Weekend Excerpt–Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  I hope you’re having a great weekend.  This week’s excerpt features an Easter scene from RESISTING RISK, the Finale of the Rannigan’s Redemption series.

In the last book of Rannigan’s Redemption, Michael watches as Maggie’s relationship with Bobby blossoms.  He’s pleased with himself, knowing that putting the pair of them together is merely one part of his plan to find redemption.

Bobby relished the time he spent with Savannah.  It occurred to him that maybe Deanna had made a bigger deal than necessary of the little girl’s illness.  His mood was thoughtful as he sipped his beer and watched Savannah running and playing with her cousins after a delicious meal on Friday evening.  The entire family had gathered at his sister Michelle’s house for a Good Friday dinner.  Now the adults relaxed on the patio as the children played on the lawn.

Everyone would be at Jerilyn and Justin’s on Sunday for the big holiday meal and traditional Easter egg hunt.  If Bobby knew his mother, she’d have been scrambling since he’d called to say the New York trip was off, putting together eggs at the last minute.  It would probably be up to him, his brothers-in-law, and his father to hide about half a million plastic eggs all around the outside of the house bright and early on Sunday morning.  He smiled contentedly.

“Bobby, can I get you anything?” his sister Michelle’s husband Russ asked.

Bobby shook his head.  “I think I’m just about fine.”

“Just about…” Russ repeated, grinning.  “Sounds like something is missing.  Rumor has it you have a new girlfriend.”

Bobby glanced around realizing that all other conversations had stopped.  The only voices were those of the children who ran squealing across the lawn.

Ro-bert has found himself a city girl,” his mother said.  There was friendly laughter all around.

“Maggie’s not a city girl.  She’s originally from North Carolina.  She lives in New York now, just like I do.”  He dug his phone from his pocket, queuing up the photo of the two of them he’d taken at the Red Lantern Inn, and he passed it around.

“What does she do?” asked his sister Renée, who was pregnant with her second child.

“She’s a lawyer.  Works for the prosecutor’s office.”

“We were supposed to meet her this weekend but we couldn’t go, what with Savannah being sick,” Jerilyn elaborated.  “Ro-bert, tell them how you met her.”

Interested eyes were on Bobby.  He sighed.  “We met in the elevator in my building.  She was visiting someone who lives on my floor.  Her shoe broke when she stepped out of the elevator and she fell into the hallway.  I helped fix up her knee.”  He grinned at the memory.

Russ hooted.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got it bad!”  Everyone else laughed, and Bobby joined in good naturedly.

Later back at his parents’ house, Bobby tucked Savannah into bed and wandered back to the kitchen.  Jerilyn was putting together potato salad for Sunday’s dinner.  Bobby sank onto a stool at the counter and watched.

“How are you feeling, bébé?” his mother asked.  “You looked so tired this morning.”

“I’m good, maman.”  His phone blipped indicating a text message.  Checking it quickly, he saw that it was Maggie.

Jerilyn smiled knowingly.  “Is that your little girl?”

“It’s Maggie,” he said, smiling.

“What’s going on there, cher?” she asked softly.

Bobby sighed.  “She makes me happy.”  He looked up at his mother.  “She’s pretty, obviously.  And she’s smart and kind and funny and genuine…”  He trailed off.

Jerilyn crossed her arms.  “Is she another one of those little girls looking for a rich, famous man?”

He looked his mother squarely in the eye.  “No, maman.  Maggie had no idea that I’d played ball.  She couldn’t care less about sports or money.”  He laughed.  “She gave me eight pounds of shit, I mean crap,” he edited in response to her raised eyebrow, “when I bought her an antique dresser last week.”

Bobby gazed through the kitchen windows at the moonlight reflected on the marsh.  “She sees me.  Not some has-been retired pitcher.  I know that we haven’t been going out very long but…”  He looked down at his hands before meeting her gaze.  “I think I’m in love with her.”

A slow smile crept across his mother’s face.  “You’d better go give your little girl a call, then, bébé.”

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is available at this link: books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

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Bashing Romance Novels–Don’t Do It

In this terrific article from Bustle, author Sarah Maclean asserts that bashing romance novels is just another form of slut-shaming.  This image is from the article and I’ve included the link below…

https://www.bustle.com/articles/186881-sarah-maclean-bashing-romance-novels-is-just-another-form-of-slut-shaming

Romance, erotic romance, and erotica may not be your cup of tea.  But that doesn’t mean that those who enjoy it are somehow morally inferior.  It doesn’t mean that romance authors produce inferior work.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  Like a good friend of mine always says, ‘To each his own.’

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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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Weekend WIP Excerpt–For Sparrow

It feels like it’s been forever since I posted an excerpt!  Today, I’m giving you a sneak peek at FOR SPARROW, my current work in progress, and Book 3 of The Dream Dominant Collection.  Since it’s a Dream Dominant book, you know there are some things you can count on: a stand-alone story featuring a smart redheaded leading lady, a drop dead sexy Dominant man, light BDSM themes, and romance with plenty of heart.

In FOR SPARROW, Jessi Crenshaw, at forty-five, is a shell-shocked young widow.  Although her husband of twenty-five years had survived a health scare in the past, she couldn’t have imagined that he’d be gone so suddenly.  Having lived the last several years as Graham’s submissive, she’s lost not only her husband, partner, lover, and friend, she’s lost her Master.

But it turns out that Graham had had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he made provisions for Jessi, in the form of hunky fire rescue paramedic Judd Farris, whom the older man had mentored in the BDSM lifestyle.  Graham made Judd promise that in the event of his death, Judd would look out for Jessi, at least until she got back on her feet.

Could it be that Graham’s intentions went beyond a temporary solution?

Here’s a brand new excerpt from For Sparrow.

Jessi held herself together while the kids were home.  No sense having them worry about her.  They needed to get back to their lives.  She certainly didn’t want them feeling as though they needed to babysit her.

Adam left for Orlando on Friday morning.  By the time Jessi dropped off Cara at Palm Beach International on Friday afternoon, she was exhausted.  She hadn’t been able to keep food down since she’d gotten the news about Graham.  She also hadn’t been able to sleep.  Now, with the house to herself, she finally let herself fall apart.

In the hamper in the master bath she found an undershirt of Graham’s.  It smelled of his cologne and dirty clothes.  She undressed, shrugged into the ‘wife-beater’ tank top, and crawled into bed.  There, she cried for hours, screamed for a while until her voice was gone, and ranted at the universe for letting her down.  When the tears dried up, she curled into a ball and found herself in a sort of twilight not unlike subspace, but rather than feeling safe she simply felt empty.

Eventually, disoriented and having no idea of the time, Jessi headed downstairs to the kitchen.  The clock on the microwave blinked 2:34.

Must be a.m.  It’s dark outside, she thought vaguely.

Checking the fridge, she saw that it was still half full of casseroles she couldn’t bear to uncover, let alone try to eat, so she closed the door and headed to the liquor cabinet in the dining room, choosing the first bottle her hand touched.  It happened to be a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels.  Uncapping the whiskey, she took a long pull and coughed as the warm liquid hit her raw throat.

Unable to bear the emptiness of her bedroom, she took the whiskey with her and let herself out the back door, choosing a lounge chair by the pool where she proceeded to drain the rest of bottle before passing out.

Slowly, Jessi became aware of the noise of some sort of lawn equipment.

                Damn neighbors.  She tentatively cracked open one eye and wondered at the gecko staring back at her.

               Holy shit, I slept outside.  She carefully peeled her cheek from the seat cushion and pushed herself to a sitting position on the lounge chair, immediately regretting the sudden movement.

“Oh, my God,” she groaned, reaching to hold her head.  Still, the relentless sound of trimmers echoed in her ears.  From her position at the edge of the pool deck she could see past the end of the house, and to her surprise, a stranger was in her yard.

Portrait of a calm handsome young man leaning to the wall outdoo

Ignoring the pounding in her head, she stood and walked toward the source of the sound.  A tall muscular man with dark brown hair was trimming her hedges.  He was dressed in a white t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and worn brown leather work boots.

“Excuse me!” Jessi shouted, the effort sending pain shooting through her head.  The man didn’t respond.

Moving closer she tried again, holding her head with both hands to prevent it from blowing apart.  “I said, excuse me!”

Startled, he jumped and turned off the offending machine, his brown eyes made larger by surprise.  “I’m sorry, did I wake you?” he asked.

“What are you doing here?” Jessi asked.

“I’m trimming these hedges.”

Jessi frowned.  “Yeah, I can see that.  I mean, why are you on my property, trimming my hedges?”

The man frowned as well.  “Um, I mentioned to you that I’d be here today to help out with your lawn.”

“Who are you?  When did we decide that you’d come here to do my hedges?”

He smiled in a friendly way.  “I’m Judd.  Farris.  We spoke at the funeral?  I said that I’d be over today to help out.”

Jessi blinked at him, trying desperately to recall ever having had a conversation with this…Judd person.

“Out by your pool?  I know, there were a lot of people here.  It probably all runs together.”

You have no idea, she thought.  “Oh, you were friends with Graham?”

He grinned broadly.  “Exactly.  Graham and I used to go for coffee every once in a while.”

Jessi aimed for a kind smile.  “Well, look Judd, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  But you really don’t need to come over here and trim the hedges.  It’s very nice of you, but I’ll be okay.”

Judd shook his head.  “I promised Graham I’d check in on you, take care of things like this.”

“That’s great of you, but there’s no need.  I release you from your promise,” Jessi said, her patience wearing thin.

“It was a promise I made to Graham.  You have nothing to do with it,” he said reasonably and he prepared to continue with his work.

“I have everything to do with it.  Graham isn’t here.  You’re dealing with me, now.”

Judd let the trimmer hang down at his side and looked at her intently.  “You look like shit, if you don’t mind me saying so.  When is the last time you combed your hair?  You have little leaves in it.”

Jessi’s eyes went wide and she started to reply, but he cut her off.  “You do realize you’re standing in your yard wearing only a stained men’s undershirt, right?  I was trying to ignore it, but damn.  A guy can only keep his eyes averted for so long.”

Jessi glanced down to see Graham’s undershirt, which barely covered her panties and clung to her breasts like Saranwrap in the humidity of the morning.  “Shit!” she swore.

“No worries, Jessi.  I’ll be out of your hair as soon as I’m done with these hedges,” Judd said as he started the trimmers again and returned to his work.

Jessi hurried back to the pool deck and into the house.

I’m still hard at work on FOR SPARROW.  Stay tuned for news on a cover reveal and a release date.  In the meantime, check out the first two Dream Dominant books, LUKE & BELLA and LOST & BOUND.

Sneak Peek at My New WIP!

for-sparrow-mock-upLOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2 has been out for a little over a month and I’m happily at work on Book 3, FOR SPARROW.   This cover is just a mock-up.  I’ll be having a sexy cover designed by the divine Eeva Lancaster of The Book Khaleesi when the book is finished.

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham died suddenly, she lost more than her spouse.  She lost the Dominant to her submissive.  But it turns out Graham had an idea that he was not well, and he tapped a temporary replacement for himself, at least until Jessi gets back on her feet.  Enter tall, dark, and Dominant firefighter and paramedic, Judd Farris.  It’s an unconventional relationship, but Judd has a promise to keep.

Here’s an excerpt of this very WIP…

Jessi’s hands shook.  With her index finger she traced the writing on the front of the envelope.  She glanced out the back door to see Judd kick off his shoes and sit on the edge of the pool, sinking his feet in the water.  Buddy flopped down beside him and rolled over, wanting his tummy scratched, and Judd obliged.

She turned her attention back to the envelope.  Her irrational self told her that if she didn’t open it, somehow everything could go back to normal.  But curiosity won the moment, and she slid her thumb under the flap and carefully opened the letter.

My dearest Sparrow,

I’m so sorry I’m not there with you.  I can feel my heart beginning to wear out.  Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you, I know how you worry about things.  We’ve had a good life together.  I’ve told you before and I’m telling you again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me.  The fact that you are the mother of my children amazes the hell out of me.  What did I ever do to deserve such a terrific family?

Jessi reached up to wipe a silent tear from her cheek.  Self-consciously, she flicked her eyes out to the pool deck to find that Judd was watching her intently, and he flashed a sympathetic smile.  Sniffing, she read on.

It would be pointless, I suppose, to tell you not to mourn.  Just don’t do it too long.  And don’t you dare wear black.  God, I hate all that maudlin bullshit.  Now Sparrow, you and I know that you are a natural submissive.  I don’t want you to feel lost without a Dominant in your life.  I want you to find one, a true Gentleman who will cherish you in the way you deserve.  One who will nurture the sexy, sensual woman you truly are.  Don’t you go back to some kind of vanilla half-existence.  That would really piss me off.

Tears still streaming, she laughed because she could almost hear Graham’s voice.

If you have this letter, you’ve met Judd.  I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s a solid Dominant.  I’ve asked him to check in on you and to take care of some things around the house.  I’ve also asked him to help you out until you find a Dominant of your own.  Judd is willing to give you knee time, Sparrow, to help you settle your mind and find peace.  I don’t mean sex and kink.  He would be a sort of ‘emotional Dominant,’ just until you get back on your feet.

On the other hand, if you found yourself attracted to Judd, it would make me happy knowing that you’d be in good hands.  He’s a good man, Jessi, a gentle man and a Gentleman.  He would be a perfect sexual Dominant for you.  I worry thinking about the dangers out there, Sparrow.  You and Judd could make your own way.

Mortified, Jessi glanced out the back door.  Thankfully, Judd was staring out across the pool.  “I can’t believe you’re telling me these things,” she murmured to herself.

Anyway, I trust you, Sparrow.  You’re smart and strong, and I’m so proud of you.  Never forget that you are absolutely the love of my life.  I’m forever grateful to you for taking my hard, stuffy heart and helping me to be a better man than I ever dreamed about being.  Be sure the kids know how much I love them.  I love you, my Sparrow, with all my heart.  Live happy.  Find love and cherish it.

Your loving husband and Master, G.

Jessi was completely undone.  Sobbing, she folded her arms on the counter and rested her head on them.  She cried until she felt she had no tears left.  Moments passed and she raised her head.  It hurt and her eyes felt puffy.  With a glance at Judd and Buddy still sitting by the pool, she went into the powder room and splashed water on her face.

Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet out the back door and across the pool deck.  Judd smiled up at her kindly.  “How are you holding up?”

Jessi shrugged as she stepped out of her sandals and sat beside him, slipping her feet into the cool water.  They sat without speaking, each gently sliding feet through the water, watching the ripples cross the pool and return to them.  Judd moved his foot under her leg and raised her foot to the surface.  The fuchsia nail polish was chipped and peeling.

“How long since you had a pedicure, Jessi?” he asked gently.

She moved her foot away and looked at him sharply.  “What exactly did your letter say, Judd?”

He exhaled forcefully.  “Like I said, he was worried about you.  He said that you’re submissive and that you might need somebody in your life until you find your way.”  He glanced at her knowingly.  “When was the last time your mind was quiet, little one?”

A tear slid down Jessi’s cheek and she swiped at it roughly.  “So you’re my appointed Dominant, is that it?” she asked testily.

“It’s not like that.”  Judd looked at her steadily.  “Graham and I were friends.  We talked about Dominance and submission for hours over the years.  He trusted me.  Trusted me with the one thing that meant the most to him in the world.”

He paused, gazing at her thoughtfully.  “He didn’t want you to run into the wrong kind of man while you’re looking to ease your mind, to fill that emptiness that I see in your eyes.”  Jessi stubbornly looked away and swiped at her cheek again.

“You know, it’s entirely up to you.  I’m going to complete the list of things around your house.  I promised him I would.  But whether or not you accept me as a surrogate Dominant?  Only you can decide that.”

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair.  “You miss knee time, I know you do,” he said softly.  “A chance to just let go of all the concerns that weigh you down.”  Jessi turned back to look at him, her expression softer.  “I’m not talking about kinky sex, tying you up and all that.  I’m offering you a chance to clear your mind of everything, let me carry your burdens for a while.”

“Why?  Why would you do that?”  Her voice was strained.

Judd shrugged.  “I’m Dominant.  It’s what I crave, to be needed, to take care of a submissive.”  He laughed lightly.  “I’m a Dominant without a submissive, and you’re a submissive without a Dominant.  For the time being, it works out well.”

He gazed at her steadily, kindness in his brown eyes.  “Just say the word.  Do you want knee time, little one?”

Another tear rolled down her cheek.  And she nodded.  “Yes,” she whispered.  “I want knee time.”

He smiled patiently.  “Yes, what, little one?”

“Yes, Master.”

Judd shook his head.  “I’m not your Master, little one.  Yes, Sir will do.”

Unconsciously, Jessi bowed her head submissively.  “Yes, Sir, may I please have knee time?”

“Yes, you may,” he responded gently.  “There is a big leather chair in your den.  Be kneeling beside the chair in two minutes.  Your eyes will be closed and you will clear your mind.  Do you understand, little one?”

“Yes, Sir.”  Jessi stood and started to walk away, but then turned and looked at him anxiously.  “My clothes, Sir?”

“Your clothes are fine the way they are,” he answered.  “Hurry.  I’ll come to you shortly.”

“Yes, Sir,” she said, and she hurried into the house.

There is no timetable for the release of FOR SPARROW.

But visit my Amazon page for all of my published books.

LOST & BOUND–Launch Day!

coverLOST & BOUND is out today!

It’s the second book in the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone novels featuring sexy, Dominant men, and the strong, red-haired submissives who find them irresistible.  It is a contemporary erotic romance novel with a light BDSM theme, and features a DD/lg relationship, and is intended for mature audiences.

What is LOST & BOUND all about?

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy.  Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling.  But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.

When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks.  There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.

Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation.  Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element.

Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that.  He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world.  The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.

Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

Intrigued?  How about an exclusive new sample from LOST & BOUND?

By the time the kitchen timer went off, she’d finally stopped shaking.  Shasta pulled the chain, dislodging the rubber plug and the water began to drain from the tub.  She used the towel to dry herself and quickly slipped into the flannel shirt Blake had left for her.  It was miles too big and deliciously soft as she wrapped it around her bare flesh.  In the bathroom mirror, her eyes were haunted.  She had no idea of the time, and she was tired.  He’d told her to sit on the bed and wait for him.

Carefully, she picked up the oil lamp and carried it into the bedroom.  The full-sized bed was neatly made with a steel-grey duvet.  She’d half-expected a camouflage bedspread for the rugged mountain man.

The thought would have amused her if she hadn’t been so upset.  Blake was angry with her, really angry.  He’d called her Shasta, and that had broken her heart.  She’d thought that they had a special understanding between them, a budding friendship that was possibly romantic.  She loved that he called her Amy.  But she’d ruined that, like she ruined everything, it seemed.

She put the lamp on the bedside table and sank onto the edge of the bed.  Although she felt warm from the bath, her feet were cold, so she folded her legs under her to keep them warm.  She wondered where Blake had gone.

Outside, the storm continued to rage.  It was quieter here than in her cabin, but it made her uneasy nevertheless.  She wanted him back with her.  When he’d picked her up, held her against his chest, she’d felt the safety she’d sought.  She wanted to be in his arms until the storm passed.  It was the safest place she’d ever known.

The outside door opened and closed, and her heart jumped into her throat.  She heard him speak to the dog but she couldn’t make out his words.  Her eyes were glued to the closed bedroom door, and she watched as the knob turned.

Blake’s eyes went straight to her.  “Good.  Just like I asked.  Come with me.”

Shasta followed him into the living room where he stood leaning his right hip on the breakfast bar separating that room from the kitchen.  Not knowing what else to do, she simply stopped and anxiously twisted her hands in front of her.

When he didn’t say anything, she jumped in.  “I’m so sorry.  I didn’t mean to cause trouble, I was just so scared, and I don’t think I really even knew what I was doing, just…the next thing I knew, I was halfway across the lake.  I know it was stupid.  I’m so sorry, please don’t be mad at me.”

Blake sighed deeply, his mouth a hard line.  “What you did was beyond dangerous and irresponsible.  If anything had happened to you, Amy, I don’t know how I would be able to live with myself.”

Pleased that he’d returned to her real name, she took a step closer.  “I know.  And again, I’m so sorry.  Please forgive me.”

He stood straight and crossed his arms.  “I can forgive you.  The trouble is, you need discipline.  You’re out of control, and you need someone to help you rein yourself in.”

Shasta frowned, uncertain of what he meant.

“Tonight, you need to make a decision.  Option one, you can stay here.  Or option two, I’ll take you back to the island.”  At that moment, a deafening thunderclap rattled the cabin’s windows.

She furrowed her brow.  “Why would I want to go back there?”

“Because if you stay here, you go by my rules.  Without exception.”  He arched an eyebrow menacingly.

Chills ran up her arms.  His rules?  She thought of the way he’d taken over, putting her in the tub, his explicit instructions.

“Remember, there’s your other choice.  I grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of jeans from Jackie’s closet.  You can get dressed, and I’ll take you back.  I’ll see about fixing the window in the morning and we can go on our merry way.”

His expression was impassive, as if either option was fine by him.  Shasta fidgeted with the buttons on the flannel shirt.  “I want to stay.”  Her voice was barely above a whisper.

“You should know that if you stay, you will be receiving a spanking.”

Shasta’s eyes bugged out.  “What?”

“You’re out of control,” he repeated gently.  “You need discipline to help you remember that your safety always comes first.”

She turned from him, crossing to the window where she looked out over the lake.  A bolt of lightning illuminated the lake, revealing whitecaps as large as they’d been when she’d been out there, and the thunder crashed immediately afterward.

She knew the window over her bed was shattered, the wind and rain would be howling through the cabin.  There was no telling when the storm would let up.  Blake offered to take her back there, which would mean he’d have to risk himself, to the island and back.  No, that wouldn’t do.

Turning back to him, she answered softly.  “I’ll stay.”  She met his eyes briefly before moving her gaze to the floor.

LOST & BOUND is out now, and available at this Universal link:

books2read.com/LostandBound

Behind the Book–Post 3: Romance As A Place

lost-boundMy new book, LOST & BOUND, Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, will be released January 31.  In the meantime, I’ve been posting a series called Behind the Book to give you a little insight into the story, and the real-life setting behind it.

In this third installment of LOST & BOUND: Behind the Book, I wanted to take you to a location that is nearly as integral to the story as the guest lodge itself.  From her solitary island cabin, Shasta is curious about the rocky promontory across the lake, on the mainland shore to the north.

Blake tells her that it’s called Winchester Point, and that it’s a nice place to go exploring.  Turns out, there’s more to it than that:  it’s also the home of his own private sanctuary in the trees, and it’s where his play cabin is located.

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Winchester Point is the real name of the real place.  It’s rocky point on the mainland across Rawhide Lake to the north of my family’s remote island cabin in northern Ontario.  A short skiff-ride away from the island, it’s a great place to hike around a bit and go exploring.

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There is a stone fire ring that someone built once, and while we never made a fire there, it’s clear that it’s been well-used.

I love to follow the narrow trail away from the water and up the ridge to the top, where you can get a birds-eye view of the lake to the west.

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It’s much higher than you can tell from photographs.  In places, the path is so steep, it’s more of a scramble than a stroll.

There is also an abundance of blueberries in the right season, and we’ve picked many to be used in muffins and pancakes.

In the story, Shasta comes upon the ruins of an old trapper’s cabin.  I can remember seeing the place when I was a kid, but it’s been completely gone for years.

Obviously, I invented Blake’s play cabin, further up the trail.  But it seemed like the perfect place for a rugged Dominant mountain man to take his submissive when he wanted to play extensive scenes.

I hope you enjoy this little peek behind the scenes.  It’s been my pleasure to share this place that is so special to me.

LOST & BOUND is out January 31.  It’s available now for pre-order.

books2read.com/LostandBound

 

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

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LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Collection Book 2, comes out January 31.

It’s the story of spoiled Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke, who, after getting into trouble with the law, is sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario until the whole mess blows over.

It’s there that she meets sexy Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.  He lives a simple life, helping to run his family’s remote guest lodge.  He sees past Shasta’s petulant bravado to the scared little girl she hides from the world.

Would she ever agree to give him her submission?

Here’s a sexy little excerpt to hold you over until release day.

The sun was sinking low in the sky, casting a pink-orange glow onto the lake as they made their way to the boat.  Blake placed his bags into the bow of the boat then helped Shasta step in.  She moved cautiously, easing herself down onto the center seat.

“Is everything okay?” he questioned.

She nodded.  “It feels weird to walk around with this thing in my ass.”

“Are you complaining?”

“No.  I’m just…pointing shit out.”

Blake laughed heartily and started the electric motor, heading for the far side of the lake.  He tied up the boat on the same saplings he’d used earlier that day, climbed out with his bags, and reached down to Shasta, who gingerly stepped out onto the rocks.

She glanced around anxiously.  “Where are we going, anyway?  It’s getting dark.”

Blake smiled enigmatically.  “You’ll see soon enough.  Come on.”  He lightly took her hand and together they walked up the trail leading away from the lake.  When they passed the trapper’s cabin, Shasta looked to Blake wonderingly, and he just winked.  Soon enough they came to a fork in the path.  Blake moved to the left without hesitating.  A few yards down the path, they stopped.  Shasta looked around and saw nothing but trees and rocks.

“This looks like a good place.”  Blake reached into his duffel and pulled out the throw, placing it on the ground.  “Okay, kitten, the dress comes off.”

She gaped at him.  “We’re just gonna…fuck in the woods?”

His eyes sparkled with amusement.  “Nobody said anything about fucking.  Just get naked.  Now.”

Shasta pulled the dress over her head, and Blake took it, folding it and placing it into the bag.  “Now, we haven’t had knee time today.  You may kneel on the blanket.”

Shasta stepped into the center of the throw and knelt in the way he’d shown her, sitting back on her heels with her hands, palms up, resting on her thighs.  Closing her eyes was automatic.  Blake stepped in front of her, placing his right foot between her thighs.  Tenderly, he stroked her hair, and she let out a contented sigh.  “Knee time is good, isn’t it, kitten?”

“Yes, Daddy,” she murmured.

“Okay, now I have a job for you.”  Shasta expectantly raised her eyes to meet his.  “I’m going a little further up the trail.  You will wait for me right here.  I’ll come back for you when I’m ready.”

Immediately her eyes went to the trees.  “I’m staying here?  Naked?  That’s a little scary.”

“Trust me, kitten?”  He watched her intently.

Her deep mocha eyes were wide and clear.  “I trust you.”

“You’re such a good girl,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her.  “Now, we’ll just slide this into place…”  He produced the black satin blindfold and settled it over her eyes.  Shasta shivered.  “I won’t be gone long.”

She listened as his footsteps moved away from her.  Soon, all she heard were forest noises.  Unable to see, her other senses were heightened and she heard the snap of twigs and the call of a loon from far down the lake.  The early evening breeze chilled her, and she shivered again, her bare flesh covered with goose bumps and her nipples stretched into sharp, painful peaks.

Heavy footsteps were approaching, the crunch of leaves and pine straw growing louder.  It’s Blake.  It’s just Blake.  Unless it’s not.  She fought panic.

“There’s my good girl, just where I left her.”  Blake took Shasta’s hand and helped her stand.  “Okay, kitten, playtime starts now.  You will follow my every direction without question or hesitation.  And you will be silent.  You will not speak unless I give you permission.  Is that clear?”

Shasta blinked behind her blindfold and nodded wordlessly.

“Good girl.  Now, I’m going to kiss you.  You will not kiss me back.”  With his hands on her hips, Blake pulled her closer to himself and placed his lips on hers.  Shasta steadied herself by placing her palms on his chest.  Somewhere along the way, Blake had removed his shirt, and she felt his warm, solid flesh beneath her hands.  Blake deepened his kiss, invading her with his tongue, and although she felt her toes curling, she remembered his instructions and concentrated on not kissing him back.

Finally, his lips released hers and he pressed a kiss to her forehead.  “Good girl,” he murmured.  “Let’s go.”  In one swoop, he scooped her up into his arms and carried her.  Branches and leaves brushed against her skin as he carried her down the trail, then she felt as if they went up some steps.  His footfalls sounded different, too, as though he walked on a solid surface.  Then the air around her felt different, as though they had gone indoors.  Finally, she heard a door close and he set her down.  Shasta stood uncertainly and she felt Blake remove the blindfold.

She blinked as she looked around.  They were in a cabin.  A huge bed covered in a midnight blue duvet took up a large portion of the space.  All around, tiny candles twinkled.  A warm fire popped and crackled in the fireplace opposite the bed.  She looked up at Blake, who was watching her intently.  She opened her mouth to ask a question and clamped her lips shut again.

He smiled.  “Do you have a question, kitten?”

She nodded.

“You may ask one question.”

“What is this place?”

Blake crossed to the stove to peer into the tub of water.  “This is my play cabin.  Some Doms have a dungeon, I have a cabin.”

LOST & BOUND will be out January 31.  You can pre-order your copy now.

books2read.com/LostandBound

Pucker Up!

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Pucker up, baby, because it’s Kiss a Ginger Day, all day today!

And what better way to spend the day than with one of my sassy red-haired leading ladies?  That right.  Supporting my belief that there should be more gingers in erotica, all of my heroines are strong, smart, sexy redheads.

Let me introduce you to them.

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Bella Grant, of LUKE & BELLA, is a strong-willed ginger.  She’s also a take-charge professional journalist with an appetite for excitement.

Tasked with creating a new brand of television travel show, she’s jetting off to exotic destinations, staying in romantic hotels, and experiencing new sights and cultures.  It’s no wonder she falls for her dreamy partner on this adventure, sexy photographer Luke McGillicutty.

But Bella gets more than she bargained for when she discovers that Luke is Dominant.

Will she agree to explore her submissive side?

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After spoiled Hollywood starlet, red-haired Shasta Pyke of LOST & BOUND, finds herself in trouble with the law, she’s exiled to the wilderness of northern Ontario until the dust settles and public attention moves on the the next big train wreck.

It’s there that she meets rugged mountain man Blake Walker, a Daddy Dominant who sees in Shasta the baby girl he’s been searching for.

But will this bratty ginger ever willingly give him her submission?

Passionate Embraces Men And Women

Maggie Flynn, the leading lady in the RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION trilogy (RESISTING RISK, RUNNING ROGUE, and RANSOMING REDEMPTION) is a smart, capable, and determined new lawyer.  She’s also hopelessly in love with sexy rake Michael Rannigan, the high-powered Manhattan attorney who hired her straight out of law school.

But down-to-earth, red-haired Maggie is so far from Michael’s usual type, the surgically-enhanced, bottle-blonde babes he keeps on his contact list.  So why can’t Michael get Maggie off his mind?

Fair warning:  This epic 5-STAR story does NOT go where you think it’s going to go, but it’s page-turning, character-driven erotic romance you’ll love to read again and again.  (P.S. RESISTING RISK is only .99–Not much of a risk there.)

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I almost forgot about spunky ginger Katie Parker from my naughty little novella, JUST ONE NIGHT.  On a cruise with her best girlfriends from high school, Katie is determined to forget about the man who did her wrong.  She’s looking for a great-looking guy for a night of red-hot anonymous passion.

On board the ship, she finds hunky Mac Coleman, who’s more than willing to go along with her plan.  The only problem is, can he convince her that what they’ve found together is worth more than just one night?

Priced at only .99, JUST ONE NIGHT is available exclusively on Amazon, and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

So how are you celebrating Kiss a Ginger Day?

Behind the Book–Post 2: The DeHavilland Beaver

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DeHavilland Beaver, landing on Rawhide Lake

LOST & BOUND, my new erotic romance novel coming out January 31, is set in the wilderness of northern Ontario, a place that is near and dear to my heart.  For generations, my family has owned a rustic log cabin located in the remote reaches of that beautiful area, and I spent many a summer vacation there as a child.

Rawhide Lake, home of the tiny island where the cabin sits, is located roughly 30 miles from the town of Elliot Lake, and is uninhabited, save for our cabin and a few remote guest cabins located miles away at the other end of the lake.  There are no roads and the lake is accessible only by bush plane or by portaging across several lakes.

There was one summer when we spent a couple of days waiting for the weather to clear enough to be able to make the flight, but by the third morning, being unwilling to waste more of our vacation, we opted to make the portage.  This means that we left our vehicle at the guest lodge of some friends of ours, loaded up as much as we could carry, and hiked from there to the first of about three lakes.  Having paid the teenage son of the lodge owners to carry an outboard motor for us, we schlepped our bags, coolers, and food through the forest for an hour or so, and loaded it all into the skiff that waited, overturned at the edge of the lake.  Once we’d ridden to the other side of the lake, we gathered our things once again and hiked over hill and dale to the next lake, where we repeated the same process a couple more times.

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DeHavilland Beaver, Rawhide Lake (Notice the open pilot door.)

While it was an unexpected adventure, it was a reminder of why we normally paid quite a sum to a bush pilot, who’d fly us and our things to the lake in about 45 minutes.

The DeHavilland Beaver is the quintessential Canadian bush plane.  They were first flown in 1947 and were commercially produced until 1967.

In LOST & BOUND, leading man Blake Walker, former wilderness counselor, has spent the last few years helping to run his family’s business, Lake Miranda Lodge.  He also owns a DeHavilland Beaver, which he uses to fly guests to and from some of their more remote properties.

In the story, after several days of being alone on the tiny island, leading lady Shasta Pyke begs Blake to take her with him when he flies to a nearby lake to ready a remote cabin for incoming guests.  As I wrote that part of the story, I tried to paint a sensory impression of what it’s like to bounce along the top of the water and take off in a small aircraft.  Truthfully, it’s a bit scary, and believe me when I say that your tummy does the little ‘whoopsy’ thing.

If you’ll notice in the photo, the pilot always kept his door open except when we were in the air.  I have no idea why he did that, but I added it to the story, making sure that Shasta freaked out about it a little.  Hmm…  Writing as therapy…

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Once you’re in the air, the view of the wilderness is spectacular.  The lakes were all formed by glaciers and they can be very deep in places.  But the water is crystal clear for way deeper than you’d imagine.  It’s absolutely breathtaking.

The forests, lakes, and marshes are home to all kinds of wildlife, including black bears, moose, foxes, wolves, and other potentially scary critters.

Once, while flying to the island, the pilot spotted a moose standing in the shallows of a lake below us, so he banked around sharply to circle the massive beast and give us a good look.  Which was cool, after my life stopped flashing before my eyes.  In the story, I had Blake do the same for Shasta, and she reacted pretty much like I did.

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Landing on the water is quite an experience, too.  Again, there’s the little tummy flip, and the sudden bumping of the pontoons across the top of the water.  I always loved the way the pontoons create a spray that fantails out behind the plane.  The view is better from the ground, but you can still see it from inside the plane.

In LOST & BOUND, Blake adores his plane, but I also gave another character an older model of the deHavilland Beaver.  You’ll have to read to find out who it is.

Curious?  You’ll have to wait a bit longer to read LOST & BOUND.  But stay tuned for the next Behind the Book post.

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LOST & BOUND will be released on January 31,

but you can PreOrder it now by using this universal link:

books2read.com/LostandBound