#WriteWed Behind the Scenes of THE PERFECT MIX

THE PERFECT MIX Contemporary RomanceThis Wednesday I’m offering you a little behind the scenes look at the location for Bianca and Rey’s story in The Perfect Mix which will be released shortly.

The Perfect Mix will also be available in the Lucky 7 Bad Boys Contemporary Romance Box Set!

My hubby and I always have a Christmas Eve errand to run, namely, to head up to Union City to get Cuban goodies we can’t get locally. That entails taking a shortcut through Weehawkin so we can get a glimpse of New York City. We both love the city!

One of our trips to this area was when we were in the midst of renovations to our current house. We had decided to redo the kitchen since the stove had shorted out, drawer fronts were coming off in our hands, and the 1960s yellow linoleum and missing wall behind the fake brick paneling were finally too much to handle.

As we reached Hamilton Park in Weehawkin, we stopped to snap some photos of the city. It was a day much like this one!

Hamilton Park, Weehawkin

Photo Credit: NederlandsNederlands@en.wikipedia.com

When we got back into the car, we passed by a building at the end of the park. It seemed empty at the time and had been a restaurant at one point and it made me wonder, what would it be like to take over that space with those fabulous views and renovate it?

Well, as you can imagine, The Perfect Mix was born. In this story, Bianca is a chef who, together with her two partners, is undertaking just that kind of task. The hero, Rey Ramos, is the contractor who has been recommended to them and the sparks between Rey and Bianca are instantaneous!

Rey takes on the task of renovating the restaurant, but along the way, has to deal with falling in love with Bianca and having to share a very painful secret with her.

Anyway, here’s another photo from the same location. It was really overcast and cloudy this year, but I love the way this photo came out!

View of New York City from Weehawkin

Dark Obsession with Terri Molina

Dark ObsessionWe’ve got a visiting kind of day today as I take a moment to guest blog with my friend and fellow author, Laura Kaye! Come check out some behind the scenes info on THE CLAIMED at Laura’s blog.

But that’s not the only visiting going on today. I’m lucky to have with me my friend and fellow author Terri Molina. Terri is a native Texan, born and raised in Southeast Texas. She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America, including the Northwest Houston Chapter and Desert Rose Chapter in Phoenix, Arizona. She writes multicultural romantic suspense, blending in the flavor of the Southwest with her Mexican heritage. After years of living a nomadic life with her Coast Guard husband, she now resides in Southeast Arizona with her husband, four children and two dogs. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading, singing karaoke with the kids, and spending time with family and friends.

Terri is here to share some tidbits with us about her new paranormal release DARK OBSESSION. Doesn’t that title just give you goosebumps?

So without further ado, here’s Terri with a little bit more about DARK OBSESSION!

Blurb

Ramon (Ray) Chavez, a 33 year old farmer from the Rio Grande Valley, doesn’t believe in visions or omens or the mysticism of his Mexican/Indian heritage. When he’s awakened by the spirit of his great-grandmother with a message that something is coming, Ray passes it off as a bad dream. But he may just reconsider his position when he finds Lexie stranded on the edge of town, in search of a new life. Ray feels an instant attraction, as well as a connection to the skittish young woman, and he pursues a relationship with her. But what Lexie doesn’t tell Ray or his family is that she is on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend who may be more powerful than even she wants to believe. When Lexie is assaulted by an unseen force, they learn that the man she is hiding from is a master of the dark arts and his obsession with Lexie goes beyond his need to control her; he wants to possess her soul as well. As their past lives parallel, Lexie’s only hope for salvation is in Ray’s hands. But can he accept his destiny in time to save the woman he loves as well as his own life?

Excerpt

Sylvia dropped onto the kitchen chair and scowled at her brother. She’d rushed straight from work after her grandmother called and told her about their new visitor. She couldn’t help but wonder if it were the same visitor her cards had been warning her about for the past week and even after she voiced this concern Ray still had the nerve to patronize her.

“She’s not some stray puppy you picked up from the side of the road, Ray,” she said. “I’m just saying you don’t know anything about her.”

Ray leaned against the counter, crossing his legs at the ankles, and sent her a crooked grin. “Damn. And I was really looking forward to teaching her a few tricks.”

“Stop thinking with your glands and think with your head, Big Brother,” Sylvia snapped.

“I’ve been thinking with my glands since I was fourteen. It’s a hard habit to break.”

Sylvia curled her lip at him and turned to her grandmother for support. She had sensed a mal puesta in the young woman and performed a limpia to heal her. It was a ritual they often worked for the families in town who came to see them about their curses. The inflicted would lie on a small cot and her grandmother would wave an egg over them, chanting a series of novenas.

She did this same cleansing on the young woman in Ray’s old bedroom. When she finished she took the egg and cracked it into a glass of salt water. The egg sizzled and cooked, curling its way to the surface like a snake trying to escape the flames of hell.

Second Excerpt

The sky had darkened throughout the night,the glimmer of stars now concealed by an overcast sky. Although rain hadn’t been forecasted, a thick electrical charge hung in the air, bringing the foreboding feeling of a storm.

The music from the street dance faded as they moved farther away from the festival.

The streetlights hummed and flickered, casting long, daunting shadows in front of them. The breeze picked up, rustling the leaves in the trees.

“I didn’t mean to make you leave the festival so early,” Lexie said to break the awkward silence.

“You didn’t. I was getting a little tired myself,” Ray said. The warmth of her hand kindled a spark inside him that shimmered throughout his body.It was becoming an all too familiar sensation lately. He wondered if she could feel it vibrating through him.

“Besides,” he said as they reached his truck parked behind the Hidalgo Savings and Loan. “I’m more interested in spending time with you.” He circled his arm around her waist and edged her closer to him as he unlocked the passenger door.

She looked up at him and blinked. “You are?”

The husky whisper of her voice was like fuel to his fire. He swallowed hard against the knot in his throat, transfixed by the dark glint of Lexie’s eyes. Desire and need blazed so quickly through him, it was a wonder he didn’t melt from the heat. He didn’t notice he’d moved and was surprised to discover his hand on the curve of her cheek.She exhaled a shuddering breath. He drew his eyes down to her lips. Full and inviting. He curved his hand around her neck and urged her closer. His body tensed as her eyes fluttered closed. The anticipation of her taste pulsed through him. He lowered his mouth to hers and a low feral growl from behind broke the spell Ray had been positive he was falling under.

WOW! What a teaser! Thanks for sharing that Terri! If you want to find out more about Terri and check out her other releases, you can visit her at www.terrimolina.com.

#Giveaway and some Behind the Scenes Secrets about THE CLAIMED

First of all, don’t forget that you have until Friday to leave a comment on Dorothy’s Virtual Blog Tour Blog to possibly win a free Blog Tour!

But now, how about some Behind the Scenes Secrets about THE CLAIMED!

This is a snippet from the book at a restaurant in Avon-by-Sea. The restaurant is a real place and you can visit it here: http://www.columnsnj.net/

The Columns was a perfect choice, Victoria thought as she sat across the intimate width of the table opposite Christopher. The summer sun had begun to set, creating rosy pink and blue cotton candy clouds along the beachfront. The golden hues cast by the lights along the edges of the veranda and the votive candle in the middle of the table bathed Christopher’s face. Thanks to the dimness of the light, she could detect the thin aura surrounding him. Too weak to be full Hunter power, which relieved her somewhat, but not entirely, since Shadows could hide their energy fields also.

Here’s a picture of The Columns. Can’t you just picture Victoria and Christopher sitting there, dusk settling in, the two of them cozy at a small table? Sigh. Can’t wait to go eat there again!

The Columns, Avon-by-Sea, New Jersey

Here’s another little teaser for you down below! This scene takes place in the Shark River and yes, in part it is named for the sharks in the area. Fresh water sharks you may be wondering? Actually, there are fresh water sharks in some parts of the world, but the Shark River is filled with salt water for the most part. In fact, some consider that this area is actually a tidal basin since it’s fed by four small streams that provide little fresh water and the Shark River Inlet provides large amounts of salt water into the bay area. This is a picture of the Shark River Inlet and the Shark River Bridge which is a drawbridge that allows larger boats to come and go.

Shark River Inlet and Shark River Bridge, New Jersey

In this scene deep in the Shark River, Shadow Hunter Christopher is playing around with his energy and shapeshifting abilities. Moments later, Christopher will meet Light Huntress Victoria face-to-face for the first time!

He swam out until he was in about thirty feet of water, released the diving flag, and then sank below the surface. As luck would have it, a small school of brown-green weakfish were spawning along the estuary floor. With a gush of energy, he formed a vortex and directed it downward. It acted like a vacuum cleaner, sucking up a large fish and bringing it up to his grasp through the swirling tunnel of water.


Two feet of angry fish squirmed and flailed in his hands until he sucked in a bit of its life force and it weakened. Focusing his gathering, he took only a smidgen of the fish’s vitality within him. He needed the weakfish’s energy to partially shapeshift so he could stay below the surface long enough to do the exchange needed to rein in the demands of his Equinox.


He forced the fish’s life force through his body, and his power drained while he directed it toward his throat. He gritted his teeth and battled the pain as his skin tore open and the muscles beneath the surface reformed, developing gills. Blood vessels rerouted themselves to those new organs, creating an avenue for the oxygen to flow from the gills throughout his body. He grew lightheaded for a moment, but then the outpouring of oxygen flooded through his gills and revitalized him.


With the skill of a surgeon, he dissected a piece of the power he had absorbed and directed it to his eyes. He created a thin membrane with the life force to protect them against the salt water.


Satisfied with the adaptations to his eyes and lungs, Christopher stopped his shapeshifting. He released the fish and expelled as much air as he could from his lungs. With nothing to keep him buoyant, he easily drifted down to the sandy bottom, scattering the swarm of fish when he settled in the midst of their school. Crossing his legs, he assumed a traditional Lotus position and opened his eyes.


I hope you enjoyed these Behind the Scenes moments from THE CLAIMED

Thursday 13 – THE FIFTH KINGDOM

THE FIFTH KINGDOM Romantic Suspense from Carina PressA big thanks to Xakara for inspiring today’s Thursday 13, namely 13 (okay maybe 14) paragraphs from my upcoming Carina Press romantic suspense release, THE FIFTH KINGDOM.

Just a little setup for you. The hero, Bill Santiago, is a sexy CIA Agent who is investigating the disappearance of an archeologist and a possible connection to a Mexican terrorist group. The heroine, Deanna Vasquez, is the daughter of the missing woman, but she has a love/hate relationship with her mom, who abandoned her years earlier.

Bill and Deanna travel to Mexico together to try and put an end to the possible threat against both her mother and the United States. Along the way, Bill and Deanna find unexpected danger, namely, a threat to their hearts as love blossoms between them.

As for this short excerpt, if it isn’t hot enough where you are today, today’s Thursday 13 may change that, so you are warned that what follows is a little spicy and for a mature crowd. If you are not over 17, please do not continue. And yes, I am a tease! Please don’t be angry with me for that.
Continue reading “Thursday 13 – THE FIFTH KINGDOM”

Aztec Gold – A Paranormal Romance Novella

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll have an e-novella paranormal romance from Carina Press – AZTEC GOLD – out in the Fall of 2010.

AZTEC GOLD is a story about two archaelogists – Cynthia Guerrero and Rafael Santiago – who are radically different people. Rafael, or Rafe as he is known to friends and Cynthia, is an adventurer in the line of Indiana Jones. Totally alpha and unafraid.

Cynthia, on the other hand, prefers to stay in the safety and quiet of her job in the museum where her expertise is used to review and document ancient discoveries. Cynthia has reason to like security — as a child her famous anthropoligist parents dragged her all around the world until their untimely deaths.

But when Rafe disappears on an expedition to find an ancient Aztec temple in the Mexican jungle, Cynthia will have to face her fears – and an Aztec vampire demi-goddess – in order to discover what happened to her lover.

The inspiration for the story came from a trip that I took to Mexico as part of my day job. I was attending a conference in Mexico City and on one of the days of the conference we were able to visit Teotihuacan, a pre-Colombian city about 40 kilometers outside of Mexico City.

During its peak, Teotihuacan was thought to have held as many as 200,000 residents, although the ethnicity of those inhabitants is up for grabs. However the name Teotihuacan was given to the city by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztec centuries after the city had fallen to attacks from an assortment of invaders.

It’s an amazing place with its two pyramids – one to the sun and the other to the moon – and its long central avenue – the Avenue of the Dead – which is lined by smaller structures which the Aztecs believed to be tombs, resulting in the name of the avenue.

This is a view of the avenue and the Pyramid of the Sun from the Pyramid of the Moon.

Mexican Pyramid of the Sun and Avenue of the Dead

This is a view of the avenue and the Pyramid of the Moon from the Pyramid of the Sun.

Mexican Pyramid of the Moon and Avenue of the Dead

Despite my fear of heights, I am happy to say that I overcame that fear – much like Cynthia will fight to overcome hers – and climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. It was quite a view from there and I’ll be scanning some photos for you so you can get some first hand views of the area and the culture.

I hope you liked that Behind the Scenes info and now . . . an excerpt from AZTEC GOLD which will be available in the Fall 2010.

*****
Chapter 1

The feel of old papers called to Cynthia Guerrera the way a lover’s skin might.

Even with the gloves she wore to protect the fragile documents from the oils on her fingers, she sensed the raspy texture of the heavy parchment beneath them. Smelled the mustiness that hinted at the fact that it had been some time since these papers had seen the light of day.

At first she had been skeptical of the provenance of the documents — Missouri cornfields were not the place one expected to find a trunk filled with nearly five hundred year old Spanish papers and journals. But a Missouri cornfield was just where the trunk containing the papers and maps had been discovered when a developer had begun excavations for a new strip mall.

Setting aside the missive — one from Coronado himself to one of his seconds in command — she turned her attention to the leather bound journal of one Juan Domingo Cordero. Gingerly opening the cover, she traced her fingers over the scrawling script. The first entries in the journal had provided her with the identity of the author and the date of the documents thanks to Cordero’s meticulous notations.

With that information, she had been able to check a number of other sources to confirm that Cordero had indeed been one of Coronado’s lieutenants. When Coronado had left Mexico City in 1540 in search of the fabled Cities of Gold, Cordero had been at his side. Coronado had eventually separated from Cordero and his contingent, ordering them to search in one direction while he went in another.

Cordero’s entries in the journal carefully detailed their travels throughout the south central portion of Mexico, before his band had turned northward until they crossed the Rio Grande. Eventually the group had turned eastward and reached the Mississippi, hugging the banks of the river until it landed them in what would one day become Missouri.

Tired of their journeys and with their group decimated by a number of incidents, the Spanish conquistadors had built a small settlement a short distance from the sluggish and fertile waters of the Mississippi.

The notations in Cordero’s journal gradually diminished after that, with the conquistador’s adventures giving way to the routine of farming and family life. Eventually Cordero had stopped writing and Cynthia supposed that was when he had tucked the journals into the small wood and leather trunk together with his other papers. The trunk in turn had been put in the cellar and over time, the floods that often occurred in the area had covered Cordero’s home and the surrounding settlement with mud. Further flooding and natural events had added to the layers over the former community, hiding it from sight until the developer’s bulldozers had dug up the first hints of the earlier civilization and the trunk.

Cynthia picked up the laboratory results that had arrived that morning and which just further confirmed the age of the documents.

With that endorsement came proof of one thing, while serious doubt remained about another.

She rose and walked over to the climate-controlled locker in her office, removed a handwrought leather tube from within. Returning to her work table, she untied one end of the cylinder and removed a pliant sheet of leather from inside the tube. On the soft leather was a crudely drawn map identifying the sometimes circuitous route Cordero and his men had taken from Mexico City.

In the middle of the map, more carefully detailed than anything else, were the geographical features and path to what Cordero had believed to be one of the fabled Cities of Gold. A city supposedly inhabited by a demon who had taken away and killed nearly half a dozen of his men before Cordero had decided that no amount of lucre was worth their lives.

A hard tale to believe and yet everything else about the documents was genuine.

Worse yet, something about the map had troubled her from the moment she unrolled it onto her work station. As she had compared the various features on the map to a copy of another she had seen six months earlier, she realized there was too much coincidence to ignore.

Six months ago her lover, Dr. Rafael Santiago, had detailed to her the plans for his latest archaeological expedition — a trip to a previously unknown and unexplored Aztec temple. While on that trip with his younger brother and a team of about a dozen men, Rafe and his team had disappeared into the Mexican jungle.

For months she had been hoping for word of them, keeping faith in the belief that they were still alive. But with each month that passed, that hope was fading along with the prospect of discovering anything about her lover’s disappearance . . . until now.

Surprise Saturday!

It’s a Surprise Saturday blog because I was so busy yesterday with an assortment of things that I didn’t get to do the Fun Friday blog. Had to take my daughter to her job at 2 a.m. because she was working on Black Friday. Then headed to the shore to start filming a Director’s Cut I am doing for you so that you can see some more Behind the Scenes of SINS OF THE FLESH.

Then back to the outlets to pick up my daughter, visit family and then return to the shore for some Black Friday shopping. My daughter and I got almost all of our Christmas shopping done which is great! Now I can focus on getting ready for the holidays and also some revisions I have to do on ARDOR CALLS, the next book in THE CALLING Vampire Series.

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving! Mine was wonderful. Good food and family times. I’ll have some photos for you next week.

Before I take off for the rest of the weekend, here’s some happenings for you!

Visit me today at the Borders True Romance blog for a chance to win one of 5 copiesof SINS OF THE FLESH. Just visit this link: http://bordersblog.com/trueromance/

Don’t forget to get 25 extra entries into the contest at Bitten by Books on December 1. You can get the extra entries by RSVPing for the event. Just use this link: http://bit.ly/4TCKcE

Only two days left in the SINFUL THINGS CONTEST. Just tweet the info below or post it to your Facebook profile for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate.

    Celebrate Release of Caridad Pineiro’s SINS OF THE FLESH! RT for a chance 2 win a $50 Gift Certificate. http://bit.ly/2AZWlC