Cover Reveal for City Nights: One Night in San Francisco by Cass Peterson (@casspeterson1)

One Night in San Francisco

Blurb:

Nicky and Liam have only twenty four short hours to find out if their instantaneous attraction can develop into something more than an electric mile-high fumble. San Francisco has everything they need to put their previous disastrous relationships behind them but when they lose touch with each other almost immediately, fate seems to have other ideas. As the precious hours tick away, Liam moves heaven and earth to find the woman of his (filthiest) dreams before she leaves the city. Will he get to her in time?

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22728019-one-night-in-san-francisco

*****

About the Author:

Cass Peterson is passionate about many things; her family, writing, chocolate, wine, cake, curry, gin, sunlit beaches, moonlit bedrooms and good novels to name but a few. At the moment she spends a good chunk of her time working on the day job, but she tries to fit the other passions in as often as possible.

She is a cat lover, an all-weather walker, a reader and reviewer of contemporary romance and an enthusiastic cook.

Cass likes to laugh, especially at Bill Bailey, Victoria Wood, Michael Palin and Eddie Izzard. She would happily live next door to any of these comedians.

http://casspeterson.co.uk
http://www.twitter.com/casspeterson1
https://www.facebook.com/cass.peterson.4

 

Sweet Secrets by Constance Munday

Sweet SecretsWhat will happen when dark secrets threaten a perfect recipe for happiness and newfound love?

Left on her own, Carrie Ann decides it is time to escape her past, empower herself and overcome her confidence issues by turning her secret hobby of erotic cake design into a business. Her world is then turned upside down when she bumps into dynamic and sexy Dominic. Unwittingly, Carrie Ann sows the seeds of disaster from day one, weaving a web of deceit, and before she knows it the lies are multiplying.

As news of her baking brilliance spreads, romance grows. Now, only one thing can ruin their happiness and that is Carrie Ann’s dark deceptions and the battle she is fighting within herself. Will she be strong enough to overcome a past that is set to destroy her dreams for the future and tell Dominic the truth, or will she lose him forever?

Available from:
Totally Bound
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

Excerpt

The sun warmed Carrie Ann Jude’s face as she glanced through the large plate glass windows of the airport. Planes rose into the sky like silver birds, their metal bodies transporting people all over the world on adventures. She tightened her grip on the straps of her handbag. She had been one of those people embarking on an adventure only two weeks ago, except her journey had not started just with feelings of excitement, but trepidation. She pushed her sunglasses up over her head and took out her paperback to flip through. It was hard to concentrate with so many thoughts dancing in her head.

Carrie Ann was so deep in thought she hadn’t noticed the stunning youth about to sit down beside her. Wanting to be alone and not have anyone invading her space, she’d put her large bag on the chair next to her. Before she could say anything, he’d had his hand on it and, much to her consternation, had dropped it unceremoniously onto the floor. Then, not giving her time to move out of the way, he dumped a considerably weighty backpack on her foot.

“Ouch. Watch it!” she cried out, as he bumped against her, slopping his coffee over her hand. “That was hot.” She angrily snapped her book closed, noticing spots of coffee marking the pages.

“Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. Hi.” He had an American accent. “I ought to have asked if you minded if I sat here, but that’s me.”

She looked up to make a rude retort and found herself glaring into an impossibly green pair of eyes. She flushed. It was so embarrassing to be trapped by his compelling gaze.

“I’m so clumsy, everyone says it.” He held out his hand. “I’m truly sorry. My name’s Dominic, and you are…?”

How could she resist those eyes and his flirtatious expression? Carrie Ann took hold of his proffered hand and shook it unenthusiastically. “Carrie Ann.” What she could only describe as an electrical charge danced up her legs and ended with a pleasant fizz in the tips of her fingers and toes. He was very good-looking and his mop of shaggy blond hair that flopped into his face seemed to remind her of…

“Great.” He flashed her a grin. “I’m sorry. Let me get you another coffee.”

“No thanks, I don’t want one.” She was attempting to be more assertive, but it was harder than she’d thought. Actually, everything was so much harder out in the big wide world as she tried to cut ties to her past. Rommy, her father, so named because when he was younger he’d looked devilishy like a true Romany gypsy, had often criticised her for her submissive stance, which was ridiculous since that was what he’d wanted from her. The thought of him sent a creepy crawly shiver down her spine.

No one should feel like that about their father, but she did and she couldn’t help it. On occasion, she wondered if she would ever be able to get over him, shake loose all the hang-ups and phobias he had given her. It had not been abuse, but he had been good at keeping her under. She realised now she shouldn’t have put up with it for so long, she should have fought more for her independence when she’d had a chance to. But that was easier said than done.

The young guy hefted his bag and again knocked her. The nerve of it. She studied him angrily out of the corner of her eye. She had keen powers of observation—it was another one of the little skills she’d developed from being alone so long. Not having a lot to occupy her, she had become exceedingly observant. His arms were bare and muscular and covered in a frosting of tight blond hair. He also had strong, capable hands. Rommy would have said the man’s thighs were those of a rugby player. She had a thing about blond men, she reflected. Perhaps that was why she was instantly captivated by him. That came as a surprise and an interesting one, since anger and desire had a potent effect on her newly liberated self. It would be hard to be immune to his charms and it might be fun to test her boundaries yet again. She was woefully inexperienced with men. In a way, stepping out into the world was like learning to drive, and shy girls like her had to approach it slowly and cautiously and be prepared for any sudden unexpected turns in the road or emergency stops. She smiled to herself. She might have been confined to the house for years and had no experience of love first-hand, but she was living and breathing and had the same desires other women had.

For some reason she was shamefully hot and crossed her legs. It was utterly ridiculous being affected like this since Dominic was sexy and because of that was the kind of guy who wouldn’t flirt with her, well, not seriously. She tugged her skirt down over her knees. When she glanced up, he was watching her with a wry twist to his lips, as if he found her faintly amusing.

He gestured to the terminal board. “I guess you’re heading back to England.”

“Naturally,” she said. Carrie Ann wondered if she had a sticky label on her forehead, stamped ‘England’.

Nervousness made her feel hysterical. She would much prefer to be left alone with her thoughts, besides which it was distinctly embarrassing to have a man’s leg pressed against hers. He kept staring at her and she self-consciously stroked her lip. Why did he keep peering at her, like that? Besides the invisible label, there was nothing else that could make her seem even remotely interesting…was there?

At that moment a stunning girl strolled by and Dominic sized her up with interest, his gaze rippling up and down her from the tips of the high heels she was tottering in, to her layer-cut, multi-toned hair. Carrie Ann’s spirits sank further. She only had to dissect some of the women around her to realise she was at a distinct disadvantage where flirting was concerned. Let’s face it, she wasn’t even dressed for seduction. She was draped in her shabby comfortable skirt and she hadn’t even bothered with her appearance. As for what Rommy would have rather rudely termed ‘slap’—that was like attempting a recipe that was way out of her comfort zone. She’d only recently ventured down the makeup trail and she still didn’t like wearing it, although that might soon have to change, if her career plans took off. Makeup was weird stuff. It never looked right on her—the eyeshadow she’d tried made her dark brown eyes seem to retreat backwards so they seemed far too small, her freckles overwhelmed her complexion and her riotous mousy curls defied brushes, combs and tongs.

Any makeup she had used, she’d mistakenly plastered on to cover the freckles, and red lipstick—as Myra, the girl she had met at the ranch had pointed out—made her appear garish. Myra had given her a stick of lipstick termed nude and that did help, teamed with a tinted moisturiser. Myra was a brick, she thought grimly, pity she lived halfway across the world in Australia. She was also into baking, which had been a plus. It had been great to actually have a kindred spirit to talk with, to enthuse about her dreams to. Her heart soared and dipped. If anything was guaranteed to lift her spirits, it was the prospect of the new plans waiting for her when she got home.

“I don’t bite.” He touched her.

She jumped. He was smiling at her and trying to be funny by dipping his head and making puppy dog eyes at her.

She laughed, she couldn’t help it. “No, I guess not.”

He stretched out his long legs, settling back in his chair. “Did you enjoy it?”

“Enjoy what?”

“Your stay over here in the States. What were you doing? Was it business or pleasure?”

She was still guilty that she’d splurged a considerable amount of Rommy’s nestegg on the short holiday. It was the kind of thing her father, with his thrifty ways, would have termed profligate.

“All pleasure. Something trivial actually. I just had the Arlem experience.” She stared him in the eye, seeing if he got it or not. Most people knew about Arlem or they didn’t.

He broke into a grin. “Wow! You’re kidding. The Arlem experience, that’s way cool. I read about it in a Sunday supplement.” Brow creased, he seemed to be thinking.

“But that’s where the weird people go isn’t it? You a teacher? You don’t strike me as weird.”

She felt a short sharp violent stab of indignation. “The people at Arlem are lovely. They specialise in helping people. People with problems.”

“Yeah, but it’s mostly mental problems isn’t it?”

“Not always,” she snapped. Goodness, he had no tact whatsoever. “And no. I’m not a teacher, I was a visitor.”

He shrugged and looked away. It was as if he hadn’t noticed her sharp tone. “I’ve just been to visit my mother,” he explained. “She lives in California and he—my dad—still lives in England. After that ordeal, there were a few things I wanted to stop off and see here before I headed back. I don’t know why I come back to see her because it winds me up so much. Dad’s worse though, so it’s the lesser of two evils. In case you wondered. They’re divorced although it’s a sham since neither of them abide by the rules. They frequently visit one another to have passionate interludes.”

“Really.” Carrie Ann was intrigued, as in her estimation, romantic folk like that only seemed to exist between the pages of novels. “How modern of them. They must like it and be very much in love to be like that. To want the continual spice.”

He didn’t seem to have heard her. “It’s not like a divorce. It’s like playing at a divorce. In fact, I reckon you’re right. They rather like it. It seems to add something to their love life.”

“I think it’s romantic. Fancy still loving a person when you’re half a world apart.”

“Yes. Quaint. A grown-up kind of game. My father’s version of Viagra. I often wonder if that’s why I’m so messed up. It would be hard not to be, with two parents like that.”

Carrie Ann fell silent. Dominic didn’t look messed up. He seemed the most confident and together person she’d met. Besides being wickedly good-looking. Come on. You deserve a slap on the wrist. He’s so young for one thing. Let’s face it, there’s no way on earth a guy like him would ever want to date you.

 

About Constance Munday

Constance is nearly always to be found with a pencil in her hand making notes for a new story. She has led a varied life and done many jobs from cup washer, lecturer, to new age healer but has always written since she was a child.

A major health scare recently though, made her see life differently, and after years as a part-time writer, she turned full-time, because as she says – life is too short not to do what you love. She has literally climbed a mountain and made many sacrifices to pen her novels and now builds on a fund of wonderful encounters with intriguing people, plus her imagination, to write stories with strong characters and determined and adventurous women.

When asked what kind of genre is her favourite, romance is always the answer because to Constance, romance – whether hot and steamy or sweet and emotional is always at the heart of a good story. She hopes her stories reflect all of life’s facets from the struggling mother at home who finds a way out of poverty, the ardent and often disappointed dieter, to the girl who triumphs over sickness or has the courage to embrace her rather naughty side.

Constance loves listening to snatched conversations, which often gives her a seed to start a story, taking walks, revelling in the mysteries of life and baking and dancing, when she isn’t tapping away at her latest novel, of course.

She loves her fans and their comments, so invites you to please drop a line and if you have a second, pen a review.

Find Constance on: http://msnc62.wordpress.com/author/constancemundayromance/
Email: constancemundayromance@yahoo.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Constance-Munday/1389544714601452?ref_type=bookmark

 

Guest Blogger: Toni Sands

WMS_blogtourThank you, lovely K D Grace, for hosting me. It’s wonderful to be here with a licence to thrill, I hope! Knight and Trask: Secrets and Spies is my latest Xcite novella and I had fun writing about this pair.

But my secret agent, Trask, doesn’t pack a revolver and his oppo, Katie Knight, doesn’t whip a pistol from her knickers when she’s in a tight corner. They’re both elite operators and their main task is to gain the confidence of people operating outside the law. So Trask might get the gig where he makes a big fuss of a gangster’s mistress, flattering (literally) the pants off her so she reveals information for the UK special service to pursue. Katie works under cover, maybe infiltrating a government department or attending a function with the purpose of getting cosy with an international businessman or drug dealer.

So the story has some similarities to the original James Bond movies, because of its old school flavour. I wanted to set it at the end of the twentieth century so as not to be bogged down by political correctness. Also, there’s no gadgetry involved apart from ‘bugging’ to overhear conversations. But didn’t we all love those inventions by ‘Q’ and James Bond’s maverick approach to them?

Knight and Trask are used to the good things of life. They have to be equally at ease with people who own stately homes and people who flip burgers for a living. They need to fit whatever role they’re portraying so, you’ll see Trask playing a waiter while Katie’s the Sloane Ranger with the velvet headband.

But where the original Bond girls often looked pretty in a scanty bikini before ending up on a mortuary slab, Katie’s no airhead. She might simper in the line of duty but she has a degree and a stint as an army officer behind her. She’s six foot tall and stacked but Trask makes her feel like a rosebud.

I hope you’ll buy the book and love the story.

 

Knight and TraskExcerpt:

‘There are two kinds of rich people, Senor Sol. Some like to flaunt their wealth. Others prefer to avoid the spotlight.’

‘Very astute, my beautiful English Rose. For sure, I’m already falling under your spell.’

She put down her fork and leaned one elbow on the table. Propped her chin in her hand. ‘You’re an attractive man, Javier. How come you arrived tonight without a partner?’

He shrugged. ‘How come you arrive tonight with an old school chum, as you call him? Are you his, how do they call it, his beard?’

‘Touché,’ said Katie. ‘Sometimes I become bored. I like Henry’s sense of humour and he’s unthreatening, so I can relax, without worrying whether a man’s trying to get me into bed or not.’ She resumed her supper.

Javier laughed. ‘You are refreshing like a spring breeze. Should I now be worrying whether you are trying to get me into bed or not?’

‘That would depend.’

‘Upon what?’

‘Whether we both want it or not.’

‘Oh, I think we both know the answer to that.’

Katie placed her cutlery neatly on her plate so he could reach for her hand, which he did without delay.

 

Blurb:

Set in the 1990s, this is a swift-moving sexy story of two spies who dare to break the rules and risk disgrace, all for the sake of love.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

 

Toni SandsAuthor Bio and Links:

Toni Sands lives in Wales and writes as much as she can when she’s not watching tennis, walking by the river or cooking. She writes erotic romance for Xcite Books.

You can find her on Facebook http://tiny.cc/7lcfix

Her Amazon author page link is http://tiny.cc/8jcfix

 

The 9th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Demon Interrupted CoverI’m very happy to offer the ninth instalment of  Demon Interrupted, a new story from the Elemental Coven that will be unfolding in its entirety right here on A Hopeful Romantic over the next few months with the final episode on October 31 along with a special celebration and lots more Lakeland Witches fun.

The Lakeland Witches Trilogy left so many stories untold and so many fun places in the lives of the Elemental Coven yet to be explored, that a serial seemed like the ideal way to share more of the coven’s adventure. With a coven that specialises in sex magic, it’s not only exciting to revisit my witches at Elemental Cottage, but it’s sizzling hot.

Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:

Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Chapter 6 Beneath the Weight of Shadow

Chapter 7 Possessions

Chapter 8 Necessities and Inconveniences

Enjoy Chapter Nine, and thanks for joining the fun with this Work in Progress.  If you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy! 

Lakeland Banner new10358733_753604251350423_1560284403319862756_n

Chapter 9

Demon Dreams

A small rivulet of perspiration trickled down Marie’s back as she looked down into the scrying mirror that had belonged to Serina Ravenmoor, the scrying mirror that contained the ethereal prison that had held Deacon. None of the memories involving the infernal thing were pleasant ones.

‘The arrangement is not to my liking either.’ Anderson spoke next to her. ‘But it is important that we have a way to keep the coven safe from Ferris and Ferris safe from himself.’ He took her hand and squeezed it gently.

‘They’ve been in there too long,’ Marie whispered.

‘Do not worry, Marie. Cassandra knows what it is she does, and she has only to will herself to return, and you have only to will the prison door closed behind her, though I do not think that it shall be necessary at this point.’

‘We’re all right,’ Cassandra called up from inside the mirror as though she had heard their concern. Ferris figured she well might have, since he had no problem hearing them. Voices from outside the mirror prison seemed to carry down to its occupants almost as though they were amplified. Though he assumed when the prison was shut and locked all sounds from above, all contact with the outside world would cease. He shivered at the thought.

‘The space inside is secure, as it’s ever been.’ Ferris spoke softly. He wondered if those above could so easily hear his voice. ‘Once Marie shuts the door, so to speak, I won’t be going anywhere.’ And now that he was no longer focused on the couple above, he heard the soft chatters of Anderson and Marie as though he were listening to them from inside a deep well and, indeed, the scrying mirror prison was much like a deep well, a deep well filled with a tiny slice of the Ether. It had been created as a prison for demons. For creatures such as himself, he thought bitterly. Of all that he had suspected of his past, that he might be a demon had never occurred to him. With a start, he felt Cassandra lace her fingers through his.

‘Don’t borrow, trouble, Ferris. I know your heart. We all know your heart, and all of us, every one of us, has a past we’re not fond of.’

‘Demons don’t have hearts,’ he replied, sounding far more bitter than he intended.

‘I’m not so sure about that. Spending quality time with my mother has caused me to question all things I know about demons, and the truth is, none of us knows all that much about them. Besides Lucia says you’re not exactly a demon.’ Before he could respond, she raised a hand and placed two fingers across his lips. ‘I know who you are, Ferris. I know what you sacrificed to protect me, to be there for me, and that’s not something evil would do.’

‘Perhaps I had no choice.’

She studied his face for a moment, than ran her hand along his cheek. ‘Perhaps not.’

‘And that doesn’t worry you?’

For a long time she said nothing and when he was convinced her lack of an answer was the answer he dreaded, she said, ‘Often things we’re forced to do end up being exactly the things we would have gladly done if we’d only understood at the beginning how they would affect us.’ Then she took him into her arms and held him. ‘You’ve been my family and my friend for a very long time, Ferris. When there was no one else, you were there, and me … well I wasn’t easy to get close to. It must have been lonely for you.’

‘Surely you know that it was not. Surly you know that Lucia made it very simple for me to live from day to day with little forethought and little reflection.’

‘Perhaps that’s true,’ Cassandra said, pulling away to look into his eyes, ‘but time and situations bring about changes we never anticipated, not even a demon like Lucia. And no one else could have been to me what you were in all those empty years.’

This time he pulled her into his arms and held her close. ‘I must ask you a favour Cassandra.’

‘Of course. Anything.’

‘There is a question no one has asked, and yet one that must be answered if, perchance, the worst happens.’

She stepped back, a look of suspicion settling lightly on her face.

‘Find out from Lucia if there is a way to …’ He turned away and paced in the emptiness, unable to meet her gaze. ‘You need to know. The coven needs to know if there’s a way to … end my existence, should things become too difficult, should I lose myself completely in the hallucinations.’ Before she could protest, he continued, raising his hands and looking around. ‘I know that you can keep me in this space indefinitely, and that is preferable to the alternatives, but if I am unable to find my way back to myself, if I am only safe when locked away in this little slice of the Ether, then … then it’s best for everyone if I am … destroyed.’

He could see the muscles along her jaw tighten. The misting of her eyes did not hide the dilation of pupils and the lightening in colour that meant the succubus within her was angry. She swallowed hard, raked her teeth over her bottom lip and said, ‘it won’t come to that. This coven will not give up on its own. If they didn’t give up on me, then they won’t give up on you and you shouldn’t –’

‘I’m not you, Cassandra, and this coven has been through enough at the hands of demons.’

‘This coven has been restored in part at the hand of a demon,’ she snapped.

‘That may be, but I need your promise, and if you don’t give it to me, I’ll simply approach Lucia directly. I would rather not do that. I would rather trust myself to you.’

She cursed out loud. ‘All right! All right. I’ll do what you ask. But I promise you it won’t come to that.’

He felt the tension drain away from his shoulders. ‘Good. And there is then one more favour I must ask you, darling Cassandra.’

She folded her arms across her chest and said nothing.

‘I need to know that Elaine will be taken care of if … if the worst happens. It’ll be hard for her, and having people who can care for her, comfort her will facilitate her healing.’

‘Goddamn it, Ferris! You know we would do that anyway, whether or not the worst happens, but I’m sick of you borrowing trouble. Now, this place gives me the creeps. Let’s get the fuck out of here so Fiori and Sky can prepare the room of reflection for dream magic.’

 *****

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1 It was evening before the circle convened. Tara and Kennet had spent a good portion of the day coaching Elaine on dream magic. That she was a witch had been clear almost immediately, but the sex magic practiced by the Elemental Coven was unique and the dream magic rooted in sex even more specific. Fortunately she seem caught on fast. Also, because of the specific nature of the task at hand, special precautions had to be taken and powerful protection spells had to be cast. Normally dream magic would have been done in the Dream Cave, but because the scrying mirror prison never left the alter, and the mirrors that surrounded the Room of Reflection added to the type of magic necessary should the coven need to imprison Ferris in the mirror, the Room of Reflection would be the place where the dream magic took place.

That Ferris didn’t dream, that he had chosen not to dream since he was released from the pact with Lucia, complicated the magic even further and also made the inclusion of Elaine in the circle essential. Elaine seemed to have touched Ferris in an emotional way no one else in the Elemental Coven had, therefore Tara felt she might well be the key to the success of the magic they were about to perform.

When, at last, the circle was cast, Ferris and Elaine lay upon the central dream pallet, surrounded by the strongest dreamers. Tara and Kennet lay on the pallet to their right and Cassandra and Tim lay on a pallet to their left. Anderson and Marie held the mirror at the ready because Anderson was the best at Ethereal magic and Marie was gifted at scrying, and she had a history and a connection with the mirror.

Alice joined Fiori and Sky as a witness. That there were three of them made their efforts magically stronger for observing Ferris’s dreams as well as encouraging him into the dream, and he feared he’d need all of the encouragement he could get. It would also be their job to guide him safely back if he were overwhelmed by the dream. Before the coven gathered in the Room of Reflection, Sky had guided Ferris in meditation and given him herbs to thin the boundaries between the Dream World and the Waking World, and he had done everything he could to be calm and prepared. Still, he felt as though something cold and dark breathed on him from just outside his field of vision, awaiting the approach of sleep so that it could reveal itself to him in all its horror. Better that than putting those he loved at risk, he reminded himself.

With a catch of his breath, and a squaring of his shoulders, he began the ritual. He eased the robe down off Elaine’s shoulders and cupped her breasts, focusing on her body and the comfort and the pleasure it gave him. She shrugged out of the robe and lay down next to him; opening her legs so that, in the dance of the candlelight, he could see the Gateway she offered him into the Dream World and, at its apex, the Key Stone that would help him focus. In his peripheral vision, not entirely in physical form, but more than just a vapour, Lucia hovered, watching over the ritual, watching over him. Her presence was strangely reassuring, and at the moment, he needed all of the reassurance he could get.

‘It’ll be all right, my darling,’ Elaine whispered against his ear, as she pulled him down to her. I have you here in my arms, and I won’t let you go. I’ll companion you, and I’ll come back to this place with you when you’ve found what you need to know.’ Her slender fingers slid between them and caressed the weight of his testicles and the length of his penis, anxiously hardening in against her touch.

Desire for her washed over him in heavy, pounding waves, she was his companion, she was his path, she was his breath, she was his life force, and he needed her. He kissed his way down the tetchy muscles of her belly, lingering to caress her navel, before descending to the Key Stone. He felt her buck against him and her body quivered at his touch as he tongued her clit and tugged at it with his lips. Below the pebbled swell of her, he fingered her open, probing and thrusting up into the silky mother of pearl wetness slickening against his touch. She was tight and her grip made him feel as though a heavy weight burgeoned between his legs. To his right, Tara wrapped her legs around Kennet’s waist and her hips undulated beneath him. Cassandra and Tim mirrored their lovemaking to the left, and far off he could feel the magic Marie and Anderson were raising like heat waves shimmering off a fire. Then the room slipped into a background haze like a mist on the high fells.

‘You’re ready.’ He heard her voice with the clarity of a black bird singing in high summer. ‘Enter the dream with me, Ferris. Let me help you find your way.’

As he thrust up into her once, and the sound of running water filled his ears, like the fast moving streams that tumbled down the mountainsides. He thrust again, deep and desperate. From far off, he heard her moan softly, calling is name, and then there was wind, drowning out her voice, drowning out everything. With the third thrust, his name on her lips became a mantra on the wind and he found himself floating high above Derwent Water, away from Keswick. He could see the traffic on the A66 like a trail of ants far below him. He could see the rising saddle of Blencathera and the dragon spine of Sharp
Edge. One final thrust and the landscape below swirled, blurred, and moved past him at dizzying speed. The roar in his ears intensified like a storm at sea and then howled like an angry beast. Then he fell from a high place. He thought the sound he heard might have been his own cry of terror as he fell and fell, endlessly fell.

And sometime, an eternity later, he landed with a bruising impact that took his breath away, that left him Pic from ETO winBqxJnN_CEAIXatU.jpg-largeblinded and shivering. ‘Elaine? Elaine, where are you?’ He woke to the sound of his own voice. His teeth chattered from cold and body ached and felt raw as though he had been flayed. It was dark, except for the heavy moon shining in the window. Carefully, he sat up and looked around. He found himself in the study at Storm Croft. On the desk next to him sat the basket with what remained of the gourmet treats Fiori had packed for him and for his visit to Storm Croft. His hand still rested against his open fly and his spent cock. There was no sign of Elaine.

 

The Heist, by Adriana Kraft (@adrianakraft)

The HeistBLURB

A heist? A murder? It’s villain’s choice.

A special-order art theft? Tedious, but seamless – until small town museum director Kara Daniels calls in the experts. Furious her favorite trio of priceless impressionist paintings has been stolen from its traveling exhibit on her watch, Kara is determined to save not only the paintings, but her future in the art world. She’ll stop at nothing to entrap the thief.

Ted Springs knows the underbelly of the criminal world a little closer than he might like—but he’s turned it to good advantage, first as a police officer, and now as detective for the Upper Midwest Arts Council. His job? To guarantee the security of the valuable paintings in the Council’s traveling exhibits.

Heat sizzles when Ted and Kara collide—can they work together, before it’s too late?

 

 

BUY LINKS: Amazon UK | Amazon US

 

 

EXCERPT

“I and my staff have already done fairly thorough background checks on all the museum employees,” Ted said.

“Oh.” Kara scowled. “I’m not sure I like that.”

“But you expected it?”

“Of course. At some point.”

“I believe in being efficient. Even before certain added incentives.”

“I can always change my mind. I don’t know a thing about you.”

“You know enough. I have large hands.” Ted chuckled when she winced. “I’ve worked for the Upper Midwest Arts Council for five years.”

“And before that?”

“I was a Chicago cop.”

“Oh.”

“I went into the army right out of high school and completed my BA degree at U.I.C. while on the force. Funny, isn’t it? While you were working on your MA at the University of Chicago, I was patrolling the streets of Hyde Park and South Chicago.”

“Really?”

“That’s right.”

“Maybe we bumped into each other.”

“I highly doubt that. I wouldn’t forget bumping into you. Remember?”

“Oh, right.” Kara’s flush returned.

 

Adriana KraftABOUT ADRIANA KRAFT

Adriana Kraft is the pen name for a husband/wife team writing sizzling romantic suspense and erotic romance. The award-winning pair has published over thirty romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. Romantic pairings include straight m/f, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.

 

ADRIANA KRAFT ON THE WEB

Website: http://adrianakraft.com

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Planning a heist

Our latest release, The Heist, got its start on a rainy Monday a while back, when hubs and I attended a behind-the-scenes tour at our small Iowa town’s exquisite art museum. A new exhibit was about to open, and we were treated to detailed descriptions of the process of locating and ordering traveling exhibits, shipping them, storing them, uncrating them, hanging them, insuring their safety, and repacking them.

You must know by now that hubs is a criminologist  by profession. It didn’t take us long to be looking for vulnerable spots in the museum’s process, and by the end of the day, with a little internet research on the high stakes world of stolen paintings, we had our basic plot sketched out.

Our next problem was—what painting should be stolen? Clearly, we couldn’t go with an existing well-known piece of art. We opted to create The Three Maids, an entirely fictional trio of medium sized Impressionist portraits, based on what we knew about Monet, Manet, Renoir, Caillebotte, and the women they painted. We’ve put so much detail into the paintings’ descriptions that I keep expecting to see them when I enter an Impressionist display. If no one has painted them yet, I definitely think someone should!

I’ll leave the details of how the actual heist was planned, carried out, and (we hope) foiled for readers to discover—we hope you enjoy reading The Heist as much as we enjoyed creating it!

 
© 2014 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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