Lakeland Inspiration and Free Reads

Surely there is no other place in this whole wonderful world quite like Lakeland … no other so exquisitely lovely, no other so charming, no other that calls so insistently across a gulf of distance. All who truly love Lakeland are exiles when away from it.

— Alfred Wainwright

 

 

 

I’m just back from a lovely few days in the English Lake District. As always, I had a glorious time and would have loved nothing more than to stay a little longer. Few places inspire me quite like the Lakes. Proof of that is in the fact that all three of my giveaways for the month of July are set in the English Lake district. More about those later.

 

 

I’ve never seen it this hot or this dry in Cumbria. Many of our favourite walks involve being up high enough that there are no trees. While that is not a problem under an overcast sky, with the July sun beating down and not a bit of shade in sight, it can be brutal. As you can see, I was in shorts. I’ve never before walked in shorts on the fells.

 

 

That being the case, we spent some of our walking time down lower on more shaded walks. This is Ashness Bridge, iconic Lakeland, and a part of our walk that involved an ascent up the back side of Walla Crag and then down to walk around Derwent Water.  One of the best parts of that glorious walk was the wild bleaberries. For those of you that don’t know what those are, think mini blueberries that bite back. They’re tiny and sweet and deliciously tart, and I didn’t get any photos because I was too busy stuffing my face. We all had blue fingers and teeth by the time we were at the top of the fell.

 

 

We had a nostalgic walk retracing the steps of the walk that inspired Anderson’s slate quarry shelter in Body Temperature and Rising, the first of the Lakeland Witches novels. In fact the whole walk from Grange, up to High Spy and down Rigghead Quarries figures into the series over and over again. This walk is a part of the Newlands Horseshoe Ridge, which one of my very favourite walks in the Lakes.

 

 

My best British memories come from the Lake District, and it’s the place I write about most often just because I get to be there vicariously when I write, and I get the remember and dwell on all those places I love so much.

 

 

 

Follow these links to FREE READS all set in Lakeland.

 

 

 

 

The Hotter the Better Steamy Romance Giveaway

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thehotterthebetter/7o1156uuyo

 

 

You’ll find my sizzling novella, In Training in this fabulous library of steamy romance. Read blurb and excerpt here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kick-Ass Women of Urban Fantasy

https://books.bookfunnel.com/womenurbanfantasy/r09cfeffoq

 

 

 

 

You’ll find my novel, In The Flesh, here. It’s the first novel of the Medusa’s Consortium series. Read blurb and excerpt here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short but not Sweet

https://books.bookfunnel.com/shortromance/mkz0o5zg9l

 

 

 

 

You’ll find my M/M novella, Landscapes, here. Read blurb and excerpt here

 

 

Seelie Kay Launches The President’s Wife with a Tour & Giveaway

The President’s Wife

by Seelie Kay

 

Seelie will be giving away  an ebook of The Garage Dweller to three lucky winners drawn via Rafflecopter. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance every day to enter to win. You may find all the tour locations here.

 

 

 

About The President’s Wife:

What happens when one of your best friends, the First Lady of the newly democratic Republic of Lodatia, appears to be an imposter? If you’re criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, you pursue the truth like a rabid dog, then wage a battle to save your friend’s life.

 

When criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant travels to Washington, D.C. to join her former college roommate, Marella de la Aerelli, in celebrating her husband’s election as the first president of the newly democratic Republic of Lodatia, she is met with an unpleasant surprise. Her friend of almost 30 years not only looks unwell, she is cold and distant. After Julianna becomes convinced the woman is really an imposter, she attempts to expose the faux Marella by using a secret only she, Marella, and the sitting U.S. President share. In the process, Julianna helps to uncover an international conspiracy to seize control of the new country, using the president’s wife as a pawn in a dangerous and potentially deadly game. Will Marella be rescued before a coup takes place? Or will she become collateral damage in one tiny nation’s fight to be free?

 

 

 

BUY LINKS:

Publisher

Amazon: coming soon

Barnes & Noble: coming soon

 

 

 

The President’s Wife Excerpt: 

The state dinner at the White House was in full swing. Waiters were busy delivering food and pouring wine, as guests ate and chatted with others seated at their tables.

 

Julianna picked at her dinner, some sort of beef dish with quirky vegetables, and continued to study Lodatian President Georges and Mrs. Marella de la Aerelli, as they chatted quietly with the U.S. president and his wife. Marella barely looked up from her plate, and conversation with her hosts appeared to be minimal. God, that is so not the Marella I know. She hasn’t even acknowledged me and I sent her an email informing her that I would be here.

 

Julianna set her fork down on her plate and nudged her husband, Little River, Wisconsin Police Chief David Manders. “Something’s wrong.” Julianna whispered. “Marella looks wrong. Maybe she’s just tired after the campaign, but she looks sick. Too thin and too pale. And she isn’t smiling. Marella is always smiling, even when she feels like shit. And she hasn’t even looked at me. Why is she ignoring me? Something is not right. I can feel it.”

 

David looked at his wife and tried to hide his smile. “Jules, you find a conspiracy behind every door these days,” he said quietly. He looked around to ensure that the other four couples seated at their table were otherwise engaged. “I vote for tired, no, make that exhausted. My God, five months ago, she was a farm wife in Lodatia, now she’s been thrust into the international spotlight as the wife of the President. That would exhaust anyone. I know if you ran for president, it would have a negative impact on me.”

 

Julianna smirked. “If I became President, sir, it would have a negative impact on both of us.”

 

David sighed and ran a hand through his short, silver hair. His piercing blue eyes gazed at his wife, his fondness apparent. “Well, instead of jumping to conclusions, let’s wait until the reception at the Lodatian Embassy. There are a lot of rules and protocols for visiting dignitaries. Maybe it just isn’t appropriate to buddy up to an old friend at a state dinner. Once you get up close and personal with Marella, you can get a better fix on things. That woman has been through the wringer, what with that opposition group trying to assassinate her husband not once, but twice. I imagine the stress of clinging to Lodatia’s newly formed democratic government is a kind of like hanging on to a cliff, knowing that if you fall, there will be no net to catch you. Cut her some slack and do not tell her she looks awful.”

 

 

About Seelie Kay:

 

Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink.

 

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nine works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, and The President’s Wife, as well as the romance anthology, Pieces of Us.

 

When not spinning her kinky tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

 

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

 

Seelie can be reached at www.seeliekay.com, www.seeliekay.blogspot.com, Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Author links:

www.seeliekay.com

www.seeliekay.blogspot.com

Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seelie.kay.77

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1517848564&sr=1-2-ent

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Sex Invisible


In the age of pixels and videos, airbrushed ads and billboards, sex sells, but only
glamourous sex, only the sex of youth and beauty. Let’s be honest, we live in a world where no one wants to see ‘mature sex.’ In fact, in our visually oriented lives, sex and age are not words that compliment each other. Sex between people over forty is something best kept out of sight, out of mind. When viewing scantily clothed people, we want them to be attractive. When reading a sexy novel, the characters we see in our imaginations are fit, lean and beautiful when they sweat and writhe and frolic with one another. Bottom line – visible sex is for the thirty and under crowd. For anyone much older than that, invisible sex is the standard.

 

Sexual invisibility definitely applies for anyone over forty, especially women. And that’s not necessarily bad. While sexually invisible, we might be, if anything, we have more sexual freedom and fewer inhibitions than those who are younger. A great deal of the more relaxed attitude we have toward sex is because of that invisibility. Sex and youth and the biology that drives us are meant to preen and flaunt, attract and arouse. The survival of the species depends on it. Even though these days it’s less about procreation and more about recreation than it was for our cave dwelling ancestors, the biology is still there. And the truth is that after a certain age, our sexuality becomes irrelevant. If we’re planning to do our part in guaranteeing the next generation, we’ve already done the deed. Tick that box and move on. At that point, our sexuality becomes whatever we’re willing to make of it.

 

In a share group about female sexuality I sat in on once, several things became very evident. For younger women there was far more stress around having sex, far more pressure to be having it often and far more pressure to be seen as sexual and attractive. Among those of us over forty, there was a quiet confidence. There was a sense of adventure that had less to do with the need to be thought of as ‘doing it right’ than just the need to enjoy the hard-earned freedom that comes from our experiences. While for the younger crowd, attraction is a key ingredient, whether it’s the upkeep of the ‘lady garden’ or the best way to display the package, for the older, been-there-done-that-crowd, it was more about creative sex and the sexual self at the centre of our own journeys.  There was less to stress about, there was a subdued sense of anticipation.

 

I can only speak from my own experiences and observations. If I’m honest, it’s possible that some of my comments may come from a tiny bit of sour grapes at wondering why the age of young and beautiful sex passed me by so quickly. But speaking for myself, whether visible and beautiful or invisible and raunchy, sex is a far deeper component of who I am that I ever could have imagined when I was twenty and the world was new to me. The many layers of sexuality have become more obvious and more important now that I’m well past forty. The stunning connection between sex and creativity, between sex and the timeless wild woman who lives at the core of me is a brave new world to be explored without the stress of finding a partner and being sexual eye candy. The discovery of just how far beneath the skin my sexuality actually goes is an endless adventure, explored as much through the avenue of my writing as through the physical act. In fact one deepens the other. Even the sexual explorations with a partner become less about looks and more about something that goes core deep, something a lot freer, something we feel far less of a need to control. In many ways, it’s our naughty little secret that people who are past the age of beautiful sex can be horny and filthy and fuck like rabbits. Who knew? And in truth, no one really wants to know unless they’re over forty. And then that naughty little secret becomes a much-needed lifeline to something powerful enough to move us past the loss of youth and beauty into the exciting new world beyond.

 

Perhaps the very best thing about sex invisible is that the pressure is off. What we do or don’t do in bed is all right by us. Fewer things embarrass us, fewer things frighten us, fewer things worry us. That alone can’t help but improve ones sex life.

 

In some ways I think my writing reflects my own sexual journey. Most of my characters are at the sexually beautiful age because that’s the kind of story that sells. But the stories I write have moved from the skin to skin of the physical act to the whole body, three dimensional experience of the sensual act, the mental and emotional act the personal act that all add up to the total package of our sexuality. I suppose a big part of that has to do with my endless fascination with what actually makes sex so damn magical? Why is it the thing that intrigues us most about being human, while at the same time the thing that frightens us most?

How deep our sexuality goes into our human nature becomes more visible with
experience, and experience comes with age. While it’s the air brushed, waxed well coiffed and fit sex, the visible sex of youth and beauty we want to see and read about and imagine, it’s a far bigger picture of the Self we reach when our sexuality is allowed to guide us through middle age and beyond. While we may pine for youth and beauty, we’d never want to give up the depth of sexual experience, of life experience that leads us to sex invisible and the secret smiles that maybe don’t drive story and don’t sell perfume, but sure as hell make life sizzle long past middle age.

 

 

New Episode of Interview with a Demon

Author’s Note:

It’s been awhile since I’ve put up the next part of my interview with the Guardian. I apologise. You have to remember that interviewing a demon is not actually my forte. I’m not a journalist, and I’m certainly not comfortable with my first big interview being the Guardian. I would like to say that I have more control of the situation than I do, but I wouldn’t want to lie. Needless to say the efforts have taken their toll. I’ve had to have a bit of recovery time before I could face our next session. I’m not sleeping well. I find myself fearing that I will drift off and end up back in the Guardian’s prison even without Talia, the succubus, to guide me there and safeguard my time with him.

 

When I’m not involved with the interview, I’m thinking about it, obsessing over it, over him. In the beginning I wanted to hurry and get it over. I had hoped for one meeting with him to do it all. Now, I find myself dragging it out, struggling to stay away, and yet dying to hurry back and finish.

 

Both Susan and Talia have banned me from his prison for a few weeks, fearing for my health, even though he has been nothing but polite to me, and done nothing that should affect me so. But he is a demon, and I have no special powers, no abilities to protect myself from him, so the interview has not been an easy thing to write.

 

While the Guardian has asked that our efforts be kept secret from Magda Gardener, I have heard the whispers between Talia and Susan about bringing her into the situation just in case. The Guardian, I think would not like that, and we all fear that to do so would mean having to abort the interview, since we can’t really imagine Magda being best pleased about our efforts.

 

In the meantime, I drink lots of coffee. Read into the night to distract myself and wander about the house and the garden at all hours. Having a bit of a break has helped, and I’ve had time to organise my notes and prepare this posts. But I know what is ahead. I know Susan’s version of the horrors that happened in Chapel House. I know what the Guardian has done. The idea of hearing his view on what went on there, I have to admit, I find both daunting and very frightening.

 

 

The links to the interview so far are at the bottom of this instalment. 

 

 

Chapter 7  Disappointments and Possibilities

“As my lovely Annie immersed herself in the scented waters of the big bath, I did all that was in my power, limited as it was at the time, to surround her, embrace her. I wanted her to feel as though the lover she imagined sharing such an experience with was, indeed there with her, delighting in her every touch, in her every sigh, in her every moan, and oh, how she moaned.”

 

I did my best not to let my own discomfort show. While it was true I didn’t want it to interfere with the interview, it was also true that I didn’t want the Guardian knowing just how uncomfortable the thought of his love life made me, and as I’ve already stated, I feared if he couldn’t actually read my mind, he could certainly read me. After all, he fed off body language, off emotions, off of physical responses, and the more visceral the better. But thankfully he seemed wholly caught up in his story.

 

“Perhaps it is not mine to tell, perhaps Susan would admonish me for sharing such a detail, but my dear Annie had come to Chapel House with the very idea of pleasuring herself, of enjoying an evening of carnal delights at her own hand. How I longed for it to be my hand, my mouth, my sex fulfilling her deepest desires. So convinced was I that she could sense my presence, that she had come clandestinely to Chapel House in hopes of drawing me to her, even seducing me, if you will, that I brought all of my essence to her that night. Understand, my dear KD, that I have no need to do such a thing, for by nature I am not limited to one space, having no fleshly container.

 

As I moved over the surface of the water, as I stirred it gently with my presence, oh how she writhed and shuddered and cried out in her pleasure. So very responsive was she that I became as a breath across ruby-hard nipples. I became as lips and tongue and teeth teasing across warm supple flesh. I became as a lover’s urgency moving down, down, down into the water. With my very will I cupped her, fondled her. I traced the crook and role, the stroke and plunge of her delicate fingers, as though they were my own reveling in that sweet, briny landscape, which I wanted desperately to touch, to kiss, to feast upon. I ached to plunge my essence deep inside of her again and again. With every fiber of myself, I willed her to acknowledge me. I was intoxicated with her presence, delighted in her pleasure.

 

I pressed as close to her as my imprisonment allowed me, close enough that my embrace was nearly a second skin. At that moment, that very second before she cried out, I was certain, so very certain that she felt my presence, that she knew I was there. And oh, how she did cry out, a cry worthy of a wild beast at the moment of the kill. In that second before her convulsions of release moved in waves over the water, I could have wept for the joy of it, as I waited for her to acknowledge me, for her ecstasy to be followed by terror. And then, I knew that terror would vanish, and she would delight in my presence, and yield to me. You cannot imagine how I felt, K D. And …”

 

Once again he stood and moved to the cliff edge. And I began to breathe again, wondering how long I had held it tight in my chest. I sat very still not daring to acknowledge to myself the impact of his tale upon my own flesh. After all, none of this was real. I was only here through a dream.

 

Suddenly his shoulders tightened, his hands clenched into angry fists and the air around us felt like that charged moment before a lightning strike. I white knuckled the arms of the chair, and my heart went racing again, at the raw, explosive emotion expressed in flesh that was not real. He continued. “You cannot imagine my disappointment, my raged at my own powerlessness when, instead, she dried her hands and reached for her mobile phone. Then she began taking photos of herself in her post orgasmic bliss. Oh they were nothing obscene, not really, just very … shall we say provocative. That she might share this moment with another enraged me, disappointed me. In my unhappy state, I caught only the fact that she was quite pleased with herself as she texted some friend named Susan about what she had just done. Before she sent the text, I read over her shoulder, her final words as she closed.

 

Think what a story you could make from this!

 

“She could not possibly have known that I had already imagined the story of her little exploits, only my ending was not the one she had chosen. I watched helplessly while she got out of the tub, as though nothing at all had happened, and dried herself. I was desperately disappointed, and had I been able, I would have punished her thoroughly for her behavior. In the end, this woman, who I had fantasized about, dreamed about, this woman who I was so convinced would surely feel my essence and discover I was there, was no different than all of the others had been throughout my endless imprisonment. In the end she would only be a vicarious experience once removed.

 

“I remind you again, KD, that these emotions I now ascribe to myself are only my way of trying to make you understand a little better my desperate loneliness, which of course, was not really loneliness at all so much as perhaps a loss of purpose. Even that’s a mortal way of describing what I experienced that night in Chapel House, my first time alone with Annie. If you had chosen to interview me before my current incarceration, you would have found the experience far more disturbing and far more difficult to understand. While Susan is certainly no longer mortal, she is still human in so many ways. I would have been far less able to tell you my story if not for my experience of her lingering humanity.

 

“Of course, if you had come to me before,” I felt his presence bloom around me like heat from a fire, “you would most likely not have survived the experience, but then,” he added quickly, “neither would you have cared.”

 

The heat receded in a heartbeat, and at that moment, mine was a heart beating very fast. He continued as if he had done nothing out of the ordinary, and perhaps he hadn’t. “Annie removed herself to the chapel for her repast. She boldly walked up the aisle between the pews all the way to the altar and brazenly seated herself atop it. Oh how I wanted her to notice me at that point, so intriguing did I find her. She had opened the wine and was nibbling on a few grapes when the response to her text came.

 

TMI

 

“That was all the first text said. At the time I didn’t know what that meant. Susan has since enlightened me.

 

“Annie only laughed her lovely silver-bell of a laugh, and then she proceeded to take several unholy selfies from her perch. Irreverent, I suspect is a better word, for that would describe my dear Annie. Then, with the laughter of a misbehaving child, she sent them to this Susan, and my jealousy bloomed again at the thought that perhaps the woman was Annie’s lover, though I didn’t think Annie had a taste for women. The text that returned piqued my interest.

 

Oh I can think of a few stories, all right, but no respectable publisher would buy them.

 

“Oh yes, this text very much piqued my interest. That this Susan was a scribe made
me lean close, my attention focused wholly on Annie’s reply.

 

You have to come, Susan. You’ll love the place. You can’t help but be inspired by it. I’m inspired, and I have no imagination. Come next weekend. Can you?

 

The response was almost immediate.

 

Dying to see. No pressing deadlines. All right! I’ll drive up Friday afternoon.

Read previous instalments here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

 

Ann Everett launches True with a Giveaway

True

A Bluebird, Texas Romance

by Ann Everett

 

Ann is giving away five awesome prize packages. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here.

 

About True:

Sometimes it takes losing everything…

 

 

 

 

True Shanahan must be the unluckiest woman in the world. Either that or she’s cursed. After another failed relationship, True leaves Dallas with a broken heart and new attitude. It’s time to walk on the wild side. But when she makes a wrong turn and ends up in Bluebird, Texas, the only man she wants is anything but reckless.

 

…to find all you’ve ever wanted.

 

Ritter Malone is the town’s favorite son and has the local hero awards to prove it. Seems he’s always in the right place at the right time. But when he crosses paths with True, his life takes a turn he never sees coming. Her songwriting skills may be questionable, but her ability to turn him inside out is indisputable.

Welcome to Bluebird, Texas.

 

Where a chance meeting gives two people a chance at love.

 

Amazon Buy Link

 

 

 

 

True Excerpt:

When Ritter arrived at the gym, he spotted Cole jumping rope. He stopped and glanced at the wall clock. “You’re late. Roommate didn’t have you tied up, did she?”

“Very funny. We got a dog. Stayed up playing with him. I hit the snooze one time too many.”

Cole ran a towel over his face, then his lips curled. “That’s not good.”

“What? Getting a puppy?”

“Naw. The we in that sentence sounds like a contract extension.”

Ritter stretched. “I won’t lie. I’ve gone home to an empty house so long, thought having someone there would drive me nuts, but it hasn’t—for the most part.”

Cole stepped on the nearest treadmill, turned it on, and ran a steady pace. “I gotta hand it to you. You’ve managed to sleep with her and keep your hands to yourself. Or have you?”

Ritter climbed onto the machine next to Cole’s and matched his stride. No need to confess he hadn’t exactly resisted, but he’d not passed second base—by much. Had it not been for the phone call, he would have hit a home run. He’d had the wood for it. “No.”

“Come on. No way you haven’t hit that. Especially after what you told me about her coming on to you.”

“That’s why I can’t let her stay. My resistance is wearing thin.”

Ritter and Cole’s phones sounded a text at the same time. Ritter read his, then shot Cole a look. “Turns out, we’re off this afternoon.”

Cole dropped his cell back into the cupholder. “I’ve never been to New Jersey. You?”

“Nope but looks like the storm is calling us there.”

 

NAME THE TWINS CONTEST:

Submit your name choices via comment Ann’s blog post, http://www.anneverett.com/2018/06/15/contest-and-new-release/or to her email ann.everett @rocketmail. com. (without spaces)

 

 

About Ann Everett:

 

 

Award winning author, Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.

 

 

Social Links:

Website: anneverett.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorAnnEverett

Twitter: twitter.com/talkintwang

Blog: anneverett.com/blog/

 

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© 2018 K D Grace
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