Monday, July 28, 2014

Describing the Indescribable

If you write explicit erotica or erotic romance, as I do, you’re constantly facing the problem of describing the indescribable. How can you convey the essence of a sexual encounter? You can’t show your readers a picture. You can’t literally evoke the sensations of skin on skin, the sound of a moan that is halfway between agony and delight, the scents of sweat or semen. Words are your only tools. Somehow you must employ these tools to communicate both the sensual and emotional experience of your lovers.

Describing actions is relatively straightforward — who touches whom, how and where. Actions, however, are not enough to create a moving and arousing sex scene. Somehow you have to put your readers inside the heads of your characters. Sex scenes just don’t work unless your readers share your characters’ experience.

What does it feel like, to be aroused? Warm,wet, full, throbbing, aching — we’ve all used these words a thousand times. Yet they’re only the roughest approximation to the way it really feels. Concrete terms only get you part of the way to the goal. Even if you succeed in precisely describing sensations (a difficult task), that’s not sufficient. In fact, the purely physical parts of sex can seem ludicrous, even gross, if that’s your sole focus.

To effectively describe sexual encounters, I find that I need to emphasize emotion, while suggesting sensation. To do this, I tend to use a lot of metaphor, that is, implicit comparisons, often to phenomena in nature. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Fire. Clouds. Rivers and oceans. These familiar phenomena evoke emotional responses. By using them to describe sex, those emotions get transferred to the characters and the scene. At the same time, because they do relate to physical experience, metaphors can also convey ideas about how things feel, from a physical perspective.

Romance has gotten a bad rap for “purple prose”, overblown, exaggerated language that sounds ridiculous. An orgasm like a hurricane? Come on now! I read a blog post not too long ago where the author ridiculed the many outrageous descriptions of orgasms that she had encountered in her reading. I cringed at some of her extreme examples.

There are dangers here, I admit, not only overwriting, but also falling into clichés. Nevertheless, I don’t think I could write sex scenes without using metaphor. The human mind operates by recognizing familiar patterns and then filling in the blanks. That’s how metaphors work. They’re a kind of emotional shorthand. When I write that a climax is a hurricane (if I do it skillfully), my readers think: ferocious wind, drenching rain, overwhelming power, uncontrolled fury, terror, excitement, helplessness. All these connotations overlay the literal meaning of the text, giving it depth and intensity.

At least, that’s my objective! Here’s a brief excerpt from my paranormal romance Serpent’s Kiss. It demonstrates my point, I think. I use lots of metaphors, but I never actually come out and say, her climax was like a volcano. I hope that it works, that it conveys the intense pleasure my character is experiencing.




“You don’t understand what you ask. If we couple, you and I, we will open the gates of chaos.” He hovered close, leaning over her, gazing into her eyes. His scent made her dizzy.

“I don’t care. So be it.”

His strong arms snaked around her body and pulled her to his chest. “So be it,” he whispered. “As the gods will.”

His mouth captured hers. He sucked away her breath, drained her of her strength. Then he swept his tongue across hers and everything flowed back: strength, breath, awareness, pleasure. She felt his tongue everywhere, on her aching nipples and in the liquid gap between her thighs, tickling the tender lobe of her ear, dancing in the hollow at the base of her throat. Yet she knew, with the tiny kernel of rationality that remained, that his lips had not left hers. This exquisite ballet of sensation was nothing more than an illusion.

Real or imagined, the fluttering tongues quickly carried her to the edge of release. “Please,” she begged, sliding her mouth away from his. “I can’t wait. Make love to me.” He clutched her to him. His erection pressed into her belly like a lump of stone. “You want me, Jorge. Take me.”

“Your clothes…” he murmured. In ten seconds she had them off, her jeans still hanging off one ankle, her blouse a torn heap on the ground. He pulled his shirt over his head and folded it into a pillow for her comfort. Then he bore down on her, taking them both the floor of the porch.

She untied his drawstring pants and pushed them down around his lean hips. His swollen cock sprang out, an invincible spear of flesh aimed at the sky. She stroked her hand down his length, marvelling at the satiny texture of the skin, the way it sheathed a core of granite. She was suddenly reminded of the feather, simultaneously stiff and soft.

Jorge swept his fingers once through her cleft, as if to assure himself that she was ready. She jumped at his shocking touch, teetering on the precipice. A river of sweet moisture flowed from her, coating his hand. He did not make her wait any longer.

With one jerk of his hips, he sank his rod into her juicy depths. Elena felt the silk-encased stone of his cock, sliding over her slick flesh, filling her, claiming her. The delicious invasion finally pushed her over the edge. Her climax erupted, starting at her molten core and overflowing, sweeping away everything in its path. She wailed, her voice shocking the birds and other night creatures into silence.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Snog #134: A Breed Apart

Today I've got a kiss from my taboo erotica story, A Breed Apart. In this Gothic tale of decadence and temptation, a ruined governess travels to the isolated mansion to instruct the angelic child of a dazzlingly beautiful couple. Little by little, the shockingly lascivious Peter and Rachel entangle poor Joan in their erotic snares. As a fallen woman she has little to lose – until they reveal their terrible secret.

This story was written expressly for the Coming Together: Tabooty  imprint. Tabooty is an ebook line of single titles featuring taboo relationships, inspired by Amazon.com's blocking of certain titles due to the nature of their sexual relationships. The Tabooty line features erotic fiction considered taboo by current social standards. This includes not only incest but unusual fetishes and/or sex with clergy. Regardless of the taboo, all material involves: (a) consensual relationships and (b) participants of legal age.

All proceeds from the sale of Coming Together: Tabooty titles benefit the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Foundation.

After you've recovered from my excerpt, slide on over to Victoria's for more Sunday kisses! 



Lost in my fantasy, edging ever closer to my crisis, I did not notice the lull in their salacious symphony. Only when the door opened, revealing my gasping, half-clad form to Rachel's amused eyes, did I realize that my own vocalizations had given me away.

"Joan," she murmured. Shame leaped up to consume me. I snatched my hand from my cunny, miserably aware that my woman-scent hung in the air like the exhalation of a beach at low tide. "Come in, darling. We've been expecting you."

She grasped my wrist and drew me into their chamber. I was too stupefied by embarrassment to resist. Her skin was pure satin on my bare arm, the most delicious sensation I'd ever experienced. It was some moments before I realized that she was completely and gloriously naked.

"I - I - I'm sorry," I stuttered. "I didn't mean...um - please excuse - the door...."

"Hush," she said, enforcing her command by pressing her lips to mine.

Lightning arced down my spine. Thunder beat in my ears. I would have collapsed had she not crushed me to her pillowy breasts. Her ripe mouth tasted of strawberries and rain. Her tongue wriggled between my lips like the Biblical serpent, tempting me with new knowledge. A part of me watched, horrified, as I allowed her to deepen the kiss, screaming warnings when I circled her trim waist and stroked the silken firmness of her swelling buttocks.

I refused to listen. When she slipped her hand inside my wrap and pinched my nipple, I moaned into her mouth and ground my pubis against hers. She laughed like a naughty child. Taking my hand once more, she guided it to the soft curls that shielded her sex. It was like touching myself. I burrowed into that damp nest, seeking the hot, hard bead of flesh I knew I'd find there. She gasped, sucking my breath into her lungs, as new liquid gushed around my probing fingers.

Every caress I lavished on her slick quim I felt myself. I knew exactly how to touch her, how to wring those lovely moans from her plump lips. I could measure her excitement by my own. I knew she was mere breaths away from her spend, because I was also.

Her slender body tensed. She clenched and shuddered around my hand, drenching me in her fluids. The wave of her climax caught me up and swept me into my own whirlpool of pleasure. Swirling, thrashing, dizzy with delight, I clutched her sweet, warm flesh as pure sensation threatened to drown me.

Soft warmth cocooned me as I returned to my senses after my tumultuous crisis. Rachel cradled me against her exquisite bosom, crooning a wordless melody in my ear. I drifted, amazed that I was still standing. My lust simmered. She combed her fingers through my tangled locks and called me beautiful.

A rigid bulk suddenly pressed itself into the seam between my buttocks. "We knew you were the right choice, Joan." Behind my back, Peter chuckled as he eased off my robe and tossed it away. Hardness conquered softness. My banked desire flared anew.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Writing Strong Female Leads

By P.J. MacLayne (Guest Blogger)


I come from a long line of strong women on both my father's and mother's side. Both of my grandmothers raised large families without a lot of money to spend, but made it happen with a lot of hard work and a lot of love. I'm thankful that work ethic has been passed on to me.

So I guess it's no surprise that I write my female characters to be strong. Harmony Duprie, the main character in my new book, The Marquesa's Necklace, has the rather unusual occupation of doing historical research for a writers' cooperative, a job she invented. That means she spends much of her time with her nose buried in a book or staring at a computer screen. That may not seem like hard work to some, but it takes both skill and intelligence to track down long-forgotten details of daily life of years gone by.

The weekly self-defense class Harmony participates in helps her stay physically in-tune. Of course, she doesn't expect to ever use what she learns, because nothing bad ever happens in Oak Grove, the small town she lives in.

Yeah, right. She didn't believe that anymore after spending a night in jail accused of drug trafficking.

As Harmony tries to put her life back together, she learns that sometimes being strong means letting other people help you., as in the excerpt below.




The folded, bright orange paper that must have been stuck between the screen door and the main door caught my eye. I almost dropped my laptop bag when I snatched it from the clutches of a sudden gust of cold wind threatening to send the sheet sailing. But I managed to hang onto it with my free hand, using my hip to push open the heavy wooden door.

Curious, I set down my laptop and purse and unfolded the paper without even kicking off my shoes first. Totally not like me. I sank down on my old brown couch.

A crudely drawn skull and crossbones adorned the top half of the page. On the bottom half, scrawled in red ink, were the words “You got lucky this time.” I took a deep breath, picked up the landline phone, and hit memory five—Detective Thomason's direct line.

I was sitting at the bottom of the stairway, patting Piper, and practicing breathing exercises to calm my nerves when he arrived in a squad car, sirens wailing. To my shock, Piper didn’t even growl. The uniformed cop with him dashed up the stairs, his hand on the butt of his gun. The detective sat beside me and pulled the evidence out of my still-shaking hand. He flipped open the sheet, glanced at it, and folded it in half. His lips tightened into a thin line as he stared at the crack in the concrete beneath his feet. We sat there, not looking at each other, until the policeman came stomping down the stairs.

“It’s clear.”

Detective Thomason grunted. “Ms. Duprie, have you met Officer Clearmont?”

I recognized the face if not the name. I’d probably seen him around the station. “I’d like to say good to see you again,” I said, “But unfortunately it’s not.” Wow, I was really slipping, cranking out a line like that. Under other circumstances, I would have been ashamed of myself.

“I’ll dust for prints on the door, but I don’t expect to find any,” the officer said, his expression not changing. “Except for yours, ma’am,” he added, acknowledging me.

“And we have hers on file at the station, so they will be easy to match up.” Detective Thomason noted dryly. “Bring back an evidence bag for this too.” He waved the guilty piece of paper in the air.
“Although I doubt we will find any unknown prints on it.”


The Marquesa's Necklace is for sale at major ebook retailers.





I can be reached at Facebook: https://Facebook.com/pjmaclayne



Friday, July 25, 2014

For Better Or Worse

By Ashley Ladd (Guest Blogger)

Have you ever found out that one of your favorite authors uses a pseudonym? Have you ever wondered why an author might choose to do so?

I’ll come forward. I’m one of them. “Ashley Ladd” is my pseudonym for my erotic romance novels.

I, like many other authors I’m sure, have several good reasons for using one.

First, my mother’s family is very straight-laced and religious. I couldn’t envision telling my very sweet aunt or my very prim and proper uncle that I write graphically explicit male-male-male love scenes. As it turns out, one of my children is now transgender female, and when I admitted that to them, they couldn’t, wouldn’t accept her.

Secondly, I work for a religious ministry full-time. I have a suspicion that my employers wouldn’t look favorably upon my extra-curricular activities. I might very well end up unemployed if they were to learn about my erotic romance novels. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to retire and write full time. Not yet anyway.

Unfortunately, one of my coworkers discovered my alter ego. One day we were friends and the next she unfriended me on Facebook and ran away from me at lunch. When I got up the nerve to ask why she’d unfriended me, she admitted she was disappointed in me. She’d found out I wrote erotic romance.

Additionally, I don’t want my activities to adversely affect my family. The mother of my son’s best friend stopped allowing her child to play with mine because my husband had made and displayed a ceramic dragon. She was very religious and thought we’d joined a satanic cult because of a silly figurine. I can only imagine that she’d look even less favorably upon what I write.

I’m sure other authors have other good reasons to hide their identity as well. I’d love to hear them.

Deciding to use a pseudonym was only the first step in the process. Next I had to choose a pen 
name.

I was watching a Cheryl Ladd movie during the decision-making process, thus it was one of many last names on the list of possibilities. Next, I wanted to choose a first name that was popular with the twenty-forty year old crowd. After that I made a long list of possible combinations and asked my critique group which one they liked. Ashley Ladd won the vote.

However, I wasn’t done there. I didn’t want to use another author’s or famous person’s name, or even a name I found on the Internet. Then I googled the name. At that time, no one else named Ashley Ladd came up on a Google search. So I adopted the name. When I googled Ashley Ladd to find mentions of my recently released romance novel Cooking Up A Storm, however, I found at least five other people named Ashley Ladd. Worse, a few years ago I received an email from another Ashley Ladd accusing me of stealing her name. By then, I had several books published as Ashley Ladd, and hopefully a following.

I don’t know if it’s possible to choose a unique name. I work with a large data base at my day job and very often see two or more people with the same “unusual” name. Most of the time when I speak to someone like that they presume they are the only person on Earth with that name, so I know it’s not a family member.

Should I have made up a really unusual name like Swanzetta to use for my pseudonym? It probably wouldn’t have helped. I’ve seen this name for a real person.

For better or worse, I am Ashley Ladd. To date, Ashley’s name is on seventy plus books, the most recent being a contemporary male-male erotic romance Business or Pleasure just made available today (July 25) for download at Totally Bound. It will be available on Amazon, ARe, and other booksellers as of August 22.

Blurb

Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or animal activist. He never said he was either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.

When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.

But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.

Excerpt

Gunshots rang out as they turned onto Guy’s street.

Tommy looked at him and mouthed, “Shit! You don’t think…?”

I hope not. I don’t know.” Guy pressed the gas pedal to the floor and the car shot forward, fish-tailing.

Tommy fisted the door, hanging on tight. “I hope we’re wrong.”

Guy’s intuition told him he wasn’t. His knuckles turned white they held the steering wheel so tightly. Unafraid for himself but scared for his dad, he pulled into his driveway and jumped out of the car, with Tommy close on his heels.

The woman next door ran outside screaming, tearing out her already tattered hair. She pointed at her front door. “Your father’s shooting up my house and is holding a gun at my dad’s head. He’s going to kill him. You’ve got to do something.”

Tommy yelled as he began dialing on his phone, “I’m calling the police.” As if on cue, police sirens blared in the distance and grew louder by the second.

I’m going in. I have to stop him.”

Wait for the police. Don’t put yourself in danger,” Tommy ordered forcefully.

I have to take the chance. He could kill someone before the police get here. I can’t let that happen.” He put himself in harm’s way for animals, so certainly he could risk his life for his own father and other fellow human beings. He had no choice. It would be his fault if someone got hurt.

So he ran through the open door flailing his arms, hoping he would be in time. “Dad! It’s Guy. Don’t do anything. I’m here. You’ll be okay.”

He’ll be okay? What about me? He’s got a shotgun pointed at my head threatening to blow it off,” the elderly neighbor cried.

Buy Link



Contest! Leave me a comment with your email, telling me what you think about Guy and Tom. I'll give a $10 bookstore gift certificate to one of you!


About Ashley

Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.

She's been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.

You can find Ashley at:





Thursday, July 24, 2014

Defiant

[You're going to love this excerpt from Sabrina York's new Regency, Defiant. Certainly I did! ~ Lisabet]





DEFIANT, by Sabrina York
Noble Passions, Book Five

When rakish Ned falls in with the wrong crowd, his brother decides to send him to the Continent for “seasoning”. For Sophia, this just won’t do. She’s loved Ned for ages—and also longed for adventure. She runs away from her boring suitors and disguises herself as a cabin boy on the Defiant, the ship sailing Ned to Italy.

Ned knows he’s not good enough for Sophia, but once they’re on the Defiant, he can’t stop himself from touching her, tasting her, loving her. Not when a wild tempest and a band of ruthless pirates threaten them. Not when every look from her gives him such pleasure. And certainly not when she comes, warm and wild and willing, to his bed.

If they survive their voyage, Sophia’s brother might kill him, but it will have been worth every moment and every hot, sweet kiss.

A Romantica® Regency historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave



READ AN EXCERPT

Sophia stood on the bow of the boat in the dark as the wind and rain lashed her face. She loved it. Loved it. Not only was the storm elemental and fierce, it hid her tears.

Surely she hadn’t expected Ned to greet her with open arms. Not when she had barged in on his adventure as she had. But she certainly hadn’t expected him to be so horrid. His expression had devastated her.

Foolish girl, it said.

But then, her heart agreed.

She was foolish.

Foolish to ever think that he—

You’re soaked.”

She whirled around, though she knew what she’d see. More glowering.

She was right.

What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

I’m reveling.” She thrust out her chin, in case he didn’t believe her.

He gaped at her. “Reveling?”

Yes.” She didn’t mean to shout, but his wintry demeanor annoyed her tremendously. She threw out her arms. “Look at this!”

It’s a storm.”

It’s beautiful. The waves are wild, untamed—”

You could be swept overboard.”

The wind is howling and the rain is savage. It’s glorious.”

It’s freezing. Come inside.”

It’s not freezing. It’s summer.”

I’m cold.”

Then you go inside.”

Sophia Fiona—”

Don’t call me that.”

It’s your name.”

You sound like Ewan.”

I’m starting to think Ewan is a saint.”

She glared at him. “What a beastly thing to say.” She hated that her chin wobbled a little. Hated that he winced.

I’m sorry, Sophia. This has been trying for me.” He sluiced the water from his face. “Won’t you please come inside?”

All right. Fine.”

You will?”

You did say please.”

He blew out a breath and offered her his arm. She frowned at it. “I’m a cabin boy, remember? You don’t offer a cabin boy your arm.” When he didn’t lower it, she smacked it. “Someone will see.”

That caught his attention and he slowly lowered his arm. “Right then. Come inside.” He followed her back to the cabin, his stride decidedly unsteady. If anyone was tipping overboard, it was most likely him.

When she once again stood in his chambers, she realized the folly of her actions. She hadn’t brought a change of clothes and she was drenched. So was he. Without a word, he relit the lamp and then opened his trunk and pulled out several shirts, two of which he tossed to her. “Change.”

That was it. One word. Just “change” and then he presented her with his back. She huffed a breath, but did as he asked because she was really rather cold. The feel of the cloth falling over her chilled flesh warmed her. Because it was his shirt. It had touched his skin. She wasn’t sure why the thought sent heat scudding through her belly.

Use the other shirt to dry your hair,” he suggested, as he began toweling off as well.

She huffed a laugh. “All of your clothes will be wet.”

They’ll dry. Are you clothed?”

Yes.”

He turned. And froze. His gaze locked onto her bare legs. “I-I thought you said you were clothed.” A squawk.

I am.” But the intensity of his stare made her self-conscious, so she slipped into the bed.

Close your eyes,” he said as he unbuttoned the damp linen clinging to his chest.

Why?”

I need to change as well. I’m f-freezing.”

Okay.” She did. But she peeked.

He ripped off his wet shirt and her breath caught at the sight of his broad back. Muscles rippled as he moved and she swallowed. He was beautiful. He tugged the fresh shirt over his head and she nearly whimpered as that magnificent vision disappeared. But then, he unfastened his trousers.

All pretense of not peeking evaporated.

He sat and took a moment to work off his boots. And then he stood. His trousers were tight, as was the fashion, and he had to peel them off. As he bent, she caught a flash of his bare behind.

She must have made a noise because he whirled around. His cheek bunched when he saw her watching. “You’re supposed to have your eyes closed.”

She hunkered in the covers, as though that would disguise the fact that her eyes were open wide.

Sophia…”

It was probably wrong to grin at him, but she couldn’t help it.

Sophia Fiona!”

Stop calling me that. It always makes me think I’m in trouble.”

You are in trouble. You have no idea how much trouble you’re in.”

She tipped her head to the side. “We both know Ewan will be so relieved to see me, he’ll forget how angry he is—”

Ned stilled and fixed her with a dark glare. “What makes you think I’m talking about Ewan?”

I… ah…”

I’ve a mind to bend you over my knee.”

Why a shiver rippled through her, she had no idea. She’d been spanked once or twice as a child and she hadn’t cared for it in the slightest. But something dark and domineering in Ned’s tone made her womb warm.

You-you wouldn’t.”

Wouldn’t I? Now, look away. Your brother would skewer me if I gave you the education you’re about to have.”

She attempted not to snort. Ned—and everyone—thought her a prim and innocent miss on account of the polish she’d acquired at Lady Satterlee’s. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a child, before Ewan had made his fortune, they’d lived a hand-to-mouth existence in the slums of Perth. She’d seen more than one couple rutting against a wall in a dingy alleyway. And at one point, she and her brother had taken refuge in a bordello. She’d been only seven, but if she’d had an education, she got it there. She could probably teach Ned a few things.

Still, because he seemed to expect it, she squeezed her eyes tight and didn’t hardly peek at all as he finished changing. Besides which, the spot she was interested in was mostly shadows.

With a great huff, he threw himself back into the chair. “Now, go to sleep.”

Don’t you want me to put out the light?”

No. I want to be able to see where you are.”

I’m not leaving again tonight.” Probably. Unless her despair overcame her once more.

Leave it on.” A grunt, and not a very nice one at that. Why he had call to be annoyed, she couldn’t fathom.

Blast and damn, he was an annoying man. Sophia grunted as well and rolled over, facing the wall of the cabin. She studied the patterns the swinging lamp made for a long while, listening as he shifted one way and then the other.

It was really unfair for him to have to sleep in the chair. This was his room. But he would never share her bed. She grimaced at the way the words came out, but it was true. He wouldn’t. Unless…

She rolled over again and watched him twist in the chair. He caught her eye and frowned.

Ned?”

An impatient groan. “Yes, Sophia?”

Ned, I’m cold.”

He stilled. Then barked, “Put on another blanket.”

There aren’t any more.” She faked a shiver. She wasn’t cold in the slightest. She never was. Ewan said she ran hot. “Brr. My teeth are chattering.”

His glower became a frown.

I hope I don’t get ill.”

He paled. “You shouldn’t have gone out in the rain. Why did you go out in the rain?”

She sneezed. Or something like it. “I don’t know.”

Sophia?”

Am I running a fever?” She put her palm to her forehead. “I think I’m running a fever.”

His brow wrinkled. He stood and made his way across the tiny chamber as though on his death march. He set the backs of his fingers to her cheeks. His frown darkened.
You are warm.”

No. I’m cold.” She shivered and peered up at him, her eyes as wide as she could make them. “Won’t you warm me?”

He wrenched his hand away as though she’d burned him. “What?”

Lie here beside me and warm me up?”

There’s not enough room for both of us.”

I’m small.”

Sophia.” She’d never heard her name in such a strangled voice, not even when Ewan was at his wit’s end.

Just for a bit? You can be on top of the covers. Surely that is decent.”

The muscle in his cheek bunched again, as though he were grinding his teeth.

Please?”

He gusted a sigh. “All right, Sophia. Scoot over and make room.”

She did. With alacrity.

And roll over, facing the wall.”

She frowned at him “Why?”

Just do it. Please.”

Oh, all right.” But only because he said please. And because, when she was facing the other way, he couldn’t see her grin.

He settled in behind her and a shiver rocked her. He was warm. And he smelled delicious. Not fishy in the slightest. It was delightful, lying here with him. She closed her eyes and imagined he wanted this as much as she.

If only. If only.

Check out the other books in the Noble Passions Series from Sabrina York
Follow the decadent exploits of friends and enemies as they find love and passion in the glittering world of the Regency—and its dark underbelly.

2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist
2013 Passionate Plume Finalist


Widowed and threatened with penury by her heartless in-laws, Eleanor--Lady Ulster--hatches a plot to save herself. Determined to produce the Ulster "heir", she seduces a stranger at a tawdry masquerade. Little does she know, this magnificent masked lover is none other than her husband's greatest nemesis. And God knows Ulster had plenty.

Ethan Pennington is mortified to arrive at a house party and discover Lady Ulster in attendance. He has wanted her and hated wanting her--his enemy's bride--for years. When he overhears Eleanor's predicament and her plans to place a cuckoo in the Ulster nest, he is more than willing to oblige. The opportunity to finally claim her--while taking the revenge he craves--is more than he can resist. Ethan strikes a bargain with Eleanor, promising to provide her with the heir she so desperately needs...if she will meet his needs in return. Every decadent one of them.




The sizzling prequel to Folly
2014 Winner of the Carolyn Readers’ Choice Award

When Lady Helena Simpson flees an unwanted marriage to a revolting lord, she finds refuge with James, a charming, handsome man unlike any she’s ever known. Helena concocts the perfect solution to her problem. She asks—begs—James to ruin her. Surely her betrothed will repudiate her if she is no longer pure. And if all her efforts fail and she still ends up married to a horrid man until the end of her days, she will at least once have known true passion.

But James is not all he seems. He is, in fact, a wicked lord with a dark fancy. When Helena awakens his desire, he becomes determined to take everything she has to offer and more. No matter the cost.








Edward Wyeth, the Dark Duke of Moncrieff’s life has been turned on its end. His well-ordered home has been invaded. By destitute relatives. From Scotland. How on earth can he write Lord Hedon’s salacious novels with hellions battling in the garden and starting fires in the library? But with the onslaught has come a delicious diversion. His cousin’s companion, the surprisingly intriguing Kaitlin MacAllister. He is determined to seduce her. Using her desperate need for funds and her talents as an artist, he convinces her to draw naughty pictures for his naughtier books…and he draws her into his decadent web.

But Kaitlin has a secret. She’s fled Scotland—and a very determined betrothed. When Edward’s cousin is kidnapped and held in her stead, Kaitlin is honor-bound to return to her homeland and rescue her—much to Edward’s chagrin.
Because suddenly he can’t bear the thought of Kaitlin marrying another man. He can’t bear the thought of losing her at all.






Kidnapped and held prisoner by menacing Scottish brigand, the notorious McCloud, Violet Wyeth does her best to persevere…and resist his rakish charms. But when she realizes The McCloud is really Ewan St. Andrews, the boy who once saved her life, the boy who once kissed her and made her heart flutter, she is lost.

Ewan has every intention of marrying Lady Kaitlin MacAllister. He desperately needs the entrée into the ton this bride can provide. But when his bride is delivered—bound and gagged—it’s not Kaitlin. It’s Violet Wyeth—the girl who betrayed him and ruined his life when he was a boy. He keeps her, determined to punish her for her sins. But when he discovers the truth about what really happened so long ago, and seething passion rises between them, he can no longer hold on to his rusty grudge. By the time he realizes how much he loves Violet—that he always has—he’s lost her.

All he can do is follow her. Follow her into the bowels of hell—and partake in the torment of the glittering London Season, where the harpies are far more dangerous than a Scottish brigand.

About Sabrina York

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York is the award winning author of over 20 hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Business of Revenge

By Elizabeth Andrews (Guest Blogger)

As some of you may have guessed from that title, I am a big Princess Bride fan. Okay, that may be an understatement. I saw the movie in the theater when it was originally released eons ago, and I cannot even begin to guess how many times I have seen it in the years since. So many times that my children refuse to watch it with me, because they hate when I recite lines with the characters. (Of course, my children feel the same way when I recite lines with Harry Potter and his friends, or when I'm watching any LOTR films, or Dirty Dancing... Now that I think about it, my sons may have a point and I might have a problem.)

Anyway, one of the best parts of the movie, aside from the romance and the humor, is Inigo Montoya and his quest to avenge his father's death. He's been on this mission nearly all of his life, and he hasn't thought past his search for the six-fingered man. I suppose, having been on that hunt for so long, he may have given up hope of succeeding, which would account for not thinking about what he might do after he's killed the six-fingered man. After all, he's failed for so long, success must seem unattainable. Then, when he finally reaches his goal, well, what's next? He's survived and now he has an unplanned future staring him in the face. Now what?

While I was thinking about Inigo, I realized he isn't the only character I enjoy who's got revenge on his mind. Westley gets his own revenge on Prince Humperdinck for killing him and trying to marry Buttercup, though his is less final, more 'haha, I won, you lost'. I just sat through Wyatt Earp again last week, and there's all sorts of vengeance-seeking in that one, old West-style, on both sides. A really terrific revenge story arc takes place over the course of the most recent Batman movie trilogy, with events in the first movie setting the stage for the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul to get some payback on Bruce Wayne in the third installment for killing her father.

Another of my favorites is Troy, though Agammemnon shamelessly uses his brother Menelaus's quest for revenge on Paris for the theft of his wife as a really good excuse to take over another country. But Achilles does seek and get revenge on Hector for his accidental killing of Achilles's cousin. I must admit, though, that all the revenge is not my favorite part of this movie--it's the Greek mythology (okay, and Sean Bean, if I'm being totally honest; that man is mine! Mine, I tell you! Ahem.) If you're a fan of Greek myths, as I am, there are plenty of great stories there filled with quests for revenge, not to mention romance! The gods and goddesses aren't above getting their own vengeance either, taking many opportunities to show one another up or smack down a fellow deity for a slight. Aphrodite's unlovely husband Hephaestus gets a little revenge on his unfaithful wife when she strays with Ares. Even Zeus's wife Hera seeks revenge more than once on the objects of her husband's affections, or on the offspring his extra-marital affairs produce. Poor Hercules. She really puts that guy through the wringer before grudgingly allowing him to take his place on Olympus.

A Greek myth I've always found fascinating has to do with Perseus and Medusa. Medusa, depending on the version of her story that you read, has either been extremely foolish and bragged about her hair being more beautiful than Athena's, or been raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple, and then turned into a monster. Either way, I feel bad for her.

Perseus, however, is on a quest to rescue his mother from the clutches of a lech. Perseus hasn't had it easy--his grandfather locked his mother Danae away in a tower after being warned her son would one day kill him. Pretty girl locked in a tower = no son, right? That's what Acrisius thinks, but he's forgotten about Zeus and his proclivity for shapeshifting to get his women. Fast-forward a few months, and Acrisius locks his daughter and infant grandson into a trunk and dumps them in the sea. Except a fisherman rescues them.

Eventually, the king Polydectes sets his sights on Danae, who has no interest in being his queen. The king is persistent, and wily. He pretends he's chosen a new bride and each of his subjects must give him a gift; Perseus must bring him the head of Medusa. Eventually, after a series of adventures and misadventures, he does just that, wielding it to turn Polydectes to stone and get a bit of revenge for his treatment of Perseus and Danae.

In my paranormal romance, Hunting Medusa, I've taken Medusa and Perseus's story and twisted it a little. My hero Kallan Tassos is a descendant of Perseus, and he's still bent on killing Medusa, getting revenge for her escaping his family for millenia and some glory for himself. Only the Medusa isn't the monster he's been taught about all his life. And there go all his plans for revenge.

I want to offer enormous thanks to Lisabet for offering to host me on her blog. This has been so much fun for me, and hopefully for you, too! I would love to hear about some of your favorite stories of revenge, whether movie, book, or mythology. For everyone who tells me about those revenge stories within seven days of this blog post, I'll enter you into a drawing for my ebook!

~ Elizabeth Andrews

Hunting Medusa
The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1

When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.

Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester on Andi’s trail…



Excerpt

It was one of those days when having the Medusa’s fabled power to turn people to stone would really come in handy.

Andrea Rosakis did not, however, have that ability, not this week, anyway. Even though she was the reigning Medusa.

She glared at the man on her back porch, wondering if he could ever understand how lucky he was she wasn’t suffering from PMS this week. And why wouldn’t he stop talking? Her fingers itched to slam the door.

“…if you just have five minutes, ma’am,” he concluded.

She narrowed her gaze on the vacuum beside him. “No, thank you.” And how the hell had he found her all the way out here? No one ever bothered to follow her rough, muddy driveway all the way to the top, even if they did ignore the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the foot of it. Not to mention the protective warding she had set at the boundaries of the entire property. Sure, it wasn’t the heavy artillery of protection spells, but no one else had ever gotten past it. This man however, had not only ignored the signs and the subtle “go away” protections, but managed the entire bumpy, muddy track into the woods and halfway up the mountain. Just to hear her say, “No.”

And he didn’t look discouraged. At all.

Andi almost wished she were PMSing this week, though it would be a real pain in the ass to have to get rid of a life-sized stone statue of a vacuum salesman.

Or maybe she could keep it. He was very pretty, even if he annoyed her. He was tall and broad, his inky black hair was a tad too long, and his bright green eyes held her attention. At least as stone, he’d be silent and still pretty. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this—”

When would be a better time?”

Never.”

He did blink at that, but his smile never disappeared. “I’ll have to check my calendar.”

She snorted, then clapped her free hand over her mouth. Laughing would not discourage the man. “Look, I’m sure it’s a great vacuum, but I don’t need it. I don’t want to see how it works, and I’d like you to get off my property.”

His smile did fade a little bit. “Well, I suppose, if that’s what you really want.”

She quirked an eyebrow, trying not to smile again. He had the faintest hint of an accent, but she couldn’t place it. Not without hearing him talk some more, and she didn’t want to encourage that either, or he’d just keep trying to sell her an expensive vacuum she didn’t need.

Maybe I could talk you into meeting me for coffee sometime then,” he said.

Her jaw dropped. The cute salesman was hitting on her. For half a second, she indulged the fantasy of a date with the hunk. A real date, maybe ending with a real kiss. Her pulse quickened. Then she remembered one good date led to more, and eventually, it led to guys running away from her, gibbering like idiots when PMS struck. She shut her mouth and ignored the regret burning in her middle. “Sorry, but no.”

You’re a hard woman,” he said lightly, his bright gaze sliding down to her mouth. “I’ll leave my card in case you change your mind. About the coffee, that is.” He forced a small card into her hand and picked up his vacuum.

Andi stared after him as he strode off her porch. The bulky vacuum looked like it weighed nothing in his hand, swinging at his side on his way to the shiny, new truck parked behind her car.

When he took one hand from the steering wheel to wave at her, she stopped herself from lifting her hand in response. He turned the truck around and vanished down the drive into the trees. Frowning, she went back inside and shut the door, then locked it and re armed the alarm. He’d tossed the vacuum into the bed of the truck. A very strong salesman.

Who didn’t seem to care the impending rain was going to damage his expensive vacuum.

She turned back to the door and stared out the narrow window beside it, her heart beating faster now with alarm. Maybe he didn’t realize. Or maybe he really hadn’t come here to sell her a vacuum.

She swallowed hard.

Aunt Celosia had always told the cousins stories of the Harvesters, the men who still hunted for the Medusa. Somehow, Andi had always thought they’d be more frightening. More obvious. Ugly men intent on murder.

If this vacuum salesman was a Harvester, he was sneaky. Of course, if he was a Harvester, he would be sneaky, as Perseus had been when he killed the first Medusa.

She was in a lot of trouble.



Hunting Medusa is available now from Samhain Publishing: 



About the Author

Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read.  She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart.  As an adult, her book habit continues.  She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own.  Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels.  Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.

Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and-though she loves horror- romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression.  There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.

Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of twenty years and two teenage sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does.  When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.


Blog: Elizabeth Andrews Writes http://elizabethandrewswrites.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @elizwrite