Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Friday...

The last one of 2010! Wow, did this year go fast, or what? A lot of good things happened to me--I'm now a CMAA (Certified Medical Administrative Assistant) -- I even got a card to carry that says I'm certified. *grin* I've had my share of releases, have a few scheduled for next's all good. In fact, today PROTECTED released at Changeling Press (save w/coupon code below). This is book 3 in the Shepherd's Watch series. The dogs are loose...but, enough about me. 

I'll wrap up the old year by telling you about a few happenings, where you can find some goodies, and who knows, way...way...way down there (well not that far actually *laughing*) there might be some pics to keep you warm into the new year.

I'm giving away a full set of the Extra Cream series over at A Sovereign Spot. Need I say more? They'll warm you up more than a bite...err, bit!

LASR is still having their Jingle Bell Blog Fest at and the prize is a $50 gift cert to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can still enter.

Happy New Year from all of us at Changeling! (and Lena Austin) Our gift to you this year is a copy of Lena Austin's "Dragon's Egg"
OH, WHILE YOU'RE THERE: You can use the code WATCH01, buy any of my books, throw anything else you'd like in the cart--and you can save 10% on your entire order. That will get you an entry for the grand prize of books and swag. The drawing will be held on January 1, 2011.

After the ball drops tonight, visit the New Year Blog Hop. There are lots of great authors offering books, and prizes.

Best of all, you could win a wi-fi Kindle 3! So, hop on over there after midnight--get your name in the hat!!

That's it, if you know of something I missed, share it with us all.

OH, right... something to warm you up

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Keep On Moving On

I'm on vacation this week and, as luck would have it, Mother Nature decided to pound on the eastern coast of the United States. In a way this was good, I didn't have to lose vacation days to the inability to travel. In other ways, it wasn't good.

Yesterday was the first day I'd ventured out further than my driveway since Christmas Day. In a way, this was also good. I finished my read-thru of the third Rebirth series book, fixed a few things--one major, but it was a easy fix as something was supposed to be there and wasn't and subbed it for consideration.

In the other way it wasn't good, I heard back on a submission I had out. While it wasn't an offer, they seemed to enjoy the story ("hot and fun") it did offer some advice to fix a few weaker spots and say it didn't mean they wouldn't like to see the story again if I made changes. It was from an ePub that I, personally, consider pretty major. So, believe it or not -- I saw it as a positive.

That kind of thing is part of publication. I've always thought a good judge of character is how you react to such things. Especially when you deal with rejection. Flying off the handle and ranting and raving isn't productive for anyone--especially yourself.

Dust yourself off, get over it and move on.

Stop by my site today for a chance to win my contemporary erotic romance, Hardware and a copy of one of my favorite contemporary erotic romances, Breaking Free. Then, tomorrow, I'll be giving away my entire backlist and each one of my favorite books that I've given away all week.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The hot and not of 2010...

...from my point of view.

I thought today would be a fun time to review what I liked or didn't like about this last year. I had originally intended to post my goals for 2011 but that will now be done next week :-)

2010 Fails

Sarah Palin and her family taking over reality shows
Side antennas on the iPhone
Marie Claire hating on curvy girls
Pedophiles on Amazon
Summer drought/Winter snow dumps
Authors behaving badly on public networks
Having our car held hostage for 6 weeks because of mechanic error
Aarti on the Food Network & her bad Indian food
rejections on projects I cared about
Brand new dolphin baby at the Indy Zoo dying

2010 Wins

Mayhem commercials for insurance
Reader letters saying they loved Wedgie Tales and Panty Lines
Oprah finally retiring
Warehouse 13 and Pysch
Seeing four of my books in print
Meeting new friends and colleagues on Twitter
The hubs and I meeting our bills and being able to go on vacation to Disney
8 years of marriage
Cheetahs at the Indy Zoo
Friendships that were deepened
unexpected new paths opening up

I know to you it probably doesn’t mean all that much but these are just some of the things that made an impact with me this year.

And, if you received a shiny new e-reader for Christmas (or even if you have one but it’s not new) I invite you to pop over to my website and browse my books. I have something for everyone. It’s been a good year publishing wise.

Hope your 2011 starts off with a bang!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Surviving being Snowed In...

Well, I made it through two days of literally being snowed into my house. This would be romantic, even fun, if it was just my husband and I. If the children could somehow miraculously get to still run around and Ralph and I had to stay home--that would be ideal. But this is the real world, not the one I make up in my head.

Being stuck in the house with three children under six years old (One of the 15 months old) is a long, long day and we had two of them. I can't tell you the relief I felt when I woke up this morning and the roads were--for the most part--clear.

Everything was made doubly difficult due to the fact that my muse came out to play and wanted to write very badly. Nope. No time for that when you have to be 'on' all day with the kids. Please don't get me wrong, I ADORE my children. But they are very active little boys. One of their first questions this morning was when we would be leaving the house today.

Clearly, I'm not the only one who thought the snow was pretty but wanted it GONE.

Did you get any snow? What did you do?

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Lull

Happy Manic Monday.

Not so manic this week though. I think most of us are trying to recover from the weekend. Thank goodness, I don't have to go into work today. I'd be a zombie if I did. Two days straight of merriment and I'm so stuffed, I don't think I'm going to eat today.

In the week between Christmas and New Years, or as I call it The Lull, it seems like a time period where we're in a limbo. It's a time to recoop from one celebration and yet, prepare for the next. I never get much done during this week. I am hoping to read through my work-in-progress and fix some major issues otherwise, nada. Eat, sleep, and play with the kids.

My decorations will remain up for at least another week, if not more, before I gather enough strength to bring them down. We'll live off leftovers and watch recap-the-year shows.

Am I the only one who thinks this way? What do you normally do during the Lull?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oh’s Santa!

It's Christmas....SQUEE! This is my favourite time of year! The snow, the all just rocks!! In the spirit of the holiday season I’ve decided to be Santa Claus. Today I’m offering two books from my backlist. Just leave a comment with your email and on Monday, December 27th, I'll draw a winner who gets to choose two of my books as their prize.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas with Louise

As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.

If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. ; You'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, "What does this do? You're kidding me! Who would buy that?" Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section.

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour.

Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love Dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for Lovable Louise. She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a doll took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling< BR>pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked.

My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."

"Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped.

I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.

"Where are her clothes?" Granny continued.

"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice Gran" Jay said, to steer her into the dining room.

But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, "Hang on Granny, hang on!"

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?"

I told him she was Jay's friend.

A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the panty hose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa.

The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.

Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.

Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh.

Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Friday...

And the day before Christmas! Hope you're all ready, because if you planned on shopping today...well, it will be crazy!! For those of you who pop in to see what's happening, I'm leaving you with a video look of some of my favorite Holiday tunes.

Leave a comment on your favorite, and throw in your email addy--you never know what Santa may have in store for you.

May you get everything you wish for!

First up: Bowie and Bing-Little Drummer Boy and Peace on Earth--it's my fav

Next: Alison Moyet-Coventry Carol--beautiful!

...and last, but not least: Just because they're kitties!!

Hope your world is full of peace and love!
Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, December 23, 2010

When You Can't Imagine It

I'm aggressively fighting a sinus infection right now, so excuse me if I ramble a bit. My days right now pretty much consist of work and bed. Sucks being sick during the holidays because I have so much to do.

This year has been one that I couldn't have even imagined. Things have happened to me that I never even thought would be possible:

I became a published author. Amazing in it's own right, but I even managed to do it a few times over. Which just blows my mind.

I found a CP that I clicked with and working with her is effin' amazing. I know that doesn't always happen, so I consider myself lucky.

I ventured out into new territory and, so far, it seems to be working out extremely well. The feedback from reviewers and readers has been astounding. And I thank each and every one of you who has taken the time to send me a little note to let me know you went on the journey with me and liked it. It means a lot--more than you'll probably ever know.

I found the courage to try to branch out even more--but still waiting to hear if that little adventure is going to work out. ;^)

I got to watch my daughter achieve--and surpass--one of her dreams. Like the proud mama I am, this surpasses everything that I've achieved personally. As proud as I am of myself, I'm even more proud of her and everything she works hard for.

The holidays this year (tho I may be sick) will be a special time around our household as we celebrate achievements over the past year and those yet to come.

May your holidays be as bright.

Happy Holidays

Psst...I'm going to be holding a special contest at my blog starting on 12/26 and running 12/31.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Santa, I have one wish this Christmas...

Dear Santa,

What should I write beside buy my books? Nah, that’s an awfully selfish thing and I have faith folks will do this anyway. Okay, let’s see…

Hmm, it’s been a long time since I wrote you a letter—even longer since I thought of you as an actual being that could affect change in the universe, but this year especially, there are a few things I’d like. Don’t worry about room in the sleigh. These won’t take up much space.

I’d like my friends and loved ones who have been battling cancer this year to be cured. I’d like for them to live long, healthy, happy lives with nothing but time on their hands. Life is, after all, extremely short in the grand scheme. They are entitled to every bit of it.

I’d like a return of common decency and manners in the world. This past year has shown a very ugly side to human nature in how folks react and interact with each other. Somewhere in your magical realm, wave a wand over these disgruntled people and show them that sometimes it’s not about them and being nice and polite will move them forward in life infinitely faster. Also, saying thank you is about the most powerful thing a person can say.

I’d like to see an end to childhood hunger in the coming year, Santa. Living in one of the most powerful nations on the planet doesn’t do much good if thousands of children go hungry each year. This is very sad to me. Everyone should have a full belly.

And Santa, I know there are plenty of talented folks out there who can’t catch a break while folks with mediocre talent and less drive or sincerity reap the rewards of this entitlement age. I’d like to see a shift in the prevailing attitudes this coming year. Give the glory to people who do the work not to the ones who complain.

I’d like the service men and women overseas to come home to their loved ones this year. Enough is enough, Santa. The lessons they were sent to teach are not being learned and the danger is increasing. Send them your magical reindeer and guide them back home.

Oh, dear jolly man, I’m sure you’re in agreement with me when I say that everyone deserves the right to have health care of some kind. It’s a basic need in the human condition. Why is this a problem, Santa? Maybe you could give the suits in Washington an epiphany under their tree, to stop arguing and start doing? The nation can’t repair itself if it’s too sick to get stronger.

I’d like the world to realize that a book is a book whether in print or digital format. Isn’t the fact they’re words to be read a miracle unto itself? I’m sure you are thrilled books now come in bits and bytes. The cut down in sleigh weigh is probably most welcome this time of year—not to mention it saves the trees.

And Santa? I think if everyone had more chocolate, the world would be a much nicer place.

One last thing. I believe Dickens had it right when he said there is too much greed, avarice and uncaring in the world, but I also believe—like Obi Wan—that there is still good in us all. Santa, lay a finger on the side of your nose and help people remember the journey isn’t about tearing down those around them. It’s about lifting up and learning. It’s about the joy of the path and the pride in a job well done. It’s about lending a helping hand and love. It’s about kindness, most of all.

And if you are indeed like that long time ago editor told Virginia O’Hanlan, and you are nothing more than a feeling or a sense of love in the world, then these things that I’ve asked you for shouldn’t be hard to accomplish.

They are such tiny things, Santa, but they have the ability to grow into something very big if we can all remember. And maybe that’s what we all need after all. A constant reminder of the Golden Rule, a memory jog to just be nice in a world gone mad.

Merry Christmas, Santa. And happy holidays to everyone out there reading. I hope the next two weeks are full of warm fuzzies and that when you’re looking forward to 2011, you’ll keep a few of these things in mind and on your heart.

Pay it forward. That’s my ultimate wish for this Christmas season.

Much love,


P.S. One tiny little thing. Please fix the Syfy channel and have them bring back actual sci-fi programming.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sexually Aggressive Women

So, tonight I went and saw Black Swan with Natalie Portman. It was dark (as the title suggests) and haunting. It stayed with me after the movie was over. Her performance was outstanding and I think she deserves all kinds of awards.

Before that movie, there were several previews to watch. Another movie called No Strings Attached, also starring Ms. Portman and Ashton Kutcher is a romantic comedy about two friends who decide to have sex and to keep it just sex between them. If the preview is to be believed then the heroine is the one more adamant about not adding love to the occasion.

I couldn’t help but think that so much of that—the idea that women can be sexually aggressive—and that it is such a normal, socially acceptable thing can be traced to the popularity of erotic romance and the sheer volume of it (thank goodness) that is being read on a daily basis.

I started to ask myself if this would have been the case ten years ago. I have no hard data to support this but I think it probably would have been more shocking than it is now.

So let me ask you a question…

Which book or movie did you see for the first time with a sexually aggressive woman? Can you think of it?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa,

Hi. This is Annie. You might remember me from my childhood, I asked for the Barbie. I wanted to ask you a question. Why do you send grown-ups presents they don’t want?
Remember last year when my husband asked for a sports car so he could relive his youth? I think he wanted one that he could fit into. The hot wheel Carrera in his stocking made him laugh but it still sits on my mantle as a reminder of what could have been.
I think he suspects I’m the one who placed that toy in his sock.  When I explained the facts of Christmas, he gave me the eyebrow and shook his head as if he didn’t believe what I said. Maybe this year you can bring him something he can drive, like a lawnmower or something that would plow our driveway?
The vampire you brought me last year is happy with our arrangement. His name is Vlad. The basement suits his sleeping requirements and I have a few annoying neighbors he can feed on. My husband wasn’t too happy in the beginning but they watch Monday night football together now and are great friends.
This year, I would like you to bring me a werewolf. Nothing fancy, I can house train him and teach him not to bite.  I’m sure my husband wouldn’t mind sharing his side of the bed. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding the house since you were here last year and we didn’t move. I’ll leave milk and cookies on the table.
Your friend,
Annie Nicholas
Don’t forget to bring something for Vlad. I think he’d like some fuzzy slippers.

Want a copy of one of my ebooks? Hidden on my website is way to win. First one to find it gets it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Author: Sara Brookes
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN: 978-1-59578-757-6
eBook: $5.95
It’s not very often I read anything that isn’t paranormal. What can I say? I’m a supernatural lover. But when this book came to my attention, I couldn’t help but dig in. And let me say, I wasn’t disappointed.
Never reading a book that dappled into bondage I wasn’t quite sure if I’d fall in love with it, or blush the entire time I read it. I can honestly say that this was the perfect story for me to be introduced to such a thing. Since Allison was new to this as well, I learned through her experiences, and more than once, I wished I was her.
But it’s more than handcuffs and demands, there’s a wonderful love story here. Allison is a typical geek, computers and video games are her life, and I loved that about the story. How the character wasn’t a perfect beauty queen. She came off as very real and I connected with her immediately. Patrick is charming and so attentive of Allison. He’s easily labelled as swoon material.
Together they experienced new things together, changing and growing as the story progresses in ways neither of them could have imagined. All I call say is, if you’re looking for a romance that’s got a little edge to it, then this is a book you have to get.
Women aren’t supposed to be geeks. They aren’t supposed to fix computer networks with expert ease either, but tell that to Allison—the resident computer guru in the small town of Gatlin Falls, Virginia.
Enthralled by watching her work so effortlessly, Patrick agrees to accompany Allison for a night at the movies so he can learn more about her. Even though he’s a perfect gentleman who prides himself on knowing exactly what a woman wants—and when she wants it—he can’t keep away from her. One scorching kiss in a dark theater changes everything.
Allison quickly learns Patrick’s definition of hardware is vastly different than her own and she allows him guide her on a path where she discovers new heights of passion she’s never imagined before. Taken by the calm she feels when she is around him, she is pulled into a world where there is comfort in wearing a pair of cuffs and sanctuary in accepting a collar.
A LINE THAT HAD ME DROOLING WITH WORD ENVY ― “You have your computers and games,” he whispered quietly as he lifted her other hand and pressed another kiss to the delicate skin. “And I have my own version of hardware.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guest Appearance by the Hunks of Christmas!

Hey Everyone!  Dawn's away today but will be back soon.

I've asked the Hunks of Christmas to visit the PR blog from my blog.

Happy Saturday all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Friday...

There's a light covering of snow on the ground, it's so cold my cats don't want to go out. Even the big guy who hates the heat as much as I love it--he's a cold weather cat! But, tis the season for all things cold, and frosty. It can't go away fast enough for me.

In the meantime, I'm still having a contest over at A Sovereign Spot, and you can get a 10% discount on any book at Changeling Press by using the code WATCH01, just throw one of mine in the cart. *smile* You'll be entered into a drawing for the grand prize of books and con swag on January 1, 2011--so settle in, stay warm, and enjoy a good book this weekend.

Now, no men in their glory, no women either! But enjoy the warm,  furry creatures I wrangled up. I have a thing for looking at animals in their natural habitats, especially on savannahs and deserts--maybe because I wish I was there!

Enjoy...and tell me "If you could visit any warm spot in the world, where would it be?"

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brrrr...Baby, It's Cold Outside

Right now, most of us in the US are in a cold snap. And cripes, it's not even winter yet. O_o Bet we'd all be a lot happier with the cold if we were one of these guys, huh?

Oh the kind of world we'd live in if we all could be that cute and cuddly. LOL

Hopefully I'll get an opportunity this coming weekend to go see a few of these guys. A local amusement park transforms the entire park for Christmas and there's a "polar walk" display where they've got a few penguins. It's cute and campy, but that's about how I like things.

Speaking of cute and campy, sat with the family earlier and watched the How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon. And it struck me how it, even after all these years, people could still learn a lesson from it.

So, I leave you with this:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Christmas in the Trenches

It's Wednesday again and I have no idea what to blog about. I guess I could talk about annoying trends in publishing, bad behavior of authors or the importance of self-editing, but these posts will appear in 2011. I just don't have the energy to tackle them right now.

So let's talk about Christmas. In the face of expecting even more snow tonight (and in case anyone is wondering, I'm already sick of winter) my thoughts always turn to the world of Charles Dickens, Robert Frost and the Bronte sisters.

Life seemed to be much easier when these literary greats lived. Snow fell and blanketed the cities with white, temporarily covering up the grime and blocking out the ugliness that was their worlds.

While I'm sure the urgency to procure gifts for loved ones and friends existed back then, it wasn't at the frenetic pace of today. After all, who on our list really needs the piles of crap we're compelled to buy, wrap then see flung away in the face of other, more sought-after junk?

When will we return to the easy gentility of homemade gifts or simply enjoying the company of friends and family by dropping in for tea and a good meal?

That's the world I want to know. When lives weren't measured on the amount of material things a person possessed, the size of a house you lived in, how much money in the bank you had.

Where people passing in the streets or sidewalks actually said hello to each other instead of barreling past with scowls and foul words. Where decorations were tasteful and understated, not the garish displays that cut through the darkness of today.

What a novelty that would be!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saying No

Sometimes I just have to tell my muse 'no.' At least ten times a day, no matter what I'm doing or where I'm going, my muse comes up with an idea. I'm walking through the grocery store...oh look at that thing happening at the deli...that would make a great book idea. NO. I have too many things I'm working on to pick up any new ideas.

Its frustrating. I'm not unhappy with my creative juices. They've served me well and I love having writing material in my head. But sometimes I just have to say no.

How about you? Have you ever had to say no to your own imagination?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Whatcha doin'

for the holidays?

We spent the day decorating the outside of the house with lights. I'm pretty sure the space station can spot our home from orbit. The tree is up, cookie dough is in the freezer, and the presents are bought.

This weekend will be spent grocery shopping and wrapping. We already hit Santa at the mall so the kids could express their wishes. Christmas eve will be spent baking this year. I've given the children my recipe books and told them to each pick one cookie recipe they want to try. We'll do the ususal chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies but I want them to try something new.

Normally, we spend Christmas morning together then pack up the kids to go visit my family in Canada. This year we decided that we'll gather together on the 26th so we can all spend Christmas day at our respective homes in peace. That means I finally get to cook Christmas dinner!

The best thing about this year is I have six days off work during the Christmas weekend and four over New Years! That's never happened before. I'm really looking forward to spending the days having fun.

What are your  plans?

Today marks the beginning of my Twelve Hunks of Christmas at my personal blog.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Thanks so much to Stacey for letting me guest blog today!

Readers often ask me how I come up with ideas for my books, so I thought I'd give you a little behind-the-scenes peek at how I came up with my new release, a paranormal erotic romance from Ellora's Cave called DEAD SEXY.

Before I say anything else though, isn't that cover too hot for words?! When the art department sent it to me, I probably gazed at it for a good ten minutes in mouth-drooling appreciation before I could email them back telling the artist it not only rocked, but totally fit the book. The hero is "Dead Sexy," after all!

Okay, back to the story and how I came up with it. First, to set the stage, I need to share a little something with you about myself. Well, about my hubby and me, actually. We love zombie movies, from the George Romero gems to Shaun of the Dead and everything in between, including "Walking Dead," the new series on AMC. You just can't go wrong with a movie full of walking dead people, can you? Well, if you've ever seen a zombie movie (or even you haven't), then you know the creatures aren't the heroes of the film. I mean, how can they be, right? They're all dead and decayed and downright unattractive, not to mention pretty damn scary. Which was why you can imagine my surprise when my hubby suggested I write an erotic romance about a zombie hero. I was like, you're kidding, right? What woman in her right mind would fall in love with a dead guy? No way could that possibly work, or so I thought.

Turns out, my hubby wasn't kidding. In fact, he started working up ideas for the story.

"The hero didn't have to be a zombie all the time," he told me. "Think outside the box - take a little literary license!"

Okay, I thought. I suppose I could be open minded.

My hubby told me that in his out-of-the-box world, the hunky hero got cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess and only turns into a zombie sometimes.

"I'm listening," I said.

"And when he does go zombie, he doesn't have to be like the kind in the movies," my hubby added. "Well, he has to look like one, you know all dead and stuff, but he doesn't have to be a mindless creature or attack humans or eat anything gross."

So, brains are completely out, thanks goodness!

"Think Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki, with a really, really, really dark tan - (yes, my hubby knows I've got a thing for the Supernatural hunks!) - well, maybe more gray and black than tan, but you get the idea."

I thought about that for a minute. "So, the hero's dead, but he's still sexy, is that what you're saying?"

"Exactly," he said, giving me a grin as my eyes lit up with understanding.

By that point, my hubby had pretty much sold me on the idea. Of course, I knew if I ran with it, I was going to have to sell it to a publisher, and I knew that could be tough since the hero is a zombie. But I ran with it anyway and ended up with a full-length novel. And it came out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself! I still had to find a publisher for it, though.

About this same time, It just so happens that several of my other books were in the process of being picked up by Ellora's Cave and I thought what the heck? Why not pitch it to my editor there and see what she thinks? So I did, and she told me to send it to her. She was interested to see how I handled the whole zombie-thing. Well, long story, short, she liked it. A lot! My zombie romance with it's dead-sexy hero had a home! I was thrilled and my hubby walked around for a week with a smug, "I-told-you-so" look on his face.

I've been getting the word out there about DEAD SEXY ever since I signed the contract for it and I'm thrilled with the interest from readers who can't wait to get their hands on it! I can't wait for them to read it, too!

Now that I've revealed the story behind the story, I thought I'd share the blurb and an excerpt just to whet your appetite for more!

Romance author Simone Kent thinks she might just have found the most perfect guy in all of New York City - in bed and out. But Drake Parrish is about as far from perfect as any man can get. Eight years ago, he was cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess to live part of his life as a zombie. Since then, he has lived like a recluse on New York’s Upper East Side, afraid to go out for fear he’ll suddenly turn into one of the walking dead.

The sex if the hottest either of them has ever experienced and Simone discovers just how naughty she can be with Drake, while he finds himself feeling things for her that he hasn’t felt in a very long time. When the Voodoo priestess learns of their relationship, however, she comes after him again. She is determined to make sure he won’t have a future with Simone, even if that means killing both him and the woman he loves.


As she led him up the steps to the second floor, Drake found himself wondering if she would ask him in. And wondering what he’d say if she did. When they came to a stop outside the door to her apartment, Simone turned to give him a smile.

“I had a great time tonight.”

“Me, too.”

She caught her bottom lip between her perfect white teeth and chewed on it thoughtfully as if unsure what she wanted to say next. It was probably an unconscious gesture, something she did whenever she was thinking, but to him, it was sexy as hell and all he could think about was kissing her.

Surely, one kiss couldn’t hurt. He desperately wanted to. He hadn’t kissed a woman in so long. It would be nice to see if he still remembered how.

Before he could stop himself, Drake tilted Simone’s face up to his and pressed his mouth to hers.

She tasted just as sweet and delicious as he thought she would. Her lips were soft and pliant under his as she kissed him back, her tongue eagerly seeking his out.

Drake groaned and slid his hand into her hair, deepening the kiss. Simone sighed into his mouth, running her hands up the front of his shirt to grasp his shoulders. The feel of her touch was like a tonic to his deprived soul and he let out another groan, deeper this time.

He ran his free hand up her side and around to her breast, cupping it through the soft material of her dress. He couldn’t stop himself and apparently, Simone didn’t want him to. She moaned and arched against him. He could feel the heat of her pussy through their clothes as she pressed up against his hard cock. Damn, she felt good.

Drake drew her bottom lip into his mouth and gently suckled on it before slowly kissing his way along the delicate curve of her jaw. Simone clutched his shoulders and tilted her head back. He eagerly trailed a path of hot kisses down her neck, then back up, his mouth finding hers again. Simone looped her arms around his neck, pulling him in even closer as their tongues met.

Down the hall, a door slammed, reminding him where they were.

Drake dragged his mouth away from hers, his breathing ragged as he tried to regain control. He had to get it together because he was about five seconds away from doing something really stupid. Like taking her to bed. “I should go.”

Her lips curved into a sexy, flirtatious smile. “Or you could stay.”

God, how he wanted to. But as much as he’d love to spend the rest of the night exploring every inch of her body, he couldn’t take the chance he might go zombie on her right in the middle of sex. Talk about coitus interruptus, And it had already been almost four days since he last turned, which meant he was already pushing his luck.

“You don’t know how much I want to,” he groaned. “But I can’t.”

Simone looked up at him with those big, blue eyes. “Why not?”

“Because I…” He hesitated, trying to come up with something that would sound believable. “I have a column due in the morning and I haven’t even started on it yet.” She knew all about deadlines, so she would understand that. Besides, he did have a column to write, it just wasn’t due until next week. “Rain check?”

She looked disappointed, but she smiled anyway. “Absolutely. How does coming over for dinner tomorrow night sound?”

It would be crazy to agree when he could be so close to having an episode, but he couldn’t say no. Not when she asked in that soft, sultry voice. “Sounds great.”

“Good. Be here at seven.”

“Seven it is.”

She pulled him down for another long, slow kiss on the mouth. “Don’t be late.”

His mouth twitched. “I won’t.” He bent his head to kiss her again, then groaned. “If I don’t go now, I’ll be here all night.”

Simone laughed. “Would that be such a bad thing?”

“Not to me, but my editor at Money Issues might not be too understanding when he doesn’t find my column sitting in his inbox tomorrow.”

She sighed. “Deadlines can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. Okay, go home and write your column. I’ll cuddle up with a bowl of ice cream instead.”

He chuckled. “Sounds better than taking a cold shower, which is what I’m going to be doing when I get home.” He closed his mouth over hers once more. “See you tomorrow night, beautiful.”

Resisting the urge to pull her into his arms again, Drake turned and walked down the hallway toward the stairwell. At the top of the steps, he glanced over his shoulder to see Simone standing where he’d left her, a sexy curve to her lips.

It took every ounce of strength he possessed not to go back and pin her against the door for one more long, lingering kiss. God, what he wouldn’t give to spend the night with her. Man, it was going to take more than a cold shower to get her out of his head .

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt and that you can't wait to read more! You can get DEAD SEXY from Ellora's Cave at

You can also check out the trailer here!
If you decide to pick up DEAD SEXY, let me know how you like it!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

When Souls Collide Chapter 16, Part 1

Who is Ava Frost?

There are hints to her identity in Blown Away. Here's another clue.
I'm going to share an excerpt from the current work in progress, a novel to follow my recent release, Blown Away. The excerpt is from a story called, The Infamous Ava Frost.

Fifty years had passed in the wink of a star, but in her mind, Ava remained twenty-three and still smuggled contraband from one side of the galaxy to the other.

Most of the men who’d entered her life were gone. Regardless through death or separation, they’d faded into the memories of her past. Two remained embedded in her psyche, one who stayed with her in heart and soul, and one who’d stayed by her side. After all these years, she’d come back, unable to let go of the ghost she couldn’t have.


The man was a blessing on the eyes and an addiction she’d never denied.

Ava pulled the long metal pin from her hair and let the braid tumble free to drop down the middle of her back. It had held her hair twisted upon her head in a respectful manner. It was the same metal she’d lived and died for. Ironic, she should flaunt it under their noses as they led her to the disintegration chamber. She tucked it back into the braid, leaving her hair down. She’d paid for that metal in more than blood. Ava had paid with her soul.

Today she wore the stiff clothing of a lady. She hated formal attire, stuffy dresses and corseted tops were never her thing. Even after she’d left smuggling, she’d never adopted the garments or short cropped matronly hair styles of the women her age. Instead she’d favored the fitted pants and boots of her youth and though society deemed it inappropriate, she never cared. She didn’t belong in their circles, those grandmothers, wives and mothers. She never had and after fifty years, it wasn’t going to change.

As she stared out the porthole at the world below, swirling with pinks and greens, she knew this would be her final destination. She’d never return to space. They’d caught her, the infamous Ava Frost.

Ava heard him approach and eyed his reflection in the glass. Tall, handsome as he’d ever been, her heart stuttered. Her hand slipped up to her breast to settle the erratic beat. She’d never get used to it, the way her body reacted in his presence. She had run from him and to him for the last five decades. Both her pain and joy, gods she loved him, and it would cause her death.

“Ava.” His voice moved over her like the wind, whispering across the silken sands of Dorias’s third moon. She closed her eyes and held onto the railing. Frail she might appear, but she wasn’t. In fact, she held on for no other reason than the man behind her always made her weak.

“It’s time.”

Now on to the serial story, When Souls Collide.
Have a good weekend!

All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.  

***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***

Jarod slipped into the drain. He tugged on the harness and tightened the rope. Ursus stumbled forward when the clamp on his harness caught and smacked his head on the top of the drain.

“You coming or am I dragging you?”

Ursus yanked back and a loud thud echoed from down in the pipe, followed by some very colorful Kalos words.

“Coming, dear.”

“Don’t call me dear,” Jarod snarled. The rope snapped taunt and Ursus shot downwards through the pipe. He flew out the end and the rope caught, holding him dangling over the massive cistern. Jarod hung a few feet below him, swinging back and forth, glaring up. Lights around the chamber began to glow. Ursus glanced down. Dark shadows moved through the water under them. Very big shadows.

“Tell them to ease off the rope!”

And drop into the water as a tid-bit? “Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“Tell them to give us some slack. We have to get to the other side of this chamber.”

“I told you I can’t swim.”

“Don’t worry, the current will suck you into the main.”

Why did that sound like a bad idea? He should take his knife and cut the bastard free. However, if he did that, the city would drown. Ursus glanced up the pipe at the light that poured down then spoke into his com.

“Lower us.”

They dropped into the dark, swirling water. As he hit, Ursus made a mental note to explain the difference between lower and drop by means of a few excruciating field exercises.

As promised the current caught him and washed him towards the main and their prime objective, and all would be okay if he could get to the surface for air.

Only when he thought he was about to drown, a hand snagged his wrist and tugged him to the surface. Ursus gasped for air and flailed.

“Stop splashing.”

Terrified, Ursus snagged Jarod braid and pulled him under. Jarod grabbed his shoulders while they were submerged, and brought his knee up into Ursus’s groin. Eyes popped wide and air bubbles whooshed from his mouth, racing for the surface. Instant paralysis. He sucked in a lungful of water to replace the wasted oxygen and immediately realized his mistake. His heart raced and he grabbed for Jarod in desperation to get to the surface. Air, gods he needed air.

Jarod hooked his arm around Ursus’s neck and arched back. With the crook of his elbow locked around Ursus’s throat, Jarod pulled him to the surface, then tipped them both on their backs to float.

Ursus vomited up water, desperately trying to suck in air past the liquid obstruction. He vomited again and successfully drew a breath. “When I get out of here, I’m going to hurt you for that,” Ursus growled through his clenched jaw and coughed again, spewing more fluid from his mouth.

“If you keep splashing around like that, there won’t be enough left of you to hurt me.”

The shadows. Ursus went still.

Jarod’s voice dropped. “They’re under us. Don’t move. Drift with the currant. They operate on sonar. Vibrations in the water draw them.”

“What are they?”

“Garvers. Water dracos. Big teeth, bigger appetites. If they bump you, drift. Don’t move. They like their food alive. If they think you’re a carcass, they’ll pass on the meal.”

“I hate you.”

“Likewise.” Jarod tightened his grip.

As they approached the opening to the main, Jarod released him and sank below the water, gliding away. He resurfaced at a deck, off to Ursus’s left. “Don’t move. I can see a big one under you.”

Crap. Don’t move? Kind of hard not to, knowing he was floating on the surface like fish food. Instead Ursus closed his eyes and laid back, staying on the surface as he had with Jarod, doing his best to remain calm and afloat.

Something sharp slid along the back of his leg. Ursus felt a gash open in the fabric and his flesh. “Anytime now. Something just sliced me.”

“Dorsal fin. Gods. Get out of the water.”

“I thought you said no moving.”

“That’s before you started bleeding.” Jarod pulled himself up onto the dry deck next to the main and began to tug the rope. “Kick. Swim. Get your ass out.”

Ursus kicked and went under, drawing in a lungful of water. The rope yanked and he resurfaced, coughing, flailing his arms and slapping the surface.

“Gods, now I’ve got to save you. The stuff I do to please my woman.”

Ursus glanced up and just before he went under. Jarod dove, spear in hand.


Jarod pushed him up on the deck and disappeared, reemerging a second later, throwing his spear onto the deck and hefting his body out of the water. He staggered around Ursus and caught himself against the metal wall, his shoulders rose and fell in heavy breaths, his head was dropped. Ursus rolled to his side and vomited. He blinked and watched as a red pool formed around Jarod’s feet. He sucked in and vomited again, clearing his lungs to a watery wheeze.

“You’re bleeding.” Ursus coughed and rolled to his hands and knees, hacking out more of the fluid.

“Yes. A flesh wound,” Jarod rasped back. His voice sounded uneven, strained.

Ursus eyed the quickly growing red puddle. “That’s a lot of blood…”

Jarod turned around, his arm from the just below the elbow, gone.”

“Shit.” Flesh wound indeed. Ursus staggered to his feet, fumbling with his belt while Jarod slid down the wall, cradling the stub. His face remained like stone but pain radiated from his eyes.

“You’re going to bleed out.”

“You think?” Jarod laughed, then cringed. He eyed Ursus who pulled his belt free and snagged Jarod’s discarded spear, snapping the shaft in two over his knee.

“What are you doing?” His voice came out in labored gasps.

“I promised Tesza I’d bring you back alive.”

Jarod laughed again. “This is what you wanted. Why don’t you just let me die?”

“Can’t. I promised.”

“Can’t say I’d have returned the favor.”

“You already did. You hauled my butt out of that water. Why?” Ursus grabbed his arm and slid the buckled belt around it, slipping the broken shaft under the leather. “This might hurt a bit.”

Jarod raised a brow.

“Never mind.” Ursus gave it several twists till the flow of blood stopped. He fastened the tourniquet with a torn strip of fabric and dropped next to Jarod, leaning against the wall. “A fine picture we present.”

Jarod closed his eyes and nodded. “Gods that hurt. Next time I won’t use my fist to knock its teeth down its throat.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Friday...

Thought I'd update you on some December contests. Who doesn't love free stuff? I know I do. I am doing Silver Publishing first because, drum roll please, my M/M mermen story, THE GIFT, releases today as part of Silver's 25 Days of Christmas, and it's HOT! You can read an excerpt HERE.

Rad and Crayton - the same yet different. They meet as often as possible throughout the year to be together. Christmastime is particularly special; it's when they celebrate their bonding. Mermen, one born in the south Caribbean sea, the other from the frozen waters surrounding Iceland--neither can exist for long in the other's climate.

Rad returns to his summer home in Pennsylvania, determined it will be the last time. The cold has taken a deadly toll on him. Cray can go no farther south, so they will have to give up their bonding celebration, and the Christmas holiday together.

Cray discovers a way to defeat Mother Nature, but it may already be too late.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Silver Publishing is also celebrating Silver's 100th Release by giving away a Kindle. Quoted from Silver's contest page: "On January 1, 2011 we will be releasing our 100th book. Come celebrate with us! We’re giving away a Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology to one lucky winner. This contest will run from December 10, 2010 until January 1, 2011." This is not to be missed and all the info on how to enter can be found HERE.

J. Hali Steele's Every Friday in December Contest continues…so does the 10% discount at Changeling Press on your entire order if you throw in any J. Hali Steele book. Now would be a good time to catch up on Shepherd's Watch. PROTECTED, the 3rd book in the series will release December 31st. Use the code WATCH01, and you’ll be entered into the grand prize drawing on January 1st for a gift box of books and swag. Today's blog winners will have a choice of any book they'd like from J. Hali's backlist. For more information on how to enter, visit

The Holiday Rush Blog Hop starts Saturday December 11th thru December 12th and there are lots of  goodies in store from participating authors, so don't miss it. You can find out about it HERE. There are always great excerpts, neat stories, and those *clears throat* very nice pictures!! Have your fans in hand.

There are still a few days left to enter Tabby's Nocturnal Nights Christmas contest. In the spirit of the twelve days of Christmas NN gives you twelve amazing authors that have been kind enough to give away twelve books to the winner of their Christmas contest. One lucky winner will walk away with twelve books, some signed copies, and some ebooks. This contest started on the 6th of Dec and runs until the 13th of Dec. To find out more visit Tabby's Nocturnal Nights.

Mark your calendar for The Long and the Short of It's (LASR) Jingle Bell Blog Fest. They are giving away a $50 OR Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate. To enter to win the contest you will only have to comment. The contest will run from 12/19/10-1/2/11. You can find out more HERE.

Well, that should keep you busy for the week. If you want to share contest information, put it in the comments. Why? Because we all like free stuff!! *smile*

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele