Author Speed Dating – Thea Devine

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: Thea Devine





15 Questions

1. If you could revisit any favorite period in your life for a day, in approximately which year would you be found and what would you be doing?

The year I met John — 1964 — at a party; we were there with other dates, he brought his date home, came back to the party, and as he walked in the door, I walked right into his arms — and I stayed there for 52 years.

2. Sure, it’s like picking a favorite child, but which one or two of your titles do you secretly love just a little more than the others?

TEMPTED BY FIRE — my first Regency and how much I loved writing it:  the language, the propriety, the clothes.  It wasn’t just Jane Austen — you can fall in love with the Regency period all on its own.

3. Will you be glued to the screen during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, will you catch the recaps, or will you ignore the games completely? Any favorite events?

I am glued.  Favorite events:  ice skating (all forms), snowboarding,  skiing … and all extreme versions.  I do none of these sports, but I can dream.

4. Dogs or cats? Pedigree or mutts?

I wasn’t raised with pets, and the first thing John said after we were married was, we’re getting a dog.  He’d always had dogs.  And then we found a kitty cat (our Kippy) in a dumpster, and we fell in love with cats.  And from then we always had both, and at least two of each.

5. How many books have you published and in how many genres and sub-genres?

Twenty-seven books and about a dozen novellas, all either erotic historicals or contemporaries.  My books were some of the first to be reviewed as erotic romance, even though there were constraints.  We had to use what I called “everyday household words” and still make our readers feel the experience.  And they did.

6. Favorite female singer/rocker over 60: Tina Turner, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Stevie Nicks, Gloria Estefan or _________?

Oh, Stevie Nicks for sure.  Rumours” is one of my favorite albums and her voice — rich, indelible … love love love.

And Adele.  Don’t know if she’s over 60, but she’s 100% for me. [Editor’s Note: Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is 29. 🙂 ]

7. If you were marooned on a deserted island with plenty of food and water but with only one book to read and re-read, which title would you hope for?

GONE WITH THE WIND,   [by Margaret Mitchell], which, for me, was a different book every age I reread it, including recently, with my sister-in-law.  It surprised me to no end how much more history there was  than romance.  And you know, when I was sixteen and first read it, I was swooning over the romance.

8. What is the first thing you do when you finish a book?

 Put it down and think about it.  If I really loved it, why?  If I didn’t, why not?  How would I do it differently? 

9. Which Disney princess (or prince) do you wish you were more like? And which one are you really most like?

You’ve got me here — I grew up with Cinderella and Snow White — one passive, one active. I’m afraid I wasn’t a princess-y kind of little girl.

10. Who was the first person, besides your mom and dad, who told you that you could write?

Nancy Drew.  I started writing because of Nancy Drew — I wanted to create stories like that and I don’t know or remember why.  It just seemed like something I wanted to do,  so I started writing.  Writing something coherent at age 8 or 9 was a reward in and of itself.  As for encouragement — I don’t remember anyone specific, except my dad who, when I was fourteen, bought me the most expensive typewriter on the market.  Nothing more needed to be said.

11. What are some of your non-writing talents that readers might find surprising? (Keep it PG please.)

I love to crochet. I’m left-handed and my right-handed mom tried in vain to teach me.  It turns out I crochet right.  I also play guitar (3 majors and a minor) right-handedly.  I’m a sixties folkie; John and I lived in Greenwich Village back then, which was the place to be for folk music. I had grown up listening to Burl Ives, Roy Acuff and other country stars of the era, because my mom loved that music AND she could yodel.  I wanted to, badly, but there are some things you just can’t inherit.  I also love to write lyrics, songs, poems and doggerel.  The last lyric I wrote was about John’s complaining he couldn’t tell if I was talking to him or to myself (which I do — a lot).

12. Names some things that have changed in publishing since your first book was published.


13. Have you ever, even for a moment, forgotten that one of your characters was…you know…fictional?

No, but I sure fell in love with Nick Galligan in HIS LITTLE BLACK BOOK and Doug Rawls in SEX, LIES AND SECRET LIVES.

14. Do you own at least one purse (or twenty) from a well-known fashion designer, or are you more the bag-to-carry-my-junk-in type?

I’m a big-bag-to-carry-my-junk kind of girl, which John facilitated by buying me a nice large and beautiful bag every year for Christmas.  He bought the designer names.  I shopped the thrift shop.

15. Offer a piece of advice to new writers that you wish someone had given to you at the beginning of your career.

Keep writing no matter what.  You have the most control over this.  And you’ll get better at it.  You’ll get to know when it’s too much and when it’s just right.  You’ll know when to gloss over and when to drop details, and many other subtleties that you’ll discover when you’re not looking. 

I’ve been an author for more than 30 years, and I’m still refining how I write.  When I look at old manuscripts, I can see vestiges of how I write now and how much I’ve learned.  You will too.





His Little Black Book

By Thea Devine



… He came in with two cups of coffee and handed her one, made exactly the sway she liked it.

She slanted a startled look at him, and in that moment, she saw what Delia had seen:  the bafflement, the resistance, the hunger, the restraint, the desperate wish that her choices hadn’t been so heedless.  She saw the difference between a hedonist who had only wanted to play the game by his rules for his ongoing pleasure, and a man whose sole goal was centered all on the woman he had chosen.

This thing between them had everything to do with her — what made her her, the mystery of her, and his need to know the things about her that complemented the opposite things in him.

The spark, the attraction had nothing to do with her body or sex, although there was that too.  She understood that the detective in him was really a romantic under the skin, and he wanted to believe.  He almost could believe because he wanted it so much.

But for his own moral peace, he had to push her away because any relationship for him wouldn’t be a cavalier display of power.

It scared her how much he knew, how much he saw. Whereas she knew virtually nothing about him — barring he was a voracious reader, he loved music, he made good coffee, and  he was neat, tenacious, irritating, sarcastic blunt, and on every level, exciting. Superficial things overlaying what was beneath.

But when she looked at him, she felt enfolded.  She saw cozy nights and shared lives;  she saw the kind of man a woman would want to marry…

And in that moment, she fell in love…


HIS LITTLE BLACK BOOK, a 2006 release from Pocket Books, may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.


About Thea

Thea Devine‘s books defined erotic historical romance. She’s the USA Today bestselling author of 27  steamy historical and contemporary novels and a dozen novellas.  She was the recipient of RWA NYC’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”, and honored by Romantic Times for being a “Romance Pioneer”. Learn more about Thea through her website,, and connect with her on Facebook.




Call Me Home 

(Thea’s Work in Progress) 

Oh damn.  The problem of Bobby Sainz had her all tense and on edge.  Jack Tierney had specifically asked her to deal with Bobby’s father since she’d known Bobby, he said, and she’d handled estate matters in New York.

She waved at a recent client, as she turned at the Corners.  Here, catty-cornered, were The Cup ‘n Sup, the post office, town hall and, in a lovely old house that backed the lake, the town library.

Marco Sainz’s house was in a prime ten minute walk-to-town location.

In no time it seemed, she stepped up onto the sun porch, pausing a minute to look at the lake, and then noting a battered truck parked on the shoulder of the road.  But there was always a battered truck parked somewhere on the roads around here, she thought as she opened the door.

Immediately the atmosphere felt charged.

Someone’s here

She dug for her cell phone and left the door open as she moved slowly into the living room.  Nothing had been moved or changed, but something was different.  Or she was imagining things.

“Anyone here?”

She went into the kitchen.  Everything clean and pristine as before.  Into the larger of the two bedrooms – and she stopped.  Suitcases here, thrown carelessly on the bed,  a grocery bag on the floor.

Oh dear God …please, no

“Hey!  Don’t move …”

A hard ruthless voice behind her, shocking her.  She whirled, her cell at the ready … “Bobby …?” Her heart stopped, her breath caught.  He was tall, muscular, and gorgeous.  Hard body, hard gray eyes, long hair threaded with gray falling into his eyes.  Hard voice, deep, rich, demanding,  “Who the hell are you?”

Carrie let out her breath.  He didn’t recognize her. Good.  He was more formidable than she’d imagined. with that hard scowl and an animal magnetism that subtly infused the air.  The pull was almost irresistible.

She resisted.  “Carrie Scott, Bobby.”

“Jeez …” He stared at her for a long moment.  “Carrie?” Not the Carrie he remembered, the one with the big blonde hair, tight skirts and barely buttoned blouses.  The Carrie with the crush that had nearly crushed him.

“Carrie Scott, Esquire,” she amended coolly to put a measurable distance between them.  Or was it a chasm, between the elite lawyer and the hard bitten military man?   “Nice to meet you too, Mr. Sainz.”  She held out her hand.

He brushed it aside, almost afraid to touch her.  “The hell.  What are you doing here?”  Carrie?  Really? With that long thick braid brushing her breast like a caress,  wearing jeans and sneakers? And silk?  Why the hell had that registered?

He barely heard her answer, he was so stunned..

“I check up on the house once a week.  I do that for all my absentee clients.  Where there’s renovation, there’s temptation.  And an empty house?  They take anything they can sell when they can get away with it …”

She stopped abruptly, aware he wasn’t listening.

They stared at each other for a long time. She was certain he was seeing what she saw:  their younger faces superimposed over the adult, and how much they’d changed and how much they were still the same.

Memories cascading suddenly — how she had been:  sassy, cocky, beautiful even then, intelligent, sure of herself, crazy crushed on Bobby Sainz.  Following him around, surreptitiously, she’d thought.  Dressing provocatively. Doing things to make him notice her.

Oh God.  Had it been like that?  Had she been like that?  She’d been so sure of herself.  Fifteen, for God’s sake.  Thought she knew it all …

And then, the morning at the lake.

Bobby broke his gaze first, and turned abruptly to stalk to the front door.

“Thanks.  Nice of you to drop by.”  Goddamn it, she was beautiful.  Still.

And she was his past as much as anything else in this town – which meant, despite that girlhood crush, she could be his worst enemy.

Carrie followed him slowly.  “I was your father’s lawyer, Bobby. We have things to discuss.  I’d like you to come to my office … at your convenience.”

He was standing by the door, tall, predatory, savage,  his anger potent and tangible, as if she were the one who’d stoked it up.

Maybe she had.  The past was never that far away, it seemed.  She did not like him in that moment. She saw then the hard reality of what the past twenty years had done to him.  He was an exile. There was no softness in him. But there never had been.  And there was nothing of the boy she’d crushed on so futilely.  This was another person from another place; he didn’t belong here.

“All you have to do is come to the office and sign some papers, Bobby.  You don’t even have to stay here.”

“Really?  Nice welcome home, Lawyer Carrie.  Chasing me out after I’ve barely just walked in the door?”  How could anyone be so beautiful and such an absolute bitch?  Nothing had changed in all these years. “Thanks for the drive-by.”

“I walked,” she said coldly.  “My hours are ten to four, the office is on Main, the green house by the One Stop.  Any time this afternoon would work.”

“I’ll be in touch.”  He slammed the door behind her, and she stood there, stone frozen for a long moment.

What just happened in there?







Author Speed Dating – Sylvia Hubbard

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: Sylvia Hubbard




15 Questions

1. Are there any traditional Thanksgiving dishes that you can easily resist or dishes you refuse to even sample during your family’s holiday meal?

If there is the stuffing, I can’t resist. I’ll get a plate right by itself of stuffing, and then I even bring extra containers because I’m ghetto like that. (And proud of it.) What I won’t eat… chitterlings. Not in a infinity will those things ever touch my lips.

2. As a reader, name a few of your favorite books of all time. How have these books influenced your writing?

DESPERATION, by Stephen King; SECRET FIRE, by Johanna Lindsey; and BELLE AND THE BEAU, by Beverly Jenkins. My all out favorite is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by the Godmother of Romance, Jane Austen.

 3.Which Scooby Doo character are you most like? Bonus: How are you at solving mysteries?

I’d be Fred, the leader of the group. I don’t think I’d be as cool, but I’d definitely be the leader and be able to put together all the clues. I’m pretty good at solving the crimes, but I don’t count myself as smart as Velma.

4. In which genres and sub-genres are you published, and which was the hardest and easiest to write?

I’m published in Romance Suspense. The sub-genres would be psychological, crime, drama, contemporary and erotic. The hardest is contemporary straight romance. I love the characters just falling in love, but then I get bored and always have a really saggy sappy middle. I’m so tempted to throw a murder or drama in there, but I fight it and finish the book.

5. If you could serve as a roadie for any band, past or present, for which group would be you be schlepping speakers and testing audio equipment?

Jill Scott. Omg, her music makes me want to write love scenes until the cows come home. And I know she’s not a band, but she’s really the only one I’d be a roadie for just so I could go to her concerts over and over again.

 6. If someone has never read one of your books, which title would you recommend she read first?

DARK FAÇADE. I seriously think that would definitely get you to understand how I make sin look good. And you’ll meet other characters that pop up in other books and really get an understanding you’re not in for a regular read.

 7. As a shoe shopper, are you all about the shoe warehouse where more is better, a discriminating shopper of only designer brands or a devotee of comfort with little concern for fashion?

I was raised by my father. He wasn’t much of a shopper for anything except when we went into the hardware store. We spent hours in there, but everything else it was in and out. I’m just a devote of comfort with little concern for fashion. If it fits, it’s comfortable and I look decent in it, I’m wearing it.

8. Favorite octogenarian actor: Robert Redford, Judi Dench, Diahann Carroll or Morgan Freeman?

Oddly enough, I’ve had a crush on Robert Redford since “The Sting” That was the movie that made me fall in love with deceit, con artists and sweet talkers.

9. Which one of your own fictional heroes would you have taken home if you could?

Lethal Heart, if I could.

10. What would you choose as your super power, and what would you do with it?

Infinite Wisdom. EVERYTHING!

11. In 10 words or less, give your best advice to aspiring writers.

Don’t stop, get it, get it.

12. Sitcom in reruns: Seinfeld or Friends?


13. What would you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? What have you done to become a better storyteller?

My strengths are my abilities to weave erotic romance around a crime suspense. My weakness is procrastination. It takes me forever to sit in a chair and get it done. To become a better storyteller, I study my craft every year by taking a class or reading a book.

14. Preferred activity in the fall: outside at the apple orchard or a leaf tour while inside a warm car?

I love to see it snow, but I really hate being outside in the cold. I will tour leaves and Christmas light displays all within the warmth of my car in a heartbeat, with a warm cup of Starbucks Macchiato extra whip and caramel.

15. Name your favorite compliment you ever received from a reader or reviewer.

“I burned dinner for two nights in a row because I couldn’t put your book down. My husband was angry but I didn’t care. I just needed to know what was going to happen next.” That was so the sweetest. That came from a reader who had picked up HIS SUBSTITUTE WIFE…MY SISTER.








By Sylvia Hubbard


Running to the bus stop, she missed the first bus and groaned, knowing she was going to have to wait for the second one.

“Psst,” someone hissed behind her.

She looked and gasped at the Lincoln, which was parked perpendicular on the side of the abandoned buildings. Turning around quickly, she pretended she hadn’t heard a thing.

In the past, Nikki told her Detroit was strange and to be careful.

“Psst,” the driver said again.

Madison tried to fight not looking, but being able to see the driver close up was what she had longed for.

Her curiosity won out. She turned to him and took in his features as she warily walked up to the car.

He was handsome. Too handsome.

“I shouldn’t talk to strangers,” she said sternly.

The stranger cajoled, reaching out to touch her sleeve innocently. “What’s the harm in talking?” His hand moved down to her hand and rubbed on her knuckles.

He was touching her. Were his eyes bad? She wondered. She looked down at her hand where his fingers rubbed against her fingers. “N-No, harm, I guess.”

“How old are you?” he inquired.

Looking back at his face, she answered. “Twenty-eight. Umm, my birthday’s coming up next week.”

She didn’t know why she told this stranger personal information, but she hadn’t told anyone about her birthday coming up, and rambling through her nervousness with a cute guy looking at her so closely made her less anxious.

He licked his thick bottom lip slowly. “Really?” he sounded fascinated by that information. “You on your way to school or work?”

Too nervous to talk, she only nodded.

He chuckled. It was a sensual sound that made her ear drums tingle. “Which one, little girl?”

“S-School… College,” she said trying to correct herself and not seem so nervous.

He gently started to massage her hand. His touch felt like warm electricity. “I could give you a ride,” he offered.


BEAUTIFUL, a July 2017 release, may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords.


About Sylvia

Detroit Author & Founder of Motown Writers Network, Sylvia Hubbard has published over 40 books in suspense romance. As a happily divorced mother of three, Ms. Hubbard has received numerous awards and recognition for her work. An avid blogger, Ms. Hubbard has had five #1 Best Sellers on Amazon. Her current work is called BEAUTIFUL, and she has two more books coming out before the end of 2017. Learn more about Sylvia through her website,, and through these social-media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , YouTube, Periscope, Snapchat and Goodreads.

Author Speed Dating: Isabelle Drake

Author Speed Dating(1)

If there’s one thing I enjoy almost as much as writing books, it’s READING books. I love discovering new authors, too. So I thought my blog would be a perfect place to introduce my authors friends to potential new readers. Only to give it a twist, we’re doing this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: Isabelle Drake

Isabelle Drake - pic

Erotic Romance


15 Questions

1. Which Scooby Doo character best describes you in high school?

The Witch Doctor in “Decoy for a Dognapper”. I didn’t kidnap any dogs, but I did have a wild streak and wore some wild clothes.

Scooby character Isabelle Drake

2. How many rejections did you receive before you sold your first book?

About seven year’s worth. But I sold short stories in the meantime.

3. Bon Jovi or Tim McGraw?

Tim McGraw. He’s the chauffer, driving me to dinner with Jason Mamoa.

4. In which genres and sub-genres have you been published, and what does your narrow or sweeping focus say about you?

Sweet romance, Erotica, Romantic Suspense, Chick Lit, Erotic Horror, Young Adult Romance, Young Adult Thrillers, Short Stories, Young-Adult Thriller and Zombie Noir. (Is that a genre?) What does this say about me? I love stories. Writing them, reading them, living them.

5. When you give into a craving for fast food, what’s your drive-thru destination, and what would be found in your bag?

Hamburger Happy Meal from McDonald’s with milk and apple slices. Mikey D’s has the best toys.

6. Which is your preference to write: love scenes or murder scenes?

How about a love scene that ends in murder? Okay. Just kidding. Both! But I usually write love scenes at night and murder scenes during the day.

7. Jane Austen or Stephen King?

Jane Austin, for the humor.

8. What is your best advice to a writer who has just received a rejection?

Aside from the very common advice, keep writing, I’d add, have fun. Once you sell, you won’t have as much time to enjoy the process.

9. Are you more dangerous in a bookstore or a shoe store?

Shoe store. I plan my book purchases ahead of time and order from my local bookshop. Shoes are totally impulse. (Dana actually already knew my answer to that question. Ask her about the gorgeous, strappy Diane Von Furstenberg sandals I “made” her buy in San Francisco.)  

10. Which heroine from one of your books is most like you?

Victoria from Cowboy for Hire. She’s fixing up a dude ranch, doing her best to make her dream come true. She’s not afraid of hard work and not afraid to make mistakes. Also, she’s determined to do “it” (whatever it is that’s she trying to do) on her own. I know, being stubborn isn’t necessarily a good trait, but it is one of mine.

11. The Bachelor or Sons of Anarchy?

Well…I like the idea of  The Bachelor, but I don’t have regular TV. I only have Netflix. Yeah, I know I could probably watch The Bachelor on streaming or old episodes on Netflix, or Prime, but it’s really too late. Everyone has already talked about what happened. So, Sons of Anarchy. I’d argue that the driving character, the one person the story line centers on, is the mom. So that’s neat. She’s terrible but with good motives, so very dynamic and compelling.

12. What is the first thing you do when you finish a book?

Clean my office!

13. Name one thing you wish you could change about yourself.

Sometimes I wish I could sit still and relax “like a normal person.” But alas, I am always wanting to be doing at least one thing, if not two or three simultaneously.

14. Does your perfect vacation involve high-altitude and the word “jump” or umbrellas drinks at poolside?

Umbrellas and drinks. But I’ll be doing day trips that include hikes or bike rides. Then, while I’m at the pool, I’ll probably be writing or reading.

15. Sure, it’s like picking a favorite child, but which one or two of your titles do you secretly love just a little more?

Servant of the Undead, read it free on Wattpad!, for its raw complexity. And the setting – a Boston  blizzard. Unfinished Business, from Totally Bound, for its sweet intensity. And the setting-Detroit.


CB 1Pink Bow final cover


Cuckold  Beach 1: Pink Bow

By Isabelle Drake

Troy didn’t say anything as we passed through the towns along the water. It wasn’t the kind of quiet when he’s upset, but the kind when he’s excited or anxious or just considering something important. So I didn’t worry about him not talking. I looked out the window and tried not to think about the fact that only a tiny layer of fabric separated my bare pussy from Troy’s view.

As we went farther down the coastline, the buildings became smaller and closer together but it was obvious that everyone who lived along the coast was loaded. The yards were landscaped with flowers, beach grasses and fan palms, and lit with soft spotlights. Many of the houses were tall and narrow, with parking garages on the ground level and living spaces above. It was a neighborhood way out of our price range, that was for sure.

Another thing I was sure of—we didn’t know anyone who lived here. Or maybe it was just me who didn’t know anyone, otherwise why would Troy bring us here?

After a long while, Troy turned off the main road and started checking the map on his phone. My curiosity was making me so jittery, each minute dragged, but finally he parked. Once he cut the engine, he turned to me and put his hand on my leg. “You know how much I love you, right?”

“More than the moon loves the stars,” I said, repeating our special phrase.

“That’s right. And I always will.” He slid his hand up my leg. “I know about the porn.”

My mind went blank.

Was that what he’d been thinking about during the drive? Heavy silence settled between us until I broke it with words, even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say. I explained about a girl at work telling me to check out a particular site and how the site made me curious, so I kept looking… And I kept babbling, telling most but not all of the truth, until he cut me off.

“It’s okay. I love you, Abby. And I know what you need—so I’m going to make sure you get it.”

I started to talk again, telling him how much I loved him and that he always satisfied me, but he cut me off a second time by kissing me firmly on the mouth. His hard kiss stirred up all that lust that had brewing since he’d told me to change clothes. Within a minute, I was panting and reaching for his belt. He guided my hands away with a smile and laugh.

“No, no. Tonight is going to be different. For one thing, you aren’t in charge.”

“What else?” I asked, eager to know.

He shook his head and climbed out of the car. “Follow me and find out.”


Read a longer excerpt of Cuckold Beach 1: Pink Bow here: Sample on Amazon . Purchase a copy here: Amazon buy link.


About Isabelle

Isabelle Drake got her start writing confession stories for pulp magazines like True Confessions and True Love. Since publishing those first few stories, she has written in many genres, but tends to write about everyday people in extraordinary situations.

During the day, she is a Professor of English and Writing. When away from the keyboard and classroom, she likes watching classic horror films, especially Hammer films such as the Karnstein Trilogy, and reading (of course). An avid traveler, she’ll go just about anywhere – at least once – to meet people and get story ideas.

Connect with Isabelle on social media at these locations: her website,; Facebook; Instagram; TwitterPinterest; Amazon; Tumblr; Goodreads; YouTube; Wattpad; and Snapchat @isadrake.