Dark Secrets Release Day!


I’m so privileged to join this group of terrific writers, who’ve all written just stellar stories. And the talented Rachel Caine made this fab book trailer, too. Whee!

Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.

HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella

A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.

Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix.

With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong… if it ever can be.


Buy the Book

Under Contract Release Day!


Under Contract

The kinkier the sex, the higher the price tag…

Ryan Black has admired Celestina Sala from afar for years, her lush body and sensual nature calling to the dominant in him. For just as many years, Celestina was off-limits—married, proud and self-sufficient. But all that has changed, and now Celestina is in debt and in need…and available. Ryan proposes a contract: he’ll pay off her debt if she gives herself to him in bed, yielding control in exchange for the pain and pleasure he’ll bring them both. 

There are words for women who take money for sex, and none of them are nice ones. Celestina never thought she’d have to sink this low, but giving up control sounds more enticing than ever before. And suddenly it’s not about having to give in to Ryan. It’s about wanting to. 

But when Ryan’s dark past comes to light, they may both be in over their heads. The terms of his contract say her body is his…but her heart may be another story.

One thing is for sure—now that Ryan has Celestina, he can never let her go. 

Available July 13, 2015

Read More…

Recommended for fans of the 50 Shades trilogy.“… “Kennedy handles her subject matter with authority (if you can forgive the pun) and makes the premise and choices of her characters entirely believable, all while grabbing her readers by their hearts.

– LJ on Library Journal

Slapping Tits on a Dude


I’ve been friends with K.A. Krantz for, wow, six years now? We’ve been critique partners and sister Word Whores all this time. And now she’s come out with her epic fantasy debut! SO excited for her!

So we took some time to pour some wine in our respective time zones and had an Instant Messenger chat about warrior heroines.

Jeffe: So, tell us about Larcout!

K.A. KRANTZ: Larcout is the story of a fire-warrior, who shields her slaves from the lethal amusements of her kin in hopes that protecting them will prove to the gods that she’s worthy of freedom from their mountain prison.

Jeffe: What is a fire warrior?

K.A. KRANTZ: most people have blood in their veins, Vadrigyn–our protagonist–has fire, and that fire demands domination and destruction.

Jeffe: so she’s a badass?

K.A. KRANTZ: Oh yeah. She can kill you with a touch thanks to venomous parasites that live in her hands.

Jeffe: nice

K.A. KRANTZ: As the only fire-warrior without wings, she’s had to learn to not only protect herself, but to standup for what and who believes in…which just happens to be her. Not unlike your warrior princess Ursula.

Jeffe: heh. Only Ursula had to train all her life for her warrior skills – no handy venomous parasites

K.A. KRANTZ: Oh, Vadrigyn’s had to train. She comes from a kill or or be killed society.

Jeffe: Aha! does she follow a particular martial system, as Ursula does? Ursula’s is tied in with the folowers of the warrior-goddess Danu, she of the bright blade and clear eyes

K.A. KRANTZ: Fire-warriors are the children of the Goddess of Instigation, the only feminine deity among five gods. There aren’t acolytes and priests in her native culture. They simply adhere to the demands of their essential fire. However, Vadrigyn is wingless because she’s a mixed-breed…a product of blood-being mother and a fire-warrior father.

Jeffe: sounds like a tricky relationship

K.A. KRANTZ: Let’s just say Mom doesn’t bake cookies. She’s a sociopath with magic of mind-control.

Jeffe: Ursula is mixed-breed, too, interestingly enough, with her Tala shapeshifter sorceress mother and (mostly) human father

Jeffe: Interesting that our warrior-heroines both have powerful mothers!

K.A. KRANTZ: We don’t do weak women.

Jeffe: No doubt part of why we are friends!


K.A. KRANTZ: But it’s important to show women with agency–whether they’re wielding weapons or using the strength of their character to pursue their happiness–it’s important.

K.A. KRANTZ: Did I mention, it’s important?

Jeffe: Important, you say?

K.A. KRANTZ: yeesh, lemme be a bit more redundant.

Jeffe: I’m totally keeping this

K.A. KRANTZ: you would

K.A. KRANTZ: ’cause it’s important

Jeffe: as a woman with agency

K.A. KRANTZ: and a wine glass

Jeffe: so, let’s talk about that – WHY is it important? ~slurps wine~

K.A. KRANTZ: There are rumblings out there that we — writers, we — are cementing a masculine woman as the ideal stereotype. She has physical strength on par with men. Excels in combat the same way as men. Views combat in the same way as men. We’re being accused of slapping tits on a dude and calling it “strong female protagonist.”

Jeffe: I’m restraining myself from making a nasty comment to that

K.A. KRANTZ: Yeah, I know you are ’bout to ‘splode over that notion.

Jeffe: Well, it’s RIDICULOUS. As if all of these male superheroes are totally believable. No, no – it’s PERFECTLY realistic for a guy to get bitten by a radioactive spider and become superhuman

K.A. KRANTZ: My answer to that is, “then you’re missing the entire scope of the internal conflict.”

Jeffe: Because the internal conflict is heightened and exacerbated by that tension between gender and ability?

K.A. KRANTZ: Yes. Because of external expectations of the surrounding characters (which may or may not reflect the expectations of certain readers). Vadrigyn spends the bulk of her life defining expectations because she looks like no one and nothing else.

Jeffe: Ah, interesting

K.A. KRANTZ: The only thing of which anyone is certain is that she’s a woman.

Jeffe: because no penis?

K.A. KRANTZ: Yep. They choose to make that her defining characteristic.

Jeffe: This is one of Ursula’s issues, too. She’s the heir to the High Throne, but grudgingly so. Her father really wanted a boy to succeed him. And all the jokes are that she sleeps with her sword and likes that better than having a man in her bed

K.A. KRANTZ: and if she’s not fucking anything with three legs, she’s less of a woman

Jeffe: That implication is there, yes, though there’s less stigma to it in her culture. Mostly she doesn’t hook up with *anyone* and no one can figure why. But then, many of the followers of Danu are celibate

K.A. KRANTZ: The issue of celibacy is an interesting choice to make for your character(s). Deliberate?

Jeffe: Well, as you know, I don’t do much deliberately. Ursula insisted on that truth. She has been celibate, but for other reasons. The High King wouldn’t allow her to take the actual vow. Though she would have, if she could

K.A. KRANTZ: It’s so interesting to balance the ramifications in our western sexually-driven society. For Vadrigyn, sex is a matter of domination, not a demonstration of intimacy

Jeffe: ooh, that IS interesting

K.A. KRANTZ: It’s something those around her fail to understand

Jeffe: does she have sex with males or females – both?

K.A. KRANTZ: Well, she has a small problem what with that fatal touch thing

Jeffe: oh RIGHT! eep

K.A. KRANTZ: but intimacy, actually experiencing true intimacy, is completely foreign to her. It’s a challenge with which she struggles throughout the book – non-sexual intimacy, that is. (and sometimes almost sexual)

Jeffe: she sounds like a very alone person – which is also Ursula

K.A. KRANTZ: I think loneliness is a result of taking the uncommon path

Jeffe: That’s a very good point

Jeffe: For Ursula, it’s also about protecting herself and others, which I think is consistent with many male warrior heroes. There’s always that sense of social isolation

K.A. KRANTZ: there’s a quote out there by Paul Tillich. “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

Jeffe: love it! So, let me ask you this – was it fun to write your warrior heroine?

K.A. KRANTZ: oh, fuck yeah

Jeffe: ha! tell me why

K.A. KRANTZ: there other women in the book, each strong in her own way, each vulnerable in her own way, but for Vadrigyn, she began as anti-hero. The story is told solely from her perspective, so she (hopefully) doesn’t come across as evil. But if you were an outsider living the results of what she does, you might think she’s less than admirable. And that was the fun part of writing her. As writers we’re always told to make sure our villains have their own valid, relatable reasons for doing what they do…

Jeffe: that brings me back to an earlier thread, about non-warrior women having agency, too. For example, my most-beautiful and most-spoiled princess, Amelia, is decidedly NOT a warrior – and not at all admirable to begin with

K.A. KRANTZ: Amelia may not wield a sword, but she is forced into certain conditions that demand bravery

Jeffe: yes! And that, to me, is really the crux – that finding bravery

K.A. KRANTZ: and she rises to the occasion(s), and I think that is what all women can relate to–rising to the call

Jeffe: Amelia wields a hairbrush, but she is a goddamn MASTER of it!

K.A. KRANTZ: Do not underestimate the damage a brush can do!


K.A. KRANTZ: (Believe me, I have those kind of brushes)

Jeffe: Ha!

Jeffe: so, to wrap up. ARE we slapping tits on a male hero?

K.A. KRANTZ: I don’t think so. I like to think we’re challenging the definitions of femininity.

Jeffe: Which are arguably limited

K.A. KRANTZ: As long as our heroines are defined by more than who they fuck and how they look, then we’re making progress.

Jeffe: Right. The Bechdel Test is a good starting place, but it’s really the bare minimum

K.A. KRANTZ: Let me ask you this: if you changed Ursula’s name to Uri, and all her pronouns to “he”… would she read like a dude? Would The Talon of Hawk become a M/M fantasy romance?

Jeffe: Oooh, interesting question. No. No, I really don’t think so. Ursula is profoundly female in certain ways.

K.A. KRANTZ: That, I think is a test more authors should use.

Jeffe: I love this idea!

K.A. KRANTZ: I’ll be interested to know from the readers if V passes that test!

Jeffe: I’m so excited that this book is out in the world!

K.A. KRANTZ: Aww, bless you and thank you!

Jeffe: I read an early draft, and I’m really excited to see the final creation. I loved it then – I’m sure it’s stellar now

K.A. KRANTZ: It’s come a long way since you braved a full reading of it – “Hey, K.A. KRANTZ, it’s fun…but is there a …plot?”

Jeffe: lol! I said more than THAT

K.A. KRANTZ: lol, that’s true! very true

Jeffe: Well, you *asked*! And there’s a happy ever after – it’s out now! Check this out, peoples:

Blood-beings can be chattel or char. Fire seethes through the veins of every Morsam, demanding domination and destruction. Combat is a hobby. Slaughtering the inferior blood-beings is entertainment. Life is a repetitious cycle in the prison fashioned by the gods. But mix-race abomination Vadrigyn os Harlo suspects the key to freedom lies with safeguarding the blood-beings; until her blood-born mother uses foreign magic to turn the Morsam against Vadrigyn. Betrayed, bound, and broken, Vadrigyn struggles against the dying of her essential fire. The ebbing flames unleash the dormant magic of her mixed heritage… The magic to destroy free will. Seized by the gods and dumped in the desert nation of Larcout to stop history from repeating, Vadrigyn discovers her mother’s legacy of treason and slaughter still festers. To survive the intrigues of the royal court, the roiling undercurrents of civil war, and the gods themselves, Vadrigyn must unravel the conspiracy behind her mother’s banishment. But manipulating free will unleashes a torrent of consequences. If she fails the gods, she will return to the Morsam prison, stripped of all magic and all hope. If she succeeds, she can rule a nation. Kasthu. Roborgu. Inarchma. Live. Learn. Burn.
Buy it here!

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Behind the MaskGuess what’s out today?? YES! The fourth book in Carolyn Crane’s Associates series, BEHIND THE MASK.

You guys, this story is so super hot, twisty and amazing.

You can take that with a grain of salt, as it’s no secret that Carolyn is my CP (critique partner) and bestie. However, that means two things – I read this story first, before ANY of you could (ha ha ha!) and I’m the one who egged her on to do more, go farther, give me that hot steamy dark smexy.

Let me set the scene. Carolyn was here in Santa Fe, visiting me last February. We went out walking, to see some art in the galleries, do a bit of boutique shopping. Then we settled into the bar at Inn at Loretto, which is one of my favorite bars in Santa Fe. We scored a table by the fireplace, drank wine, and I fed her notes from my Kindle about sex, death and other fabulously intense elements.

Sometimes I wonder what people at the other tables nearby were thinking…

Now, I’m not sure what Carolyn did with this and others of my suggestions, as I haven’t read her final version. However, I can’t wait to read it again and see! She’s such a brilliant writer and works magic in revisions. The story blew me away in rough draft – it might kill me in its final form. Which it sounds like it’s doing to others, like in this review at That’s What I’m Talking About.

At any rate, I’m giving away a digital copy in the format of choice to a random commenter! Tell me what intrigues you about this story by midnight US Eastern Time on May 21 and I’ll choose a winner. The official blurb is below.

When her long lost sister – a prostitute – is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group on behalf of the Associates, and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.

Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…

Little by little, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years?

New Erotic Romance Release!

The List by Anne CalhounSO excited to read Anne Calhoun’s latest – THE LIST – out today! Anne is easily one of my favorite living writers of erotic romance. Yes, she’s also my friend, but I feel I can say this in all honesty because I first read her books, THEN stalked her and made her be my friend. She’s a brilliant writer, weaving deep emotions from traumatized people with hot, riveting erotic encounters. Publisher’s Weekly said it best:

With exquisite skill, Calhoun melds erotic heat and intense emotions in the second Irresistible contemporary romance (after Afternoon Delight). Daniel Logan, an FBI agent, meets Matilda Davies sitting on a ledge 20 stories above Manhattan. She isn’t suicidal—she just enjoys taking risks. Tilda, the owner of a store that’s about to expand into a global brand, spends most of her time on her business and the rest on her hobby of matchmaking, with little space in her life for a lover. Daniel, besotted, tries to keep her thrill seeking side satisfied, even as he uses his detective skills to figure her out. Tilda faces a more difficult task: deciding whether to lower her emotional barriers and let Daniel in. That risk might be one ledge too high. Calhoun’s intelligently handled characters, perfect pacing, and smooth plotting elevate familiar themes to the heights of enjoyable entertainment.

That was a starred review, by the way, because she is just that awesome.

Want to read more? I love this excerpt that was featured on RT Book Reviews’ smexy Hump Day. You can read it there or below. Warning! Very sexy, graphic language. 🙂




Happy Hump Day, readers! This week we’ve got a scene from a book we know you’ve been eagerly awaiting: The List by Anne Calhoun. British stationary shop owner Matilda is an expert matchmaker, finding a special someone for every man and woman on her list. But she draws the line at herself, unwilling to commit to anything more than a fling. Enter hunky FBI agent Daniel, who is taken by the perplexing Matilda. In this scene Tilda thinks Daniel is mistakenly sexting her, and is quite surprised when she confronts him about it in person.


I want to go down on you.

The text banner glowed against Tilda’s screen background. Without breaking stride in the conversation with a man purchasing a gift for a client, she pushed the power button to deactivate the screen and slid her phone onto the shelf under the counter.

 “The paper is made from one hundred percent cotton, of course,” she said, “and the recipient’s name or initials can be added by engraving, thermography, or letterpress.” She held out options for each so he could feel the difference. Quality died even more slowly than tradition, and in the high-end goods market shopped by both old blue bloods and new money, nothing was more traditional and elegant than paper. Calling cards. Business cards. Personalized notecards. Thank-you notes. Invitations to events ranging from a quiet dinner to a ball. In the last year a placement in InStyle’s accessories section led to an inclusion in O magazine’s Favorite Things spread. For millennials with money, she’d become an arbiter of taste with a caliber of luxury normally reserved for royalty.

Her phone lit up again.

Correction: I want to tie you to the bed and go down on you until you can’t talk.

This time Tilda took the split second necessary to find out who was sexting her.

Daniel Logan.

“What size do you recommend?” the customer asked, thankfully oblivious to the heat rising in Tilda’s cheeks at the pornographic texts appearing on her screen.

“Cards are a traditional and very safe choice, but some men prefer what’s called a social sheet,” she said. “He’ll have more room to write a note, and it’s folded then inserted into the envelope. I suggest ordering a selection with his monogram or name, then extra plain sheets for longer notes.”

Her phone vibrated again. Tilda ignored it, because there was clearly some mistake. Daniel Logan would no sooner sext her than voluntarily sit down on a ledge twenty-two stories over the city streets.

Except, he’d done exactly that. When the client made his selection, she compiled the order on her tablet, emailed him a receipt, and tidied the sample books. Her assistant, Penny, was engrossed with a bride across the store, but no one else needed her attention. She closed the door to her office and scrolled through what she’d missed on the phone.

Or fuck you. You won’t know which you want more, but you’ll be begging.

Gobsmacked, she stared at the screen. Without her permission her brain thoughtfully provided images: Daniel’s head, light glinting in his sun-streaked hair, his face buried between her thighs. Her hands, restrained by . . . velvet bands, she decided. Something elegant, silky, unbreakable.

She shifted in her seat.

Several weeks had passed since their phone conversation, so he must be texting his current lover. That was the only explanation. Also, they were completely unexpected, shockingly blatant foreplay, not meant for her. If it were, he would have prefaced the initial text with something apologetic. I know I shouldn’t do this, but . . . I can’t stop thinking about you. . . . Don’t be angry with me. . . . Not the bare, explicit, I want to go down on you.

I can’t stop thinking about it. You’ll be salty and damp and wound up after a long day. You’ll taste like frustration and woman.

Clearly, she’d underestimated Daniel Logan. Who was he dating now? He’d not asked her for another connection, and she’d not given him any names.

Touch yourself for me. Now.

Impossible. All of this was impossible. But she could clamp her thighs together more tightly, flex the muscles, feel the faint, resonant pulses of desire. She should stop this. He was texting the wrong woman, probably someone whose number was next to hers in his phone.

Are you touching yourself? I’m hard thinking about that. Sitting at my desk, head down in paperwork, thinking about you.

That was a compelling image in itself, Daniel pretending to work while thinking about sex. An FBI agent would wear a suit, not a uniform; factoring in his blue velvet blazer, she came up with a dark navy suit, a slim cut, with a formfitting Oxford underneath, a subtle tie.

But he wasn’t thinking about sex with her. Couldn’t be.

Is your clit hard? Slick? I can’t wait to watch you come.

Disappointment deflated her lungs. Definitely someone else. He’d never seen her get herself off, something she’d done far too often lately. Heat flickered through her pussy. All work and no play was making Tilda edgy and restless. She’d turned him down because every instinct she had told her he’d want something she couldn’t give him.

When we’re alone, I’ll do it nice and slow, until you’re moaning. But do it fast, now. Don’t want you getting in trouble at work.

She couldn’t get in trouble at work. She was the boss, this was her shop, the door closed on the outside world. She could hike her skirt up, wriggle her panties down, and rub off to these texts. Knowing these texts were meant for someone else should have jolted her back to reality. Instead, the vaguely voyeuristic feel added another layer to the erotic tension crackling in the air. This was a peek into a completely different side of Daniel than the man who had asked her to dinner.

Don’t come.

God, a firm command. Who exactly was this man?

Save that for me. When I spread your legs and lick you, I want to taste how desperate you are.

She began composing the text she’d known all along she’d have to send.

Daniel, you’re texting Tilda Davies. I’ll delete this—

Another bubble appeared.

I can’t work like this. I’m going to take care of this.

Backspacebackspacebackspace. Face-to-face was the only way to do this, because she had to see his face when he realized what he’d done. She had to see his face and know if she’d made a mistake, refusing to go on a date with him. A trick of the moonlight made him look more innocent than he was.

She picked up her clutch and opened the door. Penny glanced over at her, rocking back on the four-inch-heeled ankle boots that lifted her to five feet two. In her four-inch heels Tilda stood five eleven, and felt like a Great Dane next to Penny’s teacup Yorkie size.

“Can I redo the front windows?” Penny asked.

“Absolutely,” Tilda said. She did the business side and the product selection but had no flair for creative design, so she hired Penny, straight out of Parsons and a seemingly endless fount of creative window displays. “I’m going out for a coffee,” she said. “Can I bring you back anything?”

“A latte,” Penny said. “Extra shots.”

She hailed a cab and directed the driver to Federal Plaza. “Everything okay, miss?” the cabbie asked.

“Fine,” she said. Just the unexpected from a man she’d written off.

She took the stairs to the front doors, and asked the uniformed officer staffing the front desk for Agent Daniel Logan.

“He expecting you, ma’am?”

“No,” she said, and left it at that.

The officer rang through, then said, “Tilda Davies is downstairs.”

Daniel walked out of the elevator, into the lobby, finishing a conversation with two individuals in jackets and suits. He made eye contact with Tilda and beckoned her to come with him without halting the conversation. Intrigued by the difference in his demeanor, she waited quietly by his side while he finished issuing instructions. Then he put his hand under her elbow and guided her into the elevator, then through open desks to an office at the back of the room, where he closed the door. He braced his bum against the edge of his desk, crossed his legs at the ankle, folded his arms, and said, “What can I do for you, not–Lady Matilda?”

She’d been right about everything from the color of his suit to the subtlety of his tie, and now she could add a dark brown leather belt and matching brown wingtips to the ensemble. The wave in his hair was tamed to lie flat above his forehead, but held furrows, as if he’d been shoving his fingers through it. She held out her phone, the bubble announcing that he was going to take care of his arousal. “You’ve been texting the wrong woman.”

He didn’t even look at the screen, just kept his gaze focused on her. “No, I haven’t,” he said. “The old-fashioned method of asking you out didn’t work. I took a different tack.”

She stared at him. He looked different at work, in his suit and tie, less open, less likely to smile. Like he was the one sitting on a ledge, inviting her to join him.

“Did you come?” he asked, without a hint of modesty or embarrassment. As if it were perfectly reasonable for him to sext her in the middle of the day, for them to have this conversation in his office with other FBI agents working outside.

You told me not to hovered on the tip of her tongue, but what she said was, “I was in the middle of a consultation with a client.”

“I’ll take that as a no. Did it make you hot?”

She flicked him a glance. “What do you think?”

He bent forward and put his lips close to her ear. “I think it did. Even better, I think it made you curious.” A shiver coursed down her spine.

“Would you do it now?”

“Do what?”

“Get off while I watch.”

She had been wrong, so very, very wrong. He knew exactly what to do with his voice. “We’re in your office, which has rather large glass windows.”

“And you were sitting on a ledge two hundred feet above the street. You were shaking so I thought you were cold, or afraid. Then I thought it was the adrenaline. I was wrong. It was desire,” he said, looking away from her as he spoke. From the outside this looked like . . . well, maybe it looked like he was talking to her about a case. Maybe it looked like his girlfriend dropped by for a visit.

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“If I did, I wouldn’t have texted you. No,” he added, cutting her off. “I don’t have a girlfriend. The last woman I asked out turned me down flat. Can you do it?”

“Why would you think I can?”

He shot her a grin full of mischief and a rather dark amusement. “You like risk. Based on the way you’re looking at me, you’re no more satisfied than you were a couple of weeks ago. Come on,” he said, lowering his voice, just enough to send goose bumps up her arms. “Show me what you can do.”

She crossed her legs. “Talk to me,” she said quietly, then activated the screen on her mobile. From the outside, she hoped it would look like she was scanning her phone while he talked. She closed her eyes.


“Because I like your voice.”

He chuckled, low and deep. “Do you have any idea how hot you were on that ledge? I should have yanked you back onto the patio. I should have arrested you for public endangerment, made up some law. But you were glowing in the moonlight. I could see your nipples under your top, see the flush on your cheeks. The moon was as bright as a streetlight up there. You’d been biting your lips, too. I wanted to do that. I took one look at your mouth, and I got so hard.”

She exhaled soft and slow, rhythmically clenching the muscles of her thighs. Her lace panties were caught up against her clit, and the pressure and shift of the lace provided a tantalizing rough edge to the flex and release. Oh, yes. “Oh, I do love being wrong,” she said with a laughing gasp.

“Waiting made it worse,” he said. “I made another mistake with the letter I sent you. I backed off, went with something too gentle, too traditional, I want to take you to dinner. Something any idiot would say.”

“What did you start with?”

Her voice was low, not breathy, almost inaudible. The pressure coiled behind her clit, arousing the nerves in her sex, and she closed her eyes, the better to see what he described.

He hesitated, then said, “I want to get you in my bed, naked and defenseless, then take you apart. I want to find the rhythm that draws you under, the angle that layers pleasure until you can’t breathe under the weight.”

She could imagine it, white sheets, blank like paper, his body caging hers between arms and legs, shades drawn against the afternoon sunlight and the ever-present city noise, her body bared in his bed, tangled with his, the slick stretch as he slid inside. The nerves in her vagina ached in anticipation. She added a subtle swivel to her hips, the lace tugging at her clit until she was close, so close, so fucking, fucking close.

“Sounds like sex to me,” she murmured.

He bent closer. She could smell him rather than see him, the scent of man and sweat and skin and the city. “It’s not sex, Tilda. I want to white out your thoughts, turn your muscles to jelly and your bones to light. I want to taste your come, my come, our sweat. It’s annihilation. That’s what I want to do to you.”

She came, silent, restraining her shudders to abbreviated jerks of shoulders and hips, her muscles clenching around nothing, nothing, the pleasure centers in her brain glowing white-hot. After a long moment, her muscles relaxed, and she opened her eyes.

He was watching her, jaw taut, expression feral.

“You look like you want to hoist me onto your desk and have your way with me.”

“Fuck you,” he said. “Hard and fast. Not enough time to annihilate you.”

Her heart gradually slowed. She inhaled shakily, exhaled more smoothly, inhaled again. “What a shame,” she said.

“You’d do it, wouldn’t you?”

An aftershock tumbled through her. “You’d lose your job,” she said. “I’d be arrested, which isn’t the adrenaline rush I crave.”

“A limit. I wasn’t sure you had them.”

She rose, steady on her heels. “I don’t date,” she explained. “That’s my limit, and why I turned you down.”

His brows drew together. “You don’t date. Are you in a relationship?”

“No. I just don’t like dating.”

“You don’t like dating.”

“It’s prelude to sex. I know whether or not I want to have sex with someone. Dinner and a conversation beforehand aren’t necessary, and are frequently counterproductive.”

This time his eyebrows shot up. “Okay. So you hook up.”

“Is that what you’d call what we just did?”

He thought before he spoke, a point to his advantage. “No.”

“What I do is what we just did.”

“Take a risk. A dare. A challenge.”

“Exactly,” she said, and slid her phone into the pocket of her jacket.

“Hmm,” he said, soft and considering.

“I have to get back to the shop. I told my assistant I’d bring her a latte”—she checked her watch—“thirty-five minutes ago. Not even Starbucks is that slow.”

“I want to see you again.”

She stopped with her hand on the doorknob, and considered him. He waited, silent, unmoving. Through all of that, he hadn’t moved, his arms still folded across his chest, his legs still crossed at the ankles. If he was aroused by what they’d just done, he kept it contained. She remembered his first impulse, the one he revised. She was sure he’d started with something sexual, not a decorous dinner invitation. They’d had a couple of discarded drafts, but hit their stride with his texts.

She opened her clutch and withdrew a silver card case, then a business card. Her name was engraved on one side in Garamond. The other side was blank. On it she wrote her address, then held it out to him.

“I’m having drinks with a friend,” she said as he took it, “so I won’t be home until after nine.”

He traced the edges of the card, then looked at her. “You’re serious.”

“About sex? Always.” She opened the door to his office. “Have a pleasant day, Agent Logan.”


It depends on how you parse ‘sexual interlude.’ Not to be Clintonesque about it. Many situations for me are sexually fraught while appearing to be nothing to anyone else. Watching you walk down the hall, for example. Or when you run barefoot onto the sidewalk and stop to pull on your heels, your hair falling over your face and your skirt riding up your lovely thighs. Very sexual.

Under His Touch In Your Hands!

It depends on how you parse ‘sexual interlude.’ Not to be Clintonesque about it. Many situations for me are sexually fraught while appearing to be nothing to anyone else. Watching you walk down the hall, for example. Or when you run barefoot onto the sidewalk and stop to pull on your heels, your hair falling over your face and your skirt riding up your lovely thighs. Very sexual.Release Day for Under His Touch!

“Kennedy’s novel has all the addictive tension and high-stakes passion that fans crave. Her main couple’s interactions are intense from the start, and she doesn’t shy away from either realistic details or dreamy fantasies. Best of all, she moves beyond their overwhelming physical passion to the emotions that drive them both, including the achingly real fears that threaten their happiness. As a result, this book is as touching as it is torrid. “

RT Magazine, 4 1/2 stars!

You can read excerpts here and here. 🙂

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CGSziZ
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1wlzQo8
All Romance: http://bit.ly/1IYjivk
Carina Press: http://bit.ly/17YBAiN
Google: http://bit.ly/1KVjs8y
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1wlzYE5

Tell me to stop. Don't you dare stop.

Tell Me to Stop…

B7Pird4CEAE8fM2UNDER HIS TOUCH comes out next Monday – yay!!!!

“…the core of the story is the development of a gripping and realistic relationship between two well-drawn characters.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Kennedy’s novel has all the addictive tension and high-stakes passion that fans crave. Her main couple’s interactions are intense from the start, and she doesn’t shy away from either realistic details or dreamy fantasies. Best of all, she moves beyond their overwhelming physical passion to the emotions that drive them both, including the achingly real fears that threaten their happiness. As a result, this book is as touching as it is torrid. “

RT Magazine, 4 1/2 stars!

Preorder linkys:








Doing Right by Our Friends

boundbyinkHappy Release Day to Marcella Burnard with the newest in her Living Ink urban fantasy series, BOUND BY INK!!

This is such a cool series, with tattoos that capture demons and bind them to people. Marcella has been a friend for a long time, so seeing her books release is always fun for me. I met Marcella online through RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FFP) chapter, back in… wow – 2009, I think. We used to “meet” every morning in the online water cooler and do writing sprints. Later, when I happened to be out in Olympia, Washington, she drove down to meet me for dinner. I’ve had a number of writing friends come and go over the years. This business seems to be particularly hard on friendships, with some people withdrawing as our careers and fortunes wax and wane.

Marcella, though, has been a steadfast friend to me throughout – something I’ve really come to value.

There’s a saw that friends are the family you choose and I think there’s a lot of truth to that. I have friends who go back most of my life, nearly as long as some of my family and some longer than the younger/newer family members. How closely in contact we are changes all the time, but the best friends are the ones where that doesn’t matter. I recently saw two college friends while I was out in Baltimore and it was lovely to visit with them, touch base with their lives.

The people who are our friends form the fabric of our lives, their threads interweaving with ours. Maybe part of one space of time, maybe running throughout the length. Their impact on us, and of us on them, can be profound.

This is on my mind because a friend of my mother’s died last week. They’d known each other for around thirty years. They shared a whole group of mutual friends, couples who spent lots of time together, partying, traveling, celebrating each others’ milestones. Her death came as a shock to most everyone in that more-dispersed circle. Largely because no one knew she’d fallen ill. All her friends knew was that they’d left messages that she hadn’t returned. Finally she didn’t return so many that one of them pinned down the husband. Turned out she’d not only been sick, but she’d gone comatose, was on life support and the family was meeting to make a decision. She died the following day and the service set for the end of the week.

None of them got to see her before she died.

Of course, by the time they knew, she was beyond communicating. But, while it’s understandable that a family in crisis will circle the wagons and not communicate such a terrible event, it hurt my mom and the woman’s other friends terribly not to be able to say their own goodbyes. They could have let her know one last time that they loved her. For themselves, they could have tied off that thread, instead of it hanging as a ragged edge.

It’s something to think about – if we suddenly fall ill, is there a list of who to contact? For many of us, a phone call to one or two friends will set in motion a chain of communication. It’s probably worth it to make that list. Just in case.

If not for ourselves, then for our friends who love us.

Living the Nora Life

 B1YtROqIcAAtnVhOn Sunday I got to see my lovely friends Darynda Jones and Katie Lane at the event for their new releases at Page 1 Books. Katie is telling a hilarious story about a trick-or-treater who came to her door talking on his cell phone. She refused to give him candy until he hung up and said “trick or treat.” She’s so damn funny. We met for lunch before hand and had such a great conversation. Love them both so much and so grateful to have them in my life.

Book events – especially for new releases – are kind of funny things. I mean, of course you want to do them. And they’re usually fun, because they’re a celebratory party thing and even better if you have author friends to join in, like this. I’ve got several events coming up for the release of The Tears of the Rose later this month. In fact, I should list them here:

Friday, November 7, 8-11pm, Independence Center of the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington DC – Mass autographing at World Fantasy Con

Friday, December 5, 7pm at Bookworks – me and Darynda!

Sunday, December 7, 2:30-3 at Page 1 Books – me and Celeste Bradley!

Come on by if you can!

At any rate, I was working last night on stuff to prep for this release and finding it a bit wrenching, because I’m working on something totally different now and my head is in that. It’s a weird thing about the whole business, that when I’m super excited about a book and want to talk about it, I’m the only one who knows anything about the story and there’s no one to talk to. Then, by the time everybody ELSE gets to read it, it’s old hat to me. Thinking about that, I recalled a conversation from Born in Ice, by Nora Roberts. I read it back in the mid-90s, when it first came out and before I ever thought I’d write fiction. But this scene struck me then and has stuck with me. The hero is Grayson Thane and he’s a bestselling author of thrillers. At one point he’s talking to his agent on the phone and she’s quoting good reviews to him. He tells the heroine, Brianna, that they’re early quotes on the new book. She says,

“But you haven’t finished the new book.”

“Not that new book. The one that’s coming out in July. That’s the new book, what I’m working on is the new manuscript.”

In another scene, which I can’t find in my paper copy and shouldn’t spend any more time looking for – this is one reason I love searchable digital books! – Brianna comments that he must be excited about the movie about to premiere of one of his books. He says, well, yes, but right now he’s all about Flashback. (At least, I think that’s what the title was – search might not have helped after all.) She asks what that is and he says it’s the manuscript he’s writing and all he can think about.

I really love this about Nora, that she created such a terrific character in Gray (and yes, his name IS over the top, because he made it up, we find out). He compelled me as a plain reader and now, years later, I identify so much with all the true-to-life details she layered in about him. Not that anyone is making a movie of my book, but I’ll be ready! Such a funny moment to realize I know what he – and Nora – are talking about. It’s the best possible world when I suddenly feel like a character from one of her books. Also a tribute to her skill in creating very real characters.

Speaking of new releases and author-type things, my first newsletter officially sent today! (Yeah, yeah, yeah – late, as my mother continually mentioned all weekend. Technical difficulties, okay?) So, if you thought you were getting one and didn’t, check your spam folder. Ironically enough, my own copy went to my junk mail folder. Sad day when I’m spamming myself…  If you still don’t have it, ping me and I’ll check into it.

I’m off to World Fantasy Con (see aforementioned signing on Friday) starting Thursday. If you’re going to be there, do say hi!