Friday, May 31, 2013

The Sadness of King George IV –

George Augustus Frederick Hanover was the first-born (1762) son of England’s King George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte. His two middle names were later assigned to younger brothers, but I guess if you have thirteen children, suitable names aren’t just hanging on the trees in the castle garden! Extravagant might have been a more suitable middle name for him, however!

Young George lived a life of indulgence as a handsome, happy-go-lucky young man – after all, he would be the next King, so who was to say him nay. Other than his prudish father, that is. No matter how hard the older man tried, he was unable – even with the help of Parliament – to keep his successor from running wild. On the other hand, what was there for a handsome young prince to do with himself, if his father refused to share any of his kingly duties – or even devise a plan to educate his son as to those same kingly duties.

Busy with such difficulties as finding suitable mates for all those children (at which he was notoriously unsuccessful!) the king had also to worry about those pesky colonies far across the ocean. Independence, they wanted! What on earth for? He was the best possible ruler for them, whatever they thought. And if that rebellion wasn’t enough, just look across the channel to France. Of course, they never did know what was best for them. If that monarchy should fall, his own would be in great jeopardy.

And if truth be told, the king wasn’t always in the best of health. Even with the best doctors available, there was never a firm diagnosis as to what was causing his physical—and mental—problems.  And every time he fell under the grip of this illness, his oldest son again started pestering to be appointed Regent. Not likely!

In 1779, at the age of 17, the handsome young man known as ‘Prinny’ first saw Mary Robinson on stage as she was playing Perdita in The Winter's Tale. She was at the time, 21, and possibly  responsible for his life-long attraction to older women. He promptly styled himself as her Florizel, until he met up with Maria FitzHerbert, who was probably his life-long first and best love. She, however was Catholic, and he could not legally marry her. So, he did it anyway! In 1785, they were married, and stayed more-or-less-together until 1795, when the old king coerced his son into marriage with Princess Caroline of Brunswick. Several years later, the Prince sued Caroline for a divorce, which was sort of granted, but he never married again.  He went back to Maria, and stayed with her until he became regent in 1811. Subsequently, he dallied with Lady Jersey (from 1794 to 1798), and lastly with Lady Hertford from about 1812 to 1819.
                       Left: Mary Robinson as Perdita,         Right:  George as Prince of Wales,
                                     painted by John Hoppner, 1782  |   painted by Richard Cosway,  1781

At least there was to be a child from his disastrous marriage. Caroline delivered a healthy daughter, but the prince flat out refused to try again. So, all the hopes of the country were placed on the tender shoulders of the Princess Charlotte.

And then, disaster fell. King George III had become more ill by the day, and finally, in 1811, the Prince achieved his goal – he was named as Prince Regent, to serve in lieu of his father who was declared mentally incompetent to rule.  After all those years of waiting, it’s a wonder he didn’t bankrupt the country! ‘Lavish’ didn’t begin to describe his style of living. Look at photos of the Brighton Pavilion as an example.

Among his dearest friends were Beau Brummel, and some pretty high flyers! Not one of them was a good example of thrift and sensibility: William Arderne, 2nd Baron Alvanley;  Richard Barry, 7th Earl of Barrymore; Francis Russell, 5th duke of Bedford; ‘Poodle’ Byng, Hon. Frederick Gerald Byng;  William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire; Charles James Fox, Foreign Secretary three times, also proposed Abolition bill passed in 1807; Francis Seymour-Ingram, 2nd Marquis of Hertford; Edward ‘Golden Ball’ Hughes, who inherited 40,000 pounds a year, but died in poverty, George Bussey Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey; Henry Mildmay, Baronet; and last but by no means least! - Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Surrey.  This Dukedom has two additional special titles:  Premier Duke, conferred in 1483 by King Richard III and the hereditary office of Earl Marshal of England. (For more information about any of the above, go here:  http://www.georgianindex.net/Prinny/prinnys_set.html )     

Prinny  wanted desperately to participate in the Napoleonic wars, and had several showy regimental uniforms made to his specifications – just in case. Of course, he couldn’t do that! No king had led his troops into battle since Richard III at Bosworth in 1485. And we all know how that turned out, don’t we?

As his daughter approached her majority, he found a suitable prince for her. But wouldn’t you just know – she proved to be entirely her father’s daughter. She refused this first suitor, and promptly fell head over heels in love with that upstart Leopold Coberg!  There was no choice but to give in and the country rejoiced in the lavish wedding and happiness of the newlyweds.

Charlotte was almost immediately pregnant, but before the year of 1817 was over, the country was devastated as both she and the baby died during the birthing process. The widowed Leopold went back to Europe and was subsequently the Uncle of Queen Victoria and also the King of Belgium.

In 1820, the old ‘Mad King’ George III died, and the 58 year old Prince George became King George IV. He’d always loved older women, but by time he became King there weren’t too many of them available to him. He continually fought with his six brothers, and although he generally tolerated his sisters, he didn’t allow them much more freedom than his father had. Which wasn’t much. Even so, there were rumors that at least one of them disregarded his edicts by contracting a secret marriage and an even more secret child. 

And so, King George IV bumbled along in his own way for the next ten years. He was succeeded by his next brother William. The sad king died alone – without wife or child, or even true friends. 

                                         George IV by Sir Thomas Lawrence   after his coronation.

                                                                                                                                                                              -- Hetty St. James 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

2013 WisRWA Write Touch Finalist - RIEVER'S HEART!

I received word that RIEVER’S HEART is a finalist in the 2013 WisRWA (Wisconsin Romance Writers of America) Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award  contest, in the Paranormal category. I was thrilled for a few reasons:

1.      It’s a READER contest, and it’s always nice to know they like what your blood, sweat and tears produced.

2.      It’s on my “home turf” so to speak, so congrats from my friends, writers I’ve known for years, since before I became published, is especially gratifying. They were there with guidance and encouragement when I was struggling, and now can celebrate a victory with one of their own. And people still in the “pre/PRO” trenches can see that it IS possible. Maybe it’s MY turn to inspire/encourage someone else.

3.      It’s always nice to see a fantasy hold its own against paranormal, since we regularly get outshone by genre as a whole. (In 2010 I came in second to Pamela Palmer w/Duality in this same contest. I posted on her Facebook page that day—I love her books, and was thrilled to be runner up to her.)

They announce the winners on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the WisRWA Conference. I’m bummed b/c I can’t go. My last day of work—and I have the letter to prove it—was 5/31/13 and you HAVE to work your last day or lose your severance. So I didn’t sign up to go to Conference. Yesterday, I got pulled into the manager’s office—usually never a good thing for a serf like me—and informed that my NEW end date is 6/28/13. I’m working 4 more weeks—2 more paychecks and 4 more weeks of insurance, which is a good thing. I know that, I’m really not dumb. For my family’s sake I’m grateful. But there was the writer-part of me that cried (inside), “I could have gone to Conference!” Because now it’s WAY too late to register or get a room.


I’m going to be stalking my email and Facebook on Saturday—I’ve begged my friends who are going for SOMEONE to sneak me a message after the luncheon, before the suspense kills me…

(My coworkers think that’s very strange—they think I’M very strange—but my writer friends will understand. Sometimes the rewards are few and far between, and it’s nice to enjoy them when they come.)

In the meantime it makes me all the more determined to finish Moonwitched and start on Braeca, to have more for my readers and fans to love. Whom do I  kill off in the final battle (alas, someone ALWAYS dies in my books—a noble, heroic death!)  and why, on God’s green earth, did I have to stipulate (set up in Duality, revisited in Braeca) THREE priestesses to preside over a funeral, when I’m already running out of pronounceable Celtic names? But the research is always fun—African fables & mythology, and I found a really cool book in the library called “The Wisdom of Trees.” And so we go on…  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Sparkly Tiaras Up for Grabs and a Sneak Peak at Sabrina York's Newest Release

You really need some bling. We all do. It makes us feel happy and special. And even the most mundane tasks become wondrous magical pastimes when one is wearing a tiara.

I’m not going to say my tiaras are the prettiest, although I think we all know it’s true. And here are two great and easy ways to get your hands on a beautiful tiara. You know, for scrubbing the toilets.

Brenda Novak’s Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research 
This exciting event is underway. Bids close May 31st on my basket, so you have time to eek in and win your very own tiara.

Sabrina York Sexy, Sparkly and Sweet Basket
  • The Sexy is a signed copy of ADAM’S OBSESSION and the winner’s choice of any 3 digital books from my backlist. Please note–these books are SUPER SPICY!!!
  • The Sparkly: A fabulous tiara
  • The Sweet: An assortment of local Seattle Chocolates.
  • BONUS!! Additionally, I’m throwing in a critique of a partial manuscript (first three chapters blurb and synopsis–submission must be made by October 31st, 2013)
  • And to sweeten the pot…some random bling.
Bids will be open until May 31st.

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING THIS CAUSE, whether you bid on my basket or something else!

To learn more about all the other amazing baskets: http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Home.taf

Royal Hotsheet Drawings
Another way to enter ALL my tiara drawings is to sign up for the Royal Hotsheet. Newsletter subscribers are eligible to win all coming contests as well as random giveaways. Send an email with “Enter Me” in the subject line (this is erotica, after all) to sabrina@sabrinayork.com. One entry per person. Current contest drawing date: June 30

Refer Your Friends Bonus Entries
Tell your friends about the newsletter and if they sign up, you earn another entry, plus a chance at a Referrals Only drawing for more bling. (NOTE: They must tell me that you referred them in the message box so I can give you credit).

Good luck!!!

Update on Rebound
In May my first self published book, Rebound, hit #1 on the Amazon Free Erotica list on the days I listed it for free. Thanks to everyone who downloaded and loved the book. I am working on Book 2 of the Series, Dragonfly Kisses, which will be out in early June. You can find all my books on my Amazon page.

Here is the blurb and excerpt for Dragonfly Kisses: 

Dragonfly Kisses by Sabrina York
A Tryst Island Erotic Romance

Dylan Deveney has no interest in a wild fling. He simply wants a quiet place where he can try to forget a
painful past and, barring that, drink himself to death. But when he catches a glimpse of his exquisite neighbor—in the buff—his passion for life reignites.

Cassie French can’t resist Dylan’s allure. From his scruffy beard to his earring to his intriguing dragonfly tattoo, she is crazy about him. And sex between them is scorching. It all seems perfect…until a tragedy from Dylan’s past threatens to ruin everything.


When they finished eating and bantering, a crackling silence fell. Cassie licked her finger and blotted up her crumbs. “Well,” she said. “I should probably be going.” She moved to stand.


One word, sharp, with a tinge of panic, froze her in place. She glanced at him.

“Please stay. I've…enjoyed talking to you.”

She forced a smile. “Lucy will be worried.”

“About me?”

She laughed. “About me. Poaching. We have rules about poaching, you see.”

“Poaching only counts on things you own. Lucy doesn't own me.”

Cassie cleared her throat. “She wants to. And she has dibs.”

He snorted a laugh. “Sounds like third grade. And, by the way, I thought Bella had dibs.”

“They’re dueling over you.”

His expression sobered. “Do I get a say in this?” 

She tipped her head to the side. “Have you met them? They can be rather…adamant.”

“So can I. When I want something.”

Her heart flipped. “You, ah, want something?”

“You know I do.”

Holy heaven. His gaze was steamy. It left no doubt about exactly what he wanted. But she had to ask. “W-what?”

He stood, balancing on one foot. “Come here.”

The thread of command, of yearning, in his tone snared her. She couldn't ignore it. She rounded the table 
and looked up at him. This close, he was even more mesmerizing. And he smelled…he smelled delicious. His cologne teased her nostrils. Musky and woodsy and manly.

She stilled as he threaded his fingers through her hair and cupped her cheeks. And then his head descended.
His lips brushed hers. Just a soft, sweet buss, but it held a skein of promise, a hint of hunger and a tinge of desperation.

At her moan, he deepened the kiss, opening his mouth, pressing against her, consuming her. His taste, his essence, flooded her. Desire, wild and wanton, lashed her. Unbidden, a moan rose in her throat. He took it, swallowed it, gave it back.

He pulled her closer, flush against him. His body was hard and hot. Demanding. A trill of excitement rippled through her as she nudged the thick wedge of his erection.

Oh, she shouldn't be doing this, kissing, consuming a man she barely knew like a lust-crazed wanton, but she couldn't stop. And she kind of was. A lust-crazed wanton.

Something about this man curled around her sanity, her core, and sank in with needy claws. She’d kissed a lot of men in her life. But never a kiss like this.

He slanted his lips and took her from a new direction, molding his mouth over hers, teasing, nibbling, licking. She shuddered as his tongue dipped in. She met it with her own, then, unable to resist, gently sucked.

He reared back and stared at her. His eyes were rimmed with red, burned with desire. “God, Cassie,” he groaned, but didn't finish the thought. As though he couldn't resist, he kissed her again, but this time with a fiercer passion, one that made her muscles lock, her heart thud, her body melt.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, stroked his hair, then scored his scalp in a rake of need.
His fingers began to rove over her back, up to her nape, down her flank. He squeezed her buttocks. The pressure sent shudders through her.

And then, as he held her tight with one hand, the other skated to her breast, gauging her reaction as he gently cupped her. When she didn't resist, when she wriggled impatiently in his embrace, he swept a thumb over her nipple.

Her body seized. Rivulets of pleasure washed through her. She couldn't help it. She ground against his hardness.

He growled.

Like the Highlander he was, he growled.

About Sabrina York
Sabrina York, Her Royal Hotness, writes naked erotic fiction for fans who like it hot, hard and balls-to-the-wall, and erotic romance and fantasy for readers who prefer a slow burn to passion. An award winning author in multiple genres, Sabrina loves writing hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Discover more at www.sabrinayork.com or connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york or Facebook.

Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on her webpage (www.sabrinayork.com) or explore on Amazon or at Ellora’s Cave and for heaven’s sake, take a gander at these awesome reviews!

Books by Sabrina York
Dragonfly Kisses: A Tryst Island Erotic Romance (Erotic Contemporary, Coming soon on Amazon)
Lust Eternal (Erotic Fantasy, Ellora’s Cave) —coming soon
Making Over Maris (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave) —coming soon

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Book by its Cover: Do you judge them? 50 Shades of Confusion abound....

Fifty Shades of Confusion now abound in the book marketplace!
Many erotica and near erotica covers are now Concept again, thanks to the crazy-mad success of 50 Shades, et al. Now we have more "object" covers. A bed frame, a pillow, a seashell. Oh, for godssakes, let me cry.
Why do I moan?
Because we have been here! Done this! In the mid-90s, major trad houses decided that flowers and ribbons, jewelry and swords were the way to expand the readership marketplace...and romance sales for those authors unfortunate enough to get those covers PLUMMETED.
Well, my dears, those covers may have picked up a few NEW readers for those particular authors, but they also destroyed the readership of THOUSANDS of loyal followers of those authors.
Now we have the New-New Wave of Concepts for those erotica books emulating the plot formula of 50 Shades, i.e. a trilogy about one couple.
And wow, do I hope the trend for these covers does not spread.
These covers look meh to me.
Done in, yes, 50 shades of dull brown, grey, black and white, these babies convey dark emotions. Gothic, almost. Forbidden and quite ugly.
Bottom line?
I am not a fan.
Are you?
Have you bought these books—and if so, did you buy them because they were knocks off of the story concept of 50 Shades of Grey, or did you buy them because the covers in and of themselves appealed to you?
This Curious Mind wants to know!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Love & Basketball...Baseball...Football...

Let's play ball! @Washington Nationals' Patriotic Series this weekend

My name is Koko Brown and I'm a sports addict. 

On any given day, you can find me tuning into a baseball game, tennis tournament, or boxing match. And if it’s a really great day, I’m sitting in a stadium or arena, preferably front row and center. It really doesn't matter as long as they are humans involved, physical contact and plenty of sweat. 

Of course it probably seems like a no brainer that I recently wed my athletic interests with my writing career. There’s a ready-made audience who gobble up popular series featuring hunky quarterbacks, salacious goalies and cocky NASCAR drivers. 

In all honesty, my decision to write a sports romance wasn't that easy.  The reason for my hesitation?

The readership.

Like readers of historical romance, the sports genre is enjoyed by an audience whose sports knowledge usually eclipses the authors. And if you don't do your research, like having a designated hitter on a team in the National League when only the American League has the position or using cleats instead of boots to describe a soccer player’s footwear, there is a 99.5% chance they'll let you in a bad review.

And of course, I had my own hang ups. If I’m reading a sports romance, I want to see the athlete on the field at least once. In my opinion, if there is no on-field action, then why even make your main character an athlete.  You could have simply made him or her a fireman.  To me it’s like making your hero/heroine a werewolf and we never see him/her change. I want the details that make them different from a human.  And I want the same with a character who’s a professional athlete. 

With this in mind, I think I spent just as much time researching the history of both soccer and boxing, watching matches, and understanding the rules of each sport as I did developing the plots for my two sports romances, Player’s Ultimatum and Jezebel And it shows because in Jezebel, the hero's championship title match is the catalyst for the hero's overall motivation and his internal conflict.

What do you think about sports romances?  What do you like or not like about the genre? 

Fast facts: More than 40% of the NFL's and MLB's fan base are women

To learn more about me and my books visit my official website @kokobrown.net!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May Maybe

On May 1, 2013 I was almost blown away while trying to smoke outside the hotel hosting the RT convention. (Why does the government post no smoking signs in the only place a smoker can smoke?)

On May 2, 2013 while signing at the ebook blowout, it snowed. The snow stayed on rooftops until Friday. And the wind kept blowing and blowing.

Returning to Sacramento on May 5, 2013 a cloudy sky greeted me. It hailed on Monday, the sixth.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 my mother died. Ellora's Cave folks sent the beautiful bouquet to me, since Mom wants her ashes scattered in Hawaii and we haven't decided when.

And then, in the mid-West, the tornadoes began. I know that's typical of May in that part of the world, but the devastation was horrible.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 an earthquake struck up in the northeast corner of California. Felt it where I live some 125 miles away. Not that we in CA can predict when we'll have an earthquake, but we haven't had one in quite awhile.

While celebrating the re-opening of the beaches in New Jersey, I couldn't help but notice that their temperatures were in the 40s. So much for it being May! Obviously Mother Nature has some other world's calendar in mind.

On a writing note, I did put together a submission to an agent and am readying a package to send to an editor I met at RT. Hope your month was, if not better, at least different than mine. Oh, did I mention the forecasters are predicting snow in the Sierra Nevada on Memorial Day?

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbideen

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gordon House Rules--FREE (very sexy) CHAPTER!

Greetings Sweet and Sexy Sistas (and Bros)!

Today I'm giving you a taste of HOUSE RULES, the Jack Gordon, Stewart Realty Novella that will be available 100% FREE on my publisher's site (www.sizzlinbooks.com) on JUNE 16! It will also be just .99 everywhere else. This is the Jack Gordon backstory that my eager muse shoved into my head one day while I was minding my own business and trying to start the final novel of the series, Good Faith (which is now done in first draft and releases Nov. 13 along with a fun "Stewart Realty Con" in Ann Arbor June 15-16 that includes a book signing at Barnes &  Noble plus some seriously awesome parties with trivia and food and beer and fun!).

Jack is sort of the glue that holds all these folks together through the course of (ultimately) 8.5 books plus 3 in the Black Jack Gentlemen soccer novels spin off series that releases in August.  He's all kinds of hot and bother-able by the time you "meet" him in Floor Time/Sweat Equity/Closing Costs, the original trilogy of this series. But he is frustrating on many levels and so I wanted to tell all these stories that other folks have relayed about him from their perspective from HIS...plus do a little fill-on on what made him the man he is by 35 (when he meets his destiny in Sara Thornton. A.k.A. the woman my fans love to hate or hate to love depending on how you look at it).

For those of you who "know" this is a peek at the "Jack and Jenna" intro.

And now, the cover:

and the blurb:
It takes a wealth of collected experiences, emotions, successes and failures to craft the personality of a true Alpha Male

Jack Gordon, real estate broker, licensed builder, Juris Doctorate, has had his fair share of strife. His ability to cope, to fall down and pick himself back up has lead him to a place where he believes he has it all. Friends, money, cars, more women than he can count, and a club in Detroit where he can exorcise his inner demons, fill his days and his nights.

When he walks up to a penthouse door on a hot Ann Arbor summer afternoon, frustrated, exasperated and ready to call it quits after hours of condo shopping with a wealthy couple, the last thing on his mind is meeting his destiny.

House Rules: The Jack Gordon Story. A prequel novella of the Stewart Realty Series.

AND a pretty much NSFW excerpt.....ready....it's a full chapter so put your feet up and, um, shut the door?

Chapter 9

“Law school sucks,” the girl claimed as she flopped onto the couch nearby. Jack glanced up from his perusal of that very fact via mounds of torts and other bullshit.
His shoulders ached as he stretched his arms up, not really paying that much attention to her. His tired brain coming to terms with the fact that he may well have met his limit: being a full-time law school student at a premiere school, and trying to fulfill his every sexual fantasy at a club he’d been invited to join not that far from the center of downtown Chicago.
The house he’d rented was a rattletrap piece of shit. The one roommate he’d found had bailed and he was fast realizing something important about himself—he did not like living alone.
He was lonely. And a little intimidated by how deep into the BDSM scene he seemed to be getting. Plus flat out exhausted by all the flipping bookwork he had to do just to get through his classes.
Law school had occurred to him almost as a whim during his junior year at Michigan State. His roommate and new buddy, Rob, had been headed to medical school. As was Suzanne, whom he had managed to avoid more than he liked for the last years of undergrad.
He had no real idea what he wanted to do, but was not about to join the “be a doctor” bandwagon, no way. Way too much blood and guts involved there. He could get his M.B.A., as he would be emerging with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business, but that sounded like more boring theory and stats.
He’d been messing around with a girl then who’d been preparing for the LSAT. One morning while she slept off an epic fuck session, he picked up her study guide and settled down with it. By the time she woke up and booted him out of her place, he was convinced that should be his next step. The act of “practicing law” was not the draw but rather the challenge of taking that damn test. His interest was piqued so he got his own study books and, in typical fashion, devoted hours to the goal.
Now, here he was at a very expensive school of The Law, while Rob had tossed his admissions letters and headed to France to be a chef. Suzanne was at med school down South and the last he heard had a serious boyfriend.
It wasn’t that he wanted a woman around or anything. No, he just was not the kind of guy who found isolation enjoyable. He liked waking up and having someone to talk to over coffee, or to share a beer with while he studied.
The girl he’d been ignoring made a funny, exasperated sound somewhere between a snort and a sigh, breaking his reverie. He glanced at her again and did a double-take.
She was curled up on the crappy student lounge couch in a corner of the main law building basement—a place he’d found and scoped out as his own for getting some work done between classes a few weeks ago.
“Yeah,” he said, raking his gaze over her near-perfect form. She had big tits, which were a bonus, but since he was an ass and legs man he waited her out. His newfound inner radar started pinging the second her dark blue eyes met his. “I’m Jack.”
“Hi, Jack. Jenna.” She proceeded to ignore him for a solid hour, and he let her. Because he had already figured something out about Jenna. He knew she’d stick around and chat some more. He smiled when he sensed her nearby, hovering over him. “Um, can you make heads or tails of this?” She pointed to an open passage in her book.
“Maybe. I think I need coffee first. Join me?” He got to his feet and gathered all of his papers. She watched, her eyes widening, then met his smile with one of her own.
“Yeah, sure, Jack,” she said, lingering over his name in a way that made him gulp as she stuffed her book in her backpack and shouldered it. The look on her face confused him some, but her body was sending clear signals that he intercepted and translated.
They walked, chatting about nothing in particular and Jack got his first full look at her. She was about five foot four in flat shoes, with a fit-looking, curvy body, packed into nondescript dark denim jeans and red sweater that dipped into her impressive cleavage nicely. Her dark brown hair tumbled around her shoulders and her laugh was low, sexy. It rumbled around in his libido in a way that he recognized.
He’d spent last summer learning something about himself that shocked him at first. Then had settled into his new reality as a sexual Dom with an eagerness that made that first girl who’d invited him to club a very happy camper.
The owner of the small place in downtown Detroit was an older guy, good-looking still, and content to show him the ropes… and the handcuffs… the floggers… the whips and ball gags.  He’d made a project of Jack actually, grooming him, he claimed, for greatness.
He grinned and took a step closer to the alluring, sexy Jenna as they stood in line for coffee. He could smell it on her like lingering smoke—her plain-as-day willingness to submit to him. She looked up and met his gaze.
The moment that should have been awkward made his cock slam into the back of his zipper. He smiled at the sensation. A corner of her full lips tilted up in a way he thought he understood. He figured that was the final sign. He was no expert yet but well on his way. While sensing the sexual energy of every female in a room was sometimes tiring, now that he could channel it, figure out which of them would actually provide him the outlet he required, it seemed that it all led him to this precise moment. And to Jenna.
She leaned closer to him in a way entirely inappropriate for having just met. Yet it was perfect. “I don’t want coffee, really. I’ve been watching you all semester, all year. Let’s go to your place.”
He swallowed hard. Something wasn’t right, was off, or just shifted to the left, just far enough for him to sense it and hesitate. He looked down into her deep blue eyes. Saw the way her breathing had ramped up. The pulse in her throat caught his gaze, beating, beating. And those lips… dear god they were tempting.
He smiled. “I don’t know, Jenna. Maybe I’m not ready.” He raised an eyebrow. This was his scene. He was not about to let her call the shots.
“Oh I think you are.” She turned just enough to shield her hand, the one she put right on the uncomfortable bulge in his jeans.
He didn’t move or shift away. He did, however, narrow his eyes at her on purpose, making sure she got the gist of his displeasure. “I’m not sure I said you could touch me yet. Jenna.” He kept his voice low and slow, but his brain was starting to hum with a familiar sense of rightness. She lowered her gaze, tucked the offending hand back into her jacket pocket, and started to step back.
He gripped her arm, loving the way the heat transferred from her to him, and shot down his spine. “Don’t move.” He glanced around then putting his mouth near her ear, taking in a fresh breath of horny female. “I can sense that you know what I like… Jenna…” Her name felt exotic, unique, on his lips. “But just because you want it does not mean I’m giving it to you. Are we clear?”
Keeping her eyes downcast, she nodded. Then looked up fast, surprising him some. Later, he would realize that was the moment he should have known, should have figured Jenna’s manipulative tendencies out. If he had been more mature, more at ease with his powers of perception, or at least in tune with his gut feeling to run away from her as fast as he could, he might have avoided a shit ton of head and heart ache.
Instead he smiled at her boldness, liking it and wanting to tame it—thinking he could, which was mistake number one.
“You don’t have to… sir,” she whispered, not tearing her gaze from his. Something about her rubbed him both ways—wrong and right. He could not figure it out. Her neediness—that familiar aura he’d come to know and understand those nights at the club that first summer—was tinged with something else, something a little ominous. He ignored it. And let his overwhelming need to control her shove away the worry.
“I know that. Let’s sit. Have coffee.” He grinned at her exasperated look.  Yeah, control this scene, Gordon. Otherwise she would and something told him that would be very bad idea.
“After you.” He grabbed their cardboard cups and nodded toward an empty table in a sea of students drinking, reading, talking—doing all the normal things. While he zeroed in on Jenna and the many possibilities she was tossing his way without even realizing it.
“So Jenna,” he said stretching his legs out under the table and letting his calf make contact with hers. He sensed her flinch ever so slightly at the touch. “Where are you from?”
She sipped her coffee, kept her gaze on his. “Southern Illinois, little town you’ve never heard of.”
“Okay.” Jack stayed apart, trying to remain objective, but something about her fairly screamed “take me now” so loud he was surprised everyone around them couldn’t hear it.
He swallowed hard, willed himself down from the ledge, and made small-talk with her. It was not comfortable, and the more they sat and the more he tried to make it “just a chat”, the hornier he got. He knew damn good and well she was throwing it, her vibe, just to see if he’d catch it. He did not like being tested. But at the same time wanted to prove he could pass with flying fucking colors.
Finally he stood, slowly, never more unsure and sure of something at the same time in his life. She rose at the same pace, her body drawing his eyes and making him have to bite his tongue not to say something that would tip the scale of power in her favor. Because that is exactly what this was, as they stood and stared at each other across the small, coffee shop table—a power play.
Her hair tumbled around her face. High cheekbones were flushed red, dark blue eyes flashed, the hands she put on her hips tempted. It was as if she were dressed the way he preferred, in a short, easy-access dress and towering high heels, hair done up, all ready for him. When really she just stood there in jeans, a sweater, and little makeup. The minute flowed into two as the world continued to orbit around them.
He frowned, pissed at himself for being so weird. Attaching emotion to something that should contain none, trying to focus on his ability to show her a good time, nothing more or less. It was not until many years later that he understood that keeping himself emotionally aloof was also a mistake.
She leaned back then, cocked one hip as if pulling away. He nearly fell forward but caught himself on the table. This was too much. He should bolt, fast, before he did something really dumb.
“C’mon,” he blurted out, pushing away from her, his voice gruff. “We need to clear the air.”
She let him put a possessive hand in the small of her back and guide her out firmly, without speaking, as if they were already a couple. His house was a ten-minute car ride from campus but he toyed with walking there, to get his head straight.
Then he found himself opening the passenger’s side door and handing her in. She moved in a fluid way like a dancer.  Jack couldn’t help but be mesmerized by her even as she did something as innocuous as get into his truck. The ride was quiet but in an oddly comfortable way, as if they were used to each other’s silences and willing to let them happen.
When he parked in the drive, a sudden feeling of apprehension gripped his gut and gave it a twist. She sat, waiting for him to make the first move like a good submissive. He shuddered, the word hitting the front of his brain hard. She was that, to be sure, but his? That was another question and one he was not sure he wanted the answer to, not yet.
The months he had spent calming his excess energy by learning how to dominate, how to please, how to control his urges and be in complete control of his partners’ pleasure had been a pure buzz. He loved it. There was no denying that, or that he was a natural at it.
More women had been pleasured by him and his abilities than he could even count anymore. He’d graduated, with honors, and while the old club owner guy would not yet call him a Master, he knew if he hadn’t left for law school when he did, it would have been a matter weeks before that happened. But now he felt queasy and decidedly un-masterful.
A hand touched his leg. He stared at it, the short nails painted a funky brown like dried blood. Her fingers long, tapered, elegant. The gut-deep reaction to her was freaking him the fuck out. He gulped and got out, deciding to make this short and sweet and bid her farewell as quickly as he possibly could. Without looking at her he yanked open the door, then didn’t wait before he stomped up the steps and unlocked the door, tossing his stuff on the entryway floor. He escaped to the small kitchen to gulp some water.
He heard her enter, then walk up behind him after a few minutes. She waited quietly, until he turned. Jenna stood completely naked in his kitchen, her firm, large breasts tipped with deep pink, nipples.
Her sex was nearly bare but for a small triangle of dark brown fuzz. He could see it all, more than he wanted to see, including an intriguing piece of body art that he reached out to touch. The black vine-looking thing came around her side, bloomed like a leafless tree across her stomach, reaching down into her tiny patch of pubic hair. His finger shook as he touched it, but the heat of her skin calmed him. The feel of female flesh under his hand cast a pall over his zinging nerves. He pulled her close and everything slowed, including his racing pulse.
She tasted like coffee and like something exotic, as he parted her lips and she went up on her tiptoes to put her arms around his neck and mold her body against his. He stopped. And she stepped back, dropping her gaze. “I’m sorry. I should not have touched you… yet.”
Wiping his lips as the nervousness tickled his brain again, he took her hand, led her back to his room. He hadn’t had any women in his house in a while, much less in his room, even after a year of school. Which was odd considering his previous preference for intimate house parties.
His time at the club had changed his taste for play and he’d kept it separate from where he lived on purpose. Problem was, he wanted this one close, in his personal space. The strength of the wanting terrified and exhilarated him all at once.
He opened a small chest, pulled out a length of soft cotton rope and nothing else. “Lie down,” he said, his voice so low he could barely hear it himself.  “Hands over your head.” He tied her wrists, allowed himself a few moments to stroke her amazing body, watching as she reacted, loving it so much he felt like he could keep her here forever. She bent one leg as her breathing quickened.
He kissed her then, unable to stop himself, dove into her mouth as his fingertips found her exposed clit, teased it, then slid his experienced fingers inside the tight glove of her.
She sighed, writhed under his touch and his lips. Then he got off the bed and left her there without a word. He needed space. He should not have brought her here. He wasn’t ready for something that felt so… incredibly… strange. What should be right simply was not. He couldn’t figure it out. After whimpering a little, Jenna stayed quiet.
Jack sat at the small kitchen table and contemplated the odd sensations fluttering around his brain like trapped insects. Yeah, his cock was hard enough to cut a few diamonds but that he could handle. It was his heart, which kept pounding and his head, which buzzed so loudly he could barely hear himself think. What was this?
He ran a hand down his face, around the back of his neck. The longer he sat, the worse it got, so he stood, stomped back into the bedroom. He stripped out of his clothes under her gaze. She bit her plump, delicious, lower lip. An odd sensation of ownership enveloped him. That was his lip. He would bite it, and she would do exactly what he told her.
As if in a daze, moving slow and with purpose but not even understanding what or why—just that he had to do it, he rolled her over. Yanking her hips up, he smacked her ass, hard, open-handed, once, twice, again, watching as her flesh reddened and hearing her sighs and squeals of pleasure. The white ropes at her wrists caught his eye for some reason. She was pulling at them so hard they burned her skin and a drop of blood had appeared, marring the whiteness.
He stared at it, caressing her hip and ass that he’d just smacked yet again. To her credit, she stayed quiet, emitting only little sighs and moans as he ran both his hands up her back and into her hair. He gripped tight and pulled with one, then used his other to trace that wild tree-thing that covered her lower back and snaked around to her front.
“I don’t know what it is about you… but…” He rolled a condom over his cock, still feeling trancelike, outside himself, unable to stop or breathe or think. His control was slipping. He knew it. When he slid into her, inch by slow inch, she gripped him and her sighs turned to a low groan of satisfaction. He closed his eyes and let it happen. The moment was sublime and meant more to him than it likely should.
He fucked her slow, watching as if from a distance. He gripped her hip and reached around to tease her clit until she cried out and pulsed, her whole body pulling him toward something he honestly believed he should run away from.
“Oh shit,” he moaned and grabbed her hair again, yanking her head back as her body kept such a tight hold on his cock it almost hurt. Everything froze just as the orgasm burst across his nerve endings, making him yell and lose himself utterly for the first time since Mindy, likely, or Suzanne.
He sighed and draped his body around hers. Pulled her down, and cradled her close as he reached around to unbind her wrists. She still hadn’t spoken but was shaking, trembling so hard her teeth chattered.
“Shh…” he whispered, pulling the quilt up over her while he hit the bathroom. “Shh…Jenna,” he caressed her name when he returned, loving the feel of it in his mouth while his brain was sending up warnings to let her go, don’t allow to her stay. But she was so just right, here in his arms. Burying his nose in her hair he sighed, and slept.

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cheers and have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. Drink CRAFT BEER!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Steampunk Comics

Here in Houston Texas, Comicpalooza starts tomorrow, May 24th. If you have a chance to come, please do, so many stars will be there. I will be on a Sex in Space panel on Friday, the 24th, and Steampunk Egyptology and Indie and Small Press publishing panels Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th, I and Steampunk author, Delphine Dryer will be on a Steampunk Quips and Tips panel for writers and readers. So Comicaplooza had me thinking about comics and Steampunk. I’m not a big comic reader but I have read some I loved. Here are my five Favorite Steampunk Comic Books: 

Bryan Tallbot’s 1970’s Luther Arkwright series is considered the starting point for the modern era of Steampunk comics. Speaking of Bryan Tallbot, his Grandville series is total Steampunk. I’ll begin with it, followed by four others that are not necessary the best Steampunk comics but they are my favorites. If you find Steampunk interesting, but haven’t read anything in it, comic books are a great introduction to the genre. 

The author and artist, BryanTablot, was inspired by a 19th century illustrator, who drew anthropomorphized characters in costumes of the period and used the pen name J J Grandville. The story takes place in an alternate world where the British lost the Napoleonic War and a Scotland Yard Inspector, a badger, investigates the murder of a British diplomat. The events of 9/11 and a conspiracy theory are woven into the plot. The cast is made up of animals garbed in Victorian clothing, there are a few humans now and then, maids and bell hops, who are called doughfaces, which I find hilarious. Grandville is smart, interesting, well plotted and the art is incredible.

The premise is genius. It takes place in England in the early 1900’s, just ten years after the War of the Worlds when the Martians were defeated by microscopic germs humans had been immune to for centuries.  British scientists adapt the highly advanced Martian technology to everyday life. Carriages running on robotic spider legs like the Martian vehicles replace horses and homes are heated and lighted by a version of the Martian heat ray. Two British spies take on a case of a missing girl and uncover so much more. Stempunk fans will love the Victorian/Edwardian London setting, the utilization of alien technology and the H. G. Wells connection, as well as the dark, dystopian tone. I found this a powerful read, the story and images stayed with me long after I finished it.

This is a story of star crossed lovers from two different houses. Sounds familiar? One of the two fantastic castles is built by a grafter as a monument to the science of nature, while the other is built by a tinker as a tribute to the science of technology and machines. The tinker creates a clockwork girl named Tesla. You will even find two quotes of Nikola Tesla within the story. Though different, several images of the little clockwork girl and the monster boy are reminiscent of scenes from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This is a children’s story and suitable for ages eight to 108. This graphic novel is one of the most heartwarming stories I’ve ever read. So sweet and charming and it has a happy ending. 

4. Ignition City by Warren Ellis

In a dieselpunk/alternative history, washed up space heroes live in Ignition City, a rough and rowdy settlement cut off from civilization on Earth’s last spaceport. Ignition City has a strong woman for the main character,
Mary Raven, a space pilot and daughter of the famous spaceman, who stopped a Martian missile plot. She heads to the spaceport to discover how her father died and who killed him. It has colorful language and a Wild West tone. There are aliens, ray guns, and the marshal flies around in a rocketeer type outfit. I found this a fun, page-turning, action packed read with realistic characters that I loved.

Struck, a rugged, old west cowboy hero, robs banks, cheats at poker, lies to women with promises of marriage and runs away at any hint of trouble. Yeah, this bad boy is a real charmer. Still when some old prospectors dig up robots, who in turn dig up a whole army of metal men that go on a rampage, killing humans, our hero comes to the rescue of his woman and his town. Of course he has to, he’s set for a lynching and the sheriff gives him no choice but to help or to hang. Struck has some help himself from an elderly Native American gentleman and Sasquatch. Yes that’s right, Big Foot himself. This comic book is a blast, so much fun. Iron West will make your day. It is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen and I often think of lines and images from it, even though I read it years ago.

Other great Steampunk Comics I highly recommend:

Steampunk by Chris Bachalo and Joe Kelly

Lady Mechanika by Joe Benitez

Ruse by Mark Waid (2nd half of the series by Scott BeattyAetheric) Mechanics by Warren Ellis

Girl Genius by Phil & Kaja Foglio

Jonah Hex by Jimmy Palmiotfi & Justin Gray

Gotham by Gas Light by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola

The Amazing Screw-On-Head by Mike Mignola

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol 1 & vol 2 by Alan Moore

You can see the five I’ve listed, and the other comic books I’ve suggested, have Victorian, Dystopian, Dieselpunk, Westernpunk or Alternate History ascetics as well as Steampunk. We can look forward to the future of Steampunk comic books offering even more diversity and choices for readers. There is something for every Steampunk reader between my five favorites and the others I recommend. If you can’t find these comic books at your local comic book store, they are available on Amazon and other online bookstores. Also if you are in the U.S., most of these are all available from the inter-library loan program, order them from your local library website or at your local library.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Have You Bid Yet?

Have you seen all the fabulous items offered at the 2013 Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research?

If you're a writer, there are seemingly endless opportunities to connect with other publishing professionals. If you're a reader, there are loads of books and hundreds of beautiful items waiting for your bid; like this gorgeous set of vintage Art Deco oriental inspired costume jewelry, donated by author Adele Downs. Click on the above link, or the photo below, for details. Browse the auction pages, see all the wonderful donated items, and know your winning bid goes to a worthy cause.

Have fun! See you at the auction!

SANTA TO THE RESCUE by Adele Downs, a firefighter contemporary romance, coming this holiday season from Entangled Publishing.

Visit Adele Downs at http://adeledowns.wordpress.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sweet N Sexy Soulful Quotes

As the temperatures start to heat up, so has my reading radar. Lately, I've had a hankering for some romance reads with a bit more steam and I've decided to share some of the ones that I've taken an interest in, if not already consumed.

The books I feature are from authors who were not afraid to be soulful, sappy, and/or suggestive when it came to their heroes. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and fire up those eReaders so you can add these new releases to your TBR collection. 

I hope you like my erotica choices for this month. Happy reading!

He smiled and held his hand out to her. "Hi, I'm Elliot," he said, his gaze flashing for a moment at her discarded glass. "I hope you're not leaving on my account."

Oh. My. God.

She couldn't move. Those dimples were devastating. And his voice...A voice that smooth and sexy could make a girl melt like an ice cream cone on a hot July afternoon, which was exactly what she was doing at that moment. Melting.

What was I doing? All thoughts of her boss disintegrated from her mind.

Being this close to him caused the ice and chill of seeing Mr. Grimes to thaw. She put her hand into his and smiled up at him. "It's nice to meet you, Elliott." She looked down at her name badge briefly. "I'm Number Sixty-nine."

He chuckled softly, brought her hand up to his sensuous lips, and placed a kiss on the back of her hand. The brief contact left a delightful tingle on her skin.

His eyes shone with a flirtatious sparkle. "Sixty-nine? That's my favorite number."
Casey Sheridan, Number 69


“I’d trust you with my life. As a matter of fact, I have,” Marilyn added.

He grunted a quiet acknowledgement. “Do you know that I want nothing more than to give you everything you want? Everything you need?”

“I do.”

The whispered acknowledgement echoed the vow she’d taken just weeks before, but somehow it tasted like more. She savored those two tiny words for a moment then set them free again. “I do, Del. And I love you more than words. That’s why I never said it very much. But I feel it. I’ve felt it in one way or another since I was five. You’re my best friend. That’s never going to change.”

“And you’re my everything,” he answered.
Maggie Wells, Always Miss April


“I want to make you happy, Em.” Sam’s breath skittered along her upper chest and raised goose bumps on her flesh. “I want to make you burn. No toy is going to do that.”
Wendi Zwaduk, The Best I Ever Had

“Tell me now if you want to stop. We’ll never talk about what happened earlier. Tell me you don’t want this, and I’ll try not to think about how sweet you tasted or how hot you were all wrapped around me.” His ragged breaths told her she wasn’t the only one clinging to reason by a thread. “Tell me I’m not worth the risk, and I swear I’ll do my best to stop wanting you.” He tangled his fingers with hers, knotting them tight. “But I won’t be something you have to hide. And there are going to be people, plenty of people, who will have an issue with me loving you.”
Maggie Wells, Mr. Mayhem


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Renee Vincent is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance.