Category Archives: Contemporary

Villains with Vaginas

I was on social media the other day (shocking, I know) and stumbled over a thread that piqued my interest. Someone had read a book in which women seemed to be vilified to the point of misogyny. The disappointed reader said it was a theme she’d been running into frequently and numerous other readers chimed in that they had the same issue with MM books. I haven’t read the book in question, so I can’t speak to its content, but women being portrayed negatively in gay romance is hardly a new phenomenon. Readers have been complaining about it for years.

When I first began writing MM, rumblings about women being cast as conniving harpies abounded on review sites–every female in nearly every book was pure evil. Or there were no females in books, in other cases.

Female sorcerer with two troll beasts

Long ago, I vowed to be super conscientious about how my female characters came across. And then I largely washed my hands of the worry. Seriously, I’m the girl who likes to joke that women can’t do X because their vaginas are so cumbersome they get in the way. I used to go to parties in HS to challenge dudes to mercy competitions just to prove what a bad ass I was. Well, and to drink (shot for shot with the guys, of course). Yeah, also to get laid because treating men the way I perceived they’d treated women since the dawn of time–like a piece of meat to be used–was my shtick, I’m rather ashamed to say (they rarely minded, for the record, so I guess I won’t feel too guilty).

My point is, I’m not the girl who thinks women are in any way inferior to men (really–why would any woman think that?). I mean, we squeeze squalling 8 lb beings from our bodies and then we’re like, give me some fucking pizza and let me walk around or I’ll drown you in breast milk. If anything, I’ve got a chip on my shoulder when it comes to how undervalued women are.

Yet, whenever I see these posts, I get paranoid.

I shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t. I am woman, with better plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills than most men I know. Hear me roar. I won’t even mention my chest hair (I blame gin).

Oh, but people were complaining about the evil fictional ex-wife! The evil mother-in-law!

Well, I’ve written a character mid-divorce in a nasty custody battle. Yes, his wife came off witchy, but she’d given her best years to a guy and wanted to keep her kid. No, she wasn’t nice to her soon-to-be ex-husband, but I’ve seen more ugly divorces than I can count, and I don’t think a bit of reality is untoward. Guaranteed, if I’d been writing from the ex-wife’s POV, Gio would have looked like a total cobnobbler.

Not that anyone has accused me of defaming women. But the conversation makes me rethink every female character I’ve ever written. Was she too bitter? Did I make all women look bad by writing one woman going through a shitastic stage in her life? Should I never write female characters I wouldn’t want to be friends with IRL? Should I never write a female as an antagonist for fear of being labeled a misogynist?

I have more awesome women than bitchy women in my books, when I do the math. Probably equal amounts antagonistic men to antagonistic women. Realistically, someone needs to be the adversary in contemporary romance.

And then I just wrote a rather unlikable mother-in-law(ish)…

Maybe exes and MILs are overdone at this point. Maybe that’s the problem, in which case, contemporary MM may be overdone too because, well, as I know I’ve complained before, we can’t just pull a (sexless) monster out of our asses to make a villain.

Now, is Greg’s mom in my latest book (Balancing Act~~Coming soon to a website near you! Shameless plug!) absolute evil? No. Not even remotely. Matter of fact, she’s based on a woman I happen to adore. Is she a horse-pill to swallow? Oh, you bet your ass. On the flip side, Kyrie’s mom is a love, she just doesn’t get major screen time in this book. Same for his cool friend, Liv.

Nice can be boring, TBH. Suspense doesn’t come from that totally humorous Comic-Con scene I keep contemplating. A book needs to move forward and then get kicked in the teeth to make it step back. It needs tension. Bad guys and bad girls.

Sigh. No one was complaining about my characters, so I know I shouldn’t get all twitchy about this. And, yes, if I happen to come across a book that makes me think the author hates women, I’ll get way fucking twitchier, but I hate how this conversation makes me think twice about using female characters at all. Much like complaints about authors writing persons of color incorrectly make me nervous about just writing any damn character that comes to mind.

I don’t want to shy away from female characters–or any characters. Occasionally, I even want to write a hard-nosed bitch. Just as sometimes I want to write a psychotic would-be murderer who happens to have a penis. Neither one makes me a misogynist or a misandrist.

I guess I’ll just keep reminding myself of that and follow wherever my characters lead. No fear. After all, they’re in charge–even if that means they come off a little cunty sometimes.

Hey, don’t we all?

-Kimber

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The Gazillionaire & the Virgin #Giveaway #BDSM

 

Today I have the lovely Lisabet Sarai stopping by with info on her new release, The Gazillionaire & the Virgin. To celebrate her book tour, Lisabet has a couple of giveaways, so read on for a sample of her refreshing role-reversal BDSM romance, and to learn how to be in the running for a $50 gift card or a paperback copy of The Gazillionaire & the Virgin!

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Letting My Characters Lead

By Lisabet Sarai

On the plotter versus pantser dimension, I usually lean more toward plotting. I don’t do really detailed outlines or character sketches before I begin a book, but normally I have a pretty clear idea of the story arc. Often I will create a scene list. In particular, I know how I want the book to end. The process of writing is something like directing a film, as I walk the characters through the scenes, moving them in the direction of the climax and resolution.

The Gazillionaire and the Virgin was different. This was the first novel I’ve written using the Character-driven Random Walk Method. When I began writing, all I had was a title and the two main characters (reflected in the title), Rachel and Theo. I really had no idea what they’d do, other than having sex and falling in love.

I did know this was going to be an erotic romance. In fact, although the book deliberately shreds romance stereotypes, it preserves the essential core of romance, namely, the characters’ journey toward a loving relationship. So I understood there had to be obstacles or conflicts that would stand in the way of the happy ending. At the start, though, I couldn’t have told you the nature of those obstacles. I didn’t plan. I didn’t outline. That’s not like me at all! I simply sat down at my computer, invoked Rachel and Theo, and let them interact. At each point in the plot, the focus character in some sense decided what would happen next.

I’d expected the book would be 20K at most. As I let Rachel and Theo lead me deeper into their story, I discovered I was wrong. They did not want to be rushed. It took four chapters for them to get to their first erotic encounter. The revelation that they shared kinky interests took another four. By the time I reached the book’s climax, the events that tear them apart, I had more or less figured out how they’d reconcile, but I couldn’t make them follow my script. Theo turned out to be far more stubborn than I would have guessed. Fortunately, Rachel’s imagination came to the rescue. Still, every time I sat down to write what I thought would be the final chapter, I’d come to realize there was yet another one needed.

When I finally wrote “The End”, I was seriously relieved. I wasn’t sure Rachel and Theo would ever let me finish their story!

I know a lot of authors always write this way. Some of my writer friends talk about hearing voices in their heads. For me, though, this was a new experience—alternately fulfilling and frustrating. I have to admit that I am really pleased with the result. I hope readers will be, too.

~ ~ ~

This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or a print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2016/01/blog-tour.html

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Trust can’t be bought—it has to be earned.

Blurb:

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.

Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from

extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.

That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.

Excerpt:

It won’t go away. All through the day—every day—need gnaws at my spirit. Whether I’m reading my email, meeting with my board of directors, preparing a presentation, closing a deal to acquire a promising start-up, discussing deployment of the next release with my engineering managers, I can’t shake the sense that something critical is missing. In yoga class, the aching knot just above my solar plexus doesn’t unwind, no matter how deeply I breathe. Driving to work, I have to force myself to pay attention. Otherwise, I drift off into recollections of my time with Theo—what he did, what he said, how I responded.

I miss him, miss him dreadfully, though it’s been only four days since we were last together. We’ve Skyped every night since the weekend, but somehow that only makes the hunger worse. When I see him there on my screen, grainy and over-exposed, all I want is to touch him—to brush the unruly hair off his forehead, to stroke his cheek, to trace the line of his plump, sensitive lips with my thumb. To offer up my own mouth for him to claim it, tear off my blouse and press my tits against his solid chest, sink to my knees and beg him to take me.

I’d be more than willing to strip and perform for him, to act out whatever lewd actions he ordered, but he refuses to become involved in any sort of phone or cyber-sex. “Everyone’s listening in,” he asserts. “The government. The neighbors. What you and I do should be private.” So we chat about safe topics—our work, what we’ve been reading, where we should go for dinner next weekend. All the while, lust burns in those bright eyes of his. I know what he’s thinking. I’m thinking the same thing.

I’m not expecting him to call Thursday afternoon. The trill of my phone interrupts me as I’m giving Diane instructions for tomorrow. Still, the sound of his voice kindles a warm joy in the pit of my stomach as well as a wetness between my legs.

“Hello. Rachel?”

“Hi, Theo. What’s up?”

“I want you to come early tomorrow. Around noon.”

“I—um—I really can’t. I’ve got an all-day meeting up in San Francisco, some investors from India.”

“Cancel it.”

“What? I can’t do that. These guys have come half-way around the world to talk to me about a franchise deal. Think of the potential profit! More than a billion people, a soaring GDP, and Internet growth that’s doubling every year…”

It’s the wrong thing to say. I realize this the moment the statement’s out of my mouth.

“So you care more about money than about me.” Not a whining complaint, but a dry statement of the facts, at least as Theo sees them.

“No, of course not, but I can’t put my personal life above my business…”

“You should.” I can picture his face, the stubborn set of his jaw as he retreats, distancing himself from me. “But never mind. Of course you’re too busy. I should have expected that.”

“Wait! Wait, don’t hang up, Theo.” I struggle to keep him engaged. “What’s so important about tomorrow noon?”

“I want you to meet my sister. Ellen. She’s free for lunch tomorrow.”

“Can’t we do it Saturday?”

“She’s flying to Jamaica for a two week vacation with her partner Saturday morning.”

“What about when she gets back?”

“She doesn’t want to leave without talking to you. She says she’s worried about me, worried about our relationship. She’s afraid you’ll hurt me, break my heart.”

I’d never hurt you, I almost say, then understand I’m doing so at that very moment. And it feels horrible, like a knife twisting in my gut.

—————–

Links (Print coming soon!)

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B76B95K/

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01B76B95K/

Barnes & Noble

All Romance

Kobo

Goodreads

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About Lisabet

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

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Keeping it Real #amwriting

So, I’m finally nearing the end of my self-edit for Balancing Act. I know I’m suuuuuuper slow, but I like to fool myself into thinking that means it will be better than if I was suuuuuper fast. Right? Here’s to hoping.

Anyway, I’ve been stalled on plans for the next book for a long time now. I’ve got an idea of what will happen–I know Andy’s story fairly well, but this entire time I’ve been dreading writing it because I think it will be hard. Like, really hard. I haven’t been able to plan a love story, because all I can see is darkness. I couldn’t visualize the happy times amid all the issues. Until a few days ago, when I finally got a solid mental picture of my other MC and it all clicked.

I know it will still be hard.

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andy has baggage, so this book can’t be a walk in the park. I mean, even with that fancy wheeled luggage, he can’t drag it behind him for a stroll around the grounds– not without sore arms and a twinge in his back. Not without mud puddles and dive-bombing pigeons, stray baseballs and rude joggers throwing monkey wrenches at every turn. Hell, I’d just stay home with all my baggage and save myself the trouble.

But it MUST be a walk in the park! It’s a romance, dammit! That’s what I do! No matter how tough my characters have it (and they MUST have it tough, because they are meant to be real–they’re real in my head and I need them real in my readers’ hearts and the only way for that to work is for my guys to bleed), they still deserve the rainbows and cooing doves and ice cream sundaes.

Well, I figured it out (safe for me to say from the only outlining stage). Life isn’t sunshine and roses for any of us, but if we have someone who loves us unconditionally, who wants to make every moment sunbeams and park walks and flowers, well, it will be. Eventually. Certainly some of the time. And hauling all that baggage is easier with an extra set of arms (especially an extremely diesel set of tattooed arms–yes, I’m getting excited about this character. Suffice it to say, I’m having good times on Pinterest fleshing this guy out).

Anyway, all those rough spots will only make the good times better, the rainbows brighter, and the romance sweeter. At least, that’s what I’m banking on.

-Kimber

 

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Huge #Ebook #Giveaway

usb key

Fellow Liquid Silver author Layna Pimentel cooked up a massive month-long giveaway to celebrate the relaunch of her newsletter. The grand prize is a flash drive with 40 romance e-books of all sub-genres (including my Crossed Hearts). You could be reading for free well into 2016!

Jump on the Rafflecopter link to be in the running:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, I hope everyone had a phenomenal holiday, and that 2016 will be your best year yet. Sorry I’ve been a shit blogger/writer lately. I make no promises or resolutions, but I’ll see if I can get my crap together once these hobbits climb back on the big yellow angel of mercy. Balancing Act is done and in the editing stage. I’ll put the pedal to the metal in the next few weeks, and try to get that out to my pub and off my plate. ❤

Peace,

Kimber

 

 


#BlackFriday Comes Early!

Crossed HeartsOne heart’s been broken. The other is secondhand.

My book, Crossed Hearts, is on sale for 99 cents during a limited time Black Friday event! That’s right, 212 pages of sweet romance, hot lovin’, and feels, feels, feels. It’s a bargain at twice the price. If you haven’t yet picked up Crossed Hearts, now is your chance to read Kory and Will’s story for mere pennies.

No one even likes pennies!

Okay, enough of my sales pitch, but, seriously, you should totally buy it.

Here’s an excerpt for ya:

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

When Kory stepped out of the shower, Will was gone. Kory opened the door and poked his head out into the early-evening humidity. No car. His eyes stung—had to be the neon orange of the drooping sun—and, shoulders hunched, he made for the kitchen to put together a shitty meal for one, made all the shittier by this rejection.

Probably for the best. Did you really think you could start a platonic relationship with an adorable gay guy?

Sure, Will played the stern authoritarian pretty damn well, but something about him seemed vulnerable and enticingly sweet at the same time. Maybe it was the odd expression that flashed across his face when Kory let his flirtatious nature win out. He couldn’t identify the vibe he got, couldn’t even say for certain it was real, but whatever those hopeful sparks followed by tiny frowns were, they called to Kory’s most basic instincts.

A guy who helps everyone else, but never has his own needs met. That Kory was the last man in the world who could add anything of value to Will’s life was irony at its best. Because he wanted to be the guy to do it, and he recognized that same yearning in his own eyes when he looked in the mirror. In his own heart now when it squeezed at the realization he’d misinterpreted Will’s cordial demeanor for something more—that he’d put himself out there and gotten turned down in the rudest possible way.

Not even a freakin’ note—

A scrap of paper on the pitted Formica countertop, right next to a pile of bills, caught his attention. He held his breath as he picked it up.

Ran home to change into comfy clothes. I’ll grab something better than mac & cheese. See you in a few.
-Will

Hot relief flooded him, tempering the ache of rejection with muscle-melting anticipation. Grinning, Kory rummaged through the fridge and stood with a shriveled apple. He cut the bruises off with a steak knife before demolishing it in a matter of seconds. Then he grabbed his sketchbook, a hard graphite pencil and a softer one for shading, and sat on the couch to wait for his new friend to show.

The loud rumble of the AC lulled him into a meditative state as he scratched the drawing of an emaciated apple core. He was putting the final touches on it and scrawling the word hungry in box letters at the bottom when a knock sounded on the door.

The bag in Will’s hand smelled amazing, but Will himself looked more than appetizing in dark jeans and a gray short-sleeved shirt that revealed toned arms lightly dusted with dark hair.

“Are you comfy now?”

Will frowned. “What?”

“Your note. I half expected you’d be wearing pajamas.” Kory waved him in, grabbing the grocery bag from Will’s hands. “What do we have here?”

“Umm, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. It was fast. Sorry it’s not the healthiest.” Will frowned as if he’d done something wrong.

“Are you kidding? You show up with Thanksgiving dinner and you’re apologizing? I could kiss you right now for saving me from powdered cheese and noodles.” Will pursed his lips, but it looked more like displeasure than invitation. Crap. I’m never gonna say the right thing. Friends, Kory. Friends. “Hey, my dead, starved body won’t be on your ambulance run in the next few days, especially if you leave the leftovers.” Kory pulled Will over the threshold before he could escape, and waved him toward the couch. “Did you get a chance to select tonight’s feature film before you left?”

Will scanned the apartment and then gave Kory a questioning look.

“The sweet rack of VHS over there. Someone was giving them away. Can you believe it? And I picked up a VCR at the Salvation Army for two bucks.”

Will burst out laughing. “I brought some tapes to the dump about five or six years ago. Wish I’d saved them for you.”

“Fucker.” Kory snorted, stuck between elation at Will’s contagious smile and his own embarrassment. “Go check out the selection. You don’t like anything you see, you can leave. Without your bird and taters.”

He walked toward the kitchen to scrape together plates and silverware, and hoped Will could handle his humor. If not…well, there were certain things he couldn’t glaze over and get past. No funny bone was one. Bad kisser was the other major offense he would never be able to overlook. If he had to choose which was worse—frog-tongue kisser or stick-in-the-mud humor—he was incapable of pointing out the greater evil. They both sucked at the root canal level.

Will expelled a relieved whistle as he examined the collection.

“What’s up?”

“For some reason I was afraid this would be a rack of porn.”

“What?” The potato fork spun from Kory’s fingers and landed on the counter with a clatter and a miniature explosion of spuds.

“Eh, just my ex-boyfriend’s idea of a movie night, I guess.” Will glanced up, his cheeks red. “The only VHS he held onto were old porno flicks. Not that I think you would…and probably not even the same…” He trailed off and turned back toward the tape spines, running a hand through his hair.
Kory coughed. “Never watch it, myself.” That’d be like taking work home. Besides, he inevitably hated the way he looked on screen, or the way he delivered some cheesy line. At the end of the day, being on a shoot for hours was way more porn than he wanted to see.

“Wow.” Will turned back with a cautious smile and still-pink cheeks.

“Not a porn fan and you have this? I’m starting to think I’m being punked.” He held up Labyrinth.

Part of Kory felt like a liar. Another part of him argued it was a harmless omission, a white lie even, given that sweet, wistful look on Will’s face. Kory wasn’t the same person anymore. What Will didn’t know wouldn’t hurt either of them. Kory could feel him out and maybe confess later, not scare Will away at the starting line. That Will didn’t watch porn made it perfect—made Will perfect. Here was someone without any preconceived biases about who Kory was or wasn’t. And more than anything he wanted to be liked for who he truly was, even if he was still stumbling his way through Kory Vansant 101 in many ways.

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

There you have it.

Actually, here you have it:

Amazon

All Romance

Smashwords

 

XOXO,

Kimber

 

 


#Interview with #Author Olivia Night

Today I have Olivia Night visiting for a quick interview. Her new book, Seduction in Sierra Leone, just released in August, and Olivia was good enough to share a bit about her writing process and to catch a couple of left-fielders as well. 🙂

I love romantic suspense. Did you have a hard time balancing the two? 

I have been an avid reader of romantic suspense so I went into writing Seduction in Sierra Leone with an idea of how much suspense should be intertwined with the romance. I have read books where there is more suspense than romance and I found I didn’t grow attached to the characters. Conversely, I’ve read books that had more romance than suspense and in those cases I was never really “hooked” to the book.  I hope I did a good job at balancing the two. I love my characters and it was exciting for me to discover the story as I wrote it.

Sierra Leone is such an interesting and unusual setting. Do you have firsthand knowledge of Africa? How did you decide to place your characters there?

Africa is at the very top of my bucket list. I travel, each year, with a close friend to a different place. We have plans to visit Africa in 2018 (it seems far off but I am a HUGE planner). When I was younger I wanted to join the Peace Corps and go to Africa in that capacity. I went as far as completing the application. But I never hit submit. I have a really hard time taking risks and that was a huge one.  So it’s no surrpise to me that when Aislinn popped into my head she was a relief worker in Africa. (She also loves Coke’s and Dean Winchester, so she’s pretty awesome in my opinion)

I didn’t really “place” my characters there. Brandt and Aislinn came into my head pretty much fully formed people. I just had to write down their story and fill in the blanks.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I don’t know if it qualifies as a “quirk” but my writing process is more writing down what already exists in my head. In all three (and more recently four) books that I am currently writing the characters just kind of show up and say “Here I am! Write my story!” So I don’t have these thought out and planned ideas, my characters and their stories just kind of show up and I write them. I also listen to music for inspiration. Each character has a different “sound” and when I need a push I will sit for a while and just listen to the music, and the music only, for a while.

Twinkies by Hostess Brand (Photo: Creative Commons)

Twinkies or Devil Dogs?

Neither – something with dark chocolate.

Mayonnaise or Ketchup?

No competition- ketchup all the way.

Coffee or Tea?

If I only was allowed to drink water and one other beverage for the rest of my life I would forsake wine and embrace my beloved coffee. I’m a coffee-aholic.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a few things. I am finishing up Book 2- Seduction in Seville and am halfway through Book 3- Seduction in Scotland. I also am working on a second series (currently untitled which will be a four book series. I have written about thirty pages of book one in that and have jumped forward to book four and have that one pretty much outlined (partly in my head, partly on paper and partly on my iPhone notes app). I can’t wait to get all of these stories out on paper. I have this fear I will lose them somewhere in the recesses of my mind if I don’t. . The second book series will take place in Asheville, N.C. and starts with a tale of love and loss that makes even me feel sad for what the characters have gone through.

What is your favorite quote or catchphrase (can be from your writing or someone else’s)?

“You’re only given a spark of madness, you musn’t lose it.” Robin Williams

I have had this as part of my email signature for almost ten years and I’d like to think that when people see it they either smile or wonder what madness I am hiding….

 

Blurb

 

In the mangroves of Sierra Leone, two strangers raised a world apart find themselves inextricably connected. Seduction in Sierra Leone, the first in a series of three novels, is a fast-paced tale of murder, lust, and love that transports the reader to a foreign and mysterious world of danger.

Aislinn Salameh, an American relief worker, is searching for purpose in her self- imposed lonely world. The stranger who enters her village on a blistering hot day looks more animal than man. She knows she should stay far away but can’t stop herself from being drawn to the mysterious man.

Brandt Fairlane is a man haunted by the sins of his past. Detached from others, Brandt has spent his life alone. His line of work is too dangerous for the luxuries of love and family.

When Brandt sees Aislinn and her haunting eyes, he knows he must possess her. But when Brandt’s past comes back from the dead and Aislinn is caught in the crossfire, it is up to him to keep her safe. In order to survive, they must learn to rely on one another. As they run for their lives, the heat between them becomes undeniable. Now, Brandt must not only protect Aislinn from a madman committed to stealing her away but he also must protect her from himself. Because if Brandt steals her body and her heart, he’ll never let her go.

 

Excerpt

 

Together, they watched the truck, a far better model than either had seen in their time here, tip and tilt as four men emerged. Aislinn couldn’t see any of them very well, though she could tell they were all very large, muscular men, all in different ways. One was short and squat, and one was short and lean and looked as though he really needed to eat. The other two were tall. Those two were muscular and looked more dangerous than the others. Perhaps it was the serious look on their faces, as if they had never smiled. But one was more muscular than the others. He was the tallest in the group. And he was really, really easy on the eyes. And as if he sensed her watching him—okay, staring—he turned his head and looked directly over at her.

His face was blank, his eyes unblinking. He looked across the short distance at Aislinn, apparently not even noticing that Geoff was standing in front of her. From the distance between them, his eyes seemed to be charcoal gray, a color she had never seen on a person. Animals yes, people no. His skin was tanned, and there was a slight sheen of sweat, giving him a sort of healthy glow. His dark black hair was cut short, but not in a military fashion that had that silly flat surface at the top. No, there was just enough to run her fingers through. His legs were huge, like tree trunks that made their way up to a tapered and slim waist. His chest flared back out to meet his thick neck. Veins stood out on his arms as he picked a bag up from inside the car, all the while staring at her. She fixed her eyes shamelessly at his full lips that were a dark pink, a color you normally didn’t see on a man. His nose had been broken before, judging by the uneven placement on his face. The rest of his face was perfect. Perfect angles, perfect mouth, perfect eyes.

She came back to his eyes and realized she had just, very slowly, given this stranger a full-body perusal. He didn’t offer a nod, or any other type of greeting; he just kept looking at her. She felt herself blush. And then, suddenly, he turned. Brima, the town elder, was approaching the men—quickly for an old man—with a broad smile on his face. Brima rubbed the man’s chin, a traditional Mende greeting, and, as was customary, the man did not return the gesture as a symbol of acquiescence to the elder. Then they both smiled and shook hands. The muted tones of their conversation drifted over to her as they walked to the elder’s home farther up the path, leading away from the road.

 

Author Bio

 

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid read and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Seduction series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, runs, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.

Website: www.Olivianight.weebly.com

Twitter: @olivianightread

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olivianightauthor

Buy Seduction in Sierra Leone:

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/seduction-in-sierra-leone

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seduction-in-sierra-leone-olivia-night/1122341426?ean=9781622102426

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Seduction-Sierra-Leone-Men-Book-ebook/dp/B011J74H74/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1439751209&sr=8-14&keywords=Olivia+Night

Liquid Silver Books:

http://www.lsbooks.com/seduction-in-sierra-leone-p1043.php

ibooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seduction-in-sierra-leone/id1020494392?mt=11


Writing Funks #amwriting

I’ve been a total slug lately. Here it is, the first full week of summer “vacation” (I insist on quoting that word because it’s a joke to moms everywhere–stay-at-home or otherwise, it’s not our vacation). I just dropped my youngest two at a 9-12 camp. My oldest is still asleep (I guess the slugginess runs in the family). I need to start cranking out the words. This is my chance, possibly my only chance today.

But, I am not all that inspired lately. Part of it is seeing which books top the MM romance charts on Amazon. They aren’t the sort of books I write, generally speaking. Shifters and BDSM, rehashed Cinderella stories, cops, sports, motorcycle gangs. I get to thinking that maybe I shouldn’t bother with what I’m working on. Maybe I’ll spend months on a book that hardly anyone will read. Not to whine. I freaking hate when authors do that on Facebook. No. I’m not whining. I’m second-guessing, and it makes for a shitty writing mindset.

I have to remind myself that I can’t write anything I’m not interested in. Not only would it be painful to complete, but it would probably suck. It wouldn’t be me.

So, no matter how disheartening it is to not be burning up any charts with my books, I’m not going to try to come up with an alpha-mating-50-shades-of-tiger idea. I’m not going to stare at my current WIP and think I’m just wasting my fucking time.

I’m going to make a goddamn pot of coffee and finish this bitch because I love these characters, and really, their fictitious shit just hit the fan, so what the hell am I waiting for?

Here’s an unedited snippet from Balancing Act: Shooting Stars 3.5 to help rev the engines. I embrace cheerleaders, so feel free to give me a K. Give me an I. Give me an M. You get the idea. 😉

————-

“How many?” The hostess smiled, revealing crooked teeth. Her name tag said Leya.

“Two.” Kyrie held up his fingers.255b733f-0096-4ff1-a0d6-429b8125045d_zpsvqittldm

The girl checked a seating chart. “I should have something for you in five or ten minutes. Unless you’d like to sit at the bar.”

Greg’s attention was frozen in the direction of the bar to his right.

“I’m good with it.” Kyrie tugged on Greg’s arm.

“Great.” Leya slid two menus from a stack behind her.

“Umm. You know what?” Greg swallowed and then looked from Kyrie to the hostess. “Actually, we…I’d much rather…”

A waiter walked up. “I just need to wipe down nine, if you want to put them there.”

“Table then?” The hostess gave them wide eyes.

“Yes, please.”

“Just one minute.” The waiter hustled off.

“What’s up with you?” Kyrie folded his arms over his chest.

“Just didn’t want to have a football game blaring when we’re trying to have…”

A romantic dinner?

“Conversation.” Greg glanced at the hostess who was busy rubbing black grease pen off a laminated seating chart.

They were ushered in a moment later, and Kyrie began scarfing down more white bread, this time with butter, as they waited for their order. The waiter brought them both a beer. Greg sipped his and his shoulders relaxed.

“So, how did the photo shoot go?”

“Ugh. I’ll never make fun of models for taking the easy way out again. It’s actually pretty labor intensive.”

Greg gave him a skeptical look while his foot rubbed Kyrie’s calf under the table. “Poor baby. You need a massage when we get home?”

“Consequence free?”

“What?” Greg thunked his beer glass down on the table. “What’ve you done with the real Kyrie?”

“I’m just saying there’s no guarantee I’ll stay awake during a massage.”

“Then the massage is after.”

“After what?” Kyrie gave him a seductive grin. Beyond Greg’s shoulder he eyed a slim brunette woman walking toward their table with a smile on her face.

“After I’m done with you.” Greg waggled his eyebrows and nudged Kyrie’s foot again.beea33b9-d9ce-49ed-bcdf-4cf462fe763a_zpsupclpajx

“Greg?” The woman touched Greg’s shoulder and he jumped a good five inches while a wingtip nailed Kyrie in the shin. “Oh, my! I didn’t mean to startle you.” She touched her chest in sympathy, and then looked from Greg to Kyrie and back. “I’m so glad you decided to try this place out.”

Greg coughed, seemingly on air, and then gave a weak grin, his eyes watery. “So far so good, Mel. Thanks for the recommendation.”

She smiled wider. “Hi, I’m Melanie Church. Greg and I work at Warner and Hall together.” She waved at Kyrie.

“Nice to meet you.” Kyrie swallowed most of the bread in his mouth before answering, but it still came out stuffy. He reached for his beer.

“Kyrie’s my ex-wife’s brother. I told you about his modeling job.” Greg’s nod was overenthusiastic as if all that action would draw attention away from what he’d just said.

Ex-wife’s brother? Why don’t you rip a huge fart and really throw her off the scent, Greg?

“Yes. How exciting.” Melanie didn’t seem to notice Greg’s odd behavior. Kyrie couldn’t help but glare at him. “Would it be out of line to ask for your autograph?” she added.

Kyrie turned his terse smile from Greg to his coworker. “Why not?”

She dug in her purse and pulled out a note pad.

“Well, aren’t you the Girl Scout?” Kyrie gave a hollow laugh and took the proffered paper and pen.

Greg’s grin looked like a snapshot, frozen and awkward.

Kyrie wrote: Mel—It’s been illuminating meeting you! Thanks much! Love, Greg’s ex-wife’s brother, Kyrie Li.

“Did I forget anything?” He held it up for Greg’s perusal, a saccharin smile on his face. Greg turned beet red. Kyrie slowly shook his head. “Don’t suppose so. Here you are.” He handed the pad back, grinding his teeth, just as the waiter arrived with their plates.

“Well, my husband’s pulling the car up, so I’d better go and let you two enjoy. See you tomorrow, Greg. So nice to meet you, Kyrie.” She slipped the paper and pen back in her bag, tossed the tail of her wayward scarf over her shoulder, and turned with a smile and wave.

“Her husband. How odd. I wonder whose brother he is?” Kyrie huffed and viciously stabbed his eggplant parmesan with a fork.

“Kyr.”

“Don’t Kyr me.”

“Don’t do this.”

“No. Why would I? I’ve sat and watched you pretend I’m your gay friend for the past year.” He slapped both hands on the white tablecloth and gave Greg a flip grin. “Why should anything change now, huh?”

“Stop.” Greg glanced around. “Can’t we just…” He tugged in a breath and then at his tie. “Let’s talk about it later, huh?”

“’Course, babe. We’ll do it later. It’ll probably work then.” Kyrie hated himself for being such a bitch, but goddamn it, he was sick of the same shit over and over. Sick to death of feeling like a dirty secret, no matter how good Greg did dirty when they got home.

“I work with her,” Greg whispered vehemently.

Kyrie just stared, daring him to elaborate and dig himself further. “Yup. Only right you should be able to act accordingly in front of co-workers.” He plugged a forkful of eggplant into his mouth and nodded, cramming the food between a manikin sneer.

“What do you expect?” Greg asked, and then fiddled with his napkin when Kyrie’s piercing gaze narrowed on him.

“Not much, anymore.” He grinned coldly. “Make sure you don’t, either.”


Lead Me to You by Kate Lowell

My online buddy, Kate Lowell, has a new short out today! Here’s her shiny cover and blurb:
Lead Me To You low res
Blurb:
Who takes their claustrophobic boyfriend spelunking for his birthday?Henry can’t say no to Jaime. So, despite his misgivings, he lets Jaime lead him into the bowels of the earth for a surprise. In the intimate dark, he discovers that his love for Jaime is stronger than his fear of imminent death at the hands of Mother Nature.

And Jaime has an ulterior motive that will make all the hyperventilating worth it.

———-
Previous Publications:
     Bite Me Tender: Loose Id   http://www.loose-id.com/bite-me-tender.html
     Christmas Goes Analog: Loose Id   http://www.loose-id.com/christmas-goes-analog.html
     Forgotten Menagerie: Storm Moon Press   http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Forgotten-Menagerie.aspx
Bio:
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has two horses, both of which have medical issues, and three cats, all of which have mental issues. She refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?

Kate loves to read and write (and it’s a darn good thing, because she wouldn’t be much of an author if she didn’t, would she?) She also likes playing with computers and is considering going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.


Sticking It Just Got Better

Well, I finally got it together! My revised and expanded version of Sticking It is up on Amazon and All Romance. For anyone who doesn’t know, I wrote the original for the Goodreads Love Has No Boundaries event two years ago. A number of reviewers mentioned wanting more. I’m don’t mind a good Happy For Now ending, but I guess a lot of readers want the neat and tidy bow. Some people specifically said they wanted to see Dane go to the Olympics…

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So, I did it. Sticking It now has 50% more–more sweaty gymnastics, more sweaty guy nookie, more of that neat and tidy, bow-tied Happily Ever After people love. It’s also more edited and more professionally covered.

Muscular athletic sportsman in training. Winner.

You wanted more? You got it! It’s the total package, baby (drools on computer contemplating the package above. Would you get a load of the come gutters on that guy?).

And here’s a little excerpt from everyone’s favorite drive-through jerk-off scene just for fun:

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

“Well, I guess we should head back. I still have to copy a website tonight.”

Dane glanced at his watch. “Yeah. I might even have time for a quick jerk-off before bed.” Why the fuck did I just say that? “Better than counting sheep,” he added, not sure if that made it worse or better. He grabbed his own soda to give his mouth something to do other than talk.

“Feel free to get going on that. The drive-through lady gave us more than enough napkins.” Adam tossed him a fistful of M-stamped paper products with a laugh.

Dane sputtered on soda. “Yeah, right.” His voice was strained by the introduction of cola to his lungs and the surge of blood to his dick.

“What? It’s not like anyone’s gonna see.” Adam shrugged, nonchalant almost. But not quite. His tongue darted out to flick nervously over his lips. Dane’s cock flexed in his pants, eager to accept the challenge.

“Yeah, sure. Like you’d give yourself a low five right here and now.”

“Why not?” Adam appeared to wink, but it was dark and street lamps flashed off his glasses. “I’ll race you. Whoever gets off first wins.”

Oh my God. Keep talking like that and I’ll finish before I get it out all the way.

Dane positioned his cup in the drink holder and clapped his hands together, rubbing them briskly. He forced a cocky grin he didn’t feel. “Game on.”

Adam stared a moment, as if surprised by Dane’s response, but a slow smile twisted his lips up. He dropped his drink and snatched a couple of napkins off Dane’s lap.

Dane willed his hips not to press toward that reaching hand. With a swallow, he pulled at his fly, and realized he was coming out at least half hard and was going to give himself away. But he was already skating trembling fingers over his bulge, pulling his sac up as he lifted his ass off the seat to tug his jeans down enough to free his dick. It was too late to pretend he wasn’t into this.

Adam watched, both hands frozen over his own junk for a moment.

“Hey, Quickdraw, you better get going or you won’t stand a chance.” Dane spit in his palm and rubbed the homemade lube over his cockhead while his other fist cuffed the base. Fuck it. Let him see me hard. It was his idea, anyway.

Adam took a deep breath and wrestled his dick from the gap in his boxers. It was far from soft, and Dane’s shoulders dropped with relief. He wanted to tear his attention away instead of practically drooling at the sight of that six-inches-and-counting. But he couldn’t. Adam was on the thicker side of average, too. He owned a fine piece of pale, cut cock with a pink head that made Dane’s own prick fill to rock-hard. Adam rubbed thumb and forefinger over the tip, smearing a glistening bead over smooth skin. Hot damn. If Satan appeared with the paperwork, Dane would sell his soul to stick his tongue in that slit and know Adam’s taste.

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

-Kimber


Crossed Hearts Available for Pre-order!

I forgot to post this the other day, so I’m sticking a quickie up now. 🙂

Crossed Hearts is up on Amazon for pre-order! To celebrate, I’m posting a never-before-seen excerpt. Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~

“You ever run into your ex, you can tell him he’s got it all wrong.” Kory combed his fingers through the hair behind Will’s ear. “And he’s especially stupid for not seeing how lucky he was.”

I’m especially stupid for falling for him.

Kory carried the conversation on the way home. Will did his best to put up an attentive front, but misgiving warred inside him. Did it matter who he had dated in the past? He’d never considered Kory and Darryl might cross paths, but that was before he knew exactly how unforgivable Darryl’s actions were. Did he gamble the two would never meet again? In a small town, the odds weren’t in Will’s favor. Should he just come clean?

Yeah, maybe.

“So, I’ve been thinking… Not that there’s any pressure just because I planned this crazy-romantic date…”fashion

Will pulled his attention from the familiar terrain of his neighborhood. Pulled his thoughts out of the dismal abyss they’d landed in. Kory gave a shy smile. Behind his head, the rain had let up and sunshine was frying a path through the remaining clouds. The unsavory conversation could always wait. Will already resented Darryl’s intrusion on an otherwise amazing day. I’m not giving that asshole another minute of my time. “You were thinking what?”

“Well, if I was gonna have heart-pounding, blood-pressure-spiking sex, it’d probably be wise to make sure a healthcare professional was nearby.” Kory quirked a hopeful eyebrow. “You know, in case of emergency.”

Will abandoned his residual misgivings. The flicker of dread was stamped out by the solid promise in Kory’s words, by his deep chuckle, by those irresistible crow’s feet he got when his whole face engaged in a smile. Will drew a clipped breath. “I may know a guy.”

Kory’s hand landed on Will’s thigh, closer to cock than knee, and pushed between his legs, in and then out, slow and suggestive. “I have specific requirements, though. He’s gotta be about five…eight?”

“Seven work?”

“That’s what I said. Five-seven. Late twenties, early thirties.”

“Check.”Young man

“Umm. He’ll need to have the bangin’est little badonkadonk. You know like—bam!” Kory took his left hand off the wheel to demonstrate what appeared to be an explosion. “There it is! And you wanna make that ass your pillow for the whole night.”

“Excuse me.” Will folded his lips together but he couldn’t fight the smile stretching across his cheeks or the soft titter that escaped him. “Did you have a hard time finding doctors and nurses to fit your unconventional specifications while you were in the hospital?”

“What do you say, sexy?” Kory ignored his comment as they turned into Will’s driveway.

Will pressed his hips into Kory’s touch and was rewarded by a stroke down his stiffening prick. “Did you pack your overnight bag?”

“Always.”

“Then come on in.”

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

Crossed Hearts

-Kimber


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