Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving according to Denise

This year's Thanksgiving is looking to be both exciting and bittersweet. My previously planned 4 person dinner has turned into a wonderfully blessed 20 some odd people. I'm so excited to have family here. You see, our family's matriarc is ill, so family members are coming in from MI, NJ, TN, and GA to fellowship and visit with her. We have a lot to be thankful for and on many occasions we forget to say the words. So here you go, I thank God for my family and friends. I decided to share with you my menu for the day. Wow, I can't wait.
Appetizers:
Hot artichoke spinach dip and veggie tray with dip
Dinner:
Turkey and dressing with gravy
Ham
Pot Roast with carrots
Candied yams
Potatoe Salad
Stringbeans
Greens
Mac and cheese
Squash casserole
Home made cranberry sauce
Rolls and cornbread
Dessert:
Sweet potatoe pie
7-up pound cake
Apple pie
Now the interesting thing, I had surgery on my wrist two weeks ago and has limited use of it at present time. LOL. Again, thank God for family. Every family is bringing something. Yeah! Now take a minute and give thanks for we never know when we won't be able to. And if you like, stop on by. After all, you are family!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rocking Turkey Dressing

Denise’s Rocking Turkey Dressing

INGREDIENTS

½ Bag Pepperidge Farm seasoned corn bread dressing
½ bag Pepperidge Farm seasoned bread dressing
1 tube Jimmy Dean Sage sausage
1 stick margarine
3-4 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1&1/2 apples, cored and chopped (red delicious or other)
1 c walnuts, chopped
1 cup water (approximate)
Salt
Pepper
Poultry seasoning
Garlic powder

1. Crumble and cook sausage until done, set aside. (Make sure you break the sausage up into tiny pieces)
2. Melt margarine over low heat in large sauce pan, add onions and celery and sauté until tender or as us cooks say, translucent. Add apples, walnuts and sausage. Turn off heat.
3. In separate bowl toss together the two dressing mixes. Add sausage/margarine mixture. Toss until combined. Add a couple shakes of pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and salt. (Not too much. The bread is already seasoned and less is more)
4. Drizzle water 1/3 cup at a time and mix. You only need a little water to bind. If you add too much it will be too wet once it combines with the juice from the turkey. (and yes, we are stuffing the turkey, no self respecting cook wouldn't)
5. Spoon into turkey (don’t forget that strange hole at the butt) but don’t over stuff or pack too tightly. There will be enough left over for an extra pan. You are going to need it. It’s just that good.
Now enjoy the best dang dressing in the whole wide world.

How it all began:
I married my husband 13 years ago. The first Thanksgiving after we tied the knot, my husband keep telling me how good his mother's dressing was. She made corn bread dressing. I didn't know anything about corn bread dressing because my mother was famous for her bread dressing. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter breaking up the loafs of bread into the large bowl. I fought the urge to tell my hubby to stuff it because I wasn't his mother and actually called her for the recipe. Well, just like my mother she didn't use recipes. No self respecting cook from the old school did. At least that's what my mother told me. I tried to make her dressing the best I could, really I did. It was okay but 'not his momma's'. The next year we traveled to Chattanooga, TN for the holidays and I got a chance to taste that famous dressing. Oh my God! It was beyond good and I knew immediately, I would never be able to emulate it, so why even try. The next holiday, I decided to experiment and I combined what I thought was the best of two worlds, my mother's bread dressing with my mother in law's corn bread. I then tossed in my own flavor because neither of them used the sausage and apples and walnuts. Well, damn, I had a hit. People were scrapping the poor turkey's carcus for the last bit of dressing and fussing when it was all gone. So there you have it. Denise's Rocking Turkey Dressing! Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crown and Glory


My book, Crown and Glory is now available as an e-book from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. This book was inspired by my best girl friend, Pindi who died from breast cancer in 2008. She was 39. The story tells of a breast cancer survivor trying to get her life back after a double mastectomy. Also, all proceeds from this book go towards the fight against breast cancer. Will you help and buy a book? Tell your friends and tell your friends to tell their friends. Forward this email to eveyone you know. Women and men alike are stricken by breast cancer every day. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. We need to stomp it out. Just think, one book, one step closer to finding the cure.

Blurb:

There are three things Charlice Darrett wants... life, hair and to be left alone. The last thing she needs is interference from a man she doesn't know, however, he's stirring emotions in her she thought were no longer within her reach. Tyree Crawford wants only one thing... Charlice. Will he be able to convince her there is more to life than hair? As emotions collide, and doubts escalate, who will win?

Friday, October 28, 2011

An amazing journey!

Dearest family and friends,



I'm doing it again. Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight to end breast cancer! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. In 2008, my bestest best girlfriend died from breast cancer. She was diagnosed when she had her preliminary mammogram at age 37. This is such a horrible disease. It affects so many people. Women and men are diagnosed each year. If you have a mother, sister, aunt, niece, daughter, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin or grandparent then you understand the importance of stomping out this disease. Won't you help? Won't you take a step with me towards the fight against breast cancer? If its for no other reason than this, everyone deserves a lifetime. Don't delay, donate today! there are several ways you can help me reach my goal.



1.Go to my home page at the Susan G Komen 3 Day for the Cure website and donate there.

http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2011/General?px=4730646&pg=personal&fr_id=1772

2.Mail in your donation using the Donation form available on my participate page

3.Join my ‘Mile High Club’, ask me how.

No matter how you donate or how much it will count towards the fight against breast cancer.

Thanks
Denise

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chaos

Oh wow! My mind is boggled at the time that passed since my last blog entry. I'm not sure what happend. No, that's not true. I am fully aware of what happened. Life happened and because my life has been so crazy over the past months, I've renamed it chaos. So, when you hear me talking about chaos, I'm talking about my life. Lets see, where should I start. Work, family, writing, family, work, writing. Okay, maybe not so much of the writing. I haven't gotten too much of the writing done. I really need to get back on the boat before my readers toss me into the deep end of the ocean. LOL. Naw, I don't think they'll do that. I have wonderful readers and author friends who are very supportive and totally understandable when chaos gets in the way. I did attend Author's After Dark in August in Philadelphia, PA. Totally awesome and I can't wait to go to New Orleans next year. Romance Slam Jam will be hosted by Little Rock, AK in 2011. Can't wait to go there as well. This year was in Baltimore, MD, my old stomping ground. Such memories. I love visiting places I haven't been to before. So Little Rock, here I come. I've been to New Orleans but it was back in the 80's. I know, such a long time. I can't wait. My hubby, Leon, even said he'd like to join me. Now that will be a treat. I've had some really great things happen lately as well as the stressful stuff. Alexis Ke's newest release, Invisible Love hit the e-book circuit this week and should be in print very quickly. Its in the 'What White Boyz Desire' anthology with Bridget Midway, Yvette Hines, Aliyah Burk and Kelley Nyrae. Also Alexis has another book release scheduled for November 1 with Red Sage. The Shadow Box. Both are IR erotic romances and totally hot. I'm hoping to stay on this trail and keep up the writing. Hopefully, I can keep chaos at bay and get it done.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Hurricanes ah comin!

What a week, what a week! First we had an earth quake registering 5.8. A first of this magnatude in the state of Virginia since the 1800s. We have had smaller tremors but most people don't remember them. Who would? And now we have the storm of the century bearing down on us and the entire east coast is in a freazy. I'm guessing a 700 mile wide catagory 2-3 hurricane, who they've so nicely named Irene, could make you nervous. Shoot, I'm nervous. Irene is coming up from the south while another storm front is coming down from the north. Put all of that in a pot and what do you get when two storms collade with one carrying cool air and the other carrying warm. You got it, the perfect storm. The only problem, we are so not prepared for this. And I don't think we ever will be. Which takes me to my next thought. Conspiracy theory. Now don't get me wrong. Mother Nature has been very pissed at the world this year. From earth quakes to heat waves with 120 plus temperatures to brush fires bellowing smoke across multiple states to dust storms to floods. What's a person to do? Now there is the perfect storm heading your way. Batteries-yes. Non parishable food-yes. water-yes. Flash lights-yes. Cars filled with gas-yes. Did I miss anything. Oh yeah, my bottle of wine. Hey, somethings gotta keep me happy when the power goes out. Could Mother Nature be dealing with the secret leaders of the conspiracy theorist to make us spend money. The store shelves are empty. The pumps have dried up. Yes, I think Mother Nature made a deal with someone and we are paying the price. Hopefully she will repay us for kicking up the economy by leaving us alone.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Remembering Leslie (LA Banks)


As I stand in front of my book shelf and stare at the multitude of books catching dust, I pause and run my fingers across a few of the many books I have by LA Banks. From her Rivers of the Soul 1991 were she signed it 'sisters of the soul' to her Vampire Huntress series to her cop books. Each book, just like Leslie has a special place in my heart.
I remember when we first met. It was my very first Romance Slam Jam conferance in Raliegh-Durham NC. I was traveling with Felicia Mason who'd hipped me onto the conferance and was wondering through the hotel meeting and greeting readers and fellow authors.
She walked up to me, introduced herself and asked me about myself. After my tiny bip blurb she grabbed me, hugged me and convinced me that selling one book or 10k was fantastic when we are doing something we love. She told me to keep on writing and to never stop. A multitude of knowledge went into those words.
Leslie is one of the most prolific authors I know, always paving the way for the person walking with her and always paying it forward.
Even though we talked more via email than phone, it was a treat if you could actually get her on the phone, each time was special. From just catching up to seeking info on poisons. I remember calling her in the distant past, fussing, when Damali grew fangs. She laughed and only said, sista, finish the book, to earlier in the year telling her I was gonna be in Philly for the Author's After Dark Con in August, hoping she'd come out. She will be with me in my heart and soul forever.
Leslie Esdaile Bank aka LA Banks aka Leslie Banks will be forever loved, forever remembered, forever missed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Making Lemonade

I keep chanting to myself that old saying, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. I'm making a large five gallon jug right now. Don't get me wrong. My cup will always be half full but right about now, my cup is so tired I think me could cry. LOL. Now seriously, how often do we run, run, and run some more and when we stop we can't rest because the mind continues to run and filter in all of the things you should be doing instead of resting. Between family drauma and work, I'm threatening to get in my car, head west and don't look back. I'm gonna stop by the local police station and let them know, when I'm reported missing, I am not missing, I know exactly where I'm at. So how is that for planning. If I could multiply myself and hire an assistant that would help. I've got a family reunion coming up and guess who's playing hostess. That's right, ME! No biggie. Its probably the least of my worries. Maybe I won't feed them. Yeah right. On the other hand, if I don't get caught up at work I might have to change my address to my place of employment. I've got a tee shirt that says, 'Contents Under Pressure,' I wonder how long I can wear it before someone makes me take it off. Oh well, I digress. I'm gonna keep on plugging, popping tylenol and hugging my sleep pillow when I can. Hopefully the lemonade won't last too long.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Writings da' Bomb!

Don't you hate it when a good thing has to come to an end. I spent this weekend, Thursday through Sunday at the Chesapeake Romance Writer's Spring Retreat. What a fantastic experience. This isn't my first retreat with them but it certainly has been my most productive. While the attendance was down from the previous years it was still a huge success. Eleven of us, writers converged on Chanco on the James in Spring Grove, Virginia (in the forest) on Thursday afternoon. We lodged in the Watson Lodge, a huge eight bedroom house, three levels with eight bedrooms. Sleeps 20 people. A wonderful set up with no television, no phones and very and I do mean very limited cell and internet reception. Each writer came with different backgrounds, different concepts and different goals. We even had an aspiring ten year old join us this year who turned out to be very determined in getting the job done. She come with goal of writing 20 pages and completed the weekend with a total of 35. Wow. there were goals of perfecting the query letter and pitch with someone who was headed to the Romance Writer's National Conferance in two weeks and she had editor and agent appointments, someone else had the goal of finishing the edits to her latest work, another had the goal of writing something, anything. She'd just gotten back into the writing groove and was looking for some inspiration. I had the goal of getting started on a new story that came to me as I was selling my books at the West Orange street fair in New Jersey, this past Memorial day weekend. I wanted ot make a good dent in it. The dent went out the window. I totalled that baby. I finished the story! It's a novella and it topped out at 110 pages, but wow! Happy dance time. Everyone got what they came for this weekend. The writing atmosphere was so intense and every one met their goals. We topped off with 1,128 pages completed collectively by the 11 people who attended. How's that for butt in chair and hands on key board!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yeah for June!

Whew! I am glad the month of May is over and done. What a stressful month. From bathroom explosions and plumming issues to hubby having a car accident and totaling his car. We all just thank God he was not injured. He misses his car, his baby. Material as it is, he'll get another one soon. I've been hitting the street fair and craft show circuit and loving every minute of it. A few weeks ago I was in Chesterfield Virginia at the Chesterfield Public Library Author and Craft show and then Langley Air Force Base for their spring bazaar. At both I sold some books and got some new friends and readers. What more can an author ask for. Memorial Day weekend I spent time in New Jersey at the West Orange street fair. Had a blast. Sales were good and met a man passing by who stopped to chat and talk about my books. I've dubbed him Italianlicious. Because he was just that. He has inspired a story out of my alter ego Alexis Ke. Got started on it today. Already ten pages down in a couple of hours. I love it when stories come to me like that. She's gonna have fun. I also found out today that 'The Shadow Box', another Alexis story will be released in November at Red Sage. Well, I guess, if I put all of the stress, good and bad in one hat, maybe May wasn't so bad after all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reservations for Two



Happy Mother's Day to everyone and what a fantabulous day I had. It started off with me sleeping in until 12 noon. If the phone hadn't rang I probably would have slept longer. My husband asked me several times this past week what I wanted for a present. I think I surprised us both by saying nothing really came to mind. Go figure. Is this what happens as we get more wiser. Nothing comes to mind. Geez, I could have at least asked for a gift card of something, but really, I didn't want anything. I got a new printer this week and its a beauty. It scans, faxes, prints single and double sided, you can send it a picture from your camera and it will print it out from afar and you can even send emails to it.
I think it does everything except write the books. Darn. Leon (that's my hubby) he set it up and had it going in no time at all. I think that is present enough. I got calls from both sons,one in ATL and the other in Charleston and grandson from NY today. So there you have it. I have a husband, two sons and a grandson who love me. Today that was present enough.
Hubby and I did go out to dinner. It was fantabulous.We ventured over to Virginia Beach to the Sonoma Wine Bar and Bistro and had a wonderful dinner. The atomosphere in the restaurant was a mix between eclectic and romantic with the muted colors and ambiance. We started off with appetizers and a flight of wine. For those of you not familiar with flights, its a sampling of 3-4 different wines. Our flight had three different wines in it. All were great and it was called the Bodacious Blend.
Leon chose the trout stuffed with crab and I had a fantastic breast of duck. It rested upon a bed of couscous and brocholini and had the most delectable bing cherry sauce I've ever had. Even though we were stuffed we had to finish the meal with deserts to go. The Turtle Parfait... OMG, I don't know if I can put words to it. With each bite all I could do was moan and shake my head. Um, um, um. What a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day
I'm certainly hoping eveyone had as grand a day as I did. You can't ask for much more, now can we.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life as I know it

Had a wonderful time at the Romance Slam Jam conferance in Baltimore this past week. Met new friends, reconnected with old. Ate some great crab cakes. Even heard one person say, "there is too much crab in the crab cake." Who knew? Can there really be too much crab. I think not. While I didn't win the EMMA award for Best Suspense or Book of the Year, I must say it is an honor to be nominated. Congrats to all of the winners this year. There are so many wonderful books out there. Will we ever have the time to read them all. Again, I think not. Even after Slam, I found myself at home in the Christopher Newport Universary Library on Monday doing one last read through of my manuscript I pitched to Grand Central and an agent at Slam. Both asked for the full. That's great. Of course it sends the hebbie-gebbies from my toes to my head. But off it will go. Fingers crossed that it will pique the interest and get me a contract. Now on to more homely thoughts. Just when its time to go back to work my bathroom, my one and only bathroom in the house goes alien on me and explodes. I knew the funny noise coming from the toilet was way too strange. Especially since no one was in the bathroom messing with it. It proved it by backing up and causing all kinds of problems. Now I have to wait for a plummer to grace my addie with his/her presence. Totally too much fun. I know my fellow co-workers aren't going to believe it. I'm not sure if I would either. Oh well, what's a girl to do. Sit and wait, sit and wait. Is't that what we do. Sit and wait. After all, it is what it is.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Romance Slam Jam

Wow, taking a brief breather in my hotel room at the moment. RSJ has been nothing but fabulous. Reader sessions, workshops, networking, catching up, trip to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and now getting ready to go to the mega book signing. The welcome reception was a blast. Everyone including myself in 60s-70s garb, including me in a way too big afro and toting a long stem cig. (cause I remember, momma smoked in the sixties, LOL). Last night we had a pajama party and tonight is the EMMA awards banquet where my book Masquerade is up for two awards. Fingers crossed and good luck to everyone. There are so many talented authors here I an honored to be nominated. Gotta go sign some books but I'll be back.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wonderful Day

What a wonderful day. Fantastic weather. Sun shining. Dinner out wity my number one man and then sitting in front yard in swing chair with him, holding hands and talking about everything from the weather, to mortages to mosquitoes. Man, I couldn't ask for anything more. Hope everyone had a just as fantastic Resurrection Day as we had. Blessing to all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Romance Slam Jam

“The Romance Slam Jam grew out of an early desire to recognize, and pay respect to OUR authors, and to celebrate their craft with their avid fans.”

Emma Rodgers, Ashira Tosihwe and Francis Ray gave birth to the ROMANCE SLAM JAM in 1995 in Dallas, Texas, to demonstrate what Nikki Giovanni describes as “The Power, Passion and Pain of Black Love.” (quoted from www.romanceslamjam.org)

On April 27 hundreds of readers and authors (me included) will merge on Baltimore, Maryland for 4 days for fellowship and fun. This is one of the best reader-writer conferences ever. Its not too big and its not too small. It was the Romance Slam Jam conference where I realized there is a whole lot more to writing romance than I ever imagined. I remember the one I attended like it was yesterday. Raleigh-Durham, NC. My first book 'A Walk in the Rain,' had just been released maybe two months before I hit the road with Felicia Mason. I'm not sure if I was more afraid of the fact that I was going to this conference or that the Felicia Mason had invited me to join her on the road trip. It was Felicia's book, Body and Soul that tossed me into the world of African American romance and the desire to write a book. Wow. What a time of my life.

Now, even though the years have ticked by, and I have about 14 titles to my writing credit, my writing has evolved into something wonderful and the readers are as fantastic as ever, I will never stop going to the Romance Slam Jam. My hats off to the readers and authors who paved the way for us. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

Watch out Baltimore. Here we come!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hum drum, me

Well, what is an author to do. I'm not sure which is worse when it comes to getting the job done. That ever present fatigue from having to carry on several lives. The wife, the home maker, the full time job keeper, the author, the nurse, the case manager or this ever present numbness and even more so the inability to get a full nights sleep. I'm thinking of all of the things that are throw at an author, it is the deterents to getting the acutal writing done that has the most effect. What good is it if you can get all of the other facets under control if you can't write for crap because you fingers and hands are numb from the bilateral carpol tunnel that you no doubt got from all of the writing. It really burns my goat when I can't sleep because of the cervical neck issue but I think, no biggie, I'll get up and write and then can't do it because the hands don't want to participate. It's really hard to type when you can't feel the keys and the tiny needle tinging is dancing along your fingers. What's an author to do?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sists's Thoughts from Coast to Coast


I spent a wonderful evening yesterday on a teleconference with the book club Sista's Thoughts from Coast to Coast. Also known as STCC. They chose my book, Masquerade, as their March Selection and asked if I would phone in a be a part of their phone conference discussion. What a wonderful group. They merged on the phone from as far as California and as close to me as Maryland and all points in between. They asked very intriguing questions about my characters and the thoughts behind the book. They, like others have posed the same question, will there be a sequel to Masquerade? Hum, inquiring minds want to know. Well, the one thing I can say, since this isn't the first time I've heard this question there is a great possibility that there just might be something stewing on the back burner. Some of their members were new to my books and some were not. They were intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed the book and I hope they will continue to follow my career and stay in touch. I certainly will follow them. Thanks STCC for a wonderful evening!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Relaxation


Sometimes I think we relax entirely too much, and other times not enough. But I'm always wondering. Would we be caught with our pants down if we didn't relax as much as we do? Would the next guy be able to get the better hand if we weren't relaxing. Geez, what's a person to do. I'm a grand proponent of working hard so that we can play hard but sometimes you just gotten kick the shoes off, push the recliner back and pick up a book, maybe even two. After all, isn't the old saying, all work and no play make for a very tiring life true????? Hey, where's my book and glass of pepsi?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Great WINE


There are few things better than a good glass of wine except one thing. A great book club. And I have met just that. W.I.N.E. Women In Natural Essence is a wonderfully read group of women. They are so versed in conversation, friendship, sisterhood and love. Not just the love I get everytime they invite me to spend time with them but also the love I feel from them for books (good or bad), the author's and each other. I had the pleasure this past Saturday to spend an afternoon with them. It doesn't matter if it's dinner, lunch or just a snack, if they call me I am going. Each time, I get to sit back and listen to them discuss and disect the book they have chosen for the month. They aren't afraid to tell it like they see it. I think, that's what drew me to them a few years ago when they first invited me to their monthly meeting after they chose one of my books as their selection. If the book didn't work for them they said it and they also told me what they would like to see in the future with my characters. They actually helped me decide on a story I'd been thinking about. Women In Natural Essence is the finest wine around. Thanks for being you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Release Midnight Indulgences


Okay, I've procrastinated long enough today. I was suppose to edit and do some writing. Instead I checked emails and watched television. Knowing I've got another book coming out with Tease in just a few days I figured I had better at least send you an excerpt. Its from my alter ego, Alexis Ke. Yes, she's done it again. This story was inspired by a dear friend of mine. One day we were playing adult truth or dare and I asked her where is the craziest place she'd ever done it. She told me in the post op holding area area at the hospital where we worked. Lordy have mercy. I was so shocked. Its always the quiet ones who shock you, right. Well, she met her husband at the hospital. He worked in the security department and she was one of the nursing supervisers. I can't give you her name cause she swore me to secrecy when I told her she gave me a book idea. And yes her face did pale when what I was saying sunk in. LOL. Where, here's an excerpt from the book Midnight Indulgences, due out with Tease Publishing on March 15. I just know you will enjoy.

MIDNIGHT INDULGENCES
by Alexis Ke

EXCERPT


Fredrick Simms, head of security at City General leaned into the surveillance monitor and ran his fingers across the cold screen. The static prickled his fingers and the edges of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. Beads of sweat popped out on his neck and trickled down his back. Just like yesterday and the day before that, something about Lucia Waters always drew his attention. He welcomed the chance to work the night shift. When he did, he made it a point to be in the surveillance room at the beginning of Lucia’s shift, just so he could get a glimpse of her. Maybe it was the way she walked or the clothes she wore. Regardless of the hospital policy about skirt length and cleavage, she made it a point to show her legs almost every day.
He slid his tongue across his top lip, slow. Tonight her skirt stopped just above her knees. It sashayed with every sway of her hips, and her blouse dipped into her cleavage just right. If she shifted the wrong way or twisted her body he wondered if her bosoms would spill from her blouse. He wanted to be the one there to capture them if they did. When she moved, her ample bosom bounced with each step and her long curvaceous legs seemed to go on forever. God, he loved a woman with thick thighs and voluptuous breasts.
Closing his eyes, Fredrick envisioned them wrapped around his body, pulling him closer as hips rhythmically pumped, the length of his shaft embedded in her, deep. He licked his lips. His body shivered as the sudden tingling sensation entered his groin. Only in your dreams man, only in your dreams.
Most of his encounters with Lucia had been in passing. He met her almost a year ago. They’d talked, might even have laughed, he couldn’t remember exactly what had happened. He asked her out once. She said yes and then changed her answer to no, something about not getting involved with co-workers and hospital policy.
Hospital policy my ass. He watched her walk across the parking lot. A soft breeze caught her skirt and lifted it just enough to kiss and cool her heat. She scrambled to push it back down. Fredrick wished, just once, he was the wind, caressing her hot center, teasing her flesh.
Something’s got to give. He too was tired of the humdrum life, and too old to be playing games. He’d turned thirty-eight just over a month ago and it was time for a change. Relationships had failed him. Fredrick was tired of stuck-up girls pretending to be women mistaking his sensitivities for weaknesses and his good looks for confused sexuality. Soft spoken, but not soft, he refused to go another day without making this woman know he meant business. He wanted to knead his fingers into the flesh of her ass as his mouth suckled the large peaked nipples he knew she had to have. He wanted to hear her call his name, loud, passionate and desperate with need. He wanted to feel her heat pulsate around his rock hard cock as he slid in and out of her wet core. He wanted…
Damn, he wasn’t sure what he wanted when it came to Lucia Waters and the dreams she filled at night when he slept, if he slept. Yes. He wanted her.
He glanced at his watch, pushed back from the desk and walked toward the door of the security office. Fredrick knew her routine to a T. It took her precisely seven minutes to walk from the parking lot to the employee elevator. That is, if no one stopped her to talk. He even paid attention to when and how she made rounds, just so he could be in some of the same places at the same time that he knew she would be. Thinking about it, he could be classified as a stalker.
He shook his head, Nope, just a man in lust and afraid to say it. But, that was going to change and change soon.
The high tech hospital was a blessing with almost every aspect of its interior under surveillance. Only a few choice places were private. He knew where they were too and by morning, so would she. With one last glance at the screen, he pulled the door shut behind him and walked towards the service elevator.

The entry door to the elevator slid open as Fredrick turned the corner. His timing was right on the money. There she was, leaning against the side panel. God, she looked good. The sight of her made his heart leap into his throat. His groin muscles swelled against the fabric of his pants and pulsed with the blood coursing through his veins.
“Looks like you need some help.” Fredrick stepped into the elevator, his voice low and charismatic. He wished he could get into her head and find out what her thoughts were. Fredrick wondered what she thought about when she didn’t answer, but stared at him instead. “Are you here all night?”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Lucia looked up into his eyes. “What did you say?”
“Asleep already and it’s not even midnight.” He awarded her with what he knew was one of his brilliant smiles.
Lucia shook her head. “Funny,” she murmured under her breath. “Real funny.”
Silence filled the space surrounding them and he watched her through veiled eyelids. What was she thinking about that caused her breathing to take on that slow sexy rhythm? Was she thinking about the weather? The job? Him?

Just wanting a whiff of the sexy man sharing her elevator, Lucia took a long deliberate breath. If she did it subtly enough, he wouldn’t notice. Her body recognized him the first day she saw him. Lucia couldn’t remember who started at the hospital first, but she knew each time she saw him all she wanted was to rip his clothes off and take him. It didn’t matter where, the hallway, the cafĂ©, or the lobby. Shucks, Lucia would do him right here in the elevator if it didn’t mean instant termination once they were caught wrapped around each other with his cock imbedded deep in her dripping wet punany. She shivered inwardly and tried not to show what was going through her mind.
Lucia stared into space and inhaled another breath. Why did this man have to get on this elevator? Damn. She’d been hoping to avoid him tonight at all costs. He occupied her mind constantly, at home, in the shower, at work, even driving her car or shopping. On more than one occasion his imaginary hand replaced hers and took her to places she’d never been with other men. Well, at least he did in her dreams. Real life was another story. Damn him and her heart.
When Lucia saw him she felt her chest and inner thighs tighten. The butterflies fluttering in the pit of her stomach made her knees wobble. And why did he have to smell so good, a woodsy herbal scent that wouldn’t smell as delicious on any other man? It only complimented his cappuccino skin and his clean-shaven head.
As always, he was dressed neat in business casual: slacks, dress shirt, jacket and depending on the time of day, a tie. Lucia liked it best when he wore a jacket. It covered his beautiful tight ass and drew attention to his long legs and made her think of ways she could sneak her fingers under the back flap and cup those hardened globes.
Lucia squeezed her pelvic muscles tight and tried unsuccessfully to stave the feelings building between her thighs. She wanted to turn and speak to him, but her lips wouldn’t move. Every time she opened her mouth the only thing she could do was suck in much-needed air. Each breath she took was hot, just like her female center.
Why is he touching me, Lucia thought when she realized his long, smooth, strong fingers where running along the length of her arm.
“Excuse me, this is my floor.” Fredrick commented, as his hand stroked her skin again.
“I’m sorry.” Lucia stepped to the side so he could exit.
Leaning into her ear he whispered, “What ever that perfume is you’re wearing, it’s da’ bomb.” He stepped out, turned to the left and disappeared.
Lucia leaned out of the elevator and watched him move away, his stride long and powerful. She wondered if his legs could balance her in mid air or would he need to support her against the wall. The elevator doors slid shut and she was alone.
Had he meant what he said? Her knees shook and she fell against the wall of the elevator.
The elevator passed her floor before she had the strength to push herself from the wall and press the button that would get her to her office.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Scorpion Queen


SCORPION QUEEN EXCERPT By. Alexis Ke

“You look weary, my Queen.”
“Yes. That I am.” Scorpathia shrugged her war gear up her arms, wincing when heavy metal scraped across already bruised flesh. The wound from the battle two nights before was slow to heal, something unusual for her.
Horatio, her first in command and advisor, grasped her shoulders as only a familiar could do. “Why must you do this tonight? No one is expecting you to do this.”
She slowly rolled her eyes at Horatio’s comment. “Then all the more reason to do it, wouldn’t you say?” She asked, her expression condescending. She’d never cared for people telling her what to do, but he was her father’s advisor and the father before him so she had no choice.
“You can not fight every battle.”
Her voice raised an octave but held very little punch. “If my people shall battle then so shall I.” Yes, her body screamed for rest, food, drink and lustful urgings but until she secured peace upon her land, she’d not find any.
The weariness was so strong it shrouded her body and mind. She wanted to lay down her sword and let the enemy behead her, perhaps the only way to find peace, rest. But what would become of her people, her land? She was their only hope. All the others before her had perished. To back down meant the Enemy would win.
Walking toward the open balcony, she stepped to the ledge. People, her people, scurried below, readying. Heaviness like nothing before weighed her chest, pushing air from her lungs, constricting her throat. Death was upon them and it was hers. The reality of the battle was forged into her bones. If her death meant peace, so be it. This she knew and understood. She would not grieve over it. Let it be done.
“We leave at half past high moon.” She stormed out of her chamber in search of nourishment and rest, of which, she suspected she’d find neither.
Three hours passed before Scorpathia followed members of her court to the outside of the castle. The moons brightened the night, illuminating the forest. Beyond the safety of their shields lay danger. Danger many never faced. The ones who did, never lived to speak of it. Scorpathia inhaled a deep breath, filling her lungs with the scent of the forest and dirt and air. The freshness of the earlier rain filled her mind and released the tension twisting her gut.
“We will make this swift.” Atop her great stallion, she pressed her way through the line of warriors crowding the road leading from the castle. “And deadly.” She turned and stared at the walls of the castle, lifted her hand and waved it above her head.
“Hoo-rah!” Their battle cry rang above her head and the treetops as their swords pierced the air above them.
The trees thickened and cloaked the castle. Her magic was as deadly as the witches haunting the forest, as powerful as the best sorcerer, and as strong. No one could enter without her permission. The castle evaporated into the darkness, disappearing from their sight. Nodding acceptance of the masquerade she dug heels into the hind legs of her horse and galloped into the forest, swallowed by the night.
With stealth, they moved through the brush, overturning any obstacle in their way. She didn’t as much as see her enemy as smell them. Their forces were massive compared to hers, a pithy group of weary warriors. But she didn’t care. She’d fought with less, and if she survived this night, she’d fight again. She stilled, tilted her head and captured their presence. The stench fluttered through the air like putrid waste and wafted to her brain. Lupii?
Arrows whistled pass her ear, barely missing her head by an inch. Unscathed, she pulled her weapon, circled it above her head and charged. Her nemesis didn’t know what hit it. One swift swing and the head of her attacker rolled to the ground then disintegrated. The remains floated through the air and coated her arms.
Battle broke out on all sides. There were hundreds of them. An enemy she’d never seen before. Their skin resembled rawhide, with appendages that should have been arms and legs but weren’t. Not in her people’s sense of the word. They had no faces, making it easier to kill them. No face, no sentiment. They rode atop massive beasts she recognized from the Protector’s mumblings behind her. Lupii men and Lycaon beast reminded her of wolfine.
Something screamed but she didn’t recognize the language. Why would these creatures dare to threaten her and what was hers? Did they not know what she was? Who she was? This was the land of Scorpii, atop the Scorpathian Mountains. Renewed strength tightened her fist around her sword when the battle cry of her people rose above the moans of the faceless.
Her body was bathed in blood, glistening in the moonlight like paint on her skin-pearleen white paint, iridescent in the glow of the moon. Scorpathia, moving quickly through the trees on bare feet took down three more. Her body covered now with the dust of their flesh as it fragmented into thin air.
“Take that you Osarian hog,” her first in command bellowed as she withdrew his sword from an enemy’s chest.
Swinging again but missing, she dived for cover when the rowdy beast the nemesis was riding leaped into the air in an attempt to trample her. Hitting the dirt with a thud, she rolled and came to her feet in one quick jerk. She didn’t dare take her gaze off the beast, but she’d lost hold of her weapon. She could conjure enough power to get rid of him, but that would take concentration. Concentration she didn’t have. Any diversion would mean sudden death on her part, and the energy drain she’d have to endure would jeopardize the shields she placed around her land. There was too much at stake.
She turned, moved toward the protection of the trees, her eyes scanning the ground for her sword.
“Behind you!”
Scorpathia grunted, pivoted and the glint of the moons vibrated off the jeweled handle. She ran, leaped over a fallen tree, rolled and grabbed her sword in one snatch. Coming to her feet, she planted the sword into the beast’s underbelly as it reared. Its cry permeating the air rattled her bones, almost stopping her charge. Lifting her sword above her head once again, she paused.
“Kill it! Don’t hesitate or it will be too late.”
Circling the sword, she beheaded another and another and another, yet they continued to come as if rising from the ground. Her body was laden with fatigue. The blood saturating her skin was not hers. Scorpathia wiped a hand across her face, removing sweat and grit and other things from her eyes. She didn’t see the Lupii’s beast until it was too late. His sword blocked the moon’s rays as he brought it down to her head. There was only one thing to do… run.
But Scorpathia didn’t run well. She considered it a sign of weakness but she never had. She straightened and waited for death, knowing it would be swift and painless. This was promised to her. She would not close her eyes either.
Her father’s words whispered in her ears. “Face death like you face each day. Head on. Praise the gods of Nodeirf and beg for swiftness.” This is what her father and her father’s fathers had done. She would do the same.
“Hoo-rah!” Tightening her fist around the hilt of her sword and standing in a fighting stance, she waited. “Hoo-rah!”
The four-legged beast reared meters above her head. One stomp and it would be over. A shrill screech tore from its throat before it fell backward and into the dirt. The rider, another faceless man pulled back on the animal. Now she could see his face. His eyes, his mouth, all contorted in the light, changing as an arrow pierced the place between his eyes. Pain wrenched every pore as his head exploded into a million pieces.
Scorpathia, startled for a second, then spun in a tight circle in search of the warrior who saved her life. She’d award him later, but no one was near. She primed her vision and ears to see anything, hear anything. Only silence greeted her.
“There. Beyond the trees.”
Scorpathia’s gaze tracked the direction the Protector indicated. In the thickest of the trees, atop the most massive stallion she’d ever seen, was him. Yet, when she blinked to refocus, he was gone. Had he been an aberration, there one minute, gone the next, a mist in the night?
Who are you?
No answer. She didn’t expect one.
The night’s battle raged on.
Scorpathia’s sword grew heavy. Her muscles tensed and spasmed when she raised it to fight, yet she pressed on. The sound of hooves, a multitude of hooves, ascended upon her. Spinning around, she faced off yet again.
Will it ever stop?
“Beware of what you ask, Lillian,” the protector said.
Scorpathia grimaced at the name she hated. She had no given name but for the Scorpion Queen. Many called her Scorpathia. Others called her Lillian after her mother, but she was no Lillian. Her mother was frail and weak, loved by all and feared by few. Such a demeaning existence. Now, Scorpathia was feared by all and loved by few. The way it was meant to be.
“Your reinforcement is approaching. Wait for it.”
Screams permeated the night just as two more headless bodies fell at her feet. A black stallion leaped over her head without a rider. Heat pressed at her back accompanied by the feel of hot metal in her shoulder. Going down to one knee, she’d ignore the pain ripping through her.
“Stay down!” He bellowed, grabbing her and pressing her behind him, her back to his front.
“The hell I will.” She fought his grip, pivoted and stood back to back with the stranger.
She hadn’t had time to assess him the way she needed, but two things were certain, he wasn’t one of her warriors and he had a face.
“Who are you?” She gritted between swings of her sword.
“The man who just saved your life.”
“I don’t need a savior.”
“Then my eyes have failed me.” They pivoted and changed positions. “From my vantage point, you were in need of assistance.”
“I would have handled it in my own way.”
“Your way would have gotten you killed.” He swung and struck down another beast.
“I’ve died a hundred times.” She went onto one knee and struck the underbelly of another animal. “It doesn’t seem to last.”
Unshaken, he continued to strike, to kill. “Why are the Lupii here?
Scorpathia didn’t answer, only swung her sword and beheaded another. Death’s dust thickened on her body, scorched her lungs and contaminated her mind.
“What do you possess that would warrant this attack?” He grunted as he pivoted, changing position with her in one swift move.
She was emotionless, yet her energy vibrated and faltered all the same. As tired as she was, a renewed strength prickled her skin, charged her nerve endings. Could it be from this stranger, a familiar she’d seen in her dreams? Was he someone whose name she’d called upon in her dreams? They’d never found her before. But, he did. What did he posses that demanded this journey? What power?
Seconds stretched into minutes and minutes into hours before they stood alone in the thickened brush of the forest. Her warriors scurried about, searching for survivors and the dead.
Gasping heavily, Scorpathia lowered next to a tree and glared into the face of the man she’d just fought with side by side. She tried and failed to ignore the exasperated huff from the Protector when she pressed her back against the cool wood of a Roanokian tree.
Silence, you evil Cyberian slug. I need only a minute, Scorpathia mind-linked with the Protector one last time. Her strength weakened with each breath and telepathy took too much from her.
She dragged the back of her hand across her eyes, removing sweat, dirt and blood then stared into the stranger’s face, capturing his gaze. Recognition simmered below the surface. She blinked and stared harder. She sent another swipe across her eyes, removing fatigue. He assessed his surroundings.
It is he.
She nodded slowly.
“What do you possess that would necessitate this attack?” he asked as he faced her. His eyes were dark, curious.
He towered over her, his broad shoulders glistening with sweat, his eyes as black as onx, the finest of set opaletts, watching her every move. His legs stood toned and muscled as she remembered from her dreams. Scorpathia closed her eyes, sucked in a ragged breath and let it out slowly in an attempt to reduce the heartbeat, pounding in her chest. She wasn’t sure if it raced from battle or him.
She opened her eyes and settled her gaze on his face. “Everything we are warrants an attack.”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A day in the life


Mimosas, cheese cake, books and friends equal a wonderfully blessed book signing day. There's nothing like starting the day with SEVAA at the Pembroke Mall book fair in Virginia Beach Virginia and then ending it at Iris' Art Studio in Poquoson, Virginia. Pembroke Mall was great. Terrific foot traffic. I only wish I could have stayed longer. Two hours just wasn't enough time. When I got to Iris' I was greeted with warm hugs and well wishes. The studio was set up with chairs scattered about. A table was set to the side with delectable morsels of food. Really, really grand homemade cheese cake, real home made biscuits with ham, and raspberry tarts to name a few. There was a pitcher of my favorite all time beverage. Mimosas. And hey, I can't forget the wine and sparkling cider. The crowd, while not really large in number was hugh in warm and friendship. We laughed. I read excepts from Masquerade and we talked about writing, publishing and the muse and how it plays a part in our stories and getting the job done. If anyone asked me if I could change anything about today, I would have to say no, it was perfect. Thanks SEVAA and Iris for helping me get my name out there. See you again, real soon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
EXCERPT

“Demetri, you shouldn’t have awakened her.” Father Kenny swiveled in the chair as he tugged at the starched white Episcopalian collar that was too tight around his neck. His expression flat and voice as calm as always as he relaxed his body against the leather and intertwined his fingers together at the nape of his neck.
Captain Demetrius Perry looked past him to the clock on the far wall. His eyes unreadable and mystical, gave nothing away. He glanced at Father Kenny through a veiled darkness none of the pack understood. Didn’t want to.
“It was time.”
“What if she’s not?”
“She is.”
“And if she refuses?”
He didn’t want to think of the implication of her refusing. He glared at Father Kenny but looked past him. “Then I die.

Captain Demetrius Perry of Fire Station Two-Two, closed his eyes, sucked in a deep breath and let it out on a rush of air. His heartbeat escalating in his chest and pressing against his ribs sent once forbidden sensations surging through his body. He didn’t like the feelings surging through his body. If Stormy Knight made him feel this way and she was a door away, what would happen when she was in front of him?
He’d seen Stormy numerous times, too many to count. She pulled him to her with such strength he had to have her. Have her near him. Become a part of him and vice versa. Demetrius had been in her dreams, her thoughts. He knew more about her than he wished. Private things no one should have been privy too, but somehow she came to him in his sleep, sharing dreams, desires, passions, and lust. Shivering inward, he tucked his feelings and unfamiliar emotions back down to where they wouldn’t reach up and grab at his gut.
Pushing up from the over sized desk, Demetrius walked to the far wall and threw back the heavy curtains hiding the window. Father Kenny’s hand flung up to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight suddenly illuminating the room; an uncomfortable frown twisted his face.
Demetrius thought about Father Kenny’s words for a moment. He’s been right on more than one occasion in the past, but not this time. Kenny, the historian of the wolf. His comrade. Priest. Friend. He was the first person Demetrius met when he joined the force and would probably be the last he saw. Kenny had spent years, almost a decade teaching, and guiding his pack. Sheltering them through the many storms their minds went through and their hearts. When they couldn’t confide in anyone else they confided in Father Kenny.
The captain spoke over his shoulder, “She’s here.”
“And, you know this how?” Father Kenny straightened his back, looked from the captain to the closed door of the office and back to the captain.
Demetrius turned his head toward the cleric, placed his index finger alongside his nose and tapped it slowly.
“Ah yes,” Father Kenny pushed up from the chair and strode over to the opposite side of the room. “The proverbial beacon. How stupid of me to forget.”
The loud repetitious rap on the door signaled her arrival.
“One day your senses are going to fool you and I’m going to be there to make witness.”
“Captain Demetrius,” the door slid open. “Firefighter Knight,” Firefighter Parker announced. The door opened the remainder of the way and two people entered.
Knight strode in with confidence, dropping her duffle at her feet with a thud. The other man backed out of the room and pulled the door shut behind him.
She stood at attention, gaze locked, body stiff, arms straight at her side, “Firefighter Knight reporting for duty, Sir.”
Her nervousness danced along Demetrius’ skin sending flutters of anticipation through his stomach. He wanted to smile at her strength, stubbornness, but didn’t.
“At ease, Knight. There’s no room for formalities in this fire station.”
She relaxed her legs a fraction and clasped her hands together behind her back.
“Lighten up and take a seat.” He bore his gaze into her… testing, but she refused to look away. “I’d rather stand, sir.” Her shoulders loosened and she let out a quiet breath.
Captain Demetrius Perry’s expression stilled and his gaze cut from her to Father Kenny. Pulling a file out of the drawer, he opened it and began to read its contents. A minute passed before he closed it, then looked up and caught her gaze.
“Extensive. You are an excellent firefighter, but you could be better if--”
“Captain, may I speak freely.” Knight cut him off.
“As free as you want. Like I said there are no formalities here.” He settled back into the soft leather of the chair.
“I don’t understand what I did to get transferred . . .here.” She took a step toward the seat facing the desk. “Am I being reprimanded?” She folded her body into the chair and clasped her hands together in her lap.
He let out a heady laugh. “Punished, is that what you think? This is the best damn fire station in the state,” slapping his open hand on the desk. The sound loud and sharp sliced through the air. “We are the toughest, meanest, bad assesses around. There’s a waiting list to come here.”
Unfolding his body from behind the desk, he took a few steps toward her and spoke into her ear. “I requested your transfer. You have talents that were being wasted at the other station. You used to be a hot shot until they stuck you over at one-oh-one. Put those crap ideas of desk jobs and research out of your head. Don’t you get tired of everyone going about his or her day doing everything that is asked? Not asking any questions. Everything by the book.”
Her body tensed and her energy stood the hairs on the back of his neck and arms. Her scent, wild and tamed, fresh and old tightened his gut. He felt his eyes grow from chocolate brown to black then red almost instantly. Demetrius turned his head, as he sucked in a lung full of air and held it there until her scent singed his lungs. He straightened his back and blew it out in one long slow puff.
“Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? By the book.” She glanced in his direction. “I’ve never been rebellious.” She mumbled, her voice low and unsteady. It almost cracked.
“Yeah, sure, by the book and it drives you out of your mind, doesn’t it? How often does your skin itch for excitement?” He asked a question he didn’t expect her to answer. “Your talent has been wasted for the last time.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will.” He rotated his neck, rounded his shoulders and stepped to the door. He pulled it open. “Parker!”
The same man who walked her into the office materialized.
“Show Stormy. . .” a subtle laugh rumbled from his throat, “Stormy Knight where she bunks and get her stored away.”
“Right away, Captain.” Parker grabbed her duffle from the floor and held the door open.
Knight seized her bag from his hand, “I don’t need you to carry my gear,” her voice firm. She paused at the door, turned and faced the captain. “Nothing to laugh at, sir, family name. But if you ask me, a curse.”
More than you know.
Demetrius’ skin had begun to boil as soon as Stormy walked into his office. It itched from inside out making him want to tear it away from his bones to scratch it. If he hadn’t been alpha he’d have had no control over the pull and would have changed at that very instant. No woman and he meant no woman had ever had that effect on him. Only the alpha to his alpha could pull the beast from him.
Stormy was his.
She disappeared behind the closed door. Father Kenny stepped out of the shadows, walked over to the chair and sat down. “She’s a tough one, not like the others.”
“This is what I was telling you. They weren’t … alpha.”
“You’re going to have to be careful. Take it easy. Slow.”
The Captain arched an eyebrow and shot him a confused look. Father Kenny placed his index finger under his eye and tugged on the lower lid. Good. Kenny hadn’t noticed the firmness stretching against the fabric of his pants. Heat flooded his body when Stormy entered the office. Demetrius felt his flesh rise as soon as a whiff of her scent fractured his shields in one quick stab and settled into his brain. He’d wanted to take her right then and there. Push everyone out of his office and lay her across his desk. Her strength was going to be trouble.
Demetrius drew in a deep breath, held it for a brief second and let it out slowly. “She has power.” He rubbed his temples. “Her aura stood the hairs on my arms.” He unconsciously stroked his hand down its length.
Father Kenny leaned in and lowered his voice. “Are you sure?”
“The dream torments her. It’s strong.” He closed his eyes and inhaled a lung full of air and captured the subtle scent that was Stormy.
“How much time do we have?”
“Eight full moons, maybe less.” The remnants of energy pricked its way down his back. A subtle frown he didn’t let hit his eyes tugged at the corners of his mouth. He didn’t like the way it settled in the pit of his stomach and twitched the muscles in his thighs and groin. He closed his eyes to consider the possibilities. “What do you think?”
Father Kenny laughed. It was light, almost a chuckle. “Like you said … it was time.”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

W.I.N.E.


W.I.N.E. Women In Natural Essence Book Club.
I spent the evening with WINE today. They had chosen my book, Masquerade as their January selection and asked me to attend their meeting. We met at the Terra Restaurant in Hampton, Va at the Peninsula Town Center (my new favorite place. We ate and yes, drank wine. What a wonderful group of women they are. I'm not just saying that because they loved my book either. They are honest, down to earth and real. They each took a turn discussing the book, what they liked, didn't like, who they liked the best and who they didn't. On numerous occasions a comment would open to a flourish of questions, comments and ponderings. Totally cool in my book. They also asked about up coming books and wanted to know when the sequel to Masquerade would be out. Now that was interesting. I've been thinking about a sequel but the sequel wasn't talking to me. It is now. These wonderful women tossed idea after idea at me. They told me what they would love to see and and not see. Their ideas were so profound I had to pull out paper and start taking notes. Now how is that for productive gatherings. Here are some of the things they said about Masquerade. "I could have read a sequal immediately."I was reading something else and kept going back to Masquerade," "The characters are real." "I give it an strong 10," "Elijah never let Samantha's hardness stop him. I liked that," "Elijah was sure of himself, knows what he wants but also had a humble side." Thanks WINE. Keep up the wonderful work ladies and I will keep you posted on my progress.

Remembering Friends


What a wonderful day. There's nothing better than old friends gathering around a table and talking about the good times we had together. Back in December I received a card from a friend I used to work with when I first graduated nursing school. Yes, I've known her just that long. She was getting the crew back together. hehehe. We all worked together on the PCU (Progressive Cardiac Unit) at Riverside Medical Center in Newport News when my professional nursing career started back in 1985. Yikes, that's a long time ago. Some of us made it to the lunch, some didn't. I hadn't seen a couple of these friends since I got married 12 years ago and there were a couple I hadn't seen since I left the hospital in 1990. We talked, we laughed and we remembered the ones no longer with us. (we miss you Sylvia) Geez, Hazel, Evelyn, Shirley, Mary Ann, Alice, Rena, Reva, our boss lady Judy and myself made up the motly crew today. Now, instead of brand new nurses, green and ready to change the world we are seasoned with adult children, grand children and marrages still going strong, some not and missing spouses taken from us. We all got a kick out of Mary Ann giving some of the others a strange look as they talked about hot flashes and the dreaded menopause. I told her to sit by me cause I'm not there yet. LOL. One thing we all agreed upon, we really need to get together more often.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Trailer

I have a new book trailer. Check it out on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?V=V-mPV7D-RjE

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hum, its time

You know its time to stop writing for the night when your husband comes out and ask you, "how's your husband." Now I must confess I thought he was asking about himself. After all, who wouldn't. So I respond with the approprate, "you are fine." Why did he start laughing and say, "not me, him," and pointed to the lap top. Aw come on now. When a writer is in the writing mode, everything pales around them. At least it does for me. But hey, I cooked dinner today which was saying a lot. I don't get much of that in these days. But who can blame me. I work Monday thru Friday 8-4pm. Its only the two of us so why cook when there are so many restaurants and food joints along the way home. But I cooked tonight so that should get me an A+. I baked pork chops. I made, and mind you, from scratch, mac and cheese and I cooked peas. He likes peas so I cooked them for him. And mind you, I didn't even burn the food this time like I did the other day when I was writing. I put some poor chicken in the oven. That poor chicken didn't know what hit it. When I pulled it out I tried to convince myself it was blackened chicken. He didn't buy it. But anyway, today I got some good work done. I wrote. I answered emails. I checked and read my yahoo group posts and I wrote some more. And there was a good dinner to finish it off. I guess I better stop writing here and go check on my other hubby.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Everyone looked familiar. Everyone looked like strangers. Stormy woke up every night with a scream torn from her throat, blood covering her body and raw flesh under the nails. She soon realized, she was not in Kansas anymore. The nightmare was back.

Conspiracy…
Unbeknownst to her, at the first full moon after her thirtieth birthday the curse would manifest itself. The curse that says, if she can embrace her beast, she can break the curse. One problem, the concept that she is Lycan has been kept from her all of her life.

Betrayal…
Alpha Demetrius Perry, fire Captain to stations two-two, whose gentle eyes and soft smile only slightly masks the strength of his resolve is anything but what he says he is… a friend.

Destiny…
Secrets abound, how will Demetrius awaken his Sleeping Beauty and guide her to her place as Alpha female and queen to his king when he’s not sure if he wants the curse broken.
How deep will her love run? Can his love for her destroy the resolve she has sworn to uphold? As their worlds collide, who will survive?

EXCERPT
“Demetri, you shouldn’t have awakened her.” Father Kenny swiveled in the chair as he tugged at the starched white Episcopalian collar that was too tight around his neck.
His expression flat and voice as calm as always as he relaxed his body against the leather and intertwined his fingers together at the nape of his neck.
Captain Demetrius Perry looked past him to the clock on the far wall. His eyes unreadable and mystical, gave nothing away. He glanced at Father Kenny through a veiled darkness none of the pack understood. Didn’t want to.
“It was time.”
“What if she’s not?”
“She is.”
“And if she refuses?”
He didn’t want to think of the implication of her refusing. He glared at Father Kenny but looked past him. “Then I die."

Captain Demetrius Perry of Fire Station Two-Two, closed his eyes, sucked in a deep breath and let it out on a rush of air. His heartbeat escalating in his chest and pressing against his ribs sent once forbidden sensations surging through his body. He didn’t like the feelings surging through his body. If Stormy Knight made him feel this way and she was a door away, what would happen when she was in front of him?

He’d seen Stormy numerous times, too many to count. She pulled him to her with such strength he had to have her. Have her near him. Become a part of him and vice versa. Demetrius had been in her dreams, her thoughts. He knew more about her than he wished. Private things no one should have been privy too, but somehow she came to him in his sleep, sharing dreams, desires, passions, and lust. Shivering inward, he tucked his feelings and unfamiliar emotions back down to where they wouldn’t reach up and grab at his gut.

Pushing up from the over sized desk, Demetrius walked to the far wall and threw back the heavy curtains hiding the window. Father Kenny’s hand flung up to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight suddenly illuminating the room; an uncomfortable frown twisted his face.

Demetrius thought about Father Kenny’s words for a moment. He’s been right on more than one occasion in the past, but not this time. Kenny, the historian of the wolf. His comrade. Priest. Friend. He was the first person Demetrius met when he joined the force and would probably be the last he saw. Kenny had spent years, almost a decade teaching, and guiding his pack. Sheltering them through the many storms their minds went through and their hearts. When they couldn’t confide in anyone else they confided in Father Kenny.

The captain spoke over his shoulder, “She’s here.”
“And, you know this how?” Father Kenny straightened his back, looked from the captain to the closed door of the office and back to the captain.
Demetrius turned his head toward the cleric, placed his index finger alongside his nose and tapped it slowly.
“Ah yes,” Father Kenny pushed up from the chair and strode over to the opposite side of the room. “The proverbial beacon. How stupid of me to forget.”
The loud repetitious rap on the door signaled her arrival.
“One day your senses are going to fool you and I’m going to be there to make witness.”
“Captain Demetrius,” the door slid open. “Firefighter Knight,” Firefighter Parker announced.
The door opened the remainder of the way and two people entered.
Knight strode in with confidence, dropping her duffle at her feet with a thud. The other man backed out of the room and pulled the door shut behind him.
She stood at attention, gaze locked, body stiff, arms straight at her side, “Firefighter Knight reporting for duty, Sir.”
Her nervousness danced along Demetrius’ skin sending flutters of anticipation through his stomach. He wanted to smile at her strength, stubbornness, but didn’t.
“At ease, Knight. There’s no room for formalities in this fire station.”
She relaxed her legs a fraction and clasped her hands together behind her back.
“Lighten up and take a seat.” He bore his gaze into her… testing, but she refused to look away. “I’d rather stand, sir.” Her shoulders loosened and she let out a quiet breath.
Captain Demetrius Perry’s expression stilled and his gaze cut from her to Father Kenny. Pulling a file out of the drawer, he opened it and began to read its contents. A minute passed before he closed it, then looked up and caught her gaze.
“Extensive. You are an excellent firefighter, but you could be better if--”
“Captain, may I speak freely.” Knight cut him off.
“As free as you want. Like I said there are no formalities here.” He settled back into the soft leather of the chair.
“I don’t understand what I did to get transferred . . .here.” She took a step toward the seat facing the desk. “Am I being reprimanded?” She folded her body into the chair and clasped her hands together in her lap.
He let out a heady laugh. “Punished, is that what you think? This is the best damn fire station in the state,” slapping his open hand on the desk. The sound loud and sharp sliced through the air. “We are the toughest, meanest, bad assesses around. There’s a waiting list to come here.”
Unfolding his body from behind the desk, he took a few steps toward her and spoke into her ear. “I requested your transfer. You have talents that were being wasted at the other station. You used to be a hot shot until they stuck you over at one-oh-one. Put those crap ideas of desk jobs and research out of your head. Don’t you get tired of everyone going about his or her day doing everything that is asked? Not asking any questions. Everything by the book.”
Her body tensed and her energy stood the hairs on the back of his neck and arms. Her scent, wild and tamed, fresh and old tightened his gut. He felt his eyes grow from chocolate brown to black then red almost instantly. Demetrius turned his head, as he sucked in a lung full of air and held it there until her scent singed his lungs. He straightened his back and blew it out in one long slow puff.
“Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? By the book.” She glanced in his direction. “I’ve never been rebellious.” She mumbled, her voice low and unsteady. It almost cracked.
“Yeah, sure, by the book and it drives you out of your mind, doesn’t it? How often does your skin itch for excitement?” He asked a question he didn’t expect her to answer. “Your talent has been wasted for the last time.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will.” He rotated his neck, rounded his shoulders and stepped to the door. He pulled it open. “Parker!”
The same man who walked her into the office materialized.
“Show Stormy. . .” a subtle laugh rumbled from his throat, “Stormy Knight where she bunks and get her stored away.”
“Right away, Captain.” Parker grabbed her duffle from the floor and held the door open.
Knight seized her bag from his hand, “I don’t need you to carry my gear,” her voice firm. She paused at the door, turned and faced the captain. “Nothing to laugh at, sir, family name. But if you ask me, a curse.”
More than you know.
Demetrius’ skin had begun to boil as soon as Stormy walked into his office. It itched from inside out making him want to tear it away from his bones to scratch it. If he hadn’t been alpha he’d have had no control over the pull and would have changed at that very instant. No woman and he meant no woman had ever had that effect on him. Only the alpha to his alpha could pull the beast from him.
Stormy was his.
She disappeared behind the closed door. Father Kenny stepped out of the shadows, walked over to the chair and sat down. “She’s a tough one, not like the others.”
“This is what I was telling you. They weren’t … alpha.”
“You’re going to have to be careful. Take it easy. Slow.”
The Captain arched an eyebrow and shot him a confused look. Father Kenny placed his index finger under his eye and tugged on the lower lid. Good. Kenny hadn’t noticed the firmness stretching against the fabric of his pants. Heat flooded his body when Stormy entered the office. Demetrius felt his flesh rise as soon as a whiff of her scent fractured his shields in one quick stab and settled into his brain. He’d wanted to take her right then and there. Push everyone out of his office and lay her across his desk. Her strength was going to be trouble.
Demetrius drew in a deep breath, held it for a brief second and let it out slowly. “She has power.” He rubbed his temples. “Her aura stood the hairs on my arms.” He unconsciously stroked his hand down its length.
Father Kenny leaned in and lowered his voice. “Are you sure?”
“The dream torments her. It’s strong.” He closed his eyes and inhaled a lung full of air and captured the subtle scent that was Stormy.
“How much time do we have?”
“Eight full moons, maybe less.” The remnants of energy pricked its way down his back. A subtle frown he didn’t let hit his eyes tugged at the corners of his mouth. He didn’t like the way it settled in the pit of his stomach and twitched the muscles in his thighs and groin. He closed his eyes to consider the possibilities. “What do you think?”
Father Kenny laughed. It was light, almost a chuckle. “Like you said … it was time.”

Emma Awards

I am honored to be a finalist for an Emma Award. My book, Masquerade, is a finalist for Best Suspense and Book of the Year. Wow! I can't wait until I get to Romance Slam Jam. It is going to be a blast as readers and authors converge on Baltimore Maryland for what I know will be a fantastic Slam Jam. It will be a time to meet new friends and catch up with old. Good luck to all Emma Finalist. See you soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

Oh my goodness!!! the holiday season has come and gone. I was reminded today that I hadn't blogged in a bit so I figured I'd better get on it. But what can I say, life does that sometimes. My Christmas holiday was turned upside down and twisted right and left. First I had Grinchella on my back and she was hard to shake. I wasn't entirely sure why I felt so down. Usually the holidays find me bubbly and cheerful. I think it was because we really didn't decorate the house much at all. Our plans were to go to Chattanooga, TN and spend Christmas with hubby's sister. So why put up all of the lights and dazzle if you aren't going to be here... right? Well, the trip got canceled due to some unexpected car repairs and husband admitted he wasn't feeling well. The car we can deal with but the last thing you want is to end up sick in a foreign country. Opps, I did say Chattanooga. So now everything is toppled over. Did that mean I had to cook dinner. Darn. I tried the lets do something different and go out to dinner. He actually went for it. Too bad not a single restaurant was going to be open. I think it was a trick. The holiday turned out to be rather nice. My sister and I was summoned to the old neighborhood for a little get together on Christmas eve. Wow, that was fun. The old neighborhood looked the same. Are we really the only ones who changed, moved away. I think so. Our old house was still there, the elementry school and local corner store. Just thinking about it now almost brings nostalgic tears to my eyes. We had a good childhood. Yes we did. But what about the future. What does the new year bring? I stopped making resolutions a long time ago but I would like to put a few personal betterment ideas out there. I've got to get back into the exercise mode. I did really good last year when I was training for the 60 mile walk. I walked 6 days a week to train. I'm gonna get back in that mode. I've got to get back into the major author mode as well. Promo, write, promo and write some more. So it's out there for all to see and hear. I'M GONNA DO IT. What do you have on your agenda for 2011. Lets do it together.