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Letters to a War Zone by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

Letters to a War ZoneBlurb:

When lonely insurance broker, Bailey, gets himself a new hobby, he ends up exchanging letters with a war zone. But he’s not expecting what happens next…

Bailey Hodgkiss is lonely and dissatisfied with his boring life as an insurance broker. In an attempt to insert some variety, he signs up to a website to write to serving soldiers. He’s put in touch with Corporal Nick Rock, and over the course of a couple of letters, the two of them strike up a friendship. They begin to divulge their secrets, including their preference for men.

Nick encourages Bailey to add more interests to his life. As a result, Bailey picks up his forgotten hobby, photography, and quickly decides to team it up with his other preferred interest, travel.

Booking a holiday to Rome is his biggest gesture towards a more exciting existence, and he eagerly looks forward to the trip. That is, until Nick says he’s coming home on leave, and it looks as though their respective trips will prevent them from meeting in person. Is there enough of a spark between them to push them to meet, or will their relationship remain on paper only?

Available from: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/letters-to-a-war-zone/

Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20722128-letters-to-a-war-zone

*****

Excerpt:

After clicking all the available links on the website to find out more about it, Bailey decided to go ahead and sign up. He’d never know what it was really like unless he gave it a go.

He’d read about the site in an article somewhere, about how it linked people with serving soldiers, pilots, marines and sailors in order to write to them. It had been proven that receiving mail—even from someone they didn’t know—improved military morale. It sounded like a damn good use of time to Bailey, and it would be interesting, too.

He began typing his details into the online form. Of course, the chances were that he’d be paired up with a man, given the ratio of males to females in the forces. It didn’t matter, though. He could still exchange letters with a guy, become friends. It seemed like such an old-school way to communicate with someone, given how technology had come on over the years, but at least it was different. Perhaps it would give him something in his life to look forward to, something other than getting up, showering, going to work, coming home, eating, watching television and going to bed. The watching television—and even the eating—were occasionally replaced by nights out with friends or seeing family. Weekends were spent cleaning, washing clothes, gardening and odd jobs. Dull stuff, in other words.

He had an utterly mundane life, and Bailey knew it. It wasn’t even as if his job was exciting. Insurance broking was hardly thrilling, game-changing, or going to save the world. He didn’t expect having a pen pal to change his entire life, but it would certainly break the monotony. Hopefully.

He went through the various steps to fill in his details and create a profile, then continued right through to the information on actually writing and sending the letters. It looked straightforward enough.

His mind made up, Bailey immediately went in search of a pen, some nice paper and an envelope. Armed with a print out of exactly what to do when the letter was finished, he settled down at the kitchen table. Instantly, his mind went blank. What the fuck was he meant to say? He didn’t know any soldiers or other military personnel, didn’t know anything about their lives, other than there was a great deal more to it than shooting people and being shot at. His own existence was so fucking boring that he didn’t want to write about it. Unless there were any insomniacs in Afghanistan—telling them about his day would solve that particular condition right away.

After chewing on his biro until it broke, covering his lips and chin with ink, Bailey replaced it, resolving to try harder. He’d tell his pen pal the bare essentials about himself, then ask lots of questions about them and their work. That was bound to rustle up some conversation.

That decided, he began to write, absentmindedly swiping at his inky skin with a tissue. He’d have to scrub it off when he was done with the note. His wrist and hand had begun to ache before he was halfway down the page. He rolled his eyes. He sat on his arse at a desk all day, using a computer. As a result, even writing something short by hand was hard work! There was no way he was going to divulge that particular piece of information to someone that was willing to lay down their life to protect their country.

He just about managed to fill a single side of the A5-sized paper. And that was only because he’d formed large letters and spaced his words and lines out plenty. But he tried not to worry—at least he’d finished it, his first letter to a war zone.

He read through it carefully, relieved to find no mistakes. He’d forgotten how much more difficult—and messy—errors were on the written page. Computers let you edit and rewrite to your heart’s content. No correction fluid or crossings-out necessary.

Finally, he addressed the envelope. It felt like the longest address ever. The area and country was bad enough, even without including the soldier’s name and BFPO address. But it was done—Bailey Hodgkiss had penned a missive to Corporal Nick Rock, currently stationed at Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Now he’d just have to post it and wait for a reply. The website had said his missive would take between one and three weeks to reach Corporal Rock. Then he had to allow for time for him to read it and send a reply. It could be around six weeks before he heard anything. If he heard anything at all.

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

In Your Corner by Sarah Castille (@sarah_castille)

In Your CornerBLURB:

“You have to go. I won’t be able to control myself. I’ve wanted you so bad for so long and after I’ve been in the cage…I can’t think straight.” He gives a guttural groan and his fist clenches on my hip.

Primitive. Primal. His need speaks to me. I tighten my grip on his neck and rock up to kiss him. He takes over. His kiss is hard and demanding.

“Mine.” His voice is raw, savage and for a moment I truly believe he may lose control.

He rules in the ring

Two years ago, Jake and Amanda were going hot and heavy. But when Jake wanted more, Amanda walked away. Jake immersed himself in mixed martial arts, living life on the edge. But that didn’t dull the pain of Amanda’s rejection-until a chance encounter throws them together.

A high-powered lawyer, Amanda was a no-strings-attached kind of girl. But two years after her breakup with Jake, she still hasn’t found anyone who gets her heart pumping the way he did. And then he shows up in her boardroom, hot as sin and needing help…

But can he rule her heart?

Jake is darker, sexier, and impossible to resist. As their chemistry builds, Amanda’s not sure if she can stay in control, or if she’s finally willing to let him claim her body and soul.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I80E5TQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00I80E5TQ&linkCode=as2&tag=lucyfelt-20

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-your-corner-sarah-castille/1116882625?ean=9781402296239

Books-a-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Your-Corner/Sarah-Castille/9781402296239?id=5851429099981

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/hybrid?filter0=in+your+corner+by+sarah+castille&x=27&y=13

Chapters/Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/in-your-corner/9781402296239-item.html?ikwid=in%2520your%2520corner%2520by%2520sarah%2520castille&ikwsec=Home

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00I80E5TQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00I80E5TQ&linkCode=as2&tag=lucyfelthouse-21

 

Excerpt: In Your Corner

“Don’t move.”

Totally immersed in painting the cupboard, I freeze mid–paint stroke at the sound of Jake’s deep voice behind me.

“What? Am I doing something wrong?”

He closes the distance between us and runs his finger along the back waistband of my gym pants, sending delicious tingles up my spine. Then he slides his hands around my waist, bared by the rise of my T-shirt as I stretch to reach the top of the cupboard with my paintbrush.

“Yes. You look too damn sexy. Do you know what it does to a man when he catches a glimpse of something he isn’t meant to see?”

“I hope it makes him tell the woman she can call off the panic attack and drop her arm,” I mutter as I do just that. “I also hope it makes him decide his hands might be of better use somewhere other than around her waist.”

Jake slides his fingers around to my stomach, resting them just over my mound and his voice drops to a low growl. “I could make use of them here.”

“So says the man who turned down a good offer just the other night at Redemption.” I remove his hands and turn to face him, putting on a brave face while inside I seethe. Who does he think he is coming on to me after brushing me off?

“No games, Jake. You made your position clear. I got that. I’m not interested in being screwed around.”

He presses his hands against the cupboard on either side of my head, caging me with his body. “What are you interested in?”

“Moving on,” I say honestly.

His pulse throbs in his neck and his eyes harden. “With whom?”

“No one right now.”

He gives a satisfied grunt as if I had just cleared up a question in his mind. “Everyone is out back having a good time. You should be there too.”

“There’s a lot of work to do. I want to get it done. The faster I open shop, the faster I can start my lawsuit against Farnsworth.” I slip under his arm and edge along the counter.

“You’ve been working since six o’clock this morning.”

Grabbing a clean cloth from the counter, I make an effort to wipe the grease off my face. “I’m used to working twenty-hour days. I’m not afraid of hard work.” But I am afraid of mercurial fighters who run hot one minute and cold the next.

His face softens, and he takes the cloth from my hand and holds it under the tap. The pipes gurgle when he turns the rusty faucet and water gushes out, skimming over the cloth and trickling into the sink below. Without warning, he lifts me and settles me on the counter.

“You don’t have to work like that anymore.” His voice is calm, soothing. I am momentarily lulled out of work mode and into heat mode as he eases his hips between my legs and reaches to turn off the faucet. “It’s Saturday night. Time to relax and have fun.” With a firm hand, he cups my jaw and then wipes the cloth gently over my nose, forehead, and cheeks.

His gentle touch, the warmth of his hand, his breath, minty and sweet, and his hard body nestled between my thighs all converge in an unbearable rush of sensation. I grab his wrist, forcing his hand away.

“Jake…I’m good. Really. There’s so much to do. I’ll come out when I’m done and I’ve cleaned myself up.”

“I like you this way,” he murmurs. “You look…cute. Real.”

“Real?”

He brushes his thumb over my cheek. “Amanda without the armor. Your clothes, hair, makeup…nothing is perfect. It’s just the real you. I never got to see the real you before.”

Torn between being mortified and pleased, I reach for another cloth. “Real Amanda is covered in dirt and has holes in her sweats.”

He traces a finger down my throat to rest in the hollow at the base of my neck. The room heats to one hundred degrees, and if I’m not mistaken, I hear the sound of my blood boiling.

“I like holes in sweats.” His voice drops, husky and low, and his finger continues its downward journey into the vee of my shirt.

“Jake…”

He traces lightly over the crescent of my breast. “I like dirty girls,” he whispers, his voice thick with desire. “I can’t stay away.”

Oh God. Every bit of warmth rushes to my center as his deep, sensual voice ignites one of my dark fantasies. Jake, straddling my bound body, growling commands, telling me what he’s going to do to me in the filthiest language I know. A soft moan escapes my lips and we’re back on the roller coaster again.

“This game you’re playing confuses me.” His heart beats strong against my palm when I lay my hand over his chest.

“Me too.”

“Then what are you doing?”

His eyes take on a feral gleam and my breasts tingle.

“Playing dirty,” he growls. Tangling his hand in my hair, he tugs my head back, exposing my throat to the heated slide of his lips. “Sometimes you have to stop thinking too much and just go with it.”

My breath comes in short pants as he sucks gently on the pulse at the base of my throat. Barely able to form a coherent thought for the pounding of blood in my temples, I scramble for sanity. “There’s too much between us to just go with it. We need to talk…”

His hand closes in my hair, twisting roughly. “Lawyers talk. You don’t look like a lawyer now. You look fucking sexy, and your mouth is all lush and pink and needing to be kissed. You want to talk, Amanda, or you want that kiss?” He nips the hollow at the base of my neck.

Pleasure and pain meld together and I whimper as a heated rush of sensation floods my veins. “Kiss.”

Jake smiles. “My dirty girl wants a dirty kiss.” Holding my face, he slants his mouth over mine and kisses me.

Soft kiss. Sweet kiss. Warm, firm lips tasting faintly of coffee. His five o’clock shadow brushes my chin as his tongue eases my lips open to stroke against mine. My body melts against him as he explores my mouth, leaving nothing untouched. Tongues wind and tangle. Two years of fantasies coalesce in a single rasping breath.

“’S not so dirty,” I mumble against his lips.

“Oh, you don’t know how dirty I can be.” Jake grips my hair and tugs my head back with a firm, hard yank, sending little bolts of lightning straight to my core. Then he kisses me hard and fast. Rough. His teeth scrape my bottom lip as his tongue dives deep, filling me, taking what I have to give and demanding more. The pounding of my heart shifts from lust to fear as he consumes me, and for a moment I worry he has forgotten I need to breathe.

When he breaks the kiss, I draw in a long, ragged breath. “You never kissed me like that before.”

“You were never like this before,” he murmurs, his fingers easing up my shirt, his thumb tracing over the crescent of my breasts. “Raw and open, vulnerable, needing my help. So fucking real.”

My breath catches in my throat as he explores, cupping and squeezing my breasts and then teasing my nipples through my lace bra until they are tight, aching peaks.

“My clothes. Take them off.”

Bio

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes erotic contemporary romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Website http://www.sarahcastille.com
Sign up for Sarah’s Newsletter for info on new releases: http://bit.ly/LgFZlb
Facebook: http://www.facebook/sarahcastilleauthor.com
Twitter (@sarah_castille): http://www.twitter.com/sarah_castille
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920675.Sarah_Castille
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/author/sarahcastille


Other books in the series:

The first book in the series (all standalone stories), Against the Ropes, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Pick for Romance & Erotica for Fall 2013 and was also a #1 Erotic Romance Best seller on Amazon. It also won the JABBIC contest for sexiest cover. http://www.amazon.com/Against-Ropes-Sarah-Castille-ebook/dp/B00DDWIT3M

 

Daniel Gleason Interview – His Hometown Girl – by Karen Rock (@karenrock5)

So, Daniel, after reading His Hometown Girl, the reader understands more about you and how you became a dairy farmer who produces organic dairy products from ethically treated animals.  What can you tell the folks who haven’t read the book yet about your situation?

His Hometown Girl bannerGrowing up on a farm was the best. Ever since I was old enough to carry a bucket, I followed my Pop around the barns, helping. I didn’t like waking up so early to get chores done before school, but it was the only way to work and get the education my parents valued. After I graduated from Cornell’s agricultural program, I came home to take over the farm when my father’s Parkinson’s got too bad for him to manage on his own. I’d learned a lot of new methods and I put them into practice when I got home, like using natural alternatives to pesticides and not using hormones. I also upgraded the barns and put in a rotating, circular milker to make things more efficient. Because of that, I’m able to charge more money per pound of milk. For once, my family is not in debt and we’re turning a profit. I’m trying hard to convince my cash-strapped neighbors to join in a co-op with me and make these upgrades. I believe in the farming way of life. It’s shaping your life, molding your future, with your own two hands. You’re your own boss. I value my independence,  and I’ll work  hard work to keep it. Mostly, farming is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in Cedar Bay, and it needs to be preserved. Neighbors helping neighbors, the community coming together to celebrate and mourn together means we are all a family. We need to work together to stay together.

 

Your sister, Sue, was a seriously funny lady! And very smart. Why do you think she won’t go back to Princeton and finish her dissertation on Child Psychology? 

My little sister is the most stubborn person I know- besides me. She wants to prove she knows best how to treat autistic children and doesn’t want to present findings using a method her advisor suggested. When Jodi returned home  with her son, Tyler, Sue figured she had the perfect chance to use her experimental methods to help the boy talk again. And that’s a good thing. I’d much rather she’d spend her time working with Tyler instead of in the kitchen or mooning over our new farm hand. We’ve had too many burnt pot roasts and potatoes as hard as rocks- or as we call them- ‘Sue’s specialty’. Of course that means I’ve got to do the cooking, but since it relaxes me, and I get a meal cooked all the way through, I don’t mind. Still, I wish I had someone by my side. Farming can by lonely.

 

banner Lola's Blog ToursYou had strong connection with Jodi growing up. Do you think you’ll ever be close again?

Jodi Lynn used to drive me nuts as a boy- still does. She’s smart, pretty and always sure she knows best. I couldn’t help, growing up, wanting to best her every chance I got. Seeing that line appear between her blue eyes always made me smile. At least she knew who I was, even if she seemed like she hated me. Except one summer, the year we worked together after her father’s accident, she kissed me while we were berry picking. That changed everything. I wanted to hold her every chance I got after that, but we had to keep our relationship a secret because our family’s were feuding. My parents loaned her family a machine that mutilated her father’s arm and ended his career as a farmer. The machine was ruined and the cost of replacing it was more than my family could handle without going under. Both blamed each other, but Jodi and I grew closer and closer. Then she overheard me admit that I did resent her family. She accused me of hiding my feelings and pitying her. I couldn’t deny any of it, especially since my mother couldn’t take our financial troubles and was leaving. A part of me was mad at Jodi’s family. But I still loved Jodi. Wished I’d told her. Before I had a chance to explain, she left and never came home again until ten years later.

 

Were you surprised about how willing Jodi was to return home and purchase her neighbor’s farms for her employer, essentially destroying the community you both grew up in?

Yes and No. I knew that Jodi wanted nothing to do with me or Cedar Bay since she never sent word or came back all those years. Since her dad was hurt in a farming accident, I understood why she thought farming wasn’t the best job. I guessed she thought she might be doing her old neighbors a favor by getting them out of it. But she forgot how special Cedar Bay is and it was my job to remind her of that. I picked her up at Burlington airport and gave her the scenic drive to her Aunt’s house on Lake Champlain. I drove her nuts talking about all the old places and when she reminded me weren’t kids, battling like we used to, I told her that I agreed, because this was bigger. It was war. I wasn’t going to let her get away with destroying a community that had existed for centuries. We have traditions that go far back. In the same way, Jodi and I had a long history and the more time we spent battling each other to win over the farmers- I wanted them to join my co-op and she wanted them to sell out- the closer we got again. It was hard to fight my feelings because she made me forget she was the enemy. Someone that’d broken my heart before and would, I suspected, do it again.

 

How did you feel about Jodi’s son, Tyler?

Tyler’s an incredible kid. He doesn’t have much to say, but a lot of people who talk a lot don’t have much to say either. He’s got a good sense of humor and he wants to help out on the farm. Kind of reminds me of me. He’s autistic which makes it hard for him to control how he reacts to things, but on a farm, we don’t have to behave any certain way that doesn’t suit us. In fact, the farm suits Tyler. His temper tantrums disappear whenever he’s here, spending time with Sue. He does her therapy which is a lot of hands on work with the animals. He’s really an amazing boy and it kills me that his father abandoned him. If he were mine, I’d be the proudest dad in the world.

 

When did you realize you still loved Jodi?

I’d like to say it was when she drove the tractor into the strawberry fields, Tyler on her lap. That really impressed me. Or when she helped me birth a breech calf and got her foot fractured in the process without complaining. Maybe it was the moment she stepped out of the terminal and I saw her again for the first time. It felt like a ton of bricks had been dumped on my chest. But no. I never stopped loving Jodi Lynn. Never will.

 

When she admitted that she loved you, did you hear anything else or were you stuck on that? I’m glad she said it again!

I’m glad too. I couldn’t believe it and needed to hear her say it twice. After everything we’d been through, past and present, she realized she loved me and Cedar Bay. Enough to give us a second chance. I’m the luckiest man for it.

 

*Thanks so much for inviting me to do this fun interview! It was terrific 🙂 – Karen

*****

his hometown girlBlurb:

He’d always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he’s not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that’s always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

You can find His Hometown Girl on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20501051-his-hometown-girl

You can buy His Hometown Girl here:

– Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1daYrXx

– Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ktNqWq

– eHarlequin: http://bit.ly/KaSxKm

*****

karen at deep dish pizza place in chicago with Joanne at ALA 2013About the Author:

Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. Since then, her first Harlequin, WISH ME TOMORROW came out in September, 2013 and her next novel HIS HOMETOWN GIRL comes out in March, 2014 with three more releases expected this year.

When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen’s upcoming books, check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 . She’d love to hear from you!

 

You can find and contact Karen here:
– Website: http://www.karenrock.com
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites
– Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5
– Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6761362.Karen_Rock
– Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenrockauthor/

*****

His Hometown Girl Grand Prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Rough Weather by Lisabet Sarai

Rough WeatherDestiny hides in the tempest’s heart

Ondine has always felt at home in the sea. Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she has never really questioned her extraordinary affinity for the watery world. She concentrates on her work as a marine biologist, spends her weekends relaxing among the waves and worries about human threats to her beloved ocean environment. Fears of a deadly pregnancy like her mother’s make her cautious about sex.

When she encounters an attractive but arrogant engineer on her private beach, surveying the site for a prospective off-shore wind farm, anger is her first reaction. A casual touch, however, transforms that emotion to incomprehensible, irresistible, terrifying lust.

Ebony-skinned Marut has his own talents—aside from his uncanny ability to swamp Ondine with desire. He can control the winds and summon storms. He informs Ondine that they share a supernatural heritage and claims she is his destined mate. She responds with scepticism and tries to resist the charismatic Haitian, but ultimately her scientist’s training won’t permit her to deny the evidence of her senses—and her heart. As a brutal northeaster batters the island and Marut’s life hangs in the balance, Ondine learns that true power lies in surrender to her elemental nature.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of light bondage.

*****

Excerpt:

“I want to bind you.” Marut brandished a pale coil of rope Ondine had never seen before. He had stripped her of her clothes, settled her on her back on top of the quilt and told her to remain still. Simultaneously pliant and eager, she awaited his next move.

Standing naked at the foot of the bed, he reminded her of some Nubian Hercules. Candlelight painted flickering patterns on the sculpted ebony of his chest and danced along the length of his massively erect cock. The luscious sight temporarily distracted Ondine from his words. Saliva flooded her mouth as she remembered his hot seed spilling through her fingers. How she wanted to taste him!

“Do I have your permission, pitit?” He trailed one end of the cord between her breasts and down her belly, making her shiver with delight. She struggled to remain still as he had instructed. “It will strengthen the connection between us, if you trust me enough to render you helpless.”

How could the bond be any stronger? Already her awareness was attuned to his, registering both his excitement and hisdoubts. One part of her was more than willing to accede to his request. Another cringed, near-panicked at the notion of so completely relinquishing control of her body.

He dangled the rope end between her spread thighs and drew it upward to lightly brush her pubic curls. Electric pleasure arced down to her core. Her pussy clamped down on empty space. “Do it,” she gasped, as he flipped the rope back and forth across her mound, grazing her clit. The panic fled, drowned in sensation. “Oh, please, Marut!”

He chuckled, but in delight, not mockery, then seized her wrists with strong fingers and drew them over her head. Lust surged whenever, wherever he touched her. Faint echoes of fear returned with the first loop of rope around her crossed hands, but the purse of his firm lips upon her nipple banished her last reservations.

A gentle tug on her shoulders told her he’d fastened the rope to the brass curlicues of the headboard.

“Too tight?” he asked, sweeping the tangles off her brow and smoothing them across the pillow.

Incoherent with lust, she could do no more than shake her head.

“Try to get free.”

She discovered that, aside from a bit of side-to-side wriggling, her upper body was quite thoroughly immobilised.

“Lovely. Now your legs.”

When he lashed her ankles to the corners of the footboard, spreading her thighs wide to display her drenched and swollen sex, she thought she’d pass out from the arousal. Once more, she felt the tangible pressure of his gaze as he drank in the sight of her, bound and helpless. The ripe smell of the ocean drifted up from her brazenly exposed folds. She’d die if he didn’t touch her again, soon.

“You’re so incredibly beautiful,” he murmured. “Beyond my wildest dreams.”

Lashed to the bed, she couldn’t see him any longer, though she felt the shift as he mounted the far end of mattress. A rush of warm breath invaded her sensitised pussy. She jerked against her bonds.

“Oh, God. Please, Marut!” A breeze tickled the inside of her right thigh, then fluttered down to her bare flesh to her toes. “Oh!” She squirmed as the stream of air traced the same path down her left leg. “What are you doing? Ah…!”

He was visible now, a dark form kneeling between her pale thighs as he bent to blow into her navel, then swept the air stream across her rigid nipples. She arched, straining for actual skin-to-skin contact. Marut just grinned and blew into her armpit.

“Don’t tease me. I can’t stand it!” The tantalizing gusts trailed down across her belly, back towards her sex. Her clit pulsed hard and hungry at the apex of her soaked folds, the centre of her need. He loosed a stream of hot air aimed directly at the aching bud and she screamed at the unbearable intensity of the sensation.

“Ondine…?” Alarmed by her outburst, he backed away. As soon as he did, she wanted him back.

“Marut, I can’t bear any more…”

“Do you think you’re ready?” There was that hint of laughter again in his rich, deep voice.

She wanted to kill him for making her wait. No, that wasn’t right. All she wanted was to fuck him. That was her single all-consuming desire.

*****

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Contest!

Win a copy of Rough Weather plus a copy of its sequel,  Hot Spell, the book in which Ondine and Marut first made their appearance. To enter, send an email to contest [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com with the subject line “Rough Weather Giveaway”. Contest closes on March 31, 2014.

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Bio

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – more than fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.

Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre.  She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.

For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com). She also hangs out at the group blog Oh Get a Grip (http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com), writes monthly reviews for Erotica Revealed (http://www.eroticarevealed.com) and contributes to the ERWA blog (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.com).

 

Sex as Ritual

Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500I’m very excited to be on a panel about Sexuality and Spirituality with Victoria Blisse at Eroticon this year. Those of you who follow my blog and read my books know that I’m fascinated by the connection between sex and spirituality. I’m not a mystic. I’m a bit of a skeptic these days, but I’d be the first to say that there’s definitely something spiritual, something magical about sex, and not the least of it is the ritual involved.

I think about the ritual of sex a lot lately as I revisit the Elemental Coven from the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy in my serialisation of Demon Interrupted on my blog. I’ve always loved ritual. I made rituals up when I was a child. Later, I was involved in everything from conservative Christianity to practicing in a Wiccan coven — drawn in by the ritual. I spent three years training to be a spiritual director. I did it for the ritual. Contemplative prayer, meditating upon passages of scripture, the use of movement, dance, chant, are all tools of ritual. During my time spent in the Wiccan coven, the year itself was lived out in ritual — full moon, new moon, the changing of the seasons, the celebration of spring and harvest. During that time my husband and I even underwent the ritual of hand fasting in the stone circle at Avebury.

Ritual is a set of actions performed mainly for their symbolic value. But that’s only the beginning. The real power of ritual is that it’s the gateway to something beyond itself, it’s the gateway to a deeper understanding of what it represents.

That ritual infuses my erotica is not surprising. Sex is steeped in ritual, and often the rituals we psyche_et_lamour_327x567practice before sex are strikingly similar to religious rituals. We often wear special clothing for the occasion, just as priests and acolytes do. We may share a romantic dinner together before hand, with special foods, just as the priest serves the Eucharist. Flowers and gifts may be offered. And all this we do in hopes of experiencing and celebrating le petit mort, the sexual version of death and resurrection.

When life was a lot more tenuous than it is now, fucking the world into existence was an act of high magic, sympathetic magic. One hoped that by having sex in a field or a cave or possibly a stone circle, the birds and the bees would see what was happening, and take a hint. Pollination would take place in the plant kingdom, plants would grow. Procreation would take place in the animal kingdom, animals would give birth. There would be food to eat, and the next generation would be guaranteed. Our ancestors got it — that there was something in the act, something in the lust driving the mating rituals of all living creatures that brought about new life. New life was in itself magic.

Today sex is more about recreation than procreation. The urgency is no longer there, nor is the belief that our efforts will encourage the cattle in farmer Jones’s field to breed. The urgency may be gone, but the ritual is still there. Strangely and wonderfully, so is the magic, albeit a different kind of magic.

220px-Grus_canadensisThe beauty of sex as ritual is that we don’t have to be members of a religious group; we don’t have to undergo years of training to practice the rituals of sex. Whether it’s BDSM, kink, vanilla or masturbation, sex contains the built-in default rituals of all humanity, just like it does for our animal cousins. Yes, I get that it’s biology. But when cranes dance and grebes do synchronised swimming and apes groom each other, it certainly seems like more is happening than just the old in and out.

Giving and receiving pleasure is the ultimate ritual of human connection, even if it’s just some much-needed connecting with ourselves. There are as many versions of the ritual as there are people to practice it. No organised religion can offer a ritual that is more personal nor more universally compelling. Perhaps that’s why so much effort has been made through the centuries to regulate it, to control it, to limit it.

Back in the dawn of humanity when sex was both ritual and religion, our ancestors got it right. Though the science wasn’t yet available to back up that intuitive connection, that visceral urgency of fucking the world into existence, even back then, our ancestors already knew that the ultimate ritual, the ultimate magic takes place in the arms another.

If you’re in the Bristol area next Saturday the 7th, I hope you’ll get your ticket and come join us at Eroticon.

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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