Guest Blogging

Today I’m hanging at Savvy Authors talking about Pantsing through manuscripts vs Plotting stories. Every writer has their method of getting from “Once upon a time…” to “…lived happily ever after”.

I hope you’ll come on over grab a margarita and join in the discussion. I’m always interested in finding out how other people get through their stories. See you there!

I’ve been hanging around the internet a few years now. I’ve been hosting people, visiting blogs and just generally making a nuisance of myself. But in the process of all of that running around, I’ve learned a few things about being a gracious guest and I just thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned. (Keep in mind this is faaaar from a complete list and only my perceptions):

1) Be prompt: Regardless of the platform your host uses, it takes time to upload a guest blog. If there are links, bookcovers, and excerpts even more to set it up so it looks appealing. Be sure to get your interview questions or blog post to the host at least a week prior to your visit. Everyone is busy. When you do this you respect the host’s time.

2) Be yourself: Whether you’re answering interview questions or offering a guest blog the visitors want to get a feeling for who you are. If you have a snarky sense of humor, let it shine through in your answers. If you have an interesting day job that lead you to the world of publishing be sure to share that. Readers of blogs are interested in the little details of your life they may not know. That being said …

3) It’s not all about you: Okay, what I mean is … it’s not all about selling your book. Readers get really tired of the “ME ME ME ME, BUY MY BOOK” posts. Engage the reader. Talk about an interesting antecdote or how your character screamed at you the whole time you were writing the book. Visitors are more likely to be intrigued by personal facts rather than the buy link. Why would anyone want to comment on a book cover, blurb and excerpt? Ask them something. Remember, this is about engaging visitors in conversation. They want to like you and talk to you. Give them something to chat with you about.

4) Hosts are busy too: I’ve had guests that were so excited about a blog tour that they sent me daily emails with DETAILED instructions of what they expected me to do for them including running their contest. Ummm … no. I’ve offered a corner of the internet and hopefully introduced new readers to their book. Other than being available to interact with visitors, I don’t have time to babysit a guest blog. This goes back to #1 … respect your hosts time and efforts. I will promote you and your post, but in turn, I want you to promote my blog.

5) Don’t abandon ship!: A guest blog isn’t a lone post just hanging out by itself. Commenters want to know someone’s actually there and they’re not talking out into the cyber universe. Make time at least twice (if you can) to visit and respond to commenters. If your day job or other obligations makes that impossible, take time to visit at the end of the day and respond. Remember, it’s about making connections with new readers.

6) Engage the Readers: When you write your post try to leave it hanging. Ask a question of the readers at the end of your post or make a statement that visitors can comment on. It keeps them from visiting without taking time to comment.

7) To giveaway or Not giveaway: It’s always difficult to decide whether you want to give a gift to commenters. Readers love to receive gifts from authors, but sometimes it’s cost prohibitive to offer a prize to each blog in a blog tour. Try offering something from all the commenters of ALL the blogs you visit? I’ve found this to work very well. But remember, readers don’t always need prizes and big giveaways, your interesting post and an intriguing excerpt are enough to make their day.

I love introducing people to writers they may have never met. I love going out and visiting other blogs to meet new people. This list isn’t complete by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to hear what intrigues you? And what drives you completely insane when you’re reading a guest blog or interview. Because you know me … I’m always looking to improve my blog. 😉

And it’s been awhile since I’ve had a sexy guest, so I in honor of beach weather arriving a little early, I thought I’d share…enjoy your weekend!

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Today I’d like to welcome romance author, Diane Amos.

The thought of writing a book never entered Diane’s mind until a friend mentioned she was writing a romance and belonged to the Maine Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. She accompanied her to a meeting, and was hooked. Undaunted, to her, writing a book was simply stringing together sentences to form paragraphs, arranging the paragraphs into scenes, then placing the scenes into chapters. If she wrote enough chapters-viola, she had a book. Little did she know!

Take it away Diane …

Most authors have a book or two that are their favorites. GETTING PERSONAL is one of mine. It was my first sale to Five Star, and my first step into the world of publishing. Some authors live gilded lives. They wake up one morning and decide to write a novel. They type at the speed of light and a few weeks later their book sells for a gazillion dollars. They become an overnight success and Oprah interviews them on a television special. My overnight success took seven years and nine manuscripts before I sold. My advance was slightly less than a gazillion bucks!

What is it about GETTING PERSONAL that tugs at my heart? I LOVE these characters! The sexual tension practically crackles on the pages when Monique and Jake are together. This couple is memorable and fun to be around. The reviewers also loved the book, and I earned the title of Contest HO from my RWA chapter when GETTING PERSONAL won numerous contests along with the Maggie Award of Excellence. The book is funny, sexy, and since many of the fans on this website write or read erotica and really hot love scenes, I should mention there’s a scene when the heroine handcuffs the hero to her bed. I was pleased to get the rights back and be able to re-release this through Amazon. I hope it finds new readers who will fall in love with Monique and Jake the way I did while I was writing this story.

BLURB:
Sometimes good intentions aren’t enough. No one knows that better than Monique St. Cyr, parochial school dropout, dieter extraordinaire, and want-to-be investigative reporter with pit bull tenacity and a habit of leaping headlong before she looks. Monique, obituary writer for a tabloid-style newspaper in Portland, Maine, lives next door to her mother, Anne Marie, an erotic fiction author. Anne Marie enlists Monique’s help to do research for her next book about couples who meet online…by filling out several personals for her daughter. Monique is swamped with emails, and her life gets even more complicated when she meets Jake Dube, a policeman with a wicked grin and a heated gaze.

EXCERPT:

My mother wrote erotic fiction under the penname, Busty Galore, a misnomer because unlike me her shoulder blades protruded more than her breasts. I loved her dearly, but she had a way of butting into my life. Plus, her 20/20 eyesight and keen ears were capable of seeing and hearing only what she wanted.

As she clicked onto the personals, apprehension sliced through me.

“Look at it this way, by helping me, you’ll help yourself too.” She checked the box in front of men looking for women, then continued down the column, ages 28-40, built athletic, average, or slightly overweight.

I swallowed past the lump in my throat. “The last time I got involved in one of your schemes I ended up knee deep in mudflats with bullets whizzing over my head.”

“That clam digger sure got edgy when he thought you were staking claim to his territory.” My mother laughed. “Anyway, everything turned out fine once I explained I was gathering information for a book I was writing. Besides, that was so long ago, I’m surprised you still remember.”

“How can I forget! My boots were suctioned in muck. I ran barefoot, pursued by a wild-eyed man toting a sharp clam fork and shouting obscenities. I’m lucky I wasn’t killed.”

“You exaggerate,” she said sweetly. “Besides, I thought he was kind of cute. And thanks to you, I got enough material to write my book, which I’ve already sold for a considerable sum, I might add. If you hadn’t been so crabby, I bet he’d have asked you out.”

“The man was a lunatic!”

“Once he calmed down, he seemed nice enough.”

“I refuse to discuss this again.” I smacked my lips shut.

My mother turned back to the computer.

I was twelve years old when my father died. My mother worked two jobs, often doing without so my brother, Thomas, and I could wear the right clothes and fit in with the other children at Saint Joseph’s Parochial School. We owed her big time. Unlike me, my brother made himself scarce, which didn’t matter because it was a Catholic daughter’s duty to assist her “poor decrepit mother”—her words, not mine.

Ten years ago my mother sold her first book, and much to the family’s surprise became an overnight success. Unfortunately, each time she coaxed me into helping her, something backfired.

I rolled my eyes. “I absolutely refuse to root around in dirt, scale buildings, or anything else that might do bodily harm.”

“There’ll be no bullets this time. No mud either. This is very safe, and you’ll enjoy yourself.” She eyed me warily. “You really need to go out more.”

“Humph,” I muttered, knowing I’d already lost this battle.

“Look, mom, I know you mean well, but I’m happy, really.”

“Keep your phony baloney for someone else. I know you’re lonely, and I’ve found the perfect solution.”

I groaned. If she heard, she didn’t let on.

My mother clicked several categories. Checkmarks filled small boxes. A list of screen names appeared. “Here we are, dear, males for the picking, just like ripe fruit off a tree.”

A wormy apple sprang to mind. I shook my head in disbelief.

“The internet is a viable way to meet the opposite sex.”

It finally sunk in. “You expect me to talk to men online?”

“Yes, and once you get to know them, you’ll tell me all about your conversations. Of course, you’ll go on dates with a few of our favorites and then report your results.”

She beamed an innocent smile. “Who knows, you might even find the man of your dreams.”

I glanced at the screen names on the monitor: Studman, MusclesManiac, I’veGotIt, Babemagnet, and Willin&Able. I turned to my mother. “You can’t be serious?”

“I’d like to submit an ad with your profile and a recent picture. That’ll allow me to learn what type of man prowls the Internet for love.”

“There’s no way in hell…”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GETTING PERSONAL is FREE on Amazon until Sunday so be sure to run over and download your copy. If you like what you read, keep in mind there’s a sequel, MIXED BLESSINGS, with many of the same characters.

Thanks for dropping by, and thank you Nina for inviting me to visit.

Thank you for stopping over Diane. I’ve always loved Diane’s quirky sense of humor and how she manages to carry that over into her stories. There are very few authors who make me laugh out loud when I’m reading like Diane is able to do. What about you, ever find yourself laughing at a good story? How do you like your romance? Straight up serious, or with a little snarky humor thrown in? You know me, I’m always curious about stuff like that.

I’m hanging out today on the beach with Jane Ormerod talking about favorite authors and drinking Mai Tais.

You can also visit me at a new Logline Blog. Where they’re featuring BLIND HER WITH BLISS (which is still FREE at Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

And I don’t know if you’ve been having trouble accessing my blog and website, but there seems to be something amiss in the coding somewhere. My webmistress (whom I absolutely adore) thinks the problem is somewhere in the blog files on GoDaddy. Unfortunately she doesn’t work with WordPress and the wonderful person who did the original coding is no longer in the business. I’m working hard to find a new blogmistress. In the meantime, be patient if you can’t seem to find me. I’m still here and hopefully will have the problem corrected soon!

And in other promotional news:
DANGEROUS AFFAIRS, the Tilling Passions anthology is now available in PRINT!

Back Cover Information:
BLIND HER WITH BLISS
She’s trying to find herself. He’s attempting to hide. Together they’ll discover a truth that threatens them both…

Investigating the death of her best friend, uptight accountant, JULIE TILLING, discovers an erotic world of adult nightclubs and Internet intrigue. When shock jock DAMON COREY rocks her world in a wild night of lust, she wonders if she’s found love…or the key to solving a murder.

DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE
A woman determined to protect her heart. An agent hell bent on proving himself. One night that will change their lives forever…

Landscaper, DEIRDRE TILLING had no way of knowing that attending her friend’s party would throw her into a dangerous world of corrupt businessmen and police stings. Of course her sexual romp with undercover DEA agent, AYDEN SCOTT only pushes her deeper into the drug smuggling ring running up the Maine coast. As the heat rises between Deirdre and Ayden, one thing becomes painfully obvious…their relationship has jeopardized his mission and now someone wants them both dead.

CHEAT HER WITH CHARM
He’s got a secret past. She has dreams for their future. Together they have a problem that may just kill them both…

Floral designer, MEGHAN TILLING, has been in love with her fiancé since college. With her business, his promotion and a family illness, she’s finding the demands on her time are keeping them apart. PETER MADDOCK loves his fiancée with a fierceness that claws at his soul, but finding answers to his past becomes an obsession he can’t ignore. When bizarre accidents threaten Meghan’s life, he wonders if his secrets have finally caught up with him. Can they both discover the truth without paying the ultimate price …their lives?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you’ll check it out. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

I’d like to welcome erotic romance author Afton Locke. By day, Afton Locke is technical, but by night she swims in the mystical world of dreams. Intrigued by all things unexplained, like ghosts and karma, she delights in spinning dark, sensual stories that pull readers below the surface of everyday (and sometimes boring) life to the depths of forbidden fantasy.

What else would you expect from someone with her moon in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio? She lives in the mountains with her husband, dog, and spooky black cat.

Her newest release, Plucking the Pearl, is available at Ellora’s Cave

BLURB:
When Pearl’s sheltered life shatters in the 1930s when her mother dies, her only option is to move in with poor family relations and shuck oysters in the local plant on Oyster Island, Maryland.

Determined to live a morally proper life, the last thing she wants is an affair with a white man, but Caleb, the plant owner, knows a pearl when he sees one. The successful widower is the “oyster king” of the island, but his intense desire for his forbidden new employee, a woman of color, threatens everything he’s built.

What begins as a private sexual liaison flowers into strong feelings that don’t fit the social mores of the island. When their secret is discovered, they risk losing everything. They dared to pluck the pearl, but will their love be strong enough to keep it forever?

EXCERPT:

Copyright © AFTON LOCKE, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

“You’re standing awfully close,” she whispered.

“I am, aren’t I?” he whispered back. “Do you want me to move?”

Yes! No! Oh Lord, help me. I’ve never felt so weak.

“Show me the next step—with the oyster, that is,” she said quickly.

“Certainly.” He gripped her hand around the knife again and made deft movements to cut the meat from the shell. “Cut here and there. That’s all there is to it.”

“You make it look so simple,” she said, realizing he could pull her out of her shell just as easily.

When he stepped away from her, her legs nearly gave out. It was as if the hardness that had been nestled against her was the only thing that had been keeping her standing upright in front of the table.

He stepped beside her and she watched, fascinated, as he tipped the oyster half with the meat on it to his mouth. Watching the wet creature slide past the dark hairs of his moustache intrigued her in a way she couldn’t explain.

When he bent forward to kiss her, she was too aroused to refuse. His pale blue eyes came closer than they ever had and all she could do was stare helplessly into them. It was as if she floated higher and higher into the sky, never to set foot on firm earth again.

She felt his moustache first, hot and coarse, and then his lips, cooler and wetter. As his mouth worked over hers, something pushed between her lips. His tongue? She met it with hers, stroking with an abandon she refused to acknowledge as her own.

He tasted of the sea. No, not just one tongue. Two? She was too distracted by the heat boiling through her belly to care. When he removed his mouth, she realized he’d put the oyster inside her mouth.

Without thinking, she spit it out and it landed on the floor.

Caleb tipped his head back and laughed. It was a beautiful man’s laugh, musical and deep. Unfortunately she didn’t feel very amused.

“Now Ernie would have a fit if he saw you messed up his clean floor,” he said. “I take it you don’t care for oysters.”

She crossed her arms. “No, I don’t. I thought you had swallowed it. And you shouldn’t have kissed me.”

He wiped his hand on one of the clean rags nearby and she did the same. Then he leaned an elbow against the table and looked at her.

“Why not, honey? We’re not married.”

“In case you haven’t noticed,” she said, “we’re not the same color—or social class, for that matter. You’re the owner of this establishment and I’m just a poor—”

He put two fingers to her lips to quiet her. The lingering scent of oysters drifted from them, making her breathe faster. She was beginning to like oysters…

BUY the book.

I’d like to welcome my guest, romance author, Jill James. Take it away Jill …

I often get asked why I choose to write romance novels. Yes, we are the stepchild of the industry while being its biggest moneymaker. Yes, we are accused of being formuladic, while always guaranteeing our readers a happily-ever-after. Yes, we are misunderstood and miscategorized as Miss Mary Sunshines, while our stories can be deep, meaningful, and many-faceted. I choose to write and read romance for all of the above.

My mom gave me my first romance novel for my twefth birthday, a little green book titled Lily of the Valley to go with the Lily of the Valley perfume from Avon. I still have the book, the perfume is long gone. The story is rich and textured with misunderstandings, jealousy, and revenge. It is a story of a blinded perfume maker and the spinster he thinks he is rescueing and in the end she rescues him.

A few years later I read Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small and I knew I wanted to be a romance author. Her story of the many husbands and many adventures of Skye O’Malley made me want to put my own stories to paper. To actual paper, because when I started writing my own tales they were on a Royal typewriter. You know, the ones where one mistake meant you had to rewrite the whole page. No cut and paste. LOL

My first unfinished stories will never see the light of day. I did not know there were rules in writing, and I broke them all. My heroine was married, kidnapped, and fell in love with her kidnapper. To be truthful, he was being blackmailed by the heroine’s mother-in-law to kidnap her, so he wasn’t ALL bad.

For many years, I wrote in solitude until an amazing thing happened. I discovered RWA (Romance Writers of America) OMG! You mean there are thousands of women just like me? It was like dawn breaking.

With the enormous help of many fellow RWA members I was able to finally see my name on a book and say I was a published romance author.

I write romance because dreams really do come true.


Jill’s most recent release, Someone to Trust is the second book in her “Second Chances” series:

BLURB:
Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men. She’s been lied to and deceived too many times before. Happily single, the last thing she needs is a man.

Brady Jackson is a former Marine. Now a carpenter, he is as honest as the day is long. What you see is what you get.

When Brady falls for Evie he will have to prove he can be trusted with her heart. When danger arrives at her door he will have to prove he can be trusted to protect her. When everyone turns against him, he will have to prove he is someone to trust.

EXCERPT:
Chapter One
“Honey, it’s just a stupid business trip. You would be bored in Oregon.”

“Evie, sweetie. I love you, but you know you aren’t the smartest apple in the bunch.”

“Evie, where in the hell were you? You know you’re not allowed out after dark. Only
women out after dark are whores and sluts.”

Blinking her eyes in the dark bedroom, Evie Grimes shuddered and took deep, cleansing breaths. Her ex-husband wasn’t here. He hadn’t been in her life for five, long, peaceful years now. Her heartbeat slowed, calmed, returned to a normal pace.

She turned on her side, hitting her pillow to relieve the residual tension in her shoulders.
Cold sweat pooled between her breasts. Sighing, Evie glanced at the bedside clock. She refused to get up at four in the morning just because her sadistic ex-husband had invaded her dreams again.

A car’s headlights traveled along the ceiling and she missed the lake even more than usual. Life in the little town wasn’t hectic. But the lake was so peaceful it made the town seem like a metropolis. She needed peace and quiet more and more as the nightmares returned.

It was only a matter of time before the calls started up again and she’d be forced to change phone numbers yet again. A step closer to needing to find a new town again, praying it would be the last time.

Tears filled her eyes, rolling down the sides of her face and wetting her hair. He always
found her and she always had to move on. Her thoughts ran in circles like a merry-go-round.

She threw off the covers and swung her legs off the bed. Even at four in the morning, the mugginess the day would later carry already filled the air. She strode down the hallway in her T-shirt and panties, all she forced herself to wear in the dog days of August in the sweltering foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Her footsteps pitter-pattered down the oak flooring of the hallway. The beats of her still-racing heart pounded in her ears.

She flipped the switch on the wall and the kitchen flooded with light, banishing the not-yet dawn outside and the last dregs of her nightmare. Evie shuddered, wrapping her arms around herself.

Thoughts of Mark Trudeau still haunted her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BUY link for KINDLE lovers
BUY link for NOOK Lovers

So we’re curious … how did you come to enjoy reading/writing romance?

I’ve got a busy day scheduled and I hope you’ll join me.

First I’m hanging at I Write Hot chatting about “BLIND HER WITH BLISS”. (Though it’s not really considered erotic romance, it’s a little too steamy for their I Self-Pub.) This is a new site that is just getting up and running. I hope you’ll stop over and help me support them and their efforts to get the word out about erotic romance and self-published books.

I’m also spending the day at Coffee Time Romance Blog. I’ll be hanging out all day giving away books and goodies and having a generally wild party. I hope you’ll stop over and join me.

Hi everyone, and Nina, thank you for inviting me. My name is Charlene Roberts. I’m an Ellora’s Cave author, and soon to be Double Dragon author (this is an e-pub specializing in sci-fi, horror, fantasy, etc.)

My blog is about the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. I’m sure that some of you are wondering if you can do this, or if it’s worth spending time on. For writers who are not prolific, like me, the gain of 50,000 words is 50,000 more than if I wrote at my regular pace.

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month – or NaNo, as it’s affectionately called – is the brainchild of Chris Baty, who works for the Offices of Letters and Light in California. His idea to get people of all ages writing has blossomed into a global extravaganza, where writers challenge themselves to complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

Now you must be wondering; why on earth would anyone subject themselves to the agony of finding 50,000 words in 30 days? Well, I for one am a procrastinator. I have all these wonderful ideas of what to write, but when it comes to finishing, it can take me forever. Plus I’m a very slow writer—a double whammy.

With NaNo, I can decide on what project to work on, get an outline together, and make myself write 50,000 words.

For those who are considering the challenge of taking on NaNo, here are some tips that can help:

1. The most important thing to consider when tackling something of this size is to turn your internal editor off. That’s right, I’m serious. There’s no way (unless you’re extremely prolific) a person can write 50,000 words in 30 days unless you turn off that annoying little voice in your head that says “What are you writing? It’s terrible! Start over!” The whole idea of doing NaNo is to write as much as you can in one month. Don’t worry about what words you’re using, or the grammar – just get the words down on paper. You’re going to be editing it anyways. And you know as well as I do that it’s easier to edit a bunch of words than a blank sheet.

Oh and what I’ve learned when turning off the internal editor? You come up with some very interesting scenes you never would have thought of otherwise.

2. You need to plan. 50,000 words is a lot of work, so you need to know how you’re going to achieve that goal. It takes about 1,666 words per day to make the 50K mark – so how will you do this?

I found that for myself, a little bit here and there helped. I work full-time in front of a computer, and nowadays, I’m hard pressed to sit in front of my computer in the evenings. So I would write long hand instead, or use my Blackberry Torch to write.

If you do write in the evenings, you should plan to have “me time” – no interruptions from the family, no phone calls, and no distractions. The hour or two that you set aside for yourself HAS to be for you – I found that my family would find excuses to interrupt me! After putting my foot down though, they got the hint! LOL

3. Know what you are going to work on. It sounds simple I know, but I noticed that in the years I’ve done NaNo, passion for my new manuscript made a big difference in how many words I would produce. For example in 2008, I was working on an urban fantasy manuscript. I loved the story and the outline I had drawn up for it, and when NaNo started, I couldn’t write fast enough. I think I was at 53,000 words when NaNo was finished. I finished my manuscript (which was approx. 103,000 words), and finally sold it this year. Like I said, slow writer. 🙂

However, this year was a struggle. I liked my story, but I didn’t have the same passion for it as my urban fantasy, which is not normal for me. I did manage to reach 50K this year, however.

4. Know the best time for you to write. Some writers are early birds, while others are night owls. I’m definitely a night owl, and produce my best work then.

The best thing about NaNo is that it’s not a contest, or that you HAVE to have 50K at the end of the month. The best thing about is that you’re further ahead than if you didn’t join NaNo. And the support from Chris and his team members is contagious. They’ve set up NaNo so that Regional Volunteers can cheer their neighbourhood writers on to produce as much as they can. Some of them even have all-night writing parties! How’s that for inspiration?

And I personally love a challenge. You can even “friend” other people on the site and watch as you compete with each other on your word counts.

Anyhow, I hope that what I’ve learned about NaNo will make you think about taking on the challenge next year. And I’ll be there too in 2012, working on my next greatest masterpiece!

Charlene’s lastest release, A Gentlemen’s Savior is available from Ellora’s Cave.

BLURB:
When Stephanie’s art teacher issues a challenge—create a painting based only on the torso of a human sculpture—she decides to paint a Regency lord. But with his muscular body, longer hair and a few well-placed scars, Stephanie’s lord is definitely no Regency dandy. Her best work ever, the painting stirs an obsession Stephanie can’t explain. Not content to wait for the next class, she visits the art center, just to get a peek at her lord. She touches the painting…

And suddenly finds herself in a bedroom in 1817 London, her lord standing behind her—very real, very naked and very ready to end Stephanie’s sexual dry spell.

Before she can say “ton”, Stephanie’s indulging her desires with Gabriel, dressing in the height of Regency fashion and meeting the Prince Regent. But life in 1817 isn’t all tea and crumpets. Stephanie soon learns she’s reliving her past life—one that ended tragically. Thrust in the middle of a sinister plot, she must save the prince, save Gabriel…and if she’s luckier this time around, save herself.

EXCERPT:

On Friday, Stephanie decided to go straight to the community center after work. The thought of not seeing her Regency lord until Wednesday bugged the shit out of her. She needed a visual dose of his taut, muscular body to keep her fantasies running strong over the weekend.

At the center, Stephanie hurried inside, the silence in the building eerie. There was always something going on at the center, but since it was after hours, the hallways now stood empty. The classroom doors were all closed and the early evening twilight lengthened the shadows in the long, narrow corridor.

Stephanie walked quickly, her heels clicking with swift purpose. If she couldn’t find the janitor before he left for the weekend… She shook her head. It wasn’t the end of the world for Christ’s sake! It was only a painting, after all.

A movement ahead and to her right caught her attention.

“Excuse me?” Stephanie called out, seeing the familiar blue coveralls. “I was wondering if you could help me.”

The old gentleman stopped and turned to look at her. “What is it?”

It wouldn’t be easy getting him to unlock the door. She would need to come up with a good reason. “I’m one of Leila Rowe’s evening art students. I can’t find my paintbrushes and I think I may have left them in the storeroom.”

The janitor sighed, rolling his eyes heavenward. “Come on.” He led the way to the storeroom and pulled out a large ring of keys, taking his time selecting one. “You artsy folk can be a pain sometimes.”

“I beg your pardon? What are you talking about?” Stephanie demanded, standing aside as he swung the door open and flicked on the overhead light.

“I’m talking about your weird requests. In the fifteen years I’ve worked for the center, the Adults Arts Program is the strangest.”

“In what way?”

“I’ve seen my share of people just like you, coming in here at weird hours, asking for me to open the storeroom door so they can stare at their masterpieces.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“They always forget to turn off the light and latch the door so it locks behind them, that’s what’s wrong! I can’t be standing here watching them ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over their paintings.” He made a limp gesture with one hand.

Stephanie managed to keep a straight face. “I’m only here to find what I want.”

“You’ll remember to turn off the light and lock the door behind you?”

“I promise.”

The old man nodded and walked off.

Stephanie walked in and shut the door behind her. Five easels stood in a row at the back of the storeroom, the paintings covered with sheets to protect them from prying eyes and careless fingers.

She moved forward, not knowing which one was hers, and yet she walked purposefully toward the last easel to her right, partially cast in shadow. Lifting the sheet, Stephanie gazed at her naked hero, feeling the rush of pride and slight embarrassment as she stared at his body.

His gaze almost seemed to beckon her to reach out and touch his warm skin, to kiss the full lips curved slightly upward with a mysterious smile, to grasp his cock in both hands and feel its silky skin glide over her fingers.

Stephanie let out a small gasp—she hadn’t realized she was holding her breath. Reaching out with one finger, she grazed her lord’s cheek ever so slightly…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks so much for visiting Char. I can honestly say I’ve never been brave enough to commit to NaNo. I’m curious how many of my visitors have tried it. If not, why? And if you did, were you happy with the results?

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