Welcome to the Halloween edition of Charity Sunday! No tricks today, only treats.
Today I’m highlighting one of my favorite charities, Room To Read. They are an international organization focused on education in the broadest sense – not just literacy, but also life skills such as self-confidence, self-discipline, critical thinking and effective communication. Room To Read aims to create life-long learners. It supports projects around the world, at both elementary and secondary school levels, focusing especially on the needs of girls and young women, who in many countries have reduced educational opportunities. Many research studies have shown that better education for women is strongly associated with better overall economic conditions in the country as a whole.
I’ve been donating to Room to Read for several years now, but just noticed this slogan:
I think it captures a great truth. Education not only opens doors for individuals, it also benefits society as a whole.
Anyway, I will donate two dollars to Room to Read for every comment I receive on this post. Meanwhile, since this is Halloween, I have an exciting paranormal excerpt, set on All Hallow’s Eve, from my Faust-inspired erotic romance Damned If You Do. AND I will give away a copy of this sexy and entertaining novella to one lucky person who leaves a comment.
Sometimes romance can be hell
Wendy Dennison is tired of being a starving author. The royalties from her critically acclaimed romance novels barely pay her bills. Her devoted agent Daniel Rochester may be smart and sexy, but he can't get her the sales she needs. Then a charismatic stranger appears at her coffee shop table, promising her fame and commercial success, as well as the chance to live out her dreams of erotic submission. But at what cost?
Nothing you can't afford to lose, my dear.
Seduced by the enigmatic Mister B, she signs his infernal contract. He becomes both her Master and her coach, managing her suddenly flourishing career as well as encouraging her lusts. Under her mentor’s nefarious influence, she surrenders to temptation and has sex with Daniel. The casual encounter turns serious when she discovers her mild mannered agent has a dominant side. As the clock ticks down to her blockbuster release and Mister B prepares to claim her soul, Wendy must choose either celebrity and wealth, or obscurity and true love.
Excerpt (Rated R)
It’s Halloween, and Wendy is in New York City, at the lavish release party her publisher has organized for her sensational, taboo-busting erotic romance Cherished Chains. She should be more pleased...
Buzzing voices rose and fell around her, punctuated with occasional laughter. The rest of the guests seemed a million miles away. “I’ve got to get some air,” she said to nobody in particular. Swaying a bit, from intoxication or maybe just weariness, she made her way to the sliding doors that led to the balcony.
As the insulated glass shut tight behind her, the voices died away. Up here on the thirty sixth floor, traffic noise wasn’t really audible either. It was quiet as the proverbial grave. Wendy felt a vague sense of relief.
A humid breeze stirred her hair, carrying a faint tidal scent from the harbor. The weather was unseasonably warm; even with bare arms she wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. She leaned against the railing, gazing out over the glittering skyscrapers of the greatest city on earth. They looked close enough to touch.
She’d finally arrived. She’d reached the pinnacle of success she’d craved for so long. The book had sold a quarter of a million copies on its very first day. One guest this evening had showed her a photo he’d taken earlier that day. The line outside Barnes and Noble stretched around the block—all her fans waiting for the store to open. In the next weeks and months, there’d be records broken, movie deals, awards and franchises. Gwen Diamante would be a household name.
It was everything she’d fantasized about, and more.
So why did she feel so empty?
I’m just tired, she told herself. Too many appearances. Too many photos. I’m a writer, not a rock star. I need to get home and get back to work.
With all her public relations responsibilities, she was behind schedule on Utterly Owned. She needed a solid two weeks, without distractions, to get back on track. She couldn’t afford to let up the pressure.
Wendy knew how the publishing business worked. Now that she’d proved her value, Harbison Frost would push her harder. For the next book, they’d expect half a million copies on Day 1. Her readers would demand more, too.
All at once, she felt so exhausted she could barely stand. Weak and sick, she closed her eyes and leaned against the waist-high, brushed steel rail that separated her from the abyss beyond
“Gwen, my dear! What are you doing out here?”
Mister B didn’t come from inside. She would have heard the party noise as he opened the door. He simply appeared beside her, as he had that first day in the coffee shop.
He wore a tuxedo with a purple brocade cummerbund, and shiny black shoes with pointed toes. His tourmaline eyes gleamed in the semi-darkness. When he strode closer to settle an arm around her shoulders, his movements had a taut, ferocious energy, like the tread of a panther. Despite her tiredness, arousal flickered through her, curling into a glowing knot in her pelvis.
“Too many people in there,” she replied, extricating herself from his companionable embrace. “And I’ve drunk too much as well. I wish I were at home, away from all this.”
“I’m afraid I can’t grant you that wish, not tonight. We have business to attend to—as I’m quite certain you recall.” His chuckle sent a chill down her spine. “You wanted fame, my dear. This sort of public performance is part of the price. However, I should think you’d find some consolation in your bank balance."
He stepped behind her, slipped his arms around her waist, and pulled her buttocks toward his lean hips. He was hard. He was always hard. Wendy cursed her traitorous body as excitement flooded her pussy. She was like Pavlov’s dog, salivating in response to a meaningless stimulus.
He rubbed his erection against her satin-sheathed buttocks. She struggled not to squirm. Honestly, she didn’t want to encourage him. But then, what she wanted hardly mattered.
“So tonight…you’re going to take my soul?” she murmured as he sucked and nipped at the tender skin of her neck, just above his diamond-studded gift.
“Don’t think about that part, my sweet. Focus on the pleasure.” One of his hands crept up to cradle her breast. The other raised her skirt. He hooked the elastic of her lacy panties and dragged them down to bare her rear cheeks
“No, don’t…” She struggled in his clutches as he exposed her. “Please, not here!” A finger slid down her rear crevice and tickled her sphincter. “No—wait…!”
“I’m going to consummate our agreement in the most appropriate manner, my dear. With my cock splitting your tight ass."
“No!” Somehow she found the strength to wrench herself from his grip. She backed away, into the corner where the rail made a right angle. “Get away from me!”
Mister B put his hands on his hips and shook his head, his expression one of wounded disbelief. “I’m surprised at you. After all we’ve been through together, you reject me? Do you really want to give it all up? The adoring fans? The five star reviews? The fat advances and the hefty royalties?”
“Um…no, no, that’s not what I’m saying…” Panic swept through her. To lose everything she’d worked for? Unthinkable. At the same time, she couldn’t bear to have him touch her.
“Make up your mind, Gwen.” With each step he took in her direction, he seemed to grow taller. “It’s almost midnight.”
She cowered against the balustrade as he came closer, her mind whirling with contradictory desires. Alcohol, fear, and lust combined to muddle her thoughts.
Now he loomed over her, his teeth bared, his face a horrible, leering mask. A whiff of sulfur burned her nostrils. “Don’t resist me, woman. Give me your body. Give me your soul!”
He reached for her with taloned fingers. She stumbled, tripped by the panties he’d pulled halfway down her thighs, and fell against the pane of glass that extended from the railing to the balcony floor. Impossibly, the glass shattered into a million shards. All at once she was teetering on the edge, her frantic grip on the cold steel the only thing keeping her from an endless, deadly fall.
“Get back!” she screamed. “If you touch me, I’ll jump!”
He released a chilling laugh. A sudden, frigid wind whipped her hair into her eyes and numbed her fingers. “That will work, too. Suicides are automatically mine.”
“Leave me alone! Please…”
“You can send me away. All you have to do is say the words. But you won’t. I know you won’t. Because in fact, Gwen, you’ve already relinquished your soul.”
The wind howled in her ears. She scarcely heard it. An awful quiet crept over her. She realized, all at once, that he’d spoken the truth. In her single-minded pursuit of fame, she’d willingly jettisoned her friends and neglected her family. Blinded by the sparkle of wealth, she’d bulldozed over everything and everyone that blocked her path. She’d chosen commercial success over art, manipulation over sincerity, shallow pleasure over love. She’d become, as Daniel had accused, a cold bitch who cared about nothing but herself.
No wonder she felt so empty.
Let go. She knew that voice, insinuating itself into her thoughts, soft and persuasive. It will be easy. Just release the rail and it will all go away.
So tempting. So rational. Erase the guilt by erasing her morally bankrupt self.
The air stilled and grew warm again, more like April than October. The melancholy wail of a siren reached her from far, far below. It called to her.
Think how your fans will mourn you. Posthumous sales will push you way past E.L.James…
“Wendy! Hold on!”
Someone called out, someone she’d known long ago…it took several breaths for her to recognize it as Daniel.
She opened her eyes, blinking away tears caused by the wind. Her agent stood framed in the penthouse doorway. The brightness behind him made it difficult to see his expression, but she heard the terror and concern in his voice.
“Go away, little man!” Mister B flicked his long fingers in Daniel’s direction.
Wendy half-expected her friend to vanish. Instead he stepped onto the balcony, pushed his way past the hulking demon, and rushed in her direction. He clamped his hands around her waist and dragged her back from the edge, onto the glass-strewn floor. “Are you hurt, love?” He smoothed her hair away from her eyes and cupped her cheek, then scanned her body. No doubt he noticed the underwear tangled around her legs and the livid hickey below her ear. “Did he hurt you?”
“Get away from her!” Mister B grabbed Dan by the collar and tossed him into the opposite corner as though he weighed nothing. “She belongs to me!”
Dan’s body slammed into the barrier across from her. The glass groaned with the force of the impact, but did not break. He slumped against the wall in a motionless heap.
“Dan!” she screamed, struggling to her feet and heading toward her agent’s inert form. “Daniel—Sir! My love…”
Mister B blocked her path. He’d resumed his well-groomed, non-threatening human form. “Forget about him, my dear. He’s a mediocre wimp, not the master you need.” He consulted his Rolex. “In any case, it’s midnight. You are mine, now—mine for all eternity.”
Buy Links (Ebook)
Kinky Literature: http://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/713-damned-if-you-do/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727RZ39B/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0727RZ39B/
Buy Links (Audio)
Narrated by Audrey Lusk
Don't forget to leave a comment! And please do visit the other authors participating in today's Charity Sunday event.