Monday, April 30, 2012

Character Interview: Lynsey Reznor

Today I’m pleased to get a chance to visit with my heroine, Lynsey Reznor, from my contemporary romance Back To You. Lynsey is going is going to talk a bit about her reasons for leaving Unity when she was a teenager.

NNB: Lynsey, thank you for agreeing to talk about your early years in Unity. Can you tell me about your life before you left at sixteen?

LR: Well, the only family I had was my mother. My father died when I was young—I don’t remember him. I had a normal childhood, I guess. My mother was always there for me. I loved her tremendously.

NNB: I understand you have always been a whip-smart cookie!

LR: I suppose so. I skipped over two grades, so I was actually sixteen in my senior year of high school.

NNB: When you were sixteen, you were offered a scholarship to a school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Did you feel torn between accepting the scholarship and staying on in Unity?

LR: Sixteen was a difficult age for me. I developed a crush on my best friend Suzy’s brother, Nick. I thought he liked me as well, but…he chose to peruse a relationship with another girl.

NNB: That must have hurt very much.

LR: My first love, my first heartbreak. It caused me to rebound to another guy.

NNB: Caleb Smith?

LR: Yes, Caleb. A decent guy, but he pressured me for a commitment I wasn’t ready for.

NNB: So you fled Unity?

LR: Pretty much. But I certainly don’t regret it. I even stayed on in Switzerland an additional four years. I feel quite grateful to have been able to travel and be educated in Europe. My French became fluid and effortless, and I learned to ski. All in all, a great life experience.

NNB: I heard there was also a romance with an Olympic ice hockey player?

LR: Ah…Jean-Luc. How I did enjoy my time with him. But the relationship ran in its course. We do remain friends to this day. He’s a coach with an NHL team now. Every time his team came to Florida we always would get together for dinner and speak to each other in nothing but French. He is still the smoothest man I’ve ever known.

NNB: Sounds like fun. Do you miss Miami yet?
LR: Not really. Like my time with Jean-Luc, my time in Miami was great while it lasted, but a thing of the past nonetheless. I am happy, excited, and looking forward to returning to my hometown of Unity.

NNB: Much luck, Lynsey, I wish you nothing but the best and I hope you find everything you are looking for in Unity.
Read more about Lynsey and her life in Unity in Back To You, available now at Bradley Publishing!


On the surface, Lynsey Reznor seems to have it all. She is beautiful, brilliant, and a successful true-crime writer who has been living the past decade in Miami. But what Lynsey lacks is what she needs the most—a family.

After the death of her mother, and yet another failed relationship, Lynsey makes an impulsive decision to return to her hometown of Unity. But Unity will present its own bittersweet memories, most notably, her first love, Nick Lincoln.

Twenty years ago, Nick broke teenager Lynsey’s heart when he decided to marry another. He had his own private reasons—reasons he never explained to Lynsey. Now she is back, along with a chance to reclaim her love. But Lynsey wants answers from him that he may never be able to give out of duty and guilt.


When he heard her, he came to her, took her into his arms, and kissed her. It was a comfort that he wasn’t regretting their lovemaking. She didn’t think she could handle being rejected by him twice in her lifetime.
     “Do you have to leave soon?” she asked.
     “I’m sorry. I don’t want to, but I have to.” He went to the stove and prepared her a cup of coffee. “I think we should start planning our wedding. We could be married at Christmas.”
     She was taken aback. Is this his proposal?  This was supposed to be so romantic and memorable, not talk about planning a Christmas wedding while he stirred a cup of coffee.
     “Do you even want to get married?” She took the coffee mug he offered. “I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that you told me you weren’t sure you ever wanted to be married again. You said you didn’t see fatherhood in your future, and Nick, I want a baby…more than one. I grew up as an only child and I was so alone. I don’t want my child to have to experience that.”
     “Well, I didn’t use a condom last night. You could be pregnant right now,” was his reply.
     Heaviness descended upon her heart. This was so not how she wanted this morning to be, and certainly not the marriage proposal she had dreamed of. “I’m on the Pill—I won’t get pregnant if that’s all you’re worried about.”
      “I’m sorry, that’s not the only reason we should get married.”
     “Then why?” she asked suspiciously.
     He let out an exaggerated sigh. “Lynsey, I don’t have time to get into this with you right now. What do you want me to say in the five minutes I have before I leave for work?”
     She couldn’t believe his glib attitude.  “How about saying something to me like…‘I love you, Lynsey, and I made a tremendous mistake by not marrying you twenty years ago?’ That would take you less than thirty seconds to say, and you could have easily gotten to your precious job on time.”
     Suddenly his jaw set and his eyes narrowed. “I didn’t make a mistake by not marrying you twenty years ago! I let you go to become a success in life—and you did. I can’t regret that!”
     “So, what I thought all these years was correct. I was nothing to you but a quick and easy way to shed your virginity.” Just saying the words was devastating.
     “That’s not it at all,” he vehemently insisted. “You were always so intelligent. I mean, you were a sixteen-year-old senior in high school! Just how many grades did you skip over, anyway?”
    “Two,” she answered in a low voice.
    “Do you know what would have happened if I hadn’t married Kelly?” He didn’t wait for her reply. “I’ll tell you what. You and I would have been ostracized by everyone in this town! We would have had to be married right away, and we would have had to live with your mother, because I had no money.”
     “My mother loved you. She would have been happy to have us live with her,” she interjected.
     “And we were so naïve, Lynsey. You would have graduated high school with either a big belly, or a baby in your arms…if you had graduated at all.”
     She crossed her arms over her breasts and looked at the floor. She was too afraid that if she looked at him she would break down. “Some of the girls in school were married. A few of them had babies.”
     He lifted her chin and forced her to make eye contact with him. “And you were too smart to be stuck in this town, and just another housewife. You would have become bored and resentful.”
     “I wouldn’t have known the difference,” she countered.
     “I had serious doubts then. I still have doubts now,” he admitted.
     Her dark lashes flew upward. “What is that supposed to mean?”     
    “I believe that you will become bored and restless in Unity and will want to go back to Florida or maybe California. I have a job and a family here, Lynsey. I don’t ever want to give that up. I’m afraid that we’ll have a child, and you’ll take my baby and leave. I can not allow that to happen.”
     She couldn’t believe what he was saying. Nothing was further from the truth. “Do you think I would have sunk so much of my savings into that house just to abandon it? I would never, ever do what you’re saying. But if circumstances changed, I would expect you to support what was best for our family. Couples who are committed make sacrifices for each other!”
     It was becoming clearer and clearer that things were rapidly falling apart between them.
     “Lynsey, didn’t what happened between us last night mean anything to you?” he asked.
     She chuckled unpleasantly. “I suppose that with us living in such close proximity, last night was inevitable. But don’t worry about it happening again, Nick. When you get home this evening, I won’t be here.”     
    “Where are you going to be?”
     She wanted to hurt Nick like she was now hurting. “I’m sure that Caleb wouldn’t mind me bunking down at his house for a week or two.”
    “Over my dead body,” he seethed. “I will drag you away from him kicking and screaming if it comes to it. I’ll handcuff you to my bed if need be. Believe me, Lynsey, I’ll do it!” He flopped down into a kitchen chair and buried his face in his hands.
     “I have to go now, Nick. I’m meeting your sister for breakfast. Listen to me. You need to pull yourself together. In your line of work, bad things happen when you lose your concentration.”
     When he didn’t reply, she let out a sigh of resignation and headed for the door. At the last minute she turned to him. “Thanks for almost making it happen between us.”

Twitter: BatesNatalie

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sable and the Gully by Sable Hunter

I grew up in New Orleans and parts of central and eastern Texas.  My family divided their time between the country and city houses so I got exposed to a wide range of cultures.  In New Orleans, I was around Cajun, Creole, voodoo and hoodoo – in Texas, I walked among cowboys, rednecks as well as Houston and Dallas socialites.  But one thing remained constant, my love for the Gulf of Mexico.  Now I know it’s not the French Riviera, but its close and its home.  We went to the beach often.  One of my earliest memories is getting hauled out of bed before dawn to head to the gulf.  I didn’t understand the word gulf – I called it the gully.  The excitement was just wild.  I can remember turning off I10 and heading to Winnie, Texas.  All along the road, I would keep staring at the horizon knowing that soon it would disappear and all I would see was water.  The feeling of endless possibilities was thrilling.

I loved the beach.  My family wasn’t rich, but they weren’t poor – and I don’t know why we roughed it, but we did.  We camped out on the beach or slept in the back of the truck – rarely in a motel.  But I thought it was great.  We cooked on the beach or ate sandwiches out of the coolers.  For a treat, we would drive into Galveston and eat at a restaurant on the strand.  I built sand castles, hunted shells – everything a kid likes to do at the beach.

Now we come to the part I don’t understand.  My parents.  My parents were horrible people!  Really!  What were they thinking?  Looking back, I’m amazed at what they allowed me to do.  When we would arrive at the gully, they – along with my aunt and uncle – would rent us kids an intertube and turn us loose.  By that, I mean they would become involved in some adult type of activity while us kids would paddle off toward Cuba. 

I could go far, let the tide carry me out and then paddle like the devil trying to make it back to land.  Many times, I felt fish bodies rub up against my legs – fool that I was – I thought it was neat!  What was rubbing up against me was probably Jaws and his brother, but I didn’t know that.  I was used to swimming in East Texas lakes and getting perch kissed.  I thought all fish were friendly.  In other words – I was innocent.  And I survived, as did my cousins.  Perhaps my parents were watching us more carefully than I knew or maybe I was just meant to survive to write smut.  I do know that any child of mine would not be allowed to get out of the shallow end of the swimming pool.  He definitely wouldn’t be found bobbing around in the Gulf of Mexico like some shark appetizer. 
Anyway I would like to share with you Libby’s swimming story and the day she got perched kiss.   

Now, this is a much better story than mine.

Cowboy Heat’s link is here –

The blurb is –  

An Erotic Romance - Aron McCoy has sworn off women - except for sex. When Libby Fontaine arrives at Aron's Tebow Ranch, she is determined to cram a lifetime of living into a few short months. The doctor has told her that she can't count on her remission from leukemia being a permanent one. Their attraction to one another is instantaneous and overwhelming. But when Aron finds out that Libby is innocent - he backs off. He has nothing to offer a girl who deserves white lace and promises. Then Aron catches Libby pleasuring herself in his stock tank and hears her cry out his name - and the heat is on.

My website is –

My email is – I answer each and every email.  And if you comment and tell me about your trips to the beach when you were a kid – I’ll pick a comment and you can have any one of my books you want.

And thanks for reading –

Here’s the excerpt -        

 “What is this, a Hilton resort?” Libby was shocked; she had expected a clearing and a campfire. Instead, there was a quaint, rustic cabin with mammoth rocking chairs on the front porch and a stone fireplace. There was even running water and a shower the size of a grotto. “Aron, this is tremendous!”
“It’s the McCoy hunting cabin. Mom would go hunting with Dad and she didn’t like to rough it. Dad wanted her company so he spruced it up for her.”
“Your dad must have loved your mother very much.” Libby didn’t realize that she sounded wistful.
Aron wanted to reassure her that he loved her equally, but he also knew that she wasn’t ready to hear it. Something was holding her back. He suspected that she had interpreted his skin-calligraphy the day before – and if he weren’t certifiably insane, she had reciprocated. He fully intended to push the issue – sooner rather than later.
There was a complete kitchen and three bedrooms. The bathroom was downright luxurious, but the piece de’ resistance was a king-size hammock that was professionally engineered and securely hung between four strategically placed trees. Libby suspected the trees had been planted for this specific purpose. Walking up to the hammock, she began to have sensual visions. “Aron, after while . . . .could we. . . “
“Make love in the hammock?”
“Oh, yeah.” A nip on her butt caused Libby to levitate about eighteen inches. “Aron,” she squealed. He had squatted down behind her, totally captivated by the way she was pulling on the thin cotton sundress that she wore. Unconsciously, she had been fiddling with her dress, pulling it forward, leaving her bottom lovingly molded in thin see-through cotton. “Fooling around in this hammock is definitely on the agenda.”
Aron had it all planned out. The fridge was stocked and he had changed the sheets on the bed. But, right now he had a couple of surprises up his sleeve. “Let’s go, precious.”
“Where are we going?”
“Do we have to use real live bait?” Libby pushed her bottom lip out in what was becoming his favorite expression – except for that dazed, rapturous look she got when she came apart in his arms, shivering in orgasmic ecstasy.
“What did you expect to use?” There was no chance he would lose his patience with her, she totally beguiled him.
“A piece of wienie?” she looked hopeful.
“Lucky for you that I brought some.” He loped back to the cabin and came back with a wiener for her. The picturesque little lake was no more than a hundred yards behind the cabin and there was a dock built out over the watery expanse. He loved the way she looked with her legs dangling in the water.
He grinned, watching her push a piece of the meat-stick down over the hook. “You don’t mind if I use a minnow do you?”
“No, but let me turn my head. I don’t want to see you skewer it on the hook.” She dutifully turned away while he baited his hook. Soon, both of their lines were in the water, their bobbers floating on the surface.
Secure in his superior fishing capability, Aron announced. “The last one to catch a fish cooks supper.”
“You’re on, buster.” Libby accepted his challenge. They sat for a few minutes; enjoy the profound peace of the idyllic setting, taking joy in one another’s company. Aron was leaning back on one arm, one leg propped up with one foot in the water. But, soon he felt a little hand nudging on his. “Can we hold hands?”
“Sure.” He sat up, so she could reach him easier. She twined her fingers with his, then brought his hand over into her own lap and clutched it close. It was such a tender moment; Aron found himself swallowing back emotions he had never felt before.
“FUDGESICKLE!” Libby screamed, as she threw herself right on top of Aron. He had to scramble to catch her and still manage to keep both of their fishing poles from falling into the water.
“What happened, baby?” He asked from underneath her.
“Something bit me!” she squealed.
“Where? Did a wasp sting you?” Aron held her and everything else secure as his eyes searched her body for welts.
“No, it was a snake!”
“Libby, a snake did not bite you, baby.”
“Look!” she flounced to one side and held her lovely little leg right up in his face. He almost called a halt to their fishing to carry her up to the hammock and prematurely begin the sexual phase of their outing.
A light red mark did mar the creamy smoothness of her skin, but it was not a snake-bite. “Oh, puddin’, that’s a perch-kiss.”
“A what?” She pulled her leg into her lap to inspect the grievous injury.
“This lake is full of little white perch. They’ve always enjoyed nibbling on the legs and toes of unsuspecting humans who invade their domicile.” Watching her study the little red mark was captivating, but when she bent down and kissed her own leg, he lost it. “Hey, you’re treading on my territory, precious.”
Giggling, she looked up at him. “Well, you’ve got me kissing other parts of my body – I thought this wouldn’t be out of line.”
He leaned over and grazed his lips over the fast-fading mark. “There, now. Forget what I taught you earlier. I’ll do all the Libby-kissing around here; I have no intention of being phased out as obsolete. Next thing I know you’ll be using a dildo.” He was just about to kiss his way to parts north, when Libby exploded.
“Look! Aron, look! I’ve got a bite!” Sure enough, Libby’s bobber was going crazy. She grabbed her pole again and began a tug-of-war with whatever was playing with the hook.
“Wait. Wait. Let him get a hold of it real good, you want the hook to set before you pull your line out of the water.” She followed his instructions, barely able to contain her excitement. When the bobber completely disappeared, she jumped up and began backing up to allow her catch to emerge from the murky depths.
“Help me, Aron. I think I’ve caught a whale!” Aron laid his pole down, amused as all get-out. Standing up, he helped her pull in her catch. It wasn’t a whale, but she had got a real good-sized bass. “Great Googly Moogly!” Obviously, Libby was happy. And when Libby was happy, Aron was happy.
“Looks like I’m cooking supper.” He pulled the fish up in a net, removed the hook and was about to slip the fish into a nearby cooler that he had brought for this specific purpose.
“What are you doing?” There was a tinge of panic in Libby’s voice.
“I’m putting him on ice, we’ll eat him later.”
“We can’t eat Leon.”
Aron sat back on his heels and looked at her. “Leon?”
“I don’t think I could eat him. I’ve looked him in the eye, and he looked back at me.” Aron scrunched his lips together, desperately trying not to laugh.
“Libby, this is not a catch and release lake. It’s the McCoy fishing pond. And we eat our fish.”
“Please? I’ll do unspeakable things to your body.” The devilish little gleam in her eye sold him on the concept.
“Come here, Leon.” He readily grabbed the slippery fish and returned him to the lake. “Okay, baby – strip. Time for unspeakable things.”
“Now?!?” Libby started to run, but Aron tackled her. “What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking skinny-dipping. We’re going swimming with Leon!”
“But what about perch-kisses?” Libby whispered aghast.
“Perch ain’t the only thing that’s gonna be nibbling on you.” Aron stepped back and began shedding his clothes hand over fist. Libby went more slowly, fascinated by the strip show he was putting on. When he was naked, she was captivated. His cock was so engorged and swollen that it couldn’t even stand up, instead, it hung heavy against his thigh. She felt her loins liquefy in anticipation of being filled by that incredible joy-giver.
He began to walk slowly toward her, she finished disrobing, walking slowly backwards. She didn’t know why she was retreating when everything she wanted was stalking her like a hungry predator. “You’re going to step off the dock, Libbykins.” he warned just a micro-second before she stepped off into nothing.
“RAT BUGGERS!” she squealed as her naked form was encased in the cool spring-fed water. Diving in behind her, Aron gathered her close, pushing her hair out of her eyes.
“Refreshing, huh?” She was so cute.
“It’s colder than a witch’s tit!” she exclaimed. The word ’tit’ was the only word he heard, so he held her aloft in the water and fastened his mouth securely to one slightly wrinkled areola.
“Oh, I love that, Aron. Sometimes, I want to just sit in front of the television all night and let you lie in my lap and suck my breasts.” The sexy domestic scene she painted had him designing blueprints in his mind. They needed their own house. He wanted to be able to love Libby anytime, anywhere without worrying about his brother’s disturbing them. Or maybe, he would just build them another house – yeah that’s what he’d do. He was the eldest – he’d keep the big house. Besides, Libby loved the house. It was fast becoming hers – not Bess’s and not his own Mom’s. Libby’s.
“Mmmmm,” he groaned as he chewed softly on her nipple. “I could just eat you up, sugar-doll.”
He felt her legs wrap around his chest and she began to push against him in a rockin’ motion that he longed to share. “Aron, I’m aching. I need you to put him in. Please,” she begged.
“Relax and lay back,” he instructed her. “You’re going to float and I’m going diving.” When he had her fixed, and she was laying on top of the water like some erotic mermaid, he brought his lips to her hot-button. With soft swirls, he caressed her pink folds. “You have the prettiest pussy, baby.”
“I’m going to sink, Aron. It feels too good, I can‘t be still.” Aron ran his arms underneath her bottom and gave her the support she needed. He’d always give her the support she needed. Eating her out was an absolute delight. She smelled like the body wash she used, something with raspberries. Tunneling deep in her passage, he felt her began to tense. Knowing she was close, he moved the sensual assault to her clitoris. Using the flat of his tongue, he laved the pink pearl until she screamed his name. Before she could recover, he stood her up and walked her to the dock. “Hang on, baby.” Butting up to her back, he lifted her bottom and entered her from behind.
“My God, Aron.” Almost immediately, she began to push back on him, enveloping him in red-hot velvet, enthusiastically impaling herself on his tumescent organ. “You are so big!” Enclosing one breast with a hand, he reached around her cupping her vulva in the other hand and finding her clitoris with the pad of his forefinger. Then, he went to work. Squeezing her breast, diddling her clit and pumping into her from the rear was a trifecta move. They had both been so heated with desire that in just a few minutes they were writhing in a climax so powerful, the tremors lingered and lingered long after the initial explosion. Without pulling out, he carefully turned her in his arms, running his hands over her damp body. She nestled close to him in complete trust and complete satisfaction.
Well, not completely complete. “I’m hungry, Aron.”
“Well, since we won’t be having fish for supper. How about a wienie?” Deep within her he wiggled his cock.
“Can we roast them, outside, around a fire?” The enthusiasm in her voice was contagious.
“Is there any other way?”
She was lovely by firelight. Aron couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She had taken a quick post-romp shower alone, much to his dismay, and then changed into one of the short sets he had bought her. Seeing her clothed in things he had given her did something to the he-man part of him that wanted to provide for his woman. Her damp hair was loosely braided with a yellow ribbon and her eyes were shining like the brightest of stars. Tonight was the night. He was going to tell her he loved her or die trying.
She had been enthralled with roasting her own wieners on a limb that he had cut and carved just for her. In fact, she had almost made herself sick eating, because she kept wanting to hold another hot-dog over the crackling fire. “Hold off, Libby. Let’s have dessert, instead.” A warm look of lust came into her eyes and she reached for him.
“Wait, munchkin. Hammock time is next, but while we’ve got the fire going, I want to introduce you to Smores.”
“That’s what I want, too. Smore of you.” He almost ditched the graham crackers and hauled her off to his lair, but he knew if he could calm her down she would love the warm chocolaty treat. And he wanted to give her every good experience he could think of. Libby’s amazingly sweet innocence was riveting to him. Experiencing new things with her was like enjoying them anew for himself. Everything was fun. Every moment was precious.
“Here put these marshmallows on your stick.” He handed her a couple of the big white fluffy ones.
With child-like awe she watched the puffy pillows turn brown, then Aron showed her how to layer them on graham crackers with a small chocolate bar. The heat from the marshmallows would melt the chocolate and make the combination into a warm gooey sandwich of celestial goodness.
“Oh. My. God,” she exclaimed when the flavors melted onto her tongue. “That’s the best thing in the whole world!” Seeing his playfully downcast look, she relented. “Except you, of course.” She ate two more before deeming it enough.
Catching him in an embrace, she cuddled him close. “Thank you Aron. I have never had this much fun in my whole life. I grew up in the city and never got a chance to do things like this. Later . . .” her voice trailed off, but she covered it up by letting her lips get preoccupied with kissing his. Aron’s own mind was so preoccupied with his coming declaration, he didn‘t even notice.
“I‘m glad you had fun, baby. I enjoy every second that I spend with you. There is nowhere else in the world I‘d rather be, nor anyone that I want to be with more.”
Thanks for reading
Sable Hunter     

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Erotic Vampire Junkie by Maya DeLeina

An Erotic Vampire Romance Junkie

Celebrity memoirs, political autobiographies— you can have it. I know they are the staple best sellers and are the books “cultured” society reads. But I am a romance novel junkie, an erotic romance novel junkie, to be exact. Throw in erotic vampire romance novel junkie and “cultured” just flew out the door.

Or has it?

1. Showing or having good taste, manners, upbringing, and education
2. Educated, polished, and refined; cultivated

By definition, I consider myself cultured. I am an educated, polished, well-mannered woman in her mid-thirties that had a loving and fulfilling upbringing.

Okay, late-thirties- you caught me.

But I seriously don’t have a curious bone in my body to read about the reality of addiction and rehab sessions to a life that most would consider a fairytale. You make millions- deal with it. And don’t even get me started on political autobiographies. Okay, I like some of the underdog tales, but it is still too much embedded reality for my taste.

I have but little me time in this world. In that time, I want an escape, a departure from any resemblance of a reality. I want to live vicariously through an admirable heroine, a woman that is experiencing a love from a man that can be felt down in my toes.  I want a hero that I can fall in love with, not only for his body and looks, but for his heart. And yes, I want a happily ever after, knowing that no matter the mounting troubles faced, the silver lining will always be there. Closing a book and smiling in reflection of the story is as satisfying as savoring a dark chocolate truffle.

Yeah, it’s that good.

So where does vampires and erotica come in all of this?

Well, I want all the above, but without the sappy, lovey-dovey parts. For me, vampires are creatures of raw and primal urges. Even the vampires depicted as scary, fearsome creatures exude a certain amount of dark sensuality that is undeniable and powerful. The balance between a strong heroine and a heroine that can succumb to the touch of a powerful man in spicy sexual escapades is tantalizing and excites every sensory fiber in my body.

And therein lay the path to erotica.  

For the ultimate escape, there is nothing like erotica. Porn without the pictures, Erotica is emotional, putting the reader in the driver seat to visualize every delectable scene with their mind and heart. Erotica is also individualistic, allowing readers to experience the same scene differently.

“His hands explored her with a feather-like touch, making sure that every dip, curve and rise was explored with calculated precision. His hot breath traced down her neck as his tongue delicately savored the spicy sweetness of her skin.”

“Oh yes,” she moaned.

Did you picture yourself as her? Did you imagine his hands touching you, making your skin tickle with excitement? Or maybe you lingered in his hot wet kisses and tongue making your breath just a little hotter, a little quicker.


So now that you know what I love to read and how I love an escape, you can probably guess what my own stories are like. I develop tales that takes readers on a journey of emotions and imagery, delving deep into the fantasies of readers in settings that are mystical, magical, and mysterious.

If that sounds tantalizing, make sure to check out my erotic vampire series, Ambrose Heights Vampires.

Book 1, Flesh Fantasy, takes you on a journey through moonlight trysts in the forest, passionate lovemaking underneath the glow of Moroccan lanterns and sexual decadence upon the human spider web.

Book 2, Veil of Seduction, depicts the sexual exploration between a man and woman. Through castles, a garden labyrinth, underground passages and crystal rivers in a subterranean world, the mystic and magical settings heighten the erotic journey.

Cultured or not, this is what I love to read….and write.

Check me out at

Flesh Fantasy – Ambrose Heights Vampires 1

Blurb:  [Siren Allure: Erotic Paranormal Romance, vampires, bondage, orgies]
Tonight, Rain Calisto searches for her man, and Rhys Matthews comes into focus. He is well-built and sinisterly sexy. In the same Denver nightclub, Armand Anastasio searches for his woman—Rain. But the men are more than gorgeous. They are vampires, and they are unmated.
A chance encounter lands Rhys and Rain together. Their attraction remains undeniably powerful and they fall prey to lust. With each passionate tryst, Rhys senses a connection that goes beyond the flesh. Unbeknownst to Rhys, Rain is a diabetic. Her insulin alters her biological makeup, disguising a revelation he isn’t quite prepared for.
Rain is Rhys's fated mate.
As they struggle with this knowledge, another bombshell is dropped. Rain’s insulin-laced tissue creates a rare vampiric blood that can fetch a hefty profit, and Armand has always known this. Is his attraction to Rain genuine, or is he just out for her blood?
This is the diary of Rain and Rhys. Recorded here is their transformation from a flesh fantasy to eternal love.

Veil of Seduction –Ambrose Height Vampires 1

Blurb: [Siren Classic: Erotic Paranormal Romance, vampires, HEA]
A newborn vampire. A powerful leader. An inconsolable woman. The shaping of their eternity all lies within the eyes.
Steffan Matthews is the devastatingly handsome vampire leader of Ambrose Heights. He cultivates social order and invents concoctions that allow vampires to feel human once again.
But Steffan also has a devouring obsession that brings him to his knees. Her name is Anya. Steffan sets out to claim Anya, a mortal ripe for the taking, as his mate. But the blackness in the eyes of his newborn should’ve served as a warning. Anya is off-limits according to the vampire creed.
It will take the strength of the kinship, the purity of love, a hint of magic, and a subterranean guardian to shield Steffan against the wrath of Ryan Evans, protect him from the fate of the Nemesis, and bridge a passage to his rightful destiny.

Friday, April 20, 2012


How can you improve and deepen your basic story idea?  Besides plot and characterization, how can themes, both major and minor, enrich a work of fiction?
     Think about the stories you read as a child. We were taught to draw the “moral of the story” in almost every case. Think about the American Literature classics you’ve read. For example, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. In addition to their stories of war, greed, love and hardship, the great universal themes of literature were imbedded, either consciously or subconsciously by the authors. Their primary objective, no doubt, was to write a compelling story that many—even millions of readers—might enjoy. However, secondary to their objective was the expression of their outlook or philosophy of life. A truth about the human condition.
            There are several important themes in For Whom the Bell Tolls: The harsh reality of war and how it kills the individual; That a special love can still survive the horrors of war;  That courage and grace under immense stress and danger are the ideals of the average man.  Hemingway was a proponent of SHOW, DON’T TELL.  He was one of the first American novelists to reveal his characters through mainly action and dialogue. Since his dialogue was sparse, revelations via action was his stock in trade.
His main character, an American journalist who volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, is a reflective man whose survival in the war depends more on his ability to run, shoot and hide than his ability to write.  While aware of the deep significance of what’s going on around him, he knows in the circumstances of the war, his individuality is lost. If he is to survive, he must act like a soldier, one of many, rather than an individual. After all, the “bell tolls for thee.”  Death is sudden and random. So he acts and speaks, runs, shoots, makes love—when he can—and shows us through his actions how resigned he is to his fate.
            The way I plan and plot my books are neither as a plotser or pantser, in the current writers’ colloquialism. It’s simply the way I think creatively. Rather than begin with characters or setting or a conflict idea, I begin with a dominant theme. The conflicts and characters grow from that thematic starting point.
Before I began to write my first book, OPERATION FAMILIA, I knew what my themes were: Family is important and helps to determine one’s identity and self-worth; Know thyself.  To thine own self be true (to paraphrase the old Bard).  My main character, Dina Salazar struggles in her quest to find herself—even changes her name—but ultimately, by risking her very life, proves to herself that the search is all important. Moreover, she proves to her family that she’s not a “desgraciada” but a woman of true worth.  Which bears out another theme of the book: Only through tests of character are one’s identity and character revealed.  Dina’s forbearance, patience and compassion are tested in addition to her courage throughout the story, and the climax of the book—when she enters a Mexican drug cartel’s lair--is the final test.  Rescuing her Mexican cousins becomes for Dina a true test of her self-worth and her identity.
In my romantic thriller, A BODYGUARD OF LIES, I began with the basic theme of retribution and justice. Though justice is blind, she has a long memory. So FBI analyst  Jake Bernstein believes as he is called to go undercover and investigate a naturalized American grandmother suspected of war crimes during World War II. That he is Jewish-American is part of his identity, and losing all of his grandfather’s German family during the Holocaust adds to his deep need for ultimate justice. However, he is a 21sst Century American male, first and foremost, a former SEAL and Navy man, a conservative male with a condo and stock portfolio. He’s the ultimate practical male. Balance and objectivity are his mottos in life. Conscience and morality are relative and dependent upon circumstances. In other words, justice is never black and white.
His undercover assignment becomes an unexpected test of those very mottos. Just days into his investigation, he asks himself the questions: Can he remain objective when the target’s lovely granddaughter has captured his heart, or at least his libido?  How can he do his job and not compromise the investigation? Does justice really matter, anyway,  after sixty years (the story’s set in 2005)?  He has a difficult time believing that old, wrinkled and frail Mary McCoy Snider was really a ruthless Nazi spy, code named Hummingbird. That she conspired to murder the real Mary McCoy and take her place in Churchill’s War Office seems ludicrous to him.  That she was capable of betraying the society and country in which she was living, Jake finds unthinkable. The reader knows differently, though. The chapters from the POV of the female Nazi spy, living and working in her deep cover role, reveal to the reader a completely different perspective. And, as Jake realizes, the evidence against Mrs. Snider begins to mount, making it impossible for him to ignore the awful, unthinkable truth. He knows, too, that cornering the old woman and forcing her hand will also break Meg’s heart.
Ultimately, Jake must decide whether justice and truth must prevail or whether the passage of time and the change of circumstances rule over human nature.
For me as an author, the themes of a story are my guiding lights, the beacons that direct me as I write and develop the characters and conflicts. For most writers, whatever works is the general rule of thumb.  For me, the starting point is one or more of the universal truths. For me, this is what works. 


"I thought it was great. I mean, I was hooked from the very first page because of all the wit and humor. I found myself laughing a few times ...and that was only the first three chapters!"
---Sandra Lopez, author of ESPERANZA and BEYOND THE GARDENS

"A fun romp to read!  The story is a deft mix of humor and raw emotion with unforgettable characters. Donna Del Oro is an author to watch!" -- Loucinda McGary, award-winning author of The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice.


        Sonya Barton, an art teacher and muralist, has an emotional meltdown at a family BBQ. Her husband tells her he needs a divorce so he can marry his pregnant girlfriend. And all along, Sonya had no clue! So, how does the worst day of her life turn out to be the best thing that could ever happen to her?
      Sometimes your destiny happens on the road you take to avoid it. And one forty-two year-old woman learns it’s never too late to wake up and grow up!

Chapter One

“I need a divorce,” said Earl, “So I can marry my girlfriend. She’s pregnant.” He added in a rush, “See, it takes six months and she’s going to have the baby in about six months.”
“What?” I asked, spearing another hotdog with my barbecue fork. Not a funny joke, I decided, impatient to get all the hotdogs done before the buns burned to a crisp. The smoke was burning my eyes, so I turned away from both my husband and the grill. I rubbed my eyes on my arm and made a kind of gagging sound.
“Uh, I need a divorce…so I can, uh, marry my girlfriend.”
This time he was hesitant.
My husband stood there, wavering back and forth, a near empty bottle of beer in his hand. His face looked silly and boyish, like he’d been stuck in adolescence for twenty years. Of course, isn’t that what had appealed to me seventeen years ago? His bleached blond hair stood up in short spikes like an aging, wannabe surfer dude.
“Very funny, Earl. Get the barbeque sauce from that table for me, would you please? I need to add a little more to these hamburgers.”
It was the family reunion, a thirty-sixth birthday party for Earl’s younger brother, Scott. Earl was forty-eight going on fourteen, and as usual, was the life of the party.
That is, until he walked over to me with that strange look on his face. I wiped my forehead with my arm, feeling the heat of the grill strike me in aromatic waves, not in the mood for any of Earl’s horseplay or practical jokes. The party preparations had exhausted me, but Scott was a special brother-in-law. He was my friend.
“Sonya, you don’t understand. I’m not joking. I need a divorce.” Earl looked around at the relatives standing near the grill, waiting for their dinner, and lowered his voice. “I hate to break the news here and now, but Jennifer said the best place to do it would be a public place. Guess this is about as public as you can get.” He chuckled and threw his head back as he downed the rest of the bottle.
Was he drunk, I wondered, or was I? Did I hear him correctly or was the heat and smoke affecting my hearing? I looked up at him and stared. Sure, Earl was drunk or at least on a loud buzz, but his expression was serious. Just then, Scott approached the grill. Evidently, he’d overheard what Earl had just said.
“What’s the matter with you, you idiot? This isn’t the time or place for chrissakes.”
Like an automaton, my head swiveled and my eyes met Scott’s. My brother-in-law, the man I most admired and liked in Earl’s big, sprawling, fun-loving and raucous family, looked at me with blue eyes filled with shame and humiliation. And anger.
Was it true? What Earl was saying?
My throat burned and clogged. I couldn’t speak for a full minute. If Scott was looking at me in that way, then he knew something I didn’t. Somehow I eked out the words, “W-who’s Jennifer?”
Earl’s head dropped, his eyes raking the ground like a kid who’d been caught stealing from the emergency-money jar. Like all the times he’d disappointed me in the past, all the minor and major infractions of marital trust he’d committed over the years. He’d hang his head like a little boy and expect forgiveness. Like I owed him. Like the world owed him. Sure, he was drop-dead gorgeous, a dead ringer for Brad Pitt and the Bartons’ Golden Boy, but this time he’d gone too far.
“S-she’s my…uh…girlfriend.”
After that, something exploded in my mind. I recall seeing colors, like fireworks shooting off in my head—red, yellow, orange, Pepto pink, then finally—mercifully—black.
What happened was the strangest thing. I’d later call it my nervous breakdown. It was like my mind left my body and watched from above as this woman in a two-piece swim suit, wielding a long-handled fork, chased a man in shorts around a pool. During the chase, somehow the grill ended up in the pool, Earl made a big belly splash, joining the floating hotdogs and soggy buns. People reached the crazy woman in the swim suit and held her down. Scott pulled Earl out of the pool and dragged him out of the backyard in a headlock. The mad woman screamed, then went limp.
Floating above the fracas, I watched as Earl’s two other brothers carried her inside the house, my feelings aroused more by curiosity than by concern. I do recall thinking why that woman was being so mean? Hey, maybe she deserved it if she’s so crazy. Maybe she brought it upon herself. Mostly, I was detached emotionally. Like I was watching a French farce from the rear of the second balcony. Or like watching a train wreck from a safe distance. Strangely comical and yet terrible.
When I came back into my body—I don’t know how much later— I was lying in my darkened bedroom. All the shutters were closed, the only sound was the ceiling fan which whirred softly. Two shadowy bodies lingered nearby. My eyes began to focus. Earl’s younger sister, Connie—the baby of the family—and her husband were sitting at the end of the bed, looking worried. The patio area was quiet, the house as silent as a morgue.
“Omigod, did I kill someone?” I asked, trying to swallow back a sob. I suddenly had an image of me wielding the BBQ fork like a knife, sharp prongs slashing downward. But there were no police officers standing nearby with handcuffs dangling from their belts.
I looked at my hands. No blood.
Owen Bronski, Connie’s accountant-husband, attempted a small, reassuring smile.
“No, but you went a little nuts for a while. We couldn’t get the fork out of the wood post, it’s buried so deep. Sorry about that, but maybe you can hang a pot from it and no one will notice. Anyway, it missed Earl’s back by a long shot. That was when he took a dive into the pool. You were going to go in after him, but we grabbed you.”
“We got all the food out,” Connie offered, patting the bedspread sympathetically, “Fed the dog the hamburgers, too. They floated pretty well and we managed to save all the hotdogs. The kids thought it was a game, so don’t worry about them. We told them, you know Uncle Earl, he’s a cutup. And Aunt Sonya’s just pretending. Then when you passed out, we told them you got heatstroke. Not a far cry from the truth, is it? It got to the mid-nineties, can you believe it? What a scorcher for June! Especially for the Bay Area.”
Connie was talking so fast, she reminded me of a windup action figure. I kept waiting for her battery to run down, then I realized she was nervous. Did she think I would attack her, too? I wondered, horrified at myself. I was usually calm and rational. Did I have a psychotic break and turn into a homicidal maniac?
Inside, I was calm. No, numb. It was a bizarre state, I thought, considering I’d just tried to stab my husband with a barbecue fork. But there I was. Absolutely numb.
“Anyway, everyone ate while Scott drove Earl to her—well, to a friend’s house. Then Scott came back to blow out the candles on his cake, the cake you decorated for him. He really liked the scuba-dive theme. He’s been waiting in the living room ever since.” Connie was wringing her hands. “I hope those pills I gave you will help. I’m so sorry for this whole mess.”
“I don’t understand.” Tears began to stream, unbidden and unwelcomed. I’d never been a weeper, always the stoic, strong one. I’d learned to suck it in since I’d been married to Earl. I could take anything, but humiliation of the public kind cut me deeply. To the very core of my being. Pills? Connie gave me pills? I didn’t remember taking them.
“I don’t understand,” I repeated, like my vocal chords were stuck on that phrase.
I must’ve slept for a while, knocked out by Connie’s pills, because my head was foggy and leaden. I felt like I was in a bad dream, and if I held still long enough, I’d wake up and everything would be as it was before. Closing my eyes, I said a prayer to God: Please let things go back to the way they used to be. Please. I can’t deal with this. I don’t want to deal with this. Not now, not ever.
I opened my eyes. The room was still dim and Connie still looked stricken and nervous. God, did I look like the head-spinning girl from The Exorcist?
“Did you know about Earl and that-that girl?” I asked, summoning the nerve to face the wreckage of my marriage.
Connie couldn’t hide the guilty blush that colored her face. “I suspected, Sonya. Betty at work said she saw them together at the movies one night. That was the week you were visiting your family in Texas. During your spring break. But I think he started acting more than his usual strange self around Christmastime. Scott tried to make him end it, but you know Earl. He’s foolish and selfish—”
She broke off as though she suddenly felt like a traitor to her blood. Owen shrugged in agreement. Yep, everyone knew Earl and they knew what our seventeen years of marriage had been like. Yet, I loved Earl with all his human failings, just as I had thought he loved me in spite of mine.
Owen pushed his glasses back on the bridge of his nose. “I think it all goes back to his business failing. He loved being the boss, y’know. The bankruptcy hit him hard. When he was back to being a contractor’s foreman again instead of the head honcho, I think it did something to him. His self-esteem, y’know. His self-respect.”
Yes, that was it, I thought, clutching onto a straw of insight. Anything to avoid admitting to myself that it was my fault Earl had turned to another woman. But was it really that simple? Or had something been missing from our marriage for a long time and I was just too preoccupied to notice?
Still, seventeen years of marriage was a long time. Didn’t the average American move every five years? Wasn’t the divorce rate among Americans like fifty percent? Weren’t we a restless nation, always looking for something better on the next horizon? Wasn’t it always greener on the other side of the fence?
“B-but he said he liked his job,” I suggested, desperate to understand what went wrong. “He seemed happy.”
The last part was lame, even I had to admit. Earl was always the family clown, the joker. If I, his wife of seventeen years, couldn’t see beneath his mask of mirth, what did it say about me and our relationship? Connie, closest to her brother in the Barton clan of six siblings, had sensed something was different. Earl had fallen in love with another woman, evidently, and I was just one big cliché—the wife was the last one to find out.
“Y’know Earl,” continued Owen, “he puts up a good front. Always has, as long as I’ve known him.”
“But how does having an affair and getting another woman…pregnant”—saying it was like getting peanut butter off the roof of my mouth—”how does that solve his self-esteem problem?”
Both Owen and Connie looked at each other, then back at me like duh…if I couldn’t figure that one out, then I was totally clueless.
While dabbing at my wet cheeks with the edge of the sheet, I grew silent. They knew something about Earl that I didn’t, obviously. They had the key to his soul or heart. They understood him, I didn’t. Maybe I didn’t understand men, period.
Yes, that was it. I’d lost all understanding of men. Or maybe I’d never understood what made a man tick. Relationships had always been secondary to my greatest passion—art. That’s just how I was made. I resolved that would change. Just as soon as I had this nervous breakdown over and done with, I’d start to learn what made a man tick. What made him want to leave his loyal, faithful wife of seventeen years for another woman. What made him want to start a whole new family and have a baby at forty-eight.
Then maybe I’d learn enough to win him back.
Yes, just as soon as I finished falling apart and going crazy, I’d study that. Maybe the answers were right there, but I was just too much in shock at the moment to see them.
I sank back into the covers and buried my face in the pillow, my eyes closed tightly. The dark room was comforting, the silence even more so. Thank goodness it was the beginning of summer vacation. No lesson plans to make, no student art work to grade, no parents to call. My daughter, Evita—rather, my sister’s daughter that Earl and I had raised as our own—was doing an internship with State Senator Villalobos in Sacramento.
Evita! What would she think? What would she think of Earl, the only father she’d ever known? Already I was feeling her pain, her disappointment.
Nevertheless, a part of my practical brain took note. I had over two months—until September—to have a nervous breakdown, study the problem and win back Earl. Make it up to the Barton family for somehow failing one of their sons. Make it up to Evita for driving her substitute father away.
“We’ll stay for a while longer, hon. Just until you feel better,” Connie said softly.
Feel better? Mostly what I felt was numb. In shock, kind of numb. My mind was working, though, churning through the problem, looking for a quick solution. There was one out there, I was sure of it. I just had to withdraw from the world for a bit.
Maybe for more than a bit. Maybe for the rest of my life.
The world intruded again five minutes later. Owen and Connie were replaced by Scott, the birthday boy. My friend.
“Sonya.” He camped on the edge of Earl’s and my kingsize bed. He nudged my foot, then my shoulder. I was buried in my blanket-cave, thinking I might hibernate there all summer.
“C’mon, Sonador. Little dreamer, talk to me.”
Scott was the only Barton who called me by my full Christian name, Spanish for “dreamer”. My parents, third-generation Mexican-Americans born and raised in Texas, thought it a romantic name for a girl. The only dreamy part of me was thinking thirty years ago that I could become a great painter. Instead, I became a high school art teacher—a career I loved, mind you, but quite a bit lower on the prestige level than a Rubens, Monet or even a Diego Rivera or Frida Kahlo.
“Go away, Scott.”
“Let’s talk.”
The entire Barton family made their living by talking, it seemed. For them, it was a competitive sport. Scott wasn’t a successful owner/broker of a realty firm for nothing. The guy could never take no for an answer. He could cajole an adamant “No!” into a “Maybe…well, yes!” in two-minutes flat.
This time, however, was different. He knew I could be as stubborn as he was persistent. I was a rational, sane person most of the time, but not today. Today my tempermental side, usually well restrained, had erupted. That poolside explosion might have been just a prelude.
“I really liked the cake you had made. The scuba diver, all the undersea creatures, the wreck. I know you designed it—it was terrific and I loved it. Glad it didn’t end up in the pool. Tasted good, too. You know, I really like banana filling. Thanks, Sonya. For the party, too.”
In spite of myself, I managed to smile. From underneath the covers, I mumbled, “I’m sorry, Scott. Earl ruined your party. Guess I did, too.”
There was a moment of silence. Another pat on the shoulder.
“Earl has that knack, doesn’t he? Listen, it’s best if Earl doesn’t come around for a while. You need to do what you need to do to come to your senses and move on with your life. Earl—well, dammit, Sonya, we both know Earl’s beyond hope. He’ll do what he damn well pleases. You know it and I know it. Mom and Dad feel bad about it, feel bad for you, but you know how they’ve been with him. He’s the oldest, their first-born, the golden boy. In their eyes, he’s never going to do anything wrong. They’ve excused him all his life, so nothing’s going to change now.”
I thought I heard a big sigh following Scott’s resigned, resentful tirade. But Scott was right. I could expect no help from Mom and Dad Barton. The entire clan would close around Earl like a protective Marine platoon. All except maybe Scott.
“I’m going to spend the night in your guest room, Sonya. If you need anything, call me, but I’m not letting you stay alone tonight. Got that? At some point, you’ll realize you’ve got to move on with your life. But for now, you just need to rest.”
Move on with my life? Is that what Scott just said? How can I move on when I’d just died? Or something had died. It certainly felt like something or someone had died. I felt like it was me—and I was attending my own funeral. And Scott was my only mourner.
I said nothing. The silence wore on. I felt another pat on my shoulder—more of a pitying caress—then the bed raised. The door to our—my—bedroom closed, leaving me to my tormented thoughts. Fear. Guilt. Shame. Rage. They were all there, crouching like demons inside my skull. Waiting to pounce when the numbness wore off.
Nuts to that, I thought.
I rolled over, saw Connie’s bottle of pills on the bedside table, took one and then plunged back into my cave. Counting down from twenty, I got as far as eight…then blissful nothing.