I’m posting this late. Today’s been a bit of a whirlwind.
My dad, whose picture with me I’m sharing above, fell outside and broke his hip—or his femoral neck, to be more specific. He went out to weed-eat, because he likes to putter and do things for himself, but he fell and hurt himself. I found him fifteen minutes later, called my dd, because I couldn’t move him. Why didn’t we call an ambulance? 1–dad didn’t want one; 2–we live in a rural area, and our volunteer fire department would have answered that call (nuff said); and 3–my dd’s had some training, so I wasn’t worried she’d hurt him when she moved him. And in the end, she had him in the car, without a lot of pain, inside five minutes.
The local hospital took pictures and confirmed he’d broken his hip, loaded him into an ambulance and shipped him to Little Rock. Mom and I went home and packed and high-tailed it to the city, where we’re staying now. His surgery is tomorrow, shortly after noon. I’d appreciate your prayers and good thoughts.He’s over 80, has diabetes, is on dialysis, has heart disease. He’s a tough man, an Air Force veteran/retiree, and we just plain don’t want to lose him. And he’s not ready—not by the amount of fuss he gave us about getting our own rest today. 🙂
Oh, and that picture was from my 60th birthday party in June. Dad loved the picture props.
I recently published two linked erotic romances with spanking themes. My original plan had been to go through a publisher I’ve worked with before, but staff felt the setting would be a hard sell and asked me to do a major rewrite. Instead, I self-published His Purchase and another I’ll talk about later.
The heroine of His Purchase is a professional softball player with a load of emotional baggage. I’d given her that career because as the mother of two sports-loving sons, I logged a lot of time at baseball fields. No research necessary. Besides, I love baseball.
After exchanging emails with the above mentioned publisher, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m in the minority when it comes to loving both erotic romance and baseball or softball. I’m guessing the reaction would be different if my hero was a football player or rodeo rider, part of the macho mystique, but I made my heroine the jock in a male dominated sport.
Is that a no-no? Are romance readers turned off by female jocks especially one involved with a sport traditionally considered male? Although I understand why that publisher needs to keep a close eye on the bottom line and might have made the same decision if I was in her shoes, I’m hoping readers are open to more than traditional roles for the sexes.
As I mentioned, His Purchase is a spanking story. In other words, it falls under the power exchange umbrella. Because of the fictional world I created, my dominant male hero fully believes he has the right and responsibility to physically discipline the submissive heroine. Despite her physical skills, she accepts that she will be disciplined if the man in charge decides she needs correction—which he does more than once.
I was fascinated by how my characters handled her untraditional career while living in a society that condones and encourages spanking females. I think they pulled it off but it’s up to readers to agree or disagree.
Alia is an Other, just another woman with few rights living in a world controlled by Society rules. At least her considerable athletic skill will save her from a life of drudgery. She knows her rare physical talent will be exploited but considers it an acceptable tradeoff for being able to do what she most loves in life. In addition, she’ll have a roof over her head, food in her belly, and hopefully an end to feeling like a failure.
Kade is an Elite, a wealthy and powerful man who has never questioned his privileged place within the Society. As the new owner of a professional women’s softball team, he’s determined to get the ultimate performance from his players. Never one to turn down a challenge, he knows how to bring his sexy but strong-headed latest acquisition into line.
Despite the team owner’s domineering presence, Alia has no intention of bowing to the commanding man’s insistence she keep nothing from him. She’ll perform to the best of her ability. What she doesn’t dare do is let him inside her head and heart where vulnerability lies.
Kade refuses to accept her resistance. He purchased, not just her talent but everything about her. She doesn’t yet know how far his control reaches, but he will teach her. Her correction begins the first day with a firm hand repeatedly applied to her backside. He spanks her bare bottom until it turns red then insists she display what he’s done. When she continues to defy him, he takes her in hand again, this time adding a butt plug. Despite her shame, she’s turned on. Changed. Desperate for more than just his finger or toys in her.
Everything changes for Alia. She spends her nights in a locked barn stall with the other players, must wait to use the bathroom, eats what’s put before her. She wants to hate the man who has done this to her, but there’s magic in his firm hand. He knows how to arouse her. Maybe he even cares about her.
It doesn’t matter because she’ll never trust him with her deepest secret. If keeping something so private from him displeases him, she believes she has no choice but to live with the consequences.
His Purchase includes spankings and intense sexual scenes. If you’re uncomfortable with such material, please don’t buy this book.
It’s been a sad, sad day. Every time I turned on the TV today, it was to see some amazing video of Aretha. So, tonight I’m sharing my favorite Aretha song. I was torn between this and You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, but listening to them again, I’m touched more by this one. So, here you go…
Hi. Imagine you’re doing some research for a new book and your friend has arranged for you to see the inside of a fabulous, luxury penthouse to help you envision your setting.
When you get inside, you find the sexiest man you’ve ever seen sitting in a chair. Blindfolded. Tied up with rope. And totally naked!
Hmm. Yeah. Could happen! 😉
The idea was inspired by a photograph my friend Evangeline Anderson posted on FaceBook quite a while ago. (Check out her FB page. She has some really fun and sexy stuff there!)
When I saw the picture, I immediately sat down and wrote a scene! I was so excited about it, I shared the idea with Jayne Rylon and Avery Aster and that’s how we came up with Mentor, the fourth book in our Penthouse Pleasures series.
The image above is a cropped version, but you can see the whole thing by clicking here!
And you really should go look because he is sooo sexy! 😉
Elle slid the key card into the slot and pulled it out, but the door didn’t unlock. She tried again but was still greeted with a red light.
Red. Stop. Walk away. That’s what the universe was telling her.
This wasn’t meant to be.
Or… was it telling her to try harder?
She wouldn’t give up on writing this book. That’s why she’d come up here in the first place. She’d decided it was long past time to finish the story she’d started and this was the first step. Everley had arranged for her to see the inside of one of the infamous penthouses in Beekman Place—the setting for her erotic romance story.
She pulled her shoulders back, deciding she would find a way to get into this place and look around. Everley had told her the new owners would be moving in this coming weekend, so this might be her last chance. She tried the key card a third time, and when it still didn’t work, she dug through her purse and pulled out her cell, then started to dial Everley, determined to show her friend she was committed to succeeding.
Before she could dial, she heard the door unlock. She stared at it, the green light blinking at her.
“Come in,” a deep voice said, and she realized it was coming from a speaker in the wall.
She grasped the handle and pressed it down, then pushed the door open tentatively and peered inside. Dazzling sunshine filled the large room beyond the foyer. Large windows spanned the wall facing the door, and continued around the corner to the left. A fabulous view of the water glittering in the sunlight took her breath away.
She saw that the place was furnished with high-end contemporary furniture—glossy walnut cabinets and tables, and leather couches and armchairs—which was odd because Everley had told her the place was empty until the new tenants moved in next week.
She stepped inside and let the door close behind her. She slipped off her shoes and walked past the marble-floored foyer, her stocking feet sinking into the plush carpet of the large room beyond. Now she could see the whole first floor of the two story open concept penthouse.
Her eyes widened as her gaze caught on a plain wooden chair facing the windows. In the chair was a man, his arms bound behind him.
Her heart stuttered as she darted forward to help him. But then she stopped cold as she realized he was stark naked.
His muscular arms were pulled tight behind him, the rope around his wrists threaded through the back of the very simple chair. A chair that didn’t fit the sumptuous luxury of the penthouse she’d barely had a chance to appreciate.
But now her focus was totally on him.
He was leaning back in the chair and seemed totally comfortable being naked and tied up, even with a stranger in the room. His head was turned toward her.
His face, what she could see of it, was exceptionally handsome. His chin rough with dark whiskers, neatly trimmed. His thick hair combed back from his face. His lips full, his nose perfect.
And his body was… breathtaking.
At this angle, his thick, muscular thigh blocked her view of his more intimate parts, but she got an eyeful of his tight, hard ass.
His body could have been sculpted by a master artist. It was perfect.
Utterly and intensely sexy.
And, God help her, she wanted to touch it.
“I’ve been waiting for you, baby. Come over here.”
His deep sexy voice took her breath away.
“You wanted to try something different. So here I am.”
His words startled her. Had Everley set this up?
Everley had been worried about Elle ever since she’d broken up with the jerk. Everley didn’t know the whole story, but she’d noticed how withdrawn Elle had become and had made it her mission to get Elle back in the saddle again. She’d even offered to set Elle up with one of the two sexy guys from the seventh floor that Elle couldn’t help drooling over every time she saw them. But Elle wasn’t ready to put herself in a vulnerable position again.
When that hadn’t worked, Everley, who knew Elle was the adventurous sort, had urged her to try something totally different. Something spontaneous and wicked.
Like fuck a complete stranger.
Oh, God, had this been a ruse to get her up here? Not to see the penthouse, but to do something wild and crazy?
Here she was being handed a chance to have sex with a stranger—a perfect sex God from the look of him—in a way where she felt safe. The guy was tied up. That meant she would be in total control.
As a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotic contemporary and sci-fi romance, Opal Carew writes about passion, love, and taking risks. Her heroines follow their hearts and push past the fear that stops them from realizing their dreams… to the excitement and love of happily-ever-after. Her books have won several awards, including The National Readers’ Choice Award (twice), The Golden Leaf Award (twice), The Golden Quill (4 times), CRA Award of Excellence, JABBIC (multiple time) and Silken Sands.
For the past year, my daughter’s been systematically “downsizing.” What does that mean to her? She’s been “decluttering” rooms and tossing or giving away things she doesn’t actually use. She’s gone on a closet-cleaning craze where she places everything on hangers—backwards—and if she hasn’t turned the hanger, meaning she’s taken out the garment and worn it, at the end of the year, it goes.
She’s now turned her attention to my living space.
She supervised a closet review, where every single piece of clothing was dumped onto my bed and reviewed. “Does it fit? No?” Gone. “When was the last time you wore it?” If I can’t tell her it was in recent years, it’s gone. Yes, it is nice to have room to slide my hangars, but gah!
Now, she wants to trim my bookcases, because—shame, shame—not all my books fit into my three tall bookcases. I’ve tried to make room, double and triple stacking, but, to her, that’s not good enough. I can trim some of the books I read for entertainment. Very few are those I’d want to read again. However, that’s not enough.
She’s running up against my stubborn hold on my research books. After all, I need all those occult and mythology books. Who doesn’t have rows of them? Or at least, what writer who loves to delve into mystical topics doesn’t collect research materials? The problem is, my occult and mythology collection is larger than my local library’s and the two colleges’ libraries in town.
I have many, many spell books. Translations of writings from Egyptian sarcophagi and The Land of the Dead, and Sumerian, Norse, Eastern European, etc., “monster” books that I love to thumb through when I’m wishing I could write more stories like my “mummy book”, Crescent Moon, or my Vikings in Space story, Ravished by a Viking. The problem is, as my dd and my sister point out all the time, that those stories don’t sell as well as SEALs and bounty hunters!
If you could see me now, I’m frowning and my shoulders are drooping. I love to write my action heroes, but just like I need a varied diet to keep my body healthy, I need to vary what I write—for my own enjoyment and mental health.
I have a SEAL book to finish for Entangled tomorrow. Then I have a SEAL/bounty hunter book to write by the end of the month, and a bounty hunter book due by mid-September. My schedule is crazy-full. I have another Beaux Reve Coven story I’d love to start, but I keep pushing it off due to hard deadlines. And what I really want is to start something new and exciting. Something that pulls from those Sumerian and Egyptian tales, but I have to be smart. Have to make money. You know, to pay my bills… 🙁
So, here I am, having just finished editing another wonderful author’s story, and I’m opening the file for “Spider”—a SEAL story that has plenty of action, in and out of bed. By the end of the day, I have no doubt I’ll be dreaming about what happens next, and forget about my momentary melancholy. I have the best job in the world. I live in my head, most days. I live many lives, many adventures, and I learn something new with every book I write. This time, I’m researching modern booby-traps, like “alarm mines”. Not as exciting as reading about those pesky ice dragons, but—maybe—I’ll pencil in some time in my future schedule for something fun.
So, a question for you…
Do you pretty much exclusively read contemporary romance? Or do you love a paranormal tale, too? If so, what would you love to read?
Hey! Sable Hunter at your service! Man, it’s hot in Texas. I hope you’re as cool as a cucumber. Oh, while we’re here, I’ll share a bit of good news with you. I’m moving! Again! I bought a house in Lago Vista, just across Lake Travis from Austin. After writing 70 plus books, I need all the inspiration I can get! With the view of the rolling hills and beautiful blue water that I’ll have from my deck, I won’t have a dang excuse!
Like many writers, my books are part of me. Even though they are hot as Hades, I want them to be about more than sex. I love to spin tales full of suspense, sometimes with touches of the paranormal, but always with an underlying message of hope. When the reader puts the book down, I want them to feel like the world is a brighter place.
For the last six years, I have co-authored almost a dozen books with a wonderful man named Ryan O’Leary. He wrote novels before we teamed up, tales that could best be described as erotica for men. When I first approached him about writing with me, my idea was that he could bring some things to the table that I couldn’t. Namely, a man’s point of view. Banter. Help me give a little sexy grit to my sometimes too sweet love scenes. And he did all of that and more.
One thing he did, that he probably didn’t intend, was to give me a sense of confidence. I remember after we’d plotted a few books and he’d become familiar with my massive world of characters, scenarios, and intertwining tales – he said that romance novels surprised him. They weren’t what he’d been expecting. When he would think of a romance book, he’d think chick-lit, or a fairly one-dimensional tale which centered solely on boy meets girl/boy loses girl/boy hooks up with girl for good.
And yes, that basic premise is engrained in the books.
But Ryan said what he hadn’t been expecting was that the genre could be almost anything – encompass countless situations – have depth and suspense and twists and turns – teach lessons, keep you on the edge of the seat – satisfy your hunger for adventure and mystery. After we’d written books that contained everything from serial killers to drug cartels to AI robots with more heart than most people – he knew to expect the unexpected.
I especially love to bring current events and real-life situations into the book – for example, I’ve written about the major hurricanes that devastated New Orleans and Houston. I’ve written about immigration and its personal consequences. The challenges facing Native Americans. I’ve even tackled problems like epilepsy, schizophrenia, and cancer. It’s very satisfying to get letters from fans who say – I went through this and you’ve given me hope or courage to forge ahead. The wildest thing I’ve learned as an author is that a book can contain a whole world, one of your creation, one where you can write the outcome just how you want it to be. So, my mantra has been that in my books you will find a world where right prevails, love conquers all, and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.
And speaking of heroes…
I have become known for writing about these badass, alpha, dominant men who aren’t perfect but have a heart of gold. They are kind, compassionate, have a sense of humor – and, of course, they’re sexy as hell. Demanding. Lust-worthy. These men are capable of taking the woman of their dreams to the heights of rapture. My heroines are strong women…but usually they don’t have much sexual experience. I’m not sure why I’ve gravitated to that combo. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a double standard.
SO…I DECIDED TO FLIP THAT IDEA ON ITS HEAD!
I have a novel coming out later this month called MY HERO. The book is second in my COWBOY CRAZE series, a spinoff of HELL YEAH, which features the Blackhawk brothers of Kingsland, Texas. Benjen, the hero of my newest book has all the qualities I named above – he’s handsome, sexy, tender-hearted, strong – all of the characteristics you’d expect in a hero but…
Benjen Blackhawk is a virgin.
Can you guess what inspired me to write about a virgin hero?
I’ll give you three guesses, but the answer is Jaime on OUTLANDER. Now, the virgin hero is the only similarity between my book and that outstanding creation, but I dwelt on that situation and decided I wanted to try my hand at a hunk who saved himself for true love. I won’t spoil the story, but Benjen Blackhawk loved someone enough to wait for them. His desire and his libido were just as powerful as any other hero’s, but he chose to hold all of that pent-up passion in check until he found the woman of his dreams.
I’ll tell you one other bit of inspiration I garnered from another source – –
Do any of you remember the love scene in MEET JOE BLACK between Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani? Joe Black, if you recall, was DEATH in the flesh, and he’d never made love with a woman before. I’ll never forget Brad Pitt’s face in that moment when he first felt the ecstasy of joining with the woman he loved. You could see and feel the rapture he was experiencing. My heart and body responded to him, fantasizing the unbelievable pleasure he was receiving. I wanted to recapture that moment in this book. By the time my couple make love, they are head over heels for one another, of course. There are twists and turns, pitfalls, and mountains for them to climb – but he becomes addicted to her in all ways.
Like most of my books, I try to take you on a wild ride. Since Benjen is Native American, I was able to bring in exciting bits like shamanism, ghost lights on the mountain, and how a man who straddles two worlds deals with prejudice and preconceptions. The heroine also has obstacles – she was married to a soldier who went MIA, only to discover from his journal that he was planning on leaving her. She loses confidence in herself, only to have that confidence rebuilt a thousand times over by the handsome cowboy who walks into her life. There are other twists and turns – everything from flash floods to the tragedy at the border of children being separated from their families. So, in summation, MY HERO will be a full blown adventure with enough love to make your heart ache. Here is the cover to my hero – so watch for it’s release this month.
And thank you for listening to me ramble.
I would appreciate if you would join my newsletter and follow me on Amazon.
I can’t believe it’s mid-August! Where did the summer go? Yesterday was the first time the pool felt cool. 🙁 I’ll be lucky to get a full month more of swimming. And, tomorrow the kids go back to school—including the almost-5-year-old. Her mom and I are feeling a little sad about that. The baby’s growing up. Double- 🙁
In the meantime, I have plenty on my plate to keep me too busy to cry, and I’d better get to it. Hope you enjoy the excerpt and the contest!
For a chance to win one of my Uncharted SEALs stories,
winner’s choice, answer me this… If you were dating a SEAL, where would you prefer to vacation?
Mexico? Destin? Fiji?
Through Her Eyes
Ex-SEAL and expert sniper, Wolf Kinkaid, is taking a little downtime while he considers his options. Being wooed by two elite spec ops groups, he’s enjoying Charter Group’s beach house in Cancun while he considers his options. A loner by nature and occupation, he wonders if he’ll ever really be able to connect to people around him. Afraid his loner nature will sentence him to spending his life alone, he’s not even sure he wants to continue looking down a scope, even if the pay’s good.
Bounty hunter Piper Ames loves the adrenaline rush she gets from her high-stakes hunts, but, now, she has time on her hands as she waits for her collar to pop up his head, so she can take him down. While she’s waiting, it doesn’t hurt that a big, buff, ex-military type is staying right next door. Not the least shy about going after what she wants, she’s surprised when he’s equally as aggressive. Their chemistry is off the charts, and the sex is the hottest she’s ever had.
While Wolf and Piper connect in the only ways their independent natures allow, danger lurks. When, at last, her target arrives, guns blazing, Wolf and Piper have to pull together to make it out alive.
Wolf hated the wait. Especially in the white-hot heat. Even at this elevation, the sun was merciless. Hot wind gusting through the pass provided no relief.
Sweat dripped from his hair down the side of his cheek, but he ignored it. His muscles cramped. His eyes grew dry. And still, he kept staring through the scope of his Macmillan Tac-50, watching the long line of insurgents trudge along the goat trail of a road below his position. Waiting for them to get close enough…
“A thousand yards. They’re coming within range,” came the voice of the mission commander through the comm in his ear.
Wolf reached for his box magazine, sitting on a rock beside him. He’d been heating the rounds in the sun to increase their range, but now, the time had come to lock and load.
Below were a couple dozen of the enemy, seemingly unaware of the weapons trained on them from above. All fresh from a battle in Ghazni. Intel said his target, Khalil Alam, would be among the group. So far, he’d searched every face but hadn’t found one that perfectly matched the grainy photo lying beside his mat.
The soldiers were all dark-haired. All wore beards or had the lower halves of their faces covered by cloths. His mark should be a little taller and gaunt. He’d spent months hiding in the mountains, orchestrating attacks from afar—a high-ranking Taliban commander who’d stepped out of the shadows to lead their latest attack, which left half a dozen Marines dead and fifteen more wounded, some maimed for life.
Again, the silence was broken. “Crosswind from the east.”
Wolf didn’t have the luxury of waiting for the wind to die down. He might have only one shot. One kill. If he was lucky.
Beside him, his spotter shifted, crunching the sand. “I see him,” he whispered, although they were nearly a mile away from the rag-tag army ambling through the mountain pass. “He’ll be coming over the hill, facing you. Best time to clip him. Nine hundred twenty yards.”
Quickly, Wolf rechecked the data he’d entered in his scope. He’d maxed out the windage. Maxed out the elevation drum. He’d need a one mil lead—aiming just ahead of the target for the four seconds the .50 Cal round took to travel.
Five seconds later, a tall angular figure climbed the trail. A weapon was slung over his bony shoulders. His robe billowed outward, caught by a sudden breeze.
Wolf kept his sight trained on the enemy’s center of mass—he’d aim for his heart. The distance was too far to even attempt a head shot. But he wasn’t the only sniper on this mission, although his was the most important target.
“Snipers, everyone found their mark?” their commander’s voice sounded. “Chime in when you have your target.”
In quick succession, the snipers called out.
“Sniper One, ready.”
“Sniper Two, ready.”
Wolf squinted down his scope at the tall Afghan he was about to take out. “Sniper Three, ready.”
He kept his breathing even, readying for the command to kill. All shots had to break at the same time, or the group below would scramble for cover and the opportunity would be lost.
“This is Foxtrot One. I have control. Shoot on my command.”
Wolf expelled a quick breath then drew in a long one and held it.
He pulled the trigger and stared down his scope.
Beside him, his spotter cursed. He’d followed the vapor trail of the round Wolf fired and watched it splash in the dirt. He called out adjustments, which Wolf made in a second.
Still staring down the scope, he watched as everyone around Khalil Alam dove for cover. Not his target. The Afghan insurgent stood still, his head raised, his gaze narrowing as though he could see Wolf where he lay with his rifle, hidden in the shadows of a large rock. And then he did a strange thing.
Khalil Alam raised his arms out to his sides and bared his teeth.
Again, Wolf took aim and fired.
This time, his target dropped.
But so did the much-smaller figure behind him. One with a beardless, bloodied face…
Wyatt “Wolf” Kinkaid awoke and threw off the covers tangled around his legs. Sitting on the edge of the mattress, he set his elbows on his knees as he drew in deep, cleansing breaths.
He didn’t know why that particular kill haunted him. He’d killed kids before. Some intentionally. But that one…
Maybe because of the shock frozen in the young boy’s eyes. Khalil Alam’s son, he’d been told later. No blame, no censure came from his team. The boy was a terrorist in the making, following in his father’s footsteps. A “preemptory kill” someone who’d been trying to be helpful said. And yet, the memory still sickened him.
He wiped a hand over his face. Sleep-time was over. Daylight was burning. Not that he was on any kind of schedule. The sound of surf washing against sand in the distance reminded him he was as far from Afghanistan as a man could be. Rising, he strode to the window overlooking the beach. The large sea-side villa hadn’t impressed him nearly as much as the sight of the strip of pristine white sand. By the placement of the sun, he’d guess the time was around nine AM. He’d slept a full nine hours. And he wasn’t dead.
The peaceful view didn’t do a thing to slow his heart rate. To shake off the last sticky spider webs of his nightmare, he turned, rifled through the duffel sitting on the floor beside him, and pulled out his spotting scope. Cupping the compact Hensoldt in his hand, he stared through the lens.
If he’d needed confirmation before, he knew he was losing it when a few adjustments brought the surf closer, and, at last, he stopped hearing his pulse pound against his temples. Maybe he wasn’t meant to be up close and personal with anything. Ever.