Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Blast: Unchained Melody by Cynthia Roberts (#romance #giveaway #fate @cynthiasromance)

Unchained Melody cover


Pamela Landers had it all, a senior partnership with a top law firm, expensive car, and a luxurious condo. What she desired most was a loving husband, children and a life filled with precious memories that would comfort her through her golden years.

Funny how fate has a way of steering you down that path where dreams really can come true. When Pamela encounters Gavin Templeton along her journey, she has some life-altering decisions to make that eventually lead her to happily ever after.


Nice to meet you, Mr. Templeton. I’ve been trying to get to Sugar Run for the past two years, but …” she paused. “I just don’t know how to say no to my boss.”  

He chuckled and pointed her way.

Well, good for you. All work and no play … well, you know the rest.” He interjected.

Then she thought. I’ll be damned. She knew that name. Everyone knew the Templeton name. She was rather titillated by his attention. The Templeton’s, were quite known in the Northeast. Not only was Sugar Run a rather luxurious five-star resort, but his family had acquired over fifty acres of prime lakefront property and started developing it into one of the most eloquent gated communities that would offer luxurious 2-3-bedroom town homes, a 9-hole golf course, and private country club.
The cleft in his chin was more prominent when he smiled and it pleased her to know she was the cause of the sparkle in his eyes.

And, please, call me Gavin.”

Her voice shook a little. “Pamela Landers … my name, that is and, thank you for sharing your table.”

The waitress arrived, took both of their orders, and refilled their coffee cups.

So, tell me Pamela, what line of work occupies your every waking moment?”

Law,” she answered. “My niche is wrongful death.”

The look that registered on his face made her wonder, if the legal field was something he found distasteful. She did not know why, but she wanted his approval. His opinion of her somehow mattered.

Do you ski, Gavin?”

Not an Olympic hopeful mind you, but I manage to make it to the bottom without breaking my neck.”

Pamela giggled.

His cell phone went off and he excused himself, as he rose and moved from the table. He was only gone for a matter of moments. When he returned to the table and rejoined her, he asked the waitress to bring him the check right away.

Pamela tried to hide her disappointment.

Pressing business?” She asked, trying to keep the disappointment from her voice.

Gavin’s was evident as he sighed heavily. “I’m afraid so. There’s something I must attend to in Ashbury that needs my attention.” He rose and handed the waitress two twenty-dollar bills and told her to keep the change.

Pamela shook her head and raised her hand to argue but, he waved it off.

Please, it was my pleasure to meet you.” His smile was warm and genuine. “Perhaps, you’ll join me for a cocktail this evening. I’ll send a note to your room.”

Pamela returned his smile. “Um, that would be nice,” she waved her finger at him, “but, the drinks are on me or, it’s a no.”

Gavin reached for her hand, and drew it to his lips, and stroked it tenderly with his thumb. “How can I refuse? Until later this evening then.” He bowed slightly and turned to exit.

Pamela was exuberant as she watched him leave, appreciating how well the jeans he was wearing fit around a rather nice tight ass and well-muscled thighs. Pamela relaxed and played back their meeting in her mind. Talk about fate … it was all rather unexpected and the immediate attraction she felt for him was even more surprising. She looked down at the thick, crisp waffles on her plate and began devouring them with a hunger that was as strong as her desire to meet up with the dashing and charming owner of Sugar Run.

About Cynthia

My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn't until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write my first historical romance, Wind Warrior. I really don't fit into one specific niche. Once a story starts to flow, it's only then I know what genre/sub-genre it will fit under.

I have only one regret, and that is not getting to this point in my career much sooner, rather than later. Life has a way of setting up road blocks, which for me, was supposed to work out that way. Because of those detours, I have become a more passionate and expressive writer, allowing me to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel.

It is my hope you walk away with not just an entertaining read, but the importance in knowing, "Without imaginationand dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities."

Connect with Cynthia







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The book is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time on ALL of the ABOVE formats.

*For Smashwords, please use Coupon Code: AN23P

Cynthia will be awarding the first six E-books in the Love Song Standards Series to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review Tuesday : Neptune and Surf by Marilyn Jaye Lewis (#reviewtuesday #erotica #literature)

Neptune and Surf cover

Neptune and Surf by Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Blue Moon Books, 2012

Sex is not simple. Marilyn Jaye Lewis' story collection, Neptune and Surf, offers readers a rich and wildly imaginative sampling of sexual shenanigans: public couplings, steamy birchings, violent ravishments, lewd tenderness. There is the soapy buggery of the pregnant woman in the shower; the butch nun's strap-on penetration of her recalcitrant pupil as her victim recites New Testament verses; even a lasciviously-inclined Great Dane.

What is most impressive about this book is the skill with which Ms. Lewis navigates the complex emotional landscape of sexuality. Her characters wander from shame to lust, from confusion to power, from anger to love, drawn to the flesh but never with complete understanding. Her nuanced portraits make the stories believable, even when the plots seem extreme or contrived. The shy, horny black sailor, the tough but tender-hearted half-Chinese hooker, the self-indulgent gangster's moll, these people linger in the reader's mind long after the details of their erotic encounters have faded.

Ms. Lewis' style is crisp and evocative. One smells the popcorn at Coney Island, hears the snap of the birch cane, shivers with Victoria, exposed and violated on the bridge above the swirling winter
river. The shortest of the three tales in the volume, "Gianni's Girl", is switch-blade sharp, laced with seductive danger. The deadpan dialogue crackles with barely suppressed violence. The plots of the
two novellas, "Neptune and Surf" and "The Merry Cure", use numerous temporal shifts which Ms. Lewis handles deftly, with admirable clarity. On the other hand, a more linear treatment might have made these stories even more effective. By the time the reader reaches the climax of "The Merry Cure", she has experienced so many thrilling trips to the past that the present feels a bit flat.

The sexual scenarios are inventive and explicit, described with eloquence and grace even at their most raw. Occasionally, one has the sense that a flashback or daydream is gratuitous, interjected purely for the purpose of adding yet another sex scene. In most cases, though, the sex unfolds organically, propelled by the psychologies and histories of the participants. Even within a single scene, there may be many moods, as the emotional balance shifts and mutates. Gentleness morphs to savagery. Terror melts to passionate arousal. The effect can be a bit overwhelming, leaving the reader with damp and breathless, head spinning.

That is the nature of sex, though. It touches us at every level. It makes us dizzy. It awakens our fears and insecurities, delusions and creativity. In the erotic realm we are both beastly and divine, and sometimes both at once. Ms. Lewis' work captures this truth, with sympathy and considerable craft.

Monday, August 22, 2016

In Nigeria, Romance Enhances Literacy (#feminism #romance #literacy)

A few days ago I happened on this fascinating article, about the huge popularity of romance novels in Nigeria. There's a different piece about the same phenomenon here at the BBC.

It's really worth taking a few minutes to read these stories, but the gist is that women have started to produce a flood of romantic tales in the local Hausa language, which have become so hugely popular that they're having an effect on culture and values. In particular, young women are starting to realize and object to some of the oppressive aspects of their traditional roles, such as forced marriage, child marriage and unequal ability to initiate divorce. Even more exciting (for me) was the fact that in a country with one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world, girls are learning to read, just so that they can access these romance books.

Stories like this give me hope. They also convince me that despite the disdain with which Western literary culture treats romance, the genre has both an enduring, world-wide appeal and a positive social impact.

Keep writing!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Snog 240: Wild About That Thing (#MFM #interracial #blues)

It’s Sunday again — time for another sizzling kiss excerpt.

I am still trying to figure out what happened with my Sunday Snog post last week. As of today (Saturday the 20th), I’d gotten nearly 11,000 views on that post. Uh—not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but my posts normally get between 200 and 400 hits. What the heck is going on?

The only thing I could figure out is that maybe the hashtag #interracial was what pulled in readers. Now, even though I’ve written quite a few relationships between black and white characters, I am definitely ambivalent about labeling my stories “interracial”. That seems exploitative to me. When I put characters of different races together, it’s not because I think it’s intrinsically “hot” for a black guy to be with a white woman, or vice versa. My characters may be black or white, Asian or European, but that’s just what they are. Their racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds tend to be far too complex to encapsulate in a simple label.

Still, I’m trying an experiment, using the same hashtag for this post, which includes an excerpt from another “interracial” ménage story, Wild About That Thing. Here’s the blurb:

There's more than one way to beat the blues.

Two things are important to Ruby Jones: her teenage son and her struggling club, the Crossroads Blues Bar. Her love life comes as a distant third, despite the efforts of Zeke Chambers to convince her otherwise. Zeke's the lead singer in her house band, a devoted friend, and an occasional lover. He can drive her wild with desire, but can't get her to make a commitment. Deserted by her cheating ex-husband, Ruby's determined she's going to make it on her own. She's hot-blooded like her bluesman daddy, happy to satisfy her physical cravings, but she's not about to let any man into her heart.

The stranger who takes the stage on the Crossroads open mike night upsets the delicate balance in Ruby's world. Remy Saint-Michel inspires irrational, irresistible lust as well as inexplicable sympathy. Overwhelmed, confused, guilty and worried about her prized independence, Ruby decides that the only way to deal with her two lovers is to push them both away. Zeke and Remy, though, have other ideas.

I’ve got an X-rated excerpt below that includes a passionate kiss. After you’ve read it, I hope you’ll click over to Victoria’s place, for more sexy Sunday Snogs!


He slept beside her, his breathing deep and even. A complex perfume hung in the air of her small bedroom—sweat and semen, pussy and sandalwood incense.

She didn’t want to move, didn’t want to think. She just wanted to lie there with her lover within reach and the rest of the world far away. Being with Zeke seemed to be the only thing that brought her this kind of comfort. She loved Isaiah dearly and enjoyed his company, but in her son’s presence she could never quite banish her worries.

The thought of her son roused her. She leaned over to peer at the alarm clock. When she saw the time, she sighed and gave Zeke a gentle shake.

Wake up, baby. You’ve gotta go.”

In one smooth motion, Zeke rolled towards her and gathered her into his arms. Her breasts flattened against his furry chest. “Let me stay, hon,” he murmured, nuzzling the sweet spot under her ear. His thickening cock prodded at the sticky juncture of her thighs. “It’s still early…”

Nearly six,” Ruby replied, relaxing into his embrace despite herself. “Isaiah will be up soon. You know how I feel.”

You feel wonderful,” Zeke replied, kneading her breast with one hand while wriggling the other between their bodies, down to her pussy. Ruby sucked in her breath as his fingers slipped inside her folds to stroke her clit. “And I can make you feel even better…”

Zeke…” she began. He stopped her objections with a deep kiss. His moustache tickled her upper lip. She tasted the bourbon he drank between sets. She loved his soft, lush mouth—she couldn’t pretend otherwise. The leisurely way his tongue played with hers suggested that he’d be happy doing nothing but kissing her forever.

You don’t really want me to go,” he continued when they broke for air. “You’re soaking wet, and your clit—” Ruby moaned as he flicked the swollen nub with one calloused digit. “—your clit is like a little marble.”

Yes… Oh, God, yes…”

Zeke reared up and settled back onto his heels, his fingers still dancing between her legs. “You couldn’t wait to get my clothes off earlier,” he commented. It was true. As soon as the club closed, Ruby had practically dragged him up the stairs to her apartment. “But I can tell you haven’t had enough yet.”


Zeke grasped one of her thighs in each meaty hand and pulled her open. Then he bent and swept his tongue along her cleft. Pleasure shuddered through her. She arched up, wanting more. Her lover teased her, flicking back and forth between her swollen lips, but avoiding contact with her clit. She thrashed underneath him, desperate for direct stimulation.

Please…please, baby…”

Finally he took pity on her. He burrowed his face into her pussy and sucked hard. Lightning shot up her spine. Tension coiled inside her. Sinking her fingers into his hair, she forced his head deeper into her drenched cunt and ground her clit against his nose.

His teeth nipped the aching bud of flesh. The tiny pain cut her free. Pleasure welled up from her depths and spilled over. His strong hands held her fast, splayed and vulnerable, as she jerked against his still-lapping tongue.

Before the last sparkles of sensation faded, his cock was at her entrance. He drove into her still-quivering cunt, hot and hard. Her muscles clenched around his bulk and a new climax seized her, sharper and deeper than the one before.

Zeke didn’t let her rest. He pounded into her again and again, just the way she liked, so fierce she thought he’d split her open. As he thrust, a third come gathered, like thunderheads on the distant horizon. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Commitment — One Day at a Time (#marriage #addiction #commitment)

Wedding Garter

He's a chic lit cliché: the guy who can't commit. He loves the heroine, truly he does, and they're clearly compatible, in bed and out, but somehow he can't quite take that step. He can't make himself pop the question and join his life with hers happily ever after, 'til death do us part.

Actually, it's not a literary myth. My sister's husband was like that. It took five years, two breakups and some therapy before they finally tied the knot. I'm not ridiculing him. It was a painful and difficult process for him to get to that point. Commitment often is.

However, if you don't commit, you go through life skimming the surface, flitting from one person or activity to another, never experiencing the depth and beauty that's available. Commitment brings emotional and spiritual rewards that are well worth the pain.

The general understanding is that “commitment” is a kind of transition, a phase change, a final stepping over some line. Before you make a commitment, you're in one place. After the act, you are someplace else altogether. You commit and then you breathe a sigh of relief. That's over.

That's not the way it works, in my experience.

As I've shared before on this blog, I was anorexic in my late teens. After the acute phase was over and I returned to college, I still had anything but a normal relationship with food. I still weighed myself daily. I binged on calorie-free items like cantaloupe, cabbage and popcorn (without butter). I felt guilty whenever I ate a real meal.

To try and cope with these behaviors and feelings, I joined OvereatersAnonymous. OA is a twelve step program modeled on AA for people who have food-related disorders or addictions. I already knew something about how AA worked, as my mom was a recovered alcoholic. The first of the twelve steps, revised for the OA context, reads: “We admitted that we were powerless over food, that our lives had become unmanageable.” That was me. I wasn't overweight, but food was using up way too much of my mental and emotional energy.

In AA, you make a commitment to stay sober, to abstain from drinking alcohol. No one forces you to do this, by the way. You can come to AA forever and keep drinking; the heart of the program is that you, personally, must decide to become sober. Of course one can't abstain from food. The OA equivalent of sobriety, called “abstinence” is to eat three healthy meals a day with nothing in-between.

I made a commitment to abstinence. I tried to stop my bizarre food behaviors. I tried to release the fear of getting fat. It wasn't as easy as it might sound.

One motto of the twelve step approach is “One day at a time”. The idea is that if you tried to commit to never drinking again, ever, that would seem totally impossible. You would sabotage yourself before you even began. So, wisely, the twelve step approach advises that you simply commit to being sober (or abstinent) today. Today is all you have anyway. You could be dead tomorrow. So don't worry about what you're going to do in the future, or how you're going to survive. Focus on where you are. Focus on now. Make a commitment for today and let tomorrow take care of itself.

Simplistic as it sounds, this approach seems to work.

I've come to believe that this is the essence of all commitment. I've been married more than 34 years now—even though I never expected that I'd marry at all. It's true that my marriage is a bit atypical: we have no children, we are professional colleagues as well as mates, in our younger days we were not sexually exclusive. I suspect my marriage is easier than those of many of my readers. Still, there are times when I get fed up with my DH and really want to walk out, slamming the door behind me. (I'm sure he feels the same about me every now and again.) Or I worry about the future, as we are both getting older (and he is eleven years older than I). How will I manage if I have to be his caretaker instead of his companion and co-conspirator (as we promised in our wedding vows)?

Then I stop myself. I remember that I've made a commitment to love him, share my life with him, take responsibility for him, as he does for me. But I don't need to think about forever. I only need to reassert my commitment now, today.

This is the way that all good marriages are built, in my opinion. One day at a time. Commitment is not a single act, but a process to be repeated each day. That makes it easier—and in realistically, making a commitment today is all we can ever do.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Dance and the Dancer (#passion #vision #excerpt)

Lisabet belly dancing
Lisabet belly dancing

I love to dance. I always have. At four years old I spun round and round, drunk on movement, till I slipped and split my chin open on the unyielding linoleum. Six stitches left a scar I still carry proudly. For my fifth birthday, my parents took me to see the ballet “Giselle”. I remember afterwards, the thrill of being awake at midnight. I watched the snow drift down as we waited for the bus, still entranced by the unearthly grace of the dancers. At eight I had a solo in a community performance, improvising to Gershwin’s “Summertime”, and in high school I danced the role of Bonnie to my best friend’s Clyde.

My parents danced. When my dad led my mother onto the floor for a jitterbug, they’d immediately attract a circle of admirers. He would swing and twirl her, their steps in perfect synchrony, while the crowd applauded. At weddings and bar mitzvahs, I’d be overwhelmed with pride, and the desire to emulate my talented, sexy mother and my ultra-cool dad. It’s a pity they didn’t move to the same rhythms off the dance floor.

In graduate school, I enjoyed an extracurricular career as a belly dancer in a local Middle Eastern restaurant. People actually paid me to dance. I was astonished. The experience was magic. No thought, no fear, no plans – just the music flowing through me, shaping my arms, swirling my hips, guiding my feet. I was beautiful, beloved, free.

Flamenco, tango, rock and roll. The fluid control of Balinese dance, the frenzy of Rajastani steps, the smooth synchronization of a Broadway musical, the hectic kineticism of hip hop. I love it all. Watching a dancer may bring tears to my eyes. Or it may make my own limbs twitch and ache to join in the dance.

Dance for me is both a reality and a metaphor for the union of body and spirit. I use dancing in many of my stories. Incognito opens with a scene in a disco, in which a seductive stranger sweeps Miranda across the floor and awakens her latent passion. In Exposure, Stella exists in a trance-like state of heightened awareness as she performs her strip routine, half-convinced that she sees reads the minds of the men in her audience. Here’s a passage from a novel fragment that is sitting on my hard drive, waiting for new inspiration, called Unveiled.

On my ninth birthday, my parents took me to see the great Nehir perform, and my destiny was sealed.

I sat bolt upright in my velvet seat, there in Symphony Hall, hardly daring to breathe, as the lights dimmed and the musicians strolled onto the stage. They settled themselves in a row of chairs toward the back. The drummer and the clarinetist whispered together for a moment, then nodded to the man with the oud. Then, an intricate sequence of notes dripped from his strings, rising up in the hall and falling again like plaintive rain.

The house went black. The oud solo still shimmered in the darkness, shivered down my spine, a lament centuries old. A bolt of light shot from the back of the theater, defining a perfect circle of brightness on the stage. There, motionless in the spotlight as though frozen by a flashbulb, stood a diminutive figure swathed in layers of turquoise and gold gauze.

The oud faded to silence. My chest hurt from anticipation. The dumbeq player coaxed two musical beats from his goatskin drum. Nehir raised her arm simultaneously, as though her movement had precipitated the drumbeats rather than the other way around. Two more beats, another gesture. She shifted her hips, making her jeweled belt sparkle, as the drummer matched her rhythm. She pivoted and bent backward, her veils brushing the floor behind her, to the next beats.

The clarinet joined the drum. Nehir’s bare arms snaked through the air. Her hips made slow circles, rising as the melody rose, dipping down when it sank to a lower register. The musicians were in taksim mode, improvising to a free form rhythm, and Nehir perfectly matched their every musical gesture, remaining immobile between notes.

The oud player picked up the melody, and abruptly, the drummer swung into a fast, regular beat. All at once, the dancer was all motion. Her shoulders shimmied, her hips shook, her fingers feathered the air. I could see her rise on her toes as she twirled, translucent fabric trailing behind her.

My heart beat in time with the drum as I drank in Nehir’s fluid, voluptuous movements. Her bare feet were light and sure as she traced the intricate steps of the age-old, ageless dance. She removed her outer veil, swirling it in sinous patterns around her, so that for a moment it seemed that she had a partner. My chest ached with nameless longing.

Nehir did not listen to and interpret the music. The music filled her, bore her up, swept her away in frenzy of glorious energy. She surrendered to the music. She allowed the rhythm to have its way with her. Let the melody enter her, take her, bend her into impossibly graceful forms, travel up her spine until her whole body rippled like water.

Her name meant “the river”, my mother had told me. As I watched her the floodgates opened inside me. I wanted to dance as she danced, wanted that more than anything in the world. I wanted the music to take me and use me as it did her. I craved the knowledge of motion and stillness that, even as a child, I read in her perfect gestures. And I knew, even then, that this was not a mere childish whim.

These days, I don’t dance as much as I would like to. As the result of over-enthusiastic Jazzercizing over two decades, I developed arthritis in one hip. Then I had a hip replacement. There's probably another one in my future, on the other side. Anyway, my days of doing splits are long-gone.

Still, I dance when I can, in bars or clubs or at parties, and pay the price afterwards. While the music holds me, I am weightless and beyond pain. Later, my gratitude soothes the pangs in my poor weak flesh.

Years ago, I was trying to understand (as we all do) who I was and where I was going. What is your vision? one book asked. How do you see your life in relation to the world?

My answer to that question was the poem below.

My life will be a dance.
I will try to tread lightly,
touching but not trampling.

I will trust my partners
and be trustworthy in return,
Follow through, complete the steps.

I will dance abundance
accepted and shared;
Faith, power,
peace and wonder,
And always, love.

Remember that the dance
flows from the inside out,
spirit to body
and out to the world,
And that all, spirit, body and world
are sacred.
Even when solo, know
that I dance a part
in a larger pattern.
Leave behind
some increase of joy,
some greater beauty.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sneak Peek: Fighting Blind by C.M. Seabrook (#erotic #boxing #romance @ChantelSeabrook)

Fighting Blind Cover


Mackenzie Brooks is everything I've ever wanted.

Three years ago, she walked out of my life. No explanation. Just gone.

With the biggest fight of my career only weeks away, she walked back in.

I'll do anything to protect her. Destroy anyone who tries to hurt her. When it comes to Mac, there isn't a line I won't cross.

I've loved her my entire life, and now that's she's back I won't let her go.

She refuses to speak about the past, or the secrets I know she's hiding.

I know she's planning on running again. But when you love someone, you stay and fight. Even if you're fighting blind.


Hi.” Long brown hair rolls down her back in glossy waves. Soft, full lips that I’ve only dreamed of kissing open and close as if trying to decide what to say.

An explanation of where the hell she’s been for the past few years would be a good place to start.

I…just wanted…” Her words come out in a stutter, and she tucks her hair behind one ear.

She’s nervous. Good. She should be fucking nervous.

I move toward her. The muscles in my jaw are so tight they feel like they’re going to snap. I can barely process the emotions that are slamming into my chest. But I can’t take my eyes off her. I’d almost forgotten how gorgeous she was. Hell, I’d tried to forget.

Eyes the color of caramel, with flecks of amber and gold, stare up at me with uncertainty.

Those eyes. They could pierce a man’s heart with a single look. And they had.

I’d have given everything for her. Would’ve sold my soul to the fucking devil just to please her. All she had to do was ask. Instead, she walked away.

About the Author

C.M. Seabrook is the author of the Amazon bestselling fantasy romance Cara's Twelve, as well as the Therian Agents paranormal romance series, and co-author of the Mated by Magic series.

When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's most likely spending time with her family, cooking, singing, or racing between soccer, hockey and karate practices. She's living her own happily ever after with her husband of fifteen years and their two daughters.

She loves creating new exciting characters - from sexy, bad boy alphas, to the passionate, fiery women who love them.

Canadian born and bred, she started life in Edmonton, Alberta, and now resides in London, Ontario. She attended Western University where she graduated with an Honors degree in Anthropology.

Her guilty pleasures include red wine, pasta, binge watching Starz originals, and hanging out with her rescue pup, Jaxx.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at cm.seabrook.books [at] gmail [dot] com

Twitter – @chantelseabrook

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Visit all her stops for more chances to win!


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