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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not too early to think Christmas!

It may be July 31, but the Regency world is busily thinking Christmas traditions! At least, those writers of  Regency (or hopefuls, maybe) for the Cotillion imprint of Ellora’s Cave have been busily thinking of Christmas 2013 since shortly after Christmas 2012!

I’m happy to report that there will be at least one print anthology this year, and perhaps even two! Both of them chockfull of exciting and warm-hearted romance novellas – Regency style, that is. The theme for this year’s stories is Christmas Traditions. As I write this, eight stories have been accepted for publication: first as an individual e-book, then as part of a print anthology. However, not all the pertinent information is currently available, so there will be more of this information in next month’s column.

The first of this year’s stories is Twelve Days of Christmas by Barbara Miller, one of Cotillion’s original authors. The e-book version will be released on October 10.  When I asked Barbara about her story, she responded: I chose to do a story that covers the twelve days of Christmas, but I explore one family’s traditions for those days. When talking about Christmas traditions, Jo Beverly reminds us that in Jane Austen’s Persuasion the big event of Christmas for most families is the return of the schoolboys for the holidays. I thought a great way to bring two strangers together would be to have their brothers turn up missing rather than coming home.

Tamara Gifford gets herself invited to Oakley Hall for Christmas to rescue her brother from the reportedly depraved Lord Oakley. When she arrives she discovers that Ashford Steel is a former soldier trying to adjust to governing an estate. He is happy to have his mother and Tamara for company since his brother is supposed to be spending the holiday at Tamara’s house in London.
Though they are both angry at the deception of their brothers, they enjoy banding together to find them while Ashford tries to remember the tradition of what Lord Oakley is supposed to do on the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Tamara gives him sound advice about how to go forward with his life rather than looking back. In return he helps her to see that she must make a life for herself and let her brother go. After they locate the young men and rescue them, Tamara agrees to marry Ashford, but what her brother wants to do with the rest of his life could tear apart their hard won love.

Next on the schedule (October 17, 2013) is A Christmas Caroline by Cotillion newcomers Christa Paige & Vivien Jackson. Here’s a short teaser: Lady Caroline Selwyn doesn't usually observe Christmas traditions. But this year, with her father's health dire and her own situation precarious, she's desperate to celebrate Christmastide in every way she can think of, to make it the best ever. To that end, she enlists the aid of her father's physician, Samuel Avery, and his loopy family into the chaos. Charades, belowstairs games, bean cakes, mistletoe, and unexpected love affairs ensue. 

Following along  will be Snug in a Snowstorm by Cynthia Moore, which will release on November 7, 2013.
Lady Isabella Porter and Lord Gerard Malden have known each other since they were children. Isabella thinks of Gerard as someone who teased her unmercifully and made her feel inadequate as a young girl. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs for Gerard because he has loved Isabella for many years.

A sudden, fierce snowstorm and misplaced notes informing both of them of a change of plan mean Isabella and Gerard are forced to spend the Christmas holidays together in very unusual circumstances. Will Gerard be able to use the time he has been given with Isabella in a way that will change the opinions she formed as a girl so she may look upon him with favor and possibly lasting affection?


Isn’t this a nice cover? You’ll be able to identify each of these stories by the sprig of holly and red ribbon, plus of course, the overall title:  Cotillion Christmas Traditions.

The last one for this column is Helena’s Christmas Beau by Aileen Fish, available on November 14.
Aileen says:  The traditions I used all revolved around luck, from stir-up day to Boxing Day. Most of us have rituals we go through at the holidays without even realizing it, until we share the season with someone new.

Facing her second Christmas since the loss of her fiancé, Helena relies on her favorite traditions to bring back the joy of the season. From stir-up day to bringing in the greenery on Christmas Eve, the only flaw in her plan is her cousin’s brother-in-law, Duncan.

Duncan tries to play along with the outdated rites, hoping Helena will again be the cheerful girl he once knew. As he works toward making her happy, his attachment for her reawakens and blossoms. When he hears she plans to re-enter the Marriage Mart next spring, he is struck with jealousy. But is he falling in love, or simply under the spell of the holiday season?

Lots of exciting presents upcoming for fans of Regency Christmas stories! Happy reading to all!

Hetty St. James    (hettystjames@gmail.com)


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Motivation (When You Just Don't FEEL Like It!)

So I had a talk with my critique partner the other day and we both confessed to slacking in the writing dept. Somehow when the kids get the summer off, life gets even crazier for the parents! So I've got getting Josh to Driver's Ed and me starting a new job. LOVE the new job, but it's exhausting. 9 years at a desk does not prepare one for wrestling BIG dogs that - huh - don't, I mean REALLY don't, want a bath...

We've got the fair tomorrow - and the Hunter Hayes concert tomorrow night so my daughter doesn't kill me...

It occurred to me that I haven't worked on Moonwitched all month. I've dabbled in editing, but not writing. It's hard to be creative when you're brain dead. Hey, I was so tired the other night I crawled into the shower with my glasses still on my face! Now THAT's tired!

So, how to get motivated to really STAY writing in all the craziness? I have my work schedule now for the entire month of August. I've determined to do 2 pages a day minimum, and 5 pages on my "off" days. I went out and restocked on my room scents - safer than candles with pets! I have a lock on the door. I also have my CD player & ear buds so I can listen to music and drown out the kids fighting. I swear summer boredom makes them fight about everything!

Was wondering what YOU all do for motivation and time management - juggling w/real life craziness and writing craziness? What do you do when you just don't FEEL like it, and how do you avoid the whole "I'll start tomorrow when I'm less tired, I promise" procrastination?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sweet Erotic Romance, Dragonfly Kisses: A Terrific Read


I am delighted at the reader response for my latest release in the Tryst Island Series. Rebound (Book 1) hit #1 on the Amazon Free Erotic list and has some wonderful reviews. Dragonfly Kisses (Book 2) is following right behind with kudos and acclaim. Thank you to all the readers and reviewers who have been so supportive of my work!

Most recently, Dragonfly Kisses was selected as a Top Pick at Night Owl Reviews. If you love sweet erotic romance with a wounded hero desperately seeking redemption, don’t miss this book.

"I loved the laugh-out-loud, humorous moments. Dragonfly Kisses has the right amount of wit, tear-jerking emotion, and steaminess to make a terrific read." --Night Owl Reviews



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’s crazy about him. And sex between them is scorching. Everything seems perfect…until a tragedy from Dylan’s past threatens to ruin everything.


An Excerpt from Dragonfly Kisses

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.

“Don’t.”

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 dibbs.”

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

“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, sending pings of absolute delight through her. She couldn't help it. She ground against his hardness.

He growled.

Like the Highlander he was, he growled.


What’s Next?
I am working like mad to edit Book 3, Smoking Holt. It should be out in early August. You can follow me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter for alerts. Check my website at www.sabrinayork.com for updates on my ongoing tiara contest as well!

Where will Sabrina Be?
I will be attending the Jimmy Thomas Romance Novel Convention in Vegas in August. It you are planning to attend, stop by and say “Hi” during the book fair or author meet and greet. I am giving away bling pens and teaser books. And also, did I mention? Vegas?

Later this year I will be attending RomantiCon, Ellora’s Cave’s smoking conference. Held in October near their home base in Ohio, the conference strives to connect readers and their favorite erotic authors. If you go, don’t miss the opportunity to pose for a cover photo with the gorgeous Cavemen. I’ll be there, signing copies of Dark Fancy, my steamy erotic Regency, along with plenty of other naughty erotic authors. It’s a lot of fun.

Keep it hot, baby!!!!

About Sabrina York
Sabrina is an award winning author of erotic romance with more than a dozen titles available, ranging from sweet & sexy erotic romance to BDSM to erotic horror. 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.

Books by Sabrina York
Dark Duke (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon
Brigand (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon
Making Over Maris (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tying your partner down should be an erotic art form! Shibari is the Real Deal!

http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10414-tie-me-down.aspx
Getting tied down to someone has a slightly different meaning to it than getting tied FOR someone. Or to someone. Or by someone.

But when being tied and enjoying the hours' long process is an art form, just what are we talking about here? And why it is erotic?

With a masters in Chinese and Japanese history and having lived in Japan for two years, I can tell you that kinbaku, the erotic art of binding with rope, is the Real Deal for yummy bondage with rope.

TIE ME DOWN, my second in my KNIGHTS IN BLACK LEATHER series, stars Case Turner who is a shibari master.

And just what is shibari?

Shibari, an ancient Japanese art form developed from samurai warriors, is the act of tying someone up. But it is not simply using a rope, tying a few knots and calling it a day. It is an expressive art form, used by 16th and 17th century samurai who lived in a feudal society where constant warfare among clans was the norm.

The use of tying up captured samurai from other clans was practical. These Japanese warriors had no prisons and did not wish to build any. Warfare in this period was fast, bloody and decisive. This meant that a samurai, who was bound by a code called bushido (Way of the Warrior) must honor his prisoners according to their rank.

But how could a samurai do that with only rope as his medium?

The warriors developed a system of tying up their opponents in various positions that would incapacitate them. The positions would also show their subjugation to their conquerors. And to distinguish among the prisoners their rank, the warrior created a system of knots and positions that showed to anyone within their armies how valuable this particular prisoner was.

This system of showing honor and respect as well as social rank transformed in the late 18th and 19th centuries into the erotic bondage displays that today we call Kinbaku.

ROPE ME IN, #1 in my bondage,
western, a quatre!
Just as shibari has codes of conduct, so too does Kinbaku, erotic bondage:
1. Bind the prisoner so that he/she may not slip his bonds.

2. Bind the prisoner is such a way that you not cause any physical or mental injury.

3. Create a result that is beautiful to behold.
The fourth rule is optional and is at the decision of the rope master, the Nawashi: Do not allow others to see the process of making the knots.

A Nawashi (rope artist) ties his subject into various poses, all of which show respect and honor to the subject and the master. The subject must practice total submission to the Nawashi and this requires not only practice but patience and concentration.  The art of working the ropes in a demonstration can take hours.

The result is a beautiful tableau or picture of a naked body bound in (usually) fine jute. Binding a female, a Nawashi uses the rope and knots to accentuate the curves and hollows of his subject’s hair, arms, legs, toes, fingers, breasts and genitalia. The more skilled the Nawashi, the more finely he can separate each part of his subject’s body and display it in erotic forms. Displaying a male subject can also be done, this time displaying the male body and even arranging the penis and testicles in artful manners. The reward of the Nawashi to his subject for an excellent submission and performance can be sexual intimacy and gratification. This can be done in public or in private as part of after care to the submissive or subject.

Prequel to ROPE ME IN and TIE ME DOWN
is my story of a Comanche who ties down
his Anglo captive bride!
Among the most beautiful expressions of Kinbaku are the separation of the female labia. This is done, as you might expect, very carefully by expert Nawashi. The rope usually goes in some fashion around the waist, then loops over the labia, either opening the lips to full view or suppressing them to display their plumpness. Those Nawashi who are superbly qualified may also spread the labia to display the clitoris. Either the clitoris is exposed and in that exhibition gratifies the Nawashi and his subject by protruding or it is covered and thereby stimulated in that fashion.

A female’s subject’s breasts are often bound to display their erotic beauty. Here, they can be bound in ever so many ways with the use of a multitude of stylized knots. All are lovely and expose the suppleness of the breasts in marvelous artistic ways.

Comment here and tell us if you would ever consider being bound by a shibari master!
Come nibble all my cherries: http://www.cerisedeland.com

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FREE READS from Liz

For just a few more weeks, you can get 3 of my personal favorite Liz novels for JUST a buck ninety-nine on all the usual sites!
As a treat today Sweet n' Sexy gang I am offering a full chapter excerpt for all 3 of them PLUS an ebook giveaway! Each title is a live buy link to Amazon but note that both Barnes & Noble and All Romance Ebooks have these titles on sale for only 7 more days.....
happy reading!



PARADISE HOPS

A brutal attack left Lori Brockton convinced she was damaged goods. By the time she emerges from hiding two years later, ready to run her family's famous brewery, she's determined to be independent--never rely on anyone ever again. Nearly a year of working in every corner of Brockton Brewing Company, from warehouse to pub, front office to kitchen, teaches her all she needs to know about the business. Then, she comes face-to-face with masculine perfection in a suit and her world is rocked in more ways than one. Garret Hunter is the new Brockton business manager who takes one look at the beautiful, sad young woman and his entire existence coalesces around winning her heart. But standing between Garrett and what he believes is his true love, is a six-feet six-inch blond-haired bad boy brewer. Eli Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired by Brockton to drag the company into the 21st century. He brings innovation and attitude plus a prima donna ladies' man reputation. But he's sworn off anything resembling commitment, personal or professional, after getting burned at his last job on both fronts. Garret Hunter is "The Perfect Man" -- handsome, successful, stable, eager to settle down. Eli Buchannan... is not. Compelling, smoking hot, creative and elusive, he represents everything Lori Brockton should avoid. But just as she makes a difficult choice, a drastic life-changing shift occurs, and nothing is ever the same again.

FREE CHAPTER!
 
She cleared her throat, squared her shoulders, and channeled the anger building in her chest. “I’m Lori. Lori Brockton. This is the first day of my brewery rotation.” She hated how thin her voice sounded.
“Your brewery rotation eh?” She stumbled back at the vision that emerged from between towering stainless steel fermentation vessels. “What is this? Brewing Day Camp? I’m supposed to babysit the Brockton kids?” He glared at her, making her blink in the glare of his bright, steely blue gaze. Eli Buchanan was larger than life. At least six foot five, with long blonde hair held back by a small piece of leather. Clad in light blue jeans and a Brockton Brewing grey T-shirt, the span of his shoulders and definition of his torso forced an exhale from Lori’s lips. He kept quiet as her eyes took him in, from rubber boot clad feet to the light red hair covering his jaw. “Well? See anything you like?” He glared at her.
“Uh, no, I mean, it’s not camp. I mean, you are…I’m….” she stuttered, then stopped. The man remained stock still, still holding her gaze as if challenging her. She stood up straighter. “I’m here for the next six months to learn this part of the business. You know, so I can be your boss someday.” He frowned at her. She frowned back.
Then he tilted his head back and laughed, stepped into her personal space and smacked her ass so hard she yelped. “I look forward to that day girl Brockton. Yes, I do.” A couple of the men started forward as if to protect her, but she waved them back. This asshole had another thing coming if he thought she’d be intimidated by him. As much as she felt she should have been, something about him was as non-threatening as Garrett, but in a different way—a much more spine-tingling way.
The following ten hours of back breaking work nearly made her throw in the towel. But, after an hour scraping out the last of a twenty barrel’s worth of wet, heavy spent mash—the leftover grains from a batch of beer made on their smaller system, she felt sore as hell, but invigorated. The smells, sounds, and sights in this heartbeat of the entire operation—the reason all three hundred of her father’s employees came to work every day—this she loved.
“Brockton!” An angry voice behind her made her jump. Wet, sticky malt grains dripped from her face where she’d accidently splashed some onto herself as she cleaned out the large vessel. She swiped at them, smearing even more of the mess across her cheeks. Without warning, Eli wiped her face with a clean white
towel, his touch surprisingly tender, lingering longer than necessary. But his frown stayed stuck in place. She stepped away from him, confused and aggravated by her own automatic response to his brief touch.
“Some guy in a tie is looking for you,” he jerked a thumb over his shoulder but didn’t move. Lori had no experience with hypnosis, but she’d swear at that moment he’d done it to her. They locked eyes. Then the sound of harder heeled shoes on the concrete floor forced her look past him. Garrett’s bright smile was familiar, yet somehow strange and out of place at the same time.
“I’m actually here to see you, Eli.” Garrett stuck out a hand and the other man looked at it, glancing over to Lori then back over before gripping it without a smile. “Glad to have you on board.”
Eli took his hand back, and swiped at it with the towel he’d used on her face. If he noticed the rude gesture, Garrett didn’t indicate it in the slightest. Impressed, Lori moved a step closer to him and glared at the tall, arrogant, blonde man.
Eli shot her an unfathomable look, but spoke to Garrett. “Sorry, but no suits in the brewery. Wouldn’t want to get you messy.” He walked away, waving over his shoulder. “Glad to be on board, boss, thanks.” The sarcasm dripped from his words like venom. Garrett turned to her, his handsome face calm, as if the odd exchange with the rude employee had never happened. He stepped close and whispered in her ear. “What’s up his ass?” She shrugged and leaned the trowel she’d been using for the last hours against the wall. Rolling out the stiffness in her upper back, she sighed when Garrett tugged her into his arms, the connection surprising but pleasant all at once. “Mmm…you smell great,” he muttered into her hair, pressing soft kisses along her jaw and neck. Lori relaxed, realizing this was as far as they’d gotten two nights ago on her front porch before he’d given her an utterly mind blowing kiss and then sauntered back to his car, leaving her open-mouthed and wanting more. Feeling strong and unafraid for the first time in years, she molded herself into his lean frame, the expensive wool fabric pleasant against her exposed arms, the warm, malty smell of the day’s brew still filling her nose. She pulled them into an alcove between the small brew house platform and a nearby fermenter. Her
body sent a cacophony of mixed signals to her brain—fear at letting go, utter terror at the touch of his hands mixed with a pure burst of lust that left her breathless.
The sudden vision of Eli, the single day’s memory of his large hands, rough jaw and strutting attitude shot through her brain, making her gasp and pull away. Garrett tilted her face up to his, concern in his eyes. “You okay? I’m sorry. I guess seeing you covered in sticky malt turns me on. Sick, I know.” He shrugged, and ran his thumb over her lips. She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly freezing cold.
Garrett’s eyes darkened, slipped his jacket off, and tried to drape it around her shoulders. She stopped him. “No, no, Garrett, I’ll ruin it.”
He folded it over his arm and propped his other hand on the fermenter at her back.
“I gotta finish this, or he’ll make me stay all night. Guy hates my guts.”
Garrett chuckled. “I doubt that very much.” He pressed firm lips to hers once more, but she cut it short. “Anyway, sorry for attacking you like that.” He grinned which lifted her heart. “Can I take you out for a drink later? Beer? Wine? Coffee? Tap water? Anything, really, if I can only….” He sighed and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close, so close she felt it—the unmistakable press of an erection. White hot anxiety made her gasp, turned the room an eerie shade of orange as her vision narrowed, and her body went into flight mode.
She struggled out of his embrace, unwilling to let him see how lame she was but knowing if he held her much longer she’d likely scream and run away, and that would be a disaster. She grabbed the nozzle and started spraying out the inside of the metal container, holding back tears with everything she had. Garrett was a good man. He wouldn’t hurt her, but she obviously was not ready for much more than a few kisses. Poor guy. She should cut him loose now. Let him find somebody normal.
“Hey, hey, it’s okay.” He tossed his suit coat onto a stack of malt bags, took the hose from her hands and turned it off. “Didn’t mean to rush you. Sorry for being so pushy.” The noise of the slowly cooling metal vessels, the clank, clunk of their contracting sides filled the silence. He reached out and touched her cheek with
a fingertip, pulling it back with a single tear quivering from the end. She hadn’t even realized she’d been crying.
He started to speak, at the same time she opened her mouth to tell him why she was so skittish.
“Hey, love birds, cut the shit and let her finish!” Eli’s loud voice boomed through the space. “I would like to go home sometime today, if that’s okay with the boss lady there.” He sauntered over, plucked Garrett’s suit jacket off the malt bag as if touching road kill and handed it back to him. “Save yourself a dry cleaning bill and head out, Hunter. I’ll send your girlfriend after you soon enough.” Garrett ignored him, kept his eyes on Lori as he shrugged back into the dark blue coat. Straightening his tie, he turned and put a hand on Eli’s shoulder, making the other man blink.
“Take good care of this one, Buchanan.” Garrett’s voice dropped an octave lower, giving warning in spite of the jovial tone. “As you said, she is the boss lady.” The two men locked eyes, and Lori’s face warmed at the raw, testosterone fueled tension between them. Garrett walked away without another word, leaving Eli glowering. And apparently pissed as hell—which he took out on her for the next two hours, making her wash down every exposed piece of stainless steel in sight. Twice.


OK LEAVE ME A COMMENT IN THIS POST TELLING ME WHY YOU LOVED THIS BOOK IF YOU READ IT AND WHY YOU WANT A FREE COPY OF IT IF YOU HAVEN'T!
ready
steady
go....



 and......

VEGAS MIRACLE

 Ryan and Grace Sullivan have all the outward indications of a happy life: money, success, an undeniable physical attraction that quickly evolved from whirlwind relationship to marriage. But lately, Ryan’s become moody and distant. As their relationship starts to crumble, Ryan discovers something about himself he can’t admit just as Grace realizes the young man she encounters at an invitation only party, Henri Christophe, a celebrity chef with the most successful restaurant in Las Vegas, is her husband’s lover. But Henri holds a secret himself. He wants to be more to both of them.

Trying to make their unconventional arrangement work, Ryan’s deep-seated fear of relationship failure continues to thwart everyone’s happiness. When he finally walks away instead of confronting the emotional connection the trio share, he returns to find their lives flipped inside out. A sought after hotel and resort consultant, Ryan has yet to meet a problem he couldn’t solve. But when it comes to his own heart, Ryan may be too late.
FREE CHAPTER!

Ryan spun the thin platinum band around his left ring finger. The plane was late and as it circled the small airport, he clamped down the urge to get up and pace. For an expert frequent flier, he sure as hell wasn't a patient one. This trip pissed him off anyway and he'd balked at the necessity of convincing some prima dona resort cook who managed to gain some publicity by winning a stupid Iron Chef reality TV show to come and open a restaurant. The manager at the Aria had his heart set on this guy though, hence Ryan was dispatched to the South of France to fetch him.
Glancing down when the soft "ping" of his Skype indicator sounded on his laptop, Ryan shook his head at the latest missive from the big money investor for the Vegas resort. It included a photo from the chef’s media kit. Jesus, a media kit?
"This guy is a former physical therapist or some shit who put himself through French cooking school giving massages."
Ryan glanced at the photo. Long dark hair framed a noble, exotic face.
"Bet he gets his fair share of pussy, eh?"
Ryan grimaced. What did that have to do with anything?
"You guys will get along great. You can compare cocks man notes."
Ryan had to respond although he usually ignored this asshole.
"I bet I have more notches."
"I bet you do too. Well, used to anyway. This guy, Henri, he was married too, He has a kid but he's divorced."
Ryan sipped his drink and waited for the next missive.
"When are you gonna knock up that hot wife of yours anyway, Sully?"
Ryan rolled his eyes. Nobody ever called him "Sully" except this blow hard. As for "knocking up," well, he and Grace had an understanding about that. No kids. Ever.
"Not anytime soon. I gotta go, plane's about to land." He closed the chat window but not before he saw Grace’s icon appear in the corner.
"Hey." He smiled at the thought of her. Ryan never dreamed he’d be so lucky to find his perfect woman. He repressed a shudder at the memory of how he very nearly screwed it up with his overwhelming need to take care of her.
"Hey," he answered back, his mind full of his wife’s beautiful eyes, her laugh, her body under his hands. He shook the bad memories of his near miss with her away. "Guess what--thinking about you just now made me hard."
"Pig."
"Maybe. But all yours."
"I have a guess what, too..."
"That right?"
"Alice's pregnant."
Ryan’s throat constricted. Alice was Grace’s younger sister, married about three years. The two girls were as thick as thieves. Luckily, Ryan folded right into the tight knit group of Grace, her sister, Trevor, Alice’s attorney spouse, and their dad, Joe. Alice was a darker version of her older sister and had a smart mouth but Ryan liked her.
"Is that good?"
It took a while to get an answer and Ryan rubbed his eyes, unable to sort through how
this conversation could possibly end well.
"It's what they wanted."
"Good for them then."
"Ok, well, I just thought I’d tell you. Have a great time."
"Wait! How did it go today? How were Matt and Katie?"
"It was nerve wracking and I’m glad it’s over."
"I’m pretty sure I set the DVR to record it but you never know with those damn things."
"Yeah, well, let’s talk later, k? I have to go down and meet some reporters before dinner."
"I love you, Grace."
"I know."
He'd have given a million of his dollars to be with her right now but instead he clicked the laptop shut, tucked it into his bag and sat back for landing knowing the whole "no baby" thing would eventually make its way back to the floor for discussion. But Ryan was bound and determined to not screw up some poor kid with his shitty parenting. It just wasn't an option and Grace would have to deal with it.
Chapter Four
The sun baked the few bodies still lazing by the salt-water pool as Ryan strolled by headed for the cabana-encased lounge. Admiring the various female forms scattered between him and his destination, Ryan caught a few eyes and nodded. He was no slouch and has dressed carefully in hopes of blending in and not seeming like the obvious American in this group of sophisticated tourists. His cream linen shorts and soft blue silk shirt fluttered in the breeze as he stepped into the gloom under the striped canvas tent.
He took a seat at the bar and glanced around, which was full at four p.m. in Nice. The sun was at its hottest and the interior here pleasantly cool.
"Monsieur?" The drop dead, model gorgeous woman standing behind the bar put a napkin in front of him.
"Ah, yeah. I’ll take a glass of Mortimer if you have it." It was his favorite French beer, a frothy lager made from peat smoked whiskey malt. The woman raised an admiring eyebrow and pulled a tap to fill his glass which he raised to her before taking a sip. "Cheers."
Noting her eyes as they flickered over his shoulders then to the subtle silver colored band on his left hand, he set the glass down and smiled at her.
"I was told Henri Christophe was here."
"Oui," she jerked her chin to a spot behind him. Ryan turned his head and was struck by the sight of the man he’d been studying from photos bent over the shoulders of a famous movie star, his hands working her neck as she let out little yips of pleasure and pain. Ryan reddened. Jesus, it sounded like the woman was having an orgasm.
He finished his beer, put enough Euros on the bar to satisfy any bartender and stood. The dark skinned young man looked up as if sensing his presence and his face broke into a wide grin. Ryan grinned back as he made his way over to him. The movie star stood, took in Ryan’s tall, blond, athletic form then turned and planted a kiss on Henri’s full lips.
"Darling, so lucky," she glanced over at Ryan who waited, hands in pockets.
"Oh please, he’s here to hire me or something, make me move to the godforsaken American desert, I don’t know." Henri patted the woman’s ass as she strolled away and Ryan caught the lilt of South American in the man’s speech. But before he could introduce himself, a small body launched itself out of the shadows and into Henri’s arms. The young man laughed and planted kisses all over the little girl’s face. The little-girl version of the man he’d come to hire clambered up and down her father’s torso and he flipped her around, upside down, then up onto his shoulders before kissing both of her knees and turning to Ryan.
"So sorry, I don’t see my darling Renee much. She's about to leave me again, going to back her her maman, eh my love." He pulled the girl down and set her on the floor where she promptly stared at Ryan then held out a small hand.
"I'm Renee Christophe. Please to have meeting to you."
Henri patted her head. Kids made him nervous, always had.
"Lovely, my dear. The English nanny has come in handy after all."
Ryan took her hand.
"I'm Ryan Sullivan. I'm here to see if your Papa will open a restaurant for me." He looked up and caught Henri’s eye. The man’s dark chocolate stare was intense. Ryan took a step back, uncomfortable with the sudden rush of blood that flooded his face.
Henri turned his attention to his daughter once more.
"Allez-y maintenant. Votre maman est en attente. J’taime."
Ryan recognized the formal French used by non-native speakers and he stepped aside as the bikini-clad girl bolted down the steps. Turning back, he was surprised to see the man’s eyes glistening with unshed tears. Suddenly embarrassed, Ryan looked away.
Henri flopped down onto the cushioned bench lining the far wall of the lounge and sighed.
"Her bitch of a mother won’t rest until she poisons that child against me." He glanced up at Ryan, motioned to the chair across from him and snapped his fingers over his head.
A large glass of red wine appeared at his elbow.
"Need anything," he asked Ryan.
"Uh, no, I’m fine." Ryan was clearly invading a private moment. He started to stand.
"No, no, please," Henri put a sandal clad foot up on a nearby chair as Ryan felt his eyes drawn to the man’s compact form, his deep brown skin. The tight tee shirt caressed muscle tone and his white shorts were tight, making the outline of his…Ryan shook himself. What the fuck? Had someone slipped him a roofie? He sat up and crossed an ankle over his knee, suddenly at a loss for words.
Henri sipped his wine while Ryan fidgeted with his collar. Finally the younger man spoke.
"Las Vegas? Really?"
Ryan was relieved to have common ground.
"Yes, the Aria, the newest, most exclusive hotel casino on the strip. It has all the most expensive shops and a couple of great places to eat but it lacks one thing." He held out a hand, indicating Henri.
"Sounds like hell to me." Henri stood and stretched and Ryan averted his eyes, unwilling or unable to acknowledge that the sight made him flush red again.
He stood, willing to walk away. He was not about to beg this punk for anything.
"Ok, well, I’ve got a couple of others I need to talk to."
"Who?"
Ryan grinned. These guys were all alike.
"Oh, you know Wolfgang wants a presence other than in the MGM and there’s always Jamie."
"Oliver? There's no way in hell he'd do it. You are a liar, Ryan Sullivan."
Ryan shrugged.
"I can’t really say. But if you won’t even consider it I won’t waste any more of your time."
Henri stepped in front of Ryan closer than any man really ever had if there weren’t blows to be exchanged and Ryan leaned back.
"Let’s go somewhere quieter." Henri nodded at the bartender who gave him a little wave. He put a hand on Ryan’s back and Ryan’s skin nearly caught fire with the heat. Ryan cleared his throat.
"No, that’s okay. I need to get back home anyway. My wife..."
Henri’s smile suddenly seemed genuine for the first time since Ryan stepped into the lounge.
"Ah yes, the writer, Grace."
Ryan glared at the man.
"How do you know that?"
"You aren’t the only one who does their homework. I read her book. It’s fantastic."
"She just got a cable deal for it."
"You must be very proud." Henri held out an arm indicating Ryan should go ahead between the various bronzed, shimmering bodies draped around the pool.
"I am," Ryan muttered, his mind spinning with the scene and his own reaction to the man following him out.
"We’ll just go over to my villa," Henri led the way to the parking lot and stopped at a late model Fiat. "I’ll cook."
By the time they reached Henri’s villa, Ryan described the tough road Grace travelled to publication and how he’d tried to help find her an agent but in the end, she’d done it without his assistance.
"This is a problem?" Henri downshifted as they climbed the dirt driveway through lush green trees. The play of the man’s muscles in in his thigh as he clutched and braked had Ryan mesmerized.
"What? Oh, well no, but you know I like to help."
"Sounds to me like she'd rather you not."
Henri hopped out of the little car and bounded up the steps into his house which featured floor to ceiling windows open to the evening breeze with a breathtaking view of the crystal blue Mediterranean. How the hell he afforded this, Ryan had no idea.
Ryan walked into the immense open room as Henri brought him a glass of wine, showed him where the stereo was and said he’d be a few minutes in the kitchen and Ryan should make himself at home. As if that was possible. Every single one of his nerve endings was singing in unison. As he sipped the rich, crisp liquid, Ryan was certain this was some sort of surreal, alternative universe.
He grabbed the back of a chair thinking he’d drag it closer to the open window with the view just as the shoulder he’d injured years ago breaking up a bar brawl in Vegas then somehow pulled again last week ago playing tennis sang out in agony. Ryan put the glass down before dropping it and clutched at his upper arm, which had gone numb as the nerves were pinched beneath Ryan’s clavicle.
Henri emerged with a plate of dark red tomatoes scattered among bright white chunks of cheese and deep green basil leaves, a bottle of olive oil in the other hand. But his eyes narrowed when he saw his guest in pain.
"I’m fine," Ryan clenched his jaw and sat stark still. "Just a shoulder injury. Do you have any ice?"
"No, this is France. We hardly have enough ice for the occasional mixed drink."
Ryan burst out laughing as the absurdity of the day enveloped him. Henri put the plate down and motioned for Ryan to come sit on the stool near him.
"No, I’m okay, really."
"Don’t be silly. I can fix it."
Somehow, the thought of the man’s hands on his body made Ryan’s c*ck stir which left Ryan in the middle of what was easily turning into the strangest moment of his life.
He moved over to the stool and sat, grimacing as the pain shot through him with every
step.
"Take off your shirt."
"What?"
"I can’t see how bad it is unless you do."
Ryan shrugged and started unbuttoning but as he reached the top two buttons, his bad arm stopped cooperating. Henri blew out a puff of air and came around to help him. Ryan got a long look at the coal black hair curtaining the man’s face and had to clench his fists against the sudden urge to touch it--to see if it was as silky as it looked. He cleared his throat and looked up at the ceiling.
With smooth efficiency, Henri moved around to Ryan’s back, letting his hand trail along the injured shoulder. He clapped his hands together so hard Ryan jumped and blinked. When he felt the heat from the young man’s palms in his shoulder, he nearly came up out of his chair.
"Relax." Henri’s voice was smooth, soothing and extremely disturbing all at once.
Ryan tried. The man’s hands were amazing, seeming to push and pull at once, separating the bone from ligament, releasing the nerves, bringing exquisite relief.
"Holy shit," Ryan breathed, rolling the formerly injured joint around with full range of motion for the first time in weeks. Henri kept working at his upper back, going deep into his neck, bringing relaxation where Ryan didn’t even know he held stress. But when he sensed Henri’s body press against his back as his shoulders received both hands, he tensed. At the same moment, his cock sprang to attention and he shifted uneasily.
As if sensing Ryan’s discomfort, Henri patted his shoulders.
"Okay, that should do it. Excuse me while I throw some food on for us."
"Uh, yeah, sure." Ryan leaned forward, unwilling to stand and let the other man know what his hands provoked.
He could hear Henri rummaging around in the kitchen so he took the opportunity to pull in deep breaths trying to ramp down his mysteriously overheated libido and while putting his shirt back on.
"Wine’s on the table," Henri called from the other room.
Ryan noticed his glass was empty and paced the few steps over to the dining area. A laptop was open with a very familiar photo on the screen. One of Grace and him on the beach. Their honeymoon actually, the picture taken right after the lavish party they threw in St. Bart's in lieu of a formal ceremony. Ryan’s gut clenched at the sight of her gazing out over the bright blue ocean. He wasn’t sure who snapped the photo but it caught her hair whipping around her face with him sitting on a lounge chair nearby. The picture made the soft tabloids like People and Us magazine after Grace signed the contract for her cable show. She was already well known from writing "In The Limelight" but the promise of a television show with a famous cast really brought out the "who is this woman?" stories.
He’d been amused and proud of Grace. But this photo, from a short Vanity Fair article about rising literary stars with a bent towards selling out, used photos from their honeymoon which Ryan found alarming while Grace had taken it in stride.
"Hey, at least we aren’t hard to look at," she’d thrown the magazine down beside the bed before climbing up and straddling him that morning. He knew she was trying to distract him and he let her. It was usually a very pleasant distraction and that time had been no exception.
Ryan peered a little closer at the computer screen. He'd forgotten this one but the sight of it brought the whole day back to him. The look of open adoration on his face as he gazed at the woman he loved had been reposted on thousands of Facebook profiles and Twitter posts within the writing community. His assistant Janice kept it in a frame on her desk telling him it proved he had a soul after all. The sight of Grace made his scalp tingle with the reality of what he thought might happen to him today. He did adore her. And he'd do anything for her, but somehow, the undeniable attraction he felt for the man making dinner in the next room had him morbidly curious, and more turned on than he’d been since he first laid eyes on his wife.
"Dinner will be ready just as soon as I sear these chops."
Ryan startled as Henri passed by him. He caught odors of garlic, a hint of lime and curry, and the underlying vanilla essence of the man who was undoubtedly about to seduce him.
"Nice photo by the way," Henri pulled the top off a charcoal grill, held a hand over the white hot coals he’d started earlier and tossed several small morsels onto the grill, the he mouth watering aromas instantly snaking in and curling around Ryan’s head.
Ryan filled his glass and brought the bottle out onto the small patio. It was nearly perfect between the smells of grilling lamb chops, the view of the ocean and his sudden calm just being around Henri.
"Yeah, I caught a lot of flak for it though. I look like such a sap."
"You look like you're in love with your wife." Henri stood, spatula in hand and gazed at Ryan.
"I am." Ryan couldn’t explain his need to defend this.
"I know you are. I think that's fantastic. She's beautiful, talented, I’m sure she's a worthy partner in many areas." He lifted the grill lid and pulled the chops onto a wooden tray, which he then dropped onto the table. A couple of place settings were there and Ryan wondered when he’d set them out. This whole day was turning out to be something of a strange, dream-like fantasy.
Henri brought out a bowl filled with spinach, feta cheese and dark purple onion slices and set it bedside the wood board. A loaf of fresh bread in a basket and a lump of real butter completed the simple meal.
"Bon appétit."
Ryan nodded and sliced into one of the chops. His mouth was flooded with heat from a touch of curry and garlic that was balanced with the rich, creamy flavor of lamb. He devoured his chop without speaking.
Henri watched him, a crooked smile on his face.
"Did you taste any of that?"
"It was amazing. Sorry, I’m a fast eater. Occupational hazard."
Ryan sipped his wine and took a few bites of the salad. Henri sliced into his chop and chewed, never taking his eyes from Ryan’s.

*****************************************
.....hmmmmmm.......yes, it sounds like a pretty "traditional menage romance" set up ....but I'd encourage you to read MORE and see how it is...but perhaps it is not! I will award ONE ebook copy of this, easily my hottest book to date to ONE commenter on this post.



And finally
ESSENCE OF TIME (One of the stand alone intro options for my best selling Stewart Realty series)
For years, Rob Frietag has resisted anything resembling a true emotional connection, preferring instead to explore life, and his own desires, without committing to anyone for very long. The reason remains known only to a few, among them Jack Gordon, his college cohort in female conquests, and life-long friend. At thirty-seven, while he is close to achieving his career goal, head chef at a five-star restaurant in Chicago, he is still very much alone.

After an intensely emotional relationship with Suzanne Baxter in Ann Arbor, Blake's heart is left shattered. Completely broken by what he believes was his one true love, he arrives at a Chicago food and beer festival, prepared to drink his sorrow away. When the two men meet, their lives change forever. But time is of the essence. When Rob acknowledges his true feelings, he will stop at nothing to keep them together, including finding a surrogate mother for the child Blake so desperately wants.

Lila Warren is recovering from a nasty divorce, needs cash and believes carrying their baby will fulfill her in ways marriage never did. None of them could suspect that the connection they share would provide the final emotional key to their life-long puzzle.

When Rob s secret is revealed, time becomes the one luxury they don't have, setting in motion a chain of events that destroys the fragile illusion of happiness for them, and everyone who loves them.

FREE CHAPTER!
(WARNING, 2 men in love if that is not your thing, skip it. Oh, it's not a sex scene but it chock full of real emotion)

“You do realize that you are making an ass of yourself, right?” Rob’s voice cut through the thick tension between. Blake kept his eyes on the road, not willing to rise to the bait. So many emotions swirled through him he couldn’t put his finger on one and pin it down much less identify what he’d done that made him an ass.
He pulled into their driveway and sat, trying like hell to stay calm. “I think this whole thing is a mistake.” He finally spoke, turning the key off but staying put. He gripped the wheel, unwilling to look at Rob. “We, you and me, we will not share well.”
Rob’s harsh laughter startled him. “Really? Funny, seems like you were all about sharing her earlier. Especially after you guys spent about thirty minutes in the bathroom. … you know, ‘talking,’" he hooked his fingers into quote marks. “Jesus.” He spit out, looking away from Blake. “I mean, I get it. She’s hot and all and obviously willing. But I… I don’t know.”
The defeat in Rob’s voice made Blake’s chest ache. He reached out to touch his lover’s face but Rob jerked away.  He kept his voice low, even, realizing that it was his turn to make the mature decision. He’d spent many years letting Rob take care of him. The tables were about to turn. Blake took a breath and looked over at the man he loved. “I don’t want this enough for it to hurt you. I mean it.”
“Bullshit,” Rob muttered and looked at the roof of the truck, then got out without another word. Blake watched him walk toward the house, shoulders slumped hands in his pockets. Cursing his own selfishness and the moment he’d decided that kissing Lila today was a good idea, he followed Rob up the steps to the large front porch.  At the last minute Rob turned and faced him, his eyes dark with anger. “Look, I understand what’s happening. I’m okay with it. I’m not going to be around much longer and you…”
A lick of raw fury lit Blake’s brain. He grabbed Rob’s arm, shoved him back against the door. Putting his face mere centimeters from the other man’s equally angry one, he growled. “Can the fucking pity party will you? This isn’t about replacing you or whatever the hell it is you’re pissed about. As a matter of fact, it isn’t about you at all for a change. It’s not about me either. It’s about us, our future, and our happiness as a family.”
Rob shoved him back so hard he stumbled. They stood and stared at each other for a split second. “You know what, you have no idea what I’m going through. Trying to placate me with concepts of our family is not helping.”
Blake’s face burned, his chest was so tight he could barely breathe. Anger made him speak before he thought. “Well it’s the only thing getting me through it. So fuck you and your defeatist, shitty attitude.”
Rob’s eyes narrowed, his face set in hard lines Blake knew well. He was shutting down, as usual. He kept talking, willing to deal with the fallout later. “That’s right, it’s shitty. Just like you waiting years to even tell me you were sick. Or how the whole of fucking Ann Arbor knew about poor Rob and his cancer before I did. And I’m the one you claim to love.”
He watched Rob’s face, realized he was being a dick but unable to stop. He’d danced around this long enough. He took a step closer to him, head pounding with stress. The urge to grab the man, hold him close, apologize and promise to be more supportive—all the things he’d been doing for the last however many months - nearly overwhelmed him. Nearly. He shoved his hands in his pockets and turned away but kept talking. “I don’t begrudge you your friendships even with that colossal ass, Gordon. But, I feel like even he knows more about you that I do. I mean, you guys have had a few years to adjust to the fact that you are…that you have…shit.” Blake mind would not settle. He put his hands on the thick post at the corner of the porch. He wished Rob would approach him, touch him, take some of this incredible burden off his shoulders. He turned, and tried to keep the tremor out of his voice. “I’m sorry you’re sick, Rob. I love you. And the very real concept that you may die soon makes me even more sleepless than I already am. So, as much as I want a family with you, we won’t do this thing with Lila unless you are one hundred percent bought in. Period.”
Rob sighed and leaned back. He crossed his arms and stared hard at Blake before speaking. “I already feel left out.” The matter of fact way he spoke these gut-wrenching words made Blake gasp.  “I can’t stand the thought of you with her without me. You and her, with our child, without me. The goddamned fact of the matter is, Blake, that’s exactly what will happen. You know it and I know it, and me blowing sunshine and roses up everybody’s ass with a good attitude doesn’t change it.” He held up a hand, stopping Blake from bridging the few feet between them. “I want this for you because I love you. I want you to be happy. Nothing makes me feel better than when you are happy. Trust me when I say, this is not for me. None of it.” He jerked open the door and stomped inside leaving Blake dry-mouthed with dismay.


Rob’s entire body ached. The last round of chemo, while not nearly as rough as it had been in his life, made him feel like ants were crawling under his skin. He wanted nothing more than to flop down on the couch and sleep, preferably with his head on Blake’s lap. This whole thing, his attempt to find Blake some kind of happiness so he could be sick in peace, had imploded.
He leaned on the sink, gulping down water that tasted like copper, thanks to the poison still lurking in his system. He berated himself for the millionth time. It wasn’t enough that he’d let go, allowing himself to feel and love, and to be loved back. After all the years of running, first to Christine, then from René and Kyle, he had finally found Blake. The time and energy he spent convincing the man to trust him, and now, he was doing exactly what he swore he would never do again. He was going to hurt someone because his miserable excuse for a body would not stop ganging up on him.
“Fuck!” He slammed the glass down on the counter, knowing full well it would shatter. The satisfaction of the mess did nothing to improve his mood, low-level headache or bone-deep exhaustion. He’d been affected by Lila too. He knew it and could admit that part of his issue today was a mere matter of testosterone-induced jealousy when he figured out what Blake had been doing with her. Blake, ever the caretaker, had had his radar pinged by yet another damsel in distress.
A hand settled on his shoulder but he shrugged it off, retrieving a broom and dustpan from the closet. There were too many harsh words clogging his throat and he really didn’t want to fight. The recent memory of Blake’s dazed face, slightly messy hair and Lila’s blush when they returned to the table made his ears burn again. Blake tried to help with the cleanup. “Don’t.” He barked. “Just, leave me alone. All right?”
“Sure,” Blake lifted both hands and backed away. The look in his eyes one Rob had seen so many times before, in his parents’ gaze as they watched him wither away in a hospital bed.
He dumped the shards in the bin, slammed it shut and walked out still ignoring Blake, knowing he was being unreasonable. He flopped on the couch, closed his eyes, tried to relax. But for the first time in a while, Blake did not get the message and stay away. He sat across from him, leaning on his knees. “Funny, I sort of thought this whole thing was about you.” His voice stayed low.
 Rob’s eyes flew open, staring at the ceiling. Blake kept talking. “I mean, I wanted this for you. I want a baby, don’t get me wrong. But I want our baby, you know? Not just because you think I want it.”
Rob put a hand over his aching eyes. “You do want it, Blake, you told me so, remember? On the cruise?”
“Yes, I remember. But…” Blake rose and settled in next to him. Rob tried not to shift away. He wanted nothing more than to be held, but something in him would not give. This was his role. He was the soother of ruffled feathers, the keeper of the easy button, the guy who knew immediately what to say, or do, or not do to keep everything on an even keel. This reversal thing was just one more example of his weakness.  “Would you just relax?” Blake admonished him. “Let’s not talk about it anymore. You need to sleep. You have another chemo appointment tomorrow.”
Rob groaned and slumped against Blake’s strong torso, letting the other man hang onto him. He felt Blake’s lips against his hair.
“I love you.” He whispered against Blake’s chest.
“I know,” Blake eased him down so his head was on Blake’s legs, smiling when the television came on tuned to a European soccer game. The sounds of the call, the smell and feel of Blake’s legs underneath his head, his hands smoothing Rob’s hair made his eyes droop and finally close.


Want to know how this plays out???
leave me a comment and tell me why and I might give you a free ebook copy!
cheers
Liz
http://www.lizcrowe.com
http://www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
http://www.twitter.com/beerwencha2




 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celtic Fey: Scottish Selkies and Manx Lhiannan Shee


I love Celtic fey from mythology and folklore. Scottish selkies and Manx lhiannan shee are perfect examples.
Selkies (silkies) are a type of fey who shapeshift from seal to man.

Here is a video of Joan Baez singing the folk song The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry.

My medieval fantasy romance, The Scottish Selkie is a kindle freebie this week, from now until Friday at Amazon.
The Scottish Selkie: From ancient druid lore springs the tale of a fiery Pict princess, a dark mysterious warrior, & the shadowy secret between them.

A bow and arrow carrying Pict beauty takes vengeance on a royal target but fails at her attempt to slay the Scot King, Kenneth Mac Alpin. To save her life, she is forced to wed the king's cousin, Malcolm. Just as the Scot warrior and the Pict Princess begin to forge a bond, Malcolm must reveal his incredible secret and choose between two worlds, one with Bethoc or one without.

Another type of Celtic fey can be found on the Isle of Man. There the vampire spirits known as the lhiannan shee, (la von shee) dwell in sea caves where they keep a red cauldron filled with the blood of their human lovers. Mortal men cannot resist them, they enchant and enslave them by their beauty alone.
Here is a video of Medieval Babes performing the song, Lhiannan Shee.
My comedy, fantasy romance, A Fine Cauldron Of Fish, about the Lhiannan Shee is free with coupon code UV56Y – at Smashwords.

A whimsical tale of failed seduction, lost luggage, an empty cauldron, an invisible lover, a trickster god, and the vacation of a life time on the enchanting Isle of Man.

It's summer on the Isle of Man and Andrew is looking for hot girls and good times. So when he meets the dreamy and seductive Margaid, he thinks he's hit the jackpot. There are only a couple of minor problems: Margaid lives in a cave under the sea, is invisible, and thinks that only Andrew's blood can save her from turning into a water horse! But hey, whoever said love was perfect?
Click Add To Cart, Add Coupon Code UV56Y to Box, Click Update, Now click Checkout.
Go back to the page and download whatever eBook format you want.
Feel free to download both free Celtic books, which are just in time to read for the Celtic Harvest Festival, Lughnassadh, pronounced LOO-nahs-ah, celebrated August  1st. It is also the name for the month called August in English.
If you enjoy the books, please leave a review.
 

 





 
 

 

 

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Release! SMOKIN' HOT FIREMEN




Firemen heroes. Women love them and men want to be them. New Release SMOKIN' HOT FIREMEN is filled with hot and spicy stories about these beloved icons. I'm thrilled to be part of this exciting anthology from Cleis Press, edited by award-winning Delilah Devlin, with my story Hook Me Up by Adele Dubois.

SMOKIN' HOT FIREMEN has received rave early reviews, including a TOP PICK from Night Owl Romance. I hope you'll add a copy to your collection!

Excerpt:

HOOK ME UP by Adele Dubois

Knox groaned as he climbed into the cab of Engine Number 6 on weary legs and started the engine. They'd pulled another all-nighter in a neighboring community where an arsonist torched a second row of houses. It had taken ladders from four adjacent towns to put the fires out. “At least we have beds to go home to. It's a shame about all those families.”

Frank buckled his seat belt, riding shotgun. “When the FBI catches the bastard, I want to kick his ass before they haul him away.” He emphasized his point with a terse nod of his dark head.

“Get in line.” Knox turned right at the next intersection and headed south. Their station sat smack in the middle of apple orchard country in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The trees were just beginning to bud and in another month apple blossoms would decorate every neighborhood in town. Just the sight of his hometown in the distance eased the tension in his neck and the kinks in his shoulders. Knox had never lived anywhere else and couldn't imagine ever wanting to leave Appleton. A wife, a few kids, and a promotion to captain would make life here just about perfect.

 The flash of something out-of-synch with the earth toned landscape slid past his peripheral vision, easing his foot off the accelerator by reflex. “Did you see that?” Knox checked his mirrors, tapped the brakes, and slowed.

“See what, bro?” Frank stretched to look outside his window.

“That slash of purple inside the old apple tree we passed back there. Like it was falling.” Knox pulled over. “My gut tells me something isn't right.”

 “Turn around when I give the go.” Frank hopped out of the truck and walked around to direct traffic. Only two cars passed inside the residential neighborhood. Frank gave the all clear and Knox reversed the fire truck with a three-point turn. The backup signals pierced the still morning air. Frank hopped on the rear and held the ladder as Knox moved forward.

 Several houses down, Knox found what he was looking for—a tidy lawn with the oldest apple tree he'd ever seen growing from the center. A modest white house stood in its shade.

 Knox got out of the truck and stood on the sidewalk, craning his neck to inspect the apple branches while Frank came up behind him. Knox heard the sobs at the same time he spied the purple patch near the tree's highest limb. Knox pointed. “There.” Adrenaline kicked in, erasing his earlier weariness. He ran to the truck to grab a hook and a coil of rope and bolted into the yard.

Buy SMOKIN' HOT FIREMEN Now on Amazon! Your choice of paperback or ebook formats!

Visit Adele Dubois on her website at www.AdeleDubois.com