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Guest Blogger Donna Gallagher

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I’d like you all to join me in welcoming a newby Aussie author today. Donna had her cherry popped, so to speak, on Monday when her first ever published novel was realsed by Total E Bound Publishing. Congrats Donna! Without further ado I’ll hand the blog over to her. Be gentle!

Hi Sami and the Divas, thanks for hosting me today. I still can’t believe I had the opportunity to meet all four of you. I love your books so much. Jess Dee’s ‘A Touch of Confidence’ had me bawling my eyes out. (Sorry excuse that fan moment.)

I never really pictured myself as a writer more as a reader. I have to read every day, usually managing four or five books a week. Life has been so hectic for me now, with the excitement of signing my book contracts and their releases, that I wake up at 5am everyday just to get my fix.

My series ‘League of Love’ is set to the backdrop of a fictional rugby league team – the Sydney Jets. It really isn’t a surprise, for those that know me, that when the voices started in my head they would be football players. I am after all a rugby league fanatic. Having spent time on both sides of the fence, so to speak, as a fan and a WAG – they didn’t make television shows about us back in the day!

(for US readers WAG stands for wives and girlfriends, it means you are married to or dating a football player)

My first release Caitlin’s Hero is the story of the captain of the Jets, Brodie James. A player who has achieved all there is to achieve in the game and yet is feeling restless, jaded – old. Emotionally gun shy, having been through a nasty divorce and determined not to get involved again Brodie finds his life and beliefs are turned upside down when he meets Caitlin – A caring and selfless young woman, who has been forced to put her own life on hold to care for her brother.  Of course as in all good romance books life does not go smoothly for the couple!

 Caitlin’s Hero – Blurb

 Falling for him is easy. Dealing with his high-profile life—a life deemed public property by his fans and the press, plus an ex-wife out for blood—now, that’s the hard part.

 Twenty-year-old Caitlin Walters was living a normal life. She attended university, socialised a little and had a good relationship with her mother and stepfather. But when her parents are tragically killed in a car accident, Caitlin’s life is forced to change. The once carefree girl becomes sole guardian of her stepbrother. Giving up her university course to support and raise eleven-year-old Riley, Caitlin struggles to deal with her new responsibilities.

 Her job, singing at a local Italian restaurant, brings Caitlin some peace. On stage, she leaves her life and its troubles behind. Feeling comfortable and sensuous, she is like a siren calling out to lost souls. It’s on one of these nights that Caitlin begins a romance with Australian Rugby League captain, Brodie James. Brodie, not content with his so-called perfect life and struggling with commitment issues following a disastrous marriage, falls hard for Caitlin.

 The relationship does not run smoothly for the self-sacrificing Caitlin, as she learns how to deal with Brodie’s nasty, jealous ex-wife, a muck-raking reporter and intrusive but well-meaning rugby fans. Along the way she makes new friends, and awakens the untapped sensual desires of the woman inside.

 Excerpt

 She felt so soft against his rough, battered fingers, and he enjoyed the sensual feel of her skin. A picture of hernaked, hair splayed upon his pillow as he tasted her from the top of her pretty head to the tips of her toesflashed into his mind, and his cock jerked again.

Brodie rubbed his hand over his head, rakinghis fingers through his closecropped hair and massaging the back of his thick neck as he tried to get his thoughts under control, so he could actually speak words that made sense. All the time, he watched her gorgeous face for any sign of her wanting to flee.

Brodie finally spoke. “You are the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. You have the voice of an angel and the body of a temptress.”

He stopped, licked his lips. Her gaze dropped to his mouth as her tongue poked out from between her sensual lips for just the briefest moment. Brodie knew he had to make it fast or he was going to come in his pants. That was something that had never happened before, and the thought did not appeal to him. What was it about this woman that affected him so deeply?

Would you care to join me for dinner tomorrow night? You pick, I’ll pick I don’t care as long as you say yes,” he finished breathlessly.

Brodie watched and waited for any sign of hope from her motionless face. Terror filled him like nothing he’d felt before. What if she said no? What if he was just being an old fool? He didn’t feel quite as confident of the outcome as he had a moment ago. Before he could think of another approach, she threw herself at him again. It was just as well he still had quick reflexes, or he might have dropped her as she flung her arms around his neck the way she had at the pool.She was placing sweet little kisses up and down his jawlinemy God, the woman is hot.She was killing him.

He grabbed her thighs so he could get a better grip on her.He was not going to drop his angel, that was for sure. She weighed next to nothing, but her tight dress and the fact she couldn’t wrap her legs around him was making it difficult for him to keep holdof her. He moved the dress up and hitched her hard against him as he repositioned his hands on her legs. It was then he realised he felt skin—she wasn’t wearing any stockings.

“Oh,angel,” Brodie groaned.

He was just holding on. Any minute now he would lose control, throw her to the ground and ravage her like a caveman. He had never felt so needy. He ground his lips down upon hersuntil she opened for him and he sank his tongue fully into her mouth and made a thorough exploration. She was so warm and sweet, like toffee, and he could have kissed her this way for hours. She pressed her tongue against his, at first timidly, then becoming bolder.

He had to have this woman. Brodiestroked his thumbs up her inner thighs. His hands were completely under the hem of her dress, and he could feel the edge of her underwear.Holding her cute behind with one hand, he moved her so she could sit on the bonnet of his car and immediately his cock throbbed at the loss of contact.

Brodie cupped her mound with his free hand. It was emitting such heat, and her panties felt moist. She stilled. It was as if a bright light flashed before his eyes, and the fog in Brodie’s head cleared. He dragged his lips away from hers and gently lifted her from her perch and slid her down his aching body, brushing past his engorged and incredibly painful erection. He knew she felt it, but what could he do? It was all for her, because of her.

Caitlyn’s Hero is available at Total E Bound,

And now here’s the fun part, where we get to grill Donna on the Diva Couch 🙂

1.       Name your celebrity free pass – David Boreanaz, especially dressed as Angel. He has been an obsession for many years, I even follow him on twitter – Sad I know!

 (oh yum, he is very nice)

 2.    What five items would you take if you had to get out of your house in 5 mins or less – Well assuming my family are safely out and in order of priority they would be –

 My IPhone – not only does it have over 800 books downloaded over various apps but also music, internet etc. The love letter my husband gave me for my birthday – Yes, it was that amazing. My pet turtle, my car keys – I love my convertible, last my two autographed NJ Walters books – Yes, I know Sami that makes six items but if I’m going to grab one book I may as well get the other!

 3.       If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy for yourself?  Well it would have to be a big win but I would buy a rugby league team. I’m so jealous of Russell Crowe, not that I would buy his team I would buy the New Zealand Warriors. Imagine having all that yummy male goodness under your control!

 4.       What super power would you like to have and why? I have three sons so this question comes up a lot in my house. We are all super hero fans. My favourite movie is Transformers. My pick would be a mutant power, not so much a super power. I would love to be like Mystique from the X-Men. Imagine not having to worry about getting ready each day, just blink and be whoever you want. Imagine the fun. First change would be Jaime Bergman (David Boreanaz’s wife.) Naughty me.

 5.       What food will you absolutely not eat? Seafood, Oysters are just nasty, Yuk!

 6.       Describe your favorite outfit – Jeans, black jumper and my Justin Bent Rail (American brand) cowboy boots. I do have RM Williams boots as well.

 7.       Tattoos—love or hate? I love tattoos, really love them, like Benji Madden from Good Charlotte love. I haven’t any though. Wanted to get one a few years ago but husband bribed me with something if I didn’t. He doesn’t like them and the bribe was good – BMW convertible good!

 (Wow! Nice one Donna!)

 Here are the links for Donna. Happy exploring! 

Websitetwitter: publisher

Sex and Violence–Why Do We Love It?

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I’ve been a long time fan of the James Bond films. I’m not in the minority. The Bond franchise has been going for 50 years. The most recent film, Skyfall (which I saw last week and yehah wowza, it was good), looks set to be one of the highest grossing films of all time. Yet the movies at their core are about the most base of concepts. Violence. Sex. Winning. Killing bad guys without remorse.  Bond is the typical alpha male and the movies are designed to appeal to men.

So I understand why men like these movies. But why do women like them? Why do I?

It doesn’t hurt that the actors playing Bond have historically been pretty darn hot. I’ve been fairly vocal in the past about the fact that Daniel Craig floats my boat. The sex appeal is a factor, but ultimately I wouldn’t sit through a movie I didn’t like just to perve on someone’s body when I could just go to the internet and download pictures. I like the movies themselves, even though they are almost entirely devoid of strong female characters (damsels in distress anyone?) and there’s very little exploration of deep emotion in the movies, which is what I like in a book.

And maybe that’s the crux of it. I want different things out of a movie than I want out of a book. When reading I want complete immersion, I want to be taken into the lives of the protagonists and experience events vicariously through them. When I watch a movie, I want to be entertained. I want to switch my brain to the ‘off’ position and simply receive input. I don’t want to think about how sexist the movies are or how that kind of violence in real life would be distressing, let alone why I find that kind of stylised violence entertaining (there’s probably grounds for a therapy session in there somehwere). And I definitely don’t want to worry about how the new Bond is really a pre-Connery Bond who living in the new milenium because that’s just a head spin. Going to the movies is not an interaction the way reading a book can be. It is a chance to let somebody else do all the thinking for me while I sit there and say ‘gimme gimme gimmie!’.

Skyfall was wicked entertainment. Rumour has it Daniel Craig has been contracted to play Bond in two more films. All I can say is—

Gimme gimmie gimmie!

Anyone else seen the movie? Do you love or hate action films?

Cheers,

Sami

Special Post: Water Changes Everything

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If you’ve been reading the International Heat blog, you might have seen this post already. Yep, I popped it up on IH on Sunday.

And today I’m posting it again, because it’s one of those posts that needs to get as much exposure as possible.

It focuses on one of our most basic – and one of most precious – commodities…water!

Did you know that all around the world millions and millions of people do not have access to clean water? And if there’s no clean water, what do people drink?

It’s a complicated issue, one I will let Limecello explain to you. Why Limecello? Because she is the one who has created not only this post, but this brilliant charity drive as well.

She’ll show you how easy it is to make a difference. To do something about this problem.

Over to you Lime:

WATER MAKES A DIFFERENCE

It’s my third annual Social Media for Social Good (SMSG) fundraising drive. Today is Make a Difference Day, and this is how I’m choosing to do it. Some of you might have heard of charity:water when Rachel Beckwith’s tragic story made the news. She was an amazing little nine year old, and you can read more of what happened here. I dare you not to cry.

I spent a lot of time researching reputable international charities, and I love that charity:water is so transparent. I think it’ll be fun to check what our little ALBTALBS drive does too.

Did you know that:

  • 100% of all public donations directly fund water projects, and they prove every dollar using photos and GPS coordinates on a map
  • 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water
  • That is one out of every nine people
  • More people die from lack of clean water and sanitation each year than are killed by all forms of violence, including war
  • 90% of the deaths that result from diarrheal disease occur in children under five
  • About every nineteen seconds a mother loses her child to a water related illness
  • In sub-Saharan Africa 16 million hours each day are spent by women collecting water. This takes time away from work, school, and family.
  • 10% of disease could be reduced with improved access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene education, and water resource management.
  • $1 invested in water becomes $4-12 dollars for the local economy
  • Communities choose a small group of people to oversee each completed charity: water project. Equal numbers of men and women are encouraged to be included. These Water Committees are often the first chance women have to take on elected leadership roles.
  • The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.
  • Feeding our world takes up to 90% of our freshwater withdrawals but many people in developing nations still don’t have access to enough water for irrigation.
  • Just $20 $65 can provide one person with a clean water project in his/her village

We can make a huge difference.

I know it’s difficult to give, but I’m asking everyone to do what they can. And if you can’t – help spread the word. This is a comment drive, so even just leaving a comment and having one friend do the same helps. Believe me – I know it’s hard out there. I know what it’s like to make well under the poverty rate. I still do. Which is why I’m doing something where everyone can get involved.

These people have already given:

Pledges:

  • I’m going to give $300 if we reach 1,000 comments.
  • Cecilia Grant will give $1 per comment up to 100 comments
  • The Romance Man will give $50 when we reach 250 comments will match my $300 if we get to 1,000 comments!!!
  • C2 will give $150 when we reach 500 comments
  • Farrah Rochon will give $10 for every 100 comments

I really hope I’ll be adding to this list. Don’t you think your name or organization would look good here?

*ETA new donors <3: (upon further reflection I’ve decided to list names alphabetically for a semblance of privacy etc. And yes, I chose to do it incorrectly, and by first name, because some people didn’t give full names, or prefer using twitter handles and so on.)

The Crazygranny – $25
@dakiMel
EC S. – $25
Heather M. – $25
Isobel C. – $1 per comment up to 100 comments!
Jane C – $5
Jo L. – $20
Kame/McEckK – $20
Kat the Book Tart – $50
Kate P. – $50
Keziah H. – $20
Kim – $25
Liz T. – $25
Lori S – $25
Melanie S. – $10
SpazP – $25
Pat F. – $10
Patricia W. – $20
Rahab M. – $25
Romance Divas will give $70 when we hit 200 comments; $140 total if 50 of Jax’s friends donate
Shiloh W. – $50 for 50 comments
SonomaLass – $20
Stephanie M. – $10
Willaful, from Karen Knows Best – $30

We’ve got a few anonymous donors too, or who don’t wish to be credited, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

~ :P Vanessa Kelly donated $25, but accidentally did on the main page, but hey – it’s all going to the same great charity!

Won’t you join us?

And in the spirit of friendly competition … I’m asking – challenging – 50 bloggers to donate. Even if it’s $1. I think we can do it. (In fact – I’d love to see more bloggers donate than authors. How’s that for competition? But a concrete goal of 50.)
And if privacy is a concern, you can donate anonymously. *coughs* Someone *coughs* already donated $50 to check that out. :)

Let’s do this!

*ETA: I have a specific campaign created for the romance community: http://mycharitywater.org/p/campaign/?campaign_id=30312 if you’d like to donate. Also, if you’re donating, I would love to add you to the list, to let other people know (peer pressure! :D ) and to give you a shout out. Please feel free to email me with any questions, or to talk about whether or not you want your name/amount to be listed. Thank you!!!

Also, for clarification, my SMSG drives go on for a month. I figure that’s enough time for word to be spread and people to budget what they can to donate. For all of us in the states, it’s a tax deductible charitable donation! (For our international friends, I would look into that too.)

——————-

Thank you, Lime!

So, what now you ask?

It’s simple. Head on to Lime’s blog, and leave a comment. That’s all you need to do.

Please don’t comment here, speak out at Limecello’s Blog.

To help incentivize you, International Heat have donated a massive gift pack. You can win this, simply by leaving a comment there:

Lila Dubois: Choice of an ebook from her backlist
Mari Carr: Choice of an ebook from her backlist
Bianca D’arc: Choice of an ebook from her backlist
JR Patrick: Choice of ebook from her backlist
Valerie Tibbs: In lieu of a prize Valerie has already donated $20
Jayne Rylon: Magnet set made by Ebook Addict
Jambrea Jo Jones: Print copy of ‘Magnus’
Lexxie Couper: Choice of 2 ebooks from her backlist
Rhian Cahill: Choice of 2 books from her backlist
Jess Dee: Choice of 2 ebooks from her backlist
Ebook Addict: Magnet tin (Winners choice from a variety of themes.)

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Jess

A Little Note to Say Thank You

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I was talking to a couple of other authors recently about book reviews, specifically how an author goes about getting them. A book tends to sell better if it has a list of positive reviews—and increased sales of books mean increased potential for further reviews, further sales and so on. So as authors we LOVE to get good reviews, for this reason and also because it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling. All that time spent alone with our characters, all the critiquing and editing and proofreading, all of it has at last been acknowledged in the best way possible. Somebody liked my book! And they liked it so much they bothered to post a public review to tell everyone how much they liked it!

 That acknowledgment is arguably the best part about being a writer.

 So how do we obtain these shining pearls of happiness-inducing praise? I don’t really know. Stories abound about authors paying for reviews, getting their friends to post them or even creating fake accounts under different names and posting their own reviews. I’ve never done any of these things, but I can understand the desperation some writers feel which drives them to do so. To me though, a review wouldn’t mean anything if it wasn’t from a genuine reader who hadn’t been in any way coerced or remunerated for their opinion. Which means that when it comes to getting reviews for my work, all I can do is send my baby out into the world and hope for the best. 

When Erica’s Choice was first released, I had a really lovely twofer review over at Guilty Pleasures, which absolutely made my release day. However it took weeks for anything to appear on Amazon, where it tends to make the most difference to sales on that site. At last they started trickling in, and I’m so happy to say all feedback there has been positive. Now I have a nice little collection of feel-good comments and the book has been selling fairly consistently which is so, so satisfying, and has restored my faith in my own story telling ability. Let me tell ya, when it’s 5am and it’s just you and the computer and the sparrows chirping their morning song, faith is all you’ve got (I mean, I don’t even have caffeine anymore—wwwaaaaaa!!!!).

 So what’s the point of this post? I didn’t tell you all this to steer you toward my book and get you to buy it (but did that work????). My main point here is to say THANK YOU to every reader who has ever genuinely loved a book so much they leave an honest, glowing review on the site from which they bought it, or on a review blog or even on an author’s facebook timeline. This means the world to authors (yes, I have the power to speak for ALL WRITERS EVERYWHERE). So if you’re a review leaver, please keep doing what you’re doing.  

And if you’ve never left a review before, consider giving it a shot. Click the ‘Like’ button or agree with the tags if they fit. All this helps get an author’s book in front of other readers, which enables us to continue doing what we do. Even the smallest thing can help restore that all important faith in our writers hearts.

And that’s what keeps us going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Sami

 

Carl Holston: Scumbag Papparazzo

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I’ve written quite a few villains in my time who are sexy. Who make me kinda think, damn, I’d love to write a book about this guy’s redemption. There’s one villain however, who will never see redemption. That man is Australian paparazzo, Carl Holston.

Those that have read Love’s Rhythm and Twister have already had an introduction to the notorious celebrity photographer. He tracked Nick down in Murriundah and he stalked Lachlan and Cameron thoughout the Northern Beaches in Sydney.

Holston is tenacious, scrupleless and reprehsible. When he has a target in his sights, he will stop at nothing to get the money-making shot. Holston is soon to taint the world again in Muscle for Hire (coming January 29) and unfortunately, he’s also causing major problems for my characters in my current WIP. Because that’s what Holston thrives on the most; causing problems for his targets.

World, allow me to formally introduce Carl Holston: scumbag papparazzo…

 

From Love’s Rhythm

She shot Nick a look over her shoulder. He stood a few steps behind her, half-dressed, his upper body naked and still slicked in a fine sheen of sweat, his chest rising and falling with each steadying breath he pulled, his lean muscles sculpted and defined with the exertion of their fucking. His fly was zipped, the top of the treble cleft tattooed on his lower abdomen peaking from above the low-slung waistline of his jeans. His thick black hair hung around his face, awry from her hands, brushing eyes that studied her with an unreadable intensity.

He looked like a sexual god.

He looked like a rock star.

Closing her eyes, she raked her fingers through her hair, took a deep breath and then turned back to the door and pulled it open.

White light exploded in her eyes. Soundless. Blinding. White light followed by Nick snarling, “You fucking prick, Holston.”

White light speared into her eyes again. A flash so bright she gasped.

“Having a good time, Blackthorne?” the man in front of her asked, although it wasn’t so much a question but a chuckling sneer. And she couldn’t see him. All she could see was painful yellow glare dancing on her retina, glaring yellow light making it impossible to see, just like the kind left over from a powerful camera flash.

Camera.

She blinked. She could see a man on her front step, and yet she couldn’t. He was hiding behind the dancing yellow burn from his camera’s flash.

“You guys need to get a life,” she heard Nick growl. And then he was pushing past her. White light exploded in front of her again as the man’s voice called out, telling her to smile, to give Nick a kiss, asking her how long they’d been together. White, rapid-fire flash bombs accompanied by the distinct click of a camera attacked her, capturing her stupor seconds before the sound of her door slamming shut smacked at her ears.


From Twister

Oh God, no.

The dismayed thought had barely finished forming in Cameron’s head when Lachlan leapt to his feet.

He turned and ran for the tree line, fists bunched, body leaning into a sprint. A shadow bolted from behind the closest tree, a shadow the size of a man.

“Finally fucking a model, ‘eh McDermott?” the man-shaped shadow shouted. The flash fired again, farther away this time, but still Cameron flinched. “Just like your old man now, right?”

Cameron’s mouth turned dry. She scrambled to her feet, snatching her top from where it lay in a crumpled mound of silver silk as she did so. The moon picked that moment to escape the blanket of the clouds, bathing Lachlan and the fleeing photographer in pale light.

The paparazzo was stumbling over the grassy area between soccer field and car park, throwing the pursing Lachlan backward glances even as he continued to take photos. The click of the camera’s shutter sounded like a scream in the night, although Cameron doubted any shots the paparazzo fired would garner anything by blurred smudges of movement. But that wasn’t the point.

They’d been photographed. Making love on a public soccer field. Her and Lachlan. The country’s most powerful businessman and the ex-model who’d dropped out of existence.

Her stomach rolled, sick tension knotting inside her. Oh God, the media was going to have a wet dream over this.

Unless the photographer hadn’t captured anything. Was that possible?

“Yeah, right,” she snarled, shucking her shirt over her head and down her torso to cover her breasts, breasts so recently worshipped by Lachlan’s lips and tongue and teeth.

Had the paparazzo captured that? How long had the guy been there for before the moon went behind the clouds and his autoflash fired?

Cameron’s stomach rolled again. How could she have been so foolish? She knew Lachlan was a target for the press. She knew that.

And still she’d let him make love to her. Almost make love to her. And it wasn’t Lachlan that had stripped her shirt from her body. It had been her. It wasn’t Lachlan that had begged for more. It had been her. Oh God, if the photographer’s flash hadn’t fired what else would he have photographed? And worse still, who would he sell the images to first? How long before they found their way onto the net? How much longer after that before they graced the front pages of newspapers around the world?

The crunch of heavy feet on grass made her start. She blinked, hugging herself as Lachlan stormed back toward her. Even in the darkness she could see the rage in his face. The icy contempt and disgusted fury.

“Did you…” She bit back the question before it could finish forming. It was a stupid question. The paparazzi knew how to get away. How to escape a furious target was an inherent talent. It went hand in hand with how to be a low-life scum feeding on another’s right to privacy.

Lachlan’s nostrils flared. He stopped a few feet away from her, jaw bunched. He didn’t look at her. Icy rage radiated from him, a menacing storm that made Cameron’s already knotted stomach twist.

“What the hell was I thinking?” The words fell from his lips in a flat grunt. His hands didn’t so much as drag through his hair, but gouge through it.

Cameron licked her lips. Her mouth was dry, her throat tight. “Do you know who it was?”

Unlike her previous question, this one wasn’t stupid. The Sydney paparazzi were a small band of carrion feeders. Those who were exposed to their particular talents grew to recognize them.

“A prick called Holston.”

Cameron bit back a groan. Carl Holston, Sydney’s most notorious paparazzo. The guy had been around even in Kole’s days, climbing trees into people’s backyards, following them into doctors’ surgeries, hanging outside their children’s school all in the hope of catching that one photo he could sell for thousands. There were even rumours he’d attempted to muscle his way into the private funeral of Nick Blackthorne’s parents in the hopes of scoring a shot of the grieving singer.


From Muscle for Hire

He tore his mouth from her lips, sucking in a steady breath as he stared down into her eyes. “I can fuck you here and now, Rowan. On my bike. Where anyone can stumble upon us. I don’t care. I’m beyond caring. But it’s your call. I don’t want you to—”

A sudden white flash bleached Rowan’s face, followed by another, and another.

Aslin spun around, his glare falling on a familiar man standing but a few feet away, a large SLR camera held up to his face.

Aslin’s gut clenched, cold fury storming through him.

Holston.

“Now that’s what I call an action shot, Rhodes,” the notorious Australian paparazzo called out, removing the memory card from the camera with swift hands. “You been taking lessons from that boss of yours?” He shoved the card into his back pocket with a smirk. “How is Nick by the way? Fucking around on his wife yet? I was hoping you’d lead me to him but instead I found—”

Rowan stiffened in Aslin’s arms. For a second. Only one. And then she was off his bike and sprinting toward Holston, a feline grace claiming her body.

 

And now here’s is an exclusive, never-seen-before (totally unedited) snippet from Guarded Hearts, the follow up to Muscle for Hire. (Guarded Hearts is only a working title. Still waiting to see what my editor thinks of it *grin*) It’s only the first mention of Holston, but trust me, what he does to American sit-com star Chris Huntley while Chris is in Australia is, well…just let me say, you’re going to want to strangle him.

“Excellent.” Bethany’s answering smile was stunning. If Liev wasn’t already so unsettled by his sexual attraction to the American actor sitting opposite him, he’d be floored by the young woman standing beside him. Come to think it, his horny bloody brain had already started to create a debauched fantasy involving all three of them. “I shall arrange a taxi to meet you at Circular Key to drive you home. Is that okay?”

“Perfect.” It would be easier if more expensive to call a taxi to collect him from the harbour-side home, but Liev didn’t want too many people knowing the location. And with Chris being in town, the paparazzi were already out in force. Images of Chris arriving at the airport were already online. Liev had scanned the celebrity gossip sites during the trip across the harbour, noting more than one image of the actor in the airport terminal attributed to the infamous Australian paparazzo, Carl Holston. Rhodes had pre-warned him Holston would be a nuisance.

Paparazzi weren’t something Liev had to deal with guarding politicians. It was only the odd job he had taken protecting Nick Blackthorne with Aslin that exposed him to their particular kind of scum. And in Australia, Holston was the king shit of them—

“Chris!”

So there you have it. Carl Holston. I fear, given that Nick Blackthorne is not finished with my muse, I shall be not be free of Holston any time soon. *sigh*

Guest Blogger…. Caitlyn Nicholas!

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Today we have a very special guest, a writer I’ve known since our very first books were published by Samhain back in 2007. Caitlyn has gone on to become a blogger of some note, a harried mother of two rambunctious daughters (my there are a lot of us!), and through it all she has continued to write great books full of romance, action and adventure. Here she is to tell us all about her latest, please give her a warm welcome!

 About six years ago I had a dream. To write a book and have it published in Australia. So I wrote a book. But it ended up being published in the USA. So I wrote another book and another. Things changed. The publishing industry embraced the digital era, and in early 2012 Pan Macmillan announced its new Aussie based digital imprint, Momentum.  I submitted Drive Me To Distraction to Momentum right away and was beyond thrilled when they jumped at the chance to publish it. 

Drive Me To Distraction is available from 1 November. My first novel to be published in Australia.  Its fun, fast and fabulous, and the fulfillment of a dream that’s been a few years coming.

BLURB: Drive Me To Distraction by Caitlyn Nicholas

Sometimes life or death decisions are easy. Alex Radford has a choice – borrow the money to treat her mother’s rare and aggressive cancer from sleazy moneylender Hamish MacCameron. Or do nothing and watch her die.

 MacCameron has an agenda. He wants Alex in his bed, and he wants her to help him exact revenge on his sworn enemy, Robert Dryden. He is only too happy to lend her what she needs, but the strings attached form a tangled web from which Alex has little hope of escape.

 It’s not all bad. Since she was a girl Alex has had one dream: to become a Formula 1 driver and show the boys how to drive a race car. MacCameron’s money gives her a shot at fame, and in a move that scandalizes the F1 racing fraternity she becomes the new driver for Rob Dryden’s struggling F1 team, Prometheus.

Alex tries to keep her distance from Rob, knowing that one day she will need to betray one of the few people who ever had faith in her. But things begin to unravel when Hamish MacCameron is murdered and she and Rob are the top suspects on the list …

Drive me to Distraction is now available from Amazon, Amazon UK and the ibookstore.

I have just read this book people and let me tell you it was a cracker! Cait doesn’t write any boring bits, so check it out.

TEASER:

“If he doesn’t slap my bum, make female driver jokes or tell me to brace myself because he’s the hottest boy-racer I’ve ever seen …”

Mike’s eyes continued to glaze over. They’d paused when Alex said bum, but now they continued their journey into complete ambivalence.

“… then we’ll get along just fine.”

“You’ll never get anywhere until you lose that chip.” Mike brushed an imaginary chip from her shoulder. His gaze wandered down to her chest.

“You’ll never get a un-skanky girlfriend if don’t stop perving at women’s boobs.” She rolled her eyes and zipped her heavy racing overalls up to her neck, risking heat exhaustion on this rare hot English summer day.

“I wasn’t looking at your —”

“Yes, you were.” She narrowed her eyes at him.

“You haven’t got any to look at. Why would I bother?” Mike smiled innocently.

“That is not true.” She glanced down at the nearly flat front of her overalls. She wasn’t Dolly Parton, but still.

“Anyway. My girlfriends aren’t skanky,” he said, without much conviction.

“What about that Belinda one?” Alex grimaced at the memory.

“Mmm, yeah.” He grinned. “I miss her.”

“She gave you crabs.”

“Itchy.” He fidgeted at the memory. “But she was great in —”

“Can you at least try not to be disgusting?” Alex grabbed a clipboard from her desk and swatted his arm.

“Why?” Mike looked baffled by the idea, though laughter danced in his eyes.

She shook her head, amused and exasperated. Then she left the small administration office of Thruxton Motorsport Centre with enough force to make the windows rattle in their cheap aluminium frames. Outside, the smell of baked tarmac and hot oil hung heavily in the warm still air, soothing like aromatherapy – if you bought into that girly rubbish, which she didn’t.

She glanced at her clipboard and undid her overalls a couple of inches. Mr. Robert Dryden was the next driver eager to conquer the Thruxton racetrack and attain his racing driver’s licence. At least he’d had the imagination to pick the Lotus, most wanted the Porsche or the Lamborghini.

She strode up the pit lane to where he waited leaning on the car. He turned when heard her, and smiled a warm sexy grin, teeth gleaming. Tall and lean, brown hair flopping across his dark eyes and the pale skin of an office dweller, all came together to make him meltingly handsome, in a laddish way.

Surrounded by men, working in an industry that only saw women as decorative, Alex had learned to be aloof and matter-of-fact, especially with the distractingly handsome ones. But the hint of kiss-me-nowness about his grin unsettled her. She zipped her racing overalls back up to the neck.

“You’re a girl,” he said, as soon as she got within earshot.

“And you’re an idiot.”

“Pardon?”

She ignored him. “Hi, I’m Alex. I’ll be testing you for your racing licence today.”

“You surprised me. I didn’t expect a girl.”

She glared at him, but his smile didn’t falter, and he met her eye with a long, faintly insolent, look.

“Okay.” She consulted her clipboard, even though she already knew what it said. “Let’s get in the car, and we’ll see what you can do.”

She didn’t bother to hide her reservation. Rob Dryden’s type of driver was very familiar. He couldn’t drive a racing car to save his life. It was easy to tell after a lifetime around cars. If he’d been examining the Lotus and reeling off its vital statistics the moment there was someone close enough to listen, then chances were he’d be a decent driver. But those that ignored the car, and looked at the view were never any good.

She handed him the keys, hurried around to the passenger side and wrenched the door open. Best get it over with. She waited while he buckled himself into the five-way racing harness and slid on his shiny new helmet.

“Head up the pit lane then we’ll turn out onto the track.” She pointed the way.

He stamped his foot down on the accelerator. The car protested with a strangled whine and a jarring donkey-hop, then lurched into second gear with a clunk.

“Watch it.” She glared at him. This guy was incompetent, and the mechanics would kill her if she let yet another leadfoot client bugger up the gearbox.

He shot her an irritated look. “I know what I’m doing.”

“Sure you do.”

Drive Me To Distraction is my third full-length novel, and is available from 1 November 2012 in e-book format. You can find it here, with a sample chapter if you’d like to read more: http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/drive-me-to-distraction/

I also have a Geek Girl saves the world novella, Dark Moon Rising, being published in December 2012 (check my website / blog for the details about that one – I don’t have them yet!)

 You can find me online at: http://www.caitlynnicholas.com

My blog: http://www.caitlynnicholas.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CaitlynNicholas

Fb: https://www.facebook.com/CaitlynNicholasAuthor

Now for a few of the fun silly questions 🙂

  1. What five items would you take if you had to get out of your house in 5 mins or less

I have actually had to do this.  I’ve had run-ins with three major bushfires – a few years ago now, before the Victorian Bushfires, when the advice was stay and fight the fire, not leave early. 

 The one when I had to get out fast was before I had kids, and I was living alone.  So what did I grab?  My two cats. Shoved them into a box in the car (they were not happy), headed for the road. Discovered road was cut and it was too late to leave.  Headed back home, released very pissed off cats. Then watched as the amazing Rural Fire Services along with water bombing helicopters and a water crane saved my suburb.

We love our firefighters here at the Divas:)

 2. Describe your writing in 3 words

Fun, fast and fabulous

3. Favorite comic book superhero

Asterix.

I cannot describe how much I love the Asterix comic books.  Even better, I’ve just introduced my kids to them, and they love them as well.

 4. If you could kiss any fictional hero from history, who would it be?

Jamie – from the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series.  He’s just so… so… I have no words. Swoon.

I confess I must be the only romance fan to have never read the Outlander books. But I think I need to find out who this Jamie everyone talks about is…

5.  Best writing advice ever received

Persist.  No matter how many set backs and rejections and life drama that get in the way of your goals. Keep trying.  Because you will get there.

 Great advice!

Thanks so much to Caitlyn for being with us today!

Sometimes, Everyone Needs A Hug…

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