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It’s Launch Day for THE TUTOR!

The Tutor is now available for your reading pleasure!

 

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Who knew a can of pears in heavy syrup could inspire an entire novel about an outrageously sexy haphephobic sculptor and the woman he longs to touch but can’t? I know it seems like quite a stretch, but inspiration is like that, isn’t it?

 

We have five senses. We use them all without thinking, but as a writer, I’ve always been intrigued by what it would be like to live without one of those senses– one that we use most often. In The Tutor, I take away the one sense that we never lose, the one we most rely on in our everyday life. I take away the sense of touch. Sculptor, Lex Valentine, is severely haphephobic — he us unable to touch anyone else or to allow himself to be touched. Within that context, I wanted to explore intimacy and how it would develop without the aid of human contact.

 

What exactly is intimacy, anyway, and is it really dependent on being able to touch each other? How much of what binds us to someone and what makes us close depends on being able to physically touch? Lex Valentine and Kelly Blake must find their way to each other without touch. Can they do it? And just how the hell will a can of pears help?

 

The whole story, pears and all, available for your reading pleasure:

 

eBook:
Totally Bound Publishing
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Barnes & Noble
iBooks UK
iBooks US
Google Books
Kobo

Print:
Totally Bound Publishing

 

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The Tutor Excerpt – What Does it Feel Like?

“Look I don’t expect you to deal with what a fucked up mess I am. I realized that what I really want to know is what it feels like, what you feel like, what any woman feels like when she’s with a man, or even when she touches herself, and I have no one I would feel comfortable asking without wondering the whole time if they thought that by my asking I had given them permission to try and fix me. Does that make any sense?”

She had little time to do more than nod before he continued. “Oh I’ve watched enough porn that I get that it feels really good. I’ve read enough erotica to get some picture of how it’s supposed to be, but my take on it’s always one-sided,” he raised his hand and wiggled his fingers as though to demonstrate. “I can’t know anything but my own touch, certainly I can’t feel anything else, so I want you to tell me. I want you to answer my questions. I want you to tell me what I would feel if I touched you, what you would feel if I touched you. As for what I would feel if you touched me, well,” he shrugged and offered her a smile that seemed slightly forced, “for that I’ll just have to use my imagination.”

She took a deep breath, as though she were about to dive under water. “Okay, well, I’ll start with my lips because lovers often start there. I would have made sure they were moist for you before you kissed them, but not so wet as to be off-putting, and you would have done the same. And your first kisses would be tentative, if you’re really good, almost like a feather lighting against my mouth softly and repeatedly until I’m breathless for the want of more; and then I would part my lips to give you more surface area so that we could feel each other better.” She chuckled softly as she realized they’d both raised their fingers to their mouths. “And then we would both press harder and rub harder. The more surface area we touched the more we’d want and, I think lips swell, not just from the pressure, but in an effort to create that surface area, and when they can swell no more, when I feel like I want to completely take my lover into my mouth, then I would open to him and there would be a whole new surface area, wet and slick and warm, there would be a whole new motion when our tongues discover each other. I think a kiss reflects what happens in penetrative sex. It’s sort of an intimation, if you will,” her gaze locked on him, and for the first time she noticed just how blue his eyes were, “a promise of things to come.”

“Yes,” he whispered. “I’ve thought of that in my art. I’ve thought of the interchange we make with mouths and cocks
and vaginas.” He struggles with the last word

“It’s okay to call it a pussy or a cunt or whatever works for you.” She said.

He laughed softly. “How the hell would I know?”

“Well,” she stretched out on the countertop and rolled onto her side, resting her head on her hand. “you just have to try them out and see how they fit your mouth.”

This time they both laughed. “If they fit my mouth, I wouldn’t have to worry about what words I used, would I?”

“Good point,” she said.

“Not quite, but getting there fast, thank you.” Again, they both laughed, a strangely relaxed laugh under the bizarre circumstances.

“The thing is,” she said, rolling onto her back and staring up at the long rack of copper bottom pans above her head, “words are often as important in sex, and as erotic, as touch. I write in my other life, and I find that while some of my characters get turned on by waxing poetic between the sheets, others get hot by talking dirty.”

“How does your cunt feel when some fucker talks dirty to you,” he said, though not without a hearty blush.

“That would depend on the fucker and the circumstances and how badly I wanted to ride his cock.”

“And if it was a fucker whose cock you really wanted to ride, a fucker who was hard and heavy for you? What words would he use, and what response would he elicit?

“It wouldn’t hurt for him to observe out loud what he sees about my body’s state of arousal, and how he admires it.”

“You mean like how lovely your breasts are when your nipples are so taut that even your areola are visible through that shirt, which I imagine feels like a caress every time you inhale. You mean like the way your lips are parted and moist. You’ve not completely shut your mouth for the past five minutes, the way you rock your hips, almost but not quite secretly, and grind you bottom against the countertop. Is that what you mean?”

“Jesus! We shouldn’t be doing this.” She sat bolt upright on the surface and then froze as though someone had hit the pause button. “Alex?”

The man perched on the edge of the counter, just far enough away that she couldn’t easily touch him. He had kicked his shoes off and his own nipples peaked to bullet points through his white polo shirt. That would have been enough to hold her attention indefinitely had it not been for the heel of his hand stroking the very obvious, very anxious erection
through his jeans.

It was all right. It was fine, she told herself. She’d had more than a few occasions where her job involved watching and coaching someone while they masturbated. This was just her job. That’s all.

“It’s more obvious with me what I feel,” he said, raking her body with a hooded gaze. “And your nipples, well you could just be cold. Please tell me what you feel when you see me like this, when we talk like this.”

She moved to the edge of the counter giving him space, then motioned him onto it and she opened her leg. “If I weren’t
wearing trousers, if you could see my panties, you’d know that I’m wet.” She nodded to his erection. “You’d know that the thought of what you’re doing, the sight of how your body is responding to mine, is making me wetter.” She cupped her breasts in turn, through the white blouse. “Every part of me feels heavy, Alex. My breasts feel like my bra can no longer contain them. My nipples ache. And my lips,” she touched her mouth, and then, holding his gaze, moved her hand down to rest on the crotch of her trousers. “My lips are swollen, so swollen and slippery and ready to be penetrated.” She nodded first to his mouth and then to his erection. “Do I want the fucker to give it to me hard and deep in my cunt? What do you think?”

“Oh God,” he managed. Then he stopped talking altogether. His breath came in tight little grunts and gasps as he moved against his hand, holding her in his gaze as surely as if he held her in his embrace; and it was in that instant, the instant she slid her hand down the front of her trousers and into her panties an action he mirrored, that she knew neither of them would make it out of here intact. She wanted to run, but she didn’t. She wanted to take off her clothes and feel his gaze all over her body, but she didn’t. She wanted to demand that he strip for her, that he come just for her thetutor_800eyes, but she didn’t. She couldn’t. She could only cup and grope her breasts until they hurt. She could only stroke herself while she watched him do the same.

The space around them crackled with their energy, and their desperate efforts to breathe were the only sounds beyond the stroke of skin against fabric. In a hungry attempt at relief, they both rocked and bucked, mirror images of each other with one hand down the front of their trousers while the other groped and cupped and tweaked and pinched whatever part of their anatomy it came in contact with. Then breathing stopped, time stopped. Everything around them disappeared until they saw nothing but each other, locked in each other’s gaze, more physical than any embrace Kelly had ever felt, and it was enough. Heaven help them, it was enough. He came first by a split second, roaring like a wounded lion, arching back until she feared he’d either break his neck or fall off the counter. But the sight of him so vulnerable in his passion, the fact that even in his release, he kept his eyes on her was all she could handle, and she convulsed against her own hand, convulsed as though she would break apart, never taking her eyes off him, never breaking that connection.

 

 

 

Shameless Selfie On the Fells with the Demons

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As most of you know, I’m very excited about the release of the entire Lakeland Witches series in a box set! While the release date isn’t until the 29th of October, you can preorder the Lakeland Witches Box Set now and get the jump on everyone else.  Plus there’s a delicious giveaway for a £20/$30 Amazon gift card going on until then. Follow the GIVEAWAY LINK and find out how you can enter in the fun.

And with demons and witches and ghosts in mind, it’s Shameless Selfie time again, and of course I’m going to take you back to the delicious mists of the Lakeland Fells. Hubby and I had a good taste of navigating in heavy mist the last time we were there, and I actually got a couple of piccies, so it’s rather appropriate that I give you a very juicy snippet from the final book of the Lakeland Witches Series, Demon Interrupted. Enjoy!

 

 

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Demon Interrupted Blurb:

What secrets does a man have that would cause him to chooses to live under a spell that magically erased his past? When that spell is broken Ferris Ryder must choose to remember all that he was, all that he has done and all that drove him to willingly forget. If he chooses not to remember, the consequences will be dire for himself and the Elemental Coven, who are now his family.

Is the mysterious Elaine, who both fears and desires Ferris, a ghost with a past all her own, or merely a figment of his fevered dreams as he struggles against time to remember the past he fears or destroy the very people for whom he chose to forget.

 

Demon Interrupted Excerpt: The Demon Meets the Witch:

‘What the hell?’ Ferris roared like an angry beast as he fought his way out of a blackberry bramble to land hard with his naked arse on the rocky ground. The thick summer night effervesced with the tingle of strong magic, and the sting and bite of the bramble were evidence that he had been called, very unceremoniously, into physical form, but who would have treated him with such disrespect? And other than Lucia, the Fire Demon, and the demon who now possessed that evil aberration spawned in the Americas — what was it he called himself Deacon — there were few who could have done such a thing. Besides, what would either of them want with him? And certainly it behoved them to treat him with a little more respect than to up-end him bare-arsed and bleeding in a thicket. Whoever had done it, when he found them, they would be sorry for humiliating him so. He would make certain that they …

The yelp of a female voice put a halt to thoughts of punishing the transgressor. As he turned, the dance of firelight dazzling his eyes made him think for a moment that it was Lucia, who had summoned him. The Fire Demon’s sense of humour was evil at best. But the flames were nothing more than a tiny blaze set in an insignificant fire pit. And then he saw her. Beyond the blaze the woman stood as naked as he was with lustrous dark hair that hung down her back and over the swell of her breasts. He would not have imagined it to be possible, but the slender woman, body burnished golden in the firelight was the source of the magic that had summoned him.

xcite1demon-interruptededit‘What do you want, little girl, and why have you called me in such an uncivilised manner?’ He said, making his voice as thunderous as possible and pulling the shadows around him like a cape because it lent him at least a little of the dignity she had stolen from him.

But she did not cower. Instead she squared her shoulders and stood to her full height, which, as with most mortal women, was not significant compared to his. ‘I am no little girl, Rider, and I have summoned you to do my bidding.’

Though he made no effort to hold back the roar of his laughter, the mortal did not so much as cringe. ‘You summoned me to do your bidding, little one? You are either very brave or very stupid.’ With a sudden flick of his wrist the wind rose and swirled around her, whipping her hair across her face and then back over her shoulders, and he saw that she was, indeed, no little girl. Her breasts were in the full bloom of womanhood crowned by roseate nipples that peaked in the cool kiss of the wind he had summoned. His cock rose in response to her, and for the first time since his unceremonious arrival, he was pleased to be in physical form. This human, this mortal woman was delicate of build, skin as pale as the finest porcelain, skin that seemed lit from within, skin that contrasted with hair that was night itself and eyes that were like a moonless sky. Her hips flared away from her center as though they hugged the soft pillowing of dark curls that caressed her womanhood, and she stood unladylike, with her feet set wide apart on the ground so that even his tempest did not unbalance her.

‘I am neither brave nor stupid,’ she said, when the wind settled enough that she could catch her breath to speak. ‘I am without recourse.’

He moved closer to her, so that the fire did not interfere with his vision of her, and still she did not flinch. ‘You must be desperate, indeed, if you would summon a Soul Rider to do your bidding.’

She ignored his statement. ‘You have it within your power to visit horrible hallucinations upon those who displease you, do you not? It is within your power to drive them form their sanity, and it is said that you have power even to drive them to their death. Is that not so?’

He moved still closer, until he could see the rapid rise and fall of her chest that belied the nerves she hid so well, until he could feel her warm breath against the body that now held his essence. ‘Shall I demonstrate that of which I am capable upon you, little one?’ As he reached for her, she stepped back.

‘I do not need your demonstration, Rider. I only need you to use those powers in my service.’

This time he stepped close enough that she had to bend her slender neck back as far as she could to look up into his lakeland-witch-boxset
eyes. ‘And might I ask what’s in it for me?’

‘Anything.’ Her breath caught in her throat and for the first time he felt the passion of her request with the intensity of the powerful magic she had just performed and what that magic had cost her. And was that passion tinged with more than a hint of despair? ‘Anything you ask.’

‘And if you are the payment I demand?’

Her eyelids fluttered and her voice was little more than a whisper. ‘As I have said. Anything you ask.’

That she did not frighten easily, that she was braver than most men who had, ultimately, cowered before him made him want to taste her fear all the more. ‘Then I shall have you.’ He pulled her to him and took her mouth, not expecting the full pout of her lips to part for him, not expecting her body to relax and soften into his embrace nor her arms to encircle his neck. As his tongue flicked over hers, he was stunned to find it was not fear he tasted; it was power, exhilaration, need, mixed again with a heavy patina of desperation, and all of those tastes in this woman made him want her even more. His cock stretched hard, pressed against the tensing muscles of her belly. The pillowed press of her breasts against him in her battle for breath made him want to take more of her breath, so that the pumping of her lungs would keep her fullness rising and falling and nestling against him.

He unclenched her fingers from behind his neck and guided her hand down between them, down to rest on his cock. ‘It has been long since I have worn flesh. My need is nearly beyond my control. It may well be that I would split your fragile frame in two, little girl.’

Before the words were off his tongue, she circled his hardness with slender, but strong fingers, and began to stroke the length of him, whispering in his ear. ‘I told you, whatever you asked, and I am not nearly so fragile as you might think.’ But then the brazen child did something he could have never anticipated. She stepped out of his embrace, back just enough that he could not easily touch her. ‘But I am not yours for the taking until you have done my bidding, Rider. Then split me in two, you may, or in a thousand pieces if it please you.’

He growled his frustration, and his cock bucked against his belly. ‘I do not need your permission to take you, little one.’ He took a menacing step closer to her, and she stepped back again until she stood flush with the bramble behind her. ‘Nor do I need to do your bidding. After all, your invitation was not very polite, now was it?’

‘There was no invitation, Demon. There was a summoning and a bargain to be struck.’

‘Again, I will ask you why should I not take what I want now rather than wait. I am the one who –’

His words died in his throat as her power buzzed over him, a bolt of lightning and a touch of silk and he sucked breath to keep from humiliating himself as the content of his balls threatened to spill at her feet. Though in truth, he was not sure that perhaps it was his very life force that this woman, this witch threatened to coax from his cock with her magic. He raised his hands, palms facing her, in a gesture of peace. ‘Tell me then, what is it you want, little witch.’

She studied him for a moment with eyes bottomless as the night sky. ‘I want you to ride the soul of my enemy. Make him suffer long and hard, make him pay for what he has done. If this you do for me, then I am yours to do with what you will.’

‘Are you sure this is a price you can afford to pay, little witch?’ With a move that was no more human than he was, he pulled her into his arms and fisted her thick mane of soft hair and shoved it off her shoulders, seeking to admire the delicacy of the mortal form, as one did art in a gallery — beautiful creations that were far too fragile for any practical purpose. Their fragility in itself a part of their attraction, and his ability to break them somehow made them even more valuable to him. With his eyes shut, he tracked the beat of her pulse to the soft spot on her throat, then bent to nuzzle her there, and just as she moaned a sigh, he bit her in that spot against the thud, thud, thud of her tenuous life force.

At first he thought the near sob that breeched her lips was a release of her pleasure, disappointingly easy, he thought. It was as he opened his eyes that he saw the bruises on her neck, green and angry in the dance of the flames, and he realised the sob had been one of pain. Though he was no fire demon, the thought of his little witch — for that is how he thought of her now, as his possession — the thought of her in pain kindled a strange inferno in his belly that burned with the same rage he would have felt if someone had so marred the Mona Lisa’s perfection. ‘Who did this to you?’ Even as he spoke, he noticed other bruises on her arms, on her hips … on the insides of her thighs. ‘Who did this to you,’ he growled.

She shoved her way free from his embrace and stumbled backward nearly falling before she caught herself. He could taste the rage rolling off her, overpowering the desperation, overpowering the longing, overpowering all else to the point that it was he who was rendered breathless by it. ‘The one whose soul I wish you to ride, the one who I seek revenge upon. He did this to me and more than even your demon eyes can ever see. He took everything from me, and I want him to pay! I want him to pay!’

 

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Jane Riddell Shares How to Get Your Words’ Worth

I’m very pleased to have editor and novelist, Jane Riddell, at my place today. Every writer has nightmares about not giving their babies the best possible editing, and nothing. We certainly want the best for our readers. Knowing my own angst about giving my book the best editing, I jumped at the chance to have Jane on my blog so that I could pick her brain for some ideas that might help both writers and readers at the end of the day. And so that she could tell you all about her wonderful new book on editing, Words’ Worth. Welcome, Jane!

 

book-cover-guide-a-4-smallKD: Jane, what inspired you to write a book about editing?

 

JANE: When I began editing my first novel, Daughters of the Lake, I had a small list of things to check for but found myself constantly adding to it. The more I learned about writing, the more things I felt required checking. It felt overwhelming, so I decided to put my checklists into table form, so that I could tick things off when I’d done them. It also meant that I didn’t have to follow a particular order in my checklist because I knew exactly what had and hadn’t been done.

When finding myself longing to explain my system to any writer who’d listen, it became obvious that I should turn it into a book and hence Words’Worth: a fiction writer’s guide to serious editing was created. It’s a small guide – 54 pages – but more comprehensive than it looks at first sight. I continue to use this method of editing my novels because it works, although it takes time and can be tedious.

 

KD: Tell us a bit about yourself, Jane, and about your other books.

 

JANE: I came to writing seriously quite late in life. For many years it was a hobby, something I fitted in around work. When we planned to move to France for three years (2006 – 2009), I knew I wouldn’t be able work there with such limited French. A month or so before we left, on a wet Saturday afternoon at the gym, walking on a treadmill and listening to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas singing Dancing in the Street, I had a defining moment.: I thought ‘I’ll give writing a go.’ And I haven’t looked back. Interestingly, it was only during our second year in Grenoble that I was able to tell people I’m a writer, without that critical demon in my head accusing me of being a fraud.

My first novel was Daughters of the Lake, a contemporary family drama set in Switzerland. The idea came for this while I was on holiday in Brunnen on beautiful Lake Luzern in Switzerland. It’s told in four viewpoints – the mother’s and those of her three daughters. I think that at a subconscious level it was inspired by Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac, although the plot isn’t at all similar.

Chergui’s Child is my second novel, and it’s about a woman who receives a large inheritance from her aunt, and also a revelation which changes her life. It’s set in London, Morocco and the south of France.

I’ve recently completed a novella – The Bakhtin Chronicles: Academia, about a Russian cat who comes to Edinburgh to final-cover-for-final-cover-for-daughters-of-the-lakestudy creative writing and struggles with literary theory. The inspiration for this came from my own experience of failing to understand the relevance of French philosophers and literary critics to writing, while I was studying for a Masters in Creative Writing. It was therapeutic after a miserable academic year.  Doubtless some will consider me mad when they read it, but as all writers know, insanity is a good personality trait. I plan to publish Bakhtin some time before Christmas.

 

KD: What is the biggest editing problem you think novelists have?

 

JANE: Eliminating unnecessary words. A big chunk of Words’Worth is devoted to this. Strong, descriptive verbs don’t require adverbs. And sometimes verbs are surplus: ‘I’m going to have to’ can be shortened to ‘I’ll have to’ without sacrificing meaning. People don’t ‘begin to laugh’, they simply laugh. By deleting words that can’t justify their space on the page, it’s possible to lose thousands of them. And I do – in each novel…

 

KD: If you could give just one piece of advice to writers to make their editing tasks easier what would it be?

 

JANE: Have checklists rather than keeping in your head everything that needs to be done. Allow enough time for the editing process – it may take longer than writing the first draft did.

 

KD: Tell us a little bit about your next project.

 

JANE: When I’ve finished my current novel, I plan to write a second version of Words’Worth, this time targeting business writers. And I’m considering writing another Bakhtin novella, perhaps about working life after university, or perhaps about a writer struggling to promote his/her work.

 

KD: Do you, as a writer, have editing shortcuts that make your life easier? If so, what are they?

 

JANE: Not really. I plod through my lists each time. But a key point in Words’Worth is that the writer can personalise the checklists for every novel. Initially, I included checking for unnecessary adverbs and unnecessary prepositions. I don’t include these items now because searching for them rarely showed either of these and I was wasting time.

 

KD: Is there anything else you’d like to share with writers?

 

JANE: The often dispensed advice, ‘Keep going’ is fine, but only if at the same time you are working hard to improve your writing technique. This makes sense: if you made a chocolate cake that no one liked, you’d find another recipe rather than continue to use the old one in the hope of finding someone who thought the cake was yummy.

I’ve found that the best ways to improve my writing are to read the ‘how to’ books, read fiction as much as possible to see how other people write. Receiving feedback on my writing has been invaluable, but it’s important to be discerning about choosing readers.

 

Buy Words’ Worth Here:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WordsWorth-fiction-writers-serious-editing-ebook/dp/B01H2B9ZF0/

 

https://www.amazon.com/WordsWorth-fiction-writers-serious-editing-ebook/dp/B01H2B9ZF0/

 

Here’s a peek at Jane’s novel, Chergui’s Child:

 

Blurb for Chergui’s Child:

 

cc-front-cover-jpgOlivia is recovering from a traumatic event five years earlier, when she is summoned to the bedside of her dying aunt, Dorothy. Shortly afterwards, she learns that her aunt has left her a large sum of money and a letter containing a startling revelation. From Morocco to London to the south of France, this is the story of one woman’s journey to make her life whole again.

 

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Cherguis-Child-Jane-Riddell-ebook/dp/B00YTE9XWE/

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ebooks/dp/B00YTE9XWE/

 

Extract:

 

Two days later as I handed a £20 note to the taxi driver, I could still visualise my aunt’s pallid, dying face.

‘Hey – your change,’ he called after me.

I took the money, scrambled up the steps and pressed heavily on the brass doorbell of the lawyer’s office.  In reception, I removed my jacket and perched on a leather armchair, wondering again why I’d been summoned.  What was so important it couldn’t be discussed over the phone?

The paintings on the drab green walls did nothing to lift my spirits: cherubs hovering round a tormented loin-clothed man; mountains tumbling into a murky lake.  My fingers drummed the armrests as my thoughts reverted to the evening before. James had arrived late, and from the window of my third floor flat, I’d watched him adjust the metal coat hanger that served as an aerial for his Citröen.  His perfunctory peck on my cheek irritated me.  When he left early, claiming a headache – from my incense, of course, not his smoking (nothing that happened to James was ever his fault) – I’d been relieved.

Exhaustion permeated me: no Dorothy, and the funeral to endure tomorrow.  Ten fifteen.  Where was the lawyer?  I flicked through a National Geographic article about Iceland, closed the magazine.  The door opposite opened, two men shook hands and one of them left, smiling at me as he passed.

‘Miss Bowden, I’m Charles Minto.  Apologies for summoning you at such short notice and for keeping you waiting.’

I followed him into a large, sparsely furnished room, sat down and surveyed my surroundings, wondering if their soothing cream colours eased the stress of divorce, financial worries and problems with neighbours.  Outside, the wind buffeted leafless trees and the sky showed no inkling of sunshine.

‘I am sorry about your aunt’s death,’ he said, smoothing back his white forelock.  The glare from his specs reminded me of my former headmaster, but the lawyer’s aura was calmer.

‘I didn’t manage to talk to her.  I was in St Albans when she had her stroke.’

‘Your father told me.  I contacted you to tell you about Dorothy’s will.’

How much more caring he sounded, using Dorothy’s name.  ‘Her will?’

He nodded, studying me with sudden intensity as if I were a specimen in a lab.   I wanted to parachute myself home, to work, anywhere.

‘She changed it the day before she had her stroke.  You are the main beneficiary.’

My pulse raced.   ‘But… this isn’t…  What about William, what about my mother?  Does she know?  Will I have to tell her?’

His eyes softened.  ‘Your aunt was adamant you have the money.  She has provided well for William but the rest has been left to you.  The figure is about £700,000.’

I imagined Mum’s outrage.  £700,000!

‘There’s something else.  Dorothy dictated a letter to you on the day before she died.  This was when she changed her will.’

‘A letter?’

He handed me the envelope.  ‘Take your time – the contents are… unusual.’

My heart clamoured for escape.  I wanted Dorothy, not her money.  I didn’t want to read a letter, I didn’t want to discuss finances.  All I yearned for, in fact, was my cosy duvet and sleep.

After peering at my name on the envelope, I opened it and scanned the letter.  Then I reread it, the letters dancing like pixies.  When finally I glanced up, the green and maroon circles on the lawyer’s tie swirled.  Struggling to breathe, I reached into my bag for my inhaler.

Mr Minto waited for a moment, then handed me a glass of water.  ‘Drink this, please.  You’re in shock.’

 

 

About Jane:Jane Riddell

Jane Riddell is a Scottish writer based in Edinburgh. For years she worked for the NHS as a dietitian and health
promoter, writing being a hobby. In 2006 she impulsively moved her family to France, and during her three years there writing became a passion.

Jane summarises herself as: enthusiastic, well-intentioned, hopelessly inadequate with technology, having a dysfunctional relationship with time and addicted to chocolate, her only vice (to date). Her partner describes her as a benign crocodile. She loves: sash windows, perfume, wild weather, photography and films. Travel is her passion, especially pet sitting in other countries. To date she has looked after: dogs, cats, stick insects, turtles and parrots.

 

Find Jane Here:

 

www.quietfiction.com.

 

Jane also offers an editing service. Check out Choice Words Editing on her website.

 

Shameless Selfie Sunday from Lyme Regis

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Hi my Lovelies! I’m away from the blog and away from my usual haunts for my annual writing retreat in Lyme Regis. Every year I look forward to this one precious week in early autumn passionately, always wishing there was a way to make it longer. For this one week, I totally clear my decks of all PR, all ironing, all correspondence, all social media commitments, all everything that doesn’t involve writing, and by writing, I mean working on a novel! OMG! I’m all a quiver!

This year I’ll be working on the sequel to In The Flesh Blind-Sided — and what a romp it will be! SOOO … in honour of an entirely fabulous week of writing dark, sexy paranormal cool stuff, this Shameless Selfie will be a little bit different. For those of you who have purchased your copy of In the Flesh, you’ll know that at the end you’ll find the teasingly tense first chapter of Blind-Sided. And no! I’m not going to give you a spoiler, BUT what I will do is give you a sexy little snippet from Landscapes because Alonso Darlington and his friends are figuring majorly, not only in In The Flesh but also in Blind-Sided, so here’s a tasty teaser of a shameless selfie for you. Oh, and yes, the selfie is from Lyme Regis. But this one is from last year, and as you can see from the background, it’s all about inspiration. Hold on to your hats and let Alonso take you away. I promise I’ll be spending a lot more time with him and Reese this week. Colour me excited!

 

Landscapes Blurb:

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’ life?

 

landscapes-cover-12654238_1515192535449022_5292046566866535088_nLandscapes Excerpt: Sex Vicariously:

 

It was nearing dawn when Talia returned to our accommodations smelling of sex, as I knew she would if she were to obtain for me what I wanted. By then my blood burned in my veins, and my body felt too close to me, as though the flesh that I dwelt in suddenly conspired to crush me with its demands. And though I knew that Reese Chambers could not have refused her even if she had come to him as a toothless, foul-smelling hag, I hated her that he had poured himself into her body while I had been left with only my fantasies kindling my lust to an inferno.

Though my need was such that my flesh was fevered and my cock an insistent throb, until she returned, I held myself contained within skin that felt too thin. When she saw the state that I was in, she pulled the heavy drapes with an efficient tug, then with a nod of her head, motioned me to follow her down into the basement room that had been prepared for me. When she turned to me at the foot of the bed, before she could opened her kiss-bruised lips to speak, I took her mouth, starving for the first taste of him, the taste of his saliva, the taste of his blood, mixed with hers. She’d bitten him; he’d bitten her back. He was rough, and he liked to be treated rough, but he kept that to himself. He was embarrassed by it. His lips were slightly chapped from so much time in the sun and wind, and they’d slid against hers, suckling and stroking and pressing until her mouth opened to his. With ravenous laps of my tongue, I tasted him in her mouth, and she held back the moan of response, so I could hear the echoes of his groans, heavy with need he’d not satisfied in awhile, and I felt kinship in my own unsatisfied needs. Images of him flashed through my head. Christ, his eyes were green, dark green like the evergreen forests of the north, and he kept them open when he kissed her, taking her in with his eyes.

I shoved aside the silk of her low bodice exposing her breasts, breasts that his hands had cupped. My nipples peeked to sharp aching points at the feel of his calloused thumbs raking, pressing and releasing. I breathed in his scent on her breasts, burying my face in her cleavage, licking the taste of salty, slightly picante maleness, sniffing and tasting until I could stand it no more. In one violent jerk, I tore the dress all the way down and shoved it off her shoulders, away from the flesh he had licked and kissed and mounted. I cried out at the feel of him, weight on one elbow, knee spreading her thighs, fingers opening her heaviness, anxious to penetrate, anxious to relieve his need. And then, with Talia free of clothing, Reese Chambers’ essence filled the room. Talia’s panties were still wet with his semen mixed with her humid desire, and I tore them from her and forced her onto her stomach, onto her hands and knees, so that it was not her face I saw, but his that I imagined. With hands on her hips, I raised her bottom in the air and spread her still swollen, still slippery folds with fingers made awkward by my arousal, letting the scent of his hot bread and honey release intoxicate me. Then I buried my face in her snatch and, as I ate his lust from her, I knew him.

He was Cumbrian born and bred, and his accent was the soft lilting sound of the fells. He was a landscaper and a gardener by trade. His hands held the magic of the earth and his mind conceived ideas for beautiful outdoor spaces; those he liked best were patterned after Renaissance and medieval gardens. He was homesick and heartsick. He’d gone to Surrey to work with his father because the money was good. But his father had died recently and he had returned home to Cumbria. He didn’t care if he had to work in a pub or muck stables. He wanted to be home. He missed the people and he missed the fells. He missed the simpler, more honest rhythms of life. He was shy, even a bit reclusive. He read voraciously and widely, he liked astronomy and he was afraid of snakes, though it embarrassed him to admit it. He hadn’t had sex in a long time, and found it better to have a wank session than a meaningless encounter. The facts of him, the details of his life raced at me in a flood I consumed ravenously with each lap of my tongue.

As I ate Talia I felt the shape of his face, the curve of his chin, the rise and fall of his chest as he had done the same. I felt the soft tuft of bronze curls nestled between the hard rise of his pecs and the courser, deeper curls that caressed his testicles and his cock when it was at rest, but it hadn’t been at rest. How many times had he taken her? He was thick enough to fill her and the friction of him inside was delicious and maddening. The shape of him – I wanted to caress the shape of him, with my hands, with my mouth, and the taking of his essence from Talia was an act of ripping away something that should have been mine. As I bruised her arse with kneading fingers and, as I licked the last of his release from her, she managed a breathless moan. ‘Take the rest. God, Alnso, take the rest, and release me.’

 

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You can buy my new release, In The Flesh by following the link. 

You can also buy the prequel novella, Landscapes.

Both are on my Books Page. 

 

 

Marissa Farrar’s Dirty Shots Now Available!

 It’s my pleasure to welcome Brit Babe extraordinaire, Marissa Farrar, to A Hopeful Romantic today to share a little hot snippet from her novel, Dirty Shots. 

 

dirty_shots_finalDirty Shots Blurb:

Eric Rutherford is a photographer at the top of his game. Young, handsome, and rich, he burst onto the art scene like a rock star. His black and white portraits sell for massive sums, but Eric wants to take a new direction in his work. He longs to create erotic art. He wants to photograph the imprints of rope across a woman’s skin, and the red stripes left by a flogger on a pale bottom. And so his search for the perfect model begins, and when blonde Anya walks into his apartment, his only fear is she’ll say no.

Art student Anya Rhinne knows all about Eric Rutherford. She knows how he’d had every spotlight turned on him, only to fall from grace spectacularly with some kind of breakdown he only described in interviews as his ‘dark days.’ When he offers her the job as his model, and their sessions together grow more intimate, she struggles to divide what is professional from personal. As his work takes a turn toward obsession, a desire to create perfection at all costs, she has to wonder if she’ll ever mean more to him than just a beautiful image on a photograph. Will she sacrifice everything for his art?

 
*Please note, this book was originally released as the serial ‘Model Wanted’ and has been rewritten and relaunched as the novel, ‘Dirty Shots’.

 

Buy Dirty Shots Here:

Amazon: viewBook.at/Dirtyshots

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dirty-shots-marissa-farrar/1124567347

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1151472567

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dirty-shots

  

Dirty Shots Excerpt:

She stood before him, completely naked, her breasts jutting forward, the small powder puff of blonde hair nestled at the juncture of her thighs. “Because I’ve opened myself up to you in a way I’ve done to no other man and you haven’t so much as laid a finger on me.”

 

He remembered what he’d done in the shower the previous morning and glanced away guiltily. To hide the emotions he
felt sure would be clear in his eyes, he busied himself by reaching into the box where he kept all the accessories he’d gathered for the photo shoot. With a clinking of metal, he pulled out a set of handcuffs and placed them on the floor, followed by a spreader bar. Her eyes widened at the spreader.

 

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“Is that what I think it is?” she asked.

 

“It’s designed to hold either the arms, or more often, the feet apart at the ankles. These cuffs,” he lifted one in his palm, “are designed to go around your wrists or ankles, and then the bar can be adjusted, depending on how wide you need to be spread.”

 

A smile played on her lips. “Sounds kinky.”

 

He held her gaze, one corner of his lips quirking up. “I thought you wanted kinky.”

 

Without another word, she held out her wrists to him, but Eric shook his head, dropping the spreader and picking the handcuffs back up. “Turn around.”

 

She did as she was told and he reached down to grasp her hand from her side, pulling it behind her body and clicking on the cool circle of metal. He took her other hand and repeated the motion.

 

“Are you trying to punish me, Eric?” she said, a teasing tone to her voice.

 

“Why? Do you need to be punished?”

 

“I guess you’ll find that out at some point.”

 

Not knowing what to make of her words, he busied himself with the spreader bar. “I want you to get down on your knees.”

 

Carefully, her hands cuffed behind her back, she did as he asked.

 

“Put your face, shoulders and breasts on the floor, but keep your bottom lifted high, your legs spread.”

 

“If I try to lean forward like this, I’ll smack my face on the floor.”

 

She was right; he’d clearly not thought the practicalities through. He should have done the cuffs last.

 

“Here, let me help you.” Careful not to allow his hand to brush her breasts, he reached around her body and supported her upper chest, so she was able to lean forward into the position he wanted without fear of hurting herself.

 

In this position, he attached one cuff of the bar to her ankle and then spread her legs farther to attach the other one. A small chain connected each cuff to the bar, allowing some movement but not enough for her to close her legs to him. He’d never been this close to her before, not naked with her pussy spread open just inches from his face.

 

Eric cleared his throat and forced himself to his feet. His job was to photograph her, not imagine how she would taste as he pushed his tongue inside her.

 

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He adjusted the lighting hanging from the rail on the ceiling and then picked up his camera. He started with shots of her face, one cheek crushed against the white paper-covered floor, her eyes wide and innocent, portraying her vulnerability. Such contrast to the pose she was in. He moved to her back and hands, taking shots of the metal bound around her slender wrists.

 

Finally, he moved the camera to aim between her thighs, at the way her spread position exposed her pussy and ass to him in all their perfection.

 

“Are you going to fuck me like this?” she asked out of the blue.

 

He lowered the camera in shock. “That isn’t what this is about.”

 

She twisted her neck as best she could and locked eyes with him. “What if that’s what I want this to be about?”

 

“Anya …”

 

But he didn’t know what he was going to say. Surely he didn’t intend on telling her no? The position she was in, with her cheek pressed against the floor, her ankles forced apart, her perfect heart-shaped bottom pushed into the air, was just ripe for fucking hard. Between her slender thighs, the swollen lips of her vulva peeped out. He didn’t think he imagined the sheen on her pussy or the inside of her thighs.

 

His balls ached and his cock lengthened in his pants. Her gaze shifted, resting on the increasingly obvious bulge in his crotch.

 

“Anya,” he tried again. “It’s crossing a line. I don’t want to be that kind of man …”

 

“But I want to be that kind of girl,” she said. She spread her ankles wider, pulling the small chains between the spreader bar taut. The metal clinked in response. The position widened her stance, her thighs even more spread than before, exposing the star of her asshole and the delicate inner folds of her pussy.

 

“Oh, God,” he moaned.

 

Fuck it. He might want to be a professional when it came to his photography, but he was still a man.

 

About Marissa Farrar:

Marissa Farrar has always been in love with being in love. But since she’s been married for numerous years and has three young daughters, she’s conducted her love affairs with multiple gorgeous men of the fictional persuasion.

 

The author of more than twenty novels, she has been a full time author for the last six years. She predominantly writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but has branched into contemporary fiction as well.

 

If you want to know more about Marissa, then please visit her website at www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com. You can also find her at her facebook page, www.facebook.com/marissa.farrar.author or follow her on twitter @marissafarrar.

 

She loves to hear from readers and can be emailed at marissafarrar@hotmail.co.uk and to stay updated on all new releases and sales, just sign up to her newsletter! http://forms.aweber.com/form/61/19822861.htm

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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