I thought about creating a puzzle for you to work before you knew what I’d be doing (or was having done to me) tomorrow. However, I’m sure the website I use to create my puzzles would nix it due to the bare butt.
Yes, today, I’m going through the prep stage. I have a ton of meds and Gatorade to guzzle. No food until after the procedure tomorrow morning. This will be my third colonoscopy. And no, it doesn’t get any better the more times you have it done. It’s gross, embarrassing, and not very comfortable. I don’t like that they put me under for it. Do they think I’m a wimp? I’d rather be watching the monitor to see what’s happening. I’m tempted to pull out my DVD of Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais, but my dd might think it’s inappropriate because he dies (temporarily) during the procedure. She’s no fun.
So, why am I oversharing? I don’t know. As a Public Service Announcement to remind you to schedule yours? Maybe to you share my discomfort? Give you a laugh? For a chance to win a FREE download from my backlist, have you had one yet? Comment below.
I don’t mean the rolls that come with middle age, although I do have those. I’m talking about the flabby middle of my current book. The halfway point when the story can get mired and struggle to make headway toward the happy ending. Add the fact this is the second book in a trilogy, and I’m dealing with a double whammy: I’m in the flabby middle of the flabby middle. It’s quicksand for an author, and I’m up to my ears in it.
I love this aging-cyborg trilogy and I had such high hopes for this second book. Such enthusiasm for these characters and this story… but it all just seems to wander around aimlessly. No focus, no energy, no—Gasp!—mojo. Something is seriously wrong with my story!
These are the times when an author sits down and has a heart-to-heart with her characters. I don’t mind my characters running amuck with my anticipated plot… as long as they’re, you know, moving in some direction even if it’s not the one I’d planned for them. But my conversations with my characters are like talking to my teen children. Lots of mumbling, some grunting, eye-rolling, and heaving sighs. You know, real mature behavior coming from characters who are in their thirties! *gives characters the stink eye*
Or maybe I’m the problem. Beginning late last year, I’ve undertaken being in charge of my unmarried, aging aunt… her finances, her health, her wellbeing, and her neglected house. All this from a state away. It’s been an enormous and very-daily responsibility, and it has zapped my creative juices. The care and feeding of active teens have evaporated the rest. I’m in the flabby middle of my life, mired in obligations and struggling to make headway.
My muse is depleted to a greater extent than even during last year’s quarantine crisis. The spirit is willing to write, but my focus, my energy, my—Gasp!—mojo is gone.
But enough whining! This all shall pass and I will emerge on the other side of this saggy middle—my life and my cyborg book—with a strong, engaging story my readers will love! In the meantime, I’m celebrating placing second in the PRISM contest’s Sci-fi/Futuristic category with the first book of my cyborg trilogy, Tin Man. And I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to a random winner for commenting on something (big or small) in your own life you’d like to celebrate!
About Ava Cuvay
Ava Cuvay is an award-winning bestselling author of Sci-fi Romance featuring sassy heroines, gutsy heroes, passion, and adventure… often set in a galaxy far, far away. She resides in central Indiana with her own scruffy-looking nerfherder and kiddos who remind her daily she’s not nearly as cool and hip as she thinks. She believes life is too short to bother with negative people, everything is better with Champagne, and Han Solo shot first. When not writing, Ava is thinking about writing. Or wine. And she’s always thinking about bacon.
This is just a quick message to those of you in the path of Hurricane Ida. Arkansas is missing the bullet entirely, but I hope everyone who isn’t so fortunate has a safe place to weather the storm. Good luck to you!
“His GPS is pinging just ahead,” Martika Mills said, raising her gaze from her handheld tracking device to point ahead toward the bend in the river.
Pierce Hardman took his attention off scanning the banks and slowed their boat in the center of the shallow river. They’d need to gear up before approaching their target, Matthew Harper, who’d skipped his date with the judge the previous week. The once-convicted felon had been set to appear on charges stemming from a string of home burglaries. Just another dumbass who thought the rules didn’t apply to him and didn’t want to work for his money.
“Finally, it’s cold as shit on this water,” Preacher’s voice came over the comms. He was in the jon boat behind Hardman and Marti’s little two-seater sneak boat and was accompanied by Dagger and Lacey. They hadn’t really needed so many hunters for this takedown, but since healthy bounties had been a bit scarce the last few weeks, and everyone was bored, they’d decided to move on Harper together.
When they’d planned this river grab, they hadn’t taken into account maneuvering on the chilly water. They wore shorts with sweatshirts or hoodies on top. Nothing other than the thin padding atop Hardman’s aluminum seat kept his balls from freezing.
He twisted the handle on the outboard motor to put it into neutral, slowing the boat further. While the boat drifted, he and Marti removed their life vests and donned the gear they’d brought in a duffle—their Kevlar vests, their badges, and lastly, they strapped holstered weapons to their thighs.
“We look ridiculous,” Lacey said with a laugh. “Who wears shorts and boat shoes to a takedown?”
Marti rolled her eyes. Hardman smirked. Lacey could always be counted on for fashion commentary. The curvy blonde was the only hunter sporting pink and grey camouflaged attire.
“Hardman, you got our new toy?” Preacher asked.
Hardman bent to the duffle and removed the new “Spiderman” bolo gun, which he clipped to his vest. “Got it.”
“Has he moved?” Dagger asked.
Again, Marti bent to look at the tracker. “Nope. He’s sitting still.”
Hardman hoped that meant he was busy fishing.
“Hope he didn’t ditch the ankle monitor,” Marti mumbled. “Or we rented these boats for nothing.”
“We ready?” Dagger asked.
“We’re a go,” Hardman said and twisted the outboard motor’s handle again to move slowly toward the bend.
As they rounded the curve, they spotted a small boat beached against a steep bank, a rope tied around a fallen tree to keep it there, but no sign of Harper.
Hardman aimed the boat at the bank, gave the motor a bit of juice then set it into neutral. They drifted into the bank, and he jumped off the side into shallow water. “You stay with the boat,” he said to Marti. “We don’t need it floating away.”
“Why do you get all the fun?” she asked, her eyebrows lowering.
“Because I was in the water first,” he said, grinning.
Dagger slid his boat beside the sneaker boat and tossed his mooring line to Marti. “Make sure it doesn’t go anywhere.”
Marti’s glower darkened.
Hardman chuckled as he climbed the bank, glancing around to look for any signs of where their quarry might have gone.
“He’s pinging from up there,” Marti said in a hushed tone from below. When he glanced back, she was pointing toward the top of the steep bank. “Maybe twenty feet in.” She held up the tracker. “Sure you don’t need me?”
“We’ll manage,” he said. “Just give us a shout if he moves.”
Hardman reached for branches, knotty roots, and grass to pull himself up the bank.
Beside him, Dagger pushed on Lacey’s butt to get her up the side, and Preacher dug his toes into loose dirt to “step” his way up. Once they all stood on the top of the embankment, they spread out to commence their search. As well, they didn’t need to be bunched together since they didn’t know for sure whether Harper was armed. Not that his file indicated he was dangerous, but a cornered dog might bite.
Hardman studied the ground and brush around him, looking for tracks.
“Got him,” Dagger said quietly.
Hardman glanced his way. Dagger pointed to footprints and touched a broken branch. Signaling that he’d take point, he aimed a glare at Lacey, who frowned but let Hardman and Preacher trail behind him before falling in at the end of the line.
They went maybe fifteen feet into the brush when Dagger squatted and held up a closed fist. They all took a knee. Dagger pointed at his eyes then raised two fingers. Harper had company.
Then they heard noise up ahead. Soft groans, a thready moan. The distinctive slap of flesh on flesh. Matthew Harper was getting busy in the grass.
Dagger pointed to Preacher and then to his left.
Keeping low, Preacher moved quietly to the left of the couple.
Following Dagger’s hand signals, Hardman moved to the right. When he reached his position, he low-crawled through tall grass until he saw glimpses of pink flesh between the waving blades. A man’s ass was flexing, driving downward. Pale, plump legs encircled his hips.
By the speed of his movements, he was getting close.
“Ready?” Dagger whispered.
“Ah, let him finish,” Lacey said. “It’ll be a long time before he gets to knock against someone with breasts again.”
Marti snickered in his ear.
“We even sure he’s our guy?” Preacher grumbled.
“Can’t tell. I’ve got the rear view, and his ankles are hidden in the grass,” Hardman whispered, grimacing, because he really didn’t want to take a closer look.
“I’m getting closer,” Lacey said.
“Stay the fuck where you are,” Dagger bit out.
“Oh. He’s got a shaved head,” Lacey said.
Which could be a problem. Harper had had long, frizzy hair in his booking photo.
“Gotta wait until they get up to ID him,” Dagger said.
The couple on the ground rolled until the female sat atop the male. She was a well-rounded woman with large breasts and a generous behind.
“She’s certainly energetic,” Lacey said as the woman bounced over the man’s hips.
At last, the woman’s head fell back, and a series of “Oh-oh-ohs” echoed in the clearing.
The man gripped her hips and rutted upward before letting out a loud shout.
“Satisfied, Lace?” Dagger drawled.
“Nope, but they sure are.”
The hunters stood, drawing their weapons.
“Fugitive Recovery Agents!” Dagger shouted.
The couple froze. Then the man tossed the woman to the side and bolted up from the ground. Nude, he barreled past Lacey, knocking her to the ground, and headed straight toward the river.
“Got a runner,” Hardman said, following close on the man’s heels.
“I’ll keep my eyes peeled,” Marti said.
As his feet pounded the dirt, Hardman noted the black ankle monitor the naked man wore. “It’s our guy.”
“I’m staying with the woman,” Lacey said. “I’ll help her find her clothes.”
“Hardman, get the lead out,” Dagger bit out. “Don’t let him get to that boat.”
When Harper approached the edge of the bank, Hardman expected the man to slow down, but he didn’t. Hardman reached out, grabbing for his shoulder, but Harper leapt into the air then bumped on his naked ass down the side of the embankment.
“He’s over the edge,” Hardman said, skidding on his own backside over rocks and exposed roots.
“I see him,” Marti shouted.
Hardman heard a splash.
“Marti, don’t let those boats get away,” Dagger said. “It’s my credit card on the deposit!”
At the bottom of the embankment, Hardman pushed off the ground and ran behind Harper, who was nearing his beached skiff. Hardman would never catch the skip before he was inside it, so he unclipped the Spiderman bolo gun and aimed for the man’s thighs.
He struck Harper at the back of his knees just as he entered the water—and just as Marti jumped in front of him to prevent him getting into his boat.
The bolo deployed and wrapped around his knees. Harper fell forward—on top of Marti—and they both sank into the water.
Hardman rushed toward them and pulled on Harper’s shoulders.
Marti sat in the water and gulped in air with Harper still pinning her hips to the bottom of the river. “You did this on purpose!” she said, glaring at Hardman. “Get him off me.”
“Sorry, ma’am,” Matthew Harper said, sounding miserable. “But water’s so cold I can’t get it up anyway.”
Marti smacked his chest. “No one better have a camera!”
“Too late,” Dagger quipped.
Hardman glanced over his shoulders at Dagger who held out his iPhone. He was bent at the waist laughing.
Hardman wrapped an arm around Harper’s middle and lifted him off Marti who scooted backward then slowly stood. She looked down at her wet clothing and gear and her lips curled in disgust. When her gaze met Hardman’s, it narrowed. “Not a word. Ever.”
“I did tell you to stay with the boat,” he said, his tone cheerful.
Anyone familiar with my work knows I write a lot of stories exploring the world of BDSM. But I try not to write just about BDSM. I want my stories to be about something more than just the power exchange and how that plays out between any two random people or a couple meeting at a club. Because it’s a somewhat extraordinary and delicate kind of relationship that makes different demands of each of the participants than a normal vanilla sexual encounter.
I like to explore how different characters create and interact within a BDSM relationship, to see how two ordinary people can work out a version that suits them (as in most of the books in the Suburban Dominants series). How do they even come together and recognize each other’s needs? Using the club scene makes a convenient way to get around that problem, but I’d rather tackle it head-on.
In fact, I’ve tried a number of different ways for one person to realize the other’s needs are similar or complementary. My favorite was in Judith’s Challenge, where the heroine works for the hero and is intrigued by the catalogs he gets in the mail. Later he catches her spying on one of the private parties he hosts.
Judith’s Challenge also tackles some fairly sensitive issues and explores how BDSM can be healing in some contexts. I put a trigger warning in the book because the heroine’s history includes a rape (off-screen and not by the hero!) and now she has a problem with being touched by anyone, particularly men. The hero has his own issues. He’s scarred and somewhat maimed as a result of injuries suffered while he was in the military.
I’ve tried to be careful of the problems these people have suffered and respectful of their trauma while showing how their growing trust in each other helps each of them heal.
Contemporary Romance with BDSM elements
Money can’t buy back the parts of himself Drew Robertson left on a middle-east battlefield, but his new assistant, Judith Delaney, can show him he’s still a whole man without them—if he can help her heal from her own traumatic history.
Wounded Middle East war vet Drew Robertson made some fortunate investments and ended up wealthier than he ever expected to be. It’s some compensation for the injuries, visible and hidden, he believes would repel any woman were it not for his money.
Enter Judith Delaney. Drew’s new assistant brings compassion, intelligence, competence, and her own traumatic past to the job. She also secretly shares his interest in kinky sex.
They might be able to help each other heal, if they can let go the fear and doubts that imprison them. But threats from someone with a grudge against Drew complicate the situation, threats that escalate into something far more dangerous.
Katherine Kingston has written somewhere around two dozen erotic novels, novellas, and short stories. Most of her novels and novellas are currently published by Ellora’s Cave, but she has one novella with Whispers Publishing and has had stories in a number of print publications. Her stories cover a range of genres from historical to paranormal to science fiction and contemporary. Most of them include hot, kinky sex, particularly BDSM. Learn more about Katherine and her books at her website: http://www.katherinekingston.com .
Help me name a female character for my next book for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.
Hi, y’all. I hope the summer had been to you all. I can’t believe that we’re heading fast for fall and kids will be going back to school. My youngest daughter is turning the BIG 16 this month. She’s getting her license. And my oldest daughter is heading back to college for her last year before graduation, and then it’s off to graduate school. I feel like I’m caught up in a whirlwind and soon I’ll be an empty nester. What will I do with myself? Write more books. Bake all those recipes I’ve wanted to try. Work out more. Have date nights. I’m not excited. My world has evolved around my kids and it’s difficult to imagine jumping out of the fast lane and going solo.
Who could use a $5 GC? Enter the contest by doing this…
Name the beautiful redhead in the picture below. Put the name in an email subject headline and send it to email@example.com. One winner will be chosen on 08/29. Good luck!
Here’s an excerpt to my new book, Broken Halo. It’s sexy, steamy, and full of graphic language and dirty-good sex. What’s not to love?
“How did you get in? The door was locked.” She was aware that her voice fluttered. “Did you do this? Did you lock me in here?”
“You’re blaming me? Didn’t I tell you to stay put? Is it impossible for you to listen?” Lines of fury appeared around his mouth. His hands were fisted at his sides.
“Wait…how did you know I was in this room? You would have had to see me come in.” Tears moistened her eyes.
“Because I was looking through the security monitors and just happened to see you breaking the rules,” he growled. “I didn’t lock you in but that’s about the only way to get you to behave.”
She looked from him to the door then back to him. “If you didn’t do it then who did?”
He rubbed his jaw. “The doors must be powered by automatic locks because no one locked you inside.”
Swallowing, she slumped her shoulders, still reeling from watching the sex scene.
He took the short distance between them, backing her against the cool glass. She was almost grateful for the respite from the heat of her skin. He stared down at her, looking savage and warrior-like, his chest rising and falling.
“Ireland, if you can’t behave then I’m going to have to…”
“Turn you over my knee and swat that tight ass. Do you think this is a joke?”
“I don’t care about your threats,” she whispered. “I shouldn’t have married you.”
“Oh yeah? Well, I feel the same. I should have let King do whatever he wanted.”
She raised her hand with the intention to smack him across the face, but he caught her wrist and held it prisoner between his wide, callused fingers. Their gazes connected in a fiery duel of emotion and something else…something akin to desire. She tried to jerk free, but he held her tight. He then captured her other wrist and lifted both her arms high above her head and pinned them against the window.
“Let me go, you bastard!”
“Or what?” he seethed.
She brought her knee up but he was quick and dodged her strike to his groin. This angered him and his face reddened.
“You brat!” he pushed through thin lips, forcing her against the wall. “You’re pressing all my buttons.”