Fresh Find: Etched in this Moment by Calla Zae

Calla Zae is an otherworldly and contemporary romance author, and a busy one to boot! Fresh off the back of a September release, she has a brand new book out for your reading pleasure.

A false identity romantic suspense, Etched in this Moment sees Sofia battling her desires for the determined detective who just might be her undoing.

An interview with Calla Zae

JL PERIDOT: What’s the deal with Sofia? Why is she in hiding?

CALLA ZAE: Sofia is a woman who’s at a crossroad in her life. She moves across the country in search of her purpose in life, and she dates a cop. Like many of us who feel lost, we often gravitate toward people who we think are “good” for us. Sofia is no exception.

When he reveals the monster in him, she ran.

JL: Theo embodies the archetype of a protector in this book. What do you love most about the protector trope in fiction?

CALLA: We all want to be safe and secure. Love gives you that. A safe environment allows a child to grow and an adult to mature. When we feel safe and loved, there’s this liberation that allows us to be ourselves. We can show the world who we are. With that mindset, we can reveal our talents. When someone loves you in a way that allows you to feel safe and secure, you grow wings. You are free. You can explore any destination you want.

At least for me, that’s how I see it and that’s what I love about the “protective” trope. 

There are so many good books with this kind of hero. The most recent one I read was the Mount Trilogy by Meghan March. I loved the way Lachlan Mount protected Keira.

JL: So, from your creative beginnings, how did you come to write otherworldly and contemporary romance?

CALLA: I have a fashion design degree and worked in the fashion industry for a while. But during that time, I also wrote stories on the side because stories feed my soul. So when the pandemic hit, I had to stay home with my young kids due to virtual school (an experience that confirmed I’m not a very patient person! Lol!), I took a leap of faith and published my stories. Initially, I had wanted to query an agent. But like I said, I’m not a very patient person. Besides, I believed in my stories. I believed in myself. And when you have that kind of conviction and ambition, you create your own magic. The Universe will follow suit with your desires.

Art plays an important role in everything I do. It affects how I think and see things. Creativity is the breath of life for me. When I write, I use a large portion of my brain—the intellect, the discipline, the linear way of thinking that chapter two goes after chapter one like placing one foot in front of the other in a logical manner.  But when I create art, I tap into my heart, my intuition. I go sideways, upside, inside out; it doesn’t matter if it makes “sense.” Art is all about how you feel when you look at it. As long as the art makes you feel something, then you’ve made something worthwhile. 

I believe emotion is where the magic is.  I like to think that my brain and heart are creative muscles that I use every day, so I try to flex them as much as possible. When I’m stressed, I turn to art. Art shuts down my brain, and I enter a quiet space that resets my mind. Art therapy is healing. Writing can be healing too, depending on what you write. Writing in a journal is different from writing a difficult plot. Art and writing are different forms of creativity, and I believe both are important in a soul’s journey.

JL: And when it came to this romantic suspense…?

CALLA: Etched in this Moment is set in Coolidge Corner, an active shopping area in Brookline, Massachusetts. It’s adjacent to Boston. I went to college in Boston and enjoyed the energy of the city. I wanted to write a contemporary story set in an area I was familiar with. I wanted a romance with a sense of danger, mystery, sophistication, and steam. It’s the kind I love to read. The Etched series will have seven books.

Also, writing contemporary romance gives me a break from my otherworldly stories!

JL: Seven books is a huge undertaking! But if anyone can do it, you can. What can we expect from the rest of the series?

CALLA: Etched in this Moment is Book One in my Etched series. There are seven books planned. You can expect similar romance, suspense, and steam. The characters are interconnected, and each story can be read as a standalone. There are no cliffhangers.

All of my books allow the woman to gain a sense of self-worth. I want them to know that they are worthy and they have something to offer the world. I want them to understand the inner chambers of their hearts. There’s nothing that is too small. Everything that is given and made with love is “worthy.”

When you acknowledge who you are, you claim a spot in this world. From that spot, you can shine. I want to show them that it’s possible to overcome your shadows, your past and gain back your self-worth. All of us are born with it, and society has pushed that worthiness into a corner. Over time, people have forgotten that it was always there. I want to show women that they can take it back. Self-worth was always theirs to begin with.

Etched in this Moment by Calla Zae

The law has failed her; men have failed her, but I won’t.

“Every moment with you is precious time ticking life into my heart.”

Sofia (Tia): The holidays are here, and I’m feeling hopeful until an anonymous text message arrives, reminding me of why I’m in hiding. I go by “Tia,” but that’s not my real name. I stay away from men, especially cops. But Theo—an attractive and determined detective—fascinates me. I’m afraid my desire for him might be the end of me.

Theo: The last thing I need is a distraction that takes me away from my recovery from a deadly wound. But as the mystery unravels around Sofia, so does danger, and so does my heart. The need to protect her pulses in me, becoming a priority. She’s mine, and I always protect what’s mine.

Available now from ebook retailers.

About Calla Zae

I love writing otherworldly and contemporary romance novels. I’m an artist, and I love to create visuals to convey my stories.

I live in Massachusetts with my husband who keeps me grounded to Earth and two creative children who think I have my own secret planet. They’re onto something…

She knew the start of a dick-swinging when she saw one — excerpt from Chasing Sisyphus

It’s been a while since the last excerpt share. This one’s from my first novella, Chasing Sisyphus, published by Siren-BookStrand and released in 2017.

She found Declan crouched over a puddle on the floor. She grabbed a handful of paper towels and stooped down beside him, mopping up the spill.

“I got it.” He hissed, and snatched them from her.

“Sorry, I thought you’d want some help.”

“You brought a cop into my home. How does that help? Are you trying to get me shipped out?”

“Of course not. I wouldn’t have brought him here if I had a choice.”

“What do you mean ‘choice’? What kind of shit are you caught up in, Ade?”

“I could ask you the same thing!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“The car? Last night?”

“Are you drunk? What car?”

She heard Rhys clear his throat behind them and shut her mouth. They turned to see the detective’s broad body towering over them from the doorway.

“The car you ran into the Legion River last night,” he answered. “At least, I think that’s what she means. But don’t stop talking on my account.”

Declan postured up, gripping a shard of mug in one hand. Rhys reached for the holster in his jacket.

Adria leapt between them. She knew the start of a dick-swinging when she saw one. She held both them at arm’s length, hand to chest, looking back and forth between them, keeping shard and gun in the corners of her vision.

“What say we skip the coffee and talk? Just talk, OK? That’s all we came for, Dec. Honest.”

Book cover for Chasing Sisyphus by JL Peridot

Chasing Sisyphus is the first book in The Basilica Conspiracy series. If you fancy checking it out while I’m still working on the other books, you can find ebook purchase links on my website.

Fresh Find: Building on Broken Dreams by Lyndell Williams

Lyndell Williams once published a blog post titled, Muslims do that?!

It about summed up my astonishment and delight when I first stumbled upon her work. Her stories depict Muslim couples navigating love and sensuality within their unique cultural and social environment. They’re about sex, love, faith, passion… all the goodies you want in a romantic, erotic piece of art.

It’s with great excitement that I’m getting to participate in the book blitz for her latest release, Building on Broken Dreams. Here’s everything you need to know about this erotic suspense romance.

A white man kisses a Black woman on the cover of Building on Broken Dreams by Lyndell Williams

Building on Broken Dreams by Lyndell Williams

He’s everything she wants, but can she trust another man?

From award-winning writer and bestselling author Lyndell Williams, a steamy romance that tests the boundaries of faith and yearning.

If Maryam Avery stays in New York for one more day, she will die.

Trapped in an abusive relationship with the manipulative and cruel Raad, she can feel her life closing in around her. After he chases her from her home and family, Maryam flees to Philadelphia, searching desperately for a new beginning, something to help rebuild her spiritually and physically.

When she meets the mysterious Adam, things are thrown off-kilter. A successful businessperson with his own past that he is fleeing from, he is everything that Maryam wants. But can she trust another man?

Doubt gives way to desire. They find themselves in a whirlwind romance, and for once, it seems like everything will work out.

Until Raad turns up.

Release Date: 14 October 2020
Genre(s): Erotic romance, romantic suspense, erotic suspense, interracial romance, Muslim romance, BWWM romance

Excerpt

Maryam finished cooking and stood in the hall, holding a thermos of hot coffee in one hand and an egg sandwich half-wrapped in aluminum foil in the other. How angry was he? What is he going to do to her?

Adam strode toward her, grumbling and fumbling with his belt buckle. “Eight months of work shot to hell.” He stopped. His glower transformed into a grin that reached his hazel eyes. “What’s this?”

She plastered on a smile and batted her lashes at a speed almost matching the cadence of her heart. “I thought you could take it with you.”

His shoulders relaxed. He held her face in his hands. “You’re something else, Mary. You know—” he sprayed her lips with kisses “—I owe you a honeymoon. How about I arrange one?”

“I’d like that.”

He pressed her backward, pinning her between his body and the wall. The heat reignited and waved through her, burning away any fear or anxiety. He might have been angry, but not with her, and he would not take it out on her. She balanced the sandwich and mug in her hands. Her breathing got heavier with each nip to her neck. “Adam.”

He stepped back and reached into her robe. “Mary,” he groaned and yanked her panties from her hips while uttering a dua. Already moist white lace and satin fell to her feet. He propped against the wall across from her and ripped open his pants snap and zipper. “When you same my name like that, I got to have you.”

“But your friend.”

“Will wait.” His rough hands spanned up her thighs and clenched her rear, lifting her. His breath rushed into her ear. “I want you now. Do you want this D or not?”

His throbbing stiffness titillated her fiery folds. “Yes.” She locked her legs around his hips at her ankles and squeezed his broad shoulders as he stretched and filled her. “Adam, please.” She slowly blinked at the bobbing picture of Mecca hanging on the opposite as he bounced her on his stiffness. The movement of their bodies fed a mounting desire. Their first time together had been so tender. He had eased her fears and brought her to ecstasy. Now, the raw lust surging between them infused every inch of her in a way she had never felt before. It was all so glorious. She tucked her heels under his tense bottom, stilling his thrusts and unleashing a carnal shriek from deep inside. He soon roared in release and set her down. She panted, leaning against the wall and letting her legs drop.

He trailed pecks up her neck before stealing her air with a lingering kiss on her lips. He pinned her gaze while adjusting and closing his pants. “You don’t know what you do to me, Mary. I’ve never wanted someone so much.” He disappeared into the kitchen. Water ran for a moment before he came back, taking the thermos and crushed sandwich from her hands. “I’ll be back in time for the next prayer.” He offered salams and bit into it, strutting away and disappearing into the morning light, flooding the opened door.

About Lyndell Williams

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer and bestselling author. She is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She is an editor, writing coach and mentor. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and writes for multiple online publications.

Fresh Find: Arresting Jeremiah by Amber Daulton

Today’s fresh find is Amber Daulton’s newest book, Arresting Jeremiah, a 98k super hot romantic suspense published by Wild Rose Press. Here’s everything you need to know about the second instalment of the Arresting Onyx series, where to find the book, and how to get your hands on the first book in the limited time sale.

A blonde woman and a mysterious man on the cover of Amber Daulton's new book, Arresting Jeremiah

Arresting Jeremiah by Amber Daulton

Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.

Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

  • Series: Arresting Onyx (Book 2)
  • Release date: 14 October 2020
  • Genre: Romantic suspense
  • Length: 98k words
  • Heat rating: 5 flames

A couple get intimate in bed. Text in image: The heat of his mouth, the spark of his touch, and the love in his eyes set her body and soul aflame.

Blurb

Calista entered her bedroom and her mouth dropped open. Oh, God.

Her date reclined on her bed as though he starred in a photo shoot. Candlelight flickered across him. The sultry gleam in his eyes arrested her, holding her captive. His sexy smile weakened her knees. None of her past lovers rocked a pair of classic black slacks and a crisp white dress shirt like he did. His chest hair, a few shades darker than the locks on his head, poked from the parted fabric and teased her.

How would that thick hair feel against her nipples? Soft? Coarse? Just right?

Jim was spread out for her pleasure like a Christmas present. She wanted to unwrap him, layer by layer. Maybe he should unwrap himself, so she could enjoy the show.

She let her gaze travel the length of his body to the bulge pressed against his zipper. Perfect. He was hard already. She licked her suddenly dry lips.

“Stare all you want, but it’s more fun to touch.” He patted his thigh, the invitation clear.

“I’m tempted.” She cocked her hip. “I guess the blueberry clafoutis can wait, but you’re a little presumptuous to think this is how the night would end.”

Then again, she did mention having breakfast together. What did she expect him to think?

“End? Honey, we’re just getting started.”

She laughed, grasped the hem of her blouse, and pulled it over her head. Her favorite perfume scented the room, and she picked up the bottle. “You like?”

“Hell, yeah. A lot.”

She sprayed a few drops on her fingers, caressed the pulse at the base of her throat, and dragged her touch down between her breasts. His guttural growl teased across her nerve endings, shooting rockets through her belly. She shimmied her skirt down her hips and kicked aside her heels. A red-satin bra-and-panty set sheathed her body. She locked her hands together behind her back before involuntarily covering her breasts and stomach.

“Damn, look at you. Come here, Calista.”

Content: woman in jeopardy, man in jeopardy, single mom, family, violent ex, investigations, police procedural, criminals, gangs, drugs, urban romance, HEA, no cliffhangers, standalone, series

Get this book

Or would you like to read book one first? Arresting Mason, book one in the Arresting Onyx series, is now on sale for .99 cents—limited time only.

Text in image: Sale alert, 99 cents, Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton

About Amber Daulton

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

author Amber Daulton smiles at the camera