Archive for 'historical'
Monday, August 21st, 2017
Author’s Note: When Erin found out I’d been invited to do her character interview, she insisted on writing her own article. Go figure.
My name is Erin. Just out of college. Young, energetic, enthusiastic. On the threshold of adulthood. All about finding THE job that’ll make four years of working my butt off worthwhile.
You’d think being in the top ten percent of my class would help, but no luck so far. Maybe it’s my major. Research and Development Management. My brother, Aiden, tried to talk me into something else. Maybe I should have listened. He says I’m stubborn. I prefer to call it determined.
He’s the only family I have. When our parents died, they left him to handle an impulsive, immature teenager with a chip on her shoulder. Before long before we came to the mutual agreement that he’d be better off going back to work overseas, while I stayed with the housekeeper who’d been in our family for years.
Don’t get me wrong. My brother would help in a heartbeat. All I had to do is ask. Only that wasn’t happening. It was time for me to learn to take care of myself.
That’s how I ended up at a temp agency, looking for a job to pay the bills until something better came along. After hounding a friend who works there, she finally consented to let me interview with an author writing a novel set during the Middle Ages.
Talk about a dream job. Once I convinced March to hire me, I found myself cataloguing mountains of information about medieval weapons, castles and their inhabitants. Even learning to dance and loving every minute of it.
Until all hell broke loose. In the middle of examining an artifact during a terrible thunderstorm one night, lightning zapped March and me into the middle ages. I’m talking time travel. He considered it a wonderful opportunity to observe history in action, but I had my doubts. Especially after he convinced me to masquerade as a young boy.
We found work at a nearby castle. A place to sleep and regular meals while figuring out how to get home. Only being a squire, even on a temporary basis was not my idea of fun. Even though Sir Griffin was a patient, kind man. Not to mention handsome. And, yeah, I fell for the guy. Against better judgement.
In the end, my little adventure taught me some things. Like how to stand on my own two feet. And face my fears. Best of all it helped me realize what I really wanted out of life.
If you love time travel adventure with a twist (and a love story) I’m giving away ebooks of Not Long Ago to the first three people who comment on this blog (Be sure to include your email address). You can continue Erin and Griffin’s story with From Now On, and I’m working on the third book in the series. I can promise you it will be an adventure.
Not Long Ago
Erin has met the man of her dreams, but as usual there are complications. It’s one of those long distance relationships, and Griffin is a little behind the times– somewhere around 600 years.
Erin and her employer, March, are transported to a time where chivalry and religion exist alongside brutality and superstition. Something is not quite right at the castle, and Erin and March feel sure mysterious Lady Isobeil is involved. However, Erin must cope with crop circles, ghosts, a kidnapping and death before the truth of her journey is revealed.
Forced to pose as March’s nephew, Erin finds employment as a squire for Sir Griffin. She’s immediately attracted to him and grows to admire his courage, quiet nobility and devotion to duty. Only she must deny her feelings. Her world is centuries away, and she wants to go home. But Erin can’t stop thinking about her knight in shining armor.
I am a stranger in this world, even though I’ve traveled this way before.
Fate and not design brought me the first time. It hurled me into a distant future, with no idea how or why, taking me from an existence dependent upon modern technology to a place where people fear such things and those who use them. While searching for my way home from this harsh and sometimes violent world, my admiration for its inhabitants who valued honor and duty above all else grew into admiration and respect. I found myself drawn to one in particular, a man who saved me more than once. Only I never expected to fall in love with him.
Torn between my feelings and a longing for home, I returned to my time with only vague memories of my experience. My life went back to normal, but part of me sensed the loss of something more precious than anything I’d regained. Until one day, I saw him again.
This time I’ve come by choice, and it is where I’m going to stay.
Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance): http://tinyurl.com/85vgye3
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/vOIQVdWUigU/
Susan’s website: http://susanaroyal.wordpress.com
All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
About the Author
Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan shares a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town with a ghost who harmonizes with her son when he plays guitar. She is a mother of three and grandmother of five unique and special children. Her family is rich with characters, both past and present. Susan’s grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. She learned all about growing up in the depression from her father and experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes.
Susan loves taking her readers through all kinds of adventures. So far, she’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and is working on book three. They are time travel adventures about two people who fall in love despite the fact they come from very different worlds. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Xander’s Tangled Web is a YA fantasy with romance. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.
Want to know more? Visit susanaroyal.wordpress.com for a peek inside this writer’s mind and see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.
Thursday, July 27th, 2017
“Old roads, old dogs, old folks and old ways still have a lot to offer in this sped up world we live in.”
I grew up in rural Maine so I learned some of the old ways of survival. Our food consisted of what my father trapped, shot or caught fishing. I can still smell the rabbit stew brook trout and fiddleheads. My mother canned vegetables from our garden, and we stored cabbage, carrots, potatoes and turnip in the root cellar. By today’s standards this was considered hard living.
My thoughts often wander back to the colonial days. Women worked from dawn to dusk cooking outdoors in the summer, hauling water and toiling over chores. Today, if we want a candle we drive to the store and buy one where we can choose from numerous scents. There are thin ones, fat ones, small ones and giant ones. Have you ever wondered what it was like in the 1700’s when candles had to be made from scratch? They weren’t used for decorative reasons or to set a mood in the home. It was the main source of light.
The majority of colonial people made candles from tallow (animal fat). These tapers didn’t burn well and emitted an offensive odor. Only the wealthy could afford beeswax, which was rolled to make sweet smelling candles.
Another type of candle was made from bayberries. These berries have a waxy texture. The berries were boiled down and the wax was skimmed from the top. Many pounds of bayberries were needed to make these candles.
I researched candle making in the colonial times for my time travel story, The Enchanted Inn. My heroine from present times traveled back to 1778 where she found huge surprises and hard times! To celebrate the re-republication of this story with Entangled Publishing, I am giving away a bayberry candle made from natural ingredients.
To enter the contest, please sign up for my newsletter at http://pamchampagne.us16.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=deb383ea22963fda6536b61e9&id=92609443e1.
The Enchanted Inn
Their love is timeless…
When snow forces Gina to stop and spend the night at the Enchanted Inn, she’s less than happy to find her ex-fiancé there, too. But she can be civil for one night, especially after the innkeeper gives them a bottle of homemade wine to share. A few glasses of that wine sends Luke and Gina back to 1778, where Luke seems to think he’s someone called John—a man who knows more about life in colonial times than he should.
Gina may be able to deal with the hardships her new reality throws at her, but she doesn’t give up hope of finding a way home. And when she does find a way, she’s determined to take John with her—whether he wants to go or not.
The book will be released on August 21 by Entangled Publishing and will be ready for pre-order by August 1 for only $.99. Find the buy link at https://entangledpublishing.com/books.html or on my website at www.pamchampagne.net.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Yes, Friends, here’s a full-length novel FREE to newsletter subscribers and certain other special friends (see details below!). This time around, Delilah fans are very special! Jump into another world and another time as you meet Caerwin and the man who will destroy her life.
We’ve all met men like that, haven’t we?
Caerwin of the Cornovii, a young woman with a promising life ahead. How could she anticipate the horrors about to unfold? Nothing in her experience prepared her for the Roman Army or this commander who would make her his sex slave. Yet between her hatred for him and his deliberate conquest of her body, a strangely luminous emotion takes fragile life between them.
Here’s a scene from the book Caerwin and the Roman Dog. Warning: this exchange is non-consensual.
Her wrists chafed raw at the bindings. Shadows grew dark on the forested hillside and frogs sang in the marshes. Overhead, cloud bands took on the late gold and crimson of sunset. Thin columns of smoke rose from campfires and the smell of roasting meat sent gnawing pangs to her stomach. Chills gripped her body and her teeth chattered in the spring cold.
“Have you tired sufficiently that I dare bring you inside?”
She startled at his voice. He had bathed and wore a long draped garment with a broad red band around its hem. He stood with hands on his hips, watching her. She turned her face away, afraid to speak.
“I asked you a question,” he said, wrenching her head back by her hair and holding her face toward him. “And I expect a respectful answer.”
“You will have no respect from me,” she said, her lips moving stiffly in the cold. “I will kill you at my first chance.”
He gripped her hair tighter forcing tears to her eyes. “Antius,” he shouted. “Come.”
An older man with dark eyes and an oversized nose emerged from the tent. Gripping her arms on both sides, they brought her inside. Warmth from a charcoal-heaped brazier filled the interior. A narrow sleeping platform occupied the far corner, while a small table with chair sat near the entry. Oil lamps flickered and a heady scent wafted through the air.
She stumbled forward as the men dragged her to the center post where her wrists were briefly untied. Her ripped dress was removed and her upper arms and ankles then tied loosely to the post behind her.
“Bathe her,” the tall man said with a wave of his hand. “She stinks of her kind.”
Antius hurried to fill a pan with warmed water and set it near her feet. With a sponge, he scrubbed her face and neck then proceeded down her arms and legs. The warm water soothed at first but then the scratches burned and chills swept over her as air hit her wet skin. Her teeth chattered loudly.
“A drink, Antius. Give her warmed wine.”
The cup rattled against her teeth as the wine came to her mouth. She clenched her teeth with no intention of drinking, but on the man’s order, Antius held her head back by her long braids and poured the sweet wine through her lips. Some of it escaped to trickle down her neck, but more of it filled her throat with acidic warmth. When the goblet emptied, Antius returned to the bathing.
Humiliation consumed her as the sponge scoured every inch of her flesh. Once the bathing had finished, the squat dark-haired man scrubbed her with a dry cloth until her skin heated. He then applied herb-scented oil. She stood naked and gleaming in the lamp light as the tall man came to inspect her.
“My name is Marcellus,” he said. “I am your master. You will learn to do as I say, or you will die.”
“I wish to die,” she said hoarsely. Her tongue felt thick. The day had lasted an eternity and the shock of its events had hardly begun to settle in her. The wine hit her empty stomach and spread dizziness across her forehead.
He waved his hand dismissively. “Easy to say. But death doesn’t come quickly to women in our camp, not to one such as you. Without me, you would wish to die many times before your last breath.”
His touch spared no part of her as he examined his trophy. How many war trophies had he already captured? Surely the Romans took what they pleased. Virico had spoken often of the intelligences carried from other tribes, how the Romans swarmed like a plague of insects covering the land, how bargaining for life came with terrible sacrifice of freedom and hard-won goods. She would not bargain.
She bit her tongue against another remark as Marcellus’ hands cupped her breasts then her buttocks. Her eyes dipped in the effects of the wine and her warming after so long in the cold. He took his time touching her, one hand now between her legs as he fondled her most private parts with studied concentration. A particular spot captured his attention. He stroked her there, inciting tremors in her legs.
“Ah, she is a woman, Antius,” he said with a laugh. “I will tame you,” he said, leaning his face close to hers as his fingers continued a wretched play. “You will cry out on the end of my prick, and joyfully.”
Enjoy this thrilling historical story of Rome’s conquest of ancient Britain. Nab the full novel FREE with coupon code ST46J at Smashwords. This offer expires July 6.
About the Author
Lizzie Ashworth lives in the wilds of the Ozark Mountains with three cats, two hound dogs, and too many deer in her yard. She’s been writing her entire life and wants her readers to know how much she enjoys sharing her naughty stories.
Follow her for free erotic short works, hot photos, and the occasional rant on her blog at http://lizzieashworth.com/
Like Liz’s Facebook author page for updates on other nice and naughty works https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLizzieAshworth/
Enjoy some amazing eye candy? Check out Liz’s Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/ashworthlizzie/
Monday, May 15th, 2017
UPDATE: The winner is…Annie Chanse!
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I like to write and read about strong women. Probably all of us do, from time to time, but even if I start out trying to write a more submissive character, by the end she’ll be as strong-willed as any hero. In my very first long ago erotic short story (eventually published in Dream Lover, an anthology edited by Kristina Wright for Cleis Press,) the central character is a prostitute dominated and brutalized by her pimp, a woman who has given up on herself and drifts through life. By the end, though, she has saved a demon imprisoned in a huge gargoyle outside her penthouse window, and become a powerful demonic angel herself. Yes, I also love fantasy stories.
I love to write historical fiction, too, but I don’t even bother any more to try giving my heroines a softer edge. In “Flight of the Falcon” (in Delilah’s anthology Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors) the Armenian Lady of Aragatsotn is every bit a match for the Mongol General from Ghengis Khan’s Golden Horde. In the other relatively few straight erotica stories I’ve written, I have heroines like a hot-air balloon pilot in 1800s San Francisco, a WWII Russian bomber pilot in the factual all-women Night Witches squad, and a semi-witch who saves the supposed “ogre” in the Puss in Boots tale. All strong women letting you share in their fun, and their sex.
With my preference for strong women, it’s not surprising that most of my work in recent years has been centered on lesbian characters, where I can have two (or more) strong women to play with. When I was invited several months ago to write a lesbian superhero novella, I wavered for a while—I’ve never actually been into superheroes, and I’ve never written anything longer than a short story. But I had a hint of an idea, and it seemed like a good time to take the plunge into a somewhat longer form than a short story, so I signed a contract, did great amounts of research, and actually got my piece done by the deadline. Whew. But—let me rephrase that. BUT! I was then told that I’d squeezed so much plot into the novella that I had to expand it into novel length. Which I’m trying to do, but there’s more difference between short stories and novels than just the word count. The pacing is different, and so is the way the characters are developed, and my editorial inclination to say the most in as few words as possible (I edit short stories for anthologies) makes it hard to adjust to the novel form. In short, this project is really kicking my butt. I love my characters, and I’ll finish the book, but it may well not be any good. It certainly won’t be what superhero fans expect, but it WILL be about very strong women. The title, probably, will be The Shadow Hand, from Ylva Books in 2018
I am now officially in awe of people who can write novels.
Back on the short story anthology front, I’ve been trying for years to get my main publisher to let me take on a fairy tale theme that would center on strong women and tweak the traditional expectations. Finally, success! My newest anthology, Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales, is written for those who have had to settle for envisioning “he” as “she” when they’re reading fairy tales. I know similar books like this have been done every now and then, but I got such great stories from excellent writers that the stories themselves are worth reading as stories, regardless of the orientation of the characters—or of the readers.
Most of you probably don’t do this private re-gendering of characters in stories you read, and you may not like to read fairytales at all. Or if you do reimagine the characters, more likely you try now and then to envision “she” as a second “he”, which is fine. I’ve dabbled in m/m fantasy myself. Any variety is good exercise for the imagination (and the senses.) All else being equal, though, I take a story where it needs to go, with the characters who can best get it there. More often than not, these characters turn out to be lesbians, and this new anthology is a prime example. I know there are many readers who have longed for flights of imagination that could sweep them up into worlds of magic and sensual delights—if only all those heroes winning the day (and, of course, the girl) didn’t get in the way. Why can’t we have heroines who win each other?
As it turns out, we can. I asked writers for erotic romance, magic, and wild adventure, with women who use their wits, special powers, and/or weapons, and come together in a blaze of passion. The writers didn’t fail me. Some adapted traditional tales, and some updated old stories to contemporary times, in every case not merely changing the gender of a character but making the female aspect essential. Some created original plots with a fairy tale sensibility, while some wrote with merely a subtle aura of fantasy.
Their heroines are witches, princesses, brave, resourceful women of all walks of life, and even a troll and a dryad. There is laughter, sly wit, and an occasional tear; curses and spells, battles and intrigue, elements of magic and explorations of universal themes; and, yes, sex, sensuality and true love, all bound together into complex and many-layered stories. Whether a character is royalty or a miller’s daughter, a woman warrior passing as a man, a sorceress in flowing robes, or even a window inspector dangling in harness on a modern high-rise building—who better to rescue a long-haired captive in a tower?—all the relationships are passionate, intense, sometimes quick to ignite, sometimes all the hotter for restraint that flares at last into a fierce blaze.
If this just isn’t your thing, though, that’s okay. Maybe you could imagine that one of the “shes” is a “he”, although the fact of the characters being female is essential to most of the plots. But you might well discover that these stories of strong women in fantasy settings are well worth reading just as they are.
The Library Journal Review says of the book, “There is one creative hit after another…An excellent series of Sapphic fantasies. Highly recommended.”
Here’s a very non-representative excerpt from my own story in the book, but really, the stories are so varied that it would be hard to cite one as being representative. I went for humor in this one, but with more than humor at its core.
Trollwise by Sacchi Green
Trip, trop, trip, trop. Hjørdis stood back in disgust as Princess Tutti pranced across the bridge, hips swaying, the false tail strapped to the seat of her gown twitching. A coy toss of Tutti’s head knocked the goat horns on her headdress slightly askew. “Oh, Mr. Troll,” she piped in a falsetto voice, “are you there today? Don’t you want to eat us up? Look, this time there is a meatier prey than just we little goats!” She cast a mocking glance back toward Hjørdis. “A buxom brood mare!”
Hjørdis would have swatted the silly girl’s rump if there had been enough of it to be worth the trouble. Or, more truthfully, if she herself had not been bound by oath to abide peaceably among these puny southerners. For now. As it was, she took a threatening stride onto the wooden planks. Tutti ran off giggling toward the meadow, from which sounds of pipes and laughter and occasional playful shrieks rose above the lazy burbling of the stream.
Princess Vesla, also adorned with horns and tail, came up timidly beside Hjørdis. “There truly was a troll under the bridge a week ago,” she said in a tremulous voice. “When Tutti called out, I heard its voice, like the rumbling of stones. She thinks it was Werther, the dancing master, trying to frighten us, but I’m sure it wasn’t!”
“Oh? What did he say?” Hjørdis made some small effort to tolerate Vesla, who was not so spiteful as her sister Tutti. She felt also a slight sympathy for the girl, who had formed a hopeless passion for Hordis’s captive brother Harald. At least accompanying them on their outing, however nasty it promised to be, was an excuse to leave the castle.
“It said, ‘Scrawny bones not fit to pick my teeth! Get you gone!’” Vesla shivered. “But we haven’t heard anything since.”
Hjørdis knew a great deal more about trolls than these little twits ever could. More than anyone could who had not known Styggri. That sounded all too much like what Styggri would say, in a humorous mood. But Styggri had crossed into another world from which there was no return.
Hjørdis looked more closely at the bridge. Its sides and the pillars beneath were stone, with wooden planking wide enough for two carriages to pass side by side over its double arch. And wide enough for a troll to lurk beneath, although why one should wish to, or venture this far south at all, was beyond her. Still… She gazed far upstream to where water surged out from a cleft in a rocky hillside. Nothing to compare with the jagged mountains and plummeting rivers of her home, but still part of a long arm of hills and ridges reaching out from those same mountains.
“You go on to your frolicking.” She gave Vesla as gentle a shove as she could manage. Gods, these pampered southern girls were brittle, twiggy things! And their brother the prince—her husband under duress—was no better. “I’ll sit a while here in the shade of the birches. This heat annoys me.”
“Oh! Are you, then…already…”
“No! And if I were, it would be too soon to know. Go along now!”
Vesla went, trying to keep the gilded wooden heels of her shoes from making as much noise on the bridge as Tutti’s had done. Once safely across she looked back over her shoulder. “Give Werther a few stomps from me,” Hjordis called. The foolish dancing master deserved whatever he got, with his tales of ancient times in foreign lands where satyrs danced on goat hooves and bands of women ran wild under the spell of a wine god.
Get your copy here!
Comment about strong women, fairy tales, or short stories versus novels, and be entered for a drawing to win a paperback copy (in North America) or an ebook (elsewhere) of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms.
About the Author
Sacchi Green is an award-winning writer and editor of erotica and other stimulating genres. Her stories have appeared in scores of publications, including eight volumes of Best Lesbian Erotica, four of Best Women’s Erotica, and three of Best Lesbian Romance. In recent years she’s taken to wielding the editorial whip, editing thirteen lesbian erotica anthologies, including Lesbian Cowboys (winner of a Lambda Literary Award,) Girl Crazy, Lesbian Lust, Women with Handcuffs, Girl Fever, Wild Girls, Wild Nights (also a Lambda Award Winner,) Me and My Boi, and Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year 20th Anniversary Edition, all from Cleis Press, as well as Through the Hourglass: Lesbian Historical Romance and Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire (Lethe Press.) Sacchi lives in the Five College area of western Massachusetts, gets away to her NH mountain retreat as often as possible, and makes the occasional foray into the real world to do readings in New York and other exotic locales. She can be found online at www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com and on Facebook..
Sunday, March 26th, 2017
UPDATE: The winner of the prize is…Mary Preston!
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I’m fascinated by medieval history and enjoy books and media releases that focus on events of this timeframe. I loved the movies Braveheart and Rob Roy, and more recently the TV series Vikings.
After a couple of years of research for my latest series, “The Forbidden Series,” focusing on the dissolution of the Knights Templar, you can imagine my happy surprise to learn of the upcoming TV series, “Knightfall,” which surrounds the last days of the Knights Templar. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of this new Templar series.
Regardless if hundreds of years have passed, questions remain of where the Templars fled, what treasure they took, and how so many valiant knights were able to disappear without a trace. As a major plotter, I’m enjoying weaving in my character’s journey, where they face challenges and in the end fall in love, around these mysteries and more along with my speculation as to where their fleet and many of the Brotherhood could have escaped to prior to the arrests beginning in France on the 13th of October, 1307.
Forbidden Legacy – Book #1 (Stephan & Katherine)
A Knights Templar, Sir Stephan MacQuistan desires no bride, only vengeance for a family lost and a legacy stolen. A profound twist of fate tears apart the brotherhood he loves, but offers him an opportunity to reclaim his legacy – Avalon Castle. Except to procure his childhood home along with a place to store Templar treasures, he must wed the unsuspecting daughter of the man who killed his family. To settle old scores, Stephan agrees aware Katherine is but a pawn in a dangerous game, not a woman he will ever love.
Forbidden Knight – Book #2 (Thomas & Alesone)
There is an intruder in the woods near King Robert Bruce’s camp, but when Sir Thomas MacKelloch comes face-to-face with the interloper, he is shocked to discover his assailant is a woman. The fair lady is skilled with a bow and arrow and defiant in her responses. The wary Knight Templar dare not allow her beauty to lower his guard. Irritated by his attraction, he hauls her before his sovereign to expose her nefarious intent.
To be entered in a drawing for a coffee mug and a bag, please post a reply to the following question:
What is your favorite historical book, movie, or TV series?
*One name will be drawn as the winner. The contest ends midnight the 28th of March 2017.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and I wish you the best.
AGC(AW) USN, Ret.
International Best-Selling Author
About the Author
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and Forbidden Legacy, book #1 of The Forbidden Series, she is now working on book #2, Forbidden Knight which will be released in June 2017.
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
Saturday, March 25th, 2017
UPDATE: The winner of the gift card is…Renee Mulholland!
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Some of you may know, but one of my favorite publishers, Samhain Publishing, closed its doors a month ago. I had 27 titles published with them, and now I have to get every one of those stories refurbed, recovered, and back out in the world. So, I’m starting here. With a story I love about a woman entrepreneur in hot-as-hell West Texas who’s about to fall under the spell of a very special town—Two Mule, Texas. Those of you who love my Lone Star Lovers series recognize that name. Don’t you want to know whether kinkiness is something new the present-day town folk are embracing, or whether it’s been there a while…?
Check out Joe and Honey’s story—but I warn you: Be prepared to laugh and sweat!
Sweeter Than Honey
Honey Cafferty lives a happy but precarious existence as a traveling saleswoman, searching for a sense of belonging. From her colorful wagon she brews decoctions to cure ennui, sleeplessness, hysteria—and after a visit from a mysterious Mexican curandera—she believes she’s found the way to improve a man’s libido. But how can she package her “Elixir of Love” without being run out on a rail from the nearest town for selling something that produces such carnal effects?
Sheriff Joe Tanner is protective of his little town and downright hostile toward anyone who takes advantage of the fine folk in Two-Mule, Texas. When sees the gypsy wagon roll into town, he’s ready to hurry the snake oil salesman on his way, but Honey isn’t what he expected. When the men of the town begin to plead exhaustion and place the blame for their state squarely on the pretty little redhead’s shoulders, he has to investigate.
Get your copy here!
Finally, they reached his office, and Honey breezed inside and set her bag on his desk. He closed the door behind him and turned to find more faces peering through the window. He cursed under his breath and pointed to the inner room where the jailhouse was.
Her back stiffened, but she didn’t demur and stepped inside. When he had her out of sight and hearing of all the interested folk of Two Mule, he lifted a foot and nudged the door closed behind them.
Honey had her back to him and lifted her slim hand to smooth her hair.
He stayed silent, deciding to let her stew for a minute. When someone got nervous, they tended to talk, and Joe wanted to hear everything the little lady had to say.
At last, she cleared her throat and turned, a small, tight smile pasted on her lips. “Am I under arrest, Sheriff?”
“Should you be?”
Her breath gasped, lifting her gently rounded chest against her staid gray shirtwaist jacket. “You’re angry with me.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, leaned his back against the door and tried not to think too hard about the fact they were completely alone. A tantalizing prospect he’d imagined often the past couple of days.
As he watched her standing in the narrow, darkly lit room with the bars of the cell block behind her, his imaginings became disturbingly carnal. He cleared his throat and forced his mind back to business. “I sold you a license to solicit your medicines,” he said, keeping his voice even although the memory of her straddling Paddy Mulligan still burned hot. “Yet I found you rolling on the floor of a saloon, performing surgery.”
She gave a short, strained laugh. “I wasn’t rolling on the floor. Paddy’s a large man, and I couldn’t see into his mouth when he was seated. Besides, I only pulled a tooth. I do have some expertise—”
“I’m getting complaints about possible poisonings—”
“Poison?” Her finely arched brows rose. “I don’t deal in poisons, sir.”
“Then explain why all the married men in town have taken to their beds.”
She opened her mouth but quickly clamped it shut. Her back straightened.
“You don’t deny you’re responsible?”
A blush the color of the pink roses his mama used to grow spread quickly across her cheeks and down her neck to disappear beneath her collar. “It’s not what you think, Sheriff.”
He wondered if the blush extended to her breasts, but didn’t dare let his gaze fall below her rounded chin. “Then tell me exactly what it is.”
She lifted that stubborn chin high. “I can’t. That information is privileged. Meant to remain private between me and the persons I sold the medicine to, like a priest receiving confessions or a doctor—”
“You’re no doctor. Those rules don’t apply.”
“Have you talked to these men? Have any of them made complaints against me?”
“No, but you’re up to something, and I don’t want any trouble.” And she was trouble with a capital T. “I’m thinking you should hitch up your wagon and head on down the road.”
She blinked and, for a moment, her expression faltered. “I had hoped to winter here. Mrs. Sessions—”
“Is an innocent lady. She’s not wise to your ways.”
Her stillness cut him, and he felt heat warm the back of his neck and the tips of his ears. He’d crossed the line between being professional and being cruel.
She jutted her chin higher and fisted her hands on her hips. “You’re implying I’m not…innocent?”
His gaze swept over her, from the tip of her red-haired head to her toes. Another insult. He couldn’t seem to help himself where she was concerned. Something about her had him firing with both barrels blazing. “You travel alone—without a chaperone. What’s a man supposed to think about that?”
She took a step closer, drawing her eyebrows together in a fierce scowl. “Being alone in the world means I’m a whore?” she said, her voice rising.
“A decent woman,” he bit out, “would set roots in a community—seek help and protection from a husband or her neighbor.”
“I don’t need any man to protect me or my virtue, sir.”
“I’ll grant you had me and most of the town fooled. But your charm’s a little too practiced, and you’ve got a slick tongue.”
Her mouth gaped, and her cheeks went from pink to a dark red that clashed with her bright hair. “A slick tongue?”
Her anger goaded him on like a burr under a saddle. “You’re a snake-oil salesman, a charlatan—”
She stepped so close her chest nearly touched his, and she glared up into his face. “Now, you look here, buster,” she said, pointing a finger at his chest and giving him a nudge. “I’m a business woman. I sell cures people need. I haven’t broken any laws, and I sure as hell haven’t poisoned one damn person in this town.” She paused to catch her breath…and that’s when it happened.
Her breasts brushed his chest, and he felt a spark arc between their bodies, igniting a fire as fierce as lightning striking dry prairie grass. It filled his loins with a heavy, pulsating heat and drew his balls tight and close to his groin. He shot out his hands and grasped her shoulders to pull her flush against his body, but he halted, holding her an inch away. What he wanted of her wasn’t very civilized. Best not cross that line.
“Sheriff?” Her plump, pink lips gasped, but she tilted her head back.
Invitation enough. He slammed his mouth down onto hers even while he damned himself for being a fool.
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017
Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me to visit with your readers.
Writing is hard. There, I said it. I’m in the middle of, well, actually closer to finishing, a somewhat major revision of my work-in-progress. I say somewhat major but what I mean is a massive overhaul of all aspects of the book – character arcs, plot, inner conflicts, the whole kit and kaboodle. And that is hard, difficult, painful. By the end of the day my brain is mush and can just about function enough to get supper on the table. Ask me a difficult question and expect blood to flow from a cranial orifice.
Alas, I’m not one of those lucky people who can relax in front of the TV. I have to be doing something whilst streaming my latest obsession (Penny Dreadful) or enjoying an old black & white comedy (Arsenic and Old Lace).
That’s where crafts come into play. Even before I began this writing career I’ve done something whilst viewing TV. I’ve been stitching counted cross-stitch samplers and Christmas ornaments for more years than I can count. Every family member and most friends have received at least one cross-stitched item as a gift. Rug hooking is a newer craft to me, introduced to me by my mom. I’m now completely addicted. Knitting is a craft I’ve been pursuing for decades. Most members of my family have received at least one hand-knitted item as a gift as well. These crafts are not mindless activities. But they use a different area of my brain, and they use different muscles in my hands and arms. So after eight hours of tapping at the keyboard, devising obstacles for my characters and creating fictional worlds, I curl up on the chesterfield with my needle or hook and create something soft and tangible.
Do you have a craft or an activity you use to unwind at the end of the day?
One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth
and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)
If Wishes Were Earls
A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart’s desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?
When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart’s desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda’s wish doesn’t seem so out of reach.
Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.
But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.
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