Friday, May 24, 2019

Free! This weekend only! Bedazzled by @MadisonMichael - #Billionaire #Romance #Indie



She's fiercely independent. He's thwarted by tradition. Can a brush of her hand be their brush with fate?

A woman with everything to gain.

Keeli Larsen craves success on her own terms. She has no support and less money, but she has talent and big dreams. Determined not to return to the family farm, this is Keeli's last chance to make it. It's also her final opportunity to connect with the out-of-her-league, gorgeous man in the penthouse office - her very own Prince Charming. Although they have never spoken, a crowded elevator, a chance encounter, and a misplaced hand are about to change everything.

A man with everything to lose.

Billionaire and sexy hunk, Wyatt Lyons Howe IV is on track to inherit a family empire he doesn't want. With dreams of his own, Wyatt is suffocating under generations of family expectations and traditions until a brief moment and a brush of a hand set Wyatt on a crash course with love. Can Wyatt turn his back on his heritage to pursue his goals following the lead of this fiery redhead. Can he forfeit his wealth for freedom? Fearing Keeli is a down-on-her-luck artist looking for a bankroll, Wyatt doubts her motives. He's been burned in the past but can't resist the temptation. He is bedazzled.

A challenge accepted.

Wyatt is seduced by Keeli’s spirit and the sizzling chemistry between them. Used to getting what he wants, Wyatt determines to make Keeli his own. But first he must outsmart a scheming fiancĂ©, oppose his family and friends, overcome his doubts, and walk away from his wealth and power. And, of course, he must win her heart.

If you love sassy women and strong sexy men overcoming all odds on their road to romance, buy this steamy page turner, and meet the first of the Beguiling Bachelors.


***Bedazzled has been freshly edited and revised ***

Bedazzled Buy Link:

Excerpt

The chatter in the elevator lightened her mood immediately, reminding Keeli of all the people who had started with only a few dollars and a dream. In many cases, they had made it without knowing the language or customs of their adopted country. By comparison, she had many advantages and instantly felt better about her choice, more confident about moving forward on her own. Mr. Weinberg let her take many of her pieces with her when she left his employ. There had been no severance check, of course, but the ready inventory was a gift. Keeli let the renewed confidence surge through her body, standing straight and looking ahead. Watching her step, careful not to bump anyone with her parcel, Keeli stepped into the divide and moved toward the back.

That was the moment she saw HIM. He was the best thing – by far – about working in this building. She was standing face to face with the virile, gorgeous, sexy man she saw in the elevator regularly. Well, almost face-to-face since he was at least 4 or 5 inches taller than her statuesque 5’10”.

He was what she would miss most about this job – these random opportunities to ride the elevator and watch him, getting to stand close, allowing her imagination to run wild with fantasies – all starring him, of course.

Most of the time, he hid mysteriously behind a pair of Wayfarers, but the rain today afforded Keeli a chance to admire the intelligence and concentration in his azure eyes. He stood with his shoulders back, head towering over everyone’s Looking up, Keeli locked eyes with his, his mouth lifting in a half smile. Keeli shyly dropped her head as a blush rose to her cheeks and her heart sped up. She knew the smile was just politeness. She wanted so much more. She wanted him to notice her the way she noticed him, feel about her as she did about him.

If only he had the same visceral reaction that Keeli had to him, perhaps he would have spoken to her by now. She could not overcome her shyness to initiate a conversation, but if he longed for her as she did him…obviously, he was not interested. Now she would never see him again. Her disappointment was way out of proportion; he was a stranger. But he had this pull on her. Instead of thinking of him as a stranger, she thought of him as hers.

Hers. What a laugh. Wake up Keeli!

Everyone noticed him - man and woman alike. She saw it on elevator rides and when he traversed the lobby. Yes, he was particularly tall, a few inches over six feet. However, it was more than his height that drew the eye. He was compelling, confident, and assured. He was beyond handsome with his chiseled features, thick wavy hair and well-muscled body clad in custom suits. Keeli was drawn to him like a bee to honey. She had seen other women catch his eye, seen them smile and flirt easily. She was overwhelmingly shy when near him, preventing her from ever making him ‘hers’.

They crossed paths at the coffee kiosk or in the elevator at least once a week. She knew she was projecting her own desires, but sometimes it seemed to her that he was seeking her out. Even so, Keeli never exchanged more than a polite “hello” and he was always polite, but aloof. Although she longed for some reason to speak more than pleasantries, she was unable to move past that invisible barrier she felt between them.

Why, oh why is facing forward considered appropriate elevator etiquette? I just want to stare at him one last time. Today needs to be the day to think of something to say, some witty conversation opener. You are running out of time.

Her brain searched now for a reason to speak, knowing it was her last chance. Instead, she reluctantly turned to face the doors. He was standing so close, lazily leaning his shoulders against the back wall. She felt the warmth of his breath on the back of her neck, goosebumps traveling up her arms in response to the moist heat. She was rocked by her immediate, erotic reaction.

Reigning in her body’s response, Keeli reminded herself that the warm breath was a result of proximity, not desire. She was a non-entity to him and had been for the16 months she had worked there. His polished appearance, custom suits and elegant leather briefcase contrasted with her wild red hair, shabby jacket, scuffed boots and faded Old Navy dress. He epitomized class and privilege; she embodied shabby chic. Maybe not even chic - just shabby. She could never bridge the gulf.




About the Author


Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone? 

Social Media Links


Maddy's Romance Madness: madisonmichael.net/category/mrm/

Maddy's Tours and Treats: madisonmichael.net/category/tours-and-





Remember, Bedazzled is free now, but only until Sunday the 26th. 

 


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Grammatical Intuition - #amwriting #craft #grammar #ForWriters


Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a fellow author say, “I’m not good at grammar.” I might even be able to afford a trip to Eroticon next year! Seriously, it seems that many writers find the entire question of conventionally correct grammatical structure intimidating. Some of them simply give up, relying entirely on their editors. Others try to convince themselves grammar doesn’t matter, that a reader who’s thoroughly seduced by their great story (or aroused by the amazing sex) won’t notice the blunders.

Alas, I think this is far less true than these authors would like to believe. Even if a reader doesn’t recognize an error as such, she’s likely to have a vague feeling of discomfort, a sense that “something’s wrong” with the sentence. Worse, a grammatical faux pas may end up confusing the reader, pulling her out of that zone where she’s connected with your characters to wonder exactly what’s going on.

Grammar is not just something dreamed up by high school English teachers to torture their students. English (as well as most other languages) relies on syntactic structure to convey meaning and resolve ambiguities. Consider the following example:

Rick couldn’t believe how good it felt to drive his big rod into the brunette’s pussy. It has been so long since he’d had a woman. Now he had two! The blond bombshell massaged his balls as he fucked her harder and harder.

This is adapted from a book I recently edited. The paragraph pulled me up short. “I thought he was inside the dark haired woman, not the blond,” I thought. “And how could the blond be fondling his balls at the same time that he’s screwing her?”

Of course, re-reading the paragraph made it clear that there was a problem with a pronoun reference. Pronouns should refer to the most recently mentioned noun with matching gender and number. That’s not the case here. The problem could be fixed by swapping the clauses, so the blond gets mentioned after the pronoun instead of before:

Rick couldn’t believe how good it felt to drive his big rod into the brunette’s pussy. It has been so long since he’d had a woman. Now he had two! He fucked her harder and harder, while the blond bombshell massaged his balls.

Another solution would be to replace “her” in the original structure with a noun phrase, e.g. “her girlfriend”. Now “her” does refer to the most recently mentioned noun (the blond bombshell).

The point is that by the time I figured out what the paragraph was trying to say, I’d lost the thread of the scene. The heat had dissipated. This is definitely not what you want if you’re an erotic author!

I’m sure that some of you authors reading this post are rolling your eyes. “Pronoun reference?” you may be thinking. “Matching gender and number?” You’re being assailed by visions of fat, grouchy Miss Mackleswain from tenth grade, the nasty old witch who made you diagram sentences ad nauseum and memorize the names of all the different tenses and constructions. “I couldn’t make sense of it all then, when I was young and smart,” you’re thinking. “I certainly can’t remember all those rules now!”

Relax. Take a deep breath. I have some good news for you.

Grammar is not about rules. It’s about relationships.

If you’re an editor or a pedant (and I’m something of both), it’s nice to be able to apply the correct term to a particular construction. However, that’s not necessary in order to write grammatical prose. You can produce beautiful, perfectly grammatical sentences, one that would make even Miss Mackleswain weep with delight, without having any idea of the so-called rules governing the structure.

In fact, so-called grammatical rules are nothing but abstractions developed after the fact to try and make sense of the way language is actually used. That’s one reason why there are so many exceptions! Grammarians and high school teachers like to present grammar rules as prescriptive (that is, as iron clad expressions of what you should do), but in fact grammar is descriptive, an attempt to systematize the complexities of linguistic structure.

And why do I say that grammar is about relationships? Because that’s what most constructions are trying to convey.

Consider the concept of independent versus dependent clauses. An independent clause expresses a single idea that can stand alone.

Louisa was desperately horny.

Louisa’s boyfriend Jim had been in Hong Kong for a week.

English allows you to use the conjunction “and” to combine two independent clauses:

Louisa’s boyfriend Jim had been in Hong Kong for a week and she was desperately horny.

This compound sentence states two facts of supposedly equal importance, leaving the reader to figure out why they’ve been conjoined. In this case, you might expect a further sentence explaining the situation, for instance:

Normally, they met for sex every Tuesday and Thursday.

A dependent clause, like an independent clause, has a subject and a verb, but the idea it expresses has some logical relationship to another clause. The nature of the relationship depends on the words used to join the two clauses into a single sentence.

Louisa was desperately horny because her boyfriend Jim had been in Hong Kong for a week. (Causality)

By the time her boyfriend Jim had been in Hong Kong for a week, Louisa was desperately horny. (Sequence)

Louisa was desperately horny long before her boyfriend Jim had been in Hong Kong for a week. (Also sequence, but with a somewhat different meaning.)

Louisa was desperately horny even though her boyfriend Jim had been in Hong Kong for a week. (Contrast/conflict)

This last, somewhat peculiar, example suggests that maybe Louisa has somebody on the side, but that she hasn’t been able to hook up with him or her!

Verb tenses are another example of grammar constructs that are used to establish relationships, in this case relationships related to time. You don’t need to know the names of the verb tenses to understand the temporal relationships in the following sentence:

(1) Genevieve was still a virgin, even though she had slept with several men.

The whole narrative is in the past, but it’s clear that the sleeping with several men occurred before the time of the story.

It would mean something different to say:

(2) Genevieve was still a virgin, even though she slept with several men.

This is also grammatically correct, but implies that Genevieve continues to sleep with the men at the time of the story, that it’s an ongoing state of affairs.

Contrast the previous examples with the following:

(3) Genevieve is still a virgin, even though she has slept with several men.

In this case, we’ve pulled the story into the present, but the time relationship between the events hasn’t changed from sentence (1). Her experiences with men still occurred before the main time of the story. However, we have to use a different tense to express that relationship, because we’ve changed the first clause from past to present.

To extend this further:

(4) Genevieve is still a virgin, even though she has slept with several men. Her mother had told her to keep her pajamas on until she was sure she’d found the right guy to be her first lover.

Now we have three points in time, neatly signaled by the verb tenses:

Present: Genevieve is a virgin.
Past: She has slept with several men.
More distant past: Her mother had given her instructions about staying dressed in bed.

Actually, this example actually includes a fourth, more complicated point in time, the hypothetical time when Genevieve is sure she’s in bed with Mr. Right. As far as we can tell, this event hasn’t happened yet. English has clear ways to grammatically mark this sort of hypothetical statement. (Not every language does.)

If you’re a native English speaker, you will have no difficulty understanding the relationships in sentence (4), despite its complexity. Furthermore, you’ll know something is wrong if you read a sentence like this:

Genevieve was still a virgin, even though she sleeps with several men.

The relationships in this sentence don’t make sense. The first clause already happened, while the second is happening now.

The key to writing grammatical prose resides in that feeling that “something is wrong”. You don’t need to know the grammatical terminology or the rules, but you do need to develop your grammatical intuition. You need to learn how to evaluate your sentences based not only on the basic content, but whether the relationships are sensible and have the intended meaning.

How can you do this? By paying closer attention when you read, both your own work and work by other people.

Try to notice when you get that niggling feeling that something’s not quite right. Reread the sentence or paragraph that’s bugging you, considering the implied relationships between clauses, sentences and events. If you can’t figure out the nature of the problem, ask for help, but don’t just ignore that slight discomfort so you can get on with the story. (Don’t be lazy!)

Furthermore, you can strengthen your grammatical intuition by reading authors who produced really clear, well-structured prose. I recommend reading works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Literate prose from that period is often far more complex than would be appropriate for modern readers, but Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, Edith Wharton and Henry James were grammar virtuosos. Educate your ear to the nuances of tense, the layering of logic. Notice how a sentence with five or six clauses can still be immediately comprehensible. You don’t have to study the structure, or figure out how it works. Just allow these exemplars to sink into your brain.

Don’t worry about the rules, just the relationships.

Of course, you also need to practice improving the grammar of your own work. Learn to recognize the mistakes you commonly make. Sensitize yourself to grammar gaffes. Finally, don’t become discouraged. Improving one’s writing craft is a lifelong process—one that can bring great joy and satisfaction.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Artificial Evil has a name ... Munchhausen #PoliceProcedural #SciFi #Giveaway @Owlworks


Murder By Munchausen boxed set
Blurb

A police procedural sci fi thriller ripped from future headlines!

After Jake shoots and kills a murder suspect who turns out to be the son of a powerful city councilman, he finds himself demoted to the Artificial Crimes Unit, tracking down androids hacked and programmed to be hit men.

When his case of an “extra-judicial” divorce settlement takes a nasty turn with DNA from a hundred-year-old murder in Boston and a signature that harkens back to the very first serial killer ever in London, Jake finds himself tangled up in the brutal slayings of prostitutes being investigated by his former Robbery/Homicide partner, Maddie–who is now his lover.

But a madman, The Baron, is just getting started with his AI recreations of Jack the Ripper's brutal crimes. And Maddie and Jake are teamed up again to stop the carnage as the Baron's army of human replicants imitate history's most notorious serial killers.

"It might not make sense, but the beloved Media tags it 'Murder by Munchausen.' For a price, there are hackers out there who will reprogram a synthoid to do your dirty work. The bad news: no fingerprints or DNA left at the crime scene. The good news—at least for us—is that they’re like missiles: once they hit their target, they’re usually as harmless as empty brass. The trick is to get them before they melt down their core OS data, so you can get the unit into forensics for analysis and, hopefully, an arrest." [excerpt from Murder by Munchausen]

Artificial Intelligence? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Artificial Evil has a name…Munchausen.




Excerpt

From The Invisible Mind (Book #3)

It sat on a bench outside the dormitory of nursing students, waiting with its kind’s infinite patience. Originally acquired and programmed for landscaping at the Cleveland Clinic, the synthoid was one of a brigade of units which had been hacked and Munchausened, then returned to their menial daily services to mankind to await the Baron’s call.

There was no adrenalin surge behind the extremely life-like facade of humanity when that call came. Data packets, sent scatter-shot through the Atlas Grid, coalesced at the location outside the Cole Eye Institute, where it methodically trimmed and shaped the immaculate shrubbery around the building. To avoid Q’s metadata sniffing algorithms from detecting a download spike in the grid, the information came in digital sprinkles over the course of its human handler’s work shift, slowly building a malevolent intent to be executed that night. In the middle of the afternoon, it left the topiary unfinished to melt into the hospital shift change and disappeared. 
 
Personality modules were a Gen-3 feature upgrade, which is why the earlier models were initially preferred. Swapping out a few IC chips and uploading hacked firmware was a relatively easy way to turn a quick buck with an automated contract killing. But evil innovates, too, and the same features that made synthoids even more human-like in their behavior also helped create robotic assassins which could better camouflage their malicious intents and evade the reach of the Artificial Crimes Unit by melting into and moving undetected through the humanity that surrounded them. For the Baron, it allowed for a greater measure of artistic expression in programming the synthoid’s behavior to not only recreate infamous crimes of the past, but to mimic the behavior of their perpetrators, which intensified the thrill of watching the video feed through the eyes of Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy or, this particular evening, Richard Speck. Jake wasn’t the only history buff and it amused Jamal that London police had photographed the eyes of Jack the Ripper’s victims, hoping to capture the last thing they ever saw: their killer’s face. If only Scotland Yard could have imagined the future.

The Gen-3 personality modules also supported the ANSI Adaptive Artificial Intelligence Protocol #9 to enhance the artificial human experience of real men and women who interacted with synthoids. The constant writing and rewriting of code in the personality/experience loop formed unique individual synthoid consciousnesses, which manufacturers uploaded to their servers for product improvement teams to study. In Munchausened units, that feed was hijacked and routed to another portal in the Darknet to build a collective id of evil.

At eleven PM, it rose from the bench and entered the dormitory. The bodies of nine women would be found the next day, having been strangled and stabbed to death. Unlike 1966, no eyewitness was left alive, though the phrase "Born to Raise Hell" was written on the wall in blood.

About the Author


M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio. 


M.T. Bass Author Links







Murder by Munchausen Trilogy Purchase Links








M.T. Bass is giving away a $25 gift certificate to one randomly selected reader during his tour.



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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review Tuesday: Chemical [se]X 2: Just One More - #anthology #erotica #aphrodisiac #ReviewTuesday


Chemical Sex 2 cover

Chemical [se]X 2: Just One More
Passion Works Press, 2019

Which is better: sex, or chocolate?

You know that’s a trick question, right? Because why should you ever have to choose? For one thing, everyone knows that sex and chocolate go together like Laurel and Hardy – peanut butter and jelly – Batman and Robin – hamburgers and fries – love and marriage – okay, scratch that one! Certainly, erotic stories featuring chocolate aren’t exactly new. The sensual decadence of good chocolate almost naturally suggests other varieties of pleasure. Consuming chocolate can be used as a kind of foreplay, one form of indulgence leading to another.

But what if chocolate actually had aphrodisiac properties? A secret ingredient that reliably kindled irresistible lust? This is the unifying premise of Chemical [se]X 2: Just One More, a new erotica anthology edited by Oleander Plume, Dr. J. and Mischa Eliot, and published by Passion Works Press. Each of the thirteen authors represented in this delicious collection starts with this basic assumption – aphrodisiac chocolates that actually work – and explores the repercussions.

You might think this common plot element would lead to a sameness among the stories. On the contrary, the tales in Chemical [se]X 2 present a wide range of voices, situations and especially, sexual orientations. In “Beast”, Angora Shade creates an uptight, perfectionist heroine whose careful plans for an outdoor seduction disintegrate in the face of pure, literal, animal passion. In Sally Bend’s “Vanilla Frosting”, a dominant male uses the aphrodisiac sweets to pry his shy twink roommate out of the closet and into his bed. Ria Restrepo’s protagonist gets stuck in an elevator in “Elevator Confidential”, with the much older man she’s desired for decades – plus a convenient supply of the wickedly lust-inducing chocolates. F. Leanora Sullivan uses a company wine and cheese – and chocolate – event to break through the barriers between a career woman and her annoying co-worker in “Team Building”. Dr. J and Mischa Eliot pen tales of sizzling lesbian lust in “My Blu Valentine” and “Because She Hates Me”. I particularly enjoyed the characters in the latter story, a butch biker chick and her trouble-prone femme housemate, each of whom believes she’s hated by the other. Oleander Plume gives us a gorgeous homoerotic encounter between a famous black athlete and his skillful Hispanic tailor in “Well-Suited”. There are indeed times when being dressed is sexier than being naked.

While in many cases the notorious chocolates lubricate (so to speak) relationships between acquaintances, in some stories they bring strangers together. “For the Record” by Kristi Hancock is an example. The company responsible for the aphrodisiac chocolates (“Acme”, just like in the Road Runner/Coyote cartoons!) is testing their efficacy. A woman who volunteers finds herself nearly out of her mind with sexual need, so much so that she picks up the first guy she meets. However, her zipless fuck partner has his own secrets. Rachel Woe’s “Making Waves” gives us a warm-hearted but transient encounter between a middle-aged, overworked hotel housekeeper and a barely-twenty rich kid, a brief connection that nevertheless changes them both.

Come Away with the Sweet Fairies” by Jayne Renault and “Season’s Change” by Delilah Night are two of the most unusual tales in the collection. The latter is a lusty revisit to the myth of Persephone. The former is set at an outdoor midsummer festival called Kablamfest, reminiscent of Woodstock or Burning Man, where sexual fluidity and magic reign. It brought me back to the days of my youth, before AIDS or terrorism or global warning, when sex was pure joy no matter who happened to be your partner.

I haven’t mentioned every story; I want to leave some for you to discover on your own. Overall, this is a fun collection that manages to transcend what might seem a rather narrow theme to provide a delightful diversity of characters, perspectives and orientations. Every story is well-written, and the editing is superb. The manuscript I read was labeled as an uncorrected proof, but it was much cleaner than many published books I read. In the entire 144 pages, I noticed only one minor typographic error. And as an editor myself, I would notice mistakes if they were there.

Unfortunately, I happen to be allergic to chocolate. (Really!) This anthology gave me a vivid sense of what I’m missing!




Monday, May 20, 2019

Holy Con - #suspense #FeistyLawyers #Cult @SeelieKay


Cult cover
 
By Seelie Kay (Guest Blogger)

When I was in my teens, I learned that a relative I had never known and in fact, no one had ever talked about, was alive.

So I began to ask questions. And I got no answers. Until one day, someone let it slip that the man in question might be in a certain town in Canada.

Then I got busy. Because this was before the Internet and cheap long-distance phone calls, I wrote a letter to the public library in the town of his last known residence. Then I waited. And waited. And waited.

Summer came and I became an intern at the local newspaper. I had forgotten about the letter. One day, my older sister showed up at work, bearing a large manila envelope. She said breathlessly, “I got the mail and grabbed this before anyone else saw it.”

I quickly told my editor I was going to lunch and we walked to a local park. After bologna and American cheese sandwiches, I opened the envelope. It was stuffed full of news clippings. The librarian had attached a note explaining that the relative had passed the prior year, but she was sending information she thought would be of interest.

I pulled out the first article and read the headline. I must have paled because my sister grabbed it out of my hand.

Holy cow,” she said. “He was a con man?”

I retrieved the article from her hands and began to read. The relative in question had founded a notorious religious cult and defrauded “his flock” of millions of dollars. When a local newspaper exposed him as a fraud, he skedaddled with those millions, leaving many people homeless and destitute.

He had called himself “The Living Christ,” a title his adoring fans accepted without question. They worshipped at his feet. Gave testimony to miracles witnessed. Catered to his every need. And, it was suggested, sacrificed their daughters’ virginity for his lessons in the sacred sexual arts.

I was eighteen. I had no training or experience to interpret or analyze this information. So I went to my father. He showed it to my mother. Who burned it.

It was then I learned the whole story. This relative had not only abandoned his family when the oldest of his children was four, he had embarked on a life of crime. With nothing more than a sixth-grade education and a childhood spent on a tenant farm, he had crafted and successfully executed cons that brought him into contact with the pillars of society—the rich, the famous, the delightfully debauched. Highly intelligent, wickedly handsome, and sincerely charming, he spun tales that left people entranced and enthralled.

With each tale, sometimes posing as a minister, sometimes as a practitioner of the psychological arts, he picked their pockets and when discovery became imminent, skipped town, moving on to another city filled with suckers who had more money than sense.

His skill at his persuasion and his knowledge of all things religion led him to establish his own church, one that grew to more than a thousand members. He had no divinity degree. No religious education. All he had was a silver tongue and the ability to relieve people of their cash.

As a journalist, I continually asked myself, “Why? Why did people fall for his obvious crappola? Was it the times—after World War II, a world weary of war and terrified by the emergence of the Iron Curtain? Was it the need to fit in, be accepted by others? Or was it the need to believe in something, anything, that barely resembled common sense?”

Forty years later, after extensive research and gaining access to information so confidential it would not be released to the public for many years, I still had no answers. Until someone said to me, “Some people just go along to get along. Makes no sense, but it does make them happy. And sometimes, that’s all that matters.”

And that was the beginning of my latest suspense novel, Cult.



Cult

Release Date: May 17, 2019
Publisher: Extasy Books
Romantic Suspense, three flames

Blurb

It’s supposed to be a simple assignment. A quick trip to a South American country for an “in and out” fact-finding mission. Unfortunately, the cult has other ideas.

When college students begin disappearing from American campuses, a notorious cult, God’s Delight, is the primary suspect. God’s Delight has been hosting shows featuring sex, drugs, and rock and roll around the country, and young people are flocking to them.

Among the missing is the President’s goddaughter, and he wants answers. When he asks Agent Cade Matthews, a member of a secret covert organization, to find her, the mission appears fairly straightforward. Find the God’s Delight compound, determine whether a welfare check on American cult members is warranted, and get out. Simple. Clean. Easy.

Cade sends newly-married Agents Dianna Murphy and Anders Mark to the University of Wisconsin to follow the trail to God’s Delight, but when they wind up in Bolivia, things go sideways. Suddenly, what appeared to be nothing more than a simple in-and-out could cost Dianna her life. When an Agency extraction is ordered, chaos erupts, and the question becomes, will anyone survive?
 
Excerpt

But everyone can leave when they want, right?”

Tillie cocked her eyebrow, clearly amused. “Of course. But why would they? This is paradise.”

It is indeed, darling Miranda,” drawled a deep sultry voice. A tall, well-built man dressed in a white cassock, a thick wooden cross draped around his neck, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. His loose, long blonde hair framed a tan, handsome face with a strong nose and a wicked, full-lipped grin. He turned his piercing blue eyes toward Dianna and smiled. “Hello,” he said.

The man studied her, his expression predatory.

Dianna shifted uncomfortably. So, Tillie is using another name. Meaning she’s undercover. Noted. Dianna stuck out her hand and said. “Hi, I’m Bennie. I’m one of the students from Wisconsin working over at the orphanage. You were kind enough to allow us to stay here.”

The man took her hand and stroked it, his expression suddenly thoughtful. “Tell me, Bennie from Wisconsin, what do you think of my paradise?” His hand moved to her lower arm.

Dianna flushed. My paradise? Is this Reverend John? “It’s beautiful. Peaceful. But hot. And humid. Really humid.” She gazed up into the man’s eyes, somewhat stunned at the lust she found there. My God, he looks like he wants to devour me. Dianna quickly looked away.

The man chuckled. “You get used to it. But we keep the air-conditioning on in the dormitories for the newbies and limit their time in the sun. And of course, we all take a siesta during the hottest part of the day if we need one.” He released her arm.
We worship at day’s end when the air begins to cool. Otherwise, things get a little…sweaty.” He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, gently tugging her hair. Then he walked away. Dianna’s gaze did not leave him as children followed him, playfully competing for his attention. Just like Jesus.

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About Seelie Kay


Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen! In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of multiple works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, and The President’s Daughter.

When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

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Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay