Monday, October 1st, 2012
SECRETS OF A DANGEROUS WOMAN
In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan Maguire is back in his first assignment with the CIA: to interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it’s obvious she’s had help from within the CIA’s own ranks. With Vicki Boyd’s assistance, Brenda is back in Dylan’s custody. And now he must find out why some in the highest levels of our government want her dead while others are willing to risk everything to help her. And when he discovers Brenda’s real identity, his mission has just become very personal.
“Who are you running from?” Vicki asked.
Brenda took a deep breath. “I amin trouble. Big trouble.”
“Depends on who you ask.” She took a deep breath. “I’m tired, Vicki. Really tired. I need to get off the street. Stay inside for a day or two. Regroup.”
“I’m living in Lumberton now. The woman who owned the house where I’m staying passed away. Her nephew inherited it.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Yeah? Where’s he?”
“I live with him. Come home with me. It’s a big house, three stories.”
Brenda frowned as if she was deep in thought. “It’s just you and him there?”
“His name’s Dylan. I’ll tell you all about him on the way.”
She half nodded. “He won’t be taken aback by you bringing me home? I’m a bit more to handle than a stray cat.”
“He’d love to meet you. I promise. He’ll take care of you.”
Vicki blushed. “He’s got a strong sense of family. Besides,” she said as she started to rise, “it’s suppertime and you need to eat. We’ll get something in your belly and you’ll get a good night’s sleep.”
Brenda hesitated only briefly before she rose from the table. “You sure you can handle the intrusion?”
As they made their way toward the door, Brenda whispered, “I wouldn’t be too sure about that.”
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books, including Vicki’s Key, a 2012 International Book Awards finalist, and River Passage, 2010 Best Fiction & Drama winner. She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation whose slogan is “Buy a Book and Stop a Crook” and the co-chair of Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference & Book Fair. For more information, visit www.pmterrell.com.
Facebook: Patricia M. Terrell
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
Never, Never, Never Give Up
It had to be the worst book cover I’d ever seen.
A young, lovely, curvy woman, getting her boobs cupped from a guy who stood behind her as he nuzzled her neck. Her jeans were barely above her see-you-next-Tuesday line and her come hither smirk told anyone looking at the cover that there would be sex a-plenty in this story.
The problem with that, there was hardly any sex in this story, but how would I know that? Because the story was mine.
When I first wrote Worth the Weight, I knew I’d written the best contemporary romance in the history of the romance genre and the best romance deserved a fantastic cover, right?
I looked at the screen again, seeing the woman, the man, and the cupping and I couldn’t do anything but sob.
This isn’t my story.
I called everyone I could think of to ask their advice. One of them was none other than my critique partner, Desiree Holt.
“What am I going to do?” I cried. “It sucks. It totally sucks.”
“Yep, it does,” she answered. “So what do you want to do?”
I didn’t know. I had no idea what to do. I wanted my story in print so badly and yet, I just knew if I let this cover on my baby, it would fail miserably.
Desiree added, “If you want to get published, you’re going to have to have some crappy covers. I know this sucks, but you can accept the cover or pull your book.”
Sucky and suckier—great choices.
I tried to talk to my editor, tell her how the book didn’t match the cover. Her response? “We know what we’re doing. The cover stays.”
After a bottle of wine and a box of Kleenex later, I thought I would suck it up and keep the cover. Ironically, rumors of the publisher filing bankruptcy started circling over the loops and again I asked Desiree for help. “Pull your book,” she told me.
So I did and for years, my book sat there.
The economy tanked and publishers weren’t taking chances on new writers as much as they were before.
I looked over the book again, revised it, and revised it again. I entered it in a few contests and it won one. The agent requested the full manuscript, but never even acknowledged she received the file. Again, a dead end.
Is this book ever going to be sold? Am I just a glutton for punishment? Am I simply nuts to be a writer, especially in a down economy?
About the time I started thinking I should just throw in the towel, walk away, I attended one of my writer’s group meetings. Again, a wonderful friend, Desiree, handed me a refrigerator magnet with Never, Never, Never give up—Winston Churchill on it.
It’s what I needed to keep pushing myself forward. I worked on other stories, kept submitting to critique groups, and continued to push forward.
By this time, I’d revised Worth the Weight and pitched it to a new publisher. Within six weeks, I’d sold it to Soulmate Publishing.
Now, being in the second round of edits, I get my book cover and it’s lovely.
Although it’s been a long journey, it seems my momentum hasn’t wained. My editor wants the next two books as well as another series I wrote while waiting for my first baby to be sold.
Everyday, I see that refrigerator magnet and know no matter how hard things get, no matter how frustrated I feel or how badly book covers might suck, good things do happen for those who weight…I mean wait.
Worth the Weight will be released November 14th, 2012 from Soulmate Publishing.
Excerpt: With brand new cover!!!!!!!
Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem—Eric Hoffer
Ever end up in a bathroom stall, in the men’s room, wearing your wedding dress on your wedding day?
“Are you okay in there?” A low voice echoed off the white tiles that decorated the room from floor to ceiling.
I could taste the salt from my tears, as I tried to answer without sobbing … again. “Si.” I followed it with a quick, “Yes, I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Um, because you’re in the men’s room.”
He cleared his throat. “You’re in drag … that’s cool.”
“Nope, just a bad day.” I lied through sobs.
My sticky hands still bore the result of a quick get–away. When I grabbed my steering wheel during my escape, I discovered it covered with Vaseline. It certainly made gripping the wheel frustrating. With nothing to wipe my hands on, I’d turned into the first place I found.
After deciding on the quick wash, I’d handed over the keys to the attendant and made a beeline to the bathroom, but didn’t bother looking at the sign. It wasn’t until I’d locked myself in the stall, the urinals registered. But before I could leave, I’d heard a cough.
I tried to clean my palms with toilet paper, but the one–ply shredded in my hands. “Dammit. I’m fine. Just peachy.”
“Okay.” The sound of running water helped end the conversation and gave me a minute to collect my thoughts, remembering what transpired not half an hour earlier.
There I was, back in the church, the scene of my disaster.
“Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” the man in the starched collar asked.
The sparkle in my fiancé’s eyes faded before it dawned on me that something had gone very wrong. He stared at me.
I blinked a few times. “What?”
Glancing sideways through my veil, I saw the pastor biting his lip.
“Did you ask me something?”
“Yes. I. Did.” His enunciation of each word, with staccato precision, made my brothers snicker.
Images of the drunk sister in Sixteen Candles went through my mind as he continued. “Do you.” He pointed to me. “Megan Antonia Sayla, take this man.” He looked at, “Travis Michael Joseph Daniel Carter, to be—“
Travis’ mother cleared her throat. “The fourth.”
“Right.” The minister looked up, mumbled something, then returned to the service. “Travis Michael Joseph Daniel Carter. The fourth.” He smiled in her direction. “To be your lawfully wedded husband?”
I could feel the corners of my mouth lift as I took a deep breath, gazed into Travis’ eyes, and replied, “No.”
Yeah, I heard it that time. “Crap.”
“Holy shit.” Dad stood up.
“I toll you, this not work. He not Italian.” My Italian grandmother, Nonna, crossed herself and started saying Hail Mary’s in her native tongue, as her husband, Nonno, woke momentarily, then fell back to sleep.
“Mama. Zitto, per favore.” Turning to his mother, my dad placed his hands on her shoulders and eased her back into the pew. “Be quiet.”
Mom’s Danish parents, we affectionately call her Bedste and him Morfar, began to speak to each other in their birth language, saying things like “What the hell just happened here?, Should we call the caterer?”, and “Can you freeze all that rice pudding?”
With all the sudden chaos, I don’t remember much until I ended up in this car wash bathroom talking to a total stranger. I shivered as a gust of frigid, January air whipped through the room. Looking up, I noticed a row of open windows.
The water stopped running and the automatic paper towel dispenser hummed.
“How do I get out of this?” I rubbed my arms with my hands in an attempt to get warm. “Now what do I do?”
A low, masculine chuckle brought me back to reality. “Probably need to get out of the men’s room, first.”
I leaned against the cold, tiled wall and deeply inhaled the cool, lemon–scented air. “Did you ever have one of those days you wish you could start over?”
“Are you talking on the phone or to me?”
“You.” Don’t ask what possessed me to talk to a stranger. Being in that stall, I blurted out, “I feel like I’m at confession, so just go with me on this.”
He laughed this time, his rich voice resonating. “That’s a first.”
“For me to be referred to as a priest.”
“Seems like a day of firsts. This is the first time I left a man at the altar. The first time I’ve been in the men’s room.”
“Busy day for both of us, especially me, now being a priest and all.”
Silence filled the room, again. When he said nothing else, I assumed he’d decided to leave, until I heard, “What’s troubling you, my child?”
“Seriously?” Did he really want to know? Why? Was he really a priest?
“Sure, unless you’re not Catholic. Then you’re better off going to therapy or drinking.”
I crossed myself. “Forgive me Father, it’s been six months since my last confession.”
“If you were a man of the cloth, you’d know that’s a horribly long time.”
I suppressed a giggle. “It can be. Most people go weekly. Daily.”
“Geez, who has time for that much guilt?”
“I guess I only know happy, guilt–free Catholics.”
“No Catholic is guilt–free. Guilt is part of the tradition.” And I felt plenty guilty today. I twisted the beading of my wedding dress between my fingers.
“You’re Catholic?” he asked.
“More like a Cathalutheran.”
He chuckled. “What’s that?”
“Catholic dad, Lutheran mom. We combined the two to get the best of both worlds.”
“Best of both worlds? Sounds very Hannah Montana–ish.” He cleared his throat. “My niece watches the show.”
“Right. During religious holidays, we have all the traditional food, but we pretend to ignore the sin of gluttony and gossip.” I bit my lip as my heart pounded in my ears. “Hence my six month absence from confession.”
“Right. I’m supposed to say something like ‘Six months? How many sins could you have committed in six months? Come back when,’ um … what does he say again?”
“Trying to remember how they did it in Zorro.”
My heart skipped a beat. “Which one? The one with Tyrone Powers or with Antonio Banderas?”
“Aren’t they the same? Girl in a box. Guy isn’t a priest. He’s making it up as he goes.”
“Yeah.”. Rarely had I met anyone who knew of the first talking Zorro movie, much less the confession scene. I smoothed down my dress. “Do you need help with the movie line? I’m pretty good at them.”
“No, wait. Next, he asked her if she’d broken any of the Ten Commandments.”
“Something like that.” The corners of my mouth rose. “Forgive me Father, I have broken the fourth commandment.”
“You killed someone?” His accent changed to the melodious sound of the Spanish actor.
“That is not the fourth commandment, Father.”
“Oh, okay. Tell me in what way you broke the most sacred of God’s commandments?”
My parents’ faces flashed across my mind, my brothers, my family. A sob rose in my throat. “I dishonored my mother and father today.”
“That’s not so bad. Maybe they deserved it.”
“What?” I shook my head as I placed my hands over my mouth in an attempt to keep from losing it, again, but tears ran down my cheeks. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Tell me more, my child.”
“I … I don’t know what to say.” I depleted a roll of toilet paper as I tried to dry my face. After a few moments, I realized he’d been silent for a while. “You still there?”
“Yes. This is when he sees her through the screen, isn’t it?”
He cleared his throat. “I don’t think you want me looking between the stall doors.”
His chivalry surprised me. “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that.”
“It’s at the end of the scene before the captain of the guards shows up and screws it up.”
“Yeah, he’s a good bad guy.”
I took a deep breath as I tried to think. He may not want to look through the doors, but I’m generally nosy. No matter what this guy looked like, I was too curious to walk away without seeing his face. Kindness from a stranger had been an unexpected gift in my chaotic day. I needed to put a face with the voice.
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
The Anatomy of Desire
By Lisabet Sarai
What’s the difference between porn and erotica? That’s a favorite topic for debate among authors (and readers) of erotica and erotic romance. For what it’s worth, here’s my definition. Porn is primarily concerned with sex, while erotica is concerned with desire.
Porn loves to linger on the actual sex acts. Well-written pornography (yes, there is such a thing!) will give readers a glimpse of what’s going on in the protagonists’ heads, but the main focus is still on their bodies: who is doing what to whom and what kind of outrageous pleasure results. Porn is sweat and cum, straining muscles, pounding cocks, gripping pussies, moans, groans and screams – overwhelmingly physical.
Desire, in contrast, is fundamentally a psychological or emotional state. It combines aesthetic appreciation, anticipation, and longing. It may manifest itself in a feeling of lack (“I can’t stand to spend another hour out of his presence!”) or as a stimulus to action (“If I don’t make a move now, she’s going to leave.”).
Desire feeds on fantasy. We picture the object of our lust, imagining that first touch or first kiss, the smooth, sure slide of a swollen cock into a slick pussy, the glorious sense of fullness afterward. The experience of desire doesn’t require those expectations to be fulfilled, however. In fact, desire may be more intense when it is frustrated or when consummation is delayed.
Desire is hunger. Porn is the process of eating to satisfy that hunger.
Although desire begins in the mind and heart, it does have physical correlates. Swollen or sensitized erogenous zones are obvious examples, but there are other signs that authors of erotica and erotic romance (I consider the latter a subset of the former – but that’s a topic for a different blog post!) can use to convey their characters’ state of longing. Blushing, stammering, elevated heart rate, shallow breathing – or holding one’s breath in anticipation – these can all be associated with desire. Personally, I feel desire as an ache in my chest, as though a tight fist were clutching my heart, and as a sense of emptiness between my thighs.
Although my own stories are generally considered to be pretty hot, I spend a lot more time describing the inner workings of desire than I do the actual sex acts. In fact, I’ve written stories where there’s no real sex at all. In “Stroke”, part of my collection Just a Spanking, the protagonist is a nurse with submissive fantasies who discovers that the half-paralyzed stroke patient in her care is an accomplished dominant. His acknowledgment and approval of her kinky desires are what excites her. He doesn’t even need to touch her. And the title tale, “Just a Spanking” offers exactly that – a plain spanking, no sexual contact, simply a Dom punishing his long-time sub to prove that the experience of full surrender can bring satisfaction without any sexual stimulation all.
I am dressed as he requires, short skirt with no panties, silk blouse with no bra, and my favorite lace-up boots. I fidget on the seat as he drives up 101. The plastic is sticky against my bare skin and getting stickier by the minute. He stubbornly keeps his eyes on the road.
I part my thighs. The car fills with the ripe scent of my pussy. His nostrils twitch but otherwise he ignores me. My nipples feel as huge and hungry as they do when he winds them with rubber bands. I try to keep still. Each whisper of silk across my breasts makes my cunt clench and weep.
He opens the car door—a gentleman Dom—and helps me out. The brief contact of palm on palm makes me shudder with want. I follow him up the stairs to his apartment, watching his strong buttocks shift in his trousers as he climbs. I think about how they tense and relax when he fucks me. I’m panting by the time we reach the third floor, but not from exertion.
The door swings open. He steps aside, gesturing for me to enter. Normally he’d have me pressed against the wall, knee in my crotch and hands under my blouse, before the lock clicked shut. Today he simply stands beside me, a half-smile on his full lips, as I survey the familiar room.
Sometimes desire doesn’t even need an object. I know from personal experience how a sexually-charged situation can inspire lust, unfocused but powerful nevertheless. Here’s a snipped from “Shades of Red” (published in Spank Me Again, Stranger). The young heroine is visiting Amsterdam and finds herself unbelievably aroused by the randy atmosphere in the red light district.
“Okay, see you later. Be careful.”
“You know me. The coolest of the cool.”
But I’m not. In fact I’ve been obsessed ever since last night, when Jane and I wandered through the red light district, staring at the women who waited behind the glass in their rose-tinted rooms. We wove our way through clumps of nervous, intoxicated men who were all staring, too. I could smell their sweat, underneath the beer and the pot smoke. I could feel their lust. It infected me.
They barely noticed us, two teenagers in jeans, although the tight denim in my crotch was so wet, I half-expected they’d catch my scent and turn to me. They had eyes only for the bodies displayed in the rows of windows lining the canals.
Some of the women were ripe, blond, Slavic-looking, their breasts exploding out of their lace brassieres. Others were slight, deliberately child-like in Gidget-inspired bikinis or brief plaid kilts. There was a Brazilian beauty with golden skin and coffee-colored eyes; a voluptuous African princess with strings of ruby-hued beads dangling in her ebony cleavage; a serious-looking brunette wearing dark-framed glasses who sat, shapely legs crossed, like a secretary waiting to take dictation.
Some of the women posed. Others danced suggestively, or made lewd gestures at their prospective customers. There were masked women in leather, snapping riding crops against their boots. There were women whose pierced nipples and labia showed clearly through their translucent garments.
Men clustered around the dimly-lit windows like moths hovering by a candle. Mostly they’d just look, inflamed by the mere thought of all this available flesh. Sometimes I’d see a hushed conversation through a half open glass door. Such conversations might end with the man turning away, disappointed, rejected, or perhaps simply unwilling to pay the asking price. Other times the door would open wider, just enough to admit the supplicant. Then it would close and the red velvet curtains would be drawn, hiding the rest of the dance.
Those curtained windows drew me. I couldn’t stop imagining what might be going on behind them. I knew it was a straight commercial transaction in most cases, a workman-like blow job, or a quick, bored fuck. Still, I imagined occasional revelations, epiphanies, ecstasies – meetings of strangers pre-destined to be lovers, brief but unbearably intense conflagrations of lust, lewd and mystical connections that would live in his memory, or hers, long after the curtains were flung open again.
I’m nineteen. I’ve had enjoyable but ultimately frustrating sex with two boys my age. I know that, practical as I am, I’m a bit of a romantic. Otherwise, I would not have continued to roam the red-lit alleys long after Jane gave up and went back to the hotel in disgust. As the Oude Kerk chimed two AM, I wandered up Molensteeg and down Monnikenstraat like some horny ghost. The crowds had thinned. The curtains were mostly drawn. Some of open windows were empty. Next to them were the signs: KAMERS TE HUUR. Windows for rent.
Ruby scarcely knows what she wants, though as the story proceeds, she begins to understand.
Anyone who’s at all familiar with my body of work will know that I’m particularly fascinated by the desires that motivate dominants and submissives. In my most recent romance, Mastering Maya (part of the Switch anthology which also includes a contribution from my esteemed hostess Desiree!) I explore the highly conflicted desires of a sub who turned to dominance after being betrayed by her first master.
She stood naked before the fire, well aware that a practised top like Stephen could read the message in her erect nipples and sticky thighs. The flames from the hearth toasted her back and buttocks. The rest of the room felt chill in contrast, tightening her tawny areolas to nubby circles and turning the wet streaks on her inner thighs to cold fingers of lust. She tried to summon a defiant glare but she couldn’t meet Stephen’s eyes.
“Wait for me here.” His seductive voice was an auditory caress. “Don’t move.”
Footsteps echoed on the polished wood of the stairs. Maya struggled to moderate her heartbeat and slow her breathing. Pull yourself together, she scolded herself. Remember who you are.
He returned before she’d expected him. Although she kept her eyes on the Oriental carpet like a good submissive, she sensed his closeness as he circled behind her.
“I’m going to blindfold you, Maya—to take away some of your shame and to heighten your sensitivity to non-visual stimuli. Do you agree?”
Maya breathed her way through a spike of panic. “Whatever you wish, Master,” she finally managed, aware that she’d severely punish any sub who answered her with the sarcasm she’d heard in her own reply.
Stephen just laughed. “Good girl.” A cool swathe of silk brushed her eyelids. She felt a small tug as he knotted the scarf in the back.
The instant blackness descended, her other senses snapped into focus. The crackle of the fire and the metallic tick of the old clock. The mingled smells of wood smoke, Stephen’s cologne, and her own musk. The wiry strength in Stephen’s fingers as he grasped her arm.
“Step out of your shoes.” The velvety nap of the rug felt heavenly beneath her bare feet. “Over here.”
Warmth retreated as he led her away from the hearth. “Too bad you don’t have your own dungeon. Just have to improvise, I guess.”
She stumbled. He stabilised her. She fought against the rush of desire his strength provoked.
“Trust me, Maya. I won’t let you fall.”
But she was falling as she let him guide her, falling back into the sweet depths of helpless lust she’d left behind when she’d rejected her old Master. As Stephen arranged her on her knees on the brocade chaise, the old feelings flooded back, threatening to drown her.
I have written porn on occasion, just for the fun of it, or on a dare. After all, I’ve got nothing against physical sex! Overall, though, I’m much more interested in desire, which I find almost infinitely complex and varied.
Hearty thanks to you, Desiree, for hosting me today. (Actually, it was your name that inspired my topic!) And to thank all of you readers, I’m giving away a copy of Switch to one person who leaves a comment. Don’t forget to include your email!
Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
All three books in Berengaria Brown’s “Wet and Willing” series are now out. We’re fortunate to have her on the blog today. Here’s what’s Under My Hat.
Berengaria is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.
Book 1: “Woman in Hot Water”. Blurb:
Unemployed and homeless, Kendra gets a job at the local Aquatic Center. Her new boss, Osborne, is very yummy, but he’s partnered to Jordan. When she’s offered a threesome with two such delicious men, how can she say no? And with so many opportunities to see their semi-naked bodies, being a good girl is not that easy either. Fun on the waterslide, a hot time in the sauna, slick, gleaming muscles in the gym…
When Jordan deduces that Kendra is sleeping in her car, the men ask her to stay in their guest room. She’s hesitant, but allows them to persuade her. Despite the best sex of her life, Kendra is determined to move into an apartment of her own as soon as possible, so she goes house-hunting. The men don’t like either of the places she chooses. She can’t risk losing her job but values her independence too.
Book 2: “Cold Woman, Hot Men”. Blurb:
Melusine Carmichael mistakes the plunge pool at the Aquatic Center for a regular pool and almost drowns with the sudden shock of the icy-cold water. While underwater she hears a voice calling her “Melly,” a name she never uses. Yehudi and Arlington are nearby in the sauna and rescue her, using their personal body heat and the sauna to warm her up. They keep in contact with her via Facebook, and finally convince her to let them teach her to swim.
But Mel hears the voice again and worries that they’re stalking her, so she cuts contact with them. Yehudi and Arlington try everything to see her and she prevents them, so they meet her parents after their swimming class. They learn about the voice saying “Melly” and that someone is stalking her.
But who is it? And how can they get Mel to spend time with them again so they can convince her of their innocence?
Book 3: “Small Woman, Big Trouble”. Blurb:
Deb Steele hikes through a Water Authority reservation. But houses are being built on one section of it, and she can’t get home. She phones Kai Cole, and he and Harry Anders come to get her. While she’s waiting for them, her cell phone battery dies and a young man turns up on an electric scooter. When he realizes she’s quite alone, he plans to sexually assault her. She escapes from him just as Kai and Harry arrive.
Kai worries about how he can protect Deborah if this man is following her, and Harry suggests they learn karate. Kai decides the only way their beginning threesome relationship can progress further is if they all move in together.
But, as Deb is leaving work late that evening, the attacker jumps her once again. Why is he after her? How can the men protect her? And will they ever have enough time to build their friendship into a genuine relationship?
A Slightly Naughty Excerpt from “Cold Woman, Hot Men”.
Yehudi was leaning back against the wall of the sauna, his eyes half closed, his brain counting the minutes until he could get Arlington out of his teeny tiny swimwear and his own cock buried in Arlington’s tautly delicious ass. If he’d thought to bring lube in his gym bag, he may have been able to convince Arlington to fuck in the shower, right here in the change rooms at the Aquatic Center. But with kids around, it was likely just as well to wait until they were back home. But that meant adding another twenty minutes onto a wait that was already stretching out to be way too long for the ongoing happiness of his cock.
Arlington was looking though the glass panel in the door, snorting and shaking his head.
“What’s so amusing,” Yehudi asked.
“There’s a woman staring at the plunge pool, like she’s never seen one before. She’s taking her towel off, so maybe she’s going to come in here. Oooh, nice body. I like those long legs. Nice tits, too.”
“That’s it? You’re not going to tell me her hair color and eye color, and her height to the nearest inch?”
Arlington turned to grin at him. “Five six, blonde and blue.”
Yehudi heard a lot of splashing. “What on earth is she doing?” he asked.
“Drowning!” Arlington opened the door so roughly it crashed into the wall as he raced out. Yehudi jumped up and followed him out to the plunge pool.
The woman—well, he supposed it was the woman—was definitely underwater, and this was not the kind of place to practice underwater swimming. The whole point of the plunge pool was that users of the sauna jumped into the icy cold pool, and climbed straight out again to cool off after the heat of the sauna.
Arlington had jumped in and dived under the woman’s body, using his broad shoulders and strong back to push her up to the surface and nudge her to the side of the pool. Yehudi kneeled down and leaned over, grabbing hold of the woman’s arm, which was very cold indeed, and pulling her higher out of the water. Arlington pushed her some more, and Yehudi got a good grip on her waist and lifted her up onto the edge of the pool. He turned her onto her side and banged on her back. She coughed then dragged a rasping breath into her body.
Meanwhile Arlington had climbed out of the pool. “She’s breathing. Good.”
“Let’s get her—and you—back into the sauna to warm up.
Yehudi picked her up and carried her the short distance into the sauna, laying her on his own towel, which was on the bench where he’d left it. Arlington followed him in the door then threw more water on the hot stones of the fire to make steam.
“Her skin is still icy,” said Yehudi. He was worried about her. Was this a suicide attempt? Why would she have deliberately jumped into the water if she couldn’t swim? “I’ll get her towel,” he said, wanting Arlington to stay in the sauna and warm himself up again after the cold water.
The woman was coughing again when he returned, and he gently wrapped her towel over her shoulders. “Thanks,” she said then coughed again.
After a few minutes she sat up, hugging the towel around her body.
“What happened?” Yehudi asked, at exactly the same time as Arlington said, “Why did you get in the pool if you can’t swim?”
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
This October 30, I’ll be saying goodbye to one of my favorite characters. Dana Arthur and her two lovers/bosses, Simon Dirk and Ethan Cowell, first invaded my brain in TRAINING THE RECEPTIONIST. They heated things up even more in RESTRAINING THE RECEPTIONIST. They took a time out for a vacation in THANKING THE RECEPTIONIST, a short free read. And now it’s time for UNLEASHING THE RECEPTIONIST. And that will be that. After one last raunchy, sexy, sassy visit to the outrageous firm of Cowell & Dirk in “Low-Life, Long Island, I’ll be moving on to other series, other characters, other settings.
I’m both happy and sad about this. I’ve had a lot of fun writing these characters and I’m going to miss them. Dana the Receptionist is a sassy, smart-alecky survivor who has learned to embrace her sensual side under the tutelage of Simon Dirk. Both Simon and Dana acknowledge the mastery of Ethan Cowell, the charismatic senior partner and mystery man. The interplay between them is fascinating to write; so is Ethan’s imagination. After three books, I feel I know these characters so well. I think they’ll always be with me.
But every good thing must come to an end. I feel I would be doing them wrong if I dragged their story out too long. I enjoyed resolving things for these characters, revealing secrets and letting them reach their ultimate happy ending on all levels. But I didn’t realize how tough it was going to be to write the last sentence and know … that’s it.
Then again, isn’t that the great thing about books? All you have to do is open them up and there are your beloved characters again. There’s that familiar world, just waiting for you. So it may be goodbye for now … but not forever. Dana, Simon and Ethan, we’ll meet again!
You can tie a girl up, but you can’t keep her down…
…the Receptionist, Book 3
In the year since Dana joined Ethan and Simon’s firm, the three of them have found the perfect balance of power and pleasure in their three-way, work/play relationship. Not only that, but it’s been the firm’s most successful year financially.
Except something is missing. Her men won’t tell her anything about their past. How they met, or how they formed such an unconventional business and personal partnership. Until they start sharing their secrets, Dana fears she’ll always be the odd girl out.
Everything changes when a vengeful former partner resurfaces. Suddenly, both the business and their idyllic relationship are under siege. With a tax auditor watching their every move, the three must be on their best behavior.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Dana seizes the chance to prove herself—and finally win her sexy bosses’ full trust and confidence. Now the race is on to root the evil nemesis out of their lives once and for all—before her dream relationship cracks under the pressure.
Contains hot three-way M/F/M sex, highly inappropriate office behavior, a shocking secret, a kinky accountant and some really bad girl-on-girl porno reenactments.
On a typical work day, if I’m chained to my desk it’s with silk cords and for one purpose only: because it leads to screaming orgasms for me and my two delectable bosses, Simon and Ethan.
With one exception. Business plan time.
During business plan, I’m chained to the desk in the usual, strictly metaphorical way. You know, working. Needless to say, it’s not my favorite time of year. It’s tough to spend all day and half the night shut up inside an office with two sexy gods when neither has touched you once. But maybe that’s just me. Not every receptionist has been trained to receive pleasure as well as incoming calls.
“Dana,” said Ethan, jolting me from my sexually frustrated daze. “Can you put another pot of coffee on, luv? And then I’ll need the P & L’s again.”
I hid a sigh as I trudged to the kitchenette. “Coming up.”
At least the profit and loss statements were good. Cowell & Dirk had had a very satisfactory year. Especially if you asked the only actual employee, me. I had experienced a blissfully high level of job satisfaction since Simon had hired and trained me.
“Mu shu pork okay?” called Simon. “I’m ordering from Great Wok.”
Now that was more like it. My mood brightened as I put on the coffee and gathered up the files. I’d do anything for my bosses, we all knew that. But I certainly preferred some duties to others.
“Food’s on its way,” said Simon when I returned with the coffee pot. “If I could only tear Ethan away from that spreadsheet.” He shot me a green-eyed pirate wink. His hair was a tousled black mess, but I loved my Simon in all his moods.
I gave him a questioning glance, wanting to make sure I’d interpreted correctly. Simon and Ethan had a strange bond, one I couldn’t quite figure out even though I was closer to them than anyone. They seemed to read each other without words. Simon gave me a go-ahead cock of his head. With his wrinkled white shirt open at the neck, he looked half-drunk, as if he’d been swilling expensive brandy all night instead of crunching numbers.
“Maybe we need to spread something else in front of him,” I suggested. I put down the files and the coffee and prowled toward Ethan, who barely looked up from his swivel chair. He wore his reading glasses, his grizzled blond head bent over the desk. I challenge you to find anyone hotter than a sexual beast like Ethan with a pair of wire rims perched on his much-broken nose.
I knew from the tilt of his head that he was tracking my approach. Ethan was like a wild animal picking up scents, especially the scent of eager Dana. His nostrils flared as I came close to the desk.
“We wouldn’t want our Senior Partner to burn out. Occasional breaks are healthy. I’m sure that’s in the employee manual somewhere.” I circled behind him and trailed my finger across the back of his neck. He tensed. I felt the tendons go taut as elevator cables. “This poor man has been working far too hard. If we don’t get him to relax, his head might explode.” I ran my hand through his thick hair.
“Sounds dire,” Simon agreed. “Urgent, even.”
“Oh, yes, I’d say it’s an emergency.” I slid my other hand inside his shirt, under the T-shirt, where rough curls greeted my fingers. “There isn’t even time to call a doctor. We’ll have to do what we can all on our own.”
Ethan let out an amused growl. “Nice try, luv, but it won’t work. Can’t mix business plan with pleasure.”
I snorted. The three of us had been mixing business with pleasure for over a year now. “You’re so right, boss. I’m being bad, aren’t I?” I rubbed my nipples on the broad plain between his shoulder blades. Obedient little soldiers, they peaked right away from the heat of his body. Or maybe from the memory of all the things Ethan had done to them. “There’s probably something in the manual about this. In the punishment and correction section.”
“I’m warning you, Dana.” But I heard the heat in his voice. I knew the game was on.
I aimed a cat-who-ate-the-cream look at Simon, inviting him to join me. He rose to his feet and ambled toward me, taking off his belt. I shivered at the sight and instantly went wet. “Perhaps our lovely receptionist needs a refresher course in obedience,” he said with a frown. “Hands behind your back, Dana.”
“But, Simon, I’m just trying to relax him …”
“Hands behind your back.” His stern voice made heat shoot to my pussy. I straightened up and put my wrists together behind my back.
“It’s not her hands that are causing the trouble.” Ethan swiveled around so he faced me. “It’s her nipples.” He gave my chest a smoldering glare, which ignited little aching flames inside each breast. “They need to be taught a lesson.”
“Quite right,” said Simon.
Ethan flicked open the buttons of my blouse, pop pop pop, until it hung open. Underneath I wore their favorite kind of undergarment, a pushup teddy that barely covered my nipples. One quick move of Ethan’s hand and it didn’t cover them at all.
From behind me, Simon ran the leather belt through his hands. It made a rough, hissing sound like a snake sliding across gravel. “Keep your hands behind you, disobedient Dana. Nipples out.”