A huge thank you goes to Hennessee Andrews for organizing the Back Lot Beauties Hop, which gives us romance authors an opportunity to dust off our back list titles to remind you of something we'd released over a year ago. Each stop has a giveaway at the very end, so don't forget to scroll all the way down to put your name in the hat for a $5 Gift Card to your favorite online eBook retailer. All you have to do is comment, either here or this Facebook post.
For my stop, I’ve decided to showcase Flirting with Fire, an erotic paranormal romance featuring witches who turn into cute kitties. It's the start to my favorite series thus far, and it holds a special place in my heart since it led to the cat pictured on the right. After I wrote three romances featuring cat familiars, my significant other decided I deserved a kitten of my own. Moka, my personal diabolical familiar, joined our family soon after the third book in the series was published.
Flirting with Fire
Apprentice witch Catalina Gato is prohibited from assuming her human form in front of her new employer without his express permission. Since he doesn’t know he’s a warlock, he can’t give it, leaving her in a familiar’s limbo. To make matters worse, she’s barred from leaving his house, and her attempts to enlighten him of his true nature results in burnt notes, charred walls, and exploding laptops.
On All Hallows’ Eve, she gets one night of freedom. Deciding some no-strings-attached sex might take the edge off the intense attraction she feels for her clueless boss, she signs up for Madame Eve’s service. When she meets her masked mystery date at the Castillo Capital, she realizes she might have gotten much more than she bargained for.
After being gifted a one-night stand from his annoying best friend, attorney Leo Difuoco reluctantly ventures to the Castillo Capital to celebrate Halloween. When he meets his oddly familiar green-eyed date in a Cat Woman costume, flames literally ignite, sparks magically fly, and life as he knows it changes forever.
Cat chose this moment to return. Plunking down her plush bottom with her front legs straight and her heart-shaped face tilted up, the little minx stared up at him with a comical approximation of puppy-dog eyes. “Meow.”
Keeping a straight face took significant effort. “Feeling guilty, are you?”
Those uncanny eyes grew even wider, her long, dark tail wagging in a slow, hypnotizing pattern. He found his muscles relaxing, all tension and anger melting away. Unnerved by the almost-magical effect, he picked the creature up and held her in front of his face. “Your little tricks won’t work on me. I’m not letting you get off so easily. What you did was very rude.”
Her claws sheathed, she batted at his nose with one paw. “Meeeow.”
His resolve melted. He’d grown soft over the past six months, and the damn cat had learned to use it to her advantage. “Fine. I accept your apology. Now, run along. I need to wash up and get ready for work.”
When he set her down, she padded after him to the master bedroom, which he’d refurnished as soon as he moved in. Aside from not wanting to sleep in his great-aunt’s bed, the gothic decor had given him the creeps. What kind of old Italian-Gypsy used black sheets and installed a massive upturned crescent moon as her headboard? The memory of the blood-red carpet, emblazoned with weird black spirals, circles, and stars, still made him shudder.
He’d banished everything from the room, including a wall-sized, cross-bisected circular mirror, several dozen candles in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and multiple bouquets of odd-smelling herbs to the Salvation Army. He’d no clue what they’d do with it all, but he liked clean, sleek lines and modern furniture too much to have such bizarre items in his house.
Cat had been none too happy with his decision. Her housewarming presents were claw marks on every corner of his bed’s leather base. The rest of his furniture, including his chrome desk, rolling ergonomic office chair, and black IKEA chest of drawers all met with similar fates. To his relief, the feline soon grew tired of vandalism and started bothering him in other ways.
Accompanying him into the bathroom was a good example. While unaffectionate, the cat never ventured more than a few feet away. She had the decency to stay outside until the shower came on, but the sound of cascading water seemed to act as a trigger. Within seconds of him rinsing off, her sleek dark head would poke into the stall. His great-aunt must have installed some weird hi-tech cat sensor on all the internal doors. The creature roamed every nook and cranny of the three-story brownstone as if locks didn’t exist.
Testing his limits must be on today’s agenda since a black streak crossed his line of vision before he could shut the bathroom door. Already behind schedule, he crouched and jabbed his forefinger between his pet’s green eyes. “You know the drill. No coming in until after I strip.”
In lieu of an answer, she jumped to sit on the new granite sink. Unlike his furniture reshuffle, Cat had no beef with his bathroom and kitchen remodels. His stainless steel appliances, copper fixtures, and terra-cotta tiles all escaped the wrath of her claws.
Rising, he swept his arm toward the open entryway. “I don’t have time for this. Out you go. I mean it.” When his stern warning failed to achieve the desired effect, he heaved a sigh. Past experience taught him a chase almost never ended in capture.
Not bothering to close off the room, he hooked his fingers under his boxers’ waistband. “You’re a little pervert. Can’t you at least act like you’re not looking?” Very few sane people had lengthy conversations with their pets. He needed to get a life.
His audience of one lay down on her stomach, her face resting on her paws. The first couple of months, she’d pretended to be interested in something else—his assortment of fluffy white towels, for example. Now, she watched him shower like it was nobody’s business. Sighing, he took off his shorts and tossed them into the hamper, his aim perfect enough to remind him of his basketball-playing days. She meowed and nodded, as if in approval.
He stepped into the glass enclosure, feeling oddly self-conscious. With a twist of the handle, water fell like rain over his head. As he scrubbed, he continued to address the cat. “I’m going out tonight. It’s Halloween, and the guys are beginning to think I’ve turned into a hermit.”
The ensuing meow was pitched higher than usual. Though he hesitated to read too much into feline noises, his brain somehow interpreted the sound as an expression of enthusiasm. The plan he’d been lukewarm about gained appeal. “Besides, costume parties are great places to pick up chicks.”
He cringed at a loud crash. Poking his head out, he took stock of the damage. Ceramic shards from what used to be his soap holder covered the floor, along with globs of shiny translucent liquid.