Nov 20

Teaser Thursday- Knot Intended

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Joseph pulled the belt back, then swung it to tap lightly against Nolie’s pussy. The contact jolted her but only increased her arousal.

He had to stop torturing her. He couldn’t make her wait any longer. Surely he could see how turned on she was and how much she wanted his hands on her, even if she was supposed to pretend she didn’t want him at all.

Again he let the belt swing against her. A tingle spread through her, centered between her legs. She ached for him and held her breath to keep herself from begging him to do something. Anything at all, as long as it made her come. Goddamn it, when will he give me some relief?

“You want to come, don’t you?” Joseph sounded far too pleased with himself for bringing her to the point where she was flushed and panting. Or maybe Nolie was merely projecting her thoughts to him. His expression didn’t betray anything at all.

She nodded, seeing no point in hiding how badly she wanted relief. Maybe if she was honest with him, he would get her off.

“Ask, bitch.” He slid the belt up her torso and neck, and she tilted her head back. He gazed into her eyes with an unreadable look in his own. “Beg me to let you come.”

“Please,” Nolie said tentatively.

He tapped the belt against his hand and narrowed his eyes. “That’s the best you can do? I said beg!”

Nolie had never begged Joseph for anything in their marriage, but now the words tumbled from her mouth as though on their own. “Please. Oh God, please let me come. I’m so fucking wet and horny right now I can’t stand it. This is the worst torture. Please don’t do this to me anymore. Please let me come!” Wide-eyed, she pressed her lips together, forcing herself to stop.

She needed him far too much. So much she barely managed to keep up the fiction of not wanting him at all.

Nov 17

Release Week! Knot Intended

One of the first erotic romance stories I wrote for publication was a short story called “A Little Tied Up.” It was intended for a roleplaying anthology being put together by a publisher I won’t name, and it was accepted in June 2009. The anthology apparently fell through, and after some questions and wondering what was going on, the publisher released “A Little Tied Up” as a standalone ebook in March 2010.

The story was pretty simple. Nolie and Joseph are a married couple who have been putting their careers ahead of their relationships. Joseph suggests roleplaying as a way to spice things up, and after some initial resistance, Nolie confides that her darkest fantasy is to be kidnapped and “forced.” Joseph is intrigued by the idea, and goes to great lengths to fulfill Nolie’s fantasy. With Joseph as the “kidnapper,” of course.

In August 2013, that publisher went out of business, and rights to “A Little Tied Up” were returned to me. My editor at another publisher asked if she could take a look at it with the possibility of having it reissued. Knowing that it was one of my earliest stories, which meant I’d learned a LOT about writing since then, I chose to rewrite the story first. In the process, I tripled the length of it, from just over 7000 words to over 21,000. I sent it to my editor, who accepted it. But…

Things happened. The new version of the story, which I titled Knot Intended after a friend said that would make a good title for a roleplay story in which the heroine gets tied up, wasn’t published by that publisher, and this summer I asked for it back.

So now, after all that, Knot Intended has found its home with Loose Id, and it releases tomorrow! I hope readers will enjoy Nolie and Joseph’s journey from “career first” to finding the fire in their sex life again. And maybe readers will get some ideas to spice up their own sex lives!

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Nov 14

Spotlight on Mia Epsilon

Today’s second Breathless Press spotlight is on author Mia Epsilon and her new book That Night. Welcome!

That Night 600x900

 

What do you get when you have two best friends who happen to be roommates stewing in sexual tension? A night they will never forget.

Anna and Robin are college roommates and best friends. Even though the chemistry sizzles between them, they have remained platonic for over three years. One night will change everything.

Robin has struggled to repress his feelings for Anna. He seeks out brief and meaningless relationships with the women on campus, who flock to his charm, flashing blue eyes, and bad-boy appearance. But Robin can’t get Anna off his mind or out of his heart.

Anna has watched Robin move from one woman to the next, never settling for any. She keeps up the pretense of friends-only while secretly longing to be the woman to tame him. The combination of college demands, a failed date, and simmering sexual frustration explodes into a night of passionate need. But when it’s over…what happens then?

EXCERPT:

Why do I keep putting myself through this? Robin Bates paused in the stairwell to tap his head on the wall. What kind of an idiot kept up this charade for so long? He should just tell her. Why couldn’t he just tell her? It was simple, really. He stomped up the last flight of steps and down the hall to their room. All he had to do was say the words and accept the fall out. He opened the door, took a deep breath, and spoke. “Anna, there’s something I need to tell you.”

The small lamp on the bedside table glowed in the semi darkness. Books and crumpled papers lay tossed around her on the tangled sheet and blanket of the bed. Her lap top perched at an angle, half on and half off the pillows. Stats, Robin saw, her least favorite subject and the only one she struggled to master. He had made a promise to help Anna with the latest assignment and had gone on the disaster date from hell instead. His gaze followed the line of her bare legs. She said they weren’t perfect; he said they were. Sure, they didn’t look like they went on forever. Who wanted legs up to a woman’s neck anyway when there were so many other good things in between? Anna’s legs, long, lean, strong, and just a bit golden from their recent holiday trip to visit her folks in Hawaii made his mouth water.

Robin groaned as his gaze trailed higher. She wore the same blue nightshirt he’d seen her wear a thousand times. Thin from numerous washings, all but transparent, it rode high on thighs he’d give his right arm to caress, which made no sense, because without his arm he’d never be able to— Anna whispered something and shifted a bit, her thighs parting slightly. He felt actual pain as the cotton rode a bit higher and all the blood surged to one particular part of his body. Did she have on those cute little smiley face panties? Or did she wear the ones with the little bows? She usually only chose her silk ones for special occasions like parties.

“Jesus, get a grip on yourself.” Robin ran a hand through his hair. “I’ve not perving my best friend while she sleeps. I’m not so desperate. Yet.”

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Mia Epsilon lives with her enduring soul mate hubby in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, USA. She’s an avid reader of almost anything but particularly romance. She also is a never-miss-an-episode viewer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, and happily suffers coffee and chocolate addictions. She can most often be found at her computer, spinning new stories, or in a quiet padded nook with her e reader. She considers Facebook both the boom and bane of her existence. Mia loves to hear from readers and maintains a mostly current blog at miaepsilon.blogspot.com and a Facebook page under the name MiaEwrites.

Blog: Authors, Books & Chocolate: The True ABC’s of Life miaepsilon.blogspot.com

Facebook: MiaEwrites (Mia Epsilon Author)

Twitter: Mia Epsilon @MiaEpsilon

Breathless Press home page: www.breathlesspress.com: Mia Epsilon

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Amazon.com/author/miaepsilon: http://www.amazon.com/Mia-Epsilon/e/B00DQ61FRM

Good Reads: Mia Epsilon https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14292463-mia-epsilon

Bookstrand:

http://www.bookstrand.com/wedding-belle-blues

All Romance ebooks:

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Nov 14

Spotlight on J.M. Powers

Today’s first Breathless Press spotlight is on author J.M. Powers and her new book Jewel of Ramstone. Welcome!

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A maiden, unable to recall who she is, must battle evil to regain the memory of her past and the hope of a future.

Awaking in the forest, a young maiden recalls naught—including her name. Equally conflicting is her desire to both slap and kiss Sir Galeron, the knight who claims to have protected her while she was unconscious. Much to her chagrin, he dubs her “Ruby of the Forest” due to her red hair, and insists she find refuge at his home of Ramstone. Prickling at his demanding ways, but with no other option, she accepts his offer. And although his kiss flames her attraction even more, Galeron dashes it with a confession. The brute is trothed to another.

Ruby’s journey is filled with laughter and weeping, daydreams and discovered abilities. But never does she feel complete. Her heart longs for a future that her past may destroy. Evil lurks, treading on each tidbit of memory she recovers. Will Ruby ever recall her past? And after an attack in the village that sparks a horrific nightmare, does she even want to?

EXCERPT:

“Ask me anything. Mayhap I can help.” His deep voice broke the silence.

How was he to help? “Pray tell, how did we come to share the forest?”

“I shall explain.” He bent and picked up a twig, then proceeded to peel the bark off. With each curl he tossed aside, she grew more frustrated.

‘Twas better to allow mistrust. Stand strong. She gasped. Unexpected, the thought rang with such clarity, it seemed someone else had spoken. “Perchance you should be honest. Did you drug me? Spell me?”

He tossed the twig aside. Though his eyes remained on her face, her whole body felt his scrutiny. “‘Twould do you well to hold your tongue.”

“I am beginning to dislike you,” she said, knowing full well the opposite was true. She truly wished her insides would cease…prickling? And her head. Damn, it ached so. Tingles and pain aside, she tried to focus. “Do you intend to explain or not?”

“I seek a means to tell you gently.”

With a slight shrug, she said, “No need for gentleness. You already tossed me about.” She grinned despite the truth in her statement.

He sighed. “It appears you are lost.”

“God’s eyes, knight!” She shook her head. “You must be a great sorcerer to possess such insight.”

“Your tongue shall be your undoing. Best you still it.”

Twice he attempted to stifle her. She clenched her teeth. “Still it?”

Galeron’s jaw twitched and she wondered if he were quelling a smile. “I found you here in the woodlands. I did not hold you captive, drug you, or harm you.” He blinked slowly. “Hold to that.”

She nodded. “Forgive—”

“Nay need. I understand. You now stand a day’s ride from Ramstone. Have you heard of it?”

He pushed off the tree and came to sit beside her, his thigh nearly touching her own. Nearly. It took a moment for her answer. “Nay, I do not recall Ramstone.” The fact she did not recall much of anything choked off the rest of her response.

“Odd,” he said, more to himself than her.

Sighing, she realized how badly her masquerade of bravery was faltering. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his hand come toward her. Surprised at the urge to lean into his touch, she remained still and allowed him to brush back the wisps of hair from her brow. His hand lowered in a fist, yet his voice was laced with tenderness.

“It pains me that I cannot give you answers.” His gaze strayed from her face, lowering to her neck.

Covering the neckline of her tunic with both hands, she glared at him. “Focus elsewhere.” He sees me as a woman after all. She dashed the thought away. Almost.

“I intend nay disrespect. The bruising on your neck concerns me.” Gently brushing her hand aside, he took a closer look. “Fingerprints.”

It took all she had not to cry out. Who harmed her?

“When we discovered you, there was nay sign of anyone else.”

She glanced around. “We?”

“I sent my men home.”

She blinked. Then blinked again. “Your men.”

“My brother, a healer, assured me your wounds were not serious, so I decided to wait—”

She put up her hand. “Why not leave me under the care of your healer? Or leave me in the nearest village?”

He swallowed hard. “It matters not! Are you always so…so…inquisitive?”

Ah, this man was not used to being questioned. She tried to ease his surly mood. “A shame your men were sent on their way. No one laid witness when I kicked you and bashed your comely face before you so unceremoniously dropped a maiden to the ground.”

He blew a long breath. “You insist on repeating that. Had you dressed appropriately, I would not have thought you a lad.” His chuckle made her grin. “Although you certainly fight like a maiden.”

She swiped her hand through the air. “Carry on.”

“Carry on,” he muttered. “I fear you shall interrupt again.” He looked up through the trees, ignoring her huff. “We still had several days before reaching our destination when we found you. With that in mind, I postponed the journey and sent my men back to Ramstone.”

“I see.” She studied the frayed edge of her tunic. “How long have I been here?”

“I watched over you a single night. How long you were here remains a mystery. I was only gone a short time for I needed to boil meat into a broth to sustain you. Had I known you were a maiden, I never would have left you alone.”

Her head snapped up. “Yet you would a lad? I am not defenseless simply because I am a female.”

Galeron’s eyes hardened. “Aye, ’tis so. I returned to find you brandishing a dagger. I left it in case you awoke and felt unsafe, not to use against me.”

She ran her hands through the leaves and shrugged a silent apology, too stubborn to utter it out loud.

“Fair one?”

Damnation, she hated when he addressed her with those words, and yet it awoke something in her, for he said it with tenderness. She glared at his smiling face. “Why are you calling me that?” To her chagrin, what she’d meant as snide came out as quite curious.

He splayed his hands in question, “Would you prefer I call you lad?” Two furrows appeared on his brow at her silent glare. “Because, you have yet to give your name.”

Disarmed, she swallowed her spiteful attitude. “If I only could.” She locked away her tears, her dismay, and did her best to keep her voice steady. “I hoped you would know…would say it by now. Sir Galeron, I…I recall naught before I saw you standing before me.”

Seeming to battle with her revelation, Galeron’s expression flitted from stunned to confused. Then his gaze bore into her with such tenderness it nearly undid her. “Nay memory?” he finally whispered.

JM Powers Author Pic

 

J.M. Powers harbors an alter ego of a normal woman named Jeannie. (Her editor is still on the fence about the whole “normal” thing.) Jeannie’s proficient at research, gluten-free cooking, and embarrassing her teenagers by wearing skinny jeans to the grocery store. J.M., the author-ego, plunges so deep into her writing she forgets life outside her creations still goes on. More often than not, J.M. answers with a glassy stare when her family asks what’s for dinner. Despite the craziness between reality and the world of writing, life falls together without broken bones or hearts.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.jmpowers

Blog: http://jmpowersromance.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @jmpowersauthor

Nov 06

Teaser Thursday- Dancing Away

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“Give you time?” If that was what Merit needed, Cole would happily give it to him. He would know there was still a chance for them to be together, and that was all he wanted right now. Everything else could wait.

It just couldn’t wait long. He had to be back in town and at work bright and early Monday morning.

Merit hesitated, and Cole held his breath. Whatever the guy said next would make a hell of a lot of difference in his life.

“Give me time.” Merit nodded. “Yeah. You’re right. Seeing you brought back the shit. It also brought back the way you used to smile at me when you didn’t think anyone would notice. If you can smile at me like that when people are around, this might work.”

“You’re worried because I’m not out.” He should have realized Merit wouldn’t be thrilled about dating someone who was still hiding the truth.

“Guys who are in the closet aren’t always the best for relationships,” Merit said. “Sorry if that makes me sound like a dick. When I’m in a relationship I want to be able to tell people. I at least want to be able to walk down the street with my boyfriend and not have to keep distance between us or act like I have no interest in him. I’m not talking about kissing in public, or even holding hands. Even around here that might cause problems. But I don’t like to hide.”

“Yeah.” Cole frowned. “If I came out to my family, would that make a difference?”

“I don’t want you to do anything for me. If you come out to anyone, it has to be for yourself.” He glanced at his watch. “I have to go to rehearsal pretty soon.”

“What time will you be finished?” Cole didn’t want to end the discussion. Not until they’d reached some kind of decision. Not until he knew whether he’d be going home that weekend to stay or to pack.

He had to be crazy to even think about leaving his entire life for Merit. Except he wouldn’t be doing it for Merit. It would be for himself. He was tired of hiding himself from everyone he knew. Working for his uncle was great. He couldn’t ask for a better situation, and he sure as hell wouldn’t find one in the city. He’d have to start over completely.

That wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe it was finally time to let go of home and make his own life instead of living the one everyone expected from him.

“Late. Probably around nine.” Merit studied him. “You want me to say I’ll come back afterward so we can keep talking.”

“Am I that obvious?” Cole kept his tone light, trying to make it sound like a joke.

“Yeah. It’s kind of cute, actually.” Merit grinned. “Not tonight. Tomorrow I have an easier day. Rehearsal’s earlier, and I don’t have as many classes to teach on Thursdays. Give me a call and I’ll come by around eight tomorrow night.”

“I’d really like you to come back tonight.”

“Yeah, I know. Remember the ‘give me time’ thing we talked about a few minutes ago? This is the time you’re giving me. Till tomorrow night.” He stood. “Think about what you really want from me and with me, and what you’re willing to give in return. And I’ll do the same. When we see each other tomorrow night, we might actually be able to get somewhere. Right now, we’re kind of stuck in a circle, and I have to go to rehearsal.”

“Okay.” Waiting till the next night to find out what was going on would be torture. But they’d laid a lot on the line during this conversation, and they both needed time to process it and decide where to go from there.

Cole knew where he wanted things to go, but he couldn’t make that decision on a whim. He had to think it through more carefully, even if he thought he knew what he wanted.

“Tomorrow,” he said.

“Tomorrow.” For a brief second, Merit rested his hand on Cole’s. That tiny touch sent a shiver through Cole, both promise and desire, and he fought an urge to grab Merit’s arm and not let him leave. Merit gave him a smug grin, as if he knew exactly what was going through Cole’s mind. “It won’t be that long. See you then.”

And once again, Merit walked away. But this time, Cole knew he’d be back.

Nov 03

Musical Interlude

Well, not really. Not yet.

I’ve been on an “I need a hobby” kick for a while now. Writing used to be my hobby, until I started earning money at it; now it’s a career, and isn’t as relaxing as it used to be.

A friend of mine who is an excellent mentor to other authors said that between the writing, my kids, and my relationships, I don’t really need a hobby because I have a lot of things filling my time. She kind of has a point.

But in the evenings, when I’m finished my work for the day, sometimes I get bored if I’m only sitting there watching TV. By that point, I’ve been looking at a computer screen off and on all day, and my eyes ache too badly for me to be able to read a book, which sucks because I used to love reading while watching TV. So I kind of want something I can do during that time, when I’m trying to relax and wind down before bed, but am still a little too revved up brain-wise to be able to just sit there.

Last week, I mentioned to my someone special that I wanted a hobby that wouldn’t involve using much vision, that would help me relax, and that I could do simultaneously with watching TV.

He suggested I learn to play the bass guitar.

Bass Guitar

He’s a guitarist who has played in several bands over the years, and has done some recordings with at least one of those bands, as well as doing some solo stuff. He thinks that, because I can sing mostly on-key, I can learn an instrument. I think he also made the suggestion because music is a huge part of his life, and he wants to share it with me.

I’ve played instruments before. My late grandmother was a piano teacher who gave me lessons for a couple of years, until I rebelled. I learned to read music from her, but also did pretty well playing by ear. From ages 10-13, I played the flute in my school band. I’ve also had a wee bit of vocal training; I was in my high school chorus, where the teacher actually worked with us on proper breathing, inflection, etc., and a decade or so ago while singing in my church choir, I was given voice lessons by the organist, who was also a professional vocal coach. So performing music, whether singing or instrumental, isn’t something I’m entirely unfamiliar with.

But I’m not sure about the whole bass guitar thing. I’ve gotten myself into the “I won’t be able to learn” mindset, which sucks. The same day my guy and I had that conversation, we talked about how someone can do anything they set their mind to–as long as they don’t believe they can’t. But I’m believing I can’t for reasons like “I won’t be able to remember the fingerings” and “I can’t play when my 16-year-old’s home because she’ll be able to hear it even without an amp and she won’t be able to tolerate the noise” and “hubby’s going to complain about having the bass in the living room”…many, many reasons.

I’d like to get over all of that and give it a try. My guy has a bass guitar he isn’t using that he’s offered to let me borrow indefinitely–and it’s even my favorite color, royal blue. He said he’d show me how to get started, though that’s good and bad because I’m more embarrassed to try in front of him, given his guitar skills, than I am to noodle around at home, but I trust him enough and know his musical skill well enough to know he would be able to teach me.

So it’s something I’m thinking long and hard about, and hoping to overcome being my own obstacle so I can give it a go.

Oct 30

Teaser Thursday- Tempeh for Two

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The metallic tang of silver filled my nose.

Silver bullets would kill me.

My heart pounded and a scream rose in my throat. I trembled, and my bladder nearly let go. A normal gun was no threat to me, but this gun was filled with silver. I’d been shot with a silver bullet once.

My throat closed, choking off the scream, and I wasn’t sure I could even speak.

Andrew didn’t pull the trigger. His hands shook. He wasn’t a violent man, and he didn’t want to hurt me. But the command planted in his brain overrode his usual thoughts and conscience.

“Andrew, put it down.” The words came from me in a voice I barely recognized. A voice which barely shook. I would have been proud of myself if I’d been able to spare the brain power. “You don’t want to do this.”

I put compulsion into the words, and ran into the same block I had with the wolf. Someone else had planted compulsion, or perhaps even a full geas, in Andrew’s mind.

“Put it down,” I said again, increasing the compulsion.

Kyle stood beside me, appearing to have no reaction at all to the presence of a silver-loaded gun pointed at his mate. But appearances could be deceiving. He trembled too, and his body was tensed and ready. He was waiting to see if I persuaded Andrew to lose the gun. If not, Kyle would act.

That would endanger him. Silver bullets would do just as much, if not more, damage to my lover than to me. But if I tried to physically disarm Andrew, I would definitely be shot. At point-blank range.

“Andrew, listen to me.” I lowered my voice to the calm, soothing tone which in the past had persuaded humans and werewolves alike to follow my commands. “You do not want to shoot me. You do not want to hurt me.”

His hands shook more and his gaze darted around the room. “Shut up.”

“Put down the gun,” I said.

“No!”

His shaking stopped and he leveled the gun directly at my heart.

Kyle leapt.

Andrew landed on the floor with a loud crack as his head hit the side of the desk. Kyle was on top of him, snarling.

I stood, and for a frantic moment I couldn’t find my voice.

Andrew raised the gun and pressed it to the side of Kyle’s head. Kyle slammed Andrew’s arm to the floor and knelt on it. Andrew screamed.

“Stop!” I shouted, and somehow made it to the floor beside Kyle, who had Andrew’s head in his hands. Squeezing. The man’s screams grew louder.

“Kyle, no!” I poured all the compulsion I could manage into the words.

But compulsion didn’t work on Kyle. Another crack filled the room as Kyle broke Andrew’s neck.

Oct 27

The “Click”

I read a quote on Tumblr the other day, which I won’t quote exactly because I can’t find it now and I wouldn’t want to use a quote without being able to attribute it to whoever originally said it.

But the basic gist of it was that when you meet someone you click with right away, it’s a wonderful feeling, like you’re coming home.

I definitely agree with that. When I met my husband, there was a click. An almost audible one, like putting pieces together. Even though that was the first time we’d met, I knew he would be part of my life. Within half an hour, we were finishing each other’s sentences. By the end of that first night, we were *starting* each other’s sentences. We had things in common, and something about us just fit together.

The same thing happened earlier this year when I met the man I refer to as my “person.” Even though hubby and I have okayed seeing other people, I wasn’t trying to, but Person messaged me on the website we both belong to–the same site through which I met hubby–and something about his message made me answer. A couple of weeks later, when he and I both had a free Saturday, even though I doubted anything would come of it, I met him.

And there was that click again. Our conversation flowed naturally. We spent eight hours together that day, and never once ran out of things to talk about. There were no awkward silences. Again, I knew I’d found someone who would be part of my life. And again, something about us just fit together.

When you meet someone like that, it is like coming home. Like returning from a long trip and seeing someone you’ve missed the entire time you were gone. Only with the “click,” you’ve been missing someone you didn’t even know existed until that moment.

People talk sometimes about “soul mates” or “true matches.” And others scoff at the idea. But if you’ve ever met someone with whom you’ve truly clicked, it’s hard to be skeptical about the possibility that you were meant to be with that person all along.

Oct 24

Spotlight on Brantwijn Serrah

Today’s second Breathless Press spotlight is on author Brantwijn Serrah and her new book His Cemetery Doll.

HisCemeteryDoll_200x300

Conall knows the angel standing in his graveyard is only a statue. After all, he carved her with his own two hands. Can she possibly be…alive?

There’s a woman in the graveyard.

Conall Mackay never put stock in ghost stories. Not even after thirteen years serving as the cemetery keeper in the village of Whitetail Knoll. But things change. Now, his daughter is dreaming of a figure among the tombstones. The grounds are overrun by dark thorns almost faster than Con can clear them. White fog and gray ribbons creep up on him in the night, and a voiceless beauty beckons him from the darkest corners of the graves.

When the world he knows starts to unravel, Conall might finally be forced to believe.

EXCERPT:

He hadn’t slept long before he heard sounds from down in the kitchen below.

“Shyla!” he called gruffly. “Weren’t you heading into town?”

No answer came from below, but the sounds of pots clanging told him his daughter toyed about down there. Perhaps she’d decided not to leave him after all and taken it into her head to now re-organize the house, since he’d so clearly wanted her to stay out of the cemetery. With a low groan, Conall rolled out of bed and stepped out into the hall.

“Shyla!” he called again, coming to the head of the stairs. If she had stayed home, she could at least do it without making a lot of noise.

“Shyla, I—”

He staggered then, as the hallway dimmed. Afternoon light flickered strangely, lightning cracking a dismal sky outside, and in the space of time afterward everything else darkened. Conall darted a glance around him as the house fell into shadow.

From the top of the stairwell, he saw the first whispering tendrils of white fog.

The heat of adrenaline shot through his limbs. Conall stumbled back into his bedroom, even as the fog pursued. His gaze shot to the window as the last gray light of day faded away and eerie darkness replaced it, like an eclipse sliding over the sun.

More cold mists veiled the glass, dancing and floating. Trembling overtook him as he spun to find another escape.

He froze, finding himself face-to-face with the broken mask of the cemetery doll.

“You—” he gasped. His breath came out white as the fog enveloped them both, leaving a space of mere inches between them, so he could still see her expressionless face. Gray ribbons wound and curled through the air around him. “Who are you?” he asked.

The doll stared up at him. He sensed her searching, looking into his eyes even though hers remained covered. She held him there with her unseen gaze, until her cool, cold hand came up to touch his bare chest.

Conall let out a low breath. He closed his eyes, and a shudder of strange ease rippled through his body. The cool pads of her fingers ran down his sternum, to his navel. The silky ribbons brushed along his side.

Then he noticed her other hand. She lifted it up, to her own chest, and she held something tightly in her fingers: Shyla’s stuffed dog.

“I made that…for my daughter,” he whispered. The woman with the broken mask tilted her head down toward the small toy, studying it. For a fraction of a second, her fingers appeared to tighten around it. She returned her gaze to him, then, and the toy fell from her grip into the fog, forgotten.

“Wait—” he said, but she brought her other hand up to his chest to join the first, and he recognized eagerness in the way she pressed her icy skin against his. Her face tilted to him, and then came her lips again, ivory and flawless.

“I—” Conall breathed. “I…don’t understand…”

Her fingers slid up, around his neck, but he pulled away.

“No, this…this can’t real. I’m asleep. I must be.”

Gray ribbons danced, pulling him back to her, and she stroked his face. He sucked in a breath at her touch and found his own hand coming up to brush hers.

“You’re so cold,” he said. “Like stone…but…”

Her cool touch thrilled him; it made his skin tingle and the heat of his own body sing. Her perfect flesh did, in fact, prove soft under his hands, as if the contact with his worn calluses infused cold ivory with yearning. She caressed his cheek, and Conall leaned into it. Before he could stop himself, he bowed his head to her and kissed her frozen lips.

Brantwijn Serrah Author Pic

 

The story of His Cemetery Doll has been waiting to be told since Brantwijn Serrah first began jotting things down in her school notebooks instead of doing her homework. Conall Mackay and his lady ghost have existed for Brantwijn, in some form or another, longer than almost any other characters she’s collected. This tale of a haunted graveyard and imprisoned beauty is, in Brantwijn’s opinion, a wonderful way to finally bring them to life.

When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.

In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology.  She’s also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on.  She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com.

Oct 24

Spotlight on Torie James

Welcome to another Breathless Press day! Today’s first spotlight is Torie James with her new book Point of No Return.

Point of no Return 200x300

Blurb

Full of seething, sensual shadows and hidden faces, the annual Masquerade Ball at Lymbo Resort is one event anyone would sell their soul for.

One night a year, impiety and temptation take center court at the invitation only event hosted by the mysterious Avan Noxturna. Decadent darkness, burning lust, and wicked intentions hide behind innocent masks in the most innocuous places.

The fires of hell may blaze hot, but the flames of passion consume common sense when obsessive memories escape to ignite an inferno of intimate bliss that will sear both saint and sinner.

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Excerpt

She enjoyed being a highly sexual female who felt no shame in shagging a man for recreational purposes. Guys did it all the time and they were called studs. A woman with the same goal? Slut. Luckily, she didn’t much care what anyone thought. She had no desire to settle into a bullshit relationship where she lost her identity. Her mother had schooled her. She was an island and it suited her fine when the occasional ship came into port, docking on a temporary pass. A lustful interlude with a masked stranger on Halloween? Cliché. And tempting. She did have a few extra minutes.

Then he filled her vision and she grew damp under the heated gaze.

One. Quick. Fuck.

Medicinal purposes only.

He opened his mouth to speak and she shook her head. “Shh. Don’t talk. You’ll ruin it.”

Torie James author pic

Author Bio

“If you really want to read a book that hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it” ~Toni Morrison~

Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped her keep her feet on the ground while her head stayed firmly in the clouds. Lover of Dr. Pepper, all things chocolate, and Duran Duran, her dreams finally became a reality with the publication of Timeless Night and Timeless Desire, Books One and Two of the award winning New Camelot Series. Slated for 3 more books in that series, she’s also currently working on The Cloie Chronicles, The Tudor Files, Avan Noxturna: Soul Broker and the Fables of Blood and Stone. Two short stories, No Change Policy in Room 8 and Reclaiming the Rabbit Hole can be found in My Bloody Valentine and Wonderland Tales, respectively, through her publisher, Breathless Press.

Torie lives in Southern California with her family and a houseful of pets who rule the roost.

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