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Scavenger Hunt with Tina Donahue

To pump up the action today, Tina’s hosting a scavenger hunt. Here’s what
you do to win!!

Rules: Periodically, throughout the day, Tina will post questions (four in
all) to the comments section here and at her site with the answers found
on her website. Hold onto your answers until all four questions have been
asked, then email the answers to Tina at [email protected]

Prize: The first one to email Tina with all four questions answered
correctly will have her choice of one of Tina’s books, including:

1. Adored
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious
3. Close to Perfect
4. Bad Boys with Red Roses
5. Take My Breath Away

That’s it!! Complete info on her website.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Be happy to. I’m a multi-published author in contemporary, historical and erotic romance.

To my delight, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Romantic Times have praised my work. I’ve reached finals and/or placed in numerous RWA-sponsored contests. Before I began writing novels, I was the editor of an award-winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in story direction for a Hollywood production company. I like to write what I call “Heat with Heart” – sexy, sensuous stories with a lot of emotional build before, during and after the sex.

Do you have a ritual or writing process?

If putting my butt down in a chair everyday in front of my computer and banging out my stories is a process, then that’s what I do. I write or research my books seven days a week, early in the morning when it’s quiet.

Can you tell us about your newest release DEEP, DARK & DELICIOUS?

Couldn’t wait for you to ask!  J  Here’s a blurb and an excerpt.

Blurb:

Deep, Dark, Delicious – A wickedly sensual feast…

Eden DeCarlo may have narrowly lost Miami’s best chef competition and the prize money she desperately needs, but she has caught the eye of dangerously virile Rafael Zayas, one of the judges and a wealthy restaurateur. Despite her vow not to let any man derail her life, Eden’s captivated by Rafe’s imposing masculinity, then challenged by the business deal he offers. He’ll invest in her new venture if, for one month, she can satisfy his culinary expectations and the sexual attraction they both feel. Dominant and unashamed, Rafe knows what he wants when it comes to carnal pleasure and will spare no seduction to have Eden in all the ways he demands – naked, wanting, submissive. Within thirty days, he will teach her the delights of yielding to passion, relinquishing all control to him and fulfilling her deepest, darkest and most delicious desires.

Excerpt (this scene opens as Rafe arrives at Eden’s house to begin their thirty day agreement):

Eden’s house, a relic from the 1940s, sat back from the street, its spacious front yard carpeted with lush grass and crowded with a variety of palms, some tall and slender, others squat and fat. Rafe lowered his duffel bags to the walkway, pausing to take in the white Spanish-style façade, Cuban barrel tiled roof and forest-green awnings over the arched windows.

As a seven-year-old new to the United States, he’d delivered morning papers to homes like this, his young eyes staring, his heart hoping one day he’d be able to live in such a palace.

His current waterfront estate, purchased after his endorsements reached several million dollars annually, boasted eight-thousand square feet of living space in the main house and two guest houses on the grounds, each the size of this home. His parents lived in one, Victor and his family in the other. Rafe had an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis court, wine cellar, gourmet kitchen, dock and yacht, countless bedrooms and more bathrooms than a single man would ever need. His dream had taken him well beyond his wildest aspirations. However, the seven-year-old boy in him couldn’t help but smile. His estate was a showpiece, almost too perfect. This pleasant place felt like home.

To the left, a car door slammed. He looked over. An older man, possibly in his sixties, carried bags of groceries into his house. In the yard next to this one, Rafe saw a very pale young woman partially hidden by a tall palm, her bony hands on the ringed trunk. A floppy straw hat shaded her face. Her eyes jumped from his luggage to him.

It seemed Eden had noisy neighbors. The sight of a man moving into her place probably enlivened an otherwise boring day or was so uncommon it warranted notice. Preferring the latter scenario, Rafe grabbed his things and went to her front door, ringing the bell.

The gentle chimes reminded him again of his paperboy days, waiting on porches for the homes’ owners to give him their payments. Back then, his young heart had beat wildly. He feared making a mistake and angering his customers.

His pulse quickened now at the sound of light footfalls nearing the wooden door, ornately carved in the style of Spanish architecture. The click of metal signaled Eden turning the dead bolt and the beginning of their thirty day adventure.

Even before she’d opened the door fully, Rafe caught her fragrance of cool fruit and sweet flowers with a suggestion of musk that went well with the cinnamon and vanilla aromas coming from the kitchen. Her cheeks glowed with heat…not from the oven, from him. As if she were helpless to stop it, her eyes softened beneath his appraising gaze. She’d changed her nose stud from a topaz to a diamond. The gem winked in the day’s gloomy light. Her stretchy white tank top worked to contain her breasts. White shorts hugged her honeyed thighs. A delicate silver chain circled her left ankle.

Bursts of warmth journeyed from his chest to his crotch, lodging there to feed his swelling cock. Damned near breathless, he looked up.

She murmured, “Welcome.”

Rafe dropped his bags. Hand on her throat he eased her against the door, his chest, belly and thighs molded to hers. Her heightened color said she felt his erection. Her tattered breaths said she liked it. He whispered, “Buenas tardes.”

In synchrony with her parting lips, her lids slipped down. An encouraging reception no sane man could refuse. His tongue touched hers, then pierced deep, compelling her to relax her jaw, to submit.

On a whimper, she obeyed.

His chest bumped hers with his sharp breath, her firm nipples stirring him further. She tasted of mint, toothpaste no doubt, having prepared herself for his arrival. Pleased, Rafe took possession. For thirty days she was his in every way, he wasn’t about to delay a second. His relentless kiss mirrored his savage appetite. With their bodies pushing against it, the door hit the stop, it wood shuddering briefly. His tongue explored her teeth, the silky insides of her cheeks. She suckled hard, pulling him more deeply inside.

Not good enough.

He bunched her top to her breasts, tunneling his hand beneath the cotton, seeking skin. Instead, he reached the edge of her bra. His kiss faltered at the obstruction.

She took over, pushing his tongue aside to plunge hers into his mouth. It won’t be as easy as you expect, her actions warned. I may be yours to take, but if you want my full submission, you’ll have to win me.

Did she have any doubt?

Her determination couldn’t match his. His discipline would be absolute. When the time came, he’d warn her against wearing underwear. While they were together, he wouldn’t have it.

He suckled her tongue, not about to let her end the kiss. Impatient, he pushed the bra’s sheer cup past her left breast, freeing it to rest on his palm, reveling in its feminine weight, flicking the long nipple with his thumb.

Subdued, her body relaxed, its weakness telling him he could do whatever he pleased.

Later, once he made her desperate for it. For now, he’d proven his will and released her breast, settling it back in its cup, easing down her top. She moaned softly as his mouth left hers. The back of her head rested against the door. Her eyes fluttered open.

Holding her gaze, Rafe’s hand slid down her arm to the large socket wrench she held in her fist. “Is this how you greet all of your guests?”

A smile danced in her eyes. She lifted her free hand to cover his on her throat. “Do you greet all of your hosts this way?”

He laughed. “You’re the first.” His lips sought the fine hair at her temple. Damping it with a tender kiss, smelling her melon-scented mane, he whispered, “Why the weapon? Were you expecting someone other than me?”

Her labored breathing didn’t allow her to speak immediately. Her sweet, quick breaths glided past his ear. “The pipe under my kitchen sink is leaking. I thought I could fix it before you arrived.”

He left a path of kisses across her cheek and jaw prior to looking up. “Give me the wrench. I’ll take a look at it.”

What helps get you inspired and what were your writing influences?

Events I see on TV or read about on the Internet often inspire my stories. For example, I got the idea for Deep, Dark, Delicious while I was watching Iron Chef on The Food Network. That night, there was a mega-hot Latin guy in the challenge. I started wondering what would happen if he was one of the judges and a hot Latin lady was a contestant. Then I began to wonder, what would happen if he voted down her dish and she lost but he still wanted her? After that, the story just took off.

My writing was influenced by the classics written by Dickens, the Bronte sisters, etc., and by contemporary writers whose work I enjoy, including Lawrence Sanders, Sol Stein, Hilma Wolitzer, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Dean Koontz -  stop me, please, I could go on and on!  🙂

When you’re not on deadlines, what do you like to read?

Just about anything, though not necessarily in this order: Romantic comedy, thrillers, horror, mainstream, historical romance, contemporary romance, and erotic romance.

What helped you make the decision to become a romance writer? Was it reading a romance book or a nudge from friends?

For me, writing wasn’t a conscious decision. It just came naturally. I’ve been writing since I was nine. When I read Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss, I started getting interested and excited about romance, so I’d say her work convinced me more than anything to try my hand at it.

How many years of writing did you invest before you finally made it?

When I decided to write romance, I wrote my first novel in six months and in less than a week after submitting it to my agent, he sold it to my editor with her asking for two more. However, I had been writing since I was nine, I had been the editor of a newspaper, so I had lots and lots of practice and years of honing my skills before I delved into romance.

Which character(s) or storylines that you are most attached to?

For me, the story I’m currently working on is always the one I like best. If I had to choose the characters or plots I enjoyed the most from my earlier novels, I’d have to say “Lady Love” and “Take A Chance”, contemporary romantic comedies for Kensington – more on the sweet than the sexy side.

What is the biggest misconception about romance authors that you’ve come across?

That they can’t write and aren’t professional. Nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to crafting stories with unique plots, especially in sci-fi and fantasy, they convey the characters’ emotions on the page. Believe me, that isn’t easy. In fact, it may be the hardest thing a writer will ever do. It takes talent to create and sustain emotional build – to make the reader sigh, laugh or cry and to truly care about the characters even after the story has ended.

Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

Read everything you can get your hands on, and not only in the genre you’re targeting. Write, write, write – everyday if you can. Perfect your craft.

Never give up. No matter how many times you’ve been rejected, write again, make it better and submit it. You will succeed.

Any last words for our readers?

Thanks for stopping by today and for your interest in my books. My commitment to you is to provide the best in romantic entertainment. Drop by my website to see what my current releases are and for a chance to win one of my earlier releases. I run contests and scavenger hunts monthly.

About Tina:

Tina Donahue is a multi–published novelist in contemporary, historical and erotic romance. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Romantic Times have praised her work; she has reached finals and/or placed in numerous RWA-sponsored contests. Her most recent work – Deep, Dark, Delicious was nominated for Book of the Week at Whipped Cream Reviews. She was the editor of an award-winning Midwestern newspaper, worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company (with work shown on CBS-TV) and is currently the Managing Editor for a global business document concern. You can email Tina at [email protected]