Saturday, December 20, 2014

Looking for Mr. Wonderful

By Ali Baran (Guest Blogger)

Thanks so much for inviting me, Lisabet. My very first book came out this month, and I'm excited. It's sexy and romantic and just a wee bit different, because it's a May-December romance.

I've always been a reader and I love romances. I found a stash of them in a closet as a young teen and I was hooked. Then I discovered hot romances. (Does anyone really think a teen doesn't know about sex? Yet my book comes with that adult reader warning.) It also didn't take me long to figure out that romances in books didn't follow real life. Why not?

Okay, so there's this fantasy involved. Maybe I've been the bridesmaid too many times, but Mr. Wonderful seems to be Mr. Close-Enough for a lot of my friends. Really? Why? I'm waiting for Mr. Wonderful and I refuse to settle for Mr. Close-Enough. I've dated those guys along with Mr. Hope-You-Lose-My-Phone-Number, Mr. Did-You-Ask-Your-Mother-First, and Mr. You've-Got-the-Kids-This-Weekend. Enough! I want Mr. Wonderful!

My mom's BFF is an author, and one night we got into a discussion about what makes a guy great. She was talking about characters, and I was talking about real life. Before the evening was over, she suggested that I should write romances and promised to mentor me through the whole thing. The idea clung to me until I finally decided I'd try doing it. I wrote one and sent it to her. Oh my! She called me up and said to meet her for coffee. She had printed out about half of the manuscript, handed me markers, and a 3 x 5 card with a color key.

I discovered all the important things like head hopping and point of view. By the time I was done, I was sick of those characters but I learned some important lessons. I played with some characters in my mind until something began to congeal.

It all happened one night when I was out with a female friend and realized there was this other couple... My imagination just took over. Was the man with his daughter, granddaughter, or was she his girlfriend? My father is slightly older than my mom, and my boss is married to a much older man - what's the attraction? Could I be attracted to an older man? What would it take? Then I was out with some co-workers for lunch and this guy walked into the restaurant. He was impeccably dressed, silver haired, and handsome. Enough that he caught the eye of just about every female in there. Bingo! I had my hero.

If that man had asked me out for dinner, I would have said yes - even though he was wearing a wedding band. Of course I look for the "band"! At that point, I would have said yes to just solidify my hero. No, I don't date married men, but he had my curiosity piqued. Considering there's a courthouse not far from there, I assumed he was a lawyer. The average man doesn't walk around in a suit like he was wearing. It took me a few more days of playing with that man's image in my mind. Then one night I sat at my computer and began to type. The story just came together.

Each time I finished a scene, I'd email it to my mentor and she'd email it back with highlights. But when I was done, I was thrilled with what I had written and so was my mentor. I knew nothing about publishing so I leaned once again on my friend. She told me about Lost Goddess Publishing because she knew the owners, and I submitted my manuscript. I was thrilled to be accepted.

I'm not looking for a man who is that much older, but in writing that story, I realized I could see myself with someone like him. Maybe age is just a state of mind. Do our hearts even care about age? And what is sexy? What makes a man sexy?

Naturally I want a man who looks good and takes care of himself. But I also want more than a chest-beating set of muscles on two legs. We all want men who care about us and appreciate what we have to offer, but maybe I'm different because I want brains to go with it. I want a man who reads and can discuss things. I want to be fascinated by dinner conversation over bubbles transmitting data, nebulae that was discovered, a lost civilization or colony, or even a new book about a war hero. And if he can't make it exciting, I don't want to hear it. There's more to life than just sex and being able to enjoy the time spent with another person is important.

Besides, sex isn't anything new. We've been doing it for thousands of years. Maybe the difference is women today have a choice. We aren't innocent girls being wed to men we don't know. We want someone who knows how to please us. Maybe that's why Randal is so delicious. He knows how to please Tessa, truly enjoys pleasing her, and he also appeals on an intellectual level. (And having money doesn't hurt either.)

The writing bug has bitten me, and the characters for another hot romance are playing in my mind. My mother is shaking her head in shame and has made me promise not to tell my aunt. Because my aunt will probably think that I'll burn in hell over it. But Mom is telling all her friends that they have to read my book because she's raised such an open-minded daughter.

Tessa is my first book but it won't be my last. Tell me what you think is the magic behind finding Mr. Wonderful and what makes him different. If you leave a comment with your email address, I'll toss your name into the hat this month for a $20 gift certificate to Starbucks. The winner will be drawn on Christmas and announced on my blog. http://alibaranauthor.wordpress.com



Warning: May December romance for the mature reader

Blurb

Years of wisdom have taught Randal that it's not the destination but the journey that makes everything worthwhile. When the tentative friendship between silver fox Randal and young Tessa bursts into lust, it ignites a passionate affair that leaves them both trembling. There's nothing more fulfilling than a beautiful woman in the arms of a man who can appreciate everything she has to offer.

As Randal embarks on a second career and Tessa is preparing for her chosen field, Randal's daughter flounders in a sea of depression. When Randal's love for his daughter is pitted against his love for Tessa, can there be a winner?

Excerpt

In the water, Randal didn't act like an invalid. Those piercing blue eyes sparkled and his body was ripped, better than any guy Tessa had dated. The man was damn sexy, and in the week she'd known him, she'd grown to like him – maybe too much. Way too much. Aside from a few thin, pink scar lines over his knees, no one would have believed he was living in a wheel chair.

He trapped her against the side of the pool and held her prisoner between his arms.

She turned and faced him. Now she stared into those beautiful blue orbs and caught the grin that crinkled the skin at the outer edges of his eyes. "You have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen."

"And you have a beautiful body."

She inhaled as he drew himself nearer. His breath flowed over her face. She closed her eyes and she prayed he'd kiss her.

A finger touched her jaw, and she opened her eyes. He was inches from her with a warm smile on his face. Heaving in a deep breath, she hoped to cool the sensation building in her, but she couldn't stop it. She tried to imagine his lips on hers. His finger traced her entire face, including her lips. She parted her mouth and touched her tongue to his roaming finger.

"Damn woman. You're giving me an erection."

She cast her gaze toward his trunks but she couldn't stop the grin that was pulling on the edges of her lips.
His finger went down her neck and followed the edge of her bikini top. Her chest rose with his touch. Heat flowed through her, settling between her legs. She had never been one to have casual sex, but she was not a virgin. Right now, she wanted fulfillment. She tried to tell herself that older men weren't usually capable of sexual intercourse, but somehow she figured this man was quite capable. His fingers splayed over her breast. And a moan escaped from someplace deep in her throat. She wanted to wrap her legs around his waist and pull him closer to her.

She pushed past him and headed for the stairs. She had to get a grip on her feelings because inside she felt as though she was about to shatter into a million pieces.

He followed her. "Tessa, I'm sorry if I've offended you. I meant no harm."

She turned and touched her fingers to his lips. "We're adults."

"Don't leave. I won't do it again. But seeing you has awakened something inside of me."

"Yeah. I know that feeling." She walked up the stairs and found a towel before turning back to him. "Do you need help getting out?"

"No, not yet. I need to swim some more. I try to swim every morning that I don't have therapy. You just aren't here. So to answer your question, yes, I can get in and out by myself."

She settled onto a chaise lounge and watched him in the water. He was as graceful as a dolphin as he swam lap after lap. She couldn't help but admire his body. Even his legs had beautiful muscle definition. Inside, she still quaked. There was something about him - something dangerously sexy, and she felt it to her toes.

Buy Links
About Me

I'm young, single, college educated, and looking for Mr. Wonderful. I'm also a minimalist. The less I have, the less I have to clean! Some people save for Christmas, but I save for vacations. I'll go wherever it's warm with plenty of sun and water. Some women collect shoes οΎ– I collect bathing suits. The last time I counted, I owned forty-two suits. Why do you think I try to stay in shape?

I've always been an avid reader, and there's nothing I love more than a sexy romance. My e-reader stays packed with books. By day, I'm tame and conservative, but once I leave work, the real me emerges. I always have a hunky guy calendar hanging over my desk at home. I kept February up until April rolled around. He was just too delicious. Some guys are worth the fantasy. I want a guy in real life who can kiss me and make my toes tingle. So far it hasn't happened anyplace but in books.

So there you have it. I'm about as exciting as my pet goldfish. The big difference is that I have a computer, a muse, and I know how to use both. I don't think Goldie gives much thought to having Mr. Golden swim into her life and she's already got the castle. I believe she's missing out on a lot of fun!

Visit me online:

http://alibaranauthor.wordpress.com


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Coming Soon: D & S Duos Book 1

Squee! I just got the final cover for the first book in my new series from Excessica. The series is called D & S Duos. Each one will feature a matched pair of short stories with BDSM themes.

The first one should release early in January (depending on the vagaries of the publishing platforms and their holiday schedules). The covers for the series were created by the wonderful Willsin Rowe, a fellow Excessica author. He and I are bartering skills; he's doing my covers, while I'm editing some of his stories.

Anyway, here's your first peek at Book 1...



I defy you to tell me it's not amazing!

Stay tuned. I'll keep you posted on the release!



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bang the Drummer! A New Way To Celebrate Christmas

By Desiree Holt (Guest Blogger)

With Christmas practically right around the corner, I wanted to share a taste of my newest Christmas story. Bang the Drummer is part of the collection The 12 Brides of Christmas from The Wild Rose Press – a spicy version of twelve drummers drumming!



Blurb

Jill Kennedy has plans for a Christmas wedding. She's put down deposits for the flowers, photos, and venue. Now all she needs is a groom. A drummer who'll keep her life as steady as he keeps the beat to his music. With her good friend Charlie Costello as her wingman, she'll interview percussionists, one per month until she finds the right tempo. But with Christmas approaching and no groom in sight, she's starting to wonder if she'll ever bang the drummer of her dreams.

Excerpt

Jill Kennedy curled up on her couch studying her iPad, frowning. Her Christmas tree still twinkled in the corner although the holiday was long past. Coldplay’s latest CD bumped its tunes out from her iPod docking station. The last of her Christmas candles flicked in glass holders on the coffee table, filling the room with the scent of pine and cranberry. She should be feeling mellow, but instead her nerves were jumping and a headache was creeping slowly up from the nape of her neck.

Charlie Costello lounged next to her, sock feet resting on her coffee table, his hands tapping a steady rhythm on his thighs in time to the song.

Jill tucked a strand of her shoulder-length sable-colored hair behind her ear as she studied the information on the iPad screen.

I think I’ve got everything taken care of. Booked the Creekside Winery. Ordered the decorations. Set up a tasting for the food and Stella’s designing the wedding cake.” She glanced up at Charlie. “Why are you looking at me in that strange way?”

He gave her his familiar lop-sided grin. “You are the only woman I know who plans and pays for her wedding without knowing who the groom is.”

She flipped a hand at him. “I’ll have one by then. It’s in the plan. You know.”

He threw back his head and laughed. “Yeah, I love your interview process. You aren’t even dating anyone right now.”

Because look how poor my choices were in that arena, right?”

He snorted. “So this is better? Tell me how?”

Jill pulled up another memo on her iPad. “Okay. I have a list.”

A list? This I gotta hear. Lay it on me.”

If she didn’t need his help so badly, she would have smacked him. “It’s very specific. I asked around about different drummers in different bands and narrowed it down to the twelve most likely prospects. You know. Twelve drummers drumming, for Christmas.”

Like a grocery list,” he teased.

No, Charlie.” Damn him! “Like an interview process for a job.”

Is that what this is, kitten? A job?”

It’s a lifetime commitment,” she sniffed. She wished he’d just let her get on with this. All these questions were making her have tiny doubts about the wisdom of her decision. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’ll do one a month until I hit on the right one. The exact right one. First I check out their musical talent and their band history.”

Charlie gave a roar of laughter. “Because that’s such a requirement for stability?”

Because it has to be a drummer so I need his performance history,” she snapped.

Maybe it’s a different kind of performance you should be worrying about.”

That comes later. After the phone calls and the coffee dates to see how he is in person and match our likes and dislikes.”

Coffee dates?” He cocked an eyebrow. “Not even a romantic dinner?”

She wanted to sling the iPad at him. “I’ve been that route, remember? The whole nine yards, and what did I get? A bunch of losers. No, I’m doing this like a project for work. As a systems analyst, she knew the importance of things being able to mesh on a practical basis. ”

So you’re going to interview these bozos and then—what?”

Drummers,” she told him. “Interviewing drummers.”

He cocked his head. “And that’s why?”

I told you.” She blew out a breath of exasperation. “Drummers have the best beat. The best tempo. They’re the heart of the band.” She grinned. “And have the best rhythm in bed.”

***

A Recommended read from All Romance eBooks, the book is available now from all your favorite book sellers!

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About Me

Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Holt Medallion, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”

You can find her at
Twitter @desireeholt.com
Pinterest desiree01holt
desireehol [at] desireeholt [dot] com



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Seven Kisses by Giselle Renarde

Seven Kisses by Giselle Renarde

Introverted, order-loving Gabrielle goes for a walk one afternoon, planning to explore a wooded parkland in her home town. Instead of the forest path shown on her map, she encounters a gated driveway that leads to a magnificent Victorian mansion. An unprepossessing sign identifies the property as Loindici Rehabilitation Centre.

As far as the Internet is concerned, the place doesn’t exist, but as Gabby stands marveling at its forbidding glory, her life shifts. A limousine enters the vast grounds. A teen-aged girl in provocative attire emerges. Rushing to Gabrielle, she blurts out “You’re Suzanne!”, then flees. And before Gabrielle realizes what’s going on, several burly figures in scrubs and surgical masks arrive to take “Suzanne” to the rehabilitation centre. At first Gabby protests, but some imp of the perverse – a mixture of curiosity and fatalism – motivates her to assume the patient Suzanne’s identity and agree to undergo Madame deVilleneuve’s “therapies”.

Then she descends into hell. Suzanne is apparently a nymphomaniac and “chronic masturbator”. The Madame’s therapy involves drugs, restraints, beatings, humiliation, sensory deprivation and violent sexual penetration by a Beast – an ominously silent creature whom Madame de Villeneuve explains is the externalization of Suzanne’s own wild and untamed sexual cravings.

This isn’t a question of playing games or acting roles. The pain Gabrielle endures is real and lasting. After several days of therapy her flesh is bruised and torn. She is unable to walk. Yet despite the terrible indignities inflicted upon her, Gabrielle somehow craves these experiences – not with her mind, which turns away appalled and disgusted, but with her traitorous body.

The delicious and chilling aspect of this situation is that the whole scenario is consensual – at least in a formal sense. Gabrielle has freely chosen to enter the Madame’s purgatory. Her reasons seem trivial, but Ms. Renarde makes it clear that in some sense, the Madame is right. Though Gabrielle’s behavior has never been anything other than exemplary, she shares the real Suzanne’s unlimited sexual needs. She has managed to hide this truth from herself all her life – until she entered Loindici Manor.

Madame de Villeneuve furrowed her brow. “My dear, we do not commit patients against their will. You are a legal adult and, as such, your parents’ signatures are not sufficient to gain entry to my program.” She pulled a document from her drawer. How odd—the papers were put together not with a staple but with a brass tack. “It is up to you to commit yourself to my program, Suzanne.”

Oh.” Could Gabrielle really go through with this? Could she really pretend she was someone else, some rich nymphomaniac? She hadn’t acted a part since the Grade 8 Christmas play, and she wasn’t very good in that.

Handing Gabrielle the wooden calligraphy pen, Madame said, “I must warn you: my therapy is intensive but it yields results. When we begin, you will more than likely wish to return home to a world of comforts. But this, I will not allow. Once you sign my document, you are committed to my care. You do as I instruct. You will not leave until I tell you to go. If this is understood, then sign your name at the bottom of the page.”

The contract, or whatever it was, hadn’t been typed on a computer. The whole thing had been written in Madame’s dense calligraphy hand. Gabrielle couldn’t read a word of it, yet all she could think to ask was, “My parents are paying for this, right?”

Madame nodded solemnly, seeming offended by the mention of money. “Your stay has been paid in advance.”

This place was basically a five-star resort masquerading as a rehab clinic. What was the sense in letting the booking go to waste while the real Suzanne camped out in Loindici Woods, or boarded a plane out of the country, or whatever she was doing right now?

Once you sign that page, Suzanne, you are mine to treat. You give up your right to say no. Are you prepared to do that, young lady?”

As the therapy proceeds, Gabrielle’s reality begins to dissolve into dark fantasy. Liveried monkeys act as the Madame’s servants. Walls waver and melt into mist. The Beast who so expertly batters her becomes her lover. Madame reveals her own prurient interests in the hapless patient, in an almost unbearably kinky interlude in the mansion’s stables. The Beast helps her to escape. Yet the first thing Gabrielle does when she’s out of the Madame’s clutches is to race back in order to save her beloved Beast from de Villeneuve’s inveterate cruelty.

Seven Kisses offers a totally original mix of heart-catching romance, unbridled kink and wondrous magic. Sometimes the meld is a bit awkward, but overall it works. Occasionally the book reaches the heights of great fantasy. I particularly loved the scene in which Gabrielle leads the wounded Beast through the crumbling wreckage of the manor, as the Madame’s sorcery unravels.

A warning, though: this is not a book for the squeamish or faint of heart. Despite Gabrielle’s having committed herself by signing the Madame’s illegible contract, much of what occurs in this book would be considered non-consensual. Just because Gabrielle enjoys some aspects does not erase the fact that she’s being raped.

If you’re interested in the interaction between desire and will, however – if, like me, you think you were Victorian in a previous life – if you believe in magic - if you’ve ever fantasized about making love to your own Beast – I highly recommend Seven Kisses.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sneak Peek: Darker Edge of Desire

Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance
Edited by Mitzi Szereto

Foreword by Kate Douglas, author of the Wolf Tales series
Afterword by Rachel Caine, author of the Morganville Vampire series





Love, passion and sex…it’s all here in Darker Edge of Desire. Gothic literature has always possessed a dark attraction ripe with the promise of the forbidden and the sensual. In Darker Edge of Desire, Mitzi Szereto takes the sexualized Gothic and ratchets it up a few notches into the danger zone, opening the door into the darker side of lust and love that only the courageous dare to venture through. Venturing even further into the world of mystery and romance than she did in the critically acclaimed Red Velvet and Absinthe, Szereto creates an atmosphere with a distinct Gothic flavor where we explore our more forbidden desires. In these tales, love and lust (and kink!) know no boundaries, and all nature of beings—from vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, ghosts, succubae—abound. Tread carefully, danger and desire lie ahead!


Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and nonfiction. Her most recent books include The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray, the epic-fantasy anthology Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire and the quirky crime/cozy mystery Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles). A popular social media personality and frequent interviewee, she’s known for having pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and mainland Europe and has lectured in creative writing at several British universities. She divides her time between London, England and various locations in the United States.


Excerpt
From “Moonfall” by Rose de Fer

The young woman blinked in confusion, feeling as though she had just woken from a strange dream. She had only a vague memory of the journey and it took her a moment to register where she was. She struggled at first, but the men were strong and she knew she had no hope of resisting their firm grip.

Come along, miss,” one of them said, not unkindly. “You’ll be quite safe inside.”

Madeleine Chancery allowed herself to be lifted from the carriage and she puzzled at the strange sensation as her bare feet touched the snowy ground. Where were her shoes? A glance down at herself showed that her dress was in tatters. She caught her reflection in the gleaming shell of the carriage and gave a startled little cry. She looked a fright. Her hair fell in wild blonde tangles about her face, which was smeared with mud.

Mrs. Chancery.”

The tall man descended the steps and Madeleine peered up at him. She knew him, of course. Dr. Charles Thorncroft. James’s brother. Panic leapt in her chest. Had he seen them together? Did he know of their trysts? Worse: had he told her husband?

But instead of accusing her, he extended his hand as though she were alighting at the home of someone hosting a midnight ball. “Welcome, my dear,” he said. “You will be very comfortable here. Of that I can assure you.”

Dazed, she offered her own hand without thinking and he took it, frowning slightly at the sight. It wasn’t just dirty; it was streaked with what looked like dried blood.

She gasped and yanked it back, wrapping her arms around herself. “Why am I here?” she asked at last.

We’ll talk inside,” said Dr. Thorncroft pleasantly, his deep voice booming in the stillness. “A warm fire. Perhaps a little brandy to take away the chill and calm your nerves?”

Madeleine glanced warily at the men on either side of her. Running away would be utterly pointless and only serve to humiliate her further. She could never hope to escape and even if she did, she would surely freeze to death.

Very well,” she said, lifting her head proudly and trying to retain some dignity. “You can explain to me why Henry had me abducted in the night and brought to this—this place.”

She followed Dr. Thorncroft inside, taking in her surroundings with wide eyes. Her feet tingled against the mosaic tiles of the elegant entryway as he led her down a long corridor. Gaslight flickered along the oak-paneled walls and from somewhere deep within the building came a scream. She froze, gazing with horror up into the darkness of the curved staircase.

She had a very bad feeling about this place. And most especially this man.

Nothing for you to concern yourself with,” Dr. Thorncroft said darkly. “Not everyone here is as compliant as I know you will be.”

He met her eyes for a long, uncomfortable moment before taking her arm and guiding her firmly away.

Madeleine was startled at her body’s strange response to him as she allowed herself to be led to the room at the end of the corridor. He was as strikingly handsome as his brother and there was something in his authoritative tone that made her body tingle in spite of her apprehension.



Author Links

Mitzi Szereto website: http://mitziszereto.com

Mitzi Szereto on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mitziszereto


Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog: http://mitziszereto.com/blog


Darker Edge of Desire website: http://mitziszereto.com/darkeredgeofdesire


Buy Links


























Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Snog #153: Almost Home

It's Sunday again, which means I go burrowing into my backlist for kisses to share with you.

Today I've got another excerpt from my M/M/F holiday romance, Almost Home. I hadn't browsed through this book in a while. I have to say, it has some really hot scenes - too raw, I thought, for a Sunday!

So I've got a gentler bit to share today, from near the end of the book. It really captures the special quality of New England winter. Especially if you happen to have a outdoor hot tub!

After you're done with my snog, head over to Victoria's for more weekend kisses. She's running an awesome event called BlisseMas, all through December, by the way, and giving away Kindle Paperwhite plus lots of other prizes!



Suzanne had never seen stars so bright. The night sky was a black bowl above them, studded with blazing jewels. The snow blanketing the yard gleamed with some faint inner radiance. At the edges of the property, evergreens clustered in deeper shadow like silent sentinels.

She took a deep breath of the crystalline air, so cold and sharp it hurt her lungs. The tiny hairs inside her nose stood on end. Her earlobes felt like icicles. From the neck down, though, she was bathed in delicious warmth. The bizarre contrast almost made her giggle.

Smooth, hard muscle brushed her thigh. After a moment, roving fingers skittered across her lap and burrowed into her pubic fur. A fiery bolt of lust struck her core.

Gino!” she scolded. “Behave!”

Why should I?” asked her lover, rubbing his body against hers under the surface of the water. “Harry doesn’t mind. Do you?”

The lanky blond on Gino’s other flank grinned. “Not at all. Long as you keep up what you’re doing over here, that is.”

Harris had untied his ponytail. His golden locks flowed over his shoulders, darkening to sepia where wet. With his thin face and chiselled features, he looked like some warrior ascetic, a knight on a quest for some sacred prize. Suzanne could understand why Gino found him attractive. She wondered whether he really was one-hundred percent gay.

Leaning back against the redwood wall and closing her eyes, she allowed the peace of the night to enfold her. Her limbs were heavy. Her heart felt as though it was about to overflow.

The growl of motors and a rattling of metal reached her ears. Gino’s solar-heated hot tub was at the back of the house, away from the street. Still, the faint noise shattered the intense quiet of the snow-smothered night.

Ploughs,” said Harris, cocking his head in the direction of the sound. “At last.” He pointed to the cloudless sky. “Looks like they were wrong about more snow, though.”

We’ll drive you over to Pelham early tomorrow morning,” Gino added. “Actually, the highway department might have towed your car already. We’ll call first, assuming we’ve got power. Anyway, don’t worry, you’re likely to be well on your way back home by tomorrow afternoon.”

Home. Suzanne didn’t want to think about California—her neat, modern, empty condo, all the problems and decisions awaiting her at work, the bland weather and the vacant sky.

There’s no rush,” she said finally. “I’m going to miss my Monday appointment anyway. But thank you.” She squeezed Gino’s hand. “For everything.”

Now, despite all that they had done together, she found she was shy. Steam drifted up in pale swirls from the heated surface of the water. Underneath, she could barely make out the shape of their naked limbs. “I’m going to miss you,” she murmured finally. “Both of you.”

You’ll be back for Christmas, though, won’t you?” Gino’s eyes were shadowed but Suzanne understood the yearning she’d see there, if there were more light.

Maybe…” she began. She imagined another holiday with her parents, pleasant but predictable. They wouldn’t mind if she disappeared after the opening of the presents. And suddenly she couldn’t bear the thought of not being with Gino again, very soon. “Yes. I’ll be back. I promise.”

Wonderful.” Gino pulled her into a kiss that made her heart pound and her pussy tremble. “You can stay over, you know,” he added when he finally released her. “You can stay for as long as you want.”

The house has six bedrooms,” Harris commented. “Way more space than we need.”

Yeah—even with my office and Harry’s studio, there are two rooms we barely use.”

We do have broadband Internet, by the way. Even if we don’t have mobile service.”

There’s a local limo company that can get you to Logan in two hours. Harry uses it when he has an exhibition in New York…”

This is freak weather,” Harris interrupted. “Most winters we don’t get much snow…”

And the summers here are glorious, green everywhere, bright sun and lingering twilights, fresh sweet corn and luscious home-grown tomatoes…”

I know!” Suzanne couldn’t keep from laughing. “I grew up here, remember?”

Saturday, December 13, 2014

About Writing: Your Essential Writing Manual

By Suz DeMello (Guest Blogger)


About writing ABOUT WRITING

Why yet another writing manual? Hasnt this ground been covered before, by far more able authors, such as Rita Mae Brown and Stephen King?


Well, yes, but...


Hmm.


Yes, I do quote the above authors liberally in my short little book. But I do add material they don’t have.


Oh yeah? Like what?


There’s some cool stuff on the mythic structure...


Mythic, schmythic. Joseph Campbell and Chris Vogler dealt with all of that stuff.


Yeah, but I offer something slightly different. Read this:


Legacy from the Distant Past

I wrote earlier that this story is hardwired into our consciousness, our bodies, our very cells. Why?

Picture this:

We are asleep in a cave or a den, curled up with our mates, our brothers, our sisters. This is our ordinary world.

Dawn comes, sliding sly fingers into the darkness. We awaken. Hunger and thirst are our call to adventure. Is there a refusal of the call to join the hunt? Perhaps from some pack members—the old, the very young, nursing mothers.

But others are insistent, approaching the alpha of the pack—the mentor—with a demand for food. Those who answer the call leave the safety of the cave—crossing the threshold.

The alpha selects our best fighters, finding allies while rejecting enemies who might take an opportunity to betray him during the excitement—the test—of the hunt.

We form a hunting party and set forth, seeking prey. But our targets are wily and fast. Some may take refuge in a different cave, behind a waterfall, or in a swamp.

Nevertheless, the alpha leads us to the danger, for the pack must eat. This stage of the hunt corresponds to Campbell’s approach to the innermost cave.

We find another dire wolf trying to kill a great beast, perhaps a mastodon. Even the combined efforts of the pack with our new ally aren’t equal to taking the mastodon, which tramples off, dripping blood from wounds we have inflicted. However, we have gained a powerful new hunter. These events are the ordeal and the reward...

Interested yet?


So here it is: ABOUT WRITING... Both of Suz deMello’s famed writing manuals, now in one handy paperback. A perfect gift for any writer!



Heres what folks said about Plotting and Planning:

Sue has written a concise manual that is valuable for both beginning and seasoned writers. Going to write a book? Read this first!
--Bestselling suspense author Kylie Brant

Suz deMello's PLOTTING AND PLANNING is a concise, informative, and entertaining look at writing a novel.
--Paranormal author Silver James

Not only did Write This, Not That! reach #2 on Amazons writing reference list, but it also garnered many five star reviews:

Five stars...good advice and fun to read.
--Jo Frye


Five stars... Kudos to the author for a well-written manual!
--Book CraZ


Five stars from me... This short guide covers the essentials and is
useful for both new and experienced writers.
--Author Catherine Cavendish


BUY IT HERE:


About Suz deMello:


Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.


Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.


A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.


Stalk Suzie online:

--Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
--For editing services, email her at suzdemello [at] gmail [dot] com
--Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suzdemello
--She tweets @Suzdemello
--Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com