Sunday, July 31, 2022

Completely and absolutely deceased -- #LGBTQIA #Mystery #Romance #Giveaway @LMSomerton

The Poison Bottle cover

About the Book

There’s no antidote to the malignant craving for power and wealth.

Landry Carran should know better than to get involved in yet another murder mystery, but it was hardly his fault that someone dumped a dead body on the doorstep of Treasure Trove Antiques. He can’t resist recruiting his friends to help him play detective.

Meanwhile, Landry’s partner and Dom, Gage Roskam, is doing real detective work that proves hazardous to his health and brings with it the assistance of an annoying Englishman who Gage believes should be behind bars.

The case twists and turns across Seattle’s antique trade, and the bodies multiply. As clues are solved, it becomes apparent that those closest to Gage are in grave danger. He’ll need to control his errant sub, deal with the most irritating Brit ever born and solve the case if he wants to prevent more death.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, abduction and murder.


Bopping and humming as he went, Landry unlocked the door between the building’s stairwell and the store. As he entered the cavernous space, piled high with antiques and collectables, he took a deep breath. The familiar scent of beeswax polish, old wood and leather always settled him and put him in the right frame of mind for a day at work. He moved around the store, turning on an eclectic mix of lighting—mainly old lamps that were for sale because his boss, Mr. Lao, insisted that they were more attractive to potential buyers when lit. Of course that meant that whenever they sold one, a corner of the store would be in the dark until Mr. Lao obtained a new one to replace it, but Landry didn’t mind because part of Treasure Trove Antiques’ charm was its nooks and crannies. He knew the stock inside and out but loved seeing the wonder on customers’ faces when they spotted something unique or unusual hidden behind an aging armoire or balancing on top of a bookcase stuffed with rare tomes. He glanced around, checking that all was as he’d left it the previous evening. Everything was as it should be. Not that there was any reason for him to think otherwise, but there had been an incident with a mouse once when somehow, the tiny rodent had set up home in a basket of vintage tablecloths and had nibbled a hole through two of them before he was spotted. It had taken a humane trap and enough peanut butter to feed a raccoon, let alone a mouse, to catch the beast, so Landry was constantly on the lookout for any sign of critters in the store.

He grabbed the long pole he needed to lift the security shutter into place then went back into the hall. He left the building then crossed the yard to the alley gate. After his usual fight with the padlock, he rounded the corner of the building to the street. His friend Prisha, whose dad owned the Eastern Emporium opposite Treasure Trove, was outside brushing down the sidewalk with hot soapy water. Landry gave her a wave before jogging across the road.

Hey, Prisha, what’s going down?”

What came up, more like.” She grimaced. “Somebody deposited the contents of their stomach on the sidewalk last night. So gross.”

Landry wrinkled his nose. “Better you than me, especially first thing in the morning.”

Hey, if you want to do a girl a favor, I’d be happy to hand over the broom.”

No can do.” Landry grinned. “Petey’s at the dentist so I have to open on my own this morning. Gotta go before hordes of voracious customers start beating on the security shutter.”

Yeah, I can see where they’re lining up around the block.” Prisha went back to brushing. “I’ll come over on my break later. You can buy me a coffee.”

Deal. Have a good morning.” Landry skipped back across the street, managing not to trip over his pole. He had less trouble opening the security shutter than closing it because he didn’t have to get the hook on the end of his pole through the tiny D-ring that allowed him to draw it down. It was way above his head and like trying to thread a needle while standing on the deck of a pitching boat. Opening up just meant using the pole to push the shutter back into place once he’d released the padlock that locked it to a concealed ring in the sidewalk. A padlock that was no longer in place.

Landry frowned. He distinctly remembered snapping it shut the night before because he’d scraped a knuckle doing it. “Fuckety-fuck. What the heck is going on?”

There was no sign of vandalism or any other damage to the shutter. Landry shrugged, slipped the pole into place then pushed. The shutter rolled up of its own accord, only needing a shove for the last couple of feet. Landry unhooked the pole then gaped. In the recessed store doorway was a person, huddled in a ball, facing away from him.

What on earth…? Hey, padlock thief, you can’t stay there.” He groped in his pocket for a few dollars. “Go get yourself some breakfast.”

Whoever it was didn’t move. With a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, Landry propped his pole against the store window then leaned over his visitor. He touched his shoulder, gave it a little shake and the man rolled toward him.

Holy fuck!” He was dead. Completely and absolutely deceased. Blood stained the front of the beige trench coat he wore. There was a blue tinge to his skin and his eyes were open, staring.

Landry danced back a few steps as he stared at the corpse. “No, no, no… This is not good for business. I mean, poor guy, but why my shop doorway?” His cell was inside so he turned and waved frantically at Prisha who dropped her broom before running across the street. “Call 911! I found a body.”

Prisha, who was always good in a crisis, did a quick turn and rocketed into the Eastern Emporium. She was soon back with her dad at her side.

The cops are on their way,” she said, putting an arm around Landry’s now shaking shoulders. “You should call Gage. Here, use this.” She handed over her cell, but Landry’s hands were trembling too much to punch in the number. Prisha grabbed it back. “Tell me the number. I’ll call him for you.”

Landry reeled it off without thinking. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the dead body and his bloodstained clothing.

Gage, it’s Prisha. I’m here with Landry and… Yes, he’s fine but the dead guy he just found behind the security shutter isn’t looking so good.”

What?” Landry heard Gage’s yell even from where he was standing. He took the cell back.

Can you come home, Sir?” Landry used the honorific without thinking, defaulting to his role as Gage’s submissive rather than his boyfriend in his stressed state. “There’s a b-b-b…body. A real-life body, I mean it’s a dead body but it’s real. An actual genuine, honest to God, not breathing, corpse. And it’s in the shop porch blocking the door and there’s blood. Gage, why is there a dead person in my shop doorway?” Tears welled in Landry’s eyes and he sniffled.

I’m not really in a position to answer that question yet, love. Stay put. Sancha and I are on our way. Who’s there with you?”

Petey’s at the dentist and Mr. Lao isn’t here but Prisha and her dad have come over.”

Stay with them. I mean it, Landry. You are not to go anywhere on your own.”

Not going anywhere,” Landry mumbled as Gage ended the call. “How can I go anywhere when there are dead people?”

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The Poison Bottle by LM Somerton

Book 3 in the Treasure Trove Antiques series -

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About the Author

L.M. Somerton -

Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

You can follow Lucinda on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

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Saturday, July 30, 2022

Charity Sunday for Reproductive Health – #PlannedParenthood #AbortionRights #CharitySunday

Charity Sunday 2022 banner

Greetings, and welcome to another Charity Sunday blog hop. This month, I’m supporting Planned Parenthood. I probably don’t need to tell you why, especially if you live in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court has unilaterally deprived tens of millions of women of the right to make decisions about their own bodies. I honestly didn’t believe this would happen; I’m still in shock and denial.

But I’d be supporting Planned Parenthood even if the court hadn’t managed to throw us all back to the dark ages. Despite its reputation with the anti-abortion movement, the organization’s mandate and services are far broader than just helping women terminate unwanted pregnancies. Contraceptive and reproductive education, pre- and post-natal health care, HIV testing and counseling, STD testing and care – the range of services offered by Planned Parenthood goes far beyond abortion. Planned Parenthood is about sexual and reproductive health – including men’s sexual health.

Anyway, I’ll donate two dollars to Planned Parenthood for every comment I receive on this post.

To fit with my charity, I wanted to share an excerpt involving children. In fact very few of my books or stories include kids, but here’s a snippet from “Late Show”. This piece was originally published in Best Lesbian Erotica 2015, edited by Laura Antoniou. It’s now included as a bonus story with my lesbian fantasy The Witches of Gloucester


Haley's back.”

Suzy might as well have stuck my finger in an electric socket. I forced myself to breathe.


JJ sensed my sudden shock. I loosened my death grip on his pajama top.

It's okay, hon. Now the bottoms...” Wiping my sweaty palms on my skirt, I helped my son wriggle into the loose cotton garment.

You sure?” I flung the deliberately casual question over my shoulder at my friend, amazed that my voice didn't shake.

Saw her at Kroger, buying a six pack. Same old Haley.”

Yeah, I guess.” How did she look, I wanted to ask. Does she still have that swagger, as if she owned the world and just let the rest of us live here? Did you talk to her?

Did she mention me?

I changed the subject instead. “Thanks so much for helping me out, Suze. I owe you.” Normally Jack's mother took care of JJ when I had night shifts, but she had her bridge club on Saturdays, so I had to adapt.

No problem. We'll have a great time, won't we, JJ? Want to watch 'Shrek' again?”

The boy let out a whoop and streaked into the living room. Suzy grinned. “Wish I had a five year old's energy!”

I gave her a hug. “We're not cheerleaders anymore, but we're doing okay.” After checking my makeup, perhaps a bit more critically than usual, I stuck my phone in my skirt pocket and headed for the door. On the way out I ruffled JJ's straw-blond curls. “Bedtime no later than seven thirty, young man.”

Okay, mama.” He was already fiddling with the video remote.

I should be back by midnight, if not before.”

Have a good evening.” Suzy plumped herself down onto the couch next to JJ. “Eat some popcorn for me. I'm still on that diet.”

Come on, you know I can't stand the stuff! After four years working for Mr. Parsons...

Just pulling your leg, girl. See you later.”

The sun was just sinking behind Broad Hill. There was plenty of time to walk. I often did, except in winter, since the theater was barely a mile from the little house I'd rented after Jack left. The twenty minute stroll gave me a chance to clear my mind, to recover from the constant bombardment of my darling son's requests and needs.

Tonight, though, my thoughts spun like the Tilt-a-Whirl at the county fair.

Haley. Oh God help me. Just hearing her name was enough to open the floodgates of memory. Haley in loose shorts and a tight top, brandishing her field hockey stick like a weapon as she sprinted across the athletic field. Haley lounging in the swing on my dad's front porch, with a cigarette dangling from her tempting lips and a challenge in her hazel eyes. Haley in the dark—silky skin over solid muscle, nimble and knowing fingers, brazen tongue, voice like warm honey pouring into my innocent ears.

Heat captured during the long July day shimmered up from sidewalks. I couldn't blame the season, though, for the wetness under my arms and between my legs. My pulse hammered in my temples. I wished I'd worn a heavier blouse, one that would better conceal my shamefully swollen nipples.

Remembering Haley always had this effect on me. I tried not to do it too often.

Get hold of yourself, girl. You can't go to work like this.

* * * *

Please – take a minute and leave me a comment. Then, if you have a minute more, go visit the other authors participating in this month’s Charity Sunday. Every one of them has a great cause.

If you have trouble opening Dee S. Knight's link, use this one:

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Is it ever too late to come home? #ContemporaryRomance #WesternRomance #Giveaway @mariaimbalzano

Return to Wylder cover


The untimely death of EJ Hampton’s father kills her dream of practicing law with him in her hometown of Wylder. Heartbroken, she now has two weeks to organize the practice for sale. When she meets her father’s millionaire client Dylan Addison, he is demanding and entitled—yet his charisma captivates her.

Dylan is under pressure to renovate the Wylder Hotel before his father pulls the plug on his project. He needs EJ’s expertise, but she is bent on returning to her life in San Francisco despite the fireworks between them.

EJ walks a tightrope trying to balance Dylan’s needs against her own, but doing so is far more complicated when emotions get in the way.


I want to introduce you to Dylan Addison. He bought the Wylder Hotel and is going to renovate it. Dylan, this is Chad Wilson, the owner of this establishment.”

I shook Chad’s hand as the man studied me.

I heard that a bigwig from Chicago bought the hotel. Are you going to turn it into some glitzy, hoitytoity resort?” Disdain darkened his face.

So that was the fear. “No, not at all. I’m simply giving it a little facelift since it’s slightly out of date.” More than slightly, but I didn’t want to set Chad off with any negativity.

I hoped the bartender slash owner would return to his station, but EJ continued to engage with him.

Remember how nice the hotel was when we were growing up? The senior prom was held there for years. Dylan plans to bring it back to its former glory. In addition to bringing more tourists to our area, it will be nice to have a big party space in town again, don’t you think? As well as another restaurant option for breakfast and lunch.”

I hope it doesn’t interfere with business here,” he groused.

She soothed his feathers. “This place has a huge clientele and a great following. The hotel restaurant will cater more to tourists and business people. There’s nothing to worry about, Chad.” She gifted him with a smile that I would have much preferred she direct at me, but she was clearly trying to help me out with one of the local business owners.

I joined my cause. “EJ told me this is the place to come for the best burgers in town.”

Yep. It’s also the top karaoke venue. Stick around. It starts at eight tonight.” Chad clapped me on the back, not exactly a friendly move. “I’ll put in your order for two burgers.”

Without asking for our specific requests, he sauntered back to the bar and got busy.

I let out the breath I hadn’t known I was holding. “I’m not sure I made a friend.”

About the Author

Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states. Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters. For more information about her books, please visit her website at where you can also sign up for her newsletter.

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Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Join us for Charity Sunday, 31 July 2022! #CharitySundaySignup #Altruism #Marketing

Summer Scene

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Next Sunday, the 31st of July, I’ll be hosting this month’s Charity Sunday blog hop!

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

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

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

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

If you’d like to participate in the next Charity Sunday
on July 31st, just sign up using the Linky List below. Please be sure that the link you enter will lead directly to your Charity Sunday post, not just to the home page of your blog.

For more detailed instructions, go here:

You can get my
new 2022 Charity Sunday banner from here.

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

Monday, July 25, 2022

Review Tuesday: The Hunt God's Hound by A T Lander -- #Preorder #MMRomance #Mythology #ReviewTuesday

The Hunt God's Hound cover

The Hunt God’s Hound
by A T Lander

Pride Publishing, 2022

Irish goatherd Conall mac Cormac harbors no illusions about himself or his destiny. He knows what he’s good at – drinking, gambling and blow jobs – and doesn’t waste his time on dreams of a more adventurous or illustrious life. Pretensions to heroism were responsible for his father’s early demise and Conall has no interest in following in his parents’ footsteps. He doesn’t trust love, either, and tells himself he doesn’t need it, as long as he can get plenty of sex. That at least, has never been a problem.

Fate takes no notice of our plans, though. When a demon sorcerer slaughters Conall’s goats, he spares Conall’s life in an instant of cruel humor. Instead, the Fomori monster curses the cynical goatherd into the form of a female wolfhound who, in a caricature of Conall’s lusty nature, is in desperate heat.

It seems Conall is doomed to a miserable life as a dumb beast. Then he encounters Arlen, the Hunter of the Thousand Spears, a lord of the mystical Tuatha de Danann race who inhabited Eire before the coming of men. Arlen is hunting the same demon who’s responsible for Conall’s predicament, seeking vengeance for the murder of his hounds and the theft of a priceless, powerful brooch. He saves Conall’s life, bends the curse so that the goatherd can wear human form at night, and teaches him to use his canine senses to track the demon.

As the hunter and his hound close in on their enemy, they also grow closer to one another. Conall is devoted to his beautiful, brave demi-god master; Arlen cherishes his clever, sensual human companion. In the final, terrible battle against the vicious and wily sorcerer, though, they risk losing everything, including their unlikely love.

After two books based on classical Greek and Roman legends, AT Lander has set the third volume of her Gods and Men series in a totally different mythic realm. I know far less about Irish lore than I do about the beings of Olympus, which made The Hunt God’s Hound feel fresh, original and challenging.

Giving Conall the form of a female hound was a brilliant, gender-bending twist, emphasizing the receptive aspects of his nature. I also found the descriptions of his sensory experience when he’s in his animal form fascinating and vivid.

There’s a good deal less sex in this third volume than in the first or second, but the scene in which Arlen finally claims Conall is exquisitely intense and arousing. An author has to listen to her characters. Arlen is a more somber creature, driven more by duty than the gods in her earlier books, and it felt right that he’d hold back, reining in his desire for the ever-horny Conall. There’s also a dark streak running through the magical hero, a conviction that he’s fated for death. He doesn’t want to inflict that pain on his beloved hound.

That darkness fits with my notions of the Irish temperament and made the book feel all the more authentic.

Conall is the central character in The Hunt God’s Hound. Though the book is quite short (only 120 pages), I had a strong sense of who he was, what he wanted and what he feared. Arlen is not nearly as well-developed; he’s beautiful, compassionate and heroic, but we don’t see enough of his quirks and contradictions for him to feel completely real.

On the other hand, perhaps that was intentional. Perhaps the author was deliberately creating a distance between us and the Tuatha de Danann, who live in a mysterious world only partially intersecting with our own. It might not be possible to understand their nature without crossing over into their twilight realm.

Conall crosses that line, exits the world of men to cleave to a mythical being – and becomes a myth himself.

I loved this book. If you’re looking for a fresh take on MM romance, you’ll probably enjoy it too.

[This book is currently available for pre-order. I received a pre-release ARC from the author.]

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Alien Bride Lottery Kickstarter: A Brand-New Story, Hardcover Vol. 1, and More -- #Aliens #Romance #Fundraiser

Evading the Alien Bride Lottery cover

Are you a fan of sexy science fiction romance, hot aliens, and surprise meetings between fated mates?

Do you enjoy spicy alien romances?

Even more, are you looking for a guaranteed happily ever after?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you don't want to miss out on the passionate alien romance series The Alien Bride Lottery.

Author Margo Bond Collins is running a Kickstarter, where fans can get a brand-new story set in the world of The Alien Bride Lottery, a signed hardback copy of Volume 1 including the first three books, tons of digital and physical products--and you can even get a story starring YOU as the heroine (or hero) of your own Alien Bride Lottery story! 

Kickstarter has named this a "Project We Love," giving it their seal of approval!

A New Alien Bride Lottery Story

For a pledge of as little as $5, you can get Evading the Alien Bride Lottery, a brand-new story set in the universe of The Alien Bride Lottery. And at higher tiers, you can get a beautiful print of the artwork the cover was created from, along with a pile of other digital and physical rewards.

The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games…in Space! 

The Alien Bride Lottery Volume 1 tells the stories of three human women whose names are drawn in the Alien Bride Lottery to participate in the Bride Games as part of a treaty between the Khanavai warriors and Earth’s leaders—whether or not the women want to become an alien’s chosen mate! (Hint: they don’t!)

This book includes three novels, and you do not need to have read any of the other books in the series in order to enjoy this fantastic sci-fi romance.

This story, previously published on Amazon Kindle, has not been released in hardcover. This version also includes a hot bonus scene written especially for this edition! 

The hardcover print version will not be available for purchase until late 2023, and that edition will not have all of the bonus content included in this book as presented with the Kickstarter offer. 

This brand-new hardcover edition includes Entered in the Alien Bride Lottery, Captured for the Alien Bride Lottery, and Claimed for the Alien Bride Lottery.

Read a sample of Book 1, Entered in the Alien Bride Lottery, here!

Support the Kickstarter for The Alien Bride Lottery HERE!

Pledging in Kickstarter

Each pledge tier includes digital and physical alien-romance-themed rewards!

Support the Kickstarter for The Alien Bride Lottery HERE!

Bonus Giveaway

Want to spread the word for a chance to win a Premium Swag Pack? Enter the Alien Bride Lottery Kickstarter Giveaway here and enter to win!

About the Author

USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between "hanged" and "hung," turned to writing romance novels instead. She now writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction romance. 

Sometimes her heroines kiss aliens, sometimes they kill monsters. But they always aim for the heart. 

You can learn more about her books at  and follow her on social media:






Saturday, July 23, 2022

Bah, humbug! – #ChristmasInJuly #SummerTime #FreeBook #BDSM #Menage

Cat and Christmas tree

Image by Myshun from Pixabay

One of my few marketing activities is sharing posts via Triberr. In case you’re unfamiliar with this site, it allows authors (or other people with common interests) to form “tribes”. You set up your blog to feed its content to the platform. Members of your tribes can see your posts and opt to share them via their own social media. Of course, you’re expected to reciprocate.

Anyway, I belong to about a dozen tribes related to romance and erotica, and I log on to share my tribemates’ entries at least a couple times every week. Not only does this help my visibility (and theirs, of course), but it gives me some idea of what’s popular and trending.

Over the past month, do you know what has dominated my Triberr stream? Christmas stories!

Blizzards. Holiday lights. Mistletoe kisses. Christmas babies. Jeez!

I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but in the northern hemisphere at least, it’s summer. Isn’t that enough to celebrate?

Why are we rushing toward winter?

Okay, I understand that Christmas, like romance, is about feeling warm and fuzzy. But if you’re going to celebrate it out of season, doesn’t that make the season itself less specia?

Anyway, I’m firmly entrenched in summertime thoughts and feelings right now. So I thought I would share a spicy excerpt from my BDSM ménage story On the Beach.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Ever been to a nude beach?”

I did some skinny dipping in high school, but not since then.” I’d pressed back against Greg’s chest, craving the closeness despite the pain from my scored flesh.

He’d licked my ear lobe and pulled me tighter before answering “Not me. I was too fat.”

You, Greg? Fat?” James sounded astonished. “What happened?”

Discipline.” The familiar bulk of Greg’s half-hard cock settled into the crevice between my butt cheeks. “Self-discipline, I mean.”

I knew how he’d struggled to slim down. Now he was all muscle—formidable.

Well, tomorrow’s supposed to be warm and sunny. Bonnie Doon’s only about forty-five minutes from here—a really gorgeous clothing-optional beach. Shall we go show off our beautiful Isabella?”

The way he’d said “our” made me weak with desire.

Greg and I hadn’t seen James since New Year’s, when my husband had decided to share me with his closest friend. Over the months that followed, I knew James sent Greg periodic “suggestions” for things to do to me, and Greg emailed him videos of the results. Then James had invited us to his house in the Santa Cruz Mountains for “summer vacation”. So far we’d spent quite a lot of that vacation in James’ bedroom or the open-air dungeon he’d set up on his secluded deck. There’s nothing like being flogged while surrounded by towering redwoods.

Sounds like fun,” Greg commented. It did sound like fun, at first. What woman wouldn’t enjoy being the center of admiring attention from two handsome, well-hung guys—even if they did get their kicks by ordering her around?

Imagine how shocked everyone will be by the marks from your caning,” Greg had continued in that honey-rich voice of his. He ran his fingers through my tangled hair, tugging a bit, the way I like. “They’ll all see what a filthy, perverse little slut you really are.”

Oh, no—you’re right, of course the stripes will show…” For once, shame smothered my lust. “I can’t—”

Let’s do it.” James had slipped his hand between our bodies to tickle my clit. I squirmed against Greg, friction waking echoes of my beating. “You’ll love it, Bella. I promise.”

No, please—no…” But Greg’s cock had slipped back into my stretched and lubricated rear hole, James drove four fingers into my pussy, and I’d known I was lost.

I wait, naked and blushing, my shame displayed for anyone who cares to look, while the men undress. They’re so beautiful, each in his own way, that I find myself distracted a bit from my own plight. Greg is massive, over six feet tall and solid as a tree, his swarthy skin gleaming with summer sweat. Black hair furs his chest and makes a curly nest between his corded thighs, where his half-hard penis juts in invitation. I lick my lips, hungry to taste his salt and musk.

James is shorter and slighter, lithe and wiry like a dancer, with a fair complexion that contrasts with his shaggy dark locks. His biceps and pectorals are smooth and hairless. Muscles ripple like water under his skin as he tosses his tee shirt onto a nearby rock. James’ cock is fully erect, arrowing up toward the cloudless sky. There’s hunger in his eyes as he approaches.

I scan the currently empty beach. The walkers have rounded the promontory that delineates the cove to the north. The sea thunders, leaving foamy filigree upon the slate-hued sand. A pelican swoops over the waves, then wheels out of sight.

Turn around,” James orders. I glance at Greg. He nods. I understand that I am to obey them both today.

My husband’s friend traces one of the stripes on my shoulder, then slips down to fondle another welt on my ass. His touch, though gentle, wakes new pain in my battered flesh. I wince and he lands a sudden slap on my punished butt. I don’t mind. I feel myself moistening, melting, yielding as always to the intoxicating combination of tenderness and power.

We really did a job on you.” His voice is gruff with lust, but I also hear something like awe. “Sorry, Bella.” He draws my hair aside to nuzzle at my nape.

Don’t apologize to the slave, James.” Greg steps in front of me. His cock is now fully engorged. It sways as he steps closer to tweak my nipples. Lightning sizzles down to my clit. His cock bats against my thigh. I lower my gaze, as I’ve been taught. “The slave exists to serve us. If we want to beat her, we beat her. She’s happy to beaten, as long as it pleases us.”

He sounds like some Dom in a cheesy romance novel. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. With his finger and thumb, he tips my chin up so that our eyes meet. A wild light burns in his, fierce and proud and full of love. Joy balloons in my chest, ready to burst.

When his mouth descends to mine, I open immediately to his probing tongue. I want him to take everything he can. He tastes of espresso and maple syrup, from the decadent brunch James cooked for us. His familiar scent fills my nostrils, like sun-warmed earth. His vacation stubble grazes my cheek. Every sensation is welcome, glorious. His lips seal themselves to mine, drinking in my devotion. This is my husband, my lover, my master. I deny him nothing.

* * * *

Want a copy of this story? All you have to do is leave me a comment with your email and the format you want (mobi, epub or pdf).

If you want to buy it... you’ll discover that it’s part of three-pack of BDSM tales featuring the same characters, entitled Coming in Costume. In addition to this summery tale, there’s a Halloween story and – yes – a Christmas tale called Silver Bells in which I first introduced the characters of Bella, Greg and James.

So you can celebrate Christmas in July, if you really insist!