Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Guest Author Isobelle Cate

 Welcome, Isobella Cate!

What do the words ‘writer’s block’ mean to you?

Writer’s block is when I have the words in my head but cannot put it to paper. It’s when I’m stumped as to what happens next and my mojo is quiet. Writer’s block can also be self-doubt – when you compare yourself to other writers and think your writing isn’t good enough – and you lose the zest for writing.

Writer’s block is like a death knell if it doesn’t lift.

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, how do you process negative reviews?

I used to and I am fortunate to have more good reviews than negative ones. At first it stung when I read a negative review; then I grew to accept that not everyone will like my books. There will always be people who nitpick and if I allowed their comments affect me, I won’t get any writing done. Eventually, I’ve stopped reading them and just keep writing. It’s more productive to write.

If you could time travel, would you go back or forward in time?

In one word, describe yourself.

Complicated. 😉

Do you find yourself getting emotional when you write? Is there a scene that sticks out as being the most emotional to write?

Yes, lots of times! The one that made me emotional was a scene in my paranormal romance novel, Midnight’s Paradox, when Cynn Cruor warrior Blake Strachan met his nemesis Scatha Cruor Herod D’Argyle.

What are you working on now? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I’m working on Firebinders: Fleur. It’s the second book of the Firebinders series which is a spin off from my more popular Cynn Cruors Bloodline series. The Firebinders are mortals with long life spans whose blood heals or kills.

Here is the prologue:

New Year’s Eve 1904

Times Square, New York


Ellery Mellisande led his family through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in Times Square, trying to find a gap where they could regroup. It was not the best of places to make arrangements that would forever change their lives but they had no choice.

It was their turn to be hunted down.

He glanced over his shoulder. Genevieve held his hand tightly, giving him a short reassuring smile belying the fear and anguish swimming in her dark blue green gaze. Behind her, their daughter, Angelique, was breathing through her mouth, her head thrown back staring at the dark sky. Taking the rear, her twin brother, Alain, had taken off his flat cap, his face grim as perspiration dripped from his temple even in the freezing cold.

“Papa.” Angelique’s voice was faint, her skin pale under the kaleidoscope of fireworks.

Ellery didn’t need further prodding. Despite the curses surrounding them, he and Genevieve pulled Angelique to the front of the line.

“Over there,” he shouted as they all inched their way, stepping on shoes and trekking at a turtle’s pace until they reached an alley miraculously devoid of revellers waiting to welcome January 1st, 1905.

Angelique stumbled into the open space as Ellery pulled his wife and son through the bodies forming a barrier between claustrophobia and the open air.

Genevieve rushed to her daughter who was leaning and gripping the wooden crates stacked by the side of the brick building.

“Are you alright?” Genevieve asked above the sound of revellers, her white linen and lace dress rumpled and stained with dirt and sweat. Her hair was unpinned from the Gibson girl bouffant chignon atop her head.

Ellery looked at his family all of them taking huge amounts of slightly ammonia smelling air. But it was better than being trapped in between bodies that he, too, had felt the threatening invasion of swooning.

Swooning was for women.

They all looked at each other. Angelique had lost the pale blue satin ribbon that kept half of her golden-brown hair tied at the back of her head.

“This is the only place we can talk,” he said. “A safe place and time to decide what needs to be done.”

“No,” Genevieve cried, vehemence and anger mixing with the tears forming in her eyes.


* * * *


She was going to collapse.

She felt her hand being tugged forward but in a sea of bodies jostling for a place to watch the first ball drop on New Year’s Eve from the Times Building. She was only vaguely aware that her right hand was in her mother’s grip, while her left held the strong and reassuring hand of her twin brother, HenrĂ­.

“Angelique, not long now.”

Her mother’s voice floated about her, crossing the heads and faces of New York. She could hardly feel the cold air and her thick cot was making her over heat.

Immaru help me.

She looked up at the starlit sky, hoping to catch a clear pocket of air she could drag into her lungs. To her right, the top of the Times Building rose to the sky, its stark white façade made dirty by the smog that was becoming the fixture of the city. The number ‘1905’ remained dim, only illuminated by the street lights. Soon it would be ablaze from the fireworks promised by the New York Times’ owner, Alfred Ochs.

“Papa…I don’t…” Tried as she might Angelique couldn’t get air into her lungs. The crowd crushed into whatever minute space around her.

Suddenly, HenrĂ­ and her mother pushed her forward to her father and they hauled their way forward amidst the curses and glares of some of the revellers.

“My daughter is about to collapse,” Ellery roared above the grumblings. That declaration caused a narrow path to appear ahead of them. They all rushed through before the bodies closed behind HenrĂ­.

They were free.

Angelique stumbled into the dark alley, walking like a drunk to the crates stacked one after the other. She never suffered from claustrophobia; but the dense New Year’s Eve crowd and the reason for why they had departed their home in a hurry had triggered the panic attack that had led to this.

She gathered her skirts when she sat, careful not to let it fall on the piss-ridden floor.

“Are you alright?” Her mother helped her straighten up then cupped her face. Genevieve brushed the damp tendrils away from her face.

“I’ll be fine, Mama,” she said as she inhaled. It wasn’t the purest of air but a cold wave passed through and she was able to breathe more. Neither was she overheating.

Neither were her family.

HenrĂ­’s face, ruddy while they traversed through the crowd regained his colour. And just like Angelique, the fire he had inside him settled down.

The rest of her family took a crate and sat down. Just like Angelique, Genevieve raised the hem of her skirts above their laced-up boots.

“What’s happened?” HenrĂ­ asked, wiping his brow with the back of his hand before putting his flat cap back on. “I have to get back to the hospital.”

Angelique saw the anguish flicker between her parents. Her stomach plummeted.

“It’s time, isn’t it?” she asked in a small voice almost unheard over the voices of New York. Fear and heartache tightened her chest.

Her father looked at her, his eyes filled with despair. Her mother covered her face with one hand while her other hand was locked with her father’s.

He nodded. “It’s time.”

At the mouth of the alley, people began chanting.


They all stood.


Angelique flung herself against her parents, her heart breaking into a million pieces.


Alain embraced her, and his arms wrapped around his parents’ shoulders as they all huddled together one last time.


“We haven’t got much time.” Ellery pulled away from their family embrace. HenrĂ­, Angelique, take care of each other.”


Her father glanced furtively at the crowd.


“We will meet up in the lodge on Catskills in a year’s time, to the day. Is that understood?”


Angelique and her brother nodded vigorously; their fingers tightly entwined.


“Go straight to the new house. Here’s the key.” Her father removed a chain around his neck. “Follow our plan to the letter and we’ll be fine.”


“We have to go.”

“One! Happy New Year!”

Angelique's face crumpled; her sobs lost in the cacophony of joyous shouts. Her arms tightened around her father, mother, and HenrĂ­. They all embraced each other once more, her father whispering one phrase as they huddled for the last time.

“Find Marek Bannach!”


Firebinders:  Fleur

Copyright © Isobelle Cate 2021






Saturday, December 18, 2021

Sneak Peek!

Copyright@2022 Rhonda Lee Carver 

Buy here!

A slower song started and a pretty, petite blonde moved into the cowboy’s open arms. He swirled her around the floor, making a full circle, while she gazed up at him in awe. Even Dusty felt her cheeks aching from a smile as she continued to watch the couple.

He pushed his hat higher on his forehead and she got a good look at his face. Something about his features seemed familiar, like they’d met before, and yet she would remember if they had. Maybe he had one of those faces, yet even as she thought it, she knew better. Just his angular, whiskered jaw set him apart from a lot of men. He was a kind of handsome that got into a woman’s bones before a word slipped past his lips.

He swiveled and his gaze clashed with Dusty’s again. His eyes were a magnetic blue—or bottle green—that caught every glimmer of the neon overhead light. A woman could tell a lot about a man just by his eyes. The twinkle gave her the impression that he had a gentle spirit, but the wide jaw warned her he could stand his ground. He did have amazing feet and she’d bet her old red truck that he could move between the sheets too.

He grinned at the woman in his arms and she flushed. Did she get a little wobbly-kneed? Dusty certainly did.

She’d never been much of a romantic, but on occasion she surprised herself.

What the hell?

She needed to pull back and get a grip.

Handsome cowboy didn’t mean “Come and get him”.

Dusty tapped the heel of her cowgirl boot against the foot bar as she continued to watch, entertained by his moves. She’d almost forgotten that she was waiting for a date and had an odd wish that Griff would be a few more minutes late, at least until the current song ended. 

When that finally happened, the intriguing cowboy nodded at his dance partner and they split ways. So, they weren’t together?

Dusty’s breath caught mid-way in her chest as he crossed the bar, a gentle command in his step, heading her direction like a heat seeking missile. His gaze found hers through the crowd and his smile widened. A ball of warmth burst between her inner thighs making the new lace panties damp.

What was wrong with her? She wanted Griff—sexy, handsome, charming Griff who she’d gotten to know. Not some random stranger who just happened to dance like a cowboy version of Fred Astaire.

Swiveling on the stool, she stared into the beveled glass behind the bar and felt a warm brushing of contact against her arm as the cowboy slid up next to her. Goosebumps skittered over her skin and her nipples pinched. The cowboy had touched her. Accidentally, of course, but her body came alive as if he had shocked her with a live wire.

“Rainey, can I get a water?” he said in a deep voice so pleasant that it was auditory chocolate.

“Coming right up, buddy,” the bartender said.

“Ma’am, is anyone sitting here?”

She realized he was talking to her. She slowly lifted her chin, pretending that she hadn’t been gawking at him for the last ten minutes.

One corner of his mouth lifted into a playful grin, bracketed by dimples that could second as watering holes. Did he have to practice that sexy expression because it seemed that something so amazing would need to be rehearsed. “Yes…I mean, no, not right now. I’m waiting for someone.”

His eyes were blue, but not just blue…but a color so pale it reminded her of the bright clear sky after a hard rain that had washed away every impurity. “Mind if I sit for a moment?”

What could she say?

What did she want to say?


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

All Cowboy & Heart Sneak Peek 18+


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“Fine by me.” He grabbed the bottle and read the label. “I could use a taste. How about you?”

“Just a touch will do. I hope you don’t mind paper cups.” She watched him pop the lid. He wrapped his wide fingers around the neck of the bottle and brought it to his lips, taking a long swig.

“Or that’ll work too.” He held out the bottle and she sipped, squinting as the fire of the alcohol burned down her esophagus and settled into a puddle of warmth in her belly. She wasn’t much of a whiskey drinker but tonight she’d make an exception. She took another long drink and the sting wasn’t as strong.

He chuckled and scratched his beard. “Pace yourself, darlin’.”

“Don’t worry about me. I can handle myself.” She looked at him through the fringe of her lashes.

He leaned against the edge of the dresser, savoring her with those alluring eyes, looking mighty fine. “Dusty’s an interesting name for a girl. Is that a nickname?”

“I guess my dad wanted a boy, but instead he got me.” She set the bottle down, cleared a spot on the desk then lifted herself up to sit.

“I have a feeling you gave your dad a run for his money.” One thick brow popped up over those twinkling eyes.

“I certainly surprised him a time or two. He was your traditional male role model. You know the type. A penis makes you a man and a vagina makes you good with your hands in the kitchen.” She lifted the bottle, taking another nip, starting to feel very relaxed.

“Do you cook?”

“Does boiling water count?” She wiped the back of her hand across her lips. “I’m not much for cooking or baking, but then, I never tried. I was a bit rebellious.”

“Oh, you had something to prove, huh? Always doing the complete opposite of what was expected of you.”

 “A woman can do anything a man can do, sometimes better.” She crossed her legs and leaned back on her hands. “I haven’t ever needed a man, except for one thing.” Did she hear a low growl from him when she pointedly dropped her gaze to his zipper?

Ah, come on. We’re good at loosening tight lids on jars and saving beautiful women from bastards.”

“I have one of those handy dandy rubber gadgets. Works like a charm. And eventually I would have saved myself from Griff. You were definitely a bonus though.”

“How about plunging toilets? I haven’t met a woman yet who likes that task.”

“I have the plumber’s number on speed dial. You’ll have to try harder than that, Cowboy.”

“Is that a challenge?” he asked.

“If you see fit. I’ve always liked a challenge myself.” Against her better judgement she took another drink.

His grin widened. “I’m not surprised. So, Dusty…” he said her name with an even drawl that made her toes curl. “What’s your last name?”

“Why don’t we keep some things a mystery.” She found it quite satisfying teasing him. The verbal foreplay was an absolute turn on.

“Now how’s that fair? You know my full name, my brother, and a few of my secrets.”

With a casual shrug, she handed over the bottle for him to drink. In the golden candlelight his eyes were a shade darker, like the sky before a rainfall. “We both know we didn’t come back here to talk, Cowboy.” He passed the bottle again. She licked a droplet of whiskey off her top lip as she pulled it away from her mouth.

He tilted his head, resting his cheek against his broad shoulder. “So why are we here, Dusty-no-last-name? As far as Alamo is concerned, we’ve already served him a dose of reality. I could leave now and it wouldn’t change what he thinks.” He hooked his thumbs in his front pockets.

There were moments in every woman’s life when she had to decide whether to go big or go home. And Wales Dawson—she moseyed her gaze down those wide shoulders and tight-fitting Wranglers—was big.

“I’d like to get comfortable.” She hopped off the desk, twirled on the heels of her boots, and lifted her hair. “Can you do me a favor and unzip me?” Did she hear the hiss of his breath as the air left his lungs?

The tips of his rough fingers met her skin and although she expected it, she still gave a little jerk. Her body was ultra-sensitive. She liked being high on desire and having raw need coursing through her, warmer than the whiskey—warmer than anything she’d experienced. Being that she’d never strayed from her rules of having no contact with the cowboys, she’d never invited one back to her room and flirted without a care.

She felt the loosening of her dress and the backs of his knuckles inflicted mayhem on her skin as he undid the zipper. He skimmed the column of her backbone leaving droplets of invisible sun rays in his wake. Excitement rippled through her at the prospect of his touch lingering on her breasts, stomach, between her thighs where yearning remained. She didn’t want to make love, not tonight. What she needed, what could only satisfy her craving, would be a wild, sexy romp with no expectations. No sharing breakfast over bad breath and chafed inner thighs. She didn’t want an exchange of numbers with a false promise that he’d be in touch later. Dusty wanted a hook up. A one-night stand. Point blank.

His touch stayed on the indent at her waist.

Dusty couldn’t see his face but she practically felt the energy traveling between them.

Lifting her chin, she looked over her shoulder. Their gazes met in a storm of curiosity, desire and mystery.

“I should go change.”

She took a step but his large hand snaked around her wrist, drawing her closer and turning her so that they faced each other. His eyes glittered in longing and before she knew what his intentions were his mouth slammed down onto hers. She let go of the dress and it swished to her boots. Standing on the tips, she met his kiss with complete abandon, wrapping her arms around his neck. The soft chambray shirt caressed the gentle curves of her ribcage and stomach.  

He pulled back, his chest rising and falling with each breath. His wolf-intense gaze melted her like butter. “Dusty…you sure?”

“We have plenty of condoms.” She reached past him and grabbed the box from the desk drawer. She had to be safe. After having a severe reaction to birth control pills ten years ago she’d given them up and made sure she was always packing protection.

“Thanks, but I carry my own, unless,” he squinted as he read the label on the box, “you like ribbed for her pleasure.”

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Guest Author N.J. Walters

  N.J. Walters describes herself in one word and give us a sneak peek at her current WIP...

What do the words ‘writer’s block’ mean to you?


I’d never had writers block until 2020. I just don’t want to write. Couldn’t work up any enthusiasm at all. There was so much going on in the world, I couldn’t concentrate. I’ve written through many ups and downs over the course of my career, but the pandemic really kicked my butt.


I’m happy to say, I’m coming back this year. I’m writing at a slower pace, but I am writing. It required being patient with myself, celebrating each word I wrote, and trusting the process.  I’d been writing straight for such a long time. I think I needed time to rest and recharge.



Do you read your book reviews? If yes, how do you process negative reviews?

I rarely read reviews. I’m very conscious of not getting emotionally invested in reviews—good or bad—because for as many people who love what I write, there are as many who don’t. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled when readers let me know how much they enjoyed one of my books. That means a lot. You have to have a thick skin in this business. There’s a lot of rejection—from publishers and reviews. I put my head down and keep on writing. I never respond to a negative review. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at the end of the day, I can only write what I write.



If you could time travel, would you go back or forward in time?

I’d go back in time to childhood. It was a much simpler time.



In one word, describe yourself.





Do you find yourself getting emotional when you write? Is there a scene that sticks out as being the most emotional to write?

It’s rare for me to get emotional when I write. When it happens, I know I’ve written something special. The one that stands out the most for me is from a novella that’s no longer in print. I cried when I wrote it and when I edited it. Sometimes I’ll laugh out loud when I’m editing. That’s always fun.



What are you working on now? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I’m working on the next book in the Salvation Pack: The Next Generation series. I never share my work-in-progress. Heck, I don’t even talk about my work-in-progress. I learned early on in my career, If I talk about whatever I’m working on, I lose the drive to write it.



Wolf in the Woods
Salvation Pack: The Next Generation, Book 1
Not wanting to be forced to mate to an eligible male in her pack who won’t take no for an answer, Addie Fuller is on the run.
Billy Gallagher might be human, but he understands werewolf culture all too well after being raised in the Salvation Pack.
When their paths cross, he helps her, even knowing it will likely mean his death. He’s no match for a full-blooded male wolf. A short, brutal fight, leaves him near death and Addie fighting to save his life.
He recovers, but he’s not the same man he was. The one thing he does know for sure—he and Addie are meant to be together. All he has to do is convince her of that and deal with the threat looming over them.
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09K6TDQ3H/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1111548
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolf-in-the-woods-n-j-walters/1140407948
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wolf-in-the-woods-2
Evernight Publishing: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/wolf-in-the-woods-by-n-j-walters/
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, assassins, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.


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Website: http://www.njwalters.com

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