Birthday Love ~ Sarah Ballance

Today I am especially honored to be here, sharing space with Abby on her BIRTHDAY! Happy, Happy Birthday to you, Abby, and may the gentleman who gets to spank you at the end of the day have *very* talented hands. :c) And, of course, I hope you have a day much better than that of my characters in my new romantic suspense, TIDE OF LIES. Hold on to your party hats . . . here’s a closer look at the story.

TIDE OF LIES | blurb
A devastating secret. A shocking betrayal. A deadly obsession.

Haunted by three unsolved murders, Detective Holden Whitlow is stunned when his cold case takes a heated turn. Julia Cohen, his ex-lover, is back in town, and in the face of a brutal attack she’s ready to run. No matter how tightly she holds her secrets, for Holden, turning away from the woman he’s spent a decade trying to forget isn’t any more an option than walking away from his job . . .even when it threatens to cost Julia her life.

Julia is still reeling from a past she can’t bear to face. When she becomes the target of a killer, fate throws her back into Holden’s arms, but she’s yet to recover from a truth that has stripped her of everything—and everyone—she loves. Will she tell him the secret that will destroy him, or will her lie destroy them both?

TIDE OF LIES | excerpt

Julia Cohen. The name wasn’t familiar, but the nagging feeling Holden should know it tailed him all the way to the hospital. The unease kept him company in the otherwise empty elevator where he now stood, thumbs hooked in his pockets with his fingers tapping his thighs. The numbers above the doors lit in rapid succession before landing on six with a quiet ping.

Julia . . . Julia . . . .

The doors slid open to reveal a bustling nurses’ station. Ahead, a uniformed officer leaned against the wall, saving Holden the trouble of asking directions. He flashed his badge to the desk nurse and made his way down the hall, sidestepping an elderly woman in a wheelchair and food cart with a stack of covered dishes. The smell of the waiting dinners made his stomach rumble, reminding him he’d skipped lunch.

His stride faltered as he neared the room. He should have stopped for an update on Ms. Cohen’s condition. Now, thanks to his bull-nosed curiosity, he had no idea what to expect. With a nod to the officer, Holden knocked lightly on the door, and then waited a few seconds before letting himself in.

Afternoon sunlight bathed the room in an earthy glow, casting a deep shadow over her face and masking her identity from him. His only clue was the shape of the blankets draped over her, which suggested her frame was slight, her height petite. Lacking anything else to go on, Holden took her name for another spin. Julia . . . .

“You cut your hair,” she said.

Startled, Holden drew his hand to his head, his palm pressing the soft spikes aside.

Quiet laughter met his ears. “You didn’t know?”

Holden squirmed inside, feeling every bit the schmuck for not recognizing her, though she clearly felt she knew him. But her voice . . . it might have been familiar if not for the dry, raspy undertones—a beating could do that to a person, though. Damn. His victim knew him—or thought she did—and he hadn’t a clue who she was. After the trio of murders hit Barrier Shoals, he’d had plenty of cameras shoved in his face. Was she one of those so-called murder groupies? Either way, she had the advantage. If he could only see her . . . he struggled with the urge to turn on the overhead light, eliminating the shadows. Grasping, he tried to remember when he’d last made a change to his hair.

Seventeen. Right before his first semester of college, his mom pleaded with him to ditch the shaggy surfer cut—something to do with the world not taking him seriously with his hair in his face. She equated grooming with respectability, and Holden had fast learned the fine art of choosing his battles.
Maybe that’s why he felt for the kid standing in his socks at the crime scene—Holden had been there and done a little too much of that.

But choosing battles wasn’t the only thing Holden had done that summer.

He’d been engaged . . . .

Recognition slammed into him.

“Jules.” His voice broke. He tried to hide it by clearing his throat. This was a hellfire state of awkward. It wasn’t every day a man ran into the woman who’d made a dizzying, mind-blowing play for his virginity . . . and won.

That part had been amazing. The rest, he had just tried to forget.

AMAZON (author link)
BARNES & NOBLE (author link)

Thank you so very much for allowing me to visit with you all today. I hope you enjoyed this look at TIDE OF LIES, and I’d love for you to join me at my blog for my weekly gift card giveaways. There’s a whole page of details at, but basically it comes to this: every week, I give away a gift card to Noble Romance, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice). To enter, all you need to do is subscribe to my blog *by email* and you’ll automatically be included in every drawing for as long as you remain a subscriber. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day!

For a chance to win a *paperback* copy of my paranormal romance, HAWTHORNE, please visit the following links to enter one or both giveaways:
NO STRINGS GIVEAWAY HOP (international print copy giveaway – ends April 22)
GOODREADS GIVEAWAY (US only – ends May 11)
SARAH BALLANCE | about the author
Sarah and her husband of almost fifteen what he calls “long, long” years live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She often jokes that she writes to be around people who will listen to her, but her characters aren’t much better than her kids. Fortunately, her husband is quite supportive, having generously offered to help her research “the good parts” . . . and she’s never had to ask twice.

This entry was posted on April 20, 2012. 2 Comments

Protected: Gabrielle’s Seduction

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This entry was posted on February 29, 2012.

Sneak Preview!!

Thank you for viewing my interview with Zee Monodee this morning.

I’m excited to see Fans active in my writing career.

Well I don’t want to keep ya’ll waiting to long.

Click here to view !!! 

This entry was posted on February 29, 2012.

Natalie Baum ~ Saturday Talk “Live”

Hello there, ladies! I’m toe-curling glad to be here guest blogging. Thank you, Abby-Rae for allowing me to share some sensory overload lovemaking suggestions with your loyal readers in honor of the upcoming lovers’ holiday!

Now settle in all you sexy vixens, and get your pen and paper ready because when I read the following tips for the first time, I found myself immediately in need of a cold shower. Who am I kidding? Why would I hop into a shower alone when uncorking a spicy bottle of Chianti sounds so much more satifsfying? Especially if you factor in an exotic chocolate bar with that bottle.

One tip that I found particularly romantic involved pausing while in the midst of hot lovemaking to lay your hand on top of your partner’s chest, over his heart and have him do the same to you. Now granted, typically when a man places his hand anywhere near the immediate vicinity of my naked boobies, I immediately want to encourage him to delicately fondle them, but brace yourself girls because that is not the next appropriate step for this hot tip.

Rather than race for the obvious finish line awaiting you at this point in the game, take a few moments to enjoy the feeling of his heartbeat beneath your fingertips. Once you’re ready to ramp up your romantic connection another notch, gently lower your ear to his chest and take comfort in the sound of his heartbeat. Encourage him to lightly stroke your back and play with your hair while you lie atop him. Close your eyes and allow yourself to drift away under his touch to the beat of his natural rhythms.

One additional tip that never fails when wanting to desire your male partner involves paying extreme detail to the way in which you bless his manly member with oral sex! That’s right, I said it…after all that intimacy building with the heartbeating stuff you didn’t think that you’re man wasn’t going to want some sort of hot and sexy blowjob type of thing did you, ladies?

Seeing as how it’s Valentines’ Day, I say why not satiate his every whim and fantasy even if it’s not your average sex move. He’s earned it and more importantly, he’ll love it! Now, I agree that any time a woman moves towards her man’s business, he most assuredly gets all whacky with anticipation! Make these exciting moments last by sitting next to him on the bed and cupping his cock in your hand. Next, lean down, lightly blowing on the exposed parts of his manhood. The trick here is that you want to blow into the tunnel that you’ve created with your hand. The warmth of your breath will graze his dick, heating it to unmanageable heights.

And how may this benefit you directly, you may ask? Just think of the all-night lovemaking session at your fingertips should you please your man to such degrees but not necessarily allow him to reap the full pleasure of said fancy trick. How you finish him off is at your discretion. I fully recommend pushing him down on the bed and sliding on top of him, rocking yourself to ecstasy before allowing him to fully experience the moment.

As much as I would love to be able to lay claim to this helpful information, sure to result in hot lovemaking, Cosmopolitan magazine actually collected these tips and initially shared them. You can find the full article at:

Don’t worry about hurting my feelings if you find yourself longing to go there and read the low-down on what I’ve mentioned. Extensive research is the first step to all-night sensational sex as far as I’m concerned!

Should you find yourselves yearning to read even spicier lovemaking and dating tips please visit my website at

You can also check out my favorite saucy, sassy chef in her latest book Callie Mallory Chicago Adventure @ Noble Romance: ( when additional hot and sexy physical tips are desired.

Happy Valentines’ Day, everybody!  Here’s to all of us getting steamy, hot and sweaty sex as often as we like over the next five days!

Hugs and kisses,

Natalie Baum

This entry was posted on February 11, 2012.

Coming Soon!! Drive-By Valentine ~ Kimber An


Coming Soon!!!

Pushing thirty on Valentine’s Day, Eve realizes her desperate search for love has led to nothing but misery. Then, she takes a chance on a little old lady who’s famous for finding the perfect guy for every girl just by looking at his truck.


Drive-By Valentine

By Kimber An

Eve laid a hand on the highly polished brass doorknob, twisted, pushed, and stepped over the threshold alone. The smell of fine leather and oil filled her nose, and a little panic nearly made her step back outside. If her mother knew what she was up to, visiting this little antique automobile store the night before Valentine’s Day, she’d just die. Going there was a desperate act, but the girls at work didn’t know anything about the tiny town in the middle of nowhere that Eve discovered quite by accident. And if they didn’t know, Mom would never find out. She planted her feet like trees and beheld the dazzling sight of an old car painted candy-apple red. Ropes made of a deeper red velvet, curtained the vehicle off from curious fingers.

“1926 Model-T,” said a raspy-voiced woman. “My Tommy’s first and still in mint condition.”

Eve lifted her eyes and saw the hunched-back old lady standing behind an ancient, brass-trimmed cash register, which, undoubtedly, did not have any kind of scanner or other modern bells and whistles. Eve figured she better introduce herself. “My name is Eve and I . . . I’m looking for a . . . .”

“Husband. Yes, I know.” The wizened senior had long, gray hair streaked with black and pulled into a beaded barrette. She wore a faded denim shirt and a gold, heart-shaped locket lay against her collarbone.

Eve felt blood rushing through vessels all over her face until her ears burned. The old woman came close to hitting the mark. Eve hadn’t gone there looking for a husband, exactly, but a date for Valentine’s Day sure would be nice.

“My name is Sofia.” She hobbled around the counter on a cane.

Sounds Mexican. 
Eve pondered the old woman pulling a chamois cloth from her pocket.

“Italian, actually. Papa worked in a Lamborghini factory, and Mama smashed her Fairlane through the storefront because, she said, he was gorgeous.” Sofia ran fingers over the hood of a pink convertible and then turned her attention to a dark blue Mustang. Both vehicles stood behind ropes, just like the Model-T.

“Oh.” Eve took a few steps and scanned the store for a face-saving excuse for being there. Old, polished planks squeaked beneath her high heels, and the display cases shone with fine wood and glass. Chrome wheels and trophies from antique automobile shows hung on the walls. “I was driving through, when I noticed your sign.”

“Uh huh. I see. What kind of husband are you looking for?” Sofia tenderly polished the Mustang’s fender.

“I’m not . . . .” Eve’s thoughts rushed back to the girls’ chattering about their plans for Valentine’s Day. She’d overheard Mary Alice tell Rachael that she’d bet five dollars Eve wouldn’t have a date, that she’d probably be sitting at home, by herself. Silently, Eve placed her own bet; she’d find someone to go out with tomorrow, if it were the last thing she’d do. Then she’d left work early, claiming a headache, and driven aimlessly until she’d stumbled upon this tiny little town a couple hours outside the city.

“You won’t find what you’re looking for until you’re sure of what you need.” Sofia interrupted Eve’s morose thoughts.

Eve focused directly on the old woman’s eyes and decided to play dumb. What had she been thinking, going there? “I . . . I don’t know what—”

“I think maybe you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. We only need to draw it out. Tommy and I fell in love in that 1955 pink Cadillac.” She nodded toward the convertible. “Papa was a mechanic, you see, and I always helped him.”

Eve turned her attention from the Caddie to the wall of framed photographs behind the cash register. She studied the top portrait; black and white, the picture showed a grinning bride and groom standing before an old car just like the Model-T. Each picture below showed them aging together in front of yet another antique automobile, until finally, Sofia stood alone beside a gravestone in a cemetery, the Model-T parked in the background.

“We knew what we needed and we found it together.” Sofia’s statement brought the real issue into focus.

Eve tried to stop wringing her fingers and bit her lower lip instead. What would she like in a husband? “I suppose it would be nice to find someone successful and charming.”

Sofia stopped polishing and looked Eve up and down. “That’s what your girlfriends have, so that’s what you think you need too. But, I don’t think that’s it at all.”


Enjoyed that little snip… Click here to buy !

Get to know ~ Kimber An 

This entry was posted on February 6, 2012.

Introducing Ms.Callie Mallory

Hey Savvy, Sexy Goddesses,

Callie Mallory here…I know, I can hardly believe it myself that my “creator” (whatever that means) isn’t here to stifle my very informative, very helpful voice herself! I mean seriously, what’s a girl got to do to get a word in edge-wise around that Natalie Baum? You’d think she runs the world the way she acts like it’s a big deal when I want to talk to my fans without her approval. Alas, I’ve distracted Natalie with an entire Chocolate Mud Cake and she’ll be busy for the next twenty minutes so we can directly chat.

If you’ve already had a chance to read about my latest adventure in Chicago [Callie Mallory Chicago Adventure] I hope you enjoyed experiencing my city dalliance as much as I enjoyed subjecting myself to all that research. 😉 But seriously, how could a female chef who adores food and everything male not love a man named Basil? His name practically begged me to eat him! I actually think it was pretty good the way I stayed composed and fully clothed as long as I did. That man was as charismatic as he looked hunky. And after getting naked with him I can honestly say, he definitely deserved to be named after a spice.

For those of you who’ve been too busy catching up with chores, tasks and New Year’s goals after all that fun holiday brew-ha-ha (no, not sure if that’s an actual word, just like the way it sounds—and that it indicates beer) and have no idea what I am talking about check out catch up on all the sexy frivolity.

Now onto business…when Andie (Abby-Rae Rose) so graciously agreed to let me blog on her site I wanted to show my gratitude by providing some awesome tips and information about food, travel and of course, my favorite passions—romantic rendezvous and exhilarating sex. And what better city to start with than the beautiful lakefront Chicago?

This first tip is a two-fer because it addresses food and sexy stealth moves. Eli’s The Place for Steak restaurant and their infamous cheesecake offers an unbelievable opportunity into sensory exploration. Their steak is divine and cheesecake creamy, coming in dozens of tasty flavors or plain.  

And no, I’m not just cruelly teasing all of you fierce ladies who don’t happen to be in Chicago—that would be rude! You can visit Eli’s website and check out their online store if you find you have a hankering for cream. (Yes, that pun was totally intended.)

No matter how or where you acquire your dessert remember this helpful seduction tip. When dining with a date slowly part your lips before lifting the fork to your mouth. Allow each bite to hover mid-air, right in front of your hot, exposed cleavage for at least fifteen seconds. This gives your suitor time to briefly linger and imagine the silky touch of your naked bosom against his flesh, before slowly feeding him each bite.

Next, I want to share with you all of the amazing places in Chicago where you can stroll and sit and discreetly explore each other’s bodies (yes, in public) once you’ve found an attentive hunk worthy of touching you in inappropriate ways.

My favorite city hotspot is the lawn that borders the Shedd Aquarium ( and overlooks Lake Michigan to the north, the city to the west. There’s plenty of space there to spread out…

(Oh no, I hear her coming. Apparently a single cake isn’t enough to distract Ms. Baum for more than 10 minutes.)

There you are! Seriously Callie Mallory you are out of control. I leave you alone because you say you need to bake in private and figure out a secret ingredient for some new recipe and then I find you instructing unsuspecting people to commit lewd acts in public that could get them arrested?!

You didn’t let me finish my sentence, warden. I was going to say spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy some wine and cheese and savory appetizers…

Uh-huh! Like I believe that’s all you were going to suggest. No way—


Not another word! I’m sorry about this folks, Callie Mallory means well and granted she does have an awful lot of fun and always seems to bump into big, desirable adventures.

See, I didn’t say that one, you did. Bumping into big, desirable body parts, that wasn’t me…

Nobody clearly stated body parts, randy girl—that was all you!

What’s wrong with body parts? Body parts are helpful. You use your hands to type and I use my hands to cook. I cook up stuff in the kitchen, on the set of my cooking show and let’s not forget the real cooking in between the silky sheets in my bed—

Okay, Ms. Mallory, heave-ho! Sorry ladies, I’ll get her under control and hopefully be allowed to blog here at Andy’s site alone in the future and provide recipes and real tips.

There, you just did it again with the “ho!”  

I didn’t mean ho as in ‘ho.’ I meant let’s you and me leave like sailors on a ship pulling out to sea.

Sailors on a ship pulling out? Why would any right-minded woman make them do that? Those men are heroes. They serve and protect our country. They deserve special treatment and consideration.

I think everybody’s heard enough from steroided-up Chef Betty Boop for one day. Say goodbye, Chef Mallory.

Goodbye, Chef Mallory!

Very mature.

Don’t worry comrade vixens, next time I’ll make sure and bake a double-layer cake and only allow her access to one fork! Until then be sure and visit me at or my Natalie Baum Romance blog or check out my full story at

Love you all,

Chef Callie 

This entry was posted on January 14, 2012.