Monday, December 20, 2010

A Lady Who Knows What She Wants: Tina Donahue Guest Blog and Contest!

One of the things I like best about writing contemporary erotic romance is a heroine who isn’t shy…a lady who knows exactly what she wants.

My women aren’t aggressive, they’re assertive, not afraid to speak their minds, to claim what they want and need.

In Sensual Stranger, my newest erotic romance that released December 15th, I envisioned Toni Starr as a young woman without guile. Although she speaks her mind, beneath her candor is a heart aching with need.

To illustrate what I mean, here’s the blurb and an excerpt:


Into his life she came—wanting…willing…wanton

It’s no ordinary morning when Toni Starr arrives at Zach’s garage. Flat broke, with a past she won’t share, Toni’s instantly taken by such a potently virile man. Direct and unashamed, she tells him she’s a motorcycle performance artist who needs work and knows motors.

Zach knows women, and Toni’s unlike any he’s met. Lushly sensuous, exceedingly assured, she’d easily be his match in business and bed. A provocative challenge that stirs him as nothing has since losing his wife. A chance he’s reluctant to take, offering no more than a month’s employment, then she’ll have to be on her way.

The hours tick by. Each word and glance intensifies their denied yet escalating desire, forcing them to surrender to passion and Toni’s need for Zach’s dominance. Driven by carnal hunger, conquered by yearning, they face the unforeseen truth of Toni’s past and a future neither of them expected.


(This scene is shortly after Toni and Zach have kissed for the first time with Zach questioning his good sense given that Toni’s a woman he believes he shouldn’t pursue)

Zach stood framed in the doorway, his powerful body straining against his tee and jeans, utterly masculine, sensuous beyond belief. Unable to resist, her gaze roamed over him. He’d finger combed his damp hair. His face was freshly shaved, his eyes veiled.
Behind her, the bacon sizzled and popped.
Zach’s gaze darted to the skillet and the carton of eggs on the counter. His lips parted as though he intended to speak. In the end, he did not. He looked back at her, taking in her naked feet, blue-jean cutoffs and aqua tank top.
Toni’s nipples constricted with his scrutiny.
He took in a shallow breath, and finally spoke on a ragged sigh, “That shouldn’t have happened.”
Expecting him to say as much, Toni faced him. “Why not?”
His eyes jumped to hers. Obviously surprised, he parroted her words, “Why not?”
“Exactly.” She reached over and turned off the bacon so they could talk uninterrupted. Hooking her thumbs in her front pockets, she turned back to him. “I enjoyed what happened upstairs and so did you. We’re both adults. We both know what we want. We’ve known it from the moment I stepped into your garage.”
His gaze shifted to the side, then returned to her.
“We have a month,” she said, her voice throaty with arousal. “Why not have some fun? Why not enjoy it while it lasts?”
He shook his head. “No.”
Toni refused to back down. Even though he could never give her love, she still craved his warmth and strength. “Why?” She took a step toward him. “You have a girlfriend, a fiancée, an ex-wife you still think about?”
Shoving his fingers through his hair, he muttered, “I told you last night, I’m not divorced.”
“You told me you weren’t married.”
His hand dropped to his side. He heaved in a deep breath. “Or involved. With anyone.”
Toni didn’t understand his resistance to her and was reluctant to question. Had he loved someone who’d dumped him? What woman would be crazy enough to do such a thing? Even if some woman had, his actions upstairs hadn’t been feigned or hesitant. He’d wanted her as much as Toni wanted him.
Anxious to settle this, she spoke quickly, “Are you worried I’ll want something more than just sex? Do you think I’ll hold your garage or this place hostage?” She put up her hand, stopping him from answering. “I told you last night at the shop, I’m not a thief. And I’m certainly not going to call in a team of lawyers to slap you with a sexual harassment suit. I’m the one who just spent a few days in jail, remember? You’re the upstanding citizen. They’d believe you in a heartbeat.”
He sighed. “Good god, I never thought any of that, all right?”
She advanced another step. “Then you’re concerned there’s something wrong with me or I’ll get pregnant?” Before he could answer, she spoke softly, sincerely, “I’m clean, free of disease, Zach, and as far as having a child, it won’t happen. I’m fully protected. I know what it’s like to be alone, to be without a father to protect and love me. I’d never force a baby on a guy who didn’t want it. I’d never do that to any child, especially my own.”
Zach’s face flushed. For a moment, he looked lost, exactly as she’d felt for too many years. “Why are you so alone? What happened to—“
She cut him off. “No. Don’t go there…please” She forced all emotion away, refusing to cry, to let him know how vulnerable she was. “This isn’t about my past. It’s about here and now. You and me. Having some fun. Then I take off. No harm done. You go back to your life. I go back to mine.”
Shoulders slumping, he lifted his face to the ceiling as though he couldn’t bear to hear another word.
Despite it, desire radiated from him, charging and thickening the air.
Desperate to be back in his arms if only for a little while, Toni murmured, “I know you want me, Zach. You’ve had a hard-on since we met. A few minutes ago, up in the hall, you proved it.” Her gaze dropped to the solid ridge of male flesh behind his fly. “You’re hard now.”
His nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply. He spoke in a choked voice. “So what if I am?”
“So do something about it.” Please.
A pulse in his throat jumped. His chest expanded with his fitful breaths.
Never had Toni seen a man struggle so hard to control the male animal within. With the other men she’d known, especially Joe, there had been little concern over crossing boundaries.
Why Zach was so different, Toni wasn’t certain. Nor did she care.
Passion sang in her blood. Her body buzzed with energy. She advanced another step, determined this moment would play out even if she had to goad him. “What’s the matter, Zach?” Cocking one brow, she reduced her voice to a sultry purr. “What’s the real problem? Don’t you know how to satisfy a woman?”
He went completely still, not even finishing his breath.
Several moments passed. The only sounds were the hush of the air-conditioning and the rapid thumping of her heart.
Lowering his head, Zach met her gaze with hooded eyes, his expression changed. He wore the look of a rutting animal, male, feral. He spoke through his teeth. “Sweetheart, you have no idea what I can do to you.”
Excitement snaked through her. Her cunt felt heavy and achy, needy of his cock. “You’re right.” She held his gaze. Challenge rang in her voice. “So why don’t you show me.”
Zach’s lids slipped down, hiding his eyes. As he opened them, danger continued to flare in his expression and voice. “That’s enough. This conversation is over.”
“We’re not finished.”
“I said, knock it off.”
“Make me.”
Swearing, he crossed the room to her so quickly that Toni’s initial reaction was to step back. She did not. Head lifted, pulse racing, she stood her ground, looking at him looming above her. Formidable. Aroused.
“Make me,” she whispered.

What happens next is beyond hot. :)

Sensual Stranger is available now!


To celebrate the upcoming release of Sensual Stranger, I’m offering a contest today. One lucky commenter will have her choice of one of my following books**:

    1. Lush Velvet Nights – ebook
    2. Adored – ebook
    3. Deep, Dark, Delicious – ebook
    4. Close to Perfect – mass market paperback
    5. Bad Boys with Red Roses – trade paperback
    6. Take My Breath Away – trade paperback

** Winner chosen at random. Winner in continental US has her choice of one of the six. Winner outside continental US has her choice of one of the ebooks

Contest open through Wednesday evening (December 22, 2010 11:59 p.m. EST)


  1. Oh my gosh, this is one hot book period. From the cover to the blurb to the excerpt! Sensual Stranger is totally going on my list to buy!


  2. Hey, Mary - thanks for having me here today! :)

    Val, welcome!! So glad you liked the excerpt. Good luck in the contest!

  3. Wow, the excerpt was super hot, talking a go getter woman. She sees what she want a goes after it.

  4. I am so loving this cover Tina! I can't wait to read it!

  5. Hey, reader and Drea - thanks for stopping by!! Sensual Stranger was a delight to write and to read. :)

  6. I love this book its so sexy. Thanks for this nice contest and an early merry christmas.

  7. Sensual Stranger is going to be a great read. I'm looking forward to reading it. All the best to you, Tina.

  8. Rasha, Sarah - hi!!!

    Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Sensual Stranger will definitely keep you warm on a cold winter's night. :)

  9. Toni, you never fail to stun me with your fantastic excerpts! This one is HOT, too! And the cover is so perfect!

    Happy Holiday HUGS,
    Kari Thomas,

  10. Thanks, Kari - so glad you enjoyed it!! Happy Holiday to you too, sweetie! :)

  11. This book sounds so hot, I can't wait to read all of it!

  12. Hi Tina! Wow, I wanted that excerpt to keep going on and on!!!!!! Wow is this book out right now? or is it coming out soon? I love when the woman's not afraid to show the hero what she wants, it's a tiny pet peeve when the couple don't act on there feelings, Not this little bit here, But when it takes to page 70-100 for anything sexual to happen. lol So I'm all for an aggressive female. :) This books definitely sounds like another 5 star book! And I'm so glad you love writing Erotic contemporary. So many Contemporary authors are and have switched to paranormal already and I just don't care for it much and some were my favorite authors. One I just met last week, says on her facebook page she's written 2 EC contemporary EC books and is no going to paranormal too!! Please Tina don't ever leave us for another genre. lol Of course if you were following your dreams I'd never want to stand in your way of course. I'd just really miss your books. :)

    Big hugs, Christine

  13. This book sounds really great. I can't wait to read it. Please enter me in contest.

  14. Hi Tina,
    Another beautiful cover. And these excerpts keep getting hotter and hotter. I love your characters and can't wait to read this.
    Carol L

  15. Hey, Cheralyn, Christine, Tore, and Carol - thanks for all your wonderful comments - glad you liked the excerpt! (And yes, the book does get hotter and hotter and...well, you know!)

    Christine! Hey, sweetie - yes, Sensual Stranger is available now. And yes, I am also writing paranormal. However, it's erotic paranormal. The Yearning will be out Feb 1, 2011 from Samhain.

    But never fear - I'm continuing to write erotic contemporary too. :)

  16. Tina, it's marvelous to have you here today! Thanks so much to everyone who visited. Keep commenting--the contest to win one of Tina's awesome top-rated romances continues through Wednesday.

  17. Hi I just got turned on your blog on twitter, this book sounds very interesting. I would love to win it.

  18. Wow HOT! Assertive women Rock! So Glad to see this, I will be adding it to my need to get list! Mahalo!

  19. I think Zach has stolen my heart already!

  20. Joanna, Kauloku, Melinda - hello!! Thanks for dropping by. I love Zach too. He is such a hottie Alpha, but also vulnerable. Yum. :)

    Hey, Mary - so glad to be here!!!

  21. Hey all - first, I'd like to thank all of you for swinging by and commenting on the release of "Sensual Stranger"

    I've just chosen the winner from those here and at my site and the winner is (drum roll please)


    I'll be contacting you shortly for your prize. :)

  22. Thanks to everyone who commented! Melinda, congratulations! Please email me at or contact Tina directly to claim your prize.

    Tina, thanks again for visiting!