Behind the Book: The Setting of FOR SPARROW: Next Stop, Jupiter

This is it!  The last weekend before the launch of FOR SPARROW, on Oct.3!

The third book in the Dream Dominant Collection is set in Palm Beach County, Florida, my home for over 25 years.  In this series of posts, I’m taking you on a tour of some of my favorite places.  This week, we’re going to the gorgeous beach-side town of Jupiter, the location of several scenes in the book.

The first place Judd and Jessi visit together is my favorite bar on the planet (okay, I have about five of those), Square Grouper.  It’s a casual, outdoor tiki bar on the Jupiter Inlet, across from the Jupiter Lighthouse.  It’s the place to go if you want to completely decompress and let your stress melt away.

A stone’s throw from Square Grouper, in fact you park in the same lot, are the two locations from this week’s excerpt, Guanabanas and Blueline Surf & Paddle.

Guanabanas is another outdoor tiki place, more restaurant than bar, but they serve a mean Cat 5 hurricane.  The food is Florida fresh, and there’s always a crowd.  It’s on a strip of land between A1A and the Loxahatchee River, and the river views are utterly tranquil.  There are docks, and some folks arrive in their boats.  It’s also a great place for stand-up paddle boarding, and you can put in right there at the restaurant.

Directly across A1A is the Blueline Surf & Paddle Company.  They sell surfing and paddle boarding equipment, but you can also rent from them and get lessons.  You walk across the street and put in at the Loxahatchee River.  Notice the paddle boarders directly in front of Guanabanas.

As Jessi’s Dominant, it’s Judd’s position to push her beyond her comfort zone.  In this scene, he does just that.

Here’s an excerpt from FOR SPARROW…

Back inside the house, Judd washed up in the kitchen sink.  Jessi handed him a dish towel to dry his hands.  He eyed the old dishwasher, then looked to Jessi.

“I don’t really feel like messing with a dishwasher today, do you?”

Jessi’s eyes widened.  “Oh, well, no, of course not.  I’m sure you have plenty to do.  Don’t worry about it at all,” she said quickly.

Judd shook his head.  “It’s a beautiful day.  Why spend it inside?”  He stood straight, hands on his hips.  “How do you feel about stand up paddle boarding?”

She worked her mouth for a moment, frowning.  “I don’t guess I’m opposed to it, as an activity, you know.  I’m sure people enjoy it.  Live and let live,” she giggled nervously.

“I mean,” he cupped her elbow gently, “how do you feel about going?  With me.  Today.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Judd.  I’m kind of the queen of klutz.”  Jessi’s face turned bright pink.  “I don’t know if I’d be any good at it.”

Judd’s eyes narrowed slightly.  “Not sure I like my little one putting herself down.  Besides, there’s nothing to be ‘good at,’ you just…stand and paddle.”  He pantomimed for her.

He saw the reluctance in her face and gave his best reassuring smile, eyes sparkling.  “Come on, Jessi, it’ll be fun.”

Slowly, her smile spread to match his.  “Okay.  Let’s do it.”  She went upstairs and quickly changed into her swim suit and beach cover up.

On the way to the surf shop, Judd stopped by his place to pick up his paddleboard and gear.  He let them both into the townhouse and Jessi waited as he bounded up to the second level.

“It won’t take me a second to load my stuff into the truck,” he called from upstairs.  Jessi clutched her hands together anxiously as she surveyed Judd’s living room.  Everything was neat and tidy.  She didn’t know why that surprised her.

You just think about the stereotypical ‘bachelor pad,’ she supposed.

Crossing the room, she saw that the view from the sliding glass doors was breathtaking.  She imagined what it would be to wake up with a view of the ocean every morning.

“Almost ready,” Judd said, returning downstairs wearing aqua board shorts, a white t-shirt, and a Marlins ball cap.  A pair of black Oakley sunglasses hung around his neck from a black strap.

He held up a small black cube.  “I want to try out my new GoPro while we’re out there today,” he grinned.

Five minutes later, they were on their way north, heading for Blueline Surf and Paddle on A1A.  They rented gear for Jessi and declined the offer of a lesson.  “I’ve got it, man,” Judd smiled to the clerk.

Jessi was surprised to find that they were going to put into the river right next to Guanabanas, a local outdoor dining hotspot just across the street from the surf shop.  “Afterwards, I’ll buy you a cocktail,” Judd promised.

After a brief orientation, Judd helped Jessi onto the board and gently pushed her out into the Loxahatchee River.  “Am I supposed to wear the life jacket?” Jessi called back to him, indicating the ocean blue PFD currently resting on the nose of her board.

“Can you swim?”

“Of course!” she returned.

“Then you don’t have to wear it.  But you do have to have it with you, it’s the law.”

Judd smiled as he watched her wobble slightly.  She looked hot in what was actually a modest blue tankini, her auburn hair clipped up and off her neck, the red highlights gleaming in the sunlight.  He could only imagine Jessi in a bikini.  Did imagine it.  Then tried to think of something else, before she noticed his arousal.

Sighing deeply, he clipped the GoPro to the bill of his cap and paddled quickly to catch up with her.

When their hour was up, they returned Jessi’s gear to the shop, and put Judd’s things back in the truck.  With Jessi’s white beach dress back in place, they wandered into Guanabanas and found a small high-top table in the bar area.  A lone guitarist was playing Jason Mraz covers on the tiki stage.

Jessi ordered a Cat 5 hurricane while Judd opted for a local brew, and they chose a few appetizers.  After the server left, Judd pressed the button on the GoPro.  “So, Jessi, what do you think of paddle boarding?”

Her grin was stunning.  “I loved it!  It was so much fun, and way easier than I ever thought.”

He leaned into her and held the camera at arm’s length.  “Well, you had a kick-ass teacher, so…”  They both laughed into the camera.

SPIN Pandora (1)

You still have time to get FOR SPARROW at the pre-order price of 99¢.
After launch day, it goes back to its regular $2.99.
books2read.com/ForSparrow

How to Have a RED HOT #4thofJuly !

I know.  You have plans.  Cook-outs, beach outings, family gatherings, and fireworks.  But you’re going to want to squeeze in a little ‘Me Time’.  Because the Wicked Pens and KinkCrate are partnering up to give you a Fire Hot Fourth.

Check it out.

That’s right.  From 3:00-4:00pm EDT, Wicked Pen authors are having a panel discussion on adding heat to your romance.  We’ll be discussing a variety of steamy topics, and we’ll be answering your questions.

Plus, one lucky attendee will walk away with a couple of kinky prizes: their very own ball gag and flogger, courtesy of KinkCrate.

In order to attend, you must be a member of the Wicked Pens Facebook group, so hurry on over and sign up so you can join us for a hot, sizzling 4th of July.

I’m Hooked!

I’m write steamy love stories.  I read steamy love stories.  So obviously, I love romance.  But I never thought I’d get hooked on a new reality show.

Have you seen the new NBC show, First Dates?  I never intended to become a fan, I promise.  But it happened to be on one night, and after a few minutes, I couldn’t look away.  The premise is that couples meet at a trendy Chicago restaurant for a blind date.  The hopeful romantics are diverse in age, race, and sexuality, and watching them struggle through awkward introductions is both funny and heart-warming.  I can’t look away, and even my love is hooked, much to his chagrin.

Airing Friday nights on NBC, it’s the Americanized version of the British program of the same name.  Ellen DeGeneres is the executive producer, and the episodes are narrated by Drew Barrymore.

Here’s the official description from the First Dates website.

Everyone can relate to the experience of a first date: the promise of potential love when it goes well and the hilariously awkward moments if it crashes and burns. From Executive Producer Ellen DeGeneres, narrated by Drew Barrymore and based on the hit U.K. format, this new series offers a voyeuristic look at a variety of real first dates happening throughout one night at the same restaurant in Chicago. The daters are of all ages, backgrounds and from across the U.S. The audience comes along for the ride in a refreshingly authentic viewing experience that plays like a real-life romantic comedy. At the end of each episode, we find out if the participants want to see each other again for a second date or if they head back to love’s drawing board.

Here’s a little clip.

And good news–you can watch entire episodes at www.nbc.com/first-dates.

Seriously, how can you resist?  I love LOVE.  Sigh.

Because I Couldn’t Resist…

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame had its annual induction ceremony earlier this month and some great bands and artists were honored that night.  Included in this year’s roundup were Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, ELO, Yes, Joan Baez, and Nile Rodgers.

Tonight, HBO is airing the special event and I can’t wait.  I wrote a little snippet about the show on my other (more vanilla) blog, and I added a track from ELO.  But here, I thought a sexier little song was in order.  Enjoy Journey, with Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.

Looking To Spice Up Your Love Life?

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, or if you’ve ready my books, you know that I’ve been a lucky enough ginger to have found the love of my life. And although he’s not my first, he’s definitely my last, best love. We met online, and though I love to joke that we met on FarmersOnly.com, it was actually through Match.

We’ve been together for over a decade now, but it never hurts to add a little spice now and again.  Sexy lingerie or a new toy always add fun.

But sexy erotica author Christina Mandara brought iPassion to my attention, so I wanted to pass it along to you.

iTunesArtwork@2xNo matter your age, sexual orientation or relationship status, iPassion has developed a new kind of app (by the same name) that will get people talking about fantasies, turn-ons, turn-offs etc.

It launched less than 9 months ago and according to the startup founder, more than 200,000 people have used the app since then.

The app is designed as a game where you play on your own phone and your partner plays on his/hers. After you’ve created you username and your partner has done the same, you can connect in the app for the game to start. Then, you’ll have to answer 2 questions about your sexual preferences and guess what your partner answered for his/her questions from his/her turn. And so it goes on, each player having their turn and finding out more and more hot facts about their partner!

Kisses

And here’s the kicker – every time you guess your partner’s answer correctly, you’ll get 10 points and the first player to reach 100 points in a round, gets to select a hot prize like a a sexy massage, a hot night in a hotel etc.

During the game, players can chat within the app. For added privacy, the app utilizes a PIN code, meaning users can create their own PIN number which is required to open the app once it has been closed.

The idea came from my own relationship experiences where I, despite having been with my girlfriend for more than 7 years, discovered that we could still learn a lot about each other when asked some of the questions that are in the app. And a lot of our users have stated the same, explains J. Martin Moeller, the startup founder.

iPassion is currently available at the App Store and the Play Store and is available for both smartphone and tablets.

The app is currently available in 8 different languages including English, French and Spanish.

Cuddling

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Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1

Happy Weekend!  I hope your week was great.  Mine was looooong, so I’m thrilled for a couple of days to chill.

Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance set in Manhattan.  Michael Rannigan is a founding partner and the handsome face of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, and Metheny.  When he meets spunky redhead Maggie Flynn at a job fair, he hires her to join his elite high-profile criminal defense team.

Maggie changes her mind about the job she’s already been offered at the District Attorney’s office, taking the opportunity to work with Michael, the object of her all-but-impossible crush.

Michael isn’t unaware of Maggie’s feelings for him.  He sees that look in her eye.  And it feeds his insatiable ego.  But she’s so unlike his usual choice of vapid bottle-blondes, the ones he calls when he wants a little company for a few hours.  He’d never consider her dating material.  She’s too smart, for one thing.  On the other hand, there’s something about Mary Margaret Flynn that he can’t quite ignore.

This weekend’s excerpt is from RESISTING RISK, the first book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.

“Mags,” she heard out of the shifting fog.  “We’re back in town.  I need you to tell us where to go.”

She opened her eyes and realized that she’d been sleeping with her head on Michael’s shoulder.   “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”  She sat up abruptly.  “I didn’t realize…  I wish you’d awakened me.”

“No worries.  But we need to know exactly where to take Ben and where your place is.”

Maggie could see the driver watching her in the rear view mirror.  “My place.  Right.”  She gave the address and the driver thanked her, the partition whooshing back into place.  “Ben can sleep it off on my couch.  It won’t be the first time.”

The car came to a stop in front of Maggie’s apartment.  “Nice building, Mags.  Is the whole thing yours?”

She fairly snorted.  “In my dreams!  One day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll have my own brownstone.  For now I’m happy with a tiny part of the second floor.”  She smiled gratefully.  “Thanks again for the ride.  You are a life saver.”  She moved to open the door but the driver was there first.

“Let me help you get him inside,” Michael offered.  They both glanced at Ben, who hadn’t so much as shifted during the entire ride.

She looked back at Michael.  “Probably a good idea.  I won’t be able to get him up the stairs by myself.”  They succeeded in rousing Ben enough for him to put his arms around their shoulders and they moved him to the sidewalk.

Michael spoke quietly to the driver, who nodded before returning to the driver’s seat and slowly driving away.  Maggie looked at him questioningly.  “I told him to find a place to park.  I’ll call him after we get your date settled.”

They managed the stairs and Michael leaned Ben between himself and the wall as Maggie unlocked the door and let them into her apartment.  “Let’s just lay him on the couch,” she said, cocking her head in the direction of a large grey velvet sofa with navy blue accent pillows.

They worked together to get the unconscious and snoring Ben safely onto the couch, Michael studiously ignoring the way his jacket gapped open, inviting views of Maggie’s breasts as she leaned over to place a pillow under Ben’s head.

“Thank you so much, Michael,” she said as she removed his jacket and held it uncertainly.  “Can I offer you a beer or coffee or something?  Or do you need to go?”

“Coffee sounds good,” he answered.

Maggie smiled brightly as she gently placed his jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set about making coffee.  Michael wandered around the living room area to the bay window and looked out over the street.  He turned back around to take in the view of the room.  It was small, of course, but nice in a quirky sort of way.  She’d left on a dim lamp near the window that gave enough light to the space without being intrusive.  “This is a nice place,” he commented.

She smiled at him from the kitchen counter.  “Thanks.  And again, I really appreciate your giving us a ride.”

“Mags, you’ve thanked me about a thousand times,” he said gently.

She blushed slightly.  “Well, I didn’t want to forget,” she said sheepishly.

He watched her as she worked in the kitchen, measuring out coffee into a French press, putting a kettle of water on the stove, little mundane domestic tasks.  His mind skipped to flashes of her from throughout the night.  Slowly it dawned on him what it was about Maggie that made him uncomfortable.

She’s real.  She has no hidden agenda.  She isn’t playing some game, she doesn’t want anything from me.  He sighed deeply. She’s the kind of girl who could make you forget your own rules.

Michael slowly crossed the room and stood by the kitchen counter.  “Can I help with something?”

“No, it’s all done.  We’re just waiting for the water to boil.”  She leaned back resting her hand on the counter.

He gently placed his hand on hers.  “You…are very dangerous,” he whispered, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly, his deep brown eyes peering into hers.  Her brow furrowed, perplexed.

Gently, he tilted up her chin with his fingers and leaned down, meeting her lips with his own, lightly at first, and then more urgently.  He ran his other hand down the smooth fabric of the back of her dress coming to rest on her firm ass as he probed her mouth with his tongue, seeking hers.

Maggie responded, matching the heat of his kiss, reaching up, tangling her fingers in the hair behind his ear, giving herself over to his embrace.  Michael’s hand left her ass and smoothed its way back up to her side, her ribs, stopping just under her breast.  Reluctantly he pulled himself away.

Maggie breathlessly gazed up at him.  He smiled gently.  “We’re both a little drunk,” he said.  “Which is why I’d better go.”  Tenderly, he kissed her once again and walked out the door.

RESISTING RISK is where it all begins.
It’s available for just .99 at this link:  books2read.com/ResistingRisk

But you can get RESISTING RISK for FREE when you sign up for my Newsletter:
https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs

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How Have I Lived This Long Without This Book?

Words and Phrases: Make Your Sex Scenes Sizzle by [Devonshire, Sabrina]I love reading and writing sexy romance.  You know those sweet little romance stories where love scenes end with a closed bedroom door?  Those really annoy me.  I know some folks are more comfortable with that kind of thing, but to me, we all know what’s going on.  Why cut the story?  It halts the flow of the story like screeching brakes.

On the other hand, writing hot love scenes can be tricky.  Obviously, you want to avoid ‘purple prose.’  No ‘throbbing manhood’, no ‘petals of lovliness’ for corn’s sake.  But sometimes, you run out of words.

Sabrina Devonshire, talented author of spicy romance has a new book out that will help.  It’s a reference book of sorts, a compilation of descriptive words and phrases that can help you write hot sex scenes readers will love!

Here’s my Amazon review:

This is a terrific resource for writers of spicy romance! As an erotic romance author, I know that I want to create sex scenes that transport the reader into the story. But after a while, I realize that I’m writing the same scenes over and over again. As I try to avoid ‘purple prose’ at all costs, the romance can get a little dry. It can be so frustrating when you want to paint a sexy love scene and you just can’t hit on the perfect word.

Enter talented author Sabrina Devonshire, who has compiled a collection of descriptive words and phrases, a resource for writers to use when they need just the right term to move their love scenes forward. Trust me, this will be at my side from now on. I highly recommend this book for anyone who writes sexy romance! 5 BIG STARS!!

So…  Are you a romance writer looking to up your game?  Here’s the link:

Words and Phrases: Make Your Sex Scenes Sizzle