Thursday, January 7, 2016

Day Four...First Kisses for the First of the Year

Day Four of our launch into the new year with Celtic heroes and scorching sexytimes.

All week long, to celebrate the first of the year, I'm sharing all the first kiss scenes from all four stories in my upcoming anthology CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR.
All the heroes (three Scotsmen and an Irishman) do something pretty bad for (generally) pretty good reasons: they kidnap the heroine.  

That can’t be good…. Except it is, very good! 

Did I mention there’s a legendary dagger that runs through all the stories? 

Here, today, is the intro to the first kiss from Jennifer Haymore’s story:


….“Having no family…” She looked away from him. “It can be lonely sometimes.”

“And your parents are gone… Died two years ago from plague, was it?”

“How do you ken so much about me?” she asked, stiffening.

“We needed to learn all we could about you once we knew Sutherland was after you.”

She frowned. She didn’t like that. Didn’t like people she didn’t know digging into her past, learning about her parents.

“Do you miss them?” he asked softly. He cupped her cheek in his palm, turning her to face him.

His palm was warm and strong and soft, and she couldn’t help herself. She leaned into it and closed her eyes. “Yes. I miss them. I miss them terribly.”

His mouth touched hers, soft and warm, and she sighed against him.

“Aila,” he murmured, his lips moving against hers. “You’re so bonny. I havena…” He pulled back and dropped his hand, and she opened her eyes. He stared at her with a look that made tingles shudder under her skin. She grabbed onto his shirt, fisting the fabric in her hands, and he made a low noise in his throat. “Dinna test my control, lass.”

A thrill of fear rushed through her, but it wasn’t the kind of fear she’d experienced when she’d thought he was going to hurt her. This was a different animal altogether.

“What if,” she asked softly, “I want to test it?” 

You can pre-order right now at the special price of 99 cents; it releases Feb 16th.

Celtic heroes…scorching sexytimes…what are you waiting for??

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day Three...First Kisses for the First of the Year

It's day three of our launch into the new year with Celtic heroes and scorching sexytimes.

All week long, to celebrate the first of the year, I'm sharing the first kiss scenes from all the stories in the upcoming anthology CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR.

All these heroes (three Scotsman and an Irishman) do something pretty bad for (generally) pretty good reasons: they abduct the heroine.  

That can’t be good…. Except it is, very good! 

Did I mention there’s a legendary dagger that runs through all the stories? 

Here, today, is the intro to the first kiss from Vonda Sinclair’s story:



Dugald has discovered he kidnapped the wrong woman. Now what is he going to do?

….He met his lady captive in the corridor. Even the dimness of the cloudy morn could not diminish the brilliance of her bonny blue eyes. Her hair had been braided and styled perfectly, but this only made him want to take the pins out, run his fingers through the silken strands, and dishevel her once again. And the rose colored dress she wore—no doubt one of Mairiana's cast-offs—fitted to Camille's lush curves perfectly.

"Did you sleep well last night?" he asked, wondering what he should call her—Camille, m'lady, madame, mademoiselle, lass?

"Oui. Are you going to take me home today?"

"Nay. Not today."

"Why not?" Temper flared in her eyes like a blue flame… lighting the fuse of his arousal. "You know Lindsay will not bring your dagger. He doesn't even know me," she said. "I am of no use to you."

Dugald did not ken that at all. She might be very useful to him, but in a far different way. She was stunningly beautiful. And although the strawberry juice no longer stained her lovely lips, he still craved a taste of them. Need curled through him, tantalizing him to act on these maddening urges which had near claimed his sanity the day before. She had told him countless times that she was unmarried.

"Who is your husband?" he asked, just to be certain, before he did something he might regret.

"I told you! I am not married!" She ground the words out in a strong French accent, intensifying his craving.

He believed her. And thank the saints she was telling the truth, for he did not think he could resist her much longer.

"Why are you looking at me like this, monsieur?"

"Like what?"

She returned his stare, her eyes growing darker. She was bold, and he liked that.

"I think you know," she murmured.

Her words tugged at him, dared him to do exactly what he wanted.

With a swift movement, he slipped one hand around her neck, drew her to him, and captured her lips with his own. Damnation, but she still tasted of strawberries. Had she eaten them for breakfast, too? So sweet and delicious that he wanted to consume her utterly.

Her small hands fisted in the plaid crossing his chest, drawing him closer. When she opened her mouth and allowed him inside, he grew so hard he felt lightheaded. He needed her. Now! Still kissing her, he lifted her off her feet, carried her into his chamber and kicked the door closed.

She gasped and pushed away from him. "What are you about, monsieur?"

He released her, enjoying her dazed expression. Aye, she looked near as stirred up as he was, her face flushed, her blue eyes darkened. "I think you know," he said, throwing her words back at her with a smile. 
You can pre-order right now at the special price of 99 cents; it releases Feb 16th.

Celtic heroes…scorching sexytimes…what are you waiting for??

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day Two...First Kisses For the First of the Year

Day Two of our launch into the new year with Celtic heroes and sexytimes!

All week long, I'm sharing excerpts from the first kiss scenes in CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR, the upcoming anthology with Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair, Jennifer Haymore, and me!

All are alpha heroes (three Scotsmen and an Irishman), all are on a mission, and all do something pretty bad for (hopefully) good reasons: they abduct the heroine. 

That can’t be good…. Except it is, very good! 

Did I mention there’s a legendary dagger that runs through all the stories? 

Here, today, is the first kiss from Eliza Knight’s story:


…“Ye have my word, that is enough,” the brute warrior said.

Frustration streaked an angry red path through Rose’s veins. “Your word means nothing.” She stood, hands fisted at her sides.

Montgomery, too, stood, anger slicing over his features. “My word means everything.”

She didn’t back down. Even with the warrior standing nearly a foot taller than her, easily twice as broad, she wasn’t going to show her fear. “It means nothing to me.”

He grimaced, his teeth flashing in the moonlight. “Then ye’re a fool.”

“I am no more a fool than the man who abducts a woman and thinks she should trust him,” she retorted.

He cocked his head, eyes narrowing as he studied her. “Ye have a point.”

That startled her. He agreed? She faltered, words getting caught in her throat. Not the reaction she was expecting. At all. “I want to see my son. Now.”

He swiped a frustrated hand over his face. “I cannot comply with your wish.”

“Where is he? How far is he? Take me to him.”

Montgomery shook his head. “’Tis impossible. For safety, we must keep the two of ye separate until we reach Kildrummy.”

“Safety from whom?” Her voice was growing in octaves. She’d be raving mad in a moment; she could feel the anger burning through her chest.

“There is much ye dinna understand. And I dinna expect ye to understand everything, being a woman.”

What? Her mouth fell agape. Thoroughly insulted, even if she hadn’t anticipated anything less from the man.

Nevertheless, that was the last straw. Rose’s patience had a limit and her temper broke free from its bonds. She flew forward, hands balled and raised. She wailed at him, but he caught each of her fisted palms, wrapping his arms around her, pinning her elbows to her ribs, and when she tried to kick him, he pinned her legs between his thick, muscled thighs.

“Stop this!” he hissed.

Rose shook and heaved, glaring up at him. She spewed venom; called him names she’d heard her men shout while practicing in the fields. One of which, she knew was particularly vulgar. And then, suddenly, his lips were crushed against hers. Silencing her with warm, firm, velvet. She was not prepared for the strength of her own body’s reaction. The shivers that raced over her flesh. The pounding of her heart. The tightening of her wayward nipples. The trembling of her hands and the shaking of her knees. The intensity in which she pressed her lips back.

Montgomery’s hands slid to her shoulders, her arms no longer pinned. He cupped her cheeks, dipped his head to the side and kissed her deeper.

What was happening? Why was he kissing her?

Frissons of unexpected pleasure fired along her nerves. Her entire body trembled with both fear and excitement.

Why did she like his kiss? This was wrong. Incredibly so.

He was her captor. Had stolen her, and her son, away from the safety of their castle, and she was letting him kiss her?

Nay. She could not.

Rose jerked back and slapped him hard on the cheek, her teeth bared. “Dinna do that ever again, ye jackanapes.”

Montgomery touched the place she’d struck him and cleared his throat. “’Twas the only way to get ye to shut up.”

With that, the blasted warrior lifted her up and tossed her over his shoulder.

Uh-oh, right??? Or rather….yay!!!

You can pre-order right now at the special price of 99 cents; it releases Feb 16th

Celtic heroes…scorching sexytimes…what are you waiting for??

Monday, January 4, 2016

All The Firsts....First Kisses for the First of the Year

Happy New Year to all my readers and the hardy souls who continue read this horribly-intermittent blog.  I know you're out there, and appreciate your hopeful spirit.  It's about to pay off. :)

It's the first of the year and to celebrate, I'm going to share with you the first kisses from all four stories in my first, upcoming anthology CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR.

The discerning reader may detect a theme in that title. She would be correct.  Several themes, in fact. All the heroes are alphas (although not all are what you'd call 'bad boys.' Some are very nice alphas.)

All are Celtic--three Scots and one Irishman, but oh, what an Irishman... (Guess who wrote the Irishman?? :))

And all these dangerous men do something pretty bad for (one hopes) pretty good reasons: they abduct the heroine.

Sometimes it's for her sake.  Sometimes it's for theirs.  Sometimes, gets complicated.

And did I mention there’s a legendary dagger that runs through all the stories?

Every day this week through Thursday, I'll be posting excerpts from the first kiss scenes in each story, to help launch your new year with alpha heroes and sexytimes.

Here, today, is the first kiss from my story in the anthology:



….Voices broke out from the other end of the quay.  They turned.  The reeve’s assistant and a few other men were coming up the quay, one looking even more officious than he. Following were several armed men.

“Mother Mary,” she whispered.  “What more can go awry?”

Tadhg shared the query.

There was nothing for it; he made his decision in a heartbeat.  

Sliding his hands up her arms, he spun her and almost flung her up against the side of the nearest building, then reached up and tore off her headdress.

“Good Heaven's,” she cried, her hands flying up to capture the silky veil, but he already had it off and was tugging off her distinctive cloak next.

“Mon Dieu,” she gasped, grappling for the cloak, but he fisted it and the silky veil together in his hand, down by his hip.  He stretched out an arm and planted his palm on the wall, blocking her face from the visitors now hurrying down the quay.

“Kiss me,” he ordered.

Her shocked face stared up at him.  “I b-beg your pardon?”

“Kiss me, then run.”


“If you kiss me, you’re a whore.  If you stand there staring, you’re a merchant with a pouch of stolen seals in her hand.”

A second’s pause, then she pushed up on her toes and pressed her lips to his.

Dizziness and heat swooped in like hunting birds for Magdalena, dispelling sense and reason and anything else that might have been of use to her at the moment.  She had barely touched her lips to his when he descended without mercy, his mouth hard and slanting.  There was no prelude, no warning, no kindness or care, no quarter given.  She was a whore and he was having her.

He played the ruse exceptionally well.

He plowed her open with teeth and tongue, explored the depths of her wet mouth with sinful abandon.  She could do nothing but cling to him, her hands around his neck, her head forced back, her spine cupped, her body…thrilling.

Madness. Madness, all.

The hand not holding her cloak and wimple closed around her hip and began to tug up her skirts.  She made a feeble attempt to stop him, but his grip grew fierce, and he yanked the gown up, dragged it up the side of her leg until she felt cool air on her shin and calf.

Her head spun as if she’d been twirled like a top.  Picked up by a bird and sent flying.

Her knees grew weak, but she did not break that kiss.  She could not.  He’d become a field of energy, the way metal filings pulled toward iron, or one drop of water clings to another.  She was affixed to his kiss, to his chest, which she’d somehow pressed up against, to his shoulders, which she’d somehow wrapped her arms around, to his tongue, which was tangled with hers, his hot male breath, his cunning male hand, his hard knee now making all manner of incursions between her thighs, and she, she, reveling in it. 

Uh-oh, right??? Or wait….yay!!!

You can pre-order right now at the special price of 99 cents; it releases on Feb 16th to much hoopla. 

Hoopla...Celtic heroes…scorching sexytimes…what are you waiting for???

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Medieval Coming!

What's that, you say, a new release from Kris?? With an Irish hero? And sexytimes??

That's a big "yes!"

THE KING'S OUTLAW is up for pre-order as we speak.  It's a long novella, first in my new series of über-sexy, adventure-laden historical romances, CONQUERORS AND OUTLAWS.

You know you want those bad medieval boys. :)

THE KING'S OUTLAW will be available initially as part of a Celtic Heroes anthology, CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR, with three fabulous historical romance authors, Jennifer Haymore, Eliza Knight, and Vonda Sinclair.

Four fierce warriors.  Four women in peril.  One legendary dagger steeped in the blood and treachery of kings.  What more is there??

The stories span hundreds of years (mine kicks things off during King Richard's reign, 1193), all have a 'captive' trope, and all feature Gaelic heroes. Three Scotsmen and one lone Irishman, but oh, what an Irishman...

It's up for pre-order now, at a special price of only 99 cents! Here are some links:

I promise to bring you more updates as we go. And in the's the yummy cover!  What do you think??

Friday, May 22, 2015

Is she more a Scolastica or a Wymarka?

I've talked about names before, and how important they are for a writer, sometimes shaping the entire story, and definitely shaping the character's arc.  Who is this hero and what overriding traits does he have?  What's going to be this heroine's biggest test and her largest vulnerability?

Not sure why, but the right names helps find all that out.

Oh, the crazy human psyche.

I love choosing medieval names.  Well, I mean, there are also a lot of repeats in the name department.   I mean, a lot.  Of repeats.  Like in this paragraph.  Whether Norman or English or French, you find the same names repeated in the historical documents.  Alice, Agnes, Joan, Beatrice.  John, Richard, Geoffrey, Peter.   Over and over and over again.  And all those folks, without surnames.  :shakes head:

But there are also a lot of great names.  Evocative names.  Illustrative names.  Juicy, oh-there-has-to-be-a-story-there names.

Men's names, like Adelard, Basewin, Tancred, Serle and Saer (hero coming).  Percival, Ives, and Everard.  And oh my, the Irish names.  Aedh, Faolán, Lúcás, Siadhal.  It's sounds like a poem to me.

And the women's names.  Scolastica, Petronilla, Dyonisia, Wymarka, and Diamanda.  And the Irish: Áine, Sorcha, and Dubh Essa (which looks frightening, but sounds /Dove-essa/).

In my own books, I've loved some names so much I would hug them if they weren't, you know, a name.  i.e. breath, i.e. difficult to hug. 

Finian O'Melaghlin (IRISH WARRIOR), yes, it is a mouthful, but he's proud of his name, and Senna de Valery, the woman who freed him from prison, and whose mother loved color so much she named her daughter one, then left her. 

Eva (DEFIANT), who had no last name, and her hero Jamie Lost, whose name was given to him by the men who loved him and the ones who used him.

Sophia Darnley's (DECEPTION) first name was something entirely different in early drafts of the story, but Kier kept calling her "Sophie," so I had to change her name.  Those heroes...nothing but trouble.

I love when a name fits!   And not just in my romances. 

Bilbo Baggins is about the most perfect, fitting character name ever.   As is Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple.   And Hannibal Lecter. 

What character names 
have YOU loved? 

Monday, April 27, 2015


Finding a character's 'true' name can be the simpliest thing in writing, or one of the most difficult. In either case, though, for me, doing so is like water: essential.

It's different if I'm reading.  In that case, names matter, but I can also skim over them if they don't work for me.   I'm an inveterate chunk-reader anyway, so I can  hum through any name that feels like a misfit, or that reminds me of the kid in 3rd grade who used to make truck sounds as he went through the cafeteria line every day, spraying the kids on either side of him with the effluvia of his sputtering. (Note: not sexy.)

But as a writer, I'm a lot less flexible on the name thing.   Names matter.   A lot.

It's kind of crazy, but for me, names let me truly 'see' the character.  They're a bit like clothes: they reveal truths about a person, from the fit to the style.  But they not only reveal; they create. 

Names 'find' characters, and then force them to be true to that name.

I've had to use 'placeholder' names for months on end because no name felt right.   Unfortunately, no name = I struggle to find the story, flailing through hundreds of pointless pages trying to find the story and the arc for this wrongly-named soul.  

Names can be pesky things, and catching the right one can be like trying to catch a butterfly in a hurricane.  So sad, for the story, for the characters, for any deadlines I had planned.  

But the moment I 'find' the name, I also find the story.   It's as if the story shakes itself out, like a dog, and the entire character arc appears.
I'm guessing I struggle with names when I haven't 'found' the story yet.  This creates a vicious, if masochistically pleasing, circle.  All I need to do is find the story, and I'll find the name, and vice versa, which is at once hopeful (the story's out there somewhere, right??) and hopeless (I'll never find it.)

A peek into the neurotic freefall of one writer's mind.

How much do character names matter to you?
Do you have any books that you've loved, but couldn't stand the hero/heroine names?