It amazes me that I can sing the entire Air Supply song just from seeing the title and despite the fact I haven’t heard the words in years. It’s kinda scary sometimes how that happens.
But…are the nights really better? I don’t know. For some, nights are not better. They are sadder, lonelier. For others, they thrive on nights, come alive after dark.
I sometimes write better at night, when the house is quiet, all the animals and family asleep… Other times, as soon as the sun goes down and night settles in, I’m ready for sleep.
Then again, night is when the Abyss opens for play…
“That little blonde has been eyeing you all night.”
“I know,” came the weary reply.
“You should go introduce yourself.”
Aidn looked over at Robert and rolled his eyes. “Yes, what a brilliant idea because the last time I did that, I ended up fucking the girl until she was murmuring my name in her sleep.”
“True, but we’re here to have fun, to enjoy the sights, and maybe even take a couple of them home.”
“I don’t think I’ll be taking any of them home with me, but feel free to take as many home as you’d like.”
“They wouldn’t all fit in the car. You know, I could always…”
“No. Thanks. I’m good.” Truth was, he was bored. The little blonde, the little brunette, the redheaded knockout…he wasn’t interested. He wanted to leave, to go home, open a beer, flip through channels and numb his mind. He wanted to stop thinking about how Bailey fit against him, about how her lips tasted when he kissed her. He wanted all the crazy ideas and desires to go away and leave him in peace. He wanted her bound and naked, writhing in his bed. He wanted to lose himself in her, be with her as she discovered more of herself and this lifestyle that drew them both. He wanted to keep her.
The sound of a flogger connecting with bare skin brought his head up and around. A crowd surrounded Thor’s play station as always. Aidn smiled. He’d taught the man everything he knew a few years back and was proud that the younger man had made a name for himself. He was giving and conducting workshops on his own now.
As he started to look away, the crowd shifted and Aidn was able to get a look at the flogger’s current lover. “Bailey.”
He closed his eyes, certain he was seeing things, but when he opened them again, she was still there, bound to the X. “Bailey. What the hell is she doing?”
“Well, it looks like she’s…well, that she’s…”
“She loves it. The few times I’ve been with her, she had that same look whenever I touched her. She was so lost in everything I was doing to her. She can’t mask it, can’t hide it, and she can’t fake it. The need to serve, the hunger to give of herself and her body is something she craves.”
“This is so fucking wrong. She’s…” He stalked off in her direction without finishing his comment. He was floored, so taken aback by the fact that she was there in the first place. It really shouldn’t surprise him, she’d been there many times before and he wasn’t sure why it hadn’t dawned on him that she would be there tonight. It was more the fact that she was not only there but half-naked and being flogged. Thor looked as lost in it as Bailey did.
That’s when the jealousy hit him. Fuck.
Stepping through the crowd of people, he stopped directly in front of her line of vision so that when she opened her eyes, his face would be the first thing that registered.
Possessiveness hummed through his blood. He was so…not a possessive man. This girl brought out so much in him that he wasn’t used to feeling, thinking, and he was really getting tired of it. He just didn’t know how or what to do about it. At least that’s what his head said. His gut and his dick were saying something completely different. They were saying mine.
He needed to calm down. If she were to look at him right now, she’d likely be scared that he’d drag her out of there like a caveman. Aidn smirked. Not a bad idea actually.
“What are you going to do?” Robert whispered from behind him.
“Whatever I need to do.”
Aidn watched Thor’s hands caress the light, insistent marks on her pale skin left by the flogger. It was beautiful on her, the contrast. He could almost imagine the heat coming off her. She was wet, too. He didn’t have to touch her to know that between her legs she was soaking, fucking wet.
Another round of flogger meeting flesh commenced. Her back arched into the tails and her fingers curled into fists. Her lips thinned, compressed together, but she didn’t cry out. Thor’s wrist twisted in a side-to-side motion that brought the flogger down in a swish across her shoulders and back, ass and thighs in a constant barrage. She wiggled against the cross, tugged at her bindings and when Thor rubbed her back, massaged the tension from her muscles, she calmed instantly.
She smiled when Thor whispered something against her hair and she slowly opened her eyes. Aidn stepped closer and it took less than a second for the haze to clear. Bingo
Buy Links: All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Samhain Publishing
What about you? Are you a night person or a day person. A copy of Pink Buttercream Frosting is up for grabs if you leave a comment…
Also, make sure to check out the following author blogs for more Snippet Saturday…
Maxwell’s: The New Home of Burlesque
Meet Julia Maxwell. Her family arrived in Auckland, New Zealand several generations ago and went into the entertainment business. Their place on Karangahape Road—known locally as K’ Road—caused a few ripples, especially when Julia’s grandfather turned The Last Frontier into a strip club.
Fast forward a few years and The Final Frontier isn’t doing well. Other clubs have opened up in opposition, and Elise Maxwell, Julia’s mother and the current owner has health problems. Added to that, the man who she trusted to manage the place for her has run off with all the takings. Now the mortgage payment is due and things are looking dire.
Julia visits The Last Frontier with her girlfriends, and she’s shocked at the changes and the way the club has become so run down. Since the club has been in the Maxwell family for so long, Julia feels it’s her duty to try to save it. It’s time to haul The Last Frontier kicking and screaming into the future.
So, what does Julia do?
1. She redecorates the interior of the club.
2. She decides to go into burlesque rather than continuing with the tired strip routines.
3. She renames the club Maxwell’s.
4. She hires new dancers, although most are working for the competition.
5. She aims for a classier place to attract both male and female customers.
Julia is a dancer. During her late teens, she performed onstage as a stripper to earn money to pay for her education. Now the club is going into burlesque, which is a routine often done with adult humor, music and dance. The lines between stripping and burlesque have blurred over the years. A stripper removes his or her clothes while a burlesque performer is more likely to tease. Julia’s dancers mostly tease.
Here are a couple of quotes taken from The Burlesque Handbook by Jo Weldon.
“Burlesque is making and having fun, usually in a short dance that either begins or ends with some kind of nudity.” ~ Julie Atlas Muz
“Burlesque is a private joke between you and the audience that slowly reveals itself as the clothes hit the floor.” ~ Tanya Cheen
Let’s hope Julia’s new venture is successful, and she finds more dancers soon. If any of you are looking for a job, the costumes are sure pretty! I have a liking for blue and lots of sparkles, a long blonde wig and a sexy mask to conceal my identity. Oh, and a pair of blue strappy sandals to go with my Velcro dress.
What type of sexy costume would entice you into applying for a job at Maxwell’s? Answer this question, complete the rafflecopter and go into a draw to win an Amazon Gift Certificate.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here’s the blurb for Past Regrets
Never look back…unless that’s where your heart belongs.
Love and Friendship, Book 2
Julia Maxwell was a seize-the-moment party girl until the night she spent with up-and-coming rocker Ryan Callander. From that moment, she was a one-man woman. Pity he hasn’t kept with the program.
Tired of the secrets that have kept her out of the press and Ryan’s fans happy, angry with mounting evidence of infidelity, Julia is older, wiser, and determined to divorce his cheatin’ ass.
Ryan’s long European tour had more than its share of hard knocks—one of which landed on his head when he was mugged. Divorce papers waiting for him at home are a shock that fills in some of the holes in his sketchy memory. But it could be too late to salvage his marriage.
If Ryan thinks flirtatious smiles, seductive touches, and hot-and-heavy kisses are going to smooth things over, Julia’s got a hammer with his name on it. To her surprise, he picks it up, determined to rebuild a bright future for both of them. But the past is lurking with some missing pieces that could bring their hearts crashing down.
Contains a pissed ex-stripper turned burlesque dancer, a bunch of nosy friends and a smooth-talking rocker with one thing on his mind. Stripper poles and skimpy costumes may be involved.
Available at 30% discount right now at Samhain Publishing http://store.samhainpublishing.com/past-regrets-p-72998.html
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/past-regrets-shelley-munro/1115456463?ean=9781619218093
Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy called Bella. She writes spicy romances for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. To learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website at http://www.shelleymunro.com
There was a really great review this week on Cracklin’ Rosie and it was one I hadn’t been expecting to show up in my Twitter feed. I don’t typically read reviews anymore, but that one out of the blue surprised me enough that I had to take a peek. I was glad I did. The reviewer loved it, which is always nice. But it got me thinking about the book and how much I loved it myself and how much I’d loved writing it.
And the hero, Decker, yeah he ends up in the doghouse a few times…
He left. She couldn’t believe he just left after a kiss like that. He left her with a throbbing sex, a pounding heart, a confused head and lips wanting so many more kisses. And an ass…
She retraced her steps to the back of the cabin and quickly cleared away the rest of the dinner dishes. Decker had cleaned the grill while she got dessert out, and all that was left for her now was loading the dishwasher and putting the veggies in plastic storage bags.
The evening was still cooling but with him near, she hadn’t noticed. Now that he was gone, she was chillier than usual. She pulled a lightweight blanket from the storage container she kept on the deck near the chairs. She had Adirondack and rocking chairs and often liked to sit outside with her laptop as she researched recipes or wrote on her blog. She flopped down into one of the Adirondack’s and draped her legs over the wide arm.
She wiggled, trying to find the best spot, trying to stop the tingling in her ass at his remembered words. She was shocked that she’d let it show on her face how his mention of a spanking affected her. He’d caught her staring at him as well…how embarrassing. But damn. How could he just leave her like that? How could he turn tail and run after that?
“That son of a…”
Well, she just hoped he was in as much discomfort as she was. No, that wasn’t right. She hoped he was in more discomfort, bordering on pain. The man was a gorgeous tease.
She touched her fingertips to her lips and swore she could feel the heat from his lingering there, but that was just a fanciful notion. She could still hear his voice in her head, his words echoing through every cell in her body. “I think we’re going to find out soon.” He wanted her, told her so, and looking in his dark eyes, she knew he was telling the truth.
She pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders and sank deeper into the deck chair. Damn man. She couldn’t get comfortable and she kept squeezing her thighs together to try and do what, she wasn’t sure. The pressure only increased the need for release, the need for him. He hadn’t touched her in any sexual way yet, but if she closed her eyes and thought about it, she could feel those rough calloused hands on her body, sliding over her hips, spreading her legs, spanking her, scratching her tender skin in a caress…
And that bit of scruff on his face, that longer-than-average hair, that mouth caressing her…
She wanted him to come back. She wanted him to stay the hell away from her.
“Fuck this.” Rosie stood and dropped the blanket into the chair, then walked inside the house, closing and locking the door behind her.
A few minutes later she had her sneakers on and was on her way to the diner. She needed to do something, anything to get her mind off him, off what they could be doing right that very moment if he’d not left.
“I didn’t need him before he showed up, and I don’t need him now. What the hell was I thinking letting him get close?”
Muttering to herself always fueled her anger and frustration but at the same time, it always helped her figure things out.
When she came to the turn in the road that would take her into the center of town, Rosie stopped. She loved the little town. She loved the quaintness of it, that it had small novelty shops, antique stores, the bar and grill, the coffee shop that wasn’t a chain but rather owned and operated by a couple of local moms, the tiny hole-in-the-wall art gallery featuring local artists, a local artisan jewelry-maker. It was home to her and if she ever felt love for anything or anyone outside of food, her diner and her family, it was this town and its residents.
Putting one foot in front of the other, she started walking again. Half a mile from the edge of downtown sat her diner. The lights glowed from inside and from what she could see, it was still pretty well packed with people. It was a 24-hour place and oddly enough, it kept a steady clientele at all hours, especially on the weekends.
Cool air hit her when she opened the door and went inside. A few patrons waved and said hello, including Blue, her best childhood friend. She was sitting at the end of the counter, eating a piece of cherry pie. It was Rosie’s mother’s recipe and one of the favorites. Another was the blackberry cobbler. Her banana pudding didn’t do too badly either.
Just thinking about banana pudding made her think of Decker, and she could feel the scowl take over her face. She didn’t want to think about him, not tonight, not anymore. She was done with him. She wanted him to fix her roof and leave. Heck, she wasn’t even sure she wanted him to fix the roof anymore. She’d find someone else to do it or damn, she’d leave it the way it was. She just wanted him gone.
As she passed through into the kitchen, she headed straight for the small walk-in cooler. She needed something to do and this was it. She’d inherited it from her mother. Cleaning out the fridge. The one in her house was spic-and-span, spotless and very tidy, this one though—this one could always use a good purging and organizing. And even if it didn’t, she’d do it anyway. It would keep her mind occupied and the cold would ease the heat still flowing through her blood that had nothing to do with the walk she just took and everything to do with him.
“What has you upset tonight?”
Blue’s sweet, soft voice floated in on the thin air as she stood just inside the doorway to the cooler. She walked in and closed the door behind her.
“Nothing has me upset.” Only irritated, horny, aching from the inside out.
Rosie started at the back of the walk-in. Everything was in a haphazard array. “Sometimes I think they do this because they know eventually I’ll come in and fix it all.”
She picked up a couple small containers of potato salad ingredients and put them on a tray on a shelf near the door. Next she moved the macaroni salad, the coleslaw and the egg salad to another tray on the same shelf. The individual lidded cups that held salad dressings were stacked neatly by flavor—ranch, blue cheese, Italian and French.
“Why aren’t you talking?” she asked Blue. The other woman had come to stand next to Rosie and began arranging the salad fixings on the trays beneath the shelf that held the dressings and other condiments when Rosie moved on to the next rack. Thank heavens for labels with dates.
“Because I know you will, and I don’t want to distract you from it.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” It wouldn’t do her any good to tell Blue there was nothing to talk about. Blue knew her better than anyone else in town.
The one-word answers were Blue’s way of being patient, and she knew Rosie would cave and spill her guts. Shit. “The man here to fix my roof, the one Caroline’s guy brought out here from California… We had dinner tonight. He’s been coming on to me and hitting on me and so I finally said yes.” She left out the part about the kiss in the diner earlier that morning.
“Good. Is he…you know, like you? Like me?”
“No no no. Not good.” To emphasize her point, she took a plastic container from the back corner of a shelf and tossed it into the garbage bag she’d grabbed on her way into the cooler. It wasn’t often, but she sometimes found containers that had been pushed to the back of a shelf or two that she didn’t want to open. Usually it was someone’s lunch or dinner they’d meant to eat or take home that in the hustle and bustle of the diner never made it to its intended destination.
She turned and faced her friend. “It’s not good, Blue. You know how I am, how I have tried to keep that part of me away from here. I can’t imagine the freakish looks I’d get if people knew about the club in Atlanta or the things I’m into.”
“So, that means, he’s into those things too? That is good. You need that, Rosie. You always have, or at least you have since you found it. And no one around here has to ever know what goes on in your house. They don’t have to know what goes on in private at all.”
“I barely know him, and it’s just not right that he can read me like he can.”
“Why not? We both know how hard it is.”
“Yeah, I do. But not you. You’ve always embraced your kinks. You’ve never cared what people think or might think.”
“Why do you?”
“I run a business. It wouldn’t look right.”
“Again, why does anyone have to know? You should stop being scared of the what-if’s Rosie and give in to the what is. Maybe this guy would be good for you if you’d just let him try. Stop fighting so hard and maybe you wouldn’t have to make the trek to Atlanta anymore.”
Blue was right, and Rosie knew it. She just didn’t like it, and she hoped if she just ignored it, ignored him, avoided him it would go away. And…as soon as her roof was done, he’d leave town, and she wouldn’t wonder about him anymore, wouldn’t want his kisses anymore, wouldn’t want hot sex and to try out those belts of his, wouldn’t want him to cook for her again.
Buy Links: All Romance eBooks | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Powell’s | Samhain Publishing
Now, there are other blogs for you to read snippets on, and I need to get some writing in before the first kick-off at noon…
We’ve all had this happen, haven’t we? Boyfriends, lovers, even friends. They come and go and come and go and at some point (hopefully) we get to the point where enough is enough and we scream and yell or just tell them to go. Our hearts can only take so much and we need to heal and they need to stop draggin’ it and us through the mud.
And then again, sometimes, we’re the ones draggin’ our own hearts around…
Justin liked exposing her where they might or might not get caught. The thing that made it okay, made it better, made her want it more was that he was willing to expose himself too. He would stand by her, stick with her and take the brunt of anything if someone caught them.
He was slowly, or rather not so slowly, showing her the risk of being vulnerable. The pleasure of such was high if she trusted him, and his protection of her was worth everything.
“I want them to smell sex on you. I want them to smell me on you.”
“It’ll single me out. I don’t like that.”
“Because you won’t be with me.” That was the crux of the matter. She was helpless and hopeless in the best of ways when it came to him, especially when he was with her, but when he wasn’t, when she was on her own, she was shy, uncertain in most things save her job. Divorce had been a big personal chance she had taken on her own and she’d made a life by herself, but she honestly didn’t want to live alone or exist alone. Sure she had friends, but what she really wanted was a lover, a man to share life with. She’d had a man, but not a lover and well, hell, she needed and craved and hungered for the lover part of the equation. It was as important as talking and communicating. At least to her. She’d lived enough years with just talking and no real communication, no intimacy or physical affection that being lonely had been inevitable.
She didn’t want that again. She didn’t want to be alone. She’d learned she could do it—she just didn’t want to. She didn’t want the dating scene either. Her single friends from work had enough horror stories about trying to date that Ella didn’t want to venture into those waters.
“I’m always with you, baby. Every word I’ve ever said to you is either inside your head or just a push of an app button away in your email.”
And that was true. “But you won’t be there holding my hand or there for me to hide my face against.”
“Why would you want to hide? Hell baby, you know how many people would be envious of what we’ve been doing the last few days?”
She didn’t know, but she could remember when she had been envious of people that had that same kind of wild and crazy sex life. If anyone had told her a year ago that she’d be sitting in the lap of a twenty-nine year old bartender-fireman in an airport parking garage having sex, she’d have told them they were just shy of admittance to the nut house.
Yet here she was.
If anyone had told her a year ago that she’d be divorced and free to be having sex in the lap of a twenty-nine year old bartender fireman, she’d have told them they were a few watts short of a light bulb. She’d have immediately hoped for and wanted it, but she wouldn’t have believed it possible, wouldn’t have believed herself fed up enough with mediocre and status quo.
Yet, there she was.
“I need to go,” she said.
“I don’t think so, Ella.”
“Justin, the time.” She looked at her watch. “I—”
His hands gripped the hair that framed her face. He twisted his fingers in the strands and held her head immobile, his gaze intense and dark, mesmerizing. She was once again amazed at the many different facets of her cowboy’s personality. “I don’t think I love you. I don’t think you think you love me either. I know I love you. I’ve known for a long ass time that I loved you, and we’ve both known you loved me too.”
“You’re just scared to say it without qualification or justification and that’s okay. You’ll get there.”
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” she said, leaning her forehead against his.
“It was supposed to be exactly like this. Now, you’re right. You do need to go. I don’t want you to miss your flight. Your job is important to you, and that makes it important to me.”
“What about after, though?” The worried tone was back in her voice.
“You’ll know what to do and whatever you decide is best, I’ll be here to support you.”
At first, she wasn’t sure they were talking about the same thing, but as she stared at those eyes, crystal clear but for the love shining back at her, she realized they were talking about the exact same thing. He was leaving it up to her, the direction or not, of their relationship.
She nodded, and he kissed the tip of her nose before opening his door and helping her down from his lap to the ground. She leaned against the inside of the door and adjusted her skirt, and did her best on the wrinkles in her top. She might need to make a few shopping stops once she got to New Orleans. She turned to him in time to see him adjusting his jeans. She hated to see his cock put away. He was gorgeous enough that he should walk around naked all the time.
She giggled at her fanciful thoughts. Must be the after hot sex in the truck giggles.
He handed her her purse and reached back for her laptop and carry-on bag and handed both of those to her as well. “You ready?” He got out of the truck and shut the door, locking it behind him.
“Yeah.” She wasn’t really. She didn’t want to leave him, but at the same time, she needed to get away from him. When he was near, it played tricks on her mind and all she wanted was him, day and night, night and day. She needed a break, her body needed a break, her head needed a break, but damn…. Leaving him again was hard. Leaving him again without knowing what was going to happen next was hard.
She took one step and another and had just started to take another when a gust of wind blew through the garage. The scent of sex coming from her was stronger than she’d imagined it would be. It was as though he held his come-coated fingers right beneath her nose.
Heat crept up her neck and into her cheeks. She dared a look up at him, and the grin on his face told her that he’d caught a whiff of it too. Damn.
He took her hand. “C’mon baby. I don’t want anything to delay you coming back to me.”
She didn’t budge when he tugged. He turned to her with a raised brow. The challenge was there in his green eyes, and she hoped there was challenge staring back at him from hers. “Coming back to you? I thought you said it was my decision where we went from here?”
“It is your decision.”
“Then why did you assume I’d be coming back to you?”
He tugged and she started walking, her hand firmly clasped in his and though she might be a bit irritated at him, she didn’t want him to let go of her. Not by a long shot. Instead though, for good measure, she huffed out an irritated sigh.
“I wasn’t assuming anything.”
“You said coming back to you. That’s assuming that that’s what I will decide.”
Buy Links: All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Samhain Publishing
I need to get writing and editing and you have the following blogs to visit for more snippets…
I was able to meet the lovely Virginia Nelson at Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together in June. It was the first time we met and she’s completely adorable so when she put out the call the other day for people to help host her cover reveal for her new series coming with Samhain Publishing starting in January, I eagerly volunteered.
I’ve heard a lot about this series, y’all. Put it on your TBR!
Runaway Groom is the first book in my Watkin’s Pond series and I’m super happy to have the cover to share with everyone. So, for the cover reveal… *drumroll please*
About the Book
On Sale: January 2014
The runaway groom is back in town.
Abigail Robinson knew one day she might have to face the man who ditched her at the altar like a loaf of stale bread. She never imagined that he would blaze into town determined to win her back.
His bride-to-be is somewhat reluctant.
Braxton Dean wasn’t sure he could be the man Abby needed when the time came to walk down the aisle. Scared, he ran for years when all he really wanted was to run right back to her arms.
It might take a whole town to make this wedding happen.
With the help of their friends, the two battle it out. The prize? Happily ever after. The army? An entire town of busy bodies. Will Abigail be the one who runs this time? Or will she catch her Runaway Groom?
About the Author
Virginia Nelson spends her days chasing three very active kids around. When she is not doing this, or plotting taking over the world, she likes to write, play in the mud, drive far too fast and scream at inanimate objects. She can often be found listening to music that is far too loud and typing her next fantastic tale of blood, sex and random acts of ineptitude. Romance, in Ms. Nelson’s opinion, is not about riding off into the sunset on the back of a horse with the knight in shining armor— it is about riding the dragon. If the knight can keep up… well, that is love.
Find Virginia Nelson online
Books for sale. Snark for free.
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads