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Gabriella Hewitt – Out of the Shadows Blog Tour

I am off to the Authors After Dark Conference today and want to thank my good friend and fellow author Gabriella Hewitt for helping me out by dropping by today to discuss her latest novel! But before Gabriella spills all about her latest release, please remember that on August 11 at 9 pm I’ll be having a live video event with Rachel Kramer Bussel. We’ll be chatting about OBSESSED: EROTIC ROMANCE FOR WOMEN which is Rachel’s latest release. You can click here or use this link – http://t.wbx.me/f8qgs – to come and watch and ask questions, plus there will be some fun prizes!

Without further ado, here’s Gabriella!

The fun part of writing OUT OF THE SHADOWS based on Aztec mythology was getting to do the research. Some of the things I found out had me smiling and heralding the Aztec culture. Other things had me cringing and shaking my head.

In a way, we are not so different than the Aztec people of the past. And in another way, we are completely different.

Here is a quick comparison list of how we are alike & different:

ALIKE: Aztecs liked to eat meat and tons of it. (Throw some steak on the BBQ any day)

DIFFERENT: Aztecs ate deer, rabbits, and dogs. (Sorry but chewing on Bambi, Thumper and Fido doesn’t sound tasty to today’s modern girl.)

ALIKE: Corn tortillas on the Go! The tortilla shells were a staple of food and young women made them as a right of passage. Warriors ate them fresh or carried them on long journeys because they kept well. (Ancient Taco Bell)

DIFFERENT: Aztecs worshipped corn. Yup, they even had a corn god named Cinteotl. According to About.com contributor, Austin Cline “During the festival of Hueytozoztli, “great watch,” Cinteotl was honored in order to encourage the growth of corn. First a procession of virgins would march to the Temple of Chicomecoatl, and then an impersonator would be sacrificed.” (Nice. Wonder how that would go over with the Dept. of Agriculture today?)

ALIKE: Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! The Aztecs loved it as much as we do today. They ate it, drank it and used it as an aphrodisiac. (We’ve perfected it and made chocolate pens to write naughty messages on our lover’s body and then lick it off!!)

DIFFERENT: Chocolate was considered decadent and only for the rich. Today anyone can enjoy the delicious delicacy without fear of retribution from the gods. (If you’re really feeling rich, Hershey’s Amusement Park offers a chocolate infused mud bath. Now that sounds divine.)

In many ways we are alike and different. Definitely one thing is for certain, whether it is modern times or ancient times, Aztec Warriors are considered hot and sexy.


A wolf’s howl pierced the desert silence, causing the animals to stir restlessly in their stalls. Wolves had been reintroduced into Arizona, but she had yet to see or hear one so close to her ranch. Was it an omen?

Carolina paused in her chores to stare out the open barn door into the gathering darkness.
For a moment, she let herself get caught up in the long, solitary note. It felt like a kindred spirit. She knew loneliness intimately. Only her loneliness did not come from the vast miles of the sun-parched Sonoran desert that surrounded her, but out of the necessity to protect her goddess, her land’s secret. As one of the few amongst her people to become a guardian, her choices were limited.

The one occasion she’d invested herself in another, he’d betrayed her. She’d foolishly placed her hope and trust in Billy and she’d paid a horrendous price. Her desire to find someone to share the workload, her joy and sadness, and the burden of her secret—just as her parents had done—had blinded her to the trap she’d walked into. By the time she understood what was happening, it was too late. Her parents were dead.

Her heart weighed heavy in her chest as if it had happened recently and not five years ago. The memory of her parents lingered too close to the surface today. This had been their land, their dream, and now it was hers to fight for. She’d vowed never to fail them again. Above her own needs came the higher purpose of protecting her goddess at all costs.

Her mare, Mariposa, snorted and reared up, pulling Carolina from her thoughts. The animals had been growing edgier with each passing minute. They sensed the evil that blew in with the warm desert breeze. She berated herself for not paying more attention to them.
Goose bumps prickled her skin. Her tattoo, a gift from the goddess, began a slow burn on her shoulder, a sure sign that evil was approaching. She felt the heat radiating through the fabric of her denim shirt. The last time she’d experienced the odd sensation, her world had fallen apart.

Cautiously, she turned her head, seeking the source.

Her breath came out in a gasp.

Less than ten feet away sat a magnificent gray wolf, watching her. Waiting.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS releases August 16th. You can pre-order it now at Samhain Publishing

About the author:

Gabriella Hewitt is the pen name of creative writing talents Sasha Tomaszycki and Patrizia M.J. Hayashi. Together they weave tales of romantic suspense and dangerously sensual paranormals. Check out the website www.GabriellaHewitt.com to find out about upcoming releases and events on their blog.

Blood, Smoke & Mirrors with Robyn Bachar

I want to welcome Robyn Bachar today who will be telling us a little bit about her new paranormal release from Samhain Publishing: BLOOD, SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Welcome, Robyn!

I love Urban Fantasy. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and my neighborhood is filled with brick houses that all look pretty much the same. On the long walk home from school I always wondered what went on inside those houses. What secret dramas were hidden behind those boring brick exteriors?

As an Urban Fantasy writer, I can take those secrets and give them a far more fantastic spin. Instead of just an affair, it’s an affair between two shapeshifters. Two shifters from rival packs, afraid of being caught and kicked out, or even killed. That creepy house with the owner that only comes out at night? Clearly a vampire. A vampire on the run from a terrible past—why else would he spend his unlife in Berwyn, where nothing ever happens? The family with the White Sox flag on their porch? Obviously a group of evil sorcerers bent on world domination.

Okay, maybe not, but I love the idea of taking a fantastic creature and giving it a crappy day job and a used car, and then telling it to save the world. In Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, my heroine is a witch who works full time as a waitress. Sure she has powerful magic, but that won’t pay her rent or the rest of her college loans. Having magic doesn’t make her life easier—in fact it’s made it a lot harder. And thanks to me, her bad days are about to get a lot worse.


Even a bad witch deserves a second chance.

Wrongly accused of using her magic to harm, the closest Catherine Baker comes to helping others is serving their coffee. Life as an outcast is nothing new, thanks to her father’s reputation, but the injustice stings. Especially since the man she loved turned her in.

Now the man has the gall to show up and suggest she become the next Titania? She’d rather wipe that charming grin off his face with a pot of hot java to the groin.

Alexander Duquesne has never faltered in his duties as a guardian—until now. The lingering guilt over Cat’s exile and the recent death of his best friend have shaken his dedication. With the murder of the old Titania, the faerie realm teeters on the brink of chaos. His new orders: keep Cat alive at all costs.

Hunted by a powerful stranger intent on drawing her into an evil web, Cat reluctantly accepts Lex’s protection and the resurrected desire that comes along with it. Lex faces the fight of his life to keep her safe…and win her back. If they both survive.

Warning: This book contains one tough and snarky witch, one gorgeous guardian, explicit blood drinking, magician sex, gratuitous violence against vampires and troublemaking Shakespearean faeries.


For the entertainment portion of our evening Lex bravely—or perhaps foolishly—decided to teach the faeries how to play Texas hold ’em poker. The only cards I own are Tarot cards, but he’d brought a deck of playing cards with him in his gym bag, and we used pretzels and chocolates as poker chips. The man displayed the patience of a saint as he tutored my cousins in the basics of the game—I’d learned it when we’d dated, though we’d bet clothing instead of snacks.

Tybalt was enthralled, but Portia was slow to warm to the idea until she figured out how to cheat by magically marking the cards. Poker ended soon after that, and we turned to the Game Show Network for entertainment. Few things are quite as entertaining as watching millennia-old frost faeries shout “No deal, Howie!” at your television screen.

It was a welcome break, and I could almost imagine this was a normal night of fun with my cousins. The addition of Lex didn’t hurt, but it added to the strangeness. He was acting like the Lex I remembered—funny, caring, charming. I wanted to stay angry with him, but having him stand steadfast by my side today made that difficult. He was there when I needed him, which felt weird after what had occurred between us in the past.

A little after midnight I kicked the faeries out and sent them home so Lex and I could get a good night’s sleep before our big day tomorrow. Not that I predicted being able to sleep with the cold dread that’d settled into my stomach, but I was willing to give it a try. I gathered up the empty drinking glasses and the bag of chips we’d devoured, and brought them into the kitchen. When I returned to the living room for the second round of mess, I found the lights had been switched off. Barely visible, Lex stood at the window, staring into the night as he held the curtains aside.

“You need to see this.”

“What is it?”

“Might want to put your shields up in case they try to take a shot at you,” he advised as I crossed the room. With a deep breath I put my shields in place, feeling the energy snap around me and then continue its new odd habit of stretching to include Lex.

“How are you doing that?” I looked up at him, confused.

“Doin’ what?”

“You keep getting through my shields.”

“Huh. Probably ’cause your subconscious knows I’m not going to harm you, so there’s no need to keep me out. Those vamps outside, on the other hand, they’re probably not here to play cards.” Lex pointed into the darkness, and I looked out the window.

“I don’t see anything.” Squinting, I pushed my glasses up on my nose and strained to see what he indicated.

My eyes slowly adjusted to the rainy night. The streetlights had been doused, and this time it wasn’t my fault.

“There.” Stepping close to me, he gestured again. “Two in gangways across the street, one behind that oak tree.” Following Lex’s lead, I managed to spot three figures hiding in the shadows, and they were definitely not my neighbors.

“What are they doing?” I asked, my voice dropping to a tense whisper.

“Waitin’. They can’t get in, so they’re waitin’ for us to come out. Sooner or later they’ll get impatient and figure out a way to force their way in. In fact, I’m surprised they haven’t tried to set your building on fire and smoke us out.”

“They can’t, I have a ward against that too. Fire here can’t grow any bigger than a stove burner.”

“Damn, you are good. Still, with those vultures outside it’s not safe here anymore, Cat. You’ll have to stay somewhere else from now on.” With his point made, he let the curtains fall back into place, plunging the room into darkness, with only the light from the kitchen to see by.

“You’re right,” I reluctantly agreed.

“You could come stay with me.”

“With you?” Surprised by the suggestion, I turned to look up at him. We were standing so close I could feel the heat of his body and the light brush of his breath against my face. Nervous, I took a deep breath and unintentionally inhaled the familiar, unique scent of him. My heartbeat drowned out the steady patter of rain against the windows. With an amazing display of willpower I resisted the urge to bolt, knowing I’d only trip over something (like the cats that were still standing guard over Lex) and break my neck. Instead I took a slow step backward. “Why, you think it’d be easier to babysit me on your own turf?”

“I’m not babysitting you. Really, I’m protecting them from you,” he teased. Grinning, he reached up and tucked a stray lock of hair that’d escaped from my braid back into place behind my ear.

“Thanks, that makes me feel so much better,” I joked, a blush heating my face.

“I try. But seriously, Cat, I’ll be here as long as you need me.” Lex looked down at me, seeming sincere, and I shook my head at him.

“Don’t, Lex. You’re only here on orders. You’ll be gone and on to the next as soon as this assignment is over.”

“What if I don’t want that?”

“What if I do? I’m all for the life-saving thing, but I don’t want you in my life again.”

“Are you sure of that?”

Scowling, I took a steadying breath and prepared to launch into an explanation of the myriad reasons why I wasn’t about to go through another round of heartbreak with him, but before I could speak he leaned down and brushed a kiss across my lips.

A warm tingling suffused my body as soon as our lips met, the sort of electric reaction I usually associate with casting magic, but much, much better. He was hesitant at first, probably afraid I’d slap him or zot him with a spell, but when I didn’t object he slowly began to deepen the kiss. My knees went weak as my good sense vanished, and I slipped my arms around him to steady myself. Lex held me close as he continued to kiss me, and I leaned into him. I’d forgotten how well we fit together. He sighed, as though my lips were delicious and he savored them.

“This is a bad idea,” I murmured.

“No, this is a good idea.” Lex nudged me back toward the couch, and I sat down in a less-than-graceful flop. Next he joined me and drew me into his arms.

“Oh yeah? How?” My hormones were obviously happy to see him, but I still had a little bit of brainpower left, enough to be skeptical of the situation.

“Because letting you go was a bad idea. I don’t want to make that mistake again.” His voice was low and strained, and I wished it wasn’t so dark so I could see his expression. I sighed, a mix of old pain and new uncertainty, but he kissed me again and I stopped arguing.

I relaxed into the embrace, returning the kiss passionately. I felt better instantly—safe, warm, desired. Lex stroked my braided hair and let his hand rest at the small of my back. I ran my own hands up and down his back, debating whether or not it would be a good idea to tug his shirt off, but then I felt him unhooking my bra. My pulse jumped, and my magic decided to take that opportunity to wreak havoc on a pair of unsuspecting table lamps. With an electric sizzle followed by two sharp pops the light bulbs flashed and exploded. Startled, we jumped apart, the mood broken. We stared at each other, and I felt a guilty blush heat my face.

“Cat—” he started, and I held a hand up to stop him before he could say anything further.

“I don’t want to hear it. I’m going to get some new bulbs, and we’re going to pretend that never happened.”

Robyn Bachar
Every bad witch has a story…
Available now from Samhain Publishing

Don’t forget to come visit me at Gabriella Hewitt’s Blog today for her March Madness Blog Tour!

Monday March Madness!

Today’s Monday Guilty Pleasure is familiar to all Gleeks! He’s the sexy bad boy on GLEE – Mark Salling! Gotta love a guy who can truly carry off a Mohawk as well as sing and dance!

Hope you enjoy him as well.

Got some news for you as we continue this month long March celebration! But first, a little catch-up on good news. The winner of the guest blog with Katie Reus was Diane! Please e-mail me your postal address and e-mail so we can send your prize!

Also, the winner of the Jean Hart Stewart prize is Tammy Rammy. Please e-mail me your postal address and e-mail so we can send your prize.

Coming up tomorrow we have a stop on the BLOOD, SMOKE AND MIRRORS tour. Robyn Bachar is going to be chatting with us about her paranormal release from Samhain Publishing. You can follow the other stops on the tour by clicking here.

Then take a moment to visit with me tomorrow at my friend Gabriella Hewitt’s Blog during her March Madness Blog Tour. Check out the other blogs that are a part of the tour:

March 14 Marcia James (PR Consultant and Author)
March 15 Caridad Pineiro
March 16 Stacy Boyd (Editor, Harlequin Enterpirise)
March 17 Aurelia Flores (Motivational Speaker)
March 18 Maggie Nash (Erotic Romance Author)
March 21 Stan Trybulski (Mystery & Crime Author)
March 22 Linda Thomas-Sundstrom (Harlequin Nocturne Author)
March 23 Jane Holland (Editor, Embrace Books)
March 24 Suzanne Lazear (YA Author and Steampunk Lolita)
March 25 Mary Hamilton (Editor, Samhain Publishing)

Photo Credit: Kristin Dos Santos@en.wikipedia.com

Dark Waters and Deadly Pursuits

DARK WATERSWelcome today to the new website! I hope you like it and would love to hear from you about it. To celebrate there are lots of fun things going in, including the chance to win a $5.00 gift card for helping to pick the name of a new hero. Just choose one of the names below and leave your vote as a comment.

Also take a moment to visit with me at two blogs that I’m doing today!

Join me for a discussion of Deadly Pursuits at Cynthia’s Eden’s My Deadly Valentine blog tour! Then also join me at Ester Lopez’s wonderful blog where a chat about writing and STRONGER THAN SIN.

And now, please welcome my great friend and wonderful author, Gabriella Hewitt who is going to share DARK WATERS with us as well as chat about her new releases. I read DARK WATERS and it was fabulous!! I highly recommend it. Rico was a fascinating hero and the heroine, Frankie Montalvo, could definitely hold her own with the best kick-butt heroines out there.


A predator stalks paradise and she’s next.

On a tropical isle, Frankie Montalvo discovers roots to a past she never knew. Tales of witchcraft, missing girls and el chupacabra surround her, but it will take more than superstitions to scare her away. Determined to create her own home, she enlists the help of an enigmatic beach bum.

Special Agent Rico Lopez has been to the depths of hell and back. He returns to his native island of Vieques to forget an ICE mission gone wrong only to find himself caught up in the search for a neighbor’s daughter—a victim of the legendary el chupacabra. Paradise has a predator and all leads point to a dilapidated old plantation and one sexy as sin owner. Lying to Frankie is the only way to do his job, but is he protecting her or himself?

Does this name make my butt look big?

Seriously, finding the right name for a character is like finding jeans that fit. I agonize for days trying to find the perfect fit, trying on one pair after another. Some are too flamboyant, some too old-fashioned, some too ridiculous to contemplate that I have to wonder if they make my butt look big.

When I began Dark Waters, I spent a lot of time thinking up the perfect name. Not any name would do. I knew my heroine was a tough, feisty New Yorker who’d been knocked down by life more than once, but always got back on her feet. I wanted a name that captured that hard shell on the outside that hid a soft vulnerability inside. That’s when I hit on Francesca, a classic, elegant name that spoke to who my heroine could be in an ideal world. Shorten it to Frankie and it fit the reality of a woman who fought to hold on to everything she had.

My hero had to stand up to Frankie in every way because he was the one man who could see beneath that exterior armor she wore so carefully. But he wasn’t going to take her by storm. He’d charm his way inside until she never knew what happened. Rico was a name that conjured up washboard abs and a sexy grin and Frankie didn’t stand a chance. This guy was sex on a stick, yet when it came to danger he protected his own…and that included Frankie.

My other method of madness is to find someone, a person I know or a relative to name other secondary characters after. My neighbor Karla got bumped off in Dark Waters (She thought it was hysterical and what better way to thank her for editing my Spanish) Frankie’s last name, Montalvo, comes from my best friend in elementary school (She thinks it is so awesome because she is married now and her last name is changed). Yes, I pay homage to those I love by immortalizing them in books. HEHEHEHE (evil laugh)

Currently, I’m working on my Shadow Warrior series, which is loosely based around Aztec mythology. They are contemporary paranormal romances that include a mix of suspense and plenty of intrigue from the gods. The first of the novellas, tentatively titled Out of the Shadows, has sold to Samhain Publishing. The second novella is in the final stages of editing and ready for submission to the editor and I’m ready to bang out the third. As I planned out the fourth novella, I realized that once again I was stuck. I needed the perfect name for my heroine.

So I mentioned this dilemma to my family and my cousin said she would love it if I used her name in a book. (Victoria is sweet and loving and beautifully blonde, which is exactly the opposite of the character I am contemplating). Then it dawned on me. Eureka! What better way to get the heroine’s name than to ask my friends and family to pick the name for me?

I put out a call for others to name the 4th heroine in the Shadow Warrior series. I got some wonderful entries and found a winner. A Celtic word that means “fire” –Enya!

You might be thinking, “This name is not ancient Aztec. Blasphemy!” True, but Zyanya is and it means “always, forever” and I thought this name fit perfectly. Since the story is a contemporary paranormal romance and she is an immortal firecracker, I figured she would want to blend into modern society, so I named her Enya.

Well guess what? I need a hero’s name!

Description: He is an immortal warrior who has battled demons, Aztec gods, and bad styles of the 1770’s, 1880’s and 1990’s. He’s tall, dark, and shaven (bald is beautiful). He is strong, ruthless and has a soft spot for damsels in distress (and kittens too but don’t let anyone know). He has the ability to shift into a black jaguar and with one look he can make you do bad, bad things.

I’m going to help you out a bit. Below are some names I am considering. Vote for your pick in the comment section and be entered to win a $5.00 gift card.

Mateo – short for MATLAL: Nahuatl name meaning “dark green; or net.”
Teo – short for TEOXIHUITL: Nahuatl unisex name meaning “turquoise” or “precious and divine.”
Alan – short for ACHCAUHTLI: Nahuatl unisex name meaning “leader.”

¡Buena suerte! Good luck!

Gabriella Hewitt
Excitement. Suspense. Passion.
Dark Waters ~ Available Now ~
Order at Amazon

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