Welcome to another Snippet Saturday! Today’s theme is ‘spooky’. Read my excerpt and then hop on over to other blogs listed below!

Arianna’s a holistic witch who tries to stay out of trouble. But trouble finds her when the Hell’s Ball she’s attending lives up to its name. She meets a cocky vampire who’s creating havoc on her hormones.  But he’s also her only hope at getting through the night alive.

Jake’s a casino investigator, working undercover as a bartender on Halloween night. When a sexy, green-eyed witch becomes the targeted victim for a sacrifice ritual, he’ll go to any lengths to save her. Especially when he realizes she may be more to him than just another casual lover.

Available here.

EXCERPT

Armon Driscotti stood near the wall with his men, watching the
woman with the green eyes and black curls dart across the dance floor
toward the exit.

Yes. She would be the second sacrifice—one of the two women
who were to be given to their dark Master this Halloween night. Then,
the Master would rejoin them and walk upon the earth once more.

The requirements for the sacrifice were to find two women with
green eyes. The first woman they had discovered at a roulette table in
the gambling room. She’d been young and naïve, and had followed
them willingly outside.

She had barely struggled—seemed to accept her fate once the
group of vampires had finished taking their pleasure with her sexually.

Her death afterwards had been brutal and no doubt painful.

And sadly anti‐climactic. Armon’s thin lips tilted downward.

Perhaps it was selfish of him, but he was hoping this next woman
would put up more of a fight.

Humans were pathetic. They were a weak waste of space on this
earth. Preying upon them had been one of the few pleasures he took
since the death of Lucius.

The thought of his lover made him want to weep. The memory of
Lucius’ death was fresh in his mind, though it had happened nearly two‐
hundred‐years ago in the nineteenth century. He’d been hunted down
and brutally slain by a vampire hunter while he slept.

For centuries now Armon had sought a way to bring him back.
And until he’d met a reincarnated gypsy a few months ago, he’d nearly
given up hope.

The gypsy had informed him of the one possible way to bring
Master Lucius back. It would include the sacrifices of two women, both
to be killed on Halloween night.

Once the gypsy had divulged the information, he’d killed her—
sank his teeth into her skull as if she were a ripe apple. The horror and
fear in her gaze had only lasted a few seconds, before the vacant stare
of death replaced it.

Soon you shall be back upon this earth, Lucius. And then we will
be together once more.

Knowing his men were watching him, he nodded. They were
anxious for the opportunity to fuck and kill the next woman.

They were blood‐thirsty savages, vampires of a different breed.

Lately many vampires had gone soft, using animals and blood banks to
satisfy their hunger. Or perhaps taking from a human, but not drinking
enough to kill or turn the human into a vampire.

Foolish. Once Armon sank his fangs into a human, his face was the
last thing they ever saw.

“Let us complete the second sacrifice before the midnight hour.”

Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Shelley Munro
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
Eliza Gayle
TJ Michaels
Ashley Ladd

That’s right! Cynthia Eden had a great idea to put together a short Halloween round-robin story with several other writers (Cynthia Eden , Me, Juliana StoneJess Granger, and Rebecca Zanetti). Each day she’ll post a different author’s segment until, on October 31st, the last installment is posted.  So hop on over to her site to read the second installment written by me!

http://www.cynthiaeden.com/blog


That’s right! Cynthia Eden had a great idea to put together a short Halloween round-robin story with several other writers (Cynthia Eden , Me, Juliana StoneJess Granger, and Rebecca Zanetti). Each day she’ll post a different author’s segment until, on October 31st, the last installment is posted.  So hop on over to her site to read the first installment! It’s so much fun, and I’m up tomorrow! http://www.cynthiaeden.com/blog

Dad had a triple bypass today and came out A-ok (well so far!) So hopefully my stress levels can plummet now, they’ve been a little crazy the last week with different complications that put off the procedure.

I have to say everyone online (twitter/facebook/blogs) who heard about my dad’s surgery–cause I kind of gave a play by play–has been so awesome and supportive. So I love you all! Thank you so much, again, for your support.

I’m so sorry I missed Snippet Saturday yesterday! My computer was in the shop so I didn’t have a link to my blog to post it, if I get a moment I’ll post it today and back date it. I’m still a little frazzled still with the dad issue. His bypass had to be rescheduled due to a high hematocrit, so needless to say he’s a bit stressed. And he’s in the ER again today with an infection from where his PICC line was. Poor dad. Sigh. Can’t catch a break.

But on a good and exciting note, I’m giving away a copy of Need me over at Juliana Stone’s blog! Drop on by for a chance to win!

Welcome to another Snippet Saturday! Today’s theme is secondary characters! I’m sharing a scene from my book Protecting Phoebe today. Check it out and then blog hop over to the other blogs!

A Chances Are story.

Phoebe’s work at Second Chances, a women’s shelter, has gone a long way toward her own healing after surviving an abusive relationship in college. She’s moved on in every sense—except when it comes to dating.

Everything changes when Craig visits the shelter. The hot, young cop sets her pulse racing in a way that makes her consider making a move—and moving him into her bed for a casual fling. The first step: ask him out. Subtly, of course.

Craig has been attracted to Phoebe for months, so he’s more than happy for the chance to get to know her better, in bed and out. His interest goes way beyond casual, but convincing her to think long term is going to take some time.

When it becomes clear her violent ex has come out of the woodwork, though, time is the one thing they don’t have…

Available in ebook or print with the Chances Are anthology.

EXCERPT

“You’re late.” Gabby greeted her the minute she walked in the door of Second Chances, the women’s shelter where they worked. Gabby’s smile faded as they walked back to their office. “What’s wrong? You look awful.”

“Nothing’s wrong,” Phoebe muttered and strode briskly to her desk. Jeez, could her friend really read her that well?

“Bull and shit. Something is totally wrong.” Gabby followed her, folding her arms across her chest. “Seriously, Phoebe, you’re like beyond pale and you’re already the whitest chick I know.”

The urge to confess what had happened this morning flirted with the tip of her tongue. But Gabby didn’t need that kind of emotional dump. Not with everything in her own life going so right at the moment.

Gabby had been all aglow for weeks now. Ever since she’d fallen in love with her old roommate and moved back in with him. Phoebe made sure to check everyday to see if a ring had popped up on her friend’s finger.

“Tell me.” Gabby sat down on the edge of her desk. “I’m not budging—or sharing the box of chocolate Justin gave me this morning—until you tell me what the heck is going on.”

Phoebe shoved a hand through her black curls and bit back a groan. Gabby knew her weakness for chocolate, but even for the promise of Ghirardelli’s, she couldn’t talk about this morning.

“Okay, since you’re obviously clamming up like a virgin on prom night, I’m going to take a wild guess.”

Phoebe looked up, waiting for her to continue. Apparently Gabby had been holding off until they made eye contact. Her expression gentled and she sighed.

“Did you see him?”

Phoebe drew in a sharp breath, surprised again at Gabby’s perceptiveness.

“Shit.” Gabby shook her head, her expression switching from sympathy to fury. “That settles it. There’s an officer in the other room right now. He’s taking Jenny’s—the new girl who checked into the shelter last night—statement. Once he’s done, you need to talk to him.”

Phoebe glanced out the window of her office, trying to see between the cracks in the blinds in the other room. There was an officer here? Was it him?

Her stomach flipped and she scowled, cursing herself for having such a ridiculous juvenile reaction to the thought of the officer who sent her pulsing pounding every time he showed up.

“Why bother? It’s not like he can do anything,” she said quietly after a moment. “I don’t have a restraining order against Rick. I never filed any charges against him in the past, so there’s no record of abuse.”

Gabby drummed her nails on the desk, nibbling her lip. “Okay, well, has Rick approached you? What’s going on?”

“Nothing yet. I don’t even know if it’s him,” Phoebe confessed. “I could just be paranoid—” yeah right “—it could be absolutely nothing.”

“One too many coincidences. I think we both know that.” Gabby shook her head. “I’m worried about you, Phoebe. And Delanie is worried about you too. Before she moved up to Washington, she made me promise I’d keep an eye on you. And I have to say, this has stalker written all over it.”

A light tap on the door had them both glancing up.

Phoebe’s throat went dry and warmth spread through parts of her body that had been cold with fear for the last hour.

It was him. Officer Craig Redmond.

His presence filled the doorframe. He was probably just under six feet, but broad-shouldered and built. His hair was short, with closely cropped black curls. His skin a soft mocha, with expressive, coffee-brown eyes that were now focused intently on her. He had great eyes.

God in heaven, the man was sexy. She swallowed hard and averted her gaze. And young. The officer was probably just barely out of college.

“Good morning, ladies.” His voice, deep and smooth, sent a shiver down her spine. “I just finished taking Ms. Leman’s statement.” He paused. “Thought I’d check in and make sure there’ve been no problems lately?”

Phoebe could feel his gaze heavy on her—as she could every other time he’d come to the office when the police were called—and her breath hitched. With dismay, she felt her nipples tighten under his close scrutiny.

She cleared her throat. “Things are pretty quiet lately—”

“Actually, Phoebe could probably use some advice from you,” Gabby interrupted. “That is, if you have a moment.”

Phoebe’s eyes rounded and her mouth gaped. She lowered her gaze to the desk and inwardly cursed. Gabby had not just said that.

“Is that so?” The officer’s tone warmed. “Something I can help you with, Ms. Jeffries?”

“Actually, she’s a Miss,” Gabby went on perkily. “She’s not married. She’s single and very much available—”

“Gabby!” Phoebe sputtered and lifted her head to glare at her friend.

“Right. You know? I’m going to put on a pot of coffee and give you two a moment to chat.” Gabby grinned and slid off the Phoebe’s desk. She paused in the doorway, her whisper anything but, “Ask her about the ex-boyfriend.”

Craig Redmond stepped into the office and a moment later the door swung shut.

Phoebe’s pulse quickened and she ran her tongue over her lips. The sudden silence in the room emphasized by the heavy ticking of the clock on the wall.

“So I’m supposed to ask about your ex-boyfriend?” he finally said softly.

Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Lissa Matthews
Shelley Munro
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
TJ Michaels
Ashley Ladd

Just wanted to drop a quick blog post to note that I may be MIA on the blogging for a bit. Just learned my dad will be having a triple, possibly quadruple, bypass, so I’ll be doing the family thing. And of course writing when I have time, because I’ve got the perfect book plotted to write for NaNo, but then that means I need to finish the one I’m on first!

Hope all is well for everyone, I’ll check in when I can.

I’ve spent all night watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. It’s so wonderful. So emotional. I cried when I saw Florencio Avalos’ son crying before/during/after the rescue. It’s just so heartwarming to know that there will likely be a happy ending for everyone. This is history in the making!

I’m going to bed soon, but I’ve watched three men come out alive, and I hope to wake up in the morning to many more having been rescued. Many more families reunited.

If you haven’t heard about the story (if not where have you been!?) these men were stuck underground for 69/70 days! You can read all about it here.

Celebrate, Chile! Your faith and spirit has touched the hearts of everyone around the world!

(pic is from the Yahoo story)

I found some pictures today on my friend’s blog that were from the ECWC Librarian event. Basically published authors mingled with librarians, and Barbara Vey (she’s such a sweetie!) and pitched our books. Answered questions. Chitchatted.

I was grouped with the wonderfully fabulous Delilah Marvelle (whom I adore!) because our books tend to be on the hotter side ::iam::

It was so much fun meeting local librarians and also catching up with other authors. Check us all out below! I’m sure you’ll see some familiar faces (or you will if you click to make it bigger!)

Okay, well I actually came back yesterday. But really it’s taken me this long to recover enough to blog. And I’m still not sure I’d say I’m fully recovered. Then again I also chaperoned a 60 first graders field trip today. So that knocked me back a peg or two.

Anyway! Onto blog stuff. First, I have to say I can officially share my cover for Command and Control, the second book in my Holding out for a Hero series! Drum roll… ta-da! I’m happy. I think it captures the romance, sensuality, and yet emotional struggles between Megan and Trevor.

And on that note, I also (just tonight) received a review for the first book, Going Down, in the Holding out for a Hero series. Here’s a snippet:

“GOING DOWN is a quick read but at no expense to the quality of the story.  …I give GOING DOWN a strong recommendation and encourage anyone who hasn’t read any of Shelli Stevens’ work to give her a try.” Laurie, Romance Junkies

Read the full review here.

And I’d tell you about the conference, but I’m doing that elsewhere So for the scoop on my Emerald City Writers’ Conference experience, visit the Bradford Bunch!