True love

I love you,’ Buttercup said. ‘I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I’ve ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn’t matter.’ Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. ‘I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley–I’ve never called you that before, have I?–Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,–darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.’ And with that, she dared the bravest thing she’d ever done; she looked right into his eyes.

-William Goldman, The Princess Bride

THE STORYTELLERS release-day giveaway : Kindle Fire, ebooks & signed paperbacks/swag pack



So excited about THE STORYTELLERS release-day giveaway CLICK HERE TO ENTER.


Click here to see the dream cast at Reese’s Reviews

Thanks for helping to spread the word about THE STORYTELLERS!

Want more? For every comment on this post I’ll post a page of The Storytellers….thanks for stopping by!

Tasty Thursday: Los Angeles, food & romance

For those of you who don’t know, champagne is my favorite drink. And this seems brilliant! I’ve never tried making champagne ice cubes, but I will have to very soon 🙂

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and what screams Love like a wonderful, romantic meal? I hope you all get a chance to sit down with the one you love this Valentine’s Day. Spoil yourself. Splurge a little. Do something out of the box.

I’m on my way to Los Angeles. It’s where I lived as a newlywed. There are so many friends I’m excited to see & lots of food to eat too 🙂 Here’s a couple places on my list : El Chavo’s (best margaritas on the planet & awesome posters of Dolly Parton too!) & the Tiki Ti (yes, I’d like one electric lemonade please). If you’re in LA these are a MUST! I’m going to be writing with a bunch of friends this week. Hoping to make lots of progress on Moon Killers, book 3 in the Shadow Series. An excerpt from Moon Killers is going to be featured at Indie Author Month this Monday with a cover reveal later this month! Click here to get all the details! On a side note, I’m very excited to be a best-selling author this week. Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale hit #1 in three different Amazon categories this week. #squeeeeee. Time to pop the champagne 🙂

Got any Valentine’s Day/romantic dinner recipes? I’d love to know what they are?

February is Indie Author Giveaway Month!

Get 'em while they're HOT!
Get ’em while they’re HOT!

It’s the month of LOVE…and to celebrate why not enter a TON of giveaways? It’s Indie Author Month:) Not only can you enter to win RED HOT SWOON-WORTHY titles there’s also going to be a ton of awesome posts including excerpts, character profiles, cover reveals and more!!

So turn on some soft music, pour a glass of wine and check out what’s up at Indie Author Month. Just click here!

I’m also running my own little giveaway this month on rafflecopter. Click here to enter to win any two of my titles (including the audiobooks!) and a little swag pack. Good luck and have a candlelit, chocolate-filled fabulous FEBRUARY!! *kiss kiss*

Click here to go to ALL the fabulous giveaways this month! (List is growing every day so be sure to check back to get all your goodies!)

Romance, Snoopy & Sonoma Valley

I had a wonderful time at the Sonoma County Book Festival last Saturday. I’ve got lots of stories to share from the festival and will be posting little snapshots of the festival this week. Today I want to share a few of the fabulous surprises that met me there:


Isn’t he adorable? I had no idea that Charles Schultz was a Santa Rosa native. This Snoopy was in the lobby of our hotel and we were told they are all over the town too. I wish I had time to visit The Charles Schultz Museum there. The festival went all day long. But next year I’m definitely going to go a bit early to check it out!

The day was full of romance….novels of course. It’s so fun when someone walks over to my booth and picks up Winnemuca, a small-town fairy tale, and says…oh, I’ve got to tell you about what happened to me in Winnemucca. I love hearing about readers’ personal connection to the town. When they ask what the story is about, I say the story is about a girl awakening to her intuition for the first time on an enchanted road trip to Winnemucca, NV––the Emerald City of the novel. I usually get some raised eye brows followed by the question have you ever been to Winnemucca? When I say I have, they usually laugh and say this one time in Winnemucca…Here are a few of the tales people shared with me on Saturday.

This one time, in Winnemucca…..

“her clothes flew off the top of our car and we pulled over and picked underwear out of the tumbleweeds….”

“Dad moved to Winnnemucca to escape our government’s collapse, I believe it was 1992….”

“We grew up just outside of Winnemucca and my cousin was jumped in the bathroom at our high school, and some guys rubbed Tiger Balm on his balls…”

“I was on a road trip and stayed there overnight and I saw the milky way clearer than I ever have in my entire life!”

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing their Winnemucca stories. I’m thinking about starting a page on the blog so I can post them. To read more about Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale click here.

I look forward to sharing some more stories from the festival this week! I want to give a BIG shout out to my hubby for being the best booth buddy ever 🙂

Of Blood & Bone [The Minaldi Legacy] by Courtney Cole Release Day Teaser!

Check out the latest from Courtney Cole! What? You haven’t heard? This is Courtney’s first adult series and it’s SMOKING HOT! I’m so excited to feature a teaser to OF BLOOD & BONE today. I LOVE Sundays! It’s the perfect day to grab your favorite tasty beverage and cozy up to this awesome new series!

Love is dangerous…

“I’m a monster, Eva.  There is no saving a monster.  But I love that you want to try.”

My heart constricts at the expression on his face.  He has no hope for himself, so I have to hope for him.

“You’re not a monster,” I argue softly. “You’re a man, Luca.  A man like any other, you’re made of blood and bone.”

As a little boy, Luca Minaldi was told he was a monster.

As an adult, he knows it is true.

He lives in Malta, a fairytale-like place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets.  And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best kept of them all.

Eva Talbot is spending the summer in Malta to finish up her doctoral dissertation.  When she meets Luca, a mysterious and handsome shipping tycoon, there is an instant attraction, a disturbing and beautiful energy that she has never felt before.  But she senses the darkness that lives within him.

Eva is hired to care for his mother, who suffers from dementia, but it is Luca who Eva will eventually risk everything to save.  Her life becomes a swirling chaos of darkness and romance, of secrets and mystery.  And the question that emerges will become the most important answer of all.

Can she save Luca from the darkness that plagues him without losing herself?

The answer is a matter of life or death.

Yeah, right? Awesome! Here’s the teaser!

“Can you start at the beginning?” I ask.  He nods.

And so he tells me of life at Chessarae.  Of being a child here, with a mother who was distant and detached and a father who was never home.  Luca knows why now, because Nicolas was increasingly confined to the cave in the maze, more and more as his life progressed.  But since the Minaldis do not speak of their curse, not even to each other, he didn’t understand as a boy.  He felt abandoned and alone.

Luca Minaldi may be confident and powerful on the outside, but on the inside he is a broken little boy.  And with each word that comes from his mouth, from his perfectly formed lips, I feel my heart constrict just a little more until it is difficult for me to speak, to ask him questions.

“When did you understand what was happening to you?” I ask.   It’s hard to formulate sound around the lump that has swelled in my throat.

“I always knew,” he answers, quiet in this large room.  He gets up and pours us each a glass of Scotch, moving fluidly. He takes a gulp of his and I grip my cold glass tightly.

“I always knew.  My mother told me at a very young age that there was something wrong with me, that I was a monster like my father.   My brothers and I had a nurse who stayed with us in our wing.  If we showed signs of sleepwalking or something similar, she was instructed to tie our hands to our bed and not allow us to leave until it had passed. As time went on, it was clear that it only afflicted me.  My brothers were normal.”

A tear slips from the corner of my eye now as I picture Luca as a boy, terrified and alone in the darkness of his room, tied to his enormous bed.

“Luca… I…”

I can’t speak any more.  The words won’t come.  And another tear slips down my cheek.  My eyes are hot and burning, so I close them.

Buy Of Blood & Bone here!

Shadow Slayer Sneak Peek : Teaser

Shadow Slayer [Shadow Series #2] releases on Tuesday. I’m really excited about this book because Roxie is one year older and finds the agony of fitting in at high school nothing compared to saving the world from the shadow onslaught. It’s a big book book for me. It’s my first series and my first “book 2.” I think there should be some sort of “BOOK 2” celebration for authors writing their first series. It wasn’t an easy book for me to write. I think it’s because I had constraints from the first book and I wasn’t sure how to work within them and build the world further and keep the surprises coming. You can ask my family. We’d sit out on the deck and work stuff out together. Sometimes I’d text or call. I guess it makes for some unusual discussions. I remember early on in writing this book I asked my family…what would a world of our alter egos be like? Feel like? Well, we’re pretty big talkers, and as you can imagine, we had a lot to say about it! Here’s my first first teaser from Shadow Slayer. I hope you enjoy it. I’m going to release another one before Tuesday. And thanks for stopping by!

This scene takes place in Oakdale High School’s cafeteria, after Roxie’s best friend, Ally, has been driving her crazy and a new girl, Wanda, has moved to town:

Ally doesn’t even glance my way, but I can hardly blame her. If he makes me feel this good from here, I can only imagine what she’s feeling standing an arm length away from him. Um, well now she’s a lot closer. The ten gives Wanda a nod, but she’s too clueless to see. I can’t breathe right because a blob of peanut butter is stuck to the roof of my mouth. That, combined with the ten in my sights, makes me breathe faster, and I almost choke. I wish I could describe him, but I can’t. It’s mostly things you can’t describe that make a guy a ten anyway. It’s the way he makes you feel inside, all tingly and weird, and how you feel instantly pretty when he smiles at you and how your whole life is different after.

“Come on, you have to see this,” Wanda says, turning her back to him.

It’s impossible to take my eyes off him. I don’t want to be seen leaving with Wanda. I don’t want the ten to think that she’s my best friend. I want him to know that Ally is. But then, he’s swarmed and it doesn’t matter because he can’t see me with all the guys high-fiving him. Ally’s got to be having the best day of her life. I walk out of the cafeteria and down the hallway, half-following Wanda and half-staring at the ten and Ally through the cafeteria windows. 

“It’s okay. This is even more important than a beautiful boy,” Wanda says. 

Happy Indie-pendence Day Celebration of Indie Authors!

I have three great Indies to feature on INDIE-pendence Day because they’ve written some sizzling summer reads!

Have you read a great Indie title lately? Post it here, I love getting reading recs 🙂

Tiffany King is a fellow Plume and her books are fabulous because they hit at the heart of what it means to be yourself. No. Matter. What. I love this about Tiffany’s books. But I also love her writing. When I open up any of her books, it’s like she’s sitting at my kitchen table telling me a story and I love that feeling. Once you read one, you’ll want to read all of her books! Here’s a little bit about WISHING FOR SOMEDAY SOON:

Seventeen year old Katelyn Richards is a stronger person than anyone will ever know, and that is just the way she wants it. Behind her normal facade lies the reality of a broken home life. Thanks to her abusive mother, a string of deadbeat stepfathers, and an unsympathetic system, Katelyn has learned that the only one she can count on is herself. Her life’s mission has become to shield her nine year old brother, Kevin, and to give him the future that they both wish for. A life with no more abuse, no worries about where their next meal will come from, and no more wondering if they will have a roof over their heads.
When her mother moves them again, this time to a small town in Montana, Katelyn’s resolve is shaken when she meets Max, a cute boy from her new school, who gets a glimpse into her real world. Max slowly manages to break through Katelyn’s wall of distrust, stirring up feelings she never saw coming. Now with her world more complicated than she ever intended, Katelyn struggles with the decision to follow her heart into the arms of the first boy she has ever loved. A decision that could risk the promise she made to protect Kevin, and to give them the ‘someday soon’ that is so close within their grasp.

I just read FORBIDDEN TERRITORY and I have to tell you it’s a great summer read and total page-turner. There’s something in here for everyone. It’s a thriller, an adventure, a romance. I’m posting a review soon on The FORBIDDEN TERRITORY Blog Tour July 5 so I thought I’d post an interview with the authors for the Indie-pendence Day Celebration of Indie Authors! Authors Melissa Pearl & Brenda Howson are the co-authors and they live in New Zealand, where the story is set. I loved imagining the story there, in a place rarely written about in YA. Here’s a little bit about FORBIDDEN TERRITORY:

Mica and Lexy have been best friends and next door neighbours since they were eight years old. They share everything and have no secrets from each other until… Tom arrives on Mica’s doorstep – a gorgeous exchange student from England. And Lexy is smitten.

Suddenly both girls are keeping secrets. Mica is hiding news about Tom’s English girlfriend and Lexy hasn’t got the heart to tell her best friend that her brother Eli, the guy Mica is mad on, thinks of her as only a friend.

After a massive fight, the girls decide the best way to mend their friendship is to spend some quality time together. And what better way than to go camping away from their parents and why not invite along the guys they are crushing on.

So the four teenagers embark on a geo-caching expedition into New Zealand’s native bush expecting a long weekend filled with flirtatious fun; instead secrets are exposed as they stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its gun-wielding watchmen. Forced apart they spend the next forty-eight hours racing blindly in opposite directions as they fight to find each other before the hunters do. FB fan page:

Melissa is a fellow YA Indie Carnival Author and I’m thrilled that she took the time today to ask the questions I had on my mind after I read FORBIDDEN TERRITORY.

LAHE: You and your friend Brenda Howson co-wrote FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. Can you talk about the process?

MP: It was a very easy process to be honest. Brenda and I have been best friends for over a decade. We think the same and work the same way. When we get together to plan a book it just seems to flow. About three weeks ago we met up to plan out Forbidden Waters (Bk 2). It took us the day and was SO much fun. We seem to spark ideas off each other and the story developed so easily.

We also know each other’s characters really well, so it makes it easy to plan out scenes. We did this initially writing diary entries. I wrote Mica, and Brenda wrote Lexy. We got to know our own character and the other person’s character really well.

LAHE: Did you write the Mica chapters and Brenda wrote Lexy’s or….?

MP: Yes. I am in charge of Mica and Eli. They are my creations and I take charge of those chapters and scenes. If I need Mica or Eli to do or say anything particular in one of Brenda’s scenes, I just let her know and vice versa.

We also edit each other’s scenes really thoroughly and make adjustments as necessary. We got together for an editing weekend a while back and actually read the entire book aloud together. I read Lexy’s chapters so Brenda could hear what her character sounded like through someone else’s interpretation…. and she read the Mica chapters. It was really helpful.

LAHE: The story is about two best friends, what was the inspiration for the story?

MP: Brenda and I have spent a lot of time on holiday together with our husbands. We all get on really well. We have done three trips around the South Island of New Zealand. SOOOOOOO beautiful!! We fell in love with Te Anau when we were there so setting the story in that town was easy. We also did a girl’s weekend down there and hiked some of the nearby trails so we could get a feel for the bush.

We were actually out geo-caching (the four of us) when one of us said it could make a really good story. We can’t remember who said it, but it sparked all these ideas and by the end of the day Mica, Lexy, Eli and Tom had been born then placed in the bush finding a treasure they never meant to discover.

LAHE: Have you ever found yourself lost in the bush?

MP: Once – when I was nine and only for a really short time. I ran ahead a little too far and missed the turn off. I soon found myself totally alone. It fully freaked me out!! All the forest noises are much louder when you think you’re lost 🙂

Check out more great Indie reads from these fabulous authors/reviewers/readers!

1. Jessie Harrell 26. Amy Durham 51. Brooke
2. Karen Amanda Hooper 27. Donna McDonald 52. Nickie Anderson
3. Susan Kaye Quinn 28. Hallee Bridgeman 53. Rick Daley
4. Laura Pauling 29. Diane Strong 54. Cherie Reich
5. Connie Keller 30. Hayden Braeburn 55. Dalya Moon
6. Sandra Ulbrich Almazan 31. Remy @ Reading with A Broken Heart 56. A.E. Howard
7. Cindy Hogan 32. Katherine Lowry Logan 57. JM Madden
8. Lisa Nowak 33. Jesse V Coffey 58. Christine Fonseca, Author
9. RaShelle Workman 34. Teresa Reasor 59. Jamie Manning, Author
10. Stacey Wallace Benefiel 35. Susan Ricci 60. Laura Diamond
11. Magan Vernon 36. Ashna @ Wanted Readers 61. Nicole Singer
12. Liz Long 37. Cate Dean 62. Indie Children’s Authors Connection
13. Angela Brown 38. Anna Kyss 63. Heather Simone
14. Heather McCorkle 39. R.M. Prioleau 64. Cory Putman Oakes
15. Megg Jensen 40. Deanna Roy 65. Jenny Krueger
16. Christy @ Captivated Reading 41. Courtney Vail 66. Carolyn Brown
17. Kimber Shook 42. Michael Whetzel 67. Gin @ Addicted to Words
18. Kai Strand 43. Mackenzie Morgan 68. Beth Dolgner
19. ali cross 44. Paige Aspen 69. Paranormal Book Beat
20. Stephanie Queen 45. Suzan Tisdale 70. Medeia Sharif
21. Laura A. H. Elliott 46. Dani @ Refracted Light 71. Bisi Leyton
22. DeAnna Knippling 47. Doug Solter 72. Michael Abayomi
23. Meredith Bond 48. Alli (mrscaptkirk51) 73. C.K. Bryant
24. Patricia Lynne 49. Ramblings of an Amateur Writer 74. Erynn Newman
25. Karen Victoria Smith 50. Pamela DuMond

Transfer Student, an intergalactic tale of beauty & the geek, only 99 cents!

It’s my birthday! Squuuueeee!

Since it is my birthday I’ve decided to celebrate by making TRANSFER STUDENT available any way you want it for only 99 cents on Smashwords for a few days only. Use the coupon code RR43C !


Happy May Day! Excerpt from TRANSFER STUDENT, an alien romance

It’s May Day and that used to mean dancing around Maypoles and men leaving flowers at the door of the woman they loved after bathing for the first time in, achem, months. Ah, the good ol’ days. May 1st is all about romance. So I want to find out what makes your May Day red hot romance reads?


Her lips are so beautiful. I can’t take it anymore. My peds find the bottom of the lake and I steady myself. I wrap my arms around her warm middle and pull her toward me. I lean in closer, expecting her to tell me no or to push me away, and when she doesn’t, I peck her beautiful, soft lips. The Rhoe in me wants to peck her again. The Ashley in me hesitates.

Tiffany’s red, veiny eyes find mine. I wrap my arms tighter around her smooth skin and we collapse onto each other in one long hug. Her body shakes like she can’t breathe properly. Like she can’t exhale. Her wet skin glimmers. It’s my first peck ever––not counting the dare pecks Tanine and I had at Yuke’s birthday party last ray–– and it’s starjumping-good.

Tiffany’s eyes go wide. “Ashley… what’s, going on?”

Tiffany wipes her mouth off with her hand. I reach out to hold it, as I’ve seen boyfriends do with girlfriends at school. When Tiffany places her hand in mine, I decide I’m ready. I’m ready to tell her that I’m not Ashley at all. That I’m Rhoe, I’m a boy, and that she’s beautiful. I stroke her back and take a deep breath, noticing the way the planet seems to be increasing its pull on me. Like it wants to keep me here.

TRANSFER STUDENT is available on Smashwords | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

April went by so fast. I can’t believe it’s May. Later today, my first newsletter goes out. Each month I’m sending my blog subscribers freebies and exclusive content not available anywhere else. YAY! This month there’s a little TRANSFER STUDENT surprise, because nothing says MAY DAY like an alien romance 🙂

What are your plans this May Day?