Kiss and Tell: B.B. Cruz on Her Hero

Guest blog by B.B. Cruz, author of Dangerous Decisions

BB-Cruz-Author-Photo I met my husband, Mario, when I was a senior in high school at a small town in rural Alaska. Our story is quite unconventional, so here goes…

Mario was the first boy my parents let me go on an actual date with, and let me tell you what a charmer he was! He hid his bad-boy qualities quite well under a very attractive cover of long, black curly hair (no judging…mullets were in style back then!), chocolatey brown eyes, and a smile that would melt even the coldest heart. He picked me up in his Camaro and took me out to dinner, before taking me on a drive to look at the stars (I told you he was smooth!). But he was the perfect gentleman and had me back home with several minutes to spare before my curfew. It was the perfect first date, but somehow, we never went on another one. We would still talk in school, but our relationship never progressed any farther than friendship.

About six months into my freshman year of college I began dating Mario’s best friend, Brian, and we even got married a year later. By that time, Mario had moved out of state and was starting a family of his own, but flew back to be the best man at our wedding. A year later, he returned home alone after his relationship failed, and became a fixture at our house and in our lives; therefore, it was no surprise that when Brian and I had our daughter, Kodey, she would grow up calling him “Uncle Mario”.

Brian and I divorced when Kodey was a year old, but we vowed to never break our bond, since we share a wonderful daughter… and nearly sixteen years later, I’m proud to say we’ve kept that vow. By staying in close contact with Brian, I also remained in contact with Mario and his daughter, Macy, whom he received sole custody of when she was nearly three years old. In fact, our families were so close that Macy and Kodey were basically like sisters.

I had eventually gotten remarried and moved out of state, but when Kodey was seven, my second marriage failed and we returned to Alaska. Later that year, when dropping Kodey off for a day of fun with her dad at Chuck E. Cheese, I ran into Mario and Macy who were in town visiting. I hadn’t seen them for several years and was thrilled to see the sweet young lady Macy had become, and to note that Mario was still his adorable self. He invited me for coffee the following week when he was back in town again, so we could catch up, at which point he asked if I could pretend to be his girlfriend for a New Year’s Eve party he had been invited to, since he was receiving some unwanted attention from another woman he already knew was attending. I agreed and he even took me shopping for a new outfit to wear. A few days before the party, he called me and we ended up talking for hours and I began to realize just how much I’d missed spending time with him.

The New Year’s Eve party ended up being a blast, and it felt incredibly great to be doted on…even if it was all for show. I started wondering how it would feel to be his real girlfriend, and as the months went on and he kept calling and inviting me to do things with him, our relationship easily morphed into something more meaningful. Once things began to get serious, we decided that we needed to tell our kids and Brian what was happening. Several months later, once Mario, Macy, Kodey and I moved in together as a family, things became quite strained with Brian – as expected – but he did his best to uphold his end of our vow to remain close while raising Kodey, and over time has even grown to accept the new arrangement.

Mario and I had been together for about 2 years the first time he proposed to me, and about 5 years by the time I finally said yes. We took a trip to Hawaii with our kids and got married on Waikiki Beach at sunset, surrounded by our close friends and family. Perfection doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So, as you can see, our journey has been unusual, but I have loved Mario for as long as I can remember. Early on, that love was strictly platonic and I could’ve never imagined it would develop into what we have today. He is truly a wonderful man, a great father, and a blessing I’m thankful for each and every day.

Book CoverSynopsis:

Someone is feeding the Feds information on alleged illegal activities at the Franklin Everly law firm, and Carino Montgomery is targeted as a prime suspect. There’s enough evidence to put her in the hot seat when hired gun, Ramon Terrones, arrives to uncover the mole.

But from the moment they meet, Ramon relentlessly pursues Carino, triggering a whirlwind romance packed with fierce emotions … and secrets that won’t remain buried. Both Ramon and Carino have worked hard to put their pasts behind them, but the truth could bring their whole lives crumbling down.

Will their unlikely relationship be worth sacrificing everything they’ve worked for? Or will their secrets prove to be bigger than their love?

Buy: Dangerous Decisions

Author Bio: B.B. Cruz currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two teenage daughters and two little doggies. She’s a huge fan of romance, and loves to cozy up with a novel, which definitely makes the long winters and cold nights easier to handle.

Author’s social media:

Review: Friends with Partial/Full Benefits by Luke Young

Reviewed by Cara Lynn

There are now 6 books in this series. I received the first 2 for free at different times when they were offered free for Kindle. (Book 1 is permanently free.)

This is not my usual genre as they are erotica, but to me they were laugh out loud funny, with silly situations, some were unreal (still funny.) And some scenes seemed like parodies. (He actually has written a parody Chocolate Covered Billionaire Navy SEAL: A Parody whose title itself is funny. That one only has 3 stars.)

I suspect the later books may be more explicit. Some call it porn; others erotica. There really isn’t gratuitous sex, but there is a lot, and there is a lot of love between characters.

Here’s the cast:
Jillian, famous wealthy romance author, caught her husband cheating, now divorced; tennis player; hilarious book excerpts as she morphs her ex into scenes and has to rewrite them. She loves her son and he loves her.
Victoria, her long-time girlfriend, widowed, always on the prowl, with her reason(s).
Both have good bodies — better than good.

Rob, Jillian’s son in college, who doesn’t like tennis at all.
Brian, his friend, who really loves tennis.

The first book has a surprise at the end (a good one.)

full-benefits-400In the second book we meet Brian’s awful parents and his younger brother Jim. It’s a wonder either of them turned out good.

And there is a surprise at the end of the second book (also good.)

Here’s the disclaimer on Amazon for the second book:

NOTE: Recommended for readers 18+. This book contains explicit language, sexual content, slightly inappropriate humor and is recommended for mature audiences who like that sort of thing. This book is also a less explicit version of Ian Dalton’s novel Secret Thoughts. For more information, please see Luke Young’s Amazon author page.)

Jillian and Brian fall in love.

Jim falls for a college girl, sorta, who sorta falls for him.

Jim and Victoria fall in love, sorta.

Rob…

I really enjoyed the characters and would like to know what happens next. I give the books 4 star. Nothing is off limits to talk about. There is some anal sex, which doesn’t appeal to me. But it is funny … ah well…

Friends with Partial Benefits [Rating:4]
Friends with Full Benefits [Rating:4]

Buy: Friends With Partial Benefits (Friends With Benefits Book 1), Friends With Full Benefits (Friends With Benefits Book 2)

Brink of Passion by Sondrae Bennett

Profile_pictureHi! Thanks for having me today. My name is Sondrae Bennett, and I write paranormal romance.

When I wrote my first book, Arctic Winds, five years ago, I never imagined the scope of the journey I’d began. How could I have known that a little novella about two people finding love would develop into a six book series (with more on the way). But the ideas wouldn’t stop flooding in. As soon as a new character was introduced, they began demanding their own story.

Then one character entered the picture who was unique in her own way. The heroes sister, Laurie. She never demanded her own tale, but always stood in the background…waiting. We both knew her time would come, but were both prepared to wait for the perfect time and the perfect man.

From the very beginning I loved her. She exhibits so much of who I wish I could be. Confident, clever, carefree, yet with a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty. Not to mention, a wicked sense of humor. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants. And she’s not afraid to roll the dice on the chance to have it all.

In Brink of Passion, the latest installment in the Alpine Woods Shifter series, she does just that. After meeting Max, the man her wolf has chosen as their mate, she decides to leave the home town she’s lived in her whole life and jump into the unknown. She knows it’s a risk, that her and Max might not be as perfect together as their shifter sides believe. Theirs isn’t an instant love mating, but the attraction between them won’t be denied. It’s a risk, but one she knows is worth taking. She pushes through her fear and anxiety about the decision and does what she needs to in striving for her happily ever after.

In a lot of ways, writing Brink of Passion has helped me grow as a person. It’s given me the courage to go outside my comfort zone and seek out new challenges and opportunities. Would you risk everything for love? Have you?

Brink of Passion coverExcerpt:

“Are you hungry?” he asked.

She shook her head.

“Drinks then?” Although he’d phrased it as a question, he had no intention of letting her refuse. Now that he’d found her, there was no way he’d let her go. He couldn’t. The beast inside him wouldn’t stand for it.

Taking her arm, he steered her toward the front of the hotel. Sure, he could have taken her to the hotel bar. It would have been faster, and more convenient. But the bar was no doubt packed full of shifters, and he wanted more privacy than that. He didn’t need a bunch of strangers, who would no doubt sense what was happening, staring and whispering while they were getting to know each other. Earlier, he’d seen a pub around the corner from the hotel that seemed promising. He pointed toward the hotel entrance as they walked and she nodded before moving ahead of him to maneuver through the crowd.

His fingers still tingled from touching her skin, and every nerve in his body thrummed with awareness. His gaze strayed downward to the swing of her hips as she walked, and he bit his lip to hold in a groan. No doubt the two of them together would burn up the sheets once he got her into his bed.

Soon. They both knew they’d end up there. Why deny themselves the pleasure?

She hesitated a moment, looking over her shoulder, as they walked out of the hotel, making him wonder if she were in fact with a man. If so, he admired her loyalty, even if it was no longer relevant. The poor shmuck would have to find someone else. He grabbed her hand, almost groaning at the pleasure merely touching her gave him, and led her down the street.

She had to feel the connection between them. The inexplicable pull toward each other. He’d never felt so certain of anything before in his life. Suddenly he understood the possessiveness other men displayed toward their mates. A part of him had always sneered at men who found their mates and ignored everything else. The ones who became so enamored that they professed undying devotion to someone they barely knew. He’d always thought those men weak-willed, or somehow kidding themselves. But now he knew differently.

No, he wasn’t in love with Laurie—he didn’t even know her—but he was completely and utterly captivated by everything about her. Love would grow. What they had between them was more intense and consuming than that.

As they walked down the street, more men stared at her, some shifters in town for the convention, but plenty of full humans as well. Annoyance grew at every eye he caught looking at her with interest. Laurie appeared either oblivious to the attention, or used to it. The thought of the latter irritated him further. Was she looked at so often that she’d become immune to it? Even women’s eyes were drawn to her.

When they got to the pub, Max pulled Laurie away from everyone else and into a secluded circular booth. Away from prying eyes. He scooted into the booth until they were seated together in the back.

Her scent drove him wild, and he couldn’t resist rubbing the tip of her hair between his fingers. Her eyes tracked his movements, her mouth opening as if she wanted to protest, but after a moment, she closed it. Pleasure filled him. Before the end of the night, Laurie would be his.

The smile vanished from his face as a waiter came to take their orders. The man’s eyes were riveted on his mate. A low growl rumbled in his throat.

Pure male satisfaction filled him when the waiter’s eyes widened in fear. He left so fast after taking their drink orders, Max was surprised he didn’t leave skid marks.

“Are you always this friendly, or do I bring out the best in you?” Sarcasm dripped from the words. He’d admit it, watching other men ogle his mate was awakening his beast.

“Doesn’t it bother you?” Because it sure as hell was bothering him.

“The growling? Nah, I have three brothers, so your ultra alpha-ness doesn’t scare me.”

Alpha-ness? Was that even a word?

“Not me. You. Doesn’t it bother you to have so many people making eyes at you?”

“Making eyes? What are you, eighty?” She laughed and the sound swept through him, punched through his frustration and brought a steady burn of lust in his gut. Low, with a hint of roughness that sent chills down his spine.

Desire burned in the back of his throat and pooled in his belly until thoughts of Laurie took over his entire being. With another growl, this time one of pure need, Max leaned forward and nipped the top of Laurie’s ear. Her laughter ceased, breath catching on a quickly indrawn gasp. Fingers dug into his thigh, right above his knee, until he released her ear, soothing it with a small lick before pulling back.

“I’m being serious.”

Her eyes stared at him in confusion, lust still clouding their depths. He’d be lying if he said the sight of her desire didn’t fill him with pride and no small amount of excitement for the night ahead.

After a minute, she shook her head. He could almost see her scattering droplets of bewilderment just as a dog shakes off water after a bath. The image broke through the tension from frustration and lust. He could be patient, because tonight would be the start of forever.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

She didn’t know. He could see it in her face. She wasn’t trying to be cute, or pretend innocence. She really didn’t see the way everyone stared at her. Somehow, that only made her more attractive.

Unable to resist, he tangled his fingers with hers and leaned his other arm along the back of the booth so that he could play with her hair. Then he began to get to know her in earnest.

Blurb:

He’ll do anything to protect his mate.

The last thing Laurie expects when she bumps into Max at the shifter convention is finding her mate. Certainly not that her mate can shift into a leopard. Wolves and leopards mix about as well as water and oil. Or should she say, dogs and cats. Mating him means leaving her family, her town, and the only home she’s ever known. But the possibility of a happily ever after is worth the risk, right?

Max couldn’t be happier with his brazen, feisty wolf, but returning home isn’t the welcoming affair he’d expected. In his absence, his brother has been attacked within the leap complex. Something must to be seriously wrong. Could someone be using his loved ones to get to him? When his worst fears prove true, his protective instinct goes into overdrive. Will keeping Laurie mean putting her in danger?

Brink of Passion will be available February 25th (tomorrow!) and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon

Find out more about me or my books at www.sondraebennett.com, on Facebook, or Twitter.

In the Spotlight: Sacred by Max Ellendale

Sacred_200x300Some decisions are easy to make, especially when it comes to the well-being of your mate. Even if the decision means ending the life of another…

Just when Shawnee thought her life would finally settle down, an unexpected visit from Vanessa’s family sparks an unraveling of a different sort. The visitors bring news that the Pride is in trouble. Dugan, a weretiger who relentlessly bullies the most vulnerable members, threatens to take over. Shawnee returns with Vanessa to her homeland and, with the help of Xany and an unsuspecting submissive, works to bring down Dugan before he dismembers the Pride. Can Vanessa stand up to her nemesis and restore the Pride to safety? Will she break under the pressure, or can Shawnee protect her mate from the torment? Shawnee quickly learns to draw on the strength of her pack family and with a keen bit of luck, may very well be the key to saving the Pride and her mate.

***

Max grew up just outside of New York City, spending most of her formative years outdoors creating wild ghost hunts with neighborhood kids, setting booby-traps to capture unwitting family members, and building clubhouses on top of ten-foot walls. Max wrote her first story at the age of twelve and titled it Circles of Friendship. Through the years, Max has written several short-stories and poems, all of which met the wrath of the “Not Good Enough” monster and ended in fiery demise.

Max regained her confidence when she began writing scholarly articles and research theses on her first trip through graduate school. It took several years for her to break the habit of the formal writing that marred her creativity. An additional Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing was Max’s biggest support in this. Max writes primarily sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal romance, and Young Adult stories.

Find Max Ellendale on Amazon

For more information visit: www.maxellendale.com

***

Excerpt

Chapter One

“Doctor Twofeathers?” The charge nurse called my name as I stood on the desk, reaching for a book on the highest shelf of the medical library.

“Yes?”

“There’s someone here to see you,” she said, her lips pursed in a way that tried to stifle a small smile.

“Is it a walk-in?” I hopped down from the desk and straightened my lab coat. It wasn’t everyday that I got caught climbing for answers. The look on the nurse’s face told me I hadn’t played it off as coolly as I’d hoped.

“You…could say that.” A wry grin lifted the corners of her mouth. “A very handsome walk-in.”

Could it be Mal? A rush of excitement shot through me as the nurse nodded toward the door. I followed her to the nurses’ station by the entrance of Stormhill Hospital Center’s emergency room. I’d worked here for a few weeks, part-time at the request of my pack. Despite the hospital administrator urging me to work full-time, it just wasn’t in my best interest. Ultimately, it was my decision. I knew that spending too much time away wouldn’t be the best approach to strengthening our new bonds. Even though I only spent less than twenty-four hours a week out of the house, it seemed like a lot more. The part-time position afforded me the opportunity to work on building up a private practice at the cabin. This made Vanessa happy and soothed by the fact that my work outside the house was temporary.

Waiting for me by the front desk was my mate, Mal. I tried my best to keep the surprise from my doctorly poker face, but I couldn’t help it, really. He greeted me with a casual hug, then held up the brown paper bag he carried.

“I thought we’d have dinner together tonight. I bribed Beth into telling me when you were taking your break,” he said, shooting a glance at the young brunette receptionist.

“Bribed her with what?” I laughed.

Beth turned in her chair, a cheeky smile plastered across her face. She held out her hands and Mal tossed her a giant wrapped sandwich.

“With food.” A grin spread across his lips, lending light to the stark curve of his jaw. The overwhelming desire to kiss him was hard to suppress.

“Thanks, handsome boyfriend of Doctor T,” Beth’s voice carried on a light chuckle as she set her dinner on the desk.

“She’s the best.” I smiled at Beth before waving at Mal to follow me. “We can eat in my office.”

My office at the hospital was a cozy space tucked into the corner of the first floor. The windows looked out into the parking lot and the trees beyond it. It was the first time that Mal had visited me, and I wanted to show him everything. He looked around at the charts and graphs on the walls, then lifted an eyebrow at the chalkboard someone had used for a game of hangman.

“The residents sometimes share the office,” I explained through a laugh. His expression lightened as I nudged the door closed behind me.

“Is it usually this quiet here?”

“Only after midnight,” I said as he set the bag of food down on the desk. Mal turned around to lean against it and smiled at me. His eyes wandered over me from head to toe.

“What?” I asked and followed his gaze, wondering if some sort of ER goo or hospital stench covered me.

“You really do look like a doctor,” he said, voice laced with surprise as his eyebrows flicked upward.

“I am a doctor.” I laughed and made my way over to wrap my arms around his neck. He gave a light tug to the stethoscope that dangled along my chest then used it to pull me closer.

“You sure are,” he said, and in an instant, his lips pressed to mine.

Relief flooded me as the soothing mate bond thrummed happily between us like an invisible strand connecting our souls. The heat between our bodies was wonderfully unbearable. He let go of the stethoscope, then slipped his hands under my lab coat to rest on my waist.

“How are things at home?” My voice seemed to sigh.

“Vanessa is driving Xany crazy.” He laughed as his fingers stroked along the waistband of my scrubs, igniting the familiar ache of desire in my belly. “When she tries to start a conversation or ask her a question, Vanessa’s responses are just totally weird.”

“Poor Xany.” I couldn’t help grinning at the notion. Vanessa’s responses were peculiar on a regular basis, and during heat time, they were practically unfathomable.

“I think Xany and Ana went to Imogene’s this afternoon to escape for a while. It’s been strange for everyone hanging around a feral weretiger that’s in heat.” His hands came to rest on the small of my back. The heat of him swallowed me whole.

“I don’t usually notice until she completely stops speaking in full sentences.” I shook my head. “Is Mom okay?” I asked, and toyed with the collar of his shirt. I couldn’t bring myself to query any further. My mother had been back in my life for barely a month before I started working again and, I had to admit, I wasn’t putting in my best effort to reconnect with her. What would she think when she discovered all of my secrets?

“She’s the most patient wolf I’ve ever seen.” He smiled.

“I know.” I closed my eyes. His chin pressed against my forehead. “Thank you for coming to see me tonight.”

“My pleasure.” With a grin that seemed malevolent at best, his hands dipped into my pants and cupped my rear. I gave his ponytail a firm tug when his hardness pressed against me.

“Is it?” I smiled. If my werewolf had taught me anything, he’d taught me how to play. And to take the bait.

Writing What I Know: The Backstage World of a Working Actor by Kathryn Leigh Scott (Giveaway & Guest Post)

Kathryn Leigh Scott, author, publisher and actress is probably best known for her star turn as Josette Du Pres, ingénue bride of reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins in the TV cult classic “Dark Shadows.” Her third novel, Jinxed (a Jinx Fogarty Mystery) (Februrary 2015), is a stand alone sequel to the successful Down and Out in Beverly Heels (Montlake Romance, 2013). While continuing her acting career, Kathryn launched Pomegranate Press to publish books about the entertainment industry, “Dark Shadows” fan books, and other nonfiction and fiction titles. She continues her acting career playing George Segal’s girlfriend Miriam in “The Goldbergs and will appear in the 2015 mid-season launch of  “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Read Love Romance Passion’s review of Down and Out in Beverly Heels.

***

The old adage “write what you know” certainly applies to me, with my twin careers as a writer and an actor. My mystery romance series is set in Hollywood and features a veteran actress, Meg Barnes, who once starred in a popular TV series playing amateur sleuth, Jinx Fogarty. I began my career as an actress playing Josette DuPres in the classic Gothic daytime series “Dark Shadows,” which has a cult following to this day. I completely relate to Meg Barnes, who knows that no matter what other roles she plays in her career, she will always be known as Jinx Fogarty. Thanks to my role playing the fiancé of vampire Barnabas Collins, I will always be remembered as Josette.

I wrote my first romance novel, Dark Passages, with a wink and a nod to “Dark Shadows,” but made the ingénue actress a real vampire struggling to live a normal life among mortals. Of course she fell in love with her leading man, a handsome Brit actor not at all happy to find himself cast as a vampire in a television series! Yes, I had a lot of fun drawing on what was so familiar to me from “Dark Shadows,” but even though I drew on my experiences as a young actress doing a live television soap in the 1960s, the story I created is entirely fictional. Nothing in the plot of Dark Passages ever happened in the real behind-the-scenes world of “Dark Shadows”—and I certainly wasn’t a vampire! But how delicious to set my imagination free and explore “what if” I was a vampire and fell in love with a mortal. I already have the plotline for the sequel—and yes, despite the complications, she and her leading man are finding true love together.

I draw on everything I’ve experienced in my career as an actress working in theater, film and television to write the mystery romance series featuring Meg Barnes as Jinx Fogarty. Meg is a beloved actress who has enjoyed considerable success, winning an Emmy for her portrayal of Jinx Fogarty, and lives an enviable life until she falls for the wrong man. Her second husband turns out to be a conman and she loses everything, including friends, career, home and reputation, and ends up living on the streets of Beverly Hills in her “Ritz-Volvo.” She uses everything she’s ever learned playing an amateur sleuth to track down her fugitive husband and find redemption—and love with the right man, a handsome FBI agent, who at first suspects her of being an accomplice in her husband’s fraud.

I know the behind-the-scenes world Hollywood well, and the sound stages where I continue to work in such popular television series as “The Goldbergs” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” In my newly-released novel Jinxed, the sequel to Down and Out in Beverly Heels, Meg finds herself on the comeback trail with a new series—and facing an old adversary, who jeopardizes her life and a chance at redeeming all that she’s lost. I know how precarious the career of a working actor can be and I pour all of what I’ve personally experienced, from the bitter disappointments to the heights of exhilaration, into the fictional world of Meg Barnes.

Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Buy: Jinxed (A Jinx Fogarty Mystery)

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Kathryn is giving away two Jinx Fogarty Mystery packages – each has a copy of Jinxed and Down and Out in Beverly Heels! US/CAN winner gets print (signed) or digital copies; winners from other countries receive digital copies only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter Form below to enter!

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