Archive for April, 2011
Day five, and we’re spilling about the naughty bits (hehe) in our writing! Though we are capable of writing tame romances, that’s not nearly as much fun–not that the Smutketeers would know anything about writing dirty!
The winner of the Twisted Monk shibari rope will be announced tomorrow evening on the blog and in our CHAT! Yep, you heard right–we’ll be talking it up HERE tomorrow at 8 PM EST (5 for us on the West Coast). Come join us!!
How have you been naughty in your books?
1. Kelly Jamieson: Let me count the ways – ménage a trois sex, bondage, exhibitionism, voyeurism, spanking, caning, buttsecks…but even my naughtiest is very, very nice.
2. Meg Benjamin: My characters always get busy—it’s not like I’m writing Amish romances. My naughtiest scene was probably in Long Time Gone when the hero and heroine found some interesting things to do with mango sherbet. But hey, it’s hot in Texas. Anything to cool down, right? (except, of course, what they did wasn’t exactly cooling!)
3. Kinsey Holley: Writing very descriptive oral sex scenes which apparently, according to my sis and my BFF, are much more detailed and realistic than normally found in romance books (I’m not sure that’s true – haven’t attempted a formal survey of the literature or anything.) Also, my wolves curse a lot.
4. Juniper Bell: I try hard to be good in my books. I never allow a participle to dangle. I never split an infinitive. I keep adverbs to a minimum and don’t end sentences with prepositions. On the other hand, I write scenes involving multiple partners, bondage, exhibitionism, and so on. My books feature sassy receptionists getting intimate with both bosses, steamy saunas, three lords for every lady, sex on boats, and naughty deeds on Caribbean beaches. They’re all listed here on my website and you will find much naughtiness in every single one.
5. Kate Davies: When I first started writing, I was targeting Silhouette Romance – no sex, please! So making the transition to spicier books was a deliciously naughty experience! I was at an RWA meeting and something the speaker said triggered a story idea for me – a woman jumping out of the cake at her fiance’s bachelor party and catching him cheating. I thought, “There’s no way this is a sweet romance, but I have to write it anyway.” It became my first published book – Taking the Cake – and I haven’t looked back since.
6. Erin Nicholas: The use of butter, flavored body powder, semi-public sex and nipple clamps…
7. Sydney Somers: I think the easier question to answer here might be how haven’t I been naughty in my books. :) As one reviewer pointed out, my characters like getting it on in inappropriate places, which may or may not involve vending machines, kitchen floors, dressing rooms, casinos, locker rooms, etc.
8. Skylar Kade: I’m with Sydney on this one! Between the kink and the lesbians (hopefully coming out soon!)…I find that envelope and push it!
9. PG Forte: Well, I’ve based characters on people I didn’t like–and then killed them off. Does that count? Also, I like kink. In my books, I mean…and yeah, okay, otherwise too. Write what you know, right? Oh, not if you’re killing people though. Then it’s really best to stay fictional. I have a phone-sex scene in Let Me Count the Ways I really like because it’s so unexpected. Oh, and the butter scene in Iron, because you know what they say about butter…
Power Struggle by Kelly Jamieson
“I belong to a club,” she said carefully. “There’s a guy I met there…we’re play partners.”
He stared back at her, eyes wide, just as their server arrived with their dinners. They remained silent while they were served, and Dev stared hard at the plate in front of him until they were alone again.
“Play partners?” he asked, voice low and raspy.
She nodded and arranged her napkin on her lap. “Yes. That’s all it is, Dev. I don’t go there very often, but sometimes I just need to. I hardly ever date. Gabe is a good friend who understands what I need, and I understand what he needs. I trust him.”
His black frown had her stomach tightening as she picked up her fork, though her appetite had deserted her.
“I haven’t been there or seen him since I met you,” she told him. “Well, actually we ran into him—that night at the Four Seasons on our way out.”
“Oh. Oh, yeah.” His jaw tightened even more.
“I won’t go there. If it bothers you.”
“If it bothers me.” His grim mouth tightened. “What if it doesn’t bother me? Then you’d go and do god knows what with some stranger in some…”
She held a hand up. “Don’t say it. You don’t know anything about the club, Dev.”
He gave a short nod, and cut into the fish he’d ordered. “You’re right. I’m trying not to judge.”
“I won’t go there,” she said again, looking down at her dinner. “As long as we’re together. Although it might help you understand, to come there with me.”
She sighed, and poked at a shrimp with her fork. “Is any of this making any sense to you?”
He pressed his lips together, then said, “Strangely, yes.”
“You look angry.”
He lifted his head and met her gaze. “I’m not angry at you, Tori. The truth is, I’m horny.”
Her eyes went wide and her fork clattered to her plate.
“Thinking about tying you up, and then doing anything I want to you…Christ, Tori, that’s hot as hell.”
She licked her lips, arousal pooling low in her belly. His intense dark eyes fastened on her.
“When you said that to me…to do anything I want to you…you have no idea how much that turned me on.”
Her pussy clenched hard. Excitement clawed inside her. She tried to control the nerves jumping inside her as they ate, not even tasting her food.
Dev told her about talking to his friend Bryson.
“Bryson sounds like a smart guy,” she commented.
“He has his moments.” Dev gave her a wry smile. “I’ll introduce you two some time.”
She nodded. But neither of them could ignore the sparks crackling around them, the air electric and hot. Dev studied her across the table, his eyes heated and contemplative.
Tori shifted in her chair. “What?”
“Let’s start now.”
She blinked at him. “Start what?”
“This.” He leaned across the small table and lowered his voice. “Take off your panties.”
Her chin nearly hit the table. “What?” she squeaked.
“You heard me.”
Her gaze slid past him, then side to side. They were seated in the corner of the small balcony, her back to the wall. She turned her eyes back to him. “You’re kidding,” she breathed.
His chin lifted. “No. Do it.”
“Dev, that’s crazy!” she hissed.
He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms across his wide chest, searing her with his gaze. “You said you like someone else in control.”
“Yes, but…” Her body went soft and warm, heat sliding from her hairline right down to her toes. She licked her lips. She was wearing a short denim skirt, but…holy crap. She’d done things many people would think were pretty kinky, but she’d never done anything like that. “I said, in bed. Not out of it.”
“In bed, out of bed. Whatever. You want to give up control? Do it.”
She gazed back at him for a long moment. The command in Dev’s voice had sharp tingles of excitement dancing inside her. Then, beneath the table, she slid her hands under her skirt, pushing it high on her thighs, higher, until she could hook her fingers inside her thong underwear. Holding Dev’s gaze, she lifted one cheek off the chair, then the other, just enough to tug her panties down. She sank her teeth into her bottom lip as she shifted in the chair, trying not to move too much so as not to attract any attention to what she was doing.
His eyes darkened and his lips parted as he watched her. She pushed her toes into the floor to raise her knees, slid the panties down farther, past her knees, and then they dropped to her ankles. Moving her feet around beneath the table, she bent forward just far enough to scoop them up.
“Give them to me.”
She eyed Dev, her breath coming in short ragged bursts, pressing her thighs together against the quivering ache there. She crumpled the scrap of lace into her hand and extended it to him across the table. He took it, pushed her underwear into the front pocket of his jeans, and then said, “Ready to go now?”
Christmas Packages by Skylar Kade (Yes, I know this is a holiday story…but it’s short, sweet, and naughty, so I overlook the seasonal theme :P)
Lizzie tapped her nails on the desk and stared at the clock. Three fifteen—only ten more minutes before she could leave. All her grading was done, her lessons were set for the next week and she was eager to get home. She wanted to put up decorations, get a tree, bake Christmas cookies.
And see what Jason had left her for day four.
In an effort to avoid looking at the clock, Lizzie walked through her classroom and snagged errant scraps of paper and two thoroughly chewed pencils before tossing them in the trash. Bending over to grab a lingering piece of crumpled math homework, she tried, once again, to figure out what the heck Jason was up to. After almost a year with the man, she still couldn’t read him sometimes—and she had super teacher perception. Three days ago, he’d become even more confusing.
She’d come home that afternoon to a package sitting on their doorstep with a big red one on the top. She’d been confused and opening it hadn’t helped. Inside sat a deep blue silk robe and a note from Jason. Lizzie, this is the first of twelve presents, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas. The blue matches your eyes and I can’t wait to gaze into them again. Wear it and think of me. Love, Jason.
Her breath condensed on the air as she delicately picked her way across the parking lot, keeping away from the patches of ice scattered across the pavement. Thinking of the presents she’d received the next two days kept the cold at bay—jasmine-scented candles, her favorite, and massage oil.
Once inside her car, she puzzled over Jason’s intent. Was he trying to reignite their flagging sex life? Maybe reverse the downward spiral their relationship had taken? Lizzie banged her head against the steering wheel and decided there was nothing she could do about it except go home and wait for her confusing boyfriend.
And his fourth present.
* * * * *
Jason was glad to find the condo empty when he got home. He’d taken an early flight out of Albany so he could surprise Lizzie when she came home from work. Which should be any minute now.
Box four in hand, Jason sat on the brown leather recliner in their living room. He’d spent the last ten minutes pacing, wearing a track from the door, through the living room, into the bedroom and back. But his legs had grown too shaky for even that, so he dropped onto their plush loveseat to wait.
Jason was well aware of the risk he took, exposing Lizzie to his hidden sexual proclivities. But he needed her to know him, accept him, before their relationship could grow. Or sputter and die. He hated the latter alternative. The last year had been the best of his life and at this point he couldn’t imagine a future without Lizzie.
A deep ache settled into his chest and he rubbed the muscle over his heart. Though the thought of losing her hurt, he couldn’t hide from her anymore. Every time they made love, his stomach churned from fear that maybe this time, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself.
At least he wouldn’t need to wait much longer for her reaction. No more than twelve days, and then he’d either be alone again, or she’d be wearing the engagement ring he’d bought last week.
He was desperate to see that ring on her finger. To know that she was his, that despite his kinks, she loved him.
The beep of her car lock sounded and Jason smoothed a hand through his short brown hair and across his freshly shaved face. He set the present on their glass coffee table and headed for the door, opening it just as she had her keys poised at the lock.
“Surprise,” he said. Way to sound lame.
“Jason. You’re home early.” Her eyes darted away and he took a step back, giving her space to enter. She took off her boots, resting them on the rubber mat in their entryway. Her fingers loosened the knot and the laces with care and Jason knew she was stalling for time.
“I got an earlier flight,” he said to break the silence. Jason scratched his chin, hating the distance between them. “I missed you. Needed to come home to you.”
She set down her second boot and looked up at him. “It’s been empty without you here.”
Well it wasn’t a declaration of love, but he’d take it. He grabbed her by the hand and drew her to his recliner and onto his lap. She curled up and tucked her head beneath his chin. His chest tightened with love and nerves.
When she stiffened against him, he knew she’d seen the waiting box. She sat upright and turned to him with questions—maybe eagerness?—scrawled across her face.
“Open it.” He held his breath as she unwrapped the small package, folding the paper into a precise rectangle. Lizzie, his little neat freak. The deliberate movements of her hands and her prim way of opening everything from the newspaper to cereal boxes to presents fascinated him and gave him one more thing to love about her. Hell, sometimes it even turned him on.
She cocked her head to the side in what he thought of as her curious little bird pose and popped open the lid of the box to reveal a blue silk eye mask. She turned to him with one eyebrow cocked. “I’m sleeping just fine, Jason.”
Though he tried not to read into her words, he cringed inside. He didn’t want her to sleep poorly without him, per se, but would it be too much to ask for her not to be sleeping fine?
She’d always been able to read him, almost as well as he could read her, and she cupped his cheek. “I’ve missed you, Jason. The bed is empty without you.”
He kissed her before saying. “Yeah, hotel beds leave much to be desired. Mainly, you.” Her pupils dilated and he kissed her again, lingering on her lips. “Besides, the blindfold isn’t for sleeping.” Holding her gaze, he watched the understanding fly across her face, only to be replaced with warm delight.
“Oh, it’s that kind of blindfold. How very inventive.” Her grin gave him hope that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t run from his desires.
He stroked her back, enjoying the softness of her gray sweater. But it would have to come off. “Why don’t you go change into your robe and point me in the direction of the candles and oil.”
She shuddered under his hand and her breathing hitched. Their eyes locked as she answered. “Okay. And everything’s in our bedroom.”
Our bedroom—he loved hearing that. And it was past time he showed her just how much. “Then change in the bathroom, love, and I’ll have everything set up when you’re done.”
She set the blindfold down on the coffee table and got to her feet. Her thick socks softened her footsteps to the bedroom suite and he couldn’t pull his eyes away from her retreating figure. Curves in all the right places and an ass just made for spanking. The thought had plagued him since their first date all those months ago. Jason knew smacking her tight ass would make the most beautiful sound. His cock tightened beneath his slacks at the thought—and the hope that he’d get to hear it, see her submit, soon enough.
Snagging the blindfold and the lighter lying next to the living room’s fireplace, he followed her into the bedroom.
Let the games begin.
Did you see the teaser for Love’s Savage Whiplash yesterday? NO??? Then check it out, because it’s going to be all that and a bag of potato chips.
Dont’ forget that one lucky commenter is going to win mint chocolate After Dinner Nipples or Candy Cuffs–and I’ll post the winner tonight!
We’re nearing the end of the questions. So in honor of the epic RT 2011 conference…when have you been naughty at a conference/workshop/meeting for writers?
1. Kelly Jamieson: Well, I don’t know if this counts because “naughty” implies some intent, but recently at the RT Booklovers Convention, I apparently made some late night phone calls – accidentally. My cell phone case wouldn’t fit in my little purse, so I put the phone in the purse naked and somehow managed to purse dial a few people. I sent a couple of texts (I think one said “ffffffff”) and I called a couple of people at 2:30 AM including my sleeping roommate and my daughter at home in the middle of the night.
2. Meg Benjamin: Um…you mean like grabbing dinner at the Vampire Ball and then heading for the hills before the entertainment? That kind of naughty? Or possibly getting raucous in PG Forte’s hotel suite with various visiting writers (howls of laughter, howls—unfortunately none of us could remember the punch lines the next day). Or taking part in the infamous Samhain party that was busted by security (for loudness rather than debauchery, alas).
3. Kinsey Holley: Crank called the cops. A friend and I dialed 0 (this is WAY before 911 days–we’re talking late 60s cause I was only 5 or so–and said we needed the police (or a fireman – don’t remember which) and then we hung up. And the operator immediately CALLED BACK – we had no idea the operators would know our number – and she scolded us, said we could be taking time away from someone with a true emergency and if we did it again she’d call our mothers – at this point we were certain she could find our mothers any time she wanted – so we cried and said sorry and went to hide in the back seat of my mom’s car for a while. I have no idea why.
4. Juniper Bell: I, for one, always behave like a perfect angel at writer’s conferences, unless you count RT11, RWA10, or RWA 08. Wait, that’s all of them. Oh well. But I FELT the naughtiest at RT11 signing postcards of THIS next to a 12-year-old boy selling copies of his self-pubbed book along with cute, cuddly teddy bears. It was the alphabet’s fault, not mine, but still… Maybe it worked out for the best. I was able to lend him Skylar Kade’s “Spank Me” ruler when he needed to build a makeshift sign-holder.
5. Kate Davies: Ooh, naughty at a conference? Let me think… Probably would have to be at RT last year, in Ohio. I was with a group (who will remain anonymous) and we took the service elevator to one of the ballrooms before the doors opened and got a good table for dinner without having to wait in line.
6. Erin Nicholas: I swear a lot more when I’m away from home for one! I also drink too much (though compared to some *ahem* other authors I know it’s nothing :))
7. Sydney Somers: Unlike the rest of the Naughty Nine, I haven’t attended a writer’s conference yet, but I’m on the look out for potential naughty accomplices who are also headed to Lori Foster’s Reader Get Together in June.
8. Skylar Kade: Aside from providing the RT conference with SPANK ME rulers, I’ve been so well behaved. Except for that time when the beautiful (BEAUTIFUL!) man was making me moan with his strong, talented hands…
*sigh* but just for the fifteen minutes of my foot massage. Though it was spectacular–just ask Ms. Juniper Bell; she got one, too.
9. PG Forte: Why, just earlier this month. Oh, did you want specifics? Sorry. You know what they say: what happens at RT…
Have you been naughty in public–at work or in a group? Please inspir–I mean, tell, us all about it!
For your excerpt reading pleasure…
Yours, Mine and Howls by Kinsey Holley
“His daddy was an alpha! A real wolf! Not a drunkass loser like you!” Humans could’ve heard the woman screeching in the next parish. Werewolves probably heard her all the way to Houston.
“You’re a lyin’ whore! The brat’s mine! Where is he? Dylan? Dylan!” The werewolf, smashed on moonshine, couldn’t change easily. But a drunken wolf on two feet could still tear a human apart.
“Get outta my trailer, asshole!”
“It’s my trailer and I’m not going anywhere, you fuckin’ bitch!”
Next came the sound of breaking glass, followed by the bellow of a liquored-up beta, more breaking glass, the woman screaming, rinse, repeat…
Allison Kendall, exhausted after a day’s work at the stable, turned up the television and longed for a remote to mute Guy and Gracie Fontenot. Her trailer and the Fontenots’ stood a hundred feet apart, the last two left in the otherwise deserted Bayou Estates Mobile Home Park. The next nearest house lay a half mile away. It made living next door to the violent couple creepy, even though they were kin.
The window unit in the living room sputtered, useless against the suffocating August heat. Listening to the White Trash Werewolf Show was better than stewing in her own sweat, though, so she left the windows open. At least the unit in her bedroom still worked.
Carefully she opened the door to her room, where five-year-old Dylan Fontenot slept. The din of domestic war couldn’t keep the tiny veteran awake. She dropped a kiss on his forehead and tiptoed out. When the phone rang, she dove to catch it before Dylan woke up.
“Hey. I just got home,” said her cousin, Seth. “You up for something?”
“Can’t. I’ve got Dylan. Gracie brought him over this afternoon.”
“Shit. How bad?”
“Real bad.” She slumped as she sighed, her emotional exhaustion equal to her physical fatigue. “Your bimbo sister just told her psycho husband he’s not a daddy.” The rest of Lake Charles had figured it out five years ago.
“I wish you’d stay out of that mess.”
“Seth, we’re family! I’m not leaving him in that hellhole when they go at it.”
“But you can’t keep him all the time, either. He doesn’t belong to you. We’re only—oh, fuck it,” he muttered.
She didn’t feel like arguing again either. “Guy’s lost it this time. Should I call the cops?”
“Don’t. Gracie won’t press charges. She’ll just get pissed off at you and take it out on Dylan. God, our family sucks.”
So did living in the middle of a never-ending episode of Cops.
“I guess it’s pizza again,” said Seth. “Want me to re—”
Gracie Fontenot’s shrill, skull-piercing scream drowned out the rest of his words. Her terrifying wail ended as abruptly as it began, like someone had snipped a cord.
Or snapped her neck.
The world held its breath. Then Guy Fontenot’s moonshine-maddened roar shattered the night. The Fontenot trailer door opened and slammed.
Seth screamed, “Get the shotgun—I’m on my way!”
She dropped the phone and raced for the second bedroom at the back of the trailer.
Aunt Jackie always kept it loaded, please God, please, let it still be loaded it has to be loaded…
Thank God. She pumped it once and started back for the living room, shaking with fear. The shotgun rattled in her hands. Bile rose in her throat as hysteria began to squeeze the air from her lungs.
Dylan’s sweetly sleepy voice stopped her cold, instantly quelling the panic. She paused outside her bedroom door.
Mine or not, no one touches him.
“Stay in bed, baby,” she called softly. “Everything’s all right.”
She reached the living room and found it empty. No sound came from outside.
Maybe Guy had passed out.
Maybe he was stumbling to the biker bar a mile down the road.
Maybe he’ll get run over.
The front door went flying as if sucked out by a whirlwind. Guy Fontenot lurched across the threshold, staggered, and steadied himself with one hand against the doorframe. His slack, sallow face gleamed with sweat. He squinted at her as he tried to focus. The acrid stench of moonshine and unwashed werewolf filled the tiny room. She stifled a gag while her mind raced.
Guy couldn’t move that fast, this drunk—but he didn’t have far to reach her. The shells were silver-loaded—but how much would it take to stop him? If she fired and missed, she wouldn’t get another chance.
She’d never imagined she could die at eighteen.
“Where’s m’boy?” He looked ready to pass out. God, please.
“Go home, Guy. You can see Dylan tomorrow.” Her voice came out several octaves above normal, but still steady. A human’s fear pheromones could push an enraged wolf over the edge. Moonshine made it worse. She swallowed, silently begging her heart to slow down and her hands to quit shaking. She kept the shotgun pointed at the floor.
“Gracie’s dead. M-my wife. I killed m’wife.”
Learning his wife had borne someone else’s child could drive a stable werewolf to murder. No one would mistake Guy Fontenot for stable.
He sagged against the jamb, but she hesitated to raise the gun. She’d never killed anyone before. If she held him off until Seth showed up, she wouldn’t have to.
“It’ll be all right, Guy. You need sleep. Tomorrow you can figure out what to do.”
“Want the boy.”
“No, Guy, I’ll take care of Dylan. You go on home now.”
He stared at her for a moment. His eyes widened. He snapped his mouth shut as he stood a little straighter.
Guy was slow, not stupid.
“You wanna get ridda me so’s you c-can call the cops.” He sneered at her and she shuddered. “Think you can shoot me, girly? You wanna sh-shoot me?”
She watched in horror as his nails began to lengthen and the bones of his hand began to move beneath his skin, twisting, stretching, popping. Oh, shit. She’d been so focused on his body she’d ignored his eyes. The irises had begun turning yellow. He stank so of moonshine and sweat, she hadn’t caught the rich, earthy scent that was another signal of impending change.
Guy stumbled toward her. She couldn’t back up. She didn’t want him near Dylan.
The howl of an enraged werewolf on four feet filled the air, and she nearly fainted with relief. ThankyouJesus.
Seth was here.
It happened so fast, and all at once. Through the open door behind Guy, she glimpsed a streak of brown fur as Seth reached the front yard. Guy didn’t turn to see death running at his back, but rushed at her just as she raised the shotgun.
Her trembling hands betrayed her. The shot went wide.
Guy closed the distance. She swung the gun at his head. He knocked it from her hands. With a strength born of terror she kicked, sole first, straight into his balls. It didn’t stop him. He clutched at his groin with one half-changed hand as the other swiped wildly. His claws raked her belly. She stumbled backwards.
It took a moment for the pain to penetrate. She looked down to see a blossoming red stain soaking her T-shirt. Touching it, her hand sank into a gaping wound.
She looked up at Guy’s yellowing eyes and saw tears.
In dreamy slow motion, he grabbed her by the throat and flung her aside. Guy roared as Seth landed on his back. Ally went flying across the room, her skull striking the metal window ledge. A brilliant, bright white pain exploded behind her eyes, like a camera’s flash going off at the end of her nose. She crumpled to the floor as someone whispered in her head.
Dylan’s cries, Seth’s howls and the disembodied voice were the only sounds in the trailer now. Guy was dead.
A second later, so was Ally.
She was never the same after that.
Restraining the Receptionist by Juniper Bell
By the time Punishment Day dawned, I was a wreck. I hadn’t gotten much sleep in between the crazed sex dreams. Taking my post at the receptionist’s desk, I reviewed my strategy. Shut up and take it, as long as Ethan stayed within the rules. In no time, the red light on my phone blinked.
“Come in to my office,” Ethan’s gravelly voice ordered. “Leave all your clothes on, please.”
Fully clothed for a punishment? That was new. Then again, it would have been against the rules to make me strip. Or would it? Come to think of it, we’d never spelled out the rules.
I tiptoed to the door of Ethan’s office. This was new too. I’d never been invited into Ethan’s domain. For all I knew, Blackbeard the Pirate lived in there. Or maybe Hitler’s body was stashed in the cabinets. I wouldn’t put anything past Mr. Ethan Cowell.
But it wasn’t anyone fictional or historical who greeted me as I opened the door. In fact, it took a moment to recognize her. Streaked blonde hair, splattered freckles, slim body set off with boobs the size of coconuts. Chantalette the Temp. I’d spent a torturous morning training her to fill in for me when I had a dentist appointment. And believe me when I say the dentist chair was a relief after that. She was useless. Even tied up, she looked lazy.
She hung limply from the coat hook on the wall, right next to Ethan’s trench coat. As if she’d flashed herself right out of the coat. Her fingers curled onto each other. Her pale skin glowed with a sheen of sweat reflected in the fluorescent lights. When she saw me, her first reaction of surprise was followed by a smug wink. As if to say, “guess all that training paid off.”
“What is she doing here?” I hissed at Ethan.
“I invited her. I spotted her potential right away. She did quite well taking your place. Of course, I had to do some re-training of my own. I was quite excited when I saw these.”
He tugged at the twin gold rings piercing her nipples. She moaned.
“You’ve got to be kidding. She was the worst temp ever.” Chantalette shot me an evil glare. I ignored it. “She has no experience. No skills. Unless you want your nails done. That’s her only previous job. And I’d only trust her with toenails. Fingers are too hard.”
“Shut up, Dana. I’ve got plenty of experience where it counts.” She sent Ethan a come-hither look. “Skills too.” She ran her tongue over her lips.
“You aren’t buying this, are you?” I hated the way Ethan was looking at her, raking her body with blue ice. He’d barely spared a glance in my direction since I’d walked in.
“Sit down, Dana.”
Ethan opened his desk drawer and pulled out a long peacock feather. Pure envy shot through me as he ran it along Chantalette’s torso, from her armpit to her waist, just barely brushing her nipple. Her skin flinched into little goose bumps. I knew exactly how she felt. That feather was one my favorite toys. But it was supposed to be for me, not Chantalette. Even though I had to admit, the deep iridescent blue-green of the feather looked perfect against all that pale skin.
“If you’re expecting me to go near her, forget about it.”
“Of course not. You have a job to do. Have a seat. I’m expecting several important calls today. I want to make sure they’re handled appropriately. Now,” he added, when I lagged.
From Ethan’s desk, I would have a front row seat for whatever Ethan did to Chantalette. I guess that was the point. “I’ll just go out front to the receptionist’s desk.”
“Oh no. I need you in here. I want to make sure you’re on your best behavior.” I glowered at him, but he responded only with a sunny smile. “I thought you’d be relieved that your punishment is so simple.” Sure he did. The cunning bastard. This scenario didn’t break the terms of our deal. Who would be twisted enough to think of it? Only Ethan. The peacock feather swept over Chantalette’s body with a hypnotic swishing motion.
I tore my eyes away from it and stumbled to Ethan’s desk. I sat down and picked up the headset he’d left for me. I got myself into position and waited for the phone to ring. As I suspected, I had a full-frontal view of Ethan and Chantalette, otherwise known as the morning performance of “Master and Slave-girl”. As soon as I took my seat, it was as if I ceased to exist. I’d been expecting some trick to become apparent. A vibrating seat cover or leather straps to bind me to the chair. Nothing. Apparently, all I had to do was answer phones while Ethan teased Chantalette into a state of frenzy.
Answer phones like a real receptionist?
The Smutketeers haven’t kicked us out yet, so we’re back–despite someone eating ribs last night and getting their guest room all kinds of messy. But I guess that’s in line with today’s naughty theme: FOOD.
We have it on good authority (from A Historical Author Who Knows These Things) that if butter is involved, the story must be erotic romance. A little out of context? Maybe. But it is sometimes true. Just ask Erin Nicholas, our resident butterator (hehe, I said butt).
Don’t forget that comments today and Friday go into the drawing for After Dinner Nipples (the chocolate kind!).
Ok Naughties, when were you bad with food? And don’t try to butter (*snicker*) me up to get out of answering…because then I’d be slippery, and it wouldn’t help your case.
Kinsey Holley: Um, every time I open the fridge, because I’ve gained 20 pounds? But if you’re talking 9.5 weeks kind of naughty, never. Honestly, I don’t like eating naked. Skeeves me out. Don’t know why.
Skylar Kade: I love sweets, and my sweetie loves bringing them to me. And eating them while making orgasmic sounds–because they taste that good and because it drives him nuts? Magic.
Meg Benjamin: Most of my food naughtiness involves sneaking food into places you don’t usually sneak food into. I usually travel with cheese, for example, and if I find dry, wine-cured salami I’ll grab it. I purely love bringing out my concealed yummies (and doesn’t that sound salacious) and having impromptu feasts in places like snooty California wineries (which, unlike Texas or Colorado wineries, can’t sell you wine by the glass for some reason) or august luxury hotels. As a rebellion against the Establishment, this is pretty lame. But as a way to get good food anywhere you go, it works for me.
Sydney Somers: There was this one time, at Writer’s Camp… Seriously though, I think the the naughtiest I get with my food is the sound I may make when I bite into a truly decadent piece of cheesecake.
Kelly Jamieson: I again become shy, but will just say champagne, strawberries and chocolate body paint.
Juniper Bell: No one else knows this. It happened when my old boyfriend and I were camping. I stripped naked and stretched out on a blanket. Slowly, sensuously, he smeared marshmallow fluff all over my nipples. I closed my eyes and breathed in the intoxicating scent, only to be shocked by the sensation of hot liquid dribbling across my breasts. Melted chocolate pooled on top of the gooey white deliciousness. Sighs of bliss rose into the pine-scented air as my boyfriend dipped graham crackers into the sticky mess and I moaned, “S’more, s’more.”
Actually, I’m one of those people who cringes at the thought of food on my body. I like the licking, the stickiness not so much. When it comes to food, I generally behave myself. When it comes to writing…watch out.
Kate Davies: Whipped cream is very lickable. That’s all I have to say.
PG Forte: Are we talking about in books? Because up until very recently, when I began writing all these angels and vampires who never actually eat anything (what is up with that?) my characters combined food and sex quite a lot. A Taste of Honey, Touch of a Vanished Hand, ALL the LA Love Lessons books, Iron…and you know how strongly I believe in hands-on research.
Erin Nicholas: In real life or books? My books seem to often have a lot of food involved– butter, pie filling, chocolate syrup. In real life… whipped cream is always good!
Do you play with your…ahem…food like the Naughty Nine? Tell us, tell us! We promise to give you credit if we share it with our hubbies.
Haven’t had enough yet? You’re in the right place–that’s it, another yummy excerpt!
Anything You Want by Erin Nicholas
He turned with a frown. “Why are you here?”
“Oh.” She pulled herself up straight. “To yell at you.”
“Can you get it over with so I can finish here?”
“Love to. Leave my stuff alone and mind your own business.”
“You don’t mean that.” Marc bent and put another pie in the oven.
It annoyed her that she got distracted by how great his butt looked in the faded jeans. “What?”
“I think you really, really want me messing with your stuff and minding your business. In fact, I think you’ve realized that I’m the only one you want messing with your stuff and that’s why you’re here.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You don’t know?” He looked up and made lasting eye contact for the first time. “You’re going to pretend that you don’t know? And act surprised that I know exactly what you’re doing?”
“What I’m doing? I’m not reading your mail and messing with your stuff and confusing everything.”
“Is that right? I’m the only one messing around and confusing everything?”
“You’re the one touching me all the time and flirting and smiling at me—” She stopped, realizing that she was on the verge of admitting things she shouldn’t say out loud even to herself.
“And every frickin’ time you—” He stopped and visibly gritted his teeth.
She stared at him when he failed to go on. “I what?”
He scowled at her. “You respond.”
“I respond,” she repeated. “What does that mean?” But she knew exactly what he meant. She responded to him in ways she never had to anyone, or anything, before.
“It means that all I can think about is getting you naked and making you respond over and over again.”
Her body definitely responded to that and she had to concentrate on breathing normally. Still, she tried for flippant. “I think that’s maybe more your problem, than mine.”
“Maybe it is.” He didn’t look up and was stirring the ingredients in the bowl like he had a personal vendetta against them. “After all, you have another guy hanging on, don’t you? When you get all worked up you can just go off to his office and have him scratch the itch. The itch I created.”
He really seemed upset and she knew he wanted her to believe it was because she was driving him crazy. But she thought just maybe it was her and Luke together that was driving him crazy. Which meant he was jealous. Which made her want to smile. She resisted, but she definitely wanted to. “He’s the guy I’m going to be living with. He should be scratching my itches.”
“The guy you might be living with.” Marc threw—not tossed—the spoon into the sink. He thumped the ball of dough he’d created onto the wooden counter top and began flattening it.
The man drove her crazy. “And you’re pissed because you think he can do better.”
“That’s probably why I should be pissed.” He hit the dough with the rolling pin.
He didn’t answer, just kept rolling.
“Why are you pissed then?”
Nothing. His jaw was tight and the dough was getting a beating, but he wouldn’t even look up.
“Oh now you’re going to shut up? You open this up and now you won’t follow through?” She wanted emotion from him, a reaction, even if he was mad about something. She wanted to know that this was more than casual to him. “Let’s talk about these itches I need help with.” He still didn’t look up.
“Come on, Marc. If we’re gonna fight, then fight with me!”
“I don’t want to fight with you,” he muttered.
The muttering drove her crazier than any yelling might have done. “Well, I want to fight with you!” And she did. She had so many pent up emotions, so many frustrations and it seemed that many, if not all, stemmed from this man. She wanted to let loose with…something. And Marc was the closest target.
Marc, who was simply rolling out piecrusts and muttering at her.
That wasn’t going to fly. If he didn’t want to fight with her now, he soon would.
She reached out and grabbed the closest thing, a can of apple pie filling. She scooped out a handful and flung it at him, hitting him directly in the center of the chest.
He froze, the rolling pin gripped in his hands.
When he didn’t react further than that, she took another handful and threw it. It hit him on the front of his right shoulder.
He put the rolling pin down and finally looked up her. There was a dangerous glint in his eyes as he began unbuttoning his shirt. “That’s how you want to do this?”
Her heart was pounding and she was sure it was from anger. It had to be anger.
But as more and more of his chest was revealed she knew that lie wasn’t going to make it much further. He shrugged out of the shirt entirely a moment later and her heart rate kicked into high gear.
Wow. He was muscled and broad, skin tanned with light hair gracing his pecs and stomach. She wanted to touch it. All of it. With her tongue.
This was bad.
He started toward her. She backed up. “How I want to do what?”
“Get me naked.”
“I…don’t…” But she couldn’t quite get the lie out. She did want him naked. Bad.
Day two of our blog exchange–is it getting hot in here, or is it just us?
Don’t forget to comment! At the end of the day, we’ll be picking one commenter from yesterday and today to win a Lush body massage bar—and we’ll announce the winner on the blog at the end of Tuesday.
We were naughty as children, and we’re naughty as adults. Wordsmiths, we might be, but that doesn’t mean our favorite words are erudite and urbane!
Ok, spill: What’s your favorite naughty word? (Hold the soap, please)
Meg Benjamin: Probably freakin’ which isn’t actually all that naughty (shows you what a confirmed closet naughty I am). I mean, I could use f*ckin’ which is actually what freakin’ stands in for or friggin’ which sounds a little old-fashioned to me. But to me, freakin’ has that kind of naughty vibe—implied naughtiness rather than explicit naughtiness.
Kinsey Holley: the F word of course. (shouldn’t really use it right now, since I’m writing this on Good Friday).
Sydney Somers: Bite-me.
PG Forte: Cock, because it’s so versatile. For example: “I was born in the Chinese year of the ____.” If you guessed Cock, you’re absolutely correct. It also happens to be true, by the way.
“I used to keep chickens, including two ____s.” Yes. Cock again. Also true.
“In bed, I love to suck ____.” Well, you get the picture, right?
Okay, just one more: “I love it when my husband ____s his head to the side and waits breathlessly for my next order.” Yeah, I’m still waiting for that to happen. But, any day now…
Erin Nicholas: FUCK. Definitely. No question.
Kelly Jamieson: For someone who’s a bit of a naughty writer, I’m shy to say my favorite naughty word: f*ck. Can I say it? Fuck. I love this word for its power and incredible versatility. It can be an expletive. And it’s a good one, with the hard “k” sound at the end. It’s also effective when you just say “fffu-” without the ending. I particularly like, “What the fuck!” It’s a noun – “A good fuck” or even “he’s a stupid fuck” or “I don’t give a fuck”. It’s a verb – “Let’s fuck”. An adjective – “fucking idiot”. And an adverb – “fucking awesome”.
Skylar Kade: This is a hard choice. I like the word C*nt, not necessarily as a description for anatomy (though I have been known to use it) but more as a curse word. Few words still shock people when you say them–many of us have been too inured by modern media to jolt at the word fuck–but “C U Next Tuesday”? Still gets a rise out of people. Not to mention that I think a good curse word–or, hell, a good piece of anatomical slang used during the heat of the moment–should be full of hard consonants. Just sounds angry and intense.
Juniper Bell: PUSSY! Pussy pussy pussy. What can I say, I’m a cat person. Seriously, I think it’s a lovely word, very soft coming off the tongue (I know, that sounds bad). I wish I could have it as my first name without sounding like a James Bond character. Can you imagine a character called “Cunt Galore”? It seriously would not have the same ring to it.
I’m also partial to “cock.” ‘Nuff said.
Kate Davies: I’m a big fan of the word “fuck”, because it can be used as any part of speech. Really. My study group in English class in college went to a lot of trouble proving it. What can I say, I’m a grammar geek.
How do you like to shock people with your language?
What did you say–more excerpts?
Primal Pleasure by Sydney Somers
Sinking to her knees, she wrapped her arms around him, tucking her face against his neck.
He growled, and she jerked back. Had she hurt him?
One solid arm immediately swept her back in. “Closer.” He rolled to his side, taking her with him, his unbreakable grip pinning her in place.
For ten seconds she didn’t move. Didn’t talk. Didn’t squirm. Didn’t breathe.
And apparently she’d had the right idea because the second she dragged in a quick breath, his tempting masculine scent came with it. Instantly, she remembered that it had been a while since she’d been this close to a man.
A naked man.
Okay, so she was a little preoccupied with the naked part. She could think about what that said about her when the gargoyle wasn’t trembling all over.
Noticing just how naked he was might have only been a blip on her radar if he’d been primed to attack her. Except neither cat nor man had done more than rub against her. Even now, his body quaking, the gargoyle moved his hand across her back in shaky circles.
That had to explain why she found herself relaxing into him, settling her palm on his chest. Another rumbling growl echoed inside him, but before she could pull her hand back, he flattened it with his. This time when the same rough sound came, he nuzzled her cheek.
She sucked in a shocked breath, releasing it in slow degrees as though it might stop her from wanting him to do it again.
It didn’t work. And it really didn’t stop her from turning her face toward his, feeling his rough jaw sweep across hers. She’d had her share of lovers, yet couldn’t remember any of them ever holding her so possessively.
Her two minutes stretched into ten, maybe longer as his shaking slowly subsided to the occasional shiver. Good news if she didn’t count the way his hands moved up her back, lulling her into melting against him.
Lulling her into some kind of false security for all she knew. Maybe that was how he planned to get even with her—lower her guard with lazy caresses and soft words.
She concentrated but couldn’t understand what he whispered in her ear. Not that she cared when every warm breath and graze of his lips stirred something inside her.
Lust, she decided.
He was still naked, after all. Now that he wasn’t trembling so badly, she didn’t feel the least bit guilty drinking in the solid span of his shoulders and corded biceps. A faint line ran down the middle of his defined abdomen, disappearing into the shadow where their bodies pressed together. Trim hips and long legs extended well past her own, putting him well over six feet, she guessed.
Her gaze traveled back up, following the column of his throat to his jaw. She inched her head back a few degrees, finding his mouth. A cocky grin caught the corner of his mouth—one she recognized from the memory flashes—as though he knew exactly how much women enjoyed looking at him.
Knew how much she enjoyed looking at him.
In half a second flat she found herself on her back with the gargoyle looming over her. Raised on his elbows, he wedged a thigh between hers, giving her no room to squirm away without rubbing against him.
Squirming was definitely out. So was breathing. Again.
“Don’t go.” Stronger but still rusty, his voice made her stomach grow hot and tight.
Only when she realized he waited for confirmation did she manage a slow nod. “Okay.” She just couldn’t figure out which of them she was lying to, since she’d ceased listening to her common sense right around the time he’d wrapped his arms around her.
Still, he stared at her, waiting.
God, when had the air grown so dry? She licked her lips and swallowed anxiously. “I’ll stay.”
A lazy grin stole across the gargoyle’s face, as though she’d just offered herself up on a platter, slathered in whip cream.
Definitely a mistake. Too bad it was hard to remember that part when he dipped his head and nuzzled her throat.
Butterflies, the hot and silky kind, fluttered like mad under her ribs. She bit her lip only to have her breath hiss out as he trailed up to her jaw.
“I knew I’d find you.” He dragged his cheek across hers.
“We’ve never met.” She would have remembered the way his dark hair fell in careless strands across his forehead, or the arrogant slant to those full lips, as if he anticipated her complete surrender.
And there was no way she would have forgotten those eyes, especially when they turned almost feline on her.
“No, we haven’t met.” He teased his mouth along the sensitive skin below her ear. “But I’ve been waiting for you.”
Take a Chance on Me by Kate Davies
“This is totally amazing!”
Tom smiled as he watched Jessica lean against the thick green railing, a chill wind rushing through her tousled red-brown hair. She spread her arms wide, bracing herself against the railing of the small deck overlooking the front of the ferry.
Below, white-capped waves crashed against the edge of the car deck, leaving puddles on the walkways and riming the safety ropes with salt.
She turned around, laughing with delight. “You were absolutely right. This is exactly what I needed.”
He flashed a cocky smile. “Told you so.”
“I think it’s what we both needed,” she said. “It’s wonderful to set the stress and pressure aside for a few hours.”
“Glad you enjoyed it.” Tom squinted into the distance. “We’re about fifteen minutes from docking.”
Jessica sighed. “Then back to reality. Thanks again, Tom.”
“You still have a couple of minutes. Sure you don’t want to do the whole Titanic thing? I promise I won’t let you fall off the front of the boat.”
Jessica rolled her eyes at him. “I’m feeling better, but I’m not exactly king-of-the-world material. And I don’t think there are any icebergs in Puget Sound.”
Tom nodded. “It’s cold, but it’s not that cold.” He reached out and pulled her coat collar closer together, tucking the fringes of her scarf around her neck to block out the wind.
She stilled, her eyes darkening as she stared at him. Tom’s grip tightened on her coat, his fingers clutching the fabric. Slowly, deliberately, he lowered his head to hers.
Their previous kisses had been spontaneous combustion. This one was a steamy, languid dip in the Olympic Hot Springs. He tasted her lips slowly, placing soft nibbling kisses from corner to corner. Angling his head, he pressed his mouth against hers and swept his tongue across her lower lip.
Her mouth opened on a sigh and he moved forward, noting with pleasure the exact point where the chill of the outdoor air gave way to the heat of Jessica’s mouth. His ears tingled and his cheeks were close to numb from the winter wind howling across the small ferry deck. But inside, he would swear he was running one hell of a fever.
She was close, so close, but with all the layers of clothing between them she might as well have been against the opposite rail. Tom groaned, gripping her lapel as he continued the kiss, his overactive imagination helpfully supplying a reminder of the sweet curves buried under all that winter wool. Thank God he was bundled up just as tightly, or she would be getting a very clear picture of how much he was enjoying this repeat performance.
Suddenly, the ferry gave a pitching roll, shuddering as it lifted above the waves and heaved down again. They stumbled apart, both clinging tightly to the other’s coat and breathing heavily.
Through sheer force of will, Tom unclenched his fingers and released Jessica’s now-wrinkled charcoal gray winter coat. He ran a hand through his wind-tossed hair, sucking in a deep breath. The air was thick with exhaust from the ferry engines, combined with the tang of salt spray and impending rain. And overlaying it all was the crisp citrus scent of Jessica.
She leaned forward, resting her forehead against his chest. He watched as a shuddering sigh traveled the length of her spine. Even through his winter layers he could feel the heat of her breath as it puffed against his solar plexus. A shiver wrapped around his midsection.
She mumbled something into his coat, but the combination of rushing wind and rumbling ferry engines drowned out any chance of hearing it. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, leading her back toward the relative warmth and bright lights of the main cabin.
But before they could go inside, she grabbed the lapel of his coat and dragged him past the doorway into the darkened alcove under the stairs to the upper deck.
“What are you—?” His statement was cut off when she wrapped one hand around his neck and pulled him down for another kiss.
She began talking between kisses, her words almost lost in the feverish embrace. “I. Don’t. Want. To. Stop.”
A big thanks to the Smutketeers for having us! We’ll try to keep our party fouls (like eating chocolate on the white bedspreads) to a minimum. We’re housebroken–we swear.
We’re the Nine Naughty Novelists, entering our 18th month of blogging together. We all write romance–naughty, naughtier, and naughtiest–for epubs like Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, Liquid Silver, Siren, and Loose ID. Our fans know us for the Naughty Smutty Hollywood party at RT2011, our daily posts talking about life and writing–but never taking either too seriously–and our serial novella, The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy’s Secret Werewolf Babies, which is a contemporary paranormal romantic comedy spoof.
Find the Nine Naughty Novelists at our blog or on Twitter.
This week, we’re taking a close look at what it means to be naughty, and we’ll be giving away three prizes to commenters.
For Monday and Tuesday, one lucky reader will win a naughty Lush massage bar. For Wednesday and Friday, someone will take home naughtier candy: mint chocolate After Dinner Nipples or Candy Cuffs. Finally, one weekend commenter will receive Twisted Monk shibari rope.
Ok, ladies, when were you naughty as a child?
1. Kelly Jamieson: When I was about five years old my parents found me under the kitchen table cutting up money – dollar bills. Into tiny little pieces. I have no idea why I did it.
2. Meg Benjamin: Well, gee—define child. In high school my friends and I would sometimes go out spotlighting people in lovers lanes, but that’s not exactly childhood. As a younger kid, I loved to ride buses around town to see what the different suburbs looked like. My mom thought I was shopping or going to movies downtown, but I was really on a reconnaissance mission. On the other hand, this was Wichita, so we’re not talking the wicked city here.
3. Kinsey Holley: Crank called the cops. A friend and I dialed 0 (this is WAY before 911 days–we’re talking late 60s cause I was only 5 or so–and said we needed the police (or a fireman – don’t remember which) and then we hung up. And the operator immediately CALLED BACK – we had no idea the operators would know our number – and she scolded us, said we could be taking time away from someone with a true emergency and if we did it again she’d call our mothers – at this point we were certain she could find our mothers any time she wanted – so we cried and said sorry and went to hide in the back seat of my mom’s car for a while. I have no idea why.
4. Juniper Bell: I did many naughty things as a child, but one in particular might have set me on the path to being an erotica writer. When I was ten, I helped my father, an English professor, organize his library. During a break, while he went to get coffee I snagged the only book that looked remotely readable. It had the harmless title of “The Story of O.” I thought it was about the alphabet! Holy handcuffs, was I mistaken. I only read a little because my young mind boggled at the content. (It’s exquisitely written BDSM, in case anyone is unaware.) But I never forgot it and pretty soon I started sneaking in to read more. That book taught me that sexy stories can be art. It gave me an appreciation for the beauty of erotica.
5. Kate Davies: Oh, I tried to be naughty as a child. Really, I did. But my subconscious always got the better of me. For years I thought my parents had to be psychic, because they always seemed to know when I’d done something wrong. Later, when I was past the sleepwalking stage, they finally told me their secret. Apparently, I would sleepwalk into their room at night and confess everything! Luckily, I grew out of that by the time I hit the teen years…
6. Erin Nicholas: I wasn’t exactly a “child” :) but as a teenager my sister and I had a 10 mile drive to school in the morning. And we argued like crazy all the time. One morning she was driving me nuts and I threatened that if she didn’t shut up I’d pull over and make her walk. She said “fine”, so I did it. I kicked her out and left her there. (of course, her best friend was driving right behind us and stopped and picked her up– when this story gets retold even now that detail gets left off) :) I was in HUGE trouble as soon as I got to school. Our dad was our principal and he knew immediately what had happened.
7. Sydney Somers: After being firmly coerced into letting my little sister play with me and my friends (which is practically the kiss of death when you’re 9) I was so annoyed that I later dug out my Cabbage Patch birth certificate and proceeded to convince my five-year-old sibling that she was adopted.
8. Skylar Kade: What, me? I was an angel…except for the time my mom hopped out of the shower and had to let the dog into the backyard in her towel. It was pouring rain and she had to practically drag him out there. I proceeded to lock the door behind her–but I was too young to understand how to unlock it. She had to break a window and slither in the side. Oh–I also did the same thing later, except I locked myself in the bathroom and had a toddler tantrum because I couldn’t get out. My parents had to unscrew the knob to get me out.
9. PG Forte: I was never naughty as a child. I was a perfect angel. That house fire that started in my bedroom? So not my fault. I did, however, sneak wine into school on a fairly regular basis when I was a teenager…but that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
In your first 18 years of life (because 18 year-olds are still children), how were you naughty?
Excerpt time! Every day, we’ll be featuring two naughty snippets from our books.
Old Sins, Long Shadows (release date May 3) by PG Forte
The damp city streets gleamed faintly in the light of the street lamps. Armand breathed in the scent of the woman who walked beside him and smiled. He’d enjoyed tonight, even more than he’d expected to. Probably more than was wise.
For almost fifty years, he’d been guarding his heart against the possibility of loss. He’d thought the habit was second nature now, an ingrained response. But as this evening had made abundantly clear, he’d been fooling himself with that thought.
The feel of Julie’s body moving against his as they danced, the pleasure he’d experienced as he watched her feed, even the enjoyment he felt right now just being near her—it all made him yearn for things he shouldn’t even be thinking about.
He was satisfied with the life he’d crafted for himself. He’d made his peace with this path he’d chosen. He was content. Why risk it all on a gamble that might never pay off? In fact, why risk even part of it on anything less than a sure thing?
He glanced around at the night, calculating the hour. He’d timed their departure carefully to coincide with Brennan’s lunch break. He didn’t want to take Julie home again until he was certain the human would be off work and safely out of the way. He’d been waiting months for the chance to spend some time with her, to get to know her better. There was no sense in spoiling things at this stage with reminders of a love affair he sincerely hoped was now ended.
From practically the moment they met, he’d felt a connection to Julie he could neither explain nor completely resist. Right from the start, she’d made him wonder what it might be like to feel more than satisfied or peaceful, more than merely content…
But was she worth the chance he’d be taking if he let himself become more than casually involved? Even more to the point, was she worth his heart’s hard-won happiness, or the lifetime of regret that could very well result from making the wrong choice? These were the questions he’d been asking since the day they’d met. Tonight, more than ever, he suspected the answer might possibly be yes.
Even so, he would not be rushing into anything. One of the most enduring benefits of living forever was the freedom to take his time. That was exactly what he intended to do.
He took hold of her hand and tugged her closer. “So, what would you like to do now?”
“Hmm, I wonder,” Julie replied, playfully bumping her shoulder into his. Armand was about to offer suggestions, but one look at her face changed his mind. The expression in her eyes was unexpectedly sly and thoughtful, as though she, too, were considering her options, carefully weighing her decision. Perhaps she was calculating her own set of risks? Curious, he held his tongue and waited to see what she’d say next.
Before either of them had a chance to say anything, however, a figure emerged from one of the doorways in the deserted street in front of them, and stepped straight into their path.
“Stop right there,” the man ordered, his movements jerky and imprecise. As he waved his arms, the knife in his hand caught the light on its blade. “Hand over your money.”
Armand stared at him in surprise. Usually, even the most desperate of the city’s undesirables seemed to possess an instinct that warned them away from his kind. The thought that it was maybe Julie who’d lured this one into taking a chance he should not have taken, that it was her apparent defenselessness being targeted, left him speechless with fury. Even though he knew her to be anything but defenseless.
“Hurry up, man. And don’t think about making a sound—either of you—or I’ll cut you. I’ll cut you both.”
Armand cast a quick, sideways glance at Julie to see how she was reacting to the threat. If this bastard had frightened her… But no, her expression betrayed only mild curiosity, laced with perhaps a touch of amusement. Armand breathed a sigh of relief. Their would-be assailant would probably never know how lucky he’d just gotten.
Armand couldn’t help but smile. Lucky or not, no crime should go unpunished. “Chérie, could I, perhaps, interest you in a little dessert?”
Julie’s brown eyes danced with mischief. Her fangs peeked teasingly from between her lips as she grinned back at him. “Oh, yes, please, Armand. I think we have to—don’t you?”
“Indeed, Mademoiselle. Your wish is my command.”
Before the startled man knew what hit him, Armand had twisted the blade from his hand and pushed him back into the alcove where he’d been lying in wait. He smiled grimly at the surprised dismay on the other’s face. “Now, it’s you who won’t make a sound, eh?”
Bracing the would-be mugger with an arm across his chest, Armand stared deeply into his eyes, impressing his will upon the human until his struggles ceased. Then, almost tenderly, he fisted his hand in his victim’s hair, turned his head to the side and bared his throat.
“Would you do the honors?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder to smile invitingly at Julie.
Nodding, she slid closer. Her breasts jostled Armand’s arm as she leaned in close and stroked her tongue along her victim’s neck. Armand could not have said which of her actions he found the most erotic. He watched, mesmerized, while she prepared the man with her usual exquisite care and then, just when he was certain she was about to begin her meal, she did something that completely surprised him.
She backed away, lowering her eyes in a show of submission as unexpected as it was electrifying. For an instant, Armand had trouble breathing. Never in a million years would he have guessed she’d do something like this. Never in a million years would he have suspected how badly he wanted her to.
He was so startled, so spellbound, he could only stare in amazement until the figure in his grasp began to squirm. Turning, Armand took the man’s throat in his jaws, stunning him with a jolt of venom. He swallowed deeply—allowing himself just the one, warm, satisfying mouthful, and that was enough. He pulled away.
Meeting Julie’s gaze, Armand inclined his head toward the man and murmured humbly, “Please.”
It was all he could think to say and he hoped she’d understand the gesture for what it was, a demonstration of his desire to provide for her, to sacrifice even his own sustenance, to make sure her every need was met…even if it could only ever be symbolic.
After all, it wasn’t as though she couldn’t fend for herself. It wasn’t as though either of them were starving tonight, or even particularly hungry at the moment. Even more importantly, it wasn’t as though they both didn’t still have Conrad to provide and care for them, to sacrifice for them if need be, and to decide for them both whether or not this flirtation they’d begun would be allowed to go forward. In some ways, that was the greatest risk of all.
Right now, however, none of that mattered. She’d given him a gift and he just wanted to do the same for her.
For what felt like a very long moment, Julie studied his face. Her eyes were dark mysteries, revealing nothing of her thoughts. Perhaps her thoughts were not so different from his own. Perhaps she, too, was wondering what Conrad would think about this. Finally, she smiled. Armand sighed with relief—and with pleasure—as her body, warm and pliant, was pressed against his arm once more.
And then, just when he was sure the night could not hold any more surprises, she angled her head, letting him watch as she slowly and deliberately inserted her fangs into the very holes he’d just made. For the second time tonight, breathing became an impossibility.
Armand’s fangs spasmed. Blood surged so quickly through his veins it left him dizzy. The curve of Julie’s neck as she bent to her meal had him aching to taste her. When she paused and glanced over her shoulder at him, and he was certain he read desire in her eyes, his control completely deserted him.
He released his hold on the man in his grasp, leaving him to slide, unheeded, down the wall, and seized Julie by the shoulders. The sweet taste of blood was on her lips, still warm and fresh, as he claimed her mouth. He took no notice of the human as he first crawled, then stumbled away. He was unimportant. The entire world was unimportant. Only she mattered now.
Her scent surrounded him and for one brief instant, a vague sense memory skittered uneasily across the surface of Armand’s thoughts. A faint recollection of something not quite this, but close, very close, tried to form connections within his mind, but then Julie moved more fully into his arms. Meeting him once again on equal terms, she kissed him back and with that, the elusive memory—along with any others that might have followed it—was lost.
Regaining what he could of his control, Armand banded his arms more tightly around Julie’s body. He backed her deeper into the now-deserted doorway, using his own body to shield her from the night, from prying eyes, from any harm that might threaten her. When he came up for air, just long enough to drag one ragged breath into his lungs, she bit softly on his lip. Venom spread swiftly through his system, a warm tide of want that left him reeling with desire.
Worth the risk, he decided as he fell back into her kiss. Their hearts beat rapidly in tandem and now it was his own blood he tasted on her tongue. How was it, he wondered, that his thoughts could be this hazy yet still crystal clear? Or that what once seemed uncertain, should now feel so sure? Definitely worth the risk.
Brand New Me by Meg Benjamin
Tom took a desultory swipe at the bar with his rag. It was clean, or as clean as he could get it without stripping it down to bare wood and starting over. He watched Bobby Sue take orders from the customers sprinkled around the lunch tables. Food service wasn’t exactly their biggest source of revenue, but people liked Clem’s burgers and enchiladas, and she was beginning to branch out into more interesting things, some soups and salads. They weren’t making a lot of money off food yet, but the customer base was building.
Even with the widely spaced lunch tables, Bobby Sue was having trouble getting around. Tom figured her arthritis was acting up again. At her age she should probably be sitting with her feet up, knitting an afghan or something. Instead, here she was limping from table to table, writing orders on her green pad. Part of the reason she still worked the lunch crowd was her own aversion to what she called “idleness”. The rest of it was most likely Bobby Sue’s boy, Leon, who had a fondness for get-rich-quick schemes that quickly turned into get-poor-quick.
Oh well, better than a fondness for crystal meth and petty theft, like Tom’s long-lost brother Burton. Tom just hoped Burton had the good sense to stay lost.
Leon himself pushed open the kitchen door and headed toward the bar with a tray of glasses from the dishwasher. Tom had taken him on originally as a favor to Bobby Sue, but Leon wasn’t all that bad. He could load the dishwasher at least, and sweep up. Besides, Tom sort of liked having people around who had a stake in the place, which Leon did, thanks to his mother.
Chico lounged in the doorway to the beer garden. They didn’t need a bouncer with the lunch crowd, but he liked to carry the trays for Bobby Sue. And Tom got a kick out of seeing the tourists’ reaction when he did.
Tom stopped wiping. He wasn’t sure he’d really heard anyone say anything, what with the jukebox blaring Reckless Kelly in the corner.
“Excuse me?” The voice was louder, but still faint.
He turned toward the other end of the bar, toward the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.
Tall. Maybe five-ten or so. Hair the color of a moonless night, falling straight to her shoulders. Skin the pure white of marble, so that her faintly curving eyebrows stood out against it like parentheses. Full lips, dark pink.
And blue eyes. Sky blue. With a dark circle around the outer edge of the iris and lashes like dark smudges against her cheeks. He’d be willing to bet she wasn’t wearing makeup. Everything was natural. If she ever put on mascara, she’d probably have to carry a stick to beat off the male population of Konigsburg.
Of course, now that he got a closer look, he realized she was dressed in some of the worst clothes he’d ever seen on such a glorious woman. At least he assumed she was glorious. Given the bagginess of her jeans and T-shirt it was hard to tell. Her clothes were so nondescript she might as well have been wearing bib overalls.
Lord have mercy!
“Excuse me?” she said for the third time, her voice becoming somewhat sharper.
Tom had the feeling she’d go on saying it, maybe getting a little more pissed, until he pulled himself together enough to answer her. He took a deep breath, dragging his scattered wits back into line. “Yes, ma’am.”
“I was wondering…that is…”
She paused, licking her lips, and Tom felt a jolt of electricity straight to his groin. If she kept that up he’d be vaulting the bar in another five minutes. “Yes?” he said encouragingly.
“Do you happen to know who owns the shop next door, the one that’s vacant?” It came out in a rush, as if she were trying to say the words before she lost her nerve.
“Yes ma’am, I do. That is, I own it.” Shit, he sounded like a shy schoolboy himself all of a sudden. The brunette had a hell of an effect.
“Oh.” She licked her lips again. “Well. I’d like to discuss leasing that shop. That is, if it’s available. Is it available?”
Tom frowned. Not only was the shop available, he’d been trying to find a renter ever since Ken Ferguson had closed his T-shirt shop and taken off for parts unknown, owing a couple of months’ rent and leaving him with a complete stock of cheesy T-shirts in his back room. “It’s available.”
“Oh, good.” The brunette gave him a dazzling smile he felt all the way to the tips of his toes. Apparently keeping a poker face was not part of her negotiating style. “Maybe we could talk about it then.” She reached a hand across the bar. “I’m Deirdre Brandenburg.”
Tom nodded, taking her incredibly soft, warm hand in his. “Tom Ames.” Reluctantly, he let go again.
Of course you do! I’m launching my newly redesigned personal blog and focusing more on historical romance. The lovely Barbara at Happily Ever After designed it and oh, it’s so beautiful. You must go check it out!
While you’re there, check out the awesome contest I’m having in celebration of my upcoming historical romance release LESSONS IN INDISCRETION. I’m giving away prizes every time I hit a goal and the grand prize is a Kindle! The winner will be announced on June 21st.
Check out all the details for the contest here.
As some of you may know, the Smutketeers get together every year and do a steampunk photo shoot. This year was no exception, and we gathered the day after the Romantic Times conference to get it on like Donkey Kong.
So, right now, we’re working on sorting through all the photos, picking the best ones, cleaning them up, resizing them, making them sepia toned, and getting them ready to put in our gallery. And don’t forget how we always like to have a few behind the scenes shots (and funny bloopers). We’re picking some of those for you too, never fear.
For a teeny tiny sneak peek, you can check out my avatar on this post. This is one of the new shots.
Yes, this is a called a tease. Take it and like it. *evil grin*
April 27th, 2011: If you’re in the Los Angeles area you can hear me read from my Harlequin Spice book, THE LOVERS, at the April In The Flesh Reading at the Hustler Hollywood Cafe!
There will be a book signing after the reading, and the Hustler Cafe will be serving their fabulous baked goodies! Plus there’s awesome shopping in the Hustler store-books, gag gifts, lingerie, sex toys-fun! Hope to see you all there!
The Smutketeers’ post-apocalyptic anthology is out in print today! We had so much fun building this world, and writing our stories-they’re all a li’l smutty, of course, because, well, it’s *us*! Take a look at our gorgeous cover, and read a bit about the world of the Wasteland!
In 2012, the world came to a grinding halt as radiation hit from a massive solar storm. Crops died, animals perished, cities fell and humans became little more than beasts themselves. Under the threat of starvation, civility was reduced to mere memory. Only the strongest men survived, and physically weaker women and children wasted to nothingness.
More than a century later, humanity struggles in the desert Wasteland that was left. The solar radiation rendered most women infertile, and the population dwindles more with each year that passes. Scattered up and down coasts, isolated cities eke out an existence from fishing, foraging and hunting for what little game remains. Outside the city walls, men face the threat of pirates and raiders.
Few women remain, divided into four classes—Wanderers, Whores, Breeders and Priestesses. They are as reviled as they are worshiped, a commodity any man must pay to touch.
There is only one rule in the Wasteland—survive.
Book One: THE WANDERER — Crystal Jordan
Book Two: THE WHORE — Lilli Feisty
Book Three: THE BREEDER — Eden Bradley
Book Four: THE PRIESTESS — R.G. Alexander
The Wanderer by Crystal Jordan
For his inventions, Ezra can demand whatever price he wants, and now he wants the fierce warrior, Kadira. Kadira fights her unexpected need for him with all her strength. The trouble is, the more she resists, the more he seems to like it.
The Whore by Lilli Feisty
Prostitution is the only life Bryn knows until she escapes aboard a pirate ship, dressed as a boy. In the arms of Captain Xander and his lover, Hawke, she finds true freedom. Yet danger awaits them at the next port…
The Breeder by Eden Bradley
When Nitara looks into the eyes of the man to be sacrificed along with her virginity, she sees not an animal, but the man who haunts her erotic dreams. Realizing the temptress is as much a prisoner as he, Akaash escapes with her into the arms of his bonded lover, Dhatri. There, she learns loving two men is worth every sacrifice.
The Priestess by R.G. Alexander
On a dangerous journey to an ancient city, High Priestess Xian and her guard, Hel, find a battered stranger. Her attraction to the mysterious Siraj makes Hel’s blood boil, forcing him to cross a line never before dared. And reveal secrets that change everything.
Warning! Contains hot pirates, sexy Sun Guards, dirty and dusty warriors with big swords, three-way, more-way, straight-way, bi-way, anal sex, spanking, naked wrestling, voyeurism, exhibitionism, pretty much every “ism” because, c’mon, it’s the Smutketeers!
Buy WASTELAND today! Samhain Amazon Barnes & Noble Powell’s Books
…and other book stores & online retailers!
Most of us are off at the RT Booklover’s Convention this week, but we’ll do some giveaways after we return to celebrate. Meanwhile, if you’re at RT, we’ll have Wasteland there to sign-come find us at the book signings-or at the bar. *G*
All For Smut, and Smut For All!
Oh, my bad, my bad, I meant to have the winners announcement up this morning and…yeah. Time got away from me and now it’s ten o’clock at night and I’m finally getting to it! Sorry peeps!
Without further ado, let’s announce winners! A big thanks goes out to the handy random.org site for helping me choose.
First up, the winner of a copy of Fallen is…
The second winner who will receive a envelope of swag (promo goodies galore including a set of my romance trading cards!) is…
Ladies, email me at karen.e.erickson @ gmail.com (minus spaces) and I’ll get your prizes to you. Congrats!
And a big thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented – I really love reading your answers.