Conquering William Blog Tour

Conquering William Blog Tour 

August 30-September 8

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Sir Arthur’s Legacy, Book 3  

by Sarah Hegger

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Series: Sir Arthur’s Legacy, Book 3

ISBN-10: 1601839162

ISBN-13: 978-1601839169

 

 

Blurb

 A practical marriage…

He married for convenience, but William of Anglesea had hoped for more than piety from his new bride. Raised in a convent and thrice widowed, prim Lady Alice of Tarnwych seems like an innocent when it comes to the marriage bed—except for the tentative passion he senses in her touch, and sees in her eyes. It seems the bold knight has a new challenge in alluring Alice. But will seducing his intriguing wife lead to his downfall?

An inconvenient desire…

Everything about charming, free-spirited William defies the cloistered world Lady Alice comes from. Duty brings her to their bed—and a long-held hope for a child. Yet after three indifferent husbands, the desire William shows her awakens her own. Little did Alice expect the powerful feelings he would inspire, emotions that make her ready to abandon her rigid beliefs, and the only family she’s ever known—when William’s life is on the line….

Conquering William Meme3

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Excerpt

If she lived to be a hundred, Alice never wanted to attend another wedding, particularly not as the bride. The odor of roasting meats almost undid her, and she took a long draught from her water goblet. A bride did not vomit all over her wedding feast.

Her father, face ruddy with wine, sidled up and pinched her side. “God’s teeth! Smile, you stupid wench. I have found you a good ‘un this time. Far better than a butter-face like you could hope for.” Goblet held high, he strode away, sprinkling wine across the heads of those he passed. His forced laughter grated on her ear.

To her right, her groom drank from his goblet. In a deep, smooth voice, he murmured to his mother on his other side. As he shifted, his muscular thigh pinned her skirt to the bench.

Loathe to draw his attention, Alice tugged the dull brown wool.

He inclined his head with a smile, moved his leg, and freed her skirt. “I beg your pardon.”

God save her from her beautiful husband. “No matter.”

“May I serve you more water?” Eyes deeper blue than the lake beneath the castle twinkled at her. Candlelight gleamed off his dark hair and clung to his finely etched face.

“Thank you, but nay.”

With another smile, he turned back to his mother.

She would prefer if he did not smile so much. Or did not smell so appealing. His subtle woodsy-sweet spice teased her every time he leaned nearer. He did quivering things to her innards. How could she hope to hold a man such as this? Atop the scarred table, their trencher sat between them, still full of mutton, gravy oozing into a brown puddle on the table. It couldn’t be worse. Her father had outdone himself this time. Three husbands he’d chosen for her and this one, by far, the most daunting.

Aye, but William of Anglesea would make fine children. Tall, strong boys, broad and powerfully built like their sire, and girls to take after his mother and sisters. A child of her own. A downy head nestled against her breast, a tiny body cradled in her arms. She touched her palm to her flat, empty belly, and put her hand back on the table before anyone could notice. Even butter- faces had dreams.

A jester before the dais capered about, ringing his bells and doing his best to enthuse the assembly with joviality. Poor man raised only titters of amusement. He must have come with her father for the wedding, for they had no resident jester at Tarnwych. A few determined souls cheered the jester on his way, and a band of minstrels took his place. The cheery pipes led the lutes into songs praising the bride’s beauty and the groom’s virility. Could they not spare her those? She’d wager the minstrels would change their songs when they left for the inn tonight.

The bawdy ballad of Alice of Tarnwych and William of Anglesea. She made up her own words to the cheerful wedding song the minstrel band warbled.

The peacock ruts with a dull, brown wren,

 A dull brown wren,

 a dull brown wren

The peacock ruts with a dull, brown wren,

Fa, la, la, la la.

William, the peacock, with his striking looks and finery had stood beside her in the chapel, and the top of her head had only reached his shoulder. How the ladies in attendance had sighed as he dipped his dark head and recited his vows to her, the dull, little wren in her brown wool dress with her atrocious hair confined to a wimple. Both William’s sisters boasted glorious flaxen hair the hue of summer wheat, not brazen red. Willowy and graceful they glided in rich, silk slippers like butterflies, whilst she stomped around in her sensible clogs.

Sister Julianna leant in and kept her voice low. “This is a bad business. This family is sown with wild, spoiled seed.”

Then there was that. Whispers of the taint on Sir Arthur’s beautiful family carried even this far north.

“It is time.” Gracious and lovely, Lady Mary of Anglesea rose with a sweet smile for Alice. “Shall we?”

“Aye, let us get to the meat of the matter.” Smug grin eating his face, her father thumped the table.

Rising too, Sir William offered his hand to her. Grip warm and sure, he helped her climb over the bench, then straightened her skirts for her. No fault could she find with her groom’s manners. As far as she could see, he had no faults at all. Men like William should marry their faultless equals. How different would this be if she looked like his mother and sisters? If she could enter his bed with her head held high, confident in her groom’s delight in her beauty.

The other women stood with her. Lady Faye, flawless and serene in her pregnancy, golden hair framing her enchanting face. Her second new sister-in-law, Beatrice. Bea, they called her, and on occasion Sweet Bea. Not as fair as Faye, but her pretty countenance made more so by the lively march of humor across it.

God mocked her by surrounding her with all this overbearing comeliness.

“Come along, then.” Beatrice’s smile stretched false with forced good cheer. Nay, they no more welcomed this match for their brother than she did.

Another wedding night and she would endure.

Bio

Sarah Hegger B&W copy 

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Colorado with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

Sarah is the recipient of the 2015 EPIC Award for Historical Romance.

She is represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates.

 

Giveaway (to enter please go to sarahhegger.com)

To celebrate the release of #3 Sir Arthur’s Legacy, Conquering William, Sarah is giving away 3 copies of Conquering William (US winners may receive their copy as an e-book or paperback, international winners will be provided their copy as an e-book only) and 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards.

To enter, simply become a subscriber to Sarah’s quarterly newsletter. If you’re already subscribed, or wish to gain additional entries, leave a comment on one of the two blog posts below:

Why I Find That Mindfulness is Vital to My Work & What Cultivating Compassion Shares with Writing Romance

Writing and Research in Historical Fiction: A Peek Into My Method and My Madness

For even more entries, like Sarah’s Facebook page and Follow her on Twitter!

Connect with Sarah

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Release Blitz: Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope

Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope

 Whispers of Shadow & Flame, book two in the Earthsinger Chronicles is out now. To celebrate launch week, book one, Song of Blood & Stone, is on sale for $.99.

Whispers of Shadow and FlameWhispers of Shadow & Flame (Earthsinger Chronicles #2)
by L. Penelope
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Dieselpunk
Age Range: Adult

Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame, she is notorious and lethal, but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that commands her. She is tasked with capturing the notorious rebel called the Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.

Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.
As forbidden desire ignites their hearts, Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges, the cost of their love might just be too high.

 Excerpt from Whispers of Shadow & Flame

“I-I’m sure we can come to some kind of understanding.”

The man before Kyara scrambled backward, slamming his back against the wall. The scent of his fear was rancid, filling the interior of the dwelling. The stench overpowered the smell of fresh vegetables roasting in the clay oven. His whimpers drowned out the murmurings of the infant in a basket near the fire. A woman cowered next to the baby. Kyara judged the distance and determined that the mother and child were far enough away to remain safe but only if she stood very close to her target. Close enough to feel his sour breath on her skin.

Her stomach clenched at the thought, but she forced herself forward, erasing the few paces between them. Now the odor emanating from the man was mixed with piss. The dark stain spreading across the front of his trousers was proof enough that the fellow knew who she was and why she was here.

“W-we can negotiate. I’m sure there must be something you want.” Beads of sweat punctured his forehead, and the thick vein at his neck jumped with his rapid pulse.

Kyara’s warped Song prowled inside her, impatient. It wanted to launch itself into the maelstrom of source energy, to ride the brutal currents of the force like a kite in a violent wind. She shuddered and reined in her Song. Instead of giving in to the despised urge, she opened her mind’s eye. The world fell away, leaving only a field of black. She spread her senses and focused on this village, this home, this room. Moving arcs of white light burst across her vision, like the undulating waves of brightness produced by a fire dancer swinging a torch.

This was Nethersong.

As Ydaris had explained to her many years ago, while Earthsong was the energy of life, Nethersong was death energy. And Kyara’s broken Song had never been able to connect with anything else. She could not heal. She could not grow crops from seeds with a single intention or feel the pulse of life moving in the plants and animals around her.

She was cursed. She had killed her mother at birth, and this was her punishment.

The light of the man before her pulsed brightly. His death energy was a cyclone spinning out of control. Judging by the strength of Nethersong within him, he had not been kind to his body—a feat much easier when you were on the True Father’s payroll and could afford an abundance of rich food and drink. If the immortal king were a patient man, Kyara wouldn’t be needed at all. This pay-roller only had a few months to live as it was.

In the corner of the room, the wife’s light was dimmer. She was younger and healthier than her husband. The infant’s light was so weak it barely registered. Just a dull glow indicated the faintest traces of Nethersong. Kyara nearly smiled. Children had so much life, so much strength. She wished she could always see an endless field of dark in her inner vision.

She shuttered her extra sight, bringing the man’s face back into focus. “I am not here to negotiate with you.” Her voice was no louder than a whisper.

His eyes widened. He spread his arms out on both sides of him, attempting to press himself into the wall. Kyara didn’t move from her position a hairbreadth away. She didn’t need to touch him, but he didn’t know that.

“Whatever His Majesty believes I’ve stolen, I will return, threefold. I am but a simple man. A husband and father.” He waved a pudgy hand at the woman in the corner. “I give tribute for all I collect, I pay on time and—” His pleas became a drone in her ears, mingling with those of a hundred other men who had begged for their lives over the years. Other men in other homes like this, the ramshackle dwelling a palace in comparison to the others in the village. Thick rugs covered the dirt floor, and real glass hung in the windows. The enticing aroma of okra and butter tickled her nose. Some unidentifiable spice hung in the air, as well. Fresh vegetables, seasonings, real butter—these luxuries were virtually unknown to most people in the Midcountry.

Though her mouth watered, she never ate the food of the dead.

 

Guest Post: Visual Inspiration & Worldbuilding

Last Christmas my family decided to escape the frigid east coast weather and spend the holiday in Palm Springs, CA. I’d never been there before, but once I arrived I realized that this place where the was desert surrounded by mountains was exactly how I’d envisioned one of the countries in my fantasy world: I had arrived in Lagrimar.

Palm DesertThe mountains are a huge part of the worldbuilding in the Earthsinger Chronicles series. The country of Lagrimar is completely surrounded, cut off from the rest of the world by this natural barrier, as well as a magical one. Driving down the highway through the Palm Desert with the imposing peaks towering over me was deeply inspiring and helped me sink into the world I was creating.

But it’s not always possible to travel to the exact place your story is set. Some of the other locations were shaped and polished by virtue of me stumbling across images accidentally. Like this one of Horseshoe Bend, AZ, which becomes Serpent’s Gorge in the book.

Horseshoe BendAnd this article about toxic lakes and the petrified animals in them haunted me until it found its way into the novel.

Lake NatronThe sights, sounds and smells of reality all go into making a fantasy world work. Once a location is real to me and I can live inside it in my head, then I know it’s ready to put to the page.

 

LeslyePhotoAbout the Author

Leslye Penelope believes love is magic and likes her romance with a healthy dose of imagination. She’s been writing since she could hold a pen and is the author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance with multicultural characters.

At one time or another she’s been a filmmaker, tape dubber, tech support specialist, model, poll worker, professor, and DJ. She has a quote from The Matrix tattooed on her arm and sometimes dreams in HTML. After living on both coasts, she settled in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.

Sign up for new release information and monthly giveaways on her website:http://www.lpenelope.com.

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Book Tour: Unrestrained – a Duology by Shyla Colt & LaQuette

Title: Unrestrained: A Duology 
Author: Shyla Colt and LaQuette
Genre: Contemp/NA/Erotic Romance
Published: August 28, 2015
Power Privilege & Pleasure by LaQuette 
When a need for unrestrained power and control unfurls…chaos usually follows.
Alexis-Jeovonni Tenetti is the most prolific legal mind of her time. She uses her genius to create intricate solutions for the problems her clients often find themselves in. Her mind sees what most can’t, providing her with the ability to initiate and master the manipulative games she’s accustomed to playing. Her ability to outthink everyone else around her has kept her successful and in control of almost every aspect of her life, and the lives of the clients she serves. 
After all, control is necessary to keep things in order. Order is the only thing that keeps chaos away and allows most people to embrace the illusion of freedom. She was all too aware that freedom came at a cost and was often a privilege of those in power. The one time she’d forgotten that fact and relinquished her control had resulted into the living nightmares that chased her even in her waking hours. 
Life had taught her in a very vivid way that there were only two options in her world…control or be controlled. And the latter just wasn’t an option she was willing to entertain.
Sometimes the only way to regain control is to stop playing the game…
Elliot Alan Quillen was raised in big business; he had everything at his 
fingertips until a tragic accident stole the most important thing in the world to him. Deciding the brass ring that had been dangled in front of his face was no longer an incentive for letting others control him, he walks away from everything his privilege has offered him. 
Cast aside by his overbearing family, Alan is left to pick up the tattered pieces of his life and soul alone. He’s resigned himself to feeling nothing but the pain of loss for the rest of his life until his first encounter with his new boss’ lawyer clues him in that he might just be ready for something more.
Arrogant and frustrating, Alan quickly learns to suppress his desire for the lady lawyer and her infuriating mouth. If only he could stop daydreaming about what that mouth would taste like on his tongue, then maybe he could stop the desire that he’s been fighting like hell to bury along with the rest of his emotions.

When secrets from A.J.’s past come spilling out of her tightly sealed closet and bring danger to her door, Alan has to make a choice. Willingly step into another set of manipulative power games, stand by her and forgive her secrets, or let a murderous maniac decimate A.J. and her entire family.
Or will they both realize that her power combined with his privilege could equal the ultimate pleasure?
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos #3)
by Shyla Colt

After having her heart broken by Echo, Dixie Dunn makes a new life for herself, away from the Kings Of Chaos. Now, she must return in order to get her stubborn father back to fighting shape after a heart attack. She knows she’ll have to face Echo, as he has made it clear over the years that she still belongs to him. But she refuses to give him any chance to crush her heart again. 

Echo, Joel Spencer knows that Dixie hates him, but he also knows she yearns for him. After being forced by his hateful father to practically leave her at the altar when they were teens, he realizes that he has his work cut out for him. One thing is on his side, he knows what she wants and needs. This time, he WILL make her his again, and to hell with whoever gets in his way.

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Power Privilege & Pleasure by LaQuette 
“You think this shit is funny?” he asked. “I was ready to close a deal that was going to bring in millions into the company,” he rumbled, the room shaking with the unexpected boom of his voice.
She tilted her head slightly, staring at him, appearing to really see him and his anger for the first time since he’d come barging into her office. She backed her chair away from the table and stood up. Here face settling in to a canvas of hard tight lines accompanied by the ticking of her jaw.
Was that anger?

In all the years they’d been fighting, in all the years they’d kept this seemingly ongoing professional tug of war going between the two of them, she’d never seemed bothered or concerned with his anger. If he was honest, that was the thing that pissed him off the most about her. While he was ready to punch something, she was always the picture of calm, never concerned with the fact that he was ready to break things after being in her presence for more than five minutes.

Finally, after five years of her passive-aggressive bullshit, we’re really going to have an honest argument.

Almost giddy with the fact that he’d seen a glimpse of actual emotion from the woman standing in front of him, he decided to keep pushing for more. He couldn’t really say why it was so important to him, but there was just something about the knowledge that he’d finally been able to make her lose her shit even in the slightest way, that made him feel like this was a win in his column.

“You made me look like a fucking fool,” he bellowed. He inched closer to her, stepping into her personal space. He pressed and pressed until she was backed up against the table. But even though he had her cornered, her shoulders were pulled back in defiance and holding her head up in that stubborn confidence that she kept in place no matter the circumstance.

“If you felt like a fool, it’s probably because you are. You’ve worked for Kenneth for five years now. This is not news to you, Quillen. You know damn well you can’t make a move without Kenneth or my say so. You were foolish for not setting things in proper order before you ever sat down to close that deal and you know it. Don’t try to blame the shit your arrogance got you into on me.”

She was standing there, hands on her hips, chest heaving, eyes wild looking like the perfect mix of anger and sensuality he’d ever seen. Before he could stop himself he looked down at that luscious mouth of hers and his dick jumped with excitement again, filling and thickening and pulling all of the blood flow from his brain.
That’s the only explanation he could think of for the words that fell out of his mouth next.
“You have the sexiest fucking mouth I’ve ever seen,” he growled. “It would look so much prettier stretched around my cock than spewing the venom you insist on spitting.”

He waited for the slap that he knew was coming. If he’d been on the receiving end of a statement like that he’d certainly have been looking to hit someone. But she didn’t hit him, even though she had every right to. Instead, she stepped closer into his space and spread those fuckable lips into the most alluring smile.

“If you think you’re man enough to get me to put my mouth to use like that, Quillen, then make me. Or are you just all talk?”
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos #3) by Shyla Colt
I press my foot on the gas and open up the engine of my Chevy Camaro. Black Betty growls. I weave through the cars on the highway; hell bent on reaching my hometown. Thoughts of my father swim in my mind. Is he still alive? Will he survive this? 
The years spent pulling all-nighters, partying hard, and taking on too much stress have finally gotten to him. They wheeled him into Mount St. Joseph hospital two hours ago. 
I made the drive from Santa Monica in under an hour, breaking laws and driving with the aggressive skills honed on the busy highways of California. The familiar landscape is nothing more than a blur. I’m going too fast, and my ability to focus is shot. All that matters is reaching San Mateo. I know how their hospital is going to play it. They’ll bust the club’s balls and tell them they can only let in and release information to the next of kin emergency contact. 

Despite the AC blowing from the vents, a fine sheen of sweat coats my body. My father is everything to me. Mother, Father, sister, brother, and extended family. I never knew my mother, and unlike many single fathers in our lifestyle, he never pawned me off on someone else. His philosophy is…we’re in it together. That means it was him and me against the world. 

And then I left. 

Guilt shreds me from the inside like poison tipped claws, releasing toxins into my bloodstream. I hit the brakes and skid into the parking lot, steering the car precariously into an open spot. I fumble with the seatbelt with clumsy fingers and shaky hands. I manage to remove the strap, stumble from the car and take a shaky breath. This wild-eyed, panicked persona won’t win me any points with the Kings, or help him. 

Knock it the fuck off, Dunn. Time to woman up. 

My heels clack against the blacktop as I walk through the rows of cars. I spot a line of parked motorcycles up front. My stomach drops, and I feel as if I’ve started the decent down a large hill. I run out of steam a few feet from the Harleys, faltering at the thought of facing their knowing eyes and censure. Everyone has an opinion about me and the way I handled things. I’m used to the malicious stares peppered in. It’s the silent accusations that kill me. At least I have the Grans. Grandpa and Grandma Dunn had accepted me and loved me with the single-minded-all-consuming-love that only grandparents are capable of. 

As I stare at the double doors, my past rushes up and consumes me. The loneliness, shame, self-loathing, are the bile creeping up the back of my throat. God hates me. I’ve suspected it from the minute I was old enough to realize how fucked up my living situation was. I didn’t let that stop me. I’m a part of Chaos. We don’t bitch and whine. We change what doesn’t work and keep it moving. It doesn’t matter if we’re dying inside. Maybe that’s why so many of us have a wicked vice of going a little mad. All that holding in emotions and pretending to be okay. Never mind the dirt, blood, and secrets that cover each and every one of us. We can pretend it’s a motorcycle club that loves to ride, but in the back of our minds, the reality is always there starring us in the face. It’s a fucked up thing when you see shit on the news and know the people you love caused it. The club has an ugly side and a hefty price tag. 

I didn’t want to pay the toll, so I left. There was no gain for me. Not when I was treated like a pariah. It wasn’t everyone, just a few. It was one too many. I know I shouldn’t’ have let it stop me. Nothing changes the fact that I ought to have been around more for Pops. 

Maybe this is my punishment for being a shitty daughter. 

A month after I broke my rule about mixing with the club, I’ve returned with no immediate exit strategy in sight. I’ve avoided this place like the plague for over ten years, and now I can’t get away. I’d do anything for my father. The man loved me and fought for me from the minute he knew I existed. It wasn’t easy being a single father in the club. When you add the fact that I represented everything some of the patch members were against, its miraculous I came out as well as I did. I think I was drawn to psychology because what I wanted most when I left San Mateo was answers. About myself, about the world I grew up in, and about people who blindly hate. 

I’ve learned a lot over the years, but the one thing I could never figure out was how to come home without feeling like I was compromising myself and undoing all the work I’d done. I grew up in the club, but I never felt like I belonged. It put a strain between me and my father. I regret my choices now, as I pray the cardiac arrest he went into doesn’t steal him from this world. I let it go too long. I knew better. No one understands better than I and my family, how fleeting life can be. My mind goes back to Psycho’s fucked up assassination, because truly that’s what it was. A senseless snuffing out of life. 

I give advice to people all day long, but I’m too chicken shit to face my demons. It’s ironic really. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t function in a non-dysfunctional manor, become psychologists. Or at least I had. It made me feel like a fraud. Tired of being help captive by the bonds of the past, I square my shoulders like a soldier going into battle, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I gave them the finger once and road off into the sunset with a full ride to college and plans for a good life. I won’t revert to the cowardice preteen now. 

With my spine rediscovered, I enter via the double doors with my head held high. The sight of all their cuts boasting the crowned kings makes me queasy. 

“Dixie Rose,” a voice booms. 

I glance up and spot Stone. 

“Where you been, girl? Get your ass over here, so we can find out how your daddy is doing,” Stone says. His voice is husky and his eyes are bloodshot. 

I scurry over. When this man says something, you immediately comply. “I’m sorry, I got here as soon as I could,” I say, glad to have my task clearly labeled. “What happened?” 

“One minute he was fine and the next, he was clutching his chest, and collapsing. His lips started turning blue. We managed to get an aspirin in him. I don’t know how much good it did.” Stone shakes his head. 

“Are the Grans here?” 

“No, they were out at the cabins. They’ll be pulling in soon.” 

I grip Stone’s arm and let him lead me to the nurse’s station. I cannot lose my dad. “He has to be fine, he’s too damn ornery to let this take him out,” I whisper. 

“His next of kin is here,” Stone says to the nurse at the desk. 

“I’d like to see some identification,” the dark haired nurse with the sever bun and dour facial expression says. 

I grit my teeth, used to the disbelief that comes from having dark skin, and a Caucasian father. I dig into the purse hanging at my side, pull out my Driver’s License and glare as she looks from my picture to the information they have on my father. “I see you are his emergency contact. You’re father suffered a cardiac arrest.” She nods her head. “Okay, Ms. Dunn. I’ll call the doctor in to speak with you.”

“No, you need to tell me something, now,” I say. 

“Ma’am, that’s against policy.” She glances over at Stone nervously. 

“No. You don’t look at him. You look at me. I’m the one you need to be worried about right now.” I lean over the desk. “These men are my family. Don’t let this face and these work clothes fool you. I want to know if my father is alive and I’m not going to wait for you to track down the doctor who’ll take his sweet time getting up here to tell me.” 

She clears her throat and shifts in her chair. “He is alive and stabilized, that’s all I can say.” 

“There…was that so hard?” I ask. 

She shakes her head. Her hazel eyes are full of disdain, anger and fear. 

I want to feel bad, but I don’t have it in me. From the minute I walked up, she judged me and gave me shit at the worst possible time. There were things I missed about this life, like getting straight to the point. There was no need for fake niceties. “You get all that, Stone?” I ask. 

“Yeah, I got it, baby girl. Let me go tell the others,” Stone replies. 

The mention of the others thrusts me back into icy waters. A chill rushes down my spine, and I can’t help but follow his journey with my gaze. I scan the crowd, searching for the one person I want to see the most, and the least at the same time. 

Leaning against the wall, he looks like a mythical being. The golden strands of his hair fall around his shoulders, and his muscles flex in his forearms. All he needs is a hammer, and he’d be Thor. 

His bright blue gaze collides with mine, and I’m lost. My heart bangs against my ribs like a prisoner rallying for freedom. Unable to move, I remain rooted like a tree grown up from the white and green tile floor. 
2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance, 2015 Swirl Awards Finalist in Romantic Suspense, LaQuette, a native of Brooklyn, New York, spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator. 

Writing–her escape from everyday madness–has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she’d forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. 
Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration. 

After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household. 

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.

 

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Blog Tour: Clearer in the Night by Rebecca Croteau

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Clearer in the Night  by Rebecca Croteau

Cait’s still reeling from her father and sister’s deaths when a werewolf bite changes her life forever. Two men seem frighteningly familiar with her condition and the world of magic she’s thrown into. Torn between sweet, too-hot-to-be-true Eli and dark, alluring Wes, Cait must choose sides… before it’s too late. Long version: Cait’s used to being an outsider. The odd girl out, the one with the alcoholic mother. The one whose sister and father died. The one who might just have telepathy. These things she could manage, could hide just enough to get by. Now a werewolf’s bite forced her outside the whole human race. Two men — the one night hook-up who shows up at her hospital bed, and the rescuer worker who may be following her — seem to know more about her condition than she doe … and about this strange world of magic she’s pulled into. As Cait plunges into this darker reality, painful secrets of her past are churned up and she’s forced to confront her new identity. Torn between the between the sweet and too-hot-to-be-true Eli and possessive, darkly sensual Wes, Cait must decide whom to trust and which side to choose… before it’s too late.

Purchase Links

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Google Play

Excerpt

This is what it’s like to be the odd girl out: you stand in a crowd, and everyone’s looking through you, past you, around you. Every smile you think is for you? It’s not. They don’t know you, they don’t know your story, but they can smell the curse on you, like a rotten perfume, and they know better than to brush up against you. Can’t risk it rubbing off on them. Of course, in a town like Meredith Falls, a small town that thought it was big, it could be that everyone here knew. That what they were laughing and whispering about was that girl, that Cait girl, didn’t you hear? Her father and sister were killed when she was nine years old, and now her mother’s a drunk and she’s a disaster. Don’t go close, you’ll get her on your shoes. But someone always came close. There was always someone willing to give it a shot, go for a spin, dare the roller coaster. Take a quick bump and grind in the darkest corners of a club, or an alley, or someone’s darkened bedroom, and then run back to their friends, laughing about how they made it with the town whore. Nah, that wasn’t fair. A whore charged. I was just fumbling after something that I wasn’t ever going to find, and reaching for something that approximated release in clumsy hands and whispered lies.

Author Rebecca Croteau

Author Rebecca Croteau

Author Bio

Rebecca, Ree to her friends, lives with her family in the wilds of New England. She is owned by two cats, and enjoys discovering the various ways that one can enjoy string. She is fueled by coffee, and strong autumn breezes.

Connect with Rebecca Croteau

Website: http://www.rebeccacroteau.com/

Tumblr: http://reecroteau.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: ReeCroteau

Google+: ReeCroteau

Twitter: @ReeCroteau

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Getting to know Noelle Black

Back in December I read a review of Noelle Black’s novella, Addicted Allison, and it intrigued me. It sounded exactly like my cuppa tea–a sexy story about a Black woman having an adventure and owning her sexuality. I tracked it down for my Kindle and I wasn’t disappointed. Once I finished reading it, I came into contact with Noelle Black, the talented author behind Addicted Allison, and convinced her to do an interview for my Getting to Know…series. So lean back, relax…and get to know Noelle Black.

Addicted_Allison_CoverWhat made you leave the US for Europe? Do you think you’ll stay in Europe or do you have plans of moving back to the US?

I left the US in 2006. My company had a contract position in the Greater London area. I applied for the position on a total whim, before then I didn’t have any intentions of leaving the US for more than 1 week at a time. Moving abroad permanently was so far from my mind but I ended up working in London for three years. When my contract was up, I wasn’t ready to move back to the States.
I appreciated the ease and affordability of travel in Europe as well as the work life balance. I was also deeply in love with a Scandinavian man at the time (my daughter’s father) and I didn’t want my time here to end. I made efforts to find a job in Europe and landed in Germany. I live in Berlin with my two-year-old daughter where I have a part- time job as a project manager and write in the evenings while she sleeps. I have no immediate plans on moving back to the States. I simply can’t hang with the standard two weeks vacation, paying for health care, relying on a vehicle and all the associate cost and the almost archaic parental benefits structure of a first world country. Germany is home for the foreseeable future.

How did you first begin writing Addicted Allison? Were you in a writers’ group or did you write on your own?

Totally wrote it on my own. I was inspired by the recent leaks celebrity nudes and the rise of revenge porn sites. I knew I wanted to write about a woman being slut shamed and being a victim of revenge porn, the story evolved from there. I gave myself a deadline as I wanted to have it on Amazon for Christmas. It took me a little more than 30 days to write it, despite laptop issues and a toddler who refused to go to bed at night. I would write from around 9 pm to 2 am each night. I had a good friend edit and proofread for me as well as check for inconsistencies in the story. I had another friend, give me pointers on self publishing and writing resources. I would have not completed the book with those two amazing women. They really encouraged me to finish.

One of the things that I loved about Addicted Allison was that so much of the story felt so authentic and reflected the realities of being a curvy black woman abroad. Did you use your own personal experiences as inspiration for Allison’s life?
Yes and no. Haha. I think when you write erotica, it is hard for people to separate your art and what they know of you personally as an individual. It is part of the reason why I write under a pen name, to isolate this brand from any other literature I have out there and as a figurative delineation.

Allison and I are similar in some ways and totally different in others. I am a full-figured natural Black woman who lives in Europe. I have had some amazing experiences with lovers while I traveled and her college relationship was very similar to my own. I have been in relationships with men who hid their love for fat women and some outright chubby chasers. I think I pulled so much from my personal life in the character development because I had limited time to complete the book. If I had more time I would have had the luxury of creating an entire universe totally different than my own. I didn’t have to research much because Allison and I share the same social position and are compared to the same standards of beauty and sexual expression as fat women of color.

I can say all the men in the book have been inspired by real life men. Stefano’s demeanor and ticks are based on a man I see fairly often. I would die if he knew what sexual proclivities I assigned him because I have no idea what he is into. I don’t even think of him in a sexual way! He is slight with freakishly small hands, but he has a certain swagger about him. Matthias is a culmination of men I have known/dated. I once was in love with a man who carried around the “shame” of adoring fat women like some sort of burden. He described breaking the news of his sexual preferences to his peers and family. He expected a sort of rejection and described it as living in the closet. I always found this peculiar, that he somehow thought loving a fat woman was more challenging than BEING an actual fat woman.

99cent_kindle_book

If Addicted Allison were a movie, who would be in your dream cast?
Well I would play Allison, cause I want to have play-sex with Alexander Skarsgård, who I think would be the perfect Matthias. I also can’t think of any Black, plus size actresses who sport natural hair. It was really important for me that she be the antithesis of every sexual being I have seen in pop culture so far. She isn’t a white virgin on the path to discovering her inner goddess. Allison is a powerful black woman with a head full of coils who discovered what she desired in and out of the bedroom a long time ago.

Which books are on your To Be Read List?
Would you judge me if I told you I am not that big of a reader? I used to be, before my kid. These days I enjoy quick reads and the occasional long read online. I enjoy anything about female empowerment and sexual agency. I have heard good things about a book by Kristin Newman titled What I Was doing While You Were Breeding. It combines sex and travel, two of my favorite hobbies. Then again I am tired of the same old Eat Pray Love narrative by privileged women talking about their freedoms that aren’t necessarily extended to me as a woman of color.

How would you describe your writing process? Are you very structured or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I am structured with a twist. I start with a general plot and then the outline. I write summaries of what I want to happen to the character or how I want the story to develop in each chapter. I then go back and fill it in, starting with the easiest bits for me to write first. I find writing conflict difficult because I want the dialog to be realistic, so I tend to write that last.
Writing the flashback of the man with the baggy condoms went really fast for me, just because I found it entertaining to write and I think everyone has a story or two about a guy who overestimated his own endowments.

What advice would you give to any novice writers who are interested in writing erotic romance or erotica?
It’s advice I need to follow, you definitely have to market your book and find a way to stick out. The market is so overly saturated with tons of books, I have no idea how many are published weekly on Amazon but I am sure it’s significant.

Find a mentor or writing coach, someone to encourage you or bat ideas back and forth.

Google is your friend, you don’t have to be a sex dynamo to write sex scenes, I’m not. I read lots of message boards and Cosmo articles as research for certain sex acts. Also sex is just a piece of your story. Lots of my reviewers comment on how the book is intelligently written and they appreciated the plot. Of course there are people who just want to read about T&A but I think there are also people who like a side of humor and brains with their smut.

Author Noelle Black

Author Noelle Black

When you were writing Addicted Allison, did you have a playlist of music to inspire you? Could you share it with us?

I listened to a lot of Thom Yorke, Radiohead, PJ Harvey and Bjork while I wrote the book.

What other books or projects have you got in the pipeline?

Keep in mind my pipeline is long. I have so many irons in the fire, I have no idea when projects will come out the other end. I have some Sci-Fi stories that I am working on, those will be full length novels. I really grand ideas that I am developing, I’m a pretty big geek at heart. I also have some other short story ideas about plus size cam girls that will have a tie in to Allison’s story. I hope to have a portfolio of books with plus size Black women as the main character.

You teased us with an open-ended ending to Addicted Allison. What’s next for Allison and her Swede?

I struggle between writing a happily ever after or dissolving the relationship and setting Allison on a new journey. I do not want to make interracial relationships glamorous or issue free, they aren’t. I also don’t want to make life in Europe look like it’s worry free, cause it isn’t. Relationships, regardless of the color/culture of the couple have both positive and negative dynamics.

To make our couple ride off into the sunset would be expected, on the other hand, to destroy a relationship that is hardly seen in mainstream culture (fat woman with conventionally attractive man or worldly Black American woman with a Swedish hottie) is kind of a crummy thing for me to do as an author. Why can’t fat black girls have nice things? I am very torn which only delays the progress of the book.

I can promise the second book will be longer than the first. Readers were a bit annoyed it was so short. I can guarantee that Alison will have more mind-blowing sex and more drama.

Also Matthias’s past is a bit dark which I hinted at in the first book. In his quest for fulfilling his desires, he ventured into some sketchy activities which when revealed to the reader may not sit well with them. He is a good guy at the end of the day, but “good guys” are still capable of doing selfish and sometimes hurtful things.

Addicted Allison is available exclusively for Kindle.

Connect with Noelle on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour: Love Undercover by Nana Prah

LoveUndercover_BannerLove Undercover by Nana Prah
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction (Sweet, Multicultural)
Publisher: Black Opal Books

NanaPrah_LoveUndercover_800Blurb

The last thing she expects is to fall in love with a prison guard…

Hotshot Secret Service Agent, Sarita Cerez is thrown into a medium security prison—for work. Her job is to protect the daughter of the president of South Korea. She never envisioned making friends with illegal immigrants or falling head over heels for one of the guards. Now the clandestine activity, which is integral to protecting her charge, may destroy her only chance at love.

He’s never fraternized with the inmates—until he met her…

Matthew Carter always plays by the rules, which includes maintaining a strictly professional relationship with the inmates in his charge. But when Sarita saunters onto the unit, all bets are off. Her status as a deportee with a permanent ticket to Columbia means they can never be together, but try as he might, this doesn’t stop him from risking his career for her.

He’s a man who values honesty above all else, and she lies for a living. Can two people from such different worlds find any common ground?

BookExcerpt

As inappropriate as the situation had turned out to be, Sarita was his. At least until she returned to Columbia in what? A few days? A week? No matter when, she would go. “No wife or girlfriend to hang out with.”

Her chest deflated with her released breath. He wished he could have taken her air into himself. I’m screwed. “What about you? Are you married or have a boyfriend waiting to break you out of here at the first opportunity?”

Her eyes blazed into his. “Single as single can be.”

The admission sparked something deep within him. He had to touch her. Nothing else mattered except having his fingers glide over her flawless mocha skin. The all-encompassing urge pushed him to stand.

With a controlled effort he strode to the area across from the television and leaned against the wall.

On every unit, one spot existed where neither the cameras nor inmates could see. Management knew about it, but the cost of adding a third camera would be too expensive for the facility to contemplate so they left it. At least that’s the story Matt had been told.

He’d never used the spot, but as he waited for her to join him, he couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

He motioned her to him with a crook of his index finger. “Come here.”

Playlist

Love Undercover Playlist

I’m not one of those authors who listens to music while writing. I do enjoy putting a song or two into my novels. With Love Undercover I added a good one, at least in my opinion. The song was connected to the movie the inmates were watching during one of their recreational times out of the cell, “A Bronx Tale.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. The song I used was “I Only Have Eyes for You.” The romance in the movie was restricted, just like it was for Sarita and Matt.

Sarita wanted me to set in slow motion in her imagination as the music played on the television around the corner in the rec room. Here is the scene and music from the movie. I hope you enjoy it.

TopTen

Top 10 real life experiences in Love Undercover

One thing that many people don’t know is that Love Undercover is a romance based on an experience I had. Not the romance part, but the jail aspect. Without further delay I’d like to present 10 things that happen in Love Undercover that actually happened to me.

  1. My first cellmate was awesome. We would laugh all the freaking time. We had similar personalities and loved to have fun. She was a bisexual, but didn’t fancy me. I’m a heterosexual, but I was like why not? Still laughing about that.
  2. I butchered my eyebrows by attempting to shape them with thread. It was hilarious– even to me
  3. I was strip searched after having a visit. (It was not fun in the least.)
  4. There were some hot guards in that prison. But unfortunately I had no romantic liaisons with any of them (damn).
  5. Many of the detainees stories in the book are true. I’ve dramatized them just a tad.
  6. Most of what happened to one of the characters in the novel is what I went through, only I’ve never had a boob job (darn it).
  7. Sarita and I had the same second cellmate, only there was no fight in real life. The devil part is true, though–very scary.
  8. The library was awesome. No covert operations for me, even though it does happen in the system.
  9. We baked a cake. To this day I still find it weird, but it’s true.
  10. To the best of my knowledge there was no blind spot at the prison I was detained at. That came from my imagination so I could get some intimate scenes in there for Sarita and Matt.

So there you have it. If you have any questions on what else is true in Love Undercover once you read it, just contact me and I’ll let you know.

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All Romance 
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AuthorBioAbout the author

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

Contact details
Blog: http://nanaprah.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NanaPrah
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NanaPrah.Author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7202262.Nana_Prah
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NanaPrah/posts
Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/NanaPrah

GiveawayNana is giving away a $44 Amazon or Smashwords Gift Card

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My Review

Nana Prah’s Love Undercover is a love story with a twist. She’s a Secret Service agent undercover in a women’s detention center for immigration deportees; he’s the prison guard there to keep things under control. Neither of them expects to be attracted to one another–especially with a love this forbidden.

It’s an interesting scenario–it’s not often that you get a chance to read a love story set in a prison and what makes Love Undercover so unique is how Prah weaves into her story the stories of Sarita’s cellmates. I’m usually not the sort of reader who is interested in prison stories, but Love Undercover handles the subject in a distinct way, without glorifying or oversentimentalizing the reasons why Sarita’s fellow prisoners are incarcerated. Kudos to Nana Prah for taking on such a loaded topic and venue.

I really liked how Prah developed Sarita and Matthew’s romance and how she handled the subplots–the reason Sarita was there (her undercover assignment), the relationship she forges with the other detainees… Though this is marketed as a sweet romance, there are a few sensual moments which add to Matt and Sarita’s love story and show their feelings for one another deepening.

An unexpected venue, forbidden love, a hot topic with illegal immigration and politics: another winner from Nana Prah! 🙂

Book Release Blitz: Scores by Kiru Taye

 

Title: Scores
Series: Passion Shields, Book 3
Previous books: Scars and Secrets
Genre: Interracial, Erotic, Contemporary,
Romance
Content Warning: Strong language, Mild
violence, Menage (MFM), BDSM, Public Exhibition

Blurb

In this dramatic conclusion to Benjamin and Selina Moss’s story they must deal
with lust and love, dark desires and danger.
His love possesses her. Will it protect her too?
Benjamin Moss has proven how much he cares about his wife, Selina. She pushed him to
shred his iron control and bare his soul to her. In return he’s earned her much
guarded heart as well as her body.

But her past has finally caught up with her and scores will have to be settled
before they can have a happy ending. Can Benjamin’s love protect her from those
who seek to destroy both of them? Or will she finally lose the man who’s
possessed her body as well as her heart

Teasers

Excerpt

“I know Selina can be stubborn,” Chris said after moments of silence while the men drank. “But is she refusing to take the bracelet back?”
“No. She wants it. But I can’t give it back to her until she knows everything about my past. I can’t trust that she won’t throw it at me when she finds out what my life was really like.” Ben sighed, giving in briefly to the fear of what it would do to his heart if she spurned him again.
“I don’t blame you,” Kenny said, sympathy lacing his words.
“Shit,” Chris muttered under his breath.
His friends understood his predicament. They were dominant men. Although Chris wasn’t in a committed relationship, he had dated Selina before Benjamin met her. Kenny on the other hand had been married once. Still, they both understood his need for Selina, his overwhelming desire to have her submission.
She was a beam of light shining on the darkness that had lived in his soul since he was a teenager. He loved her. Wanted to possess her like no one ever did.
As a man who made a living from protecting others, no one drew out his protective instincts like Selina did. And he would make sure she was protected no matter the cost to him. If it meant taking down Tony Kana, he would do it in a
heartbeat.
“I want to know everything Tony Kana does from now on. If he as much as sneezes, I want to hear about it.” Ben tossed the rest of his drink down his throat as the need to be with his wife overwhelmed him. He stood and headed toward the
door.
“You’ve got it.” Kenny nodded as he stood too.
“Thank you,” Ben said before punching the button to call the elevator.  Chris stepped inside with him when the door
opened.
“Why are you so bent on tracking this guy?” his best friend asked. “Is there something I should know?” Ben had
asked Kenny, who had contacts in West Africa, to help him find Tony Kana but he’d never really explained to his friends why.
“Kana is Selina’s ex-husband,” he said in a matter of fact tone.
“And?” His friend understood him too well.
“He’s the reason she has body issues.”
“Body issues?” Chris’s face puckered in a frown.
“When you dated her, did you ever get to see her full unclothed?”
His friend’s dark brows drew together. “No. She always insisted on having those corsets on. They were damn sexy so I never minded. Although once I walked into the bathroom while she was in the shower and she nearly screamed the place
down because she wanted me to get out.”
Benjamin closed his eyes and sucked in a breath to stave off his rising anger. “Her abdomen is covered in scars. Someone cut her up pretty badly.”
“Kana?” Chris growled the question.
“No.” Ben opened his eyes and stared at his friend. He could see his anger reflected in his friend’s eyes. “But he might as well have wielded the knife himself. He handed Selina over to the militia who wanted to use her as a sex slave. She fought back and they mutilated her for disobedience.”
“And all you want to do is watch this guy? I want to put a bullet right between his eyes.”
“Selina doesn’t want any more bloodshed. I have to respect her wishes. Doesn’t mean I can’t take the guy down another way.”
“Right.” Chris nodded. “He has to pay.”
“Oh, he’s going to pay. No doubt about that.”
They entered the bar and loud music erased the need for further conversation.

 

Buy Links

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/scores-by-kiru-taye/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Scores-Passion-Shields-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00PWN3CRI/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scores-Passion-Shields-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00PWN3CRI/
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-scores-1683934-147.html
Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/scores

 

Previous Books

Scars, Passion Shields book 1

Book Sale
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Secrets, Passion Shields book 2

 

 

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Cover Reveal: Black Soul by Kiru Taye

Title: Black Soul
Series: Black Warriors, Prequel
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Cover Artist: Love Bites and Silk
Publication date: October 30
Add to Goodreads

 

He will damn his soul to set hers free.

When workaholic high-flying career lawyer Tara Woji takes a well deserved break and meets up with old friends she doesn’t realise the danger lurking in the shadows for her. M’na is a chi, a gatekeeper whose duty is to protect the humans. Tara is his assignment. As the shadows deepen and darkness comes to claim her, he will do whatever it takes to protect her including doing the one thing that releases her powers – unbinding her heart.

 

 

 

Prologue

 

M’na lounged in the worn foam armchair, thighs apart, legs stretched out, right hand clutching a short tumbler of whisky. Lord of the Ring posters covered up blue paint peeling off the brick walls.

Ironic really, the first time he was going to have sex in a millennium and he’d chosen a demon, with a love for fantasy movies, who lived in a part of the city that could’ve been Mordor.

Desperation flowed in his veins, making him feverish. Sweat dripped down his face. His t-shirt clung to his back, a second skin. He tightened his grip on the glass to stop his hand from shaking and lifted it to his lips.

The strong liquor burned his throat as he tossed the whole shot down. Thumped the glass back onto the small table and refilled it from the bottle.

One of the advantages, or disadvantages depending on how one chose to look at it, of being a super, alcohol had no effect in normal quantities.

But he liked the sting of whisky at the back of his throat and in his chest. It made him feel alive. Something he hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Shame it couldn’t numb the pain searing his soul, his constant companion.

Copyright Kiru Taye 2014

 

 You can reach Kiru via

Twitter: @KiruTaye

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Blog Tour: Keeping Secrets by Kiru Taye

Keeping Secrets by Kiru Taye
Contemporary Romance

BOOK
BLURB

Have you ever loved someone and didn’t even know it?

That’s the dilemma facing Felix Essien when he wakes from a coma to find he is married to the most beautiful and sensual woman he’s ever known. He cannot remember her or their wedding; he who had sworn never to get married or to give his heart to another. Yet, he feels an intense bond with her that he intends to explore fully.


Ebony can’t believe her good fortune when her paper husband wakes not remembering the temporary marriage arrangement with no intimacies he’d proposed, and is now the adoring husband she’s always dreamt of.


She plans to make the most of the passion blossoming between them. However, would he still feel that way when he regains his memory and realises she’s been keeping secrets and their marriage is not what he thinks it is?

Keeping Secrets Playlist
 
 
Top Ten Facts About The Main Characters

 

 

So many unanswered questions. They wouldn’t all be answered today.
“What are you doing here?” He’d ordered her to take the day off. So had his father.
“I know what you and Daddy said.” She looked away from him. “I met up with my
friend for lunch and I enjoyed being pampered at the spa. But I’ve been here
every day since you’ve been hospitalised and it felt strange not seeing you.”
“But the chair…you shouldn’t sleep in it.”
Shoulders rose and fell as she looked up at him through her long, dark lashes.
“When I arrived, you were asleep, so I decided to read. I didn’t realise I was so
tired. I just drifted to sleep.” She bit her bottom lip, drawing his attention
to it.
The need to kiss her overpowered him. On impulse, he settled a hand on her back,
pulling her close. With the other, he lifted her chin and lowered his head to
meet hers.
Muscles on her back tensed. He massaged her skin like he would a skittish horse before
a game of polo. With gentle brushes, he swept his lips across hers. The sealed,
luscious pair called him to mine their depths. Instead, he coaxed and stroked
and traced them with his tongue from one end to the other, bidding his time.
He’d caught a glimpse of her banked passion yesterday when he asked about their
wedding night. No matter what else went on, they desired each other. Mutual
attraction.
With a low moan, she leaned in and opened for him. As he slipped in, her sweet flavour exploded on his tongue.
She tasted of peppermint and vanilla. In the recesses of his mind, the kiss registered. He’d
done this before. Tasted her.
A groan rumbled within and he slid his hands around her waist and lifted her onto
his lap so that she straddled him.
Whimpering, she rubbed against him, hips canting against hips, supple breasts crushed to
his chest.
Needing intimate contact, he ran a palm over her side, skimming the swell of soft
breasts down to the hem of her tunic. He lifted it, his hand making contact
with smooth, warm skin. Another moan escaped her lips. He swallowed it, loving
her sound and taste. Moving his hand up till it reached her breast, he caressed
it through the lace of her bra, flicking the already taut nipple with his
thumb. 
In response, she ground against his bulge.
Sweet fuck!
 
 
Coming to Barnes & Noble soon
A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket
with a torch at night. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s
still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book. 
During
the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual,
atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or
travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and
children.
You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest
Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website: http://www.kirutaye.com
Link to her Amazon author page

 

To celebrate the release of Keeping Secrets, Kiru is giving away a goodie pack which
includes $20 Amazon gift card, signed paperback of An Engagement Challenge,
Keeping Secrets t-shirt and face cap.
Leave me a comment to stand a chance of winning and complete the rafflecopter to enter
the contest.

 

Blog Tour: Zack Love’s The Doorman and City Solipsism

Book Blitz Banner The Doorman Cover Synopsis

Alex seems to have it all: a great penthouse apartment, a lovely girlfriend, and a prestigious Wall Street job. But below the surface he is sure of nothing but his angst-ridden doubts. And when he realizes that his doorman may be God, or sent by God, he will question things like never before.

This novelette is a story of New York doormen, tormented love, empty office life, and the theological questions that arise in response to the horrors of evil.

City Solipsism Cover Synopsis

Have you ever been on a train, bus, metro/subway — or any other shared space with strangers — and started to wonder what that person right next to you is thinking? Did you ever start to think or hope that maybe your temporary neighbor was somehow sharing your thoughts and/or desires? Ever sensed some sort of romantic connection or sexual tension and wished you could get into the individual’s head, to know for sure?

“City Solipsism” will take you on a journey into the mind of one commuter on a New York City subway car, riding next to and thinking about a person standing awkwardly close…The man and woman are total strangers but their proximity is almost intimate, as their hands share the same metal subway pole…

NOTE: Readers seeking the over-top-hilarity of “Sex in the Title” should know that “City Solipsism” is written in a very different style. Rather than a comedic series of misadventures in New York, this short story takes more of a philosophical and psychological walk through the mind of one New Yorker observing and speculating about another.

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CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

AMAZON * AMAZON CA * AMAZON UK

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THE DOORMAN

AMAZON * AMAZON CA * AMAZON UK

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CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

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MeetTheAuthor

Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter / Sex in the Title Facebook

Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he tried to create a bachelor’s degree in Women. With the bachelor portion of that degree in hand, he settled in New York City but – to afford renting his bed-sized studio – found himself flirting mostly with a computer screen and stacks of documents. Determined not to die a corporate drone, Zack decided to sacrifice sleep for screenwriting, an active social life, and Internet startups offering temporary billion-dollar fantasies.

To feed his steady diet of NYC nightlife, he regularly crashed VIP parties in the early 2000s and twice bumped into his burgeoning crush, a Hollywood starlet. But – much to Zack’s surprise – neither of those awkward conversations led to marriage with the A-list actress. Zack eventually consoled himself by imagining fiascos far worse than those involving his celebrity crush. In the process, he dreamed up a motley gang of five men inspired by some of his college friends and quirky work colleagues. And thus was born Sex in the Title. But the novel is not autobiographical: Zack never had his third leg attacked by any mammal (nor by any plant, for that matter). In fact, keeping his member safe has been one of Zack’s lifelong goals – and one of the few that he’s managed to accomplish.

Excerpt

THE DOORMAN

During my first year at 777 Fifth Avenue, I came to realize that Lenny had never made a false prediction or failed to supply the correct answer to a question, no matter what the subject. He wasn’t just a handyman who could fix a twitching toilet or stubborn sink; he could look at his watch while taking you down in the elevator and accurately estimate the number of minutes before a downpour would start or a cab would show up outside. He could tell you the corner where the scent of fresh lox and bagels mixed just right with the scent of the neighboring Laundromat; he knew the best place to buy your curtains or cut your hair or get your suits dry-cleaned; and he knew every phone number you needed, like the yellow pages on two short legs. He was a pipe-smoking almanac, energetically rattling off any fact about the world. “Bhutan’s current population? Let me see,” he would say, looking up for a moment before launching into his usual light-speed speech, “2,047,453. But seven more were just born yesterday, so it’s at 2,047,460 now.” Of course, I couldn’t verify such a preposterously precise claim, but he was always right about everything else, so I was inclined to believe him. He could tend to any wound or malady, as though he had perfectly mastered the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, and his advice always seemed more effective than any doctor recommendation I obtained. And despite the swiftness of his incessant chatter, there wasn’t a word he uttered without gentle passion and infectious enthusiasm. And so he would engage you in some topic you never imagined could interest you for more than a polite minute – the history of vacuum cleaners, or the different flavors of ice cream in China, or the intricate ways of the delicate blue ball turning third in line from the sun. The elevator ride would be over but you’d still be listening until someone else called the elevator or Lenny jokingly reminded you that you had originally entered the elevator with a look of great purpose. Mercifully enough, Lenny always kept it brief in the mornings, knowing that I had to be at work by 8:30 a.m.

At one point, I began to think that I had a divine doorman. Lenny was the most unlikely incarnation of God I could imagine, and yet I kept drifting irresistibly towards this absurd conclusion. Despite my staunchly atheistic inclinations, I couldn’t explain Lenny any other way. But eventually I came to my senses and realized that he was just one of those game show freaks with an encyclopedic memory. That didn’t make him God, did it? Would God proclaim so regularly how much he likes Patsy’s Pizza?

Excerpt

CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

The pages of my calendar flip by faster each year as the bewildering march of time presses forward through alarm clock blues, dinners at the office, and “free time” planned away – in the same way – month after month. As I stand on the same subway platform, waiting for the same local train, I think to myself how youth is marked by a breathtaking novelty that diminishes with each year of age – until life becomes a delusive struggle to break routines, escape the ordinary, and rediscover the joy of discovery.

“What does it take now – as a ‘grown-up’- to make a month memorable?” I wonder. “How do you make treading the treadmill feel like trailblazing a trail? What would make this morning any more remarkable than any other morning?”

And then I notice someone who doesn’t look quite so beleaguered by it all. She’s a woman in her early-twenties with features that hail from either Italy or Spain – I can’t be sure because it’s been about six years since I played my guitar for coins across Europe (and even then, I wasn’t great at differentiating Italians from Spaniards).

Summer sticks to her skirt sumptuously, in the shiny gray fabric hanging loosely from her curves. Her chestnut eyes, apparently hidden from strangers; her simple but graceful face, unpainted by Madison Avenue; and her straight black hair, parted down the middle without ego, all suggest a minimalist – almost pastoral – beauty that is oddly discordant with her fashionable attire, comfortable indifference to the crowds, and quasi-attentive perusal of the Time magazine unfolded over her hand.

I don’t know her name and I’m sure that I’ve never seen her before, but there is something familiar about her. She seems to have this schizophrenically interested or curious look that reminds me of the female shoppers I once observed in a busy Florentine marketplace. The young Italian women in that spice-filled outdoor market, buying their extra virgin olive oil and red ripe tomatoes, seemed flirtatious in their enjoyment of the young men eyeing them, yet guardedly guilt-ridden about any deviations from a properly Catholic day of shopping. And here in our subway car, the way in which this bucolic belle’s eyes occasionally seem undecided between the text of her magazine and the people standing around her makes me wonder how those Florentine shoppers would look if their daily routine were transformed from an outdoor Tuscan shopping spree to an indoor New York subway ride. Would they all look at the magazines in their hands more or less than this woman two feet away from me does?

At the risk of fetishizing an unsuspecting subway rider, I’m going to call her “Florence.” The name of that city evokes in me so many magical memories that I’ll call her “Florence” even though the vestiges of my origin-detection skills insist that her roots might actually be Spanish. Calling her “Madrid” just wouldn’t sound as good, and admitting my uncertainty by calling her “Southern Europe” would sound even worse. So she’ll be Florence for now.

Teaser

The Doorman Teaser 1

The Doorman Teaser 2

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