Hello! Welcome to my Weekend Writing Warrior post. Thanks for joining me and I hope you enjoy my eight sentences about a traveling misadventure.
The boat finally pulled up to a scruffy-looking dock and Tara scrambled out of the craft, never so happy to see dry land in her life. She was so delighted to be standing on firm ground she paid little notice as Marshall hauled their luggage out of the boat and the vessel departed.
When the sound of the motor totally receded, the sudden stillness snapped her to attention. She was alone, on what looked like a deserted island, with a strange man; a very strange man. Not far up a path she saw a small house and behind that, she could make out another one-story structure and what looked like an outbuilding. Other than that, there was nothing in view except nature.
Island fever set in and Tara had the overwhelming desire to jump up and scream for that demon boat to come back and get her. She would happily vomit all day to return to civilization.
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Look at this beautiful sunrise! I took the picture at the airport as I headed out to visit my family. I love/hate to travel, much like my heroine, Tara. Love the adventure, hate being away from all the conveniences of my home and sometimes out of my comfort zone. Like Tara, I've also tossed my cookies riding in a small boat and don't care to repeat that experience.
Read more about Tara in Her Wild Protector, available now in a box set at a great price!
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Romancing the fairy garden
An enchanted fairy garden? How could I resist. I found this kit at my local drugstore, on sale. Had to get it. I'm pretty sure if I have magical plants used by the fairies in my house, lots of good things will happen. The box sat around gathering dust for many months until I went a to craft show. Elemental Nursery had the cutest small plants for sale, ideal for a terrarium.
Now that I had a few actual plants that needed to be put into soil, quickly, I finally dug into the Fairy Triad. But wait, this cheesy little old plastic container wouldn't do. A larger, glass terrarium would be much better. After way too much (but totally fun) time online and a quick look in a few stores, I made myself just use what I had on hand. If I didn't, if I put off the project until everything was absolutely perfect, it would never get done.
Like a lot of times in life, sometimes it's better to forge ahead with what we've got than to wait until circumstances are entirely ideal. Because really, how often does that actually happen?
You can buy your very own Fairy Triad at Amazon. Maybe not on sale, though. I'll keep you posted with pictures of mine.
Romancing Rough Weather
There's something primal and sensual about storms. Lisabet Sarai knows that and lets her imagination run wild in her fabulous books. Join me and welcome her here today.
“Never open a book with weather.” That's Elmore Leonard's rule number one for writing. But then, I've never been a fan of following the rules. In fact, weather is almost a character in a number of my stories. Consider the beginning of my M/M/F historical romance Monsoon Fever.
The rain drops are Lakshmi’s tears. That is what Lalida had said—tears of pity wept by Vishnu’s consort at the sad state of mankind. From the sheltered veranda, Priscilla watched sheets of rain sweep relentlessly across the land. The silver curtain alternately hid and revealed the shapes of the green hills rising in the distance.
Priscilla swallowed the last of her biscuit and leaned back in the rattan chair, drawing her shawl around her shoulders. She knew, from the past week’s experience, that the downpour would end in a few hours. The lush wet bushes would sparkle in the sun, as though someone had scattered handfuls of jewels over their leaves. For now, the muted hues of the landscape matched her mood.
Indeed, the relentless, sometimes violent monsoon rains of hilly Assam, where this book is set, play a significant role in the plot for this tale of physical and spiritual connection.
My story “Twister”, recently published in the charitable anthology Coming Together: Through the Storm, uses a tornado as the backdrop for a steamy BDSM scene in a storm cellar.
Already I could feel that weird electricity in the air, that heaviness that makes it hard to draw breath. The horses were restless. I opened their stalls, so that they would have a chance if the building collapsed. They huddled nervously in the corners. Leaving the upper windows open wide to equalize the pressure, I locked the doors and headed for the bulkhead.
The sky was a sickly green. A mass of inky thunderheads sat ominously on the horizon. It was perfectly still, no hint of a breeze stirring the July afternoon, as I swung open the doors and headed down the concrete stairs.
An unseasonable spring heat wave motivates the action in my paranormal erotic romance Hot Spell. My heroine Silvie can't stand another moment in the blistering heat of the city, and heads for her beloved mountains, where she encounters her soul mate Aidan.
Naked, she tossed in her sweat-damp sheets, drifting in and out of uneasy slumber. The muggy air settled on her skin, a stifling blanket she couldn’t kick off. Like a physical weight, humidity pinned her to the mattress. The feeble breeze coming through the open window offered no relief. If anything, it was warmer than the air in her bedroom, carrying with it all the heat that had been trapped in the concrete and asphalt during the day.
Her limbs were leaden. A dull ache pounded behind her forehead. When sleep overtook her, she found herself wandering barefoot on empty, baking sidewalks. The sun’s relentless glare reflected down upon her from the glass-walled towers on either side. Rivulets of perspiration trickled down her spine but failed to cool her. Her skin felt scorched, ready to crack and peel.
My latest release Rough Weather is a prequel to Hot Spell. Ondine and Marut, the main characters in Rough Weather, showed up suddenly at the end of Hot Spell, sharing their paranormal knowledge with Sylvie and Aidan. When they did, I knew I'd have to write their story at some point. Rough Weather is the result.
These characters do more than experience the weather. They can, in some cases, control it.
Curious to know more? Here's a blurb and an excerpt. And keep reading – I've got a contest at the end!
Destiny hides in the tempest’s heart
Ondine has always felt at home in the sea. Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she has never really questioned her extraordinary affinity for the watery world. She concentrates on her work as a marine biologist, spends her weekends relaxing among the waves and worries about human threats to her beloved ocean environment. Fears of a deadly pregnancy like her mother’s make her cautious about sex.
When she encounters an attractive but arrogant engineer on her private beach, surveying the site for a prospective off-shore wind farm, anger is her first reaction. A casual touch, however, transforms that emotion to incomprehensible, irresistible, terrifying lust.
Ebony-skinned Marut has his own talents—aside from his uncanny ability to swamp Ondine with desire. He can control the winds and summon storms. He informs Ondine that they share a supernatural heritage and claims she is his destined mate. She responds with scepticism and tries to resist the charismatic Haitian, but ultimately her scientist’s training won’t permit her to deny the evidence of her senses—and her heart. As a brutal northeaster batters the island and Marut’s life hangs in the balance, Ondine learns that true power lies in surrender to her elemental nature.
Excerpt (Rated Hot!)
Shadows had gathered overhead. The pellucid depths turned grey. Choppy swells churned above. Then with terrifying suddenness she’d been hooked--arrested in her liquid trajectory, dragged up into the air, sputtering and thrashing like the fish she sometimes resembled.
She had found herself suspended in lightning-shot blackness, hung by some pivot between her shoulder blades. Fierce winds swung her back and forth, whipping her hair into her face. Anger and terror warred in her chest.
“Release me!” she’d cried. The gale had ripped the words from her and flung them into the skies. “Let me go, whoever you...”
Firm lips had sealed hers before she could finish. Invisible in the swirling dark, someone took possession of her mouth, forcing it open with an unseen tongue and plunging within. She’d tasted winter frost and summer fruit, salt and iron, a hint of smoke. Hands wandered over her bare flesh, cool and knowing. A rough twist to an aching nipple. The scrape of a fingernail down her spine. A plump thumb prodded her quivering clit. Then a rigid bulk rooted itself in the slick cleft between her thighs.
She’d been soaked, despite her fear and indignation. She liquefied further as her shadow-clad assailant slid into her depths. Her simmering lust leapt to a boil. “Please, no...” she’d moaned into his demanding mouth, even as she clenched around the exquisite hardness invading her. A storm of sensation raged inside her as he arched up and inward, dragging the taut length of his cock across her clitoris. Electric bliss flashed from her core to her extremities.
He’d pulled her to his chest, mashing her breasts against smooth planes of skin and muscle. The arms restraining her were iron bands, inescapable despite her squirming. Wild winds coiled around them in a tightening spiral. She fought the pleasure, unwilling to be taken by a stranger, to have her freedom stripped from her so completely, but he was inexorable, driving closer to her crisis with each powerful thrust.
“Surrender to me.” His voice pierced her as surely as his cock, straight to the core. Melodious, gentle, it coaxed her to relinquish control. His soft words were not a command but an invitation.“You will never be complete until you surrender.”
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Win a copy of Rough Weather plus a copy of its sequel, Hot Spell, the book in which Ondine and Marut first made their appearance. To enter, send an email to contest [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com with the subject line “Rough Weather Giveaway”. Contest closes on March 31, 2014.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – more than fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.
Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.
For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com). She also hangs out at the group blog Oh Get a Grip (http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com), writes monthly reviews for Erotica Revealed (http://www.eroticarevealed.com) and contributes to the ERWA blog (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.com).
Tina Donahue's latest book sounds like hot adventure, just the way I like it. Join me in welcoming her and read more about Stolen Desire.
Granted, a guy’s looks don’t mean a whole helluva lot if you’ve awakened in what looks like the brothel from Hell, with no way out. Of course, a guy who’s tall, dark, exceedingly handsome, with soulful eyes, a commanding nature, and a good heart stills speaks volumes, right?
Paige, the heroine of Stolen Desire, Book Four in my Outlawed Realm series, certainly thinks so. Especially since the last thing she recalls is getting wasted at a local Seattle watering hole (she had her reasons), only to wake up with a migraine in a nightmare world she didn’t know existed.
Her first reaction to Zekin (the exceedingly handsome dude with the good heart) doesn’t calm her completely. Hell, she’s ready to take off when he only wants to hold her hand. But, eventually she trusts him. Actually, she has to, there’s little choice since she’s in another dimension.
Once she comes around…WOW. Paige can’t get enough of him. Zekin’s definitely going to get as much as he can of her while the world goes crazy around them.
Today’s release day for Stolen Desire. Yay! Here’s the blurb and an excerpt to give you a taste of the story. And, please read on, to learn more about the contest!!
BOOK FOUR – OUTLAWED REALM SERIES
Her freedom depends on one man. A criminal to his realm…
Outlawed Realm, Book 4
One minute, Paige Ross is outside a Seattle bar, grieving a failed engagement. The next, she jerks awake in a weird, candlelit room with velvet walls, black silk sheets, and a man who motions for silence.
Paige has little choice but to trust the powerful stranger who promises a way out of what looks like Satan’s brothel. And pray his promise to keep her safe is as real as the heat burning in his eyes.
Banished from E2’s ruling elite for supposed crimes against the realm, Zekin risks everything to rescue those brought to E5 for the guards’ carnal pleasure. Paige will be leaving this inhospitable realm of fire and ice—if he can somehow forget the way her trembling body melts in his arms.
Safe—temporarily—in an underwater world populated by strange creatures, Paige’s sexual awakening explodes into an unquenchable need that consumes them both. But the guards will be looking for her. And Zekin’s plan to send her home is a dangerous journey she cannot--will not—take without him.
Warning: Scorching-hot sex and loads of aching tenderness between a drool-worthy hunk who’s determined to do the right thing and a woman who’s not about to give him up.
Thick gray clouds rolled above them, heavy with more snow. A sliver of bluish-white light poured through a gap in the cloud cover, as though the moon were trying to bleed through. Its rays swept across the land, which shimmered in the frail glow, sparkling like thousands of diamonds. The effect lasted only a moment, and then the light receded, with shadows once again taking over the hostile terrain.
As though that worried him, Zekin increased his already fast pace, pausing only once to shove her clothing into a snowdrift, burying it.
Paige wasn’t able to ask. She struggled to keep up, gulping air. It should have been icy, hurting her throat, but wasn’t. The transparent mask no doubt heated it. How was that possible? Desperate for answers, she cried out, “Where are we going?”
Zekin looked over. “A colony where you’ll be safe.”
Paige dug her fingers into his hand. “Where are we? What is this place?”
What in the hell was that? A government installation where scientists conducted classified studies and had pleasure slaves on the side? That made absolutely no--
Wait a sec. Suddenly, Paige recalled Zekin mentioning E1 when he’d first come into her room.
“I’ll do all I can to bring you back to E1,” he’d promised her then.
Instinctively, she held back. Just as quickly, Zekin yanked her forward.
“Don’t fight me,” he warned, “or you’ll end up like the others you saw outside the guards’ outpost.”
Paige shivered so badly, her voice shook. “Did those bastards throw the bodies out there after they murdered those people?”
“Only some. The others they pushed out there to die.”
“They weren’t useful any longer.” Again, he glanced over. “When one of the guards found you and brought you here, they got rid of the other woman. That’s what they do when they tire of females from your realm, or the pleasure slaves they haven’t already killed.”
Paige was about to pepper him with more questions. Instead, her mind snagged on one word—realm.
“You mean country?” Maybe she’d been wrong about his nationality. It wasn’t Greek or Middle-Eastern but Russian. Could be this was Siberia. In a weird sort of way, that made sense. “Is that what you meant—my country? The USA? America?”
He regarded the landscape past her. “We have to hurry before the other guards return and see us.”
Paige couldn’t imagine how that was possible. The material covering them was the same tint as their surroundings, making them virtually invisible…unless the guards had some kind of special eyewear, like night-vision goggles, that allowed them to see what the naked eye couldn’t. “How far is the colony?”
“Past that body of water.” He gestured toward what appeared to be an enormous frozen lake ringed by drifts.
As Paige scanned the area beyond it, searching for some sort of building, a flock of birds flew over the lake. At least she thought they were birds. Their thick feathers were an ashy white, their wingspans enormous, like nothing she’d ever seen.
They flew in an odd formation, not the usual V pattern, but in a perfect circle. Paige couldn’t help but stare at the phenomenon. How in the world did they do--
A thunderous crackling sound interrupted her thoughts, and the again screeching wind.
She flinched. Zekin released her hand and moved in front, his body pushing hers back, shielding Paige as something shattered the ice from beneath the center of the lake. Within seconds, a creature pushed through, hurling its milky body upward. The waves that followed it froze instantly in the raw air, the ends of the water curled over like a fine crystal sculpture. As massive as a blue whale, the creature surged from the lake, a horn protruding from its snout, no doubt what pierced the ice. With blinding speed, it penetrated the circle made by the birdlike creatures.
Shrieking wildly, they scattered, but it did no good. The whale-like thing swung its monstrous head back and forth, gulping several of the creatures before gravity pulled it back down to the water. A thin sheet of ice formed instantly, hiding its exit. Harsh winds toppled the frozen waves as easily as if they’d been a house of cards, then pushed them against the snowdrifts, returning the scene to the relative calm of a few minutes before as though none of the carnage had occurred.
Paige continued to hyperventilate. What kind of fucking nightmare had she stumbled into? Was it possible she’d been drugged and was hallucinating? If not… Aw crap, she didn’t want to think about that.
“There’s nothing to fear,” Zekin assured. “The thing has had its fill for the moment. It won’t harm—”
Her embrace stopped him. She clung to Zekin, her face pressed against his back, praying he wouldn’t push her away. “Don’t leave me, please,” she begged.
Her fiancé, Johnny, had done that, calling off their wedding after she’d worked so hard on the plans and getting him to want her. He never apologized. He’d just told her the score, saying they could still live together. As if she’d want that. Before he’d bugged out on her, her mother and then eventually her father had also left. She’d had no one for too long and by God, right now, Paige needed the warmth of Zekin’s body, the security and comfort of his size to preserve her sanity. To give her hope that they’d both get through this.
“Please,” she repeated.
“I won’t,” he murmured. “It’s all right.” With his hands on her wrists, Zekin gently pulled her arms from him but didn’t step away.
If he had, Paige would have followed. Out here, she had no shame, no pride, just an unbearable need to be close.
He turned to face her, then hesitated only a moment before wrapping his arms around her in a sheltering caress. She couldn’t stop shaking. As he ran his hand down her back, he whispered, “You’re safe.”
No, she wasn’t. Neither was he. Not out here in arctic-land. Deep inside, Paige was terrified they weren’t on Earth any longer. It was crazy to even consider that, but how else to explain all of this? How could either of them survive? Why had he even risked his life to rescue her? Who was he? Where had he come from?
She pressed her cheek against his shoulder. The transparent material covering her face was exactly like skin, letting her feel his solid frame, his heat. She snuggled, unable to stop herself, indulging in this small, welcome intimacy as the world went crazy around them.
The wind died for a moment, then picked up again, slamming against her body as it screamed past. Clouds continued to sink, weighted with snow.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
His hand stalled on her back. “For what?”
Being scared and being a burden, asking too many questions, not knowing how to make this better. All her life, Paige had done whatever she could so people wouldn’t leave her. Didn’t work. They always had.
“Getting you into this,” she finally said.
If she hadn’t had those stupid drinks at Rozie’s, if she hadn’t gotten involved with Johnny—a damn fool who couldn’t commit to marriage much less save her ass out here—none of this would have happened.
“You had nothing to do with this,” Zekin said. “It was my choice to come.”
Available for preorder from: Samhain - Amazon - B&N
Release: March 11
Other books in the Outlawed Realm series:
Unending Desire – Book One
Illicit Desire – Book Two
Shameless Desire – Book Three
Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.
FB Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/TinaDonahueBooks
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/tinadonahue
My page at TRR: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/mypageprofile.php?location=tinadonahue
Tina will choose one commenter as her winner. Winner gets her choice of one of Tina’s award-winning, bestselling ebooks from this list:
1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
11. Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
12. Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
13. Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures
HarlequinE is trying something new. They're releasing four books as a box set, before they've been published as singles. That means each of these stories in the set is brand, spanking new. They started with Shivers, Gothic romance in January, then did a contemporary set in February, and now (drum roll please), time for the really cool one.
It's release day for the Urban Fantasy Paranormal Box set! I'm here, along with Lisa Medley, Misty Simon and Neely Powell. This is a great chance for you to get four fantastic books at an excellent price.
If you want to find out more about us, come to our Facebook Party tonight from 6:00 to 9:00 CST. We have lots of goodies for you including the grand prize of a Kindle, gift cards, bling and books. The party is open to anyone, so please stop by and say hello.
I'm heading out now to celebrate with wine, shopping and hot sex. No wait, I did that over the weekend! I'll behave today and see you at the party.
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