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March 4th, 2014
Is there anything sexier than a bad boy?

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It’s launch day! Have a drink to celebrate!

I’m so excited the Lucky 7 Bad Boys boxed set is now available for sale and immediate download! Yay! The 7 sizzling full-length novels by 7 amazing authors included in this set is sure to give you hours of reading pleasure, and all for 99 cents!

Time to celebrate! Belly up to the bar and grab a drink. Today, each of the Lucky 7 authors is blogging about a favorite adult beverage recipe—one designed to get you in the mood for a night of passion with your very own bad boy! You’ll find links to the other participating authors’ blogs below the excerpt at the end of this post.

As a special thank you for dropping by today, just leave a comment on this blog post and you’ll be entered to win one of my ebooks. Hop on over to the other participating authors’ blogs and comment on each blog for additional prizes. Finally, fill out the Rafflecopter form below the excerpt to enter for the grand prizes of an ebook bundle from all the Lucky 7 authors or a $10 eRetailer Gift Card——just scroll down to the end of this page for the form.

And don’t forget to attend the all-day Lucky 7 Bad Boys Facebook launch party tomorrow, Wednesday March 5th, for your chance to win a new iPad mini! Wow! Follow the link to the events page for more info and to sign up now! Lots of fun and prizes to be had, and tons of guest authors will be holding special giveaways.

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Okay, now for that drink! Nutty Irishman, anyone?

My featured adult beverage is one of my favorites…with a twist. Here’s the super-simple recipe for a Nutty Irishman—be careful, these go down real smooth! They’re easily mistaken for a yummy milkshake…but with a kick! Here’s the twist—instead of the usual hazelnut liqueur, in honor of my Warrior’s Bride hero Cole’s family orchard, we’ll be using macadamia nut liqueur instead. Delish!

1 oz Bailey’s® Irish cream
1 oz Trader Vic’s® macadamia nut liqueur
1 oz cream
Pour ingredients into a blender (or a Magic Bullet), add ice, and blend until smooth and icy. Pour into a chilled, stemmed glass and enjoy!

And now that you’re relaxing in your favorite chair, power up the Kindle or Nook and lose yourself in a terrific bad boy story! To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from my contribution to the boxed set, Warrior’s Bride, a sexy marriage of convenience story. In this scene, Cole and Rini’s strict no-sex arrangement is in real jeopardy. He is such a bad boy!

Warrior's Bride by Nina Bruhns

An excerpt from Warrior’s Bride by Nina Bruhns

It dawned on Rini what Cole had in mind, and her lips parted. She shook her head.

He shrugged, grinning, then sat on the edge of the bed. “Lie down.”

She ignored the flock of butterflies flying stunt tricks in her stomach, and turned back to position the pillows. She changed her mind several times about their arrangement, until his deep, rich chuckle sounded in her ear.

“I swear, Rini, if you’d been this nervous back in May, we’d never be having this baby. Relax.” He grasped her shoulders gently. “It’s just a back rub.”

Just a back rub.

Just a back rub.

Who was he kidding?

She felt as nervous as a sixteen-year-old awaiting her first kiss.

The wood of the old bed creaked comfortingly as she eased herself down at an angle onto the mound of pillows. She felt a tickle of warm breath on her neck.

“Ready?”

She assumed it was a rhetorical question since his hands alighted softly on her back and ran all the way down her spine and then up again. She shivered in delight.

Lost.

She was lost in a world of velvet caresses and soft moans. He worked her aching muscles until they were as supple as warm taffy. Until she glowed with the heat of his hands and tingled with anticipation of more intimate touches. When he slipped his hands under her sweater, her body shuddered from head to toe.

“You like that?” he murmured from behind her, caressing her back.

She was beyond speech, so she hummed her answer. “Mmm-hmm.”

“How do you want me to touch you, sweetheart?” He pulled her sweater up to her waist, and then a little further.

“Take it off, Cole,” she whispered. Shocked at her own scandalous suggestion, she nevertheless lifted up a bit to help him.

A low sound came from his chest when he swept the sweater up her midriff, grazing the sides of her bare breasts, and pulled it over her head. The sweater hit the floor with a poof. A strand of hair fell across her upturned cheek, and he lifted it behind her ear with his finger.

“So beautiful,” he whispered, and her heart swelled with joy. The sound of his hands rubbing together was followed by a waft of gardenia in the air around them. Tentatively at first, then more boldly, he massaged the light oil into the skin of her back, stroking it on with slow, sensual movements.

Her body was liquid fire. A steady throb of desire between her legs pulsed deeper with every heartbeat. Even the slight contractions she felt around the baby pulled the coil of tension in her woman’s center that much tighter.

“Turn over, baby, so I can do the other side.”

His words hit her like an erotic wave. Without letting herself think, she obeyed. He sat on his knees, watching her turn, his eyes hooded, his face taut. His gaze brushed over her bare breasts. “Oh, God, Rini.”

He tossed a few of the pillows aside, then poured more oil into an unsteady palm, and smoothed his hands together. Starting with her fingers and hands, he worked up her arms, placing them above her head when he was done.

Her heartbeat sped as he spilled a few more drops of oil onto his hands. Her already hard nipples tightened eagerly, craving his touch. Her eyelids fluttered shut.

He drew his fingers along her jaw, then gently stroked down her throat and applied the oil to her upper chest. Her tortured breasts ached for his caress, but his hands skimmed by them, smoothing down her sides and ribs until they hit the top of her leggings. He hooked his fingers under the elastic, and her body arched.

“Shall I do your legs?” His voice sounded raw, almost hoarse.

She opened her eyes and looked into his. Reckless hunger, want, and steely determination were what she saw. Blood surged rhythmically through a vein in his temple.

If Cole could take it, so could she.

“I’d like that,” she whispered, mewling softly when he quickly drew her leggings and panties off in a single motion. She turned her head shyly, not daring to watch his reaction to her swollen body.

“Woman, you are so incredibly beautiful.”

Slowly, she turned back. She lay before him, naked beneath his ravenous gaze. Over eight months pregnant, forty pounds heavier than usual, and she’d never in her life felt as sexy or alluring as he made her feel at that very moment.

A muscle jumped in his clamped jaw. A light sheen of perspiration coated his forehead. He reached for the bottle of oil and drizzled a thin line from her foot to her trembling thigh. With strong, clever fingers he massaged her ankle and calf, moving slowly up past her knee to her thigh. She could feel the back of his hand brush the curls between her legs, but maddeningly, frustratingly, he came no closer to the place where she most wanted him.

He started on the other leg. By the time he reached her upper thigh, she was a witless mass of molten desire. Wantonly, she parted her legs slightly, inviting his intimate caress. She nearly groaned in frustration when he took a deep breath and started on her baby belly. Lord above, he had to run out of safe territory soon.

Suddenly it hit her. He was waiting for her to tell him what she wanted. He’d promised a massage and nothing more, unless she said so. The man must be a saint.

“Cole?”

“Yeah, babe?” A rivulet of sweat trickled from his cheek down his neck and disappeared into a stain spreading on the front of his white T-shirt.

“You missed a few spots.”

~~~

The other participating author blogs. Be sure to visit them all!

Tawny Weber | Virna DePaul | Susan Hatler | Charity Piñeiro | Kristin Miller

Enter the Ebook Bundle Rafflecopter here!

February 7th, 2014
THE PARIS CAPER for Kindle free today only!

Download THE PARIS CAPER, a sizzling, mainstream romantic thriller for one day, Friday only! http://amzn.com/B007BKAGVU

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February 16th, 2011
Buying books for your Kindle overseas

I’ve received a lot of emails from frustrated readers overseas, especially in Australia, wanting to purchase my books for their Kindle. But without a US credit card, it seemed impossible.

I have recently learned of a solution to this problem!

Here’s what you do:
1) Log onto Amazon.com and set up an account using your Australian (or wherever you are) credit card and an email address from somewhere like gmail (or use an account and email you might already have set up). This will be Account A and Email Address A.
2) Purchase an Amazon.com gift card, but send it to yourself at a second email. This is Email Address B. Be sure this email does not already have an Amazon account attached to it. You must not have a credit card of any kind attached to this email at Amazon.
3) Log off Amazon Account A.
4) Set up a second Amazon.com account, Account B, using Email Address B. This is the email where you have already sent your gift card.
5) Use the gift card to purchase your Kindle ebooks.
6) You’ll need to download your ebooks to your computer, and use your USB connection to load them onto your Kindle, since the autodownload feature does not work in most overseas countries. This is because the kind of wireless connection the Kindle uses to talk to the mothership is not available most countries.

I understand the same process works for Apple itunes.

Please let me know how it goes!!!

January 26th, 2011
Of Egypt, Vampires, and Twilight of the Gods

My love of Egypt started long ago, while poring through the beautiful books my librarian mother had collected through her interest in ancient art. That love has continued for most of my life, resulting in three degrees in archaeology and Egyptology. After giving up the life of Indiana Jones to be a mom, I became a writer . . . the next best thing. Okay, in some ways it’s even better. No endless trips in planes and bumpy Land Rovers, no sand and flies getting into everything, no terrorists threatening to blow up your hotel, and, hey, you get to work in your jammies.

The pyramids of Egypt

This week is the release of VAMPIRE SHEIKH (Feb 2011) , the last of my Egyptian trilogy from Harlequin Nocturne, called IMMORTAL SHEIKHS.

I have to admit, this book is my favorite. I’ve loved writing this trilogy in a way that went far deeper than just adoring the characters and losing myself in the fantasy—-though that was certainly true. Writing these books, LORD OF THE DESERT (Aug ’10), SHADOW OF THE SHEIKH (Nov ’10), and now VAMPIRE SHEIKH, has been like coming home to old (very old!) friends. Especially this last one.

The hero, Seth, is an immortal demigod, servant of the ancient god Set-Sutekh, keeping the house of his god thriving even in today’s modern world when most of the ancients have long since vanished. This is a strangely interesting parallel to what happened in Pharaonic times, during an era archaeologists call the Intermediate Period. This was a time of vast social, political, and religious upheaval and breakdown, and the literature of the times reflected the deep pessimism and uncertainty experienced by the aristocracy of the day. The phrase “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you may die,” originated from Egyptian writings of this era.

The hero of VAMPIRE SHEIKH, Seth-Aziz

Which naturally influenced my portrayal of my hero, Seth. As a nobleman from the Old Kingdom, the dawn of Egyptian history, he has experienced the collapse and demise of civilization around him many times before. But this time it’s different. This time it is his own beliefs, and his own existence, which are threatened with annihilation. His salvation comes in a totally unexpected form—-by falling in love.

Seth is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever created. I even took a fun liberty . . . I made him the original author of one of the classic pieces of Egyptian literature from ancient times, called The Man Who was Tired of Life: The Conversation of a Man with His Ba (ba means soul). I figure the copyright ran out long ago, so surely no one would mind.

Oh, and did I mention that Seth is a vampire?

When I was on my first archaeological expedition to northern Sudan (which was part of Egypt in ancient times) I stayed in a tiny village on the Nile. The area around this village was rumored to be home to the most vampires in all of Africa. When I found this out, you can imagine how freaked out I was. Luckily (or maybe not?) I never encountered one.

Trust me, I’m no vampire expert. But when my editor suggested I make Seth a vampire, I remembered that village (who could forget!), and thought how interesting it would be to incorporate the incredibly sexy archetype of the vampire lord into the ancient Egyptian pantheon. So I took the few references I found to vampirism in Pharaonic times and shaped them into a plausible addition to the existing mythology, which I then used to build the paranormal world in the IMMORTAL SHEIKHS trilogy.

I think these combined elements make the stories really unusual and interesting. And when you combine all that with three very hunky shape-shifting sheikhs and three sizzling hot romances, I’m hoping the result is something my Nocturne readers really enjoy!

I had an incredible time conceiving and writing the IMMORTAL SHEIKHS trilogy. I hope you’ll let me know what you think!

May 25th, 2010
Is it just me, or has TV gotten better…?

Has anyone noticed how much better TV has gotten over the past few years?

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a TV hound. I love a good story, and have always been a huge fan of movies. When I’m not writing or reading, you can more often than not find me searching for a good movie to watch at the end of the day.But lately, more often than not, movies leave me unsatisfied and hungry for an actual plot (what a concept!). Maybe it’s because most of them are written either by 25 year-old guys with very narrow perspectives on what makes an interesting story (gag), or by aging actors who think they know how to write better than actual screenwriters (spare me). Okay, on second thought, maybe they’re right about that last part…all things considered.

Tim Olyphant from Justified (and Deadwood)

Anyway, nowadays when I want a really good moving picture experience, I’ll turn on the TV. All the great and innovative screenwriters now seem to be working for cable. Have you seen the excellent series on USA and FX, for example? Talk about upping the TV game. Feature films have nothing on these shows. My personal favorites are In Plain Sight, Burn Notice, Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Damages, The Closer, Breaking Bad, Leverage. Did I mention Justified? Seriously. I could go on and on. And that’s not even touching the incredible series on Showtime and HBO. They’re in a class all by themselves.

As a writer, I am in hog heaven. At long last we are back to the groundbreaking story genius that used to be the norm in feature films, back in the days of Hitchcock, Goldman, Wilder, Ford, Capra, et al. Sometimes I sit in utter awe of the talent that is finally getting a chance to be seen. With 900 channels out there on cable, the opportunities for great and innovative writing have never been better—-despite the plethora of brainless reality shows with no writing at all that have taken over the big networks.

I keep wondering what could happen if all the amazingly talented women romance writers out there would start writing for TV . . . Can you imagine? Instead of having 25 year-old post-pubescent guys tell us what we should like and what we should be entertained by, women could have stories that actually speak to and are relevant to women. Wow! Kinda like . . . well, romance novels!

Sigh. A woman can fantasize, can’t she?

Wedding Favors by Nikita Black

Speaking of which . . .

My June Nikita Black release, a novella called “Binding Her Heart” in the WEDDING FAVORS anthology, is all about a dark, secret fantasy . . . with a little voodoo magic thrown in to really spice things up.

For Tessa Kittredge, being a bridesmaid at her good friend’s New Orleans society wedding is the last thing she wants to do. Love? She long ago stopped believing in that myth. But a very special bachelorette party, a golden mask, and a carelessly tossed coin all bespell Tessa into fulfilling her deepest fantasies . . . with a dark and powerfully sensual stranger. Sultry days, sinful nights and a magic fountain. What more could a nice-turned-naughty bridesmaid wish for . . . ?

I hope you’ll pick up a copy on June 1.

Meanwhile, what are your favorite TV shows?

Take care, and good reading!

March 31st, 2010
Who’s your favorite Passion For Danger couple?

Shoot To Thrill If Looks Could Chill A Kiss To Kill

June 1st, 2009
What’s Your Theme?

I love a good challenge. It keeps me on my toes, and makes life interesting. True, some real-life challenges I could definitely do without. But as a writer, I believe in pushing myself and expanding the horizons of my craft, in order to give my readers better stories. So, every year I try to learn something new, some aspect of writing that I haven’t consciously tackled before.

Last year, my project was “theme.”

Theme isn’t something that a lot of fiction writers (especially genre fiction) talk about. Or even think about. In fact, a lot of us have no idea what theme really is. Not enough to be useful, anyway. That included me before last year. I still find it hard to define.

Every good book has a theme, but mostly an author does it by instinct, not through deliberate planning (unless you’re a screenwriter, which is a whole different ballgame).

Theme is not about the plot. Or a “message” the author wishes to convey. Often it’s kind of a philosophical hypothesis, which the story either proves or disproves…or sometimes it’s a broader human emotional need that the story simply explores.

For instance, the theme of my July SRS, PRINCE CHARMING FOR 1 NIGHT, runs something like: “Appearances can be deceptive. Look beyond the surface and you can find your greatest happiness.” Yep. It’s Cinderella (could you tell by the title? ☺). One of my favorites! Like all great stories, the Cinderella faerie tale contains several themes that work on different levels. The appearances thing. The “If you’re mean to those less fortunate you will not prosper” thing. Or how about “True love will find each other.” There are lots more.

As a reader, we recognize the theme or themes that speak to us, and we can enjoy that same story in different guises a thousand times and never grow tired of it.

But theme goes even deeper than that. Ever notice how your favorite author’s works all seem to have a similar thread running through them? That’s because as writers, who we are, what our hopes and dreams and fantasies are, they all shine through in our writing, in the form of our personal theme. At first a writer usually isn’t even aware she is writing to a theme. Not until she has six or seven books under her belt, and suddenly she notices a pattern.

out of AfricaFor me, under the page-turning suspense and the sizzling sensuality found in all my books, I always write about the deep human need to find a place of belonging. The isolation we all feel, and the desire to seek connectedness, even in the face of overwhelming pain.

Pretty powerful stuff. Which probably would have taken years and years of therapy to bring out if I weren’t a writer!

Yikes.

Okay, so I’ve spilled mine. Now it’s your turn!

What is your personal literary theme? What theme speaks to you most as a reader, or a writer?

Good reading!!!

May 5th, 2009
Romance and Realism

Anyone ever tell you that romance novels are unrealistic? I get that a lot. Sometimes, when a female acquaintance finds out I write romance she’ll say, “Oh, sorry, I don’t read those.” When I ask why not, she’ll say, “Well, romance novels are so unrealistic.”

Hmmm.

What exactly does that mean? I’ve always wondered.

Okay, yeah. I get that our heroes are not exactly realistic. I mean, hello? This is fiction we’re talking about. And I for one get more than enough of real men out in the real world. Give me a little fantasy. Please. I want my romance heroes to be better than real. I want a hero who’ll sweep me away with his strength and understanding, and yes, his really, really big… er, heart. ☺

So…can these women mean that reading about a hero like that is a bad thing? That they eschew an entire genre because they think it would be far better to read about real men? The kind who want dinner when they walk through the door (preferably served by you in a French maid outfit), after you’ve been picking up his dirty socks and taking care of his children all day? And then after twenty years leaves you for a younger model?

Wow, that sounds entertaining.

No, it’s got to be something else these women are talking about.


But what could it be?

Maybe they think love is unrealistic. That when our heroine meets a man she’s attracted to, she shouldn’t want or expect a white dress and a picket fence and a happily ever after with him. Because it is so unrealistic to believe in that stuff. I mean, jeez. When does attraction ever grow into a love that lasts a lifetime? Totally unrealistic.

Yeah, I’ll admit I’m stumped by their attitude.

So. What do you think they mean when they say romance is unrealistic?

April 6th, 2009
What Plays in Vegas…

I’m so excited! I got to start a new book today! What a fun, scary process that is. To open up a brand new, blank page, and type in a killer title, and then just let your imagination run wild, inventing all sorts of interesting characters and sizzling situations and—

::sound of a needle scratching across a vinyl record::

Uh…right. Who am I kidding? Let your imagination run wild? Not exactly. Well, not yet, anyway.

I sincerely wish it were that easy! But I am one of those writers who needs to plan a story out in advance. Not in a lot of detail, mind you, but enough to know where I’m going. Maybe a sentence or two about each chapter—the main plot points. And a log line (sort of a TV Guide blurb with specific ingredients that tell you if you’ve actually got a story or just a big yawn). Oh, yeah, and a little chart with each character’s goal and conflict graphed out so when they start digging in their heels and yelling at each other I’ll know why. That always helps.

Okay, it usually helps. Sometimes my characters keep secrets from me. Like the time my hero neglected to tell me until halfway through the book that he was still married. HEL-LO?!? Surprised Did no one tell you this was a romance? Anyway, that one worked out okay. Eventually. (After a stern lecture from me… Yeah, like he actually listened. Ha.) Cole from Warrior’s Bride, in case anyone wanted to know.

Say, speaking of brides… My upcoming July Silhouette Romantic Suspense, book 4 of the LOVE IN 60 SECONDS series (that starts this month!), PRINCE CHARMING FOR 1 NIGHT, is all about a very unique kind of bride. A fake bride. Yes, dear reader, my heroine plays a very naughty bride in a…well, not to put too fine a point on it…a Las Vegas gentlemen’s club. Embarassed

:: More scratching on vinyl::

Ex-cuse me?

Okay, once again. Dude! Did no one tell me this was a romance?

Yes! They did! Can you believe it—-it was actually my editor’s idea to make my heroine an exotic dancer. But you know what? Secretly? I think she really meant a showgirl. LOL!!! But, hey, you tell Nina Bruhns to make her heroine an exotic dancer and you’ve got to know what’ll happen! My hero was pretty darn excited, let me tell you. Laughing

His family? Not so much. The Las Vegas Rothchilds are a pretty snooty bunch. Did you read the description of them in Marie Ferrarella’s launch book of the LOVE IN 60 SECONDS series, The Heiress’s 2-Week Affair? Absolutely priceless! Of course, my guy, Conner Rothchild, is not one of those Rothchilds. He’s from the other branch of the family—the poor branch. They’re only billionaires, not super-gazillion-jillionaires like his stodgy Uncle Harold and murdered cousin Candace. Yeah, okay, so he’s playboy. And a lawyer. (My editor did not make it easy in me!) Sure, but with a heart of gold. Uh-huh. Still. Have I mentioned the man is hot as the Mojave desert in summer?

So what exactly is this sexy paragon doing at a strip joint? Ah! Well, you’ll just have to wait until July to find out his secret!

Hint: read the first three books in this fab series filled with murder, mayhem, and ancient curses in a sizzling Las Vegas setting. But be sure to have a cold drink and a fan on hand.

Meanwhile, back at the keyboard… If PRINCE CHARMING FOR 1 NIGHT is already finished and at the printers… What, you ask, is the book I’m starting on today?

Hmmm. Weelllllll, maybe I’ll tell you next time. But for now, that’ll be my secret. Cool

Have a great week!!!

January 19th, 2008
Single Title, here I come!

I got some really great news last week. I was offered a 3 book contract from Berkley Publishing! Wow! Needless to say, I am over the moon. I’ve loved writing for Silhouette, and have nearly 20 books with them by now… but it’s time to spread my wings and try something bigger. Thanks to all my friends and fans who have urged me to take this step :D. Sometimes it’s easier to stay where it’s comfortable than to try new and scary things…and I’m the first to admit it’s taken me far too long to work up the courage to send out those single title proposals. On the other hand…the uber-positive response I got from publishers was wonderful validation that I am ready, and that my writing is hitting the right notes with the readers. Yay!!!

So here’s to a fun and rewarding future with Berkley! I hope all of you will mark your calendars for August 2009, which is when my first book, titled SHOOT TO THRILL, will be out with them.

At Berkley I’ll be joining my great friends CJ Lyons, Jasmine Haynes, Virginia Kantra, Terri Brisbin, Cherie Feather, Robin Owens, and Angela Knight, to name just a few. Talk about great company!!!

Lifelines by CJ Lyons Art of Desire by Cherie Feather