Pool Play Giveaway Winners…

I’m sorry I’m so late with these. I didn’t forget so just stop thinking that. I’ve been writing like mad all weekend and all day today, revising and writing, writing and revising with a self-imposed deadline of the end of this coming Sunday to submit Jaz’s book to my Ellora’s Cave editor. So, cross your fingers, your toes, do your little dances, and whatever else you might have up your sleeve for good luck… I’m gonna need it!


The winner of Eve’s book, Southern Comfort, is Lindsey Ekland and the winner of my book, Carnal Ecstasy, is Estella. If you will both email me at lissa AT lissamatthews DOT com (lissa@lissamatthews.com) I’ll get your books to you. Please let me know in the email what format you’d like.

Thanks to all of you for commenting and thanks to Eve for letting me showcase her book a bit. Have a great Wednesday.


Snippet Saturday-Worldbuilding

Wow! It’s good to be back doing Snippet Saturday. I had missed it, but none of my books really fit into any of the topics of late. I’ll have a few here in September though…

Many of you have heard and seen and read that Arctic Shift is my first shifter. It’s the first book in a 3 book series titled, Denali Heat. I’ve created a world of ice bear shifters that, through no real fault of their own, now carry bits and pieces of the great bear’s DNA within their own. I’ve set the shifters in this world, this real world we live in, with real people, real love, real needs like cherry Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms cereal. They mate because they must once they’ve come in contact with some part of their mate, be it a scent, a vision, a sound… They are gentle and fiercely protective, passionate and highly sexual beings. I hope you will love them…

Artic ShiftSnippet:

“Why are you smiling like that?”

“Like what?”

“Well, you keep looking over at me and smiling like I’m going to be your dinner.”

“Maybe you are.”

“Not even funny. I can’t get that image of you as…well, that dream of you out of my mind. Don’t joke about eating me for dinner.”

He sobered at that. “How bad did that dream freak you out?”

“It’s not like we were having sex while you were a bear, just that you… I don’t know. You turned from a bear into a man, not the other way around. And then there was the sex and it was just so primal, so animalistic and possessive. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

“It doesn’t happen like that,” he said, his voice low and barely audible to his own ears. He was going to have to tell her the truth sometime.

She turned in the seat to face him. “What did you say?”

He kept his eyes trained on the snowy path in front of him. The heavy snows hadn’t begun to fall so the drive through the woods was still possible with ease. In a few weeks though, driving the truck back and forth to the store would be impossible. “What do you think you heard?”

She scooted just a fraction of an inch closer to him. Interesting. “I thought I heard you say it doesn’t happen like that.”

“Okay.” So she had good hearing.

“Okay? Okay as in that’s what you said or okay it’s not what you said but what you did say doesn’t bear repeating?”

“You heard right.” Might as well talk about it now. She had nowhere to run, no one to run to. He kind of liked being her only option.

“I don’t understand, Carson. What do you mean it doesn’t happen like that? Will you please stop being cryptic in your answers? How would you know how it happens? Wait…” She shook her head as if to clear it. “Listen to me… I’m talking like this is something real, and it’s not, right?”

“I know exactly how it happens, and it doesn’t happen the way it did in your dream.” He reached for her, expecting her to back herself up to the door and out it if she could get her hand untangled from beneath the blanket and pop the handle. She didn’t though. She scooted another fraction of an inch closer, close enough that his fingers could grab hold of the blankets and tug her the rest of the way to his side. “You’re not running away,” he observed.

“And where would I run to out here in the middle of the forest?”

“You’re not acting all scared either.”

“I haven’t been scared of you since I woke up with you in bed with me. Why would I start now?”

“Then what are you, if not scared?”

“Curious, I guess. Confused. I don’t know what else to be. Joe said there were shifters. You look like the one I dreamed about. You just said you know how it happens. And I’m in the middle of a fairy tale world up here.” She looked around, out through the windows. “It’s more beautiful that I could have ever imagined it being. It’s so white, but there’s green too. It’s colder than hell, but around a human furnace like yourself and these yummy wool blankets… Maybe there is more than what I know or what I thought I knew. I almost wonder if maybe I’m still dreaming because the Ruby that left Chicago a couple days ago couldn’t have changed this much.”

“She could have if the Ruby in Chicago wasn’t the real Ruby that lives inside you.”

She looked as though she was thinking about what he’d just said. Her brows furrowed and were drawn down over her eyes. Her pretty lips were pursed with a little frown pulling at the corners. Her gaze skated away from him for a second, but then it was right back. “I guess.”

“You said you’re a mythologist, right? That you study myths and legends.”

“Yes. Primarily Greek and Roman mythology, but every civilization has its own. I would love to do an intense study of Native American legends.”

“Then why isn’t it possible that something like a shapeshifter exists? You can’t say for certain it does or doesn’t just because you haven’t heard of one. Couldn’t some of the gods and goddesses turn into other beings?”


“Then what are you struggling with exactly? That there may be other types of creatures or beings than you thought or is it something more? Like, that you’re attracted to one? Just because something is myth or legend, doesn’t mean there isn’t some basis in reality. It’s just a different reality than what you’re used to believing exists.”

That last bit brought an O to her heart-shaped lips but confusion and uncertainty still swirled in her eyes. He needed her to come right out and ask the question, but at the same time, he wasn’t sure what her reaction would be to the answer. “Ask it, Ruby. You know you want to.”

Silence ensued until she licked her lips and took a deep breath. “Carson, are shifters real?”

Here we go. “Yes.”

“Are you one?”

“You can’t be uncertain about wanting the answer. Do you want the truth? Once heard, you can’t unhear it, and I can’t take it back. So, be sure you’re ready for the answer to what you’re asking.”

“I know. I want the truth. All of it.”

He pulled the truck to a stop and turned to face her. “Yes.”

Immediately, her eyes changed, brightened and he could almost see her brain at work. “Yes, you are. Okay. You’re a shifter. Half man, half animal. Okay. But wait. What does that even mean? Are you a man or a bear? I mean, are you a bear masquerading as a man or vice versa? How is it even possible?”

If she had wheels in her head, they’d be spinning so fast smoke would literally come out her ears. He could almost hear gears grinding she was thinking so hard, trying to put the puzzle together in her mind before he could even answer her questions. He touched her hair, her face, thankful she didn’t pull away in horror. His little academic was so deep in her own thoughts she couldn’t even begin to think about being scared of him.

“My DNA is spliced with that of the ice bears from the Arctic.”


Carson wasn’t sure if he should laugh or not. She was so serious in her question, so earnest in the asking of why. “It was an accidental thing at first, and then it became an experimental thing until it was so interwoven into our genetics that we are what we are…man and bear.”

“Someone experimented on your family?”

“Sort of. No one is any worse off for it though. One day we may be all that’s left of the ice bears.”

“Do you actually…shift into a bear? And what is an ice bear? Is it like a polar bear, like Joe said?”

Carson did laugh then. She was throwing questions out and hadn’t even processed the first answer to the first question. She wasn’t slowing down in her curiosity, her inquisitiveness, and something about that was sexy as shit to him. “Yes, it’s a polar bear. And no, we don’t actually shift into bear form, but we do need to run, to hunt, to be in the cold. We can swim in the arctic waters, and we are very warm-natured. Our hair is like the fur of the bear, and our eyes are as theirs. We eat a diet rich in fish protein, and we go into a sort of mating heat around this time of year.” He leaned over and kissed the tip of her nose, staring into her eyes. “But unlike our ice bear kin, when we shifters mate, we mate for life.”


“Scared now, Ruby?”

“No. Should I be?”

“You didn’t believe in shifters a couple hours ago, and I’ve given you a lot to digest.”

“I’m not exactly closed-minded.”

“True. You’re like a curious kitten, but earlier you were rather a little unsettled by the notion.”

“I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how it happened that you came to be this way, to have pieces and parts of an animal’s, a bear’s DNA, but I don’t think I should be scared of you. You haven’t harmed me. You haven’t acted like you wish to hurt me.”

“What have I acted like?”

“Like you couldn’t wait to get into my pants.”

“And you’d be right.”

“I don’t understand that either. Why do you want me? You hardly know me. You just saw me, met me for the first time today, but before we left the hotel room you said I belong to you. What does that even mean?”

He had told her that. He’d also told her he knew where Melanie was, but aside from a moment of sheer joy that her sister was alive and unharmed and waiting to see her, Ruby had clung to the other statement he’d made. That she belonged to him. “More questions? Seriously?”

For a moment she looked chagrined, and he honestly didn’t have the heart to make her feel bad for asking him anything. There was more truth to tell her and for her to find out. Now wasn’t the time to admonish her for wanting some answers.

He turned back to the steering wheel and shifted the truck back into drive and started them moving again. He wanted to reach the halfway cabin before it got too late. He wanted her warmed and settled before it became too terribly cold. He also wanted her good and comfortable with him because the cabin had only one bed, and he damn sure wasn’t sleeping on the floor.

“Remember? Back in the hotel room I said I’d been dreaming about you.”

She slid the rest of the way to his side. “For how long?”

“A few weeks I guess, give or take.”

“Were they, you know, those kinds of dreams?”

He slid her a sidelong glance. “You mean the kind where you orgasm all over the place?”


“Oh most definitely.”

“And I liked it? And you liked it?”

“Loved it.” She seemed to exhale a breath he didn’t know she was holding. Could it be that Miss Ruby wanted in his pants as much as he wanted in hers?

“What about the other part of my question? You know, the part about my belonging to you?”

“Yes. You do. It’s not something I can control, Ruby. It’s not something that won’t happen either. It’s meant to be, you as mine, as my mate in this life.”

“I don’t think it works that way, Carson. Even for someone with different DNA running through his blood.”

“Believe me, in this instance, and in every instance of every member of my family, living and dead, this is how it has worked. They know it inside, way deep down. It’s not always easy. The women don’t always, well hell, the women rarely ever understand at first that this is the way it is, but over time, they come to accept it.”

“Over time? How long?”

“Guess it’s different for everyone. It takes months or even years for some. For others, it can take as little as a few days.”

“You’d wait for me for years to be okay with it?”

“If I had to. I don’t think it’ll come to that though.”

“Why not?”

“Because you want me.” He slid an arm around her shoulders and, if he hadn’t been driving and hadn’t had a steering wheel in his lap, he’d have pulled her across his thighs and kissed every ounce of doubt from her. As it was, he could only hold her close to his side until they were safely tucked into the cabin.

“No sense in denying it or playing hard to get then, I guess.”

“Oh you can play hard to get. I’ll chase you for a while but pretty soon you’ll come to me all on your own.”

“How do you know?”

“Destiny, Ruby darlin’. Destiny.”

Yes, I know it was a rather long snippet. Longer than usual or should be. We’ll chalk it up to my being overly excited to be participating again. I hope you all enjoyed it. You can find out more information on Arctic Shift, here.

Now, don’t forget the to check out these other authors’ snippets. They are some experienced, awesome worldbuilders.

TJ Michaels
Shelli Stevens
Lissa Matthews
Lauren Dane
Ashley Ladd
Vivian Arend
Taige Crenshaw
Shelley Munro
McKenna Jeffries
Mandy M Roth
Jody Wallace

And have a great Saturday! I’m off to settle in for some football! Go ‘Noles!


Pool Play

Because well, there aren’t too many more things sexier at the moment! And DAMN is he sexy! I’d be happy to play with him any day of the year. Hell, he could teach me how to play. I’d pay anything for those kinds of lessons…

My friend Eve Cassidy had her first Ellora’s Cave Exotika book come out yesterday. It’s a menage. It’s naughty. It’s got hot yummy pool table action. It’s titled, Southern Comfort. And you need a copy and it’s available here.

Such a sexy cover, huh? Yum!

Here’s a little blurb for you to drool over as well…


Two guys. A girl. One incredible game of pool…

Scarlett wants to escape, even if it’s just for a little while. So she heads to Southern Comfort, where she’ll find a certain marine she can’t get out of her head. And she knows he won’t be alone.

Michael spies the uptight woman of his dreams the minute she fights through the crowd. She’s sexy as sin and he can’t take his eyes off her while she flirts over some liquid courage. When she finally heads his way, it’s time to find out if she can live up to her end of the fantasy.

Red-hot chemistry may call the shots, but once you take the double hit… The game is on.

I don’t know about you, but I might need to take a dip in this gem of a table here… Interesting, huh?

While I was prepping this post, I ran across some fun facts from the Billiard Congress of America. I’m only going to highlight a few of the facts, but if you want to know more of them, you can find the complete list here.

Pool is one of the safest sports in the world.

The dome on Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, conceals a billiard room. In Jefferson’s day, billiards was illegal in Virginia.

According to research conducted a few years back, billiard champions have the highest average age of any sport, 35.6 years.

Throughout history, billiards has bridged the gap between the aristocracy and the masses. Both gentlemen and street toughs played.

In 1586, the castle of Mary, Queen of Scots, was invaded and captured. The Invaders made a note of forbidding her the use of her billiard table. They then killed her, and used the covering of the table to cover her body.

Marquetry – the art of making pictures or designs with thin slices of wood, shell or other materials – has long enhanced the beauty of tables and cues. The art form is hardly a recent development. It has been practiced in Egypt and the Orient for more than 3,000 years.

Throughout most of the 1800’s, the chalk used on the new leather cue tips was carbonate of lime, better known as blackboard chalk.

What is billiard cloth made of? Amazingly, the main component of billiard cloth has remained unchanged for over 400 years. Wool was used in the 1500’s, and remains the fabric of choice today. It has, of course, undergone some perfecting (and some wool/nylon blends are also produced).

The word “cue” is derived from the French queue, meaning tail. Before the cue stick was designed, billiards was played with a mace. The mace consisted of a curved wooden (or metal) head used to push the ball forward, attached to a narrow handle. Since the bulkiness of the mace head made shots along the rail difficult, it was often turned around and the “tail” end was used. Players eventually realized this method was far more effective, and the cue as a separate instrument grew out of the mace’s tail.

At times, including during the Civil War, billiard results received wider coverage than war news. Players were so renowned that cigarette cards were issued featuring them.

And my personal favorite, which if any of you have read my book, Carnal Ecstasy, would certainly fall under this category:

The Church has long been a part of billiard history. From its earliest days, the game was often denounced as a sinful, dangerous, morally corrupt activity. In 15th century France, billiards play was forbidden, by the Church, as well as the King. In early American history, actual laws were passed (thanks to religious influences), outlawing the game in many parts of the land.

Congratulation to my friend Eve on her first Ellora’s Cave release and in celebration of such I am going to give away a copy to one lucky commenter and give away a copy of Carnal Ecstasy to another on Tuesday, Sept 7.

Carnal Ecstasy

All I ask is that you comment. Simple enough, yes?


Giveaway, Part 1-Stick Shift

I have been wanting to give books away and well, here we go. A couple of weeks ago, Kyle Busch swept all three of Nascar’s top series… Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and Sprint Cup Series in one weekend at one race track… Bristol Motor Speedway.

This hadn’t been done and it’s been predicted that it likely won’t happen again in our lifetime. It’s a special thing. It’s a record breaking thing. And, it’s definitely worthy of me doing a giveaway!

I’m gonna choose 3 commenters at random, one for each race Kyle won that weekend that answer the following questions correctly:

1. Where is Bristol Motor Speedway located?

2. Where is Kyle Busch Motorsports located?

3. Where is the Nascar Hall of Fame located?

4. How many drivers start a Sprint Cup Race? Meaning, how many qualify and cross the Start/Finish line when the green flag drops?

5. What number car does Kyle Busch drive in the Sprint Cup Series?

6. Who are the characters in Stick Shift?

7. Do you follow this blog?

8. Would you like to win a copy of Stick Shift?

So, answer my questions (Google is a wonderful tool) in the comments. And I’ll pick a winner on Friday afternoon at 3pm eastern time.

Good luck!


Arctic Shift is Available Today!

Artic Shift

It’s official! He’s arrived! My Polar Bear shifter, Carson! He’s arrived and he’s ready to… Well, I’m sure if you’re a reader of mine, you know exactly what he’s ready to do. I mean, just because he’s a different species, doesn’t mean he’s any less hot and yummy and naughty.

You can find he and Ruby at Samhain Publishing and My Bookstore and More. They’re not at Amazon or All Romance eBooks or anywhere else yet, but will be I’m sure in the next few days.

Here’s the opening scene where you get a feel for what’s to come, a little insight… Tomorrow, I’m going to post the maple glazed salmon recipe and a quick shrimp and sausage gumbo recipe that Carson uses later in the book. It’s a recipe that I’ve tried myself and it’s really very good.


Ruby shivered. She might be riding in a truck and the heater might be cranked up to high, but the cold permeated the windows and it was all she could do to keep her teeth from chattering. “I can’t believe Mel would still be up here. There’s nothing except snow and woods and not a whale to be found. Her work is down by the water. It was only supposed to be a weekend trip.” The last was muttered into her hands as she exhaled warm air into her glove-covered palms trying to warm them.

It was only October, and winter hadn’t set in yet, but snow was beginning to accumulate on the ground and temperatures were a balmy thirty-something. Even though she lived in Chicago where it got bone-chilling cold thanks to the lake, this cold was different.

She couldn’t quite explain why or what it was that made it different, she just knew she’d never been this cold in her life. Their, Ruby and Mel’s, parents hadn’t had much luck getting direct answers from Mel’s boss about her exact whereabouts the last time he’d heard from her, but Ruby hadn’t been content to take his half-ass answers. She had dogged his every step, called him day and night until he finally gave her what little information he had. In the end, he hadn’t been very helpful at all. Even Ruby had known Mel was supposed to be in and around the Kenai Peninsula. It was what happened after she left the Kenai and Cook Inlet area that Ruby wasn’t sure about. Things had gone silent. The last communication Ruby’d had from her sister was that she was taking a few days to go up to Mount McKinley in Denali National Park with a local man she had the hots for. But even Mel knew if she didn’t check in or get back to work, someone would notice and contact their parents and their parents would contact Ruby.

Mel had booked an air tour and had gotten on the ground in a little town inside the forest area, not too far from the main park entrance, but well enough off the beaten path that only the locals could get anyone there. And that little town was where Ruby was headed.

“You said your sister was up here doing research?”

“Back along the coast, yes. Here in the middle part of the state where there are no whales? No. Which is why I don’t understand her not being back from her trek to the mountain.” The last was said more to herself than to Joe, the local she’d hired to drive her.

“Maybe she got caught up with one of the locals, and she’s holed up in his cabin.”

As if. Though if either of us were likely to do such a thing, it would be Mel. “No. She loves that job too much to jeopardize it and disappearing off the face of the earth would seriously jeopardize it.” Ruby looked around at the snow-dotted trees. “And what locals? Aside from you and me, there’s no sign of human life anywhere.” She’d seen a fair amount of moose, caribou, some small white foxes, but no humans.

Joe laughed. It wasn’t a pleasant sound either and made her feel a bit uneasy.

“Oh, there’s life out here all right, little lady. Don’t you go forgettin’ it either. And there are…human types. They just blend in with the scenery so’s you can’t spot ’em. They don’t like to draw attention to themselves.”

Blend in with the scenery? Human types? Her interest was piqued. She didn’t want to admit it because Joe seemed a little kooky and creepy now, but she was a glutton for a good tale. “How do they do that? Everything is white for miles and miles, and it’s kind of hard to blend in with a tree unless you’re in brown from head to toe.”

“Well, they change form when they don’t want to be seen.”

“They change form?” She was having a hard time containing her curious enthusiasm. She was from the city where people were people and there was very little blending into the surroundings. There was no such thing as humans that could change shape around where she lived. But in the myths and legends she’d studied in her life, in her career…they were full of shape-shifting beings. Humans to animals. They were just stories though. They didn’t really exist, never had.

“Yeah, they shift, you know? Change.” He took a last puff from his cigarette and tossed it from the truck and into the snow. “You mean you never heard of shifters?”

“I’m afraid not. Not real ones, anyway.”

“Huh. Well, no one has been able to prove they exist, but they do. You mark my word. They’re here.”

“How do you know? I mean, if it’s never been proven?” All she wanted was to find Melanie and make sure she was okay, not to go myth diving. She couldn’t let herself get carried away with the intrigue and curiosity, couldn’t act like she cared. But dammit, he was tempting her bad habit of inquisitiveness. And since myths were right up her alley…

She loved delving into old tales. It was how she’d become a mythologist. Hardly anyone knew what that was, but the libraries and museums loved her. She was always asking questions, always looking for new answers, new avenues of thought.

The whys and what ifs defined more of her life than reality and right now. She had a natural curiosity and simple one-word answers never worked for her. It was probably why she liked reading so much, too, getting her hands on everything she could about whatever she was studying and trying to figure out.

He shifted behind the wheel as if her question made him uncomfortable. “I just know.”

“What kind of animals?” She shouldn’t have asked any more. She should have let the subject drop, but he had her hooked and she wanted to know more. Were they wolves? Bears? Moose? Caribou? Or were they smaller like some of the fox she’d seen along the side of the road?

“Bears, mostly.”

“Like Kodiak bears?”

“Polar bears. Ice bears.”

He had to be pulling her leg, but the serious, low tone of his voice told her he wasn’t. Still, though… “This is too far south and too far inland for polar bears.”

Joe shot her a pointed stare and she shivered in a way that had nothing to do with the cold. “You mark my word, they’s more polar bears than any other kind. Wolves too. But not so much down here in these woods. The wolves are farther north and deeper in.”

He shifted again, and his jaw tightened. Soon after, he lit another cigarette. If she didn’t know better, she’d think he was trying to frighten her, but she chalked that feeling up to just being tired and irritable. They’d been on the road for what seemed like forever, and she’d had enough. Enough of Joe, of the cold, of nature, of being so far out of her comfort zone and what she knew. She wanted warmth, one of her books that made her feel at home and comforted, and to sleep for a week.

“How much longer before we reach the lodge?”

“Just ’round that bend up there. You’ll be able to hire someone to take you farther into the wilderness. You make sure to be careful and watch out for them shifters. ”


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