Friday, March 31, 2006

Exclusive Excerpt!

Today’s excerpt is from my upcoming New Concepts release, FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIE. FLIGHT was the second novel I ever wrote [the first one is the one I will keep in a drawer forever]. I’m thrilled that it’s going to have a home with NCP. Look for FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIE in April 2006.


Arrested for the murder of thirty members of the High Council of the planet Carnelia, Sienna McCade could face a hundred years in cryogenic suspension, the maximum punishment allowable by Galactic law. Jordan Dane is the Courier assigned to transport Sienna’s cryo-stasis tube to a prison ship, where she will remain until her trial.

When his ship crashes and Jordan is injured, he finds himself at the mercy of the beautiful assassin. He knows he owes her a debt of gratitude for saving his life, but he can’t ignore his mission. Should he deny his growing feelings for her and turn her over to the authorities, or risk everything to help her prove her innocence and spare her a hundred years in cryo sleep?


The journey out of cryo sleep took a lot longer than the journey in, but the process was no less unpleasant. Sienna exhaled the breath she’d been holding forever and gasped convulsively on the intake of the next. She smelled and tasted the cryogen gases but the sweet aroma was fading. How long had she slept?

Sienna wasn’t sure if what she saw was real. A green haze surrounded her and the world had a glassy, liquid appearance. Wires and panels of telltale lights flickered at the periphery of her vision. She couldn’t move her eyes or her head, so her whole world consisted of what she saw through the small rectangle of glass inches in front of her face. After a moment, the images began to blur and Sienna realized her own breath was fogging the window.

I’m trapped, she thought, and bit back a scream. Her lungs could not have complied anyway. They were still thick with the remnants of the gas. Someone had turned off the cryogen agents, but had not yet opened the stasis tube. It seemed she had been awakened only to slowly suffocate in her metal prison.

Sienna tried to control her breathing as feeling returned to the muscles around her lungs. Each breath she drew was deeper but more labored than the last. She wouldn’t last long in the tube, and as far as she knew there was no way to open one from the inside. When she was able to move her arms again, she brought her hands up to the glass and pushed. Her muscles felt like rubber. Even if she could open the tube, she didn’t have the strength to lift the lid.

“Help me!” she called, but her voice sounded distant even to her own ears. With almost no air to carry it and thick layers of protective glass and metal around her, no one would hear her anyway.

She kicked her legs and heard a dull metallic thud. At least her legs worked now. The tingling in her limbs faded rapidly as the paralysis drained downward. Just as the cold snake had wound its way through her system when the technicians put her under, it slithered away now and left an empty feeling in its wake. A dull ache began at the back of her neck, but she didn’t have time to wonder what caused it. Blackness descended for an instant and in that brief moment when the nothingness returned, Sienna panicked.

She kicked as hard as she could and pounded on the glass in front of her to no avail. She hauled shuddering breaths of stale air into her tortured lungs. It was pointless to try to breathe carbon monoxide. She might as well have been breathing in a vacuum. Points of light pinged against her eyelids like fireworks. She realized that if she blacked out now, there would be no one to revive her.

“Please!” she cried with her last full breath. “I’m awake in here…”

* * *

To find out more about Flight of the Valkyrie stay tuned…

In Other news:

Come back tomorrow to enter MY FIRST CONTEST!

And check out the NCP Readers Loop at
Starting tomorrow for the BACKLIST BLITZ! Read exciting excerpts of NCP books published in 2005!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Loose Ends

I just spent a nerve wracking day going through a manuscript in edits trying to figure out how to tie up a loose end. It’s hard to believe how a single character [a nasty character whom I was happy to put to rest when the book was done] could cause me so much trouble. Of course, I created her as the villain, so I should have known she'd give me grief eventually.

It took me most of the day, but I finally decided to how to deal with her, or rather have the other characters in the book deal with her. I wrote the needed scene – 355 words – and breathed a sigh of relief. It’s hard to pick up the narrative of a story I originally wrote over a year and a half ago. Slipping back into the heads of characters I haven’t visited with in months was a real challenge.

On the up side, it got me thinking about the sequel, which had been put on a far back burner a long time ago in favor of other projects. I realized I missed these characters. I liked living with them, and I’d love to visit them again soon. Time to think about sliding them to a front burner and turning up the heat.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Wolfsbane is a keeper!

I just received this phenomenal review from The Road to Romance! Here's a snippet:

Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf was a true joy to read. The story was fast paced and so well written that I read it in one sitting….This novella was a pure joy to read and one I highly recommend. Jennifer Colgan has incorporated a touch of humor, a threat of danger and such compelling characters that this book will remain on my keeper shelf. With an unexpected twist to the old werewolf legends, Daniel and Emilie will keep you entertained till the very end. Unexpected detours combined with the sexual tension, makes this book not only a fantastic read but a smashing hit. Stacey Brutger for The Road to Romance

I'm just floored. The Road to Romance doesn't give points, like kisses or ribbons or hearts, but I'd say this definitely constitutes a Five-Star Review. Thank you, Stacey! You brightened a particularly grueling day of editing and laundry and reminded me why I do this writing thing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New Release!

When Mara Zander’s dream man walks out of the pounding surf to claim her, she discovers he’s much more than just a fantasy.

More Than A Fantasy by Bernadette Gardner
ISBN: 1-59279-513-7 (Electronic)
Cover by Trace Edward Zaber
Copyright ©2006

Genres: Fantasy/Shapeshifter
Heat Level: 2
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (17k words)

Available Today! [See the buy link in my side bar]

More Than a Fantasy is also part of an anthology:

Forbidden An AmberPax™ Collection of Erotic Romance
by Various Authors ISBN: 1-59279-510-2 (Electronic Set)
Genre: Erotic Romance Copyright ©2006


Desirable Enemy by Kelsey Lewis
Forbidden Fruit by Caitlyn Willows
More Than a Fantasy by Bernadette Gardner
Sequestered Passion by Adrianna Dane
Take it on Faith by M.L. Rhodes

Save 25% off the cover price of five sizzling stories when you purchase the PAX!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Excerpt Alert!

It's Friday again! Today’s excerpt is from my February Amber Quill release, KEN’JA, which is part of the Starlight Serenade, Vol. II AmberPax™ Collection. I chose this scene for the symbolism.

4 CUPS! KEN’JA is an enchanting tale that captivates from the first page to the last….Bernadette Gardner gives her characters great emotional contact and leaves the reader chanting for more. Do not miss this one. –Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance

4 ½ Kisses! KEN’JA …is action-packed and sexy. A fantastic afternoon read! – Loribelle Hunt, Romance Divas

* * *


Another night together. The thought sent a stab of uncustomary panic through him. Could he make it through another night with her lying in his arms before the Ken'Ja turned him into a beast? More than a year had passed since he'd taken any of the herb his people used to control their cursed mating cycle.

"Let's keep moving upstream. The water looks deeper. It will attract larger animals and more fish. We'll find a place to camp and collect some items I can use to make a spear."

She shrugged, then craned her neck to look into the trees. Tige's eyes crept toward the torn neckline of her uniform and the pale, supple skin of her partially exposed breast. She pushed a lock of curly brown hair away from her face and he hungrily followed her movement.

"That sounds like a great plan, but I was thinking we could pick some of those first." She pointed upward to where bunches of small, red-skinned fruits hung from bowed branches.

His fevered senses hadn't noticed them before and he berated himself for missing something so obvious.

"They look like apples," she said.

He gave her a quizzical glance. He wasn't familiar with that word.

"The Terraformer Corps seeded a lot of worlds with plants and animals from Earth in the early days before the prepare for future colonization. Then the Ketomir came."

Tige nodded and glanced at the fruit. "They'll be difficult to reach."

"Hmm." She rose and walked in a tight circle beneath one laden branch. "Lift me."
The fever spiked at the thought of touching her.

She raised one gently arching brow at him. "Come on, I'm lighter than I look."

He crossed to where she stood and placed his hands on her waist. The feel of her soft curves beneath his hands set his hearts pounding.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm preparing to lift you."

"Not like that. Get down on one knee and put your hands together like this." She laced her fingers together in a loose weave. Skeptical, he obeyed and found himself looking up the curve of her thigh as she placed her foot in his hands. "Now, boost me up. I'll grab that branch and jump down."

The intoxicating scent of her damp skin teased him unmercifully as she rested her hands on the tense muscles of his shoulders. He wanted to tell her to run as she had last night, to get as far away from him as possible before he hurt her, before he lost his mind to the Thalian curse. The biological urge to mate would consume him and drive him mad until he sated it--or died.

He bit the inside of his cheek and obeyed her command to give her a boost. She flung herself upward and grabbed the lowest hanging branch. Then, with a practiced movement, she sailed back to the ground, the branch clutched in her hand.

He watched with feral appreciation and a Warrior's pride as she stripped the handful of fruit from the branch and let go. The green limb rebounded upward, scattering an indignant flock of birds.

With a seductive grin, she offered him two of the four fruits she'd picked. "They're small, but they're definitely apples. Try one."

* * *

To find out more about Ken’Ja go to:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The next baby step

This weekend I rearranged my home office a little bit. The dog's half chewed up couch finally had to go, so I saved the cushions and made a slipcover for them. We hauled the couch away and put the cushions on the floor by the wall. Saber was not thrilled about this arrangement, but he seems to be adjusting.

Since I was now able to put another small book shelf in the corner I cleaned out my shelves and rearranged things to make it look neater. I also realized I'm all out of copies of my own books to put on my shelf! So I'll have to order more. I think I'll wait until the end of the month though, since that's when Immortal Lovers is now scheduled to come out in print.

I decided to part with the unique little coffee table I had in the center of the room. I put it downstairs for now. I'd never get rid of the thing because I love it, but I thought the room looked so much bigger without it, plus it was nothing more than a repository for piles of stuff that should have been dealt with and put away.

With the table gone and all that empty carpet space I decided it was finally time to take the next step and move the exercise bike from the basement to my office.

Now, when I take my breaks from staring at the computer screen, I will jump on the bike and pedal like mad for a few minutes rather than wander into the kitchen to get a snack. We'll see how long this lasts. It may help, it may just wear me out.

On the up side, I finished official edits for Flight of the Valkyrie today! I have an April release date and I can't wait. I also have a relase date of June for The Soul Jar. Stay tuned for more info on these stories!

Don't forget, tomorrow is excerpt Friday!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Style and Voice

What is style? What is voice?

Authors are told all the time to ‘have a unique voice,’ ‘find your voice,’ ‘develop a style.’ It’s about as difficult as catching sunlight in a jar.

My take on ‘style’ or ‘unique voice’ is, if you stripped away the cover of a book and all the identifying marks, and let someone read it, would they know instinctively that it was yours? Think of your favorite author. Would you know her words anywhere? Her unique style? Of course you’d recognize pages from a beloved book, but what about something new? Does an author have a unique way of crafting words that makes her ‘voice’ stand out?

I don’t know if I have that. I hope I do, but I think it’s really too elusive an idea to hit it dead on. Good writing is good writing. In my opinion, the words should fade into the background and only the story should really stick in your mind [except for a particularly good quote here and there.] When I’m finished reading a book, it should be the plot and characters that I remember, not necessarily the style of the narrative.

I’ve read several books lately where the ‘style’ of the author is apparent, and not in a good way. Quirky grammar and overused phrases don’t make style or voice, they just make a story difficult to read. This only confuses me more as to how to develop that elusive ‘voice’ that publishers want. Perhaps it’s something we can’t see in our own work-sort of like watching your kids grow up. You see them every day so the changes aren’t readily apparent to you, but when your great aunt from Winnebago, Wisconsin drops by, she can’t believe how much the kids have changed since her last visit. I can’t hear my ‘voice’ or see my ‘style’ because it’s just me, the same image I see in the mirror every day. But can my readers pick me out of a crowd?

What are your thoughts on voice and style? How do you develop them?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Skinny Feet

I dropped a shoe size.

In the battle of the bulge I’ve been fighting for. . .ever, that’s an interesting development. I found this out yesterday when we made an emergency trip to the shoe store to get new sneakers for my son. [When I picked him up from school on Thursday I noticed, to my utter mortification, that his toes were coming out of the bottom of his sneakers. The sole was half torn off and he never mentioned it. I guess it didn’t bother him. Kids.] Anyway, we ran over to the shoe store to get new ones, [and for my daughter as well who purchased the latest thing – sneakers without laces that look like they were sewn inside out with frayed seams. I used to wear my sneakers without laces when I was a kid and I was called a rebel. Now they sell them that way, along with the holey jeans she loves to wear. Kids.

Anyway, I figured since I was there, and since my DH, who likes to call me Imelda [he has no idea how many pairs of shoes a normal woman owns, btw – I have very few pairs compared to most of the women I know] since I was there I decided to buy myself a new pair of sneakers and a nice pair of flats to wear to the office. My regular size was floating on me!

Eleven years ago when I got pregnant with my daughter, my feet went up a size practically overnight and that’s where they’ve been since then. Now I had to go back down a size to get a decent fit.

I suppose that means my weight loss efforts [sporadic and half-hearted as they often are] have begun to work starting at the bottom. Hey, every little bit counts I suppose. I’ll take what I can get.

Now, I think I’ll go show off my skinny new sneakers at the supermarket! Woohoo- such is the glamorous life of a writer.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Double Exerpt Day!

In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the CAPA Awards today is a Double Excerpt Friday!

Today’s excerpts are from two stories in the upcoming NCP Anthology Immortal Lovers. This vampire trilogy contains Fresh Blood, second in my own vampire series, Never A Sunset, by Annalee Blysse and Eternity, by Marie Morin.

Never A Sunset is a 4-cupper at Coffee Time Romance "Victrina and Michael are wonderful characters. He is a sexy vampire who really tripped my trigger. She is a strong woman who knows what she wants. Their relationship progresses at a believable pace. The sex scenes are hot and steamy... Ms. Blysse has penned a story of vampires, lust, and love that I am sure many will enjoy. Never a Sunset is a keeper."
~ Susan White,
Coffee Time Romance

Fresh Blood is a Recommended Read at Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Angels for FRESH BLOOD! … The sex scenes are sizzling with just the right touch of romance. … Another perfect addition to the New Concepts Publishing Catalogue. –
Anita, Fallen Angel Reviews

* * *


The haze of twilight lit the clouds. The rain had just stopped, so the air was heavy with moisture. Victrina took a deep breath as she stepped out of her apartment, thinking how much she’d miss this place when she left.

The truth was, Victrina loved all seasons in Boston, simply because they existed. The city was wrapped up in a long, drawn out spring that made an impression. A far cry from Barrow, Alaska. On the northern tundra, spring passed in the blink of an eye and summer dragged on for months on end. Where she’d grown up, the environment wasn’t conducive to going for a walk any time of year. Boston was almost always perfect.

Noting the quiet streets, she smiled as she started walking. Then again, most Bostonians hadn’t grown up on the North Slope. What was perfect to her was considered a miserable day down here.

New York City wouldn’t be that different. Hopefully. In less than one month, she’d be moving. She’d already accepted a job offer on Wall Street and she was in for years of hard work. But she wanted to prove that a girl from the village could make good. More than that, she wanted to prove to her father that her scholarship to Harvard had been well deserved, and not just money thrown at an Eskimo so they could make their quotas. She wanted to earn insane amounts of money and show him what she was really made of.

If asked, she told people why she wanted to live so differently from her life back home. A town that small couldn’t keep her happy. There was no way she was ever going to settle down and become a brood mare for a man who didn’t respect her, who didn’t think she was good enough, who didn’t feel her goals and accomplishments amounted to anything. What she kept private was the violence that had been part of her childhood home. She didn’t want anyone to pity her.

She heard boots clicking on the cement behind her, heard distinct splashes through puddles that she’d avoided. Victrina turned, her eyes met with a tall man dressed all in black.

He nodded slightly, “Victrina Mechnikoff?”

Confused that he knew her name, Victrina confronted him, “What do you want?”
He grinned at her. His long hair was as dark as her own, and it shone beneath the streetlights. “You,” he said, his voice low and husky and very seductive.

His black shirt hugged his chest, outlining sculpted muscles and sharply delineated abs. His jeans were fresh-from-the-rack black, and molded to his incredible legs and cock.

Electric blue eyes captured her senses, digging into her soul. Any anger she felt was replaced by a desire that consumed her body and mind. Her mouth watered and moisture pooled between her thighs. Her senses rang with excitement over the unknown. His clothes. His hair. The whole effect was very sexual, yet very dark. Foreboding.

And you can have me. But fear made her hesitate.

He waved his hand at a coffee shop on a nearby corner. “Can I buy you an espresso?”

Victrina was immediately relieved. Her body might be crying out for him to take her to the nearest hotel and make good on the sensual promise in his eyes, in his voice. She might want him to make love to him all night. But, the offer of an espresso was much easier to deal with.

She took him up on his offer and was soon seated across from him, sipping hot mocha, thinking ... who are you?

“Michael Levine,” he said, staring deeply into her, as if he could see right through her.

“Pleased to meet you,” she replied.

She couldn’t understand the hold he had over her senses. She was as progressive as the next woman, but she’d never fantasized about jumping into the sack with a complete stranger. And she was having a difficult time keeping her mind off anything but sex around this man.

“I know,” he said, angling his head slightly, licking his lower lip.

Victrina couldn’t take her eyes off his face. His response was honest more than arrogant. She wouldn’t have been surprised if he knew exactly what she’d been thinking. Her whole body vibrated with the sensuality of the moment. Michael’s facial features were strong, yet as photogenically perfect as James Dean. You are the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.

“How do you know who I am?” she asked. “We haven’t met before.”

“I keep my eyes open. You have a promising career ahead of you.” He waited for a moment, and when she didn’t respond he continued, “I am looking for someone with your ... abilities. I’m here to offer you a position working for me.”

Strange. The way he said “abilities” made it seem as if he alluded to something other than the fact that she was one of the top students in her class. Yet he had slightly toned down his flirting. Employers had been recruiting around the campus, so it was conceivable that he was really going to offer a position working for a company. A damn shame. She was still thinking of positions in the Kama Sutra.

“Work for you? Doing what?”

“I need a personal assistant.”

Victrina thought for a moment. “In what capacity?”

“In every capacity....”

* * *


“Max!” Standing before the bathroom door, she yelled once as loudly as possible, which only made the throbbing pain in her head resume with a vengeance. When Max didn’t answer, she pounded on the door. “Get out here, now!”

She waited a beat and stepped back when the bathroom door flew open. He wore only a towel, draped around his neck.

Their eyes locked for a moment, and Erica managed to hold her comments in check while he slid the towel off his shoulders and wrapped it around his waist.

“I see you’re up.” He greeted her with a raised eyebrow.

“You, too.” She smirked and for a moment, the self-conscious look on his face made her forget her anger. Only for a moment. “What the hell did you do to me last night?”

His eyes darkened and he tilted his head. “Not half as much as I wanted to.”
Erica swallowed. She felt flushed and she was suddenly aware of the fact that she wore nothing beneath her thin cotton robe.

“What was in my drink last night?” she demanded stepping back as he left the bathroom. He headed for the living room and she followed him, clutching her robe around her.

“Some vampires use a combination of herbs to relax their feeders. Normally it isn’t that potent but you must have gotten an extra large dose. You’re lucky I got back to you when I did.”

“You shouldn’t have left me alone.”

“I didn’t have a choice. Benton Carlisle is a powerful vampire. I had to go with him. And while I was gone you were supposed to be following the other rules.”

“Well, I tried.”

“Not very hard by the looks of it.”

Erica crossed her arms over her breasts and watched him while he rooted around her living room gathering his clothes. A blanket from her linen closet lay over the couch attesting to where he’d spent the night.

“You wandered off and left me alone at a vampire orgy, where I got drugged and groped by another woman and--”

“And kissed. Don’t forget kissed.” He leveled a sardonic gaze at her.

Erica gaped. That memory came back, too. It hadn’t been a dream. Vera had been all over her. “And I’m to blame?”

“You were supposed to be obedient.”

“You told me to be disobedient. Didn’t you? Or did I misinterpret one of your many mixed signals?”

“What mixed signals?” He spread his arms wide leaving his towel unattended and hanging precariously.

“Oh let’s see--every one. I don’t know what to make of you, Max. Before we left here, you were acting like you wanted to ...”

“Like I wanted to what?”

Erica flushed hot. She couldn’t say the words. “Then you apparently brought me home, undressed me, and dumped me in bed ... alone.”

To find out more about Never a Sunset and Fresh Blood go to:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Get Ready for the Blitz!

You’re Invited

To Celebrate New Concepts Publishing’s

10th anniversary in business

The NCP Authors are holding a

10 day extravaganza!


Book Blitz

Beginning Saturday, April 1st (April Fools Day) and ending Monday, April 10th. From 9A.M. to 9 P.M each day, NCP authors will be dropping into the NCP Readers Loop to chat a bit, post excerpts of their backlist books, offer random prizes to participating readers, and best of all … help you discover some of the treasures you might have missed.

For your convenience, each day will feature a specific category to fit your individual reading preferences.

April 1st Anthologies, Special Collections
April 2nd Contemporary Romance
April 3rd Fantasy and Fantasy Romance
April 4th Historicals: Medieval, Westerns, Regency, and Georgian
April 5th Historicals: Other Time Periods and Unusual Locales
April 6th Love Bites™ Short Stories (Sensual to Carnal), including
Short Story Themes and Holiday Themes
April 7th Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Werewolves and Shifters
April 8th Time Travel
April 9th Thrillers, Mysteries, and Romantic Suspense
April 10th Science Fiction and Futuristic Romance

Feel free to join us each day, on the days featuring your favorite category, or just pop in to read the excerpts at leisure. But, don’t miss out on the opportunity not only for prizes, but the opportunity to discover those special books that have been waiting for you to find them. So you don’t forget which category will be featured each day, check the group calendar. Each day’s category is listed there as well.

If you have friends you've been attempting to bring over to the ebook side, this is a good opportunity to get them hooked.

If you are not already a member of NCP’s reader group, join now and
discover what you’ve been missing.
PS: Don't forget tomorrow is a Double Excerpt Friday!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kickin' the Cold

I'm finally starting to feel normal again. This cold really made up for all those months that I didn't get sick at all. It seems to be going around-neighbors and friends are all sick, too. Part of the problem in northern NJ is the weather here was designed by a mad scientist. Within the space of a week we can go from no-jacket weather to a foot of snow and back again. The germs don't know which end is up and they don't know when to die.

I finally got back to the office and caught up on my meeting schedule. Now I have a week to work on writing. I just polished up a 25,000-word novella that may be going to the NCP Anniversary Anthology and I'm working on another short that may go to EC. My paranormal WIP needs some major work and I have another kicking around in my head that I'd like to start getting on paper.

Over the weekend I made another stride in cleaning up the basement. I dismantled the two dollhouses I made several years ago. As much fun [and work] as they were, they were doing nothing but collecting dust. I can't bear to part with anything miniature so I packed away all the furnishings and someday when I have nothing else to do, maybe I'll build myself another one.
I thought of making a miniature garden with all the little plants and gardening tools I have. . .oh, wait. . .I DON'T NEED anymore hobbies! I really, really don't.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Diva Blogs

I uploaded what appears to be the complete list of Romance Divas blogs to my side bar [scroll down]. I haven't visited all these blogs yet, but I plan to. The Divas are an amazing group of writers, over 1000 members stong and growing. It's amazing to see how many of us have completed a manuscript, sent out our first queries or submissions, or contracted with agents or publishers in the short time we've all been together on the web.

If you get a chance, surf some of the sites for this talented group of authors and if you're not already a member, go check out Romance Divas. It really is the best place for writers on the web.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Excerpt Alert!

Today’s excerpt is from Hunter’s Moon my first published novella. Hunter’s Moon received 4 Ribbons from Romance Junkies and has been on the Fictionwise 6-month best seller list since January 2006.


When an inhuman scream silences the night creatures in a Pennsylvania woodland, Alliana Cambridge isn’t afraid. She’s angry. When she goes in search of the source of that tortured sound she expects to find another drunken hunter injured by his own gun.

Instead she finds something indescribable. He’s six feet of sensuous panther-black skin stretched over taut muscle. His green eyes glow with feral intelligence and though she can’t speak his language, Alli knows he’s asking for her help. She watches as his magnificent body heals itself of a vicious gunshot wound and she wonders if he’s come to enslave humans, starting with her.

Of course, she’s probably dreaming. After all, magnificent feline aliens don’t normally roam the woods behind Alli’s home. If he’s still there, in her bed, in the morning...well, she’ll worry about it then.

* * *


A mound of scrambled eggs and a stack of buttered toast teetered on the bed tray along with glasses of orange juice, water and milk. Alli surveyed the feast as she climbed the stairs and wondered if he would be interested in eating any of it. He looked more like the raw steak type, but she wasn’t about to break her food budget for him yet. This would have to do. She’d made enough for an army figuring he’d need an awful lot of fuel for all those muscles.

She thought about the full-length view she’d gotten as he had retreated up the stairs. His hands were huge, twice the span of hers, and his thighs were like tree trunks. She thought of his jewels--the jewels on his belt. They looked like emeralds and rubies. The leather was pale in contrast to the rich blue-black of his skin. She remembered the soft feel of the fine fur under her hands and wondered what it would feel like everywhere on her body.

She rolled her eyes. Get over it, now Alli. He’s an alien. Just remember, he’s an alien. Her plan was simple and she had to stick to it. Give him something to eat and gently, but firmly explain to him, using sign language if necessary, that it was time to go back to whatever galaxy he came from, then hope he didn’t plan to take her along as cheap labor. Mr. Frye didn’t know the half of it. And here I am cooking for him! What’s wrong with me?

He had stretched out on the bed again and was surrounded by pieces of brown chocolate bar wrapper and silver foil. He hissed something at her when she maneuvered the wide bed tray through the door and rolled gracefully to a sitting position. She saw him wince and one hand went to his wound, which was still raw and pink but had begun to close up now that the bullet had come out.

The aroma of the eggs and toast drew his attention as she set the tray next to him on the bed. He looked at the food and nudged the quivering mountain of eggs with one claw.

“Watch,” she said. She scooped up some eggs on a fork and put them in her mouth. “Mmmm.”

Needs salt, she thought but kept her tight smile in place.

He picked up the other fork and mimicked her movements, right down to the loopy grin. Alli wasn’t sure whether to be shocked or relieved. She watched as he wolfed down the rest of the eggs with a vengeance and decided on relief. If he can eat eggs, he won’t need to eat ... me. . .

* * *

To find out more about Hunter’s Moon go to

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Max Headcold

I finished the galleys for More Than a Fantasy [the short ones are easy!] and got them back to Trace at Amber Quill. To my complete surprise, the release date for the Forbidden Amber Pax collection will be March 19th. I’m looking forward to seeing what other tantalizing tales the Forbidden Pax authors have in store.

I’m glad I got that done yesterday because I got hit with a major head cold last night. Partly due to the fact that I had just been thinking not long ago that I haven’t had a major cold in a long time. When will I learn? Today, I may curl up on the couch with a bunch of editing and just rest. Tomorrow is a busy day at my office so I really hope I’m well enough to go and get my meeting prep taken care of. Since I’m only there one day a week, I hate to call out. Dear husband is out getting me some extra-strength Sudafed. I hope he gets back soon. …

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Excerpt Fridays!

Starting this Friday, March 10, 2006, I’m going to begin my excerpt Friday program. Every Friday I’ll post a short, and hopefully titillating excerpt from one of my available or upcoming titles, or on special occasions, from the available or upcoming titles of fellow authors. Over time, I’ll incorporate some trivia questions and maybe some contests so that if anyone’s paying close attention, you may wind up with a cool prize!

Be sure to drop by on Friday for my first excerpt. I’m starting at the beginning with a favorite scene from my first published work, Hunter’s Moon. Stay tuned!

In other news. . .

I got my galleys today for More Than a Fantasy coming soon from Amber Quill. Ever fantasize about an Atlantean prince? I have. LOL.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Some changes

I've renamed my blog to reflect the fact that it belongs to both of my alter egos. You may find it will begin to look a little different. I hope it remains entertaining.

Today I got confirmation that my submission for the 2007 Ellora's Cavemen Anthology was recieved. No final decisions will be made until December 2006, but at least I know my story made it to the right in-box. Ten months is a long time to wait, but at least it's a finite period. I can live with that. I may even submit something else between now and September just to hedge my bets a little.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I'm bloggin' at AQP!

I’m blogging over at the Amber Quill Press Author’s Blog today. Check it out!

And when you’re done stop by Amber Quill and check out Wolfsbane, which is on sale today!

[For some reason Blogger isn't letting me upload my coverart today.]

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Heat Wave!

This morning's in-box contained some good news...

5 Angels for FRESH BLOOD! … The sex scenes are sizzling with just the right touch of romance. … Another perfect addition to the New Concepts Publishing Catalogue. – Anita, Fallen Angel Reviews

In Other News. . .

The winners of the 2006 Amber Quill Heat Wave were announced today! I'm thrilled to see several of my fellow Passionate Inkers and Romance Divas on the short list of 11 winning entries of over 200 manuscripts received by Amber Quill editors. For more info on the contest check out the Amber Quill Press Authors Blog.

Here's a list of the winners:

The Claiming - Sherrill Quinn
Cup Of Fate - Cassandra Curtis
Darkson's Forfeit - Marie Harte
Diary Of A Dirty Cowboy - Jade Rivers
Family Jewels - Kelly Maher
Her Black Little Heart - Selah March
Poker Brat - Barrie Abalard
Santa's Helper - Cassidy Kent
The Streets Of Florence - Pepper Espinoza
Tales of the Pride: Awakening - Larissa Lyons
Unloved - Nina Merrill

Congratulations, Ladies!!