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Out Now—United in Love, a Charity Anthology Edited by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #charity #anthology #britishredcross

United in LoveBlurb:

The world could use a lot more love, which is why being united in love is the theme of this short story collection. Each of the characters are dealing with horrific and heartbreaking situations—loss, grief, war, divorce, dementia, disputes over land and more, but what they all have in common is that, with the help of love, of unity, they come through. It may not be all happily-ever-after—since life just doesn’t work that way—but positivity and solidarity shine through in each of the tales and will warm your heart.

So enjoy these stories of unexpected companionship, old lovers reuniting, second chances and creative problem-solving, with the knowledge that the proceeds from your purchase will also have a deeply positive effect—with every penny going to the British Red Cross’s UK Solidarity Fund.

Featuring stories from Gina Wynn, Lily Harlem, Rebecca Chase, Rosie Jamieson, Skye MacKinnon, M H Heyer, Alyssa Drake, Arizona Tape and Lucy Felthouse.

Available from:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/unitedinlove

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2wq8dqe

iBooks: http://apple.co/2hdoqEP

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yjSoyG

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2hbrLrN

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36240214-united-in-love

*****

Excerpt from What’s Past is Present by Gina Wynn

Connie always believed she’d know it was summer when the rain got warmer. And that meant summer was today.

She ran along the pavement, trying to dodge the drops as they fell in big splats on her bare arms like sloppy kisses, hunching as she attempted to shield the package of fish and chips she carried. The aroma of the hot food and warm paper tickled her nose, and she could almost taste the contents. Declan would be lucky if she arrived back with anything more than soggy, empty wrappings at this rate.

Picking up her pace as the smell of rain-splashed tarmac filled the air, she hurried the rest of the way back to the house. His house. She shook her head. It would take a while to see the house as anything but Mr Pearce’s place—an adjustment it felt like she’d only just made. Now, it was Dec’s. Just Dec’s. In her head, it’d only just stopped being his place where he lived with his dad. Glancing at the windows in hopes of glimpsing him inside as she walked past had been a habit for a very long time.

When her doorbell had rung the previous night, she hadn’t expected to find a very crumpled, travel-weary Dec in the dingy entryway to her bedsit. In fact, he was probably the last person she hoped to ever find gracing the stoop of what she not-quite-laughingly referred to as her hovel.

She’d barely had chance to move, or slam the door in his definitely unwelcome face, before he wrapped his arms around her, folding her into a perfect bear hug of long-ago familiarity. Caught off-guard and unprepared to see him, she rested her cheek against the soft brushed cotton of his shirt, listening to his heartbeat, as his fingers splayed over her cheek, and she pretended not to notice the rough gasps of air he drew or the silent tears landing in her hair. Her chest hollowed, her heart breaking both for him and over him anew, and a lone teardrop of her own slid noiselessly down her nose.

Of course, she’d promised to help him today because she could never deny him anything, even though she’d spent the past five years regretting him. Getting over him. The bastard. She’d never stopped loving him.

Five years had crept by in a lazy blink of his beautiful brown eyes. And now, in the place where she’d spent so many of her stolen days and illicit nights, she could almost imagine the clocks had rolled back and he’d never left. She’d certainly wished for it enough times.

Short of pressing the doorbell with her nose she had no way to attract his attention, so she pushed on the door handle with her elbow and shouldered her way through the unlocked door into the narrow hall. The same worn carpet, lending a musty smell to the house these days, ran straight ahead to the kitchen and up the stairs. She walked towards the kitchen, ignoring the grime of a house where the owner hadn’t cared as much for the fabric of the building over the years as he did the family members within it. Framed portraits and holiday snapshots of Dec and his dad lined the walls, but she brushed past each of them. She could describe the position and content of each—perhaps accurately pinpoint the date of a few if she appeared on Mastermind with ‘The early life of Declan Pearce’ as her specialist subject.

But as she turned to push through the door into the next room, she caught sight of some new pictures and swallowed down a mixture of envy and bitterness at the juxtaposition of Declan’s life before and after—the part where he’d moved on without her. Even after Dec left, his dad must have continued to hang pictures of him because there he was, framed with as much care as anything that gone before.

Dec in an office of black leather and gleaming chrome—a vista of New York spread like a map through the huge picture window behind him; Dec beside an aeroplane bearing his name—sunglasses on, wide grin in place, and a suit that must have been expensive but one he wore without effort and made it look good.

Dec behind a podium.

Dec in an apartment so swish she’d have believed someone had Photoshopped him into it if she didn’t know better.

Dec… Dec… Dec. Just him.

Her gaze skimmed the remainder of the newest frames, and her thoughts stalled. She leant closer. No. They weren’t photographs. They were pictures that had been cut with great care from glossy magazines and newspaper articles, as if someone was reduced to simply scrapbooking a loved one’s life rather than being part of it.

Regret flashed through her. It didn’t show the future—the life together— she and Dec had planned in all those late nights that somehow turned into seeing the dawn. If she was honest, it didn’t show any sort of life she’d ever imagined for anyone she knew, let alone someone she loved. And especially not for Dec. She’d always believed they were the same type of person. But maybe not now she could see his life through someone else’s eyes.

She shrugged, trying to throw off her sudden melancholy. The fish and chips wouldn’t eat themselves.

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Naked in the Lakes for a Great Cause!

No one could follow this blog or my face book page or read very many of my novels without knowing that I adore the English Lake District. My husband and I have been fell walking in Lakeland for nearly eight years now. When I joined a group on Face Book called I Love the Lake District where I met the fabulous Jo Bell. She and some of her friends are getting naked in the Lakes for a great cause, and you don’t have to get naked to help.  Here’s Jo to tell you all about it.

 

Wrapped in banner

 
I hope this idea to raise money would make you smile? I had only ever bought the cheeky Farmers’
Calendars featuring either lady or male farmers with various farming equipment or a tractor strategically placed for the photo but these calendars are from Plymouth in Devon!

I had the initial idea, after a friend had told me that she’d had some photos taken of herself to help to boost her self esteem through seeing herself undressed, so its all her fault! In the summer of 2014, a group of 7 ladies got together and, with the help of a local willing photographer, ventured into Egremont and Ennerdale and got up close and personal with nature! Quite literally!

 

Miss. November

 

I like to call it ‘Naked in the Lakes’ Calendar Girls style and thought it would be a great idea for a
Calendar with a difference rather than just photos of the Lakeland Fells. We are raising money for the Give Us A Break charity as West Cumbria, England, urgently needs a suitable Short Break Centre located nearby to support children with disabilities and their families. Currently a suitable facility does not exist and/or would require extensive travel or financial commitment to access. It is unreasonable to assume that families should continue to struggle on a daily basis, with long waiting lists, driving excessive distances and working through difficult systems to access care.

 

Miss. March

 

 

Calendars are £10 each

PayPal payment to go to  joannabell238@btinternet.com

 

The end of January, we are making a donation from the calendar sales to Give Us A Break.

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on women getting naked outdoors and would be great for
you to see our results and maybe even join in our next one, if you’re coming up to the Cumbrian Lakes this summer!! I’ve got 70 members wanting to join in our next calendar, so will try not to get us all arrested if there are large groups of naked people roaming through the countryside this summer!!

Thank you for reading and I would love to hear from you, Jo Bell – nakedinthelakes@gmail.com.

Photos taken at Florence Mine, Egremont, Ennerdale Lake, Ehen river and Florence Mine (in banner) xx

 

Looking over banner

 

Coming Together: With Curves, edited by Victoria Blisse and Lucy Felthouse

Coming Together With CurvesCurvy girls and the men (and women!) that love them is the theme of this charity anthology, edited by Victoria Blisse and Lucy Felthouse.

From Zumba classes to Burlesque dancers, all kinds of big and beautiful women are portrayed between the pages of this book. Read about birthday surprises, smut at the gym, horse riders, lusty couples, naughty neighbours, skilled bakers, rope bondage and misunderstandings from some of erotica’s best authors.

Sales proceeds benefit Parkinson’s UK.

Contents: Six Lengths of Red Hemp (Tilly Hunter), Cross Trainer Number Four (Lily Harlem), Bella Buxom, Just Squeeze Me (JoAnne Kenrick), Captivated (Elizabeth Lapthorne), Red Rag to a Bull (Victoria Blisse), Girl Next Door (Bella Blake), Lush Buns (Sommer Marsden), The Big Reveal (Giselle Renarde), The Wrong End of the Stick (Lucy Felthouse), Riding School (Bella Blake), Flesh For Fantasy (Lexie Bay).

Available from: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/coming-together-with-curves/

*****

Bonnie stifled a sigh. He was doing it again. Staring at her, as he had been every day that week. She was on a fortnight’s training course through work. She was the only one from her office who’d been sent. As a result, she knew no one and ended up sitting alone in the college’s cafeteria at lunchtimes. She’d had a couple of invites from kindly people also on her course, but she’d turned them down. It wasn’t that she was being rude or anti-social, she just hated people to see her eat. She was a big girl—that was putting it politely—and when people saw her eat, she could feel the judgment rolling off them in waves, the thoughts that she was fat because she ate so much.

It wasn’t true. About what she ate, that was. She was fat, and there was no denying it. But it certainly wasn’t her doing. She’d been born to large parents, and despite a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, she was still overweight. All she ever managed to shift was a pound or two here and there, and that was hardly noticeable, particularly on a woman her size. She kept at it, though, resigned to being a larger lady, but determined not to get any bigger.

Because she’d always been big, she was used to the snide comments, the dirty and derisive looks, the open stares. So it didn’t upset her any more, but she still got irritated when people simply gawped at her. Surely one glance was enough for them to ascertain that yes, she was a shapely girl, and then move on. In most cases it was, particularly if she glared at the person in question. But not with this guy. She was sure he was trying to be subtle, because he often averted his gaze as she trained hers on him. But even if he’d looked away, she could tell by the position of his head and body that he’d been peeking at her. Again.

Now, on day seven, she was almost at boiling point. What the hell was his problem? Had no one ever told him it was rude to stare? She was on the verge of doing just that.

Eating her lunch was an unpleasant task, knowing she was being observed. If she hadn’t been so damn hungry, she’d have left it. But she’d been running late that morning and had committed that mortal sin—missing breakfast. So her chicken salad—with no dressing—was absolutely necessary to avoid making herself feel ill, or passing out, so she devoured every last morsel. She ate faster than she normally would, not because she was being greedy, but because the sooner she finished eating, the sooner she’d stop feeling so damn self-conscious about the guy across the room watching her.

She decided to give him one last chance. When she’d finished her lunch, she’d drink her carton of apple juice, then sit for a few seconds, doing nothing. If he continued to look at her, she was going to stomp over there and give him what for. If he didn’t, then she’d carry on with life and do her best to forget about him and his rudeness.

Deep down, she knew she was going to have to go over and say something to him. After seven days, he wasn’t going to suddenly amend his habits. She was just being a bit of a wimp, really, hoping to find some way of getting out of confrontation, because she didn’t like it, not one bit, and it was absolutely a last resort. Unfortunately, she couldn’t think of a single other way of stopping him from doing it. Perhaps she could put up a sign in front of her saying “Please stop staring at me.” But if he couldn’t take the hint when she’d glared at him, he wouldn’t take any notice of a piece of paper.

Several minutes later, her salad was gone and she moved onto her drink. With a sinking feeling in her gut, she saw he was just as interested in her now as he had been when she’d been eating. Damn, confrontation it was then.

Draining the carton, she gathered her plate, cutlery and other rubbish onto her tray, stood up and slid it onto the rack nearest her. Then she returned to her table, grabbed her bag, pulled in a deep breath through her nostrils and marched over to the Peeping Tom. She slid out the chair opposite him and sat down on it.

*****

Editor sites:

http://victoriablisse.co.uk

http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk

 

Lisabet Sarai Tells How You Can Help Vampires Save the World

Helping Vampires to Save the World

Let’s face it. Vampires are sexy. Something about the undead stirs up our juices. Perhaps it’s their irresistible power. Even when we know the danger, we’re so very tempted to surrender to their all-consuming lust. Maybe we want to comfort them, to save them a lonely, bloody eternity. Maybe we secretly crave immortality ourselves.

Vampires are frequently portrayed as evil or at least amoral, viewing humanity from the jaded perspective of centuries. Now, though, vampires are doing their part to save the world.

Coming Together: In Vein is a brand new collection of vampire-themed erotica and erotic romance edited by Lisabet Sarai. All sales of this novel-length volume support Doctorlisabet Sarai Drs without borders Coming together in veins Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). MSF works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Right now, despite being barred from the country, MSF doctors and nurses are in Syria, working with patients from both sides of the civil war. They’re performing surgery in caves and sneaking into refugee camps to distribute desperately needed medications.

You can help MSF in its life-saving mission, simply by indulging your passion for vampires. Buy a copy of Coming Together: In Vein in ebook, Kindle format, or print. Enjoy! Then help spread the word! Every copy we sell has the potential to save someone’s life.

The list of contributors includes many names you’ll recognize. Every one of these authors has provided his or her work free of charge, to support the charitable aims of the project. Furthermore, the editor is giving away a free copy of her short story collection Body Electric  to everyone who buys a copy of Coming Together: In Vein. (For details of this offer, click here.)

Sink your teeth into Coming Together: In Vein. Help our vampires save the world.

Excerpt:

From “Willing” by Xan West

I pull out my blade and show it to him. His eyes widen and he whispers, “My safeword is chocolate.” I am surprised. Most who frequent the fetish scene know nothing about real BDSM. That these are the first words out of his mouth shows that there may be more to this boy than I thought. I stand still, watching him. He is older than I had first surmised, at least twenty four. The little leather he wears is well kept, his belt clearly conditioned and his boots cared for by a loving hand. He is motionless, knees slightly bent, shoulders back, offering me his chest. His pulse is not rapid, but his eyes eat up the knife and his lips are slightly parted, as if all he wanted was to take my blade down his throat.

His brown eyes stay fixed on the knife as I move toward him. I tease his lip with the tip of it and then speak softly.

“How black do you flag?”

His eyes stay on the blade. He swallows.

“Very black, on the right, Sir.”

“Is there anything I need to know?”

“I am healthy and strong. My limits are animals, children, suspension and humiliation, Sir.”

“And blood, hmmm?” I am teasing. I know the answer. It is why I found him here, and not at the Lure.

“Oh please, Sir. I would gladly offer my blood.”

“Why?”

He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes a moment, and then opens them. The pulse in his throat starts racing, but his voice is calm, and matter-of-fact. I tease my blade against his neck.

“I have been watching you a long time, Sir. I have seen how you play. I see the beast inside you. I know what is missing. Those boys at The Lure don’t know how to give you what you really need. They don’t see that they are barely feeding your craving, and not touching your hunger. The boys here don’t see you. They just see their own fantasy. They are simply food. I am strong, Sir. Strong enough for you. I can be yours. My blood, my flesh, my sex, my service. Yours to take however you choose, for as long as you want. To slake your hunger. I would be honored, Sir.”

I take a deep breath, stunned, studying him. This boy who would offer what I never really thought was possible. He has surprised me again. That alone shows this boy is more than a meal. He just might be able to be all that he has offered.

 

 

A Very Long Walk for a Very Good Cause

Nick and Lucy stopping for lunch in East Texas

When Raymond was in the States in January, he sent me a link from the Monroe Louisiana paper about a couple who were walking across the US for charity. Being a walker, I was outrageously impressed, and knowing the lack of public footpaths and right aways for walkers, I knew that Nick and Lucy Russell were going to be facing some serious challenges. This lovely couple is sort of dear to my heart because not only are they taking on an amazing challenge for a great cause, but they’re from the UK! Well, I just had to email them. To my surprise and delight, they agreed to let their feet rest a bit while I interviewed them. And they even sent lots of cool piccies! Please welcome Nick and Lucy Russell, from somewhere in the deserts of West Texas.

Our starting point on the beach at Tybee Island

KD: Of all the things you might have done to raise money for charity, what inspired you to walk across the USA? Why this walk? Why this charity?

N&L: We disagree as to whose idea it was in the first place to walk across America. One of us originally suggested trying to walk across Russia (we only ever seem to take our holidays in Russia, for some odd reason), this was quickly dismissed as being far too difficult! So, America seemed a much shorter option in the end (ah for the benefit of hindsight).

KD:Could you give us a basic description of your route, from where to where? Why this

Pecan trees in the morning in Georgia

particular route? How long do you think it will take you?

N&L: We started out at Tybee Island (just east of Savannah, Georgia) and will (hopefully!) finish in San Diego, California. We chose a Southern route mainly because it allows us to avoid the colder weather further north and mountain ranges (it’s also a slightly shorter route, which is always welcome). It also takes us through parts of the country which we wouldn’t have otherwise visited. It should take us 6 months to complete…injuries and bad weather permitting!

KD: Tell us a bit about Nick and Lucy. Who are they now and who were they in their previous life (Before the walk began)?

Road sign for Hiway 80, which we followed the first 1000 miles

N&L: Neither of us were particularly keen walkers at all! We might go for a short walk round London on the weekend or whilst on holiday, but nothing more than that – so this represents a big change from our regular routine. We grew up in rural Lincolnshire, but both lived and worked in London for a few years before starting the walk (and are planning to return to do so again once done walking); Lucy for a charity and Nick as a civil servant. It was perhaps a case of finding something as different as possible from sitting behind a desk all day that prompted us to start walking.

KD: After months of walking, you must have your routine down by now. Could you tell us a bit about a day in the walking life of Lucy and Nick?

N&L:We generally start walking between 7.30 and 8.00am, when it starts to get light. An average day is usually 20 to 25 miles in all, although these distances are getting longer now the further west we head. We try and walk for about three to four hours in the morning before having our first rest; we find that if we stop beforehand, we’ll then need to stop every hour or so throughout the day. Talking to

A quieter road away from the main highway

each other really helps pass the time, as does listening to music; quieter days definitely drag much more than the ones which we can talk. We try and stock up on as many calories as we can whilst walking, so we survive on a pretty unhealthy diet of trail mix, protein bars and chocolate whilst walking. We then walk either to the nearest motel or, as has been the case more recently, until sunset and pitch our tent – then it’s time to collapse! Our routine has changed slightly over the past few days, we recently got a trailer to push our food, water and bags. This has taken a lot of weight off of our backs, which we’ve definitely enjoyed.

KD: What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve had to face in your walk so far?

N&L: Probably the boredom. When all you do each and every day is just walk, it can be difficult to get enthusiastic about doing it all over again the next day. That’s why we try and keep our minds a little occupied and not solely focused on walking.

KD: What has surprised you the most in your walk?

Our bridge across the mississippi and into louisiana

N&L: I think it’s how little parts of America are set up to facilitate walking. In many of the towns or cities we’ve been through, pavements are either missing, lead to nowhere, or in a state of disrepair. It’s a much more car focused country than we’re used to. This leads to us looking a little out of place at times when we try walking along roads which clearly weren’t designed for pedestrians!

KD: What have you enjoyed the most so far?

N&L: Probably the little things…like when it’s really hot and a car pulls over and hands you a cold drink, or a comfy bed and nice meal at the end of a long day (especially pecan pie, something we’ve really enjoyed). We’ve also had some really spectacular sunrises and sunsets along the way, which are always nice ways to begin or end the day.

KD: Do you feel this walk has significantly changed you as people? If so, in what way?

N&L: I think we’re still the same people as we were when we began; we’ve perhaps grown a little crazier, and have a greater appreciation of chairs and remaining sedentary, but we haven’t had any epiphanies as of yet! Given all the hospitality we’ve received along the way, it does make us think that we too should become nicer to strangers once we return – as people have been to us.

KD: How did you train for walking all the way across the US?

N&L:We both started walking into work, instead of taking the tube or bus. Lucy walked there and

Dallas, the biggest city on our route

back each day (around 8 miles), Nick’s walk in was around 5 miles. We also started doing some weekend walks around London, generally up to 20 miles in length (these were pretty tough going, too!). Finally, we went to the Peak District for a week, partially for a bit of a summer holiday, but also to get some more practice in. We definitely didn’t enjoy the hills!

KD: What have been your outstanding impressions of the America you are seeing as walkers and its people? What has been their response to a couple of Brits walking across the US?

N&L: We’ve been more taken aback by people’s support than anything else. We’ve been stopped on a near daily basis for people to offer us lifts (which we politely turn down, of course), food, water, kind words and even a place to stay for the evening. We’ve found that people are much more open here than in England, and much more willing to stop and offer help. When we get into what we’re doing, people think we’re a little crazy (and they wouldn’t be wrong), but always offer support. Our accents also make us stand out, especially compared to the Southern and Texan accents around us.

KD: Tell us a bit about the charity you are raising funds for and are there any ways we who aren’t walking can support you and keep track of your progress.

Setting up camp in the desert of West Texas

N&L: The charity we’re raising money for is close to our own hearts…as we set it up! It’s called The Pamir Trust and works in the remote Pamir region of Tajikistan (just north of Afghanistan), to support small scale community led development projects. We’re working with individual villages to identify what small projects we can support that will make a big difference to the village. We will then fund the project and let the village take it from there – after all, they know best! We wanted to set up the charity after visiting Tajikistan a couple of years ago and being humbled by the generosity of the people there, despite it being a very poor and remote corner of the world. There are more details on both the charity and the walk on our website, including where we are at the moment, www.walkamerica.co.uk. People can also follow us on Facebook
www.facebook.com/walkusa, Twitter @walkusa or donate through our fundraising page https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/walkamerica.

KD: Thanks for being my guests, Lucy and Nick. Wishing you a safe and interesting onward journey and much success with your fundraising efforts. You two are truly amazing!

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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