Sunday, June 30, 2019

Parallel Worlds - #Choices #SchrodingersCat #AlternativeRealities

Parallel worlds image
 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It's past midnight, in the late seventies. I'm sitting around the kitchen table with my boyfriend and my housemate. We're all extremely stoned, a not-uncommon state back in those days, and we're descending into a labyrinthine discussion of life, death, probability, fate and time. It feels as though we're getting somewhere, untangling these primal issues. It always feels that way when we're stoned.

J is talking about how, in some future, he'll be master of the universe. All he has to do is open the right doors. I'm listening in admiration, thrilled by the notion, ready to believe.

"But what do you mean by right?" I ask. "How will you know? Every instant you make choices, and every choice spawns a new universe." I struggle to wrap my pot-laced mind around the notion of infinite parallel universes. Then I have a vision.

Choices give rise to new strands of reality. Maybe, though, the divergent paths rejoin. After a while, parallel universes collide and collapse into a single reality. It's like chicken wire, I see clearly, a mesh of realities that split and merge, a web of possible futures - all existing simultaneously. There's always a route, though perhaps a long one, from any decision point that spawns a new world to any other. There's no such thing as an irrevocable choice.

It's a revelation. I try to explain the chicken wire theory of reality to J. and M., who nod sagely. It makes sense to them. Wild notions often do when you're stoned.


Fast forward to a few years later. My master is crying. Early in our relationship he made me promise that if I met someone else, someone serious, I'd come see him first. He brashly vowed he'd convince me otherwise. I was pretty sure the guy I'd fallen for was my soul mate. (It turned out I was very wrong.) Still, I wanted to keep my end of the bargain. I'd shelled out for a plane ticket and flown 500 miles to give my master the chance to change my mind.

I'd expected him to bind me, to whip me, to fuck me until I screamed for mercy—until I realized and admitted that I would always belong to him and no one else. Instead he huddles on his couch, tears in his eyes, and barely speaks to me for two days. I'm angry he makes no effort to get me back. I suffer because of the pain I'm obviously causing him. I'm relieved that I am apparently free to go back to my new lover.

I'm very confused.

In later years, I've always identified that weekend as one of those inflection points that give rise to parallel worlds. If he had claimed me then, the way he promised... if he had come right out and told me he didn't just want me, but also loved me ... if he'd brought up the question of marriage or cohabitation... I might well be with him now, instead of half a world away and married to someone else. And maybe in some other strand of reality, I am his wife and lover, perhaps even mother to his children.

On the other hand, if I were in that reality, what would I have missed? Would I have traveled? My husband has had travel fever since his teens. My master doesn't even have a passport. Would I be living overseas now, every day an adventure? Speaking of adventures, would I have had the chance to explore the delights of ménage and polyamory, the way I have in my present universe? He's both possessive and surprisingly shy, for a sex maniac Dom.

Still—I dream about a life of complementary fantasies, where my desire to submit perfectly matches his need to command. It's been decades since anyone tied me up or spanked me. I still remember the intensity of those times, the overwhelming sense of being in the now, the glow of devotion and the knowledge that I'm cherished for my surrender. I miss those feelings. I miss him, with an ache that's mellowed a bit over time but has never disappeared.

It occurs to me, though, that Lisabet Sarai, spinner of lascivious tales, would never have been born if he'd grabbed me that weekend, thrown me onto the couch, flipped up my skirt and buried himself in my ass, the way I imagined he might. If I were living the life of a submissive, I might never have been moved to write about it. It was my frustrated longing for him and his magical mind that led me to pen my first erotic tales and send them to him - to bridge the gap between our bifurcated lives. Raw Silk was a compendium of all my favorite D/s fantasies. It was a thought-experiment, a tentative stroll into that alternative world where he voiced his true feelings (as he has since, but perhaps too late) and changed our fates.


I sit at my computer in a foreign country, a woman a few years over of sixty, remembering the crossroads in my life and trying to recapture my dope-induced image of the universe. Is it really true that all possibilities continue to exist, beyond the point of decision? Or is the universe like Schrödinger's cat, multiple potential outcomes collapsing into a single state as soon as one chooses to open the box? I'd like to believe that there's some way to get back to that point in time where my master and I took separate emotional paths, and strike off in a different direction. I'm not sure that I'd actually choose to return and walk that road not taken. Still, I'd like there to be, somehow, a chance.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Fierce passion or long-cherished dreams? #SteamyRomance #Nirvana #OppositesAttract @SadiraStone

Runaway Love Story cover

By Sadira Stone (Guest Blogger)

Until recently, I was one of those readers--literary snobs who look down their noses at romance for the usual stupid reasons: too corny, too predictable, too fluffy. Then I read a few online articles about how fun and lucrative writing erotica can be. I thought, what the heck? Let's try.

I have never had so much fun with a writing project! My first steamy romance, Through the Red Door, nearly wrote itself, though it damned sure didn't edit itself. I've totally immersed myself in the world of romance, gobbling books like popcorn, filling my ears with romance podcasts, and joining the Romance Writers of America. From skeptic to romance mega-fan in two short years, I’m totally addicted to passionate, heartfelt stories with happy endings.

Why set the series in a bookshop? Ever since I was a wee lass, I dreamed of owning one. Add to that my fascination with historical erotic art and literature, and you’ve got the Book Nirvana series, set in an indie bookshop with an extensive erotica collection behind a locked red door.

I love stories in which a couple’s powerful physical attraction leads them to consider a partner outside their usual M.O.—one who just might turn out to be their perfect match. That’s how it happened for my husband and me, and my romance fiction contains that element.

I sort of pulled the setting out of a hat. I wanted to set my series in a college town. I’d heard that Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, has a lively arts scene and a rich counterculture legacy from the hippie era. After much online research, correspondence, and hours on Google Earth, I finally made the trip. Eugene is even lovelier than I’d imagined. Kate Rock, a resident author, kindly shared her knowledge of the city’s history and the flavor of the different neighborhoods. I look forward to many return trips.


She hates average...he's as average as they come.

High school history teacher Doug Garvey is trying to enjoy his last few weeks of summer vacation, but receiving his final divorce decree hits him harder than expected. After a brief fling fizzles, he fears love just isn't in the cards for him. If only he could find someone who's real, someone interested in something beyond herself…maybe a new running partner who can keep up with his more carnal appetite. When sexy, straight-talking Laurel runs across his path, he dares to hope again.

He's done with social-climbing posers...she's ambitious and has big dreams.

Fired from an art gallery, Laurel Jepsen shelves her pursuit of an art career in San Francisco to help her beloved great aunt Maxie move into assisted living. While out on a morning run, she's harassed by a group of teens until a tall, broad-shouldered hottie steps in, pretending to be her boyfriend with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through, not looking for a relationship.

Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the forest—but falling in love would ruin everything. Laurel can't stay in Eugene, and he can't leave. Doug's only hope is to convince her the glittery life she's after could blind her to the opportunities already in her path.


He stepped closer, close enough to feel the heat rolling off his body.
A flush painted his cheekbones and his long, straight nose. Exercise, sunburn, or something more interesting?

The air between them vibrated with tingly energy. She focused on the floor, because looking into his face felt too dangerous.

He moved still closer, his toes nearly touching hers. “We’re good now?”

Her gaze slid up from his long, muscular calves, covered with blond fuzz, to his powerful thighs, to the impressive bulge between them, then up his slim torso, his muscular chest, his broad shoulders, until her gaze rested on his face.

His lids lowered, his lips parted. As if magnetized, her fingertips skimmed up his arm.

Stop. She dropped her hand. “We’re good. I’m sorry, Doug. I saw something between you two, and I jumped to the wrong conclusion.”

His smile blossomed slowly. “I’m glad that’s all cleared up.”

Not all, but it’s a start. Another thought, a crazy one. I could just kiss him, right here, right now. Get it over with, see what happens next.

Once that seed was planted, it was as if a giant electromagnet switched on, tugging them together. Its power hummed in her bones. Invisible sparks crackled between them. She slid a few inches closer.

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About the Author

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, belly dances, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at

I want to hear from you!

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Bound Hearts: Hot, heartfelt new #BDSM from @PebblesLacasse #Dominance #Submission #EroticRomance

Bound Hearts cover


The love between Coach and Rayna seems unshakable. The life they are building is better than either had dreamed possible.

Trusting him completely, she allows him to take her deeper into HIS world. Coach introduces her to the life he once lived, as Master Demon at the BDSM house, Fallen. Back then, he was free to set his Demon loose with masochistic women who craved his dominance.

While there, Coach insists she submit to him completely and without hesitation, but can she live up to his expectations, or is he asking more of her than she can give?

Rayna meets and forms a connection with one of his former submissives. Can Coach accept the blooming friendship between the two women, or will his tumultuous history cause problems?

Now that he’s testing the freedoms of Demon, can Coach and Rayna survive the blending of past and future lifestyles?

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Hardcore Excerpt

I fucking own you!” I hiss.

No, you don’t,” she hisses back. She’s really pushing her boundaries and I’m so madly in love with her because of it. This woman owns me, not the other way around, and she knows it.

We’ll see,” I growl through clenched teeth. My inner Demon is shadowboxing.

I pull her head forward, sliding my prick into her throat again, this time, she doesn’t gag, which I find to be disappointing. I hold her in place, humping my prick down her throat, again and again. I won’t stop until her tears are running down her cheeks taking her mascara with them. I will mess her make-up and not allow her to make herself presentable before we leave this room. She, along with everyone here, will know she is under my control.

When I pull her face back, the evidence of my punishment is evident with black tears dripping from her chin. She isn’t crying, it’s just a reaction from gagging. She can make me stop with just one word, Red.

If I keep making her suck my cock, I’ll definitely cum. I want to fuck her good and hard. I make her stand using the grip I have in her tangled hair. I spin her, so that my arm is at her waist and she’s bent over facing behind me, her waist held tightly against my hip. The grip I have on her waist is vicious. She cannot get away.

With her unable to stand straight up, I yank the hem of her dress up, exposing her lacy thong. I start swinging my arm, spanking her ass until she’s crying out and fighting to get away. Her ass is hot and red, swollen with my handprints covering both cheeks.

I grasp the thin material that runs between her ass cheeks and yank, lifting her feet off the ground, but the lace won’t give. I pull it to the side, that’ll do. My fingers reach between her folds, slipping in her wetness. Fuck, yes!

I shove two of my fingers into her drenched cunt and wave, rubbing her g-spot with a roughness that has her moaning within seconds. She isn’t fighting to get away anymore. Now she’s squirming and trying to hump my fingers, but my grip on her body is extensive.

Her pussy is tightening around my fingers. She’s going to cum. No, she won’t! I pull my fingers out just before she reaches orgasm. I resume cracking her ass, alternating from one hot cheek to the other. She’s fighting to get away again, panting and wailing, but not saying the word to make it stop.

I jam my fingers into her again, and fuck her hard, not giving her any mercy. It isn’t more than ten seconds before she’s ready to cum again. Just before she does, I stop again, removing my fingers and continuing with the punishing slaps. She’s fighting me and yelling.

Fuck you! Let me go! Fucking stop!”

Say the word if you want it to end,” I reply in a calm voice.

I ram my fingers back into her and bring her close, again. I repeat this action eight-more times, getting her so near to climax that her body begins to tighten and then stopping, to inflict more pain. She isn’t screaming from the pain anymore. Her moans are loud and deep, like a growl.

She’s learning what it is to lose herself on that fine line between pleasure and pain, blurring it to the point where you can’t tell the difference between the two. This is where I wanted to take her. She needs to experience this for herself, so she can fully understand why that woman would challenge her body in that way.

This time, I don’t pull my hand away. My fingers flail wildly inside her as her muscles tighten and cease to ease, holding her in a violent full-body spasm. Her cunt is gripping and pulling and pushing at my hand. A flood of hot cum sprays from her depths, coating my hand and splashing to the marble floor.

I am relentless, not stopping even when the grip she has on my fingers is so tight that I can hardly move them. Her body is quivering, twitching and jerking to get free, but I don’t allow it. My fingers don’t quit, continuing to invade her body with force until she erupts into a second raging orgasm that has her knees shaking to the point that they give out. I’m holding her up now, keeping the momentum going until she rides completely through her climax.

I stand her up and scoop her into my arms, dropping to one knee and sitting her on the other. Her head rests on my shoulder, her arms hang limply around my neck. She’s so weak and I know she’s trying to get the fogginess of the euphoria to fade away.

I’m sorry I had to punish you, but you needed to know your place. I wanted to prove to you that the threshold of pain can be pushed until the person can’t decipher between something hurting and something giving them absolute pleasure.”

Yes, I understand,” is all she manages to say.

I love you, Rayna,” I whisper, kissing her forehead tenderly.

About the Author

I typically write erotic romance novels with a bdsm genre. All of my tales contain love stories because I do enjoy a happy ending, or at least one that leaves it open for the reader to assume that they remain in love for the rest of their lives.

Many of my plots started out as dreams. When I wake from a one that really captures me, I write it down as quickly as possible so that I won’t forget what it was about. Needless to say, I have a lot of plots scribbled on loss sheets of paper. When I finish writing a book, I go through my notes to choose one of those scribbled notes start writing that tale.

Writing is a passion of mine. While my fingers are typing away, my mind is lost in the fantasy, playing out the characters actions as if I were watching a slow-playing movie. I always fall in love with every one of my characters, even the wicked ones, because each of them will become my close and personal friend while I’m writing their most intimate thoughts, building up their personalities and their histories, so the reader can understand what makes them tick.

I plan to create many, many more books in the future until most of my captivating dreams are recorded. Helping people to escape their everyday woes and into an imaginary existence, even if it’s only for a little while, makes the effort worthwhile to me.

Follow me, visit me, let me know what you think!

Special shout-out to my cover model Chris LaPointe. Here’s how to contact him for modelling opportunities: Instagram & Facebook

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Who’s on top? #BDSM #femdom #erotica

The Heart of the Deal teaser

If you survey my back list, you’ll get the definite – and correct – impression that I’m interested in power exchange. I prefer that term to the more succinct “BDSM” or “D/s”, because it better expresses the nature of my fascination. For me, the attraction of BDSM lies in the intimate and complementary connection between the dominant and the submissive. The submissive voluntarily surrenders power to the dominant, who explicitly accepts both that power and the concomitant responsibility for the sub’s welfare. This is the core transaction. Whatever happens afterward – spanking, bondage, fire play, needle play, sensory deprivation, as well as explicitly sexual activities – depends on this mutual trust.

You can have power exchange without traditional BDSM activities. If you can ask, “who’s on top?” and get a clear answer, you may have a power exchange situation going on, even if none of the familiar BDSM trappings are present.

I’ve labeled my most recent novel, The Heart of the Game, as “BDSM”. It is all about power, and the way it shifts among the characters. However, in many of the erotic scenes, there’s not a whip or handcuff to be found. Nevertheless, much of the excitement derives from the underlying power exchange.

Here’s an example, an exclusive excerpt not previously available online.


It hits me like a ten ton lorry when I get to my room. Desire: intensely physical, wet, hungry, messy, uncontrolled desire. I somehow managed to stifle it during my conversation with Rick, but now it pounces, threatening to tear me apart. Without ceremony, I thrust my hand into my soaked panties, frantically kneading my swollen clit. In fifteen seconds I’m panting on the bed, shivering in the aftermath of my climax.

Now that that is over with, I can think more clearly. My lust simmers rather than boils. I turn off all the lights in the room, and open the blinds.

Rick’s room is across from mine. I noticed this during his tour. His blinds are shut, but I can see his form silhouetted against them.

In the dark, I find my red satin nightgown and slip it over my head. The fabric slithers coolly over my still-heated flesh. It’s a simple garment; spaghetti straps, plunging neckline, and sides slit to the top of my thighs.

Next, I remove the light bulb from the lamp by the bed and throw it into the wastebasket.

Finally, taking a deep breath, I press the button labeled “4” on the intercom panel.

Raoul speaking. Can I help you?”

This is Ruby. Sorry to bother you, but my reading light seems to be missing a bulb.”

I’ll be there in a flash.”

For the next ninety seconds, I sit on the bed in the darkened room, watching my breath flow in and out, trying to calm my heart.

There’s a knock, and then a soft, Spanish-tinged voice. “Ruby?”

I stretch out on the bed, adjusting my position so that my hips swell provocatively under the crimson satin and the fabric parts to reveal my bare thigh. “Come in.”

Turquoise reflections from the swimming pool outside are the only illumination. Still, I know that Raoul can see well enough. There’s a sharp intake of breath as he takes in my attire and my posture. I pretend not to notice. “It’s that lamp, there on the night table.”

He leans over to fumble with the fixture. His naked forearm, furred with fine black hair, is inches from me. I catch a whiff of his sweat as I prop myself up on one arm, as if to supervise. I am beginning to enjoy myself.

My strap slips off my left shoulder. My left breast tumbles halfway into view. The handyman pretends to occupy himself with his task, screwing in the new bulb with exaggerated care. I can hear his accelerated breathing. I fancy I can hear his heart beating faster because of my proximity.

Finally he switches on the lamp. Warm light spills over the bed. “There you go,” he says, beginning to straighten. My hand on his arm stops him. He looks at me, hardly daring to believe what he reads in my face. Desire, and willingness. I run my fingers lightly down his forearm, just brushing the fur, sensing the muscles shifting under his skin. When my fingers find his, I grasp his hand, and slowly bring it to cover my exposed breast.

He gasps, but takes advantage of the situation, cupping my warm flesh in his palm, lightly squeezing the nipple. “Thank you, Raoul,” I whisper. “I appreciate your prompt service.”

His confused lust arouses me. Nothing turns me on like a helpless, horny man. Sitting up, I slip off both straps and let the shimmering fabric slide down to my waist. He picks up his cue and begins to symmetrically massage my other breast. He is skilled, his touch at once firm and gentle. When he addresses himself to my swollen nipples, he twists them just the way I enjoy. I purr softly as his caresses awaken echoes in my sex.

Lovely,” I sigh. Reaching out a finger, I run it along the length of his fly, testing the hardness beneath. “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable if you took those off?”

Whatever you say,” he replies with a smile. Standing back, he strips his shirt over his head in one smooth motion, then pulls down the stressed zipper. Under his slacks, he wears black silk boxers. He pauses, giving me a moment to appreciate his magnificent physique. Then he pulls down the shorts, letting them drift to the floor and revealing an impressive erection.

Come closer,” I encourage. When he does, I take his cock in both hands and begin to play. I stroke him, knead him, trace his veins with the barest touch of my fingertip. He moans. I cup his balls in my palm and give them an exploratory squeeze. He shudders in delight.

Feel good?” I squeeze harder, at the same time pinching the fleshy bulb between forefinger and thumb. His groaning is answer enough.

He’s letting me do whatever I want, and that makes me hotter than ever. I release him, stand and walk over to the chair near the window. He’s about to follow, but I stop him with a glance. “No, you stay there. For now.”

Settling in the chair, I begin to fondle myself through the nightgown. He strokes himself as he watches. My familiar fingers feel strange and wonderful shrouded in satin. The fabric slithers over my folds, smoother than the smoothest skin. At first, I am delicate, letting the lovely stuff whisper between my legs. Soon, though, I need more. I’m rougher and raunchier, digging both hands into my aching cleft. A dark stain of wetness spreads from my center, until my whole lap is soaked.

Raoul’s eyes are riveted on the damp fabric, enticed by what he knows lies underneath. His nostrils flare as my musk fills the room. His cock, encircled by his busy fingers, strains rigidly toward the ceiling. His sensuous lips are curved in a half-smile.

He’s lovely and masculine, and right now, I know he’s mine to command. He’ll do whatever I ask. I rise, reach for the hem of my garment and pull it over my head. He licks those full lips at the sight of me—dark thatch, ivory thighs, glistening cunt-lips as crimson as my gown.

Sound interesting? You can buy The Heart of the Deal at all your favorite bookstores.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Writing in an established fictional world - @Luanna_Stewart #beachread #DeerbourneInn #friendstolovers

Love Proof cover

By Luanna Stewart (Guest Blogger)

Love Proof, my new release, is part of a series created by my publisher, set in a fictional town in Vermont, and centred on the historic Deerbourne Inn. At twelve books and counting in the series, there is something for everyone no matter which subgenre of romance you enjoy reading.

In no particular order, here are five things I learned while writing this book:

Writing in a series established by someone else was fun! The grunt work of creating the setting and describing the location was done, and the town map was drawn. Even the streets were named. As someone who struggles with naming things, this was a huge benefit. Also, a core group of town-folk existed and were busily running around town going about their various businesses. And those businesses were named, too – oh, joy!

Writing in an established series was hard! I wasn’t in charge of the setting or most of the secondary characters. I had to make sure my storyline wouldn’t interfere with another author’s ideas. And if I wanted to use one of the established secondary characters in my story, I had to make sure my idea fit with the character development already in place in the series “bible” (an outline of the town’s history, brief descriptions of the core characters, etc.).

Collaborating with the other authors in the series was fun! I enjoyed bouncing story and character ideas around with other writers. And I learned how to work with other writers’ stories – their plots and characters. I’ve collaborated before but the thing that connected those other books was a talisman, and even that was open to interpretation by the individual authors. Writing Love Proof worked writing muscles I didn’t know I had.

Writing a shorter book was a challenge. But I’ve done it previously, four times in fact, and so I knew it was possible. The key is to understand the limitations placed on the book by the lack of page space. With only 150 pages, give or take, crafting a sweeping saga would by impossible. Even writing a story that stretched over several months would be too much of a challenge for this writer. An added bonus of a story with a short time span is the inherent “deadline”. A ticking clock is helpful for moving the story along and can be used in more than a suspense or a thriller. “Can she save the ranch before the wrecking ball arrives?” “Can he win her heart before she’s deployed next month?” Or in the case of my story, “Can she bake 300 cupcakes in time for the town’s garden party in two weeks, while also resisting her attraction to the handsome man from her past?”.

Writing a shorter book was freeing because there wasn’t room on the page for a lot of extras. In my case, all I had room for was a hero, a heroine, their internal and external conflicts, and a few extra characters. No big secondary plot allowed. The constraints of a short time spent in the story world was liberating as well. I used a page from an old wall calendar, noted the day my hero, Raynor, arrived in town, and the day of the mad River Garden Party, and that was my story’s time frame. All the good stuff, the bad stuff, and then the good stuff, had to happen within those days.

Do you enjoy reading shorter books? If so, what do you find most appealing?


Unemployed photojournalist Raynor Elliot stops at a bakery near the famous Deerbourne Inn. Not only does he get a lead on a job but the bakery’s owner is that awkward kid he knew in high school, only now she has fabulous curves and an irreverent sense of humor. The cozy bakery, with its aroma of sugar, vanilla and spice, has more to offer than tasty cookies.

Fiona MacLeod has been plagued for years by the need to make amends for telling The Big Lie. When the lie’s victim strolls into her bakery with his icy blue stare and killer charm, she feels like she’s standing too close to a hot oven.

Between running her bakery and frosting cupcakes for the Mad River Garden Party, she's pretty sure she's falling in love with this infuriating, sexy man. Can Fiona dredge up the courage to confess, face the consequences, and hope for forgiveness?


I remember those days.” She pushed the calculator to the side, too tired to worry about planning the week’s baking schedule. “Why’d you study journalism?

Truth is important to me. I was tired of all the lies in government, at every level. I wanted to change that. Ultimately make the world a better place. Easy peasy, right?” His lips quirked and he shook his head.

That’s why I decided to be a baker. Brighten someone’s day with a special treat.”

He scooted his chair closer and pointed at the column of numbers on the page. “You want me to do the rest?” His arm, bare to the bicep, lightly tanned, dusted with blond hair, a little lighter than on his head, rested less than an inch from her own spindly pale arm. Not spindly compared to other women, hefting bags of flour and moving trays of baked goods did take some muscle power. But spindly compared to his manly toned muscles flexing under skin that she’d bet her last jar of sprinkles was smooth and warm. She clenched her hand.

No touching allowed.

We have cupcakes to frost.” She bounded from the chair and rushed into the kitchen.

Holy moly, the guy oozed sex. In a good way. A very good way. She pulled a clean apron off the shelf and cinched it around her waist. An extra layer of armor between her and temptation in the form of Raynor. The seeker of truth. The man whose mission in life was to expose lies. The reporter who thought liars were not decent human beings.

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About the Author

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. At the tender age of twelve she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, after which all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna spends her days writing sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s either in her kitchen baking something delicious, or protecting her garden from the chickens. She lives in Nova Scotia with her incredibly patient husband and two spoiled cats.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Heart Strings - #friends #connections #expatriate

 Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

As many of you may already know, I’m an expatriate. Although I am originally from the U.S., I’ve lived in Southeast Asia (I’d rather not say which country) for more than a decade.

For the most part, I love my adopted home. My DH and I have a far better quality of life than we could ever afford back in America. I have work that inspires and challenges me. My apartment, located in the heart of the metropolis so we don’t need a car, is roughly the size of the house we sold when we moved here and has a garden, exercise room and small swimming pool. I feel a kinship with the people around me, who value friendship, family, good food, good times and a peaceful frame of mind more than money or power. Asia is incredibly dynamic, changing and growing while the Western world seems to be sinking into grumpy lethargy. By moving here, I have at least partially escaped a government that’s totally without compassion and a society where senseless mass murder with automatic weapons has become commonplace.

There’s one drawback to my situation, though. I’m half a world away from many of the people I love. While I’ve been here, I’ve lost both my parents. Because of the distance and the cost, I couldn’t attend their funerals (though I did manage to spend time with each of them not long before they died). I’ve still got a brother and sister in the States, plus an elderly aunt and a passel of cousins. Then there are my friends, including a handful I’ve known for three or four decades.

I miss all these folks. Email, Skype, Facebook and relatively cheap international phone rates allow me to keep in touch to some extent, but years can go by before we get the chance to meet face to face.

Sometimes I ache for the sound of their voices (unfiltered by electronics) or the touch of their hands. All in all, though, our separations don’t bother me as much as they might. Despite the distance – even when we don’t communicate for weeks or months – I feel connected to my dear ones.

Every morning I spend ten or fifteen minutes in what I will loosely call meditation, trying to center myself before facing the events of the day. Part of this discipline includes calling people to mind and sending them blessings – holding them in the light, as the Quakers say. I sometimes refer to these individuals as being on my prayer list, but that’s not exactly right. What I’m doing is affirming and strengthening the psychic and emotional bonds between us. In my mind and heart, I draw them close and surround them with my love. I know this sounds like New Age mystical crap, but the ritual soothes the pain of being apart, for me. Meanwhile, I believe my positive thoughts do have a beneficial effect on the ones to whom they are directed.

Because of this practice, I feel myself enmeshed in a web of invisible connections, a tangle of heart strings. Love flows like electricity along those links. I think of my beloved family, friends and colleagues, and I glow.

My connections with my author friends are surprisingly strong. Yes, you’re on my morning list. I’ve known many of you for years. I’ve even met some of you. Those physical encounters are not what binds us, though. I know you, know your hearts and souls, through your writing.

I sometimes fantasize about throwing a party for my beloved erotic author colleagues, where we could all get together, drink a glass of wine or two, and talk, instead of having to write everything down. The geographic realities dictate an infinitesimal probability that this will ever occur. You’re all invited to Southeast Asia, of course. If you can handle a twenty hour plane flight...

Still, I’m not sure that meeting you in the flesh would make much difference in how I feel about you. We are and always will be connected, by our mutual love of the written word, our curiosity about the human condition, our fascination with desire. In some sense, you are as much my brothers and sisters as my siblings back in the country I no longer call home.