Hi everyone,
Long time since I sent out a blog post, but I just have to let you know about wonderful writer Yvonne Walus…
Kiwi writer, Yvonne Walus, was delighted to score second prize in the recent Sophie King short story is all u need
 “I’ve loved Sophie King’s books ever since reading The School Run,” Yvonne said. “As a fellow mother, I can definitely relate to the themes in that novel! So when I saw the short story competition, I was excited by the prospect of entering, but imagine my delight when my story was the runner-up!”
The story is one special to Yvonne’s heart, too. “The theme of High On Life is that of rebuilding: rebuilding a city after an earthquake, but also rebuilding one’s life. In a way, when you start by clearing away the rubble, it gives you a unique chance to start something completely new: to redesign, re-plan and re-do. That’s what the characters do in my story. The fact that they are able to do with using art is a wonderful bonus.”
High On Life is published along with other competition finalists in an anthology called Love Is All You Need.
Love is All You Need: Meet 10 women, from different places, backgrounds and times, and each with a different experience of men and romance. Their stories in turn hold the promise of romance, reflect on finding love, or show the lengths we’ll go to for the special person in our lives. An anthology of stories which are funny, thought-provoking, and thrilling, with characters you’ll empathise with as they discover that … Love is All You Need.

For a great read do check it out.
Happy reading


HELLO EVERYONE!   Happy New Year.jane

Firstly, thanks to Elle Druskin for asking me to join this blog hop of getting inside writer’s heads!  A scary thought!

You can check out Elle’s web site at


My first thought is… get inside my head – if you dare!  There’s so much going on inside a writer’s head it has a tendency to be chaotic with lots of voices vying for attention.  Those voices are characters who want their stories told.  Others may think it’s time to bind me in  a straight jacket!

To a non-writer the concept of characters wanting THEIR story told is weird in many ways.  I mean who writes this story?  The writer?  Actually the answer for most of us is that it’s a combination of writer…and the character.  These characters take on a life of their own, are bossy, Dominican, and even take over at times, leading the writer astray from their original idea.


In my latest release THE HIGHWAYMAN’S BRIDE THB COVERas I began the story I had no notion of the hero having a son, let alone a dead wife.  But all of a sudden this child and the story of the dead wife arrived on the page from my fingers.  It was as if it was put there not by me but by the hero. In fact, it was perfect.  So one wonders why I didn’t write that into the plot in the first place.


For me when I start a story I know the basic outline, their backstory etc, but it is only as I get deeper into the story do I really find out what’s going on in their heads.


But where do the ideas come from?

Most will tell you it comes from around us.  I think many writers are real observers; we snoop into what is going on around us.  A conversation, standing in a cue at the bank, seeing somebody that looks rather interesting.  For example years ago I was in hospital and required to be on bed rest for a month – while staring out the hospital window I saw this cloud scooting past and all of a sudden I wondered what it would be like to be on that cloud. Maybe be an angel cloud hopping, and then what if that angel fell off the cloud and landed back on earth.  From that, the novel, To Kiss an Angel was born, written and subsequently sold.


For The Highwayman’s Bride, I wondered what would drive a normally very obedient young woman to run away and take to the roads as a highwayman.  In effect to abandon everything known to her.  That sure would take some desperation.


For me, books can start with simply a character’s name, or even something as small as a title.  Years ago I wanted to write a Christmas story.  There was a competition on and it had to do with something about Santa.  That ended up being Desperately Seeking Santa.


Okay, so you have an idea that you want to write a particular story.  Where to from there?

For me, it’s where the hard work begins, and I must say I do like to be able to brainstorm with a friend.  Often they will see things quite different from me and come up with an idea I hadn’t thought of.   So I highly recommend brainstorming and also having a critique partner, who can read your work with a professional eye.


So you have the idea.  Next step for me is jotting down notes about their backstory.  What is it that makes them who they are?  Their childhood, parents, siblings, job, values and morals, relationships with friends, lovers, wives, husbands etc.  Everything that has gotten them to the point where my story starts.  We humans are a combination of everything up until that moment and so too are our characters.  Of course I must know their likes and dislikes.  Fears, Flaws.  Personal appearances.  Some of this of course may not come out until you are actually writing, but you do need to know the general idea of it all.  It is this depth of detail which will make your character real on the page.

Then of course it’s what is their story going to be about?  Their goals.  What is it that they want right now, so desperately that they’ll do something that is not their norm.

What is motivating that goal?  To save themselves, someone else.  The motivation too has to be so strong to force them to break out of their normal routine/life.

But of course no book is a satisfactory read without their conflict.  And so I need to come up with  a conflict both external and internal.  And it is the internal that adds the depth to the story, the emotional journey.  I must say that I do struggle at times with this.  No one likes to hurt their characters.  In Secrets and Seduction, secretsmy heroine valued her home over her head very highly, she’d led a bit of a gypsy childhood and so having somewhere stable for her and her daughter was paramount.

So I burnt the house down.

Now what for my dear heroine. She had nowhere to go, a child, mounting debts, and of course the man she’d been obliged to marry stepped in.  That he reminded her of her ex (dead) husband was an added bonus to the conflict.


Currently I’m working on two romantic suspense.  Writing these is a bit different from straight romance because of the suspense plot.  So what you’ve got is a romance thread, a suspense thread and often another thread too.  Again my characters changed during this process, the bad guy will get redeemed in the end, and the exciting thing about this is that it will lead to his own story!


Why do I write?  Because the voices need to be let lose on the page.  Because I love a good story – and it beats housework LOL!

Of course writing the first draft is probably the easy part, because then all the hard work begins. The editing, making sure you’re not head hopping (Point of view), redundant words and basically does the whole darn lot makes sense, and have you followed through on all the story threads.

Writing a novel is a journey for both the characters and the writer.  The characters start out wanting ABC and realize that in fact they want/need something quite different in the end and what they thought they wanted isn’t as important after all, and for the writer, they start out writing the character’s story, believing they know it all, and realize in the end the characters knew a whole lot more than they did.




I am a New Zealander born and bred….and after a lifetime spent on the land it’s not surprising that most of my books have that distinctive rural feel that readers love… Most of my stories are set in New Zealand, our south sea paradise in the antipodes. I’ve always written, freelancing for local and National newspapers, but Romance is my true love…and have been a reader of romance from the moment my sister introduced me to The English Women’s Weekly and their wonderful serialised romances… 

I know the world is full of heroes as I have my own hero right here at home….my enduring loves are reading, my house is crowded with books on every subject imaginable. My other great hobby is gardening. Now, after a lifetime spent farming, I live with my husband in semi-retirement on the traditional Kiwi quarter acre section with a cat and two


Happy writing and reading.


Jane Beckenham



Hello everyonejane

Welcome to the blog hop for Gambling onf Love.   I’m excited to bring you a debut Entangled Publishing (Scandalous) release.

Slaves, a river boat, a forced marriage, and a growing attraction for one another are just a soupcon of what will unfold in Gambling on Love, a debut Entangled novel for their Scandalous line for authors Patti Shenberger and Nancy Fraser.

While the book is their debut at Entangled Publishing, these ladies are truly seasoned authors. Patti recently signed her twenty-first romance contract. A wife, mother of two, mother-in-law of two and a pet mommy of two, this lady is busy, busy, busy – oh, and plus she’s about to become a granny!

The other half of this writing duo is Nancy Fraser. Nancy has been writing since she was a child, most often on walls and with crayons or (heaven forbid) permanent marker. (oh you bad girl!).

These ladies don’t live next door to each other, not even in the same town, not even in the same country, so how do you write a book with another woman who lives 1400miles away. (Gasp)


Who came up with the idea in the first instance?

Patti – Many years ago I came up with the idea for a book set in the era of the paddlewheel and on the Mississippi River. I think it was because I was enamored with the movie Maverick at the time (sigh, a young Mel Gibson). This book though was Nancy’s idea, and writing it was a way to sate our appetite for hunky men and the women who loved them. What it did instead was open up a can of worms in the form of 7 more books (hopefully) for readers to fall in love with.


Why write with another person?

Patti – Writing with another person gives you the chance to explore a dual-sided form of creativity. You can bounce ideas off each other, poo-poo other ideas and be gloriously thrilled when you start finishing each other’s sentences. Then you know you’ve got it right. Or you kill each other and move on (just kidding).

Nancy – truthfully she lives in fear of my Canadian penchant for duct tape. When she’s being bad and threatening to cut one of my scenes, I bring out the duct tape! Too bad I’m not close enough to actually use it.


How do you organize the writing of chapters?

Patti – Nancy created the outline and wrote this book. I did the editing for it. We bounced ideas and scenes back and forth to make sure we had them right.

Nancy – our individual writing styles are too different to try going back and forth within the same book. However, we have a wonderfully uncanny ability to be able to see what’s wrong with something the other has written.


Do you find that you both bring different strengths to your co-authored work?

Patti – We definitely do. Nancy loves to write the love scenes, whereas I’m more of a dialogue type person. I’d rather get inside the character’s head and make sure what they are saying makes sense, and stays true to the book. Nancy is more tactile. She likes to get touchy-feely with the characters and have them rolling around between the sheets (G).

Nancy – what can I say? I’m happily divorced and living vicariously through my characters!

What research did you have to do regarding the slave trade, and other aspects of the times? Was there any little snippet you found during research that tweaked your interest?

Patti: We actually both have books at home on the Civil War, the 1860’s and everything else we could get our hands on. But we didn’t touch too deeply on the slave trade. We’ve found that readers don’t want the facts given to them in a cut and dry fashion, nor do they want to be preached at. They want to read a book that divulges the information on timely basis, but doesn’t overwhelm the story. We hope we’ve done that in Gambling on Love.  

Nancy – as much as I love historical detail – I believe its best kept in a reference book. I want the reader to know that “we” know what we’re talking about, but don’t want to ram it down their throats.


How do you then go ahead and write the novel? Does one say, I like this scene idea and would like to write it?

Patti – Nancy sent me the synopsis for this book and I read it over and made comments. She had areas she knew she didn’t want to compromise on (certain scenes, sentences, things she wanted to have happen in the book). Then she started writing. Each five chapters completed, she would send them over to me for reading, editing, comments/concerns. So far it’s worked perfectly.

Nancy – We’re trying the same “system” for the next book as well. As long as we can both stay on schedule, it takes about 5-6 weeks to write the entire book and get it off to the editor.


What do you think are the main strengths of your characters, and which strength do you like the most and why?

Nancy – Jake’s main character strength has to be his undying loyalty to his family and his compassion for Felicity and her many causes. Right from the beginning, when she admits she can’t pay him for the transport of her cargo, he chooses to continue north. Of the two main strengths, his loyalty brings out the best in him in every situation – as it does with all the McCade men and women.

Felicity’s main character strength is her tenacity. No matter what it took, she was going to see her father’s illegally held slaves freed. Unfortunately, she’s also a bit naive in thinking she can get away with it. Her character, more than any other so far, evolves completely over the course of the book which is her biggest asset.


Are you intending to write as a duo again – and if so, what?

Patti – Absolutely! We hope to have many, many books in the McCade Legacy out there. And if that doesn’t work, then we’ll create a new series for readers to fall in love with. As well as having a dual career together, Nancy and I also have a separate writing career.

Nancy – I think as writers we grow more, learn more when we work separately. I know there’s always something I can learn from a new experience and bring back to the table the next time we work together.


Name the Hotel!

As part of a tour-wide giveaway the authors are offering one lucky winner the chance to not only name the hotel which will appear in the second McCade Legacy novel, but will also have their name used as a character in the book as well!





Barnes and Noble




Want to catch Patti and Nancy on their blog tour

 pop over here

 Want to find Patti and Nancy

Patti Shenberger –

Facebook –

Twitter @pattishenberger


Facebook –

Twitter – @nfraserauthor


Happy reading everyone

Jane Beckenham





Hello everyone,jane

Well spring has surely sprung for you northern hemisphere readers, while down here autumn has arrived, though really we’re just having a long Indian summer… still in summer clothes often.  Where  I am which is in the country, we have water tanks and it was becoming rather dire there for a while as the tanks were virtually empty as we’d had no rain for many months.

That certainly has changed now!

 What has also changed I think is our language.  As a writer having to constantly search for just the right word I need for a sentence or to paint a word picture, I often wonder how words develop.  For example, how did the word rain, become…well, rain. 

But modern language, now that’s something we see changing all the time.  Fifty years ago we didn’t have the word computer, nor text, nor mobile phone.  When I think that my grandmother took a stagecoach in her youth and where we are now…well, that sure is some change.

The world has changed because of computers.  We have a mouse that isn’t an animal, IT that doesn’t mean the word  ‘it’, and download that doesn’t mean putting down something heavy.  Then there is PC, HTML, DOC, RTF, spreadsheet that doesn’t mean your laying out a bed sheet.  Everything seems abbreviated.  .  One wonders if it is because we don’t have time to say the words.

There’s – FB, twitter, google, google it.  It’s a whole new language.  I remember when computers first became part of our lives.  Everyone said that now we would live in this paperless society, we’d have much more time.

Wrong!  Remind me of that next time I do my filing!

Trying to teach my 89yo (see I’m even abbreviating year old!) mother how to use a computer.  I remember telling her to move the mouse – the what?  The language had become so natural to me, I had to stop and really think what I said and how I taught someone who was immersed in the 21st century yet.

Life seems to be one big rush –in fact I think we rush a whole lot more, so much so that we can’t even say worlds out fully and have to abbreviate things.  And of course there is the instant need for info.

No longer do I go and find the phone book at home, but quickly look up a phone number on line. No longer do I wait to get home to phone someone, I just use my mobile phone.  Nor do I go to the library to get out a book on a specific subject, I just Google it there and then and get the information instantly.  We’ve become an impatient world, who rushes and can’t speak properly.  We abbreviate our written language too.  R U cmg hm 2mrw 2.

Are we so busy that we can’t write/spell properly?  I hear that student are even using text speak in their exams.

Today I had to fill in a form  – writing, not typing, and was surprised (note horrified) to realize that physical writing was not particularly comfortable – what is going to happen?  Are we going to forget how to write words, form letters?  How many of us remember those days in school where we had to progress from printing to script writing.  Lordy I even remember learning shorthand and was able to do 100 words per minute – now shorthand could be actually recognized as the first form of text speak – and words per minute – became wpm, so maybe that gave us an inkling of what was to come.

Do students know how to address an envelope, write a letter, and sign the letter off correctly? 

People may say why bother, it’s all going to be email now, but I do wonder if we give up these tiny things that eventually it all becomes one big loss in the end.

C U l8r – LOL

Happy reading

Jane Beckenham

 PS – another little excerpt for you


She’s hiding something.

Mac’s instinct kicked in, and he sucked in a low breath, letting the oxygen roll around his lungs and seep through his veins.

She’s guilty.

Just like you.

He pasted on his best smile and watched as the color drained from her face. All the while, her striking green eyes held him captive. They changed from light green and then replicated the shades of the forest as her mood darkened.

For more than a heartbeat, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Curtis had called his wife cold and unforgiving, and yet all he could see was passion and emotion. A spitfire.

Leah Talbot-Grainger was a beautiful woman, with a tousle of curls that created an auburn halo falling to her shoulders and eyes that had the capacity to bewitch. When the tip of her tongue slid across her slightly parted mouth, Mac’s body heated. Her actions taunted him.

But there were no tears, only a desperate fear in eyes that shadowed secrets, and without realizing it, she confirmed everything Curtis had told him about her, strengthening his resolve to protect his niece at all costs.

As the elevator leveled off with the thirtieth floor, the doors opened in silence, and she shoved past him and retreated to the far wall.

Without saying a word, he placed a foot in the doorway, forcing them to remain open.


Frightened green eyes stared at him. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

“Making sure you understand.”

She wrapped her hands across her middle. He recognized her desperation. “Oh, I understand, all right, but you won’t win.”

“We’ll see about that.” He removed his foot and stepped back. “I’ll be in touch, Leah.”

The elevator doors slid closed, and for a moment, he simply stood there.

What next?



The Calm Between Books

Hi everyone,jane

Today Teresa Noelle Roberts visits us, talking about living her dream, and the life between books.  This for me is quite fascinating, as one of the things I’ve noticed along this writing journey is that when I particularly get horrendously busy with writing/editing/promoting etc, I crave housework.  I crave something where I don’t actually have to think.  I crave simple. Easy.  I thought this craving for order and a concise life would disappear, that it was a freak thing at one stage of a particular book, but no, it rears its head (ugly head??) with each book.  So I have figured it’s all about balance, taking it in my stride and turning on the answerphone when I want to take a nana nap (and no I’m not a nana yet!)

Today, I have finished this round of edits…so I’m kinda in the calm between the next round LOL.  Now… housework, or a snooze?

Big decision.

Welcome to Teresa Noelle Robberts.


The Calm Between Books

As a writer, I find the position I’m in now a curious and delightful one: I’m actually spending much of my time writing, as in putting together new words.

If you’re a reader, not a writer, this statement may not make a lot of sense. What else do writers do?

But if you are a writer, you may understand. My latest book, Knowing the Ropes, came out in February. After I wrote the book—and while I was working on the next one—came rounds of edits. I have a wonderful and wise editor and a meticulous line editor, so it was several rounds. Then came sending out review copies, setting up a blog tour, and figuring out other forms of promo. The promo storm, of course, continues after the book is released.

Then just when things were starting to settle down, I got the proofs for the forthcoming print edition, and oh, could I pull together some reviews to include?

Of course I could, and did, and I was thrilled by the chance to do so. I’m not complaining for a second about being a published author. It was my dream even as a small child, and I still end up pinching myself that I not only get to write books and stories, but I get paid to do so. My imaginary friends help me pay my bills, just like I always hoped from the time I realized that books didn’t appear magically out of the air: other people created them.

But my little-girl self never imagined all the business aspects of being an author, and while my adult self accepts them and even enjoys them (I’ve been reviewing cover proofs for a forthcoming book and that’s just plain fun), my inner child just wants to write stories.

Which is why I’m enjoying this brief time when Knowing the Ropes has been released into the wild, needing only occasional attention from me, and when the edits for my next release, Cougar’s Courage (Duals and Donovans: The Different, Book 3, due out in October from Samhain), haven’t arrived yet.

Of course, I’ll probably post this and those edits will be in my in-box the next morning, so I’d better get cranking out some new words while the writing is good.

Knowing the Ropes:KnowingTheRopes_v1


Blurb: Selene’s had submissive fantasies most of her life, but as a domestic abuse counselor, she’s leery of giving up control. Until she meets Nick, a dom who offers to show her the ins and outs of ropes, paddles, and floggers.

Selene’s common sense, kinkiness, and smoking sensuality is Nick’s dream. Except they’ve agreed to a no-strings arrangement, not romance. When an ex needs their help, can they save their love from all the things they’re afraid to say?

Warning:  Sexy, kinky, geeky dominant guy. Smart submissive woman. Crazy ex. A little experimentation between girlfriends. And lots and lots of kinky sex.


A tease of an excerpt:

Selene stretched out her bare foot, brushed it against his calf. Hard muscle under soft denim. Nice.

Yeah, Nick might just have something to do with the euphoria.

He took the hand that wasn’t holding her beer.

No, he didn’t exactly take her hand. He covered her hand with his and closed his fingers around her wrist. Then he looked into her eyes.

A slow, sensual smile opened on his face as he said, “That’s better. Isn’t it?”

It wasn’t really a question, but he was giving her an out if she wanted it.

She didn’t. That firm grip on her wrist hinted at so many things she’d dreamed of. “Oh yes,” she breathed. “Better.” She dropped her voice a notch. “And wetter.”

It may have been purely coincidence that the woman sitting behind her giggled at that second, but Selene was sure she’d overhead.

Heat flared in Selene’s cheeks and, to her surprise, between her legs. She squirmed in her seat, less from actual embarrassment than to enjoy the pressure the movement put on her swollen lips.

Under the cover of the first round of food arriving, Nick leaned forward. “So, you enjoy a little bit of public embarrassment? I’ll file that away for later.”

“You’re so confident that there’ll be a later?”

“What do you think?” He ran one fingernail down the tender inside of her forearm.

His nails weren’t sharp, but she still shivered.


Find Teresa –

Twitter: @TeresNoeRoberts



Buy links:


Amazon US:

Barnes and Noble:




Happy reading everyone

Jane Beckenham


Scorching sex: definitely on the menu. Hold the love, please…

Workaholic Carly Mason is caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock: an invitation for four days of sun and sand with her friends and their men. The hard place: “Mr. Invisible”, who lusts after her with delicious abandon, doesn’t exist—Carly invented him to keep her friends off her back about her lack of a love life.

Then she encounters a motorbike-riding Adonis whose image taunts her during the wee small hours. When fate drops him in her sights the next day, she grabs the opportunity to offer him a job. Pretend to be her Romeo, just for the duration of her getaway.

Exhausted from months negotiating his multi-million-dollar company’s expansion, Marco Valente is more than tempted by Carly’s outrageous proposal. If nothing else, it’ll give him a temporary escape from his high-profile life—and his mother’s serial-bride attitude.

Once on the island, Carly realizes her well-meaning friends have tricked her into a “relaxing” vacation. For the next four days and nights, it’s just her and her hired Romeo. And a growing connection that definitely wasn’t part of the contract…

LIving with your characters

Hi everyone.jane


I had a break from blogging last week – family/real life getting in the way.  Back again though, and locked in the writing cave editing my Regency. 

A kind of weird thing struck me the other day, however.  Here it is 2013 and I’m writing a Regency set in 1813.  Isn’t that so freaky?  Exactly two hundred years apart. 

It also got me wondering (don’t get the straight jacket out yet), but I wonder if people back then thought about the future, what it would be?  I really don’t think they would have ever thought that we would be writing about them.  And yes I know my characters are made up etc, but to me they are real.

I remember a lifetime ago reading Juliette Benzoni’s books.  Loved, loved, loved her medieval series –Catherine and in my naiveté I wondered how she knew what these characters thought and said etc.   They were so real on the page and when the hero Anaud died, I was devastated, cried my eyes out.  It was just so unexpected. 

Now that I think is a sign of a great story and craftsmanship.  Ms Benzoni made me BELIEVE those characters were real.  I cared about them deeply.  Felt their pain, their joy, rode with them on horseback, smelt the flowers.  Basically I lived their story.   

They were my introduction to sagas that spanned over 6 books, similar emotions stirred years later when reading Jamie and Claire’s story in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. 

This got me to thinking (yes more thinking) about other characters I’ve loved.  Sophia James’  Lady Madeline Randwick in Ashblane’s Lady.   You feel her pain and despair from page one.  Then there is the fun and quirky Poppy Collins in Nicola Marsh’s  Not the Marrying Kind and the entire quirky town of Love in Crazy Love

Many a time as I’m reading I find myself grinning – a sure sign that it’s a satisfying read and that I really love the characters. 

With my own books, especially when I’m in galley edit mode just before publication I get the warm fuzzies particularly as I read the end.  It’s like ‘wow I wrote that’!  Such a buzz, and one of course I hope my readers will love it too.


So, who is your most favorite character of all time?  And why?  What reaction did you get when you finished their story?


Happy reading everyone


Jane Beckenham


PS – An excerpt from HE’S THE ONE


The moment Cade turned, everything changed.

Cade Harper. Bad boy. One sexy guy.

Taylor’s voice stalled in her throat, and she knew, when his smiling eyes captured hers, she was in way over her head.

Cade wiped his hands on a cloth and again Taylor’s gaze followed. Long, lean fingers. Fingers that would touch… Oh, boy!

He smiled. “You wanted to see me?”

She nodded and felt herself drowning in that smile. His dark eyes twinkled, a swirl of gold and chocolate brown. Just like Hershey Kisses.


Yep. She was definitely going under.

“Lady, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve got a bar to run,” he said, grabbing a knife and cutting a lemon into wafer-thin slices.

Taylor shook herself. Okay. Come on. Just say it. “I’ve got a favor to ask.”

“Ask away then,” he said, not looking up.

Taylor burned and eyed the milling crowd. “Actually, it’s a proposition.”

He definitely looked then, and his gaze focused on her. He placed the razor-sharp knife on the cutting board. His mouth quirked at one corner, smiling, gaze assessing. “Sounds intriguing.”

Sounds stupid.

He leant forward and rested both hands on the bar, the flex and tension in his forearms a powerful tease. Taylor swallowed hard.

“Is there anywhere we can talk—privately?”

“Out back in the den.” He flicked a hand toward a door behind the bar.

“More like going into the lion’s den,” she muttered.

“You say something?”

“Ah…no.” She dropped her gaze. Damn. Why hadn’t she chosen a different career? One where her clients didn’t ask about sex?

Holding herself stiff and feeling as if all eyes followed her movements, she walked behind the bar. As she brushed past him, the musky scent of his cologne teased her senses. Taylor willed the butterflies dancing a tango in her stomach to abate. They didn’t listen.

No more than a storeroom with boxes piled high along three of its four walls and a desk barely visible beneath a pile of papers and computer sheets, this room wore many different hats.

Every word Taylor had practiced dissolved from her memory as Cade closed the door behind him. The soft click of the latch echoed a thousand-fold. She spun around. He leant against the door, arms folded across his formidable chest, his gaze candid. He looked dangerous—but very delicious.

He spoke first. “Do I know you?”

“Not really.” Not yet.

“Shame.” He gave another of his long, lingering smiles, the kind that emphasized the dimples on either side of his sexy mouth. It set her toes curling and her body pulsing. Her internal temperature gauge hit the jackpot. Oh, Lordy, she was out of her depth.

But here goes.

“I’m Taylor Sullivan. We didn’t meet, exactly, at Brianna Bennett’s wedding. I was her planner.” She jerked out her hand. Cade took it in his. Warm, strong fingers enveloped hers. The tips were slightly calloused, and the friction sent goose bumps skittering across her heated skin. She willed herself not to yank her hand from his and held herself in check.

“You touting for another wedding to plan?” Cade pushed away from the door, dwarfing the room. He shoved his hands deep into the pockets of jeans that skimmed his long, muscular thighs. “If you are,” he said, with a shrug, “you’re out of luck. Marriage and I don’t mix.”

Taylor tightened her grip on her bag, desperate to silence the slamming of her heartbeat. “So I heard.”

“You’ve heard more about me than I have of you,” he replied.

A hint of a smile tipped the corners of her mouth. “You’re quite well known, Mr. Harper. Successful and entrepreneurial.”

“I work hard.”

“And play hard, so the papers say.”

“Gossip and innuendo,” he countered, his steely gaze sizing her up.

A bead of sweat trickled between her breasts. Cade hadn’t taken his eyes off her since they’d entered the back room.

That has to be a good thing. Shows he’s interested, her subconscious reminded her.

Taylor shifted from foot to foot.

It’s now or never, Sullivan.

With a deep breath that really didn’t soothe her chaotic thoughts, she pulled herself to her full five-foot-ten height and dived in. “I want you to have sex with me.”

Cade’s dark eyes bolted wide. “Whoa.”

Heat suffused Taylor’s cheeks. “Oh, hell, this is stupid.” How dumb could she be? She reached for her bag, but the over-laden carryall slid from her fingers and upended, scattering its contents across the floor.

Taylor gasped and, for one long, drawn-out second, simply stared. Her breath strangulated in her throat, and a furious heat burned behind her eyes. There, right at Cade’s feet, lay her box of condoms.

Blinking back tears, she dropped to her knees and gathered everything as fast as she could. “Stupid, stupid.”

Then worse worsened.

Cade reached the condoms the second before she did.

“You must be a good Girl Scout,” he said and passed the box to her.

Their fingers touched.

Their eyes met.


All the oxygen seemed to be sucked from her lungs. She pulled away, shaking her head, struggling for a semblance of practicality.

“Always be prepared. Isn’t that their motto?” Cade chuckled.

This was bad. Really bad. Mortified, Taylor refused to look at him and kept her lips firmly closed. She shoved the box into her bag and zipped it closed with a firm tug.

Open up again,she warned silently, and you’ll be in the rubbish bin.

She straightened, walked to the door and opened it. Strains of Dr. Hook’s “Sexy Eyes” wafted into the small room. How appropriate. Cade’s dark eyes were just that, downright sinful and sexy.

“Wait,” he said.


“You’ve just proposed something way out there and I want to know why.”

Her hand fell from the door.

“You intrigue me.”

Cade’s seductive gaze traveled her length, lighting a trail of heat to the tips of her toes.

“Are you going to tell me why you walked in here and offered yourself? Sex is a serious game.”

Taylor searched for the right words, unsure if there were any right ones. “In my business, I need experience.”

“You plan weddings. You don’t have to sleep with the grooms.”

Taylor gasped, but not one single word came out. Cade wanted an answer. Deserved one. She clutched her bag, kneading the leather. “I…get asked questions,” she finally managed to whisper.

“What sort of questions?”

“Damn it, Cade, do I have to spell it out?”

“Seems so,” he said with a hint of amusement glittering in his way-too-sexy eyes.

“You’re enjoying this.”

“Sure,” he said, not even denying it. He gave another of his smiles, the ones that got her all hot and bothered. And right now, she was very bothered.

“I get asked questions—about sex. S-E-X. Got it?” Taylor looked everywhere but at Cade.

“Got it.”

She thought he’d laugh, joke, something, but not do this…not be gentle. Cade caught her chin in his fingers, turning her so she had to look at him. “So why not answer them?”

Oh, man. Where were those damned red shoes of Dorothy’s when she needed them? Kansas looked pretty appealing right now.

“I can’t answer them.”


The tip of her tongue slid along her teeth. “Look, I realize this is on the edge of weird.”

“True,” he agreed, much to her chagrin. “I don’t have a beautiful lady come into my bar every day and ask for sex.”

He didn’t? Taylor’s brows knitted. Why not? Cade was hunk material. He made her forget—everything.

“Questions, you said,” he prompted.

Oh, God, there was no way out. Not even an earthquake could save her now. “The questions are something that goes with the territory of being a wedding planner. Brides get anxious,” she said, hugging her bag to her chest. “They may be experienced, even living with their partners, but sometimes, as the wedding draws near, they get skittery. They ask, um…questions—about sex. Questions I can’t answer, because…”

“Because you’re a virgin?”

Oh, where was that earthquake when a girl wanted it? “That’s right.” Heat burned her face. Her scalp. Everywhere. She speared Cade with a direct glare. Don’t you dare laugh! Don’t you make me feel any worse than I do, she silently challenged.

But he didn’t laugh. He didn’t smile. What he did was worse. Much worse.

He closed the gap between them. Taylor’s body erupted into high alert, nipples pebbling beneath her lacy bra. She could deal with him at a distance. But close up, everything changed. Body heat got in the way.




Introducing…Tina Donahue

Hi everyone,jane

Well Thursday is about over and I have missed the boat with my blog post.  Life sure does get in the way sometimes. 


I’d like to take the time today and introduce you to author Tina Donahue.  Previously the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company, today, Tina writes contemporary, erotic, paranormal and historical romances.   I met Tina as a Samhain author.  She also writes for Ellora’s Cave and Kensington and runs the Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas blogspot.  Check it out here.  


Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites praise her work and her list of awards is a whos who in the writing world.  A finalist in the in the 2011 EPIC competition.  Winner of the Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books.  Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012), second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years) and she’s also featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.


 Today Tina is giving us a peek at her novel


 Passion without limit. Carnal hunger that knows no bounds.

 Outlawed Realm, Book 3

 Within Earth’s five dimensions, nothing is as it seems…and desire is never far away.

 In E4’s jungle, Kuma was the Alpha werewolf, bent on revenge against the hated guards. Swept with them into the E1 dimension, now he prowls Seattle at night, stopping the thugs from abducting women for use as sex slaves in E4’s Pleasure Palace.

 On her way home from her nursing job, Gwen senses danger in the night’s shadows—an instant before a stranger attacks. Clinging to consciousness, she watches the impossible, a wolf fighting him off…protecting her. She wakes in her own bed, convinced it must have been a dream until she sees Kuma in human form. Virile, intense. A man like no other.

 Within his powerful embrace, Gwen experiences rapture she didn’t believe existed. His unrestrained lust and burning need end her loneliness, though not the menace they face. The guards are a constant threat in their hunt for women and their determination to see Kuma dead. Together, he and Gwen must fight—for his life, her freedom, their future.

 Warning: Out-of-this-world sex and a romance to die for. Features a hunk whose inner beast won’t be tamed, and the woman who craves his most shameless desire.

Buy Link:


Shameless Desire

 A stream of male and female workers to his left exited the tall beige building, stalling his thoughts. He fought the urge to fall back into the shadows of the hospital, uncertain as to what went on within. The structure was nothing like the Pleasure Palace in the realm from which he’d come. The Palace’s contours were massive and black with no openings at all, the activities inside hidden from those in the jungle. Icy white light poured from this building’s many windows, too high for him to peer inside.

The woman’s scent grew stronger.

He looked beyond the males and females who moved past. At that moment, the crowd thinned out, revealing a woman who’d lagged behind the others. Her.

The breeze seemed to pause. He no longer felt the rain sprinkling his face. Indescribable sensations pumped through him, a mixture of wonder and caution. He shouldn’t stare, knowing it would bring attention to himself, yet he couldn’t resist.

A tall female, she wore jeans as he did and what he’d learned was a hoodie on this side, the navy fabric pulled up over her head, protecting her hair from the thin autumn shower, hiding those tresses from him. The few wisps that escaped were short and dark. She’d stopped in a wedge of light from the building, the harsh illumination revealing her exotic features, lush lips, coppery skin. Her fragrance wafted toward him again, the woodsy scent intoxicating, complementing her pale blue eyes, the color sheer, ethereal.

Beads of water collected on her long, dark lashes.

She shoved her hands into her hoodie’s pockets, advanced a few steps, then stopped, noticing him.

Rain pattered against the concrete, matching the brisk thumping of his pulse. Music poured from inside a car, the steady throb of its bass intensifying the moment. Wind whipped past. Tires swished over asphalt.

Ignoring the incessant noise, she studied him with what appeared to be female interest and curiosity. His legs weakened at the thought that she might come to him. He imagined her drawing closer.

She remained where she was, color rising to her cheeks, darkening them. Why? Because she feared him…or wanted him?

Heat radiated from his chest to his belly and groin, stiffening his cock. Unused to clothing, he wanted to tear away his jeans, tee and suede jacket. At the very least, he ached to approach her. Intuition warned him to remain where he was…for the moment. When she left, he’d follow. He had no choice, sensing what awaited her on the shadowed streets. Within the last half hour, the smell of a guard—one of the most hated predators in his realm—had grown more obvious, leading him to this part of the city. If the night air had been calm, he might have located the man’s hiding place with little effort. As it was, the wind kept changing direction, snatching the odor away.

To put her at ease and keep her from leaving the safety of this place, he smiled.

Her lips parted. A bead of rain slipped over the bottom one to her chin. He imagined licking it off, kissing her throat, taking her into his arms and doing so much more.

His desire didn’t go unnoticed. She seemed uncertain whether to return his smile or to flee.

Stay here until the threat’s gone. The guard will move on to a new location. He’ll stalk another woman.

Her indecision broke. She crossed the parking lot, her strides long and purposeful.

On instinct, he advanced a step, then stopped himself from tailing her. He couldn’t now, not after they’d exchanged such a prolonged glance. For him to follow too close behind would make her run, perhaps scream, bringing unwanted notice. His only option was to wait and allow things to play out as they had since he’d come to this realm, hunting—killing—protecting those he could in the hours before dawn.



You can find Tina at:






Amazon author page:

My page at TRR:



Happy reading everyone

Jane Beckenham


Twitter @JaneBeckenham



So I’ve been  given this fab award:


The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers who “positively and creatively inspire others in the Blogosphere”.   Isnt’ that so lovely.

Here are the Sunshine Award rules:
1) Thank the person who presented you with the award and link them in your blog post.
2) Do the Q and A that comes with the award (see below).
3) Present the award to 10-12 other bloggers and link them to your blog.

So without further ado…

1          Gosh, I really need to first thank the lovely Eve Devon for passing this on to me.  The name Sunshine Award really just makes you want to smile.

2          Q and A:

Favourite Colour:   I have to say that without a doubt my favourite color is blue and pink would be a very close second.  Anyone who has been to my home will recognise my passion for all shades of blue.  I convinced my hubby just a few months ago to paint our family room, dining room and lounge in shades of blue.  I have blue furniture, blue glass/plates/ornaments.  But rest easy it’s not overkill

Pink of course is there too.  What can I say, I’m a girlie, girl.


Favourite Animal: Dog.  We adopted our dog a Jack Russell/Springer Spaniel (his mother was a good time gal) and I adore him.  Bingo was an abused puppy who was rescued and we took him in at age 5 months.  He’s a darling and when we’re away later this year I’m going to be soooo home sick for him.


 Favourite Number: Hmmm now this is something I really don’t know.  My dad’s lucky number was 4,and I guess since I was a daddy’s girl, that I’ll have to pick four.


Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink:  Oh, I’m a diet coke nut.  I try not to be really, truly, but I reckon since I don’t drink tea or coffee (actually I don’t really drink hot drinks at all) that my thirst for DC is ok.  Isn’t it?


Facebook or Twitter:   Well I tried to be a twitter gal, but really I’ve gone back to FB – more interaction, more real to me.


My Passion:   Apart from my writing?  It would definitely have to be interior design, I’m bonkers for it.  Many years ago I trained as an interior designer, but.. well, writing got in the way.  I love reading about people’s homes (i.e. I have way too many magazines), love watching the home programmes on TV, and I’m looking forward to buying some different home magazines when I’m in the US in June and July.


Getting or receiving presents: I like giving gifts.  Except for men because I think they’re hard to buy for LOL.  I
Favourite Pattern: Um – Florals of all kinds I think.  Again I think it’s that girlie girl thing going on.

Favourite Day of the Week:  Monday – because it’s the start of something new. And everyone is gone to work and I have a QUIET house to myself


Favourite Flower: Definitely lavender.  Because I love the smell, and it’s meant to help you sleep and I’m a terrible sleeper.


3          And now I get to nominate:

Anne Ashby

Elle Druskin

Louisa George

Helen Lacey

Abbey MacInnis

Frances Housden

Ally Broadfield

Sara Hantz

Annie Seaton

Patricia Eimer


Thanks to Eve Devon for passing it on!

 Happy reading everyone

Jane Beckenham

Secrets and Seduction

Jane Beckenham

Samhain Publishing


He wants to hate her, but a little lust wouldn’t hurt…

The only emotion Leah Grainger can muster when thinking of her dead husband is relief. Until she learns his gambling debt threatens her beloved farm and the child she wanted to protect from the rootless existence she grew up with.

The last straw? Her husband’s brother demands a meeting. When she charges into his office to tell him she won’t let another Grainger screw up her life, the startlingly handsome, former oil rig wildcatter goes for the jugular. He’s claimed legal guardianship of her daughter, bought her mortgage…and he’s moving in.

The final email Mac received from his suicidal brother blamed Leah for everything. If it’s the last thing he does, he plans to protect his niece. Even if it means using his millions to gain the upper hand. And hardening his heart against the beautiful Leah’s protests of innocence.

Yet something seems off. Leah is nothing like the uncaring woman his brother described. She’s warm, loving…and when a new threat to her child surfaces and she reaches out to him in need, his body won’t let him say no. Even when her last secret forces him to make a decision that exposes his most closely guarded possession. His heart. 

Product Warnings

Contains tug-your-heart love, raise-the-roof lust, a marriage of convenience and hot sex that will give a whole new meaning to the word “wildcatter”.


Four Cup Review – Literary Nymphs




Welcome to Author Louisa George

Hi everyonejane

That time again.  This week I’m absolutely delighted to bring author Louisa George to you.  I’ve known Louisa for quite a few years now and when she received THE CALL from Harlequin Medical a few years ago I was dancing for joy for her.  (just a note here… LEAVE A COMMENT – because Louisa is giving away a book to one lucky person)

 I’ve asked Louisa to tell us about how she creates characters.

 Character Forming

 Louisa George photoHi Jane! Thanks so much for inviting me here- hello from Auckland, New Zealand where the sun is shining and we’re just moving into fall!

Today I’m going to share a little about creating characters Louisa George style.

For me, characters aren’t just important to the story- they are the story. If, as we are told, there are really only 7 true plots, characters are what make those plots unique and different for each author’s books. Characters and their actions/reactions to a situation, in genre fiction at least, are what draw the reader in and keep them hooked to the end. Why? Because without character you don’t have emotion. And emotion is what romance readers expect.

There are lots of how-to books to help with character development, I use one called ‘45 Master Characters’ by Victoria Lynn Schmidt if I’m looking for character trait inspiration.

People often ask me if I base my characters on an individual /friend / relative. Heck no! I’d be sued! Instead I look for inspiration from everywhere/anywhere- magazine images, overheard conversations, an emotion (such as jealousy or revenge), or the news.  In my current release, The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date I kind of based heroine Dani’s family on the Kardashians! I wondered what it would be like if you were the only member of that family who didn’t seek fame and fortune and notoriety. So Dani was born!

I often start with an image or a feeling to develop character. In my third book, The War Hero’s Locked-Away Heart I began my story with an image that I just couldn’t get out of my head.  A woman is jogging along a seemingly deserted beach (although she hates jogging) and she sees a man standing on a rocky outcrop staring out to sea. He looks disheveled and haunted and her interest is piqued.

I began to ask myself a few questions:

-why would a woman be jogging if she hated it

-why would she be intrigued by someone standing on a rock

-why was he there

-why was he disheveled

I already knew a couple of things: the heroine, Skye was a secondary character in another book I wrote and she became quite real to me so I just had to write her story. But until I began I had no idea what her story was.  I also knew she was an unconventional heroine- she had short black spiky hair and a pierced nose. (Yeah, why I wrote her like that in the first book I don’t know, but it came back to haunt me lots of times!).

Turns out that Skye has a nurturer personality. She has looked after her dying mother and then taken on the care of her 3 younger teenage brothers. She’s also a nurse at the local GP practice. That’s why she’s intrigued by the loner on the rock. Does he need helping? Because she’s the one to do it. Only, she’s out jogging because she’s getting fit to go travelling, leave all her nurturing days behind and have an adventure with an exotic Mediterranean man somewhere far away.

Hero- Adam. I just had a ‘feeling’ about him. I knew he’d suffered something terrible.  So I asked him a load of questions until he told me what it was.

I don’t always do character questionnaires, although they can be useful to get to know a character. But I prefer to ‘write myself’ into the character’s head a little –a few pages, maybe a chapter until I can see them more clearly, what they like, and don’t like, what they want. What motivates them. What are their goals etc. Often from their goals you can derive a great conflict. Eg: Army medic Adam was suffering from survivor’s guilt after his platoon went down, he has wandered aimlessly through the last 4 years and now needs to put roots down.

So we have a basic external conflict: Skye wants to leave. Adam wants to stay. For me, that’s a good enough basis to start writing!

I’ve just finished my 6th book for publication and I’m trying to think which character is my favourite. They’re like my children, though, I can’t have a favourite! I think the most fun to write was Dani, she had a wild past and such a bubbly personality I couldn’t help but love her.

Category books are great for finding well-written characters. In 55,000 words you can only generally deal with the two main protagonists’ story of falling in love – but we do get to know them very well. It’s important to make readers empathise immediately so I always like to put them in some sort of predicament on page 1. I particularly admire authors who write great characters, such as the great Liz Fielding and Kate Hardy. When I read their books I know I’m in for a deeply emotional ride with characters I will immediately love.

I was once told that to find the true strength of your main character you have to be mean to them. Throughout the course of the book you have to give them a variety of obstacles to face, and they have to a) get steadily worse and b) be the worse possible things they could ever imagine! I started out resisting this idea because I didn’t want to hurt my babies, but now I get tougher and meaner. Mainly, however, in category romance, the tests are to their emotions- I make them want to trust but be unable to, to want to let go, but struggle against it. Then when they finally do, things go bad. And then worse. (hee, hee). But it’s testament to their inner strength that they can get over all their character faults and let love in, just before I write those wonderful words The End.

Visit Louisa’s website

Louisa’s latest release, The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date Last Doctor US

And here:

All about Louisa George

Having tried a variety of careers in retail, marketing and nursing (where a scratchy starched uniform was mandatory), Louisa is now thrilled that her dream job of writing for Harlequin Mills and Boon means she gets to go to work in her pyjamas.

 Originally from Yorkshire, England, Louisa now lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband, two sports-mad teenage sons and two male cats. Writing romance is her opportunity to covertly inject a hefty dose of pink into her heavily testosterone-dominated household.

When she’s not writing or reading Louisa loves to spend time with her family and friends, enjoys traveling, and adores eating great food (preferably cooked by someone else). She’s also hopelessly addicted to zumba.

Visit her at


Thanks to Louisa for some great character insight.  Now you won’t think your authors are mean to their characters when they leave them in a burning house, or kill off the only person they’ve ever loved – until the hero comes along of course!


Jane Beckenham


Scorching sex: definitely on the menu. Hold the love, please…

Workaholic Carly Mason is caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock: an invitation for four days of sun and sand with her friends and their men. The hard place: “Mr. Invisible”, who lusts after her with delicious abandon, doesn’t exist—Carly invented him to keep her friends off her back about her lack of a love life.

Then she encounters a motorbike-riding Adonis whose image taunts her during the wee small hours. When fate drops him in her sights the next day, she grabs the opportunity to offer him a job. Pretend to be her Romeo, just for the duration of her getaway.

Exhausted from months negotiating his multi-million-dollar company’s expansion, Marco Valente is more than tempted by Carly’s outrageous proposal. If nothing else, it’ll give him a temporary escape from his high-profile life—and his mother’s serial-bride attitude.

Once on the island, Carly realizes her well-meaning friends have tricked her into a “relaxing” vacation. For the next four days and nights, it’s just her and her hired Romeo. And a growing connection that definitely wasn’t part of the contract…


The making of traditions

Hi everyone,easter bunny

 Apologies for not posting last week but life got in the way, and I had to head north and help with the my mother’s move to a rest home.  All done, but lots of emotion in such an occasion.

 This weekend is Easter and it’ll be a quiet one.   Traditionally we host an Easter brunch, but this year I’ve really left it too late.  However it got me thinking about traditions.  When we adopted our children from Russia many years ago one of the things we wanted to do as new parents was create our own family traditions, hence the Easter brunch with our close friends.

 Traditions I believe are really important as they give a sense of unity.  With that in mind I began to research the traditions of Easter.  Now I’m not necessarily talking the religious aspects, but things like Easter eggs, egg hunts, hot cross buns which our recent visitors from the USA hadn’t heard of.  So here goes.

 Firstly what I found to be interesting is that while we celebrate Easter as a Christian holiday, apparently some of the other aspects in fact pre-date Christianity. 

 The name Easter originates from Eostre an Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, which if you live in the Northern Hemisphere works, but since I live way down near the bottom of the world is a bit wonky for us as we’re heading into autumn.  According to a month corresponding to April had been named “Eostremonat,” or Eostre’s month.   This term then became Easter because.  Prior to that, the holiday had been called Pasach (Passover)

 In Medieval Europe eggs were forbidden during Lent which is the period before Easter.  But so the food wasn’t wasted, they were often preserved and then became the focal point of food after lent/during Easter, often used as an Easter gift for children and servants.  Because eggs were often viewed as signs of fertility, they were also used during their spring festivals.  Eggs were dyed, painted, and otherwise decorated, used in games –parents hiding them for children to find then roll down the hill. 

 The most famous egg roll takes place on the White House lawn every year.

 Orthodox Christians and in Greece, pain the eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. In Armenia hollow eggs were painted with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures, while in German, green eggs are given as gifts on Holy Thursday, and hung hollow eggs on trees.

 In Poland and the Ukraine, eggs are often painted silver and gold.

 It is thought that the idea of the Easter Bunny originate in Germany, brought to America by immigrants to Pennsylvania, bringing with them the tale of an Easter hare who laid eggs for children to find.  Also they baked cakes for Easter in the shape of hares.

 The tradition of Easter cards originated in Victorian England when a stationer added a greeting to a drawing of a rabbit.

 Hot Cross Buns  are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, the cross symbolizing the crucifixion.  Although the first recorded use of hot cross buns wasn’t until 1733, they are believed to pre-date Christianity. 

Ancient Greeks may have marked cakes with a cross that is thought to have been connected with the goddess Esotre.

 In 1592 the London Clerk of Markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The punishment for transgressing the decree was forfeiture of the entire forbidden product to the poor.

 Sharing a hot cross bun with another person is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.    

Hot cross buns are also said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

 Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, wherever you may be.

 Happy reading

Jane Beckenham

 PS – and just in case you’ve got time to put your feet up this long weekend, here’s an excerpt to read


Taylor prevaricated. “I should go home.”

“Do you want to?”

Did she?

“I’ll stay.”

“Good. I was hoping you’d say that.”

Taylor wiped her tongue across her lips. Kiss-swollen lips. Very yummy.

“If you do that again, I’ll have to see if your beautiful mouth still tastes as good.”

“Oh, believe me, it does. It tastes of you.” She brushed the fall of her hair back from her face, knowing the sheet would fall from her breasts. It did, and inside, her tummy did a roll of anticipation.

“You could have been one of those artist’s models for Gauguin.”

Her eyes widened in mock-horror. “He paints nudes.”

Cade’s gaze slid down her bare length. “On second thought, cut that idea. I don’t fancy a bunch of pervs getting their rocks off looking at you.”

“And why not? You’re going to spoil a girl’s fun.”

“So you want a bunch of horny old men staring at you?”

“Ew, maybe not. Anyway, back to us being ensconced in here for hours.”

“Ensconced? Big word for this time of the day.”

“Exactly. It’s 3:30 in the afternoon. Shouldn’t you be out mowing the lawn or something?”

“No lawn.”

“What about fixing that heap of rust you call cars.”

“Rust!” Cade’s chest puffed out. “I’ll have you know they’re classics. Perfection in metal.”

“That may be, but it seems to me you’ve forgotten something. You did promise to show me your etchings.”


“Okay? You mean now?”

“Sure. No time like the present.” Cade lifted her from him and rolled off the bed. Standing in naked splendor, he simply took Taylor’s breath away. He was Adonis. Tanned, muscled and sculpted to perfection.

“Had enough time to get a good look, missy?”

“Oh, God.” Taylor yanked the sheet up over her head, every inch of her turning scarlet, even blushing to the roots of her hair. She’d been ogling, all right. How could she not? He was just so darn good to look at.

Cade tugged the sheet back a fraction. “It’s okay. It’s a compliment, really. I like you looking at me, and what I see in your eyes. Come on.” He threw her one of his shirts.

Taylor held it up. “I can’t wear this, it’s…not decent. I don’t have any clean underwear.”

Cade winked at her, and she began to blush all over again.

“Cade, you’re incorrigible.”

“That’s me,” he said proudly.

Taylor put one arm through the shirtsleeve. “See, it doesn’t cover anything.”

“Yeah, I know.” He wiggled his brows provocatively.

However, Cade did up the buttons, using his closeness to brush his fingertips over her already extended nipples. Then, wrapping an arm around her shoulder, he led her down the stairs from the apartment and through the bar. It was eerily quiet, the sort of unsettling silence that settles over a place which is normally so full of life and laughter. Thankfully, for decency’s sake, the bar wasn’t opened yet and they were alone.

Out through a side exit, Cade walked in front of her and down a narrow path to an area at the back of the building. The air was late-afternoon cool, and goose bumps dotted her legs and arms. “I’ll freeze in just this shirt.”

“Don’t worry, I know a few ways to keep warm.”

“I’m sure you do,” she said pettily, though her body heated with the vivid imagery his answer inspired.

Cade gave her a wicked grin. “Glad we’re on the same wavelength.”

The backyard was dwarfed by a large shed of sorts that spanned its width, with a row of three garage roller doors overlooking a cobbled yard. Taylor spied the few tufts of grass struggling to grow between the paving stones.

“And you said you didn’t have any lawn,” she admonished.

Cade shrugged. “Well, I could always get down on my hands and knees and use nail scissors and manicure it to perfection.”

“That I’d like to see.”

“Anytime, sweetheart.” He brushed her lips with a fleeting kiss.

“Not fair,” Taylor whispered.


“Because you only leave me wanting more.”

“That’s the idea. Tempt and retreat.”

Cade drew a key from the pocket of his jeans and proceeded to roll up one of the shed doors to expose beauty in metal.

Taylor could see exactly what he meant. Four cars lined the length of the oversized garage. “Oh, Cade.” She stepped close to the Mustang and caressed its curves, but suddenly yanked her hand back and spun to face him. “Is it okay, to touch, I mean?”

“Of course. They’re cars. Not museum pieces.”

She turned back and walked the length of each one slowly, admiring their silent strength. Each had a gentle beauty about it. The chrome glistened, the paintwork was mirror perfect; all were restored to perfection.

“The Mustang, I know, is a ’64, but what year is the pickup?”

“A ’48. It’s been rodded to go faster. And that one,” Cade said pointing to its neighbor, “is a ’66 Ford Galaxy. The soft top is a Lincoln Convertible.”

“So you’re a purist then, an all-Ford man.”

“Yeah.” He grinned down at her. “Except that the pickup’s rodded. You sure know your cars, Taylor. I am impressed.”

Taylor walked the line of the cars a second time, hand trailing over each. They were all special in their own right, but in truth the pickup was probably her favorite because it had been the car Cade used for their first date.

First date. How cool did that sound?

“They’re beautiful. You’ve done a good job,” she said.

“Thank you.”

Cade stood so close that when she turned to face him, their bodies brushed. Heat zinged through every part of her, and his stare was nowhere near any of his cars.

Words failed her. Cade had that effect on her.

He leant forward, forcing her to arch backward, and she came in contact with hard metal. Cade closed in and rested an arm on either side of her.

“That shirt sure looks good on you,” he said.

“It’s…um too short,” she said, tugging at its hem self-consciously.

His gaze lowered to the top of her thighs. “Nope. Definitely the right length. I think you’re a bit too done up,” he said, flicking one button open. The shirt sides parted, outlining the full curve of her very aroused breasts. Her heart raced a frantic beat, and blood pounded in her veins so hard she was sure she could hear its journey.

Cade pulled back a fraction, eyeing her with a teasing glint in his desire-filled eyes. “Nope. Definitely still too uptight.” He flicked another button, and another.

Taylor’s breath hung in suspension, lips suddenly dry as any desert as Cade parted her shirtfront. His gaze flared.

“So beautiful,” he murmured. Then his mouth was on one nipple, sucking, teasing her as the curl of his tongue flicked the hard bud repeatedly.


“Mm, baby, you taste good, just as I remember,” he said, leaving one pleasured bud for the other.

Taylor was in heaven and squeezed her eyes shut, blocking out the world, wanting only to feel his touch. His hands lifted her easily, jolting her suddenly alert.

“What are you doing?”

“Don’t want to show the world,” he rasped against her ear. He yanked the rear door of the Galaxy open. It was made for loving. Intimate. Private. The door closed behind them and, except for the thud of her heart as it hammered, the world went quiet.

Reclining across the back seat, Cade pulled her onto his lap. She went readily, feeling his erection pulse against her.

“Much better,” he said and began dotting kisses across her eyes, her face and finally her lips.

Things couldn’t be any better. A soft sigh escaped Taylor, and she gave in to the pleasure of it all.

Cade kissing her.

Cade loving her.

Absolutely perfect.

“Cade, where are you?”

Zane! Here.

Cade’s hands stilled their journey across her breasts, and he uttered a few choice curses. “Damn, why now?” He looked into Taylor’s eyes, silencing her question. “It’s my brother.” He put a finger against her well-kissed lips and lifted her from him. He turned away and slid toward the door, glancing back at her as he stepped out. “I’ll get rid of him.”

Taylor curled into the corner of the car, buttoning up Cade’s shirt with shaking fingers. Holding her breath, she clutched her hands to her chest. Her heartbeat was frantic, pounding as if her heart were going to explode.

Fancy being caught in the backseat of a car, of all places. What was wrong with her? She wasn’t some schoolgirl—okay, so she was still relatively inexperienced, but the back seat—what was she thinking?


Ain’t that the truth. Thinking had flown out the window the moment he’d touched her.

Sneaking across the seat, making sure she kept her head below the window line, Taylor listened to the brothers.

“What do you want, Zane?”

“Just dropping off these car parts from Harry Fontain.”

“Thanks, now goodbye.”

“What? No time for your brother?”

“Nope,” Cade bit out harshly.


“That’s right.”

Taylor slid a fraction higher on the seat. Dressed only in his jeans, his bare back, shoulders broad and flexed, Cade stood with his back to her. But that wasn’t the only thing he wore. Scored across his beautiful back were other marks. Scratches. Ones she’d inflicted in the heat of passion when Cade loved her.

Heat scorched her cheeks as she eyed the red love-marks. She remembered the delicious pleasure he’d given her at that moment.

Bad girl!

It seemed, however, Zane wasn’t about to budge, and Taylor realized Zane knew exactly what was going on, because his gaze kept sliding over Cade’s shoulder toward the car.

Good Lord, she’d been caught bonking in the back seat. What was she, a tart?

“Go home to your dog, Zane. I’m sure I can hear it barking.”

“Tetchy, aren’t we?”

“Busy,” Cade shot back.

“Yeah, I can see.” Zane chuckled. He turned to leave and walked a few feet away. “See ya later, brother. Oh, and bye, Taylor.”





© Copyright Jane Beckenham - Designed by Pexeto | Set up by Web Matters