Today is the release day for my latest Regency comedy novella, Gifts Gone Astray.
A gift is a wonderful surprise. Or maybe not.
At the Earl of Langley's family gathering, everyone receives a gift, including the servants. Tutor Stephen Fairfax expects a small token, but the present from family member Mrs. Anne Copely, the widow who's caught his eye, is a dream come true.
Until he opens it. What a gift! How did that demure lady acquire such a book? And she wants to "study" it with him? If he accepts her offer, tempting as it is, he could lose his job.
Anne has no idea why Mr. Fairfax is in such a flutter. Her present is a simple book of illustrations. The subject interests them both, and she would like nothing better than to examine the book--and Mr. Fairfax--more closely.
She glanced at the mantel clock. "Oh, look at the time! I must return to the drawing room. So much to do before the family party tonight. But, before I leave..." She swallowed. "We had some trouble with the gifts today. Yours went missing. I apologize—"
"But I received a gift. Someone left it outside my door."
"Thank the stars." She pressed her hand to her bosom.
Stephen's gaze followed her hand down and his throat dried.
"I worried your present was lost."
She worried about me. Capital! He tore his eager gaze from her breasts and lifted his head. "I have not yet unwrapped it. A book, I take it?"
"Yes. The volume belonged to my husband. He was a scholar, and that book was one of his favorites. Mine, too. We spent many happy hours enjoying it." Another dazzling smile curved her lips. "I selected it with you in mind."
His pulse thumped. I have a chance. "You flatter me with your consideration."
"My pleasure." She flashed another of her heart-stopping smiles. "As much as I long to, I will not ruin the surprise by telling you what the book is." She smoothed her face into a blank stare, but her glorious chocolate eyes twinkled.
So, she wanted to play games. He gave an inward smirk. He would love to play games of a different sort. But he would settle for a guessing game. For now.
The Wild Rose Press
Note, depending where you are, the links might not yet be active.
Thank you all,
Welcome to My World of Historical Hilarity!
Today my lesbian threesome short "Waxing is for Pussies" is being re-released by the awesome loveyoudivine Alterotica, my home for queer and kinky books. This funny, fetishy story was originally published by Torquere Press. Now you can get it from lyd, All Romance ebooks, and many other retailers!
Waxing is for PussiesBy: Giselle Renarde | Other books by Giselle Renarde
Published By: loveyoudivine
Published: Jun 23, 2011
ISBN # 5057_1051Word Count: 6,575
Heat IndexClaire is a butch dyke who doesn't go in for all the "girly" stuff. Her girlfriend Billie works at a salon, joyfully painting nails all day. When Billie takes up hot waxing, she asks Claire to be her test subject. She also asks her salon buddy Soo Jin to give her hand. How will Claire and Billie react when Soo Jin takes the request for help as an invitation to play?Excerpt:
“Have you ever had a bikini wax?” Billie asked as she ate.
I laughed. “Do I look like someone who gets waxed?”
With a shrug, she said, “I don’t know. You got a pedicure once.”
“From you,” I added as she lifted a piece of sushi saturated in soy
sauce to her mouth. “I just wanted to meet you. Every time I tried to
say hi on the street, I chickened out. I get nervous talking to
Billie smiled as she chewed. “Want one?”
I waved away the sushi. “Nah, I already ate, but thanks.”
Shaking her pretty head, she leaned forward to kiss my cheek. I knew
she’d have left a big red lipstick stain in her wake, but I left it for
the moment. “Not sushi, sweety.” She cooed like a crafty little dove. “A
bikini wax. Want one?”
Without meaning to, I laughed out loud. There were so many reasons to
say no, I didn’t know where to begin. “What, you mean at the salon?
Because I’m pretty sure your boss just banned me for life.”
“We could do it after hours,” she said with a sneaky grin. “I’m a key holder.”
What other excuses could I come up with? “I’ve heard it hurts like hell.”
“Oh, don’t give me that.” She spread some wasabi on her sushi and topped
it with pickled ginger before setting it in a pool of soy sauce. “You
have how many tattoos? I think you can handle a little hot wax.”
She sure wasn’t making it easy for me to resist the call of the wax. I
tried to think up a better excuse than, “I’m a pussy and I can’t take
the pain,” but it wasn’t happening.
“Besides,” she went on, “I think you’d taste great bare. My lips would
like it.” When she winked at me, my jaw swung open. Hell, yeah! My lips
would like it too! “And—who knows?—you might just enjoy the process.”
Rising from the footstool, she pulled down on the hem of the black
cotton dress that served as her uniform. The one last piece of sushi,
she left in front of me in its plastic box. I stared at it in displaced
awe. After tiptoeing to the door, she turned around and said, “Come down
after hours. We’ll have a good time.”
Canada just got hotter!
Rob Healy has everything he wants, or will have once he’s built his new resort on a small island in the Pacific. A woman in his life isn’t planned at the moment, but when he sees Cassandra Kearns in the foyer looking stiff and out of place amongst the holiday makers his interest is spiked. What is a beautiful woman doing wearing a business suit and holding a laptop doing on an island resort, especially when there are no conferences booked that week?
Cassandra Kearns is fleeing New York and all that makes her comfortable for two idyllic weeks in the tropics. She’s stressed, overtired and close to breaking point. Her divorce is finalised, her daughter is grown and she’s realising that she’s on her own and dare she say it - lonely.
She needs to take some time and recharge her batteries. But how is she to do that? She’s worked 24/7 for years. Does she know how to have fun?
When Cassandra meets Rob she rejects the spark of attraction she feels. A man in her life, after the betrayal of Oliver? She’d rather eat broken glass!
Yet Rob is persistent, he’s funny and he’s gorgeous, but what exactly does he want?
The music changed to a faster tempo and some of the couples got up to dance. Rob got them another bottle of wine and refilled her glass. Cassandra studied him as he secured the bottle back in the sand. Had she ever met such a man as him before? Yes, he was attractive, but he had something else that drew not only her attention, but the stares of other women around him.
There was magnetic quality about Rob, a mixture of a devil-may-care attitude and an inner strength of purpose which fascinated her. Desire grew inside her, igniting, and she felt a delicious heat in the pit of her stomach. It had been so long since she'd throbbed in need for a man’s body.
Reggae thumped out of the speakers. Rob stood and held out his hand. “Come on, let’s dance.”
“Really?” She stared, as he helped her to her feet. “You dance?”
“Don’t you?” He led her closer to the fire.
“I haven’t for a long time, and the men I know never dance, at least not to this type of music.”
He didn’t answer her as the music was turned up, and the Jamaican rhythm of steel drums and a Caribbean voice urged them to let themselves go.
Fired by the wine, the heat of the fire, and the music filling her senses, Cassandra was transported to another world, one full of sensual stimulus, of earthy primal urges: to eat, to frolic, to cavort. Nature’s way was very powerful, and she didn’t fight against it.
She raised her arms and swung her hips, dancing as she hadn’t done for a very long time. Laughing, Rob twirled her under his arm. The flames reflected off her gold shimmering dress. All the guests were dancing now, the music infectious, the atmosphere festive. Everyone seemed to just want to have fun, forget their problems and dance.
Cassandra squealed as Rob lifted her off her feet and spun her around. He stepped aside, grinning as a guy in his twenties came up to her and did a bit of dirty dancing with her, grinding his pelvis against hers, and she threw her head back and laughed. She felt young and completely alive. Within moments, he’d gone on to another woman, a young twenty something wearing hardly anything at all. The people around her were happy, and it had been forever since she'd felt this way.
The music changed to Salsa, and Rob took her in his arms and pulled her against him. Sexual need lit his blue eyes. He hungered for her. Her skin heated, longing for his touch.
Her smile melted away as the length of his body moved as one with hers, their steps not perfect, but instinctive, powerful. His shoulders muscles bunched beneath her hands. She ran her fingers down his back, and he tightened his hold even further.
They were locked in a dance as sexy and sensual as actually making love. Rob’s eyes never left hers, his mouth only inches from her touch. His hands cupped her hips, guiding them against his own. She shimmied, turned and, with her back to him, danced in a way she’d never done before. Every provocative movement was a gesture of intimacy, of want, of promise. Through music, their bodies touched, sending silent messages to one another. Rob flipped her around to face him again and slipped his thigh between hers. His hands slid down over her bottom, and she gasped at the ache throbbing inside her.
The music changed again, back to a pumping beat. Rob slowly released her, and she regained some of her sense and took a step back. Shocked at her wanton behaviour, her smile was perfunctory.
God, she hoped she hadn’t humiliated herself. She desperately wanted to sit down. What had gotten into her? She turned away from the bonfire and wandered away from the other dancers. Rob kept pace with her.
“Would you like to go for a walk up the beach?”
“No!” She jumped at the harshness of her refusal. “I mean no, sorry, thank you. I think it is time I went back to the beach house.” She gathered up her purse and shoes from the blanket, refusing to make eye contact.
“Please, Rob. I must go. Thank you for tonight. I had a great time.” She flashed him a tortured look, silently begging him not to say or do anything else. “Good night.”
As fast as she could run in the soft sand, she left the beach and headed up to the steps to the path. “What a mess,” she cried. Not bothering to put her heels back on, she ran along the shadowy path, away from Rob—wishing she could run away from the feeling he brought out in her, too.
Buy from Museit Up Publishing
Just released June 14, 2011.
I am excited to announce that the sequel to my Prism 2010 Award winning and EPIC Award 2010 Finalist erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With A Witch is now available. That's A Familiar Tangle With Hell that can be found at Phaze Books . Sexy, with the witch and her hot as hell demon lover and Familiar, Charun, from Being Familiar With a Witch, there's still the elements of an urban fantasy.
Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—well, as normal as it could be for an immortal Witch and her demon Familiar. Except there was another prophesy, one that laid claim that if Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it.
When Tina is stolen away, Charun, along with Jacokb the archangel, must race against time into the bowels of Hell to rescue her. But with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?
It was a year and almost two months since she had agreed to her powers and became immortal. Though she , deep inside she still felt insecure. Lying awake besides Charun at night as he slept, she would stare up wore a grin on her face as she and Charun fought demons and other supernaturals bent on harming humankindat the ceiling. She couldn’t see as she never turned on the light, but with the help of her vivid imagination, she pierced the darkness and saw her fear hovering above her, laughing. Fear had the same shape it had for years, a monstrous thing with sharp claws, fangs and a dense hulk. It was the creature that hid in her closet and waited under her bed when she was a kid, taunting her and always trying to trip her and drag her to its breast. Her father always came in when she screamed and looked under the bed and peered in the closet to prove to her that there were no monsters. When he left, she huddled under her blanket and prayed that Fear would not come out and grab her. She never outgrew either. When she was a teenager, her parents took her to a psychiatrist for help. It took a year of therapy to erase the horrors, but finding that monsters were real when Charun came into her life brought it all back.
Just because she was now a grownup with super powers, that didn’t mean that her vision of fear had left. In fact, it had intensified. Even now, she swore she saw it watching her with hunger in its eyes from a corner in the living room, snickering. It wanted a taste of her. Drool rolled out of it maw. She knew it wanted to feast on her so-called bravery. And the scary part that frightened her about fear? It looked like that Lovecraftian thing Lucifer became just as she woke up from her last nightmare when this all started. Had she psychically known the truth about her future?
She blinked, and looked up to see Charun hovering over her, concern in his eyes.
Had I zoned out?
She had hidden her fears from him, not wanting to let him know how scared she could be sometimes. This time though, he’d caught her in the act. She needed to make sure he didn’t sense the anxious little kid that lived beneath her flesh.
“Sorry, Charun, I got to thinking about something.”
“Are you scared?” he demanded. “Worried that I can’t take care of you? Protect you?”
She unfurled her legs and stood up, hooking her hand around his neck. She stared up into his eyes. “No, I believe you can do anything, lover. Anything. It’s just, well, oh, I don’t know!” She walked away from him and headed to the kitchen.
He followed her, stopping behind her as she rustled inside a cabinet. “Where the hell is that…? Ah, here it is.” She withdrew a bottle of Scotch, uncapped it, and took a swallow. It did a slow burn down her throat and not prepared, she coughed hard and almost choked. Charun slapped her on the back a couple of times and then took her into his arms, seizing the bottle and setting it on the counter. She pushed her face against his warmth.
“There, there, babe.”
No longer wanting to be brave, Tina began to cry. “Charun, I’m so frightened. I know you will do anything to protect me, but damn, he’s the big devil down in Hell—right? He can do anything to you, anything at all. That’s what alarms me even more than him capturing me, raping me, and putting some hell spawn inside me. The terrible fear that he could end your existence.”
She twisted around and looked up at him, the tears blurring the sight of his face. She blinked them away. Even through the wetness, he looked so sexy, so to die for.
“And don’t tell me that he can’t destroy you, Charun. Being head honcho of Hell and a former Angel to boot, I know he can. I couldn’t handle that. I don’t want to lose you.”
He kissed her face, licking at the tear stains. “You won’t. You’re a part of me, just as I am a part of you. Nothing dares to tear us in half.” He cupped her chin and tipped her head up. Bending over, he captured her lips, his tongue thrusting past her lips. Tina answered him, eager.
He tasted like comfort food. Like the cheesy tuna casserole they had for lunch earlier. He was her comfort food. She could live without the tuna casserole, without chocolate, spaghetti, and many other things, but she couldn’t do without him in her life. And she would be damned if she’d let anyone hurt the demon she loved, let that bastard Lucifer destroy him. She’d damn that creepy being first.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her version of fear slink away like a whipped dog, fading into the walls. For now, it was gone.
A Familiar Tangle With Hell
available now at http://www.phaze.com/book.php?title=A+Familiar+Tangle+With+Hell
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Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan's aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.
I'm so excited to announce I have a new book out with Ellora's Cave called PIRATE'S WOMAN. It's hot, sexy and has a hero you're going to absolutely fall in love with!
I have to admit I usually ignore those themed calls for submissions - you know the ones where the publishers will ask for stories about firemen, or lifeguards, or men who dress up in chicken costumes (okay, I made that one up!). I usually ignore those calls for submissions because I'm not an author who can easily write to a particular theme - mainly because I tend to write whatever story grabs me, which doesn't always fit the theme (okay, it never fits the theme). And by the time I come up with a story idea that does fit the theme, it's past the deadline. But that all changed with the pirate-themed Ahoy! books from Ellora's Cave. The moment I read about it, I immediately came up with a story, mostly because I've always thought pirates are so damn sexy! Blame it on all those historical romances I read as a teen. There was nothing hotter than a big, strong handsome pirate falling for the feisty woman he either kidnapped, rescued or whatever. LOL!
But while my experience with pirates was in the historical genre, I didn't want to write an historical. Instead, I wanted to do sci-fi. And I wanted it to be hot! So, I came up with a story about a beautiful woman named Teyla who agrees to let the sinfully handsome pirate Slayter sell her as a sex slave on the auction block in order to pay off the enormous debt her family owes him. Teyla is determined to bring in as much money as she can, but is afraid she won't fetch a high price because she's inexperienced when it comes to men. That's when things get really fun because she asks Slayter if he'll teach her how to pleasure a man. Just to improve her value, you know? Of course, he agrees. How could he say no, right?
Now, here's where the story gets complicated. While he's instructing her on how to be a sex slave, Slayter starts falling for Teyla, and she for him. But she agreed to pay off her family's debt and he needs the money for his ship and his crew. What can either of them do?
You'll have to read the story to find out! And to give you added incentiive, I'll tease you with a steamy excerpt.
To honor the debt her family owes Slayter Cardona, beautiful Teyla Dunai agrees to let him sell her as a sex slave in the markets of Arkhon. Determined to bring as much value as she can on the auction block, but inexperienced where men are concerned, she asks the handsome pirate if he’ll teach her how to pleasure a man. Intrigued, and more than a little attracted to the lavender-eyed beauty, Slayter agrees.
As he initiates her into the world of bondage, spanking and out-of-this-galaxy sex, though, both Teyla and Slayter find themselves falling for each other. But Slayter has a responsibility to his crew, and Teyla knows it is her duty to pay off her family’s debt. With the deal already agreed upon, there doesn’t seem to be any way for their story to have a happy ending. Or is there?
“Have you ever been to Arkhon before?” she asked, trying to distract herself so she wouldn’t stare at him.
Slayter sopped up what was left of his stew with a piece of bread. “Once.”
She would have thought he’d go there more since he was a pirate. “What will happen when we get there?”
He hesitated. “I’m not quite sure. I’ve never sold a slave before, but I imagine it will be the same process as selling anything else there.”
Meaning she would be put on the auction block and sold to the highest bidder. “Do you know if buyers look for certain things when they purchase a sex slave?”
He frowned slightly. “I suppose.”
“You don’t think they’ll want to…sample the merchandise before they buy, will they?”
“I’m sure some buyers might, but I don’t think the people who run the auction would allow that.” Slayter must have seen the relief on her face because he gave her a reassuring smile. “You don’t have anything to be concerned about, Teyla. You’re a very beautiful woman. Any man can see that.”
Considering the situation, the compliment shouldn’t have warmed her like it did, but she felt herself blush anyway. “It’s just that I don’t have very much experience when it comes to sex. I mean, I’m not a virgin, but I haven’t been with a lot of men, either. I’m concerned potential buyer will know right away that I’m inexperienced.” She looked at him from beneath lowered lashes. “I don’t want you to come out on the short end of this exchange.”
He shook his head. “I really don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”
She frowned. “Maybe, but my family would be very embarrassed if I didn’t earn enough money on the block to cover the debt.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “This is very difficult to ask, but do you think you might be able give me some advice on how best to please a man?”
“Advice?” His eyes went a little wide at that, and he cleared his throat. “Uh, actually, sex is more of a…hands-on thing.”
Teyla chewed on her lower lip. She couldn’t believe she was even contemplating what she was about to do, but the thought that one of her sisters might end up where she was if she didn’t earn enough money to cover the debt was enough to give her the courage she needed.
She lifted her gaze to look at Slayter. “Would you be willing to give me hands-on experience then?”
He arched a brow, but didn’t say anything. From the expression on his face, though, it was clear he was taken aback by her request.
“I know I probably shouldn’t be asking you for favors, but I just want to make sure you receive the money my family owes you.” When he still didn’t answer, she added softly, “If you don’t find me pleasing enough to bed, I understand.”
She was afraid to think what that would mean when it came to her value on the auction block. What would happen if no one bid on her at all?
The corner of Slayter’s mouth curved. “I find you quite pleasing, Teyla. Perhaps more than I should.”
Her pulse quickened. “Then you’ll teach me?”
There was a very long pause, then, “Yes, I’ll teach you. If that’s what you really want.”
“It is. Can we start now?”
They only had a few days before they reached Arkhon, and she didn’t want to waste any time.
He hesitated, then nodded. “If you’d like.”
Slayter might have seemed hesitant when she’d first brought it up, but now that he had agreed, she could see the fire burning in his eyes. Something told her the pirate would be a very thorough teacher. Heat pooled between her thighs at the thought of him showing her all the different ways she could pleasure a man. She might learn more with him in a few days than she probably ever would have with the men on her planet.
Slayter stood and came around to her side of the table. Taking her hand, he gently pulled her to her feet. Teyla had known out the pirate was tall when she’d stood in front of him in the cargo hold earlier, but now she realized just how tall he really was. She barely came up to those broad shoulders of his.
She waited for Slayter to say something, but he simply gazed down at her. The smolder in his gold eyes took her breath away and she swayed toward him. Her reaction to being so close to him caught her off guard, but before she could steady herself, he lowered his head and covered her mouth with his.
The kiss took her by surprise and for a moment she didn’t know how to respond. She hadn’t expected Slayter to do something so intimate. She’d thought they would shed their clothes and get to it. But as his mouth moved slowly and deliciously over hers, she melted against the hard wall of his chest. He slid his hand in her long hair, deepening the kiss with a groan. Teyla parted her lips under his, sighing with pleasure when his tongue invaded her mouth to claim hers. She ran her hands up his chest to clutch his shoulders, afraid if she didn’t hold on to something that she would fall. She didn’t know a man’s kisses could be so intoxicating.
Or that the feel of his hands on her body could set her afire. But as his free hand slid up her midriff to cup her breast through the thin material of her dress, the heat that had pooled between her thighs earlier completely engulfed her. If she responded to him like this when they were fully clothed, how was she going to react when they were both naked?
That was when she remembered the purpose behind what they were doing. She was supposed to be learning how to pleasure Slayter, but instead it was the other way around. She wondered if she should remind him of that, but as he trailed kisses along the curve of her jaw and down her neck, she decided to play the willing student and leave the teaching part to him.
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"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"
Just released June 18, 2011!
Your Whisper in the Dark
Contemporary erotic gay romance
available now at Amber Allure
Kenzie Zahn is starting over as a single man. Left with few immediate options, he accepts a friend’s invitation to visit and house sit. It’s the perfect opportunity for Kenzie to put a little space between the past and present while figuring out the best path for his future.
Mason Hall enjoys the carefree single life. He works hard, plays a little harder, and doesn’t think much about settling down. The right man will come along – or not – and he’s content to wait. A night out to enjoy a little dancing leads to a hook-up with Kenzie, the kind of man Mason has only ever fantasized about. Mason can’t let him get away.
Kenzie’s smitten. Mason is irresistible, but home is a thousand miles away and a long-distance romance isn’t workable. A strange twist of identity brings a linked past to light. Kenzie and Mason are brought to the realization that even when Fate arranges a man’s destiny, he still has to take a leap of faith, or lose out on love.
I scampered off to the parlor like a love struck teenager, snatched the receiver off the hook, and fell breathlessly onto the sofa.
“Hey. I had this number on the service ticket from last fall. Um, is it okay I called?”
I heard the ‘click’ as Tyler hung the phone upstairs. “Yeah, sure. I guess I should give you my cell phone number, though.”
“Yeah. Do it tonight.”
My stomach plunged. The weather wasn’t conducive to going out. I appreciated Tyler’s offer of his truck, but it would be foolish to go out on unfamiliar icy roads when I didn’t really need to.
“It’s snowing, Mason.”
There was a clattering crash in my ear.
“Fuck. Dropped my screwdriver. Dropped my wrench. Hold on.”
I grinned as I listened to more noise and additional foul language. Was he nervous over calling me? His smooth voice flowed back into my ear. “Sorry about that. I know it’s snowing, damn it. So you’re not coming into town?”
“I’d better not. I don’t know the roads around here that well.” I held my breath, dreading his next words. What if he hung up and we never connected again?
But wouldn’t that be best? My head and my heart weren’t in agreement.
“I guess you’re right.” He cleared his throat. I heard him take a deep breath. “Kenzie, will you have dinner with me tomorrow night?”
I failed to remember I was thirty-six, and a mature man. I ignored how bad of an idea it was to get involved with anyone a thousand miles away from home.
We’d already had each other in the most physically intimate ways possible, and now he wanted to take me dinner. I pumped my fist in the air in a gesture of victory.
“I would love to have dinner with you, Mason.”
“Kenzie, please. We need to go someplace private so I can tell you everything.”
I couldn’t think about anything except getting the hell away from him. “I’m leaving, and neither one of us is going to make a scene. Goodbye, Mason.”
I stood, turned on my heel, and left him sitting there. I needed fresh air, to somehow manage to breathe again. If I could get out the door, I could quiet the pounding ‘why, why, why’ beating inside my skull. Was this what people meant by a surreal experience? I fumbled my car keys, dropping them. I bent over to retrieve them without paying attention to how close to the car I was and whacked my head on the car door.
“Fucking hell!” I plopped down on the frozen tundra of blacktop and grabbed the right side of my head to make sure my brains weren’t spilling out.
Just fucking great. I’d sport a bruise for sure come morning, not to mention the fucking headache already eating through bone.
Every time I went queen-out, something nasty happened and it was usually my own fucking fault. Like now. I welcomed Mason’s body heat as he knelt beside me. “Kenzie? Are you okay?”
I kept my right palm pressed to my forehead and glared at him.
“What the fuck to you think?” I moved my hand. “Just tell me if I’m bleeding.”
Mason hesitated, then stroked my face with cold fingertips. “The skin isn’t broken, but I think you’re going to have a bump.” He eased down beside me and I hoped his balls would freeze fast to the macadam through his jeans and stick when he got up. “Please talk to me, Kenzie.”
I suspected there was no way to avoid a conversation with him. Self-induced concussion aside, I seemed to have regained some composure. Maybe. I had one burning question for him.
“Mason, why the fuck even tell me? Why not let me live in blissful ignorance?”
He reached for my hand but stopped short of taking it. I sighed and held it out to him. His chilly fingers closed around my equally cold ones. My gloves were in the car instead of my pocket. Score another point for the home team.
“I had to tell you, Kenzie. It was the only right thing to do once I realized who you were.” He started to put his arm around me but I froze him with a look.
Yes, it was. I had to agree with him on that point. He could have kept it from me. How would I ever learn of it? Dennis and I weren’t in touch, and as far as I was concerned, we never would be. It was all in the past, his and mine, and it couldn’t be changed. Generally, I held with the belief that if there was one thing gay men had no right to judge, it was another gay man’s past sexual history – casting the first stone and all that crap.
My immediate thought was he’d blown that out of the water, but maybe not. He’d taken a big risk by telling me about knowing my ex-partner. Lord, my head hurt.
“So you told me. Now you can fuck me guilt free.”
Mason blew out a short, tired breath. “Kenzie.”
“Sorry. I’m not at my best when my head is splitting and my balls are freezing.”
This time, I didn’t stop him when he moved to put his arm around my shoulders. “I told you because you deserved to know my side of it, okay? If I could take back that day, I would.”
That day? One day? Had Dennis wrecked our life together over one lousy fuck? I certainly saw why he’d be attracted to Mason. The man was smoking hot and, heaven help us all, principled.
“I’m going home, Mason. I need to think about a few things.”
“Will you come to my place so we can talk? And I mean talk. No sex unless you say so.”
The man’s sincerity rang clear and true in his low voice. I hated to turn him down, but I had to.
YOUR WHISPER IN THE DARK
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Just out this month from Changeling Press, a hot, short story about an artist and a demon...
By MARIE TREANOR
Available Now from Changeling Press
Charlotte's been good too long. Now only a demon will satisfy her.
Charlotte is a reformed bad girl, who releases her inner demons through art. But her talent and her disastrous decision to marry a "good" man have attracted powerful interference. When her painting comes to life and her own sexy demon invites her into the orgy she created on canvas, she realizes she can't deny her identity or her desires any longer.
Charlotte let out a moan of need and frustration and fell backward onto the bed. Once, painting had been enough to calm her inner demons. Now it seemed she'd painted one so big that it was taking over.
She should close her eyes, force her tense, pulsing body to relax until blessed sleep took her. Instead, she rolled onto her stomach and twisted around so that she lay gazing at the painting, staring at her demon.
A rueful little smile tugged at her lips. "Well, demon? What would you actually do for me anyway?"
God, she'd painted those deep-set blue eyes so well. They actually seemed to change expressions. She even imagined his lips moved in a provoking, tempting smile, inviting her to find out.
"I'd love to," she whispered. "Do you know, I haven't had sex in six years?"
A slight change of her position altered his expression again, and that was good too -- a mixture of pity and flattering surprise, as if he wondered how someone as attractive, vital and talented as she could possibly be without a sexual partner for so long. Even better, she imagined a new urgency to the invitation of his reaching hand.
"I gave myself a fright," she explained. "When I was an art student, I was into everything, tried everything. I did exactly what I wanted, slept with anyone I wanted. Then one morning I woke up and realized I was failing my course, that I didn't like who I'd become. I hated being the art school slut, the bitch who stole other girls' men and spent most of her life out of her head. I hated the hangovers and the self-recrimination. So I turned it around. I went straight. I stopped drinking, I stopped taking drugs and sleeping around. I worked hard and scraped a pass just in time. I went back to my parents' church, and then I met James..."
Of course the demon in the picture would speak to her. And he would have that gorgeous, deep, seductive voice. It was natural. She'd probably drifted off to sleep. Whatever, it felt good to tell someone, even in her imagination.
"My ex-fiancé. He's a good man, works in local government. We were going to get married and have children."
"What's stopping you?"
"Sex." Charlotte laughed and wriggled, rubbing her breasts against the sheet beneath them. "Among other things. As good Christians and members of our church, we don't do sex before marriage."
"Get married," the demon advised. She liked the way his lips moved when he spoke -- sexy and tempting. She wanted to purr.
"Well, that's the thing," Charlotte explained. "I don't think I really love James any more than I loved any of the shits I slept with at college. He just seemed to be everything I wanted at the time. Only... he isn't. I messed up again." She gazed straight into the demon's eyes. "I want sex."
His smile seemed to widen. Lust stabbed straight to her womb, enticing, encouraging her to wicked elaboration. "I want wild, beautiful sex, lots of it in every imaginable way with a man who makes me scream for satisfaction and then gives me it."
The demon's eyes darkened, and yet flashed like fire. "I can do that."
Oh she'd just bet he could. This was a good dream. She propped her head up with her hand, adjusting position to allow him a tantalizing glimpse of her naked breasts. "And how would you do that, demon?"
Obligingly, his gaze lowered, swept across her shoulders and breasts like a caress. "However you want me to. And a few more ways you haven't thought of yet."
Oh yes. Involuntarily, Charlotte pressed her hips down into the mattress. It felt good, and yet only aroused a rush of stronger desire for real contact, flesh to flesh. "You're a good dream, demon."
"Then step into my world."
Yes, definitely, she was asleep, because she wasn't just putting words into his painted mouth; his outstretched hand actually turned; he crooked his finger.
"Come." His low, rich voice spoke straight to her clenching pussy.
I should wake up now... Please, no! What would happen if I actually got up and went to him? Would I feel the flesh of his hand? Or wet canvas?
There was only one way to find out.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it :)
Demon's Kiss - Out Now from Changeling Press
The House of Women by Anne Whitfield.
Leeds. 1870. Lonely and brokenhearted, Grace Woodruff fights for her sisters’ rights to happiness while sacrificing any chance for her own.
The eldest of seven daughters, Grace is the core of strength around which the unhappy members of the Woodruff family revolve. As her disenchanted mother withdraws to her rooms, Grace must act as a buffer between her violent, ambitious father and the sisters who depend upon her. Rejected by her first love and facing a spinster’s future, she struggles to hold the broken family together through her father’s infidelity, one sister’s alcoholism, and another’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy by an unsuitable match.
Caring for an illegitimate half-brother affords Grace an escape, though short-lived. Forced home by illness and burdened with dwindling finances, Grace faces fresh anguish –and murder– when her first love returns to wreck havoc in her life. All is not lost, however. In the midst of tragedy, the fires of her heart are rekindled by another. Will the possibility of true love lead Grace to relinquish her responsibilities in the house of women and embrace her own right to happiness?
Grace blinked to clear her frozen mind as her mother and Verity climbed the staircase. If Verity was here then was William here too? Movement at the door caused Grace to close her eyes. She couldn’t bring herself to open them and see the one man she’d longed for since she was sixteen.
Order The House of Women from Amazon.com, USA
Available in paperback and Kindle, Apple ibookstore and Nook.
SETUP: Jessie (our heroine) is at home, hoping to relax after a stressful day at work – where a fellow employee was murdered. She calls Alex Raney, a police detective investigating the murder, to verify that he received information she'd given to Gus Colcannon to pass along to Raney.
I pulled the thin curtains aside and focused the binoculars, expecting to see the small herd of deer who'd been making forays into my yard, led by a male I'd dubbed Broke-Antler Buck.
What I saw was a man with a rifle.
"Well, shit," I muttered.
Oops. I'd forgotten I was still holding the phone. "Sorry. There's a guy with a gun out here in my back yard."
Raney had shouted. I jerked the phone in surprise. "A hunter, out here in the woods, behind my house. Hold on a second." I put the phone down and peered outside. Raney's voice was loud behind me on the phone. The angle was wrong from this room. I picked up the phone. "I'm going back into the living room for a minute. Do you want me to call you back?"
"There's a man outside with a gun?"
He spoke fast and loud. Voices in the background behind him sounded excited.
"Yeah. They're not supposed to." My house was on the fringes of town and west of me was open land. Hunters often used the trail although they weren't supposed to be so close to the houses. I refocused the lenses, straining to see details, but all I could pick out was a camo jacket, brown pants, and a head in a dark ski mask as it turned to face up the hill, toward me. "Well, that's stupid," I said.
I recognized that distinctive raspy voice. "Gus?"
"Answer the damn question, Jessie."
"My, my, aren't we in a pissy mood? Why are you talking to me? Where's the cop?" I held the binoculars up again. I was right. The hunter wasn't wearing blaze orange, which was either stupid or illegal or both. I took a step back from the window and turned. That's when I saw Broke-Antler Buck standing down slope and twenty yards to the right of the hunter, who appeared to be oblivious to the presence of a large amount of deer meat on the hoof.
"Raney's right here. Answer the question--what's stupid?"
"The hunter isn't wearing orange. I thought that was a law. And there's a deer right there. He's sort of a tame deer. Well, not tame, but he's not spooky wild like some deer. Man, that bastard is going to kill that buck right on my land. That is so not right. Listen, I've got to deal with this, I'll call you back."
"Jessamine Katherine Patrokus, don't you dare hang up this phone!"
"What?" I almost dropped the phone in surprise. "How did you get my name?" I turned the binoculars back on the hunter, who still seemed ignorant of Buck standing nearby. I didn't want that deer killed on my land. The bastard hunter would probably demand to bring the carcass up the hill near my house, which was the closest point to any road. The smell and the blood would attract every critter for miles around. Not to mention the fact I'd grown attached to that stupid deer in the two years I'd watched him grow up. He wasn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but that didn't mean he deserved to be shot like a fish in a barrel.
"What's going on there?" Gus demanded.
"I have to deal with this. Just hold on for a second. I'm not hanging up so don't get excited." I set the phone on the coffee table and pulled my slingshot from the coffee table drawer. I kept a cache of rocks near the door to the deck and I paused to take a handful before stepping out on to the slick planking. I'd practiced for hours to keep the crows away from my bird feeders and the coons out of the compost heap so I was a good shot. I moved two steps forward and took aim for the trees above and behind the hunter.
Buck heard me and broke cover. The hunter, startled, turned at the sound. I fired five quick shots, which thunked into the trees around the human. As I moved back to the shelter of the house he twisted, lost his balance and tumbled backwards toward the pond. Despite days of below-zero temperatures, I knew it wasn't frozen solid. That hunter would get a cold, dirty bath if there were any justice in the world.
When I got into the house I heard squawking from the phone. "I'm back." I picked up the phone and hurried down the hall to the den. I peeked out and saw the dark shape of the hunter, getting to his feet. The deer was nowhere in sight. I smiled with satisfaction.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"I told you, there was this hunter out back. I wasn't going to let him shoot a deer down the hill from my house. Do you know how--"
"What did you do?"
"I used my slingshot to scare the deer away." I decided not to mention I'd aimed at the hunter. That might be against the law. "Honestly, aren't you overreacting? This kind of crap happens all the time."
"It doesn't happen on the day somebody dies in your office, does it?"
I paused as I walked back toward the living room. He had a point. "So what are you saying? I'm supposed to call the police?" Then I remembered. "Oh. Wait. I was talking to the police. Put him back on the phone--the sympathetic one."
"Jessie, I swear, you need to--"
"Wait." I heard a noise in the woods behind the house. I went to the window. The hunter was still out there. He had his arms raised.
That's when I heard the gunshot.