Thursday, 27 June 2013

How we are shaped by first love

It's not often I sit around reminiscing about my first love. After all, it occurred when I was sixteen years old, and alas, I haven't been sixteen in some time.

For the sake of respecting privacy, we'll call my first love John. I learned a lot in dating John and many of those lessons are ones I carry with me today, and which have somehow shaped my stories as well. After all, the first love is most poignant and oddly stirring. It awakens us to possibilities of which we'd only hitherto dreamed. The first love is often the one by which we measure all others, good or bad.

My first love was a sweet one, if fraught by teenaged problems and issues. John was a year older than I was, but seemed a world away in terms of sophistication and knowledge. He'd had other girlfriends, whereas he was my first...anything. First love. First real kiss. First physical relationship. He taught me a lot and I can honestly say we had a lovely time together.

Most of the time.

You see, John taught me some hard lessons too, even though I know it was never his intention to hurt me. John had troubles, like any teenager has troubles, and some serious family issues. And those issues led him down a path which ultimately led to our break up.

What did I take away from this relationship? And how did it shape my future books?

Well, the first lesson was self-esteem. You see, John cheated on me. From an early age, I learned you don't put up with a cheater. And none of my heroines have either. Maggie from The Selkie was cheated on, and quite a bit. However, once she learned the truth, she never went back. Which is a good thing because she ended up with yummy Calan!

I learned that a good relationship should always give you those wonderful chills of excitement down your spine. You know what I mean. That tingle, that zing! If there's no chemistry, I don't believe a person will truly be happy. And you can't force chemistry. I tried to show this in all my books. A good hero/heroine will always feel a sizzle. Eryx and Maia hated each other on sight in For the Love of a God, but we all know how that irritation warmed into a deep lust and then love.

I also learned a good love relationship is based on easy camaraderie, and I did have that with John. I don't think you can love someone and not be "in like" with them too. In Up in Flames, Jules and Shane spend a lot of time together. However, even after they have given into their strong desire, they just enjoy being with each other, doing simple things like talking and watching movies.

I learned so much from my first love, and am thankful to him. If it hadn't been for John, I never would have gone on to find such a wonderful husband. I chose my husband because of the lessons I learned with the ones who came before him. There weren't many, but God knows they all taught me something.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Elaine White...Runaway Girl!

Today it's my great pleasure to host my new friend Elaine White! We recently met up on Goodreads and found we had the supernatural world in common.

Elaine was kind enough to feature me on her blog lately. You can check out her awesome feature at:

And now it's my pleasure to tell you about her wonderful book, Runaway Girl! I think the cover is about the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time, and I know you'll love what's inside it as well.

A missing vampire princess. A soul fractured among five young human girls. One loyal vampire with a grudge. Can vampire soldier Damian set aside his personal feelings to follow orders? Can princess Amelia's soul be reunited in time for the meeting of the three clans? Will her brother, Matthew, fight for the right to rule? Who will prevail?


The vampire council didn’t enjoy  convening outside of their regularly scheduled meetings, but considering everything that had happened lately, Lucius found it more than important. It was imperative. The very future of their race, their people, stood on the balance and although he knew that Damian was more than capable of taking over the leadership of their clan, it simply wasn’t enough. He was not of pure blood and no one other than a pure blood had ever led their people before. If Damian was to succeed to the station that Lucius had prepared him for, then they needed to ask him to do something that might risk breaking his heart.

They had to bring back Amelia.

Lucius rose from his seat and brought the council to order, his movement instantly silencing the chatter amongst the elders. “I pray the council will forgive the lateness of the hour. Unfortunately,  I have some distressing news for you that could not wait. Damian, if you would bring me the files we discussed, I would be most grateful,” he asked the young man standing watch by his side, ready to protect him at all cost.

Damian reluctantly crossed the  room to an old desk by the far wall and retrieved a manila file of papers that Lucius had been working on and handed them to his master. He then made sure the room was secure and took his place beside Lucius’ seat.  The moment the double wooden doors were closed, Lucius took his seat and addressed the council. “Amelia was a willful child. She tormented me and Damian, disappearing and playing tricks. Only when she was an adult did her tricks become dangerous. I believe you all know the story of my daughter, so I will not bore you with the details. However, for the sake of this meeting, I must explain her disappearance. For a century, I have lived without my daughter. Finally tired of her confinement—which was placed upon her for good reason—Amelia contacted a Haitian with certain special gifts,” Lucius recounted the tale.

“Her soul was transferred to a human body, upon her request, forever to live on until such time as she wished to return to our people,” Matisse replied, slightly annoyed. “We all know the story, Lucius, and how badly affected you were by her actions.”

Lucius smiled in gratitude for the obvious sentiment his friend displayed. He didn’t want him to relive the memory any more than Lucius wanted to. “Please, my friend, my meaning will be clear in  a moment. But you are right. This Haitian man offered Amelia an eternal life without my influence. Her soul was transferred into a human body and, even if that body died, her spirit would simply move to another body until she wished to come home again. But it has been two centuries and she has not returned, and I am not the only one who believes that this is against her will.”

Lucius recalled a conversation with Damian suggesting that Amelia’s Haitian man may have made a mistake in his spell. It stood to  reason that after so many human lives, his daughter should become bored of the monotony and wish to return home.

Although he wished for this more than anything, he knew of Damian’s resistance on the subject. Amelia had crushed his heart a million times over. Why should he wish for her return so that she could try to break him again?

“We were unable to find the truth for a very long time. It was only recently that a secret investigation into the incident provided me with new information. It seems that my daughter misplaced her trust. Not only has our witch friend spoken ill of this Haitian, she also discovered that Amelia’s soul has been fractured.”

A muttering of astonishment circled among the elders, who all turned their attention to the beautiful, gifted woman seated in a shadowed corner of the room. The witch woman was well known to all, but no one knew her name. Instead, they all called her Lady in respect and gratitude for using her many gifts and talents for their people, instead of against.

“Do you mean … Sire, you cannot possibly mean that her soul is broken,” Elder Nikolai said, shocked by such a revelation, sure that a broken soul had no hope of being repaired. Upon his words, the witch smiled the most beautiful smile of reassurance, and Lucius explained.

“That is not what I’m saying,” Lucius replied. “The spell cast upon her soul worked. It cannot die, but she cannot be whole again without our help. Our Lady has agreed to perform the necessary spells in order to return Amelia to us. My time is growing short, and my usefulness to the clan is fading. I wish for Amelia to be restored at the meeting of the three clans, so that she may take over the leadership of our people from me.”

No one was surprised that Lucius wished to pass on this great responsibility to his daughter. Few could lead for such a time without growing weary of the human world and its interferences. Their whole race was feared, but glamorized. Vampires had become legends within movies and story books. There was no respect anymore. 

“To do this, we must find the fragmented pieces of her soul and bind them back together,” Lucius began again. “I know all of you are aware of my intention to unite Damian and Amelia so that they may rule together. I also know that a few of you have been  using his particular gifts for your own errands, but I must ask for full availability of him from this moment forth. Damian must be the one to return Amelia to us.” Lucius hated asking his council to put aside their own personal errands to cater to his whim, but in this instance it was absolutely necessary. There was no telling what Damian would feel about returning Amelia to his side. He had equal reason to love and hate her.

“I am, as always, ready to bow to your wishes, my friend,” Elder Matisse said. “And I agree that Damian must be the one to bring Amelia back to us.”

After all, Amelia had tortured and tormented Damian for many centuries. He had ample reason to wish her soul obliterated from the earth. It would not do for him to be given the opportunity to dwell on things in case his loyalty could not overcome his personal feelings on the matter.

“Yes, these are my thoughts exactly,” Lucius continued. “As my trusted council, however, I wish to share as much as I can with you and ask for your guidance and assistance in this matter, as it concerns the fate of us all. The files that I had Damian bring to me contain information on each of the young women who our dear Lady has identified as possible candidates. Each show remarkable skills and traits beyond their human capabilities and it is our belief that each is in possession of a piece of Amelia’s soul. There is no telling how many fragments my daughter’s soul has been ripped into, but until we can reclaim these young women, we will never know.”

He sighed, momentarily losing faith. It all seemed so impossible, so difficult after searching for her, not knowing for so long. How many times had his daughter suffered some human sickness, death or heartache over the course of her many lifetimes? How many times had she loved, cried and been without her father when she most needed him most?

“Master, do not fear,” the witch said, rising from her seat. “Miss Amelia may return without her whole soul, so we must only find the greatest parts and she will be restored fully.” The witch woman knew that Lucius was in despair, but just the presence of her by his side relieved his greatest fears. They were not friends as such. In fact, he wasn’t sure that the Lady ever had a friend in her life, but they were allies

in their quest to see the vampire race succeed well into the future. And he couldn’t achieve this goal without her.

“Yes, thank you,” Lucius replied. “Let us all pray that by the time of the meeting of the three clans, Amelia and Damian will be united and ready to take over my leadership.” When he rose from his seat, the other elders did the same. Damian followed dutifully.

Matisse approached and took his hand, offering his full support in anything he wished, while Nikolai smiled and wished him well in his search. Each knew well how many years he had longed for the day when Amelia would be returned to him. He thanked him, appreciating the support of his friends.

“Do you forget, master, what I told you?” The witch woman waited until the elders had left the room, and Damian was sent to find a soldier escort to see her safely home. “Amelia will never rule your people. Damian’s heart cannot allow it. You know as well as I that he is the next leader of the clan. Why do you resist?”

She wondered if there was a reason why Lucius could not accept Damian as the next leader, even after her prophesy that he would be a much better candidate than his young son Matthew. Nor was she ignorant of the fact that he had not once mentioned the possibility of Matthew taking over his rule, either on his own merits or because Amelia’s soul could not be reunited. It was very curious.

“Damian cannot rule alone,” Lucius replied with a sigh. “You know as well as I that he is not of pure blood and cannot rule without Amelia.”

The Lady frowned at  him in disapproval. She did not understand this claim of the clans, but she knew more about the situation than Lucius ever would. “If you choose to ignore my guidance, then woe be to you. I wash my hands of the affair.”

After she left, Lucius smiled as if she was just an old woman who was talking nonsense. One day he was going to realize that, beautiful young woman or not, she was more powerful than he gave her credit for. Without her, the vampire race would die, as would their savior.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Men and the art of storytelling

I love my husband. I really do.
However, the poor, long-suffering man simply does not appreciate a good story.

Let me set this up for you. I have inherited my mother's genes in many ways. Now, my mother is a storyteller and doesn't know it. To her, a conversation is an excuse to spin a fabulous tale, detailing events and tiny issues most people wouldn't even notice. She, well, she meanders a lot in conversation, and I suppose I've started to do it a little too. Like mother, like daughter.

I once asked her if my brother had returned yet from a trip to Thailand. Simple "yes" or "no" response, right? Oh no, not for my mom! This was her answer:

"Well. I went to his condo yesterday because he was expecting some work men. He's getting renovations done on his bathroom, remember? I love the color he chose for the trim. I guess it's sort of beige, but more like a pebble grey color. So I walked over to pick up my jacket. I left it there the last time I visited. And I got a chance to talk to Joe. He's the man doing the bathroom. Joe has 5 children. Can you believe it? And he looks half my age. He's handsome. He should really be on the cover of one of your books. By the way, my friend Joyce read one of your books and is wondering how I ended up with such a smutty daughter....."

Are you getting the picture? It took me ten minutes to find out if my bro was even home yet.

Anyway, this particular trait drives my hubby bonkers. When Mom starts talking, his eyes glaze over and I see he's gone to his happy place. As for me, I just nod and smile. I personally love my mom's stories, and believe they are one of the reasons I tell stories now. I appreciate the yarn, the beauty in the details.

Hubby would just like the answer. Name. Rank. Serial number. Done. Let's eat.

I think this might be a man thing, but I don't want to generalize. Goodness knows, lots of men tell stories. I see it as my job to coach hubby on being patient with storytellers, just as he "encourages" me to get to the point. However, he must be the strong one because he's surrounded by storytellers. My youngest son has now discovered a flair for spinning yarns. We just have to ask how his day went and he launches into a diatribe about schoolmates and tests and teachers, one that never seems to have an end in sight.

And when he does, I look across the table at hubby's glazed expression, and smile.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Selkie's Revenge...Cover Reveal!

Hello my friends!

It has been some time since I've been able to bring you the world of my Orkney selkies. Well, Selkie's Revenge is coming July 15 and guess what?

We have a sexy cover!

Readers, may I introduce you to Calan's brother Machar Kirk? He can't wait to meet you!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Chest hair...where do you stand on the man-scaping issue?

Today on my pub buddy Jennah Scott's blog, I'm waxing poetic on male chest hair, and why it was important to me for my cover of Predator's Kiss.

Where do you stand on the man-scaping issue? Come visit with me at Jennah's place, and speak your peace!

And don't forget, if you haven't yet picked up a copy of my sexy bear shifter's story, you can at

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Love of Mythology Hop!

Thanks so much to our lovely organizers for allowing me to be part of this terrific hop! So excited to share my fascination with mythology.

We have some great prizes here!
The Grand Prize Consists of the following:
$50 Amazon GC or $50 worth of books at TBD.
ebooks from Patricia Bates
a prize from Lisa Beth Darling
an ecopy of Sunburn by Rosanna Leo
an ecopy of Ain't No Bull by Danica Avet
an ecopy of Remedy Maker by Sheri Fredricks
an ecopy of Mything You by Greta Buckle
an ebook from Tmonique Stephens
an ecopy of Eros First Fix by Dana Littlejohn

To enter the grand prize draw, follow this link:
In order to take part, make sure you follow this link or the linky code at bottom, for a chance to win! And don't forget to visit all the participating blogs.

Why does mythology interest me? I suppose it's the mystery of it all, the idea that superior beings are watching over us, capable of playing with our little lives. My favorite myths have always been of the Greek variety, and even as a child, I enjoyed reading about the exploits of the gods. Those lovely, scandalous beings intrigued me. As an author, I knew I had to write about them.

My first book about the Greek gods was For the Love of a God, which is set in a Toronto museum. It pits the god of love against a mortal conservator of statuary, and boy, do the sparks fly!

My second book is Sweet Hell, and this one is a romance between randy Dionysus and a workaholic baker...and it takes them on quite a journey!

My third is Sunburn, a sexy romp between Apollo and a mortal travel blogger. Find out what happens to them when "fun in the sun" takes on a decidedly erotic twist!

Aside from the grand prize, I will also be giving away one of my god backlist to one lucky commenter. So don't forget to leave me a comment with your email address and tell me why the gods inspire you!

In the meantime, please check out all these books at, or on Amazon/ARE/B&N.

< script src="">