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Sami’s Week

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Goal: finish manuscript for tentatively titled Erica’s Choice and have ready for critique.

Monday: Princess’s first day of grade one—settle Princess in, sort out dilemma of desire to wear pretty hairband with bow on top and requirement to don sun protective hat, find her a desk which was close to good friend but not quite close enough, meet teacher (who’s looking rather frazzled, perhaps questioning her career choice, having already forgotten about the wonderful summer holidays that are now behind her). Go to work. Late.

Tuesday: Working mum facade firmly in place. Drop kids off at daycare, meet new carers, rush to work (but not too fast: recent speeding fine has me driving like that guy who drove Miss Daisy). Arrive late to work. Again. Skip lunch break so I can leave early to do required shopping for Australia Day BBQ.

Wednesday: Bright sunny day—yay! House cleaning, food prep etc. BBQ goes off without a hitch, thank goodness. Crash into bed, exhausted.

Thursday: Pest control guys come to deal with the termites in our yard and put in a barrier to ensure the little nasties don’t decide to move into the house. Drilling sounds on and off all day, chemical spraying etc. Paid a wad of cash and said goodbye to another day with no words down.

Friday: Overnight Princess has had a temperature. Played nurse all day, and tried to keep the Cherub from jumping on Princess’s sore stomach.

Saturday: I have no groceries, and have to buy a birthday present for 3 year old’s party on Sunday. So dash off to the shops. Take Cherub to alleviate her cabin fever and satisfy her need for one on one attention. Wish I could take valium to soften the impact of her shopping centre rampages. Doughnuts will have to do (for both of us)

Sunday: Here I am, blogging much later than my scheduled time, having spent the week running without getting anywhere, trying to find a doctor open on a Sunday because Princess’s fever is still hanging around and now I’m starting to worry (I should say worry more). I’m also wondering where my lovely week of writing has gone.

Total words must be somewhere around 1,500. I’m not sure, I don’t have time to work it out.

Maybe I’ll finish the ms next week, but I’m not holding my breath.

Sami (who’s decided when/if this book comes out it will be promoted as the ‘long awaited’ new release from barely hanging by a thread author :))

What It Means To Be Australian…

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…via YouTube.

Today is Australia Day. Australia Day is the day the Land Down Under comes together to celebrate how bloody brilliant and diverse and self-deprecating we are. Enjoy…

Men have no idea how to behave in a hot tub…

We know how to deal with bugs…

Zebra-print underpants are very Australian (as are cheetah-print, giraffe-print and tiger-print)…

A gold ball is no substitue for a pair of undies (and I’m not complaining)

The Australian accent defines us…

And is quite sexy (even in a movie as mediocre as Funny People)…

It’s true. We do like our beer…

Bagpipes can be entertaining to the Aussie ear…

But above all else…

 

Happy Australia Day, Australia.

Love,

the Divas

XXX

The Fur Debate

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We’ve had some serious stuff happening down here in Oz recently, what with floods drenching half the country and bushfires raging on the west coast. It gets one thinking about the important things, so today I want to address one of those things that’s been on my mind…

Is the hairy chest back in?

I'm glad they're updating the hairdo

One thing I’ve been looking forward to this week is the premiere of the new updated version of Hawaii Five O. I’ve loved shows and movies set in Hawaii ever since the original series played on the small screen. That opening shot with Jack Lord whipping his head around, perfectly coiffed hair immobile, to stare down the barrel of that camera like he was going to wipe all criminal scum from the face of the earth. I LOVED it.

Then there was one of my secret crushes… actually I never made much of a secret about it. Oh Tom, why did you never reply to my letter? Sob sob. When Tom Selleck roared onto my TV screen in his sleek red Ferrari, in those teeny tiny shorts and the ridiculous floral shirt, I so wanted to BE Magnum PI. Or I would have settled for just once running my fingers through that manly pelt of chest hair. Come on, you know you wanted to as well.

I don’t care what anyone else says, he was YUMMY.

Now they’ve remade the original Hawaii Five O series, and I have say proudly that Australia’s own Alex O’Loughlin is going to reprise the role of Steve McGarrett. Honestly not every Aussie Guy looks like this one, but in a perfect world they would.

Another hairy chested Hawaii-based hunk to drool over. Book me Danno, then Steve can frisk me. He’s not a furry as Tom but there’s definite fuzz. And to think when they designed my cover for Sunset Knight they said it was too difficult to find hairy chested models for the covers, although I wrote Brody with a hairy chest. Will the tide turn now? I hope so.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a smooth chest as much as the next girl, but variety is the spice of life. Let’s give the furry pecs a go, shall we? Surely Alex can turn even the most dedicated smooth-chested fan.

What do you think?

Sami

Sexy Or Not Part III

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So, ready for the third installment? I think there’s some on this list that will really make you think…

1/ Professor Snape. Such a dark, tormented, conflicted man. Such a dark, flowing wardrobe. Such a pasty complexion, and yet, there’s something about him that seems wickedly arousing. Is it the smug arrogance? Is it the rebellion against all that is good? Is it the undeniable itch that beneath all that sneering malevolence, his heart really is made of gold? Or is it his talented, long, hard…cane?

2/ Ron Weasley. Another Potter personality. Ron is asigned to the best-friend/side-kick to Harry’s Chosen One hero, but honestly, wouldn’t you rather have Ron? Remember when he sacrificed himself to save Harry’s life on the life-size chess board? I was a goner for Ron there and then. So what if he’s a Ranga (or Ginge, if you’re from the UK)? Just makes him all the more fiery and spicey.

3/ Detective Robert Goren. Yeah, so he’s a little twitchy. And a little, quirky. And he seems to know exactly what you’re thinking when you’re thinking it. And likes to stand at a sidewards 90 degree angle. And has some seriously messed-up back story…but damn, think of that freaky profiling talent put to use in the bedroom. And he’s so damn intense!!

4/ Dexter Morgan. A souless serial killer with a heart of gold? Who will only butcher those who deserve it? I have no idea why, but Dexter is a sexy sod. And he has a killer smirk…

5/ Shaun. Unless you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead, it’s probably pointless me trying to explain this one. Take my advice…go watch Shaun of the Dead right now and then come back and tell me he’s not sexy. And don’t forget to bring your cricket bat when you do.

 

So, there we go. I know I still owe Jess a ‘Jess Dee Edition of Sexy or Not’. Stay tuned for that one next Monday. As for Part III, what did you think?

Ways you can help Aussie flood victims.

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RWA Flooded Communities Book Appeal

We’ve all seen the devastation the recent Queensland floods have wrought and have wondered how we can help. We know that for many affected families, books will not be high on their priorities list for some time to come.

But…
We also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough.

So…
With the aid of some wonderful volunteers, we’ve put together a Romance Writers of Australia Flooded Communities Book Appeal.

What we need?
FICTION BOOKS! Romance books, children’s books, young adult books, genre books, whatever – either new or in sparkling condition.

Please send them to:
RWA Flooded Communities Book Appeal
PO Box 1717

Noosaville Post Office

Noosaville BC

Queensland 4566

When to send them?
Now! And any time over the next few months. The books will be boxed and delivered to the appropriate libraries/schools/neighbourhood centres/community centres in batches as soon as the communities are ready to receive them. We’ll be liaising with councils, libraries and schools to ensure this is done appropriately. Feel free to pop a note inside, or if you’re an author, sign it.

Questions:

If you have a question about donations, email Jess Anastasi: Jess@jessanastasi.com

If you work in a library / council / community centre / school in a flood affected area, email Rachel Bailey: rachel@rachelbailey.com.au

OR if you’re able to donate some money to the flood relief fund you can find out how here – http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

Plus if you live in or around the area there are numerous way you can lend a helping hand, even if it’s just to go lend a shoulder for someone to lean on. You can find info on how here – http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/volunteer.html

Any and all help will be much appreciated.

Rhian, Jess, Lexxie and Sami

Well wishes needed.

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Down Under Divas would like to ask for your good thoughts and prayers. For those Aussie’s following the blog you’ll already know about the natural disaster currently unfolding in Queensland and New South Wales. Our own Diva Sami is in the danger zone and while she and her family are safe at the moment this devastating flood has already proven to be unpredictable. Towns are cut off and whole towns have even been washed away. People are dead and missing. And the worst doesn’t appear to be over. Earlier today CBD of Brisbane was evacuated as the Brisbane river continues to rise. If you live near the affected area but are on high ground please offer any assistance you can to those forced to leave their homes. For those wanting to make a monetary donation to the flood relief this website gives all the information you need – http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

Pictures and video are all over the net and most Aussie news networks are now broadcasting worldwide. Those of us not affect sit feeling helpless in the face of something we have no control over.

For everyone one caught up in this horrible act of nature I wish you safety above all else. And please, please remember, things can and will be replaced, people can’t. Take care of those around you.

Rhian, Lexxie, Jess & Sami

Contract Time!!!

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Sorry about the three exclamation marks above, but I’m a little excited. You see, two days ago I signed a new contract for my next Samhain release. This in itself is pretty bloody brilliant, but what makes this one even more brilliant is the book (a 30,000 word novella) is part of an anthology with fellow Diva, Jess Dee and Canadian author, Vivian Arend.

Check out the antho premise…

A luxury resort on a tropical island: A playground where anything can happen—or the perfect setting to fall in love?

The brand new, five star luxury hotel, Bandicoot Cove on Bilby Island, just off the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia, is all set to open its doors to the public. But hotel manager, Kylie Sullivan insists everything has to be perfect before the big day. What better way to check that the hotel is ready for paying guests than with a soft opening?

Kylie has planned a trial run. A make-sure-everything-works-smoothly run. And the guinea pigs in her experiment? Her close friends and family, and perhaps a few international stars looking for a private getaway, away from the prying eyes of the press and public.

Each of them is sent a personal invitation to an all-expenses paid trip to the island. If there are any glitches in the service or facilities, Kylie would rather find out about it this way, than with paying guests.

There’s something magical about the Island. Perhaps it’s the sheer luxury of the resort, the escape from the daily grind of real life, or simply the intoxicating air that surrounds them. But people tend to fall in love when they come here. And Kylie should know. She’s fallen hard herself.

——————

The Bandicoot Cove Anthology is a set of three novellas and one short story, all of which take place on the Bilby Island.

The first book, a short story of approximately 7k, is Kylie’s book. It is as yet unwritten. The story will take place before the soft opening of the resort and will be co-authored by Vivian, Lexxie and Jess. The intent is to offer it as a free read.

The other three stories all take place at the soft opening of the resort.

Here’s my blurb

Blurb

It doesn’t take just a rock star to rock your world. Sometimes, it takes a best friend as well.

McKenzie Wood is Australia’s most notorious tabloid journalist. Trouble is, she’s not altogether happy in that position. It’s time to grow up and use her degree for serious work. When she spies rumor-shrouded rock star, Nick Blackthorne, a man far more sexy than he has a right to be, at the island resort, Bandicoot Cove, McKenzie knows this is her ticket out of the tabloid world. She just needs a little unorthodox help from her BFF, Aidan Rogers.

Aidan Rogers has been in love with McKenzie for sixteen years. Of course, he’s never told her that, which he has to admit, is pretty damn pathetic. But when it comes to McKenzie, he is a prisoner of his heart. It isn’t easy telling your best friend you’re madly, irrevocably in love with her and want to do sinfully, seriously non-friend like things to her. Especially when she’s never shown an iota of sexual interest in you.

Nick Blackthorne has his own secrets. Having spent the last two months in Germany, Nick jumps at his agent’s offer to spend some “unfamous” time at a new resort in his home country. Nick is surprised to find his creative muse stirred—and stirred greatly—by a very sexy couple he spies at Bandicoot Cove and it’s not long before all he can think about it all three of them. Together.

When three bodies move together as one, the music becomes a smoldering beat that rivals the tropical heat on the island. But will it be enough to save three souls? Or will it be just a sinner’s lament?

Warning: One plus one plus one equals OMG sex, are-you-freaking-kidding-me orgasms and some serious mind-blowing climaxes. And in amongst all this, two people discover they’re meant to be together and another finds the music of his soul once again.

Now, I’m going to let Jess fill you all in on her book (called Island Idyll *sigh* Isn’t that a fantastic title) and next week I’m going to share a few more details about the Bilby Island and Bandicoot Cove, but until then, enjoy this lovely piccie of this lovely man 😉

Chicks You’d Turn For

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I’m going to deviate a little from the Diva norm here today. We do love to talk about men here at the blog, and post pics, and write about them and…. Well, you know. Today I’m going to do the post my hubby has been secretly hoping I’ll do. He’s always trying to tell me I should write a ffm menage, or a ff love story. I think he has an ulterior motive.

I’m not planning anything like that at this point, and I am completely straight, for the record. But heck, chicks do rock. If I were ever in some kind of nuclear accident which rendered me suddenly gay (hey if there can be a spiderman, surely there can be a temporary lesbian superhero too), there are some women I think I’d be into. Here’s my top five:

Kate Winslet: I don’t know if it’s how she wears a purple hat in Titanic or the fact she can swear a blue streak and make it sound posh in that upper crust Brittish accent, or the fact she once sued a magazine for airburshing out her natural curves, but there’s something about Kate that I admire the hell out of.

Christina Hendricks: I discovered her while I was looking for pictures of pretty redheads to inspire my latest heroine. There’s something mesmerising about her eyes and the rest of her is pretty amazing too. Who’s her photographer? I want one picture of me where I look like that (And Kate, I might need the airbrush).

 Pink: Let’s face it, Pink rocks in every way. She’s talented, athletic (wish you could get abs like that without all the pesky crunches), rebellious and funny. She does things her way and has been phenomenally successful without compromising her own sense of style. As a bonus I love her music, and not many people can carry off a super short peroxide blonde cut like that (I know, I tried it years ago. On me? Ick).

Lauren Graham: I’ve always been a fan of the TV show The Gilmore Girls, in large part because of its lead actress. She’s gorgeous, funny, smart mouthed and energetic. Basically she just seems like the kind of person you could be best buds with the second you met her. It doesn’t hurt that any time she comes on the TV the Princess and Cherub exclaim excitedly about the woman who looks just like Mummy. Yep, juuuuussst like her. Gotta love that ego boost (as mistaken as their little eyes might be…)

Drew Barrymore: Child star turned wild child, Drew pulled herself out of an early drug problem and rebuilt herself using her looks and her brains. She’s smart, savvy, a great actress and a clever businesswoman. She comes across as warm and friendly and she’s got that whole cute/sexy combination down like no one else. Who doesn’t love Drew?

So there you go. If every man in the world suddenly looked like this to me:

those are the women I’d consider going the other way for. I’m sure they’d feel the same way about me, right?  

Sami

New print release: Risking It All

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Just over a year ago, two of my novellas released in quick succession as e-books at Samhain:

A Question of Love and Going All In.

Now I am seriously delighted to tell you those same two novella are available in one tempting package, a print book called Risking It All.

RISKING IT ALL

When it comes to love, it’s a safe bet you’ll lose your heart.

A Question of Love:
Four years ago Gabe Carter left Tina Jenkins as a matter of honor, destroying the passionate threesome they’d both enjoyed with Gabe’s best friend, Connor. Now Gabe’s back, armed with promises of love and forever. Picking up where they left off is tempting, but Tina wants the whole package—which includes Connor—and Gabe wants her all to himself. It’s up to Gabe to prove that he is the only man Tina will ever need.

Going All In:
Julia Savage’s weekly poker games are not the only thing she’s betting on. She’s also gambling on the love of two men. Hunter Miles and Jay Baxter are happy to double up and share both Julia’s affection and her body, but their attraction to each other may threaten the budding relationship between all three of them. Now it’s decision time: all or nothing?

Are you ready for a combination game this hot? Double up for a taste of the edgy world of Jess Dee.

Warning: These novellas contain a whole lot of hunky heroes, heroines worth betting on, sizzling hot m/f love scenes, even hotter three-way action (m/f/m and m/m/f), adult toys, anal sex…and romance that will leave your heart pounding.

Quick Excerpts from the two novellas:

(And if you’ve been over at my blog or International Heat, nope, these aren’t the same excerpts. They’re different!)

A Question of Love:

Gabe sat frozen, his heart thundering.

Seconds later she was back, her arms full. “Use them,” she ordered as she dumped the load in front of him. “Any of them. All of them. Don’t care which. Just…use them.”

Gabe stared at the cache. While his chest burned with pain, his aching cock stood further at attention. Oh, Jesus. Jesus, fuck. For just a second he saw stars.

He grabbed the vibe closest to him and wrapped his hands around it, imagined fitting it between her legs, slipping it into her wet, hot pussy, and he swallowed.

“Can’t do it, T.” The words were wrenched from his mouth. “Just not…strong enough.” Not when she wanted Connor there with them.

She gawked at him, horrified.

Gabe clenched the vibe tighter, resting the base on the sketch of himself and Connor. “Want you to myself. Won’t share you again.” He’d have to have steel running through his veins and his heart to share her again.

The horror left her face, replaced by determination—and desire. She cleared her throat. “Make love to me, G.”

Gabe ground his teeth together and fought back the impulse to dive on her. He shook his head. “Can’t do it, T. Not when you want Connor too.”

Her lips curved into a shameless smile. A dangerous smile. Her eyes gleamed with… Oh, fuck, with a carnal thirst. “Then don’t move,” she whispered. “Not even one inch.”

As if he could. His limbs were frozen in despair, his cock hard as the devil.

With that warning, she began to strip away her clothes. Slowly, sensually, one garment at a time. First, she kicked off her shoes and then she pulled her T-shirt over her head. Her singlet followed, leaving her luscious breasts framed in a white lace bra.

Gabe stared, heat washing through his stomach.

She shrugged off her jeans, twisting her hips this way then that to get them down her legs.

He sat motionless, breathless, until her pants hit the floor. Then he dragged in a harsh breath. Not two meters away, Tina stood in her underwear, her tiny thong matching her bra. Through the lace he could see a small, darkened patch—a tiny triangle of trimmed hair.

Oh crap. Shit, fuck and shit again. Never mind blue balls. He was gonna have no balls. They’d explode if she took one more item of clothing off.

She lost her bra.

A hollow cry filled the room, and Gabe realized it was his. This was the ultimate torture, knowing she performed her little act to seduce him, so he could satisfy the lust she had for him—and his best friend.

Her thong landed beside his foot, and she stood butt naked before him.

He closed his eyes and counted to ten, then twenty. He would have counted to a thousand if she let him.

“Open your eyes, Gabe,” she demanded.

Going All In:

It took a few seconds for Hunter to answer. “I-I’ve never considered making love to a man before you.” His voice was raw with emotion.

Goosebumps broke out on Julia’s skin. Hunter hadn’t spoken about fucking or sex. He’d used the words making love, and Julia was pretty sure they were a deliberate choice.

Jay did not have a quick comeback or a cheeky grin. He simply stared at Hunter. Julia couldn’t let Hunter’s statement pass unacknowledged, nor could she let him carry the load of the conversation. It was too heavy for a man with such a tortured past.

“Have you ever made love to another man, Jay?” she asked.

Jay shook his head. “No.” His voice was husky. “I…I’ve been with other men, but…” He looked up at Hunter. “But it was never about love.”

Julia’s breath caught in her throat.

Hunter stumbled backwards until he found the other couch and collapsed into it. “Jay…”

“Blame Jules,” he told Hunter, his voice still not quite normal. “It’s her fault. I watched her watching you for four months.”

“You watched me?” Julia blustered. “But…but that would mean you knew I had the hots for Hunter.”

“Of course I knew.” Jay stroked her clit again, making her moan from the exquisite sensations. “You drooled every time you looked at him.”

“She drooled when she looked at you, Jay,” Hunter corrected. His voice was deep and sexy. “It made me jealous as hell.”

So much for her brilliant bluffing technique. She bent her knee to allow Jay better access. “I drooled over both of you. A lot.” She still did. “What’s your point, Jay?”

He drew his finger through her slick folds. “It made me wonder what you saw when you looked at Hunter,” Jay said, his gaze focused between Julia’s legs. “So I started watching him too.” He shrugged and color rose in his cheeks. “Now I know,” he whispered.

“I saw a man I fell in love with a little more every day. A man I desperately wanted to make love with,” Julia told Jay. Her voice was lower than usual. Arousal made it difficult to talk.

Jay’s smile was shy. He turned to look at Hunter. “That’s pretty much what I saw.”

Hunter didn’t answer. At all. In fact the silence stretched out for so long, Julia began to get edgy. “It’s too quiet,” she said. “Why haven’t you said anything, Blondie?”

It was Jay who answered. “Sometimes words aren’t necessary.”

———————

Risking It All is available now from MBaM.

You can also order it from any of your favorite bookstores, including Amazon and Borders

Jess

Red Hot Winter in the Australian Summer

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Ah. January in Australia. The days are blisteringly hot. The sun beats down. Beaches are packed to capacity, and the sea is filled with screaming children, beautiful women and gorgeous men. Watermelon bursts on our tongues, juicy and delicious, washed down with an icy cold cocktails… The taste of summer

There’s nothing quite like January Down Under. While the Northern Hemisphere shivers its way through winter, this is what we (Jess and Lexxie) will spend the month doing…

1/ Perving on the lifeguards down at the beach:

2/ Perving on the guys running up and down the beach wearing bugger-all:

3/ Perving on Hugh Jackman playing in the surf:

4/ Drinking lots of these:

5/ And eating plenty of Vegemite sandwiches while sitting by the pool. (Okay, that’ll just be Lexxie, seeing as Jess can’t stand Vegemite)

6/ Perving on the guys wearing bugger-all (yeah, we know we already mentioned this, but seriously, look at those life guards’ arses!!!)

Now, if you think that’s hot, take a look at this:

Yep, Jess and Lexxie have written novellas for the Red Hot Winter Anthology. Don’t worry, we wrote them months ago, when it was freezing Down Under, and we only had thoughts about ways of getting warm. Of course, being the erotic romance writers we are, those ways consisted primarily of a whole lot of red-hot lovin’.

😀

So, to help you turn up the temperature and make your winter a whole heck of a lot hotter, take a look at the following two blurbs and excerpts:

LEXXIE COUPER: TRIPLE DARE


The Blurb:

Two men, one woman, one momentous dare.

A Red Hot Winter story.

Serious and determined, Joseph Hudson isn’t Australia’s businessman of the year for nothing. So now he’s asking himself, how did he get lost on the side of a mountain in the Colorado Rockies—in the middle of winter—with night fast approaching? Three simple words. I dare you.

Fear isn’t in Rob Thorton’s vocabulary. Life is for the taking, and Rob uses both hands. Challenging his best mate to take an impromptu snowboarding trip to the U.S. is just the latest in a lifetime of dares. Besides, he has an ulterior motive for the trip. And a plan…

Park Ranger Anna McCarthy knows what trouble looks like, and it’s written all over the two Aussies she first encounters in the ski lodge. Instinct has her following them onto the mountain, and sure enough, they end up needing her winter survival expertise. But not even her skills can stop her body from responding to the sexy muscles she finds beneath their ski suits.

Stuck in a remote cabin until the storm passes, the temperatures rise until all bets are off. And a double dare turns into a triple threat—to their hearts.

Warning: Contains lots of scorching boy on girl on boy action, a heroine who knows what she wants and two sexy-arsed Australian heroes to really work up a sweat over. Oh, and a soul-deep love story with a revelation that may make you cry.

Triple Dare: An Excerpt

Joseph watched the woman from the lodge step through the doorway into the hut. He stood frozen, not from the sinking temperature of the winter air, but from sheer, dumbstruck cowardice.

A threesome.

He’d never had one before. Rob had. More than once Rob had ended up in a bed that wasn’t his own with two women. Tonight wasn’t two women though. Tonight was him, Rob and a woman he’d been attracted to the second he’d seen her in the lodge last night.

He couldn’t do it.

He slid his stare to his best mate. Rob leant one shoulder against the doorjamb, studying him. He knew there’d be no contact between them both. Without saying it, there wasn’t any doubt about that. They were both strictly hetero, even if they did love each other as only mates could. And he’d been starkers around Rob too many times to be hung up about what his friend thought of him standing so near without any clothes on. But this…

Is it really Rob you’re worried about, Hudson?

No, it wasn’t. He’d never been one for one-night stands. Sex was too…too—fuck—too personal. It was a connection of more than just body. What if he couldn’t…what if it didn’t…

A jerking spasm in his pants made him snort out a quick laugh. Okay, that answered that question. He was as hard as ever. His dick strained against the lining of his snow pants with such insistent force he was surprised it didn’t tear the material. He’d sported an erection almost as hard this morning in the cafeteria just watching the woman now inside the hut. The thought he might actually touch her, hold her, make love to…

He drew in another breath, his lungs burning as icy air streamed into his body. His balls rose high and he knew they were firm and swollen. Ready.

Bloody hell, he wished he was back in Australia. Listening to the company’s insurance director drone on again.

No, you don’t.

He stared at his best mate, mouth dry.

Rob cocked an eyebrow. “Do I need to say it, Hudo?”

He shook his head. “Don’t.”

For a moment, he could almost see the words “I dare you” forming on his friend’s lips. And then a strange stillness passed over Rob’s face, an unreadable light flickered in his eyes and he nodded. A single, simple nod. “Okay. But don’t do this for me, Joseph,” he said, his voice uncharacteristically serious. “Do it for you.”

Joseph frowned, the words puzzling him. Since when had Robert Thorton ever backed down from laying down a dare? What was going on here? What was going on with Rob?

Before he could say anything, Rob gave him one of his patented grins, dimple creasing into existence on his cheek, and swiveled on his shoulder until he disappeared into the hut.

Joseph studied the doorway, dragging his hands over his face and through his hair. He pulled in a deep, slow breath. “Fuck it,” he muttered. “It’s getting cold out here anyway.”

Two steps into the cabin and he realized something wasn’t going the way he suspected.

“Shit, shit, shit.” The woman—damn, he really needed to get her name—was stamping her foot beside the tall and ancient heater in the centre of the surprisingly large cabin. She swung her foot, the toe of her boot connecting with the steel heater with a solid thunk.

He shot Rob a quick look, raising an eyebrow in a silent question.

Rob laughed, obviously enjoying himself. But then again, when didn’t Rob enjoy himself. The bloke was a walking advertisement for being high on life. “It seems we can’t get the heat on.” He paused. “Well, not this way anyway.”

The woman stopped her baleful glare of the uncooperative heater and turned it on Rob. “I’m about two seconds from radioing Wolf Creek command and having you taken away in cuffs, you know that, don’t you?”

Rob laughed again, zipped up his jacket and tugged his beanie from his pocket. “How ’bout I go get some wood.”

Joseph snorted before he could stop himself, the expression on Rob’s face telling him the wood his mate most eagerly sought had nothing to do with trees.

Bloody hell, Hudson. You got the mind of a teenager at the moment.

He watched his friend leave, the bang of the door closing a sudden and daunting reminder he was alone in the cabin with a woman who made his dick harder than…well, harder than wood. He shuffled his feet, feeling ridiculously stupid. “Err…”

“The emergency gas reserves seem to have evaporated,” she said, flicking her eyes at the heater beside him. “Which means the pilot light won’t ignite.”

He nodded, wishing to hell he could think of something intelligent to say. For Pete’s sake, he owned Australia’s most successful camping and outdoor equipment and supply business. He should be able to talk about pilot lights and gas heaters until the cows came home.

“Tell me, when did you two decide it would be a good idea to come to America to go snowboarding?”

He smiled at the abrupt and almost caustic question. Leaning his board against the wall, he slid his sleeve up his arm and looked at his watch. “About thirty-eight hours ago.”

She laughed, the first real joyful sound he’d heard from her since she’d arrived out of nowhere and led them to safety. “Thirty-eight hours.”

“Yep. We touched down and checked in last night.”

She shook her head, tugged her gloves from her hands and stuffed them into her jacket pocket. “Which tells me one or both of you has lots and lots of money. More money than sense, I’d guess.”

Joseph gave her a puzzled frown. “Why do you say that?”

“It’s peak ski season. Every room in every accommodation from here to Utah is booked out. Unless you’ve got serious dollars, there’s no way you’re getting a room with just thirty-eight hours notice.”

“Is it a problem one or both of us is loaded?”

A dawning smile stretched her lips, and his cock, still rigid in the confines of his snow pants, gave a little spasm. Damn, that was a gorgeous smile. The corners of her mouth curled first, creasing the sides of her lips just a little, before her teeth—perfectly white and even—came into view, followed by a tiny little crease just between her eyes. Eyes, he hadn’t failed to notice, a very piercing, very sexy shade of grey.

“Ahh,” she said, nodding as she moved away from the cold heater toward a bench under the shuttered window on the far wall. “That explains what loaded means.” She leant her butt against the bench and folded her arms over her breasts. Joseph felt his cock jerk again. Such a simple action, but it made him horny as a bloody dog. What would it feel like to place his hands on her breasts and cup them? Squeeze them gently?

“So, you’re the one with the money.”

Her question, delivered in the form of a statement, sent a rush of warmth to his face. He hated talking about his money. True, he had a lot of it, a bloody lot of it, but it didn’t define him.

“And Rob is the one without the sense,” she finished, the smile on her lips curling wider. She titled her head to the side, crossing her ankles in front of her. “Yeah, I can see that.”

Despite himself, Joseph grinned. His cock lurched again in his trousers, enjoying their tête-à-tête almost as much as he was. He liked her dry wit. And her accent. A drawling caress of vowels and consonants that made him wish she’d say his name.

“I guess I should ask your name,” he said, removing his own gloves and shoving them into his back pocket. “I should at least know who to address the thank you card to.”

She laughed again, and Joseph decided there and then he could seriously become addicted to the soft, throaty sound. “Anna McCarthy. Your local saver of lost Australian lunatics, yeah, that’s me.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “All Australian lunatics? Do you get many here?”

Her direct grey gaze leveled on his face, a small smile playing with her lips. Lips he wanted to kiss. Soon. Real soon. “No, you’re my first. But depending how it goes tonight, I might have to find some more to save.”

A low growl rumbled in Joseph’s chest at the idea of Anna McCarthy saving any other Australians but himself. “Hmm,” he said, “I think you’ll find saving Aussies is an exhausting, sweaty business.”

She cocked her own eyebrow, the finely arched line of dark blonde hair moving up her forehead with smooth ease. “Is it now? Then perhaps I should take it slow to start with? Saving too hard and too quickly at this altitude could be hazardous to my health, is that what you’re saying?”

Pulse pounding in his ear, dick so hard he thought it was about to explode, he held her gaze with his own. “Too hard and too fast definitely not the way to begin. Slowly, steadily. An exploration of the terrain, followed by a well-executed penetration of the area, that’s the way to begin when saving an Aussie.”

Her lips parted and Joseph could see the ragged way she drew breath into her body. “Then after the beginning it gets hard?”

He unzipped his jacket and shucked it off, placing it on the seat beside him as he took a step closer to her. “It’s already hard. Very hard.”

She swallowed. “Hard is good. I’m always up for a challenge. It’s why I like saving Aussies so much.”

“Glad to hear that,” Rob said, stepping into the cabin and swinging the door shut behind him. He looked at them both over the armful of broken branches and twigs he held against his chest. “Wait. We’re talking about sex, aren’t we?”

(Insert your excerpt)

Are you sweating yet? If not, just read on…

JESS DEE: WINTER FIRE


The Blurb

Guilty pleasures can heat the coldest winter night…

A Red Hot Winter story.

There’s never been any question in Rachel Ashberg’s mind. Jackson Brooks is the one, and they both know it. The problem? Thanks to his unbreakable rule—never date his twin sister’s friends—he’s completely off-limits. Even if they can’t imagine being with anyone else.

It’s been over two years since their last encounter, when they gave in—just once—to their passion. Now, as the Brooks twins’ milestone birthday approaches, Rachel and Jackson are about to meet again at a gorgeous mountain resort. Needing something to take the edge off the desire that has never faded, she indulges in a fling with sexy stranger Garreth Halt. He even makes her forget Jackson for a while. Or…maybe not.

When she mentions Jackson’s name in passing, Garreth picks up on all the hidden undertones in her voice. And he brings Jackson into their bed, if only in a fantasy they play out together. Funny thing about Garreth’s fantasies, though. Even the most improbable, impossible ones have a way of becoming reality…

Warning: Enough heat is contained within these pages that you won’t even notice the winter cold. You might fall in love with Jackson—the real-life hero, determined to protect his sister from further pain—but it’s the handsome stranger, Garreth, who’ll take your breath away.

WINTER FIRE: An Excerpt

“You have a choice,” he said as he kicked the door closed behind them. “I can spread a blanket on the floor beside the fire, and we can do this the slow romantic way.” His eyes gleamed with desire, with a fire hotter than the one across the room.

Her heart picked up speed. “Or?”

He kicked off his shoes. “Or I can toss you on the bed and fuck you until we both pass out.”

She slung her jacket over the couch. As if there was a choice. Sensual, dreamy and romantic, or hot, hard and ruthless. “Option two.” Dreamy and romantic were stored away for Jackson.

His lips twitched. “I had you picked for the heated-kisses option.”

“And I had you picked as a model. Apparently we were both wrong. Now you gonna keep talking, or you gonna fuck me until we both pass out?” Oh, yeah, when she met Jackson tomorrow, the last thing on her mind would be jumping him. She intended to fully satisfy herself on the delicious man before her.

His T-shirt was off before she finished the question. “Option two.” His smile scorched her all the way through to her bones.

She stared at him, dumbstruck. With his shirt on he was beautiful. Without it, he was panty-wetting, tongue-drooling gorgeous. Sex on legs.

Her hands shook as she unbuttoned her cardigan and let it drop to the floor.

“Bed?” he rumbled.

“Lead the way,” she concurred and pulled her shirt over her shoulders.

Garreth fiddled with his button and seconds later his jeans gaped open. Rachel forgot to breathe.

He tugged at her thermal silk undershirt. “Any more layers I should know about?”

“Just two.”

He shook his head. “No blizzards in Australia.”

“I told you, I hate the cold.” She lifted her arms and let him dispose of the silk.

His thumbs grazed over her covered nipples, making her tremble. They beaded instantly.

“Too many clothes,” he grumbled, and the cami she wore disappeared.

He gazed hungrily at her bra-clad breasts. “God, you’re beautiful.”

“Look closer,” she urged, and reached back to dispose of the black satin-and-lace bra. Her breasts sprung free, feeling heavier than usual under the close scrutiny of those emerald green eyes.

“Jesus, fuck,” he swore hoarsely, and then she was in his arms, pressed against the glorious wall of his muscular chest.

His full, lush lips took hers in a blistering kiss. A kiss so wicked it shook her very foundations. It burned off the cold, replacing it with a fierce heat that seared her from her mouth right through to her feminine core.

He tasted of scotch and man and sex—every bit as scrumptious as she’d anticipated.

Better.

She tunneled her fingers through his hair, hold ing his head close, molding her lips to his, pushing her body against his.

Ah, that erection. It felt good against her belly. A solid mass pressing into her softer flesh. She wanted it in her hand. In her mouth. Fuck, who was she kidding? She wanted it buried in her pussy. And in her ass. Hell, she just wanted it inside her.

She slipped her hand inside his open jeans and cupped it over his cock.

He moaned into her mouth, rocking against her hand.

Or maybe that was her moaning. He was thicker than she expected. And harder. She struggled to find breath. If he felt so good in her palm, covered by his boxers, how would he feel driving into her pussy?

Garreth broke the kiss to kick off his jeans and boxers. Toned, muscular legs were revealed inch by endless inch. His freed cock jumped up, slapping against his stomach.

“Yours too,” he said as his boxers hit the floor. “Take ’em off.”

She shook her head. “Can’t. Sorry. My hands are full.”

“Yeah? Of what?”

“You.” She wrapped one hand around his shaft, closing it around the silken steel of his erection. The other she used to cup his balls.

He threw his head back with a hiss, and she experimentally slid her hand up and down, testing his girth and his length. Both were impressive, yet neither overwhelming. He’d be a good fit inside her.

“Ah, Christ,” he groaned. “Just like that.”

For a long moment he stood stock still, letting her explore, feel, play. And then his patience snapped.

——————————

Yes, it’s as hot as anything Down Under during the month of January, and being the kind, thoughtful girls they are, Jess and Lexxie wanted to share some of that heat with the rest of the winter-draped world. Hope we’ve managed to warm up your winter just the little bit.

The Red Hot Winter Anthology is available now at Samhain Publishing. Here are the links:

Triple Dare and Winter Fire

Happy reading!

Jess and Lex

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