And The Winners Are…

There’s nothing I love more than announcing Giveaway Winners! And it’s doubly pleasurable because Christmas is right around the corner. So without further ado – the WINNERS of The Hottest Christmas List Around are:

Kristin Arpin won the prize from – Annie Anthony – One Exquisite Night in E-format

Joye won the prize from – Annie Anthony – a burgundy surprise box (you’ll appreciate this surprise when you read the book!). US or Canadian residents only to win the box. Winner must be at least 18 years old. 

Cindy Hazelwood won the prize from – Belinda McBride – Bad Angels books in E-format (3 books)

Artemisgeminii won the prize from – Emilia Mancini – Seducing Kate in E-format

Manhandled-Jianne_Carlo-100x160Patricia Westover won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Manhandled E-format

Kenderly Woods won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Sinner in E-format Sinner-Jianne_Carlo-100x160

moosehog83 won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Prymal Lust in E-format

Prymal_Lust-Jianne_Carlo-100x160

Catherine Maguire meowcat_21@hotmail.com won the prize from KaLyn Cooper Cancun Series in E-format (3 books)

Charlene Whitehouse freddiefroggie2002@yahoo.com won the prize from Lynn Lorenz – E-book and jewelry

cosmicread won the prize from Robin Danner – Bound in E-format

Diana Michelle Tidlund won the prize from Robin Danner – Christmas Spirits in E-format

Melissa Graham  lissabob@yahoo won the prize from Sara Daniel – Captivating the CEO in E-format

Teresa Jensen  won the prize from Sara Daniel – One Night with the Bridal Party print anthology – US only

Jeannie Platt won the prize from Tami Lund – Into the Light in E-format and a silver paw print bracelet (US residents only for the bracelet). If winner is outside US – 2 EBooks – Into the Light & Dawning of Light, first & second in the Lightbearer series.

Diamond Necklace

Laurie P  goaliemom0049@gmail.com has won the Grand Prize Diamond Necklace.

If you are listed above, PLEASE Comment below with your email address so the LL&L Ladies can contact you concerning delivery of your prize.

Merry Monday before Christmas Everyone!

Guest Author – Marcie Boudreaux & The Road Leads Back!

Marci Boudreaux, authorMy guest author today is Marci Boudreauz (aka Emilia Mancini). Marci’s celebrating her latest release The Road Leads Back with a fabulous contest & a tantalizing excerpt. Take it away Marci!

***

Thanks for having me today, Jianne!

I’m so thrilled that The Road Leads Back is now available!

As many of you may know, I not only write contemporary romance as Marci Boudreaux, but I write steaming hot erotica as Emilia Mancini.

When I am writing as Marci, I sometimes struggle to tone the steaminess down a bit because, well…I like sex. The hotter the better as far as I’m concerned. Which raises an interesting question considering the characters in my new series are all mature adults (and by “mature” I mean 40+). Why, does it seem, romance books with characters over 40 seem more difficult to come by?

I love being almost 40. I feel like I finally fit inside myself. Like I’ve finally stopped trying to “figure things out.” I don’t know it all, but I know enough.

I also know that sex is better now than in my 20s. Sure, I’m not as flexible, but I also don’t have to try so hard to impress my husband. When I was twenty the “let’s try this” wasn’t quite as quick to turn into “nope, that’s not working for me” but now that I’m older, I think that’s because I’m more aware of what doesn’t work for me.

So, when I am writing these contemporary romances, and that Emilia part of me starts trying to sneak in, I can do so with much more confidence I think. The sex scenes in my Stonehill Romance series may not be quite as graphic as in Seducing Kate or The Rebound, but I feel like they are definitely just as steamy and probably a bit more emotionally developed than in my Emilia works. It feels great to be able to combine these two sides of myself for a moment within the text and bring a contemporary spin to these scenes. I also like that the characters are free enough, and confident enough with themselves, to all the steamier side to show without it coming off as fake.

I hope if you join me in my contemporary romance journey, you see what I’m talking about. Sex at 40+? Just as good, if not better.

the-road-leads-back_coverBlurb:
Kara Martinson and Harry Canton weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, but they did share one night neither will ever forget. Twenty-seven years later, Harry surprises Kara at an art gallery opening and discovers he left her with more than just memories when he went away to college. Desperate to connect with the family he never knew existed,

Harry convinces his son to move to Stonehill—and pleads with Kara to come, too.

Kara hasn’t stepped foot in their hometown since the day she was sent away to a home for unwed mothers. Now Harry’s back in her life and as they put together the pieces of their parents’ betrayal, old heartaches start to feel anew. She wants to be near her family, but returning to Iowa means facing some things…and some people…she isn’t quite ready to.

Can Harry convince her to forgive the people who betrayed her so they can embrace the future they were robbed of so long ago? Or will the pain of the past be too much for Kara to overcome?

Excerpt:

***

Kara squeezed her way toward the crowded bar, nudging between two kids who she couldn’t quite believe were old enough to be legally drinking in public. Shouldn’t they be funneling cheap beer in a college dorm somewhere? Or sneaking shots from Daddy’s liquor cabinet?

Art gallery openings used to be much more sophisticated than this. When she was a young artist, openings were about appreciating the art and the artist, not the free booze.

Shit.

Had she really gone there? Kara shook her head at her bitter thoughts.

The bartender, a walking tattoo with spiked black hair, leaned close so she could hear him. “What’ll it be?”

She realized all she wanted was wine. And quiet. The kids around her were acting more like pre-teens jacked up on sugar than art aficionados. One made a face, squished and reddened, as he held up an empty shot glass as proof of his triumph.

She wondered when she had gotten so damned old. She never used to snub her nose at a good drink. Actually, she completely understood what her problem was, and it had nothing to do with age. She’d conformed. She’d fallen into line. She’d done what she was supposed to do. Agent? Check. Gallery opening? Check. Interviews with all the local fancy-pants magazines? Check.

But this wasn’t her. None of this was her.

Frowning, she leaned in as well, making sure he heard her over the jeering of the kids next to her. “Tequila.” Within seconds he set a glass in front of her and filled it with amber liquid. He started to walk away but she held up one hand and lifted the glass with the other. She downed the drink, slammed the glass down, and gestured for another—one shot wasn’t nearly enough to numb the misery of this evening.

The young man lifted his brows and smirked as he gav¬¬¬e her another shot. He laughed as she motioned for him to fill the glass a third time. “I can’t do this all night, lady.”

“One more.”

“Some of the crap in here costs more than my car. No puking. Got it?”

Kara chuckled. Clearly he didn’t recognize her as the artist who had made the crap. “Honey, I was doing tequila shots before your daddy dropped his pants and made you.”

The barkeep threw his head back and laughed, then filled her glass one more time. “Nice one, babe.”
Babe? Kara snorted as she lifted the glass. It was almost to her lips when a hand squeezed her shoulder.

“Kara?” asked a deep, smooth voice as if the man wasn’t certain who he was touching.

She turned. Her eyes bulged as she looked into an intense dark gaze she hadn’t seen since the night she’d lost her virginity.

The music had been loud, the beer lukewarm, and everybody who was anybody—and several nobody’s like Kara and Harry—in their senior class of Stonehill High was at the graduation party. The only person she had cared about, though, didn’t care about her. Or so she’d thought. Until she’d somehow ended up on Shannon Blake’s disgustingly pink- and ruffle-covered bed with Harry Canton, book club president and algebra superstar, clumsily removing her clothes, leaving slobbery kisses in their wake.

Kara swallowed hard as the flash of a memory faded, and the man standing before her, looking as shocked as she felt, came back into view.

She downed the liquor, slammed the glass against the bar, and sighed before she announced, “I’ve been looking for you for twenty-seven years.”

He sank onto the vacant stool next to her and lifted his hands as if he were at a loss for words. Something that appeared to be guilt filled his eyes and made his full lips sag into a frown. She’d be damned if temptation didn’t hit her as hard as it had when she was a hormonal teen.

“I wanted to tell you I was leaving,” he said, “but I didn’t know how.”

“You should have tried something like, ‘Kara, I’m leaving.’”

“You’re right. But I was a kid. I didn’t have a lot of common sense. All I could think about was how I finally had my freedom.”

She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes at him. “You had your freedom? You selfish prick.”

His eyes widened. “Well, that might be a little harsh. I was just a kid, Kara. Yes, I should have told you I had no intention of staying with you, but I was a little overwhelmed by what had happened. I’m sorry.”

“You’re sorry?”

Harry’s shoulders slumped, as if he had given up justifying sneaking out on her in the middle of the night. “Look, I saw a flier for your gallery opening, and I wanted to say hello. I thought maybe… I don’t know what I was thinking.”

He sounded hurt, dejected even. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

He stood. She put her hand to his chest and shoved him back onto the barstool. The move instantly reminded of her their one night together. All of seventeen and totally inexperienced, she’d fancied herself a seductress and pushed him on the bed before straddling his hips like she had a clue what she was doing.

Touching his chest now, warmth radiated through her entire body.

She glared, pulling her hand away and squeezing her fingers into a fist. “Are you living in Seattle?”

He shook his head. “I had a conference in town. There were fliers at the hotel. As soon as I saw your picture, I knew I had to come.” His smile returned and excitement oozed from his face. “I can’t believe you have a gallery opening. This is amazing, Kare.”

She wasn’t nearly as thrilled by her accomplishment as he seemed to be. She felt like she was selling her soul instead of her art. She’d always preferred to go the indie route, but that crap agent had cornered her at a particularly vulnerable moment and convinced her she needed him…just like he convinced her she needed to be in a gallery. Although, now she was glad she’d conceded on the open bar.

The tequila swirled through her, making her muscles tingle, preventing her from fully engaging the near-three decades of anger she’d been harboring. She had spent an awfully long time wanting to give Harry Canton a piece of her mind.

Even so, hearing him say she’d done something amazing warmed her in a way very little ever had. If he had come looking for another one-night stand, she hated to admit that she would consider reliving that night again—only this time with more sexual experience and less expectation of him sticking around.

He might be almost three decades older, but his face was still handsome and his brown eyes were just as inviting as they had been when he was a high school prodigy and she was a wallflower.

She smirked at a realization: he was in a suit, probably having just left a corporate meeting, while she was wearing a red sari-inspired dress at her gallery opening.

He was still the straight arrow. She was still the eccentric artist.

“Did you hear what I said, Harry? About looking for you for the last twenty-seven years.”

His shoulders sagged. “I never meant to sleep with you that night. I mean”—he quickly lifted his hands—“I was leaving and should have told you before taking you upstairs. I shouldn’t have just left like that, but I didn’t think you wanted to see me again anyway. If it’s any consolation,” he said giving her a smile that softened the rough edges of her anger, “I’d been working up the courage to kiss you since junior year when you squeezed a tube of red paint in Mitch Friedman’s hair after he made jokes about Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows in art class.”

She frowned at him. That hadn’t been her finest hour. Then again, neither was waking up thinking she was starting a new life as a high school graduate and the girlfriend of the cutest boy she’d ever met, only to find the other side of the homecoming queen’s bed empty. “There’s nothing wrong with a woman embracing her natural beauty.”

His smile faded quickly. “I’m sorry,” he said, sounding sincere. “I shouldn’t have left you like I did. I hope you believe that I regret it. Not being with you,” he amended, “but leaving without explaining.”

She laughed softly. He’d had that same nervous habit in high school. He’d say what was on his mind and then instantly try to recover, afraid his words had come out wrong. Usually they had. For as awkward as she’d been, at least she’d always been able to say what she meant and to stand behind it. Of course, that ability got her in trouble more often than not.

She’d told herself a million times that Harry didn’t owe her an explanation. They hadn’t been in any kind of relationship. She’d drooled over him from afar, but other than an occasional smile in the hallway, he’d barely acknowledged her existence in high school. Even if he hadn’t gone off to start his Ivy League college career the day after graduation, he likely never would have looked at her again. Well, at least not until she could no longer hide the truth of their one-night stand from the world.

“I expected so much more from you, Harry,” she said sadly, the sting of what he’d done back then numbed slightly by the tequila.

His shoulders sagged a bit. “I know.”

“Why didn’t you ever write me back?” Her voice sounded hurt and pathetic. She was surprised that after so many years of being angry, there was still pain hiding beneath her fury. “I must have sent you a hundred letters.”

He creased his brow. “Letters? I didn’t get any letters.”

Kara searched his eyes. He looked genuinely confused.

“I sent them to…” Her words faded. Suddenly the tequila-induced haze wasn’t so welcome. “Your mother said if I wrote to you, she’d make sure you got my letters.”

“My mother? I never got any letters.”

“But you sent money.”

Harry shook his head slightly. “What the hell are you talking about? Why would I send you money?”

She stared at him as realization set in. He hadn’t responded to her letters because he hadn’t received her letters. And if he hadn’t received the letters, he hadn’t sent her money. And if he hadn’t sent her money, he hadn’t known that she needed it. Sighing, she let some of her decades-old anger slip. Her head spun, either from the alcohol or the blurry dots she was trying to mentally connect. Leaning onto the bar, she exhaled slowly. “She never told you, did she?”

“Told me what?”

Kara couldn’t speak. Her words wouldn’t form.

An arm wrapped around Kara’s shoulder, startling her and making her gasp quietly. She turned and blinked several times at the man who had just slid next to her.

“Sorry to interrupt,” he said, “but I need to get home.” Leaning in, he kissed her head. “Congratulations on the opening, Mom. It was great.”

“Um…” She swallowed, desperate to find her voice. “Thank you, sweetheart.” She flicked her gaze at the man sitting next to her. The longer Harry looked at her son, the wider Harry’s eyes became.

Phil cast a disapproving glance at Harry then focused on his mother again. “Don’t forget that Jess is expecting you to make pancakes in the morning. You promised.”

“I haven’t forgotten.” Kara returned her attention to Harry. His jaw was slack and his cheeks had grown pale.

Phil nodded at Harry as if he were satisfied that he’d made the point that his mother didn’t need to be staying out all night and walked away. Harry watched him leave while Kara waved down the bartender and pointed at her glass. The tattooed kid hesitated, likely debating the ethics of giving her another shot. She pointed again, cocking a brow for emphasis, and he finally filled her glass.

“Kara…” Harry’s voice was breathless, like he’d been kicked in the gut. “Was…was that my…son?”

No. His mother definitely hadn’t given him the letters Kara had written. She lifted her shot, toasting him. “Congratulations, Harry. It’s a boy.”

***

Buy links:

The Road Leads Back
http://www.amazon.com/Road-Leads-Back-Stonehill-Romance-ebook/dp/B00UAYL4HE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427302429&sr=8-1&keywords=marci+boudreaux

Seducing Kate
http://www.amazon.com/Seducing-Kate-Emilia-Mancini-ebook/dp/B00U30U6SS/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

The Rebound
http://www.amazon.com/Rebound-Emilia-Mancini-ebook/dp/B007QPOT2C/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Contest:

bloghopcontest

Sorry, but I do have to put in one little rule here. International shipping is crazy expensive. If the winner is not in the Continental US, you will receive an e-copy of The Road Leads Back and your choice of one of my backlist.

About Marci:
Marci Boudreaux lives with her husband, two children and their numerous pets. Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn’t like when she does that in real life.

As well as writing erotica under her pen name Emilia Mancini, Marci is a content editor for Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing. She earned her MS in Publishing from University of Houston-Victoria in 2014 and worked with Des Moines publishing company Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. as a freelance writer until she recently opted to focus on working in books.

Contact Marci:
Blog: www.marciboudreaux.wordpress.com
Website: www.marciboudreaux.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorMarciBoudreaux
Twitter: @MarciBoudreaux

What an incredible excerpt, Marcie! And did you leave us hanging or what…now I have to click on that Amazon link and download The Road Leads Back.

Don’t forget to check Marcie’s site for the contest image and leave a comment!

Thanks bunches for visiting Marcie.

Have a tempting Tuesday everyone!

Guest Author – Emilia Mancini

Today it’s my pleasure to welcome author and fellow Love, Lust, and Laptops buddy, Emilia Mancini to the blog. Welcome Emilia and take it away!

seducingkate-510 (1)This is it! The last stop along the release tour for Seducing Kate. This has been such a fun tour and I’m so excited to end here with Jianne.
Seducing Kate is such a fun book, such an exciting release for me, that I am thrilled I got to share my release with so many of my writer friends.
This is a book that demanded to be written. I had a clear idea from start to finish what the book was going to be about and how it was going to end. I am thrilled it is finally here and you are able to share in it with me.
If you’ve been tagging along for the ride, you’ve learned quite a bit about the book, from how Kyle and Kate tortured me until I wrote their story to how the trailer came about. It has been a fun ride, one I hope you have enjoyed.
If you haven’t visited any of the other stops, they are all listed on my blog at www.emiliamancini.wordpress.com.
Silk_Rope_Set_thumbAs part of my release celebration, I am offering you a chance to enter to win not only a copy of Seducing Kate, but also a Silk Rope Set which includes wrist and ankle binds and a satin blindfold. (You’ll want these after reading the book, I’m just helping you out.)
The winner will be notified tomorrow, February 1st.
Thanks again for stopping in! I hope you enjoy meeting Kate as much as I (and Kyle) did!

 
BIO:
emilia mancini - 54af20bbd4f4261341f8a9d65fbcae25Emilia Mancini is the naughtier side to author Marci Boudreaux. Emilia stays hidden in the shadows like a nefarious side kick, slipping out only when the stories Marci wants to share are a little too grown up to be called sweet romance.

Visit Emilia at :
www.emiliamancini.com
https://twitter.com/Emilia_Mancini
https://www.facebook.com/authoremiliamancini
Pinterest board for Seducing Kate: http://www.pinterest.com/emiliamancini/seducing-kate/

Buy link: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_36&products_id=736
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvr2dqozsBY

Blurb:
It was lust at first sight for Kyle when he met his roommate Justin’s mother Kate. Kyle, a college transfer, was too far from home to visit on short school breaks, so Justin took him to Minneapolis where his mother was serving up a family meal for Thanksgiving.
One look left Kyle with a healthy obsession for Kate which grew with each visit. When he landed an internship in Minneapolis, he moved in with Kate for the summer, and got in touch with his voyeuristic side. It wasn’t until one late evening and a few too many glasses of wine that Kyle began to suspect his attraction wasn’t one-sided.
When he dared to push the issue, he found Kate more than willing to succumb to his seduction.

Excerpt:

I’d barely spent time with Kate, just a few minutes in the kitchen before John had come strutting in. I had sat across from her at dinner making awkward conversation while Justin and John glared at each other over the spaghetti and garlic bread. It wasn’t like she’d crawled across the floor half naked and begged me to f**k her.
What the hell was it about her? Sure she was beautiful, but I’d dated beautiful women. None of them had pushed me to the point of obsession. I wanted nothing more than to throw Kate down and f**k her until she screamed. Not cried out like she had moments ago, but screamed. And dug her nails in my back. And wrapped her legs so tight around me I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know why. All I knew was my body was borderline insane with lust, and my dick was so hard it hurt.
“F**k.”
I turned the cold water on and splashed my face a few times to snap out of the Kate-induced haze. When I was finally able to think about something other than having sex with her, I went back downstairs.
I tried like hell to focus on the game, but my mind kept wandering. No, it wasn’t wandering. It was reliving my trip upstairs, from the groans, to the flash of tit, to the blush on Kate’s cheeks.
I held out for another hour of video games before I couldn’t take the agony of wanting her any longer. I went up to my room and slipped between the cool sheets of the guest bed. I put a sock over my dick and got off to images of my roommate’s mother.
I pictured her pale ass sticking in the air as I gripped her hips and slid into her tight pussy. I imagined my fist tangled in her hair as she sucked my cock. I even fantasized about her standing over me in black heels and a tight business suit as she ordered me to jerk myself harder.
As I came—hard—I wondered how I was ever going to control myself around her.

Whoa! Talk about sizzling hot!

Thanks for visiting Emilia and for the great contest and that sexy blindfold and silk rope prize!

Cheers,

Jianne

 

Love in The Cards – Free!

Love in The Cards (small) (2)The Love, Lust, and Laptops Love in the Cards Anthology is finally FREE on Amazon! Yay! Here’s the link:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Cards-Becca-Jameson-ebook/dp/B00GCRF61I

It’s also available at All About Romance, Smashwords, and iTunes:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-loveinthecards-1333531-166.html 

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/372611

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-in-the-cards/id737524179?mt=11

So  here’s some teasers from each tale to titillate your Saturday – and it’s free – go download it and write us reviews!!

Three of Cups by Becca Jameson:

Ellen stood outside the old mansion and stared at the façade. With a deep breath, she took in the beauty of the tall pillars and shutters worn from years of neglect. It looked haunted, but she knew better.

Hell, she knew lots of things. More than she ever wanted to know.

Ellen opened her palms in front of her and closed her eyes, her face lifted to the highest peak of the mansion. She centered herself. A breeze blew by and ruffled her hair as she smiled. The mansion was exactly as she had always pictured it would be.

There was more magic in the air than any place she’d ever been. She wasn’t the only person with something at stake tonight. The mansion was filled with mystery.

When she’d calmed herself, she opened her eyes. A man stood on the top step in front of her. “You coming in?”

She nodded and scurried up the steps behind him. He held the door open. She’d never seen him before, but that didn’t matter. He wasn’t the one she was here to meet. Or … the ones…

The invitation to the Halloween party at Dacre House had come a month ago. To the best of her knowledge, she knew no one at the party. That didn’t matter either. She would know someone very well when she left. Two someones.

Empress by Cherie Nicholls

Lucy looked down at the invitation in her hands.
There was a man sitting in the chair on the other side of the room, waiting for her.
So far, this night hadn’t been like anything she’d expected. First, she’d managed to get herself fired from a job she loved. Second, she sort of crashed a Halloween party. But hey, she’d been invited when she’d worked in the Michaelson’s office; the party’s hosts didn’t need to know that technically she wasn’t a Michaelson employee anymore.
Finally, she’d made the mistake of turning over the invitation and looking at the back. Printed on the reverse side was the image of half of a tarot card. The Empress card. Lucy didn’t know much about the mystical element, but doubted the picture had much to do with reading peoples futures at this party.
There were also some instructions printed on the card. Basically, someone would have the other half of her card; her mission was to find that person. Lucy had almost rolled her eyes, but something about the image pulled at her and here she was … a party-crasher.
Upon arrival, she’d headed to the bar and ordered a soda. Lucy had barely taken a sip before a man in a scarlet suit approached her.

The Star by Christy Gissendaner:

The party was already in full swing.

Teetering on hooker heels, Eve Montgomery pushed her way through the crowd. Several partygoers stopped to gape at her costume … or lack thereof. A mix-up at the costume shop forced her to make do. Instead of the leafy bikini she’d ordered, she’d ended up with only a fake plastic snake and a shiny red plastic apple. Not very much of a costume.

Luckily she was an artist, if a bit of an underpaid one, and a stroke of ingenuity led her to paint on her costume. It was a very Playboy bunny thing to do. Although she’d sworn never to take her clothes off again to make a buck, five hundred dollars for a few hours of dancing was an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Unfortunately it was hard as hell to paint one’s own backside, so she’d had to call in a favor from a friend. Shazzer was a decent painter, more than capable of slapping on some green paint and glitter to cover Eve’s ass.

“Knock ’em dead, girl.” With a wave, Shaz headed for her own cage.

Eve gazed at the other three cages, seeking the one she was supposed to dance in. With a groan, she caught sight of a very familiar male body cavorting a few feet above her head.

The Lovers by Emilia Mancini:

Lea looked up at the Dacre House and smiled as anticipation coursed through her veins and settled in a tingling ball of fire between her legs. Some lucky son of a bitch in there would be thoroughly fucked by the time she got done with him.

She looked down and made sure the red corset she wore was aptly pushing her plump breasts up and out. It was tight around her abdomen, thinning her waist and emphasizing her hips, which were covered in a red latex miniskirt. Her red stiletto boots, which zipped from ankle to thigh, clicked as she sashayed her way toward the front steps.

The man at the door moaned in appreciation as she stopped in front of him. He gestured her in before she even showed him her invitation. “You can have whatever you want, baby,” he mumbled.

Her grin widened. She planned on having whatever she wanted. In whatever way she wanted it.

Lea paused in the foyer to glance in the tall mirror. Her golden locks were still perfectly curled and the little horns on her head were in the right place. It was early, but the ballroom was already abuzz with chatter and activity. There were four cages with dancers hanging high off the floor.

The Jack of Hearts by Jianne Carlo:

Ricco stared out the open window and willed Kata to walk through the gate.

He wouldn’t lose his mate twice.

Seth had won Kata once, but he was long dead and buried, and all bets and rules were off.

The gas lamp hanging from an iron post just inside the award-winning front garden of Dacre House highlighted the raven-blue woven into the fibers on the black hood and long cloak Kata wore. The cape swirled around her ankles, and the ancient iron creaked in a drawn out protest when she shoved the gate open.

He tracked her steps and inhaled the musk of her desire mingled with the night-blooming jasmine. He hadn’t been certain she’d come after their confrontation earlier today.

Kata climbed the stairs, her feet dragging as if she was about to put her neck on the guillotine block.

Ricco’s mouth watered. His canines tingled and his gums ached with the need to claim.

The door opened and the doorman said, “Card.”

Her graceful fingers reached under the cloak, and she opened her hand to display half of a torn tarot card. The half that matched his, the Jack of Hearts.

Strength of a Lion by Lynn Lorenz – Excerpt:

Leon Manx stood in the corner of the large front parlor of the Ducre mansion and watched the Halloween partygoers. In front of him, costumed couples danced to the pounding music, dressed in everything from a nun in a mini-skirted habit and black fishnet stockings to a Mexican wrestler including the skeleton lycra mask.

His own costume, a big game hunter, was a last minute decision and a bit ironic, like his sense of humor. He’d enjoyed the joke, but now he was here, Leon might have made a deadly mistake coming to the party.

Perhaps for him and perhaps for whoever thought he or she could f**k with Leon.

He’d received the invite, one half of a Tarot card, three days ago, not in the mail, but in an envelope slipped under the door of his uptown shotgun house. The torn card and a business card with the date, time and address of the party.

Meet your mate had been printed on a small card included in the envelope.

Some would look at it as just an invitation to a Halloween party. Leon took it as a warning, a threat, to his very existence.

The Wheel of Fortune by Monette Michaels

Brendan Cooper adjusted the gaudy vest across his chest and the saber in his belt for what had to be the hundredth time that evening. Yes, he represented The Sultan’s Favorites Sex Toys. Yes, he’d been asked to host a sex toy party at this exclusive Halloween party at Dacre House. And, yes, the sheik costume was appropriate … but he didn’t have to like it―any of it.

If he hadn’t been the classic starving, deeply-in-debt, just-out-of-the-military graduate student, then he wouldn’t be here. But he was … so he was.

The best part of this gig was all the sales he’d made tonight; the worst was he’d been as horny as hell the whole evening from observing―and listening to―his clientele testing toys and then using the ones they’d purchased.

The party host had thoughtfully provided tented chaises in the library for sex play. And Brendan had had a front row seat for every single second of the evening’s sexual activities. While he’d “scened” in BDSM clubs, he really wasn’t into being a voyeur; he liked his sex games to be private. But a job was a job, and he needed the money this one provided.

Two of Cups by Parker Kincade:

Mason hated the desert.

Other than being hot as the devil’s ass crack, he swore he’d never be rid of the sand that had worked its way into his skin. From the tiny grains that snuck into his boots each day to the dusting he swallowed off his coated lips each time he’d managed to stop long enough to eat. Hell, cut him and he’d probably bleed the shit.

One thing was for sure―he’d never long for a vacation on the beach again.

Under the cover of darkness, Mason dug in his heels and pushed himself up and over the jutted rock formation. He rolled to his belly and snaked around until he could see the roof of the compound below.

It had all come down to this.

He’d given up his life, his future, the woman he loved beyond measure—all because of the evil f**k bedded down in the building below.

Omar Travinskov was the scum of the earth as far as Mason was concerned. He traded in drugs, women, and children, and used all three at his leisure. Each time Mason, and the team of special operatives he’d been assigned to, had caught up to Omar, the bastard would slip through their fingers. Over and over.

Judgment Day by Rosanna Leo

Even from behind the closed salon door, Verity sensed him coming. Despite the party atmosphere in Dacre House, and the sounds of lusty revelers, she remained attuned to his particular footsteps. The determined thump of his footfall made her as excited now as it had three hundred odd years ago.

She perched on the edge of a velvet settee, crossing her leather-clad legs. And then, as she heard him reach the salon door, she decided against her pose and stood to reposition herself behind a scrolled chest of drawers. Tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she stood up straight and gazed toward the door, her heart heavy with anticipation. As much as she wanted to present a brave face, standing behind the bulky piece of furniture made her feel safe. In her hand, she gripped half of a tarot card as if it were a map leading to buried treasure. She glanced at the card.

Judgment Day. How appropriate.

So long. So very long. How had she existed all this time without him? Of course, she thought bitterly, it wasn’t as if she’d ever had a choice. He’d turned her away every time she’d pleaded with him over the past three centuries, a victim to his all-consuming guilt.

Two of Wands by Vanessa North:

When I say my best friend Pierre is “not my type,” I don’t mean I’m not interested in completely hot, slightly-fem, Creole twinks with lips for days and the roundest perkiest little asses on the planet. ’Cause that’s kind of exactly my type.

When I say Pierre is “not my type,” I don’t mean I’m not interested in the kind of guys who bring you coffee just because and also sometimes fold your underwear because you left it in the dryer. ’Cause that’s kind of also my type.

When I say Pierre is “not my type,” it’s not because I don’t love it when he comes over a week before Halloween with a bag of feathers, a million yards of tulle, and a sewing machine, strips down to skivvies and says, “Cher, I need you.”

It’s one hundred percent self-preservation. Pierre is not my type.

So, since I’ve known him since grade school and we were the only two out queers at our high school and we roomed on the same hall at Tulane—and not because he’s my type—I let him set up his sewing machine on my kitchen table and I get him a cup of coffee, and bless my own rotten heart, I ask him what’s the matter.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the FREE read!

Cheers,

Jianne