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28.2.08

A Writer's Moon


Romance. It’s the characters, the setting, the plot. It’s the words spoken, the gazes exchanged, the touches shared. It’s also the mood we create by the setting that can be oh, so important to the emotional pull of the story. And of course, what can be more romantic than the moon? We recently had a full moon, and as happens every time I chance to watch, it drew me in to the mysticism that surrounds it…

A full moon illuminated the night, shining over fallow fields and dancing across the pond like a thousand fireflies. It beckoned me to sit outside on the prairie, cuddle up next to my lover, or listen to a favorite melody of songs. But most of all it whispered to me in the night -- "Come with me and listen to my story. Let me teach you to love."

The winter moon rose high in the sky, full and bright against an ebony backdrop. It took determination to attend the night class for which I was the instructor instead of pulling the car over to the side of the road to write. I realize many people have recorded the moon's mysticism long before I picked up a pen, but no matter in what country my characters reside, no matter in what century they live, it remains the one constant.

That glorious globe of luminous light follows an eternal path across the starlit sky while it creates an exotic aura that causes my characters to fall in love, create songs and poetry, or sit in silent companionship. What enchantment does that night orb hold that makes me dream of lovers, or write of romance and intrigue? After all, in rather non-romantic terms, the moon is merely a chunk of rock. It doesn't even produce its own light, but simply reflects the sun's rays.

“Sunlight glistened off his skin, reminding her of a golden god.” And yet, in the dark of night exotic thoughts converge. “Moonlight caressed his torso, conjuring images of erotic, pagan gods of love.”

Even though the moon consists only of reflected light, it calls forth a completely different set of verbs. “Moonbeams danced across the rippling water, beckoning her to join them and be soothed by their magic.” Moonlight caresses while the sun scorches. “Blistering sunlight charred the barren earth, momentarily blinding her as she exited the mine.”

Moonbeams, moon glow; a hunter's moon, a harvest moon; phases of the moon, once in a blue moon. I can promise my heroine the moon, think my hero magnificent enough to rope the moon. Witch doctors and sorcerers may chant incantations to the moon while singers swear ". . .by the moon and stars in the sky, I'll be there." (John Michael Montgomery)

At times when I sit at the computer and the words won't come, or when my characters rebel against my direction, I want to howl at the moon. It doesn't matter if it is a full moon, a sliver of a moon or no moon at all. My feelings can't be changed by a crescent moon, or even when clouds obscure the moon.

There may be a man in the moon, but he can't compare to my hero when the moonlight glitters off his golden locks or reflects the passion in his eyes. “His shadow fell across her, and when she glanced up, the moon created a halo around him like that of angels she dreamed of in her childhood. But she was a child no longer, and the magnificent man caressed by moonlight wore an expression that would never be termed angelic.”

Though steadfast in the night sky, the moon is an inconsistent character in my novels -- sometimes romantic, sometimes teasing. “Like a candelabrum in a breeze, the moonlight flickered and played against the shadows to tantalize our senses.” Every once in awhile, as it waxes and wanes, it takes on yet another demeanor as a symbol of intrigue. “Clouds obscured the moon and provided her the darkness she needed, for no one must recognize her or guess her destination.”

Most often my characters consider the moon a romantic orb of light. However, if they are betrayed, it metamorphasizes into a reflection of their disappointments and failures. “Cold and solitary in the inky night, the moon provided little comfort now that she no longer lay in his arms.”

The greatest writers in history have faithfully administered to the moon's ego, singing its praises and inconsistencies with eloquent words. It's impossible to forget the majesty of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:

Romeo: Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear, That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops --
Juliet: O! swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. (I.ii.107)

Least we forget the tragedy the moon has witnessed, Alfred Noyes reminds us in The Highwayman:
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding -- Riding -- riding --
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door. (I, stanza 1)
[He offers eternal love and promises to return for her later]:
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way. (I. 5.)

It makes little difference that tragedy ended both these love affairs. The moon must have its say, reminding us it oversees both the love and laughter in our lives, and the tragic termination of our most tender feelings.

So beware! No matter the course of your writing -- romance or tragedy, mystery or myth -- the moon will exert its primal pull. Without conscious thought, you will find yourself incorporating that masterful overseer of human emotions into your manuscript.

I encourage you to take heart. You are not alone when you disguise the moon behind a veil of clouds or see its face shadowed by trees. Don't be concerned as you proclaim your characters moonstruck, moonblind, moon-eyed, or moonish; or when they exclaim over a moonflower, moonscape, moonseeds, moonstones, or a moon shell. Continue to scatter your writing with moon dust and moonbeams; enjoy each and every moonrise or moonset. You are in very good company, for in the sixteenth edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, there are over 130 references to this chunk of rock I affectionately call A Writer's Moon.
Bobbie Russell
http://authorbobbierussell.tripod.com/

Fear

Now there is a word no writer worth their salt would ever admit to. We are brash, brazen and bold. We ache to throw ourselves and our work to the wolves and expect whole-heartedly to walk away unscathed. We laugh at rejection. We get an idea and we sit down and write it. No qualms about it. No doubt. We know this will be our best work ever.

Or that is what we tell our fans, our interviewers, and our friends.

The truth is...writers are scaredy cats. We quiver at the thought of people not liking our work and, by association, us. We worry that our friends and family will mock us when we fall on our faces...and we will. How can we not? We are all hacks. We suck. No one could possibly love the trash flowing through our fingers onto the keyboard and into the white space that is Microsoft Word.

The good news is that because we are such creative beings, we all have superhero egos to rely on. Every time we find ourselves paralized with fear, we mentally throw on our capes, pull up our big kid undies and throw our thick skins out into the harsh world.

Dakota Rebel is my alter-ego. I have a real life name, and it is a good one. Nice and Irish, like me. But I, just little old me, is terrified of being rejected. I am terrified of showing off my work, bragging about myself, and all of the other things writers have to do everyday. And so, enter Dakota Rebel.

Dakota is not afraid of anything. She is a self-promotion machine. She writes all the time, she submits, she takes rejection in stride, and she laughs in the face of fear. (While she is doing all of this I am huddled in the corner shaking and rocking, wrapped in my own arms.) I believe that this is the real reason I chose a pen name for myself. I can blame her when things go wrong, but if they go right...well it is me after all.

I decided to write this post because I had an idea for a book. It is a huge idea. And idea of such mammoth proportions that even Dakota had a moment of hesitation. It is outside of my comfort zone. But after that split second of trepidation, Dakota squared her shoulders and dug in. There is no such thing as "outside" her comfort zone. She is comfortable wherever she is. She can take any idea and make it work. She thanked me for the idea and started writing. As if she had been waiting to write this story since I invoked her. Dakota is a dynamo.

Fear? Who said anything about fear?

XoXoXo
Dakota

27.2.08

Excerpt From Silent Witness

This is an excerpt from an as-yet uncontracted novel, Silent Witness. Predators, disguised as lovers, aren't always what they appear to be in the far reaches of the galaxy . . .


Excerpt from Chapter 1

Outbay 33

In the year 1023 after 2000 A.D.

Lia's skin quivered with anticipation. College chemistry classes had never been like this. Professor Daniel Harmon was not only the sexiest, leanest man on Sweet Meadows campus, but one whose big, big, dick, momentarily hidden behind well-washed denim, tantalized her.

Professor Danny, as she'd taken to calling him, probably didn't care for strong-minded brunettes with small tits and big egos and that's why he always gave her a rough time in class. He seemed to know when she drifted off into a daydream, glancing out over the football field to the tall spire of the gleaming silver church across the street. The sun-touched spire would fade away, replaced by a scene encrypted on her mind. Silk sheets rumpled on the king-size bed, pillows strewn on the Persian carpet, and her hot, aching body willing her man to stroke her wet clit and suck her hard nipples.

Professor Daniel didn't fail to live up to his reputation of ruining her silent reverie. The meter long ruler he constantly toyed with, perhaps to intimidate his students, slapped the desk Lia sat at with such force, she jumped from her seat. Her heart pounded erratically. A few of the other forty students snickered but she paid no attention. They were only bit actors in her drama.

The professor was so gorgeous when his blue eyes glittered menacingly. Blue, precious, glittering sapphires. His lips, full and rosy, pressed together grimly a brief second before he asked, "Do you know the answer to the question I just asked?"

Lia sighed. Menacing was sexy. She hadn't a clue about the question, let alone the answer. Her gaze met his unflinching eyes. The man was sheer hell to be around in class but so very male. She pictured his bulging biceps under his black jacket and the button-down white collared shirt he wore. Tiny blue stripes ran its length. Blue was so her favorite color.

Professor Daniel was clearly not as amused as she was about her ignorance. In fact, she detected a rising fury on his part, evident in the slightly tensed shoulders and his fingering the ruler as if he were thinking devilish thoughts using it on her naked body. In a gravelly voice that sent tingles shivering up and down her spine, he growled, "We need to show the other students the price for not knowing the correct answer." He paused, waiting for her to assess his statement.

"Yes?" Lia asked as meekly as possible. She loved his no-nonsense strength, the fact the he was in charge and could ask her to do anything he wanted.

Her former boyfriend, Sal, muttered, "Get her to play strip poker. That's her favorite."

Lia gave him a withering stare. "Why don't you shut the fuck up?" Although playing strip poker with the professor might not be such a bad idea. Sal himself wasn't the greatest in bed - not unless he was part of a threesome and Lia wasn't into that. Yet. During sex, she wanted the attention for herself.

She glanced up at the professor wondering what the punishment would be this time. Detention with the sexy man sounded erotic. She'd sit on his lap, kiss his lips and persuade him to smile for her. All the time she watched the angular lines of his rugged face, she'd be stroking his hard cock. Would he groan, and lay her back on his desk and fuck her but good, preferably from behind? Or would he make her stand at the blackboard with her blouse buttons undone so he could get a glimpse of her hard nipples and turn himself on? Or better yet, would he sit at his desk, several feet from her, and watch disinterestedly as she balanced boring chemistry equations? The only chemistry she was interested in was the body kind - hot, heavy, sweating, and passionate.

"You will immediately get up and go stand in front of the class,” he ordered.

More snickers as she got to her feet, wondering what the professor had in mind. She sat almost at the back of the class and strolled past several desks to get to the front. Lia stumbled a little as she stepped up onto the platform fronting the classroom but the professor caught her elbow and steadied her. His fingers were so very warm, and inviting.

She righted herself and jerked her arm free of his tenacious hold. "What are you going to make me do?" she asked softly, keenly aware that forty pairs of eyes watched her with avid curiosity.

She heard Sal mutter in a harsh voice, "Strip her naked. That's the punishment she should get."

Lia stiffened. Naked? In front of the whole class? Ah, this was after all a New Age where teachers held complete control over not only their students' minds, but their bodies too. Welcome to Outbay 33 in the Meridien galaxy. She had to remember she'd come here for the discipline. Conditions, she'd heard, were tough, but well worth the achievement factor.

The professor eyed her speculatively, his pupils narrowed. "You wait and see, young lady," he growled.

Lia didn't dare take a peek lower at the bulge straining against his jeans zipper.

Isolated from the rest of her classmates, she visibly trembled, excited and a little hesitant. She wanted the professor's attention but she'd have preferred to have him to herself. Lia wasn't into sharing, not during sex anyway.

The professor stood to one side and tapped the ruler against his palm. "I'm going to ask a question, and you'll answer. Or else." He left the last two words shivering in the thin, tense air between them.

Against her will, her nipples puckered against the thin, sheer blouse she wore. School uniform on the Outbay consisted of sheer blouses and tight black mini-skirts for the girls, white silk shirts for the guys and black pants but no underwear. Thank goodness but the girls were allowed a skimpy panty. White of course.

"What do the letters Pb stand for in a chemical equation?"

Lia shrugged laconically. Once again the question absolutely stumped her.

Professor Daniel strolled by in front of her, then back again, so much like a hunter stalking its quarry. Not even a flicker of amusement traced his stern features. Lia knew she was trapped and had no way out. She'd asked for this, hadn't she?

She was a modern Earth girl and found it difficult, no impossible, to obey commands. Taking orders from anyone wasn't her idea of freedom. From the moment she had arrived two days ago, she'd sensed she was in for a shitload of trouble.

The professor asked the question again. Lia suddenly felt like a timid doe caught in a set of all-too bright headlights on a lonely, dark road. "I don't know the answer," she replied, her heart stuck in her throat.

He nodded. Her classmates held their breaths. She'd been the first of their number who seemingly didn't understand the consequences of not answering questions correctly. Or at all.

Still to one side, Professor Daniel extended the ruler and gently tapped her blouse over her breasts. "Off," he ordered.

Lia bit her lower lip wondering if she'd made a mistake coming to Outbay 33. The rumors she'd heard were that it was tough as a student but that the sex was phenomenal. She knew she'd have difficulties in school but not so soon. The sex she could easily handle and even looked forward to - but not like this. Not in front of a classroom of other students, not ordered to do something she didn't want to do. But if she didn't want to be sent back to Earth with a black mark on her academic record, one which so far boasted scholarships and straight A's, then she had no choice but take her blouse off. In front of the whole class.

Her forehead beaded with tiny drops of perspiration but lower, the crotch of her panties were damp against the beaded thong she’d slipped into this morning. Faceted blue beads that rubbed against her clit, inflaming that tender hot spot. Hell with the school rules about the kind of panties a girl had to wear. Lia knew Melissa in the next row to hers, wore none at all, and made no secret of it either.

"Lia," the professor prompted.

Lia was certain he had ulterior motives for teaching on Outbay 33. Her understanding was that Daniel Harmon had been forced here otherwise he'd have lost his teacher's certificate and would have been barred from teaching anywhere in the galaxy. That left a lot of teaching positions banned for a hot stud like him. She suspected that he enjoyed roughing the students up a bit, that his foremost subject wasn't chemistry at all. Rather it was the study of psychology, principally that of young, naked women writhing under potential discomfort.

Her fingers shook slightly as she unfastened the button nearest her throat. The professor's ruler tapped on her knuckles ever so lightly.

"Yeah, make her take it all off," Sal urged from the back.

The bastard seemed to have no compunction about her clothes being removed. Because Lia had no doubt the professor was going to make his questions as difficult as possible and in her aroused state, when her mind lusted after a good fuck, she couldn't focus long enough on chemistry to even think about giving the right answer.

"You're way too slow," the professor admonished as her fingers rested on the next button. "Sal, get your ass up here," he growled, his tone low, commanding.

Lia watched Sal's expression migrate from studied mockery to unaffected surprise.

"Yes, you," Professor Daniel stated, all the time keeping his eyes on Lia.

The bastard was enjoying her discomfort. Lia's ears reddened. "Why do you need him?" she asked tentatively, resting her gaze on the professor.

"You need a little help," he uttered, the dictator on a rampage.

Great. She hated Sal, thought of him as an overbearing masculine gigolo. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as Sal made his way up the to the front of the class, wearing a "What the fuck?" expression. He was as much at a loss as she was. Maybe, when she was in as bad a pickle jar as she was, the guy wasn't so bad after all.

Professor Harmon ambled up to Lia, faced her in profile to the class and faced Sal towards her. Sal was no longer as sure of himself as he'd been back at his desk. His chin drooped and he twisted his hands together in front of him.

"Since Ms. Burns is unable to comply with my request, let's see if you can."

Lia groaned, then swallowed hard. She had no idea why Sal was in this class. He had no clue about balancing equations or the periodic table or anything that might be deemed scientific. The highest he could count to was two and that had been when he'd sucked on her nipples with unpracticed bravado. What a disaster that had been! And only last night too.

"Mr. Chelsee. What element does Pb stand for?" the professor asked.

Was his breathing a touch ragged? Lia couldn't decide. His face was tainted by the faintest blush and his movement seemed less fluid than they'd been moments before.

Obviously, Sal didn't have a clue about what the letters stood for. Oh man. To make matters worse, her nipples puckered as a result of the cool air spinning from the air conditioner overhead. Tiny but robust points poked at her sheer blouse.

"I don't know," Sal replied sheepishly. The braggart who privately claimed to know everything in the galaxy.

The ruler tapped mercilessly on the floor. Tap, tap, tap. "Unbutton Ms. Burns' blouse completely."

Like Sal was going to have any trouble with that. Last night he'd been eager until she told him 'no'. Men didn't get the word and always thought that a 'no' really meant a 'yes'.

Sal's eyes, a murky shade of sea-green, met hers, questioning, probing, unsure. "Come on, you idiot," Lia teased him. "Get it over with."

Sal flinched as if she'd slapped him.

The professor moved forward, breathed down her neck, fanning the fine hairs. "What was that, Ms. Burns?"

Lia shivered. "I told him he's a jackass." She knew even as she spoke, she was letting in a whole stream of trouble.

As one, the class sucked in a collective breath, forcing Lia to wonder what exactly the professor would do. Or, to be more precise, what he'd make her do. Conceivably, he could award extra achievement awards for all the guys spread-eagling her on the teacher's wide desk and taking turns with her.

She let out a breath, knowing she'd signed up for this class, had signed the release forms realizing that several men and a single woman were a distinct possibility. She thrilled at the thought of several men waiting impatiently, their dicks long and hard, waiting for their turn. And maybe she'd even have to get on her knees and suck the tips of their dicks of the glistening pre-come. Lia wasn't certain she'd enjoy the experience but she was always up for a challenge.

A muscle twitched under the professor's left eye. "I see," was all he said.

Lia knew without a doubt she'd stepped in past her comfort zone. Sal was a predictable factor but the professor was a complete unknown, and she realized from the last two days in classes, that he was of mercurial mood.

"I gave you an order, Mr. Chelsee," he commanded but his eyes were fixed on Lia as if to say 'I will deal with you later'.

Sal lifted his hands to her blouse and one by one, unfastened the pearly white buttons down to her waist. He wasn't clumsy as he'd been last night but more assured. He did as he was told but the blouse remained closed.

"Pull her blouse out from her skirt," came the curt order.

Sal licked his lips giving Lia the impression he was enjoying himself. Her nipples, already painful buds, tightened even more. Her stomach clenched into pleasurable knots as Sal practically tore the sheer material from her skirt. Her arms broke out into goose bumps and her legs trembled. This was not a good time to get nerves and sink to her knees.

Professor Daniel shoved Sal aside, stepped in front of Lia, took hold of her blouse and ripped it off her body unceremoniously. "You know," he said conversationally as if they were alone, "I don't care for smart mouth women."

Lia bristled. Who was he to tell her she was a smart mouth? "I don't exactly care for you either," she put out bluntly.

Oops. Shouldn't have said that. Should have kept her mouth shut tight with a padlock.

Sal licked his dry lips. Lia waited for the punishment that was sure to come.

And it came swiftly. "Since you don't care to know the answers to my questions, which by the way, you should already know, you will sit on my desk."

There was a slight pause. Lia sensed her classmates holding their breaths. After all, any one of them could have been up here instead of her.

"Without your skirt and allow the whole class to see you."

"Oh, that's not hard," Lia breathed even as Sal sucked in another breath. What was frightening about taking off her skirt and sitting on the professor's desk?

She was suddenly glad she'd worn the jeweled thong. Give the class a look at an elegant woman in her stride rather than boring white panties.

"Mr. Chelsee, dispose of Ms. Burns' skirt, please."

Another preemptive order Lia found herself resenting. "I can do that myself."

The professor faced her, chucked his index finger under her chin and tilted her face upwards. "You are certainly chalking up a great many punishments, aren't you?"

"Why? Because I can do things myself?" she retorted.

Harmon's lips twisted in a wry smile. "You certainly don't get it, do you?"

With a swiftness that startled her, he seized her wrists and quickly bound them together behind her back with a black leather strap. She grunted in dismay.

"Remember the days when the teacher ordered the misbehaving student to stand in a corner the whole school day? Ms. Burns, you won't have that luxury." Turning to Sal, he gave him a speculative look.

Sal knew better than to object. He tore away Lia's skirt with a slight, whispered mutter of apology but Lia noticed, his dick was rock hard in its fabric prison. And his eyes widened to the size of half-dollar pieces when he saw what she was wearing under the skirt. The other students broke out in applause although Lia couldn't see why. She was being punished for goodness sake!

The professor gave a low whistle of appreciation and then a chuckle of amusement. "I see you came prepared."

The class immediately quieted. Lia said nothing, ran her tongue over her lower lip. She was the bad girl, the other girls' jealousy factor and the guys' wet dreams acquisition. She knew now why Harmon had singled her out. Her face was fresh with little more than shimmering pink lip gloss, her breasts were just the right size for an inquisitive male palm, and her cunt was wetter than in her wildest fantasies. With her hands bound behind her, she could do nothing to help herself. Words and epithets were useless.

The professor neared her and whispered erotically, "Relax, Lia. Enjoy yourself. I know I will." With that pointed statement, he moved away, slapping the ruler against his thigh, attracting her attention to his huge erection. It wasn't possible but she got even wetter thinking of his big cock filling up her pussy as fully as a glove fit over a hand.

"Mr. Chelsee, I would like you to help Ms. Burns to the desk to lie down on her back. But--"

The dreaded last word, Lia thought apprehensively.

"But you will act as her armchair back."

The room was so intensely silent Lia heard Sal swallow hard. "I knew I should have stayed home this morning," he muttered, clearly uncomfortable with the idea.

"What's wrong, Mr. Chelsee? Are you afraid of a beautiful woman or are you more afraid I'll ask you to fuck her in front of the class? Can you even get it up, Mr. Chelsee?"

"What are you trying to do Harmon?" Sal flashed back, holding Lia's arm tenderly. "Give your vast ego a boost it doesn't need?"

The professor didn't flinch. Lia suspected he enjoyed the attention and his ego was the least of his problems. She tried to avert her eyes from his massive hard-on but failed.

"My ego, as you call it, doesn't need a boost. Secondly, you're here to learn your lessons, Mr. Chelsee. You signed the release papers, didn't you?"

Sal grumbled something about he shouldn't have if he'd known what hell this would be.

"What are you staring at?" the professor turned on Lia, a devilish glare appearing in his eyes. "Don't worry one moment. I'll have my turn at you."

Lia bit into her lip from crying out. The man obviously knew how to torment her. A quick glance at her classmates told her the women would like a shot at the professor too.

"First, you have to earn it," Harmon told her in a curt voice. "Mr. Chelsee, please assist her onto the desk."

"Nothing personal," Sal murmured as he lifted her into his arms and onto the desk. The wood was cold against her ass and she barely kept her balance by leaning forward slightly as Sal leaped up behind her and forced her to lean her spine against his muscled chest. Not half as muscled as the professor's, Lia guessed.

"Mr. Paul and Mr. Roberts," Harmon called out.

The two men from opposite sides of the classroom sat forward waiting for instructions. Mr. Paul's face was lined by years in the brutal sunshine while Mr. Roberts seemed a few years older than the majority of his thirty-something classmates.

"I want you to treat the lady like fine china. Do you understand?"

They nodded eagerly. Lia suspected they'd been through a few of Professor Harmon's chemistry classes.

Within seconds, they stood in front of her, blocking her from the classmates' view.

"Stand on either side of Ms. Burns. One by one, lift each of her legs onto the edge of the desk and hold her ankles in place."

"No!" Lia remonstrated. "That's going too far." She remembered signing the release papers back on Earth. The paperwork had read in legaleze mumbo-jumbo that 'everything goes'. Everything, she remembered with a hint of embarassment although she wasn't a woman who shunned her word.

The two men hesitated, turned toward the professor.

"You signed the release papers, Ms. Burns. I have them right here," Harmon said, producing a sheaf of papers from who knew where. He strolled up to her, stepped between Paul and Roberts and leaned forward. His breath was warm on her face, causing her to tingle all over. "When you signed, you agreed the professor gave the orders, not anyone in the class, or even yourself. Do you understand?"

She nodded as he slipped his hand around to the back of her head and unsnapped the rose-shaped barrette holding her hair in place. A mass of silky dark strands fell forward over her bare shoulders. Gently, he brushed her hair off her shoulders and over her back and moved away.

"Smells like a summer's day filled with peaches and apricots," Sal murmured, audibly sniffing her hair.

"Mr. Chelsee. Please keep your inane comments to yourself," the professor barked.

Lia wanted to tell Sal that his quiet observation made her feel good but she said nothing, fearing the professor had a few more tricks up his sleeve than she really wanted to know.

"Gentlemen," Harmon prompted, once again tapping the ruler against his thigh.

Lia couldn't help but notice his massive cock straining against his jeans. Get a load of that sucker!

Watch yourself, Lia. Next thing you know he'll be asking you to suck his cock and how long will that take? And how fired up will you get?

Gingerly, Paul lifted her ankle onto the desk and held her slim ankle. Roberts did the same.

Lia both feared and thrilled what Harmon would demand next. He was so much more like a captor in a dreaded prison than a professor of chemistry.

"Spread her legs apart," came the terse order.

Exactly as she'd considered. The two men pushed her knees apart and there she was, her pussy wide open for anyone and everyone to view at their leisure.

***

Okay . . . so my question is, "Do you want more?"

Aurora Rose Lynn

Romance Is Only A Fantasy Away



26.2.08

Dreaming big!

Dreaming... By Sierra Cartwright

"Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before." -- Joseph Campbell

Follow your bliss... Easier said than done!

So many of us are caught up in the daily grind, get up, peel back our eyelids, brew a cup of coffee or tea or crack open a can of soda (who cares, as long as it has caffeine) go to work, or drag the kids out of bed and get them ready for the day. Then, with our responsibilities to our relationships, our jobs, friends, homes... We're so tired, how would we even know what our bliss is, let alone to follow it?

But you know what, it's there, somewhere, niggling. It's those random thoughts that dart through when you're busy doing other things. Maybe it's a book you see advertised, and you think, "One day, when I have more time, I'll read it."

One day, I'll take a long vacation.

One day, I'll go back to school, get a puppy, do that volunteer work I've been thinking about.

One day...

Maybe, if you're like me, you get ideas at the most interesting times. When I'm in the bathtub, when I'm driving, drifting off to sleep, or going for a walk.

But all those times have something in common...they come to me when I'm either alone or being quiet.

It's in those moments that I get that whisper of what my bliss might be.

But it's what I do with those moments that matter. Do I ignore them until they go away? (Yeah, more times than I care to admit! LOL) Or do I do something with that urge? Do I follow it? Do I book a trip somewhere fabulous? Do I do a little research into a new job I might like to have? Do I scribble down a few words for my new book?

In the quiet, and, thank God, sometimes in the chaos, ideas, thoughts, inspiration come to us. What we do with them is up to us.

What were you thinking about as you read this? What came to your mind? And now, what are you going to do with it?

Here's to you, and here's the the urging of inspiration!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Where are the Brits Bound?


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25.2.08

LEAP INTO LOVING


By Summer Jordan


Do you sometimes, or perhaps often, feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day, or enough days in a week and month? This year, this month, you are gifted with an extra 24 hours. That’s right! There’s an extra day for you to catch up on work or play. What you do with that extra time is up to you, but isn’t it wonderful to have all those extra seconds, minutes and hours?

February is the little month with the big HEART, but the month isn’t as tiny this year. Valentine’s Day is for lovers, and if you like that take on things, what about the other 28 days? And what about those extra 24 hours? You could write or read or work faster, but let’s say you decide to use the extra time for pleasure?

Here are 24 ideas for using them for a hot time with your lover or gearing up for extra hot fun. And some that are just for you.

1. Watch an Adult movie with the love of your life. Better yet, watch naked.

2. Dance cheek-to-cheek in a cozy, dimly lit club. Let him know you’re not wearing panties.

3. Shower together, slowly sudsing one another’s bodies.

4. Do a strip tease to a bump and hump song.

5. Wear a sultry new scent to bed. Nothing else.

6. Shop together for new underwear for both of you.

7. Read him a TEB bedtime story. How about Fantasy Man by Summer Jordan?

8. Drink champagne and eat chocolate-covered cherries, nude.

9. Spend the night in a hotel and order room service.

10. Buy a new sex toy and try it out, alone or with someone.

11. Go for a couples’ massage.
NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT MEN…

12. Treat yourself to a haircut and new style.

13. Go shopping with a girlfriend and stop off for lunch.

14. Get a pedicure and manicure.

15. Go to a chick-flick and eat popcorn and candy.

16. Buy something outrageous and fun—new sunglasses, a huge fake jewel.

17. Buy satin sheets and try them out.

18. Read a man a TEB story. How about Let Me Entertain You? Book 1 in the Wives-R-Us series (Summer Jordan again, and more blatant self promotion)

19. Feed one another ice cream and warm caramel sauce.

20. Make love in a bubble bath.

21. Have sex in a semi-public place.

22. Apply temporary tattoos that are titillating.

23. Buy a feather boa and wear it to bed.

24. Read a scene from Breaking the Rules, by you guessed it. Take turns reading the dialogue. You’re Margo and he’s Brit. This is the second Wives-R-Us book.
















Posted by Summer
Summer Jordan ~ Full complex stories…Life, love, conflict, humor and the sensual and erotic moments of two people in love.
http://www.total-e-bound.com/
http://summerjordan.com/http://www.bookswelove.net/jordan.html

http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MyProfile=Y

24.2.08

Covers: Where appearance really does matter

Congratulations! Your baby is now in the hands of your publisher. You’ve completed your Cover Request form, making sure the artist knows all the intricate details of your characters, from eye colour to tattoos and birth marks to body hair.

Yet you are anxious. The dreaded cover looms. It’s enough to make you reach for the gin. Am I right?

Yes, we’ve all seen some seriously dreadful covers over the years. We’ve sympathised with friends and colleagues and even complete strangers on their unfortunate end result. We’ve blogged and sniped and declared that our ‘5 year old could do a better job!’. And in some cases I do believe we are correct LOL!

However I’m here today, hopefully on a more positive note, to share with you my role in helping your baby make its publishing debut.

First things first I guess I should introduce myself. G’day. My name is Lyn Taylor and I am one of the Cover Artists for Total-E-Bound. I’m an Aussie as many of you already know (as if the G'day didn't already give it away), a wife and mother and part time artist. I’ve been with TEB for just on 12 months now and would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being such a fantastic bunch of people to work with.

But back to Covers. So. What is involved with bringing your new cover to life?

Firstly I read through the Cover Request form to get an idea what the book is about, the characters and any outstanding features (eye colour, tatts, etc) & story location. This is your opportunity to really try to get across what it is you want your cover to be, so make the most of this form. I’m always happy to check out links or images. However, just remember if you post an image of Hugh Jackman – don’t expect to get Hugh Jackman, LOL! The character images, unless they are an actual Stock model will be as close as I can get but please, I can’t perform miracles so you may be sadly disappointed.

The next few hours (yes, HOURS) will be spent searching for suitable stock of which I will fill a file with numerous possibilities. I then sit back and see which of the stock images I’ve collected work best together. Once I’ve made my selection, I open my working file and begin the tedious job of cutting out the images so that I can juggle them around the page to see what fits and what doesn’t. As I can use anywhere from 2 to 6 stock images in a cover I use the watermarked image at this stage. It’s quite rough and ready but helps to give me a feel for the overall cover. And as you can imagine it would get quite expensive purchasing stock that I may not even use.

Sometimes I may come up with a couple of different cover options which I will quickly flick over to Claire at TEB (thank god for email!). I like to check that I’m on the right track as some of the work can be very time consuming and it’s pointless spending endless hours on a cover that is not right for the book.

So after some suggestions or edits we’ll decide to go ahead with a particular cover. I’ll then purchase the stock and set about putting it all together. This part is quick and relatively painless as the hard yards have already been done. The final cover is then sent back to Claire and with fingers crossed it’s then forwarded to the Author.

It’s a pretty straight forward process and in the end I think we’ve managed to set a pretty high standard of covers for our Authors. I can usually complete a cover within 2-3 days providing the household is running smoothly LOL!

So I’ll wrap this up with a few links which you may find interesting - Lust in Time Breakdown & The Price of a Sword . I've done a few cover breakdowns over at my Blog and some of you may have already seen these. I do these from time to time so keep your eyes peeled - yours may be next LOL! You will also see that I've shown a few of the original stock images beside the Cover's I've posted here just so you can see some of the things we do to give you the best cover we can.

I look forward to working with you all.

Cheers!

Lyn

My Blog

My Artwork


23.2.08

Hooked on Beta and it works for me!

Recently a Yahoo group I frequent (okay, frequently lurk at) had a discussion of sorts about alpha vs. beta heroes. Everyone knows the alpha male- strong, brash, headstrong, always gets his way, and of course, incredibly gorgeous.

But the beta hero took a bit of a beating in my opinion. He was described as "geeky" and "nerdy", in a lovable, boy-next-door way.

I have trouble with alpha personalities. Anyone that overbearing and opinionated scares the crap out of me, on paper or in person. I like my version of a beta guy—sensitive, caring, not afraid to be emotional—and hot as a firecracker! I looked back and discovered, without realizing I did it, my heroes are almost all beta. Some are stronger than others, with a few alpha traits, but not one of them is above a good cry on occasion. Every one of them can say "I love you" with his pants on.

My dream man, from way back when, always had dark hair and dark eyes. (Cue George Clooney's entrance…) So go figure, this year I'll celebrate 27 years of wedded bliss with a blonde-haired, blue eyed fella. The only explanation I can offer is that he's a beta—gentle, romantic, sweet, a regular teddy bear. Oh, he can go alpha on me every now and then, which is good. I'm not above wanting that occasionally. But for the most part, I'll take sensitive over headstrong, any day of the week.

Check out one of my favorite beta heroes in my first TEB release, Nothing to Lose. This is Book 1 in the Unexpected Love Series.

Bailey Montgomery travels to the small town of Perry, Illinois, with the intention of cleaning her late mother's house out, selling it, and returning to Chicago as quickly as possible. She doesn't want nosy neighbours poking into her business, and she doesn't need the help of the incredibly sexy handyman who insists upon making repairs to the house.

But exactly what Bailey does need or want gets jumbled in her mind as the neighbours ingratiate themselves into her life, and Doug Kenny, the handyman, works his way into her bed and her heart.

Nothing to Lose

By Jamie Hill

PG excerpt

She was awakened the next morning by the sounds of a hammer pounding near the front of her house. Fumbling for the clock, she squinted to read it. Six-forty a.m. Still half asleep and disoriented from being in a strange bed, Bailey wandered out to the living room and opened the front door.

A dark haired man in a T-shirt and jeans was working on the railing by the front porch stairs.

“Excuse me?” she called out to him, and he stopped to look up at her. Bailey went on, “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

He flashed a sly grin. “Is that what you came out here to ask me? Most people have a clock next to their bed to tell them the time.”

Bailey put her hands on her hips and looked at him. “A fucking comedian. I know the time, it’s six-forty in the fucking a.m. I just wondered if you knew the time. People are trying to sleep around here.”

He straightened and Bailey’s gaze went up with him. Maybe it was his boots, because she was barefoot, but he seemed tall. His legs appeared long in form-fitting, tight jeans. For just a moment she let her gaze wander up muscular thighs, settling on his crotch. Images of what the jeans hid flashed through her mind, and she shook her head. Trying to get back to the perturbed feeling of a moment ago, she stomped a foot.

He leaned against the rail, taking a moment to look her over. “Your mother was always up at this hour. She knew I had to get to work by eight and didn’t mind me coming over early. In fact, sometimes she made me breakfast.”

Bailey snorted. “Hang on to those memories, buddy.”

Smiling at her lazily, his dark, clear eyes crinkled at the corners. “Oh, I’m making a whole new bunch of memories, right now as we speak.” He made a point of looking at her breasts.

Bailey glanced down quickly. In her sleepy state, she’d neglected to put on a robe, and her nipples poked out through her silky pyjama top.

She gave him a dirty look and spun around to go back inside.

“Don’t rush off,” he teased.

“Could you finish this another time?” She stuck her head out from behind the door.

“I could.” He nodded. “But I’m not going to. I’m almost done, I’ll finish it now. You go on back to…whatever…you were doing.”

Copyright © 2008 Jamie Hill

22.2.08

Ah, the interesting writing life and reviews from Emma Wildes

Last June I went to a conference given by Lori Foster in Cincinnati. It was a benefit for a battered women’s shelter. The authors who attended gave away baskets and books in a raffle, signed books one afternoon, and several big agents and publishers were there for appointments. All of it a lot of fun and in a good cause. There was even someone who gave me a button she’d made that said “I’m Emma’s biggest fan” . All right, all right, I have to admit I loved that.

But, I digress. The best part of the whole thing for me was that I went with a group of book reviewers. I’d never met any of them before, but this site has reviewed my books and two of them live only an hour away or so from me (another flew in from Alaska and one came from Maryland) and when they asked if I’d like to go, I decided…well, all right. Sure. How nice. They picked me up at my house and off we went.

It was a very enlightening experience. These ladies were very forthcoming about how they review books. These are fans extraordinaire. I really don’t think I’ve ever seen such passion over books and reading. One of them told me she had previously spent literally hundreds of dollars a month on books and her husband was thrilled she was now a reviewer.

Well, I’d guess so.

I was outnumbered, so I stayed kind of in the background as they talked shop, and talk shop they did. All conversations were about books, authors (it matters how gracious you are, by the way) and different publishing houses. This site reviews everything from the big New York guns to the small e-pubs, and I was amazed at how they were not star-struck by a name. Just give them a good book. They were ruthless as they discussed different works, but I must say, fair.

Another revelation? One of them told me how she gave a book she absolutely loved a lower rating and it broke her heart but…the hero never said I love you to the heroine. What? That’ll do you in? I did a quick mental check in panic . It wasn’t something I’d ever really considered had to be. Interesting. Hmm.

I think what I walked away from that experience with was a very different look at what I do everyday when I sit down to the keyboard and start tapping. I’m awed someone is waiting to read it.

And they’ll think about it. Love it or hate it. Muse over it. It’s in the end only one person’s opinion, but without that passion, where would we be as writers?

And can you believe it; with all those options at their fingertips…they still buy books.

Bless them.

Emma
www.emmawildes.com

19.2.08

The Modern Woman



I cracked up when I read the comments on this picture. Imagine your reaction if a man ever said this to you. I’d probably deck him. The days of women being expected to be stay-at-home moms, waiting on our menfolk hand and foot are over and done with. Nowadays, we’re independent. Able to look after ourselves. Capable of taking care of our own needs, even sexually if necessary. Hey, get in a good supply of batteries and we’re set. Lol


I grew up watching my mom defer to her husband at every turn. When I got married, to a man close to ten years older than I am, I found myself following the same pattern. It took me years to learn to stand up for myself, and let me tell you, boy, was that a shock to the hubby. He didn’t know what had hit him. Now he likes the independent woman I’ve become, but it took some adjusting to. When I raised my daughter, I raised her to think for herself. To be responsible for her own happiness. Mind you, I also raised my son to learn to be handy around the house, to cook, do the washing, and generally to be an equal partner in any relationship and not assume he can take control.


But sometimes I wonder if we’ve gone too far. I’m probably going to annoy all the diehard feminists out there, but I like being a woman. I like the things that come with being a woman. Yes, I can open my own door, pull my own seat up to the table, but you know what? It gives me a warm glow to be treated that way, because I know it’s being done out of respect and love. It doesn’t diminish me in any way. It doesn’t make my husband a henpecked hubby. When I polish hubby’s shoes before an important meeting, it doesn’t make me a doormat. I do it because I love him, because I want him to shine at his meeting, to look the best he can. There are times I’ve played the little housewife and waited on him hand and foot, but I do it because I want to, not because it’s expected of me. And then I thank him when he takes on the cooking role every night so that I can write. We’re both independent, but together we make a hell of a team. This is the way I try to write my heroines. Not so tough they can’t ask a man for help if they need it. Not so wimpy they almost become too stupid to live. It’s all about balance. And what you’re prepared to do for love.


So what have you done for love?

18.2.08

working under the influence

Uh oh, the kids are home. And whoa, golly! A Firefly marathon is on....

Quick!

IF you are in the US and IF you have cable and IF you get the sci-fi channel, go. Park yourself in front of the television. I don't care if you don't like space western melodramas. I don't either, okay? Just try an episode or two. You'll thank me.

Anyway, I don't think a lot fiction is going to get written in this house today. Flexibility is what this writing thing is all about--or that's what I tell myself when days like today happen.

And in fact I have something I can work on while the kids buzz through the place and Malcolm struts around on the screen. My friends and I are planning a big fund raiser. I'll be back with details someday soon once they're ironed out, but it's going to be good. We've already got our Big Name Author set up. Here's the little bit of we've agreed on so far:

We're the 20 authors of Romance Unleashed. Besides our love of romance, writing and chocolate we also have a common interest in supporting our community.

We're setting our writing goals high for the month of September and raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Don't just stand there and watch--join us. We challenge published and aspiring authors to unleash the story within you as you participate in our write-a-thon.


Now I just have to get that chatting kid (Oh I love this bit. Hey, that's the best part! Mom! You watching?) to go get some breakfast and maybe I'll pretend to get some work done around here. I can always write begging emails to editors, authors and others while snickering at Jayne.

I'm going to line up some prizes to make the event even more fun. Maybe. If someone turns the television off.

16.2.08

Exotic Locales and Erotic Tales


When I was a child, I dreamed of traveling the world. Inspired by the historical novels and adventure tales that I devoured in my bedroom after school, I wanted to see the Great Pyramids, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Parthenon, the Coliseum in Rome. My more down-to-earth fantasies featured me climbing on board a train to New York City (I grew up near Boston) and being whisked away, all on my own, to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Even though in reality I was a shy, over-protected little girl, staying by myself in a hotel was the most exciting thing that I could imagine.



I've been extremely fortunate. To a large extent my young dreams have come true. Though I still haven't been to Egypt or Athens, over the five decades of my life I've visited every continent except for Australia, and also had the unique experience of living in a foreign culture. I credit the realization of my fantasies mostly to my husband, who announced on our first date that he was "looking for someone to travel with", and then proceeded to keep me enthralled for two and a half hours with his stories of rambles in Europe and Asia.



Of course, my travels have been educational and entertaining. They've also strongly influenced my writing. Many of my tales have foreign settings, based on personal experience - amply augmented by imagination! London, Bangkok, Prague, Amsterdam, Provence, Laos, and India have all played host to my characters. I'm currently researching a novel that will be set in Cambodia, near Angkor Wat, and working on another that takes place in Turkey.


I've found that exotic settings are highly conducive to erotic romance. When you are traveling, the normal rules don't apply. You're more ready for adventure than when you are at home doing the laundry or making out the grocery list. Then again, when you're on the road, you're more likely to meet extraordinary individuals, whether mysterious and attractive natives or outrageous, seductive fellow voyagers. Travel opens your mind and heightens your senses. It makes you more susceptible to epiphanies of emotion that ignite and transform you - including falling in love.




I've included some photos from my wanderings. What about you? What is the most romantic place that you've ever visited? Paris has a quite a reputation, as does the Caribbean. I've never been to Tahiti, but the beaches of Krabi in Thailand approach perfection, while Bali is exquisite and mystical.


If you haven't traveled much, share your fantasies! Vision is the first step to manifestation. I know from personal experience that dreams can come true.



15.2.08

Misconceptions About the Romance Genre


I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get really tired of all of the misconceptions about the romance genre. I think all lovers of romance, both readers and writers have heard variations of the following.

“Oh, you read/write those kind of books?”

“I only read books that are well written.”

“I don’t read trash.”

These comments usually come with a host of misconceptions that I’d like to address.

1.) Romance novels are demeaning to women.

Right. Reading about strong women who know what they want, who overcome obstacles in their lives and manage to find love along the way is soooooo demeaning.

2.) Romance novels are old fashioned and have nothing to do with the real world.

Overcoming adversity, personal growth, love and happiness are obsolete? Yeah…I didn’t think so.

3.) All the female characters are simpering wimps in need of rescue and are nothing like today’s women.

Tell that to the heroines who are helping save the world or doing it outright. What about the heroines who are following their dreams, taking charge of their lives, slaying the monsters and generally making the world a better place? These are today’s romance heroines, not some damsel in distress sitting patiently waiting for her knight to save her.

4.) There’s a formula for writing romance and all writers use it.

There is a formula. Just like any other genre of fiction, the stories we write have beginnings, middles and ends. There are protagonists as well as antagonists (be they actual people or issues) there’s rising and falling action as well as big black moments and satisfying endings. This is the formula —it’s called good story telling.

5.) Romance novels are cheaply written porn – all sex with no plot.

Certainly sex is a component of romance, particularly erotic romance, but so is plot. Lack of plot, lack of character emotion, motivation and development equals lack of story.
6.) Romance novels are for people who aren’t smart enough to read a “real” book.

So smart people are opposed to love and happy endings and would to prefer to read books that end badly with death, misery and the crushing of the human spirit. Personally, I see enough of that in real life—I prefer not to perpetuate it in the fiction that I read and write.



These are just a few of the misconceptions about romance novels that I find particularly annoying, but I know there are more. What fallacies about the romance genre irritate you?

14.2.08

Feeling Naughty......


Who loves hot historicals? Who always wanted to name a rakish knave? Well, if you're into hot historicals and cool contests, stop by the Lust In Time blog and Name Our Hunk! lustintime.blogspot.com

It's a brand new blog from authors who write hot historicals. It's not just a promo blog, but a blog for readers (like us) who love hot historicals.
And look out soon for the saucy editor from Total-e-Bound as she dishes what she's looking for in hot historicals. Who knows, our newly named hunk might just be the interviewer! Look out Claire!

THE CONTEST!
We need *you* to help us name our LIT mascot, the hunky 'milord' who'll visit our blog from time to time, setting hearts aflutter. So put on your thinking caps -- we need something fun, something sexy, maybe a bit naughty (but not too naughty)! To enter, just use the comments section of the LIT blog to offer us a suggestion for a name for our Rakish Lord of Lust. Contest ends on February 29th.

On March 1st, the lusty LIT ladies will select the winner. The winner will receive a fabulous prize package including: chocolate body paints and stencil kit, a CD of romantic music, a dual pack of romantic DVD movies, a sexy satin charmeuse kimono-style robe, a free download of Charlotte's SPICE Brief FOREVER YOURS, two free sexy historical downloads from Total eBound books, a signed copy of Kristina's TO LOVE A SCOUNDREL, and maybe some other surprises! Make sure you check back on March 1st to see if you're the winner!

13.2.08

Love, lust and Faithful Beginnings

Is it love when you first meet? Is there such a thing as love at first site? Or is it just lust that somehow intensifies and turns into something deeper, stronger? Something that will change your entire life. Who really knows other than the people invovled. So I'm going to give you a look at this burning question today with an excerpt of my first release with Total E Bound, Faithful Beginnings. I hope you like it! And please share your stories of love and lust with me! I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Faithful Beginnings by Lacey Thorn

Faith has spent her life since the age of nine playing the role of mother to her four younger sisters. Now as her twenty first birthday approaches she knows that all of that is about to change. Her father never wanted girls and when her mother died during the birth of yet another daughter, he made a vow. If he had to have daughters then he would use them to get what he wanted most…sons. So on their twenty first birthdays they are to be married off to the man of his choice, whether they like it or not.
But Faith has bigger dreams than spending her life living in the small town community that sees nothing wrong with her father’s dictates. So leaving her sisters behind, she heads down the road, for once more afraid to stay than to face the unknown.
When a thunderstorm sends her into the woods outside town looking for shelter she finds herself in the arms of Jake Daniels. She’s seen him in town a time or two but never really spoken with him. But Jake has been waiting to get her out from under her father’s eyes for years and he is determined to use this chance to show her just how good things could be between them. With a little faith, they can both have everything they want.

Excerpt:
Jake Daniels stood in the shadows at the back of the cabin, partially hidden by the armoire that stood next to the office he had just finished working in. He had requested this cabin specifically for the office. He loved the way that the door blended into the wall. If you didn’t know that it was there then you wouldn’t even see it. He’d never been so happy about that before today.
He’d had to blink his eyes several times to make sure that he wasn’t imagining the blonde haired beauty that walked into the cabin. He knew from the immediate hardening of his dick that it was none other than little Faith Coulter. He’d been coming here for years just to get a glimpse of her, which was all that her father allowed. He could understand. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and Jake had seen plenty of women during his travels. But Faith was definitely one of a kind. She was a small woman, standing only five foot one or two, making her at least a foot shorter than his six foot two inch frame. But she had lush curves in all the right places, long blonde curls that swung most often in a ponytail that hung to her perfectly rounded bottom. It was her eyes that got him most. She had the biggest, deepest green eyes he had ever seen. Eyes filled with secrets, fears and, he was damn sure, passion. She was just waiting for the right man to initiate her and Jake had long ago planned to make sure that he was that man. Hell, that was why he was here now.
He had heard through his contact in town that she was to be married soon and that was one thing that he wouldn’t let happen unless he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was what she wanted. Then he had met her fiancĂ©, a man old enough to be her father. The very thought of such a man touching her face, much less her body had set his gut to churning in anger. He almost laughed at the way that fate sometimes delivered what you desired most into your hands.
He had been in the office for the last few hours trying to figure out how to put a plan into motion to kidnap Faith before her wedding. Now he didn’t have to. No, the woman who was constantly on his mind had delivered herself right into his hands. And if his ears didn’t deceive him she was naked in the shower at this moment. He groaned and ran a hand along the rigid length of his denim covered cock. He had exactly one night to convince her that he was the man for her. One night to make sure that she was willing to leave this small town behind and explore the world with him on his boat. All he needed was a little faith. Then nothing else would ever do.

Love or lust? You decide...


Lacey Thorn
It's your world...unlaced

12.2.08

Ellie Tremayne says hello


Hi there everyone, it’s Ellie Tremayne saying hello from a very chilly, foggy London.

We haven’t met before so It’s really great to have the opportunity to get to know you and tell you a bit about myself and my books.

First up, let me state quite categorically and with all due respect to my fellow TEB authors, that all the generously hung, waxed chested, designer stubbled male stripper/model/bad boys in the world can’t hold a candle to a Celtic warrior in a fur cape, lashed braccae a gold toque around his bicep and a compelling gaze.

Have a man like that striding towards you with a six-foot sword in his hands and I defy any of you to start an argument about a woman proper position in life because you’ll know it instantly, underneath him.

Men didn’t have to go the gym in those day to build muscle that started as when they were lads. The daily exercise was part of a squire work. They had to learn how to ride, fight at full gallop and use a sword. Can you imagine what they must have looked like? Much like the wonderful covers Lyn had crafted for me.

I have that man for you to enjoy, ladies, Rhys, Prince of the Three Mountains. He is tall and muscular, as a chief should be, with compelling green eyes. He deadly both with a sword and under the furs. Of course a man like that needs a mate to match his intellect and prowess, and he has Aeron who infuriates him and fires him.

Of course as wonderful as it would be to walk through a time-portal and find ourselves on a windswept hills side back in the days when men were men and women were glad of it, it’s not likely to happen to me or you at work today– if only!

So until that lucky day when you’re transported back in time let me introduce you to Rhys, who is everything you’re ever dreamed about in a man and a whole lot you’d never considered.

********

With the Black Norse to the west and the Saxons to the East the people of the Three Mountains need a warrior. Rhys ap Idris is that man. An intelligent and intuitive leader, he raises his sword and steps forward to defend his people. Princess Aeron, the only child of the Mervyn, the Prince of the Three Mountains, must marry, as her father dictates, to unite the squabbling factions. From the moment Rhys and Aeron meet, their hearts entwine. But when Mervyn is found murdered and on Aeron’s testimony, Rhys’ father is judged to be the murderer, their love seems doomed. Rhys swears he will have revenge. When Rhys becomes a fugitive this looks impossible but when he finds Aeron on the block in a Dublin slave auction naked he buys her without hesitation. He plans to break her heart as she has his using his most powerful weapon, his body.

Praise for Prince of the Three Mounains:
Novel talk wrote:
"For anyone who is a medieval fan, author Ellie Tremayne has penned an action packed historical thriller to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Aeron and Rhys are intelligent, strong and passionate. Their relationship is tested over and over again in inventive ways. The large cast of characters is varied and well developed, some interesting and some truly vicious. The descriptions place the reader right in the medieval time period, battling enemies on all sides. Ellie Tremayne has penned an exciting adventure I intend to read again in future."
Awarded Five Red Roses from Red Roses Reveiw and said,
"This is a passionate, compelling, sensual love story, an epic that carries you to the end, full of excitement and tension. This author is a master storyteller and her books are highly recommended."
I'll give you a little snippet to wet your appitite. Enjoy!
See you next time
Ellie
*******

Mid Wales 855

A low hum rumbled around the great hall as Aeron, daughter of Mervyn, Prince of the Three Mountains, took her seat on the right side of the oak throne at the centre of the dais. Above her the blackened beams of the great hall rose, and firebrands fixed to the square-cut stone spluttered. Their acrid smoke mingled with the sweet smell of the fresh rushes underfoot and their flames threw shadows across the nobles gathered below. Despite the spring sunlight streaming in through the upper windows, the air in the Ancestral Hall pressed in on her.
Although the blood pounded in her ears, Aeron carefully arranged the green woollen skirt around her legs and smiled calmly at the assembly as she waited.
Chattering voices announced the arrival of Sian, her father’s wife. She bustled in surrounded by her women. She smiled regally as she progressed down the hall but her sharp eyes noted who rushed forward to give her homage.
Not for the first time, Aeron cursed her misfortune.
Why couldn’t Bryn have stayed on his horse?
She didn’t mourn her brother. How could she? She’d hardly known him. In the nine years since she’d left court, her brother had become a stranger. But his death had brought her home.
Sian’s eyes narrowed and her mouth gathered into a tight purse as she studied her stepdaughter. Her gaze lingered on the fabric stretched across Aeron’s breasts and then travelled down.
Sian settled herself on the chair, waved her attendants away with a flick of her hand and smoothed the rich Arabian silk over her knees. Its bright colours swirled in the fresh straw at her feet. She studied Aeron again.
“You look more like the village wet nurse than a princess. Your waist is slim enough. But those hips! No doubt you could birth twins together through them,” she said.
Aeron regarded her stepmother coolly. “As it is the duty of a prince’s wife to produce healthy sons either singularly or together, I would have thought my hips are to my credit.”
She let her gaze rest on Sian’s flat stomach that had never swollen to accommodate a growing child.
Sian winced and then sent Aeron a chilling smile that reached no further than her sharp cheeks. “To be sure. Therefore it is passing strange with such attributes,” she swept her eyes up and down Aeron again, “that you never gave Llewellyn of Pen Bryn a child. Although he had five sons by his first wife.”
Two patches of red splashed onto Aeron’s cheeks and she forced her fingers to stay unfurled on her lap.
“Let us pray that God blesses your new marriage and gives you the pleasure of bearing a son for Alun ap Dylan,” Sian added.
Aeron tucked a stray lock of raven-black hair under her veil carefully. “I am not betrothed to him yet and all know of your interest in Alun ap Dylan’s pleasure.”
As if he knew they spoke about him, Alun stepped onto the dais and bowed low to greet Sian.
“Welcome, Alun ap Dylan,” she said as she held out her hand for him to kiss.
“May I say how handsome you look today, my princess,” Alun replied, his light brown hair flopping forward.
Sian turned to Aeron. “I doubt you remember Aeron, she was only a child when you last saw her, my lord, and is scarcely more than that now.”
Alun’s gaze ran slowly over Aeron and settled on the swell of her breasts. He raised a well-manicured hand to his mouth and smoothed back his moustache. “I am afraid I must disagree. My dear cousin Aeron is certainly no longer a child. “
Aeron maintained her polite smile. She had not seen Alun for fifteen years but she remembered him well. He was older and the well-constructed face now wore a friendly, open look, but his grey eyes still had a chill in them.
Alun took hold of Aeron’s hand. “Dear cousin, I trust you are full rested from your journey. The princess tells me you were out of sorts when you arrived yesterday.”
“It’s hardly surprising I am not quite myself. I am recently widowed and shocked at the great change in my father.”
“We all grieve. My father and I have taken as much of the burden off our Prince’s weary shoulders as we can…out of consideration and our love for him.” Alun shook his head slowly. “Poor Bryn. So young, so young.” He flicked a speck of dust from his sleeve. “You too are young, my dear, for a widow. How many years have you now?”
“Twenty-three.”
“When we are wed—”
“My father has yet to choose his successor and my husband. Do not count your hens until they are safe in the roost, Lord Alun.”
Rage flashed briefly across Alun’s face. Fifteen years ago she would have felt his hand heavy on her for such a remark, but now he seemed to have mastered his temper, in public at least.
“The Three Mountains need a strong Prince to defend this land, a warrior who can command men and who can ward off the foes that threaten us,” Alun told her with a frosty smile. ”There is no other but me to master this land.” His hand curled around her upper arm and he caressed it slowly down to her elbow, his thumb grazing her nipple as it passed. “No man but me.”
Aeron gasped but Alun smiled wider and returned to his seat.
While Aeron mastered her fury, the chamber stilled as the door opened and her father’s party entered. Two hundred or so nobles from the four corners of his lands filled the hall. They all bowed respectfully as their prince passed.
Aeron’s eyes moved beyond her father to the man behind him, Dylan, her father’s chief advisor and cousin, who shuffled in his wake like a recently exhumed corpse, wheezing and coughing as he went. His grey-streaked hair lay smooth at his temple and he wore a fine cloak with a golden clasp, but his face had a wasted, skull-like appearance which told of a mortal canker deep within.
Bevan, the tribal holy man, strode before them both. He tapped the floor with his staff as he progressed. Although he must have been twenty years the senior of the men behind him, he walked down the hall as if he were twenty years their junior. His priestly garb swept the floor with a flourish, disturbing the rushes and scattering the household dogs.
As a child, Aeron had thought Bevan old, but in the intervening years he seemed not to have aged a day. By the long white hair tied back at the nape of his neck, Aeron reckoned he must be in his late sixties. But his face showed only a few lines and his pale blue eyes blazed out with a youthful fervour.
He stopped in front of her, and although his features remained impassive, his eyes changed to a warmer hue as they rested on her.
Her father took his seat and inclined his head in Bevan’s direction.
The holy man stepped forward and spoke to the nobles assembled before him. “We all grieve with our blessed Prince Mervyn at the loss of Prince Bryn.”
Her father took in a sharp breath and his hand trembled on the arm of the chair. Aeron stole a glance up at him.
Although only in his late forties, since the death of his son Mervyn the Strong looked twice that age. The last time she had seen him six years ago he had been full of life. But now the bloodshot eyes with dark circles beneath told their own tale. He might try to play the part of the benevolent ruler, but the Prince of the Three Mountains looked as if the Devil had ripped out his soul.
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” Bevan said, adjusting his grip on his staff. Voices murmured in agreement. “Although heavy of heart, our Prince never shirks his duty. If God shows His favour, our Prince may sire more fine sons. But until that blessed day we have to defend ourselves.”
Aeron glanced across at Sian who looked straight ahead. In five years of marriage she had not quickened with a child.
Bevan continued. “These are troubled times and Prince Mervyn has decided to make provision for his lands and succession. The next Prince of the Three Mountains must be a strong man who will defend the land. He is also to take Lady Aeron for a wife.”
Mervyn surveyed the faces below him. “Are there any here who want to be considered as my successor? If so, declare yourself.”
Dylan stood up and swayed to regain his balance. “My Prince, there is only one man you need consider, my son, Alun.”
Aeron’s mind screamed in panic and her feet itched to flee the hall but she subdued her rebellious will.
Leaving his place beside his father, Alun took Aeron’s hand in a moist, hot grip. She had the urge to snatch it away and dry it down the length of her skirt. He smiled at her without any real warmth.
Bevan stepped forward and struck the floor with his staff. “Are there any others?”
The massive carved doors of the hall burst open with an ear-splitting explosion. Three men strode down the centre of the hall and the press of bodies parted.
On the right was a man the same age as her father but who walked with a lolloping gait on his shortened right leg. The bright blue and yellow tunic with gold edging he wore swirled around him as he moved. His braided steel-grey hair was tied back and a gold torque and bracelets shone on his neck and arms. He wore the largest wolf skin cloak she had ever seen. The head of the enormous beast rested over one shoulder with its eyes closed as if in sleep.
The man on the left was the shortest of the three by maybe a hand or so. He too was dressed finely in a sage tunic over russet braccae. But the warrior in the centre captured all of Aeron’s attention.
Standing a hand’s breadth taller than the older man, he dominated the three. Aeron’s stomach tightened as her gaze ran over his powerful shoulders and deep chest. His raven locks, the same hue as her own, swept back from either side of his forehead, highlighting his finely shaped dark brows. A blood red, sleeveless leather jacket secured with a belt around his waist encased his upper body. It fell open revealing a sculptured torso covered with a quantity of chest hair. Oak-brown braccae fitted tightly around his mighty legs. Although his stance was relaxed, the corded muscles of his arms denoted that in battle he would be swift, sure and deadly.
Her gaze lingered on his square jaw and blunt chin with a deep cleft in it. Then it settled on his sensual mouth, set grimly at present, but if it curled to a smile she judged it would melt snow. Her gazed rose to his upper face only to find the warrior staring at her with an unreadable expression in his grey-green eyes.
Her gaze locked into his and she heard her own indrawn gasp. Her heart thumped wildly, sending hot and cold shivers coursing through her body. A sliver of something both pleasant and unsettling started deep within her. As he slowly studied her body, the area between her legs started to pulse. His gaze lingered on her breasts and Aeron arched her back without thinking. The warrior lifted the corner of his mouth just a fraction and the pulsing between her legs intensified. Aeron clenched her internal muscles but the action did nothing to relieve the ache, just added to her unsettled state.
The urge to go and stand beside him swept over her. All her instincts told her she should be by his side.
The late comers held the attention of all in the hall and an anxious whisper ran around as the assembled company waited.
Breaking his gaze from her, the warrior stepped forward and his voice boomed out across the space. “I, Rhys ap Idris, son of Idris the Fearless, wish to be considered.”