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Friday, March 25, 2011

Meant To Be by Jennifer Labelle


Title: Meant To Be
Release Date: February 16, 2011
Author: Jennifer Labelle
Genre: Erotic/Contemporary/Romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing

Blurb:
Jenna Baker is shaken up after her recovery with a near death experience. As if, being haunted with visions and losing her husband in a car accident weren’t hard enough. Could she be losing her mind? She finally moves on, only to have the husband she thought was dead suddenly reappear.

 After the shocking task of convincing Jenna that she’s not seeing his ghost, Tyler becomes overwhelmed with guilt for saving himself and leaving her to almost die. Jenna’s recovery takes its toll while Tyler’s vulnerability gets the best of him. He’s harbouring secrets that will devastate her and as Jenna unravels the truth her life takes an unexpected journey.

Welcome Jennifer Labelle, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering?
Meant To Be

What is Meant To Be all about?
Meant To Be is an emotional story about, love, loss and new beginnings. It’s ultimately about the triumph of forgiveness, love, strong family connections, and close friendships, as Jenna takes readers through personal growth, unique experiences, and some sizzling loving.

That sounds intriguing. Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it?
The muse.

There was one scene that came to me in a dream and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I wrote it out and worked on it from there. A few months later, Meant To Be was finished, and a few months after that it was picked up by Secret Cravings Publishing. I was very lucky. They’re a great publishing company to work with.

Who is your cover artist and how much input do you have in the design?
The lovely Beth Walker designed my cover. She was wonderful about allowing me to give my input. I gave her a description of my characters, ultimately what I was hoping to have on the cover and she did an amazing job following through with what I wanted it to look like.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I don’t think I could narrow it down to one. I’d say Danielle Steel because one of my all time favorite romance novels is Jewels. I’ve read it a ton of times and no matter what I cry every single time. Damn that William, why did he have to die…LOL. Just kidding I loved his character. Then there’s Nora, need I say more there. I tend to want to lean towards a darker side when I write and I’ve been encouraged by a few people in the industry to try out a horror novel. In that case I would have to pick Stephen King, let’s just face it the guy is legendary. I love Lauren Dane, Sandy Sullivan, Kathy Love, Kerri Arthur….
Okay, this question opened a can of worms for me. I seriously couldn’t narrow it down to one author. And this list would probably take me all day to complete if I carried on. There are so many great authors out there.

What books are in your TBR pile?
Sandy Sullivan - Gotta Love A Cowboy
Renee Reardon – Moonlight Bleu
Alianne Donnelly – Blood Moons
Robin Badillo - Forbidden

When you begin a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time?
I would prefer to write it straight through, unfortunately at the moment my muse is screaming at me to finish four of my current WIP’s at once. *Sigh*

What are you working on at the moment?
Well there is a few as I mentioned above, but I haven’t written blurbs for them all yet though.

Deadly Consequence:
After witnessing her mother’s murder, Holly Hewitt struggles to cope. Parentless by a very young age, the only thing she longs for is acceptance and a place to call home. She’s given up hope and is left to fend for herself, until the one person she’s afraid to trust teaches her that life is worth living, and love is worth the fight to go on.
         
Alexander Sinclair is a young, carefree, good-looking guy who didn’t think he was looking for anything permanent in his life, especially when it came to women. Until, Holly came into his life. The beautiful, messed up vixen has him turned inside out, and longing to be with her. She’s had a hard life, and is fighting her attraction for him, but with a little persistence he’s determined to become her very own modern day hero.

This is a story about deadly consequences and the lives left behind.


Leather and Pleasure:
Rowan Avery Walker is planning to surprise her husband after ten years of marriage. On their anniversary she decides to enact one of his most desired fantasies, and there's no traditional night out on the town for this couple. She's no stranger to role-play, and when it comes to bedroom pleasures she likes to walk on the wild side. 

Ryder has never loved his wife more, and has a feeling that it'll be a night to remember. Starting off with unusual and unique gifts that peak his curiosity, his suspicions are confirmed when they pull up to their favorite members only club. Where desire lives, fantasies are enacted, and the words leather and pleasure take on a whole new meaning. Rowan makes it an anniversary he’ll never forget.


Thank you for joining me, Jennifer. If I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? J
There’s no need to twist - here you go.

Adult Excerpt from Meant To Be:
“What is it, Jenna?”

She blushed, feeling a little silly. Since when had she ever been shy with him? The answer was never. “I’m different now,” she whispered. “With the scars, it’s probably not going to be very pretty to look at.”

He didn’t answer. Instead he continued to undress her until she stood before him completely nude. “Come with me.” He moved her in front of a long mirror and lifted her chin so that she was forced to look at herself. “You’re beautiful, Jenna.” His lips were close to her ear, and his breath was warm and soothing.

It gave her a chill as she leaned into him. “I’m glad you think so.”

“You’re trim.” He continued trailing his hands from her hips up to cup her breasts. “And perky. Perfect, God, Jenna, your breasts are just right the way they lay in my hands.” He tested their weight in each as he fondled them, stroking his thumbs across her hardened twin peaks.

“Tyler, don’t stop.” Breathless, and weak in the knees, she leaned into his embrace as he teased and tweaked her nipples between his fingers.

She reached back to stroke him, but he moved to stand in front of her instead. Starting with her feet, he gazed at her entire body with lust evident. Looking her in the eyes, he said, “The scars are still healing and barely noticeable. You’ve been through hell, and you’re still so damn sexy.” 

Before she knew it, the back of her legs hit the side of their bed, and he was lowering her.  He slid down her slick body, teasing her as he went lower. His tongue finally hit her sweet spot, and she arched her hips forward with a moan.

“Yes, Tyler, yes.” Her hands tightened in his hair with a demand to make her come. Taking a shuddering breath, she let the sensation that Tyler created ride through her. She knew it wouldn’t take her long to achieve her ecstasy. His mouth was magnificent as he licked solid strokes and swirled his tongue around her hard nub. “That’s it.”

She moaned again, thrashing her head from side to side; she was so close. Her grip on him tightened, forcing him to stay in the right spot. She thrust her hips and watched as he devoured her. Screaming his name, the climax hit her hard, but before the pulsing vibration of it finished, his pants were down, and his cock thrust deep inside.

He gave her a sexy smile and began to pump at a leisurely pace. “You’re so beautiful.”

“Love me, Tyler,” she whispered. “Fuck me. We’ll make love later over and over, but right now I need to feel you passionately.” She pressed her chest against his, rolling her hips to met his thrust at a faster pace. His cock filled her fully, warm and slick with her juices.

“Oh, God, Jenna,” he moaned. “I can’t hold it any longer. I’m gonna come.”

She reached between where they were joined to finger her clit. She held no shame when taking her own pleasure, knowing it drove Tyler over the edge.

 He impaled her all the way to the root of him, shuttering while his release filled her.

 Her second climax hit. Her eyes rolled in her head and closed until her last shudder finally eased.

Sweating and breathless, she covered her face as her heart rate slowed. “That was amazing.”
                                    

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rusted Souls - Cells Of Death for HIIH by Hunter K


Title: Rusted Souls - Cells Of Death for HIIH
Release Date: February 7, 2011
Authors: Hunter K
Publisher: Publish America
Genre: Romance/Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: In Rusted Souls, the second book in the series from author, Hunter K, we pick up where Rusted Crossroads left off with suspense filled new case for Private Investigator Dick Chain. Dick is forced to find the killers that aims to brutally murder his family. This is no innocent investigation, and as the details began to unfold, he discovers high level corruption and unimaginable evil lurking just under the surface. 

Welcome Hunter K, it’s nice to have you here. What is your author offering?
I’m excited to announce Rusted Souls - Cells of Death for HIIH…. It is out today!

What is Rusted Souls - Cells Of Death all about?
Murder, Stem Cell research, a delusional twisted evil mad Dr. who has used his murdering of the unborn children in his research, costing  thousands of lives. Dick Chain is struggling with his emotional sanity while solving this mystery. This has everything: a romantic love story, mystery, intrigue, poetry and suspense.

What was your inspiration?
This is the second book in the series; Rusted Crossroads was released in 2006. That is where the audience gets to meet the amazing cast of characters. I have had so many fans tell me they wanted to know what was going on with their lives. Also Stem Cell Research is very controversial, weather you are for or against the science.

Why this genre? What’s the draw?
The character’s are the draw at the very beginning of the Book. Wally is shot and hanging onto life by a thread. The Main Character Dick Chain is brought out of retirement to find and kill the “sons of bitches” that shot his brother in law. Wally sister Dick’s wife Rachael Has the Loving faith to keep her family together. She is the biggest flirt on the planet. She uses sex as healing power for her husband, Dick, since he is fighting for his own life after being shot in the chest. The reader is pulled into the plot and sub-plots and there are many. Russian assassins, brutal killers, Stem Cell Research that has gone beyond anything close to normal. The reader is part of the story trying to save the unborn and solve the mystery.

Tell me, what was your reaction when you received your very first contract to be published?
Happy and relieved that my writing had what it took to make it. I am dyslexic and had heard how hard it was to get published. I felt accomplished and excited to tell all those doubters that with desire and hard work you can do anything!

How did you celebrate? 
I gave my family signed copies of the book, put out a press release and booked a book signing. That was in 2006 when I was drinking, so I probably had a few beers.

Any last moment comments you’d like to add?
Yes, the third and final book in this series is Rusted Love and will tell the story of Dick’s childhood and answers all of the questions that are left open in Rusted Crossroads and Rusted Souls. It’s about half way done.

Thanks for joining me, and before we go, would you like to share an excerpt?
Absolutely!


 Excerpt from Rusted Souls - Cells Of Death for HIIH by Hunter K
                                                 
Those four letters were reasons enough not to ever want to leave. What those letters meant were never what he thought was truly going to be life changing forces that would forever be with him as long as he could take in his Bashert. “Bashert”, a Yiddish word, the only Yiddish I know. This translates to “fated or predestined”, which he came more to believe in every day that he spent time with his beautiful bride.

It was not something he ever thought possible, nor felt that he truly deserved. The only way his inner demons would win their battle is if he would accept to get involved, and bring the hate back alive in his life and forget what the Lord had done to his heart. He didn’t want to be the way he was back in the war. He had learned to hate ‘hate’, which was followed with killing and death. Hate...and he had more than plenty of it in his sordid past. He had been living new life with glimpses of love which was surreal to his war torn heart. New things were coming around as if the Lord himself had sent his Dove into this home. He had gotten up early the past three days, and that was not characteristic for a man such as an aging, retired PI.

He often times watched Rach without her knowledge, but it was out of the deep pleasure of amazement of who she was, and he never had one bad thought or feeling of wrong. His trust for his wife was undisputable and the love that he could feel by watching was the why he made these unnoticed appearances. When he saw the way she so deeply cared… her hands were on the pen, helping this brother man fill out a form. It seems that he had a problem with his back. He was constantly amazed by her deeds, and the way the love flowed out of her heart was out of his complete understanding.

As he was walking in to see his bride he had noticed that the red bricks in the county hospital were unusually small compared to what you see in buildings today. Made him think about time; and how much time had passed and that he had wasted on his life alone. That was before she came splashing into his life. He was still on his guard carrying the disappointment of a broken marriage, broken promises and busted love. He knew he would find a way to screw up from time to time ….and was still amazed (still), how deep he felt in his soul for his un-waning resolve to take care of her every need.

Rach had been volunteering at the hospital, and he felt a little selfish for what would be on his mind. She would wear her scrubs home, and that drove him to passion; to his bedroom desires. Not just the clothes; her essence, and more the ease of her giving of herself to show love and touch. To truly help mankind was an orgasm ticking in his soul.
He knew that he should be thinking of the people that she would be helping. He had her body on his mind, and he ….felt like it was wrong being totally consumed by his selfish desires; but he also knew there was nothing he could do. She had never said, or let him know that she knew, that it made him excited to wear those scrubs home. She would simply make sure that there was always time for some playtime in the afternoons.

These kinds of things are only a few of the reasons that he prayed and thanked God for the rich blessings that she had brought with such grace into his crazy mixed up mind. It was with a smooth ease that she seemed to everything so right. She was simply amazing and totally hot, which always brought a slant smile to his tanned leathered face.

The only way he could describe it was that it had been three years since they were married in Paris. He still felt like he was living in a dream. He had almost believed that he had learned how to heal the scars from his old rusted soul. Their lives were filled with joy. Such much love and power in those letters, HIIH. Those four letters meant {her I I her} which completed the circle of one.

Dick Chain, a private investigator, is led into a web of deceit by a mysterious man he meets at the airport. Dick soon realizes that there is something or someone leading him into the most bizarre case of his life. Unknowingly, he finds himself being involved with a past lover Ronda Braxton, an intriguing client, and an unscrupulous real estate developer. He couldn’t make himself believe that his Ronda was somehow involved. Was she a killer? Demons were around every corner or was he truly losing his mind? Dick finds himself with a chance at love from his long-time friend. Can he find the courage to believe and accept this kind of love? Dick must rely on his faith, the one thing he was sure he needed. It was his sprit that forced him to follow the guidance of the spirit of God.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blind Passion by Penny Brandon


Title: Blind Passion
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Author: Penny Brandon
Publisher: Loose-Id
Genre: LGBT/Contemporary/Romance

Blurb:

Attraction for Adam was not a handsome face, a striking smile or beautiful eyes, but a scent that would drive him to distraction or a voice that could make his heart beat faster and when the combination of the two walked into his life in Luke, Adam couldn't help but want him.

But how was he supposed to know if Luke felt the same attraction? He had no prior experience, no past encounters, nothing to go on, nothing to help him. Not even his sight.

Sensual, gorgeous, kind, with a strength that Luke was drawn to, Adam was everything that Luke desired, but being in Adam's arms, showing him the pleasures of a man's body, being touched, held and desired in return, had Luke wanting more, had him wanting what he knew he couldn't have.

It didn't matter to him that Adam was blind, but Adam deserved more than someone like him. Adam deserved a relationship which Luke couldn't give him. He was a man with a broken past and falling in love with Adam was a foolish thing to do, especially because Adam would never love him back if he found out what Luke was hiding.


Welcome Penny, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering?
Blind Passion is out right now by Loose-id. It is my first novel to be published and I was absolutely thrilled to get it accepted. At the time I wasn’t sure why they accepted it. Was it the story, the characters, the writing style? I wanted to know so I could keep doing the same thing. Use what works! In the end I found out it was a bit of all three, which was lucky for me. So now I know that what I write and how I write it is what people want and hopefully I can give them some more.

What is Blind Passion all about?
Essentially it’s about two men’s ability to overcome the difficulties they’d both imposed on themselves. Adam’s disability was physical, and though he’d learned to live with it, he believed it was a handicap when it came to finding a man to love and he was afraid to try through fear of rejection. Luke’s problem was the loss of his family, and a crime he was ashamed of and couldn’t forgive himself for. However, when they meet, Adam’s strength and outlook on life draws Luke to him. Luke is fascinated with how Adam sees the world around him but he feels there’s more that Adam can do and he takes it upon himself to bring Adam out of the cocoon he’s wrapped himself in. In return, Adam makes Luke see that he does have a future and that past mistakes can be forgiven. Of course, Adam wants Luke’s future to be with him, but it takes a lot to convince Luke of that.

Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it?
My muse is a chocolate munching cutie who loves to wander off and leave me for months at a time. I have to drag him in by his heels from wherever he’s roamed and get him to work. But when he’s pushed, boy does he come up with some good stuff! I think during his wanderings he meets up with unusual people and he brings their stories back to me. Adam was one of those people. I loved him from the first moment I thought about his beautiful aqua eyes and his stunning outlook on life. Luke, however, was much harder to work out. He had so many problems and it took a lot to make sure he didn’t become bogged down by them, but his meeting Adam was the best thing that could have ever happened to him. Adam anchored him, and made him understand that life was there to be lived and not regretted. But I think Luke was becoming to understand that himself, hence his tattoo of a phoenix.

Sounds like our muses are related - the wandering off part, unfortunately! Who is your cover artist and how much input do you have in the design?
I didn’t do a thing and it’s probably better if I never do as I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. Justin James took my description of the Blue Mountains in Australia where the book is set and used that as the backdrop. He then got two absolutely gorgeous models who fit Adam and Luke to a tee and put them to the forefront, with Adam touching Luke which he does throughout the novel. Justin’s interpretation was absolutely perfect and I hope Justin does more of my covers.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Dean Koontz, definitely. I love horror stories with a twist which he does so well, and I love the characters he creates. His writing style is amazing, drawing you into the story so effectively you think you’re there. You really want the good guys to win, and you agonize with them until they end up victorious, but it’s a long journey and they go through hell to get there. At the end of his books you just want more. If I could create that kind of novel I would be ecstatic.

What books are in your TBR pile?
Right now, I’ve got two Stephen King books, two Dean Koontz books, one by Lee Childs, and two by Clive Cussler still to read in paperback sitting beside me which I got for Christmas. I’m also waiting on some of my favorite gay erotic romance authors to come out with more and I’ll pick them up as they are released. I won’t list them as there are too many to mention, but I’m going to be really busy reading this year.

When you begin a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time?
In the past I had always stuck to one and wrote from start to finish, mainly because there was usually only one story going on in my head at any given time. However, due to recent events, namely getting published, I now have one new work in progress and another work I’m editing. Having to do this at the same time has my muse a little overwhelmed but with the help of chocolate we are getting it done. Actually, I’ve found that if I get bogged down with a scene and can’t get it to go the way I want it to, because hey, my characters never do what I want them to, then I’ll pop over and work on the other piece. That way I can threaten all of the men jumping up and down for attention in my head to behave or I’ll leave them in the lurch.

Tell me a little about your back list, and which of these is your own personal favorite?
My first venture into m/m erotic romance was called Bringing Him Home which thankfully is coming out later this year with Loose-Id. My muse, let’s call him Charlie as in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because where there’s one there’s the other, wanted to try something different from the m/f stories I was writing, so he gave me Jared and Kyle. These men are hot. The second they met each other they wanted sex, but both these men also wanted more and it looked like they could find it with each other, until Jared realized the complications of bringing a man home with him and Kyle didn’t want to go anywhere near the town Jared called home.

I suppose I would call this my favorite simply because it was my first m/m, but Jared and Kyle just absolutely took over my life from the moment Charlie brought them to me, and they are still in it.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished editing a novel which is part of a series tentatively called Looking Glass, and the first novel is called Choices. The main idea of the series is a mirror which allows whoever looks into it to see their one true love. However, that’s when it gets complicated. In Choices, our main character, Marc sees a man. The problem is, Marc isn’t gay, but the compelling nature of knowing the image he sees is his only chance at love, Marc has to make the choice between finding him or not.

The other piece I’m working on is called Murphy’s Law. David and Scott meet on Bondi Beach. They’re both there on holiday and agree to spend their time together. The sex between them is rough, ready and uncomplicated and that was how they wanted it, but from the moment it looked like things are going their way, it all goes wrong. Really wrong. First, David cuts his foot, then they break the bed, then they flood out their hotel room, then the car they hire breaks down, then Scott falls off a cliff, and then David gets attacked by a shark. Believe me, Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong does go wrong, is the fundamental core of this story.

Thank you for joining me, Penny, if I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? 
I’d love to. Hope this will whet your appetite.


EXCERPT:
Adam lifted his head at the potent fragrance that reached him. Puzzled, he took a deep, inconspicuous breath through his nose and mouth. He frowned, concentration on the book he’d been reading lost as he tried to distinguish what it was. This particular scent itself was unique; he knew damn well he’d never come across it before, yet it seemed familiar somehow. It teased his senses, tantalized his memory, until Adam suddenly recognized it—the musky, rich aroma of an aroused male. Startled, because the only person it could come from was the man sitting across from him beyond the width of the dining table, Adam turned in his direction. His hands slipped, the braille dots beneath his fingertips suddenly losing their meaning. Oh God, this was not good.

Biting back a moan as his cock thickened and swelled in reaction, Adam sat as still as he could, listening for any sign that Luke had noticed the extra level of sexual tension that filled the room. He didn’t really need to worry; Luke obviously had no idea how he affected Adam, and Adam was not about to tell him. Jesus, what kind man did that to another? He took another deep breath; this time it was to clear the sexual haze that was fogging his mind. He needed to get Luke away from him before he made a fool of himself.


“Luke?” God, even saying his name was enough to send a tingle to his balls. He really needed to get Luke out of his living room. It would give both of them a chance to cool off. When he didn’t receive an answer, he tried again, louder. “Luke?”


“Fuck.” The softly spoken curse could have been shouted. Luke still hadn’t realized Adam’s hearing was acute, not that they’d spoken to each other enough for Luke to have figured that out.


“Are you all right?” Adam asked him, deciding tact would better suit his purpose. Not being able to read the nuances on people’s faces, Adam usually found it easier to be direct. However, asking Luke why he was turned-on would probably be going too far, and Adam didn’t really want to know.


“What?” Luke shuffled the pages he was holding in his lap.


“I asked if you were all right.”


“Why?” Luke shifted in his seat, and Adam had to stop an image of Luke adjusting his erection. It would be slim, Adam decided, but long.


“You seem…distracted.” Yeah, and so was he now.


This time the curse was not much more than Luke moving his lips. Maybe Luke was embarrassed; maybe Luke needed to go and find some relief. Shit, thinking of Luke jacking off was not a good idea. Not right now, at least.


He tried again. “Do you need to take a break?” he asked, needing one of his own. From the moment he’d first inhaled Luke’s scent and heard his voice, Adam had been in a constant state of arousal. Most of the time he’d managed to keep it hidden, but right now the bulge in his jeans would be obvious, and with Luke gone from the room, it would give him a chance to adjust his own raging hard-on.


The sound of a chair scraping back on the timber floor warned Adam that Luke had stood up, while the papers he’d been holding landed on the dining table with a soft flutter.


“Why are you doing this?”


Luke’s sudden remark caught Adam by surprise. Could Luke know what he’d been thinking? He fought down a moment of panic and while maintaining a neutral expression sat back in his chair and tilted his head to Luke’s face. “Doing what?” he asked, thankful his voice didn’t betray what he was feeling.


“This!”


Adam frowned, confused, and then realized what Luke had done. He sighed in both resignation and disappointment. “If you just made a sweeping gesture with your hand to indicate something, you have to remember I can’t see it.”


Hand gestures were a natural way of communicating, and nearly everyone forgot Adam couldn’t see them, but pointing that out to Luke wasn’t so much as to remind him but to take his own mind off the disturbing thoughts that were still going on in his head.
Luke cursed again. This time it was loud and clear. “Fuck this. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing here. I don’t need this shit!”


Taken aback by the sudden aggression in Luke’s tone, Adam gritted his teeth. “If by shit you mean sitting here and working with me, then tough. I do need it.” Adam didn’t even try to hide his swift but very explainable anger. It was hard enough accepting help from someone, but knowing Luke didn’t want to be here pissed him off, more so because all Adam could think of was wanting Luke. “Go and take a break,” he ordered, throwing out the back of his hand.


He heard Luke move, and his voice sounded closer as if Luke had leaned in toward him. “You just made a hand gesture.”


Luke’s snide reply was the last straw, and Adam’s composure finally snapped. He’d had enough, both with Luke and his own lack of control. “That’s because I know you can fucking see it!” Pushing back his chair, Adam stood up, agitated. He never swore at people, and he rarely lost his temper, but frustration and an impossible situation had him on edge.


When Luke didn’t make a move to leave, Adam wasn’t sure if he was grateful or more pissed off. He shook his head. “I’m sorry.”


“For what?”


There was a sharpness to Luke’s words that Adam regretted putting there. Despite his scorn Luke didn’t deserve Adam’s anger. Luke didn’t know what he was doing to Adam, didn’t know that he was turning him on beyond comprehension. “Swearing at you.”


“Don’t be. I do it all the time.” The tone of Luke’s voice softened, and Adam could imagine a light smile playing on his lips. Lips he wanted to kiss.


“Yeah, well. I don’t.”


“Maybe you should. Helps give emphasis to what you’re saying.” Now Adam could definitely hear Luke’s amusement, but instead of being settled by it, he was only rankled further.


“I’m a schoolteacher, in case you’d forgotten. Swearing is only used by people who are not smart enough to think of something better to say.”


The sudden antagonism that filled the room was tangible. Adam instantly regretted what he’d said, but before he could apologize, Luke pushed away from the table.


“Fuck you.” Loud footsteps echoed along the timber floor as Luke walked away, and seconds later the front door slammed behind him.


Adam listened for a second, then sat back down and sighed. He knew he shouldn’t have said that, but how the hell did you handle lusting after a man you could never have?
He groaned, releasing the banked-up tension and frustration that threatened to overwhelm him. He’d never felt this way before, never been turned on like this. Being gay wasn’t a problem; it was just another circumstance he lived with, like his blindness. It was just that his blindness made being gay hard, if not impossible to act on or even appreciate. He could never tell if another man was interested in him. He didn’t know what signals to pick up on or what signals to give. Until now that hadn’t really been an issue, because he’d never felt an attraction for anyone. But he was undeniably attracted to Luke, and he honestly didn’t know what to do about it. Getting hard in front of Luke was definitely not something he should do, but it wasn’t something he could control either.


The instant Luke had walked into his home four days ago, Adam had been intensely aware of him. Luke smelled like a hot summer’s day just after the grass had been cut and before a rainstorm was about to break; he sounded like a soft breeze whispering across a pebbled beach—soothing yet edgy. Combined, they triggered something deeply primal in Adam. He needed Luke, needed to hear his voice, to smell him…touch him.


And God help him—if there was one thing he desperately wanted to do, it was to taste him.
Disturbed, Adam had at first tried to keep out of Luke’s way, had tried not to get too near him in case he inadvertently exposed how he felt. Funnily enough, Luke seemed to have the same idea. He always made sure he never got too close, moving away from Adam if they happened to come within touching distance. On some level Adam had been grateful, though a little confused as to why Luke had deemed it necessary to make sure they stayed clear of each other. Perhaps it was because Luke felt ill at ease in Adam’s company, or maybe he just didn’t want to be there. Either way, Adam couldn’t really blame him. Being around a blind man wasn’t easy, and having to work for him when you’d rather be somewhere else didn’t help the situation—a situation that today, Adam had practically lit a fuse under.


Caught up in a desire so powerful, Adam hadn’t been be able to help himself when Luke had knocked on the door two hours earlier. He’d opened the door and had stood there, making Luke brush past him instead of stepping out of the way as usual. They hadn’t actually come into contact, but Adam had felt Luke’s heat in that fleeting moment, had caught his scent, and it had torn a groan from his throat. Praying Luke hadn’t heard him or noticed that he’d closed his eyes as a shiver had passed through his body, Adam gave Luke instructions and then tried to spend the past couple of hours ignoring the almost impossible impulse to reach over and touch him. He wanted to feel Luke’s skin beneath his fingertips; he wanted to know if it would be as silky as he’d imagined.


Luke couldn’t have known what was going on in Adam’s head, would have absolutely no idea, but Adam had a sick feeling that Luke sensed he was slowly unraveling and had reacted in kind. Their explosive argument just a few minutes ago proved that the atmosphere was more strained than usual between them.


It had been a stupid, reckless thing to do, and if Luke came back, Adam swore he wouldn’t attempt to do anything to make Luke feel any more uncomfortable than he already did. He didn’t want to jeopardize the time they had together, fleeting as it was, because any time with Luke was better than nothing at all. It was just a shame that Luke couldn’t feel the same way about him.


Adam rubbed his hands over his face and winced. He was an idiot for thinking about Luke that way. He was an idiot for thinking about any man that way. He sighed, resigned, acknowledging what he knew to be an unending fact—his blindness would make sure it was never going to happen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coercion by Lux Zakari


Title: Coercion
Release Date: August 2010
Author: Lux Zakari
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Erotica

Blurb:

How far will one woman go for love?

Introverted and insecure Valerie Mercer was promised that during her senior year of college she would finally attract attention from boys…but never dreamed that would include Michael Vartanian.

Good looking, troubled and every parent’s nightmare, Michael is adamant on introducing Valerie to a world of both pleasure and, inadvertently, heartbreak. His interest in Valerie is dependent upon the mood and fidelity of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, Breeze.

Nevertheless, Valerie lets her hope and desire override common sense and soon finds she can’t deny Michael anything…no matter what’s at stake.

Content warning, explicit sex, prolific drug and alcohol usage, profanity.

Welcome, Lux, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering?
Coercion

What is Coercion all about?
Coercion is an erotic novel that takes place in 1974 in a small town in Missouri, where an ambitious young woman, Valerie, is surprised by how much attention she’s getting from boys since her body underwent a slimming transformation. One of those boys happens to be Michael Vartanian, a rebel-without-a-cause who is lost in life but still makes girls’ knees weak—and that includes not only Valerie but his on-off girlfriend, Breeze. The story explores the complexities of love and sex as Michael and Valerie embark on a relationship with crippling lows—and unfathomable highs.

That sounds intriguing. Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it?
I actually wrote a semi-tongue-in-cheek list called “How to Write Coercion,” which outlines everything that went into creating the story, including enduring a breakup and what music I was listening to at the time.

What a great concept! Who is your cover artist and how much input do you have in the design?
The artist is Valerie Tibbs, and I did have the opportunity to throw my two cents in; while I didn’t pick the image, I wanted something where the man (Michael) was standing behind the woman (Valerie) and being dominating/sexy. I’ve gotten many positive comments regarding the boobilicious cover model!

I can see why! Now, if you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I have a friend with whom I’ve written a novel before, and she’s brilliant. We have similar visions for our work and I intensely value her opinion, ideas and words. Unfortunately, she has no aspirations to be an author, but I keep trying to lure her to the dark side anyway.

LOL, she sounds smart too! What books are in your TBR pile?
So many—I wish I had the time to read as much as I’d like. Soon, I hope to read Alison Tyler’s Alison’s Wonderland and L.A. Dale’s Heart of Glass

When you begin a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time?
I am usually devoted to one project at a time, but these days I’m so overwhelmed with things to do and new ideas that I work on whatever I’m inspired to at that moment!

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently in the midst of finding a home for two new novels and working on another that started out as a friends-becoming-more scenario meets Eyes Wide Shut, but it’s taking on a life of its own.

I know what you mean. Thank you for joining me, Lux, if I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? 
Of course, Rie! Here you are, a short steamy scene:

EXCERPT:
Valerie returned to the living room, shut the wooden doors behind her and sat on the couch next to Michael, whose legs still bobbed. “You know,” she said after a moment’s pause, “my mom told me once that you shake the luck out of you when you move your leg like that, and when you finally stop, all your luck will be gone.”

“Too late.” He paused his motions. “So what happens if I never stop shaking my legs? Then I’ll always have luck to lose.”

Valerie smiled. “I suppose that’s one way of looking at it.” She cleared her throat. “Um, how did you know where I live?”

“I was just driving around and recognized your mom’s Volvo in the drive,” he said, his tone devoid of emotion. Then he swiveled his head to look at Valerie, his eyes wide. “Your mom’s not here, is she?”

“Yeah, but she and my dad are already in bed. They always zonk out before ten and sleep like the dead.”

His shoulders slumped with relief. “Good.”

Her heart pounded at his reaction as she imagined all the evening’s possibilities. Even though Michael sat on the couch, apparently unaffected by the fact they were essentially alone in the house, it was all she could think about. In fact, being alone with him was all she ever thought about.

And now here he was, in her living room with Breeze nowhere in sight. Many of her fantasies began with such a scenario, but she didn’t know how the reality of the situation would actually pan out.

“What brings you here?” she asked, not knowing how to have a conversation with him.

He ran a hand through his thick hair. “Why? You want me to go?”

“No. I just...” Valerie trailed off, unable to express how she felt. She hoped he’d acknowledge that him being around her wasn’t an everyday occurrence and offer some kind of explanation.

He gave her an indolent smile and put his hands behind his head. “I just felt like visiting.” His words were accompanied by a yawn. “I realized we haven’t hung out in awhile.”

“We’ve never really hung out.”

“Then what do you call what we did last month?”

Her face flushed. The way he’d been acting, she hadn’t thought he’d bring it up, but now that he had, she realized she didn’t know what she wanted him to say about it. “I don’t know. But I didn’t consider that ‘hanging out.’”

Michael chuckled. “I guess it wasn’t.” He studied her for a moment. “Let me rephrase that. I realized we haven’t fooled around in awhile.”

The fever spreading through her cheeks intensified as she rubbed the backside of her arms. “Well, it hasn’t seemed like you wanted me around.”

“Sure I have,” he said, clearly unconcerned.

“Really?” Skepticism laced her words. “But you haven’t spoken to me in weeks.”

“Be fair. You haven’t talked to me either.” He lowered his hands and leaned into her. “And you know I’m right.”

Valerie’s mouth went dry from Michael’s nearness as she stared at him wordlessly. A flood of warmth rushed to her most private parts.

He stared at her, his thick lashes surrounding his dark, penetrating eyes like silky crescents. Then he reached out to her, drawing idle patterns on her arm with his index finger. “You ever think about that day in the parking lot?”

“All the time.” The words flew out of her before her brain could even process them.

“Oh, yeah?” A smirk appeared on his face. “Me too.”

“Really?” she asked, surprised.

“Mmm-hmm.” His hand moved to her chest, where he traced the underside of her right breast over her t-shirt. “Why does that shock you?”

“I’m not sure.” Her mind grew foggy as his finger circled her nipple. “I guess because you’re with Breeze, and we haven’t really spoken or anything since—”

“Do you think of that day when you make yourself come?”

“I have,” she said after a moment’s pause.

His hand drifted to the hem of her shirt and disappeared underneath the fabric. Valerie inhaled sharply when he touched the bare skin of her stomach. “And what about it was so hot?”

“I don’t know.” She bit her lip as his hand suddenly engulfed her breast, encased in a pale blue bra.

He pinched her nipple through the lacy material. “Figure it out.”

She winced with pleasure. “I just liked it. I can’t explain it. It was exciting.”

“It was exciting because you were a good girl doing something bad,” he said in a thick voice as his hand slipped inside her bra and touched her breast.

She shivered. “You think I’m a good girl?” She’d already started to lose herself in his cool hands on her hot skin.

“For now, at least.” Michael ceased touching her and instead folded his hands in his lap, almost demurely. “Prove to me you’re not.”

A twinge of fear and anticipation raced through her. “How?”

He licked his lips. “I wanna watch you.”

Dread splashed over her like a bucket of ice water. “Watch me do what?”

He leaned toward her and kissed her softly. Then he pulled away slightly and whispered against her mouth, “Show me. Show me what you do.” He took her hand in his and guided it between her legs. “Show me what you do when you think of me.”

She let out a shaky breath. “I don’t think so.”

“Why?”

“Because.” She bit her lip. “I’m nervous.”

He grinned. “You worry too much. What’s to be nervous about?” He kissed her neck, nibbling at the sensitive skin. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about you fingering yourself and screaming my name when you come.”

A rash of goose bumps broke out on her arms. “You have?”

“Yeah.” His teeth nipped at her earlobe. “And it’s the hottest fucking thing.”

His words sent a shiver up her spine. “Really?”

“Really.” He gently pushed her down so she lay on the couch. “Now show me what you do. I’ll tell you if it’s like how I pictured it.”

Valerie swallowed the lump in her throat. There was something wild in his eyes telling her that if she didn’t do exactly what he wanted, she’d lose him forever. He would walk right out the door and never come back. She’d dreamed of this moment—or at least of being with him—for years, even more so since last month. She wanted to do everything she could to keep him. This was a golden opportunity.

She bit her lip as her hands slowly traveled south on her body.