Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ZA Maxfields New Years M/M Writer's Buffet!!

Thanks for joining me for Appetizers!
Here's how this works....
You can "choose your own dinner adventure" from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish and dessert, but those of you who visit and comment at each and every blog will be entered into a drawing for one of three (3) $35.00 gift cards to the venue of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance Ebooks.Plus, some individual authors (like me, ZAM) might include a private drawing for those people who stop by. So read, drink and be merry! Happy New Year from all of us, at the M/M Writers' Buffet!
For Lynn's portion, if you click this link and sign up for my newsletter, you'll be in the running for a pick from my backlist! I'll be picking a random winner or two once the contest closes.
For full blog links visit

 Now for the recipes!  Keep reading for the excerpt from Best Vacation That Never Was!

Just like a good book needs a great opening, every dinner needs a little something to whet your appetite - thus the appetizer was born!

I used to give a lot of parties - I come from a party family and having been raised in New Orleans, my family and friends are no stranger to the "hey y'all, we just came by to visit" - only we call it "passing by your house."  It's when a bunch of people show up, unannounced, on a Friday or Saturday night. Next thing you know, the guitars are out, someone's got a small drum, and another person has taken over the upright piano.

Tunes start happening, people sing along, and someone or two have disappeared into the kitchen to whip up some appetizers from whatever is in the ice box. We learned quick to make easy, fast snacks from what we had, and I'm going to pass a few on to you. You might have heard of them before, but if you haven't I hope you'll give them a try.

Cream cheese block (two ways)
1. open a block of cream cheese and place it on a plate to serve from. It needs to have room so you can put crackers (saltines will do in a pinch) around it.
2. Pull out the bottle of Pickapepper sauce (every home in New Orleans has this in a cabinet somewhere in the back).
3. Pour it over the cream cheese.
4. Add crackers and use a small knife to serve.

Second Block -
1. open a block of cream cheese and place it on a plate to serve from. It needs to have room so you can put crackers (saltines will do in a pinch) around it.
2. Get the horseradish and the orange marmalade. Mix them together to taste, usually a small jar of marmalade is enough and a couple of tablespoons of horseradish works good. This odd mixture tastes just like boiled shrimp, but without the shrimp.
3. Pour it over the cream cheese.
4. Add crackers and use a small knife to serve.

Next appetizer - spicy meatballs or sausage.
Usually we have a few links of sausage in the fridge, well, cuz it's Nola, the type of sausage won't matter. Ideally, you use a crock pot to keep the mixture warm and ready to eat, but you can do this in a pan on the stove top.
1. Slice the sausage into bite size pieces, or open a package of frozen meatballs (defrost them first).
2. Use one jar of grape jelly and one jar of Chili Sauce. (both 12oz jars) Mix them together in the pot and add the sausage/meatballs and let it all melt. Stir occasionally.
3. Once the liquid has melted, set it on low, let simmer for 15-30 min and serve with toothpicks.
This never fails to disappear.

Crab Ball
If you're really lucky and you have a small container of crab meat, lobster, or small shrimp and you have some cream cheese left over, you can create your own cheeseball.
1. drain seafood, pat dry. If it's big, cut it up to go farther. (1/4 inch diced pieces)
2. chop up some green onions/scallions/leeks or even some good sweet Vidalia onions, diced small, please. You can add whatever you like to the mix, like celery or red/green pepper. Taste as you go.
3. mix crab, onions, and cream cheese in a bowl.
4. after thoroughly mixing, shape into a dome on a plate or cutting board, smoothing with a knife or spatula. My mom used to shake paprika over it to give it a festive look and add some pop to the taste.
5. surround with crackers and add small cheese knife to serve.

Fast and Easy Cake - This isn't really an appetizer, but it's always good to put out something sweet.
If you're lucky enough to have a plain cake sitting around but don't have the frosting, use these tips to dress it up. My mom used this for angel cakes, bundt cakes, or plain round cakes.
1. My mom used to have those paper lace doily things lying around - she'd place one on the top of the unfrosted cake and sprinkle either powdered sugar or powdered cocoa. Pull off doily and you have a pretty design!
2. Have you got Hershey's syrup in the fridge? Drizzle it over the top of the plain cake and let it drip artfully down the sides. This works for any flavor, such as strawberry or caramel.
3. slice and serve.

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels --
Another quick sweet and salty winner.
1. use the chocolate that hardens when it cools and melt it in pot or microwave.
2. dip any type of pretzels into the chocolate. Let them drip over the pot.
3. remove and if they're regular pretzels, place on waxed paper to cool. If they're stick pretzels, stand them up, undipped ends, in a small glass until cooled.
Serve or you can embellish with mini candies, like M&Ms or Red Hots, shredded coconut or crushed peanuts. (Be careful about the peanut allergy) or other nuts like almonds.

Now, here's the opening of the re-release of Best Vacation That Never Was. It's about a man who has lost everything in a fire, and the hunky, hot firefighter who rescues him, in more ways than one. (If you've already bought this book before Nov 2014, other than the cover, nothing has changed.)
Chapter One

“I don't care what you say; this trip is going to be just what my relationship with Douglas needs to push it to the next level.” Troy held the cell phone to his ear with his shoulder as he crammed the last of his toiletries into his shaving kit.

“That's just it, Troy. You don't have a relationship with Douglas. All you have are a couple of fucks.” Troy could always depend on his best friend Carlton to speak frankly, but frankly, this was not what he wanted to hear.

Great fucks.” Troy's body tingled just thinking about the three times he and Douglas had done the dirty deed.

“But only fucks. The best you can say is that you're friends with benefits.”

“But that's going to change. This cruise is perfect. The romantic nights, the ocean, the exotic ports of call.”

If you can keep that alley cat Douglas in your room. Good luck with that.” Carlton snorted. “You'll have to tie him to the bed.”

“That sounds like fun. Maybe he could tie me up. I should pack a few ties.” Troy dashed to the closet, pulled two silk neckties out, folded them, and put them into one of his bags and zipped it up.

Carlton sighed. “Look. I just don't want you hurt, you know. You've been in lust with Douglas since you met him a year ago, and nothing's come of it.”

“Of course something's come of it. There's something special between us, Carl. I can feel it.” Troy lugged the suitcase to the living room and placed it next to the other one and headed back to the bedroom.

“If there was, don't you think Douglas would do something about it? I'm going to tell you this because you're my best friend and I love you.” Carlton paused, and Troy braced for the blow he knew was coming. “He's just not that into you.”

Troy sank onto the bed and took a deep breath. “That's why this trip is so important. It's my chance to have him all to myself. To make him fall in love with me.”

There was silence, then a chuckle. “Well, if anyone could make a man fall for him, it's you, Troy. You're incredible. Smart. Witty. A gorgeous guy with a heart of gold. Shit, Douglas isn't good enough for you, in my opinion.”

Rolling his eyes, Troy said, “Yes, Dad. No one's good enough for your little boy.”

Carlton laughed. “Damn straight.”

“Well, here's a news flash. Your little boy wants Douglas, and he's going to get him. This week. Trust me; Douglas isn't going to know what hit him. When I get off that boat in seven days, it's going to be on Douglas's arm, and he's going to be so in love with me he'll be making reservations for a honeymoon suite in New Hampshire.”

“For your sake, I hope so.” Carlton sighed.

“Wish you were coming with us. It won't be the same without you.” That was the one thing that sucked about the cruise; all his friends, except Carlton, were going.

“No can do. My flight leaves in”—a pause, then the swearing started—“forty-five minutes! Shit, the fucking cab is stuck in fucking traffic, and I can see the sign for the fucking airport just ahead.”

“Hey, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” Troy laughed. “Say hello to your mom for me.” If Troy hadn't booked the cruise, he'd also be on the plane to Seattle to hang out with Carlton's family for the holidays, but the chance for a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation with Douglas was too much to resist.

“She's going to miss you, but she'll understand. Driver! Can't we get out of this mess?” Carlton shouted into the phone.

Troy winced, then laughed. “Don't worry, you'll make it.”

“Mom'll kill me if I miss the flight. She's sending a car to pick me up. Look, I'm going to get off the phone so I can yell at the traffic, the driver, and anyone else foolish enough to get in my way. It won't be pretty.”

“Okay. See you in seven days.”

“Have fun, Troy. And for what it's worth, I hope you get the man you deserve.” Carlton hung up.
Troy stared at the phone. What had Carlton meant by that? He shrugged, flipped his cell shut, and tossed it on the bed.

He glanced at the clock. Nearly nine p.m. and there was still so much to do before he left. He stood and looked over his checklist. He'd called for the cab to pick him up at five in the morning, an ungodly hour, but he needed to be at the dock in Galveston by eight to load his luggage and go through security.

He'd given his neighbor Mrs. Samms the spare key to his apartment so she could water his plants and collect his mail. His cruise tickets, passport, and itinerary were in his carry-on bag sitting on top of his two matching pieces of luggage.

He opened the door to his closet and pulled out the clothes he'd wear tomorrow. Light oatmeal-colored linen trousers, a loose cotton shirt, and a hemp belt, with a matching linen jacket. He'd gone with the lighter colors to set off his new tan.

He stared at himself in the full-length mirror on the back of the closet door, then shrugged off his white terry cloth robe. It pooled like a cloud around his feet on the floor. He'd paid good money over the last four months to build up that sun-kissed glow in a tanning salon, and now it was going to pay off.

He'd gone for an all-over tan. Not a single line marred his body. He turned and checked out his ass in the mirror. Perfect. Plump. Tanned.

If that didn't drive Douglas wild, he didn't know what would. He'd seen the way Douglas had looked at other men, especially men with darker skin. So in Troy's plan to get his man, getting a tan had been one of the first things he'd done.

He ran his hand over his abs and flat belly and turned to the side, stretching his back leg out like he'd seen so many cover models do.

“Fine as frog's hair,” he whispered. His eyes dropped to his cock. “And hung like a horse.” He flicked his dick with his finger, and the brief sting shot up its length and into his balls.

He chuckled and, naked, entered the bathroom to start his bath. Just an hour or so soaking in a hot tub of scented water would do him a world of good and take some of the tension out of his shoulders.

Really, there was no reason to be so tense. He had it all under control.

His dream vacation was just ten hours away.
* * * * *

The cigarette dangled from the old man's lips. The television blared. The bottle of whiskey he'd emptied lay on the floor next to his recliner.

He snorted in his sleep.

The cigarette fell, rolled down his belly, and came to rest on his thigh. The embers flared, burned a hole in his flannel pajama bottoms, and seared his skin.


Half-awake, still drunk, he swatted at the pain, knocking the still-burning cigarette to the floor. It rolled across the bare linoleum and landed next to the rug under the couch.

The cheap cotton rug smoked, smoldered, then ignited.
* * * * *

“I'm not getting out of this tub until the hot water is gone and I look like a prune.”
Troy closed his eyes, inhaled, and then exhaled, taking in the calming scents of the too-generous dose of aromatherapy salts he'd dumped into the bath. The water in the tub was the perfect temperature, the candles he'd lit gave off a soft glow, and he sank deeper in the water, letting go of the tightness in his body.

He could just imagine the look of lust on his face when Douglas first saw him, how he'd wonder if Troy's tan was all over. He couldn't wait until Douglas explored every inch of his body to discover if it was.

Carlton was all wrong. Troy wasn't fooling himself; he knew exactly the kind of man Douglas was. 

The kind who fucked around, but during this vacation, that was going to change.

No more alley cat.

Douglas would be eating out of Troy's hand and purring like a kitten.
* * * * *

The edge of the worn, floral-patterned couch caught fire; hungry red tongues of flame ate their way up the front, devouring the cushions, and then unsatisfied, leaped to the drapes behind them. As they ignited, black smoke in unrelenting hot billows rolled upward to meet the ceiling and then spread across it.

The temperature in the room skyrocketed as the fire attacked the far wall.

The old man's lungs filled with black smoke. He coughed and fell forward out of the chair, landing on the warmer-than-usual floor.

“Shit!” Coughing, gasping, near-blind, and desperate for air, he crawled on trembling hands and knees toward the door. Greedy, unmerciful, the fire took possession of the room, filling it with thick black smoke and lung-scorching heat.

The old man collapsed two feet from the door.

The entire room seemed to groan, held its breath, and then surrendered to the red and black hell of a flashover.

Slender orange fingers, searching for more oxygen to feed on, wound their way through the thin walls between apartments and found fresh fuel next door.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hot For The Holidays!!

It's the holidays, or at least on the way to that state of either aggravation or exhilaration, depending on your age or your state of mind.
If you're a kid, it's magical! If you're an adult, laden with all the holiday expectations, it can be a season filled with stress.

Around our house, we celebrate Christmas, but without all the religious/traditional stuff. I know some might say, hey, did you forget the reason for the season?

Let me explain. I come from a mixed family, religion-wise, and so does my husband. We have two kids, a boy and girl. On my side of the family tree, we are Southern Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic. On my husband's side of the family, there is Jewish, Lutheran, and Buddhist. Do you see our problem? Which of these are we supposed to teach/indoctrinate our kids into, when neither of us believes in any of them? My kids have been to Catholic and Methodist churches, and have been to Synagogue; we have exposed them to religion. What we do believe in is teaching our kids to think for themselves, to have a personal relationship with a higher power(God, if you will) and to learn all they can about a religion before jumping with their whole hearts and souls into it's tenants and dogma. And you really can't do that as a child. My kids are adults now, and are free to make a decision based on what they believe, and if a religion meets those beliefs, then we're happy for them.

But we also believe that what the Christmas holiday has morphed into is one where kids get gifts, the spirit of the season is love and charity, and that a family who loves, supports and truly cares about each other, is the most important thing. So we had a tree, bought presents and put them under it for that magical Christmas morning. Until the kids didn't want to put it up. Fine. One less stress removed. We don't have the big Christmas dinner anymore. We eat Chinese and see a movie. It's our family's tradition, with a nod to my husband's Jewish side. And to my sanity, because what is crazier than cooking a huge traditional meal year after year and having no one eat it? No one, other than me, likes turkey, or dressing, or sweet potatoes. They don't eat ham, much less goose. They eat mashed potatoes and gravy. So after doing this for several years, I ended it. No cleaning the house. No cooking for days. No sitting down to a meal where they put mashed potatoes and corn on their plates, eat a roll and then ask to be excused. They don't even like pumpkin pie, for goodness sake!

And you know what? It's a good thing. It's one less stress for me. I worked a big corporate job with plenty of stress for a hell of a lot of years, so less stress is good. And guess what? We're happy! Everyone looks forward to eating out, seeing the latest blockbuster movie and having a relaxing time spent together.

Another thing we de-stressed over was their gifts. Since they were young teens, we've given them a dollar amount we would spend on them, and told them to make a list of what they wanted and prioritize it. When the money ran out, that was it. So...less stress. They knew what they wanted, we weren't guessing and getting it wrong, we kept to our budget, and all was right with the world. We did the same thing, my husband and I. No surprises. Everyone's happy. Less stress!

I love my holidays now. The kids are just as excited to open their gifts, to see which ones made the list. My husband and I are happy, because we got what we wanted too. Without any of the games or disappointment.

And now I want to make your holiday happy too!! If you leave a comment here, tell me how you de-stress the season, I'll pick a comment at random and gift that person with a copy of my latest book, Bayou Des Enfants! Just be sure to leave your email, so I can reach you.
And don't forget - if you comment on all the blogs, you're in the running for the BIG Holiday prize! Good luck!

Don't forget - to hit all of these blogs and leave your email!

Vanessa North:

Becca Jameson

Jianne Carlo

Robin Danner

Parker Kincade

Monette Michaels

KaLyn Cooper

Emilia Mancini

Rosanna Leo

Good luck and have a safe, stress-free, loving holiday, no matter which one you celebrate or not.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Guest Rosanna Leo and her Singing Bear! Oh My!

Thank you so much to the wonderful Lynn for hosting me and my polar bear today!

Yes, that’s right. I brought a polar bear shifter with me. His name is Soren Snow and he is the hero of my new paranormal romance Predator’s Serenade, Gemini Island Shifters Book 2. Now, Soren is a special kind of guy. Aside from being a shape shifter, this sexy man is also a rock star drummer, and adored all over the world.

Rosanna: Soren, say hi to Lynn.

Soren: (eyeing Lynn with great appreciation) Nothing would give me greater pleasure.

Lynn: *Gulp* uh, hello Soren. So nice having*whispers* You never said he was so...handsome.

Rosanna: (snapping fingers) Soren, eyes up. Over here! Now, how many people are in your fan club right now?

Soren: (drags gaze from Lynn back to Rosanna) I kind of stopped counting after the American chapter became the North American chapter. (laughs) My math’s not that good.

Rosanna: You are one of the few rock stars to transition easily from rock to classical music. Did you get bored of the hard stuff?

Soren : (sexy blue eyes wide open) No way! Classical is just as sexy, though. Did you ever listen to Beethoven. Pure, pumping sex.

Rosanna: (narrows eyes) You do have a thing for sex, don’t you?

Soren: (eyes Lynn once more from top to bottom) Yes, ma’am. Although, Rosanna, I must say, you wound me with your assumptions. I am a mated man, you know.

Lynn: *swears softly* Rats!

Rosanna: Speaking of mates, you had a hard time accepting Gioia, you mate. In fact, I don’t think she was too pleased with you at the start of your story.

Soren : Lies. All of it lies. Gioia adores me. (scratches head) Okay, it’s true. I was sort of a dumbass where she was concerned when we met. However, I have spent every single moment since making it up to her…in increasingly inventive ways. (winks)

Rosanna: How do you feel about being a polar bear in your non-human time?

Soren: I had my issues with it when I was younger, but have reconciled with my inner bear. (Face becomes serious) And my bear was a big help when Gioia was threatened. Let’s just say I have no problem with allowing my bear the opportunity to fight for our mate.

Rosanna: You were a confirmed bachelor before meeting Gioia. How’s mated life treating you?

Soren: (grinning like a devil) It’s delicious. You should really try it some time.

Rosanna: Ahem, perhaps I will. Thank you Soren, and thank you Lynn. You can read more of Soren’s story in Predator’s Serenade. Hope to see you on Gemini Island soon!

Lynn: Thank you, Rosanna, for bringing Soren me...uh, I mean my blog.

Here's a little excerpt from Predator's Serenade....


There are three things that make bear shifter Soren Snow’s skin crawl: mothers, their children, and the great outdoors. Soren is a famed musician and playboy, and he would rather spend his days pressing the flesh with the women in his fan club than developing meaningful relationships. When his brother calls in a favor, forcing Soren to revisit the Ursa Fishing Lodge in Northern Ontario, he couldn’t be more displeased. However, he owes his brother big time.

Gioia Clementine would rather not meet Soren, her drummer son’s rock idol. But when tragedy strikes her home, it seems the only one the boy might respond to is Soren. Gioia begrudgingly agrees to let her son meet him, hoping the rock star won’t turn her tween into a musical misogynist.

When Gioia and Soren meet, the sexual chemistry threatens to set the Ontario woodland ablaze. Can these two opposites find a common ground? And can they manage to resolve their unwanted feelings, even when a mysterious stranger arrives at the lodge, threatening everything?


Gioia followed Soren's approach with a curious eye. She'd wondered if the miracle kisser would beat a hasty retreat after witnessing her boy fall to pieces, and yet here he was. He wore the same famished look he had right before he'd ruined her for any other man's kiss. And she felt it too. The tingles between her shoulder blade, the gelatin knees, and trembling lips that wanted to gobble him up.

She couldn't. She didn't want to saddle him with such a wreck of a woman or family.

He came right up to her, so close, as if making a mockery of the space that sought to separate them. Weaving his fingers through her hair, he cradled her skull and pulled her close. Tucking her head against his chest, he kissed the top of her head, blazing a trail of hot reaction down her spine. He had new clothes on and smelled fresh and clean. As she breathed him in, he rained soft kisses all over her head.

He knows.

She pulled away, suddenly terrified he'd think she was a travesty of a mother. It's what anyone would think in his case. They'd wonder what Gioia had done wrong to create a monster child. But as she attempted to remove herself from his grasp, Soren fought her by holding her still. Again she tried jerking away from his wall of a chest. He held her firm.

When she tried two more times, each time unsuccessfully, he looked at her and shouted, "Dammit, woman, I am not letting you go, so you can stop pulling away from me!"

Something in Gioia broke. She'd been carrying her sadness around for so long, trying to be strong, and Soren was offering to be strong for her. For just a moment, maybe she could surrender. God only knew how badly she wanted to give herself to the bear man.

He grabbed her tighter, and his hands slid down to mold over her ass cheeks. His warm breath was all over her face, and she took a dizzying dive into the seas of his eyes. He ground her against him, and she was forced to stand on tip toes.

"Gioia," he whispered.

She wound her arms about his tense neck, felt him tense further. Then … a sigh somewhere in his big frame and a relaxation in his muscles. As if he needed to have her wound about him. As if it soothed him as much as her.

"Soren. Please."

As he kissed her, he picked her up, his hands under her bottom. Her miniskirt rode up, and she spared a second to mentally curse her decision to wear it. And then she didn't care.

Kissing her madly, Soren spirited her into the woods.

Buy link:
Author bio:
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author with Liquid Silver Books. Her books include For the Love of a God, Up In Flames, and Sweet Hell. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair. She blogs at

Friday, July 19, 2013

Introducing....Theordora Lane!

I've finally broken down and thrown in the towel. You guessed it - I've created a new pen name for my traditional romances.

I know it might not sound like a big deal to most people, but it was to me. I've been fighting it for years, knowing in the back of my mind I should have done it a long time ago.

I write gay romance - it's the lion's share of my books - but I also write het romance - sweet, traditional and yes, even erotic - and I've been doing it under the name Lynn Lorenz.

It wouldn't be a problem, but Lynn is known for gay erotic romance and I knows it's not everyone's cup of tea. I get that. So many readers see the Lynn name and say, "oh, no. I wouldn't like those stories" without really taking a good long look.

And it's a double-edge sword. My gay romance readers say, "uh, no, I only read gay romance," and they don't read it.

So in order not to mislead anyone in the future, I decided to start my new pen name - Theodora Lane. I love this name. Theodora was my mom's middle name, after my grandfather. Lane is just cuz I like the way it sounded together.

I have a several het romance stories just sitting there, waiting to be finished, and finally I feel like I can do it, under this new name. I'm not making a secret of it, because I'd love for my readers to find me, no matter what they like to read, but I want them to know what they're getting.

I also decided that as my traditional books come up for rights reversion, I'd get them back, and put them out under Theodora's name, to really separate them from my Lynn books. But not all my books will be older titles with new edits, cover and author name. I have some original stuff also.

One of the stories I'm working on is Tarnished and Jaded - an erotic Russian historical set in the 1600's. Arisha's reputation has been tarnished and Alexei one of the Tsar's elite mounted fighters who has seen a lot of battle, and maybe he longs to settle down. He's been charged with bringing her home, to the one place she never wanted to go. And if he succeeds, it might mean both their lives.

Look for it early next year, fingers crossed.

Here's her bio --
Theodora Lane was born in the south, raised by her grandmother who taught her the art of the backhanded compliment, how to make sweet tea, and that you can never have too many husbands, just not at the same time.
By day Theodora lives an unassuming life, having lunch with the ladies, attending baby showers and playing refined card games. By night, she writes wickedly sexy and funny stories, hangs out in bars, and gathers ideas for her next book.
She can be reached at

And to celebrate, August 1st, coming from Taliesin Publishing, my first book under Theodora will be Heart of a Warrior. It's an urban fantasy paranormal.

Here's the blurb....  Ever since Nic was orphaned at sixteen, he's trained to kill vampires. It's what he does and he's good at it. If there are virgins to be rescued, Nic's your man. He's never expected more from his life; he's got an enchanted lizard as a sidekick, and a being with him could get a woman killed.

   When Fiona winds up at a midnight vampire party, with her on the menu for dinner, she doesn't need to wait for a hero, she's a freakin' heroine! Until Nic walks in.

   Fiona never figured she'd meet a man who could hold his own with her fighting skills or her attitude, but Nic is getting the job done. And he's getting under her skin, making her hot, and making her rethink her "no sex before marriage" policy. Because, yeah, Fiona is a virgin, and she's not giving it away to just anyone.

   These two might just rescue each other, if the vampires don't kill them first.

Here's an excerpt....

“Hey, man, this is a private party.”

Without breaking stride, Nic pulled his sword, decapitated him with a casual swing, and sheathed it. Reaching the door, he pulled it open.

The sound of steel-on-steel met him.

He paused for a second and then headed down several steps without a sound. No guards were posted at the bottom.

“Time to go to work, Cho.”

“On my way, Nic.”

The lizard leaped off his shoulder and onto the wall. In moments, Cho had blended into the gray stone walls. He skittered down to the opening and disappeared around the corner. Shit! You’re not going to believe this, Nic!”

“What’s going on?”

“Get down here now! You’re not going to believe this.”

When Nic got to the bottom of the stairs, he froze.

It was turmoil. Three vampires in togas were attacking a naked, sword-wielding woman. Gloriously naked. She fought like a hellcat, blocking their thrusts, spinning around to attack, her full breasts bouncing with each swing and each block. Her body glistened with a fine sheen of sweat. Her muscles corded as they strained, her dark hair flew wild around her head, and her eyes glowed as if they were on fire.

“God, Cho, I’m in love.”

“Forget it, she’s mine. I saw her first!”

“Out of my way, I have work to do.”

“Go get ’em, Nic. That is, if she leaves any for you.”

Nic stepped into the room.

 “Son of a bitch! There’s more than one! Vlad! Ivan! Romero!” An older vampire waved his arms about wildly.

The woman froze for a moment, her brows furrowed as she took Nic in, perhaps trying to decide if he was here to help or hurt her. He winked at her, and her eyebrows shot up.

Nic locked his gaze on the woman’s sweat-streaked face. The corner of her mouth rose in the barest hint of a smile. He nodded once. It was as if they were so finely tuned to each other they needed only the merest nod, the blink of an eye, or the curl of a lip to communicate.

She gave him a nod of her head.

He gave his best slow, lopsided, dead-sexy grin.

They began their attack. The two fighters advanced, closing ranks with the three vampires between them. Swords sang as they cut the cold damp air in the crypt. Steel rang with each blocked blow. The three vampires, fighting for their lives, stood back-to-back in the center of the room, swords swinging and slashing.

One of the vampires stepped out of the shadows and darted up the stairs. The vamp she fought saw it and yelled, “Ivan, you bast—” but it was all he got out. Her sword, whistling through the air, sliced the creature’s head from his neck.

Nic swallowed hard.

“Damn, she’s good.”

The lizard was right; he’d feared for her, but she’d held her nerve and her position even as the big vampire was on top of her. Then, light and graceful as any dancer, she ducked, spun, and took the monster out.

Now she watched him. Time to finish it.

“Christ, what man could work with those bodacious breasts staring him in the face?”

“What lizard could work?”

“Lizards and women don’t mix, Cho.”

“I like this girl, Nic. She’s got attitude.”

“But what is she doing here?”

“She’s naked. Must be a virgin.”

“She looks a little old for a virgin.”

“Maybe she’s a princess.”

Nic might have heard a small lizard chortle if he’d continued to listen. He didn’t want to think about Cho’s last comment right now. There was a little matter of a sword-carrying vampire to deal with, and he was holding his own against Nic.

As Nic tested the creature’s skill, he realized the vampire’s sword work was much better than the others.

“He knows how to fight.”

“That’s okay, it just makes it more fun, right?”

“Oh yeah, a blast.”

He slashed at Nic and their swords met. Nic swung. The vamp blocked. Nic upped the intensity of his attack as he hammered the vampire with swing after swing. It was all the undead thing could do to keep its sword up.

Nic advanced. The vamp backed away until it hit one of the tables. Unable to go any farther, it charged, yelling what sounded like an old Spanish battle cry. Nic had to fall back for more room.

Their swords clashed, and the ringing of steel echoed. They parted, circling each other.

The bastard was strong, but not strong enough. Focusing on his adversary’s face, Nic watched its eyes.

The creature attacked again. Swords met, steel screaming against steel. Parted and met again as the fighters circled. Swinging in tight arcs and rapid rhythms. Separating. Advancing to meet each other. Their swords locked. Both leaned in, straining to overpower the other.

Nic stepped back and let his opponent’s sword slide down his, dropping the tip of his sword to the left. The vamp’s sword slid along it, unbalancing him. Nic stepped to the side and, putting his shoulders into it, pushed the vampire’s sword away. His opponent staggered out of reach but regained its footing.

“Who sent you?” The vampire circled, looking for an opportunity to strike.

“The last vampire I killed. He said to tell you he’d see you in hell.” Nic laughed, feinted, and drew the vamp’s arm out in a swing that missed. Nic stepped to the inside. The point of his sword found its chest. The vampire didn’t disappear, but hung on the tip of the sword. Nic, teeth gritted, inched forward, pushing the blade deeper.

Holding his sword with both hands at chest height, Nic tightened his grip as the vampire slid toward him on the blade of the sword. Deadly, white fangs neared. Powerful hands reached for him, and black eyes blazed with hatred.

The vampire disappeared. Its weapon clattered to the ground.

Sheathing the great sword, Nic turned and faced the woman.

Putting her hands on her hips, she tilted her head to the side in question. “Some rescue. What took you so long?”

“Crosstown traffic’s a bear this time of night.” Nic gave her a shrug. Damn, she was only about five feet five, but every inch was packed with sexy female energy.

“Right. Hope you don’t mind, but I had to start without you.” She waved her hand at the room.

“That’s all right, as long as we finish together.” He couldn’t take his eyes off her.

“Well…” She raised an eyebrow. “Was it good for you?”

“Hell, I don’t smoke, but I think I need a cigarette,” he drawled.

“Kiss her, Nic, or I will.”

“Shut up, Cho, and let me handle this.”

Fiona turned her back on him and went over to the girls. “Party’s over. Get dressed, girls.”

Nic looked at her and frowned.

“When did she take over this operation?”

“When she was kicking vampire ass, is my guess.”

After leading the girls back to the pile of clothing, she put down the sword. Sifting through the heap, she pulled out jeans and a T-shirt, and then she held up shreds of what might have once been underwear. She tossed them to the side with a disgusted sigh.

Nic watched, biting back his moan as she slipped the jeans over her firm ass, hiding it from his sight.

“Nic. Hey, Nic. Snap out of it, Nic.”

She paused, her head tilted as if she’d heard something.

She shook her head and then helped one of the girls get her clothes on. Once dressed, the girl gave her a hug. The others waited for their turn. Seemed they all needed a hug right about then. Sniffling, they looked at her with gratitude and admiration. Like she was some sort of hero.

“Let’s go home, girls.” She herded them across the room to the stairs where Nic leaned against the wall.

Cho reclaimed his place on Nic’s shoulder and returned to his natural green color. Nic watched the girls go up the stairs, still in a tight huddle.

The woman of his dreams moved to his side and looked up into Nic’s eyes as he towered above her. Reaching out her hand as if to touch his face, she dropped it to pet the lizard riding on his broad shoulder.

“Cute lizard.” She smirked and headed up the steps.

“Ha. Ha. Ha. She said I was cute!”

“Shut up, Cho.”

I hope you enjoyed it and you'll give Theodora a chance.  If you leave a comment, I'll be giving away a copy of Heart of a Warrior to the lucky winner on August 1st. Make sure you leave your email address so I can reach you. Bloghops

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sexy Snippet Sunday

I'm going do this every a sexy snippet (usually six or seven sentences from a work either in progress or published)

I'm doing this with the writers at The Nut House Scribblers - check out their sight to link to other authors of all genres doing the same thing - posting sexy snippets!

So my snippets are for the book I have coming out today!!!  Storyville is a gay noir set in New Orleans of 1916. Max is an Irish cop walking the beat and Tommy is a piano player in a whorehouse. Both know their attraction is dangerous, but there's another danger lurking - someone might want Tommy dead.

This is part of the Noir PAX group this month - a clutch of five novellas on the theme of Noir. Just think a gay Sam Spade, or Chinatown, or The Maltese Falcon - books showing the underbelly of a city.
And for New Orleans, my home town, there was no other area that fit that bill like Storyville. Sitting outside
the French Quarter it was home to the city's whores - from the poorest to the finest.

I'm posting a couple - this one because I think it really sets the atmosphere. and New Orleans has plenty of that - seeping into the city, the music, and the food. What do you think?

      As the sun set, both horse drawn wagons and those new pickup trucks jostled for positions in front of the rows of houses lining each side of Basin. Deliverymen and houseboys of all colors carried barrels of beer and crates of hooch into the houses. Negro maids, dressed in black uniforms with white aprons and little white lace caps, stood on the stoops, and ordered them about, pointing and shouting. Old gray-haired Negro men with push brooms and buckets of soapy water cleaned the banquettes in front of the houses of the filth from the previous night and day.
      In just a few hours, Basin Street and the rest of Storyville would come to life. Carriages and automobiles carrying New Orleans’ finest gentlemen, dressed in black tuxedos and white gloves, would arrive.

But here's my sexy snippet....

     I have no idea what time it was when my door opened, but I came out of the bed like I’d heard the clanging of a fire wagon.
     “What the fuck?” I staggered, unsteady on my feet.
     Tommy stood in the doorway. In the faint light of my gas lamp, I could just make him out. I fell back to sit on the bed and ran my hands through my hair, then over my eyes, trying to clear my head and settle my racing heart.
     He didn’t say a word. I looked up. “What’s wrong?” My gut tightened at the thought Tommy needed me.
    “I’m not in your bed.”

Which one did you like? Which one made you want to read more? Leave a comment and let me know - once lucky commenter will win a copy of Storyville.

If you liked those snippets, check out the rest of the book.
Knock twice.
Tell them Lynn sent you.