Tag Archives: HelenKay Dimon

Release Day Exclusive Excerpt: Taken by HelenKay Dimon

Hey y’all! We’ve got an embarrassment of riches here at ALBTALBS today! This is of course only a good thing. There was some confusion and a flurry of emails that needn’t bother you, but the end result is we have another exclusive excerpt today! Whee! Yes, Taken follows Mercy and Only and HelenKay Dimon sent on this exclusive excerpt of Taken to share with you all today. Isn’t she so nice? 😀

Taken is Eli and Wade’s story. I don’t usually say you have to read the first book(s) in a series, but here I think it’s important. I’m not done reading Taken yet, and while it seems you could read it as a stand alone, I think it makes a big difference here if you read Mercy and Only first. (Also because they’re good, so you don’t want to miss them. :P)

TakenWade Royer and Elijah Sterling are on shaky ground. While initially reluctant Eli is finally ready to take things to the next level, Wade is hesitant. He senses trouble coming and he’s right. Still, they know their fiercely undeniable connection—both in and out of the bedroom—is worth saving.

Then a man from Eli’s past reappears and the CIA comes calling—and they both want Eli back. With their relationship in jeopardy of falling apart and Eli in danger of a different kind, both men will have to decide what they really want—and then take it…

Wade focused on the man in front of him. He wanted to grab Eli around the shoulders and lead him through the dining room to the back of the supper club. Stake a public claim. But Eli had barely accepted who he was, who they were together. Public displays of affection could be the one step too far.

Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday: Running Hot by HelenKay Dimon

It’s Tuesday! And I started this blog feature back in February(?) of 2011 (Yeah bitches! We started Teaser Tuesday on teh interwebz right here at ALBTALBS!) So anyway, it’s been this way for three years+ years. Maybe we’ll change it, maybe we won’t. But today we have the fabulous HelenKay Dimon sharing an excerpt with us from her upcoming book Running Hot. Whee!

A hot new romantic suspense series, Bad Boys Undercover, featuring the fierce men of Alliance—and the only women capable of taming their hearts.

Camped out at a resort bar in Fiji, CIA operative Ward Bennett may look like he’s on vacation but he’s really deep undercover, hunting a dictator on the run. Ward may be on the job, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for the sexy female bartender. That is, until she drugs him.

When Tasha Gregory discovers the hottie on the barstool isn’t who he pretends to be, her MI6 training kicks into gear, and she has no choice but to take him out. Problem is, Ward’s not an easy man to put down for long. More than once, his interference almost blows her surveillance operation—and her ability to keep her heart to herself.

As the situation heats up, these two must decide whether they can trust one another—and quick. Working together might just make everyone safer, but getting close enough for comfort … might just get them killed.

Exclusive excerpt

She stood there with the unused zip ties hanging from her fingers. “We have a problem.”

“I can come up with six without even thinking about it very hard.” Without so much as breaking a sweat, Ward covered every footstep. Removed any sign humans once waited there.

Impressive work but not good enough. The stakes were too high. She knew it and now she had to make him understand it. “We can’t leave them alive.”

He nodded but didn’t take out his gun or do anything to suggest he agreed. “We need to watch the area from a distance so we can track movements in and out, count guards. Those sorts of things.”

She highlighted one of the “to do” items on the list. “We have to relocate.”

“You mean move?”

She wasn’t in the mood for a word debate. “I have a car. We need to pick it up on the way out.”

“Car as in the truck?” He shook his head. “If so, it sounds like they found it, which means they know what it looks like, and wherever we take it we’ll be tracked. Hell, with the number of people on this island, they could already know it’s yours.”

He assumed she would be dumb enough to use her own vehicle on this job. Typical. The guy needed a little work on his how-to-play-nice-with-others skills. “Wrong. Tasha the bartender hasn’t done anything wrong and doesn’t drive an SUV.”

“So, there’s nothing in that vehicle that will get your ass arrested or shot?” He leaned in closer. “If you’re as competent as I think you are, you’ve got weapons stored in there.”

That show of faith in her skills sounded better. Not great, but better than some of the men she got paired with. “My bum is fine.”

He frowned. “What?”

The man got thrown off by simple words. Lethal and stumbling for a British dictionary. For some reason, that combination when mixed with the lean body and escape skills snagged her interest. “The weapons are locked down.”

“They will take a blowtorch to the truck, and you know it.” Ward pointed to the lifeless bodies next to her feet. “These two are trained mercenaries. They were the scouting party. Can you imagine the skills on the experienced men in the group?”

Not a bad argument. “So, what’s the plan?”

After a quick check of the direction from which the two armed men came, Ward stood in front of her again. “Secure and hide the bodies as fast as we can, double back to take a look at the truck from an elevated, safe distance, and then once we know who is where and how many we have to shoot through, we hunt down Tigana.”

He’d clearly given the afternoon agenda some thought. She appreciated his planning. “Sounds like you’ve done this before.”

“Since the last part of the plan is to run like hell if they see us, you can assume that I’m a professional. Unless you think that’s an amateur move—then forget I said it.”

Oh my God, that smile. He aimed it at her, and her control puddled at her feet. She didn’t lose sight of her job, but she did entertain the idea of running her hands all over him if they ever finished this assignment and got to a safe place. “We have to move in on Tigana.”

“We have to live through the next few hours first.”

“You know how to kill the mood.” But those priorities made sense. They also reinforced her belief that they needed a more permanent solution for the men at her feet.

He leveled a serious flat-lipped stare in her direction. “Let’s hope that’s the last time you think that about me.”

“We’re not having sex.” The words shot out before she could stop them.

“Well, not here.” He glanced around the hard ground. “That would be stupid.”

“Not ever.” She tried to signal her brain to shut up, but the words kept dribbling out. Last thing she needed was for him to know she was thinking about sex.

She shifted her weight, and her foot hit against something. Before she could glance down, a hand clamped around her ankle. One hard yank, and her knee buckled. On the way down she reached for the gun Ward gave her, jerking at her clothes to free it and fire.

The shot stopped her. It rang out, echoing through the rough terrain. The grip on her loosened right as Ward grabbed her around the waist. She picked up the telltale metallic smell she’d been trained to detect and saw Ward’s weapon on the way back down to his side.

She leaned into Ward for an extra second, more out of shock from being caught off guard by the gunman than anything else. People rarely got the jump on her.

That would teach her to think about sex on the job.

She stood up straight and tugged on the bottom of her T-shirt. Retucked it into her shorts. “I got the impression you were going for minimal loss of life here,” she said as she stared at the two bodies, one lifeless and the other unmoving.

“No one touches you.” Ward’s eyes burned with a new intensity.

It sounded like a vow, and she took it as one. Too stunned to say anything else, she went with the first lame thing that popped into her head. “Okay.”

When the second guy stirred at her feet, she didn’t hesitate. Gun out and barrel down, she fired. The man’s face fell back to the ground with a thud.

Ward winced but otherwise did not move at her impromptu shot. He looked down at the man with the blood now pooling around his head. “Was that necessary?”

No way was she justifying saving them both from a shootout. Still . . . “We both know he’d have somehow gotten free and blown our cover, and that’s if he didn’t kill you first.”

Ward nodded. “Now he won’t be doing anything.”

A cryptic comment. One she jumped right over. “Right.”

“You’re in charge.” He let out a long breath. “So, lead.”

She almost felt bad about what she was going to say. “I’m happy you remembered that.”

If anything his frown deepened. “Why?”

“You need to start digging.” She skimmed the tip of her boot over the ground and listened to pebbles scrape against the sole. “We need these guys buried, and you should hurry.”

So what’d you guys think? Totally boring, right? :X

Hee! I love the premise of this series! I can’t wait to read it. And you know – there’s that new Bond movie coming out … 😉 You can pre-order a copy here!

Guest: HelenKay Dimon on Mercy and Book Covers

I’m alive! And I got HelenKay Dimon here today! Whee! Really she needs no introduction, so let’s just get to it!

Hello!  Thank you for having me here today to talk about my upcoming release, Mercy (out May 6th). I thought I’d talk about the one thing you see right away – the cover.  People ask all the time how book covers come about. Depending on the publisher, I either get a lot of say or no say at all.  No matter which end of the spectrum I’m at, I fill out a cover form of some sort to help the art department come up with the design.

In the case of Mercy, I wanted to play up the dynamic between the hero and hero. See, Becca Ford is a former CIA agent who was undercover in the hero’s club and started living with him…then set him up to be arrested. Yeah, not the best start to a romance.  The book starts eight months later, after Jarrett Holt (our hero) has cut a deal and the charges have been dropped.  Now Becca is in trouble and turns to Jarrett for help. He agrees, so long as she agrees to be his and, of course, abide by his rules, which include her not wearing clothes. She fights the rule and steals his shirts, hence the idea for the cover.  I wanted strong and sexy but I wanted any female on the cover in a man’s shirt.

Since so many romance covers feature men, many times shirtless, there was some worry about a more female-focused cover. I provided some photo samples. You can see them on the pinterest page I set up for the books: http://www.pinterest.com/hkdimon/books-mercy-only/. I thought I’d end up with a cover  with a  guy in a suit and a woman in a man’s shirt, and I was fine with that.  What I got was a strong, bold, hot woman in a man’s shirt, which I think I like even better.

And just to give you a taste of the ongoing shirt battle in the book, here’s a short teaser:

Attuned to every sound, when she picked up the soft click of the door, she yanked open the top drawer and grabbed a knife. With her back shoved into the corner of the kitchen cabinets, she crouched down, ready to spring.

Jarrett walked in and came to a sudden stop.  His gaze zoomed right in on her and the corner of his mouth twitched. “Not the usual welcome home.”

Words tumbled out of her in relief. “Maybe not for you, but this is my life lately.”

“What’s with the attack mode?’

She forced her fingers to ease up on the death grip on the knife handle. “I’m a bit vulnerable up here all day.”

“Ah, I see.” He nodded as he closed the door behind him. “But what you aren’t is naked.”

That again. She set the knife on the counter and picked up the coffee pot. “I didn’t want to burn myself.”

“Does that happen to you a lot?” As he walked toward her, he draped his suit jacket across the back of the sectional and loosened his tie. “You, the woman who blows up buildings and can carve up a man three times her size in ten seconds.”

Forget walking. The man was stalking her. She put the pot down and held onto the counter behind her for support. “You forgot to mention my sniper-like shooting skills.”

His gaze traveled along the length of her open shirt – his shirt – and the significant slip of skin open to his view. “The shirt comes off now.”

Something about his hands mesmerized her. Always had. Lean fingers, nice clean nails but hints of calluses on his palms from the harder life he once lived. He wore a stainless steel watch. Nothing fancy. Just practical, expensive but subtle like he was.

Her fingers clenched against the cool marble countertop. “Why are you upstairs?”

One of his eyebrows lifted as he undid the top button of his dress shirt. “Why do you think?”

A ball of desire whipped around inside her. “Afraid I’m digging through your drawers?”

“I could probably say something crass, but I’ll refrain.” Still, he did smile. “The shirt. Remove it.”

She looked down. Thanks to her stance, the opening between the edges of her shirt now reached down to her stomach and one of her nipples peeked out. “It’s basically unbuttoned.”

“That’s not the same thing, now is it?”

See, this is one time where the cover and the book match up pretty well.

And now that we’ve talked about it – here’s the book information and cover.

MercyAfter she infiltrated his business and betrayed his trust, a disavowed CIA agent must seek sanctuary in the bedroom of a man who will either help her, kill her, or bring her to her knees…

Becca Ford is on her own. Eight months after she headed up a sting operation to take down millionaire club owner Jarrett Holt, the other agents in her special ops team have been eliminated under odd circumstances, and she needs a place to hide.

Jarrett is a man who prefers darkness to light. He deals in the only truly valuable currency—information—and his supper club caters to an exclusive clientele. It was an uncharacteristic moment of weakness when he let a woman into his life. But it’s not luck that the criminal charges disappeared . . . as did the evidence.

When Becca returns to the club seeking his help, Jarrett doesn’t want to hear her story. But he does want her body, and demands that she give it to him. He’ll keep her safe—for now—but it’ll be in his bed and on his terms, until he says they’re done.

What do you think? 😀 Some lucky girl (or guy?) is going to win a copy in digital or print – your choice!

HelenKay Dimon on the release day of Everything You Need to Know

Hi friends! We have HelenKay Dimon visiting with us today, and her Harlequin/Cosmo Red Hot Read Everything You Need to Know is out today! I did a first look on it over at Heroes and Heartbreakers, and really liked it.

Everything You Need to Know
by HelenKay Dimon

Everything You Need to KnowDear Ms. Dimon –

I saw your new book, Everything You Need To Know. After reading the back cover I have one question:  why do you hate men?


A Very Concerned Reader

I haven’t gotten this email but it could be coming.  See, Everything You Need to Know is one of the launch books for the new Cosmo Red-Hot Reads by Harlequin line. It centers on an anonymous website set up by the heroine – Jordan – to help women wade through the difficult dating world of Washington, DC.  Members upload their thoughts on the men they go out with and, after verification by Jordan and others, the information gets posted on the site. Some of the comments aren’t too flattering to these powerful men. Others are. In both instances, the men aren’t happy.

One of the men NOT on the site (yet) is wealthy businessman Forest Redder. He comes from a well-off family, went to the best private schools and runs a successful company. Jordan meets him while working as a temp in another businessman’s office (the temp job is part of the way she verifies information on the site). She expects Forest to be one way but he doesn’t fit the pattern she has in her head for his “type” of guy. She quickly figures out she needs more than a list of details on a website to know the real man.

Who is the real Forest Redder?  I’ll let Jordan tell you from her observations in the book…

Her first reaction to him:

She didn’t need a member’s report from the Need to Know website or a business degree to identify him. Forest Redder, millionaire businessman and commercial real-estate powerhouse…whatever that was…and an integral part of every business and political circle in town. Objectively good looking, all six-foot-whatever of him but—thanks to the rich-boy affect—not her thing.

Her second:

Then Forest slipped past her. His shoulder brushed against hers and the fresh scent of soap fell over her senses. He had the cleaned-up-businessman look, but underneath she sensed something rougher. Something not so proper.

When he kisses her later:

His mouth found her neck. Hot breath skipped over her skin right before his lips went to work. The gentle suction had her knees buckling and her head falling back against his shoulder. The way her body melted into his should have embarrassed her. After all she’d made some sort of vow…not that she could remember a line of it right now.

And when she finally realizes she’s in BIG trouble:

Forest had her spinning and stumbling and generally acting as if she didn’t have two brain cells to rub together. When he kissed her, she got smacked with a shot of dizziness. His finger slid inside her and she had to fight the urge to climb all over him. And that mouth…that deserved a page on the Need to Know Hall of Fame. The site didn’t have one of those, but she now wanted to add one.

So turns out Forest is smart and sexy and a little grumpy and TOTALLY into Jordan. That type of man is perfect and there’s nothing to hate about that.

Sounds good, right? 😉 Have you been reading any of the Red Hot Reads from Harlequin/Cosmo?

Teaser “Tuesday”: When She Wasn’t Looking by HelenKay Dimon

I know, you might have been all wait what?! What is going on here?! But now you aren’t! Because I explained it all here! Not that I expect any of you to use my blog as a calendar of sorts. I mean, hell, I don’t do that. I do with TV shows though… but anyway, the point is… BIRTHDAY MONTH! Extra posts! Whee!!! So welcome to Teaser TuesdayThursday!

The HelenKay Dimon edition. 😉

She wanted to trust him with her safety – but not her heart…

No woman could deny the appeal of the sexy deputy sheriff Jonas Porter. But to Courtney Allen, Jonas has one major flaw-his badge. Years ago, Courtney’s father was wrongfully convicted of a crime and she vowed to never trust a cop again. But when Jonas becomes the only man to believe in her father’s innocence, Courtney begins seeing the brooding lawman in a whole new way.

Jonas knows in his gut that the real killer is still out there and determined to finish what he started long ago. To protect Courtney and bring the criminal to justice will require all the skills he can muster. And that means focusing on the job. Not the woman who makes him forget his troublesome past and arouses in him a passion that is anything but professional.

Five hours, an ambulance, two police cars and a hydraulic spreader later, Jonas sat on an emergency room table with his legs dangling over the side and a bandaged shoulder.

They were lucky to be alive. The mangled metal formerly known as a car had crashed around them but not into them. A thousand little things probably made the difference, but the rough terrain and the crawling speed he was forced to drive had made survival an option.

The hospital loudspeaker spewed a constant stream of announcements. Nurses rushed in and out of the individual cubicles lining the L-shaped room. He heard bells and alarms, smelled the harsh scent of antiseptic.

He blocked it all and concentrated on everything that had happened since he showed up on Courtney’s doorstep that morning. The pieces sat there but he couldn’t put them together in a comprehensible way. Chases, car accidents, killing. Not his favorite way to spend a day.

It all led back to her, to something in her past. It, whatever “it” was, put her in danger and nearly got him killed. He’d figure it out. At the very least he intended to gather more intel before getting into a car with her the next time.

He also vowed not to leave her side until the threat passed. Right now she lay in a bed on the other side of the flimsy curtain. He could hear her grumbling, even had to argue with her a few times when she told him she was ready to leave.

He’d asked the staff to put her in the cubicle at the end of the hall, thinking she’d have to go through him to sneak out. But he wouldn’t be surprised if she slipped through an air conditioning vent to get away. This woman had a serious running issue.

Richmond Tobin, Jonas’ first friend in Aberdeen and a fellow police officer, walked in. He stood six-feet and wrestled in college. Six years out he looked like he could battle a train and come out ahead.

“You’re supposed to be lying down. You know, resting,” he said.

“Tell me about it.” Jonas rolled his shoulders and had to fight back the wave of nausea that hit him right behind the pain.

“Brought a change of clothes and your cell, just as you requested.” Rich dumped a gym bag next to Jonas’ thigh and held up a gun. “Also managed to liberate your weapon.”

Jonas took it, ran his finger across the side before checking it and slipping it and his holster on his belt. “Bet the nurses loved that.”

“I flashed my badge and reminded them you were in charge since the police chief retired, so it was all your responsibility.”

Jonas saw mounds of paperwork and a meeting with the town council in his future. “Thanks for that.”

“While you’re at it, care to tell me how you got stuck in the middle of the forest with dead body next to you.” Rich fell into the seat across from Jonas. “Someone I have to identify, I might add.”

“Long story.”

“Then there’s the woman who isn’t elderly or in need of a wellness check.”

“Yeah, Courtney.”

Rich’s eyes widened. “You’re on a first-name basis?”

“Almost getting killed will do that to a relationship. Speeds things up.” For some messed up reason, she was now Courtney in his head. Jonas knew the informal reference bordered on inappropriate but he’d worry about that later when he sorted out everything else that had happened that day.

“Uh-huh. And how did all of this happen again?”

Jonas tried to rub the crick out his neck. “You asked about fifty questions in the last two minutes.”

“Okay, how about this one?” Rich leaned forward with his elbows on his knees and smiled at his boss. “How did a hundred pound woman get the drop on you?”

“You’re light on the weight, and I threatened him with my gun,” Courtney shouted from behind the curtain and over the protests of the nurse who was taking her vital signs.

Rich whistled. “Interesting.”

Jonas bit back a groan. He’d hear about this for months. Cops loved this crap. Being the new officer on the squad and the one with the highest rank, the target on his back grew bigger each day. His four months of a perfect record blown with one comment from Courtney.

“The dead guy tried to kill her,” he said.

Rick pulled his chair closer to the exam table as he lowered his voice. “Any chance we know who or why?”

“Not yet.” But Jonas was about to get some of those answers. He hated when people lied to him. Not having all the facts didn’t sit any better.

He eased off the table, ignoring the aches thumping through every part of his body. He’d somehow made it through a car flip with only a dislocated shoulder, cut up knee and bruised ribs.

He’d developed the bad attitude during the ambulance ride.

“Where are you going?” Rich asked.

“I have some questions of my own.” Jonas ignored the amusement in his friend’s voice and started walking.

The rings jangled on the metal rod and the nurse squealed as Jonas ripped the curtain aside. “You can’t be in here,” she said in a huff.

At fifty, Nurse Ramsey ran the emergency room with an iron fist. Jonas knew her from the times he brought in suspects and car accident victims. She did her job and was not even a little impressed by his gun and badge.

Standing there without a shirt but with a weapon strapped to his side, he wished he’d taken a second to get dressed. It was too late now. “I need to speak with Courtney.”

Even while lying flat on her back with a tube sticking out of her arm, Courtney rolled her eyes. “You could have just asked.”

😀 So what’d you think? Do you read Intrigues? Or romantic suspense? Have you read anything by HelenKay before? If not… here’s your lucky chance, because one person who comments is winning a copy of When She Wasn’t Looking! So let me know what you think! You can also read an additional excerpt here.

Guest HelenKay Dimon and Holiday Kisses

Hee. That amused me. 😉 Today as you see we have HelenKay Dimon here talking about her novella coming out soon. (She was supposed to talk about the Navy SEALS charity anthology last time, but life got in the way. Mean life!) Anyway, I’m really excited about the contemporary romance themed Carina Anthology – I read last years’ and really enjoyed it. So I have high hopes for this year too!

Thanks for having me here today and letting me talk a little about my new Christmas novella, It’s Not Christmas Without You  in the Holiday Kisses anthology from Carina Press.

When I was asked to contribute to this anthology, I knew exactly what the plot of the book would be. I’d long had this idea about a dating-since-high-school couple who find each other, lose each other and then find each other again. I didn’t want the story to be a guessing game about whether or not they fall in love. This is about people figuring out how to work through tough issues like living in different states and wanting different things from life. The concepts felt very real and contemporary to me.

Really, much of this book is made up of pieces that were familiar to me.

1. The main setting for the book is Washington, D.C. and I lived there for seventeen years (with a three year break in North Carolina for law school). I love the city and wanted to capture a piece of it in the book.

2. The location of Carrie’s (the heroine) apartment is in a building where a friend once lived, right on the edge of Georgetown. I remember the building, the road, the grassy area in front of the apartment. And there used to be a Christmas tree lot on the corner in front of the building every year. Since my hero, Austin, runs a tree lot, this location was perfect.

3. Carrie works at the National Museum Of Women In The Arts. I remember touring the building and being stunned by how pretty it was inside. In fact when it came time to pick a location for my wedding years ago, I looked into holding it at the museum…then I heard the cost and decided no.

4. A dear friend from high school now works for the National Forrest Service and lives in West  Virginia. When creating Austin and his family I thought about this friend and her love of the land and tried to bring those feelings to life in Austin. Also, Carrie and Austin come from a town much like where my friend lives now.

I’ve always thought romance novels are, at their heart, about hope. If that’s true, holiday romance novels are the ultimate in hope. The holidays usher in the New Year and deal with renewal and gratefulness. Writing IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT YOU gave me a chance to explore all those feelings and issues with a couple who clearly love each other but need to learn to get out of their own way and find a future together.

Happy Holidays!

HelenKay is going to give away two kindle copies (obviously to two different people) of her novella. Note – Carina Press books are only available digitally. So what do you think about Holiday Themed Romances? Or DC? Or when you read about books centered around “what you know”?

Guest Review: Risqué Business by HelenKay Dimon

When this book first came out, I was really excited. So excited in fact, that I gave away three copies. One of my winners very kindly agreed to review the book. We felt the same about it. You can tell I’m a big fan of HelenKay Dimon’s contemporary stories.

These are Brandy’s thoughts about the sexy short. (Sorry it took me so long, Brandy!)

Risqué Business by HelenKay Dimon
Contemporary romance novella published by HelenKay Dimon June 2011

Kari Reynolds is a human resources specialist on a short-term assignment at Coleman Engineering. It’s her job to lead workshops but there’s one big problem – the boss, Matt Bradford.

Being near Mr. Tall, Dark and Smoking Hot brings out Kari’s naughty side. One look at him makes her forget what’s appropriate in the workplace, and she’s smart enough to know the heated glances he’s shooting her way have nothing to do with business.

Now all she has to do is convince Matt to ignore her job title and try a little office pleasure…

I received a copy of Risqué Business from the lovely Limecello. It was a twitter thing and I was completely stoked to read it. You see I’m a fan of HelenKay Dimon. I enjoy her characters and settings and everything in between.

Risqué Business was no different for me. Up to a point. The story of Kari and Matt gets off to a hot running start. There is tension and heat and I was thrilled when they talked about hitting the sheets and actually did it without someone wavering and needing to be seduced into what they already wanted.

I sped read through until the conflict was thrown in. With a few misplaced words I ended up confused near the end. Some of the emotion Matt was feeling and Kari’s reactions just didn’t work. The introduction of Matt’s cousin Rob didn’t help matters for me since I couldn’t get a handle on his personality in such a short snippet.

Luckily I was able to overcome the slight speed bump and the story ended well. I will admit to going back and re-reading the part that confused me. It still confused me but it didn’t hold me back from the rest of the story like it did the first time.

Grade: B

Ed: I actually hope that Rob gets his own story as well, and have told HelenKay as much. As for the confusing bit Brandy mentioned… that’s something else we both noticed. I think it was a typo or editing miss – not a huge deal, but it did kind of throw me out of the story. Nevertheless I enjoyed it. In fact I read this novella in an hour.

I definitely recommend this story. You can read an excerpt for it here.

Guest Author & A Giveaway: HelenKay Dimon

Today, we have one of my most favorite authors visiting with us! HelenKay Dimon! Whee! Not only does she write fantastic stories – novella, short, single title, etc – but she’s also a great person. And very smart and witty. If you can’t tell, I’m totally excited that she’s here. Ms. Dimon is also super busy, and asked for an interview. I think authors are also doing that to torment me. So, I return the favor with outrageous questions. 😉 Remember – you can always leave more comments with questions you’d like me to ask future authors!

So without further ado… the questions and her answers.

1. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? And fruit-wise- what’s your favorite fruit? What’s the most unusual fruit you’ve ever had? Okay, here is my big admission: I have extreme gagaphobia when it comes to food. I watch the Amazing Race and have to look away when they have the food challenges. My gag reflex goes off the charts if I don’t. So, I don’t eat strange things – ever. But I do love fruit. Mango is my favorite, but I am just as happy with a regular ‘ole bananas. As for weirdest fruit? I’ve eaten some strange fruit while in Hawaii, where my hubby grew up. Sure, the fruit is generally mashed up in a drink, but that counts, right?

2. What was your favorite class in high school? What’s the best book you read as a school assignment? (Any level of education on the latter.) Being the geek I am, I actually liked most of my classes…except physics. Yowsa, that was a bad semester. I’ve always loved to read, so any class where I could do that was a favorite. The reading class assignment book that stuck with me is an odd one. It’s Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas. It’s non-fiction and deals with race relations and integrating schools in Boston. It’s not my usual reading choice by any stretch, but the intersecting stories moved me and taught me something. I’ve read it more than once over the years and remember most of it. Of course, I don’t think I was alone in liking it since it won the Pulitzer Prize.

3. Which do you prefer – the Winter Olympics, or Summer? And which sport/event? While I love the swimming and diving events, though the scoring for the diving competition is a complete mystery to me, I love the Winter Olympics. Anything with snow, jumping and racing is a win for me.

4. What two movies from different genres would you most like to see combined in a mash-up? Or, if you want to go really crazy, since I know you love those Syfy movies… what three? I see you are aware of my deep affection for Syfy channel movies. My favorites there are what they call the “unnatural disaster” movies, like Earthquake 10.5 or Tornado Apocalypse. I think my favoirte mash-up has already been done – Galaxy Quest. It’s the perfect mix of a comedy, satire, sci-fi and action. In fact, I need to watch it for the 400th time at some point this week.

5. Would you rather go to Idaho, or Arkansas? Why? Idaho. I once worked with a man who had a vacation home in Idaho and from the pictures it looked like the perfect place to go hiking and spend some time outside. It’s also closer to my house than Arkansas, and I hate flying so closer is better.

6. Which fairy tale would you most like to be in? Least? Second admission of the interview: I’m not really into fairy tales. I fear that means I must hand in my romance author badge or something, but I never think in terms of fairy tales when I write. But, to prevent a revolt, let’s just say Snow White. Does that work?

7. Celebrity/Author death match – who would you most want to take on? [you don’t have to say why ;)] Jesse James. mostly because I think he needs a good butt-kicking. I’m the woman to do it.

8. What did you do with the money from your first royalty check? Keeping in mind that wasn’t exactly a huge check, I bought a small piece of jewelry – a necklace I liked – and then banked the rest. Aren’t I exciting?

9. What’s the most unusual/strange silly skill your possess? I have almost no skills. Really. The one weird thing I can do is, despite having terrible short-term memory, I can remember a number, like a phone number, for a long time after I dial it. Turns out this is a totally useless skill since I hate talking on the phone, but there you go. (Also, I don’t usually interject in interview answers… but I have to tell you all, HelenKay is straight up lying here. She’s a total liar-lie-y face. She’s absolutely brilliant, and the fact that I’m writing the word properly and not saying my usual “brillz” says something.)

10. Walk in pantry, walk in closet, or extra garage space? Walk-in closet. No competition there.

11. Would you shave your head for $50,000.00? If yes, would you do it for a lesser amount/what’s your minimum? If no, how much would it take for you to go bald? And then… would you do anything with your hair? And what would you do with the money? I’d look pretty terrible bald, but I could do a lot of good for me (see previous comment about the walk-in closet) and others with $50,000, so I’d do it. Hair grows back and maybe this time it wouldn’t be gray. If someone wants donated, “wow, look at all that gray” hair, they are welcome to it.

12.What gave you the inspiration for your first book? What about your most recent? Is there a genre you haven’t been published in that you’d like to write? I would love to write a sci-fi romance series. Really, I am dying to write something with futuristic elements, suspense elements and sexy times elements. I even have an idea. Now I just need to find someone to let me publish it…

For my first book, which was a novella, my then-not-yet-editor (Kate Duffy) told me to “go for it” and I did with this odd idea I thought could be fun and sexy. Thankfully, she thought so too and bought it. My most recent book is the end of miniseries through Harlequin Intrigue. I got the idea by thinking, “I wonder what would happen if someone inside the administration of witness protection started selling out the participants” and a miniseries was born.
Thank you for letting me stop by and say hello!

Bio: Bestselling and award-winning author HelenKay Dimon spent twelve years in the most unromantic career ever – divorce lawyer. After dedicating all of that effort to helping people terminate relationships, she is thrilled to deal in happy endings and write romance novels for a living. Her books have been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine and E! Online. Even better, she hasn’t had to buy pantyhose in four years. You can visit her at her website: www.helenkaydimon.com.

As always, you know the first Tuesday of the month brings a giveaway! So, what questions do you have for HelenKay? Have you read any of her books before? (P.S. I can definitely recommend Holding Out for a Hero and Leave Me Breathless.) Right, and there will be two winners, who will be announced on the blog on Saturday – so remember to check back!