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Friday, August 30, 2013

Cotillion Regency Christmas - part two

Hello, again! 

Last month, we shared information about four of the eight Christmas stories to be published by EC’s Cotillion imprint – the theme of which is ‘Christmas Traditions.’  This month we have information about the remaining four, plus a wee bit more on the print versions.

From last month:  (e-book release date, title and author)
10/10/13      Twelve Days of Christmas        Barbara Miller
10/17/13      A Christmas Caroline    Christa Paige & Vivien Jackson
11/7/13               Snug in a Snowstorm             Cynthia Moore
11/14/13      Helena's Christmas Beau         Aileen Fish

And now, here’s the next batch!
10/24/13      Festive Persuasion              Charlene Roberts
10/31/13      Lydia's Christmas Charade       Saralee Etter
11/21/13       A Twelfth Night Tale            Susana Ellis      
11/28/13      Sense of the Season             Kate Dolan

Festive Persuasion by Charlene Roberts has a bit of mystery to it as well as Christmas and romance. 

     The terrible scandal overshadowing his family has left Lord Trevor devastated. Not only must he fight murder allegations alongside his father, but he must relinquish any hope of pursuing Lady Sophia for her hand in marriage.
     Lady Sophia tolerates persistent visits from Lord Walter, yet she knows that her heart belongs to Lord Trevor, despite his stubborn honor to stay away.
     During the Christmas season, it is revealed that Lord Trevor’s family is innocent and they are slowly re-accepted by the ton. Will Lady Sophia be able to convince Lord Trevor—through gentle persuasion—that her feelings for him have have not changed, all while fighting off Lord Walter, who will do anything to win her affections.

  
10/31/13      Lydia's Christmas Charade       Saralee Etter  (here’s the pretty cover!)

       Lydia Potts, the daughter of a wealthy Cit, knows that her loving father hopes to arrange an excellent match for her at their lavish Christmas house party. A dutiful girl, Lydia doesn't object to marrying a handsome if penniless nobleman -- until she finds out that he is in love with another woman. 
       Anthony Moore is shocked to discover that the choice piece of gossip he's shared with an unknown young lady is about the lady herself! His good friend, Lord Danville, really needs to marry an heiress to save his family fortunes, even though his heart belongs to another. To make up for his blunder, Anthony sets about wooing Lydia on Lord Danville's behalf. Then he falls for her himself.
        What can Anthony do, when love and loyalty collide? It will require all his cleverness so that everyone can end up happily ever after.
        If you’ve previously read "A Limited Engagement," you may remember Anthony Moore as the clever teenage nephew of the heroine, Miranda Luce. In this story, Anthony is now 25 years old, a veteran of Waterloo and a budding young barrister with an interest in business.

  
11/21/13       A Twelfth Night Tale            Susana Ellis      
       Without dowries and the opportunity to meet eligible gentlemen, the five Barlow sisters stand little chance of making advantageous marriages. But when the eldest attracts the attention of a wealthy viscount, suddenly it seems as though Fate is smiling upon them.
       Lucy knows that she owes it to her younger sisters to encourage Lord Bexley's attentions, since marriage to a peer will secure their futures as well as hers. The man of her dreams has always looked like Andrew Livingston, her best friend's brother. But he's always treated her like a child, and, in any case, is betrothed to another. Perhaps the time has come to put away childhood dreams and accept reality.
        Andrew has returned from the Peninsula with more emotional scars to deal with than just the lame arm. Surprisingly, it's his sister's friend “Little Lucy” who shows him the way out of his melancholy. He can't help noticing that Lucy's grown up into a lovely young woman, but with an eligible viscount courting her, he'll need a little Christmas magic to win her for himself.
           (By the way, Susana is a Sweet and Sexy Diva too! Her date is the 26th of the month.  She loves time-travel.)

11/28/13      Sense of the Season             Kate Dolan
        There are many people William Fletcher would prefer to never again encounter in life, but if forced to rank them, he just might put Matilda Blakethorn at the top of the list. She humiliated him at the age of nine, and truth be told, scared the wits out of him for years after.
So now, waking up after a night of heavy drinking to find her looming over him is a bit of an unpleasant surprise. Especially since he has no place else to go.
         Matty Blakethorn doesn't recognize the bedraggled stranger sleeping on the floor of the St. Bartholomew's Almshouse. But when he unwittingly ends up agreeing to stay to help with repairs, the old acquaintance is renewed.  And while neither Matty or William is anxious to admit the troubles that have driven them to such a humble place, Christmas is a time of sharing and giving and reconciliation. When William finally reveals his greatest failing, Matty must decide whether she can again face the demon that already destroyed her life once before.   

Kate adds:  The inspiration for this story came from searching for a B&B to stay in for the first night of our summer trip. Looking for someplace not far from Dover, I found a B&B called "Centuries" in the town of Hythe, right on the coast, situated in an old ragstone building that served as an almshouse from the 13th Century up until the 20th Century. The pictures on the website looked so cool that knew I just had to stay there.
           Even though I hadn't set foot in the place yet, I knew I wanted to use the building as the setting for a story. It didn't  fit my original idea for a Christmas traditions story, so I picked a different tradition - giving alms to the poor.  Of course, then I had to write the story and submit it before I actually had the pleasure of staying at "Centuries," but I also knew I would have the chance to make some revisions before publication to add details about the place, if necessary.
           Many pilgrims from the Continent landed at Hythe on their way to Canterbury Cathedral. To learn more about "Centuries" including the archaeology work done on the site, visit http://www.hythekentarchaeology.com/

There will be two print anthologies, one in October and one in November. We’ll have more details in October! Please visit us again then! 

Hetty St James  (at gmail.com) 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Erotic Fantasy: Lust Eternal by Sabrina York! Oh, and contests!

Do you love steamy fantasy?

Allow yourself to be whisked away to a magical realm where you will be pampered and adored by a steamy warrior. A feast for the senses, Lust Eternal follows the adventures of Aimalee, a mousy archeologist who comes face to face with the hero of all her wildest fantasies.

But he is wounded. Trapped. Does she possess the courage to free him from his prison? And can Keeshan do the right thing…when it means he may never see his Aimalee again?

Erotic romantic fantasy at it’s best…

Lust Eternal
Sabrina York

For thousands of years, Keeshan has waited. A curse put him in the lamp, damning him to an eternity of pleasing the women who find it. Each time, the women enter the lamp, ensnared in a web of lust and love. And each time, just as he grows to care, the women leave.

But Aimalee is different somehow. With her, Keeshan’s desire knows no bounds—he needs to be with her, inside her, every second she’s there, like an addict who just can’t get enough. Eventually she’ll leave just like the others but until then, Keeshan plans to indulge her every sinful urge. And maybe, just maybe, she’s the key to breaking the curse.

Inside Scoop: This paranormal romance features a plus-size heroine and a hero who worships her curves.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

An Excerpt From: LUST ETERNAL
Copyright © SABRINA YORK, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Aimalee picked up a clipboard and pretended to scan the sheet on top. “I have to get back to work. Did you want anything else?”

“There was one other thing. Carter asked if you could, you know, not come tonight.”

“Not come tonight?” Aimalee whirled around and gaped at Sorcha. She’d been working on this display for 
months, utterly devoted to this project for years. She’d been so looking forward to showing off her work, presenting her findings. She’d even bought a new dress for heaven’s sake.

That happened, maybe, once a decade or so.

“It’s going to be quite a crush. All the big benefactors will be there. And you are…” Sorcha made a scornful little flourish with slender fingers. Her expression said it all—mousy. Aimalee knew it to be true. She knew what she was. But having Sorcha point it out rankled.

“This is my display.”

“Sure. Do what you need to set it up but then make yourself scarce. Be out of there by seven. ’Kay?” 
Sorcha pinned on a dazzling smile. “I told him you’d understand.”

With that she spun on her Jimmy Choos and waltzed from the room, elegantly swinging between boxes and crates and piles of books, leaving Aimalee sitting at her worktable, reeling with shock and repressed rage.

Make yourself scarce.

The mandate of her entire existence.

The fuck she wasn’t coming tonight. She’d worked far too long, far too hard on her dissertation, on this presentation, to simply fade into the background now when it was all coming to fruition. This was her baby. Oh, she’d be there. Come hell or high water.

Without thinking, without redonning her protective gloves—a monumental no-no in the museum world—Aimalee picked up the lamp and a cleaning cloth and began to polish her treasure. A deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure spiked through her, assuaging her annoyance.

Okay, so her love life was more than a little disappointing and frustrating. And yes, her professional prospects were limited but at least she loved her work. Really loved her work…

She renewed her invigorated scrubbing on that one smudge that just wouldn’t wipe away.
Imagine the gall. Asking her to miss the night of her life so Sorcha could stand in the limelight at Carter’s side and reap the rewards.

Aimalee rubbed harder and faster, fury rising like a chained beast in her belly. A red tide descended, blurring her vision. Everything beyond the lamp faded. The world beyond her passion, her work, dissolved.

She’d had enough of this.

Enough hiding her relationship.

Enough elicit, hurried trysts.

Enough secrets.

Enough—

Her movements slowed as a strange sensation crawled down her spine from her neck to her solar plexus. It pooled in her womb. Her fingers and toes began to tingle. Throb. Prickles of excitement and anticipation skittered over her skin. Her body warmed, softened, dampened.

Her hand flew to her nape where gentle tendrils caressed her—like a lover’s whisper. The tingling increased and contracted and wafted inward to settle just below her pounding heart. Her essence condensed, coalesced, as light as smoke, wafting and roiling. A strange sense of unreality, of disengagement, overcame her. She closed her eyes and the dizzy sensation increased. She tried to open them again but couldn’t. She twisted, curled, floated in the ether. A great whooshing sensation rocked her consciousness, sucking her into a smaller and smaller space. A dark place.

And then an eerie silence, a supreme stillness, descended.

* * * * *

Slowly, she came to herself. She glanced around in a befuddled daze and stilled. She was no longer in her familiar workroom but in a lavish boudoir, a seraglio swathed in gauzy, flowing drapes. Glowing braziers wreathed in aromatic smoke lit the room with a dim, somnambulant light. The velvet cushions she reclined upon teased her sensitive skin. With a start, she realized she was utterly naked. A shiver coursed through her. What on earth had happened? Where was she?

But before she could work it out, a billow of iridescent fog roiled before her. Aimalee stared, transfixed as the cloud slowly coalesced into human form. A man.

A very large man.

She tipped back her head and their gazes met, clashed. His eyes glowed with a scorching fervor. A bolt of electricity shot through her.

His features were stark, a savage beauty etched with a desperate hunger—high, striking cheekbones and wide, sensuous lips. Dark hair curled gently about his face and neck. A sudden desire to comb those silky skeins skittered through her.

Aimalee swallowed heavily. Her avaricious attention trailed down across brown shoulders and powerful arms. His chest was bare and broad and ridged. It rippled at the mere touch of her gaze.

He stood, legs slightly apart, bunching thighs taut as though he were about to spring forward but was holding himself back with great effort. Strength, power and passion rolled off him in waves.

But for metal cuffs about his wrists and neck, he was naked.

Oh. And he was aroused. Magnificently and tremendously aroused.

The sight of his jutting, throbbing member made her heart clench. A strange heat pooled in her womb when she noticed the pearlescent drop glistening at the tip of his cock.

He was, in a word, ready.

Then again, so was she.

And then he spoke—a deep, mellifluous voice that resonated straight through to her soul.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Aimalee,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for you a very long time.”

****Comment below to win a copy of Lust Eternal!****

CONTESTS!

LIKE CONTESTS?

Here are some great summer contests for readers! Check the dates. They are closing soon! 

Barbara Vey’s Back to School Giveaway (Publisher’s Weekly): Win Adam’s Obsession
Event date: September 3rd
Link: http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/
(Lots of other great prizes for readers too!)

Night Owl Reviews SummerFun Scavenger Hunt
One more contest… You can win Tryst Island Pacific Northwest Party Pack: Includes a selection of Sabrina’s favorite Seattle goodies (including smoked salmon, coffees and chocolates from the Pacific Northwest), a set of limited edition Tryst Island note cards, digital copies of the first three Tryst Island books and, because this is Sabrina York, random bling including sparkly summer flip flops. Many other awesome prizes!
Link: http://erotica.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Pages/Articles/Summer-Fun-Scavenger-Hunt-2013
Deadline: August 31

Win Sabrina’s Tiara!
http://sabrinayork.com/sabrinas-contest-and-newsletter/
Drawing Date: August 31 (Tell your friends for more entries!)

Good luck!

About Sabrina York

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, 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 of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers, her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to BDSM to erotic horror. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt Amazon, at Ellora’s Cave or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Books by Sabrina York
Dark Duke (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon
Brigand (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon
Fierce (One Night Stand, Decadence Press)—coming soon
Making Over Maris (Erotic Contemporary, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Get that history right, gurl! What an author must know about her words!


Pick a period in history that you love.
What do you know about it?
List that.
Now.
Can you translate that into 20,000 words of BELIEVABLE text? 30K?
50K?
100K?
Fiction? With moving parts, intelligent characters and realistic conflicts?
Riiiight.
What does an author of historical fiction REALLY have to know?
Well, more than how to write a love scene...
Say, you're writing about folks who want to revolt against the king...
You will have to research:
What they wore to the revolution.
What they ate while they revolted.
Where they went to revolt.
How they traveled there.
What their demands were...and why.
Oh, boy.
For my latest Regency, HIS DELECTABLE COOK, I had to know (among other glamourous facts):
BUY HERE:  http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2207
  • 1820s English Law regarding women's inheritances. (No lie.)
  • How staff was hired. By whom.
  • How staff related to each other.
  • How an heiress could be robbed of her rights.
BUY HERE:  http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.aspstrParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2207

For WITH HER KISS, my newest erotic medieval (now on pre-order, BTW, so go save $$$), I had to become re-acquainted with:
  • Structures of dungeons
  • What Dominican monks wore
  • Geography of western England and Wales
  • Structure of one famous castle (Nope. Won't tell you which one, but it DOES HAVE a SECRET DOOR!)
  • Whereabouts of King John when I set the story
  • King John's other misdeeds
  • All of which is background to the barons' decision to make John sign the Magna Carta!

Didn't know that the Magna Carta was the first blow to establish women's rights?
Well, now you do!
BUY HEREhttp://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2293

Monday, August 26, 2013

INSPIRED BY THE PAST: TIME TRAVEL HISTORICALS


Hi! I'm new to Sweet 'n Sexy Divas. I'm a former teacher who has taken up romance writing as a second career. I read all sub-genres and heat levels, but my favorite is historical, and I'm currently writing sweet Regencies. My first short story, Treasuring Theresa, was released in January by Ellora's Cave in their Blush Cotillion line, and my Christmas novella, A Twelfth Night Tale, will appear in the Cotillion Christmas line later this year.

My friend Selene Grace Silver and I are in the initial stages of planning a set of time travel historical romances for Valentine's Day. She's self-published before and I haven't, but am eager to dip my toe in the water after hearing all the hoopla about it at the recent RWA conference in Atlanta.

I've also never written in tandem with someone else, and it's a whole lot more difficult than I ever could have imagined. It's a good thing we're really close friends, because it seems like most of our ideas are polar opposites. However, I do think eventually we'll agree on a compromise and still like each other. Hopefully. :-)

I've never written a time travel story before, but one of my favorite series of all times is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Mostly because I've become emotionally invested in the characters of Jamie and Claire, but also because of my love for historical romance—how people lived back then—and Gabaldon's series is loaded with fascinating tidbits about life in 18th century Scotland and America.

For my blog, Susana's Parlour, I have created a time-traveling Regency lady who is a character in the epilogue to my story, Treasuring Theresa (available as a bonus read on my web site). Lady Pendleton shares a secret with a mysterious apothecary that allows her to travel back and forth from 21st America. Miraculously, she ended up at my house in Toledo last winter, and I've had a lovely time picking her brain about life in the Regency period for my blog…and my writing, of course. Lady P is currently back in the Regency visiting her family—she has a new grandson, you know—but she plans to be back after the Little Season and flee with me to Florida for the winter. I wonder how she'll like Bingo Night at the retirement community?

Time travel appeals to me because I've always wanted to know how it felt to live in times gone by. I'm not sure I'd want to give up some of my modern conveniences—like modern medicine—for very long, but wouldn't it be fabulous to go to a ball, ride in a carriage, and visit some of the other places that no longer exist, such as Almack's Assembly Rooms and the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens?

It's probably a good thing that I can't, though, because I'd be seriously tempted to violate the Prime Directive (yes, I'm a Trekker also, believe it or not) and warn the Princess Charlotte to demand a real physician and not the quack that cost her life and her son's. And if Princess Charlotte and her son had lived, Queen Victoria would likely never have lived…and where would that leave Will and Kate and their sweet baby George?


Of all the clans that supported Bonnie Prince Charlie, Clan Macintosh lost the most men at the disastrous battle at Culloden. Photo from my recent trip to Scotland.
But Jamie and Claire tried to prevent Culloden, and could not, so perhaps there a reason events happen as they do, even when those events seem senseless and cruel. (You see, I'm thinking of Jamie and Claire as real people and time travel as a real possibility. Not an unusual occurrence, I assure you. My mind has always worked this way.)

So…while I mull over the plot for my Valentine's time travel, I'm curious to know if you are equally intrigued with the time travel trope. If you could travel back in time, where would you want to go? What or who would you like to see? Do you think you might want to stay there? What—if anything—would you like to change if you could?

In honor of my first post on this fabulous blog, I'm offering a 2013 deck of Ellora's Cave playing cards to a commenter chosen at random (international). Yep, the back of the cards are covers from a wide variety of Ellora's Cave book covers. Treasuring Theresa's is one of the tamest! Definitely something to inspire interesting conversation the next time you have a card-playing evening! (Here's a deck from 2010 you can order from the EC web site.)

About the Author

A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.


In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around the UK and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.



Contacts
Web site • Email • Facebook • Twitter • Linked In • Pinterest • Google+

About Treasuring Theresa

She's a country lady. He's a London swell. They have nothing in common. Or have they?

Lady Theresa despises London society. What's worse is that she has to attend the betrothal ball of the young man she expected to marry. To deflect all the pitiful glances from the other guests, she makes a play for the most striking gentleman there—who happens to be her Cousin Damian, who is everything she despises.

Damian, Lord Clinton sees a desperate young lady with no social graces, and it solidifies his opinion that country folk are beneath him. But it so happens that he is the heir to that young lady's father's title and estate, and the time comes when he finds himself obliged to spend some time there. 

Thrown together, both Damian and Theresa discover each other's hidden depths. But are their differences too much to overcome to make a successful match?


Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Lost Weekend—All 31 Days in July




In early August, my critique partners and I finally met with all of us present. Donna del Oro had been traveling, researching in San Diego—really rough duty—for her next thriller. A death in her family took her out of state. My other partner, Philippa Lodge, was deeply involved in home schooling one of her children and celebrating her first sale to Musa Publishing—way to go, Phil! A relative’s passing took her abroad. Too awful that the trip was for such a sad reason.

Me? I was still somewhat numb from my mom’s death in May and the voluminous notes from my editor about my most recent submission. She pretty much hated it. So…not much writing going on when I had to have some fairly major surgery. (Good thing I bailed out on RWA National.) And I’m fine. Thanks for asking.

Anyway, when we got together again, we talked about all the crap that had happened during July. We agreed that the whole month felt like that film The Lost Weekend, only ours lasted the entire month. (I doubt Philippa is old enough to remember that movie, but she graciously agreed with her elders.)

Not much writing going on for me. I had started a story but, pantser that I am, it wasn’t going anywhere. Then—oh joy of joys!—came the announcement that Ellora’s Cave is looking for submissions for its 2014 themed series. My muse rushed home and is now merrily leading me through the maze of new creations. (I’m praying she won’t abandon me in the center, unable to find my way out!)

On a serious note: If you or a loved one is over fifty, make sure to use the stool test kit as soon as you receive it. If your HMO doesn’t send it, demand you be tested for colon cancer. Although the test can be a pain in the butt—both literally and figuratively—it could save your life.
 
On a very happy note: For those attending Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon in October, my 20th novel, Temptress of Time, will be available in print at the Sunday signing. The rest of my eager readers will have to wait to hold it in their hands until December 25, 2013. 


So buy yourself a late Christmas present and enjoy!

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Brewing Up a Book


Book Brewing 101
  (with a super hot excerpt at the end)


There is a “regulation” in Germany—the Reinheitsgebot—that states:

Beer is made up 4 ingredients, and 4 ingredients ONLY:

Water—Barley—Hops—Yeast

The Germans invented the lager style of beer, using yeasts they discovered, the create a different sort of beer than had been brewed before. Ale beer was truly an ancient form of sustenance, had been around since Egyptian times and was drunk in leiu of water on many continents.  

 

 

Since the advent of the “American craft beer movement” in the late ‘90s, that regulation has been thrown out the window in the quest for unique flavors and a sort of one-up-manship among the (now) thousands of brewers seeking an audience of drinkers. Everything from corriandor and orange peels, hot peppers, coffee, and chocolate to cherries, grapes, pumpkin and ginger are now added to a host of “regulation beers” (water/malt/hops/yeast) by breweries large and small. My favorite example of going off the rez with this is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Beer brewed right here in Michigan at Short’s Brewing near Traverse City.

It’s not a bad thing to add these “adjuncts” (beer jargon for “anything not water/barley/hops/yeast). Some of the create unique, well-rounded and interesting beer drinking experiences. Others are gross but fun to contemplate.

 

I own a craft brewery, work with brewers and beer drinkers every day. I’ve come to value the process of taking “pure beer” and rounding it out in a cool way with well-balanced and considered ingredients seeking alternatives for the many folks who pass through my Tap Room doors.  It’s pretty telling that our best sellers are beers with no adjuncts—just a well blended mix of water, barley, hops and yeast. But I need a segue to my life as author so….

 

I’ve also written a few books. And, since I have a degree in English Lit, I’ve read a fair few as well. There is a school of thought in this business that there are only seven or so basic plots: overcoming the monster; rags to riches; the quest; voyage and return; comedy; tragedy; rebirth. If you have some time to ponder such things, you will realize that from the Bible, through Greek plays, Shakespeare and today you can apply one or more of these to most works of literature, including popular fiction.

 

The fact that there are so many great books to choose from is a testament to the fact that authors take these “basics” and add their own spices, pumpkins, grapes and hot peppers to them to create a huge range of options for readers to consider. My latest release, MAN ON, is the first book in a new series set in the world of professional soccer (my first “adjunct” and a unique one as there are not a ton of these around). In it, you meet two of the players for the original Black Jack Gentlemen fictional Detroit-based expansion soccer team (in a fictional expansion pro soccer league). This is not a league of “starter-outers” or a farm team for the more established Major League Soccer teams. These are men of all ranges of experience from literally all over the world who’ve been convinced, cajoled and paid well to come and form a legit new team that can take on teams of equal or better caliber.

 

My second “adjunct” to this story: these men are bi-sexual. One of them, Parker Rollings, is a young man just out of college who is struggling with his sexual identity. The other, Nicco Garza is an older player from Spain who lost his super-star status when his ex-wife “outed” him. 

So you have the set up for “overcoming the monster” (acceptance of yourself as a homosexual and a pro athlete—not an easy task), “the quest” (trying to create a viable new soccer team, getting a bunch of men who’ve never played together to form a cohesive group) and even “rebirth” (when Parker accepts himself as a bi-sexual man in love with another man who happens to be a teammate).

There could be tragedy of course. These men have both worked so very hard to achieve success as athletes. It is well known that the general public does not accept homosexual men on their “favorite teams” easily.  So it could be that they find each other, then make a very hard decision to reject their potential private happiness in order to further the public success of their team.

Taking basic plots and adding the adjuncts of setting, characters, conflicts and resolution truly does resemble the crafting of a great beer. We all hope for more drinkers and readers thanks to our efforts.  And, as with craft beer, there is nothing wrong with taking the basics of a plot and adding as many unique additions as possible to craft something interesting—or something fun (or even gross). Just remember, get it edited! We never serve a beer without a lot of sampling and tasting through the process. Yeah, that’s the fun bit.

Cheers!


Just doing my job, converting cover models to the light of craft beer...(I love my job most days)

 

Liz

follow me for more beer/writing fun!

like me for details on beer and books!

 

Man On is available now
BUY IT HERE

blurb: Bad boy of European football, Nicolas Garza is about to hit American shores with a vengeance. Signed by the Detroit Black Jack Gentlemen as lynch pin for their expansion club, Nicco only half believes he’s making the right move. But with a past full of ghosts and rotten behavior chasing him from his homeland, he has no real choice.

Parker Rollings is a college soccer superstar, but his parents’ plans for their only son do not include professional athletics. When the Black Jacks approach him to finalize their roster, Parker leaps at the chance to keep playing, leaving behind medical school, stability and his first and only college sweetheart.

Nicco and Parker face off as bitter rivals for a coveted starting spot at midfield and are forced to channel their negative energy into something positive for the sake of the group—and themselves.

 

SMOKING HOT NSFW OR H OR ANYTHING UNLESS YOU HAVE A COLD SHOWER HANDY (not published anywhere before except, you know, in the book....it's a long one...):

Nicco winced as his newly-sore feet hit the cold tile of the bathroom floor. After a
long hot shower, he wound a huge towel around his waist. As a small spark of anger
caught, burning a little brighter behind his eyes.


Jesus Christ, Garza, you seduce men and women with ease. What is your fucking
problem? You want this kid. Take him. He’s ready. It’s a purely physical act. You
understand the mechanics. The kid is an obvious bottom. You prefer to top. Perfect. Do
your thing.


Nicco’s chest burned and his skin felt raw, flayed at the word floating through his
head about Parker...“mine.” At loose ends, unsure if he should amble out of the
bathroom naked, with a towel, fully dressed, or what, which pissed him off even more.
He glared into the mirror, dragged fingers through his wet hair and set his
shoulders. He’d be damned if this kid, this…unbelievable, handsome, smart, talented, and compelling man would turn him into a nervous teenager.


He jerked the door open and walked out with the large towel still around his waist, determined to get control of this thing. To take what he wanted, go back to Spain, and never darken the door of America again. Not if it meant exposure to heartbreak. He’d
come out publicly, so he could never play in Europe, but he had plenty of money. He
could retire, consult, coach, or sit on a beach for the rest of his life. Of all the things
Nicolas Garza was careless about, one of them was never money.


It had been a foolish stunt with the Black Jacks, putting himself out there, a prancing pony for the media to drool over and the public to crush to their collective, open-minded bosom—or vilify as “all that was wrong with sports.” He’d cut himself off at the knees with it for certain. He was stuck in America now, of all places, the country that had at least at first taken on his open homosexuality with a media-frenzied fervor.


All the foolish fantasies he’d allowed himself years ago with Leandro, the one
man he loved more than life, came rushing back. Scenes of domestic bliss, of shared
goals, happiness, and more flashed through his head as he took in the sight of Parker. The
tall man stood in front of a gigantic television tuned to a premiership game, shirt in his
hand, his perfectly-formed back and broad shoulders an insurmountable temptation.
Nicco took a breath and headed for the mini bar. Alcohol. That would help.


Parker whooped when someone scored. “Hey, did you ever play with….”


“Yeah, probably. All of ’em at one point or another.” Nicco dropped into a chair,
beer in hand, letting resentment burn bright. “I’m old, remember?” Parker’s eager face
turned back to the screen, as he bent one leg then the other stretching out his quads and
hamstrings,his lithe body moving under Nicco’s gaze.


They both watched the match unfold, go into stoppage time then get decided on
penalty kicks. By the time it ended they sat side by side on the couch, an easy familiarity
between them. Without a word Parker jumped up and disappeared into the bathroom.
Shower noises drowned out the final commentary from the broadcast.


Nicco flipped the television to a music channel. When Parker re-emerged dressed
in a towel and nothing else, the latest R&B song drifted through the large room. Nicco
walked up to the object of his desire, deciding to be as straightforward as he could.
“Look, Parker, I’m, um, not gonna kid you. I want…ah….” The expression on Parker’s face stopped him. Deer in the headlights, combined with a tinge of anger and abject terror sent red flags flying all across Nicco’s brain. “Never mind.”


He sat back down and drained the rest of the beer. A complex array of emotions
played across the young man’s face. Nicco watched, amused, and then resigned. “It’s
okay. I understand. I’d try to escape me too. I come with my own media circus now. Why
would you want to subject yourself to it?”
He stood and made his way to the bar again, needing to drown, to shut out, to close off any and everything. “You should go, young Parker. You aren’t safe here. Not with me.” He kept his back to the man, throat hot and tight with unsaid words.


Before he could pick up his drink, strong arms encircled him. A firm chest pressed against his back. Lips found his neck, trailed down to his shoulder. The unmistakable sensation of fully aroused male pressed close, made him groan and raise his arms, reach behind him, and grip Parker’s thick hair in his fingers. “You don’t want to do this,” he whispered still facing away from the man he suspected he already loved.
The hands roamed across his body, down, yanked the towel away in one quick motion, leaving him bare and exposed and pulsing—heart, soul, and body.


Parker heard nothing but Nicco’s breathing, felt nothing but Nicco’s soft, silky
skin. He kissed the deep brown flesh, closed his eyes and let his hand move, taking him
places he never thought he’d go. But he had to, now. He required the man’s lips on his like he required oxygen to breathe.


Nicco turned slowly, held out his arms. Parker went into them, as lips, tongues and teeth clashed with urgency. Nicco’s hands roamed all over him. Parker heard himself moaning, sighing Nicco’s name. His brain released every ounce of tension and anxiety he’d been harboring about this very moment, the moment Parker became true to himself at last. His eyes burned but Nicco kept kissing him, muttering something around his lips as he reached down to tug Parker’s towel off.


He grunted when Nicco gripped him. He trembled, confusion taking hold, making
him dizzy. The hand kept up its steady rhythm, lips stayed on his, tongues met and retreated. The room dimmed around Parker’s vision.
“Holy shit.” His whole body pulsed with energy he couldn't contain as he groaned and shook, mortified at his teenager-ish knee jerk orgasm. “God.” He broke away, stepped back, his ears buzzing with shame and a low hum of still unfulfilled need. “I’m, um, sorry.” He took another step away from the man who’d compelled him to act this way. Now he really needed to leave but wanted to stay, to wrap himself in the blanket that was Nicco and never emerge.


Nicco held out a hand, his gaze soft, his full lips pursed with concern. “It’s okay,” he soothed, putting a hand to Parker’s boiling hot face. Lips touched his, gentler this time, but firm with purpose.


Parker sighed and wrapped his arms around the other man, reveling in the hard planes, the angles, and rough skin. Nicco maneuvered him backward towards the couch. They stayed standing, hands unable to settle as Parker allowed himself to touch Nicco all
over.


The amazing velvet of Nicco’s shaft filled Parker’s hand as he palmed it. His own cock surged back to life, springing up between them.
“Let go a minute. Trust me. I need to feel you against me,” Nicco murmured into his mouth. Parker wound his shaking fingers in the silky depths of Nicco’s hair, groaning with satisfaction as their bodies melded, heat meeting heat. Nicco broke away then, put
his hands on either side of Parker’s face. Parker tried his best to calm his breathing but he couldn’t, didn’t want to.


“Fuck me. Nicco. Please…I…want you to.” Nicco blinked, took a long breath, then pressed kisses to his nose, both cheeks, his neck, making him moan and fist his hands in the long, silky hair again. “Please. God, Nicco.”


“No, Parker. I can’t. I won’t. I’m no good for you….” Their lips met again and they dropped to the couch together even as Nicco protested. Parker couldn’t tell where he ended and Nicco began. The realization made a bright beam of happiness pierce his brain. “Stop!” Nicco pulled away then, disentangled himself and sat, his shoulders heaving. Parker leapt to his feet, stood in front of the man who’d enticed him on so many levels. Putting a hand to his chin he tilted the dark, handsome face up. Their mutual nakedness felt completely natural. Parker’s usual reticence about nudity vanished in the flash of Nicco’s dark, sexy stare.


“I won’t stop. I want this. So do you. I will stop pretending though. If you will.” He stepped closer, his throbbing sex inches from Nicco’s lips. “If you won’t fuck me then….” he gasped as the other man rose, gripped his face, and stared into his soul.


“I’m not going to fuck you, Parker. But I am going to make love to you. Over and
over and over again.” Parker dropped his hands to his sides, let Nicco kiss him, allowed
himself to accept his touch everywhere, then nearly make him pass out with the sensation
of lips, tongue, and throat.
 

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