A reverse harem romance – Mia’s Wedding

Having just read and enjoyed both Mia’s Men and Mia’s Wedding, parts 1 and 2 of The Heiress’s Harem, I’m very happy to help Lucy Felthouse promote the latter, which was published earlier this month.

These are the first stories I’ve read from the “reverse harem” genre, where a woman is involved romantically with multiple partners, all of whom know about the others. In reality, I can imagine a situation like this might be a tad emotionally fraught, but it’s a nice escapist fantasy all the same.

I gave both books 4 stars in my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Blurb, buy-links and an extract giving a taste of Lucy’s writing below…

Mia’s Wedding (The Heiress’s Harem #2) by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) 

Blurb:

Planning a wedding is stressful enough, and that’s without a harem of gorgeous men to deal with.

miaswedding

Mia Harrington has had a difficult time of it lately—her father’s illness and subsequent death, then finding out she must get married if she is to inherit what’s rightfully hers. Fortunately, she’s tough and resourceful, and has emerged relatively unscathed from this period, as well as finding herself a suitable husband.

However, things are far from simple. Mia might be planning to marry investment banker Elias Pym, but she’s also having a relationship with his best friend, Doctor Alex Cartwright, and is in love with her gardener, Thomas Walker. Add to that broken dates, flashy proposals, a sexy Asian tech billionaire, and a nosey housekeeper, and you’ve got a situation hectic enough to drive even the most capable person to distraction. Can Mia juggle her men, her job, and the wedding arrangements, or is her happily ever after over before it has even begun?

Mia’s Wedding is the second book in The Heiress’s Harem reverse harem romance series.

Buy from Amazon or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://mybook.to/miaswedding

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38588135-mia-s-wedding

*****

Excerpt:

Mia locked up and put the key in her bag, then took Elias’s arm. They walked down the steps and out into the chilly January night to the waiting black cab.

“I’m afraid,” Elias said, once they were settled into the back of the car, “Alex isn’t coming.”

“What do you mean, he’s not coming?” she squeaked.

Elias looked apologetic, but gave a one-shouldered shrug. “There was an emergency at the hospital—as their nearest surgeon, he got called in. Couldn’t very well say no, could he?”

Mia shook her head and sagged back into the seat, her heart sinking to her stomach. “No, of course not. I’m very sorry he won’t be joining us, but although we’re scintillating company, we don’t count as a life or death situation.”

He reached out and squeezed her hand, then kept hold of it. “No, we certainly do not. I hope, though, that I’ll be entertainment enough for you by myself this evening.”

She squeezed his hand back, then leaned over and kissed his cheek, pulling in the scent of his delicious cologne at the same time. “I’m sure you will. Besides, this was part of what you two meant when you were talking about being able to give a woman the attention she deserves between you, wasn’t it? Alex unfortunately can’t make it, but because I’m dating—or whatever the hell we’re calling this—both of you, it means I’m not left high and dry. I’m sure at some point you’ll be the one who has to cancel. These things happen.”

With a smile, Elias said, “They sure do. Though I don’t really get emergencies at work—and if I do, they’re all about which person gets to line their pockets the most, rather than saving lives. But enough of that!” he added brightly, clearly eager to change the sore subject of his chosen career. Though she still didn’t understand why he was so embarrassed about it. And if he hated it so much, why was he still doing it? She wasn’t going to broach that particular topic, though, not tonight. She already had one potentially hairy subject to discuss.

But then how could she, now? How could she talk about the situation with Thomas without Alex present? She stifled a sigh. Fuck it. Looks like it’s going to have to wait.

“So,” she said, “where are we going?”

“You’ll have to wait and see,” he replied with a smirk.

She jabbed him in the ribs. “Seriously?”

“Yes, seriously. Patience, woman! We’ll be there in…” he peered out of the window, presumably to check where they were, “in less than ten minutes, traffic permitting.”

“Hmph.” She folded her arms and pouted. “Guess I’ll just have to wait, then.”

“Don’t sulk.” Elias tapped the end of her nose. “We haven’t seen each other in a little while, so I want smiles and laughter, not pouting. Even though I know you’re faking it.”

She gasped. “I never fake it!”

“I should hope not,” he shot back, his grin turning wicked. “My future wife deserves nothing but the best, and that includes orgasms. Real ones.”

Her tummy flip-flopped. Bloody hell, she’d almost forgotten about that. She’d been so focussed on working up to telling Elias and Alex they weren’t the only two men to be sharing her that there hadn’t been much capacity left for thinking about her impending wedding. But then, technically speaking, she wasn’t engaged yet. They’d discussed it and informally agreed to it, but there’d been no proposal, no acceptance, no ring.

There was plenty of time left for all that, though. If she and Elias had to grab a couple of witnesses and go to a registry office at the last minute, it would still count—her father hadn’t specified a type of ceremony, thankfully. But that wasn’t how she wanted to do things, and she suspected Elias wouldn’t be too keen on that idea, either.

“Ooh, your future wife, am I?” she teased, figuring that since the topic of Thomas was off the table, she might as well put the topic of their engagement on the table, instead.

Elias frowned. “Of course you are. I know we haven’t sorted a ring yet, but we still know we’re engaged…”

She shrugged, hoping it appeared more nonchalant to him than she actually felt. “Well, not exactly. We never made it official, did we? More of a loose verbal agreement.”

Elias groaned and screwed up his nose. “When you put it like that, it sounds bloody awful. I know to all intents and purposes it’s a practical arrangement, but I want it to be much more than that, Mia.” He cupped her cheek and brushed his thumb over her skin. “I’ve missed you.”

Warmth bloomed where he touched her, and radiated across her entire face and down her neck. She smiled and placed her hand over his. “I want it to be more, too. And I’ve missed you, as well. It’s been a long month, hasn’t it?”

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Advertisements

Kiss Me, Bite Me…

No, the title isn’t meant to be a request, suggestion or hint, but who knows if I might not be tempted to accept an interesting offer…

Today, I’m posting about Saraya St Clair’s new release, Kiss Me, Bite Me, the first book in her Blood Kissed series. I’m very happy to help her publicise this new book because I like the sound of it. It looks like a nicely-told erotic paranormal romance, a story updating the vampire to our world. I’ll post reviews on Amazon once I’ve read it myself.

(BK1)KMBM copy

She’s a scientist at a blood bank. He’s a newbie vampire with control issues. Is theirs a match made in heaven? Or hell?

I’d learned early on in life not to show weakness. Like messy emotions. Shedding tears in front of my family had a similar outcome to busting out of a shark cage wearing blood cologne.

The world hasn’t treated Kayana Castello Branco particularly kindly. So it’s no surprise to her when she literally bumps into her soul mate, only to find he’s already taken. He’s gorgeous, strong, smart, kind—every woman’s ideal guy. Of course he’s unavailable for soul-matey business.

When fate shows pity, putting Greg Morgan in her path a second time, the resulting collision is colossal. Their connection is epic, the stuff of romantic legends, fairy tales, sonnets. They’re like Romeo and Juliet (only, the R-rated version).

But something has happened to Greg. Now, every time he gets near Ana, he gets long and hard…and pointy in the fang area. He doesn’t know whether he wants to kiss her, lick her, do-that-thing-that-rhymes-with-duck her. Or bite and deprive her of every last molecule of haemoglobin.

Loving a newbie vampire with control issues really and truly sucks.

 

Excerpt:

When I reached Dean’s Coffee House, I was relieved to see my usual table in the back was the only one not taken in the otherwise crowded café. I rushed in before anyone nabbed my spot, sat down, and was busy rifling around in my bag, trying to get my hands on my book, when I felt someone standing beside my table.

I saw a pair of long legs clad in worn jeans. I looked up farther to see a muscular chest, broad, broad shoulders and bulging biceps that strained against a fitted grey T-shirt. This guy was a big, big bastard. I started to feel a little shaky and was almost too nervous to look at his face. Swallowing hard, forcing myself to do it, I looked up, way up, until I met his gaze. And was confronted by the most amazing deep green eyes I had ever seen in my entire life.

Or rather, that I’d seen once before in my entire life.

Holy. Freaking. Mother. Of. God!

Seemed like suddenly my physiological systems went all out of whack. I couldn’t breathe right and my heart took off with a rhythm like a white boy dancing.

Did Tall Dark and About To Give Me a Heart Attack remember me? Probably not. Perhaps he made a habit of grabbing girls in corridors all the time. Oh, plus I’m not six feet tall. Or blonde. Or a model. My nips went hard, though, at the sight of him. And since he must be attracted to hard N.I.Ps… But then, he didn’t even know I’d named his lover Nordic Ice Princess, a.k.a. N.I.P., so he wouldn’t get the connection—

‘Um, since you’re sitting in my chair,’ he began in that deep voice I remembered so well—the one that haunted my dreams. ‘I mean, my favourite chair,’ he amended, ‘the one I sit in every Saturday morning. And since all the other tables are taken, I was wondering if you’d be prepared to share?’

I blinked at him in utter disbelief. And had the urge to start screaming obscenities. His ass—his perfect, gorgeous ass—had been warming my chair on Saturdays, while my stupid ass had been sitting at home?

Well, fuck a goddamn duck!

I sat there gaping at him, unable to formulate a response. Attempting to calm myself, I tried some deep breathing, soon realizing it would take way more than a few ins and outs of my breath to regain my equanimity.

I heard chairs scraping the floor and my gaze flicked to the adjacent table, where the couple was leaving. The attention of the man who was waiting to share my table, however, didn’t waver. He stared into my eyes with such intensity it was as though he were willing me to comply by the sheer magnetic pull of his eyeballs. Lucky for him, he ignored the fact that there was now a free table. Because after all this time, if he went and sat somewhere else, I think I’d pick up a chair and brain him with it.

Apart from this strange potential for violence, I felt all teenage-crush fluttery. Be cool. Just be cool. It’s entirely likely he doesn’t even remember you.

I inhaled one last big breath—an attempt to suck up some nonchalance along with my oxygen. ‘So what—you think I’m like, Goldilocks perhaps, sitting in your chair?’  Ah, my level of nonchalance was awesome.

He bit the inside of his cheek and looked at me for a handful of seconds. ‘Yes, I think so.’

‘And if I’m Goldilocks, then I guess you must be…Papa bear?’

‘I might just be.’

‘Well, you’re certainly big enough…to be a bear.’ My voice did not waver. No sir, it did not.

‘I am indeed.’ He gave me a closed-lipped grin. And oh my hell, just kill me now, dimples appeared in his cheeks when he did it.

‘Problem with this scenario,’ I paused to tug at one of my own very un-goldy locks, ‘wrong hair colour.’

He eyeballed my long dark locks appraisingly, which caused a slight shiver to run through me. ‘No, not at all. Actually, your hair is…just…right.’ He said the last two words slowly, for emphasis.

I clamped my hand over my mouth so I wouldn’t laugh outright. After a few moments of us both pretending I wasn’t smiling behind my hand, I said, ‘Well, I’ll have you know, this happens to be my chair Monday to Friday.’ I watched his eyebrows as they took a trip towards his hairline. ‘But since it’s Saturday, and it’s usually your chair on Saturdays, I guess we can share. The table, I mean. You can sit over there,’ I said, pointing to the chair across from me. ‘I don’t think you’ll fit on this chair with me. Besides, I’ve already broken one of the chairs in your little cottage in the woods.’

‘There are a couple of ways we could both fit on that chair,’ he answered, now sporting the most beautiful, devious grin. ‘But maybe I’ll sit here for now and…we’ll see.’

 

Amazon US buy link

Amazon UK buy link

About Saraya

If someone told a young Sayara St. Clair that one day she would be an erotic/paranormal-romance-writing Aussie expat living in Thailand, she would have snort-laughed and yelled, “You. Be. Crazy!”

If someone told her the same thing now, she would not yell, only nod solemnly. Because that actually happened.

Sayara has a science degree, with majors in both microbiology and biochemistry. Working in the fields of serology and tissue banking, she got to do lots of cool and sometimes slightly weird stuff. She was employed as the manager/buyer for furniture retail stores, where she had a chance to unleash her inner interior decorator. (Interior design is one of her great passions.) And for a time, she taught English to students in Asia. (Hanging about in a roomful of extremely loud, pint-sized humans is not one of her great passions.) She has written: ads for TV, print and radio; real estate brochures; website copy; and a screenplay. Now she’s writing fiction and has discovered it’s her favorite thing to do. She’s also learned that writing sultry romances is so much more fun than writing dry old scientific journal articles. No one has sex in scientific journal articles. Not the ones she wrote anyway.

When not writing, she may be most commonly found in a horizontal position reading, in the kitchen baking, in the garden planting, or somewhere else singing at the top of her lungs. She loves music and is prone to spontaneous bouts of dancing.

With regards to vampires and chocolate: she bites one on a daily basis and has had a lifelong obsession with the other. And she’s not telling which one’s which.

SSC erotic & paranormal romance banner

Saraya’s social media and other links:

Website    Amazon Page   Twitter      Facebook

Darkest Hour, fine film-making

Image resultI made one of my infrequent trips to the cinema last night, being tempted by what I’d heard about “Darkest Hour”.

And I’m glad I saw it.

Overall, I found it very entertaining, interesting, engaging, and well-acted. I also had fun spotting familiar faces in the supporting cast and extras, male actors I knew from TV shows and films.

I don’t know exactly how accurate it is in strictly historical terms, but I suspect it’s safe to assume it’s a mixture of fact, fiction, and fictionalised versions of fact. I assume it must have been, because real life doesn’t usually provide such a good and consistent narrative!

The film starts the day before Churchill was summoned by the King to be invited to form a government, and ends with his “we will fight on the beaches” speech to the House of Commons, a period of just a few weeks. I’d never appreciated how tricky it must have been for Churchill to establish himself politically after taking office, and his doing this provides the tension and drama to the storyline.

I thought Gary Oldman was outstanding. His Churchill seemed like a real person, with moments of doubt as he struggled to establish himself, with a plausible private life (Kristin Scott Thomas made an excellent Clementine Churchill), and a fondness for the odd drink. Gary’s portrayal conveyed Churchill’s mannerisms and speech patterns beautifully. His delivery of some of the speeches was simply inspiring. I know good actors can deliver good writing well, but Gary Oldman delivered very familiar words in a way which had me on the edge of my seat, eager to hear him.

Viewed as a story, I found it pretty well-written. The story started engagingly by showing us Churchill’s new secretary Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) being dropped into the deep end and having a pretty awful first day. Her character plays a useful role in much of the film, when the story moves to Churchill himself. Both characters start off in difficult situations and grow as they deal with the problems.

I recommend it highly. It’s worth seeing on the big screen, rather than waiting for it to be on DVD and streaming services.

The Prison of the Angels, the new book by Janine Ashbless … and a give-away!

To help a fellow author whose work I’ve enjoyed a great deal, I’m delighted to have Janine Ashbless as a blog guest to talk about her latest book, “The Prison of the Angels, the third and final in the “Book of the Watchers” series.

After enjoying the first two books in this series, I was eagerly awaiting the third and final one. I read it as soon as I could, and it was worth the wait!

Janine talks about finishing the series below, then there’s an excerpt from the book, and right at the bottom is a link to a give-away, a paperback copy of the book and an Amazon giftcard for £20 or $20.

This is the review I posted on Amazon, awarding it five well-deserved stars…

“Excellent story from a turbo-charged imagination

This is a romance with a lot of super-heated steam and the darkest shadows you can imagine, but I think it’s pretty good conclusion to a story which has built up a serious head of steam over the previous two books. In principle, this could be read as a stand-alone story, but I strongly enourage you to read the first two in the series. It’s imaginative, sweeping, full of twists and turns, and I genuinely had NO idea where Janine’s story was going right up until the end. She brings together myths from different cultures as well as archangels and angels who, being truly inhuman and created in a particular way, have a multitude of what we call human failings as well as unimaginable powers.

Wow.”

Over to Janine…

Writing “The End”

Janine Ashbless

I wrote the short story Cover Him With Darkness in 2010 (It appeared in the Red Velvet and Absinthe anthology). I was asked to turn it into a trilogy and I wrote the first novel during 2013. Now, right at the end of 2017, the final words go out to my readers. “It is finished,” to coin a phrase.

Seven years of my life … Wow.

I’m a bit bereft, to be honest!

As a trilogy I always felt that it would be one volume to set up the characters and the situation, one to dig into the consequences of their actions and the secrets they’ve all been guarding, and one to tie everything up and reel in a Happy Ever After (Maybe).  Book 3, The Prison of the Angels, has turned out to be the longest of the trilogy, because the characters and their complications multiplied with the telling — and believe me it wasn’t easy to pull them out of the hole they were determined to dig for themselves!

It could have been even longer. Even now there are things I wish I could have written about. But I didn’t want it to sprawl out into an angelic soap-opera; this plot had an arc, in three acts, and it had momentum across that arc. It had to be wrapped up. It was by far the fastest of the three to write; it knew where it was going.

And I wrote the romance of my career, I suspect. It has everything I love in Romance: high stakes, self-doubt, sacrifice, physical suffering, emotional anguish, frustrated lust… and red-hot sex, of course! It had two gorgeous guys vying for my heroine, and I fell wildly in love with both of them. I struggle to imagine topping that — certainly it’s hard to imagine bigger stakes than the End of the World.

Can I tell you a secret? Right at this moment, I’m not sure I can ever write a romance novel again. That’s genuinely unsettling for me. I feel like I’ve thrown in my best hand imaginable and I’ve nothing left; and no writer ever wants to feel that way.

But I gave it my everything. And that feels … appropriate. That’s real love.

xxx

Janine

Excerpt from The Prison of the Angels:

The cold water flashed like white fire over every inch of my skin. It burnt my eyeballs and my lips and the inside of my throat, and beyond the white fire was a darkness so immense that it swallowed me whole.

I fell forever.

Something grabbed my wrist. Something so hot that it boiled away the darkness, so that there was suddenly light flashing in my eyes. I felt myself grabbed up bodily and lifted. I felt heat against my lips, blowing fire into my frozen lungs. I saw the wooden posts of a flight of steps, and then I pitched forward onto hands and knees in the shallow snow, choking up pond-water. In front of my blurred vision an inchoate swirl of darkness poured up the steps onto the lit porch and then disappeared. Unseen, something slammed against the door, a knock that made the house shake.

I was on the ground beneath the back porch of John’s house, I realized, shuddering.

Mama. Oh Mama. The thought seemed to come from nowhere.

Three times the knock sounded, and on the third the door burst open—outward, onto the porch—to reveal Egan in the lit room within; shaven, shirtless, and frozen mid-lunge for what I could only assume was a weapon of some sort.

He stared.

I tried to cry out.

“Milja?”

Grabbing his pistol he ran out barefoot onto the porch and looked around for enemies that were not there. Then he clattered down and pulled me up into his arms. I pressed my face to his neck and he carried me up the steps and over the threshold—not like a bride, but like a child he could hold tight against his torso, his wrists locked under my thighs. His skin blazed against mine. He hefted me into the kitchen and propped my ass on the table in front of the range.

“What the hell?” he demanded in a low fierce voice, sweeping locks of sodden hair back from my face. My hat seemed to have disappeared. “What happened, Milja? What were you doing out there?”

“Ice. I fell in the lake.” My jaw chattered. It was obvious I was telling the truth—I was soaked from head to toe, and after clasping me so close he wasn’t much drier himself.

“Feckssake, woman!” he growled. “What the hell were you thinking of?” He shucked off my coat, which lifted a sodden ton from my shoulders, then stooped to pull my boots off; ice-water spilt all over the floor.

I tried to strip off my gloves but my fingers weren’t capable of gripping anything.

“Come here, come here,” he said softly from where he knelt at my feet, grabbing my wrists and peeling away the useless gloves. He pressed my hands on either side of his warm neck, holding them there. They must have felt like ice-blocks to him, but he didn’t wince.

He looked like a knight kneeling before his queen, I thought. I could feel his pulse.

“I’ll go get towels, Milja. Are you going to be okay a sec?”

I nodded, though he probably couldn’t see it through the shuddering. He rose and hurried off, leaving me with the radiant warmth of the stove. I thought I should probably get the rest of my clothes off, but even after I struggled with my fly zipper my jeans seemed determined to cling to my bum-cheeks.

I heard the back door bang shut and I flinched.

Azazel?

Had he been gathering himself to come get Egan? Was he the one who had saved me from the black waters? Where was he now?

Egan came back in carrying armfuls of towels. “Alright?”

“I’m okay,” I told him, smiling through my shudders. He was still shirtless, and I could see the faint Ethiopian scars on his arm and chest.

He wrapped my hands one at a time in a towel, chaffed them dry, and then set them deliberately against the hard, hot wall of his torso.

Oh God.

Then he slipped all the buttons on my thick flannel shirt—the one I’d chosen this morning precisely because it wasn’t provocative or distracting—and he only slowed when he realized I was wearing just a bra-top underneath. My nipples stood in shamefully hard points under the stretch cotton. I tried to wriggle out of the long tartan sleeves of my shirt on my own, to spare his blushes, but everything clung like a freezing cold second skin and he had to help.

The shallow slash on my forearm wasn’t bleeding anymore, but each brush of his fingers felt like hot coals.

My wet garment made a slap as it struck the floor.

He draped a towel around my shoulders and another over my head. He started rubbing the water from my face and hair and scalp, his movements precise and gentle. For long moments I was buried in a soft darkness. I reached out, blind, to put my hands back on his bare ribs. I could feel his heart pounding beneath them, like a beast pacing a cage.

I have no idea when it all changed for him. When his grueling self-denial simply fell apart, like a garment worn and washed until the fabric was weakened beyond all use. All I knew was that he dropped the towel off my damp head, cupped my face in both his hands and—absolutely without warning—kissed me.

Blurb:

Milja Petak’s world has fallen apart.

2016-1093 Janine Ashbless b03

Her lover, the fallen angel Azazel, has cast her aside in rage and disgust. The other contender for her heart, the Catholic priest Egan Kansky, was surrendered back into the hands of the shadowy Vatican organization, Vidimus, after sustaining life-threatening injuries.

She has killed and she has betrayed. She is alone, homeless, and at the end of her tether – torn apart by guilt and the love she has lost.

But neither Heaven nor its terrifying representatives on Earth have finished with Milja.

Both her lovers need her in order to further their very different plans, and both passionately need her, though they may try to deny it.

Milja is once again forced into a series of choices as she uncovers the secrets Heaven has been guarding for centuries. But this time it is not just her heart at stake, or even the fate of a fallen angel.

This time, the choices she makes will change everything.

This time it’s the End of the World.

The Prison of the Angels is the third in the acclaimed Book of the Watchers trilogy, following on from Cover Him with Darkness, and In Bonds of the Earth.

Buy links:

Amazon

Kobo

iTunes

Google Play

Barnes and Noble

 

Author bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology ‘Geek Love’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

Her work has been described as:

“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa)

Author Links:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk

*****

 GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/janine-ashbless-4/

OR

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b9ec5be183/?

Finally Found, a new short FF romance from Lucy Felthouse

I’m delighted to help fellow British writer Lucy Felthouse promote her new publication, a short FF adult romance called “Finally Found”.

I’ve read the story and really enjoyed it – a nice “quick read”. The subtitle “A Lesbian Friends to Lovers Short Story” sums it up perfectly. Two British female friends, both lesbians, meet up in London for a girl’s get-together. Two British lesbians, long-term friends, meet up in London for a girl’s get-together. The two characters came across as plausible and different, and the emotional angst will be familiar to anyone who’s quietly longed for a friendship to be far more than that. The love scene is nicely done, and flows as logical part of the story, but the story is very much about these two friends.

Finally Found Cover

Blurb:

Natalia has been in love with her best friend Ashleigh for years, ever since they were housemates at university. Unfortunately, circumstances, and then Natalia’s unwillingness to jeopardise their friendship, mean that she has never confessed her feelings, choosing instead to be grateful for the close relationship they do have. However, on a weekend away together, a bottle or two of wine and an erotic book place the girls in a highly charged sexual situation. Will Natalia make a move, or is she too afraid to rock the boat and risk losing Ashleigh altogether?

 

 

 

Please note: This story was previously published as part of the Lover Unexpected: Sappho Edition anthology.

Available from:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/finallyfound

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finally-found-lucy-felthouse/1127213165?ean=2940154581544

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finally-found/id1295030753?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/finally-found-6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/752769?ref=cw1985

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36401551-finally-found

*****

Excerpt:

Natalia smiled as she caught sight of the familiar redhead sitting at a table in the hotel bar. Thankful for the thick carpet masking her footsteps, she walked up behind her friend, ensuring she wouldn’t be seen. Then she slipped her hands over her eyes. “Guess who?”

An excitable squeak, then, “Oh, I don’t know. Is it Scarlett Johansson?”

“Hmm, close, but not quite. Guess again.”

“Oh, shut up you silly cow, and come here.” With that, the redhead stood and turned, throwing her arms around Natalia and pulling her into a tight hug. “Hey, gorgeous. I missed you! How are you?”

“I missed you too, Ashleigh. I’m good, thanks. How about you? You look great.”

Disentangling from their embrace, Ashleigh looked down at her clingy black top and skinny jeans and shrugged. “Thanks. I’m okay, I guess. All the better for seeing you. It’s been forever. Come on, sit down. Let’s get a drink.”

They sat down, and a waiter appeared. Natalia suspected he’d been waiting at a safe distance until they’d finished their enthusiastic greeting.

He smiled. “What can I get you ladies?”

Natalia looked at her watch. “You know what, it’s Saturday and it’s after twelve. I’ll have a glass of white wine, please. Something mid-range and not too dry.”

Ashleigh piped up. “Make it a bottle. Thanks.”

The waiter nodded, gave a little bow and walked away.

“So,” Natalia said, settling back into the plush armchair, “how was your journey? I always find getting into London a total nightmare, but it’s not so bad once you’re here. The Tube may be sweaty and crowded, but at least it’s fast.”

Ashleigh nodded. “It was all right, actually. The train into the city was on time and not very busy, and, like you say, the Tube is quick and easy. It was pretty stress-free. You?”

“Much the same. I’m just glad we’re finally here. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we’ve seen each other. It’s so easy to forget that when we talk almost every day.”

“I know. I’m sorry. It’s just life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Especially as we live so far apart. And then there was all that stuff with Kayla…” Ashleigh lapsed into silence and dropped her gaze to the table.

Natalia didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just nodded sagely. Kayla had been Ashleigh’s live-in girlfriend, until the discovery of some text messages and emails tipped Ashleigh off that she was being cheated on. Despite all of Kayla’s pleas and declarations of true and undying love, Ashleigh had no intention of being a doormat, so she’d thrown Kayla out, and that was the end of it.

Of course, Natalia had known that Kayla was going to be thrown out before Kayla did. As soon as Ashleigh had found the incriminating missives, she’d gotten straight on the phone to Natalia for advice. And as much as Natalia wanted to tell her friend to get the hell rid of the cheating bitch, she also wanted her to be happy, so instead she’d asked Ashleigh if she thought she was being too hasty.

“Fuck no,” Ashleigh had replied, “as far as I’m concerned, she’s destroyed my trust. Once that happens things are never the same, so it’s not worth it. And if I meant that much to her, she wouldn’t have done it, would she?”

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

 

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

For Sparrow, by Pandora Spocks

For Sparrow, the third book in Pandora Spock’s The Dream Dominant Collection will be released on October 3, 2017. It’s a steamy erotic romance with a light BDSM theme, told in 96,000 words. The rather striking cover was designed by Linzi Basset.

I’ve read another of Pandora’s books, Just One Night, which I enjoyed and reviewed on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’ve already pre-ordered For Sparrow and will post reviews once I’ve read it. There’s a generous pre-release price, if you like the sound of this story!

Blurb:

SPARROW - OPTIMUS

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated.  He’s the only man she’s ever loved.  Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years.  Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.

 

But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend.  But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship.  With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her.  At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking.  But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi.  She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies.  In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive.  But that’s simply ridiculous.  He’s five years younger than she is.  He couldn’t possibly be interested in her.  Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom.  It’s perfect for the time being.  Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT SPECIAL PRICE OF 0.99 at this Universal Link: books2read.com/ForSparrow

An excerpt:

Jessi’s hands shook.  With her index finger, she traced the writing on the front of the envelope.  She glanced out the back door to see Judd kick off his shoes and sit on the edge of the pool, sinking his feet in the water.  Buddy flopped down beside him and rolled over, wanting his tummy scratched, and Judd obliged.

She turned her attention back to the envelope.  Her irrational self told her that if she didn’t open it, somehow everything could go back to normal.  But curiosity won the moment, and she slid her thumb under the flap and carefully opened the letter.

My dearest Sparrow,

I’m so sorry I’m not there with you.  I can feel my heart beginning to wear out.  Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you, I know how you worry about things.  We’ve had a good life together.  I’ve told you before and I’m telling you again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me.  The fact that you are the mother of my children amazes the hell out of me.  What did I ever do to deserve such a terrific family?

Jessi reached up to wipe a silent tear from her cheek.  Self-consciously, she flicked her eyes out to the pool deck to find that Judd was watching her intently, and he flashed a sympathetic smile.  Sniffing, she read on.

It would be pointless, I suppose, to tell you not to mourn.  Just don’t do it too long.  And don’t you dare wear black.  God, I hate all that maudlin bullshit.  Now Sparrow, you and I know that you are a natural submissive.  I don’t want you to feel lost without a Dominant in your life.  I want you to find one, a true Gentleman who will cherish you in the way you deserve.  One who will nurture the sexy, sensual woman you truly are.  Don’t you go back to some kind of vanilla half-existence.  That would really piss me off. 

Tears still streaming, she laughed because she could almost hear Graham’s voice.

If you have this letter, you’ve met Judd.  I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s a solid Dominant.  I’ve asked him to check in on you and to take care of some things around the house.  I’ve also asked him to help you out until you find a Dominant of your own.  Judd is willing to give you knee time, Sparrow, to help you settle your mind and find peace.  I don’t mean sex and kink.  He would be a sort of ‘emotional Dominant,’ just until you get back on your feet.

On the other hand, if you found yourself attracted to Judd, it would make me happy knowing that you’d be in good hands.  He’s a good man, Jessi, a gentle man and a Gentleman.  He would be a perfect sexual Dominant for you.  I worry thinking about the dangers out there, Sparrow.  You and Judd could make your own way. 

Mortified, Jessi glanced out the back door.  Thankfully, Judd was staring out across the pool.  “I can’t believe you’re telling me these things,” she murmured to herself.

Anyway, I trust you, Sparrow.  You’re smart and strong, and I’m so proud of you.  Never forget that you are absolutely the love of my life.  I’m forever grateful to you for taking my hard, stuffy heart and helping me to be a better man than I ever dreamed about being.  Be sure the kids know how much I love them.  I love you, my Sparrow, with all my heart.  Live happy.  Find love and cherish it.

Your loving husband and Master, G.

Jessi was completely undone.  Sobbing, she folded her arms on the counter and rested her head on them.  She cried until she felt she had no tears left.  Moments passed and she raised her head.  It hurt and her eyes felt puffy.  With a glance at Judd and Buddy still sitting by the pool, she went into the powder room and splashed water on her face.

Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet out the back door and across the pool deck.  Judd smiled up at her kindly.  “How are you holding up?”

Jessi shrugged as she stepped out of her sandals and sat beside him, slipping her feet into the cool water.  They sat without speaking, each gently sliding feet through the water, watching the ripples cross the pool and return to them.  Judd moved his foot under her leg and raised her foot to the surface.  The fuchsia nail polish was chipped and peeling.

“How long since you had a pedicure, Jessi?” he asked gently.

She moved her foot away and looked at him sharply.  “What exactly did your letter say, Judd?”

He exhaled forcefully.  “Like I said, he was worried about you.  He said that you’re submissive and that you might need somebody in your life until you find your way.”  He glanced at her knowingly.  “When was the last time your mind was quiet, little one?”

A tear slid down Jessi’s cheek and she swiped at it roughly.  “So, you’re my appointed Dominant, is that it?” she asked testily.

“It’s not like that.”  Judd looked at her steadily.  “Graham and I were friends.  We talked about Dominance and submission for hours over the years.  He trusted me.  Trusted me with the one thing that meant the most to him in the world.”

He paused, gazing at her thoughtfully.  “He didn’t want you to run into the wrong kind of man while you’re looking to ease your mind, to fill that emptiness that I see in your eyes.”  Jessi stubbornly looked away and swiped at her cheek again.

“You know, it’s entirely up to you.  I’m going to complete the list of things around your house.  I promised him I would.  But whether you accept me as a surrogate Dominant?  Only you can decide that.”

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair.  “You miss knee time, I know you do,” he said softly.  “A chance to just let go of all the concerns that weigh you down.”  Jessi turned back to look at him, her expression softer.  “I’m not talking about kinky sex, tying you up and all that.  I’m offering you a chance to clear your mind of everything, let me carry your burdens for a while.”

“Why?  Why would you do that?”  Her voice was strained.

Judd shrugged.  “I’m Dominant.  It’s what I crave, to be needed, to take care of a submissive.”  He laughed lightly.  “I’m a Dominant without a submissive, and you’re a submissive without a Dominant.  For the time being, it works out well.”

He gazed at her steadily, kindness in his brown eyes.  “Just say the word.  Do you want knee time, little one?”

Another tear rolled down her cheek.  And she nodded.  “Yes,” she whispered.  “I want knee time.”

He smiled patiently.  “Yes, what, little one?”

“Yes, Master.”

Judd shook his head.  “I’m not your Master, little one.  Yes, Sir will do.”

Unconsciously, Jessi bowed her head submissively.  “Yes, Sir, may I please have knee time?”

“Yes, you may,” he responded gently.  “There is a big leather chair in your den.  Be kneeling beside the chair in two minutes.  Your eyes will be closed and you will clear your mind.  Do you understand, little one?”

“Yes, Sir.”  Jessi stood and started to walk away, but then turned and looked at him anxiously.  “My clothes, Sir?”

“Your clothes are fine the way they are,” he answered.  “Hurry.  I’ll come to you shortly.”

“Yes, Sir,” she said, and she hurried into the house.

 

 

Author Bio:

Pandora Spocks is a sassy ginger and hopeless romantic, living her happily ever after in South Florida.

Pandora has had stories pinballing around in her head for years. At one point, she spent hours daydreaming in Mrs. Howe’s ninth grade algebra class. She didn’t learn much algebra, but she had some really good ideas. Recently she decided to try her hand at sharing those stories with others.

She enjoys reading and writing literary erotic romance.  She is the author of the three-novel epic romance Rannigan’s Redemption, and a naughty little romantic novella, Just One NightFor Sparrow joins Luke & Bella and Lost & Bound as the third book in The Dream Dominant Collection, a series of light BDSM stand-alone novels.

Pandora is currently at work on her next spicy romance.

Connect with Pandora:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandoraSpocksAuthor/
Pandora’s Passionista Paradise: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PandorasPassionistas/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PandoraSpocksWP
Website: https://PandoraSpocksAuthor.com
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2u03Gcm
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandora.spocks.author/
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2se6T2Z
Pandora’s Box Unleashed Newsletter: (Sign up and get a free book!) https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs

Inspiration?

I’m always intrigued by the wide variety of ideas people come up with for stories. How do they think of them?

Yes, of course there are strong similarities in many genres. Where would a billionaire erotic romance be without (a) a kinky and implausibly young billionaire, and (b) an innocent young lady with an unsuspected taste for being spanked?

And let’s face it, most romance stories are broadly similar. Boy meets girl and they  overcome hassles before finding true love. Said hassles might be a love rival, abduction, being involved in a war, family or cultural hostilities, misunderstandings, being separated by cruel fate, or simply not liking each other to start with. But if they met, fell in love and lived happily ever after, who’d want to read it?

I’m sure you know how the modern detective is almost required to have some personal problems, like over-fondness for drink, sex or gambling, a missing limb or a personality fault.

The classic crime thrillers actually had rules to be followed. SS Van Dine listed twenty in 1928, and Ronald Knox published ten in 1929. These are still broadly followed, for instance in the popular British “Midsomer Murders” TV series. Even though these are contemporary, they seem to be set sometime in the past, and often revolve around a rich but dysfunctional and mad family, or a village/community/club generously stuffed with slightly potty people.

But writers still need some inspiration for a story, whether it follows genre conventions or not. They need characters, events, and a story arc. Readers enjoy following the adventures as the characters experience things and develop, and hopefully feel satisfied when the story ends.

Some of my stories are probably inspired by others I’ve read or watched, even if I can’t actually remember them. But some ideas seem to come completely out of the blue, or grow from an idea for character, a phrase, or even by writing the story to suit an ending I’ve thought of. I’ve even had an idea from my local paper’s “police report” column, about which I will say no more until I’ve written it!

Many writers admit to using family, friends and acquaintances as the basis for characters. Real people are a great source of the sort of mannerisms and patterns of speech which could really bring a character to life for a reader. And thinking about how to briefly describe them in writing is an interesting exercise too.

I’ve created two characters based on real people. One was a former manager, whose literary alter-ego has an, er, colourful demise. But that’s nothing to do with our unhappy working relationship…

The other character appeared briefly in my third novella. About 20 years ago, I saw a report on my local TV news show about a second-world-war Spitfire which had just been converted to a two-seater. The team involved tracked down a delightful elderly gentleman who’d actually flown that very aircraft in the later stages of the war, and invited him to take a flight. The brief interview he gave afterwards has  stuck in my mind ever since. He said it was just like it had been when he was a young man, except it didn’t smell of fear.

I’ve not thought of a story where I can really explore how I feel about his comments. Well, not yet.

If you’ve seen the film “Shakespeare In Love”, you may recall a brief scene where Shakespeare walks through London and overhears snatches of conversation, all of which are well-known from his plays. A nice idea for an amusing short scene. I don’t believe for a second that the Bard “invented” all the words which appeared for the first known time in his writing, but he had an awesome knack for putting them together in ways which still work four hundred years later.

But that’s not a bad idea, keeping your ears open and making notes before you forget.

My wife was once given directions to a conference being hosted in a museum. The phrase “turn right at the elephant” certainly stuck in her mind. And I’ve used it in one of my own flash-fiction stories, too.

I’ve used another example in a draft novella I’m working on, inspired by a real-life conversation where someone said something which all-too-easily be taken to mean that her sister’s late husband had been put down by a vet.

I noted a brief conversation a couple of years which I’d love to use, but it’s a challenging to find a suitable context. But I will. I walked past some burlesque dancers chatting during a break between performances and overheard one of them say, “He wanted her to ride in on a pony, bareback and only wearing a tangerine thong. I mean, you just can’t do it.”

Is it me?

What’s the problem with tangerine?