Blushing Books and Lazy Day Publishing are hosting a writer’s conference in the nation’s capital this summer. Come mingle at the Marriott Gateway for four(ish) days of social events and workshop sessions that will surely add something to your arsenal.
Workshop sessions are being developed with your response in mind and will guarantee to be led by one third Blushing Books staff, one third experienced authors, and one third outside professionals.
Registering is easy! Individual registration forms are required from every writer, author, staff, fans, friends, family or otherwise implied interested party for any and all parts of the conference.
Head over to the Passionate Pen website for the itinerary, lodging or other information.
Contact Bella for questions you still have after perusing the site.
I’ve never believed in love at first sight, which is probably why I write mysteries, and not romances, for a living. Besides, I’m too focused on expanding Elementary, a mystery dinner party business I own with my brother Noah. I don’t have time for romance.
When the handsome and successful Ian Crane books our services, I can barely keep my wits about me. He’s setting fire to all my rules, and I can’t resist his flames.
I don’t recognize the woman I’m becoming, but I don’t want to go back to who I was. There’s a part of me that can’t help wondering, what if he’s too good to be true? Because if he is, my heart will be nothing more than ashes.
Thank you so much for checking out my book, Crossing the Line! This is book 2 in the Without a Trace series, and tells the tale of Ella and Ian—it is a prequel to Inside the Lines. If you read and Lux and Fin’s story, you’ll recall these characters—you know the ending…but can you guess their beginning?
Keep an eye out as books 3 & 4 in the Without a Series will be out this year!
Special sneak peek:
Ch. 2: Ella is co-owner of Elementary, a mystery dinner theater company in Brooklyn, NY, and Ian Crane is their first high-profile client—and considered to be the one of the city’s most eligible bachelors—and Ella’s meeting with him to discuss his upcoming party…right, the party…
After the brutal cold of the night, his apartment feels welcoming and cozy. He takes my coat, his fingers brushing mine. The unexpected touch sends delicious shivers down my back. I don’t know what I’m doing here—he’s a client, and an important one. We’ve been trying hard to get into neighborhoods like his. Plus, he’s friendly and seems sincere—I don’t want to ruin anything for Elementary.
But there’s something about him—and I don’t mean the fact that he’s stunning to look at—that makes me want to spend more time in his space. He’s different. Most of the guys I’ve met here have been professionals, driven and goal-oriented. And they seemed to treat their romantic lives the same way. Ian feels more…relaxed. Maybe a bit impetuous? I don’t know. But there’s something here I haven’t felt in a long time, and I’ve missed it.
We make small talk about his firm while the coffee brews. He’s hoping to be made a partner in the next few years, and he mentions a case he just finished. He’s loosened his tie, shed his suit coat, and when we relax onto his leather couch with our respective mugs, the conversation slows as we enjoy the aroma and flavor of the drink.
“My God, you weren’t kidding.” I sigh after I take another sip. “This is incredible.”
“I’m not sure if it’s the machine or the beans she sent, but I haven’t been able to stay away from the damn thing since it arrived.”
“I can see why.” I imbibe a bit more before setting my mug next to his on the coffee table. There are several feet between us on the couch, and even though we were probably seated closer together at the Japanese restaurant, this feels very intimate.
“You said earlier that you never gave much thought to going to law school. Where did you think you’d end up?” The gas fireplace crackles, punctuating my sentence, or perhaps mocking me as I’m trying to ignore what’s going on and why I’m still in this man’s apartment.
“I never gave it much thought. Honestly, I was a stupid kid.” His grin is a bit embarrassed as he stretches back against the couch cushions. “Between undergrad and law school, my father forced me to take a year off. When he retired, he’d decided to travel, but not in conventional ways. He visited friends working in third world countries and helped them treat those who couldn’t afford medical care. So he dragged me along with him, as a payback for him paying for law school. It forced me to grow up…in a lot of ways.”
“Wow. Your dad was hardcore.”
“He was.” He nods, his smile shrinking a bit. “But he taught me a lot. I grew up privileged. I had everything. And even though my parents tried to make sure I was brought up right and understood the world, you don’t really get it until you see it. You know what I mean?”
I nod. “I do. We were the opposite. My parents…they did okay for themselves, and they were smart. They got life insurance, so when Noah and I turned eighteen, we had college money and a little bit of a cushion to survive on. But our grandparents were poor. So we grew up knowing the price difference between frozen and canned peas and watching the coupon pages in the newspaper. But we knew we had more than others.”
“Exactly. We get comfortable in our lives here—and we should. That’s part of living in this country. But it’s dangerous when we assume everyone has that opportunity.”
The intensity of the conversation turns the silence afterwards reflective. We sit quietly for a few minutes, each lost in thought.
“More coffee?” Ian nods to my cup.
“Sure.” I follow him into the kitchen, noting how well his suit pants fit his ass and the way his shirt clings to his muscled shoulders. Yummy, indeed.
He’s doing something with the coffee machine, and I lean back against the counter, trying not to stare at him. When he turns, he’s just a bit too close, and then his mouth is on mine, soft yet demanding, and his hands slide up to my shoulders. It’s a quick kiss, almost chaste, but the heat sears my lips.
“I really hope you wanted me to do that.” He drops his hands to his sides, his tone pensive.
I bite my lip, still feeling his mouth. “I didn’t stop you.” My insides are turning to jelly, but all I want is to feel him against me again. So I do something I never do.
I make the next move. He’s taller than me by several inches, so I draw his face down to mine, lips teasing over his as I ease us into the next kiss. His mouth is hungry, but his touch soft as his hands slide over my back, pulling me against him. I lean in, enjoying the sculpted length of him against my body and the light scent of his aftershave. When my tongue teases the edge of his mouth, he answers in kind, deepening the kiss, his arms tightening around me.
“Wow,” I say when we come up for air. “That was…”
“Unexpected?” His eyes crinkle at the corners, his expression hopeful.
We forget about the coffee, getting lost in the excitement of skin and heat. When his hand slides beneath my sweater, moisture pools between my legs. I haven’t felt this turned on in a long time, and for once, my usual caution seems to have evaporated. He lifts me, setting me on his counter as he continues his exploration of my skin. I wrap my legs around his waist, enjoying the feel of his hardness against me. His fingers release my bra, and when his palm skims my breast, I suck in a breath, letting his mouth drop to my neck as I revel in the sensation.
“I want to undress you,” he whispers in my ear, sending a delicious chill down to my core. “It would be a lot easier in my bedroom.”
Want more Ella and Ian? Get your copy of Crossing the Linehere!
The Cast of Crossing the Line
While I don’t listen to music with words while I’m writing, I listen to it all the time when I’m thinking about how to create an emotionally relevant tale. 🙂
When you do something effortlessly and people commend you continuously, you have found your gift.
That’s what I tell people all the time. And it’s true.
I get story. I always have. I started writing when I was 8 on a Smith Corona (the electronic kind — I’m not THAT old). I wrote stories in every spiral notebook I had. Eventually, I graduated to a Mac (yes, I’m one of THOSE people). I imagined new worlds, emotional conflicts, and HEAs while I waited at stoplights or wandered the grocery store. But here’s the thing: I didn’t just dream it up and write it down — I critiqued what I read. I knew when ideas were good, and when they stunk. I ran writing groups, judged creative contests, and eventually got two graduate degrees in writing. That’s right: I love it that much.
So here I am, years later, writing kickass heroines and devastating good guys, along with some mystery and vampires thrown in (I promise: THEY’RE COMING). And what’s really cool? I do what I love. Wanna write a success story for your life: I promise you, that’s it. Do what you love. And hopefully, you can make a living at it too. That’s the golden ticket, Charlie.
And chocolate doesn’t hurt, either…
The serious stuff:
I have an M.A. in creative writing, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing with a focus in publishing. I produce two podcasts, host one, and am a freelance editor and publicist over at Upgrade Your Story. In my free time (what is that, exactly?), I read, workout, game, and converse. I’m a high introvert despite my extroverted behaviors, so you’ll find me behind my computer most days. I’m married to the wild and brilliant Billy Crash, have two dogs who are filing to change their species designation to “human,” and can often be found wandering Manhattan in search of the perfect writing spot.
Kristen Anders is starting her life over again after divorcing her cheating husband. An author of several ‘vanilla‘ romance novels, she spiced up her latest one involving BDSM and it became a best-seller. Now she’s researching the subject for her follow-up book and manages to get a tour of the elite, private sex club, The Covenant, and runs into the one person she never expected to see there.
Devon “Devil Dog” Sawyer is intrigued by a cute brunette he meets at a friend’s Irish pub and does something he hasn’t done in over twelve years. He asks her out on a date. While it might seem strange to most, Devon’s only relationships since he was twenty-four have started and ended in the same place–a BDSM club.
What was supposed to be a single weekend of mutual pleasure and dirty sex, turns into something more. But while they fight their growing connection, a killer has Devon in his sights and Kristen may end up as collateral damage. Will they survive with their lives and hearts intact?
I was given a copy of this book by the Author for an honest review.
This is a BDSM BOOK.
LEATHER & LACE hot, sexy romance. If you are looking for a really hot romance, go no further. This book will have you running for a cold shower. Kristen is a writer who has written a few vanilla romances that has done well for her, but when she switches over to write BDSM erotica sales through the roof. Now she is doing research at the club that Devon owns called the Covenant. Kristen will find out what it really is like to become a submissive. Devon will find out what it is like to lose his heart to someone. I loved reading this book and recommend it to everyone. The story and characters are well-developed. I give LEATHER & LACE 4/5 stars.
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
The next thrilling book in Jennifer Estep’s New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Elemental Assassin series—“an extraordinary series.…One of the most intriguing heroines in the genre” (Romantic Times Book Reviews).
Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.
One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.
My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…
BOOKS DESCRIPTION COURTESY OF AMAZON
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley for an honest review.
AWESOME!! AWESOME!! AWESOME!! THE SPIDER’S TRAP starts off after The Spider(Gin Blanco) defeats Mab Monroe’s daughter and becomes the New Queen of the Ashland Underworld. Gin is mediating a dispute on The Delta Queen between two of the city’s crime lords, who both want the coin laundries that Lorelei owns. In true Gin style she does not like listening to these two squabble about who should own them. All she wants to do is stab them. During this shouting match, she notices something different about the guy serving the champagne. She makes him nervous and he runs. She chases him down as he jumps overboard, just as she was to follow, she is shot at by a sniper. She goes back to the bucket to check and there is a bomb inside. She yells for everyone to get of the boat, and as time gets down to the wire, she jumps overboard. I loved this book!!! There is action from the very first chapter. The characters and story line are very well-developed. I love the character of Gin Blanco and all of her friends and family. They just help the story to flow and move along. I give THE SPIDER’S TRAP 5/5 STARS. I cannot wait until the next book in this series.
Hell was hot, but the flames of deliverance might be the ones to burn …
For the first time in living memory, Angel Lawson feels cherished.
Ethan Wilde has taught her that love is possible for all, even the sinners among us. The bonds of his love free her from the shackles of her guilt. Inch by inch, he’s slid under her skin, folding himself around her soul like a soothing blanket. His love nourishes her starving heart, and his passion fuels the scorching flames of her deepest desires, driving her to the blissful edge of sweet insanity.
Brick by brick, she tears down the protective wall she’s built around her heart, and the ice inside begins to thaw.
To Ethan, Angel is the sole reason he exists, the blood in his veins, the drug to his addiction. He vows to mend her, to help her confront her demons and come to terms with a buried past that continues to haunt her.
But what lies beneath the surface of Ethan’s past?
Pasts left hidden to rot become dirty secrets. Secrets that can tear even the strongest love apart.
And secrets have a habit of revealing themselves when least expected …
Bound for Salvation
Book 2 of The Bound Trilogy, by Kendra Leigh
Relentlessly sexy. Emotionally deep. Tangled, twisted, intricately woven love story with romance and suspense. For readers 18 and over due to explicit sexual content.
I was given a copy of this book by the Author for an honest review.
BOUND FOR SALVATION is erotically charged, sweet romance.The characters and story line are very well-developed. Kendra Leigh has a winner with this book. Ethan and Angel are a great couple. The sex is extra hot!! When we left BOUND FOR HELL Angel’s place was broken into and she is staying with Ethan . Now it is a week later after Ethan has got back from London and their lives are about to change. I recommend this book and series. If you have not read Kendra Leigh, I urge you to do so. I give BOUND FOR SALVATION 5/5 STARS.