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Rhythm Of My Heart: A sneak peek

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Just two weeks ago I typed those two little words every author strives to type:
The End.

The book I’d been working on was finished, the manuscript complete. The third book in the Speed series was finally done. Zachary Pace/Jonah Speed had his story.

I’d love to tell you I felt fantastic. Love to tell you I was on a high from the accomplishment. After all, I’d been waiting a year to write this book. A year to find the story and put it in words. But the truth is, when I typed those two words I felt a horrible sense of loss. I was saying goodbye to the characters I’d spent so much time getting to know and understand.

I’ve been living with these two characters for fourteen months. Listening as they whispered in my head, giving hints of their lives to me. I’ve also lived in utter frustration, desperate for them to give me more than a sentence or two every now and again. So when suddenly they started talking and refused to shut up, I sat up and took notice. And six weeks later, their story was told. But in the process of them telling their story, I grew rather fond of Zachary and Eve. So much so that I’m still thinking about them all the time. I’m not ready to let them go just yet.

And so even though their book only releases in October, I would love to share a snippet of their story with you. So here you go. This is the first kiss in the third book of the Speed series:

ComingSoon72sm

RHYTHM OF MY HEART (An unedited sneak preview snippet)

Her eyes closed and she let out a soft moan of pleasure.

“Good?”

Eve’s “Mmmmm” reverberated down his spine and echoed in his groin.

How the fuck could eating a chocolate turn into the most erotic encounter on earth? Eve made it look like she was lost in the throes of spectacular sex. The woman had a chocolate in her mouth, that was all. Yet the bliss on her face and satisfaction in her soft moan had Zachary hardening to a point of pain.

Christ, he hoped no one noticed.

She chewed, her red lips a beacon to his gaze.

He wanted to kiss her, wanted to mold his mouth to hers and taste the pleasure on her breath.

Yeah. Not going to happen. Not here, in a room packed full of curious eyes and cameras.

“If you carry on chewing like that,” Zachary’s voice was a low growl, “like you’re about to have an orgasm, I am going to throw you under the table and eat every last bit of you.”

Eve’s eyes popped open, and she swallowed quickly. “You know it would be way simpler if you just ate the truffle?”

“Maybe. But it wouldn’t taste half as good.”

“You know what you are, Jonah Speed?”

Aroused? Frustrated? Horny? “What am I, Eve Andrews?”

“A first rate, grade A flirt.” She lifted a second truffle to her mouth and licked it. Those cherry-red lips of hers framed the milk chocolate, and her tongue was just visible, dabbing at the treat.

The room full of curious eyes and cameras faded to insignificance. Sound faded too. The chocolate and Eve’s lips were his sole focus. His sole desire.

With one hand, he plucked the saucer from her hand and set it on the table. With the other he plucked her hand from her mouth and tossed the half-eaten chocolate over his shoulder.

Before she had a chance to object—and by the look in her eyes she intended to object, vehemently—he yanked her against him, bent his head and kissed her.

Just claimed her mouth with his, taking advantage of her surprised gasp to slip his tongue between those cherry-red lips and sample the chocolate she’d just licked.

Jesus, fuck. She was right. The chocolate wasn’t just good. It was delectable. Mouth-watering. It blew his mind. And he hated chocolate.

Eve sagged in his arms, as though she’d turned boneless. He hauled her closer, molding her to his body, squashing the rose between them. Her soft curves pressed tight against his firmer bulk. She clutched at him with one hand, grabbing his arm, squeezing it, then slowly letting her hand skim up over his shoulder until she buried it in his hair.

Her tongue drifted over his, toyed with it. Tasted him like he tasted her. And damned if it wasn’t the sweetest, hottest kiss Zachary had ever shared.

He kissed her harder, lost himself to the creamy, rich flavor of Eve and chocolate.

The chocolate had nothing on the woman. Couldn’t compete with her.

Lights flared against his eyes. Once, twice, a million times. Fireworks? From a kiss? That was a first. Not surprising though, not with the way his body reacted to the kiss, but a first.

Fu-uck.

Sanity returned like a sharp slap.

Those bursts of light weren’t fireworks at all. Not even close. They were flashes. Camera flashes. Tons of them.

Zachary broke the kiss with a silent, foul curse and stepped back, holding Eve’s arms to steady her.

Jesus, how stupid could he have been?

She blinked once, then again, scrunching her eyes against the flares of light, looking bewildered at first and then just a little terrified.

“Hell! I’m sorry.” He whispered the apology as he scanned the room. Luke would sort this out, instantly, leaving Zachary free to slip away with Eve. “I wasn’t thinking.”

No, he definitely wasn’t. All rational thought had fled his mind as she’d devoured those chocolates.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

The band manager was nowhere to be seen, which meant it was up to Zachary to initiate damage control. Problem was, hundreds of people had caught him and Evie, lip-locked, on camera. There was very little he could do about it.

Even now flashes continued, and mobile phones were more visible than faces. Every Tom, Dick and photographer had caught Zachary’s impulsive behavior on film.

It was just a matter of time before those photos appeared on the net, in newspapers, on TV, and in every gossip rag around the world.

—————–

Rhythm Of My Heart releases from Samhain on the 8th of October.

I truly hope you love this story as much as I do.

Jess

A Totally Impulsive Give Away

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Hands up if you’ve read Dark Destiny? Hands up if you can’t wait for the release of Dark Embrace?

Now, keep your hand up if you’d like to win a Principatus T-shirt with THIS logo on it?

 

principatus series logo copy copy

 

In a completely impulsive decision, I’ve decided to give one away to one lucky person along with an ARC of Dark Embrace (which isn’t due for release until April 2). I’ll draw the winner in 7 days time and announce it here.

So, how do you go in the draw? Simple. Leave a comment about what you liked the most about Dark Destiny on my Facebook page (link here), tell me in a tweet (@lexxie_couper), review it on Goodreads (send me the link to the review) or leave a comment here on this blog post. If you haven’t read Dark Destiny, don’t stress, you can still enter the comp by telling me what’s your favourite line from either the Dark Destiny excerpt or the Dark Embrace excerpt which you can find here 🙂 The more times you comment, tweet, post, review the more times you go into the draw.

How’s that sound?

Who wants to go first? Kiss kiss?

Hee hee hee.

 

 

 

Special guest author – BEVERLEY OAKLEY

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It is my absolute pleasure to once again welcome Beverley Oakley to the Down Under Divas. Yes, I’m biased when it comes to Bev, but I love her work, and have for many, many years. She and I belong to the same incredible critique group, and she (and the group) have been my support and my rock for ten years now.

So when I have an opportunity to brag that Bev has a new book out, believe me, I am going to brag. And guess what?

BEV HAS A NEW BOOK OUT!!! A hot historical from Ellora’s Cave.

So, now you have a choice. You can ignore the rest of the post and get straight to EC and buy the book. (Just click this link.) Or you can read the post and then get to EC and buy the book. Either way…BUY THE BOOK!

😉

Jess

Welcome Bev….

Her Gilded Prison

By Beverley Oakley

Hi Sami, Jess, Lexxi and Rhian. Thanks so much for having me here to guest blog.

And hi everyone ‘out there’. I hope your Easter holiday plans are taking shape nicely. I’m gearing up for the trip of a lifetime immediately after the break to do a two-week camping/motorcycle trip through California with my husband before heading off to the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City where I’m looking forward to meeting up with fellow erotic romance writers and old friends like Jess, Sami, Rhian and Lexxie.

In the meantime I have all the excitement of my first Ellora’s Cave erotic Regency Historical to nurture and promote. Her Gilded Prison was released on Friday.

Now, I’m a real devotee of BBC period dramas and could watch every Jane Austen remake a dozen times, as I have the Downton Abbey series this past year. I love these stories and they unashamedly inspire my own Regency and historical romances, except that my stories go beyond the bedroom door. Way beyond.

HerGildedPrison

Her Gilded Prison is an older woman, younger man story and as the story unfolded I was surprised by developments. I’d never considered writing an older woman younger man story. In fact, the heroine was supposed to be Araminta, the exquisite, self-centred daughter of Lady Sybil, my long-married new heroine. However Araminta was going through the worst phase of her fiery adolescence. She just did not deserve to be the heroine of her own book. When she’s grown up a bit she’s getting her own story in Book 3.

Her Gilded Prison begins as my hero Stephen Cranbourne, the gorgeous, randy twenty-four year old heir apparent of ageing Viscount Partington, starts his journey to take up his new position. En route he’s waylaid by an attractive, scheming fortune hunter… with consequences that return to haunt him.

Once ensconced on Lord Partington’s estate, The Grange, Stephen sets several feminine hearts aflutter and it’s hard to say no when the viscount’s vibrant, beautiful daughter, Araminta sets her cap at him.

But another contender for the viscountcy knocks Stephen from his perch.

Edgar, Viscount Partington’s cabbage-headed clodpoll of a nephew turns up from the battlefield, not having died a hero, but having disappeared a deserter.

This is when my real heroine steals the show. Always overlooked, lovely, loyal Lady Sybil, Viscount Partington’s neglected wife, realises that she must take bold measures to ensure the estate and title does not go to Edgar.

And for this she needs Stephen’s help.

Below is an extract from the first chapter.

HER GILDED PRISON

Chapter One

The three men were on their knees, heads craned forward, eyes fixed with prurient interest on the amorous adventure playing out on the gossamer web before them.

“He’s launching in, for God’s sake! Dipping his wick—if you could only see it! Look at him.” The young Earl of Barston’s breath was hot on Stephen’s arm, his gaze rapt as he asked in an excited whispered, “She’ll kill him for it?”

Stephen’s host, Sir Archie Ledger, laughed coarsely. “You say he knows his reward is death?” The young baronet jostled his companions for a better look and his eyes bulged with excitement.  He twisted his head to dart a glance at his wife who sat calmly embroidering at the far end of the drawing room, before adding under his breath, “The fuck of eternal damnation, eh? I reckon that’s what I got.”

It was no secret Sir Archie had been pressured into marriage following an indiscretion with the lovely but sharp-tongued Miss Julia Preston.

Lady Julia raised her head at the commotion and her voice cut like scissors into the schoolboy game Stephen was orchestrating. “I say, gentlemen, what’s more interesting than paying some attention to the ladies? Mr. Cranbourne, I want you to please take a seat by me and tell me all about your new benefactor.”

The three young men huddled closer, eyes still fixed on the spider’s web just below the escritoire. “Take cover, gentlemen, here she comes.” Sir Archie’s tone soured. “No, it’s no good. She’s found us. Story of my life. Fun’s over.”

Stephen, still on his knees, blinked to see first Lady Julia’s well-turned ankle and then, as she bent down, her lovely face. As her lively green eyes locked with his he wondered at Archie’s discontent. She was a diamond of the first water.

“What is so fascinating, gentlemen?” Her intimate murmur sounded as if it were just for him. Her gaze was certainly focused on him as her mouth curved in a secret, knowing smile.

Stephen sucked in a breath and found he was quite unable to answer. Since he’d come back from war he was unused to mixing in such elite company, though he remembered frequenting houses like this when he was a boy before his mother’s decline.

Just when he assumed she’d solicit her husband for information, she brushed his hand with hers, the smile that was just for him still in place.

Good God, he thought he’d imagined it before. Now, with Sir Archie still on his haunches to her right, reluctantly in the process of rising, Stephen was quite clearly being conveyed a secret message. Lady Julia admired him. He forced himself to breathe evenly as his cock sprang to attention. He could not rise now, for God’s sake. He must keep them watching at least a few seconds longer.

“She’s going to devour him.” The urgency in his voice that had nothing to do with the mating spiders.

“Nothing happening.” Archie sounded bored as he groaned and gripped the table leg to heave himself up. Stephen had wondered at a match between the spindly-legged, chinless baronet and the ravishing debutante conducted in such haste the season before. He’d not thought about the lovely Miss Julia again until news spread that the couple had been blessed with twin boys within a barely timely eight and a half months of their nuptials.

Now Lady Julia looked as dewy fresh and desirable as she had when Stephen had admired her in the ballroom as a young man experienced in battle but completely unprepared for London society. His mother had left him little of the vast fortune she’d frittered away through drink and gambling but enough to at least deport himself like the gentleman he’d been born.

He managed. Just.

“No, nothing happening,” muttered Barston, rising unsteadily. “I’ll wager a thousand monkeys you’re all hot air, Cranbourne.”

Lady Julia, who’d straightened, bent at the waist to peer again at the scene that had so excited the gentlemen. “Oh, my goodness, the spider jumped!” she squeaked, twisting round so suddenly she tripped over her husband’s arm and fell full length upon Stephen.

For a second he just lay beneath her, eyes wide with shock as her soft curves molded his hard—very hard—contours, not all of them his bones.

“Get up, Julia. Cranbourne, do you accept the wager?” Archie, who sounded as if these were everyday occurrences, took his wife’s elbow and hauled her to her feet. But not before Julia had slanted a knowing and very provocative look at Stephen.

“What? Er, yes,” Stephen mumbled, paying only half a mind. He rarely gambled these days. He had only to recall his wretched, fatherless youth and the antics of his feckless, beloved, wager-mad mama.

“Good fellow!” A hearty handshake followed as Stephen rose. He took refuge behind the back of the Egyptian sofa and forced a strained smile at his hosts.

“I do love an unusual wager.” Lady Julia adopted a pose of rare solidarity beside her husband. “So this big, bold, female spider—obviously a prime article in the arachnid world—has just suffered the amorous attentions of her tiny, boring, timid, ineffectual husband.” Her knowing smile broadened and her words were heavy with emphasis as she enunciated each one. It was impossible to miss her meaning and Stephen could only wonder that Archie didn’t bristle at the obvious allusion to their own marital situation. She stroked Archie’s arm while asking Stephen in silky tones, “You’re the celebrated man of science in the room, Mr. Cranbourne. Please explain in…explicit terms…the courting rituals of the spider world.”

Stephen flicked a glance at Archie. Fortunately he appeared to be his usual good-humored self—and just as keen for information as his wife.

He cleared his throat. “The male spider will court the female and…and then after he…”

“Impregnates her?” Lady Julia supplied with an inquiring smile.

“That’s correct, yes, the female will devour him.” Stephen let out his breath in a low whistle as his erection finally subsided. God, he hoped Archie hadn’t noticed. Lady Julia was a diamond of the first water but she was dangerous and Stephen wasn’t in a position to alienate the few advantageous connections he’d made since his unexpected elevation in the world.

“Nonsense!” Archie let out a guffaw. “The male of every species is infinitely superior in every respect and I’ll wager the insect world is no exception. Cranbourne, if this pretty boy spider is still safely in his love lair, gazing raptly at his lady love in two hours, then I’ve won the wager.”

END OF EXTRACT

That was a bit of fun. Gorgeous Stephen had better take care, hadn’t he?

You can buy Her Gilded Prison at Ellora’s Cave

and read more here:

www.beverleyoakley.com

www.facebook/AuthorBeverleyOakley

http://beverleyeikli.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/#!/BeverleyOakley

On The Diva Couch with Coleen Kwan

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Today we have Coleen Kwan on the inquisition chair Diva Couch. 🙂

 

RC: What five items would you take if you had to get out of your house in 5 mins or less

CK: Photo albums, kids’ artworks, my logins/passwords cheat sheet,  glasses, Chapstick.

RC: Tell us about the worst day job you ever had

CK: When I was a student I had a part-time job at a shoe shop. Every minute felt like an hour. I’m a terrible salesperson, so I didn’t sell many shoes. The only interesting part was using the shoe stretcher to soften up the leather.

RC: If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy for yourself?

CK: I’d buy myself a new ereader! My current one is a few years old but still working fine so I don’t have an excuse to replace it, but I have my eye on the latest Sony one.

RC: What super power would you like to have and why?

CK: I would love to be able to fly. Just think what an asset that would be in Sydney! Instead of sitting in a traffic jam on Parramatta Road, I’d be zooming in the air high above the chaos.

RC: What food will you absolutely not eat?

CK: Scallops and crab, because I’m allergic to both! Other things I’d hate to eat are brains and tongue.

RC: Describe your favorite outfit

CK: In summer, shorts and singlet. In winter, jeans and comfy sweater.

RC: What is your worst vice or habit?

CK: I spend way too much time checking my Amazon rankings! That has to be my number one time waster.

RC: As you’re typing the answers to these questions, what are you wearing? (that’s not a naughty question unless you have a dirty mind)

CK: I’m wearing old linen three-quarter pants, an unironed T-shirt with a cat on it, and rubber thongs. Yes, the height of fashion — NOT!

RC: If you could kiss any fictional hero from history, who would it be?

CK: Would have to be Francis Crawford from the Lymond Chronicles. I spent much of my teenage years buried in those books, trying to figure out the man. He’s an enigma, but a very attractive one.

RC: Do you prefer a hairy or smooth chest?

CK: Depends on the owner of the chest! If he’s the right guy then it doesn’t matter if his chest is hairy or smooth. (Although I wish the odd hairy chest would appear on book covers these days.)

RC: Best writing advice ever received

CK: “You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.”

Neil Gaiman giving pep talk to NaNoWriMo participants.

 

A big thank you to Coleen for chatting with us today. You can find out all about her on her website – http://www.coleenkwan.com/

Author Bio:

Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

 

Short Soup_cvr compressed

 

Short Soup blurb:

A story about best friends, childhood dreams, and the healing power of Chinese food…

Toni Lau and Dion Chan were connected from birth — first via their parents’ jointly-owned restaurant, then via their bone-deep friendship. But children grow up, and Toni leaves their sleepy hometown looking for more than it can offer.

Now Toni is back, raw with the knowledge that not all childhood dreams come true. Dion is on the brink of realising that both his own ambitions and his childhood friend have the power to derail all of his hard work. But loving Toni — and winning her love in return — has always been on his wish list. Can Dion really put her on the back burner while frying up his chef dreams? Or is it possible that together they can come up with a recipe for happiness?

Buy links:

Amazon  http://amzn.to/Uuxwdv

Kobo http://bit.ly/1272Cjw

Escape Publishing  http://bit.ly/STdE49

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/12x2LeY

 

Five Dodgy Lessons From Cinderella

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We took the girls to the movies on the weekend. They’ve been playing all the classic Disney films at reduced prices. I’d never seen the original movie of Cinderella and the kids needed to get out of the house so off we set.

Well, I had a shock I tell you. I’d read the story as a kid of course, and always sensed there was something a little off about the whole glass slipper fits=true love scenario, but at a young age I couldn’t really put my finger on what was wrong with it. Seeing this story retold as an adult woman and a mother who’s trying to teach her kids to be independent, smart individuals, I was caught between hysterical laughter and concern over the messages this movie inflicts on young minds:

  1. If a handsome prince gets to be in his twenties and has shown so little interest in women that his father organises aball to push the women in the kingdom onto him, it’s because he hasn’t met the right girl. Not because he’s secretly gay or anything.
  2. If life – or an evil stepmother – beats you down, you must remain sweet and kind at all times, doing nothing to get yourself out of the bad situation. Just sit on your ass and believe that your fairy Godmother will show up and fix it all for you.
  3. When said FG shows up and proves to be capable of the most amazing magic, you should use it on a pretty dress, a carriage and a trip to a dance. Not to take you out of town and away from your bitch of a stepmother. That doesn’t make any sense.
  4. Magic powerful enough to turn a pumpkin into a carriage and mice into horses, is not powerful enough to last beyond the stroke of midnight. You must never question this.
  5. The only way out of a bad family situation is to marry the first guy who kisses you. Within 24 hours of meeting him. Even if the guy has so little memory of your face from the night before that he needs a shoe-fit comparison to know you’re the girl he’s looking for. Even if this knowledge and interest in shoes seems to be conclusive proof that he is secretly gay, after all.

Yeah, those are the messages I want my girls to takeaway from their moving going experience. Not.

I think the tale of Cinderella is in serious need of an overhaul. Surely we can build a better path to HEA than this.

Sami

The Apocalypse Can’t Stop Desire Like This…Can It?

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Guess what’s available in only a few short hours?

Find out more at Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

A Sexy Snippet

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It’s been a busy month for me and I’ve barely had time to scratch myself. Well that’s not true, I could have scratched myself quite easily, it’s something I could do while I’m doing something else so barely takes any time. Strange saying, that.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d share a little snippet from my Ellora’s Cave release today, because it’s now available on Amazon as well as in almost any format from Ellora’s Cave. It’s also now discounted at Booktopia, Australia’s fastest growing online bookstore.

This snippet is from Chapter Three, when Sarah still believes David is an escort she hired and David just thinks he’s gotten really, really lucky :). You should see what happens when she finds out the truth!

Here you go:

For a first-time stud for hire, David was a truly terrific kisser.

Sarah kept losing herself to the gentle demand of his lips, the hot sweep of his inquisitive tongue. Every time she toldjustonetaste_msr (2) herself to move things along, get to the good stuff, she stopped herself with the realization that this was the good stuff. The swamping kisses that ratcheted the lust higher by degrees until she was panting and hot, ready for anything.

She had no idea how much time passed but it seemed like ages before Sarah could bring herself to draw back and regain her breath. They were both still fully dressed. That was an irritant Sarah was no longer willing to endure.

Reluctantly, she stepped out of David’s embrace and turned. Without issuing a verbal invitation, Sarah headed for the bedroom and its king bed covered in a magenta-and-gold quilt and a mess of throw pillows. She was aware of David’s intense focus on her as she parted the side zipper on her dress and let it slip from her shoulders. She was confident she looked good in the gauzy black lingerie and thigh-high stockings, complete with garter belt and heels. Her mother had taught her the importance of watching what she ate and Sarah enjoyed working out. At thirty-three she had the same body she’d had ten years ago.

She rarely showed it off anymore. Two failed engagements, one that had ended only a year ago, had made her gun-shy when it came to men. But this wasn’t a potential relationship, this was a transaction. There was no chance she’d get hurt here, so Sarah enjoyed the appreciation in David’s assessment as she stripped, relished the haste she sensed in his strides as he followed her into the bedroom.

From the doorway, he said, his voice husky, “I forgive myself.” Sarah glanced at him over her shoulder, one eyebrow raised. His perusal blazed a trail over her body that left gooseflesh. “This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but you are bloody perfect. So I forgive myself.”

Sarah delighted in the rough compliment, her curiosity about this man digging a little deeper. He really was wrestling with the whole sex-for-cash thing. Thank goodness the fiscal details had been handled by his agent—or madam, whatever she was called. Sarah couldn’t imagine David nonchalantly slipping a roll of fifties into his suit jacket.

Speaking of which, she wanted his off. She needed to see if those broad shoulders of his were as solid and strong as they had felt through the layers of fabric. “Take off your coat.”

His lips quirked as he pushed off the doorjamb with his shoulder and prowled into the room. He slipped off his suit jacket and laid it across a chair in the corner. He went automatically for his tie then stopped. He met her gaze. “This too?”

Between Sarah’s thighs, damp heat flared. “Yes,” she rasped.

Sarah watched, captivated, as David slowly undid his tie and slipped it off. The slide of silk made a faint whoosh in the silence that tantalized Sarah’s senses. When he made no move to release any of the buttons on his shirt, her nipples became pained peaks. He was going to make her push for all of it. She wouldn’t have thought that would make her so hot.

“Unbutton your shirt and take it off.”

The first glimpse of brown skin at his throat make her knees weaken. Sarah sat on the bed, hoping she appeared more nonchalant than she was as she watched him. There was a patch of dark hair in the center of his chest. As he released more of the buttons, Sarah followed its path downward with her eyes, until the tantalizing strip disappeared beneath his waistline.

She saw the telltale bulge behind his fly and her mouth watered. Holding off on making the demand that leapt to her tongue, Sarah settled for drinking in the sight of him shirtless.

He was incredible. Steely muscle overlaid by golden flesh and that fine peppering of masculine hair. He hadn’t built that body in a gym, the definition wasn’t orderly. But he was strong everywhere and so male in a way that was raw, not carefully sculpted. Sarah couldn’t believe her luck in being sent this man. He was hers for the night, and the realization made her pussy contract in anticipation.

“Sarah.” The rough edge in his voice made her meet his eyes again. The passion she saw swirling there took her breath. “Keep staring at me like that and I can’t promise I’ll continue to be so polite.”

His warning increased her arousal tenfold. He might be allowing her to lead but her mastery of the situation was tenuous. It made the idea of commanding his actions all the more exciting. “Come over here and kiss me again.”

Yummy, right?

Sami

Rebirth – Grim Reaper style…

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In 2009 I wrote a book called Death, The Vamp and his Brother. I loved this book. Loved it. It is still one of my favourites. It won The Romance Studio’s 2009 Best Erotic Paranormal Novel. But it never really found an audience. Perhaps because readers didn’t know what to make of it? Maybe it was the title Death, The Vamp and his Brother. Let’s be serious,  it’s silly. It doesn’t–didn’t–portray the theme of the book at all, and the theme of the book is destiny and how it has its dark way with us.

So when Samhain Publishing asked me a few months ago if I wanted to re-release it a month before the second book in the series (Dark Embrace), I said yes. When they asked if I would be happy with a new cover, I said YES. When they aksed if I’d be okay with changing the title I laughed. Did I want to change the title? YES!!! When it was decided Dark Destiny was to be the new title, I got very excited.

And then I was sent this cover:

DarkDestiny300

And my excitement went through the roof. Is that not one of the sexiest covers you’ve ever seen?

Today I received Dark Destiny‘s first review. And once again, my excitement shot through the roof.

“DARK DESTINY is a very intriguing, very hot book. You have sexy Death who prefers you call her Fred, a normal Aussie surfer/lifeguard, vampires, a Principatus and a really gross first horseman, who could ask for more? Oh yes did I mention the burning sheets or walls or wherever they landed and the unexpected realization that Death can actually fall in love. Lexxie Couper has come up with a fantastic world and I hope to visit it many more times.” – Fresh Fiction Reviews

(I know, Death, the Vamp and his Brother had been reviewed often but as of this point, Death, the Vamp and his Brother no longer exists *grin*)

It’s not often a book gets a second chance at life, but I guess it’s fitting with Dark Destiny…after all the vampire in Dark Destiny, Ven, was meant to die but he didn’t. He got a second chance… And as for Patrick, the hero…wow, you won’t BELIEVE the second life he gets.

Blurb

The Apocalypse can’t stop desire like this. Can it?

Principatus, Book 1

Death exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to sever the life-threads of the living. She does her job with pride and an unwavering commitment. Nothing ruffles her. Until she encounters Patrick Watkins.

The Australian lifeguard pushes all her buttons—and makes her tailbone itch like crazy. And when her tailbone itches, it means trouble is brewing. Big trouble.

As far as Patrick’s concerned, everything Death tells him is a load of bull. But what if she’s right? How is he expected to save mankind from the worst fate of all—the Apocalypse? Especially when all he can think about is how quickly he’s falling in love with the most feared Horseman of them all…

Warning: This book contains enough heresy to shame the Devil, more scorching sex than one person can handle, Two sexy Australian brothers and lots of Australian colloquialism. A bloody lot of Australian colloquialism.

EXCERPT

Fred noticed three things straight away. Patrick Watkins was looking directly at her, he was stark naked and he was semi-aroused.

By the Powers, he’s huge.

“Who the hell are you?”

His deep, angry growl made her jump. She stared at his face—his face, Fred, his face—her mouth dry. “You can see me!”

“Of course, I can see you. And I saw you at the beach today.” Sharp green eyes narrowed. “What the fuck did you do to my drowning victim?”

Fred clenched her jaw, giving the human before her a level look. “For your information, your drowning victim was a pedophile.”

A shimmer of disgust ignited in Patrick Watkins’ dark green eyes before he clenched his own jaw. “Mr. Peabody was alive until you touched him.”

Fred cocked her head to the side, trying like hell to ignore the fact that the man seemed to have forgotten he was naked—and still partially erect. Ignore it? How do you ignore something that impressive? “Yes, I must say, you did a very good job resurrecting him from his initial passing. But it was his time and no interference, no matter how skilled or stubborn, would have saved him.”

Patrick’s eyes widened. “Interference? His time?” Anger flared in his unwavering stare. “Who the fuck are you? The Grim Reaper?”

Fred inclined her head slightly. “Just call me Fred.”

“Well, Fred.” Patrick took a step toward her, the anger in his face growing dark. Menacing. “I’d saved him. I don’t care how bloody sexy you are, or who you think you are, he was alive until you touched him. What the hell did you do to him?”

Fred’s heart stopped for a split second, before pounding triple-time. Sexy? A grin stretched her lips and a wild flutter erupted between her thighs. He thought she was sexy.

He also thinks you’re a murderer.

She pulled a face, crossing her arms across her chest. Her nipples brushed against her forearms, sending a little jolt of damp electricity into the pit of her belly and she bit back a curse. How was it possible this one mortal male made her so horny? “I really can’t explain it all to you,” she snapped, irked by her body’s irrational response and Patrick Watkins’ not-so-irrational agitation. “Just know Peabody is in a much more deserving place now he’s gone.”

Patrick cocked an eyebrow. “So, what? You’re a vigilante?”

Fred ground her teeth. “As I’ve already said, I can’t explain it.”

“Try. Before I call the cops.”

Fred couldn’t help herself. She burst out laughing. “The cops?”

Black anger flashed across Patrick’s face. “Look, love, you’ve got exactly twenty seconds to give me an answer, or I’ll knock you on your arse, tie you to the bed and let the authorities deal with you when they get here.”

A hot, wet wave of sinful pleasure rolled through Fred at the idea of Patrick Watkins tying her to the bed. Damn. She’d never gone down that path of sexual gratification before, but the Australian lifeguard made her body fantasize about all sorts of things it hadn’t before. All of them very, very wicked. “Patrick Watkins,” she said, unable to stop her gaze roaming over his naked body. “I would like nothing more than to see you try.”

Another wave of fury—and something else far more primitive—charged his expression. “Okay. If that’s the way it’s going to be.”

He moved. Much quicker than Fred expected. Much quicker than any human should. One moment he stood glaring at her from beside his bedroom door, the next he was slamming her against the wall, his fingers locked around her wrists, his hips rammed into hers.

Immediate and absolute pleasure tore through her. Dark, intoxicating, submissive pleasure. Her sex constricted, her breath caught in her throat. She’d never been handled so. Even her Roman had treated her with kid gloves, like he’d been too scared of her to truly show how much she’d aroused him. Patrick Watkins however, knew no reason to be scared of her. And it made her sex flood with cream.

By the Powers, she wanted to fuck him and be fucked by him.

The licentious thought whipped through her head and, before she knew what was going on, her jeans, boots and t-shirt vanished. Leaving her just as naked as the man pressing her against the wall with his hard body.

He froze, his fingers digging into her wrists, his cock grounding against her belly. “What. The fuck. Is going on?”

***

You can buy Dark Destiny from Samhain, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and lots of other ebook resellers

On the Diva Couch with S.E. Gilchrist

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In the hot seat today is Aussie author S.E. Gilchrist. Let’s not muck around, we’ll dive straight into the tough questions…

RC: Name your fantasy menage combination

SE: Chris Hemsworth, Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel

RC: What five items would you take if you had to get out of your house in 5 mins or less

SE: My kids, my dogs, my usb sticks, my photos & my glasses (so I could see where the hell I’m going)

RC: Describe your writing in 3 words

SE: Dramatic, exciting and sexy

RC: If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy for yourself?

SE: A new car – trust me, the only thing holding this one together is the crappy paint job.

RC: Imagine you had a time machine—oh let’s just call it a Tardis. What time period would you travel to and why?

SE: I’d travel into the future with the hope we would have conquered space travel to other galaxies.

RC: Favorite comic book superhero

SE: The Phantom

RC: If you could kiss any fictional hero from history, who would it be?

SE: Darcy

RC: Do you prefer a hairy or smooth chest?

SE: Smooth and oiled ????

RC: Best writing advice ever received

SE: Keep writing and try to write every day.

 

A big thanks to SE for sitting down with the Divas today.

You can find out all about her and her books over on her website http://www.segilchrist.com/

BB Lies FINAL #1(c) Chosen by SUZ - 5-2-13

 

BLURB:

After trudging in the footsteps of the Fomorian army, Aileen longs to have a home of her own far from the horrors of war. She will do anything to achieve her goal. Even lie to the kin and people of her newly deceased husband.  But lies are nothing, compared with drugging a pixie king and stealing his memory … and his seed.

 

EXCERPT:

Ioducas, king of the river pixies, reined in his white stallion and rested his hands on the pommel of his ornate saddle. Golden warmth from the late Beltane sun bathed the cultivated fields of wheat, rye and oats that spread in rich orderly rows over the sloping land. The crops stretched into the distance, ending at the wide ditch that surrounded the hill fort, Tranelleon. Overhead, swallows dipped and soared into the cloudless, blue sky with a graceful flurry of wings.

A whistle escaped his lips while Ioducus stared with considerable astonishment at the changes wrought over the past full turns of seasons.

“I see the passing of the stewardship into the control of another since the death of young Robat of Tranellean has proved to be a blessing for the people and the lands. Clear before us stands evidence of hard work and prosperity,” he said to his lieutenant who had kneed his horse forward until the charges stood side by side, tails swishing. Ioducus swept a hand out, the jewelled rings adorning his fingers flashed, red, green, blue and dazzling white in the mid afternoon sun’s rays.

Lotic, who had been his right-hand man ever since Ioducus could remember, grunted and tugged on his braided, brown beard in a thoughtful manner. He said, “Do you know who holds office in the hall?”

“Nay, but I assume Robat’s kinsman would be the man.” Ioducas shared a look with his second in command. “It is possible a pixie would not be given a grand reception. Especially for one such as I….one of the main instigators of the carnage that caused Plover’s Fields to run red with spilled blood of both our people and mortal men.”

“A while ago now,” rumbled Lotic in his deep voice.

“Aye, but pain takes no account of the passing of the seasons.”

“Then we had best be on our guard. I’d be happier if you would allow me to split our men into two squads. Leave a party beyond the ditch in case our reception is a wee bit hostile.”

Ioducas slid a finger over his moustache and grinned. “Tsk, tsk, Lotic, I am sure once we have speech, the new steward will see reason.”

Lotic hunched his shoulders beneath the leather straps that bound his breast plate and muttered, “Aye, and one day, your honeyed tongue will no more sweeten your speech and then, where will we be?”

Ioducas laughed. “Always with the warning, Lotic. My charm has yet to fail.”

His steed tossed its head as if in agreement and snorted setting the silver bells woven into its braided mane tinkling with merry song. Ioducas raised his hand again, and urged his mount forward, his contingent of pixie horsemen following close on his horse’s hooves. Lotic, muttering dire predictions, rode, as ever, at his side.

Aye, his charm was legendary especially where the wenches were concerned, but for all the many maids who flung themselves at his feet, none saw nor truly loved, the man beneath the crown. Aye, he flirted and was ever courteous to everyone but only Lotic knew how few Ioducus actually took to his bed. The saddle creaked when he shifted his weight pushing his booted feet forward in the stirrups. His mouth turned down.

Plague take this malady!

If he were not tormented by fragments of what he at first had thought to be merely dreams; dreams which had woken him sweating and needy in the cold reaches of the night, he would not have lengthened this expedition into a full season’s odyssey. His teeth ground together and a slash of sharp pain sliced into his temple.

Nay, he was certain it was no fantasy that haunted him. No spell either. For there were none living that could weave such a spell over the king of the river pixies. Not now.

Nay, it must be memories. But of whom?

With effortless ease Ioducas sent a silent message to his mount and the animal slowed its pace to a gentle amble, although it shook its head and chaffed at the bit, eager to reach a stable with bountiful oats and hay. He ignored his friend’s sharp glance and smoothed a hand down the horse’s neck and it quietened. His stallion wasn’t the only one eager to reach journey’s end.

Ioducas glared at the straight, rock paved road; a road that only a few years ago resembled a muddy, boggy track. He had re-traced every path, every road, re-visited every village he had ever passed through and sought out every wench in an attempt to solve the puzzle. All to no avail no matter how pretty the females or how willing they were to lay with him. Yet he had resisted all, for none had fitted the shadowy figure that flittered in and out of his mind.

And perhaps it was possible, that somewhere he would find the one who could lift the curse inflicted on him at birth by his father’s bitter ex-lover. Hence his easy acquiescence to his daughter, Teelah’s, urgent request to travel to Tranelleon Fort and ensure the safety of her husband’s sister. A matter Domhnall would have fulfilled himself, if not concerned with the forth-coming birth of their second child.

Lotic would no doubt relish spouting forth with more of the warnings and suspicions of foul play he had moaned constantly about, since their boats had grounded on the mortal isle should Ioducus speak of his troubled dreams. Hence he had kept his own counsel.

He would find the cause, deliver any punishment he deemed fit for this troublesome affliction and return to his island home.

 

Purchase Bound By Lies from –

Smashwords : http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/285925

Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Lies-Erotic-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B00BG9F338/

 

Top Five things I learned at ARRC 2013

4 Comments

  1. You can team a pair of pink heels with an orange dress, but no matter what colour the shoes, eventually you’ll have to take them off.Divas at ARRC13
  2. It’s okay to trawl the internet for pictures on half naked men in the name of romance research. Kristan Higgins said so (which justifies my man pics pinterest board nicely, thank you Kristan)
  3. Erotic romance readers and writers are the most awesome people around. Not everyone is willing to volunteer to do the most awkward and embarrassing things all in the name of fun (thank you to the lovely lady whose Sally-in-the-sandwich-shop demonstration really added spice to our erotica panel on Sunday)
  4. It’s all right to struggle every time you write a book. It’s normal. Painful and frustrating, but normal.
  5. Getting together with other romance writers, especially my fellow divas, never gets old. And we never have enough time together before planes, trains and automobiles force us apart again.

Until next time, let’s keep writing girls!

Sami