Before you even go looking for me, enter to win a copy of The Unmasking at The Romance Studio’s Book-a-Day giveaway, today only! Click this LINK to enter!
I’m guesting at THREE blogs today – here’s the scoop
Over at Cassandra Carr’s, I’m talking about the research hubs and I did for our five star romantic suspense, The Unmasking.
Our polyamory erotic romance The Reunion is featured over at Love Bites and Silk Ties as part of their Ménage March celebration, with a spicy excerpt.
And the lovely Siobhan Muir has scheduled us today at her Buy-A-Book, Tell-A-Friend blog, to answer one question:
As a husband-and-wife writing team, how has writing together strengthened your connection as spouses?
Tomorrow, March 11, the first chapter of The Unmasking will be posted at D. Renee Bagby’s First Chapter blog: http://drb1stchp.com/
And to top it off, Wednesday I’ll be over at Emma Lai’s blog, http://emmalaiwrites.wordpress.com/blog/.
It’s a busy week!
We all know the brain is the most important sex organ – so today’s Stay Sexy column is about keeping your brain supple, happy, engaged and excited. In short, exercising your brain!
It’s one of those basic use-it-or-lose-it phenomena – the more we stay interested, curious, open to new situations and eager to learn, the healthier our brains will be. “Anything that closely engages your focus and is strongly rewarding… will kick your brain into learning mode and necessarily notch it up,” according to a recent article.
So today I’m going to share our newest curiosity – the Saguaro Cactus, Arizona’s famous trademark cactus with its arms pointing to the sky. It’s new to me. I’ve never (before) lived where they grow and hardly ever traveled where they were common. But for the month of March, we’ve parked our motorhome at an RV park in the Sonoran desert west of Tucson, Arizona. The edge of our park opens onto desert trails that lead to Tucson Mountain Park and beyond it, Saguaro National Park.
We’ve started hiking those trails – a mile and a half yesterday, two miles today. We can observe the entire life cycle of the Saguaro on our wanderings. Yesterday, under the protection of a Palo Verde tree (which is a story for another day), we found a virtual Saguaro nursery. The baby cactus plants need just enough protection from the occasional freezing temperatures in this region that they thrive best with a little shelter. There must have been over a dozen “babies” under this tree, ranging from less than an inch to over a foot.
You can see the green “bark” of the Palo Verde tree in the upper left. It’s hard to find, but in the lower left corner are the spines of a very tiny baby, only half an inch tall. A one-foot Saguaro is on the right side of the photo.
Saguaros typically don’t grow their arms until they’re several decades old. The arms are needed for the blossoms – night-opening blooms pollinated by bats. The cactus can grow as tall as 70 feet and live as long as 150 years.
Hubs is just under six feet tall, and the Saguaro on the left is rooted in a gully behind him, so it’s close to thirty feet tall. We don’t know what anomoly caused the arms in the lefthand cactus in the next photo to grow straight out instead of up – winds? Drought? Genetic variation?
At the other end of the life cycle, we saw the carcasses of several of these fallen giants, their outer shells long gone and their long white inner spines exposed and lying in a log-like pile. Those spines are what holds the water – up to several tons, in a large cactus, able to sustain life through the long desert droughts.
When our Tucson friends first told us about hiking in the desert, I’ll confess it didn’t sound very inviting to me – I’m used to hiking in forests, surrounded by trees. But both of us are falling in love with this desert and its impressive diversity. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it in future posts.
Have fun, and Stay Sexy!
Today we’re thrilled to welcome fellow Red Hot Authors Cafe member Lisa Carlisle, with a brand new exciting release from Ellora’s Cave.
I’m here to share an excerpt of my recent release, Dark Velvet. This is the start of a new series of new adult erotic romances set on a remote New England island. Paranormal aspects, a medieval-styled castle, and a hot as hell hero.
Chateau Seductions series
Grad student Savannah Evans is thrilled to be accepted as a resident to a prestigious art colony. Where else would she be able to focus on her craft of writing poetry in a setting like that of the medieval-styled castle? The remote New England island is a respite from her hectic city life. When she meets her benefactor, a mysterious French sculptor, her expectations for carefree days writing near the ocean are distracted by unprofessional fantasies about her sponsor.
Antoine Chevalier built Les Beaux Arts on DeRoche Island to bring purpose back to an existence that has lost meaning. He’s wandered the earth for decades and finds solace in returning to art. When Savannah applies for a residency, something about her words touches him. After her arrival, a physical attraction grows between them, which he struggles against. She deserves more than someone of his kind.
Antoine proposes they become lovers during her stay. But the situation turns complicated when Savannah discovers his secret. She had suspicions about his identity, but finds the truth overwhelming. Consumed by her desire for Antoine and faced with a tough decision, she is blind to the danger that has arrived at DeRoche Island.
New adult / paranormal / erotic romance
Savannah’s fingers traced the cool marble of the god’s muscular back and then the definition in his arm as he drew an arrow to shoot. She pictured Antoine bent over the sculpture, brows furrowed in concentration, losing sense of time as he polished each portion to perfection.
“Do you like this?” A deep voice whispering in her ear startled her.
She jumped at the sound of his voice, bumping back into his hard chest, and he caught her upper arms to steady her. Only one man in the castle spoke in that smooth French accent—the sculptor himself.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Antoine.” She fumbled taking a half step forward, away from him. “I shouldn’t have touched it.”
“No, don’t apologize.” He let go of her arms, but his warm breath tickled her ear.
He took her hand, caressing her palm, which sent tingles up her arm. Her bottom lip quivered as he brought her fingers to rest again on the marble piece. She thanked the gods he remained behind her so he couldn’t witness her nervous reaction, and she bit her lip to halt the tremors. This was not the way for a young protégée to behave in front of her benefactor. He owned the castle, created the art colony here where she was attending on a poetry scholarship—she shouldn’t go gaga simply from his touch. Which was exactly what she was doing.
“It pleases me that you appreciate my work.” Leading her fingers down the figure’s chiseled chest, he leaned in closer and added, “I liked watching you admire it.”
His voice alone sent flames rippling through her. Every nerve in her being lit with awareness in reaction to him. In the months since they’d met, they’d never been alone in such proximity. Weeks of heated looks from afar had inflamed her desire so the slightest touch became intimate, strengthening her need for more.
Sounds of approaching voices indicated this evening’s performance in the chateau would soon begin. Several of the musicians in the art colony had collaborated on orchestral pieces they wanted to play in front of an audience for the first time. As fellow artists in residence, they sought the support of fellow residents.
Antoine kissed her hand like a suitor in a bygone era. “I hope you enjoy the concert, Savannah.”
Her lips parted, opening and closing like a fish while she thought of what to say. When she mustered up the courage to turn and face him, he had already left the room, filling her with both relief and disappointment. Unaware she’d been holding her breath, she exhaled deeply.
Several times over the course of the evening, Savannah caught Antoine’s dark eyes watching her. Her emotions roiled in confusion while the performers played Barber’s Adagio for Strings.The way he held her gaze without blinking made her squirm in the burgundy armchair. The rising tension and resolution from the violin and cello underscored her tumultuous emotions.
She smiled at him briefly and focused on the musicians, aware of how her heartbeat had escalated. When she glanced again at Antoine, he still watched her unabashed, as if unconcerned about what the others would think. He took a sip of Porto, nodded her way, and then returned his attention to the musicians. She sat up straighter and crossed her legs at the ankles, then uncrossed them, and crossed them again.
The attraction was becoming more difficult to ignore. In light of how he breached the physical distance by touching her so earlier, she feared she’d be unable to keep her desires hidden much longer. She’d developed an instant crush since she arrived at the castle three months before. How could she not be—he was a renowned sculptor with a devastating, dark appeal. What was she to him than just another young resident who would be gone in three months, replaced by another.
Was she reading more into the brief exchange than was warranted?
Adjusting in her seat, she pictured kissing his soft lips, tasting the sweet rich Porto on his tongue. A tingle grew in her nipples. She imagined him touching them, kissing them, as he peered at her with those seductive eyes. An ardent rush of desire flooded between her thighs.
It’s just a look. Only a casual glance my way. Even as she attempted to fool herself, she knew she was full of shit.
Dark heroes, feisty heroines, scorching stories
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