Monday, February 28, 2011
Same as the kitties, I'm dying for spring to arrive in Northern Minnesota. To see green instead of white, to feel the blades of grass between my toes. We're still pretty cold up here, and there's several feet of snow covering that grass.
During 'mud season' all that snow will melt and we'll have some major mud, so it'll be brown before it's green, but ah, to have some color.
Friday, February 25, 2011
I can't act out my scenes, she can read them like Greta Garbo on the big screen.
She was always movie star gorgeous, and I was fair to midland.
I'm fairly shy, she could get on a stage and wow a crowd.
I can't carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it, and she has the voice of an angel.
She's always been the smart one, and I'm...well, you get the idea, right?
My BFF and I are total opposites.
How do we make this writing partnership work living over 1200 miles apart and in different time zones?
Well, I think the glue of our partnership is based upon the same basic principle that keeps our friendship working after twenty some odd years and a lifetime of marriages, relocation, divorce, and children.
We bring the best out in each other, always have.
She was the innocent one, I was...a little on the wild side.
She was the picture of calm, and I had one helluva temper.
We sort of evened each other out.
We have always loved our heroes.
It's what makes fictional romance work in the first place.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I received the "Sweet" anthology in print from Ellora's Cave on my birthday. What a fabulous gift! I'm honored to have my story, Body Candy in print beside such incredible stories from authors Brigit Zahara, Amy Ruttan and Kat Alexis!
Monday, February 21, 2011
Congratulations to the ladies of Ellora's Cave for their print release today!
Ainsley Abbott, Kat Alexis, M.A. Ellis, Helen Hardt, Kelly Jamieson, and Amber Skyze!
Body Shots by Amber Skyze
Got tequila? Sierra does, and Reed isn’t afraid to use it. He’s determined to do shots on every inch of her skin, but Sierra has insecurities preventing him from exploring intimate areas. Her insecurities won’t stop her from lavishing his body with the heady liquor though.
Ten years ago an accident tore Sierra Allen and Reed Walker apart. Now a chance encounter has them burning for each other. A bottle of liquor and a pool table has this duo ready to quench their thirsts with one night of body shots. But will one night be enough?
Shaken and Stirred by M.A. Ellis
Susanne is one final challenge away from winning a national beverage competition and reaching the pinnacle of her career—a management position with a very wealthy client. She’s intent that nothing will stand in her way. Not even the drop-dead-sexy cowboy who sidles up to her at the hotel bar.
Lucifer Treyton Ryder is under express orders from his uncle to find Susanne and do whatever it takes to have her disqualified. Trey plans to take her to bed and keep her there until the security team discovers them together. It’s against the rules. It’s a foolproof plan. Until the auburn-haired beauty shows more than a passing interest in a bit of yee-haw rope play.
Before Susanne realizes what he’s about, Trey has her hands expertly bound and she’s forced to make a choice—play it safe or allow the devilishly tempting man full rein for an evening of uninhibited loving? A “perfect” stranger and kinky sex? Susanne’s about to make a choice that could cost her everything.
Slow and Wet by Helen Hardt
Jillian loves her gorgeous bronc-busting boyfriend, Dale. She just hasn’t told him yet. After a satisfying romp, she walks naked into Dale’s kitchen, shocked to find another hot cowboy. Travis likes what he sees and is eager to take up where he and Dale left off four years earlier—as two men giving one woman the ultimate pleasure.
To please Dale—and herself—Jill agrees. Under the Wyoming summer sky, she yields to the desires of both men. They cover her in her favorite beverage, Dale’s homemade honey-lemonade, and lick every drop from her body. But will this erotic encounter with four strong hands, two delectable mouths and two determined men lead to what Jill ultimately wants—Dale’s love?
Set Me Up by Kat Alexis
Indigo Larsen can finally live her dreams of exploring the world. Her first stop is Ireland, where on a dare she accepts the Tongue of Truth liquor. The sex that follows is passionate and more exotic than anything she’s ever imagined. Waking up the next morning on Aedan Ciaran’s naked lap with his hard cock inside her is more than disconcerting. Convinced the liquor is the cause of her predicament, Indigo tries to leave.
What’s a leprechaun to do? Why, bring out all the luck he can find in hopes of loving his way into Indigo’s heart.
Sexpresso Night by Kelly Jamieson
After a disastrous D/s relationship nearly destroyed her, Danya swears she’ll never go back to that lifestyle. She tries to deny the dark hunger rising inside her, a craving to be pushed, taken to the edge, until the night she ends up at Karma Coffee for Sexpresso Night. She discovers how sensual and sexy coffee can be—and how sensual and sexy barista Carter Jarvis is.
Carter senses gorgeous Danya wants to let go of control with a man. When they end up back at his place “for coffee”, she submits to him so beautifully he knows she’s meant to be his. Carter seems perfect for her—not wishy-washy, but not a sadistic pervert. The true test comes the night he shows her his BDSM playroom
Jemimah's Genie by Ainsley Abbott
The promised toast Jemimah Murphy offered her deceased grandmother was one she’d never forget. As her great-great-grandmother’s homemade elderberry wine trickled down her throat, a poof and flash sent her reeling and the most delectable man she’d ever seen suddenly appeared. Brian, she discovered to her utter amazement and delight, was her personal genie.
Brian’s reason for existence was to pleasure Jemi and fulfill her deepest sexual desires. His fiery lovemaking introduced her to passionate, sensual experiences she’d never believed possible.
But the magical wine diminished each time Jemi summoned her lover, and both Brian and Jemi knew their perfect fantasy would inevitably have to end. Unless…
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: BODY SHOTS
Copyright © AMBER SKYZE, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Reed Walker leaned his massive frame against the wall. His leg bent, his boot-clad foot tapped against the wall to the rhythm of the bass drum. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, as his eyes gazed upon the singer crooning the soft rock ballad. She was gorgeous by every standard of the word. Long flowing black hair, dark mysterious eyes, her arms sleeved in tattoos. Dressed only in black leather pants and a matching leather bra, her rock-hard stomach revealed she worshiped the gym but Reed wasn’t here for the singer. She wasn’t his type any longer. Another time, another place maybe. Not tonight. Tonight, he was here for the owner of the bar.
Looking to make some extra cash doing something they loved, Reed and his fellow band mates decided to reunite after a ten year hiatus. Reed, having always been the businessman of the group, took on the task of going to different bars and clubs to see if they were interested in adding his band Foul Play to their lineup.
When he walked into Crimson Nights he thought he was walking into a dream. Never in his wildest imagination had he thought he’d come face to face with the only true love of his life—Sierra Allen.
The look on her face when he walked up to the bar and asked to speak to the owner was one of shock. Like seeing a ghost. And that’s how he felt. Oh, she’d cut off most of her long red hair but she couldn’t deny the scar on her right cheek. It had faded some over the years and she tried covering it with her hand most of the time they spoke but he knew it was her. She told him her name was Laura but Reed knew better. Those haunting green eyes couldn’t be mistaken.
He went along with her charade, though it killed him deep inside. She had run away from him after the car accident without so much as an explanation. The weeks he spent by her side, holding her while she cried over what she felt was a deformed face. The painful recovery from the shards of glass that cut her, when the windshield shattered. He stood by her side, loving her, wishing he could take away her pain. Wishing it was him who suffered instead of her, only to have her up and vanish when she was released from the hospital.
Now she was pretending she didn’t know him. It didn’t make sense. He’d let her go a long time ago but this time he wasn’t going to leave without finding out why. It was the least she could do. She owed him an explanation.
She shocked him when she agreed to let his band play. He fully expected a flat-out “no”. Why would she want his band playing there if she was hiding her identity? Was it a ploy to make him believe she was this Laura she pretended to be? Or was she feeling the connection too? If it was to prove her charade, she was sadly mistaken. Reed wasn’t stupid enough to be fooled by a haircut or name change.
Reed would wait until the night was done and the bar empty before he confronted her but he would and when he did, Sierra had some explaining to do.
An Excerpt From: SHAKEN AND STIRRED
Copyright © M.A. ELLIS, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
The air rushed from her lungs. He studied her face for what seemed like forever before dropping his gaze slowly down her body. Susanne swallowed, steeling herself for the inevitable reaction of him quickly looking away when he realized the voluptuousness that men obviously loved was nowhere to be found.
But he didn’t look away. He perused her body with a scrutiny that had her cheeks flushing and the junction of her thighs starting an erotic little throb. His gaze lingered on her feet and she doubted that he recognized a pair of discounted Louboutin slingbacks when he saw them. It was more probably that he secretly harbored a red-toenail fetish.
Now wouldn’t that be grand!
Susanne’s field of vision turned foggy as she imagined him undoing her sandal and tossing it haphazardly to the floor, which in the real world would undoubtedly have her issuing a cautious warning. She honestly believed it should be a federal offense to manhandle fine footwear but in her daydream it would be a moot point. He’d run one calloused palm along the outside of her leg before snaking over her hip and a second later she’d forget about four-hundred-dollar shoes and focus solely on his palm gliding over the curve of her ass. Back and forth, he would tease before gently sliding a finger along the leg edge of her panties until she—slut of the dream realm—would helpfully shift her hips to allow him better access.
Susanne caught herself before her legs actually opened and blinked away all erotic thoughts. She took a steadying breath before spinning around on the stool to face the bar. She wasn’t looking for some down-and-dirty-farm-boy fantasy. She shouldn’t care that he might possess six-pack abs and a cock that was so mountable she was likely to offer up a rousing “hi-ho, Silver” when she straddled it. She needed to get a grip.
Yeah! A grip on any part of him that might be over six inches in length.
She also needed to grow up and lose the schoolgirl fantasies.
They say eight seconds is a legal ride, Susie.
Susanne mentally chastised herself. She wasn’t supposed to be thinking about anything strong and straight up unless it had an alcohol base and could be easily topped with edible garnish.
She focused on the shelves holding the bottles of liquor, happy they weren’t backed with mirrors. She didn’t need to keep tabs on Cowboy Sexy. She needed to finish her drink and head back to her room—call it an early night. She needed to concentrate on all the roadblocks and challenges the judges could throw into her finely honed repertoire of possible award-winning cocktails. She did not need to focus on—
“Excuse me, darlin’. Is anyone sitting here?”
A low Southern drawl that had the tiny hairs along her arms rising. Her pulse raced and her previous intent to avoid him evaporated into thin air.
His voice was way smooth-as-silk sexy and as he shifted a little closer, Susanne could actually feel the heat rolling off his body. From the recesses of her mind Gia’s bold advice taunted Susanne, daring her to consider the possibility that mindless intercourse might actually be the perfect distraction. But she’d never done the one-night-stand thing. It wasn’t her style. She had never been a wild child, and the way her heart was threatening to beat right out of her chest, she never would be. Besides, it was pretty arrogant to think he was even interested. Maybe the poor guy just wanted to sit down.
With an imaginary “poof” Susanne’s erotic fantasy dissipated and she turned and offered him a polite smile.
“My friend just left for a minute—”
“Don’t fib, sugar. Your girlfriend is on a mission. It was written all over her face when she sashayed over and blindsided Chrissy. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about those two for quite some time. They headed for the dance floor, hand in hand.”
Susanne looked over her shoulder, trying very hard not to glance downward as he took a seat and hooked one boot heel over the rung of the stool. She focused her attention on the dance floor, craning her neck until she saw the flash of silver fabric and Gia’s long, dark hair swaying to and fro.
“Interesting,” she said softly.
“Understatement,” he chuckled.
He shifted and his knee brushed her leg, sending an unfamiliar jolt of electricity up her body.
Susanne suddenly remembered the way the cowboy had reacted when he saw Gia approaching Chrissy.
“Jealous?” she asked. The last thing she needed was to be part of some payback plan.
“Hell no.” His laugh was low and deep. Genuine. “And I apologize for throwing a kink into the one-word answer game we were playing. I’m thinking you’d have come out the winner, sugar.”
“I’m not a game player,” Susanne said, looking into his eyes. Now that he was less than two feet away, she realized they were a deep gunmetal color.
“Not a player…just a competitor? What division?”
Susanne arched a brow and he offered her a benign look.
“Surprised to find out we’re not here by chance, that a bunch of plowboys were actually invited to the hottest ticket in town? It’s true. And let me tell you, it was hell on the valet trying to find parking spots for all our horses.”
In the land of Porsche and Mercedes and Lamborghini the picture he painted was totally ludicrous and Susanne was unable to keep a straight face.
“What’s your name, cowboy?”
He tilted his head back a little and looked down his crooked nose at her, doing his best to offer her a you-have-got-to-be-shitting-me look.
“Sorry. I’ve always wanted to say that,” Susanne defended.
“Never had the chance before?”
“Not in Miami.”
“So the men ‘round these parts aren’t much into throwing on a pair of boots and their best hat and waltzing on up to a beautiful woman sitting at a bar? Hoping for nothing less than the possibility that she just might be considering a little cowpoke role-playing? ‘Poke’ being the operative word, of course.”
Susanne looked into his twinkling eyes and fought to keep her breathing normal and the conversation carefree.
“Oh, there’s more than a little role-play going on in this town but I don’t think it involves steers and sagebrush. At least, I hope it doesn’t. I’ve been a loyal supporter of the Holstein for many years.”
“Well, well. A city girl who knows her breeds. I’m impressed,” he said, offering her a quick wink. “Where’ve you been hidin’, darlin’?”
It had been ages since Susanne had actually returned a bar-side flirtation. She was starting to enjoy herself.
“I spent thirteen years in southwestern Missouri. But I don’t remember rural role-playing being a sanctioned FFA event. I’m not sure what that fantasy involves,” she said.
“Where I’m from, it usually consists of a stable with some fresh-cut hay, a horse blanket and a squeeze bottle of Tupelo honey.”
“A barn and some honey? That’s it? No green and yellow tractor? No hundred-degree afternoon with the sun beating down and a swimming hole just waiting to cool a person off? I would have thought a picnic lunch and a quart of sweet tea at a bare minimum.”
“Not since high school, sugar. I generally don’t need some stretched-out scenario to get me to the main event. But if you have a pair of cutoffs and a little white tank top in your suitcase, then we can go back in time. I’m imaging how hot you’d look carrying that basket across a field of alfalfa, your hair all sun kissed and blowing in the warm summer breeze.”
She stared at him long and hard, wondering how his voice could have the dual power of lulling part of her into a relaxed state while setting every sexual fiber in her being on edge. He leaned forward and brought his mouth close her ear, as if he had the biggest of secrets to share with her.
“Can you see it?” he whispered, his breath sending a wave of shivers down her spine. “Me crawlin’ down from the cab of that Deere. Wantin’ nothing more than to dribble that sweet tea all over your hot body and lick every drop away.”
Susanne sat stock still and tried to get her heartbeat under control, praying he couldn’t hear the rapid drumming. Flirtation was one thing. The way her body was reacting was something altogether different. Just that quick, his words were making her burn. It was a far cry from the aloof no-strings, country-lovin’ attitude she thought she might actually be able to adopt for the evening.
“All I can see,” she said, forcing herself to lean away and not into him, “is a woman who thought she could be totally spontaneous. I kick major ass at the impromptu drink making, but this? Sorry, Tex, I can’t pull it off.”
“Can’t you?” he asked, lowering his eyes. He pursed his lips into a thoroughly dejected pout. “Well, that’s a damn fine state of affairs.”
“I’m sorry. Please, don’t think I’m some sort of barfly tease.” She gnawed at her lower lip, effectively halting any further explanation.
His gaze lifted and settled on her mouth and her lips began to throb.
“Let me get you a drink,” she offered.
“A drink?” His blinding smile returned as quickly as it had disappeared. “If they have some specialty that’s guaranteed to work as well as a cold shower then order away ‘cause that’s what I need, sugar. You’ve got the most kissable mouth I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.”
His words stunned her. She didn’t believe him. But part of her wished she could.
"You can stop. Really. You’re handsome as hell and I’m sure this works with most women but you need to realize that I’m not going to sleep with you.” She turned around and tried to get the bartender’s attention.
“Whoa now. There’s a helluva lot that happens between kissing and consummating. It would definitely still involve my mouth—probably my teeth now and again. A finger or two.”
He placed his forearms on the bar and made a great show of studying his large hands. His fingers were long and roughened but his nails were nicely kept. He drummed them slowly against the metal and she realized that precision tapping was for her benefit—a sign that he had all the time in the world. That he’d go slowly. Keep his promise that there was a “helluva lot” between the lip locks and the sex.
What more could you want?
Susanne motioned for the bartender a second time, annoyance flaring. She wanted to buy him a drink to apologize for her come-and-get-me attitude and then she wanted to leave.
Leave? Or escape?
“What’ll it be, handsome?” the woman purred.
Susanne’s mouth actually dropped open when the blonde planted her elbows on the smooth surface and offered the cowboy an enticing smile and a healthy glimpse of bosom. It was the most blatant, inappropriate display Susanne had ever witnessed and she’d seen a lot in her years behind a bar.
“What I’d like from you, miss, is a Jack on the rocks.” His voice dripped with amusement.
Susanne snapped her head around, surprised to find him staring at her and not the huge expanse of cleavage that was offered up.
He reached forward, shocking her further when he rubbed one long, roughened finger along her jawline from ear to chin before pushing her mouth closed. The light movement caused a slow heat to creep down her neck and across her collarbone. A sheen of moisture broke out along the swell of her breasts a second before her nipples tightened and she barely managed to stifle her gasp.
“And what I need from you is even simpler.” He spoke in a husky tone as he gently cradled her chin in his palm and pulled her face closer to his. A delicious little flutter teased her belly as he rubbed his thumb against her skin.
“I want you to step back into that fantasy land we were discussing. Give me a chance to answer one of your life’s burning questions.”
Susanne stared at him, no longer certain she truly wanted whatever diversion they were about to take part in.
“C’mon, sugar. Ask me my name again. In that same sweet voice that could have me doing anything your little heart desires.”
Unable to draw her eyes away from his penetrating stare, Susanne gnawed at her bottom lip and tried to think of any sane reason to refuse his request but her rationale seemed to have disappeared in a cloud of dust.
"Do you know how bad I want to nibble that soft skin at the corner of your mouth?”
His grip tightened and Susanne squirmed in her chair, desire slamming into her with a vengeance.
“We need to get the introductions out of the way so I can kiss you properly. Ask me, darlin’.”
Her heart shifted into double time, its erratic thrumming jolting through her body as she faced the utterly insane truth. She wanted that kiss. And a great deal more.
“What’s your name, cowboy?” Her voice wavered.
“L. Treyton Ryder.” His eyes gleamed teasingly as he touched the tip of his hat with his free hand and the fluttering that had burst forth in Susanne’s stomach began to migrate lower. “But you can call me Trey, darlin’.”
Who knew that all those “darlin’” and “sugars” could have a woman’s panties ready to incinerate.
“What’s the ‘L’ stand for?” Susanne asked, searching for a neutral topic that might divert her from climbing into his lap and seeing if his kisses were as good as his game.
“You don’t really want to know.” He chuckled, offering her another sexy smile.
“Tell me anyway,” she demanded.
Second after second ticked away.
“Of course it is,” she finally said, feigning nonchalance.
His lips parted on a wide, white, totally devilish grin.
“And you are?”
Susanne met his teasing gaze, hoping her eyes weren’t crossing from the rush of want that coursed through her.
“Screwed,” she snorted.
He tilted his head back and gave her an amused look before leaning forward and sending another wave of shivers down her spine as he brushed his lips against the sensitive skin along the curve of her ear.
“Not yet, sugar. But it sure as hell would be my pleasure to oblige,” Trey whispered.
An Excerpt From: SLOW AND WET
Copyright © HELEN HARDT, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
The blond cowboy’s lips curved into a grin as he ran his long fingers through his tousled hair. Lapis lazuli eyes raked over Jill’s nude body.
“Seems I’ve been gone too long, Dale,” he said. “The scenery’s definitely changed around here,” he arched a nutmeg eyebrow, “for the better.”
Jill’s skin heated and she crossed her arms over her puckering nipples. She couldn’t help staring at the broad chest clothed in a black western shirt. The first few snaps were open, and several golden chest hairs peeked out.
Dale turned around and his jaw dropped. “Jill!” He rushed toward her, pulled her into his arms, and shielded her private parts from the other cowboy’s view.
“We used to share everything, Dale,” the blond said with a husky laugh.
“Go get something on,” Dale whispered in her ear.
“I heard that,” the man said, still smiling, “and I’ve already seen her gorgeous tits and her pretty red nipples.” He cleared his throat. “And what’s down below. Why not introduce us?”
“Be happy to,” Dale said, “once she’s properly covered.”
The other cowboy ignored Dale and stood, offering his hand. His denims hugged hips as lean as Dale’s. If he turned around, she’d no doubt see an ass just as fine too. He was almost as tall as Dale, which made him six-two, at least.
“I’m Travis Logan…” His voice was slightly deeper than Dale’s, with a little more of a cowboy twang. “Dale’s best friend since we were kids, and you’re the prettiest thing I’ve seen in a month of Sundays.”
The bold words sashayed around Jill’s heated body, and her already hard nipples stiffened further and poked into Dale’s golden chest. Dale’s cock came to life inside his boxers and brushed against her tummy. An icy tingle raced through her. Amazing, how Dale could affect her so.
Or was it Travis?
“Trav, don’t you have any shame?”
“You’ve known me almost my whole life, so you know the answer to that question.” Travis grinned. His full pink lips were nearly as luscious as Dale’s.
“Yeah, I guess I do,” Dale said. “Trav, this is my girl, Jillian Reynolds.”
A rush of warmth coursed through Jill at the words “my girl”.
“Mighty pleased to make your acquaintance, ma’am.” Travis squeezed her hand, and a flare of heat skittered over her skin. “Seems Dale has all the luck. Beautiful women have always flocked to him.”
Jill leaned farther into Dale’s chest, but Travis continued to hold her hand, rubbing his thumb into her palm. His touch felt nice. Which wasn’t good. She whisked her hand away.
“Remember the good old days?” He spoke to Dale, but he stared at Jill, dropping his gaze to her breasts, which were still crushed against cowboy number one. “When we did everything together?”
Dale cleared his throat. “I remember.”
“We were team ropers,” Travis said to Jill. “Champions. Started when we were kids. Couple years ago, though, I went solo in ropin’, and Dale here switched to bustin’ broncs. I’ve been away since then, tourin’ the circuit.”
“And you, Dale?” Jill raised her gaze to his brown eyes.
“You know where I’ve been, darlin’. Here, helpin’ my grandma run this place. Doin’ the local rodeos.”
“But didn’t you ever want to tour?”
“Heck, no. I’m a homebody. I’m happy here, runnin’ the ranch,” he smiled, “hangin’ out with you.” He turned to Travis. “Jill’s from Denver.”
“I took you for a big-city gal,” Travis said. “What are you doin’ in a little cow-town like Sweetwater Junction, Wyoming?”
“I’m in computer sales. A few months ago, an opportunity came up to relocate here, and I jumped at it. I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle.”
Travis chuckled and shook his head. “If only I’d come home sooner, I might have seen you first.” He winked. “’Course that didn’t always matter.”
Jill’s heart raced beneath her chest. Why? From being held in Dale’s strong arms, no doubt. Or was something else going on?
Shit, she was still naked. “Uh, Dale? I need to—”
“Yeah, you sure do, darlin’.” He grabbed her rump and lifted her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. “We’ll be back in a minute, Trav. Fully clothed.”
“Damn,” Travis said. “Can’t say I’ve seen enough of the beauty of my hometown just yet.”
“Yeah, you have,” Dale said, walking back to the bedroom. He looked over his shoulder. “You’ve seen all of Jill you’re gonna see, pal.”
“Don’t be so sure about that, buddy.”
Had Jill imagined the words? Or had they actually come from the gorgeous blond cowboy?
An Excerpt From: SET ME UP
Copyright © KAT ALEXIS, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
When in Ireland…
Blessedly alone, finally.
No one needed her. No one asking her for assistance or help. Not a single person on the planet depending on her for anything. She didn’t have to put on a brave smiling face and pretend everything was fine.
It was over.
Indigo Larsen exhaled a final breath, letting go all the tension, anger and grief that had weighed her down for the past three years. Caring for her dying father had taken everything out of her and left nothing for her draw on.
With the house sold and her father’s law partner buying out her share of the practice, Indigo had nothing left to do and no one to care for. People advised her to keep the house, find a man and settle down.
“Hell no.” She shuddered at the thought. She wanted her life attached to no one, much less a demanding and domineering male. Thirty-two years of living with her father had taught her exactly what she didn’t want. Although Indigo knew her father had loved her, he’d never felt the need to say the words aloud. As an only child, whose mother had been lost to a car accident thirty years before, Indigo felt adrift without knowing why.
Her father had put the idea in her head. Toward the end of his life, Edward Larsen turned reflective and less sober.
“Indie,” he’d whispered. His once booming lawyer’s voice now reduced to scratchy murmurs. “Indie, my love, don’t settle here after I’m gone. Don’t waste your time waiting for your life to start. After I’m gone sell the house, the practice and everything else you can’t carry on your back. Then get the hell out of this place. You deserve so much better than what I ever gave you.” A withered hand clasped Indigo’s with surprising strength. “Grab every opportunity life throws you. Don’t turn your back on adventure because you’re afraid. Don’t let fear guide you. If something makes you want to back away run to it.”
Indigo patted his wrinkled hand and wondered what had come over this once taciturn man. “Dad, it’s okay. Don’t worry about me. My job at the bank is still waiting. I can—”
“No,” Edward cut in. “Listen to me, Indie. Sell everything. Every stick of furniture, every dish and plate, sell them. Use the money to live your dreams. Don’t die with regrets in your heart. When your time comes I want you to be able to look back on your life and smile in satisfaction not frown in disappointment.”
So she’d come to Ireland, the home of her mother’s people. The heritage responsible for her midnight hair and deep-blue eyes along with a temper she’d tried, sometimes unsuccessfully, to control.
A land of magic and myths, Ireland called to her in a way nothing had before. Standing here inhaling the fresh scent of the sea and land, Indie’s body came awake with a jolt.
Long hair flew in her face obscuring her vision for the moment. With an impatient hand, Indigo brushed the strands back. She wanted nothing to interfere with her first solitary view of Ireland.
Green as far as the eye could see, soothed her weary soul. Small white dots in the distance moved. Sheep, she guessed. Hills rolled gently into valleys, small huts puffed cheery white smoke from stone chimneys. The smell of flowers and grass tickled her nose.
All around her life carried on in beautiful harmony. Death tainted nothing here. Everything felt fresh, clean and alive. Everything she wanted to be. Renewed.
Could she find herself in a strange country while not knowing a single person there? It didn’t matter, not anymore. Indigo would be damned before she let life pass her by again. She’d made a promise to her father and nothing would stop her from keeping it.
Thanks to her father’s planning and generosity Indigo had more than enough money to wander the world for years. To explore everything she’d only dreamed of to her heart’s content.
“Thanks, Dad.” The wind gently tugged the words from her lips and drifted them into the perfect blue sky.
She would savor new experiences. Dance on the edge of danger. A small smile curved her lips at the thought. “Maybe not danger exactly but daring and different.” The words pleased her. She could be daring and different. What a better place to discover who she was than the wilds of Ireland?
Pleased with herself and the world in general, Indigo strolled back to the miniscule rental car and drove into the tiny village that waited below.
An Excerpt From: SEXPRESSO NIGHT
Copyright © KELLY JAMIESON, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“This is crazy,” she whispered as he settled his hands on her shoulders.
“Why?” He bent his head and nuzzled the hair above her ear. He smelled delicious—warm spicy male and, of course, coffee. Dark and rich and exotic. Her eyes fell closed and she reached for him, set her hands on his waist, solid and warm beneath his white button-down shirt. “I’ve been watching you for months, coming in to the store. You’re so hot and sweet.”
Her body went liquid.
“I love your hair,” he continued. “It’s like caramel and honey. Thick. Smooth.”
He stroked a gentle hand over it and she tingled everywhere, a small moan escaping her. More. She needed more.
She opened her eyes to look up at him. What did he see there? Something, because his fingers speared into her hair and he held the back of her head as he kissed her.
His mouth slanted over hers in a long, searing kiss, and she melted into him, clutching his waist with both hands. It was a hard kiss, demanding and devouring, and it should have scared her since she didn’t know him at all, but instead it sent fire streaking through her senses.
His fingers tightened on her head then twisted in her hair, and she gasped against his mouth. He drew back and looked down at her searchingly. She held his gaze, her body throbbing against his.
When he tugged again, his gaze focused intently on hers, a barrage of sparks shot from her scalp over her entire body. His eyes, already espresso-dark, went black as he watched her and he groaned. “You like that.”
She didn’t want to answer. It was crazy to enjoy having her scalp tugged on, but pleasure torched her body at the rough touch. He kissed her, tongue sliding into her mouth again and again. She strained against him, up on her toes, and when he sharply drew on her hair again, pulling her head far back, she moaned. His mouth slid over her jaw with a tiny nip, then to her throat and the pulse that beat there, and he gently sucked on her flesh.
Every nerve ending in her body jumped and danced. She ached between her legs, a ferocious hunger she hadn’t felt for a long, long time. Her breasts swelled, her nipples tingled, and when Carter’s other hand slid down to the curve of her ass and brought her up even harder against him, another low noise tore from her throat.
“I don’t want to scare you,” he muttered against her neck. “But I’m going out of my fucking mind here.” He backed her up against the wall of his small foyer and pressed into her.
“You’re not scaring me.” Her hands fisted in his shirt, her head thunked against the wall. She loved it. Loved the feel of his big, hard body shoving her up against the wall, her aching breasts press against his chest, the bulge at his crotch pushing insistently into her belly.
His body pressed against hers, the hard wall behind her. Breathless, edgy, excited, her heart surged into a rapid rhythm. Her thighs quivered and thick liquid heat converged between her legs in a needy ache.
He kissed her again and again, their mouths opening and clinging, lifting and then fusing again. For a brief moment, he drew back and pulled her tank tops off over her head. He gazed down at her breasts and she was so glad she’d worn her pink lace bra. His eyes darkened as he admired and he trailed his fingers over the cleavage revealed by the low-cut cups.
“Pretty,” he said. Heat swept from his touch up her neck and face, suffusing her in a hot glow. He reached behind her between her back and the wall and found the clasp, flicked it open then tossed the bra aside. As air kissed her bared breasts her nipples tightened and tingled even more, a harsh guttural sound came from Carter’s throat. “Very pretty.” He covered her breasts with both hands and cupped them, squeezed gently, then brushed his palms over her sensitive nipples. Then he kissed her again.
He took hold of her hands and lifted them into the wall above her head, his arms pressing against hers, hard enough that he might leave bruises on the tender flesh just above her elbows. Her tummy fluttered.
A groan tore from his throat when he shifted and thrust one muscled thigh between her legs and she ground against it in a needy cadence, a seeking undulation of her hips.
“I want to fuck you right here,” he said, voice thick with arousal.
An Excerpt From: JEMIMAH’S GENIE
Copyright © AINSLEY ABBOTT, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Jemimah Murphy was devastated when her grandmother Louise died. She’d moved in with Granny Lou over five years ago after Gran broke her hip. At the time, Jemi thought she’d done it to look after Lou but in fact they’d looked after each other. Granny Lou was the only family Jemi had and was more of a mother than grandmother.
“When I’m gone,” Gran would say in her most imperative tone, “you must get on with life. There’s someone special out there for you, you just have to find him.”
Jemi hated hearing her grandmother speak of dying. And as to “getting on with life”, her life was already hectic enough. She worked long shifts as a nurse at the public hospital, then hurried home to housework, chores and the tender but demanding care of Granny Lou.
She didn’t consider her work tedious. She adored her grandmother and loved spending time with her. Once in a while, she’d meet with friends for a drink after work but she rarely stayed long. At night, she’d fall into bed, exhausted, knowing she’d have to be up at the crack of dawn to start the routine over again.
As to men, she may have blushed when a handsome guy looked her way, or one of the doctors complimented her efficiency but she wasn’t interested in finding anyone. She’d already had enough unfulfilling relationships to last her a lifetime. Given her experiences, she no longer believed she’d find a man who could satisfy her sexually, let alone emotionally. So she poured her energies into her work and her grandmother. If there was something missing in her life, she refused to acknowledge it. She believed dissatisfaction was the curse of an idle mind, so she kept her nose to the grindstone and her thoughts focused on her responsibilities.
But when Granny Lou died peacefully, though unexpectedly, in her sleep, Jemi felt lost and abandoned.
According to her grandmother’s wishes, Jemi organized the cremation, then scattered Granny Lou’s ashes at the base of the prolific elderberry bushes in their backyard. The thicket of shrubs was revered by both Jemi and her gran, since the bushes had survived over four generations of Murphys and produced fruit for countless pies, wines and meads along the way.
Jemi gazed at the well-tended plants. Sibyl, Gran’s black and white cat, looked on. “I guess that’s it, eh, Sib?” She reached down and stroked the cat who instantly got up and began to weave herself between Jemi’s legs, purring. It was late autumn and the red-yellow leaves of the elderberry bushes were dropping, though some of the branches still boasted purple berries. Gran’s ashes made a pathetically small pile at the base of one thick trunk. A cool breeze stirred them gently.
"There’s one thing you must promise me, Jemimah,” Granny Lou had said only a few short evenings ago.
Kneeling next to her grandmother’s bed, Jemi sighed impatiently. Here we go again, she thought. “Yes, Gran,” she said, “I’ll be sure to drink a toast to you when you’re gone. Can we not talk about that, please?” How many times had Gran made her promise this? And why did it matter so much?
But her grandmother was adamant. “Sweetheart, listen to me,” she said. “All things change and pass on. I won’t be an exception. It’s important you do exactly as I say.”
Jemi sighed. “Okay, Gran, tell me again, what you want me to do.”
Granny Lou smiled and held Jemi’s hand. “You’re to get the two silver wine goblets from the china cabinet. Then fetch one of the bottles of elderberry wine dated October 31, 1865. It was bottled by your great-grandmother Jemimah—who you were named after. Are you listening?”
“Yes, Gran,” Her grandmother’s hand was cooler than it should be and Jemi wished she’d finish the instructions so she could fetch her some hot tea and another blanket.
“Once it’s dark outside, put the goblets on the table, light the candles in the silver candlesticks and pour the wine. You won’t need much—it only takes a little.” Granny Lou chuckled to herself. Her rheumy eyes grew distant.
“So, I wait until night, pour two glasses and drink a toast to you, right?”
“Hmm?” Granny Lou refocused then nodded. “Oh, yes. Then you drink a toast to me.”
“Is that all?” Jemi got to her feet. But Gran’s hand clung more tightly.
“Just one thing, sweetheart,” she said. “Whatever happens is destined. Don’t hold back on anything. And remember, sometimes if you truly love someone, you must set them free.” She loosened her grip on Jemi’s hand, patted it lovingly, then winked. “Now, run along and put the kettle on. The blanket can wait.”
Jemimah cocked an eyebrow. It was uncanny how her grandmother knew things before being told but Jemi was used to it.
Now, the memory of that moment was all it took to bring tears to Jemi’s blue eyes. The breeze was picking up and she realized she was cold. She turned back to the house and hurried in through the patio door. She’d light a fire in the fireplace. The house was old and drafty and even the relatively new furnace in the basement couldn’t completely take the chill off.
It wasn’t until nearly eight p.m. that Jemi remembered her promise. She’d been staring at the fire, her thoughts wandering this way and that, stroking Sibyl who was curled in a ball on her lap.
There was money, Granny Lou had seen to that, enough for Jemi to take a long vacation if she wanted. But what fun was a vacation alone? She sighed, gave Sibyl a quick kiss on the head before putting her on the floor, then stood up, catching her reflection in the mirror over the fireplace. Shoulder-length wavy blonde hair caught back in a ponytail, white pixie face, puffy red-rimmed blue eyes and a small mouth turned down at the corners. She was probably too thin and there were dark circles under her eyes.
She was nearly thirty and what did she have to show for her life? She realized now her dedication to her grandmother and obsession with her job left her isolated from the rest of the world. She had very few memorable moments from her smattering of sexual encounters. Boyfriends? Well, if you called Steve or Dan or Butch boyfriends…she’d dated each of them less than five times and none was memorable for the right reasons.
Jemi made a moue in the mirror. Maybe Gran was right to tell her to get on with her life. But how and where should she start?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
That's nearly a year and a half, peeps! Even thinking about it makes me throw up in my mouth just a lil' bit. :}
t's hard to admit, even to myself.
But, it's not like I haven't been trying to write. I've been busy on my vamps, re-editing the same chapters over, and over, and over, and over again. I think it's an obsession, a sickness, really. I need to visit Over-Editors Anonymous.
Then there’s the contracted book for RP, which I have been diddling with in short bursts because, well, life has gotten in the way, big time. I'm also working on a book that I'm co-writing with my BFF, Tracy Leigh for the Blush line at Ellora's Cave...or so we're hoping.
So, the release of Body Candy in the Sweet anthology hit me by surprise, even though I knew it was coming eventually. It's kind of been both a Godsend and a curse.
I mean, wow...a release!
It feels absolutely fabulous, but I've spent so long trying desperately to write through writer's block and the issues life has thrown in my way, that it's been a little shocking to have to 'play' at actually being a writer and doing some promotional things like chatting and posting excerpts.
Ummm, truthfully, I've always 'totally' sucked at promotion and guess what, I still 'totally' suck at promotion!
I felt like a chat virgin. Thank God for solid experienced writer friends like Anny Cook and Cindy Spencer Pape, who encouraged me along despite myself.
Of course, the excerpt I'd chosen wouldn't copy into my email. Then, I had to change my email addy in the membership section, just so I could post an email with an actual cover of my book. You see, I'm not sure how to put a photograph into the body of my email in Yahoo mail without making it an attachment. I can do it on AOL in a minute, though, so I had to make a major switch-up on the fly.
Of course, by the time I'd gotten done dicking around, I was exhausted and missed a lot of the chat! I hadn't had time to start a personal dialog with any of the readers there, which is why we do a chat in the first place.
So, I've determined that you are either born with these skills or you weren't. Flat out.
I'm screwed! lol
Can smooth promotional skills be acquired? I think so, though I don't think I'll ever be completely comfortable because I hate being the center of attention. I freeze up when it's my turn to talk, I have a major anxiety attack at just the thought of being at a book signing, though how cool would that be? Not the attack but the book signing! lol
I have to relearn the basics here. It's been so long that I feel like a complete published author virgin.
One thing this it has done, however, is make me hungry again. It's just the boost I needed, I think. Writing with Tracy has been a revelation, but when I try to work on my own projects I've stalled out for so long that this has given me that extra motivation.
How about you? Do you have those promotional skills mastered or is it something you struggle with as well?
Monday, February 14, 2011
Body Candy by Taylor Tryst
Sophie slid into the silk robe that hung on the back of the bathroom door. The thin fabric molded to her breasts, stuck to her thighs and the landing strip of black hair between them, the material nearly translucent against her wet skin.
She shoved a wet brunette curl out of her eyes and stomped her feet on the bathroom rug before stepping out and ruining her new carpet. “Coming.”
Not, she thought bitterly.
Whoever was at her door had ruined a perfectly good orgasm.
Sometimes it took days for her to relax and work up to a good screaming O.
On a good day, she was even multi-orgasmic but thanks to whoever had ruined her party, today wouldn’t be one of those days.
Due to the impeccable timing, Sophie expected her mother to be at the door. Her cheeks reddened at the thought, feeling like a teenager caught with her hand, um, in the cookie jar.
“Minneapolis Police,” the voice said from the other side.
Sophie stopped a few feet from the door and hesitated. She tightened the belt on her robe and pushed her hair away from her face, wondering what the hell a cop wanted with her.
Wrong address, wrong house, wrong woman, she thought, her mind racing.
“Mr. Maddox?” the man said in the form of a question. His voice was deep and resonated powerfully through the wood slab between them. “It’s Detective Mc Fee, MPD.”
“Crap,” Sophie said.
She wasn’t sure what upset her more, the fact that there was a cop outside her door or that he wanted to speak to Mr. Maddox.
“Breathe,” Sophie told herself. “No big. Handle it.”
She unlocked the door, her dark, ached brows drawn toward one another in concern and opened it to a face full of badge.
Sophie leaned back and eyed the badge skeptically, glancing at the photo and then to the detective’s face.
The photograph didn’t do him justice, she thought.
She met a pair of greenish-gold eyes, the sun reflecting off a summer green pasture with golden hue as their eyes locked and held.
Sophie shifted her feet, trying to find solid ground.
Those eyes seemed to sum her up in seconds flat, as if he could see right through her and already knew all of her secrets—and did she have secrets.
“What can I do for you, Detective?”
A blowjob, Sophie thought, clearing her throat and glancing slyly at his crotch, which already seemed to be bulging—or maybe it was just her.
“Detective Trevor Mc Fee,” he said, finally speaking as he lowered his identification and the remainder of his features came into view.
Sophie swallowed, her mouth going dry.
His gaze was predatory, a hunter evaluating prey. “Can I come in?”
Marvelous hands, long fingers and clean, well-kept nails, she noted. His hair was trimmed short, the nape of his neck shaved clean. He smelled lightly of deodorant but not cologne. He wouldn’t want his scent to be overbearing, she decided, only his personality.
Sophie had always appreciated things like that about a man, the little things that no one else may have noticed.
It made her wary, however, because this man paid attention to the little details.
“I suppose,” Sophie said needlessly as he walked past her, already invading her living space. She swallowed again, aching for a drink of water.
She caught those cat-like eyes roaming her body as he glanced over his shoulder, stopping at the hint of cleavage peeking out of her robe. Her nipples were as hard as rocks, sticking to the silk as if she’d come in first place in a wet t-shirt contest.
Sophie knew he was getting a free show but didn’t make a move to cover her body. If he wanted to ogle her breasts, who was she to stop him?
She inhaled deeply, trying to catch her breath. It was…exciting, having a man—this man—barge into her place while she was literally hot and wet.
“Is something wrong, Detective?” Sophie asked, her breasts rising and falling with each breath.
“Depends.” Trevor walked past her and paced across her living room. He was a virile male specimen and gave off pheromones like a wild beast ready to mate.
“I don’t understand.” Sophie closed the door and leaned against it for support. Her knees felt weak, like they might fold beneath her at any moment. “Did something happen to my sister Brenna?”
“Are you Mrs. Maddox?” Trevor asked, not so much as giving her a glance as he spoke, as if the question was too important and he didn’t want to taint her answer with his eagerness.
“No, I just answer her door,” Sophie snapped, thinking that this man was not only hot but also rude and full of assumptions. “Actually, it’s Miss Jenson, Detective. I’m Sophie Jenson. I’m afraid that I don’t know a Mrs. Maddox.”
Trevor strolled across her living room and glanced into the kitchen. He took his time about it, pretended to be taking in the nuances of her home décor but she was certain that he was making sure they were alone.
He had a deceptively long frame, she thought as she watched him move.
One would expect him to be lean, yet he carried a surprising amount of mass on his shoulders and upper arms.
“And Robert Jenson?”
“Robert was my father. My parents are dead,” Sophie said carefully. “I live alone.”
“Really?” Trevor turned and focused in on her.
“Really,” Sophie confirmed, her heart racing as she spoke the words.
The room tilted on its axis the moment she noticed his rawboned features, the power of his shoulders and thighs, the sharp lines and angles of his face.
Power, she thought. The man exuded it.
He looked dangerous but instead of being afraid, her heart danced into a hurried rhythm, beating against her chest like fists on a locked door.
“And Zebulon Maddox?” Trevor asked. He took a step toward Sophie, his expression grim, jaw tight, mouth drawn. “You…aren’t his wife?”
“As I said, Detective. I’m not married.” Sophie pulled that full bottom lip between her teeth and nibbled nervously. “Zebulon Maddox is—” She hesitated, searching for the correct phrase and weighing the truth of her words. “Keeping a low profile,” she mused.
Dead would be a more accurate term but then the devil was in the details, wasn’t it.
or visit Taylor's Website
Monday, February 7, 2011
Body Candy out in print at Ellora's Cave
Hard Candy by Amy Ruttan
A golden ticket to a hedonistic club, that’s the marketing idea Lenore Byrne offers her newest client Pallator Sinclair as a way to promote his Innocent Pleasures Candy Company. Candy that is for adults only. Landing this account will make her career and it doesn’t hurt that her client is damn sexy.
Pallator has been up and down Madison Avenue, but no one gets his vision for his company. That is, until he meets Lenore. He offers her the chance of a lifetime, a tour of the hedonistic club. It’s an offer she can’t refuse, but can she turn down his other offer? To completely let herself go with the sinful man she hardly knows.
Candy-Coated Passion by Kat Alexis
Natalie Semenova has everything she wants. Except her younger sister’s college tuition is past due and Nat can’t even begin to remember the last time she had sex. When two large orders are placed in her candy shop, everything starts to look up. Until a horrible mix-up involving chocolate penises brings Nat’s ex-lover to her door.
Dane Falken knows he has to make up for the biggest mistake of his life to win Natalie back, but all she’s interested in is the orgasms he gives her. When two people determined to get what they want end up in bed together, what happens is sweeter than candy.
Lollipop Kings by Brigit Zahara
One blackmailed beauty and two delicious brothers in the candy biz equals one very sticky situation for the three of them.
Reilly’s Rockets executive assistant Sherry Martin is coerced into spying on the candy corporation’s number one professional rival by a man from her former life and now Reilly’s new VP of Marketing. She comes face to face with Ethan and Sterling Lancaster, the notorious and gorgeous Lollipop Kings. That’s when Sherry discovers firsthand that there’s more than one way to lick the competition.
Body Candy by Taylor Tryst
Sophia Maddox is not only living her dream, but her fantasies, creating edible Body Candy to aid in sexual fulfillment. Until a sexy detective knocks on her door and threatens to expose her secrets. Little does he know, Sophie will do anything to protect those secrets, even using him as a sexual guinea pig for her newest candy creation.
Though not what he seems, Brody Burkett must investigate a murder, save his silent partner, and prevent his death. But add Sophie to the mix and his sweet tooth—and desire for her—can’t be satiated, even with both of their lives in danger.