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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Public property or borrowed space? #RomFantasy

I was contemplating a blog today, and wondering what I wanted to talk about, then I popped onto Pinterest to upload a photo to one of my boards. Needless to say, it took about thirty seconds to remind me why I frequently bitch about people’s inability to read when they use public sites. Some folks appear to think public means they can do what they want, with impunity. Not so. Terms of Service–it’s time to read those things, at least in part, so you understand what is and isn’t acceptable on PUBLIC sites. There was a time when I would never have made that statement, because it would have gotten me in shit with a lot of people. Truth is, though, terms of service on sites like Pinterest and Facebook, and all the others we take for granted, are there for everyone’s protection.

I discovered today that I have a small group of younger followers on Pinterest, most of them between 16-18 years old. Since I did take the time to read the ToS for Pinterest, and it just seems prudent to be circumspect anyway, my boards are pretty much non-sexual zones. The raciest photos I have are a couple of my friend John Quinlan’s rear view, and some artful photographs of model Raul Popa that were shot by Maurizio Montani. Today, because of various connections, I was treated to the vision of some girl with a guy’s head between her legs having a go at her hoohah… Another one of several males performing various sexual acts on each other, and assorted blindfolded and gagged women on their knees with some man’s crotch in their faces. Is crap like this supposed to be sexy? Is this the kind of thing you want your young daughters seeing if they use a public site like Pinterest? Those ToS you conveniently ignored state quite clearly that this sort of shit violates the site’s operating rules.

Facebook is a prude, too. I’ve had my run ins and slaps on the wrist for offending someone’s sense of propriety with a photo I’ve posted. An author I know was given a slap on the wrist by Google+ and we still don’t know what that was about. The common outcries over the bans and the warnings are hysterical–everyone is outraged, calling the reporting parties “haters” and in language worthy of the drunkest lout you’d ever encounter. Yes ladies, you sound so classy with your snarling foul words. I’ve resorted to them myself, but came to the conclusion that I wanted to be regarded with a little more class, so refrain from exercising that particular “freedom” unless truly incensed.

In reality, I accept that there are a ton of trolls looking for shit to report, but there are just as many people with real grounds for their annoyance. Despite what you think, YOUR page on Facebook is not really yours–it belongs to Facebook, doesn’t it?–they have allowed you the privilege of an internet presence on their site. Pinterest allows you to share your interests with the public at large, but expects a little commons sense and “decency” to apply in what you choose to share. Cry censorship if you like, the fact remains, there is a general rule of expectation that intelligent human beings will realize that perhaps not everyone sees photos of people having sex as art. More often than not, the mass population will call that pornography, won’t they? Yet many cry foul, and their friends jump on the bandwagon, until it becomes a huge deal over nothing.

We live in an age when the internet connects the planet, and everyone has a voice. Some of those photos you think are so hot and sexy–they could have you arrested for indecency in some countries, couldn’t they? I’m not making a judgement about how right or wrong that is, just pointing out the reality. There are MANY people to consider when you make a public presence, and just as many when you make a public spectacle of your annoyance. (Learned the hard way, so not throwing stones, I’ve had my moments!)

Cyber-stalking is a reality, identity theft is a reality. Yet, people get incensed when a site like Facebook shuts down a fake profile because the owner can’t prove they’re real. This is especially true of groups of role players. It’s a crap shoot how long those profiles will stand, and what needs addressing is this notion that the users have the RIGHT to create and run fake profiles. Where does it say that in the rules Facebook gets you to sign off on when you create an account? Hell, I had to produce my passport for them last year to prove I am a real person, and after a little digging and some questions asked, the irony is I was reported by a profile that was an author’s character, not a “real” person.

ALL publicly used sites are owned by corporations, not the individuals who use them. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, all of these and more. You may own the rights to the personal data you share, but you do NOT own the pages you create, those are the property of the site you choose to use as your platform. That’s the simple version of ToS. Legally, there are undoubtedly a hundred ways to interpret or dodge who owns what. That’s not the point, really. In the end the point is even more basic–use your social sites responsibly and no one will bother you, push the envelope and you’ll get a warning if you offend someone. Imagine you can do what you want, and you’ll find yourself looking for a new way to meet up with friends online. In this age of entitlement, think beyond your own personal sense of what is or isn’t acceptable, and behave with some decorum. Do that, and you won’t find your pages locked, deleted, or warnings arriving in your inbox.

The internet is the playground of millions of people every single minute of the day. Most on social sites don’t really make it their life’s work to see how far they can push the limits of “mass minded decency” but there are those who define that with a lot more risqué than most. Stop taking it personally if you’re shutdown, and take a closer look at why. It’s not really rocket science to know what goes beyond acceptable, so behave like an adult, not a horny teenager giggling over photos. There’s a time and a place for everything, and public pin boards, or Facebook pages are really not the place for naked lovers in the midst of sex.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Invitation by @choffmanbooks @pumpupyourbook

About the Book:

Madison Spencer is a serious medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged, stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she knows she's in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam offers to bring her back to life with physical passion. Madison thinks she should be repelled, but she's intrigued and can't turn him away. Together they explore days and nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they've found their perfect match. But with Liam's fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison's fear of being hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together, will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have it all?

Purchase your copy:

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Title: Invitation
Author: Christina Hoffman
Pages: 187
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Madison Spencer is a serious medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged, stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she knows she's in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam offers to bring her back to life with physical passion. Madison thinks she should be repelled, but she's intrigued and can't turn him away. Together they explore days and nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they've found their perfect match. But with Liam's fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison's fear of being hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together, will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have it all?

First Chapter:

I can't even blame it on the booze. There wasn't any, or at least there wasn't any for me. I was with Chloe, my bodyguard. Okay, actually she was my friend, but a really overprotective friend who knew all about what I’d been through and wanted to make sure it never happened again. So, no alcohol.

But, what she and I hadn't counted on was him being there. There I was, minding my own business, putting in my time at the Med School Social, more than ready to head home for some studying, then Chinese food and a movie. And suddenly, him.

I was inhaling when I caught sight of him, but my breath just stopped. It felt like being punched in the chest. I kept telling myself, look away, look away! But it was impossible. I was paralyzed. His beautiful face and magnificent body were magnets, and my eyes were locked on them.

I hadn't felt this kind of physical attraction since, well, ever. I had never felt like that. I had stayed away from men for two years. I was pretty much terrified of them, to tell the truth. But there he was. Unavoidable and irresistible.

I saw him in profile. Oh, that hair. Thick, almost curly, falling into his eyes. The kind of hair you need to gently push off of his face right before you kiss him. Or, the kind of hair you grab really hard right before you're about to...

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. The point I'm trying to make is that my mind very clearly recognized all the dangers ahead and was saying, “Turn around, go, get out of here! Before it's too late.” But then he turned around to look right at me. It was already too late.

We held each other's gaze a second longer than politeness required. Something inside me went click, and for the first time in almost two years, I felt young and alive, and really, really turned on. Every part of me suddenly woke up, and all the best parts started to tingle. I was breathing harder. My lips parted slightly, already begging to be kissed.

It was a little overwhelming. I was out of practice. No, actually, I had never had the kind of practice you would need to stay controlled in a situation like that. I think maybe you can have a soul mate for your mind, and also one for your body. And my body was saying “Get me over there right now!”

But I was still too afraid. I smiled a little and turned away.

I had to stay for a while, to look sociable, so I went over to the food table and stared at the snacks, which were already stale. Nothing looked very good, and my throat was too tight to eat anyway.

I was starting to formulate a plan for escaping without the other students or the teachers noticing when I felt the air move behind me, the softest caress against my bare shoulders. Then, a hand on my back, an electric shock to my body, wildly pleasurable. I gasped and spun around. Right into the arms of...

“I'm Liam.”

Liam. Right into the arms of Liam. Oh, he was even more beautiful up close. My hand rose all on its own to push that wonderful floppy hair from his face. I stopped suddenly, embarrassed, but he caught my wrist, and held my palm gently to his face. We looked at each other and knew.

“Wanna get out of here?” he asked, and of course, foolish, foolish woman that I am, I said, “Yes.”

I saw him my first day at the new hospital. I'm a medical student and had just finished the lecture part of things where we sit around learning about chemical reactions and body parts. That was over, at last, and we were moving on to seeing real live patients in the hospital.

The orientation was step one in getting us ready for our new roles. We each got a short lab coat and a tour of the locker rooms. We received our ID tag photos.

I'm not sure why I first noticed Liam.

Since the bad thing happened, I keep my head down and make eye contact with pretty much nobody. I wear my hair in a tight bun at the nape of my neck and my clothes are dull and loose. On that particular day, I was trying very hard to concentrate. I was excited to be starting work in the hospital, but I was mostly terrified. There was so much to take in and remember. My head was reeling after only two hours. The last thing on my mind was men. So, who knows why I took that second look as he walked by our group.

Well, actually I do know why. He was gorgeous. Ridiculously gorgeous. Dark wavy hair, just slightly overgrown so he looked like a happy surfer who'd tumbled out of bed. Smiling eyes. Sparkling, mischievous, movie star eyes. A little bit of stubble, likely because he had been on call all night. The rest of him looked pretty much immaculate. He wore light wool pants and a sky blue shirt. No tie, but the white lab coat made him look professional enough.

I was dedicated to maintaining my nun-like lifestyle, but, seriously, it was impossible not to look at him. Even Chloe noticed him. She looked at him, then at me. She shook her head lightly and whispered, “No”. I laughed a little because she sounded like a mom telling a toddler that she couldn't have any candy. Well, that was pretty much what was happening, so I guess Chloe nailed that.

She was absolutely right. I didn't want any trouble. Certainly not that awful, frightening feeling of falling in love. No time-consuming romance. And certainly not all the time I had lost trying to recover from the trauma of what had happened before. Even a plain old tiny heartbreak could set me back, and put me way off course in my career.

No, I didn't have the time or energy for any distractions. Nothing. Just work and school.

So I ignored the stunning resident with the black hair, and tried to focus on the tall blond giving us the orientation spiel. This was much easier because I felt no attraction to him at all. He was really handsome, too. But something about him seemed mean. Or maybe arrogant. It's hard to remember what I thought of him that first time, because the memory is so clouded with all that came after. I'll just say he was a tall, slim blond who should have caught my eye, but didn’t.

About the Author:

Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for now, in San Francisco.

She believes that everyone has the right to feel both smart and sexy. We don't have to be one or the other! She writes stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still believe in love.

She's starting a mini-revolution. She writes sexy stories, but hasn't lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips -- back to lips!

She hopes you enjoy her stories and see yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people, just like you.

Christina’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Invitation.

Visit her website at www.christinahoffman.com.
Connect & Socialize!


AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

How did you choose the story you wrote?

That question has two answers. First, the short one. The story chose me. The theme of sex and love being something that can be, not just a lot of fun, but actually healing and vital to a person’s sense of self and well-being, just appeared.

The long version is that, while I had had this idea that I felt strongly about, I was pretty discouraged by the stories that are out there right now. Simply because they are so different from mine. I feel like the Pollyanna of sexy fiction. My sex scenes just seemed so simple and, I don’t know, “clean”? I knew it was going to be a real challenge to make the sex and intimacy intense and loving, as well as hot AND sweet.

How did you choose the title?

I was trying to find a word to convey that Madison was being offered a chance to try again, that if she was willing, she could have help bringing herself back to life. It’s a part of life that had been ruined for her, and she was being invited back in. I also liked it, because it’s my first romance book, and I’m inviting in new people to read it and hopefully really enjoy it.

How did you decide on a cover? Did you design it yourself or use a professional? However you created a cover, will you be doing it that way in the future?

The cover was a bit of an ordeal. The problems may be unique to what I call the Contemporary Romance 18+, but maybe anyone mixing genres up a bit has trouble finding a cover that can represent their story. My story is in a “Sexy” category, but my approach is that great sex can also be intensely loving. Everything I saw that was really sexy seemed dark and almost sinister. Captivating, sure, but not at all related to my story or what I was hoping to say. Anything “softer” had me worried that I was misrepresenting the book as a straight-up gentle love story and — BAM — some poor reader was going to be indignant when the clothes came off!!

I knew it had to look professional so I found a pretty expensive designer. The covers on the website were amazing. But when I got my cover drafts back from them, they were really bad. Very basic and cheap-looking, and none of my thoughts or ideas had even been looked at. In the end I was fortunate, because they gave me my money back and I was able start over.

For take 2, I found a pre made cover on another designer’s website that was almost what I had in mind. Then she and I went back and forth a few times making it really work for this story. She was fabulous and put up with me admirably.

Can you summarize your book in 140 characters or less (tweet size!)

Terrible past. Intelligent, brave lonely woman. Gorgeous, sexy man with secret sweet side. Wonderful partner + great sex = coming back to life.

What did you learn while writing your book? What surprised you?

In terms of the writing of the story, the villain character Owen, was surprising. I had envisioned him as a typically sleazy arrogant guy, but he turns out to be a pretty nasty piece of work. The darkness of that episode seemed to come out of nowhere, but once it was written, it felt really right for the journey Madison is on.

How much literary license do you use in your stories? Do you use fictional locations?

I used Seattle because I know the city, and I know the climate (!) The dreariness of those bone-chilling damp winters worked well for where Madison was at in her life. I made up the hospital and the University campus, because it didn’t need to be one particular place in order to tell the story. I took parts of different places to suit my story.

What is your favorite time of the year and why? Did you incorporate that into your story?

I am a summer baby and always will be. I am like one of those flowers that turns during the day to stet face the sun! It is not summer in the book, though there are a couple of scenes depicting summer. I love the way bodies feel warm, languid and relaxed in the sun. If there is a sequel, it will take place in the summer, and I’ll really enjoy writing around that.

What do you feel is the best personal quality you bring to your writing?

I don’t know yet. For me, the world of writing seems new and, at this point, I’m sort of going against some conventions that say emphasize this, say that, act like this, give them that. I tried to have a bit of a sexy persona going on at first, but I couldn’t pull it off. Even though this is new territory, I think most of my real self has ended up coming out. So, whether that will prove to be a good quality or not is yet to be seen.

What type of movies do you like? Who is your favourite actor?

The kind of movie I like depends on my mood. I’m a drama person a lot of the time, maybe a bit too serious for my own good. I love comedies, and there is truly nothing better than a beautiful, sincere romance (which it may be the hardest thing to pull off).

My favorite actor was Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was a true artist and a beautiful person. I’m not sure he can be replaced. I’m probably going to be putting him as my “favourite actor” for a long, long, time.

Dorothy Thompson
Owner & Founding Mother at PUMP UP YOUR BOOK


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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

@Shades_of_Rose Presents: Strangers On A Bus @RonManary #RomFantasy

Strangers on a Bus by Rob Manary

Genre: Romantic Comedy


If you liked When Harry Met Sally, you'll fall in love with Robb and Gertrude from Strangers on a Bus...

Robb is crushed by a failed relationship with the love of his life and finds himself unexpectedly on a long bus trip from his adopted home in the U.S. back to his native Canada.

At the first stop in NYC, a girl gets on and so begins a contemplation of life, love, and strange events that will bring tears of laughter and heartache streaming down your face.

Is this girl Robb's real true love or just a rebound? How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?

This is a true story.

~Excerpt~

The sun started to come up as we crossed into Canada, and Gertrude told me we wouldn’t be making out once it was daylight. Lip dancing on a brightly lit bus was too “tacky” for her, and besides her lessons were having a not entirely unpleasant side effect on her.

I find it best to try not to understand women at all. But, there is one phenomenon that causes me more confusion than any of the other baffling behavior women indulge in.

When you tell a woman something and she doesn’t believe you, so you tell her the opposite, and she doesn’t believe that either, I like that.

So, you tell her the first thing you said was, indeed, the truth, and she doesn’t want to believe that one either.

Confused?

So am I. Here is the latest incarnation of this occurrence.

Gertrude: “All this kissing isn’t bothering you? You’ve got more restraint than any guy I’ve ever met. I thought you would have been trying to feel me up hours ago.”

Me: “Would it have worked?”

Gertrude: “Maybe, probably not. I think it’s nice. You’re a gentleman.”

Me: “Not really. Every time we stop I take care of that in the bathroom.”

Gertrude: “You’re such a pig! You washed your hands right! You’re so gross! You didn’t! Did you?”

Me: “I thought I was a gentleman! I lie! I lie! I lie! Of course I didn’t.”

Gertrude: “You’re such a pig! You did! Didn’t you? You’re so gross!”

Me: “Stop laughing at me if I’m so gross! I didn’t! I didn’t!”

Gertrude: “You did so! You’re such a pig!”

Me: “Okay. Fine. I did.”

Gertrude: “No you didn’t! You’re not that big a pig. Close. But no. You didn’t.”

Me: “I tell you I didn’t and you say I did. I tell you I did, and you say I didn’t. You’re such a weirdo.”

And then I kissed her, because the sun was rising quick, and because I couldn’t see another way to end that conversation. It is possible that debate could have gone on indefinitely, and there was no way I could prove conclusively what I had or had not done in a bus stop bathroom.

After what might be our last extended lip dancing lesson Gertrude whispered in my ear, “I was horny and wanted Dicky-bird…that is fun to say, so in the bathroom… I did.”

Buy Link: Amazon

~About the Author~

Robert Manary is an international playboy and man of mystery, with the charm and sophistication of James Bond shaken not stirred with a couple ounces of Cyrano de Bergerac, a dash of Rasputin, and garnished with the rapier wit of Thurston Howell the Third.

That’s how he sees himself, anyway.

The truth is Robert Manary is a construct created to protect the dubious reputation of his Clark Kent like mild mannered writer/puppeteer/the man pulling the levers and breathing life into the Great and Powerful Oz (don’t look too closely behind the curtain).

Robert Manary’s alter ego dropped out of Radio Broadcasting College to pursue a lucrative career bartending at a seedy gentlemen’s club, played around stocking shelves at a small grocery store until he screwed up badly enough to be given a promotion, and finally left the glamorous life of fighting with Parmalat representatives over the quantity of soy milk required for a small Northern Ontario town to function adequately, for the bright lights of New York.

Author Links: Site    Facebook   Twitter   YouTube 


Monday, July 21, 2014

Inspired by music…Bella Signorina #RomFantasy

Inspired by music…
(A look at where the story was born)

Back in 2006 a young Italian singer by the name of Patrizio Buanne had come onto the international music scene. He was an old style singer, with a powerful and seductive voice, rich in emotion and range. He was in his mid-twenties then, and had just recorded his second album, a collection called Forever Begins Tonight. It was on this CD that a particular song caught my imagination, with the story it told and the romanticism of the tale. Bella Bella Signorina was one of the most popular songs on this CD, and remains a fan favourite. For me, the more I listened to the song, the more certain I was that I wanted to write a story. I met Patrizio after concert in April of 2007, and by then the story had come into being in my mind. I asked for, and was given permission to use a few lines from the lyrics of the song as the framework for the story I wanted.

Later in the summer, I wrote the first draft of Bella Signorina and after getting the properly signed release from the copyright holder, it was submitted to a publisher. The decision was made the “tone down” the sensuality of the story and make it a sweetheart story, so any sexual overtone were removed, leaving the romantic fantasy to play out like a song. The book held the #1 best-seller spot for over six months, but went largely unnoticed, despite good reviews. I revised the story after the contract expired, and it was released again. This time it was largely unnoticed.

So, when I finally located the file of the original story and had the chance to read this story the way it was originally written, I thought this time it could be released as it was meant to be. Eirelander was willing to give the sexy, sensual version a home at last.


Exclusive excerpt:

             Stefano kept a close eye on the pretty dancer even as he walked to the small caffè. She was lovely, and he’d seen her many times, always enchanted by her presence, but never inclined to find out if the outward beauty was all there was to her. If she was another vain and brainless girl, he didn’t want his illusion shattered. The romanticism of the thought made him smile. He wasn’t as jaded as he pretended to be if he was still protecting his heart with illusions.
             Less than fifteen minutes after he’d left her, he rejoined her and handed her a steaming cup of coffee.
             “It’s so different here at night,” Bianca noted, her eyes scanning the area. In a matter of hours, thousands of people would begin their daily movements, passing over the steps, not noticing anything but the need to be wherever they were headed. “There’s peace here now.”
             “Is that why you dance, to find peace?”
             She sipped her coffee and considered an answer. When it came, it surprised him.
             “The music is freedom, and the motion is passion. Sometimes the only passion that matters.”
             “All passion matters, bella,” he commented. “It’s what gives us life.”
             “Or burns it out of us.”
             He turned on the steps, faced her fully. Then he touched her chin and made her look at him.
             “Who abused your love so fully that you can believe that?”
             “People destroy each other for love,” she replied after a lengthy pause.
             Stefano shook his head. “Love is the only gift there is worth having, Signorina. It’s what men live and die for.”
             “Who are you, Signor?”
             He was startled again, twice in less than five minutes.
             “Would you like to walk?”
             She laughed in the growing darkness, and Stefano felt it ripple the length of his spine, as though cool, flawless silk had glided over him.
             “Where are we to go, Stefano?”
             “I think you’ll like the place,” he observed, with a hint of irony texturing the subtle undertone of his voice.
             She eyed him for a few timeless moments, then nodded and rose.
             He smiled when she offered her hand, and he curled his fingers around hers in a loose, but firm grip.
             “So, is there a wife hidden somewhere?”
             He laughed. “No. What about you? A husband who will come looking for me before dawn?”
             She shook her head and sipped her coffee. “How does a man with so much passion not have the woman of his dreams in his arms every night?”
             “I could ask you the same question,” he pointed out. “Why are you alone?”
             Her laughter washed over him again and she stopped walking to look up at him. “No one I’ve met has inspired the things I need to feel.” She shrugged. "I've been too honest with too many, and it scares them away."
             For a moment he said nothing, weighing her surprising confession. “What do you need?”
             “To be respected for who I am, what makes me unique.” She tilted her head to one side and held his level gaze. “I need to be given all the things I’m expected to provide, and that seems to be something quite beyond many men. Real men, who understand the value of a smart woman, also see that her beauty is in her wisdom, and her spirit.”
             “And her ability to be all things without effort, because she is all things naturally,” he concluded, genuinely pleased at the startled flicker of surprise his words lit in her eyes. “We’re here,” he announced, indicating the building they’d reached.
             She looked up, and her smile was radiant in the soft glow of the nearby streetlight. “La Galleria d'arte di Idillio,” she murmured. “I love this place.”
             “It’s mine,” he told her as he dug out the key that would unlock the doors to the small gallery.
             “Yours?”
             There was enough real shock in her voice to make him stop as he held the door for her to go inside. “Why does that surprise you so much?”
             “I’ve come here a number of times, and I’ve never seen you,” she replied, once he’d locked the doors and turned on the lights.
             “I’ve never seen you,” he noted. “Except at the caffè.”
             “I’ve always felt this place was a tribute to love, and romance.”
             “It is. My father began the collection for my mother.”
             “Your father was a romantic?”
             “My father was a gentleman, in the truest sense of that word,” Stefano said with a familiar sense of loneliness and pride combined. “He lived la dolce vita,” he smiled, “with the passion of a man who loved all life had to offer him, good and bad.”
             “He’s gone?”
             A curt nod was all he could offer without revealing how deeply the loss still affected him. He set his coffee on the reception desk, hung his jacket on a rack then did the same with Bianca’s things. Then he took her arm and led her to a small area that had been his work for the past year.
             “This is my latest addition to the collection.”
             Bianca wandered the area, studying the beautiful collection of photographs. Each one was in a different area of Italy, and the women smiling and lovely, but each one as unique as her surroundings.
             “What do you see?”
             “Beauty. Romance.” Bianca stared at the photographs for a few moments longer, considering them with serious thought, then turned to face him. “In every photograph, they are not looking at you, but at the camera. They’re seeing the opportunity, but not your reason for wanting them.”
             Something fluttered against Stefano’s chest from the inside, an excitement he hadn’t felt in a very long time. He let his gaze drift, cataloguing the woman in front of him. Standing next to him the top her head was at his chin. She had long, waving hair, dark brown with a distinct tint that caught the glow from the lights and turned her thick mane into a mass of warm, burnished auburn. She had eyes that resembled Chinese jade, and a wide, full mouth that curved upward, as though a secret hid behind her smile. She was curvaceous and feminine, effortlessly graceful, and with minimal makeup, appeared very much without artifice of any kind.
             “What is my reason for wanting them?” He forced his tone to calm and curious, sincerely interested in her reply, but also caught in the spell she was exerting. Part of his mind was still watching her, measuring the emotion and internal workings of her mind as she analyzed his photographs with real interest. Her teal-colored dress was simple in design, flared skirt unevenly cut at the hem, swirling around her shapely legs as she walked, pausing often to peer intently at the images on the walls. The upper half of the dress clung to luscious contours, and the silver crucifix, her only jewelry, drew his eyes to the shadow between her breasts. He wanted very much to touch her, and instead stuffed his hands into his pockets and went to join her as she stopped at one of the last photos, then looked at him over her shoulder.
             “She loved you.”
             “So she said.”
             “You didn’t love her?”
             “Not the way she thought I should.”
             “You wanted love from every woman here, yet not one of them saw who you really are,” she observed softly, sadness evident in her tone.
             His eyebrow rose. “Who do you think I am, bella?”
             “How honest do you think I should be?”
             “I admire honesty, Signorina,” he told her. “I respect the courage it takes to offer it to anyone.”
             “But do you respect it if the object of discussion is you?”
             “Now you’re beginning to worry me,” he teased with a smile. He was fascinated by her intelligence and her insight. She looked past his appearance and his presence to probe his secrets, and whatever she was seeing made her even more alluring to him.
            
            
Want to know more? The dance is only beginning for Bianca and Stefano, drop by Eirelander Publishing and indulge the fantasy more…







Friday, July 18, 2014

NEW from Kinsey Knight: Elemental Earth @KaydenMcLeod #RomFantasy

Elemental Earth
Kinsey Knight
Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 262

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My name is Trinity Liathain, typical human teenager to many. But reality is I’m a young fae, split between two very different worlds. Just as I find a guy who I can be myself with, my little corner of Blue Cove erupts in drama I’m not prepared for. The gauntlet to a war that shouldn’t be mine is at my door, bringing creatures that terrify and mesmerize me. I’m visited by ancient forces who for some reason, think I’m the answer to another dimension’s problems. They grant me tremendous power to protect myself. From what, you ask? If my short journey through life has taught me anything, it’s that the people closest to you, make the worst enemies.


         A tarantula the size of a football crawled over my book, clear liquid dripping from its oversized fangs. Where the venom touched, chunks of my book disintegrated.
         The chair careened behind me as I jumped to my feet. Adrian’s growl shook the windows, the only warning of my stupid mistake. He reached for me too late. Mr. Conevetti’s stick arm shot around my waist and dragged me over the desk.
         “You can’t ssstop me.” His mechanical screech resonated through my eardrums. “He wantsss her.”
         I choked back a scream as he gave up his glamour, revealing a horrific face caught between an alien and an ant. I flailed, punching him in the neck, shoulder—anything my fist blindly reached. His rock hard exoskeleton prevented his injury. Cuts broke out over my knuckles.
         “Put her down,” Adrian snapped, every pound the goblin royal.
         “Trinity…” My name coming from those pincers serving for a mouth was the single most horrible thing I’d ever heard. He hissed at Adrian, who circled us.
         I was not, nor ever would I be a damsel in distress, waiting for her prince to save her. Not in this lifetime, or the next. I sought any kink in his armor. I elbowed the bug man in the face, gritting my teeth as his pincers sliced into my flesh.
         He released me with a surprised squeal. I landed wrong on my feet. My knees ached, but I ran. My momentum propelled me toward the terminals. I jumped, my foot landing on the chair. I was airborne, flying over the grotesque spider and the computers, thrashing awkwardly on my descent. The back of my head slammed against the opposite terminal, changing my trajectory.  I hit the floor, twisting my ankle. The shock of pain on top of everything else forced a gasp from me.
         The spider dropped, scuttling across the floor.
         “You all right?” Adrian yelled. Under the row of desks, only legs were visible—a pair of jean-clad ending in thick biker boots, and two sticks in loafers.
         “I’m good!” I lied through my teeth.
         The spider scurried closer. I ripped a keyboard out of its USB port, wielding it as a weapon. The thing paused.
         “Come on. I don’t have all day.”
         It jerked as if it understood. It crept around me, I suppose seeking a weak spot. It lunged, and I swung. I hit the rounded, furry body across the room like a baseball. It hit the window with a sickening thump and didn’t move again. The acidic poison from its fangs ate through the glass in a watery line. The rancid smell intensified.
         I peeked over the walls of the desk. Adrian darted and weaved, the skill of a fighter shocking me. Sure, every now and then a guy might scrap, but this was taking it to another level. Mr. Conevetti wasn’t fast enough for him.
         They danced around each other in a primal, masculine array. Adrian bared his teeth. “Trinity, for the love of the Goddess, run!”
         Sounded like a good plan to me. But I couldn’t leave Adrian. Not with a psychotic bug fae. I tried to stand and almost toppled. My ankle throbbed. I felt my heartbeat in my temple from where I’d slammed my head. The pain twisted my stomach and sent bile up my throat.
         “Yousss will die in pain, goblin. Yousss fear death, and me most of all.”
         Adrian laughed. “I don’t think so, cursed one. I came into this world kicking, screaming, and covered in someone else’s blood. I have no problem going out the same way.”
         Using the desks, I hobbled through the row, desperately grasping at anything I could reach as the blood dripped down my arm. With every successful step, I breathed through a little bit more agony. I’d adapt.
         At the end of the row, I flailed for a weapon, anything at all. A keyboard wasn’t effective enough. The blue supply closet door was a gaping neon sign against the monotony of the white walls.
         Every second that passed, the nearer I got, the smell became more repugnant.
         My hand rested on the doorknob. What lay behind door number one? Did I open it? Wasn’t the wrestling behind me enough problems for one detention? I snarled, gripped the door handle, and pulled.
         I reeled back as the door was thrown open against my will. I was tossed back, crying out when a jab of agony convulsed throughout my calf. I blinked. Lying on the ground with a milky blank stare, skin tinged grey and bloated, was the real Mr. Conevetti.


Author Bio:

Kinsey Knight is a fantasy young adult author, who dreams big, and writes bigger. She gets her inspirations from all manners of life and events that surround her. As she embarks into the new world of Maeryn, she will explore the realm of the fae, as her characters drag her through a journey that will not be soon forgotten.