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The Gossip from Grace Manor

It’s time for a bit of a catch-up sesh at Grace Manor, so grab a cuppa, pull up a chair, and get comfy. There’s gossip, news, free reads and giveaways in October’s Hopeful Romantic newsletter. Mr. Grace and I are just back from a fabulous mini holiday in Rome, tacked on to a conference in which he was involved.

 

Our first task upon returning home was to put our bed back together so we would have a place to sleep. Yes, that’s right, Grace Manor is getting a long overdue makeover, and while the paint job in the bedroom was done, the bed was not.

 

 

A week and a half later, the new flooring is down and painting is done in the kitchen, lounge, master bedroom, stairway and entryway. Now the actual redecorating can begin, a task I don’t mind saying I find more than a little intimidating.

 

 

Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. Please be patient with me for the next few months. My goal is to have the lion share of the work done by my birthday in January. We shall see.

 

November and a Demonic NaNoWriMo

If you’re wondering why there have been no new postings of my interview with the Guardian on my blog, let me solve the mystery. The interview has become far more complex than I had expected and, after some serious consultation, the Guardian and I decided that I should remove myself from the interview for my own protection and sanity. He did, however, concede, that as far as the latter was concerned, we might already be too late. JSeriously, he needs to work on his sense of humor.

 

 

Don’t worry, however, the Guardian’s story will be told in its entirety. As luck would have it November is coming up, and that means National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite ways to write a novel, when I actually can schedule it in. Turns out, this year, I can! A Demon’s Taleis now on the schedule to be written during November – or at least as much of it as I can manage. The premise of NaNoWriMo is to write a fifty-thousand-word novel in a month. While my novels are always at least twice that long, NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to focus my efforts and get a rip-roaring start to a longer story.

 

The chapter by chapter synopsis for A Demon’s Taleis finished, and I can tell you right now, the story the Guardian has shared is a doozy. I’m very excited to be the scribe who will be writing it. Here is the blurb.

 

 

A Demon’s Tale Blurb:

 

PI, Elise North, resurrects her career as an investigative journalist when she is asked to interview a demon. Imprisoned within the body of a vampire, this demon has a confession to make, one he hopes to manage without the knowledge of his jailor, whose friendship and hard-earned trust he doesn’t want to lose. In addition to his confession, he seeks to connect with an elusive witch called Glinda, who may be able to free his vampire/jailor from the nightmares that haunt her and threaten to become a reality. He knows that Elise is the only one who can keep their meetings secret from the vampire, who is his prison.

In book four of the Medusa Consortium Series, the Guardian, the demon imprisoned inside vampire and Scribe, Susan Innes, tells his own dark tale to a woman with an ulterior motive and a startling gift of her own.

 

 

Free Reads and Giveaways

 

Halloween Spooktacular EBook Giveaway

 

 

Forget the tricks! You’ll find only treats in this Halloween extravaganza. Get ready to fill your ereader with ghostly delights. To celebrate Halloween, check out Bookfunnel’s thrilling collection of speculative fiction sure to give you goose bumps and keep you reading way into the new year. From vampires to ghosts to monsters howling in the night, you’ll be sure to satisfy your Halloween fix with our FREE READS! Follow the link and feast on these reading treats.https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweengiveaway/5qcgozv0s1

 

 

Kindle Fire Giveaway at theShadows and Spellcraft Urban Fantasy Book Fair

 

 

Best Selling author, Laura Greenwoodis hosting the fabulousShadows and Spellcraft Urban Fantasy Book Fair, a regular treasure trove for Urban Fantasy/PNR lovers. This is the perfect place to discover your next great read.

 

Be sure to check out the Shadows and Spellcraft Kindle Fire Giveawayat the bottom of the page! Just follow the link above and click on the covers or banners to find out more about each book!

 

 

Free Reads on my Blog

There are always plenty of free reads on a Hopeful Romantic, some finished, some not, but plenty to enjoy at your leisure. Here’s a listing of just a few for your reading pleasure.

 

 

 

Interview with a Demon

While there will be no more interviews with the Guardian on my blog, the interview as it stands will remain for your reading enjoyment with the whole story coming out in the fictionalized A Demon’s Tale which I will begin writing on in November. So if you’ve not read the interview yet, it’s still there for you to enjoy.

Interview with a Demon

 

Concerto

A remote location, a ruined Scottish manor and a mysterious pianist, these are the story ingredients that have inspired Concerto. Below you’ll find the link to the latest episode, which will contain the links to all the earlier episodes, if you’ve not read them yet.

Concerto

 

Other Free On-line Reads from the Medusa’s Consortium Series:

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 1

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 2

  

An Unexpected Encounter with a Vampire

 

Part 1 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

Part 2 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington.

Part 3 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

 

What are You Reading?

I’ve just begun the Wild Card Series, edited by George R. R. Martin, with stories, novellas and novels by some of the best SciFi/fantasy writers in the business, including the man himself. These books are soon to become a television series, and come highly recommended by Mr Grace. So far, I’d say the man has good taste. Here’s part of the blurb from The Epic Beginning.

There is a secret history of the world – a history in which an alien virus struck the
Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces – those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others became Jokers – cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

 

And what are you reading? Whatever it is, enjoy!

 

In The Flesh FREE!

 

Fun and Freebies with a Paranormal Flavour

It’s time for FREEBIES! Lots of freebies! And if that’s not exciting enough, I’m especially excited that in the run-up to the 29th September release of Blindsided, book 2 of the Medusa’s Consortium Series, In The Flesh, book 1, is included in the freebies. All you have to do is follow the link and click on the book.

And I don’t want any of you to miss out on any of the fabulous free paranormal reads, so here are all the deets.

Love Paranormal Romance? You’ll Love this PNR Freebies Promo!

The fab folks at Instafreebie have rounded up twenty-one (count ‘em) authors of Paranormal Romance, who are each offering a FREE book. That’s 21 (count ‘em) amazing PNR books for FREE! August 28th until September 1st.

As I said, I’m very happy that my novel, In The Flesh, is included in the fabulous list. FREE for this limited time only. This is book one of the Medusa’s Consortium Series.

Now’s the time to nab all these fabulous books and read till your little paranormal-loving heart is content.

Go grab your free here:

http://www.thearielmarie.com/freepnrbooks

 

 

Landscapes is Still FREE!

And if you want to get the full experience of Medusa’s Consortium before the upcoming launch of Blindsided, be sure to take advantage of the free download of my exciting M/M novella, Landscapes. Landscapes is the very first of the Medusa’s Consortium stories.

 

 

 

British Bad Boys Last Chance

If you’ve not downloaded your copy of the British Bad Boys Boxed Set, do so without further delay, or read it on Kindle Unlimited. This fab boxed set, which contains my novella, In Training, will disappear from bookshelves forever on August 11th. Download and it’s yours to enjoy again and again. Read on Kindle Unlimited and enjoy the fantastic advantage of an online free library. Five days left! Don’t want to miss the opportunity.

And here to tease and titillate is a little excerpt from my novella, In Training. Enjoy!

British Bad Boys Boxed Set Blurb:

Indulge yourself with this boxed set of stories written by bestselling and award-winning British romance authors. No one knows British bad boys better than they do!

Come and spend time with a dirty-talking London tattoo artist, a Scottish bad boy, a British gangster who won’t take no for an answer, and MORE! These men are all hotter than hell and have accents to die for. Whatever your desire, you’ll find it within these pages.

Packed full of brand new standalone, steamy stories with no cliff-hangers. With happily-ever-afters guaranteed, you won’t want to miss out on this limited collection, available for a short time only!

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michael’s, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality, Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc, Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the talk , Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place … er a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7 the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

In Training Excerpt:

And suddenly it was like that slow motion scene in a horror film, just before the pretty young innocent is shredded by Freddy Kruger or pursued by the monster from the fetid swamp. Wolf Jennings turned to gaze at the camera from beneath hooded eyelids that revealed familiar blue eyes. He offered a smile that was damn near erotic. Then he said in a very northern accent, “If you do your part, I guarantee I’ll get you there.”

As the clip ended and Misty and Del were once again on camera, Lauren sat frozen to the spot, just like all those poor women in the films. She didn’t scream, though she felt like it. Instead she managed in a shaky voice, “I can’t work with him.”

“I can’t work with her.” The response on the other end of the phone was simultaneous. The familiar voice was honey and heat and frustration. Then he continued, sounding at least as breathless as he had on his video, as he had when he got up close and personal with her in the garden behind the pub. “There’s been some mistake, Claire. I can’t work with her. We can’t work together.”

The smile on her boss’s face slipped just a fraction. “Why ever not Wolf?  You two are perfect together. Not only is Lauren comfortable on camera, but she’s horribly unfit.” Before either of them could respond, she continued. “I need my PR ace in the hole fighting fit, and right now I doubt if she could fight her way out of a paper bag.”

“Oh yes I could.” Fuck Laruen sounded like a kid at the Christmas pantomime.

“Didn’t look like you could on the stairs,” Claire responded. She turned her attention back to Jennings. “Obese couch potatoes or under muscled, out of shape career women, unfit is unfit, Wolf.”

“I’m not really that unfit.” Lauren barely got the words out before they both said in unison

“Yes you are.”

A part of her wanted to crawl under the seat in her embarrassment while the other part wanted to punch Wolf Jennings right in his smug gob. Instead she snarled between her teeth. “You lied to me, Jennings.”

“I lied to you?” His voice became a hushed growl. “How do you figure that? If anything you lied to me.”

“As I recall you’re the one who sat down right next to me and wheedled your way in. I didn’t ask for your company.” She leaned closer to Claire’s iPhone, which the woman obligingly held up for her, with a bemused shrug. “I didn’t even know who the hell you were, or you’d have been wearing your Sneck Lifter.”

“Did you two have sex?” Claire Amos seldom pulled punches.

“We didn’t.” Lauren said.

“We would have.” Wolf said

“Would not,” she responded.

“Oh and that’s why you grabbed for the condom was it? You couldn’t even wait to get to a room.”

“You had me pushed up against the garden wall. I wouldn’t have come near you if I’d known that you were Wolf fucking Jennings.” She grabbed Claire’s phone away and all but yelled into it. “Look I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me to. I’m not one of your fucking gym bunnies.”

“Clearly,” he spat back.

Lauren felt the chill of doom crawl up her spine as Claire took the phone from her hand. The smile on her face was back, this time with a good dose of scheming behind it. “Let me get this straight, the two of you ran into each other in a pub?”

“Yes.”

“And one thing led to another and you got touchy-feely.”

“Yes.”

“Mind telling me why you didn’t do the deed?”

“You sent me the fucking file with Lauren Michael’s image front and centre,” Wolf managed. Even on the phone, Lauren could tell he was struggling as much for control as she was. “I don’t sleep with my clients.”

“Well you must not have been too into each other if you let a little text file stop the action.”

“I didn’t check it intentionally.” He sounded offended. “The phone fell out of my jacket and the message popped up with Lauren’s name and photo.”

Claire actually giggled. “I won’t even ask which of your explosive cardio moves you were trying on Lauren that made your phone fall out of your pocket.”

Read for FREE as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
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Amazon DE

 

The Tutor Now Available for Preorder

The-Tutor-KD-Grace_PromoSquare_PreOrder_final

 

The Tutor is now available for preorder!

 

There’s much rejoicing and happy dancing at Grace Manor! Who knew that a workshop writing prompt of a can of pears in heavy syrup and a mysterious summon to the storeroom of the local grocery store could lead to a full-length novel only a short month and a half later. Yup! That was the strange inspiration for The Tutor, and now less than a year after Kay Jaybee’s fabulous writing workshop at Smut Manchester inspired me, the novel is officially available for pre-order on Amazon and at the Totally Bound website, proving that sometimes when things go pear-shaped, it’s a good thing.

 

Now’s your chance be the first on your block to learn how a tin of pears changes the world forever for reclusive sculptor, Alexander ‘Lex’ Valentine and Kelly Blake – a struggling writer secretly moonlighting as a sex tutor. Here’s the blurb! Here are the links! And here is a sexy excerpt! Read! Enjoy! And pre-order the whole sexy, romantic read – pears and all!

 

Preorder The Tutor Now:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

TB Website

 

 

The Tutor Blurb:

When physical touch is impossible, intimacy may become a powerful work of art or a devastating nightmare—but, above all, it’s an act of trust.

Struggling writer, Kelly Blake has a secret life as a sex tutor. Celebrated sculptor and recluse, Alexander ‘Lex’ Valentine, can’t stand to be touched. When he seeks out Kelly’s advice incognito, the results are too hot to handle. When Kelly terminates their sessions due to what she considers her unprofessional behavior, Lex takes a huge risk, revealing his identity to her at a gala exhibition, his first-ever public appearance. When Kelly helps the severely haphephobic Lex escape the grope of reporters and paparazzi, rumors fly that the two are engaged, rumors encouraged by well-meaning friends and colleagues. The press feeding frenzy forces Kelly into hiding at Lex’s mansion where he convinces her to be his private tutor just until the press loses interest and she can go back home. They discover quickly that touch is not essential for sizzling, pulse-pounding intimacy. But intimacy must survive the secrets uncovered as their sessions become more and more personal.

 

thetutor_facebook

 

 

The Tutor Excerpt:

 

“Was this your idea or Dillon’s? Kelly asked, hoping to relax him.

 

“It was mine, after Andy told Dillon and he told me. I thought it was something that I …” The muscles along Lex’s jaw looked as though they were made out of iron, and a fine blush crawled up his neck tinting his ears bright pink. “I’ve never touched a woman … in that way.” He forced a laugh. “Obviously. I’ve …” the blush deepened and he avoided her gaze. “I’ve put lube on some of the sculptures – you know — down there, but I … well it isn’t the same.”

 

“The pears won’t be either,” she said, her heart suddenly aching at the physical isolation this man endured on a daily basis, and it wasn’t just her heart that ached, she felt his lack deep in her core. It had been easier with Andy. She had been almost flippant with him. She was sorry for that now. She spread one of the towels on the Queen Anne chair across from him and settled herself onto it so they were facing each other. “The texture will be different and with the pear there’ll be less give.” She dipped her fingers in the bowl and rubbed the heavy juice between her index finger and her thumb. “If you touch a woman, she’ll be much warmer.” She gave him a conspiratorial smile. “You’ll be amazed at how warm and how soft she’ll be down there when she’s ready to be touched. With Andy, this,” she nodded down to the pears, “was improvisation, this was the best I could do under the circumstances, but a woman, well a woman feels like nothing you’ve ever touched before.”

 

He was no longer avoiding her gaze. His eyes were locked on her, and he was struggling to keep them on her face, she knew that; she understood the urge for him to drop his eyes to the place of which she spoke, the place with which she was so intimate, the place that couldn’t help but respond to the topic, to the situation, to the strange intimacy they had shared almost since the moment they’d met.

 

“You can look, if you want,” she opened her legs so that he could see the place in between clothed in black denim, completely disguised and yet so very obvious. “And I’ll look at you too,” she nodded down to his own jeans straining to contain him already. “It’s what men and woman are naturally inclined to do when there’s a sexual attraction.”

 

With her heart hammering in her throat, she took one of the pear halves into the cupped palm of her left hand, then she brought it down between her spread thighs, feeling the juice of it run over her fingers and drip onto the towel as she spread her legs a little farther and held her palm to mimic the position of her vulva. “Touch it like a woman would touch it, and you’ll always get it right.” She drug her index and middle finger up from the bottom of the pear to the center and felt her own body respond in empathy. “The pear has no folds, no secret valleys, no swollen flesh to be teased open, so you’ll have to use your imagination with that.”

 

Lex gave a little moan soft and deep in his chest as he shifted to make himself more comfortable. “I know the anatomy,” he said. “I’ve watched porn and I’ve studied drawings. I know how it looks like it might feel. I know the response it elicits.” His tongue flicked nervously over his upper lip. “Of course that’s just acting, isn’t it?”

 

“Porn is about fantasy, about voyeurism, and it doesn’t matter if it’s real if it gets you off. But when it is real,” she spread her index and middle finger up the sides of the pear’s central opening, “if you’re good, if your sensitive, you’ll feel the spasms of your lover’s orgasm, even see them if you’re using your tongue; and you can feel them gripping at your cock when your inside her. If you’re paying attention.

 

“The clitoris,” she laughed softly, “Well with Andy I used a Ticktack, but he’s a chemistry major. He likes charts and graphs and periodic tables. You’re an artist, you live in your imagination, so you don’t need a Ticktack. Some women like the thumb stroking and circling while the other fingers work inside. Some women like to use their fingers.” She demonstrated on the pear, and Lex groaned. “It’s always best to ask and be sure.”

 

“What do you like?” His words were a labored rasp against the back of his throat, and

 

Kelly found herself stunned by the question, and way more aroused than she wanted to be. He shouldn’t have asked. She should have answered. But she did.

 

“I like it this way.” She shifted her hips and opened a little further so he could see her thrust and scissor, circle and probe technique, and her body responded with the tight grip and release of muscle memory.

 

“Jesus,” he whispered moving forward on the sofa and leaning closer for a better look. “And when someone uses their tongue?”

 

She caught her breath in a giddy laugh. “Afraid I can’t tell you what I do since, sadly I’m not that flexible.”

 

“But you can tell me what you like.” His voice had gone rough.

 

“I like the flat of the tongue to part me and then probe me, circle my clit and then kiss and suck.” She closed her eyes, finding it difficult to meet his gaze when she spoke about something so intimate, so secret. Come to think of it, she’d never had a man actually ask her how she liked it. The few who had given a rat’s ass about her pleasure had been happy enough to let her order them about, but never quite got the hang of it.

 

It was the loud schussing sound that caused her to open her eyes. Lex had moved the coffee table out of the way paying no attention to the slosh of pear juice all over the towel V had spread. His eyes were locked on Kelly as he fished out his own pear half and fell to his knees in front of her. When she realized what the man was about to do she dropped the pear she’d been holding with a little gasp of surprise and scooted as far back in the chair as she could. He knelt low, holding the pear in the cup of his hand, as she had, placing it against the edge of the chair between her legs! She gave a little yelp and scrambled back in the chair still further, spreading her thighs over the rise of the chair arms to keep from touching him. He moved forward, the back of his hand so close to her crotch that she could feel the heat of it, and he lowered himself still further until his hair nearly brushed the insides of her thighs. Then, still looking up at her from his position on the floor, he began at the bottom of the open pear half and ran his tongue flat and undulating all the way up, flicking in just slightly in a little circle at the top end before he closed his lips around the apex and she could hear the slurp and suck of the sweet syrup.

 

“Oh! Lex! Ah!” And then she went non-verbal, holding her breath, tightening muscles deep inside her body, the only muscles she dared to move if she were to keep from touching him. She raised both arms and fisted her hands in a suicide grip around the back of the chair to keep from curling them in his hair. Her thighs trembled from her efforts to keep her legs on the chair arms and not throw them over his shoulders for leverage. She didn’t move. She didn’t breath as he licked and nuzzled and suckled until pear juice ran down his chin and onto his tee-shirt, until his face was damp and sticky, until his forehead was sheened with perspiration, and still he held her gaze as though they were locked together in each other’s orbit neither able to move without the other’s consent.

 

“Oh God, I’m gonna come.” She barely managed a warning when his own convulsion brought him dangerously near her body. He had stopped breathing, she was sure of it. She practically climbed the back of the chair to keep from touching him as he lost control. Then with a tremendous gasp of oxygen, he straightened, let the pear fall from his hand onto the aubusson carpet and looked up at her.

 

“I’m going to pass out.” And he did.

 *****

Early Download (on the TB website): 13th September

 

General Release: 11th October

 

Win a Print Copy of Sexy Just Walked Into Town

Sexy Just Walked Into Town

Oh lookie look! Giveaway of paperback copies of Sexy Just Walked Into Town – head on over to Goodreads and enter the contest! Gotta be in it to win it!

 
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