Today we get to enjoy a pre-holiday treat – Katalina Leon has agreed to give us a peak into Nice Package, her new book releasing with Ellora’s Cave tomorrow!
I’ve had the pleasure of reading this wonderful story! The very first sentence had me smiling and by the end of the first paragraph, I announced to my husband that all chores were on hold until I was finished! Nice Package is ultra romantic and, of course, steamy hot but also playful and inventive.
Christmas chaos is over at the Emerson’s house, but the real holiday fun is just beginning. Jim presents Cora with a big beautiful gift box she is forbidden to open.
What’s in the crimson mystery box?
Cora finds out, slowly, over a twenty-four-hour period. The box contains tantalizing toys, temptation, tricky games and an invitation to an erotic adventure at a mountain lodge that will refresh their marriage and bond them as lovers. If Cora can endure one hellaciously prolonged tease, she’s really going to enjoy getting a nice package.
Reader Advisory: Novel contains a scene that includes light f/f interaction.
Tessie: Thanks for being here today, Kat! NP begins the day after Christmas; Boxing Day. I’ve heard of this holiday but don’t know its significance; enlighten us, please!
Kat: Traditionally, Boxing Day is the day after the busy Christmas holiday when the household servants were granted the day off and allowed to relax. On this day, annual salaries were paid, bonuses and little gifts were boxed and presented by grateful masters/ employers. In the case of "Nice Package" my heroine Cora, who works with her husband is going to get a big adventure and a well deserved treat on Boxing Day.
Tessie: What were some of the creative challenges of writing an erotic romance about a happily married couple?
Kat: "Happily married" are the operative words. Anyone can get married but committed people find a way to connect to higher values and make the tough stuff work. I realize not everyone gets that privilege. I see many loving people with high integrity suffering with a partner who is not their equal and you just want to see them find happiness.
"Nice Package" is about a couple who weather the storm, support each other and the people around them and survive challenging times. The gift Jim and Cora give each other is love and commitment through thick or thin. I reject the notion that marriage is boring. I've been married forever and I'm not bored.
Tessie: Which came first, the plot or the characters?
Kat: The plot. I started writing the story in July with a whole different idea of where the story might go. I intended to write a hot little Christmas Quickie. Right away Cora and Jim started revealing themselves to me, and I knew I had to slow down and allow them to tell their story.
Jim, being the boss, ran away with the story and surprised me. Every day when I opened the "Nice Package" WIP to write, I honestly didn't know what Jim would do next. He was very sneaky that way! I deeply sympathized with Cora. lol
Tessie: What are your favorite qualities of Jim and Cora’s relationship?
Kat: They love and respect each other and they love and respect their extended community. In difficult times both Cora and Jim are an asset to anyone who meets them.
Tessie: Hans and Tamsen are strong, secondary characters. Tell us a bit about them and how they came into being. The name Tamsen is unique; any significance?
Kat: Yes, the fictional Diamondback Lodge where most of the story takes place is near Donner Pass, the site of the infamous Donner Party tragedy. I travel through Donner Pass on ski trips and I can tell you that place can be brutal. One year I got separated from my ski party in a blizzard and thought I was going to die. My husband braved the storm and rescued me. Sadly a woman my age died on the mountain the same night. Tamsen Donner stands out in my mind because of the letters she left behind of this American western tragedy.
I also fell in love with the character of Hans and think he represents so many talented people who simply need to reassess their strengths and put them to use.
Note to readers: "Nice Package" has nothing to do with the Donner Party except the location, which is gorgeous. There's very little cannibalism in this fun, kinky, holiday themed romance. Okay, I admit there's absolutely no cannibalism...lol
Tessie: I’m ready for an excerpt!!
An Excerpt From: NICE PACKAGE
Copyright © KATALINA LEON, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Cora knew if the bra she wore didn’t kill her she would have to kill the bra. She leaned over the sink full of warm soapy dishes and attempted to discreetly adjust the razor-thin satin straps from beneath her snug cashmere sweater. The racy new bra looked so pretty this morning. Its shades of scarlet trim made it the perfect festive choice for Christmas day, but at the end of many long happy hours it turned on her and showed its vicious side. The bra had a biting underwire and nasty little straps that cut into her shoulders. It was not her friend even though it was beautiful and its delicate lace cups had gleamed a lush crimson in the lingerie store and promised to be a pleasant holiday companion, but it wasn’t. Its true nature had been exposed. The bra had a cruel streak and it had to go.
She stopped washing crystal goblets and removed her rubber gloves so she could reach under her favorite pearl-embroidered red sweater without soaking it. Her damp hands ran the length of the pinching underwire, hoping to locate the exact trouble spot and free her tortured breasts.
“Let me help you.” A big, warm male body pressed against her back and wrapped his arms round her waist. His hands reached upward to gently cup her breasts. “I love how sexy you look wearing this tight sweater.” His warm breath tickled her ear. “Quite fuckable.”
She quickly turned to shush her husband. “Be careful, Jim,” she whispered. “We don’t want the kids hearing that.”
Jim leaned over her shoulder, mischief lit deep within his warm brown eyes. “There are no kids.” He paused. “They just left. My parents took them for the weekend. All the cousins are going to meet at the cabin tomorrow to go snow sledding. Everyone already drove away while you were tidying the kitchen.” He smiled. “We have Christmas night completely to ourselves.”
“Really?” She turned in Jim’s arms to face him, rose on tiptoes and kissed his lips. “Are we meeting the family at the cabin tomorrow?”
“No, we have other plans.”
Her brows dipped. Was everyone truly gone? “I didn’t even say goodnight to anyone or thank them for a lovely Christmas.” She impulsively dodged past Jim, hurried from the kitchen and stared with disbelief into a quiet living room filled with puddled cranberry candles and a sparkling Christmas tree. “They left so quietly, I didn’t even hear anyone leave.”
Jim’s grin crooked to the side the way it always did when he was plotting something silly or fun. His curved smile always gave his true intentions away. “That was part of the plan. We wanted to surprise you. You work so hard every year making the holidays a wonderful experience for all of us, I wanted to surprise you by doing something special just for you.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to his heart, gently kissing the top of her head. “Let’s finish the dishes and I’ll let you in on a little of my plan.” He led her into the kitchen and gently maneuvered her in front of the sink.
She laughed softly. “I see your holiday plan includes me finishing the messy kitchen work no matter what.”
He pressed the length of his torso against her back and kissed the nape of her neck. “We can’t leave a sink full of dishes, we’re also going away.”
She twisted in Jim’s arms to look up at him. “Where are we going?”
“I can’t tell you. It’s a surprise.” His broad hands slid beneath her sweater and deftly unhooked her bra.
The snuggly fitted bra strap popped open. She instantly sighed with relief.
He pushed the bra upward, cupping her naked breasts and gently took hold of her nipples, giving each a gentle but firm tug. The rumpled sweater rose higher as his fingertips lovingly explored her rounded curves. His face nuzzled her hair and gently inhaled her perfume. “I like this scent. It’s crisp and clean. It suits you.” His lips brushed against the nape of her neck with a featherlight kiss, as his palms warmed her breasts. “Your skin is so soft.” He slowly rubbed his body longingly against her. “You feel so good,” he whispered. “I can’t stop touching you.” His hard cock pressed persistently against his trousers and firmly poked against her bottom. “Finish doing the dishes so I can take you into the living room and fuck you under the Christmas tree.”
“Are you joking?” She turned to face the sink and swished her fingers through the warm water searching for any stemware left behind. She picked up a goblet that still had a crimson lipstick stain on its rim.
“No, I’m not joking. I might as well tell you right now, part of your holiday surprise this weekend is that I get to have complete sexual control over you. You’ll do absolutely everything I say.”
She gasped in eager alarm and nearly dropped one of her favorite goblets into the sink. She’d been waiting a long time to hear those words, and now that the moment was finally here, she started wondering what would happen next. Her heart pounded with excitement. She loved it when Jim took charge of her and allowed her to be the pampered submissive. It was what she craved above all else, and it was thrilling to know he felt the same way.
She glanced over her shoulder and gazed into his eyes. A bright smile spread across her face. “We’ll see how well that works out for you. I have to warn you, I’ll only submit to the most clever and masterful hands.” She gently challenged him with her words and her eyes.
His eyes sparkled. “You’ve hinted more than once you were ready to play a few new games with me, and this is the time. We’re starting now.” His gaze fixed directly on hers. “I know you better than you might think. Give me credit for that. I know what you’ve dreamed about, hinted at and hoped for. I even know you enjoy a little anxiety and tension mixed together with your orgasms. Am I right?”
“What?” She wilted over the sink in mock shock. It was true. Her face grew warmer.
“I’ve watched you work yourself into a tense lather on many occasions just to get a bigger sexual thrill. I’ll tell you upfront, I might even spring a few shocking little surprises on you just for the pleasure of watching you writhe. I’ve also taken a good long look at those books you keep hidden on your side of the nightstand, and I know exactly what your fantasies are.”
“Do you?” She blushed furiously. Her gaze focused on the kitchen window above the sink. The window acted as a dark mirror, clearly reflecting her startled face and Jim’s confident expression. “I’m a reader. I’m open-minded. Erotic-romance is fun and exciting to read.” She nervously paused. “Jim they’re just books…”
He looked at their reflection in the window and caught her nervous gaze. “They’re very telling books. Very graphic books. To be honest, I’m as turned-on by them as you are, so there’s nothing to feel self-conscious about. Remember, I love you, Cora. You’re my fantasy girl, and I would never harm you or cross the line, but…” The warmth of his smiled faded and his expression became serious. “This weekend I will be completely in charge of you. Sexually you will be under my control. You will come or not at my discretion, and you will do my bidding.”
Her jaw dropped in disbelief at his words and tone. She glanced over her shoulder. “Merry Christmas, Jim. I hope you didn’t discuss this part of the holiday surprise with your parents.” Her face grew warmer. She was both embarrassed and thrilled to have her secret love-slave fantasies taken seriously and brought into the open.
“Finish the dishes,” he commanded. His lips compressed to a tight line that refused to allow even the slightest hint of a smile to warm them.
Her body twisted toward him. She leaned against the edge of the countertop as she studied Jim’s inscrutable expression. What exactly did he have planned? His suddenly firm but secretive demeanor intrigued her. The determined set of his jaw told her he was ready to play bed Master. Good for her. She loved that game and hoped he was ready to expand on that familiar and beloved role. This was a great opportunity. They both worked so hard, and the boys demanded so much of their time most evenings they didn’t have the privacy or the energy to play at all. On a good night, they simply shared lazy but satisfying sex, rolled over and immediately fell asleep. She was overjoyed Jim had planned a romantic and sexually adventurous weekend outing just for them. She had dreamed of this day, and quite frankly, it sounded too good to be true. Her naturally anxious tendencies kicked in. There had to be a catch? “What about the kids? Will they be all right? Does anyone even know where we’re going?”
“The kids will be fine, and don’t worry. Everyone knows where we’re going, but no one knows what we’ll be doing. This weekend is just for us.”
Thanks again, Kat and Happy Day Before Release Day!!