Friday, April 18, 2014

~ Symposium: The Story of Us! ~

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my April Symposium!

This month I thought I’d asked my friends and fellow authors to think back and pick a favorite pairings or couple they have written, and share with everyone what made those characters so special to them. Find out what they had to say! 

LAURIE ROMA: I think every book I’m currently working on or just finished has to be my favorite pairing. Yes, there have been others in the past that have been special to me, but the three characters of 3013: CLAIMED really touched my heart. Commanders Jax Spartan and Sullivan Archer are strong men, but they both demonstrate that a hero can be alpha and dominant, while still being honorable and kind. What makes me love them even more is the way they care for their lover, Serra Lysander. She is a character with quirks, but they don’t see them as flaws. They accept and love her for exactly who she is. Jax, Serra and Archer were fun to create, and I believe that their story shows that true love can overcome whatever obstacles are thrown in anyone’s path. 

As one of Earth’s greatest leaders, Commander Jax Spartan lives his life by a strict code. Dedicated and alpha to the core, he is the epitome of what every Elite solider aspires to be. Second-in-command Sullivan Archer rules by his best friend’s side, and together they form an unstoppable force that few are foolish enough to challenge. Jax and Archer have always known they’d share their chosen, but their hearts have already been claimed by the woman they’ve vowed will belong to them.

Alliance scientist Serra Lysander is a genius who has kept the planet safe with her inventions. She’s lived a sheltered life, separated from society by her brilliant mind and her overprotective mother. The only time Serra has truly ever felt accepted is with the two men that will cost her everything…

When danger leads Serra straight into the arms of Jax and Archer, they will do anything to keep her safe, even claiming her despite the fact she is off limits. With the future of the Alliance on the line, will their love and dedication be enough to save them, or will they be too late to stop the growing threat from destroying them all?


N.J. WALTERS: It’s a difficult task for any author to pick their favorite pairing/couple from all the books they’ve written. I love all my couples but some do stand out. As most of my readers know, I’m a sucker for the wounded hero. I believe in redemption and second chances. Many of my readers love Katie and Cain from Katie’s Art of Seduction and Tienan and Silence from Embracing Silence. In both cases the men have tortured pasts. They don’t trust easily and it takes very special women to make them open up their hearts. I think my absolute favorite couple may be Laurel Rose and Stefan from Stefan’s Salvation. Stefan is lost and on a path to destruction until he finds the one thing worth fighting for—love. Laurel is scarred by mentally and physically from her past. She’s a courageous and amazing woman, and perfect for vampire Stefan Dalakis.

When this wolf comes knocking, there’s no turning him away. 

When Gwendolyn Jones inherits a Tennessee cabin from a great aunt she never knew, she quits her job and follows her dream to write full time. Meeting a stranger in a local cemetery isn’t a risk she normally takes, but she needs the information on his flash drive for an article she’s writing on werewolves. Later that night, when two honest-to-God werewolves come knocking on her cabin door, they’re definitely not Photoshopped.

Jacque LaForge is on a mission to retrieve a flash drive before it endangers his pack. He never thought he’d find a mate, but the chemistry between him and Gwen is unmistakably off the charts. Now to convince her he’s only trying to protect her from his vengeful former pack—led by his own father.

Gwen’s first instinct to flee only gets her a smashed car and a concussion. She wakes up in a dangerous new world she never thought existed—and in the arms of the one man who stands between her and certain death.

Product Warnings: Contains a sexy werewolf and his small pack of friends, a paranormal writer who really didn’t believe such things existed—until now—and a completely dysfunctional family who are out to kill them both.  


GABRIELLE EVANS: I have a bad habit of falling in love with all of my characters. They’re friends, family, some are even like my children. To choose just one couple isn’t easy, but I’d have to say Rayne and Dante from Devil Did Grin will always have a special place in my heart. Though they come from the same background, both having grown up in the foster system, now that they’re adults, they’re from completely opposite worlds. International, top-rated male model, Rayne leads a glamorous life. He’s conceited, self-centered, and prideful. Dante, on the other hand, owns a construction company, works long hours, and has the most down-to-earth soul of anyone you’d hope to meet. How these two came together is really beyond me, but their story always makes me smile, because it just shows that love really is blind, and finding the right person can change everything.

Along Came Fate 1: Moonstruck

Rion Cruz has an obligation to protect the pack lands, as well as his fellow packmates. Beyond those responsibilities, however, no one has ever depended on him until Moon came along. Captivated by the pint-size werewolf with the tragic past, he finds being someone’s hero isn’t quite the burden he expected it to be.

No one ever cared about Moon, not his parents and certainly not the staff at the lab who held him captive for years. Spending the majority of his life just trying to survive, he has never really learned how to live, but all of that changes when Rion sweeps into his life.

Moon knows the path to forever won’t be easy. When an unknown danger comes knocking at their door, however, threatening to end his happily-ever-after, he’s prepared to fight tooth and nail to protect his mate—and a future he didn’t even realize he wanted.


LACEY THORN: My favorite couple from my books is Tah and Abby from Waking the Beast. I've always found it interesting to watch a couple fall in love, and these two do it with abandon. In a way, Abby loved Tah before she ever knew he was real, when he was merely the tale of legend long past. Tah has watched Abby but never felt good enough for her. When they come together, it is with a fiery passion that leaves them caught up in a bond neither was prepared for. Much more than sex, they are joined in a primal mating that awakens more than just the beast inside Tah. They awaken a legend, and their love story is only the beginning. I love Tah and Abby, and look forward to revisiting them in every new Awakening Pride book!

The legend of the Paka Watu...

Ever since she was a young girl, Abby Lane can’t resist the allure of a cat shifter tribe forced to repress their beasts. On a trip to Africa, she discovers a coveted piece of information—the name the pride leader assumed when he left his home—and she traces his lineage to his descendent.

The sleeping lion...

Utah Pearce can't keep his gaze off the woman who slips into the bar every night. Though not his usual type, she brings out the possessive instinct in him, making him battle with himself as he tries to stay away.


Abby’s research never prepared her for the reality in front of her. The beast is waking, and Utah is changing in ways both exciting and terrifying. He is possessive and dominant, and when he finally claims her, neither of them will ever be the same.


SUSAN HAYES: I’m sure I won’t be the only one who says that all my couples are my favorite, so choosing one is not easy. If I had to pick one, (and Laurie was pretty firm on that, I even double checked.) I’d say it’s my trio of lovers from 3013: RENEGADE. Nikolai, Colin, and Alayna had so much fire and chemistry that writing them was a joy. As a member of the rebels, Alayna was defiant, brazen, and wanted nothing to do with the men who had claimed her or the Alliance they worked for. The three of them had so much to learn from each other along their journey, and they found their way with a lot of humor as well as passion. I love writing in the 3013 world, and I’m glad that those three were my first story in it. 

Tessa Banks is a cat burglar, in more than once sense of the word. A leopard shifter with a talent for taking what doesn’t belong to her, she braves the wintery cold of a Rocky Mountain resort town in a quest for vengeance. 

Reformed thief and tiger shifter, Doyle Frost, uses his unique talents to steal from the bad guys instead of for them. Known as one of the best, a simple retrieval for a client should’ve been easy, but in the game of chance, things hardly ever go according to plan. 

Plans go off the rails when the two thieves discover that Fate has a twisted sense of timing. Will they be able to keep their hands off each other and stay out of trouble long enough to pull off the heist, or will one of them be left to take the fall while the other takes the prize?


SIOBHAN MUIR: John "Bronco" Andrews and Lindsey Jarvis, the hero and heroine from Bronco's Rough Ride are my favorite pairing because they have so much strength despite their circumstances. Lindsey has to rescue John from a reverse sex-slave trade and then she must help him through the PTSD he experiences when coming down off the drugs. The development of their relationship really stuck with me as John looked to her for emotional as well as physical rescue. And then Lindsey has the courage to go after him when he leaves to see if he still wants her. I loved her strength to face the unknown. She's just like that in The Navy's Ghost, too. The trust and connection between them just makes me smile.

What happens in Vegas, stays in the heart...

Chief Petty Officer John "Bronco" Andrews only meant to stay one night in Vegas for a little R&R before resuming his duties as a US Navy SEAL in Coronado. But someone slips him a mickey in the bar and he finds himself in Madame LeBeau's sex trade. As the product. Doped up on ketamine to keep him docile, Bronco has no choice but to let it ride.

Detective Lindsey Jarvis has been undercover in LeBeau's sex slave racket for two years and she almost has enough evidence to take it down. Between abduction, prostitution, and murder, she has LeBeau by the short hairs. All she needs is a "product". John is the perfect witness if she can get him out before the drugs shut down his heart. Then she'll be free to start a normal life.

Lindsey doesn't count on her overwhelming attraction for Bronco or her need to see him through detox. But she's a cop in Vegas and he's a Navy SEAL, two lifestyles with too much unpredictability to maintain a relationship. Neither have time for more than one wild rough ride, and what happens in Vegas, stays. Forever.


JANA DOWNS: Every once in a while you run into a story that really gets into your blood and touches you in a way that leads you through a wide spectrum of emotions. When I wrote Titus and Regan’s story in Saved by Surrender, I laughed, I cried, and I definitely went on the wild ride of the relationship until I was left with that gooey marshmallowy feeling at the end of it all. They’re one of my favorite couples because their relationship and emotions were such a raw experience for me as a writer. I was truly lost in the story and that is always an awesome experience. 

Regan Adamson has a secret. As beta for the blackfoot pack, the only thing required of him is acting like a Dominant male. In the world of pack, switching is not an option but when he meets the omega, Titus, his resolve to ignore his need for occasional submission is put to the test.

Titus Oswin is on a mission to rescue a kidnapped group of humans. He never expected to meet his mate in the process. An admitted switch, Titus refused in the past to accept a lover who doesn’t Dominate and submit. But Regan is so deep in the submissive closet that Titus isn’t even sure the instant attraction and growing respect between them is enough for him to take a chance on their relationship.

As troubles within and without the pack arise, Regan will have to decide if being with Titus will be his ultimate downfall or if he will be saved by his surrender.


NIKKA MICHAELS: Big thanks to Laurie for letting me join her today to talk about The Story of Us. :) My favorite couple to write so far has been Ethan and Jamie from In the Raw and In the Fire, co-written with Eileen Griffin coming later this year from Carina Press. On the outside, Ethan Martin is a tattooed loner with an attitude problem whose competitive streak in culinary school is his middle finger to the world. Jamie Lassiter has grown up the perfect son with the perfect family and to whom his momentary jaunt into culinary school is just an experiment. When the two are forced to interact during a class they realize they're both competing for the same scholarship for the same reasons. I loved working on these two with Eileen as both men were fun to write. Ethan’s snarly sarcasm coupled with Jamie’s somewhat sheltered view of the world were challenging but fun.

Dr. Seth Campbell and Carson Randall from ROOM SERVICE return in this short erotic sequel. Separated by their jobs on a daily basis, the partners have to make time for each other when they can. They combine their passion for each other in mini interludes to reconnect with each other and rekindle their connection.

When Seth finds Carson waiting for him in the hotel bar, their attraction and awareness smolders to life. When their already limited time together is interrupted by an important phone call, an impatient Seth takes matters into his own hands. 


TYMBER DALTON: I think my favorite couple to date is Tony and Shayla in "The Denim Dom." Mostly because there are some real-life scenes in that book pulled nearly verbatim from stuff Sir and I have done. LOL The current version of Tony is very much pulled directly from my own Sir. It was coincidental that when I first wrote about Tony back in "Domme by Default" and "The Reluctant Dom" that He coincidentally resembled Sir. (We didn't know each other back then.) I joke with Him that He didn't really exist before I wrote Him into life. LOL

Sachi Wolowitz overcame horrific tragedy as a teen to rebuild her life, alone. She’s happy working at Many Blessings and teaching her first love, skeet shooting. She’s not looking for love. Especially not with the handsome plumber, or the nameless cutie she bumps into at the grocery store, who both have unusual auras that speak to her soul.

John Evans and Oscar Weinstein have been friends since childhood. Each survived having their heart shredded and are now roommates simply existing. John feels an attraction to Sachi when he replaces her water heater. Oscar recognizes her from the news, but is too nervous to make the first move.

When John’s elderly aunt thinks she’s seeing ghosts, Sachi and her team must investigate to discover if there’s really paranormal activity, or if his beloved aunt is going senile. Will Sachi find the proof she seeks, or get more than she bargained for and take a risk on love with the two hunks?

Tymber's next release,  "Lost Bird" (Coffeeshop Coven 2), will be out 5/2/14 from Siren-BookStrand. Check out the first book of the series, Many Blessings, HERE!

IYANA JENNA: I guess the favorite couple I have written is the guys from my short story, A Boyfriend for Christmas, Oliver and Derek. I like them because of the reason they have to meet. Derek is someone who is sent to be Derek’s boyfriend, literally. Meaning that he is really sent (and dropped through a chimney) to be his boyfriend. No need for introduction or going on a date first, or something like that. Derek is sent from the North Pole, from Santa Claus’ place, by God’s direct order. But his timing is awful. He comes when Oliver is on his lowest point of his life, when he is the most vulnerable. I really love Oliver. He’s so fragile in the situation he’s in and Derek is so caring for him. Love them so much!

Jesse Gray can’t get more unlucky. His roommate left him and he gets kicked out when he can’t afford the rent. Next, the owner of the fast food joint where he works part-time suddenly tells him he no longer works there. Jesse still has a job as a PA on a movie set but the pay will never be enough to afford even the cheapest room in Hollywood. There’s only one place left to stay the night -- in the park.

Trey Miller is the star on a TV series where Jesse works. They bump into each other one night while leaving the set, and Trey thinks Jesse is much too good-looking to only be a PA. When he learns of Jesse’s financial condition, he offers a place to stay at his house. Having no other options, Jesse reluctantly accepts the offer, but what’s the catch?


LETEISHA NEWTON: My absolute favorite pairing to write is sort of hard. I mean, you tend to love your characters, and don’t want to think there are favorites *gasp* But, I can say that writing Rafael, Theana, and Gregori from Conquering Theana became my guilty pleasure. The thing that got me about them was my co-writer and I each took a guy to represent—and then promptly fell in love with the other’s character. We have fighting matches over #TeamGregori or #TeamRafael, and completely want to pulverize Theana for getting both our men! You know you’ve written a good pairing when you wish you were the heroine! Our solution? Make Theana a bit of both of us…that way we could at least have our guys in the book!

Theana, the daughter of the alpha of the Dolphus pack, ran from Seurri when her childhood friend, Camden, laid claim to her as his potential mate. She knew that giving in would only lead to heartache, and she has no interest in having an alpha rule her. But then she comes across Gregori, beta of the Ulric pack, leaders of Seurri City, and her wolf goes haywire. She can’t fight the attraction.

That was enough to deal with, until she met Rafael, the alpha of the Ulric pack, and leader of Seurri City. Suddenly she finds herself fighting attraction to two men who are determined to have her by any means necessary. They claim rights to pack cohesion, a move that would force her to spend a week among their pack, a move that she knows is nothing about Dolphus-Ulric relations but having her. At their mercy she’s forced to face their desires, and her own. The question that looms, will Rafael and Gregori be able to conquer Theana?


TAYLOR BROOKS: I fell in love with Matt and Aaron because of their love for one another. They’ve been faced with insurmountable odds, overcome tragedy and even another man, but despite all that they’ve been through one thing remains true. And that is their love. The two of them are forced to work through insecurities, fears and even self loathing as they search for a way to make their new lives mesh together. Because the fact of the matter is, neither of them can live without the other, and they don’t even want to try. They are truly meant to be together. And at all costs they will find a way to make that happen. 

Matt Caynor's whole world turned upside down two years ago when a car accident left his partner, Aaron Mayburn, in a coma. For months he remained vigil by his bedside, hoping for a miracle the doctors told him would never come.

Steve Pierce met Matt three months ago and took an instant liking to him. After a whirlwind romance the two find themselves falling in love and planning for a future together until a phone call comes in from the hospital that changes everything.

When Aaron wakes from his coma, Matt is forced to let go of the man he’s falling in love with to be with the one he thought he’d lost. With each passing day he finds himself walking a tightrope between gratitude and despair, not knowing that he might just be given everything he wants. If only he’s brave enough to take it. 



  1. Thank you so much again for having me, Laurie. It's such a great idea to have a symposium like this. :)

  2. Thanks so much for including me this month, Laurie. :)

  3. Great to see how you authors treasure your characters. Thanks for the insight Laurie.

  4. WOW I can't believe that I'm included amongst so many amazing and talented authors. Thank you for including me Laurie. It's an honor. :)