Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA Anniversary Sale

pic1LUKE & BELLA is the story of a pair of television journalists who are tasked with creating a new travel show, traveling the world and documenting the adventure they find.  I thought I’d share a few Fun Facts about the book.

  • LUKE & BELLA started as a private role-play on Twitter.
  • My partner lost interest after a while, and I decided to rewrite the role-play as narrative, which I put out on Tumblr, adding chapters beyond the original story.
  • When I reached around Chapter 67, I stopped writing for a period of time, finally picking up the story again and publishing it chapter by chapter here on WordPress, eventually finishing the whole thing.
  • In the story, Luke and Bella travel around the world to exciting cities, finding that the real stories don’t occur in the tourist areas.  Instead, they discover that the heart of a place is more often found two streets over.  I did a great deal of research into their destinations, having the pair stay in real hotels, eat in existing restaurants and bars.  You can find them online.
  • Originally, LUKE & BELLA wasn’t intended to be about BDSM.  It sort of evolved that way.

Here’s an all new excerpt from LUKE & BELLA.

After they said their good nights, Bella slept fitfully.  How long has it been since I’ve slept alone, she wondered.  She finally drifted off about half an hour before her alarm sounded and she found herself hitting the snooze button repeatedly.  Her ringing phone startled her awake.

“Hello?” she answered sleepily.

“Sissy, I’m downstairs.  Are you ready?” Tre asked.

“Holy shit!” she exclaimed.  “Give me ten minutes,” she shouted into the phone, disconnecting before he could reply.  She took the fastest shower of her life and threw on the first black dress she found in the closet, running down the stairs with her shoes in her hand.

Tre was waiting at the curb and she jumped into the giant SUV.  He stared at her for a moment, his expression incredulous.  “Is that what you’re wearing?” he finally said.

Bella looked down.  The dress was more low cut than she realized, and she tried to pull the v-neckline more closed.  “Oh, for God’s sake, we’re late!  I’ll find a pin or something, let’s go!”

Tre shook his head and they drove to the funeral home.  Once again the place was packed and they hurried to be seated in the family section reserved in the front of the room.  Cornelia glanced up as they were seated and she blanched, wide-eyed, when she saw Bella’s dress.  She quickly recovered her official mourning visage.  Bella shrugged.  I’m here, she thought.  What the hell else do you want?  Bitch.

She was glad to see that the casket was closed.  As the service began, there were hymns followed by a few friends and business associates who spoke, giving generic inspirational messages about the dearly departed.  Eventually Tre got up to give the official eulogy.  He was eloquent, heartfelt, and understated, all the things that Bubba always was.  People all around were dabbing at their eyes.

Bella felt something but she wasn’t sure what it was.  She should feel sad.  Her father was in that box.  She shook her head.  She wasn’t sorry that he was dead.  She wasn’t happy, either.  She really felt nothing at all.  That realization made her sad, and the tears finally came.

After the service, there was a procession to the cemetery.  They’ll lay him to rest next to Momma, she thought, as she rode in the limo with Tre, Cornelia, and T-Nathan.  No one said anything at all, but she could feel Cornelia’s disapproving glare.  Fuck it, Bella thought.

At the graveside, Bella stood next to Tre, wrapping her arm around his and holding on for dear life.  The service was interminable and she thought she couldn’t take much more.  Words like ‘family man’ and ‘loving husband and father’ swirled around her head.  People have no idea, she thought.

When it was finally over, the limo took them back to the funeral home where they got into the SUV and drove back to the house.  Cornelia had, of course, hired caterers to provide for the guests who would be attending the after funeral soiree.  Such a bizarre ritual, Bella mused.  Still, it was 2:00 and there would be wine, and she was in need.

Her flight to Buenos Aires didn’t leave until 6:00.  Then…Luke.  She couldn’t wait to see him, to be in his arms.  How could you need someone so badly when you’d known him for such a short time?

Guests were already milling around on the huge wraparound porch, cocktails and hor d’oeuvres in hand.  Among the guests, Bella noticed Mitchell, the guy from the funeral home last night.  He was handsome enough, she supposed.  But there was something pathetic about him.  It dawned on her that she couldn’t think of anyone who was man enough to be her Dom besides Luke.  The thought made her smile.

As Tre and Cornelia moved through the crowd, they were greeted with heartfelt wishes of condolence.  Bella and T-Nathan stayed on the outskirts of the crowd and made their way to the backyard, where the main gathering was meant to be.  The sky was bright blue and crystal clear, the temperature perfect for being outdoors.  Bella took a glass of wine from a passing server and sipped slowly.

“Well, kiddo, we’ve almost made it,” she said, winking at T-Nathan.  “When do you go back to school?”

He smiled at her.  “Next week,” he answered.  He seemed like he wanted to say more, so she waited, using her best interviewer arched eyebrow to encourage him.  “Hey Aunt Sissy, can I talk to you about something?”

“Of course,” she said, smiling warmly.  “What’s your old aunt for anyway?  What’s up?”

“Well, you know how I’ve been studying pre-law?  I’ve been thinking about changing my major.”

“Oh?” she asked, then waited.

“Yeah, um,” he said, blushing, “I’m thinking about journalism.  I want to do what you do.”  He looked at her directly.  “So what do you think?”

She thought, Your mother’s going to have a cow, but she answered, “Are you sure that’s what you want to do, travel and interview and that kind of thing?”  He nodded eagerly.

“Well, since you asked what I think…You should make journalism your minor, then continue with your pre-law or change to history or political science or economics or something else that you can bring to the table.  Any dumb ass can read the news.  You’re smarter than that.  And get involved with campus news in some way.  That’s valuable experience.”  She smiled at him.  “You know what, sometime when all the planets align, you need to come out with Luke and me, give it a try.”

“I don’t know, maybe I wouldn’t be any good at it,” he said, blushing again.

“Are you kidding me?  Look at this mug,” she said, patting his cheek affectionately.  “All the girls will lose their mother-loving minds!”

“Aw, Aunt Sissy,” he laughed.  He hugged her clumsily and went to find his friends.

Bella smile as she watched him go.  He’s such a good kid, she thought.  A server walked by and she snagged another glass of wine.  Last one, she warned herself.  She began to make her way around the gathering, accepting kind words from the guests.  She was aware of more than one disapproving look at her dress from the matrons in attendance, and more than one leer from the husbands of said matrons.   She began to feel the need to get away.

It seemed ironic to go inside to get fresh air, but that’s what she did.  Beyond the kitchen, which was a beehive of activity, the house was quiet and she made her way to Tre’s study with its dark paneled walls and oxblood red leather chesterfield sofas.  She stood at the window sipping her wine and watching the scene outside.

“Well, pretty lady, I wondered where you’d gone.”

Bella whirled around to see Mitchell, he of the wake last night.  “You startled me,” she said.

“Oops,” he smiled.  “Didn’t mean to do that.”  He had an odd look on his face and Bella didn’t like the feeling in the pit of her stomach.

“I just needed to get away from the crowd for a minute.  I think I’ll go back now,” she said evenly.

“What’s your hurry?” he asked, eyes on her breasts.  “I was hoping we could talk about old times.”  He put down his glass and crossed the room toward her, blocking her from moving away from the window.

“Have you been drinking a lot, Mitchell, because you’re making me uncomfortable,” she told him.

He laughed darkly.  “Oh, no, I want to make you very comfortable.”  He reached out to stroke her arm, putting his other arm around her waist.  “You’ve just been through a difficult time and I want to comfort you,” he whispered.  She could smell the bourbon on his breath.

“Okay, Mitchell, I’ve really got to go now,” she said, trying to move past him.

With his hand on the small of her back, he pulled her closer and he moved the other hand, reaching inside her dress and fondling her breast.

Without thinking, she slapped his face hard.  “Let. Me. The fuck. Go!” she hissed at him.

“Baby, the fuck is just what I have in mind, and you are turning me on!” he growled, leaning in to kiss her.

“Will not happen!” she answered, and she brought up her knee as hard as she could into his groin.  Mitchell went down like a sack of hammers.  Bella stepped over him and left the room hastily.

In the hallway she met Tre.  “Sissy, we were looking for you,” he said.  “Are you alright?”

“I just needed some air,” she answered sharply.

“Are you ready to go to the airport?” he asked.

“Hell, yes, I’m ready,” she said.  “By the way, your friend Mitchell just groped me.  I knocked his balls up into his sinus cavity.  I hope he hurts for a long time.”

Tre shook his head and sighed.  “Always an adventure, Sissy.  Let me go throw out the son of a bitch, then we’ll go, okay?”

Throughout the month of June, I’m celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the publication of my first novel, LUKE & BELLA.  All month long, you can get both Dream Dominant books, LUKE & BELLA and LOST & BOUND, for just .99 each.

 

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Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA Anniversary Celebration

luke-bella-updated-coverLUKE & BELLA was first published two years ago this week.  In celebration, this week’s excerpt is from that book, the first of the Dream Dominant Collection.  Wondering what it’s about?

Television journalist Bella Grant lands the job of a lifetime–travel the world and create a new television travel program.  She’s been paired up with co-producer and cameraman Luke McGillicutty, who’s been coaxed out of premature retirement with the promise of creative freedom and the chance to work with a gorgeous redhead.

Visiting exotic cities, staying in luxurious hotels…  Is it any wonder that the two fall in love?  But Luke hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.  He’s Dominant.  What’s more, he believes she’s the perfect submissive.

If he tells her the truth, he could lose her forever.  On the other hand, can he risk the chance that they could have it all?

Here’s a new excerpt from LUKE & BELLA.

They walked the two blocks to McTavish’s.  Holding open the door as he allowed Bella to precede him into the pub, Luke instinctively placed his hand on the small of her back and at once felt a charge of electricity.  He looked at her curiously, wondering if she felt it as well.

Bella appreciated Luke’s old-school manners.  Who says chivalry is dead? she asked herself, smiling.  She didn’t at all mind that he held the door for her as they entered the pub. It was funny, though.  As she passed him in the doorway, his hand grazed her back innocently enough, but she felt a shiver that went from her head to her toes.  Focus, girlfriend, on the task at hand.

Glancing around, she saw that the interior was all dark wood and looked like a classic pub.  Bella noted that the crowd seemed local.  They were headed toward the bar when they heard a roar.

“Luke mother-fucking McGillicutty!  You son of a bitch!”  Luke moved toward the source of the roar, a tall man with shaggy grey hair, warm brown eyes, and huge smile.  The two men embraced then stepped back to shake hands.

“How are you Nevin?” Luke laughed.

“I’m grand, Luke, very well,” said Nevin, but his eyes were on Bella.  “Terribly sorry for my foul language,” he apologized, bowing.  “Who is this lovely lady?”

Bella stepped forward, hand out and offering her best smile.  “Hello!  I’m Bella Grant.  I’ve heard so much about you.”

Nevin ignored her hand and instead wrapped her in a huge bear hug.

“Nevin, Bella.  Bella, Nevin,” Luke smirked.

“Bella, it’s lovely to meet you.  What in bloody hell are you doing with this loser arsehole?” he demanded.  “Come, sit, drink,” he said, leading them to the bar.

“Um, actually, we work together,” Bella replied, a bit overwhelmed for once in her life.  She observed, with a smile, that the foul language was back.

Luke noticed she did not dispute his status as a loser or an arsehole, but followed the two of them anyway.

“How do you and Luke know each other?” Bella asked.  Nevin launched into the story of how they met during a joint exercise back in their special ops days.

“Haven’t seen him since he was here covering that horrible explosion about five years ago,” Nevin finished solemnly.

Bella looked questioningly at Luke.  “Yeah, that time that whole block went up in a natural gas explosion,” he muttered.  “I was in London and they sent me here.”  He blinked his eyes trying to unsee what he’d seen.

“How is it we came to Edinburgh and you didn’t mention that?” Bella asked quietly.  Luke ignored the question.  She looked at him, wondering.

Nevin immediately moved behind the bar and asked what he could pour her.

“I wouldn’t mind a glass of white wine,” Bella replied.

“Aren’t you going to take my order?”  Luke asked.

“I know your poison,” Nevin laughed, and poured Luke a glass of Three Labels Scotch.

Pointing at the bottle, Luke told Bella, “This is it.  This is Nevin’s family label.”

“Really?” asked Bella.  “I’d try it, but I’d rather get my work done first.”

“So, Nevin, we’d like to shoot your place then have a chat with you.  Would that be okay?” Luke proposed.

“Of course, especially if that is the desire of the lovely Miss Bella,” charmed Nevin.

She giggled in spite of herself.  “Yes, please,” she answered.

“It’s settled then.  And McGillicutty, be sure to get my good side,” joked Nevin.

Bella set about ignoring Luke as he worked his camera and she engaged Nevin in conversation, which was very easy since clearly Nevin liked to talk.  They discussed the pub and the clientele.  Her first impression had been correct—most of the patrons were locals.  Nevin spoke lovingly about the pub and the business.  Bella asked Nevin to talk about how life in Edinburgh had changed over the years.

When he’d finished, she changed the subject.  “I’d love to visit the distillery.  Would that be possible?” she asked.

“Of course, we’d love to have you,” was Nevin’s warm reply.

Bella looked at Luke.  “I think we’ve got it,” she said.

“Yep, looks good,” Luke agreed.

“So is work done, then?  Let me give you the best table in the house and the serious drinking can commence,” said Nevin, grinning gleefully.  He led them to a high top table next to the back wall with a view of the entire pub.  Luke and Bella sat across from each other while Nevin disappeared.

“That was good,” Luke said.

She smiled at him.  “I think it went well, too.”

Nevin returned with a new bottle of Three Labels and three glasses.  He proceeded to pour them each a shot.  They all lifted their glasses and Nevin toasted, “To friends!”  They all tossed back the Scotch.

Bella coughed a little and the men laughed.

“That’ll put hair on your chest,” Nevin grinned.

Luke’s eyes immediately went to her cleavage which was fully on display in the deeply v-cut black sweater.  “Careful, Cowboy,” Luke whispered to himself.  Bella glanced at him, unsure she’d heard him clearly.

“Well, friends, I need to take care of my customers.  I’ll stop by later to see how you’re doing.”  They watched him move away greeting people like long lost family.

“He’s quite the force of nature, isn’t he?” Bella commented.

“Yeah, he’s good people,” Luke replied.  He poured himself a second shot and offered one to Bella, not expecting her to take it and surprised when she did.  He tossed his back and watched her do the same, without coughing this time.

“You didn’t tell me you’d worked here before.  I’m wondering why,” Bella said, looking at him intensely.

“It’s not a very good memory, actually.  Not one I like to discuss,” he replied, pouring for himself again. She still had him fixed with that fierce gaze and he realized she wasn’t going to let the matter drop.

Luke sighed.  “What do you want me to say, Bella?  I’ve seen a lot of shit in my time.  The explosion here?  It was bad.  Took them three days to put out the fire.  Debris was scattered for two miles in every direction.  They found charred body parts…” he trailed off.

“You still have nightmares.”  It was not a question.

He set his mouth in a grim line, finished with the topic.

“Well, we’re interviewing a survivor of that fire tomorrow at 10:30,” she countered, and poured herself another shot.

“That’s our appointment tomorrow?” he asked.

Bella nodded.  “Are you going to be alright with that?”

“Sure, no worries,” he replied, draining his shot.  She tossed back hers as well, looking him straight in the eye.  He watched her but didn’t say anything.  She had to be feeling that Scotch by now.

He poured again for himself and she pointed to her glass.   Somebody has a competitive streak, he thought.  He poured for her as well, but questioned the wisdom of doing so.

A server approached their table balancing a small tray carrying a single glass of white wine.  “This is for the lady from the gentleman at the bar,” she said.  Luke looked toward the bar and saw a short young man standing at the bar staring at Bella.

“Tell the gentleman the lady says No, thank you,” Luke growled, surprising Bella.

“Oy, pal, Nevin says the lady isn’t with anybody,” called the man at the bar.

“Clearly, she’s with me,” Luke countered, and started to get up.  Nevin rushed in to diffuse the situation, offering a free drink to the man at the bar and shooting an amused glance at Luke.

Draining her fourth shot, Bella commented, loudly, “Clearly, McDude isn’t paying attention.  We’re drinking Scotch over here.”  She dissolved into giggles.

“Alright, Princess.  Let’s get you back to the hotel,” said Luke, protectively.  He helped her to her feet and they moved toward the bar.  “See you tomorrow, Nevin.  Around 2:00?” Luke said.

“2:00 it is,” Nevin replied.  Bella waved goodbye and turned unsteadily toward the door.  Nevin winked at Luke and turned back to his customers.

Luke steadied Bella as they stepped out onto the sidewalk.  She waved him away.  “I’ve got this,” she said stubbornly.

“Okay, you’ve got this.  I’ll just help a little,” he smiled.  They made it back to the hotel and up to the suite.  He led her into the bedroom.

“Come on, Princess.  We’ll get you into bed.”  He sat her on the side of the bed and helped her off with her shoes.

“Arms up,” he said, and pulled the sweater off over her head.  She was wearing the same bra from earlier.  He felt part of him stiffen.

“Okay, now lie back,” he said gently, and slid off the gray skirt.  Her panties matched the bra.  Of course they do, he thought, mentally rolling his eyes.

Pulling up the covers he leaned down to kiss her gently on the forehead.  “Good night, Princess,” he whispered.

“Luke,” she called quietly.

He bent over her.  “What?”

She leaned up and pressed her lips to his, kissing him hungrily, probing his mouth with her tongue.  Abandoning his resolve, he kissed her back for a long moment before reluctantly pulling himself away.

Sighing deeply, he brought her a glass of water from the bathroom and placed it next to the bed.  “See you in the morning,” he whispered before retiring to the couch for the night.

To celebrate LUKE & BELLA’s second anniversary, both Dream Dominant books are available for just $.99 each for a limited time.  Hurry and get your copies now!

Anniversary Sale1

Use these universal links:

LUKE & BELLA (Dream Dominant Book 1)

LOST & BOUND (Dream Dominant Book 2)

Weekend Excerpt–JUST ONE NIGHT

justonenightWe’re here at the unofficial start of summer, and I, for one, could’t be happier.  Long hot days, even hotter nights…  Which makes me think of JUST ONE NIGHT, my naughty little summer novella.

I don’t normally write novellas, but this story was originally intended to be part of a multi-author steamy summer anthology.  The group project never actually materialized, so I went ahead and published the book on its own.

In JUST ONE NIGHT, teacher Katie Parker, fresh off the humiliating demise of her most recent relationship, is meeting her high school girlfriends for their annual summer outing.  This time, it’s a Caribbean cruise, and Katie’s determined to find a hot guy for a night of anonymous passion.

Mac Coleman is cruising to Mexico for his brother’s wedding when the pair meet on board the ship.  Their chemistry is instant.  But can Mac convince Katie that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night?

Here’s a little teaser.

There was a knock at the door and Mac went to retrieve the wine and strawberries from the cabin steward.  He returned to the bed, tray in hand.  “Are you ready for a little wine?”

Katie shook her head.  “Wine can wait.  I want you.  I need you to finish what you started.”

He grinned broadly.  “Finish what I started, the lady says.”  He set the tray on the desk and paused to remove his pants.  Katie propped up and watched with admiration.

Mac sank onto the bed and stretched out beside her, kissing her deeply and pushing her onto her back again.  He positioned himself above her, his erection at her sensitive entrance.  He paused only to slip on a condom and slammed himself home.

His earlier attention had left her ready for him and she held on, moaning lightly from the moment he entered her.  Watching her unselfconscious abandon had pushed him near to his edge as well, and he had no desire to slow down.  He pummeled into her and she raised her knees, willing him to be as far into her as he could go.  He felt her walls begin to compress his cock and as she cried her release, he gave in to his as well, pumping until he felt her go limp again.

He pulled out gently and rested beside her, drawing her into his embrace.  “Oh, baby,” he murmured into her ear, “you are something else.”

Ten minutes later, Mac leaned back against the headboard, legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles.  Katie sat facing him, her legs curled beneath her.  Neither had bothered to get dressed.  He poured a glass of wine and handed it to her, taking another for himself.

She sipped gratefully.  “It’s good.  And I was thirsty.”

He smiled.  “It was quite a workout.”  Taking a plump red berry, he held it out to her and she bit into it, laughing when juice ran down her chin.  She swiped at it with her empty hand.  Mac laughed too and ate the rest of the berry.

“So how were the stingrays?”

Katie rolled her eyes.  “About like I imagined.  Very crowded.  I mean, they were kind of cool.  But the way they fluttered around my legs really creeped me out.”  Mac laughed appreciatively.  “I didn’t stay in the water too long.”

She leaned over him to take a strawberry from the dish, and she held it to his mouth, watching him bite into it.  The rest she popped into her mouth.  “After the stingrays, we had lunch, then lounged on the beach for a few hours.  It was heavenly.”  She smiled with the memory.  “The others decided they needed to go shopping, but I stayed at the beach for a while longer.”

“You didn’t want to go shopping?”  He crooked a skeptical eyebrow.

Katie shook her head.  “There’s nothing in the world that I need in those touristy shops.  Besides, the water and sand were hypnotic.  I just sat there thinking about…”  She looked to him sheepishly, her face flushing pink.

“Thinking about last night.”  He smiled knowingly.  “I did some of that myself.”  He fed her another strawberry.

“Um,” she swallowed, “how was diving?  I already know that you didn’t get rushed to the hospital.”

He laughed.  “No, no hospital for me today.  Diving was great, actually.  It usually is in the Caymans.”  He sipped his wine.  “Would you like to see the pictures?  I downloaded them onto my tablet.”

Katie set down her glass and rolled onto her stomach, knees bent, her feet hovering over her ass.  Mac cued up the dive pictures and slid the tablet in front of her.  He watched as she slowly scrolled through his photos of the tropical reef fish, coral, and other things he’d seen that day.

“These are fantastic!  The water is crystal clear and the colors are just amazing.”  He watched her frown.  “Is this a shark?”

He tilted his head to the right to look at the tablet.  “Yep, a Caribbean reef shark.”

Katie gaped at him.  “Just swimming along with you?  I would have lost my mind.”

Mac laughed good-naturedly.  “They pretty much leave you alone.  You just have to be aware of what’s going on.”

She shook her head, disbelievingly.  “No freaking way,” she muttered as she continued scrolling through his pictures.  He handed her another strawberry.  She chewed thoughtfully.  “Tomorrow is my pick.  We’re going to see the ruins at Tulum.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m kind of a history nerd.  It’s just intriguing to me.  People lived there for hundreds of years, probably assumed that it would always be there, then, boom!  Can you imagine being the last person out of there?  It boggles my mind.”

Mac smiled at the insight into her intelligence.  “It will be a great trip.”

Katie nodded.  “And in Belize, Chelsea is making us zip-line in the jungle.  It’s a pretty sure bet I’ll break my neck.  Michelle has declared the last day of the cruise ‘spa day’.  Which I’ll probably need, assuming my neck isn’t broken.”

He laughed.

“We should get together every night to compare notes on our adventures.”  Katie grinned up at him, the guarded look suddenly gone as her face lit up, completely open to him.  “What are you guys doing in Mexico?  Will you go diving again?”

He felt the knot in his stomach as a frown crossed his face.  “We’re getting off in Mexico.  Tommy’s wedding is in Cancun tomorrow night.”

Her brow wrinkled.  “You’re getting off in Mexico?  You aren’t finishing the cruise?”

He shook his head.  “No.  The wedding is tomorrow night.  The next day I fly home and load up the moving truck.  I start my new job on Monday.”

Katie looked down, crestfallen.

“Hey, you, I’m really sorry.  I didn’t mean to—“

Abruptly, she pushed up off the bed.   “No, I’m sorry.  I wasn’t thinking.”  Her voice was soft, upbeat.  Her eyes betrayed her deeper feelings as her face closed again.  “Remember our deal—no strings, no expectations.  I just…”

She snatched up the fluffy white robe from the back of the chair and shrugged into it, stalking to the veranda door and crossing to lean against the railing overlooking the dark sea.  He padded out behind her, not bothering with a robe.

Mac approached her, wrapping his arms around her.  “I really am sorry,” he murmured into her hair.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“You didn’t hurt me.  No expectations, right?  It’s my own rule.  I just wasn’t thinking.  It’s no big deal.”

He pulled her closer and held her, gazing out over the sea.  “Somebody hurt you.”  It wasn’t a question.  The compassion in his voice caused her stomach to clench.

“It’s not something I want to talk about.”

“I understand,” he murmured softly.

She whirled around.  “Just stop!  Stop being all…” she waved her hands in frustration, “understanding!”

Mac threw back his head and laughed out loud.  “I could try for asshole,” he laughed, “but it’s not really my style.”  He wrapped his arms around her again, drawing her close.  “You can tell me anything you want.  Or nothing at all.  Just know,” he gently kissed the top of her head, “you’re safe here.”

Katie felt herself soften in his strong embrace.  To be safe.  Understood.  The concept was almost foreign.  She sighed deeply and turned away from him to face the ocean again, but she pulled his arms tightly around herself.

“It’s stupid.”

He said nothing, just nuzzled her temple, planting tiny kisses behind her ear.

She sighed again.  “I met a guy online.  Stupid, I know.  Just…  I don’t meet many men in my day to day life.  So I took a chance.  He seemed nice, owned his own business, the sex was—“  She sheepishly glanced up at him.  “Until very recently I thought it was great.”  She felt the chuckle in his chest as it vibrated against her back.  “One day I surprised him with lunch at his office.  When I walked in he was standing with his pants around his ankles.  A blonde was sucking him off right there in his office.”

Mac tightened his grip around her shoulders.  “I’m so sorry, you,” he murmured against her ear.

Katie shook her head.  “I should have known.  I should have seen the signs or something.  How can I be so stupid?  I can’t make that same mistake again.”

He turned her to face him, both of them leaning against the railing.  “I was dating a psycho.  I’m moving partly to get away from her.  But I’ll tell you something.”  His face was earnest.  “I realized that if I shut myself off from love, try to protect my heart, I’m going to miss the real deal when she comes along.”

He looked at her meaningfully.  “I’d much rather take the chance.  I didn’t die from a broken heart.”  He smiled at her ruefully.  “Look, we can take this thing however you want, but I’m telling you, there’s something here.  Something more than a ‘one night only’ kind of thing.”

Katie shook her head dismissively.  “No, this is just a vacation romance.  Not even romance.  Just sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that.”  There was challenge in her eyes as she met his.

Mac nodded slowly.  “Like I said, we can take this any way you like.  But just know, I’m open to more.”

JUST ONE NIGHT is only .99, and it’s available at this universal link:

books2read.com/JustOneNight

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

LUKE & BELLA begins with a pair of journalists being presented with the job of a lifetime–traveling the world and producing a new television travel show.

Bella is a smart, sassy redheaded television host with a passion for adventure.  Luke is more jaded, having spent years covering war and mayhem as a news photographer.  He left television behind to spend his days living on a rented boat in Florida.  The promise of producing his own show is intriguing enough to coax him out of retirement.  The fact that he’s paired with a sexy redhead is an added bonus.

Throughout the story, Luke & Bella visit cities like Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Mykonos, Mumbai, Buenos Ares, and many other romantic places.  As I wrote the book, I did a great deal of research into every destination.  And when possible, the hotels and restaurants the couple visits are actual places.

Above are photos of some of the settings for scenes in LUKE & BELLA.  I also included the photo that was my inspiration for Bella’s huge suitcase, the one she affectionately calls her “big-ass Louis,” which was a gift from her grandfather.

Here’s a scene from LUKE & BELLA.

It was 8:00 am local time when they landed in Edinburgh.  They moved quickly through customs and headed down to Baggage Claim.  A short man in a driver’s uniform held a sign lettered “McGillicutty.”  Luke strode up to him, right hand out.  “I’m Luke McGillicutty.”

“Yes, sir, my name is Stewart.  I’m here to take you to the Balmoral,” the driver replied.  “Shall we collect your bags?”

Luke lifted his battered duffels.  “These are my bags, but I believe the lady has a cargo container or something.”

Bella smirked at him.  “Ha-ha!  Maybe you could make yourself useful and get some footage.”  She wandered in the direction of the baggage carousel and Stewart followed, cart in tow.

Good idea, Luke thought to himself.  Since the moment he’d first seen her in the airport lounge, he’d been itching to see her through his lens.  Life itself was all too often neither contained nor controlled.  Things in his camera lens were precisely contained and exactly controlled, separated into manageable segments.    It was how he preferred to see the entire world, really, although he didn’t want to analyze that too deeply.   He felt that images in his camera lens appeared in their true form.  And he wanted to see Bella.

As she stood near the carousel chatting with the driver, Luke zoomed in on her.  A good photog always zooms completely in on his subject, focuses, and then slowly backs off.  Only he didn’t back off.  He started at her feet, clad in jeweled leather thong sandals.  And fuchsia nail polish.  He moved up to her ankle peeking out from under the long grey (or was it silver?) lace skirt she was wearing.  Since when was an ankle so sexy?

Traveling up he paused as she leaned over to retrieve a cosmetic case.  The skirt hung from her curved form in just the right way.  The bottom of a white tank top covered the top of the skirt before disappearing under the short denim jacket she was wearing over it.  Again, all curves.  Now Bella had turned toward him, her attention on the driver who was still waiting for her luggage.  From this angle he trailed up her body, watching her take off the jacket and fold it over her arm.  Full, perfect breasts filled out the tank top and for the first time he noticed a sprinkling of light freckles that trailed off into her cleavage.

Unconsciously, Bella reached up to tuck some stray red curls behind her ear.  That face.  And that amazing hair.  God, she was beautiful.  “Careful, Cowboy,” he whispered to himself.

He hurried to get some video they could actually use and tried not to dwell on what Bella might think if she saw what he’d just shot.

She flashed him a triumphant smile as she and Stewart returned to him, her things loaded onto the cart, including what could only be the fabled “big-ass Louis.”

“Geez, is that all?” Luke quipped.  “Aren’t you afraid you might not have everything you need?”

“McGillicutty, you and your ghetto bags are just jealous!” Bella returned, and she led them all out into the Edinburgh morning.

LUKE & BELLA is available at this link:

books2read.com/LukeAndBella

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Weekend Excerpt–JUST ONE NIGHT

Spring is in the air!  Days are longer and warmer, and summer’s just around the corner.  For this edition of the Weekend Excerpt, I’m featuring my naughty little summer novella, JUST ONE NIGHT.

On summer vacation, teacher Katie Parker is happy to leave behind her latest dating disaster as she joins her best friends from high school for their annual group outing.  This year, they’re going on a Caribbean cruise, and Katie is determined to find a hot guy for just one night of anonymous passion.

On board the ship, she meets hunky Mac Coleman, cruising to Mexico for his brother’s wedding.  He was more than willing to go along with the sexy, mysterious redhead’s plan for forgetting her ex.  But now, can he convince her they’re worth more than just one night?

Here’s a little teaser.

“So where is your redhead going?” Tommy wondered as he and his brother watched the women leave the dining room.

Mac shrugged lightly.  “She said something about karaoke tonight.”

Danny watched him for a moment.  “Aren’t you going after her?”

“Nah, she wasn’t really up for getting together.”

“Dude, that dress is killer.  She’s all dressed up for somebody,” Tommy observed.

“Yeah, well…”  Mac sipped his water for an excuse to stop talking.  “Hey, aren’t we hitting the casino tonight?”

Seated between his brothers at the roulette wheel, Mac watched the tiny white ball skitter around and come to rest on the thirteen.  Of course, he’d bet on the twelve.  After three rounds, he’d lost forty dollars.  Tommy had the best luck, winning with every spin.

“Gents, I’m going to have to stop while I’m behind,” Mac said, pushing back from the table.

Tommy gathered his chips and Danny joined them.  “What do you want to do now on your last night as a free man?”

Tommy grinned impishly at Mac.  “I’m kind of in the mood for karaoke.”

Mac’s expression was dubious.  “Karaoke?  Since when are you into karaoke?”

“Since my older brother started mooning over some sexy redhead whose name he doesn’t even know.”

The brothers pushed their way through the crowded lounge searching for an empty table.  Not finding one, they lucked out with three stools at the bar.  Settled on his stool, Mac scanned the room and found her nearly immediately at a table fronting the stage.  Her red hair stood out in the crowded room.

She looked up and her eyes widened in surprise before her lips curled in a suppressed smile.  He raised his beer that had just been served and she smiled wider, lifting her shot glass and overturning it dramatically.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the emcee announced, “up next, we have the Heartbreakers!”

A squeal rose from their table and the four women made their way onto the stage.  Mac watched in fascination as they took their cordless mics and stood with their backs to the audience.  Wondering what they might sing, he heard the opening disco beat and bass of Hot Stuff and laughed out loud as they women began a slinky choreographed dance routine.  He watched as the four took turns singing lines.  When it was her turn, she locked eyes with him.

“Dude, your girl is hot!” Tommy commented.

“Yes, she is,” Mac agreed.

“I’m guessing they’ve done this before,” Danny opined.  “God bless’em!”  He raised his beer in salute.

***

Much like that first time back in high school, the end of the song was met with thunderous applause and the four friends returned to their table flushed with the exertion.  “That never gets old,” Michelle laughed.  “Do you remember the look on old man Adams’ face?  He couldn’t decide whether to kick us out of the talent show or give us first prize.”  The women laughed at the memory.

“It took forever for our turn,” Chelsea commented.  “I want to go blow some money in the casino.  Are you in?”  She looked around the table.

“You guys go on.  I’m enjoying the music,” Katie hedged.  “Maybe I’ll just stay here a little longer.”

“Yeah, her mystery man and his brothers are here,” Michelle laughed.  “She wants to blow something, just not money.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!”  Katie blushed furiously.

“Come on girls,” Jayma said, “let’s give Katie a little space.”  She kissed Katie’s cheek gently.  “Good luck, hon.  Have fun!”

Katie waved goodbye to her friends as they left.  Another group was onstage, working their way through Paradise by the Dashboard Light.  She saw his brothers stand and leave the bar.  He sat smiling at her and she smiled back.

Taking a cocktail napkin, she wiped the water rings from the table in preparation for his joining her.  Except that he didn’t join her.  When Katie looked again, he was watching the singers with rapt attention, even swaying a bit on his stool.

She frowned a bit.  His brothers left.  He saw the girls leave.  What gives?  She crossed her right leg over her left and jiggled her foot restlessly.  No way am I going over there.  If he thinks I’m going over there, he’s got another think coming.

She glanced his way again.  He was watching her with that same amused expression.  The one that made the butterflies in her stomach go bungee jumping.  Oh, fine!

As the group onstage finished and another singer was announced, Katie left her table and made her way to the bar, relieved to see an empty stool beside him.  As she approached him, the corner of his mouth curled slightly and his eyes sparkled with the smile he suppressed.

“Hey, you.  Would you mind if I joined you?” Katie asked.

“Hey, you.  I’d mind if you didn’t.”

She accepted his hand and he helped her onto the stool next to his.  “Thanks!”

“My pleasure.”  He surveyed her appreciatively.  “That’s a really nice dress.”

She flushed with pleasure.  “Thanks.  I wanted to be dressy for Formal Night.   You look very handsome yourself.”  She reached to touch the cuff of his shirt sleeve, pushing back his jacket.  “Cuff links?”  She fingered the textured silver squares.

He watched her with curiosity and nodded.  “Is that okay?”

She looked back to his face.  “I love cuff links.  They’re so…civilized.”

Mac laughed out loud.  “Something I’ve never been called: civilized.”

Katie’s brow furrowed.  “So why?  Why didn’t you come to my table?”

His eyes smiled.  “Because you said ‘one night only’.  I respect your boundaries.”

“Yeah.”  She idly fidgeted with a cardboard coaster.  “About that…”  She looked up at him through her long lashes and began to lightly caress the inside of his wrist as it rested on the bar.

He watched her another moment, a knowing gleam in his eyes.  “You can’t resist me.”

She looked back down to his hand.  “You’re pretty cocky.”

He gave an exaggerated snicker.  “You said ‘cock’.”

Katie giggled and rolled her eyes.

The next singer came on and began a spot-on version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.  They both laughed.  Mac grinned and joined in, his cheek brushing hers as he sang along softly.  Katie felt goose bumps as he crooned into her ear.  “Let’s get it on…”  Lightly, he nibbled her earlobe.  He planted a gentle kiss on her bare shoulder.

Katie took his hand and he looked back up.  “Come on, let’s go,” she said softly.

Originally, JUST ONE NIGHT was available exclusively on Amazon.  Now, it’s on sale everywhere, and it’s only .99!

Get your copy here:

books2read.com/JustOneNight

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Weekend Excerpt–Dream Dominant Book 1, LUKE & BELLA

luke-bella-updated-coverLUKE & BELLA is the first book I ever published.  It was a couple of years ago, and I had no idea what I was doing.  In fact, I accidentally published it on Amazon.  I thought that after I uploaded my manuscript, I’d have the opportunity to tweak the formatting and check for errors. The next thing I knew, I had a book for sale.

I’ve since re-edited and formatted it properly.  And I replaced the original cover with something sexier.  I’m thrilled to announce that in the coming weeks, LUKE & BELLA will also be available in paperback.

LUKE & BELLA is Book 1 of the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone light BDSM novels featuring strong, sexy Dominants and the smart redhead submissives who can’t resist them.

I have a few more books under my belt now, but this one holds a special place in my heart.  Here’s a steamy little tease…

Bella woke up aware of two things: an extreme headache and the need to have him.  She glanced over at Luke.  Asleep in her bed.  In her house.  And she wanted him.

She tiptoed to the bathroom, found the ibuprofen, and quickly slammed three.  She brushed her teeth and got into the shower. Hot water and lavender-scented lather washed over her body, and her headache was rinsed away as she imagined his hands on her, caressing her skin, cupping her breasts, teasing her nipples.  And she wanted him.

Her hands slid down her stomach then further down.  She began touching herself, thinking of the last time they made love, on the plane home.  Guess we’re in the mile-high club now, she thought to herself, smiling at the memory.  Turning off the water, she opened the shower door and reached for her towel.  Her hand landed on an empty towel bar.

“Looking for this, baby girl?”  Luke was leaning against the bathroom counter, completely dressed in faded jeans and a grey t-shirt, a fluffy white towel folded in his hands.  He placed the towel on the floor.

“I’ll be back in one minute.  Be in the ready position here,” he said firmly, indicating the towel on the floor.  “Don’t bother drying off.”  With that, he turned and walked out of the room.

Bella stood blinking for a moment then stepped out of the shower.  She knelt on the towel, water dripping all over the floor, and tried to relax.  Her heart was pounding.  His tone had been quiet and intense.  She wondered what he had in mind and, struggling to calm her thoughts, she closed her eyes and waited.

She heard him return, opened her eyes briefly and saw his bare feet, then closed her eyes again.  He walked around her slowly then stopped in front of her and pulled her head to his leg, stroking her hair gently.

“Good morning, baby girl,” he purred.  “How are you feeling today?”

Keeping her head down, Bella answered, “I’m well, Sir.”

He gripped her chin roughly and forced her head up.  “I’ve told you, baby girl, that I want to see your eyes.”

“Yes, Sir,” she whispered.

“The reason I ask about how you’re feeling is that you had a rough night last night.  You got drunk and you conducted yourself in a most disrespectful manner.  Would you agree?”  As he asked, he slipped his belt around her neck and pulled it snug.

She blinked and hesitated.  “Um, yes, Sir, I had a lot to drink,” she said.

“As my baby girl, it’s your position to reflect well on me in public.  Would you agree?” he asked.  “Lift your hands.”  He dropped the end of the belt and secured her hands in front of her using the belt from her robe.

“Um, yes, Sir,” she answered.

“You’ve seen enough.”  He covered her eyes with the tie he’d worn that night in Edinburgh.

“And did you do that last night, baby girl?  Did you reflect well on me?” he whispered in her ear.

“No, Sir.”

“So you would agree that you have earned punishment?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Come with me.”  Luke took her hands and helped her stand.  She was still wet from the shower and she slipped a little on the tile.  “I’ve got you, baby girl.  Trust me,” he said softly as he walked her into the bedroom.

Bella felt her knees against the bed.  “Now bend over across the bed, baby girl.  Rest your torso on the bed and reach your arms up over your head.” She did as he directed.

He left her standing, leaning on the bed as he walked around and took her tied hands, pulling them straight and securing them to the opposite side of the bed.  With her feet on the floor, Bella couldn’t move.

He returned to her and lightly stroked her backside and down the backs of her thighs.  “Move your feet apart,” he commanded.  She did as she was told.  He slipped his hand between her legs and moved it up to her sex, gently stroking before sliding a finger inside.  “You’re a little wet now.  We’ll check again after,” he said softly.

“Now baby girl, you will count this out,” he growled.

She braced herself, her breaths short and quick.  He waited a moment then slapped her left ass cheek hard.  Bella gasped.

“Count it out!” he commanded.

“One.”

He smacked her two more times.

“Two, three.”

He hesitated, smoothly caressing her pinkened backside.  Bella’s muscles tightened.  “Do. Not. Anticipate,” he hissed into her ear.  He landed four more slaps, on the other cheek this time.

“Four, five, six, seven,” she counted out, her voice shaking.

Her ass was bright pink and felt warm to the touch, a fact he noted as he soothed the area he’d spanked.  Luke could see the imprint of his hand on her right cheek.  He gave her three more hard smacks.

“Eight, nine, ten,” she dutifully counted through gritted teeth.

“Very good, baby girl,” he cooed into her ear.  “Let’s check you now.”  He gently smoothed the skin of her ass before sliding his hand between her thighs.  “You are dripping.  That’s good news, baby girl.  Did you realize how much you like to be spanked?”

She was surprised to note that although the spanks had stung, she was, in fact, more aroused than she had been already.  She felt the hardness his erection as he pressed against her stinging ass and ached for him.  Then she heard the zipper on his jeans and something fall softly to the floor.

He teased her moist opening with the end of his hardness and was even more aroused when it became covered in her sweetness.  She moaned softly and he knew she was ready.  “What do you want, baby girl?” he asked quietly.  He reached under her and began to fondle her breasts.

“Please,” she said.

“Please what?  Ask me for what you want,” he whispered.

”I want you to fuck me, Sir,” she breathed.

“What do you mean?” he asked, teasing her.

“Oh, God!  I want you in me,” she begged.

He smiled to himself and slid into her.  She groaned with pleasure.  “Is this what you want, baby girl?”

“Yes, yes, please,” she muttered.

He pushed in as far as he could then slowly pulled back out.  “I’m going to fuck you hard, my bratty baby girl,” he growled.  Letting go, he began to pound into her as hard as he could, driven mad by the way she clenched around him.

She could feel the heat building up deep inside and she let go, just feeling, absorbing his energy.  Their release was loud and long, and afterwards he collapsed on top of her, breathing hard on her neck.  “Oh, baby girl, we needed that,” he breathed.

You can get LUKE & BELLA here:
books2read.com/LukeAndBella

Big News!

justonenight

I’m so happy to announce that Just One Night, my naughty little novella, is finally available at online retailers everywhere. Just One Night is the story of Katie Parker, a woman on a Caribbean cruise with her best girlfriends.  She decides that what she needs is a night of anonymous passion, the better to help her get over a bad break-up.  Enter sexy Mac Coleman, who has had his fair share of romantic woes.  The mutual attraction is undeniable from the moment they meet.  But can Mac convince Katie that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night?

How about a little tease?

     The pair parked themselves at a tiny table at the edge of the piano bar, the first place they’d come to in their search for a cocktail.  Katie watched him as he approached the bar and ordered for them.  She couldn’t get over how handsome he was, how he’d come outside looking for her.  This was exactly what she needed to take her mind off of her man problems back home.

She smiled up at him as he returned to their table carrying a margarita for her and a Scotch for himself.  “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to hers.

“Cheers,” she murmured in return, and she sipped gratefully, counting on the liquid courage her glass offered.

“You know, we’ve gone about this all backwards.”  He rested his drink on the table and offered his right hand.  “My name is—“

“No!  No names,” Katie quickly interrupted.

Mac blinked in surprise.  “No names.  Why no names?”

“Just…because,” she stammered.  “No names, no personal information, we’ll just…keep it casual.”

“Keep it casual.”  Mac frowned.  “Okay.”  He gave her a curious look.  “Do you want me to leave?”

She shook her head, red curls swinging.  “No, I’d like you to stay.”

He gave a relieved smile.  “Good, because I’d like to stay.  So…no personal information.  Do you want to talk about work?”

“Oh, hell no!”

“Um, how about that weather?  That’s some pretty great weather out there tonight.”

Katie laughed lightly.  “I don’t mean to be a pain.”

Mac smiled back.  “You’re not a pain, exactly.  I just have to figure out the rules.  And you’re here with three other women?”

“You could see that in the dining room.  Where you were staring,” Katie observed.

“You know that because you were staring back,” he countered.

“And you’re here with two other men.”

Mac nodded.  “My brothers.  Oops!  Was that personal?”

“Now you’re making fun.”

He smiled ruefully.  “Maybe just a little bit.  This is kind of a bachelor party.  My kid brother is getting married.”

“A bachelor party?”  Katie laughed lightly.  “Shouldn’t you be getting back to the debauchery?”

Mac laughed.  “Not much debauchery with those two.  My older brother’s been married for years and Tommy’s head over heels for his fiancée.”  He glanced up at Katie.  “Oops!  More personal information.”

Katie sighed and sipped her drink.  “My friends and I get together for a week every summer.  We’ve known each other since high school.”

“There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Katie nodded firmly.  “We’re even, that’s all.”  She rested her forearm on the table and toyed with her glass.  Mac did the same, and as he did, his arm brushed against hers.  She made no effort to move away from him.  He intentionally rested his arm against hers, noting the electric charge he felt, wondering if she felt it, too.

Glancing up, he saw that she was watching him intently.  “So…you don’t want any personal information.  You don’t want to talk about work.  You don’t want me to leave.”

Katie shook her head.

“Okay, well we’ve got that settled.  What do you want?”  He watched her expectantly.

She stared at her glass as she swirled the remainder of her margarita.  Her buzz from the dinner wine combined with the icy cocktail made her feel bold.  She looked back up at Mac.

“Do you really want to know what I want?  I want just one night.  Just one night of anonymous, no-holds-barred, red-hot, no-strings-attached sex.  That’s what I want.”  She fixed him with a challenging stare.

“Whoa,” he breathed, eyes wide.

Katie looked down at her glass again.  “Too blunt?”

Mac leaned back in his chair, lips forming an O.  “That was blunt, all right, but I can respect that.  I’ve gotta ask, though.”  He sought out her eyes.  “Is there some guy at home waiting for you to come back?”

Katie shook her head.  “I’m not cheating on anybody.  You?”

He shook his head, too, and laughed humorlessly.  “What was it you said earlier?  Oh, hell no.”

She lightly stroked his arm as it rested on the table, delighting in the goose bumps that appeared there.  Her gaze traveled from there to his lap, which seemed to be taking an interest in the proceedings if the growing mound there was any indication.  She shifted her focus, sliding her gaze up his torso to those lips she’d noticed earlier.  God, I just want to suck on that lower lip.

She met his eyes again, saw the fire there, and knew it matched her own.  “So what do you say?”

“I say, have another margarita.  I just need to run to the little shop and pick up some…  Well, I didn’t actually expect that I’d need…”  He smiled apologetically.

Her voice was soft.  “I’ll wait right here.”

He took her hand and gently brushed his lips across her knuckles, gave her a wink, and left the bar.

Having spent the last six months available for .99 exclusively on Amazon, Just One Night is now also on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and several other outlets. Just use this link:

books2read.com/JustOneNight

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