Friday, 7 September 2012


... the ass-kicking is done for this party! But I have to say I've enjoyed it immensely, so many thanks to everyone who came out and partied with us!

And of course, a special thank you to our wonderful and generous guests of honour this week, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Caridad Pineiro, Misty Evans and Anitra Lynn MacLeod.

If I can get myself organized, I'm hoping to have the next party early in November, on the theme of fairytales.  As they say, watch this space!


Welcome Anitra Lynn McLeod!

For the finale of this party, I'm delighted to welcome the very kick-ass Anitra Lynn McLeod! Before a highly intriguing excerpt, Anitra has something to say about the sheer awkwardness of kick-ass heroines... Welcome Anitra!

Writing the kickass heroine isn’t the easiest thing.  Basically, they’re feisty and they really don’t want to do what the writer tells her to do.  I had Thief fully plotted and here comes Kraft in the very first scene with a modified Katana.  I wanted her to have a laser gun but no.  She said a blade made more sense in tight quarters.  Sure, she turned out to be right, but that was just the beginning of me learning that I might be typing the words, but the character had taken on a mind of her own.

What made Kraft interesting to work with was she was one hell of a powerhouse.  There was very little she couldn’t do.  But getting to that point had cost her.  Dearly.  She had crippling scars that no one could see.  There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a strong woman who still has the ability to cry.

Letting other people see that pain was something she simply couldn’t allow, until she finally trusted someone enough to let him in.  After all the powerful men who had chased after Kraft failed to win her heart, it was Jace Lawless, with his soft-spoken ways and his fierce honor, who was able to break down the walls and capture her mind, body, and soul.

And you think I would have learned my lesson about writing kickass women but no.  I turned right around and wrote Remarkably Average Mary.  She was even more dangerous than Kraft because Mary looked like a waif but she was hiding an arsenal in her skull.  She damn near managed to cripple an empire that the entire IWOG Government couldn’t breach.

Then came Jynx Brennan, who wouldn’t lift a finger to hurt a soul.  As a doctor, her oath was to “first do no harm.”  And she swore to cling to that even when her entire world was crumbling around her.  Even when she was accused of a horrific crime, she never lost her capacity to care, to be compassionate, even to the man who was determined to take her to her public execution.  In my eyes, that made her kickass.  She refused to compromise who she was even when everything and everyone was against her.

But I digress.  See?  They did it to me again.  I was going to write a blog about the triumphs and tragedies of writing the kickass heroine and all three of them had to pipe in and change things.  Sigh.  Basically, I think writing them is wonderful fun, just be prepared for them to take over.

Excerpt from Thief:

“Tell your crew to stand down.” Kraft lifted her hands to her shoulders.

“I thought you said you knew this guy.” Jace lifted his hands into the crisp, dry air of planet Windmere. It would have been a beautiful autumn day if not for the thirty men with Slim Shot rifles surrounding them. “You said we could sell the IWOG transport goods here without the hassle of Trickster or his ilk.”

Their reception on Windmere went splendidly until they’d opened the hold of Mutiny and displayed their ill-gotten goods. Now they stood on the cargo bay ramp with their hands up.

“That’s what I thought.” Kraft flashed him a wan smile.

“We’ve got enough firepower pointed at us to chew away the side of the ship in two seconds.” Jace had never seen so many bright barrels all pointed his direction.

“I can see that, Captain.”

“Michael ‘Overlord’ Parker, a mythical figure who just happens to be your friend.” Jace shook his head but stopped when the guard below tensed. “I’m an idiot for believing you. I’m thinking the IWOG owns this planet.”

“Look at them, they’re not IWOG.” Kraft rolled her eyes and flicked her chin to the men below. “Michael told his henchmen to greet us like this. As to why…” Her voice trailed off and she shrugged.

Jace noticed the men below didn’t dress in uniforms, and certainly not in IWOG uniforms, but most of them wore light-colored fabrics and sturdy boots that matched the high-desert colors of the land surrounding them. The only thing they had in common was their rifles and the intensity in their eyes.

“I honestly don’t know what in the Void is going on, but we’re dead if you don’t order the whole crew to stand down.”

Jace considered. He’d surrendered once to Kraft and it’d turned out okay. If he didn’t surrender to her supposed friend, he would be responsible for killing everyone.

With a longsuffering sigh, he said, “This is Captain Jace Lawless ordering the crew of Mutiny to stand down.”

“I’m sorry, Captain,” Kraft whispered.

Out the side of his mouth, he whispered back, “Since I say that so much, I’m going to have that phrase tattooed on my chest. That way, I can just rip open my shirt and make this faster for everyone.”

To his amazement, Kraft laughed, really loud. She actually doubled over and dropped her hands on her knees to steady herself. When the men below tensed, she again stood straight and lifted her hands, but she kept on chuckling.

“You surprise me more and more, Captain Lawless.”

A man with dusty blond hair approached Kraft. “Remove your weapons.”

Kraft dropped her hands to her hips. “Only if you say please.”

The man lifted his rifle to her face.

“Golly-gee, Duster, with your gun up my nose, I guess I’d better obey.” She unbuckled her belt and tossed it aside. A guard grabbed the belt of weapons from the ramp and backed away. Jace noticed he never took his eyes off her.

“Remove your boots,” Duster said.

Kraft complied, but chucked her boots at him. He sidestepped and kicked them to another guard.

“Socks too.”

Kraft pulled her socks off, wadded them up and tossed them into the circle of men below. They rippled away like water in a pond. “No bombs, boys, and they’re clean.”

“Remove your pants.”

Jace startled at the command, but Kraft laughed.

“How about some bump-and-grind music?” As she peeled off her black dextex pants, she uttered notes to enhance her show. She did it in jest, mocking, but Jace found her display provocative nonetheless. He couldn’t believe he was getting turned-on watching her in the midst of such a dangerous situation.

Kraft twirled her pants above her head and tossed them into the crowd of men. They backed away then cautiously approached her discarded clothing.

Jace was horrified that she was being ordered to strip in the company of nothing but men, yet Kraft laughed as she did it, making a crude joke of everything when he didn’t find the situation at all amusing. He wanted to protect her, but had no idea how.

“Now your shirt.” Duster gave the order without a bit of leering in his gaze. In fact, he seemed afraid, not titillated.

Jace assessed the guard and realized they were afraid of not only her, but her clothes. Did they think she had weapons hidden in them? They must, by the way they were behaving.

Button by button, she undid her shirt then slipped it off her shoulders. She spun it over her head then tossed it into the crowd below. They all backed away and the black dextex landed on the tarmac with a fwump. Standing in nothing but a pair of lacy black panties and bra, her creamed-coffee skin glistening in the sunlight, she didn’t seem to be embarrassed, intimidated, or even slightly perturbed, not with that bright smile on her face.

“If you don’t stop this, Duster, I’m going to die of amusement.” Hands on hips, absolutely unfazed by her undressed state, she further offered, “You’d have to cut off my arms, legs and hair to render me weaponless.”

Duster’s right eye twitched to a narrow slit. “You talk like her.”

“What do you mean I talk like her?” Confusion replaced the amusement on her face.

“Kraft’s dead. We have her ship.”

Whisper? My ship is here?” Kraft cast her intense gaze around the tarmac.

Jace heard the longing in her voice.

Duster checked her forward momentum by lifting his rifle.

Kraft held her place. “So that’s what this is all about. Michael thinks I’m an imposter?”

“That’s about the speed of it.”

“You really think I’m not me?” Kraft advanced again.

Jace wanted to yank her back, but didn’t dare.

“You know I’m me, Duster.” She winked. “You know I’m not into faking it.”

Jace lifted a brow at her comment. Just what kind of relationship did she have with Duster, not to mention the mythical Michael?

“We’ll see.” Duster snapped his fingers.

Kraft dropped to her knees.

Jace knelt beside her and she slumped into him. She yanked a dart from her neck and tossed it aside. Her eyelids fluttered. “I’m so sorry, Captain. This is all my fault.”

Before he could respond, Duster jabbed his rifle into his chest and bellowed, “Back off.”

Jace didn’t have much of a choice but to comply. He stood and backed away from Kraft. Clad in racy undergarments, profoundly beautiful in her vulnerable state, she lay panting slowly on the cargo bay ramp.

Duster snapped his fingers. A guard bigger than Heller stepped forward and flipped Kraft over his shoulder.

Jace was ordered to remove his weapons and his boots. He was relieved that he didn’t have to strip down to his skivvies like Kraft, but he panicked when they bound his hands and ankles, then blindfolded and gagged him. He didn’t know what to expect, but so far, things weren’t going well.

Contest: What do you think makes everyday women kickass?  Make a comment to win a copy of any book off my back list!

Anitra's contest will close at midnight tonight and the winner will be announced tomorrow on this thread.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Kicking your Hero's Ass

 In a few hours we'll be welcoming the amazing Anitra Lynn McLeod. Just to pass the time until then, I thought I'd share another kind of kick-ass excerpt with you :).

One of the things I like about stories featuring ass-kicking heroines, is when they find themselves head to  head - or fist to fist! - with the hero. Which made me think of a little story I wrote for Changeling Press some time ago. Soldier is part of the Rogue Warriors series of novellas, which in its turn is part of the whole Tales of the Damned cycle which began with the post-apocalyptic Loving the Wolf. Tanya is a slightly different kick-ass heroine. She's a soldier, who can fight with the best and never gives up even against a stronger foe. But her mind is being controlled; she knows it and fears it, and is desperately trying to stop it. Unfortunately, she's blaming her captors, not her own people...

ROGUE WARRIORS (Ebook Collection)
By Marie Treanor
Available Now from Changeling Press
And Amazon

Soldier : Deep in a civilian prison in the heart of Dome City lies prisoner of war Sergeant Tanya Blake -- the West's secret weapon. Sorin, a powerful Dragul mind-specialist, is called in to investigate the violent prisoner, whose abused mind needs all his skill to heal. Tanya is both attracted to Sorin’s gorgeous, leather-clad body, yet repelled by the power of his mind as it invades hers. She’s caught in the grip of desires that hover between sex and murder.


        She kicked out at his chest, fast and vicious and without warning. And yet her foot never made it. She didn’t see him move, but she felt the force of his parry and then he held her foot in his left hand, totally immovable. He didn’t even look pleased with himself. Furious at that more than anything else, she lashed out with her fist, and inevitably, he caught that in his other hand, even recoiled it slightly to lessen the smack.

        His hand was warm and pale on her dark skin, his fingers like steel bands. She couldn’t even $move the captured limbs, never mind free them. His strength appalled her. It felt -- inhuman.

        With a supreme effort, she slowed her panting breath and lifted her gaze from their locked hands to his face.

        At last, weakness! For the first time, she saw definite confusion in his terrible eyes. And something else, something that looked -- surely -- like… lust. Hot and clouded, hungry.

        The governor’s son, after all?

        The pressure was back, and the sharpness. Easy in the end

        She gave a low laugh and, testing the water, slid her tongue along her lower lip. As if he couldn’t help it, his gaze followed. She glanced down at his crotch and yes there was definite sign of arousal. Something grew in those sexy leather pants.

        She leaned into him, ignoring her captured hand and foot, and feeling her capitulation, he relaxed his hold. She pushed herself across the mattress, right between his legs. She let her breasts brush against his chest, shocked herself by the pleasure of the grazing touch on her nipples.

        His breath was no longer even. Fiercely triumphant, she smiled and placed her lips close to his ear.

        “You want me? I haven’t had a man in months and you’re very sexy, you know, so very, very sexy…”

        His breath caught, but he made no move to hold her or touch her. It was she who closed the extra centimeter to the heated bulge between his legs. Deliberately, she pressed herself into it, felt it rock hard and huge against her clothed pussy.

        She ignored the pulse of desire that shot through her. It was exciting to tease him, to affect him so deeply and be the one in control. In truth, through everything else, it turned her on.

        Opening her mouth, she flicked her tongue around the lobe of his ear, and along the line of his jaw -- oddly smooth and stubble-free -- and with sudden ferocity, she seized his mouth in hers.

        His cock leapt against her. Triumph had made her wet, but at least her own unexpected arousal made it easier to kiss him as if she meant it, combining desire with hate and anger as she bit at his lips and tongue, grinding her mouth into his.

        At her first assault, his mouth had opened, as if in shock. But he didn’t jump her, made no response at all -- until she began to rub herself against his cock, up and down as though she was riding him. Then his mouth moved, abruptly changing position to bear down on hers. His tongue lashed hers, held it captive in her own mouth while his cock ground between her thighs.

        There came an inkling then of rare, blinding pleasure, of a desire so strong it frightened her; she didn’t even know if it was hers or his. Either way, she was losing control, she had to act or…

        She slid her hands up his leather-clad arms to his shoulders, his neck, circling it, tracing it. She opened her mouth wider, surrendering it. And pressed with her thumbs on his windpipe. Hard. Furiously. Determinedly. Nothing could stop her. He was dead. Dead.

Or is he? :). Just for fun, what do you think happens next?


Welcome Misty Evans!

Today's guest of honour is the very talented Misty Evans whose Super Agent series features some of the most appealing ass-kicking female leads in romantic fiction. Welcome, Misty!

Come On…Do I Look Like The Mother Of The Future? Women Leads Who Kick Ass
by Misty Evans

Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Rosa Parks…when I say those names, you think of real life kickass women who have made their mark on the world and inspired generations.

What about fictional women? As a writer, I’m fascinated with fictional female characters who have changed how women think and act. Imaginary characters who seem real and always inspire me.

A few characters whose stories I’ve read over and over: Jane Eyre, Scout Finch (from To Kill A Mockingbird), Alice (of Wonderland fame), and Dorothy (Wizard of Oz). These fictional girls/women have even made it to the big screen and TV and inspired millions of us along the way. Marie’s characters, as well as the other authors here this week, also write strong female characters who will inspire, amuse and entertain you.

When considering what to write for my guest post, I picked out a few women in film who I think fit the parameters of influential women in history. Below are my top three finalists, each of whom inspired me when I was writing the women in my Super Agent Series.

1. Sarah Connor – Terminator series

The Terminator series encompasses books, films, TV and graphic novels and features battles between Skynet’s artificial intelligence machine network and John Connor’s resistance forces attempting to save the human race. The Terminator and the plot are fascinating stuff, but to me, Sarah Connor’s character is my favorite element of the story. She’s an amazing individual in the kickass woman category, but she’s also an amazing character in terms of transformation and growth. She goes from this normal working girl (hence, her line, “Come on. Do I look like the mother of the future?) to a finely-honed warrior heroine who nearly loses her humanity in an effort to protect her son, John. In the second film, she momentarily morphs into the very thing she’s fighting – a Terminator – but her love for John saves her before she goes over the line. Sarah was the inspiration for my female spy Julia in Operation Sheba. The desire to stop a killer makes her leave her comfort zone and fight, and that, in turn, almost pushes her over the line into doing something she would regret later. In the end, she’s able to stop the killer without breaking her moral code.

2. Ridley – Alien series

Alien is a 1979 science fiction film that spawned other media offshoots like Terminator, winning numerous awards for best science fiction film, best direction, best visual effects etc. Again, it’s an excellent example of all those award-winning elements. It’s also one of the best examples of women characters in film. Like Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley is not a helpless victim, but a woman on a mission. She’s not afraid to take on Mama Alien even against terrible odds, and we see her humanity along with her guts.
Ridley was the inspiration for my female psychologist Bridget in Proof of Life. Bridget wants to protect her younger sister at all costs from their older, sadistic brother. She's a woman on a mission, and even though her brother is the leader of a terrorist organization, Bridget refuses to be intimidated or bullied by him.

3. Buffy – The Vampire Slayer series

The Buffy series also spun off into novels, graphic novels and video games but what it really did was give a whole generation of girls an ego boost in the badass, kick-butt arena. Battling vampires is one thing. Battling (and surviving) high school is another. Buffy’s all about friendship, too, which can be as important in my opinion then the lone wolf characters of Sarah and Ripley. Our friendships support us and give us strength in the worst of times whether we’re staking vamps or falling in love with the wrong guy.

Zara in I’d Rather Be In Paris has some Buffy in her. While she’s 100% girl, she went head to head with every terrorist, mafia hitman, etc., I threw at her. No retreat. No surrender. She is one badass super agent even in the midst of certain death, but she also knows when she needs her friends and coworkers for support.

Now it’s your turn. Readers, who inspires you when you need a boost? I’ll give away a copy of one of my Super Agent books (winner’s choice) to one kickass commenter!

Best-selling author Misty Evans writes the award-winning Super Agent and Witches Anonymous series. She likes her coffee black, her conspiracy theories juicy and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When her muse lets her on the internet to play, she’s on Facebook and Twitter. Read more about her stories and her latest Name the Witch contest at

PROOF OF LIFE, Super Agent Series, Book 3
by Misty Evans

1st Place winner of Ancient City Romance Authors Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense.

When his niece, the daughter of the Republican candidate for President, is kidnapped just days from the election, CIA Deputy Director Michael Stone vows to do whatever it takes to get her back and bring the kidnapper to justice.
Dr. Brigit Kent, a consultant for the Department of Homeland Security, knows this particular kidnapper well. Exposing him, however, will reveal her sister’s secret ties to a terrorist group. The only way to keep her sister safe is to blackmail the sexy, rock-solid deputy director—a move that puts her directly in his line of fire.
Brigit is undeniably beautiful, brilliant, and cunning, but is she friend or foe? The answer to that question could break Michael’s personal code of honor—and his heart.

“…an intense ride…the subplots and family dynamics really deliver.” ~Single Titles Reviews
“…Evans weaves in her own brand of intrigue and conspiracy layered with emotion and conflicts.” ~Romance Junkies

“…a fantastic third installment…cleverly crafted to create a dynamic series not to be missed.” ~ The Romance Studio

“…heart-felt drama and a lot of knock your socks off action…” ~Long and Short Reviews


Michael stared across his desk at the top of Brigit’s head. It was bent as she studied his file on Peter Donovan. She’d bathed and her freshly washed hair hung around her face. She kept tucking sections behind her ears, but as the dark tresses dried, they formed natural waves that sprang forward like stretched rubber bands snapping back into place. Because she’d had no clean clothes to replace her smoky-smelling running attire, Michael had given her one of his T-shirts and a pair of sweats.

While she’d cleaned up in his upstairs bathroom, he’d placed the necessary calls to get the FBI chasing Tory and the charges against Brigit dropped. He’d also made sure Ella was back home safe and sound.

Brigit flipped a paper over, then pushed her hair back from her face. Keeping her eyes on the paper, she used the fingers of her right hand to make graceful sweeps through the curls, which coiled back immediately. She did it again, and Michael’s concentration slipped another notch.

She glanced up. “Do you have any hairbands?”

Grabbing a section of his short hair and pulling up a whole half an inch, he cocked a brow at her.

“Right,” she said. “I just thought maybe Julia or one of your other female friends might have left one here.”

Her continual references to Julia did not escape notice. Even though his relationship with Julia was in the past, he liked the fact Brigit appeared threatened by her. Deciding it didn’t hurt to feed Brigit’s anxiety about his other female friends, he said, “Sorry, I haven’t noticed any.”

She dropped her head back, closed her eyes and let out a sigh. “I can still smell the smoke in my hair. It’s driving me nuts.”

All he could smell was his shampoo on her. And his soap. He liked the smell and the image of her in his bathtub washing her curves with his bath products. He blinked the image away. “Smoke is hard to get out. It may take more than one shampooing to do it.”

“Especially since I’m gimped.” She wiggled the fingers of her left hand, peeking out of the sling he’d given her for her arm. It was the one he’d used after his surgery. “Only having one hand, and that one being my right, I wasn’t very thorough.”

“You can try again in the morning.”

She closed the file, setting it on his desk as she stood. “No, I won’t be able to sleep. The smell brings back old nightmares. I’ve got to wash it again now. Mind if I do it in the kitchen sink? It might be easier.”

Nightmares could be triggered by the smallest things. He’d gone around that block a time or two. Her smoke trigger could mean several different things. Either way, what did he care if she washed her hair again?

Nodding his consent, he filed the fact away and watched her walk out of the study, her hips lost in his sweatpants. She’d tugged the drawstring as tight as it would go and rolled the waistband over several times. Still, she’d had to fold cuffs into the pant legs to keep from walking on them.

A minute later, he heard her in the kitchen. He followed the sound of running water and pulled up short in the doorway. She’d removed the sling and his T-shirt, and his eyes locked on her creamy white back intersected by her bra strap as she bent to put her head under the copper faucet. The waistband of his sweatpants dipped low, revealing a shooting-star tattoo on her lower back. He sucked in air as small explosions fired in his brain.

He’d been able to keep his mind off her cleavage when it had been on display at the hospital because she’d been hurt. Now the soft pink bra strap reminded him of the cups cradling her full breasts.

Brigit’s right hand snaked out to grab his bottle of shampoo on the counter and knocked it over, sending it skidding off and falling to the floor. “Damn it.”

She tried to keep her dripping head over the sink as she used her foot to maneuver the bottle toward her.

Michael took three punching strides and rescued the bottle from the floor. “Let me help you.”

“Oh.” Her body tensed, no doubt since she was half-naked and again at his mercy. “Thanks.” Her tone oozed insincerity.

Chuckling to himself, he set the bottle on the counter. “You missed a spot.” With a gentle push, he eased her head back down so he could use the spray nozzle, his fingers parting her hair to make sure it was saturated. She put her good arm on the lip of the sink for support and leaned into the water.

He worked the water through her hair, enjoying the way the thick hair clung to his fingers. Grabbing the shampoo bottle, he squeezed out a coin-sized amount of the liquid and went to work massaging it into her scalp.

“Ah,” she sighed, the sound warming the blood in his veins. The tension in her shoulders evaporated. The bunched muscles in her back smoothed. Her whole body relaxed.

His, however, did just the opposite. The sound of her voice, the sight of the tattoo, the memory of her luscious curves sparked a flash bang of heat low in his gut. His senses cartwheeled. A need, dormant for months, rose and spread under his skin with a fierce intensity.

He wanted the sensation to go on, but the voice inside his mind joined in the cartwheels, panic evident. Even though he was working with her to hunt down Donovan, Brigit was the enemy. She was blackmailing him.
He was blackmailing her.

And while he wouldn’t kid himself about the sexual attraction oozing through his veins, he wasn’t into delusions either. Casual sex might be an option, but it was a damn poor one considering their current level of distrust with each other.

She moved under him, adjusting her arm position, and her hip brushed against his leg. His body stomped on his logic. What did a little innocent fantasizing hurt? He let his gaze roam over her backside, noticing how his sweats emphasized her butt while she was bent over. It was a nice butt. A really nice butt.
With an intricate tat riding it.

Damn. As he rinsed the shampoo from her hair, he let his senses soak her up while his imagination did a wheelhouse spin in the casual-sex department.

Two minutes later, he toweled her hair and forced his mind out of the erotic dreamscape in his head. His nylon sport pants were entirely too formfitting, and after he helped her put his shirt back on, he pushed her ahead of him toward the stairs.

“Where are we going?”

He adjusted his pants behind her back. “To bed.”

She stopped abruptly and shot him a quizzical look over her shoulder. He righted himself and used his hand to propel her forward again. “My guestroom is all yours.”


As they climbed, Michael couldn’t stop thinking about her tattoo. “For someone who can’t stomach needles, I’m surprised you’d go under one for a tat.”

Again she shot him a look that questioned his roaming eyes. “I didn’t. It’s a temporary one. A shooting star for luck.”

“Only for the person who sees it. You can’t see your…” He cleared his throat. “Back there.”

“Guess you’re the lucky one then tonight.”

Under her gaze, he faltered, a million and one comments running through his head, every last one of them completely inappropriate.

BUY for Kindle:
BUY for Nook:

Today, Misty is giving away one of her ebooks (winner's choice) to one lucky winner! To enter the contest, answer Misty's question above: who inspires you when you need a boost? The contest will end at midnight tonight and the winner will be announced tomorrow on this thread.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rescuing Your Man

From our conversations so far, it seems we all like when our heroine manages to save her hero rather than the other way about. So, since I'm still a bit distracted here with family illness, I thought I'd just share an excerpt from BLOOD GUILT with you this morning (just to warm you up for our main event, the very talented Misty Evans :) )

At this point, Maximilian is not Mihaela's hero - she regards him as her enemy even if she dreams about him at night! - but she certainly saves him from this situation where he's not only outnumbered but too drunk to fight properly!

BLOOD GUILT: Blood Hunters, Book 1
Ebook $2.99, Out Now from AmazonAmazon UK and Barnes & Noble

Natural enemies, deadly attraction...

The first of a new vampire romance series, a sequel to the Awakened by Blood trilogy.

Mihaela, a fearless vampire hunter secretly haunted by loneliness and childhood tragedy, finds it difficult to adjust to the new world order where vampires are not always the bad guys. She's taking a much needed vacation in Scotland when she sees a little boy being chased through the streets of Edinburgh. Rescuing him brings bigger problems - two vampires from her past: Gavril, who killed her family; and the reclusive and troubled Maximilian, gifted Renaissance artist and one-time overlord of the most powerful undead community in the world. Maximilian once saved her life and now needs that favor returned.

The earth moves for Mihaela in more ways than one. From Scotland to Budapest and Malta, she  races against time to prevent a disastrous, vampire-induced earthquake and save an innocent yet powerful child – all while fighting a dreadful attraction to Maximilian, her only ally, whom she can’t afford to trust. For Maximilian, the hunter becomes a symbol of renewed existence, as he struggles to accept his past and rediscovers his appetite for blood and sex - and maybe even happiness.


The vampires paid her no attention. Keeping them in her wary vision, Mihaela cast a few quick glances beyond them. The boy was there, standing in front of a man sprawled on a metal barrel, with his back leaning against the wall of the pub. On the wind, she caught the child’s voice, high and excited, though she couldn’t make out the words.

The man on the barrel sat very still, with the sort of boneless flop she associated with the very drunk. Was this the child’s father? Was this who he’d been looking for all day on his own? Mihaela’s heart went out to the boy. She squashed her upsurge of anger against the irresponsible piss-head of a father. She had to protect both of them now from the hovering vampires.

She tensed, for the vampires began to move, not fast as they could, but with an air of slow, unstoppable determination. She drew in her breath, running swiftly forward. But other shadows were moving in the yard too. On all sides, they detached themselves from the darkness, advancing on where the boy stood talking to the drunk, who at last lurched to his feet, finally aware of the danger.
Picking up speed, Mihaela acknowledged something was very wrong here. There must have been twelve vampires altogether. Too many for this country, this city, this small meal of one adult and a child. What the hell was going on?

The boy turned around to face his attackers, took one circumspect step backward, just as the drunk launched himself at one of the vampires. The god of the inebriated must have smiled upon him, for by some miracle of luck, his fist connected with one an instant before his foot kicked another to the ground. Or perhaps he was just used to brutal pub brawls.

Mihaela didn’t wait to find out. Focusing on the fair head of the boy, she staked the vampire in her path—a recently fledged weakling, for she barely felt his strength adding to her own—and sped toward her goal. His companions seemed to feel his death, though, for some of them turned to stare at her.

One flew at her, snarling, his fangs white in the blackness of the yard. Mihaela kicked him, hard, and staked him as he doubled-up, lashing out with her free elbow at another vampire who tried to take advantage of her distraction. They weren’t expecting a hunter, or it wouldn’t have been so easy to kill him, but by now they’d all have her scent.

Given vampires’ superior speed and might, a fight with a human could have only one realistic end—unless that human was a hunter.  Not only trained to counter vampire speed, hunters could also grow far stronger than ordinary humans, because with every vampire kill, they gained some of that vampire’s power. Of course, vampires also gained by killing each other, especially if they took the blood of their victim. Plus, they grew more powerful with age.

Mihaela was a strong hunter. But there were just too many of them here. She had no chance. Her only hope was to get the humans away and somehow frighten the vampires off.

She shouted, “Run, kid! Get out of here!” Where’s the bloody father? He should be with him… Dodging a vicious blow from another of the vampires, she made out the drunken parent, falling under a hail of kicks and punches. A flash of a car headlight winked through from the road beyond, just as the drunk sank his teeth into one of his attackers, who exploded almost instantly into dust.

Mihaela froze.

“Oh shit,” she whispered. She couldn’t look away as he heaved himself to his feet, hurling one of his attackers into the rest and lashing out before they fell on him again.

No human drunk, but a vampire; an extremely powerful one that she really, really didn’t want to see here.

:) Marie

Welcome Caridad Pineiro!

Today, I'm thrilled to welcome the amazing Caridad Pineiro to the party! She has a brilliant excerpt lined up for us, but first, here she is on the subject of her fascinating kick-ass heroines... Welcome, Caridad!

I was the kind of girl who preferred playing with G.I. Joes to Barbies.  I just loved the thought of action and being able to save the day.

Small wonder that when I turned my hand to writing, the one thing that would be a common thread through all my books was strong powerful women.  Women who were able to save themselves and oftentimes, the hero as well, but in a variety of different ways.

Sometimes it’s physically, like in THE CLAIMED where Victoria helps watch Christopher’s back as he battles his Shadow Hunter clan in order to forge a new and better way of life for his people
Sometimes it’s emotionally as my strong-willed heroine and her equally determined hero find a way to become equal partners in a committed relationship.  That’s what happened in THE LOST, as Bobbie Carrera not only finds a new role in life after coming back wounded from Iraq, but also finds a man who needs love, family and an identity he never had before.

But what I love the most is when I get a mix of both of those in storyline, like in THE CALLING vampire novel series, which will be REBORN in February 2013 with BORN TO SERVE.  In this series of my heart, I have a kick ass heroine, FBI Agent Diana Reyes, who saves the vampire hero, Ryder Latimer, from certain death and from a lonely and loveless existence.  In turn, Diana is saved as well, both physically and emotionally from entering into a partnership with her sometimes over-protective vampire lover.

That battle between the need for the heroine to protect others and her reluctance to be protected is one that I love to explore and is at the heart of the kick-ass heroine.  The barriers that these kick-ass heroines put up around themselves to appear strong are the kind that I love to break down to explore them and to hopefully allow them to grow.  I love that moment of discovery when they realize that true strength comes from within and can be achieved even in a moment of weakness.

I love challenging my kick ass heroines that way, as well as physically.  I just love a good fight scene and lots of action and adventure.  And I love the calm after the storm and the peaceful and loving moments that happen when death has been overcome and it’s time to celebrate life.

Now that I’ve told you what I love about kick-ass heroines, what do you love (or hate) about them?

Available May 2012 
ISBN 0446584606
The second book in the exciting new SIN HUNTERS paranormal romance series 

RT Book Reviews - 4 Stars: "Second in the Sin Hunters series, The Claimed will not disappoint fans new or old. The Light Hunters and Shadow Hunters are mortal enemies and this paranormal Romeo and Juliet romance with an edge will keep readers intrigued. Just like her characters, Pineiro's books are smart, sensual and irresistible."

Alternative Worlds: "The second Sin Hunters romantic urban fantasy is a terrific tale of forbidden love between beloved enemies. The cast is fully developed whether they are Victoria's BFFs or clan members, but especially the protagonists. Fast-paced, Caridad Pineiro provides a wonderful west side of the Hudson paranormal romance."

Single - "The love story in THE CLAIMED is enchantingly romantic, while the paranormal aspects are particularly creative .... Caridad Pineiro masterfully creates innovative paranormal worlds. The supernatural characters in the Sin Hunters series are extremely distinctive in their inherited skills, and how they use their natural abilities is cleverly shown in THE CLAIMED ... THE CLAIMED is imaginative paranormal at its best, where the characters are genuine with affecting emotions."

Paranormal Romance Guild - 5 Stars - "Ms. Pineiro the story has everything you could want in a love story and More. We have lovers, villains, treachery, pain, bloodshed and perhaps towards the end another love story in the making???? ... .You have left me breathless!" 

Victoria Johnson loves her life. She's her own boss in a quaint beachside town, and has great friends who keep her grounded. If only they knew who she really is: an heiress to an ancient race who possesses astonishing superhuman powers. It's Victoria's duty to restore her clan of Light Hunters to their former glory by choosing the perfect mate. In Christopher Sombrosa, she just may have found him. Strong, smart, and successful, Christopher exudes a powerful energy. Their connection is sensual, irresistible ­and forbidden.

A member of the Shadow Hunter clan, Christopher has defied his own father to lead his people away from affliction and violence. Yet he cannot ignore his duty to carry on his ancient bloodline. Stunningly beautiful and brimming with an erotic life force, Victoria is everything Christopher ever hoped for in a mate ... but as a Light Hunter, she's his mortal enemy. Together, they could unite their warring tribes. But murderous factions on both sides don't want peace-and they'll stop at nothing to keep light and darkness apart forever ...



Also available as an E-Book!
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Order at B&N

Victoria tugged on Christopher’s hand as they stepped into the early summer air, drawing him away from the auditorium and over to a nearby gazebo where they could have a private discussion. Where their hands touched, there was no denying the flow of power, passing between the two of them in a perfect and untainted circuit.

Once they were within the protection of the gazebo, she dropped his hand and wrapped her arms around herself, trying to contain her energy and restore some kind of balance.

“I don’t understand,” she began, still unsure of what he had mentioned earlier. “Why does your father want Adam?”

“Salvatore told him Adam had great power and my father is all about the power,” he responded, no hint of evasion in his voice.

“Speaking of power, how is it possible that our life forces are so similar? You’re a Shadow,” she said, pacing back and forth in the small space.

Christopher dragged shaky hands through the thick locks of his dark wavy hair and blew out a long breath. “I don’t know, why, except . . . my affinity is water.”

“As is mine,” she confessed, imagining that was one reason for the synchronicity of their energies.

“We were once the same people. Before the pox and contamination. We are not all that different,” he urged.

Victoria could not accept such a bald-faced statement. There was very little that was similar between the warlike Shadows and her people.

“Why does your father want Adam?” she pressed yet again.

He shrugged those impossibly broad shoulders, and beneath the fabric of his dress shirt, powerful muscles rippled with the action. “Why else? He wants to suck him dry of every bit of energy.”

“And you don’t?” Victoria immediately challenged, standing directly before him, but in a defensive stance, legs slightly apart and her hands at her sides, where, if need be, she could release an energy blast to protect herself.

He mimicked her posture, but there was something almost relaxed about him. Especially as he approached until he stood barely an inch from her and the thrum of his power became one with hers, creating that circuit once more without even touching her. The energy was so in tune with hers, an almost audible tone sang in the silence of the night.

“If I wanted to take you, don’t you think I would have already?” It was impossible to miss the double entendre behind his words.

“Do you think I am that easy?” she asked, and took hold of his hands, releasing a wave of energy from deep within that had him shaking beside her with want. But her display backfired as the power surged back through the circuit between them and into her.

She stifled a moan as desire slammed into her. When she attempted to break away, he held her fast with a gentle grip. As their gazes connected, the slow rise of fluorescent light in his eyes mimicked the revelation of his real life energy.

His dark, nearly black eyes grew a startling shade of teal, and his aura, unlike the muddied energies of other Shadow Hunters, was a clear crystalline sapphire. It was as pure as her life force, which awoke in response, acknowledging the similarity of their vitality, making it impossible to tamp down the need that weakened her physically and stole her resolve with each passing second. But as he drew near, leaving not a millimeter of space between their bodies, she realized she was not alone in her insanity.

Christopher raised his hand and, with his index finger, traced the line of her cheek, leaving a trail of warmth and excited energy everywhere he touched. Then he dipped that finger lower, along the edges of her lips, before an almost playful swipe across her chin.

But then he went farther, skipping down the long line of her neck to the swell of her breasts, exposed by the scoop neck of the gauzy summer blouse she wore. In response, her nipples tightened, and as he circled the tight peak with just that one finger, her insides clenched and she could no longer just stand there.

She slipped her hand between them and to his rock-hard midsection. Running the back of her hand all across those lean muscles, she moved farther up to a spot directly above his heart. With one blast there she could take him down, but instead she splayed her palm across that spot and experienced the surge of his energy, sympathetic and strong.

He moaned and his erection jumped against her belly, yanking a pleased smile to her face before she shifted her hand over and covered the swell of his chest. The hard button of his nipple pressed against the palm of her hand and she mimicked his actions, tweaking that tight bud.

Over and over they touched, caught up in something bigger than themselves. In something almost primordial, as the true essence of their beings, unique and yet similar, stirred the Equinox tucked deep inside both of them.

Victoria sensed the tendrils of his energy seeking hers, wrapping around the core of her Hunter vitality for a more lasting binding, but she retreated, stumbling away from him, thanks to the force necessary to break the connection and the weakness in her knees.

He would have reached for her again, but she whipped her hand up to stay his motion. He jerked to a halt, his eyes glittering in the night, the sapphire of his aura and silver-blue threads in its field gleaming as bright and clean as a newly minted coin.

“This is not possible,” she said, fearful of what had almost happened. That she had nearly started to bond with a Shadow, because if she had not pulled away, she would have made love to him right there in that gazebo.

“I didn’t think it possible either—for Light and Shadow to share so common an affinity. But I don’t have much time to wait. Unlike you, whose Equinox has only just awakened, I have been delaying mine for some time.”

When she had asked her parents to choose her own mate, she had never imagined that it would be the call of a Shadow that would tempt her. Shaking her head, she laid her hand over her stomach to stop the flutters in her midsection, needing calm before she returned to the hall and faced her family and the other Light Hunters gathered there.

She wasn’t sure what she should do about Christopher. The presence of his people here was a danger to her clan, but so far they had done nothing to cause concern.

But he was a definite danger to her on many levels, and her attraction to him was . . . insane. Until she knew more about him, she needed distance, and she started by taking another step back from him.



Also available as an E-Book!

Copyright 2012 Caridad Pineiro Scordato All Rights Reserved
For more information, please visit

Today Caridad is giving away a collection of her Nocturne Cravings e-novellas, namely, NOCTURNAL WHISPERS, THE VAMPIRE’S CONSORT and AMAZON AWAKENING. To enter the drawing, answer her question above: Now that I’ve told you what I love about kick-ass heroines, what do you love (or hate) about them? The contest will close at midnight tonight and the winner will be announed tomorrow on this thread.