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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Ashley Ladd

What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Ashley Ladd and I live in South Florida. I’m originally from South Florida.
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Cooking Up A Storm is a contemporary male-male erotica. The heroes, Rique and Brooks, are competitors in a fierce cooking competition to land the head chef’s position for eccentric billionaire Jonah Verleun on his private Caribbean island. Each have their own reason for coveting the job, however, Rique’s could get them all killed.
How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man?
Even though I make each character different, at the core, they have to appeal to me. I’m attracted to men who are very self-confident, assured in their own sexuality, who have a swagger in their walk and a mischief glint in their eyes.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I wanted to be an FBI agent and join a special task force like in Criminal Minds. After I left the Air Force I applied to the FBI. I had the qualifications since I was ex-military and had an MBA. Unfortunately, I’d also lost 90% of the hearing in my left ear while in the Air Force so that disqualified me. Working with the FBI would have been fascinating.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?
I really like Haley from Purrfect Justice that is published by Ellora’s Cave. Like me, she wanted to be a kick-ass cop but physical limitations disqualified her (in her case poor vision). So she goes to work for the police department in an administrative role instead. While in costume for a Halloween party (so that nobody can tell her real identity), she hears that the cop she’s in love with is in trouble, and she saves his neck—and it becomes a habit. She’s a real person, yet very kick-ass and take-charge. I’d like to be her.
What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
A boyfriend took me to Biloxi Beach under the moonlight and proposed to me by playing hangman in the sand. I was supposed to guess the letters “Will you marry me?”
It would have been more romantic if I’d been in love with him. Unfortunately, I was still in love with someone else at the time and still pining for the other man.
Still, it was very romantic and very sweet. I just felt terrible that I hurt this young man’s feelings.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to go to the movie theatre and watch movies on the big screen. I wish I could afford to go a lot more than I do.
What’s your greatest weakness?
I care too much what other people think of me. I really have to get over that.
What trait do you find the sexiest?
I love a deep, sexy voice—well-modulated, rich, even gravelly. I get chills just thinking about it.
I also want a man who can take care of himself and his family. I can’t stand a man who wants their lover to be a sugar momma. Unfortunately, I’ve seen that way too much in real life.
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Sexwise—mostly imagination. I’ve never been in a ménage and I’ve never watched a male-male coupling.
The rest of the stories are a mixture of imagination and things I’ve experienced or things people I know have experienced.
What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
I love moonlight and I love water. Thus I love going to the beach or the pool under the moonlight. If we were to have champagne to sip and soft, romantic music playing, all the better.
What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc?
I listen to romantic ballads—especially by Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, and the late 70’s tunes. I was a teenager falling in love in the late 70’s so those songs hold special meaning to me.
Although I would love to light candles, I have kids and cats. We had a big fire once because our son knocked over a candle. Luckily we survived because neighbours saw the flames, woke us up, and got us out of the house. But I haven’t lit a candle in my house ever since.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Hanging out with my adult kids and my friends. We go out to eat, to the movies, to the pool, to the beach, shopping, etc. Forty plus hours of my week is spent at the day job. Then I come home and either write or do promotional activities for my writing most every evening and weekend. Thus I’m working in one form or the other most of the time.
Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I joined the Air Force to see the world. I was only stationed stateside, in Texas, Nebraska, and Mississippi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Brooks and Rique desperately want to win a coveted chef’s job offered by an eccentric millionaire in paradise. Even more, Rique desperately wants to stay alive.

Brooks and Rique desperately want to win the head chef’s position offered by an eccentric millionaire Jonah Verleun on his beautiful, private but peculiar island that includes a zoo full of exotic animals, an amusement park and a monster shark tank beneath Jonah’s bedroom floor. While Brooks wants the job to escape his heartache and the lover who thwarted him, Rique is hiding from the mob, hoping to live long enough to pay them off with the prize winnings. Fierce competitors, they cook up a storm in a series of cooking challenges while trying to turn down the heat on their intense attraction. When a hurricane strikes the island, the storm Rique has been cooking up explodes, and no heart—or body—is safe.




Bio
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.

She's been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
You can find Ashley at:




Friday, 26 September 2014

Authors, looking for a street team?

The Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains street team is an established street team of over 50 members but we're changing... We're looking for three more permanent authors to promote. This is ideal for those who don't have time to manage their street teams or haven't had the chance to set one up.

Here's what we ask of any authors applying:

It will cost you a $5 Amazon gift on approximately a monthly basis. This is given away to our members in a weekly giveaway. You MUST be willing to donate and send a gift card no more than every four weeks in a timely manner.

Every 4 - 6 months, you will be asked to offer swag or a prize to our members. Each author will take turns in rewarding our members.

Authors must not spam the team but can post once a week if they have a specific link/release etc they would like promoted. All authors will be made admin of the Facebook group.

You help us grow the team by inviting your fans to join.

You consider yourself an active author. You understand social media and have regular releases.

Any authors not sending out the prizes as asked will be removed.

Here's what you can expect of the team:

They will pimp you and share your links on their pages and on other blog pages on Facebook. They will share your links, add your books to Goodreads lists, and enter the weekly giveaway which will be set up to help promote you and your fellow authors. We send out a weekly email with the giveaway and any news in. Some of the members are happy to review but that will be up to you to arrange with the members via the Facebook group.

How do I apply?

Please fill out the form below. Spaces are limited and we will be assessing each application carefully. If you don't hear from us after a week, then I'm afraid you have been unsuccessful but we shall add you to our waiting list. We're sorry we can't reply to everyone personally, we are a very busy blog. :)


First Chapter Friday - A Desperate Wager - Em Taylor

Em has asked that today's First Chapter Friday be three chapters long because they are so short.



Chapter One

Nathaniel Spencer, fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne groaned and rolled over in bed. A tattoo beat a steady rhythm inside his skull, his stomach was bilious and the world spun at an alarming rate.
Last night he had been in his cups—again. He knew he should take a more moderate attitude to alcohol but recently, staying sober had seemed somewhat pointless. Why stay sober if you were just going to end up dead at the side of the road—another silly young buck who had killed himself in a curricle race?
Damn Crosby! Why had he made the damned challenge? Nathaniel, or Nate as he preferred to be called, would never forget Crosby’s lifeless eyes staring up at him, or the crack of the pistol as a bystander put his horses out of their misery. And he would never forgive himself for being the man whom Crosby was racing.
Nate closed his eyes and willed his stomach to stop churning as he tried to recall the events of the night before. He had been at White’s for dinner and had moved to the card room. The brandy had been flowing, and Ormsby had suggested moving on to a less reputable gaming hell. He remembered the Earl of Brackingham tagging along for some reason that defied Nate.
He had no issue with Brackingham, but the earl was at least twenty years the senior of everyone else in their party. He had been coughing somewhat alarmingly, Nate recalled. He hoped the old man was not spreading disease around. The last thing Nate needed was to be laid up in bed—his mother fussing around him and pouring vile-tasting concoctions down his throat. There was another thing that took many young, seemingly healthy lives—fever. Curricles and fever—good reasons to get absolutely foxed if ever he needed any.
Brackingham! The name seemed to be prodding his tired and very painful brain—waiting for him to remember something significant from last night. He had a vague memory of playing vingt et un with him. There had been a ludicrous bet. Brackingham wagered his daughter’s hand and if Nate lost, he would have to marry the girl.
Nate had been on a winning streak. Bravado and alcohol made him foolish. He had a three and a queen. He sat up as the king of diamonds flashed before his eyes.
God, damn it.
The king of diamonds took him to twenty-three. His head swum and he tamped down the urge to cast up his accounts. Twenty-three. But surely a wager like that was a joke. It had to be. Brackingham did not expect him to marry his chit of a daughter, did he? Had he even set eyes on the girl before?
Again, some piece of information about the girl needled his brain. He had no recollection of dancing with her at balls. But then he hardly ever danced at balls. He had no plans to seek a leg-shackle on the marriage mart, so he steered clear and spent most of the evening in the card room.
God, he hoped she was at least old enough to have had her come out and this was not some medieval plan to marry a thirteen-year-old off to him. Eighteen was quite young enough—too young in his rather jaded opinion.
But no. He had no recollection of ever having set eyes on Lady… Lady what? He had no idea.
He fished in the pocket of his waistcoat, which he still wore, having obviously been so foxed when he had returned that he had either shooed his valet away or he had arrived so late the valet had been asleep. There was a note. A wager. He hoped he owed the man a vast fortune instead.
Marry Lady Sarah Steele. Dowry - £10,000. Meet Brackingham on 5th day of March to make arrangements.
Today must be the fifth of March. Yesterday had definitely been the fourth. Christ, he had to see if this was a big joke or, if not, was there any way he could inveigle his way out of it. He had no plans to marry. None at all. And that was that.




Chapter Two

“Pardon?” Sarah cried as her father stood in the doorway to her room.
“The Duke of Kirkbourne has agreed to marry you,” her father said petulantly, tugging at his cravat and thus proving that he knew he was in the wrong.
“Why would he? I have never set eyes on the man in my life.”
John Steele coughed. Once, twice and then it became a paroxysm of coughing. Goodness, she should not be shouting at him, no matter how ridiculous he was being.
He was not well. His skin was grey and waxen these days, and he had been fretting about who would care for her once the inevitable happened. But now he had somehow engineered for a duke to marry her. How could that have happened? Had it not occurred to her father to introduce them first, at the very least?
“I… umm, well that is to say… he is an honourable man, Sarah. I picked him out personally. He has been a bit overindulgent with the old sauce recently. A nasty business. He blames himself, of course, but marriage is just the thing to bring him out of the doldrums.”
“He drinks too much?” she asked, her brows furrowing as she wondered exactly what her father was getting her into. “How old is he?”
Her father waved his hand in a vague gesture. “Yes, he does drink but the man has his reasons. I do not know his age. A bit older than you, I suppose.”
A bit older. That could be anything between five and twenty and five and fifty. Perhaps she could look him up in Debrett’s.
But at that moment, she heard a knock on the front door.
“Oh, that will be Kirkbourne now. Wait here until I call for you. I shall meet with him in the drawing room rather than my study so you can join us.”
“Papa, does he know about my legs?”
“I assume so,” said her father as he left the room.
Hell. The man may not know he had agreed to wed a cripple. How dreadfully embarrassing. He may think her feeble-minded because her legs did not work. He could be a brute and her defences against him would be useless at best.
Well, she was just going to have to give him the opportunity to get out of the marriage. But then she would be left alone when her father died. And what would become of her? The earldom would revert to the crown and so would all entailed property. And there was not much besides the entailed estate.
She placed her crutches in front of her, and holding onto them with one hand, she used her other to lever herself out of her seat. Her room was on the ground floor. It had been her father’s study until her accident. He had moved his desk to her old bedchamber and her bed was now underneath dusty, empty shelves. But it was better than footmen carrying her up and down the stairs all the time.
She sighed. She was not willing to wait for her father to call her until she learned her fate. She had better face the Duke of Kirkbourne and let him see exactly what he had agreed to marry.




Chapter Three

Nate stood in the ground floor drawing room of Brackingham House on Brook Street, tapping his booted foot impatiently. He had to get this nonsense sorted, and promptly. Once he had dragged himself from bed, he had washed quickly and changed with the help of his valet before drinking some coffee to settle his headache. Not that it had worked.
It had taken him ten minutes to walk from South Audley Street to the house of his would-be father-in-law. The walk had at least cleared his head—somewhat.
How the hell had he got himself into this mess? He was going to have to find a solution other than alcohol to numb the pain of Crosby’s death if every father in the ton was going to use his drunken state to marry their daughters off to him. He hated to imagine why the earl could not have just let the girl loose on the marriage mart like every other young lady. Whatever was the problem, he doubted he could back out of the deal. After all, a gentleman honoured his wagers, no matter how foxed he was when he made them.
Surely there was no such thing as a woman who was so ugly that she could not find a man. He could always find an attractive physical quality in a woman, no matter how plain of face she may be. And her ten thousand pound dowry would sweeten the deal for any cash poor aristocrat.
Not him though. He had no need of money. But if he lost his fortune tomorrow, he was sure he could find any lady with a good dowry handsome enough.
A cough drew his attention to the doorway and he turned, ready to meet the earl. When Brackingham walked in, trying to stifle a cough, Nate blanched. The man was deathly pale, despite the coughing fit he was trying to suppress. The handkerchief he held to his mouth looked stained—with blood. The man was ill—gravely ill.
“Sit, sit!” barked the earl, in between wheezes. Nate did as instructed, despite the earl’s lower rank, and waited patiently until the older man caught his breath. He had not noticed last night how grey the man looked but then, he had been so far into his cups every prostitute in the gaming hell could have danced naked across the table and he probably would have been none the wiser.
“My memories of last night are rather fuzzy, My Lord.” Good God, what a terrible opening gambit. I would rather gouge out my eyes with a spoon than marry your daughter would have been better—if a tad hurtful.
“Did you find my note? I placed it in your waistcoat pocket, Your Grace.”
“I did. I remember losing a hand of vingt et un.” The man looked completely unashamed of his actions. It was truly incredible.
“Yes. You were on a winning streak too. You were bragging and well, I wagered my daughter’s hand. And you accepted the wager.”
“I was drunk.” What a feeble excuse.
“Ah yes. Alcohol is a terrible thing. It gets gentlemen into all kinds of pickles. You should stop drinking so much. It is very bad for you.”
As the earl’s gaze raked up his body, Nate tugged at the sleeves of his coat then rubbed under his eyes. He knew he did not look as dapper as was his custom. He felt a little rumpled and rather queasy. And no doubt he was stinking of stale brandy.
“My Lord, surely you would not hold me to that wager.” Pathetic again.
“If a man wagered his unentailed estate or the last of his money, would you accept his payment even if he was in his cups? Of course you would. Many a member of the aristocracy has been ruined because they wagered when drunk. Be grateful it is just a leg shackle I am forcing upon you and not ruin. Besides, you are an honourable man, Kirkbourne. I know you will do the right thing. A number of your friends and acquaintances were in that hell, were they not? It shall be the talk of the drawing rooms of Grosvenor Square this morning.”
The Earl took a deep breath and started coughing again. As he pulled the handkerchief from his pocket, Nate saw that it was most definitely blood that stained the linen.
He needed to know more about the daughter before he dismissed the idea out of hand. And the earl was right. Honour now bound him to ask for her hand. If he did not, the chit would be ruined. Damn the gossiping ton.
A thud behind him made him turn to look at the door. The first thing he saw was soft, flame-coloured hair framing a pretty face which had too many freckles and a pair of scowling red eyebrows. Her eyes flashed dangerously. Then his gaze dropped to a perfectly-sized bosom only just covered by a rather daring neckline. But it was to the side of her breast that his gaze now travelled. To the cloth and wood that made up the crutch that ran to the floor. Another crutch under the other arm.
Had she broke her leg or had some kind of fall? With painful slowness she dragged her feet one at a time over to the seat on which he sat. A furtive glance at her feet told him she had some form of leg braces on.
So this was why he had never seen her at a ton ball. He stood, suddenly remembering his manners, and she lowered herself down onto the seat beside him. He felt like a heel. Should he have offered to help? Why did no servant help her?
The reality of the situation struck home. The girl was a cripple…and he had agreed to marry her. Good God. He didn’t know if she could bear children, the principle reason for taking a wife as far as he could tell. Why was she a cripple? A disease? An accident?
As if she could read his mind she said “I fell from a horse when I was sixteen and broke a bone in my lower back. They said I was lucky not to die. Though of course, some would suggest I am hardly living at present.”
He swallowed, unsure of how to answer such frankness.
“Your Grace, this is my daughter, Lady Sarah Steele. Sarah, this is His Grace, the Duke of Kirkbourne.”
“Forgive me if I do not stand and curtsey, Your Grace,” she said caustically. My, she was a little viper. He liked her already. He liked women with spirit almost as much as he liked a horse with spirit.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, My Lady,” he replied as genially as he could manage. “It appears I lost a bet and agreed to marry you.” The words were out before he could stop himself. A flicker in her gaze made him feel uncomfortable before she spoke.
“No doubt you were in your cups, Your Grace.”
“I was indeed.”
“Well I would not want to tie you to a marriage to a cripple into which you have been forced against your will. If you could pull the bell, the butler will see you out.”
The old man had started another coughing fit and had turned from deathly white to dark red.
“Should I do something? Hit him on the back?” he asked looking from Lady Sarah to her father and back again. She sighed wearily.
“No. He should probably be in bed, but he is stubborn and he was expecting you.”
The earl stood suddenly and waved his free hand as if to excuse himself and hurried from the room, all the while hacking and coughing into the white linen. Lady Sarah turned her head, watching him go. When he rounded the corner and moved out of sight, she sighed again.
“Will he be all right?” She was looking out of the long French windows into the back garden beyond. She obviously did not want to meet his eye.
“Probably not, but it is what it is. His valet is very attentive and will ensure he sits down and rests until the coughing stops.”
Was she holding back tears? Was this all an act? And how sick was the earl?
“Is he… is he… dying?”
There was a moment’s silence where he could see her jaw working furiously even though her head was turned from him.
“Of course he is dying, Your Grace. We are all dying. He just happens to be closer than most to his last breath. Why do you think he wagered with you? He is not poor. He has no gambling debts. My dowry was not his last resort. He is a good man.”
“I know.”
“And he wants to make sure that I am cared for, and that I have a home and a family when… when…” She burst into tears.
Damn! How the hell did he deal with this? He withdrew his own clean, fresh linen handkerchief and waved it before her—a slightly awkward task since she had turned fully from him. He was not good with emotions.
Lady Sarah accepted the handkerchief and blew her nose. Well that at least proved they had been real tears. Had this been an attempt just to gain his sympathy, she would no doubt have only needed to dab at slightly moistened eyes.

He rose and began to pace. He always thought better when he was on the move.



Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Storm Mistress by Brandy L. Rivers

Storm Mistress - Tour Banner
 

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Storm Mistress SERIES – Others of Seattle: Book 2 (stands alone) AUTHOR – Brandy L Rivers GENRE – Adult Paranormal Romance PUBLICATION DATE – 9-15-2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 108k PUBLISHER – Brandy L Rivers COVER ARTIST – Brandy L Rivers
Storm Mistress - Book Cover
   

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Nothing is as it seems…
Everything Isadora Starling wants is right there in front of her, but Toryn is off limits. He’s her best friend. She’s been denying her heart all these years, afraid to lose him.
Toryn Flame has a long past full of secrets. None of which he can share with Isadora, the only person who truly matters to him. She’s the one woman who has never shown a hint of lust toward him, but even if she did, pursuing her is forbidden.
That all changes when the family Isa doesn’t know decides it’s time to reveal who and what she is. After Isa’s recent attack, their motives are unclear.
His only goal is protecting Isa. Toryn will do everything in his power to keep her safe, including going against orders from his king.
Toryn’s only fear is losing Isa’s trust. Once the truth is revealed, can she forgive him for years of misdirection and omissions? Can she come to terms with a world she doesn’t want or know?
Storm Mistress - Full Cover
 

BUY & TBR LINKS

Beautiful Young Smiling Couple In Love Embracing Indoor
   

EXCERPT

Pounding music flowed over Isadora Starling as she walked into her bar, Shenanigans. Only one thing was on her mind, finding someone who would take her home and rock her world. She was smoking hot and she knew it. Taking note of every man whose head turned in her direction, she emphasized the already-seductive sway of her hips as she sashayed to the bar with purpose. As usual, her eyes kept drifting back to the only man in the place who made her mouth water. Unfortunately, her best friend was not on the menu.

She slid into a booth and turned toward her business partner, Lana, one of the few women she truly trusted.

Lana’s molten silver eyes landed on her. A smirk twisted her lips. “Back so soon?”

Isa lifted a shoulder in a shrug before stating, “I’m on a mission.”

Perusing the sultry make-up and her come-ravish-me outfit, Lana snorted. “I can see that. What are you drinking?”

“Double Grey Goose, straight up.”

“One of those nights?” There was a grimace on her face.

Isa responded with a one fingered salute before turning back to the crowd with the intention of finding a man.

Lana cut in with, “I still think you should drag him home and get each other out of your systems.”

By him, she meant Isa’s best friend, Toryn Flame. More than gorgeous, he was fucking beautiful, masculine perfection. His dazzling blue topaz eyes were lined in guyliner, not that his eyes needed any help attracting attention with his ten-mile long lashes. Silky black hair was teased up in a sexy tousle calling to her fingers. The man was a sex god, in snug leather pants and half-buttoned black silk shirt open far enough to display his sculpted chest and the beginning of washboard abs.

Forbidden, though she had a never-ending supply of fantasies starring Toryn. The current was her craving to lick every ridge of muscle on her way down to the golden zipper straining over an impressive bulge she wished she could ignore.

They were firmly stuck in the friend zone. He didn’t see her that way, and despite the fact he was sensuality walking, she wasn’t supposed to want him.

Frustrated, she turned back to Lana with a cold stare. “Have you forgotten he prefers men? Last time I checked,” she looked down and shook her tits for emphasis, “I have all the wrong parts. Besides, he’s my friend, my best friend and he,” she glanced back to watch Toryn tongue-fuck his boytoy, “is all over his man, Leon.”

One scarlet brow rose in challenge. “Bullshit, I’ve seen him take women home.”

“Please, when was the last time? Tiffany? And that rare occurrence was over a year ago.”

Lana’s mouth dropped open, “Oh my god, you are fucking blind, Isadora. He’s only with Leon to distract himself from you.” With a glare, Lana slid the vodka to her.

Isa would give anything for that to be the truth. Forcing the desperate sentiment from her mind, she took the shot in a single gulp, causing Lana to grimace.

Driving her point home, Isa nodded back to the two hottest men in the place. “Toryn is with Leon. Has been for nearly two months, which is some kind of record for him.”

Actually, they had been dating exactly seven weeks, which was damn near a miracle. Aside from Leon, he hadn’t been with a single person more than twice since she’d met him nearly ten years ago. Somehow his lack of commitment made her want him all the more. She always loved a challenge, and secretly wished she could be the one to snare him permanently.

Of course, if she told Lana she was counting the days Toryn stayed with Leon, it would prove her point. A point Isa was going to deny until her desire finally died.

With a devilish smirk, Lana shrugged. “He’d dump him for you in a heartbeat.”

A glance back at Toryn easily reminded her how wrong Lana was. Toryn was grinding his hips into Leon who was hungrily kissing down Toryn’s throat. They were too hot and heavy for their public display of sexual chemistry to merely be a distraction.

“Then why is he taking Leon home tonight? And don’t tell me he’s not. Do you see them?” Isadora pointed back at them with a wicked grin. It was a gorgeous sight.

Licking her lips and watching like every other woman, and most of the men, in the nearly anything goes bar, she nodded. “Oh, I do, but you don’t see the way he looks at you. Like he’s making love to you with his eyes. When you aren’t watching Toryn, he always stares at you.”

Lana filled the shot glass.

In all the years they’d been friends, Toryn had never made a move, so Lana was wrong, very depressingly wrong. Isa slammed back the second dose and glared back at Lana. “You’re full of shit. Pour me another.”

“I’m not. I still say you’re fucking blind,” Lana taunted as she refilled the glass. “If he wasn’t so hung up on you, I would make a move on him.”

That hurt.

Wait… what? Hung up on me? Yeah, might need to have her committed.

Isa took another glance at Toryn and Leon, then grinned at Lana. “If you can pry him from Leon, he’s all yours.”

Thankfully, Lana changed the subject. “Where’s Mike?”

Well-intentioned, maybe, but her new topic wasn’t much better. Isa downed the third shot before answering, “Don’t know. Don’t care. Of course it would be a hell of a lot easier to get laid if he were around.” He was her favorite fallback romp in the sack.

“You torture that poor man. If you’d let him, he’d fall in love with you.”

Which was exactly the reason she hadn’t called and was attempting to avoid him… though in desperate times...

Mentally shaking herself, she quipped, “We don’t work as a couple. Sure, explosive in bed, awesome on the dance floor, but that is where our good chemistry ends. We would drive each other batshit crazy—and I’m not talking about the scorch the sheets way—in a matter of days. Not to mention the fact Roxy hates my fucking guts.”

“Only because you’re stringing her brother along. Plus, she has a valid point. I’m still convinced you fell for Toryn years ago. Like two seconds after you met him.”

She was right, but Isa wasn’t going there. “Go to hell.”

“Only when you join me.”

Isa slid the empty glass at Lana and batted her lashes. “Anyone I should consider?”

With an accusatory glare, she answered, “Plenty of them. Except, don’t take the hot blond home.” She glanced down at the end of the bar for about the hundredth time since Isa sat down.

All Isa saw was the healthy fall of shiny blond hair, way too long and perfect to be on any man’s head.

“I don’t go for blonds.” Isa smirked before turning toward the crowd. Of its own accord, her gaze landed on Toryn, who winked at her. Lana pulled her back to reality with bite in her tone. “Knowing you, you’ll take him home to spite me.”

Isa spun back around, her hands landing on the counter as her eyes narrowed. “I would not. When was the last time?”

Her eyes narrowed to slits. “Last week, when you took Reese home.”

“Oh,” she shrugged sheepishly, “that hardly counts. You didn’t warn me beforehand. If you had simply told me, I would have found someone else.” It was the truth, Isa never meant to hurt anyone, and especially not her friends. There had been plenty of other options. She honestly hadn’t realized Lana was interested.

“Why don’t I believe you?” she muttered. The question stung. Of course, her payback sucked. Lana turned around and hired the guy the very next day, even after Isa begged her not to.

“I’m not selfish, Lana. I wouldn’t do that to you,” she whined.

“Hmph,” Lana didn’t look convinced, but a smirk formed as she looked over Isa’s shoulder.

Isa fought back a smile as she felt Toryn’s approach. He had a presence she could feel and as much as she hated her weakness, it felt good to have him close. Toryn leaned his long hard body against hers.

Lana grinned as if her point was made.

One corner of Isa’s mouth lifted. “I would be more worried about Toryn taking Blondy home.”

“Bitch,” she gasped.

“Grey Goose?” Toryn licked his full lips as his brow cocked. “One of those nights, Isa?”

Her eyes nearly rolled out of her head, “Okay, everyone stop! I had a long day, and I’m horny as hell. It’s not like I’m driving home. No more judging. Just let me find a man for the night.”

The guy sitting next to her turned with a smile that chilled her blood. His deep blue eyes seemed wrong, his skin too pale, almost blue. She’d seen him before, but couldn’t place where.

Isa glared back. “Not you.”

Amusement danced through his eyes as they dropped to his drink with a chuckle.

Toryn grinned at Lana. “Two Loves and one is for my sweet Isadora.” His eyes held a mischievous sparkle.

Isa snorted. “Is that so?”

“Don’t argue,” he purred in a way that made her want to scratch her nails down his back while riding him into the night.

With a groan, she smiled back at Lana and tossed down enough cash to cover her vodka and the Loves, plus a generous tip. “Where’s Leon?”

Avoiding answering, Toryn quickly finished the drink and placed his empty glass with a purposeful thunk on the counter. “Let’s dance.” She let the question slide and followed his lead after finishing her cocktail.

Maybe she had a bit too much, too fast, because the world tilted. Still, she managed to walk straight.

“Leon won’t be jealous?”

“Nope, he plans to join us soon.” She could feel his eyes caress down her body and back up. “He told me to tell you that you’re on fire tonight.”

“He always says that.”

He pulled her close and his lips grazed over her ear. “Only because it’s true.”

The warmth of his breath and rumble of his voice only heightened the ache between her legs. Such a damned tease. And if he didn’t do it with everyone, she might think he really felt something for her.
Sexy Couple
Sexy smiling shirtless male model flirting against white backgro
         

AUTHOR BIO

Brandy L Rivers is the author of the Others of Edenton Series. There are more Others of Edenton in the works. She is also working on the Others of Seattle series.
As an avid reader, Brandy has always loved writing. She became serious about it as a stay-at-home-mother. She has a file full of manuscripts she plans to edit and put out there eventually.
She lives in Western Washington with her husband and three kids, where she is already working on future stories in the series.
If you are interested in receiving emails about future book releases, please sign up for her email distribution list by visiting her site.
Hair Braid. Beautiful Woman with Healthy Long Hair. Hairdressing
   

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

Couple In Love. Happy Loving Couple. Dark Background.
   

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

2 paperbacks of Storm Mistress, one US one can be International 5 ebook copies of Storm Mistress with swagpacks 2 $10 amazon giftcards
Storm Mistress - Teaser 5
 
This Tour Has Been Organized By 1-MINIBUTTON

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Nicholas Tanek

What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Nicholas Tanek and I come from New Jersey. To be exact, I am from Edison and New Brunswick, New Jersey. Once I was very much involved in the NJ punk rock/hardcore scene, but then I got involved with the 90’s New York City rave scene.
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
I wrote a book called The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. The title is a metaphor; this is not literally about suicide. It is a true love story that spans 15 years. Two years ago, the love of my life died at the age of 37. During Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey was devastated. I was stuck in my parents’ basement and used a generator to power my laptop. I wanted to write a tribute, a grand gesture to the love of my life. When we were teenagers and going to raves, I would write poems and stories for women I liked. They got published. Lynn was a woman with whom I had a summer romance. My writing for other women always upset Lynn. She would say, “No one is ever going to write something for me. Why?” So, I decided that I was going to write a book for the girl who thought that no one would ever write something for her.
Basically, it is a love story that starts off in the 1990’s and ends in 2012. We had a teenage fling, but I broke her heart. More than a decade later, we were given a second chance. We had the most honest and beautiful relationship that I had ever experienced. At the same time, we dealt with drug addiction, depression, mental issues, and abuse.  The title, The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself, has multiple meanings. Instead of falling into depression, using drugs, or doing something negative, we embraced each other, with all of our flaws, and shared an honest relationship that made us both stronger. Doing what you love, no matter how you may be judged, is the coolest way to kill yourself. Giving into love is the coolest way to kill yourself. The book is filled with hard drugs, kinky sex, and an endless amount of music references. At the core, it is a tribute to a woman who loved me. Hopefully, it will give people hope that second chances do happen. People can change. I am not the man I used to be.
How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man?
I am not just some romance writer. Still, this book is a love story. I am not looking to sell books, be famous, or create a male character that women fall in love with. I just wanted to tell an honest love story. So, my goal was not to craft and market a “swoon” worthy man. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that, but that was not my goal. I do think that people fundamentally gravitate to and respect honesty. My book is very much about the beauty of honesty, especially when two people love each other. I did not create characters to fantasize about. I wrote a story to hopefully inspire others to be honest and seek out an honest love if they do not already have that.
What’s your biggest turn on?
Wow, okay. I like kink. I used to be a very dominant male. The women I used to be with loved being submissive and submitting to me. Lynn brought out a different side of me. Fetlife.com and the fetish community did too. There is a beauty to a powerful and intelligent woman. An important aspect of my book is Femdom. While many male romance writers write about how dominant they are and they write books about “true dom” characters and all that crap, I prefer to be real. Don’t get me wrong, I do get turned on by being a dominant lover, but I absolutely love when a woman can sexually control me.  Wait, did I just say that?
What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
Lynn would do anything for me. One thing I loved is that we both fell in love with kink and lingerie. When all I wanted for Christmas was my ex-wife to wear a French maid outfit and have some kinky fun, she refused. I write all about that in the book. Lynn, who I rekindled a relationship with after my marriage ended, had multiple French maid outfits. Basically, the honesty and the complete sense of comfort in each other’s kink was something that money could not buy. All of the lingerie and fetish outfits cannot top that.
What’s your greatest weakness?
Addiction and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is embarrassing, but you asked. I find myself slipping in and out of O.C.D. sometimes. It’s not serious, but it’s true. When I find a new band I love, I want every album they released. When it comes to addiction, I do not do drugs anymore. Still, I have an addictive personality.  I know that can be dangerous.
What trait do you find the sexiest?
Since I have already told you that I find intelligent, dominant women sexy, I'm going to go ahead and tell you what I find sexist! Let’s be frank here. There are women writing male dominant romance novels under fake male names. Not only is this practice unsexy, but it is incredibly sexist. It represents a woman who does not own her sexuality. Strong, intelligent women write amazing stories, under their own female name. As I said earlier, a strong, intelligent woman who can dominate me sexually – because she is comfortable in her own sexual skin- is a bigger turn on than just about anything else.
I want to go off topic, only slightly, if I may, because I think this issue is important. Just because a woman writes a romance novel under a male name, the industry (and some in the romance audience) perceives it to be somehow a better story and so it may sell even if it is crap. That is sexist and it perpetuates sexism. I seriously think that some people just put a guy with tattoos, piercings, and abs on the cover and call it something like “Hot Fire” or “The True Dom that Dominates the Sub.” I love BDSM and I like being dominant too. As someone who is in the community, I think that is simply not cool. Many of these books misrepresent the BDSM community. It’s so stupid and I think it insults the audience. Readers are smarter than that. This interview will get me in trouble, but just like my book, I am going to put this out there even if it kills me. I think it is time for a change in the industry of romance stories. I am a romantic at heart. Still, I find that many (not all) romance novels are sexist, boring, and unoriginal. I am not naming names, but my fans know what I mean. These unrealistic books about billionaire dominant men with mommy issues who “tame” a young girl are boring to true fetishists and kinky people. They are coming to the end of their lifecycle and flooding the market. I believe that the audiences for romance stories are far more intelligent than perhaps publishing houses and some indie audiences may give them credit for.  My very good friend, Aimee, was correct last time we talked. There is a new wave of romance and erotic literature. People in the BDSM and fetish community are outraged by the warped perception of our community.  It’s time for something cool. Something cool has to come from the people who truly live it, not from the people who read an article about the lifestyle and think they are fully experienced enough to write about their perception of the lifestyle.
Sure, the man or woman who lives some boring sexual life will dig it. But, real, cool, sexually open-minded women and men know better, and they are asking for better. It may not be a money thing, but it will be a cool thing. It will be an underground thing, but the ones who are cool, they will know. They will buy the books. Not every bestseller is the best book.


Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
My book is real. Everything actually happened. The only thing that came from my imagination was the fact that I had to change the names. Nowadays, I will write about anything as long as it is real and rooted in honest emotion.   Still, it’s the way I write about it. I do not want to be exploitative. There were some scenes that I edited out because they were too graphic. When my publishing company’s lawyer read the book, she loved it but she said that I was “dangerously teetering” on pornography. I do not write pornography, but sex and kink is a major part of my life. I am not ashamed of it. My style of writing has been described by many people as unique and that the book flows in a way that does not come across like a cheap romance novel or porn.


What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music,etc.?
Music… I always need music for every kind of scene I write.  Of course, I need privacy too. Still, each drop or scene has a certain song that fits. For example, “This Is Hardcore” by Pulp is a beautiful and lush song that can get the reader in this naughty, kinky mood. The way the drums and the horns slowly glide… like a caring lover who truly knows how to caress you. It’s a little dangerous. It’s a lot of a good time.  Other songs I used were “Kinky Love” by Pale Saints, “Extra Ordinary” by Ultra Vivid Scene, and “Gravitate To Me” by The The. Then, I needed very emotional songs like “The Last Beat of My Heart” by Siouxsie & The Banshees and “Love In The Time Of Ecstasy” by Withered Hand. When I am not writing, I am usually thinking about writing. I guess it has become a sort of addiction. Seriously, I could not do anything but write The Coolest Way, when I was writing The Coolest Way. The people are around me are supportive and they get me in the mood. My editor, Melissa, is an essential person in my life. We are working on her book. She is also editing my second book, which is a prequel to The Coolest Way. I love to promote the book. I would like to say hello to my Coolest Street Team: Kim, Isa, Wendy, Joanne, Olivia, Syrina, and the others.  Other than that, I like to be involved with music journalism and ghostwriting. Sometimes though, I have to be a suit & tie guy.
Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I am a real person and my book is true. I am not looking to take your money with some dumb story of some tattooed, pierced musclebound billionaire dimwit looking to abuse women and call it being a “dom” or a “master”. I am truly a part of the fetish community. I used to be a greeter for Fetlife.  We are the cool romantics. We are the real romantics. We are here to make real romance cool again.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, so no one actually kills themselves in this book. 

The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself pulls you into the early 90’s New York City rave scene, in all its chaotic, psychedelic glory. The narrator grabs you by your wrist and drags you behind two teenage lovers from New Jersey as they tumble through a whirlwind of reckless hedonism that eventually spirals into a dark, devastating world of drug addiction and heartbreak. 

As a teenager, Lynn cried, “No one is ever going to write something for me.” 

Nearly two decades later, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Nicholas did just that. The gesture came too late for our unlikely heroine, but his heart was in the right place. A broken heart… but a true love. 

Reunited after years apart, Lynn and Nicholas embraced their love and sexuality, and embraced each other, despite troubled pasts, despite illness, despite all of their imperfections and mistakes. They shared the kind of honest and shameless connection that few have had the honor of knowing, and most would never understand. 

“We’re not hurting anyone. We’re just living life without caring what anyone thinks about us, without caring about the consequences.” 

“It’s the coolest way to kill ourselves,” Lynn said. 

So turn the page, and pull the trigger.