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Best Summer Memories Coast to Coast with Holly: Part VI The North York Moors on to Robin Hood’s Bay

Best Summer Memories Giveaway: A Romp through the Archives & Our Coast-to-Coast Walk:

Welcome to Part VI of Coast to Coast with Holly, my best ever summer memory.

I’ve been wanting to share the Coast to Coast walk Raymond and I took with Holly two years ago once again, I suppose as much for my pleasure as I hope for yours. But one of the best things that happened on that walk across England is that I blogged it. I walked in the day and sat in pubs or at our B & B in the evenings and blogged our adventures. Raymond took masses of pictures, so the blog record could be as visual as possible, because the views were fabulous and the experience was amazing. Some of my very best summer memories are from that fantastic two weeks as we walked in all kinds of weather from St. Bee’s Head on the Irish Sea all the way to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea.

All this week I’ve been revisiting that fabulous journey by posting those travel blogs again. During that time, I’m hoping that you’ll drop me a comment and share your best summer memories. And to encourage you to share your fun, I’m offering a copy of one of my back titles — winner’s choice. All you have to do is comment for a chance to win.

Day 12 Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top 12 miles

At last, we left the flat miles of farmland and began the climb into the Cleveland Hills. Our first views of the North York Moors came as we climbed the path through the Arncliffe Wood along the Cleveland Way, which we followed all through today and will follow partly through tomorrow as well. Miles of blooming heather and red sandstone stretched out before us on either side of a very solid rock path. But every once in a while a view of the black peat bogs served as a reminder of what lies beyond the stones. And after our experience on the decent off Nine Standards Rigg, we were more than happy to stick to the path.

As we broke through the trees to open moorland for the first time, getting into the North York Moors proper, the views were astonishing. We could look back to the west over the Vail of Mowbray and the miles of farmland we’d walked across the day before, and to the east we could see the rise and fall of an undulating ocean of mauve heathered moors patch-worked with swaths of rich green pasturelands and the odd fringe of woodland. There was altogether a wilder feel to the place than anything we experienced yesterday. It was as we sat by the cairn on Live Moor having our lunch that we realized we were actually seeing our first glimpses of the North Sea on the horizon. Strange how we looked right at it for the longest time before we realized that we were seeing what we’d been walking toward for the last eleven days.

During the course of the day, we walked a series of plunging rocky descents and oxygen sapping climbs into even more exquisite views, culminating in a delicious scrambley ascent over the Wainstones before our final descent of the day. Since our B&B for the night was off rout, our landlady and her enormous black Airedale, Bonnie, met us in her Land Rover at the end of our last descent at Clay Bank Top. We were glad for the lift, as walking there would have meant an extra three mile descent to get to dinner and bed, and then another three mile ascent the next day to get back on rout. At the end of a hard day’s walk, neither of us were particularly anxious to add any extra mileage to our long-suffering feet.

The Buck Inn at Chop Gate was our final stop for the night. All in one, bed, breakfast, room on the ground floor, and dinner at the really lovely pub, along with a good WiFi connection, which we took advantage of in the pub until bedtime. And bedtime was not very late.

In spite of a path much to our liking with lots of rocky ascents and descents, it was a hard day. After twelve days of walking, the wear and tear of the miles is beginning to take its toll on both of us. Raymond had a new blister and I had a knot on the back of one knee. As we approach the end of our journey, three things have become massively important; getting enough rest, which we never can quite manage as time goes on, getting enough food and drink – doesn’t really matter what at this point, it just matters that it fills the void. And the void feels huge at the end of a long day. And finally, there’s the all-consuming care of the feet. Nothing has taken more of a beating in the past twelve days than our feet. Each morning we spend a half an hour treating blisters, taping up wounds and making sure no toe is rubbing where it shouldn’t and no hot spots are left untended. We’ve become fanatical as we get closer to the final day. We’ve heard horror stories of people who have almost made it to the last day, then gotten infected feet injuries, and that’s the end of their Coast to Coast. And few things are more miserable than walking on sore feet. So yes, I’d say we’re fanatical. We’re too close to the goal not to be careful. With the last two days ahead of us, we can’t afford not to take good care of our feet.

 Day 13 Clay Bank Top to Glaisdale 18 miles

We were walking by 8:15 this morning. Knowing just how far we had to walk today, getting an early start was just that little extra assurance. It was one of those days when the path before us was straight and easy after our first steep ascent back onto the moors. In fact we spent the first fast eight miles on an abandon railway bed with miles of bog and heather on both sides of us as we walked along pleasantly on terra firma. After walking in the bog, we can only imagine the engineering feat it took to build such a railroad. It was built to carry iron stone to the coast. It seems sad, in a way, that there should now be no real trace of such gargantuan efforts other than a long, straight path. Having said that, we were certainly thankful for those efforts.

A little before noon, we arrived at Blakey and the Lion Inn. The Lion Inn sets up on a rise above the rest of the countryside, and is the first and last outpost of civilization until the end of our day’s journey at Glaisedale. Lots of Coast-to-Coasters overnight at the Lion Inn, but we had ten more miles to go before we could overnight, so after a cuppa and a venison baguette, we walked on.

The weather was perfect for walking – Blessedly dry and cool with mixed sun and cloud. We found our rhythm early and it was a golden sort of day. We made good time walking along the great paths across the North York Moors and seeing very few people until we got on toward Glaisdale. At this point in our journey, we were meeting people who had started their Coast to Coast walk at Robin Hood’s Bay and will finish up at St Bee’s Head in Cumbria. My feet hurt for them.

It’s funny how our world has narrowed to the walking rhythm. Life is so simple walking every day. Our routine is easy and good. We get up, we eat breakfast, we walk all day, eating and drinking as needed, we get to the B&B in the evening, have our shower, wash out a few things, eat our dinner, look at the route for the next day and fall into bed. The next day we do the whole thing over again. I love the simplicity of it all. It fits so well, and it’s so much closer to what matters than what often passes for what matters in every-day life. I’m tired now, and looking forward to dipping the toe of my boot in the waters of Robin Hood’s Bay, but as sure as I’m sitting here, I know I’ll feel bereft when I wake up Monday morning with no more miles to walk, and there’ll be culture shock as surely as if I had been in another country. And is so many ways, I am in another country, a wonderful country. I suppose I’ll deal with the bereavement the same way I deal with it when I finish writing a novel. I’ll start planning the next walk. In fact, I already have a great walk in mind for next summer.

We’re now sitting at the only pub in Glaisdale, chatting with other Coast-to-Coasters who, like us, are excitedly anticipating their final day of walking, anticipating completion of something that seemed bigger that anything we could imagine when we all started it, something that, at times, was a lot more than we had bargained for, but something we would not have missed for the world. Tomorrow, we walk twenty miles to Robin Hood’s Bay. Tomorrow, I’ll write about how it feels to walk all the way across England. It’s almost a reality and yet at the same time, it seems like a dream.

Day 14 August 21 Glaisdale to Robin Hood’s Bay 20 miles

 I very naively thought because we did yesterday’s eighteen miles at speed and got in so much earlier than we thought we would that today would be the same. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yesterday we walked a good bit of the walk on abandon railway beds, and other than the ascent to get back up on top of the moors at Clay Bank Top, most of the walk was flat, even slightly downhill. Also there was only the Lion Inn in the middle of nowhere at Blakey Moor to slow us down. For the most part we walked at speed without interruptions.

Today was completely different. Today the first thing on our agenda was to get back on route from our B & B and work our way out of the convoluted maze of Glaisdale, which is only a small village, but sprawled out higgledy piggledy up the flanks of the moors. We were barely out of Glaisdale before we had several other small villages to negotiate culminating in the walk through heaving Grosmont with its myriad holiday makers there for the steam trains and the views. The crush of humanity was followed hard on by a hellish five hundred foot ascent out of the village on a busy road. It was this ascent in untried socks that was responsible for my worst blister of the journey, driving me to shed boots and socks as soon as we were out on open moorland again and reach for the Compeed and sports tape and a different pair of socks. (I always carry a spare)

LESSON LEARNED: Socks DO matter. And what I can walk in at home on the Downs in the Soft South are not necessarily good for walking 2o miles at pace across massively varied terrains.

After the Ascent from Hell, for awhile we walked along open moorland, though we were still on the road for quite a bit longer. Road-walking does not make for happy feet. We descended steeply into Little Beck then walked through the Little Beck Wood for ages. It truly was a lovely place to walk, especially since the day had turned hot and sunny and the shade was very welcome. But I think the experience of busy Grosmont and the walk through the woodland full of holiday makers complete with kids, dogs, and picnics was the beginning of culture shock. Our Coast to Coast journey was coming to an end, and in a few hours we’d be thrust back into the rest of the world again, and back to our normal routine. We both found the experience of such a sudden deluge of people to be strangely jarring.

Aside from the slow schlog from village to village, making our way through crowds of holiday makers (read this to mean way more than the three or four people we had been encountering every day en route) and the long stretches along asphalt roads, there was that realization that tomorrow would be different. Tomorrow we would wake up and NOT walk. We both agreed that somewhere between the breathtaking views and the blisters and the putting one foot in front of the other, we had almost forgotten what it was like not to be walking. It felt like we’d always been walking, like walking was the natural order of the universe, like walking was just what was supposed to happen every morning. As we got closer to Robin Hood’s Bay, as we found our way through the caravan park to the coastal path that would eventually lead us to the end of our journey, we were both moving on autopilot, tired and a bit numb, our minds still trying to take in the experiences of the past two weeks.

As we rounded the corner and got our first view of Robin Hood’s Bay shining like a jewel in the low sun, the adrenaline boost of that first view drove us on. Descending toward the beach, we met a couple of our compadres with whom we’d had dinner the night before. They were coming back up the hill smiling with the elation at the feat they’d just completed. There were happy congratulations all around before they limped off up the hill and we found our way to the beach to finish the ritual we had begun fourteen days before at St Bee’s Head in Cumbria. At 7:00 pm on Sunday the 21st of August 2011, we dipped our booted toes in the North Sea and tossed the pebbles we’d carried throughout the journey from the Irish Sea, including the one I’d carried for Holly, into the water. Then we promptly commandeered a gentleman to take photos of the great event, and it truly did feel great.

We had been very lucky to get a B&B just at the bottom by the bay so we didn’t have to walk back up the long hill. We dropped our bags and went immediately for fish and chips, in proper Wainwright fashion. Apparently the great man always finished off a good walk with a meal of fish and chips. And since the weather was so lovely, at our landlord’s recommendations, we went to the local chippy for haddock and chips to eat on the dock as the tide came in around us. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better meal.

When we’d polished off the fish and chips, we went across the road to the Wainwright pub and had a pint to toast our success. Traditionally the pub is the first stop for Coast-to-Coasters after the boot dipping and stone tossing. The walls are decorated in Coast-to-Coast maps and memorabilia. It’s a great place to toast the journey’s end. Then we went upstairs, had another pint and talked walking with other Coast-to-Coasters until we found ourselves struggling to stay awake. But on our way back to our B&B we discovered that the sweet shop was still open, so we ended the day with ice cream.

Our room above the Boat Inn was small and close, and it didn’t matter. We showered and fell into bed. I’m not sure it was yet ten o’clock. Such party animals, we Coast-to-Coasters!

Afterward

It was strange to wake up with no walking to do. Breakfast was leisurely We had to restrain ourselves from hoarding some of the luscious fruit offered, which would have been the walkerly thing to do. We had a short wander around the town. I managed a bit of writing while Raymond did a bit of prep work for his course and we waited for our friends to arrive from Keswick.

Shortly after noon, Brian and Vron arrived. After hugs and congratulations, they loaded us in the car and drove us back to Keswick, where they fed us homemade lasagne, showed us pictures of some of their many long distance walks and listened while we shared our experiences and our photos. It was such a great way to end a great walk. Brian and Vron Spencer have been so instrumental in teaching us navigation and encouraging us to strike out on our own and walk the long, hard walks, that it was very moving to us that they would come all the way from Keswick get us. They pampered us and took care of us and sent us happily on our way this morning.

I’m now on the train back to Guildford still trying to get my head around the experiences of the past two weeks. In a few hours normal life will resume in earnest, and I will have to catch up with all that has been on the periphery of my life for the past two weeks and get back to work. But one thing I’m certain of, my life is much richer because I walked the Coast-to-Coast. I’m inspired in ways I don’t think I’ve even begun to unravel yet. It was good. It was so very good.

A Week Later

The feet and joints are recovering. I’m back working hard on the final polish-up of Lakeland Heatwave. When it rains now, I look out the window and stay dry. I wonder at times if I only dreamed the experience, but then I look at the healing blisters and even better, the mountain of photos and know that yes, we really did it. We really walked across England from Coast to Coast, and it was quite possibly the best holiday ever!

 

 

 

Best Summer Memories Coast to Coast with Holly: Part I Reliving the Best Holiday Ever!

Best Summer Memories Giveaway: A Romp through the Archives & Our Coast-to-Coast Walk:

Welcome to Part I of Coast to Coast with Holly, my best ever summer memory.

I’ve been wanting to share the Coast to Coast walk Raymond and I took with Holly two years ago once again, I suppose as much for my pleasure as I hope for yours. But one of the best things that happened on that walk across England is that I blogged it. I walked in the day and sat in pubs or at our B & B in the evenings and blogged our adventures. Raymond took masses of pictures, so the blog record could be as visual as possible, because the views were fabulous and the experience was amazing. Some of my very best summer memories are from that fantastic two weeks as we walked in all kinds of weather from St. Bee’s Head on the Irish Sea all the way to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea.

All this week I’ll be revisiting that fabulous journey by posting those travel blogs again. During that time, I’m hoping that you’ll drop me a comment and share your best summer memories. And to encourage you to share your fun, I’m offering a copy of one of my back titles — winner’s choice. All you have to do is comment for a chance to win.

KD Goes Coastal!

Anyone who has ever enjoyed reading a good book knows that the best thing about a good book is that it has the amazing ability to take us out of the ordinary and transport us into the extraordinary.

For writers, it’s no different. When we’re in the zone, when the Muse is with us, we are transported to extraordinary places in our imaginations, places we can’t wait to put down in words and share with other people.

My experience of writing The Initiation of Ms Holly was just such an experience, an experience that started in the dark in the Eurostar tunnel, and while I wasn’t going anywhere, my imagination was off and running, and a year later, Holly was born.

Starting the 8th of August, Raymond and I are setting out to walk the Wainwright Coast to Coast Path across England. This has been something we’ve dreamed about ever since we started walking seriously. So we’re very excited. It’s not just going to be the two of us though. That’s right. It’ll be a threesome, because Holly is going with us! I’ll be sending back reports as often as I have wi fi along with picture of just where Holly is as we walk the 190 miles across Cumbria and Yorkshire.

The first five days we’ll have lots of company, walking with a group of friends we often walk with in the Lake Disctrict, led by the amazing Brian Spencer and his equally amazing wife, Vron, who have been instrumental in my research for the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy. But the last nine days it’ll be just Raymond and Holly and me hoofing it across England.

The First Update:


 Now that the itinerary is set for B&Bs and the Coast to Coast is really going to happen, I’ve spent evenings pouring over the maps and studying the rout, getting butterflies in my stomach at anyplace I’m not clear on. And with moors and fells and ruins of mines and bogs and villages and farms and long stretches of open space, there are lots of places to be unclear on. Fortunately the C2C is a well-travelled walking trail, so we won’t be running the risk of falling off the edge of the earth, though we might occasionally run off the edge of the map. It’s by far the longest walk we’ve ever attempted on our own.

I’m confident of our navigation skills, and we’ve both trained for it, but we have one 24-mile day that will definitely be pushing our limits. I’m nervous and I’m excited and I’m already there in my mind. I’ve dreamed about doing this for a long time.

And what does any of this have to do with writing? Well, everything actually. I have two novellas and the another novel I have to walk. I’m just hoping 190 miles will be enough. And Holly, well she’s already a world traveller, so I expect her to acquit herself very well.

Today we drive to Cumbria.

Tomorrow…WE WALK!

 

Elemental Fire Now Available!

Lakeland heatwave banner1

One of the best parts of my writing career so far has been the year and a half I’ve spent writing the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy. It both pleases me and leaves me slightly bereft to announce that the final novel of the trilogy, Elemental Fire, is now abailable in eBook formats and will be out 13 March in paperback. Demons and witches and ghosts! Oh My!

The characters have constantly surprised me by leading me on twists and turns in the plot that I would have never expected. They’ve made me love them and hate them and empathise with them and submit to them as they took me on the wild journey from Marie Warren’s voyeuristic encounter on the high fells to Tara Stone’s final and surprising battle with the demon, Deacon in the Dream World.  I’ve loved every minute of the journey, and each time I sat down to spend a little time in the world of the Elemental Coven, I was transported magically back to the Lake District and the fells I love so much. The beautiful Cumbrian landscape has made its mark in my heart, as have the people who live there. There’s truly something wonderful about spending eighteen months  magically transported to my favourite place to be with the Elemental Coven at Elemental Cottage while they live and laugh and love and battle their way to triumph over Deacon.

What can you expect from Elemental Fire?  More demon encounters — some of them hotter than hot. But then demons are drawn to fire. You can expect to learn a great deal more about the Elemental Coven’s fearless leader and high priestess, Tara Stone.  And you’ll meet Kennet Lucian, the stranger who enters her life through a dream and joins her in the Waking World with a very big secret. You can expect to find out what happens to Anderson, and you can expect to find out more about the mysterious succubus Cassandra. You can expect sizzling sex and chilling encouters in dark places. You can expect possession and deception and lies. You can expect love and laughter and commeraderie and preparation for a final battle that is more frightening than any the Elemental Coven has ever experienced. And, if I’ve done my job, you can expect a helluva good read.

Elemental Fire cover image finalBlurb:

Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.

Excerpt:

The demon, Lucia, studied Kennet for what might have been ages, and he felt as though the pressure of her scrutiny would crush him.

‘I have never worn man flesh.’ She nodded down to his penis.

He blushed and surged and blushed again. His heart raced. ‘Does it make a difference?’

She shrugged, still studying his cock as though she’d never seen one before. ‘Not really. Flesh is flesh.’ On a whim, she reached out and stroked his erection, and he gasped as the touch of her shivered up his spine and blossomed bright inside his head.

She continued to touch him, but her eyes were now locked on his face, and he tried desperately not to thrust against her. ‘I am only touching your cock, Kennet Birch, and it is all you can do to keep from spilling your seed at my feet.’

‘That is the most sensitive part,’ he breathed. ‘Of a man, I mean.’

She moved closer and ran a splayed hand up over his ribs. And he did spill his seed with a desperate gasp as though he could never get enough oxygen again. And he was embarrassed and terrified and angry, and it was as though the whole range of emotions exploded in his head in an instant. Then she leaned in and brushed her lips against his, and for a split second the world flashed before his eyes more vivid, more perfect, more complete than he had ever seen it before. He knew things, he saw things, he felt things, things beyond him. And he would have dropped again to his knees, but he couldn’t, not held in her gaze as he was.

‘I have barely touched you and you are overwhelmed, Kennet Birch. Do you really think you can survive my possession of you?’

Exploring what might be the entrance to Lucia's Cave

Exploring what might be the entrance to Lucia’s Cave

He forced himself to hold her gaze, trembling suddenly as though he were in the grips of some powerful illness. All of him ached, and he knew the real world was bleeding through. There was very little time. ‘I won’t survive if you don’t possess me. My coming to you has guaranteed that.’ He wrapped his arms around himself as the shakes became more violent. ‘You said it yourself, I have nothing to lose.’

‘And why would I want a sick and broken male body?’ She asked. Her eyes blazed in the dance of firelight that always seemed so close to her.

‘If you possess me, you can heal me,’ he said. ‘And anyway, if you possess me and I die, well it really doesn’t matter at this point.’

For an eternal moment she studied him. She studied him until he looked away. His head was fuzzy, his body ached even in the dream world. He couldn’t hold much longer.

Looking out over the Newlands Valley from the top of High Spy

Looking out over the Newlands Valley from the top of High Spy

She lifted his chin once again so that he met her gaze, and the shakes stopped. The pain went away. He felt his head clear.

‘If I do what you ask of me, even though you live, your life is forfeit. You know this?’

‘I know,’ he breathed. ‘It doesn’t matter.

‘You say that now in your hour of need. But when that passes, when you are whole and stronger and healthier than you have ever dreamed possible, when your heart heals and you learn to love again, you won’t be so anxious to let go of what is rightfully mine when the time comes.’

He suddenly felt more pain than he knew existed in the whole world, and none of it was physical. He inhaled breath that felt like shards of stone. ‘I’ll never know love again. I’ll never know life again, so there’s really nothing you can take from me that isn’t already long gone.’

Her gaze softened, and somehow he found that infinitely comforting. Then she moved closer and kissed him, slowly, languidly, as though they had all the time in the world, and his cock was hard again. She stepped back from him. One shrug and the robe of fire fell away, and the glow of her body flashed bright, then dimmed and steadied until he could see details, erect nipples atop high breasts, rounded hips, a golden splash of curls at the juncture of her thighs. ‘I am not like him,’ she said softly. ‘It gives me no pleasure to make those who dwell in the flesh my puppets. You will be, how is it you put it these days, you will be in the driver’s seat.’ She took him into her arms and kissed him hard, and when he feared he would disgrace himself again with his cock pressed up tight against the top of her belly, she pulled away. ‘However,’ she said. ‘If I grant your request, then I will possess you. All of you. You will belong to me, your life will mine.’ She gaze was painfully bright. ‘And if you earnestly wish to be rid of Deacon, then you will do as I say for as long as it takes us to accomplish our task, and it will take time. I know him. You don’t. I’m his equal. You’re not. And one more very important thing, Kennet Birch.’ She stroked his hair gently and whispered against his lips. ‘Never, never forget how badly I can hurt you if you defy me.’ Then she guided his hand down over her pubic curls. ‘If my terms are not acceptable to you, then you must return to your body and face your fate.’

Boldly, brazenly, he slid a finger down low and circled her clit, and her eyes fluttered. ‘If it weren’t acceptable to me, I wouldn’t be here,’ he answered.

Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick

Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick

She took his hand and guided him back to a chair that appeared from out of nowhere. It looked like a golden throne with no arms. What? Was he to petition her? He didn’t understand. But it was no throne at all. She pushed him down on it and stood before him caressing her breasts until her nipples were stiff and swollen. Then she raised one perfect leg and set her elegant Botticelli foot on his thigh, affording him a view of her wet and fiery depths. ‘I do not enter through your breath, Kennet Birch,’ she said. ‘As sex is your magic, so is it mine. You will go in through me, inside out. And your hunger for me will pull me into you when your libido surges brightest.’

And he was so hungry for her. She filled his head and his body with an aching want that even if he were not a practitioner of sex magic, he would understand was not mundane. And in his case, the fear that he would die if he didn’t have her here and now was a very real one. That he might die even if he did, that her possession might be too much for him, well that was a risk he was more than willing to take.

‘Are you certain this is what you want, Kennet Birch?’ she asked him as she moved onto his lap, positioning herself, opening her sex with her fingers.

‘I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.’ Even as he said it, he realized how silly that sounded, since either way his life as he’d known it was over.

‘Very well then.’ She settled to the point of contact, to the point at which he could just feel the head of his penis against the resistance of her opening. He reached for her breasts, and with the hand not busy between her legs, she cradled his head and drew him near so he could nurse. The electrical shock through his body caused him to jump and jerk, and at that very instant she settled onto him, sheathing him tightly, deeply, and he knew he was dying. This was the point of no return. It was as though the tight wet pull of her swallowed him whole. Then she cupped his chin and held his face again so he couldn’t look away from her shining eyes. Her voice was like warm honey, thick and sweet, and he felt the sound of it in his very marrow, in his very soul. ‘You are mine, Kennet Birch. No longer are you your own. I possess you, body, soul and life force. Even in name you are now mine, Kennet Lucian. You are mine until I have no further use for you, until I have used you up.’ She gripped him hard and he exploded inside her and the world blew a part into tiny particles and disappeared like flecks of dust in the darkness.

****

‘Bloody Hell! Dr Allen! Doctor Allen! Get over here. Now!’

Kennet inhaled delicious, abundant air as though he’d just remembered how to breathe. Then he fought his way up from under an unruly sheet to sit up on the bed. A woman and a man in hospital scrubs stood either side of him, holding him, and there was chaos and someone was yelling. It took him a second to register that it was him yelling over and over again, ‘Where the hell am I? Where the hell am I?’ And then the bright lights, the gurney with a body shrouded in a sheet next to him all came into focus. ‘Jesus! What the fuck am I doing in the morgue?’

The woman in scrubs standing next to him looked pale and her hands were unsteady. ‘Mr. Birch,’ she said, doing her best to stay calm. ‘You were pronounced dead almost fifteen minutes ago.’

 

November Heats Up!

The Initiation of Ms Holly a Top Titillater!

November’s off to an exciting start with lots going on. The news of the day is that The Initiation of Ms Holly is number five on the Stellar Libraries’ list of all time titillating novels! Waking up to that good news, published in the Mail Online’s Femail site definitely made my morning.

For those of you who don’t, libraries are turning up the heat this autumn. With the explosion in popularity of erotic novels this year libraries all over the UK are launching a month-long celebration of erotic literature.

From next Friday, the Between the Sheets festival will bring 30 of the top titillating titles to 33 libraries across the country. Watch out libraries, The Initiation is on, and with Holly sharing the shelves with some of my very favourite authors, Justine Elyot, Portia Da Costa and Madeline Moore, and others, you can expect some serious sizzle in the stacks.

Riding the Ether on Tour:

Also in the news, you may not have heard there’s a real heatwave in the Lake District this autumn, as I unleash Riding the Ether, the second novel of my paranormal erotic Lakeland Heatwave Series, now available in eBook and print. I’m very excited that I’ll be touring some truly fabulous blogs with Riding the Ether, starting Monday the 12th. Check out the links and dates below and join the fun and scary, sexy paranormal excitement.

Riding the Ether Blog Tour:

12th Nov: Catriana’s Muse: http://catrianasmuse.blogspot.com/

13th Nov: Nephylim: Out of the Box Fiction: http://nephylim-author.blogspot.co.uk/

14th Nov: Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess: http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/

15th Nov: The Tardis Scribbles: http://thetardisscribbles.blogspot.com/

16th Nov: Carly Fall: Where Fantasy Meets Romance: http://www.carlyfall.com

Blurb for Riding the Ether:

Cassandra Larkin keeps her ravenous and dangerous sexual appetite secret until she seduces Anderson in the mysterious void of the Ether.  Anderson is the sexy, insatiable ghost who can give her exactly what she needs.

But sex is dangerous in a place like the Ether…

When the treacherous demon, Deacon, discovers the truth about the origin of Cassandra’s powerful lust, he plots to use her sex magic for revenge on Tara Stone and the Elemental Coven, who practice their own brand of sex magic.

Cassandra must embrace the lust and sexuality she fears and learn to use its power. Will she stand with Anderson, Tara, and the Elemental Coven against Deacon’s wrath or suffer the loss of friendship, magic and love?

A little Excerpt to heat up those crisp autumnal nights …

(Warning: not for the faint of heart)

And though Anderson did not remember casting the special enfleshment spell, the one he always cast for himself in the Ether, he was fully in the flesh, albeit flesh that only had substance in the Ether. He was completely naked, and fully, nay, outrageously aroused. The pressure in his groin was both agonizing and exquisite. He reached for his manhood, knowing full well he was in need of wit that he did not possess when his lust was so great. But before he could stroke himself to release, a voice spoke out from the Void. ‘That belongs to me.’

He was not startled that the woman appeared out of nowhere. After all this was the Ether, but he was very startled, if most pleasantly so, that she was as naked as he, and it was no hardship for him to look upon her. Before he could utter even a cry of surprise, she knelt next to him, slapped his hand away and took his member into her mouth.

‘My dear woman,’ he gasped as her tongue snaked up the underside of his manhood. ‘I do not believe we know each other.’

She stopped pleasuring only long enough to reply. ‘We will very soon.’ Then she returned her efforts to his great need.

‘I fear this shall end quickly if you do not stop what you are doing.’ He tried, though only half-heartedly, to push her away. After all what manner of man saw to his own release before the pleasure of his lover?

‘I know you.’ As she spoke, she continued to stimulate him with her hand. ‘It may be over quickly this time, but then,’ she lifted her head enough to brush a quick kiss against his lips, enough for him to catch the tiniest glimpse of dark cinnamon eyes. ‘When it’s over we’ll begin again, and then,’ she gave him a squeeze. ‘Then I’m sure I’ll be well compensated.’

She spoke no more, but took the length of him deep into her throat and tightened her grip until there was nothing for it. He shuddered the weightiness of his release into her throat, and she drank it back like fine brandy. And when she had drained him as surely as if he had been the glass containing her drink of choice, she slipped up next to him, her tight roseate nipples brushing against his ribs. And when she kissed him, he tasted himself on her lovely tongue. This time she kissed him with all of her mouth, nay, with all of her body if that were possible, and he felt lust already returning to his loins.

When she pulled away, he spoke in one breathless sentence, fearful that if he did not find his voice immediately, the lady’s own greed for the pleasures of the flesh might make him forget that he even possessed the power of speech, might make him forget why his voice would even be of importance. ‘My dear woman, might I at least enquire who it is that pleasures me so well and in such unusual circumstances?’

Check back for more November Heat coming soon!

 

 

 

 

A Kiss in the Dark Can Lead to Hot Sex, Magic and Free Goodies!

When I was a kid it was always a contest to see who would have the most goodies in the Trick-or-Treat bag for Halloween. Well Blisse Kiss After Dark will guarantee full goodie bags for anyone who likes their treats on the spicy, extra naughty side. Victoria Blisse and Kevin Mitnik are forever coming up with fabulous ways to share great erotica and help us all celebrate sex. And how could they resist paranormal erotic fun for the season. Halloween is nearly upon us and who wouldn’t want a steamy kiss in the dark and all the goodies that could lead to.

I’m all about goodies and kisses and since I’m launching book two of my paranormal erotic Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, Riding the Ether, I’m celebrating by giving away free downloads of the first novel, Body Temperature and Rising, on Amazon and in iTunes. Hot ghosts and witches, demons and sex magic all yours for the downloading. That’s a great start for filling anyone’s goodie bag with nasty steamy paranormal fun.

And since we’re talking magic and paranormal fun, I’m going to add that extra bit of yumminess by giving away an eBook copy of my magical, voyeuristic romp in the veg patch, Allotted Views. Comment for a chance to win.

Here’s a hot kiss in a dark cave excerpt from Body Temperature and Rising to start my naughty Kiss in the Dark celebration. Don’t forget, this full-length novel is now free to download on Amazon Kindle and iTunes. Links are below.  All my way of celebrating the launch of book two, Riding the Ether, now available on Kindle and soon to be in print. Enjoy! Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain!

Blurb for Body Temperature and Rising:

American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

Excerpt:

‘I lost my compass,’ she said.

‘I’m very sorry to hear that,’ he replied.

Almost before she knew it they were descending. ‘Not to worry,’ he spoke close to Marie’s ear. ‘I am as familiar with these fells as I am my own face. Once we are safely down to Grange, Tara will be waiting for us.’

He made no attempt to explain who Tara was, nor did he introduce himself. That was her first clue that he might have been aware of her voyeuristic escapade.

‘We shall be down very quickly,’ he added, turning his face into the storm.

But they weren’t.

The weather worsened to a downpour. Bent double in the wind, Marie was soaked to the skin and shivering by the time Anderson pulled her into a cave that she hadn’t even seen until they were safe inside. He took her just deep enough to be out of the weather, but not beyond the reach of daylight.

‘We shall wait out the storm here.’ He offered her a smile and gestured around the cave, which she could now see was a disused quarry. ‘There are lots of caves and quarries around the Lake District,’ He said. ‘Some are fenced off for the protection of curious tourists, and others, such as this one are unknown to but a few.’

‘And your girl friend, won’t she be worried?’

The tolerant smile he offered made her aware of her mistake. ‘Tara knows what I would do in such weather.’ Then he added, ‘Though she is very dear to me, Tara is not my girlfriend.’

Before she could say anything he chuckled softly. ‘I know that you saw us together, and there’s no need to apologize. Neither of us was upset that you enjoyed our love making. In fact we rather hoped it would please you. Besides one must certainly expect such encounters when one chooses the middle of a well-travelled path for a rendezvous. Now remove your shirt for me, please.’

When she balked, he added. ‘You’re cold and wet. I only wish to make you more comfortable and prevent you catching your death.’ He had already shed his jacket and handed it to her. She was astonished to find it completely dry. ‘You may wear this.’

When she made no effort to put it on, he sighed and scooted closer to her. ‘Please, we must get you dry and warm.’ He unzipped her anorak and pushed it off her shoulders, then tugged the hem of her shirt out of her trousers. His hands were unbelievably warm grazing her bare skin. She lifted her arms, and he slid the wet shirt off over her head, then he reached behind her to unhook her bra while his other hand deftly dispatched with the buttons of his black shirt. ‘Now please, put this on.’ He slid the jacket around her shoulders like a blanket, shoved his shirt open and pulled her against him.

She wasn’t sure why, but it seemed such a natural thing to slide her arms around him, beneath his shirt, which was as dry as the jacket. As she settled in close, his chest expanded against her bare breasts, and his breath hitched.

‘You are freezing. I think you very much need my body heat.’

‘And you seem to have lots of it to offer,’ she spoke between chattering teeth, suddenly very aware of the gouge of her tightly puckered nipples against his warm chest.

He laughed softly, and she felt the deep low rumble of it clear through her centre. ‘My dear, you’re welcome to as much heat as I’m able to generate.’

The urge was overpowering. She rose on her haunches and kissed him. Out of the clear blue, she just lifted her mouth to his as though it were hers to take, as though she owned it. And he responded in complete acceptance to her possession, warm lips yielding, encouraging, inviting, making room for the flick of her tongue, welcoming her with the flick of his own.

‘You taste of her,’ she whispered when she came up for breath.

He cupped her face in a large hand and ran a callused thumb over her bottom lip. ‘But her taste pleases you, does it not?’

She nodded. ‘I can see why it pleased you so much.’ She was suddenly, painfully aware of her brazenness. What the hell was the matter with her behaving this way with a man who was, for all practical purposes, a total stranger?

She was about to apologize when he pulled her hand to his lips and suckled her fingers, the ones that had been in her panties not all that long ago. He held her in a gaze deeper than the quarry that now protected them. ‘Your taste also pleases me. Even more so than I imagined.

The thought made her snatch tense with delight. ‘You imagined my taste?’

‘Of course I did, but experiencing the aftertaste of someone’s pleasure, though nice, is never as enjoyable as tasting for oneself.’

She had no time to do more than squirm at the heat of his comment before he pulled away to remove her boots and wet socks, lingering to chafe her cold feet between his hands, then he opened her trousers with amazing ease. She lifted her ass as he slid them off, along with her panties, then he settled her onto his lap. ‘Your bottom will not appreciate alighting upon a cold slab of slate,’ he said. He guided her to wrap her legs around his waist and arranged the tale of his shirt to cover them. Then he shifted to better balance himself and offered a soft sigh as his hands slid to her hips.

A quiver of a gasp escaped her throat as she found herself sitting spread and gaping against the erection his trousers clothed, but certainly couldn’t hide. The flash-fire burn below her belly flared again then hummed low and warm as though someone had adjusted the flame. At the sudden shock of it, she buried her face in his shoulder and clenched her teeth to keep from crying out with the startling friction of it

‘I believe my trousers will bear the imprint of your lovely womanhood when the weather clears and we leave this place. Do you mark me as your territory? I am honoured.’

His insinuation made her pussy even slicker, and she was sure he was right. She was making a sticky mess of the front of his trousers. She rubbed herself against him taking in the size of him beneath the soft black fabric, and he grunted hard and shuddered at her efforts. ‘Maybe you should take them off, save embarrassing stains and allow me a little more of that body heat you’re so generous with.’

He offered her a wicked smile. “My dear, my delicate bare bottom is no more fond of sitting on cold slate than yours is, but perhaps we can find an acceptable compromise.’ He ran a hand between them, jostling her slightly in his efforts to open his fly, releasing his cock and heavy balls. The whimper that escaped her lips was involuntary as she pressed upward to renegotiate for space.

He held her gaze. ‘Are you sure this is what you want?

‘Don’t you?’ She raked herself against him once more, and he shuddered

‘I do. Very much.’

She was relieved. She had never been more sure of anything in her life. She didn’t know why that should be. Perhaps it had something to do with the burning ache at her centre that had awakened again and crawled over her sex, up the vertebrates of her spine like an eruption of rising sparks. She scrambled to reposition, her bare feet pressing onto the chilled slate until he lifted her bottom. She tugged at the length of him shifting her hips as his thumb brushed open her pussy lips. ‘Oh my dear, you are very ready, indeed,’ he breathed. ‘Such soft luscious wetness.’

Links for Free Download:

Amazo.co.uk

Amazon.com

iBooks

Remember to comment for the chance to win your free download of Allotted Views.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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