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My Own Private Identity Crisis

I’ve been looking back through my backlist recently and smiling at the stories and the novels and the characters I’ve come to enjoy so much. I thought I might spend a little time taking you back through them in no particular order. I suppose one of the novels I can most identify with is Book 2 in the Executive Decisions series, Identity Crisis. The reason is probably obvious to every writer who uses a pen name. I wrote this post originally for Kay Jaybee’s lovely blog when Identity Crisis was just released, and with me expanding to urban fantasy and sic-fi, or trying to anyway, my own private identity crisis is ever-expanding. Enjoy the post and the excerpt, and if you’ve not read the Executive Decision series, but would like to, follow the links to all the fun.

 

The other day I went to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, and when the chemist ask who it was for, I said K D Grace. I had a PR email yesterday addressed to Grace, and I had to do a double-take before I realised the email was for Grace Marshall. My husband occasionally gets referred to as Mr. Grace. Oh he’s used to it by now, and he doesn’t mind. It’s sort of like he has a double life as well, though a milder version.

 

I’m forever introducing myself as K D Grace, accidentally filling out forms as K D Grace, and answering the phone as K D. I know a lot of my erotica writing friends only by their pen names, and that’s how they know me. K D has been so much a part of me for the past three years that it’s no wonder she often barges into my non-writing life. And now there’s Grace Marshall. She’s a bit more subtle at the moment, but then she’s only been around for the past ten months. During that time she’s moved right in and made herself at home. She even has her own coffee cup now.

 

Living with Grace, K D, and Kathy all crammed into my inner space, I can so completely understand Garrett Thorne’s identity crisis. Garrett writes bestselling romance novels under the name of Tess Delaney. But Garrett is much better at keeping his identity secret than I am. I don’t really care who knows that Grace and K D and Kathy are all living fairly peaceably in the same crowded body. But Garrett has his reasons for wanting to keep his secret life secret, and he’s kept that secret flawlessly until Tess is nominated for the Golden Kiss Award and has to make her first ever public appearance. Now Garrett looks fabulous in a tux and tie … or out. But if he wants to keep Tess’s secret, he’ll either have to go to the award ceremony in drag or hire someone to do it for him, someone who’s the epitome of discretion. Not keen on wearing a dress nor having his chest waxed; against his better judgment, he hires the PR queen of intrigue and secrets, Kendra Davis, to be his Tess while he goes to the ceremony as her date. In spite of the fact that the two don’t like each other, a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do, and to hell with the consequences.

 

And wow, are there consequences! Kendra has an identity crisis of her own, and it makes Garrett and Tess’s pale in comparison. Put together two people with major identity crises, who are likely to either kill each other or shag each other’s brains out, and let the fun begin. Here’s a blurb and a little teaser.

 

Blurb:

PR rep extraordinaire, Kendra Davis, is elated when she gets the chance to work for her hero, reclusive, romance novelist, Tess Delaney. Her elation is short-lived when she discovers that Tess is none other than Garrett Thorne, the bad-boy brother of business tycoon and eco-warrior, Ellison Thorne, who is engaged to her best friend, Dee Henning. Kendra blames Garrett for the comedy of errors that nearly destroyed their relationship. Garrett doesn’t like Kendra either, but he’s desperate. His alter-ego, Tess has been nominated for the prestigious Golden Kiss Award. No one knows who Tess really is, and he needs Kendra to play Tess for the awards.

When Tess is stalked by a rabid fan, the two unite to protect her identity. With Kendra, the body and Garrett the soul of Tess Delaney, is there room in this strange ménage for romance? Can a woman who doesn’t exist understand their hearts even better than they do?

Excerpt:

 

Before Garrett could say anything else, the line went dead and he and Kendra sat staring at each other. Garrett reached for the remote and switched off the television. ‘So what do you think?’ He said. ‘I mean you are K. Ryde.’

 

She ran a hand through her hair and tightened the sash at the waist of the robe. In the kitchen they could hear the coffee maker gurgling out the last of the coffee into the pot. ‘Garrett, I work for Tess Delaney, not Don Bachman, and I think it’s up to you. You’ve done what was asked of you. It’s had better than expected results, and now I think you should do what you want. I mean a huge part of Tess’s appeal is her mystique. The more public she becomes the more she risks losing that mystique. If you do decide to have Tess make the odd public appearance, then I’ll happily oblige, but the more I pretend to be Tess Delaney, the more risk we run of her really being outed.’

 

He tugged a strand of her red hair. ‘You think I should do what I want?’ He scooted closer and brushed a kiss against her parted lips. ‘Because I’m pretty sure you have a good idea of what I want right now.’

 

She made a half-hearted effort to pull away from him. ‘Garrett, this is serious business, you know. I need to know, K. Ryde needs to know what to do next.’

 

He gently nipped her lip and felt her breath catch. ‘I know that, Kendra, believe me, I do.’ He guided her hand to rest against the bulge barely contained by his straining shorts. ‘But I can’t think very well at the moment. Perhaps if you could just help me out a little bit here –’ with his other hand, he slid open the bottom of the robe to reveal her lush thighs and beyond, ‘– then maybe I could concentrate on business a little better.’

 

She forced an irritated sigh that ended in a soft giggle as he pulled her to him, shoving the robe open still further, exposing her breasts to the explorations of his lips and the cupping of his hands as he eased her back onto the sofa, wriggling his way in between her legs. He had just worried open the sash and slipped a hand down to cup her and stroke the unbelievable warmth of her when a loud crash on the front porch caused them both to jump. She jerked the robe back around her, and he shot up from the couch like he was spring loaded.

 

‘What the hell?’ He scrambled to the door with her right behind him, tightening the sash of the robe as she went.

 

‘Wait, Garrett. Don’t open it.’ She reached for his hand, but it was already too late. He wasn’t thinking straight. How could he possibly be thinking straight when he had been just about to make love to Kendra Davis? He swung the door open wide and found himself, in nothing but his scant and somewhat bulging work-out shorts, with Kendra barely covered in his over-sized robe, on center stage to a sea of reporters. Cameras flashed, the press surged and before Garrett could close the door, the irritating Mike Pittman shoved a microphone in his face, shouldering his way into the breach of the door. Garrett remembered Pittman from Dee and Ellis’s meeting with the press a few weeks ago. The microphone might have been in Garrett’s face, but Pittman’s eyes and the lens of the cameraman’s camera were focused on Kendra, hair thoroughly mussed from last night’s romp, still tying the over-sized robe that was clearly his, and looking more than a little like she’d just been caught in the act.

 

‘So it’s true, then, Tess Delaney did spend the night with you after the Golden Kiss debacle?’

 

The Golden Kiss debacle! That slimy little rat! ‘Get out of my face.’ Garrett’s voice was a dangerous growl, and he wasn’t sure what would have happened if Kendra hadn’t pushed her way front and center.

 

‘Mr. Pittman,’ she said, in a voice way too good-natured for what Garrett was sure she must have felt. ‘The answer to that question is obvious. Where did you think I would be on such an occasion?’ As if to demonstrate, she ran her arm through Garrett’s and smiled up at him.

 

‘And what about Barker Blessing?’ Pittman pressed on. ‘Have you heard from him? From his lawyers?’

 

‘I think you need to talk to Mr. Blessing about that.’ She stepped forward into the man’s personal space and forced him back with nothing more than the power of presence. ‘If you’ll excuse us, Mr. Pittman –’ she shot a quick look around and offered a smile, and a polite nod to the rest of the rabble ‘– everyone. Coffee’s getting cold.’ Her smile turned wicked. ‘I’m starving, and Garrett promised to make me pancakes.’ Then she stepped back and shut the door in the man’s face — not slammed it — just shut it and turned to face Garrett, her back pressed against the door.

 

‘Make you pancakes?’ Garrett manages before she hijacked the conversation.

 

‘Rule number one,’ she said, before he could even utter the curse that was on the tip of his tongue ‘Don’t give the press any reason to up the ante.’ She shrugged. ‘Alright, you already blew that one last night, and this is the result.’ She nodded to the shuffling and mumbling they could still hear beyond the closed door. ‘This is why we needed things to go smoothly last night, and why we need them eating out of our hands now.’ She made her way into the living room and peeked around the edge of the curtain at the reporters on the lawn.

 

‘I blew it?’ He bristled and followed her to the window. ‘You’re the one who dumped your dessert in Blessing’s lap.’

 

And that was his fatal mistake. Would he never learn to hold his tongue around Kendra Davis? He could see the tension in her shoulders before she turned to face him. ‘It was dessert Garrett, just dessert, not your fist to the man’s face, not a law suit, not jail.’ She stood facing him with her hands on her hips, her eyes bright and fiery. ‘And would you have hit Pittman there, if I hadn’t stepped in?’

 

‘Oh you’re a fine one to talk about not resorting to violence,’ he said following her around the living room as she scooped together her clothing. ‘You, who nearly dislocated my jaw.’

 

She turned on him. ‘Oh pa-lease. You deserved it. You’ve deserved everything you got so far, and last night, well if you’d have just let me handle it, then this,’ she stabbed a finger at the door, ‘this wouldn’t be happening.’ She jerked off the robe and stood naked in front of him tugging her panties up over her hips and then shoving into the green dress. And fuck it was hard to stay focused with her doing that. Did she do that on purpose – get his cock’s full attention so his brain wouldn’t work? She probably did. She was a bitch, he reminded himself. How the hell could he forget the number one fact about Kendra Davis? The woman was a bitch. Interact with her at your own risk. He watched her stuff her stockings and garter belt into her bag like they were the enemy, and he was sympathetic.

 

‘Where’s the back door,’ she said.

 

‘Through the kitchen,’ he replied, his brain still half-occupied by her angry reverse strip-tease that had left him in a bad way. ‘Wait a minute. Where are you going? What are you doing?’ He followed her into the kitchen with her stumbling into her killer heels as she went.

 

‘Fixing it,’ she huffed. Then she fumbled in her bag for her iPhone. ‘Hi Dee. You home? Can you come get me. I’m at

Garrett’s.’ He was pretty sure Dee got the “don’t ask” warning in her voice. She would have to be deaf and stupid not to. ‘Come around back. The alley yes. Now.’ Dee lived close. Garrett hadn’t planned it that way, but it was a nice neighborhood. Kendra shoved her phone back into her bag and headed for the door. Then she turned her attention to him. ‘You stay put. Don’t go out until I give you the all clear. I mean it, or you can find someone else to fix your fuck-ups.’ Then she shoved her way out the back door, pulling it to carefully to behind her.

 

Ironing is a Musing

What is it about ironing that’s so damned inspiring to me? I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. And yet, I always seem to get my best ideas while doing the very thing I dislike.

 

Me: I don’t wanna!

 

Muse: (Poking me in the ribs with her big stick) Stop winging and do it already. I don’t have all day.

 

Me: (Glaring at her over my shoulder as I set up the ironing board) I’m busy. I got stuff to do.

 

Muse: (A harder poke. This time in the stomach) Stop wasting my time. And get on with it. I’ve got places to go, people to inspire.

 

Me: (grabbing a very wrinkled shirt and slamming it down on the ironing board – after I catch my breath)

 

Muse: Now, about this story you’re trying to write. Just how does Michael become a fallen angel?

 

Me: (pouting) You tell me. You’re the muse.

 

Muse: (nodding at the sleeve of the shirt) You missed a spot.

 

Me: Right. ( ironing and thinking) Michael. He loses a bet. At Buried Pleasures. That’s how he does it.

 

Muse: Big deal. Lots of people lose bets. Most people lose bets. That’s gambling, that’s not a story. That’s boring. How does he lose? Who is he playing? What does he want?

 

Me: (carefully ironing the seam along a pair of trousers) He’s playing poker with Magda Gardener. He bets his wings.

 

Muse: (rolling eyes and giving me another poke) Cliché much? Pa-lease! Don’t waist my time. An angel losing his wings is the oldest ploy in the book. Tell me the story. Go over it again from the beginning. Out loud.

 

Me: (Starting another shirt) Well, what if he keeps winning, even though he wants to lose.

 

Muse: That’s better. That’s better. Tell me more.

 

Me: (Repeating more slowly the plot so far)

 

Muse: … Aaaaaand …

 

Me: (cramming a shirt on a hanger and grabbing for another – a little more violently than necessary) … And, I don’t know. I don’t know already! That’s my problem, isn’t it?

 

Muse: (Poking me hard in the ribs) Think! It’s what you have that brain for, isn’t it. You might try using it.

 

Me: (Grinding my teeth and rubbing my poor bruised ribs while offering up a few whispered curses to whatever writing god decided to send me the sadistic Muse from hell) Can’t I go for a walk to get inspired?

 

Muse: It’s raining, and you’ll just get distracted. Besides you have to do the ironing anyway. Focus. Focus! What’s more important to an angel than wings?

 

I iron another shirt. My head hurts from thinking. I drink some more tea. I iron another shirt and another, careful to get all the wrinkles out. All the while Muse simply watches me. At last she grabs a glass from the cupboard, pulls out the bottle of Glenmorangie and pours herself a generous amount. She sips and watches and taps the end of her stick on the floor.

 

I iron and iron and iron while I go over the plot so far out loud. I go over it again and again and again.

 

And suddenly it happens — that Eureka moment that, for some dumb-assed reason, comes only when I’m ironing.

 

Me: I have it! I know! (nearly burning my finger with the iron before setting it upright and pushing it away to pace the kitchen a couple of times) I have it! I know what’s more important to an angel than wings. I know exactly what Michael has to lose, and I know that once he loses it, he can never, ever get it back.

 

Muse: (Lifts her glass and salutes me, then downs the rest of the whisky) Good girl. (She never has to ask. She always
knows when I really do have it. She sets down her empty glass, pats my arm and smiles) Now finish up here and get busy. The story won’t write itself.

 

And just like that, she’s gone – off to poke someone else in the ribs and drink their whisky. My Muse may be sadistic, but she’s effective. And suddenly I don’t mind. I got exactly what I needed for the story and the ironing is done to boot.

 

Double Trouble, Double Release From Adriana Kraft

 

Love you a little Adriana Kraft? Well today’s your lucky day with twice as much reading yumminess being launched! AND Adriana will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC, to a randomly drawn winner 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.

 

Now here’s the latest news from Adriana Kraft, launching A Woman for Zachary –Book Two of Meghan’s Playhouse, AND Hot to the Touch, Book Fifteen of Swinging Games

 

Take it away, Adriana! 

 

One of my favorite recent memes from FaceBook reads as follows: When I get old, they’re never going to say “what a sweet old lady.” They’re gonna say “what on EARTH is she up to now?!”

 

If that sounds like trouble, hold on to your hat—we’ve got a double dose heading your way. Our two recent erotic romance ménage releases feature leading characters at mid-life.

 

Baby boomers ourselves, we often write characters in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s and beyond. If that’s not what trips your trigger, these two books aren’t for you – but, with any luck, all of us will reach these ages eventually, and we hope our readers do so with vim, vigor, and yes, a vibrant and active sex life. We like to think some of our characters can light the way.

 

Hot to the Touch takes the mid-fifties couple who star in our Swinging Games series to a clothing optional RV resort for some summer fun. In A Woman for Zachary, the early twenties heroine who starred in Seducing Cat hooks up with a mid-forties woman and an early-fifties man to ignite the spark that’s been smoldering between them.

 

 

A Woman for Zachary Blurb:

It’s New York! Broadway beckons, but Meg has more fun keeping an erotic triangle going with her current flame, Zach Cullen, and her drama coach, Josie Patrice.

Zachary Cullen has ignored Josette Patrice’s overtures for years, but she agrees to take on his latest protégé-slash-arm-candy Meghan Keenan in her off-Broadway workshop theater. Though the girl has incredible talent, Josie would stake her reputation on that little thing being a switch-hitter, like herself, and she doesn’t want Zach to be duped.

 

Josie sets out to seduce Meg and expose her for what she is, but all bets are off when Meg turns the tables on Josie to hook her up with Zach.

 

Erotic Romance Ménage

Novella, 28,000 words

eXtasy Books, August 4, 2017

Four Flames: Explicit Sex, MF, FF;

Ménage, FFM, FMF; Sex toys

 

Buy Links:

extasy books | Amazon

Excerpt:

Josie was shaking her head back and forth before Zach finished speaking. “That’s not enough.”

Zach closed the distance between the two of them.

She pressed her back against the wall, and he placed his palms against it, framing her head. She licked her lips.

What was he doing? She’d imagined him being this close countless times, but not in this way. Not in anger. Not struggling with his sense of fairness over sharing another woman. She kept her arms locked at her sides.

“That’s exactly what Meg said. What is enough? Do we draw lots for her?”

Josie shook her head.

“Maybe I can have her even days of the month and you odd days.”

“That might work.” Josie could hardly breathe. Zach’s male scent was overpowering. She’d agree to almost anything, if he just stayed where he was. She should be afraid of him, but she wasn’t. This was a man she’d known for a decade. He might be very angry, even deeply pained, but he wouldn’t hurt her—at least not physically.

“It works for parking cars in the winter. It’s a beginning, I guess.” His eyes darkened with a passion she couldn’t decipher. She watched his eyes shut and re-open.

And then his mouth was crushing against hers. She tried to breathe through her nostrils. His muffled groans filled her mouth. Tentatively, she lifted her hands to his shoulders. It was as if he was in a trance. She sighed and pulled him closer. Maybe she was, too.

 

 

 

Hot to the Touch Blurb:

Can the summer get any hotter? Escaping Southern Indiana summer heat, swingers Brett and Jen check out a Minnesota clothing optional RV resort, where the rules are very different from the swing lifestyle venues they’re used to. When they spot a hot looking couple in the swimming pool, they’re definitely interested, but they know better than to make the first move. Will Paul and Kim turn out to be players, or will Brett and Jen get a cold shoulder?

 

Erotic Romance Ménage

Short Story, 7,000 words

eXtasy Books, July 30, 2017

Four Flames: Explicit Sex, MF, FF;

Ménage, MFMF

 

Buy Links:

extasy books | Amazon

Excerpt:

“Hi guys,” Kim said, giving Jen a hug. “We ran into traffic, but we’re here at last. I love your outfit, Jen. That short skirt is just right for your long legs. You guys are fine dancers.”

“And you look fantastic,” Jen managed to say. “That top is so sexy. As you said, just a touch of mystery. And I love those dangling earrings. They sparkle nearly as much as you do. Absolutely stunning.”

“Thank you,” Kim murmured, turning to hug Brett.

“As stunning as you look,” Paul said, gathering Jen into his arms for a long hug. “You both look scrumptious. Good enough to eat. Right, Brett?”

Brett nodded.

Jen noticed Kim made no move to break away from Brett’s arms. She watched the olive-skinned woman drag her lips across Brett’s wrist before lifting it up and sliding onto the curved bench. Jen slid in from the other side, with the guys sitting on either end. A bare leg brushed against her left leg, a trousered one against her right. If those legs were meant to only tease, she’d be very, very upset before the night was over.

 

 

About Adriana Kraft:

Winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for erotic fiction, author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More.

One man, one woman, danger and intrigue – always a happy ending, but oh, what a ride! Readers can count on our Romantic Suspense line for gutsy characters, hot sex, and breathtaking intimacy as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.

A man, a woman (or two), or another man, threesomes, foursomes—what’s your fantasy? We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination. Here you’ll find multiple partners, three-way, four-way and more, swing lifestyle, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.

Together we have published over thirty-five romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. We love hearing from readers at adrianakraft99@yahoo.com, and here is our website:

 

When It’s Time to Heat Things Up http://adrianakraft.com

Author Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | Newsletter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Latent Creativity

 

I’m just in from the garden doing a little weeding and a lot of shucking sweet corn. This may sound strange, but that got me thinking about latent creativity. I’ve been contemplating the subject for a while now. Sometimes my most creative insights come when I’m not doing anything that has to do with writing. The best story and novel ideas seldom come from me sitting around trying to think of great plots. They come to me when I’m doing something totally different. They come to me when I least expect it.

 

 

 

That’s why I call it latent creativity. Some of the best plot solutions, story twists, character actions, some of the most exciting story elements come to me when I’m doing something totally different. That’s when the creative force finds an unexpected opening and ploughs its way full blown into my imagination. I’m convinced that there are some activities in which there is a whole lot more latent creativity than others, and it’s different for every writer. But I do believe that those activities are most often either creative or meditative in their own right.

 

 

As you can probably guess if you’ve been keeping track of what’s going on in my life, and if you’ve read much of my writing, veg gardening is a great way to stimulate my latent creativity. I love the whole process – even the weeding. But I’m especially fond of picking green beans. There’s just something meditative and wonderful about rummaging through the foliage for hidden treasure. Plus green beans are one of my favorite veggies. I have been known, from time to time, to be inspired enough to write a little veggie porn.

 

 

You don’t have to know me very long before you know I love walking. In fact I love it so much I walked all across England a few years ago. I can’t even count the number of times long walks have inspired that latent creativity that leads to a story or a novel. Walking is probably the most direct form of latent creativity for me. Because I’ve often walked to solve plot problems or work out blocks in a story, I consider walking more writing-on-the-hoof.

 

 

Along similar lines, but perhaps a little more latent source of creativity is any kind of working out. I love kettle bells, Pilates, I am enjoying the hell out of learning pole dance, and I love creating my own workouts at home. Unlike walking, there’s no time to really engage the brain on any level but the physical act in which I’m involved. Sometimes, however, that means afterwards my mind is clear enough of the detritus that I’m ready for a good hard shot of inspiration.

 

 

Okay, ironing is not one of my favourite activities, but strangely enough, it really is a source of latent creativity. For some strange reason I find myself quite often able to solve plot problems or coming up with new story ideas while I’m sweating over a hot iron. Who’da thunk it? Makes me wish there was a bit more latent creativity in housework, but sadly, for me there isn’t, so less of that happens than probably should. A writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do, after all.

 

 

Finally reading a good book is a great source of latent creativity for me. A lot of people ask if I find that if I read, I inadvertently pull ideas from the book I’m reading at the time. No, I don’t. I consider a good book to be one that takes my mind completely off whatever it is that I’m writing at the time. I read for the shear pleasure of it. In a lot of ways reading a good book works the same magic on my creative process as working out does. If the author whose novel I’m reading has done her job, then I won’t have any room in my head to engage in anything else but the romp said author has created for me. The result being that I go back to my own work refreshed and inspired.

 

 

There are lots of other places where I find latent creativity from time to time, and that’s always a wonderful surprise. But the above are consistent and treasured (well okay the ironing maybe not so treasured) sources of inspiration for me. I’m sure for every writer the list is different. I’m also sure that every person has his or her own sources of latent creativity. Writers haven’t cornered the market. Everyone is creative in one way or another. That being the case, I would suggest we would all be happier and more satisfied in our lives if we took time to cultivate that latent creativity and see where the experience leads us.

 

 

Freebies for Romance Lovers

It’s time for the September INSTAFREEBIE Romance Blast e-book Giveaway! It you love romance, you’re gonna love this! There are 59 authors, including yours truly, participating. That means 59 yummy romances for you to read, including my novel, In The Flesh.

All you have to do is follow the above link or click on the image below, then click on the books you want to enjoy and start reading.

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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