Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Shy and serious by day... #MFRWHooks #romance #academia

I’m back with another short excerpt from Miranda’s Masks, for this week’s Book Hooks blog hop. This book is definitely X-rated, but today’s excerpt is PG. If you want something spicier, check out my Sizzling Sunday post from last weekend!

When you’ve finished with my hook, I hope you’ll visit some of the other authors “hooking” today. You’ll find their links at the end of the post.


Shy and serious by dayinsatiable by night.

Betrayed and abandoned by her first lover, shy and studious Miranda Cahill freezes in response to any sexual attention from someone she knows and likes.

During the day, she works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she finds herself drawn into increasingly extreme sexual encounters with strangers. Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each experience reveals new dimensions of her depravity. Her anonymous secret life begins to take over when she discovers that the masked seducer she meets in a sex club and the charismatic young professor courting her are the same man.

Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda gradually comes to understand and accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.

The Hook

So, weather hot enough for ya?” Mark drawled, adopting a Midwestern yokel accent.

This is bizarre. It’s only May and it feels like July. I hate to think what July will be like.”

Well, who cares, we’ll be in cool, foggy London in July.”

Miranda sighed. “Maybe you’ll be in London. As you may recall, the AML rejected my submission. I’ll be toiling away here, in boiling Cambridge.”

Mark grabbed her hands unexpectedly. “Didn’t Harold tell you?”

No. Tell me what?”

He wants you to go to London and present his research. He doesn’t feel like making the trip.”

Really? You’re not pulling my leg?”

No, really, I was just talking to him about it today. He was looking for you, to discuss the paper, but he couldn’t find you in your office.”

No, thought Miranda with a twinge of guilt, because I was in the library, playing with myself. She forced her attention back to her companion.

So Dr. Scofield is really sending me to London?” Miranda thought her face would split, her smile was so broad. “I can hardly believe it. I wanted to go so badly!”

He told me that he’s also arranged for you to sit on a panel discussing Victorian erotica. You should be getting a formal invitation from the panel moderator soon. So you see, you’ll have the chance to expound on your theory after all.”

Miranda felt deliriously happy. She grabbed Mark’s hand and squeezed it. “And you’ll be there, too?”

Mark looked devilish. “I will indeed. And I’ll show you the many faces of London, as I promised.”

Buy Links

Please take a few minutes to check out the other Book Hooks this week!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Saucy, Sassy and Sexy ... A visit to Grinders Corner -- #ReviewTuesday #giveaway #romcom

Grinders Corner cover


Grinders Corner explores the world of taxi dance halls in the 1960s in all its raw hilarity.  Saucy, sassy and sexy, but not the least bit erotic, it follows the adventures of three young women trying to survive in the glitter palaces of Los Angeles.
Like lambs led to the slaughter, Uptown, a newly divorced English major with panic anxiety disorder and no job skills, Voluptua, an out of work actress, and Mouse, a former child star trying to make a comeback all struggle to make enough tickets to pay the bills.  

Things get complicated when Uptown falls in love with a customer who happens to be a priest.
In Grinders Corner it was a simpler time, long before gentlemens clubs and pole dancers, and it happened in a place where shy, lonely men could talk to women, even dance with them, with no fear of rejectionfor about fifteen cents a minute.


Downtown Los Angeles
Romanceland, 1969

The jukebox was playing Close To You. The lights were low and romantic, the red candles on the intimate little tables for two flickered seductively, and the many-faceted, mirrored chandelier reflected tiny droplets of shivering, shimmering light onto the dance floor. His strong arms were about me, and he was lightly kissing my ear. Then he spoke in a throaty whisper.

Hey, baby, you wanna make a quick twenty five bucks? Let’s go to a motel.”

Oh God, I thought, as I looked at the clock. One more hour to go. I’m going to have to put up with this clown for sixty more minutes unless he runs out of money. Maybe I can get him to sit down and have a Coke. Then I won’t have to endure this tortuous ritual known as dancing. If we get a Coke, I’ll have to make conversation with him and that might be worse than dancing.

The only good thing about dancing is that I don’t have to talk to him. I only have to hear about the motel.

He was staring at me as if waiting for a reply, so I asked, “What did you say?”

Okay, that isn’t particularly original but it used up a couple of seconds. Then he had to repeat it all. That took a few more minutes.

I started to think maybe I could make it to the two o’clock finishing line, but I was wrong. He wasn’t slobbering on my ear anymore. Now it was my bare shoulder.

Hey, I’m kind of thirsty,” I said. “Why don’t we sit down and have a Coke?”

Baby, I don’t want a Coke.”

Oh, hell,” I said as I deftly stepped out of his reach. “Let’s go to the desk so you can check out.”

He retorted with, “How about fifty bucks? I’ll buy you a steak besides.”

I smiled, thinking how delicious that can of beans at home was going to taste. “I’m sorry. I’m not in that line of business.”

Whaddya wanna do—get married?” he yelled.


What do you do when you’re newly-divorced, broke, have no job skills, and although you live in Los Angeles, are too anxious to drive on the freeway? That’s the dilemma facing the heroine of Grinder’s Corner, a fictionalized memoir by Ferris H. Craig and Charlene Keel.

Working as a “Beautiful Hostess” at the Romanceland dance hall in gritty downtown LA isn’t exactly the oldest profession, but it’s not that many steps away, either. Uptown (as she is christened by her friends Mouse and Voluptua) endures sweaty bodies, bad breath, wandering hands, constant lewd propositions, and the occasional frottage orgasm as her customers grind themselves against some random body part, all for the princely sum of fifteen cents per minute. It’s a difficult job, not one anyone would choose, but Uptown doesn’t think she has a choice.

Then she falls in love with one of her customers, a handsome, polite, normal-seeming guy—who turns out to be a straying Catholic father. As if her life isn’t tough enough!

Grinder’s Corner is surprising, entertaining and very smoothly written. Uptown’s educated but somewhat clueless voice dominates the book, while Mouse’s fractured fairy tales and Voluptua’s flamboyant sexuality provide comic relief. Probably the best part of the book is Uptown’s tortured relationship with Don the Priest. Although he’s attractive, clean, shy rather than pushy, and truly loves her, in many ways he’s not that different from the members of the Other Species who haunt the dance halls. Like them, he’s lonely, horny, tends to take women for granted, and feels that his own life and career come first.

The pain he puts Uptown through made me ache in sympathy. Still, she changes and matures in response to the travails of her love affair, growing in confidence and letting go of some of her anxiety. One can only hope that soon she’ll figure out that she has control over her life, that Romanceland or its ilk is not her only option.

I have one criticism of the book. It is set in late sixties southern California, but to me conveyed almost no sense of the time or the place. Aside from the lack of cell phones, and the fact that dance halls are long gone, Grinder’s Corner might have been a contemporary story. The nineteen sixties were tumultuous, garish, troubled, conflicted, wild. There were urban riots and men walking on the moon. None of this ferment comes through in the book. There are few if any period details: no teased hair styles or go-go boots, no hippies or pigs. This isn’t the sixties I lived through.

However, there’s a lot of irony, humor and warmth in this book. I gather from the conclusion that it’s based on real life experiences. Nineteen sixty nine was a long time ago. Perhaps some of the environmental details have faded, but clearly the memories of the job itself are still vivid and powerful.

About the Authors

Ferris Craig is a professional dancer, choreographer, actor and writer. Her credits include The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Honeymooners, The Golden Girls and many TV commercials. In the 1970s she performed with The Hollywood Hoofers in Las Vegas, later establishing The Burbank Academy of Performing Arts where she taught dance and acting. More recently, she choreographed and performed for The Broadway Seniorettes, and with Recycled Teenagers (dancers over 50). Currently she lives in Southern California with her three delightful dogs. Connect with Ferris on Facebook:

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books. Shadow Train, the final installment of her YA supernatural trilogy, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award, and The Congressmans Wife (for Red Sky Presents) is getting rave reviews. Her new blended-genre novel, Lost Treasures of the Heart, was released in November, 2016.

Keel has also worked as editor for international magazines, including Playgirl, For the Brideand Black Elegance. She says the most fun she’s had as an editor (so far) was at Spice, a fanzine featuring rap, R&B, soul and gospel music. During her time there, she enjoyed going to parties for such notables as Puff Daddy, having lunch with Gloria Gaynor and attending a pasta dinner where Mariah Carey did the cooking.

Keel’s editorial assignments include The Health of Nations, a book on political philosophy, and That Nation Might Live, a moving tribute to Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother. Her TV credits include Fantasy Island and Days of Our Lives, and her book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. She also produced (for Romantic Times) the first annual Mr. Romance Cover Model Pageant.

Buy link:

The book is on sale for only $0.99.


Ferris H. Craig & Charlene Keel will be awarding two winners, a free copy of Grinders Corner (print or ebook). (U.S. only for print, International for ebook) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Winners will also receive a fantastic Kama Sutra gift basket. 

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Don't Let Him Go by @KayHarrisAuthor #ContemporaryRomance #Lawyer #Giveaway

Don't let him go cover
Kay Harris will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary--basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.

Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.

Sparks fly from the moment they meet. Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.


I folded my arms across my chest and glared at Jack as he moseyed into the room. “You ambushed me.”

Jack came to a stop a few feet away and nodded. “I did.”

That’s it?” I spread my arms out and leaned forward. My voice rose despite my effort to control it. “That’s all you have to say?”

What do you want me to say? You’re smart. You can see what I did back there. I used you for my own gain.”

You’re a prick!”

I’m not surprised you feel that way. But I am sorry you had to get caught in the crossfire.” He moved to the couch and took a seat in the middle of it, purposefully giving me the high ground.

He slung his arms over the back of the couch casually, making him look like an arrogant ass. And that is exactly what I thought of him at that moment. So I called him on his supposed apology. “Are you?”

Yes, I am. But you’re not innocent, Candie. You put yourself in this position by going to work for Morrison.”

It’s Candace!” I shouted, on the edge of insanity.

He didn’t respond. He just looked at me with that infuriatingly handsome face and waited, an amused grin dancing on his face.

About the Author

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun! 

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

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Buy Links

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