You Gotta Have Hope

 Love is a mysterious thing. So say the thousands of poems, songs, stories, plays and novels that have been written about it. No one has the exact formula to find it. No one has even been able to define what it entails.

One man, one woman? That seems to work for the majority of Americans. But my daughter is fiercely in love with her darling partner, a little lady from North Carolina. That’s just as much love as any man-woman pairing I’ve known. Some people find contentment in larger groupings of men and women.

 Then there’s those who find their mate in the paranormal world, vampires, weres, shifters of other kinds, all of whom are found in the literature of this world. So what’s left to consider?

 How about what’s off this world?

 That’s what greets us in A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, a new science-fiction romance hot off the ebook racks. Kylie Sanderson is a hotshot officer with SIRT, an X-Files sort of interplanetary investigative law enforcement team, and she’s looking into a series of murders on the planet Andan. A string of young women have turned up dead, discarded in dumpsters, each partially mutated into a reptile.


 Kylie’s inquiry leads her to an unexpected meeting with a man who stares at her, dissecting her in a way that felt not like he was undressing her, but more like he looked into her…Ready to skip the hassle, she heads for the door but he stops her.


“Please join me,” he said.

“No, thanks, I’m on my way out.”

“Please,” he said firmly. She stopped to look at him. That glance froze her steps. His eyes were the exact yellow tone of the dead woman’s. Exact.

She surveyed the room, but no one seemed to be paying attention. One gesture from her would have garnered assistance, but those eyes compelled her to wait. “Why should I?”

His voice softened. “I have information that could be of use to you.”

“Then perhaps you should come to the Cendiary. That’s where SIRT’s camped while this investigation is going on.” Her mind clicked along frantically trying to reject the half bottle of alcohol she’d consumed. There was something about this man, something about him. His eyes, but more than that. Taller than most men, and broad-shouldered. Hair, perfectly combed, his skin, without a blemish. Not even the hint of an old scar. Clothing, unremarkable. Hands, not quite perfectly proportioned, his fingers a little long, the nails even but lengthy for a man.

“No. I need to talk to you now.” His gaze continued to dance with hers.

She blinked and looked away. “This isn’t a good time, friend.”

He cocked his head, a, thin eyebrow raised. “You consider me your friend?”7972280-3d-rendered-lizard-man-and-woman-lovers-on-white-background-isolated[1]

His hesitation made her miss a beat, too. “No, I don’t consider you my friend.” She frowned. “Come to the Cendiary in the morning.” She turned to go, but her wrist was suddenly caught in an iron grip.

Tugging on her captured hand, she looked over her shoulder. He held no apology in his eyes, and his expression was grim. He nodded to the empty chair beside his. “I need to talk with you, Investigator Kylie Sanderson. Please hear what I have to say before any more females are damaged or killed.”


 This not-so-gentle effort to get her attention turns into a full-out partnership as things take a twist for the worst. When Kylie finds there’s no one else she can count on besides the mysterious Griff, that’s the only place she can find a bit of hope. Is that enough to shift the balance to love?


 Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.
Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

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A Perfect Night

One romantic evening.

Final Marriage Not Included copy

We’ve all had them.  The night that you expect to be perfect. The first date that takes your breath away. The surprise plan from your significant other.  Now, since we’ve been married for a few years, our weekends away are more likely to be camping or visiting the almost local baseball club.

Our first real date was a camping trip. But it hadn’t started out that way.

I was having drinks with a girlfriend one Friday night when she invited me to a camping trip with her family.  Now, I like camping, I don’t love it, but that’s what you did in Idaho.  You camped.  She said another couple was going with them and we’d have fun.

Not wanting to be the fifth wheel, I turned down her offer and instead made plans to attend a boat race down on the Snake River the next day.

The next day I was out in the sun watching the boats race.  (Believe me, it sounds about as fun as it was but I had a beer and sat enjoying the sun.)

My phone rang and my friend was on the other line.  Apparently the couple had turned into just the guy and he still wanted to go camping, but had no ride as his truck was in the shop.  I’d met the Future Mr. several times but he was always dating someone else.  My girlfriend told me I should go pick him up and meet them at the campground.

I told her he probably didn’t even remember me.  She told me to hold on.

Five minutes later, she called back.  He remembered me and would love to drive up with me.

I told her to have him call me directly, not trusting this game of high school he said/she said. And then he did. So we had a nice two hour conversation as we drove the Idaho mountain roads to the campground. We found we had a lot in common.

And the guy was hot.  And not just because of the weather.

I still think The Mr.’s hot.

Marriage Not Included is one of my Idaho set romances and when I write about the farm land and the mountains surrounding my old stomping grounds, memories flood my brain.  I hope you let me take you on a trip to my home state through Lauren and Miles’ story.

Lauren is headed back to school, this time not as a fun loving coed but to achieve her dream of turning the family farm into Idaho’s first Heritage Seed Center. Selling organic produce at the local farmers market, she meets Miles. After an unexpected act of kindness toward her daughter, Lauren agrees to one date.

As a VP and heir apparent to HN Seeds, the family business, Miles unknowingly holds the future of Lauren’s farm in his hands. Lauren’s looking for anything but a romance. She’s got too much on her plate to risk the distraction. But he plays the one card Lauren can’t resist, family. Miles needs Lauren and her daughter to feel at home. And Lauren needs Miles and his large extended family more than she knows. But can she forgive the one betrayal that would ruin all of her plans for the future?

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BIO – Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters, modern cowboys, or hot doctors, sexy in scrubs. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want.

Dream On

Today I welcome Renita Pizzitola. She’s here to tell us about her new release DREAM ON and a little bit about herself.

Book Trailer:

 I like having guests; it’s kind of like having a party. Everyone comes to see what’s going on, hopefully leaves a message or two for Renita and comes back often to visit the blog later.

 Thanks for joining us today Renita!

 1)      Tell us a bit about your new release, Dream On.

Thanks for having me! Dream On is an Urban Fantasy Romance about a dreamwalker named Emory. Dreamwalkers are people who can separate their spirit from their body and travel to the dream realm. Emory’s put her skills to use and runs a business ending nightmares. She thinks she’s seen it all until a man appears in her dream jobs asking for her help. Grayson, a fellow dreamwalker, has been body-snatched and is stuck in the dream realm. They concoct a plan to lure the squatter out but when the lines between the real Grayson and the man in his body blur things get complicated.

2)      Where do you get your ideas? For example Life experience, fantasies, experiences and fantasies of friends, etc.

I get ideas from just about everywhere. Dream On just sort of came to me one day. I have a bit of a fascination with dreams so while toying with different book ideas I came up with a business focused on ending nightmares. And really, how awesome would that be? Personally, I’d want to the be the person who got to end the nightmares, but I’m sure a lot of people would love to have their bad dreams taken care of—Emory style. Everything about Dream On was fun to write. From Emory’s character to the issues she faces, I enjoyed creating her world. I love humor in books so I, of course, had to address the embarrassing nightmares along with the scary kind. Emory was one of my favorite characters to create, and Grayson, with all of his shameless advances, is definitely her perfect match.

 3)      What do you find draws you most to write?

I love to write. When I’m not writing, I’m plotting and wishing I were at home on my computer writing. It pretty much consumes me. I think that’s pretty typical for writers, though. Once I start a story my characters take over and I keep typing away, dying to know how their story will end. Can you tell I’m a bit of a pantser ;)

 4)      What else do you have in the works?

Gilded, book two in my YA series, release Fall 2013. I recently finished a New Adult contemporary romance, which is with my super awesome agent, and now I’m busy working on another NA romance.

 5)      How do you name your characters? Any special tricks?

The names have to fit the character and usually I know when I’ve found the right one. It just feels like a match. I base it on personality, physical characteristics and sometimes I pick names with meanings. It all depends on the story.

 6)      Do you own an ebook reader or read on an electronic device? If so, what?

It took me a while to suck it up and switch to an ereader but now I have a Kindle and an iPad. I love them dearly and can’t figure out why I waited so long. :)

 7)      As a romance/erotica reader, what sort of stories do you personally prefer?

I like humor in romance. I want a story that can elicit a range of emotions but if you get me laughing out loud, I’m definitely a happy reader.

 8)      What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Probably reading romance novels. Between being a writer and having an English degree, I think people assume I want to sit around talking about Literary Fiction, and while I have an appreciation for all writing, I’d much rather hear about a sexy new book I can add to my TBR pile. ;)

 9)      Any vacation or appearance plans this year?

My family has our usual beach and lake trips planned for the summer and I can’t wait to have that time to read and write!

 10)  What would your readers by very surprised to learn about you?

I can’t really think of anything that readers would be surprised about, but on the flip side, I teach preschool and parents of my students are always surprised to find out I write romance :)

 For details on DREAM ON please visit

Title: Dream On

Author: Renita Pizzitola

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Release Date: March 4, 2013



Author Bio:


Renita Pizzitola writes Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. An avid reader herself, she has always enjoyed stories with witty humor, romance, and fascinating characters. Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

 Visit for more information


 Dream On Blurb:

 Her quest begins when she closes her eyes.

 Emory Bennett owns a lucrative dreamwalking business. Trained in weaponry and Muay Thai, she spends her nights entering the dream realm resolving her clients’ nightmares, whatever they might be: bad guys, scary beasts, or the classic forgot-to-wear-my-pants nightmare. Her jobs get complicated when a gorgeous man keeps appearing requesting her help.

 Grayson, a fellow dreamwalker, is stuck in the dream realm while a stranger inhabits his body. He needs Emory’s assistance in the waking realm, which he can’t visit if he can’t get back into his body.

 Once Emory is convinced Grayson’s not a figment of her imagination, they concoct a plan to lure the body snatcher out. But as Emory begins to fall for Grayson, the line blurs between him and the stranger who inhabits his body. She must keep it together to get close enough to discover his secrets, or divide her very soul if she can’t bring the man she loves back.    

 CONTENT WARNING: Strong language

 A Lyrical Press Urban Fantasy Romance

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 Purchase Links:

Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Lyrical Press/iBooks

Friends with Benefits

Welcome back Rhonda Carver as she stops by today. She interviewed her heroine, Cassandra, and she’s sharing secrets!


I’m interviewing Cassandra Brooks, heroine of Friends With Benefits. Read on to find out what secret Cassandra tells me…

Me:  Welcome, Cassandra.

Cassandra:  You can call me Cassie. Thank you for having me. Sebastian has told me all about you…*she winks*

Me: Sebastian is quite the man. I’m curious…how hard is it working next to him in a hot kitchen?

Cassie:  *batting of eyelashes* Not easy, trust me. He’s definitely the better baker between the two of us, and he can certainly raise the temperature, if you know what I mean.

Me: Oh, I do. Do you mind if I stick my nose where it may not belong?

Cassie: *slight hesitation* Sure…I think.

Me: Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle. You and Sebastian were once a couple, turned best friends, yet I have a suspicion some of the old feelings may still exist.

Cassie: Back when we first met we were both too young for commitment.  And Seb, well, what can I say. He was quite the ladies man when he was younger.

Me: Is he still a ladies’ man?

Cassie: No, he’s not. In fact, he spends more time with his kitchen tools than women.

Me: Maybe because that’s where you are all of the time too–at your bakery, Whipped friendswithbenefits333x500-199x300Dream?

Cassie: *blushing*

Me: I’m thinking you like that idea…

Cassie: Here lately my head has been reeling. You see, I have a secret admirer who has been writing me for a while and although I’ve never met this man, I have feelings for him. Is that silly?

Me: No.

Cassie: And then there’s Seb…I can’t seem to get over the old emotions, and the new ones. I wonder if it’s normal for a woman to fantasize about her best friend? It’s complicated.

Me: Have you told him how you feel?

Cassie: I’m afraid if I do, and he doesn’t feel the same, things will be uncomfortable. Or, if we do give it a try again, and it doesn’t work, I’ll no longer have him in my life.

Me: Understandable.  Why should readers read Friends With Benefits?

Cassie: Doesn’t everyone wonder about that old question…”Can man and woman be ‘only’ friends?”  I have a lot of decisions to make…and I’m curious what readers would do in my situation.


Friends With Benefits, Releasing May 7, 2013

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Rhonda Lee Carver is a hopeless romantic. Whether you enjoy sweet romance or naughty erotica, she has written a story for you. Rhonda read her first novel at thirteen and swears one journey in a book opened a window into her destiny. She began writing ghost stories shortly after, and as years passed, her stories bloomed into passionate tales of romance and intrigue. Her soft spot is for intelligent, saucy heroines who can challenge a bad-ass, sometimes broken, hero. Her male characters love to get their hands dirty, but will gladly wash them for the heroine. The men Rhonda writes are known for their bad-ass quality, but with a little tweaking, they become heroes. Believing that every soul has a mate, she also has a strong faith in love and its ability to cure anything.  She hopes readers fall into her romance…because everyone deserves a fantasy.


Friends With Benefits by Rhonda Lee Carver

Cassie’s admirer hides behind a blindfold…could he be somebody she knows?

Cassandra and Sebastian have been friends since college. They know everything about each other, and even own a restaurant together. Now she has a secret admirer—one who asks her to meet him wearing a blindfold…and nothing else. She complies, mostly, and must rely on how he smells, feels, and sounds when they meet. He seems familiar. Familiar enough to be Sebastian? Surely not. Maybe she’s hoping her admirer is Sebastian. Maybe…

Sebastian has a secret Cassie knows nothing of: He’s in love with her. But telling her could destroy their friendship. So he’s got to sit back and watch as she swoons for this secret admirer who uses all the right romantic words to win her heart.

Can Sebastian step forward and reveal himself? Supposing he dares to let Cassie know he loves her, can their friendship survive if she doesn’t feel the same for him?

CONTENT WARNING: strong language, graphic sex


She no longer heard his footsteps. Her breath caught. The presence of her lover changed the aura of her bedroom. The warmth of the room skyrocketed and a faint scent of cologne reached her nostrils. She frantically searched her mind for the fragrance. She knew the smell, but had no time to process the thought. All logical thinking faded when a deep, raspy growl penetrated the air. A lover’s sound of appreciation.

Knowing he was turned on charged her every nerve. Her breasts became tight. Her insides shuddered. She resisted the overwhelming urge to tear off her mask. Would he run away if she did?

A sliver of vulnerability targeted her senses. Yet, she was excited.

Cassie couldn’t be referred to as innocent. She’d had lovers in the past, but nothing like this. All experience floated out the window as she pondered what she should say, if she said anything at all.

The soft thumping of his shoes echoed off the walls as he moved across her hardwood floor. Sounded like he wore boots. Not cowboy boots, but work boots with rubber soles. Was he a construction worker? Her mind conjured up images of tight T-shirt clinging to a sweaty, toned upper body. Worn jeans cradling tight ass and muscular legs.

The apex of her thighs moistened. She had it bad. How could one man, a stranger at that, fan her thoughts into flaming desire?

With use of her sight off limits, her hearing became overly sensitive. She listened to every sound. The rustling of his clothes and a long, drawn-out sigh, then scuffling as he moved to the side of the bed. She pushed herself higher against the headboard, anticipation growing heavy.

He didn’t touch her. She tucked her bottom lip between her teeth. “Hello?” She wished she could have hidden the eagerness in her voice. She didn’t want to come off as desperate; however, her body throbbed in yearning.


She started to speak again, but the mattress lowered under his weight. Her body slid a few inches toward him across the slick material of the cover. She pushed herself back up, regaining her pose on the bed. Her breathing grew heavy in her ears. Her heart raced. Could he hear it?

Although she knew it was coming, she jerked when his fingers touched her ankle. She laughed at her involuntary reaction, but it fizzled. His touch seemed like a laser, sending rivulets of heated awareness up her leg and exploding like shards of glass into her loins.

A sigh fell from her lips before she could snatch it back. “Yes.” She clenched her hands at her sides.

Slowly, deftly, his palm trailed a frenzied path upward past her knee, and settled against her inner thigh. A shiver of need gripped her muscles.

The tip of her tongue slid out and moistened her lips on its own accord. She didn’t care that desire plagued her with physical signs of longing. All she knew was she wanted this man. Apprehension disappeared.

“Please,” she pleaded.

His hand, warm and large, relaxed against her stomach.

She squirmed, started to reach out to touch him, but he clutched her wrists with one hand and held them securely. She moaned. “I want to touch you.”

“No.” His voice came as a gruff whisper.