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One Night of Misbehavior

My Sexy Saturday

The theme this week is One Sexy Night. Have you ever heard of a moment in time, day or night, that changes everything? That one sexy night can right all life’s wrongs, make the old new again and help our characters find the love of their lives.  For this week’s theme, we are making that special moment happen during the night time. One sexy night that will have our characters wanting a lifetime of special moments with that extraordinary someone. It is during that time when sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, we realize the life we knew before that moment no longer exists. We can no longer look at things the same way as before.

My featured book this week is One Night of Misbehavior, a contemporary retelling of Cinderella, set in New Zealand. This snippet takes place the night after the ball. Charlotte met a mystery man and spent a very enjoyable night with him…

Charlotte plopped on the end of Gran’s bed and nodded cautiously. The pain was muted now, the tablets working their magic. “They seemed to enjoy the ball. Everyone danced all night. The band was excellent.”

Gran’s faded blue eyes twinkled behind the lenses of her glasses. “Did they recognize you?”

“They didn’t glance at me twice.”

“I told you so.” Her grandmother’s gaze zeroed in on her neck.

Charlotte recalled the addictive kisses Zorro had trailed down her throat, the sensual bite and suck, and groaned inwardly. Kisses plus suction equaled one thing. Hickeys.

“Did you meet someone special?”

“No,” Charlotte said quickly. Too quickly.

“I see.”

Charlotte was glad someone saw because she didn’t understand her actions of the previous night. Yes, she’d had too much Champagne, but she’d known what she was doing. No one had forced her to kiss Zorro or to run her hands down his naked chest. Heck, no one had forced her to scream with the pleasure of her orgasm either. It was as if an alien had taken possession of her—one who enjoyed the heck out of sex.

One Night of Misbehavior

BLURB:

He wears his scars on the outside. She keeps hers safe inside.

Charlotte Dixon ignores her stepmother’s edict and, in an act of disobedience, attends one of the social events of the year—a masquerade costume ball. Charlotte’s naughtiness escalates when she dances and smooches with a sexy mystery man. The night of anonymous passion that follows makes her yearn for a different life, but the next day she’s back to her dull routine of household management.

Advertising tycoon, Ash Marlborough is about to set a private investigator on the trail of his nameless princess when she waltzes right into his place of work. Charlotte is shocked to meet her masked man in the flesh, and even more perturbed when he asks her out on a date. Despite craving another night of sexy loving, she doesn’t have time for a man, not when she wants to reinvent herself and grasp a new, improved life with both hands. But Ash knows what he wants, and he’s determined to win the heart of his princess. Let the dance of seduction commence.

Warning: Contains a conniving stepmother, selfish stepsisters, a grandmother with fairy godmother tendencies and a sexy masked man who is willing to face them all for the love of a good woman.

Purchase links: Amazon| All Romance ebooks| Barnes & Noble| Koboicon|iBooks|

Also available in the Ain’t Misbehaving box set – Amazon| All Romance ebooks| Kobo| Barnes & Noble

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Thirteen Ways I Learned to Write About Sex

I’m thrilled to welcome Marian Perera, a fellow Samhain Publishing author. She’s celebrating the release of her paranormal fantasy romance, The Highest Tide and has a fun post about sex. Smile with tongue out

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen ways I learned to write about sex

Thanks for hosting me, Shelley! I like interesting lists, so when I found your blog I read through all the Thursday13 posts first. Those gave me the idea of this guest post.

But here’s the story behind it. I grew up in the Middle East, in a devoutly religious family, a sex-segregated school and an extremely conservative country. How conservative? If a couple kissed on a TV show, this was cut out before the show was broadcast. So speaking of kisses, my first had to wait until I went to college in the States. I was that sheltered.

And now I write romances with explicit sex in them.

Of course, this transition from saint to sinner didn’t happen all at once. So here are a few of the steps I took to become an enthusiastic proponent of the open-bedroom-door policy…

1. Read every romance novel I could lay my hands on, from Sweet Savage Love onwards.

2. Bought and read Stacia Kane’s book Be A Sex-Writing Strumpet. The book is so blunt it overcame a lot of my inhibitions.

3. Reminded myself that it’s not about what I’ve been taught, or what my family believes. It’s about what’s right for the characters and the story.

4. Reminded myself that my editors have read hundreds of steamy romances, so there’s no need to be embarrassed if they refer to certain, uh, technical aspects of the scenes.

5. Kept sex scenes in-character. If the couple enjoy verbal teasing, there can be a rest in the action where they playfully spar with each other.

6. Put the characters in unusual locations. Not only is this fun, I get to think about where they could have sex long before they reach that point. Cave on a deserted island? Got it. Inside a hollow baobab tree? Came out earlier this year.

7. Pushed my personal envelope. Most of my romances are a slow burn where the sexual tension builds up until the characters finally give in. With The Highest Tide, they got their clothes off in the first chapter—and had good reason to do so.

8. Used sex to heighten the characters’ emotional struggle. At the end of The Coldest Sea (coming out later this year), the heroine has settled down with a job she enjoys, and she reluctantly tells the hero, a freighter captain, that she can’t just leave to marry him. So he makes love to her in an intense, the-last-time-we’ll-have-each-other way. The story ends happily, but I milked that scene for all it was worth in terms of heartache.

9. Read some really bad sex scenes. It’s good to know what not to do—for instance, I don’t believe it’s ever arousing to mention the heroine’s urethra.

10. Learned to drop the occasional f-bomb. I don’t use this word very often, so when it occurs—especially when the hero says it in a sexually charged moment—it packs a punch.

11. Held true to my convictions. I believe that even in fiction, when a woman says no, a man should back off (unless they’re play-acting or the scene is written as assault). So I’ve written hot makeout scenes which stopped when the heroine remembered a good reason not to go further. That made it even better when she did want it.

12. Figured out how to incorporate contraceptives into fantasy romance. Or, if they’re not used, to show why not. One of my heroines is infertile, and knows she is, and doesn’t end up with a surprise baby at the end.

13. Wrote sexy fanfics. Less pressure there. Plus, they were Transformers fanfics. If I can write about giant robots having sex, I can write about anyone having sex.

Bio : Marian Perera started reading fantasy at 6 when she found a huge hardcover copy of The Lord of the Rings. Her parents replaced that with a more age-appropriate paperback of The Hobbit. Later she discovered another book with an adorable bunny rabbit on the cover. Yes, that was Watership Down. She had to wait ten more years for romance novels, but once she discovered those she never looked back, and now combines the two for maximum fun.

Marian was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Dubai, studied in the United States (Georgia and Texas), worked in Iqaluit and lives in Toronto. For now. With five hot fantasy romances published by Samhain and Loose Id, she’s just getting started. She blogs at Flights of Fantasy, is on Twitter, has lots of excerpts on her website and still writes the occasional giant-robot-smutfic with no guilt whatsoever.

The Highest Tide

BLURB:

One touch, and the tide isn’t all that’s rising. When brothel health inspector Jason Remerley finds a uniformed woman waiting impatiently in the Velvet Court parlor, wanting to hire a man’s services, he’s struck by lightning. His intense, immediate attraction compels him to pretend his way into her arms.

Enough silver, and most men forget about Captain Lera Vanze’s half-burned face. She senses something off about the handsome, ill-dressed prostitute who sells himself so cheaply. But with his first touch, goose bumps turn to shivers of desire—right before the truth drives them in opposite directions.

Her fury is still simmering when they face each other in a more “official” capacity. She’s joined a warship to stop a terrorist only Jason can identify. Though trust is scarce, they’re swept away in a tidal wave of murderous plots and an explosive attraction that could leave them marooned in an emotional—and very real—minefield.

Warning: She knows how to wield her sword, he knows just how, when, and where to apply his…mind. Contains deception in a brothel, sex in a cave, a shark with a bad habit, and one very large wave.

Samhain Publishing | Amazon

Do you have any questions for Marian or tips to add to her list?

13 Things About Tomatoes

Thursday Thirteen

I love eating fresh tomatoes. Actually, I love eating tomatoes full stop, and I’m eating a lot at present. Often my lunch will be sliced tomato on toast with lots of fresh ground black pepper.

Tomato

Thirteen Things About Tomatoes

1. Tomatoes originated in the Andes, around the area of modern day Peru.

2. Botanists categorize the tomato as a fruit rather than a vegetable because it grows from a flowering plant and contains seeds.

3. China is the largest producer of tomatoes, followed by the US and India.

4. There are around 7500 different varieties grown worldwide.

5. They are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that’s great for the heart and effective in fighting some types of cancer.

6. Cooked tomatoes are healthier since the heat releases more beneficial chemicals.

7. The town of Bunol hosts the world’s largest tomato fight.

8. Tomatoes are members of the deadly nightshade family.

9. Tomatoes didn’t become widely eaten in Europe until the 18th century.

10. The first cultivated tomatoes were yellow and the size of the cherry. They became known as golden apples.

11. When tomatoes first arrived in Europe they were also called Peruvian apples.

12. Elizabethans thought the red color signified danger and that they were poisonous.

13. Most of the tomato scent comes from the leaves and the stem rather than the fruit, which is why vine tomatoes have a stronger aroma.

Are you a fan of tomatoes? Do you like them raw or cooked best?

Thirteen Things About the Baobab Tree

Thursday Thirteen

I’m currently working on the third book in my House of the Cat series. One of the characters is a tremin, and although sentient, he bears many characteristics of a tree. Hubby and I were walking the dog, and I said to him, “My character is a tree. Not a real tree, at least not all the time. He needs to be a tree that can survive in the desert. What sort of tree would he be?”

Hubby didn’t hesitate. “A baobab tree,” he said.

It was a duh moment for me. We’d seen enough of them when we visited Africa. A baobab was perfect, so I’ve taken many characteristics and shaped them to make Kelvin, my tremin.

Baobab Tree

Thirteen Facts About the Baobab Tree

1. The baobab grows in Africa, Madagascar and Australia. Six of the eight species grow in Madagascar, which has puzzled botanists for a long time.

2. The baobab hates waterlogged roots.

3. It can grow back new bark even if fully stripped. The fibres of the bark can be used for roofing and to make ropes, which is used in fishing, baskets and nets.

4. The seed pods are huge. The pith inside can be used to make a refreshing drink, which tastes like sherbet. It can also be used as a substitute for cream of tartar.

5. Sometimes the pith is used in a medicine as a replacement for quinine.

6. Locals use the empty seed pobs as cups and containers.

7. Some of the trees are enormous with huge girths. One called Chapman’s baobab had a base of 85 feet in circumference.

8. The trees are unusual in that they look as if they’re planted upside down.

9. The trees store a lot of water in their trunks to sustain them during the dry season. A perfect fact for my plot!

10. Some legends state that each baobab contains an elephant inside, waiting to get out. A way of explaining its huge trunk.

11. The Kalahari bushman believe the baobab offended God and in punishment, he planted it upside down.

12. The flowers of the tree bloom at night. Bats thump into them while hunting for food, and in the process help with pollination.

13. The seeds hang down on long stalks and are about the size of a coconut.

Source: The Remarkable Baobab Tree by Thomas Pakenham.

I love trees and from where I sit right now, I can see quite a few varieties. My favorites are some of our New Zealand native trees, which are just about all evergreen. Some, like the kowhai and the pohutukawa, have gorgeous flowers.

What is your favorite type of tree?

Let Me Tell You About Sexy Thoughts!

My Sexy Saturday

This week’s theme is Their Sexy Thoughts. When characters think about each other in a sexy, exciting way, we as readers adore them. We love hearing about how the hero thinks the heroine is sexy and loving and oh so much more as the story progresses. As writers, we love putting those words down and getting them just right.

I thought I’d give you a short scene in the heroine’s point of view. She’s arrived at the space port to meet her date, one arranged via the Interplanetary Love dating agency. As in all the best romances, things don’t go quite as she expected…

Carly noticed the man straightaway. So did every other female in the spaceport, but his attention remained on the petite beauty at his side. He didn’t appear to detect the heated whispers and come-hither looks from other women. A pang of envy pierced Carly. He was taller than her own six foot and dressed completely in black. He’d slicked back his black hair and the style showcased the angles and shadows of his face. The curves of his sensuous lips looked perfect for kissing.

Sighing, she turned her attention to the woman. Lucky lady, Carly thought as her gaze strayed to the man again to steal another hit of his hot sensuality. A shiver slid down her spine, delicious and naughty. Better than a morning shot of java.

A woman just had to look at this man to know he’d be great in the sack. It was the way he held himself, the way he walked, all languid and lazy. It was in the charming smile and the dimples winking at the corners of his mouth, which muted the first tough-guy impression. Carly resisted the need to fan herself. Oh yes. She wanted one of him in every flavor.

“Carly!” a voice shrieked. “You came.”

Carly gaped as the petite woman who’d walked in with Mr. Hunk opened her arms and ran toward her. It was like a romantic scene from a corny movie—one lover racing toward another—and all Carly could think was she’d ticked the box specifying a heterosexual male.

She was sure of it.

Interplanetary Love

Taking love to another planet

I know your secret…

Ekim Ramuk is a vid-star on the planet Nidni. Along with fame and currency comes his reputation as Nidni’s greatest lover—one that causes him acute embarrassment and anxiety because not one of the rumors is true.

Carly Abercombie is an Earth cop who works long hours and craves a man to hold her in the small hours of the night. She doesn’t require perfect. Mr. Almost Perfect will do, but finding him—that’s another problem entirely. In desperation, she signs up with Interplanetary Love and heads off to Nidni to meet her first date.

Rala Ramuk, Ekim’s baby sister, has problems of her own. Her brother! Determined to marry him off so she can move forward with her own life, according to Goddess Peti’s rules, she’s signed Ekim up with the Interplanetary Love dating agency. Anything to secure her future.

A vid-star, a cop and a matchmaker. Three strong personalities, all determined to win. Let the dice roll and the fun begin…

Warning: This book contains a tongue-in-cheek plot, a little purple-tinged prose and a man-part named Rajah. You have been warned.

Purchase links: Amazon| All Romance| iBooks US| iBooks NZ| Kobo| Barnes & Noble

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13 Animals and Birds that Mate for Life

Thursday Thirteen

As a romance author, I believe in happy relationships and happy endings. I live them everyday while write and reading my books. While some humans are monogamous, there is an equal number of those who cheat or move on to another partner for one reason or another.

The other day I was thinking about this and wondered what other animals or birds mated for life.

Thirteen Animals and Birds that Mate for Life

1. Swans

2. Wolves, which makes the werewolf the perfect hero/heroine in a romance novel.

3. Penguins

4. Gibbon Apes

5. Barn owls

6. Brolga cranes

7. Pigeons

8. Cockroaches

9. Bald Eagle

10. Termites

11. French Angel fish

12. Royal NZ Albatross

Albatros Colony

13. Atlantic puffin

Like humans there are exceptions with the above birds and animals, but generally the creatures in this list stay with the same mate throughout their lives.

You already know I adore a happy ever after story. When you read a book featuring romantic elements, do you enjoy cliffhanger endings, or do you like all the plot strands to tie up and the characters to walk off into the sunset together?

Making a List, Checkin it Twice!

I’ve participated in Thursday Thirteen for quite a few years now. I’m shifting things up a little this year – changing the rules. Instead of doing a list of thirteen items each week, I intend to vary the length of my list.

New Zealand Holiday 2014

Five Places I Visited Over the Christmas Break

Hubby and I ran away for Christmas and took a cruise around New Zealand and over to Melbourne in Australia.

1. We walked around Mt Maunganui and enjoyed a sunny day at The Mount. After our walk we relaxed with a few drinks. (photo of the beach – top far right)

2. During our stop at Wellington, we visited the Weta Workshop, famous for all the movie special effects. This is Golem from Lord of the Rings.

3. On Christmas day, we stopped at Port Chalmers, not far from Dunedin in the South Island. With not much open, we decided to go for a walk to counteract those Christmas goodies. We took photos of the Holy Trinity church.

4. Our walk took us upward as we tackled a hill. The road down was through shady bush.

5. The seas became rougher after Christmas day as a storm passed. The dining rooms were quieter and many people were sea sick. I didn’t get sick but I “visited” the middle of the ship because the range of motion is less there. The glass of ginger ale helped to settle my stomach too!

What did you do over your Christmas break?

Sexy Mornings/Morning Blues

My Sexy Saturday

The theme for this week is A Sexy Morning. Don’t you just love it when you see characters have a snuggle down day that starts with an awesome morning? Or how about making love at dawn on a planet far away? Or watching the morning sky together for the very first time as the sun tops the ridge?  This is a theme about that special time of the day where only lovers go. Do they wake up next to each other and wonder how they got there? Or are they all over one another?

I’m a bit of a rebel, which is probably not a surprise to my husband. My excerpt comes from Captured & Seduced, the first book in my House of the Cat series. Camryn, my heroine, is fighting a losing battle trying to keep Ry at arm’s length, and she wakes up with a hangover and Ry. But that’s not the bad part…

The others started to stir. Camryn grabbed her clothes and turned her back on him to dress. Ry watched her the entire time. She felt it, fingers clumsy in her self-consciousness. The spot he’d touched on her shoulder itched beneath her tunic.

Rustling clothes behind her indicated Ry was dressing. The instinct to turn and watch almost got the better of her. Almost.

“Ah, you’re awake,” Mogens said, coming from inside the tender. Camryn noted his clear disapproval before he lifted his head to scan the angry green clouds low on the horizon. His face darkened rapidly. “Bad tidings in the clouds.”

Camryn fidgeted, her shoulder itchy and irritable beneath her clothes, the sullen trot-trot-trot in her head adding to her misery.

Tsking, Mogens studied her instead. “What is wrong with you, child? Have you been bitten by an insect?”

“Um no.” A weird sort of insect to leave tattoos while a person slept.

“Let me see,” Mogens said. “The last thing we need is for our trainer to become ill.”

“Show Mogens.” Ry’s soft voice came from behind. It wasn’t a request.

Camryn turned her back and allowed Mogens to lift her shirt. Chill bumps chased across her skin, blown by the cool morning breeze.

A hiss escaped the seer. “Ry, I told you to leave her alone. Too late now.” His eyes rolled back in his head and his high-pitched voice danced up and down in a singsong pattern. “The ghost walks beside you still. He has not left and will not leave while you need him. Bad day. Bad tidings.”

Captured & Seduced

BLURB:

A shapeshifter and a wizard slugging it out, an alien world and a hell-horse…

Jockey Camryn O’Sullivan is an alcoholic on a downward spiral after the death of her husband. When aliens kidnap her, she’s both terrified and reluctantly fascinated by Ryman Coppersmith. She’s positive the weird attraction to her abductor is an anomaly. Something to ignore. She’ll train the aliens’ horse and they’ll return her home. Simple. There’s no need for sex or a stubborn male kitty-cat to replace the precious memories of her husband.

Murder. Betrayal. Banishment.

Feline shapeshifter Ry has experienced treachery of the worst kind. When his foster brother—the man who betrayed him—proposes a wager on a hell-horse race, the lure to clear his name is irresistible.

Camryn’s arrival triggers a jump in his already overactive sex drive. It’s a struggle to keep his hands off his beautiful captive. Something in his mysterious feline background compels him to chase her and the passion firing between them soars out of control. Ry doesn’t understand the mechanics of their attraction but knows he can’t afford to lose Camryn…despite his promise to return her home.

Order at: Amazon| iBooks| Barnes & Noble| Koboicon | All Romance eBooks| Google Play

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13 Events From This Week in London History

 

Thursday Thirteen

I’m currently reading The London Book of Days by Peter de Loriol. For my TT this week, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of some of the things that happened this week in London history.

Thirteen Events from London History

1. Nov 24 1434 – There was a severe frost. The cold snap continued until Feb 1435 and the river Thames froze over. Frost fair alert!

2. Nov 24 1740 – A man called William Duell was hanged at Tyburn. His body was prepared for dissection by surgeons, but they found he was still breathing! They ended up deporting him instead.

3. Nov 25 1944 – World War two is in full swing. By this date 251 V2 bombs had been dropped on London. The first V2 bomb was dropped on 8 Sep 1944.

4. Nov 25 1952 – A murder mystery play called The Mousetrap, written by Agatha Christie, opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre. This show is still running in London at St Martin’s Theatre. I’ve seen the show twice and loved it both times.

5. Nov 26 1703 – A hurricane struck London. It ripped off roofs, destroyed spires and turrets and forced ships from their moorings.

6. Nov 26 1962 – The Beatles recorded their single Please Please Me at the Abbey Road Studios.

7. Nov 26 1969 – Margaret Thatcher said in an interview, “No woman in my time will be Prime Minister…Anyway, I would not want to be Prime Minister, you have to give yourself 100 percent.”

8. Nov 26 1983 – Gold bars worth 26 million pounds were stolen from Brink’s-Mat security warehouse at Heathrow Airport. The resulting investigation took almost 10 years and most of the gold was never found.

9. Nov 29 1814 – The Times newspaper was printed by steam instead of manual power. The steam printing press could print 1100 sheets an hour.

10. Nov 29 1855 – A public meeting was held at Willis’s Rooms to raise funds for what became the Nightingale School of Nursing.

11. Nov 29 1934 – Prince George, Duke of Kent married Princess Marina of Greece at Westminster Abbey.

12. Nov 30 1016 – King Edmund II of England was reputedly stabbed in the bowels whilst in the outhouse. He died on the same day.

13. Nov 30 1936 – A small fire at Crystal Palace, Sydenham raged out of control and destroyed the entire building. 88 fire engines were deployed to fight the fire. Melted glass was everywhere.

The London Book of Days is a really interesting book full of snippets about London history. If you enjoy history, you’ll love flicking through this book.

I’m Too Sexy – Fringe Benefits

My Sexy Saturday

The theme for My Sexy Saturday is I’m Too Sexy. While the following excerpt doesn’t fit the bill one hundred percent, I wanted to feature Fringe Benefits this week since it’s a new release.

A whisper of sensation across one breast stirred her. Suspecting a fly, she swished a lazy hand. Then warm, wet suction closed around her nipple and her eyes flew open.

Kelvin pulled away to smile at her, a slightly lopsided smile with a heap of charm, and her pulse rate went from speedy to fast and choppy.

“I couldn’t resist. I love your breasts. A big handful of sexy.” His dark brown eyes challenged her, dared her to tell him to stop.

As if. Marie wanted to grab him by the ears and direct his mouth back to her breast. She wanted to bossily order him to suck her nipple hard in easy, rhythmic pulls that would echo in her pussy and start the journey to pleasure. Instead, she cleared her throat. “You okay?”

A shadow crossed his face. “It’s Friday and a long weekend. Why shouldn’t I be okay?”

Neat avoidance of her question. If he didn’t want to talk about Saffron, fine. “Have you seen my bikini top? I couldn’t find it.”

“I like you better without.” Mischief lit his eyes as his fingers, callused from his carpentry job, drifted across the lower curve of her breast. A prickle of heat shot from the spot he touched to settle in an ache between her legs. As they watched, her nipple pulled to a crest. “Much better,” he murmured with masculine appreciation, then lifted his gaze to hers. “Pretty blue eyes, curly brown hair.” He tugged a lock and watched it spring back into shape. “A hell of a way to improve my day.”

Fringe Benefits

BLURB:

Flatmates. Best friends. Casual lovers.

Life’s good—a friends-with-benefits deal works perfectly with her male flatmates, but Marie Wright secretly craves more. A hot threesome. Erotic pleasure. Silken touches from both Shane and Kelvin. One hot summer day the sensual tension explodes between the three friends. For Marie each caress is a slice of ecstasy. It’s seductive magic, and she’s bewitched. Momentary pleasure isn’t enough. She wants a future with her lovers—a permanent ménage a trois—but if she makes a wrong move, she might irreparably destroy their friendship and lose everything.

Purchase links:

iBooks NZ| iBooks US| Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Kobo|All Romance ebooks|

 

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