk by keeping his head lowered, but she saw it. “Since the man I came to meet didn’t show, well, I can hardly produce it myself.” She swallowed the thickness lacing her voice.

“Isn’t that half the fun? Searching, getting to know someone, finding out if the chemistry is there, and setting up the meet to see if the online feelings flow into real time.”

“I’m not looking for a relationship. It’s a business deal. A weekend of free sex, and if conception occurs, he’ll sign a contract freeing him of all rights and obligations.”

“So, then, why not go to a sperm bank?”

“I have my reasons.”

He tilted his head, eyeing her. “So, are you doing this because of the psychic?”


“I can’t believe you’d have trouble finding volunteers where you live.”

“It wouldn’t work for me.”

“So, you’d rather chance the history of a stranger than someone who could ease your mind about certain facts of family history?”

He touched the cut with the tip of his finger to apply the ointment. She groaned. “That stings.”

“Sorry. I should have warned you.” He set the tube down and picked up the butterfly bandages. “This is going to hurt, so take a deep breath and let it out.” When he pressed the open wound closed, she sucked in air and held it. “Breathe, Cheri.” She did, but gripped her thigh with tears in her eyes as she watched him put the Band-aids in place and tape a gauze pad over them. “Tomorrow, we’ll let it air, but tonight let’s keep it clean and dry.” His hand massaged her foot and up her calf. Damn, she could get used to his bedside manner. “How does that feel?”

“It’s fine. Thank you.” Allen picked up her other foot and set it in the warm water, rubbing the sand off with his fingers. She looked up at him and saw the corners of his eyes twitch. He knew what he was doing to her.

“So, what other requirements need to be met for this prospective donor to fertilize you?”

The way he said it made it sound so cold, and maybe it was. It’s the way she needed it to be. “Why? Are you offering?” She ran her tongue over her dry lips and watched him swallow.


A Psychic Hitch is a May-December themed story of an older woman/younger man. I hadn’t really thought about it being a series until I was asked by the chief editor if it was part of a series. I thought about it and realized, yeah. Last Glass of Wine also was May-December older woman/younger man, but they both had the same restaurant in common. I went even further back and recalled a piece I’d written for a contest in early 2007 – it also fit. While I was digging it up from the archives, I found yet another I had begun that also fit. So, yes, I told her it was part of a series. Last Glass of Wine was released July 17, 2008. Contemptible Service is awaiting the contract. Temptation & Temptation is being written.

I was allowed to run back through A Psychic Hitch and Last Glass of Wine a couple of times before they went to the printer to be released as ‘A Special Print Collection’ – so not only is the word count higher than the ebooks, but they are smoother – not perfect, but cleaner.

As with most POD books, Servin’ It Up can be purchased at most online paperback shops. Most common are Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Ebooks are available where most ebooks are sold. I push – as my publisher, the royalty rate is the highest. All Romance Ebooks would be next in line for higher payment, but they also have the best customer service. Amazon Kindle would be next.

Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a prize.


Contemporary romance with sizzling sensuality

Friday, April 10, 2009

' The past is another country...

'Stonehenge' by John Constable (from Wikimedia Commons)...They do things differently there.' (L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between)

Setting any story in the distant past brings its own delights and perils. For me it allows my heroines to be engaging and ingenious, sometimes accepting historical society's conventions and restrictions, sometimes going against them, but always provoking inner or outward conflict. Heroes can be shown off to great advantage, really doing something - protecting, rescuing, struggling with great war-horses, battling the elements or the bad guys.

However, the backdrop against which all this high-stakes, high-adventure romance takes place needs to be carefully drawn and considered. Fashions are different, right down to underwear (or lack of it). Transport, law, weapons, animals, trees, climate, customs - these can all be very different from the present.

My oldest book, in both creative genesis and the date at which it is set, is Bronze Lightning. This is set in the Bronze Age, before the eruption of Thera (the modern Greek island of Santorini), the island shown below in a Bronze age fresco. Some structures, such as the pyramids and Stonehenge, were already old when the story opens in 1562 BC, although these also looked different. The pyramids I have imagined with their wonderful limestone covering, which would have made them gleam a brilliant white in the landscape. Stonehenge was also complete and not yet fallen into the decay already familiar when Constable created his painting of it.

Ritual places are not the only things that were different in the distant past. Some activities, such as the smelting of metals, farming, brewing, the making of clothes, were all different from what came later and very different from our own time.

Bronze age fresco from Aktrotiri in Thera (Santorini)(Wikimedia Commons)Beliefs and religion were also very different and, given the few written sources we have from Bronze Age Europe, must be inferred from archaeology and other means. Fearn the hero believes in a Sky God who has some characters that are similar to the later Viking God Thor: all later religions tend to have 'clues' of past faiths in them. He also undergoes a trance state where he sees symbols that modern shamans have also reported seeing in trances and which have been painted by cave painters.

In Bronze Lightning I bring the heroine Sarmatia right to my own doorstep. The winter house she lives in is set where my parents' house is now, and the wild apple and cherry trees she sees in blossom are ones I have known since childhood. Lots of other details are changed, however, because the distant past truly is another country.

In the Bronze Age, the climate in England was warmer and drier than today. There was much more woodland, and animals such as beavers, bears, wolves and wild boar in the woods. We have lost all these creatures excerpt for the boar, which has escaped from farms in southern England and is making its home in woodland again. Lime trees flourished, and orchids and other flowers that are rare or extinct today. The sheep Sarmatia care for were more like Soay sheep, that do not flock and whose fleece is not at all like the thick fleeces of modern breeds. The cattle were smaller or completely wild. Even the stars she followed were different. Even the polar star hung in a different place in the Bronze Age.

I exploit these differences to show the past in my story, to remind my readers that they are in another time, another place... where magic and romance do truly go hand in hand.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Western Erotic Romance ~ Or Lasso Me, Cowboy

Belly up the bar, ladies, this is a sweet and sexy tale of old meets new, or how trends in our culture recycle themselves. Or how you just can’t keep a good cowgirl down, not one who wants her own special cowboy to ride hard and put away wet.
Yep, lasso me, cowboy, I’m ready and willin’ to be yours. That’s one of the newest trends in erotic romance.
Within the past year, to my notice, alpha-hero cowboys have become hot property in most of the erotic romance subgenres. Happily, some readers can’t get enough these tough, but mushy hearted ~ *do-anything-for-their-woman* ~ *fast with a gun and a cocky grin* men ~ a good thing because I want to write my own stories and live the Western Erotic Romance adventure.
I’ve had so many swoony-heart crushes on TV-show cowboy heroes growing up, I’d hesitate to name them all here, space being at a premium. Suffice it to say, there has never been a lack of inspiration, whether it’s Roy Rogers, Bonanza or James West of Wild, Wild West ~ and of course, two of my absolute favorites, The Lone Ranger and Zorro (blog coming soon).
Oh soar-my-heart, yes, I confess, I do adore a man who can ride a horse really well... yeehaw!
Yep, the Westerns of yesteryear have met today’s erotic romance, and it’s a marriage made in absolute big-sky heaven.
Contemporary sexy-hunk cowboys are at home on the range, on a modern dude ranch, riding in the rodeo, enjoying the high life of Las Vegas, or residing in the marrying town of Wayback, Texas, a popular series put out by The Wild Rose Press.
Cowboys are also dark, tall and deadly vampires, who know how to make love with one bite. They are alpha-dangerous werewolves who know how to seduce a woman to every pleasure.
Yep, make-me-wanna-ride cowboys come in every species of shapeshifter ~ Big Cats like tawny cougars and stallion shifters like my hero, Trail Drojovv, in my WIP ~ Stallion of Ash and Flame ~ He alters into his horse form to save the heroine, Seneca, in this scene-snippet.

“No!” He heard her scream, trying to protect him from the Sheriff’s bullets.
Seeing through his blood-red rage, he snaked his neck. His teeth trapped the Sheriff’s forearm, and he crunched down, then ruthlessly twisted. The gun flew out of Pork Belly’s grip. He grimaced with excruciating pain, and grunted, not yelling because shock had him in its grip. Drojovv head-butted him against the side of the car. Rearing, he attacked with his hooves, pummeling his chest and shoulders until he was utterly cowed.
Wild with the need to make certain his Mate would never be harmed, Drojovv flailed his hooves around the Sheriff’s upper torso. Both car windows shattered.
Recently, I purchased the historical western erotic romance, INTIMATE STRANGERS by Gem Sivad, because I’m impressed with the powerful realism of the excerpts I’ve read.
Instantly, I’m transported back to that time in the Old West, and I’m living the love story of Lucy and Ambrose as they live it. Nothing better than that. I can’t wait until I get some time to read it, so I can lose myself in the type of western I’ve always wanted to read.

Here’s a scene Gem kindly sent me with her intro ~
Back on the Double-Q with her husband, Lucy has no memory of him. Ambrose is determined that she will once again be his wife, memory or not (and maybe it would be better if she didn’t remember their sad marriage of before.)
Whenever he could, more often than not, Ambrose Quince came in from the ranch work and washed up on the back porch before sitting down in the kitchen with a cup of coffee to watch her cook.

It irritated her to step around him as he cluttered up her work space. She only tolerated his being in the way because Brody was delighted that her pa was visiting them each afternoon.

Lucy was not. Each time she softened her voice, controlling her need to slap Brody’s father or chase him from the kitchen with a broom, she did so to ingratiate herself with her daughter. And he knew it.

“Mr. Quince, are you watching for mistakes or looking for my flaws?” Her voice was sharp this afternoon as she tried to erect a barrier of words between them. It was usually unnecessary with Brody talking a mile a minute, but Alex had lured his sister to the barn to help with an orphaned calf, abandoning Lucy to the unwanted attentions of her husband.

“Neither, Mrs. Quince,” he drawled after frowning over her formal address. “I’m just wondering how many fellas came courtin’ after they ate their first Lucy-cooked meal?”

The question was meant to be teasing, but came out as more of a possessive growl. Lucy let her voice convey the full measure of her dislike of him, relieved that for once, she had no reason to pretend.

“One,” she declared grimly, watching sham curiosity change to jealousy. “But after I shot off half his ear, the traffic from the dining room trickled down to just Roberta.”

Ambrose settled deeper in his chair facing her, as though preparing to withstand the siege if she pulled out one of her weapons and started slinging lead at him. He didn’t bother to hide his gratification at her answer and ventured another question.

“Got any sugar for me today?” Brody made sure they had a treat waiting for him every afternoon. Cinnamon rolls left from breakfast, apple pie made for supper, johnnycake and beans when he came in roaring hungry and needed a tide-me-over.

Suddenly, Lucy wanted him out of her kitchen. She wanted the innuendoes and sly comments stopped.

“What do you mean by that, sir?” She could feel the flush of outrage heating her cheeks as she glared at him. It was the way he said sugar—it just made her want to scream at him. The fierce heat in his glance was at odds with his bland demeanor.

He shrugged answering, “Just hoping for some of your hidden delights, sweetheart.” His face was inscrutable, but his lip did that little twitch that Lucy had come to realize concealed his humor.

She slapped a withered apple in front of him, the last of the dried bunch Brody had supplied. “This will have to do. I’ve got nothing else to offer.”

His look made her tense and uneasy. When he stood and walked toward her, she backed against the counter, frightened by his sudden approach. But he reached past her shoulder and pulled out the slab of chocolate cake Brody had secreted away for him.

“I figured you’d forgotten something you had saved back just for me.” His chest brushed closer to her shoulder than was needed, and he leaned over her closer than necessary. Head even with hers, resting one hand on her back as he retrieved the cake slice, he inhaled deeply. “My God, I’ve missed that smell.”

Rattled at his proximity, Lucy demanded defensively, “What smell?”

Ambrose paused, bending closer to her neck to breathe deeply. “…Salt … Sugar …

“I thought you said I didn’t cook before. Did you hang your nose over the shoulder of somebody else who quit?”

He stopped to consider, almost brushing his lips against her neck before he continued, “No other cooks, no other women. I guess I must be remembering you … the scent of Lucy Quince. That’s what I’ve missed, the smell of my woman.”

The words made her gasp, and she was unpleasantly aware of a tightening in her chest and her nipples pebbling beneath the rough material of her dress. Her breath heaved in and out, fighting some wild passion that made her want to—She looked around for something to hit him with.

INTIMATE STRANGERS is available at Liquid Silver Books where you can read the first chapter.

If you have a hankerin’ for those drool-worthy cowboys, they’re just waiting to show you a real good time at epublishers like Siren-BookStrand, where western erotic romance is flourishing big as the Montana sky.

Happy Romantic Trails
May your most romantic dreams come true...

Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Piracy Boomerangs, Bites Thief In His Pension

Anyone familiar with Yahoo! knows that they post the top four most buzzed about stories swirling around the Internet. And yes, I am guilty of being pulled into these little sound bites or snippets of daily news. So, I was intrigued by the recent firing of a film reviewer by his employer when he wrote a stellar review of a highly anticipated and predicted blockbuster X Men Origins: Wolverine.

Initially, I was drawn in because I wanted to find out what he thought of the movie since I think Hugh Jackman is simply delish and Wolverine was the only stand-out character in the entire franchise. And if he'd written a great review, why in the world would Fox News can him.

So, I was totally floored when the article essentially detailed how the reviewer, Roger Friedman was fired because he confessed to going online and downloading a version of the movie.

What a dip wad! Didn't he know that downloading an illegal copy of someone else's COPYRIGHTED material is illegal? I guess not and surprisingly he isn't alone. However, unlike others who commit copyright infringement, Mr. Friedman found out the hard way when his boss Rupert Murdoch, who owns both Fox News and 20th Century Fox fired him despite Friedman's ten long years with the company.

How could this guy be so dumb or oblivious? Well, obviously he was both. Mr. Friedman, who's considered a huge name in Hollywood entertainment news, couldn't put two and two together and come up with one glaring fact. Even though their subsidiary names were different, he was stealing from the same company. Hello...doesn't Fox News sounds vaguely familiar to 20th Century Fox?

Not only that, but this bozo told thousands of readers how and where to download the illegal copy. So far, the unfinished version has been downloaded 75,000 times at a loss of a half a million dollars. And that's nothing to laugh at when the latest installment in the X-Men saga cost his company $100 million to make.

And now Mr. Friedman who was rightly thrown to the wolves by his fellow colleagues is paying for his thievery and ignorance with his pension, health benefits, and reputation.

Why am I even discussing this on Happily Ever After, you ask? Simple. The same thievery is rampant in all aspects of entertainment media, especially e-books. And being an e-book author myself situations such as this hits home. Hard. Damn hard. Many readers think that writers sit around and whip up stories in an hour or less. Sorry, I can agonize over a paragraph longer than that.

And the problem is rampant despite publishers/individual authors issuing a cease and desist order. Once they shut one forum down or scare the bejesus out of a downloader, another pops up in their place. Its virtually impossible when the demand far out paces the diligent few who put time into protecting one's intellectual property.

So, what's the purpose of this entry? Well the next time you log onto to download one of your favorite author's pirated books. Ask yourself this:

1. Do I tip my waiter/waitress after every meal?
2. Do I give a tip to my hairdresser when she/he gets that cut just right?
3. Do I pay the babysitter to watch my dirty foots, while honeydew and I go out?
4. Do I tip the driver from my favorite take-out place when he's delivered my chow mein in the rain?
5. Do I tip the furniture guy when he hauls my antique bureau up five flights?
6. Do I tip the kid at the grocery store for unloading my cart of groceries?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, I want you to think how you've compensated these individuals for a couple hours of work (or less). In a writers world this can amount to the time it takes us to research a heroine's background, sketch out a plot or write a love scene.

Not only do we provide you with a means of escape, but some may have helped you resolve a personal issue, empowered you to reach beyond your normal boundaries, given you the self-confidence to say 'no' or just simply left you with a good feeling.

So, now do you think your favorite author should be duly rewarded for providing you their services? If so, give them the ultimate tip by buying the book!

Koko Brown recently released The Merry Widow, a yummy older woman/younger man romantic tale set in Victorian England. Of course, this book was written for your reading pleasure. And it's heroine will empower you to not care a whit about what others think and when to say "no" when pushed too far.

Want to read an excerpt? Visit Red Sage Publishing's website.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The power and romance of names

Roman gravestone made by Publius Iulius Cosmus for his wife FlaviaIn Ursula le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy, names are part of the magic and being of characters, and to discover someone's true name is to gain power over that person. Names do have power. I wonder how many sons will be called Obama in future years?

Names have power and significance in romance, too. If a hero has a bulky, awkward name, do readers empathise with him? If a heroine has an 'old-fashioned' name, does she lose credibility?

I write medieval historical romance, and I find how I name my people vitally important. For instance, in the Anglo-Saxon period, there are many names beginning with E or AE - EDGAR, EDITH, EGBERT, ELDRED, ALFRED. These names have power and meaning - EGBERT means 'Gleaming Sword' - yet they possibly have fallen out of favour. How many heroes are called EGBERT now? ARTHUR is another name that may look old-fashioned to some. The meaning of ARTOS, 'bear' is wonderful to me, though, and made me fall utterly in love with the name again.

I always try to discover if names have meanings and bear those meanings in mind as I write. For example, my heroine in A Knight's Captive is called Sunniva, which means Sun Gift. It's a Viking name, still used in parts of Britain. AVERIL is another name I would love to use sometime - it's meaning is 'Wild boar battle maid'.

As a historical romance writer I try to use names I feel are appropriate to the period in which I'm writing. Sarmatia is a real name, taken from a Kretan Linear B writing tablet of the time when Bronze Lightning is set. Ahhotpe in Blue Gold means 'The Moon is Content', which is nicely ironic, given that my Egyptian princess is very ambitious! Sometimes names cetainly can deceive. I had an anti-heroine in one of my modern romantic suspenses (Night of the Storm) and I called her Katherine, which means 'Pure'.

So names do matter, as a clue to a character's background and nature or as a key to period. I am always filled with admiration for fantasy and science fiction romance writers who devise names. Of course, sometimes names cannot be avoided: I read a good historical war-and-romance novel (The Assyrian by Nicholas Guild) and the names there - all authentic - were very difficult to me: very long and multi-syllabled.

For me, at least, some names are to be avoided!

Lindsay (it means 'Linden Tree')

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Men We Fall In Love With But Can't Have

Our heros.

I tend to fall for the men I write. Don't you? It doesn't seem to matter how different or the same they are from story to story. Maybe that's the key. The sameness and the differences and how each handle themselves in their respective situations.

Without falling in love with them, I don't think I could write about them both from her perspective and his.

I'm working on the fourth story in my series and yesterday, I totally fell in love with the hero with just one simple, silly scene and a discussion about Kool-aid.

To get a feel for him, the man behind the sexy light amber eyes who looks at you like he knows all your secrets and would love to know more and has the most amazing sexy, playful smile, I was writing a scene that's been playing around in my head all week. He'd invited the new girl on the block over to have popcorn and watch movies. Yes, seriously.

Sometimes a guy doesn't really have to do anything to become endearing. He just needs to exist and let us learn about him via the eyes of another until we get to play with him.

I have a lot to learn about Thomas yet, but right now, I know he's sensitive, caring and very intuitive. And he can kiss. I can't wait to find out what his buttons are, what Jaycee does to set them off. How he possibly can win just a piece of her heart?

There's much, much more to this story and the characters that I won't talk about here, but I'm excited. Therefore, I've kind of withdrawn to get a good jump on it. My goal for the month is to have the first draft completed.

I love new projects. And this one, especially since I can see the end and am sort of working backwards in writing it. I'm an unconventional pankster type of witer.

Contemporary romance with sizzling sensuality
Contemptible Service Coming Soon
Last Glass of Wine Available Now
A Psychic Hitch Available Now
Servin' it Up Available Now


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Age Is Nothing But A Number....

My first historical, The Merry Widow, was released yesterday through Red Sage Publishing. The novella revolves around an older woman/younger man relationship which is instigated by a case of mistaken identity. Writing the story was a lot of fun and the first involving an older heroine and it won't be my last because it was so much fun to explore the inner dynamics of what brings these two together and keeps them together.

While outlining this story, as per my usual process, I researched this non-traditional relationship which in modern time many believe is some kind of sudden phenomenon. But in actuality it isn't. In fact there have been many famous and powerful women throughout history who took younger lovers or in some cases married them. Some of them include:

Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine & Henry Plantagent (11 years)
Queen Elizabeth I & The Earl of Essex (33 years)
Khadija & the prophet Muhammad (15 years)
Audrey Hepburn & Robert Wolders (7 years)
Anais Nin & Rupert Pole (12 years)
Christabella Wyndham & King Charles II (*was his wet nurse)
Catherine The Great & Grigory Potemkin (12 years)
Helena Rubenstein & Artchil Goureilli-Tchkonia (20 years)

Admittedly, these types of match-ups were not as prevalent as older males marrying younger women. But of course as many of you already know, the basis for many of these relationships was a desire or need to have children. And considering the precariousness of carrying a child to full term in the past, a man's best bet for an heir and his spouse's overall survival was choosing a younger women.

Have times changed? Even though the U.S. Census states that more men tend to marry younger wives, research shows that older women and younger men match-ups have made substantial gains. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 12% of all marriages were between older women and younger men. And in the 1998 Census figures, 18% of women lived with a younger man. And among women 35-44 that figure increased to 29%. In another survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times, 23% of women married younger men. And that number increased to 41% for women aged 35-44.

So what changed people's thinking? Well, of course we've moved out of the stone age when it comes to health care, but researchers believe its because of a change in society's attitude. Older women are not like their past counterparts, who if unmarried, widowed, or divorced and over the age of thirty retired to some country manor. Nope. Today's older woman is more financially stable, more confident and in a sense doesn't give a whit about what their neighbors think.

On the other hand, why do younger men suddenly find older women so appealing? According to one sociologist, younger men have always found older women attractive and the number reason isn't because of sex. Many of them cited the woman's maturity, her ability to take care of herself, the fact she wasn't into head games, and her overall personal comfort level as the basis for the attraction.

So if older women have always been attractive to younger men, why didn't they openly pursue it? It simply boiled down to societal pressures. Young men were ridiculed or questioned about their intentions toward the older woman he was attracted to, dating or considered marrying. Many of them were wrongly accused of being gigolos or predators looking for easy prey. Instead of genuinely being interested in a May/December relationship for nothing more than financial or sexual gain.

Of course, no relationship isn't perfect and neither are older woman/young man match-ups. But thank goodness society has evolved to the point that age is nothing but a number:)

* * * * *
Victorian England is a man's world. And no one knows this better than Phillipa Jones who must fight society's conventions along with chauvinistic ship captains and a greedy yet undeniably handsome Viscount to keep her late husband's shipping business afloat. One moment of weakness and a case of mistaken identities will place her in a compromising position, which will see everything she's worked for come to ruins including her reputation. To read an excerpt, visit Red Sage's website

Romancing the Heavenly Stars in Blue

I was commissioned to do this painting showing a very Earth-like planet near some blue stars. Globular star clusters are usually made up of very ancient stars and tend to be yellowish in colour, however on this occasion I was asked to paint a swarm of sapphire-like stars. The planet seems to be floating on the canvas while the eye is drawn to the dense cluster of stars. ~ Richard Bizley ~ ~

Because I’ve never been a big fan of April Fool’s Day, you won’t get your sniggering laugh here. Not that I haven’t been a witness to, and a victim of a really good April Fool’s *I gotcha*. In fact, last April 1, George Noory, host of Coast-to-Coast am, nighttime radio, told a whopper of a tale about finding a baby T-Rex in the Australian badlands. His skill at pulling off the playful deceit was impressive, and for months after people would call into the show asking for an update on that crypto zoological *news story*. No, that one didn’t get me.
Instead on this first day of April, my Spring mood runs to romance, so I finished a scene between Lady Sheridan and Baron Zaggry, their first meeting. Since I began their love story ten years later in ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE, it’s a special delight to write about the beginning of their courtship.
I had originally planned to use the scene on Valentine’s Day for promo. That didn’t happen because of other author-type busyness. However, ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE is my first contracted story, so I thought it fit this number one day.

Heavenly Stars in Blue

Sher & Zag ~ First Meeting

Lady Sheridan gazed down at the man who dared stride in front of her mare, her blood blue-boiling. She had been on her way to the show ground’s stable with the intention of overseeing the care of her horses. Easily handling Bellesza’s fractious dancing steps, she kept the bold-spirited mare calm enough.
“Sir, you are in my path. Remove yourself immediately.” If she could have, Sher would lashed the arrogant oaf with the bluefire words of her temper.
“I will always remain in your path, Lady Woadeir.”
Eyes of icy green smoldered upon her face. Sher drew in a soft rush of breath before she realized it, yet stifled the urge to toss her loosened hair. The tawny and russet-maned man appeared familiar to her eye. Most probably one of the Royals she cared little for, the ones who always blue-cooled her mood to a cold disinterest.
“Remove yourself. Or I will be tempted to allow Bellesza her striking hoof.”
Instead of obeying, the impudent Royal languidly gripped the rein near her mount’s bit, gaining control, unless Sheridan commanded her mare otherwise.
“I am Baron Zaggry, most beautiful woman. I will immediately remove myself once you agree to accompany me this very evening.”
Sheridan knew why women fell at the Baron’s perfectly booted feet in erotic surrender, as she’d heard tell in the salons. Beyond his obvious handsome features, it was his tone, smooth and splendid as gold-blue brandy. Yet, his voice, was also rough and ruthless as a cougar’s rumbling purr.
He would give a woman smooth and splendid passions. He would give her rough and ruthless lust.
Sheridan knew she paused too long. “No, I decline. I am otherwise engaged, Baron.”
He paused as well, his gaze falcon-trained on her face. “Heavenly stars in blue.”
His sincere wooing spiraling-jolted her middle, and caused Sheridan to lean back a bit on her spare saddle. Alert now, Bellesza stood patiently, her interest captured by the Baron.
“Your eyes, Lady Woadeir. I wondered at their color.” He took a step closer, keeping hold of the rein. “Heavenly stars in blue and turquoise, I see now.”
“Your compliment is kind, Baron. Yet, I must decline. I have no desire--"
“You will,” he interrupted, brave as a rutting stallion. “You will desire my escort and my company, Lady Sheridan.”
“I gave you no permission to address me with such intimacy.” Sheridan glared for good measure, her own haughtiness a thin veil over her ire, now rising swift as a wind-fed wildfire.
“No, you did not.” A grin tugged at one corner of his mouth.
Sheridan swallowed down a flare of desire. His lips were sensually carved, reminding her of her kiss-erotic daydreams as a girl becoming a woman. A man’s mouth had always gained her notice.
“I must earn your forgiveness, Lady Woadeir. May I escort you to this night’s Blues Festival?”
Though, his gaze remained glittering-intense, still, a gentleman’s seduction owned the depths of his ice-pale green eyes. In that moment, Sheridan lost her battle to deny him if...
“I shall meet you, Baron Zaggry, at the plaza dance floor. If you partner me in a way that pleases me, I will allow your escort for the evening.”
His eyes darkened for an instant, surprise flickering over the pale facets. He smiled, a cougar’s smile of temporary acceptance.
“Of course, I will be honored to earn my escort of you, Lady Woadeir. May I inquire, what will be the time of your arrival?”
Their game of courtship had begun. Sheridan flashed a wickedly teasing smile at him, her own satisfaction in play.
“I shall arrive at my pleasure, Baron.” His stunned gaze was priceless, indeed worth a handful of gold-laced lapis lazuli. “Perhaps, you will consider pleasing my feminine eye by wearing faded blue jeans.”
Releasing her mare’s rein, he stepped closer, his gaze enigmatic. “Lady Woadeir, to please you, I would wear nothing but my golden hide, with an impressive display of the family jewels.”
She glimpsed the private triumph of his grin before he bowed slightly, and pivoted from her.
“Dangerous,” she murmured to Bellesza. “A most dangerous man-animal. That is obvious as the leisurely spin of our azure diamond stars.”

For the blue-green horse lands of Spring....
Lady Sheridan & Baron Zaggry invite you to read their love story ~
ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE ~ an aristocratic fantasy of fiercest passion ~ *5 Stars* from ReviewYourBook ~ available from Siren Publishing ~ ~
An Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend ~ ~

Note: No, Zorro is not forgotten and will be presented in an upcoming blog.

Happy Spring
May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance