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Back to Lakeland with a Shameless Selfie from Elemental Fire

 

 

While this is not the greatest selfie, the view behind me is exquisite. That alone should help you understand why I love the Lake District so much. With spring in the air it’s getting close to fell-walking time and I’m anxious to get back to the high fells for some great views. That’s the thing about Lakeland, when I’m not there I’m either thinking about being there or writing about other people being there. When I am there, I’m in heaven. The fact that my novella, In Training, which is now available for pre order as a part of the British Bad Boys Box Set that will be coming out in May, is also set in the Lake District is definitely keeping me focused on my favourite place on the planet. That being the case, I thought I’d take you there today for a little underground action with a very hot demon in a shameless selfie from Elemental Fire, Book Three of the Lakeland Witches series. Hang on to your hats, it’s about to get hot.

 

Elemental Fire Blurb:

Book Three of the Lakeland Witches trilogy (Click here for: Book One | Book Two)

Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.

 

 

Terms of Possession – Elemental Fire Excerpt:

Kennet ignored the pain, and it was strangely easy to do being as close to death as he was. There was little left to lose. It took all of his concentration to form the spell in his head. It might not even work, but at this stage it was all he had — that and the burning fire of helpless rage that kept him safe from his losses, kept him at arm’s length from the grief until he could make contact or until he died. Whichever came first.

With a last push, his whole body tingled, and pain shot up his spine. Surely this was death. But consciousness remained in his broken flesh. He had managed to partition himself off from the pain and the drugs. This was too important. This was his only hope. Hope was a word that tasted bitter in his mouth. He meant revenge, didn’t he? Surely there was no hope left. It had gone out of the world with Patrice and Annie. One last push, one last sting of pain, and he was there in the cave. He was naked, but he felt neither the cold nor the stones that should have been cutting his feet. Back in the hospital, would they think him only dreaming, or would he have slipped into a coma for his efforts? Made no difference.

The descent began gradually, then steepened until he had to lean back to keep from falling, but he imagined that was only necessary because he was still thinking in physical terms. Physical terms. If he were to survive this, he would be thinking in terms of physical pain once he returned to his body and probably more pain than he had ever experienced before. And the physical, well that was really nothing compared to the rest of it. He kept moving downward forever, it seemed, but he knew time passed differently in the Dream World, if that’s where he was at. It certainly wasn’t the Ether.

He saw the glow of her long before he reached the bottom of the shaft, and he wondered what guise she would take. The light danced like fire on the walls of the cave and was refracted off faceted crystals, like the inside of a geode, he thought. But he barely had time to think before he saw her, and he was relieved that she had taken human form. There were other forms she could have taken, other forms that he might not have found so easy to look upon. She stood with her back to him, and even so, he felt her presence through every cell of his body, both cold and hot, expansive and contractive, not pain as he knew it, but a force that made him feel like his own weight was suddenly collapsing in on itself like a dying star, too much to bear. Too much to bear.

And then she turned to face him and he knew he wouldn’t survive. How could he possibly survive her? She eyed him for a long time, way too long for comfort, and even naked as he was, he felt exposed, as though she had peeled back his flesh and looked into the very heart of him, the very soul of him that now felt dark and fractured like an empty river bed. He couldn’t look at her face. He desperately wanted to, for some unexplainable reason, but he couldn’t lift his eyes from her beautiful feet, Botticelli toes, he thought. Such a stupid thing to think at a time like this. Aphrodite on a half shell she wasn’t. The dry heat of fire should have burned him to a cinder where he knelt. And he was kneeling, though he couldn’t remember when he’d taken the position of obeisance.

She moved around him in a tight circle, so close that he was certain the heat of her would burn the skin from his body, so bright that after images of her danced behind his eyes when he closed them, and he had to close them. She ran a hand along the top of his shoulders to the nape of his neck and stood behind him, so close the he could feel her breath warm and sweet against his ear. It was sweeter than anything life had ever offered him, her breath, her touch. And he was suddenly, embarrassingly erect.

She moved to stand in front of him. He would have tried to cover himself, but the weight of his arms was terrible. He could tell she was looking down on him, and the feeling of arousal suddenly intensified, flashed bright and settled low in his chest into a tight knot of fear. And yet he wanted, deeply, irrationally, needed her to touch him.

Then, she did the unthinkable. She curled a finger under his chin and lifted his head until he knew if he opened his eyes he would die from looking into her face.

When she spoke, it was as though he were glass shattering, falling into tiny pieces in the ecstasy of her voice. ‘We have met before, Kennet Birch. You had not grown so tall then. Adolescence is unpredictable, I’m told.’ Her hand closed around his chin to a nearly painful grip. ‘Look at me, Kennet Birch. If you have come this far, then you will look me in the eye and tell me why you are here.’

Painfully aware of his vulnerability and his hard-on, he opened his eyes slowly and looked up at her. For a split second it was as though he were looking into the mid-day sun, but before he could shade his eyes, the light of her softened, dimmed, cooled. And the face he looked upon was achingly beautiful, young, slender, pale, with lips full and pink. Her hair hung in long golden ringlets around her shoulders and down over the robe she wore, which appeared like flames leaping to touch and caress her.

He groaned out loud as everything in him turned molten in the roil of fear and rage and helplessness all wrapped up in almost unbearable lust.

She relaxed her grip on his chin, and offered him a smile that made all of his nerve endings sing with its beauty. ‘I’ve not worn human form in quite some time, but if my form is to be the last you see before you pass beyond the land of the living, then I shall offer something that won’t send you thence with terror in your heart. That would be terribly unkind of me, would it not, Kennet Birch?’

‘Thank you … my lady.’

She laughed as though she had just heard the best joke ever. ‘Your lady, I am not, Kennet Birch. Nor is my ego so delicate that whatever you call me shall matter one way or another. I will ask you again. Why have you come?’

She turned and walked away from him, and for a second he felt as though the light had gone out of the world. As his gaze followed her, he realized that they were no longer in the depths of a cave but in a garden in high summer. He could smell the roses and the lavender. He could hear the insects buzzing. ‘You know why I’m here.’ The stab of pain nearly doubled him over at the reminder of his loss.

‘Having nothing to lose has made you bold, Kennet Birch. Though I am not surprised. As I recall, you were already so as a youth.’ She waved a slender hand. ‘Yes I know about the death of your wife and your sister. And though I’m sorry for your loss, it has nothing to do with me. It is long since I have interfered in affairs of the flesh.’

‘It has everything to do with you!’ Pushing himself to his feet, with an effort that was gargantuan, he came to her side. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’

She raised a golden eyebrow and turned to face him. ‘I am not your friend, Kennet Birch, and even if I were, I hardly see how an alliance with you would help my cause.’

‘Of course you see. Together we can defeat him.’

She absently plucked a blood-red rose from a bush that climbed tenaciously on a stone wall, sniffed it and studied it as though she had never seen anything like it. ‘I fail to see how you could possibly be of help.’

‘I could give you flesh.’ The words were out before he could stop them, and his heart nearly exploded from his chest as she crushed the rose, raised an arm in a flourish that was almost like a flash of lightening, and they were once again back in the cave.

She stood close to him, so close that he could feel her breath coming fast and furious against his face. Her eyes were fire, her presence made him feel as though every fiber of himself were being shredded and being unmade even as he breathed. ‘You are beyond brazen, Kennet Birch, to offer such a thing, as if I would want to walk among humans again, as if I would want to take up residence in their weakness and need.’

‘But you do,’ he found the courage to whisper, not even loud enough for her to hear, and yet she heard. He was certain she heard the very movement of his blood in his veins. ‘You do want to take up residence in our weakness and our need. That’s what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it? And that’s the only way you’ll ever be on equal footing with him.’

She studied him for what might have been ages, and he felt as though the pressure of her scrutiny would crush him.

‘I have never worn man flesh.’ She nodded down to his penis.

He blushed and surged and blushed again. His heart raced. ‘Does it make a difference?’

She shrugged, still studying his cock as though she’d never seen one before. ‘Not really. Flesh is flesh.’ On a whim, she reached out and stroked his erection, and he gasped as the touch of her shivered up his spine and blossomed bright inside his head.

She continued to touch him, but her eyes were now locked on his face, and he tried desperately not to thrust against her. ‘I am only touching your cock, Kennet Birch, and it is all you can do to keep from spilling your seed at my feet.’

‘That is the most sensitive part,’ he breathed. ‘Of a man, I mean.’

She moved closer and ran a splayed hand up over his ribs. And he did spill his seed with a desperate gasp as though he
could never get enough oxygen again. And he was embarrassed and terrified and angry, and it was as though the whole range of emotions exploded in his head in an instant. Then she leaned in and brushed her lips against his, and for a split second the world flashed before his eyes more vivid, more perfect, more complete than he had ever seen it before. He knew things, he saw things, he felt things, things beyond him. And he would have dropped again to his knees, but he couldn’t, not held in her gaze as he was.

‘I have barely touched you and you are overwhelmed, Kennet Birch. Do you really think you can survive my possession of you?’

He forced himself to hold her gaze, trembling suddenly as though he were in the grips of some powerful illness. All of him ached, and he knew the real world was bleeding through. There was very little time. ‘I won’t survive if you don’t possess me. My coming to you has guaranteed that.’ He wrapped his arms around himself as the shakes became more violent. ‘You said it yourself, I have nothing to lose.’

‘And why would I want a sick and broken male body?’ She asked. Her eyes blazed in the dance of firelight that always seemed so close to her.

‘If you possess me, you can heal me,’ he said. ‘And anyway, if you possess me and I die, well it really doesn’t matter at this point.’

For an eternal moment she studied him. She studied him until he looked away. His head was fuzzy, his body ached even in the dream world. He couldn’t hold much longer.

She lifted his chin once again so that he met her gaze, and the shakes stopped. The pain went away. He felt his head clear.

‘If I do what you ask of me, even though you live, your life is forfeit. You know this?’

‘I know,’ he breathed. ‘It doesn’t matter.

‘You say that now in your hour of need. But when that passes, when you are whole and stronger and healthier than you have ever dreamed possible, when your heart heals and you learn to love again, you won’t be so anxious to let go of what is rightfully mine when the time comes.’

He suddenly felt more pain than he knew existed in the whole world, and none of it was physical. He inhaled breath that felt like shards of stone. ‘I’ll never know love again. I’ll never know life again, so there’s really nothing you can take from me that isn’t already long gone.’

Her gaze softened, and somehow he found that infinitely comforting. Then she moved closer and kissed him, slowly, languidly, as though they had all the time in the world, and his cock was hard again. She stepped back from him. One shrug and the robe of fire fell away, and the glow of her body flashed bright, then dimmed and steadied until he could see details, erect nipples atop high breasts, rounded hips, a golden splash of curls at the juncture of her thighs. ‘I am not like him,’ she said softly. ‘It gives me no pleasure to make those who dwell in the flesh my puppets. You will be, how is it you put it these days, you will be in the driver’s seat.’ She took him into her arms and kissed him hard, and when he feared he would disgrace himself again with his cock pressed up tight against the top of her belly, she pulled away. ‘However,’ she said. ‘If I grant your request, then I will possess you. All of you. You will belong to me, your life will mine.’ She gaze was painfully bright. ‘And if you earnestly wish to be rid of Deacon, then you will do as I say for as long as it takes us to accomplish our task, and it will take time. I know him. You don’t. I’m his equal. You’re not. And one more very important thing, Kennet Birch.’ She stroked his hair gently and whispered against his lips. ‘Never, never forget how badly I can hurt you if you defy me.’ Then she guided his hand down over her pubic curls. ‘If my terms are not acceptable to you, then you must return to your body and face your fate.’

 

 

Reviews:

“…this book combined action, threats, a demon, sexy connections and a coven of witches who are as engaging and entertaining as they are amusing. The pairings are super-hot and sexy, with detail and sensuality that brings a tingle to the reader, as well as feeds the general love and affection that all members of the coven display to one another.” The Jeep Diva

“I had been waiting since last year in suspense for the third and last in the trilogy and jeeze was it worth the wait! A dramatic, heart pounding, fast paced ending with a twist.” Midnight Boudoir

“You know, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this sex-charged coven but I liked the way everything turned out. The entire series has been nicely plotted and wonderfully naughty. Tara and company work hard and they play hard. If sometimes the work and play meld together into one heaving, moaning mass, well, lucky them.” Reading the Paranormal

 

eBook:
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Print:
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In Anticipation of Seedlings

 

In a few days it’ll officially be spring. I’ve been anxiously waiting for it since February’s dreary beginning. It feels like I’ve waited forever for winter to end, for the sun to shine again and the daffodils to bloom. Spring, we NEED you! I can feel it coming on everywhere now, and that means it’s time to think gardening.

 

Raymond and I got our corn and tomato seeds planted last Sunday. We managed it in a drizzle of rain, but we weren’t about to wait any longer. I check them every day, even though I know it’s still to soon for anything to germinate. At the moment they’re all settled nicely on a pine table in the kitchen looking very much like little pots of dirt. But I know there’s something wonderful happening down inside those little pots. This is veg gardener’s Christmas. This is anxiously checking the packages every day waiting for the gift, waiting for the surprise. And no matter how many times I’ve watched that germination process, it always is a wonderful surprise.

 

Here in the Soft South, with spring teasing and titillating us with delicious glimpses, it’s easy to catch the gardening bug. The beds have been weeded and this weekend they’ll be ready to dig. I’m truly excited for the first time since we exhausted ourselves in an allotment too big for us and, after two years of hard labour, had to give it up because it was just too much.

 

While the allotment experience was a disappointment, it was really no surprise. I’m greedy and biting off more than I can chew is my signature move. But this year the little pots on the pine table and the familiar comfy plot in our back garden seem less of a chore and more of a labour of love. This year I feel the waxing of the seasons and the need to touch the earth in a way that I haven’t for awhile. Creativity is played out in so many different ways, and there isn’t a more powerful metaphor for the creative process than growing vegetables. Being a part of the process, seeing it, touching it, and taking it into ourselves makes me feel connected to something greater than myself, something as old as time and as much of a mystery. Even though we understand the science of it, that doesn’t diminish the magic of planting a seed and getting a feast.

 

Every day now it’s light earlier, and the Dawn Chorus has begun in earnest. Every day now I wake up to the black bird’s song, and I find myself wondering, anticipating, what will grow, what will be born in the lengthening of days and the warming of the earth. Growing veg has a way of reminding me of my own creative efforts and how tied they are to my own waxings and wanings. As the season advances I’ll probably share way more pics of corn and beans and tomatoes than you could ever hope to see. And somehow amidst the compost and pots and plants and veg, hopefully some of that creativity will find its way into me and into the stories I tell.

 

Shameless Selfie: Identity Crisis

 

 

 

We writers are never quite what we appear to be, and we don’t have to be because we can hide behind our computers
and create the world any way we like it. That means, however sometimes our readers expect us to be one thing when we’re really something else. Most writers of erotica and erotic romance get asked on a regular basis whether or not we do the things we right about. But poor Garrett Thorne, is really nothing like his readers think he is. They all think he is a woman — celebrated romance novelist, Tess Delaney. Just how far will Garrett go to keep Tess’s identity a secret? Enjoy the first chapter of Identity Crisis, book 2 of the Executive Decisions Series.

 

 

 

Blurb Identity Crisis:

Book Two of the Executive Decision Trilogy (Click Here for Book One | Book Three)

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?

 

 

 

Chapter 1 of Identity Crisis:

‘Excuse me.’ The man sidled in next to Kendra at the bar all casual-like. ‘I couldn’t help noticing you sitting here all by yourself, and I was wondering if I could I buy you a drink?’

Kendra lifted her barely touched rum and Diet Pepsi. ‘Thanks but I already have one,’ she said without looking up from her novel. ‘And I’m not alone.’ She nodded down to her Kindle. She was just getting to the good part. All she wanted the man to do was go away and leave her alone.

Honestly, she was so engrossed in her novel that she thought he’d done just that until he cleared his throat loudly and sat down on the stool next to her. ‘So, whacha reading that has you so enthralled?’

‘Tess Delaney’s latest, Learning the Business.’ She kept reading. Surly eventually he’d figure out she didn’t want to be disturbed. There was a time it would have embarrassed her to say that she was reading a romance novel, but now she didn’t think too much about it, not when it was a Tess Delaney novel.

But apparently the man wasn’t very bright. He scooted slightly closer as though he might read over her shoulder. ‘It must be really good. I mean this is the Boiling Point. Most people don’t come here to read.’

She heaved an irritated sigh and closed her Kindle. ‘Yes the book’s very good. Tess Delaney’s best so far. And no most people don’t come here to read.’ She downed her drink in one go and jammed the Kindle into her bag making no efforts to hide her irritation. It barely registered as she slid off the stool and headed out the door passed the mountain-sized bouncer that the man hadn’t been bad looking. He was in a nice suit like he’d just come from some office somewhere, and if it wasn’t for Tess Delaney, Kendra probably could have had him in the park on that nice little secluded bench behind the shrubbery if she’d wanted to. That would have been a nice kinky beginning to the weekend. That was what she’d come to the Boiling Point for, wasn’t it? She figured she’d dance a little, flirt a little and with a little luck get nicely laid. She hadn’t done that in a while. Was she losing her touch?

She cursed under her breath. Whoever this reclusive Tess Delaney was, her novels were ruining Kendra’s sex life with her damn romance and love and not settling for just having a tumble a handshake. What the hell was the matter with her? A fantasy, that’s all it was, just a fantasy. Nobody really got a happy ever after!

But when the man at the Boiling Point so rudely interrupted her, she’d left Lisa and David with the sexual tension sizzling between them, and she was pretty sure they were going to get laid even if she wasn’t. That being the case, she sure as hell didn’t want to miss out on their fun. She felt like a damned voyeur. She headed out across the park at a quick pace. It was a short walk back to Dee’s. She’d order herself some nice Chinese and curl up with Lisa and David for their boardroom romp. God, what was getting into her? Was she just getting old? Harris never let her forget she was the oldest of the Three Musketeers. By two months, she reminded herself. And Harris was joking. It wasn’t that she wasn’t horny. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to start out the weekend with a sweaty romp with some hot guy. It was just that, well she knew it would never feel like it felt when David and Lisa’s anger gave way to lust and they ended up humping each other’s brains out on the floor of his office. Oh it wasn’t that Tess Delaney didn’t write good love scenes, they were fabulous, in fact, hot and steamy and pulse racing. But that was just it, Tess Delaney wrote love scenes, not sex scenes. Lisa would have never had a one-night stand with some guy she just met at a bar, and David would have never gone looking. There was chemistry, real chemistry in a Tess Delaney novel, and though Kendra seriously doubted if such chemistry, such romantic feelings really existed, Tess Delaney had drawn her in and made her wish like hell that they did.

As she often did, she was house sitting for her best friend, Dee Henning, who had been in New York on business. Well she was probably back home now, but she’d be having a very steamy romp of her own with Ellis Darby over at his place. Against all odds, Dee and Ellis were a couple almost straight from a Tess Delaney novel. In fact, if she didn’t know better, Kendra would swear that Tess Delaney had been hiding in the closet or under Ellis’s desk taking notes for this novel. Wow! If this was what it felt like for Dee and Ellis, if this is what they experienced when they were together, then she was damn-well jealous. She’d never admit it of course. And as the Chinese food arrived and she scrounged in the fridge for the Diet Pepsi Dee always kept on hand for her, she found herself wondering if maybe she should stop reading Tess Delaney novels. It was pretty stupid really. It only made her want what she knew she couldn’t have. Dee was Dee. Dee had a way of pushing through, of never giving up, of never settling until she got what she wanted in the relationship department, or any other department. Sadly, Kendra wasn’t like that. She wasn’t an optimist where love was concerned. She never had been, even as a child. She knew better. But since her return from California, she’d found it really difficult to get back into the clubbing scene. That meant that the only sex Kendra was getting these days was sex for one.

Dee’s two red tabbies, McAlister and O’Kelly, heard the rattling of the bag from the Chinese food and came to investigate. Kendra handed over the bag to the felines and settled onto the floor in front of the coffee table to eat her spring rolls and kung pow chicken with cheap wooden chopsticks.

Just as David and Lisa clawed their way to the mother of all simultaneous orgasms, Kendra’s iPhone rang, and she dropped a spring roll into her lap, then grabbed it up with her fingers while David and Lisa quickly dressed, embarrassed by all the feelings that they shouldn’t be having. It was Harris on the phone.

‘Hi Ken. Surprised I caught you.’ She could hear the concern in his voice. ‘Weren’t you going to the Boiling Point? Are you alright?’

‘Fine,’ she said, ‘I’m fine, just having some Chinese before I head over,’ she lied. ‘What’s up?’

‘Just wondering if you can pick up some extra beer for tomorrow, maybe some soft drinks It’s supposed to be hot. Plus, with the guest list being what it is, well, I don’t want to run out of lubricant.’

‘In that case, better get some hard stuff too,’ she said. Harris, Dee and Kendra had been best friends from high school and that bond had grown stronger during university and beyond. After all those years, they were still the Three Musketeers. Tomorrow Harris was throwing a little bar-B-Q out at his lake cabin, sort of an informal engagement party for Dee and Ellis. She’d work up a lot more enthusiasm for that little soirée if Ellis’s jerk of a brother wasn’t going to be there along with that Stacie chick, with whom it sounded like the two Thorne brothers had quite a history. Kendra liked Ellis. She liked him a lot, and she’d never seen Dee so happy. However, Ellis’s brother and Stacie, well they were both trouble. The two of them had bumbled about until they’d nearly destroyed the relationship between Ellis and Dee before it happened. Though that had not been their intention and they had both been very contrite, Kendra didn’t place much stock in good intentions. It didn’t matter, though, Garret was still Ellis’s brother, and apparently he was coming with Stacie as his date, even though she was his ex-wife. A perfectly good bar-B-Q ruined. But she supposed if Dee and Ellis could forgive the two, she would have to at least try.

After she hung up she made a quick note to herself to pick up drinks and returned her attention to Lisa, who was now coming clean with her best friend about sleeping with her boss.

 

Pale morning light filtered through the bedroom window, illuminating the delicate curve of Amanda’s shoulder and the swell of her breasts, which rose and fell in the even breathing of sleep. For a second he wondered if he were dreaming, but then he reached out and ran a finger along her cheekbone and watched the twitch of muscles and heard the soft moan escape her lips. It was no dream and, as memories of the past night flooded back to him, he wanted her all over again.

 

‘Damn it. It’s not right. It just doesn’t feel right.’ For the third time in the last half hour, Garrett Thorne shoved back the chair from his desk and moved to pace in front of the French doors that led onto the balcony. It had not been a stellar day for writing, and there were deadlines looming. He was prolific. Tess Delaney was prolific. He could whip out the novels almost as fast as his publisher wanted a new one, but for some reason, there was just no flow, no chemistry between Jessie and Amanda, and fuck if he cared, to be honest! The last thing he really wanted to write was another billionaire story. But this one was an oil tycoon in Texas, his editor said. A unique approach, his editor said.

‘Think kinky Dallas all wrapped up in a black and grey book cover,’ Garrett grumbled out loud. ‘Yep, that’s unique alright.’ He’d been joking when he brought up the idea, just joking. But hell, he didn’t have any other ideas at the moment, and that was very unusual for Tess Delaney.

At the moment he just wasn’t thinking like Tess Delaney, that was the problem. He was thinking like Garrett Thorne, and Garrett Thorne wanted to kick back, have a couple of beers in front of the television and … well actually, Garrett Thorne wanted to get laid. But he’d only been in Portland just long enough to get settled into his new house. He didn’t know anyone here, and the truth was, he wasn’t into one-night-stands, and he certainly wasn’t anxious to put his heart out there again after what happened with him and Amy. She’d sent him a free ticket to watch her dance the lead role in Sleeping Beauty in New York, but of course he wouldn’t go. He just couldn’t ride that roller coaster again. Not for the first time, he found himself thinking that if he really were Tess Delaney, if there was such a person, she would just get on with it.

He sat back down at the desk and took a sip of the neglected glass of cabernet. Out of the stack of waste paper he saved up from read-throughs, he took a piece and began to write on the back with a fountain pen.

 

I’ve never really thought about what Tess might look like, other than to notice how deliciously comfortable she is in her own skin. And that makes her outrageously sexy. Tess doesn’t really think much about romance and love and struggles of the heart. She just gets on with it. Tess is more practical that Garrett is. Tess knows that sometimes you just need to get laid, that sometimes you just want it to be easy for a little while.

He chuckled to himself and drained his glass of wine.

Tess isn’t really my secret, so much as I’m hers. She can cover for me, and she does. She knows I’m the twit who wears his heart on his sleeve, and that I write all about it. Tess covers for me in a way that’s far more elegant and natural that I could ever be.

Sometimes I wish she were real. I suppose this is a testament to how neurotic I am, but sometimes I wish she were my lover, tough and strong and comfortable in herself and able to slap me around a bit when I need it. Jesus, what am I writing here, Tess Delaney, Bad-Ass Dom? No denying that thought gets my attention, even if it makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Still, I suppose Tess’s fans see her as far more straight-laced that that. She’s hardly the kind who would fuck the lesser Thorne brother, is she? Though she might beat me into submission from time to time, she’d definitely go for the hero at the end of the day. And when she catches the public eye, she’s the paragon virtue, the teller of tales of the heart. Ah! Tess Delaney! Where the hell are you when I need you?

Beneath it, he scribbled a heart with an arrow through it, then stood to pace again. He was just ready to sit down and try once more with Amanda and Jessie when his BlackBerry rang.

It was his publicist. ‘Damn it, Garrett, don’t you ever read your emails?’

Garrett plopped down at his desk and pulled up his gmail account. ‘Why should I, Don? I can always count on you to call me in a panic if I need to know something.’

Don cursed, not quite under his breath. He’d been Garrett’s publicist long enough not to be required to be polite, and certainly Garrett wasn’t at times … most of the time, actually. ‘Tess Delaney has just been nominated for the Golden Kiss Award.’ He didn’t wait for Garrett’s reply, but ploughed on, as he usually did, trying to get as much said as quickly as possible before Garrett hung up on him. ‘You do know what that means, don’t you? You do know what a big deal that is, what a coup? And if Tess wins, well, it could very well eclipse anything else she’s done up until now, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what it would do for sales.’

‘The Golden Kiss? Tess was nominated for the Golden Kiss?’ Garrett almost managed to let the excitement of such an honor sink in before Don was off and ranting again.

‘This year the awards banquet’s in Portland, well that’s right there for you, isn’t it? And frankly, Garrett, your agent, your editor and I, well we all think it’s the perfect opportunity to out Tess Delaney as a local boy gone romantic. And I think –’

‘No!’ Garrett said, feeling as though the bottom had just dropped out of his stomach. ‘There’ll be no outing Tess.’

‘Calm down, Garrett. Don’t hang up. Just listen to me, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s well worth considering. Outing Tess Delaney can’t do anything but help sales and if you win , well it would be –’

‘I said no,’ Garrett repeated, no longer listening to Don’s long litany of reasons. ‘I won’t out her, and you can’t make me.
And that’s final.’

He was just ready to hang up when Don said, ‘well, actually, we can. We can make you. Your publisher is riding your editor who’s riding me, and unless you’re dead or dying, Garrett, they want you at that award ceremony. I suppose you could go in drag, but then to be honest, I think you’d make a very ugly woman, and I don’t think you’d be keen on the chest waxing beforehand either.’

‘Goddamn it, Don, I don’t want Tess outed! I’ve told you before, I write better when no one knows, when everyone thinks I’m just Ellison Thorne’s worthless brother. I don’t mind going. But not as Tess. There has to be another way, or I’m warning you there’ll be trouble. You know I don’t have to write for Romancine.’

‘Well, actually you do. You’re under contract for three more novels.’

Garrett gripped his BlackBerry tighter. ‘I can make it miserable for all of us.’

Don’s huff of a sigh into the phone sounded like an explosion. ‘Jesus, Garrett, can’t you ever just do what you’re asked? This is a big deal, the biggest. It’s a huge honor to even be nominated, and it would be the perfect time to let the real Tess Delaney take her bows … his bows rather. Think how it would boost sales?’

‘Sales are already good, Don.’ Garrett made a desperate reach for his wine glass only to discover it empty and the bottle
was still in the kitchen.

‘Good, yes, but this could be better than even you, even Tess, could imagine. Garrett, we’ve thought this out, really thought this out and there’s no logical way for Tess Delaney to make her first live appearance ever without letting the world know that Tess Delaney is really bad boy, Garrett Thorne. It’s like a PR dream-come-true.’

In the kitchen Garrett refilled his glass spilling a trail of wine across the granite counter top before drinking back half the glass. ‘Come on, Don. What if I can’t write when everyone knows I’m Garrett Thorne? Then what? Did you think about that? I mean it’s no secret what a neurotic mess I am, just ask my brother. Don? I can always get another publicist, you know?’

‘All right! Damn it!’ The curse was loud enough that Garrett held the BlackBerry away from his ear. ‘All right.’ There was a long pause, and Garrett was perfectly happy to wait. Tess Delaney books were top sellers, and the mystery of the woman behind them was discuss in more than a few coffee klatches and girls’ nights out. He did have some weight to throw around where the issue of his outage was concerned, and throw it around, he would!

‘Okay, look. The solution is simple, then,’ Don said. ‘Find someone else to be Tess Delaney, I don’t know, an actress, a friend, someone you can trust. Then you go as her date’

Garrett gulped the rest of the wine and emptied the bottle into his glass. ‘You’re kidding, right?’

‘This is not my kidding voice, Garrett. I’m serious. The way I see it, this is your option. You either come as you are and out Tess Delaney as Garrett Thorne or you come as Garrett Thorne, Tess Delaney’s bad boy date. I mean we could get some serious PR mileage off that, Tess Delaney dating Garrett Thorne.’

‘How am I going to pull this off?’ Garrett said, as much to himself as to Don. He was already going down the list of women who might play Tess Delaney. The obvious choice was Stacie, but everyone already knew who Stacie was and

she had a reputation of her own to keep, as well as the fact that she was his ex-wife

‘Not my problem,’ Don was saying. ‘If this is how you want to play it, that’s totally fine, but you’d better find someone and she’d better be good or your ass is outed. I’m sorry, man. They want to break ground by having their big name romance writer be noted as a man. They figure women will eat it up. That’s what Romantacine wants. The way I see it, you hire yourself a Tess Delaney or you come clean. I don’t care which you do, but you have to do one or the other. Think about it. And read your fucking emails, for Chrissake.’ He hung up, leaving Garrett white-knuckling the BlackBerry to his ear.

 

Shameless Selfie: Dream a Little Dream with Me

It’s Shameless Selfie time again, and I’ve been having some heavy-duty dreams of late, so it seemed like the perfect time to share a little snippet from The Psychology of Dreams 101. Everyone has had sexy dreams about someone they’ve crushed on, and those dreams are all the more sexy if the crush is someone they shouldn’t be crushing on. And, seriously, is there anything more sexy than thinking about the psychology of what happens when dreams turn steamy?

The Psychology of Dreams 101 is the story of Leah Kent, who takes an adult education class called The Psychology of Dreams 101, which involves keeping a dream journal. But when her dreams starts taking on a very sexy, sometimes chilly life of their own, and she finds her dreams tied to those of her professor, Al Foster, their joint exploration of the dream world goes from sizzling to chilling and back again.

The Psychology of Dreams 101 is an X-rated, fast paced novella in which nothing is what it appears to be, but then dreams are like that, aren’t they?

 

Here’s a little Shameless Selfie of an excerpt from Leah’s journey into the dream world. Enjoy!

 

 

The Psychology of Dreams 101 Blurb:

 What if there was punishment when you didn’t dream the right dreams? That’s the dilemma Leah Kent, and her professor, Al Foster must face—dream right, or take the punishment. The Psychology of Dreams 101 is a wander into the sexy and dark unconscious as Leah takes a Psychology of Dreams adult education class, only to discover that the required dream journal leads to some seriously kinky night journeys. But not all dreams are pleasant ones, and some have far-reaching repercussions in the waking world.

 

Excerpt — Dream Punishment:

Perhaps it was OD-ing on romcoms that caused her to have sexy dream about Al. In truth they were mostly just images, disjointed, arousing, sometimes shameful images – images of walking into his office and finding him masturbating, images of somehow ending up in the men’s locker room at the gym and finding him in the shower, steamy water pulsing over strong arms and a tight ass as he hunched over himself paying particular attention to the soaping of his junk. There was one dream, however, that she remembered vividly. Al sat behind his desk in the empty classroom clad in his usual polo shirt and jeans. He had asked her to stay after. “I’m not happy with your dream journal, Leah,” he said, looking her up and down. She suddenly felt naked, embarrassed, and dreams being what they were, well she had good reason. She wore only red lace underwear that was nearly transparent; certainly they did nothing to disguise her heavy nipples. “When are you going to learn that all you have to do is just relax and let it happen?”

“I try, Al, really I do, but I just can’t seem to dream about you.”

“Then perhaps you need a little encouragement.” He stood and pulled his belt from its loops around his waist all the while raking her with a critical gaze. “If I lay a few bright pink welts across your nice round ass, do you think maybe when you lie down in bed tonight, when your poor tender bottom touches those clean rough sheets, you might manage to remember me in your dreams?”

“Yes. Yes, I think that might help,” she said. Fuck! What was she thinking? How could she agree to such a thing? And yet, she did, most heartily she did.

Before she could say more, or rethink the arrangement, he yanked her around the desk, dropped back into the chair and pulled her over his knees. He all but tore her panties off her and she woke screaming and begging just as the first lash fell. For a moment she lay in the darkness gasping for breath, struggling with the strange mix of emotions that came from wanting the man to spank her and yet not, but certainly wishing she could go back to sleep and finish the dream. She was wet with sweat and, was she imagining it, or did her bottom actually hurt? She was definitely not imaging her state of arousal. There would be no returning to the dream world until she could make herself a little more comfortable, and that meant fantasizing about just what Al would do after he’d finished spanking her. It didn’t take her long to bring herself over the edge, and then she fell almost instantly back to sleep.

It was the morning sun streaming through the curtains she forgot to close that woke her, disappointed that Al Foster had not returned to her dreamscape, though he had, nonetheless, provided her with a good orgasm. Certainly she couldn’t’ write any of those dreams in her journal. She might have to start a private journal just for sexy dreams – assuming this wasn’t a one-off. God, she hoped this wasn’t a one-off.

As she sat up on the edge of her bed and stretched, she noticed the dream journal open with the pen lying across the page, which read:

You look beautiful when you dream. It was a good dream, the kind you don’t want to wake up from. At last, Leah, you’re doing it right! You can always tell when you do it right by the way your nipples bead beneath the sheet, by the way your lips turned up at the corners, slightly parted as though waiting to be kissed. And, take a sniff, Leah. Your scent is the scent of dreams well dreamed, luscious and ripe. Well done, Leah! Well done!

There was no doubt the writing was her own, though way neater than most of the scrawl she’d written at speed. The thing was, she had no memory of writing it.

Buy The Psychology of Dreams 101 Here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

Barnes & Noble

iBooks UK

iBooks US

Kobo

Smashwords

 

Celebrate Our Latest Releases with Kay Jaybee & Me at Sh! Women’s Store

 

 

I’m very excited to invite all of you, to celebrate with Kay Jaybee and me as we launch our latest novellas. We’ll be celebrating the release of Kay’s Wednesday on Thursday and my Toys for Boys. And what better venue for a celebration than one of our favourite places on the planet, Sh! Women’s Store! It feels like coming home.

 

You’re all invited along to party with us and enjoy a glass of fizz while we read titillating tidbits from our latest, answer questions  and recall some of the insane adventures we’ve shared on the wild ride of writing erotica. And don’t worry, we’ll make sure you have plenty of time for some shopping and browsing in this gorgeous, deliciously naughty shop. That’s half the fun of partying at Sh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date: Friday 24th March

 

Time: 6.30-8pm

 

Address: Sh! 57 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB

 

Price: FREE

 

Book your ticket here: Eventbrite

 

Spaces are limited so make sure you book today and celebrate with us.

 

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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