Sunday, January 16, 2022

I’ve Got the Music in Me – #RockstarRomance #NewAuthor #Giveaway @AuthorHea

Scarred Melody cover

By Heather E. Andrews (Guest Blogger)

The first Rockstar Romance I read was on Wattpad. The lead singer of a rock band, based on the likeness of Stephen James, picked his heroine out of the crowd and brought her home to his fancy mansion in LA. There he appealed to her that he wanted to explore a relationship with her and not just take her virginity. It was corny. But I loved it. Every song he sang on stage was for her. The author quoted lyrics that got me feeling all sorts of emotional.

Reading that first story, I knew I wanted to recreate those emotions. I wanted to draw those feelings out of my readers and show them how the music connects us to the story. That led me down a rabbit hole of all the rockstar romances available, devouring the genre. I discovered a sordid world of drugs, alcohol, women, and massive egos. Perfect fodder for a writer.

Scarred Melody is the first book in my Bold Melodies series, all set in the same version of the entertainment industry. It revolves around the lives of artists signed with Clarke Records. The next book in the series involves Travis White who has become embroiled in a sex tape scandal and is ordered to judge a televised singing contest. He falls in love with Jody Boyd, a curvy contestant with an attitude problem. Travis has to help Jody find her voice and move beyond her self-doubt to win the competition, redeeming himself with the label.

I’m also an anthology lover. My first publication was a Christmas short published in Jingle My Snowballs, a compilation of short stories put together by my critique group, the Peenerpuff Girls. I love anthologies because they give me an opportunity to spread my wings and write in different sub-genres. I’m going to be part of a post-apocalyptic anthology called Until the End coming out on May 16th. I’m very excited to stretch my wings and revel in my inner geekdom.

I won’t always write rockstar romances. I’d like to spread my wings into MC (Motorcycle Club) romance, billionaires, and royalty at some point. But I’ll always focus on hyper-emotional stories. Plot is awesome, but character arc is my primary obsession.

One of my favorite characters in romantic fiction is Christian Grey. For a long time I didn’t read 50 Shades of Grey because I thought it was just smut. Then I found the entire series at a library sale for two dollars and my critique group demanded I try it. And I’m so glad I did. Christian goes from emotionally closed off to loving by the end of the series. The events that lead him there dragged me through the wringer. Through his relationship with Anastasia, he’s able to fully set aside the physical and sexual abuse that defined him for years. He relinquishes some of his need to control, learning to trust and be vulnerable. Anastasia learns to assert herself and test her boundaries. It’s really a great character story.

Win a free download of Scarred Melody! How? Just join my mailing list between January 17-24th and three randomly selected subscribers will get a free ebook download.


Bold Melodies, Book 1

We all have scars, El. The only difference is I can see yours.”


All I knew was music. Writing it, playing it. The sway of the melody traveled through me. It kept me company as I hid my face under a mask.

My dream of singing in front of the crowds was long forgotten. Now I hide in the shadows, only emerging to help fellow artists launch their careers.

Enter Skyler Dalton, my teenage heartthrob.


My best friend died. My last album bombed. I punched out a paparazzi.

Life hasn’t been going my way.

The label offered an ultimatum, work with a professional songwriter to salvage my solo career or hit the road.

Luckily, Elsie was easy to work with. I wasn’t looking for love, but what I found was a lot more than just a new song...

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Excerpt (Rated R)


So… just to be clear, you’re not DTF?”

My lips curled into a smile. “You’re like a dog with a bone about this, aren’t you?”

Now Elsie started blushing. Damn, we were like two teenagers in the back of my pickup truck. Crossing her arms over her chest, she sat and waited, making it clear in no uncertain terms she wanted a straight answer. 

I sighed. Reaching up, I pushed aside an unruly strand of her hair, slipping it behind her ear. I ran a finger down her cheek, feeling how soft her skin was.

Not with you,” I said, gently. 

Elsie wasn’t someone I’d ever sleep with casually. Nor the type to just burn energy off with. She was someone to spend time with, build a life with. 

When she flinched, I braced myself. Shit, how did I fuck that up?

I understand,” she said, her face turned down. She tried to move away from me, but I tightened my arms around her and pulled her in tighter. Gripping her chin, I turned her face so her eyes would meet mine. Those green eyes I adored wouldn’t look directly at me. I couldn't have a misunderstanding wound her, this was too important. 

El, I don’t want to just fuck you. I want to make love to you.” I couldn’t get any plainer than that. It must’ve been the right thing to say because her face softened and her eyes finally met mine. I liked that response so I kept going. “I want to touch you everywhere, lick you everywhere, and watch you fall apart in my arms. I want to sleep in the bed with you after we’re done, our bodies exhausted with pleasure. Does that answer your question?”

About the Author

Heather E. Andrews has been reading romance since the age of twelve. She lives as a disgruntled pug-mother in Albany, NY. She is the baby of nine children and slaves away taking care of her two entitled pugs and four spoiled guinea pigs. Her only escapes in life are reading, writing, and Star Trek reruns.


Jingle My Snowballs, A Steamy Christmas Anthology

Scarred Melody, Bold Melodies Book One

Until the End, Apocalyptic Anthology

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Another paranormal release – only #99cents during January! #Paranormal #EroticHorror #NewRelease

Fourth World cover

Today is release day for the second book I have scheduled in my Paranormal January event. Fourth World: Erotic Tales of Monsters, Myths and Madness features vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, succubi, tentacle monsters and ghosts. There’s even a story about the Minotaur, the mythological half-god/half-beast who was imprisoned in the labyrinth of Crete as punishment for his mother’s lust.

These stories will excite you. Some of them may disturb you. For some reason, when I write paranormal fiction, my imagination turns dark. I think this is because I grew up with my dad inventing really scary ghost stories for my brother and me.

Anyway, if you’re in the mood for literary indulgence and an erotic thrill, check the book out. I’ve expanded this edition, adding two previously unpublished stories. And until the end of the month, it’s only 99 cents. Hardly a risk!

Excerpt from “Higher Power”

I turned my attention back to the magician. He still watched me as if he would strip away my masks and lay me bare. Suddenly, he reached out and with one blunt finger touched the little gold cross hanging around my neck.

Are you a believer?” he asked. Memories shot through me—my childhood awe as I knelt under the cathedral arches; my first communion, colored light through the windows staining my bride-like finery; my mother dying of cancer, asking for my prayers.

I’m not sure,” I replied. “I used to be, but now...”

And what about magic?” he asked with that ironic half-smile on his full lips. “Do you believe in magic?”

My heartbeat inexplicably quickened. “I don’t know about that, either.”

There is much in common between religion and magic. Both are grounded in faith and love. The essence is a trust in things unseen.” I thought this a peculiar observation from a practicing conjuror. Surely the essence of magic was manipulating expectations and perceptions. Show business. “I have something to show you,” he continued.

He removed the dusty velvet cloth shrouding what turned out to be a combination television and VCR, a pre-DVD relic. It must have already had a tape loaded. As soon as he hit the button, it began to play. “Watch closely,” he said.

It was a recording of one of his performances. At first, I did not recognize him. He was clad all in black, with glittering rhinestones at his collar and cuffs. He moved with a grace and economy that negated his bulk. There was no sound.

He offered a few deft sleight of hand tricks as warm up. Then he was joined by his assistant, a slender, raven-haired Latin beauty wearing a scarlet evening gown. How could I compare? I wondered. As if he heard my thoughts, he commented. “Roxanne. Exquisite, isn’t she?”

What happened to her, that you need a new assistant?”

His face darkened. “She suffered an unfortunate—accident.”

Roxanne lay down on her back on a trestle table. The magician draped her with purple satin. He passed his hands over her, clearly speaking some incantation. The draped figure began to rise, until it hovered level with his chest. The mage then removed the table.

The illusion of levitation, I thought with some degree of smugness. Cleverly concealed wires.

But then the scenario began to veer from the standard. Magister Aleister whisked the drapery off Roxanne’s prone body. He picked up a full-length oval mirror and held it above the immobile figure, moving it up and down her body in a manner that would have effectively interrupted any possible attachment of cables from above. I could see her reflection in the glass, and faintly, a misting from her breath. Her eyes were closed. Then he crouched and moved the mirror underneath her, as if to prove that she was not supported from below. He released the mirror, and it hovered below her form, halfway between her body and the stage.

The mage now made some passes over his assistant, his hands elegant and evocative. Her body began to rotate. First, she floated in a lazy circle around the vertical axis, her head and feet changing places. Then, very slowly, she rolled over, so that she was facing downward, once more face-to-face with the mirror. The video was surprisingly clear. Again, I could see the signs of her breathing.

I was impressed. I could not understand how such a trick could be accomplished. What arrangement of wires or hidden frames could provide so many degrees of freedom? The next trick, however, amazed and horrified me.

The magician gestured and Roxanne floated to a standing position, her crystal slippers barely touching the ground. Her eyes were still closed. He did not wake her from her trance. Instead, he pulled from the wings a framework of wrought iron, rather like an oversized bird cage. It was hinged along one side. He opened it, pulled it around Roxanne’s body, and snapped it shut, then applied a padlock to the latch. I could almost hear the clang of metal on metal.

A heavy cable slithered down toward the stage from above. He fastened it to a loop on top of the cage, and gave an almost imperceptible signal. The cage, with Roxanne within, rose about a foot off the floor.

Now what? I wondered, as he disappeared offstage again. He returned with a rack of swords.

He was talking during the entire performance, though I could not read his lips well enough to determine what he was saying. He chose one of the blades and swished it through the air in a swashbuckling manner. Then he appeared to plunge it between the bars of the cage and through Roxanne’s body.

She did not flinch. She did not move. Aleister seized another sword, circled behind her, and impaled her from back to front. I could see the tip of the blade emerging from her body, just below her breasts. There was no blood.

I did not want to watch the rest of this performance. The illusion was too perfect, too disturbing. But I could not look away. The magician skewered her with a half a dozen more blades. He spun the cage in a circle so that the audience could see Roxanne from every angle. Unlike the usual sword gambit, there was no opaque box within which the assistant could hide or contort her body to avoid the sharp instruments. Everything was clearly, awfully visible.

Finally, Aleister removed the blades, with great care, in the opposite of the order in which he had inserted them. He lowered the cage to the ground, and clapped his hands once. Roxanne’s eyes flew open, and her lips curved in an enigmatic smile. Aleister unlocked the cage and handed her out of it as if it were a royal coach. They bowed deeply, in synchrony. Then the tape went blank.

My heart was pounding uncomfortably hard. The magician re-covered the television, then turned to me. “Well?” he asked, fixing me again with those unnerving eyes.

I took a deep breath and tried to meet his gaze. “That’s—unbelievable. Remarkable. Not to mention very creepy.”

Convincing, isn’t it? Makes you wonder what kind of power I really have.” There was an edge to his politeness, the slightest hint of arrogance in his well-tempered voice. He smiled in a way that I suddenly saw as seductive. “Do you still want to audition?”

Curiosity and fear, wonder and terror, warred in me. I stared at my hands, distinctly uncomfortable. Then I had a vision of myself in that red dress, smiling at the audience, basking in thunderous applause. I almost felt the heat of his hand in mine. I looked up at him and tried to sound brave. “Of course.”


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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Oh, The Changes I’ve Seen - #Fantasy #Romance #WritingJourney @JanetL717

Incal Cover

By Janet Lane Walters (Guest Blogger)

My writing career began in 1968 with the sale of my first short story. Those were the days when there were many markets for short stories. I went on to sell eight more. Then the markets began to dry up. Magazines were of many levels from those top paying markets to smaller ones. Some of these magazines still exist today but selling a story to them has become harder. My last time with writing short stories came from two sources. The fewer markets and also a rejection letter from an editor. “This sounds like the synopsis for a novel. I also used the money I made to upgrade my typewriter from the small portable one I’d bee using.

At this time, I also wrote poetry and had several published. Most were not paying markets. The author received copies of the magazine. There was one poem I sold for twenty-five dollars. The downside was spending more for postage to send the poem out than I earned.

Once I spent weeks reading about writing novels, I wrote my first one and made a list of the possible publishers. In those days the requirement was to send the entire manuscript for fiction and only a partial for non-fiction. Using carbon paper and having ink-out tape, I typed the pages and sent them off. 

There was a rejection but the editor gave me advice. “Your characters exist in a vacuum.” She went on to show me how to put the setting by rewriting one small part of a scene. Manuscript returned, I spent weeks putting in the setting. 

The next rejection from a different publisher mentioned my stilted dialogue. Back to the drawing board. The manuscript sold to the seventeenth publisher and there were still a few publishers I could still send the book too. After selling this book and a second one, I noticed something happening. Publishers were fewer and fewer every year.

When I began writing books there were dozens of fiction publishers. Many large ones and also small presses. Then family and my not being able to stick to one form of fiction, cut down my progress. I had gone from nurse doctor romances, to cozy mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. And the publishing world had imploded.

My first book in that cycle was published around 1980. My next decade was spent earning two bachelor’s degrees, one in nursing and the other in English. I returned to work and though I wasn’t writing stories I was making notes and jotting ideas. Also raising four children, the youngest an adopted biracial daughter. The publishing world continued to grow smaller,

The next wonderful break was purchasing a computer. Gone were carbon copies and needing to white out mistakes or do pages again. I went to a one day conference and met up with other writers. One of them became my best friend and sometimes writing partner, Jane Toombs. She pitched my latest attempt to write a novel to her editor and amazingly the book sold. Writing again became a real part of my life. But there were also problems. One had to write query letters, and partials including a synopsis. How was I to know how the book would end until I finished the story? But I learned, unhappily. Two years after this sale electronic publishing was in its infancy and Jane pushed me into taking the plunge.

When electronic publishing began there were many small startup companies. I believe at one time I was with five or maybe six of these publishers. Many failed to sell enough to become viable and there were many people who thought the idea of electronic books was ridiculous. Of the major New York ones didn’t come aboard for years. That was after the development of e-readers. 

I had one of the original ones. About the size of a paperback book but heavy, really heavy. Then came the Kindle and Amazon and that’s when the industry took off. There are now several readers and a number of outlets. The development was slow but soon took off. Many of the epublishers I was with during the early days are no longer in business but I was awarded the rights to my stories and they are now all available again.

The next development came with books in audio format. Early during this explosion, I had one book done this way. The publisher is no longer in business but as well as a nice advance, I received royalties for five years and Murder and Mint Tea does well for me. There are now a number of audio book publishers in existence but I’ve mainly done little there.

The final change I saw came around the time when audio books began to grow and this was self-publishing. I have watched many authors do very well publishing their own books but at present this isn’t for me. I have a wonderful publisher who doesn’t care that I bounce from genre to genre.

Now came the phone with its many more uses that just talking to people. You can read books on your phone and I’m sure if you’re fast enough you could use the texting screen to write your book

I’m sure there will be some new way of putting books out for someone to read in the future but I have no idea what it might be. But writing books has changed drastically in my lifetime and I’m sure there’s more to come.

And speaking of more to come. On January first of this year, Incal was released. This is the fourth book of the Moon Rising series.


Return to the world where Midra and Midran rule. The god and goddess have two faces. Midra is Mistress of the Moon and also Mistress of the Dark Moon. Midran is Lord of Light abd Lord of Shadows.

In Incal, the priests of Midran have formed three branches. The Voice of Midran in Incal rules over the mall. In the archived he has read of a tale predicting Three will come to return Midra to the rulership. He sends his acknowledged son to find the three and bring them to him. He is joined by his two half-brothers.

Many years ago triplet girls were born in a remote mountain town. When they were five, their dying mother sent them to be fostered by three different women. Though they had wed to find each other, their developing talents caused them to forget until twenty ears later each one of them felt the need to find her sisters.

Would the Voice of Midran in Incal learn where they were?


Coya dreamed of days long past. Once again she saw herself as a child of five playing with her sisters. On the day of the summer solstice they had been born and had thrived. Three daughters in a single birth had been deemed a miracle. Her dreams slid to the day they had been sent away to different places. Their Mother ailed and grew weaker everyday. The dream fragmented. She was alone, taken from her sisters by a strange woman to a series of caves. They stood at the entrance of a dark hole in a granite cliff.

This is your new home. Here you will learn how to fight. You will learn the sword and knife and ways to use your arms and legs against the enemy. Perhaps you will be the one to aid Midra, Mistress of the Moon to her proper place in Incal.”

Those words had ended her childhood. From that day she had learned not only physical skills but reading, writing and numbers. She had also been taught about honor and justice.

Her body moved toward wakening. She fought to return to the days when she’d been one of three. For so long memories of her sisters and lain dormant. Why did she remember them now? Was this a portent of the future?

Coya, wake.”

The voice sounded unfamiliar. She shook her head. Why must she wake? Yearning for those forgotten days drew her like a cord to remain with happy times. Twenty years had passed since she had been with her sisters. Her eyes fluttered open. The snores and breath sounds of the sleepers in the room lulled her. They slept. She wanted to join them and return to her dream memories.

Coya, Wake.”

The voice sounded loud and drove sleep away. She slid from beneath the covers. Her feet hit the cold stones of the cave floor. She gasped at the shock.

Come,” the voice urged. “The time has come. The moon rises full.”

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Review Tuesday moved to Wednesday: Delicious Heat by Sadira Stone -- #ContemporaryRomance #FamilyConflicts #ReviewTuesday

Delicious Heat cover

Delicious Heat by Sadira Stone

Self-published, January 2022

Diego Vargas dreams of running his own business, utilizing his impressive culinary talents. Step one will be his food truck Empanada Angel. Meanwhile, he works as a chef at friendly, offbeat Bangers Tavern, rustling up outrageous riffs on the bar’s signature tater tots and saving money toward his goal. The youngest son in a traditional Hispanic family, he’s trying to shed his reputation as “flaky” and show his parents and siblings that he has what it takes to succeed.

Anna Khoury’s life just took a nose dive. First, she discovers that her selfish, narcissistic husband has been cheating on her with his secretary. Days after kicking him out, she learns that she has accidentally become pregnant. Anna is equally determined to keep the baby and to ditch her ex, though she knows she’s in for a rough ride as a single mom. Her best friend Elena Vargas, who has raised a toddler on her own, warns Anna almost daily about the life she’s choosing.

For both Diego and Anna, falling in love would be a huge complication. But you can’t argue with fate. Diego catches sight of the pretty nurse when Anna drops by Bangers to visit her waitress sister Charley and is immediately smitten. Given the issues she’s handling, Anna is justifiably wary of his interest, but his sweet attention, honest friendship and impressive patience quickly win her over. Their physical attraction and emotional compatibility sustain them as they deal with resistance from both their families, as well as various nefarious efforts by Anna’s stubborn ex-husband to undermine their relationship. As Anna’s due date draws closer, Diego tries to reassure his beloved that he’s ready to be a father – if she’ll let him.

I’m really not a romance fan. All too often I find books in the genre to be wildly implausible, totally predictable or both. However, I’m always ready to take a chance on one of Sadira Stone’s stories. Her characters are quirky and unconventional, people cut out of whole cloth with histories, families and quite often a strong ethnic identity. Furthermore, the secondary characters are often as memorable and entertaining as her protagonists.

Her plots feature realistic conflicts that center around trust, insecurity and unfortunate social expectations – not kidnappings or secret sex clubs or indecent bargains with billionaires. Of course I know that the hero and heroine will eventually find their way to a happy ending, but the process is satisfying in itself. I feel a little silly saying this, but her stories leave me with a happy glow.

Finally, Sadira Stone writes really well. Her prose almost effortlessly evokes the subtleties of emotion. She also knows how to conjure erotic heat. Caught up in the story, one tends not to notice her skill, but when I read one of her excerpts, isolated from the book, I realize afresh how adept she is at her craft.

Delicious Heat has all of the above qualities. Diego’s and Anna’s relationship develops gradually, each of them hesitant due to the complexities in their respective lives. Friends and siblings interfere, though they have the couple’s best interests at heart. Banger’s Tavern, with its colorful cast of employees, provides a lively, vivid backdrop for the action. This is the third Banger’s Tavern novel; I’ve read them all. It’s fun to meet up again with people who were at the center of the earlier books, indeed, to see events from those books from other characters’ perspectives.

Finally, I have to mention the secondary character of Diego’s grandmother Marisol Vargas. A feisty, straight-talking ninety year old, she’s the only one who has faith in the young chef and trusts his judgment in choosing Anna. Meanwhile, Diego tries to protect her from the well-meaning but misguided attempts of his family to move her out of her own home into an institutional environment. As I age, I  appreciate fiction that treats older characters with affection and respect.

I really enjoyed Delicious Heat. Meanwhile, most of my readers are far more enthusiastic about romance than I am. I think they’ll love this book.


Monday, January 10, 2022

I guess you missed me – #Steampunk #Erotica #Giveaway #MFRWsteam

Journeyman's Trial cover

Welcome to the January edition of our MFRW Steam Hop. MFRWSteam is an opportunity for those of us who write explicit fiction to share snippets of our stories – generally NSFW (“Not Safe For Work”).

Today I have a bit from my steampunk erotica novel The Journeyman’s Trial. Furthermore, I’m giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader who leaves me a comment. Please include your email address so I can find you if you’re my winner!

By the way, the first book of this series, The Pornographer's Apprentice, is still on sale for only 99 cents – but only until the middle of next week!


If she builds it, will they come?

Technically brilliant and thoroughly wanton, Gillian Smith has found her vocation: designing innovative erotic devices for the Toymakers Guild. Lust is a lubricant to creativity at Randerley Hall. But what happens when two Toymakers fall in love?

If you like intelligent, lusty women and kinky steam punk sex toys, pick up a copy of The Journeyman’s Trial.

The Toymakers Guild - Series Blurb

Defying the repressive morality of the Victorian era, the Toymakers Guild uses advanced technology to fabricate bespoke sexual artifacts for the discrete pleasure of select clients. Its members are not only brilliant engineers but also sexual renegades seeking freedom from the prudish society that surrounds them. These are their stories.


With a deep sigh, she closed her eyes and buried her face in her palms. Her neck muscles were painfully knotted and her temples throbbed. She needed sleep. Tomorrow, when she was rested and alert, she might see new paths out of her difficulties.

Perhaps she dozed. Certainly she did not hear footsteps on the stairs. Her first hint that she was not alone was the whiff of a familiar, masculine scent, moments before strong hands clasped her shoulders.

Jill!” Rafe buried his face in her nape, pressing hot kisses to her bare skin. “Oh, my Gillian!”

Energised by his touch, she sprang from her chair, swivelling into his embrace. “Rafe,” she murmured, as she locked her arms around his waist and pressed her body to his. He pulled her closer, nuzzled her hair, then tilted her chin up so he could claim her mouth.

The meeting of their lips was like the closing of a switch. Fiery currents of need flowed back and forth between them, amplified in each cycle. He held her so tightly she could scarcely draw a breath. She clawed at his back, hungry for his flesh, while his iron-hard prick rooted between her thighs. Meanwhile, they devoured each other’s mouths in a kiss so raw, so laden with teeth and tongue, that she tasted blood.

With an inarticulate growl, Rafe dragged her to the floor, flattening her onto her back. She lay there for a moment, panting, while he crouched over her, his eyes wild and his hands like claws. He seized her lab coat and yanked it apart, sending the buttons flying. When he saw that she wore nothing underneath, he ripped open his trousers, freed his swollen cock and launched himself onto her body.

His weight drove the breath from her lungs, but she didn’t care. She squirmed underneath him, trying to align her cleft with his blindly thrusting cock. When she finally succeeded and his hardness slipped into her soaked channel, they released a simultaneous cry of relief.

He gave her no time to savour the glorious sensations, however. After pulling out part of the way, he rammed back into her with thrilling, terrifying force. Out. In. Again and again his cock pounded her cunny, fast and frantic, each stroke driving deeper, demanding more.

Gillian gave him what he wanted, opening to his assault, welcoming him into her depths. She would have given him anything at that moment, done anything he asked. He raked his fingernails across her breasts, the pain a faint echo of the pleasures shimmering through her. She wriggled her hands into his trousers so she could feel his naked buttocks tense and release each time he tore into her.

The crazy tide of lust built moment by moment, threatening to sweep them away. He sucked her earlobe into his mouth, then bit down. Fire raced through her. She anchored her thighs around his narrow hips and arched up to meet each thrust, grinding her battered clit against his coarse-furred pubis.

Rafe reared back so he could look into her eyes. His seemed to be all pupil, bottomless wells of midnight black. He looked desperate, dangerous, and somehow lost.

It’s all right, love,” she murmured, clenching her inner muscles around his stone-solid shaft. “Everything will be all right.”

Tension rippled along his distended length. She felt every pulse and twitch as the cum surged. He gave a choked cry and collapsed onto her breasts while wet heat flooded her cunny. Her own wave crested and crashed down, sweeping away everything in its path – questions, fears, regrets – to leave only swirling delight in its wake.

Rafe rolled onto his back, allowing her to breathe. For long minutes they lay side by side on the polished wood floor, gasping and drained. Gillian was first to recover. Gathering the rags of her garment around her, she pushed herself into a sitting position and gazed down at her prostrate lover.

Welcome home,” she said, combing her fingers though his unruly locks. “I guess you missed me as much as I missed you.”

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Sunday, January 9, 2022

The one that got away – #SecondChanceRomance #HighSchoolRenunion #SingleMom @AlexanderLyndi

A Rose by Any Other Name cover

By Alana Lorens (Guest Blogger)

The one that got away….

I think we all remember someone in our past who we thought might have been the best thing for us. Fate, or another person, or time itself somehow got inserted between us and them, and we took different paths that didn’t include each other.

I remember going to a male strip club with a bunch of girlfriends in Miami, and I fell in lust for the first time. Blond hair, blue eyes, and a build…mmm. I wasn’t even particularly attracted to his man parts—I mean, you seen some of them flopping around, you’ve seen them all, right? But the charisma of this guy was something exceptional. He got all my dollars that night.  

(Not that I think we had a future at all. But it was a nice fantasy for a while.)

Then there was this Canadian who was in law school with me. I’d always had a thing about Asians, and this guy was super nice. He even liked my kids, as I was a single mom of two kids under 5 in law school. But of course he was married, his wife waiting patiently back home in Toronto. *sigh*

Even though I married three times, none of them turned out to be Mr. Right. And at my age, I can’t imagine there’s still anyone waiting out there for me. But many of you still have a chance—don’t be like Marisol and Russell, and let the right one slip away!

How bout you? Tell us about your “one that got away” in the comments!


Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.

Russell's marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons' lives. In his Internet wanderings, he's found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what's happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.

What Russell doesn't know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?



Heather Armstrong had books out now, spawned by the popularity of her Dooce blog. The Julie and Julia movie deal started with a simple blog. That Shatner show on TV, “$#*! My Dad Says” came from a Twitter account. If she could get noticed, really noticed, the big time wasn’t so far away in this brave new Internet world.

So. Better to stir the pot, right?

She closed her eyes, summoned up the image of Jerrika at her cheekiest, and started typing. 

Apparently I stomped on a couple of hearts yesterday when I pointed out the joys of raising my son without having to kowtow to the demands of an irrational non-custodial father. You know what? I’m not sorry, either.

People like FreeDad91 hide in their troll costumes and take pot shots at other people instead of addressing their own issues. Sounds to me like this guy has problems from his past. Either his own father walked out on him, or he walked out on his own kids, and he’s decided the best way to handle his guilt is to dump on the mothers.

Well, honey, this is one mother who’s not going to just sit by and let you. I love my son dearly. He’s been my morning, my evening, and lots of my midnights over the years. Maybe he didn’t have a father by his side during those days and nights. But he never lacked for attention, from men or women. I made sure he had that village he needed, the one it takes to raise a child. Would it have been easier to co-parent? I expect it would have. But that option wasn’t open to me. So take your hatred and turn it back where it really belongs: on yourself.

She added a few more choice stabs, and filed the post for the day.

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Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.

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Twitter: @AlexanderLyndi