Monday, April 25, 2011

Enjoy a slice of German Choc. Cake & a tasty excerpt...

Welcome to the Desert Breeze Birthday Blog Tour. Enjoy a slice of rich German chocolate cake and a tasty excerpt with my post.

First, I just want to say "Happy 2 year Anniversary!!" to Desert Breeze.

It's been a heck of a ride for me with some amazing coincidences. In August 2009, I started shopping around for publishers for my paranormal romance. The one I wanted to go with never got back to me. I waited about three weeks and then queried Desert Breeze. Gail said she liked the premise, but she wanted it in the 3rd person. I agreed and a contract was born. Then, about a week after I signed the contract, the other publisher I queried replied to me. They apologized profusely saying there was a glitch with Yahoo and they didn't get their emails over a two-week period. They were interested and said send the manuscript. Too late, I'd signed with Desert Breeze. (This other company has a great reputation and we all know Yahoo can be YaHell at times so I totally believed them when they said there was a glitch with the email.) Coincidence #1.

Coincidence #2 – Gail lived in the same town I did – Castaic, CA!

Castaic is a small little town just north of LA and Santa Clarita. The population is small. How uncanny was that?

Once I got to talking with Gail coincidence #3 popped up: She had lived most of her life in New Hampshire! I grew up in NH! Meeting Gail was like meeting a kindred spirit. She understands my New England sensibilities, my work ethic, and "New England heartiness." She understands my sarcasm and sense of humor. It was then and there I felt as if God wanted us to meet and wanted me at Desert Breeze.

And yes, while Desert Breeze embraces "sweet" romance, I'm a sucker for a good old-fashioned romantic love scene which most of my stories includes. And I don't apologize for that. –wink--

Meeting Jenifer Ranieri was like finding the cherry on top. I absolutely love Jen's laughter and her sense of humor warms my heart. Her intuition is amazing and her graphic eye is "spot on." I've worked with her in November 2009 & 2010 during National Novel Writing Month and she made the challenge worth the effort.

I love Jen's covers. She's brought my paranormal vision alive in ways I couldn't imagine. Every cover is art, including my latest release which I'm excited about: The Count's Lair.

The Count's Lair is the story of Count Anton Varga and Lady Amelia Andrássy. It's set in Hungary in 1901. Anton has a secret. Can Amelia accept him for the man he is?

5 Stars, Long & Short Reviews
5 Stars, Author Tami Dee, author of the Mists of Time series
5 Stars. Sherry Fowler

Leave a comment on my blog today and I'll pick a winner to receive a PDF of Moonlight Sonata, the prequel to the Count's Lair along with the ARC of The Count's Lair.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Amelia surveyed the compact room. A double bed rested against the side wall, next to a small door. On the opposite side of the bed was a nightstand. Across from it, next to the fireplace, was a dresser, along with a mirror and another small door.

Anton walked toward the door on the other side of the bed. "This is the washroom, and a small closet is over there."

Amelia nodded. Anton placed her vase of flowers on the dresser. She went to the window and looked out. It faced the Danube and the parliament building.

"What a nice view," she whispered.

He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, pressing his chest against her back. "That's why I chose it for you. The view is magnificent."

His seductive voice and intimate touch made her insides grow warm. She loved to feel the full length of his hard body against hers. They didn't say anything for several minutes. Then he slowly turned her in his arms and kissed her.

She molded her body to his, threading her fingers through his hair, pulling him toward her. She needed to feel him. His sweet tongue pierced the warm barrier of her mouth, and she gladly allowed him to explore. Uncomfortable warmth pooled inside her and slowly radiated out to her arms and legs.

"I've missed this," he whispered between deep kisses.

"So have I."

He trailed his honey wet lips down her neck. "I've dreamed of you, Amelia. I've dreamed of you running your hands over my body--"

She placed her hands against his cheeks and broke contact with his mouth to look into his eyes, recalling her earlier thoughts about turning him into a mess. "You want me to touch you? More intimately?"

He said nothing, only his eyes, now a deep sapphire blue, expressed his desire. She placed her hands on his white shirt and slid them under his dinner jacket. He wiggled his shoulders, and the garment dropped to the floor. Then she wrapped her hands around his neck, undid his tie, and placed it on the dresser.

He put his hands on her waist, drawing her closer. She started at the top button on his shirt and unfastened them. Her fingers fumbled on the third or fourth one, and he placed his hands over hers, helping to guide her. When she finished, his white shirt hung loosely over his shoulders.

Don't forget to visit my Book Trailer:


Don't forget to visit Regina Andrew's blog tomorrow on the Desert Breeze Birthday Blog Tour and on 30 APRIL, share your birthday wishes with Desert Breeze on their blog at: Http://

Leave a comment on any of the birthday blog tour stops including today and on the DB Blog 30 April. A grand prize winner will be chosen on 1 MAY to receive a GC to Amazon.

Regina's blog can be found at:


  1. Steph, I just love reading your blogs...And it has been a pleasure meeting you ( even if it is via email/facebbook) Thank you

  2. Sharon,
    Same here. It's been a pleasure meeting you here on the Internet.

  3. Hi Steph, what a great story! I agree with Sharon, I love reading your posts, too. Always engaging, thank you :-)

    And Happy Birthday, Desert Breeze!


  4. Well, Steph, if you lived in Oklahoma rather way out there, you could be closer to your other publisher. *grin*


  5. Wonderful excerpt, Steph. I think you hit the jackpot with this novel.
    I loved your coincidences about finding DB. Very entertaining and enlightening. How lucky for you Yahell decided to act up at that particular time!
    Many best wishes to your and your career...I love your work ethci--me? A little on the lazy side, even though the word "deadline" fires me up to work my head off.

  6. Vivian, I'm going to get out to Oklahoma one day, I promise! hehe *wink*

    Celia, Thanks for popping in. I love Anton & Amelia's story. It's heartwarming to know you enjoy my stories, but I enjoy yours very much.


  7. I don't think it was concidence :) but that's me. Enjoyed reading how you came to be a DB author. Blessings, Barb

  8. I'm very glad you signed a contract with Desert Breeze before hearing from the other publisher. I can't imagine you being anywhere else - you're such an important part of DBP! God definitely wanted you to sign with Gail and Jenifer. That's something how much you and Gail have in common.

    I loved reading THE HUNGARIAN and I also enjoyed your short stories - you are a talented writer!

  9. I'm so jealous you live in the same hometown as Desert Breeze! You're a talented author and one of the hardest working writers I know. One of these days, I'm going to drop by for one of your tasty sounding European recipes! Good luck with your new books!

  10. Thank you so much for the kind words, Steph! Like some of your other commentators I don't believe it was coincidence either. I'm pretty sure Gail would agree when I say that you have been a blessing to us both. ;-)

    A huge Desert Breeze Anniversary HUG to you. ;-)


  11. My mom always said "Things work out for the better" whenever we experienced a disappointment. It looks like this is very true in your "finding" Desert Breeze.

  12. Thanks for telling us about your home with DB, Steph - very interesting (and I believe coincidences are things that are meant to happen!).

    Love the period and setting of your books.

  13. BJ - ditto - I don't think it was a coincidence either. *wink*

    Diane, you were one of my very first friends on DB and I've enjoyed that frienship very much. I love your stories, too, and I'm glad you enjoyed The Hungarian.

    Dani, I wish you were here with me. We could gab cub/boy scouts stuff. And your recipes are just as tasty, too!

    Barbara, I agree wholeheartidly with that, too. Thanks for popping in!

    Rosemary, thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoy the period and setting of the books. I do, too. I think that's the Victoria Holt working in me. *grin*

    Jen, thanks for popping in. It's great to be here. You guys recharge the batteries when we hang out.

    And now CONGRATS to Diane Craver! I pulled her name out of the hat to receive a copy of THE COUNT'S LAIR. It's been a pleasure reading everyone's posts here on the Birthday Bash blog Tour!

  14. Thank you so much, Steph, for my copy of THE COUNT'S LAIR! I'm thrilled I won. I'll be sure to write a review after I read it!

  15. Unique post, Steph, just like you.

    Happy Birthday, Desert Breeze.

    Toni Noel

  16. Happy Birthday Desert Breeze, and Stephanie, I love visiting your blog! Have a lovely next few days.
    Hope a billion people come by.