Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.
~ Guy de Maupassant
I read that quote this morning and it lingered, making me think about the truth of the words... when we write, we often DO open part of our souls to the world. Writers are intensely committed to the words they put on a page, the dreams they present to the world as their work, and the parts of their internal selves that are revealed in ways non-writers can’t begin to reveal.
Why do we do it? I’m sure the answer to that is as diverse as the people who’ll read this, and the authors who publish books every day. For some of us, it’s a drive as natural and primal as drawing breath. We are born storytellers, with a knack for making worlds come to life for others. Since I am one of those people who’s been classified by many as being a “natural writer” I’ll go with that as my reason for continuing in a business that has taken more from my soul than it’s ever given back.
Curious now, how many of you feel you bare pieces of yourself with your books? And why do you do it? Is any fiction entirely fiction, do you think? Or is it another facet of a complex mind coming out into the open? I don’t know anymore where half my stories are born, but they are constantly changing. Genres blur, get mixed together, the time/era for those stories has been across the span of known history, so it’s always been an adventure in one way or another.
My next book is historical Western, and should be released this week. My last book was contemporary, a highly romantic short set in
, and it’s just been released in audio,
as well. I’ve also recently signed contracts for a three-book epic fantasy
quest with some erotic romance elements. Midnight Frost Books contracted my
first political thriller in years, too–there’s not a heroine in sight in that
one, so it was a real step back to when I wrote non-romance a lot. Rome
I suppose everyone writes for different reasons, just as readers read for different reasons. So, what pushes you to write? And readers, what lures you back to certain authors over and over?
I have an ARC of my new book available for one lucky commenter today, so please do chat with us!!
Genre: Historical Western erotic (circa. 1880)
Length: Novella – 23K
BLURB: Born into the ruin of a post-Civil War South, Chantille L'Amour willfully defies the Fate her family seems to embrace. Shunned and rejected, she makes her way to
San Francisco, and opens The Palace, a casino and high-class
brothel on the Barbary Coast. Despite her
loneliness, she makes a place for herself, and runs her business with obvious
Austin Standish is the one man who could change everything. An elegant man, with sophisticated tastes, and a flair for winning, he has secrets of his own, not the least of which is the growing hunger he nurtures every night he enters the Palace. Determined to know the beautiful owner, to possess her, he plays for the highest stakes of all, and he means to win his night in her arms, complete with champagne and chocolate to make the victory so much sweeter...
As she led him to the private wing of the large building that housed her home and business, Chantille had time to question the wisdom of her actions—again. She'd been berating herself for most of the past thirty minutes. Austin Standish was a danger to her; she knew this on an instinctive level. Not that he would hurt her, of course. But, he was dangerous, just the same.
She was acutely aware of every panther-like, lissome step he took behind her. He was elegant in manner and dress, quietly contained but always alert. The sense of being in perilous company assailed her with new severity. She opened the twin doors to her living suite and went inside, hearing him close the doors behind him before joining him.
She continued into the room, uncomfortable as she chafed against the restraints of her heavy dress and the many layers beneath it. She'd permitted a few select men into this suite over the past five years, but none had ever made her so acutely aware of herself and the desire to shed her clothes and feel solid muscles and male hardness pressed to her warm curves. Her breasts felt heavy, and her nipples strained against the fabric of her chemise, rubbing against the soft material until the pebbled points ached. Between her thighs, a slow, steady throb began to increase in rhythm, finding a matching tempo in her heartbeat.
The soft illumination from the fireplace touched the wood that dominated the room's furnishings, warming the smooth, lustrous finish as shadows danced on the walls and glimmered in the reflections of the mirror that adorned one wall of the room. She saw nothing, only the darkness that had grown around her so steadily throughout the past half-hour, a darkness that touched her with fears she couldn't clearly define, much less explain.
Watching the play of light catch in the soft gold of his hair, Chantille was struck again by the intuitive knowledge that dominated the man's handsome features. Barely suppressed sensuality and anticipation were so strong in the shadowed intimacy of the suite that she felt she could reach out and touch the things that presently put them on opposite sides of a chasm she didn't know with certainty she wanted to close. The only thing she did know was that she wanted to be with him more than she had any man she'd ever met.
"Tell me what you're feeling right now, Chantille."
"No," she whispered, then shook her head to deny her dishonesty. "Yes."
"I don't like being vulnerable."
* * * * *
For the first time, Chantille looked right at him, and
could read all the
uncertainty he hadn't taken the time to notice before. He answered her
honestly, unwilling to do anything less. Austin
"Being vulnerable isn't always a bad thing, Chantille. Sometimes it makes you stronger."
"I don't believe that, and you certainly don't." The edge crept back into her tone. "I feel like I did when I was a child, needing to be wanted. When I came to
, I swore I'd never feel that way
"You don't have to be afraid of anything, Chantille." He knew the words were weak, and he could have kicked himself for them once they were spoken.
She actually managed to smile at the statement, though there was no warmth in the expression.
"Weak women hold no appeal for men like you, Mr. Standish," she remarked.
"Is that what you want? To appeal to me?"
She laughed, a low murmur of sound that stirred the air between them.
"I want to share my bed with you, Austin," she conceded. "What I don't want is for it to cost me everything I've worked for."
"What are you afraid of losing?"
"Don't be ridiculous."
"Don't lie to me, or to yourself."
Chantille met his eyes as if she were trying to pierce the shadows that surrounded them, to see what lay hidden behind that confident stare. When nothing shone forth, she closed her eyes.
"I do want you," she murmured, voice raw with the force of her feelings.
The loneliness and the need for reassurance was almost a physical presence in the room with them, and Austin was forced to wonder just how long it had been since Chantille L'Amour had uttered those words to any man. If she ever had.
"I want you, too, Chantille."
Chantille broke the intense kiss, and her head fell back as a sigh of relief and pleasure slipped out of her. She wrapped her arms around
's neck, then
buried her face against his broad shoulder as she shivered into the sensations
they were igniting in each other. She smiled at the slight catch already
detectable in Austin 's
breathing, then shuddered when his hands began to work the buttons of her gown. Austin
Suddenly, she eased free of his embrace and took a step back. He watched, eyes narrowed for a moment as he waited to see why she'd withdrawn. The wariness left his gaze a few seconds later when she lit another lamp and stood next to it.
The soft golden glow of the flickering lamplight illuminated the deft movements of her hands as she undid the buttons and hooks that held her gown together.
smiled and went to sit in a chair near the fireplace, his eyes never leaving
her. The beautiful amethyst silk crumpled into a heap at her feet, and she
gracefully stepped free of the shimmering mass. Next, the petticoats and
crinolines fell into a crisp white pile, and she smiled, her expression faintly
wicked with delight. He forced himself to remain still while she undid the
hooks of her corset, her actions slow and deliberate. Her eyes never lost their
hold on his, and she walked toward him, hips swaying seductively. Austin
When she was standing directly in front of him,
smiled up at her. His look dropped,
and his eyes locked on the thrusting peaks of her breasts, mere inches from his
lips, nipples a soft shadow against the white of her chemise. She bent slightly
and cupped his face in her hands as she leaned into a slow, exploring kiss. Austin 's arms went around
her, and he lifted her off her feet and sat her astride his thighs as he
settled deeper into the armchair. The kiss went on forever and grew more
intense with each tiny stroke of tongue they exchanged. When he thought he'd
die for want of air, she drew away again and met his gaze. Austin
* * * If you enjoyed this excerpt, I'm going to give away an ARC of Champagne and Chocolate to one of the commenters - winner will be announced on Friday - so do't forget to leave a comment and your email address! * * *
To view more titles, visit my website, there are lots of freebies, and other fun stuff, but the books are here: http://denysebridger.com/booksV2.php
"Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy..."
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