Monday, March 03, 2008

Erotic Romance Winner . . . and the Contemporary Romance Contest!

With fewer entries in the erotic romance category, Jessica and I were able to find more common ground. In fact, we were able to agree on a winner and two runners-up. But since there were fewer than half the number of entries as in the previous contest, we didn’t pick any honorable mentions this time. So you won’t see a second post tomorrow.

That said, let’s announce the winner, shall we?

Anonymous 4:29 pm — Five Days

The first day, I couldn't look him in the face.

I gazed at the granite floor of the foyer while I waited for his orders.

"I'm not going to hurt you."

"You'd be within your rights if you did." I kept my gaze cast down. I owed him so much for what I'd done to him, and all he'd asked for was five days. He would have my body, and I would reclaim my soul.

"Heaven save me from martyrs," he muttered. "Are you going to mope around the place all week? It's not much of a turn-on."

Jessica: I thought this was sexy and definitely sounded like a solid erotic romance. What I also liked about these 100 words were that they kept you guessing. What is going to happen next? And what is the setup. I’m assuming because of the title that this is going to be five days of sex, but how did the protagonist get there and why? I definitely want to know more.

Kim: What makes this excerpt so sexy is the provocative setup. There’s an element of mystery: What did she do to him that’s put her in the submissive position? It creates a wonderful tension between the two of them. The opening feels pretty dark. After all, she says she needs to reclaim her soul. But before everything gets too heavy, he lightens the tone by telling her that her moping is killing the mood. I’d love to see where this is going.

Congratulations, Anonymous!! When you’re ready for your critique, please send your query letter, synopsis, and first chapter to our blog e-mail link. Great work!

Here’s our runners-up!

Jackie Barbosa — Lady Libertine

He must be the devil. He was as beautiful and tempting as sin.

If he had come for Amelia’s not-so-dearly departed husband, arriving at the funeral seemed a bit late. If he had come for her, she would gladly accompany him. Hell itself could not be worse than the dreary, meager existence that awaited her in Hanscombe’s dowager house.

Not to mention it was too near Richard.

The thought of her stepson drew Amelia’s gaze to him. Even after all these years, his proximity sent revulsion crawling over her skin.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” the vicar intoned.

Jessica: I really love sexy and erotic historical romance, and because of that I really liked this. But a funeral is also a great setup for endings as well as beginnings. And who doesn’t want to know more about Richard or the beautiful tempting devil?

Kim: Let’s face it, devils are always hot (corny pun intended)! Again, there’s a lot of mystery going on here. What happened to her “not-so-dearly departed husband” and why is her stepson such a creep? All of that leaves me curious, but most of all I’m waiting to hear more about this beautiful devil and what he’ll be doing to tempt her even more.

Shannon — When Good Demons Go Bad

The son of a bitch was going to kill her with sex . . . again, but what else could she expect from a rogue sex demon. Even while Cassandra “Raven” Caledre reveled in the feel of Fallyn’s perfect body gliding against her naked flesh, she lifted the ceremonial dagger, determined to kill him before the demon finished releasing her soul.

His small, sharp fangs bit lovingly into her shoulder as Fallyn whispered directly into her mind, Let me pleasure you, little Raven, and I swear, with your next life, the surrender will be mine. Letting the dagger fall, she accepted his bargain.

Jessica: This was great. Great title and really great opening line. Killing her with sex. I love it.

Kim: I think what was most intriguing about that first line was that she had apparently already been killed before. She knew what she was in for, but the passion is so great that she’s willing to surrender her life again to be with him. The real draw is the Fallyn character. Is he sincere? Can a rogue sex demon even be sincere? Will he surrender to her next time? Or is he just playing her to get what he wants?

Nicely done, Jackie and Shannon!

Now it’s time for another contest!


Here are the rules:

1. We’ll only accept entries that are posted in the comments section of this blog article. No e-mailed entries will be considered.

2. Include your title and the first 100 words of your book. Now, we’re not saying to leave us hanging mid-sentence here. Stop wherever the previous sentence ends, but do not exceed 100 words.

3. The same work cannot be entered in more than one genre. If you think your book straddles more than one genre, you’ll have to pick one. We will, however, accept multiple works from the same author in the same or different categories.

4. Once the material is entered, it’s your final entry. We won’t allow revised versions of the same work.

5. We’re accepting excerpts of both finished and unfinished works.

6. The deadline is tomorrow, March 4th, at 9:00 a.m. EST.

And in case you’ve forgotten, the prize is a critique of the query letter, synopsis, and first chapter of the winning entry! The winner will e-mail us the additional material and we’ll provide our notes privately, not on the blog. We will, however, discuss what we liked about each winning 100-word entry on the blog, and will pull out a few honorable mentions to highlight other excerpts that came close and why.

We’ll post the winners in a few days and then move on to the next genre. Keep an eye out for your category!


Diana said...

Title: Opening Bids

My great-aunt Maggie is one devious woman.

That’s what I was thinking as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at my hair. After three solid days on the road with nothing but my brother and the summer heat for company, I was exhausted and cranky. Even my hair looked exhausted and cranky. Yet I was about to go downstairs and try to act like an approachable, even likeable, human being because, despite having just been on the road for three straight days, Aunt Maggie wanted to throw a party.

In my honor.

Angelle Trieste said...

Title: Carnal Illusions

Ethan Lloyd was back.

That was the only thought running through Jessica West’s mind as she watched the tall blond man come toward her through the door of the café where she waitressed. He hadn’t changed at all since the last time she’d seen him. His shoulders were still impossibly broad, his suit still impeccably custom-tailored, and his face still haunted her dreams.

What was he doing here? What could have brought him here? Maybe it was a coincidence and he wouldn’t recognize her.


His voice held a quiet authority that hadn’t quite been there before.

Lauren Hawkeye said...

My name is Dana Griffin, and there is a strange man sitting on my bed. Some of you may think that this is great, especially since I’ve determined, from my brief glimpse, that he is a hottie.
I say brief because the sight of him on my bed sent me screaming back into the bathroom that I had just walked out of, naked and dripping wet, thinking about my morning latte.
Now, thanks to my early morning surprise, I have quite enough adrenaline coursing through my veins to get me through the entire day, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...


“Ruby, there’s a German under my bed.”

My grandmother was whispering, so I lowered my own voice and said, “Don’t worry, it’s just Karl.”

This was the story I’d concocted. Since my grandmother was absolutely convinced there was a German under her bed, I had to render him harmless. So I invented Karl, a fifteen year old soldier who wanted to desert the army.

“Well, tell him to come out when it’s safe.”

“I will.”

She thought for a minute. “And offer him something to drink.”

“That’s a good idea. How about you? Do you want anything to drink?”

Betty said...


Sculling his drink Robert Wolfram weighed the empty glass in his hand.

I'm a waste of money tonight.

Ellie said a date would lift his spirits and the sight of his little sister’s concern tugged at his heart in a way nothing else could. His thoughts drifted to Cassandra and his toes curled. He didn’t know which was worse: the response of a woman who saw his scars for the first time unprepared, or one who’d been carefully briefed beforehand.

Shalanna said...


“Hellooooo there, Bradley.”

Brad Peterson felt five talons digging into the back of his shoulder through his jacket. Across the pool, somebody cannonballed in, and water splashed into his new Italian-leather loafers. Wincing, Brad turned.

"Haven’t had a chance to welcome you to the firm. But I suppose that’s why we’re sponsoring this little get-together." Cassandra Robins, vice president of finance for Smith and Bailey, dragged her fingernails sensuously down Brad’s sleeve.

He gaped at Cassandra’s glistening, oiled body. There wasn’t enough fabric in her yellow bikini to make a Barbie doll a decent hat.

Brad gulped his Virgin Mary.

Shalanna said...

"You kids quit that running. Are those my SuperSoakers?" Jennifer Finch hadn't meant to shriek in the lobby of her beloved Bar-None Guest Ranch. She crumpled the letter from Auntie in her hand before she realized what she was doing. Smoothing it out, she stuffed it unread back into her mail cubbyhole.

The little brats--er, energetic young guests--dropped to their knees behind the sitting area and aimed the waterstreams at Jennifer. She panicked as the dampness turned her into a Wet T-Shirt contestant. "Take the guns outside now, please."

"Guns?" An elderly woman gasped, stopping in the entryway.

Shalanna said...


Paige Campbell tore off her headset before the sound check could finish. That throbbing hip-hop beat and the rhythmic chanting of the background singers hurt her ears. She could still hear the instrumental track through the glass walls of the recording studio booth. The sponsor's commercial ought to show a parade of Volkswagen bugs putt-putting around a circus ring as dorky clowns danced.

Plugging her ears against the run-through, she silently rephrased the lyrics two different ways, hoping the producer would give her a clue about his preferred rendition. “You’re in trim with Goldy’s Gym. Keeping slim at Goldy’s Gym.”

Betty said...


Gabriella De Winter didn’t know if she had the energy to spank a man tonight. All she’d wanted, on this day of days, was to stay in bed with her rabbit and a box of batteries and rid herself of the persisting ache deep in her belly.

Work put paid to that. Two girls off with the flu. She’d dragged herself through a day at the office and now had to spend the night showing bad men the error of their ways. Difficult when the only man badly needing whipped was tucked up in bed with another woman.

Anonymous said...


“Who is that, Daddy?”

I let go of Fred and wiped the tears from my face.

“Heather, this is an old friend of mine, Lily. Lily, my daughter, Heather.”

The little girl looked up at me with Fred’s eyes, but they held a fire that must have come from her mother. Her hair curled gently like his, and hung in a ponytail under a pink baseball cap. Her tee shirt read Girls Rule the World.

“Why is she crying?”

“Is that what we say when we meet someone?”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Heather said. “Why are you crying?”

DC England said...

Some of us go to parties. Others join a band. One or two will spend years setting up a magnificent weekend festival of world music in a field in Somerset. I am constantly amazed and surprised at the lengths we men are prepared to go, just to get a girlfriend.

My own involvement in this festival had long since ended.

I really hadn’t wanted to be here today, was still resentful and angry. I had only come because I knew Lisa would be here. That was the length I was prepared to go.

DC England said...


Some of us go to parties. Others join a band. One or two will spend years setting up a magnificent weekend festival of world music in a field in Somerset. I am constantly amazed and surprised at the lengths we men are prepared to go, just to get a girlfriend.

My own involvement in this festival had long since ended.

I really hadn’t wanted to be here today, was still resentful and angry. I had only come because I knew Lisa would be here. That was the length I was prepared to go.

Nancy Naigle said...


Dust billowed behind her as Jill idled down the lane towards Pearl’s house. Jill had left town in an old pickup packed to its limit a year ago. Now, here she was in a new red BMW with designer luggage.

Her knuckles gleamed pearly white from the death grip she had on the leather steering wheel. Wondering if the memories might swallow her, she stopped under the tall trees.
Her stomach grumbled.

In a hurry to get to Adams Grove, she’d sped non-stop, hoping that getting to Adams Grove quick would make up for not being there when Pearl passed.

Lehcarjt said...

Title: Fall a Little Farther (first 100 words)

Two hundred page tax forms. Profit and Loss reports with half the company expenses under the category of ‘uncategorized’. Staff meetings that last hours and hours. Frantic and useless last minute preparations for the arrival of the dreaded corporate consultants. Nicole Devaney would have considered any of the above a trade up from her current task. What was IRS Form 1120 compared to ‘breaking and entering?’

Not that she had any intention of ‘breaking’ anything, and the ‘entering’ would be thanks to a latte she’d delivered earlier. All she needed was for George to make a run for the restroom.

Sindee Sexton said...

Congrats to Jackie for HM! You rock, girl!

Anonymous said...

Made in Miami

I’m daydreaming. About a pair of shoes that are half-off today. Julia, the salesgirl from ‘If the Shoe Fits’, one of my all-time favorite stores, called this morning to give me the heads up. She always does that when there’s a sale. I think it’s incredibly nice of her. The shoes really are adorable, and I’m in the middle of picturing them with my new suede skirt, when I realize that people are looking at me, and that my name was just called.
I have no clue what they’ve been talking about. In my defense, it’s almost 4:30 in the afternoon, and it’s hot as hell in here.

Kathleen Grieve said...

Rule #1: Meet the girls mother...

A flash of flames shot into the air and the heat intensified. The floor beneath his booted feet rumbled and shook. A burning ache seized his chest. The sound of his own rapid, ragged breath filled his ears. Disoriented, he couldn’t see through the haze of thick, black smoke. The fire raged around him…

“Jett? What’s wrong?” Cruz asked, concern in his voice.

The familiar baritone acted as a catalyst, dragging Jett from the past. He blinked several times. His vision cleared. His twin brother’s face came into focus.

Southern Writer said...

Congratulations to the winners. Good choices, I think.

HollyD said...

Title: Cassandra's Turn at Love

Local Lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, receives Dayton’s Good Samaritan Award.

“That Son of a Bitch!”

Cassandra Holloway had arrived at her gift shop, Elegance, early. She had wanted to sit at her desk with a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet while she read the morning paper. It was the Friday before Mother’s Day and she knew that the next few days was one of her busiest times of year.

She looked at the picture and felt her stomach churn. On Mother’s Day her mom was killed by a drunk driver, Peter Rosenthal.

Vicki said...

Title: SMILE

Exhausted, Gina Blythe glanced at woman before her and smiled.

Book signings made her squirm. It wasn’t like she didn’t love meeting her readers. She did. It was the small talk Gina wasn’t so good at.

A middle aged woman held out several books. “I adore your books. I always read them as soon as they come out.”

“Thank you, I’m glad—”

Talking over Gina, the woman gushed. “I told Bob, he’s my husband, you got a great life. Nothing to do but write, travel, and meet all those sexy men. You must love your research.”

Not so much.

Gina Black said...


Feeling every bit an impostor, Cherry Adams plunged into elevator with the crowd. She clasped her borrowed leather portfolio to her chest like a shield as bodies all around her adjusted position so no one actually touched in the excessively close space.

"Twenty-three please," she said as the doors shut, hoping someone would push the button.

God she hated elevators--almost as much as she hated job interviews--and here she was, within a span of fifteen minutes having to deal with both.

She had no choice. Chicago's most prestigious advertising firm had a suite on the top floor.

Christy said...

Title: VIVA

When I was girl, I pretended to be Scarlett O’Hara. That I grew up to be Belle Watling is no one’s fault but my own.

Ten years ago I convinced myself Belle got the better deal, but now I know the truth. Only spoiled, little rich things get tomorrow; us working girls are stuck with today. And today for me consisted of another two hour trick with an out-of-town businessman.

“Good evening, Sugar,” I said to the doorman as I entered the hotel lobby.

He hates it when I call him Sugar.

Candice Gilmer said...

Working Title: Glamour Girl

The plane shuddered on the runway.

Oh shit, I’ve been divorced three days and I’m about to die now?!? Sydney Martinson’s life should have flashed before her eyes, but instead dollar signs taunted her, all the wasted money spent to buy her freedom.

Sydney white-knuckled the small metal armrests, holding on for dear life.

“Relax honey,” Robert Finch said, in his early fifties if he was a day, and wanted to sell her a new water purification system.

If she lived through this landing, that is.

The plane slowed, and the landing smoothed out.

Damn she hated to fly.

HollyD said...

Title: Love's Second Chance

It was Saturday morning, late in September. According to the calendar autumn was a few days old. It was Emily Daniels’ favorite time of year. It was also her birthday. She was now 18 and pregnant. She had driven into Cincinnati yesterday and purchased a home pregnancy test. This morning she woke up early and read the directions very carefully. She had never been very good at taking tests, but she had wanted do this one right. Two pink lines. Even Emily could figure out she had failed yet another test, the most important test of her life.

Angie Fox said...

Ohh, I'm liking some of these entries. This is going to be another tough contest.

And congrats to the erotic winners!

Sindee Sexton said...

Wedding Planner Blues
Contemporary Romance


Penelope Carmichael turned just in time to see the beautiful wedding cake—the one her cake decorator spent eight hours frosting and decorating just yesterday—come flying at her head. How was she to know when she took this job she would be walking into a battle of buttercream?

Strong arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her down to the safety beneath the buffet. Just in time too, she thought as a fluffy mound of frosting plopped to the ground where she’d just been standing.

“Some wedding, huh?” her would-be rescuer said, scooting next to her.

Sindee Sexton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sindee Sexton said...

I apologize for the double post, my computer went wonky on me.


Jodie W. said...

Title - Savin' Me - contemporary romance

“Oh man, not the strawberry…not the strawberry….aw, shit.”

Erik Monteague couldn’t look away. Not when the most perfect set of lips he’d ever seen were about to wrap around a strawberry – a damn lucky strawberry – and he wasn’t going to miss a single lick, nip or suck.

Everything at the Sinclair Marketing Group open house faded into the woodwork as his field of vision narrowed down to that mouth.

She licked her lips then her pink tongue flicked out to scoop a bead of chocolate from the bottom of the large, ripe fruit.

HollyD said...

Title: Tracy's Treasure

“I hate Mondays.” Tracy Sullivan said to herself.

It was 7:30 in the morning and she wished she hadn’t gotten out of bed. She had burned herself with the curling iron, pulled a button off of her favorite, make that her only silk, blouse, and spilled coffee on her briefcase. She put her coat on, grabbed her keys, her purse, and her now dry briefcase and opened the door. She yelled goodbye over her shoulder to Reno, her feline roommate and closed the front door.

Something was wrong with her car.

“How the hell did I get four flat tires?”

Rowan said...

Provisional title: A rake's progress

I’d been stalking Imogen Fulton for months and there she was. Dancing towards the door jerkily out of time to the music. A red-faced man in a rugby jersey collided with her, as if she was a nobody.

Fergus should have been helping me, but there was a more insurmountable obstacle than the ‘moral objections’ he’d voiced earlier. My flatmate was snoring on the sofa, his round belly trembling with each exhalation. Typical.

Not for the first time I wished Bunny was back. Draining my tepid martini I pushed my way through the crowd to meet my destiny.

Annette said...

Title: Caught in the Middle

I was twelve the first time Jamie O'Rourke kissed me.

If I could rewrite history, I'd say that even back then he knew I was the girl for him. But the truth is, I know the real reason he did it. Why he chose to kiss me instead of his girlfriend, my sister Lauren.

Looking back, I realize this is the moment when everything began to go wrong between my sister and me. How all our problems have hinged on this one event, this one stolen kiss.

But even if I could, I still wouldn't change a thing.

Sindee Sexton said...

A Turbulent Reunion
Contemporary Romance

“Look, Brandon, you’re the one who talked me into this…” Alexandra Gibson paused, her cell phone gripped tightly to her ear. “vacation.” Her Dolce and Grabbana bespectacled eyes scanned the surroundings. The wind whipped around her, sending strands of hair flicking against her cheeks and nose. She attempted to push her hair behind her ear to no avail. She coughed as sand blew in her mouth and nostrils. This was no vacation, it was hell.

She wanted to laugh. This was an airport? The rusty pole barn serving as the office, cafe, and air traffic control groaned with the wind.

Terri Hodgson said...

Title: Once In A Blue MoonShine
By: Terri Beatty Hodgson

If Halli Montgomery hadn’t disobeyed her father when she was ten, she wouldn’t be hanging from a cross a decade later. The fact that she was upside down with who-knows-what crawling in her hair had nothing to do with the seriousness of the situation. If she didn’t get down in--she illuminated her Mickey Mouse watch--twenty-eight minutes and three seconds, she’d have to wait two years to be free. Not from the rusted nail that had her trapped but from the curse keeping her childless. Pissing off a Voodoo priestess was an excellent means of birth control, even for a virgin.

AE Rought said...

Title: Letting go of the Reins

Breath, sour with beer, bathed my face. His black eyes bored into mine, his hands clenched around my throat. “I own you Kally.” His grip tightened, and he lifted me from the floor. “Try to leave and I’ll kill you.”

I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t believe that my fiancé threatened to murder me. Saliva pooled in my mouth, my lungs burned with trapped air but Matt only squeezed tighter when I pulled on his fingers. My eyes rolled and I gave up the fight. “Please.” I wheezed. “Please don’t kill me.”

Snorting, Matt released me and I tumbled to the floor.

joey said...

Title: Billy and Betsy

HATE was too strong a word – but only by a little. Loathing; that was better. Maybe even extreme dislike would come close to describing the reason my mind was seething on the first day of music class.

Billy Bransford would be the name of the particular reason for my intense bitterness on what should have been a very pleasant day. Billy Bransford was the bane of my existence, for almost my entire existence. And Billy was back.

If it were merely a little teasing here and there, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

sbwriter said...

Title: The Reunion

Alexa Gardner loved her late husband Jack, but hated his relatives. When the invitation arrived for a family reunion, Alexa thought Jack’s eccentric family might help her daughter, Kate, snap out of her depression. Now, she wasn’t so sure. As Alexa watched Kate talk with Jack’s brother, she couldn’t help but feel uneasy.

She only met Mark once – on her wedding day. His aloof manner fueled rumors about his trouble with the law. When he disappeared at the wedding reception, the family worried. Jack passed away believing his brother dead.

Now Mark was back and more alive than ever.

Elizabeth Bemis said...

Title: Holiday

Under normal circumstances, Katerina Miller was a very organized traveler. Under normal circumstances, Kate was organized in almost every aspect of her life. In fact, those who didn't fully appreciate her level of tidiness and preparedness might be inclined to call her compulsive and perhaps even obsessive.

Unfortunately, these were not normal circumstances.

If they were, she'd have a purse filled with maps, phone numbers, and a first-aid kit.

Instead, she was stranded with no way to get to her destination and no idea where her traveling companion was.

Day one of her honeymoon was off to an delightful start.

Gracie Chase said...

I couldn't take my eyes off the bimbo hawking her herbal supplements. Either all that silicone was going to fall out of her tank top, or the balding guy in front of her was going to do a face-plant right into the center of her expensive assets.

Either way, I didn't want to miss it.

"Wow. You must work out," I said to my buddy, Will, doing my best Plastic Surgery Barbie impression as I placed a hand on his chest.

Batting my lashes, I looked up locking, eyes onto a pair of eyes that did not belong to Will.

Anonymous said...

Title: For One Weekend Only

When your entire future rested on your ability to seduce a man into doing the unthinkable, you needed to look the part.

Maggie Richardson was pretty sure she didn’t.

She leaned against the bar, her clothes too casual, her posture too stiff, and her overall appearance looking far less “fun professional” than “crazed librarian.”

This would never work. She was supposed to show up in four days — four! — at a no-holds-barred Southern wedding... complete with full hoop skirt, parasol, and her long-term, much-discussed, forever-kind-of-love boyfriend, Dave Andrews.

Except, Dave didn’t exist.

Which was a bit of a problem.

Michelle(MG) said...

Title: Angels in Training

Hanging from the branch and swaying in the wind wasn’t really what she intended when she started this gig. _Just a little more to the left_… She swung her legs up and over the rail and landed softly on the balcony. Wishing her gloves weren’t sticky with sap wouldn’t make it go away, so she stripped them off and stuck them in a back pocket. From another pocket, she pulled out a fresh pair of gloves.

_What was the Girl Guide’s motto? Always be prepared._ Well, she was nothing if not prepared.

Steph said...

Sex, Lies and Survelliance

The woman’s voice wrapped around Calhoun Laughlin like humidity on a ninety-degree day, making him unseasonably warm on a cool April morning.

From the adjoining office, Janey DeMarco’s husky tone soothed. “No, don’t panic. I can talk you through this. You have to slide off the cover on the tower to remove the hard drive.”

With a rising sense of dread, Cal stifled a groan. He had no idea who she was talking to. Didn’t matter. Her voice mesmerized—calm, logical, competent. Sexy as hell.

Staring blindly into the monitor in front of him, he tried to shut her out, to imagine himself anywhere but the Philadelphia offices of DeMarco Investigations.

A nice arctic oil field or Mount Everest, maybe.

Shelli Stevens said...

Title: Luck be Delanie

“I like your tattoo,” the deep voice came from behind her. “The last time I saw it you were on your hands and knees in my bed.”

Choking the wine she’d just taken a sip of, Delanie’s fingers almost crushed the stem of the glass.

No. It wasn’t possible. Goosebumps broke out over her body, even as quick heat spread inside her. The owl tattoo on her shoulder blade tingled under his gaze.

What was more shocking? His words or the man who had just spoken them? God, it was a toss up.

Leona Bushman said...

Undercover Baby

It was a dark and stormy night… again. Just like the night that had dropped Jake Thompson into her life. Instead of the start of an adventure, this was the end of it. Now her and her baby would die for no reason except that she’d saved the life of a stranger and fallen in love.
She wouldn’t get the chance to explore the new ability she had, or find out if it could help save people. She’d never know if her child was a boy or girl.
Jake’s team was walking into a trap that would kill them all.

Cursing in Heels said...

Title: Upward Spiral

I am a forgettable girl.

I was first deemed so in the spring of 1990 by Mark Ackerman, Fenkell High’s wrestling star and my unwitting date to senior prom. One didn’t need a dizzying intellect to see he had only asked me to go with him to appease my best friend, Lynne, who was attending the prom with Mark’s best friend and needed me there to make sure the back of her hair stayed in place. I, however, convinced myself that he’d asked me simply because he found bad spiral perms and pegged jeans alluring.

Anonymous said...

“Seger?” Shouldn’t he be at work? I leaned out, looking both ways to see who was with him. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?”

“Hi, Seger. How are you, Seger?” he admonished.

I laughed. He was the last person I wanted to offend. “Hey, Seger.”

He stepped closer, leaning in, until his lips were near my ear. “May I come inside?”

I got the distinct impression he meant something else entirely, as if you had been at the end of his question. My breath caught in my throat. “Yes. Please. I mean, come in.”

Flick said...


The last thing Addie needed was a beautiful woman making her look an idiot. Or a beautiful man. Well, she needed a beautiful man, but not one that thought she was an idiot. When she pushed open the door of the gym and saw the only occupants were ranks of metal sculptures, none of which looked beautiful, disappointment swamped her excitement. Addie went for the machine that looked the least intimidating, hoping for a stampede of testosterone-charged men before she broke into a sweat.
The moment she started to walk, lights flashed.
Yuk. She’d rather not.

pth 1963 said...

Title: A Forgiving Season

Maggie alternated running the air conditioning in her car and rolling down the windows, switching the key off and back on again. He was late. Their appointment was for eleven, and the doctor told them to be early. It was now five minutes till. She shifted in the seat of her old Toyota and watched for him to pull into the parking lot, searching for a glimpse of his red Mustang convertible flashing past the parked cars.

She arrived twenty minutes ago, listening to the local news on her radio. Last week her doctor confirmed her suspicions. Maggie was pregnant.

Flick said...


Kate walked into the sea and winced as a cold wave hit her. Once the water reached her waist, she dived forward and began to swim. Moments later her sandals slipped from her feet. Damn, Kate thought, they were my favourites. She snorted with laughter and inhaled a lungful of saltwater.

It didn’t take long before the shivering started. Wearing clothes and being cold would speed things up. Kate pictured herself sliding into a deep sleep and drowning. Then pictured herself choking as water rushed into her throat. She batted away a hard ball of fear. No going back.

Anonymous said...

Battle Of The Hearts

Aubree McVee peered through orange and blue bangs to survey the room of male, sweaty bodies. The twirling smoke was as thick as a London fog minus the unique smell of pot that always seemed to follow musicians around. Bree held her breath not only to keep from triggering another asthma attack, but to keep the haze from entering her body. If these deadheads wanted to fry their brains before they were thirty it was no business of hers, she wasn’t here for their smarts anyway.
Her topaz colored eyes flared when she spotted her victim passed out in the corner, his head pillowed by a tattooed, muscular arm. She smiled, her beauty hidden behind white, pasty powder. Loosing her virginity to this jerk was going to be a piece of cake.

Christyne Butler said...

Contemporary Romance

Racy Dillon swore on her daddy’s grave it was the ugliest thing she’d ever seen. Thanks to her still fuzzy brain and a dull, but powerful rumble in her head, it took a few blinks and squints before the trophy, came fully into focus.

Yep, still ugly.

Four feet tall, with a base of imitation walnut, it had four tiers separated by shiny purple, white and gold columns that grew successively smaller as they rose to where a winged female stood. She held aloft a five-pointed star, on which Racy’s pink lace panties hung from one side.

She loved it.

Cindy Procter-King said...

Sex, PIs & Packing Tape

If Ursula Scott had to look at one more naked man, she’d scream.

Ursula turned away from the overweight fifty-year-old adjusting his thong as he trundled toward the studio’s tiny dressing room. Carefully setting her expensive Nikon on the prop table, she cursed her slimy boss, Vic McKenzie, who’d holed up in his office to snarf down a mid-morning sub rather than suffer this torture. After the recent rash of vandalism the studio had endured, Ursula had really needed something in her life to run smoothly. Was it asking too much for that thing to be the test shots?

Anonymous said...

Title: Adventure Tour Wars

I despised Jeff from the moment I met him, back in 1998. We ran rival tour companies in Yosemite and he harassed us any chance he got. And, boy, did he have chances.

“We have to change it,” my partner Becky told me after hanging up on another crank call one morning.

“We had it first!” I protested. “We’d have to change everything – t-shirts, advertising. And we don’t have any money.”

The phone rang again. “Yes! We’re Girls Gone Wild Adventure Tours and No! We do not give tours topless!”

“Rats, how about dinner then?” Jeff asked. “Shirts optional.”

Travis Erwin said...

Title : A Run Of Luck

Blue Riggins jerked the wheel. Gravel pinged against the fender. The truck fishtailed. Tires squealed. White-knuckled, Blue struggled to maintain control. Headlights flashed against the forest trees, illuminating a womanly vision. “Staci,” he whispered.
The Ford skidded past the apparition and came to a shuddering halt down the road. Unsure what he’d seen, Blue peered into the darkness. The stench of singed rubber hung in the air.
She came into view again.
His heart contracted.
She stepped closer.
Excitement left him in a rush. A stranger.
Not Staci.
He should have known not to believe in ghosts.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Moving ahead on the learning curve...I think

Reading through these entries, for the first time I feel like I can pick out a "top 10," to compare to bookends' picks - yeah, I think they'll like that one - no, that one not so much - we shall see when the results are in!

Some entries also seem like "genre-hoppers" - could be the beginning of a mystery, or erotic romance, etc...on Wikipedia (by way of RWA), it says:

"...The largest of the romance novel subgenres, contemporary romance novels are set in the time in which they were written and usually reflect the mores of that time...As contemporary romance novels have grown to contain more complex plotting and more realistic characters, the line between this subgenre and the genre of women's fiction has blurred."

There's also a great overview (in my newbie opinion) of "women's fiction vs. romance" at:

At least, some things to consider when writing a pitch/query.

P.S. Although I am aware the majority of visitors to this blog are well-acquainted with romance, maybe there are some like me that aren't, and will find above link useful.

Sharon Davidson said...

Title: Unexpected Life

Definitely lickable. Cheyenne looked up at the man who stood in front of her desk and grinned to herself. From the tips of his highly shined dress shoes up through his perfectly tailored khaki green Brooks Brothers suit with an ivory dress shirt and requisite power tie. His jaw was firm with the faint hint of a cleft in his chin. Full, kissable lips were turned up in a slight grin. Brown hair perfectly cut in a short, conservative style that emphasized the slight wave in his hair. Blue eyes twinkled in amusement as he watched her look him over.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Sexiest Man Alive

She was going to die!

Breanna Loveland gripped the shoulder strap of her seatbelt, her knuckles turning white the harder she hung on. Through the windshield, she focused on the snow-packed road ahead. The ice flurries hit the glass faster than the blades could remove it, making it almost impossible to see. The blinding storm covered the streetlights and darkness surrounded the car. She silently prayed the airbag in this vehicle worked just in case her boyfriend’s reckless driving ended them in some ditch--or worse, head-on with another car.

“Tom, will you please slow down?” Fear strained her voice.

Julie Rowe said...

Home for the Winter

Snow. Nothing but snow in every direction. Cold, stark, barren. Dr. Emilie Saunderson stared out the porthole window of the cramped twin engine otter airplane at the frozen landscape of Antarctica and asked herself why in hell she’d come here.

To finish David’s work, since she’d failed him in so many other ways. David, dead a year to the day. David, the man she’d planned her life around then discovered it wasn’t the life she wanted.

Elyssa Papa said...

Title: Take a Chance on Me

A miracle occurred in Kate Templar's kitchen. It rained chocolate.

Chocolate on the ceiling. Chocolate on the counters. Chocolate on the walls. Chocolate on her dog Murphy.

She looked down, groaning.

Chocolate on her.

And the damn doorbell was still ringing.

“Hold on!” she yelled, smacking her hands in irritation onto her flour-encrusted counter. A huge mushroom cloud erupted, and Kate coughed as flour flew into her face. Temporarily blinded, she banged into the counter, and her hands gripped the sides of her bright orange mixing bowl. It slipped from her fingertips and tipped over.

Elyssa Papa said...

Title: Lay All Your Love on Me

South Africa

It wasn’t every day that an heiress landed at his feet.

Especially one who wore Hello, Kitty underwear.

With her dress flopped over her head and her back to him, the only thing Noah Harper saw was her ass.

And if he did say so himself, it was a great ass.

Then, her dress righted and straightened. Noah took a step back, his camera banging hard against his chest.

He rubbed a hand over his jaw, not quite believing who he was seeing.

Because he’d long stopped believing in ghosts… until one came back from his past.


Elyssa Papa said...

Title: Simply Sadie

Not Bankable…

Posted 2/20/08 by Miss Demeanor

Dylan Banks is opening his own agency. Yes, Nice Boy Agent thinks he’s that good. Ha.

We all remember the disaster books that he represented from last year, including John Keats May Be Dead, but I’m Still Living. Yes. That book. The one where the main character thought he was the reincarnation of John Keats and tortured us with his so-called poetry.

I think it’s safe to say that John Keats is rolling in his grave.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, Dylan Banks has announced his new agency will not acquire romances.

Amy Nathan said...

Title: Every Other Weekend

I got dressed for my first date in 16 years at the same time that my ex-husband was across town passing a kidney stone. Divine justice.

For the first time I could remember, a pleasurable selfishness enveloped me. It wasn’t about Richard’s pain; it was about Richard’s pain not interfering with my plans. I wanted to go on this date, but I didn’t realize how much until the moment I thought the evening could be in jeopardy. What if Richard had to be taken to the hospital? Who then would watch the kids?

Chumplet said...

The Yearbook

When the woman ahead of Luke finished her transaction, he plunked the tattered yearbook on the counter. "Can you scan this cover and print it?"

The clerk frowned. "It's in rough shape."

"Can you retouch it?"


Luke sighed. "Okay, try it anyway; I'll live with the chewed up parts."

A woman at his elbow said, "You could put it on a disk and have it retouched elswhere."

He regarded her with a puzzled smile. "What about the missing bits? I barely remember what it looked like."

"I remember. I drew it." She glanced up, and her eyes widened. "Luke."

katekquinn said...

Title: Everything Nice

“Go fuck yourself.”

Louisa Buznewski did not believe in cursing… but exceptions must be made, and despite her lack of experience the word shot from her mouth with enough conviction to rival the saltiest of sailors. Over ten years ago she’d used this exact phrase, directing it at the same man… although he’d been more of a boy then. It was the last time she’d seen or heard from him - until today. Now repeating it all these years later, Louisa realized this crude phrase was a type of “aloha” - it could mean both hello and goodbye.

katekquinn said...

Title: Call Me

Some might have called it a sign, premonition, or merely an odd coincidence that on the very same day Stella Rudolph was fired from her telemarketing job she had spent the greater part of it contemplating quitting. That is unless they realized she spent everyday of her two years at Telesales USA having this idea cross her mind at regular intervals – like a particularly punctual ferry chugging across churning waters. Of course, every idiot knows there’s a big difference between quitting and being fired. Whether in careers or love it is much better to be the rejecter than the rejected.

Leona Bushman said...

Title: Undercover Art

Stephanie and Tom glowered. Stephanie felt the sexual tension across the conference table and wondered if anyone else could. Working together as a team put them in close proximity. Her body’s hormones did the rest.
She was absolutely furious with her body’s reaction to Tom. That bimbo blonde, Crystal, he was hovering over, protecting like a new born babe, was about to get kicked in her very tight derrière.
Crystal had pouted and said she wanted Tom to play the part, not Stephanie. Anybody was more qualified than Tom. He didn’t know the difference between a Monet and a Picasso.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Mixing Business With Pleasure

Nicole Adkins glanced down at her black Spandex mini-dress, which hugged every curve of her petite figure and showed way too much skin for her tastes. She groaned. Underneath the small piece of fabric covering her chest, her unbound breasts squished together like crushed melons.

Inside the booth of the private club, she slid closer the dark wall in hope of keeping herself hidden from the man she came to spy on. She tightened the cell phone in her hand as she held it to her ear. “Mary, I feel cheap and easy.”

At Mary’s laugh, Nicole gritted her teeth.

sbwriter said...

One Night of Passion

Linnea watched him as he slept. How on earth did this handsome stranger arrive in her den? She hadn’t heard anything from the kitchen. Normally Linnea would have heard a voice call out or the door open. She shook her head in amazement. The man must have walked right in and settled himself in front of the fire.

How odd.

She studied his sleeping form. His olive skin and chiseled features betrayed his Mediterranean roots. The white collared shirt and grey pants suggested he had more money than the average patron at her bed and breakfast.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Breaking All The Rules

Kristine Olsen had never seen so many naked bodies in one place before. Surprising, since she was an investigative reporter at The San Diego Journal, and had been for five years.

Through the window, people were frolicking in the pool in the afternoon sunshine, naked and splashing as boldly as if it were midnight...and acting like a bunch of over-sexed adults.

They didn’t call this resort Pleasure Hideaway for nothing.

She pulled away from the window and glanced around the empty reception area. Apparently, her arrival wasn’t during the normal check-in hours since there was nobody here to greet her.

Laura in Aurora said...

Title: A Choice of Hearts

Cathy Ceriale huddled in the newsstand doorway, waiting the last few minutes before it opened. The reporter from Ad Daily had said it would be worth the early morning.

Anything that humiliated Roger Ceriale was wonderful.

Her date with Kevin -- she flushed despite the chill of the morning – was just icing on the cake.

The owner shuffled over and opened the door. She beelined for the trade journals, and saw Ad Daily was still bundled. Through the twine, the headline read:
Daughter Trumps Dad – Surele Chocolate Goes To Blumenthalle Over Ceriale.

Her headshot was immediately below. Next to Kevin’s.

Anonymous said...

Title: Arms Open Wide

Steam emitted from the bathroom door as she opened it, and the temperature went up by at least ten degrees. Through the gummed, glass shower door, Audrey saw the outline of a tall, muscular naked man working his hands vigorously through his short, spiky hair as he sang.

She smirked slightly, grabbing a towel off the rack and stepping forward with it draped over her arm, applauding on the last quavering note.

Nate opened the door and grinned down at her, wiping a bit of water from his eye as the shower poured over him. “Thank you. I do weddings.”

-Rachel Glass

sbwriter said...

The German's Aquisition

Lana Keller’s heel caught in the doorway of the break room and she stumbled to the coffee machine. Normally she would have been mortified, but today she didn’t have time. She spilled her things onto the counter and bent over to open the refrigerator underneath.

“Drat.” she muttered.

“Looking for this?”

Lana looked up and saw the most beautiful blue eyes staring back at her. Who was this gorgeous creature? She hadn’t remembered seeing him around the office before.

Just her luck, the first time Mr. Gorgeous sees her, she had her backside in the air.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Deal Of Passion

“I’d rather be thrown in piranha-infested waters than go out with a man.”

Cassidy O’Malley locked her legs and folded her arms across her chest. She scowled at her cousin, Joan, the co-manager of the family bar, O’Malley’s Hideaway, as they stood in the back hallway.

Clinking of glasses rang faint from inside the bar, mixed with loud chatter as the patronage continued to grow. Cassidy had never seen this many men in Pampa, Texas, in one place all at the same time. Trying not to think of the reason the bar filled so quickly, she concentrated on her cousin.

Anonymous said...

Ricki Langdon’s heart ached as she struggled against the insidious pull of memory. With desultory movements she tossed weeds onto a barrow. The raw sense of loss only grew it didn’t diminish. Once, she’d been told, today would become just another day. Ten years on it hadn’t happened.
If only she knew.
If only...Those were the most useless of words.
The strident shriek of a blackbird’s warning cry shattered the drowsy summer afternoon.
A dark shadow loomed between her and the sun.
Startled, Ricki glanced upwards. And surprise turned to shock, time crystallized into frozen stillness.
Leon Karvasis stood there, tall and dark, casting a long ominous shadow as he towered over her.
What was he doing here in her New Zealand garden?

Anonymous said...

Title: The Deal Broker
GOD, she was beautiful.
He’d never expected a pregnant woman to be so stunning, so vulnerable. Where was his normal aversion to distended bellies?
Taine Kavanaugh frowned at the unexpected surging of his senses and shook his head as if dislodging rose coloured glasses. The decisive slam of a car door caught Neve Radford’s attention. She rubbed at the hidden toes tattooing her inner left side and placed her gardening trowel beside her.
“Yes, sweetheart, I feel like kicking something too.”
Call it hormones or plain sleep deprivation, she was in no
mood for unwelcome distractions.

Melissa Smith

Anonymous said...

Shadow Dance
Contemporary romance

As he walked towards the rickety gate, Gregori saw a movement behind a ragged curtain. Wary, he scanned the rundown house as he opened the gate. A squeal of rusty hinges set his teeth on edge. Rank grass caught at his trousers as he strode up the broken concrete path.

As he put one foot onto the bottom step, the old wooden door opened.

Gregori froze.

In stunned disbelief he stared up the barrels of a shotgun.

“Don’t come any closer, mister,” a determined feminine voice warned him. “At this range I can’t miss.”

Apprehension tasted metallic on his tongue and his breath caught midway in his chest as blood thundered in his ears.

At this range she could blast him into eternity.

shirley said...

Silver Sins
Contemporary Romance

The rough jungle beat music throbbed through Seth’s brain, until it threatened to explode.

He glanced around with distaste. Drunken men propped against the bar and inebriated women poured themselves over any man who caught their eye. With raucous laughter, a buxom redhead showed appreciation of an inebriated joke.

Saturday night at The Gay Rooster was in full swing.

Seth Donahue stared at his soft drink as he asked himself just what he was doing here? No one with a lick of sense frequented a joint like this.

If you didn’t get your drink spiked with some lethal drug cocktail, you risked being robbed.

The clerical collar at his throat tightened like a noose.

With unerring instinct he sought out the woman he’d come to guard.

SomeoneLikeMe said...

So far, her “vacation” totally blew.

At least that’s how it seemed to Nikki Winston at 9:53 on a chilly November morning as she stood fuming in the rapidly emptying baggage claims area just off Terminal A at Hancock Airport. She tried to appear inconspicuous rather than majorly pissed. Not an easy task since she was exhausted from having just spent close to ten hours on a series of flights and layovers, and her head pounded with the mother of all headaches.

Granted, she was getting used to dealing with tension headaches, thanks to the Congressman.

Marianne Harden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mags said...

A Ruthless Desire

Natalia recognized the look in Benito’s eyes immediately, and she narrowed hers. What… now? She glared at him, and then she laughed derisively, turning as mean as she dared.

"It’s over, Benito," she hissed. "Do you understand me?"

Benito stood slowly from his chair and leaned in closer to Natalia. He smiled coldly at her and placed a smooth hand on the smoother mahogany of his desk. Natalia knew the smoothness of both intimately, and something in the gesture aroused and unnerved her. Not this time, Benito, she thought—a directive aimed more at herself than at her lover.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Making Waves

Ashley Rhoades released an irritable groan as she stumbled into the room, clutching her laptop case, careful not to let anything happen to her precious computer. When she made it to the bed, she plopped onto the mattress and sighed. “Gads, it’s a Circus down there, minus the lions and tigers. Although, I’m sure I detected a few skunks on the way here.”

“What?” the cabin-boy asked, following her into the room.

Ashley’s friend, Trisha Olsen, let out a forceful laugh and tipped the boy five dollars. “She said the cruise is already lively as a Circus.”

Phyllis Campbell said...

Working Title: Mr. Hot Pants

“Come on, open the door, honey.” Jace Corbett pounded on the solid oak, rattling the gold number 10 hanging in the middle. “I’m freezing my butt off.”


He clutched the small white towel around his naked body. The terry cloth did very little to warm him let alone hide the attributes most women found pleasing. The magazine, Incredible Males Inc., hadn’t named him Hunk-of-the-month for nothing.

“Debbie, open the door.” He raised his voice then quickly snapped his mouth closed and glanced at the cabins lining the hillside next to him. There was no reason to make a scene...yet.

Jill James said...

Tempting Adam

Impossibly long legs ended in black, shiny, spiked high heels. The lethal stilettos rested atop the far corner of his antique desk without the courtesy of the Corinthian leather desk pad. The large wingback side of his chair kept him from ogling the rest of the package those legs promised.

He strode to the back of the chair, placed his hand on the leather, and grasped the chair.

A hard spin of the chair ripped the heels from his desk. He rushed to face the usurper of his office and chair.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Down And Dirty (no, this is not erotic)

“Hmmm...I wouldn’t mind riding that cowboy.”

Kellie Morris eyed the man who’d just sauntered into her friend’s college reunion party looking like God’s gift to women. Not that she detected any attitude, but attractive guys like this one usually had egos to match. Ego or not, something about his shapely body and sexy eyes tickled her libido. That in itself was enough to make her interested. She admired the authoritative swing to his hips, wishing she could open that stud-wrapped gift and sample his sweetness.

No way could he be one of the college alumni. Too classy.

Mags said...

The Last Alessandro

Alexa looked at her watch again as she waited for the light to change. She’d been called a fool twice that week, and she needed to avoid committing any more errors that might tarnish her reputation as a professional so early in the game.

Arriving late for an appointment with Jane Cavanaugh would be precisely that sort of error.

The light changed at last and Alexa stepped down quickly. A hand grabbed her suddenly by the arm and drew her swiftly back. Tripping as she was pulled up onto the curb, Alexa fell into the arms of a stranger.

Lips MacPherson said...

Title: Finding Love Online

Alex’s eyes grew large as the man before her slowly pulled a piece of paper from inside his brightly patterned shirt. His shirt buttoned only at the waist, opened to reveal a furry expanse of chest. He winked then slid the folded paper towards her. She watched in fascinated horror as his many gold chains danced before her face.
It seemed appropriate that the company employees were so similar to the dates they provided. The odds were good but the goods were odd.
She was convinced that online dating was the modern version of snake oil. The formulas were questionable, testimonials fictitious and the peddlers invariably left a slime trail behind them.

shirley said...

Web Of Deception
Contemporary Romance.

Either no one knew, or they refused to tell.
Anna Belmonte wondered if she would ever find the elusive Megan Anderson? Or was she a figment of her father's disturbed mind?
Anna had never considered him insane, now she held real doubts.

Why would anyone sane leave a posthumous letter exposing her life as one colossal lie?

Where did she go from here?

A magpie swooped onto the grass, stalking across the lawn with innate arrogance.

Unease slithered down her spine. One for sorrow...

Memory haunted Anna, vivid and disturbing. Two months ago, she saw another solitary magpie. The next day she found her father dead in his bed.

Was it a harbinger of more sorrow?

Sensation prickled the back of her neck.
Anna scanned the dining room and saw a huge man standing in the doorway staring at her.

Trapped in that obsidian gaze, she struggled to breathe.

Who was he?
Anna tilted her chin in defiance and the stranger’s eyes narrowed with hostility and she knew he wasn't here as her friend.

Anonymous said...

Title: A Convenient Divorce
Contemporary Romance

Empirical evidence suggests that a fundamental cause of divorce is marriage.

“I don’t think I heard you correctly.” Trevor Halligan regarded his agent with bemusement.

Brian Skinner pointed his unlit cigar. “You have to get married.”

“I don’t quite grasp…”

Skinner snorted and put down the cigar. “Your book on men and divorce can be huge. National bestseller. International. Late-night TV. Daytime talk shows. Oprah.” His beady little eyes took on a visionary light as his arms opened to embrace the globe. “You’ve got everything it takes but—”

“But what?”

“Credibility.” Skinner picked up his cigar and chomped down hard.

A&J Writers said...

Title: Refusing to Settle

The two-story house was quiet, the clock on the wall ticking its way too slowly to nine o'clock, the adults downstairs too preoccupied in the television or each other to realize it was almost curfew and Alex wasn't home. Huffing out a breath, Paige Edwards tucked her legs up in her window seat and opened her book, the pages spanning past either side of her lap, the pictures almost as vivid and almost as detailed as the paintings they represented.

But for once, her attention wasn't on one of Renoir's actresses, or one of Titian's redheads.

A&J Writers said...

Title: Not Your Average Once Upon a Time

Abigail Donovan stood in the cloying humidity of the small, all-white bathroom of her apartment, finding it easier for the moment to contemplate the indistinct blur of the foggy mirror than to face the blank notebooks and blinking cursor that awaited her at her desk. It had been two weeks since she'd written a word, and though two weeks wouldn't have seemed a long time by any other measure, it hadn't been like this with her first book.

Jules said...

Title: Back to Good

The scent of freshly mowed grass hung in the air, clinging to Jordan’s nostrils as she slowly lowered the window of her truck. It mingled crisply, with an earthy fall scent that brought to mind, pumpkin pies, fall fairs and a wildfire of color.
She closed her eyes, envisioning a scene as familiar as the back of her hand. The deep, soulful ache that accompanied the vision cracked her heart once more.
Jordan avoided looking to her left. The dark brick drive, led to a large two story that beckoned to her. Still she resisted. Could she go back?

Anonymous said...

Title: Leanne and Rafe
Contemporary Romance

He wore the requisite red rose boutonniere, black suit and red tie. Other men wore the same. But then Leanne spotted the Italian flag lapel pin. Mr. Tall, Dark and Dreamy appeared to be her date.

“Are you Ragazzo di Jazz?” Feeling like a character from a spy novel, she waved a tiny Italian flag.

For a moment he appeared startled. He looked from Leanne’s face to the flag, back to her face. She held her breath the whole time.

“Yes,” he said slowly. “And you, you are Ragazza di Jazz?”

She blushed, bowing her head slightly. “That is I.”

Leona Bushman said...

Title My Office or Yours

“Come in.” Hannalee Morrow answered the knock on her door. She’d stayed late to finish paperwork and was ready to leave. She looked up. It was Rick. Her breath caught. She’d been lusting after Rick for months, but he was off limits. She was a supervisor, he wasn’t.
“Hi Rick. What can I do for you?” Her voice was soft as she thought about what she wanted to do for him.
“You can do all those things your eyes have promised.” He picked her up out of the chair and laid her on the desk. “I want you.”

Joanie said...

Cassie Morrow knew what total fear was. Total fear was watching the man of her dreams lie absolutely motionless on the floor while she stood frozen, unable to remember any phase of the CPR training course she’d taken.

Luckily, he was only acting.

“Sorry, Cassie. I thought you’d already read the script,” Jim Adams said, looking positively golden as he sat rubbing her arms in a comforting way, and sending electric currents racing up and down her spine.

She sighed as his hands dropped and he pushed himself up. “Only the stage directions,” she admitted.

Margay said...

Pieces of Mind

Blind dates were the work of the devil, and Presley Gordon’s best friend was the devil’s apprentice. Oh, she might look innocent enough with those soulful eyes and that gentle demeanor, but Presley knew better.
Lori Meade was the antithesis of innocence when she was on a mission.
She was a demon, pure and simple. A demon with one thing on her devious little mind. Achieving her goal no matter the obstacle presented to her.

McGirl said...

Title: Panty Snatch

"Hey girl, your grandma called in sick and that stalker's in the parking lot again."

Ella swiveled, clutching the phone and scissoring open her office’s dusty blinds with eager, paint-stained fingers. The pre-dawn haze threw murky lavender shadows over the muscular form two stories below, but she knew him. Her heart zinged into her throat and lodged there like an electrified grapefruit. His skin would taste of the ocean. He hadn't given up on her. She could still -

"Wait," she said into the phone as her ears caught up with her libido. "Grandma A never calls in sick. Ever."

Jessica said...

Title: The Bridegroom's Revenge

“Hello, Kitty.”
The familiar voice caused Katrina’s spine to stiffen as she looked up from the cash register. The afternoon sun slanting in from the windows cast the customer’s face into shadows, but it didn’t hide the stubborn thrust of his jaw or the glitter of his eyes.
“Alec. . .” She took in the pressed suit, the diamond ring on his finger. He’d always had expensive tastes.
“You’re looking as owlish as ever,” he said, topaz eyes raking her figure and finally resting on her heated face.
“And you look as hawkish as ever. Why are you here?”

whitehorse325 said...

Title: The Reflection of Chloe

Listening for footsteps, Chloe touched a bit of perfume to her throat. Her eyes swept the room before noticing her reflection in the darkened window. Sighing, she touched the glass. Then giggles threatened and Chloe bit her hand. The scarf RYAN666 had sent lay coiled around the other. She wanted to tie her hair with it but last week’s attempt with the scissors hadn‘t gone well. She thought Aunt Charlotte would have been furious, but Aunt Charlotte didn’t appear to care at all. Contented with winding the scarf around her head, Chloe plopped down in front of her computer.

Mags said...

Acting on Impulse

Lucy set her notebook down. She snapped the "Stop" button on her microcassette and looked coolly at the actor.

"Would you care to repeat that off the record, Mr. Allegri?" she asked him crisply.

Marco folded his arms on the table and leaned in close to her. His smile hung somewhere between entitled and arrogant as he winked confidently at Lucy.

"Off the record, on the record, my answer is the same, Lucia. You ask me what I plan to do next—what I plan to do next is make love to you."

Lucy rolled her eyes. What a schmuck.

ESW said...

Title: The life and death of Vlade

The hand trembled slightly as it fastened the rope into a hangman’s noose. It’s been a long life for Vlade and in a matter of moments it would be all finished.
Vlade Barbu took a stool from the breakfast bar and stood under the lamp and fan combination that was attached to the ceiling. Taking the end of the rope, Vlade tied a knot firmly to the fan, yanking on it to ensure its strength.
The noose fit loosely around his neck and he took the rope and slid the knot until the rope fit tight against his Adam’s apple.

The George Family said...

Title: Kill Hollywood

"Mr. Montgomery, it’s nice to see you." I tried to sound truthful as I looked at my landlord.

I walked to the door; he didn’t need to come any further. Kill Hollywood, my shrine to Indie films and the destruction of all things glamorous and commercial, was no place for a stuck-up realty owner.

Not to mention the electrical outlets were filled to the brim and I still hadn't gotten those surge protectors. This was going to be one hell of a week, I could tell.

“I’m here about the letter I sent. I still haven’t heard back from you.”

Leslie said...

Title: Half-Thyme

Logan rolled his shoulders until he heard the familiar *pop*. Soreness plagued him constantly nowadays, a penalty most athletes suffered. His breath came in frosty bursts as he limped to his SUV, the familiar pain clawing his knees.
In the distance, bare trees reached up toward bruised-colored clouds and he tempered a shiver. Thanksgiving was a week away.
A slow smile curved his lips as he realized this year he had something to be thankful for.
His daughter.
Joy gave way to sudden panic.
What did he know about raising a kid? Much less a fourteen-year-old girl?

Verna LaBounty said...

Bits of Blue Glass

Doldrums occur around the equator, producing an area of calm that stalls sailing ships and crazes sailors. In the more northern latitudes people apply these climatic and psychological circumstances to winter.
“Join us for pizza and beer,” Ben Haskell said after the Friday night game.
“Not tonight.” Beth recited her usual answer to his invitations.
“Aw, c’mon. Have a little fun.” His sparkling brown eyes and grin suggested mayhem and mischief.
At that moment the doldrums crazies worked their magic. After all, mid-January ranked number one on the list of most boring times in northern Minnesota. Ben represented excitement.

Anonymous said...

Title: Going South

“What do you mean I can’t have that car?” she urgently asked.
“It’s just been rented,” the salesman replied.
“By me,” the tall man in the corner wearing the disreputable sneakers laconically inserted.
“But I was here before he was.” She forced herself to look at the salesman even though her gaze had been drawn to the man in the corner since the moment she’d arrived at Atlas Car Rental. “He didn’t come in until you got off the phone.”
“I called ahead.” There was a significant pause. “If you’re going south, I can offer a ride.”

Leslie said...

Title: Loving Lila

I don't remember how I got here, but I'm positive I'm not crazy. Well, 75% positive.
It was difficult to focus. It seriously felt like I’d been whacked in the head.
Holy crap, had I been mugged?
But who would want to rob me? I looked at my bare feet. The alluring shade of "Aphrodite’s Pink Nightie" colored my toenails which peeked from beneath the cuff of my Hello Kitty pj bottoms. The bow-wearing feline stared up at me from its upside down position on my oversize T-shirt.
So I liked kiddie-themed jammies, sue me, don’t mug me.

Anonymous said...

TItle: Finding the Toromona

I closed the tent flap behind me and said a silent goodbye to the sleeping camp. God, I hated the jungle; the humidity, the insects, and honestly, it just scared the crap out of me.

But I loved my work. I loved searching for the lost Toromona tribe. I loved discovering their subterranean tunnels and learning about their warrior women. And I was in love with Eric, our team leader.

Eric’s ex-girlfriend, the brilliant Dr. Nichols, was on to me, and when she told me casually that the jungle could kill a person slowly and painfully, I believed her threat.

Kristi said...


Rebecca studied her bridegroom out of the corner of her eyes. He shifted his weight slightly, and she felt a wave of pity for this handsome stranger. She had dabbled at swordplay herself, and knew how even blunt wooden practice swords could leave a body aching and bruised for days. At least the kneeler was cushioned, and leafy trees shaded the makeshift chapel from the burning afternoon sun. Piety is all well and good, she mused, but there is no need to torture a man on his wedding day, no matter how large the audience is today.

Perlgurl said...


“Ms. Larkin? Excuse me, Ms. Larkin? Would you mind coming down for a few moments so we can discuss this rationally?” Cutter McKade squinted up into the 275-year-old Sitka Spruce, trying to get a good look at the woman who had, for the past six weeks, become the bane of PacNorthern Timber Harvestry’s lumber business in the Baranof Island region of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

“This is so not part of my job description,” he muttered. Through his binoculars, he caught sight of movement in the tree canopy above, a flash of blond hair, but then it disappeared.

Harris Channing said...

A Shot of Jack

Contemporary Romance

From the front seat of her Corolla, Whitney started at the house. Flood lights, porch lights and house lights signified the special occasion. The shadow of a person flitted past the drapery covered picture window and her stomach tightened.

How was she supposed to put on a happy face when she was still so tired? Yes, she had been given the green light to resume her life as normal. But she doubted she'd ever enjoy life after breast cancer as well as she had before. Mortality had hit her and left her reeling, reaching for something just beyond her grasp.

Harris Channing said...

Just Business
(Contemporary Romance)

"Miss Conover?"
Darlene looked up from her notes at the rotund, gray-haired secretary. "Yes?"
"Mr. Campbell is ready for you," she stated, the English language barely detectible through the thick, Scottish burr.
Yeah, but was she ready for him? She followed the woman to a set of heavy, oak doors.
“He only has a moment, and asks that you be brief."
Darlene nodded. A moment? It was absurd. She needed at least fifteen minutes to save her business, her family, and the livelihood of three thousand employees. Ugh. She wanted to laugh but was afraid of hysteria.

Anonymous said...

By Mora Hamm

She tangled on a private beach, her tanned limbs entwined with those of a gorgeous lifeguard. Her pulse pounded as they writhed, skin against sweaty skin, sand grinding beneath them as the torturous midday sun intensified their friction. He stroked her back, moaning, “Ah, Lace.”

“Miss Ledbetter, you up?” Grace sprang up in bed, alone, door-banging pounding in synch with her own pulse.
“I’m coming!” or at least I was, she thought, recalling the vivid dream she had just been yanked out of. Funny, the woman in the dream was clearly herself, but he called her Lace, not Grace.

vicki said...


“Hey, cowboy, you applyin’ for my job, or what?”

Sam Kincaid wheeled his head toward the shrill voice. He’d been standing at the bar’s only empty spot, the wait station. Too late, he read the hand-written placard not two feet from his nose, “Those caught standing here will be shot on sight! Those who live will be shot again!” Fair warning, he supposed.

He stepped away, nodding sheepish apologies at the barking waitress. “Oh, sorry,” he mumbled, dumbly.

Cocking her head at the sign, she retorted, “I’ll give you a head start, cowboy, seeing as how I prefer moving targets."

Serenissima said...


A lanky man waltzed into our PR firm. I tried to decide whether his suit was the appropriate shade of winter white or a sartorial faux pas. His jet black, surely dyed, hair, was spiked into a punk-rock, crown-of-thorns halo. He wasn’t my type but I forgot to deliver a practiced “May I help you?”

“I want to become famous,” he said in a European accent.

“Famous for what?”

“Do I need justification? Your magazines are full of people who are famous without reason. They are even famous back in my country where they have less reason.”

Anonymous said...

Sarah C.
Beauty and the Geek

"Be cheerful, be bubbly." Morgan gave herself a pep rally as she hurried across the lobby.

Ignoring the ten-story waterfall, she kept her quick steps measured and graceful. "Give him the smile that says 'you know you want me,' and the job is yours."

The CEO of CompuCorp needed a new personal assistant, and Morgan had progressed to the second round of exclusive applicants based solely on her personality. Today's one-on-one interview was crucial. She needed to be memorable and spark a connection, because she was after more than just a job.

She was after the richest bachelor in America.

HollyD said...

Title: Lily's Heart of Glass

The heat was intense. Sweet poured off of her body and onto the floor. Her arms and back ached from the exertion. Lily Carrington was in heaven. The blowpipe rolled back and forth forming the shape that she wanted. When she decided the piece was finished she transferred it to the puntil and placed it into the final furnace. The glass would cool over the next few hours.
Lily stood up, stretched, and wiped her arm across her face. A smile spread across her pale face and even managed to reach her hazel eyes.
“Damn it, Lily open this door!”

Anonymous said...

Title: The Baby Merger

Couldn’t the infernal dog stay still?
Kade glanced in the rear view mirror as excited canine breath misted up his pristine windows. His low moan did little to drown out the sound of claws skidding across the flawless leather of the back seat.
He’d been consummately played.
And to make matters worse, it’d been by a fragile female standing little higher than his shoulder.
Very clever, Lilla letting him think this hyperactive dog was her boyfriend. But to be fair, he hadn’t needed much nudging. The way she’d moaned Jake’s name while unconscious, had only one explanation…or so he’d thought.

Addy Paige

Anonymous said...

Sarah C.
Love Potion No. 9

There had to be more to life than washing sperm.

Tabitha came to that conclusion on Monday just before her lunch break. Standing in the fertility lab, drawing sterile solution into a pipette for the nth time.

Granted, it wasn’t a new conclusion. She’d imagined a creative scenario for quitting more than once, involving strategically deployed lab samples.

But this time she embraced the concept as her new mantra. Like the diet that never worked until “hippo” was your next dress size. You had to care enough about the mess you’d made to change it.

Tabitha’s mess? Her whole life.

Denise said...

Title:Beautiful Storm

She watched the storm clouds as they loomed on the edge of the horizon. Dark and ominous, they seem to forewarn of more than just change of weather.
Almost a month and a half since they had seen more than a few sprinkles, Rachel Martin welcomed the rain. The ground under her feet, dry and cracked, made it difficult to get the fence posts in. The thick air made her sense that more than a storm loomed even more pronounced.

DL said...

Title: Hot Bods

How was it possible for someone of such slight stature, only five foot three and one hundred and seven pounds, to wreak such havoc? The tire iron in Sass Hogan’s hands was fuelled by pure, red-hot fury, that’s how. And, with each swing of the iron, she cussed and muttered in a heated rage.

“Bastard!” The iron smashed the windshield.

“Lying-” The driver’s side window and door caved beneath the force of her blow.

“Cheating-” There was a popping sound as the headlights shattered.

“Scum of the earth!”

HK said...

Love On The Way Up

“Sir? Do you think you could get off me?” Angela Cooper blew out the last of her breath, rolling her eyes. Talking nonsense to an unconscious man, there’s a sign of a cool head under pressure. Could you get off me? As if he’d clumsily stepped on her shoes and needed a polite reminder to shove off.

What to do? She could barely move. Of course, in this suit she could barely move when seated at her desk, what chance did she have now? Like a butterfly with its wings pinned to cork, he’d plastered her against the elevator wall.

Denise said...

Title: Love Lessons

Lana lay back on the beach towel and watched the big fluffy white clouds roll by as the lake water gently lapped the shore. She loved it and felt comfortable laying there in what she considered a skimpy bikini. House in sight if she sat up just a little, she closed her eyes and listened to the nothing song of nature.
Wait. What in the world is that loud motor? She sat up to see a jet ski coming into the mouth of the cove. She noticed his hard body that seemed to stir something in her.

Anonymous said...

Title: Love Under Contract

Where did they find this one?
Tanner Duffy shaded her eyes as a tall suit-clad figure swung open the wrought iron gate. Broad shoulders filled her view. The carved line of an impressive jaw triggered mental warning bells. This was no stammering youth, no simpering lackey. This time they were bringing in the big guns.
The tread of what she assumed were handmade Italian shoes sounded unnaturally loud on the stone path.
The man stopped before her, blocking out the sun.
It didn’t matter if he was Superman himself, she wasn’t budging.
She met his piercing blue eyes unflinchingly.

Bree Smith

Anonymous said...

Carolina Dreaming
Contemporary Romance

Equipment whirred faintly. Tiny bleeps and buzzes reported failing bodily functions. Julie Loring’s world had contracted into the cold, gray sterility of the ICU. Her mother did not know she was at her bedside, did not know she’d traveled more than six hundred miles to hold her hand.

“I’m so sorry, Julie Beth.”

She startled at the sound of the voice she’d never expected to hear again.

“Dan,” she whispered, trying to act New York cool and failing. He drew her to him, and her eyes filled with the tears she’d managed to suppress.

Sindee Sexton said...

Destined Hearts
Contemporary Romance

“Ohmigod! You’re a bloody rich Brit!”

Amanda Weston snapped her head up to glance at her friend. “What the heck are you going on about?”

“You’re rich.” With a smile the size of Lake Michigan, Stephanie thrust the papers in Amanda’s face. “Look.”

“Did anyone ever tell you it’s rude, not to mention illegal, to go through someone else’s mail?” Amanda yanked the paper from her friend’s hand. Looking down at the letter, she rolled her eyes. “You actually believe this baloney?”

“It’s only illegal if you open it. And I hate to say it, but it looks legit.”

Denise said...

Title: Waiting For Love

Music blared from the speakers a little too loud. Teenagers scurried around the living room decorated in soft moss tones. Mel Tyler glanced around as people began to couple off. Not already, she sighed. She didn’t mind the quick little kiss good night, but she wasn’t sure about the rest.
There were many drawbacks of having five older brothers as a fifteen year old girl, especially when your nine years younger than the closest. Biggest of which for Mel seemed to be knowing a little too much about what boys wanted. Especially when the kissing started

Denise said...

Title: Slamming Doors

Dean pounded on the door. Maggie, answer already. I need to get home and finish my speech. He thought of the blank cards left on his desk and then pounded harder.
The door flew open and Maggie winked at him. That meant the guy hid in the shower of the hall bathroom.
“Where is he Maggie?” The anger in his voice real for a change, his unfinished speech waited why didn’t she tell him to leave. “I know you have a man in here.”
“Dean, honey, there is no one here. You know you are the only man for me.”

Alice Audrey said...


Mar Dunbaughro’s stomach did a neat little roller-coaster loop de loop, a bungee-cord zing, then a naked-in-school-dream clinch. What fun!

She stood like a mannequin in front of Zack Pennimon's door with her fist raised to knock.

“This is not a mistake," she muttered I know what I’m doing.”

The tapestry satchel containing her bottle of doctored wine, her CD, and her PI's license swung around to bang against her leg. She determinedly ignored it, and her jitters. One deep breath and she was fine. See? Easy as sky diving.

Moth said...

Sweet Christ on a bike but Nicola hated dollar beer night at the bar. The place was always packed from the seedy stage to the grimy bar, wall to wall with every drunken college frat boy within a hundred miles. Three hundred sweating, stinking, immature fuck-ups swilling down cheap beer and leaving crap tips as they groped her, all packed into one tiny bar. Oh joy. Oh rapture. It was nights like these that Nicola really missed her ex. Max had been a shit and a fuck-up, but, oddly, she had found infinite comfort in dating one of the bouncers. by: Moth

Jenny said...

Title: Benjamin R. Doogan Is Unlucky In Love

The wedding invitation might as well have been an obituary. As Ben looked at the perfectly penned calligraphy on the envelope, he felt his chest tighten as it did the day Ashley declared her eternal "friendship" to him. He didn’t even have to look at what was printed on the ivory-colored, embossed cardstock – Ben already knew:

“Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Halten request the honour of your presence at the nuptial mass uniting their daughter Ashley Marie to Michael Alan Scott – a girlfriend-stealing ass with three first names. Ashley leaves behind a dead relationship with perpetual ‘nice guy’ Benjamin Ryan Doogan.”

Alice Audrey said...

Suzie's House

Suzie stirred the stew, sending up inviting whafts of basil, thyme, and onion. Wisps of steam from the stock pot spread the scent throughout the kitchen. Suzie paused to take in the warmth and beauty of her kitchen, a long last look before she lost everything.

Light-yellow walls she had painted herself, oak cabinets she had refurbished, polished granite counters she had spent more than one paycheck on, everything looked homey and welcoming. She was going to miss this room even more than the rest of the five bedroom Victorian “painted lady” when the bank foreclosed.

Sue Garner said...

LOL - Liar On Line

I glanced down and giggled.
I know cracking up while eyeing a guy’s crotch is generally considered bad form, but my dear friend, Alex Bates, had stuffed an enormous banana down his eye-popping skintight ensemble.

“Seriously, this is your idea of stakeout wear, Master Bates?”

Before he could respond, the banana twitched. I gasped and forcibly dragged my eyes away from his banana, blushing hard enough for both of us.
Good thing I had it covered because he wasn’t the least bit embarrassed.

Alex smiled a smug little smile, clearly pleased I’d noticed, despite my being a mere female admirer.

SL said...

Check Your Mate

I was so anxious to find out what had upset the usually unflappable Jacqueline, I took the last corner a bit faster than I’d intended and startled a little old lady who was waiting for her dog to finish up on a lawn near the corner.
I rolled down my window and yelled, “I am so sorry Ma’m, I really love dogs! Oh,and seniors too!”
In response to my apology the woman clutched her geriatric poodle to her chest and flipped me the bird. Have you noticed how they just don’t make little old ladies the way they used to?

Sue said...

Old Eggs And Sam

I was pretty sure there was no way I could pull off peeing in my empty
coffee cup, even though it was misnamed Grande. (Gee I wonder what
delusional male came up with that marketing gimmick) That cup was about as Grande as I was flat chested. I already had two cups that runneth over, I wasn't about to compromise my dignity or upholstery with any tricky
maneuvers by the dashboard light.

Apparently I was experiencing severe penis envy and channeling Meat Loaf. How fair is that whole, - ‘I am man, the world is my
urinal’, anyways?

sl said...

If It's Not One Thing - It's Your Mother

“The Lodge called. Your Mom has taken all the “N” bingo balls hostage until her demands are met.” Daniel relayed the message almost gleefully I thought and instantly felt hurt. And pissed.

“I guess this seems funny to you now that it’s my Mom huh? Wanna bet your mother is sitting on the couch with a colander on her head as we speak? Why don’t you take her for lunch today, or are Wednesdays when she rendezvous’ with the mother ship?”

“Honey, are we really fighting about whose mother is craziest?” he asked gently.

“You started it.” I snapped.

Lara Lee said...

Too Long Until Dawn

Looking down at her with amusement, the smart aleck, but extremely fine looking lieutenant, extended a hand.

“Don’t get so worked up, Princess”.

Princess! Tara gave him a dazzling smile and took his hand. That smile should have been a warning, but Ben seemed momentarily dazed by the beauty of it to take heed. Gripping his hand, she pulled back with a sharp tug and a twist, and he somersaulted over her head and landed flat on his back in the sand. Satisfied, Tara stood, brushed the sand from her body, and took stock of their hopefully temporary situation.

Shirley Wine said...

Yesterday's Sins. Contemporary romance.

“There’s much grieving for the Lion of Korda.” The taxi driver’s words penetrated Catriona’s tortured thoughts.

“The Lion of Korda?”

“Alexandros Korda.”

Catriona met his dark eyes and, despite the heat of an Australian summer’s day, cold goose-stepped across her skin.

Was she crazy to come here?

She stared at the mansion, three stories of dazzling white stone with dark cypresses marching along the drive. Crimson bougainvillea swarmed over black wrought iron. She could discern nothing beyond the discreet ambience of extreme wealth.

Reporters sprawled across the pavement.

Nothing moved.

In Catriona’s fevered imagination everyone waited on her first move.

Anonymous said...

100 word con.romance contest.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggerdy Jig

Emma stared at the scenery which passed in a haze as she travelled back home courtesy of National Express. Oh, God. Is this what it’s all come down to? She thought miserably. Is this what my 30 years has amounted to, travelling on bloody public transport?
Emma recalled the past two day’s events for the umpteenth time in her head – if nothing else it stopped her looking over at the elderly woman in the opposite seat who was fast asleep, her mouth wide open; her false teeth on the verge of falling out of her mouth at any given moment.

Anonymous said...

Title: Fractured

The dead don’t always stay dead.

Claire stood on the street corner waiting for the lights to change, staring across the road into the eyes of her late husband. Perhaps her mind was playing tricks, or perhaps he was only a rare carbon copy, but she knew it was Steve the way she knew it was lunchtime.

She was certain of two other things -- no one would believe her, and if she took her eyes off him he would vanish into the crowd before she could glance back. It was always like this.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Title: Detecting Delia

Jake Giacomo rolled his head against the neck support of the nondescript Impala, attempting to stave the pain of too much Johnny Walker Red.

Not much luck.

His partner shook his head, unsympathetic. “Lay off the booze. Move on. Get a life.”

“I have a life.” Jake scowled at the traffic, the rhythmic flow pounding his veins like toll-stop speed bumps . Swoosh-thump! Swoosh-thump! “It just doesn’t include Little League and hot dog barbecues.”


“Right.” Jake cast a glance heavenward. “God save me from great sports bars and good-looking women who put out, no strings attached.”

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Title: Try, Try Again

Wells, Whickman and Bradstreet, LLP
One Financial Trade Center Plaza
New York, New York 10005
New York Los Angeles London Tokyo Beijing

From the desk of Conor Bradstreet

Note to self: Christmas list:


Godiva chocolates and gift certificate to Mom: X

Broadway tickets and checks to Addie and Kim: X

Flowers to female office staff: X

Saks gift card to Brennan and Sheldon: X

Call: Mom, wish her a Merry Christmas: X

Daughters, ditto: X (Addie didn’t pick up, left msg. w/Kim)

Deposit sufficient funds in Alicia’s account: X

Make stupid administrative assistant cry twice: X X

Kick someone’s dog: Unfortunately unavailable

Brighten everyone’s day, take the bridge: X

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Title: Changing Seasons

Mothballs and Cedar.

Cress hated both. Had hated them, in fact, for a long time. Maybe pre-childhood even, like some rare, inherited genetic trait. And it wasn’t because someone stuck her sorry behind in a cedar chest and turned the key playing hide and seek, or that she’d found herself trapped in a moth-ball filled closet for hours on end with nappy gray coats smacking her in the face every time she moved. Nothing that grand or awesomely traumatic.

They just smelled bad, old and aged. Like time wasted. Days gone by.

Allison said...

Title: How to Love a Cowboy

Crouching by the car, I flipped through the owner’s manual to find tire-changing instructions.
“Need some help, Ma’am?” a deep sexy voice drawled. My head jerked around to see an angel. I blinked and realized it was a man standing so the sun’s rays glowed around him. I caught a glimpse of his face as I lost my balance and fell on my behind with an unladylike “Unh”.
My fingers itched for a camera to capture the rugged planes of his face; my tongue itched to lick this cowboy all over.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Title: Seeking the Garden

He stood hard and unyielding, his extended arm blocking Kayla’s approach. Light spilled from the angled door, warming the old, mold-hashed porch with a splash of gold.

Disadvantaged, Kayla stopped, wind-driven snow chilling her legs despite her well-fitted designer pants. Note to self: If clients insist on leaving you in the cold, spend the bucks and buy some long underwear thingies. Soon.

The broad-shouldered man remained silhouetted, his face shadowed, while lamplight bathed her approach. Well. She’d seen this often enough. The word “hospice” scared people. Understandable. Chin tipped, she extended her hand. “Kayla Doherty, Visiting Nurse Service.”

Ruth Logan Herne said...

“So. She’s back, huh?”

Police Chief Cade Macklin refused to look up as the young female officer strode through the entry. Training his eyes on the report before him, he scripted the surface as if it were any old day.

Shifting, he reached for the electric sharpener. It chugged noisily as he applied a guaranteed-not-to-break, one-hundred percent cedar pencil with more pressure than needed. The audible snap! belied the manufacturer’s claim. Maybe he could sue the pencil company for pain and suffering on behalf of the cedar. Jaw clenched, he kept his gaze flat. “I heard.”

Kelley said...


For the life of her, Mia Taglietti couldn’t figure out why her ass wouldn’t fit into what was basically a pair of assless underwear. Technically, it shouldn’t even be possible. The thong underwear she’d pulled out of the smut shop’s bag was basically three strips of red elastic and a triangular patch of scarlet lace. The tag had even said “One Size Fits All” in the store. (Mia was sure of this. She’d discreetly checked.) But as she peered into the mirror to get a better look, she realized that possible or not, the panties didn’t fit.

Chicki said...


I can’t leave here without a job
Dani Reynolds sat perched on a barstool with her legs crossed patting her foot to the reverberating bass waiting for the owner of the club to come back. He’d told her to stay there in his office while he took care of an issue at the bar. She nervously twisted one of the two costume jewelry rings she wore on each hand and looked around the impressive office, swallowing the lump of apprehension in her throat. She had to make him understand how much she needed the job yet appear confident at the same time. Granted, she didn’t have any experience as a cocktail waitress, but she was willing to work like a slave.

Kelley said...


The only thing worse than being trapped in an overheated mall filled with rude shoppers was dealing with an ill-tempered elf. Typical of Camille’s luck, however, she was stuck battling a mall elf who was not only ill-tempered, but suspicious and thick-headed to boot. It wasn’t like she had a choice, though. She had to try, even if the elf was convinced Camille was crazy.

“What are you, nuts or something?” The elf gaped at her. “You’re a grown woman. Why the hell do you want to see Santa?”

Camille flipped her the bird. “Go choke on a candy cane.”

Marcia James said...


Zack’s pulse stuttered, then raced as Ally slipped out of her clothes. Beneath her navy suit, she wore delicate scraps of scarlet silk. The low-cut bra cupped her mouth-watering breasts, while a matching thong slipped between her thighs like a red carpet to heaven. He brushed--

The intercom’s buzz derailed Mary Cynthia Murphy’s sensual train of thought. Fictional coitis interruptus was an occupational hazard at Sex Scribe, Inc., but she’d been on a roll. Sighing, she jabbed the intercom button. “Yes, Kevin?”

“Cyn, Mr. Beast is here.”

“Thanks.” She asked him to escort The Male Animal journalist to her office.

Doreen said...

One look at the Adonis standing in the doorway of Katiana's Spa left Penny speechless. If not for a Botox treatment gone wrong, she would smile or wink. Trying to act as casual as a woman with a major hot flash could, she fanned the air in front of her face. "Is he real?"

"Of course, he's real." Maryann grabbed Penny's arm. "Let's go touch him."

"I'll have my first orgasm this year if I blink, and you want me to touch him? Oh, that's right, I can't blink. Your last great 'get young quick' idea left me paralyzed."

Caren Crane said...

Flowers, Veils and Shotgun Shells - Caren Crane

No matter how I wrote it, I couldn't make my friend Michael-Beth's wedding sound like anything other than a backwater fantasia. I surveyed the white tents, linen-covered tables, glittering crystal--and cringed. This wedding on the marshy coast of Brunswick County, North Carolina, might be the last one of my society-wedding career.

"Really," I said in frustration to my friend and fellow bridesmaid, Princess Calhoun, "is there a way to make a camouflage wedding sound sophisticated? I simply cannot understand why Michael-Beth couldn't marry a district attorney or thoracic surgeon the way she should and have a nice, normal wedding."

Anonymous said...

Title: California Girl

The chatter of raindrops coaxed Veronica Stanford awake, while indulgent bedding appealed to her naked body and compelled her to keep sleeping.

Naked! What the--?

Veronica bolted upright in the bed. A French linen sheet settled around her waist, exposing her voluptuous breasts.

Languor fading, her consciousness unfolded into a luxury hotel suite, at least she thought it was a hotel. She marveled at the upscale furnishings. They were spiffier than anything she’d ever seen, and Veronica had seen a lot.

Her attention settled on a wall of windows covered by panels of sheer, pale yellow curtains.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Title: Extraordinary Man

What started out to be a great day had turned sour the minute Katelyn Palmer walked into Grandma’s Pancake House and spied the familiar man sitting in the first booth.

She gawked at the hunk, knowing a dog on a hot day would probably drool less than she was, but she kept staring. Shane Hunter, in the flesh, sat in the booth ahead, his gaze directly on her.

Just her luck.

What had she done in her life to deserve this? Did he know she’d used his name and description in her New York best selling romance novels?