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Teaser “Tuesday”: An Heir of Deception by Beverley Kendall

For the new friends, you’re saying “That Limecello chick is dumber than rocks. She doesn’t even know how to use a calendar! Her post says it’s Tuesday, but it’s obviously Thursday!” Well, I explain it here. For all the friends who have been with me… well you’re all nicer than I am so you’re more patient and tolerant. Thank you for letting me repeat myself!

As you see, we have author Beverley Kendall here today sharing an exclusive excerpt of her newest novel, An Heir of Deception. Another self-pub success story, I’d say, as she recently quit her day job. She started writing full time in June. See how awesome June is?!

A man devastated by love

After three years of carousing and debauchery, Alex Cartwright, heir to the Duke of Hastings, has put his life back in order. Having embraced sobriety for two years, he has no intention of revisiting the past or risking his heart again. But the return of the very woman who introduced him to the darkest side of hell brings not only the painful, haunting memories of bittersweet love and abandonment, but the son he never knew he had…

A woman silenced by secrets

Threatened by the revelation of a secret that could destroy her family’s place in society and forever tarnish a dukedom, Charlotte fled England on her wedding day five years ago. Now, although it appears that secret is safe, when Alex discovers her other secret—their son—Charlotte has an altogether different battle ahead. She must now fight one love to hold onto the other—the man whose touch still makes her burn, for the child who is her very world.

Charlotte affixed her signature below Alex’s. There, it was done.  She looked up at him to find him steadily regarding her, the tick of his jaw hinting at deeper emotions simmering inside him than his otherwise inscrutable countenance conveyed.

Calmly, he reached over and retrieved the document from in front of her. He gave it a cursory glance, and then with a tight smile said, “It appears now we are man and wife.”

Yes they were. But what did that mean? “How are we to explain this to everyone?”

“We have been estranged and you’ve only now come home desperate to give our marriage a second chance.”

If only that were true. At least then, there’d be some hope for them.

“And Nicholas, what will you say about him? Won’t people find it strange you’ve never mentioned him?”

“Half my peers do not discuss their children. I won’t be that much of an oddity,” he replied wryly.

Charlotte rolled her eyes. He was deliberately being obtuse.

“Alex, you know this is different. First a wife everyone would swear you did not marry, and then a son—your heir—you never once spoke of? You don’t think people will question that? Even the most trusting of souls will find all this incredulous.”

“They can question it all they like but I’ll have marriage papers to support everything I say.”

How utterly confident he looked and nothing in his voice gave the impression of hesitation or uncertainty. But then the world he’d been born into no doubt led him to believe he could commit marriage fraud with impunity.

“I heard there is talk you were to court the Earl of Cranford’s daughter. Is that true? Had you plans to marry her?” It was a fair question but a small part of her wanted him to know she knew. Which was silly as it wasn’t as if there had been any betrayal on his part.

His lips twitched. “My, my, my,” he said in a deceptively soft voice. “Gossip is becoming more dependable than the papers. And travels ten times the speed of trains.”

“I’m certain my sister did not know it was supposed to be a secret as your mother was said to be quite vocal in her approval of the match. I heard all parties involved hoped for a wedding by year’s end.”

“Heard?” he asked, his voice pitched low. A dark eyebrow rose and a faint smile curled his lip. “Can you truthfully tell me you did not ask?”

Katie, will you tell me about Alex? And now? How is he now?

Of course she had asked.

Charlotte averted her gaze from his too knowing one.

“I thought as much.” The low pitch of his voice thrummed her sensitized nerves.

The tick of the clock had the power to deafen in the ensuing silence. Charlotte could feel his relentless stare. After too long under the crushing weight of his scrutiny, she waved a white flag of surrender and looked him directly in the eye; something she now tried to avoid at all cost.

That was all it took. Desire jolted her with the force of a thunderbolt. Her nipples beaded, her stomach contorted itself into a knot and she felt the relentless throb of desire below.

Tension crackled the air. Her breathing grew ragged, her heartbeat erratic as she devoured him with her eyes. She had never wanted a man more—and couldn’t imagine she ever would.

A look of pure want and need flared so hotly in his eyes, it burned her everywhere it touched: her parted lips, her breasts, her belly, her hips, the apex of her thighs.

For seconds, they hovered on the precipice of something raw and explosive, hot and all consuming. Caught up in a sexual haze, Charlotte stepped forward without conscious thought or will, mouth parted and head tipped back for the kiss she ached for so badly, she could already feel it on her lips. Taste it in her mouth.

But with her advance came his abrupt retreat.

“You want me,” he said softly, running his gaze down her body.

A denial would be ludicrous all things considered and Charlotte was not about to admit to the obvious.

The only thing preventing the smile curving his lips from being completely overbearing was the rapid rise and fall of his chest as if his breathing wasn’t under his control, and not even his mocking words could mask the desire in his eyes.

“I could stand before you now and tell you it gives me no satisfaction to know that you want me.” His gaze lit her on fire as it lifted slowly, lazily, from her rapidly rising breasts to look her in the eye. “But that would be a lie. I want you to want me,” he said, his voice silky and low. “I want you to want me so much you burn every night when you lie in bed and dream of me. Dream of all the things you want me to do to you. The things you want to do to me.”

Know why else Ms. Kendall is great? She’s giving away two digital copies of An Heir of Deception to two lucky winners. You know the drill. Have you read anything by Beverley Kendall before? Do you read historicals? What’d you think of the excerpt. Show of hands 😉 who is going to go buy a copy?!

Guest Author & A Giveaway: Meljean Brook

This might be the best author interview. Ever. For any future author interviewees… this is where the bar is set! Meanwhile, we all know Meljean Brook is awesome. If you didn’t know that before, you definitely know it now. And the following is why. Imagine – if she’s so hilarious and witty here, what her books are like! (For the some time visitors who are thinking “Hey! It’s not the first Tuesday of the month!” You’re right. But it’s June.)

So let’s get on with it, shall we?

1. What’s the best admonishment your mom ever gave you, or that you’ve ever given a kid? e.g. if you make that face it’ll freeze like that. or… if you walk from the kitchen to the table w/ a fork in your mouth you’ll stab yourself through the throat and die.
Honestly, I don’t remember. My mom worked all of the time, so she wasn’t often there to scold us. My sisters and I stayed at my grandma’s every day after school, and I do remember the time that she got us to stop fighting by saying that “Sisters fighting, that’s what witches do” — with the unspoken message behind it that witches were, of course, minions of Satan, and so any sisters who fought would end up in Hell.

My grandma was awesome, though. You wouldn’t believe how freaking amazing her cinnamon rolls were. Worth going to Hell for, that’s for sure.

2. What would you name a pet rock? Why? And how would you decorate it?
Dwayne. Then I’d dress it up like a chef and run around with it, yelling, “Can you smeeeelllllllllllllllllllll what the rock is cooking?” Then I’d try — and fail — to arch one eyebrow at my audience.

3. What two movies from different genres would you most like to see combined in a mash up?
An Abraham Lincoln biopic and a vampire slaughterhouse movie– Oh wait. (Right?! I watched the trailer like six times when I first heard about it a few months ago. In fact…)

4. Who would win? A Ninja or a Viking? Do you ever watch Deadliest Warrior? If so – which was your favorite pairing?
I’ve never seen Deadliest Warrior. But I’d love to see a T-Rex versus Chuck Norris.

A viking would totally win. The ninja would be sneaking up, all stealthy-like, and then the viking would suddenly toss his head, and the long, blonde hair streaming from his horned helmet would wrap the ninja up like a boa constrictor and squeeze him to death.

5. How’d you come up with your author name?
Math class. I was done with my work and bored, so I began factoring out pieces of my name: (Mel)issa (Jean) Hol(brook) = Meljean Brook. Then I began practicing my author signature all over the front of my notebook. It stuck, I guess.

6. What do you think about clowns?
I like it when they come to my windows at night and peek in, because I’m usually sobbing in bed. They make me happy with their smiles, even though I know they are also crying inside.

7. What author promo has been most effective for you?
Not being a dick. And giving away lots of books. The best author promo is always a solid story, but it’s often hard to get our work into the hands of readers. So I do everything I can to get my work out there, and let the writing do the rest.

8. What was your first job? Your most interesting one? (If writing for the latter, aside from that?)
If you don’t count picking berries in the summers, my first real job was working the drive-thru at a Burger King.

The most interesting job I had was working the Help Desk at the university — mostly because you never knew what you’d walk in on when you went into the (supposedly empty) computer labs late at night.

9. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you at school? And what about at a conference?
Ah, well. Ninth grade, I was in love with a senior who sat in front of me in a language class. One day after lunch, we were walking back across the playground toward the high school (and I was trying to be coy and flirty) and I walked right into metal pole of the basketball hoop. Huge clang! That was awesome. (I’ve also run into a ski lift pole on a snowboarding trip with my first boyfriend. And ran smack into the glass doors of a city hall and rolled down the front steps, onto the sidewalk.)

Miraculously, I haven’t embarrassed myself at a conference yet. But if you want entertainment, just keep an eye on me … especially if I walk near any poles.

10. What did you do with the money from your first royalty check?
I paid for a stripper to come and hose me down with whipped cream.

Nah. I honestly don’t remember. I probably paid a bill. Whatever it was, it wasn’t very special (and, heh, the check wasn’t very big.)

11. What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever eaten?
Fish eyeball. Mostly because I just wanted to see if I could. It wasn’t really good or bad (though the ginger sauce around it was AMAZING. If you ever make it to Newport, OR, try the rock fish at Kam Meng restaurant. Or anything in their clay pots. So, so good.)

12. What TV show do you wish was still on the air?
The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon from the 80s. Those poor kids never got home.

13. What is your secret plan for world domination?
I don’t think it’s all that secret. I intend to turn everyone in the world into a dork by inundating their Twitter streams and Facebook feeds with my tales of spilling food down my shirt and falling down. Then I shall put on my Wonder Woman costume and rule as Queen of the Dorks. It’ll be quite simple, really.

14. If you were to become a spammer, what product would you peddle? And what would your message be? Come up with the most attention getting, creative, crazy thing. Yes, that’s a challenge.
Oh, I’d peddle this thing — I’ve wanted to since I first saw it. (O_O) Meljean provided the link, but I’m going with that emoticon because… well because.

And the e-mail subject line would have to be:

NOW THAT YOU’VE ENLARGED YOUR PENIS, WRAP THAT GIANT DICK IN GOLD!

Penis + precious metals = a sure thing.

15. Can you name at least three US Supreme Court Justices without looking? Do you know your state senators and US representative?
Yep. I’m not political online, but I follow it all pretty closely at home.

16. What was your favorite class in high school?
Not PE, that’s for sure.

Probably my anthropology class, but honestly — I liked almost all of them. People called me The Brainerd, and I earned that title. (And they didn’t even know that my dad actually comes from a town called Brainerd. So it was truly meant-to-be, or something.)

17. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned while writing/researching a book?
It’s really difficult to say anything is the most interesting. I never really put them against each other on a sliding scale — and there are a lot of really amazing things out there that I run across. Truth is always more awesome than fiction.

I did read a really great book while writing my last, though: “In the Heart of the Sea, the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.” It’s an (at times harrowing and really awful) account of what befell the whalers of a ship that was rammed by a sperm whale and sank (and which inspired Moby Dick.) In the same vein, “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage,” which describes what happened after an expedition ship was caught in the Antarctic ice. Simply amazing stuff.

18. What five deceased authors would you invite to a dinner party?
Oscar Wilde, because he’d make fun of us all, but in such a fabulous way that we probably wouldn’t realize how deeply we’d been insulted until afterward.

Shakespeare, so that he could tell the naysayers and conspiracy theorists who believe he didn’t write his plays to stop being ninnies.

Virginia Woolf, though I’d let her eat in a room of her own.

Ambrose Bierce, because I suspect that he and Oscar Wilde would either trade the most amazing set of witticisms and barbs ever, or make out. Both options would be fun to watch.

Aphra Behn, simply because she sounds like she had an amazing life.

So what’d you think? Do you have any follow up questions for Ms. Brook? (Please say yes – imagine her answers!) She’s also giving away the winner’s choice of The Iron Duke, Heart of Steel, or any of her Guardian books (winner’s choice.) International entries are fine. And guess what? Meljean has so very generously decided to give two prizes! So, two lucky winners! (And for our new friends, this is how the giveaway works.)

Teaser “Tuesday”: When She Wasn’t Looking by HelenKay Dimon

I know, you might have been all wait what?! What is going on here?! But now you aren’t! Because I explained it all here! Not that I expect any of you to use my blog as a calendar of sorts. I mean, hell, I don’t do that. I do with TV shows though… but anyway, the point is… BIRTHDAY MONTH! Extra posts! Whee!!! So welcome to Teaser TuesdayThursday!

The HelenKay Dimon edition. 😉

She wanted to trust him with her safety – but not her heart…

No woman could deny the appeal of the sexy deputy sheriff Jonas Porter. But to Courtney Allen, Jonas has one major flaw-his badge. Years ago, Courtney’s father was wrongfully convicted of a crime and she vowed to never trust a cop again. But when Jonas becomes the only man to believe in her father’s innocence, Courtney begins seeing the brooding lawman in a whole new way.

Jonas knows in his gut that the real killer is still out there and determined to finish what he started long ago. To protect Courtney and bring the criminal to justice will require all the skills he can muster. And that means focusing on the job. Not the woman who makes him forget his troublesome past and arouses in him a passion that is anything but professional.

Five hours, an ambulance, two police cars and a hydraulic spreader later, Jonas sat on an emergency room table with his legs dangling over the side and a bandaged shoulder.

They were lucky to be alive. The mangled metal formerly known as a car had crashed around them but not into them. A thousand little things probably made the difference, but the rough terrain and the crawling speed he was forced to drive had made survival an option.

The hospital loudspeaker spewed a constant stream of announcements. Nurses rushed in and out of the individual cubicles lining the L-shaped room. He heard bells and alarms, smelled the harsh scent of antiseptic.

He blocked it all and concentrated on everything that had happened since he showed up on Courtney’s doorstep that morning. The pieces sat there but he couldn’t put them together in a comprehensible way. Chases, car accidents, killing. Not his favorite way to spend a day.

It all led back to her, to something in her past. It, whatever “it” was, put her in danger and nearly got him killed. He’d figure it out. At the very least he intended to gather more intel before getting into a car with her the next time.

He also vowed not to leave her side until the threat passed. Right now she lay in a bed on the other side of the flimsy curtain. He could hear her grumbling, even had to argue with her a few times when she told him she was ready to leave.

He’d asked the staff to put her in the cubicle at the end of the hall, thinking she’d have to go through him to sneak out. But he wouldn’t be surprised if she slipped through an air conditioning vent to get away. This woman had a serious running issue.

Richmond Tobin, Jonas’ first friend in Aberdeen and a fellow police officer, walked in. He stood six-feet and wrestled in college. Six years out he looked like he could battle a train and come out ahead.

“You’re supposed to be lying down. You know, resting,” he said.

“Tell me about it.” Jonas rolled his shoulders and had to fight back the wave of nausea that hit him right behind the pain.

“Brought a change of clothes and your cell, just as you requested.” Rich dumped a gym bag next to Jonas’ thigh and held up a gun. “Also managed to liberate your weapon.”

Jonas took it, ran his finger across the side before checking it and slipping it and his holster on his belt. “Bet the nurses loved that.”

“I flashed my badge and reminded them you were in charge since the police chief retired, so it was all your responsibility.”

Jonas saw mounds of paperwork and a meeting with the town council in his future. “Thanks for that.”

“While you’re at it, care to tell me how you got stuck in the middle of the forest with dead body next to you.” Rich fell into the seat across from Jonas. “Someone I have to identify, I might add.”

“Long story.”

“Then there’s the woman who isn’t elderly or in need of a wellness check.”

“Yeah, Courtney.”

Rich’s eyes widened. “You’re on a first-name basis?”

“Almost getting killed will do that to a relationship. Speeds things up.” For some messed up reason, she was now Courtney in his head. Jonas knew the informal reference bordered on inappropriate but he’d worry about that later when he sorted out everything else that had happened that day.

“Uh-huh. And how did all of this happen again?”

Jonas tried to rub the crick out his neck. “You asked about fifty questions in the last two minutes.”

“Okay, how about this one?” Rich leaned forward with his elbows on his knees and smiled at his boss. “How did a hundred pound woman get the drop on you?”

“You’re light on the weight, and I threatened him with my gun,” Courtney shouted from behind the curtain and over the protests of the nurse who was taking her vital signs.

Rich whistled. “Interesting.”

Jonas bit back a groan. He’d hear about this for months. Cops loved this crap. Being the new officer on the squad and the one with the highest rank, the target on his back grew bigger each day. His four months of a perfect record blown with one comment from Courtney.

“The dead guy tried to kill her,” he said.

Rick pulled his chair closer to the exam table as he lowered his voice. “Any chance we know who or why?”

“Not yet.” But Jonas was about to get some of those answers. He hated when people lied to him. Not having all the facts didn’t sit any better.

He eased off the table, ignoring the aches thumping through every part of his body. He’d somehow made it through a car flip with only a dislocated shoulder, cut up knee and bruised ribs.

He’d developed the bad attitude during the ambulance ride.

“Where are you going?” Rich asked.

“I have some questions of my own.” Jonas ignored the amusement in his friend’s voice and started walking.

The rings jangled on the metal rod and the nurse squealed as Jonas ripped the curtain aside. “You can’t be in here,” she said in a huff.

At fifty, Nurse Ramsey ran the emergency room with an iron fist. Jonas knew her from the times he brought in suspects and car accident victims. She did her job and was not even a little impressed by his gun and badge.

Standing there without a shirt but with a weapon strapped to his side, he wished he’d taken a second to get dressed. It was too late now. “I need to speak with Courtney.”

Even while lying flat on her back with a tube sticking out of her arm, Courtney rolled her eyes. “You could have just asked.”

😀 So what’d you think? Do you read Intrigues? Or romantic suspense? Have you read anything by HelenKay before? If not… here’s your lucky chance, because one person who comments is winning a copy of When She Wasn’t Looking! So let me know what you think! You can also read an additional excerpt here.

Happy June! It’s My Birthday Month!!!

So it hasn’t happened yet, but you’ll notice some “unusual” things. First of all, on Thursdays? There will be a Teaser Tuesday post. In fact, on every Thursday this month! There will be a special Guest Author & A Giveaway post each Tuesday as well. And to round it out, a reader post every Saturday.

Fun, right? It’s all to super-load the blog for my birthday. 😀

Something else might happen, but I don’t know. Some times I like things to be off the cuff … which is also good and balances my crazy blog schedule, you know? (Incidentally the GA&AG is scheduled through June 2014 now…)

Speaking of it being my birthday… the focus should be on ME right? *angelface* Aside from hitting up the liquor store, more should happen.

One way to do that? Join Swagbucks! (Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/limecello) If you follow me on twitter, every so often you’ll see a message like this one:

That’s actually me. And it’s legit. This is a screen cap of my gift cards page. There are actually too many for you to see them all. I’ve literally gotten hundreds of dollars in gift cards. (Rough count was right about $800.) That’s how I can manage to do prizes periodically. If you haven’t joined yet, send me a message – I have a code for you to enter at registration for an extra 70 swagbucks! I’m also asking  – if you haven’t signed up yet, just as a favor to me please? Because the blogger with the most referrals at the end of the month wins a prize!

Next…  Julep is having a giveaway. You can enter here. See? ;P It’s not ALL about me. Julep is nail polish. They’re also giving away an ipad so… you know. One of those must be appealing to you, right?

As usual, am open to comments, suggestions, random discussion, and/or ranting. Have at it!!

Teaser “Tuesday”: Portia Da Costa (Birthday Edition, Twice as Nice!)

Okay, so it’s not my birthday anymore… but it’s the last day of my birthday month which, is still good, right? It’s actually 3:03 AM on my birthday now as I type this, which is entirely my fault as Portia sent me the excerpts on the 21st. Alas. So, as you see, today we’ve got snippets from Portia Da Costa! Anyway, she sent two exclusive excerpts, because she’s frankly doubly awesome – right? Portia Da Costa is a dear and I’m so glad she’s featured today! I hope you enjoy these exclusive excerpts!

The Power of Three

It’s no fun being dumped almost at the altar, but newly not engaged Laurie decides to make the best of things and enjoy her honeymoon at an exotic Caribbean resort all on her own. The plan is to lie in the sun, read a book, do a bit of bird watching and exploring… anything to take her mind off her rat of an ex fiancé and the bimbo he got pregnant.

But it’s not easy to forget about love and sex when everyone around her at the resort is getting in on. Pretty soon, she’s using her binoculars to spy on creatures a bit higher up the evolutionary scale – the hot threesome in one of the adjacent cabanas, and the gorgeously hunky gay couple who are also staying just across the courtyard.

These delicious men especially fire her senses and make her forget her romantic woes, and when she realizes that they’re watching her while she’s watching them, what else is a girl to do but accept the invitation of a lifetime, and become part of a threesome herself?

But what if her luscious faux honeymoon ménage is only the beginning of better and hotter things to come?

***

But this was completely different. A desire and an adventure she’d never be able to overlook or forget. If only she had the boldness to reach out and grab it.

Do you dare?

Yes, I do! I do!

Reaching up, she dug her fingers into Denny’s silky curls, and opened her mouth to his, meeting his tongue when it plunged in, warm and hungry.

Yes! Not two but three silent voices seemed to chorus the word; those of the men, cheering her on, and her own inner voice proud of her own courage.

Denny kissed hard, kissed hungry, kissed dominant. Again, savoring his onslaught, Laurie almost wanted to laugh at the misleading quality of appearances. His fey, pale clothes and golden looks concealed the heart of a predator, and even the fact that

he’d “received” last night probably only meant he’d demanded that his partner service his needs.

He held on tight to her, a hand at the nape of her neck, another on her shoulder, making her accept his kiss in a thrilling, primal way. He tasted of wine and honey and new beginnings.

And all the time, Ed was at work too, at first gently kissing her hand as if it were a holy artifact, but then, suddenly, on the move. As Denny kissed and subdued her, Ed began exploring. Still kneeling, he settled his hands on her thighs, one each, on the outside surfaces, slowly sliding them upwards, then down again, and then up, tantalizing her. Laurie sighed into Denny’s mouth, feeling the urge to open her legs, and lift her bottom, to allow Ed more access.

“Good girl,” whispered Denny, his lips starting to roam too, as he gently pushed her so she was leaning against the woven back of the settee. He kissed her brow, her cheek, and a sensitive spot beneath her ear, then tracked down the side of her neck, on and on down until he nipped at a spot just above her collarbone. As his sharp teeth plagued her, Ed’s hands were down below, sliding between her thighs, urging her to open her legs, and to open her heart and self to the pair of them.

“Relax,” urged Denny, still nibbling. Laurie could feel his fingers at work at the nape of her neck, then before she had time to stop him — not that she wanted to — he unfastened her halter top. Peeling it down, he exposed her breasts in her flimsy strapless bra.

A momentary dark cloud drifted into view. Melanie had huge boobs, and she imagined Jim, who was a breast man, fiddling and playing with them. Laurie’s own breasts were smallish, nicely shaped, but not an enormous handful. But as if he’d sensed her qualms, Denny uttered a hungry masculine rumble of appreciation.

“Mm… so nice, so very nice…” Cupping her, he ran both thumbs over her nipples, teasing her through the lightly forming Lycra of her bra. “Look, Ed, aren’t these just the most beautiful breasts you’ve ever seen? Oh God, I love women with pretty little tits… and wicked hard nipples.”

Laurie closed her eyes and rolled her shoulders, loving the way he teased and played with her, and silently begging for him to bare her breasts completely.

“Let’s have this off, shall we? And get a better view.”

Despite the fact he had a male lover it was obvious that Denny knew his way around a brassiere. In less than a second, hers was unhitched, whipped off and flung cheerfully across the room, out of the way.

“Yes, that is better. Much better… Much, much better…” His fingertips drifted over her flesh, teasing each nipple, flicking at them, and then suddenly, he was reaching behind her, gripping her upper arms, drawing her shoulder blades together so that her breasts were lifted and presented.

Laurie’s eyes shot open. The move wasn’t what she’d expected, but it was stunning, thrilling. The sense of exhibition reminded her of what she’d done last night, showing herself to them. Only this time she was being shown, exposed and offered to Ed’s hungry lips. She saw the quickest of glances pass between the men, and he came up on his knees and leant forward, drawing her left nipple into his mouth and sucking hard.

As he did so, Denny nipped at her neck again, teasing delicately with the edges of his teeth. “Isn’t this nice?” he murmured, between nips.

Portia asked me if “naughty” excerpts were allowed. So – what do you guys think? Yea or nay? Should I start requesting they be PG? 😉 This next book, A Touch of Heaven, will be out on July 5th – so you’ve got a preview, you lucky ducks!

A perfect stranger with a heavenly touch.

Miranda’s first glimpse of her neighbors’ house sitter nearly takes her breath away. He’s everything she likes in a man—handsome and naked. She can’t resist the impulse to introduce herself to this intoxicating stranger.

She quickly finds out he’s more than just looks. His miraculous massage brings relief to her aches and pains, then pleasure that explodes into the sweetest, most erotic experience of her life. Yet with each encounter that follows, her confusion grows. Unlike other men she’s known, he fulfills every secret desire, yet demands nothing in return.

Patrick is holding back more than a scrap of vital information. He is an angel on an earthly mission of kindness, bound by an unbreakable code. Miranda must not know that her wit, gentleness and womanly curves only sharpen his secret longing to live—and
love—as humans do.

And Patrick faces an agonizing choice that could bring them everything they’ve ever wanted…or separate them for all eternity.

***

“The sun is very hot. Would you like me to rub some sun lotion on your back?”
Ooh, yes, you can rub whatever you want wherever you want, you gorgeous creature.
I don’t say that, of course. “Thanks, but I think I’m okay for the moment. I just put
some on.” I barely have to pause. “Would you like me to do you instead?”
He beams. Ah, what must it be like to be so adorable and know you’re so adorable?
“Thanks, but it’s okay. I’m okay for the moment too.”
Disappointment must be writ large on my face. I’m so pathetic. I told myself I’d never do the ooh-I-fancy-you, do-you-fancy-me dance ever again.
“But maybe in a little while,” he adds, with that little eye-narrow again. He’s wise. He knows what’s going on. “Can I offer you something else in the meantime?”
I can’t help but laugh. The cheeky so-and-so. He has the grace to laugh too, as he starts rummaging through his hoard of drinks and snacks, all the time watching me out of the corner of his twinkling eyes.
He offers me crisps, cheesy this and that, cupcakes, cans of full-sugar fizzy drink. He’s a generous host with his smorgasbord of junk food, and against my better judgment and my intention to eat healthy I’m soon putting away crisps by the handful. Oh, they’re so delicious and salty, and allowing the very devil to get into me, I speculate on other treats that are delicious and salty too.
Yes, I’m sneaking glances at his penis again. I try to be discreet, but every time I think I’ve managed to eyeball him without him noticing, I look up and he’s watching me.
“Okay, I admit it. Gerry Johnson always keeps his clothes on, so I’m not used to seeing buck-naked men in my next door neighbor’s garden. Can we get past that?”
He quirks his eyebrows at me. They’re as beautiful as the rest of him, sandy-gold and expressive. “I can go inside and get dressed, if like. I don’t want to embarrass you, Miranda.”
“No, it’s all right. Well, I don’t mind if you don’t mind.” I’m turning brilliant pink now, a rather fetching shade of cherry that’s much like the pop he’s been drinking and nothing to do with the sun. “It’s just that I can’t seem to stop myself looking at you.”
“No problem,” he says. “I can’t seem to stop looking at you either.”
Whoa! Surely you jest, young man?
I look down at myself. If I’m honest, I’m not really a total ruin, but he’s still getting the worst of the deal. I’m a bit fatter than I’d like, and a bit older than I’d like, but all things considered, I’m just about managing not to slide into total decrepitude. Even so, compared to him, I’m far from the pinnacle of desirability.
“Yeah, right…”
His stern look shocks me. “Why do you say that, Miranda? You’re a beautiful woman, and of course I want to look at you.” He abandons his beverage and wipes his lush mouth with the back of his hand in a gesture that does terrible, wonderful things to me, right down in the pit of my belly. “In fact, I’d love to see you naked too.”
I drop the crisp bag and a few spill out, but we both ignore them. I haven’t got the slightest idea what to say, but my mind goes mad, deluging me with a lush erotic picture show.
First, I see Patrick and me in bed, him looming over me, golden and beautiful as he prepares to fuck me. I can almost feel the tip of his gorgeous young cock pressing against my entrance. A second later, I’m lying wide-legged at the edge of the bed, and he’s kneeling between my thighs, his tongue delicately extended and ready to lick my pussy.
My face is pinker than ever now and even though I try to look away from him, I can’t. I’m hypnotized and I feel as if I’m falling into those heavenly blue eyes of his. The way he slowly smiles tells me he’s seen what I’ve seen…or some kind of approximation. I know he knows I’m thinking about sex with him.
“Now I have embarrassed you, haven’t I?” He doesn’t look sorry, just a bit like a naughty boy, who means well and isn’t afraid of mistakes. “I shouldn’t be so forward.” Suddenly he reaches out and takes my hand again. He holds it loosely in his, so easy and natural. “It’s just that I’m not used to being around women. And I tend to mess things up.”
How can a man who looks like Patrick not be used to women? It seems bizarre. And yet he looks so sad for a moment, and wistful, that my heart twists. I still desire him, but his mysterious sorrow touches me too.
“Ditto,” I answer wryly. “I’ve got out of the habit of being around men. I’ve been sort of off them…and it’s difficult to get back in the game.”
Patrick’s hand is warm, the skin smooth and very soft. I wonder what he does for a living; if he does anything at all. He’s been out here three afternoons running when most men of his age would normally be at work.
Good grief, is he a gigolo? I dismiss that one immediately though, even though he’s got the looks and the body. A male escort would be around women all the time.
Another frown pleats his flawless brow, and I shudder. I could swear he’s mind- reading me again.
“Are you cold? I could get another blanket, if you like?”
“No, I’m fine…just a funny feeling, you know?”
He nods and his blond curls bob in the sunlight. It seems he does know, even if I’m not quite sure what the hell I’m talking about.
“Did someone hurt you, Miranda? Was it a man?”
Yes, a man hurt me. I turn away. Those clear blue eyes are too searching. And yet suddenly, against my natural inclination, I start to talk.

So what’d you think? Do you read erotica? Or erotic romance? Ever read Portia Da Costa’s work before? Are you sad my “birthdaypalooza” is ending? 😛

BIRTHDAY!!!

Yes! Today, it is my birthday! (So all of you who said that before… feel free to carry it over to now ;))

I’m out of town – and writing this post in advance, of course, because I don’t know what net access I’ll on the “actual today.”

My gift to you? … Major hints on the guest post Ali and Joy (and I) wrote. Why? Because I really want you guys to try! Also, it took some effort to coordinate and sort out – and you don’t want me to be sad and give up entirely on giveaways in the future, do you? And on my birthday! I’m allowed to be a whiny pushy bitch about it. Mostly because my birthday generally sucks ass, so I’m hoping this year is an exception.

You’ll notice the list of “facts and fictions” has been repeated below, but color coded. Bonus points to the first person who assigns the correct color to the correct person in the comments!

Ready for the list? (Again?) Here you go!

I don’t know how to drive.

I am prepared for either a zombie apocalypse or in the event that computers take over the world.

I grew up in Switzerland.

I am addicted to video games.

I’ve never been to Europe.

The first RT Convention I went to, I hid for three hours.

I was in a choir that sang for the President.

I took piano lessons for about eight years.

Each car I’ve owned was picked by another person… because I don’t much care what I drive as long as it gets from point A to point B.

I’ve never gone skiing.

I do not pack until the night before a trip… or in a couple instances, an hour before I have to head out the door… makes things interesting, lol.

I was born in Canada.

One of the ladies here once gave me a tequila shot… it was so strong I actually couldn’t breathe for a moment there.

I was treated to a public humiliation & got a spanking one year for my birthday (in a bar in NYC).

Sometimes I will rehearse a whole conversation in my head… even if I don’t end up talking to the other person about it.

I got married and divorced in Vegas… all in the same week.

My middle name is Rose.

I make lemon blueberry gelato every summer.

I could have had a picture taken professionally with Barack Obama.

I go on a cruise every year.

I sang the jingle for a commercial on TV.

I love mowing my lawn.

I’ve burst into spontaneous song in random places, most notably on Capitol Hill. More than once.

I go golfing every week.

I waited in line overnight for Prince Tickets.

I haven’t worn sneakers in five years.

I have had pet cats since I was eight.

I used to call friends at midnight on their birthday.

I am afraid to swim in deep waters.

Nobody in my family (including extended) knows I read romance or go to conventions.

I freeze like a deer caught in the headlights when frightened.

I met Fabio.

I was home schooled.

My birth place is New York.

I met Hugh Jackman.

I wrote a poem that was published.

Ok? Anyway, I hope everyone has an amazingly fantastic Tuesday! Eat some cake and ice cream – have a few drinks. It’s to celebrate me! 😉 That won’t ruin your diet – it’s exempt! 😛 I wanted to post a picture of one of my favorite birthday cards I’ve ever gotten… but I can’t find it. :'(

Hopefully I have awesome stories to share with you once I’m back!

Guest Author & A Giveaway: Melissa Schroeder (Birthday Edition!)

I don’t know if she knows this… but Melissa Schroeder is one of the very first e-published authors I’ve ever read. Back when I was in college. Which was oh-so-long ago. 😉 I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her at RomCon – and she’s a lot of fun. Irreverent, but really nice too. I enjoy her wicked sense of humor, and she lets me bother her even when her status says “DO NOT DISTURB!” Which… frankly is why I do it. I just can’t resist. :X Anyway- her post!

Hey, everyone! If you don’t know me, my name is Melissa Schroeder, known to one and all as Mel. I write sensual to erotic romances. I want to thank Lime for allowing me to be here on the best of all days, HER BIRTHDAY. I would have recorded me signing to happy birthday, but well, I like Lime. If you heard me sing, you would understand this is the bestest kind of gift to give. But, today is about birthdays and being an author, I am a little self-centered. So, I will talk about my birthday.

Why you ask? My birth date sucks. See, I’d like to actually GO somewhere on my birthday but it is on January 4th. It was horrible growing up that way. Both my sister, who has a late December birthday, suffered this as a child. Yes, I did end up sticking my oldest with one in January, but it is later in January. And, it is her cross to bear. And let’s remember, this IS about me. So, back to me. As a child, being so close to Christmas and the time when all the kids go back to school, your birthday is forgotten. You get things wrapped in Christmas paper, and yeah, it irritated not only my sister and I, but also our mom. It was hard to have birthday parties. Being military, a lot of people went out of town for the holidays. Now, as an adult, I have kids to get to school that day. Actually, I call that a wonderful birthday present when they go back ON my birthday.

But, as usual, I digressed bitching about things that are kind of boring. I mean, not to me because of that whole being self-centered. I really do love to talk about myself.

Anyway, I have always wanted to do a birthday trip. It is impossible because of the timing. Kids have to be in school and hubby has a job, blah blah.

So, I would like to go somewhere cool like Tahiti or Greece…something exotic. Part of me would love to go with my husband. But, I am taking him to Italy next year for our 20th so I think it would be fun to do a girl trip. First, I would say Vegas. Of course, it might end up like The Hangover and we would end searching for someone. And one of us would be married to a stripper. Actually there is a very good chance that would happen. So, a resort for the rich and famous where we could be pampered and cared for and just relax. I don’t often do girl things. So, this would be a huge treat for me. And, of course, we would go first class all the way.

So, if you could do one trip, where would you go and who would you go with? And, you have all the money you need so there are no worries in that corner. Everyone who tells me what they would like to do will have a chance at a $25 GC from your choice of online bookstore!

And, again a BIG OLD HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lime. I would send you hugs and kisses, but…well…I know your preferences. So, I am waving…and not singing.

Melissa Schroeder is the author of close to thirty novels, novellas and short stories including her bestselling Harmless series. Her latest digital release is A Little Harmless Addiction from Samhain publishing. She is married with children, both natural and the adopted four legged variety. If you want to know about her and her books be sure to check out her website, follow her on Twitter or stalk her on Facebook. Oh, and if you are addicted to her Harmless series, she has a facebook group just for you.

Erm, and if anyone feels compelled to send me on a luxury trip on my special day… well you know. It’d be rude not to accept, right? 😉 I’m not even picky – I’ll go on any fancy trip you pick for me! 😛

Special Guest(s): Ali & Joy! (And me!)

Today, we’re going to play a little game of fact or fiction. I’ve talked about when and how I met Ali and Joy – over twitter, and than in person at RT10 in Columbus, Ohio. Anyway we’ve become really good friends, and keep in close touch. They’re also the reason I’m going to NYC over my birthday (which you know, is also during RWA). Because Ali wanted to do a guest post during her birthday month, I decided to keep the theme running with the three of us… so we’re doing a joint post!

Ali, Joy, and I each wrote six facts, and six “fictions” about ourselves. I mixed them all up, and will list them below. Your task is… to assign them to each person. Which six are my facts, and which six are my fictions. The same for Joy, and Ali. Or at least, you know, which ones are fact, and which statements are fiction. It’s the same concept as “three truths and a lie” – just you know, an even/same number of each.

If it proves too difficult maybe Ali, Joy, and I will provide hints in the comments. Of course, posting answers in the comments somewhat defeats the purpose, so you are to email your answers to: * And because this is kind of crazy, let’s say you get three guesses per person. HOWEVER to keep track… I’d like you to leave a comment each time you send an email.

Why on earth would you want to do this insane thing? Well, why wouldn’t you want to know any of the three of us better? 😉 But really – there are prizes. Open internationally!

Ali is offering a $25 GC to Amazon.com… or, if you’re international, up to $25 in books at The Book Depository.

Joy’s throwing out for those in the USA:
Addicted to You by Bethany Kane & Romance Trading Card Package
Demons Prefer Blondes by Sidney Ayers
Fallen by Michelle Hauf

Or if you’re International:
Books 1 & 2 of The Harmless Series (e-book)
A Little Harmless Sex & A Little Harmless Pleasure by Melissa Schroeder

And me? Well, I’m going to offer up a kindle book. Of some sort. I’m actually still thinking about it. To offer one person a prize? (Forewarned I don’t like agency pricing and don’t support it…) Or to offer maybe 5 random people a novella? Giving them a choice between a few of the indie ones out there? We’ll see. Also mine is a bit different because I’ll be giving my prize out to commenter[s].

Anyway, all three of us are offering prizes.

Ready? Set? Go!

I don’t know how to drive.

I am prepared for either a zombie apocalypse or in the event that computers take over the world.

I grew up in Switzerland.

I am addicted to video games.

I’ve never been to Europe.

The first RT Convention I went to, I hid for three hours.

I was in a choir that sang for the President

I took piano lessons for about eight years.

Each car I’ve owned was picked by another person… because I don’t much care what I drive as long as it gets from point A to point B.

I’ve never gone skiing.

I do not pack until the night before a trip… or in a couple instances, an hour before I have to head out the door… makes things interesting, lol.

I was born in Canada.

One of the ladies here once gave me a tequila shot… it was so strong I actually couldn’t breathe for a moment there.

I was treated to a public humiliation & got a spanking one year for my birthday (in a bar in NYC).

Sometimes I will rehearse a whole conversation in my head… even if I don’t end up talking to the other person about it.

I got married and divorced in Vegas… all in the same week.

My middle name is Rose.

I make lemon blueberry gelato every summer.

I could have had a picture taken professionally with Barack Obama.

I go on a cruise every year.

I sang the jingle for a commercial on TV.

I love mowing my lawn.

I’ve burst into spontaneous song in random places, most notably on Capitol Hill. More than once.

I go golfing every week.

I waited in line overnight for Prince Tickets.

I haven’t worn sneakers in five years.

I have had pet cats since I was eight.

I used to call friends at midnight on their birthday.

I am afraid to swim in deep waters.

Nobody in my family (including extended) knows I read romance or go to conventions.

I freeze like a deer caught in the headlights when frightened.

I met Fabio.

I was home schooled.

My birth place is New York.

I met Hugh Jackman.

I wrote a poem that was published.

And that’s all of them! So remember – email your answers to *. We’ll keep this open for *TWO WEEKS. And you get three tries. Also – authors, you’re welcome to enter, and I hope you do! If you don’t want any of these prizes we can figure out something else – like I’ll feature you on my blog or something. Yeah?

Anyway, this is another part of birthday-palooza, so yay! Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments. Who knows – one of us might answer them! 😉