Archive for July, 2011

The Head Trip

July 18, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

The head trip. I am a fan. Maybe I’m a bit obsessed with it. And maybe you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about.Vanities. Fears. Uncertainties. Prejudices. All the things that shape a character’s motivation. I’m talking about mental clutter. Everything that floats around in a person’s head. The stuff that makes him who he is. What he thinks. What he feels.

I’m completely addicted to that. The innards. The cogs. The mechanism.

I like to know what’s going on in a person’s head. The context underneath the words. The reasons for that sudden need for the hero to avert his eyes when he’s interacting with the heroine. And most of the time, you only get a taste of that in a story.

It drives me crazy.

Because what I want most is the opportunity to really, truly see what drives a person to make the choices he makes.

Oftentimes, in romance novels, there little bit of a tendency for an author to say, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing. These cats belong together. Just trust me on that.”

I can’t trust the author. I want to. Believe me, I do. I just can’t. Not if he or she isn’t offering me a glimpse into their minds. Letting me hear their thoughts or showing me why this person chose that action.

It’s a disease. Unfortunately, there is no support group. Or antidote. I’m one cursed reader.

Part of why I wrote my novel, Drew In Blue, in the manner I did was because of the aforementioned affliction I suffer from.  I did so for full disclosure for the reader, and for the sake of my own sanity. Granted, the main character, Drew Doyle, doesn’t show all his cards. But the ones he does lay down from time to time help to form a complete picture.

See, I started writing Drew In Blue in my normal third-person perspective, that lovely omniscient author perspective where I can play lord and master of all the characters. Yank some puppet strings. Boss imaginary people around.

Except Drew was coming off as kind of a jerk. Not an endearing jerk, either. It’s frustrating when you find yourself confronted with such a reality. You can stare at a document for hours yelling, “Hey, I’m the boss of you. Pay attention. Be endearing, you big jerk!”

Doesn’t work. So I had to take a step back and figure out what was wrong.

I was being a big bossy writer, that’s what was wrong.

So I had to let go. I turned over the reins to Drew, and things started to click. He needed to tell his story, not me. Now, you’re probably wondering if I’m off my medication at this point. I’m really not. Yes, I know Drew Doyle doesn’t exist in the real world. But he exists up in my head, and on paper. So I had no choice but to let him show me how to give all you lucky people who don’t know what my mind looks like a complete picture of who he is.

The jerk disappeared. He turned into a person who presents a false front to the world he lives in. He shows disdain for the people around him. He pulls away when he gets too close to someone.  He isolates himself from a world he claims to loathe.

But that head trip kicks in. And while he may not be showing it to the people around him, he’s showing the reader what the real story is. Because he’s letting you inside his head. Granting you exclusive insight. That disdain is really frustration at not knowing how to fit in. That pulling away is really because he’s afraid to lose any more of the people he loves. Underneath the mouthy jerk lies a man with a huge heart, who simply doesn’t know how to use it. The picture is complete. The ability to feel sympathy for him and to (hopefully) root for him is present.

God, I love a good head trip. And I’m really glad I finally took a shot at channeling my little obsession into a writing experiment of my own. Now, if I could only get the hero in this story I’m reading right now to sit down and let me dig around in his brain for a bit, I’d be a happy camper.

J.M. Kelley is the debut author of Drew In Blue, a contemporary romance ebook available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance, and OmniLit. Drew In Blue was a nominee for Best Contemporary of 2010 on The Romance Reviews, and is a TRR and Night Owl Reviews Top Pick. Visit http://www.jmkelleywrites.com for excerpt, reviews, purchase links, and author blog.

The Many Dangers of Being a Romance Junky

July 15, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

On July 7th, the online version of the UK Guardian highlighted an article in The Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care and its warning about romance novels. According to the academic journal and psychologist Susan Quilliam (a relationship “expert”), romance novels are responsible for unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancies, unrealistic expectations, and relationship breakdowns.

All along I thought I was providing readers with an entertaining story, a chance to escape the realities of day-to-day life and experience one of the greatest feelings ever—falling in love, being loved, and having that love endure no matter what tests it—oh, and some great sex too. Now I find out that as my fingers scamper across the keyboard and the words appear on the screen, I am, in fact, contributing to serious problems faced by avid romance readers, some of whom are “dangerously unbalanced.”

You know who you are.

Then there’s the article by Kimberly Sayer-Gilesway, which suggests romance novels can be as addictive as pornography. As a romance author, I’m filled with guilt. How could I in good conscience continue to write books that are causing addiction and the breakdown of society and relationships?

All I can do is issue a warning and hope that if you’re a romance junky you will not give in to the temptation to read any more romance books. Admit you have a problem and get help. Don’t even read the blurb and excerpt below for Fight for Love, Book 2 in my Hot Latin Men series. It will only tempt you to buy my highly rated book. And definitely do not go to my website to read Chapter one!

Hot Latin Men series

Blurb:

Science teacher Rebekah Jamison lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Atlanta. Devastated by a tabloid scandal nine years ago, she ended her marriage to the man her parents never approved of.

Rafael Lopez, former professional wrestler and “Sexiest Athlete Alive,” regrets the lapse in judgment that caused him to lose his wife. He shows up unannounced one day with some startling news, but he gets a surprise of his own. He finds out he’s a father. To get to know his son, he whisks him and Rebekah off to his home in the Hollywood Hills for the summer.

Warning: Get ready for a sensual battle of wills as a conservative teacher lowers her inhibitions and is reminded of why she fell in love with a sexy bad boy wrestler in the first place.

Excerpt:

After Rafael finds out he’s a father, he surprises Rebekah when he tells her the reason for his visit is to inform her they’re still married. The following takes place in a scene right after that where Rebekah throws the tabloid scandal in his face.

He stepped angrily toward her, but this time, she didn’t retreat. She stood her ground, almost eye to eye with him on the bottom stair. The only indication she was even the least bit disturbed was in the almost unnoticeable tightening of her hand on the balustrade.

“You always could make my blood boil,” he ground out. In more ways than one.

He lowered his gaze to take in the rise and fall of her breasts beneath the pink top. The provocative protrusion of her nipples against the material tortured him mercilessly. The shallow inhalation of her soft breaths teased his senses and stoked the flame of arousal in his loins.

He could clearly see in her face that she was not any more immune to him than he was to her. Without thinking, he reached up to stroke her face, and was rewarded when her hand swatted his away.

“Don’t you dare touch me,” she whispered fiercely, her eyes darkening in anger. Had he imagined the desire he saw smoldering there? “Don’t think for one minute that because of an unfortunate twist of fate that kept us married you have any right to touch me. You gave up that right years ago.”

“I suppose you’ve had plenty of opportunity for exploration since then.” He shouldn’t have mentioned it, but he couldn’t help himself. His stomach muscles tensed as if in preparation for a punch.

“I suppose it’s none of your business,” Rebekah replied with a defiant tilt to her chin.

The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on him. Over the years, he’d used other women to help him get over losing her, yet here he was, torn apart by jealousy at the thought that any other man had touched what was his.

Rebekah took a deep breath. “Let’s get this over with.” She marched up the stairs.

Rafael followed more slowly. He took in the view from a few feet behind her, the curve of her bottom and the shapely brown thighs in a pair of cut-off denim shorts. Thighs he wished he could now slide between and ease this voracious craving for her.

Emblazoned in his mind was the image of her beneath him in their bed, his fingers entwined in the tangled disarray of her long hair as she moaned her encouragement. He could still hear the sweet words. Mmm…yes, I like that…please…don’t stop…ahh…Rafe…Yes! Yes!

He had been her first. Every chauvinistic bone in his body rebelled against the thought that others had been in her bed and now knew the truth beneath her reserved exterior—that she was a passionate, giving lover. That even though he had prided himself on being her teacher, the exuberance of her responses and sweetness of her touch had wielded substantial power over him.

More than she even realized.

_________________________________

I’m participating in Blog Fest 2011. Tons of prizes will be given away by over 200 blogs to readers! For a chance to win a copy of The Arrangement, Book 1 in my Hot Latin Men series and autographed copies of books by other authors such as Brenda Jackson, Shana Galen, Pauline Simmons, and Maureen Child, stop by my blog and leave a comment telling me what other problems you think romance novels cause.

Go crazy! Have fun with it. See you on my blog.

Purchase links for Fight for Love: Amira PressAmazonAReB&N

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DelaneyDiamond

Website and blog: www.delaneydiamond.com

_________________________________

Delaney Diamond is the bestselling author of sweet and sensual romance with multicultural characters. Join her on Facebook or subscribe to her blog at www.delaneydiamond.com.

The classic that goes all the way! Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts by Mitzi Szereto

July 14, 2011 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 2 Comments →

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Website: http://mitziszereto.com

Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts website: http://mitziszereto.com/prideandprejudicehiddenlusts/

 Twitter ID: http://twitter.com/#!/mitziszereto

Mitzi TV: http://mitziszereto.com/tv

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mitzi-Szereto/24537936152?ref=ts

I first became fixated on Pride and Prejudice thanks to the BBC Television series starring Colin Firth as the prideful Mr. Darcy. I found that the more times I watched it, the more things I discovered. The characters are so much fun, and that’s what I wanted to do with my version: make them even more fun!

I decided to take my pen to Jane Austen’s work and put my own special spin on it. However, I didn’t want to do just another romantic rehash on the novel; I wanted to do something that would appeal to a much wider audience, especially the fans of the Zombies versions. Perhaps it might seem odd to some that I’d find myself more aligned with a book featuring zombies rather than any romantic versions, but it appealed to my sense of quirkiness and off-the-wall humor. The concept was different and unique—and as a writer and anthology editor there’s nothing I like more than creating (and reading) books that are different and unique. So that’s what I set out to do with Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts—make it different and unique (minus the zombies!).

In a way I’ve taken what I did with my short story collection In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales and applied it to Jane Austen, offering a sense of playfulness, outrageous humor, not to mention plenty of sex! The original story is still there and very recognizable, but I’ve explored beyond that, allowing the reader to see far more than Jane Austen would ever have been allowed to show us. Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is without doubt a parody, but then so too, was the original novel. Miss Austen provided me with some very rich fodder to work with—and I went at it with impunity. No one is immune in my version; the entire cast is there, and you simply won’t believe what they get up to! I had a lot of fun writing the book, and I hope readers will have just as much fun reading it.

 Book blurb:

 Imagine that Jane Austen had written the opening line of her satirical novel Pride and Prejudice this way: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a good romp and a good wife—although not necessarily from the same person or from the opposite sex.” In Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, the entire cast of characters from Austen’s classic is here, caught with their breeches unbuttoned and their skirts raised high in this rewrite that goes all the way—and then some! Mr. Darcy has never been more devilish and the seemingly chaste Elizabeth never more turned on.

 In this no-holds-barred account, men are not necessarily the only dominating sex. This time Mr. Bingley and his sister both have designs on Mr. Darcy’s manhood; Elizabeth’s dear friend Charlotte marries their family’s strange relation, discovering that her husband’s pious nature extends to worship of a different sort; and, in this telling, Lady Catherine de Bourgh takes the disciplining of those in the parish very seriously. As for the handsome Mr. Wickham, he’s wickeder than ever! And of course there’s plenty of good old-fashioned bodice ripping that shows no pride or prejudice and reveals hot hidden lusts in every scandalous page-turning chapter. This is the book Jane Austen would have written, if only she’d had the nerve!

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Click here to read an excerpt: http://mitziszereto.com/prideandprejudicehiddenlusts/excerpt/ To order the book: http://mitziszereto.com/prideandprejudicehiddenlusts/buy-now/

Mitzi Szereto is an author and editor of erotic and multi-genre fiction and non-fiction. She has a blog “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” and a Web TV channel Mitzi TV, which covers “quirky” London. Her other books include Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance (Sept. 2011); In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; Dying For It: Tales of Sex & Death; Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers; The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; the Erotic Travel Tales anthology series, Silk Sheets: Collected Stories of Mitzi Szereto; The World’s Best Sex Writing 2005; and the M. S. Valentine erotic novels. Mitzi has pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and Europe, teaching them from the Cheltenham Festival of Literature to the Greek islands. She’s also lectured in creative writing at several British universities. She’s been featured in publications ranging from the Sunday Telegraph, Independent, Times, Observer, Toronto Star, The London Paper, Company Magazine, Dare Magazine, Family Circle, Writing Magazine, and Scarlet Magazine, to Bravo UK Television, Telecinco TV 5 (Madrid), Newstalk Ireland, BBC Radio, and FM4 ORF (Vienna). Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Originally from the USA, she lives in Greater London.

Uno… memories of the game

July 13, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

From the first time I saw it was intrigued. My first Uno game was when I was a kid. It was a Christmas gift and one that I to this day feel was the best gift ever. When I opened the deck, read the directions, explained to my family and then all my family present at Christmas sat down to play it was magical. It was fun, loud and exciting. When I won my first game and shouted “Uno” I was hooked. After that we played often. There was laughter, fun and teasing. I took my Uno game wherever I could and played with whoever was willing.

As the years went on I still played but not as often. In college I bought a new Uno deck so I could have some fun on those nights I had night duty as a RA for my college. And I found others who loved the game. During my night duty I would put out the word that an Uno game was on. People would come and we would have some cut throat games. Some with as high as 20 people with others waiting to take the place of the losers. It was a fun rotation of people to match Uno wit’s with. It was a great time. I even bought an Uno handheld game so I could play wherever I went.

But atlas time passed and I lost track of my Uno. At least until the last year or so. I noticed in the café at the day job there was a set of people playing Uno and my love of the Uno started to come back. Each time I passed the Uno players in the café I watched as they played and longed to join them. I didn’t but my Uno love continued to grow. Finally I asked to take part in a game and was accepted in. When I won my first game and shouted “Uno” it brought back memories of that first game. I was hooked all over again. Ahh Uno brought back so many memories or time spent with family and friends.

And since I love gadgets I am now in search of an Uno handheld game (grin). I love me some Uno. Now loud and clear. Come on and shout it with me “Uno”.

Taige Crenshaw
http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/
…increasing the sizzle factor

Blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Newsletter: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/newsletterandgroups.shtml
Free Reads Site: http://www.satinnotes.com/

Silken Inferno – When the past comes calling it brings unexpected revelations that must be faced.

Buy here at Summerhouse Publishing.

Ten Reasons Digital Books Rock! by Eliza Knight

July 12, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 15 Comments →

Eliza KnightHappy Summer Folks!  I hope you all are having a lovely summer—jam-packed with reading, right?

I am primarily a digital author—have been since 2008. Watching the way the industry and readers as a society have changed over the years has been a thrill.  When I was first published, many people asked how they could read my book, and when I responded, “It’s an ebook, you can read it on an ereader or with your computer,” I mostly received blank stares, and “you must be crazy” looks and even, “When are you going to write a real book?”

That last one hurt, I admit… All of my books are real!  But NOW, when someone asks, and I tell them the same answer, I get a much more positive response.  So many people are using ereaders, IPads, IPhones, Netbooks, etc… that make reading digital books simple. You don’t have to own an e-reader specifically to read an digital book.  The majority of e-tailers have various downloadable formats so you can read the books on your computer, your phone, your IPad, etc… Amazon and Barnes and Noble have even gone so far as to create FREE applications that can be downloaded on various electronic devices to make reading easier.

I’m not saying that I think print books and brick and mortar bookstores are dead. 


NO WAY

!  I don’t think they will ever disappear, but digital books are becoming quite popular, and I foresee a future where every household has at least one e-reader, kind of like radios, television, computers, eventually it becomes commonplace.

Now onto my list—and these are in no particular order!

  1. Storage – with ebooks you can own thousands of them, and they only take up a small amount of space, ie, the size of your ereader, flashdrive, computer, IPad, etc… My house would be a maze of books right now if it weren’t for digital.
  1. Green—there is not massive amount of paper being used to print the books.
  1. Life of the book – no yellowed or ripping pages. No covers or spines being destroyed.
  1. Privacy – For romance readers, the dawn of the digital age has allowed many more of us to read publicly and those who hadn’t dared to read romance before can now do so privately. Why? Because there are no heaving bosoms on the cover of an e-reader. I have heard many men say, that with ereaders, they are now reading romance for the first time.
  1. Space when traveling – I am one of those women when I go on vacation, that I pack 5-6 books for myself, about the same for my husband, and the same for daughters.  That is probably a whole suitcase of books. We are a family of voracious readers. With e-readers, thinner than one book, we have a lot more space.
  1. Instant gratification – I am a busy busy bee. I work a lot, and when I’m not working, I’m chauferring three little ladies around to their various activities. There is not a bookstore in my town. The closest is about 20 minutes away. So to go to the bookstore is a big production—one we do make every couple months or so because I still love brick and mortars! I started ordering books online, which was frustrating because they would take days maybe even a week to arrive. Not so with an e-reader! I can read it RIGHT AWAY, and I like that.  My kids like that too.
  1. E-reader applications – with an e-reader you have the ability to take notes and look up words in the dictionary on the e-reader, for my oldest daughter this was a big plus. She reads some adult books, and some of the words are unknown to her. Being able to take notes is nice too, especially for me, because I read a lot of research books, writing craft books on the e-reader as well.
  1. Being able to lie down and read.  An e-reader is the size of a book, you can curl up in front of the fire on a dark winter’s night, and you can lay out at the pool or the beach during the summer, or curl up on the couch or in bed to read.
  1. Price – For the most part, digital books are less expensive than paperbacks or hardbacks. This is because there is not the production cost of printing. You will find some that are still the same or around the same price for both. You will also find that for promotional purposes some publishers will offer up books for free to digital readers. For consumers, price point on digital books can play a big part in how many books they read.  For myself, I have a budget of how many books I purchase a week/month, so price per book is a significant factor for me.  That being said, I will still fork over big money for an author or book that I really want to read.
  1. Variety – I am primarily a digital only author, I do have some books in print, and I have some books out on submission for print, but I have a backlist of digital only books, and I am not the only one. There are thousands and thousands of digitalized books that aren’t available in print. Some big name authors are digitizing their back lists, and many new fantastic names are publishing in e-formats. With e-readers you have a whole new gigantic world of books opened up to you.

Go forth and read!!!

Cheers,

Eliza

Eliza Knight is the best-selling, multi-published author of historical romance and erotic romance. Visit her at www.elizaknight.com. A new release from Eliza Knight! A Lady’s Charade, a medieval romance novel, is now available in electronic format from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords!Book Blurb…From across a field of battle, English knight, Alexander, Lord Hardwyck, spots the object of his desire—and his conquest, Scottish traitor Lady Chloe.Her lies could be her undoing…


 
Abandoned across the border and disguised for her safety, Chloe realizes the man who besieged her home in
Scotland has now become her savior in
England
. Her life in danger, she vows to keep her identity secret, lest she suffer his wrath, for he wants her dead.Or love could claim them both and unravel two countries in the process…

Alexander suspects Chloe is not who she says she is and has declared war on the angelic vixen who’s laid claim to his heart. A fierce battle of the minds it will be, for once the truth is revealed they will both have to choose between love and duty.Excerpt from Chapter One…

South
Hearth
Castle

Border of
Scotland and
England

September, 1415Allure! My lady! Ralentir!”Chloe laughed when she turned around on her speeding horse to spy her French maid. Poor Nicola clutched the hood of her headdress with one hand, her hands scrambling to maintain the reins of her horse, and her bottom bounced up and down at a rather humorous pace.

She conceded her old nurse and slowed her horse to a trot until Nicola could catch up.

“My lady, shame on you. You know better than to ride with such… such… imprudence!”

Oui.” Chloe chose to concede once more. There was no point in arguing with the woman. Especially when she was sure Nicola would only have the last word.

But she just couldn’t help riding hell bent for leather! They’d been waiting on the coast of
France for nearly a fortnight before the ship could safely take them across. Then an entire week had been spent cramped inside a small ship’s cabin, with the swaying and rocking of the vessel. She felt like the nearly three weeks past had been consumed by sitting still, and now that they’d reached
Scotland
she only wanted to be free. To feel the fresh, clean, crisp air wash over her skin as she rode at break neck speed toward home.Nicola gave her a disapproving look, but nodded anyway, silvery blonde curls falling out of her headdress. Whether or not she believed Chloe’s apology was sincere, she was accepting of it, it seemed.They were not alone of course. A dozen of her father’s guard surrounded her, none of them willing to contradict anything Chloe said. Why? She wasn’t sure. Mayhap because she’d been on the continent for so long, they knew not what to expect of her, or perhaps it was simply that they too wanted to reach home. And yet again, it could be that her father had told them not to argue with her. Whatever the reason, she was glad they’d let her have a bit of fun for however fleeting it was.

Chloe turned to the guardsmen who appeared to be in charge. “How much further?”

He looked about himself for a moment before turning back to her. “South Hearth is not much further, mayhap another day. Shall we make camp now, my lady?”

Chloe narrowed her eyes. “South Hearth?”

“Aye, my lady.”

“We are not going to Fergusson lands?”

“That we are, my lady.”

“But you said South Hearth. My family has not held South Hearth for…” She trailed off remembering the last time she’d been at the border holding. Jon had been alive then.

“Nigh on five years now, my lady, but his lordship, your father, has once again proven we Scots shall prevail.”

So, her father had taken siege of the castle again? A lot had happened since she’d been sent to serve the French queen five years ago, at the age of thirteen. She couldn’t say she was surprised, or really upset about it. In fact, she was a little elated. South Hearth was home. She’d grown up there.
Hadrian’s Wall
was her playground. But the fact remained, if her father had retaken the castle—someone would want it back.“Let us make camp then.” Chloe tried not to giggle at the look of pure relief that crossed her nursemaid’s face. The woman’s rump must be burning.The following morning they set out at a slower pace, just after sunrise. They broke their fast with pears and cheese as they rode, all of them eager to reach South Hearth walls. As the sun rose high in the sky, the turrets of the keep were visible over the crest of a hill.

Home.

Chloe broke out into a wide smile, and ignoring the protests of Nicola and her retainers, she prodded her horse into a canter down the road toward the gate. When she arrived, the guards not far behind her, and Nicola bouncing her way painfully down the hill, her smile faded. Guards circled the top of the battlements. The drawbridge was up, the portcullis down, and gate door closed tightly. They expected trouble.

Just as she’d thought. Someone would most definitely be coming to take back the castle. But when was the question.

Before she could open her mouth to order the men to open the way for her, they did so. Calls to her escort were tossed over the walls, and the men she traveled with answered back. As the gates opened, the sounds and smells of the city assaulted her senses. Loud clanking, banging, shouting. Smells of cooking, rubbish, and animals. It all mixed together, and she longed for the French chateau of Queen Isabeau with its pretty smells, and enchanting music.

They rode into town, up the rode past merchants, peasants, clergy and guild workers toward the keep stairs. South Hearth had seemed such a grand place when she was young. Now it only seemed a fort of sorts, not a home.

“My child!” A tall woman atop the steps to the keep came rushing forth.

Chloe recognized her mother immediately. “Maman!” She sped up her horse until she reached the bottom of the keep stairs and then ignoring the hands offered by the guards, leapt to the ground and into her mother’s arms.

It’d been two years since she’d last seen her mother. The Lady Fergusson, had stayed with her for her first few years in service to the French queen, her mother’s cousin, before returning to her husband in
Scotland
.Chloe breathed in her mother’s scent, and tried to blink away the sting of tears in her eyes.“Come, inside. You must be in need of a bath and something to eat.”

Chloe nodded. As they reached the tops of the steps, Nicola finally drew up to the courtyard, a harried looking knight beside her. The maid had probably given the man a good tongue lashing, only because Chloe herself wasn’t there to receive the punishment.

“It is so good to be home.”

Oui, I am glad you finally arrived. We were beginning to worry. Your father and I expected you over a week ago.”

She threaded her arm through her mother’s as they made their way up the spiral staircase to the upper chambers. “There was a storm, and the sea was not safe. We had to wait nearly two weeks before boarding the ship.”

“Ah, I see. At least you have arrived safely. If you hadn’t come by tomorrow a search party was going to be sent out.”

Chloe gasped. “Did you not get my missive?”

“Missive?” They stopped walking and her mother turned toward her, her brows drawn together in concern.

Oui, Maman. I sent a message to warn of our delay.”

“I received no such warning.” 

Reading Outside the Box

July 10, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 5 Comments →

I’ve recently decided after attending the 2011 Romance Writers of America conference in New York that I would expand on my reading choices and try new things.

My reading time is limited and this is something I hope to change in the future. I have found that, though I am a writer and the advice I have been told before was to use every book I read as a learning tool for what is in the market, what new trends, voices, themes are selling, I just can’t do it! I have always picked up a book (or put one down) based on my enjoyment level and not what I am getting out of it. As a result, I have traditionally stuck with authors and genres I knew I liked. But all that changed when I unpacked my conference bag this weekend.

In case you aren’t aware, there are a ton of free books at conference. I was very selective this year and still managed to come home with a whooping 48 books! (At my first conference my eyes were bigger than my suitcase and I took home 70 books!) Don’t think me greedy though, the publishers want us to take home the books. They have large book signings with free books, free books when you sign in, free books in the Goodie room (the author promo room) and free books on your chair at the luncheons.

Even though I was selective this year, I tried to pick up titles that excited me and were not in my usual ‘safe’ zone genre. I chose books from Harlequin, St Martin’s Press, Samhain, Berkley, Grand Central and Pocket Books. I also chose from genres that ranged from erotica, young adult, chick lit, paranormal, historical, and inspirational.

I’m one book down so far: The Iron King – an exciting young adult fantasy. I enjoyed it so much that despite my leaning tower of books taking over my dining room, I rushed right out to my local book store to buy the rest of the series.

Looking ahead for the rest of 2011 and probably into 2012, I am excited at the wide range of titles, genres and authors I will get to experience. I am officially outside of my reading box and into new territory.

Do you have one genre you stick too faithfully or is your bookcase crammed with a variety to rival the local library?

Thank you to Romance Junkies for the honor of posting on this awesome site. My newest release, FIRE ON THE WATER, is an erotica suspense. Here is a short description and the buy link if it interests you:

One by one, Rachel Milo has been forced to watch her neighbors sell their homes to Wolfe Developments.  When three become two, only her and Cole Karson remain on the Lake. As pressure from Wolfe Developments mounts to sell, she fears she can’t deny her growing attraction for a man whose past could destroy her future.

Disaster strikes and Rachel is almost killed in a fire one night while she is deep asleep.  She must seek help from the one man who she vowed not to let near her. Even if she can’t trust Cole with her heart, she is forced to trust him with her life. Together they must work to figure out the real reason Vivian Wolfe is so determined to own the lake.  

Happy Reading!

~Kendal Corbitt

Of Dangerous Heroes and Heroines…

July 08, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 10 Comments →

By Zee Monodee

Does danger thrill you? It does for me. I like hanging on to the armrests, on the very edge of my chair/sofa, when I’m reading a romantic suspense book or watching a fast-paced action/spy thriller. The rush of adrenalin? My kind of high. And when you combine dangerous characters in there… I’m a goner!

What sort of dangerous character am I talking about?

A suave and sophisticated James Bond-type, who likes his martini “shaken, not stirred” as he waltzs around glamourous, ritzy global settings?

A more gritty, hands-on, and lethal Jason Bourne-type, the kind of man who melts into any setting and sets your pulse all haywire through the calm, almost-detached lethal streak in him?

A kick-ass gal, like Evelyn Salt, out to clear her name and using every means necessary to get to her end?

Or does dangerous also mean a character with a beating heart, who loves and cherishes, and who’ll do everything to protect those close to him, like Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson in Taken)?

A dangerous character is all of the above, and more, to me. It was armed with such definitions that I set out on the journey that was writing Walking The Edge, my latest release with Noble Romance Publishing, and Book One of the Corpus Brides series. At the heart of this story was an amnesiac woman on a quest to find what lay inside her erased memory. She should’ve been a typical, snobbish upper-class London housewife, if her “husband” were to be believed. But she always thought the story of her life, as it spewed forth from his mouth, sounded false. And then she has a dream – which she knows is a repressed memory coming to the fore – where she sees a handsome and dangerous-looking Frenchman in her bed. Who is he? And better yet, who is she? And can this Frenchman know her true identity?

What allows me to claim that this Frenchman is dangerous? Well, first of all, he’s a cop – a police commissaire in the town of Marseille. But there’s also this aura of danger around him. Any guy can tote a gun under his leather jacket, but only “some” carry it well and use it well too. He’s not above using some not-by-the-book tactics to get to his goal, and seduction is definitely part of his arsenal. But he hides something else too – Gerard, as he is called, conceals inside his heart a dark, secret past that comes to light when the heroine, Amelia, steps into his world. Amelia makes him think of the one woman he should best have forgotten about, the one who “got away”, because she had died seven months earlier, and he had been powerless to prevent her death. Add to it the fact that Amelia swoops in literally right after they meet for the first time and saves Gerard’s life… by using his police-issued gun to efficiently dispatch a would-be killer to kingdom come!

As they get together and the sizzling embers of passion between them flare into a blazing inferno and scorch the living daylights out of them, both know they might have just hours together before one, or both, ends up dead…

I loved writing about the “danger” in this plot, and the dangerous hero and heroine that move this story along. Come on – I had the perfect recipe for it! A cop who grew up in the gritty and violent world of one of the poorest cites in Marseille, and whose speciality in the police force was undercover operations… and a heroine out to find her repressed memory, and who gets flashes, at the most opportune times, of deadly and super-efficient techniques to either ditch an assailant, or kill him.

And yet, at the heart of them, both Amelia and Gerard are just two people looking for love, for redemption, and a second chance. Can they have all that? And at what cost?

That’s what Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides: Book One) is all about. Come for a fast-paced ride, as the story takes you from the glamourous, ritzy world of the rich in London, all the way to the southern city of Marseille and its gritty, everyday streets. Take a trek with this woman looking to find out who she is… and fall in love with a man who would do anything to protect those close to him.

Here’s the book’s blurb:

Walking the edge… The next step might be the last…

A woman without a past

Left amnesiac after an accident, Amelia Jamison struggles as her instincts slowly rise from the depths of oblivion, leading her to question her life as the wife of a cold, manipulating and distant man. Wisps of a dream show her another man she may have known intimately, but is he a memory, or a figment of her imagination?

A man with too much information

After many aliases, today Gerard Besson is simply a police commissaire in Marseille. When a mysterious woman starts to follow him, he is suspicious – and intrigued. But things aren’t what they seem, and as he reluctantly gets closer to her, dregs of his painful, buried past emerge and make him question her identity.

Each seems to have led several different lives

But neither is prepared for what awaits them when they cross the fine line between knowing your true self and that of your alter ego.

Danger is the name of the game, and as it catches up with them in the French Provence, both know they better be ready for the inevitable fall.

And here’s an excerpt:

Chapter One

London. Oxford Street

Thursday, December 13, 1:24 p.m. 

There’s a man following me again.

She didn’t know why she felt so certain. Selfridges teemed with shoppers in a Christmas buying frenzy, and bustling crowds swarmed around her.

Someone was watching her though. She knew. Maybe she tuned in to the hairs rising on her nape. Or to the little voice whispering in her mind, telling her there were eyes boring into her back and checking into her every move.

Was she going insane? The question snapped into her brain like a tightly pulled elastic band being released, stinging her when it hit home.

Come on, she told herself, I’m in a busy department store, and there’s an idiot tagging my every step.

Her gaze darted to Nathaniel, the hulk of a guy who was her assigned chauffeur and man for all tasks, it seemed. Or, he could just be the watchdog her husband had set on her trail.

No, she wouldn’t think of the big doggie and that other cold arsehole who waited for her at home. Peter Jamison was his name, the sad arse whom she didn’t even know, whom she couldn’t even recall, try as she might.

She toyed with the strap of a handbag on display in front of her, having no idea what brand it was or even what shop she was in. There were more important things to pay attention to right now, starting with the strange man who was a few paces away, across the corridor from where she stood. He seemed familiar. He was dressed in dark corduroy trousers and a heavy sweater; a baseball cap hid his hair and threw shadows upon his face. There wasn’t anything specific to identify him. Yet she knew, deep down inside, that she had seen him before. Had it been just a day earlier, at an art gallery she’d visited in Soho, when she’d experienced the same heartbeat acceleration as now? She’d sensed eyes on her then too and had caught sight of a tall man in jeans, a blazer, and a fedora, standing outside the wide glass panes, looking into the gallery.

The two instances weren’t the only times she’d felt the probing stare—that strange, unnerving perception had happened almost every day in the past week, whenever she went out.

And, somehow, she was pretty certain it was the same man every time. There was something about him, in the way he held his head, a slight thrust of the chin that permeated every encounter she recalled of the mysterious “stalker.”

Who was he, and what did he want with her?

A soft gasp escaped her, and she realized she was twisting the handbag strap too hard, both hands locked onto the leather. She released the purse as if it were a hot potato fresh out of the steamer and took a step back.

Could that man know who she was?Her gaze travelled up the clear glass of the pane that separated the shop from the main corridor that ran through the first level of Selfridges, her reflection staring back at her.

Her reflection or that of Amelia Jamison?

That’s who she was, apparently. She had no recollection of her identity. She’d come out of a dramatic accident some seven months back with amnesia and with—as her medical record stated—a disfigured and burnt-beyond-recognition body.

Lord only knew how she had survived the explosion responsible for her condition. That’s what all the doctors said, and what her “husband” had said too. He’d been there in the sunny hospital room of a private clinic in Switzerland, dark and with a countenance one could only describe as menacing, even when he lounged on a sofa, reading a financial magazine.

“You’re awake,” he’d said in a cold, detached voice. Not even the hint of a smile showed on his pale face. Despite her drug-befuddled mind, she was certain a real husband would greet his wife, whom he’d nearly lost, with more enthusiasm than what Peter had dished.

He went on to tell her he was Peter Jamison, and she was Amelia Brockhurst Jamison, a South African Afrikaner exchange student he had met at a London university and whom he had married when she’d finished her degree. At the time, she’d thought his story sounded rehearsed, and the feeling that their shared past was a fabricated lie struck her, enhanced by the indifference her “husband” expressed toward her. She didn’t remember him or anything from her past and had simply listened to whatever the medical team and that man she was supposedly in love with had fed her about her life before everything was erased from her memory.

Yet, something was wrong with their story—a burn victim from the kind of accident she’d had would need more than a year to recover. But here she was, functioning normally and looking like a perfect, magazine cover girl a scant few months later.

Peter’s explanation, delivered in a bored, why-am-I-bothering tone, was that she’d had experimental treatment at the clinic. Bollocks, she’d wanted to scream.

Some things didn’t mesh, and darned if she wouldn’t try to find out what parts of the puzzle didn’t fit into the whole picture.

Her gaze, lost in the distance while she replayed the scenes of her waking up, focused again on her reflection, the woman staring back at her a stranger. The doctors said she’d had plastic surgery to bring her back to her former likeness; then why did she feel no kinship with the person she met every time she looked in a mirror?

Amelia Jamison, the woman who stared back at her, was a beauty. Delicate features that resembled the work of a master sculptor graced her face. Perfect cheekbones. Smooth, flawless skin. Crystal-clear blue eyes with extremely thick, dark lashes. Wide, full mouth. Dainty nose. Short, honey-toned hair.

Her hair had been long before, if she were to believe the pictures Peter so artfully placed in the Hampstead Heath home she’d come to live in two weeks ago, after leaving the Swiss clinic. Pictures of Amelia and Peter on their wedding day, on a trip to a winter ski station, on a tropical beach with a glowing sunset behind them, snuggled on a comfy-looking couch with a fire blazing in the background, and so on. And then there were photos of Amelia alone, smiling at the camera. Pictures in the same kind of elegant, gilt-edged frames that were arranged in tasteful, classy displays around the leather handbags and silk scarves sold in the shop.

Shaking off the weird, disturbing feeling that a trip down her nonexistent Memory Lane always brought on, she turned her attention back to the source of her unease. The man in the corduroy trousers.

There he was, a few yards away, intently perusing an artful party-table arrangement. Yet she was pretty sure a man like him—who appeared too much in control of a ruthless energy and vigilance, evident in his stiff back and the casual looks he sent her way—would not really have much to do with Disney princess decorations, the theme of the exhibition.

Unless he was watching her in the reflection of the big, Snow White, magical mirror on the table.

What did he want with her?

Suddenly, the corridor cleared, leaving no one between them.

“Ma’am?”

A shadow fell over her, and she sighed when the imposing figure of Nathaniel settled in front of her.

“What?” she snapped, annoyed that he had intervened just before she made eye contact with the tall stranger.

“Time,” Nathaniel growled. “Home.”

Did the man ever talk in a full sentence? Sometimes she wondered if he even had a functioning brain inside that huge, shaved skull of his. Why had Peter saddled her with such a thick idiot?

Stepping around him, she tried to catch sight of the man in the corduroys, but he was nowhere in sight. Just her luck. “Let’s go,” she said to the gorilla beside her as she moved toward the exit.

Some way, somehow, she would figure out if there truly was someone following her. She could be going to Bedlam, yes, but something was on high alert inside her, and, though she had no idea what that something was, she would give it due consideration and follow through. 

* * * * * 

London. Hampstead Heath

Thursday, December 13, 2:15 p.m

The minute she got home, she headed straight to her bedroom. Home. She snorted. More like a mausoleum, really. The humongous manor looked like an impersonal hotel or a perfect reproduction of a page torn from an interior decor magazine. It certainly didn’t look like a home to her. She was ready to puke every time her gaze landed on the huge, crystal chandelier, massive moldings along the ceiling, the champagne-colored, silk-finish wallpaper, thick cream carpet, and ornate marble table with a disgustingly ostentatious arrangement of white lilies in the middle of the entrance hallway.

Peter said she’d handpicked the split-level mansion from all the outstanding offers in that posh area of North London. She’d wanted to reply that she’d needed to have her head checked a long time ago if that were the case, since no one in their right mind would desire such a dead shell of a house, however luxurious. But what did she know? Maybe the woman she’d been before had been a total snob who thrived on keeping up with the Abramoviches.

Though she heavily doubted she could’ve been such a stuck-up cow, if that were so, thank goodness she had amnesia.

There was a reason why she flew straight to the bedroom and its adjoining bathroom the minute she stepped into the cold dwelling. She wanted to get to the pills she had to take—pills scheduled like clockwork every six hours, and the reason why Nathaniel had said they needed to get back before Peter came home. That way, she could ditch them down the drain while Nathaniel struggled to get in with the mountain of shopping bags she’d piled on him back at Selfridges; thus, she could escape the drugs’ heavy, losing-control-sedation.

As her hands closed on the vials in the medicine cabinet, she froze. The plastic tubes rolled with a clatter of shaking pills into the sunken marble sink.

Someone was there. Oh, no. Peter. Her breath hitched in her throat as she sensed more than heard his approach, his Italian loafers making no sound on the bedroom carpet, then on the polished floor tiles of the en-suite. The closer he got, the more she recoiled and cringed, dreading the feel of his cold fingers should they touch her.

He dipped his head so his mouth would be level with her ear, and the whisper of his breath maliciously teased her skin.

“Good girl,” he said softly.

She heard the hint of mockery in his tone, a chilling reminder that he was the one who called the shots around the house. Gone was the distant, detached man who had been by her side at the hospital. In his place was a manipulating monster who took pleasure in making her jump out of her skin.

Against her will, her body shook with subtle tremors. The one vial of medicine still in her palm rattled with a nerve-wracking sound as the pills inside danced from the involuntary movement.

Peter brought his cold hand to settle onto hers and rubbed his long fingers along her wrist. She wanted to shrink back from the slime-like touch, but she couldn’t move. He’d do to her what she didn’t want him to do—he’d make her take the drugs.

She watched, misery threading an icy path down her spine and into her soul, as he reached for the small bottles.

“Seems like you need to rest, Millie,” he said.

His voice was like a thousand shards of sharp crystal, stabbing into her gut and at her pounding heart. He carefully took one pill from each of the white vials, and two from the pink one, before he cradled her hand in his and placed the little spheres in her palm.

After putting the medicine bottles back in the cabinet, he swung the door closed. The mirror on the panel reflected their images. She stifled a gasp when the visual realization that he stood so close drove home. He was a devastatingly handsome man, tall, with pale skin as flawless as the most precious Italian marble. His eyes were deep green, and locks of his expertly cut dark hair—the shade as intense as gleaming mahogany—brushed his wide forehead, which tapered down to an otherwise lean face.

She glossed over his visual perfection to examine her own reflection. What she noticed was the fact that, for all the racing heartbeat and thundering blood pounding in her veins and at her temples, her face betrayed no hint of the fear and dread inside her. No, she appeared detached, regal, as if she didn’t give a damn.

Peter filled a glass at the tap and placed it in her other hand. His stare caught hers in the mirror, and she shook inwardly at the empty hollowness of his soul that darkened his bottle-green irises.

Drink, they seemed to order, a barely concealed command obvious in the penetrating gaze.

No, she wanted to scream, but something else took over. Defiant, she threw the pills into her mouth and swallowed them with a big gulp of water.

Satisfied? Her blue eyes insolently asked as she stared back.He smiled. Only the corners of his mouth stretched, his eyes remaining hard, emerald stones in the smooth, chiseled perfection of his otherwise expressionless face.

She shivered—at his calm, detached demeanor, or at the drugs hitting her bloodstream with no food as a buffer in her empty stomach? She didn’t know anymore. The stuff he plied her with was potent, and it could knock her out in a matter of minutes. Already, she felt groggy, wisps of oblivion snaking through her consciousness and laying siege upon her mind, intent on numbing any functioning neuron in her system so that the abyss could consume her.

She felt Peter’s hand on her elbow, the chill of his touch permeating the fabric of her cashmere cardigan. He made her turn around, his grasp firm as he led her, stumbling steps and all, into the adjoining room.

As her blurred vision made out the silhouette of the king-size canopy bed, the last thing she clearly recalled before darkness claimed her was someone pushing her forward with all their might.

*** End of Excerpt ***

Don’t forget – you can get the book here! And at the bargain price of $1.99 for a full-length novel, it’s a steal! :)

Thanks for having allowed me to share this post with you today.

And tell me  – does danger thrill you? And if you like your characters dangerous, why? Leave me a comment, and don’t forget your email address too, as a lucky commenter will win a copy of Walking The Edge through a random draw.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

P.S I love meeting new people and making friends, so feel free to find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, under the name of Zee Monodee. You can also drop by my blog anytime at http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com/ and send me an email at zeemonodee@hotmail.com

July 07, 2011 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

sits_bookpage.jpg 

 

One of my absolute favorite aspects of my job is research. It is a chance to become completely immersed in a topic that enthralls me, sleuthing out the minute details and piecing together a subject I might otherwise have known nothing about. Over the years, I’ve built a solid little library of Victorian titles to support my series, but with each new novel have come new fields for research. My characters are always haring off on adventures, and every new setting or culture or idea comes with its own demands. In addition to my books on Victoriana, I have small collections of books on various subjects: tea—both growing and leaf-reading, Gypsies, fortune-telling, vampires, Spiritualism, colonial India and Africa, witchcraft, astrology, natural history, roses, early forensic science, outmoded recreational drugs—absinthe and opium in particular, Shakespearean quotes, and poisons. And that’s just what I can see on the shelves by my desk!

Stocking a research pile is a daunting and thoroughly enjoyable task. I start with my local library, scouring the shelves for anything even remotely related to the topics at hand. As I read, I flag useful pages with post-its, and once I reach a certain number of flags, I give up and order my own copy of the book. My reasoning that the cost in supplies and wear and tear on my copier far outstrips the price of the book. I do this dozens of times during the research part of the project, and it’s during these weeks that my postman always begins to hate me just a little. Almost every day brings a fresh padded envelope or box loaded with treasures. I unpack them and get a little frantic trying to figure out where they are all going to go.  My husband just installed eight more shelves in my study which helps tremendously! I now actually have a few empty linear feet just waiting to be filled up, but I doubt they’ll stay empty for long.

Once amassed, the books are read and flagged—this time to mark pages I will want to revisit later. I highlight in pencil and make margin notes, and when everything has been pored over, I make an index. It sounds grand, but it’s really just a typed list of page numbers for a particular book and why the page has been flagged. I’ll note if it’s a historical fact or a great description or a detail I want to include. Then the books get shelved near my desk, always within arm’s reach when I’m working.

Once upon a time, I used to finish all of my research before I began writing. Snug deadlines cured me of this habit, and it’s been immensely freeing to know that I can keep learning while I’m working. I can always go back and insert something delicious that I didn’t even know when I started writing. And the very best part? The fact that I can lose myself in a completely fascinating book and claim I’m working…

From Echoes to Identities

July 06, 2011 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

After test driving a couple of publishers I had the good fortune of finding and subsequently signing with Rebel Ink Press last fall. My first short story with them came in November and after analyzing what I had been doing I revamped a novel I had written and wasn’t happy with and zipped it away to the editor. At the time I was knee deep in a series I’ve dubbed The Sergeants of Echo Company about three marines and their mission to bed three impossibly emotional women. The manuscript I sent E was A Slower, Lower Love and my original intent was to publish it as a stand-alone story. E didn’t have it long before she sent me an email and the opening line was “We need to talk.” Holy crap…how bad was it? That was my gut reaction. However, that turned out to be very good news indeed. You see, two lines had E in love with a side character, Logan and she wanted more. That was the beginning of the Delaney brothers series.So, here I am with a release date for A Slower, Lower Love and no sequels planned out…oh, and the Echo series half finished. What to do? I put Echo aside and started work on the Slower Lower books. In the meantime, a new muse came to live at my house by the name of Bronwyn. She’s a very kinky little thing to say the least. She wears spike heeled boots and carries a whip on her hip, and it just so happens she likes to write BDSM. Now here I am with one series back burnered, trying to get another one complete and here comes Bronwyn wanting to create a series all her own with a serious bent. The little she-devil. Who did she think she was? Needless to say, she’s relentless and in between finishing Kurt’s story and the release of A Slower, Lower Love, Identity Crisis took shape.Identity Crisis came as freely as water to me and I wrote it in a matter of days. I positively loved writing it and never dreamed it would get the response that it did. I’m new to the BDSM scene as it were and tried very hard to do my research. It paid off. Some of the comments I’ve received are wonderful and most of them include something to the effect that my characters are so believable the ladies wish the men would jump off the page and keep them company a while. And while Ren and Chad did do that for me, Steph did it that much more. He’s the one I want to hop out of the book and introduce himself.

Steph’s story took me a while longer to write. Not only is it twice the length of Identity Crisis, he and Jill have way bigger issues than did Tori, Ren and Chad. And so I find myself half-way through the year with two books released in both series, and the Identity series is getting rave reviews. I started thinking, wow…would the Echo boys have gone over as well? Maybe it was a cosmic intervention that sent me down this path. Whatever the reasons, I’m glad it happened. I’m having a stellar year and wouldn’t change a thing.

Title: True Identity

Series: Identity Series book 2

By: Lila Munro  

 Publisher: Rebel Ink PressWords: 41,000

Release Date: June 7, 2011

Genre: Contemporary Romance/BDSM

Cost: $4.99

Purchase Link: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-trueidentity-560036-147.html  

You have to leave the city of your comfort…
Jillian Stewart was as straight laced as they came. Or was she? After one man tearing her down to her very foundation, she’s set out on a path of self-discovery. Pursuing a Master’s degree in sociology, Jill’s determined to wrap her mind around the complexities of the BDSM world. Getting into a good doctorate program won’t be easy so she’s pulling out all the stops. After disregarding her professor’s warning against subjecting herself to the lifestyle, Jill finds she’s drawn to her tutor. But this isn’t her world. Is it?

and go into the wilderness of your intuition…
A career Marine Corps officer, Stephan Sachelles has always chosen to keep his lifestyle choices to himself. He avoids the underground house parties on the base to frequent a club miles from home in an effort to protect his privacy. Steph’s been a Master at Steele Image for years and he’s enjoyed the company of many of the subs there with no intention of ever settling on just one. How would he make that work…it wasn’t like he could convert his base house into the dungeon of his dreams. Then Jill walks through the door. Steph’s intuition tells him there’s wild abandon inside her fighting for a chance at life. In the depths of her eyes, far behind the over analysis of everything she encounters, Steph sees the heart of a true submissive. But the resistance Jill puts up is driving Steph crazy. While she’s a good student, she just won’t let go. Fighting his own internal battle, Steph finds he wants nothing more than to be the only Master to help her find her true identity.

Excerpt:As Jillian Stewart pulled her Honda Accord into a parking lot just off a too quiet street in the warehouse district, she peered up at the building looming in front of her in near disbelief. She found an empty spot between two lifted up four wheel drive pick-ups and took the directions out of her purse to confirm the address she’d programmed into her Garmin forty-five minutes prior. Finding that she was indeed at the correct place, Jillian peered out the windshield again. Surely this wasn’t Steele Image. The place looked more like somewhere gangsters would lie in wait in an action movie. Where was the neon sign and bright lights? Where were the throngs of near naked people waiting to go inside? And why was this place nearly out of town? How long would it take for emergency services to get this far out? Jill took pause and questioned not only her safety but her sanity, much as Professor Earlman had when she explained to him what she wanted to do for her graduate thesis project. “You what?” Dr. Earlman asked Jill, taking his glasses off and tossing them on his desk before leaning forward on his forearms.“I said I’m going to do an in depth study of the BDSM sub-culture through personal interviews and direct observation coupled with…” Jill paused at the look that crossed Prof’s face. “Prof?”“I heard you, Jill, I’m just not sure I understand,” he told her, pushing back and swiping a hand over his face. “You…you’re not…you’re so…”“I’m what? Stiff necked? A stick in the mud? Not suited for this line of work?” Jill demanded, tugging the hem of her more than decent length denim skirt to her knees.“Well, conservative comes to mind. Not suited to be a sociologist? Hell no. You’ll make a brilliant sociologist. You’re very observant and quite intelligent. If anyone deserves a spot in a doctorate program it’s you. But Jill? Are you prepared for what you’ll encounter during this study?”“It’s just science, right? Nothing personal. I’m sure as with every other sub-culture, it’ll take some time to assimilate and be welcomed, but being there observing and learning doesn’t necessarily mean fully participating. Does it?” Taking a deep breath, Jill opened her car door and scooted out. She smoothed her velvety, hunter green skirt down and tucked a strand of jet black hair behind her ear. Giving herself a pep talk, she ran her hand around her waist making sure her fern green silk blouse was tucked in all the way. “You can do this, Jill. It’s just a few nights of watching and asking questions,” she assured herself, taking a steadying breath. “Purse or no purse?” she pondered. “No purse.” Jill picked up her notepad and adjusting her glasses. Steeling herself, she locked the car and walked toward the entrance. The heels of her black, open toe pumps clicked on the cracked pavement as she approached an industrial steel door, the only light in the area coming from one dim street lamp nearby. Stopping short, she looked around for a doorbell.  Unable to find one, she tapped lightly on the dented surface,listening intently and hearingnothing in return. No footsteps, no voices, no music. Was this a joke? Did that guy she’d tracked down with more tattoos than skin, a rod through his nose and a big fish hook looking thing in his lip, send her on a wild goose chase? He’d said this was a private club. Surely she wasn’t just expected to waltz in like she owned the place.“You’ve probably been had, Jill,” she said out loud. “You’re pretty gullible and clueless looking. Wonder if the guy I’m supposed to talk to is even real?”Jill held her ground a few minutes longer and knocked again a bit louder. Just as she determined it was useless and backed up to go, she found herself bouncing off another body. A hard as a rock body to be exact. Gasping, she whirled around and looked straight into a bare chest. Slowly she raised her eyes and looked up until she stared into a set of dark, almost menacing eyes.

Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina. She’s a military wife and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fourteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. She’s a member in good standing with the RWA, Passionate Ink and EPIC. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, A Slower Lower Love, Salvation, Force Recon: Beacon Bayou, and Identity Crisis. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2010-2011. Ms. Munro also works as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Rebel Ink Press. She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://lilamunro.weebly.com , her joint effort website http://www.wickedmuses.blogspot.com or through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_Munro  You can also contact her via email at lilasromance@gmail.com   For more information about Rebel Ink Press please visit their website at www.rebelinkpress.com  

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