TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with Naomi Clark’s hot new Romance on the Go story, On a Dark Tide, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine online fiction. Take it away, Naomi!
Thanks for having me here today! I’m excited to share my latest Romance on the Go, ON A DARK TIDE, a story I constantly (and probably annoyingly) referred to as the Creepy Ocean Story whilst writing it. I’m a mermaid at heart. I love the ocean, whatever the season, whatever the weather. Nothing makes me feel as at peace or inspired as sitting by the shore. ON A DARK TIDE is one of several stories and books I’ve written with the ocean at its heart, and it won’t be the last.
ON A DARK TIDE also let me touch on something else I love – true crime and unsolved mysteries. I have a fairly long commute to work each day, and I usually pass the time by listening to podcasts. Delving into truly strange and puzzling stories of disappearances helped me shape the background of Piper and Cam’s story, and hopefully you’ll enjoy delving into the mystery of Dina Mackay with them!
True crime podcasters Piper and Cam have travelled to the sleepy seaside town of Findlay to investigate the disappearance of a woman nearly a decade ago. The theories are wild—everything from murder to mermaids, and Piper is determined to get to the truth.
Battling her fear of the ocean, Piper soon realizes Findlay has deeper, darker secrets than she could ever have believed. As she struggles to master her fear and deal with her unrequited love for Cam, Piper is lured into perilous waters. The truth waits beneath the waves—and Piper’s fate waits with it.
“Cam,” Piper said again, almost wailing it as Cam took off back up the shore toward the town. Piper started after her, got her feet tangled in those grabby strands of seaweed, and toppled over. She landed face-first in the sand, grit and water-worn stones digging into her palms. “Shit!”
She lay there for a few seconds, berating herself for being so stupidly tongue-tied. Then she picked herself up and hugged herself against the bitter cold wind rushing off the waves. She could fix this.
All she had to do was run after Cam and say … something. She didn’t know what, though. She still wasn’t sure what the hell had just happened. What Cam had expected to happen.
But she wouldn’t find out hanging around on the beach, would she?
She started walking, the distant lights of the town guiding her. She and Cam had come further than she realized, and night had swept in while they walked. She couldn’t even see Cam’s silhouette up ahead. But she couldn’t have gotten far, surely. Piper had only been down a minute. Piper cupped her hands to her mouth. “Cam? Cameron!”
There was no answer. The wind shrieked down the bay, suddenly wild, and Piper flashed back vividly to her dream last night. She wondered if that’s all it had been, a howling gale invading her dreams. She glanced out across the ink-dark waters of the bay, watching the white caps rise and fall as the tide drove in. It was too easy to imagine being tossed around in those wild waves, mouth full of salt, lungs burning, body sinking and rising at the will of the water. It was too easy to imagine Dina Mackay walking into the sea…
Piper shivered, unsure where the idea came from. The wind rose and fell in strange harmony, filling her head with shipwrecks and yellowed bones polished by centuries of sand and water. She stopped looking for Cam, entranced and disturbed by the song of the bay. It did sound like voices, eerily so. Sweet, inhuman singing as the wind ripped through hidden caves and over knee-high banks of marram grass.
Dina could have heard that beautiful, awful music the night she went missing. She could have walked out of the Lobster Pot, just like Piper had tonight, pleasantly buzzed, and thought she heard voices down on the shore, out in the water.
Piper didn’t remember moving, but the water lapped at her feet now, so either she’d moved or the tide had. She wasn’t sure. It didn’t matter. The singing swirled around her, warming her where the wind had chilled her. The water washed over her canvas shoes, soaking in and anchoring her to the shore. The singing pulled at her, dragged at her, as inexorable as the ocean.
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About the Author
Naomi likes writing, perfume, fancy tea, and unfathomable monsters from the dark spaces between the stars, not necessarily in that order. She has been writing stories ever since she learned how to write, but is still trying to master the art of biography writing. When she’s not dealing with werewolves, demons, or sea monsters, she’s hanging out with her cat and probably watching a documentary about Bigfoot. If the cat isn’t available, she’s with her fiancé watching cookery shows and silently plotting her next book.
Just got word from Evernight that they’re buying my sexy hitman romance “Gentleman Jackson” for their Lawless anthology. Which may throw some readers because this story is going in the MF antho, not the MM antho. What can I say — I like mixing things up. Also, it means that if you read the snippet I posted on Wednesday and liked it, you can read the full story in a month or so. More on that as details emerge.
In other news, Lady of Thorns should be finished by next Wednesday, and I’m looking at a 10/17 release date (it’s two weeks later than I’d originally planned, but Real Life™ wound up turning into a timesink and I want to make sure Lady gets a thorough editing before she’s released into the wild). I’m concurrently working on Shifter Woods: Snarl, which should be released before Lady, and once those are out I put the finishing touches on Cross Current and get that off to Evernight. November and NaNoWriMo is going to be dedicated to Uncertainty Principle, I believe. Lord, if I get everything finished on time I’ll have written four full length books, four novellas that will be combined into a box set, and a novelette this year. Not too shabby if I say so myself.
Hello, lovelies! This week I’m teasing you with a snippet from a story I’ve just submitted to Evernight’s Lawless antho call. Colton Jackson is a hitman from Shreveport, Louisiana who accepts a contract on a shady Dallas lawyer, but when the lawyer’s secretary witnesses the hit things get complicated. It doesn’t help that Ria Guzman turns out to be the younger sister of one of the most powerful gang leaders in the US. What’s a gentleman hitman to do? Take her into his own form of “protective custody,” of course.
I’m also including a pic of the lovely man who inspired Colton. Thank you for being your buff self, Chip!
Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for hosting us, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
“Hands against the wall, baby girl. I’m gonna bury my tongue in that sweet pussy of yours, whether you like it or not.” Colton chuckled. “Although I think you’re gonna like it.”
Ria hissed at the sudden pressure across her mound and ass, then it was gone. The hitman let the fragments of her panties drop to the floor and finished pushing up her skirt, staring at her trimmed mound. “Nice. I appreciate a little hair down there. Makes me feel like I’m loving a woman, not a doll.” He ran his lips over her curls, taking in a deep breath. “Oh, yeah. Hot and tangy, just the way I like it.”
She squeaked when he shoved one thigh over his thick shoulder, opening her even more. He blew a breath across her exposed pussy lips, already wet from her arousal, then ran the flat of his tongue up them, finishing off with a flicking lick over her clit.
Moaning at the sinfully good sensation, she let her head thump back against the wall. He was too big, she couldn’t stop him. All she could do was stand there and let him worship her pussy with his lips and tongue. He ate her like he was a starving man and she was a feast, sucking and nibbling her inner lips before sealing his mouth over her clit and lashing it with his tongue. The sensation was too good, too strong, and she shoved a fist against her mouth to muffle a cry.
He backed off a bit, lapping her wet flesh softly before sliding a thick finger inside her. This time her fist didn’t stop the cry, and she wailed softly as he massaged her inner pussy walls. His tongue returned to her clit, fluttering slowly over it.
Then he touched something inside her that sent stars across her vision. She swallowed a scream, her free hand searching for something and landing on his hair. Some last shred of sanity told her not to pull. Instead she ran her fingers through the straight, thick strands, petting him and using him to ground herself at the same time.
A soft purr that made her thighs tremble indicated his approval, and the finger inside her began to rub gentle circles on that amazing spot. His tongue picked up speed, sending bursts of electricity skittering across her nerve endings. She was trapped between two sources of pleasure, unable to escape either one and forced to enjoy the exquisite torture he was inflicting on her.
He slid in a second finger, stretching her wider and setting off another flare of sensual fire inside her. She was going to come so hard, and there was nothing she could do to stop it, nothing but ride it out—
Her orgasm tore through her like a hurricane, just this side of pain it was so strong. Her muscles clamped down hard on his fingers as he sucked her entire clit into his mouth, rubbing the flat front of his teeth across the bundle of nerves. It set off a second, smaller orgasm and she wailed, knees unlocking. He shoved his shoulders between her thighs, holding her against the wall with his own body as he continued to lick and suck.
She was seconds from begging him to stop when he pulled away, breathing hard and grinning up at her. “Sweet as a peach. I could eat you all day and twice on Sundays.”
He guided her down the wall until she was straddling his knees, arranging her limp arms around his shoulders and guiding her head to rest in the crook of his neck. She could still feel aftershocks rolling through her, making her muscles tremble. This was totally insane. She’d just had the best orgasm she’d ever had riding the mouth of a man who had killed her boss not an hour ago. “I don’t believe you just did that,” she panted.
His soft laugh was warm on her ear. “Told you I could be persuasive. And if you think that was good, cher, imagine what else I could do for you.”
He pressed her hips closer, making her ride the ridge in his pants. She imagined it thick and red, ribboned with veins and a drop of salty pre-cum sitting like a pearl in the tiny eye. “Feel that? It’s all for you. I’m gonna take you to bed and make you come at least two more times, and that is a guarantee.”
She groaned as his bulge rubbed across her clit. “You make me come two more times like that, you won’t have to shoot me. I’ll die from sexual exhaustion.”
He leaned back to look at her. The coldness from the office was gone, replaced by a hot little glint of desire. “That sounds like a challenge to me, baby girl. And I do love a challenge.”
He lifted her, forcing her to wrap her legs around his waist as he got to his feet, hands cupping her ass securely. “Where’s your bedroom?”
Oh, what the hell. There are worse ways to die. She nodded at the door on the angled wall. “Through there.”
The bedroom was as small and neat as the rest of the place, Colton noted, with a Mission-style queen bed in light pine, matching nightstands and a chest of drawers. Ria had hung a Chinese parasol on the wall over the bed, but the rest of the walls were blank. The only other decoration was a framed picture, a family shot from the look of it, on the nightstand.
The blandness of her apartment said a lot about his hot little secretary. It wasn’t a home so much as it was a temporary resting place, somewhere she could leave at a moment’s notice and not look back. He tried to puzzle it out as he put her down next to the bed, but was distracted by the way her tits slid along his chest and abs. Once he was sure she could stand under her own steam, he got to work on unbuttoning her blouse. Pulling it off exposed more tan skin and a lacy white bra that molded two ripe mounds. Her nipples were hard points pushing through the delicate fabric and he couldn’t wait until he had them in his mouth. Tossing the blouse to the floor, he traced the soft skin along the upper edges of the cups, enjoying the way it made her shiver.
Pretty as it was, that scrap of fabric had to come off. Reaching around, he unhooked the clasp and pulled the bra free, his mouth watering at the sight of her teardrop breasts with their dark areolae and pebbled nipples. He couldn’t resist bending down and taking one in his mouth, slipping an arm around her lower back to hold her in place while he licked the firm nub.
A soft spill of Spanish danced through the air, close enough to Acadian French that he could get the gist of it. She didn’t want him to stop. That was just fine with him. He switched his attention to the other nipple, his finger coming up and tracing circles around the abandoned one. Shifting his weight, he urged her back onto the mattress, joining her and kissing a wandering spiral path over both breasts. Her skin was warm velvet against his lips, and she smelled so damn good he seriously wondered if he was going to come in his pants before he got a chance to get inside her.
He leaned up for a moment, taking her in. Her face was flushed and damp, and her eyes had that glossy haze of need that he loved to see on a woman. Her lips were slightly parted, full and ripe. He hadn’t even properly kissed her yet, apart from that little liplock in the office, and wasn’t that a damn shame?
Rising, he moved until he could brace a hand on either side of her shoulders and bend down to claim her lips. Christ, they were so damn soft, and they opened so sweetly to his tongue. Her own tongue rose to meet him, shy at first but growing bolder as he lured her into a swirling, sensual dance.
While their mouths were busy, his hands fumbled at the waistband of her skirt, finally finding the little zipper that held it closed. He pulled it down, sliding his hand inside the waistband and running it across the soft skin of her stomach. His fingers could just touch the crisp curls on her mound and he toyed with them, working his middle finger down until he could tap the very top of her slit.
She broke the kiss with a gasp. “Do that again.”
He did, adding a double tap this time. She made a happy little squeal, arching her back and pressing her hips into his hand. “Oh, yeah. I like that, papi.”
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Welcome to another edition of Wicked Wednesday Reads, petals! Today I’m here with Jacey Holbrand and her new MM romance Seduced By Him, available from Evernight Publishing and other online purveyors of fine romance. Take it away, Jacey!
This story is the second book in my series called Helldorado Mongrels MC. The series follows different immortal shifter families, a couple of humans, and the quest for stolen gold. It takes place in southern Nevada. I’d been toying with the idea for this series for the past few years after catching an episode of Haunted Highway on Syfy regarding the Hellhounds of Eldorado Canyon.
In book two, Seduced by Him, two human brothers are at the end of their camping trip in the canyon where, as teenagers, they had a frightening experience in a gold mine when confronted with wolves. Jarrod Russell, one of the heroes of this story, is jealous his brother found love, and he wonders when he’ll find his other half. Which doesn’t take long since he runs into him in a store and then in a casino.
Jarrod and Tex, the sexy stranger (who is based off of Brock O’Hurn in case you were wondering 😉 ) he keeps running into, have a one night stand that’s turning into something more when Jarrod is kidnapped by Tex’s fellow Helldorado Mongrels MC members.
Want to know what happens when Jarrod finds out the guy he’s super attracted to is an immortal wolf shifter and if he escapes the Mongrels? Well, you’ll just have to read the book now, won’t you? *wink*
Wolf shifter and member of the Helldorado Mongrels MC, Dante “Tex” Valentin is restless and dissatisfied. He goes on a ride in search of excitement, never expecting to encounter his mate—a human male, who disrupts his world.
Jarrod Russell is envious his brother, Cameron, found love. Wondering if fortune will ever smile on him the same way, he runs into a man who rocks his world. A man he believes could be the love of his life.
When Jarrod and Tex’s paths cross again, a passion-filled night connects them. Because of who they are, though, they’re in danger from the Mongrels. Will their relationship be over before they even have a chance to love?
The blond haired man without a name stood naked in his room.
Bare as the day he was born, too, Tex sat on the edge of the bed, leaning back on his elbows, and took in the view.
Tall, athletic physique. Classically handsome features with a full mouth. Cock that sported a slight curve. It didn’t appear to be overly big but still seemed to be larger than average. Just like he liked a man’s dick.
“What do you want me to do? Please. Tell me.”
He loved it when his partners had the touch of pleading in their voices, had amorous longing in their gazes, begging him to take them and use them as he saw fit. But this blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty wasn’t like the others. The lean, well-toned man didn’t fit the type of guy he’d normally go after—big, brawny, and rough around the edges—much like himself and the other Mongrels. No, the stranger from the store was the complete opposite, almost angelic, and the thought of claiming him sent lusty rivers of heat down into his rigid shaft.
“I want you to drop to your knees before me, take my cock in that luscious mouth of yours and suck me dry.”
A visible shudder racked the man’s body, and for a second he looked as if he might refuse, but then he closed the distance between them and knelt.
The angel positioned himself between Tex’s thighs and gently grasped his length. The bend of his fingers stroked him, feeling like the finest linen glancing against his skin. Tex’s body sizzled as his man’s appraisal of his body seemed to devour him. Then the stranger licked and kissed his cock and balls, sucked him into his mouth, and Tex felt as if he’d arrived home.
The guy laved its length and circled his fingers around its base, then traced the underside with the tip of his tongue and feathered his ball sack with the ends of his fingers.
Tex let his head fall back, enjoying the way the guy took command of his cock and savoring the delicate feel of the man’s moist and warm mouth on his shaft and his hands as they smoothed up his body.
So soft. Such a gentle caress. I love the way he’s touching me. Not enough though. Need to…
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About the Author
Jacey Holbrand believes life and love comes in all forms and should be celebrated. She’s committed to her muse and writing so she can share her stories with readers. Hot days. Sexy nights. Come play in her world.
Jacey loves to hear from readers! Click the link to email her.
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, angels! You know how much I love SF romance, so today I’m featuring Jessica Coulter Smith and her new SF romance Heidi and the Alien Cop (Intergalactic Brides #12), now available from Changeling Press. Take it away, Jessica!
Heidi’s life hasn’t been easy since she dropped out of school at sixteen to have a baby. The worst mistake she ever made was moving in with her boyfriend Brent, who turned out to be an abusive bastard, but with no education and no job, there’s nowhere for her to go. Her life for the last five years has disillusioned her that happily-ever-after could possibly exist… Then he comes into her life.
When Raylic rushes to Heidi’s aid, the last thing he expects is to end up with house guests, but she and her small son, Shane, are just what he needs. They bring life to his monstrous home and make him want things better left alone. But the more time he spends with the little family, the more he wants to keep them with him forever. Even knowing Heidi is pregnant with another man’s child doesn’t stop him from wanting to claim her.
Heidi knows Raylic is one of the good guys, but can she dare trust her heart to someone again? He’s everything she’s ever wanted, but she knows wanting and having aren’t the same thing.
Heidi hoped like hell that Shane had gotten out of the house. She hadn’t heard the door open or shut but prayed her little boy had run to safety and not stayed to help her. Despite his young age, he acted like her protector when his dad got mad, which was far too often.
She placed a protective hand over her stomach as she cowered in the corner of the room. Brent towered over her, his face flush from too much alcohol and the rage that was burning in his veins. It wasn’t the first time he’d struck her, and she knew it wouldn’t be the last, unless she finally managed to escape. But where would she go? Without a job, or friends, or family, only the streets waited for her and their small son.
“Everyone was talking tonight about how you’ve been whoring around behind my back,” Brent said, spit flying from his lips.
“Brent, please. You know how rumors are around here.” She swallowed the knot of fear in her throat. She’d learned the hard way that fighting back only made it worse. When she fought back, it pushed him to the point of nearly killing her, and she had to keep living to take care of their son. She couldn’t leave him in Brent’s hands. Either her boyfriend would kill him, or he’d turn her sweet boy into a monster.
“Stupid, lying bitch. Did you think I wouldn’t hear about it? I bet that brat in your belly isn’t even mine. Who’s to say the other little snot is mine either? You just saw a meal ticket and latched on.”
“Of course, it’s yours, Brent. They both are. You know I haven’t been with anyone else.”
He backhanded her across the face again, an explosion of pain ricocheting through her cheek and rattling her brain. Another blow landing in almost the same spot nearly knocked her off her feet. She had just braced herself on the wall when another fist pummeled her stomach. Heidi cried out, her hands clutching her belly, hoping he hadn’t harmed their child. She’d tried damn hard not to get pregnant a second time by him, but the condom had broken two months ago.
She saw his hand wind back for another blow and cowered down, but it never came.
“I know humans play by different rules, but where I come from, we don’t beat females,” a deep voice said with a hint of a growl.
Heidi’s eyes went wide as she looked around Brent at the purple alien with the badge clipped to his belt. Was he a real cop or one of those Terran guards? He knocked Brent’s legs out from under him, then pressed him face first onto the floor, wrenching Brent’s hands behind his back. Her drunken boyfriend was no match for the rather brawny guy manhandling him. The alien slapped cuffs on Brent, then pulled out a cell phone.
“Dispatch, this is Officer Raylic. Can you send a car around to pick up some trash I found beating a female?”
She didn’t hear what else was said as the room spun around her. Heidi sank to her knees and tried to process what was happening. Had someone really come to her rescue? How had he known where to find her? A small hand slipped into hers, and she looked into the terrified eyes of her son.
“I found a police officer, Mama. He’ll take care of us, won’t he?” Shane asked, looking more troubled than a five-year-old had any right to.
“Are you all right?” the officer asked her.
“I don’t know. He hit me in the stomach and the face.”
Shane’s face scrunched up. “What about the baby?”
“You have a baby?” the officer asked.
“In her tummy,” Shane told him.
The officer cursed. Brent took his moment of distraction to rear up and lunge at Heidi, a murderous glint in his eyes. She jumped to her feet and lashed out at him, kicking him in the shin and hitting him in the eye. The officer made a grab for him and shoved him back down. Brent fell face first onto the floor, getting a mouthful of nasty carpet. Heidi had to admit that it had felt damn good to fight back for once.
Heidi approached her boyfriend. With a well-placed kick between his splayed legs, she had him howling and cursing her all at the same time. She felt a bit of satisfaction, knowing she’d caused him pain, but it wasn’t enough. She looked at the officer who regarded her with a bit of mirth for attacking her abuser.
“Want to have another go at him?” the officer asked.
“What I’d like to do is beat him over the head, with a cast-iron skillet, until he can’t ever hurt anyone again.”
He nodded. “I probably would get into a bit of trouble if I let you do that. But feel free to kick him again. It’s just his word against mine.”
She looked at her bare feet. “It might contaminate my foot if I kick him there again. I’ve always heard if someone accuses you of cheating, they’re probably the one with the guilty conscience. No telling where he’s put that thing.”
The officer chuckled a bit. “As soon as backup arrives to take care of him, I’m going to take you somewhere safe. We’ll stop by the Terran Station first though. I want our healer to look at you. As small as you are, he could have easily broken bones or caused internal damage.”
“Thank you for helping us,” she said. “No one’s ever helped us before.”
He frowned. “Have you called the police before now?”
She nodded. “The officer who answered the call said I was overly emotional and it was just a domestic dispute. He said if he got another call, he would haul both of us to jail. It was the first and last time I asked for help.”
“Asshole,” the officer muttered. “Do you remember who it was? I’ll make sure he’s written up.”
He nodded. “I can see him saying something like that. Don’t worry. Your husband is getting locked up this time.”
“We’re not married,” she said.
“Good. Then you can make a clean break when he’s taken out of here today. Do you plan to stay in this apartment?” he asked, looking around.
She knew what he’d see. Cracked walls, stained carpets, and the ugliest furniture imaginable. The place reeked of mildew and piss, and unfortunately for her, the rent was past due. It might not have been much, but it had been home for the last year. As often as they’d been late, no way the landlord would renew the lease. Not that she could pay it anyway.
“Where are we gonna go, Mama?” Shane asked.
“I don’t know, baby.”
The officer tilted his head. “Go pack your things. I was going to take you to a hotel for the night to give you some time to think things through, but it sounds like you need a more permanent solution.”
“The rent is past due here,” she said. “I don’t have a job to pay for a hotel room. Could you take us to a shelter?”
“Don’t worry about the cost,” he said in a soothing tone. “Just pack your things and be ready to go as soon as possible. Don’t leave anything behind that you want to keep.”
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About the Author
Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child. Her first stories may have been written in crayon, but now she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “marry me” pop out of his mouth–and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.
As you know (Bob), I spent Thursday and Friday writing a 13,500 word novella for an antho call. Luckily I was pretty solid on the story idea so I was able to nail my butt to the chair and crank it out in record time. Polished it and sent it in to Evernight, and all is well.
The antho call was for stories about the ultimate bad boys — criminals, killers, what have you — who completely disregard the law but are utterly loyal to their women (or men, depending on their orientation). So I wrote a story about a Southern hitman named Colton Jackson who is hired to kill a Dallas lawyer. Problem is, the lawyer’s secretary Ria Guzman walks in at the wrong moment and catches Colton red-handed. Ria and Colton had an immediate, powerful attraction to each other when he first came into the office posing as a client and he doesn’t really want to kill her, so he essentially kidnaps her, takes her to her apartment, and everything boils over. There’s passionate sex, trains going into tunnels, fireworks, etc. Colton then learns that he was set up to kill Ria (which would have seriously pissed off her powerful gang leader brother and put a price on his own head) and has to dispatch the threat, although there are loose ends that could lead to more stories about these two, I dunno. At the end of the story she has to disappear, so he takes her back to Louisiana with him.
This, however, is where it gets weird. I don’t know if it’s because I was completely immersed in the story for two days, to the point where I could very clearly see the law office, her apartment, and both Colton and Ria in my mind, but right now I have the oddest feeling that Colton and Ria are actually in Colton’s apartment in Shreveport right now making dinner and talking about what they need to get her new identity set up, and whether she really wants to go back to work as a secretary (he wants her to stay home but she’s independent and wants a job). It’s like I put so much mental energy and effort into them, I somehow made them real.
And yes, I know they’re not really real. At least, I hope not. But man, the brain is a weird, weird organ.
People in our current government can deny climate change as much as they like. Climate change damn well believes in us.
The rains from Harvey are still draining out of Houston and the surrounding areas. Quite apart from the problems of determining what, if anything, in your waterlogged home can be saved, it seems that the flooding has also released an absolutely enormous amount of industrial pollutants from the various petrochemical facilities. The eastern section of the Texan Gulf coast is going to be toxic as hell for quite some time as a result. Sorry, Louisiana.
As of this moment, Irma has pretty much leveled 90% of the structures on the island of Barbuda and rendered 60% of its inhabitants homeless. The pictures from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are horrific. And while there’s still time for Irma to make an abrupt right turn, the various projected tracks are starting to agree that south Florida is about to be bitchslapped hard. I know someone who lives on Palm Beach Island, and I’m hoping like hell that he and his family obeyed the mandatory evac order. The bulk of my Floridian friends tend to live either on the Gulf side or around Orlando, but I’m still worried about them because Irma looks to ratfuck Florida’s infrastructure on a major scale.
Jose is still out in the south Atlantic but is now a Cat 3 hurricane and seems to be following in Irma’s wake. Hopefully the high pressure system over the upper east coast will come down in time to push that back out to sea. And Katia has now organized in the Gulf into a Cat 1 hurricane–it probably doesn’t have enough run-up space to get much bigger so Mexico’s about to get some rain but hopefully nothing more than that. What with pretty much all of the West Coast on fire right now, however, we’re literally between hell and high water.
So why is a romance writer talking about weather disasters? Well, apart from the fact that my Olympic Cove series is pretty much based on climate change (and yeah, I have a really hellacious sinus headache at the moment and it’s making me cranky), it’s pretty freaking obvious by now that the increase in both the strength of hurricanes and the number of deadly hurricanes is tied to warmer ocean waters, which is caused by—say it with me—global warming. And while writers are often told not to be political on their social media platforms because God forbid you should drive away potential readers, at this point I think it’s far more important to drag the topic of climate change into the spotlight again and again. Hopefully with enough repetition from enough sources, enough people may start to accept that 1) climate change is real, and 2) it affects all of us on this big blue marble. We still have time to get our shit together and salvage something for the next generation, who don’t deserve this mess. But Lord, we have got to start now.
Sorry about that! We’ve been kind of focused on Harvey here in Texas and I forgot today was Wednesday. As always, thanks go out to Angelica Dawson for making Mid Week Tease possible. And with that, here’s another saucy little snippet from Lady of Thorns, where Lady Amelie de Clerq, tired of her offputting reputation, has convinced the rakish lawyer Alain LaPorte to tutor her in lovemaking skills. In this bit, she decides that she wants a bit more, erm, hands-on instruction. As you do.
Check out the link after the snippet to see more awesome Mid Week Teases!
Amelie turned onto her side to face Alain, resting a hand on his chest. “But you haven’t had any pleasure yet.”
“On the contrary, I gained a great deal of satisfaction from yours.” He took her hand, bringing it to his lips for a kiss, then drew it down and wrapped it around his rigid erection. She squeezed gently, enjoying the sensation of soft skin over a warm, heavy core. “I enjoy my partners’ delight as much as I enjoy my own. It was immensely exciting for me to feel you reach your peak under my fingers and mouth and know I brought you there.”
She wasn’t sure why his statement pleased her so much, but it did. “Still, I do think that it’s time for the gander to enjoy some of the same sauce as the goose, don’t you?” She stroked him experimentally. “Show me what you like.”
“All right, then.” He rolled onto his back, throwing an arm around her and pulling her with until she was cuddled against his side. “While that fine object in your hand is the center of most men’s desire, there are other places that will pleasure him nearly as much.”
He tugged her hand loose and guided it until she cupped the warm, silky sac of his scrotum. “Many women have a tendency to overlook this part during lovemaking. If you learn how to play with a man’s stones properly, I can guarantee that he’ll worship you and do whatever you ask.”
That sounded promising. She considered the firm, egg-like shapes in their furry pouch, stroking her thumb experimentally along the grain of the hair. His testicles shifted under her touch, tightening closer to his body. “Oh. Did I do that?”
“You caused it, yes.” She could hear the amusement in his voice. “They rise and lower depending on stimuli — heat, cold, the touch of a beautiful woman.”
“Flatterer.” Fascinated, she continued to explore. She’d always thought that a man’s parts were somewhat ungainly, a floppy tube and bag that seemed added as an afterthought rather than as part of a grand design. But up close, so to speak, she could see the appeal of the organs. They really were rather marvelous, a combination of softness and firmness that drew her touch like a flock of doves to a dish of birdseed.
Her hand slipped under his balls and he spread his legs wider, allowing her to tease the springy hair in that shadowy furrow. “There is something you can do if you reach further back, but I would recommend that we save that for a future lesson,” he said, sounding a touch breathless now.
His comment was intriguing, but she was more interested in the more accessible parts of his body. She arched her neck and licked the nipple closest to her, letting the tip of her tongue toy with it as he’d done to her. He rewarded her with a low, pleased growl and she stepped up her efforts, sucking the hard nub before delicately worrying it with the edge of her teeth.
That caused him to suck in a breath. “Teeth. Yes. They’re an acquired taste with many men, but I happen to like them when they’re applied with care.”
“Good to know,” she mumbled, giving his nipple a slightly firmer nibble before running her tongue around it, then around the edge of his areola. “Why do men have these, anyway? It’s not as if you’ll ever feed a baby.”
“I have no idea. But I’m very glad I have them, especially at the moment.”
“Mm.” She shifted so that she could take his other nipple in her mouth. His chest hair was crisp and a bit prickly against her chin, and this close the scent of his skin was mouthwatering, a combination of musk and clean linen over something utterly male. His taste was even better, salt and a hint of savory that reminded her of woodsmoke. She decided she could run her tongue over him for hours, learning the different tastes and textures of his body.
His cock, however, had other ideas and throbbed once against her wrist. She let his balls slide out of her palm, turning the gesture into a caress of that lovely fat shaft. It seemed harder than before, the veins standing out now. “I think someone’s impatient.”
“He can wait.”
She wasn’t sure if she could. “Please. I want you, Alain.”
He urged her to look up at him. “Are you sure? We don’t have to do this at all tonight if you don’t wish to. There are a number of other things I think you would enjoy—”
“No.” The slow desire in her began to build again. “I want you inside me. Now.”
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Hello, lovelies! Thanks as always go out to the lovely Angelica Dawson for making Mid Week Tease possible. And now, here’s another sexy snippet from my current WIP Lady of Thorns (Two Thrones 3). The prickly Lady Amelie and the clever lawyer Alain have cooked up a plan between them to get Amelie comfortable with physical intimacy, but I don’t think either of them expected what’s about to happen. Whee!
Make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
“Now, may I take off your chemise?”
Wordless, she nodded. With an unhurried grace he undid the ties at the neckline and eased it off her shoulders, letting it fall to her feet. Her nipples pebbled up in the cool air and she struggled to keep her hands at her sides, aroused and ashamed at the same time.
He seemed to understand and took her hands in a gentle grip, holding them away from her body while he studied her with what she prayed was an appreciative smile. “Oh, yes. You’re a graceful willow, with a bottom as ripe as an apple.”
She bit her lip. “I’m many things, Alain. Graceful is not one of them.”
“Mm. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.” He let her go long enough to lean down and grasp the bedcover, drawing it back. “Get in before you grow chilled.”
She did, appreciating the camouflage of the bed linens and the lingering heat from the warming pan one of the maids would have swept over the sheets. “Are you joining me?”
“In a moment.” Giving her a lazy smile, he slowly stripped off his shirt, letting the garment fall to the floor next to her chemise. She swallowed hard, unconsciously rubbing her thighs together in anticipation.
His torso wasn’t the heavily muscled body of a farmer or warrior, built to wield a sword or a scythe. Instead, he was pale and lean, with well-defined shoulders and light brown hair softly thatching the flat pads of his pectorals. His nipples were small and dusky pink, only a few shades darker than his skin, and the cool air had caused them to stand up. A fine trail of hair led downward across a belly as lean as the rest of him, disappearing into the waistband of his breeches.
Still with that infernal smile, he pulled off his boots. Only then did he undo the ties of his breeches, pushing them down in a slow tease. More hair appeared first, a darker brown than the trail leading to it, then the thick root of his penis. Amelie couldn’t help the small sound that escaped her when it bobbed free, a goodly length with the smooth skin stained a dusky rose in the firelight. Darker veins were starting to show beneath the mushroom cap, and she saw a tiny bead of moisture caught in the eye there.
He planted his hands on his hips, clearly enjoying her stare. “Do you approve?”
She tried to swallow. “It’s very … nice.”
He peered down at it. “Nice?”
His mock-incredulous tone made her giggle. “I’m sorry. That’s not an appropriate thing to call a man’s pride and joy, is it? It’s very handsome.” The dryness returned to her throat. “And thick.”
“Ah. Thank you.” He grasped the shaft, squeezing it and causing the veins to distend. “I think you’ll come to appreciate the extra heft.”
He finished kicking off the breeches and climbed into bed as Amelie scooted over. “Now,” he purred, turning onto his side and propping his head on his hand, “before we begin, do you have any questions?”
She could feel the heat coming from his naked body. A sudden urge to cuddle into his arms and soak in the warmth surprised her. “I—no. But thank you for asking.”
“This is for your edification, Amelie, as well as our mutual pleasure. If you have any questions at any point, you need only ask.” His expression turned gentle. “And if something displeases or hurts you, tell me immediately and I’ll stop.”
His simple, quiet kindness caused tears to rise, and she blinked quickly. She didn’t want to cry, not now. They had much better things to do. “Kiss me again, please.”
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