Category Archives: guest post

Happy Holidays: Alexa Bourne’s New Release

I’m thrilled to introduce my writer buddy Alexa Bourne for a special holiday post. She’s got a new book, Liar, Liar, releasing soon, and she’s sharing holiday gift giving among her hero and heroine.


Hello and thank you to Sabrina Garie for hosting me today! My latest book, LIAR, LIAR, is due to release in the next few days by Decadent Publishing. ( I’m soooo excited to share this story with the world. The characters feel like good friends instead of fictional being who have lived inside my head for the last several years.

In the spirit of the season, I’ve asked both my hero, Grady, and my heroine, Devin, what they would get each other for Christmas if money were no object.

Devin: Grady loves the beach, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the curve of the waves as he surfs. I would fly him to the Hawaiian island of Oahu for a week of sun, sand and surfing.

Grady: Well, Dev spends most of her time worrying and taking care of other people so I’d get her a long weekend at a spa. She could have time to relax and other people would be tending to all her needs. Well, most of her needs. I’d have to sneak in for part of the time to take care of the rest.

Devin: Hey, Alexa, what would you choose as your ultimate gift if money were no object?

Grady: Oh, I can answer that. She’d love a trip around the world so she could take notes and jot ideas down for more kick-ass suspense stories.

Devin: Suspense stories with romance, Grady. You can’t forget that part.

Grady: Nope. Definitely don’t want to forget that.

Alexa: Wow, you two do know me so well! I would love to travel and create more stories as awesome as yours.

Well, we’re going back to our Christmas Eve festivities. From Devin, Grady, and me (Alexa), we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Alexa BourneBio:

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website,


Unable to protect her mother from her father as a child, Devin McQueen has made it her mission as an adult to protect as many abused women and children as she can. The rare moments she’s not consumed with work as a victims’ advocate, she limits her involvements to safe, predictable men….until she meets bounty hunter Grady Cooper. He is big, bold, brash, and has no problem speaking his mind.

Growing up in a broken home, Grady realized early on that good deeds had a price.  To survive, he learned to weigh every decision by what he could gain. Unfortunately, the successful, solitary life he’s worked so hard to create spins out of control when demons from his past shake his confidence. His boss has given him one last chance—bring in Devin’s latest client quickly, and quietly and maybe he’ll still have a job. It didn’t sound unreasonable until he met Devin.

Suddenly, Grady must make a decision: save his career or follow his heart?


If Grady Cooper had any hope of salvaging his professional reputation, he needed to charm Devin McQueen into giving him what she’d never given any other man.

He tucked his keys into his cargo shorts, stared up at the five-story office building and cursed the humidity.

And his dilemma.

Needing anyone was bad enough. Being forced to rely on a complete stranger to help prove he wasn’t a menace to society was as appealing as the Red Sox using his head for batting practice. If she refused to help him, he’d lose his job for sure.

“That’s not going to happen,” he whispered. He’d do whatever he had to, promise her the world even, to get himself out of this mess and restore his reputation. By the time she realized he had no intention of honoring his pledge, he’d be a free man and he could get back to chasing the bad guys instead of being labeled one.

Whatever it took.

He pushed the glass door open and flew up the stairs two at a time to the third floor. As he walked down the hallway, he glanced at the business names on the doors: law offices, non-profit offices, save the bleeding heart offices. Rooms of people he’d probably chased a bail jumper for at one time or another.

Loud thumps filtered into the hallway from somewhere up ahead.

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Trade rule number one: Always expect the worst. Still, the noises could have been any number of things: a fallen chair, a muffled voicemail message, boxes of printer paper being dropped. It could have been nothing connected to this woman.

As he got closer to the door with Soul Survivors carved on it, the name of McQueen’s business, the noises got louder. Glass shattered. A series of thumps passed from behind the door. A woman’s voice flew through the walls like a high-pitched war cry.

What if someone wanted Devin McQueen even more than Grady did?

Too bad. He had to put his own needs first.

Adrenaline pushed him. He turned the doorknob.

Damn it. Locked.

He shoved his shoulder against the wooden door. It budged. Barely. Inside, more glass broke. A male voice growled through a string of swear words.

Whoever stood on the other side of this door could not have her.

Grady gritted his teeth and jammed his shoulder against the door again. This time, it flew open and hurled him into the office.

Silence reigned across the room. With his shoulder throbbing, he scanned the scene. One upended chair, one thug cradling his nuts, the other, older one, bleeding from his nose and one wild-eyed woman in the center of it all. The bleeding man had his arms wrapped around the woman’s chest, crushing her…assets under his forearms.

Grady bit back a grin. If this was Devin McQueen, then some of the rumors were true. She could hold her own. But now she didn’t need to. “What’s the matter, guys? Couldn’t find anyone your own size to pick on?”

When Zombies aren’t Zombies, and When Zombie Stories Take You by Surprise

Today, Amelia Gormley, author of The Impulse Trilogy is guest blogging for Keira and me. Let’s welcome her warmly!


Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, let me just say up front that I haven’t followed the zombie movement very closely. I don’t read zombie novels, watch zombie movies, or even watch The Walking Dead. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I will so not be prepared.

You say “zombies” and my mind goes blank. I don’t dislike them, not at all (well, aside from being vaguely skeeved out by understanding that lately, zombies are sometimes heroes in romance novels and seriously, how does that work? Because the whole rotting corpse thing?) They just haven’t captured my imagination or interest (yet. I am, however, an avid Plants vs. Zombies player.)

I know nothing about the genre and have no opinion. Which, um, made it just a leeetle interesting when Leta Blake approached me about doing this guest post. What can I possibly say about zombies? It’s a shame Leta wasn’t face to face with me when she made the offer because I imagine I would have had a rather priceless deer-in-the-headlights expression on my face.

Now, of course, there is an exception to every rule. In this case, I’m going to take the opportunity to plug someone else’s writing. The one zombie apocalypse story I’ve read. I think the only reason I began reading it was because someone posted a full-throated rec for it (over on Tumblr, maybe? I don’t remember) without mentioning that it was a zombie story and it started so strong that I was caught up in it and laughing my butt off before I realized that yes, I was indeed enjoying a zombie story.

That story was El Presidio Rides North by Domashita Romero for Shousetsu Bang*Bang. (The link to the—free, btw—story is on the GoodReads page there, I just wanted to include the GR link so people can rate and review if they choose to do so.) I just…I’m not even sure how to describe this story. I mean, what do you say about a story whose main characters are named Mercury and Gaga because they live in a world where they don’t dare become attached enough to know each other by name in case they have to kill one another, so instead they choose their names from the stack of CDs on the floorboard in their rolling fortress? A story where the (presumably straight) alpha hero dresses in (female) stripper clothes and gives the beta hero a lap dance because the beta hero had never been to a strip club before the apocalypse and that just wasn’t right.

It’s hilarious and absurd and yet it also becomes a very compelling romance. It’s short. It’s free. Read it. Just read it. Even if, like me, zombies aren’t your thing, read it. You won’t regret it.

Anyway, getting back to me and zombies. I know so little about the upcoming zombie apocalypse that when I tried my hand recently at writing a post-apocalyptic novel, I had to actively avoid venturing into zombie territory because I was afraid I would commit every cliché known to man in the process. I did, however, need a monster so I ended up writing someone kinda-vaguely-sorta-quasi-zombieish where I could make my own rules a little bit while still hitting that kind of note.

Unfortunately, I can’t really pimp that story yet because I’m not sure just when it’s going to be published, so instead I’ll just say, if post-apocalyptic worlds and zombie-esque monsters appeal to you, be on the lookout for Strain, which should be coming sometime later this year.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on the release of my upcoming novel, Velocity, the final installment in my Impulse trilogy, concluding the story of Derrick and Gavin that began in Inertia and Acceleration. It releases on March 2nd. Hope you enjoy!






For Detroit handyman Derrick Chance and his lover, Gavin Hayes, the holiday season is filled with the promise of new beginnings. Gavin’s officially moving in, and after the New Year, they’ll begin house hunting. But they both know all the talk of gift exchange, whose holiday ornaments go where, and what repairs and remodels will be needed to put Derrick’s house on the market is only a smoke screen.


Before the month is over, Gavin will have the final verdict on whether or not his dangerously delusional ex, Lukas, infected him with HIV. No matter how good Gavin’s chances appear with the three-month hurdle already passed, neither he nor Derrick knows what the future holds for them.


The holidays have always been a time of loss and mourning for Derrick, but now he has to stay strong as Gavin’s own fears and doubts assail him relentlessly. And when Lukas returns, unexpectedly penitent amid troubling revelations, Gavin has to ask himself whether he can offer Derrick the future he deserves, or whether these first few months of happiness are the best they will ever get.


Amy Ruttan’s favorite Dark Hero

Today I’m handing over to my awesome friend and critique partner Amy Ruttan, who’s talking about one of her favorite dark heroes. Take it away, Amy!

I want to thank Anya Richards, my awesome CP, for having me here. I was invited, I was told. You have to do a blog post on Darker Temptations about a dark hero; it doesn’t have to be a hero from a book either.

Being the *good* little girl I am I said “Okay” just like Guido from that movie Cars.

I love dark heroes. There’s just something about them that excites me. They’re not that stereotypical bad guy, which I don’t like. There’s a certain mystery about dark heroes. What made them so dark?

When I was going through some of my favourite dark heroes *Zsadist* I knew I had to do the first dark hero I ever fell in love with.

The Phantom of the Opera.

I’ve heard a lot of naysaying about him, like “He’s a crazy sadistic, stalker, murderer dude.”

Okay, sure, but he’s a broken soul. Scarred and unloved. All he loves is Christine Daae.

The moment the Phantom walked out onto the stage back in 1992 when I first saw it, in Toronto at the Pantages theatre with Colm Wilkinson I fell head over heels in love. I hate Raoul. Still hate that pretty boy to be honest.

And at the end of the opera, when she leaves him for Raoul, but come back one final time to kiss him *fans self* swoon. My husband knows if he wants to get me in the mood fast he just has to put on the Phantom with Gerard Butler.

*ahem* Sorry I know, TMI.

Gerard didn’t have the voice range that Colm did, but DAYUM, even with half his face horrifically scarred he is mighty fine. That scene from Past the Point of No Return gets me hot under the collar all the time.

I wanted to know more about the Phantom. Where did he come from? What happened to his face? This is why I’m so fascinated and attracted to him. What made him the way he is and how can I heal him? 😉

Not much is known about the Phantom at all, other than his name is Erik and a few snippets from this song:

This face, which earned a mother’s fear and loathing…

A mask, my first unfeeling scrap of clothing…

 Even though Christine left the Phantom, his love for her remained true. He left her alone, but watched from afar. True to her, even though rich annoying pretty boy got her, he remained faithful even placing the rose on her grave years later.

The musical made such an impression on me, I was 14 at the time, I wrote copious amounts of fan fiction and would act out the musical in my room, alone, singing to the tape I bought from the souvenir stand.

It also helped fan the flames of my burgeoning romance writing career. No I don’t write about stalker/murders with half melted faces …but I’ve been tempted! >:)

It’s safe to say that The Phantom is my first ever dark romance hero.

Who’s yours?

Eternal Passion, Timeless Romance

Amy Ruttan books available from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, All Romance E-Books, and other venues where quality e-books are sold.

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