~*~ Book Blitz ~*~ All You Can Eat by Andi Marquette

All You Can Eat Book Blitz

Book Blitz

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Book Title: All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica
Editors: R.G. Emanuelle and Andi Marquette
Genre: Lesbian Anthology
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Chef R.G. Emanuelle and sous chef Andi Marquette locked themselves in the kitchen to create a menu that would explore the sensuous qualities of food and illustrate how the act of preparing and eating it can engage many more senses than simply taste and smell. They gathered a great group of cooks who put together an array of dishes, and they present to you here a menu that ranges from sweet and romantic to sultry and seductive, from relationships enjoying a first taste to those that have moved beyond the entrée.

Each story also ends with a recipe. Some of these require cooking implements while others are whimsical accompaniments that don’t require cooking at all—at least not in the traditional sense. After all, food serves as more than sustenance—it’s a trigger for love, laughter, sex, pleasure, and carnal and sensory satisfaction. Whatever your palate prefers, you’re sure to find something tasty here.

Table of Contents

Fresh Fruit by Ashley Bartlett

The Luscious Tarte Aux Fraises by Historia

Whining and Dining by Jae

Burn by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Tomato Lady by Cheyenne Blue

East Meets West by Karis Walsh

Dessert Platter by Victoria Oldham

Appetizing by Cheri Crystal

Sugar and ’Shine by Andi Marquette

Vanilla Extract by Jove Belle

Smorgasbord by R.G. Emanuelle

Crème Brûlée by Sacchi Green

Turn the Tables by Yvonne Heidt

excerpt

“Crème Brûlée”, by Sacchi Green

The newcomers seemed to be busy building a fire of driftwood on the beach. I moved my car to the far end of the parking lot. In the glow of the overhead light I leaned over the front seat into the back to get y treasures out of the chilly container. Raf took the opportunity to knead my upturned butt and tease between my thighs, but with a steel-willed effort I got the ramekins safely onto a towel folded on the front seat between us.

“Crème brûlée!” I said triumphantly. “Have you ever had it?”

“Just seen it on restaurant menus a time or two without paying attention. What’s it mean? Bruised cream?”

“That sounds intriguingly kinky, but no. More like broiled cream. The top is covered with raw sugar, melted under a broiler or a propane torch, and then it hardens like glass.” I dug some plastic spoons out of the side pocket on the door where I tend to shove them when I get drive-through coffee.

“Dig in,” I said, knowing what would be likely to happen. Raf’s spoon broke on the mottled golden surface.

“You’re the stonecutter in this crew, she said. “You do it.”

I took out my pocketknife, covered it in plastic wrap that had protected the desserts, and brought it down hard on one sugar-glazed portion. Cracks rayed out, letting glimpses of the inner custard show through. “That’s yours. Now you break my shell.”

She did it with one hand, while the other pulled my head close for a long, sensuous kiss. Finally, she pulled away. “So did I break through?”

I couldn’t even remember whether we’d done anything as slow and sweet as kissing last year. “Oh, yeah.” I was breathless. “No shell left at all.”

“Looks like some crunchy bits left in the dishes.” She took my spoon and scooped up some of the rich creamy custard along with fragments of sugar glaze. “Mmm. Now I know what you see in this. Such rich, smooth cream inside that stony exterior.” She took another bite, then offered me one. We alternated with the spoon, feeding each other, until the last bites were accidentally-on-purpose smeared across our lips. The licking and kissing that followed got us so revved up that driving all the way back to Wellfleet without relief was out of the question, so I pulled off at the Pilgrim Springs Trail parking lot, mercifully unoccupied.

Call for Submissions

Order Up: A Menu of Lesbian Romance and Erotica

Chef R.G. and sous chef Andi have fired up the burners again and are looking for more cooks for the kitchen! In this follow-up volume to the Lambda finalist anthology All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance & Erotica, you are invited to submit your best food-related story. Whether it’s a romantic homemade dinner, a randy romp with a stranger, or slow-burning attraction, tell us a tale that we will want to devour.Guidelines:

  • Word count: 3,500-5,000 words.
  • Payment: USD 50.00, plus two contributor’s copies
  • Editors: R.G. Emanuelle and Andi Marquette
  • Deadline: August 1
  • Publication date: November 2015
  • Rights: None-exclusive First English Anthology Rights for a period of five years, plus First World Anthology Rights
  • Format: Times New Roman or Arial, 12 pt, single-spaced, saved as a Word or RTF file. Number your pages.

 

In the body of your e-mail AND on first page of your story, include story title, author name, pseudonym, address, phone, e-mail address, and word count.

E-mail submissions and questions to: ayce2@ylva-publishing.com

  1. Original, unpublished stories only. We will not accept reprints.
  2. All forms of erotica and romance are acceptable, with the exception of bestiality, incest, and rape. Characters must be at least 18 years old.
  3. Stories must incorporate food and/or cooking in some way and, yes, it may take place in a food-related setting (restaurant, kitchen, etc.).
  4. Female characters can identify as lesbian, heterosexual, bi, or male-to-female, but the sex/romance must be F/F.
  5. We encourage the inclusion of an original, unpublished recipe that is appropriate/relevant to the story in some way. It will be included at the end of your story and will be part of your word count if you do include one. The simpler and shorter the recipe, the better. All recipes must be your own. We will not accept recipes taken from other sources – i.e., books, magazines, blogs, websites, etc. (Note: If you want to use someone else’s – such as your mother’s or grandmother’s–original recipe, we will need express written permission from that person.)

Give us your best original work. We want well-crafted, polished stories with interesting characters and strong narrative. Don’t just give us a quickie hook-up in a 7-Eleven bathroom over a doughnut. Don’t just have your character whip a zucchini out of the nightstand. Be creative. Combine your love of food, sex, and romance in a story that will crank up the heat beneath your readers. Whether you can barely boil water or are you ready for Iron Chef, we want you to cook something up for us. Fast food or gourmet meal—what’s your pleasure? We hope you show us.

Meet the Author

me n hatAndi Marquette is a native of New Mexico and Colorado and an award-winning mystery, science fiction, and romance writer. She also has the dubious good fortune to be an editor who spent 15 years working in publishing, a career track that sucked her in while she was completing a doctorate in history. She is co-editor of the forthcoming All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica and Romance. Her most recent novels are Day of the Dead, the Goldie-nominated finalist The Edge of Rebellion, and the romance From the Hat Down, a follow-up to the Rainbow Award-winning novella, From the Boots Up.

When she’s not writing novels, novellas, and stories or co-editing anthologies, she serves as both an editor for Luna Station Quarterly, an ezine that features speculative fiction written by women and as co-admin of the popular blogsite Women and Words. When she’s not doing that, well, hopefully she’s managing to get a bit of sleep.

1463612_691414697550126_1954366191_nR.G. Emanuelle is a New York City native currently based in Brooklyn. Her university degree in English and literature propelled her into publishing, where she spent 20 years as an editor, typesetter, and graphic designer. She expanded into freelance writing, and eventually published her first novel, Twice Bitten, in January, 2013, in the wake of several published short stories. When she’s not writing or editing, she can usually be found cooking or developing recipes, as she is also a culinary school graduate.

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~*~ Release Blitz ~*~ Aflame (Fall Away #4) By Penelope Douglas

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Title: Aflame (Falling Away #4)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Organized by: As the Pages Turn

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Synopsis

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

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About Penelope Douglas

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Penelope Douglas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Fall Away series. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Science in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. Penelope lives in Las Vegas with her family.

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The giveaways are international.

Check out what’s up for grabs:

(2) Signed set of Bully, Until You, Rival & Falling Away

(2) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N)

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~*~ Review ~*~ Sea Of Stars (Kricket #2) By Amy A Bartol

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Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

***

My Review:

First I would like to thank the lovely author, Amy, & NetGalley for kindly providing me with a copy of “Sea Of Stars” to and review.

I honestly cannot put words together and make a review that would do this book justice…

Kricket is beautiful, otherworldly, smart, brave and stubborn, but still relatable. She is imperfect and that makes her more amazing. Amy has this knack for writing characters you can understand and empathize with.

At every turn and with every premonition, Kricket has to make quick and sometimes dangerous decisions

The writing is simply phenomenal, words are and never will be just enough, one must read this series in order to grasp all the characters involved, especially Trey and Kricket!

I loved the intimate scenes between Trey and Kricket. It was a beautiful balance with the intense action and violence throughout the story. Things happen to Kricket that she chooses not to remember, because they are too dark. That’s why the scenes with Trey are so important.

“You brought me to the end of the Earth – then you made me jump off it with you. I can safely say that you stole me and my heart.”

We also meet a slew of new characters to love and hate and love/hate simultaneously. Secrets are uncovered but not all explicitly explained.

I swooned, laughed, gasped, and then swooned some more.

Amy writes an epic story that grabs the readers attention from the beginning.

***

About The Author

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I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

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~*~ Book Blitz ~*~ The Nines by Dakota Madison and Sierra Avalon

The Nines Review Blitz

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Book Title: The Nines
Author: Dakota Madison & Sierra Avalon
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 12, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book BlurbUSA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Dakota Madison and Sierra Avalon team up to bring readers a new breed of antiheroes…THE NINES.

Vengeance is mine not the Lord’s. It’s what I breathe for. It’s what I’m still living for. I live for the moment when I will literally have his eye for mine. It’s been two years. Two long and difficult years, but my plan is nearly complete. When I’m not in a hospital having doctors try to repair my ravaged body I spend my time on the computer, doing hacking jobs for large corporations and governments who don’t want to get their hands dirty or be associated with a job if things go sideways. But they don’t have any reason to worry. I’m meticulous, so I’ll never get caught. Just one thing stands in my way: The mysterious young woman without a past who desperately wants to be part of my future. I just need to figure out why…

THE NINES is an ongoing romantic suspense series. Each book can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as PART OF THE SERIES.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: THE NINES is meant for mature readers. The novel contains graphic violence and sexual situations. If an avenger comic book and a romance novel got married and had a child it would be THE NINES.

excerpt

Vengeance is mine not the Lord’s. It’s what I breathe for. It’s what I’m still living for. I live for the moment when I will literally have his eye for mine. It’s been two years. Two long and difficult years, but my plan is nearly complete. When I’m not in a hospital having doctors try to repair my ravaged body I spend my time on the computer, doing hacking jobs for large corporations and governments who don’t want to get their hands dirty, or be associated with a job if things go sideways. But they don’t have any reason to worry. I’m meticulous, so I’ll never get caught.

I have the one thing that most people don’t.

Time.

After I was burned it was difficult for people to look at me and when they did, it was with pity or disgust, often both.

Even my own mother.

I don’t want anyone’s pity. And I have enough disgust towards myself to last five lifetimes.

So I left everything I’ve ever known and started over on my own.

Now I spend my days and nights in the small home I inherited from my aunt when she died. I would never have chosen to live next door to a large state university. It’s often loud and there are young people everywhere. It’s a constant reminder of everything I lost. I don’t feel young anymore. I feel like an old man trapped in a twenty-year-old body. If wisdom is the gift of tragedy I’d rather be ignorant.

I rarely leave home. It’s amazing what you can have delivered to your door these days. When I do need to go outside, it’s always at night and I always wear a mask. Not like the ones kids wear on Halloween. It’s more like the one that the Phantom of the Opera wore, but my mask is black and was specially designed to cover the burn scars on the left side of my face.

My latest job is for an Eastern European mob family. Modern day computer espionage has given a whole new meaning to the term “mob hit.” There’s no blood, no violence, just five million dollars vanished from several off-shore accounts in the blink of an eye. And I get fifteen percent. Not bad for a few weeks’ work.

Is it wrong to steal from criminals? I call it karmic justice. I don’t take jobs that could hurt innocent people. I only wrong people who have wronged others.

I have the luxury of a hefty bank account and very few needs. I don’t need to work another day my entire life and I wouldn’t want for a thing. But I need to keep my mind occupied. So I take hacking jobs that interest me and I take university classes online.

Having online discussions with my virtual classmates gives me the illusion of having friends and a social life. I realize it’s a poor substitute, but it’s the best I can do given my situation.

I try not to dwell on the past. The person I was, Mr. Popularity, the Class President, the Homecoming King, died the day my body burned like a barbeque on the Fourth of July.

My life now is in the shadows. Living with the fringe dwellers on the edge of humanity. I often feel like a man whose body has died, but his mind hasn’t caught up to that fact yet.

When my computer roars I know I have an incoming message. It’s from one of my contacts in China. I get a lot of work from the Chinese. I don’t speak Chinese and don’t have the patience to learn, so I use an intermediary to broker the deals. He gets fifteen percent of every deal he mediates.

I hear the familiar buzz of SKYPE and when I click on the icon Xiang Yuan appears on the screen. He’s young, probably just a few years older than me, but much better dressed. He always wears five hundred dollar suits and I’ve never seen him wear the same one twice.

“I can get you eight hundred thousand,” he says.

I don’t reply right away. I like to play things cool.

He continues. “With your skills this job won’t take more than one week. Who else will pay close to a million for one week’s work?”

“The Russians immediately come to mind,” I reply.

“And they’ll slit your throat if you don’t deliver on time. We have much more patience than that.”

I give a hearty laugh. “You guys are saints. You’d never slit a hacker’s throat. Maybe I should tell that to Jenks. Oh, wait. I can’t. You killed him.”

“Jenks got sloppy. That’s one concern I never have with you. You’re too meticulous.”

I shake my head. “You’re just saying that because you need me to take the job.”

“You’re the best person for the job,” he corrects.

“I’m the only guy you’ve got left.”

“Nine hundred thousand. But that is the final offer. Do we have a deal?”

I nod. “We have a deal.”

“Good. Let me know when the job is completed.”

“Don’t I always?”

Xiang Yuan doesn’t bother with a reply. He simply disappears from the screen.

I don’t need the money, but it’s an easy job that will probably only take a few days’ work. They’re offering close to a million for it. It’s not something I can refuse.

I rise and take a stretch away from my laptop. Sometimes it starts to feel like an appendage and that’s when I know I need a little time away from it. I step into the kitchen and make a fresh pot of coffee. While it’s brewing I glance out my kitchen window. My aunt liked to garden and the backyard is like a small sanctuary. I like to look at the plants and flowers, but I can’t be bothered with the maintenance. I have a gardener who comes by once a week to trim and weed and do whatever else needs to be done to keep it looking nice. I’ve never actually met the man, but I leave a check in an envelope for him under a mat on the back porch.

From my kitchen window I also have a slightly obstructed view of the small street I live on. The fact that it’s Macedonia Boulevard and my name is Alexander is a coincidence that is not lost on me.

The house is one block removed from one of the major thoroughfares the students frequent, so it’s not as noisy as it could be for being so close to campus. I’m still just a few blocks away from some of the dorms and much of the off-campus housing.

I’m surprised to see a beautiful girl, carrying a backpack, stop right next to my house. I have no idea who she is, or why she’s stopped there, but she looks lost.

Her long, dark hair moves slightly in the breeze and when it finally blows away from her face I can see her magnificent brown eyes and perfect pink lips. If my wishes came true and I was finally dead I know I’d be looking at the face of an angel.

I shouldn’t be standing in front of my window in the daylight staring at her. If she turned at just the right angle she could see me, and that wouldn’t be pretty. It would probably traumatize her. I need to move away from the window, but I can’t. I’m completely mesmerized by her.

When she looks at the street sign then looks up and down the block again there’s little doubt in my mind that she’s lost. I want to tell her that she’s just a block from campus. She hasn’t wandered too far afield. But I can’t leave the house, especially not in the daylight. I know as soon as she took one good look at me she’d probably run away screaming before I even had a chance to utter a word.

As she heaves a large sigh my gaze is immediately drawn to her chest. She’s wearing a pale pink sundress that fits like a glove and accentuates all of the lovely curves of her petite body. For a few moments I think about what it would be like to have my hands on her body. To touch her in the most intimate of ways. To run my fingers along her perfect, unblemished skin.

Then I chide myself for even giving in to those thoughts. There’s no use in imagining what I can never have again. Access to a woman’s body is something I lost forever. No woman would ever consider being with someone as damaged and disfigured as I am.

I considered my life over the day that half of my flesh was burned off of my body. The doctors working on me didn’t think I would live. They called it a miracle that I didn’t die. I call it a life sentence with no chance of parole.

I realized pretty quickly that my life had irrevocably changed. What I didn’t really understand until much later was the impact my injuries would have on the other people in my life.

It wasn’t until my high school girlfriend, Sara, was finally allowed to visit me that reality punched me in the face and knocked my teeth out. Sara and I had been together for over a year when it happened. She would have been burned just like me if she didn’t have a doctor’s appointment that morning and arrived late to school.

Her allergy shots kept her from dying in the blaze, or even worse, surviving it like I did.

She told me that she loved me nearly every day we were together. She was supposed to be my soul mate. We were supposed to spend our lives together.

But when she saw me in the hospital for the first time after the school bombing it was like she didn’t know me. When she looked at me all the love vanished from her beautiful brown eyes. It was like she was looking at a complete stranger.

That was the moment I knew my life as I had known it was over. Sara never came back to visit me and I never saw her again.

I spent my senior year of high school being homeschooled because I was in and out of the hospital so much. I’m smart and was always a good student so I finished all of my work early and started taking college classes in January of what was supposed to be my senior year of high school.

I traded in my high school prom and senior graduation parties for a life of worldwide hacking jobs and built my reputation as one of the best in the field of cyber espionage.

For a brief moment I panic because the girl standing outside my house turns to face me and for a second it’s almost like she can see inside of my house and she’s watching me.

But I know it’s not possible. If she really had caught a glimpse of me she would have already backed away in horror, wouldn’t she?

The girl just looks puzzled. Her head is cocked like she’s trying to figure something out. Then I see her walk towards the front of my house.

I hurry out of the kitchen and into the living room. I move the curtains on the front windows the slightest bit so that I can just make out what she’s doing. She’s standing right outside on the front walk way, staring at my front entrance.

What in the world could she possibly want with me?

Then it occurs to me. Maybe it’s not me she wants at all. Maybe she’s one of my aunt’s former students.

She looks down at a small piece of paper in her hands and then looks back up at the house. It’s almost as if she’s trying to decide whether or not she should walk up to the front door and knock.

I’m not sure what I’ll do if she does decide to knock on the door. It’s broad daylight. I only have deliveries come at night, when it’s difficult to see me, and I always leave the lights off, obscuring their view of me even further.

I hold my breath waiting to see what the girl will do. Just when I think she might make her way up to the door she takes off down the road instead.

I breathe a small sigh of relief that I don’t have to deal with her at the door. But in a small way I also feel a twinge of disappointment.

The Nines Teaser Final Banner

Meet the Author

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Dakota Madison and Sierra Avalon team up to bring readers a new breed of antiheroes…THE NINES.

Vengeance is mine not the Lord’s. It’s what I breathe for. It’s what I’m still living for. I live for the moment when I will literally have his eye for mine. It’s been two years. Two long and difficult years, but my plan is nearly complete. When I’m not in a hospital having doctors try to repair my ravaged body I spend my time on the computer, doing hacking jobs for large corporations and governments who don’t want to get their hands dirty or be associated with a job if things go sideways. But they don’t have any reason to worry. I’m meticulous, so I’ll never get caught. Just one thing stands in my way: The mysterious young woman without a past who desperately wants to be part of my future. I just need to figure out why…

THE NINES is an ongoing romantic suspense series. Each book can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as PART OF THE SERIES.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: THE NINES is meant for mature readers. The novel contains graphic violence and sexual situations. If an avenger comic book and a romance novel got married and had a child it would be THE NINES.

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~*~ Book Blitz ~*~ Playing the Part by Lynn Rae

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Book Title: Playing the Part (Love Around the Corner, Book 3)
Author: Lynn Rae
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Independent Melanie Sheraton has to hustle for odd jobs in her small town to eke out a living. When the opportunity to act as a driver for some movie folks comes up, she jumps at the chance to earn an extra paycheck. What she didn’t bank on was one of her passengers invading her imagination, something she resists since no movie star would ever be interested in her.

At a crossroads in his professional life, action star Thomas ‘Wheeler’ Locke is in Ohio for a role he hopes will launch his career in a new, serious direction. Instead of concentrating on his acting, he finds himself growing more and more distracted by his feisty driver and her irascible ways.

Dancing around the attraction growing between them, both Mel and Thomas struggle to maintain their distance as the time for filming grows short. Will a reunion at the movie’s London premiere bring them together, or will their disparate lives keep them apart?

excerpt

She sighed and grumbled and got out of the car. He followed her to the steps at the entrance, skirting a green metal sculpture by Robert Murray, and they made their way inside. The hush and calm of the museum atmosphere settled around him like a hug as he paid their admission and accepted a gallery guide from the attendant.

“You wanted to see the Bellows pieces,” Mel said as she unfolded the guide, obviously determined to continue navigating for him. “They’re upstairs in Gallery G.”

“That’s not all I want to see,” he warned her as she trudged up the broad steps, passing a large and aggressive Lichtenstein. “There’s a Winslow Homer here and a Chihuily.”

“It’s a really nice piece. If you’re interested, there’s lots of Chihuily at the Franklin Park Conservatory,” Mel added and then frowned at some fuzzy photographs at the top of the stairs.

“You like Chihuily?”

“You don’t have to sound so surprised.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s just not what I expected.”

“The unexpected is usually surprising.” Mel seemed irritated with him again. “I appreciate art.”

Now that was a pleasant personal detail. “What’s your favorite piece here?”

“It’s hard to say.” Now, she put on a vague air, her eyes unfocused as she stood in front of a soft-looking printed textile. She was probably thinking about Larry and maintaining professional distances again. Too late, he wanted to tell her.

“Tell me about one.”

Sighing as if she was in actual pain, Mel stared at him from under her eyelashes. “That’s really personal.”

“I don’t think Larry would consider discussing art preferences to be improper. Is Larry a passionate art collector? Does he develop instant likes and dislikes of people based on their favorite French Impressionists?”

Mel snorted. “I’m pretty confident Larry has no strong opinions about any sort of Impressionists. I have a feeling that the Pirelli Tire Calendar is as sophisticated as he gets.”

“Don’t knock it, those photographs are great.” The Herb Ritts one was brilliant, but Terry Richardson’s was awful, to be fair.

“They’re lovely. I was trying to imply it wasn’t the photography that he admired.” Mel considered him as she folded and unfolded the gallery guide. “You probably hung out with those models at some fabulous Italian villa, didn’t you?”

“I don’t make enough money for women like that to notice me. I’m sure they are nice women, but they are definitely in a different social stratum. Oil money and inherited titles.”

Crossing her arms, she gave him a balky stare as she tilted her head. Why showing him artwork she liked was too intimate, he wasn’t sure. He wanted to see something she appreciated and then entice her into talking about it with him. Every interchange with her made him more curious, and every little fact he gathered about Mel Sheraton resided in a deep part of his brain.

“You’re going to stand here until I show you, aren’t you?”

He nodded, trying not to let on he was enjoying himself. Thank God he was an actor. “Just walk over and stand next to it. You won’t actually have to tell me anything, just act adoring.”

“Adoring? I don’t think I’ve adored anything in my life.” Mel radiated skepticism as she raised her chin and watched him as if he was going to throw a spitball on board her bus.

“Try it. Live a little,” he coaxed her and hoped he didn’t show how much he enjoyed provoking her.

“I’m walking away now.” Shrugging her shoulders, Mel headed down the marble lined corridor, illumination from the skylights blazing in her twisted bronze hair. She was wearing a skirt today, and her calf muscles flexed very distractingly as she walked. As she made a left into a gallery, he lost sight of her for a moment, and then found her standing in front of a stark Edward Hopper. The barely dressed woman in the painting looked anxious as she sat on her plain bed and stared out the window. Clean lines, clear color, and a sense of tension; it was impressive.

“What’s she thinking about?” Thomas asked quietly, staring at the melancholy woman painted decades before.

“She’s thinking about all the work she has to do that day and hoping that she has the energy to manage it,” was Mel’s equally quiet reply. Thomas stopped studying the art and glanced over at the woman standing there next to him, hardly looking adoring but certainly weary.

“You’re probably right. Let’s keep looking around.” He didn’t want the painting’s sad mood to infect them. Mel glanced over at him.

“Do you want to see another one of my favorites, or am I too much of a downer?”

“I can handle one more. Then we need to see something with some life in it.”

She walked away again, not waiting to see if he followed. Sculptures on plinths watched them go by until she came to a halt in front of a dark canvas covered by vibrant splotches of colored fireworks shimmering down toward their reflections in the water. It was unusual and magical, and he sighed when he saw it.

“Now that’s lively.”

“That’s why I like it,” Mel said, tilting her head as she inspected it. “It makes me think of mysteries. Everything is obscured, uncertain. I think the artist wants us to wonder about how it might be good to go toward the bright light, but it also might be better to stay in the dark. Should we go into the unknown, or is it safer to be still, to avoid challenges and change?”

Thomas thought about that for a moment as he tracked orange and red and pale coral brushstrokes through the gloom. “I want to know what’s hidden. How about you?”

“Me too, even if it’s sometimes a disaster.” They shared a quiet moment of accord.

He hated to break the mood, but if he didn’t, he’d begin to wonder what she had hidden under her clothes, and that would be a disaster. “So you don’t see this and think ‘Oh, cool, fireworks!’?”

“No, I don’t. Should I?”

Thomas shook his head, very entertained by her. “Think what you want. That’s why it’s art and not a math test.”

Mel bobbled her head back and forth as she considered this. “Why are we here looking at art? I have to say if you’d asked me what I thought you’d do on a day off, this never would have crossed my mind.”

A personal question! He was making progress with the self-contained Mel Sheraton. “I minored in fine arts in college. My major was drama.”

She peered at him, and he was again shaken by the light in her serious grey eyes. What was going on in there? Why did she always appear as if there was an elaborate scene playing inside her head? “What did you do? Artwise?”

“Drawing, mostly.”

“Do you do it anymore?”

“When I can.”

Nodding with apparent satisfaction, she turned back to regard her rocket’s red glare painting.

“What did you think I did on my days off?”

“Work out. Go to trendy restaurants with beautiful and fascinating people. Evaluate what your stylist picked out for you to wear. Lie by a pool in the sun with a drink.” He laughed at the images; it seemed he wasn’t the only one who’d had a few preconceived notions. She grinned and turned away from the painting and started to amble through the gallery, pausing in front of a few canvases but not stopping for long at anything in particular.

“The only one of those I do consistently is work out. But I have to for my job and my health, so it’s not really much fun. My trainer is mean to me.”

She turned her mouth down in pretended sympathy but didn’t pull it off. Mel wasn’t really an actress, which was incredibly comforting. He hadn’t realized how nice it was to be around a person with little pretense. Not especially relaxing, since she could suffer an outbreak of irritation at any moment, but still, it was genuine when she was upset. Or happy.

Meet the Author

Lynn Rae makes her home in land-locked central Ohio after time spent in the former Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty bits). She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances. You can find her posting frequently on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lynnraewrites or at her webpage http://www.lynnraewrites.com/

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~*~ Book Blitz ~*~ The Wolf King by Bonnie Bliss writing as L. Kirk

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Book Blitz

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Book Title: The Wolf King
Author: Bonnie Bliss as L. Kirk
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Book Blurb

Rebecca Daniels wanted a simple life. A future with college, a husband, and 2.5 kids—she never really anticipated living the life of a shifter—because she couldn’t shift. When a handsome Alpha rolls up into town on his big black Harley and sets his sights on Becca, all her careful non-werewolf plans are blown sky high.

Lachlan Kelley always knew Becca was his mate, but the slight age difference puts a damper on that plan. Until he returns, not just for her, but as the King of the California packs. With the harvest moon quickly approaching, and his need to claim her taking him over–it’s only a matter of time before they both succumb to a primal hunger.

Can a wolf that can’t shift and the Wolf King find their happily ever after? Or will a close enemy ruin everything?

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Warning: This novella contains content that is not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

Word Count: Approx: 27,000

excerpt

He laughed and swung the bike around to overlook the reservoir on the other side—the side only state employees were allowed to access. It was lower than usual, California being in a drought and all. But it was quiet and I needed quiet. He stopped his bike and I slipped off quickly. The damned man was quick and swiped a big ole’ paw at me, but I was fast too. I swung around in a single graceful movement and laughed as I so easily evaded him.

My heart was pumping, my adrenaline was rushing through me. I wanted to run so bad I could taste the thrill of him chasing me. I swung around and he was there. His arms came up and slammed forward into a tree at the same time my backpack cushioned the impact.

“Whoa, buddy. I’m not that kinda girl.” My voice was breathless.

I glanced up and his eyes glowed a bright amber hue that made my pussy clench tight. He was breathing hard. His fingers gripped the tree trunk next to my head and bits of bark fell away.

“You’re on dangerous ground, little red,” he snarled against my ear.

I didn’t move. I was frozen in place as I looked up at this beautiful beast that wanted me. I could smell it now that he was so close.

I tipped my head to the side, allowing him full access of my throat. He didn’t even hesitate as his nose skimmed the sensitive flesh. He nipped at me and I squealed. I shoved at his chest and it was like trying to move a brick wall.

“Now you’re walking on dangerous ground, big bad,” I whispered.

“I’m walking right where I want to be.” His tongue came out and swiped along the throbbing pulse in my neck. “I can smell you, little red,” he taunted me in a sing-song rumble. “I can smell that wet little pussy. I bet it’s just dripping in fresh cream for me.”

Gulp.

Shit was getting real.

Meet the Author

Bonnie Bliss is the brain child of two authors. Bonnie is a husband and wife duo who have come together to weave stories of passion, action, betrayal, and ultimate surrender. They have discovered that mixing genres is their thing. Their tastes go dark, and they love to twist up sweet stories and make them a bit more tense and sexy. Bonnie writes in multiple genres with plans to dabble into more areas of fiction.

One is a Southern California native, the other was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. The husband spends his time giving the wife alpha males with bite. He is a man that needs to see his world in print. He has a panty melting accent, loves listening to music, watching Game of Thrones, and obsessing over Heisenberg. The wife spends her time writing strong women that evolve into their power, they don’t just come out guns blazing. She claims the song California Girls, by Katy Perry is totally accurate. She’s done everything from waitressing, customer service phone rep., Corporate Real Estate, and spent a pretty impressive part of her life working for the Disney Corporation—before finding her way into the publishing world with her husband.

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