On life, the universe, and coffee.
Oh yeah, and books...
**this is an 18+ blog!**
On life, the universe, and coffee.
Oh yeah, and books...
Sorry for missing last week's post. The flu hit my house (thanks, hubby) last week, and there wasn't much going on besides huddling under lots of blankets and trying to keep the kids from catching it. Somehow, they're still clear, now 10 days after hubby first went down, and 7 days after I caught it.
This week, we're taking a look at LJ Longo's first m/f book, Hiring the Tiger. She's got more books planned for the series, and hopefully those will come out soon!
A tiger shouldn’t be picking tea-leaves and carrying luggage, but that’s the only job Navarro sees in his future. He’s learned to be humble since he and his friends, a wolf pack, exchanged their former careers as highway robbers for prison.
Then Lady Jasprite Doughton, a merchant with all the grace of the far East and the wealth of the West, whirls through the village on the back of a dragon and reminds Navarro what it means to want something. With her dominating sexual tastes and her powerful personality, Jasprite challenges his body, his lust, his loyalty to his friends, and his own worth.
After all, is gold enough to buy a tiger?
Nav worried she wouldn’t like the look of the bands, too dirty, too bold. Then he scoffed because he didn’t give a damn if she liked the look of them. Then he worried she’d decide he was a frivolous expense.
Fuck the bet, he’d take for her free. Now, he wanted her.
Now she was here.
He smelled her in the hallway, potent and sexual. She walked with quick long strides and opened the door before he could decide if he ought to be found in the balcony or on the bed.
Jasprite locked the door after she entered, then dropped the key into her front vest pocket. She grinned at him, the kind of leer men give the village girls washing their clothing at the river. It made him feel curiously misplaced.
“So, the captain was wrong. The chest was delivered safe and whole. You didn’t even open it.”
“I didn’t have the key.” He’d resisted the desire to pick it. “Ramsay also said you ought to hire a soldier to do this work.”
“A miscreant will do the job more thoroughly.” She pulled off her suit jacket and hung it on a wall hook, never taking her eyes from him. “Though, I’ll be honest, I don’t like animals. Especially, large ones. They don’t take direction well. Your witch said you’re a tiger.”
Nav grinned. “She’s not wrong.”
The lady’s eyebrow raised with annoyance. He wasn’t playing properly. He tried to be timid again. “Did you want proof, Lady Doughton?”
“Never had a tiger for hire.” She grinned at her name then pulled the string of jewels out of her bun, plucked something from the string, and tossed something over to him. He caught a key. “Open the chest.”
He knelt and opened the red chest with a gamely smile.
The smile left quickly. “Holy Hades…”
Under the layers of cotton were shackles, collars, whips. Long thick phallic statues of carved and polished wood, glass, and shining metal molded for a very specific purpose. Gags, hoods, dozens of other toys he’d never seen even in the most wicked books.
She chuckled, not a pleasant sound. “I knew you wouldn’t be ready.”
“Uh…” He looked from the box to her. He wanted her strong thighs, those tempting breasts, her cruel smile. But the box … men were supposed to use toys like that, not women.
“You like my collection?”
“I don’t know, actually.”
She hummed, unimpressed with his answer. She sauntered over and peered with him into her box of deviance. Her thighs were level with his face, and he inhaled the rich fresh wetness between her legs. He wanted her so much.
Nav swallowed, uncomfortable on his knees. He should have been the one staring down at her. She should have been the one to feel small and desired. Instead, she’d made him nothing more than his throbbing cock and his wordless mouth.
“Yes, this is exactly my problem with large animals. Especially ones that belong to other women.” She gripped his chin.
“I don’t belong to Yenna.”
She grinned. “I know who you belong to.”
Nav shivered a little at the ownership in her confidence.
Jasprite let him go. “I do like a pretty face though. So, I’ll make an exception for you, tiger.”
She could still tell him no? He wasn’t sure he had the option himself.
The woman unbuttoned her vest. “Pick out what you’ll let me use on you and I’ll tell you what you’re worth.”
Buy it here:
L.J. Longo is a queer author, a geek, a feminist, sometime pirate, and best-selling author of Erotic Romance. L.J.’s work with Evernight includes The Dishonest Lover, Dark Captive: Manlove Edition, and Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition.
Find more thoughtful, hot erotica at Graceful Indecency where L.J. offers free erotica and contests to win romance e-books. L.J. also sometimes takes a break from writing and messes around on Twitter and Facebook.
Website: Graceful Indecency
Facebook: L.J. Longo713
Amazon: L.J. Longo
I've been a bit introspective lately, and I assume that's because of my birthday. Normally I make a big deal about my birthday, but this year I'm finding myself much more reserved about it. You see, today I turn 39. I'm closing in on 40, and my life is nothing like I'd pictured it would be at this stage. Of course, I'm sure that's true of most people at any given point of their life. Without getting into too much detail, let's just say there's been (and still is) much more struggle in the day-to-day of things than I'd ever anticipated. There are many days when I feel like I'm failing, and never going to see the end of the tunnel. I could whine here, but I won't. Because the things I struggle with mean that I'm finding a way to have the things I want, and so many people aren't able to say that. I have two beautiful toddlers, a house, a car, a husband...the point is, I was given the impression that this would be easier, lol. But I'm doing what I can, and I'm trying to make my dream a reality.
To that end, I'm currently waiting to hear from my amazing publisher regarding my latest submission, the second book in the North Woods Wolves series. And I'm working on the third book, with lots of late nights (to my husband's dismay) and even more coffee-fueled days. And I'm looking at finishing up some of my incomplete stories to submit, so with any luck I'll have at least two releases this year, which will be just another step on the road to making my life the way I want it.
So keep an eye out here, and hopefully I'll have some good news to share soon! Until then, here's a picture of a super hot, and scruffy and bloody Jason Momoa from the show Frontier on Netflix. He's the current inspiration for the main character in the next Wolves book, Savage Alpha, Davien Mahle. He's a hitman on the run from the mob and hiding out in Canada, who happens to stumble upon a rather irresistible human, and you can guess what happens from there. ;)
It's Sunday again! I've been on a bit of a shifter kick lately, whatever I'm working on tends to be all I read when I'm not writing. So to that end, check out Unnatural Allies by Shari Elder. It's the second book in her Shifting Alliances series, where you find the most unlikely of pairings. :)
A World in Transition
Violent fae encroachment on shifter land is heating up. With death tolls rising, the impossible becomes necessary – an alliance among predator and prey shifters.
An Inconceivable Love
Nicca Baron, lone wolf and wolf clan beta, finds herself under the command of Evan Grant, the rat alpha. In different circumstances, he’d be dinner. Or so her wolf keeps reminding her. Evan proves to be a perceptive leader, a skilled fighter and irresistible to her lonely heart.
To rule the rats, you have to rule the pack. Evan is a whiz at managing people and groups. Until he finds himself leading a mission made up of every single large animal that thrives on rat flesh. And not the kind between his legs. The only bright light is Nicca. Her storm gray eyes miss nothing, her brilliant mind comprehends everything and her succulent curves offer the perfect place for a rat to nestle.
An Impossible Future
In each other’s arms, Nicca and Evan discover love and a new perspective in an off-kilter world. But a wolf cannot mate with a rat, no matter the strength of the human attraction.
Evan had never seen Nicca look frightened before. Those silver eyes expanded into saucers, and they were still beautiful. He wanted to wrap her in his arms, just hold her close as they both tried to process a world spinning out of control. Even his rat wanted to comfort her.
She was getting under skin and fur.
The last leaves hung limp on the branches, resisting winter’s pull. Away from the sidhe, the air had warmed, although the sky retained a grayish winter hue. Shifter bodies held heat, keeping them comfortable in the most brutal frost. Evan burned hot from continuous movement, the too frequent adrenaline spikes, and Nicca’s nearness. Everything about her fit, like she was made for him. That agile mind, open-mindedness, those lush curves. Hell, she even spouted poetry. He yearned to put a sign around her neck—no trespassing, this woman belongs to Evan Grant.
Except for that whole wolf thing…
“Why don’t we find a comfortable place to set up camp near Fairy Falls and call it a day?” he said to get his mind back to practical things, not wishing for something he couldn’t have. He told himself he selected the location as part of the mission. All species declared the pristine, wild falls a safe zone, so they wouldn’t need the wolves or eagles to stand guard. The fact that it was the number one rated site for shifter romances had nothing to do with the selection. Nothing at all.
No one would ever accuse Nicca of talking too much, but she was withdrawn even for her on the hike to the Falls. “Any suggestions on places to sleep?” he asked when her silence got too loud for him.
“I’ve, uh, never really been here,” she whispered, looking at the ground. “Just run by it on patrols sometimes.”
“And that makes you sad?” He itched to run his hand down her cheek.
“This mission makes me sad.” Her gaze stayed lowered as she walked.
His rat senses perceived a deep despondency wrapped around her like a black aura.
“This mission makes you angry, anxious, and confused. Not sad.”
“Who are you to correct my assessment of my emotional state?” She gave him a half-hearted snarl. He figured he’d hit an open, raw nerve.
“I lead this mission, and I will not have you fall apart on me. Right now, you are not okay.” He opened his arm, aping Rafe’s earlier action, inviting her to him to take comfort. “Let me help.” Let me touch you.
She visibly shook herself, ignoring his outstretched limb. “You’re right. I need space. Let me run as wolf.”
He dropped his hand, then nodded to cover the ripping sound his heart was making. “Stay close,” he said over the lump of disappointment lodged in his throat. “Give me your backpack, and I’ll find a place to sleep. Meet me at the falls when you’re done.”
Relief brightened her eyes. Once shifted, she brushed against his leg, then licked at his hand dangling by his side. He ran his fingers through her thick, gray fur touched with black and silver as she trotted off. “Grab some happy, Nicca,” he said into the air, as she raced out of sight. Come back to me. Accept me.
Alone, he hummed as he walked toward the falls. The low tune soothed his skittish rat, who hated being alone and wasn’t too fond of the woods. Rats felt secure in the pack. The human in him appreciated the red gold of the sunset streaking across the powder blue of the sky, weaving in and out of spiky, hunter green firs that ate up the landscape. Beauty truly did soothe an aching heart. The whirr of winter birds, a chorus to his ears, unnerved the rat. He picked up his pace, following the smell of ice and the roar of the falling water.
When he arrived at the falls, he saw Nicca standing at the edge of the descending water, running her fingers through the stream. That sadness he’d sensed earlier scented the air and dulled those unique gray eyes. Following a powerful intuition, he approached quietly, staying upwind so she wouldn’t notice until he stood directly behind her. She may have rejected his offer of support earlier, but he was determined to try again. His way.
She turned to face him, and tilted her head up to meet his gaze. He pushed behind one ear a lock of hair that was draped along her cheek. The tresses felt like silk, the skin velvet against his fingertips.
He leaned over, touching lips to lips ever so gently. Giving comfort. Sneaking a taste. Exploring what might be. She pressed back, her mouth opening slightly beneath his. He sank into cherry and cinnamon, shyness and heat. She didn’t require a friend; she needed a lover. He desperately wanted to be that man.
He pulled back, falling hard for the blush staining her cheeks a bright pink.
“Follow me,” he said, taking her hand, and led her to the camping spot he noticed along the way.
To love a wolf.
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/unnatural-allies-by-shari-elder/
Hello, I'm Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.
At night, the other Shari emerges. I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination with her furry minions). As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.
In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can't resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction.
Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.
Hang out with Shari on the Web
Happy Sunday! This week's feature is Shifter Woods: Howl by Nicola Cameron.
Shifter Woods: Howl is the first entry in my new paranormal shifter romance series Esposito County Shifters. Howl, which is the story of coyote shifter Laurie Rivera and her (very) unexpected mate Sheriff Caleb Lynch, was originally supposed to be submitted to an anthology. Real Life™ promptly intervened, as it does, and I blew the deadline. I decided to go ahead and expand the story past the antho guidelines and Howl surprised me by turning into a 23,000 word novella. Go figure. The second entry, Shifter Woods: Roar, runs concurrently with Howl and follows the story of Laurie’s cameraman Gavin and bear shifter Mike Ivanov.
Laurie wants a news story. Caleb just wants to be left alone. But when the two coyote shifters' paths cross in New Mexico’s Sandia Mountains, Fate steps in and gives them something they never expected--each other.
Reporter Laurie Rivera is on the trail of a white slavery ring when she’s forced to run for her life in the foothills near Sandia Crest. Widowed sheriff and Alpha coyote shifter Caleb Lynch comes across the exhausted reporter and discovers to his shock that Laurie is also a shifter—and his new heart’s mate.
But Caleb never expected to have another chance at love, and Laurie has a good reason to fear being claimed, especially by an Alpha. As a snowstorm traps them in the sheriff’s cabin, Caleb must find a way around the barriers surrounding Laurie’s heart, and Laurie has to confront her past—and the humans who want her dead—if she wants a chance at her very own “happily ever after.”
Caleb Lynch slammed the cabin door closed with his foot, depositing the woman in his arms on the couch. Her eyes were still closed, her full lips turning a faint shade of blue, and her heartbeat was worryingly slow. That and the fact that she wasn’t shivering meant she was well into hypothermia.
At least he knew how to handle that. He stepped to the hallway closet and grabbed a bundle of blankets and the heavy old quilt his grandmother had made. Dumping them next to the sofa, he started stripping the cold, wet clothes off his guest.
Peeling off the waterlogged cloth revealed sleek limbs, smooth tan skin and some mouthwatering curves that made his palms tingle with the urge to touch. Worse, each new inch of exposed skin let more of her heavenly scent come to his nose. He’d thought he’d made a mistake out near the creek, that it had been some sort of olfactory hallucination, but this close it was impossible to miss. He struggled not to throw his head back and howl.
No. You have a responsibility, dammit. Get her warm and dry first.
When she was down to her underwear he opened one of the blankets and covered her with it, then reached under to strip off the damp scraps of nylon and cotton. She moaned in complaint and he bit his lip, trying to come into contact with as little skin as possible. What he did touch, however, was silken.
He pulled the bra and panties free, tossing them on top of the rest of her clothing, then set to piling more blankets on her, topped with the heavy quilt. She’d get warmer faster if you slid in there with her, part of his brain suggested. Just strip down, crawl in, take her in your arms and--
He cut that thought off. He had never laid a finger on an unwilling female in his life, and he damn well wasn’t about to start now. Even if she did look like sun and sin in one gorgeous package and smelled like--
Mine. She smells like mine.
Damn it all. It was getting harder to tear his mind away from that thought. Gritting his teeth, he sat back on his haunches and considered. Wet clothes removed and dry blankets applied, check. Next was warmth.
Along with the blankets he’d grabbed a bunch of chemical hand warmer packets. He cracked a few, shook them up to get the exothermic reaction going, then tucked them under the blanket by her feet. She shifted, toes automatically stretching towards the heat.
Her eyes fluttered open, revealing irises the color of a rich sherry. “Wha’ happened?”
“You tell me, honey.” Caleb swallowed a smile, wanting to stroke the tangled black silk away from her face. “I found you in Bollan Creek. I’m guessing you fell in?”
“Creek?” One slender hand emerged from the blankets, pushing her hair back. “Yeah. Fell down a hill—” She blinked, her gaze sharpening as she took in the blankets covering her. Her other hand groped under the blankets, confirming her sartorial status. “Where are my clothes?”
He expected confusion, even anger, but the strength of the fear pouring off her made him feel both guilty and a little annoyed. “They’re right here,” he said, nodded at the pile of wet cloth. “I’m sorry, but you were going into hypothermia. They had to come off.”
She clutched the blanket closer as she peered over the edge of the sofa at her clothes. A flush spread across her cheekbones, and the fear scent kicked up a notch. “Who took them off?”
He sighed. “I did. And to answer your next question, I covered you with a blanket first,” he tapped a drape of the quilt, “and I didn’t take any liberties.”
Not that he hadn’t wanted to. “Now, I’d appreciate some answers to my questions,” he said, allowing a hint of sternness to show through. “What are you doing in Big Rock territory without my permission?”
She stared at him, biting her lower lip. “I didn’t mean to, Alpha, I swear. I’m here on business.”
“What kind of business?”
“I’m a reporter with the Albuquerque Sun—”
The growing lust generated by her scent evaporated. “You’re a reporter?”
Just what he needed, one of those snoopy bastards poking around Esposito County. Except she’s a shifter, too. What the hell is she doing in a city, anyway?
Nicola Cameron is a married woman of a certain age who really likes writing about science fiction, fantasy, and sex. When not writing about those things, she likes to make Stuff™. And she may be rather fond of absinthe.
While possessing a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that she decided to write about it. The skills picked up during her SF writing career transferred quite nicely to speculative romance. Her To Be Written work queue currently stands at around nineteen books, and her mojito-sodden Muse swans in from Bali every so often to add to the list, cackling to herself all the while.
Nicola plans to continue writing until she drops dead over her keyboard or makes enough money to buy a private island and hire Rory McCann as her personal trainer/masseur, whichever comes first.
Facebook Reader Group: http://www.facebook.com/nicolacameronwrites