Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Fight Club - Damien vs Cade

The lights dim. The crowd roars. And to the pulsing beat of your favorite hard-pounding song, the two competitors strut into the arena.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another match up in Friday Fight Club!

This month - it's the Whips vs the Wolves.

Competitor One is Damien Winter, from Skylar Kade's Surrender to Fire.

Damien Winter recently moved from New York to Los Angeles to open the newest branch of his development company--and maybe get a fresh start away from his last disappointing relationship. As an architect, Damien is exacting and a Dominant, this translates into being hard to please. Just as he'd resigned himself to teaching temperature play demonstrations and having shallow sessions with unattached submissives, he's blindsided by Camille Verona, the one woman who tests his control. 

Unlike some Doms, Damien focuses less on impact play and more on sensations--hot, cold, confusion, excitement--and lack thereof, employing tools like bondage and blindfolds to force his partner to focus on select sensory input. It's also much easier to surprise a blindfolded submissive. While he may seem even-keeled and relaxed, his boy-next-door good looks hide seriously creative deviousness. 

And on the other side of the ring, our second competitor, Cade MacDougall, from Yours, Mine and Howls by Kinsey Holley.

Cade MacDougall is the Alpha of the Rocky Mountain Pack. He owns a ranch in Colorado where he breeds horses and lives with his pack and his four-year-old daughter who insists she's a cat. Tall, dark, bearded and chiseled, he's never lacked attention from the females. Cade's got a pretty sweet life, if you don't count his lingering grief over his brother's death, the frequent nightmares about his parents' murders, and the refusal of all the other US Pack Alphas to recognize Rocky Mountain as the successor to his late father's pack.

Then one day a shy, annoyingly sexy (and just plain annoying) young woman shows up with the nephew Cade never knew he had. Now he's got problems. 

Surrender to Fire
One scorching-hot lesson could leave her begging for more.

The Maison Chronicles, Book 3

Reeling from the double whammy of her Dom’s abandonment, and accusations of colluding with a plagiarizing author, all literary agent Camille Verona wants is some low-profile, drama-free quality time.

Just as she’s settling into a Maison Domine cabin with her to-be-read pile and a full slate of spa appointments, she finds herself sweet talked into playing topless assistant so some Dominant can run a BDSM educational demo.

Architect Damien Winter is on a relationship hiatus, so he focuses his dominant energies on teaching BDSM classes. A chance encounter in Maison’s parking lot with a woman who angrily insists she’s no sub—though every line of her body screams otherwise—turns shocking when she winds up as temporary replacement for his demonstration partner.

Damien is unprepared for the way her beautiful submission gets under his skin. And Camille never thought she’d fall, hard, for just the kind of man she’s sworn off. But when her ex’s vague threats turn serious, Damien fears he’s already lost the chance to claim her for his own.

Product Warnings: This book contains a fiery woman burned one too many times and the Dom who entices her to submit to the heat between them.

Barnes and Noble 

Yours, Mine and Howls

A Werewolves in Love story

Thirteen years ago, Ally Kendall died defending her young cousin from his werewolf stepfather.

She hasn’t been the same since.

Ally returned from the hereafter with strange new powers, burdened with the secret of why and how she survived. She managed to scrape her life together and raise her cousin, but now he needs a pack to guide him into adulthood. That means pulling up stakes yet again and heading for Colorado to find the only werewolf qualified for the job. A werewolf, she discovers, who tempts her to give up control in a thousand sinful ways.

Cade MacDougall, Alpha of an unrecognized pack, has a tragic history, a sizable ranch, and a daughter who thinks she’s a cat. Time to find a mate? Don’t make him laugh. Until Ally shows up with a smokin’ hot, preternaturally strong body that smells like mine, and introduces him to a nephew who holds the key to unraveling mysteries about Cade’s family—and himself.

But Ally’s holding something back. As Cade’s enemies gather, the cowboy and his secretive new mate must come clean about their mysterious pasts…or else all hope of protecting their newly formed family—and their future—will be lost.


See you on Facebook for the competition! And may the best man win!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Quiz: Which Celebrity Couple Are You?

We had way too much fun with this quiz--take it and share with us on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

And our results are...

Erin: "Michelle and Barack Obama.. You guys prove that two dominant partners can not only form a healthy relationship, but even an inspiring one. There is no power struggle because your strengths only compliment each other for the bigger good. Despite being two individual powerhouses, you make a perfect team."

Kelly: You got: Kate Middleton and Prince William. "Aka 'Widdleton.' You two are emblems of elegance, class, and sophistication. Or basically the opposite of modern romance." *snort*

Meg: "You got David and Victoria Beckham. When you two walk into a room, mouths fall open, sweat collects, and panties drop. Calling you guys a 'hot couple' would be a complete understatement. You really know how to bend it, if you know what I mean." This is, of course, hilarious.

Skylar: Jay-Z and Beyonce. Oh hell yes we are! "Like Jay and Bey, you’re both independently strong and powerful people, so you do not NEED the other to thrive. But when you two do merge, the relationship is so sexy and potent it can literally rupture the world around you. Also, the sex is great."

PG: Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff "When two equally cool people (of two different cool genres) fuse into one mega-cool couple, it’s, like, whatever." uh...okay.

Kate: Kate Middleton and Prince William! "Aka 'Widdleton.' You two are emblems of elegance, class, and sophistication. Or basically the opposite of modern romance." And may I just say... BWAHAHAHAHA!

Kinsey: We got Widdleton!

Sydney: Michelle and Barack Obama for me and Master Chef. We're both still laughing!

Juniper: We got Jay Z and Beyonce. If we had one 100th their income, we'd be even more happy and the sex would be even better.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ten Things I Miss About Summer

It never fails that every February I start to get a little stir crazy. I'm sick of the cold, the snow, the shorter days and...did I mention the cold? It's hard not to think about warm weather or heading away on vacation (hello Florida) this time of year, even though I know that by the end of July, I'll be missing the cooler temperatures. So just to torture myself (and you too) I thought I'd share the things I miss the most about summer.

1. The sun!

2. Not needing to wear a jacket. All. The. Time.

3. Sandals.

4. Spending the afternoon curled up on the deck with a good book and a cold drink.

5. Sending the Herd outside because they have no reason to be indoors when it's nice outside.It's hard to force encourage the kids to go outdoors when it's -30 outside or storming. But in the on :)

6. The trailer. Aside from our vacations, nothing is as relaxing and stress-free as spending our weekends at the campground with all the extended family. Family who just love to entertain the Herd.

7. Campfires. More specifically, marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. Enough said.

8. Ice cream. Sure I can have this all year round, but eating an ice cream cone that starting to melt on a warm afternoon makes it that much more enjoyable. Unless you have 5 kids with you who aren't nearly as seasoned when it comes to scarfing down melting ice cream.

9. BBQ's! We still use our Barbeque in the winter (okay Master Chef does) but not very often, and it's not the same watching him flipping burgers on a snow-covered deck as it is watching him on a sunny Saturday afternoon while I'm stretched out on a lounge chair reading that good book.

10. Sunsets. Like the late ones that mean the sun doesn't go down until after the Herd's in bed and it's just Master Chef and I enjoying the quiet evening with a fantastic view of the river.

What about you? What do you miss most about summer? Are you tired of shovelling? Live in a place that hardly see's snow?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guest Blogger Amber Bardan - Ten Things I Love In a Romance Novel

I've been devouring romance novels since I was old enough to use my pocket money to buy Johanna Lindsey novels with saucy covers. I love everything about them, but there are definitely some things about romance novels that I love more than others. For me it's all about the fantasy, because in a romance novel you can have your cake and damn well eat it too. I want fully-fledged happy endings with an extra big spoon of modern day fairytale on top!

So here are the top ten things I love to find in a romance novel—and that you're likely to find in mine.

1. Real people problems with not so everyday solutions.

2. Suspense, just a drop, with an antagonist lurking in the shadows somewhere.

3. A heroine you can respect but who makes mistakes.

4. A hero who is even at his worst, heroic.

5. Enough sexual tension to melt the pages. By the time the moment arrives the characters have truly earned it, and you're just as desperate for it as they are!

6. Characters that empower each other.

7. Conflict—the things that tear them apart are just as powerful as the connection that brings them together.

8. Subplot. It needs to have a story other than, will they or wont they!

9. True love and happy ever after. No maybes, no perhaps one day, characters who are forever soul mates!

10. Lastly...Okay, I'm just going to say it—a hero with a mighty penis and the skills to wield it. Cliché perhaps, but this is fantasy time remember?

For Her Protection

Charlize Halifax has a big last name and even bigger duty to uphold. Left to pick up the pieces of her family’s hemorrhaging communications empire, there’s no time for distractions. But when her take-no-prisoners management style lands her in physical danger, distraction arrives in the form of infuriating body guard Connor Crowe.

Having crossed swords with him that very morning, she knows a man who thinks he can push her around has no place in her life—especially when his cave man heroics kick her libido into hyper drive.

Yet when the threat to Charlize’s safety becomes outright attack, she knows there’s only one man she’d trust with her life.

Resisting Connor’s intrusion into her life is easy, denying his effect on her body, now that’s another thing...

About Amber

After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her days as a graphic designer but her nights writing scintillating tales about heroes with tough exteriors who are warm inside.

She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.


Monday, February 24, 2014

5 reasons I love setting my books in Southern California

This month, Surrender to Fire (Book III of the Maison Chronicles) and Exposing Ellen released. Like almost all of my books, they are both set in Southern California--Los Angeles and Orange County, respectively.

Aside from being my hometown, Los Angeles and the surrounding counties are an amazing setting for romance novels.

1. The beaches are an obvious one. Watching the sunset over the Pacific is stunning, especially from the cliffs of Malibu or Laguna Beach. Hello romance!

2. Want your hero and heroine to snuggle up in the snow? Take them to Big Bear or Snow Valley for a weekend. They're both a two-hour drive outside of Los Angeles and having chilly, snowed-in characters makes for all kinds of naughty fun. This is exactly what happened to Gabe and Hope in my Maison Chronicles short story "Merry XXXmas"

3. Movie stars abound in Los Angeles. Heroine's running out for a cup of coffee and bumps into that attractive man? Yep, he's an up-and-coming actor. I'm partial to the crew members who make TV magic, though, like Aimee from Exposing Ellen.

4. There's a diversity of residents. From ethnicity to income to career paths, Los Angeles (like most metropolitan areas) offers heroes and heroines from the sweet Newport Beach librarian (like Exposing Ellen's title character) to the high-powered Beverly Hills attorney to the stars.

5. The freeway systems makes it easy to access even more distant locations. Traffic aside, it's easy to zip south from Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, or east to the mountain cities and Palm Springs. Vegas is only a few hours away! This accessibility means you can send your characters on an overnight or long weekend to a completely new place. Cam and Damien overnight in San Diego to visit a new club in Surrender to Fire.

Since I do have new releases to celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway through the end of the month. You can enter through the actions below! Two winners will receive, respectively, a $50 Amazon gift card an a $30 Stockroom (another Los Angeles treasure) gift card.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 21, 2014

First BOOK Friday-- Kate Davies

It's First BOOK Friday!  For the next few months, we're going to highlight the first book from each of the Nine Naughties.  Sometimes people find us further down our backlist, sometimes readers think they're picking up our first book when really it's number 3 or so, sometimes our first book was so long ago even we've forgotten!  (just kidding... it's true that you never forget your first!).  So we thought it would be fun to revisit the books that started it all for each of us!

This month we're featuring the first book from Kate Davies, Taking the Cake.

A note from Kate:

Back in 2006, I was writing a romantic suspense novel when Stella Cameron announced her Scarlet Boa contest. Though the book wasn't finished, I submitted a suspense scene from it, and ended up in the top ten. All the finalists were posted for public voting.

I didn't win. But a short time after the contest ended, I got an email from the contest coordinator letting me know that an editor for a new, not-yet-up-and-running e-press was interested in seeing the manuscript. If I wanted, they would pass along her contact information.

Well, I was wary, but did a little research and finally decided that though the book wasn't done, I would be willing to submit something else instead. I wrote the editor - Angela James - and offered two connected novellas in place of the unfinished novel.

She said go ahead and send them, and three weeks later I got an email offering for both.

(And the romantic suspense? Still hasn't found a home. So if I'd been done with that one and sent it in instead, my writing career would look very different - or might not have happened at all!)


A walk on the wild side with her favorite bad boy is just what this good girl needs!

Mollie Mason is sure her night can't get any worse.  Stuck in an inflatable rubber cake, she overhears her fiancé slamming her to the entire guest list of his bachelor party—and then she catches him cheating!  But discovering her high school crush has witnessed her humiliation is the icing on the cake.

Cade Gallagher has wanted Mollie for years.  And when she asks him to help her prove to the world—and herself—that she's not just a good girl, he knows he'd be a fool to say no.  But she wants a temporary fling.  Will two weeks be enough time to convince her to take a chance on him—forever?


If she never saw the inside of another cake, it would be too soon.

Mollie Mason shifted uncomfortably, hoping the music cueing her “arrival” would hurry up and start playing. The combination mask/headdress had shifted, leaving her able to see out of only one side, not that there was much to see at the moment besides the dark interior of a round rubber container. And to make matters worse, her spangly leotard was slowly creeping up her butt.

Of course, the pop-up rubber cake left little room to adjust either situation, so she was left crouching on all fours, legs cramping, a half-blind butt-flossing idiot.

At least it wasn’t a real cake, she thought, blinking drops of sweat out of her eyes. She could be worrying about getting crumbs and frosting in unmentionable places.

Instead, she had plenty of time to wonder if it was possible to suffocate inside such a confined space.

“Seattle Tax Accountant Dies Inside Bachelor Party Cake.” Yeah, that’s the legacy she wanted to leave.

Still no music; if they didn’t get her out of this thing soon she was going to completely freak out.
And a sobbing, jabbering mess was probably the last thing anyone wanted to see tonight.

For a moment, she let herself wonder—very briefly—how Blaine was going to react when she popped out of the cake. Although the stripper she’d bribed to let her take over the cake-jumping job insisted this was the most modest outfit available, it still revealed far more than she was usually comfortable revealing. At least the mask would hide her identity from the other guys in attendance. She might want to surprise Blaine, maybe shock him out of the complacency that seemed to be creeping into their relationship, but she had no intention of letting his friends and co-workers know that the girl popping out of the cake tonight would be walking down the aisle next Saturday.

She might be feeling a little daring tonight, but she wasn’t a complete moron.

Mollie stretched her neck from side to side, trying to work out the kinks that seemed to be multiplying with each second inside this cake-shaped casket. The weight of the headdress only added to her discomfort—how in the world did showgirls dance every night in Vegas wearing these things?

The scent of disinfectant spray and stale body odor wafted past her nose again, making her gag. How did the poor women who did this for a living tolerate it? Not that they had much choice—the strippers’ union wasn’t exactly a powerhouse in labor relations.

Showed what a sheltered life she led. Until tonight, she’d never even considered these issues.

Her hiding place lurched, nearly sending her sprawling on her butt. Mollie’s heart rate accelerated. Someone was rolling the cake out into the middle of the hotel suite where the party was taking place.

At least it would be over soon. Then she’d drag Blaine to a back room and let him in on the secret, plant a big kiss on him, and hightail it over to Caroline’s place to collect her fifty bucks.

She’d fulfilled her terms of the dare, so Caroline had better not kick about paying up.

She’d be lucky if Mollie didn’t insist on double for pain and suffering.

She shifted once again, trying to keep her legs from falling asleep, and settled back to listen for her cue.

Add to your library here!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

9 Things...we can't get enough of on TV

Some of the Nine have that one special TV show. Others (ahem, Erin) have a whole lineup of favorites. We even have a couple rebels!

What's your must-watch show this season?

Skylar: Justified. Kinsey might kill me for calling dibs on it, but I can't get enough of Timothy Olyphant--not to mention that every line of Boyd Crowder's dialogue is impeccable. 

Meg: Elementary. Not only do I get a kick out of Jonny Lee Miller, I covet Lucy Liu's wardrobe every week!

Kelly: I got nothin. I really need to watch more TV. This is what I was watching on Thursday. The view from dinner:

Kate: Castle. I'm hooked on Rick and Beckett!

Erin: Hart of Dixie! (shocking) You want more? I can more than make up for Kelly's not watching. I'm a tv-aholic. I also love Castle. Never miss Rizzoli and Isles. Love Elementary. LOVE NCIS L.A. (the "other one" less so). Enjoy Grimm. Watch almost everything USA puts out. Really miss Burn Notice. Sad about Psych going off the air. Modern Family is must see in our house!! Similarly love the Middle. Still watch Seinfeld reruns. And that's just off the top of my head! And yes, I can write while I watch. No problem. It's a talent I perfected while studying for anatomy exams in PT school... I still didn't turn the tv off but could retain both things at once.

Kinsey: DIBS ON JUSTIFIED?????? Ok fine. Archer. One of the best shows on TV, animated or live action.

PG: I'm with Kelly. I'm in an extended non-TV-watching phase. Although I am kind of obsessed with Treehouse Masters. I mean, c'mon. Who DOESN'T want to live in a tree? I'm watching my son's dog while he's away. (see? kinda like a treehouse). Double the pleasure, double the pit bull fun. Absolutely more entertaining than pretty much anything on TV.

Juniper: I haven't been watching anything! We don't have a TV, plus we've been in Hawaii with limited power. I miss TV! I have a huge TBW list, and you guys are now adding to it. Our version of TV. It's a little bit wetter.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's Bugging Kinsey This Week?

I've tried like four times already to write a blog post but every subject (book reviews; research; RT; how everyone else writes better and faster than me) kind of petered out because I couldn't think of anything interesting to say.

Then I realized I'm in a pretty crabby mood and have been for a couple of days. Lots of things are getting on my nerves.

"Like, what kind of things, Kinsey?"

Glad you asked!

There Was A Roach In Diva's Room This Morning And I Didn't Get It 

I do not need that shit at 6:45 a.m.

I Won't Be My At My Nephew's Birthday Dinner Tonight Because I Still Feel Icky

I'm over the bronchitis but I think now I'm going through withdrawal from all the drugs I was on. I'm still SO. FREAKING. TIRED. all the time. Also, dinner's at Cheesecake Factory and I haven't eaten there in forever so boo.

The Cable's Screwing Up

The picture's all FUBAR and the only sound is a high pitched, screeching buzz. They're coming in the morning to fix it and THEY BETTER, because I still haven't managed to catch Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski's commentary for Olympic figure skating. I can catch the Bitten episode I missed last night on demand but I'm gonna be vexed if I can't record the Glimmer Twins tomorrow.

My Mom Wants To Buy a Roku So She Can Stream Netflix And Amazon Moviese

I just...y'all, I can't with this. I'm her IT department and I know---I don't want to sound like a bitch but I know---the Roku will confuse and enrage her but she won't get rid of it because she spent fifty bucks and she's convinced that not being able to understand electronics and computers means she's got Alzheimer's. (She doesn't have Alzheimer's. She's sucked at technical stuff all her life.)

Fortunately, there are some things that have cheered me up today.

I Was Able To Tell Diva, "If your room wasn't such a disaster area I could have followed the roach and yes, you are sleeping in your room tonight."

I know I shouldn't derive pleasure from being able to say I Told You So but if there's less than one square foot of unoccupied space on the floor, then yeah, a roach can pretty much hide wherever he wants to and no, I'm not pulling out all the crap she's stacked under her desk to look for him.

I swear to God she's inherited her grandmother's hoarding gene and I'm not having it. (Even her step-grandmother -- the one who bought us the disabled-access rodeo tickets -- is a hoarder.) (My father in law is not a hoarder, he just marries them.)

My Sister Posted A Baby Pic Of My Nephew That I Hadn't Seen In Years

He's all tall and skinny now and won't let me blow bubbles on his tummy

Gawker Is Posting Pictures of Tara And Johnny Every Day And There's Always Their Shared Instagram Account (Weir Watch / Tara and Johnny on Instagram


Elaine Stritch Put Her Feet Up In Kathy Lee Gifford's Lap And Said Fuck On The Today Show

A commenter said it best: "This woman is my spirit animal."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guest Blogger Dena Garson - Using the Senses

A big thank you to the Nine Naughty Novelists for letting me stop by today.

I’ve always been told that it’s important to focus on the five senses as you write in order to draw the reader into your story. Sight is often the easiest to describe. How large or small things are and where they are in relation to the hero or heroine. Colors of items add dimension. Sounds are common. Are things loud or soft? And the feel of things can be helpful. Soft or hard, hot or cold, sharp or squishy. Did the character follow his or her nose to something? And how did that pie taste?

What’s important is the character’s reaction to the things around them. What feelings did it evoke? What did the stimulus make them want to do?

As an example, what do you think of when you read this list?
  1. Desert sun
  2. Footsteps on a stone floor
  3. A lover’s touch
  4. Fragrant herbs
  5. Body oil
  6. An animal pelt
  7. Heartbeat
  8. Sand
  9. Medicine
  10. Breath across skin

Desert sun probably made you think hot, maybe even dry. But what is your heroine’s reaction to that dry heat? Is she sweating profusely? Are large drops rolling down her brow, maybe even down her back? Is it making her tired and cranky? Or is she soaking up the warmth as she tries to catch as many rays as possible?

Were the footsteps on the stone floor made by bare feet or high heeled sandals or maybe even cowboy boots with spurs? And are they slow, stealthy footsteps or rushed? Perhaps even angry stomps. And how does your hero react to the sound? Does he go on high alert? Or does he wait to see what she may (or may not) be wearing with those stiletto heels?

Fragrant herbs. Did your character just walk into a greenhouse where a variety of plants are being grown? What other odors might be there? Damp soil? Fertilizer? Maybe the herbs are from the incense burning in the corner of an antique bookstore. Does it trigger your heroine’s allergies? Or are the herbs in the spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove? Did it make the hero’s stomach rumble? And does it remind him of Sunday dinners at his grandmother’s house?

Breath across skin. Where does the heroine feel it on her body? Her cheek as the hero skims his lips across? The back of her neck as the werewolf closes in for the kill? Her ankle as the fuzzy puppy nudges closer? And is she excited, scared, or motherly because of it?

I think you get my meaning. What your hero or heroine feels is what your reader will “feel.” And we want them feeling A LOT to keep them vested in the story.

Now… I’m curious to know how many of the items in the list you find inside my new book, Mystic’s Touch, and what they make YOU feel. Drop me a line and let me know!

When Prince Ceros returns home to take his place on the throne, he falls prey to a mysterious malady that leaves him unable to speak or move, though his thoughts and awareness remain intact. Danet, a talented healer, realizes the prince is alert inside his body. The two are able to share thoughts telepathically. Unfortunately her connection with Ceros may bring unwanted attention to her abilities and result in her banishment from the city.

Their unique bond grows as Danet races to find a remedy for the prince’s condition. Desire turns to love, which makes Danet fear for their future when he awakens. They seek out the villain attempting to take the throne and endeavor to find a way to stay together.

Inside Scoop: Ceros’ secret shifter status adds complication and intrigue to their budding romance.

Mystic’s Touch Buy Links:

Book Trailer Video:

About Dena:

Dena Garson loves to read romance—the hotter the better. When one of her BFFs said “one of us should be writing this stuff”, she took up the challenge. If she isn’t writing, she’s designing jewelry but somehow she still manages to make it into the office on a regular basis.

You can find Dena on the web at:
Dena’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Ellora’s Cave | Amazon Author Page

<  =  =  GIVEAWAY  =  =  >

To celebrate the release of Mystic’s Touch, I’m giving away lots of goodies. There will be ebooks, a Dena Garson gift basket, a grab bag of author promo items, a Love: Defined necklace, Naughty/Nice earrings, and a swirl ring made by Designs By Jewelee. See my blog for more info. The drawings will be held at the end of the book tour on March 3rd.

You can enter more than once! Follow this link to Rafflecopter:

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Sexy Ghost

Happy Medium, the third book in my Ramos Family trilogy, was released by Berkley Intermix on January 21. All three books are ghost stories, and they feature a family of reluctant mediums who only discover their powers when they’re confronted by some nasty ghosts who need to be eliminated.
When I started working on Happy Medium, I’d already used ghosts who wanted someone to avenge their deaths (the traditional ghostly function) in Medium Well and with ghosts who wanted to increase their power by sucking vitality from humans (a slightly less traditional ghostly function) in Medium Rare. So I’d dealt with ghosts seeking justice and seeking power—what else could they be looking for? Sex, maybe?
Succubi (and incubi, the male version), are spirits who get off on sex with humans. This idea has been around for a long, long time—Lilith, Adam’s first wife, is supposed to be a succubus in Jewish mythology, and succubi show up in folklore in a variety of cultures. Succubi are seductresses, who prey on unsuspecting men with their sexual skills. And they’re also shape-shifters, which allows them to assume the form of loved ones, or someone you truly covet.
My hero, Ray Ramos, has to contend with this seductive ghost, but he’s more repulsed than attracted. This particular succubus haunts the house he’s trying to renovate, and she’s set free when he takes part in a séance that was supposed to be fake. Unfortunately, when Ray, a hereditary medium, takes part in the séance, it becomes the real thing. Leaving Ray with a sexy ghost who has definite boundary problems.
But I along with Ray’s difficulties, I wanted to do something slightly different with my particular succubus. She also haunts my heroine, Emma Shea, who has a few self esteem problems. As it turns out, my sexy ghost finds female victims by convincing them her skills can bring them the man of their dreams. It’s a very seductive promise—let me use your body, and he’ll never leave you. My heroine knows better than most that that promise is fatal, but even she finds herself tempted.
In the end, Ray and Emma have to find a way to destroy the succubus without being destroyed themselves, all the while working around Emma’s employer, a phony television medium who has no idea what she’s up against—or even that she’s up against anything at all.
Here’s a little taste of what Emma’s up against:

She closed her eyes. If this room wasn’t safe, what room was?
You’re nothing. You’re less than nothing, the voice whispered. He’ll leave you soon.
Emma stiffened. “I know it’s you,” she muttered. “This won’t work.”
He’ll leave you because you’re nothing, the voice hissed viciously. You’re pitiful. Look at yourself. A fat frump. He doesn’t want you.
Emma’s shoulders tightened. She shook her head.
He’ll leave you. Why would he stay? What could possibly make him want you?
Her breath rattled in her throat, her hands fisting at her sides.
I could help you. I could make him want you. The voice was smoother now. Almost seductive. Once he’d experienced what I can do, he’d never leave.
Emma shook her head, her heart hammering almost painfully. “Like you helped Amina? No thanks.”
An image flashed through her mind—Ray naked beneath her, staring up with glazed, adoring eyes. He’d never leave. She’d never have to worry. She’d have him always, all hers. No matter how fat she was. No matter how ugly.
All hers. Until the succubus consumed them both.
Emma closed her eyes. “No. I won’t. No.”
You’re nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.
She turned toward the door, running, half-blind with tears.

The blurb for Happy Medium:
Love is good for the soul… unless it’s one that you’re trying to exorcise.

Ray Ramos has a problem–the King William District mansion he and his business partner purchased for a fast renovation needs more work than expected. Ray could use a quick infusion of cash. Enter Emma Shea, assistant to Gabrielle DeVere, the star of American Medium. Gabrielle is looking for San Antonio houses to use for her televised séances, and Ray’s fixer upper seems to fit.

When Gabrielle does a sample séance, Ray and Emma become the target of a touchy ghost with no respect for boundaries. After Ray learns his family has a special affinity for ghosts, the two decide to investigate the haunted house. It doesn’t hurt that Emma is immediately attracted to the laconic Ray or that Ray is intrigued by the buttoned-down beauty who seems determined to hide her considerable assets behind sober business suits. But can the two of them fight off a vengeful succubus bound to the house while getting a lot closer than either of them planned?