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Is it too late for vampires?

Hi all.

Stella isn't the only one who has missed the odd post. And I know this is a bit late, but hopefully it'll make it out to all in time.

It's hard to believe it's already the end of November...and even harder to think that just a year ago I was celebrating my first month as a published author. In that short period, I've released eleven books, my latest appearing just a couple of weeks ago. I still can't believe it. I look back and it feels as if I've always been here, yet I know how truly lucky I am. I've had some fabulous editors and some great companies to work with. And that's what makes this coming holiday season even better. I get to be thankful for all the new people that have come into my life.

As December looms and we all get ready for a new year, I'd like to take a moment and chat about my latest release with TEB...the second book in my vampire series—Twice Bitten. It seems fitting that my last release with TEB in 2010 is the next in line to the first book I released with them in 2009—Sacred Talisman. Both of these books are very special to me as they are my vision of vampires. And who doesn't love a sexy vamp?

Now for me, vampires are old school. They have no reflections, they burn in sunlight and above all, they are the epitome of desire. Brooding and dark, they offer their counterparts everything they secretly desire, but never thought they could have. They are the perfect mix of good and evil, and my two new leading men are no exceptions. Here's the blurb...

Twice bitten…once saved.

Despising the sight of blood isn’t a desirable quality for a vampire, never mind an Enforcer, a vampire sworn to protect a sacred talisman from those seeking its power. Couple that with a twin brother who can feel and taste your every sensation and immortality feels more like a curse. Too bad Gabe and Mathias’ troubles have just begun.

When the guardian of their talisman literally falls into their lap, they discover the draw of the pendant goes much deeper than just their pledge. It rekindles their sexual desires, and they’ll use all their vampire tricks to lure Ripley into their bed, and into their withered hearts.

But when Ripley discovers the truth, her life and the fate of the talisman are put to the test. Can the men earn back her trust or will this sunset be their last?

A quick excerpt for you....

“Congratulations, Mathias. I think you got her.”

Mathias scowled at his brother as he morphed back into his human form, kneeling beside the woman crumpled on the floor. “She surprised me. I only grabbed at her to stop her from getting hurt.”

“You might want to work on your technique.”

Mathias shook his head, brushing a handful of auburn hair back from the woman’s face. He didn’t need to check for a pulse. He could sense her blood beating just below the surface of her honey-coloured skin, the rhythm erratic, but strong. “What the hell is she doing here? I thought Sirus said no one used this room anymore.”

“Just another reason we can’t trust the man.” Gabe dug through her purse, holding up a set of keys. “She had a key.”

“Now what?”

“We either leave her on the floor, or do the more noble gesture and lay her across the couch.” Gabe knelt down beside him. “You know how I feel about a damsel in distress.”

Mathias smiled. They’d been vampires for five centuries, yet Gabe still saw himself as the gallant knight. Hell, Mathias wouldn’t be surprised if the pretty little damsel had a black belt in karate with more moves than the dancers upstairs.

He nodded, lifting her limp body off the worn carpet before shifting over to the couch. Her hair fell in a puddle on the dark leather as he laid her across the cushions, her head still bowed towards her chest. He squinted when Gabe flicked on the lights, bathing the room in a harsh glow.

“I know. We don’t need the light, but I doubt our little pixie is going to want to wake up still encased in shadows.” A sly smile tilted Gabe’s lips. “I think you scared ten years off the poor girl.”

“You didn’t help by slamming the door shut with your face all fanged out.” Mathias blew out a long breath, taking a closer look at the woman.

She was small compared to them, with lush, full lips and a heart-shaped face. Her nose accentuated the perfect symmetry of her features and he couldn’t help but wonder what colour her eyes were. He’d been too preoccupied trying to make sense of her presence to notice, and now all he could see were closed lids brimming with thick, dark lashes.

Mathias traced his fingertip along her cheek. “She’s not wearing any makeup. I thought all women in this century wore that stuff?”

Gabe shrugged, motioning at Mathias to make room as he dipped the couch with his weight. Mathias shuffled back, lifting the woman’s legs across his as Gabe settled at her side. A small tremor moved through his fingers when his hand slipped on her boot, sliding up her calf and across her skin.

He pulled his hand back, looking up at Gabe. Being twins, they’d always shared a special connection, but their abilities had grown since their resurrection. He knew Gabe had felt the vibration, surely as if the man had been the one to touch her.

“What was that?” Gabe ran a single finger along the girl’s leg until he brushed her flesh.

Another tremor filled the air, prickling the hair on the back of Mathias’ neck. He shook his head, shifting his gaze to the woman’s face when an electrical charge seemed to fill the air.

“Maybe she’s wearing something?”

“This isn’t human, Mathias. Whatever’s going on here is beyond their realm.”

Gabe moved his hand to her jacket, pulling the zipper down an inch at a time, as if he expected something to jump out at him. Mathias followed the slow progression, snagging his lower lip when the bottom popped open, exposing a strip of vivid green.

“I wonder if her eyes match her sweater?”

Mathias turned to Gabe, not sure he’d heard the man correctly. After a century of abstinence, Mathias hadn’t expected the comment. He drew his brow together, shifting his gaze between the vixen on the couch and the gleam glimmering to life in his brother’s eyes. “I guess that means you feel it too.”

“I don’t feel anything. I was just noting how green her sweater was.”

“No, you were wondering what shade her eyes were, which is totally different.” Mathias sat back, cocking his head over to one side. “Go ahead and lie to yourself. I can sense the truth. You’re as affected by this… this…pixie, as you called her, as much as I am.”

Mathias reached down and grazed a hand across his cock, feeling the damn thing stir to life. He closed his eyes, feeling his brother’s confusion mix with his. How many times had they taken a woman into their bed only to leave in frustration?

“Something’s wrong.” Gabe glanced at the door. “Maybe Alexander is behind this.”

“He left too close to sunrise. And I doubt even fifty-proof sunscreen would keep his cold-hearted ass alive.”

“Not funny. Maybe we should…”

Gabe’s voice trailed off as a faint flicker of blue flashed beneath the green fabric, sending a cold wave through the air. Mathias reached for the source just as Gabe pulled her coat open, revealing the deep V of her shirt and the soft creamy swell of her breasts. More blood surged to Mathias’ shaft as he trailed his fingers up her stomach, stopping below the sensual hollow between her breasts. His brother’s fingers joined his as they dipped into her shirt, skimming over a smooth vial of glass.

Mathias’ mouth gaped open, his fangs at the ready, when the room exploded into a pulse of blue light. Power surged through his body, knocking him across the couch. He hit the armrest and shuddered to a halt, wincing when Gabe crashed against the far wall. Mathias levered up, watching the tiny pendant fade from a brilliant blue into a deep sapphire, before finally winking out. He clenched his jaw, his gaze falling to his brother.

Gabe pushed to his feet, bracing some of his weight against the wall as he stared back, his brown hair wild around his face.

“Bloody hell,” said Mathias.

Gabe nodded. “If not now, it soon will be.”

I've also been fortunate enough to have had Night Owl Romance review my book. I received a rave review for Sacred Talisman from them the day Twice Bitten released and the reviewer was kind enough to offer to read Twice Bitten for me. Here's what NOR had to say...

Kris Norris follows up with a fantastic second installment to her Dark Prophecy Series as we meet Enforcers Gabe and Mathias. These twin brothers are more different than alike yet they are connected through their immortal bond. Mathias is a fun-loving almost impish, yet sexy and sensual hero who balances his brother Gabe's dark and brooding appeal. They complement each other and I don't think I would be able to choose between them and Ripley is so lucky she doesn't have to...The sensual scenes were well choreographed and with every touch or caress the reader learns a little more about each of the three major players. It was nice to revisit some of the characters from the first book and I look forward to meeting others in the upcoming adventures and seeing how many more talismans there are and how many other sexy vampires have been created to protect them.

I couldn't be more thrilled with how my first year as a published author has gone. I've had some great reviews and even better... I've made some new friends. I wish everyone a happy holiday season. Please take care and I'll see you before the end of the year.

Romancing adventure at a time.


Wow I have missed some posts... but Im back!

Ahoy everyone!

Its been wild the past couple of months, and I'm happy to say its all winding down, and I can get back to normal. And with the Holidays here, I'm not sure how normal that's going to be, lol.

Audra and I are writing a short for Valentines Day (I think), revolving around Anya from A Gift Of Daybreak, and her Lion shifter suitor. Its going well, and we should have it to our editor in a few weeks.

For anyone that doesn't know, To Collar and Keep, the second in our American Satyrs series, has been doing well. If you haven't read it yet, you should. Its a sexy, naughty little story about our Rummer prince, Harlequin and the woman that would be his, the Grecian princess Arabella. Its been getting amazing reviews, and I know you'll just love it. I mean, who doesn't love a dominant sexy man who lives for your pleasure? LOL.

Well this holiday has been awesome. Hope everyone had a terrific turkey day (if your in the states) and didn't get wild with the insanity of shopping (thank god for online shopping!).


Hola, amiga/muchacha/ señora/señorita. ¿Como estas?

I debated whether to jump straight in with a different topic, a bit of promotion or whether to offer some sort of introduction in view of this being my first Hitting the Hot-Spot post. As I do like to be polite - well, some of the time - I opted for the latter. However, that decision raised another predicament because I’m not all that new here. Although I’ve been around on TEB for a while, I’ve been kinda dormant of late so an introduction is not strictly appropriate. Therefore, a simple greeting is more fitting.

It got me thinking about salutations in general, not least because the initial meeting between characters that are strangers to each other is all important. First impressions count in life and literature.

Ordinarily, I’m quite a low-key greeter: polite good morning/afternoon, firm handshake (because I hate a limp handshake) for people I have just met. I tend to be a little more animated when it comes to family and friends, or people I haven’t seen in a while, but still never too over the top. I put this down to being a middle child; I like to blend in and not demand too much attention, (“she said, unable to hide the glint in her eye despite her sober expression.”) However, it can become difficult to stick to the status quo when you encounter those that like their greetings a little more dramatic.

For me, hugs and continental cheek kisses are reserved for family and close friends, it is a bit much from near strangers. There are some people that it is just lovely to greet warmly no matter how often you might see them, but this doesn’t apply to the majority, for me. Sometimes, you don’t want to be that close to people you don’t know, especially when the smell of cigarette smoke, coffee or booze is involved. Even when a cheek kiss is appropriate, you then have to worry about numbers. One – fine, two – hmm okay, three – a touch greedy perhaps.

Besides actions, language is also something that needs to be considered, hence the title. I love the Spanish language even though, alas, I am far from fluent. But I know enough to use different greetings according to the situation. Different titles according to the person – much like in English. Imagine a good old Cockney, for example, going into an interview and opening with: “Y’alright bruv, ‘ow ya doin’ geez?” Not only inappropriate but much more difficult to get your head around than: “Good afternoon, Mr Bloggs. How are you?” A term of endearment from an adored one is wonderful, but being called “darling” or “love” by a stranger just makes me cringe.

Then there are those that are unnecessarily loud, somehow reaching a level of excitement that makes them shriek a greeting rather than using an appropriate volume. I have found it all too easy to unconsciously become louder until everybody is screaming.

Some of the most powerful greetings can come when nothing is said at all. I once created an entire fantasy after a lingering glance from a stranger whilst on the tram. I still remember him – from his cropped black hair to his pristine Fila trainers – though it was years ago... yum. It is that type of glance or slight eyebrow twitch that can inspire the first meeting between a hero and heroine. However, if you ask me to recall anything about strangers that wink at me, or those that say “smile, it might never happen”, I could only stare blankly.

When I’m in a certain mood or an advance is unwanted, one of the best ways to respond is in Spanish. “Lo siento, no hablo Ingles”. The resultant look of confusion is priceless. Mischievous? Me? Never!

With all this in mind, there is no fanfare, no production, no invasion of space. Instead, I offer a slight tip of the head, a smile and a wave as an I’ll be seeing you around or better still hasta luego.
Lady in Red due from TEB Jan 2011


Just Do It…

Just do it can be more than a popular sporting goods company slogan, it can be a way of life.

It’s easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and taking care of others that there’s no time left for us. We can end up burned out, used up, sitting in front of the television, doing the same thing day in and day out.

Is it time to get in touch with what pleases you?

Yesterday, I participated in my first ever 5k. It was called a Turkey Trot! (Those of us in the States celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday…and instead of sitting in front of the television watching a parade, I decided to get out and enjoy the below-freezing temperatures and some sunshine!)

Despite the cold, it was a blast. The Western skies were an amazing blue, and there was something amazing about being outside in the early morning hour.
Over 1,200 people participated in the 5k, and the camaraderie made for a fun event. I grabbed a coffee with a friend afterward before heading home and baking a couple more pies.

The point is, doing something different adds to the texture and experience of our lives.

Last week, I grabbed a spotting scope, a pair of binoculars and headed for a local state park to look for a reported rare bird. The temperature had dropped over twenty degrees in an hour; fog rolled in and brought the biting wind with it. I didn’t see the bird, but again, it was fun to do something different.

Around Christmas, I am joining a bunch of family members on a train ride to the “North Pole.”

Just doing it can include many things. Like trying new foods. I’ve started going to restaurants I’ve never frequented before. And when I’m there, if there’s something on the menu that I’ve never had before, I order that. A few weeks ago, that included trying squab. (Yeah, young, domestic pigeon.) I have to admit I turned up my nose a bit. I really couldn't believe I was going to eat (as my sister calls them) "statue squatters," but I found it this particular squab to be off-the-hook good.

Everything we do that’s different keeps us sharp, keeps us fresh, changes our perspective of the world. Traveling and vacations are definitely included here. It’s easy to return to the same places again and again, just like we go to the same restaurants, just like we drink the same beverage at our local coffee shop, just like we watch the same television programs, just like we read the same authors, eat the same foods.

We allow patterns to etch pathways in our brains, and soon, those pathways can become ruts.

How could you enrich your life? What unique experiences can you sign up for that get you up and out and moving?

Yeah, instead of sitting there, just do it! Happy unique experiences to you!


A Bit of a Bio and Thankful Thoughts!

This is my second post on Hitting the Hot Spot and I thought I'd share a little about me. :)

I'm married (celebrated my 6th anniversary this summer) and a mother of two young children, ages 3 ½ and 5 ½ . I adore music, singing, laughing, desserts (especially chocolate) and coffee. I'm a Sagittarius, which means I live for adventure and I'm a bit of a loner. I love deeply, wear my heart on my sleeve and try to cover it all up by not saying anything at all. That's one reason I love writing. I'm free to explore and create any scenario I want. My characters say and do things I wouldn't dream of actually doing in my own life. I find the freedom to let my imagination soar extremely satisfying and highly addictive!

I live in the States and I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with my family. There are so many among us without loved ones or food to comfort them during this season. That reality is always running through my mind as I rush to prepare for the day. This is the time of year to give thanks for what you've made it through and the people in your life who've been there no matter what. It can also be a time of high stress. Especially, when you're responsible for the feast and certain know the ones...try to push buttons! No matter, I intend to keep my wine glass full and!

Seriously, I'm thankful for so many things this holiday season, my husband, children, family and friends. I'm thankful for my wonderful publishers and stories to take me into the New Year! I will never take for grant the gift of creativity or the readers who embark on the journey with me.

If you're celebrating the holiday, I wish you a wonderful, peaceful, delicious Thanksgiving!



My Grateful Post

It's American Thanksgiving in just two days, a time to sit back, relax, and focus on what we're thankful for. Okay, there's a certain amount of eating in there too, turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie...but still time to appreciate all the gifts I've been given over the years.

I'm truly thankful to have been given a love of the written word. A voracious reader from a young age, I took that interest one step further when I decided I'd like to try my hand at writing. 60+ novels, novellas and short stories later, I can happily say I've done it, and it was a blast.

I'm not stopping, but I am slowing down. The feverish pace I used to work at left me feeling behind on a good day. Life's too short to be worrying about what else I should be doing all the time. I have a beautiful family and two other jobs besides writing, and I want to devote proper attention to everything that needs it.

My focus in the new year will be on the novels I co-author with my good friend Jude Mason. We have too much fun writing together, I'm in no hurry to give that up. Our Kindred Spirits series is picking up steam, we've recently completed the fifth book and have plotted number six.

So back to that 'thankful' list. I'm grateful every day that I met Jude. She gives me encouragement, support and her shoulder on a daily basis. We may be thousands of miles apart, but thanks to the internet, it feels like she's right next door. Everyone should be blessed with a friend like her.

I'm very thankful to be published with TEB. They're a high quality, extremely efficient and organized publisher. The owners, staff and editors are truly wonderful to work with.

All of the authors I've 'met' online are a great sounding board and comfort to me. It's wonderful to have people to bounce things off of, and to know I'm not alone in this sometimes wacky business!

I've met a few special readers online, and it's always a pleasure. I know there are many more out there I'll probably never connect with, but I hope everyone knows how much I appreciate the support!

I'm blessed to be employed, and have a nice roof over my head. I have a terrific family and wonderful friends in my life. It's been a busy, up and down roller coaster ride of a year. But as we approach the end of it, I'm pleased to say we're all doing okay, and that there's officially 22% less of me this year than there was last year this time. LOL!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. Have a great week everyone.

Jenna Byrnes


And Now Introducing...AYLA RUSE!

I usually have to come up with something interesting when I blog. I struggle. I tax my brain. I force myself not to bore blog readers with mindless promotion. But today, I'm saved! Debut author AYLA RUSE has consented to an interview. So sit down if you're standing, strap in, and take a look at a talented new author with one heck of a sexy story.

I’m pleased to introduce new author Ayla Ruse. Ayla is a woman of mystery, working around her house during the day, going about her domestic chores with seeming innocence while secretly plotting with demons to take over the world… okay, she home schools. Her little demons are only interested in taking over her world. Ayla’s been writing for years but took time out to start a family and raise her kids. When not instructing her kids, picking up after her family and generally doing everything, she manages time to write. Her first release, The Deciding Factor, is a contemporary ménage due out in January 2011. Now to find out more about Ayla, I’ve come up with a bevy of questions to sate my curiosity and yours.

1. Welcome Ayla! When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Oh, it was at a very young age. Elementary school really. I wrote an imaginative and quite descriptive piece (complete with pictures) about a little girl visiting the Loch Ness Monster in his underwater home. I had plans to write a series. I knew it was the best story in my class (in truth, I have no clue), but from that moment on I could see myself writing for life.

2. Why romance? Have you considered other genres?

Yes, I have considered other genres. Horror, thriller, mainstream, fantasy. In fact, I have a very slow-going WIP that is a fantasy. However, I choose to write romance because I am in love with love, and most any other book you read usually has romantic elements in it anyway. I thought, why not go ahead and write about the relationship in full? Besides, I am an avid romance reader and this is one genre with which I am most familiar.

3. Most writers are readers. Who are you favorite writers? Have they influenced you at all?

Whew. Okay. Yes, I am a reading addict and many authors have influenced me. From the genre to the voice to the technical aspects of writing, I pretty much study while I read because every published author out there can give me pointers to improve my own writing. Now, as to specific writers…I love to read so many – you really don’t have enough space! I will, however, write down a few auto-buy names: Eloisa James, James Rollins, Mary Balogh, Nalini Singh, Cherise Sinclair, Bronwyn Green, Marie Harte (true!), Karen Marie Moning…and the list goes on and on and on. It’d probably be better if you asked me whom I do not read!

4. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I want to say that I am both, but at heart, I am a pantser. I may spend days or weeks with the story and characters in my head before I actually sit down to write (would this be the plotter part?), but it isn’t uncommon for me to become so engrossed in my current scene that it takes off and away from me. Or the story itself will go in a completely different direction from where I began. Once I put the draft down on paper, I read back over it and decide if fits in the story or if it went off the beaten track. It’s not unusual for me to scrap many, many pages, or even characters. Going through something I’ve written makes me think of the cutting room floor of a movie’s edit room. Some may think this is extra work for a writer, but this is comfortable for me, and it’s the way I’ve always written.

5. When do you write? What is a typical day like for you?

First, let me try to describe a typical day: I am not a morning person, so I drag my butt out of bed just after the kids wake up (they are my alarm clock, be it 5 am or 8 am). I somehow muster through breakfast (yes, for the cats and dogs, too) and coffee (zing, now I’m awake), and while my three little hero’s-in-training dress and wrestle (“I said not in the house!”), I transform the dining room into a classroom. I then round up the boys to begin our school day.

This challenging experience can last until early to mid afternoon, depending on how attentive they are and how many home school events we attend. Then they get free time and I get down time until we have to hustle off to their karate classes/scouting events/family happenstances. After supper I try to do a little housework, tuck the kiddos into bed and finally, finally, have an evening to write.

Some nights I’m lucky to get an hour or two, which as anyone who writes, knows this is not a lot of time to immerse yourself into your creation. As compensation, I’ll take a night or two of mommy-hood off, where my husband puts the kids to bed while I sneak out of the house to write all night. You know, it really is amazing I write at all!

Your first novel, The Deciding Factor, releases January 17, 2011. Tell us a little about the book.

The Deciding Factor is about a woman who wants more from life than work and meals-for-one. Aly isn’t looking for love, she’s looking for adventure. But her world turns upside down when fate lands her working part-time for Sawyer, her very first lover. Sawyer wants to reignite their passion, and Aly’s more than game. Then she runs into her very first love, Luke. First love, or first lover? The men want her to choose. Hot and sexy, or cool and controlled? How can she possibly decide? When in frustration she throws out the unbelievable suggestion of a ménage, the men take her up on her offer. What begins as an adventure soon turns into something more that has everyone second guessing their choices. Will their issues bind them together or tear them apart? Sawyer or Luke? Or just maybe, all of the above…

7. What was the hardest part about getting your book published?

Hands down, the submission process. Submitting a manuscript to any publisher is such a tedious and time consuming task! And that’s not even talking about the waiting period. Still, after rejection upon rejection upon rejection, when you get that acceptance letter, it makes all the tedium worth it.

8. Do you have anything you’re working on right now?

As a matter of fact, I do. I have a simple m/f futuristic {apt?} short story almost ready to go, and a steamy m/m/f contemporary heating up my computer’s hard drive.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve in a romance book?

Hmmm…it would have to be when the main characters do not express, in words, their love for one another. Even if the author made the character one who would die before uttering the words, he or she still needs to make (or attempt to make) that verbal commitment by the end of the story. Yes, action speaks louder than words, but c’mon. Those three little words do mean so much, especially backed by the action.

10. What advice would you give to new authors?

I have three pieces, actually, and I use these same pieces myself almost every day:

1. Write. You’ll never be published if you don’t put away the excuses and write. Trust me, I know. I can excuse with the best of them.

2. On every bad writing day you have, with every rejection you receive, ask yourself, “how bad do you want it?” If you want to be published badly enough, any rough patch will pass.

3. Always keep your goal in sight and remind yourself that this is what you want, above all else, then do what it takes to make it work.

11. How do your friends and family feel about your career?

They are excited for me, even though most of my male relations wave their hands and say, “Good for you, but I don’t want to know the story details.” You’d think they still believe I’m a virgin.

A fun quiz

Blond or brunette?
You didn’t mention black hair, that’d be my favorite.
Vampires or werewolves? Werewolves.
Eric or Bill? No contest. Eric.
Vanilla or chocolate? Believe it or not, vanilla, but never plain. It has to have a topping.
Series or single title? This is a toughie. I love a good single title, but I will do a series as long as I can begin with the absolute first book. If I cannot begin with book one, I won’t read the story.
Roses or Carnations? Roses for a more intimate and personal meaning, and if they are the more exotic kind. Carnations if it’s something nice and I want it to last for awhile.
Nook or Kindle? I don’t have either yet, but I’m looking at the Kindle.
Football or soccer? Neither really
Romantic night at home, or fun out on the town? Is there such a thing as a romantic night at home? (“No, you cannot have a drink, now go back to bed.” “Okay, you have to pee so I’ll stand by you so the bathroom monster doesn’t get you.” “Your snuggle time is during the day, and now I want snuggle time with Daddy.” “Shoo.”) Once upon a time, a romantic evening at home would have been my preference. Now, going out on a date with my love is romance for me.

You can read more about Ayla at her website and blog, She’s also new to Facebook, so feel free to stop by and Friend her!

Thanks to Ayla for this fantastic interview. And to everyone celebrating it, Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your pumpkin pie and turkey.