Friday, October 21st, 2016
I’ll let you in on a little-known secret—I did not set out to be a writer of erotic historical romance.
When I began my first book I intended the story to fall within the realm of traditional historical romance—a bit of spice sprinkled throughout an otherwise purely romantic tale. The original manuscript was laced with wonderfully trite euphemisms for various parts of the body…nubs, pebbles, pearls, etc. Oh, and just so we don’t ignore the manly parts…member, manhood and staff.
Alas, after months of sending out queries and receiving only silence or politely worded rejections in return, I decided to take a walk on the wild side. I added length and depth (so to speak) to the sex scenes and replaced most of the euphemisms (though not all because, let’s face it, there are only so many synonyms for certain body parts and some euphemisms are too perfect to pass up) with breasts, nipples, clitorises, cocks, shafts and the occasional erection and penis. Oh, and I added a bit of 19th century British slang—my personal favorite being quim.
I did not add a menage a trois, bondage, or even a spanking scene to the book. It was straight lovemaking between a man and a woman without benefit of toys, gadgets, whips or cuffs. And only one instance of rough handling by my hero. To put it simply, the story was barely erotic and then only by the grace of a few added details and naughty words.
Armed with a sexier version of the original manuscript, I sent out another round of queries to publishers of erotic fiction. Much to my delight, I was soon under contract for a three book series with a publisher who shall remain nameless.
Thus Portrait of Passion was born. And soon afterward, died a slow, torturous death. Lost in the netherworld of historical romances that aren’t erotic enough to satisfy fans of the genre, yet a touch (to a cock or clitoris) too racy for readers with a preference for more traditional historicals.
By the time I recognized the abyss into which Portrait of Passion had plummeted, it was too late. I was under contract to write two more erotic historical romance novels to complete the series. I edged Widow’s Wicked Wish a tad nearer to the erotic side only in terms of the frequency of sexual encounters and a faint hint at the darker desires my heroine might enjoy in the not too distant future.
When I began the third book I decided to do more than take a little stroll on the wild side. Unraveling the Earl is a far more wicked and wanton tale, thanks to the heroine who is…well, wicked and wanton. Georgie’s past is littered with debauchery of all sorts, some of which trickles into her relationship with the hero of the story. There is a spanking scene, though it’s only two light taps instigated by the heroine during a light-hearted bit of role-playing. And she does wind up tied to a bedpost with a lavender ribbon, a scene which leads to all sorts of hilarity and mayhem. Oh, and she strips herself bare and diddles her goodies for her hero’s entertainment.
The antics of the heroine of Unraveling the Earl lead me to quite a dilemma, a crisis of conscience you might say.
You see, in preparation for the day the rights for my Idyllwild Series would revert to me, I re-read the first and second stories, marking naughty words and entire paragraphs and pages for deletion or revision in order to transform the stories from barely-erotic to slightly tamer sensual historical romance novels. And hopefully lift them from the abyss so that readers browsing for a historical romance might actually discover them, perhaps even read and enjoy them.
Then I started re-reading Unraveling the Earl.
And I came to the realization that there was no way to transform this tale into anything other than what it is—a story wandering the fine line between erotic and sensual historical romance. A tale of a woman with a past so far beyond checkered it more closely resembles a garish paisley print, an enlightened acceptance of all the many and varied ways men and women make love, and a desire to please her lover in all ways. Thus pleasing herself in the process, selfish bit of muslin that she is.
I love this story, I ate and slept and dreamed this story while writing it. I was tormented and taunted by Georgie’s secrets and motives and her refusal to stay on the path to redemption. I was charmed and enchanted by Henry’s need to peel away her many layers, to discover the inner workings of her mind and finally solve the puzzle that is her heart.
The story simply would not work without her licentiousness, without her willingness to prey upon Henry’s desires for her own selfish ends. If I deleted all the raunchy bits and pieces, the reader would never know Georgie, never see beyond her scheming and lying to the lost and heartbroken woman hiding behind it all, and never believe an inherently good and kind man like Henry could fall in love with her.
And so, I only made some minor revisions, gave all three stories fresh edits and beautiful new covers, and re-released them in the hope that readers would be willing to walk the fine line between erotic and sensual historical romance to discover my books. And that when they did, like Henry, they would fall in love with Georgie, just as she is.
“I was never good or clean or whole, my lord. I have always been wicked and broken and dirty. I am vengeful and covetous and impulsive and selfish, and I like that about myself. I like my murky morals and my stubborn streak and my dubious loyalty and my greedy desire to claim what I want, no matter the cost. I like it all and what’s more so do you.” —Miss Georgie Buchanan
The Earl of Hastings’ reputation as London’s greatest gift to the ladies has taken on a life of its own and he is only too happy to live up to in one Mayfair bedchamber after another. Until he encounters a lady more interested in poking around his country estate than sampling his lauded charms.
Georgiana Buchanan is a woman with murky morals, warped notions of right and wrong, a talent for dancing around the truth, and a penchant for attending weddings and funerals without invitation.
When Georgie catches Henry’s roving eye, she turns the tables on the arrogant scoundrel, introducing him to a world of sensual delights and unraveling his vaunted control before fleeing into the night.
Henry is determined to make the elusive Georgiana his mistress while the lady wants only to use his desire to further her own schemes. When they find themselves marooned at Idyllwild during a summer storm, they will both discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for.
The great lummox was lounging at the table with a napkin tucked into the lapels of his brocade dressing gown when Georgie emerged from the bathing room.
With a pheasant leg in one hand and a brandy snifter in the other, Hastings looked up from the table with a lopsided smile that did queer things to her insides. Which infuriated her to no end.
She breezed by him in search of her gown only to come up short when she did not find it lying on the floor where she’d left it. Spinning about to face him, she battled to hold on to her temper. “Where are my clothes?”
“I sent them to be pressed,” he answered, ducking his head over his plate. “The servants will return them in the morning.”
She opened her mouth to demand that he fetch them back immediately. She could hardly sneak about his house naked. And she had no intention of remaining under his roof until morning.
But he was tucking into his dinner as if he hadn’t eaten in three days and drinking brandy like it was water.
Surely he would be snoring in his bed before long.
With that thought uppermost in her mind, Georgie marched to his dresser and rifled through the drawers until she found rows of pressed white shirts. Removing one, she pulled it over her head and rolled up the sleeves before turning to wander about the perimeter of the room. She extinguished every candle in the sconces that dotted the walls until the room was a patchwork of dark shadows and golden light from a handful of tapered candles spaced about the room.
Two orgasms, a little food, a quantity of brandy and a darkened room ought to put the lord to sleep.
Georgie joined Hastings at the table, dropping into the empty chair with a sigh.
“Sure and that was poorly done, my lord,” she admonished, lifting the lid of a silver platter to find an entire roast pheasant, less the leg his lordship was currently devouring, swimming in a congealing sauce of some sort.
“Why did you run off?” he asked. “I had every intention of seeing to your pleasure just as soon as I’d regained my wits.”
Seeing to her pleasure? Was it possible the man did not realize she’d climaxed the moment he’d breached her body?
If the cocky lord couldn’t recognize a woman in the throes of a rollicking good release nor pull out before reaching his own, he most assuredly did not deserve the reputation he’d somehow earned. Nor did he deserve to be enlightened. In fact he deserved to be tormented a bit.
“No need,” she assured him, dropping the lid with a clatter. “I saw to it myself.”
Hastings made a choking sound and she darted a quick glance his way as she lifted another lid. He was staring at her from comically round eyes, a flush spreading over his cheeks.
“You saw to your own pleasure?” he croaked out. “Just now? In my bathing room?”
“I’m sorry,” she replied, her temper falling away at the look of astonishment on his face. She peered into the second platter. Shaved beef on toast swimming in gravy. “Did you want to watch?”
“Sweet mercy,” he murmured.
“Does one of these dishes contain vegetables?”
“Would you allow me to watch you…” He waved his hand about, dripping sauce on the tablecloth.
“Bring myself to climax?” she finished for him, finally finding a porcelain dish filled with potatoes and white beans in butter.
“That is a sight I would truly love to see.”
“I imagine one woman diddles herself much like the next.” Georgie heaped potatoes and beans onto her plate before slathering butter on two thick slices of bread.
Lord Hastings watched her, both elbows propped on the table, his fowl forgotten in his hand.
“Or perhaps not,” she reconsidered, delighted by his wonder despite her intention to remain untouched by his boyish charm. “Perhaps some women use the right hand while others use the left.”
“Which do you use?”
“The right. The left is for tweaking my titties.”
Hastings dropped the pheasant leg onto his plate and fell back against his chair with a groan.
Georgie let him stew on that while she dug into her meal, discovering with the first bite that she was quite ravenous.
And why not? She’d been pacing the warped boards of her rented rooms for the better part of three days with her stomach in knots, undone by the news that the Countess of Hastings had passed away.
“You’ve beautiful breasts,” the earl said some minutes later.
Looking up from her plate she eyed him suspiciously, not at all certain he wasn’t toying with her.
“Truly,” he assured her with a grin. “Quite the loveliest titties I’ve ever seen.”
“Thank you,” she replied on a huff of laughter.
“Your nipples are like ripe berries,” he continued, his eyes dropping to her chest.
Georgie looked down, not the least bit surprised to see the sensitive buds clearly visible beneath the fine cotton of his shirt. Under their combined regard, her nipples hardened and lengthened, pressing against the fabric. Heat pooled between her legs and it was all she could do not to squirm in her seat.
She might have erred when she’d decided to torture the man for his transgressions, most specifically spending his seed in her body and failing to recognize the gift of her climax. The diddling of her quim and fondling of her nipples likely weren’t subjects destined to put the earl to sleep.
“Eat your dinner, my lord,” she murmured, plucking up another piece of bread and heaping butter on it.
“Henry,” he corrected, apparently not inclined to adhere to her gentle command. “I’d much rather eat your berries.
“Does that sort of nonsense customarily work for you?” she asked, genuinely curious.
“Eat your berries,” she mimicked. “Play my pipe. Has that ever worked for you?”
“I seem to recall you on your knees before me not too long ago,” he pointed out with a chuckle.
“It wasn’t because you’d compared your prick to a pipe, of that you can be certain,” she replied, amused by his arrogance.
“I don’t give a fig as to the why of it,” he said.
“No, I don’t suppose you do,” she agreed knowing full well he’d be less than pleased if he knew the true reason she’d fallen to her knees before him.
Lynne Barron always wanted to be a writer, if only she could decide what to write. Every Creative Writing teacher and college professor advised her to write about what you know. But what did she know? She knew she enjoyed reading romance novels whenever she could find the time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother. She knew quite a bit about women’s lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college. She knew precious little about romance except to know it was more than a card and a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day. Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew. Passion, Love and Romance. And she began to write. Lynne lives in Florida with her husband, son and a menagerie of rescued pets.
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Hey, everyone! I’m so glad to be back on Delilah’s blog today to talk about my newest release, Cowboy Karma. It’s the fourth book in my Cowboy Cocktail novella series, starring a tight-knit group of lovelorn cowboys and the smart, feisty women who fall for them.
Cowboy Karma is a high-heat romance starring Lucky Garcia, a handsome rodeo cowboy who enjoys a blazing one-night stand with the one who got away. Harmony Santos, fresh from a nasty breakup, thinks Lucky’s just a rebound. But something about the sexy underdog gets under her skin and soon, she can’t wait to get lucky again…
To celebrate the release of Cowboy Karma, I’m offering a few giveaways. The grand prize is digital copies of books 1, 2, and 3 in the Cowboy Cocktail series plus a “lucky” horseshoe necklace from one of my favorite jewelry makers, Seoul Little. See below to play!
Thank you for reading!
Who needs luck when you can get Lucky?
Cowboy Cocktail, Book 4
When Harmony Santos’s boyfriend dumps her on her birthday, she doesn’t get mad. She gets lucky…with a mysterious cowboy whose bedroom eyes and rough edges bring out her inner bad girl. But when their one-night rodeo turns into more than a rebound, Harmony worries her heart hasn’t healed enough to take on someone new—even if that someone is as sweet as he is sexy.
Tie-down roper Lucky Garcia can’t believe his good fortune. A shot at national finals and now this—his longtime crush, in his arms at last. The more time he spends with Harmony, the harder he falls for her. But financial demands and family responsibilities take him further and further away from her—as does his secret fear she hasn’t quite gotten over her dickhead ex.
Behind closed doors, Lucky and Harmony are filthy perfection. But when reality comes knocking, the star-crossed lovers must decide: walk away intact, or risk it all for a chance at happiness.
Get ready for rope tricks, spanking, self-pleasure, and a smoking-hot cowboy who puts the big D in Dominant.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“Wow, Lucky is sweet, kind, loyal, sexy and adventurous in the bedroom! I was so hooked into this story I couldn’t put the book down!”
—Goodreads review, 5 stars
“I loved the story of second chance love and how even an unexpected encounter, on one of the worst days of your life, can offer you a chance at a happy ever after. This is the second Mia Hopkins book I’ve read and I’m already a big fan of her stories.”
—Goodreads review, 5 stars
“A beautiful story of two very different people who are actually so very much alike, and the passion and desire they ignite by simply being in each other’s presence…”
—Goodreads review, 5 stars
“Mia has an excellent voice for her characters…Everyone should be so lucky in love.”
—Goodreads review, 5 stars
BUY THE BOOK (print + digital)
Amazon | Kindle Unlimited | Goodreads
He knocked. Trembling, almost too horny to see straight, she forced herself to stand still for a moment, savoring the anticipation. Thirty seconds passed. She opened the door.
Lucky looked up under the brim of his hat. Staring at him, she untied her robe and held it open. His dark gaze slid down her naked body and back up to her face. If someone had walked by in the hallway, they would’ve gotten an eyeful. Lucky sure did.
Two big steps and he was inside her apartment. He slammed the door behind him.
“You crazy motherfucker,” she whispered.
He said nothing, grabbed her, and pulled her hard against him. His clothes and hands were cool against her bare skin. But when he kissed her, his lips were scorching. She took his face in her hands. Feverish. His mouth tasted like coffee and cinnamon gum. When his tongue found hers, she caught his true flavor, the taste of his body. Salt. Sex.
Locked in a ravenous kiss, he lifted her high off the ground, and she wrapped her legs around his lean hips. On fire, she took off his hat and dropped it on the ground. He bit her bottom lip gently. She moaned. She dug her hands into his thick hair and pulled his head back so that she could kiss his neck, just where the soft hair of his beard ended and his rough, stubbled skin began. As Harmony covered his throat with hungry, openmouthed kisses, Lucky carried her to the sofa and sat down.
She straddled his steel-hard thighs. He pulled back and looked at her with those hooded eyes. He was breathing hard. Staring down at her naked body, he ran his fingers through her hair and grazed a line from her temple to her jaw with his rough knuckles. Then he did something that no man had ever done to her. He rested his big hand on her neck. He didn’t grab or choke her, but the sensation of his palm and fingers on her throat made Harmony’s heart beat madly. Her pussy grew even wetter.
He noticed her reaction and looked her in the eye. “Do you like this?”
She nodded, mesmerized.
“How about a little harder?” He tightened his hold slightly, pressing down on the sides of her neck, but not her throat. “Like that? Do you like that?”
Harmony gasped and grabbed his forearm. “Yes.”
How did he do this to her? He’d been in her apartment for two minutes and already he’d taught her something new about her body. He leaned forward and kissed her so softly, she turned to liquid in his grip. “Have you played rough before?”
“Not really,” she whispered. His forearm was solid muscle in her hands. “Only with you.”
He grinned. “You mean the other night? I wasn’t rough with you. But”—he kissed her lips again—“I can be. Tonight. If that’s what you want.” His eyes glittered. “Is that what you want, Harmony?”
Her pulse beat wildly against his fingers. “Yes.”
To celebrate the release of Cowboy Karma, I’m running a Rafflecopter giveaway for the following prizes. Please click here to enter. Good luck!
1 GRAND PRIZE
Digital copies of books 1-3 in the Cowboy Cocktail series plus a “lucky” gold horseshoe necklace from Seoul Little
5 RUNNERS UP
Digital copy of book 3 in the Cowboy Cocktail series, Cowboy Player
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. Connect with her on Twitter @miahopkinsxoxo or visit her website at miahopkinsauthor.com.
Wednesday, October 19th, 2016
Warning: This blog post will wax philosophical and deep.
I was watching one of those weight loss shows—you know the ones—and one of the people mentioned food represented love for them.
As someone who has been known to make love to a Bacon Egg and Cheese McGriddle on occasion, I could totally relate, but the thought gave me pause.
If food represents love—or one form of love—to our psyches, what other forms of love are there? And as someone who’s been on a diet since I was twelve, I was pondering this for less than philosophical reasons, unless one considers carb counting a philosophical pursuit.
And one does not.
I decided to make a conscious effort to open my eyes and LOOK at the world, searching for these other esoteric forms of love.
My first efforts were pedestrian in the extreme—sunshine, flowers, whiskers on kittens and whatnot, but then one day as I was driving in the car and listening to the radio, I had an epiphany.
The song I was listening to touched me.
Really touched me, deep inside, skewering me with delight.
And I realized…this was love.
This was something that FED MY SOUL.
It made me happier.
Perhaps even happier than a Bacon Egg and Cheese McGriddle (but it’s tough to say, because I was also eating one of those at the time).
This song was love. Pure and simple. The melody, the delicious harmonies, the confluence of voice and instrument as they came together and swelled and told a beautiful story moved me. Lifted me up to some spiritual realm and made my spirit fly.
We will ignore for the moment that the song was about an extremely talented singer who had apparently “just killed a man” and sometimes wished he’d “never been born at all,” and we will focus on the most important thing: How it made me feel.
Not the murder or the dismal fact that now he’d “gone and thrown it all away” but the purity of the music and the undeniable love the creators put into the work.
Even now, decades after Freddie Mercury’s death, that song still breathes. Still lives, still inspires teens to bang heads in the car on a Friday night.
Such love, threaded into creation is there for all of use to reach out and grasp—whether we are the creator or the recipient of the work…or both. It’s there to feed our souls in movies, songs, art, architecture, gardens…and books.
Have you ever read one that stayed with you? One that made you cry? Laugh? Snarl in fury?
That author did her (or his) job. Created that book from love and with love…for you.
I’ve written over 50 books and my hope is that each one is a powerful reflection of that love. Love I have for the story, love I have for the craft and most importantly, love I have for my readers.
There’s something magic in the act of creation. I’ve always known it, felt it. I just wasn’t able to name it, to truly understand it until now.
That magic is love.
And a little bit of bacon doesn’t hurt.
Sabrina York writes sexy snarky romances in all subgenres. Her most recent release, the second book in the stand alone Stripped Down Cowboys series, is Cowboy to Command, the story of a former SEAL with a secret and a stubborn woman with a plan. This heartwarming and hysterical cowboy romp is available now: https://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Command-Stripped-Down-Sabrina-ebook/dp/B01B2EAJKS/
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Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
Dear Readers and Friends,
Night Fall was such a fun series to write. Kooky, uber-sexy. But as the stories progressed, a growing darkness and feeling of dread began to seep in. When I wrote Truly, Madly…Werely, I knew fans would either scream at me or beg for more. Most begged, thank goodness.
Now that I own the series, I can continue it the way I want to. This is the last of the re-edited stories. When I give you another Night Fall story, it will be new material. If you hadn’t read the series in its previous incarnation, you won’t care. It’s all new to you, right?
As for TMW, be warned. There’s a scene of non-con sex and another with some ff petting. The sex and violence are graphic. But this is the story that played in my mind. There wasn’t another way to tell it. And in the end, Quentin and Darcy are back together. Changed, yes, but together for the next adventure.
For love, a man will do anything, even betray his beloved to save her…
Vampire Quentin Albermarle’s wife, Darcy, lies in a coma after being savaged by a werewolf. Fearing she might never awaken, or worse, that she will return a maddened beast, Quentin returns to the Cayman Islands seeking help from the one woman who might be able to save her.
A century and a half ago, this powerful vampire and witch seduced Quentin with magic and turned him into a vampire to provide herself a mate, but he freed himself from her spell and fled her influence, knowing he’d left behind a powerful enemy. Returning now, seeking Kamaria’s help, he must resist her attempts to enslave him again. However, the price she demands may cause him to lose the woman he loves.
Get your copy here!
If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can pick up a copy for free!
Read an excerpt from Truly, Madly…Werely below!
This one may be short, but it packs a punch. Everyone who’s read it tells me it makes them cry… ~DD
A woman desperate to save her infected boyfriend from certain extermination faces her battle alone, in secret, until one day she has to trust he’s still inside the monster she feeds…
Get your copy here!
Read an excerpt from Truly, Madly…Werely!
After being bitten by a werewolf and then her husband, who is a vampire, Darcy drifts toward death…
Darcy sat on the bench in the middle of the dark field again. The man with the golden helmet was gone. She should have been glad that he’d finally left her alone, but she wasn’t. Before he’d come, she’d been content to drift—through the dark, airless night, in her thoughts—floating like a feather without the heavy burden of worries or fear, but he’d awakened something inside her.
His body had been beautiful despite the bloody tears cut deep into his skin. His smell had been familiar and comforting even though the musk of sex and tang of urine had clung to him. His pain had been palpable. And she’d felt drawn to him to provide comfort.
Which had really pissed her off, because she hadn’t wanted to care—not about her beautiful stranger or about herself. But here she was, unable to let go and simply drift, because she wanted to wait for his return.
Restless though she was and longing for his company, another force pulled at her, anchoring her to this open field.
The moon, overlarge and dominating the inky sky, rose high above the dark tangled branches of the trees surrounding the clearing. The silvery light it cast warmed her skin like a noonday sun but exerted a strange and magnetic draw. Her skin began to itch, her restless body felt infused with hectic energy. She left her seat and began to pace.
A faint howl rent the quiet, coming from deep inside the forest. And she knew what it was. From somewhere deep inside her, she found the image of a wolf, sleek-bodied and powerful. The image caused a shiver to crawl up her spine, followed by a restless yearning to seek out the creature. Which confused her.
Had she known wolves before or was the knowledge of their nature born inside her? She shook her head. It wasn’t important how she knew, just that she resist the call.
Instinctively, she knew that following the sound, surrendering to the allure of the night and the moon, would change her forever, and she wasn’t ready to move on. The beautiful man might return, and she would miss him.
So she drew deep, calming breaths, sat again on the cool marble seat, and closed her mind to the call that grew insistently louder and closer. If she didn’t respond, if she didn’t enter the woods, she would be all right. Soon, her helmeted companion would return for her. She knew that as surely as she knew only horror awaited her if she heeded the wolf’s call.
Monday, October 17th, 2016
Thanks for having me as your guest today!
I can’t imagine not having pets, whether I’m living here on Earth or in outer space. Fortunately my parents felt the same way so at a fairly early age I can remember us having white rabbits – Meadow and Thicket. I know not everyone is a pet fan, or can have one for various reasons, and you can certainly love animals and not have one in the house. All animal lovers welcome here!
Later last year, author Pauline Baird Jones and I started thinking about doing an anthology mixing science fiction romance and pets. We invited a few of our author friends to join us and it was fun to see what nine authors will do when they start from the same basic story prompt – totally different stories, I promise!
I always had cats – the first one was Cinderella Pussytiptoes and she was kind enough to produce nine kittens for my amusement one summer! (My parents weren’t as excited.) We kept two of them, Amy and Nancy, and found good homes for the others. Since we lived in the country at the time, for each cat there came the morning when she failed to return home from nighttime roaming, no matter how long and hard I stood outside calling “kitty kitty”. I was inconsolable each time the cat population at our house went down by one more. My parents regaled me with a story of them living happily in the forest. While I was pretty young, the tale was sort of similar to the Santa Claus story – I wanted to believe it, despite some suspicions it might not be true. I never asked too many probing questions.
I currently have two rescue cats, Jake and Keanu, who supervise my writing from the chair next to my desk.
So of course my story for Pets In Space includes a cat – Moby, who’s a dainty white rescue cat. There’s also an alien pet, Midorri, who’s cat-sized, green with six legs and all kinds of interesting abilities. She and Moby get along fine and rule the spaceship. Of course! Hey both ‘belong’ to Owen Embersson, the ship’s cargo master.
Here’s an excerpt from my story, as the two animals have lured Owen into investigating a problem on the cargo deck:
Stepping onto the echoing deck, he called for Moby. She spent most of her evenings hunting vermin lurking among the monstrous crates and containers, but she usually passed the first part of the evening in his cabin, eating the incredibly expensive cat food he had the ship’s AI keep in stock. Not much else to spend his salary on. “Come on, cat, I want my dinner even if you don’t,” he said to the elegant vision in white fur who trotted from the murky recesses of the deck. How she stayed clean when she spent her days prowling the cargo deck, he’d never know.
Purring, she came to his steel-tipped work shoes but evaded his effort to pick her up, moving just out of range the way felines did, as if cats could teleport. Moby scampered toward the towering stacks of cargo then turned. Seeing he’d failed to chase her, she sat, tail twitching, head tilted, eyeing him.
“What‘s the matter with you? I’m not in the mood to throw cat toys and retrieve them right now.” Embersson headed toward the gravlift. Moby regarded the entire ship as her territory and could find his cabin for her dinner when she was hungry.
In the next minute, he nearly tripped as she rubbed his ankles, nipping at one in passing. Swearing, he caught himself with a hand to the bulkhead. “What in the seven hells is wrong with you tonight? Giving me a concussion won’t get you fed.”
Moby yowled at him and ran toward the stacked cargo again.
Figuring she wanted to show him a recent kill, which he’d then have to dispose of, he followed.
Moby moved faster now that she’d gotten him with the program.
He followed her around the corner of the pallet the ship had taken on earlier in the day and found Midorri, the Zephyr’s other pet, crouched beside a free trader container. “What mischief have the two of you gotten into now?” he asked Moby. Midorri came aboard the Zephyr originally as the pampered pet of a princess, but after the whole outbreak incident, Sector authorities refused to let the lady disembark on Sector Hub with the undocumented animal, so the ship had kept the odd green fluffball. Dr. Shane was her official owner of record, but the entire crew liked the slightly clumsy but always amusing creature.
Midorri sneezed, as she was often wont to do, allergic to humans perhaps, and flicked her plush prehensile tail before lowering her head and extending her long green tongue to lap at something on the deck.
“Freaking flares, do not tell me we’ve got leaking cargo. Damn free traders and their beat-up equipment.” He hoped Moby hadn’t sampled whatever Midorri was drinking. The alien animal could probably handle anything up to and including nuclear fuel, who knew, but Moby was definitely a terrestrial cat, with a more delicate stomach. He tried to shoo Midorri away from the slowly growing puddle of green goo, dripping from a dented corner of the container. Musta gotten banged when the shuttle crew offloaded the final pallet too fast and had to straighten everything in a rush. Funny, he’d never have picked this box—well constructed, made from high-quality materials—to be a problem. “I better see what’s in there,” he said to the interested animals.
Moby yowled, startling him as her voice echoed, and Midorri emitted a high-pitched chirping that grated on his ears like a physical assault.
Spurred on by the animals’ distress, which confirmed his own suspicion he faced a genuine problem, Embersson used his cargo master key, which was supposed to open any container on his ship. Nothing happened. Swearing, he tried again. “This free trader’s never shipping anything with us again, idiot forgot to set the damn code for my access. Maeve, can you open this?”
“Of course,” the ship’s AI said. “I haven’t forgotten all my military skills just because I run a cruise ship nowadays.”
“Wait a second.” He stepped aside, encouraging the animals to do so as well. He imagined a gush of whatever was leaking when Maeve did her hacking thing and overrode the container controls.
Midorri tried to climb over his boot to return to the growing puddle.
A loud click echoed in the cargo bay and the seams on the crate glowed yellow, unsealing in a smooth progression along the rim.
Pets In Space
The blurb for Pets In Space:
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
And the blurb for Star Cruise: Stowaway:
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
About the Author
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Sunday, October 16th, 2016
The idea of two complete strangers getting hitched has always intrigued me, for one simple reason—why would they do such a thing? Could such a relationship succeed? By successful relationship, I understand not only the longevity of the marriage…but is it possible for the participants to actually fall in love with each other in such a strange arrangement? Love is found in the most unexpected places.
A Convenient Marriage grew over a number of years. The basic story was simple—a divorcee with two children, an ex-husband being difficult over visitation, as well as a fiancée unable to commit. Holly’s friends suggested that she needed a new husband, placing an advert in the paper for one behind her back. Joshua was struck by a simple plan when he saw the ad and responded to it.
Why would Holly marry a man she’d never met, and why would Joshua respond to an ad for a husband, then actually propose to a woman he had never clapped eyes on? So, in came the dawdling fiancée, Nicole. Both Holly and Joshua were justified in not planning the marriage to be a real one, because they each had an agenda of their own, but Nicole was the injured party. For their plan to succeed, they had to marry—the real kind, down to that all-important piece of paper married—and they had to seem to be totally in love with each other. That it is all a scam, only they would know.
And here comes the ‘but’. Holly and Joshua’s plans go awry from the moment they meet on the steps of the chapel where their fake marriage is to take place, when both recognize the immediate attraction. Back at Joshua’s wine estate—yes, he is a rich landowner where Holly expected him to be a pauper—Holly meets Joshua’s mother, his brother and sister-in-law, and Nicole, the fiancée, who found out about Joshua’s duplicity in a room full of people. No one can blame Nicole for being a tad upset. Or can they? To add to Holly’s woes, she seems to have acquired a ‘ghost’ demanding she tell a story.
Amidst Nicole’s shenanigans, Joshua’s mother’s disapproval, Holly’s ex’s aggression, and the ghost following Holly around, will these two accomplish what they set out to do? Or will life get in the way?
Joshua’s and Holly’s journey through the uncharted seas of a blind marriage, where no rules apply, is a stormy one.
Get your copy here: http://tinyurl.com/hqfmhcu
About the Author
Maggie Tideswell lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband, Gareth. She began writing when her kids were still very young, squeezing a few paragraphs at a time between the hectic schedule of raising three children, and working full-time in the catering industry. She wrote many books before considering having them published. Now that the children have all made lives for themselves, there is more time for writing.
After much experimentation, Maggie writes passionate paranormal romance, of varying levels of heat. The paranormal, things that happen for which there are no logical explanations and ghosts are of particular interest to Maggie. What events in a person’s life would prevent that person from ‘resting’ after death? The ‘Old Religion’ is another special interest. And love, of course. Why do people fall in love? What keeps them together for a lifetime when so many relationships fail?
Maggie’s advice to aspirant novelists is two-fold. Never give up, and write every day. Writing is a craft that has to be honed with practice. And the only way to practice writing is by doing it. And a bonus, never stop reading your favorite genre. Reading it and writing it is the only training for a writer.
“Maggie Tideswell’s latest novel, A Convenient Marriage, will have you turning pages as her characters cope with a marriage of convenience, well-meaning but nosy friends, a meddling ghost, jealous exes, and more. My advice: Make room on your Keepers shelf for this story!” (Loree Lough, best-selling author of 107 award-winning books, including Harlequin Heartwarming’s “Those Marshall Boys” series.)
Saturday, October 15th, 2016
I’m up to my eyeballs in work! For months, I’ve eked out little stories here and there, edited and released golden oldies, but there were so many distractions (kid’s surgery, grandma’s fall) that writing took a back seat. Today is the day I get back in the saddle. I have three things to accomplish today:
- Work on edits (two chapters) for a client
- Work on edits of the next Night Fall story, Truly, Madly…Werely
- Write a chapter of Flashpoint
Not much, right? Well, I have a window without responsibilities or kids, so I’m taking it! Watch me fly! Where’s the coffee?!
Comment for a chance to win one of these stories!
“Attagirls” would be helpful!
Wolf in Plain Sight
“[Wolf in Plain Sight] has suspense, intrigue, and surprises that grab your attention and never let you go until the last page.” ~ 5 Stars, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“A wickedly funny and passionate series, fans of paranormal erotic romance will enjoy [Wolf in Plain Sight] tremendously. Ms. Devlin has done it again!” ~ Romance Reviews Today
“Her realistic writing of well-packaged vampires and werewolves leaves the reader thirsting for the forbidden and a driving need to be possessed within her erotically charged worlds.” ~ 5 Blue Ribbons, Romance Junkies
To Super-cop Max Weir, the only good vampire is a dead one. Since his special police unit integrated with vampires, he’s had to suppress his natural hatred to work side by side with the undead to hunt down and terminate the deadliest killers. Now the unit’s hot on the trail of a new menace in town, a pack of werewolves prowling for vampires who don’t care whether humans get in their way.
When a stakeout goes awry, Max enters a bar looking for a fight or woman to help him blow off a little steam. What he finds is a winsome siren whose sexual appetites match his own.
Vampire Pia D’Amato is on a secret mission to take out Max–either by seduction or turning him. He’s become a liability to the Masters’ Council setting up jurisdiction in southern Florida, and she’s not leaving until she’s done the job. But Max is more man than she bargained for with a deadly secret of his own.
Enjoy this sexy excerpt!
Pia D’Amato wondered how things had gotten this out of control so quickly.
She’d planned to play hard to get ever since she’d glimpsed him striding toward her. His large, heavily muscled body had radiated hunger, and he’d moved with a rangy, masculine grace that raised her nipples in an instant to full alert. When his gaze had found hers, she’d felt the searing heat of his brand.
Never one to question the vagaries of fate, she accepted that tonight was meant to be.
His golden eyes had honed sharp as an eagle’s on a bunny rabbit. Assholes she could deal with, and she’d prepared her standard rebuff. However, the hint of wary desperation—and his expectation she’d resist—made her hesitate. She’d sensed he needed to win their battle of wills, but that he also needed her to give him hurdles to overcome. Why pleasing him became important mystified her.
Not that she intended to refuse him.
Then she’d found herself uncharacteristically tongue-tied, overwhelmed by his relentless pursuit. At first, all she could do was blink dumbly and try her best not to drool. What woman could resist the mesmerizing intensity of a full, frontal assault?
His gaze had stripped her while she sat on her bar stool. The look he’d given her once he’d finished said he’d staked his claim. If any other man had so blatantly given her that once over, she’d have delivered a set down he’d not soon forget.
But Max was a man like no other. He embodied a mix of strength, stubborn determination, and an underlying vulnerability she was sure he kept buried from the world. Already, he attracted her—madly.
When his jean-clad thigh had scraped the tender flesh between her legs, she’d laughed at herself, at her eagerness to rub on him like a cat in heat. And she’d thought to manipulate him!
All she wanted was him—inside her. Now.
He turned his head, and his hot mouth kissed each thigh, the scrape of his evening shadow glancing against the lips of her pussy. Covered by the sheerest silk thong she owned, she felt moisture dampen them in an instant. As uncomfortable as she found her perch, there was something pretty damn exciting about having all this mega-male’s attention concentrated on the core of her femininity.
His gaze smoldered, and his nose twitched as he inhaled deeply. But he didn’t give her the kiss she wanted. He really was going to wait for her to ask him sweetly before he plundered her body.
The man was blatantly male; he called to her body on its most primitive and elemental level. Built large and rugged, his shoulders were so broad they easily spanned her spread thighs. His biceps were so thickly muscled they strained the arms of his dark T-shirt.
His face was too hard and masculine to be handsome. A square jaw, heavy brow, and a broad nose that was slightly askew on his face, were a match for his rough and ready attitude. He was too much man to manipulate. Too much man to refuse.
His hot breath gusted against the wetness gathering at her entrance, and her belly tightened around a coil of desire so strong she trembled.
But her pride demanded she couldn’t beg for release. Bad enough he’d managed to ride roughshod over her willpower. She still wasn’t certain how he’d managed to get her into this predicament—holding on to the top of a bathroom stall with her legs draped over his shoulders—waiting for him to fulfill the promise in his golden gaze.
And why her? She took a deep breath and glanced down her body. Why had he chosen her? Had she somehow given herself away? Or was she just an easy conquest to him?
While the thought rankled, she had to admit, the evidence was pretty damn convincing. She was after all splayed wide for his taking, her small breasts squeezed beneath the hem of her halter. Her nipples constricted so tightly they begged for attention.
Like she would have to beg if she was ever going to feel the warmth of his mouth on her dripping sex.
And how long had it taken him to convince her? Fifteen minutes? Maybe.
He tongued the crease between her thigh and her pussy, wetting her skin. The air conditioning cooled on her open thighs. The contrast of the cool air on her crotch, and his warm hands, each cupping a bare buttock, drove her over the edge. To hell with who had control. And to hell with the last remnants of her dignity. She needed his mouth on her most intimate flesh.
“Please,” she said, surprised by the husky timbre of her voice.
He kissed her thigh. “I like the way you say that, but I want the words, baby,” he said, and lapped at the fabric covering her sex again.
Her womb tightened. He wanted the coarse, nasty words—the ones that made her flinch. Saying them would strip away any pretense she might want to keep for her pride’s sake that this was anything but what it was—a physical mating, a carnal fuck.
Pursing his lips, he blew a stream of warm air over her damp flesh.
Her breath caught on a sob she didn’t know was coming. “Eat me, Max.”
His lips lifted, baring his straight, white teeth. Not a smile—more an animalistic grimace of triumph. His hands slid from her ass and around the tops of her thighs. They met at her mons.
He bent his head and licked the seam of her pussy through her underwear. He rubbed his tongue over her, pressing into the silk, poking inside her opening to swirl his tongue in the shallow sheath he’d made.
She moaned and felt her womb clench. All too soon, it wasn’t enough. Why hadn’t she taken off the goddamn panties?
One clever hand tugged rhythmically at the strap that rode between her buttocks, drawing the elastic tightly against her anus. The other traced her slit through the crotch of her panties.
“More, please,” she begged, looking away from the hard-faced man who was quickly ratcheting up the heat of his caresses.
“Tell me you want me to fuck you with my fingers,” he said, his voice rough as gravel.
Oh, yes. She pumped her hips, eager for him to hurry.
“No, baby.” He nipped an outer lip through her panties. “Tell me.”
She gritted her teeth. “Please, fuck me with your fingers,” she said, her voice rising. “Please fuck me, Max.”
With his nose, he nuzzled aside the crotch of her panties, and his tongue touched her directly for the first time, delving between her labia to flutter the tip against the notch at the top of her slit.
Pia nearly screamed, biting her lips to hold it inside.
His gaze slammed into hers as he curved his fingers to plunge inside her.
She wished he wouldn’t watch her so intently. She didn’t want to reveal how vulnerable she felt this near to release. Or how close she was to tears at the powerful rush of desire that swept through her.
“Come for me, baby,” he growled, while pressing his fingers deeper. Then his lips closed over her clitoris, and he sucked—hard.
Pia flung back her head and howled, her body shuddering as the coil unwound, pulse by pulse.
When finally her climax waned, she clung limply to the wood, gasping for breath, her body sagging.
He kissed the nest of hair that covered her mound before sliding her soaked panties back into place. “Come home with me.” Not a request. But not exactly a command. His expression betrayed his naked need.
Naked as hers still was.
Her throat closed. This powerful but needy man was her quarry, and she’d betray him tonight.