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

Mid Week Tease buttonCourtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my rather dark and delicious historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. This teaser takes place during a masked ball with a Roman orgy theme, as Friedrich learns he’s been played for a patsy by his former commanding officer Hauptmann.

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_coverNaNoFriedrich glanced into the grotto, then did a double-take. Inside, dressed in a Roman toga that Caesar himself would envy, was Hauptmann, sitting next to the American businessman. They laughed over drinks, all the while caressing what he could only assume were three whores dressed in flimsy tunics and vaguely Roman hairstyles, all piled curls and wrapped ribbons.

“Come on.”

He felt Sam’s hand on his arm and let himself be tugged away, back to their grotto. Sam plopped down next to the Fräulein, managing not to spill a drop of their drinks. “Guess who’s here tonight?” he said.

She rolled her eyes. “Darling, half of Berlin is here tonight. You’re going to have to be a bit more specific.”

“You’re right. Guess who’s here tonight whose head you’d really like to see on a pike?”

Her expression dimmed. “Brayburn?”

Sam grimaced. “The one and only. Looks like he’s entertaining, too. Some big blond with one of those military mustaches.”

The Fräulein put down her drink. “Going grey at the temples?” she asked. “With a small scar on his right cheek?”

“Yes, that’s the man,” Sam said, puzzled. “You know him?”

She shook her head. “Arthur warned me about him,” she said. “His name is Gerhard Hauptmann. He was a German army general until he got cashiered for almost beating a corporal to death. According to Arthur, he’s become quite the eminence grise for the Black Arrow — taught them military tactics for fighting the other gangs, how to rig an ambush, things like that.”

And just like that, time stopped, trapping Friedrich in a clear block of ice that froze him to the marrow. The Black Arrow, the gang that Oskar had worked for. The one that had killed Oskar, raped Lilli, caused Rudi’s premature birth.

His stomach turned over. And he had been working for them through the good graces of former General Gerhard Hauptmann. Oh, Christ, no. Please, no.

He dredged up saliva, make himself ask, “How long has Hauptmann worked for the Black Arrow?”

The Fräulein glanced at him. “For well over a year, now, according to Arthur. Brayburn supposedly hired him as a sort of local guide, but Arthur thinks Hauptmann’s been using his gang connections to bully various executives into signing their companies over to Brayburn.”

Friedrich realized he’d folded his fingers around the edge of the tiny table, gripping it until his knuckles whitened. The Fräulein’s warm hand covered one of his, bringing him back. “Colonel, what’s wrong? Do you know this man?”

His emotions were a whirlwind, impossible to explain and colored now with a rising red film of purest rage. He shook his head, sucking in a deep breath. “I — please excuse me, Fräulein.”

He stood and lurched out of the grotto, ignoring their questions. Fury pounded in his head, driving him through the decadent crowd. He wanted to find Hauptmann, strangle the traitorous bastard with his own hands, rip his throat out of what he’d done to Oskar and Lilli. What he’d persuaded Friedrich to do.

Oh, you stupid bastard. And you believed him, and you gave him everything he wanted.

As he approached the Brayburn grotto, he could only see the American businessman and his whores lounging on the purple couches there. Friedrich turned, pushing through the heaving throng, scanning for his prey. Ahead, he saw a familiar head disappear into a door labeled HERREN.

He followed.


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

Okay, I’m back from Sarasota and ready to write! 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. Since last week’s teaser was an encounter between Sam and Friedrich, I thought I’d tease you this week with Friedrich and his Fräulein.

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.

The 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. He’d watched the Italian dancer performing this service for the Fräulein and had wondered how it tasted, smelled, felt. “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 her clit, 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 orders, surprised at the salt-sweet flavor of her. He tried running the flat of his tongue across the small 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 entrance until it was allowed in.


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

Mid Week Tease buttonHappy Hump Day from the now-sweltering clavicle of Texas! 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. This teaser takes place after an unexpected meal reveals some truths between Sam and Friedrich.

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_coverNaNoPaying for the meal, leaving the restaurant, and summoning a taxi was a blur. They stumbled into the Adlon, barely able to stay apart in the elevator. The moment the suite door closed behind them Sam threw his cane to the floor and lunged at Friedrich, pushing him back against the elegant panel door and devouring his lips.

Friedrich didn’t so much yield to Sam’s assault as meet it head-on, tongues battling with each other while they yanked blindly at buttons and buckles. Sam slid a greedy hand into the German’s open trousers, finding hardening flesh and squeezing it. Friedrich moaned under his mouth, thrusting blindly into his grip.

Sam tore his mouth away and panted. “Hands over your head,” he ordered.

Something lit in those blue eyes as Friedrich obeyed, crossing his wrists and splaying his fingers against the paneled wood. For a moment Sam saw the appeal in Kat’s games of dominance and submission.

He locked his free hand around Friedrich’s wrists, holding them tight. “It’s just us now,” he breathed, loosening his grip on Friedrich’s cock and tracing along the veins and ridges. The German made low, hungry sounds, his hips bucking at each teasing caress. “I know what you want from me. I’ll give it all to you, I swear.”

Friedrich sucked in a stuttering breath. “I don’t know what I want.”

Sam kissed him again, catching Friedrich’s lower lip between his teeth and tugging it gently before releasing it with a soft pop. “You do. You will. Trust me.”

Friedrich’s pupils were blown, the blue of the iris a slender ring around pools of black desire. “Please.”

Sam waited but nothing else came. He stepped backward, careful to balance on his false leg as he tugged Friedrich from the door. “Come on,” he whispered. “We’re going to bed.”


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

MWTease15Happy Hump Day for the soggy clavicle of Texas! Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, today I’m sharing a teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. This teaser sets up an important scene for my hero Friedrich von Bader, who has to make a difficult decision about loyalty. The sexy stuff will be back next week, promise!

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_coverNaNoJust before Friedrich reached the bus stop at Alexanderplatz, he noticed a well-appointed car trailing him on the street. For a moment, he wondered if it was someone trawling for a prostitute, then bristled at the thought of someone trying to pick him up on one of Berlin’s central streets. Christ in heaven, they can’t smell it on me, can they?

The car pulled up alongside him. “Excuse me? Colonel von Bader, isn’t it?” a gravelly voice said.

Friedrich stumbled in shock. He turned to the man leaning out the car window, just stopping the automatic salute. “General Hauptmann?”

General Reinhart Hauptmann had been one of his father’s colleagues and, briefly, his own commanding officer just before the end of the war. He had a reputation for being clever, both on the field and in the political arena that was the upper echelons of the German military. “Ha. Yes, I thought that was you,” Hauptmann said, giving Friedrich an approving smile. “What are you doing wandering around Unter den Linden at this time of night?”

Trying to deal with the fact that a strange man fucked me and I enjoyed it. “I’m heading home,” Friedrich said instead, stepping to the curb. He noticed the other man wore his army uniform, replete with medals pinned along the breast front. “I take it you’re still in the army, sir?”

“For my sins,” Hauptmann said easily. “Apparently they needed an old war horse around to march out in front of the damned French every now and then. I almost didn’t recognize you out of uniform.” He sniffed the air, grimacing a bit. “Rather chilly out, isn’t it? If you’re heading home, my driver would be happy to take you there.”

Friedrich felt a flush of shame at the thought of Hauptmann seeing where he lived now. “I’m sure it’s out of your way, sir. I don’t mind taking the bus—”

“Nonsense, man,” Hauptmann said briskly. “Christ knows I’m in no hurry to get home. Get in, please.”

He opened the door, moving to the far side of the seat. Friedrich forced a smile and climbed into the car, trying not to wince as he sat down. “Thank you, sir,” he muttered.

“Where do you live?”

“Friedrichschain. Tilsiterstrasse 5, across from the St. Georgen cemetery.”

“Ah, I know the area.” Hauptmann leaned forward to give the address to his driver, and the car rolled forward. “For God’s sake, von Bader, sit back,” he added, chuckling. “You’re not on review here, I assure you.”

Friedrich made himself relax. “Thank you, sir. Force of habit.”

“Old habits die hard, eh?” Hauptman said. “I heard through the grapevine that you were discharged. Damned shame, that. You were a fine officer—I was proud to have you in my command.” He sighed, shaking his head. “That blasted treaty was a complete and utter farce. Too many of our best men were cashiered, and now the rest of us are left trying to run an army on a shoestring, with the French peering over our shoulders if we so much as twitch.”

Friedrich tried to ignore the tiny spark of hope in his breast. Perhaps all this meant that Hauptmann had some sort of work for him. “It was an honor to serve the Fatherland, sir,” he said carefully.

“Such as it is, these days,” Hauptmann growled, watching the buildings roll by. “Once, we were an empire, feared and respected by everyone. Now, we’re a republic.” He spat the last word, as if it tasted foul. “Run by men who wouldn’t know what to do with a bayonet if it was stuck in their guts. And meanwhile the British and French look on our poor Fatherland like it’s their own private playground and treat our people like whores. It’s a disgrace.”

“Yes, sir,” Friedrich said, his stomach knotting at the general’s comment. “As you said, a disgrace.”

“Hmmph.” The general waved a weary hand. “Well, what’s done is done. All we can do now is help Germany through these difficult times. Which brings me to you, von Bader. I was at Heaven and Hell last night. I noticed you over on Heaven’s side.” Hauptmann gave him a shrewd look. “I didn’t know you could afford that kind of entertainment.”

Friedrich worked to keep his expression neutral. “I can’t. I’m working as a guide and translator for an American couple,” he lied.

“Ah, of course. And this couple, would they be named Tracy by any chance?”

The second shock of the night made his skin prickle. “You know them?”

The general snorted. “Not personally, but I know who they are. But it’s a happy coincidence that you’re working for them, von Bader. That could turn out to be very useful.”

“I don’t understand, sir.”

“I’m sure you’re aware that Fräulein Tracy and her fiancé are here on business, ja? She’s representing her uncle’s company, which wants to buy out certain German manufacturing companies. Perhaps you overheard them discussing this at dinner, or during drinks?”

Friedrich’s cheeks flamed. He wasn’t about to tell a former commanding officer what they’d actually been discussing. “Yes, sir,” he muttered.

“Excellent. Needless to say, certain officials in the War Ministry are concerned about losing valuable resources and manufacturing centers to foreign companies. Especially as those resources have a certain military value and would be better used here at home, rebuilding what was lost during the war.” The general’s face was in shadow, but the passing streetlights lit his eyes with streaking glints. “Do you understand my meaning, von Bader?”

Friedrich did. The German military had taken the Treaty of Versailles and the forced reduction of their ranks as a deeply personal insult to their national pride. He could still remember the fierce arguments in the officers’ messes about continuing the fight despite the cease-fire, taking it to the victors and making them work for their so-called “peace.” “The War Ministry wants to rebuild the army?”

“Well, some of them do. Some of them are content to roll onto their backs and expose their bellies.” Hauptman made a disgusted noise. “Luckily those dogs tend to be in the minority. Those of us who are loyal to the Fatherland need to know everything we can about companies like Tracy Electrics. That way, we can make sure that any business arrangements made with German companies will be of benefit to Germany.” A nod towards Friedrich. “Which is where you come in, my boy. One of Tracy Electric’s targets is Schoengraff Metals. You may have heard of them?”

“Of course, sir.” Schoengraff had supplied the German weapons manufacturers with armor-grade steel and iron during the war.

“Unfortunately, Schoengraff suffered a heavy number of losses during the war,” Hauptmann said. “Bombed factories, loss of raw materials, lack of workers, et cetera. Now that the war is over and they have access to their mines in Africa again, they’re trying to rebuild their infrastructure and expand into rare minerals mining. To do this, they need the help of foreign manufacturing companies that can provide financing. One of these companies is Tracy Electrics. Fräulein Tracy has apparently been sent here as the personal representative of William Tracy to oversee negotiations.” He shook his head. “Which is ridiculous, of course. Tracy’s lapdog Arthur Carslyle is running the negotiations, just as he always has. I assume he’s grooming Fräulein Tracy’s fiancé to take over for him.”

Friedrich tried to picture the fun-loving Sam spending hours in a conference room. “I wouldn’t discount Fräulein Tracy so quickly, sir,” he said. “She’s very…unusual.”

Hauptman shrugged. “Unusual or not, she is still just a woman, and a woman’s place is in the home, not in the board room, nicht wahr? Even the Americans aren’t foolish enough to allow such things.” He dismissed the Fräulein with a shake of the head. “Now, the War Ministry wants to know Tracy Electrics’s plans for Schoengraff, and you are ideally placed to obtain this information. We need you to find out as much as you can about what they want to do with the company, if they’re trying to buy it outright or partner with it, and how much money they’re willing to spend.” He leaned over, fixing Friedrich with a gimlet gaze. “Will you assist the Fatherland in this, colonel?”

Friedrich stopped the automatic “yes,” his ingrained instinct to obey a superior officer slamming up against memories of his recent poverty. “If I help you, and they find out, they can fire me at any moment,” he said. “What do I get in return for my assistance?”

Hauptmann stared at him for a long, uncomfortable moment. “I’m to assume that the gratitude of the War Ministry and your country means nothing to you?”

Friedrich ignored the wintry tone and the even colder disapproval, although he knew it would eat at him later. “I have a sister-in-law and a nephew to support, sir,” he said. “I have to think of them. If I get you the information you need, what do I get in return?”

The general slowly nodded. “Yes, I suppose you have a point. I can’t get you back into the army, but I have connections with Schoengraff. I can get you a manager’s post at one of their refineries near Ingolstadt, and a salary commensurate to the one you received as an active colonel. You should be able to support your family quite handily on that.”

Friedrich ignored the mild contempt in Hauptmann’s voice, buoyed by a sudden, aching wave of hope. The offer was dizzying; a real job, a safe home out of Berlin for Lilli and Rudi, respect and security.

Hauptmann gave him a thin smile. “So, what do you say, colonel?”

He understood the vital need for intelligence during wartime, and how spies could provide information that turned the tide of a battle. But this was no longer wartime, and he felt uncomfortable with the idea of spying on the Fräulein. She had demanded honesty from him, and offered blessed respite in return. Taking business information from her and passing it on to Hauptmann and his cronies at the War Ministry made something in his soul ache with shame.

But there was Rudi and Lilli. They were more important than anything. And in the end, he thought with some bitterness, he was only a hired whore to the Fräulein and Sam. They would leave soon enough, taking their money with them. He was the one who had to stay in Berlin. And a real job outside of the city, where Rudi could grow healthy and turn into the sturdy little boy he was meant to be? How could he pass something like that up?

He ignored the twinging of his conscience. All he was doing was making sure that Schoengraff and Germany got information that would allow them to cut the best deal possible with Tracy Electrics. The Fräulein would still get what she came for, just at a somewhat higher price. Surely there was no dishonor in that.

He took a deep breath. “I’ll do it.”


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Mid Week Tease: Adira’s Mate #MWTease #MidWeekTease

MWTease15Hello, darlings! This week I’m at RT 2015, so today I’ll be teasing you with Adira’s Mate by April Zyon. Take it away, April!

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

Captured by his mortal enemy General Fintan Daykin is held for many long months in an Imarian Facility. On the day that he’s able to escape he’s faced with one of the biggest surprises of his life.

Adira Lora is the head of the Medical Ministries offices of Imaria and she learnt that there is something seriously wrong with one of the facilities. Something that she has to  go and figure out for herself since she trusts no one else.

Taken hostage by the tall, dark Craegin was not what Adira had in mind when she got to the facility, but it seemed as if Fate and the Spirits had something else altogether in mind for her.

She should be wary of the man who could tear her apart but she’s not. She’s drawn to him, she aches for him and she’s desperate to heal his injuries but he pushes her away at every turn.

He can’t let her too close, he’s far too attracted to the small Imarian that he dragged with him onto her crawler. He only wanted to get home, back to his people and away from the slow death that her people were giving him.

Once the pain of his injuries starts to ease and the reality of who little Adi is to him sets in Fin realizes that he will have to protect her from more than just his people. Fin realizes that he would also have to protect her from  hers as well.

When Adira finally submits to Fintan however he knows that he will never let her go. He owns her now, she is his in every sense of the word for now and all time and nothing would come between them.

Adira’sMate-EvernightPublishing-JayAheer2015-smallpreviewStory Excerpt

Adira went stiff as a board when the pistol was lifted to her temple. She took a deep breath and nodded. She understood what he was saying, understood and would comply. She had no idea who it was that had her, so she would play along until she could be free.

She listened to the man’s breathing and frowned. He was in pain; it was clear from how he was gasping for air but there was something more. He wasn’t breathing as an Imarian would, three sharp intakes of breath and one exhale.

Her stomach felt as if it were in knots. She felt ill because she suddenly knew that she wasn’t being held by someone that was on the island and had no idea who she was. She was being held by one of the Craegin that her people had kidnapped and had been torturing.

Stars. She was in deep trouble. “You really don’t want to do this,” she told the man. “I’m more trouble than I am worth. Ask anyone. I’m seriously not a good person to take hostage.”

“I don’t have what one would call a lot of choices here.” His voice was low, but she could hear the underlying growl that gave it a certain rough quality. “One way or another you are my ticket out of this hellish place. So you can either help me willingly, or I start to break bones. Nothing important, but I know the ones that will cause you immeasurable pain while still allowing you to function enough to get me free. The choice is up to you. What will it be?”

There was no choice. Adira was a lot of things, but able to withstand pain was not one of them. She just nodded. “What do you need?” She would get him to where he needed to be in order to get free. Then she would run as far and fast as she could.

He let out a harsh-sounding breath. “I need you to guide me to the ship bay here. Preferably to one of your crawlers. Then you and I are going to leave on that ship, and get me to a place where I can contact one of my own vessels to pick me up. If you behave yourself, don’t try anything to alert anyone, and generally do not make yourself an annoyance to me I might let you go free. Depends on how bad my mood is by that point.” She felt him shift slightly, his arm slowly letting go of her neck.

“We’re going to take the path of least resistance. No guards, as few cameras as possible, and you are not going to let anyone know anything is amiss in any way. I have zero problem shooting a woman, but I’d rather not have to drag you around at my heels to break free of here.”

Stars. “Okay,” she said with a wobbly voice. “Then the best way to go will be back the way that I came.” She had already killed a guard. This had to be her punishment. She knew it. She had killed one of her own people so this was the spirits’ way of punishing her. She was going to be this Craegin’s shield to get free of her people. “I have a crawler. I came over from one of our other worlds.”

The weapon lowered until it was pressed into her lower back, right on her spine. At that range he’d never miss, and if she wasn’t dead she’d definitely be paralyzed. “How many guards between here and the bay?” he asked. He’d given her a nudge to get her moving, but a hand on her arm slowed her pace. Adira couldn’t see much of him beyond the one arm down at his side. But she did notice he seemed to be limping, even dragging one of his legs slightly.

“None. There was one but he won’t be a problem.” The physician in her wanted to heal him. She wanted to reach out and find out what was wrong, but the prudent part of her kicked in and she knew that would be just plain dumb. She did, however, slow down. She ensured that she kept a pace that would keep them moving, but wouldn’t push him too far. She didn’t know what to expect of this Craegin, especially since the female captive had so easily sold out her people.

“What about the cameras? How many are we going to have to contend with once we’re past the holding areas?” The pressure of the weapon on her spine eased a little. She knew it was still there, but he wasn’t digging it in any longer. He might be injured, but she didn’t think for one moment he wasn’t aware of everything around him.

“None.” She had disabled them so that she could wheel the body out and dispose of it. Why hadn’t she thought to reenable them? “I had disabled them,” she told him. “I had been so caught up in my own mind that I forgot to reenable them,” she added honestly. “My crawler is the one closest to the exit doors as well, so there shouldn’t be anyone in the bays that will see us as that side is blocked from view by my crawler.”

“Good,” he grunted out. Suddenly his hand came up to her arm, pulling her to a stop. “Shh,” he hissed. The pressure of the weapon was back for a moment as the sound of boots on the tiled hall could be heard. They faded a few minutes later, and he released her arm. “Go.”

She nodded and went. There was something about his touch. It was odd. She didn’t focus on it, though. Instead, she concentrated on getting through this alive.

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Finally

getlitAt 2:46 AM this morning I finished the second round of edits on Deep Water, wrote up the synopsis, and sent it off to Evernight. This was after a MAJOR restructuring of Act II that made the book much better but required one hell of a lot of cutting/pasting/tweaking/patching/rewriting/etc that took up a goodish chunk of last week.

See, for me writing is actually the easy part. I turn off my internal editor and just splash words on the page. It’s the editing stage where I actually have to make those words make, you know, sense, that things get hairy and my housekeeping falls by the wayside while I try to figure out how to fit this 98K word puzzle together in a way so that you actually see the story.

But it’s done and off. And yes, this is going to be an MMF story with MM, FF, and MF scenes in it. I never claimed to color inside the lines. Hopefully I’ll hear from Evernight sometime in the next few weeks or so; in the meantime I still have to finish the short story for their Alpha Shifter antho, finish and polish Iron Cross for RT2015 next week (I have an appointment with an editor and an agent and need to have a completed manuscript waiting at home in case they say, “Why, yes, this sounds fantastic, send it to us right now”), then finish the Trickster sequel, then start plotting Olympic Cove Book Four (working title Cross Current).

Sleep? What means this word, sleep?

Fabulous Friday Reads: Footwear and Fantasy

Let’s kick off this lovely weekend with Footwear and Fantasy, a wonderfully sexy take on the fairy tale “The Elves and the Shoemaker” from J.J. Lore, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, J.J.!


footwearandfantasyHanna Bregot is struggling to make a go of her ailing father’s cobbler shop, but the residents of her town regard a woman shoemaker as an oddity. At the end of the day, she can’t even summon the energy to repair her tattered slippers, let alone earn enough to feed herself or her cat.

Elf companions Lear and Garrin like to mingle among humans, but always in disguise. When they notice a poor cobbler crying over her shoes one evening, they immediately decide to intervene and give her a gift in the hopes of lifting her spirits.

What starts out as simple kindness soon morphs into a sensual game the three want to play forever. But when the Queen of the Elves discovers their love, it becomes a matter of magic versus mundane in a life or death decision.

Story Excerpt

A gasping noise interrupted his thoughts and he and Lear turned toward the sound, alert to any threat. Rather than facing an intruding thief, instead they confronted a blinking Hanna crouched on the stairs. She was clad in a thin chemise, her bare feet and ankles peeping out from under the frayed hem as she tottered on an upper step, her thin hand grasping the rail. Her pink lips parted wordlessly as she glanced between the two of them. For a long moment, Garrin found himself wondering what she saw. Neither he nor his mate had bothered to assume a human veil, so she was now seeing elven men for what had to be the first time in her life. He knew he was ruggedly built by his race’s standards, where Lear aligned more closely to the slim, lithe ideal. They both had brown hair grown long and pulled back in a hank. His was thick and dark while Lear’s was more auburn and smooth. Of course, their pointed ears and sharper features were likely the first things she’d notice, alerting her to the presence of magical beings in her shop.

“You’re…you’re…” Hanna’s soft voice trembled and before he realized what he was about, Garrin found himself rising, ready to assist. Her blue eyes widened as she took him in and her eyelids fluttered. Like a felled sapling she slumped, crumpling on the stairs in a swoon. She would have tumbled down the last remaining few if he hadn’t gathered her up in his arms. Her warm weight was a welcome burden and he allowed himself the pleasure of looking over her body, taking in the swells of her breasts pressing against the thin fabric of her gown, the curved collarbone and hollow at the base of her throat revealed by the garment’s disarray. Her dark brown lashes fluttered against her pale skin as she roused and he couldn’t help but draw in a deep breath to capture her sweet, musky scent while he could.

Lear crouched at her side, running his fingers along the soft skin of her wrist, his gaze never leaving her face.

“Should we return her to bed, do you think?” Garrin tried to keep his voice low so as to not startle her, but she flinched and blinked her eyes instead. Her gaze flew to his, her deep blue eyes wide with confusion as she pressed her hands to his chest as if to push away. He tightened his grip instinctively, something about their physical closeness pulling him to her in an immediate and primal way. Her muscles stiffened in response and at that slight friction against his body, his prong thrummed to life, affirming that indeed he wished to have this woman.

“What are you? Why are you in my shop?” Her voice quavered and her eyes brightened with imminent tears. “Please don’t hurt me.”

Garrin took in an aghast breath. She was frightened of them? To be fair, they were trespassing, but they were attempting to do a good deed and had certainly never contemplated sneaking up to observe her as she slept. Or at least he hadn’t until the thought occurred.

“We won’t hurt you.” Lear’s voice went quiet and soothing, but the woman shook her head in denial. Her limbs quivered as if she longed to escape.

“We aimed to help you, mistress, only that.” Garrin knew that wasn’t quite the whole truth but better to reassure her than reveal he and his mate harbored lustful thoughts toward her. To ease her stress he invoked a small glamour over her, a mere shadow of reassurance and charm.

“But…but…what are you? You aren’t like any men I’ve seen before. Are you from one of the northern kingdoms?” Hanna blinked and attempted to sit up, somehow managing to position herself on Garrin’s lap. His thickened prong approved of the soft buttocks pressed to it. Her expression was sleep softened and gentle, not tense and frightened like before.

“In a manner of speaking,” Lear agreed with her but went still as she reached out one work-worn hand to almost touch the flared point of his ear.

“Was that an injury? How could that be? You both have them.” Her tone went from speculative to confused. Her whole body flinched against his, and Garrin longed for her to move like that when he had his thick prong pressed tight inside her body. However, it seemed there were quite a few impediments to overcome before that scenario would come to pass.

“You aren’t human, are you?” Now she did pull away in earnest, somehow able to overcome the little spell he’d sent her way.

Lear reached out to her cheek and whispered something under his breath and she quieted again, gently shaking her head even as she subsided against Garrin’s shoulder.

“We’re elves.” Garrin believed direct was best, especially when she was somewhat impaired by magic. She moaned low in her throat and Lear again reached for her, smoothing his fingers along her wrists.

“But you don’t exist. The old stories are mere fables and tales. The devil has pointed ears like yours. Or a demon. The cleric says minions of hell can come to steal us away underground where you use us cruelly.”

Garrin wondered what the cleric’s reaction would be if an orc shambled through his church in the middle of a service, or dwarves tunneled out of the vestry floor. As always, the legends and tales of humans cast magical folk as the enemy and blamed them for all the troubles that befell them.

“We aren’t devils or even particularly mean.” Lear smiled at her and she tentatively returned it. How much of her agreeability was due to genuine feeling or the glamour, Garrin couldn’t guess, but the main point was she was calm. “Merely different.”

Hanna raised her hands in the air and shifted her legs, clearly attempting to rise, but Garrin wanted to hold her fast. She might stumble and he would not care to see her injure herself.

“You need to let me go. You need to leave my home,” she declared as she wrenched herself free and tottered between them. Her gaze fell on the boots gleaming like night, and her eyes widened again. “What…are those for me?”

“Yes, Mistress Hanna.” Lear stood from his crouch and reached for the boots, holding them out as the silken laces trailed down.

“This defies all explanation. Mythical creatures in my shop, making me beautiful things.” Hanna’s voice trailed off as she accepted the boots and ran her fingertips along the stitched seams, her hair loosening from the plait down her back. “I should be afraid, screaming for the constable, but I’m not. Why?”

Garrin cleared his throat, sure he didn’t want to tell her the reason.

“We mean you no harm, so there’s no need to be afraid.” Lear nodded encouragingly at her. “Would you care to try them on?”

He knelt at her feet, a supplicant searching for her approval. Abandoning all pretense of aloofness, Garrin joined him, needing to touch her again. He no longer cared about the potentially grave consequences of interacting with her. He craved this sweet-smelling human as he craved wooded glens and waterfalls.

Where to Buy

Evernight Publishing
Amazon
All Romance eBooks
BookStrand

About J.J. Lore

J. Lore needs three things; strong, black coffee, time to write, and…well…you can guess the third. When she isn’t inventing fantastical tales filled with passionate people, she’s shaking sriracha on whatever she’s eating or reading about the Justinian plague. For updates on her bestselling erotic romance releases, visit her at http://mllesnarratif.com/j-j-lore/ or follow on Twitter @JJLore1.

Mid Week Tease: Deep Water #MWTease #MidWeekTease

MWTease15Hello, darlings! This will be the last teaser from Book Three of my Olympic Cove series, Deep Water, so I decided to go out on a high note with a scorching three-way between Poseidon, Amphitrite and Griffin. No, don’t thank me — I live to serve. 😀

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

Late afternoon found the three of them naked and in bed, languidly kissing and touching. When Poseidon nudged Amphitrite’s thighs apart and slid between them she was more than ready, sighing happily as she worked to take all of him in. He started a slow, deliberate stroke, making minute adjustments each time until he found the angle that made her gasp in pleasure.

Griffin stretched out beside her, kissing and nibbling her neck while he played with Poseidon’s flexing ass. “Christ, I love watching you two,” he said, brown eyes glowing with desire.

“I know,” she gasped, abruptly breathless after a deep thrust. Griffin’s cock pressed against her hip and she slid her hand down between their bodies, just managing to wrap her fingers around him and stroke the tip. “I want you next.”

Poseidon chuckled, pausing in mid-stroke to kiss her chin. “Not if I wear you out first, beloved.”

She grinned up at her husband, flexing her inner muscles and wringing a moan out of him. “That’s the lovely thing about being female,” she said. “I’m multi-orgasmic. You’re going to have to make an effort to wear me out.”

Poseidon gave Griffin one of those amused male looks. “I do believe we’ve been challenged,” he said.

“Challenge accepted,” Griffin said, gleeful.

To Amphitrite’s delight they proceeded to do wonderfully wicked things to every erogenous zone on her body that they could find, and a few new ones that she didn’t even know she had. She had two orgasms before Poseidon finally came with a lovely groan. He switched places with Griffin, who was currently teasing her with a slow, shallow stroke while Poseidon used his mouth to map every inch of her torso.

“Wait, I’ve got an idea.” Griffin pulled out and shifted until he was sitting back on his heels. Sliding his hands under her thighs, he pulled her up into his lap until her head and shoulders were the only parts still resting on the mattress. He slid back inside her, hands splayed over her hipbones as he started the same shallow thrust. In this position, however, it rubbed directly against that lovely spot behind her pubic bone. “How’s that, love?”

Pleasure burned through her, sharp and pure. “Don’t stop.”

“Wasn’t planning on it.”

“Mm, perfect.” Poseidon turned, getting on his knees and kissing his way down her stomach. The soft prickle of his beard added an additional layer of teasing sensation. She felt him kiss the curls on her pubic mound, and then his tongue lapped at the junction where Griffin entered her, finding her clit and going to work on it with ravenous eagerness. She wasn’t sure what turned her on more, that her formerly staid husband was eating her out with such abandon or that he was tasting both Griffin and her while he did it.


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Mid Week Tease: Deep Water #MWTease #MidWeekTease

MWTease15Hello, darlings! Let’s get over Hump Day with a teaser from Book Three of my Olympic Cove series, Deep Water. After all the sex of the last few weeks, let’s have an action scene where Poseidon and his sons are taking on some mutated whales while Griffin and Amphitrite watch. Of course, things aren’t going to stay that simple.

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

Griffin could feel his jaw muscles bunch as he watched Poseidon face down and kill the mutated whale. The thought of his mate so near to something that huge terrified him on a primal level.

“Does he have to get that close?” he asked Amphitrite. “Can’t he kill them from a distance?”

“Yes, but that takes more effort on his part, and its messy,” she said, her hands clenched around around the chariot’s reins. “This way, the deaths are quick and clean. He doesn’t want them to suffer.” Her tone made it clear that she’d be willing to live with more suffering if it improved Poseidon’s safety. Griffin agreed wholeheartedly with her.

Grimacing, Amphitrite clucked at the seahorses. “Come on, we have a job to do.”

Under her guidance Sthenios and Skylla pulled the chariot around to the area where the right whale had first appeared. Griffin was able to adjust his visor until he could see turbulence patterns in the water. “Looks like some massive displacement there.”

“Yes. That whale was definitely not alone. So where are the others?” With a flick of the reins she guided the seahorses lower towards the ocean floor. “There should be—”

Something massive slammed into the bottom of the chariot, shoving them upwards. Cursing, Griffin clung to the chariot’s rim while Amphitrite fought to keep control of the vehicle. The seahorses screamed in rage, surging forward and pulling them along. He risked a look back and almost pissed himself when he saw a yawning mouth lined with saw-like teeth snapping closed just inches from the back of the chariot.

Amphitrite yelled something in Ancient Greek to the seahorses, and they lunged forward. Griffin held on, wishing desperately that chariots came equipped with safety belts as Sthenios and Skylla raced away from the second whale. He looked back again and noticed to his relief that they were pulling ahead of the beast.

Then he spotted something behind the bullish, mottled head. Oh, my God. That’s impossible.

There was no choice. He had to get a closer look. “Can you get around to its side?” he yelled to Amphitrite. “I need to look at its flippers.”

The Nereid gave him an “Are you shitting me?” glance but hauled on the reins. Sthenios and Skylla abruptly slewed to the right in a tight turn, flinging Griffin bruisingly hard against the side of the chariot. Holding on like grim death, he stared back at the whale, tracing along the creature’s midline to where its flippers should have been. Fuck. I was right.

“Get us out of here!” he yelled.

“I’m trying to!” Amphitrite yelled back. They had dropped down to mere feet above the ocean floor now, racing along it with the right whale in pursuit. The seahorses arrowed through the dark water, swerving through rocky outcroppings and seaweed stands like rats running through a memorized maze, but the whale stayed with them.

The grim expression on Amphitrite’s face made it clear she knew about their tail. She steered the chariot down even further, angling them towards a jagged outcropping of coral growth. “Hang on!”

Griffin did, gut going cold in horror as they headed straight for the hill-like outcropping. At the last moment the white seahorses plunged through an opening that he hadn’t even seen. It was barely wide enough for them and the chariot followed with a horrible grinding noise, shattered bits of rock dancing in its wake.

Panting, Griffin stared up at the underside of a covered coral lagoon. The lacy structure appeared to be solid from the outside, but allowed dim light and water to flow freely through it.

A loud crack sounded behind them. He turned and saw the right whale’s snout pulling back from a hole it had broken in the coral. “Can it get in here?”

“With enough time, yes,” Amphitrite said, handing him the reins. “Here.”

“What are you doing?”

She plucked her trident from its holder, glaring at the tines. They collapsed inward, forming a single vicious-looking barbed blade. “I’m going to kill it.”


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Marvelous Monday Reads: Ruled

Happy Monday, folks! Let’s say goodbye to March with J.J. Lore’s Ruled, the brilliant new entry in Evernight Publishing’s Planet Alpha series, now available from Evernight and other online retailers of erotic romance. Enjoy!


RuledWhile on a clandestine visit to Earth, Prince Edem of Alpha and his bondmate Mallet by chance meet a humble cook who intrigues them. The impulsive prince feels a brief fling with an exotic human female sounds like the perfect way to conclude their travels, while his more pragmatic bondmate urges caution.

Despite all the reasons to avoid her, the Alphans seek her out, intrigued by her prickly pride and defiant disposition. For her part, Corrine is intimidated by these imposing and mysterious alien men, but finds herself overwhelmed by their determined courtship.

Edem and Mallet convince themselves their deepening feelings for Corrine do not have to include bonding, since such a commitment is forbidden by the King and subjects of Alpha, determined to keep the bloodline pure. But when danger threatens, the three are forced to choose between having the galaxy at their feet or losing each other forever.

Story Excerpt

They made her shake. She’d thought it was first with anger, then fear, but as Mal eased his mouth against hers while Edem circled his fingers down her back, she knew she was shaking with lust. How had she gotten here? She’d been so insulted by the gift she’d rushed to them thoughtlessly and had somehow admitted to them she was frightened of sex, but now was barely able to keep on her feet for the heat blooming in her pussy.

Someone’s hands were pulling at the hem of her shirt, and she drew away from Mal to glance down and discover Edem had insinuated his fingertips underneath the material and was now rubbing along her bare waist. Her skin tingled. Mal reached for her buttons and had the front of her shirt open before she realized what was happening. When the cool air reached her nearly exposed breasts, she automatically reached to bring the edges back together, her breath rushing in and out with a mix of desire and caution.

“Let us see and touch. Just here,” Edem said softly as he caressed her lower back. Mal stared at her, his eyes darkening as he gave a slight nod. It was stupid to even consider it, but she seemed to be doing lots of stupid things lately. This could be the test. She could say no and hope they would stop. Would they let her control this? She didn’t want to say no yet, though. She sucked in a breath and urged her stiff fingers to cooperate as she released her grip on the shirt. She was wearing a bra, so she could say no when then tried to remove that final layer and expose her.

Edem let out a sigh and tugged at her sleeves, her blouse falling from her shoulders. She couldn’t stop her shiver as the cool air trickled across her back and stomach. Mal tightened his grip on her waist, and with a start she realized he had a sizeable erection and it was pressed into her belly. Normally, she’d shy away, but somehow knowing how aroused he was pleased her rather than made her anxious.

Mal trailed his fingers along her collarbones. “You’re lovely.”

“So delicate,” Edem chimed in, and she glanced at him, wondering what he thought of her faded, repaired bra. He was a powerful man on his planet and was probably used to women who were perfumed, groomed, and attired in beautiful chiffons and laces. She failed on all counts.

Sliding his hand along her side, Edem cupped one of her breasts, pushing her flesh slightly up. Her nipple contracted in a painful nub, and she inhaled deeply. He ran his thumb over the sensitized bit of flesh, and the material of her bra bit into her.

Mal dipped his head her way, long strands of his dark hair trailing along her bare shoulders. He pressed a kiss to the top swell of the breast Edem was holding, and she shook at the sensation of both of them caressing her in synchronicity. She clenched her hands in confusion. She wanted to touch them but wasn’t sure how. She’d always been confused and tense with the few men she’d been with, which had undoubtedly contributed to her discomfort with the act.

Soft lips nibbled at her neck, and she leaned away from him, not to avoid the touch as she should, but to allow him more room. The ticklish sensations crept over her nerves, and she compulsively reached up to clutch at Edem’s head, her fingers sinking into his surprisingly silky hair. He bit her throat gently in response, and a surprised moan burst from her. Before she could think further, Mal had fastened his mouth over her nipple and pressed his teeth to the sensitized flesh. Her whole body jolted uncontrollably, and she cried out, unable to hold back the sound of surprise and excitement.

“It would be better without this,” Edem whispered in her ear as he ran his fingers under the shoulder strap of her bra. Mal rumbled against her breast, and she reached her other hand out to trace into his hair, careful to avoid those curving horns. “May I?”

Where to Buy

Evernight Publishing
Amazon
All Romance eBooks
Bookstrand

About J.J. Lore

J.J. Lore needs three things; strong, black coffee, time to write, and…well…you can guess the third. When she isn’t inventing fantastical tales filled with passionate people, she’s shaking sriracha on whatever she’s eating or reading about the Justinian plague. For updates on her bestselling erotic romance releases, visit her at http://mllesnarratif.com/j-j-lore/ or follow on Twitter.