Friday, October 23, 2009
Lots of writing developments... well, lots for me.
Enticement is out on submission again.
The Whore is undergoing a metamorphosis. It's in its chrysalis just at the moment.
And I've just unearthed the Bloody Book to start working on that one again. Rather looking forward to it. I've always had a soft spot for Blaze and Asha.
This is the pair, if you recall them from Broken Angel.
Blaze watched Asha close the door and put her back to the wood. She eyed him curiously, with her arms folded across her chest. ‘Is your past really worth risking a man’s life for?’
‘I was quite happy to go myself.’ He refused to feel guilty. Jaku had volunteered to go outside.
Asha dug her teeth into her bottom lip. ‘You know we couldn’t let you do that, even without the Ghost Wind.’
‘Frightened I’ll try to escape?’
The apprehensive flutter of her eyelashes confirmed the truth. He frowned at her, and she pushed away from the door to come to him. ‘If we’d let you out, you’d have been on your bike and away. Don’t try to deny it.’
Blaze rubbed his fingers across his knuckles, but didn’t respond. Until this moment, he hadn’t actually thought of escaping. He hadn’t realised that he needed to. When had she switched roles from his saviour to his jailor? Maybe from the moment he stepped out of the bathroom, and they started discussing the blasted pamphlet.
He snatched it off the table.
Of course, now that he knew he was a prisoner, it dawned on him that her suspicions were right. If he’d reached his bike, he would have run. The pamphlet had told him little enough, and as he couldn’t afford to pay someone to translate it for him, there was little point in keeping it. With nothing to bring him back, yes, he’d have run from the Talon. He was almost tempted to run now, except even if he got away from her, and evaded Palter Rodgers, the gate guard, he still wouldn’t reach the bike and get far enough down the road to outrun the dead.
Nobody got caught in the Ghost Wind and survived. It’s icy grip strangled without mercy. It was clean and cold, the perfect way to murder. There wasn’t a night that went past when some poor unfortunate didn’t find himself at the mercy of the chill windborne horde.
He glanced warily at the tiny skylight above Palter Rodgers’ desk. The wind was already picking up outside, another few minutes and clawed fingers would be rattling the window frames. He spared a glance for Asha. Her features had tightened into the mask-like expression she’d presented when he’d first seen her. She’d withdrawn, was probably hiding her fear for her partner in the only way she knew how.
Blaze resumed his seat, and turned the pamphlet in his hands. The cover was blotched and worn in places, but surprisingly tactile. It had a distinctive smell too, a malty, acidic odour that had little in common with normal leather. He wondered if the others had noticed it too. It was almost…like bacon cooked in cider with a hint of something nefarious. Rat, maybe.
He traced his thumb along the spine and it fell open in his palm at the image of the sigil. From what he recalled, the version on his chest was far cruder than the picture in the book, which was comprised of many delicate swirls.
Blaze looked down at his t-shirt as if he could see the pattern burned onto his skin through the cloth. What was that supposed to mean? That he’d be responsible for waking some ages old demon prince? Not bloody likely. It didn’t make sense after what had happened earlier either. Why attack him? Why not ask for a quiet word? Were the two incidents even connected? There’d been rumours enough about the youkai recently. Maybe they were just hungry. Maybe he’d seemed like an easy mark.
The sigil on his chest burned, bringing with it a sharp flash of pain.
He must have winced, because Asha was suddenly kneeling by his side.
‘How are you feeling?’ She pressed her hand to his brow. The mask replaced with matronly concern. ‘I can give you more painkillers if the effect is wearing off.’
Blaze tightened his grip on the booklet, so the colour bled out of his thumbs. ‘I’m fine,’ he growled. No sooner were the words spoken, than the thrumming in his hindbrain started again. Blinded by the pain, he clasped her arm for support.
‘Blaze. I think I ought to check the poultice is working. You don’t look so good.’ Her free hand tugged at the bottom of his damp t-shirt.
‘No!’ He clapped a hand over hers, preventing her from revealing any more of his chest. ‘I’m fine. It’s fine. Just a twinge.’ He managed a pained smile.
She sat back on her haunches and eyed him quizzically, but didn’t let go of his shirt even when he removed his hand from hers. ‘I think we have wildly different concepts of fine. The fake smile isn’t convincing me.’ She tugged again at the black cloth, this time exposing a three-inch band of flesh around his midriff.
‘Really, Asha—leave it!’
She lowered her eyelashes a moment in response, then her brows furrowed and her green eyes bore into him.
‘Don’t be so stupid.’
He stared into the crystal fire of her eyes, and almost backed down. Only the thought of having to try to explain the mark upon his chest and his miraculously healed shoulder blades prevented him.
‘Blaze.’ She leaned into him. So close, he could smell the scent of her body beneath her perfume. ‘You’re hot. Burning up. There’s something wrong with the wound.’ She slid her hand below the fabric and up his side towards his back.
Wild panic fluttered in his chest beside the flaring heat of the pulsing sigil. Her hands felt icy against his skin. To distract her, he did the only thing that came into his head. He kissed her. Hard.
For a moment, he felt her shock: a sharp intake of breath, a clenching of all the muscles in her back. Then instead of pushing him away and slapping him, she was kissing him back.
Her tongue played against the seam of his lips, igniting both passion and terror. He wanted her, had known that almost the moment he’d woken. Perhaps before that, but she was out of his league. Talon—you didn’t mess. This was wrong. There’d be payback. She was his jailor. The thought just excited him more. Unable to stop himself, Blaze pressed his tongue into her mouth. His moans mingled with hers. The globes of her bottom fitted neatly into his hands as she straddled his lap and rocked against the bulge of his cock. Like splashes of heaven, her kisses rained upon his face. He felt disorientated, shivery, but the earlier pain dwindled to a pinpoint. It flared again, white-hot when she squeezed his nipple, but in a good way, a way that made his cock thicken and buck.
Her underwear rasped against the zip of his trousers as she writhed upon his lap, urging him to loose his cock with the rock of her hips. Both her hands were beneath his shirt. They roved across his freshly healed skin, which tingled with each touch. Where the skin had been cold, now it was hot, as if the heat of her soul was seeping into him wherever their bodies made contact. No way was this natural.
Blaze looked at her in wonder. A slender line of perspiration peppered her brow. There was glazed sheen to her eyes. ‘Asha!’ He put his hand out to stop her, but didn’t push. He wasn’t sure if she was even aware of his resistance. She was gazing at him as though he was out of focus. ‘Asha, there’s something wrong. The poison you drew…’ Would it be this slow acting? He hadn’t a clue about youkai poisons beyond what she’d told him, but he didn’t think this was simply down to lust. ‘I think we have to stop.’
Blaze stretched away from her, and took refuge in the depths of the sofa, but it was no use. It simply put him in a more vulnerable position.
Asha tore at the waistband of his leather jeans. The fly gave, revealing his rapidly hardening cock. It bucked as if begging attention. Blaze gulped down a deep breath while he watched Asha lick her lips. Then her mouth closed, soft and eager, over the ruddy helm, and he was hers. He couldn’t stop her. The pleasure was so intense, he could do little more than groan and clench his fists. In his mind, he knotted his fingers in her hair, held her still so he could watch his cock slide in and out as he fucked her mouth with quick deep strokes and watched her lipstick smear. Her tongue teased the sensitive eye. He was going to walk away with black lip prints all along the shaft. Just that thought was enough to draw him that bit closer to coming. ‘Asha, please…’ His control was fraying, his reservations melting away.
The sigil on his chest flared white-hot again and seemed to writhe in time with their motion. It hurt, but her lullaby of poisonous kisses somehow overrode everything, and turned his words of denial in to gasps of surrender.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
It's not that it's a bad opening line. In fact, it's not really the opening line at all. It's the date and location info before the opening line. This book, which is a Regency historical is set in Durham. I haven't read far enough to find out if that Durham is referring to the city of Durham, which is what I'd assume from the location being given as Durham, or whether we're talking about County Durham (County Palatine of Durham, if we're going to be correct for the era).
So, what's the issue here? Well, I suppose it's me, my expectations and past experiences.
While not an expert on County Durham, I did live there for ten years, and I have lots of childhood memories of the place, and the last Regency-set book I read by a US author that was set in County Durham made some horrendous mistakes. Hence, I'm bracing myself for more unintentional trips here. It's unfair of me, but I can't shake the expectation. I just wish that choice had been for another location, say Wessex or Somerset, or Kent. Somewhere that isn't the North-east of England, and is preferably nowhere too close to my current location.
I guess it's just harder to suspend belief when there are little nuances to bug you.
Does anyone else have this sort of location problem, or is it just me?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
To celebrate the release of Sexy Little Numbers in the US and other territories, I thought I'd share a little snippet from my story Hard at Work which appears in the collection. Quite possibly the last ever anthology from Black Lace.
SEXY LITTLE NUMBERS: BEST WOMEN'S EROTIC FROM BLACK LACE 1
Published by Virgin, Black Lace
ISBN # 978-0352345387
"Sexy Little Numbers" is a choice cut of all new and original erotic stories and the latest addition to Black Lace's immensely popular series of erotica collections. This longer collection will contain even more variety and a greater range of female sexual desire than ever before. It will be the first of an annual collection of the best general erotica stories written by women. Fun, irreverent and deliciously decadent, "Sexy Little Numbers" will combine humour and attitude with wildly imaginative writing from all over the world. This will be the most entertaining erotic fiction for women to be found anywhere in the world.
Excerpt from Hard at Work
He settles again in the leather chair, his toned thighs wide spread either side of me. When I rest my hands lightly upon his knees, and both his thighs and his cock twitch in greeting, my heart does a little somersault too, though I hope I keep it hidden. For months, I’ve disguised how intensely I feel about this man, concealing my high colour beneath layers of carefully applied foundation and blush. I hardly dare meet his eyes now; for fear that he’ll see just how big a fraud I am. All this no nonsense secretary lark is an act borne of desperation. The first day we spent together, I was so overawed, I turned into a stilted, super efficient zombie, but it got me through and kept me in a role that had previously seen a very high turnover of staff despite the swish private office and a nice compensation package. The whole office spoke of Mr John’s as some sort of demented demon, likely to kick you into the street for picking your nose on work time. I realised pretty quickly, that it’s just an act for him too. A way of playing with the big boys and getting some respect when he’s almost half their age.
That doesn’t change the fact that I’m out of my depth here. I’m not a dominatrix, just an ordinary secretary, and my knowledge and experience of these sorts of devices is virtually non-existent. I bought in online, thinking it pretty, never expecting to find a man to encase within its steel and leather grip. I never for a moment thought I’d be fastening it around my boss, though he looks beautiful, clasped within the rings. The sight of the tiny lock dangling from the fastenings fills my stomach with butterflies.
Mine, all mine.
I dangle the key from my fingertip, the knowledge that I can ask whatever I want of him makes me curiously light-headed, but strangely, I can’t think of a single demand. Actually, that’s not entirely true, it’s just that all my senses are attuned to him, and quite unconcerned by material gains. I long to see him naked. Will the rest of his body live up to the promise of his hard cock and solid thighs? They in themselves are an unanticipated surprise.
Barry tugs uneasily at his collar, clearly seeking to ease his sense of confinement as I look upon him, but I don’t allow his discomfort to hurry me. I take my time, admiring the shape of his cock, the slight curve in the shaft and the deep magenta of the flared head. I’ve not seen that many. But Barry’s is nice. As I lean closer and touch the springy tuft of dark curls at its base I catch the scent of him, a perfume not too dissimilar to that of my own: rich and gamey.
‘Say, please,’ I insist, and he groans. My tongue flicks out over my bottom lip, and I shuffle myself nearer to the tip of his cock. He’s been so obedient. He really does deserve a treat.
‘Please, Miss Stevens.’ He begs so beautifully, eyes down cast, just peeping up at me occasionally to gauge my responses ‘Please take it off.’ There’s a hint of a growl alongside his plea that makes me want to laugh. It’s the same grumble of disapproval he uses as a fearsome motivational tool amongst the workforce. He’s so used to being in charge, of snapping orders and having people jump.
I don’t jump. We’re playing by my rules today, not his. Tantalizingly, I trace a finger along his cock from the base to the tip subconsciously counting the five steel rings. It gives me time to master my own eagerness. ‘I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, Barry.’ I hold the tiny padlock between my finger and thumb. ‘You’re very excited, and I don’t want you losing control of yourself.’ Really, I’m just too aware of how delicate the balance of power between us is. Without the restraints, our game is merely an ordinary torrid office affair, the sort that involves fucking upright balanced against the photocopier, or sneakingly groping one another within the claustrophobic confines of the stationary cupboard. This is too good for that, and we both know it.
Barry’s pulse shows in his temple as he sucks in a heavy breath. He lifts his hips slightly—wanting, straining.
‘Well, if you’re sure you’ve been good.’
‘Yes,’ he hisses.
I seek deceit in his eyes, but there is none. My mouth forms a wide O as I lean forward, hands splayed across the tops of his broad thighs supporting my descent.
‘Wait! Perhaps we should take a look at what you’ve been working on first.’ I rise up a little and tap a few keys on his computer. The fuzzy black and white security feed bleeds onto the screen, showing a camera pointed at my empty desk.‘That’s hardly being good, now is it?’
‘I had you minimized,’ he says with a wry shrug, which startles a peal of laughter from me.
Fingers concealing my mouth, I ask: ‘Do you honestly thinking admitting to that is going to appease me?’
He sags a little at the shoulders in response. ‘I’ll take whatever punishment you think fit.’
‘Oh, will you?’ Much to his bewilderment, I unfasten the tiny padlock and remove the leather and steel restraint.
‘You’re not going?’ he whispers, a trace of dejection woven around the words.
‘Going? I’m going to suck you, Barry. But I expect you to show some self-control. I don’t like guy’s coming in my mouth. If you managed to keep yourself in check, then I’ll give you a reward. If not, our little game is over.’ One tiny glimpse at the row of buttons on my starched white shirt is enough for him to start nodding. His sign of agreement fades, and his hands tighten on the arms of the chair as I once again tilt forward as if to taste him.
‘Take off your shirt and tie.’
At the last moment, I swerve away, provoking a groan of complaint. Still, Barry does as instructed with ego stroking quickness. Unlike his trousers, his shirt is flung upon the floor. I tut at his sloppiness, but really I disregard the rumpled shirt, my interest already focussed upon his body. My jaw falls slack. Shocked by how pleasing his physique turns out to be. Not even his glorious thighs prepared me for what I’m now staring at. Awed, I pass a hand across his naked chest. ‘You’ve been hiding this well.’
Barry inclines his head. ‘No one’s ever asked to see it.’
Dear God, we’re all fools in this office. I’ve lusted over this man for months and I never suspected he looked like this beneath his work-soiled shirt and dodgy end of line suit. I make him turn before me, so that I can see every beautiful line of his body. He has the sort of abs make-up artist’s paint onto models before a photo shoot, and the arse of a tennis supremo. His nipples are two pale pinpoints, only a tiny shade darker than the surrounding skin, while between them a light smattering of hair covers his chest. Below his naval the hairs thicken and mingle with the wiry curls that hug his groin. As I turn him before me, he seems so vulnerable despite his obvious masculine strength that I almost forget my role as stern mistress and crush him to my breast eager to offer comfort.
Luckily, Barry is not so lost in the moment. His full sensual lips part a fraction, and his breaths burst over me in slow faltering gasps. I touch him gently, tracing two fingers over the ridge of his hip, before finally touching his cock with just the tip of my tongue. His fists clench upon the chair arms as my fingers dance over the ridges of his shaft. The knuckles whiten when that delicate exploration reaches the fuzzy weight of his balls. With whiskey-coloured eyes he wordless begs, wanting and arching up off the chair to plead for more. In desperation, he bites his lip, and that’s when I take him deep in my mouth.
Still, even as I suck him, I demand as much in return as I give. I dig my fingernails into the hard globes of his rear and enjoy the supple spring of flesh beneath my fingertips. Tomorrow, I don’t doubt he’ll have bruises.
Other thing I've realised - okay, I already knew it, but it's finally sunk in - I don't really know what this book is in terms of genre. It's erotic, but it's not erotica. There's not nearly enough sex for that. It has a romance running through it, but it breaks way too many romance genre rules to be actuallyRomance, which I guess makes it a Historical with erotic romance elements.
I am loving this book for all my compliants about it. It's dark and gritty, but it's an adventure story, and I think it probably has more in common with Urban Fantasy than traditional Georgian era romance, not that there are any paranormal elements. It's just the feel of it.
Anyway, so I've left one set of characters in limbo with waving their stockings about, and I'm trying to write a viewpoint character with secrets that I don't want to give away, and another viewpoint character who I want to squeeze, but who isn't terribly nice. Oh, and then I have to work out where these extra scenes are going.
Pity my poor crit partners, who having waded through what I sent them the other week will soon have random extra scenes thrown at them.
Oh, it's fun being a writer.
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