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Monday, November 30, 2009

HOLIDAY SHOPPING & HUNKY HELPER

Photo: muffet's photostream, flickr

Good Lord...it's time for the frenzy of holiday shopping! Actually, it's already started since many people begin early...like after last Christmas!

What's on your wish list? Clothes, money, new electrical gadgets, money, car, money... Hmm. there's a pattern here! Are you ready for the crowds, the music, the sales, the checkout lines... Sigh. But what fun you'll have choosing the right gifts for everyone on your list!

Of course, you'll want some romance books and have them on YOUR wish list! While you're at it, put an ebook reader on that list, and see if Santa thinks you've been REALLY good this year!

I've been debating about which model ebook reader to upgrade to. I have an old Sony reader and while it's still in good shape, I'm itching to either get a newer Sony, a Kindle, or a Nook. So many choices and features to consider. I'll make my decision soon and ask Santa for one!

I've done some of my Christmas shopping already. Still have more to go. Bad economy? I hope people can still have a wonderful holiday even if they have to scale down on their gift lists.

I can always use a couple of helping hands with my shopping at this time of year (and for other things and at other times, too!) So, here's a photo of my shopping helper. He got all dressed up for our trip to the stores...and don't you just love his hats????? HAPPY SHOPPING!

Photo: www.rockshots.com





Check out my "HUNKY" present at:
http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com


http://www.mariannestephens.net
http://www.breathlesspress.com
“Anything You Can Do” release date TBA
http://www.aprilash.net

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday's Scribe is suffering from turkey withdrawals...

Too much turkey can put me under the table for three days...

Tonight I am ordering pizza.

The others have talked a bit about giving thanks, and what the recently past holiday means. To me, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the year end holidays; Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Yuletide. No matter what your faith or beliefs, this end of year gaiety and feeling of love is almost universal.

I feel thankful for another year of healthy life, and for the health of my kids and grandkids. Every day that passes with no major horror happening in the world is something to be thankful for. We are headed into the darkness before the light...the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year, and the longest night. The beauty of the yule logs, the Christmas hearth and tree, the candles of Hannukah and Kwanzaa...the symbols of returning light into a world of darkness, are all beautiful and welcome in my home.

I put the Nativity Scene beneath my Christmas Tree, the brass Menorah on my coffee table, the kinara candles on my sidebar...an antique handmade angel sits atop my tree that came from an old box of ornaments my family had for over 40 years before I was old enough to understand what was going on.

We give gold-wrapped chocolate coins or gelt and light one candle a night. We have had many Jewish friends over the years, and several neighbors who invited us to Kwanzaa celebrations. I find all the year end traditions and ceremonies so beautiful and warming. At Thanksgiving we eat turkey. But instead of a big ham on Christmas, we started celebrating with home made enchiladas because it involves everyone in the meal prep and feast!

So welcome to my wonderfully eclectic holiday season...and I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving in the USA!

Fran

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Joys and Benefits of Polar Tanning!


Yeah, That's Me!

So I've recently discovered the joy of polar tanning, i.e., lying naked in the sun in my backyard. It's easy for me, our property is rimmed by tall trees and shrubs and no one can see in unless they want to climb a ladder and risk breaking something. I do it for two reasons - all this hiking gives me a major uneven farmer's tan - arms, lower legs and neck. By gosh, I want an even tan! Second - everyone can use a little more Vitamin D - the new super vitamin! It's especially hard to absorb enough sunlight to manufacture enough Vitamin D in the winter.

So on sunny days, I head out around noon with my bathrobe on, spread out two towels and toss down a pillow and hit the pavement for my polar tan. Eight minutes on each side and I'm done - you need the equivalent of fifteen minutes of full sun exposure each day to increase your body's Vitamin D level.

It feels dang good! Go for it, ladies!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Talking Turkey




Here are some fun turkey facts for your holiday enjoyment!
1. Aztec Indians in Mexico were raising turkeys as early as 200 B.C.
2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird
3. A turkey is actually a type of pheasant
4. The turkey is the only breed of poultry native to the Western Hemisphere
5. 45 million turkeys are eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving
6. When a turkey is scared, it makes a ‘turk’, ‘turk’, ‘turk’ noise
7. Turkeys have great hearing but no external ears and they can see in color
8. In the flavor department, older, large males are preferable to young males
9. The opposite is true for females; old hens are tougher birds
10. Turkeys can drop dead from a heart attack if shocked or scared

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Thankful.

We need to be thankful for the all the good things in our lives but this week is especially important. Several of my sister Scribes have already written beautiful blogs and given thanks but I can’t resist joining them, so I’m going to do the same.

At this time last year I was un-contracted and unpublished author. I’m incredibly thankful for the learning experiences and the opportunities that have come my way during this year.

I am thankful my books make modest gains in sales each month instead of drop. So I must say I am very thankful to the kind fans who have written me with their encouraging words and recommended me to a friend. I am so thankful to them.

I am thankful to all the American men and women who selflessly leave their loved ones, to go overseas and work as medics, drive trucks, clean teeth and lay water pipes with the intention of making peace in the middle of a war. Thank you.

I am thankful I am older. I would not want to be the person I was when I was young.

I am thankful I have enough of every basic need and enough to share.

I am thankful I survived this year intact!

I am thankful for all the love that comes my way.

I am thankful my family is not a Norman Rockwell portrait. We are an oddly mixed assortment of people and I like it that way.

XXOO Kat

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home for the Holiday


This time of the year, I always reflect on the things I’m grateful for. This year is no different. Had anyone told me five years ago that I’d be remarried, living three hours away from my family and expecting a child I’d have laughed in their face.

When I left my abusive ex, I swore off relationships. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t going to be celibate at the young age of 30, but I wasn’t going to live with another man either. I had it planned out perfectly. I’d have a lover or friend with benefits. Someone who lived in his own place and me in mine. I wouldn’t have the headaches of dealing with someone else (besides my children). Children were definitely out of the question. I had three – more than enough in my mind. I had them young and it was time to enjoy my life.

Not to sound like a bitch, but I broke up with a guy ten years my junior because I felt he was going to want more children in the future and I wasn’t going to be the one to give them to him. I also ended a few relationships because the guy wanted me to uproot my children and move twenty minutes from my home. Boy is doesn’t seem so far now! LOL

That all changed when I met my husband. I threw caution to the wind and moved three hours away from my family – for the virtually unknown. I had no friends in RI. I did manage to land a job before moving here, but that’s it. I uprooted my children to a strange new environment, leaving all their friends behind. It took a lot of adjusting and there were struggles along the way. My health took a turn for the worse due to stress. I spent five weeks in the hospital and they thought I was going to die, but they didn’t know me. I’d been through so much in my life I wasn’t going to let a disease like Crohn’s take my life. Shit, my ex could have killed me a few times.

Today as I sit here thinking back and I’m thankful we’re all healthy and happy. I couldn’t imagine my life any differently.

Tomorrow the DH and I leave for NY. We’re spending the holiday with my family. That means three days of visiting. Not that I mind. I’ll spend some time with my dad. We’ll have dinner at my aunt’s with all my cousins and my mom. In the three days we’re there I have to squeeze in time to see a couple of my friends too.

It’s nice because a group of us usually do lunch on Wednesday. When I left NY five years ago I hadn’t realized just how hard it would be to get back home and see family and friends. It seems the only time I get back is for holidays or if it’s something special for my goddaughter and Mother’s Day.

That’s why this trip at Thanksgiving is that much more special. I’m thankful for the friends still in my life. The ones who didn’t abandon me because I moved one hundred seventy miles away. Some did, but I realize they weren’t true friends.

And lastly I’m thankful for all my online friends and fellow authors, who made achieving my dream of being a published writer that much better. I feel like the luckiest person alive.
Today I want to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

LETTERS, WORDS, SENTENCES, STORIES









Before I start my blog, here's a reminder to vote 12-30 November in NIGHT OWL ROMANCE'S KISSING SCENE CONTEST! Go to:
http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/contests/authorcontests.aspx
MARIANNE STEPHENS' ENTRY IS #4


We
all know the order in which we learn to read and write: letters, words, sentences, stories.

Letters. As a kindergarten and first grade teacher, I got plenty of experience in watching bright little faces light up as child after child progressed from one step to the next. This was a fun time in a child's life...the beginning of reading and writing communication skills. Phonics, however, can be troublesome, not only for children but for adults, especially those from foreign countries learning English. Why do some letters have more than one sound?

Words. Step two in the learning process is putting those letters together and forming words. Again, phonics can screw with your head. Laugh? Doubt? Breathe?

Sentences. We put words together to form coherent thoughts. There are short sentences like "She cried". Long sentences like, "She threw herself down on the bed, tossing the pillows to the ground and screaming words of disbelief as tears streamed down her cheeks and washed away any eye makeup she'd applied that morning". Phew. Too many words and thoughts there. But, how long should sentences be to convey what you want to say?

Writers go from letters to words to sentences before approaching the biggest challenge...putting all those together to create a story that makes sense and will entice a reader.

Stories. Just putting sentences on paper won't make a story readable. In romances, you need a hero, heroine (or whatever combination), plot, black moment, goal, motivation, conflict. And, it all has to sound like a logical, page-turning entry into a world of fictional love that emotionally involves the reader.

We can learn the letters. We can learn the words. We can learn how to write sentences. But learning how to write stories comes with lots of hard work, rejections, rewrites, editing, and a "try, try again" attitude.

Everyone's journey to selling that first book is different, but motivation to succeed remains the same. In my case, it took ten years of learning the ins and outs of the industry and nuances of romance writing.

If you're an aspiring author, don't give up. Put the letters, words, sentences together for your story and benefit from networking about the writing industry. If you're an author, how fast or easy was your journey to being published? If you're a reader, are there books you never finished because the letters, words, sentences, story, never could "pull" you into the action and hold your interest?

Thanksgiving is almost here. Click on the link below for a Thanksgiving Alphabet message.

http://www.flowgo.com/funny/3119_thanksgiving-alphabet.html

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
http://www.aprilash.net
"Sexy Games", 5 HEARTS, TOP REVIEWER PICK, Diana Coyle, Night Own Romance
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-7393-sexy-games.aspx

http://www.mariannestephens.net
Cerridwen Press:
http://www.jasminejade.com/default.aspx?skinid=13
Breathless Press:
http://www.breathlesspress.com
Anything You Can Do”, release date TBA

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Need a Sunday nibble of AT HER SERVICE


I am coming back with another taste for you of my new cherry, my medieval erotica AT HER SERVICE due out next Monday (applause!) from www.total-e-bound.com . Please forgive my tendency to give you MORE AND MORE bits of my delicacy as I recover from a broken arm!

This tale of a young countess who must bear a child and heir or lose her life is a luscious bit of medieval suspense. Yes, someone is out to take Elise’s lands and do it by any means possible. Including murder.

Only one man can save her—the man she’s loved since they were children, the only man she has ever craved in her bed, Simon de la Poer.

Another taste of AT HER SERVICE!

Simon clamped her flush to his loins. His dark features went so hard, Elise almost wondered if a mason had chiselled them to stone. This close, she saw how the years had matured him from a tall, reedy lad with sculpted cheeks and brows to this brute who stood before her. Square faced, high cheeked, broad in the brow and wide of eye, now he was a black-haired warlord, a warlock, a satyr and legend from the deep end of hell. No longer was he a boy to laugh with and love with. Now he was a giant of unbearable male beauty. And her loins flooded with such wet desire for him that she braced herself with hands to his rock-hard chest.

He clamped her to him so tightly that his fiery body burned her flesh and enflamed her to ripe longing. “What would you have of me?”

Your manhood. All of you. Inside me. Groaning at her rebellious body’s desires, she pushed at him to no avail. “Only I give the orders here.”

Slowly, he nodded.

“But I will countermand you, lady mine,” came a rasping baritone from the bed.

She spun towards her husband.

“I am the master on this night,” declared her husband Alphonse. “For you both.”

(COPYRIGHT 2009, Cerise DeLand)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday's Scribe is here...and Saturday is almost gone.

The past month has been stressful...

Everyone in the house has been sick on and off for over a month. Including me. My son was driving my extra car to go pick up his daughter from a school-sponsored live court activity, and they got hit broadside by a driver who didn't see them as he turned left into the driver's side doors. Luckily, everyone was safe. Just scared half to death. My car was totaled. The other guy's car was barely dented. He was given a ticket for improper left turn and failure to yield right of way, but his insurance is playing games with me.

I sure hope December gets better...

I love the holidays.

I hope my new release coming out Wednesday sells well so I can replace the car that his insurance is trying to get out of paying for.

Maybe Santa will bring me a Ferrari.

Maybe John Beresford Tipton will send Michael Anthony over to my place with a nice big check.

Maybe the doorbell will ring and I'll be greeted by TV cameras as I win the sweepstakes.

It's nice to hope. That's what the season is all about...hope. And I hope that global warming will slow down and that wars will go away. That sort of makes my little problems seem much smaller by comparison.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving...

Fran Lee

Friday, November 20, 2009

Politically Incorrect!


The Emperor Has No Clothes


Where to begin? I'll start with a restaurant and segue into literature. Nowadays we have celebrity chefs...iron chefs...a whole lotta chefs...and a lot of us fall victim to the Emperor Has No Clothes Syndrome.

I have this restaurant rule - If I try a new place and my first experience is less than stellar, I'll give the place another try. Everyone has a bad day. Maybe the chef got sick or the sous chef was late or the pastry chef quit...having owned a restaurant myself and worked in and around restaurants since I was a kid (family business), I get it. If my second visit to a restaurant is mediocre or worse...I will not be back. Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice...well...you can't fool me again...

So there's this restaurant owned by a famous chef. I've applied my two-tries rule and both times, the food has been, not just bad, but inedible. In fact, I was so appalled by my experiences that I got myself an identity on Chowhound and posted a review - and then the Emperor Has No Clothes Syndrome kicked into high gear and other posters climbed all over each other in their haste to call me an idiot, a raving lunatic, a stupid-head-dope, a weirdo, a druggie...they claimed I must have some personal vendetta against the chef - I don't even know the chef - they said I had no taste buds, no taste, couldn't tell the difference between gourmet food and fast food - I couldn't believe the creative insults posters came up with. I was about to delete my post altogether when a few quiet voices spoke up and said, cautiously, I agree with you - I ate at that restaurant and had a similar experience and I've been terrified to post about it - Hey, if what happened to me is any indication, of course they'd be reluctant to post! Shit...I'll never post on Chowhound again!

Now I'm getting into the scary part of my post - the Emperor Has No Clothes Syndrome as it applies to popular literature. I read. A lot. Always have, always will. All genres. I've been reading, literally, since I was eighteen months old. Yeah...rolling-eyes...precocious...I know. Over the past year, my sister has recommended two books to me that have been loved, adored, venerated, and promoted by New York literary critics. I checked out the reviews my sister mentioned and based upon those reviews, I thought, yeah, sounds good, haven't read anything all that great in a while - and I bought the books. Both of them sucked. I mean, they sucked eggs. And it left me wondering, what were the critics reading? What on earth was my sister reading? When I asked her, she came right out and said that she has more faith in critics than she does in her own brain.

I know that when it comes to literature, almost everything is a matter of opinion and personal taste - I'm clear on the concept. But when I did a bit more research on these two books in particular, I found a number of very quiet, cautious, even fearful hands raised by other literary critics saying what I believe to be closer to the truth - that the books were poorly written, but for some reason, the authors were the present day darlings of the publishing world and to write a critical review was to go against the grain, to fight against the current, to risk ostracism and name-calling similar to what I experienced on Chowhound. It would mean stating the obvious, that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

This is one of the few controversial posts you will ever read from me. I do not like controversy and I respect authors, legitimate literary criticism, chefs, food writers and food critics. There is a great deal to be learned from a critic who says - I didn't love the book and here's why...or I liked the book a lot but I wish...or I understood the author's intent but the expression of ideas was...

If I was a celebrity chef and somebody had a lousy experience at my showpiece, I'd want to know about it - and by the way - before I posted my review on Chowhound, I did call the restaurant to tell the manager, politely, how disappointed I was in my two experiences - experiences which involved sending multiple courses back to the kitchen to the vast irritation of our server. The manager's response? So what? Read the reviews. Everyone else loves us.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tis The Season

I would rather remove my own appendix with a dull butter knife than go shopping.

Because of my dislike of malls, crowds and long walks through parking lots, I start my holiday shopping in late summer. I always have a list and know exactly what stores I need to go to. Shopping is only attempted Monday through Thursday, preferably, in the mid-afternoon. I make sure all out of town packages are mailed before Thanksgiving.

Last Saturday, needing one more present for an out of town relative, I broke my own rule and went to Toys R Us. I thought, well, it’s still early enough in the season, I know exactly what I’m getting and where it is in the store; how bad can it be?

I almost got killed in the parking lot. Cars were whipping up and down aisles, and cutting each other off to get the “best” spot. Two cars narrowly missed having a head on collision as they attempted to get in the same spot at the same time. The tiny woman who was not the winner, threw her car into park (in the middle of the aisle so nobody could get around her) and proceeded to yell at the top of her lungs at the other shopper. I parked as far away from the battle zone as possible.

Entering the store, the first thing I heard was a man dropping more f-bombs than I’d ever heard strung together at one time, while trying to return something at the customer service desk. His two small children gazed up at him in horror.

Keeping my head down, I continued to make my way to the back of the store. Children were screaming for toys, while the adults accompanying them screamed back that they weren’t there to buy things for them. I heard one woman tell a child that Christmas could be cancelled, a man tell another child he was going to give him something he could “really” cry about, and a third adult berate a sales clerk who apparently was servicing them fast enough.

I grabbed my one pitiful box and made a beeline for the checkout. After respectfully replying “no thank you” as the clerk asked me if I wanted a rewards card, a credit card, to be on the mailing list, to donate a dollar to some fund, and what my email address was in order to receive valuable coupons, I was finally allowed to pay the bill. When I reached the safety of my car, I sat there for a minute in order to simply enjoy the fact I’d survived the ordeal!
Tessie

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Neo-Pagan Revival

I freely admit that when it comes to gracious holiday entertaining I’m no Martha Stewart. I’ve also never been to jail… And that’s a good thing.

I tried to decorate for the Holidays this week. I started early because I know I’ll be too busy soon to even care about decorating. My son who is nine begged me to do it so I put him in charge of the d├ęcor. Together we planned a simple “natural” themed tableau for our dinning room. We bought a twenty-inch tall Christmas tree made of pinecones and natural materials. It looked very earthy and soothing in soft shades of brown. We added a cotton blanket to create drifts of snow and few tiny LED lights. I let my son set everything up expecting to see a calming miniature nature scene but the final effect was a bit shocking.

The shades of brown Christmas tree looked like an inverted waffle cone. The mounds of cotton looked like melted ice cream. We lit the tiny LED lights and they flashed and glowed under the cotton batting like lightening inside a storm cloud. The effect was very Pagan in feeling and looked more like Zeus dropped his ice cream cone than a tribute to baby Jesus. To add to the Pagan theme my son had added a ceramic howling wolf, a crystal bear and a deer-dancer Kachina doll to the to the thunder clouds-interesting but not very Christmasy. My husband saw it, loved it and insisted it stay.

Why fight it? Why not make it a Neo-Pagan holiday season? Aside from decorating, I started thinking of all the other needs I had that required divine intervention. Where is the Pagan god of WIPs? Don’t unborn creative projects deserve divine protection? Who will push these works in progress across the finish line? We need a god for this! What is their name so I may immediately start making the proper sacrifices on the altar of WIPs!

Who do we appeal to when we desperately need a decent book cover? Who? Amazingly the cover Goddess has no name and she deserves one. We must name her, honor her or face her wrath. Yes, we’ve all seen how wrathful the cover Goddess can be to the unfortunate… Many of us have felt her loving caress as well as her stinging slap (My first slap came with a picnic basket…. lol)

Must I say it-we also need a god or goddess of erotic description. Now and then most of us need a deity to step-in and stop us from unintentionally using embarrassing words and descriptions in sex scenes or worse freezing up and staring at an empty page for hours on end. How valuable would such a deity be? Hell they’ve already earned a goat in my heart. I suppose we can name this deity “Editoria.”

During this happy Neo-Pagan holiday season what god or goddess names should we christen with the hope of advancing our careers? Lol

XXOO Kat

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

There comes a time in every writer’s life when they must say good-bye to an editor. Usually it’s when the editor has decided to move on to something new. This past weekend I was approached by two writer’s at different stages of their careers that wanted to know if they should break up with their editor and/or agent.
The first writer is currently under a four book contract with a large NY publishing house. Her agent seems to be getting ready to retire. While said agent hasn’t confirmed the retirement all signs point in that direction. This writer is in a quandary because she knows there is so much that could be done to increase her sales, but her agent just isn’t doing her job. She doesn’t know if she should start shopping for a new agent or wait it out. The agent has rights to the four books. Only two are published at this point.
The way I see it she’s losing sales. Her blood, sweat, and tears are not getting the perks she should see from her agent. Another friend and I suggested she ask the agent point blank her plans for retirement and if she should start looking for another agent. It’s only fair that the agent give her a timeline. If the agent doesn’t give her any information, maybe it is time to part ways. I’d like to know what you think.
The other is a writing duo. They are working on their second ebook and their second editor. This editor is a writer’s nightmare. She is telling them what words to use and has basically made them rewrite the entire story. Now when they were offered the contract, the publisher stated there would be minimal changes needed on their part.
When does an editor go too far? When is it time for the author to step up and say, “Hey I’m not making these changes.” Personally, I didn’t get good vibes from this situation from the beginning. They were offered a contract in May, received cover art in June and then heard nothing from the publisher for months. Their emails went unanswered. Then one day the publisher reappeared and said they now have an editor for the book. Things only progressed downhill from there.
I advised them to consider opting out of their contract when the publisher went MIA, but because they are new to the business they didn’t want to rock any boats. I understand that, because I’m still learning myself. But I’m sorry at what cost is publication worth it?
Edits are one thing, but re-writing an entire story to fit the editor’s needs doesn’t bode well with me. Seriously, at this point is it still my story or the editors?
I’d be interested in your thoughts on this subject.

P.S. Check out my guest author Raine Delight and her cool contest over at my blog today: http://amberskyze.blogspot.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

THANKSGIVING DINNER IS BETTER THAN SEX

How many of us think about sex when Thanksgiving rolls around? Aren't your days filled with menu planning, inviting dinner guests, food shopping, preparing some items ahead for "the big day", etc.?

I guess sex could be a great stress relief option, but who has time? Aren't you exhausted days before Thanksgiving, the day of (especially if you're feeding more than a small army of people), and for days after?

Some might even go so far as to say Thanksgiving dinner is better than sex...but, of course, that would never suit a romance reader or author! Men...those guys from "Mars"...might have a different opinion, however!

The following (minus some images and with a few modifications from me) comes from http://www.flowgo.com">www.flowgo.com:Photo from: ellie's photostream, Flickr

TEN REASONS THANKSGIVING DINNER IS BETTER THAN SEX

10. You're sure to get at least one of your favorite dishes.

9. The turkey never suffers from modesty.

8. You can nibble before dinner even if Mom sees you.

7. You are expected to pass the dishes around.

6. There are always at least two kinds of desert, with or without whipped cream.

5. They give you the day off WITH pay to have dinner.

4. Thanksgiving dinner is a "sure" thing.

3. Seconds are encouraged. Take home, too!!

2. You're expected to fall asleep after dinner. (for men)

And the number 1 reason why Thanksgiving dinner is better than sex:

1. You are EXPECTED to watch football BEFORE and AFTER dinner! (again, for men)


NIGHT OWL ROMANCE'S KISS SCENE CONTEST
http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/contests/authorcontests.aspx
VOTE 12-30 NOVEMBER
MARIANNE STEPHENS' ENTRY IS # 4 !

http://www.aprilash.net
"Sexy Games", by April Ash...5 HEARTS, REVIEWER TOP PICK, Night Own Romance
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-7393-sexy-games.aspx
http://www.mariannestephens.net
Cerridwen Press:
http://www.jasminejade.com/default.aspx?skinid=13
http://www.breathlesspress.com
Anything You Can Do”, release date TBA

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A nibble of my new cherry, AT HER SERVICE out Nov. 30


Introducing my medieval romantica, AT HER SERVICE from www.total-e-bound.com , I am delighted to offer you a nibble of my newest cherry! Here, a lovely childless countess must bear an heir—or lose her lands, her honor—and her life. The man sent to sire a child with her is none other than the one who grew up fostered in her father’s castle as a boy—and the man Elise has yearned for lo, all the lonely years since he left.
A taste of AT HER SERVICE!
Circling up, up, up the winding tower that was the back entrance to their private rooms, she heard no one behind her. She breathed deeply in relief for that. Simon would not dare to come to them in full view of Alphonse’s retainers and servants. Simon might be under her husband’s thrall, but he would not leave the hall after her and, thus, make the servants aware of what his mission was.
She pushed open her husband’s bedroom door. It creaked, an eerie sound that sent shivers up her spine. But the warmth of the hearth fire, always blazing in the winter’s snow, rushed out to bathe her face and welcome her inside.
“Close the door, Elise.”
At the distinctive husky tone she could still identify after all these lonely years, she paused with one foot upon the threshold. She watched in amazement as Simon unfolded himself from the chair nearest the door and stood to his ungodly height. Anger flooded her at Simon’s impertinence of speaking to her before her husband bid her enter. Her gaze shot to Alphonse who lay beneath a pile of woollens and silks, snoring, his thin face grey, his mouth lax, his once manly frame reduced to a skinny child’s.
Simon took a step forward and extended his hand to the chair opposite his. “Come.” His rough bass voice flowed across the expanse of the chamber like thick molasses over her senses, her body warming to his sensuous tone. Simon’s merest words could entangle and enslave her.
Against his allure , she braced her spine. “How did you get in?”
Mere feet away, she noted how his silver eyes shown like the hard coin he would take for his service to her. “Your husband gave the order to his steward.”
“He should have told me, asked me,” she objected without regard to wake her husband, clenching her fists in fear at Cleve’s knowledge. Her voice bore her outrage that she could not countermand the great earl of Atherton, even as he lay dying in his bed.
Simon strolled forward, his head high, his expression earnest and pleading. Beneath his breath, he spoke to her alone. “The steward put me in the room below.” He nodded towards her alcove and the private winding stairs down to his tiny room. “We must talk.”
“No.” What good was talk? She was chained to Alphonse’s bargain and bound up in a torment wanting Simon de la Poer but knowing she should not have him. Yet she would take him to her to please Alphonse. Aye, and in the taking, she would also surely please herself. She snorted, stepped fully into the cosy apartment and shut the door to the world below.
“You need to know—”
“I want to know nothing.”
“That,” he whispered as he stepped close to her and threaded his long, supple fingers under her wimple up into the coil of her hair, “is a lie.”
She flinched backwards, wrenching to escape his reach. “You must do as I say. Agree or this will not happen at all.”
(Copyright 2009, Cerise DeLand)
Come to my blog for more nibbles of AT HER SERVICE: http://cerisedeland.blogspot.com
THANKS TO EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR WELL-WISHES AS I RECOVER FROM MY BROKEN WING!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Saturday Again? What the...


















My Mouse Died...

I have to go buy it some more AAA batteries...may it rest in peace.

You know damn hard it is (not that!) to try and type an entire post and load photos without a mouse??? It is virtually impossible!

Anyway, I came to realize tonight (um...this morning...it's 3:21 a.m.) just how ultra-dependent I am on technology to even write a story! Once upon a time, I actually used a pen and college-ruled filler paper to write my stories. Then, in 1987, I bought a wonderful antique Atari Game Console that had a great little plug-in thingy that let you write things and store them on 5 1/2" floppy disks! Ah, yes...the plug-in thingy was a "Paperclip" module...all the rage 27 years ago!

Problem? The old Atari is a 12-bit computer...and I have no way in hell of transcribing 23 hot, sexy books from 12-bit storage media to 16 or 32 bit media. &*)&%#$#&^(*&$%#

So in order to get them from those big, silly floppy disks onto my computer flash drive, I have to find some computer guru to figure out how to do that!

Yep...it's gonna be a long, hard (get your minds out of that gutter!) row to hoe.

Anybody got a link device that can transfer 12 bit to modern computer?

Fran Lee
http://www.franleeromance.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tearing My Hair Out!


I'm Hopeless!


Even with professional, hands on, personal guidance, I am useless when it comes to working with technology. I'm about as tech-savvy as an infant!
All right...so...coming soon, Julia Rachel Barrett's new website. You'll be able to sign up for a newsletter, contests, freebies, and lots and lots of fun.

Get ready for announcements galore with all the books coming out next year! Edits are finished on my story, You Might Just Get It, for The Cougar Book with Logical-Lust, arriving on Valentine's Day. Yay!

Once the website is up and running, at least reasonably well, you all will be the first to know!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I am inspired this week by a comment posted by sister scribe, Cerise, to April’s Monday post. She spoke to the benefits of needing the help of her S. O in the shower due to her broken arm. My husband and I spent the next half an hour laughing and re-visiting how my physical “situations” have added spice instead of strife.

We, too, have enjoyed shower togetherness brought on by my injuries. Two broken feet, three broken ribs, thirty some stitches over multiple body parts, a couple of surgeries, a broken hip, torn ligaments…yes, YES, I am accident prone!!! Mercifully, these situations didn’t occur at the same time, and there were always parts we could soap that didn’t cause excruciating pain.

Most recently, hubby and I were at the mall, searching for something for him to wear to the Romaticon 60’s party. Of course, we found his stuff in like five minutes, and went to leave. The sad, worn out state of my bras came up as we walked by Victoria’s Secret. Lured in by the sign screaming, “Huge Sale”, we began searching for replacements. The perky sales associate selected an armful of choices and ushered me towards the dressing room. It was at that moment when reality crashed into me hard. My rheumatoid arthritis was out of control, I couldn’t lift my right arm due to a rotator cuff incident, and hubs had tied my shoes and fastened my old, worn out bra that morning due to my lack of abilities! What the hell had I been thinking? I turned to him, with tears in my eyes, and said, “I can’t do this, let’s go home.”

“You can go in with her,” perky sales girl helpfully suggested.
My husband raised an eyebrow and flashed me his most devilish leer.

I now have two new bras and will always smile when I walk past that store!

Tessie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First and Ten Scores a Perfect "10"!

“First and Ten” scores a perfect 10!

byline: Katalina Leon


My sister Scribe Fran Lee has a terrific new book coming November 10, 2009 from Resplendence Publishing, titled “First and Ten”, part of the Carnal Reunions Anthology Series.

Fran has made it her specialty to pair characters together who think they are unlikely opposites and “First and Ten” takes that theme even further. The anthology, “Carnal Reunions”, is about seven college roommates who reconnect at a ten-year reunion and the emotional complications that result. Each of these friends has her own story.

Fran Lee’s heroine is named Fran Jamison! (You betcha I’m going ask about that in a minute!) Fran J is a smart, successful CEO and owner of a think tank. She is also still single and still hung up on college crush- Jack Gerrard. Back in college Jack’s mixed signals aggravated her and his apparent preference for beauty queens left her discouraged.

The story captures all Fran’s anxiety as she bravely faces a college reunion where she knows that the ugly memories of her past will come back to haunt her. And then she runs into her old crush…and it literally floors her! Saving her from falling on her butt, Jack gallantly takes her to her destination, but a few 12-year-old itches have to be scratched before she gets there.

Fortunately a few of life’s hard knocks have left Jack a much wiser man. He’s had a successful pro football career, married a beauty queen, and then lost it all. Now divorced, he owns a successful chain of restaurants called “Jack Gerrard’s First and Ten,” and he’s more than ready to admit that he’s always been deeply attracted to Fran’s big, soft and curvy frame…but will she trust him after all these years?

Katalina Leon: First things first, why do you and your heroine share the same first name?

FL: Because it’s rather unique nowadays, and because I have used most other names half a dozen times in books. So I thought about it, and decided she would be MY namesake…BBW and all!

KL: I love that Fran J is your spiritual twin in body and spirit. Both Fran and Jack are smart and successful. In the material sense they are un-needy but emotionally they both require a lot of reassurance. What is Fran’s greatest hurdle to accepting love and what is Jack’s greatest challenge in convincing her, she’s the right woman for him?

FL: Well, they are both very successful in business, but not in life. Fran spent seven long years in therapy because her body image back in college was way off kilter. It took her a long time to feel confident in herself. At 5’ 11”, she SHOULD weigh about 160, but to her, it was “fat”. But she learned a lot since high school, and lot more since college, and when she see Jack again she realizes she isn’t going to give him up again.

Jack has always wanted Fran, but when she innocently let a friend know she had a crush on him back in high school, his buddies gave him so much shit, he couldn’t take it. His ego back then was too fragile to handle the derision his buddies heaped upon him when they found out. And by the time he pulled his head out and tried to apologize for his stupidity, she had closed him out of her heart. All he knows is that he isn’t going to let her get away again.

KL: I have to admit class reunions scare me and I’ve never attended any of mine. Do you go to your class reunions?

FL: Absolutely…not. School was not my favorite pastime, and I would rather have been writing stories than walking down the halls. I didn’t socialize much, and kept a terribly low profile, so I would be the least likely to be remembered when the invites went out. I was the one with her nose buried in books, getting all those “A”s.

But I am drawing on real life experiences here with my characters. Fran always thought she was big and fat and ugly because she was tall and wore four sizes bigger clothes her whole life. I outweighed all my classmates (including some of the guys) but when I look back at photos when I was in school, I am totally shocked to see that I was not half as big and fat and ugly as I thought I was. Just because I had a full figure (not a fat one), and couldn’t fit into a size 6, I was devastated. In fact, the photo I use as my avatar was one I shuddered over when it was taken because I thought it looked awful. Now I just wish I still looked that great.

KL: I love your avatar! I see a beautiful woman in that picture. As women, it amazes me how far off track our self-image can get. Most of us could use some healing in that arena. I also think that’s why “First and Ten” will be such a refreshing read. We could all learn from Fran J! Tell me what you love about your hero Jack Gerrard.

FL: Jack is based on male reality. That completely unreasoning, shallow fear of being ridiculed. Letting a wonderful relationship that could have been exactly what he desperately needed walk away because he feared what his buddies would say. It is his coming of age here. He realizes that he doesn’t give a royal damn what they think now, and he isn’t about to blow off the real thing this time.

KL: OMG. You’re so right about men fearing ridicule. If I could go to a “Jack Gerrard’s First and Ten” restaurant, what should I order? What would blow me away?

FL: Well, since Jack always loved to cook (don’t let his pals know, or they’d never let him live it down) he makes up his own gourmet menus. His restaurants offer everything from gourmet burgers (and a “Yours Truly Burger” that you design yourself with various toppings and sauces) to Scampi Polonaise and Chateaubriand with pinot noir sauce. The finest of wines are in his cellar, everything from a fine Campredon blend to a lush red Chambolle Musigny Pinot noir and specialty bottles of Cristal. (And of course, the most expensive screw tops as well, specially ordered for his classy pals. LOL!) Fresh wild caught seafood, and only the finest hand-blended, make as we go sauces.

KL: Sounds yummy. Jack is officially forgiven for all past shallowness. On with the love affair! I can’t wait to buy “First and Ten.”


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNo Writing

This month I joined two author friends for our own version of the NaNo challenge. It's been a great experience for the last three years and I hoped this year wouldn't be any different. I'm pleased to announce it's been just as successful this year.
For those who don't know what NaNo is, it's a National challenge to write a 50k book in a month. Last year and the year before I finished to romantic comedies of more than 50k. This year my focus is a little different.
I've been in a funk for the last two months and couldn't find a way out. Suddenly as of November 1st, I'm writing 1,700-2,200 words a day. My normal average is 1k. I've finished a novella that had been sitting since August. Now I just need to polish it up and sent it off to my editor.
I'm a few thousand away from finishing another novella and plan to finish the other two in the series before month's end. If I don't finish both I know I'll come close.
I can't explain why, but November and NaNo have been freeing for me. I'm not going to question it, I'm just going with the flow.
And this year I'm having lots of fun doing research for my three book series. It's about a club where three women will live out their fantasies. Along with researching women's fantasies for the books, I'm also planning a short story for one of my editors based on role-playing. So, one idea is leading to another. I'm stock-piling these ideas for when the well runs dry, because it will or come very close in a few months when I get burned out from writing so much. :) But that's okay, because I'll have books out to editors to hold me over.

Off to do more research! :)

And don't forget to check out the Carnal Reunion authors releases today: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/53.html

Fran Lee, Taylor Tryst, Paris Brandon, Cindy Spencer Pape, Anny Cook, Regina Carlysle, and Tessie Bradford. You can't go wrong with any of these wonderful, talented authors!

Monday, November 9, 2009

CRAVING A DREAM HUNK & VIDEO

Raise your hand if you don't fantasize about some hunk, tending to your every need and desire. Hmm. I don't see a hand in sight! Sit back and fantasize with me about hunks and how useful they can be.

Things a hunk can do:

1. Give you a massage. Just imagine those strong, masculine hands molding your flesh as you lie serenely in a panting combination of bliss and desire. He starts by your shoulders and then his hands travel lower, lower, lower.

Are you squirming yet? How about when he begs you to turn over so he can do a complete job?

2. Wait on you "hand and foot". Picture him telling you to relax while he serves you a drink called "Sex on the Beach". Then he disappears into the kitchen to whip up a romantic dinner for two...wearing nothing but a VERY short apron, a smile, and a cute bow tie.

Did you reach out to touch his hot body?

3. Prepare a bubble bath for two. He leads you into the bathroom and turns on the tub's faucet, adjusting it so it's "just right". After adding the bubble bath soap, he removes his clothing...slowly, and swivels his body in all directions so you don't miss a thing. Next, he offers to undress you before you both step into the tub, bubbles popping, so he can help you enjoy a relaxing soak.

Do you run your fingers down his muscular body as he begins to unbutton your blouse?

4. Satisfy your sexual needs. He leads you into a bedroom where he's lit dozens of candles to add ambiance to the room. The aroma of lavender, roses, vanilla, or whatever is your favorite, mingles with his all-male scent. He's placed satin sheets on the bed...in your favorite color. You lie down, and he tells you to enjoy the evening, since he plans to cater to your every wish. Your urges and requests become his dedicated demands.

Have you told him what you want done first, fast, and all night?

Now that I have you panting with images of that special hunk you've always desired, you can answer the questions in your dreams. You will dream about him tonight, won't you?

Here's a link to a special hunk who's appearance, though a surprise to the lady in the video, makes sure he satisfies her craving for a particular service in a naughty way. Be sure to scroll down until you see the video box on the left and click to start. Enjoy!

http://www.shashum.com.ar/convexa2/trends/2006/11/thanksgiving.html


http://www.aprilash.net
"Sexy Games", by April Ash...5 HEARTS, REVIEWER TOP PICK, Night Own Romance
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-7393-sexy-games.aspx
http://www.mariannestephens.net
Cerridwen Press:
http://www.jasminejade.com/default.aspx?skinid=13
Breathless Press:
http://www.breathlesspress.com
Anything You Can Do”, release date TBA

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I slept all day Saturday...too sick to write a word...

Sometimes we get up on the wrong side of the bed...and sometimes we get up on the wrong side of midnight.

Things are all screwed up. Nothing seems to look right. Everything is upside down or inside out. Ever had one (or ten) of those days?

This is one of those days. It would normally be Cerise's day, but she said we should go ahead and use her days until she got well and was back to her computer. So I am.

I have been sick for about 40 days...since I took my grandson to the doctor to see what we needed to do about his freshly broken nose. He looked sorta like the Wolfman in Out of Her Dreams...bloody and crooked nose, black eyes. The works. He had gone to a street concert and had been popped by another kid's elbow in the "mosh" pit.

Well, I took him to the after hours clinic and saw a doctor. I've known this doctor for over 20 years. He came into the exam room and was coughing. He smiled and said, "I hope I don't get you two sick..."...and then he proceeded to examine the kid, coughing into his hand and so on.

Well...you guessed it...three days later the kid and the grandma are sick with mild bronchitis and a runny nose. My "mild bronchitis" stayed pretty mild for over a month, and then, last week, flared up into a major upper respiratory infection. I went back to the clinic today and yep...who came into the exam room, wearing a surgical mask so he wouldn't get infected? The same doctor.

So I took my antibiotics for my sinus infection and bronchitis, took my cold medicine, and took a putrid-tasting cough syrup with codeine...and crashed for the last twelve hours!

No flu. No pneumonia. Just a bad cold with bronchitis that just won't go away! No high fever. No nothing. But I have coughed so much, my ribs hurt. And I will never let another doctor around me who smiles and says, "Gee...duh..I shore hopes I don't gets ya sick..."

Fran Lee
http://www.franleeromance.com


Friday, November 6, 2009

Finally...A Cover I Can Sink My Teeth Into!

















Coming 2010

Daughters of Persephone

Book One Exile
Book Two Return

by Julia Barrett
and Resplendence Publishing



It's like my first time! My first hot cover...ever! The work will be released next July, to be followed by Book Three Reborn.

Stay tuned - I think I'll have another cover for my March release, Beauty and the Feast, very soon!

Free Read - A Sample...


The Artist

Book one of the Dream series

By Julia Barrett

My husband called this morning to tell me he’d changed his flight and we had a huge argument. It was about his family and how they suck. He didn’t try to defend them, but neither did he stand up to them and I thought… Jeez, you fucker, you just cut off your own balls to spite your face. How am I supposed to have sex with you ever again when you’ve just emasculated yourself in my eyes?! You stupid fuck.

I drove to the damn Oakland Airport later that same day, navigating on freeways I’m not familiar with through heavy traffic, holding my MapQuest directions in one hand, trying to steer with the other hand, watching the road with one eye and reading with the other… fuming.

Of course, we made up on the ride home. After I calmed down and put on my listening ears, I found out that he’d tried to defend me but his jerk of a brother had drawn a line in the sand and wouldn’t relent, so my husband decided retreat was the better part of valor. He realized he was fighting a battle he couldn’t win and he walked away. He’s not like me. He’s conciliatory. I’d just as soon beat his brother about the head with a rolling pin, and that’s me being nice. I have a bit of a red-head temper. Just a bit…

* * * *

Last night, my husband came to bed after I’d already fallen asleep and I woke with his teeth biting down on my nipple and his cock pressed against my thigh. Oh. My. God. Was he hard. Like… explosively hard. He’s always big—I’m a very lucky woman—but holy shit! He was a bloody rock. Maybe it was the argument about his family, or maybe it was the fact that he’d been out of town for ten days, could have been either, but I was slippery wet in seconds. He tossed me onto my back and rolled on top of me, spreading my legs with his knees and ooh that first thrust… he was so hard, so big, he couldn’t get in right away—that’s my favorite part of sex, feeling him press against me, intruding into my space inch by glorious inch, while I open for him, you know, give it up.

Once he was in me, once he was buried to the hilt, as they say in romance novels, he began to move, not like a jackhammer, but with slow, sensuous thrusts, pulling nearly all the way out and then rubbing against me as he plunged in over and over and over again, his lips on mine, his hand on my breast, his thumb rubbing my nipple until I found myself breathless and whimpering and crying Yes, Yes, Yes, Oh God, Yes. Oh Yes. And we both managed to come simultaneously. We seem to do that a lot. I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that we are each very attuned to the state of arousal in the other. His thrusts grow harder, deeper and he feels as if he’s expanding inside me and I guess my noises, as he calls them, which he says excite him, give me away. Oh yes, they do indeed. When it comes to sex, I am an open book. Make up sex, mad sex, get even sex, love you sex—it’s all there, plain as the nose on my face.

And the dream sex. I have to count the dream sex, like last night’s episode.

I did fall asleep quickly, sated, and I do mean sated. Toward morning, I dreamed a dream. It was less like a dream and more like a visitation. Something happens every so often… men come in the night, in my dreams. No two are alike, they do different things, say different things, they don’t look alike. One… and he’s come a number of times… is a vampire. I don’t know them, but I want them and in my dreams, I always fuck them… well, one time the vampire bit me but it was as good as fucking. My orgasm on that occasion was out of this world.

In this particular dream, the guy came to me as a blond. In real life, I’m not attracted to blonds, other than Brad Pitt, especially the Brad Pitt of A River Runs Through It. In the dream I found myself at an art exhibit. I didn’t know the artist and I didn’t know why I was there, but some organization was apparently honoring the man. He stood on a stage in front of a large crowd, and accepted some award. I watched from the very back, knowing this was a dream and wondering why it was necessary for me to be present.

Chairs had been set up in rows and someone had arranged for a media presentation. A screen dropped down from the ceiling and everyone took a seat to watch… what? The story of the artist’s life and work? A photo essay of his paintings? I wasn’t quite sure. I remained in the back by myself, and found a seat on a couch that had been pushed against the far wall. I guess the organizers wanted to get it out of the way.

The lights went down and everyone’s attention focused on the screen. I wore a short jean skirt and a tight black sweater. My skirt hitched up when I sat, so for the sake of discretion, I covered my thighs with my leather jacket. From out of nowhere, the artist stood in front of me and he asked if he could sit beside me.

“Of course,” I murmured, scooting over to make room for him. The man was good looking in an older, distinguished, masculine kind of way, not my usual type, but… who cares… it was a dream, right?

Before I had time to protest, he’d reached down and grabbed my legs and pulled them across his lap, forcing me to recline sideways on the couch. I must admit I felt some surprise, but I decided to go with it, curious to learn what he had in mind. He kept my jacket over my thighs, but I felt his hands move beneath the leather and he shoved my skirt up to my waist. Should I protest, I wondered, already wet with anticipation. No. This is a dream, I reminded myself. I can do whatever I want in dreams.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Training Randi

Training Randi

A part of the Carnal Reunions Anthology Series

The Carnal Reunions series from Resplendence releases on November 10th.

Fran Lee, Regina Carlysle, Cindy Spencer Pape, Anny Cook, Paris Brandon and myself each wrote a story about one of seven college housemates returning for their ten year college reunion. The process was great fun, and I'm excited to share an excerpt from my contribution, Training Randi.

Training Randi
Copyright: Tessie Bradford, 2009
Resplendence Publishing

Coming to a stop at the last traffic light before heading out of town, Jeff checked the mirror again and watched as Miranda finger combed her hair and applied lipstick. “Completely unnecessary, darlin,” he said to himself as the light turned green. “Your hair is about to be completely messed after thrashing around on my pillow, and those lip are gonna…” Jeff adjusted himself in a futile effort to decrease the pressure of his zipper against his raging hard on.

While laughing and catching up over a deep dish, double pepperoni pizza, Jeff had come to a couple of very important conclusions; he was very good at reading people. Miranda oozed sexual frustration. Each time he’d tried to steer the conversation toward her personal relationships, or lack thereof, her cheeks had blushed a pretty pink and she’d glanced around the room to see if anyone was paying attention to them. A couple of times he thought she was about to ask him something, but then she’d changed the subject. Well, they weren’t kids anymore, and were about to be completely alone. He was going to find out once and for all if Miranda shared his sexual appetites.

Jeff parked in the driveway. “So much for getting my shit together,” he mumbled, glancing down at the bulge in his jeans. “Maybe I can use it as a conversation starter?” He carefully got out of his truck. Miranda was the only woman who’d ever been able to turn him on by the simple act of existing. He tried to walk normally as he went to her.

“Nice place. You weren’t kidding about your gyms being a success, were you?” Jeff watched with pride as she took in his large brick home and perfectly manicured grounds.

“What is it with you implying I’m less than honest?” He swept her into his arms without preamble and kissed her hard. She was a few inches shorter than he was but they fit together perfectly. He held her tightly enough to feel the gentle poke of her hardened nipples against his chest. He slid one hand down to her lower back and pressed her firmly against his erection. No more beating around bushes. He was going to make love to this woman until she couldn’t remember her name.

“Let’s go inside, Miranda,” he whispered against her ear when he broke the kiss. “My driveway is not where I want to be at the moment.”

“Agreed.”

His cock twitched painfully when he stared down into her passion filled eyes.

Once inside the house, Jeff motioned Miranda to sit on the oversized leather couch that dominated his living room. He remained standing. “I need to tell you something, Miranda.”

“I was kind of hoping to communicate with you in a non-verbal, horizontal sort of way.” Her flirty tone and sexy as hell pout was almost his undoing; almost.

“Oh I plan on doing plenty of that,” he grinned. “But there was a reason I never made love to you and it sure as hell wasn’t because I didn’t want to. Just give me a second to explain.” He waited until she nodded for him to continue.

“I’d been dating a girl for over a year back in Kansas when I figured it was high time we took things to the next level. I thought we were in love, so I told her exactly what I wanted to do with her in the bedroom. She freaked out and told her father, who just happened to be on the board of trustees at the school we attended. In a hot minute, he made my life a living hell on that campus.
“I was still freaked out and confused when you sashayed into my life. As we spent more time together, it became obvious to me your hot as hell efforts at seduction increased in intensity when I was in any situation that required me to take charge. I started to test my theory with little scenes like the one with Dakota, and it wasn’t long before I realized you were at your sexy best when I was pushing people to their limits, causing a bit of pain.” He hesitated, waiting for her to call him a pervert or run screaming from the room in horror. When she ran her tongue along her lower lip and wiggled her ass on the couch instead, he struggled not to let out a whoop of victory.

“I knew you weren’t ready to deal with those feelings back then and I refused to repeat my mistakes. You need to be honest with me now, though, Miranda. Do you get off on a little pain with your pleasure?”

“I think so,” she whispered so softly it was barely audible, but he heard her. He joined her on the couch, gently pulling her onto his lap.

“But you don’t know for sure? You’ve never experienced the ecstasy that can only be found in the hands of a skilled Master?”

“Jeff, please,” she groaned quietly while shifting in his lap.

“Answer my question, Miranda.”

“I’ve never experienced ecstasy at anyone’s hands except my own,” she finally responded with a chuckle. “The ability to find the most unsatisfying relationships on the planet is one of my greatest talents. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I’m just not a very passionate person.”

“That’s the biggest load of shit I’ve ever heard. You’re on fire right now, from your swelled, beautiful breasts, down to those luscious thighs that you keep desperately trying to reposition.” He slowly stroked a finger up her leg, sliding her skirt above her knees. “I’d bet my last dollar that your pussy is wet and aching for my touch.” He massaged the back of her neck while locking her gaze to his. “You need to be honest with yourself and your lover, Miranda. Tell me what you want from me.” Jeff applied gentle pressure along her neck when she tried to turn away from him. “Now,” he ordered. He watched her expression change from questioning unease to lustful mischief.

“I want you to take control of my body and push me to my limits. I want you to punish me if I’m bad and reward me when I’m good. I want you to be my personal trainer, Jeff. Will you show me what I’ve been missing all these years?”

“With pleasure.”

Tessie