That Fateful Fright Night #BlogHop

Fright Night Blog Hop

 

 

 

Halloween is one of my most favorite times of the year. Our house is usually decked out to the nines in zombies and creepy crawlies. So when I had the chance to join a Halloween blog hop, of course I jumped at the chance.

Reality is, I haven’t written any suspenseful or scary books yet, so it won’t be one of my books I give away. Instead, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite people, L.J. Kentowski….and her first book, Guardian of Fate.

Guardian of fate 2

I stumbled on L.J. and this book through a mutual blogging friend and decided to give it a try. I was intrigued! This book had angels, demons, and so many twists and turns that you could almost get whiplash.. It simply drew me in! Check out this excerpt:

I charged through the woods, terror propelling me faster than I’ve ever run before. Branches ripped at my thin dress and lacerated exposed areas of my body, leaving bark in my skin and blood dripping from the wounds. The bottoms of my bare feet received the same torture from tree roots protruding out of the earth. I should have been in agony, but the adrenaline pumping through my veins masked any pain my body felt. It was the same thing causing me to perspire, while my breath formed puffs of steam in the chilly night air.

I looked over my shoulder, searching for the man who was chasing me. I saw nothing but the forest around me, but I knew he was there. I could feel his power energizing the air. Turning back, I slammed into something solid. Trembling, I looked up and my heart stopped as I stared into the face of the man I feared most. He grabbed my arms to hold me still, burning my skin under the pressure of his touch.

I knew I should try to free myself, but he drew me closer with an uncanny magnetism. His beauty enticed me like no other man ever tempted me before. While his body was perfect masculinity, with broad shoulders, lean muscular arms, and a taut stomach, his face possessed a mesmerizing softness. Dimples outlined his lush lips, making the hard lines of his jaw seem less intimidating, and promising a smile to warm even the iciest of hearts.

Every feature seemed created for perfection, but it was his eyes that locked me in. The lightest shade of blue, they seemed to glow in the darkness of the night. Unable to break away, I gazed into those eyes with tears in my own, as he brought his lips to mine. The kiss was gentle, but held a power that seemed to possess my very soul with its caress. He held me close, and I could feel the hard muscles of his chest press against me.

A cool wind brushed across my wet lips as he ended the kiss, and an emptiness came over me. Keeping his face only inches away, his fingers caressed my cheeks.

“Tell me you love me.”

My heart beat fast in my chest, as if it wanted to answer him on its own, binding itself to him forever. My eyes locked with his, and as much as it terrified me to tell him how I felt, I was compelled to answer.

“I love you,” I said breathlessly.

A smile grew slowly from his mouth. The reaction should have pleased me, but I only felt an overwhelming sense of dread.

“Will you kill me now?” my voice shook.

His smile faded, but he did not pull back. “No,” he said, softly. “You will do that yourself, Cassandra.”

So, how do you win a free copy? Share with me your favorite scary movie or book or Halloween song. I’ll be picking the winner via random drawing, and would love for it to be YOU!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Sharing Is Caring

Life is Short. Live it Well!

live_laugh_love_quote-2325Yesterday I received the news that an old friend and mentor passed away. She was 66 years older. For a moment, sadness overwhelmed me. But only for a moment. It was hard to be completely sad when I knew just how passionately she lived her life.

Truth was, when I met her she’d just come back from being on leave. She’d battled cancer and was on her way back. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the brightly colored scarf wrapped around her head, I would never have known. She was bright, vivid, and vivacious. She attacked life. She always had an ear for anyone who needed it. She played as hard as she worked, and she always made sure to recognize and acknowledge a job well done in an industry where criticism came more frequently than praise.

So how could I be sad? The party in heaven just got a little wilder. To honor her, I’m going to share a few songs that I feel exemplified the way she lived her life.

Bare Naked Ladies were one of her favorite bands. I remember carpooling together to Orlando and listening to their music the entire ride up, laughing and talking and generally enjoying each other’s company.

Remember the way I said she grabbed life? This song was more than a philosophy for her.

She marched to the beat of her own drummer and encouraged those around her to do the same…

And she was definitely always the life of the party (with a vial of Visine in her purse to cover up the red eye giveaway if we had to be up early the next morning).

Yeah, it goes without saying that I was honored to know her and I will cherish all the memories she left me with.

19 Comments

Filed under Music, Sharing Is Caring

Courage, Choices, and Change

I’ve learned several important lessons over the years.

First, not everyone is kind. There are a lot of people out there who are afraid of anything and anyone who might be different. There’s not always a good reason for it.

Second, bullying and hurtful words doesn’t stop with age. Many of you who know me are very familiar with my rather exuberant, outgoing side. I’m one of the fortunate rare few who are pretty comfortable with who I am both inside and out. But that hasn’t always been the case. Even I’ve had my dark period, but I was fortunate to have a support system around me to push through.

I rebuilt myself stronger than ever and with a clear purpose/message; to help build self esteem in others. In fact, it was only a few years later when I got the opportunity to put my actions where my values were.

I worked in a private religious facility in my early 20’s. My department was a predominantly female one, and unfortunately, I’ve found women are sometimes the cruelest to one another. That particular day, one of our newer employees was working the information desk. She was probably in her early 50’s, and was working alongside another woman about 10 years her senior. As happens with all humans and most new employees, she made a mistake. It enraged the other woman. Furious, she grabbed the other, smaller woman by the elbow and yanked her from the desk, through the busy lobby, and down the back hallway toward one of the management offices in the back. She was chastising her quite vocally the entire way.

My eyes widened in shocked disbelief. By the time I stepped to the back, the older woman had released her and went back to her station, leaving the other woman in tears and upset.

Me: Are you okay?
Her: Not really. I know I screwed up, but I’m trying to learn as fast as I can. I’m so embarrassed. Everyone saw and heard the way she talked to me. I don’t know what to do.
Me: The way she talked to you was not okay. If you need to talk to the boss about how you were treated, you will have my support.

Once I knew she was calm, I let her go back to work and thought nothing of it….until, a few days later, I was called into our manager’s office along with the woman, we’ll call her Ms. X, who’d man handled the new hire.

Boss: I heard from the new hire that you told her she should talk to me about Ms. X reprimanding her.
Me: Not exactly. I had no problem with Ms. X (who was sitting in the room smirking at me) reprimanding her for her mistake. I did, however, take issue with the way she went about it.
Boss: You might not be aware, but this was not the first time that this discussion has happened.
Me: Again, my issue was not with the actual correction, but rather the method with which it took place. I had a problem with her bodily grabbing her and yanking her through an entire department in front of both staff and customers and yelling at her publicly. She humiliated her in front of customers and her peers. Regardless of what she may have done, that behavior was completely unprofessional.

Unfortunately, at that moment, the boss got an urgent call that she had to answer, so she let me go, warning me that in the future, it’s probably better to leave it up to my co-workers to work their differences out because apparently, my fearful peer had used my name as the reason she’d come to the boss, rather than her treatment.

As the boss focused on her phone call and I stepped out of the room, Ms. X put her hand on my forearm and stopped me. I looked down at her arm, then directly into her face.

Ms. X: (with a slight squeeze to my arm) Don’t worry, Kitt, I’ll warn you before I bite.
Me: (placing my hand atop hers, and smiling) Oh, don’t you worry, Ms. X. I bite back.

The older woman quickly removed her hand and backed away. Messaged received. She’d think twice before pushing anyone around in my presence.

That was the first time I realized that growing up did not stop bullying. But there was a difference in how I handled it. I’d become stronger.

Third, not everyone is as strong as you, so if you are the stronger one, be brave. Speak out. Maybe that’s why I love the Hunter Hayes song so much. He knows. He gets it. And he’s sending the message that he’s been there, too. If you haven’t heard it, here it is.

Fourth, the one think you will always have control of in this life is YOU. Your response to trials, your choice in allowing negative things to impact you. In fact, this young lady’s response to bullying warmed my heart and changed an entire community.

Fifth, good or bad, you are an example and you never know who’s watching. Bullying is a learned behavior. Don’t think you’ve ever bullied anyone? Consider how you might be handling people who might not share your point of view.

This world can be a challenge. Living is not for wimps. We all need a little help sometimes. Who has helped or inspired you? I’d love to hear about it.

8 Comments

Filed under Quirky Thoughts

Bound to Soar

Sexy Black Rope Bondage by mizsmith courtesy of indulgy.com

Sexy Black Rope Bondage by mizsmith courtesy of indulgy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloak my sight in velvet dark,
Hide away the day.
Blind me from the prying eyes
Until the world is far away.

Engulf me in your fantasy,
Tease me with your power;
Self controlled seduction,
Waiting to devour.

With silken cords, gentle touch,
Bind me till I’m free.
Wrap me snug, away from harm
Your voice, a constant melody.

Paint seduction with your lips,
Enflame me from within,
Till all I know and think and feel;
Your touch upon my skin.

Take my body, hard and deep,
Impassioned by your lust,
Steal my breath, dissolve my thoughts
Till I scream with every thrust.

Guide me safe and let me soar,
Fearless in my bliss,
Freed within your mastery,
To savor passion’s kiss.

There’s always been something extremely beautiful and seductive to me about rope bondage. Okay, so the reality is that I’d rather learn how to be the rigger (aka the person doing the tying), but I still think it’s incredibly beautiful.

Truth is, the first time I ever experimented with bondage, I was about 17 years old. I noticed that by taking away my (then) boyfriend’s ability to move, he was better able to relax and enjoy it, trusting me to take care of him. For me, that was empowering. When combined with something like sensory deprivation (blindfolds, etc.), it can be pretty mind blowing.

The thing to remember is that trust and communication are hugely important anytime you’re delving into these areas. Please, if you decide to play, have a safe word in place. And if you’re dealing in bondage, make sure you have a way to quickly release the person entrusting you with their safety so that if they panic, no one gets hurt.

By the way, I was interviewed Fiona Mcvie’s blog today, too. She likes to chat it up with authors, so I’d really appreciate if you checked it out. I even left an excerpt for my next book over there. ;-)

19 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Sex

A Perilous Risk With @NatashaBlackthorne is One Worth Taking!

 

PerilousRiskTeaserNblackthorne

Let’s be real….. When an excerpt starts like this, someone like me is very interested! My uber fabulous pal, Natasha Blackthorne, has a passion and knack for historicals with a twist of kink. But you know what blew me away? She asked ME to help host part of her launch party this weekend! My time slot is today at 9 pm EST, and I’d love for you guys to stop by and show us some support! This will be my first time doing hostess duties, so I really appreciate it.

In the meantime, here’s a little bit about this fabulous new release.

unnamed (1)

Blurb
Heartbroken and disillusioned, Rebecca Howland is done with all men. Especially noblemen. Past a certain age, she knows her previous life of carnal indulgence and grand adventure is over. Or so she thinks. Back at home, whilst working in her family’s shop, a moment of compassion entangles her in an old battle between two powerful, bitter enemies. A commoner, Rebecca finds herself falsely accused of a heinous act by a vicious member of the aristocracy. In grave peril, she turns to the one man she thinks can help her.
Stephen Drake, now inexplicably Baron Drake, has always desired Rebecca. When she turns to him, he vows to protect her at all costs, especially from the dangerous life he lives. The stakes are high and time is running out for her … and for him as well. Stephen finds himself driven to ruthless actions that threaten to kill the fragile bond between them.
Years ago, Rebecca forbade herself to love Stephen Drake. Now he’s back, no longer the young man she remembers but a dark and dangerous stranger. When he demands a fortnight of her complete submission in return for his protection, his sexual dominance ignites carnal passion that makes her feel alive like never before. But … dare she trust a man with too many secrets?

©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2014

For Adults 18 years of age or older only. 

Excerpt from

Perilous Risk

Regency Risks, Book Three

By Natasha Blackthorne

 

She opened her mouth to deny him.

He brought his mouth down on hers, cutting off her protest. He thrust into her mouth, the taste of his hot, wet tongue more fiery than the best whisky. She shook, not with fear but with anticipation for the next stroke of his tongue against hers.

It came and delicious shudders quaked through her. Another stroke and another. Ruthlessly, he gripped her head and angled it, thrusting deeper. Taking her breath. Sucking her very soul and taking everything.

She didn’t care.

Every inch of his long, lean body pressed hers. She could feel the whipcord strength of his powerful muscles. Could feel his trembling as though he were holding back his ardour. His erection throbbed against her stomach, huge and hard. Heated.

A feeling of letting go, as though a tremendous weight had suddenly lifted from her. As though she’d been waiting forever for this moment. Tenderness burst within her. Her limbs went weak. Her fists unfurled and she grasped his shoulders, learning his feel, breathing in his scent, glorying in his taste, his strength, his forcefulness.

Stephen.

Her Stephen.

If she could, she would simply melt into him. She clung desperately to his hard body, surrendering herself wholly.

He tore his mouth from hers.

She cried out in protest.

He swept her up into his arms then lowered her. Her backside touched the table and the rickety wooden frame groaned and creaked.

He swooped down on her then gripped her chin in his large hand, gently yet firmly holding her in place. His eyes bore into hers, predatory, determined. “Now, tell me that you don’t know me.”

Buy Links

Isn’t she fun? So, on top of doing a blog party and a blog tour, she’s also got a giveaway going on… Busy woman, isn’t she?

Go ahead. Click it! It’s a Giveaway. (Pssst! It’s an Amazon Gift Card!) Entry-Form

Anyway, I hope you check out her book, sign up for her giveaway, and/or show some love at her FB party! There are a lot of fun, fabulous giveaways going on at her event.

12 Comments

Filed under Books

Playtime: What Goes in the Box…

Vibe

Many moons ago I bought my first vibrator. It was exciting. It was taboo. It was hidden in a brown bag so no one would know what I’d purchased. After a quick trip to the store to pick up some batteries (let’s be real, first timer…didn’t want to run out and didn’t know what to expect) I rushed home, excited to play.

Alone in my room, I freed the teal gel cylinder from the wrapping, washed it, and slid the batteries the hard plastic handle piece. I toyed with the various settings against my hand to get a feel for how it operated, then disrobed and moved to the bed.

This was going to be awesome, right? So much easier and fun than my own fingers?

Not exactly.

It wasn’t so much the going in. Lubrication (both self and purchased) helped with that. It was more the uncomfortable, burning feeling.  And the feeling like the only way to rid myself of that uncomfortable burn was to pee.

I knew that the lady at the pleasure party said that they were considered “novelty” items, but it was explained that this had more to do with the rules of other countries about exporting things that were used for sex. That’s why there were things like rabbit ears or hummingbirds or dolphins on the clitoral stimulator….or so I understood back then.

It never occurred to me that pleasure items were not held to any health or safety standard. That they could be toxic. In the end, I gave up on that particular toy figuring it must be an allergic reaction. Heck, I’ve been known to have a sensitivity to latex condoms, so I just chalked it up to that! And then I did a bit more research.

Did you know that many of the older toys were made with toxic products? That they were safer to be used in conjunction with a condom? Or that the type of lubricant you use can actually dry you out? In fact, check out the article I wrote for Sexual Wellness News on exactly this topic this week! It’s all about how to shop for great non-toxic toys. And if you have any doubts that not all lubes are created equal? Check out this blog post from my favorite lube company. It’s from a nurse’s perspective on why their stuff is head and shoulders above the rest.

Don’t get me wrong, this has NOT stopped me from enjoying pleasure enhancers. It’s just made me much more careful in my choices. Heck, ya’ll know I’ve always been pretty vocal about sharing what I like….and reading materials to help you get there.

What about you guys? Any sex toy nightmares to share? Any tips you’ve learned along the way? Caring is Sharing, afterall!

18 Comments

Filed under Sex, Sharing Is Caring, Uncategorized

Between the Sheets With Liv Rancourt

Whenever I have the opportunity to share someone new and fun with you guys, I jump at the chance. This time I was tickled pink because I don’t think when Liv Rancourt asked if I’d like to share her newest book with you guys that she realized just how passionately I love music. As a former choir girl, her premise had me sold from the get go. Seriously. How could I resist a combination of my two most favorite things? Romance and music… So, without any further ado, here’s Liv! (BTW, she’d love to hear from you.)

LivRancourt

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Kitt. This looks like such a fun place!

This morning while I was hanging out on-line, I saw a tweet from the amazing Delphine Dryden where she referred to one of her books as a “nerdmance”.

Isn’t that an awesome term?

Like, nerds need love too, you know? And if ‘nerdmance’ ever becomes an official category, I’ll be happy, because it’s the perfect description of my new novella Between the Sheets.

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to guess that when you’re looking for a hot, contemporary romance, you probably don’t expect the hero and heroine to be music teachers. Yeah, didn’t think so. I mean, my hero Randy can rock the house when he’s on stage with his blues band, but his main gig is teaching high school students to play in tune.

And Maggie? She’s the heroine and she teaches grade school kids the basics of music theory…when she’s not worried about how to keep the kindergartners from peeing on the carpet. No, Between the Sheets (and the title refers to sheet music, thank you very much) doesn’t feature billionaires or Navy Seals or high fashion models or superstars.

Just two ordinary – well, above-average attractive – folks who meet at a music teachers retreat and try real hard not to fall in love.

Obviously they’re not successful, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a story, right?

Just to give you an idea, here’s a short(ish) excerpt. Maggie’s reading Cosmo, on her way to the annual Western Washington Choral Directors retreat. And, oh yeah, she’s been celibate for way too long…

Between the Sheets_highres cover

Blurb

Life for music teacher Maggie Schafer has been full of flat notes lately. Sick of being single and celibate, she vows to get her groove back at the upcoming Western Washington Choral Directors Annual Retreat.  Too bad the only guy who seems interested is a pompous dork who thinks he’s God’s gift to women—and the music education world. When he gets a little too arrogant and crosses boundaries, gorgeous pianist Randy Devers swoops in to run interference. After sharing a shockingly hot kiss in front of the whole conference, Maggie and Randy come up with a plan to pretend they’re dating. However, the more time they spend together—and the more physical their “pretend” relationship gets—the more she wonders if there could be anything beyond just smoking chemistry and a friendly agreement between them. Maggie’s got history, Randy’s got baggage, and they’ve got a weekend to get their rhythms in sync and figure out how to turn their solo lives into a beautiful duet.

Excerpt
I came to the article promising to turn me into a sex diva. Crazy. Halfway down the page, one of the bold-type headings demanded I Flick His Frenulum. I vowed to flick the next one I saw, once I figured out where it was located. Apparently it would fire up his treasure trail, the line of hair running south from his bellybutton. The article said a real diva should take the initiative and undress her man. And I could imagine doing that exactly never. The next page suggested the standing doggie-style position would bring me to the highest heights.

O-kay.
The whole thing had me all twisted up, excitement and fear and desire making like ribbon candy in my belly. I tried to picture the kind of man I’d want behind me for standing doggie style. My ex came to mind, but right about the time the flood of bad memories started, Krista interrupted me with a sharp poke to the ribs.
“Check him out,” she said, her voice barely audible.
A man leaned against the railing at the front of the boat. He gazed out at the water, taking lazy drags off the butt of a cigarette. Since he mostly had his back to us, I felt free to stare.
Yum. He wore a pair of faded jeans and a light green T-shirt. He turned to the right, giving us a profile shot and showing off a pair of wire-rimmed glasses. His toned forearm had the freckled, light toast color redheads get in the sun. He wasn’t a true carrot-top; more like a sandy red, and his short hair could have used a trim. His beard, too, was a day or so into scruffy.
A black tattoo circled his arm just below the hem of his sleeve, calling attention to the swell of his bicep. I closed the magazine and sat forward, trying to get a better look at the tat, when Krista grabbed my elbow.
“There is no way.” I spoke without turning my head or moving my lips, even though my twisted candy core started to melt. “Because even if he turns out, by some miracle, to be a music teacher, I couldn’t string sentences together in front of someone so incredibly handsome.”
She gave my elbow a shake. “If you get the chance, you are totally going to hit that.”
I shoved the magazine at her, hoping the Ginger God didn’t turn around and notice my blush.
Krista had always been the optimistic one.

Buy Links

Goodreads 
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google
Amazon

About the Author

Liv Rancourt writes light, funny, contemporary romance and urban fantasy. Her novel Hell…The Story was a 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarterfinal entry. Previous publishing credits include Forever & Ever, Amen, a paranormal romance from Crimson Romance, and A Vampire’s Deadly Delight, an urban fantasy novella from Black Opal Books. She has also contributed several short stories to the Ten Tales series edited by Rayne Hall and she is represented by Margaret Bail from Inklings Literary Agency.

Liv’s day job is as a neonatal nurse practitioner, and she’s taken care of small and sick infants for almost thirty years. Before she got serious about writing, she spent her free time fronting a rock band and hanging out in the church choir. Currently, she lives in Seattle with her husband, her two kids, and a slightly addled menagerie.

She can be found on-line at her website & blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

24 Comments

Filed under Books