Monday, August 26, 2013

Promo Monday with Rozlyn Sparks' Fangirl!

So Promo Mondays are starting again, and we're kicking them off with debut author Rozlyn Sparks!


Chapter excerpt

It’s time to come home, darlin’, a voice whispered in Kendra’s mind. She woke from a sound sleep and shot up in bed. Her heart pounded in her ears as she scanned the room, looking for any signs of her old master.
Light crept in from the edges of the curtained windows. Kendra breathed a sigh of relief seeing it. It was daytime, and Hector would be sleeping just as she had been. “It’s just a dream,” she reasoned, and tried to lie back down to sleep.
But sleep wouldn’t come. Between thoughts of Hector and Marcus, her mind was abuzz with activity.
Hours passed in semi-silence. Kendra watched small particles of dust dance in the shafts of light streaming in through the edges of the curtains. Midday light was powerful, more intense; harsher and brighter. She endured the small tingling sting at her skin as she waved her hand in the stream of light.
“What are you doing?” Marcus’s voice startled her.
She turned to find him leaning against the doorframe, with his arms crossed and his head cocked to the side. His tee-shirt clung to his body like a second skin, outlining his pecs and six-pack abs.
“Just passing time.” Kendra sighed serenely, enjoying the view. She couldn’t believe, after all this time, she was here with him. “Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
“I could ask you the same thing. Aren’t vamps supposed to—”
“What?” she asked with a playful smirk. “Sleep in coffins?”
“Well, maybe just sleep.” Marcus laughed.
“I don’t need as much rest as you think.”
“What are you doing in the light?”
“I like to feel the warmth sometimes.” She passed her hand through the shaft of light again and giggled. “It kind of tingles.”
“So the no sunlight thing is true?”
“For the most part, yeah.” Kendra frowned. “I can handle the dawn, with a bit of help. You know, sunglasses and all that, but midday is completely out of the question.”
“What’s it like?” Marcus looked on her with a questioning gaze, and Kendra found herself entranced, getting lost in the beautiful hazel of his eyes. They were like sparkling gems that shifted color in the light, first blue, then green, with hints of brown and yellow. Sadness crept into to her thoughts. She realized if she stayed with him, and the bond became stronger, he’d want to be turned. She might want him to turn too. If that happened the beautiful hazel would be lost, washed out and faded to the pale bluish gray all vampires shared. 
“Don’t ask me what it’s like.” The playfulness left her voice. “You don’t want to know.”
Marcus took a step into the room. His ankle sagged and he stumbled. In a burst of supernatural speed, Kendra was at his side, steadying him before he hit the ground.
“Careful, you still need to rest.”
“I don’t feel so bad. A little dizzy, that’s all.” Marcus draped his arms around Kendra’s shoulder, allowing her to hold him up. His scent wafted to her nose, that tantalizing earthy masculine scent that was all him. She savored it, inhaling slowly as she helped him to the bed.
“I took a little more than I should have from you last night. You need to lie down and allow your body to recuperate.”
Marcus leaned back into the mattress, propping himself up on his elbows. “I can’t get you out of my head... Why?” He stared up at her, meeting her eyes with a look that begged for answers she couldn’t give him.
Kendra knew what he was feeling, and it went beyond the bond they shared. She’d been in his position before: the need, the want, the willingness to do anything for just one more taste… of blood. That was really all that mattered now. Blood and how to get it again.
“That’s just the bond, the addiction talking.” She sat down next to him and gently stroked his arm. “I’m so sorry, Marcus. What I did to you … It was wrong. I should have never—”
Without warning, his lips crushed hers in a demanding kiss. A rush of excited energy washed through her. She’d dreamed of this moment, never actually thinking it would really happen. His lips were silky, his mouth hungry, and before she knew what was happening, his deliciously warm hands were sneaking their way under the hem of her shirt. Goosebumps erupted across her body. She moaned and he swallowed it, deepening their kiss. He was an exquisite temptation, forbidden fruit, and as much as she knew she shouldn’t, she savored the moment.
She wanted to have him, every inch of him, and she knew he wanted the same from her. The need radiating from him matched her own secret desire. The bond they shared intensified this connection, making it hard for her to think clearly.  
It took all the strength she had to pull away. “No. We have to stop this.”
“No, we don’t,” Marcus said, breathing heavily as if he had just run a marathon. “I don’t know how I can feel it, but I know you want this too.”
“It’s not real.” Her hands trembled as she pushed herself backwards on the bed, away from Marcus. “It’s the bond. You want my blood, not me.” Kendra felt sick. Her stomach churned with regret and sadness. She wanted his affection to be real, but how could it?
Marcus cringed and clutched his stomach as if he was about to be sick. “What’s happening to me?” Marcus groaned and fell backwards on the mattress. He stared blankly up at the ceiling.
“I’ve cursed you with what I’ve done. You see? You can feel everything I feel. It’s the bond at work.”
 “Look, blood bond or not, I know you, Kendra. I remember you from Enigma. You were so beautiful, so sexy. You still are. I wanted you then, but I didn’t take the opportunity. Let’s not waste that chance now.” He rolled towards her. “I want to taste your lips. Your neck, your—” He bit his lip and groaned.
“Go ahead, say it. You want my blood. Vampires are ruled by our instincts,” Kendra said matter-of-factly, repeating the words she had heard Hector say before. “We’re hedonists with a finite limit of control. Wants, needs, desires are all amplified.” She looked down at Marcus. “You see? It’s so easy to give in. To become the beast we’re known to be. I’ve cursed you to this fate. Already you’re acting on your desires. You want my blood.”
“You said I’m not a vampire though, just bonded to you.”
“You’ve tasted my blood. You may not be a vampire, but you’re different now. And no mortal drug will ever come close to the ecstasy you’ve felt. It’s only natural you want more.”
Marcus propped himself up on his elbows. “Then give me more. Share yourself with me. Or don’t you think I could handle it?”
“No. Don’t you see? The bloodlust will consume you.”
What if I have just a little more? What then? Will I become like you?”
“I won’t let that happen.” She fought the urge to reach out to comfort him. She could feel him struggling to hide the desperation he felt. She’d been there before. She knew the pain.
“I want to be with you, to be like you. If that’s the only way, then let’s do it.”
“I wish things could be different. Marcus, I’ve wanted you for so long. I always have, but I can’t. Fate’s decided things for us. I’m a vampire. That’s not the life for you. You deserve better. Look how hard you and the band have worked. Look at all you’ve accomplished. Don’t throw it away because of bloodlust.”
Kendra took a moment to calm herself. Breathing slowly, she quieted her mind.
“It’s not just bloodlust.” Marcus stared deeply into her eyes. “I want you… all of you.”
Kendra let out a stuttered breath. Echoes of her own pleading request to Hector ran through her mind. After her first taste, she couldn’t resist. She’d been willing to say anything necessary to get another taste. And Hector used those words to trap her into this life.
“You don’t know what you’re asking,” she said, looking down at him.
“Then show me what it means to be with you.”
“It would never work between us. How could I ever know it was me you wanted and not just the drug that is my blood?”
Marcus sat up. “I remember you, Kendra.” He let out a deep sigh. “I remember your poetry. I wanted to get to know you back then, but I was so wrapped up in the band I never had time to talk to you. And then … you disappeared.”
Her breath caught in her chest.
“Why didn’t you say that before?”
“I was a little out of it last night,” he said with a smile. “I have something to show you.” He stood up and walked to a small black duffel bag against the wall, unzipped it, and extracted a dirty, tattered notebook.
Kendra recognized it immediately. Beneath the layers of dirt and grime she saw the familiar monogramed K on her old journal.
He handed it to her. “I found this sitting on the table at Enigma. I had hoped to return it to you at the next show. It gave me the perfect excuse to talk to you.” He let out an awkward chuckle. “But you never came back.”
“You’ve held onto this for ten years?” Kendra pulled off the rubber band holding it closed and flipped through the pages. Among her old writings were notes and sketches in the margins.
“Well, at first, yeah, I held it, hoping to see you again, but after a while…” He raked his fingers through his disheveled mop of sandy hair and cleared his throat. “Well, it sort of helped me to come up with our lyrics. Please don’t be mad.”
Kendra sat silent, filled with happiness and pride. The fact that Marcus had held on to her journal, that he actually remembered her and on some level sincerely wanted her was enough to wash away the doubt in her mind about how he felt about her. But genuine affection aside, she still couldn’t condemn him to her way of life.
“Please say something,” Marcus said, kneeling down in front of her.
“I don’t have the words—” Tears choked back her voice.
“We owe a lot of our success to you. Your poetry.”
“I’m glad my writing helped. I’m… honored.”
“But—” Sadness turned the corners of Marcus’s lips. “I can feel there’s a but there. You’re still not convinced. Why am I feeling this?” Frustration edged his voice.
“I’ve already told you. You can feel what I do and vice versa. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here, to be with you right now, but I just don’t know how we could be together. I’m not human anymore, and I refuse to condemn you to my life.”
“Okay. I won’t ask you to turn me. Just give me the chance to get to know you, now that I have you here. I don’t want to miss that opportunity again.”
Kendra clenched her teeth. She knew she should say no, but she too wanted the chance to see what she had missed all those years ago.
“No promises about the future, but while I’m here, we can get to know each other.”
As if the lights had been turned on, Marcus’s eyes lit up and a wide smile stretched across his face. Through their shared bond, she felt his elation like a warm pulse of energy that matched the beat of her heart.
He jumped up, capturing her mouth, knocking her backwards into the mattress. He landed on top of her but caught himself on his hands before he crushed her. His toned body fit so perfectly between her legs. His hot breath blew across her ear as he spoke. “I’ve wanted you for so long.” Marcus’s words melted her heart. She wanted him too, and hearing the words and feeling their intensity made them all the more meaningful. A small chill, a ripple of excitement, rolled through Kendra’s body. She felt the stiffness of his erection through his jeans, but even without that physical sign, she knew his desire. It was hers too. Their bond was gaining strength by the minute. She tried to fight back the sudden urge to run her hands over his body and pull him even closer. As if Marcus had read her mind, he wrapped his arms around her, rolled over, and pulled her on top of him.

Kendra had a moment of painful clarity that shocked her back into reality. She couldn’t do this. Not now. Maybe not ever. Things were happening too fast. She needed to get a little control. She’d already made too many rash mistakes. She rolled off Marcus and sat up on the mattress. “I want you too. But… let’s take this slow, okay?”

FANGIRL is available now from Amazon and Smashwords.

Rozlyn Sparks is a thirty-something lady who’s been around the block a time or two. A Sin City native, she believes what happens in Vegas is fantastic inspiration for fiction! She knows the best stories are the ones that need to be shared. Give her a pen, some paper, and a Redbull and Vodka and she’ll spin tales that will have you begging for more.

Rozlyn Sparks is represented by Rising Sign Books. Find out more about her and her books at:
Or Email her directly at

Friday, August 23, 2013

Major apologies!

Due to a very recent and extremely close tragedy in my family, I have been unable to ensure this week's Author Chat Friday, as well as organising a Promo Monday for the Monday just passed. However I do have a Promo post for the coming two Mondays, and Author Chat Fridays will be back on track as of next week. 
Once again, my sincerest apologies but I have had extremely important things on my mind lately that, unfortunately, has trumped everything else in necessity. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Author Chat Friday with Karenna Colcroft on writing


In writing, a certain amount of stubbornness is necessary. Some may call it persistence, but I prefer saying stubborn because I feel it more that way. If that makes any sense.

You have to be stubborn to keep plugging away even when your stories are rejected by 
publishers, or when readers and reviewers slam a story you were proud of. If you let them get to you and give up, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

Sometimes stubbornness is needed to get through obstacles to your writing as well. I’ve been finding that a lot in the past several months. My personal life has often interfered with my attempts to write. It’s hard to be excited about writing romance when you’re trying to sort out problems with your spouse. It’s even harder to write about happy, positive things when you’re watching your teenager struggle with mental illness. 

And when your own physical and mental health worsens, it can be almost impossible to keep going. I have fibromyalgia and migraines, which sometimes causes me to be in so much pain I can barely think or move. I also have post-traumatic stress disorder from past abuse, and if something triggers me, it’s all I can do to hold myself together to get through the day, let alone actually write anything. And unfortunately, PTSD issues sometimes feed the fibromyalgia and migraines, which are aggravated by any type of stress.

But I am nothing if not stubborn, and although my writing has taken a back seat over the past few months to dealing with my personal life and my health, I have written. And I continue to write. My marriage is fine, for those who may have wondered, and now that my teenager has graduated and has turned eighteen and sees that her world hasn’t collapsed, she’s doing much better and doesn’t need as much of my support. The fibromyalgia, migraines, and PTSD continue to occasionally kick my ass, so I give myself permission to rest and relax when they kick in. 

I am writing, and I’m stubborn enough to keep doing it.

Inspiring, Karenna. I know, myself, there are things that I have to battle through to get to my writing. A few times I've almost given up, even after having made my debut back in January. Being an author isn't all glitz and glam as we like to think it is. But it is worth the battle to get the words on the pages when you get fan mail from readers telling you how much they loved your story. And it's worth it when you write The End for a particular set of characters, and can sit back in the satisfaction that you've been able to tell their tale. Stubbornness is one of the most valuable traits an author can have. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Guess who's back?! With a review, to boot!

That's right, our internet is finally connected at the new place! While these posts have been going up as scheduled, I've been resting, as per doctor's orders, and so am returning with a review of Cree Walker's awesome new release through Naughty Nights Press; Maple Lane Manor. I am giving it 4 stars!

This was my first novel by Cree. I’ve read blogs by her, but never ventured into her stories, though I always meant to. When I got the chance to review this, I jumped at the chance, especially since I had some time coming up to dedicate to it.
Maple Lane Manor is a fantastic introduction to Cree Walker’s writing. Full of humour, heat and emotion, it kept flowing. It has been a while that a new (to me) author has captured my attention quite like this. I even found myself staying up one night late to keep reading it. I just couldn’t put it down.
There were a couple small niggles, but no story is perfect. And when I say small, I mean small. I honestly am having trouble trying to remember them, and it was only one day ago that I finished it. The one that does stick is the speed with which it ended; it did come up pretty quickly and left me with that empty, awesome-book-now-finished feeling. However it was still satisfying.
The characters were fantastic. Stacy I hated with passion and I was filled with glee every time she was thwarted. Maple of course was endearing, feisty and reminded me a little of myself. Derek gave me incredibly wicked thoughts. And then there were the retired supernaturals. What can I say, they all had the usual family traits, and all loveable in their own frustrating way. However I believe Walter and Batman stood out for me. They were just the epitome of family for Maple. Grumpy old man and his bird, perfectly grumpy and protective.
The writing in first person initially threw me off, but then it’s not something that’s all that common anymore. Once I got used to it, it drew me into the story even more.
I finished this story hungry for more, yet satisfied, like when you’ve had a deliciously filling meal and your stomach is full, although your tastebuds cry for more. Definitely has me hooked for more of Ms Walker’s writing, and one I will be coming back to read again and again!

Fantastic read for those who want that familial feeling of mixed emotions, protectiveness and humour. 

Maple Lane Manor can be bought in all the usual places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, but most importantly, directly through Naughty Nights Press! It is also available in paperback. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Author Chat Friday with Phoenix Johnson

No, I'm not back yet, unfortunately, but it shouldn't be much longer before I do return to The Naughty Pages. 
Our beautiful view a couple months back sitting at The Spit
Sitting here pre-scheduling posts from other authors, I was unsure what to write about for this Author Chat. So, looking out the window over the computer for one of the last times before we move, I've decided to write about how much we take things for granted. 
For almost 3 years we've had (mostly) beautiful blue skies and tall palm trees outside of our windows. Although it's the same sky that will be over us once we move, it feels different. The air feels different. For those nigh-on 3 years, we've taken it all for granted; our drives along the water, the peaceful quiet at The Spit*, the beauty of lights over the canals at night. It's all just been there for us to take in. But not for much longer. Oh, we'll be able to drive down for the day here and there, maybe even spend the weekend in a hotel to be able to catch those lights over the water again, but it's not the same as living so close. 
So I'm taking this time to remind you all that things are fleeting; nothing lasts. So if there is a beautiful spot you like to relax in, take as many opportunities to do as such as you can. Take plenty of photos. And take the time to take in all that is around you. The world is constantly changing, and we don't know how long anything will last anymore. So make the most of everything and everyone around you while you can. Visit and talk to friends and family, share some laughs and memories, and capture those moments. There may always be a tomorrow; but why wait? Enjoy life now!

*For those unfamiliar with The Gold Coast, The Spit is an iconic area, great for viewing Southport across canals, or surfing out to sea. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Promo Monday with Delena Silverfox and the Devil's Bitch

This is one that looks absolutely fantastic. What's even better is that it's from fellow Naughty Nights Press author, Delena Silverfox, a feisty lady with a wicked sense of humour!


Sometimes surrender requires the greatest strength.

Norelia, Imperial heir and zealous second-in-command of the Endless Army, is cornered by a wager against her father, the Emperor.

The stakes? To marry the winner of the next Summer Games in order to ensure the continuation of the Imperial line. Confident she will win, she is devastated when a mysterious contender named Reoth defeats her and claims not only the title of Champion, but claims Norelia as well. A misplaced note reveals Reoth and her father placed wagers on Reoth's ability to "tame" her, proving it was all a game after all.

When her father is killed in a surprise invasion, the Empire stands on the brink of war and Norelia is thrust into the center of it with Reoth, a man she'd sooner kill than trust. As Reoth admits knowledge regarding who is behind this invasion, can Norelia determine where his true allegiance lies before the Empire, and her heart, are destroyed forever?


“It's a damned pile of steaming horse shit.” She trailed off her cursing, muttering to herself.
Beyond the window, streamers of every color fluttered in the salty breeze from the coast. Throngs of people in every shape and color imaginable choked the streets as yet more new arrivals paraded in from ever-further corners of the Empire. Men strutted, blown up with their own bravado, waved to the cheering crowds, catching garlands and little folded paper luck tokens as they passed. Buskers set up at every street corner, shaking their tambourines and cistrums. They played fuddles, pipes, and drums as they sang and laughed. Tumblers and every manner of street performer added to the festival atmosphere.
It was just another influx of fools, for the gods' sake!
“Oh, Noria.” Her cousin sighed behind her. “Let them have their fun. The Games come but once a year, and it's a holiday for everyone. Only the most necessary work gets done, and you know the City is awake for nigh a week during.”
Norelia gripped the wide windowsill until her knuckles were white. “That's during the festival, you oblivious ass.” She growled in frustration. “And that is ten days away! This is his fault.”
Of course, by “him” she meant her father, who had sent an Imperial decree announcing their wager as a contest. Men who had never set foot in the capitol before were now flooding its gates. Tents had been erected outside the city walls to house them all, and it seemed the great city of Lomyr had very nearly doubled in size.
Worst of all, instead of the usual banners depicting images of the emperor, the sun god, and the harvest goddess –as was usual during the Summer Games– there were drawings and banners and even murals of her likeness everywhere. Everywhere!
“As if I were some godsdamned prize.”
“But you are.” Valia laughed. When Norelia whirled on her, reaching for a sword at her hip that was not there, Valia laughed harder, though not with malice. “You are the prize, Noria. Oh, don't you glare at me in that tone of voice,” she joked. “You know it's true.” When Norelia didn't stop glaring, Valia made a delicate vexed sound and fluttered into a lounging chair across the room. “You're a legend, darling, and the people love you. You bring nation after nation under our banner, and you stand undefeated. You never married, and it's rumored you have never taken a lover–”
“Because I haven't!” She recoiled at the very thought.
“–and now the men of every corner of the Empire have the opportunity to claim the strongest and most legendary woman in history.”
Norelia scowled at the sacrilege. To claim she was more notable than the great and few Empresses of Lomyr was a gross overstatement.
“Let them have their ten days dreaming of glory, Noria. You will defeat the greatest of them. You always do.” She laughed again. “And even if by the grace of the gods you do not, is it really so bad?” She got a disgusting twinkle in her eye. “Marriage has so many perks, after all.”
Norelia grabbed fistfuls of the silk skirts she'd been stuffed into earlier by the servants her father had sent. Soft, bejeweled slippers hugged her feet and made her slip on the polished marble, and her hair was piled on her head in silly coils and tiny braids. It felt strange with her neck bared, no crest from her helmet trailing down her back.
No weapons, her father had ordered, and the Imperial Guards were instructed to check her periodically to make sure she wore no weapon in the palace. She felt naked. “I have only to think of my soldiers and their camp followers rutting in the dirt at night, whores hopping from man to man with sticky thighs and fistfuls of copper coins.” She had to suppress a shudder. “It's disgusting, and messy, and the noises...” She swallowed against the need to gag.
Valia giggled and clapped her hands. “That's the best part, dear! Oh, the noises!” She somehow managed to invest the word with a quality that made it seem delicious. It was the way Norelia would talk about a good steak dinner after claiming a battlefield.
She shook her head. “Nothing's better than a hot bath and a good, fresh steak after sticking the opposing army's general's head on a pike.”
Valia just winked at her. “Well, it's not steak, but it's still a fine cut of meat.”
Norelia grimaced. “You're disgusting.” She squeezed her eyes shut and grit her teeth. Gods. She had to win!

Released 31st July through Naughty Nights Press! Also available at all the usual places, All Romance eBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. But please keep in mind due to limited access to internet, this has had to be pre-scheduled, before the release, so the only link I had available was direct to Naughty Nights Press. It's the best place to buy from!