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Sunday, April 29, 2018

In National Poetry Month An Old Poem Inspires a New Hero #historicalromance #kensingtonbooks

SweetnSexyDivas post April 2018

Hi All,

Great fun reading recent posts to the SweetnSexyDivas blog.

Right now I’m writing a trilogy for Kensington’s Lyrical imprint—The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London series. In book two A Lady’s Guide to Passion and Property, the young heroine of my subplot meets a mysterious highwayman, the hero of book three, A Spy’s Guide to Seduction.

Do you know the famous Noyes’ poem “The Highwayman”? Here’s how it begins, and below is a link. The poem was definitely one piece of inspiration for my new hero.The Highwayman

 
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.   
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.   
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
And the highwayman came riding—
         Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

Here's my highwayman:

Miranda was not sure what woke her. Her bonnet was askew on her head, its ribbons cutting into her throat, and her right arm felt tingly from sleeping on it. An unfamiliar weight pressed her to the seat of the coach. It was Nate Wilde stretched across her lap in a shocking way. He was reaching into a pocket in the side of the coach. She tugged at his shoulder to pull him upright, but he was too heavy to budge.
            “What are you doing?” she hissed in his ear. Across from them their fellow passengers snored.
            He closed a panel on the side of the coach with a soft click and righted himself next to her. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” he whispered.
            “What were you looking for?” she asked, whispering like him.
            “There’s nothing there,” he said, his voice puzzled.
            “What did you think—“
            Shots, splintering glass, and sudden darkness cut off her question. The horses veered sharply to the left, and the coach leaned alarmingly. Above them the outside passengers shouted. Miranda clutched Nate’s arm and held on as the coach wobbled like a blanc mange. Just when it seemed likely to topple over, it stopped.
            Over the squeaks and creaks of the vehicle and the rattle of harness, A contemptuous voice said, “Cole, you annoy me. What have I said about using a tommy on your horses.”
             “They’re Radcliffe’s cattle, not fit for the clapper most of them.” Miranda recognized the coachman’s voice.
            “Highwaymen,” whispered one of the passengers opposite them.
            The voice outside spoke again. “Your fellow creatures, Cole.”
            “Just get on with your business, man, and let me do mine.”
            Then the highwayman spoke in a foreign tongue. From the woods on either side of the road came a gang of shadowy figures. There were more voices in the strange tongue and the jingle of harness and clop of horses’ hooves.
            “They’re freeing the horses,” Nate whispered. “Just like before.” He shook off her hold and turned the latch on the door, pushing it slowly open. That was just like him. She was frozen with fear, and he was going to stick his head into trouble.
            Without letting down the steps, he dropped softly to the ground. Miranda hesitated an instant, then stuck her head out of the door. “The steps,” she said to Nate. He put a finger to his lips, and lifted his arms to catch her.
            “You there. You’re in league with the thieves. Stop!” She turned to see the guard pointing his pistol at Nate from the rear of the coach. It made no sense.
Then he fired. The flash of it illuminated his face. The shot spun Nate to his left, and he crumpled to the ground in front of her. Miranda jumped.  She dropped to her knees in the dirt and rolled Nate onto his back, tearing at his coat, searching for a wound.
            Around her she could hear shouts in the strange tongue and moving horses, but her ears were mainly full of the shot. She tore off her gloves and felt his shoulder. Her fingers found the hot blood welling up from the wound. The smell of it terrified her. Nate’s blood was leaving him. She pushed down hard with her gloves against the place that bled.
            She lifted her head to look for help. A man was leading the coach horses away into the woods. Instinct told her the robbers were about to leave. She would be alone to care for Nate with the man who shot him.
            “Wait,” she cried to the highwayman. He turned to look down at her from his black horse. He was nothing like the highwaymen in her stories. His gaze was like ice, like the grave. There was no lace at his throat, no plume in his hat, and not a mark on his horse. The dark brim of his hat hid his features. The moon touched only the black gleam of his pistol.
            “Take us with you,” she pleaded.
            “I beg your pardon, miss. You wish to be kidnapped by a gang of desperate men.”
            Miranda heard amusement in the toffee voice. Miranda knew her gentleman’s voices. No question this man was a gentleman. “The guard shot my . . . husband. Please don’t leave us with them.” She shuddered.
            “Curious.” The highwayman leaned forward in his saddle. The pistol in his hand never wavered. He turned to the coachman again. “Taken to shooting the passengers, have you, Cole?”
            “Go on, man. Ye’ll be paid, same as always. We can take care of the rest.”
            “I think not, Cole. I’ll handle this problem myself.” The highwayman turned in his saddle and spoke again in the strange tongue. Apparently, he issued orders, for two of his accomplices sprang forward and lifted Nate from the ground.
            “Careful,” Miranda cried. “He’s bleeding!”
            Cuidado!” said the highwayman.
            A third man pulled Miranda up. “Senora, ven,” he said. The highwayman reached down a black-gloved hand, and his companion seized Miranda by the waist, and she found herself hoisted through the air onto the great horse. A strong arm came around her waist.
            “Hold on,” said that voice in her ear. The horse stood perfectly still under them. Around them the shadowy figures disappeared into the woods. “Cole,” the man behind her said, “tell your master our deal is off. Can’t have your lot shooting the passengers.” The highwayman fired his pistol. The guard gave a yelp and tumbled back from the coach, and the highwayman turned and galloped into the woods.


You can start reading the series now:

 Cheers,
Kate



Saturday, April 28, 2018

When Good Authors Go Bad

Okay. I admit it.

I have an evil twin.

Okay. My evil twin is me.

The fact of the matter is, I love to write so much, and my imagination is always working...sometimes my story ideas are not (GASP) romance.

Case in point, my most recent release.

It's not even a Sabrina York book! It's certainly not romance, though there are romantic elements.

I wrote it a couple years ago as a palate cleanser after writing the first three books in the  Untamed Highlander Series in four months. I needed a break.

So I sat down and binge watched Sons of Anarchy for a couple hours in the morning, wrote for five and then ended the day with more SOA.

I finished my opus in one month and even though I loved the story and the characters, I knew it would probably never sell. But that was OK. It was fun.

And then my agent got an offer on it. I was stunned.

The way publishers work, the book was earmarked to release in April of 2018, which seemed like a century away.

Well, the Viridian Convict (Book One of the Blue Dominion series) came out to rave reviews and I am thrilled.

Naturally, I have to tell you about it. If you like super snarky sci-fi (with a side of romance), please check it out.

Here's the info:


BLUE DOMINION--An epic trilogy of rebellion, passion and the struggle to survive in a universe crushed beneath the draconian thumb of the Fed
The Viridian Convict
The Indigo Operative
The Cerulean Insurgent


The Viridian Convict by Sam York
Damned if you do, dead if you don't.

Welcome to Viridian, a prison moon full of aliens…who want to eat you.
 The Godfather meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this crazy-ass adventure set on Viridian, a prison planet full of aliens…who want to eat you. Tig, the only human, is thrust into a lose/lose/lose situation when the mob boss he works for asks him to pick up and deliver a package that the Fed—the governing body of the known universe—also wants. To make matters worse, the “package” has curves for days, an attitude to match, and her own agenda for how this is all going down.

READ AN EXCERPT!

Chapter One

Kaww Settlement, Viridian Moon, Federation Penal Colony
3.1.5.15, 27:55

The call came in just as I was about to clock out, but then, munis in my position never really clock out. Not on the moon of Viridian. Not when they work for Granny.
“This one’s for you, Tig,” Marmot said with a smirk as he handed me the slip.
Annoyance fizzled and spat.
God, I hated that rat-faced weasely piece of Scard excrement.
Too bad he was my boss.
Well, technically my shift supervisor. Granny was the real boss and everyone knew it.
No one was more powerful on Viridian. Except the Fed.
But then, Fed agents, those blue bastards, rarely came on planet.
For one thing, this place was a shithole that made Lord of the Flies look like Disneyland. For another, there really wasn’t much to police here. Nothing they cared about anyway. Their job was to sit up there in their luxurious space station and make sure none of the cons escaped the planetary shield.
Occasionally one of them would drop down—usually to indulge their darker appetites—but they never stayed long. Just long enough to fuck shit up.
My gut clenched as the memory of my last tangle with a particular Fed scorched my brain. I tried to push all thoughts of Mia from my mind, but it was hard to forget what that blue bitch had done.
“Well?” Marmot’s pointy nose quivered.
“What is it?” I snapped.
He grinned. His razor-sharp teeth glinted in the light. “DB. Out in Harleytown.”
“Awesome.” I scrubbed at my face. My day beard scratched at my palm. I was tired. I wanted to go home and take a load off. Maybe get shitfaced. I glanced at the other munis lounging in the lobby: a couple Trogs, a Raven, and some random Frogs. They all avoided eye contact. With a sigh, I dropped the annoying assignment. The paper fluttered onto the desk. “I’m off in two.”
Marmot pushed the slip right back at me. “Special request. Asked for you.”
Yeah. I loved being popular. “Who?”
“Jimmy Bluenote.”
Well, hell.
That Dink had saved my ass last week in a sting that went sour—way sour. I’d be rolling around in an Ozzie stew about now if it hadn’t been for him. I owed him. And here, on Viridian, a prison moon filled to the gills with all manner of vengeful species, you always paid your debts.
“Fine.” I snatched the slip from Marmot’s bony fingers and wheeled away.
“And Tig?”
I glanced back at him. His nose wiggled. His whiskers quivered. His beady little eyes glinted. “Take the Skeeg.”
“Seriously?” I’d spent most of my day trying to shake that tail.
Marmot waggled his furry eyebrows. “Take the Skeeg.”
Each flatfoot working for Granny was assigned a Skeeg for “protection,” which was a fucking joke. Those frogs could barely protect their own eggs. I suspected Granny was just doing them a favor, offering them a place in his kingdom in exchange for licking rights. Some creatures on this rock would kill or die for Skeeg pglet. In addition to having rumored regenerative properties, it was, apparently, a most excellent high.
I’d never been tempted. The thought of licking one of those repugnant creatures made me want to vomit. Besides, I had my own dark cravings to deal with. Last thing I needed was another addiction.
At any rate, on Granny’s behest, I spent my shifts being trailed by a tall, skinny, green douchebag with one eye on a stalk. It creeped me out, the way he looked around, that stalk all bendy like it was. The way he smelled wasn’t orgasmic either. But Granny was God. We did what he said. No matter what.
We knew we were damn lucky to have the job. Some vestige of power in a world where power equaled survival.
Viridian wasn’t a penal colony so much as a Federation garbage dump. A first-uni Australia of the 19th century … only with aliens. Who wanted to eat you. Loads of fun.
Got a problem you wanna make disappear? Send it to Viridian with the scumbags and lowlifes of the uni, let nature take its course.
I’d been somebody’s problem.
I suspect we all had been. At some point.
For many, a conviction and transport to Viridian was a death sentence. Pity it wasn’t for most. Fact was, the ones who thrived here were the most brutal, pitiless, soulless creatures in the known universe. Savages who would do anything to survive.
No one expected me to make it a week.
Soft Earthie? Pretty boy? I didn’t have venom, no spines, no secret weapons. To make matters worse, of all the creatures in this universe, humans and Feds looked far too much alike. Except for my non-blue skin color, I could have been one. That alone made humans exceedingly unpopular.
Yeah. I shoulda died. Expected to.
No one could have predicted I’d land on my feet, first day out the gate. I sure as shit didn’t. But fortune fell in my lap in the holding cell in intake, up on the Fed station orbiting this moon. My dumbshit noble sensibilities clicked on when I saw two Ozzies making a move on a kid. A young, stupid Ferrod, with velvet still on his antlers. He was utterly out of his league here in this hell hole, but connected. The Ozzies wanted to chow down—they’ll eat anything and they have these long, razor-sharp teeth to make the job easier. You could call them fangs. Or straws.
Any rate, I snapped a couple off, saved the sniveling kid and got him through the gate. To daddy. I had no idea “daddy” was Big Jogn. That furry, fat fence set me up with his capo and that led me to Granny. I’d been working under his banner ever since. Ten years. Or what passes for a year on this rock.
My official title was Enforcer, but we all knew we were errand boys. Bag men, cleaners, muscle. Whatever Granny demanded, we did it.
Even consort with Skeegs.
I glanced over to my office where my partner sat slumped in a chair at his desk, wiping the slime from his green skin. Great. He was oozing again. I knew what that meant.
Of course, I was assuming One Eye was a “he.” Skeegs didn’t have a gender, not until it was mating season, then they’d do whatever Skeegs needed to do.
God. Skeeg mating season. What a mess.
 “Hey, Frog,” I called. One Eye’s earhole twitched. He looked up. His long, stalky eye settled on me and he blinked, slow, steady, like he did. I waved the slip. “We got a call.”
I crossed my arms and watched as he unfolded his long, leggy body from the chair and made his way through the stationhouse toward me, his flat, webbed feet slapping wetly on the hardwood floor. He left a trail behind him. The other munis curled their noses—and other various appendages—when he passed. When Skeegs started going into musth, they stank to high heaven. And dripped.
He moved like molasses in winter, but I was in no hurry. I owed it to Jimmy to respond to whatever emergency he had, but seriously, there was no call to go overboard. At least tonight I’d be able to clear an annoying debt.
And Jimmy was annoying.
We headed down to the garage and hopped into my skimmer, but I took the precaution of pulling some towels out of the trunk and draping them over the passenger seat first. I didn’t have a fancy ride, but it was mine, and the last thing I wanted was to get Skeeg cum all over the leather.
I was assuming it was cum.
One Eye and I weren’t close enough to ask.
I never wanted to be that close.
Point being, it was a wise precaution. You could never get that stank out.
Once we were both settled, I flicked on my hovers and headed out onto the street. It was a dark night, but hardly quiet. There were few quiet nights in this town. In fact, nighttime was when it came alive, started to hum, sometimes scream. When I’d first arrived here I’d hated it, the constant thrum of excitement, expectation, and malicious intent. But you get used to everything. Eventually. And sometimes you even start liking it.
We hit a snag in the Prospect District. Some riot in progress. I switched on my lights and a path cleared through the melee. It wasn’t like back on Earth, where people had respect for the law and pulled over when they saw a unit coming. Here they cleared a path because they knew if they didn’t I would blast my way through them.
I didn’t miss the snarls they flashed me as I flew by, but I didn’t care.
They all knew who I worked for, and no one pissed on Granny’s parade.
We turned onto the flyway and I jetted into gear. One Eye gasped and grabbed the handgrip as I accelerated, which sent a curl of annoyance through me. Skeegs never liked going fast and One Eye had never been a fan of my driving.
“Chill, Frog,” I muttered, as I shifted gears and roared into seventh gear. The skimmer shot forward with a howl.
One Eye didn’t respond, other than to level that big, glassy orb on me. I hated when he stared.
I angled my skimmer up to the top lane where we could really fly. Aside from the speed, I liked the view. Nothing overhead but the great expanse of the city dome—the dome that kept out the brutal storms of the Barrens and served as climate control for the settlement. Tonight, the sky was clear and myriad stars speckled the firmament.
I turned on the radio and let the Earth tunes wash over me as we wailed along the flyway. It helped me ignore my partner’s unnerving, silent stare. When he didn’t quit staring, I turned the volume up. And sang along.
I smirked when he grimaced.
Yeah, I’m pretty tone deaf.
“Call?” One Eye asked over the cacophony. A croak.
“DB.”
One Eye let out something that might have been a burbly sigh. Yup. I hated dead bodies too. Freaking pain in the ass. Way too much paperwork. Not that anyone cared, but Granny liked to keep tabs. On everything.
Viridian was his kingdom.
We came to the Harleytown exit and I veered onto the ramp, a glittering, silver beam of light ribboning off into the darkness. The howl of the flyway receded as we whipped down into the bowels of the city.
As we slid onto the street in one of the dirtiest districts of town, One Eye turned off the radio. I shot him a glare as I hovered to the address on the call and switched off, tugging on my gloves in an almost-automatic motion. One Eye did the same. His took a little more work, on account of the slime and everything. But no way was I helping him. No way was I touching that.
It might have been my imagination, but he seemed to be seeping more than usual.
“You ready?” I asked.
He did a quick weapons check and then nodded to me. Together, we eased from the skimmer.
The buildings towered over us, shutting out the light of the night moons. The streets were quiet. Eerily quiet. It was odd for Harleytown, which was usually crawling with johns and hookers seeking out depraved companionship, drug dealers, predators and not-so-petty thieves. But tonight it was as though something, some dark whisper in the night, had spooked them all back into their hidey-holes.
A shiver danced down my spine and I gave my gloves a tug.
This was a perfect place for a crime.
But, hell, what was I saying? Any place on this rock was the perfect place for a crime.
A rat skittered through the garbage piled on the street and someone peered out at us through the curtains of a window on the first floor of a seedy brownstone. When they noticed my attention, the curtain fluttered closed. Light flicked off.
Yeah. No one in this part of town wanted to tangle with one of Granny’s munis. They’d lose.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God.” Jimmy’s nasally voice echoed through the shadows, bouncing off the stones. “You’re here. Thank God.”
God had nothing to do with it.
I narrowed my eyes against the gloom and spotted him, hunkering in a debris-strewn alley. Jimmy was a jumpy gecko, but the way he was shuddering, the way his gaze kept skipping over the empty street, the way his left eye twitched, made me think this was something more than his usual paranoia. “What is it, Jimmy?” I called.
“Here. Come ’ere.” He waved me over, a frantic flutter of fingers. “Pflerg, Tig. Hurry.”
I shot a glance at One Eye and sighed. My partner held up his scanner and pointed it at the slender slit between the buildings. A beam of iridescent light walked its way over the crumbling bricks and scattered refuse with a low hum. The scanner beeped, a harsh intonation. One Eye nodded. Clear.
Nice to know the Dink wasn’t leading me into an ambush.
I headed toward him and One Eye took up position at the mouth of the alley, facing out, watching the street. Granted, we were Granny’s munis, but experience had taught us never to let down our guard. There was always someone watching. Always some shit in play.
I strolled down the long alley to Jimmy, adjusting my gloves. Not to make a point or anything. His gaze fixated on them, his slit pupils dilated, and his throat worked. Sweat beaded his scaly forehead … and Dinks sweated in pus. Great, gooey globs of it. And they were green. Great gooey green globs. Rolling down the side of his face. Jesus, it was gross. Almost as bad as the Skeeg.
 “What is it, Jimmy?” Goddamn it. I knew this was going to be a pain in the ass, whatever it was. Just knew.
He stubbed out his draw and scuttled over. “I swear to God, Tig. I didn’t know.” His eyes bugged out. His way of emphasizing his innocence—or his ignorance. Hard to tell. He had little of one and a lot of the other.
“You didn’t know what, Jimmy?”
“Oh pflerg, Tig. Over here. Pflerg.”
Damn. I’d seen the little lizard in a wad more than once, was used to his mouth, but this …. This was weird.
I shook my head and followed him back into the corner of the alley barely lit by a faint streetlamp. It was a dead end, a box in. Stone walls on all sides. No escape but the mouth of the cave. Ideal for a surprise attack. The body lay at the far end, a jumbled pile of clothes draped over a stack of wooden pallets.
“We was just, you know, tanging a little. Just playing around. It got a little rough and … I swear. I swear, Tig. I didn’t know.”
I leaned closer and shone my light on the scene with a tsk. “Jimmy, Jimmy. What did you—?”
Oh.
Fuck.



About the Author
Blessed (or cursed) with dyslexia and ADD, author Sam York has always loved creating worlds, tantalizing readers, and having complete and utter control over the universe.  What could be better than writing snarky stories in a variety of genres?
Under various pen names, Sam has won multiple writing awards and hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller list several times.
Interested parties can learn more at http://sabrinayork.com/samyork/ 



Sam lives in seclusion east of Seattle with a really drooly Rottweiler.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Learn more about Regency Town Houses in Brighton, England with special guest on TRAVELS WITH CERISE!

Join me tomorrow for a special interview! 

Saturday 4/28 at 11 EST/10 CENTRAL/9 MTN/8 PACIFIC on my Facebook page, my guest is one of the curators for Regency Town House in Brighton, England!

Last October, when I was in Brighton doing research for my Regency and Victorian historical romances, Paul was my tour guide to this wonderful house whom he and many other professionals restore to its former glory.

Connecting with him on Twitter and Facebook, he saw that I did these LIVE CHATS and voluteered to join me!  I am tickled to have him with me, to tell you about the professional restoration of the house, to show you pictures and to answer your questions.

Please visit the website of Regency Town House for more info and do join us Saturday for a marvelous morning of fun and facts!  https://www.facebook.com/CeriseDeLandAuthor/


Thursday, April 26, 2018

 Mastering Her Heart by Lesley Clark



She captured his heart…can he become the Master of hers?

When Lainie Bryant heads to Texas to rebuild her existence, love is not on her agenda, but the hot cardiologist with the ripped abs pushes all her buttons.
Doctor Matthew Taylor, rugged and handsome, has waited years for the woman meant to be his. Lainie’s as vanilla as they come, but there’s something about her that keeps him intrigued, and when he finds out she’s more than willing to give him the control he needs, things seem perfect.

When a secret obsession comes to light, they only have each other to count on. Matthew is left wondering if he can keep her safe from his past, so they can have a future together.

Excerpt 1:

She’d been in Nurse Lainie mode all day, and it was exhausting. She was so zoned out she hadn’t realized she was no longer alone.

“Well, isn’t this a sight?” Matthew’s seductive voice brought her back to the present. “Son of a bitch,” she yelled, her words dripping with fear.

“Do you always sneak up on defenseless women like that? I bet it makes you feel like a big man, huh?” She knew she was acting like a bitch, but she couldn’t seem to help herself. This night had gone on forever, and she had reached her point of emotional exhaustion.

“That’s your one and only freebie, little one. I’ll let it slide because I know this has been a tough day for you. But don’t mistake my kindness for weakness,” his words came out more of a growl than anything else. Lainie felt heat down to her core.

This man was pure sex on a stick. Just being in his presence kept her in a constant state of arousal even considering their surroundings. Shit, what did he just say? I could drown in those blue eyes of his. I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes quite so blue before. Why is he staring at me? Oh yeah, he was talking.

“I don’t remember you being my father or husband, so why is it you think it’s okay to turn your attitude on me?” Ha, take that you hot piece of man meat.

“Well, my pet, I can see you’re a kitten with claws. It’s a good thing for you I happen to like that in a subbie.” His cocky grin spoke volumes, and Lainie knew she was in big trouble. “I heard you were supposed to join Jack and Bridget at the club this week. Seeing as it won’t happen now, I’ll be escorting you there myself when the time comes.”

“Whoa there, buddy. I never agreed to go to the club with you of all people and now, here you are making plans for my life. We met a matter of hours ago, and you think you’re all of a sudden in charge?” Get yourself together girl, cause if you don’t, this man will run right over you. Yeah, you might like it. Wait, no I won’t like it, geesh. He leaned in close, and his warm breath in her ear went straight to her core.

“You and I both know how this is going to play out, and I, for one, can’t wait to see how beautiful you look on your knees for me. You will be a sight to behold. In fact, I’m hard just thinking about it. Does that turn you on, pet, to know how I react to you and the thought of your submission?” The silkiness of his voice did things to her.

She knew without a doubt he held the power to take her somewhere she had never been. This was what Bridget had been telling her about, but she would never have imagined how powerful and deep the feelings would start.

“What makes you think I would get on my knees for you? Are you some alpha Dom or something? Do all the little subbies fall at your feet and beg to worship your one-eyed snake?”


Excerpt 2

“I’m proud of you for not arguing with me, little one. Maybe you’re starting to learn,” he chuckled his response before bending to kiss her, but this was no mere kiss. The earth stopped on its axis. Her heart began to race, and she could feel it in her ears, but that didn’t matter while he was kissing her. Eventually, he pulled away and looked her in the eye, both of them breathing heavier than they had been.

“You are a gift to me Lainie, and I can’t wait to explore this lifestyle with you. I want you to get cleaned up and get the paperwork filled out. Then after you send it to me, go to bed early. You’ve had a big day, and tomorrow night will be even more.” He walked away before she could answer his demands. After a few steps, he stopped and turned. “The questions will turn you on. You are not to touch yourself tonight. Do I make myself clear?” he asked with his right eyebrow raised.

“You can’t be serious,” were the only words she managed before he was chest to chest with her, leaning over to speak directly in her ear.

“I am totally serious, Elaine. After today, you are mine. That pussy of yours is mine, and all of your orgasms belong to me.” With that, he turned and walked away, taking her breath with him and leaving her unable to argue. So, she did the only thing she could. She did as she was told.

Excerpt 3

Lainie slid off the end of the bed and kneeled quietly, looking down toward the ground. She took her right hand and pulled her ponytail up, so her hair was no longer laying against her neck.

“That’s my girl.”

Matthew came around and placed his hand around her neck. She could feel her pulse quicken under his fingers. He rubbed his thumb up and down for a few seconds before letting go and bringing the leather strip around and attaching it. She loved the feel of it, and it brought her deeper into herself. She was ready to scene with him and show her submission to him in front of the entire club if it’s what he wanted.



 Excerpt 4

“I think he’s embarrassed to be with me. I’m so new, and maybe he’s afraid I wouldn’t react well and decided to hide me away in his private area.” She didn’t realize how worried she’d been. The tears were threatening to fall.

“After everything, we shared last night and this morning, how could you doubt how I feel about you?” She looked up and saw Matthew standing in the door. It was obvious by the look on his face he’d heard her confession. “Bridget, do you mind if I steal your friend? I think we need to have a serious conversation.”

He didn’t give either woman a chance to respond. He walked to the bed, picked her up, and carried her out of the room, heading toward her bedroom. She couldn’t help but snuggle into his neck while he carried her. She breathed in his scent. It was masculine with a hint of spice, totally clean and totally Matthew. She was worried maybe this was it, he would tell her she was too much for him to have to worry about. Feeling needy was a new emotional state for her, and she realized that’s what she was most scared of. She’d really started to open up herself emotionally in a way she never had before. He was helping her fly, but who was going to take care of her when she fell? When they reached her bedroom, Matthew walked over to the chair in the corner of the room and sat with her in his lap. He hadn’t said a word since picking her up, and she was becoming more nervous by the second. Finally, he cleared his throat.

“I don’t know whether to spank you or kiss you. If I hadn’t walked in there and overheard what you were thinking, would you have ever told me how you felt?” His voice was quiet. He seemed sad, and it felt like a knife through her heart.

“Honestly, I don’t know how to answer that. I didn’t realize how insecure I was feeling until I was talking with Bridget. I feel so needy all the time, and this is completely new to me.” Her voice was quivering. She felt so small sitting there in his lap.

“Is that what you think, you’re needy? Oh, my kitten, I should have seen this coming, I am so sorry.” He was apologizing, and she didn’t even know why. Before she could control it, the tears were flowing like a dam breaking.

“I’m sorry. I don’t understand why I’m crying, and I have no clue what you would have to apologize for. You have been wonderful to me, and I’m just a big pile of tears and weirdness. I mean, hell, there have to be submissives out there who are a lot easier to deal with, instead of the crazy one you seem to be stuck with.” She was sobbing by the time the words were out.

He pulled her close to his body, and she laid her head on his shoulder while she cried until there were no tears left. He didn’t say a word, just stroked her back with his right hand and stroked her cheek with his left. Somewhere inside, she knew it was ridiculous she was losing it while sitting on his lap, but she couldn’t make herself stop. When her tears slowed, Matthew lifted her face and kissed her lightly under each eye, literally kissing her tears away.

“Oh, my sweet. I am so sorry. What you’re feeling is something called sub drop. When you’ve been in your submissive headspace, then come back to the ‘real world’, sometimes, submissives feel an emotional freefall. This is normal and happens to many. Your emotions are lying to you.

“I’m not stuck with you. I chose you from the first moment I laid eyes on you. I firmly believe you were made for me. You are mine. It’s my job to take care of you. I know it’s early, but I really care for you.”

His words were like balm to her soul. Never an overly emotional person, she was having difficulty reigning it in. But hearing his words was cutting through the fog of emotion that had settled over her. After her emotions calmed, he grabbed her face and kissed her in earnest.

Author Bio:

Lesley is first and foremost a wife and mother. She has been married for 26 years to a wonderful guy. Not bad for the marriage that nobody thought would last longer than 6 months. She has 2 beautiful daughters in grad school who have both kept her on her toes since entering this world. She has been an RN for the last 12 years and truly enjoys taking care of her patients.

Since learning how to read, Lesley has always had a love affair with words. Through childhood, she wrote short stories and always had a book in her hands. So, now that her nest is empty, she is following my dream, of becoming an author, and dreams do come true! My first novel releases April 19th. 

Lesley writes stories with hot alpha men and sexy sassy ladies that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. 


Social Media Links
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Email -  thelesleyclark@gmail.com


I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel by Ms. Lesley Clark and can’t wait to see what the second book in the series takes us.  A Cut Above is the name of an exclusive BDSM club owned by four doctors who are all Doms.  The story will be about Dr. Matthew Taylor, a cardiac surgeon and Elaine “Lainie” Bryant, an RN, this will be their journey.

Lainie knows she can’t continue her relationship with Trevor and will leave her job, her home, and him.  She knows that this isn’t where she wants to be in her life and that she needs more, but what this is, she is uncertain. She will contact her best friend, Bridget, pack up her clothes and drive to Clarksburg, Texas.  Maybe later, she will decide to be a traveling nurse, but for right now, she needs to find herself.

The plot will have Lainie traveling to Texas to spend time with Bridget and her Dom husband, Jack.  While there, she will be introduced to a Dom/sub lifestyle of her friends, and a trip to a BDSM club, A Cut Above.  Meeting Dr. Matthew Taylor will leave her with mixed emotions, deep down, his dominance is exhilarating, but Lainie is a very strong-willed, independent woman.  Will she be able to submit? 

“For the first time in her life, a man really saw her, and that man wanted to take care of her.”

The story covers the ups and downs that Lainie will experience as she enters a D/s relationship with Matt.  She has a sassy mouth, and a tendency to say out loud what she is thinking.  Matt will be her guide, her teacher, her lover, and her Dom along the journey.  In the story, it even shows his vulnerabilities in the relationship, and how they work through things.

The story also has elements of danger, mystery, and suspense.  Someone isn’t happy that Sir Matt is in an exclusive relationship and will go out of their way to make trouble.  The destroyed property, nuisance phone calls, and more will plague the club, Matt, and Lainie.  Will they be able to solve the problem before someone is seriously hurt, or worse?

“She had finally found what she never realized her life had been missing, and there was no way she was willing to give that up.”

Matt wants to protect Lainie and keeps the truth of what all has happened and things that he has learned from security and the police, and when the truth comes out, Lainie is upset, and rightfully so.  When they don’t go to the club, Lainie has it in her head that he is ashamed of her, and to be seen with her.  Is this the end of them and their relationship?

“Are you telling me there’s a crazy lady out there who has tried to hurt us, nobody can seem to find her, and you didn’t think it was important to share that information with me?  I may be submissive to you, but I am far from weak.  Very badly done, Sir.”

“I am your Dom.  I have never and will never be ashamed of you. I will protect you with everything I am against anything that might hurt you, including yourself.  If that isn’t what you signed up for, then too bad.  You are mine, and I will always take care of what is mine.”

The story has several close calls, from threats, a vehicle accident, to a kidnapping.  Is their relationship strong enough to weather the storms that come their way?  It takes a strong woman to submit and surrender her will to her dominant.  Once the mystery is solved, where will their relationship take them?


The story has explicit sex scenes, spankings, and BDSM scenes.