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It’s That Time Again…

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The divas are celebrating a RELEASE DAY!!! Jess, Lexxie and myself have been waiting for our combined effort, Tropical Haze, to come out and it’s finally available in stores. We had so much fun writing this series, so many emails flying back and forth, most with titles like can someone tell me it this is wishy-washy annoying crap? and I’m running out of ways to describe orgasm! Luckily we managed to talk each other off the ledge time and time again, and we wrote our stories right on deadline. All three novellas are still available in e book form, but they are now available in a lovely print volume. I’d say that’s too much wickedness for one book, but there’s no such thing :).

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Afternoon Rhapsody by Jess Dee As Bianca puts her pending divorce aside to enjoy her brother’s wedding, she unexpectedly falls in lust with Brody, a gorgeous man who’s also getting a divorce. However, personal revelations change what they thought they knew about their troubled pasts. And suddenly they wonder if it’s possible to move on.

Sunset Heat by Lexxie Couper Kennedy never thought she’d see Luke again, much less be standing in front of him naked. Not only does he still light her fire, but so does his rake of a cousin. Luke fell for Kennedy months ago, yet he can’t stop thinking about sharing her with Addison. And Addison is shocked that he wants to know Kennedy on all levels—even the emotional kind. But desire this hot could destroy any hope of real happiness.

Moonlight Mirage by Sami Lee At her friend’s wedding, Hayley is forced to face the former boss whose rejection sent her packing. Mitch still makes her burn. Trouble is, she already has a date. Mitch knows pushing his former intern away was a mistake. Hayley’s “plus one” is an unexpected obstacle. Luckily, Mitch has never shied away from a little competition…

Tropical Haze is available from Samhain, Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble or Aussie readers might want to try Booktopia

Sami

Afternoon Rhapsody – Chapter One

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You might have noticed a bit of a trend on the blog this week. A tropical island/romance trend.

Yep, Bandicoot Cove: The Wedding released on Tuesday, and to celebrate, Lexxie Couper, Sami Lee and I are posting the first chapters of our books for your entertainment.

Today, it’s my turn. So here you go, the first chapter of Afternoon Rhapsody:

Chapter One

See Aidan

See McKenzie

See Aidan and McKenzie get married.


Dear Bianca Rogers,

 

Aidan and Mack would love to invite you and your “plus one” to bear witness to their wedding on Bandicoot Cove’s main beach,

Saturday, four p.m.

 

Dress is completely casual as the atmosphere will be relaxed and full of laughter. No top hats, tuxedos or stilettos allowed.

 

Please come and share in Aidan and Mack’s special day as they finally formalize what the rest of the world already knew: they were meant to be together from the start.

 

RSVP Kylie Sullivan

Bandicoot Cove Resort

Bilby Island

Australia

Bianca fingered the invitation with a sigh. “Plus one”. Damn if those words didn’t tear a hole through her heart. When had she ever needed a “plus one”?

Never, that’s when.

She and Rick had been together since school, for heaven’s sake. Since she was sixteen.

You’re too young, they’d been warned countless times. It’ll never last.

God, she hated those words.

At least wait until you’ve finished uni. Get your degrees.

They had gotten their degrees. Several years after their wedding.

She set the invitation on the glass table in the center of the luxurious living room. Maybe they should have waited. Maybe they had been too young. One thing was for sure. It hadn’t lasted. Not long enough, anyway.

Which was why Kylie had addressed the invitation to Bianca Rogers. Per Bee’s request, her married name had been dropped, and after ten years she’d reverted back to using her maiden name. Although the divorce wasn’t final yet. Not until she and Rick had added their initials and signatures to the papers.

She’d sign them just as soon as she got home. It was the top item on her to-do list. Not now, though. Not while she was on this glorious tropical island. Now was not the time to mull over her life or her failed marriage. Now was not the time for regrets. It was a time for celebration and joy.

Bee shoved her feet into a pair of Havaianas and headed for Oasis, the resort’s poolside bar. She had a meeting there in less than ten minutes with Mack—her sister-in-law-to-be, Kylie—Mack’s BFF and Bandicoot Cove’s manager, and the hotel photographer—Kennedy someone or other. If she didn’t move her arse, she’d be late.

So determined was she to get to the bar on time, Bee almost tripped over a man as she hurried from her beautiful beachside bungalow and made her way through the lush gardens.

“Whoa. Easy there.” Strong hands reached out to steady her.

Bee caught herself mid-stumble, grateful for the muscular arms that prevented her from falling. She looked up to say thank you and immediately lost her breath.

Try as she might, she could not remember the last time seeing a man had taken her breath away. But the second her gaze touched his face, there went her oxygen. Gone. Just like that.

“Are you okay?” His voice was soft, a whispered caress, although she was pretty sure that wasn’t how he’d intended it to come across. He looked at her with concern, not blinding, unexpected lust.

It was she who was blinded by unexpected lust.

Dear Lord, he was gorgeous. Sexy, in a knock-your-socks-off kind of a way. Not classically good-looking. His nose was a little too crooked for that. And his lower lip a little too plump. Good for nibbling on, but not so good in front of a camera.

But then Bee never carried a camera with her, so that point was irrelevant. She did, however, carry her mouth around at all times, so a little nibble—just the smallest taste of that lower lip—was a distinct possibility.

She knew just how it would taste too. Sweet. Soooo sweet. With a hint of something unknown, mysterious. All wrapped up with a little dusting of spice. For added flavor.

Her mouth watered.

His eyes were an odd color. Neither blue nor green. More like a mixture of the two, the exact shade of the ocean behind her. Crystal clear and utterly beautiful. She kind of fancied she could read his every thought in them. And just as soon as she’d decided she could, she decided not to try. Rather leave the mystery than try to understand him. Mystery was good.

Perhaps that was one of the problems between Rick and her. There’d been no mystery. They’d been together too long for that.

But if there’d been no mystery, how was it they’d become strangers?

She brought her attention back to the stranger standing before her. It was all Bee could do not to flip back the dark lock that fell over his forehead so endearingly. She wanted to run her fingers through his hair so badly, they actually itched.

His hands tightened around her arms. “Are you okay?” he repeated. “Winded?” Concern was replaced by worry. “Can you breathe?” He released one arm suddenly, holding her steady with the other, and brought his hand behind her back.

Dear Lord. Was he going to hug her?

A hug would be nice. Unexpected, but nice. Especially if she got to cuddle into that lovely chest of his. Big, but not too big. Solid and inviting…

That was what she’d always thought about Rick’s chest. Big, lovely, solid and inviting. Even when he was a teenager.

He tapped her firmly on the back.

Ah, so not a hug. More like a halfhearted attempt at the Heimlich maneuver.

“It’s okay,” she piped up, remembering she not only had a voice, but lungs too, and was perfectly capable of using both. “I’m okay. I can breathe just fine.”

He immediately dropped his hand. It took him a little longer to release her arm though, and when he did, Bee almost complained. She liked the feel of his grasp there.

“I’m sorry.” He offered an apologetic smile. “You had me worried. For a minute I thought you might be choking.”

“Nope. Not choking. Just surprised.” Very surprised. “I didn’t see you.” She wasn’t sure how she’d missed him—since he towered above her. In fact, standing in front of him, she couldn’t see anything else. He blocked her vision entirely.

She eyed him with speculation. Oh, he was sexy indeed. Sexy and gorgeous. He looked just like her ideal man.

On impulse—because wasn’t that just the way she always did things, on impulse?—she stuck out her hand. “I’m Bianca, by the way. Bianca…” She struggled with her last name. “Rogers.”

His jaw dropped.

His surprise kind of mirrored hers. Would it ever feel right using that name again? Introducing herself by it?

And then she couldn’t concentrate on her name at all anymore because with his mouth open like that, the urge to nibble on his full bottom lip was overwhelming. She wondered if he’d mind if she stood on tiptoes, pulled his head close to hers and helped herself to a taste.

He probably would. Better to keep talking. “My friends call me Bee, though.”

He stared at her for a long, silent minute.

Bee cleared her throat. “Uh, usually, at times like this, you’d introduce yourself. You know, tell me your name and all.” Flirting, Bee? Really?

He raised an eyebrow. “My name?”

“Yeah. You know. It’s the title your parents gave you when you were born. Helps other people to identify you.”

He blinked once, as though startled, and then nodded slowly. “Ah, yes. My name. It’s…Brody. Brody Evans.” He stuck out his hand, and she slipped hers in it, loving the way his fingers curled around hers as they shook. So formal. So…tempting.

“So, Mr. Evans, are you here on the island alone?” Shameful of her to ask, but there’d be no point taking this any further if he wasn’t.

Her heart shocked her then, racing overtime as she awaited his answer.

Nervous, Bee?

Er, yeah. Very. What if he is here with someone?

It would be crushing.

———

You can read the rest of the chapter over at my blog. And…you can purchase all three books at Samhain, or at your favorite ebookstore.

Moonlight Mirage – Chapter One

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Well it’s finally here. Release day for ALL THREE of the Bandicoot Cove: The Wedding books. Yahoo! Did you get your invitation? Are you coming down under to the beautiful tropical island off the North Queensland Coast? We hope so! Yesterday Lexxie got our party started off with a little tease from the first chapter of her book. Today I’m going to do the same:

Moonlight Mirage – Chapter One

See Aidan

See McKenzie

See Aidan and McKenzie get married.

 Dear Mitchell Wood,

 Aidan and Mack would love to invite you and your “plus one” to bear witness to their wedding on Bandicoot Cove’s main beach, Saturday, four p.m. Dress is completely casual as the atmosphere will be relaxed and full of laughter. No top hats, tuxedos or stilettos allowed.

Please come and share in Aidan and Mack’s special day as they finally formalize what the rest of the world already knew: they were meant to be together from the start.

RSVP Kylie Sullivan

Bandicoot Cove Resort

Bilby Island

Australia

 

Mitchell Wood leaned on the bar at Bar Evoke and made eye contact with the bartender. The athletic-looking blond guy, whose nametag read Finn, approached. “What can I get you?”

“The resort manager. Is she in tonight?”

Finn’s friendly expression cooled almost imperceptibly. Mitch might have missed it if he didn’t spend so much time negotiating million-dollar deals with men practiced at hiding their emotions behind bland expressions. They always had a tell, though. Once Mitch figured out what it was he knew he had them.

“Is there a problem, sir?”

The inflection on the moniker bordered on insolent. For whatever reason, Finn the bartender was protective of Bandicoot Cove’s resort manager. Loyalty. A valuable commodity for any person in a leadership position, one not all managers could educe in their staff. Mitch’s resolve to talk to Kylie Sullivan solidified. “No problem at all. A business proposition.”

Finn’s countenance relaxed once more. “I’ll see if she’s around,” he offered before he sauntered away.

“Tell me I didn’t hear that right.”

Mitch swung around to see his sister McKenzie standing behind him, her hands on her hips and a disgusted expression on her face.

Busted.

Mitch raised a brow and feigned innocence. He was practiced at concealing his emotions behind bland expressions too. “Hear what?”

“You mention the word ‘business’ at my prewedding celebrations. You’re supposed to be having fun.”

Mitch proffered the red and orange cocktail his brother Mason had insisted he try. “I am having fun.”

“That’s why you’re hunting down Kylie with business propositions.What are you going to do—offer her a job?”

The fact that the woman would prove a valuable asset to his hotel development and management company had occurred to Mitch. What was wrong with mixing a little business with the pleasure of attending his sister’s wedding? “Why shouldn’t I?”

Mack laughed. “She’s not going anywhere, Mitch, believe me. She’s committed.”

“Contracts can always be broken.”

“No, I mean… Let’s just say you can’t give her what she’s already got here.”

The small smile playing on Mack’s lips made Mitch think of the bartender again, and the pieces fell into place. “Ah.”

“Yes, ‘ah’. So why don’t you come out on the floor and dance a jig with everyone else?”

“I can turn the occasional waltz, Mack,” Mitch drawled. “But I’m pretty sure I’ve never jigged.”

“It’s better than standing there stiff as a board.”

Her perfectly innocent statement reminded Mitch of Amanda and the fact it had been four months since she’d walked out of his life. Four months since he’d been able to relieve any of his stiffness in the time-honored manner. Amanda Donovan may not have been the most scintillating conversationalist nor destined to be his one and only, but she had been very accommodating in the ways that counted.

Realizing he was thinking about sex, or his recent lack thereof, with his sister not three feet away made Mitch shuffle his feet uncomfortably on the parquet floor. “I promise you, little sis, I’m having a great time.”

“Uh-huh.” Mack narrowed her eyes doubtfully. “Did you bring your laptop?”

“Of course I brought my laptop,” Mitch admitted before he thought better of it. “This isn’t Mars.”

“No, but it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Promise me you’ll open your eyes and take some of it in while you’re here.”

What did she think he’d been doing since he’d arrived this afternoon? He’d made it his mission to study every little detail that distinguished Bandicoot Cove’s facilities from anything else in Australia. The tropical Queensland waters were home to numerous holiday destinations but nothing quite like the unique mix of eco-friendly construction and luxurious abundance that this place offered. It was no wonder the rich and famous sought out the tranquility and extravagance Bilby Island’s exclusive resort had in spades.

Mack’s friend Kylie had obviously done an excellent job of getting the place up to par, possessing exactly the kind of flair and attention to detail Mitch wanted on his next hotel project set to open in six months.

But apparently love stood in the way of Mitch snagging the talented manager for one of his own hotels. Damned inconvenient emotion. Inconvenient and wrenching and painful. As far as Mitch was concerned, love could take a long walk off a short pier.

“I will open my eyes and take in the glory, Mack,” Mitch promised, affording his sister an indulgent smile and shoving thoughts of love and the one woman who had inspired it in him from his mind. Walking and talking and generally acting like he had it all together was so much easier when he didn’t think about her.

“You’ll leave your laptop in your room?” Mack pleaded. “Check emails only once a day?”

Once a day? Was she mad? Behind his back, Mitch crossed his fingers. A very childish thing for a man of thirty-four to do, he was well aware. “Agreed.”

“And you’ll have a massage.”

“Jeez, Mack. Anything else?”

McKenzie relented with an impish grin. “That will cover it for now. Only because I’m in too good a mood to harangue you anymore. And I see Aidan over there making eyes at me.”

Mitch rolled his eyes at the dreamy expression his sister wore as she looked past his shoulder to where her fiancé was obviously waiting for her. “Eww.”

Mack stuck out her tongue. Then she jumped up and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks for coming, Mitch. It means a lot to me that everyone’s here—all my family and friends in the place where I finally realized Aidan was the only man for me. Heck, even Hales came back from Indonesia. I’m so lucky.”

Something in Mitch’s gut clenched and the muscles around his heart squeezed tight. There goes walking and talking and generally acting like I have it all together. “Hales? Hayley Bryant?”

“Yes, Hayley Bryant, you doofus. Little Hayley, the girl I begged you to hire when she finished her degree so she could get some business experience.” Mack squinted at him. “She worked for you for over a year, remember?”

Remember he did, in vivid detail. That year wasn’t one Mitch had ever managed to forget, no matter how hard he’d tried over the past twenty-two months. Hayley Bryant. The sickening sense of loss that always swirled in his stomach at the thought of her made the strong rum-based cocktail nearly come back up the way it went down.

“She arrived just this afternoon, after you,” Mack went on, apparently unaware that Mitch’s throat had closed over, preventing him from contributing to the conversation. “She looks amazing. So different you’ll hardly recognize her.”

A picture of bouncy pale blonde curls framing a cherubic face and green eyes that sparkled with intelligence flashed in Mitch’s mind. He wasn’t sure he liked the idea of Hayley looking in any way different.

“She’s back for a visit?” he finally managed to choke out. His voice sounded raspy, so he took a swig of the drink he’d forgotten he didn’t like.

“For good, I think.” For good. Mitch’s heart started to palpitate. “It’ll be great to have her on home soil. I always worried a little about her traveling the world on her own—force of habit to worry about Hales, I suppose. I still remember her as the shy twelve-year-old I mentored through her first year of high school when I was a senior. There is one thing I will miss though, and that’s her postcards.”

Mitch had never received a postcard. Not one in twenty-two months—but who was counting? She sent some to Mitch’s headquarters in the Gold Coast because she’d made several friends there. The mementos came from America, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia, but none had ever been addressed to him personally.

Not that he expected any, after what happened.

You can read the rest of Chapter One on my blog. All three of the Bandicoot Cove: The Wedding novellas release TODAY! You can grab your copies at Samhain, or your preferred e book outlet.

 

 

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the year

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Welcome back to Bandicoot Cove

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There’s a wedding taking place at Bandicoot Cove.

On the 4th of September, 2012.

SAVE THE DATE

Keep watching the blog for more info about this special event. If you can’t wait to find out more pop on over to the Bandicoot Cove site and look around.

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 😉