Tag Archives: JRM Blog Hop

JustRomance.Me Hop: Baby, It’s Cold Outside – The Downsides of Heat by Tara Quan


JustRomance.me Bloghops

Welcome to JustRomance.Me’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside hop. Now that the holiday season is over, we can all focus on the joys (and perils) of this year’s White Christmas.  If you came upon this post by accident, but would like to join in the fun, just click the banner above and you can start at the beginning. There are lots of prizes up for grabs (one of which is a copy of my first novella, Tower in the Woods), and the Grand Prize is a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX.

Before I get on with my post, I probably should tell you that I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card (electronic) to a random commenter on this blog (separate from JRM’s prize bundle). All you need to do is state the FULL NAME (First & Last) of the not so comfortable woman featured in the snippet below (aka. the heroine of my new release, Delicious Delay). Yes, this is a blatant attempt to bribe you into leaving a comment (*bats eyelashes*) [According to Random.org, the winner of this GC is the 7th commenter who is *drum roll* “Tammy”!]

Okay, onward with my post. I was born and raised in Bangkok (where it’s perpetually above 95F/39C). When I finished high school, I made the somewhat misguided decision of picking a university in Boston. Below was my dorm-room view for most of the “Fall Semester.”

Boston Winter

Suffice it to say I wasn’t a happy camper (I have absolutely no cold-tolerance). Now that I’m living in DC, the winter isn’t quite as bad, but it’s definitely not to a Bangkokian’s standards. So what’s a girl to do when it’s freezing outside?

One thing that always makes me feel better (and I’m not just trying to plug my book, I promise) is remembering the downsides of heat. Here’s a snippet from my new release that might cheer you up:

“Michelle Day fanned herself with the in-flight menu as she guzzled warming champagne. Hot air blew through the vents above her seat. At the height of summer, no air conditioning could win against the desert sun. […] Even with an icy towel on the back of her neck, her body kept sweating by the bucket. The creases at her knees and elbows itched. Her bra’s underwire and straps chafed enough for it to be classified as an instrument of torture. Desperate times called for desperate measures.”

Wondering what those desperate measures were? Delicious Delay is available from Decadent Publishing (here), Amazon (here), and B&N (here). Click on the cover to get to a much sexier excerpt and the blurb!

You should know my heroine’s name by now, so all you need to do is state it in your comment along with an email where I can contact you for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.  I’ll draw the winner after the hop ends on January 5th.

JustRomance.Me – Love A Tree Blog Hop

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Welcome! This is my second time joining a JustRomance.Me blog hop. If you came upon this post by accident, but would like to join in the fun, just click the banner to the left and you can start at the beginning. There are lots of prizes up for grabs (one of which is a copy of my novella, Tower in the Woods).

This blog hop celebrates Earth Day , so I chose a relevant except from my new release Warlock’s Pawn. Below it is a picture of the actual location that inspired this desert fantasy (Empty Quarter, UAE). My husband’s one of the guys in black.

Though strategy dictated he walk past the idyllic scene in this neglected garden, he found himself marching toward her as if drawn by a magical tether. A single sighting would make his efforts a complete waste, but his mind fought the battle and lost. She was alone, surrounded by date palms and long-stemmed yellow flowers, and the simple white dress that had caught his eye at court made her appear ethereal as she sat by the water’s side. Now that she was but an arm’s reach away, their likenesses in the mosaic pool seemed as if captured from a forgotten dream.

“No one visits this place,” she remarked with a sigh. “The rarest treasures of the desert are here for all to enjoy. Yet each day you walk by as if dates are as common as sand.”

He frowned and reached over to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. The odd calm in her tone made him wonder how attuned she was to his thoughts. “I am here now.”

She turned at long last to meet his gaze. “But you loathe yourself for not walking away.”

Accustomed to being inscrutable, he could not help but feel reluctant admiration for her astuteness. “Where there is beauty there are those who seek its destruction. It is my duty to protect the walls that keep these waters safe.”

Her lips curved into a small, almost mocking smile. “Are you telling me you do not have the luxury to savor what you have?”

He narrowed his eyes. “You clearly believe otherwise.”

She shrugged. “You neglect this place by choice, my lord, not by circumstance.” While her face remained impassive, he could sense the pain and confusion behind the veil of calm. Unable to stop himself, he leaned closer and circled his arm around her shoulders. She resisted for only a moment before resting her forehead against his chest. He needed to leave; he should have never come. The longer he tarried there the greater the chance a courtier would see them together and send whispers flying throughout court.

“I have hurt you. I will hurt you,” he murmured as he rested his chin on her hair and took in a deep breath. “What I did, what I will do, it is for your protection. Try to trust my words, for your suffering pains me far more than it does you.”

Empty Quarter

I hope you enjoyed the snippet as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy Earth Day!

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In a world of blood and sand, becoming a warlock’s queen is a fatal curse. To survive the Helicon court, Alia must learn to play a lethal game. But while she faces assassins with a dagger in hand, what she fears most is losing her heart along with her freedom.

Content Notes: Intense Heat/Edgy Erotic Romance, Anal Play/Intercourse, Light BDSM Practices or Play, Menage

Congrats to JRM Raffle Winners!

Congrats to Vanessa N. for winning  a copy of Tower in the Woods when it comes out on January 14th.

On that note – congrats to everyone who won something from the JRM Blog Hop! It was loads of fun, and I’ll definitely be participating again.

A big thanks of course goes to the organizers who put this all together. Michael, it was a fabulous success. I have literally never had this much traffic on my blog. It was wonderful having people actually leave comments–the 1-2 views a day (most assuredly from a blood relation) was getting a tad depressing.

I’m glad everyone enjoyed the snippet, and I am now motivated to rescue Nicholas and Allison from my computer at some point (perhaps I can get a novella/short out of it).

Naughty New Year Blog Hop

Welcome! This is my first time joining a JustRomance.Me blog hop. If you came upon this post by accident, but would like to join in the fun, just click the banner to the left and you can start at the beginning. There are lots of prizes up for grabs (one of which is a copy of my novella, Tower in the Woods, when it comes out on January 14th).

I signed up for this hop a little late (i.e. the day before this post needs to go live). As such, below is a very rough adaptation of a scene from Shifting Tides – a romantic suspense that will forever be buried on my laptop. The story still holds a special place in my heart, being my first completed manuscript. But in the way of most first works, it is fatally flawed and self-admittedly quite horrible (almost all 90K words of it). Hopefully, I’ve managed to rescue this scene.

By the way – it’s a bit on the steamier side (but I cut it off just before any disclaimers would be required):

~~~

It wasn’t hard to spot the woman in the photograph.  The New Year’s Eve party was in full swing, with models and photographers enjoying the alcohol-drenched celebration.  But his target stood out from the others.  She looked real, not some puppet dolled up for the night.  She wore jeans and a yellow silk shirt that brightened her face.  It was all there – the ebony hair, doe-like eyes, delicate bone structure and sad smile.  She should be sad.  She won’t be breathing for much longer.

He didn’t care why his employer wanted her dead.  It was none of his business.  He got a phone call with a name. The man on the other end of the line wanted the reporter, Allison Darcy, to never return to Washington, D.C. alive.

She was too small to put up much of a fight.  He could easily snap her neck before leaving U.S. soil.  That was the beauty of these islands.  In less than an hour, he could be on Tortola, outside the jurisdiction of the Americans.  The police won’t have much to go on.  There was nothing linking him to his victim.  It was the perfect murder.

He sat on his boat and watched her through the binoculars. There was a problem.  He could tell by the way Rich Boy was holding her that he planned on taking the dance to a more private venue.  It would be stupid to attack her with a witness present.

He breathed a sigh of relief when she left the party alone.  It gave him a window of opportunity.  He slipped out of his boat and followed her, making certain to stay hidden in the shadows.  But Rich Boy had also just exited the brightly lit area.  It didn’t take much imagination to guess they had the same destination in mind.  She wasn’t going to spend the night alone.

Disappointed, he made his way back. He would wait for Rich Boy to get bored.  A moment alone is all it would take for him to kill her.

****

Allie froze when she heard the knock.  She knew who it was.  If she wanted to back-out, the time was now.  All she had to do was keep the door shut. Nicholas would go back to the New Year’s Eve celebration, and she would write tonight off as a mistake that was nipped in the bud.

Closing her eyes, she filled her lungs and tried to slow down her racing heart.  Who was she kidding?  She had wanted this to happen from the moment she spotted him at the party.  She was making this too easy. She should put him off for at least another day or two. Having sex with her childhood crush on New Year’s Eve would be the ultimate cliche.

He had been ruthless in his seduction. He sat next to her at the dinner table, his hand between her thighs as his colleagues discussed business.  She hadn’t expected him to touch her so boldly in public. On the dance floor, she had felt his body harden against hers. His large hands had held her captive while he whispered naughty propositions against her ear.  She had no doubt he will make good on every promise the moment she opened the door.  Her hand trembling, she twisted the handle.

Nicholas pushed her backward the moment the door slid open.  Once inside, he turned the deadbolt before grabbing her by the shoulders and pinning her against the hallway wall.  His mouth sought hers, his tongue exploring as he plastered her body against the concrete.  Closing her eyes, she gave in to the craving that had been gnawing at her for the past night.

“You have a thing for trapping women against hard places, don’t you?” she quipped when he relinquished her lips.  One hand tilted her face upwards, while the other dug into the side of her hips.  The fire in his eyes made her fear she had pushed him too far.

“Just you,” Nicholas answered, the tension in his body belying his casual tone.  “If you want me to leave Allison, tell me now.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “You usually don’t give your conquests, business or personal, an opportunity to renege.”

His smile was a combination of fire and ice.  “And you’re not the type to have a one night stand on New Year’s Eve.”

But every grown woman was allowed a single reckless fling. This was the one man who had ever tempted Allie to throw caution to the wind.  She looked up at him in silence and waited, her surrender reflected in the stillness of her body.

~~~~

I hope you enjoyed the snippet as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy New Year!