Summer Solstice

Welcome to the Sexy Summer Solstice blog hop. I hope you're all having a great summer so far--and a great blog hop!

Being as it's summer and I'm feeling lazy, I decided to post a short excerpt from my book Scent of the Roses here today.

Scent of the Roses is the first book in my Oberon series. All of the Oberon books are set around Wiccan holidays and Scent is set at Midsummer. That's Scout and Nick in the picture at left...aren't they yummy?

Here's the blurb, just to set the scene for you:

For twenty years, Scout Patterson has tried to run—from Oberon and from the mistakes and mysteries in her past. Now, she’s back and about to come face to face with the ghosts she’s never laid to rest and the love she thought she’d lost forever.

Memories of the girl he used to love have haunted Nick Greco for years, as have his dreams of what his life could be like if he ever found her. When Scout’s homecoming is followed by a reoccurrence of deadly attacks, Nick must rush to solve an all-but-forgotten crime. Or risk losing her again—this time for good.

As Scout and Nick are about to find out, some mistakes aren’t all that easy to mend and some mysteries can be murder.


When Scout opened the door of her car she was immediately engulfed by the pungent odors of wood smoke and roasting meat, of sweetgrass and evergreens and incense. Gentle strains of music wafted along on the breeze – flute and fiddle, harp and drum. She felt her heart quicken. Down in the valley, Oberon’s Midsummer Festival was well underway.
Scout followed the music and the scents through the sun dappled woods, eagerly winding her way around the hastily set up campsites that would later house the all-night revelers. Passing stands of madrone and manzanita with their peeling red bark and gray-green leaves, slipping through groves of scrub oak and cedar and fragrant bay laurels.
Like most of the solar festivals, Midsummer was a two-day celebration. A balefire would be lit as darkness approached and people would dance and party in its glow throughout this, the year’s shortest night. Scout smiled as she remembered a time when her greatest ambition had been to stay and party the night away with them. Well, maybe that’s what she’d do tonight. Since she had to be in Oberon anyway, she could think of worse ways to spend her time than in fulfilling a few of her teenage fantasies. Besides, she had to have some stories to take back to Larry.
She glanced down at the dog. The poor thing was already panting. “Not too much farther now, girl. Then we’ll see about getting you some water, hmm? Would you like that?”
The dog rewarded her with another hopeful wag of her tail.
You’re such a good dog,” she murmured, surprising both of them.
They passed out of the trees and found themselves at the crest of a hill looking over a large flat bowl of a valley. The grassy plain below them was dotted with brightly colored booths arranged in a loose circle around the bare patch of ground where, just after sunset, the balefire would be set ablaze. Off to one side, several carnival-style rides and amusements had been set up. And tucked discreetly away in what the organizers hoped would be a more or less downwind direction, an army of port-a-potties stood at attention.
A shrill cry above her head interrupted Scout’s thoughts. Looking up she caught a glimpse of a red tailed hawk, sailing the wind currents to its home on Mount Totawka. She smiled at the pleasant tug of nostalgia it evoked, and started along the path that would lead her down to the festival; the dog, as ever, following close on her heels.
The fairgrounds were awash with colorful signs and banners. Scout let the seductive pull of the music draw her through the crowd. She was at the foot of the stage before she recognized the insidious longing that had brought her there. The dream of being close to home, at long last, was flooding through her, again. She steeled herself against it.
She was here to observe, she reminded herself, sternly. To keep an eye on her dear, old friends, whose motives she had every reason to mistrust. To learn anything they might know that would help her in her quest.
But that was all she was here for. And although she might be willing to indulge herself with a few half-forgotten dreams during her stay, there was no way was she going to let any of them seduce her. Squaring her shoulders, she turned away from the music and headed off in search of answers.

Just in time for summer, all the Oberon books are on sale at Amazon. Buy Scent of the Roses here:

To learn more about the Oberon series, visit the website at: OberonCalifornia.US 

There’s something magical about the tiny California coast town of Oberon, something that transcends explanation and defies description. Things happen there that could happen nowhere else. Clinging to sheer, corrugated green cliffs above a windswept strand of pale, golden sand, and virtually isolated amid a tangled network of canyons and creeks, Oberon is a hard place to get to. But it can be an even harder place to leave behind.

And just in case you lose the trail and need to get back on the hop, here's the link again: http://justromance.me

Be sure and follow the trail to the end to read more great stories, and for a chance to win cool prizes. 

Random Adult Excerpt

This is the beer and pizza scene from Love, From A to Z. It's a little bit spicy (and I'm not just talking about the pizza--haha) and I'm posting it for Erin Nicholas, Queen of...too many things to list right now. lol!

Heiress April Valenzuela has everything a girl could ask for--except love. But when her memory goes missing, she learns that all the money in her bank account won’t buy it back. Good thing she has hunky guitarist Zach Harris on hand to teach her everything she needs to know about love, from A to Z.

Buy the book here:

The spicy aroma of pizza tickled my nose when Zach flipped the box open to hand me a second slice.

“Mmm.” I reached for it greedily. “Thank you.” Pizza was delicious, I decided, as I took a big bite.

The late afternoon sun moved slowly across Zach’s living room, gilding everything in its path with its warm, golden light. We lay on the couch; each of us propped up against one of the sofa’s arms; our legs entwined with one another along the seat. I took another bite and considered my situation. I felt a mass of contradictions at the moment; exhausted yet animated, happy and scared. I was lost. I was found. I was sated and spent. I was starving for more. What I should have been was sleepy--but I was too wound up to sleep.

After we’d finished in the bathroom, Zach had carried me into his bedroom, where he’d laid me on his bed and proceeded to make me scream several more times. By rights, I should have been depressed about that. At this rate, I was never going to make him my love slave.

You were never going to anyway, a tiny voice, way in the back of my mind, sneered at the very thought.

But, I didn’t know that. And, right now. I hoped the voice was wrong. I really hoped that, when I found out who I was, I would learn that I did belong in Zach’s strange world. That I was ‘his kind of woman’. And that I would find a way to make him my slave... at least part of the time.

Because, despite all the weirdness and uncertainty, despite having a lifetime memory that stretched back for all of about ten hours, at this precise instant, what I felt most of all was an underlying contentment. Some inner sense was telling me I hadn’t known too many moments like that in my life.

But I didn’t want to think about that. There was nothing I could do about it right now, anyhow. And, since that same inner sense was also saying this golden moment was not likely to last very long, I was determined to make the most of it while it was here. I took another bite of pizza and let everything else fall away.

Pizza, I thought, had to be the most perfect food ever invented, although, admittedly, my experience, at present, wasn’t all that wide. And pizza and beer together--now that was surely an unbeatable combination.

“What do you call this stuff again?” I asked, picking a small, white blob off the top of my slice and popping it in my mouth. Creamy and warm with a distinct salt tang, I loved the way it melted on my tongue.

Zach smiled. “That’s Feta cheese. You like it?”

“Mmm.” It reminded me of sex. “And the green stuff underneath?”

“Pesto. Basil, garlic, olive oil...I don’t know what else.”

“It’s good.” Pesto tasted earthy and pungent. It reminded me of sex, too.

“Yep,” Zach sighed, sounding pretty content, himself. “Green pizza and red beer. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Nodding agreement, I leaned down and retrieved my bottle from the floor. After taking a sip I smacked my lips. “Delicious.” But it was better than that; really. It was refreshing in a dark, vibrant, exciting sort of way; like a cool, wet, never-ending kiss...

Come to think of it, everything reminded me of sex just now, even the soft cheese that was layered beneath the pesto. Soft, stretchy, springy; it brought to mind the tender sac that held Zach’s balls.

I moved my foot a little, stretching my leg as far as it would reach, until my sole was pressed against the bulge at Zach’s crotch. I rubbed him with my heel, back and forth in a little semi-circle, testing to see how much of that soft springiness I could feel through the denim of his jeans.

“Hey.” Zach swatted at my foot. “Cut it out. Stop that.”

He looked amused, however, rather than annoyed, so I decided not to take him seriously. I scrunched up my toes and pressed harder. “Stop what?”

Mischief gleaming in his eyes, he swallowed the last bite of his pizza and put down his bottle. “You’re really asking for it, aren’t you?”

Was I? I nibbled at the edge of my own pizza while I considered the matter. Truth was, I was feeling a little tired. “Not just right now, thanks. Maybe later.”

“That’s what you think.” Shifting backwards suddenly, so that he was out of my foot’s reach, Zach swung his legs over mine.

I sucked in a quick breath when his big toe nudged my pussy. I was pinned beneath his legs, naked under the pink robe. A thin layer of satin was all that separated my most sensitive flesh from his marauding foot. Heat spread through me at the thought, along with a faint trace of alarm. “Zach, don’t.”

“Don’t... what?” he mocked, using his other foot to spread my legs apart.

Tears stung my eyes as laughter competed with nerves. I still wasn’t completely sure I could trust him, after all, and with pizza in one hand, beer in the other, what could I use to defend myself if things turned rough? My elbows? Ha. But, even so, desire curled in my belly. My nipples peaked. I felt anxious, vulnerable... and almost more excited than I could stand. “Please...”

“You know I like it when you beg,” Zach murmured as his toe massaged my clit. Then his smile widened. His eyes met mine and breathing became that much harder, I could tell he was feeling the same thing I was: my juices soaking through the satin. “You like it too, don’t you?”

His voice alone made my clit throb, so intense it was almost painful, reminding me I was feeling more than a little sore. I shook my head. “No.”

“No?” All movement stopped. Zach froze, looking startled.

My sex pulsed, mourning the loss of his heat, already missing his toe’s tormenting pressure. Screw the soreness. I rocked my hips, trying to rub myself against his foot.

Laughter rumbled from his throat; low, sexy, triumphant. “Liar.” Still laughing, he lifted his legs from mine and pulled away from me completely.

“Pig,” I muttered, feeling bereft, abandoned, frustrated. My chest heaved and I briefly considered which one to hurl at his head--the pizza or the beer--until Zach solved the problem for me by removing both from my hands and then pulling me down on top of him.

“You are such a nut,” he murmured holding me still so he could kiss me.

“Takes one to know one,” I replied straddling his legs and stretching out on top of him. No question about it, I liked being on top; liked the feel of his body, broad and strong, laid out beneath me; liked the feel of his big hands cupping my head, his fingers tangling in my hair.

His lips were warm. He tasted of beer and pizza and male. Did all guys taste this good, or was it just him? I sank my teeth into his bottom lip, frustrated by the fact that there didn’t seem to be any way to get enough of him.

“Ow.” Zach’s hands closed on my shoulders. “What’d you do that for?” He held me away from him while his tongue snaked out to explore the damage to his lower lip.

“I like the way you taste,” I explained, feeling completely unapologetic as I braced my hands on his chest and gazed down at him. It was his own fault, after all. He didn’t have to taste that good.



Vote for Old Sins, Long Shadows

Old Sins, Long Shadows received a verrrry nice review this week at Whipped Cream Reviews (AND a "Best Book" rating--I'm still grinning over that!) which means it's eligible for this week's "Book of the Week" honor.

You can find the review HERE. And, if you feel so inclined, voting is on the Whipped Cream home page, HERE.

I usually don't quite believe it when people say it's enough of an honor just being nominated (I know, I'm very cynical that way!) but in this case, it might be true. (Best Book--squeeee!)

However, winning would be really nice too, don't you think?