Archive for 'Guest Blogger'
Monday, October 5th, 2015
I’ve written two superhero adventure novels so far starring Chloe, a young woman who discovers she has previously unsuspected superpowers. Readers are fine with that part. What they don’t like is my heroine’s taste in men.
She broke up with a perfectly nice boyfriend, a computer nerd, comics geek, and good partner in goofy adventures. She threw herself into a fling with a ruthless executive type who never tells her the same thing twice, tends to go behind her back and not inform her what he’s up to, and who also is great in bed.
I’m not writing romance as such, but my readers still get all upset over Eric. The beta readers who see the stories before they’re published actually write notes to Chloe saying things like “Don’t do it! Don’t believe his lies!”
I made this guy up. He’s not real. He’s not even a superhero. But he’s hot in that Mad Men or bad billionaire way: He has power, he likes power, and he uses it for his own ends. Maybe sometimes he’s on the same side as the heroine. Maybe sometimes he’s not. Men like this DO get women to fall for them. Maybe they don’t keep them. Maybe they don’t even want to keep them. Or maybe they do, but the men themselves always come first in their calculations, not the women they’re sleeping with.
I’m tickled that I have created a man who is this true to life, but I’m a little sorry readers don’t seem to appreciate the fantasy thrill of a fictional relationship with Mr. Wrong. No harm comes to the heroine in my stories. She does get upset over Eric, but she’s a superheroine. She figures it out. Maybe that’s the underlying issue. Do readers worry that my heroine—or they themselves?—won’t be strong enough to resist the charms of a Mr. Wrong?
Temporary Superheroine is on sale at Amazon. Special discounted price October 8 through October 17. http://amzn.to/1L25FOw
Crisis at Comicon (Temporary Superheroine Book 2) is available at a discounted pre-order price at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FCz0id
EXCERPT FROM TEMPORARY SUPERHEROINE:
“Chloe.” Eric determinedly came close to me so our breaths began to mingle. He eyed me with warmth and put a large hand on my shoulder, leaning in as if to kiss my cheek in greeting. I shrugged off both. I hadn’t forgotten he had snubbed me this morning. A lifetime ago.
“Chloe,” he repeated insistently, and leaned down and kissed my lips lightly, before I could fend him off again.
At the touch of his lips, secret parts of me started to melt. I feared they weren’t secret from him. I steeled myself and stated my mission. “I came for my amulet, which you stole.”
“I knew you would.” Eric smiled his predatory smile.
Ignoring his effect on me wasn’t working. I melted even more.
“I even told Bodacious Barb to make sure to tell you I had it,” he said.
“Why?” I was mystified. Eric was always a step or two ahead of me. In addition to all his worldly advantages, he simply was an ace manipulator.
“To bring you back to me,” he said. “I wanted to apologize for my cold shoulder this morning.”
“When you dropped me like a used tissue.” Since he’d given me the opening to talk about his behavior, I didn’t see any reason to sugarcoat it.
He had the grace to wince. “Is that how I came off? Sorry. I recognized the amulet last night while we were—ah…” He paused, obviously seeking a polite way of saying we were having sex.
“While our clothes were off,” I said flatly. “Continue.”
His expression was charmingly rueful. “I wanted to. So I didn’t question you about the amulet then. You wore me out, girl, then disappeared too fast.” He gave me a frank look. “I always thought women liked to cuddle afterwards, but when I woke, you were gone.”
My face had turned hot as he reminded me of the details of our time in his bedroom. Which had been too wonderful and had scared the hell out of me. Could my vanishing act have bothered him? My experience with men told me he was giving me a line of bull. When they’re done, they want you gone. At least the guys like Eric who can have any woman, because they are physically attractive and have money and power. He radiated virility. He could regularly sample a variety of women. I didn’t flatter myself that he cared about me.
“So?” I asked, refusing to soften at his confession. I wanted to hold onto my anger at him. Then he wouldn’t be able to play me. Again.
“This morning, I didn’t know what to think, and I backed off.”
“Oh, cut the crap, Eric.” I glared at him.
Award-winning author Irene Vartanoff has combined her love of romances and comic books by working for Marvel Comics and DC Comics as well as Harlequin, Bantam, Berkley, and My RomanceStory.com. Her first superhero adventure novel, Temporary Superheroine, was quickly followed by her first sweet contemporary romance novel, Captive of the Cattle Baron. Irene is also the author of several romance graphic romance novellas including Breaking All the Rules and The Egyptian’s Texas Spitfire. Under her comic book nom de plume, Poison Ivy, she contributes to the MyRomanceStory.com blog.
Writer & Editor
Sunday, October 4th, 2015
Romance authors love to write about falling in love. The rush of newness, the promise of passion and happily ever after, and the exhilarating but sometimes frustrating “getting to know each other” phase are aspects most romance readers love to hear about. Today, I don’t want to talk about any of those. I want to talk about how people in love…stay in love.
It’s hard to keep the romance alive in our busy worlds. We have obligations to work, kids, friends, and our community. What we often forget is we also have a responsibility to the person we love. This is especially important when the world seems out to get us. No matter how good our life is, bad stuff happens. We can’t stop it all. We deal with it, right? It’s how we face our challenges that sometimes gets us in trouble with our partners, but those with a solid base built on love have the best chance of surviving. Yeah, basic. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.
Arawn and Minerva, the characters in Hunter Sacrificed, face those same struggles, only on a more divine and far-reaching level. Their love is challenged, and the Wild Hunt series is their story. It begins and ends with their epic tale of love, betrayal, forgiveness and hope. (And you get to step into their journey for free! Read on for the links.)
For the rest of us, our relationship hardships can be lessened if we take the time to keep love alive. It doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking every day. Little things matter. Here’s my list of the top three ways my husband and I remind each other that we’re in life together:
- Taking a few minutes every day to talk about something outside of the three big ones: work, family and money. For the hubby and I, this can be anything from science (yes, we’re both geeks) to the newest action movie.
- Silly, random texts. We might not be able to respond, but it’s nice to pick up our phones and see each other’s profile pic.
- Holding each other. Hugs are good for the soul.
So what do you do to express your love? I’d love to hear about your special ways!
Hunter Sacrificed, Wild Hunt book 0.5 Blurb
His vow to save mankind turns him into the father of the damned.
Arawn, Lord of the Underworld, is faced with the hardest decision of his long life. Because of his neglect, humans are suffering…but his vow to make things right could cost him everything he holds dear.
Minerva, the Goddess of Love, holds his heart and soul, but the act he must now commit might very well destroy their love.
His sacrifice doesn’t go far enough to end the humans’ agony. It compounds it—and turns him into a pawn. He cannot renege on his deal with the Triad, but he can avenge those he’s wronged.
To do that, he’ll need every one of his Huntsmen to win the greatest game of all time—the Wild Hunt.
Warning: Goodness and light vs. sacrifice and darkness. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?
Hands clenched at his sides to stop himself from pulling her into his embrace, he motioned toward her with a jerk of his chin. “Turn. I want to see all of you.”
The order he’d given to her all those years ago brought back the memory of their first time together. He embraced the recollection, allowing it to guide him into what might be their final night together.
She raised a brow.
He growled. “If you have not realized where you are, this is Hell. I rule here, and my commands are to be obeyed immediately. Now, turn.”
With her lower lip caught between her teeth, she dropped her gaze and complied with his demand, slowly spinning on her heel. The ends of her silver hair swayed. A tinkling sound accompanied the move, and the flickering lights from the candles illuminating the room reflected on the strands, making her appear as if she carried her own inner light. The sight entranced him. He allowed the spell she wove to mesmerize him for another moment before shifting his focused stare to her rounded bottom. The ends of her hair caressed her ass cheeks. Soft yet firm, she was made for loving.
Made for me.
She wasn’t. He knew that. It didn’t stop the wonder he experienced in her presence from seizing him.
He closed the distance between them but didn’t touch her. He curled his hands until his nails dug into his palm. Head bent, he buried his nose in the fall of her hair. A deep inhale satisfied his craving for her scent. She smelled of life and goodness.
Everything I am not.
Mouth at her ear, he whispered, “You tempt me, goddess.”
“How? I have not spoken.” She repeated the response she’d given him all those years ago.
Pleased she picked up on his prompting, he captured her earlobe between his teeth and nibbled on her tender flesh until her air escaped on a slow exhale, and her body relaxed against his.
He released her lobe, then pressed his lips to her neck. “You stand before me naked and aroused.”
“You too are naked and aroused, my dark lord. The fact that I am should please you.”
“It does not.”
She turned her head, and her glowing gray eyes filled his vision. “And why not?”
He ran his hand over her hair. His fingers itched with the desire to wrap her shimmering locks around his palm. He dropped his arm.
“You make me want things I shouldn’t.”
“Arawn, Lord of the Underworld, it is about time you came.”
The Triad’s voice surrounded Arawn. He cracked his eyelids, but only the endless expanse of white clouds greeted him. “You’ve been expecting me?”
Why he asked, he didn’t know. The answer seemed important, however. Doubt had hovered in his mind ever since Minerva had first appeared to him. Learning about her deal with Lucifer had compounded it. Arawn couldn’t help but feel…played.
“Not played. Led.” The Triad responded to his unspoken thought, proving it could easily read Arawn’s mind.
The deity’s intrusion didn’t anger him. Its words did. Arawn remembered the games among the other gods in the early days of the world. He’d hated it. The isolation of the Underworld had been part of the reason he’d accepted the role he’d been offered. The segregation from the heavens hadn’t offered him peace, however.
He’d entered his eternal hell.
And Minerva saved me from it.
Arawn ground his jaw. “Manipulated, you mean.”
“No. You cannot be controlled. Even the gods have free will.”
“But you can take all my choices away save one, can’t you?”
Silence answered him.
“Well?” He knew better than to argue with the Triad. The tortured look in Minerva’s eyes pushed him to demand the truth.
“You always have two choices, Arawn god of Hell.”
Of course I do. He worked his jaw back and forth. “The right one and the wrong one.”
“Exactly. Which have you chosen?”
GET THE BOOK FOR ***FREE*** AT:
Connect with Nancy…
A little about Nancy…
A true romantic at heart, Nancy Corrigan is convinced there’s a knight in shining armor for every woman (or man), but you won’t find damsels in distress in her stories. She adores pairing alpha heroes with women strong enough to match them and bring them to their knees. She also enjoys flipping the traditional roles in romances because her motto is—love and people should never be forced to conform to anyone’s norm.
She holds a degree in chemistry and has worked in research but now focuses on ensuring quality. She considers it the perfect outlet for her as she’s the first to admit she has some OCD tendencies. It carries over into her writing life too. While engrossed in a novel, she has a habit of forgetting to eat and sleep. Fortunately, she’s married to her own knight in shining armor who understands her oddities and loves her anyway. They reside in Pennsylvania with their three children, dog, snake and guinea pigs. Her other interests include tattoos, animals, classic cars and all things spooky and sexy.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015
I had a reader ask recently who (or what) is my muse?
Let’s start by defining a muse. Per Merriam-Webster.com, a muse (noun) is a source of inspiration; especially: a guiding genius. When capitalized, Muse is also one of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry, and the arts and sciences.
The concept of a muse has always struck me as somewhat bewildering and a bit far-fetched. Poets and sculptors have muses. Authors, however, draw their stimulus from everyone and everything around them. From that sour-faced lady in line at the grocery store to a funny meme posted on Facebook. Inspiration is in the eye of the beholder.
Even so, I’ve always harbored the fantasy of having a muse because it would be a fun thing to be able to claim. A few years ago, a lovely gray cat ambushed me during a walk and followed me home. After unsuccessful attempts to find her owner, we decided to keep her. I wanted to call her Muse, or maybe Mews, but Mr. Snark vetoed it.
Go away! You’re bothering me!
Luckily, I was able to find a work around. We named the kitty Clio instead. Mr. Snark thinks she’s named after Pinocchio’s cat, Cleo, but she’s really named for the Greek Muse of history. She’s really not all that inspirational so far as story ideas go. In fact, she’s a little on the grumpy side, but she’s soft and plush. Made for petting, and we love her.
What about you? Do you have a muse? Leave me a comment below!
99 cents on Pre-Order
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Edge of Never: A Unique Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Boxed Set Release date Oct 12th
New York Times, USA Today, and Other Bestselling Authors
Join us at the Edge of Never
Obliterate the lines between fantasy and reality with nine spine-tingling tales from your favorite bestselling and award-winning authors. Dragons, gods—fallen and otherwise—ghosts, vampires. A touch of steampunk. More than a splash of romance. From magical lands to a chilling glance into post World War II Europe, Edge of Never has something to tempt everyone.
Caridad Pineiro: Undead Uprising: A Wolf Alone – Will she lead her pack in a war against the vampires or will she sacrifice everything for the human she loves?
Rosemary Edghill: Lizzie Fair and the Dragon of Heart’s Desire – Visiting the World of Iron is never a good idea. Ask any Morning Lord.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Show Trial -A beautiful woman, a terrible time, and faerie justice…served cold.
Brenda Carre: Finnraziel – She raised a god to life and thwarted the Queen of Demons, can she prevent a war without destroying the man she loves and the last two dragons she’s sworn to guard?
Ann Gimpel: Highland Secrets – Tumble off reality’s edge into myth, magic, Scottish dragon shifters, and forbidden romance.
Pauline Baird Jones: Specters in the Storm – A just-the-facts professor needs to trust a time bending lady detective—and believe the wildly impossible–to defeat a deadly evil threatening everything they hold dear.
Julia Mills: Her Dragon’s Soul – Exorcise the demon possessing your mate. Capture the maniacal wizard. Save dragon kin…again. Even the strength of the Universe may not be enough. Only time will tell. Fate Will Not Be Denied!
Susan Scott: Dragons Will Fall – To defeat a dragon is impossible. To love a dragon—deadly!
Melissa Snark: Hunger Moon – Wolf shifters, hunters, and a Norse winter witch—How will Valkyrie Victoria Storm ever find her true love…before someone kills her?
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/TT92Ef
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/AyvtzK
Google Play: https://goo.gl/pp1Zgm
Melissa Snark lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children, and a glaring of mischievous felines. She reads and writes fantasy and romance, and is published with The Wild Rose Press & Nordic Lights Press. She is a coffeeoholic, chocoholic, and a serious geek girl. Her Loki’s Wolves series stems from her fascination with wolves and mythology.
Subscribe to Melissa Snark’s newsletter for new releases, prizes, and lots of fun. You’ll get a free ebook just for signing up! URL: http://www.melissasnark.com/free-book-sign-up/
She blogs about books and writing: http://www.thesnarkology.com/
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Many people like to decorate their yards for Christmas. You can drive through the streets of any neighborhood and see houses with twinkle lights, colored lights, icicle lights, and many variations on that theme. Some houses have nativity displays, or snowmen, even Santa and his reindeer complete with sleigh. My family is a bit different; we like to decorate for Halloween.
The first weekend in October my front yard magically transforms from a green space with grass, pine trees and bushes into a creepy old graveyard. My husband and I try to add something new to the display every year. It’s fun to check out the Halloween supply stores and catalogs to try to find another item that will enhance the experience for our neighbors.
This year I thought I had found the perfect item. My husband is into blacksmithing and knife making which means we go to a lot of auctions looking for tools he can use in his hobby. At one auction I found a horse drawn hearse from the 1800’s. It was absolutely beautiful. Someone had gone to great lengths to restore it to its original condition. The glass windows that surround it were all replaced. New red satin material lined the floor and the entire exterior had been repainted black. I thought it was the perfect addition to our Halloween theme. However, my husband balked at the idea of paying five thousand dollars for a seasonal lawn ornament. Now it’s a running joke between us. Every time he goes to another auction I tell him to bring me back a hearse. I’m trying to persuade him to build one. He doesn’t know it yet but he’s getting some new wood working tools for Christmas.
I hope everyone enjoys this Halloween season. What does your family like to do for Halloween?
Augustina Van Hoven
Proving Love is Strange
THE KISS OF A ROSE – Now available
A DISTANT PAST
In 1882, Rose Van Buren loved the wrong man and paid for it with her life. Now, more than a century later, the angel Gabriel has granted her another shot at living. In exchange, she must convince a smart, handsome, up-and-coming lawyer to set aside his lofty ambitions.
A FUTURE PRESENT
Stephen Winship is headed straight for the governor’s chair. He has a brilliant career, solid allies, and a seemingly perfect girlfriend. But night after night he finds himself dreaming of a heavenly beauty, a luminous but long-dead girl. Like some altered Ghost of Christmas Past, she shows him her own tragic tale in order to “save him.” And he’s beginning to see Rose is risking her heart as much as baring her soul. Yet falling for her will cost him everything—and open him up to a happiness he never imagined.
The second book in the series, THE THORN OF A ROSE, coming in December.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
Wolves of Willow Bend
Single Wicked Wolf
Releasing October 1, 2015
Releasing at ARe exclusively on October 1st, you’ll also be able to find this gem on other etailers sometime after the 10th. In the meanwhile. Would you like a sneak peek at Giovanni and Murphy’s first meeting?
He’s single, wicked, and a perfect pretend boyfriend…but exactly who is she fooling?
A Wolves of Willow Bend Novella
Murphy DeWitt enjoyed two years touring American consulates in Europe as an assistant to a diplomatic attaché. It was a dream come true, and a hell of a learning experience. A master of languages, she knows how to get her point across. Romance, however, proves to be a tongue twister. Now en route to Willow Bend for a friend’s wedding—without the make-believe boyfriend she created for her family—she debates how to confess her deception. Luckily, her flight includes a fantastically hot wolf that leaves her breathless and contemplating all kinds of naughty things.
Giovanni Conti thrives on protecting others. As a Centurion for the Seven Hills pack in Italy, it’s his pleasure to serve his Alpha wherever he is needed. Dispatched ahead in preparation for the Alpha pair’s trip to Willow Bend, he has no problem entertaining the sexy wolf he encounters in the airport. The last thing the playboy wolf expects, however, is to find in Murphy the most captivating chase of his life…
Single Wicked Wolf
Release Date: October 1, 2015 on ARe, October 10th or later on other retailers
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-singlewickedwolf-1893620-168.html
Series Reading Order:
Wolf at Law (Prequel)
Book 1: Wolf Bite
Book 2: Caged Wolf
Book 3: Wolf Claim
Book 3.5: Wolf Next Door
Book 4: Rogue Wolf
Book 5: Bayou Wolf
Book 6: Untamed Wolf
Book 6.5: Wolf with Benefits (Romancing the Wolf Anthology)
Book 7: River Wolf
Book 7.5 : Single Wicked Wolf
About the Author:
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
Excerpt of Single Wicked Wolf by Heather Long:
Seven Hills Centurion, Giovanni Conti balanced the she-wolf with care and no small amount of interest. Though Salvatore declared the airport neutral territory for travelers, Giovanni caught her scent the moment he cleared security. With time to spare before his flight, he entertained himself by tracking her. As long as she remained within the airport, no one from Seven Hills would accost her.
She moved like a wolf on the hunt, striding with purpose cutting in and out of people, avoiding them with a smooth expertise he admired. When she ducked into the shop for a sandwich and a beverage, he’d grimaced. The call with her mother said she wasn’t planning to leave the airport. He didn’t have to keep following. Still, the length of her silky brown hair, honey bronzed skin and pale, pale hazel eyes captivated his imagination.
Inserting himself into her path to answer his curiosity, he hadn’t expected her to slam into him. More concerned she’d bruised herself, he caught her before she stumbled. The low-heeled pumps she wore were sensible for a meeting, not for striding through an airport. Shock with ripples of wariness and more than a dab of desire filled his nostrils.
Oh, she likes what she sees. Pleasure speared him. Women were so delightful. They came in all shapes and sizes. Some were confident, some were shy. They used laughter and jokes to set those around them at ease or they relied on their keen intelligence to snare interested males. He loved them all.
“Buon pomeriggio.” He gave her a moment to be certain of her balance before releasing her. “And my apologies for blocking your path.”
“Buon pomeriggio,” her swift reply in his native tongue tickled him. “Please, accept my apologies for colliding with you. I’m usually better about maintaining my personal space.” Though her tone was light, tension wound through her voice and she didn’t attempt to hold his gaze.
Relaxing his stance, he adopted an air of soothing. Most wolves within Seven Hills were less dominant than he and the other Centurions. Serving Salvatore, the Alpha of Seven Hills, and by extension his mate, was a privilege he and his brother wolves enjoyed. From gentle reminders to rebellious wolves to take downs of wolves gone wild to acting as spymasters and information gatherers, no task was too great or too small for him.
“Mi perdoni, cara,” he used the endearment to encourage familiarity, then resumed the courtesy of her language. “I stepped into your path to say hello. So it was my fault, not yours.”
“Thank you,” she surprised him by not making her own excuse or defusing his apology. So many of the Americans he met, wolf or otherwise, turned out to be apologists. She shifted her carry on bag and not so surreptitiously glanced at her watch.
“May I escort you to your gate? Or perhaps to a café? We have one or two.” All of which served better food than the sandwich she’d purchased.
“Lovely offer.” She recovered enough to smile as she spoke, but she adjusted her grip on her bag nonetheless. “I don’t want to miss my flight or overstay my welcome. Turning into Edward Snowden isn’t my idea of a good time.”
Though familiar with the name, he didn’t catch the reference. At his frown, she laughed and it chased some of the nervousness from her voice.
“The being stuck in Russia with no passport part, not the leaking state secrets part.” The explanation helped, but he didn’t see her in the same vulnerable position. Nothing in her scent said deceit. Her smile faded. “Diplomatic humor, sorry. It was nice to meet you.”
When she withdrew a step as though to circle him, he pivoted and fell into step with her. “You haven’t actually met me, cara.”
“I’m batting a thousand today,” she groaned, then juggled her items to offer her hand. “Murphy DeWitt.”
Accepting her hand, he lifted it to his lips. Grazing her knuckles with a kiss, he inhaled deeply of her scent. Eucalyptus and mint layered beneath soft pear and sage, offered him a deep breath of a bright, clean exotic morning. Savoring the tingling taste on his tongue, he enjoyed the catch in her breath and the leap of her pulse. All of the above were far preferable to her discomfort and wariness.
“Ciao, cara, I am Giovanni Conti,” he pitched his voice low, trusting her hearing even amidst all the background chaos of the airport terminal. “Centurion of Seven Hills.”
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Blessings of the fall season! I’m a big fan of whimsy. Since I write emotionally intense, character-driven BDSM romance which explores the darkness of human nature on the way to the happily-ever-after, I think putting whimsy in my daily life is my balance. It touches my heart, knowing that people create and indulge simple pleasures to make themselves and others feel good and smile. For instance, I was just visiting Disneyworld, and I love their fall decorations, like these pumpkin people. The existence of whimsy supports a theory I have; that maybe the best way to gain perspective in the midst of grief or despair is not to come up with some big theory to explain or cure the problem, but to figure out a small way to touch the heart and keep the candle burning in darkness. The darkness may always be there, sure, but come hell or high water, that candle’s not going out.
In my own stories, I’ve found indulging those moments in the midst of bigger problems is a way to keep the story from being too dark and offer the reader as much hope as the characters. Like this short scene in Mirror of My Soul, where Tyler is wondering if love is enough to heal Marguerite’s broken soul. He’s never even seen her laugh. They get caught out in a rain storm and…
In the way of Southern storms, the full force of the shower was on them in twenty more steps, a heavy rain that made the winding asphalt path slick and dark like a raven’s wing. Steam rose from the tarred surface, disrupted by the raindrops. Marguerite stopped, pulling her hand free to push her wet hair from her face. Tyler saw her eyes were laughing, her mouth quivering against the real thing.
“It’s like music,” she said, her voice rising over the wind. Lightning flashed over her, followed by the roar of thunder. His angel spread her arms and began to twirl, her hair spinning with her, the wet skirt fluttering with the wind, grabbing for slick purchase on her legs.
As it grew wetter, the dress’s white cotton fabric began to cling to her. When she twirled, she stepped into a puddle, splattering water on her ankles and the glistening curves of her calves. Gathering up her hair in her hands, she held it to the top of her head as she swayed with the movement of the wind, her eyes closing, her mind obviously concentrating on the presence of the storm on her body. She undulated her upper torso with that rhythm, began to perform a sensuous dance with the elements. Turning and jumping as lightly as a dancer, then stomping in the puddle with both feet with the abandon of a child.
She opened her eyes, stretched out a hand and he took it, moving with her in a spinning dance across the path and back. Taking both her hands, he swung with her in a wide circle, mesmerized by the way the water rolled down her face and the top curves of her breasts, revealed by the scooped neckline of the dress. He brought her into him, a turn that put her back against his body. He held her there, nudging her head to the side to suck beads of water off the side of her throat. When his hand came up to catch a cold wet nipple through the cloth, her back arched, rubbing her bottom against him. She broke away, headed down the path as her laughter—her laughter—called him to give pursuit.
Kicking off the comfortable slides, she ran from him in bare feet, her arms wide like wings, ropes of hair spilling down her back wildly like a glossy cape. His heart had wings of its own, as if he were a young man again with no weights on his heart, but with the wisdom of his present age to know what a tremendous gift this moment was. He caught up with her, seized her hand. They kept running, both running from shadows but running together, throwing off a light he reflected might keep those shadows cowering in the past where they belonged.
This excerpt reminds me of that beautiful lantern scene in the movie Tangled and the song that goes with it: “I See the Light”. It always makes me cry, in a good way. Hope and loss rise together hand in hand in that scene, and leaves me full of faith that the two will always at least balance, even if one can’t vanquish the other.
Hmmm…. Well, when I started this, I’d intended to write about my vampires, because we’re headed toward Halloween and the next release in my Vampire Queen series, Night’s Templar. My thought was I could talk about how sexy AND scary vampires can be, but I got a little derailed. That’s okay, though. I’ll still give you a snippet from one of my vampire books before I finish this post. If you love vampires, and want to explore the vampire-servant relationship from a Dom/sub perspective, you can read blurbs and full chapter excerpts for all dozen or so books in the series here. The upcoming one (late Oct-early Nov release) is a male/male BDSM romance, featuring a Fae Lord and a vampire. As you may have guessed from the title, the vampire was a Templar Knight!
Since many of you may not have read the series yet, I’m giving you a teaser from Beloved Vampire, Book IV, because some readers prefer to read it as the first book. That’s because it can standalone, is a great introduction to my vampire world, and has a wonderful male vampire as the Dom hero, Lord Mason. If you decide to read Mason and Jessica’s story, you also get a gentler introduction to Lady Lyssa, a Domme vampire who’s a bit scary at first, but whose story with her servant Jacob actually starts the series with Vampire Queen’s Servant. Anyhow, here’s the teaser from Beloved Vampire:
Lord Mason went to one knee next to Jessica and curled a lock of her hair around her ear, even as she tried to draw her head away from him. Vampires usually prohibited their servants from looking them in the eye, but he’d specifically asked her to look at him, a couple times now. However, she stared down at the towel wrapped around her, not wanting to see his handsome face, feel the pull in her lower abdomen at the slope of jaw, high cheekbones, the firm lips and steady eyes.
“I meant what I said, Jessica. No harm will come to you here, but you cannot cause harm to others, either. Attack one of my staff again, and I will keep you with me at all times.” She noted from beneath her lashes that his glance strayed over her throat, then down to the tenuously tucked towel. “You know enough about vampires to realize that if I’m around you too much, I will not deny myself a taste of you, in several different ways.”
“You said . . . I’d be safe.” She swallowed as his brow lifted.
“You would be quite safe, Jessica. As safe as you were in Amara’s arms. Keep that in mind before you decide to take out your anger on an innocent again. If you need to fight with someone”—his gaze sparked in a way that inspired fear and yet heat again, low in her belly—“you call on me.”
Jessica is a strong, amazing heroine who has been through a terrible ordeal with her previous vampire master, so she and Mason have a long road before she can trust him and her submissive instincts again.
And that’s all from me right now (except for my giveaway at the bottom – don’t overlook that!). For those who don’t know my work, I do contemporary and paranormal BDSM romance. So far, I have about 40 books and six series happening. I know, I know, I should have mentioned this at the first, but that seemed like a boring opener (grin). Here’s how to find out more about those books –
Website: www.storywitch.com (blurbs, excerpts, series order, etc under Books menu)
Fan Forum: www.storywitch.com/community (includes free novellas revisiting characters from my books)
Newsletter subscription: http://storywitch.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi/list/storywitchnews/
GIVEAWAY – You knew I wasn’t going to leave you without offering you goodies, right? For a $15 Amazon, B&N or ARe gift certificate, AND a free ebook of your choice, tell me about a piece of whimsy in your life that makes you smile. A cute figurine on your mantle, a memory of you or someone you love acting silly, a pair of pajama bottoms with snoozing sheep printed on it… you get the gist. You can also leave any comments and questions for me as well. I’ll randomly choose a winner after about 48 hours and post the person’s name here, but if you feel comfortable putting your email address with the comment, I can also email you directly if you win!
Monday, September 28th, 2015
For the last couple days I’ve been working on an old ceramic jug my aunt gave me a few years ago. I remember this water pitcher and its basin sitting on the sideboard in her dining room every time we’d go visit when I was a kid. She’d been given the set as a gift years ago by her brother- and sister-in-law. Over the years, it was broken (no, I didn’t do it!) and repaired with the glue available at the time. When it came to me, the glue hadn’t held, and two large fragments were inside the pitcher waiting to be reattached.
As I set to work removing the hardened and brittle glue from yesteryear, my mind wandered to the edits I’d received on my upcoming short story Summer Stalked due out in the fall with MuseItHOT Publishing. I’d written the summer theater murder mystery a couple years with the best available writing skills I had at the time. Though a good job on the overall story, I’d made some mistakes in the way I’d written the timeline and the character interactions. The edits were much like the acetone I’d been rubbing on the old glue on the pitcher. Undoing the problems that made the pitcher or the story not stay together.
The story is coming along, and the pitcher will be as good as new very shortly. New writing and new glue. Repairing two old but cherished items.
Brent Archer began writing in 2011 at the nudging of his cousins. His first story sold, and he was hooked! Stay tuned for the Dec 8th release of his short story The Artistry of Steam publishing in the Gym Boys anthology edited by Shane Allison. Preorder it here.
Visit his website to keep up on upcoming releases, and follow him on Twitter: @brentarcherwrit.