I’m feeling very nostalgic this week after attending the funeral of my dear friends’ mother. Technically the woman is my brother’s mother-in-law. But since he literally married the girl-next-door, this woman was for all intents and purposes, she was the neighborhood mom to all teenagers.
I don’t remember a time in my youth when this family wasn’t part of the landscape of my day-to-day life. My brother spoke eloquently at her funeral about being a young teen and hanging out at the house, raiding the pantry and cleaning the leftovers out of the fridge. Another friend of mine talked about all the crazy times the gang spent at their house. This woman and her husband were married 55 years. There are all kinds of memories that make me smile about this gruff truck driver coming home to his wife and three girls. Despite his prickly exterior I never had any doubt they filled his heart with unconditional love. I was too young to see the difficult times that no doubt clouded their marriage, but still, they were able to weather every storm.
My brother has been married to his wife going on 29 years. We even have pictures of them, complete with minister (my younger brother), wedding dress, bridesmaids and groomsmen in their backyard getting married … long before they were even officially teenagers. I’ve watched these two go through some wonderful times and some very hard times. And what I’ve come to know is that loving someone for a looong time isn’t always easy and definitely not always pretty.
Thirty-seven years ago this fall I began dating my husband.
We’ve raised three babies to young adulthood. Gutted and remodeled two homes. Buried eight grandparents and a father. Persevered through three major job losses, four family divorces and a sibling’s affair. Survived the diagnosis of a life-altering chronic disease. And lived in the middle of nowhere for over twenty years. And currently counseling a child to get herself and our grandson out of a terrible living situation. Yeah, romance isn’t the happy-ever-after-ride-into-the-sunset the romance novels seem to tout for their heroes and heroines. Romance in real lives is smiling despite the fact you never managed to squeak in a shower and saying “I love you, you’re beautiful” even though there are dirty dishes in the sink, laundry piled on the bed and baby puke on your pants.
Through all the hardships of daily life I still believe in soul mates and forever loves. In my immediate family we have 5 couples who have been married nearly 30 years. 2 nearly 20. And now another generation begins the journey into marital romance with 4 weddings in the coming year.
I’ve been blessed with one of those marriages that romance novels promise. How could I not be a hopeless romantic at heart? There are no flowers on my counter or diamonds dripping from ears, but there’s a guy sitting in the chair next to me as I work tirelessly at my computer who laughs at my corny jokes, doesn’t roll his eyes (too much) at my lack of geographical acuity, holds me when I cry and is willing to discuss (with a straight face) whether vampire assassins make worthy romance heroes. And just being with him makes me feel romantic.
There are many moments in our lives together that hold a special place in my heart. Moments that bring a tear to my eye when I talk about them. Moments when we were first dating. Moments when our babies were growing up. Moments of quiet when it was just the two of us away from the noise of the world. All of them hold a certain kind of romance that makes me smile when I think of them.
This week I watched a man openly weep as he said goodbye to a woman who no doubt was the other half of his soul. I listened to his daughters talk about their parents’ love with a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye. And it just brought home a stark reminder that no matter how hard life gets, it’s important to cherish my marriage. I can only hope when it’s all said and done that my children will have all those wonderful memories of their parents.
Maybe it’s because the winter has been so mild with no storms to make the news. Maybe it’s because the stars are out of alignment. Or maybe it’s because books are pushing the boundaries. I don’t know. But he end of last week, Paypal decided they weren’t going to allow payment for certain types of erotica. This affected all publishers using this method of payment including Bookstrand, All Romance Ebooks and Smashwords.
There are many authors/readers up in arms about this mandate. The interesting thing is that Paypal decided they were coming down on stories involving incest, rape as titillation, under-aged sex and besteality. Now I write erotic romance and the publishers that have accepted my books already had these stipulations. I wouldn’t want to write books with any of those topics anyway. So even though I got notification from two of the publishers above because I have self-pubbed with them, their notification didn’t affect me personally.
And though this stance is probably unpopular with authors who write erotica and erotic romance, I didn’t see a problem with Paypal’s decision. I’m not sure it’s the beginning of censorship as some have suggested. I don’t feel censored by Ellora’s Cave or Liquid Silver Books. I don’t think their readers feel they are restricting their desire to read stories with explicit sexual content. They haven’t widened the net to include things that some readers find objectionable, like anal and oral sex or multiple and same-sex partners or BDSM themes. But they have remained firm on certain sexual acts. I don’t think Paypal is going to widen their restrictions either.
And I don’t feel censored as a reader or an author. I think Paypal as a business has the right to make restrictions on the use of their services. I’ve listened to arguments on both sides and I just don’t see this as the huge out-of-control fire that some see beginning to burn. Dear Author did a nice job covering all sides of this controversy so I won’t rehash the facts as they’ve listed them. This could come back and bite me in the butt, but I don’t see this as a problem. But I’m still gathering information and reserve the right to change my mind.
What about you? How are you feeling about Paypal’s recent decisions?
Addendum (2/28 4:00 pm): I really appreciate everyone who has stopped by. Many of you have taken time to share heartfelt insights. I must admit, my view of this situation was narrow and based only on my personal experiences (despite reading blogs and listening to many of my writer friends discuss the topic). It is times like this when I realize as much of life as I’ve experienced, it is still possible to learn more through the experiences of others. I really didn’t see Paypal’s decision as mushrooming, but through your insightful comments, I certainly am looking at this situation differently. Thank you again for taking time to share your feelings and continue to educate me on the repercussions of Paypals policy change. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the days to come.
I haven’t posted an excerpt for awhile and thought this lazy Sunday while I have my coffee in hand and the sun is shining and a cool breeze is wafting in my windows that I’d search one up for you to enjoy. Hmmm, I think I’ll share something from my vampire firefighter novella Shadows of Fire available from Liquid Silver Books.
ALEXANDRA FLANAGAN didn’t ask to be forced from her human existence as a chemistry student at the South Kenton University in the northern mountains of California into the ungodly world of vampires. But thirty years ago, after nearly dying from a vicious vampire attack, that’s exactly what happened. Saved by the blood of an ancient vampire, she unhappily walks among immortals–facing a hollow existence she never chose.
REESE COLTON has been a vampire for centuries. A man of honor, he is part of an elite military operation known as RISEN that seeks out and eliminates rogue vampires who choose to break the unwritten codes of the immortals and not live complacently among the human population. Under cover as a firefighter at the South Kenton fire department, he and his team have been called in to investigate the unusual number of fires that have ended the lives of several humans–and vampires.
When chemistry ignites passion, Reese and Alex find themselves embroiled in an affair that catches them both unaware. With the number of fires escalating and Alex’s behavior increasingly suspect, Reese isn’t sure whether to follow his heart or the clues. Will Reese find the answers to Alex’s secrets in the Shadows of Fire?
That did it. He’d been grilling her for the last half hour about the events of last evening and now he was accusing her … of what? A switch clicked and pushed away her confusion. He was accusing her of killing Glenn? She may not be telling him everything, but to think she’d bring any harm to the man who’d loved and protected her dropped indignation over her wounded heart like a shield. Alex jumped to her feet, the metal legs of the chair scraping loudly. She barely noticed. “What the fuck, Reese?” Her hand pointed in the general direction of Glenn’s farm. “Do you think I shoved a stake through Glenn’s heart and started that fire?”
His eyes grew dark, the corner of his mouth curving in a malicious smirk. He straightened and held his palms out, inviting her to rebuke his theory. His silent recrimination filled the air and Alex could hardly draw breath.
She had come here thinking Reese was one of the few people who would understand the pain burning through her veins. She hadn’t expected him to accuse her of murder. “Fuck you, Reese.” The whisper was barely audible through the tension. “I loved him like a father.” Sorrow ripped open the raw wound, bringing a fresh sting of tears behind her eyes, but she refused to give in to them. Alex didn’t need this. Didn’t need him. And she sure as hell didn’t need his accusations–or pity. She’d come seeking solace in Reese’s arms–and his bed. She’d wanted one day of lust to take with her when she left. That had been something else Alex had decided on her way here. She needed to leave and take her secrets with her. “I thought you knew me. All these months … yesterday…” The last word choked out with a sob. Alex turned, intent on leaving the cabin, leaving South Kenton. She’d been mistaken thinking there was something left for her here.
Reese’s hand was on her shoulder before she took more than a few steps. He turned her and pulled her tight to the solid plane of his chest. His mouth came down hard on hers. No soft exploration. No gentle probing. Just raw male lust devouring her mouth. His hands fisted in her hair and she opened herself to him, wanting to fill the void Glenn’s death had left in her heart. She needed to feel alive in the midst of so much death. Her lips parted and welcomed the heat of his tongue. It tangled and danced with hers, teasing and tasting.
“Alex, I’m sorry.” Reese whispered in her ear. “Glenn … the fires … you … it’s all too much.” His lips wandered her face, kissing her lids and her nose, trailing fire down her neck.
She felt the scrape of his teeth as his fangs drew across the tender flesh of her throat. The sensation sent sparks of desire straight to her sex. Despite what he might believe of her, the anger couldn’t keep her heart from wanting this man. “Reese, I’m yours. Take me.”
Her world spun and shifted as he lifted her into his arms and covered her mouth with his. She was dizzy with need and had no idea where he was taking her until his body shifted and his foot kicked closed a door. Without preamble, Reese laid her on the soft mattress of a bed and came down heavy on top of her. Reveling in the sensation of his hands on her body, she didn’t open her eyes. The essence of him permeated the air. The pillows around her head were filled with the thick male scent of him. She wanted to drown in its heady aroma.
Their hands were everywhere at once, tugging at clothes, ripping away buttons. The desperate need to have flesh searing flesh was all that drove them until they lay naked and gasping in each other’s arms. Their lips, teeth, and hands moved in frantic hunger to taste and touch. She couldn’t get enough of him.
Alex’s palms slid down the hard muscles along his spine, pressing into the well of his low back before curving up the rounded arch of his taut ass and digging her nails in deep. Air hissed through Reese’s teeth, a low moan vibrating through the heat of his mouth at her neck. His teeth dragged down her throat and his lips replaced his hand at her breast. His mouth suckled and bit first one aching nipple then the other. The sharp thrill of pain shot straight to her core, clenching her muscles. The thick heat of lust leaked onto her thighs. No man had ever made her so wet.
I’d like to welcome debut author DAVID BRIDGER to the Writer’s Block today. David’s novel, Beauty and the Bastard released last month from Liquid Silver Books. He’s agreed to hang out today, party a little and talk about his new book. He has no idea what he’s getting himself into. (Or perhaps he does ;))
Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing
I knew from an early age that I would be a writer, but first I needed to scratch my wanderlust itch. The sea called to me. After nearly twenty years and a variety of jobs that included lifeguard, sailor, intelligence gather and investigator, I came home badly injured. It took me several years to regain my mobility. Learning to write helped me stay sane (ish) during that dark and scary time.
Yeah let’s not touch that sanity statement *g* and move right along to the details of your book:
Saul the Bastard is a fallen angel who works as a bounty hunter for powerful urban demon families. Rebecca Drake, a modern day demon princess, is being hunted by dangerous desert demons. When Rebecca’s family hires Saul to protect her, they are both unhappy with the arrangement, but before long sparks fly as they try to resist their strong mutual attraction. For the first time in living memory, Saul has someone to love; someone he is scared of losing; someone the desert demons have marked to be their next sacrifice.
Wow, angels and demons, I’m in love already. How did you come up with this story?
They invaded my mind late one night when I was waiting for sleep to take me. Saul’s opening scene played over and over in my head. It was like watching the first five minutes of a film noir movie on a loop. I was wide awake anyway by that point, so I went looking and found Rebecca.
I fell asleep eventually. At dawn I opened a new file on the computer and started writing their story before the kettle boiled for my first cup of tea.
Interesting the hero came to you first. Well, since we’re on the subject when you’re reading a romance what about the way the hero is portrayed drives you crazy? In other words … do woman get it wrong?
In general, you all get it right. Well, what did you expect me to say? 🙂
I get bored when someone writes a cardboard cut-out character, but there’s no gender-based qualification for that.
LOL! You certainly dodged that bullet. I’ll move away from the gender questions and just ask you to describe your writing space.
I get to know my characters in bed, and like to do my plotting in the bath, but I always write in my study.
Ya know … two erotic authors should never be left alone with statements like that so I’m just going to show my readers a picture of your study and move on …
The study is at the back of the house, which is dug into a steep hillside. It’s quiet in here, except when people stamp around on the roof garden above my head. But I do my yoga up there so I can’t complain about other family members enjoying it too.
The study has been redecorated since I took that photo, and we’ve shuffled the furniture around to give me more leg room. The chesterfield is still on the left wall but the far end of it is now against the window wall. The club chair is immediately inside the door, below the bottom left corner of the photo, and my desk is under the window where the club chair used to be. When I raise my eyes from the monitor, I’m looking up the slope into our back garden.
Since you opened the door into your private world I figure I can ask you most anything. Why romance? I mean … you’re a GUY, everyone knows the majority of romance readers are women. We’re pretty particular about our stories.
I’ve always been a romantic. Show me an ocean-going sailor who says he isn’t a romantic and I’ll show you someone in denial. Show me a man who claims he’s never had a romantic thought or feeling and I’ll show you a bloody liar. But I didn’t choose to write romance. There just came a day when I realized that everything I’d written so far contained a strong element of romance, even if it wasn’t always the main storyline, and that I was good at it. So I simply followed the path.
I want to believe you, but I’m a skeptic. Quick, which do you prefer … a cold brew on the back deck with your lady or a scotch at the local pub with the boys?
A long cold G&T with ice and lemon, on the roof with my lady, watching the sun sink into the Atlantic.
*sigh* Are you sure you didn’t walk right off the pages of the latest best selling romance? … Oh, sorry, I was making a character sketch of my next hero … Um, where was I? Oh, anything else you want to share with your readers?
Never google “wolfbagging”.
ROFLMBO … most writers have writing advice, but since I didn’t follow yours I’m going to suggest to others to heed David’s advice. And while I try to recover from that let me share with everyone a short excerpt from the second chapter of Beauty and the Bastard (click on publisher’s link up top for an excerpt from chapter one)…
Rebecca woke to the luxury of warm nudity on silk sheets. She stretched until her fingers and toes tingled, smiled hello to the sun kissing her eyelids, and felt like purring, right up until the moment she opened her eyes and saw an angry angel glaring at her from the rooftop opposite her bedroom window.
She sat bolt upright in bed and glared right back, ready to tell the freak to fuck off, and laughed aloud when she realized what it was.
It wasn’t glaring into her apartment. She held her hair back from her face and stood at the window to study the statue. Well, probably not. Its thousand-yard stare seemed to aim somewhere above her head. And now that she knew what she was looking at, the wide wing span felt more protective than aggressive. His sculptor had given him great abs and a good weighty dick, too. She’d never met an actual angel. Were they all hung like incubi? Who knew? She tipped a casual salute to her new friend and went hunting for breakfast.
I’d like to thank David for hanging out here today. I’ve hired a few cabana babes for the day to entice him to stay and respond to your questions and comments. So while we sit around talking all things romance and erotica you can find out more about him by visiting his website or his blog. You can also follow him on twitter.
Writing is hard. Waiting for the first reviews to come out after your book is published is excruciating. I don’t write books to have them sit at my publisher … I write books to send them out in the world and hope people fall in love with them! Well, that’s the hope anyway. LOL!
So CeCe at Bitten by Books gave Shadows of Fire 4 tombstones and
said this …
“Shadows of Fire” is a page-turner. It is definitely full of action. Ree[s]e and Alex are likable and relatable characters.
Lisa at Night Owl Romance gave Healer’s Garden 4.5 and a TOP PICK and said this …
“Evil forces play into this story, with unexpected twists, turns, and a very pleasing resolution…This wonderful fantasy culture where women are dominant and men disrespected is a very interesting twist and carries a strong plot well. Strong characters, their struggles with ethics, justice, and morality, coupled with excellent dialogue and attention to detail, make this book a fantastic fantasy read!
The sex scenes were very well written – so hot, Hot, HOT!!!! Get the air coolers running!”
So squeeee! It makes me so happy when people like my stories. It makes me warm and smiley. And to top it off Ellora’s Cave offered me a contract this week. Yeeeeah, it’s been a good week so far and it’s only Tuesday!!
Recently Ambrosia from Whipped Cream Reviews gave “Hearts Afire-May” a 5 cherry review. This anthology includes my vampire novella “Shadows of Fire”. This is part of what she had to say …
“It was a pleasure to read such an alarming, hot tale of the flames of desire, sparked by such an awesome set of characters. The other characters in the story lent a gamut of emotions from joy, to pain, to love, and hatred as the story licked the edges of Alex’s world.
A definite must for those who love a good suspense and hot read of fabulous frisky firemen and a feisty female. This story deserves its own 4.5 rating for the exceptional writing. One can only fall into the heat of well written prose with glee.”
Click HERE for the full review.
Yep, I’m smiling all over with that review! And to celebrate I’d like to share with you a new from my novella, Shadows of Fire. Please enjoy …
Clouds shrouded the moon as the vampire moved through the abandoned field. Some caring neighbor had probably come in today and no doubt sheltered the wayward animals. Just as well. After tonight, pig’s blood would no longer be needed for that heinous concoction that passed as vampire sustenance. Glenn’s death had solidified that.
Vampires were nocturnal creatures, born of blood, they lived by blood. To hell with modern views to the contrary. Ridding South Kenton of the contemptuous vampires who had weakened themselves had been necessary. Though the professor’s death should have been the end, the realization that one more fire would complete the purification spurred the beast forward.
Under the cloak of darkness the vampire searched Glenn’s house, but found nothing. Obviously, Glenn had hidden whatever he’d found in the professor’s office well. Had there been more time last evening, it would have been a pleasure to coax the information from his bloody lips. But misdirection required precision. The setup left in the barn fire could not have been more perfect. Killing the kid after Glenn resurrected the poor bastard had been an added pleasure. Staking the body to the pentagram was nothing short of pure genius. Already gossip of Glenn’s occult practices had begun to spread. Small towns survived on grist from the rumor mill. The lies had been whispered in the man’s own tavern tonight, for chrissake.
Now, the murderer needed to finish destroying the professor’s work. But the evidence Glenn had stolen from the man’s office-information that would no doubt spur others to follow in his footsteps-needed to be found and destroyed. Time was running out.
Standing on the back steps of the farm house, the monster listened to an owl cry a victory song in the darkness and its prey scream a death wail. It was a haunting sound that called to the vampire heart. “Life taken to give life.” The creed rode in the gentle breeze.
The rain had slowed around midnight and now, nearly an hour later, had finally stopped. It would make the long walk back to the bridge where the car was parked a pleasant stroll. The heavy boots clomped down the stairs and across the driveway. Clouds skittered across the sky and opened. The full moon beamed in all its glory upon the blackened barn, the rays of light stretching to illuminate Glenn’s vehicle. An obvious sign that couldn’t be ignored
With a gentle push of air, the vampire stood at the cab of the truck. The moon glittered off a metal ring hanging on the shifter. Opening the door, the vampire leaned in to retrieve the key, and found the leather satchel hidden beneath the seat.
Fate had smiled down once again.
I thought it would be nice to talk with my latest heroine today. I’d like to introduce, Jayda Kynslan. She’s a veterinarian in Lonesome Fork, Montana.
Nina: So what brought you to Lonesome Fork, Jayda?
Jayda: Originally or now?
Jayda: I hate to admit it, but I was running from a broken heart. I mean how cliche is that? I rented a cottage from a friend up on Coppertip Mountain and I was just looking for some hot, unencumbered sex to replace the foul flavor of infidelity. But it seemed I entered the wrong tavern when I walked into the Whip and Bull. Or the right tavern depending on your perspective. I stayed for completely different reasons.
Nina: We’ll get back to why you stayed, but what’s a Whip and Bull?
Jayda: That’s the tavern where the wolf shifters of Coppertip Mountain congregate. *laughs* Of course that night I didn’t know wolf shifters existed.
Nina: Well, now I’m confused. I mean, aren’t you a shifter?
Jayda: I am. But I didn’t know it. I was adopted by a human family. To this day they don’t know anything about my birth parents. Besides the nightmares I had as a girl there was nothing that gave me any indication I had that ability … well, until Cole.
Nina: Cole Takoda? The police chief in Lonesome Fork?
Nina: What did he have to do with you discovering your animal?
Jayda: He saw it the first time we made love. I guess fur and animal parts rolled over my skin when I … umm … you know … climaxed. But I don’t do that anymore. I’ve learned to control my animals.
Nina: Animals? As in plural?
Jayda: I’m what they call a polymorphic shifter. I have wolf, cougar and human all rolled up inside. Depending on which I call up I can be either when I shift. Cole thought I’d chosen wolf when I shifted at the Blue Moon last spring, but when I met Zane over the summer, well, my cougar surfaced as well.
Nina: So how did your relationship develop?
Jayda: Well that’s complicated to be sure. When I first met Cole his wolf recognized me as its mate. There was such a quick bonding between us I couldn’t deny that my heart recognized him as well. We were talking about a mating ceremony and then the cougar died and Marissa, my assistant …
Nina: That’s all right, you don’t need to talk about Marissa. What happened?
Jayda: Zane was there. Zane’s the new leader of the cougar council. He was the one that first brought forth my cougar. *blushing* That’s when I knew.
Nina: Knew what?
Jayda: That Cole might not be enough. I mean ours is a very complicated relationship. But it’s what we all need. Our story is still unfolding, but for now, it’s working. We still haven’t celebrated our commitment ceremony, but it’s in the planning stages. It’s just that the three of us are working to unite the shifter councils of Coppertip Mountain together. I’m not sure why it’s important, but with every fiber of my being I know something is brewing and both the cougars and the wolves will need to be united to fight whatever is coming.
Nina: That sounds ominous. And though I’d love to find out more about it, I’m afraid our time has run out for today.
Jayda: No problem. I’ve got to get back to the veterinarian clinic anyway. It’s been fun chatting with you. And don’t forget to tell your readers that they can read the beginning of my love story with Cole in Blue Moon Rising in the Furry, Fluffy & Wild anthology from Liquid Silver and the rest of the love story with Zane in Bonded by Need through Ellora’s Cave. Thanks for having me.
The third book in the Tilling Passions series got a wonderful review last week. But I thought I’d share an excerpt from the first book in the series, Blind Love.
He’s a shock jock looking to reform. She’s an accountant hoping to cut loose. Can love open their eyes to forever?
Please enjoy this excerpt …
Julie had no idea what was happening. The whole evening had been an overwhelming discord of sensual overload. The music had stroked her body like the bow of a violin, sending her taut muscles quivering with every pulse. She had danced with women and men, sometimes both. Their hands and mouths wandered her body without inhibition.
Their intimate touches had startled her at first. She’d bolted from the dance floor, too chicken to do anything but sip at another iced tea and watch. Other people’s clothes had disappeared as the night wore on and so had her reticence. No one knew her here. No one cared that Monday she would go back to boring Julie, CPA. Tonight, she could be anyone. And tonight she wanted to be Julie, wanton pinup girl.
So she’d pushed her way back in the crowd, enjoying the pleasant thrumming in her head and belly. She didn’t know how many people had touched her–at the moment, didn’t really care. She hadn’t been able to return their affections, but others had. She wasn’t sure how many orgasms she’d witnessed, couples having intercourse on the dance floor or women pleasured to climax by partners of both sexes, but she’d become increasingly aroused as the night wore on. Although her body was heavy with desire, she hadn’t allowed anyone to satisfy her in public. Even she had her limits.
At that moment, the spotlight illuminated her, cast all eyes on her, taking away her anonymity. Heat rose from the soles of her feet to settle in her cheeks. Julie swiveled her head, not understanding the chanting coming from the crowd. They wanted her to dance. Hands coaxed her from behind to join the small group gathered in the center of the dance floor. A man grabbed her hand and pulled her against his bare chest. The smell of musk and sweat assaulted her nose–completely masculine, completely erotic. His lips crushed down on hers, stealing what little air was in her lungs. He spun her away from him, and just as quickly, twirled her back into his arms. They both laughed. The crowd surrounding the intimate group of twenty began to chant.
It was only a dance contest. This, she could enjoy.
Her partner pulled her tight to his body, his thigh parting her legs. She felt his erection against her hip, and jolts of current spiked down her center. He laid his cheek against her temple, his breath hot on her ear. He pulsed his hips in time with the music, rubbing her swollen sex against the soft leather of his pants. She was overwhelmed by the myriad sensations rippling through her. For a moment she didn’t think about where she was, didn’t worry about the people around her. She thought only of what her body yearned for, what she’d been craving all night. Release. She closed her eyes, hearing only the music, enjoying the way her muscles clenched as her need built to a crescendo.
The supple body of a woman molded to Julie’s back and joined in the rhythmic movement of their bodies. The woman’s heated fingers trailed embers down Julie’s shaky thighs.
Another person? She wasn’t alone with this man? The realization snapped her back from a place she hadn’t wanted to go. A place Julie promised herself she wouldn’t go. What was she thinking? It was not the first time that night Julie had been in this position, but it was the first time she’d actually thought about giving in to the release of sexual tension knotting her gut. Later, in a more private place–like her shower–she’d tame the horny beast, but not now, not in front of all these people. Even this new person she’d become had her limits. With a delicate shimmy and twist she’d perfected, Julie extricated herself from the couple. Unaffected by her departure, the two seamlessly closed the gap between them.
Relief flooded over her as one of the cocktail waitresses motioned for her to come out of the spotlights. She cast a glance over her shoulder. Clothes were being removed from the remaining ten contestants as quickly as dancers were being pulled from the contest. Despite her outfit’s inability to completely cover her breasts, Julie’s clothes had remained intact. She intended to keep it that way. For the third time that night, she lost herself in the multitude.
Besides, she still had work to do.
Furry, Fluffy & Wild is a wolf shifter anthology available through Liquid Silver Books and includes my novella Blue Moon Rising which actually kicks off the “Shifting Bonds” series. This is the story where I first fell in love with Jayda Kynslan, a veterinarian who hasn’t yet met the shifter within…
Please enjoy this excerpt:
Jayda Kynslan sauntered into the Whip and Bull Tavern wanting only two things: a cold beer and a hot c**k. The first she hoped would ease the heavy ache in her chest. The second would be attached to a good-looking man who would replace the images of the jackass who’d broken her heart. This whole road trip to the high mountains of Montana had been a knee-jerk reaction to the asshole’s selfishness. Jayda shook her head, clearing away thoughts of the friggin’ pig of a manwhore. She didn’t want to go there tonight. This night was about getting a little buzz and a lot of sex.
Her first objective was only as far away as the bar on the other side of the room. But weaving her way through the handful of empty tables, her red cowboy boots crunching on the peanut shells strewn on the marred floor, Jayda realized finding someone to fulfill the second thing on her wish list wasn’t going to be as easy. She’d picked a bad night to go cruising for male flesh in a nearly empty bar that seemed to cater to the college crowd.
Plunking her voluptuous ass on one of the padded barstools, Jayda lifted her hand to the bartender. Some might consider Jayda fat, but she liked to think of her size-sixteen frame as curving in all the right places. Why men would go for the little waifs with nothing to hold on to, like the petite blonde behind the bar, was beyond her understanding.
“Bud Lite,” she said to the female bartender, who looked only slightly less bored than she felt at the moment. Except for football season, which had already passed, Jayda figured Monday nights, even in a cowboy town like Lonesome Fork, weren’t really big tavern nights for most people.
The woman’s ponytail swayed as she set down the bottle, offered a glass, which Jayda refused, and slid over the bowl of peanuts. Jayda hadn’t eaten since lunch–just before leaving the clinic. Anticipation had kept her driving through the mountains, but now her stomach rumbled, reminding her she hadn’t bothered to fix herself dinner before leaving the cabin, either. Grabbing a handful of nuts, she scanned the reflections of the patrons in the mirror behind the bar, searching for possible targets.
Tonight, she decided, would be her last go-around with the opposite sex–unadulterated, uncomplicated coitus with a complete stranger. A nice memory to hold onto in the quiet of the night when she was alone in her bed. She didn’t want to need a man. She was a successful vet in a big practice–it should be enough.
After tonight, she’d spend the week in solitude at her friend’s mountain cabin, mending her shredded heart, and planting her feet solidly on the path to celibacy. Obviously, two weeks drowning her sorrows with tears hadn’t helped. Men, she’d come to believe, were nothing but scumbags of trouble on the garbage heap of misery. The sooner she cleared them from her mind, the happier she’d be.
Jayda had chosen this evening’s outfit to accent her best features. Her ass was swaddled in her favorite pair of soft Levi’s, and her cleavage was displayed quite nicely in the white cashmere sweater. Her clothes definitely announced, “I’m yours for the taking.”
She hadn’t wanted to mess with the corkscrew curls of her hair while traveling the ninety minutes from her condo in Blackfish Springs to the cabin in Lonesome Fork, so she’d pulled the whole mess into a long French braid. The thick tail of black curled over her shoulder and draped invitingly over her breast.
Unable to make out faces in the murky light of the tavern, Jayda gave up on her sly inspection of the clientele and kicked the stool a half turn. Leaning one elbow on the padded edge of the bar, she casually sipped her beer, assessing her chances of getting laid.
This week I’d like to share another excerpt from my futuristic erotic suspense novel, The Healer’s Garden. Currently available from Liquid Silver Books
He understood she was his destiny. She never knew a man was in her future …
The sound from the crowd rolled up from the grass. The noise engulfed Brenimyn like a thunderous storm. He had never delivered the words with such enthusiasm and confidence. Putting his arm around Jahara, he was showered with the strength flowing from her. He kissed her passionately, barely able to control the impulse to run his hands down her body and feel her respond to his touch. She melted into him and he held her until the noise diminished, satisfied in the minimal contact.
Knowing the next step would be the hardest, he hugged Jahara close to him. Her body tensed. She understood what was coming. “Most honorable friends.” He raised his arm, waiting for the din to subside. “The time has come. We have waited and now it will begin.” Pausing a heartbeat, Brenimyn let the suspense hang in the air. “Men, no longer will we submit to the domination of the female species.” The breeders whooped and raised their fists. “No more will we be treated as animals good only for increasing the female population.” Some men jumped to their feet. “We will no longer accept that we are not worthy of gifts and education.” Even with the amplifier, Brenimyn had to shout to be heard over the celebrating crowd.
“Women, you will no longer be forced to procreate for the sake of continuing humankind. Mating will be a choice, one’s body freely given to another for the sake of love, not obligation for reproduction.” Everyone was on their feet. “The time has come to stop ripping your children from your womb and your hearts.” He watched the pregnant women cradle their swollen stomachs. “We have waited long enough, the time is now.”
He let the crowd have their moment before lifting his hand. The crowd settled back into the grass. The murmurs of approval still rippled over them like a pebble dropped in water.
“The prophecy says: two great warriors, a woman and a man shall join together to ready an army for a monumental battle. It will not be fought with weapons as our ancestors had done, but with intellect and cunning. This war will oppose all common beliefs and bring about a new world order where men and women, as equals, shall reign.” Jahara went slack in his arms. She braced her hand on his chest, her gaze flicking wildly about the people below. Holding her quivering body, Brenimyn knew only his arm kept her from collapsing. This was a burden anyone would find difficult to shoulder.
“Many visionaries have confirmed the prophecy. As you know, from a young age, I understood I was the chosen one. I accepted the responsibility many years ago and have prepared the way, waiting anxiously for the woman who would stand at my side.” The crowd stilled, holding a collective breath, already knowing the words he would speak. Unsure of her reaction, Brenimyn looked down at Jahara. He watched her transformation in rapt fascination.
Stepping away from him, she stood with her feet planted, pulling herself up tall. She filled her lungs, her barebreasts held high. The dark triangle of her womanhood was visible through the gossamer fabric of her breeches billowing in the breeze. She looked so feminine. Yet, under the lifted chin and unpretentious set of her mouth, he could see the fierce warrior the visionaries had promised. She held her arms casually at her side, not at her hips in defiance as many would.
All this happened in a matter of seconds.
“I present to you today, my mate–the honorable Jahara Hriznek. She is the one sent to save us from the tyranny of the Governmental Body of the Garden.”
Bowing before the thunderous crowd, she accepted the accolades with humility. Brenimyn was sure his heart would burst with love for the brave woman standing not above him like so many other females, but at his side.