Ines Johnson

A little magic in your love story…

Authors In Bloom Blog Hop


Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

Authors In Bloom Blog Hop -April 8th -April 17th

To celebrate the new season, along with the release of the second book in The Pleasure Hound series, I’m participating in the Authors In Bloom Blog Hop. This is a chance for readers to win giveaways, prizes and find new authors. On my site, you’ll have the opportunity to win a free copy of “The Loyal Steed: a Pleasure Hound novel.” Read on to learn how!

Loyal Steed Giveaway

Plants seem to run throughout the Pleasure Hound series. In Book One, The Pleasure Hound, the heroine, Chanyn, tilled a small farm. And now in Book Two, The Loyal Steed, the hero, Jaspir, is a plant expert. His specialty is grafting plants together. In the book, he’s grafted these two plants together for the woman he loves to create a phallic starburst kinda bloom.

desert lily ocotillo

The Loyal Steed Excerpt:

Merlyn pressed the bandage to her hand and slipped out the nursery’s door. She walked towards the back of the house and slipped out the back door. Once outside she headed away from the house towards the gardens. Before she made it a few steps, a hand reached out to her.

“Let me see it?”

Merlyn nearly jumped out of her skin, but she quickly settled when she looked into those dark eyes once more. “Jaspir, you startled me. I nearly screamed.”

Jaspir took her hand in his. He unwrapped the bandage she’d just put on. His fingers were warm pressed against hers, and he stood so close that his thigh brushed hers. Merlyn knew she should back away. He’d been tossed out of the house for daring to touch her wounded finger. He’d likely be thrown into jail for standing close enough to touch her thigh.

She held still.

Jaspir’s head was bent over, examining her finger. Merlyn saw the dirt under his fingernails. She always used gloves in her lab when handling materials. Grime underneath the nails was hard to remove and carried microscopic diseases.

“It doesn’t look so bad,” he announced, but he didn’t let her hand go. “Those rats were sterile?”

“Of course.” Merlyn felt indignant at the thought of running a messy lab. “And they weren’t rats, they were mice.”

“Does it hurt still?”

Just a slight twinge, nothing painful. Merlyn shook her head in answer to his question.

“Don’t lie, Merlyn. I know it hurts.”

“How could you know?”

“Because when you hurt, I hurt too.”

“That’s not possible, Jaspir. There have been studies done on telepathy, and the science is not sound.”

“Then how do I know you’re still hurting?”

There were a number of logical answers. He’d seen her bitten. He’d likely been bitten by sharp teeth before and knew of its lasting effects.

“I could kiss it better for you,” Jaspir said.

“A kiss?” Merlyn frowned. “There’s no medicinal value in the lips. In fact human mouths contain an array of germs—”

The impact was soft, like crashing into her pillow at night after a long day behind her microscope. Jaspir pressed his lips into hers. Warmth flooded through her, like when she pulled her blankets over herself on a cold night. Merlyn felt the oddest impulse to snuggle into Jaspir as she did into her mattress when the sun peeked through her bedroom window when she wasn’t yet ready to rise. It was with that defiance in mind that she stayed in his embrace longer than she should. In the end, it was Jaspir who pulled away.

He should have looked shamed, taking such a liberty with a female, but he didn’t. He looked weary, resigned. His dark eyes burned into her. “I know,” he said.

Merlyn blinked. “You know what?” Her voice came out a hoarse whisper.

“I know that we would never be allowed to bond,” he said. “But it’s already happened.”

It had? Merlyn’s fingers came to her mouth. Bonding ceremonies were the exchange of words, a contract on paper signed by the female, and vows spoken aloud by males. There was no such contract written between them.

“My heart is yours, Merlyn,” Jaspir vowed. “It was yours the first moment I saw you. Do you remember the first moment I saw you?”

Merlyn’s mind took a moment to clear and call up the memory. “You were here in the garden, covered in mud. You’d just planted this bush.” Merlyn indicated the plant. In the center was a starburst of red seeds. The petals were green and the stem purple. It was a hybrid. Their master gardener had been teaching Jaspir to graft plants, taking two separate plants and joining them to make something new, something rare, something stronger. Merlyn found the science behind it fascinating.

“You looked at the plant with such disdain,” Jaspir said. “You were certain it wouldn’t survive the coming winter. Then you turned to me and asked that I report on its state, come spring. It was as though the world shifted off its axis that day, and everything revolved around you. This plant shouldn’t have survived, but I wouldn’t let it die because I wanted to come and tell you that it thrived. I wanted to see your face when you looked at it in the spring.”

And he had. Jaspir had sought Merlyn out to tell her about the plant. She hadn’t believed that it survived, so she went with him to see for herself. She’d been sneaking into the gardens nearly every day afterwards to watch its progress for the past three months.

Jaspir twined his fingers around her wounded hand. Merlyn noticed that all pain, all twinges, were gone.

“I knew I loved you on that first day,” Jaspir said. “But all these months later I realize something else. That I would serve you all my days, and wait an eternity of winters, just for the privilege of looking upon you. One day, I’m going to buy a piece of land and graft you a field of impossible flowers. You’ll see.”


The sound of someone clearing their throat made Jaspir and Merlyn spring apart.

Before them stood a young boy about their age. His skin was pale and his hair the color of red, a paler shade than Alyss’. His green eyes glared at Jaspir who, though standing apart from her, still held Merlyn’s hand in his own.

“Lady Merlyn,” the newcomer said. “My name is Liam. I was granted the pleasure of becoming your bondmate.”

“The Loyal Steed: a Pleasure Hound novel” will be out in a few weeks. If you’d like a free copy, enter my competition by clicking here: Authors In Bloom Giveaway. The winner will be the person with the most points. You can earn points by commenting, tweeting, and subscribing to my newsletter. A winner will be selected and notified on April 17th, 2015.

WINNER ANNOUNCED. Congrats Bookattict!

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 10.40.25 AM

How do I submit my grand prize entry?

Authors participating will post their giveaway, gardening tip, recipe or both on their website, beginning April 8th and leaving their contest open through the 17th.  You will have 10 days to enter each individual author contest and then submit your entry for the grand prize!!  To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop.  Each site will post the links of participating authors but please feel free to visit to find the author link list at any point in time. Some authors might offer more than one entry to win, ie. a “follow” on Twitter or a “tweet,” maybe even a visit to their facebook or pinterest page, however only one is required to enter.

Grand prize entrants will be entered via a rafflecopter giveaway widget, available on the initial and final landing page of this hop, located on BloominThyme.  All entries (and actions) will be verified to deem winners.

Click here to visit the other participant author sites.

Author: Ines Johnson

Ines writes romance novels for women who suck at love. Check out her catalog on

13 thoughts on “Authors In Bloom Blog Hop

  1. Oooh, I like the raffle question!! I’d want to graft a lotus with some sort of tree or bush. Wouldn’t that be so pretty to see, a tree with those gorgeous blossoms? 😀 (email is ___@___.___.___, fill in with smiles, alumni, cmu, edu – spambot protection, sorry for the weirdness!)


  2. that is an interesting question, it would be interesting to graft an iris onto a tree, I love iris plants but they don’t last long.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com


  3. I’d love to graft together strawberries and raspberries so then I’d never have to chose

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com


  4. Do you plan on continuing The Pleasure Hound series? How many more books do you have planned?


    books4me67 at ymail dot com


    • I’m searching through stock photos for the cover to the second book right now! The second book is Merlyn’s story. Its called “The Loyal Steed” and it will be out in a few weeks, followed by the third book, which is Alyss’ story, in June. Not sure if I’ll write more after that…


  5. nice excerpt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


  6. I know it’s been done, but I like the idea of grafting multiple fruits to a single tree. I have so little room in my yard for growing, a fruit cocktail tree, if it survived and produced, would be perfect.
    casey 4 4 6 at hot mail dot com


  7. I’d love to graft lettuce and spinach so you have salad bowl in one go. cchant86 @


  8. I’d love to graft apples & cinnamon….portable pie!


  9. Hi! I’m a sister authors on the blog hop, so don’t count me in the prizes. I just wanted to let you know that I recently bought a copy of Pumpkin because I’m always looking for fun, diverse stories. And the cover just made me smile. Looking forward to the read!


  10. Your book sounds really interesting! eendrizzi79 at gmail dot com


  11. I want to do strawberries and grapes! My two favorites! I bet theyd be sooo delicious! I love your books! Thanks for sharing!


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