Mar 31, 2013

Sunday Smooch! These Haunted Hearts by Anna Campbell

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Anna Campbell, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Amanda Gardener!

Can you please contact Rachel at rachel (at) rachelbailey (dot) com to receive your copy of What Happens in Charleston!


And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Anna Campbell's e-novella, These Haunted Hearts

On one fateful wedding day at Marston Hall in 1818, four linked destinies hover in the balance.

Josiah Aston, Earl of Stansfield, wakes to discover he’s seventy years dead and he alone can free his beloved wife Isabella’s tormented soul. But first he must convince her to trust him against all the evidence…

Lady Isabella Verney, beautiful and tempestuous, married the man of her dreams, only to die violently on her wedding day. Every clue points to Josiah as the murderer…

Is true love strong enough to defeat ancient malevolence forever?

Miles Hartley, Viscount Kendall, is society’s ideal catch, but what does that matter if he can’t convince Calista Aston that he loves her? When an age-old curse strikes, only by proving himself worthy of her faith can he save their happiness…

Lady Calista Aston, noted bluestocking, fears she loves Miles Hartley not wisely, but too well. On her wedding day, her doubts place her at evil’s mercy. When death and disaster loom, is it courage or mad folly to believe that Miles loves her in spite of all her faults?

On one fateful wedding day at Marston Hall in 1818, will the lovers emerge triumphant or will darkness conquer all?

Kiss Scene:- 

Marston Hall, Norfolk, May 1818

“Kiss me, Calista.”

Austerely intellectual Lady Calista Aston giggled with an extremely unintellectual giddiness and allowed the handsome young man to tug her from the empty hallway into the shadowy bedroom. “Miles, I haven’t got time,” she said without sounding in the least convincing. 

“I’ll be quick.”

Through dimness created by drawn curtains, she shot him a disbelieving look. “That’s what you always say.”

As ever when she regarded the man she was to marry, her heart twisted in an agony of love. Tall, golden-haired, charming, Viscount Kendall was like a magical prince out of a fairy tale.
A tide of self-doubt threatened to drown her, in spite of her appearance of light-heartedness. She still couldn’t believe that this superb creature had chosen her from all the women in the world to become his wife. 

She was a devotee of logic, of scientific process. Miles Hartley’s partiality for a bluestocking Long Meg like her seemed completely nonsensical. She’d imagine he was mad if she wasn’t herself victim to a madness impervious to research or reason or cold, hard reality. But while she recognized her affliction as permanent, how long would his madness last? Until tomorrow? Next year? 

From the moment she’d seen him across her father’s drawing room, she’d fallen under Miles’s spell. She still recalled her incredulity when he’d proposed six weeks later. 

Desperately she’d hoped to become more secure in his love as time passed, but with every day of the last three months, her uncertainties had burgeoned. Now, on the afternoon before her wedding, they gnawed at her like starving rats on a loaf of stale bread.

She told herself a thousand times she was a silly goose. Miles said he loved her. He said it over and over. But at her deepest level, nothing convinced her that she was worthy of his regard. He was elegant and brilliant and gifted with a vivid masculine beauty. He should choose a wife who was equally beautiful, a toast of society, instead of a drab wallflower like her. Calista was bitterly aware that with her straight brown hair and long, thin body and strong Aston features, she was no beauty.

With his usual careless grace, Miles kicked the door shut behind him and drew her inexorably into his arms. Another shudder of love ran through her. It was dangerous to love a man as much as she loved Miles. 

“It’s your fault.” He smiled at her as though she was as bright and lovely as a rainbow. “If you weren’t so delicious, I’d be happy with a mere peck on the cheek.”

“You’re a sweet-tongued devil.” The grim tenor of her thoughts lent the remark a sharp edge. 

His smile turned wicked. “Let me show you.”

He kissed her and she melted into his arms. His mouth opened over hers and his tongue slipped between her lips to tease her into a fever. She was helpless against this passion. It terrified her even as she flung herself into the blaze. From the first, he’d made her feel almost painfully alive. If he ever left her, she had a bleak premonition that she’d never feel alive again.

You can find Anna's book at  Amazon and Smashwords!

And Anna's giving away a copy of her novella to one lucky commenter!  So her question to you is:

Hiya Lovely LoveCats and LoveCat groupies! 

My latest e-novella, THESE HAUNTED HEARTS, has a touch of the woo-woos about it. Do you like ghost stories? Do you have a favourite? 

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date by Louisa George will be posted!

Mar 30, 2013



Wishing everyone a safe and fun holiday break
with all the blessings that family and good friends bring.

Mar 29, 2013

Happy Release Day To Me!

So, it's almost April and that means my latest book, No Stranger To Scandal will be released (in the US, Aust & NZ), and I'm wondering about ways to celebrate. 

Plans so far:

Celebration 1 (for the blog's readers): I'll give away a copy to one commenter below. :)

Celebration 2 (for me): ...See, this is where I'm stuck. I'm thinking I might do something involving chocolate or champagne. Or maybe going out to dinner. But I have no concrete ideas.

I know some authors buy a new charm for their bracelet for each book they have published - I love that idea, but I don't have a bracelet. Others buy a present, or have a champagne toast, or go out to dinner.

Any ideas? I'm completely open to new ideas. Something not too expensive (yes, I'd love a trip to Paris to celebrate, but maybe not this time...). And, as I said above, I'll give away a copy of No Stranger To Scandal to one person with a suggestion (even if it's a bad suggestion).

In the meantime, this is what the new book is about:

Decorum Vs. Destiny

She might be the stepdaughter of one of the most powerful media moguls in Washington, but Lucy Royall is no pampered princess—she's making her own way as a junior reporter. But when congressional investigator Hayden Black accuses her stepfather of criminal wrongdoing, she shows her family loyalty and takes Hayden on. Then, as things heat up, the sexy single dad takes her to bed! Talk about a conflict of interest. Will their illicit passion turn into something more lasting, even in the face of controversy so huge it rocks a nation?

Mar 27, 2013

Covers, characters and a giveaway!

by Emmie Dark

Hi Lovecatters! It's an exciting month for me. Not only has my brand new novella Spellbound hit the e-shelves with Destiny publishing, I've also just received the cover art for my June SuperRomance!

I've totally been blessed by the cover fairies this month. Check out Spellbound:
Isn't it gorgeous? Sexy, a little mysterious, and somehow magical -- perfectly in sync with the quirky spice of the story. Personally, I also think that guy has one very sexy shoulder/chest. I think, maybe, it's because he's wearing a singlet and not showing just bare skin. What do you think? Are we in the romance world a little weary of naked-chested hunks? (Is such a thing possible??)

And here's the cover for Just For Today...
I've got a story about the cover for Just For Today. It's funny how different books can be. For me, most of the time when I'm writing, I don't usually have an exceptionally strong sense of how my characters look. I mean, I know what color their hair is, and their eyes,  as well as any quirks like scars, etc, but when I picture them in my mind's eye, I don't often have a crystal-clear image of their faces.

That was totally different with Just For Today. I knew exactly, right from the start, what my hero and heroine looked like.

My hero was the spitting image of Jensen Ackles from the TV show Supernatural. He seems to be a perennial favourite with romance authors -- I do see his mug pasted up on Facebook more often than most.
And I think you can see why.

Apart from the jaw and chiselled chin, the hair was a big thing. My hero, Sean, does his hair exactly like that. And it gets referred to a lot in the book.

My heroine, Jess, also sprang into my mind's eye just as quickly and fully formed. She was Erin Karpluk from the TV show Being Erica. (If you haven't seen it, you absolutely must! It's wonderful!)
Jess had that same long, flowing hair and very natural, down-to-earth look. She's also a little older than Sean (a little more world-wearied, too) and I thought the two of them worked perfectly together. (I was thrilled to discover, long after the book was written and submitted, that Jensen and Erin shared screen time in the show Dark Angel -- unfortunately not romantically!)

Now go back and look at the cover for Just For Today -- don't I owe the talent scouts in the art department at Harlequin a beer??

I haven't got my advance copies of Just For Today yet. But leave a comment and I'll send one lucky commenter a copy as soon as they arrive. You'll be among the first in the world to read it!

How much notice do you take of the way characters look on the covers as compared to how they're described in the book? How clearly do you picture your characters when you're writing?

Mar 25, 2013

The Best Movie Lines by Amy Andrews

Hello to everyone. I’m very excited to be doing my first ever solo blog here in my new LoveCat digs. Forgive my tardiness - this blog took a lot longer to write than I thought it would. Which is as good as time as any to warn you I tend to ramble on subjects I love so, apologies in advance.  
Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for movies – romances in particular. No surprises there I guess J No matter how trashy or fluffy – I love ‘em. In fact if some snooty critic somewhere has given a romance a 1 star review then I’m probably going to love it the mostest. I own all my favs on DVD and would probably have watched each at least 20 times.
There's always a point in each movie where I wait for the line. You know they all have the line. Like when Dirty Harry says, “Make my day”. I think maybe as a writer I recognise these gems more than others because good writing, even in a movie format, jumps right out at you.
Here are some of my favs –
Notting Hill where Julia Roberts says, “After all... I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Happy sigh.
The Princess Bride when Westley says, “As you wish,” or Inigo Montoya says, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”
Bridget Jones’s Diary where Rene Zellweger says, “Hang on a moment, nice boys don’t kiss like that,” and then , then, Colin Firth in his utterly swoon-worthy British accent says, “Oh yes they f*@king do.” Kills me every time! I saw that movie 5 times in the cinema just for that line!
My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula says, “Are you kidding? Any second now he's gonna look at me and go, "Ha. Yeah, right, you're so not worth this."  And then her brother say “Yes, you are. “ Okay, that one’s a brother sister moment but it’s still so sweet I tear up every time.
When Harry Met Sally where Harry says, “ I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” How can a girl say no to that?
Raising Helen where John Corbett says,  ‘I got news for you little lady, I’m sexy... yeh... I’m a sexy man of God and I know it.” Awww.  If she hadn’t have pashed him right then and there after that I most definitely would have!
Dirty Dancing. Probably one of the most recognisable lines in movie history when Patrick Swayze says, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  
And I could go on forever!
But my point is – one of my favourite movie lines ever doesn’t come from a romance, it comes from an action movie. It comes from Die Hard - #4 to be exact.
I’m generally not an action movie kind of girl. Sure, I watch ‘em, I really enjoy ‘em but I don’t go to a cinema and see them five times, if you know what I mean. Except for the Die Hard franchise each of which I have seen multiple times. Every one of the four movies have been gold – and we all know how badly sequels can bomb! In fact I think #4 is probably the best – not bad for a 3rd “sequel” that came out 12 years after the previous one. I am so looking forward to number five – A Good Day to Die Hard - coming out this week (it’s going to be my reward for getting the damn book away). And it better be as good cos it has a lot to live up to! And if not, well hey, the more hair Bruce Willis loses the sexier he gets so if nothing else there’ll be good eye candy.
So. What is the line I hear you ask after I’ve rambled for several hundred words to get to the point? Because the Die Hard franchise is known for quite a few lines – none of which are printable here. But it’s not any of those lines. This is the line.
“That’s what makes you that guy.”
Matt Farrell says it to John Maclean after he asks him why he’s risking his own life to save the world and John says, “Because there's no body else to do it right now, that's why. Believe me, if there were somebody else to do it, I'd let them do it, but there's not. So we're doing it.”
And then Matt says, “That’s what makes you that guy.”
And you know, the line at that point in the movie, whilst searingly insightful, isn’t what makes it great. What makes it truly great is when John says its back to skinny, nerdy, fraidy-cat Matt after Matt’s saves John’s daughter’s life. And that’s when it becomes THE line. That’s when I get tears in my eyes and goosebumps everywhere. That’s when it becomes memorable.  
That’s why I watch #4 over and over again and hold my breath just before John says it – “that’s what makes you that guy.” Aww. Cue lump in throat.
Every writer should be so lucky to write such an amazing line.
So, after my incredibly rambly post, its over to you guys – got any favourite movie lines?

Oh and while you're thinking about it - here's the trailer full of Bruce Willis magic.

Mar 24, 2013

Sunday Smooch: What Happens in Charleston...

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a retro smooch from What Happens in Charleston... but first:

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Alyssa!

Can you please contact Robyn at robyn-grady (at)
hotmail (dot) com to receive your copy of The Goddess!

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Rachel Bailey's What Happens in Charleston...  

This book was originally released last year, but is being re-released in Australia and the UK in a special 2-for-1 with Kathie Denosky's Sex, Lies and the Southern Belle. These two books are the first two in a continuity set in Charleston, called Kincaids: A Southern Seduction.

When What Happens in Charleston was originally released, we had a smooch from Matthew and Susannah on the LoveCats, so today we'll share the second smooch from the book.

Money has always given Matthew Kincaid whatever he wanted. Yet now his son needs something even his millions can't buy. The widower's sole recourse is the surrogate who gave birth to his child - for she is also the boy's true biological mother.

Susannah Parrish needs no prodding to offer her assistance - a child's life is at stake. But to their mutual surprise, the minute she's back in Charleston and residing in Matthew's home, passion consumes them. Is this a relationship doomed by deception? Or is it the one chance at a love they both secretly crave?

Scene set-up: [Matthew and Susannah have been trying to keep their attraction under control, but not having much success. After sharing a meal and a decadent dessert, they're starting to wonder why they're staying away from each other at all.]

“New plan.” He leaned fists on the counter either side of her, holding her in place. “You come to my bed now.”

She opened her mouth to protest, but he laid a finger across her lips. “We go into this with no illusions, and no one will be hurt. We’ll keep it separate from Flynn and he’ll never know. You’re leaving soon, so this will be short-term. We’re both adults, we can deal with that. What we can’t deal with is fighting this attraction,” he said fiercely. “It’s too damn strong. At least, it is for me.”

“Doubly so for me,” she said through a dry throat. Yet, a rebel part of her mind protested…she’d never slept with someone knowing it would go no further—purely for the physical pleasure. Could she do it? Indulge her desire for him and not let her heart get involved?

If the choice was between never experiencing Matthew’s lovemaking or trying something new in having a short-term physical relationship, then the decision wasn’t difficult at all.

Original US cover - still available

“All right.” She met his gaze. “Let’s go with your new plan.”

A shudder racked his large frame. “For days, I’ve barely been able to look at you without imagining touching your skin. I’ve wanted to kiss you right here—” his lips touched the place where the column of her throat met her shoulder “—so badly it’s been keeping me awake at night.”

The heat of his tongue on the vulnerable skin was intoxicating, drawing her under his dark spell. She brought her hands up to his shoulders so she didn’t fall…and for the simple pleasure of touching him.

“What’s been keeping you awake at night?” he murmured against her skin.

An image flashed into her mind—the bare skin she’d glimpsed on his neck when his top buttons had been undone that first morning. With fumbling fingers, she undid his shirt buttons to halfway down his torso and splayed her fingers on the warm skin she uncovered.

“This,” she whispered, running her fingertips over the crisp hairs that were scattered across his chest, the heat inside her building.

He drew a sharp breath between his teeth. “Just that?”

“Starting with that.”

In one smooth motion, he grabbed the back of his shirt, pulled it over his head and discarded it. The expanse of muscled chest that stood before her sent sharp anticipation zinging through her veins. His arms slid around her waist, and she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his skin.

“Susannah,” he rasped then pulled her face up to kiss her hungrily. It was as darkly decadent as their first kiss, but this time it was so much more. There was no need to hold back; she could give free rein to all the passion she’d been holding in check, all the primal need that reared up inside her.

Although this kiss wasn’t merely about giving—it was about taking what she wanted. And she wanted Matthew.


You can find What Happens in Charleston in Australia and New Zealand here, or in the UK here, or still available in the US with its original cover here.

To be in the draw to win a signed copy of What Happens in Charleston... simply leave a comment. And since this is Matthew and Susannah's second kiss, why don't you let us know about something that you tried twice and liked just as much the second time. :)

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from These Haunted Hearts by Anna Campbell will be posted!

Mar 22, 2013


I was trying to get to grips with a plot the other day and was getting absolutely nowhere. I had the characters and a setting, I had a conflict- a great meaty one- but I couldn't 'see' how the story was going to unfold.

I remembered a workshop I recently attended where the speaker talked of getting inspiration in unlikely places- beg, borrowing and stealing ideas. And, being creatively challenged, I wondered how that approach might help me. But I was getting kinda desperate!

So I grabbed a couple of old magazines and started cutting out random pictures and words that somehow struck a chord without forcing the process- just seeing where inspiration took me. (And yes- the NZ Rugby magazine was purely for research purposes- honestly!)

After a while I lost myself in the process of it all, looking at the fashions, imaging my heroine wearing this or that, what type of house my hero might have- I lost quite a few hours but gained a lot of insight into what makes my characters tick, how the story might progress, and more importantly, how my hero and heroine feel about things. I don't know how it worked, but it definitely gave me a clearer vision. Maybe it was the chance to get away from the computer screen for a while and just play with no pressure. It's crude and basic- but I never set out to make art, just a way of collating ideas in a visual form.

Collaging isn't a new concept, I have friends who love to scrapbook important life events, and I know the great Jenny Crusie does a complex 3D collage of every story she writes but I've never understood the allure. Until now.

So now I have a story- I just have to write the darned thing!

Have you ever collaged or done scrapbooking? What do you find helps the creative process- or what creative things do you do to help you relax? 

Mar 21, 2013

Welcome Party Winners!

Thanks to everyone who helped us welcome the new Cats with style. We have the best followers. :)

We have two prize packs of books to give away. Each pack contains:

Amy Andrews, Driving Her Crazy
Jennifer St George, The Convenient Bride
Yvonne Lindsay, A Father's Secret
Rachel Bailey, No Stranger To Scandal
Barbara DeLeo, Contract For Marriage
Michelle Douglas, Bella's Impossible Boss
Louisa George, The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date
Robyn Grady, A Wedding She'll Never Forget
Helen Lacey, His-And-Hers Family
Sue Mackay, You, Me & A Family
Annie West, Captive in the Spotlight

The first winner is Mary Preston who made the... unusual choice of a gargoyle if she could be an imaginary creature. In her own words:
 If I could choose an imaginary animal it would be a gargoyle.

I can so totally see myself crouched all gnarly & sinister looking out over the world. Of course I would need magic to help me come to life, so that I could pounce at will. Not Will, will.
Thanks for joining in the fun, Mary!

Our second winner is TashNz who could not only remember her first every category read, but the second one too! Tash said:
P.S My first category was Penny Jordan, second Carole Mortimer. I loved Caro's story and the conflict was that the girl had a twin sister who the guy saw kissing someone else i think lol
Thanks for helping us welcome the new cats, Tash!

Mary and TashNz, drop me a line: rachel (at) rachelbailey (dot) com and give me your postal address and we'll get those books out to you.

To everyone else who joined in the party, thanks! You all make this blog a fun place for us to be. :)

Mar 20, 2013

Legends on LoveCats ... with Melanie Milburne

Welcome to another fabulous Legends on LoveCats.... visiting today we have award winning Harlequin Presents & Harlequin Medical author, the wonderful Melanie Milburne!

Let's welcome Melanie!

Please tell us a little about your journey to first getting published.
I’ve been writing stories since I was four but I didn’t write my first novel until the year I turned forty. I still remember the feeling of excitement I got when I sat down at the computer and starting writing. I still get it now. It took me three and a half years and five submissions before I got the call. By the time I sold, I had written over seventeen complete manuscripts to fill in the time while I waited for assessment on those five submissions.
How many books have you had published so far in your career?
48 books have gone on the shelves so far. I have just completed my 51st book, which will be out in November.
The world of publishing is ever evolving, how have you stayed on top of trends and continued to give your readers what they want?
I know what I want as a reader and how that has changed over time, so I guess I rely on my intuition to pick up on new directions romance is going in. But in this digital age fans will email directly and tell authors (and publishers/editors) what they want.
What has been the highlight of your publishing career so far?
I’m sure people would expect me to say winning the R*BTY in 2011, but while that was nice, it was an email I got late last year that nailed it for me. It was from an avid reader of romance who said my book Surrendering All But Her Heart was the best romance novel she had ever read. She listed the ways it had spoken to her, how it had made her feel, how the characters had stayed with her for days and days.  But not only that, she said the book had changed her. I don’t there is any trophy or award that will ever mean more to me than that. It is what storytelling is all about-making the reader feel lasting emotion.
Which of your books is your favourite, and why?
I have a new favourite! It used to always be The Secret Baby Bargain, which was my 11th book but now it is Their Most Forbidden Fling, which is my 47th.  But then just about every book I am working on is my favourite, but so says every writer.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I am a bit of both but having said that, I have found it sometimes depends on the book/ story idea/theme as to whether I plot or wing it. One thing I do know - I always have trouble with the back end of the book if I don’t know what my crisis scene is when I start out. Once I know my black moment I can write towards it, otherwise I am lost in the wilderness until I find that magic piece of the story puzzle.
What is the one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
Write. I know it’s almost boring to hear it but writing is the only way. I always use swimming as an analogy as I spend a lot of time in the pool. No amount on books on swimming technique will teach a non-swimmer or a bad swimmer to swim. The only way is to get in the water and see how it feels. The more you swim, the fitter and stronger you get. Writing is exactly the same. Oh, and it helps to watch great swimmers ( and read great writers) so you can see how it’s supposed to be done!
The other gem of advice I endorse is:  Describe your story in a sentence.
What do you love most about being a romance writer?
I love the experience of writing. Actually putting the words on the page is a source of great enjoyment for me. It really is like solving a puzzle, as I mentioned earlier. I truly believe just about anyone can write because it’s part of being human to be creative. We’ve been telling stories to each other since our knuckles were dragging along the ground. The real challenge is getting those words in the right order on the page so the reader experiences everything you want them to feel.
Thank you Melanie for joining us today.
Melanie has a copy of her latest release to give away to one commenter!
And visit Melanie at her website

Mar 17, 2013

New Cat Welcome Party - with Prizes!!

Amy Andrews

One of our very favourite things to do here at the LoveCats blog, is to welcome new Cats aboard. One of our other very favourite things is to have a party. Today we're doing both! And giving away *2* giant prize packs of books!

Three new Cats are joining us today - count them, three! And what *fabulous* felines they are:

Jennifer St George
Amy Andrews, who writes for Harlequin Medicals, Harlequin KISS and Entangled Indulgence.

Jennifer St George, who writes for Penguin Destiny (our first Destiny Cat!).
Yvonne Lindsay, who writes for Harlequin Desire.

The sad moment of this party is as we wave goodbye to three Cats - Natalie Anderson left a couple of months ago, and you might have seen her farewell post. But today we're also saying goodbye to the lovely Leah Ashton, as well as a founding cat, the gorgeous Nikki Logan. So long! You'll always be a Cat to us.

Now, to get to know our new Cats a little better, I've asked them some probing questions:

1. Who is your Catwalk candidate?
Yvonne Lindsay

Amy:  My 10 year old black lab Fonzie. He’s almost one hundred percent blind now due to epilepsy but he still loves to chase his special ball and anything else you want to throw for him. If it doesn’t bounce near his ear he has no hope of finding it but it doesn’t stop him from bringing us stuff to throw and he loves to run around! I swear he’s still a puppy sometimes!

Jennifer: My cute little catwalk candidate is our Cavoodle puppy, Toffee.

Yvonne: Dobbie the Little Black Cat (she’s my precious!).

2. If you could be any imaginary animal, what would it be?

Amy: I think it’d be kind of cool to be a unicorn. In my imagination they live in a world of rainbows and peace which sounds pretty damn good to me!

Jennifer: One that could fly.  I'm terrified of flying and it would be great to be in control when I soar up into the sky!

Yvonne: I think I’d be a Celtic Dragon.

3. What was the first category book you read?

Amy: Don’t remember but it would have been by either Carole Mortimer,  Anne Mather or Charlotte Lamb.

Jennifer: Wow, I can't remember!  But I can remember the very first Blaze I read - Can't Get Enough by Sarah Mayberry.  Love Sarah's writing!

Yvonne: Ooh, good heavens, how can I remember back that far! I was 13! I do know my reading was influenced by New Zealand authors, Robyn Donald, Daphne Clair and Susan Napier over the years.

4. What's the last great category book you read?

Amy: Oh, not fair...loved Sarah Mayberry’s self-published Her Best Worst Mistake.

Jennifer: I'm currently reading and loving Mr Right At The Wrong Time by Nikki Logan.

Yvonne: Last great category book I read was Louisa George’s The War Hero’s Locked Away Heart. I loved how Louisa created very real characters with very real and believable conflict. Fabulous story!

5. What's something we wouldn’t know about you?

Amy: I don’t like peanut butter.

Jennifer: When I was in my early twenties, I launched Guinness beer into Russia.  We held the launch in a pub around the corner from the Kremlin.  I had to organise everything through a translator as I don't speak a word of Russian.  When the launch wrapped and all the journalists, photographers and TV crews left, I walked out into snowy, minus 20 degree Red Square and felt a little like Anna Karenina (minus all the tragedy, infidelity, jealousy, nineteenth century costumes...).

Yvonne: That’s a tricky one…I’d tell you but then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.

To share the joy of our celebrations, we have *two* prize packs of books to give away to commenters. Each pack contains: 

Amy Andrews, Driving Her Crazy
Jennifer St George, The Convenient Bride
Yvonne Lindsay, A Father's Secret
Rachel Bailey, No Stranger To Scandal
Barbara DeLeo, Contract For Marriage
Michelle Douglas, Bella's Impossible Boss
Louisa George, The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date
Robyn Grady, A Wedding She'll Never Forget
Helen Lacey, His-And-Hers Family
Sue Mackay, You, Me & A Family
Annie West, Captive in the Spotlight

So, pull up a chair, take a glass of our special catnip punch, and join in the party. And while you're mingling let us know your own answers to any of the questions the new Cats answered.  Paws in the air!

Sunday Smooch!

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  The Goddess, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Lainey4!

Can you please contact Annie West annie (at) annie-west(dot) com to recieve your copy of Captive in the Spotlight.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Goddess by Robyn Grady...

Cover coming soon!
Scene set-up:
Backpacker Helene Masters finds herself in the employ of a prince on an isolated Mediterranean island steeped in mystery. Needing a break from her housekeeper garb, Helene gets creative - cue a fun upsweep and fall of silk held together by a single broach pin.
But with dinner served on the balcony of Prince Darius Vasily's centuries old villa, has Helene under-estimated the power of the moonlight, not to mention the prince's priceless artefact...a figurine that embodies a legend which promises the delights of seduction as well as the consequences of fertility.

Kiss Scene... 

On the balcony, Darius placed the platter between the settings Helene had arranged on the table. Balcony torches were lit. In the middle of seeing to wine, he caught a movement and turned. He almost fumbled the carafe.

A woman stood framed by a high arched doorway, looking for all the world like a Grecian goddess. Her abundance of flaxen hair was swept up in a classic style off the elegant column of her throat. Her dress could tempt a priest to break his vows. The ankle-length silk gown lay draped expertly around her breasts and fell from the high-cinched waist in perfect folds to her dainty, unadorned feet. A glittering, palm-sized pin in the shape of a dolphin secured the fabric at one side while the other shoulder remained delectably bare. He didn’t care where Helene had found that outfit, he was only glad she had.

Blindly he set the carafe down as the vision moved toward him. With each step, the split in her gown parted enough for a tantalizing glimpse of shapely leg to be revealed.

“I found these bits and pieces in a drawer. I guess maids like to dress up, too. I hope no one minds.” She lifted and dropped a bare shoulder. “I was sick of shorts and baggy shirts.”

He tried to speak. Instead he cleared the knot from his throat at the same time she spotted the food.

“You didn’t have to bring that out,” she said, coming nearer.

“I’d have to do more if you weren’t here.”

She popped a plump olive in her mouth but rather than take a seat, she moved to the balcony rail. He followed.

“I like that music,” she said.

“It’s a Cretan lyra.”

“I recognize it. A man sometimes plays one in Alexio’s taverna.” She faced the sea. “I wish I could play an instrument. I’m hopeless at reading those black dots and squiggles. Reading history was always much more fun.” Leaning on the rail, her attention shifted from the view to meet his gaze again. “What did you study in college?”

He’d been examining her profile...pert nose, dimpled chin, the slender slope of her neck. Now he refocused.   

“I went to university in England. Studied business. Economics. History too. The palace library on the main island has some interesting volumes about these parts.”

She nodded but didn’t presume to ask if that was an invitation to inspect the library books firsthand, which was good because, seeing her in this moonlight in that dress, his thoughts were a little scrambled; he might have said yes. He had enjoyed their evenings together, listening to the sea and hearing her chat on about her life in America and how fascinating she found this part of the world.

Darius found her fascinating, and it was more than the outfit. She was easy to talk to. She made him laugh. Helped him relax. He simply liked her being around. If Helene knew, she might blame his interest in her on the goddess and her seductive powers. She was familiar with the legend: should it serve her purpose, the goddess was able to inspire deep, even mindless desire between a couple, particularly here on this island. But he had no intenion of losing his heart...although he had speculated on testing the more physical waters. Tonight, the idea of bringing Helene close was beyond tempting.

She was gazing out over the slopes.

“I recognize the olive trees and pines. And all the fruit trees in the orchard. What kind is that big green one over there?” She nodded at the nearby monster.

“A hickory.” Darius leaned both forearms on the rail. “An early Greek myth surrounds them. The story grew over time but the original version involves a woman named Carya.”

“Who was she?”

“Among other things, Carya was a virgin.”

“Not the sacrificial type, I hope.”  

“Dionysus, son of Apollo, visited King Leon and fell passionately in love with one of his three daughters," he explained.


He nodded. “Dionysus left the court but when he returned for her, Carya’s sisters tried to stop her from leaving with him. As punishment for their jealousy, he sent the sisters mad. Then he and Carya escaped together. Later, when she died, Dionysus turned his beloved into a tree.”


As Helene gazed out at the hickory, he became more aware of the rise and fall of silk draped over her breasts.

“I suppose a tree can still breathe,” he said. “Can still feel.”

A breeze picked up. Nearby, a torch threw sparks and Helene moved back. To shield her, Darius skirted around to stand close on her other side. Closer than he had been to her before.

“It’s said that when Dionysus and Carya first kissed,” he went on, “all the birds in Greece began to sing.”

The silk of her dress, moved by the breeze, fluttered against her body; every curve and peak beneath was thrown into tantalizing relief. When his gaze met hers again, her eyes were glistening. He tried to read the emotion waiting there. Apprehension?



“Maybe the birds started singing on this island first,” she whispered.

His hand slid along the rail toward hers. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Her gaze dropped to his mouth before she cast a look out over the surrounding trees again. “All the birds are asleep now though.”

“Perhaps we should wake them.”

“Wake them how?”

His hand scooped around her waist. Bringing her close, he inhaled her lavender scent and murmured, “I’ll show you how.”

As Darius's lips touched hers, and lingered, Helene let her eyes drift shut. A heartbeat later, he drew her closer and she dissolved like a tablespoon of sugar in hot water. One warm palm cupped her nape and gently angled her head. As the kiss created in heaven deepened, Helene leaned in more. But when the hand on the small of her back slid lower, her pulse began to pound in a way that left her reeling.

Out of breath, she broke away.

His mouth found hers again and this time he held her so security against him, every cell in her body seemed to catch fire. Rubbing against the hard span beneath his shirt, her breasts felt so full. Their tips, so sensitive. Through to her core, she was tingling. Everything, everywhere, sizzled and ached for his touch.

Darius’s mouth finally left hers, but his arms remained, iron bands supporting her.

"Listen.” His smile grazed her lips. “The birds are singing now.”

Robyn's giving away a digital copy of The Goddess today. To be in the draw, simply leave a comment and tell us about some mysterious or simply wonderful somewhere you've visited in your life.

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Anna Campbell will be posted!