Eating It Up…And Loving it

So I decided to challenge myself a little more this year. I’ve been dying to support an amazing author and critique partner by buying and reading her dark series. Why? Because it’s out of my comfort zone and she’s a skilled storyteller. I thought I would admire her talent, but it would be more from a professional or clinical aspect. Instead, I was drawn in.

S. H. Timmins

The way S. H. Timmins understands human nature and how we’re all flawed, but beautiful is amazing. How she finds twisted souls and either finds their matches or helps them discover a complimentary opposite is awe inspiring. And she hammered that lesson home with her second book, Fears in the Dark.

How? How does she do it? 

Ms. Timmins takes dark, wounded, practically feral creatures who have little understanding or appreciation for the things we tend to value and makes us care about them. We want to see them find their version of happiness. We want to see that embracing those things that make us cringe and use it to heal or find peace and acceptance. And love. Just the way they are.

Dark is usually a hard limit for me. But if everyone wrote dark the way this lady does? It just might become my new addiction. 

I thought this one was going to be the hardest read, what with Blake’s tendency towards biting and hints of possible cannibalism in the first book. And to pair him up with a sweet little book shop owner? I scratched my head and wondered…how’s that gonna work? Turns out I was worried for nothing. Hell, these two tortured souls might have even been sweeter than Loki and his Little Cat. 

Either way, this is a can’t miss if you love dark reads! Ms. Timmins is sublime with how she rolls out this world of darkness, and you won’t want to miss it.

So how do you plan on challenging yourself this year? Any personal growth plans? Is there anyone you’d love to show a little love and support to? Any great reads? You’re welcome to share a link in the comments as well as why the person is deserving of a little love!

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The Unique Tale Self Discovery and Sexual Awakening by @MeganReel

The Queen Megan Reel

Those of you who regularly read my blog posts already know that I’m all about female empowerment and sexuality, so when a friend told me that there was a book that whose premise I might find very intriguing, I thought, “why not?” I’m all about discovering something new and fun, especially if it also allows me to support a fellow author.

So I looked the book up.

Not gonna lie. I balked for a second because, let’s be real. The cover’s kind of unfortunate. And I’m a bit of a cover whore (yes, Anna Cade, we share that in common). But, I decided to try to overlook the aesthetic and give it a shot anyway.

I’m soooo glad I did!

Here’s the low down skinny on this book. The very beginning of The Queen was a little confusing and slow as the author, Megan Reel, laid the foundation for the world she’s building…but it quickly evened out into one of the more intriguing premises I’ve read in a long time!

Truth is, it was very interesting to me to read a unique version of a matriarchal society where the peace of a nation was held in the hands of a lone female ruler. And here’s the female fantasy kicker: The Queen was expected to take 6 male consorts– all masked, unknown to her (and the rest of her country), and representing different, sensual animalistic features. Technically their purpose is to give her a female heir to take the crown.

But that’s where it gets really tasty, not to mention exciting…. Because as “peaceful” as everything is supposed to be, there’s definitely intrigue in the form of an assassination threat on her head. All of this is occurring at an annual feast that this country puts on in celebration of the men that the Queen (who is a virgin due to gaining the throne at an early age after her mother is killed) will be given as consorts.

Alendra, the Queen, is outwardly self possessed, intent on following her mother’s footsteps. She’d been told that her control and regal demeanor are key. That she should keep herself separated and untouched by the world around her. But, like many of us, she’s NOT her mother. She’s both passionate and a bit of afraid of her own desires, but determined in her self discovery. So she seeks guidance in overcoming her fears of the unknown and rediscovers a mysterious friend from her youth who challenges her and pushes her to think more; be more.

And then the icing on the cake came as her own sexual awakening came in the form of a night of sexual decadence and bliss, fulfilling so many of the various fantasies we, as women, have about taking and being taken.

The cherry topper? This is just the beginning of this series, and I’m dying of curiosity to see where Megan Reel takes us next!

So, although it was a bit of a slow start, it definitely turned on the heat and left you wanting more. Hopefully, the next cover will tease the senses the way that the author did between the pages!

Yes, I’m saying I would definitely recommend this book. What about you guys? What book turned out to be much more than the cover for you? Are you a cover whore? Is there a new author you’d care to share with me?

I Love Trouble!

Trouble In The Making

I’ve always had a passion for romance novels. Historical, contemporary, paranormal. It wasn’t until the discovery of ereaders that I was introduced to what would quickly become my new favorite….erotic romance. One of my first favorite authors was this wonderful writer named Lissa Matthews! She had a way with words and strong, interesting characters with a love of spanking (receiving and giving). I was an instant fan. Then she wrote Trouble In The Making and made me feel like I was reading a book about one of my closest friends and one of my biggest fantasies.

 

Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s like Lissa crawled into my brain and dug out my fantasy man and put him on paper. But did she write me into the story? If only.

Imagine, this, if you will. You’re painfully shy. A writer and a teacher, but attention is not something that sits well on your shoulders. It takes a lot for you to trust someone to loosen up and gain your trust. You’re willing and able to go after what you want careerwise, but always seem to find yourself tongue tied in your personal life. Until one night, hanging out with your old friend (you know, the rock star), your fantasy just slips out.

One weekend of wild, uninhibited, unadulterated sex with a rock star. And not just any rock star. A rock star named Johnny Trouble who has been there, done that…and also happens to be that old friend. (Johnny Trouble? Perfect rock star name, Lissa.)

Here’s the truth about the painfully shy, unassuming type. Shy does not equal no imagination, no dreams and no fantasies. In fact, quite the opposite is true. In fact, many of my writer friends are living proof of this fact! So when I read Liz and Johnny’s story, I found myself nodding and thinking…”you go, girl!” Why shouldn’t the shy girl have her fantasy weekend with the guy?

Unfortunately, only hours into their “fantasy weekend” business calls…. Johnny’s songwriting skills are needed….across the country. It’s important for a musician at the end of his performing career to build the future he really wants for himself. He’s got to go.

But is Johnny Trouble going to leave Liz hanging? Is he going to take a raincheck? Or does he want more from Liz than just a weekend? What does Liz want?

I know the answers, but I’m not going to tell. Instead, I’m going to tell you that you need to buy Trouble In The Making and find out for yourself!

Playing With Fate

What were you like in your early 20’s? If you were anything like me you may have moved out of your parents’ home, maybe you were in college and working full time. Between life, tuition and bills you were probably just coming to understand the responsibility that comes with adulthood. If you were lucky you had a little time and money left over for dating and partying with friends.

Guardian Of Fate

In LJ Kentowski’s first effort, Guardian Of Fate, her heroine Cassandra Cosgrove made my early 20’s (and my teen years for that matter) look like chump change. Not only was she responsible for everything I mentioned above, but she had been charged with an unusual birthright that made dating practically impossible.

What kind of birthright could do that, you wonder? The kind where life and death are involved, of course. Yup! As a “Guardian” she has dreams about people dying before their time and it’s her job to prevent it from happening. Not easy, right? Did I mention that there’s a huge family secret that’s been kept from her? Or that suddenly she’s seeing these visions of people dying while wide awake? Or that she’s had dreams/nightmares of a sexy man who excites her body even as she senses she’s walking to her death?

Yeah, that’s a lot for anyone to deal with, much less a 20 something year old young woman. But Cassie’s gotten pretty good at dealing with the unusual. On the day when her visions change she meets two hotties…one of them belongs to the voice in her dreams and they’re both claiming to have her best interests at heart. She doesn’t know who to trust, where to turn…and she’s not sure what’s going on, but she knows one thing. She’d better figure this out fast before she or someone she loves dies.

This book is action packed! Filled with changing destinies, souls, angels and demons – nothing’s as it seems. This story comes with more bends and turns than a roller coaster with a passionate heroine who’s willing to face her destiny; to stand and fight when most normal people would run as fast as they could in the opposite direction.

If you enjoy action packed supernatural stories, this book does not disappoint. If you’ve already read this book, I’d love to hear what you thought of Cassie’s story so far… Did I mention her sequel, Seeker Of Fate, is already out, too?

Friendship, History and Howling At The Moon

Probably my first friend when I joined WordPress was the awesome Mae Clair. We “met” early on when I stumbled on her blog. After I commented, she was kind enough to respond and visit my blog in return. Back then I was pretty green, but she must have seen something in me because she kept coming back (and I kept stopping by hers).

Through these little visits we forged a bit of a friendship. I didn’t know much about her except that she was a writer and had recently gotten her manuscript accepted by Lyrical Press and was looking forward to being published for the first time. While I enjoyed her blog posts, especially her Mythical Mondays, I was a bit nervous about her book. You see, I wanted so badly to support her, but I wasn’t sure that her book was going to be my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a life long fan of romance. I adore supernatural stories (yes, that includes werewolves, vampires, Valkyries, demons and most of the other shifter/god related characters). My problem? I wasn’t sure about her leading man from the past. I wasn’t much into historicals these days. In fact, my leanings had taken a sharp turn towards the more explicit erotic romances, which this definitely was not! What if I read her book and didn’t like it? I worried for nothing. How foolish was I???

weathering-rock-mockup2

Mae’s book, Weathering Rock, was jam packed with all sorts of things that drew me in and kept me interested. Seriously. The opening scene had her heroine, a school teacher named Arianna Hart, nearly hitting a man on a horse with a car in the middle of a lightening storm…and not your usual kind of lightening. It was ball lightening! Odder still was the man himself! Handsome, muscled, but with a speech pattern that screamed old world (then again, so did his attire)!

The guy she hit was her hero, Caleb DeCardian, of course! His story is a bit of a mystery… He’s a man out of time…both literally and figuratively. He’s managed to travel from the Civil War era in the 1800’s into today and his nemesis has been following him and taunting him with killings that are steadily escalating. As if that weren’t enough to contend with, when the moon is full, he shifts into werewolf form!

With all the craziness in his life, he doesn’t have time for love! Plus, he’s got a deadly cat and mouse game going with his former best friend who is out to destroy him. Not to mention he’ll be going back to the past (though he has no clue how) once his mission is completed.

Does the book sound exciting enough for you yet? Now I’m not going to spoil the story for you, because I think you should go out and buy it, just like I did. It’s a very strong freshman effort by a wonderful lady from whom I expect great things! In fact, I can’t wait for her next one. Twelfth Sun will be launching on August 5th. Her teasing tidbits that she’s shared on her blog have had me hooked from word Go!

Have you read Mae’s book yet? What did you think? If this sort of story isn’t your cup ‘o’ tea, what do you like to read?

Erotic Vampire Vignettes

Hey Everyone! I’ll be traveling today but before I head out I’m going to do something I’ve never done on this blog before. I’d like to introduce you to a fantastic series of vignettes called Night Sighs by my wonderful friend from Ireland, Emma Meade.

What’s a mortal girl to do if her boyfriend is rakishly handsome, determinedly immature with amazing sex appeal? Simple, right? But what if he’s also this generation’s most popular rock star and a vampire? Not so easy if you’re human…and recovering from the loss of your last boyfriend. So begins the story of Alex and her sexy vampire lover, Tristan.

Emma Meade, through a series of five short stories weaves the tale of the immortal Tristan and Alex, the lovely woman with whom he’s fallen in love. Tristan is used to getting what he wants…and why not? He’s a talented rock star with the typical celebrity’s propencity for narcissism and immaturity. Alex is a woman  who met Tristan after losing her last fiance to death. Life has given her no choice but to grow up. She loves Tristan… but does she love him enough to take the final step in the journey and join him for all eternity? Good question.  Would you?

I really enjoyed these 5 sexy little interlocking stories that gave us glimpses into the lives of Alex and Tristan. Though immature, there’s something sweet and raw and loveable about our hero. In fact, I believe by making him less than perfect, he became more charming. And he really loves his woman. Alex, the heroine, was no wilting flower. She was strong, with a mind of her own and willing to fight for the things she wants in life…once she decides what that is.

Ms Meade has a passion for the supernatural, and it shines through in her writing. In these vignettes you will find a lovely balance of sex (of course there’s got to be sex…he’s a vampire! If Damon Salvatore from Vampire Diaries decided he wanted me…even if I wasn’t sure if I wanted forever with him, I wouldn’t turn down a romp in the sack!), action, romance and sweet.

If you’re in the mood to bite into something fun and playful, I recommend you check out Night Sighs. These little stories are sexy fun and are only $.99 through Amazon for Kindle. Pick it up today! If you don’t believe me, why don’t you check out this exerpt from one of the vignettes, The Dead Beats,…see if that doesn’t convince you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Dawn rose, blazing hot. Standing by the attic window her skin looked pink and luminous. Heat and light were promised on her lips as the last shadows fell, leaving her naked and in full control. The London street outside was still quiet, its squalid alleyways no longer hidden under night’s friendly mask. Daylight was not everyone’s friend.

 

 

 

**************

 

“She left me that morning,” Tristan spoke to his avid audience. “Crept out into the light, knowing I couldn’t follow. Saving herself and me is how she put it. Because the night was too dark for her…”

A roar rose up from the 50,000 strong crowd in the rural landscape miles outside London. Tristan stepped back from the microphone and lowered his head. His long black mane had been cut into jagged spikes. Silver crosses hung from his ears and on a chain around his neck, gleaming brightly against his black t-shirt and dark ripped jeans. A glance behind at his band told him they were good to go.

 

The moon illuminated the five vampires on the roofless stage, spotlighting Tristan as the opening bars on the piano sounded. His fans screamed again. Some were crying, others fainting, many more were as high as the grey clouds overhead.

 

Because the Night was a favourite cover the band liked to perform. Another haunting note on the piano followed and then the first strum of Tristan’s guitar. His thumb scraping well used strings was met with the wild screams of teenage girls. He satisfied them with a few more twangs.

 

And then. Silence. The band stopped. The crowd was unsure, excited and dizzy with anticipation.

 

Tristan lifted his head and stared straight ahead. The cameras focused on him for a close up and his face appeared on the dozens of temporarily erected screens throughout the park. He blinked, deliberately, emphasising his sad, wicked eyes all the more. Several young women dropped to the grassy ground. And then he sang.

 

The screams were deafening yet Tristan’s gruff, melodic voice rose over their noise as he spoke of the night belonging to lovers. His mouth touched the mic as he sang, loud, strong and clear. Those closest to the stage broke out in goosebumps. The sweetness of the piano seeped into their pores and they were more aware and more alive than ever. Tristan knew what they were feeling; he shared it with them every night on tour. Haunted. He, the band and the fans were held together amidst something beautiful but fleeting, an intermingling of love with the divine. The band had been both Tristan’s salvation and damnation. For every night through the music he felt so much, too much for one being to stay sane. The loyal crowd shared his burden.

 

The audience sang along with him, their shouts mixing with the sultry tones that slid so seductively off his tongue and into the hearts of every woman listening to him, and some men too.

 

His music embodied him entirely; it was moody, sorrowful, artistic, compelling and ultimately self-destructive. And this song captured the beauty of his pain perfectly.

 

Tristan strolled across the stage, one bare foot stamping down hard in front of the other, feeling the wood beneath his feet and the splinters drawing blood. He moved gracefully but there was a predatory sway that always ensured the enthrallment of his spectators. He knelt on one leg and sang to a group of young girls in the first row. All four friends were weeping, screaming and laughing, and begging him to take them up on the makeshift stage.

 

He winked at them and returned to centre stage, grinning at his bandmates. The red and yellow lights beat hotly against his forehead and his pale visage became ivory and near transparent. Like a ghost. He played his guitar heavily in time with the drum beats and almost drowned out the soft romance of the piano.

 

The elation of the audience was building as the notes rose higher, rushing towards a crescendo that was not unlike sex. His voice, always husky deepened to an overt show of masculinity.

 

No one his age should possess a voice like that, Tristan recalled one New York music journalist writing. He smiled in amusement.

 

His voice portraying carnal hunger drifted to the furthest corners of the gathering.

 

She was at the rear of the crowd, standing close to a fifteen foot screen mounted next to a great oak. It wasn’t his true face she was looking at now but that was enough to swell her heart and tug the memories loose. Tristan was separated from her by thousands of crazed fans. Distance didn’t seem to matter. Alex was as enthralled and on fire as the girls she could see screaming in front of her. They all wanted him and knew nothing. Those big brown eyes filled the screen until some of his hair came free of its gelled spikes and fell across his eyelashes. Tristan blew it out of his vision and carried on singing.

 

Two years had passed since they had last set eyes on one another but it may as well have been two minutes. Nothing had changed, not his luminous vitality or her longing to be with him. She thought that he may still love her, definitely thought of her but also possibly despised her now. Alex shivered as she listened to him. A rock star, she thought with faint amusement.

 

Tristan had spent years hiding from the human world and now he was one of its most famous players. The Dead Beats finished their opening number to a storm of yelling, whistling and clapping.

 

Alex didn’t move. What was she doing here? Why this concert and why now? Time had moved painfully slowly since she had left Tristan but some old semblance of herself had returned and the days and the nights held beauty again, and loneliness.

 

Without conscious thought, her legs moved of their own accord and Alex found herself walking forward through the throngs. Eyes fixed on the dot that was the stage, she was wholly unaware of the nasty comments and the irritated looks on the faces of the girls she swept past. Her progress was gradual but effective. One song melded into another and then another as she approached the front few lines of dedicated groupies, and then finally she was at the foot of the stage.

 

Alex shut her eyes to truly hear him, and it was his real voice now that floated over her, not an imitation that blew through the loudspeakers across the park. Soft, sensual, erotic and deadly. Cobain, Morrison and now Tristan. A long line of powerful, doomed rock stars, too big to exist comfortably in a repressive world. Would Tristan fall to the same fate? She feared he was drawing too much attention to himself and that many in his secret society were already displeased. Then stop him Alex, her inner voice urged and she opened her eyes.

 

He had moved on to singing Secret Garden. He always did love Springsteen, she thought wryly, remembering how he would pop on a record many a time after sex. Raw, passionate and oozing sex appeal, Tristan was all these things and more. Up on that stage now, he even sounded more than a little like the Boss. Alex listened to the words. Was he singing about her?

 

Tristan was on the far side aiming his words directly at a particular young girl, perhaps only a teenager. Alex’s lips curled up in a smirk. Some things never changed. And then he was glancing across the crowd, and then at the front row. Alex’s breath stopped and she clutched her locket as a reflex.

 

At that moment he saw her and stared. His lips no longer moved and the crowd filled in the words instead. Alex met his shocked gaze and offered him a shrug to let him know she was as confused as him. He recovered himself and completed the song. A moment later Tristan announced a short break and disappeared back stage.

 

Lively chatter ascended from the concert goers and Alex slipped away to the sidelines, walking numbly through empty space away from the lights and friendly noise. Shadows enveloped her, removing her from the view of the crowd.

 

She felt his presence behind her but didn’t move, preparing herself for his questions. Finally Alex turned to face him.

 

“Tristan I- ”

 

He flew at her bird-like and she hit the soft ground silently. Falling over her, Tristan clamped a hand over her mouth.