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Milestones and future goals

Yesterday my MMF historical romance Behind the Iron Cross released on Amazon and Smashwords, with Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes to follow soon. While it’s my tenth full-length novel to be released, it’s also the first romance novel I ever started, back in April 2012. I quickly realized that 1) I would have to do a buttload of research on the period, and 2) I really didn’t have the novel writing chops necessary to do the story justice. While working on my assorted series over the next six years I wound up picking at Iron Cross on and off, doing research when I could and picking up information that would add to the background and worldbuilding of the story.

And then this September something clicked and I decided, “Okay, time to finish it.” Which threw my schedule completely out of whack, forcing me to drop Uncertainty Principle until next year, but I felt like it was time to get Iron Cross done and out. The weird thing is, I wasn’t consciously aware that this year was the centenary of the end of World War I, which plays a big role in the story. All I can say is, the subconscious is an amazing thing.

This is also my longest and darkest romance to date. I don’t know if that’s because it’s a historical romance set in between-the-wars Berlin or what, but 105,000 words still amazes me when I think about it. As for the dark themes, well, 1923 Berlin was not exactly Disneyworld, although God knows there was a buttload of partying going on at the various clubs and restaurants if you had money. As for the concept of a German army officer turning to prostitution to support his family, that was actually pulled from real life reports. The economy was absolute crap, hyperinflation was rampant, lots of soldiers were decommissioned and unable to find even menial jobs, prostitution had been normalized in Berlin, and if you didn’t want to join the criminal gangs and the right-wing militias called Freikorps wouldn’t take you, you didn’t have much of a choice.

Like I said, not the happiest of places. That being said, I very deliberately toned down the harsher historical aspects because this is a romance, after all, and I needed these three very different people to fall in love with each other. According to my editor and betas I succeeded, but time will tell with reviews.

Next up on the writing table are King of Blades (Two Thrones 4) and Windrider and the Deuce, which I’m writing concurrently. Windrider should be finished in two weeks and will be released as my holiday novella following the adventures of Bardahlson son #2 Ewan and a lovely and dangerous messenger from Ghobos who find themselves joining forces to stop a blackmailer from ruining a priestess’s life during Frostfair. That should be out by mid-December and King of Blades should be out by late December, so you’ll have lots of stuff to read between Christmas and New Year.

As for 2019, my current schedule includes the to-be-named romcom about two actors who find out they were accidentally married for real during a movie and have to get a divorce, Uncertainty Principle (Pacifica Rising 2), Shifter Woods: Scream, the yet-untitled Two Thrones 5, another romcom about Lily’s best friend Theresa, plus the re-release of Breaker Zone (Olympic Cove 2) and Two to Tango, which will be expanded and retitled Stealing Dmitri. So, yeah, busy year next year. But hey, it keeps me off the streets.

Behind the Iron Cross update and release date

I’m currently on the home stretch with about 10K ahead of me for Behind the Iron Cross, my MMF historical romance set in between-the-wars Berlin. Which is good, because I have three betas who are threatening to camp out on my doorstep until I turn over the manuscript. It’s nice to be wanted.

That being said, this puppy is going to need a LOT of editing, partially because it’s been in progress since 2012 and partially because I need to doublecheck a lot of the historical bits. Also, I may be watching Babylon Berlin on Netflix for setting and costume inspiration (Babylon Berlin, by the way, is a FANTASTIC show and I highly recommend it if you like historically set police procedurals). With this in mind, I am formally setting the release date for BtIC as October 23, 2018. I know this may disappoint some people who were hoping to get it next week, but I’ve got to give the story the editing time it needs. Besides, you’ll be happier with the end result if I make sure it’s spandy clean and tight as a drum.

And after that, I immediately launch into King of Blades (Two Thrones 4). Because that is definitely my most popular series at the moment, and right now I really, really, REALLY want to get back to writing some fantasy. Soon, Hellas — soon.

Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

It’s Wednesday? Well, guess what? I’m sharing a teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1925 Berlin that is FINALLY almost finished! Just have to polish off the end of Act Three and this puppy is baked!

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Harrison, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

Sam found out what Kat’s obscure words about “adventure” meant once the lights of the lavish film theater had gone down and the first images flickered onto the silver screen. The theater, aping its brethren that catered to live performances, offered private boxes upholstered in red velvet and decorated with gilt curlicues. Kat had paid for one of these boxes, placing Friedrich between herself and Sam.

Ten minutes into the film he felt Friedrich stiffen beside him. Looking down, he spotted Kat’s hand resting on the German’s thigh. Her attention seemed to be focused on the movie, but her fingers slid over the other man’s fly with subtle deliberation, tracing the outline of Friedrich’s cock and balls through the wool of his trousers.

Sam found that he enjoyed playing the voyeur, deriving a deliciously wicked delight as Friedrich began to swell under Kat’s ministrations, squirming a bit as she stroked and teased him. She leaned forward a bit and caught Sam’s eye, glancing down at her busy hand then winking.

As casually as he could, he rested his hand on Friedrich’s other thigh. The muscle tensed under his palm and Friedrich muffled a tiny moan. The balcony of the box would prevent anyone on the main floor or mezzanine from seeing what was going on as long as it was kept at waist level. As Kat’s clever fingers continued to work Friedrich’s erection, he eased Friedrich’s belt open and unbuttoned his fly.

Kat murmured just loud enough for Sam to hear, “We’re going to make you come in public, Colonel. It’s up to you whether or not anyone notices. Do you understand?”

Friedrich swallowed hard and nodded, a bead of sweat trickling down from his temple at the movement. Sam wanted to kiss it away, taste the salt of the German’s arousal on his tongue.

“Excellent.” She licked her hand, then reached into his fly and tugged his erection out of his trousers. It looked dark in the silvery light from the scene, the plummy head swollen and glistening just a bit, and the thick veins that ribboned it already standing out along the shaft. Sam’s mouth watered at the thought of leaning over and engulfing it, using his lips and tongue to drive Friedrich wild. He loved the idea of their colonel desperately struggling to stay silent before giving in to pleasure and spurting helplessly across his tongue.

Kat leaned over again, looking like a considerate theatergoer passing along sotto voce comments on the film. “There are clubs here with stages, you know,” she whispered. “Sam and I could take you to one right now, strip you naked, and truss you to a wooden X on stage. You’re a handsome man with an attractive body. I can guarantee everyone in the club would be watching you as we played with your cock and balls.”

Another muffled groan came out of Friedrich, and he thrust lightly into Kat’s hand.

Sam decided to play along. He leaned close to Friedrich’s ear and whispered, “We’d take you to the brink, over and over again, until you begged us to let you come. Then I’d kneel down and suck you in front of everyone. Can you imagine how my mouth would feel, all warm and wet around you? I’d lick your balls, then a slow, wide lick up your shaft before I started teasing that little sensitive area right under the head. I know how much you like that.”

He widened the gap in Friedrich’s trousers and slid his hand in, avoiding Kat’s shuttling hand as he cupped the warm, furry sac. Friedrich’s balls flexed at his touch and he rolled them gently in their enclosure, stroking his thumb across crisp hair and soft, wrinkled skin.

“Maybe I should kneel down now,” he whispered. “Everyone’s watching the movie, after all. As long as you stay quiet, I don’t think anyone would notice. Would you like that? You could watch my head bobbing between your thighs as I sucked you off. My lips would be tight around your cock, and my tongue would feel so good against the underside.”

Friedrich made the tiniest noise, face twisted in pleasurable agony. “Bitte, bitte.”

“What, Colonel,” Kat murmured, her wicked little hand stroking faster now and adding a twist on the upstroke. “What do you want?”

Bitte, I’m, I’m close. Please, Fräulein, please.”

Kat leaned forward again, giving Sam a feline smile. “Should we let him come, darling?”


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Surfacing

Hoo boy, this has been an insane month so far, and it’s only the 10th. In between A/C failures in both our upstairs and downstairs units (the downstairs unit was a grand to repair, so luckily the upstairs unit was still under warranty and could be fixed for free), trying to get Shifter Woods: Snarl (I typed Snark there which is appropriate — this story has been fighting me like you would not believe) finished and out the door, getting back to work on Behind the Iron Cross, and finishing up a BUTTLOAD of jewelry in a very hot garage, it’s been interesting.

Did I mention that I’m also retaining about ten pounds (seriously) of water weight due to the oncoming Shark Week and look (and feel) like I’m seven months’ pregnant? I am clearly allergic to being female. It’s supposed to start tomorrow and I can already feel the blessed hormonal shift because suddenly I have energy again and want to eat vegetables. I just vacuumed the downstairs and as soon as this rain stops and the rush hour traffic dies down I’m getting the makings for stir fry, as well as egg salad and chicken salad for the rest of the week’s lunches.

And Midol, because damn. Ten pounds, people. I’m astounded my heart is still working.

But back to writing things. I think I worked out the problem with Snarl — basically, I have a packless wolf Alpha shifter/SEAL who’s been hired by his former commanding officer to work at the family ski lodge in Esposito County. He’s also been told to stay away from the officer’s daughter. Problem is, the daughter is Wolfie’s mate, AND she lost her sense of smell so she can’t tell she’s his mate. So Wolfie is dealing with a slew of emotions — honor, duty, a sense of being unworthy due to losing his pack, AND confusion as to how to convince her that they’re meant to be together since she can’t smell it — that’s stopping him from claiming her. Then I realized I had a chance to show how shifters learn to love when they’re not being driven by the mating instinct. In Kate’s case, she’s going to think, “I don’t care what my father says, I’m an adult and I want you, PLUS I’m heir to the pack’s Alpha so Dad can learn to deal” and go after Wolfie, re-igniting his sense of self-worth and leading her to realize that they’re mates. Boom, the block evaporated.

So, yeah, Snarl should be finished this week, God willing and the crick don’t rise. Iron Cross is 75% finished so I’m going to get that done as soon as Snarl is out, with an aim to releasing it in mid August, and then it’s on to Shifter Woods: Scream (Deputy Jane’s story, where she finds out she’s mated to a hot tiger shifter/FBI agent AND a half-elf zookeeper. Because I like complicating things).

And She Returns…

My goodness, I haven’t posted anything since before RT, have I? Bad romance writer, NO new MacBook Pro!

No, seriously, no new MacBook Pro. I was going to buy one this weekend with my royalties because my existing laptop is 1) over eight years old and 2) was a refurb when I bought it, but as it turns out I need to use my income for other writing-related expenses — namely, a cover (more about that later), sponsorship and attendance for Wild Wicked Weekend, and to pay off my half of an upcoming trip.

So the new laptop will have to wait another month. Which sort of sucks, but that’s adulting for you.

Anyway, back to RT — I decided to drive from Dallas to Vegas instead of flying because I was in the mood for a roadtrip (and er, I had a lot of shit to bring). Said road trip was gorgeous, and I learned that it is geographically noticeable when you cross from Texas into New Mexico and New Mexico into Arizona. At the TX/NM border the landscape immediately changes from flat plains to gorgeously colored mesas, and at the NM/AZ border it immediately turns into scrubby desert with the occasional mountain until you get to Flagstaff, at which point you’re definitely in the mountains. Lovely, and I’d like to do it again with Ramón if possible.

Vegas itself is the neon-lit adult funland that it’s always been, so no real news there. The Rio was perfectly serviceable as a hotel, although I did hear that the route from the hotel rooms to the conference area was referred to as “the Hallway of Doom” due to its distance. Let’s just say that I hit 10K steps on four different days and leave it at that. Much fun was had with the lovely LD Blakeley as my roommate, and we attended some nifty panels, hung out with great folks like Kenna Nauenberg and Alex Gordon, and of course attended the amazing Cirque du Punk party on Friday night.

KennaLDMeRT16

Kenna, LD, and myself. I was yelping, “I have a waist, I have a waist!” when LD was lacing me up.

LadyACloseupRT16

Lady Amphitrite before the nails and corset went on, because those were saved for last, you betcha.

LDMeRT16

Two erotic romance writers loose in Vegas. I’m surprised we didn’t get into more trouble.

Photo courtesy of Michael Patrick Gleason

Competing in the CdP costume contest (picture courtesy of Michael Patrick Gleason). I cannot adequately express how much I love this costume.

The other big event of RT for me was the Book Fair on Saturday. I didn’t sell a lot, but I did get to see sights like this:

CoverModels

My life is so hard.

Sunday was spent tidying up, trying to get everything packed (or in LD’s case cursing UPS for their extortionate charges to ship stuff to Canada), and hanging out with fellow Evernight author Khloe Wren and awesome cover model Michael Gleason:

KhloeLDMeMichaelRT16

After this LD and I looked at each other, said, “Let’s get out of the hotel for a bit,” and went for a cruise up and down the Las Vegas strip during which we spotted many crimes against good taste, what we suspect is a genuine murder hotel, and a gigantic and truly scary gift shop.

The next day I dropped LD off at the airport and headed home (including a white-knuckle drive during a severe thunderstorm in the Texas Panhandle) to get back to work on all the WIPs I need to finish toot sweet. I also tried to finish a short story for Evernight’s Dark Captive anthology, but the damn thing blew up on me and turned into a short novel. So, um, yeah, look for Do No Harm this summer from Belaurient Press!

In other publishing news, I sold the German language translation of Trickster to Me and the Muse Publishing in Germany, I’m currently waiting on a decision from Juno Publishing in France as to whether they want to publish Empress of Storms in French, and a very good friend of mine will be releasing a hot and hilarious new M/M erotic novelette on Tuesday which I will be helping out with on promo (trust me, you want to read this). The current work queue includes (counts on fingers) Cross Current (Olympic Cove #4), Behind the Iron Cross, Prince of Scoundrels (Two Thrones #2), Do No Harm, and Trickster: All In. That should be enough to keep me going for a couple of months, don’t you think?

Nicola’s Progress Reports

NotEnoughCaffeineSince I was poked by my buddy Peter on this:

Palace of Scoundrels (Empress sequel) – 1,645 words since I spent a fair amount of time outlining the thing. Nonetheless I’m hoping to have this done by RT — I would like to have it out and available, but that may not be possible. We’ll see.

Behind the Iron Cross – 76,039 words and I’m storming into Act Three as we speak. This one is gonna take mega editing, though.

Cross Current (Olympic Cove #4) – 3,538 words, and I came up with a refinement for my main character that is extremely organic and effective AND makes the story more diverse.

“Do No Harm” (Dark Captive antho entry for Evernight) – 1,520 words. This is the one I really have to focus on since the deadline is March 15th. It’s also the most difficult of the bunch because, well, here’s the antho description:

Dark Captive will be a collection of dark erotic romance stories featuring alpha men with fierce sexual appetites. They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. And they have their sights on one man. Possessive and bold, these heroes give their conquests exactly what they crave—to be taken … to be owned. Any resistance offered will be tested, but in the end love rules.  

So, dubcon with a romance and HEA/HFN. Kinda hard to do that effectively in less than 25K words, but I think I found a way to make it work.

I’m also trying to catch up on some desperately needed housework in my spare time, but I think I’m breaking down and paying for a professional spring cleaning of the place after I get back from RT. My blue collar South Side soul is screaming blue murder at this, but my professional writer brain is saying, “You can spend time cleaning or you can spend time writing. Which is more productive and satisfying to you? Plus if you hire a service you’re pumping money into the economy, and you can give them mega tips to shut up that screeching soul of yours.” Works for me.

Happy anniversary to me!

storm-season_webFacebook’s Memories function has just been kind enough to remind me that three years ago today I got my acceptance from Evernight on Storm Season. My exact post on the topic was:

So, yeah, uh, I just sold my first standalone novel, Storm Season, to Evernight Publishing. Um…I’m a novelist. So what do I do now?

The answer is, write another novel, of course. Which I did, and I thank each and every one of you out there who has been buying them and chivvying me to write more. Y’all rock.

Speaking of books, writing continues apace in the Cameron manse. I’ve started on Palace of Scoundrels (the Empress sequel) and I’m flipping back and forth between that, Iron Cross, and Cross Current depending on my mood. Hey, it works for a lot of bestselling authors so why not me? But three books (plus a short story, plus another project that I’ll announce here in due time) apparently isn’t enough for my sozzled slavedriver of a muse, since she’s been prodding me to write a MF contemporary standalone like you would not believe. Thing is, it has some really deep, relevant hooks for me so I think it’s got to go on the To Be Written list (which is now stretching to 2020 and beyond).

At least it means you have lots of reading material to look forward to, right? That’s what I keep telling myself.

In other news, I’ll be at Wild Wicked Weekend this weekend in San Antonio and I’ll have print copies of Storm Season, HIS: Manlove Edition, and Empress of Storms with me, so if you’re coming and want a copy please hunt me down. This is my first romance convention where I’m a signing author, so I’m both excited and a little nervous. I’m putting together a gift basket and bringing swag, but I still have to learn the lay of the land and what’s expected from an author at such events (e.g. this ISN’T a science fiction convention so the graphic t-shirts will probably be left at home).

And yes, there will be pictures. And I’ll give you a full report on our outing to the Lair (San Antonio’s premier BDSM club). Pity I can’t wear what I wore to the Rubber Ball in London, muwahahahahaha…

Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. Here’s a flashback sequence where an 18-year-old Kat learns what her uncle’s Parisian friend Giselle really does.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

BtIC_coverNaNoDinner had been just as splendid as predicted, and Giselle had promised to take Katherine out at some point for tea and shopping. But Uncle William had run into some company owners at dinner and was inveigled into an impromptu business lunch the next day. Bart had slipped out of the hotel at a ridiculously early hour (or simply hadn’t come back in the first place, Katherine guessed). Her lady’s maid/chaperone Alice was pleasant enough (a huge improvement on the unfortunate Jane), but the poor woman was also a martyr to migraines. One of the dreadful headaches had struck just that morning, and Katherine had insisted that Alice go lie down in her room with a damp rag over her eyes until the dratted thing had run its course.

Which left Katherine at loose ends. She mused over the idea of visiting Notre Dame or the Louvre, but neither idea held much appeal. It wasn’t until she found one of Giselle’s letters in her trunk that a wonderful idea came to her.

It had been even easier than she’d thought. The doorman of the hotel had been more than happy to summon a large black taxi cab for her, giving the address in the ninth arrondissement to the crabbed driver. Feeling wonderfully daring, Katherine had made sure to tip the doorman, and the driver when he finally pulled up in front of the beautiful cream stone building with green shutters and black ironwork balconies full of greenery.

Surely visiting times in Paris didn’t differ that much from Bridgeport, Katherine reasoned as she went up to the large green door with its immaculate paint and gleaming brass trim. And Giselle had invited her out, after all. If the Parisian woman was otherwise occupied, the arrondissement’s collection of shops and galleries looked intriguing enough for an afternoon’s browse.

The door opened, revealing a maid in the classic black French uniform. She gave Katherine an oddly bold look, scrutinizing her from head to foot. “May I help you?”

“I’m here to see Madame Giselle, if she’s available.” Katherine held up the envelope with Giselle’s address on it in lieu of a calling card.

The maid smiled, her manner relaxing a bit. “You must be the new girl. Come in. But make sure you use the rear entrance from now on.”

Katherine frowned. The new girl?

Before she could say anything the maid stepped back, waving her through into a pretty little foyer tiled with a black and white chessboard floor and decorated with a huge arrangement of fresh flowers on a polished wooden table. The delicious scent of the flowers perfumed the air, but Katherine barely had time to appreciate it as the maid turned on her heel and headed up a flight of wide marble stairs. She had to hurry to keep up, grabbing her skirts as gracefully as possible and lifting them as she followed the maid to the second floor.

“Excuse me, I think I should explain—” Katherine tried to say as the maid stopped in front of a polished oak door.

“No need,” the maid said cheerfully. “Madame Giselle pays me very well. What happens here is no business of mine.”

Katherine tried to make sense of the words as the maid swung the door open, ushered Katherine into a little office that overlooked the boulevard. “Madame is busy with a client at the moment, but I’ll tell her you’re here as soon as they’re finished.” With a nod, she closed the door.

Boggled, Katherine turned in a circle to study the room. It held the unmistakable stamp of Giselle’s taste, from the comfortably upholstered green velvet chair behind the Louis XIV desk to the Tiffany lamps that would light the room at night. What it didn’t hold was an answer to the maid’s nonsensical phrases.

Madame is busy with a client. Katherine had assumed that Giselle, who always wore the most stylish gowns in a variety of greys and blacks, was a rich widow of one of Uncle William’s business partners. Now, however, she realized that she didn’t know very much about the elegant Parisian woman at all. Perhaps she teaches piano, or is a singing teacher. With Giselle’s warm honey voice, Katherine could easily imagine her as a retired opera singer who only took the most promising pupils. Did she think that we would look down on her for being an instructor? I can’t think of anything more wonderful and romantic than being an opera singer.

A muted sound, almost a cry, came from the far end of the office. Curious, Katherine headed there, studying the bookcases that lined the wall. After a moment she puzzled out that the central bookcase was actually a door painted to match the bookcases on either side. At eye level was a little circular flap attached to a small screw.

A brief touch revealed that the flap swiveled up, revealing a peephole. Katherine put her eye to it.

And gasped.


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Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. Yay — sex!

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

BtIC_coverNaNoThe Fräulein wiggled past him and sat, hands resting on the chair arms. She’d taken off her tailored suit in the bathroom, and was only wearing a grey silk chemise now. He could smell her perfume and the scent of her skin, and a hint of something warmer, more intoxicating underneath.

She peered down at him, bistre eyes revealing nothing. “Have you ever kissed a woman between her legs, colonel?”

The idea was dizzying. “No,” he confessed.

“Good. I can teach you the proper way to do it, then.” Her hands moved to her lap, sliding the grey silk up her thighs in a slow, teasing movement, like a curtain rising. His mouth went dry when he saw the tops of her stockings and the black satin garters revealed, and then the dark curls he’d fantasized about.

She spread her thighs, revealing the glistening flesh there. The warm scent intensified, wafting into his brain and lighting it up with desire. “Isn’t it pretty?” she murmured, running a slender finger down and up the dark pink lips, catching on the tiny nub that crowned them. She rolled her fingertip around it, humming at the sensation. “Oh, that feels so nice. I want you to kiss me here, on my clit.”

She eased closer and he stretched until he could feel her heat on his lips, smell that rich, earthy scent that was the core of a woman. Hesitantly, he brushed a kiss over the tiny nub, catching it between his lips a little and dragging them across it. A louder hum was his reward.

“Do that again,” she purred, “then lick it.”

He followed her orders, surprised at the salt-sweet flavor of her. He tried running the flat of his tongue across the nub, flicking it with the tip of his tongue. This time, she gasped.

“Initiative. I like that,” she laughed. The instructions continued; mouth the supple outer lips, tease the delicate frilled inner lips with little sucking nibbles, slip his tongue deep inside her and press hard against the upper wall. He did it all, feeling his face grow wet with her juices as he licked, sucked, and kissed her.

He returned to her clit, stroking it now with his tongue and listening to her little encouraging whimpers and moans. He almost gasped into her when a warm, wet finger stroked between the cheeks of his ass, carefully pressing against the furled muscle there until it was allowed in.


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Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. There’s no sex in this one, but we do get to see a peek into Kat’s kinky past.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

MWTease15In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

Kat leaned back in her chair, keeping her expression as bland as any of the men seated around the table. Inside, though, she was triumphant.

The meeting with Tracy Electrics’ latest acquisition, Borchard Maschinenfabrik, had gone like clockwork. The company’s board, none of them fools, had seen the wisdom of accepting the buyout proposal that would save their crumbling company. One of them, a Heinrich Arnö, wasn’t present but the other members assured her that his vote would be the same as theirs.

Next to her, Arthur made a few last notes in his files, before closing the folder with a snap. “We’ll have the papers drawn up and messengered over to your office this afternoon, gentlemen,” he announced, getting to his feet. “Tracy Electrics looks forward to working with your company.”

The other men followed him with some alacrity, and Kat made sure that she was the last to rise. She’d taken the colonel’s advice this morning, selecting a smart jacket in a quasi-military cut this morning and pairing it with an equally smart dress in dark grey. The reaction from the board members had been subtle but noticeable, reacting less to her as a woman and more as a potential business partner.

Even Arthur had given her a thin, approving smile when he saw her, and now he leaned closer as the other men moved out of the conference room. “I hope you have more outfits like this one,” he murmured.

She pursed her lips to hide a smile. “I will by tomorrow.”

“Good. Not that I don’t like your other frocks, but this one is more…”

“Authoritative?”

“Very much so.”

The board members who had filed out of the conference room ahead of them were gathered in groups of two and three, quietly talking amongst themselves. Kat gave them polite nods as she and Arthur passed. Ahead of her, flanked by two of the older board members, she spotted a tall, handsome man in his late forties. Grey streaked his temples, giving him a wonderful gravitas that was tempered by the amused gleam in his hazel eyes.

They focused on her now, widening. “Fräulein…Tracy?” he said, stumbling a bit over her last name.

Kat’s heart leapt as she recognized him. Heinrich, her first pet, from that wonderful week in Paris when Madame Giselle had helped her explore her desires. One week of rigorous, intense, absolutely delicious training in the art of dominating a man, before Uncle William had spoiled it all and whisked her back to Bridgeport.

It was hardly surprising that Heinrich had hesitated on the Tracy. The last time they met, he’d known her only as Maîtresse. And to be honest, she wasn’t even sure if Heinrich was his real first name, either.

Taking a deep breath, she came forward. “I am. And you are?”

He gave her a little bow. “Heinrich Arnö, fräulein. You have my apologies for missing the meeting. My auto decided to pick this morning to be recalcitrant, and then there was an accident that required my driver to reroute us along a rather convoluted path.”

“Quite understandable, Herr Arnö.” She forced herself to calm, to treat the man standing before her as if he was yet another business partner. “We’ve concluded our business and will be sending the acquisition papers to your headquarters this afternoon. The other board members gave us the impression that you would be in agreement about this.”

Heinrich’s gaze sharpened, but never lost their humor. “Quite so. I’m not so foolish as to pretend that we don’t need Tracy Electrics.”

The double meaning of his words weren’t lost on her. “It will be Tracy Electrics’ honor to work with your company and help restore it to its former capacity,” she said sweetly. “Would you care to review the agreement while you’re here?”

“If that wouldn’t be too much of a bother.”

“Not at all. Arthur, I’ll speak to Mr. Arnö in the conference room.”

“Of course, Miss Tracy. I’ll have Horst bring the car around,” Arthur said, handing her his files with full deference. His body language said something else again.

Folder in hand, she waited for Heinrich to open the conference door for her. As soon as it was safely closed she leaned against the large oak table, considering him. “So Heinrich really is your first name?”

“Yes it is, Maîtresse.” He clasped his hands behind his back as she’d taught him in Paris so long ago. “I apologize for not kneeling, but there’s no lock on the door.”

“That’s all right. I have no wish to embarrass you. The years have been good to you, pet.”

Color rose in his cheeks, and his eyes twinkled. “They haven’t done a thing to you except enhance your beauty, Maîtresse. I’m very happy to see you again.”

“I’m happy to see you as well.” The thing that had pricked her conscience for so many years surfaced. “Did Madame Giselle explain why I left so suddenly?”

He sobered. “She said it was a family issue and you wouldn’t be able to return to Paris. I was…disappointed. But she said you’d had no choice in the matter.”

“I didn’t. But I apologize anyway. If it had been up to me I wouldn’t have left you like that with no word of explanation.” She moved closer, holding out one hand. He took it with reverence, bringing it to his mouth and laying a respectful kiss over the knuckles.


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