Sunday, January 29, 2012

Romance Sample Sunday comes to you from guest author Joyce De Bacco

Sample Sunday comes from Joyce De Bacco 's romance Where Dreams are Born
It was supposed to be a win-win situation—a safe environment in which to raise a son for single mom Vicky, housekeeping and childcare for widowed Jack. Neither one wants or expects anything more. Life, however, has more in store than either one imagines.

Feeling naked despite the tasteful bikini she bought on her extravagant shopping expedition, Vicky wrapped herself in a large towel. Swathed in terry from armpits to ankles, she lay back on the cushioned chaise as the sound of children splashing and giggling lulled her into a gentle half-sleep.
Serene in the pleasure of the moment, she lost all track of time, stirring only when plump beads of moisture, trapped between her breasts, ripened and burst. Welcoming release from her self-imposed steam bath, she unknotted her towel and threw it open like the pages of a book. Then she raised her knees, allowing air to circulate around her legs.
“You look hot,” Jack remarked from the pool.
Her eyes flew open. How long had he been watching her? “It is getting a bit warm out here,” she said. “Maybe I’ll sit on the edge and cool off a little.”
“Suit yourself,” he said, backstroking to the far end of the pool.
The children finally grew tired and climbed out one by one to play poolside. With the pool all to himself, Jack began swimming laps. And though she tried not to, Vicky couldn’t keep her eyes off his lithe body.
Despite his sedentary job, Jack appeared remarkably healthy and fit, conditioned, she knew, by regular racquetball sessions with Russ, also well toned, and the lecherous George, the battle of the bulge’s most recent casualty.
After a thorough workout, he drifted toward her. Without warning, he grabbed her dangling leg. Vicky immediately stiffened. He’d never intentionally touched her before.
“Come on in,” he said, gripping her by the ankle. “The kids are playing nicely for a change.”
He flattened her foot against his chest, and the tactile sensation of his skin against the delicate pad of her foot made her toes curl. Their eyes locked, awareness flickered, and flesh upon flesh, they remained so, unmoving but definitely not unmoved.
In an attempt to cool her body and clear her brain, she yanked her foot away and slid into the water. Then, in a game as old as time, she dove under, making it all the way to the deep end before he caught up to her. She surfaced and he remained submerged, observing her at close range. When she attempted to swim away, he hooked his arm around her waist and pulled her toward him, their legs scissoring in an erotic, underwater ballet.
Excited but unsettled by the strange, new dimensions of their water play, Vicky broke free and swam for the steps. Everything was happening too quickly. She needed time to think. She needed to keep her wits about her before she ended up making a fool of herself. She told herself there was nothing behind Jack’s sudden interest in her. He didn’t want her; he wanted her body, perfectly understandable given the circumstances. Simply put, she was handy.
But Jack wouldn’t let her leave, pursuing her to the shallow end of the pool. There, he trapped her in the corner, closed his hands around her waist, and lifted her up and out of the water, his chest full against her thighs, his mouth aligned with her belly.
Vicky gasped at the intimacy of their position. She felt his tongue swirl around her navel, and her breath caught in her throat, her fingers dug into his shoulders. Time suddenly stood still, and she wondered how the moment would end. Seconds later, he loosened his fingers, and she slid down his body in a long, slow, sensual caress. By the time her feet touched bottom, she was on the verge of something wonderful.
Then a child howled, yanking them apart as cleanly as a bucket of ice water. Embarrassed by her reaction to him, Vicky scrambled from the pool and tended to the quarrelsome children, her demeanor automatically switching gears from a state of intense arousal to that of conscientious caregiver. 

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Romance Sample Sunday this week comes to you from guest author Michelle Hamilton

Guest author Michelle Hamilton on her book

Author Note:

When I started writing this book, I was playing with the idea of writing a romance novel. Then Joshua decided he wanted it to be more about him. So many times when I write, I have a vision in my head of what’s going to happen in the plot, but the characters themselves take it in a different direction.
I find character driven plots more interesting. The characters become so real to me that I feel like I’ve met them before and by the time the novel is over, I wind up missing them as daily parts of my life. Ravensong was just such a character.
I usually write fantasy, but this time I decided to write about my hometown, San Francisco. It was fun to go back and remember all the locations of my childhood. And branching into a new genre is something I recommend every writer do at some point in his or her career. You never want to get stale.

Joshua came awake at the sound of the coffee pot striking the floor. He sat bolt upright and listened, then slowly relaxed as he heard Elena curse the cat. Obviously no one was hurt. No reason to go charging in there like a hero when she’d just broken a glass or something. Yet as he lay there listening to her moving in the other room, he decided she might appreciate a little help, and he wanted to prove himself useful to Elena.
He stopped in the doorway and surveyed the scene. She had her back to him and was crouching on the floor, trying to sweep the broken glass into a dust pan. Her hair was loose, curling in damp ringlets.
“Can I help?” he said, surprised by how husky his voice sounded in his own ears.
She turned abruptly, her eyes dilating in surprise. The throat of her robe fell open, offering him a beguiling glimpse of bare thigh. He couldn’t stop his eyes from traveling over her.
“Hell,” he whispered, “I knew your hair would be gorgeous loose.”
She rose to her feet, her eyes fixed on his, seemingly unaware of her disarray. Again his gaze lowered.
“I was trying to make coffee,” she said, looking down at the mess. She caught sight of her open robe and her cheeks colored. Pulling it closed, she tied the belt tighter, unwillingly accentuating her waist.
Joshua’s breath escaped in a rush as her hair spilled over her shoulder and blocked her features for a moment. “Can I help you?”
She glanced down on the mess again. “Could you hold the dust pan?”
He nodded, unable to speak. He crossed to her side and knelt, picking up the dust pan, his eyes still riveted on her. She retrieved the broom and brushed it across the floor, then stopped. Her eyes shifted to his face and she knelt, wrapping her fingers around his wrist and directing the dust pan into place.
He shook himself at her touch and realized he wasn’t being much help staring at her. “Sorry,” he murmured gruffly and frowned, trying hard to concentrate on the task at hand.
It wasn’t easy with Elena so close, the smell of her damp hair filling his nostrils. As she bent to take the dust pan from him, her hair brushed against his bare chest. Joshua closed his eyes.
Aware of his response, Elena quickly turned away and emptied the dust pan in the garbage. “I’m afraid there won’t be any coffee this morn...”
She stopped abruptly. Joshua had moved up behind her and as she turned to speak with him, she found herself nearly in his arms.
“Joshua...” she began, but he interrupted her.
“When I told you last night that I was infatuated with a woman, I was afraid to tell you who it was, but I can’t pretend anymore. Since the moment I saw you, Elena...”
“Stop,” she said. “Please, I don’t want to hear this.”
“Why? Are you afraid you won’t be able to hide in your safe little cocoon of marriage?”
“That’s not it. I made a commitment...”
“ a man you don’t love. What are you afraid of?”
“This isn’t any of your business.”
Joshua licked his lips slowly. Elena couldn’t help but follow the move with her eyes. “It wasn’t my business, until last night, until...” He paused and frowned. “Until it became obvious that we both are feeling the same attraction...”
“Stop, please!”
His jaw hardened. “You’re right.”
Elena started to ask him what he meant, but he moved too quickly, catching her in his arms and pulling her against him. He lowered his head and captured her lips.
Sliding her hands up either side of his neck, she sank her fingers in his thick black hair. He crushed her tighter against him.
“Joshua,” she breathed, but he swallowed her words with his mouth.
At first the pressure was gentle, probing, but then he captured her lower lip with his teeth and she gasped in surprise. His tongue traced around her lips, forcing her to part them, his hands sliding down her back to her hips, crushing them against his own.
“Joshua,” she whispered again. “Please...stop...”
He stopped abruptly, his eyes flashing up to hers. “Why, Elena?”
“If we don’t stop, we both know where this will lead us.”
“And that would be bad?”
She smiled. “I’m engaged to be married and you’re...”
“No longer in a relationship.” He shook his head. “You don’t love the man.”
Elena looked away. “I don’t want this. Can’t you understand?”
“Not really.”
“I don’t want to be just another conquest.”
Joshua released her and stepped back.
“That’s right, Joshua, isn’t it? You only want me because you know you can’t have me, because I’m committed to someone else. But should I give in to you, you’d be on to the next woman as soon as it was over.” She jabbed him in the chest with her finger. “Admit it. You couldn’t have a relationship and make it work if your life depended on it.”

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Revel in this reveal from the 5 star vampire romance Devon Ruthin and a Vampire in Love

This weekend's excerpt is a reveal, from Devon Ruthin and a Vampire in Love, clues to Elise and her magical ancient abilities

 Strangely, Drew began to talk about Devon.
“I’ve been thinking, and I would like to know what exactly the relationship is between you and Devon, the prince of darkness?” His tone was vitriolic as he said Devon’s name and added the nickname he had given to Devon long ago.
Elise had covered her nakedness with the sheet from the bottom of the bed and was sitting up. She took Drew’s hand, he still appealed to her. She had begun to put that down to sheer sexual attraction. She hadn’t wanted to admit it, but it was probable, one look at him and she was confused. Drew liked that she had taken his hand, and he turned his head to look at her.
“Drew, I’m just a friend, I helped him with his garden and I visit him, sure I do, but there’s nothing else”. Elise had left out her part in Devon’s treatment, because that would lead to unwanted questions. Drew had not said anything and so a few seconds later she added, “I hope you believe me Drew, truth is you are the only one I have ever loved and made love with”.
She had let him know that because it was true, and she wanted some truth in their encounter.

Drew sat up to face her and began to kiss her. He nuzzled down her throat to the soft part of her shoulder and began to suck.
Elise shivered with pleasure, he had done this to her last night too, and she knew that humans did this weird kissing. It felt good but she put her hand to his head to bring his lips to hers, he kissed all the way up her throat to her lips.

Drew had taken a little blood from her last night and just then with his love bites. It was nothing in his mind; he sucked just the tiniest bit harder than a human would. He excused the action but he could taste her blood and as he kissed her lips, he moved a hand down her body and took away the sheet. He covered her body with his own. He would make love to her, that way the desire for more of her blood would subside.
Elise held him to her body as he began to make love to her, it could be the last time she thought as she made a little sound of pleasure.
When Drew’s lips had reached hers, Elise had registered the vaguest hint of honey and then been overtaken by the depth of feeling it gave her when Drew touched her body the way he did.
Sometime later Drew held her close, he felt very calm, it was a good feeling; she is good for me he thought, just being with her, it’s so much better than I remember. He left his eyes closed, and he could hear a bird singing, he heard the leaves on the tree outside one of his windows rustle. He fancied he could smell the roses that were down there too under the window in the small patch of garden, a pleasant scent, one that stirred memories of his mother’s garden.
Elise was thinking about Drew and how she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life with him, he drank blood, he would have to kill; maybe she should leave before they were in deeper, as it was, she knew there was going to be trouble. Drew seemed to be sighing, he seemed happy, she could see a little smile coming and going on his lips as she raised herself up on her elbow to look at him.
Deciding that she would manipulate him into going out to see a friend, thinking that this would give her chance to leave without a scene, she concentrated her thoughts. She remembered one of the names from last night, Bodie, so she used that name in her mind manipulation. 
She expected him to sit up and announce that he was going out to catch up with Bodie but he didn’t, he opened his eyes and smiled at her. “Elise it’s late and you have not eaten. Why don’t we go out, get you something to eat, I can stand the sun in small doses, if I am covered up. Let’s do that”.
She looked at him closely, he was somehow more sincere than before, and he meant this concern in his voice. Shocked that her powers had not worked, she nodded, “Ok Drew let’s do that”.
Elise had only brought a small overnight bag, and she went into the adjoining bathroom to shower quickly taking it with her. She was out of the shower and in clean underwear before she went to the mirror to comb her wet hair when she saw the love bites, two of them close together, they were very red and a long oval shape. She touched them, this was how Drew had taken her blue eyes, he had tasted her blood through these florid lesions when they made love years ago and now he had done it again. That was why he had not been manipulated into going out, he must have a little of her resistance to mind manipulation by virtue of having sucked her blood. Elise put her jeans and shirt back on. She combed her wet hair and left the bathroom to find Drew gone.

@$2.99 US or £1.93 'this is something different and promising in the paranormal romance/ urban fantasy genre' on kindle

 "Tessa Stokes writes so fluidly.  Her imagination and description pulled me completely into the story as though I was dreaming it and moving right along the stream of consciousness without realizing how many hours slipped past.  Several times I had to remind myself to stop to eat or drink, her writing is so hypnotic!   I am anxiously awaiting the release of book number two in her trilogy!  Five stars!!!" Amazon reviewer.