Posts tagged with: Nice & Naughty

Oh, the Sweet Choices… Kicking Off 12 Bandita Days of Christmas!!!

When I was growing up (back on the good ole days), sweets weren’t as common as they are now.  That sounds silly, doesn’t it?  But my memories of candy and my childhood revolve around Halloween and Christmas, and the occasional candy bar purchase with my allowance – which was rare because I was always saving up for new Barbie clothes.  It’s this perception (quite possibly a misconception –I’ll have to ask my mom *g ) that plays into my always overdoing the sweet treat creation binging during the holidays. 

I love to bake.  I love to make candy.  And this time of year, I can do both. And better yet, I can do both and not gain a ton of weight because I give away 97% of what I make.  SWEEEET!! 

So I’m totally getting into this part of the holiday fun. The scent of bubbling sugar and melting chocolate is wafting from my kitchen.  The refrigerator is too full of goodies for there to be room for food.   And the counters are lined with ingredients, all waiting to be mixed into something yummy (and hopefully, they’ll get that wish.  Sometimes my concoctions are a little iffy).  

This week it’s candy.  Next week it’s cookies.  Because I just can’t choose between the two!  I only make candy twice a year- Christmas, and a batch of almond toffee in the summer for my dad’s birthday gift.  So candy is a have to.  But cookies, those are a year-round thing. But there are types I do save for the holidays.  The time intensive ones, the fancy ingredient ones, or anything that requires I decorate them instead of my kids. 

I just can’t choose my favorite.  Do I like holiday candy better?  Or do I want holiday cookies more?  I’m so torn between the two, that I have two books out right now and one features Christmas cookies.  And (you saw this coming, right?) the other features candy. 

In NICE & NAUGHTY, my heroine’s opening scene shows her baking Christmas cookies with her sisters.  Here’s a peek:

Why don’t we take this into the dining room.” He covered his inward cringe with a big smile. “I was hoping for some cookies, and the table means fewer crumbs, right?”

The smile she flashed was bright and happy, as if he’d just answered the secret question and was about to be awarded his prize. Diego’s heart picked up a beat as his imagination flipped through all the prizes he’d like from her. Most involved bare skin and a few required feathers.

“I figured you’d be cookied-out after all the offers this afternoon. But just in case…” She gestured toward the living room again. He followed the wave of her hand. A tall tree, glistening in rich jewel decorations, was displayed in the window. In front of the couch was a low table that looked like a polished brass surfboard. On it were some magazines, a free-form glass bowl in brilliant shades of streaky blue, indigo and purple, and an old-fashioned holiday tin with a bright red lid. He glanced back at Jade in question.

“The cookies are already out,” she said. Then, taking matters into her own hands, she skirted around him. Not touching, not even close to making inappropriate contact. But the glance she offered through her lashes was as naughty as if she’d pressed her body against his . His body reacted as if she had, too.

“It’s comfier in here. And besides, if we have cookies here, Persephone will leave us alone. If we eat in the dining room, or even sit in there, she’s going to raise a ruckus.”

Diego gave the cat a doubtful look. It looked harmless. “A ruckus?”
“Yes,” Jade confirmed, sinking onto the couch as if the matter was all settled. When she curled her feet up to tuck them beneath her hip, he figured in her mind, it actually was. “In here, she’ll jump on the couch, check us out, then curl into a ball under the tree and nap. If we were in the dining room, she’d weave between our feet meowing, angry that she can’t get up on the bench or table to dismiss what we’re doing.”

Bowing to the inevitable, Diego crossed the room. A quick glance told him that the other seating choices weren’t optimal. One was a round footstool, about four feet in diameter and covered in furry leopard print. The other looked like a prop from a fifties movie, with its angular shape and retro polka-dot fabric. Safe enough to sit in, but made for a pixie-size woman. Reluctantly—at least that’s what he told himself—Diego sat on the couch with Jade. As far away from her as he could get. So far, their body heat didn’t even mingle. So far, he couldn’t reach out and trail his palm over the smooth line of her jaw, or comb his fingers through those silky strands.

Close enough, he figured, that if he kept a cookie in one hand and the cup of hot coffee in the other, he’d do just fine.

“Here,” Jade instructed, pulling the red lid off the cookie tin to show a variety of holiday treats. “Cookies fresh from my mom’s kitchen. And that shoe-shaped disk? That’s a coaster. Just set your coffee there.”

He glared at the bright red shoe with its glittery bow and glossy heel. A coaster. A sexy coaster. What better to lure him into temptation with.

Stop, he silently demanded. He was here to solve a case and get the hell back to his own life and his bright new promotion. Not to be led around by his shorts and quite possibly hurt what was probably the nicest, sweetest, sexiest woman he’d ever met.

“Have a cookie and tell me more about yourself, Diego,” she invited with a smile warm enough to melt the frosting off the holly cookie she’d chosen. She bit off a piece, the crispy cookie snapping. Her tongue, small and pink, slid over her lower lip, gathering the scattered sugar.

His mouth watered. She’d missed one glistening green crystal. It sparkled, tasty and tempting, inviting him to lick it off the corner of her mouth.

“How about we talk about the case instead.” He didn’t care if he sounded desperate. He knew damn well that the minute his coffee cup met that shoe coaster, he was in a whole lot of trouble.

 

And in SUGAR AND SPICE, my heroine needs a little magical help in her quest to seduce the hottie she’s crazy about.  And everyone knows magic goes down better in chocolate, right?  

Dedra gave the mirror another doubtful look. Sure, she looked a little sexier than usual. But was it enough to make Paul go crazy, jump h

er body and do all sorts of wildly sexy, semi-kinky things to her? Because that’s what it was going to take. There was no way she could seduce him.

“Oh, wait!”

Dedra winced. Had Anja read her mind? Oh please, please, please, don’t let this be a lecture on how to seduce a guy. That would be so humiliating.

“You’re going to need these.” Anja hurried into the tiny kitchenette and opened what looked like an ornate spice cupboard. She came back with a delicate red ceramic box.

“Here. This is all you need to convince Paul to show you a good time.”
A gun? Dedra squinted at the box. It must be an awfully tiny one.
“They’re chocolate. Truffles, with just a little bit of something extra,” Anja explained, giving the box an indulgent look.


“Drugs?” Dedra pulled her hand back in horror.


“Don’t be silly.” Anja drew the box back a little, her expression offended. “My Gramma made these. Let’s just call them magic.”


Riiiiight. Magic. Dedra wanted to scoff. Then she peered around Anja’s living room again, taking in the Goddess statue, the variety of crystals and the wreath shaped like a star over the door. Real or not, magic was something Anja clearly believed in. And it’d be horribly rude to mock the idea when the other woman had already been so helpful.

Dedra’s gaze landed on the cards, still laid out on the table. She bit her lip, wondering if she was the one who needed to adjust her beliefs.

“I guess it’s a good excuse for stopping by,” she mused, starting to actually feel more excited than nauseous. Maybe a little bit of magic would do the trick.

 As you can see, I’m a big fan of finding a way to have both treats I love.  How about you? 

To tempt you, here’s a quick and easy recipe I love whipping together this time of year. I call it my Pretend It’s Difficult Fudge.  But it’s insanely easy, and always turns out perfect! 

Tawny’s Easy Fudge

2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 Snickers bars, chopped (I’ve made it with Peppermint Patties, HeathBars, etc)

1 can chocolate frosting

Line a pan with foil, then spray with cooking spray.  Melt chips, stir in frosting and candy bar pieces.  Spread in pan, then refrigerate until firm.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

So what’s your favorite holiday treat?  Are you a cookie gal?  Or do you go for candy dish?  Are there favorites that you only get at this time of year?   I’ll draw one name to win an autographed copy of NICE & NAUGHTY! 

 It’s the best time of the year….it’s the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas!! From December 13 to December 25th, every day there will be recipes and PRIZES on the blog, leading up to a HUGE Prize bundle of books and goodies on Christmas Day!! Come back every day. Comment. Have eggnog. Eat cookies, and laugh a LOT with the Romance Bandits!!

 

Nice & Naughty Launch Party Winners!

A big happy thank you to everyone who partied here in the Lair with me to celebrate the launch of my latest Blaze, Nice & Naughty!! 

And an even bigger Congratulations to Pam, Kaelee and Catslady!!   Ladies, your names were drawn to win the digital download of Sugar and Spice: A Karma Cafe Novella!  If you’ll email hidden; JavaScript is required, I’ll get it to you right away.  

Nice & Naughty – Exclusive Excerpt

Knowing she was stalling, she took a deep breath.  For the first time in her life, Jade had to force herself to cross the threshold of the tiny cottage, her feet dragging across the polished wood floors.  She could hear movement at the end of the hallway, indicating that the cop was already back there.

     Maybe she could wait here for him?  She could call her sisters over for moral—and housekeeping—support before she had to face the destruction of her bedroom.  Her fingers inched toward the cellphone in her pocket.  The temptation was so appealing.  But so was the voice in her head, bwaking like a chicken.  

Get a grip, she ordered herself.  Tossing her black leather duster over the back of a chair, Jade tugged her tunic smooth over her hips, rubbed a scuff off the toe of her boot, then headed down the hallway.  

     Chin high, she stepped into her bedroom.  And for the second time that evening, froze solid.

     Only this time the reason had nothing to do with fear.

     Nope, this was lust.  Pure, sticky lust. 

     It was like a million sweaty, hot dreams.  The kind that woke her in the middle of the night, aching with needs and frustrations.  Standing in front of her dresser, one hand was filled with little scraps of nothing she called underwear. 

     Intense need swirled through her.  Her legs were like jelly, her stomach clenched with an edgy sort of desire.  The kind that made her thighs tremble and her nipples tighten against her silk bra.

     A bra, she realized, that matched the hot pink panties dangling from his index finger. 

     Her breath knotted in her throat, Jade tried to clear her head.  Her home, her undies, had been violated.  But her brain was busy stripping the man naked.  And from the look of him, naked would suit him just fine. 

     He was gorgeous.  At least, he was from the backside. 

     She took a visual inventory.  Tall, an inch or so over six foot.  Broad shouldered and slim hipped with a butt so tight and hard her mouth watered.  Arrow-straight black hair covered his collar and invited her fingers to test the weight of those strands to see if they were as soft and silky as they looked. 

     Then he turned, just his head, and met her gaze. 

     Heat poured through Jade so fast, she swore she had a tiny orgasm standing there in front of a complete stranger with his hands in her panties. 

     His eyes were like midnight.  Dark, intense and searching.  Like he could see all the way into her deepest fantasies and clue in to her every secret.  Nerves, the kind she’d never felt around a man before, assailed her.  Jade bit her lip, trying to figure out what it was about him that was so enthralling.

     “Can I help you?” he said.  His voice was as sexy as the rest of him.  Deep and throaty, with just a hint of a Hispanic accent.  The kind of voice made for sexy pillow talk. 

     “Ma’am?”  It wasn’t the verbal nudge that yanked her out of the sexual stupor.  It was the amusement in his tone that told her that he was not only aware of her overwhelming interest, he thought it was funny.

     Nothing like being laughed at to clear a girl’s head. 

     He turned to fully face her, offering the perfect view of his wide, sculpted chest hugged lovingly by a black tee-shirt.  Trying to ignore this new enticement, she kept her gaze on his amused face.  Big mistake.  Chiseled cheekbones, a full bottom lip made for nibbling and eyes so deep and dark she knew if she fell in she’d never climb back out.  Her heart, already racing, tripped over itself. 

     “This is a crime scene.  I’m going to have to ask you to leave until I speak with Miss Carson.”  His smile was a grin now, just this side of mocking. 

     “I’m Jade Carson,” she said stiffly, stepping further into the room.  Her foot caught one of the pieces of fabric strewn over the floor, sending a black lace demi-bra across the hardwood, just inches from his motorcycle boot.

     Her face burned as red as the silk panties dangling from her vanity mirror.  

     His smile faded.  His gaze traveled from the small notepad in his hand to the black lace bra on his toe, then back to her. 

     “You’re Jade Carson?  The owner of this house, and,” his finger swirled to indicate the room, “all of this lingerie?”

     “Yes.”  What?  She might not have the overblown curves of a centerfold, but she looked damned good in her unmentionables.  Maybe she could yank down her jeans and show him the dove-gray lace of her Thong.  

     “You’re the librarian?” he asked slowly.  His gaze took a slow stroll over her body, the look making her tingle with both nerves and desire.  Those dark eyes met hers again, the look in them hot and intense before he shuttered his gaze. 

     Jade shivered a little, missing the heat and wondering what’d turned it off.  And what it would take to turn it back on. After all, he’d already seen all of her underwear.

     “I’m Detective Sandoval,” he said, that whisky smooth voice official and just a little stiff.  Like he’d just swallowed a rule book.  “I’m investigating the Panty Thief burglaries.”

     Jade’s gaze swept the room before she gestured with her chin to his little cop notebook.  “No kidding?”  

Amazon |  Barnes & Noble  |Books-A-Million  | Harlequin  |Powells 

It’s Nice & Naughty Time

Can you believe it’s almost December?  And now that Black Friday and the U.S. Thanksgiving have passed, it’s officially the holiday season here!  I mean, sure, some stores were rocking the Rudolph decorations back in October, in the aisle next to the trick or treat candy, but for most of us, this is more a ‘holy cow, where’d the year go’ moment, right?  

So you know what this means, right?  The holiday season… Santa’s checking his list.  He’s lining up names into Naughty or Nice.  He’s mulling those hard to place boys and girls, the ones who are basically nice but have a leeeetle naughty streak that sneaks out now and then.  

Since Santa is busy with his list, he won’t be paying a lot of attention to our party here, right?  So if it’s just a leeeetle naughty to have the Cabana Boys dress up in red velvet shorty shorts with white fur trim to serve the hot toddies and spiked cocoa with extra dollops of spiced whipped cream, I’m sure he won’t notice.  And if Sven is using extra butter and rich chocolate in all of the desserts, that’s not really naughty, is it?  If we’re asking everyone to share naughty secrets, it’s not like we’re trying to make our own list of tips and ideas… um, not really.  

It’s just a fun way to celebrate yet another wild Bandita Launch! Nice & Naughty, my latest Blaze, is out now – and it’s hot!  Here’s the blurb…

Christmas scandal is comin’ to town…

He’d better watch out.
Because she’s not at all shy.
She’s looking for a bad boy
And he’s just the guy!

She’s making a list
Because her life needs some spice
And he’s gonna show her
How being naughty is 
nice…

It’s almost Christmas, and fashion-obsessive librarian Jade Carson is stuck. Stuck with her family, stuck in the town of Diablo Glen and stuck in her lousy life. Thensuper hot bad-boy detective Diego Salvador roars into town, looking for a criminal known as “the panty thief.”And Jade decides—right then and there—that the only panties he’ll be touching are hers….

He’s on her list…and she’s checking him out!

And here’s a peek inside…

Jade tilted her head to one side.  The light caught on the row of tiny gold hoops piercing her ear.  “Word on the street is that you’re here because you’ve got a problem with your boss.” 

     God, he hated small towns. 

     “And you shouldn’t give too much weight to rumors,” he added.  “Small towns might thrive on them, but they’re rarely rooted in fact.”

     “So you weren’t sent here as punishment?” she asked, her tone as friendly as her face was curious.  Whether it was a ploy to garner gossip fuel, or whether she was actually interested, Diego couldn’t tell.

     He’d been about to write her off as a sexy nice girl.  Sweet, but not much of a challenge.  Now he wasn’t so sure of anything but the sexy part.  That bothered him.  His gift for reading people was one of the keys behind his success. 

     “I was sent here for two reasons,” he said slowly, measuring just how much to share with the town pipeline.  He might be having trouble getting a gauge on the pixie, but he knew how to finesse information.  “I’m up for a major promotion.  Solving this case is the last step to ensure I get it.”

     Diego had no problem lying to solve a case, but it was always easier to go with the truth if possible. 

     “And the second reason?”

     It only took two steps for Diego to cross the room.  Standing close enough that the scent of her, light and airy, wrapped around him.  For a second he forgot what he was doing.  Forgot why he was there.  Forgot everything except the sudden discovery of just how appealing sweetness could be.   

     Her lashes fluttered, thick and dark, hiding those expressive eyes.  He watched the pulse quiver in her throat, wanting nothing more than to lean closer and press his lips to the soft flesh.  To feel her heart race beneath his tongue. 

     As if reading his mind, she gulped.  Then, like she was trying to make it look casual, she moved over to the armoire, putting breathing distance between then.

 Dammit.

     “You were telling me the second reason you were sent here,” she reminded him breathlessly.

     To find out how many different sounds she could make while he brought her to orgasm?  Diego gave himself a mental head-slap and tried to shake off the sexual fog.

     “The second reason?  Because I’m good,” he promised.  Her eyes widened, fingers clenching the wicker handles of the laundry basket so hard it made a loud snap.  Grinning, Diego nodded.  “I’m damned good.  I close cases, and I put criminals away.  Whoever did this, their ass is mine.”

And there ya go.  Toss in a little intimidation, and he’d be home by the end of the weekend.  Before he did anything stupid, like give in to the need to find out if the pretty little blonde’s naughty side was reserved for her lingerie. 

     “You promise?” she asked, looking around the mess of her bedroom.  “You’ll find out who did this.  And why?”

     Diego didn’t do promises.  Growing up, he’d had too many broken to ever want to cause someone else that kind of disappointment. 

    He looked around the room.  The deputies who’d been called in on the previous burglaries had dusted for prints and come up bust.  Despite the shift in MO from snatch and run to destruction, there was no reason to think this time’d be any different.  This was either a copycat with grudge against Ms. Carson, a totally unconnected case, or all the other thefts had been smoke.  Which meant the green-eyed pixie was the real target. 

     He’d have to work the case as if all three were fact.  But his gut said it was the latter.  He just had to find enough evidence to pull all the pieces together.  And he would.  Because he that’s what he did. 

But the pretty little blonde was looking at him like he had a superhero cape tucked under his leather bomber jacket.  Diego was a good cop.  A damned good one.  But no one had ever considered him a hero.

     It was weird.  And damned appealing. 

     And probably his downfall, since he couldn’t resist leaning closer and reassuring her. 

 

“Babe, I guarantee it.”  

While Sven passes around the tasty treats and delicious drinks, I have to ask… Will you end up on Santa’s nice list, or his naughty list this year?  Or are you one of those who has enough nice to balance out that naughty, so you’re keeping the jolly big elf confused?  I’ll toss all the responses in a cheery red elf hat and choose three to win a digital download of my novella, Sugar and Spice!