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Kiss Please!

(From the Archives)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like it’s a proper sex scene, or even a proper PG love scene, unless there’s some serious lip action. Here are a few fun factoids about the lip lock that I discovered while I was writing my post for my Sunday Snog. They are from Psychology Today , How Stuff Works and Random Facts:

 

  • The science of kissing is called philematology.
  • Lips are 100 times more sensitive than the tips of the fingers. They’re even more sensitive that the genitals!
  • The most important muscle in kissing is the orbicularis oris, which allows the lips to “pucker.”
  • French kissing involves 34 muscles in the face, while a pucker kiss involves just two.
  • A nice romantic kiss burns 2-3 calories, while a hot sizzler can burn off five or even more.
  • The mucus membranes inside the mouth are permeable to hormones. Through open-mouth kissing, men introduced testosterone into a woman’s mouth, the absorption of which increases arousal and the likelihood of rumpy pumpy.
  • Apparently men like it wet and sloppy while women like it long and lingering.
  • While we Western folk do lip service, some cultures do nose service, smelling for that romantic, sexual connection. Very mammalian, if you ask me, and who doesn’t love a good dose of pheromonal yumminess?
  • Then there’s good old fashion bonding. It’s no secret that kissing someone you like increases closeness.

 

While all that’s interesting to know, what really intrigues me about kisses is how something seemingly so fragile can become so mind-blowingly powerful when lips, tongue, a whip of breath, perhaps a nip of teeth are applied in the right proportion at the right time on the right part of the anatomy. And with the size of the human body in proportion to the mouth, the possibilities for a delicious outcome are only as limited as the imagination.

 

One theory is that kissing evolved from the act of mothers premasticating food for their infants, back in the pre-baby food days, and then literally kissing it into their mouths. Birds still do that. The sharing of food mouth to mouth is also a courtship ritual, and birds aren’t the only critters who do that. Even with no food involved the tasting, touching and sniffing of mouths of possible mates, or even as an act of submission, is very much a part of the animal kingdom.

 

The sharing of food is one of the most basic functions, the function that kept us all alive when we were too small to care for ourselves. The mouth is that magical place where something from the outside world is ingested and becomes a part of our inside world, giving us energy and strength. Not only is the mouth the receptacle for food, it’s the passage for oxygen. Pretty much all that has to pass into the body to sustain life passes through the mouth. I find it fascinating that the kiss, one of the most basic elements in Western mating ritual and romance, should involve such a live-giving part of our anatomy.

 

But the mouth does more than just allow for the intake of the sustenance we need. The mouth allows us voice. I doubt there are many people who appreciate that quite as much as we writers, who love words and the power they give us. And how can I think about the power of words without thinking about the power of words in song and poetry? Our mouths connect us in language, in thought, in the courtship of words that allow us to know and understand each other before those mouths take us to that intimate place of the kiss. And when that kiss becomes a part of our sexual experience, it’s that mouth, that tongue, those lips that allow us to say what we like and how we like it; that allow us to talk dirty; that allow us to vocalize our arousal; that allow us to laugh or tease our way to deeper intimacy.

 

The fact that the mouth offers all those wonderful, life-giving, life enhancing things, AND can kiss, makes it one of my very favourite parts of the body

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 5

William Shakespeare

 

Blindsided Launches 29th September!

 

I’m very excited to announce that Blindsided, Book 2 of the Medusa’s Consortium Series, will be available for your reading pleasure 29th September. I know it’s been a longer wait than usual, but I promise it’ll be worth it. And the wait won’t be nearly as long for Book 3, Buried Pleasures, which will be out in early December. To help celebrate, I’ve decided to share a brief overview of The Medusa’s Consortium Series because the first three books are just the beginning. Magda Gardener’s story is epic. More details and a cover reveal coming soon.

 

Medusa’s Consortium

Contrary to popular belief, Medusa is alive and well and living a quiet life in the English Lake District. But don’t let that fool you, ever since she escaped Greece and the Olympians, Medusa/AKA Magda Gardener, has been secretly kicking ass and taking names.

 

Medusa may be public enemy number one with the Olympians, but in the modern world, Magda Gardener never turns
away someone in need. For those she helps, those who are drawn to her, those she seeks out, life will never be the same. Like the Godfather, those who owe Magda Gardener never know when she’ll call in the debt, or what will be required of them when she does. Magda is a rescuer of monsters and demons and a thief of all things dear to the Olympians. She is irreverent, powerful, rich and has her own agenda, in which the lines between right and wrong are not always clearly drawn.

 

Even more importantly, she and her consortium are all that stand between the unsuspecting modern world and a new age of Olympian tyranny. Athena wants her dead. Poseidon wants her back almost as much as he wants the Olympian new world order. Magda Gardener is a female Nick Fury in dark glasses commanding her monsters, gods and demons version of the Avengers.

 

But what’s at the heart of the gorgon? Can she ever really heal from the rape of a god or overcome the curse of a goddess? As her consortium of powerful misfits grows into a cohesive, if rather troubled, family, it becomes more and more difficult to keep her distance from the lives of those who belong to her. Scheming to keep one step ahead of the Olympians and wreak as much havoc upon them as possible, can Medusa find redemption and possibly even love among the monsters? The Medusa’s Consortium Series is Magda Gardener’s story and the stories of those drawn to her.

 

With members of Magda’s Consortium living in locations all over the world; with a cast of angels and demons, vampires and succubi, gods and goddesses, sirens, witches, and ghosts, just to name a few, Magda always find room for one more monster.

 


Landscapes
FREE!

And don’t forget Landscapes  is still FREE!  Since I’m especially excited about the upcoming launch of Blindsided,
it gives me great pleasure to extend the FREE download of my sizzling M/M novella, Landscapes. Landscapes is the very first of the Medusa’s Consortium stories. When I wrote it, I had no idea what a major role Alonso Darlington and Reese Chambers would play in Magda Gardener’s world, but I promise you’ll love these two great blokes, and you’ll get to know why they play a major role in Medusa’s Consortium as the series progresses. A fast paced, sizzling, chilling erotic read, Landscapes will definitely whet your appetite for more. All you have to do is click the hyperlink for your free download. Download yours and share the news with your friends so they can download theirs too. I want to spread the fun.

 

If you haven’t yet read In The Flesh, Book one of the Medusa’s Consortium Series, be sure to so you’ll be ready for Blindsided and Buried Pleasures, because I promise the roller coaster ride will be worth it. Remember, it’s in the book bundle for the Super Summer Reads Giveaway .

 

 

Dry Canyon Dreams

I’ve been living in the world of mythology and the paranormal for the past few weeks while I’ve been busy with the final rewrites and check-throughs of Blind-Sided and Buried Pleasures, the second and third novels of the Medusa’s Consortium Series. They’ll be coming out right on the heals of each other, since they are happening in the timeline at the same time. That has meant it has taken me a little longer to get them ready. But I promise you they’ll be worth waiting for. You’ll be hearing news next week about release dates. So hold on to your hats. With paranormal being the name of the game, I thought I’d share this little short with you from the Archives. A FREE read. Dry Canyon Dreams is a complete story with plenty of desert heat and a little bit of chill thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

AAAAND! Don’t forget the Super Summer Reads Giveaway going on right now at Book Hub until the 15th of August. Three lucky winners will walk away with a HUGE bundle of books. This is a a multi-genre giveaway with chances to win other fab reads as well as the chance at the book bundle. I’m very proud to announce that my novel, In The Flesh, the first book in the Medusa’s Consortium Series, is included in that massive bundle.

 

Dry Canyon Dreams

From the archives: a free story complete in this post

The night of that first encounter I was restless, and my imagination had been running wild ever since I’d landed in the States two nights before. I had been having dreams, crazy dreams, lust-filled sexy dreams that had driven me from sleep to find myself in sweat soaked sheets aching and wanting and needing … something. ‘Be present,’ I kept telling myself. I needed be present. I needed to learn to be in the moment. That’s a part of what this holiday was all about. Being in the moment was something of a struggle for me with one tight deadline bleeding into another and then another. The insane pace had been going on for over four years and now, for the first time in a long time I had given myself space between projects, space to breathe, space to rest, space to regroup. The problem was; now that I had the time and the space, I didn’t know what the hell to do with it. I’m a writer. That’s not just my job, it’s my vocation, and my identity is tied up in it – very possibly more so than I had imagined.

It had been the dreams that had driven me to the dry canyon in the middle of the night. In my dreams someone I never saw, someone holding me in a close, sensual embrace, someone nuzzling and cupping and caressing, kept whispering in my ear that I needed to write the story, that I needed to get it all down, but they would never tell me what story I was to write, and when I burst into wakefulness restless and uncomfortable in my own skin, the feeling of being stretched and expanded and then shoved back into myself was overlaid with a shimmering patina of arousal. Feeling like I’d suffocate if I didn’t get some air, I’d dressed quickly and left the house, leaving a note on the kitchen table for my sister just in case she should wake and find me missing.

In ten minutes I was in the dry canyon alone in the middle of the night wondering why I wasn’t at least a little bit nervous about my choice of how to spend my time in the wee hours. My sister said that in spite of the fact that the canyon ran through the center of the town with five miles of paved walking path from one end to the other as well as other footpaths meandering along the canyon’s edges, in spite of the fact that the canyon was almost never deserted, occasionally there was a mountain lion spotting, occasionally warnings were posted. There had never been an attack, never been even a threat, but it wasn’t all that uncommon in areas where human habitat encroached on puma territory for the two to come in contact with each other. But not now, I told myself. In my visits to my sister’s I’d seen deer in the canyon, myriad birds, rock chucks and other wildlife, but never a mountain lion. And if I were being completely honest, I found the shiver up my spine at the thought of seeing one of the beautiful cats at least as exciting as it was frightening. The full moon hung heavily just over my head, almost like I could reach out and touch it. It gave off enough silver light that I could see in exquisite monochrome layers, juniper and sage and the rise of the steep volcanic cliffs of the canyon walls.

IMG_5578The dry canyon splits the town of Redmond, Oregon right down the middle and until recently the only way to get around it was to drive to the end. Now there’s a huge bridge that spans it joining the two sides, the architects and builders having taken particular care that the bridge should blend in with the canyon and the high desert’s natural beauty. The bridge glistened pale in the moonlight, giant concrete arches rising like the bones of some graceful prehistoric monster whose death throes had spanned the canyon in rib-boned arches. It’s the landmark I always walk toward. And that night, when I got there, I drank deeply from the water fountain placed strategically in the shade for passing bikers, runners and walkers. There’s even a fountain for dogs next to it. Then I settled on the lone picnic table beneath the bridge, lie down on my back and look up at the shadowed underbelly of sinuous concrete.

I heard the runner before I saw him. I heard his heavy breathing, I heard the scuff, scuff of his feet against the ground, and I stayed still, listening, not wanting to startle him. I knew I should make good my getaway, or at least make my presence known, but I didn’t. For some reason I just lay there and watched as he drew near. The moonlight glistened on his bare chest, and I didn’t even pretend not to look. He was light footed, slender of build, long and well muscled. His hair was tawny pale and unkempt, clinging in wet curls around his ears and onto his shoulders. At the fountain, he drank long and deep, then tossed several cupped handfuls of water onto his head, down the back of his neck and onto his face. His nipples beaded, and goose flesh bloomed and spread across the rise and fall of his pecs where the water dripped onto his chest and over his taut belly. It was then that his gaze lit on me and the little breath of his surprise sounded like a soft growl in the muted night.

“Strange dreams,” I said in response to his unasked question as to my presence. I made no attempt not to stare at him, which didn’t seem too impolite, since he stared right back at me. ‘I needed some fresh air.’ Frankly I was surprised I could speak at all, let alone that I can be so brazen about it.

He bent for another drink, and I noticed he was barefoot. My insides quivered at just how little clothing the man really had on. The running shorts were thin and rode low on his hips revealing his navel and the slender path of soft hair disappearing into his waistband, a path I found myself wanting to follow with the stroke of a palm.

I was surprised when he moved to the table next to me, and settled a large hand in my hair, fisting it and stoking it until I sighed softly and moved against his palm. I was even more surprised when he stepped back, stretched his arms high above his head, yawned deeply, and then lay down beside me, settling himself around me in a spoon position. The dry desert air had dried the sweat from his flesh almost entirely. He was surprisingly warm and he smelled of desert heat, juniper and sagebrush. For a second I panicked as his strong arm snaked around my waist and pulled me back tight against him. Then I felt his mouth on the back of my neck, first parted lips, then tongue, then a slight nip of teeth. I found myself inexplicably calming under his touch, calming to the low rumble of satisfaction deep in his chest, to the steady hard pumping of his heart as he pressed his chest tight against me.

Once he was certain I wouldn’t run, his hold on me relaxed and his palm, flat against my belly, slid beneath my tank top and up to cup my breasts. I caught my breath in a startled moan as he thumbed my nipples alternately until they rose stiff and sensitive against calloused skin. I’d not bothered with a bra when I left my sister’s house. I never expected to meet anyone in the canyon. Easy access for anyone’s hands other than my own had not been my plan. While he cupped and kneaded and pinched, his mouth went back to work on my neck. He raised himself on one elbow to tongue and nip the hollow of my throat and I could feel the shape of him, hard and urgent, beneath the thin fabric of his shorts.

I barely had time to think about the hard rub and shift of him pressing against the back of my sweat bottoms before his hand migrated back down my belly and eased under my waistband with me shifting forward into the cup of his palm as he fingered and worked his way down. My legs parted and shifted and moved of their own volition to allow him access, and the shiver down my spine was not from the cool of the night as he stroked and fondled, all the while nipping and tonguing the back of my neck and the lobe of my ear, an effort leaving me weak and trembling with need that felt bone deep.

I don’t know how his hands could be everywhere, but they were. He slid my sweats down over my hips and, for a split second, I felt the cool night air against my bare bottom. Then I felt him bare and hard and anxious against me. The biting of my neck became more urgent and, God, I wanted him to bite me hard, I wanted to bite him back. I was only half conscious of the sounds he was making, animal grunts and groans, growls deep in his chest, sighs that I felt hot and moist against my skin. Then the nipping and the suckling and the caressing migrated down the length of my spine, and strong arms lifted me onto my hands and knees until my bottom was raised high in the moonlight and, before I could even think to protest, he continued his explorations, spreading me and kneading me with strong hands until his tongue found what he was looking for — me wet and restless and needing. I don’t remember much beyond that point except intense desperate pleasure, except his breath hot and fast against the swell of me, except him tasting me in hungry, lapping mouthfuls. And when I was boneless and weak from his efforts he pulled away, rose up and bit me on the shoulder, bit me hard enough to make me cry out, then he plunged into me, crushing me to him, holding my hips tight against his body, wrapping his arms around my waist, burying his face in my neck. I remember rearing back against him with each thrust, matching him growl for growl, holding my breath, bracing for impact, anticipating the breaking and shattering and falling apart as we came together and collapsed in desperate gasps back onto the table. Then he curled around me and we slept.

I remember waking alone on the picnic with the moon setting and dawn just beginning to gray the rim of the canyon, or at least I think I remember. I was barely aware of the walk back to my sister’s house, and the stripping off of my clothes and the falling into bed and into unconsciousness. In fact when I woke later in the morning snuggled down in the bed with the cool desert breeze blowing the curtains at the open window next to my bed, I figured I’d probably dreamed the whole experience. I mean the whole experience of dressing and walking in a dark canyon in the middle of the night alone, of sharing my body with a man I didn’t know, a man who never spoke, it wasn’t me at all. Surely it wasn’t the kind of thing I’d do. It was my imagination, I was sure. Jet lag often makes for powerful dreams, though it was strange the way my body felt that morning, I woke to the achy tenderness that follows rough sex, that follows a ravenous encounter too wild to really be just fucking, and yet just tame enough not to scare me into running away in fear of being completely devoured.

After breakfast my sister and I walked the canyon – her anticipating a good bit of morning exercise and me wanting to see if just maybe something would jog my memory, if just maybe something would bring the vividness of the encounter back to me. The dry canyon has been one of my favorite parts of where my sister lives for a long time. Walking it together has been a major part of our visits. We’d just descended the side road into the canyon and I was admiring how the bridge shown in the morning sun, thinking about my dream encounter, when my sister drew my attention to a sign on the notice board.

mountain_lion_petroglyph_photo_print-r1c1d777189c04e63a2426808aab6f0e1_wyy_8byvr_512Caution: Mountain Lion Sighting.

 

The breeze that had been warm felt suddenly chilled and the hairs on my arms rose.

‘There hasn’t been one in awhile,” she was saying when I finally managed to turn my attention back to her. “Usually people see them at dawn or at dusk, people out for a late or an early run. They’re nocturnal, you know?”

“Yes, I know.” I said, remembering with a shiver low in my belly the nip of teeth on the back of my neck and the rough push and shove of flesh against flesh.

 

Super Summer Reads Super Giveaway Happening Now!

 Super Summer Reads Giveaway going on right now at Book Hub until the 15th of August. Three lucky winners will walk away with a HUGE bundle of books. This is a a multi-genre giveaway with chances to win other fab reads as well as the chance at the book bundle. I’m very proud to announce that my novel, In The Flesh, the first book in the Medusa’s Consortium Series, is included in that massive bundle.

If you love to read — and you wouldn’t be visiting my blog if you didn’t — then here’s your chance at a treasure trove of great reads from all genres. To enter just follow the above link. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the other fab freebies as well. Happy reading everyone!

 

 

 

Beverley Oakley: The Duchess and the Highwayman Tour and Giveaway

 

 

 

GEVEAWAY: 

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and an ebook The Mysterious Governess.to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

BLURB:

 

A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.

She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

 

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.

 

There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.

 

When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.

Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station’ into the ‘lady’ who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

 

But despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the ‘highwayman’, Phoebe is not in a position to admit she’s the ‘murderous duchess’ hunted across the land.

 

Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.

 

But when disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | All other buy links

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

He’d wanted to quiz Phoebe in greater detail but she was clearly shocked by the ordeal and besides, there’d not been the privacy he required.

As he lowered himself into the little wooden chair that was surely too spindly to support a man of the miller’s girth, he mused upon relations between Phoebe and Wentworth. Had he even noticed his lover’s maid? Wentworth was a man who took advantage where he could so Hugh would have to ask the question. Yet several men with whom he’d shared an ale at the local tavern had suggested the local lady of the manor and her lover had eyes only for one another. The Blinley Manor servants said Wentworth was renowned for incarcerating himself in his lover’s salon for days at a time, an observation that suggested he had little interest in the underlings of his household.

Hugh pushed open the casement window and stared at the starry sky above. Far in the distance he could see Blinley Manor, a single twinkling light burning in the distance. He felt foolish now, imagining he could have forced Wentworth out of his carriage at pistol point in order to gain the satisfaction he needed. The truth was that red hot fury had fuelled his wild ride to this part of the world the moment Ada had reluctantly given her brother the name he’d hounded her to reveal.

But with Phoebe as his new ally, a far more sophisticated and effective plan was going to win the day. One that would ensure justice for Hugh’s sister without Hugh having to dirty his hands.

A sound in the bushes below caught his ear. Instantly he was on the alert, tensing as he withdrew his head and snuffed out the candle while he peered into the darkness.

With a murder having recently occurred up at the manor and Wentworth no doubt on the run, who knew what characters were about? Quietly, Hugh slipped into the corridor and exited through the scullery and into the kitchen garden. He allowed himself a moment to get used to the darkness before moving silently around the ivy clad walls, glad of his dark clothing. When he reached the casement of the front parlour he rested the back of his head against the panes and strained his eyes for a sign of movement in the bushes the bordered the grounds. But only the soft sighing of the breeze through the leaves emitted any sound. He moved forward to begin an investigation deeper into the garden when the muted splash of water within reminded him that just inside, Phoebe was having her bath.

He turned, and felt a jolt of shock and something he was immediately unable to identify as through the diamond-paned windows he took in the startlingly erotic sight of a young woman with slender, milky limbs and long ripples of golden-brown hair standing in a bath rub, reaching down to soap her thighs. Her face was no longer streaked with mud and as she raised her chin Hugh felt guilt and fascination in equal measure; topped with a large degree of astonishment. The girl was a beauty.

He turned away, uncomfortably conscious that his hatred of Wentworth stemmed from that man’s disregard for the dignity of a woman. Hugh did not want to be compared. But as he took a step back towards the house he felt softness beneath his feet and then the startled shriek of Mrs Within’s deaf and blind cat which flew at him with bared claws.

His last glimpse before he hurried back into the safety of indoors was confirmation that Phoebe’s body was indeed goddess-like perfection, her waist tiny, her breasts full and tipped with two tiny pink rosebud nipples. Trying not to deny the effect of such a sight, he closed the door to the outside behind him and took the stairs, two at a time, to his room.

 

 

About Beverley:

 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

 

 

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

 Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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