Archive for the 'Friends' Category


November 3, 2010 | Friends

for being an EPPIE Finalist! And to all the other amazing authors who worked hard to earn the privilege.

If you don’t know, EPIC eBook Awards have been held annually since 2000, honoring distinctive works published in electronic format. The 2011 list is out and Rick R. Reed is there with two strong novels, The Blue Moon Cafe and Mute Witness. Today we feature Mute Witness with its engrossing plot and beautifully written emotions.

Rick R. Reed
ISBN 978-1-60820-108-2 print
ISBN 978-1-60820-109-9 ebook
MLR Press

MLR Press

Sean and Austin have the perfect life. Their new relationship is only made more joyous by weekend visits from Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason.

And then their perfect world shatters.

It was one of their rare lazy evenings. Summer, and the evening air was fresh and clean after an afternoon thunderstorm, with just a hint of a breeze. Normally, Sean and Austin were so busy that if they weren’t trying to change something about the little Cape Cod on the Ohio River they had bought a year before—adding a deck, putting in a new kitchen, stripping away years of white paint from the woodwork downstairs—they were too tired to do anything but crawl into bed and pass out, usually before eleven o’clock. Lovemaking, since they had bought the money- and-time-sucking house, had become relegated to weekend afternoons and the occasional early morning.

But today, Thursday, had been an easy one. Austin had called into work and took a mental health day. Things had just been too damn busy lately and he needed the break. Waiting until Saturday was out of the question. Sunday seemed farther away than the next millennium.

Sean, a reporter for The Evening View, the local thrice-weekly compilation of ads sandwiched in with a little editorial, had had the day off. The couple had spent the day in Pittsburgh, at the Andy Warhol museum, then had an early dinner at The Grand Concourse and beat the brutal thunderstorm home, made love (acrobatically, in the kitchen, atop a Butcher’s block), and now the two were curled up in front of the TV.

Sean looked over at his younger boyfriend and thought how lucky he was to have found Austin, especially in a town the size of Summitville, where the population hovered just above ten thousand. Even better, Austin was his fantasy man, with a broad, beefy body that his mother and her friends would have called strapping, sandy blond hair, and the bluest eyes he had ever seen. When Sean had first met him, he thought Austin’s eyes had to be fake: enhanced by those tinted contacts that never looked real. But he found quickly that the young man was simply blessed with arresting eyes to go along with his broad shoulders, dimpled chin, and infectious smile.

It was what they both would have agreed was a perfect day. Well, Sean might have had one more item to add to the “perfection” list. Having his son, Jason, around for at least part of the time would have been all it would have taken to make the day ideal, but these days, Jason was for the weekends only.

In any case, this was close enough to nirvana. He closed his eyes and let his head loll back on Austin’s shoulder.

Sean was just thinking about slowly undressing Austin and then leading him into the bedroom for round two when the phone rang. Its chirp startled both of them out of the cocoon of warmth that had surrounded them, a cocoon built from good sex, supreme relaxation, and good Jamaican weed.

Austin: sleepily from under Sean’s arm, “Don’t get it. Just let the machine pick up. I don’t want to talk to anyone. And I don’t want you to.” Sean eyed the little answering machine next to the cordless, wondering when they would enter the 21st century and use voice mail like everyone else. But, unlike voice mail, the machine did allow them to screen calls and for two men who appreciated their privacy, this feature had voice mail beat all to hell.

Sean let the phone ring its customary four rings, although his tendency would have been to answer it. But if this would make Austin happy, then he was willing to do it. Especially since he had things in mind for Austin that did not involve the telephone. Things that would erase their fatigue and perhaps keep them up the better part of the night. Sean grinned.

On the fourth ring, Sean pressed the pause button on the remote control and sat up straighter to listen.

“Whatever it is, it can wait,” Austin whispered in Sean’s ear, flicking his earlobe with his tongue and giving his crotch a playful squeeze.

And then the moment shattered.

Shelley’s voice, almost unfamiliar under the veneer of tension that made it higher, quicker, came through. Shelley and Sean had been married once upon a time and their union had produced Jason, the best little boy in the world. As soon as Sean heard Shelley’s voice he thought of his son, who shared his dark hair, green eyes, wiry frame, and his fascination with stories.

“Sean? Sean, I hope you’re there. This is important. Please pick up.” There was a slight pause. “It’s about Jason. He…”

Before she could say anything else, Sean sprinted for the phone in the entryway. “Shelley? Sorry, I was…”

“Jason is missing.”


And then Sean heard her sob and the relaxation in all of his muscles vanished, replaced by a tightness that felt like steel bands snapping taut across his muscles. Blood rushed in his ears; his heart began to pound. A queasy nausea rose up in his gut.

“Jason never came home tonight,” Shelley sobbed. “I don’t know where he is. Please say he’s with you.”

Sean collapsed into the oak chair in front of the desk. “Shelley, I’m sorry, but he’s not here. Don’t you think I would have called if he had come here? How long’s he been gone?” Sean rubbed the back of his neck, his mouth dry. He glanced out the window at complete darkness.

“I went to work at six and he wasn’t home yet.” She blew out a sigh. “But, you know, we just thought he was horsing around in the woods or something and lost track of time. Then I called Paul and…”

“Wait a minute, Shelley. It’s a quarter ‘til eleven.”

“I know. I know.”

“Why didn’t you call sooner? You mean to tell me you’re just starting to look? Christ, he’s eight years old.”

“I thought he would’ve come home while I was on my shift. Paul was here and he fell asleep and…”

“Paul. Great.” Sean rubbed his sweaty palms against his thighs.

“Please Sean, it’s not the time. I fucked up. Okay? Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need some help finding our son.”

She was right. In spite of the thoughts running through his head, most of them centering around how he and Austin would have been better parents, but the courts couldn’t see that, all they could see was a little boy growing up under the wings of two queers, Sean knew she was right.

This was an emergency.

He looked over at his partner, sitting alert on the couch, concern making his fair features somehow darker, eyebrows pulling together, mouth open as if to say something. Austin mouthed, “What’s wrong?”

“Just a minute, Shelley.” Sean covered the receiver with his hand. “Jason has disappeared. They haven’t seen him since this afternoon.” Sean closed his eyes to try and center himself; this was unreal, like a nightmare come to life. The room shifted, like he was drunk. He wished away any high the Jamaican he had smoked earlier brought on, but it wasn’t that easy. A feeling of giddy dread pulsed through his veins, electric.

This is how it feels, he thought, to be totally helpless.

Austin got up and began rubbing the cords in Sean’s neck, which had tightened into iron.

Sean swallowed, trying to summon up some spit. “You haven’t seen him all day?”

“That’s right and I don’t need the accusations. You know how it is around here in the summertime. Kids play outside until it starts getting dark. It was like that for you. It was like that for me.”

“I’m sorry. Listen, we’ll be right over.”

“‘Kay.” There was a pause. “Sean? Would you mind just coming alone? Paul…”

“For Christ’s sake, Shelley.” Sean hung the phone up.

“I’m going over there. See what I can do to help.”

“Let me throw something on.” Austin stood, his blue eyes alive with concern and sympathy.

“No.” Sean practically winced at the look of surprise on his lover’s face. He bit his lower lip and added, “I mean, maybe you should stay here in case anyone calls.”

Austin frowned.

“Like Jason.” Sean groped in a desk drawer and pulled out his cell. “I’ll have this on me so you can reach me. Okay?”

MLR Press

Learn more about Rick R. Reed and his talented writings on his website and blog.

I’ll be back Friday. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

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In the Mainstream

October 27, 2010 | Friends

is where you’ll find Dorien Grey and his stellar novels. A masterful writer, Dorien created P.I. Dick Hardesty and a series was born. The book we featured today, THE NINTH MAN is another excellent addition to the long line of critically acclaimed and best-selling novels by Dorien Grey.

Dorien Grey
ISBN 1-879194-88-0
GLB Publishing

THE NINTH MAN is available in or on-order from any bookstore. You can also purchase from GLB Publishing or Amazon.

Hired to get find the truth behind the mysterious death of a gay man the homophobic police force has declared a suicide, P.I. Dick Hardesty uncovers a series of similar, seemingly unrelated deaths and sets off to find the common link between them which will lead him to the murderer.

“Cigarette?” he asked, leaning across me for an ashtray on the night stand.

“Gave ’em up,” I said, smugly.

“You? Liggett & Myers’ best friend?” He paused to light up. “I’m proud of you. Really. It’s a filthy habit.” And he blew a long stream of smoke into my face.

“You little…” I said, lunging out to tickle him under the arm, which always drove him up the wall. He shrieked and rolled away from me, almost falling off the bed in the process.

“Don’t! Please! I’ll be good! Honest!” he gasped between arias of laughter and frantic flailing trying to fend off my insistent tickling. Finally, fearful that the neighbors might be considering calling the police, I stopped.

Tim lay limp, catching his breath. He took a long drag from his cigarette, which had somehow come through the struggle unscathed, and carefully blew the smoke away from me. After a minute, he plumped up his pillow and scooted himself up on the bed, his back against the headboard.

“Okay, so let’s talk,” he said.

“About what?” I asked.

“About whatever it was you called me about,” he said with a grin.

I duplicated his pillow-plumping and hoisted myself up beside him. “You know I hate to mix business with pleasure, but…”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. So ‘but’ what?”

“Your office had a case recently—you probably don’t remember it with all those stiffs you have coming and going. Mostly going. But this one was kind of different. Young guy named Bobby McDermott; 27.”

Tim muttered something under his breath—it sounded like “Fuck!” —and stared into the ashtray balanced on his stomach.

“What?” I asked.

Tim turned his head and looked at me, strangely, his eyes searching my face. He said nothing.

I felt a twinge of guilt. “Hey, Tim, I’m sorry,” I said. “I know I don’t have any right to butt into your business….”

Tim shrugged and relaxed a little. “It’s okay,” he said, finally. “Yeah, I remember Bobby McDermott. What about him?”

“The police apparently indicated to his lover that he killed himself. Probably poison. His lover swears he was murdered.”

Tim stubbed his cigarette into the ashtray, staring at it and continuing to tamp it long after it was out. “What makes him think that?”

Patience was never one of my greater virtues, and obviously Tim knew something he wasn’t too eager to share with me.

“Come on, Tim! The guy’s 27. Healthy as a horse—hung like one, too, I understand. No apparent problems—unless you count the lover, but that’s another story. Apparently the only thing he was addicted to is sex, and I’ve never heard of anyone fucking themselves to death, have you?” Tim shrugged, avoiding my eyes. “And then the cops ask the lover what he knows about poisons. That strikes me as more than a little strange; they don’t ask about drugs, but poisons.”

Tim pursed his lips, thought a moment, then turned to me with a deep sigh. “Well,” he said, shaking his head, “somebody was bound to catch on, sooner or later.”

“Catch on to what?” I asked, with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“First of all, he didn’t die of drugs; it was poison. Cyanide, to be exact. Apparently inhaled. Secondly, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t suicide.”

“What makes you think that?” I asked.

“Apart from the fact that cyanide is a pretty esoteric way for anybody to commit suicide, how would someone like McDermott manage to get hold of it? It’s not impossible to come by, but it’s not exactly a household product. But what really blows a hole in the suicide theory—and a little detail that the cops apparently chose to overlook—is that from what I understand, there was absolutely nothing in the room to indicate how he managed to inhale cyanide. No bottles, vials, inhalers, rags, nothing.”

“Weird,” I said, the butterflies still there.

“It gets weirder when you consider that Bobby McDermott wasn’t the first case we’ve had like it in the past couple weeks. He’s the sixth one.”

GLB Publishing

For a greater insight into the “real person” behind Dorien Grey, the curious are invited to check out his website and his various blogs: Dorien Grey and Me and A Life in Photos among them.

There is nothing Dorien loves more than hearing from a reader. If you’d like to contact him, just drop him a note. Replies are guaranteed. Dorien answers all his emails.

I’ll be back Friday. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell



October 22, 2010 | Friends

New from Clare London, author of the Amber Allure best-sellers A Good Neighbor and Upwardly Mobile…..

Clare London
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-703-8
Genres: Gay / Contemporary
Amber Allure


Garry’s definitely at the end of his tether. He’s waiting in an airport lounge to meet his friend Will, to go on holiday with mutual friends in a Scottish highlands hotel. Now there’s a ten-hour delay to incoming flights, the seat in the lounge is more like an instrument of torture, and he’s beyond tired of airport food.

What’s worse, he’s also dreading having to apologize for the pass he recently made at Will, under the influence of too many beers and a long-held crush. And the suddenly shocking realization that when Will accepts a new job offer on a continent thousands of miles away, it may be the end of their close friendship–let alone anything more.

To add to Garry’s stress, he’s treated to the company of Emily and Max, two young people who think he needs educating in the ways of the world–and his love life–whether he welcomes the interference or not. Struggling with their well-meaning help and the startling mess on his clothes from spilled ketchup and noxious-smelling sweets, he’s encouraged to re-examine how he feels about Will and to decide what kind of journey he’d really like them to take together…

Garry must have dozed off. He woke with numbness in his left arm that made it feel the size of a Halloween pumpkin, and a pain in his scalp that meant his hair had got caught awkwardly on the wrong side of his parting. His head was stretched back over the back edge of the chair, and his legs were folded underneath it in a manner that would defy professional physiotherapy. Trying to move his limbs just made him groan aloud as the muscles cramped. It took him a depressingly long time to get himself upright again. Wincing, he made a mental note to renew his gym membership when he got back home after the trip.

He tried to smooth his hair back down in place. He’d snagged the shoulder-length ends into a short ponytail for traveling, but the tie had twisted at the back of his neck. When he tugged it back into shape, his fingers caught up in the tangles. It also seemed to have collected an interesting selection of dust particles and the remains of a catering-sized margarine wrapper. Maybe a couple of those blueberry droppings.

He squinted at the lounge clock and saw that a couple of the ten hours had passed.

The good thing was that the Sleeping Not-Beauty had left the seat beside him.

The not-so-good thing was that he had another neighbor and this one was a lot smaller. Probably only about seven. A round, plump-cheeked girl’s face stared at him, her eyes sky blue, her hair pale blonde. She was delicately pretty and would have looked like some kind of picture book princess, except that she had a huge, suspiciously red stain on the front of her Hello Kitty T-shirt. Her legs were tightly pressed together to contain a pile of sweets in her lap and there was sugar frosting stuck all over her skirt and her fingers. Some of the sweets had obviously already been consumed—the frosting was on the end of her nose, and around her mouth, too—and she chewed thoughtfully as she looked at him.

Garry wrinkled his nose. There was a particularly violent and disturbing smell around the sweets, like a medicine he’d once been forced to take as a kid. A fair proportion of the sugar fallout seemed to have made its way on to his jeans, too. He examined his mood and doubted it was one to tolerate children just at the moment. The feeling was creeping back to his arm and it was damned painful. He wanted to swear—he had a good vocabulary, he’d been complimented on it more than once—but, of course, that was now out of the question. He knew that much about children.

“Hi,” the girl said. “You’re awake now.”

He glared at her, groggy from his nap, and still aching. His stuffy brain wanted him to say “buzz off, kid,” but his mouth opened and he said, “Hi.” He didn’t know what else to say to such a small person. He hadn’t had a lot of practice with them. Allen used to talk about his large family and the new generation of nieces and nephews, but Garry admitted in his deepest, most honest heart, that he usually tuned all that information out.

“You want one?” She held out something that looked sticky and totally unappealing, vibrantly pink and green and in the shape of a heart. New sprinkles of sugar whispered off it on to their knees.

Garry pursed his lips. He had an irresistible, immediate urge to brush off the white crystals as if they’d rot like poison through his jeans. “No thanks. I…already ate.”


He stared at her. Who did she think she was, his mother? “When I got here.”

“You’ll need more than that,” she said, bluntly. “The Delay is twelve hours now.” Her tone dignified it with capital letters, like it was some kind of alien monster, some Harbinger of Armageddon, some Premonition of Global Doom.

Now she had him doing it, even in his private thoughts. For a second, he thought he might still be asleep and dreaming he was in a late night version of The Twilight Zone. But his back and his toes still hurt…so it looked like he was awake. Mournfully so.

“You should be with your parents,” he said, just as bluntly.

But she didn’t seem disturbed by him. She put a red and yellow heart into her mouth and wiped her sticky fingers down her T-shirt. It proved that at least the red stain wasn’t blood. Garry wondered at what point he’d even considered that might be the case.

“You’re grumpy,” she said. “Just like Mum.”

“Huh?” One thing Garry did know about kids was that if you encouraged them, they stuck like glue. Or like particularly revolting sweets. All he had to do was stifle any conversation, and then in a minute, she’d get bored of him and wander off again.

“I’ll stay here for a while,” she said, patting her lap with determination…


Learn more about Clare London and her bestsellers at website.

I’ll be back Monday. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

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Vampires, Zombies and More

October 21, 2010 | Friends

Are you into Halloween and all its traditions? If so, check out Melissa’s Imaginarium for posts that unravel all the dark secrets. I guarantee you’ll enjoy this tweleve day spookathon!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

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A New Addition

October 20, 2010 | Friends

is coming soon to the Devon Falls family. Raine Delight has written another sizzler in this captivating series.

Devon Falls Book 5
Raine Delight
Aspen Mountain Press

Tagline: Can a were-tiger convince one stubborn woman that she is his for all time and show her that falling in love is just as sinful as a chocolate kiss?

Dixie Sinclair has watched her cousins all fall in love and now she wants the same. Dared to go to the annual Masquerade ball, Dixie finds the one thing she desires: love…one problem…can she trust that it will last after that one night?

Michael Barnes is a rare white were-tiger who was thrown out of his pride long ago for a trumped up crime. Now, Michael roams the world searching for the one place to call home. Finding that peace in Devon Falls, he also finds the one woman who stirs him like no other. Can he convince Dixie she can trust in him forever?

Once outdoors, Dixie yanked on her jacket, annoyed at how Damien thought she needed a babysitter for a two block walk home. Men were idiots who thought women needed to be protected, she thought, as she enjoyed the quiet night and waited for Michael. The man who stirred her senses into over boiling.

Down girl. You’re not going to jump the man’s bones so get a grip. You have BOB at home to help with that.

Yet, she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. He was a walking, talking sex bomb and she was itching to touch every inch of him.

With a shake of her head she tried to let go the sense of something changing inside her as he finally walked toward her. The look in his eyes had her panties damp and her blood beginning to simmer. It was like he was looking past the outer coverings into her soul or he was just stripping her naked, which wouldn’t be bad. Smirking to herself, she continued to walk, trying to keep her hands inside her coat or she was going to do something very dangerous…like kiss the man to death.

“You know you don’t have to walk me home. Damien is just being overprotective.” Dixie didn’t know what to do except make the best of it. It was only two blocks, surely she had enough will power to last that long. Yeah right……She was doomed as the scent of him, all male and spicy, teased her senses and had her swallowing hard.

Oh god, I am in deep trouble.

She felt rather than saw the man next to her look down and grin.

“Nah, it’s ok. I was going to leave soon because my Sadie is home alone and I don’t like leaving her long.”

The deep voice sent shivers down her spine. He had a slight accent she couldn’t place. Where had he come from, why was he here and what was he like when the clothes came off? Until the name Sadie come out. A terrible suspicion rose in her at the thought of this hot man having a lady waiting for him.


“She’s my dog. I found her when I was in Europe tied up to a park bench with no collar and no water. It was like someone just dumped her off, but instead of letting her roam free or taking her to the pound, they tied her up and left her. It was terrible and once I found her, she saved me from a solitude and loneliness that I never knew I had.”

Relief filled her even as she tried to tell herself that she shouldn’t be jealous. She hardly knew this man. “Wow that sounds like a match made in heaven for you two. What kind is she?”

“She is a mutt-seems she is a little bit of everything or so the vet said.”

Her heart turned over, watching the way his face lit up in the moonlight. The way he loved his pet called to her even as she tried to keep her distance. He was dangerous to her equilibrium, Dixie was certain of it. He kept her off center and it scared the hell out of her.

As her street loomed ahead of them, she stopped and stuck her hand out. “Thanks for the escort, but since I am almost home and nothing jumped out in front of me, I think I can handle it. My house is only two in.”

“Nope, I am to escort you to the house, not the street, Dixie.” The maddening man he looked at her.

Gritting her teeth, she tried to control her frustration, but damn it all, she was old enough to walk home. It wasn’t like there was a crime wave in Devon Falls. Far from it. Miffed, she stomped forward and tried to not hit the lug behind her.

Of all the men in the world, I had to have one with a streak of chivalry.

When MOONLIGHT & MAGIC is released, I’ll post it here along with the buy link. In the meantime, be sure to look at Raine’s website where you can find all her Devon Falls books. There’s also Raine’s Book Nook Blog and her Author/Reader Loop where everyone has a good time.

I’ll be back Friday. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

1 Comment

Mystery, Murder and Men. Oh, Yes!

October 13, 2010 | Friends

KC Kendriks is here with her awesome book THE BACK STAIRS. It’s a gay romance mystery with a paranormal twist and an ingenious plot. Defintiely a book you’ll enjoy.

KC Kendriks
ISBN 978-1-60272-690-1
Amber Quill – Amber Allure


Fallon Roxbury has a nose for trouble, and the uncanny ability for landing in the middle of it the moment he finds it. While investigating the gruesome murder of a young male prostitute in the red-light district, Fallon gets a whiff of something very strange. Forensics has unidentified hairs. Very unidentified hairs, like nothing in any of the textbooks. Following a tip from a person of interest, Fallon meets Sundown, an apparent hustler who knows a lot more than he will admit.

Getting personally involved with Sundown breaks every rule in the police manual, and in Fallon’s own personal code. Sundown is like a drug, and Fallon can’t stop at just one hit. When Sundown is forced to reveal the truth, Fallon’s world is turned upside down, and he’s left with only two options: check himself in for psychiatric evaluation, or accept a new reality with a strange shift.

Shapeshifters, that is…


I took a breath to tell him I was leaving, and caught the aroma of fresh-brewed java beneath the scents of sandalwood and patchouli. I was tired of getting jerked around, even by a man so incredibly sexy. Put it on to brew, my ass.

“You’re awfully sure of yourself, aren’t you? I don’t need pseudo intimate conversation any more than I need to flirt.”

He shook his head. “You didn’t listen very well, Fallon.”

“Listen to what? I’ve a mind to haul your scrawny carcass down to the precinct house, and let someone else pick your brain for answers, but I don’t have a legitimate reason to have you interrogated. Yet.”

“Tough talk, but you don’t mean any of it. Please, Fallon. Come. Sit at my table, and think of nothing but my very good coffee.”

Would it be so bad to spend half an hour talking with this attractive young man? Heaven help me, he drew me, a tired moth to his steady flame. And he had my favorite coffee, already hot.

Words echoed in my memory. I tried to pull them in so I could hear them again. What had Muffin said? More importantly, it was what she hadn’t said. She didn’t actually say anyone here knew Michael Carlton.

“I’ll sit at your table on one condition.”

He tilted his head, a smile teasing his full lips. “Oh? What is that?”

“You tell me your name.”

Was it victory I saw in his green eyes, or desire? I needed to know if they were the same. His chin lifted as his gaze locked to mine.

“You can call me Sundown.”

I trembled as the girl’s words resonated within me.

Take the back stairs. You’ll find what you need there.


I was two steps beyond the third landing when a male voice called to me from below. My heart slammed against my ribs.

“Lieutenant Roxbury, wait up.”

I paused and looked over my shoulder as Sundown took the steps, two at a time, to catch up. He stopped on the landing below me and met my gaze, his green eyes alight with amusement.

“I did not expect you to return so soon, Fallon.”

I wasn’t in the mood to waste time in small talk. He’d deliberately sidetracked me the other night and, as wonderful as the diversion had been, he needed to know I was aware of his tactics.

“The girl I spoke with at the crime scene is your sister, and you didn’t tell me. Why?”

“Because she is not my sister. I wouldn’t lie to you.”

I hopped down the two steps to the landing. “Listen, Sundown, or whatever your name really is, I have photos of her, part of the formal record of the crime scene. She looks enough like you to be your twin. If I hadn’t let my dick control me, I’d have put it together last night.”

He glanced away, a quick darting of his gorgeous eyes, then he looked back.

“She is not my sister, but we share a bloodline. She is gone, Fallon.”

“You’re hindering my investigation by hiding her.”

Sundown shook his head. “She didn’t see Michael Carlton, dead or alive, or anyone else go in or out of the alley until your people showed up.”

I clamped down on my anger. “That’s good to know, but I need to hear it from her.”

“Do you?” He cocked his head to the side. “You’re out of luck, Fallon. She is gone from here, and it is beyond my ability to bring her back.”

“Why’d she send me here, then?”

His green eyes flashed with his inner fire, anchoring me where I stood. “So I could give you want you needed, Fallon. What you need me to give you again.”

“Don’t be so damn sure of yourself. I don’t need you.” I lied, and he knew it, the knowledge reflected back at me in his level gaze.

“Come inside and tell me you do not need what I offer you.”

I didn’t think I could. My resolve to bully him into giving up Muffin’s whereabouts waned with every pheromone-laden breath I took. I stood inside the ring of warmth and scent that surrounded him. My erection relentlessly swelled toward completion, and I couldn’t stop it.

“I can’t compromise my investigation further, Sundown. Carlton’s parents are flying in to claim the body. I need to have answers for them.”

His fingers grazed mine, the gentle touch heating my blood.

“I knew you were a good man. I trust you, Fallon. Will you trust me?”

“I trust you to be nothing but trouble.”


There are several ways to keep up with KC Kendriks. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter , MySpace and facebook, too!

Be sure to join her mailing list and read her personal blog for more information.

I’ll be back Monday. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

1 Comment


October 6, 2010 | Friends

is exactly where talented and prolific author Ginger Simpson placed herself with her no holds barred novel EMBEZZLED LOVE. This story faces one of society’s shunned problems head-on. It’s a terrific book you definitely need to read.

Ginger Simpson
ISBN 1-897370-34-2 E-book
ISBN 1-897370-33-4 Print
LBF Books


They advertise on television—“find your true love; we’ll match you with the person of your dreams.” Their irritating spam clogs your computer inbox—”free tonight? Let’s chat.” You can turn the channel or hit the ‘trash’ button, but the promises still linger in your mind. Is it any wonder divorced and lonely, Cassie Fremont, signed up for an on-line dating service? What later shocked her was the cost of the ticket for a ride on the roller coaster from hell.

You aren’t the first woman he’s lied to.

When Cassie Fremont’s brother and sister present her with evidence they believe proves her new love is a con-man, her happy world is turned upside down. Either she chooses to believe them or Evan. How could she possibly believe that this wonderful man who gave up his thriving business in Texas and moved to California to begin a life with her could be the man to whom they allude? Surely it’s a mistake. The love she sees in his eyes can’t be a lie. Will Evan be the man Cassie believes him to be or are the words that invade her thoughts really true.

There have been others who have lost everything because of him.

The cold white paper covering the examining table crackled each time Cassie shifted her weight. Nervously, she reached around to pull the flimsy plastic material of the examination gown around her bare behind. Why did Dr. Owens insist on a complete physical? She only made the appointment to talk to him about getting something for this overwhelming depression.

What was taking him so long, and why did they have the air-conditioning so high? Her nipples pebbled from the cold air and became embarrassingly visible through the layer of vinyl she wore. The stiffly starched modesty sheet, draped across her legs, was no help at all against the cold air rushing through the vents. She rubbed her dangling feet together, trying to thaw toes that had turned to icicles. A rueful glance at the panty hose draped over the chair with her other clothing made her wish she’d worn socks instead.

Finally, the doorknob turned and Dr. Owens entered. He’d been her physician for as long as she could remember, and was the one to do her first pap smear. She recalled the embarrassment she’d felt, revealing her most private parts to a handsome, young man. Now he sported thinning grey hair, and deep wrinkles creased his once smooth brow. Had she aged as much as he?

“Well, Cassie,” he said, peering at her chart and then looking over his spectacles. “It’s about time you came in. You haven’t had a checkup for two years. You’re well past time for your mammogram, pelvic and blood work. You used to be much better about scheduling these visits.”

“I know. I’m sorry, but things have been very hectic at work. I’m tired all the time, I can’t sleep, I feel like I want to cry for no reason at all, and I have this horrible empty feeling that just won’t go away. Please say you can help me. Is there something you can prescribe?”

He sat on his stool and jotted notes inside a metal clipboard. Finishing, he looked up and smiled. “I’m sure we can find something to help you, but let’s get the nurse in here and get the unpleasant part of the exam over with.”

While the doctor pulled on his gloves, Cassie lay back on the table, trying to relax but well aware it wasn’t humanly possible, knowing what was coming.

The nurse adjusted the metal stirrups and guided Cassie’s feet into them, then kept motioning until Cassie had inched her bottom all the way to the edge of the table.

Dr. Owen rolled his stool into place and adjusted Cassie’s covering. He spoke those all-too-familiar words. “Relax and just let your knees fall apart.”

She tried not to jump when the cold speculum first touched her and stifled a groan when the doctor palpated her ovaries. This ordeal was still horribly embarrassing. To occupy her mind, Cassie counted the little holes in the acoustical ceiling tiles until they all blurred together.

“Well, that does it.” Dr. Owen said, appearing from beneath the sheet. He stood and stripped off his gloves and threw them in the trash. “Everything looks fine.” He offered his hand to pull her into a sitting position.

His eyes filled with genuine concern. “So, tell me again what’s bothering you, Cassie.”

She ran her hands through her long dark hair. “I just think I’m seriously depressed. Everything is a chore. I hate my job, I deplore being sad all the time, and I detest being alone. Sometimes I even wonder if life is worth living anymore.”

“Now, Cassie. Lot’s of women your age go through this, so you aren’t alone. How regular are your periods?”

“Pretty regular, they just aren’t as heavy as they used to be.”

“Well, my guess is you’ve begun menopause, and that in itself can cause a big change in your emotional status. It can magnify other problems and make them seem twice as bad. The good news is that there’s a pill recently approved by the FDA that I think will help make you feel better.”

Shivering, Cassie clutched the sheet around her. “Thank you, Dr. Owen. I really need something.” She sighed with relief.

He patted her hand. “Go ahead and get dressed. I’ll be right back with your lab slips and prescription. Just make sure to follow the directions. If the medication doesn’t seem to make a difference let me know and we can try something else.”

Cassie quickly changed into her clothes, then sat waiting for the doctor to return. The sooner she got the prescription filled, the better. This black cloud hanging over her head was more than she could bear. She heaved another sigh, trying to ignore the little voice in her head telling her if she took all the pills at once her problems would be over.


EMBEZZLED LOVE was a 2009 EPPIE finalist and is also available at Amazon. If you’d like an autographed copy, email Ginger at

Catch-up with Ginger on her website or on her entertaining blog Dishin’ It Out.

I’ll be back Monday with something to heat you up from P.A. Brown. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell


The Curse of Beauty, Do You Have It?

October 1, 2010 | Friends

Linda Sole aka Anne Ireland is back to share another of her exciting books. THE CURSE OF BEAUTY is an excellent take on vampires and gives us a surprising twist to their myth. It’s a book well worth reading.

Anne Ireland
ISBN 978-1-936279-31-9
Amira Press

Genre: Vampire Historical Romance
Heat Level: HOT


Angelina is haunted by a dream lover. Alone, with no one to care for her, when her father gives her in marriage, to a man she has never met, she can only obey. Is she doomed once more to bitter grief? What mystery haunts the castle, stalking the dark corners like a black fiend—and can she pass through terrible danger to find happiness at last?

“Oh, my love,” she whispered, her throat tight. “Why do you not claim me? Take me with you…please. Take me to wherever you are.” She dashed away her tears. “Who are you? Why do you come to me only in dreams, and why do you leave me? Please tell me…”

“My name is Raphael, and the time approaches when you must choose. Choose truly, and you will be mine completely.”

Feeling a warm breath at the nape of her neck, Angelina cried out, her body tingling as she felt the desire curl hotly through her body. It was as if he lay with her in her bed, his mouth sucking at her nub, making her arch and whimper with pleasure. Her limbs dissolved with dancing heat, her lips parting, and moist. She was on fire with sensual need, and her feminine juices dampened her inner thighs.

He was here. She could not see him, but she felt his presence, her body responding as it did in her dreams. Her lips parted as she felt a touch so soft that it was merely a whisper, her breath swift as she panted with pleasure.

“Where are you? I cannot see you. Stay with me. I love you. I need you.”

“I have loved you for six hundred years,” the voice seemed to whisper close to her ear, hoarse with passion and the torment of centuries. “I have searched for you, been driven to despair and haunted by the curse…and now I have found you. Only you can break the curse, my love…but you must choose.”

“Tell me what to do.” Angelina whirled round, looking for him, but the room was empty. She was alone, as always. Was she going mad? Had her mind cracked beneath the strain of her unhappiness…or had he really been here, her tormented lover?

“I shall choose you,” she vowed to the empty room. “Tell me what I must do, and I shall choose you.”

“Do your duty, but when the time comes, you must choose.”


To learn more about Linda Sole, Anne Herries and Anne Ireland, check out their website.

Have a beautiful weekend. I’ll be back Monday with tasty bits from P.A. Brown. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell


What Makes a Good Book?

September 29, 2010 | Friends

Easy – superb writing. Especially if the book is written by award winning, multi-published author Linda Sole. Have you read her work? If not, perhaps you know her as Anne Herries. Or Anne Ireland. All three pseudonyms amount to over 100 exciting novels that create romance in all its spendid forms.

Here’s a little from her hot, paranormal erotic romance;

Anne Ireland
ISBN 978-1-935348-46-7
Amira Press


Ally is a photographer and good at her job. She is in Paris when she hears that her sister has had an accident, and when she returns home Ally goes to her sister’s apartment. She mourns her death, but gradually she begins to realize that the car accident might not have been just an accident but something far more sinister. How long before she begins to understand that the beautiful Egyptian necklace sent to her sister may be the key to a larger mystery, and why does she feel as if her mind is being taken over by a dark ancient queen? Is what she is feeling for Jack Brendan, the new man in her life, real–or merely fantasy?

I woke feeling heavy-eyed and sluggish, and knew I had been dreaming again. I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened in my dream, except that, once again, it had been very sensual. I could almost feel the drugging effects of lovemaking in my body, and my mouth was swollen as if it had been kissed passionately. The dream had been vivid and erotic, because the man and woman in it had made love in ways I had never experienced. Just thinking about it as I dressed made my panties wet, and I was breathing hard. I shook my head as I looked in the mirror. My eyes were darker than usual and looked strange, as if they glowed with a black fire at the center. This wasn’t like me. I had a natural pleasure in making love with someone I liked a lot, but to be dreaming about sex this way wasn’t usual. I fought to put it out of my mind and think about the rest of the dream.

I was almost sure it had concerned a young Egyptian priest. The one I had seen before who had Simon’s face. He had been praying to his God for help because of some sin he had committed. I had no idea what he had done, what had happened to him, or whether his prayers were answered.

I shook myself out of my dreamy state and remembered that I had an appointment that morning. This business of the Egyptian necklace was more intriguing than I’d imagined.

“Mr. John Brendan is on his way up to your room, Miss Rowlinson,” the hotel receptionist’s voice came over the telephone. “He said that he has an appointment.”

“Yes, that’s fine.”

I had hardly replaced the receiver when there was a knock at my door. Opening it, I found myself staring at one of the most attractive men I’d ever seen. A tall man, he had dark brown hair, which he wore a little longer than was usual, and his eyes were almost black with a silver fleck in the irises. As he smiled, the silver seemed to intensify, which was very intriguing.

“Ally? It is Ally, isn’t it?”

“Yes, please come in.” I blushed as I realized I had been staring. “I’m glad to have a chance to speak to you privately because I want you to look at the necklace and make sure it hasn’t been damaged in any way since it left you.”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” he said, and smiled rather wolfishly. “I would trust you implicitly, Ally.” His smile was inviting, drawing me to him immediately.

“I noticed there was some slight damage on at least three of the links.”

“I think that has always been there.” He accepted the package I gave him without attempting to open it.

“Where is it usually kept?”

“It has been lost, or perhaps I should say hidden, for the last hundred years. Since it was found, I’ve kept it in my safe at Brendan Lodge, that’s my country house. I should like to explain about the necklace. It might be as well to do it here, then we can relax and talk about other things.”

“Please,” I said, gesturing toward one of the two armchairs. “Shall I order coffee?”

“No, thank you. I would rather just talk, if you don’t mind?”

“Of course not. I’ve brought some of Elaine’s notes and some of the books she’s written on the early dynasties.”

“May I?” he asked, looking eager. “When I spoke to your sister, she was so interested and helpful. I had almost given up hope of ever finding out anything. Even if the necklace is a fake, I should like to know about the original. My ancestor certainly believed he had bought something rather special. And there are all the stories about it bringing bad luck.”

“That’s what interests me,” I said. “You mentioned some kind of a curse when we spoke last. You don’t really believe that, do you? It’s only a myth, though I know the ancient Egyptians were very much into magic. Elaine told me the people believed priests and magicians had all kinds of marvelous powers, like the ability to change themselves into animals and raise the dead.”

“I know a bit about that,” he agreed. “Since the necklace was found I’ve been going through family records and have read several references to magic. One of my ancestors had purchased a wonderful book on Egyptian magic. It was written in Eighteen Ninety-Nine by someone called E.A. Wallis Budge, and it deals almost entirely with the subject, telling stories of magicians who cut off the heads of animals and then brought them back to life.”

“Elaine refers to that particular book in one of hers. Some of the old knowledge has been updated or set aside in favor of modern research, but Elaine always said that the older books had a mysticism of their own. It is probably more fun to go along with the stories told in earlier books than to read the more accurate versions of today. Carbon dating often takes the magic out of myths.”

“Your sister sounds as if she was wonderful to know.” He looked upset. “I was hoping to meet her. I feel awful about what happened, almost guilty, as if the bad luck my family has encountered somehow rubbed off on her.”

“You shouldn’t feel anything of the kind. It was a drunken driver. I was angry at first, devastated. Now I just feel sad. I miss her terribly, but I’m trying to remember all the good things. Crying isn’t going to bring Elaine back, and she wouldn’t have wanted me to be miserable. She would have told me to pull myself together.”

“Yes.” He nodded in agreement. “There’s nothing we can do, is there?” For a moment, he looked into my eyes, and I almost swayed toward him. I wanted to feel his mouth on mine, his hands exploring my body, his smooth flesh joined with mine. I gave myself a mental shake. I had to stop this. Erotic dreams, and now I was practically panting to get laid by a man I had met only a few minutes earlier! I forced my mind back to the subject of my sister and the necklace.

“Except get on with our lives. Elaine would have wanted to do everything possible to help you research your necklace. She would have been disappointed if it was forgotten or abandoned because of what happened to her. I don’t have her knowledge or skills, but I have become very interested in Queen Amnut’s story. If I can be of any help at all . . .”

“Do you really mean that?” He looked at me eagerly. “I haven’t been able to raise much enthusiasm anywhere in this country. The only expert who seemed to have heard of the necklace was your sister. If we could go through her notes together . . .”

“I think we could do more than that,” I said, suddenly feeling a thrill of excitement. “Elaine had a lot of friends and contacts. I am sure if I telephoned around they would see what they could turn up in their files. I’ve already had several letters offering to help with any unfinished projects she might have left. I’ve turned over most of her things to experts from various museums, but yours appealed to me, and I should enjoy helping you.”

“I appreciate that, Ally,” he said with a look that set my spine tingling. “How long were you thinking of staying in England?”

“I’m not sure.” I hesitated. The way he looked at me set my libido on fire. “I’m probably going to talk to someone about an exhibition of my work, but then my time is my own.”

“Did you tell me you were a fashion photographer, or I did I hear that from someone else?”

“I may have mentioned it,” I said. “But you were going to tell me about this curse you feel has been hanging over your family.”

“It isn’t really a curse, though a letter I found among my great grandfather’s things did say . . .” He broke off and looked at me, a gleam in his eyes. “What are you doing this weekend? It probably sounds very forward of me, but it’s meant genuinely.”

“What?” I asked and laughed. “You are being very mysterious, Jack.”

“I was just wondering if you would like to visit Brendan Lodge, if you’re into old houses at all? It might interest you, and we could go over my stuff and yours and see if we can find any cross-references.”

“That sounds like fun.”

“But you need to think about it?” He quizzed me wickedly with his eyes. My mouth went dry, and I almost flung myself into his arms. What the hell was wrong with me? I could picture myself doing some of the things I’d seen the lovers do in my dream the previous night. “After all, I might be an axe murderer.”

“No, I don’t think so.” He was amazingly attractive when he had that wolfish gleam in his eyes, and I was enjoying myself. His hand brushed against my thigh and a hot flame ran through me. I saw the way his mouth loosened, and I licked my lips, imagining what it could do to different parts of my anatomy.


To learn more about Linda Sole and all her marvelous books click here.

I’ll be back Friday. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

1 Comment

Front and Center with P.A. Brown

September 27, 2010 | Friends

L.A. BYTES is the thrilling third novel in P.A. Brown’s L.A. series. This expertly written book and has an intricately woven plot that will keep you guessing until the last page.

Here’s what Romance Junkies has to say:

L.A. BYTES is a gripping and captivating mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Reviewer: Christina

P.A. Brown
ISBN 978-1-60820-040-5 (print)
ISBN 978-1-60820-041-2 (ebook)
MLR Press


David extended his card to the tiny woman with pumpkin-colored hair.

“Mrs. Crandall? Alice Crandall?”

She took the card and held it between her finger and thumb like it might be the devil’s calling card. She barely glanced at it.

Alice had been the victim’s neighbor for “nigh on five years, young man,” she told the two detectives. “That’s why I told that young pup that there was no way Nancy committed suicide. She’d have paraded naked down Glendale Boulevard sooner than she’d have killed herself.”

“We’re here to listen, Mrs. Crandall.” David tipped his head and kept his face neutral. He flipped open his notepad and wrote the day’s date. “We’d like to ask you a few questions about your neighbor, if we could. Nancy Scott was her name, is that correct?”

“Nancy Amelia Scott,” Alice said. “That was her full Christian name, rest her soul.”

“You knew her five years. Did she move in five years ago, or did you?”

“I’ve been on this same spot of earth since before my good husband Lloyd passed, nigh on eleven years ago it was, rest his soul. He was a good man. Salt of the earth.”

David scanned the room. From what he could see it looked like Alice had furnished the place during the height of the beige eighties and never recovered from it. If there was a spot of color anywhere, he couldn’t find it. “So Mrs. Scott moved in five years ago. Was she by herself?”

“That man was a saint, he was. Why, even Father Barnaby used to remark as how good he was, never drank a tipple in his life and worked until they forced him to retire at sixty-five. Not that he wanted to leave, mind you, the man loved to work, almost as much as he loved to talk—”

“Yes, Mrs. Crandall,” David said. “I’m sorry for your loss, but if you could just answer some questions about your neighbor.”

“Lloyd would have loved Nancy. She was a pious woman, never heard a curse word come out of her mouth. Even Lloyd wasn’t that good.”

“When was the last time you actually saw Mrs. Scott, ma’am?” David persisted. Patience was a virtue, his own, less than saintly, mother might have said, but there were times when patience could take a flying leap. “You mentioned her missing Mass on Sunday. So if she wasn’t there, when did you see her last?”

“Sunday Nancy always came with me,” Alice said. “She wasn’t born a Catholic; she told me that right after I first asked her to join me at Incarnation. Was born a Presbyterian but never found satisfaction in that faith.” Alice dug her short, unpolished nails through the tight mass of bright hair. “She strayed, she said, and when she found her way back, she decided the good Lord meant her to be part of the true faith, so she come and joined our church. She asked for my help then,” Alice said proudly. “She asked me to help her find her way back to God.”

“Yes, ma’am,” David said. Beside him Martinez harrumphed softly. “But I still need to know when you last saw Nancy alive.”

Alice eyed Martinez coldly, then smiled at David, revealing impossibly even, white teeth. “Are you Catholic, young man?”

“No, ma’am, I’m sorry. I’m afraid I’m not.”


“Yes, ma’am. Now ma’am—”

“I know,” Alice said. “When did I last see her?”

“Yes, ma’am—”

“I’ll tell you if you stop jabbering. Can’t stand a man who always interrupts. Her son was like that, you know. Always cutting in, interrupting his mother like everything he had to say was pure gospel and the rest of us should just shut up and listen.”

“Her son, ma’am?” David leaned closer, pen poised over his dog-eared notepad. “Mrs. Scott had a son? What about a Mr. Scott?”

“No Mr. Scott. He was her past, she used to say, she was her own future. She never spoke of him. If he was anything like her son, I can understand why.”

“Would you know where we might find this son?”

“He comes around, regular as church bells,” Alice said. “Every other Wednesday.”

“And the last Wednesday he was here?”

The woman shrugged her thin shoulders. “Week or so ago.” The corners of her mouth lifted in a smile. “Why, I guess that would be two weeks ago tomorrow.”

David and Martinez traded looks. “Yes, ma’am,” they both said.

“I guess you can ask him these questions.” Alice smiled slyly. “Oh, and the last time I saw Nancy was Saturday morning. We walked down to the market to buy groceries.”

“What did Mrs. Scott buy?” David asked, remembering the nearly empty refrigerator. And the chocolate wrapper.

Alice sniffed. “Orange juice, couple of cans of soup, bananas and a newspaper. I never saw such a one for not eating proper. I don’t know how she stayed healthy.” Her face suddenly screwed up. “I guess she didn’t though, did she?”

“No, ma’am.”

“You still think she killed herself?”

“That’s up to the medical examiner to determine,” David said.

“Will you be by to talk to that boy of hers tomorrow?”

“We just might do that, ma’am.”

Alice smiled again. “Well, I won’t tell him you’re coming.”

David almost smiled in return. “You have a good day now.”

“You find out what happened to Nancy, and I’ll have a good day.”

She shut the door of her apartment behind them, leaving them standing in the musty hallway looking at each other in bemusement.

“Guess we come by to talk to junior, then,” Martinez said. “Where do you think he was all this time?”

David pulled out the car keys and jangled them against his leg. “We’ll have to make sure to ask, now won’t we?”


To learn more about P. A. Brown and her terrific books, check out her website. You’ll enjoy the journey.

I’ll be back Wednesday with multi-published Linda Sole, who now has 100 books to her credit. Be sure to drop in. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

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