Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Lost & Bound promo new1

My Dream Dominant Collection is a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring hot Alpha males, strong red-haired women, and light BDSM themes.  LOST & BOUND is the second book in the collection.

In LOST & BOUND, following a brush with the law, actress Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  It’s there that she meets ruggedly handsome Blake Walker, an experienced bush pilot who helps run his family’s remote guest lodge on Lake Miranda.

Initially, Blake’s not too impressed with the lodge’s sole VIP guest.  But as he spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world.  Could it be that Shasta Pyke is the baby girl this Daddy Dom has been looking for?

Here’s an excerpt from LOST & BOUND.

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

***

               They didn’t speak during the ten-minute ride across the water to the small island in the middle of Lake Miranda.  It would have been difficult over the roar of the small outboard motor, even had she been facing him.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well.  Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock.

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things.  The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride.  If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful.  The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island.  It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat.  She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock.

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her.  “Let me take you to the cabin.  There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way.  “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself.  He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill.  “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded.

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin.  She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right.  Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace.  Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment.  Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom.

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane.  You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter.  The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane.  Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter.  I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.”  He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions.  “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.”  He showed her where to put the wood.  “And there’s always the fireplace.  Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin.  I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets.  “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.”  He headed for the door.  “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait.  What?”

“Water.  You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink.  Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump.  She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out.  She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that.  Not without boiling it for about ten minutes.  It comes straight out of the lake.  Use it for dishes and things.  You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second.  Where’s the bathroom?”

“I was just going to show you.  Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him.  He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees.  Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure.  “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured.  “There must be some mistake.  I don’t do outhouses.  Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No.  Absolutely not.  This is completely unacceptable.  Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.”  He took in her incredulous expression and continued.  “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower.  I’ll show you.”

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner.  A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top.

“This is a solar shower.”  Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other.  The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end.  The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun.  The dock is a good place.”  He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief.  “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away.  The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs.  Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour.  She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks.

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.”  She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile.  “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.”  Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes.

“Here’s the thing.”  She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively.  “I can’t stay here.  And you don’t want me here, not really.  The place is already paid for.  Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.”  She wrinkled her nose and winked.  “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face.  “What do I say?”  He laughed lightly, shaking head.  “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.”  With that, he turned.  “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him.  “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here!  You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water.

“What about my bags?  They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon.  So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides.  “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat.  She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LostandBound

I’m currently hard at work on WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.  Although it’s a stand-alone novel, it’s a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

I’m planning on a summer release.  Keep watching for the reveal of the gorgeous cover, designed by the ever-sexy and talented Linzi Basset.

Space Coast Book Lovers 2018

I had an absolute blast at Space Coast Book Lovers over the weekend!  The event was expertly organized, and everyone I met, writers and readers alike, was really nice.

On Thursday night, we had a little happy hour meet and greet with all the authors and industry professionals.  I hopped into the photo booth with Cayce Poponea and fellow Wicked Pen Maggie Adams.

Friday morning, they had some workshops until lunch.  After lunch was the Author Speed Mingle, where ticket holders were able to spend a little time chatting with each author.  I gave out postcards and little treat boxes to everyone who stopped by.

Following the Speed Mingle was a Launch Party for authors debuting new books at the event.  Maggie Adams launched her new one, Catori.

That night, there was a delicious dessert mixer with a lot of the readers.

Saturday was the book signing.  Above, you can see my table set up.  I was thrilled to share a table with Tasha S. Heart, and throughout the day, I met a wonderful bunch of readers.  Here are some photos of a few of my winners.

SCBL was an amazing event, and I can’t wait until next June.  If you’re anywhere close to Cocoa Beach, Florida, I highly recommend it.

Weekend Excerpt–Luke & Bella

Luke & Bella new cover 1

LUKE & BELLA is Dream Dominant Book 1.  It’s the story that started it all, the very first book I ever published.

Television journalist Bella Grant is offered the job of a lifetime–touring exciting cities and finding adventure as she creates a brand new television travel show.  She’s been teamed up with veteran photographer Luke McGillicutty who’s been lured out of early retirement with the promise of having free reign to create the show he wants.  With Bella’s collaboration, of course.

Traveling to exotic locales, staying in 5-star hotels, is it any wonder they fall in love?  But it all happened so fast.  Luke hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.  If he tells her the truth now, he could lose her forever.  Can he risk everything on the chance that they could have it all?

Here’s a little teaser from LUKE & BELLA.

Luke ordered a light dinner of tapas delivered to the suite along with a bottle of local wine.  Bella wore a fluffy white bathrobe.  He’d put on faded jeans and a grey t-shirt.  She smiled lazily at him across the table, a woman sated.  He poured them both some wine and they nibbled on the baked feta and tomatoes, olives, and fresh fruits and breads.

Bella sighed and said, “I was thinking…”

“Uh-oh,” Luke laughed.

She gave him a wry smile.  “Seriously!  I was thinking about that really nice evening you planned for us in Edinburgh.”

“Yeah, you liked that, did you?” he asked, grinning.

“Um, yeah!  Wine, music, flowers, an amazing dinner, mind-blowing sex…what’s not to like?” she said.  “But, I was thinking that I should plan an evening.  You know, it’s my turn.”

“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” he replied slowly.

“Not necessary?” she laughed.  “I’m not saying I feel obligated, just that I’d like to return the favor, so to speak.”

Luke waited a moment, considering his response.  The timing’s a little sooner than you planned, Cowboy, he thought.  Play it safe or risk losing her?  Decision made, he took the risk.  “The thing is, I’m not a fan of surprises.  I’m something of a…dominant…kind of guy.  I like making the plans,” he said evenly.

Bella looked at him, brow furrowed.  “You’re a ‘dominant kind of guy’?  As in, Dominant/submissive ‘dominant’?” she laughed lightly.

“Well, yes,” he said, looking at her directly.

Bella blinked.  “You’re kidding, right?” she asked incredulously.

Luke shook his head.  “No, not kidding.”

Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open slightly.  “I don’t understand.  What does that mean that you do?”

He shrugged.  “Whatever makes me and my partner happy.  Blindfolds, restraints, spanking, safe words.  When we play a scene, she is mine, completely surrendered to me.  And I protect and care for her.”

When she didn’t reply, he continued, “It’s not a big deal.  I like to be in charge when it comes to romance, to sex.  I like to be the protector, to take care of my woman.  And,” he added softly, “if it doesn’t blow your mind too much, I think you are the perfect submissive.”

She shook her head slowly, eyes wide with disbelief.  “You are SO barking up the wrong tree.  I am anything but submissive.  I need to be in control.”

“I’ve noticed,” he said quietly.  “But you’re not good at it.  I said before that you try to control things by putting them into neat little categories, boxes.  When that doesn’t work, you shut down.  Imagine not having to control.  Not having to think or worry.  Just letting go and allowing someone else to be in control for a while.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Bella whispered.  “You have lost your mind!”

“I understand your reservations.  Between your father and your ex, you’ve never had a man in your life that you could completely trust,” he said gently.

Bella felt as though she’d been gut-punched.  His words rang in her ears and she knew they were true.

“I am that man, Bella.  Do you trust me?  You can completely let go.  It will be the most freeing experience of your life,” he stated with quiet confidence, looking at her steadily, hoping to reassure her.

She shook her head again.  “I’m falling in…” it came out as a sob, “and now I realize I don’t even know you!”

She abruptly left the table and went into the bedroom, emerging a few minutes later completely dressed in jeans and a white tank top.  On her face was the hard, closed expression he’d seen that night in Amsterdam.  “I’m going out for a while,” she told him firmly.

“Bella, I wish you wouldn’t go alone.  It could be dangerous,” he worried.

She waved him off and walked out the door, closing it behind her.

“Shit!” Luke exhaled deeply, and he ran his fingers through his hair, wondering if he’d made a mistake, if he’d lost her.

Luke & Bella new cover 2

LUKE & BELLA  is available in digital and paperback
at your favorite online bookseller.

LUKE & BELLA

Stalk Much?

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Are you stalking me yet?  You can find me all over the place, including two brand new platforms, Book+Main Romance Bites and Bellesa.

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Announcing…The Sizzling Hot Romance Book Club

Love steamy romance books?  Do you love to chat about your favorite book boyfriends and your latest read?

The Sizzling Hot Romance Book Club is for you.  And you don’t have to worry about getting out in this terrible weather, because steamy romance author Sabrina Devonshire and I are teaming up to bring it straight to your electronic device via Facebook.

Think of the beginning of each week as Book Club Monday.  The first Monday of the month, Sabrina and I will announce that month’s Featured Book and give you the links to get your copy.  Every Monday, we’ll post discussion questions, fun facts, games, and other book-related items.  The final Monday of the month will be a LIVE 1-hour book club meeting, where we’ll talk about the book, ask and answer questions, and just maybe give away a prize or two.

Sound like something you’d be interested in?  Head on over to Facebook to join.

Watch This Space–ANGEL OF EL CAPITAN by M.S. Tarot

MS Tarot

I have great news!  Sexy erotica author and ginger pirate M.S. Tarot’s new book, ANGEL OF EL CAPITAN, is out TODAY!  I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy, and it’s an absolute must-read.

Here’s the blurb.

For Gabriel, there was only ever one place he called home, and where he was currently living wasn’t it. 
With a childhood filled with more new schools and new places to live than any dozen kids should have to endure, to lose that one place … that one real home … well, it tore him apart inside. But, mostly, it was losing the friendship of Alex and Mary Muhlenbury – his rock climbing next door neighbors and only real friends – which was even more devastating.
Hurt beyond telling. Bitter over his lack of choices. His long-term plans betrayed or ignored by his family. He became again “The New Kid.” The strange one. The boy who no one called a friend for long.
Even in a crowd, Gabriel was always alone.
Only now high school is passed, his father’s plans for him are in place, and what is Gabriel to do? Allow himself to be dragged along into yet another thing he has no choice about? One more step in a life he would never have chosen for himself, doing a job he already despises? Shall he meekly accept his Father’s opinion that college is his only real choice and that what Gabriel wants to do is madness?
Or can this “Angel” find the wings to truly soar on his own? 
And will Mary, that long-estranged friend, be the one to help him reach those heights?
I loved everything about this story, from the heartfelt angst of a young man trying to find his place in the world, to his youthful infatuation with his idol’s much older widow, to her internal struggle with her unexpected attraction to someone she thinks of as a boy.
Add to that the excitement of a climbing adventure, and you have a hard-to-put-down read.  Kudos to Tarot for never dumbing down the technical aspects of climbing, trusting the reader to keep up.  And, as always, he brings just the right amount of heat.
How about an excerpt?
I wonder if I slipped a roofie to Mary she would leave me alone so I can sleep?
Her hand pounding on the side of my van door jerked me awake. Sitting up, rubbing at my head – and the crick in my neck I had acquired in the night – I knee walked to the door and threw it open.
“What?”
“Don’t what me, it’s time to go.” She shook her head reprovingly. “Lord, but you’re grumpy in the morning.”
I looked up at the star-filled sky, not even a hint of pink dusting the darkness. “Are you always insane in the morning? Why do we have to be up at this ungodly hour?”
“Well, we don’t.” She shrugged but gave me that smirk. “I can go back inside, get me some coffee, have a nice Continental breakfast.They have great waffles, by the way. Then, let’s say in a couple of hours, we can slowly ease our way down there to Yosemite Valley and then sit parked behind all the tourist’s cars, in the line-from-hell, for the next three hours.” Mary steppled her fingers upside down by her navel and began to twiddle her thumbs. “So which is it going to be?”
Reaching back, I picked up my jeans and fished out my keys. “You drive.”
“Oh, hell yes I’m driving. I don’t want to die because you fell asleep at the wheel. Here, have an apple.” Startling me, she tossed a waxy red orb at me and closed the side door in my face. When she opened the driver side door, she chucked her bag into the back on top of me and fired up the van while I was cussing – and trying to get my pants on – with a damn bag of clothes on top of me. Then she half slung me through the windshield when she dropped the van into reverse and then I was tumbled into the rope bags a second or two later. “You alright back there?”
Stepping past the engine hood, an apple between my teeth, I shot her a look and sat down on the passenger side with a shake of my head. “You’re fucking nuts, Mary. Has anyone ever told you that?”
“Most people that have known me for more than a day.” She shrugged. “Can’t say I care. I’m a climber, we’re all crazy. I mean how sane is it to climb a vertical rock face?”
Munching my way through my scant breakfast, I watched the stars becoming dimmer and the Eastern sky behind the mountains starting to slowly – oh so achingly slowly – begin to grow brighter. By the time we eased our way into Yosemite Valley and paid for our seven day passes, I was fully awake and more than ready to climb. That first look at El Cap, however … oh, holy shit what was I thinking? The closer we got to it, and the taller it looked, the more I began to agree with Mary about sanity because I knew that I was going to go up it. I had spent too much money to get to this point for me not to try it, but dear god that thing is … fucking huge!
“Afraid or excited?” she asked, pulling the van into the parking lot for a camping area.
“Both.”
“Good. That’s what you should be, Angel.” She parked the van and shut off what had to be a tired engine. It had crossed the country and then climbed mountains. “Let’s go talk to a few climbers and get some more recent data than what I know. My knowledge is almost a decade old.”

ANGEL OF EL CAPITAN is available at Amazon for $2.99.

Get it at this LINK.