Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ending with a Bang

By Willa Edwards (Guest Blogger)

I’ve always found endings to be the most important part of a book (most important part of a bunch of other stuff too, but I won’t get into that now). As a reader, if a book doesn’t end the right way (a.k.a. the way I want to) it can be very disappointing for me. If the hero doesn’t get the girl, or mystery is solved without enough build up, it can change my entire view of the book. Nothing frustrates me more than a plot line that goes unfinished, besides maybe one that gets to easily wrapped up, can sour my entire opinion about a book.

It is due to this belief that I work very hard on the endings for my books. I want the readers to be satisfied by how the story ends. I do try to leave wanting more, like the next book. But I also want every story line from that book to be tied up, and the reader to be left with a warm feeling. After all that’s what I write romance to feel, that warm loved feeling.

So for my most recent release, Dirty Work, I put even more pressure on myself to finish this book with a bang. Since this book is the last in my Naughty Holiday List series. Not only was I writing the ending of this story, which I prize, but the end of an entire series. I really wanted to end this series with a special bang, since it is such a special collection to me. This series started my publishing career, and I learned so much from writing them. I wanted to give the characters that I have come to love all the happy endings they deserved, without being so sappy sweet that everyone who read it got a few new cavities. I wanted it to sound real, like it could actually happen to any of us.

What I decided to do was write an epilogue that summed up all the stories in the series. It’s a quick four or five pages, but gives every couple their due. This is the only book in the series I have added an epilogue to, but I felt it was fitting with this final installment. This epilogue is my love letter to those who have read all the books of the series. I hope all those who have enjoyed the other Naughty Holiday List series books, and even those that have just read Giselle and Garrett’s story, will enjoy this fitting end for a series that has meant so much to me.

Below is an excerpt from the beginning of my newest release Dirty Work. To find out how it ends…well you’ll have to buy the book for that!

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to celebrate the release of Dirty Work I’ll be donating one dollar for every comment I get on my blog between now and Oct 31st, to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please stop by, leave a comment, and help me provide mammograms to women in need.

If you want to find out more information about how you can help provide mammograms to those in need, or find out more about preventing and diagnosing breast cancer you can go to  


As her friend's wedding approaches, Giselle Rossini feels more discouraged than ever. She's not where she wanted to be in life. She loves her job, but longs for something else to fill her days.

When she walks into her ex-sweetheart Garrett at her school, declaring he's the new auto shop teacher and he wants her back, Giselle finds her last refuge quickly vanishing. Years ago she loved Garrett, but all he did was break her heart and prove to her men are all the same.

Garrett Montgomery never stopped loving Giselle. And now he's back, determined to work his way into her life. He's not surprised Giselle isn't ready to welcome him back into her arms, but he'll do anything to earn her trust again. Garrett's never been afraid of a little hard work, especially when it includes some dirty talking and getting naughty in the backseat of a car.

But can he break through Giselle's perfect impregnable shell and into her heart, or will the labor be too much for him to withstand?

Story Excerpt
That’s right, darlin’.” He smiled that wicked, devastating grin that had always been her downfall, his deep Southern drawl enough to melt any woman’s panties, and he certainly had hers, many times. Just as she always remembered him, he had a smudge of motor oil across his forehead and along his chin. He always got the stuff all over himself. Which only made him look sexier.

He took a step closer to her, invading her space. His spicy, familiar scent of motor oil and aftershave swirled around her, and her heart sped up a bit. She knew she should step away, run, flee. Anything to escape Garrett and the emotions he’d stir up in her. But she couldn’t move. Her feet were frozen to the cement auto shop floor.

He traced a knuckle down her cheek, her skin tingling beneath his touch. “It’s been too long, sweetheart.” His thumb smoothed over her bottom lip, his eyes focused down on her mouth. “I’ve missed you.”

As if his words broke some kind of spell over her, Giselle stepped back, severing the connection of their bodies.

Her head swam and her heartbeat sped up. How could this be? How could Garrett be here? After all these years. After all this time. Why would he come back now? Today of all days.

What are you doing here, Garrett?” She crossed her arms over her chest, using the small gesture as another barrier between their bodies.

He smiled. “I’m getting ready for my first class. What are you doing here?” He cocked an eyebrow at her, but the smile on his face remained.

You’re the new shop teacher?” Giselle focused on breathing, when he nodded in return. The reality of it slammed into her like a ton of bricks. She’d have to see him every day, walking through the halls, talking to the kids, working on the cars in this shop. He’d come into the teacher’s lounge with dirt under his fingernails and grease on his face. Leaving her in a permanent state of confusion.

Garrett, what are you doing here? Why did you get a job at my school?” She took another step back, trying her best to appear casual, and not like she was running away. Which, of course, she wasn’t. But being close to Garrett had always been confusing. That’s how she’d gotten into the trouble before. That’s how she’d allowed him to push past her defenses.

My daddy passed a few months ago.” He looked down, pushing his hands into his pockets. The sadness in the small gestures was apparent. Garrett loved his father. They’d been very close, even when they lived hours apart.

I’m sorry to hear that. Hayden was a great man.”

Garrett nodded. He looked up at her. His sad eyes staring right into hers, pulling at her heart so hard it was difficult to breathe. The urge to walk up to him and wrap her arms around his neck, to pull him close, to do anything to erase the sadness in his eyes, battled through her system.

Damn it! She hated that! She didn’t want to feel any more emotion for this man. She certainly didn’t want to feel bad for him. He was the one that tricked her, the one that broke his promises and left her to pick up the mess.

I made him a promise,” Garrett continued, unaware of her internal struggles, “on his deathbed that I’d go after the girl I’d been pining for all these years.” He took a step closer, filling in the distance between them in one long stride.

Giselle took a deep breath, her knees knocking together. The urge to flee filled her, but she fought it back. She wouldn’t run from him like a scared rabbit. Not this time. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

I never stopped thinking about you, Dixie.” He extended one finger to smooth across her cheek. Heat flared beneath his touch and the desire to melt into him, like two metals fused by his welder, flamed inside her.

He stepped closer, until their bodies just brushed against each other. His warmth called to a place deep inside her. “I never stopped loving you, Dixie. All these years.”

His rich, chocolate eyes focused on her, warm and sweet. Those eyes had always been her undoing. One look from him and she’d forgive everything.

I’ve come back for you, baby. And this time I’m not leaving without a fight.”

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Menage versus Polyamory

By Melodee Aaron (Guest Blogger)

Right off the bat I want to thank Lisabet for letting me share her blog for a time. Hopefully, it won't be too disappointing. My husband Jack and our kids say that I'm nothing if not entertaining.


There are a lot of things that annoy me. If you doubt that, check out my frequent tweets with the hashtag #ThingsThatPissMeOff for a rather large list. And I mean hundreds. If not more.

But there are actually very few things that really make me mad. That list includes:
  • 1) Thousands of Yahoo! Group messages (or FaceBook updates or Twitter posts) that boil down to saying, " my book! Please!!" Yeah...that gets on my nerves.
  • 2) At least an equal number of posts telling me what my politics should be. Ditto for religion. Sorry, but I'm a big girl and can make up my mind on those all by myself.
  • 3) The word "Ménage".
To address #1, I'm not going to pitch my books here. The assorted links are at the bottom of this post, and if you want to go have a look, I will appreciate that. If not, I'm good.

As far as #2 goes, I frankly don't care what your religion or politics are. By the same token, I doubt you really care very much about mine, either. So, enough said on that.

But it's #3 that really bugs me, and I'm going to drag you—kicking and screaming if I have to—into just why that word should make you crazy, too.

Merriam-Webster offers the definition of ménage as a domestic establishment i.e. household. In the world of erotica and erotica romance, the term is usually taken as shorthand for a ménage à trois, (again as defined by Merriam-Webster) an arrangement in which three persons (as a married pair and the lover of one of the pair) share sexual relations especially while living together.

In short, in the real world, a ménage is simple three (or more) way sex. Nothing more.

The publishing world has twisted this even more. In published works, a ménage is any group of three or more people involved in an intimate relationship. Sadly, this is about as far from the truth as you can get.

I can hear you asking yourself, "Just what is the little blonde deaf girl taking about?" Easy...

Every publisher of erotica romance demands the proverbial Happily Ever After story. The major characters have to end up together. When the characters end up together as a group, we have a loving and caring relationship between three or more people. By definition, this is not a ménage.

Calling on the good people at Merriam-Webster one more time, they define polyamory as the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time.

It seems like the erotica romance publishers have it all wrong...what they say is ménage is actually polyamory.

But there's more to it than that.

Depending on what survey you read, having two women in bed at the same time is one of the top—if not the top—male fantasies. It would be safe to say that nine out of ten men wants two women at the same time, and one out of ten men is a liar.

But these guys are thinking about having a ménage.

Imagine these men in a true polyamorous relationship. I would bet that 99% of them could not deal with the emotional intensity of having two women loving him and him loving two women. And keep in mind that we're talking about all at the same time...not him spending every other night with a different woman so the intensity is lower.

As an aside, there is good reason to believe, though the self-reported studies don't support it, that women have similar fantasies about having two men. Most experts believe that women tend to hide this fantasy for various reasons.

But the fact is that experts long thought that polyamory is a fringe phenomenon. Then social scientists began to see that it was far more pervasive than they thought, but they dreamed up all manner of silly explanations. Like that one person is actually a BDSM slave to the other two. The list is pretty long and I won't bore you with it here.

Today, we are seeing more and more polyamorous relationships where all parties are on an equal footing. And this makes fiscal sense...

Prior to the 1950s, it was rare for a wife and mother to work outside the home. The man's income was enough to get by on and even reach the American Dream. Through the 1960s and 1970s, this changed and more women went to work. Some because they wanted to, but most went because the economy changed and more income was needed to run the household than one person could make. Now we're finding that even with two breadwinners in the house, still more income is needed. It makes sense that simple economics will push society to more and more polyamorous relationships.

As a side journey, we need to at least look at the idea of two parents going off to work while the third stays home and takes care of the house and joint kids. Again, just more daycare bills!

And speaking of kids...what about them? How would children do in a polyamorous home? Would the women all be 'mommy' and the men all be 'daddy?' Would such an arrangement actually do any damage to the children? And I'm not talking about pop-psychology here...I mean actually damage their psyche. I seriously doubt long as a calm, loving, and supportive environment surrounds the kids, I can't see much difference between two parents and twenty.

A common argument against polyamory is that it somehow upsets the "natural" balance between the sexes. A fact that the supporters of this idea point to is that the ratio of men to women on the planet is very close to 1:1. The actual accepted figure is 1.01 men for every woman. In other words, there are slightly more males than females. The argument based on this accepted fact goes something like this...

"If one man has two women, then there aren't enough women to go around and some guy will have no woman at all."

Um...if there is another group made up of two men and one woman, it all comes out equal. There are six people, three of each gender, all together. This argument is invalid.

Another is the "one man, one woman" crowd. This is a purely emotional argument and has no basis in fact. You can't even break even in a debate on this because there are no facts...just emotions.

The one man, one woman argument also leads to the idea of monogamy in general. Again depending on what study you look at, some place between 2% and 5% of all mammals are actually monogamous. And humans are not in that small group. In practice, we humans tend toward serial monogamy...we hook up with a partner for a time and we are faithful (whatever that means!) to that partner. We then move on to another partner and the process repeats. Pundits in this camp say that evolution has made humans monogamous (even though we're not). If this were true, there would never be anyone having an affair or getting a divorce.

I've used the concept of polyamory (as opposed to ménage) in many books. The first to really get into the social and emotional side was The Polyamorous Princess (Siren Publishing) where Allie, Harry, and Damon all fall in love and form a family.

In the Flights of Fancy series (Siren Publishing), the idea extends across all three books now in the series (Burning Love, Knights of Desire, and As Darkness Falls) with a slight As Darkness Falls, the polyamorous relationship went in a slightly different direction where there are two male/female couples that fall in love, and this leads to one final social aspect...

In the traditional "ménage" presented by most erotica romance publishers, we see a single female character together with two or more males. In some cases, the men do not have sexual contact (plain and simple, this is erotica, not erotica romance) but have sex only with the woman. Sometimes two (or more) men will be with the woman (still just erotica), but there is only one woman.

In As Darkness Falls, the two men have sex with other and with the two women, but the women also have sex with each other as well as the two women being with one of the men. In other words, there is every possible grouping of the four characters.
By and large, the readers of erotica romance don't like this approach. Conditioned by popular myths and incorrect definitions, the readers believe that erotica ménage stories are actually erotica polyamory stories. It should be clear by now that this really isn't the case at all. There are fundamental differences between ménage and polyamory. If you want a story with more than two people, you have two choices...

(1) You can get a ménage tale that is nothing more than erotica, a string of artificial acts that really has no basis in reality, or...

(2) You can get a polyamorous book with actual erotic romance based in real psychology.

The bottom line is that, in reality, there will be an infinite combination of groupings...male/male, male/female, and female/female with the additional people falling in at random.

While many social scientists and psychologists believe that polyamory is the natural evolution of relationships, ménage remains a fantasy.

And most likely always will be.

You can learn more about me and my books at the following websites:

Keep Loving!


P.S. I'm giving away two ebooks, a copy of The Polyamorous Princess and a copy of As Darkness Falls, to two lucky people who leave comments (including your email address - please!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fitting It All In

By Victoria Blisse (Guest Blogger)

Thanks for having me to visit, Lisabet. 

My new release Sharing Nicely ( is over fifty thousand words long. And actual novel. I don’t know if I’m just getting long winded in my old age or if maybe my muse has gotten crueller. I love to write short stories, it’s a challenge. Flash fiction makes me smile, I like trying to stuff lots into to a few words. A novel is the opposite challenge. Finding out what is essential to the plot and what is just fluff is difficult and facing thousands upon thousands of words in edits brings me out in a cold sweat but the satisfaction that comes from a finished novel is addictive.

Also, who couldn’t write so much about two super hot, dominant billionaires and the feisty business woman they both fall for? It’s a fantasy come true for many women, me included, to be wanted by two guys. Kerry is a clever thing and she insists they both share nicely, or go home


Two hot, sexy billionaires know what they want and they want her, but will they be happy to share nicely?

Kerry Matthews is used to stress—she runs her own high-end London club called Diamonds, but what she isn’t used to is attention from two very persuasive and powerful men.

Darren Bennett and Greg Stamford are life-long rivals, but call a truce to spend one night with sassy, curvy Kerry. They’re not content to share forever though. They both have a selfish desire to possess her completely.

Darren buys her seductive lingerie, flowers and chocolates, Greg flies her to Paris for a romantic break, cleans her flat and makes her breakfast in bed. Both vying to cement their place in her heart. She needs to decide between them but is dazzled by their persuasive personae and extravagant gifts.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of MFM Ménage and some violence.

Excerpt (Rated X)

“Local legend has it”—Greg turned towards me as we approached the bridge—“that if a couple kiss in a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset then their love will last forever.”

I beamed at him, the soft light of sunset bathed us and, as the shadow of the famous bridge covered us, his lips pressed against mine. It felt like magic, the golden sun like fire around us, the shadow of the bridge holding us, the sound of the water and the peace of that moment. I wanted the legend to be true. I’d not even thought about forever with Greg but when he kissed me it became a dream I wanted to achieve.

He pulled back, stroking his hand gently down my arm and smiling, a little hesitantly, a tad unsure. I reached out a hand and cupped his face, wanting to reassure him to make him feel better.

“That’s you and me bound forever then,” I said with a lighthearted giggle. “I hope you’re ready for it.”

He nodded and turned his head to kiss the inside of my hand.

“I think I can work with that,” he murmured, “you in bondage to me forever.”

Trust him to twist the romance into something kinky and sexual. Or maybe that was just me, maybe it was what I hoped he meant. I wanted him to tie me down and use me—but maybe not right there, under the nose of a poor working man and half of Venice who’d come out to see the Bridge of Sighs at the most romantic time of the day.

It was later that night that he showed me the meaning of his kinky words. We’d enjoyed a meal in our room. Greg was hoping to keep a low profile for as long as possible.

“We were just out on the canal below the Bridge of Sighs where a lot of people saw us, Greg, I’m not sure that’s keeping a low profile.”

“No,” he replied, “you can’t let the possibility of discovery get in the way of good romance. And if a tourist snapped us? Well, it will take time for them to contact the media and get those photos circulated. It’s not like I kissed you in front of a horde of paparazzi.”

“I’ll give you that,” I conceded, hoping my thoughtless answer wouldn’t leave him in a bad mood all evening.

“And you’ll give me more.” He didn’t smile. His face was stony lined and I really didn’t know what he would do next. “Go and stand at the bottom of the stairs.”

I was about to argue, I must admit. I wasn’t going to be commanded about like a naughty child. Greg leaned in and whispered in my ear.

“I want to have some fun. Play along, please. If you want to stop just shout ‘Diamonds’, okay?”

I nodded tersely and went to stand just before the first stair that led up to the mezzanine floor. I looked around, unsure of what to do. I felt a little silly stood there, waiting for something to happen.

“I’ve been looking at this staircase since we arrived, imagining you bent over, holding onto the spindles and waiting for a damn good spanking. Hold onto the rails and bend over, my dream’s about to come true.”

I gulped and licked my lips. The image now danced in my mind too. I turned round, swung around the last post and readied myself by bending and gripping two rails in front of me.

“Oh yeah, that’s it,” he moaned. I glanced to the left and saw him walking towards me, his jaw set determinedly. My knees buckled beneath me. I don’t know what the medical diagnosis for it would have been but I guessed it was because all my blood had drained down to the lower parts of my body and left my brain high and dry.

I gripped the cold, hard beams all the tighter and was grateful to feel his hands on my hips to help hold me up. I was even more grateful to feel him hitch up my skirt and fold it over my back until my rump was revealed, the light lace of my knickers the only thing that protected my modesty.

A rumble of appreciation rolled from his lips and vibrated through his body until I felt it transfer from his hands into me. I melted under his touch. Even when he lifted a hand and let it drop hard onto my arse I tightened up but I didn’t want him to stop. I wanted the delicious pain to continue. He read my mind as his slaps rained down rhythmically. Each impact shook me, pushed arousal through my body and as my buttocks stung, ecstasy blossomed. My nipples peaked and rubbed painfully against my bra, my clit plumped, my pussy moistened until the strip of lace covering me was soaked, the material clung to my lips.

“So pretty and pink, but this is in the way,” Greg peeled down my knickers, let them drop to the floor in a flutter of freedom. “Oh, much better.”

He stroked my buttocks, the sting revived with his touch. I was torn. I wanted more punishment but I also wanted release.

He gripped my hips tightly and pressed his crotch against me, his trouser-covered cock nestling between my buttocks.

I rubbed back against him, desperate for more of him. I bent my legs and straightened them again as I communicated my lust to Greg, desperate for him to give me more but with desire so great words wouldn’t come.

He stepped back and I heard the clunk of his belt being unfastened and the hiss of the dropped zip. The next time I felt his pressure on me it was from his naked cock probing between my buttocks. He bent his legs and manoeuvred around me, using a hand to press his erection into my wet slit and the other to grip my hip. Once he filled me he held onto me with both hands and thrust hard.

I braced myself, tried to hold it together when pain and pleasure at each impact mixed and coalesced, taking my breath away. He slammed hard and fast and he came inside me after just a few moments. The deep-seated grunt he made flooded me with second-hand satisfaction. I didn’t have time to think—he pulled out, dragged me up and turned me around in his arms. He pressed my back against the banisters. He sought out my slit with probing fingers and slid up and down to find my clit. We kissed, mouths mashed together between gasps and pants. I was pure, writhing need and when I came, I screamed against his lips and the pleasure ripped from me, intense and immense.

He held me up, breath tickling my cheek.

“That was better than I imagined,” Greg whispered. “You’re amazing, Kerry.”

“So are you,” I sighed. “Now I think I need to lie down, my knees have forgotten what they’re meant to be doing.” 

Get your own copy of Sharing Nicely!


Victoria Blisse is a Mother, Wife, Christian, Manchester United Fan and Award Winning Erotica Authoress. She is also the editor of several Bigger Briefs collections, and the co-editor of the fabulous Smut Alfresco and Smut in the City and Smut by the Sea Anthologies.

Victoria is also one of the brains behind the fabulous Smut by the Sea Event taking place at Scarborough Library (UK) on the 22nd June 2013. A day dedicated to Erotica with a mini erotic marketplace and lots of Author Readings, Fun Giveaways and Exciting Talks.

She is equally at home behind a laptop or a cooker (She is TEB's Resident "Naked Chef") and she loves to create stories, poems, cakes and biscuits that make people happy. She was born near Manchester, England and her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories.

Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life.

You can find often find Victoria procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

To find out more check out

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sneak Peek: Summerset Abbey

[My sneak peek today is from T.J. Brown's historical romance Summerset Abbey. Sounds really intriguing! And you could win some free books! ~ Lisabet]


Reminiscent of Downton Abbey, this first novel in a new series follows two sisters and their maid as they are suddenly separated by the rigid class divisions within a sprawling aristocratic estate and thrust into an uncertain world on the brink of WWI...

Rowena and Victoria, daughters to the second son of the Earl of Summerset, have always treated their governess’s daughter, Prudence, like a sister. But when their father dies and they move in with their uncle’s family in a much more traditional household, Prudence is relegated to the maids’ quarters, much to the girls’ shock and dismay. The impending war offers each girl hope for a more modern future, but the ever-present specter of class expectations makes it difficult for Prudence to maintain a foot in both worlds.

Vividly evoking both time and place and filled with authentic dialogue and richly detailed atmosphere, Summerset Abbey is a charming and timeless historical debut.


A lump rose in her throat as she caught sight of the ornate casket, draped with a full spray of lilies, carnations, and palm fronds. The only reason she was here, clutching Rowena’s and Victoria’s hands in hers instead of shrinking into the background with the other servants, was the kindness of the man who lay inside. After Prudence’s father had died, her mother, who had worked at Sir Philip’s estate as a girl, had been sent to attend to Rowena and Victoria’s ailing mother. When his wife died, Sir Philip asked her to stay on to help raise the girls, and Prudence, exactly between his daughters in age, became part of the family. Prudence, who volunteered her time at several different poorhouses in the city, knew exactly what happened to young girls left alone in the world. She would forever be grateful to Sir Philip for not allowing that to happen to her.

She blinked away her tears and occupied herself by looking at the rest of the congregation. Only a few looked familiar. Among them were Rupert Brooke, the high-strung and handsome young poet; Ben Tillett, the iron-jawed union leader; and Roger Fry, the controversial artist responsible for bringing London’s shocked attention to postimpressionism some years prior. These were some of Sir Philip’s friends, a motley collection of artists, intellectuals, and misfits.

Because the Earl had arranged the funeral, most of the people in attendance were his peers, men from the House of Lords and others from the cream of London society.

Sir Philip would have hated it.

The beautiful gold arches and polished marble of St. Bride’s Church gleamed, just as they had the few times the family had attended church. Sir Philip had chosen St. Bride’s because, as he used to say, “Sir Christopher Wren built the kind of church that God might actually enjoy.”

Gradually, Prudence became aware of a young man staring at her from across the aisle. Her eyes darted in his direction, then away. Moments later, unable to help herself, she glanced back to see whether he was still looking at her. He was. She turned slightly and stared fixedly at the bronze candelabra to the left of him, her cheeks burning.

Victoria leaned around her to whisper to Rowena. “Look, Lord Billingsly has noticed our Prudence.”

“I’m right here,” Prudence whispered, and gave both their hands a hard squeeze for emphasis.

She didn’t look his way again.

Once the service started, Prudence sank into a well of grief that threatened to drown her. The waves of it lapped at her from all sides, covered her head, and made sight almost impossible. Inside, her heart broke and a waterfall of sorrow poured from the cracks. On one side, Victoria sobbed quietly, while Rowena’s stiff resolve buoyed her from the other. She clung to their hands as the service passed in a blur of speeches.

They remained that way until it was time to get into the ornate black and gold funeral carriages that would take them back to their home in Mayfair for the reception. Behind the carriages stood a line of motorcars; most of the wealthy guests had long given up their carriages for the convenience and speed of automobiles. The Earl himself had several, and Sir Philip’s sleek Eton-blue Belsize sat idle in the carriage house, but the Earl insisted on traditional horse-drawn carriages.

“Miss Tate will ride in the staff carriage.” The Earl’s voice brooked no opposition and his square jaw firmed. Prudence knew that look. Rowena’s pretty face held the same expression when she got all stubborn about something.

Victoria’s eyes widened. “Prudence rides with us.”

“Nonsense. The Duke of Plymouth wishes to join us and there isn’t enough room.”

Prudence placed her hands on Victoria’s shoulders. Tension vibrated through the young girl’s slender body and Prudence’s stomach knotted, sure that Victoria was going to throw a fit, the kind she used to throw when the family still called her baby and she wanted the biggest sweet in the shop. Even at eighteen, Victoria wasn’t above a tantrum or two if she thought the situation warranted it. But her waiflike face suddenly fell and her lower lip trembled.

“It’ll be all right,” Prudence whispered. “I’ll go back with the staff and meet you at home.”

Author Bio

TJ Brown is proud of her two children but coming in a close second is the fact that she parachuted out of a plane and beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. Her young adult historical about Harry Houdini’s illegitimate daughter came out in June from Balzer+Bray. She also writes adult historicals under TJ Brown. She resides with her husband and way too many pets in Portlandia.

The author will be awarding autographed copies of books two and three of the series, A Bloom in Winter and Spring Awakening to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour (open internationally). Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Snog #97: Twentieth Century

It's Sunday and I've brought out one from the vaults. Here's a bit of oral pleasure from Twentieth Century, a wistful paranormal short story first published in - let me go check - yikes! 2003, and now available in the free reading pages of my website. It's not exactly romance, but I at least think it's romantic. It's based on an actual shop I used to pass regularly, called "Twentieth Century". I actually bought a vintage necklace there once, for a New Year's Eve Party.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. Meanwhile, after sampling my snog, don't forget to visit Victoria's Blisse Kiss page for more Sunday smooching.

"The necklace, if you please?" Beth ventured a glance at his face as she returned the pendant to him. He appeared composed, but glancing down at his trousers, she thought she detected signs that her state of deshabille was having some effect on him.

The jeweler circled behind her, draped the necklace around her neck and fastened it. Beth thought that he was especially careful not to touch her, and that thought drove her mad. She was almost ready to beg, to fall on her knees before him and offer - what? Anything. Whatever he might desire, if only he would lay those cool hands on her fevered flesh again.

"Look," he whispered in her ear. "See how lovely you are." And she was. The cameo nestled between her breasts, blue as a madonna's robe. The matching silhouettes in her ears swayed as she turned her head from side to side to evaluate the effect. She looked aristocratic, refined, despite her nudity.

Beth turned her gaze from her own form to her companions eye's, reflected in the glass. That blue fire was burning there, unrestrained. "It is unfortunate that I do not currently have a Victorian corset in stock," he murmured. "That would be so appropriate with these jewels. However, I do have something else that you might appreciate." From a wooden chest in the corner, he extracted a folded piece of fabric, intricately patterned in jewel-like colors.

He unfurled it behind Beth's back. It was a triangular silk shawl bordered with long fringe. Complex, intricate designs flowed across it, ruby, emerald, lapis, asymmetrical and compelling. "This is an original William Morris piece," he said softly as he let the silk settle over her shoulders. The edges draped down over her breasts, sheathing them in gorgeous swirls of color. Beth noticed that her erect nipples poked brazenly through the shawl. She was suddenly dizzy as a wave of desire swept through her.

His hands hovered above her shoulders again, as if he would smooth the silk over her body, but he did not move. "Do you like it?" he asked softly. There was another, more intimate question in his eyes.

Beth was silent. She reached up, grasped his hands, and brought them down to cup her silk-swathed fullness. She expected him to pull away, and so she held him there as she held his eyes in the mirror, bold and shy at once.

He did not resist her, though. Instead he squeezed her breasts, kneaded them gently, rolled the swollen tips between his slender fingers until Beth moaned aloud. The silk slithered over her skin, teasing and sensual.

She closed her eyes again and leaned against him, letting the wonderful sensations wash over her. Slight as he was, he had no trouble supporting her weight. She felt the rough wool of his trousers against her buttocks, and sensed the hardness beneath.

Fear stabbed briefly through her. She knew so little of men. Would it be painful? Would she disappoint him? Then her doubts dissolved into new moans as he slid his arms around her waist and brushed his fingertips across her pubic fur.

The lightest of pressures, the briefest of touches, but it sent tremors through her sex. Instinctively, Beth parted her legs and rocked her pelvis forward, seeking more solid contact. The shopkeeper obliged, slipping one slender finger into the mass of moist curls to her center. Sparks leapt from that finger, raced through her, leaving her weak and breathless.

"Please..." she tried to say, not really knowing what she was asking for but wanting it more than anything. She had no voice, though, no will. She could barely stand.

The proprietor smiled at her reflection, kind, encouraging. "Come here, my dear." He led her to the velvet chaise. "Lie back. Relax."

Beth's mind flailed wildly, even as her body obeyed the man's suggestions. She searched his mild, middle-aged face, seeking reassurance. In response, he knelt in front of her, gently but firmly pushing her thighs apart. Then he removed his glasses, and his eyes were unveiled. Beth thought of the ocean, of the sky, of a gas flame, azure bright, almost transparent. And then of a star sapphire, ever-changing light sparkling in blue depths.

Then he bent his mouth to her sex, and Beth forgot to think.

Sensation and emotion, velvet wetness and diamond sharpness, his tongue a feather and a sword. She writhed and shook, keening like a madwoman. The shawl slipped away from her body. The velour upholstery grew damp beneath her. Beth did not notice. He licked, nibbled, probed her depths, breathed her, drank her, buried himself in her, swallowed her whole. She did not know what it was that he did, only that it brought near-unbearable ecstasy. The world shattered and fell away as pleasure drowned her.


You can read the whole story here. Let me know what you think...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Those Awkward Questions

By Harper Bliss (Guest Blogger)

As soon as you tell someone you’re a writer, it’s often the first question you’re asked. For me personally, it’s the most daunting one as well. Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand where the question is coming from. I live in ex-pat dense Hong Kong and the favourite way of starting a conversation here is with a casual, “What do you do?” (Along with: “Where are you from?” and “How long have you been here?”) 

I’ve seen many eyebrows arch up in surprise when I reply, “I write lesbian erotica.” It makes quite a difference to saying you’re a banker, or teacher, or IT consultant. People are taken aback by it and it’s as if their brain can only process by following up with, “Where do you get your inspiration from?” Every time, I’m stumped for words. Even after having faced the same question so many times, I never really know what to say because the answer is always complicated and never clean-cut. It helps that I’m a lesbian and my wife is usually around so I can just point at her and quip that we’ve been together a long time and she still inspires me. Cue awkward giggles. (But they asked for it.)

But, luckily, a solution for this social predicament I often find myself in (and I bet I’m not the only one), presented itself when I started writing my latest novelette I Still Remember ( If the title seems familiar, it’s because it is. I Still Remember is Bloc Party’s prettiest, most emotional and nostalgic song. And my story is entirely based on it. The song came on randomly one day when I was listening to an old playlist and it just clicked. I hadn’t heard it in a while (possibly years) but I connected with every word of the lyrics in such a direct and emotional way that I instantly knew I had to write a story about long lost love and unrequited feelings that come back to haunt you from your fragile teenage years. This is also when I realised that inspiration comes in many shapes and sizes, but what works best for me personally is a strong emotion. Try explaining that at a cocktail party when you’ve had a few…

The answer is still not straightforward, but at least now I can confidently say that, sometimes, I get my inspiration from music, e.g. “Do you know the Bloc Party song 'I Still Remember?'” (The crowd I hang with usually don’t.) It makes my life a little easier and small talk a little more bearable. And it’s the absolute truth, because (as Christina Aguilera said on The Voice the other night): music without emotion is nothing. Neither is an erotic story.

If you’d like to know if I captured the emotion of the song and did its emotion justice, I’m giving away a free copy to a lucky commenter. (Lisabet says to remind you to include your email address!)

Meanwhile, here’s the blurb:
Successful news anchor Elise returns to her hometown after running away from a love she couldn't understand nor act upon twenty years ago. When she bumps into her old best friend Amy, the one she had to get away from, all that was left unspoken bubbles to the surface and they revisit the past in more ways than one.

And here’s an excerpt:

I first felt it when I sat in my familiar spot by the edge of the pond, timing Amy as she tried to swim as fast as she could from one side to the other. My job was to focus on my waterproof watch—something I’d always done with great determination before—but this time around, I couldn’t keep my eyes off Amy as her body cut through the water towards me. It was an afternoon of just us, before Brett appeared on the scene and stole precious moments of our time together.

I didn’t know what a lesbian was and I had no idea it was even possible for a woman to fall in love with another woman. But when Amy pulled herself out of the water, drops raining down her skin and lingering in her hair, I knew I was in love. I knew because not only did the sun catching the hazelnut in her eyes look like the most beautiful sight in the world, but later that afternoon, when I had to go home for supper, it suddenly hurt that I couldn’t spend every waking moment with her.

“You weren’t timing me,” Amy said, her hands on her hips and, to punish me, she swung her head from left to right so the cool drops of water splattered from her hair onto my hot skin.

“Stop it.” I looked up at her, at the grin on her face, which all of a sudden seemed unbearable as well as totally addictive. Because I had no idea how to handle myself, I pushed her back into the water, jumping in right after her, because I didn’t want her to swim away from me.

She ducked under and yanked me down by the ankles and, just like that, an innocent game we’d played all of our lives caused my body to pulse in places I’d never paid much attention to before.

Buy your own copy of I Still Remember!

Direct from publisher:


Harper Bliss has travelled the world in search of sexual satisfaction. She now resides in a hot Asian country and dedicates her time to writing down the stories that have inspired and aroused her.

Harper has had short stories published in anthologies by Xcite Books, House of Erotica, Storm Moon Press and Coming Together. She is the author of the High Rise series and several other titles for Ladylit.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Unholy: Love and Rage

By Paul DeBlassie III (Guest Blogger)

The stronger the character in terms of capacity for both love and rage the more compelling they are and it is in this that the true character is birthed. Love and rage are in essence the nests in which the characters are cared for and nourished and then allowed to fly free.

I find that I must dip into my own capacity for primal feelings of love and rage in order to discover that aspect of myself that is like the character, has been like or felt like the character feels in the situation. It’s critical to always allow this to move the story forward and not get stuck by over thinking the character, to just hit and go into the emotional life of the character and let the character then tell me what he or she wants to express. 

The rage in particular can be horrifying because of our human capacity to inflict injury on others or society. To then express this on the page leaves me feeling vulnerable yet also true to myself within this dimension of storytelling. It’s mind boggling for me to experience the rage of the character and what the character like Archbishop William Anarch in The Unholy wants to do and does to innocent human beings. 

Claire Sanchez, the medicine woman, on the other hand needs to find rage, a healthy aggression, that has gone awry in Anarch, and only by doing this, if she can, will she potentially be able to discover the strength to fight the powerful archbishop.


A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past, is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.


“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.

Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.

Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.

All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.

Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.

The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.

The crows waited, watched, then flew away.

Author Information

Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. 

Dr. DeBlassie is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

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