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I was trying to figure out the best way of doing this. At first, I thought I’d only put up the nominations with more than one vote. Then I thought, why not put them all up? All you need to do to vote is shoot me a line at email@example.com with the subject line Favorite 2009 Contest. In the body of the email, put your ONE nomination choice for a winner. I’ll save your email and put your name in the draw April 2 for three print erotic romances (See Nominations post for the giveaway books).
Here are our nominations for Best Erotic Romance 2009. Wow, what a list. Congrats to the authors. :)
Dear Sir, I’m Yours by Joely Sue Burkhart
Sweet Seduction by Maya Banks
Laid Bare by Lauren Dane
All Jacked Up by Lorelei James
Taming the Fire by Sydney Croft
Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy
Becoming Three by Cameron Dane
Wild Instinct by Sarah McCarty
Instinctive by Cathryn Fox
Riding Temptation by Jaci Burton
Vampire’s Claim by Joey Hill
Destiny of the Wolf by Terry Spears
Simply Wicked by Kate Pearce
Relentless by Lauren Dane
Fatal Exposure by Lisa Slater
Dangerous Passions by Lisa Marie Rice
Seeking Truth by Francesca Hawley
Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone
Bound to Please by Lilli Feisty
Butterfly Unpinned by Bonnie Dee and Laura Bacchi
Simple Need by Lissa Matthews
Nicholas, The Lord of Satyr’s by Elizabeth Amber
Should Have Been a Cowboy by Lorelei James
Thief of Light by Denise Rossetti
When Alex Was Bad by Jo Davis
Pleasure and Purpose by Megan Hart
Rough, Raw, And Ready by Lorelei James
Night is Darkest by Jayne Rylon
Kate’s Crew by Jayne Rylon
Deeper by Megan Hart
Going All In by Jess Dee
The Bikini Diaries by Lacey Alexander
Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject Favorite 2009 Contest and your vote for best erotic romance 2009 for this list. When you do so, you not only vote for your favorite, but enter the draw for three erotic romances!
(Please note: I started to check all the publication dates on these books, and it was getting a bit burdensome. I will check the date for the top winner, however, and if it’s not a 2009 book, I’ll bump down to the next highest rated book. I didn’t put Shayla Black’s Delicious on the list, despite several nominations, just because I happen to know this isn’t a 2009 book. I’m sure Shayla much appreciates the nods though, ladies) :)
Last year, my husband and I had a blast doing the brackets at DA BWAHA. This year, I didn’t get around to making a bracket, but Julie James is fighting through the contest at this very moment with her terrific book, Practice Makes Perfect, so I’ve been over there to vote. Yay Julie! If you’d like to go over and vote for your favorites of 2009 at DA BWAHA, click here.
DA BWAHA didn’t have an erotic romance category this year. Since I write erotic romance, I thought it’d be fun to do my own (much smaller and more modest, but no less fun) contest here at my blog! There were some terrific erotic romances written in 2009, so let’s give those authors a nod and shout out! (Please note I’m not including myself in this contest).
Here’s how it’ll work:
1. Leave comments here this week with your favorite erotic romance of 2009. It can be an ebook, print book, novel or novella. (Check the publication date to make sure it’s a 2009 book). One vote per participant. Note: You many mention several books, but please make it clear which book you are nominating, or your comment will have to be disregarded. Anyone who participates in the nominations will be in the draw for their choice of an erotic romance. (Choices listed below) Drawing this FRIDAY, March 27th.
2. On Friday, I will gather all the nominations and make up a poll, which will go up this weekend. Participants will be directed how to vote in the poll. The following Friday, I will announce the winner with the most votes.
In addition, one voter will be chosen randomly to win the THREE remaining erotic romance books! This drawing will be on April 2nd.
3. None of my books will be included in the poll.
So nominate away! Remember, your nominations must be an erotic romance, ebook or print, novel or novella, published in 2009, NOT one of my books and you need to make clear ONE book, even if you mention several faves, or your entry will have to be disqualified.
His touch would consume her—if it didn’t kill her first…
Dr. Sophie Gable wasn’t expecting her peaceful getaway to be shattered by the arrival of a half-dazed, dead-sexy guest. Thomas Nicasio has obviously been traumatized, and Sophie thinks she knows by what. There’s something about Thomas’s father that he can’t—or won’t—remember. Something that could get them both killed. Still she can’t resist Thomas’s electrifying seduction—or her instincts to help him…
An ex-Navy explosives specialist, Thomas has never felt this type of volatile need for a woman. Even while he’s grieving the deaths of his brother and nephew, something in Sophie makes Thomas want to overtake her, and each time he does, her willing submission makes him want her all the more. But danger is lurking close by, and if he can’t face the demons of his past, he and Sophie could be the next victims in a pattern of meaningless violence…
Her fingers delved through thick, surprisingly soft hair, searching for wounds on his scalp. A shiver coursed through him when her hand reached the base of his skull. She caught his scent. Despite his obvious illness and uncharacteristic disheveled state, Thomas Nicasio smelled good.
Cautiously, she met his stare.
For a few seconds, neither of them moved. Sophie suspected neither of them breathed.
“Did you hit your head, Tom?” she asked eventually, her fingers resuming their careful search.
“I don’t think so.”
“Have you been drinking?” she asked, even though she’d inhaled his breath and already suspected that he wasn’t drunk. He shook his head.
Again, he shook his head. She pushed back his bangs. Her gaze shot to his when she saw the discoloration near his hairline on his left temple.
“You have been hit.” She reached for the wrist of his right arm, holding his stare all the while. Her mind churned when she glanced down and saw the abrasions and flecks of dried blood on his knuckle.
“You’ve been in a fight,” she stated tersely. Did a shadow of defiance cross his features, or was that her imagination? Well, perhaps she had sounded accusatory. It wasn’t her place to judge him, after all.
“Are you in any pain?”
“Sick to your stomach?”
He shrugged negligently.
“How is it that you’re here, Tom?” she asked, despite the memory of what he’d said earlier.
I came looking for you, Sophie.
He wasn’t entirely lucid, after all.
“Do you know someone who lives near here?” she prompted when he didn’t speak.
“No. I only know you.”
“Well…why did you come looking for me?” she couldn’t resist asking in an anxious rush. “Did you find yourself getting ill on the road and need a doctor? Did you remember me telling you I was vacationing here, at Haven Lake?”
A spasm went through him and he cupped his right brow with his palm.
“I’m taking you to the emergency room in Effingham,” she declared, alarmed by the sight of what must have been a jolt of intense pain going through him.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“But you’ve got to, you’re not well and—”
“I’m not going to the hospital,” he grated out between clenched teeth.
She went completely still at his harsh tone. She considered calling the police, but then he opened his eyes.
The two words leaving her own lips surprised her a little, but she felt as if she didn’t have a choice once she’d looked into those twin pools of turmoil and anguish. “You might have a concussion, but you’re feverish, as well. I’ll get you some Tylenol and then you need to rest. Will you at least promise me to do that for now?”
“I’m not sleepy,” he said hoarsely. His gaze lowered. Heat flooded her cheeks. He stared at her breasts covered in the thin bikini top. Her body responded to his blatantly sexual gaze against her will. Her nipples stiffened beneath the flimsy fabric.
He stepped toward her.
Sophie stepped back.
“You’re ill. You need to rest. Is there someone you want me to call? Will someone be missing you in Chicago? Never mind. Come on,” she said when he just stared at her. She waved her hand and led him down the dim hallway to the guest bedroom. She turned on the light and inspected the state of the room. She hadn’t been in it since early June, just after Andy and his wife Sheila had visited for a weekend.
Her mind sifted through his symptoms, trying to make sense of his bizarre presentation as she bustled around in the guest bath, laying out clean towels and getting Tylenol out of the medicine cabinet. His feverish state implied that something physical was going on, but the pain she’d seen in his eyes just moments ago argued for something psychological. The bruise on his temple wasn’t massive, but she knew the brain could sustain considerable injury from a blow without any obvious external trauma.
Of course there was no reason why his condition couldn’t be both physical and psychological, considering the amount of stress Thomas must have been under recently.
Who had he been fighting with, and why? Oddly, it didn’t surprise her to consider Thomas engaging in a brawl, despite the fact that she was used to seeing only his polished work image. She’d always sensed a rebel existed beneath the smooth exterior of his perfectly tailored suits. Maybe it was the tilt of his jaw that made her think it, or the gold flecks that flashed and burned in the deep green of his eyes; or a smile that was sweet, but just a tad cocky…slow in coming and breathtaking upon arrival.
Or maybe it was just because Sophie knew he’d spent the first years of his life in a working class Southside neighborhood far from the perfectly manicured, sweeping green lawns and multi-million dollar homes of Lake Forest, where Thomas had gone to live with the family that adopted him. A kid growing up in Morgan Park would have known how to use his fist. Besides, he’d only worked in the private sector for the past few years. Before he’d taken up the reigns of his own business, he’d been in the military, but Sophie couldn’t recall at the moment if Andy had ever mentioned in what branch he’d served or what his duties had involved.
She grimaced as she filled a glass with water from the tap. She felt guilty for not taking him to the hospital, even though the chances were that the emergency room physician would recommend nothing more than close observation of Thomas’ symptoms for the next forty-eight hours.
And either way, Thomas had flatly refused to go, so what choice did she have?
Her level of anxiety upon entering the bedroom was unprecedented since her first year of medical school.
She carried the Tylenol in one hand and the glass of water in the other. He still stood just inside the threshold of the door. She was relieved when he took the Tylenol without argument. He stood behind her while she turned down the bed, making her highly self-conscious of her bent over position.
She added his blatant sexual stare into her formulary of symptoms, even though Thomas Nicasio’s hot eyes hardly left her feeling analytical. Was he in a manic state, perhaps? That would explain his hyper-sexuality, the sudden need to impulsively escape…
…but not the bruise, fever or dazed confusion.
Was she safe with him there in the house with her? She glanced back at him and their gazes held. She exhaled slowly.
“Why don’t you get into bed?” she asked, glad to hear that her voice didn’t audibly tremble. He stepped toward her and Sophie glanced down, avoiding that laser-like stare. She knew she should have backed away, but she didn’t.
Not even when he spread one hand along her naked hip.
She held her breath and clamped her eyes shut when she felt his thumb gently rub across a dried smear of paint.
Her lungs burned by the time he bent his long legs at the knees, and he wrapped her in his arms.
He encompassed her. In that full, fertile moment, she felt Thomas Nicasio in every cell of her being.
He nudged her hair back with his nose and pressed his entire face to the side of her neck. His hardness pressed against her softness, stark and potent.
Her heart throbbed erratically in her chest at the sensation of his hot mouth moving next to her sensitive skin.
“Sleep with me, Sophie. I need your cleanness so much right now.”
Series: Princes of the Underground 1
Author: Beth Kery
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Red Hot
Publication Date: May 18, 2010
In his battle to resist, he found the impossible. His soul.
Christina Astor’s telepathic ability is an asset in her job as a psychiatric social worker. What’s driving her crazy, though, is her elusive, gorgeous landlord. She senses that Saint Sevliss wants her with an all-consuming hunger that’s somehow…different. Just how different becomes all too clear when his dangerous world collides with hers.
For centuries, Saint’s kind have been called vampire and werewolf. Even soulless. But their true nature remains a mystery. Bound by a magical mandate to control his bloodthirsty clone, Teslar, at all costs, Saint will do anything to keep Christina away. She infuses his gray universe with life and color, but his world—and his need—would destroy her.
When an attack reveals the true power of Christina’s gift, one thing is certain—Teslar won’t rest in his underground labyrinth until he possesses her, body and soul…
She’d been networking and offering information on Altgeld House to various contributors, board members and other sympathetic community leaders. She instinctively found Saint in the crowd—not difficult to do since his head towered over everyone that surrounded him. His tousled light brown hair streaked with strands of incandescent gold looked glossy in the flickering lanterns and the glow cast by the tiny white lights hanging in the canopy of trees. He’d continued to meet her stare as he conversed with a bald-headed man and a woman wearing a large hat.
A shiver of excitement danced down Christina’s spine.
“Is it true, what they say?” Melinda Marquette, another psychiatric social worker who managed a sister home to Altgeld House, asked as she leaned closer to her. Christina flushed knowing the older woman had noticed where she’d been staring. “Did he really get the nickname “˜Saint’ from all of his charitable acts and altruism? Or is it just an affectation to fascinate the ladies?”
“Come on, Melinda. Look at him. Do you really think he needs to use Hollywood devices to lure women into bed?”
Melinda chuckled softly. “No, I see your point. The man looks like a combination of a rock star and Jesus on steroids.”
Christina pulled her gaze away from Saint’s steady stare. “If it weren’t for Saint Sevliss, you and I would be out of a job and all of our kids would be on the street. He’s LifeLine’s biggest contributor.”
Melinda nodded wryly at the affluent crowd surrounding them. “The hype about this sicko who’s been murdering young people, especially the lost ones like our kids, is certainly doing its fair share of bringing in donations to LifeLine, in addition to Sevliss.”
Christina nodded, her mouth pressed into a hard line. It was a grim fact of life that the sociopath the media had dubbed the “˜Youngblood Thief’ was bringing in tons of money to LifeLine from concerned philanthropists. The media had sensationalized the grisly murders to nauseating levels, but in doing so, had inadvertently highlighted the plight of a subpopulation of mentally ill and homeless young adults in Chicago.
Christina hated the fact that the sad end to four homeless, lonely kids by the horrific method of exsanguination—complete drainage of the blood from the body—was the cause of LifeLine’s swelling coffers.
“They say Sevliss is the true leader of the city, you know, the shadow behind every union leader, neighborhood alderman and councilman. They also say he doesn’t need to avoid press because the media is in his pocket as well. But you must have juicy goods on him, living right here on his property?” Melinda prodded.
Christina just smiled and changed the topic. As much as she liked Melinda, she didn’t gossip about Saint. She didn’t because she knew instinctively how uncomfortable that would make him.
A few minutes later she spun around to snag a glass of champagne and an appetizer from a passing waiter. When she glanced up Saint was standing directly beside her. He’d come without movement, without sound, and in typical Saint-fashion, without a shred of respect for the time it should have taken everyone else on the planet to cross the distance between them.
She quirked up one eyebrow as she looked at him.
“What?” he asked.
Christina laughed softly. She’d known him for eight years now and he still managed to pull off a poker face every time he exhibited yet another bizarre behavior. Did he really think she didn’t notice?
She smiled up at him before she took a sip of champagne, never letting her gaze falter. “It’s going very well, don’t you think? We couldn’t have had a better night for it.”
He’d merely nodded as he stared down at her from his height of six foot five inches. He looked thin. Beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, but too thin. She held up the pastry appetizer to his lips. It was a common thing for her to push food on him. He glanced down at her hand. His nostrils flared as he inhaled slowly but he shook his head in refusal.
Funny…he looked hungry.
“Go on, eat it. You’re throwing this party, and I haven’t seen you touch a morsel of all this fantastic food.”
“I can’t eat anyone’s food but yours, Stina.”
She smiled. Saint was the only person she knew who called her Stina. Given his typical laconism, she’d always prized the sound of the pet name uttered in his deep, husky voice. Maybe it was wishful thinking on her part, but it always sounded like an endearment on Saint’s tongue.
“Right. If that were the case you’d be capable of surviving on what—three meals a week, tops? Why don’t you just say you’re not hungry?” She chewed and swallowed while he watched her.
“Aren’t you at least going to cut the silent act to tell me I look beautiful tonight?” she asked him brashly, not concerned in the slightest by his refusal to chit chat with her. Saint wasn’t one for small talk. Never had been. How many times had he walked across the grounds and sat on the front porch with her, or with her and Aidan, said a total of a dozen words the entire time before uncoiling his long frame from an Adirondack chair and sauntering silently back to the big house?
She couldn’t imagine how he thrived in a social gathering like this. He always managed to get exponentially more money donated to LifeLine’s shelters and group homes than any board member, so he must not be entirely backward. But if he possessed an ounce of social acumen Christina had yet to see it.
Saint was just…Saint.
He shrugged and blessed her with a rare smile. “Do you really need to hear that you’re beautiful? Why state the obvious? Might as well say the sun is bright.”
She paused abruptly in the act of lifting her champagne glass to her lips, her eyes flashing up to meet his. Had he really just said that? Saint never complimented her. At least not with words. With her special ability to read people’s minds, however, Christina had always known he admired her…wanted her.
Not enough to ever do anything about it, she thought irritably. Not even after eight years of knowing her. But still, she’d known. She’d seen the expression of longing in his eyes, noticed how even the slightest snarl on his shapely mouth resulted in her boyfriends preferring to stay clear of Whitby altogether. Certainly Aidan’s deadbeat dad, Rick, had avoided Whitby like the plague, but Christina suspected that had just as much to do with Rick being a loser as it did Saint’s intimidating frowns.
Saint was always her silent sentinel…her distant lover.
She’d recently made it her mission to narrow that distance to nothing.
She swallowed heavily as she stared into his mesmerizing eyes. She thought she’d understood the depth of his longing before, but she’d been wrong. It was as though he’d been blocking her from his desire and he suddenly released the barrier. Arousal flooded her awareness. A pleasurable tingling sensation buzzed just beneath her skin. Heat sunk from her belly to her sex. A mandatory need to touch him, to press her body against his long, hard length overcame her.
She stepped forward as if to do precisely that—yes, even in the midst of a party that related to her work. His head lowered, as though to meet her in a kiss. For an electric second that stretched impossibly long she was lost…gone…flying around in the depths of Saint’s eyes.
A harsh moan scraped her throat.
For just a moment she existed in a different world—a place of rich, voluptuous pleasure. She could still feel the slight rasp of Saint’s teeth brushing her inner thigh, his firm tongue sliding between the swollen folds of her pussy, the sensation of his big hand opened across her ribs and his fingertips lightly skimming the soft curve of her lower breast. She stared up at the roof of the gazebo, ecstasy nearly blinding her.
“No. Never again.”
She blinked at Saint’s roughly spoken words, the trance broken. The lights around her seemed to throb against the velvety black background of the night sky. In the distance she heard the waves of Lake Michigan striking the beach rhythmically, or was that the sound of the blood surging in her veins? She felt hot. She touched her fingertips to her cheek. Her face wasn’t the only thing that had grown warm and damp.
Warm moisture pooled between her thighs.
Had it really happened?
Her gaze locked on Saint’s rigid features. She took a step closer to him, stunned by the magnitude of desire she saw etched on his features…hurt by the fact that he appeared to be struggling like crazy against that desire.
Greetings all! How are you on this (what is in Chicago) rainy Wednesday? I’m going to be chatting up a storm with friend Fiona Jayde over at the Samhain Cafe today from 3-4 EST. If you aren’t yet a member of the cafe, you can join here.
I’m very excited because my awesome editor Laurie told me that I can put up an excerpt from my Samhain novel releasing on May 18, VELVET CATACLYSM. This is my first full length for Samhain AND it’s a paranormal–vampires and werewolves and tons of heat. It hasn’t been edited yet, but Laurie said I could put it up as long as I tell everyone that fact. I hope you can stop by the cafe and check it out!
Authors Julie James, Shiloh Walker, Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason and myself are throwing a ‘spread the word’ contest about our book signing in Chi-town, March 13th, Barnes and Noble/Webster Place from 1-3 pm! Even if you can’t attend in person, if you help us spread the word, you’ll be in the draw for a $40 Barnes and Noble gift certificate and signed copies of each authors’ latest book! Check out the details and enter at Julie’s Blog!
Good friend Fiona Jayde has her first Samhain book out today, a scorcher contemporary that is sure to get your heart racing called Pas de Duex. Give it up for Fiona!
Pas De Duex
One wrong move, and she could be dancing on her grave…
Two years after an injury put her dancing career on hold, Lynnrina Kovaleva is determined to reclaim her place on the stage. On the eve of her comeback production, she takes the edge off her nerves with a one-night stand in the strong arms of celebrity bodyguard Mateo Rivera.
Ex-cop Mateo is celebrating one hell of an anniversary: eight months since he was declared unfit for duty. When a delicate beauty boldly propositions him in a bar, he chooses to lose himself in her body rather than lose his mind to alcohol. This choice comes back to haunt him when he’s hired to protect a prima ballerina who’s been receiving threats.
Despite her shock at seeing him again, Lynn must not allow their intense attraction—or any creepy fan letters—to undermine her performance. Mateo can’t reconcile this coldly focused dancer with the passionate woman who seduced him. Yet he sees fire under the ice, pain hidden by the smooth mask of perfection.
The vivid memory of their entwined bodies wars with the job at hand, but he must keep Lynn safe—regardless of the cost. The most difficult challenge, however, will be keeping his hands to himself.
Warning: Contains jetés, pliés, a chilling touch of danger, and the boiling heat of an unwanted attraction that combusts into passionate sex.
1. Welcome Fiona! What are your thoughts on the eve of your release of Pas de Deus?
Hi Beth – thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be releasing Pas De Deux – this is a first foray into contemporary romantic suspense for me. I’ve always loved the genre, but somehow never managed to write anything close. I’m hoping this is a first of many – I do love writing cops and detectives and bodyguards! Plus this is my first Samhain release – again, first of many I’m hoping:)
2. What does Pas de Deux mean? (Both literally–lol–and figuratively–why did you choose it as a title?)
Pas De Deux in Ballet terms means a dance for two where the steps are performed together. It can also be thought of as a dancing duet. It fit perfectly for the title of this story because of the pairing of bodyguard Mateo Rivera and prima ballerina Lynn Kovaleva and their “dance of attraction” or rather “their dance of denying attraction”. Both are determined to maintain their distance behind a mask of cool professionalism – Lynn can’t afford any more rumous about her while she is fighting to get back her reputation, while Mateo must concentrate on protecting his client and can’t afford to miss a single detail.
In addition Pas De Duex is the title of the production Lynn is headlining, so I thought it was a great play of a “story within a story”.
3. Pas de Deus has a heroine who is a ballerina. I know you love the arts and play piano yourself. What was it like for you to write a story with musical/dance elements?
You know, I actually tried out for ballet once. I was about five, and my Mom took me to Ballet tryouts in our home town in Russia. They didn’t pick me because I couldn’t get into the first position nor touch my toes! Plus I was never a graceful individual:)
To research dance elements, I enlisted my niece who takes ballet classes (she is en pointe now!) and who refreshed me on the terms, as well as my favorite research tool, Netflix. They have an abundance of Art documentaries, a lot of them on ballet. I couldn’t really understand the dance itself or the amazing effort that goes into making a ballerina look like she is floating on air, but I could understand accenting a movement with music, or what it feels like to have tired burning muscles from overstretching or overworking. I never thought my music and martial arts backgrounds would ever converge like that!
4. Tell us about your hero. What do you love about him?
Mateo Rivera is a very unique hero for me. I knew I wanted Hot Latin Lover hero ( I hope he forgives me for labeling him!) I wanted this potent combination of sensuality and alpha male, and a rich cultural background to boot. I knew immediately that Mateo was of Puerto Rican heritage, but I’ve never really written a hero with that background. And understanding a culture isn’t something one can easily get from Netlflix! Luckily I have a friend who is Puerto Rican, whom I’ve known for a long time. He was very patient while I picked his brain with questions about culture and word usage etc. I hope I did him justice, but Mateo turned out to be one of my favorite heroes for it!
Thanks so much for having me Beth!!
My pleasure, Fi! Happy Release Day!
Leave Fiona a comment on Pas de Duex or ask her a question to be entered in a draw to win one of her backlist books! Also, continue to participate in the Julie James Borders video contest. The winner for both books will be chosen on Saturday!
Julie James did a terrific interview for Borders. She looks great in it and she talks smart romance. Check it out here and then come back and comment on your thoughts on the video. I’ll choose one commenter to win their choice of a Julie James book, including her newest book, which releases tomorrow, SOMETHING ABOUT YOU!!