Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

eXtasy Books Author V.J. Allison Stops By To Discuss Her Debut Novel STRICKEN & Reveal Upcoming Exclusives!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog! I am thrilled to have my dear friend and fellow eXtasy Books author V.J. Allison here with me today. During her past visits, V.J. has shared invaluable information on how to write, publish and promote your book. Today, however, she's stopping by to discuss her debut novel STRICKEN, and reveal several exciting, exclusive details on what we can expect next from her.

Hi V.J.! Thank you so much for being here. I can’t wait to hear all about your upcoming projects. Why don’t you start by telling us about STRICKEN, then reveal your plans for the story’s future?

Hi Denise! Thanks for having me again! My debut novel, STRICKEN, was released by eXtasy Books on March 17, 2017. It’s a contemporary erotic romance set in my province’s capital, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

STRICKEN follows Ewan Campbell as he moves from a small town on Nova Scotia’s South Shore to Halifax thanks to a promotion at work, his subsequent unexpected meeting with his former fiancĂ©e, Marti Marlowe, and their journey from being estranged to forever.

STRICKEN was originally a standalone story when it debuted two years ago. However, I told everyone on my blog back in March that I’m currently writing a sequel/companion for it. Today, I’m announcing the name of the series, as well as the title for Book 2! I’m so excited about this!
 The Feathered Tartan

Western cousins, eastern loves.

One small province by the sea.


Love deserves a second chance.

(Book One of The Feathered Tartan Series)

Ewan Campbell once thought he had it all – he was a rising star in the real estate field, popular with his peers, and engaged to his employer’s cousin, the shy and quiet little Marti Marlowe.  

A heartbeat later, he was alone – shattered, confused and suicidal. Why had Marti walked away from him?   

Years later, in another place, and a new chapter of Ewan’s life, fate brings them face to face again.    

They start building a friendship, but Ewan wants more. He wants Marti as his wife, and she seems to prefer their current status as friends.   

Can he convince her that taking another chance at their failed future will be the start of the best part of their lives?

Excerpt: CHAPTER FIVE, Scene One…

“You haven’t danced all night. Come on.” The soft command was punctuated by a tug on her hand.

Marti stared up at Ewan. The low lighting around their table had his face in shadow. His high cheekbones seemed to be carved in shades of gray, and his eyes were obsidian. He looked almost demonic until he smiled at her.

She nodded and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor, not far from Kara and Dennis.

Her recent ease with him disappeared when he put his hands on her waist and her front brushed his. She stiffened a little after feeling the muscles of his upper arm tighten as they swayed to the slow beat of the music and she got a whiff of his aftershave.

It made her feel odd, like she had been in the sunlight for too long without any water.

When she closed her eyes to shake the feeling, images of their last dance together appeared on the inside of her lids. When they popped open, she saw the hollow of Ewan’s throat, visible in the open V of his shirt.

The sight felt too intimate to Marti.

Her gaze to her left hand, and almost fainted when the sight of her wedding set looked alien on her finger.

Her eyes squeezed shut again and she prayed she wouldn’t vomit on his shoes.

“Marti? Are you okay?” Ewan’s voice in her ear was full of concern. His thumb caressed the middle knuckle of her right hand, just above the ring on that finger.

Despite her unease at being so close to him, the light scrape of his fingers along her skin helped bring back some of her balance.

“I’m fine, just tired.”

“I’m not surprised, you had a long week, with seeing Miranda and everything else.”

Her lips curved a little at the mention of her cousin. “Yeah.”

“How did things go on Sunday? I haven’t had a chance to talk to her other than a few work-related things. She’s been busy all week.”

The tension started to trickle away. “It was wonderful, even if she kept going on about Cindy’s twins. I never thought she’d be a proud grandma, but she is.”

“It’s still weird for me, and I saw it from the beginning. Each time they barfed, or did anything at all, she bragged about her boys,” he snickered.

“She’s mellowed, a lot. In some ways, it’s like she’s a different person.”

“How so?”

“Well, seeing how close you two are now was a bit of a shock.”

“I couldn’t believe it for a long time myself. She and I talked about it a couple of months before...” He cleared his throat. “Uh, I was there about two and a half years when Miranda finally came clean and said she was jealous of my talent for selling stuff.”

Marti nodded as she thought about Miranda’s irrational hatred for him during his rookie year at the agency. “Wow. I knew she thought she was one of the best in the business, but I didn’t realize just how much it meant to her. She was always competitive with others when we were growing up, so yeah, it makes sense now that I know.”

“She didn’t see it for a long time, and probably wouldn’t if she hadn’t had a few things slap her across the face.”

She lowered her gaze and fingered a button on his shirt. “You mean me, right?”

“No, I don’t. It was building up for a long time before that. Cindy called her the coldest bitch on the east coast, Ralph was threatening to divorce her, and your aunt and uncle were on the verge of disowning her. She wasn’t fit to be around.”

“I didn’t know she was that bad.”

“Hey, what you did may have helped wake her up. Don’t blame yourself for it. She chose to be a bitch, and wound up facing the consequences.” His fingers touched her chin and eased her head up.

Their gazes locked and held for several long moments.

Marti shivered a little at the feel of his breath touching her lips, his were a bare inch from hers. Unconsciously, she nibbled on her lower one.

His gaze flickered to her mouth and back to her eyes before he straightened, pulled her a little closer to him, and rested his chin on top of her head.

She sighed, closed her eyes, and let the music wash away all of her worries.

* * * *

STRICKEN is available at the following retailers:

And everywhere else e-books are sold. 

STRICKEN has its own Facebook Fan Page! 

* * * * 

I am so pleased to announce the name of Book 2! 



Book 2 of The Feathered Tartan Series.

STRICKEN’S sequel focuses on Ewan’s widowed cousin Joshua, and an unexpected surprise from a special Nova Scotian woman he met in Spain five years ago.



Sometimes family isn’t everything...

(currently in progress, Draft 1) 
***Photo Credit: Lela Johnson***

Five years ago, widower Joshua Campbell met a mysterious redhead named Lauren while vacationing in Spain. A few days of flirting led to a steamy weekend that had both wishing the affair would last beyond those amazing three days. Unfortunately, a family emergency calls Joshua away, leaving Lauren high and dry.

When he runs into her during a visit with his Nova Scotia cousins, he unexpectedly opens the door to a few skeletons. Uncovering a few of Lauren’s secrets lets him know his family’s reputation for ruthlessness is well-deserved…
Excerpt: From Chapter Two

Lauren had just finished bouncing a few things around for the ill mechanic when Janine poked her head into the service office. “He’s back!”


“Mr. Hunky, the guy who was looking for you last night.”

She sighed and rolled her eyes.

“Do you want me to send him back?”

“I’ll talk to him out front. He’s probably hoping to charm me into giving him a huge discount on something.”

Janine snickered and pointed to two men. Both had black, straight, and waist length hair, and were at least six feet tall by her estimation.

She glanced with appreciation at the one facing her, and gave him a professional smile when he made eye contact.

He returned it and nodded.

This is going to be easy. He is handsome, but he’s met his match this time, she thought. He’s going to find out I’m not a stupid woman, and I can talk cars more than he can…

The other man, who had his back to Lauren, turned and grinned.

Her jaw dropped, and icy fingers speared her entire body as her gaze met his.

Life, I didn’t offer you a challenge when I asked if this day could get worse!

She barely croaked, “Joshua? What the hell?” before the blackness overtook her.
* * * *

“You have a weird effect on women,” Jason snickered as Joshua caught Lauren just before she hit the floor.

“Not funny,” he shot back under his breath and shifted her higher in his arms.

Shit, she’s out cold.

Salespeople and others were running toward them.

“What happened?” a younger woman with blonde hair asked.

“All of you get back to work!” an older man with white hair bellowed from their left.

The crowd instantly dispersed.

Joshua glanced at Lauren before he moved his gaze to the older man’s glare.

“Why are you carrying my daughter?”


Nausea rumbled in his throat.

Oh, shit! This is not how I pictured meeting her dad!

“Sir, I can explain–” Joshua mumbled.

“Damn straight you’re going to!”

He could feel Lauren’s head move against his shoulder.

“She fainted.”

“Obviously!” By now, Lauren’s father – Joshua hadn’t heard the man’s name yet – was almost in front of him. “What happened?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

“You did not hurt her, did you?”

Joshua heard the protectiveness of a parent defending its child in her father’s voice.

“I didn’t touch her before she fell.” He kept his tone even and his face passive.

The man’s glower darkened a little as he became silent.
Joshua took the opportunity to get a good look at him.

This man is dangerous, he thought as the blue eyes narrowed to thin slits. He reminds me of Grandfather. I’d better not show any weakness, or he will eat me alive!

He pulled his shoulders straighter and met the older man’s eyes calmly.

“You two, follow me!”

“Daddy, will you please stop yelling? My head hurts.”

“Ah, she’s back among the living,” Mr. O’Malley said. His voice changed to soothing and parent-like. “You blacked out. 
How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine,” she replied. She lifted her head off Joshua’s shoulder.

He risked a glance downward to meet her gaze with a grin.
Her glare was blue-hot.

“Put me down!”

“It’s only a few more steps.”

“He’s right, sweetheart, let him carry you.”

“I can walk perfectly fine, Daddy. Put me down, Joshua. Now,” she hissed.

Kitchi, you’d better listen. She sounds pissed,” Jason mumbled.

“Shut up, Nooatu!” he shot back in their native tongue.

She scooted away the instant her feet touched the floor.

“Would someone mind explaining this to me?” her father demanded.

About V.J. Allison…

V.J. Allison was born and raised in southern Nova Scotia, Canada, and her work reflects her strong Maritime roots. She is a stay at home mother to a son on the autism spectrum, married to the love of her life, and “mama” to a rescued Maine Coon named Marnie.

She has been writing various stories of novel length and short stories since her school days, and sees writing as a vital component to her life. 

When she isn’t writing, she loves to read romance and science fiction novels (notably Star Wars); listen to music (heavy metal, rock, alternative); watch various crime and forensic dramas; watch science fiction television shows and movies; and spend time with her large family and many friends. 


This self-proclaimed geeky rocker chick is an advocate and a warrior for various chronic illnesses including Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetes, Migraines, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. She is also an advocate for the prevention of animal cruelty and is a voice for Autism Awareness.


  1. Denise, it looks wonderful! Thank you so much for doing this for me! Hugs! ♥

    1. You are so welcome! I love hosting you and you're always such a huge hit! <3 HUGS!!

  2. Great post, ladies!
    The sequel to Stricken sounds intriguing, VJ, and I love the series name. Congratulations on the upcoming release. All the best!

    1. Thank you so much, Kymmie! We need to do a feature on you next. :-)