Saturday, September 22, 2012

May Water with a little bit of history and fun!

Hollywood and pulp fiction gave us gun slingers strutting down dusty streets, tanned cowboys riding on the open plains, rowdy saloons overflowing with lawlessness, and the mysterious Native Americans forced to endure the invasion of the white men.  Those movies and re -run TV shows were great fun growing up. Even I couldn't resist strapping on a set of shiny silver plastic six shooters and donning a faux suede vest one Halloween.  When the classic westerns faded and were replaced with the less violent Little House on the Prairie and Grizzly Adams, I kind of lost interest. They were too tame. I did admire the frontier struggle, and watching families (for the most part) stick together through it all.  The men were tough. The women were tough in their own way. They held their families together which was admirable. Yet whenever I watched them I instinctively knew that not all women would have been happy filling the role as frontier wife and mother. Week after week I silently wished more women would toss their crisp aprons aside, grab a shot gun, and ride alongside the men. Or simply leave the beans cooking in the Dutch oven and head off into the sunset in search of a life that suited them better.

I spent some time researching women of the West before writing the LASSOED LOVERS series. What I discovered made me smile. Maddie Catalan in RAW HIDE & SEEK and RAW HIDE AWAY is a combination of the notable women I found. My research proved that there were plenty of women who indeed rode alongside the men, or veered off the path of 'proper women'. There were plenty of women that were more at home in a saddle than in the kitchen, or more at home in a brothel than the barnyard. Two of these women spoke to me the loudest. They made headlines. They had a lust for life.  Despite their affluent backgrounds and family influence, they certainly followed their own paths.  Both of their names were Pearl.

Pearl de Vere (circa 1862 - June 5, 1897), known as the "soiled dove of Cripple Creek", was a 19th century prostitute and brothel owning madam of the American Old West. Little is known about her youth. She was believed to have been born in Chicago, Illinois around 1862, and raised by well to do parents. She migrated to Denver, Colorado, while in her teens. She was known in Denver as "Mrs Martin", although it is not believed that she was married at the time. By the age of either 14 or 15 she was a working prostitute in Denver. When business slowed, she moved to the new boomtown of Cripple Creek, Colorado, in 1893.(Wikipedia)

Pearl was said to have been a good businesswoman, strong willed, and smart. Her girls were encouraged to practice good hygiene, and have monthly check- ups. When Pearl's husbands mill and her first brothel was destroyed in a fire, he went off to accept a  position as a smelter in Mexico,  she opened a new brothel (The Old Homestead), a lavish structure which cost guests $250 per night (other establishments charged $3).  Pear was found unconscious one morning by one of her girls. Although the doctor believed she died of morphine overdose ( she often used morphine to sleep) but that was never confirmed. Of interest was the fact that the night before she had gotten into an argument with a wealthy Parisian admirer. One wonders if her death wasn't investigated simply because she was a madam. Interestingly, the Parisian man later mailed a check to cover her funeral costs, an extremely lavish affair. The entire town came of Cripple Creek came to witness her burial. The Old Homestead is now a museum.
Pearl Hart, née Taylor, (c. 1871 – after 1928) was a Canadian-born outlaw of the American Old West. She committed one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies in the United States; her crime gained notoriety primarily because of her gender. Many details of Hart's life are uncertain with available reports being varied and often contradictory. (Wikipedia)

While attending boarding school at the age of 16 Pearl became besotted with a young man. They eloped. Later she discovered he was an abusive drunk. They parted and reconciled many times, until Pearl became involved with Joe Boot. The pair committed many robberies, including what is believed to be the last stage coach robbery in history.  Hart maintained that the money was for her ailing mother.  The media jumped all over Pearl's story.  A Cosmopolitan article said Hart was "just the opposite of what would be expected of a woman stage robber, when angry or determined, hard lines show about her eyes and mouth." That makes me smile. What on earth did they think a female stage coach robber should look like? Upon Pearl's prison release she was given a train ticket to Kansas City, Missouri. The facts of her life after that are sketchy.  Pearl's life has been portrayed in pulp fiction, film, and also in many books.


Maddie approached Randy while she was atop Mia. He was saddling up one of the stallions.
“Howdy,” she said casually as she stopped next to him. Mia stomped her hooves after sniffing the other horse.
“Hey,” Randy said after touching the brim of his hat.
“My aunt has a list of things she needs in town for the upcoming horse show. I told her I’d give you the list,” she said as she held up the square of paper in her hand.
“Aw, you’re such a good girl,” he said with a playful grin. Maddie frowned at him.
“First of all, I’m not a girl. Second of all, I’m not always good,” she said sassily. When she stuck her tongue at him he laughed. Then he held his hand up to her.
“Okay, you got me there. The list, madam?” he asked in a mock French accent. Maddie pursed her lips. She shoved the paper in her cleavage.
“Ever play hide-and-seek?” she asked. Randy stared at her.
“Yeah,” he responded carefully.
“Well, I’m quite good at the game. I’ll hide. You seek. If you want your list, then come and get it, cowboy.” With that Maddie was off like a shot. She headed right to the fields, which led to the river. The world raced past as Mia broke out in an all-out run. At one point, Maddie looked back, and she grinned. Sure enough Randy was after her. At that point he was a speck in the distance, but he would catch up quick. She aimed to reach her special spot before he did.
As soon as Maddie reached the huge weeping willow at the river, she slid off Mia quickly. The horse was panting heavily as she headed to the water’s edge. Maddie fished the paper from inside her shirt and shoved it in the crotch of her jeans as she scooted under the canopy of the willow tree. Just as she pulled her hand out, Randy charged into the clearing.
“Oh, Maddie,” he called out sweetly. “Come out, come out, wherever you are.” She stifled a giggle as she watched him through a break in the drooping tree limbs. He took off his hat and mopped his brow with a cloth before placing the hat back on his head. Then he began stalking toward the tree with a wry grin. She thought she would pee from excitement.
“Gotcha,” Randy said as he pushed back a section of drooping tree. Maddie laughed out loud and backed against the tree trunk.
“You found me, but you haven’t found the list,” she said before biting her lower lip. She slid her hand over her breast, to her hip, and then to her crotch. Randy stared at her. The dark look that came over his face was not what she expected.

Other places you can find May Water: 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dangerous Alpha Heroes Blog Hop

Welcome to Stop #3 of Full Moon Bites Dangerous Alpha Heroes Blog Hop. My name is Nicole Morgan and I am no stranger to some sexy and strong alpha males. I have written plenty of dangerous alphas, the type who would jump in front of a bullet or even a diabolical monster to save the woman they love.

From my Navy SEAL Series, to Marines, and Law Enforcement I have a love for men in uniform who are willing to risk their life, forsaking themselves for others. My latest book, Entice Me is being released tomorrow (September 18th) and I can hardly wait. It's about a former Army officer who suffers from PTSD. It's a story of how love truly can conquer all, even invisible wounds brought on by war.

AVAILABLE at a 10% discount HERE

Entice Me (MF)
Jace Walker served his country for ten years in the Army. Years of combat and war left him with invisible wounds which bring him to the lowest point in his life. In a moment of crisis, he meets his angel.

After years of being an attentive and loyal wife, Alexis Foster catches her husband’s infidelity. Her life changes as she gets divorced and becomes a single parent.

Years pass and Jace finds his angel once again. Only this time she’s no longer married. He vows to do anything in his power to sweep her off her feet and make the angel he remembered from all those years before become his. Despite her insecurities, the two find an attraction stronger than either of them anticipated.

Will he entice her into letting down her walls? Or will she entice him into finding a true and unrelenting love?


Now, I already know what I love in an alpha male. I want to know what all of you love. What makes an alpha hero sexy for you? What makes him mouth watering yummy? Leave me a comment below with your answer as well as an email address and I will draw 3 winners who will each have their choice of any of my current releases in eBook format. But, the fun doesn't stop there! Please stop by the other blogs on this hop and increase your chances of winning! There are many prizes to be won!

Sex & The Single Woman (Book & Trailer Showcase eMag)

Below is the 3rd installment of my recurring column in Book & Trailer Showcase's eMagazine. 
You can read the entire magazine here: 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WAIT! I’m writing a book!

As most readers will have worked out from my books, I love summer, the hot weather, the beach, and walking through national parks. For some years I’ve enjoyed swimming at a local, large Aquatic Center. One day as I was swimming up and down in my lane (the slow lane, sadly, not the fast lane, or even the medium lane), I started thinking that an Aquatic Center would be a mighty fine place to meet Mr. Right. After all, there’s plenty of brawny, naked chests, quite a lot of young, good-looking, ultra-fit life guards, and lots of sweaty, delicious muscles in the gym. The only surprising part of my decision was that I hadn’t thought of doing it long ago.

So I started writing the “Wet and Willing” series right there and then (in my head) as I swam. I expected it to be a paranormal series, as I’ve been writing a lot of paranormal stories lately, but the characters stayed firmly fixed in the here and now, showing no unusual abilities, remaining stolidly contemporary. Hey, that’s okay. Half the time I just take dictation from demanding characters anyway.

But then the unthinkable happened. The management of the Aquatic Center announced it was closing so they could undertake a major upgrade, and all the members had to find somewhere else to exercise for the eighteen months construction would take.

WAIT!! Just wait a minute. You can’t close the Aquatic Center! I’m in the middle of writing a series of books!!! Eighteen months! The readers would kill me if I took eighteen months off in the middle of it!

Fortunately for my peace of mind, we were given passes to another Aquatic Center, a little farther away, but just as big and exciting. So the series, “Wet and Willing” was written. Thank god!

Each of these books is a complete story in itself, but previous characters return for cameo appearances in later books.

Who is Berengaria?

Berengaria is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it!

Book 3, the final book in the “Wet and Willing” series has just been released.

     Deb Steele hikes through a Water Authority reservation. But houses are being built on one section of it, and she can’t get home. She phones Kai Cole, and he and Harry Anders come to get her. While she’s waiting for them, her cell phone battery dies and a young man turns up on an electric scooter. When he realizes she’s quite alone, he plans to sexually assault her. She escapes from him just as Kai and Harry arrive.
     Kai worries about how he can protect Deborah if this man is following her, and Harry suggests they learn karate. Kai decides the only way their beginning threesome relationship can progress further is if they all move in together.
     But, as Deb is leaving work late that evening, the attacker jumps her once again. Why is he after her? How can the men protect her? And will they ever have enough time to build their friendship into a genuine relationship?


Deborah tucked her phone back in her shorts, stood up and stretched, then looked around. There was really very little to see. The land on this side of the road was empty, not just of houses, but also of crops and animals. “It’s hard to believe I’m still in the city. But there’s nothing here. No farms, no houses. Just nothing.” The other side of the road, the one she’d been hoping to turn down, was still the same abandoned-looking industrial estate she’d been following the entire way from where the park had once been. That was a puzzle really. Why were houses being built on a Water Authority reservation when there was all this vacant land on the other side of the road? She shrugged. Not her problem.
Just then she heard the faint sound of an engine, rather like a lawn mower or something like that. She turned and looked in every direction, but the idea of a lawn mower didn’t make sense. However the engine sound was steadily getting louder so she walked the few paces needed so she could look down Hillside View Road. Sure enough, there was a motorized scooter whizzing down the road toward her.
“Huh. If I’d just been patient I’d have found out where I was and how to get home. I wonder who this is and where they live.” She still couldn’t see any houses. Hillside View looked completely empty apart from the scooter, which was getting much louder and bigger as it approached.
The man riding on it looked to be large for such a small vehicle, but she guessed he was into gadgets or whatever. He was quite young, and spoke before the little scooter had even stopped. “Who are you, and why are you here?”
“My name’s Deborah, and I was hiking through the Water Authority reservation, but they’ve built houses on it back down there. What’s the name of this road?”
“You’re all alone?” he asked.
Worry sparked along Deborah’s spine at that question. He’d made no attempt to say who he was or to answer her question.
“Of course not. My two friends will be back in a minute.”
“You’re lying. You’re all alone, and you’re mine. I’m gonna fuck you ’til your eyeballs pop out. I’ve been needing a woman for a while.” He stepped off the scooter, letting it drop to the ground, unzipping his jeans as he spoke.
Deborah weighed up her choices. Running wouldn’t be smart. He’d soon catch up to her on his scooter, and she didn’t know which direction to take anyway. She needed to run toward Kai and Harry but had no idea whether they’d arrive from her right or her left. However, Kai had said five minutes, and that time must be just about up. They’d be here very soon, so all she needed to do was keep him talking.
“Before we fuck, we should get to know each other a little. My name’s Deborah. What’s yours?”
“I’m not stupid. I’m not telling you my name. And I’ve got a condom so you won’t catch me with DNA either,” he said moving toward her with a leer on his face and his arms outstretched.
“But sex is so much better if you talk to each other and build up a rapport first,” she said a little desperately, trying to move away from him without making it too obvious.
“Bullshit. Women are just holes to be filled. Men are the superior beings.”

Berengaria Brown can be found all over the web:
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Strix [Bag of Tricks Book 1]

I’m sure I’m a new author to many of you. My name’s Katalina Leon, I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Loose Id Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

The Bag Of Tricks book series was the first time I truly collaborated with another author, Amber Skyze. The series was Amber’s idea based on her annual trips to Salem Massachusetts and the fun of visiting a Wiccan shop with girlfriends and having their fortunes told. The wish bag filled with magical stones was her idea.

When I was a young and single I would have found the idea of seeking out a little magical guidance to see if I was going to be lucky in love pretty irresistible.

Amber came up with idea of four college girlfriends in their early thirties, reuniting for a Halloween weekend in Salem. Each heroine chooses a wish stone from the bag and has her fortune told by one of two very eccentric witches. What the girls don’t know is the moment they make a wish they fall under some heavy enchantment and their lives become rocket ship rides of unexpected adventure. Of course every story is also populated with gorgeous supernatural men.

In “The Strix” Arcona enters a parallel world. She’s an innocent historical researcher in her current life but she once was a strong spirited and desperate Celtic captive of Rome in 78 AD, who practiced dark witchcraft. She comes face to face with that lifetime and a man she should have loved but instead pushed away.

Tyr was a condemned gladiator who loved Arcona and wanted to buy her freedom but ended up being turned into an immortal flesh and blood weapon with a badly damaged soul. After two thousand years of living under Arcona’s enchantment in heartless misery as a Slayer dedicated to the gods of war, Tyr has had enough and wants it all to end. Meeting the reincarnation of the original Arcona in Salem is Tyr’s sole opportunity to be free of the Slayer’s curse. He kidnaps Arcona intent on breaking the curse and dragging Arcona into death with him, but their hard start quickly turns into something more complex and tender as old memories and motivations rush forward. For the first time in two thousand years Tyr begins to feel love again and his plans change drastically.

A cursed amber amulet unearthed in Pompeii flings Arcona into a past life of witchcraft, bloodshed, revenge and sexual slavery to the cruel Master of a gladiatorial school. This violent parallel world is populated with “Slayers,” blood-drinking immortals devoted to the gods of war and mayhem.

As a Strix, or malignant witch, Arcona once used sex and blood rituals to create a race of immortal warriors to unleash on Rome. Now it’s time to pay.

The gladiator Tyr was one desperately lonely lover she betrayed. Against his will, she turned him into Upir Likhyi, a foul vampire. For two millennia he’s lived a grim existence as a Slayer, in constant sexual arousal yet denied release; now, he's pissed off and wants revenge. He kidnaps Arcona planning to drink her dry and break the curse. 

Along the way Arcona and Tyr relive their sexual slavery at the hands of Rome and blood sport in the arena, but the real magic is they forgive and fall in love. 

Too bad another Slayer wants them dead.

This excerpt takes place in Pompeii 78 AD. Arcona is a young Germanic woman who has been captured by Romans and sold as a pleasure slave to the owner of gladiatorial school. In this scene she breaks the rules and escapes her courtyard prison to peek over the balcony into the ludus or gladiatorial school attached to the villa. She sees Tyr below.


…She crouched low and crept toward the back balcony that overlooked the ludus, where enslaved gladiators were quartered and trained. Surprisingly there were none of the expected sounds of clashing shields or wooden practice swords. The drill yard was silent of the usual clang of battle craft and the sounds of men arguing.

The villa’s rear balcony hovered high above the fray and was safely separated from the ludus by thick earthen walls topped with iron spikes and barred gates below, yet it provided an unencumbered bird’s-eye view of the daily mayhem that took place in the dirt yard beyond.

The August heat of the drill yard, and the scent of men’s sweat hung heavy in the air. Arcona peeked over the top of the balcony and into the sunbaked ludus below. Most of the gladiators were leaning against a far wall, standing in the shade, their swords and shields cast on the ground.

She couldn’t believe the always strict Cilician trainer would allow such slothful behavior, until she scanned the drill yard and saw the Cilician was nowhere in sight.

A dark Gaulish gladiator named Rog stood at the barracks door, pounding loudly on it with his fists. His angry words were so garbled she could hardly make out what he said.

A small crowd of gladiators gathered around Rog, and they too shouted threats and pounded their fists against the sealed door. She watched the events carefully but couldn’t figure out what the enraged commotion was about.

Only one man, a murmillo, the largest and most powerful class of gladiator, remained active on the drill yard. The man had sandy-blond hair and a beautiful sweeping back, which made him breathtaking to look at. She had studied this same man on many occasions and found him fascinating to watch. He was so unlike the others who tended to clump together in groups and speak as a mob.

The murmillo stood apart. He was quiet and solitary. All the times she had spied on the ludus she had never heard him speak, yet she noticed the other gladiators looked to him constantly as an example, which he quietly provided. Any martial skills he mastered the others were quick to imitate.

For such a large man he moved with power and grace, holding a sword in one hand and a heavy, iron-rimmed shield that stood nearly as tall as he in the other. He advanced with calculated steps across the packed dirt of the yard, thrusting and parrying his blade against an imaginary foe.

He ignored the angry chaos surrounding him and worked through his practice drills with concentrated precision. His skin glistened golden under the noon sun. His focused gaze remained lethal and aloof. He looked incapable of distraction, as if he occupied an entirely different realm from the others.

He swung the sword in tight, controlled circles as he stabbed and sliced at his own shadow. He moved beneath the balcony and paused. His sword arm stilled. He held the shield high between him and the others and glanced directly at her.

His clear hazel eyes made such forceful contact with her she felt as if she’d been touched. She was left breathless. Despite her caution about remaining unseen, he seemed to possess another sense that alerted him to her presence. Perhaps she was not so stealthy, because he often noticed her crouching behind the balcony while the others remained oblivious.

She gazed into his eyes and froze, unable to look away. She wondered how it was possible for such a formidable man to become enslaved to Rome.

A slight smile curled the edge of his lips. He gazed at her with scorching intensity as if he meant to bolt over the wall and grab her.

She felt a little flutter of anxious tension and desire and struggled to extinguish it.

The barrack door burst open with a loud bang, and a wailing, hysterical woman staggered into the yard with tears streaming down her face. Her tunic was rumpled and hung from her shoulders, exposing her breasts and back. She tried to wrap her head shawl around her body to cover herself. She ran straight toward Rog and threw her arms around his neck, and clung to him.

Rog snatched the woman into his arms. He crushed his face against her thick, dark hair and appeared to be sobbing.

The Cilician trainer strode out the open door with a churlish smile on his swarthy face. He gazed at the gladiators resting in the shade. A look of rage hardened on his harsh mouth. “Pick up your weapons, you slothful oxen! Just because I took a pleasure break doesn’t mean you get one.”

Rog glared at the Cilician, bared his teeth, and snarled. “I hate you! I’ll stuff a blade in your gut the first chance I get!”

“I don’t think so.” The Cilician dismissed Rog with a rude wave of his hand. “By the way, I enjoyed fucking your wife. Tell her to come back next week.”…

Obviously the ludus is a demoralizing place to be imprisoned but believe it or not a kernel of real love does take root here.
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and will check out The Strix

If you haven’t given Loose Id Publishing a try, this is the time. Be brave and take the ride. Loose Id isn’t afraid to go to the edge and leap. They are bold and I love my new publisher.

Katalina Leon & Amber Skyze, “The Strix” book one of the, Bag Of Tricks Book Series. “Claimed By Dragons” coming September 28th from Loose Id LLC.


What do you give an enraged two thousand year gladiator? Anything he asks for...