<i>Public Relations</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Public Relations: Exclusive Excerpt Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini "I could feel my heart pounding, but couldn’t find any words." <i>Shacking Up</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Shacking Up: Exclusive Excerpt Helena Hunting "Oh God. I’d like to experience his not polite all over this condo." <i>The Untamed Vampire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Untamed Vampire: Exclusive Excerpt Kate Baxter "The wild wolf inside him howls for her..." <i>Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby: Exclusive Excerpt Sasha Summers "Black skirt that hugged an amazing ass and killer legs."
From The Blog
April 29, 2017
ICYMI: May New Romance Releases, Historical Heroines, and more!
Team H & H
April 28, 2017
9 Romances H&H Reviewers Loved in April 2017
Team H & H
April 27, 2017
Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Scarlett Cole and Sidney Halston
Team H & H
April 26, 2017
A Romance Virgin’s First Cover Shoot
Jennifer Proffitt
April 25, 2017
The Greatest Love Songs Don't Exactly End Happily
Laura Lee Guhrke
Wed
Apr 26 2017 9:30am

First Look: Valerie Bowman’s Never Trust a Pirate (May 2, 2017)

Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman
Never Trust a Pirate (The Playful Brides #7)
St. Martin's Press / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

Valerie Bowman has morphed into an automatic buy for me. Why? Because the woman can write a story that lures me along until the final HEA. You ask, is Never Trust a Pirate just as good as her others? The answer is a demonstrative, Hell, yes. This one has everything. Undercover espionage, pirates, a strong female heroine, a smoking hot male lead, twists in the story, and chemistry. Oh, and I can’t forget the mystery as we read along while Cade Cavendish figures out who the Black Fox is.

You see, we have not one, but two spies, unbeknownst to each other. And ultimately, they’re both after the same person. Though Danielle LaCrosse’s current assignment is none other than the pirate Cade Cavendish, twin brother to Rafe Cavendish. (You’ll remember Rafe and Daphne from the Irresistible Rogue, Playful Brides #4). Posing as a Lady’s maid to the new Viscountess Daphne, Danielle is charged with learning as much as she can about the rogue twin brother, thought to be dead, who has apparently has risen from the grave and is staying with Rafe and Daphne.

[Read more...]

Wed
Apr 26 2017 8:08am

Do You Like Hearing About an Author’s Creative Process?

Creative Lightbulb

Spring brings a lot of creation—flowers blossom, baby animals are born... and apparently author's share their creative process! Many times this week, we've seen authors sharing how their book came to be—whether it's generally talking about their writing process or how a line from a song inspired them. It can be a really interesting conversation, especially when it's from your favorite authors. 

What are your thoughts? Do you like to hear about the creative process? 

Tell me about it in the comments!

Tue
Apr 25 2017 4:38pm

Spring Reading: Romance News & Deals from Kristan Higgins & Lexi Blake!

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Until There Was You by Kristan HigginsDeal Alert: Kristan Higgins' contemporary Until There Was You is $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Long ago, bad-boy Liam broke Posey's heart, but now he's back in town and looking to make things right. Second-chance romance coming right up in this reissue first published in 2011.

Deal Alert: Lexi Blake's contemporary Ruthless, first in the Lawless family series, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Riley Lawless is consumed by plans for vengeance against his parents' killer and anyone involved—but then he meets Ellie Stratton, who's not at all what he expected... Welcome to the Lawless books, where “revenge and espionage grip readers tight in a world of corporate greed.”

Deal Alert: Lorelei James' Blacktop Cowboys contemporary Hillbilly Rockstar is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Country singer Devin's surprise at being protected by a woman is quickly replaced by an intense desire for that new bodyguard, former soldier Liberty. Hillbilly Rockstar's an “erotic western/rockstar romance hybrid that features the best of both genres.”

[+What's new on H&H...]

Tue
Apr 25 2017 3:00pm

7 New Adult Romance Best Bets for April 2017

Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole

This month brings characters that have made decisions or been put in circumstance that have made their lives chaotic. Adulting is hard people! The past can haunt you and sour your future but, these characters while chaotic, aren’t going to take it sitting down. They fight for a future—with partners that are equally determined—that will burn brighter than their pasts

Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is an emotional thrill ride. This must be read in series order as this book builds upon the history that was previously shared in the books. AK, 1/3 of the psycho trio, is not on the lookout for love when the MC is called upon to rescue Phebe. Phebe’s backstory is one of the most heart wrenching of the series. As we navigate through the dark and twisted tunnels of Cole’s story, Phebe and AK’s love is the only light that can guide you through it. An unputdownable read, I can’t get enough and I’m eagerly awaiting the next.

The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is part of the Game On series and hilarious!!! I actually haven’t read the rest of the books in the series but I will be sure to rectify that. These two, Chess and Finn, tick off every box in my NA must haves: witty banter, fun story line, and a secondary band of characters that are just as lively as the main characters. Be sure to check out The Hot Shot if you’re looking for a slow-growing romance but plenty of flirting that will fill you with those first-date butterflies. I read this entire book with a smile on my face.

[Read more...]

Tue
Apr 25 2017 1:30pm

The Greatest Love Songs Don’t Exactly End Happily

The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke

Today we're thrilled to have Laura Lee Guhrke (The Truth About Love and Dukes) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Many authors get inspired by music while they write, but it's sad to say... many of the greatest love songs in music don't actually end all that happily. Laura Lee is here today to how popular love songs and romance novels can differ so much when it comes to their endings. Thanks, Laura Lee!

In a romance novel, a happy ending is a given. That’s why I began reading romances, and I’ve always been sure that’s why my fellow readers read them. For most of my life, I’ve been convinced that everyone wants a happy ending. Because, well, why wouldn’t you? Life’s hard enough, right?

But the other day while listening to Pandora, it occurred to me that many, if not most, popular songs (at least those that appeal to anyone over thirteen) do not have happy endings. Every rose has its thorn, after all, and cowboys, so Axel Rose tells us, sing their sad, sad songs. Heck, Taylor Swift has made an entire career based on her notoriously unhappy love life. Another man, another break-up, another million dollars…actually, that’s not so sad, when I think about it.

Anyway, even I, romance writer and lover of happy endings that I am, have been known to find inspiration in songs that aren’t exactly happy. In my latest book, The Truth About Love and Dukes, the Victorian-era couple find love because of the heroine’s advice-to-the-lovelorn column, and while it has its HEA, the inspiration for the book was a song called “Want Ad Blues.” Blues songs aren’t known for spreading happiness and good cheer.

[Read more...]

Tue
Apr 25 2017 12:35pm

Will We Have the Time of Our Life with Dirty Dancing Remake?

After being teased with casting news, set photos, and more for almost a year, the trailer is finally here for ABC's Dirty Dancing remake. Starring Abigail Breslin as Baby, we'll also be seeing familiar faces with an all-star cast including Debra Messing, Katey Segal, and Sarah Hyland. According to People, the movie will not just be a remake of the original movie, but also give us a glimpse into Baby and Johnny's happily ever after: what happens after the summer and what's up with some of the other beloved characters. 

Baby and Johnny in the Dirty Dancing remake

So, do you think you'll love the Dirty Dancing remake? What are your thoughts on knowing what happens after the summer? Do you want to know? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

If you never want the summer to end, stay tuned for a post on the best Baby and Johnny scenes coming soon. 


SEE ALSO: Dance Movies That Give Romance a Good Whirl


 

Tue
Apr 25 2017 12:02pm
Excerpt

Helena Hunting Excerpt: Shacking Up

Helena Hunting

Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Get a sneak peek at Helena Hunting's Shacking Up (available May 30, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Noise wakes me at 5:36 in the morning. It takes me a few seconds to orient myself to the unfamiliar surroundings. I’m not used to the mostly quiet, so the footsteps and the sound of a suitcase being wheeled down the hall seem louder than they probably are.

Bancroft must be leaving for the airport. We said goodbye last night, but I’m suddenly very awake, and alert. I won’t see him for five weeks. I stare at the ceiling while I listen to him tooling around in the kitchen, trying to decide if I should get up and say goodbye again or stay where I am. My vagina decides for me. She wants a visual hit of Bancroft before he leaves for the next month.

[Read the full Shacking Up excerpt...]

Tue
Apr 25 2017 9:30am

First Look: Brenda Jackson’s Seized by Seduction (April 25, 2017)

Seized by Seduction by Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson
Seized by Seduction (The Protectors #)
HQN Books / April 25, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

When starting to read a Brenda Jackson book, you can’t help but think about the hundreds of books this author has written.  My own mother at some point was reading her books and I now am an avid reader of Brenda Jackson’s books.  To have this body of work and the ability to write sinful romance books for so many years made me think how gifted she is as a writer.  Since I stole a copy of her books from my mother so many years ago to today, I feel like I have grown in my own reading taste as much as she has grown as a writer.  I love this author’s style of writing. She is into painting a picture of the scene you’re in and easily being able to tell you what’s going on.  I can also see the characters in my mind clearly and can follow any complex plot she might think of.  So I jumped at the chance to read the advance copy of her new book.

[Read more...]

Tue
Apr 25 2017 8:05am

What’s the Shortest It’s Taken for a Series to “Click” for You?

Sometimes it takes as little as two words—like, Beards and Bondage—for you to realize a series seems made for you. Other times it takes a few books for it to sneak up on you and make you realize you love it. 

What's the shortest it's taken you to click with a series? Do you typically have trouble getting in sync with a series? What's your average? 

Tell me all about it in the comments!

Mon
Apr 24 2017 4:43pm

O Yeah: Romance News & Deals from Lauren Blakely & Kit Rocha

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Mister O by Lauren BlakelyDeal Alert: Lauren Blakely's contemporary romance Mister O is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Teaching his best friend's little sister how to seduce another guy ends up bringing ladies' man Nick to his knees in this contemporary that landed a spot on our Erotic Romance Best Bets list last May.

Deal Alert: Shayla Black's first erotic Wicked Lovers novel, Wicked Ties, is $1.99 in e-book at Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Black knows how to leave us wanting more.

Deal Alert: Toni Anderson's romantic suspense novel Cold Hearted is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* If you're looking for heart-racing, heat-packed adventure, you'll find it with Detective Erin Donovan and FBI agent Darsh Singh in this captivating story.

Deal Alert: Ann Christopher's contemporary romance Trouble, book 1 in the It's Complicated series, is FREE in e-book at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | etc.* Rising-star defense attorney Mike Baldwin can't stop thinking about the totally off-limits Dara—but neither can his brother... We've set a strong precedent in favor of legal-themed romances.

[+Regency romance deal & Kit Rocha's new series...]

Mon
Apr 24 2017 2:00pm

Two Sides to Every “Nice” Guy: A Case Study

Source: Shutterstock

As the adage goes, “nice guys finish last.” Out in the real world this may not be the case. I always like the nice guy—I think a lot of us do! However, for every nice guy in real life, there's a not-so Nice Guy in fiction... who thinks he's a nice guy. Sadly, for many nice guys in fiction, there's a sense of entitlement and arrogance that makes them Bad Nice Guys. 

The “Bad” Nice Guy

This might be an unpopular opinion, but Ross Geller is the worst. That doesn't mean that I don't love him, love his characters, and accept him. However, here is where this nice guy turns into a not-so-nice guy: Entitlement. Throughout the first few seasons of Friends, in particular, Ross frequently felt that he should be with Rachel simply because he had known her first, because he was the nicer guy and therefore deserving of her attention. That level of entitlement is exactly why I never could really root for that relationship on the show (I was always a Mondler fan). Being a nice guy does not mean you inherently are deserving of things. It means that when nice things happen to you people will say “Oh, it's so great that that happened since he's so nice.”

[Read more...]

Mon
Apr 24 2017 1:00pm

Historical Romance Heroines with Unconventional Occupations—She Can Bring Home the Bacon!

Blame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell

Today we're thrilled to welcome Lenora Bell (Blame It on the Duke) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lenora's latest release features a linguist heroine who is very talented at translations. However, there are tons of heroines in historical romance who have also have unique careers—especially for their time. Lenora is here today to talk about those different careers! Thanks, Lenora!

Psst: This post may contain some light spoilers! 

Think historical romance heroines languish around on velvet sofas waiting for a duke to put a ring on it? Think again! Today’s historical heroines are just as fierce, fearless, intelligent, and freethinking as their contemporary counterparts. And while professions for women were limited throughout history, many of these heroines were inspired by actual trailblazing women from the past! Here are ten of my favorite stereotype-busting historical heroines with unconventional occupations from books I love and highly recommend.

1. Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

I fell in love with eccentric Lady Pandora Ravenel and her diary, half of which is filled with ideas and sketches for board games, and half with Facts and Observations on Impending Matrimonial Doom stemming from a compromising encounter with a wickedly handsome stranger. Kleypas has said that her inspiration for Pandora was real life historical game designer Elizabeth Magie who never received credit or financial success for designing the precursor to Monopoly.

[Read more...]

Mon
Apr 24 2017 12:02pm
Excerpt

Kate Baxter Excerpt: The Untamed Vampire

Kate Baxter

The Untamed Vampire by Kate Baxter

Chelle is not your typical vampire. Turned not with a bite but an age-old magic, she’s the only one of her kind—and more powerful than most. Still adjusting to her endless thirst and lethal fangs, she’s desperate to discover what sets her apart. When she encounters a brutally virile alpha werewolf, she soon learns that she’s not immune to the mating call—and her own primal longing…

The leader of the ancient Forkbeard pack, Gunnar is stunned by Chelle’s lush beauty. The wild wolf inside him howls for her, but unions between vampire and werewolf are strictly taboo—even if their clans weren’t on the verge of war. Desire has never been so dangerous…but, as a malevolent new power rises, Chelle and Gunnar face an even more frightening threat. Together, they might find a way to save their clans. But can they claim their passion, in The Untamed Vampire by Kate Baxter.

Get a sneak peek at Kate Baxter's The Untamed Vampire (available May 2, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

CHAPTER 1

“I want to see Siobhan.”

Chelle Daly waited as Mikhail Aristov, the vampire king, studied her. The unnerving quiet, the penetrating intensity of his cool blue gaze sent a ripple over her skin. Mikhail was powerful. But did his power rival hers? That was the point of today’s meeting. Chelle needed answers and the first step to getting them was a face-to-face with a dhampir she’d been forbidden to visit. It had been months since Chelle had seen Siobhan and the female had something she needed.

“Why?”

The one word hung in the air. No inflection gave away Mikhail’s mood. Figures. He loved to keep people guessing. Chelle was no exception. In fact, he kept her more in the dark than most. Chelle wasn’t a member of Mikhail’s coven. She wasn’t connected to the Collective. The memories of vampires long since dead didn’t float around in her noggin like they did Mikhail’s. Chelle was different. Other. Made a vampire through magic and not by the bite and blood of another vampire. Chelle was a dangerous variable and Mikhail knew it.

[Read the full The Untamed Vampire excerpt...]

Mon
Apr 24 2017 9:30am

First Look: Elle Kennedy’s Midnight Target (April 25, 2017)

Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy
Midnight Target (Killer Instincts #8)
Berkley / April 25, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

In her final book of the Killer Instinct series, Elle Kennedy gives us a novel so full of danger and heart-pounding excitement that I would recommend making sure you can finish it once you start because putting it down is not an option.

Cate Morgan is in a South American city which is on the verge of implosion.  She saw something she shouldn’t and gets caught in the cross hairs of one of the bloodiest cartels. Jim Morgan takes his team in to bring his daughter home and as shots are fired between the mercs and the drug lords, lives are lost and the hatred and retaliation grows as both sides refuse to stop until the other is destroyed.  

As this series draws to an end, Elle Kennedy brings us not one romance but two in Midnight Target. The last few books have left us panting for the resolution of these problematic romances and in doing so she also makes us pause and question how often we live our lives making decisions to please others rather than ourselves.  

[Read more...]

Mon
Apr 24 2017 8:08am

What Couple Shouldn’t You Ship... But You Do?

With the recent return of Prison Break, we've been talking a lot about our favorite couple on that show: Michael and Sara. While we love them, we know that maybe we shouldn't. The same goes for Jax and Tara from Sons of Anarchy. There's just something about these pairs... we know they shouldn't work together and yet they totally do. But if this were real life we'd be telling these women to run for the hills! 

Do you have show couples that are like that? They don't need to be criminals like Jax and Tara or Michael and Sara, but do you have a ship that you know you shouldn't root for, but do? What do you love about them? What makes you hesitant to ship them?

Tell me about it in the comments!

Sun
Apr 23 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Laura Moore’s Making Waves (April 25, 2017)

Making Waves by Laura Moore

Laura Moore
Making Waves: A Beach Lane Novel
Ballantine / April 25, 2017 / $16.00 print, $11.99 digital

There are many types of heroines and heroes—and we readers like a variety. Maybe a wallflower heroine in this book or a career women in the next. An alpha hero can make us swoon in one book, but so can the quiet intellectual in the next. Sometimes we want the down- to- earth hero—but I suspect that we all have the guilty pleasure of wanting to read about the prince

You know what I mean—the man who seems to have it all—wealth, good looks, and just a touch of arrogance. And of course, he meets the woman who doesn’t seem overly impressed with all his attributes—a woman who doesn’t fall at his feet. Now, I don’t know about you, but for the time it takes me to read the book, I love to live vicariously through the heroines.

Because the heroines are no slouches either. They’re smart, intelligent and caring. In fact, a perfect match for the hero—a princess-in-waiting and the story of their romance is the perfect fairytale.

[Read more...]

Sun
Apr 23 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Sasha Summers Excerpt: Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby

Sasha Summers

Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby by Sasha Summers

When Jessa Talbot’s boss offered her a promotion, she agreed—no questions asked. Her family needed the money, but fighting the attraction she feels for her brooding employer is tough. Worse, she instantly bonds with his infant son she’s caring for. But this is a temporary solution and she can’t get attached to either of them.

Finnegan Dean is cursed. He’s a nicely dressed monster, the wolf inside always looking for a way out. But there are two things he and his wolf agree on. They must protect baby Oscar and Jessa—his mate. While the wolf hungers to seal their bond, Finn fights the instinct. After all, if he really cares for her, he’d never doom her to the life he lives.

Get a sneak peek at Sasha Summers's Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby (available April 24, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

For safety reasons, Finn and Jessa have been separated from baby Oscar and are hiding out in a hotel. After being attacked by a crazed wolf earlier in the day, Jessa is having a hard time falling asleep, and being the protective alpha that he is, Finn lays with her, comforting her in the hopes that she can rest easy.

[Read the full Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby excerpt...]

Sun
Apr 23 2017 11:00am

Are Jon Snow and Daenerys Endgame in Game of Thrones?

Get Ready for Jon and Dany to Rule Game of Thrones

The seventh—and penultimate—season of Game of Thrones premieres July 16, and I'm telling you right now that the most important seats at this show's table belong to Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Actually, scratch the plural on those seats. It's one big ol' chair with Jon in Dany's lap (or the other way around, if you prefer). Because everything in this series has been leading up to the inevitable team-up of these two characters—both on the throne and in a bed!

I know what you're thinking: “But he's her nephew!” Dude, Dany breastfed three dragons. I'm not all that concerned about whether her hooking up with a relative she's never met is inappropriate. See also: Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Jon turning out to be a lost Targaryen (child of Dany's brother Rhaegar and Ned Stark's sister Lyanna) is nowhere near as creepy as the incestuous bone-town that is King's Landing.


Source: queencerxei.tumblr.com

[You either win or...]

Sat
Apr 22 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Julia London’s Hard-Hearted Highlander (April 25, 2017)

Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London

Julia London
Hard-Hearted Highlander (The Highland Grooms #3)
HQN Books / April 25, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Rabbie Mackenzie has elevated Scottish brooding to an art form. In all fairness, he has his reasons - his beloved country was crushed and his woman perished in the Jacobite uprising. Just as the Scottish highlands are bleak and barren, Rabbie is a damaged and complicated man.

No matter what he did, no matter how he prayed or swore that this day would be different, he could not move that boulder of melancholy. It grew bigger and heavier every day. And today was no different.

Perhaps there are appropriate modern labels for this. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Unfortunately, Rabbie is mostly keeping his suffering to himself. Worse, as a Scottish laird, he is obliged to do his duty and marry naive Avaline, an English teenager who is terrified of him.

Rabbie is prepared for matrimony for the sake of his family and clan, but he finds himself more interested in Avaline’s governess Bernadette. Like him, she is a wounded individual and he finds himself wanting to know her more.

[Read more...]

Sat
Apr 22 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Heather McCorkle Excerpt: Once Bitten

Heather McCorkle

Once Bitten by Heather McCorkle

One night was all it took to change everything. One moment of weakness, and now I’m becoming. Werewolves were supposed to be things only seen in movies, not things that exist in real life. Instead of med school and homework, my life is filled with a laundry list of things that were once impossibilities. Groups fighting over whom I belong to. The possibility of dying if I don’t learn everything before the next full moon. Figuring out how to survive in a world I never knew existed. But the biggest danger? Ty: history professor, super sexy Viking werewolf, and the man who’s been assigned by the Council to teach me how to survive becoming a werewolf.

Get a sneak peek at Heather McCorkle's Once Bitten (available April 24, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

A smile on his face, Ty followed my gaze.

“There is a path that leads down to the lake. Maybe I will show it to you sometime.” The hint of joy in his voice made me want to ask him to take me to see it now.

Then I realized he was likely trying to distract me from our earlier conversation. There was something he didn’t want me to ask, didn’t want me to know. I must have been close to touching on whatever it was. And here I had let him sidetrack me again.

Arms crossing beneath my breasts, I stopped when he did and faced him. I won’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy his gaze wandering down to the cleavage the V of my low-cut T-shirt revealed. “Maybe I’ll let you.”

[Read the full Once Bitten excerpt...]