Thursday, May 21, 2015

Brenda Drake's The Voice Contest

Here's my entry for Brenda Drake's The Voice Contest. My query letter and the first 250 words of a cozy mystery.

Query Letter:

Dear agent,

Crawling under her neighbor’s front porch, cat rescuer Kayla Maloney discovers a dead body - the human kind.

With the arrest of grumpy Mrs. Willoughby, Kayla finds herself stuck with her neighbor’s cat hating Chihuahua.

Eager to restore peace and quiet to her happy home while facing possible unemployment and eviction thanks to the antics of her lovable but absentminded grandmother, Kayla agrees to help Mrs. Willoughby. She may wish she had nine lives when her search leads to a clever killer purrfectly content to arrange a permanent catnap for Kayla.

MEOWING FOR MURDER: A Cat Rescuer Mystery is a 75,000 word cozy mystery available upon request.


Violet I.

First 250 words:

I glanced at the alarm clock and did the math in my head calculating just how many hours of sleep I’d get if I miraculously fell asleep right that very second. Unfortunately the answer was not nearly enough.
With the air conditioner broken and my landlord in no particular rush to fix it, I’d been sleeping with the windows open, desperate for even the slightest breeze. Tonight it was so danged miserable even the crickets had had the good sense to go to sleep. Lucky them.  
I adjusted my pillows and for my effort I was rewarded with a glare from my bedmate Max, a seal point Siamese. We’d begun cohabitating since last year when I’d rescued him from a trash can behind the town’s only laundromat. I closed my eyes and once again attempted sleep.
I held my breath trying to figure out what had woken me. Max was no longer on his pillow. As I sat up I heard the meow of one determined and ticked off Siamese. I raced through the house calling for him silently chiding myself for expecting him to respond.
I found him staring at the front door. The hairs on my arms stood up. Had he sensed a prowler? I looked around for something to use as a weapon. Sadly, my options were limited to a coat rack, an umbrella, and a pair of muddy gym shoes.
Grabbing the umbrella, I glanced down at Max and for just a moment  wished I’d rescued a Doberman.

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Release

I can't stop smiling whenever I look at this cover. It is wonderful.

Death by Nailgun (The Kim Murphy Private Investigation Series 2)

PI Kim Murphy’s staycation is rudely interrupted by a dead body that simply refuses to stay put.
Too broke to go on a real vacation, Kim’s plans include napping, catching some rays, and eating lots of junk food while devouring a few romance books. They most assuredly don’t include anything that needs a medical examiner.

One of Kim’s besties discovers a body in the back yard but by the time police arrive, the body is missing and the two of them look like “overreacting distraught females”. When Kim’s on again off again boyfriend, hot cop Grant Tompkins arrests someone close to her for murder, it might just be the final nail in their relationship’s coffin.

Desperate to find the real killer, Kim ignores the law and her own common sense to track down a calculating killer whose new plans may include sending Kim on a permanent vacation. If Kim isn’t careful, the next disappearing body may just be her own.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Guest Author Spotlight - Victoria Sue

Raleigh Point – Rescue   Blurb

Lisa was wicked.

Wicked and damaged. She’s spent half her twenty years locked away in a psychiatric facility because her uncontrollable alpha rages are inexplicable in a human world. Orphaned when she was a baby, she doesn't even know what she is. All she knows is what they've always told her. Wicked.
At twenty-six years Mac helps his family run Raleigh Point, a group foster home for abused or abandoned shifter babies and children. Beyond taking on an occasional tracking job for the FBI, he never has worried about much. He likes to play hard, usually with an attractive woman.

Never too much responsibility. Life is good.

Taking the phone call alert, Mac breezes in to rescue her. In that grimy god-forsaken excuse for a hospital, Mac realizes life has to change. He discovers Lisa is not only drugged and damaged, she’s his mate

The battle continues when a crazed rogue alpha decides to make Lisa his queen.

Available at: 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Guest Author Spotlight - Vikki Vaught

Thank you, Violet for asking me to participate on your blog today.

Violet Ingram writes cozy mysteries and is published by Secret Cravings Publishing. She has an awesome book trailer on YouTube that you will want to watch about her recent release, Death by High Heels.

I’m going to talk about some of my heroes from my trilogy and my most recent release, To Live Again, written under the pen name, V.L. Edwards, published by Secret Cravings Publishing.
The Montgomery Family Saga is set in Regency England. All my characters are figments of my imagination. I love strong alpha-males with a tender side. What woman doesn’t? I tend to write either a tortured soul or a chief, but I’ve also thrown a bit of a swashbuckler into the mix in my Montgomery Family trilogy. To Live Again is an erotic historical romance also set in Regency England, my favorite time period.

Here goes!

Lost Pleasures Found by Vikki Vaught
Henry Montgomery, the Duke of Sanderford, my first hero, is a chief, a leader of men. He is the man that others look to for answers. He is a man who seizes control whenever possible. He loves fiercely with intense passion and will protect his loved ones to the death. When he meets Melody Canterfield-Smyth, he falls hard and irrevocably in love from the first moment his gaze meets hers. He immediately sets out to win her heart and does. While he is a wonderful protector, he is also very possessive, which later in the story causes him a great deal of unnecessary pain. Thank goodness, he has the ability to love or all would have been lost and Henry and Melody might not have found their ‘Happily Ever After’.

Love Sneaked In by Vikki Vaught
Matthew Cunningham, the Earl of Collingswood, is a bit of a rake and my swashbuckler archetype. His major downfall is that he loves women, whether they are short, tall, thin, or plump, if she is female he loves her. At a very young age, his father forced him into a marriage, hoping to tame him, but it has the opposite effect. When his father dies, he has a rude awakening. He must pick up the reins of his falling down estate and find a mother for his twin daughters. Matthew has always lived for the moment, seeking pleasure and good times, going through life with a ‘devil may care’ attitude. Now he has to accept responsibility. He meets Lady Helen and immediately knows she is the perfect solution for his dilemma. Fortunately, Lady Helen wants to be a mother beyond all things. Before either expects it, love sneaks in, catching them both by surprise!  

Turned Around by Love by Vikki Vaught
Jonathan St. John, the Marquess of Sutherland, is truly a tortured, lost soul. When he’s injured during the Battle of Waterloo, he’s left with a bad knee, his betrothed calls off the wedding, and he is tormented by horrendous nightmares. He is filled with angst and unbridled passion. He keeps himself apart from his loved ones and never forms any lasting relationships, vowing to remain a bachelor for the rest of his days. As he drifts from day to day, going from one mistress to another and carousing with his superficial friends, he lives a dissolute existence. On top of all this, his reliance on the bottle, to alleviate his pain, becomes a serious problem. Then he meets Lady Kathryn, the portraitist, and she turns his life upside down. Kathryn inspires him to want a better life, and even though, he knows he doesn’t deserve her, he wants her.

To Live Again by V.L. Edwards
Warren De Winter, the Earl of Broadmoor, is another tortured, lost soul. I did mention I love that Archetype. When he loses his wife, he becomes a recluse, living only for his son. He’s drawn away from all his friends and family and no longer attends the House of Lords. He has a dark secret. Warren now seeks his pleasures on the streets of London In the dark of night, looking for a whore to fulfill his deepest desires. On one of these monthly excursions, he meets Amelia Harrington, a young woman he believes is a whore. What he finds is an untried virgin and a gentlewoman at that. Compelled to marry her, he vows to keep the steel cage around his heart. What he did not reckon for is Amelia’s determination to teach him to live again.
Please visit my website to find out more about my books at:
I am also on Facebook at:
And Twitter at:

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my heroes. All my books can be found at all retailers, including Amazon, either in print or E-book. Happy reading!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Guest Author Spotlight - Flossie Benton Rogers

Lord of Fire – Wytchfae 5 by Flossie Benton Rogers
Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Blurb: When The Hawk meets his Wytchfae, the result is spontaneous combustion.

Garnet McAnna chases the demon responsible for attacking and enslaving innocent fae familiars. She never expected to run headlong into a mesmerizing stranger known as The Hawk. Nor did she anticipate the way his masculine power kindles a womanly flame within her.

Exiled from an elite warrior's brigade, Lord of Fire Gabriel Hawk guards his heart and his solitude. He wants nothing to do with the world of men or the realm of fae. Then a beautiful Wytchfae bursts into his life, stirring desire and sparking need. Garnet is on a dangerous mission, and he can't let her face the evil alone. What else can he do but fight beside her? When she disappears, he raises hell to find her. Will he be too late? Will darkness conquer this couple or will love burn their souls into one?

First Line Teaser: She’d catch the demon tonight if it killed her.

Memorable Quote: “Garnet McAnna, you’re the hottest woman in thirteen worlds.”

Lost in her thoughts, Garnet ran up against something hard and springy, and a sharp point pricked the soft flesh of her thumb. She squeezed off the pain with her other hand.
Damned barbed wire.
She had already made it to the fence line and hadn’t even realized it. Sucking in a deep breath, she cleared her mind to concentrate on the task at hand. She had to edge around the boundary to the north side of this large piece of private property to gain access to the portal. Then she’d hunker down in the bushes and wait on the demon Borros.
Moving swiftly again, she cut a wide swath away from the metal fence. Snorting sounds came from within one of the corrals she had noted early this morning when she skirted the property. Horses and a few cattle had grazed within.
Bearing around the corner to head north toward the portal, a splash of incandescent green appeared and then disappeared in front of her. Startled, she blinked and reached into her coat pocket for the revolver. The weapon lay cold and substantial in her hand. She stilled her body to a midnight silence.
The eerie green reappeared and dashed around her body without spotlighting her in any way. It formed a mysterious elongated glow. She clamped down harder on the gun handle to stop her hand from trembling, while shifting positions to keep the phenomenon in front of her.
Her mind tumbled over possibilities. The light couldn’t be swamp gas, as it seemed to proceed purposefully. Its movement created a slight whirring sound. A will ’o the wisp? Somehow she thought not, but what was it?
The presence darted behind her.
Before she could turn, a warm, corporeal hand covered her own and relieved her of the weapon. Whirling around, she came face to face with—a man.
A gasp escaped her lips. With his substantial height, he towered over her. A faint greenish residue of light illuminated him enough so that the fierce scowl on his face caused her heart to thump into overdrive.
She swallowed, fingering the sheath of one of the knives in her pocket. Damn it, next time she’d bring a backup piece. She forced herself to speak, but despite her efforts, her voice rasped. “Give me back my weapon.”
His sonorous growl reminded her of a feral animal. “Not so fast. What the hell are you doing sneaking around my property with a firearm in the middle of the night?”

Buy Lord of Fire:
Secret Cravings Publishing:

Author Bio:
Flossie Benton Rogers is the author of the Wytchfae paranormal romance series. She is Sagittarius with a Libra ascendant and Taurus moon, or a 5th generation Floridian and freedom loving mystic. She pursues her passion for mythology by writing romances with fairies, goddesses, ghosts, angels, demons, and other magical beings. The Wytchfae world brims with dimensions parallel to our own. Some are welcoming, others dangerous and forbidding. Through the darkest night and the fright of unchained chaos, love will always shine.

Connect with Flossie:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Guest Author Spotlight - Jennifer Owen Davies

                                                                              Blog post for Violet

Hi everyone. I have kidnapped Violets blog for this posting and whilst I’m here running wild, I thought I should at least give some kind of introduction!
 My name is Jennifer Davies, and I am a newbie author at Secret Cravings and my first YA romantic fantasy called Children of Annwn : The Promise was released in September. It is the first in a trilogy, and at the moment I’m about a quarter of the way through the second which is taking me in such a different direction, but it’s very exciting.
I am 48yrs young and having the time of my life doing exactly what I love, which is writing. I’m a wife, a mother of four boys, a daughter, a sister, a pet-lover, a yard sale fanatic, a lover of romance, an avid reader, a blogger, a campaigner for finding the cure for Alzheimer’s, a lover of music, a wannabe singer, and in my other life before kids, I was a nurse/ midwife...
I was born and raised in Wales, UK, but I now live on the East Coast, USA!
I started writing late in life and whilst my life was changing as it does for many women my age. I started to write at probably one of the most stressful times just after I had left Wales for the second time. This time it was worse because I left behind my oldest son and my elderly mother. There were dark days, and out of that was born my love story.
Children of Annwn: The Promise is my first full-length  novel, but I am half-way through an adult paranormal, plus I have several stories that need finishing.

Here’s an excerpt!

She stared at his long dark lashes, which framed his beautiful chestnut-brown eyes. Their rich color drew her in. He was spellbinding. She couldn’t breathe, and watched, mesmerized, as he lowered his head to brush his lips over hers. Shivers exploded down her spine, and her heart rocketed into space. 
“I don’t want to be hit again. Are you sure?” he said, raising an eyebrow and laughing. 
Yes, kiss me, but if you don’t stop messing with me, I will hurt you.
The heat level in the room rose, and the air stilled, as his steely gaze washed over her body and he pushed her against the wall. He captured her hands with his and kissed her lips. Small kisses to start, then deeper, more urgent ones, and Mia yielded to his possession. He leaned into her and pulled her closer, so that his tongue explored and tasted her. Lost in the overwhelming ripples of sensation, she wrapped her arms around him, and breathed his intoxicating scent in. Cocooned against his strong body, she never wanted it to end. Finally, she lifted her head, only because she needed to breathe. Ryder was grinning at her as she touched his face in wonder and smiled, her anger long forgotten. 
“Tell me more about our life in Annwn,” she whispered.

If anyone would like to connect below are a few ways that you can and of course links to the book!

FB Author page
Links for the book!
Sweet craving store.
Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Author Spotlight - Tricia Andersen

Book Release
Breaking The Silence (Hard Drive Series #2)

Release Date: September 17, 2014
Publisher: Sweet Cravings Publishing (
Genre: Contemporary/Sports/Sweet Romance Novel
MMA Bad Boy Rico Choate falls for Avery, a deaf Marine – but will she stick around when she learns of his career in the octagon?
Rico Choate is a MMA bad boy with a love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude.  That is until he meets Avery Walker, a deaf Marine who lost her hearing when her transport was destroyed in an I.E.D explosion in Afghanistan.  He falls hard for her, even learning sign language from his friend, Chloe, so he can talk to her. 
Avery has worked hard to overcome her deafness. She doesn’t need anyone’s sympathy. She’s living a perfectly normal life and has no time for celebrities who have everything handed to them on a silver platter.
Because of Avery’s pride, Rico to keep his career in mixed martial arts a secret.  But how long can he keep such a huge part of his life separate from the woman he loves?  And if she does find out, how will she react? Can Avery set her stubbornness aside, or will secrets and pride keep these two apart?

Excerpt One:
The next day didn’t fare much better for Rico. Another late shipment meant another afternoon arriving late at the gym. Fortunately, there was no class for him to teach. It was just a night to work out and answer questions, if need be. And it was the last day he needed to worry. By noon tomorrow, Max would be home and back at the helm of his own ship.
At the off ramp red light Rico noticed a text message. He clicked to open it.

Can you pick me up a cup of coffee on your way here?

Rico sighed. Now I’m Chloe’s delivery service? I didn’t agree to this. He quickly typed on the screen.

From where?

He waited for a response. As the light turned green, his phone chimed. He glanced at it before the traffic moved.

That cute coffee shop down the road. Thank you.

Rico sighed as he tossed his cell on the passenger seat. Driving past the gym with a growl, he didn’t stop until he reached the strip mall.
He stepped into the small shop with a gleaming smile. He glanced around. The dark stained shelves were lined with mugs, bags of coffee, and other trinkets. Another set of shelves was lined with books for patrons to read. Sofas and overstuffed recliners were scattered among the tables with mismatched chairs. Sitting on those chairs and sofas were lovely ladies already cooing at his presence. He laughed. I might just have to get a date or two before I leave.
Rico sauntered to the counter, where a tall, lanky redhead waited to take his order. After paying for a cup of coffee, he stepped back, winking at a girl sipping on a glass of iced tea. His eyes raked over her as she giggled. He grinned then glanced up behind the counter again.
He lost his breath. He felt his pulse pick up a notch. The last thing on earth he believed in was love at first sight. But in this moment, he was a true convert.
The barista barely came to his chest. Her long, blonde hair wisped in curls around her shoulders. Her frame was small, with perfect curves in all the right places. Her lips were a soft, very kissable pink. And when she looked up at him to hand him his drink, her eyes glittered a clear, crystal blue. She smiled then turned to fulfill the next order.
She never said one word to him. Him. Rico Choate. MMA superstar Rico Choate. His picture was on posters, in magazines.
And she didn’t say one word.
He was baffled. He gripped the coffee and rushed out the door. It wasn’t until he parked his Jeep at Hard Drive that he realized he hadn’t gotten one number, not from any of the women in the shop.
He rubbed his forehead, puzzled. He didn’t want any number. He just wanted the barista’s. But for the first time in his life, a woman wasn’t interested in him. He was still shaking his head when he strode into gym and plopped the paper cup down in front of an equally perplexed Chloe. Before she could even utter a syllable, he stormed out of her office and onto the mats.
Rico spent the rest of the afternoon working the speed and punching bags, hoping for a little bit of relief from his memory of the barista. He couldn’t get her out of his head. After a couple of hours, he couldn’t take it anymore. He jogged up the steps two at a time then ducked his head into the office.
“Need another cup of coffee?” he volunteered.
Chloe lifted up the empty cup. “I just finished this one. I’m—”
“Another cup coming right up.” Before Chloe could object, he was down the stairs and out the door. He hopped in the front seat of the Jeep, fired it on, and sped away. He brushed his fingers through his thick, brown hair as he waited at the lone stop light that separated Hard Drive from the coffee shop. He glanced at his reflection in the rearview mirror.
Then, he checked again. Yes, he looked incredible. The barista may have been able to blow him off before. She certainly wouldn’t miss him this time.
Rico stepped inside the cool, dimly lit store and glanced around. There were fewer people lounging than there were earlier. A couple of girls that had been there before waved in his direction. He ignored them as he approached the counter, frowning as he did so. The redhead greeted him with a goofy grin. “Need another jolt of java, bro?”
“Ummm…yeah.” Rico scanned behind the counter as he paid for the coffee. “Where’s the blonde who was here earlier?”
The redhead shot him a puzzled look. “Avery? You know her?”
“Not yet. But I’d like to.”
“Her shift is over. She’s heading to class. She just left to wait for the bus.” The barista handed him a paper cup. “Hey, aren’t you that MMA guy? I think I’ve seen you fight.”
“Yeah, probably.” Rico grabbed the drink and raced outside, never looking at the girls who now were vying for his attention. He searched up and down the sidewalk for the blonde barista. He picked up his pace again as his eyes landed on her standing at the corner, still dressed in her white blouse and khakis from the restaurant. A large, sky blue backpack nearly bursting at the seams was slung over her shoulder. She checked her watch as the bus crawled to a stop before her.
“Hey! Hey!” Rico shouted as she stepped on. She never turned, never acknowledged him. The door closed behind her, and the large beast chugged on its journey, leaving a dumbfounded Rico behind.
Excerpt Two
The weekend finally arrived, but it was no break for Avery. She still had her early Saturday morning class to attend. She trudged down the steps wearily. Of all the times for the air conditioning to go out, this was the worst by far. The ninety-degree day seeped into the building, making the rooms hot and stagnant. Every last person in the classroom was drenched in sweat. Even for one class, it was unbearable.
Her face brightened as she stepped out the door and found Rico in his Jeep waiting for her. She nearly ran for the vehicle. Dropping her backpack on the floor, she climbed in beside him.
He looked at her concerned. Are you all right?
No air. I baked for the last hour.
Do you still want to do something?
Yes. You are the highlight of my day.
Where do you want to go?
Someplace cool.
Rico thought for a moment then grinned. I know the perfect place. But you are going to want to bundle up.
It is the middle of summer. Where are you taking me?
You will see.
Rico drove her home then waited in the Jeep for her to get clothes. Apparently, he wasn’t about to push his luck with Lindsay.
He then stopped at his place. Instead of having her wait in the car, he escorted her inside. His apartment was a loft in an old, renovated warehouse, complete with the freight elevators. It was sparsely decorated with a leather sofa and chair. It was the typical guy’s apartment.
There were several MMA magazines scattered on the end tables. He must really be into mixed martial arts.
It only took a moment for Rico to come out of his bedroom changed. Instead of the shorts and T-shirt he had worn before, he now had on a pair of jeans and a snug fitting Henley that accented his muscles. She swallowed back a moan. She hadn’t thought he could get any hotter.
He smiled. Ready?
Yes. Avery took his outstretched hand in hers. She waited as he locked the door then walked with him to the elevator.
Rico weaved from one interstate to the other until they were in Saint Paul. The entire time, he held her hand in his. He parked the car in front of a large, concrete building lined with windows.
Ice skating? she signed
He laughed. You wanted to be cool.
That is true. But I can’t do this.
He frowned. Why not?
I can’t ice skate.
You do not know how?
I do. When I was young, I was very good at it. But I cannot do it now.
Because you are deaf?
He smirked at her. I did not realize that you ice skate with your ears.
That is not funny, Rico.
Come on, Avery. We’ll have fun. I promise I will not let you fall.
She gazed at him as he grinned at her. Her eyes wandered over his chiseled physique. He certainly could keep his word. She sighed as she hopped out of the passenger seat and turned back to him. All right. Let’s go.
Absolutely! Rico jumped out with her and raced around the vehicle to take her hand. He pulled her close and wrapped his arm around her waist as they strolled in.
Rico paid their admission as Avery slipped into the restroom to change into her lightweight sweater and jeans. She watched his eyes wander over her head to toe as a smile spread across his face. He certainly seemed pleased. He took both pairs of skates the attendant offered before following her to a bench. Then, they tugged on their skates and, carefully stepping on the thick, black mat on the floor, they made their way out to the ice.
They skated around the rink laughing, sometimes hand in hand, sometimes trying awkwardly to race each other. Avery hadn’t been ice skating in years, not since she’d lost her hearing. It had ended up on the virtual list of activities she stubbornly believed she could no longer do. Rico had proved to her she could.
She gazed up to him as he smiled at her. He certainly was turning out to be her hero. Not that she needed one. She didn’t. But it was definitely nice to have one, just in case.
They were so wrapped up in each other, neither of them noticed the little boys that flew between them until it was too late. The last one hooked his skate with Avery’s. She was off her feet in a split second. She clenched her eyes in anticipation of the cold impact on her butt. Instead, two strong arms kept her from falling. Her eyes fluttered open, and she glanced around.
Rico had caught her just as he’d promised. Her eyes locked with his sapphire blue ones. She wanted to protest, to joke just how cliché this was. Here he was, cradling her in his arms after saving her from falling, his lips dangerously close to hers. They must have looked like they belonged on the front of a romance novel. But her breath caught in her throat as she clung to him, her gaze drifting to his mouth.
She gasped as he gathered her closer and softly kissed her. Her fingers buried into his hair as he deepened it, his lips parting hers as his tongue slowly grazed across her teeth then tangled with hers. Their eyes met for a moment as the kiss broke. Avery fought against her breath coming out in ragged gasps, but it was no use. So, that’s what kissing Rico Choate is like. It was light years better than she had imagined.

Buy Links
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance E-books:

Author’s Bio:
Tricia Andersen lives in Iowa with her husband, Brian and her three children – her sons, Jake and Jon, and her daughter, Alex.  She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Communications Media/Public Relations.  Along with writing (which she loves to do), Tricia practices mixed martial arts, coaches and participates in track and field, reads, sews and is involved in many of her children's activities.
Tricia is one of the hosts of the Blog Talk Radio show Freshly Booked, a part of Writers Online Network.  She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Author Links: