Danger, Adventure & Romance: Blackout On Sale For 99 Cents

 

Blackout

Love a novel with danger, adventure, paranormal elements and hot romance? Blackout is on sale at these outlets for 99 cents.

Amazon

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iBooks

Smashwords

Here’s a hot excerpt you’ve never seen before! In this scene the hero and heroine have just survived a very dangerous confrontation with some nasty characters.

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Cassie’s surprise at what Penny had revealed was overtaken by another emotion. Several emotions, in fact. Penny’s gaze on Griff was more than admiring. It was calculating. Suddenly Cassie didn’t trust the woman for one second longer. An impression flew at her—this woman wanted Griff for her own. Shocked, Cassie didn’t speak. Then, to her shame, she felt trembling start in her limbs. She didn’t dare lose control. She wouldn’t lose it in front of anyone.

“Excuse me,” Cassie said as she turned and made her way up the stairs.

She walked as fast as her legs would carry her, half expecting for Griff to run after her. When he didn’t, she wasn’t sure how to feel. She hurried toward the stairs and took them quickly, trotting up them until she’d reached her room. She pushed open the door and that’s when she heard footsteps behind her. Griff had followed.

“Cassie! Hold up.”

She opened the door and went inside. He caught the door before it slammed, then shoved it closed behind him. He watched her for a second, uncertainty crossing his eyes for a few seconds.

“Get out,” she said, shaking to the very core.

He stood in her room with that automatic weapon slung over his shoulder, his tall body tense, his eyes hard and unforgiving. Alongside the anger seething within her were other emotions she dare not acknowledge or reveal. Heat sprung up along her skin and replaced the cold, and her aches and pains faded to the background under new physical sensations. The man in front of her had protected her, but she hated that he had to. That the world she lived in had cruel, ugly men like the one who’d assaulted her. That she’d done such a poor job of protecting herself.

“Cassie—”

“Go ahead and get it over with.”

“What?”

“The lecture. Clearly that’s what you had in mind when you followed me up here.”

“You’re right. I did. You could have been killed. God only knows what would have happened if I hadn’t come back and seen what was happening.”

He put the automatic weapon down on the table, then drew off his coat and holster and placed both on a chair next to the couch. He stalked toward her, and she stiffened. All those emotions steaming through her threatened to boil over. Tears stung her eyes. Tangled emotions battled for supremacy inside her. She wanted to yell at him for resembling those Neanderthals in any way.

“From now on I need you to do what I tell you,” he said. “Things are getting dicey out there. There was damn near a riot at the sheriff’s department. People are looking for help and they’re starting to blame others. Look for scapegoats. They aren’t pulling together. At least not the ones who made a run on the cops, anyway.”

She closed her eyes and drew a shuddering breath. “Why am I not surprised?”

“And why didn’t you do what I told you and stay in the hotel?”

Pissed, she took a step forward that practically put her in his face.

She poked his chest with her index finger, frustration pouring forth. “God, you’re such a man. I tried to get Penny to stay inside the hotel, but she saw those two goons and went outside. I wasn’t going to lock her out. I didn’t know she knew those idiots.”

“Still—”

“Still what? Survival of the fittest? I wasn’t going to leave her alone out there.”

He went silent, eyeballing her with unnerving intensity. If he’d been a stranger she’d have been very afraid of him. Instead she was pissed.

“Your woman, eh?” she said. “What the hell was that all about?”

“Creeps like that need to hear that kind of shit.”

“They could have killed you.”

“Hey.” His voice softened. “It’s all right.”

“No it isn’t—” She choked on her own words. She drew in a harsh breath. “You can’t order me around like one of your military underlings.”

“Yeah.” He said in a clipped tone. “But I’m more familiar with what can happen in situations like this. You’ve got to trust me.”

Her breath came faster as he closed the gap between them. Something primal and raw entered his eyes.

“Don’t order me around like that again,” she said in defense, unable to reason with him or herself why this was so important to say. “I’ve survived things you know nothing about.”

“Oh?” His eyes softened the slightest bit, a hint of compassion. “Have you battled assholes like the one that just tried to hurt you? Who would have done a lot worse if he got a chance?”

“Not exactly. But I won’t accept any man claiming he knows what is better for me than I know myself.”

“If it’ll save your life, I’ll do it again.” His voice was edgy, commanding.

“And Penny is up to something. Did you see how she acted with you?” Cassie’s voice went slightly higher. “Oh, Griff. My hero.”

He grunted, and for a half a moment humor mixed with a hot look in his eyes. “You jealous?”

A hot flush filled her face. She wouldn’t answer that question. “Anything could have happened. All you had was that pea shooter and that creep had an automatic weapon.”

“I wasn’t lying to him. I could have got a shot off and killed him.”

“Do you think I give a damn about that?” On impulse she grabbed the front of his shirt and twisted, half in anger and half in desperation. He must understand.

“Were you worried about me?” His voice went liquid with heat, a husky sound that sent tendrils of arousal spiraling all through her.

Shocked at the sensation, she couldn’t speak.

“Cassie, you may be mad as hell at me.” Griff slipped his hand around the back of her neck. “You can hate my guts. But I’m honest with you. They planned on taking you with them. Do you know how scared shitless I was when I saw that guy lying on top of you?”

Warmth coiled in her loins, the heat threatening to start a fire from the inside out. She was shaking with it. “Griff…”

His mouth came down on hers for one tender, sweet kiss. He whispered against her mouth. “You gotta trust me.”

“Why should I?”

“Why don’t you?” His eyes were blazing now as he drew her against every inch of his incredibly hard body. “What’s eating you up inside? What your ex did to you? I’d die before I ever hurt you, Cassie. I’m not your ex. I’m not those assholes that tried to hurt you. I swear it.”

He kissed her again, and all the emotions inside her exploded into action.

Disaster Movie Junkie and Disaster Novels

Blackout

I’ll admit it. I’m an unrepentant disaster movie junkie. I even like a few of the ones most people hate, and I dislike one in particular that a few other people like. Okay, let me translate that. One fairly popular disaster flick I didn’t like was Deep Impact. I did like Astroid which was a two night mini series on television several years back. I even enjoyed the movie 2012 in a crazy, messed up way. Although I liked Roland Emmerich’s movie where hell freezes over more than 2012 because at least the acting was very good.

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I lump disaster movies together with creatures-are-gonna-eat-us type of movies. So I’m looking forward to San Andreas which comes out in May and the new Jurassic Park movie which I think comes out in June. I’m really looking forward to Mad Max: Fury Road.

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With that mayhem and disaster, I like writing about those situations myself. I wrote about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire in Love From The Ashes. I wrote about a super volcano disaster in my recent Wasteland Trilogy books (Ashfall, Darkfall, Winterfall and a companion novella Nightfall. Winterfall and Nightfall aren’t out yet). The Spanish Flu was the disaster in the second book of my Asylum Trilogy (Shadows Rise). A devastating earthquake in Colorado is featured in my firefighter story Meltdown. In Blackout a solar flare knocks out the grid and seriously messes up the world. And I have at least two more stories in the works based on real disasters that I’m working on now. Maybe they should name me “disaster book queen.” No? All right. Well, I tried.

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Reincarnation, Celtic Romance, Forevermore and Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances

Do you believe in reincarnation? Way back in the day, starting when I was only a young girl, I dreamed about a place high on a hill. I was an adult in the dream, and the old stone place and green grass around me felt familiar. Many ancient gravestones, including Celtic crosses, surrounded me. I had a camera and took photos. This dream returned many times over the years into my early adulthood. In 1983 I visited Ireland for the first time. When I stood at the Rock of Cashel I realized with a shock that I was standing in the very place I’d dreamed about and I was taking photos. My dream had come true. I never had the dream again.

This event inspired a story set in Scotland many years later that I called Forevermore. Forevermore is featured right now in the box set Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances. Here’s a tidbit to excite your appetite.

 

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Sometimes one lifetime is not enough…

American Mae Sutton travels to Scotland to investigate tormenting dreams that have plagued her since childhood. Once in the shadowy, misty land, she discovers a brooding Highlander—and a secret that threatens her very existence.

A dark castle ruin haunts her nightmares…

Mae discovers Moor Castle is the same ruin in her nightmares, and knows she must learn why she’s been drawn to Scotland and the crumbling castle that whispers her name. She experiences an intense and immediate attraction to Aidan Ramsay, conservator of the evil castle. She’s shocked to find out she is the spitting image of a Ramsay ancestor, and that maybe her nightmares are past-life memories.

Mae and Aidan have lived before, and the dark legacy that destroyed them once, may destroy them again…

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As I stared at the pile of stones high on the hill, familiarity tickled at my memories. I’d seen Moor Castle as an eighteen-year-old exchange student nine years ago. More than once I’d been drawn to the castle, but something always held me back.

Fear.

Fear of something primitive and raw. Wounding and evil.

Now I had to take that first step toward showing myself that my dreams remained unreal. That I had made up horrible images in my mind that had no basis in fact.

I got out of the car and pulled my trench coat close about me. A compulsion drew me a few steps forward. Soon I’d discover the cold walls of Moor Castle held nothing baneful. Something stronger than apprehension, though, stopped me again.

Dread.

Why had this place haunted my dreams for so many years? Somehow, somewhere, there had to be a reason, a meaning behind the demons that possessed my nights.

I’d taken a leave of absence from my job to investigate Moor Castle for myself. Maybe I’d find peace exploring this dilapidated ruin.

I forced myself up the hill. Daylight faded as rain fell like an icy blanket.

I pressed on until I reached the top, a wide mesa somewhat naked and barren, the scraggly trees surrounding it in need of tending to bring them back to life.

I noticed how light seemed to disappear into the arched entrance without means of escape. Suddenly the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. Taking a deep breath, I pressed on, even though the trek up the steep hill had quickened my pulse. Or was that fear?

When the huge arch loomed above my head, cold penetrated my sweater, oozing into my bones with a chill, arctic and numbing. Trembling, I peered into the darkness, and as the rain lessened, shafts of weak light speared from a hole in the roof high above.

I proceeded. Up above, in the crumbling stonework, a fluttering sound echoed. I thought of the creatures of nightmares, flying on wings and snatching me away to dark lairs. A screech echoed all around me and I whirled, my apprehension escalating. Seconds later, a large black bird gave flight, turning away from the castle walls and sailing into the air until it looked like a tiny dark dot against the sky.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s just a bird, not a bat…or…” I whispered.

I glanced around me nervously. Yeah, right. Big, brave Mae. What would Aunt Ethelfreda think of me now? I could see her crinkled brow and piercing blue eyes condemning me for cowardice. Since I was three and Aunt Ethelfreda had adopted me after my parents had died in a car accident, I’d endured her belief that I somehow wasn’t “worthy.” I fell short, continually, in her estimation. I fought back frequently, though my ego took a nasty blow. Many dents still remained. Deep inside I hated myself for trembling like a frightened pup. A litany ran in my head, the same thing unkind children had yelled at me in grade school: Scaredy cat, scaredy cat. Mae is a scaredy cat!

I shoved aside disturbing childhood memories. Those children weren’t here now. My aunt wasn’t here now. In some ways this journey to Scotland proved those children and my aunt wrong. I could and would conquer these fears. Strength filled my limbs as I glanced around at the haunting beauty of the castle.

I hadn’t gone far into the grand foyer when I knew someone watched me.

I turned, my heart thumping with renewed alertness.

The man stood several yards away, almost hidden in a shadowy doorway. He stood with arms at his side and feet planted apart. His white poet shirt opened at the throat, giving me an enticing view of muscled chest sprinkled with dark hair. Snug black breeches were tucked into tall black boots and molded his legs. His wide mouth firmed into a tight line. A brisk wind blasted through his cascade of long, wavy black hair. Welded to the spot, I stared with unabashed curiosity at the strong planes of his face.

I took a breath, ready to call out to him in greeting. But I didn’t have a chance because suddenly he looked straight at me. His gaze turned sultry, hot, and welcoming. The moment drew out, long and surreal.

Behind me a crack like a gunshot sent me spinning around, my heart leaping. I threw myself sideways as a large stone missed me by inches, bouncing away to break into smaller pieces. My heart pounded as I looked back to the mysterious man. He’d disappeared.

 

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You can find Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances for 99 cents for a limited time at the following retailers:

Amazon—>http://amzn.to/1zUoU6U

B&N—>http://bit.ly/1vKVg4B

Kobo—>http://bit.ly/1KWW3AT


iTunes—>http://bit.ly/1yCohKg

 

Post Apoc Anyone? Darkfall by Denise A. Agnew

Hot Scottish former SAS soldier? Why not? Monday the second story in my Wasteland Trilogy (Darkfall) came out, and today I’m sharing an excerpt sure to tantalize you. Enjoy!

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A woman determined not to repeat the past and a former SAS soldier reunite to survive in a challenging new world forged by an apocalypse no one could stop.

Penny Graham once fought her powerful attraction to Special Air Service soldier Ian MacDaniel. But when their undeniable attraction was condemned by her father, they parted ways. Apocalypse pushes people to violence, and when she turns to her father for help, Ian volunteers to rescue her. Forced to fight for survival while trapped ina bunker, they can’t ignore the desire still sizzling between them.

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A banging noise startled her. Seconds later she heard footsteps coming down the basement stairs. At least she thought she did. She grabbed her gun as every muscle in her body stiffened in readiness for a fight. She stuffed her cell phone in the right back pocket of her jeans. They’re back.

Someone pounded on the door. She gasped and covered her mouth. After a few seconds, another knock and then the buzzer went off. She ran to the door and switched on the small video monitor above the door. The black and white picture showed her a clear picture of a man dressed in khaki cargo pants, flak vest over a black turtleneck, his head covered by a black baseball cap, a pistol of some kind in his left hand. Familiarity stirred and then he lifted his face and glared right at the hidden camera that allowed her to see him on the monitor.

Oh, my God.

In a million years she never expected to see him again. Certainly not here and now.

He had to know she could see him.

“Penny! Penny, are you in there?” he asked.

His voice was unmistakable–she’d never forget those rugged notes of Scotland that teased the ears with deep tones and ragged edges. He’d lived in the United States enough years now that he’d picked up many American expressions and even that sexy, rough accent wasn’t as harsh as it had been when she’d first met him.
Ian. Ian MacDaniel.

Gorgeous eyes–those long-lashed gray eyes. Strawberry blond hair cut military short, and a chiseled jawline. He stood six feet four inches tall, but most women wouldn’t look at him and immediately think hot. They’d see tall, powerful and intimidating. He scowled often, and right now he bristled with energy that screamed combat-ready. But she’d seen another side of him, if only for a few moments one summer three years ago, and it had blown her away. Right before Dad canned any possibility that she’d get the chance to know the tall Scot on a deeper, far more intimate level.

Another reaction punched her. Relief. Staggering relief. At one time she thought she’d never wanted to see him again. Rejection could do that to a person. What a difference a natural disaster and sheer desperation made.

She wrestled with the door locks, then pulled the large door open on soundless, oiled hinges. Ian stood with awareness, as if he was anticipating conflict. His gaze snagged on her, relief clearing his stern expression. His attention darted behind her, then returned to her face. He stepped forward, and for a few seconds she thought he’d embrace her. She ached inside with a need for reassuring human touch. Yes, that would feel incredible. But she didn’t move closer. She felt as if they were in suspended animation.

“Ian, what the hell are you doing here?” she asked instead of flinging herself into his arms.

One corner of his mouth tipped upward. “Good to see you, too.”

She couldn’t think straight, and that bothered her. She drew in a slow breath but before she could apologize for her gruff question, his expression eased into concern. He holstered his sidearm.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

She shook her head but said the opposite. “I’m fine. How did you know I was here?”

One of his tawny eyebrows lifted. “I work for Sentry Security now. Your father didn’t tell you?”

Surprise hit her like a bullet between the eyes. “What? No. He didn’t.”

Ian’s customary scowl grew deeper. She sensed he wanted to say more but didn’t. On the other hand, it would be like her father to skip telling her he’d rehired Ian. He wouldn’t consider business something she’d want to hear, and in reality she didn’t want to know about his day-to-day business dealings. She didn’t want to hear much from him about anything. She felt resentment begin to stir, but shoved it down until it hummed low in the background.

“Dad sent you to help me?” she asked.

He smiled, and that rare expression turned his brutal-looking face to gorgeous in a heartbeat. “Bloody astonishing, isn’t it?”

Guest Author: Titania Ladley & Risque Business

Today I’d love to welcome author Titania Ladley. Titania and I have known each other a long time. Like a long, long time. Here’s an excerpt from her story in the Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances. Warning: Explicit content ahead.

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Curvy Amy MacGowan has gained enough weight to tip the scale opposite a pot of gold. But she lives out her fantasies behind the headset of her 900 phone-sex company, Risqué Business.
Just her luck, her hot ex-lover Gabe Rizzuto buys the café next door. Ah, just grand. Sooner or later, he’s going to notice she’s “bloomed,” and knowing his shenanigans, Amy’s in for some risky business.

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Excerpt:

Proud of her self-discipline, she dragged her gaze up to meet his. “Let go o’ me. Now.”
He tightened his hold and slid an arm around her waist. The move brought her up so that her feet barely dangled off the floor. The bulge in his pants pressed along her pubic bone. “Somehow, I don’t think you mean that.”
How could she think? How could she keep up her firm discipline with this delicious temptation? Her vision blurred and her voice came out raspy and weak. “Somehow, I think ye’re not dealin’ with a full shillin’.”
He threw his head back and chuckled a deep, resonant tone that echoed off the walls of her apartment. “You’re calling me crazy? Who touched who first?”
“Ye—” She snapped her jaw shut. “I s’pose I did. But it was a defensive touchin’ kind of poke. And that still doesna mean that I don’t mean—oh, never mind.”
He let go of her wrist and wrapped his other arm around her. Tightening his hold, he hitched her up and forced her legs apart. It resulted in her pussy being slammed against his hard rod. It nestled into the V of her soft, moist flesh. Fire shot through her system in a rush of lava. Unable to resist—and, of course, to keep herself from falling—she locked her ankles behind him and slid her arms hesitantly around his neck.
“We canna…I canna do this.” How was he holding her up so easily? She rubbed the bulging muscles of his shoulders. O’ course. He’d grown stronger, packed on muscle in the military, apparently. Meanwhile, she’d packed on pounds of fat.
He buried his face in the crook of her neck and inhaled. “Amelia, Amelia, baby…” He rained long, sucking kisses up her neck.
She couldn’t resist. Her head tipped to the side and she tangled her fingers in the thickness of his hair. Oh, my God, so soft. She inhaled and it smelled of manly shampoo.
Shimmers of stars swam before her vision. Her eyelids fluttered shut then open again. “Oh…wow.” She gulped.
Mmm, okay, all right. She would allow herself just a sample to refresh her memory before she kicked him out on his nice arse.
“Ah…you’re telling me. Wow’s right.” He panted, nipped his teeth along her chin. “Ever since I got my first look at the new and grown-up you today…I’ve been hard as granite. I don’t know what all you did with yourself, going from tomboy to babe in six years’ time, but goddamn it, I’ve got to have you.”
Rationale and self-discipline shattered into tiny pieces in her brain. She couldn’t think, couldn’t reason, not with his hands all over her butt and grinding her against his erection. Not after hearing that arrogant yet heart-stopping admission.
He wanted her?
Like this?
All chubby and heavy?
Japers, the whiskey she smelled on his breath must be making his brain as addled and thick as a brick.
Still, wetness soaked through her panties and pajama pants, moistening his jeans. Her nipples tightened into pebbles of aching need. As if the thought of them was all it took, he raced his lips down the column of her neck and shoved up her shirt. Her breasts bounced free, exposed to his hot, probing gaze. Her first instinct was to yank the shirt back down to cover her fullness and a belly that was surly rounder than any he’d seen. But shivers of want prickled her skin. Their breathing escalated into a duet of sudden animal-like gasps. He spun and stumbled forward, distracting her from her shame. Her back crashed into the brick wall. Pain wrapped sensuously and wickedly with pleasure, tormented her body.
“Yes. No…oh, Jaysus…”
He planted his feet apart and hitched her up higher. Pictures tumbled from the wall and clattered onto the hardwood floor.
She choked on a scream when he took her nipple into his mouth. He cupped and lifted the breast and drew it in between his teeth to suck. Propping her against the wall with the pressure of his pelvis, his hand was now free to devastate and explore. His other hand kneaded her left breast. He rolled the nipple between his thumb and index finger. Liquid heat gathered there and slowly flooded her womb.
She moaned, basking in carnal heaven. “It’s…’tis been so long. So long. I need…”
He reached around and unhooked her legs so that her feet hit the floor. “I know exactly what you need, darling, and I’m going to give it to you.” He curled his hand into her pajama pants and slid them down until they pooled around her ankles. Cool air enveloped her, drying the moisture that had built up between her thighs. But each move he made, each word he spoke, the dampness replenished itself.
“Holy God. Damn, but you’ve bloomed. Step out of the pants so I can see all of you,” he ordered.
Bloomed?
Did he mean that in a good or a bad way?
If he meant it in a good way, would he come to his senses once he’d gotten his fill of her and see her for what she really was?
Ugly? Overweight? Only the boss of all those beautiful women because she owned the business?
It wouldn’t be the first time a man had used her, only to be disgusted by her once he got what he wanted.
Sex.
Still, to hear his words of praise—even if it would be just this once—made her blood race with lust. In a sexual fog, she hesitated, stepped out of one leg, paused again, stepped out of the other one.
Cool air brushed her bare flesh. She fought the urge to cover her juncture, opting instead to dig down into herself and drag up some bravery.
He unfastened his jeans and tore them off.
She couldn’t help eyeing his rod. It jutted up long, powerful, and thick from a nest of dark-brown curls. Amy panted, certain she would faint any second from excitement. His body was absolutely perfect, even more so than it had been back then. She’d seen him naked six years ago, and she’d seen him in work clothes today. Then tonight, standing on her doorstep in nothing but jeans, a bare chest, and bed-ruffled hair. At first sight, it had nearly rendered her speechless and took her breath from her lungs.
But this…Lord, he was nothing short of flawlessness.
His eyes snared hers in a moment of silent obsession, the unusual steely shade of them gleaming by the light of the lone lamp she had lit in the room. She knew then the ogre of earlier today was gone for the time being. In a matter of a few moments’ time, he’d gone from concerned neighbor to a sex-crazed beast. The muscles at his jawline and across his shoulders tensed. He lowered his gaze and swept her with a smoldering stare.
Amy shuddered with a wave of desire, his eyes raking her, studying every naked curve and plane.
Soon. She had to stop these shenanigans very soon before it was too late, but first, just a kiss. Or two…
Gabe planted his hands against the wall on either side of her head and leaned in toward her. “You’re absolutely beautiful.”
“Ye…” She swallowed and scanned his body, downward and back up again. “Ye’re very…pleasin’ to look at, as well. B-but, I’m not goin’ to be as good as ye think I… I-I canna do this any—”
“Shh.” He pressed a finger on her lips. “You can, Amelia. I know we’ve got issues, and I know we’ve got a couple of exes in our closets, but I think we could both use this. Don’t you?”
The way you used me that night in college?
He reached up and pulled the ponytail holder from her hair. The thickness tumbled around her shoulders and swished down her back. The sensual move brought on by someone other than herself made her knees go weak and her skin prickle with desire. He threaded his fingers through the strands, combing and scrutinizing them as if they were liquid gold in his hands. Just the way he had back then…
She leaned into the wall, pressing her bare back against the cool, rough surface. “I…yes, I have an ex. But if ye want to ruin the moment, go ahead and keep talkin’ about him…and yers.”
“Uh-uh. Not a chance. Right now, it’s just you and me, babe. No exes, no leases, no packing boxes or the sound of annoying doorbells. Just you—” he slid his hand down over her hip and found her crux “—and me.”
At the same moment he delved her sensitive V, his mouth came down on hers in a deadly swoop. It ravaged her beyond reason. He tasted of hot whiskey coated with raw lust, just like she remembered. Only this time, it was more mature, more deadly, way more skilled.
His fingers played her like a harp, strumming her to a torturous tautness then letting go before exploring a new note. She gasped against his mouth, taking in his tongue, fighting against it with her own. His right hand stabbed into the loose hair at the nape of her neck while he reached down with the other to hitch her back up and around his hips. Her legs clamped around him in a desperation that surprised even her. He held her mouth to his, destroying her resolve while his free hand lifted and guided her wetness to him.
She’d gotten her kiss. She must stop this now.
He probed her entrance, using his hand to guide it there, then he tore his mouth from hers. “Tell me you want this.”
Want? Could there be a better word? Like need, require, must have? Crave? But she couldn’t talk. She could only moan and wiggle, trying frantically to get him inside her while her mind’s scolding protests turned to weak, mushy submission somewhere in the back of her addled head.
“Tell me you want it. Tell me you want me.” His hands massaged her rear, his cock poised at her entrance. Her system backfired with carnal need. “Before I go any further, I gotta hear you say it.”
Stop, Amy. Stop this now. Ye’re off yer nut. He’s usin’ ye. He’ll dump ye and sample Elise next, or Stacy, Fawn, Carrie, or Celine. Probably all of them, ye idiot. And then he’ll kick ye out o’ yer apartment and yer office downstairs.
“Mmm.” She couldn’t suppress a whimper, chasing his mouth with hers, yet he managed to dodge her kiss.
Damn him, he was playing with her, teasing her, making her want him even more than before.

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Guest Authors: Megan J. Parker & Nathan Squires and Wolves in the Highlands

Please welcome Megan J. Parker and Nathan Squires to my blog today as they share their story Wolves in the Highlands. Their story is part of the Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances anthology.

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Wolves in the Highlands
Megan J. Parker & Nathan Squiers

Arriving at the entrance, Lachlan bent down to help her inside and, as she stepped deeper inside on a makeshift carpet of animal furs, she found the interior surprisingly warm. A moment later, Lachlan draped another fur over her exposed shoulders and ushered her further, where she spotted Munro, who had just finished tying a dark blue kilt around his waist before handing Lachlan a red one.

“Are ye hungry?” Munro asked as he turned to a dented pot that hung over a small, contained flame in the corner, giving the contents a stir from a metal ladle that hung beside it. “We have plenty of stew.”

“No thank you. I ate before I headed out,” she answered, not wanting to be any more of a burden. The intoxicating aroma, however, spoke for itself, and her empty stomach answered with a loud and demanding grumble.

“Already ate, aye? Munro chuckled and shook his head, “I like a woman with a hearty appetite. Let me feed you, lass.”

“I wouldn’t mind a small bowl,” she looked down shyly.

“‘Fraid a serving comes in only one size ‘round ‘ere,” Munro winked, ladling a portion into a large bowl, “an’ it ain’t ‘small.’”

He laughed, handing her the bowl before starting another for himself.

The sound of clothes rustling reminded her that Lachlan had just finished transforming outside the cave, and she tilted her head, eager to see what sort of man would emerge. She’d already seen a recognizable difference in the two’s personalities, and curiosity was beginning to get the better of her.

Then he stepped inside…

She nearly swooned as she was greeted with his appearance. His hair was pitch-black and disappeared behind his broad, scarred shoulders. Like them, his chest and stomach were littered in evidence of prior injuries; his body a chiseled tapestry of combat. Even his solemn face bared two scars—streaks of pink that cut through his otherwise tan skin—over his right eye and another above his lip. His eyes were the same shade of green as Munro’s, but seemed darkened by a natural fierceness behind them.
Munro, with his soft, gentle demeanor and pale-blond features reminded her of an angel food cake, while Lachlan’s darker complexion and sharp, almost bitter-looking features reminded her of dark chocolate. Catching sight of the red-plaid kilt tied around his waist, she remembered a batch of chocolate cherry bars she’d been offered at one of Erik’s meet-and-greet parties.

She hadn’t been able to keep her hands off of them.

As she hungrily devoured the delicious stew, she glanced back and forth between the two…

Already thinking about dessert.
* *

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Guest Author: Lynn LaFleur & Romancing Raine

Please welcome to my blog today Lynn LaFleur. Lynn and I go way back in the romance novel writing world. Today I’m featuring her excerpt from our box set Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances. Her contribution to this hot box set is Romancing Raine. Warning…this is an explicit excerpt.

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Kaylen opened the door wider so Raine could enter. He took the opportunity to admire her ass as she walked past him. His cock responded, making him thankful for the loose khakis he’d chosen to wear tonight with a button-down shirt.

“Everything is beautiful, Kaylen. I love all the candles. And the table looks incredible. You went to a lot of work.”

“I wanted it to be special for you.” He crossed to the kitchen. “Dinner will be served between seven-fifteen and seven-thirty. I’ve opened a bottle of Bordeaux for us. Why don’t you get comfortable in the living room and I’ll bring the bottle and glasses?”

Kaylen entered the living room to find Raine sitting in a corner of the couch, her legs crossed. He’d turned on the two lamps to their lowest setting. Their soft light mixed with the candlelight turned her skin golden. He almost stumbled at the sight, she looked so beautiful.

He sat next to her, splashed wine in each glass. After handing one wineglass to Raine, he tapped it with his. “To an evening of good food, good wine, and good company.”

Raine smiled at his toast before she took a sip of her wine. “Oh, that’s very nice.”

“Told you. Wait until you taste the filet.”

“I can hardly wait.”

To prove her words, her stomach rumbled. Kaylen laughed while Raine blushed. “Hungry?”

“Obviously. I haven’t had anything to eat since the torte in your plane.”

“I hope you like French Onion soup. I ordered that instead of salad.”

“I love it.”

He glanced into his wineglass, amazed that he continued to feel so nervous about this evening. “It isn’t a good idea to invite a woman to dinner and not find out what she likes or dislikes.”

“I’m not a picky eater. Except for artichokes.” She shivered. “I can’t imagine why anyone would eat them.”

He tapped her glass again with his. “I agree with you there.”

Raine sipped her wine, then openly studied his face. “We seem to agree on a lot of things.”

“Like what?” he asked, stretching his arm along the back of the couch behind her.

“Music. I loved all the songs you played while we were flying today, and what’s playing now. Food.” She lifted her glass an inch. “Wine.”

“I like wine, but I’m not an expert. I asked Kaci what went best with filet. She suggested either Merlot or Bordeaux.”

“I’ll tell you a secret.” She leaned closer to him. Kaylen bent his head so she could whisper in his ear. “I’m not an expert either. I just know what I like.”

Kaylen laughed again, delighted at her honesty and humor. Very little about this woman didn’t delight him.

He lifted tendrils of her hair, rubbed them between his thumb and forefinger. So soft, and his touch released the scent of flowers. “You’re so beautiful, Raine.”

“That sounds like something a man would say to a woman before he kisses her.”

“It could be, if that woman wants a kiss.”

“She wants it very much,” she said softly.

Only too happy to grant her request, Kaylen pressed his lips to hers in a gentle kiss. He tasted the wine on her breath, mixed with the unique flavor of Raine.

He knew immediately that one taste wouldn’t be enough.

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Contest & Facebook party for Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances

 

Hey everyone! Thanks to everyone who helped make the Thunderclap for Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances such a success this week! In the meantime, have you entered the Rafflecopter and signed up to attend the Facebook party? If not, read through this post and get the links down below.

 

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Do you feel lucky? Seven tantalizing paranormal and contemporary romance tales designed to heat your days and melt your nights. This boxed set is only available for a LIMITED TIME for 99 cents so grab your copy before it’s gone.

Seven complete stories. Professionally Edited. Limited Release.

Forevermore by Denise A. Agnew

Mae Sutton travels to Scotland to investigate tormenting dreams that have plagued her since childhood. Once in the shadowy, misty land, she discovers a brooding Highlander—and a secret that threatens her very existence. Mae and Aidan have lived before, and the dark legacy that destroyed them once, may destroy them again…

Keep Me by Faith Andrews

Sexy, tatted up, underwear model Marcus Grayson is every girl’s dream—or more likely worst nightmare. Tessa Bradley is a self-sufficient, take-no-bull, single mother—well, now she is. When she runs into Marcus, her friend Riley’s once-adorable turned smoking-hot little brother, she has no idea how he’s about to rock her world.

Encounter 14 by Monique DuBois

Brooke is determined to get lucky on her favorite night of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. When she meets a charismatic Irishman with the same thing on his mind, sparks fly. Will Brooke’s bad luck in dating take a turn for the worse, or has she just found the luck o’ the Irish?

Archangel Jed (A Novella of The Seven) by USA Today Bestseller Lisa Hughey

Her secret has the power to destroy them both….

Jed, Archangel of Wisdom and Knowledge, has something to prove. Luci, a human Sage, has a dark secret. While on a quest to find a book that contains the knowledge to protect both their worlds from their mortal enemy, a forbidden love blossoms. But can Jed save her when the truth is revealed?

Risqué Business by USA Today Bestseller Titania Ladley

Curvy Amy MacGowan has gained enough weight to tip the scale opposite a pot of gold. But she lives out her fantasies behind the headset of her 900 phone-sex company, Risqué Business. Just her luck, her hot ex-lover Gabe Rizzuto buys the café next door. Ah, just grand. Sooner or later, he’s going to notice she’s “bloomed,” and knowing his shenanigans, Amy’s in for some risky business.

Romancing Raine by Lynn LaFleur

Kaylen Montgomery is hit with instant lust when he sees Raine Bridewell…

Turning on the Irish charm has always made women fall at Kaylen’s feet. Not this time. Getting involved with another owner—or the brother of one—isn’t anywhere on Raine’s to-do list. Enter Shae, a four-inch fairy, who is sure Raine and Kaylen belong together.

Wolves In The Highlands by Megan J. Parker & Nathan Squiers

An artist sets out to find inspiration in the hills of Scotland and falls into the arms of two shapeshifting highlanders. As she’s entangled in their world, she finds more beauty and danger than she ever thought possible. These two beastly Scotsmen just may save her career…

If they can save her life first.

Get Lucky Facebook Party! Sign up here and party with us on March 17 from 7pm to 10pm ET!

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Tracy Cooper-Posey & Hot Sex & Story Telling

Please welcome author Tracy Cooper-Posey. I’ve enjoyed Tracy’s books for many years, and I love her take on writing sex in romance stories. Take it away Tracy!

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My take on sex and romance stories.

If you’ve read any of my books at all, you’ve either noticed that the sex is way off the charts, or you’ve noticed that the sex is so mild it doesn’t register on the Richter Scale.

I would like to talk about that.

What prompted this post was a long series of reviews, and one final one I got recently from a reviewer who has read some of my titles, in a fairly narrow range. She mentioned that she was surprised by the story, which “wasn’t my usual” and the lack of sex.

I still don’t know if that is a good thing or not. Nothing else she said makes it clear whether she was disappointed or pleased by the absence of specified body parts and the departure in subject matter.

Nevertheless, her observations sat in the back of my brain, brewing. Now, a few weeks later on, I’m writing about sex. Not about that specific review, or any review or feedback in particular, but sex and how it relates to my stories. The reviews were merely activators that got me onto this subject.

How Readers See It

I’m about to make a series of bold, assertive statements, based upon several years of reader and professional reviews of my books.

There are as many readers who hate my hot, sexy books, as there are readers who love the hot sex. All of them read my sex-filled books and praise or ding them, accordingly.

There are just as many readers who like a book that focuses on the story and leaves the sex in the bedroom behind closed doors, as there are readers who think a book is incomplete without a bit of nooky, preferably a lot of it. This secoind group of readers read my books that gently by-pass the sex scenes, and find it disappointing in some indeterminate way. Note, I don’t think they consciously realize it’s the lack of hot sex that makes the story feel “inadequate” – but they’re savvy enough to realize that for them, something is missing.

There are even more readers than the above who either don’t know I write hot, sexy books, or don’t know I write books without hot sex in them. (PS: There’s also a lot of readers that don’t know I write anything other than vampire romances.)

Across all those sets of readers is a small subset of reader that will flatly refuse to read a book with(out) sex in it, even if the cover grabs them, the blurb makes their heart race, and it’s exactly their genre, sub-genre and the hero is blue-eyed and black haired, just like they prefer.

Clearly, how much sex is in a story makes a difference to readers.

Where The Divide Began

There seems to be a division between erotic romance and “normal” romance. Just calling non-erotic romance “normal” makes it sound like erotic romance is abnormal–a negative connotation–yet I see this tag used everywhere.

Unfortunately, this division began because of the history of erotic romance. It’s the new(ish) kid on the block, and when it was first introduced to Romanceland around the year 2000, frank sexual scenes were novel, naughty, and for readers who glommed onto erotic romance, the frank sex was the only reason for reading erotic romances. They could read just as many paranormals, historicals and romantic suspenses without the sex, but chose not to.

Publishers like Ellora’s Cave and the erotic imprints of other romance publishers encouraged this distinction by ensuring that the majority of an erotic romance story was focused on the sexual storyline.

Fourteen years later, romance readers have it pretty much tattooed on their brains that erotic romance is about the sex, with a bit of story thrown in to hold it together.

Erotic Romance Has Become A Major Division Of Romanceland

You get erotic romance, sweet romance and sensual romance – the big three divisions.
Underneath them, you get every sub-genre invented or about to be invented: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Futuristic Romance, Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk, Historical, Time Travel and on and on and on. All three of the major divisions contain every single one of the sub-genres within it. (I believe Amish romances might be a rare exception, but having said that, I just know someone will email me to point out an Amish Romance title that is also erotic romance!)

Readers tend to stay within their preferred division.

What Sex In A Story Means To Me

Of course, I’m breaking rules. That’s pretty much the story of my life.

Way back when publication was a foreign concept for me, I started out writing sweet romances. That didn’t last long. I always preferred reading the heated, throbbing romances, so I swiftly shifted in that direction with each succeeding manuscript.

Finally, I began to write and publish with Ellora’s Cave, who required a very high level of sex in every romance. When I was writing for them, it was expected that (a) there would be a sex scene within the first 15% of the story, and earlier if you could manage it, (b) somewhere in the story the heroine would be penetrated in every orifice (that is, anal and oral sex were required), and (c) sex scenes would be fully developed and preferably longer than a page. (d) There were to be no closed door scenes at all (as in, don’t write; “he dragged her to the bedroom.” End of scene.) If the hero(es) and heroine(s) were having sex, it was to be described in detail.

One thing all that writing for Ellora’s Cave did for me: It cured me of any blushing hesitation over writing anything at all. I don’t duck scenes that need to be in my story – the sexy kind, the heart-wrenching kind, or the gross, horrible, or just plain horrifying kind.

It also taught me a lot about my own tastes in reading. It might be a surprise to you, but for me, the story is the supreme master. (This may not be such a surprise to you if you’re familiar with the imprint logo I use on all my books*).  For me, Story Rules. I frankly don’t care how much sex there is or isn’t in my story. I want the story to be well-told, and preferably, highly emotional and satisfying to read.

I like romance to hold a strong part of the story. The Romantic Interest sub-plots that movies insert make me want to throw up. The token female makes sheep’s-eyes at the hero, then there is ten seconds of them kissing, then thirty second of her wailing about how he has to come back to her at the end of the movie, and at the end, they kiss again. This particular form of “romance” makes me break out in hives and hiss at the director. I usually try to avoid that writer/director after being subjected to one of these storylines. Top Gun came perilously close to this line, for example. Jack Ryan; Shadow Recruit was also superficial and very light on female characters.
If you’re familiar with the Bechdel Test, you’ll probably understand my complaint. Romances should be well told. Not tools to give the hero (who gets all the character development) a set of balls for the primarily male audience who think such things are meaningful (“look at the sexy babe I kissed/bedded/made fall in love with me! I am invincible!”).

Mostly, I do not watch movies for their romantic quotient. I avoid disappointment that way.
Because a well told romance is important to me, I consider myself a romance writer first and foremost, regardless of the division and subgenre I’m writing in. I want that fully developed romance storyline, complete with strong characters butting head-on as they fall in love. Anything less is just disappointing.

How much sex gets displayed on the way through the story depends on a number of factors – all of them story-related. I pretty much know going into a story how much sex is gonna show. If the hero(es) is/are so alpha they make your teeth ache (and paranormal romance is littered with alphas), then the chances are pretty good that if they stay in character, those alpha heroes aren’t going to show so much as a glimmer of warmth in their eyes anywhere someone might catch them doing it. That means, most of their vulnerability and the emotionally weighted scenes are going to happen during and after sex, when the alpha is feeling secure about his manhood and safe enough to reveal how he really feels. Not describing all the sex in this case means the reader is going to miss a big chunk of the romance story. This applies double to MMF romances: Nearly all the scenes that show the heroes being brought to their knees for love happens in and around sex, because that’s a guy thing.

Romantic suspense is similarly over-laden with alpha heroes; men in uniform, men totting guns, men being manly.

You can get beta and gamma heroes in these genres, absolutely, but it’s not as common, and a beta hero that is capable of expressing himself anywhere other than the bedroom means the demands of the romance changes the storyline. Sex becomes just another expression of love, and is de-emphasized as a result.

Then there’s the story itself. If the hero and heroine are physically running for their lives, they’re wouldn’t normally stop and have hot sex as soon as the bad guy turns his head. This is one of the issues I have with the high-sex-quotient expectations of erotic romance as a genre. It artificially skews storylines, makes some stories impossible to tell within the erotic romance division (even if the story demands really hot sex in order to show the romance properly developing). Worse, it absolutely guarantees that the whole plot will come to a screeching halt for dozens of pages while the appropriate amount of fucking takes place.

No, I am not a fan of erotic romance, per se. I do like hot, frank sex in my stories. As long as it makes sense.

A Spectrum, Not a Division

A few years ago, I wrote a post kvetching about the classifications used to box people into a sexual orientation. Bi-sexual, heterosexual, etc. These tags drive me crazy.

When I am writing my romances, I don’t think about sexual orientation at all. I don’t label my characters. My story people fall in love, and that love changes their lives. It just so happens that some of the heroes fall in love with another hero and with the heroine as well. They may have had same-sex relationships in the past. Or not. It doesn’t matter – just like any previous romances the heroine had in the past has absolutely no bearing on this romance (unless the previous asshole makes it difficult for her to commit – but that’s part of romantic conflict, and nothing to do with sex).

In that particular post I proposed the idea that who you have sex with shouldn’t require a label. It’s just sex. Hopefully, good sex. But ultimately, sexual orientations range across a spectrum, and even the most heterosexual human on the planet can be curious about their own gender. It just means they’re curious, not bi-sexual.

Drawing artificial boxes and trying to place people in those boxes is pointless. It also leads to a lot of confusion. I’ve had readers and reviewers mention they were “shocked” when a hero kissed another hero, because I hadn’t warned them the hero was bisexual earlier in the book.  No, I didn’t carefully label the hero as bisexual (although I did actually hint that he wasn’t averse to taking men to bed, but they apparently missed the hint). I don’t think it’s necessary to label the characters. They are what they are – unique individuals who fall somewhere on the Kinsey scale.
Interestingly, when the Kinseys first published their Scale, they were careful to point out that anyone’s position on the scale could shift over time, or even from day to day. Sexual orientation is a moving target (like most women’s weight!). If it can change from day to day or from hormonal low to high, then sticking a permanent label on it is a waste of time. Wait five minutes and the label will be out of date.

It’s also dangerous, because the label sets up expectations and creates barriers. It also generates unwarranted prejudice in people who rely on those labels to classify others and judge them according to the label they add.

Sex In Romanceland Should Be A Continuum, Too

So, if sexual orientation is a sliding scale (or, a moving target), then the amount and quality of sex in stories should also be a sliding scale, shouldn’t it? I don’t see why there should be divisions that say “this book has the word ‘cock’ in it, so it’s erotic,” or why lots of sex scenes makes a book erotic. Or this book here slides over the sex scenes, so it’s a normal romance.

I actually hate the word “erotic” – it comes with so many negative connotations, because the world generally misinterprets what “erotic” really means. Many of my books are shoved into the “erotica” dumpster because there’s two heroes, and there’s frank sex.

I would argue that my books, and quite a few books by other authors find they’ve been shepherded into the erotica department actually don’t belong there at all. It’s only by virtue of the sex in them that they’ve landed there. But lots of sex or a lack of sex, or frank sex should not be the measure of whether a book is erotic romance.

If a measure must be used at all, the sole measure should be how much the sexual sub-plot affects the storyline. If the sexual subplot provides the major romantic conflict, and everything focuses upon what happens between the protagonists, then that is an erotic romance.
On the other hand, for example, a romance that is set in the future and spends most of its time focused upon the time-travelling adventures of the heroes and heroine, but also has a lot of sex happening between the three…that is not an erotic romance. The sex is hot and plentiful because most of the romance and relationship stuff happens during the sex. But the plot doesn’t fall apart if the sex is removed (although the characters become very flat and boring and the romance itself suffers badly, if not permanently). It’s a futuristic romance or a paranormal romance (or both), that just happens to have a lot of frank sex in it.

If the sex in a story is shoe-horned in, arrives early and seems gratuitous at times, then that’s an erotic romance, probably written to meet a publisher’s guidelines. The publisher’s name and the imprint on the spine can also be used as a guide to erotic romances.

The Bottom Line

Erotic Romance is a sub-genre of Romanceland, and it’s not going to disappear anytime soon, no matter how silly I think the artificial division might be. Like all the other genres, it helps you, the reader, find stories you want to read and will enjoy.

I, however, will continue to ignore the divisions and write stories with or without sex, genre mashing as I see fit, and using subjects and settings that enhance the romance and makes the story a great read.

For that is my artificial division: Great romances…and not.
___
[* You’ll see my personal mantra, which has become my publishing imprint, on all my books, including the title page of the ebooks: Stories Rule. Turn your head sideways and read the logo: ]
____
Tracy Cooper-Posey is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author. She writes erotic vampire romances, hot romantic suspense, paranormal and urban fantasy romances. She has published over 70 novels since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year and Byzantine Heartbreak was a 2012 winner. She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. 

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

Her website can be found at http://TracyCooperPosey.com. Tracy appreciates hearing from readers and can be reached at Tracy@TracyCooperPosey.com.
You can also find Tracy here:
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/tracycooperposey
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Thunderclap for Get Lucky!

What is Thunderclap? It’s an opportunity for people to share great news about a book that’s come out! If you could share this Thunderclap for Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances, I would so very much appreciate it! Click here for the details. Get lucky is on 99 cent preorder right now. You can get your copy at these fine retailers:

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