DFRAT Guest Post: Phoebe Conn

Today we have Phoebe Conn on sharing an excerpt of her new book Fierce Love from Samhain. She is also giving away three pdf copies of the book so don’t forget to leave comment.

Digital Publishing

At the Novelist Inc. conference in St. Louis, in 2009, Lindsay Faber from Samhain Publishing spoke on Samhain’s success with ebooks and their commitment to their authors. I was impressed by Ms. Faber’s presentation, plus the growth in ebook sales and immediately submitted a story. DEFY THE WORLD TOMATOES was my first contemporary romance with Samhain, WHERE DREAMS BEGIN was the second. Both are now available as ebooks and in print.

Samhain gives the author the opportunity to select a cover from their artists’ initial versions. With more than 30 books in print, I’d never been given the chance to do more than offer brief descriptions of characters and events. Often the covers were more generic in tone than perfect for my book. That’s not the case with Samhain. They do beautiful covers that actually reflect the tone and story.

FIERCE LOVE was inspired by a family friend’s wedding to a matador’s daughter. New York publishers wouldn’t consider a book with a matador, but ebook publishers, and Samhain is a wonderful example, are much freer to publish books readers really want to read. even if they don’t fit into previously defined genres and subjects. With ebook sales growing every year, I’m glad I went with an ebook publisher.

Phoebe Conn


 Their affair is the main attraction…and the distraction a killer has waited for.

Magdalena Aragon never thought she’d answer the summons of a father she’s never known. The world-famous, many-times-married matador has provided everything she needs—except his time. There’s only one reason she packs her bags for Spain: what her psychologist calls “closure”.

In spite of herself, she’s drawn in by her father’s charm, irresistible despite his desperate illness. Then there’s his handsome protégé, a rising star in a sport she hates, yet he sets her passions on fire.

With a past as shadowy as his Gypsy heritage, Rafael Mondragon has always had to fight for what he wants. His freedom, his dream to become a star in the bull ring, and now his mentor’s daughter, who stirs his every dark desire.

Certain she won’t be staying long, Maggie escapes from the craziness of her newly discovered, fractured family to indulge in a red-hot fling. After all, Rafael is the last man she could ever love. Her heart has other ideas.

The heat from their affair captures the attention of the wrong people—the tabloids, and someone who has a twisted sense of honor. By the time Rafael realizes Maggie is the real target, it could be too late to save her.

Warning: Hot sex, dangerous secrets, men who challenge death for sport

Maggie continued on down the long corridor to the wide curved staircase at the center of the house. As she neared the landing, she overheard her brother, Santos, and another man arguing in hushed voices, but it was immediately clear Santos was attempting to bar access to their father’s room, while the other man was equally adamant he would be welcome.

Maggie had no wish to intrude, but she was curious as to how the dispute would end and leaned over the banister to improve her view. Santos was standing at the bottom of the stairs while the other man had his back toward her. He was as tall as her half-brother, dressed in black and his thick ebony hair brushed his shoulders.

Perhaps he was their aunt’s husband and Santos hadn’t had time to describe their uncle. Then as if sensing her presence, the man turned and looked up at her. Framed by expressive brows, his eyes were as black as his hair and his gaze traveled over her with an insulting sweep that made her draw back.

Perhaps it was only the stress of the day, or the view down the curved stairs but a wave of dizziness overtook her. She tightened her hold on the coiled wrought iron banister and held on as the man brushed by Santos and came up the stairs. His defiant gaze remained fixed on her the whole way and when he paused two steps below her, their eyes were nearly even.

Despite his forbidding glance, he was a remarkably handsome man. His deeply tanned skin was proof he spend his days outdoors, and there was an unmistakable aura of drama surrounding him. She longed to hear him speak.

“I’m Magdalena Aragon,” she offered as a prompt.

He nodded dismissively. “The American. I’ll give you the same warning I gave your brother. Stay out of my way.”

His voice had a harsh edge, but the same seductive depth as her father’s. He had meant to frighten her, and had succeeded, but she raised her chin proudly rather than let it show. “With that arrogance you must be another matador. What are you afraid of, that I might steal your best cape to make a cocktail dress?”

Her question brought a howling laugh from Santos, but the stranger’s expression barely softened. “Your sister has a keen eye, Santos. Bring her to my next corrida so she’ll see a real matador fight.”

“I’d sooner escort her to hell,” Santos shouted up at him.

“I’m Rafael Mondragon,” he announced proudly and continued on up the stairs.

The name meant nothing to Maggie, but as Rafael passed by her she caught a faint hint of the cologne she recognized as her father’s brand. She turned to look up at him, but his sinewy grace quickly carried him down the long corridor and out of view. She had found the whole encounter disturbing. As she made her way down the stairs, Santos observed her with an impatient frown. She was embarrassed he had caught her staring at a man he heartily disliked and even more puzzled she’d been inspired to do so.



  1. Carol

    Very intriguing excerpt! As a reader, I like Samhain as a publisher due to its uniformly high quality. It is the only publisher that I check out regularly and buy from directly.

  2. Aurore

    Thank you for sharing your story. What you say about covers is very interesting. It’s good to know that some publishers at least think it’s normal to ask the author’s opinion. A cover is extremely important since it’s the first thing you see and it’s so much better when it has something to do with the novel.
    And titles are very important too: I admit I’m very intrigued by “Defy the world tomatoes” (and I’ve read the summary, it sounds good!).
    Thank you for the excerpt: that quite a way to meet for the two heroes. I love Maggie’s answer, hilarious!

  3. Phoebe Conn

    Thank you for your comments Carol and Aurore. When I receive your email addresses, I’ll send your pdf copies of FIERCE LOVE. The sequel, FIERCE PRIDE, will be a March 2012 release from Samhain.

  4. Sasha H

    Fierce Love was a great introduction to your work Phoebe. 😀 I’m intrigued after reading the excerpt and would like to thank Heather for having you on the blog.


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