NEWS FLASH!!! 4 out of 5 Paddles Review for DESIRE AND DECEPTION

Woot and wow! I am thrilled to report that BDSM Book Reviews has given DESIRE AND DECEPTION 4 out of 5 paddles! To read the full review go to 

New Year, Sexy New Resolutions!

Every year we make resolutions to spend more time with our love ones, to lose weight, to eat better and to get a better job, but this year, you should make a resolution that you can actually keep. Make one that’s a little less cliche and one that will benefit more than just yourself. Make a resolution to have better sex in 2013.

Maybe you’re married and your sex life has become a little less than awesome? Maybe you’re dating someone and you’ve moved into that little too comfortable part of your relationship, where you spend more time and sweat pants and less time naked? Maybe you’re just kicking it by yourself? No matter your situation, you can turn it around make sure that 2013 is a year full of awesome sex and lots of orgasms.

But how do you ask? Never fear, I’m going to share five hot tips for 2013!

2013 should be the year of dirty talk. That’s right, start vocalizing what you want when you’re in bed. Tell your partner when you like what they’re doing. Tell them what you want them to do and how it makes you feel. Don’t feel comfortable doing so? That’s ok, you can start by reading steamy romance novels to each other. This will help break the ice and teach you how to say these things to your partner. Check out Desire and Deception and get talking.

2013 should be the year of sexy lingerie. Get rid of the sweatpants, the over sized t-shirts and the granny panties. Make an effort to come to bed in sex underwear, teddies or chemises at least once a week. You’ll find that they are just as comfortable as the sweatpants, but that you actually feel sexy.  Need help with your new look? Check out Adam and Eve’s lingerie selection.

2013 should be the year you take it outside. Quit having sex in your bedroom. Move it somewhere public and daring. Try having sex in a bathroom at a party, on the beach at night, in a car, or on the balcony of a busy hotel. You’ll find that it gives you a completely new rush. Nervous about taking your sex scenes into public? Try using different rooms in your house first–including the porch and the garage.

2013 should be the year you introduce food. Sex is fun, eating is fun, how about we combine the two? Grab a bottle of champagne and hold it in your mouth while you go down on your partner. Get chocolate syrup or whip cream and lick if off their body.  Feed each other cherries or grapes. Or get really adventurous and try out cucumbers or zucchinis in a way you never have before.

2013 should be the year of sex toys. This one is for all you singles and not so singles. Sure your hands are fun and get the job down, but sex toys can truly amp up your orgasm and be lots of fun to share with your partner. This year, replace your dying duds with a luxury vibe, get a really nice bottle of lube or go crazy and get a sex swing for you and your partner.  Any of these toys are guaranteed to turn up the heat in your bedroom and improve your sex life.

2013 can be a year of greatness, great success, great fitness and most of all, great sex.  Don’t wait for the clock to turn midnight though, go ahead and get a jump start, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetie!

I am delighted to report that I am a recipient of the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. I’d like to thank Marilyn Wigglesworth for this award (*throwing kisses*). I am now supposed to share seven (7) random facts about myself. So, here are some random facts about my writing life.

  1. I’m a reformed pantser. I used to write “organically,” but then I found much of my work wound up in the composter, so to speak.
  2. I took course with Karen Docter on the “W” Plot and Alexandra Sokoloff on Screenwriting Tips for Authors and saw the light. I now think about my characters’ motivation and goals and plot before I begin to pour my thoughts into my computer.
  3. I get ideas for writing from dreams, news reports, and life experiences. Then I wonder, “What if…”
  4. I love the Readability utility in Word. Passive voice is my nemesis.
  5. Coffee. Nothing more needs to be said.
  6. If I don’t time myself, I fritter too much time away on Twitter and Facebook. Morning and evening check-ins and I’m done. Okay, well this is really more of a 2012 goal than a reality, but I’m working on it.
  7. DESIRE AND DECEPTION was nominated for an RT Best Erotic Fiction Book of 2011 Award. Yeah, not random, but I HAD to share and pinch myself again!

To celebrate the RT nomination and Valentine’s Day and my Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, I’m giving away a free e-copy of DESIRE AND DECEPTION to one lucky commenter.

Now, I hereby tag the following ten (10) blog buddies for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. It’s their turn to spill seven secrets and pass the love along.

Caz Austin’s Blogspot

EJ Stevens From the Shadows

David Beem

RW Goodship, aka, The Camera Guy

Derek Flynn, Rant with Occasional Music

Sandy Wolters

Kellianne Sweeney


Eliza Knight

Jannine Gallant

Where Do You Get Your Characters?

Authors are often asked “Where do you get your story ideas?” “How do you think of that stuff?” or “Where do you get your characters?” When I worked at a university, I used to reply, “I open my office door and look out into the hallway.” Some of us (ahem) also look at our families for characters.

My mother-in-law, Gertrude, may she rest in peace, was a short (four feet eight inches), feisty New Yorker who often rode the bipolar express. To say she was a challenge at times is an understatement. Between her ups and downs, she taught me some critical life-long skills. Included among these lessons were: how to stand up for myself at a hotel when they gave me the wrong room and refused to give me the right one (wait until a crowd forms, then start yelling), how not to dress (large orange polka dotted blouse and gold lamé pants) and how to make outstanding pot roast.

Today, in honor of the holiday season, I am gifting you with her pot roast recipe (Shhhh! It’s a family secret!) and an excerpt from Desire and Deception, starring Gert. I hope you enjoy both. I am also giving away a free ecopy of Desire and Deception to one lucky commenter!

Gert’s Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Style

  • 3 pounds brisket
  • Large container Paprika
  • One large onion
  • One 1 pound bag baby carrots
  • One head cauliflower or 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6-8 Beef bouillon cubes
  • 6-8 Cups water (depends on size of cooker)
  • Olive oil
  • Horseradish

Place entire bag of baby carrots on bottom of slow cooker.

Chop onion and sauté in olive oil until light brown. Place onions in slow cooker on top of carrots.

Coat brisket in Paprika and sear in hot pan that you’ve used for onions. Place brisket on top of onions.

Cut cauliflower into florets. Place florets (or potatoes) on top of brisket.

Put in 6-8 beef bouillon cube and pour 6-8 cups of water over everything. Amount of water depends on size of your cooker and how salty you like your food.

Cover and simmer on medium/high for 6-8 hours–depending on how hot your cooker gets.

Serve on a large platter with side of horseradish.


Excerpt starring Gert from DESIRE AND DECEPTION

Nu, vot kind of car is this, Sarahlei?” Gert asked when Sarah climbed out of the SUV in front of Whispering Willows Retirement Community.

“A Subaru Forester.” Sarah opened the passenger door and looked around. “Where’s your walker?”

“I’m using a cane, now.”

“Since when?”

Gert braced herself to step up on the stool Sarah had placed by the car door. “Since I’ve been taking water aerobic lessons here, and I’ve gotten strong enough to use a cane.”

“Yoo hoo, Goitrude!” A little old man in plaid cap, matching pants, white shirt, red bow tie and suspenders called from the front entrance. “Have a wunnerful day, honey!”

Oy, Harry, give it a rest, already!”

Sarah closed the car door, and Gert put the window down. “Let’s go. Harry’s driving me nuts.”

She jumped into the driver’s seat and pulled away and watched Harry wave and throw kisses as they circled around to the exit. “Who’s that?”

“Harry the Hustler. He chases all the women at Whispering Willows. Corners you in the elevator. He’s an octopus, hands all over you. Thinks he’s quite the ladies man.” She huffed and looked over at Sarah. “Stop laughing, it’s not funny.”

“I’m laughing because I can’t believe how stupid he must be to try to take you on. And I can’t believe you haven’t given the putz a good frosk in pisk, a smack in the kisser!”

Gert started laughing, too. “You’re right, and I can’t believe you got it right in Yiddish!”

After a quick bite, they headed for Chico’s and “brighter clothes.” Gert pointed at a parking spot with her flaming red manicured index finger. “Take that one.” Today her hair was toned down a few shades, more reddish purple than plum purple.

“That’s a handicapped space, Gert.”

“I have a cane, don’t I?”

“Yes, you have a cane, but I don’t have a handicapped hangtag. I’ll get a ticket.”

Nu, not to worry.” Gert rummaged in her bag. “Here’s a hangtag.”

Sarah stared at the blue tag with the white wheelchair. “Where’d you get this? You don’t even own a car.”

“Never mind.” She flapped her hand at Sarah. “Just hang it up there and let’s go.”

Bemused, Sarah attempted to peek into Gert’s gigantic shoulder bag. “What else do have in that bag? A rabbit? Some doves, perhaps?”

Feh, don’t be silly.”

When they entered the store, Gert ordered her to ignore the price tags and repeated her shopping mantra: “See how it looks, already!”

Commandeering two dressing rooms, the clerks needed revolving doors to keep up with Gert. Every time Sarah thought she was done trying on clothes, Gert handed her yet another outfit in eye-searing colors. Three hours, multiple loud discussions, and two irritated and exhausted clerks later, Sarah staggered out of Chico’s laden down like a pack mule.

Gert sat on a bench outside and waited for Sarah to load the clothes into the car.

“Mom, that was Olympic class shopping. You must have been hell on wheels in your younger days. Clerks must have died on the job waiting on you.”

Gert snorted. “New Yorkers know how to shop. We train for it from birth.”

Sarah noticed Gert’s hands were devoid of their usual cancer sticks. “Are you out of cigarettes, Gert? You’re not smoking.”

“I quit.”

Hard enough for a younger person, but for someone in their seventies? Eighties? Downright heroic. “How’d you do it? Cold turkey?”

“Yup. I haven’t had a cigarette in three weeks.”

Mazel tov! You’re full of surprises. Water aerobics, no more walker, smoking cessation, getting groped in elevators by Harry, beautiful new clothes. Is there something you’d like to share with me? Is Harry more attractive than you’re letting on?”

Gert gave Sarah a wink. “Wouldn’t you like to know? There’s a musical on TV tonight, Oklahoma.” She started humming the song, out of tune. “Let’s get the groceries.”

Back at Whispering Willows, Sarah grabbed a luggage cart and loaded it up with Gert’s clothes and groceries. Harry the Hustler, apparently busy groping someone elsewhere, was nowhere to be seen. Sarah hung up the clothes and put away the groceries while Gert rested in her recliner.

“I think that’s it. Anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes, Sarahlei, you can come over here so I can give you a kiss and thank you.”

Sarah leaned down and gave her a hug.

“You’re a wonderful daughter-in-law, Sarahlei. Danny’s a lucky man. Give it some time, dolly. You’ll get pregnant.”

Tears sprang to Sarah’s eyes. “Thanks, Gert. I’m lucky to have you as a mother-in-law. Enjoy the movie.” Sarah stopped. “I almost forgot, Sol Weinstein said to say ‘Hello’ to you.”

The elderly woman gave Sarah a sly grin. “Oh, he did, did he? Tell him I said ‘hello back’.”

Sarah stared at Gert, but the old gal was into the show. Was there something going on between Sol and Gert? She shook her head. Whoa. That couldn’t be possible. Not at their age. Could it?


Want to win some goodies? Check out these two (2) exciting opportunities!

1– eReaders and eBooks are hot. So hot, they’re on fire! The Kindle Fire, that is.
I’m delighted to announce that I’m participating in the “Reading next to the (Kindle) Fire” holiday giveaway. The prize? A brand, spankin’ new Kindle Fire and 20+ eBooks in Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction, mystery and YA!  How do you enter? Simple.
a. Follow my blog, and/or any of the blogs of the participating authors.
b. Click this link to be taken to official entry form. Fill in the required information (it’s just a few smidgens of info), and you’re entered! While you’re over there, check out the full list of participating authors and books to be given to the winner.

2.  Come on over to Marilyn Wigglesworth’s blog every day of December for the Romance Countdown to 2012 and leave a comment. Anyone leaving a comment including and email address on an individual post will be entered to win for that day. They will also be entered to win one of the large gift baskets at the end of the event.



NEWSFLASH! DESIRE AND DECEPTION RT Nominee for Best Book, Erotic Fiction

YES! You read that right. In case you didn’t hear my squeals of delight echoing throughout cyberspace, it is official. My sexy and smart erotic noir thriller, Desire and Deception, is an RT Book Reviews Nominee for Best Erotic Fiction Book of 2011

To celebrate the RT Book Reviews Nominee for Best Erotic Fiction Book of 2011, I’m giving away two (2) free e-copies of Desire and Deception to two (2) lucky commenters. To enter, you need to be over 18 years of age and you need to read the the excerpt on Red Sage for Desire and Deception. When you are done wiping the steam off your monitor, come back here and tell me what you think here on this blog. Names will be drawn by a random number generator on Monday, November 21, 2011. Caution, smoke alarms may go off while reading!

Just to give you a teaser, since this is a family friendly blog, I am posting the G-rated version of the book description. For the sizzling excerpt, click on over to Desire and Deception at Red Sage. You must be 18+ to enter the site. I recommend you wear oven mitts while you read, as your keyboard might be a tad HOT.

Blurb: Pampered princess and daughter of a Mexican crime boss, Isabel (Izzy) Ramirez is a newly appointed assistant professor working toward tenure and promotion. Driven by voracious desires, including ambition for advancement in the legitimate world and lust for her boy toy, Izzy’s house of cards is threatened when the department chair confronts her about a major transgression.  Izzy’s take no prisoners approach means she makes sure her boss can never expose her deceptions.

Graduate assistant and guy-on-the-side, Sean Richards wants Izzy to leave her sleazy husband. If she would only get away from that crook, he’s convinced that he can bring out the better woman who exists beneath Izzy’s tough sex siren exterior.  He adores his hot blooded Latina and will do her bidding–up to a point. Despite the mind blowing sex, he can’t and won’t murder for her.

As Izzy’s nosy parker friend and colleague doggedly follows an obscure trail of clues about the department chair’s death, Izzy is forced to choose between reverting to the ways of her unredeemable father–or becoming the extraordinary woman she sees in Sean’s loving eyes.

PS1: Desire and Deception is my first published full-length novel. It is an honor to be nominated. I feel as though I’ve already won.

PS2: Want opportunities to win some more goodies? Check out these two other (2) exciting opportunities!

1– eReaders and eBooks are hot. So hot, they’re on fire! The Kindle Fire, that is.
I’m delighted to announce that I’m participating in the “Reading next to the (Kindle) Fire” holiday giveaway. The prize? A brand, spankin’ new Kindle Fire and 20+ eBooks in Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction, mystery and YA!  How do you enter? Simple.
1. Join my blog, and/or any of the blogs of the participating authors.
2. Click this link to be taken to official entry form. Fill in the required information (it’s just a few smidgens of info), and you’re entered! While you’re over there, check out the full list of participating authors and books to be given to the winner.

3– Join me at The Romance Reviews Year End Splash for a month long event celebrating romance. I’m giving away two (2) e-copies of DESIRE AND DECEPTION. Stop by, chat with authors and enter contests to win lots of really cool prizes!

Human Trafficking: It’s In Our Back Yards: Part I

One of the hidden atrocities of our time is human trafficking. As old as mankind, this practice continues to this day, even in those countries that have outlawed slavery.  We should all be concerned about this as citizens. Over the next two weeks, I will be posting on this topic from the perspective of a romance writer who addressed this issue in DESIRE AND DECEPTION and will continue to address it in my sequel, DESIRE AND OBSESSION.  

On a lighter note, I’m celebrating KISS OF THE SILVER WOLF’s first birthday by selecting one lucky commenter on my blog each week up to October 31, 2011 to win an e-copy of my werewolves meets X-files novella. So, don’t delay! Start commenting!


What is Human Trafficking?

“Recruitment, transportation, harboring,  or receipt of persons  by means of threats, force, coercion, abduction,  fraud or deception, or abuse of power or position of vulnerability  or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits  to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation….” “Exploitation shall include at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation,  forced labour or services,  slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.” (Article 3a of the Convention of Transnational Organized Crime in Shelly, L. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge  University Press, 2010, pp. 10-11).

Why Should Romance Writers Care?

There are estimates that from 2.5 to 30 million people are victims of trafficking. Estimates for US human trafficking range from 100,000 to 500,000 victims. Because this is a clandestine activity, numbers are difficult to pin down, however the purposes are less elusive. People are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced marriage, labor exploitation,  for begging, for services as child soldiers, adoptions and for their organs. Two-thirds are women and children (under age 18 boys and girls) who are trafficked into sexual exploitation. Men and boys are trafficked primarily for forced labor, child soldiers and beggars.  By sheer numbers alone, human trafficking is a women’s issue. (International Labor Organization. (2004). Report of the Director General Crime, Global Alliance Against Forced Labor. in Shelly, L. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge  University Press, 2010, p. 5. )

Human Trafficking is a Transnational Crime and Culture Predicts the Business Model

  • Asia: Trade &  Development Model—Humans used to build national economy;
  • Eurasia and Eastern Europe: Natural Resource Model,  Furs, Oil, Lumber, Humans sold as commodities;
  • Europe: Violent Entrepreneur Modal—Balkan Crime  Groups,  Humans as disposable goods and victims are often tattooed to show which gang owns them;
  • United States: American Pimp, High Consumption, Low Savings; Run aways, street children lured, girls told they’ll live the high life, usually minority women in poverty stricken homes;
  • Latin America: Super Market: Low Cost, High Volume; Illegal immigration, People Smuggling goes hand in hand with trafficking; and,
  • Africa: Traditional Slavery plus High Technology; Edo, Nigeria is the center of trafficking in Africa, following old slave routes.

Supply: Push Factors of Human Trafficking

Poverty, high birth rates, low educational levels and patriarchy predict the presence and persistence of human trafficking. In countries where girls are not valued, they can be sold to support boys going to school or to purchase medical care for their elders. Children who are born into brothels will stay in brothels. Many countries that have a surplus of children (e.g., Brazil) now have a problem with street children living in allies, unsupervised by parents. These children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. With destabilization of governments (especially the former Soviet Union, Latin America and Africa), there has been a rise of organized crime from former soldiers and enforcers (e.g., Russian mob, MS-13). In addition, the wakes of natural disasters leave women and children unprotected from predators preying on those who are still dazed and confused.

Demand: Pull Factors of Human Trafficking

Much like the demand for drugs driving the trade, the demand for sex, cheap labor, babies,  and body parts drives human trafficking. Demand for sex in areas with large numbers of unmarried men (mining, agricultural) continues to rise, as does sex tourism, particularly for children (both male and female). Demand for compliant soldiers (<age 12) in parts of the world where conflicts never end, means children as young as 8 years old will be carrying weapons. Young girls are often trafficked to be “wives” of military leaders. When they grow older, or ill, the men abandon them. When they return to their homes, they are no longer welcome as they are no longer virgins. Shunned by their communities, many of them are re-trafficked.  Global demand for lower prices drives demand for cheap labor in factories, in homes as domestic servants, and on farms as agricultural workers. Criminals want children for begging and will maim them to make them more pitiful and more productive. In addition, the developed world has a high demand for babies (due to low birth rates) and body parts.

Facilitators: Who Else Benefits from Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a $32 Billion Industry. The money is good and the consequences are minor. Politicians, police and security apparatus are corrupt and profit from trafficking. Border patrols often complicit in crime. In addition, the real estate and leisure industries–resorts, hotels, airlines, restaurants, advertisers and other media–profit from providing services to traffickers.

Why Does It Persist?

Patriarchy, lower education for women and lower status of women predicts greater levels of trafficking. There is one exception—some clients want smart women with education so they can feel they have a “high class call girl.” Women who have higher education are sought after by traffickers to fulfill this fantasy. The value of trafficked person depends on part of the world, but generally speaking, treatment of the person is poor. There is a higher mortality rate among trafficked women and children; it is cheaper to let them die than to obtain medical treatment. Survivors continue to have mental health issues long after the abuse ends.

In Your Back Yard

Many organized crime rings have diversified from drug and gun trafficking to human trafficking. Criminals can only sell a drug or gun once, but you can resell a human many times over.  The I-95 corridor from Florida to Boston is a main artery for trafficking and children and girls are moved often to keep authorities from finding them. Daily, Homeland Security Human Trafficking Reports, reveal that from small towns to big cities, slavery persists throughout the world. It is literally happening in your back yard.

Next Week: Characters, Plots and What You Can Do

References and Resources

Films  & Documentaries

  • Taken
  • Frozen River
  • Revenge
  • Human Trafficking
  • Slum Dog Millionaire
  • Trade
  • Sin Nombre (Without a Name)
  • Born into Brothels
  • Lilya 4-Ever
  • Selling of Innocents
  • National Geographic BORDER WARS (Cable)

A Small Sampling of Nonfiction Books

  • Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Bales
  • Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective by Louise Shelley
  • The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter
  • Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone
  • Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddarth Kara
  • The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman’s Fight for Justice by Kathryn Bolkovac

A Small Sampling of Fiction Books

  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Wiser Than Serpents (Mission: Russia #3) by Susan May Warren
  • Blood Ransom (Mission Hope Series) by Lisa Harris
  • Stolen Woman (Stolen Series) by Kimberly Rae

Online Resources

My Interview with Barbara Hodges on Blog Talk Radio

I’m excited to report that I had a lovely interview last Thursday evening, September 8, 2011 on Blog Talk Radio Show, Red River–No Limits with Barbara Hodges. If you were unable to listen in at that time, you can still hear it even if you are are not a member of Blog Talk Radio. Just go to the link, and you will be prompted to sign up Once you get there, click on Open in New Window and the show will start. My interview comes on about 34 minutes into the show.If you’d rather read the interview, you’re in luck, because that’s today’s post! Be sure to read to the end of the post for a surprise drawing and give away.

1. What inspired DESIRE AND DECEPTION?

In writing Desire and Deception, I wanted to tell a sexy suspenseful tale about smart, powerful women and the men who love them. I wrote about society’s expectations of what a woman should be versus what a woman wants to be. And since the standing advice to writers is to “write what you know,” I then placed these characters into the setting I knew well, the rigidly hierarchical academic world where tenure and promotion are the duo brass rings. With Isabel and Sarah chattering at me the entire time, Desire and Deception is a story that practically wrote itself.

2. What kind of research went into the writing of DESIRE AND DECEPTION?

As an RN and a PhD in Public Health, I have years of experience in healthcare and higher education to draw on. My husband is a physician, so when I had medical questions, I picked his brains. The areas where I obtained additional assistance were in legal implications of child abduction, foster care, the Maryland Department of Social Services (DSS) and DNA analysis. Plus I spent over a year researching the very dark and violent world of the Mexican drug cartels.

3. Please share a fun fact that you uncovered in your research.

When I was trying to come up with a way to hide a baby in foster care, I made up a computer glitch for the Department of Social Services (DSS). Upon further research, I found out that DSS had actually had a major system malfunction and children who had been placed in foster care could not be readily found. Talk about serendipity. It was just what I needed to step up the tension in the story–and it was fact-based, too.

4. You have created an interesting heroine, Isabel, who is the daughter of a Mexican crime boss. What made you decide to give her such a background?

I am fascinated by powerful women. By making her the pampered princess, daughter of a Mexican crime boss, I was able to make her a modern day woman warrior who lives by her own rules. In her non-fiction book, The Warrior Queens, Antonia Fraser analyses the lives of real women who led in times of war. Fraser looks at the historical data, legends and myths surrounding these women through a modern lens. She gives a list of adjectives and categories that men create for these astonishing, strong females, one of which is the lustful “Voracity Syndrome,” aka the “Man Eater.” Izzy is the archetypal Man Eater: smart, sexy, sassy, funny and deadly. Female and male readers can live vicariously through Isabel because she embodies all the things women are told NOT to do. Don’t be too smart. Don’t be too aggressive. Don’t put your desires ahead of other people’s wants and needs. Don’t talk back. Don’t enjoy sex. Don’t be in charge in the bedroom. Don’t be in control of your life. In other words, DON’T BE EMPOWERED. I made Isabel over-the-top on all of these traits and more, because she had to be strong to endure her early life and to lead her troops.

5. Please tell us more about Izzy. What is it like growing up the daughter of a Mexican crime boss?

Like Meadow Soprano, Izzy grew up with all the privileges of being the mob boss’s daughter.  She was given the best of everything: nannies, schools, clothes, cars, horse-riding lessons, whatever her parents thought would make her more cultured. She was also given the worst of everything: horrible role models, a Machiavellian world view, and a very dark childhood secret that no child should ever have to carry with her. Because of this complex background, she becomes a female warrior in her own right. Where others would collapse, she survives and thrives. She is a flawed heroine–with redeeming qualities and compelling reasons for her behaviors.

6. What can you tell us about Sean Richards?

Well, first off, if you saw the cover, you know he’s smoking hot. Eyes that devour Izzy with a single sweep, shoulders she can climb on or lean on, slow hands, gentle touch–or rough when she wants it that way. The man radiates sex, even when he’s not trying to be sexy. He is one-hundred percent devoted to Izzy. And he adores her three wild children and vows to follow her and her brood anywhere on earth.  The best part is when he discovers her dark secret, he doesn’t run, no matter how hard she tries to push him away.

7. What makes him exactly what Izzy needs?

He has compassion for Izzy, despite her armor, he sees through to her vulnerable inner self. Every other man in her life has used her either for sex, money or power. Only Sean has truly loved her, flaws and all.

8. What draws Sean to her?

If Izzy could bottle her sexual energy, she’d make a billion dollars. Sean sees this smart, funny, vibrant woman packaged in a voluptuous body and he’s a goner. He’s not a neophyte when it comes to sex play; he loves to have sex with Izzy. But more than that, she evokes his protective side. He discovers the terrified little girl beneath her iron clad exterior and wants to take care of her the rest of her life–even when she tries to tello him he shouldn’t.  He is obsessed with Izzy–but truly loves her, too.

9. What is your favorite scene? Why?

Hard to pick one favorite–it’s like asking me to choose among my children. One scene that I think many readers will relate to is this one:

After swinging by the daycare center, Isabel headed to the grocery store with the three kids. Ramon pushed a grocery cart, and the girls ran up and down the aisles shrieking. Enamored with all things chocolate, the twins stood in the middle of the candy aisle, yanked bags off the shelves and tossed them into the basket. Serious-faced, Ramon placed boxes of kid tested, mother approved cereal on top of the candy. Sometimes that boy looked like an undertaker. Isabel shook her head, pushed another cart with the adult purchases, and ignored the pointed stares of the other shoppers.

An elderly woman approached her with a dour expression. “Young lady,” she shook her finger at Isabel, “Don’t you know how harmful all that sugar is for children?”

Isabel gave the crone her favorite look reserved for morons and meddlers. “Old lady, don’t you know how harmful it is to interfere with a child’s self-expression? Who wants to grow up and be an uptight rectal sphincter like you?” She laughed out loud at the woman’s face, an excellent impression of a fish gasping for breath. “Dictionaries, aisle ten.” Isabel turned on her heel and continued shopping.

The woman sputtered behind her. “Why you cheeky–”

Isabel flipped the bird in the air and kept walking. She arrived at the checkout and turned to Ramon. “Pick out three boxes of cereal and one bag of candy. Ditch the cart in the produce section.” Now on their third lap around the store, Sherry and Ruby appeared to be slowing down. “Get your sisters. We’re outta here. I have to make another stop.”

I bet every mother who reads this has been there. Your kid(s) are rambunctious, but not really evil, you’re minding your own business and some busy body decides to give you a lecture about child-rearing. Can you honestly say you never wanted to respond that way and give the meddler the finger? And I love the scene from the perspective of the character’s growth. Izzy has had a nanny for her brood for quite some time. Now she’s forced into taking care of them and is becoming more attached to them and more protective of them. She has a maternal side to her that she never expected. She grows and continues to grow. In her own weird way, Izzy is protective of her brood and is working on being a good mother.

10. Who is your favorite character? Why?

My favorite character is Izzy. For many of the reasons I’ve already noted above. Originally, I thought the story belonged to Sarah, but Izzy changed the most and became my favorite. She’s so outrageous and does some of the wildest things (like sex in public places and in her office at work) that many women would like to do or have done and won’t confess to. She also says things that a goody-two shoes like Sarah or many others would never say–but are thinking.

11. What’s are you working on now?

I’m one-third of the way through with the second book in the Desire trilogy, DESIRE AND OBSESSION, a paranormal romantic suspense story about a recovering addict who must work with a Mexican drug lord to rescue her one-year old son from the hands of a cult leader who believes the child is the Chosen One. And, I’m researching KISS OF THE VIRGIN QUEEN the sequel to KISS OF THE SILVER WOLF.

By the way, dear readers, do you believe KISS OF THE SILVER WOLF is almost a year old? It was released on October 20, 2010 and is still going strong. Starting today (September 13, 2011), I’ll be be celebrating the novella’s first birthday by selecting one lucky commenter on my blog each week up to October 31, 2011 to win an e-copy of KISS OF THE SILVER WOLF. So, don’t delay! Start commenting!

News Flash! DESIRE AND DECEPTION Earns 4 Divas and a Flame from Deviant Divas!

DESIRE AND DECEPTION earned 4 divas and a flame from Deviant Divas!

Mstr Jake said, “This is a nicely written, tightly structured story. It rides a fine line between eroticism, romance, and thriller.”

Whoo hoo!! Thank you, Mstr Jake!!

Have You Signed Up for the Snap, Crackle & Popping Newsletter?

Well, what’s keeping you? Free reads, swagalicious goodies and sneak previews await you. But you have to subscribe to get all this awesomeness!

Two ways will get you on my newsletter subscribers list:

1) Go to this link and click on subscribe or

2) Go to my CONTACT page on my website and send me the following: Your name, email address and something like this:

“YES! I am entering to win one of your FABULOUS e-books and please put me on your newsletter list, too. Oh, and I promise never to upload your books to a PIRATE site because I know you work hard to earn your author royalties. Hugs and kisses, Your Fan.”

While you’re out on the web, stop on by The Romance Reviews and read my interview about Desire and Deception and sex siren, Izzy Ramirez.  Giveaway?

Why yes, there is!  I’m giving away prizes to 2 winners! Each set of prizes contains 1 digital copy of DESIRE AND DECEPTION,a set of Romance Trading Cards, a bumper sticker and 1 coffee mug! (US Residents only). Write a comment or ask a question to enter. Contest ends July 31.  Winners will be announced in August.