Thursday, May 23, 2024

She wasn’t falling for his charm tonight... #Mystery #Twins #Giveaway @pht97

Murder at the College tour banner
 

Blurb

A detective has a smooth-talking heartbreaker for a client, but there’s a problem.

Quinn has scorch marks from her last relationship and plenty of chemistry with Ben, but he could have killed his twin brother. He demands to work the case with her, claiming it’s his life on the line.

A partner is the last thing Quinn wants. What she wants is to prove him innocent. But she’s finding plenty of evidence he isn’t.

Excerpt

Quinn knew Ben would be his usual charming and charismatic self, but she wasn’t falling for it tonight. There was no chance of that tonight, not after what she’d learned.

When she entered the bar’s back door, she heard the band belting out tunes and the crowd singing along. Ben poked his head out of his office. “There you are. Thought I heard the back door close.” He smiled, and she pushed aside the familiar warm tug she felt when she saw him.

When Ben stood to the side for her to enter his office, Quinn felt the heat from his hand on the small of her back and the strong, almost magnetic attraction to Ben. It was as though the universe was pulling her to him.

Have a seat.” Instead of sitting behind his desk, he sat next to her. She could see the concern on his face. “Would you like a drink?”

No, thank you.” Even to her, her voice sounded cold.

Quinn, whatever you’ve come to say, just tell me. We can handle it.”

You lied to me and your lawyer. A witness saw you coming out of the Green Room Sunday night. She picked your picture out of a lineup.”

Ben lowered his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Okay, I was there. I’m sorry. I was worried when I couldn’t find Paul, and he wasn’t answering his phone. I wish I hadn’t seen him lying like that on the sofa. I’d sat there so often with him, and then to see him dead like that.”

Quinn saw Ben’s grief, and she felt a surge of hope. The police had held back the fact that Paul’s body was found on the sofa to winnow out the crazies who called in and copped to every crime. Ben couldn’t have known unless he was there. “When were you there?”

Around eleven.” He raised his head, and his gray eyes were wet with tears. “I’m sorry I lied to you. He pulled himself upright and said, “I didn’t kill my brother.”

Tell me everything about that night,” Quinn asked.

About the Author

PH Turner author head shot

P.H. Turner (Pat) writes contemporary mysteries spiked with long-held grudges, secrets, and murder. With roots in a Texas farm homesteaded in the 1850s, she calls Austin home. When she's not writing, she's cooking for family, or taking care of a pair of hairy mutts, or in her garden coaxing roses to bloom in the Texas heat.

Pat is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/P.H.-Turner/author/B00NZ8RW0K

Website: https://www.phturner.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/P.H.TurnerAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pht97

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pathturner/

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-at-College-P-H-Turner-ebook/dp/B0CW1MQLWG

 

Murder at the College book cover

P.H. Turner will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How can she choose between her husband and her master? #Polyamory #EroticRomance #MFRWHooks

Sharing Leah book cover

This week I’m taking a break from promoting my newest releases and delving into my backlist. My hook today comes from my 2021 novella Sharing Leah: A Polyamorous Romance. This book offers what I think is a pretty realistic treatment of the menage/reverse harem trope. It may be many women’s fantasy – but making it work is far from easy.

Blurb

How can she choose between her husband and her master?

Some women might think Leah's existence heavenly – shared by two sexy men who both adore her. Ten years married to lusty, artistic Daniel, she still finds ecstatic release in surrendering to her master Greg.

But Daniel’s and Greg’s jealousy and possessiveness have made Leah's life a hell. They bring out the worst in each other. And in some sense, it’s all her fault. If she loved only one of them, if she made a choice, that would be that. In theory, at least.

Unable to bear the continuous conflict, she escapes to the beautiful Maine coast to ponder her future. Gradually she realizes that she cannot live without either of her lovers. But if the two men can't settle their differences, how can she bear to live with them?

Book Hooks logo

The Hook

Tonight, the two men seemed to be on their best behavior. Daniel had outdone himself, serving up an incredible feast of poached salmon in pastry shells, scalloped potatoes, and a mesclun salad, with brandied pears for desert. Greg had complimented Daniel, quite sincerely, on the meal, then meekly helped her wash and dry the dishes.

Now the three of them sat out on the deck, finishing off the second bottle of wine and enjoying the residual warmth of early September. The air still smelled of summer, ripe raspberries and sun-browned grass. In the woods that edged the yard, night birds called. A crescent moon rose over the tree tops. The strains of Bach’s “Musical Offering” filtered through the screen from inside, mingling with the bird song.

At least Daniel and Greg share the same taste in music, thought Leah dreamily. She leaned back in her chair, finally relaxed. When she glanced over at her husband, she saw that his eyes were closed. He was lost in the glorious melody. As though he felt her scrutiny, he turned to her, his handsome face luminous with joy.

Checking on her other lover, she found Greg was watching her, a gentle half smile on his full lips, with no hint of his usual mockery. Leah smiled back, grateful that he was acting like such a gentleman.

I’m incredibly lucky, she thought. Most women search all their lives for one true lover. I have two. Perhaps I should feel guilty, knowing that they have agreed to our ménage only to please me. But all I feel is gratitude.

Hope and relief washed through her. Maybe this would work after all. They just had to adapt, to get used to living together. To give up some of their individual selfishness for the sake of group harmony. She’d been selfish herself, expecting them to suppress their natural jealousies and insecurities simply to satisfy her needs. She needed to be more understanding. It had to be difficult for them, sharing her. Both men were so dear to her—she needed to work harder to show them.

Greg stirred in his chair. “It’s late, and I’ve got to work tomorrow. Finish your wine, Leah, and come to bed.”

Daniel looked up abruptly. “Wait a minute. Tonight’s my night.”

No, it’s not. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she’s with me. In case you’ve forgotten, this is Friday.”

That’s not fair. She was away last night at her seminar. So she and I should be together tonight as compensation.”

Sorry, old man.” Daniel was three years older than Greg, who liked to rub that in. “You know that’s not how the system works.”

Well, perhaps we need to consider changing the system. Somehow it always seems to work out that Leah is away from the house on my nights.”

Please...” Leah rose from her chair, trying to intervene, but it was as though she wasn’t there.

I’m sorry, but that’s not my problem. Anyway, you shouldn’t be such a bad sport. After all, you had her to yourself for years.”

Daniel snorted in exaggerated disgust. “To myself? Hardly! I couldn’t make love to her without wondering if she was fantasizing about you. I couldn’t look at her without seeing the marks that you had left.”

Marks she asked for, don’t forget.”

That’s what you claim, at least.” Daniel was sexually adventurous, but he had no interest in BDSM. Leah knew that he was truly perplexed by the power dynamics between her and Greg.

Believe me, I can make her beg to be beaten,” Greg said smugly. “Isn’t that true, little one?”

Leah blushed fiercely, as embarrassed as she was angry. Of course, Daniel knew this about her, but still she didn’t want to admit it out loud.

Both of them stared at her in mute accusation.

Answer me, Leah.” Greg put a hint of steel in his voice. Shivers of anticipation raced through her in response. Her deepest instinct was to obey him, but she resisted, silent and rebellious.

Why do you put up with him?” Daniel donned his wounded boy expression, pouting under his mustache. “All he does is hurt you. He has no respect for you. I can give you all the love and tenderness that you need.”

You have no idea what she really needs,” said Greg softly. His aim was true, as always. Daniel slumped in momentary defeat, then roused himself.

If that’s so, then why did she marry me?” he asked, playing his own trump card.

Leah had heard it all before, and suddenly, she couldn’t take anymore. She turned her back on them and headed for her room, ignoring their voices calling after her.

Find buy links for this book at https://www.lisabetsarai.com/sharingleahbook.html

Be sure to visit the other authors participating in today’s Book Hooks!



Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Join us for Charity Saturday, 26 May 2024 #CharitySundaySignup #Altruism #Marketing

Purple chives flowers

Image by Annie from Pixabay

Since 2017, I’ve been devoting the last Sunday in each month to a post which features some worthy cause. Often, other bloggers join me in this effort, turning the event into a blog hop. This month’s Charity Sunday blog hop will take place this coming Sunday, the 26th of May.

Charity Sunday is a meme designed to give authors and bloggers a chance to give back to the world, as well as to attract new readers.

How does it work? Each participant selects a favorite charity. Before
the date, you should prepare a blog post that: 1) talks about the charity and why you support it; 2) provides a link to the charity; 3) includes an excerpt from one of your books; 4) includes the code to show links to other participating blogs.

It’s fun if you can make the excerpt relate somehow to your chosen charity, but this isn’t required.

For every comment left on your post, you commit to giving some amount to the relevant charity. The specific charity and the amount to donate are up to you. You can set an upper limit to your donation if you want.

If you’d like to participate in the next Charity Sunday
on May 26th, sign up using the Linky List below. Please be sure that the link you enter will lead directly to your Charity Sunday post, not just to the home page of your blog.

You can get my brand new 2024 Charity Sunday banner here:

https://www.lisabetsarai.com/2024CharitySundayBanner.jpg


For an example
post, check out this link from my last Charity Sunday:

https://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2024/04/charity-sunday-for-our-four-footed.html

 


Monday, May 20, 2024

Never Stop Learning – #AmWriting #NewRelease #EroticRomance

Getaway Girl teaser

My bio says that I’ve been writing all my life, and that’s pretty much true. I was penning stories and poems when I was in early elementary school. By high school I’d branched out to novels and plays. Though I’ve also done drawing and painting, sculpture and dance, words have always been my preferred instrument for creation. And to be honest, I grew up believing that I had significant writing talent.

The more I write, though, the more I realize how much I still have to learn.

Total-E-Bound, an English indie publisher focused on erotic romance, brought out the first edition of Getaway Girl way back in 2008. This was only my third or fourth tale written specifically for a romance audience. At that time, I knew almost nothing about the genre and its conventions. (Until I signed with TEB, I’d considered myself an author of erotica.) I spent quite a bit of time reading the work of my fellow TEB authors, trying to grasp the essence of this new category of fiction and to translate that into my own stories. My editors also did not hesitate to point out areas where common aspects of erotica just wouldn’t work for romance readers.

By 2008 I’d concluded that in every romance: 1) there had to be a sense of inevitability to the connection between the hero and heroine, an attraction that might seem to make no sense but which could not be denied; 2) the couple had to at least discuss commitment; 3) the sex (this was erotic romance after all) had to be more than just casual – there should be a sense of fitting or rightness, a connection that transcended the physical.

I tried to implement these conclusions in writing of Getaway Girl. The story was accepted and published, but was never particularly popular. I went on to write a lot more romance, getting better at it over time.

Last year I reclaimed the rights to the story so that I could self-publish it, and a few months ago I set myself the task of re-editing the piece in preparation. I really hadn’t looked at it for more than a decade.

I was appalled by how clumsy and stereotyped it seemed.

Inconsistencies in character and in plot were only part of the problem. There were also long passages of purple prose, most especially in the sex scenes. I posted the tale in my critique group and discovered there were also plentiful anachronisms and inaccuracies related to its historical period (contemporary) and British setting. (The story was originally targeted for an anthology entitled Bound Brits, so it had to take place in the U.K.)

I subjected the story to possibly the most thorough revision I’ve ever done on any of my work. I won’t say that it’s unrecognizable, but I probably modified at least 25% of the text. In the fourteen years since the first revision I’ve learned a lot, both about romance and about writing in general. Practice does make perfect; I’ve published nearly one hundred titles since that early attempt, both romance and erotica. This second edition of Getaway Girl is orders of magnitude better than the original.

But maybe I shouldn’t use the word “perfect”, because in truth, as long as we authors are writing, we are learning all the time. I’m about to revisit my first novel, preparing an expanded twenty-fifth anniversary edition for release sometime this year. This will be the fifth version of Raw Silk. I have no doubt it will be the best.
 

Getaway Girl cover

Blurb

Be careful what you wish for

All Peg wants is a break, a bit of adventure, a relief from her mundane existence in the bucolic but boring Yorkshire hamlet of Kirkby Malzeard. When dashing, sophisticated journalist Lionel Hayes saunters into the pub where she's tending bar, Peg suspects that he was just the sort of man to fulfill her fantasies of escape.

The seductive Lionel, however, is not what he seems. Before she knows it, Peg is a hostage, roped and gagged, speeding away from the scene of a daring crime. Lionel is armed and dangerous, but somehow Peg still want s him – regardless of the consequences.

Find all buy links here: https://bit.ly/EroticAdventure

PG excerpt: https://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2024/05/even-though-she-knew-he-was-scoundrel.html

Steamy excerpt: https://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2024/05/so-completely-good-so-wholly-right.html


Friday, May 17, 2024

Community – #AmWriting #MFRW #ERWA

Pensive  author

Image by Victoria from Pixabay

Many people assert that being a writer is a lonely profession. I beg to disagree.

For me, one of the most treasured aspects of my writing life is belonging to author communities. Having been in the book business for more than two decades, I know dozens of other writers. Of course, “know” has come to have new meaning in the Internet age. I’ve met a handful of my colleagues in the flesh. I’m connected with the rest only digitally.

Still, in many cases, I feel as though I do know who they are. I’ve read their books. I’ve hosted them on my blogs. I’ve answered their questions in writer’s forums and had them answer mine. I’ve talked to them (online) about their dreams, their disappointments, their private desires. I belong to a stellar critique group through the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (ERWA) where I’ve received invaluable help with my works in progress. I hope the feedback I’ve provided on others’ tales has been equally useful.

Each of us has our own genres, styles, favorite topics and pet peeves. Our commercial success varies widely, from people who make their living from their publishing to people (like me) who are happy with any sales at all. Still, we are united by a common passion for weaving stories and building worlds.

I’m deeply grateful for these people. They’ve given me a lot of concrete assistance. For instance, I have a list of fellow scriveners who have agreed that I can send them my media kits when I have a new release. Some of them put up blog posts, share my information on social media, or mention me in their newsletters. With my limited royalty income, I can’t really afford to pay for a lot of advertising. My author friends help me get the word out without breaking my budget.

I try to provide reciprocal help whenever I can. I support new writers with technical and publishing advice and informal critiques. My blog is always open to other authors. (If you’re reading this and want a blog spot, just contact me by email. I’d love to host you.) I read my colleagues’ books when I can find the time, and I do my best to review whatever I read.

Even more than this practical support, though, I appreciate the connections I’ve forged with my author friends. We carry on long, philosophical email conversations. We cheer each other up when we get bad reviews, or get screwed by Amazon, or have health challenges. I probably spend as much time each week interacting with my online writer community as I do talking to people in the “real world” (though due to my work schedule, my authorly life takes place almost exclusively on weekends). My life would be far poorer without these people.

So if you’re part of my community, and you are reading this – thank you! Keep in touch with me, please. Don’t be shy about asking for help. And keep writing. That’s who we are.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Something about you drives me crazy - #Shifters #PNR #MFRWBookHooks

FFSG Teaser

Welcome to this week’s MFRW Book Hooks blog hop. Today I have another exclusive excerpt from my paranormal erotic romance Fangs, Fur and the Single Girl. (It has a lot of “good parts”...!)

Enjoy!

Blurb

A tragically attractive vampire, a hunky wolf-man and a skeptical but susceptible career gal. What could possibly go wrong?

The city is full of fanatics who believe vampires are real. Bianca knows that’s a fantasy. Then a blond, blue-eyed blood drinker walks into her office and turns her universe upside down. Trying to escape from the vampire’s seductive influence, she collides with a wolf shifter whose mere presence inspires irresistible lust. How can Bianca resolve her feelings for her two mutually hostile lovers?

The Hook (PG)

Before she’d even opened her eyes, she recognized him by his scent, feral and intoxicating. Defying the excruciating ache at the back of her head, her pulse quickened and her pussy clenched. She was hardly surprised to find herself lying on the narrow bed at the back of Zack Kane’s shop. The owner perched on a chair beside her, his rugged face drawn into a worried scowl, which persisted even after he noticed she’d awakened.

How do you feel?” he asked. “Dizzy? Is your vision blurry? Any nausea?”

Bianca explored the lump at the back of her head with cautious fingers. It was tender, but not bleeding, as far as she could tell. “Feels like a gang of trolls is hammering inside my skull,” she replied. “But I can see all right, and my stomach is fine. Meanwhile,” she continued. “I’m wondering just what I’m doing here.”

Zack shifted in his chair and focused his attention on his big hands. “I—um—happened to be on 12th. Saw you lying unconscious at the foot of some stairs, so I brought you back to my store.”

Again? Quite a coincidence, don’t you think? Maybe you’re my guardian angel.” She winced at the sarcasm she heard in her voice. She should be grateful for his help. But she knew he was lying.

Ignoring the throbbing pain, she levered herself into a half-sit.

You’ve been stalking me, haven’t you? Following me around?”

I thought someone might hurt you.” He spoke so softly she could barely make out the words. “That guy in your office. He’s dangerous.”

Exactly what Jim had said about Kane.

It wasn’t he who attacked me.” She sat up straighter, willing him to meet her gaze. “Did you see who did?”

No, I didn’t. Didn’t see anything. Just you, lying there, motionless, injured…”

Finally he raised his eyes to hers. The anguish she saw there burned away her annoyance. All she felt was sympathy—and renewed desire.

Don’t worry. Please. I can take care of myself.” She clasped his hand in her smaller one, giving it what she hoped was a comforting squeeze. His skin was hot and dry, as though he had a fever. Her pussy spasmed. She wanted that heat, inside her.

You don’t understand. There are people—forces—powers… Those guys have no souls. They’ll do anything.”

So you did see them! Who were they? Tell me, Zack.”

He shook his head. She searched his face, staring into those melted chocolate eyes, seeking the truth. There was something so familiar about the lively darkness she saw there...

Oh my God! It was you! The dog—the wolf—whatever!”

New York wasn’t normally subject to earthquakes, but Bianca could have sworn the world lurched underneath her. Given her business, she’d already been primed to accept the reality of vampires when Jim had demonstrated his powers. But werewolves? Could it really be true that beings who were half-human and half-beast walked the streets of Manhattan?

And if so, what other supernatural creatures might she encounter?

Zack watched her, an expression of acute misery on his bearded face.

You saved me,” she murmured.

She’d never seen a grown man look so ashamed. “And nearly killed you, in the process. I couldn’t help it. I try to control myself, but sometimes…” His voice trailed off. He swallowed, then tried again. “It’s very risky for me to change in public, but sometimes, if the feelings are strong enough, I can’t help myself. When I saw them assault you, instinct took over.”

Thank you, Zack.” She swung both legs over the edge of the bed, so she could take both his hands. “But why me?”

I don’t know.” He shook his shaggy head. “Normally, I keep to myself. Just me and my dogs. I play it safe. From the first moment I met you, though, all I wanted was to shift and to mount you.”

Mount her! Oh God!

Something about you—the way your hair falls around your face—the way you smell, or something, drives me crazy.”

He reached for her. She was halfway into his arms before he’d completed the movement. His lips sealed to hers. Burning with thirst, she drank him in.

FFSG Cover

Buy Links

Kinky Literature https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/1508-fangs-fur-and-the-single-girl/

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CXF755SM

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CXF755SM

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1540924

Barnes and Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fangs-fur-and-the-single-girl-lisabet-sarai/1145179250?ean=2940167695276

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fangs-fur-and-the-single-girl

Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id6480071026

Add on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/210320373-fangs-fur-and-the-single-girl

Add on Bookbub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/fangs-fur-and-the-single-girl-by-lisabet-sarai

Be sure to visit the other authors participating in today's Book Hooks!



Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Review Tuesday: The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler - #Mystery #Classic #ReviewTuesday

The Lady in the Lake cover

The Lady in the Lake
by Raymond Chandler

Penguin Books, 2005

Detective Philip Marlowe occupies a permanent place in American cultural mythology. Created by Raymond Chandler eighty-five years ago, Marlowe has become the archetype for the hard-boiled private investigator so popular in crime fiction. Down-to-earth, world-weary and cynical, he is a dispassionate and disillusioned loner who untangles the schemes and scams of people driven by greed, lust, anger and other truly deadly sins. His enduring influence was highlighted just last month, when I hosted January Bain’s City of Lies, a mystery that starts each chapter with a Philip Marlowe quote.

https://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2024/04/channeling-raymond-chandler-crime.html

Of course I’m familiar with Marlowe, not just through the countless imitations but from Humphrey Bogart’s classic portrayal of the timeless PI. For some reason, though, it took me more than seventy years to actually read one of the Chandler mysteries that feature him. I’ve finally remedied that omission. The Lady in the Lake is the fourth of the six Marlowe novels. It is dark, compelling, convoluted and immensely satisfying.

Though mysteries are not my favorite genre, I loved everything about this book. Chandler’s characters are quirky, colorful, often sleazy or depraved, but never boring. Even the bit parts shine. Marlowe plays the role of anti-hero with a deadpan attitude that hides a surprisingly strong moral center. The masterfully orchestrated plot, which involves multiple murders as well as blackmail, adultery and drug abuse, twists and turns but ultimately resolves itself without straining the reader’s credulity. (In contrast, I read an Agatha Christie mystery a week after completing this novel, and found the ending implausible and contrived.)

On top of all this, Chandler writes concise but astonishingly evocative prose. He has a talent for zeroing in on one or two critical details that somehow manage to define an entire scene. He’s also a master of dialogue that propels the story forward while elucidating character. If you pick out one or two sentences, the text seems simple and unadorned, but the overall effect sets up echoes and images in your mind.

I turned the Chrysler into the narrow road and crawled carefully around huge bare granite rocks and past a little waterfall and through a maze of black oak-trees and ironwood and manzanita and silence. A blue-jay squawked on a branch and a squirrel scolded at me and beat one paw angrily on the pine cone it was holding. A scarlet-topped woodpecker stopped probing in the bark long enough to look at me with one beady eye and then dodge behind the tree trunk to look at me with the other one.

This edition includes a fine introduction by mystery author Jonathan Kellerman. He praises Chandler’s Marlowe books for their “hypnotic sense of place”. I agree with this assessment. The Lady in the Lake also captures a particular, difficult time for the American psyche, as the country gets drawn into the horrors of World War II.

I am impressed that a novel so anchored in the past could still pack a literary punch. Although this was my first Philip Marlowe mystery, I suspect it will not be my last. Too bad there are only six of them. But that may be sufficient. Certainly it was enough to spawn a legend.