Monday, August 20, 2018

Is the answer in the stars? Tail of the Dragon by @askzodia - #mystery #giveaway #astrology

Tail of the Dragon cover

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but now, Julia’s former boss and current client has asked for help. He has serious problems at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled -- the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s convinced a woman is behind the threats, perhaps even the widow of the man who died in that same fire, but no one wants to believe that astrology could provide a clue. Before Julia can help her client, two lawyers are dead and her own life is threatened. Can she unmask the killer before he (or she) takes another life?


I followed the curve from Sutro Heights down to the Great Highway. Here, the road runs parallel to Ocean Beach. Sheets of sand had blown across the highway and formed dunes every so often high enough to block the ocean view. Waves crashed against the concrete abutment sending salt water spray across my windshield. I turned east on Ulloa away from the roiling Pacific and spotted Sarah Larkin’s address on the opposite side of the street. The wind off the ocean picked up, blowing east. Particles of dust and beach sand hit my face as I climbed out of the car. Keeping my head down for protection, I hurried across the street.

I climbed the long stairway to the front doors where a sign indicated 3102-3104. At least here, in the shelter of the entryway, there was respite from the wind. I pressed the buzzer to the door on the right. After a moment, a woman called out. “Who is it?”

Hi. My name is Julia Bonatti. I’ve come from Meyers Dade & Schultz.”

The door was quickly yanked open by a woman in her late forties. Her face was round and slightly puffy. She wore no makeup and was dressed in a nondescript brown jumper over a black sweatshirt. Her long hair, streaked with gray, was combed back behind her ears. 
She peered at me. “For God’s sake. What now? I told him I didn’t want anything from him or his damn law firm.” Her eyes were thin puffy slits.

I . . . I’d just like to talk to you about your brother. I was hoping maybe you could help us in finding his murderer.”

His murderer . . . I’d give his murderer a prize if I knew who he was,” she sneered. She looked me up and down and finally decided she’d talk to me even if it was only because I offered a sounding board for her bitterness. “Come on in,” she said resignedly.

I gather you and your brother weren’t close, but I am sorry for your loss.”

Don’t be. Wasn’t a loss. Believe me. I haven’t talked to Jack for years. Since my son died.”

Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” A familiar pain flickered in my chest. My loss seemed small in comparison.

Nicky was sixteen when he died. He had a drug problem. He got mixed up with the wrong kids and they were into some heavy stuff. I was sure if he had one more chance . . . a good chance, he might make it.” Her voice trailed off. “I begged Jack for the money. I never asked him for a thing in my life. Never. But I begged for that.”

He refused?”

Said he didn’t see why he should pay for rehab or counseling. The other places hadn’t done Nick any good, so what difference did it make?” She looked at me, her eyes betraying a deep well of pain. “Jack never really loved anyone in his life. How could he possibly understand what it’s like to love a child? I didn’t have anyone else to ask. My husband was killed in a car accident when Nick was seven. Our parents are dead, and Jack had plenty of money. Big, successful lawyer . . . but he didn’t give a damn about me or Nick. Yeah, I hated him. I still hate his guts. I don’t care if he’s dead, I only wish he had suffered more.”

About the Author

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. The Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, was released on August 8, 2018. You can visit her at, at di MarcoAuthor or Twitter @askzodia.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of MWA, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

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Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sizzling Sunday: The Gazillionaire and the Virgin - #bdsmromance #giveaway #SizzlingSunday

Sizzling Sunday banner

I’ve got a special Sizzling Sunday excerpt for you today, as well as a giveaway.

I wanted to post a bit from The Gazillionaire and the Virgin—just a short snippet to whet your appetite. But once I got started, I couldn’t stop.

I have to say, I think this is one of the sexiest books I’ve ever written. So enjoy! And to increase your pleasure, I’m giving away a $5 bookstore gift certificate and a copy of this novel in your choice of ebook formats to two lucky readers. All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what you think of the excerpt. Please do include your email address so I can find you if you win!

No more than five minutes since he came, yet Theo is beautifully hard again. There’s far more to this man than meets the eye.

Waving blind above his rumpled tux, his engorged cock is well above average in both length and girth. The solid stalk is pale like his complexion. The ruddy head offers a delightful contrast. I circle the taut bulb then sweep my tongue over the slit, gathering the slightly bitter remains of his first orgasm. He shudders, moans, arches up to follow me as I pull back, licking my lips. When he sinks back into the mattress, frustrated, I bend again to take the first inch or so into my mouth.

The stretched skin is smooth and a bit salty. I apply some suction and I’m rewarded by new, inarticulate vocalizations of pleasure. He thrusts, pushing deeper into my mouth. I like this mute admission of his need. As I suck harder, he slides in and out, his passage eased by my copious saliva. Adjusting the angle of my head, I swallow him to the root, until my nose brushes his cum-damp boxers. His cock swells further, tension rippling under the skin, and I back off. I don’t want him coming again, not yet at least.

Releasing most of his stalk, I purse my mouth around the slick cap and flick along the underside with my tongue. I venture a glance at his face. It’s a mask of ecstasy. He has his eyes squeezed shut, thick lashes dark against his cheeks. Sweat beads his high forehead, soaking strands of his wayward hair. His parted lips curve in a beatific smile. Rarely have I seen such an expression of perfect pleasure.

It makes me want to give him more. I dive down, drawing in the whole impressive length of him into my throat. He’s almost enough to choke me. I think about taking the same massive bulk into my pussy. My clit tingles at the prospect. My inner muscles clench on emptiness. Empty, but not for long...

Oh, God—oh—Rachel...That’s....oh!”

Still sucking, I nibble on his frenulum. His hands are fists on either side of his thighs.

Stop, stop—I can’t hold on.”

I let his cock slide out of my mouth, trailing my tongue along the shaft as it leaves. “You want me to stop sucking you?”

No—ah, yes—I mean, I think I’m going to come again...”

Swinging my leg over his hips, I let my pubic curls brush his cockhead.

And that’s bad?”” His face looks panicked now, the pleasure smothered by some sort of fear. “But you—you’re supposed to go first.”

I spread my thighs and drop until I paint the tip of his cock with my juices, then snatch my pelvis away as he tries to push inside. I can’t help chuckling at his enthusiasm. I want him more than ever.

Don’t worry about me, Theo. I fully intend to come. More than once, most likely.” I scan the neat bedroom. “Where do you keep your condoms? In the bedside table drawer?”

Ah – what? Um—I—I don’t have any condoms.”

Huh? Don’t you believe in safe sex?”

I – uh – well...” His face turns scarlet with embarrassment.

Good thing I’m always prepared.” With a huff of mock exasperation, I roll off the bed and pad into the living room to find my purse. I’m too turned on to really be angry. Besides, I’m already becoming accustomed to Theo’s strangeness. “Meanwhile,” I call over my shoulder, “you get out of that tux. No point in doing any more damage.”

Under the influence of my recent fantasies, I’d slipped a three-pack of Durex extra large into my bag before leaving to pick Theo up for the fund raiser. Not that I’d expected anything to happen between us, of course, but one never knows. Now, given his apparent virility, I wonder whether I’ll run out.

I extract the condoms from my clutch, then take advantage of the break to make a quick trip to the toilet. When I return to the bedroom, I find Theo naked on the bed, his rampant cock aimed at the ceiling. One hand grips that fat rod of flesh, sliding up and down with practiced precision. He has flung the other arm across his face, as if he can’t bear to watch.

My fantasies didn’t do him justice. He has one of those massive, powerful bodies that make you want to fall to your knees in worship. He doesn’t have the bulging biceps or rippling six-pack of an exercise nut, but his big hands, broad shoulders and lean thighs broadcast strength. As he jerks at his cock, I watch the tightening in his abdomen, the shifting of muscle under the pale skin of his arm. Aside from the black fuzz surrounding his cock, he’s mostly hairless.

Saliva pools in my mouth. I want to swallow that lovely cock once again, to torment him until he can’t help but spill his seed into my mouth. Later. Right now the hungry ache between my thighs takes precedence.

Starting without me?
He snatches his hand away from his penis with the startled, guilty look of a kid caught in the act. “Um – no – just thinking.”

I straddle him again, leaning forward to trail my rigid nipples across his smooth chest. On my hands and knees, I smile down on him. His bobbing cock streaks my belly with pre-cum and baby oil. “About me?”

His eyes meet mine, suddenly bold. “You know I am, Rachel. Don’t tease. I can’t stand much more.”

He’s open, unguarded, showing me the depth of his need. Some part of me melts in the unflinching heat of that gaze. “All right, Theo.” I feather a kiss across his ripe lips, then sit back. My butt resting on his thighs, I roll a condom down over his erection. He gasps when my fingers make contact with his stretched skin.

I want to impale myself on him, to drive that tempting column of flesh as far into me as it can go. Still, I hover over him an instant more, my thighs spread wide, my juices dribbling into his pubic hair. Once more our eyes lock. Do it. I read it on his face, a plea, a command.

Unwilling to relinquish control, I lower my body bit by bit. My labia enclose the head of his cock, clinging to the smooth flesh. He enters my channel, an inch, then two, stretching me wide. I pulse my inner muscles around his cock and watch the pleasure spark in his eyes. Another fraction of an inch. I alter my angle a bit. His half-buried stalk nudges my clit.

Delicious! I could devour him with my pussy, but instead I savor his gradual entrance, the new sensations triggered by each increment of depth.

Damn it, woman! I said don’t tease!” Theo seizes my hips and pulls me down, ramming his cock in the rest of the way. The force makes me gasp. His sudden, massive bulk splits me open. Just as I’m getting used to being full, he raises me, so that he slips half-out. Then he slams me down again, driving even deeper.

Theo—Theo...Oh...!” Up. Down. Out. In. He’s using me the way he used his hand, to jerk himself off. His fingernails dig into my skin as he manipulates me. I flop around on top of him like a rag doll, shaken by each vigorous thrust.

I love it, rough and raw as it is. He’s wild, a bit clumsy, but his inexhaustible lust fans mine. He’s far stronger than me and that’s part of the thrill. I’m being taken—taken over. He can do what he likes with me. And he does. His cock ploughs my pussy, dragging over my clit with each stroke, pushing me up the slope to climax. The delicious sense of total surrender, though, is what pushes me over the edge.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. You might be one of my winners!

The Gazillionaire and the Virgin is available in ebook, print and audio formats.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Thank heaven he's stubborn - #gratitude #marriage #stubbornness

Holding hands

I have been blessed in uncounted ways in my life. I have enjoyed the benefits of a loving and supportive family, an excellent education funded mostly by scholarships, generally good health, and work that is challenging, worthwhile and fun. I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to travel to a wide range of exotic places. I'm humbly thankful for whatever writing talent I have and for the persistence required to turn that talent into a semi-career.

When I think about it, though, what I am most thankful for is the fact that my husband didn't give up when I tried to brush him off.

Let me explain...

Romance is the realm of love at first sight, but when I met K., I tried to discourage his obvious interest. The last thing I needed was another man in my life. To start with, we lived 3000 miles away from each other. He lived on the east coast, where he was studying towards a PhD. Meanwhile, on the west coast, where I was working at my first job out of graduate school, I was juggling three different lovers.

I know that this may sound a bit shocking to some readers, but at the time I was exploring my sexual self and trying to figure out what I needed in a romantic relationship. I wasn't lying to anyone; each of the men I was seeing knew about the others. I was just having some difficulty deciding which if any of them was Mr. Right. In fact, I wasn't sure that I subscribed to the concept of one perfect mate.

Anyway, K. came up to me at a scientific conference on the east coast, where I had just made a presentation describing my research. He asked me some intelligent questions about my paper, but I could tell he was more interested in me as a woman than as a colleague. I liked him, but I was already reeling from the complications in my love life. I definitely didn't think I could handle yet another lover. I was polite but distant. K. joined me at the welcome cocktail party that evening. I pointedly ignored him, flirting instead with the cute British guy who was also part of the crowd.

K. did not give up. He invited me to lunch the following day. I accepted (hey, I had to eat!) and found him to be articulate and unpretentious. He was quite a bit older than I and had led a fascinating, unconventional life. As I recall, we talked about relationships. What was most remarkable about our interactions was the level of comfort. I barely knew him, yet it seemed as though we had been friends a long time.

Still, I held back. He took the offensive. He was driving up to Worcester (my home town) from the conference that afternoon. Would I like a ride? Certainly it was better than going by bus as I had planned. The three hour trip was filled with sexual tension. He was beginning to win me over.

He dropped me at my parents' house and asked if I wanted to have dinner that evening. Of course I agreed. We dined at a Japanese restaurant where he regaled me with tales of his travels in Europe and Asia. I urged him on, eager to hear more. Near the end of the meal, he looked me in the eye and said,

You know, I'm looking for someone to travel with.” I was more or less hooked.

I flew back to California the next day. For the next six months we wrote and called each other. The other men in my life transformed themselves from lovers to friends. When I came home to Massachusetts for Christmas, it seemed completely natural that K. would return with me to the west coast to share my apartment. After the holidays, we set out together on a three week cross-country odyssey. We were still relative strangers, yet traveled together as if we had known each other for years.

On that trip, in a motel in Taos, New Mexico, K. proposed to me. I told him to wait a year and then ask me again.

That was thirty eight years ago. I'm grateful every day for his love, his support, his companionship, even his criticism. We are not only lovers but also partners and collaborators. We work together as well as play together. I am amazed by the strength and longevity of our connection.

When we met, I thought that it was unlikely that I would ever marry. I couldn't imagine that there existed one man who could keep me interested over the long term, and I didn't want a string of divorces like my aunts.

I was wrong. And now I'm eternally grateful.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Lusty Listening - #AudioBooks #FreeBooks #WordWooze

Girl with headphones

In our hectic world, it’s sometimes hard to find time to read the books you crave. Fortunately, more and more titles are becoming available in audio format. Now you can listen to the very best titles, including erotic romance and erotica, while you drive, exercise, or do the housework. Or you can lie in bed after a tough day, put on your earphones, close your eyes, and let the narrator transport you to new worlds. No need to tire yourself flipping pages!

Amazon ACX has made it possible for indie authors (like me) to put out high quality audio versions of their work, and reach new “readers”. I’ve teamed up with WordWooze Publishing to make my favorite stories available to those of you who’d rather use your ears than your eyes to enjoy top quality erotic fiction.

Currently I have four titles available. You can get any one of them for free if you sign up for an Audible membership.

The Gazillionaire and the Virgin
An Atypical BDSM Erotic Romance

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel's carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective -- a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company's popular virtual world. Rachel's not a woman that lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can't resist Theo's geeky appeal.

Theo Moore can't be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.

That doesn't bother Rachel, however. In his bed - in his arms - in his bonds - she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo's first lover, but Theo is Rachel's first true Master - and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel's unwitting violation of Theo's trust threatens to tear them apart forever.

Damned If You Do
A BDSM Dance with the Devil

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.

Bangkok Noir
A BDSM Thriller

Diana Fanning, aka the Professor, runs The Academy, the only genuine BDSM bar in Bangkok. She's the first person police colonel Apichat Weeranwongsakul consults when a bar girl turns up brutally murdered, tightly bound, with clamped nipples and every orifice stuffed with sex toys. The colonel figures the killer might be one of her customers. But he has his own secrets. He needs Diana to satisfy his shameful dreams of being beaten and abused. Meanwhile, a mysterious American named Sam stalks Nok, the lovely natural dominant who is the Professor's star performer. Nok is used to being the one in charge. She can't understand why she craves the discipline Sam administers.

As more women are slaughtered, always in kinky circumstances, the Professor finds herself in an exclusive world catering to the perversions of Bangkok's wealthy and well-connected. Simultaneously looking for evidence and satisfying her own lusts, she doesn't realize until too late that the power she's used to wielding won't save her from becoming the serial murderer's next victim.

An Erotic Murder Mystery

Sex, blood, and betrayal: it's all in a day's work.

Stella is just minding her own business and having a bit of fun, working as an exotic dancer at the Peacock Lounge. Through no fault of her own, she witnesses a double murder and gets pulled into a shady dance of deceit with political bigwigs, mob bosses, dirty cops, and scheming widows. Now she's everyone's target; her only chance is to sift through the lies and expose the truth.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this offer.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for audio versions of The Witches of Gloucester (FFF fantasy romance) and Hot Brides in Vegas (light-hearted erotica), coming soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Free! A Shameless Little Con by @MeliRaineAuthor - #romanticsuspense #scandal #freebie

Freebie Blitz banner

About the Book

I didn’t do it.

I never betrayed my friend.

Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history.

I've been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.

But shame? Shame sells.

And everyone assumes you’re tainted.

Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.

I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad -- and he does.

On paper.

Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool.

Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked.

Or hidden.

And that goes both ways.

He assumes I’m trying to fool him.

And he might be right.

But not for the reasons he thinks.

A Shameless Little Con is the first book in the Shameless trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

Read the whole series:

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Free until 15 August!

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About the Author

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Social Media Links


He jolts, digging into his pocket to pull out a phone. Before he turns the screen away from me, I see his backdrop. It’s of a small dark-haired child on a beach, the picture taken from behind, her skirt flying around her legs, the little girl in motion, the blue skies over the green water idyllic.

Does he have a child? Who is the little girl? As Silas reads his screen, his shoulders slump slightly–in defeat.

What the hell is in that text he’s reading?

He leans his elbow against the door, setting the phone face down on his thigh, his expression troubled. I want to ask him if he’s okay. I want to ask him about the little girl. I want to ask him so many questions.

Most of all, I want to ask him to be kind to me.

I need someone to be kind to me.


Because you can live for a very long time in isolation.

But you can’t live among people for very long without needing kindness. It’s as essential as oxygen, as water, as food.

While you might not technically die without kindness, the existence you’re left with is worse than dying.

Freebie blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Review Tuesday: The Shadow of a Dog I Can't Forget - #poetry #erotic @WordActress

Shadow of a Dog cover

The Shadow of a Dog I Can't Forget by Mary Kennedy Eastham
Robertson Publishing 2007

You wouldn't guess that the title above belongs to a love poem, would you? You'll find many surprises in Mary Kennedy Eastham's slim volume of poems and prose, most of them wonderful. Ms. Eastham's poetry is sharply observed and emotionally genuine. It encompasses both humor and pathos. While not all of the pieces in Shadow of a Dog are erotic, many focus on desire, love, and loss, and in particular, the power of fantasy and memory.

Undress Me

His name was Jinx,
a dark-haired Californian
with hands too pretty
to belong to a boy.
I was sixteen, a virgin,
girl-silly from fantasizing
about what men do to women
and what women do back.

I cut my jeans into short shorts
and cut my tee shirt to just half an inch
below my swelling breasts.
I rubbed the juice
from a bottle of maraschino cherries onto my lips
and put a drop of pure vanilla extract behind each ear.

Memory rearranges itself over time
but the good parts stay.
I remember the Volvo pulling into the driveway
the sound of his voice drifting in through the torn screen door.
As I climbed from my bedroom window
onto the hot porch roof
the strap of my sandal lets loose
casting tiny particles of tar into the soft, summer air.
Gardenias bend toward me
as I slide down, down, down
into arms that felt like part of a landscape
I've lived with all my life.
Jinx was mine.

Poetry, like music, is a highly personal taste. When I turn on my favorite songs, my husband holds his hands to his ears. Some poems resonate, setting up harmonious vibrations of emotion. Some do not. Not everyone will enjoy Ms. Eastham's style, superficially casual but cutting to the bone. But I did.

My favorite poems in this book are the ones about love and desire. "Kissing Harrison" chronicles a fantasy relationship with a "bareback meteorite cowboy" who comes to town looking for a "good girl/bad girl" who isn't the narrator:

He opened up my eyes to me
said he saw me, or someone like me
in the pages of Vogue
a girl on a raspberry satin chaise lounge
disobedient gold high heels dangling from my feet.

Or the dark imagery in "Stripping for Blind Men":

The men ask me to describe the movements
which I am only too happy to do.
I am cat-crawling on the floor for you now boys, I say
blowing a handful of my Braille business cards
toward bodies pressed hard
against the stiff bar rail.
My hot breath gets the men crazy.

Then there's the stunning prose/poem that opens the book, "Is there ever such a thing as a tiny betrayal?"

'Do you close your eyes when you kiss?', he asks me. He's left the hotel door half-open. Someone looking in would see my bare legs dangling from a persimmon and gold chaise, my platinum silk high heels ready to walk, or not.

The non-erotic poems are equally powerful "What He Did at the End of His Life" brought tears to my eyes:

His favorite nurse is due in soon, the one who said,
'I wish I'd known you healthy.'

"6 Parisville Place" puts us into the mind of an abused child:

Pretty things will hang in her walk-in closet here.
Guns won't fire. There will be no need to hide
foster brothers and sisters in another
cold white porcelain tub, her own feet
quivering on the toilet seat
as she searches for shadows in the thin line of light
beneath the locked bathroom door.

Poetry is difficult to describe. It exists only as first hand experience--hence all my quotes, frustrating attempts to convey the emotional impact which, really, can only come from reading an entire poem, the way the author intended--perhaps re-reading it, a second or a third time, seeing new angles, feeling new emotions.

If the quotes above resonate with you, pick up a copy of this book. And read it more than once.