Wednesday Words: Book Hook #MFRWhooks

MFRW Authors Blog

Today I’m participating in a new meme by Marketing for Romance Writers called Book Hook. It’s a great way to see short snippets from a bunch of romance authors.

Here’s a few sentences from my latest release To Growl or to Groan:

A shadow falls across me and I’m startled to realize a man stands right in front of me. He wears a robe that resembles tree bark, his face hidden under the hood.

A shiver dances down my spine. “Can I help you?”

A frail-looking hand closes my fingers around the pendulum. His fingers are frigid. “Beware, child. Power brings much temptation. Hold to your light, to your will…”

Blurb:

She’s unready to face her past, but she may have no choice.

It may be her best friend who gets surprisingly accurate hunches about the future, but Chloe just  knows something big –and bad—is about to happen. She telepathically communicates with animals and shape-shifters, but her growing psychic abilities are beginning to scare her. She suspects her mother also had abilities, and when those powers grew beyond her control, she left her daughter and husband when Chloe was only ten.

Despite her worries, she won’t let anything interrupt her trip to Scotland to meet her shape-shifter boyfriend’s family. Meeting Jorge’s close-knit family and spending the Holidays with them is worry enough!

When his sister goes missing, her disappearance is linked to a shadowy organization that knows exactly how to hide her from her shape-shifting relatives’ tracking ability. What they don’t count on is Chloe’s psychic gift.

In the rush to find Jorge’s sister, Chloe loses control of her ability and accidentally harms an animal’s psyche. Ridden with guilt, she’s afraid her ability just might destroy her relationship with Jorge. She isn’t ready to find her mother and face her past, but she may not have a choice if she wants to ensure she never harms anyone again.

What readers are saying about To Growl or to Groan:

4* from Sizzling Hot Books: “If you like shapeshifters, some sexy romance, and a good mystery as well then I would definitely recommend To Growl Or To Groan.”

“I enjoyed reading more in this book about Chloe’s exploration of her abilities and past as well as her HOT relationship with Jorge. I will be looking for more from this author for sure. This book is a light and fun read with adventure, passion and a few unexpected twists and turns. Highly recommend reading this book.”

“This book definitely kept my interest through the entire read.”

Check out the book trailer for To Growl or to Groan

Like the music in this video? Here’s the track:

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see more participating authors!

First Christmas–with the in-laws #MFRWave

The first Christmas I spent with my soon-t0-be in-laws was quite interesting. I knew the whole family (my husband and I grew up in the same small town), but it’s one thing to know people and another to be part of a family celebration. It started with his brother waking us up at 4 AM to watch The Christmas Toy. I am NOT a morning person, so I was a little less then enthused to learn of this tradition–especially without prior warning.

This is what I wished I was doing at 4 AM instead of watching The Christmas Toy, nothing against Jim Henson. 🙂

Around 7AM we got around to opening presents. Afterward, I was expecting breakfast, but no. Everyone (including my fiancé) fell asleep around the living room, with a few siblings (my husband has two younger sisters and a younger brother, who at the time were all still in high school) wandering back to their beds. I, however, was hungry and not used to going back to sleep a few hours after getting up–early hour notwithstanding.

I headed to the kitchen to find food, only to discover that the house did not contain much in the way of edible nourishment, not to mention breakfast fare. I nibbled on what I could scrounge and was thankful that at least my stocking was full of chocolate.

In the future, I started a new tradition where I cooked breakfast for everyone, and since I love to cook, it worked out pretty well all around. 🙂

In my latest novel, To Growl or to Groan, Chloe travels to her boyfriend’s parents’ home in Scotland a little before Thanksgiving. It’s her first time meeting the family, as well, but by Christmas Eve, she’s feeling a bit more comfortable with his family. Here’s a snippet from the beginning of the scene where they open presents.

After dinner, everyone retires to the living room and lounges around digesting food. Jeremy is the only one who seems to have missed out on the food coma. He bounces between his parents and grandparents asking when we’re going to open presents, since the family tradition is not to wait for Christmas morning.

There are a lot fewer presents under the tree then there were a few days ago when we loaded up a bunch to take to various charities in the area. Now each adult only has one under the tree, and there are seven for Jeremy (one from each adult who isn’t his parent).

Feeling the need to get the food in my stomach moving, I heft myself off an easy chair and walk over to the tree. I notice that there are small presents nestled among the boughs. Jorge walks up behind me, encircling my waist. I lay my arms over his, the noise of the rest of the family’s chatter fading into the background. “What’s up with the presents in the tree?”

“Each year there’s one special gift for each person. My mom hides them during dinner every year. We each draw one person’s name and come up with the gift. This year you got out of the drawing because I wanted this part to be a surprise for you, so I got a present for you and Miriam.”

I peer around the tree, at least as much as I can with Jorge’s arms around me, and try to locate one with my name on it.

He laughs, pulls me closer. “No trying to find yours in advance. Unless, of course, you want to get scolded by my mother.”

“OK. How about you show me some of the ornaments you made now?”

“At the risk of my mother misinterpreting, I’ll find a few in the front.” He releases me, and I miss his warmth. He walks to the side of the tree facing his mother, plucking three ornaments as he returns to my side.

He holds up what looks like a reindeer made from Legos and felt. “I built this when I was seven. I loved Legos.”

“It’s so cute. It’s a reindeer, right?”

“Of course it’s a reindeer. It’s Rudolph. Look at the red nose.”

I chuckle. “Defensive much?”

He ignores my taunt and holds up a second one. A hand-painted candy cane. The stripes are there but decidedly uneven. “This one was a project in grade one.”

I lean in to inspect the ornament.

“Not bad for a six-year-old. I can definitely tell it’s a candy cane.”

He lets out a long-suffering sigh and places the two ornaments back on the tree haphazardly. Then he holds up a third and flips a switch. The tiny robotic Santa’s legs start to move. “If I set it down on a flat surface, it would walk.”

“Let me guess. This was from when you started to become really geeky?”

“I got an A on my robotics project in grade eight science, I’ll have you know.”

Jeremy, attracted by the whirring sound, zooms over and asks to play with the toy. Jorge kneels beside him and puts the Santa on the hardwood floor. It starts to march toward Adam. Jeremy claps and follows it until it runs into his dad’s leg.

Adam scoops up Jeremy and the toy. “What have we got here?” He inspects the robot, turns to Jorge. “Isn’t this a project you did for school?”

“Yes. I was just showing it to Chloe.”

Jeremy squirms, and Adam sets him down and hands him the toy. He races off to show his grandpa. Adam turns to me. “He made a ton of robots when he was a kid. I’m sure Mom still has them somewhere.”

“I’m sure Chloe doesn’t want to see my robots.”

I give him a bemused smile. “So you do still have them? How cute.”

Miriam enters the conversation. “What’s cute?”

Adam turns to her. “Jorge’s boyhood robot collection, which he evidently still has.”

“Ooh, I remember those robots.”

Jorge gives her a wry eyebrow raise. “I remember you breaking several of them.”

Before the discussion can continue, Alice stands and announces it’s time for presents.

A Little Sweet, a Little Spicy Chocolate Crinkles #MFRWorg #recipe

A little less than a year ago, I discovered Marketing for Romance Writers. I’d recently finished my first manuscript and was Googling about publishing options and whatnot. It was one of the best groups I’ve ever stumbled upon. Thanks to their Write Place, Write Time pitch event, I learned how to write a killer log line and pitch, which ultimately landed me two offers. My debut novel, To Hiss or to Kiss, was released in March.

Now they are gearing up for A Taste of Summer Camp, to be held July 12th-14th. I’m pleased to kick off a month and a half of blog posts promoting this wonderful event and sharing great recipes. Romance authors, join MFRW’s Yahoo group today so you don’t miss out on this excellent learning opportunity.

In honor of the variety of romance out there, here’s a cookie that has plenty of sweet with a nice kick of spice.

Sweet and Spicy Chocolate Crinkles

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • powdered sugar to coat

Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add cocoa, oil, cinnamon and cayenne and blend. Alternate flour and baking powder with milk. Form into 1 to 1.5 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

K: Kiss => L: Getting Lucky #mfrwave #atozchallenge

Click here to visit other authors on the hop!

No one knows for sure why people kiss. Some say it’s instinctual, pointing to the kissing behavior of certain animals as proof of this theory. Others says it’s learned behavior–after all, only about 90% of the world’s cultures participate in the activity of making out. The most commonly held scientific theory is that the close contact let’s us smell out the pheromones of our partner. The right pheromones equals the right mate or the wrong mate.

So what do you think? Why do you kiss? I’m guessing a lot of people just do it because it’s fun.

Excerpt from To Hiss or to Kiss:

He purrs and moans as I come slowly back up, grazing his hard penis with my hands as I rise. He lets me turn him so he faces me, then I back him toward the bed and give a playful push. He falls back, grinning. He puts one hand behind his head and gives me a smoldering look as he crooks a finger on his free hand and beckons me onto him.

“You’re such a pushover.” I straddle him.

“Only for you, sweet Chloe.” He grins wickedly. “Now I think it’s only fair you show some skin too.”

“Oh, yeah? What if I just want to pet you?”

A bit of the cat gleams in his eyes. “But I want to see your beautiful flesh. I want to play with you, too.”

“Hmm, when you put it like that.” I lift my shirt over my head and fling it off the bed.

He sits up rapidly, leaning to lick along my collar bone as he undoes my bra. “Tasty.” His whisper makes me shiver.

“Like catnip?”

He chuckles and the rumble feels decadent as he takes one breast into his mouth, teasing the nipple with his tongue. My hips start to swivel, my need for sensation growing. I run my fingers through his hair, throwing my head back to press my breasts into his kiss. Trailing kisses across my chest, he mumbles, “You are most definitely my catnip.”

“Glad to know I get you high.” I can barely manage the joking tone, given the way my body is reacting to his touch.

He pulls back and I meet his gaze. “In more ways than one.” He grins, flexing his penis a bit to emphasize.

I start giggling and he reaches to undo my pants.

He spies the boxers I borrowed this morning. “Already helping yourself, I see.” He dips his fingers below the waistline.

“I figured you wouldn’t mind.”

“Does this mean I get to keep your panties?”

I swat at him, giggling. “Pervert.”

At that he flips me onto my back with what appears to be very little effort, making me gasp as he efficiently strips me of pants and boxers in one fell swoop. “Now we’re even.” His eyes drink me in with so much heat I clench my thighs, my hips rising slightly off the bed. “God, you’re beautiful.” He leans down over me, his skin a fire along my body.

I push his shoulder lightly. “Hey, I was supposed to be the one in charge this time.”

He growls a little while kissing my neck.

“Is that a no to me being in charge?” I want to sound annoyed, but his tongue hits a sensitive spot behind my ear and it comes out as more of a moan.

“Doesn’t sound like you mind too much.” He sounds a little too satisfied.

I take the moment of distraction to wrap a leg around his and use my hip as a fulcrum as I put everything I have into a shoulder shove.

He at least moves a bit.

“Dammit.”

He chuckles, and I swat at him.

“This is not funny.”

He leans back so I can see the amusement in his face. “I kind of think it is.”

“Oh, yeah?” I reach down to squeeze his penis. He gasps, and I take that moment to complete a flip. “Just needed the proper distraction.” I move my hands up to his chest and kiss the soft curls that spread across his pecs.

“You play dirty.” His hands cup my butt. “No fair.” He groans as I gently bite his nipple.

“Now who doesn’t seem to mind too much?” I kiss my way down his torso.

Want to know more? Click here to read the blurb.