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The Holidays with Hearts and Diamonds from Nichelle Gregory

As the holiday season approaches, I’d like to welcome Nichelle Gregory to Hopeful Romantic with a teaser from her latest, Hearts and Diamonds, guaranteed to keep the season extra warm.

Ahhh! The holidays are right around the corner! It’s that time of year when diets go to hell and the drinks and desserts warm you from the inside out! If you can’t tell, I love this season! The decorations, the lights, the music…I adore it all. For me, the holidays are chance to really cherish and enjoy the people in your life that make your world brighter. Yes, we should do this every single day, but it’s easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

I love spending time decorating my home with my kids, baking sweet treats and sipping pumpkin martinis with my husband when we’re finally alone for the night! These moments are pure magic and I look forward to each one every year.

Hearts & Diamonds, my latest contemporary erotic romance, takes place around the holidays and has plenty of magical moments and sizzling heat to spice up your holiday reading fare! I had a blast interweaving the festive, suspenseful and sexy elements in this tale!Here’s a sneak peek inside Hearts & Diamonds:

Blurb:

Passion sparks the moment Nia Sanders unknowingly meets federal agent Quin Rios.

Nia Sanders knows diamonds. She appreciates and envies the heart-felt emotions of her customers buying them. When federal agent, Quin Rios saves her life in the middle of a violent jewel heist, she finds herself attracted to the sensual possibilities beneath his uber professional, self-contained persona.

Determined to keep her safe as he solves the case, Quin can’t let his attraction to Nia distract him. The heat of their fiery passion consumes them as they both struggle to control their emotions…neither are prepared to lose their heart.

Excerpt:

“I knew you weren’t involved with this mess, the moment I looked into your eyes.”

He hadn’t moved any closer, but Nia felt as if he had touched her.

“Your eyes tell me everything I need to know.” This time he did step closer to her, his gaze riveted on hers. He touched the side of her face with the back of his hand and she closed her eyes.

Her body still thrummed with desire despite the shocking phone call from Tess. She wanted him to wrap his arms back around her and make her stop thinking about the diamonds and mounting fear.

“I should go.”

“No.” Her eyes snapped open and she grabbed his hand. “I don’t want to be here alone.” Wow, she really was going to play the damsel in distress card.

“You won’t be alone. There’s a squad car keeping tabs on your house.”

Nia lifted her chin and looked at him. “I want you to stay with me.” If he could read her eyes as well as he said, then her meaning was clear as crystal. She felt his hand tighten around hers and waited for him to refuse her request.

“Well, we haven’t finished dinner yet.” His lips curved in a teasing, slow smile Nia would’ve gladly given up all the diamonds in the world to see again.

“I’ll warm it up.”

“No need,” Quin said, settling back at the table.

No need, indeed. Her body was heating up on the inside as he dug into her food. She admired the slant of his nose as he talked and the motion of his strong jaw as he chewed. The cadence of his sexy voice, deepening with his subtle accent heightened her arousal like a fine wine. She could simply listen to him talk all day long. Didn’t matter what he talked ab—

“Nia?”

She blinked, heat flooding her cheeks. “What were you saying?”

He gave her the briefest of smiles. Like he knew exactly what she was thinking about.

“I asked you what you wanted Santa to bring you this Christmas.”

A tall, gorgeously bronzed, muscles-for-days, federal agent.
* * * *
Hearts & Diamonds is available now with Total E-Bound!

Buy Link:  http://www.total-e-bound.com/authordetail.asp?A_ID=147

Bio:

Nichelle Gregory has been in love with books and writing since middle school. A lover of the arts, she enjoys anything that embraces the creative nature within us all. Bringing believable characters to life that thrill and excite her readers is a challenge that continues to push Nichelle. She loves creating stories involving super sexy alpha heroes with divine heroines in magical, exotic, and fantastic scenarios. So, gone on . . . Indulge your senses with one of her simply sexy stories!

Visit her website www.simplysexystories.com and blog http://www.simplysexystories.blogspot.com

 

 

The Story Behind The Story: Taken By Surprise by Nichelle Gregory

The lovely Nichelle Gregory is my guest today on A Hopeful Romantic, and she’s sharing the story behind her sizzling paranormal romance, Taken by Surprise. Welcome, Nichelle!

 

Every story I’ve ever written has a backstory and Taken By Surprise is no different. This steamy erotic paranormal romance was originally penned for a submission call. I knew my heroine’s name would be Zori from the start. I’d had this name rattling around in my head for awhile to use. The name Zori has always evoked an image of a gorgeous, exotic female in my mind.

When I started working on Taken By Surprise, I knew I needed a unique heroine name that was memorable with a totally feminine feel. Finally, I was working on the right story and the right character for the name!

The Greek translation for Zori is: “Golden Dawn.” Beautiful, no? And so fitting for my wickedly beautiful heroine!

So, I had a name, but what exactly was Zori? I knew my hero would be a werewolf and I needed Zori to be just as fearsome. She had to be a supernatural being, but which one? I wanted to pick a female creature to write about that hadn’t been overly done. I wracked my brain for the perfectly fierce heroine. She had to be tough, yet sexy, scary, yet completely relatable to female readers.

And then it hit me! I would incorporate my love for Greek mythology and select one of my fave mythological creatures to base Zori after! Once I knew what Zori was, the rest of the story flowed. Taken By Surprise was one of those tales that literally wrote itself! The submission call I was crafting this tale for only wanted short stories of 5,000 words or less. Taken By Surprise ended up being just short of 4,000 words.

I was very pleased with how my edgy erotic tale came together. It was the first story in which my heroine actually died in the end! I submitted it and waited to hear if it would be selected for inclusion in the anthology.

Insert a *sigh* here.

My story wasn’t selected. I was a little bummed, okay, a lot bummed, but I’d told myself if my story wasn’t selected, I’d flesh out the rest it. I gave myself a new deadline and challenged myself in expanding the original work.

No longer needing it to be a dark erotic tale, I had to reshape the ending. We can’t have the heroine dying in an erotic romance! I took my time adding in parts, filling in scenes and making the story and characters pop with energy. The finished story ended up being almost 17,000 words and was even better than the original!

Taken By Surprise surprised me! I wasn’t certain I could truly broaden the story without disturbing the feel of it and I definitely didn’t expect it to be as long as it ended up being.

Lesson learned? Don’t let a rejection make you stop believing in your story. Do take another look at it, rework it if necessary, but pass it on to someone else who might just treasure your tale as much as you do!

Blurb:

Zori revels in the control she exerts over the opposite sex; no man has ever challenged her in the bedroom or out…until she meets Greyson. 

She’s beautiful, intelligent and sometimes deadly to the men who enter her bedroom. For Zori, voracious appetites for sex and food reign supreme. She’s never known rejection, romance or love…her life and heart has always been her own. The moment she sets eyes on Greyson, Zori makes it her quest to have him in her bed, but she’s finally met her match. Can two lovers with secrets face the truth and trust their hearts?

Excerpt:

“Can I buy you a drink?”

“No, thanks.” Zori barely flicked a glance towards the handsome blond ogling her body as she walked by. Men could be so pathetic. She looked across the sunken dance floor to the bar against the back wall to see her target tilt back a bottle of beer. Her talons scrapped against the smooth floor as she waded through sweaty dancers along the wall to reach the other side of the club. As she approached, he turned around and their eyes met. A zing of anticipation raced through her blood as she moved next to him at the bar.

The thrill of the hunt always excited her.

She leaned against the counter, fully aware of his dark gaze running over her body as she pretended to inspect the bottles of alcohol on display in front of her. With a casual toss of her ebony tresses, she turned her face to see arresting brown eyes staring at her with interest. She moved a little closer to him with a practiced shy smile. “I’m Zori.”

“Greyson.” He offered a slight grin before taking another sip of his drink.
Up close, her guy was taller and bigger than she first estimated which pleased her. She felt sorry for the expensive suit straining to give way to the hard muscles concealed underneath. “Happy Halloween.”

Greyson lifted an eyebrow. “Back at you.”

The sexy smile curving his full lips tempted her to pounce on him right then and there, witnesses be damned.

“Are you here alone?”

He turned his body towards her, his deep voice carrying easily over the loud music.

“Yes.”

“Really…wow.”

His eyes moved from her folded wings down over the rest of her body.

Zori smiled, pleased, even though she’d heard enough compliments to last a lifetime. “Dance with me?” She began to move her hips to the seductive rhythmic pull of the DJ’s house mix which was tripling her desire to get him alone.

Greyson looked down at her feathered feet. “Can you dance in those?” His gaze lingered on her sharp claws.

Zori laughed. “C’mon.” She led him to the dance area and was even more impressed to discover he was a great dancer.

He pulled her in tight as she closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his strong body moving against her own. She wrapped her arms around the thick column of his neck and drew in a tempting whiff of his sexy cologne. Dancing was nirvana. This was the one time she allowed her male partners to take the lead which Greyson did so masterfully. Their bodies swayed and dipped to the music as one and Zori enjoyed every minute of it.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Greyson asked several songs later when both of them were breathless and laughing.

“Absolutely.”

She took his hand as he manoeuvred them back to the bar. He stood out with his good looks and in his fine suit and females noticed him, eyeballed him, to Zori’s annoyance. She flashed one chick who had the audacity to step in the way of his path a venomous look that clearly said: He’s all mine, lady.

And she could hardly wait.

 

Taken By Surprise is available now with Total E-Bound Publishing!

 

Buy Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1281

Author Bio:

Nichelle Gregory has been in love with books and writing since middle school. A lover of the arts, she enjoys anything that embraces the creative nature within us all. Bringing believable characters to life that thrill and excite her readers is a challenge that continues to push Nichelle. She loves creating stories involving super sexy alpha heroes with divine heroines in magical, exotic, and fantastic scenarios. So, gone on . . . Indulge your secret fetishes and desires in one of my simply sexy stories!   Visit her website http://www.simplysexystories.com and blog http://www.simplysexystories.blogspot.com

 

Thanks, Nichelle! As a lover of Greek mythology, and a lover of hot romance, I’d say you have a scorcher on your hands!

 

Fun and Frolic Through the Week

It’s been another exciting week of making friends and visiting fabulous websites and blogs, of spending time with the Pets and walking the story.

 On the 15th, I had the pleasure of raising a ruckus on Rachel Leigh’s juicy blog, and she didn’t mind in the least. I think it says a lot about a person’s character when they don’t mind a little ruckus raising on their site. A lovely lady, and a lovely place to hang out and talk smut.

 On the 16th  the delicious Nichelle Gregory interviewed me on her terrific site, Simply Sexy Stories. We talked about the unusual challenges writing The Initiation of Ms Holly presented for me, with its roots in Greek mythology and more than a few of its pages flavoured with BDSM.

 At the same time, The Initiation of Ms Holly was being featured on The Romance Reviews site for a give-away. A busy day for me and for Holly

On the 17th, I got to talk about inspiration on the lovely Tina Donahue’s site, and the discussion of continued with some terrific people dropping in to talk about mythology and inspiration. Tina and her friends made me feel right at home, and it was great to talk about one of my favourite topics. 

I capped off the week by going to visit Lasabet Sarai on her fabulous Beyond Romance site. I told her all about why I write sex, and when some of her friends stopped by, the conversation heated up. Isn’t it wonderful to have such fun sites where sex is not only a welcome topic, but it’s the standard feast.

More good news in the short story department, as The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance had its first sneak preview on Scribd. I’m very excited about this fabulous anthology, edited by the mysterious and delightful Sonia Florens. Not only is my steamy, arty, myth-tinged story ‘Inspiration’ included, but the table of contents reads like a who’s who of great erotic authors. I feel honoured to be in the presence of so many of my writing idols.

 On the home front, I am doing the last little bits of grooming and preparing my Pets for their big send-off. If all goes well, I hope to be able to wave them on their way to Hazel at Xcite mid-week. Then she’ll put them through their paces and turn them loose on the public when The Pet Shop debuts in October. I’ve had so much fun with the misbehaving Tino and his cohorts. I’ll miss them. In the meantime, while I’m waiting for them to go public, I’ll be ghost hunting in Keswick and twisting and reshaping more mythology. All in all, it promises to be a terrific spring.

 I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from The Pet Keeper’s Manual to better prepare you for the arrival of those mischievous Pets. 

Pets don’t like to eat alone. They prefer to sit on the floor by the table next to their keeper’s chair, where they enjoy being hand-fed. If this is not possible, place food in a bowl next to the water dish. Make sure meat is always cut into bite-sized chunks.

Note: The former is preferable, as most Pets and Pet keepers find sharing a meal in this fashion very enjoyable and a part of their bonding experience.

 
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