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Author interview with Queenie Black @queenieblackwr1 #topfive #amreading #romance

What is your favourite and worst part of the writing process?

I love the initial discovery, putting the story down in its first raw form. It’s an exhilarating and beautiful journey of discovery. I don’t know where it’ll go, and I love every minute of the process. The part that kills me, exhausts me and feels like walking through syrup is the rewriting, editing and polishing process. I can write the first draft in a few weeks, but the other stages can sometimes take years because I keep putting them off.

 

What are common pitfalls for aspiring writers? 

  • Waiting for inspiration. Too many aspiring writers think they can only write when the mood is upon them when really, it’s about discipline.
  • Thinking they can circumvent the process, cut corners and not do the learning. The end result is putting their work out there before it’s ready.
  • Giving up on a WIP because of rejection.
  • Trusting friends and family to critique their work and then believing it over professional feedback.

 

You use a pseudonym. Why is that? 

In my professional life I teach adults English as a Foreign Language and I also teach people how to teach English. I really don’t want my erotic writing to become common knowledge because I teach a lot of people from countries where things like this might be scandalous. I like to keep the two completely separate.

 

What do you think about writer’s block?

I’m in two minds about it. I believe people sometimes struggle to write but that’s often because they haven’t taken the time to fill the creative well, or because things in their life are emotionally challenging. Some situations can suck out the emotional resilience you need to be able to write. Time, self-nurturing and being kind to yourself should help. I’m not sure if I’d label that as writer’s block though.

 

Where did the inspiration from Hard-Pressed come from? 

Rose Dainty popped up in my mind. Dainty name versus big muscled woman and I started thinking about what would make this woman afraid to reach out and be who she needs to be sexually. After that I needed to find a partner for her who would be able to handle her strength, the work she does and her penchant for MMA and competitive contact fighting. Lucien was the perfect foil. A man confident with who he is, and well able to support Rose, be the partner she needs without stopping her from being her.

 

What are your three favourite books?

I never get tired of reading Edge of the Enforcer by Cherise Sinclair, Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer, and What I did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long.

The last two are hilarious and the authors manage to twist the tropes so that the stories don’t pan out in the way you think they will. The first one is just stunning in terms of the characters and the way two people with hang ups and very different needs find a way to have their Happy Ever After.

*****

Excerpt:

I mounted the six shallow steps and faced the double front doors. Twin carriage lights cast a soft gleam over the brass plaque with its discrete lettering:

Club Hard

Private Members Only

I desperately wanted to run back down the steps, leap into my car, and drive home, but if I did, nothing would change, and I’d go back to dividing my time between working out, Candy Crush Saga, and the occasional night out with my friends. I might miss out on learning something about myself, something that could make a difference in my sex life. Worse, I might miss a chance at love.

I stayed, my feet rooted to the floor, but the insides of my hands were so damp, my finger slipped on the brass bell, setting off a short, discordant jangling. I winced as I rang it again properly this time. That certainly wouldn’t endear me to anyone.

Shifting from foot to foot, trying to keep the blood circulating in my toes, I looked around. Behind me, the gravel drive snaked away to a discreet carpark, and trees and shrubs created shadows within shadows. Autumn had finally reached London and in this exclusive part of it, crisp, clean air and earthy leaf mulch replaced the smell of fast food and exhaust.

I shifted again, starting to get irritated. If you were going to demand a woman wear nothing but a skirt that barely covered her butt, and a top that was little more than a bit of elastic bandage—on me it was ridiculous, if I sneezed, I’d pop out over the top—then you should damn well open the door promptly. Now, despite wearing my warmest coat over the absurd ensemble, there was a distinct draught zipping under my hem and freezing my exposed butt cheeks.

I lifted my finger to stab the bell again, and the door swung open.

Bloody hell. A real butler. I was no stranger to mansions with staff. Working as a bodyguard meant I saw the inside of a lot of wealthy homes, but so far, a liveried butler was a new one to me.

“Can I help you?”

I cleared my throat, wondering if there was any etiquette for addressing a butler, aware that my finger was still lurking in the vicinity of his eye. “Umm, I’m, ah, it’s Ms. Dainty. To see Mr. Dufort. I’m expected.”

He waved me through into a large marble-floored hall with a fire burning at one side. A wide, elegant staircase at the back curved away to the upper floors.

“I’ll inform Mr. Dufort that you’re here, if you’d like to take a seat.” He indicated a collection of sofas and easy chairs huddled as if for warmth around the fireplace. I made a beeline for the heat.

“May I take your coat?”

I crossed my arms tightly. No way was I exposing my scantily clad self. “Ah, thanks, but I’m a bit cold.”

“I see my guest has arrived, Henry.”

I turned away from the fire to see Lucien Dufort crossing the hall toward me. The floor seemed to drop a few inches and I had to grab the back of a chair to steady myself as his delicious, rich chocolate voice with its faint French accent wound around me, setting my heart hammering.

A tall, elegant man, he moved toward me with predatory intent, covering the floor in loose, confident strides, but it was his eyes that held my gaze, dark eyes, sharp with intelligence and power. He wasn’t a handsome man. His narrow-bladed Gallic nose, inherited from his mother, was slightly overlarge for that, but his lips were sensual, and the mix of tenderness and lust in his expression as he looked at me sent electric tingles charging down my spine.

“Rose, welcome to Club Hard.” He lifted my hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it, his tongue flickering into the little hollow between my two smallest fingers, mimicking the act of sex. Normally, that would be an instant turn-off, but when Lucien did it, everything inside me melted. I tugged my hand free and shoved it into my coat pocket. This was bad. We hadn’t even started yet and my hormones were doing a happy dance.

“Your coat, ma petite.”

I undid the buttons reluctantly and he stripped it off my shoulders, giving it to Henry before indicating my feet. “Barefoot, please.”

I obeyed, steadying myself with one hand on Lucien’s forearm. I could have rested it there all day, enjoying the feel of thick bone and the flex of hard muscles, but I quickly unzipped my boots and gave them to Henry, who took them as solemnly as if I was handing him the crown jewels for safekeeping. He disappeared, taking my things with him, and I stood shivering, waiting for Lucien to say or do something. I shouldn’t have felt vulnerable. I fought with this amount of flesh on display, so it shouldn’t have bothered me, yet insecurity and apprehension crept hand-in-hand up my spine. “Lucien?”

He cupped my chin, his palm warm and sure, his thumb stroking my cheekbone in a gesture I found calming. “Tonight, you will address me as Monsieur, or Sir.” His words sank deep inside me, reaching a place I wasn’t aware existed. A place I didn’t want to believe existed. I stepped back, dislodging his hand.

Lucien’s cheek creased in amusement. “So, ma belle perle, the challenge begins. Are you ready?”

*****

Buy links:

Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2lXpCSP    

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2kswibm  

Evernight:  https://www.evernightpublishing.com/hard-pressed-by-queenie-black/    

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/958783  

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/hard-pressed-18  

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/hard-pressed/id1480423303

 

Blurb:

Master Lucien has one night at Club Hard.

One night…to show bodyguard Rose Dainty that he can be the Dom she needs,

One night…to show her that submitting to him doesn’t make her weak, that true submission requires strength and trust.

Will pushing Rose to her limits prove to her she can trust him with her body and heart, and can she let go of her deepest fears long enough to enjoy her surrender? `

They both have everything to prove and everything to lose.

*****

Author bio:

I’ve always loved writing and I won my first prize for a short story when I was still at primary school. I’m an avid reader of romance and erotic romance and can usually be found with my nose in a book. The dynamics and sheer variety of human relationships fascinate me, and this is what I like to explore in my writing. I live in North Yorkshire with my husband and cat where I enjoy running and Tai Chi.

social media links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/queenieblackwr1

Website: http://www.queenieblackauthor.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/queenieblackauthor/

*****

GIVEAWAY!

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My Favourite Reads by Jane Fenwick @jane_fenwick60 #neverthetwain #historicalcrimenovels #romance #victorianwhitby

I am an avid reader. As a child I loved all the usual classics. I remember aged eleven getting a hardback copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and spending all Christmas with my head in the book. Needless to say I still have that book.

I was also horse mad as a child and loved all Ruby Ferguson’s horsey books – not that I had a horse! I remember a rainy caravan holiday curled up with Jill’s Gymkhana! It took me to a world where I could use my imagination and live vicariously through the main character. I was desperate to be Jill.

I first got hooked on crime novels as a teenager with Agatha Christie. For me she will always be the queen of crime. I have every Miss Marple and Poirot book she wrote – more than one copy in some instances as I love the old 1930’s covers. I also have some really nice hardback copies too. I have read and reread them over the years. Some are so old and battered the spines are falling apart but I can’t throw them away.

I like all types of crime books including historical, police procedural, psychological thrillers and who dunnits but I have one or two favourite authors I go back to time and time again. In particular I like C J Sansom’s Shardlake series. His detective is a likeable hunchback who lurks about Tudor England solving murders. With remarkable ease Sansom weaves together a cast of characters and knits his murder story into a vivid tapestry of historical happenings. His attention to detail and research has kept me gripped through all seven of the tomes.

Another favourite author is the Peter James’s “Dead” series. All fifteen of them! Again he has a very likeable Detective in Roy Grace. He’s not tortured and full of angst as is so often the case, but is sensitive, believable and effective.

I also have a fondness for Donna Leon. Her books are set in Venice and are very evocative. Her sense of place makes me feel as though I’m there walking around the city with the gorgeous Commissario Brunetti, her lovely detective.

***

Jean Plaidy and Georgette Heyer were my first taste of historical fiction and although a recent reread showed them to have not quite stood the test of time I will always remember them fondly. Thomas Hardy also made an early impression. As a teenager I adored The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I have recently reread Tess many times and loved it just the same. The writing, though very descriptive, is wonderful.

I have read most of Philippa Gregory’s books including the Wideacre sagas which are so different to her Tudor novels (of which The Other Boleyn Girl was a highlight). I also like Marina Fiorato’s writing. The Glass Blowers of Murano and the Crimson and The Bone are particular favourites of hers. Books such as these which are historical and crime are a perfect choice for me. Another classic which took the author, Michel Faber, twenty years to write is The Crimson Petal and the White. Racy but the book remains with me years after reading it.

And then there is my all time favourite read which has everything in one package – well twelve packages to be fair. The Poldark sagas by Winston Graham have it all: romance, crime, history and a beautifully depicted Cornwall – not to mention glorious writing. The characters just leap from the page, the writing is poetic yet accessible.

The central character of Ross Poldark is complicated and flawed – he’s not a hero but a “real” man who makes mistakes and frustrates his wife whilst trying to navigate his way through hard times and difficult situations. He has his own moral compass and is not above breaking the rules when he thinks the laws are unjust. Yet it is the love affair between Ross and Demelza that stands out; it is so beautifully written. Some of the trials and tribulations the couple experience in their marriage are the same as everyone else’s and that’s what makes it so special. Their marriage is relatable and real.

Winston Graham wrote about what he knew- Demelza is supposed to be based on his wife. He lived close by the old tin and copper mines. To a large extent Cornwall, where he lived for a large part of his life, is as much a character as his cast. Graham’s historical accuracy is outstanding and lifts the books from good to great in my opinion. From the opening prologue to the last page of book twelve I have been emotionally attached to the character’s lives, following their stories through the ups and downs, the joys and the sorrows. I have read all the books at least three times and the first three volumes more than that.

Graham has the knack of making the ordinary extraordinary. Recently I joined an on line Poldark book discussion group where fans of the books look more closely at the text and talk about the finer points. I’m so at home there! I really enjoy debating the various nuances of Winston Graham’s wonderful writing.

From the other on line Poldark addicts I found that as much as twenty percent of the first book, Ross Poldark, was edited out when it was released in paperback. There are copies of the unedited Ward Lock versions available but they often sell for over a thousand pounds! I can’t justify paying so much for a book, though I was sorely tempted. Then I was sent a link by a Danish member showing there was an unedited copy on Canadian Amazon. It was a House of Stratus version for sale – not as collectable as the Ward Lock, but much cheaper than any I had seen before. I managed to buy it for forty pounds. So now I am in the process of going through the paperback alongside the unedited version and reading whole passages that I’ve never read before. Fabulous. Yes, dear reader I am obsessed!

The Poldark saga is one of those books that when I can’t find something I want to read I go back to time and time again and always find something new and refreshing to discover. They are my comfort blanket. They also inspired me to write a saga of my own. The first is called My Constant Lady and is set in 1765 on the North East coast. It features a romance between Gabriel Reynolds, a shipping magnate and Eleanor Barker a woman with strong opinions. The story is set against a backdrop of shipping and moves between Whitby and Alnmouth. The first book in the series will be available as an eBook and paperback in early 2020.

 

Never the TwainNever the Twain: A twin tale of jealousy and betrayal, love and murder.

The year is 1890. The port of Whitby is heaving with sailors and where there are sailors there are brothels doing a roaring trade. Beautiful identical twins April and May are in desperate straits. They have been abandoned by their actress mother and are about to have their virginity auctioned off to the highest bidder by a notorious brothel madam.

Their fate is hanging in the balance when Captain Edward Driscoll a handsome, wealthy shipping tycoon from Glasgow saves them before they can be deflowered.

But have they exchanged one form of slavery for another?

April, reluctantly swept up in her twin’s secrets and lies unwittingly becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy. Is May’s jealousy stronger than the twin bond which has always connected them?

Available from:
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2mbA6hp
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ksAaZI

Never the Twain: A dark blend of Gothic romance and murder.

Jane Fenwick lives in the market town of Settle in Yorkshire, England. She studied education at Sheffield University gaining a B.Ed (Hons) in 1989 and going on to teach primary age range children. Jane decided to try her hand at penning a novel rather than writing school reports as she has always been an avid reader, especially enjoying historical and crime fiction. She decided to combine her love of both genres to write her first historical crime novel Never the Twain. Jane has always been a lover of antiques, particularly art nouveau and art deco ceramics and turned this hobby into a business opening an antiques and collectables shop in Settle. However her time as a dealer was short lived; she spent far too much time in the sale rooms buying items that ended up in her home rather than the shop! Animal welfare is a cause close to Jane’s heart and she has been vegetarian since the age of fourteen. For the last twenty years she has been trustee of an animal charity which rescues and rehomes cats, dogs and all manner of creatures looking for a forever home. Of course several of these have been “adopted” by Jane!

Jane has always loved the sea and although she lives in the Yorkshire Dales she is particularly drawn to the North East coast of Yorkshire and Northumberland. This coastline is where she gets her inspiration for the historical crime and romance novels she writes. She can imagine how the North East ports would have looked long ago with a forest of tall masted ships crammed together in the harbours, the bustling streets congested with sailors, whalers, chandlers and sail makers. These imaginings provide the backdrop and inspire her to create the central characters and themes of her novels. As she has always loved history she finds the research particularly satisfying.

When she isn’t walking on Sandsend beach with her dog Scout, a Patterdale “Terrorist” she is to be found in her favourite coffee shop gazing out to sea and dreaming up her next plot. Jane is currently writing a historical saga series again set on the North East coast beginning in 1765. The first two books are being edited at the moment; My Constant Lady and The Turning Tides. Look out for My Constant Lady in 2020.

Find her on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook , Pinterest or Web.

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Slaves to Desire by Eli Gilić (@GilicEli), published by Sinful Press (@SinfulPress)—Just 99c/p Throughout October!

Slaves to Desire by Eli Gilić is a unique, beautifully written erotic short story collection that deftly weaves fact and fiction. Originally published in Serbian, Sinful Press is over the moon to present the English language version of this amazing collection in both digital and print. To celebrate, we are making the ebook version available for just 99p/99c throughout October.

Blurb:

Charles Baudelaire, Rasputin, Anna Karenina, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Ophelia, Fyodor Dostoevsky, George Sand, Frederic Chopin, Vincent Van Gogh, Antonin Artaud, Maria Izquierdo, James Joyce, Federico Garcia Lorka, Salvador Dali.

Can Rasputin find redemption through the sins of others? What awaits Anna Karenina on the other side? Does passion still flow through the veins of the lovers from Verona? Can Hamlet and Ophelia escape their fate? Is Van Gogh’s loneliness a blessing or a curse? And can Dali dispel Lorca’s fear.

Eli Gilić deftly weaves fact and fiction to bring some of the world’s great writers, literary characters, artists and composers to life as they reach the heights of passion and the depths of despair in this mesmerising erotic short story collection.

Sales links:

Amazon

Apple iBooks

Google Play

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

*****

Excerpt from ‘Lovers in the Land of Peyote’ (María Izquierdo and Antonin Artaud), Slaves to Desire:

They brought him half-dead on a donkey, took him to his room, laid his feverish body on the bed and left me alone with him. I was terror-stricken as I listened to his frantic screams and incoherent ravings about virgins and donkeys. I wiped his burning forehead for hours and tried to reach him. He writhed, flailed his arms and legs, and I had to avoid blows carefully.

My strength was dissolving when Antonin suddenly stilled. I feared the worst, but he opened his eyes. Delirium had passed. His eyes were bright and curious. Such relief overcame me that I kissed him without thinking. I poured all the love that was burning in my heart into that kiss. I realised what I had done only when he returned my kiss. But there was no reason for anxiety because Antonin was overcome by desire just like me. He kissed me feverishly, as if to compensate for all the months of restraint. A surge of happiness flooded me. I quickly took off my robe and pulled Antonin’s pants down his legs.

Antonin just looked at me with mild disbelief. Fearing that he would pull away and say that we shouldn’t, I quickly settled above him before he had a chance to object. I had to feel him at least once. I think my heart would have broken if I didn’t manoeuvre him into me.

I looked him in the eye as I slowly descended on his hard manhood, choking from inexplicable joy. It seemed like I was becoming whole because he was filling me. I lacked something essential before Antonin entered my life just as my body had missed something vital before I felt him inside me. When I came down completely, I stilled to interpret his look. But I saw nothing except great love and total abandonment. As if to encourage me, Antonin grabbed me by the hips and began lifting and lowering me. I started moving and together we found the rhythm of lovers. Our bodies moved as if of their own will, as if saying something to each other with those feverish movements. Movements as old as the world, yet completely new, full of mysterious meaning known only to us. Faster, feverishly, marvellously coordinated as if our bodies had already done that in another world and time and we were only repeating what was carved in our hearts and bodies.

Antonin was moaning uncontrollably while rapidly raising his pelvis to meet my frenzied descents. Strangled sounds were escaping my throat, my insides were tightening from pleasure. The pressure was becoming unbearable, almost agonising. And then a miraculous burst, spasms that brought immense delight. The relief was so strong that I collapsed on him. Antonin hugged me tightly and jerked a few more times before freezing and crying out.

I sat up and showered his face with kisses, crying and laughing at the same time, mad from the rush of giddy joy.

*****

Author Bio:

Eli Gilić is a writer and translator from Serbia who has spent much of her career translating best-selling novels for the Serbian market. She has also penned an erotic cookbook called Eat, Tease and Please.

Eli lives near a forest in Serbia with her three four-legged friends, and she spends her free time growing organic food, climbing mountains and jumping from waterfalls.

Slaves to Desire is her first short story collection, and it was originally published by Laguna, the biggest publisher in Serbia, before being translated into English for Sinful Press.

Sale blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now—Eyes Wide Open – MMF BDSM Erotic Romance by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #menage #BDSM #MMF

Blurb:

A chance meeting opens Fiona’s eyes to some very sexy possibilities.

Recent graduate Fiona Gillespie is stuck working in a grimy pub in London’s East End, and living in a horrid flat. It’s only while she figures out what she wants to do career-wise, but that’s easier said than done.

When she sees an advertisement for a job at a plush Mayfair hotel, she jumps at the chance. Determination and a spot of luck land Fiona her dream role—and it comes with accommodation included.

Her job and living situation sorted, things are on the up. Unfortunately, her personal life is lacklustre. It doesn’t bother her, though—not until she meets businessmen James and Logan, and her head is well and truly turned.

When a misunderstanding leads Fiona to James and Logan’s sumptuous top-floor hotel suite, she has no idea what she’s about to uncover. Her imagination runs wild, but not wild enough to get to the truth—James and Logan are a couple, and they’re into some seriously intriguing activities.

Fascinated, she launches herself into a whole new world with the two men. But is this just physical, or is their arrangement set to become something more?

*Eyes Wide Open has been re-released with a stunning new cover and has been re-edited.

Universal link: http://books2read.com/eyeswideopenV2

*****

Excerpt:

Continuing to surreptitiously peer at the men over the rim of her glass, it hit her that this was the first time in months she’d looked at a man with interest, much less two men—and at the same time! She was ready to snatch her gaze away if one of them happened to glance at her, but it wasn’t surprising the pair had attracted her attention.

The tailored business suits would draw the eye even on someone unremarkable. But on these two, the fine clothing was practically an orgasm for the gaze. They sat opposite each other, and their angle to her meant she had a view of both their profiles—lucky her.

The one to her right had very dark, almost black hair, with a bit of a curl to it, a long straight nose, a trimmed goatee and, if she wasn’t mistaken, deep blue eyes. It was hard to tell for sure from this distance and perspective.

The one on her left had lighter, shorter hair, stubble that by some magical feat still looked smart, and the most sinful lips she’d ever set eyes on. And speaking of eyes, she thought perhaps his were green. What she wouldn’t give to go and check both of them out close up, preferably naked.

Shocked at her own sudden lustful thoughts, she inhaled more than drank another sip of the juice. Unfortunately, it hit her throat all wrong and she almost slammed the glass down as she started to cough. She tried so hard to suppress the cough, eager not to draw attention to herself, that she made it worse. Snatching up the thick linen serviette from the table, she held it to her mouth as she spluttered in a most embarrassing manner, and tears began to roll down her cheeks. By now, she was sure the whole damn restaurant was staring at her, and she wished the tablecloths reached the floor, like the ones in the restaurant upstairs, so she could hide under the table until she regained her composure.

Swallowing repeatedly to try to soothe her irritated throat, she gasped as a gentle hand laid on her shoulder, which set her off all over again.

“Oh God,” came a voice. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you jump. I just wanted to make sure you were all right. See if I could help.”

Unable to speak, Fiona waved a hand to try to signal that she’d be okay, but unless the guy was a mind reader, he’d have no luck figuring that out. Blinking through the tears that marred her vision, her urge to hide underneath the table grew stronger. Christ, it was only the hottie with the blue eyes. And, if she wasn’t mistaken, his sexy friend with the green eyes was also hovering close by, concern etched into his handsome features.

Managing to drag in a breath, she huffed out, “Thank you.”

Just then, Jeremy arrived with a carafe of water, complete with ice, and poured her a glassful. “Here you go, Fiona. Drink this. Are you all right? Anything else I can get you?”

She picked up the glass and took a tiny sip of the freezing cold liquid, hoping it wouldn’t make her cough again. She seemed to have got a handle on it, though her now-sore throat wasn’t at all happy with her. After taking several more tiny sips, she let out a sigh of relief—it seemed her mortifying coughing bout was over. Then she moved on to bigger gulps, buying herself some time to think of something witty to say, anything to convince the three men looking at her that she wasn’t some kind of imbecile who couldn’t even manage a glass of juice without choking.

Unfortunately, her creative brain, which had been on fire up until she’d started lusting over the hotties, had taken its leave. So she decided to opt for the truth. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. My juice just went down the wrong way, that’s all. I’m fine, really. I’ll just finish my drink and be on my way. Thank you for the water, Jeremy.” She aimed a weak smile in his direction.

Blue Eyes turned to Jeremy. “Yeah, thanks, buddy. If you need to get on, we’ll keep an eye on her for a bit, make sure she’s okay. Don’t worry.”

A little warily, Jeremy looked at the two men, then at Fiona. “Are you going to be all right, Fiona? Do you need me to call someone and let them know you’ll be late or anything?”

She shook her head. “Honestly, Jeremy, I’ll be fine. It was just a coughing fit, that’s all. No lasting damage, except maybe to my makeup. And no, nobody will be missing me yet. It’s fine. Thank you so much, though.”

“Just give me a wave if you need me,” he said, backing away.

“Will do.”

With that, he morphed from concerned acquaintance into efficient waiter in an instant and went back to looking after his tables and the patrons frequenting them.

Knowing she’d now have to address the two men who’d caused her blush-worthy incident in the first place, she took yet another huge gulp of the icy water, then dabbed at her face with the serviette. Putting it down, she turned to Blue Eyes, who still stood by her side, but had removed his hand from her shoulder, with a wide smile.

“I’m so sorry,” she said again. “Please excuse the state of me, I’m sure I must look terrible. Thank you so much, both of you, for coming to check on me, but I’m really fine. No Heimlich manoeuvre required. I’ll just finish my drink… drinks… and be on my way. Please feel free to go back to your meeting.”

Green Eyes stepped a little closer. “You look just fine, sweetheart, except for being a little flushed, but that’s no bad thing.” He shot an almost imperceptible glance at Blue Eyes, and Fiona had to wonder if she’d imagined it. And if not, what on earth did he mean by that, anyway?

“Yes,” his friend chipped in, moving around so that he, too, could look at her face. “You look great. We’ll be just over there if you need us, all right? Don’t you hesitate to call out or wave, okay?”

Fiona wished they’d stop making such a fuss. But they were just being polite, she supposed. So, fixing the smile back on her face, she said, “Thank you. And I will. I promise.”

She waited until they’d retaken their seats before she started to make preparations for leaving hers. She didn’t want to dash off straight away as that might concern them further and send Jeremy into a tizzy, so she acted as coolly and calmly as possible, finishing the water, then the juice, as she continued making notes on her tablet. Finally, feeling able to leave without raising any eyebrows, she got up and collected her things.

Her movement attracted the attention of Blue Eyes and Green Eyes, and she gave them both a smile and a nod before moving off. She didn’t see Jeremy, who must have been in the kitchen collecting something, so she made a mental note to thank him when she next saw him. That was the downside to posh material serviettes and electronic devices—it meant there was no paper or pen handy to scrawl him a little note with.

She wasn’t quite ready to head back to the PR & Marketing Suite yet, at least not until she’d fixed her no doubt ruined makeup—which would raise a few eyebrows and spawn some questions—so she decided she’d dash up to her room for a few minutes and sort herself out.

After pressing the button for the elevator, she swiped through some of the photos she’d taken on the tablet as she waited for it to arrive. A couple of minutes later, the car arrived with a ping and a swish of doors. She stepped in, pressed the number for her floor and moved back. Just as the doors began closing, she realised the table the two men had been sitting at was visible from her position.

They were still there, and she was glad no one could see or hear her reaction as she looked at them, only to find two pairs of very arresting eyes looking right back at her—with interest.

And, as her view of them grew narrower and narrower until only a sliver was left, Blue Eyes flashed her a positively wicked grin just before he disappeared altogether.

Clinging onto the brass handrail behind her to steady herself, Fiona willed herself to get a grip. She’d been having a really good day, right up until those two had somehow awakened her hormones and made her bloody fruit juice go down wrong. And the way they’d clearly been watching her… and that smile! Shaking her head, she wanted desperately to believe they were some kind of dodgy perverts who frequented hotel restaurants to prey on lone young women, but common sense and cold, hard facts told her that wasn’t the case.

For one, what had they done? Offered help, and concern. That was all. What had they gained? Nothing, except maybe peace of mind in knowing she was okay. Her tablet and phone were still in her possession, so they weren’t thieves. Dodgy folk didn’t spend time in The Portmannow Hotel. It just didn’t happen.

So if they weren’t dodgy perverts and were just two relatively young businessmen, why had they been watching her like that? Their expressions, the looks in their eyes, indicated something altogether different from innocent concern for her wellbeing. The smile Blue Eyes had thrown her had been nothing short of sinful. Lustful, even. One Lucifer himself would have been proud of.

God, was it possible that they… found her attractive?

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now—Fluffy by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor) #romance #romcom

FLUFFY

Author: Julia Kent

Release date:  April 30, 2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer:  Hang Le

Editor: Elisa Reed

Audiobook narrator: Erin Mallon

 

Description:

An all-new STANDALONE from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent

It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.

I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.

Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.

See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.

Until it was too late.

The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day.

The perfect job!

Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.

They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.

The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is — it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.

Oh, man…

And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.

By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed naked star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.

My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?

Having all my dreams come true.

Buy links:

AmazonUS: http://mybook.to/fluffy

AmazonUK: http://smarturl.it/fluffyAMZuk

AmazonCA: http://smarturl.it/fluffyAMZca

AmazonAU: http://smarturl.it/fluffyAMZau

Nook/BN: http://bit.ly/2CGtnBE

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2RmE159

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

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2COKLmQ

Audible: https://adbl.co/2KRgFGR

Print: http://mybook.to/fluffy

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2TjDjqS

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2ThoLrZ

*****

Excerpt:

“You’re changing the subject.”

“How do you know that’s what I’m doing?”

“Because you have this thing you do when you get nervous. You did it in high school and you’re doing it now.”

“What’s that?”

“You start cracking your knuckles. One by one.”

He halts mid-crack on his ring finger. His bare ring finger.

Will looks down. A slow smile pulls at his lips. “You’re right. I do.” Our eyes meet. “How did you know?”

“I sat behind you in nearly every honors class, Will. I’ve watched you answer countless questions from teachers. And every time you didn’t know the answer, you cracked your knuckles. One”–I crack my index finger–“by”–I crack my middle finger–“one.” My ring finger won’t snap.

He waits.

“You spent a lot of time paying attention to me, Mallory.”

“I sat behind you. It’s not like I could stare at your ass all day. I had to have something else to look at.”

“You stared at my ass?”

“It was two feet in front of me! Four classes a day!” I start to sweat. The memory of him in football uniform pants. Oh, sweet ice cream fairy, deliver me from evil.

“You okay? You look,” he says, stepping closer, “a little disturbed.”

“I’m fine.”

“Hot, even.” The rise and fall of his chest pauses after those words, as if he’s holding his breath, too.

*****

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://jkentauthor.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/2PIBi9n

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jkentauthor/

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julia-kent

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3238619.Julia_Kent

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Kent/e/B00A99V268/

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 
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The Romance Reviews

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