Friday, September 30, 2011

What is Love?


What is Love?
Does anyone really know? Some say love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. Philosophically, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion and affection. The word LOVE can refer to a number of feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from ‘generic pleasure’ to intense, interpersonal-attraction. For example, generic pleasure—I love chocolate. Intense attraction—I love my partner.
Love can also refer to a desire for intimacy—romantic love, to sexual love, or the emotional closeness of familial love, or the platonic love between friends. The diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to ‘accurately’ define.
It would be very difficult to explain love to someone who has never experienced love, or being loved. To this person, love would appear strange, irrational behaviour.
So... after all is said and done, what is my take on love?
I believe love isn’t something that can be told, it must be felt.
What is love? “If you have to ask... you wouldn't understand.”
Does love hurt? 
Nobody does heartbreak better than Adele.


This is my all time favorite Love Story! 



Elle's Blog  Adult Content
Adelle's Website

Booksigning on Saturday Oct 1st
11 am til 5 pm 
Hamilton Ontario
Culture Days
http://westdalevillage.ca 

Leave a comment and win a prize! Will draw a winner Sunday evening. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Who will be the Last Man Standing?



Have you ever wondered about that one love or crush that got away years ago? Ever imagined meeting him/her again in a crowd, your eyes meeting across the room and being taken back into the past with memories? What if s/he called you out of the blue and wanted to see you, would you go?

Jazz Vanburren is faced with that dilemma in LAST MAN STANDING. The  one man whom she believed was her true love in high school, the man she would have given anything to make a life with, resurfaces in her life and it shakes her world. Not only is she faced with the decision to see her ex, Scott again, but her best friend, Ryder – who has been there for her through thick-and-thin – confesses that he’s been in love with her for years.

Jazz must decide if what she felt for Scott is worth losing Ryder.  She can only have one...who will be the Last Man Standing?






*** Giveaway: Answer the question below for a chance to win. ***


Last Man Standing Excerpt © Kacey Hammell, 2011

“Jazzy, do you have the last piece for tomorrow’s edition? Max said you had some last minute revisions.”
Ryder Donovan walked into Jazz Vanburren’s office, stopping dead in his tracks.
Still beautiful after all these years.
No other woman made him feel more alive or more passion in all his years. Only once had he felt the heated, powerful pull of a woman, one who could steal his breath and heart over and over again.
And that woman was Jazz.
Though a decade had passed since he’d had her in his arms in anything other than a friendly hug, he still felt the same as he did all those years ago. She was everything he'd ever wanted in a woman. Beauty, compassion, integrity and determination were only a few words to sum up all that Jazz was.
Through the years they were still as close as they’d been back then—minus the lovemaking—and he would never give up his friendship with her for anything. Ryder had watched her grow up, had done his own maturing, and she never saw what was right in front of her.
He’d kept his true feelings for her under wraps, knowing someday he’d have to act before it was too late. Any time he would try to talk to Jazz about his feelings, he’d chicken out and second-guess himself.
He’d rather they continue to be friends than not have her in his life at all. Ryder couldn’t be sure Jazz would ever see him as anything other than a good friend or boss and wouldn’t risk it.
That Jazz was commitment-phobic didn’t help matters any, either.
Ryder knew she wanted to find true love, Mr. Right and have the all-American family, but she’d never gotten over the past. Hell, his heart had barely recovered after she’d broken it the first time. He suspected that she still felt guilty for her actions back then. He only wished she’d talk to him, let him in. They’d never really sat down and discussed those days, the decisions Jazz had made, but maybe it was time they did.
Besides, he was tired of living a single man’s life when the woman he was in love with was also single. He was certain the time was fast approaching that he’d have to tell her how he felt. He could kick himself for all the time wasted. She might not reciprocate his feelings, but never telling her was something he couldn’t live with.
It was cowardly and stupid. In his opinion, the time had come. He just needed to find the exact moment to do it.
Noticing she was staring at the phone on her desk, seeming not to really be seeing it or having heard him, he moved closer to her desk.
“Jazz?” He knocked his knuckles on her desk, and she finally looked up at him, dazed and confused. “What’s wrong, honey?”
“Ryder? What…did you want something?”
Ryder watched as Jazz shook her head as if clearing cobwebs or coming out of a dream. She looked at her desk, her red pen still in hand and confusion causing her to frown. He’d never seen her looked so rattled.
“I came in to see if you had the last piece for tomorrow’s edition. Max said you had a couple changes…”
Jazz looked up at him, dumbfounded.
“Jazz, what’s going on?”
“Oh, um…” Jazz cleared her throat, a smiling spreading across her face as she obviously returned to earth. “Nothing’s going on, Ryder. I was just so intent on getting this last bit edited and back to Max.”
Ryder’s gaze narrowed. Looking at the top of her auburn curls as she bent over her work, marking a few things in red, he couldn’t help but feel she wasn’t being straight with him.
One thing Jazz couldn’t do was tell a lie. She’d never been very good at it and it seemed to have gotten worse with age.
“Jazz, you were staring at the phone when I came in here. Did you get a heavy breather or something?” Ryder wanted to relieve the tension he was feeling with humor, but it fell flat.
Jazz set her pen down and flipped the article pages so the first was on top. Standing, she smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “No heavy breather. Sorry to disappoint your twisted mind, Ryder.”
“Here, I’ll take the copy and give it to Max on my way back to my office.” He kept his eyes on her as he took the copy from her hand. “Jazz, how long have we known one another?”
She frowned at him. “What?”
Sitting on the corner of her desk, Ryder settled in. He wasn’t leaving her office until she told him what was going on. He knew her too well. “You heard me.”
Crossing her arms over her chest, hip cocked to the left, she said, “For about thirteen years now. Did you fall on your head and lose your memory or something?”
Defensive attitude. Ryder knew it was one of the clear signs that Jazz was hiding something and didn’t want to face it. “No, smartass. I know you well enough to know when something’s happened and you’re not being straight with me. Now come on.” He smiled, hoping it looked real. “What’s going on? If you can’t tell me, who can you tell?”
Her arms fell to her sides for a second before she delved her hands into her long hair. Ryder watched her body tense, certain she wanted to rip her hair out by the roots.
“Jazz, you’re worrying me here, babe.”
“Dammit, Ryder, you never give up.”
If she only knew what I’ve given up over the years…
Ryder stopped that train of thought immediately. It wouldn’t do any good to dwell on any of that right now. “Obviously it’s something that upsets you or you wouldn’t look so unsure of yourself. Hell, I haven’t seen you like this in years. Not since that prick Price was around.”
He tried to keep the anger out of his voice, going for a nonchalant attitude. Just mentioning the bastard that had cost him the woman he loved caused his blood to boil, but he wasn’t so sure he succeeded when Jazz whipped around to stare at him. Wide-eyed and fearful, her face paled.
“Why did you mention him?” Jazz asked, her voice strained and at a near whisper.
Ryder stood, angered with himself for saying the name, bringing him back into their lives even if only for a second.
“Sorry, Jazz. I know you always disliked how I talked about the guy, but my feelings for him haven’t changed. He was a fool. I’m sorry to bring him up.” Ryder looked at her and moved closer. He rested his hands on her shoulders, and she looked up at him.
“Jazz, you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Come on, babe, talk to me.”
Jazz swallowed. He could feel the tightness in her body. A chill went through him. Ryder felt like the world as he knew it was about to change. How and when exactly he didn’t know but for the life of him, he swore he heard a bomb drop at his feet.
“He called.”
Ryder frowned. “Who called?”
Jazz stared at him, still pale and she swallowed rapidly a couple times before she spoke. “Scott. On my phone. Over there. He called me today.”
Ryder felt like he’d been sucker punched. “Scott? As in Scott Price?”
He couldn’t believe it. Though he’d seen Price on TV from time to time, a hockey star who’d made it big, Ryder never expected him to come back into Jazz’s life. Naïve or just plain stupid, Ryder had hoped they were long rid of him.
“Yes. He’s in town. He wants to see me.”




I hope you enjoyed the excerpt of Last Man Standing.



Last Man Standing is available at …




aRe




For a chance to win a $15.00 Gift Certificate to the Online Store of your choice, answer the question below.  (Online Store Examples: Amazon, B&N, aRe)


ONE random winner will be drawn from all entries tonight at 11 p.m. EST. Please be sure to add your email address along with your answer so that I’ll be able to contact you directly.



Giveaway Question: If you had the chance to come face-to-face with the one person who broke your heart, would you do it?


Readers can learn more about my books and contact me…



  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Throughout The Galaxy

Even on our planet, Halloween goes by different names depending on our beliefs. For those who do not see it as a religious holiday, it's a night of tricks and treats, of candy to be eaten and parties to be attended. Wiccans celebrate Samhain, the last harvest festival and the day when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Plates are set at dinner tables for deceased friends and family who might return, and we honor those whom we have lost. Catholics, and several Orthodox Christian faiths have All Soul's Day. I don't think it matters who we are or what we believe, most of us spend some time honoring those who have passed before.

On Lanx station, many human, and not-so human species, celebrate the Day of the Dead. This is the day when those left behind spend time honoring the dead in the hopes that they may come back. There's no rule as to why, though same say if you love strong enough you can pull the dead back across the veil. Legend says it happens every hundred years or so.

Which leaves our heroine paying her respects one, final time.

The legend says if you love someone strong enough and long enough, there's a chance they'll come back on the Day of the Dead. Andree believes in only what she can see, touch, and kill. She's a soldier; that's what they do. And after her lover dies on the battlefield, she doesn't have much of a reason to go on living, except his dying words ordered her to live. Now, with every caress, she'll will him to stay. Because it's the Day of the Dead, and damn it, they both deserve a second chance.

Releases from Changeling Press on September 30.

CINDRA'S BOUNTY HUNTER - Hot, New BDSM Erotic Romance from Ellora's Cave!

I'm so excited to announce I have a brand "spankin'" new smokin' hot sci-fi full-length erotic romance out with Ellora's Cave called CINDRA'S BOUNTY HUNTER!




Whenever I have a new release, I like to share how I came up with the story, but this time I'm going to do a something a little different. I'm going to let the hero Bladen Sloan (yes, the sex-on-a-stick yummy guy on the cover perfectly portrayed by EC Caveman Angelo!) take over and tell you a little bit about himself instead.


Anytime you're ready, Bladen...



My name is Bladen Sloan and I’m an interplanetary bounty hunter. A damn good bounty hunter at that. There’s not a star system I won’t go to get my man. Or woman, for that matter. I’ve gone up against some of the biggest, baddest, nastiest criminals in the galaxy, and I always capture any bounty I go after.

But then Cindra Mallory walked into my office and life got a a hell of a lot more complicated. I'd distanced myself from women a long time ago, and for good reason. What I do is dangerous, and people get hurt. Sometimes, they even get killed. One look at Cindra with her long, tempting legs, big blue eyes and full, pouty lips and I immediately felt the wall I'd built around me start to crumble. Then she'd made me an offer no man could refuse - ten mind-blowing sexual encounters in exchange for tracking down the man who killed her father.

But it was just sex, right? I could stick to the deal - my help for some mind-blowing sex. What could go wrong?



Blurb:

Cindra Mallory strikes a bargain with sexy bounty hunter Bladen Sloan — in exchange for ten mind-blowing sexual encounters, he’ll track down the man who killed her father. But it’s hard to concentrate on the hunt when every touch from Bladen drives Cindra to new heights of daring and pleasure.

As they travel from planet to planet visiting sex clubs and raves, Bladen finds himself addicted to the fearless, sexual Cindra. Whether she’s begging him to spank her or seducing him in front of a roomful of people, the woman knows what she wants—and Bladen is determined to fulfill all her needs.


Excerpt:

Cindra caught her lower lip between her teeth again. What was she going to do? She needed Sloan’s help to find out where DelCour was hiding or she could kiss the idea of bringing him to justice goodbye. But there was no way in hell she was giving the bounty hunter forty-nine percent. She’d spent practically every credit to her name plus what money her father had left to her hunting DelCour. She needed the bounty so she could finish her graduate program. It was the one thing her father had wanted and she wasn’t going to let him down. But she wasn’t going to let his murderer get away, either. She’d simply have to convince Sloan to take less, or offer him something else instead. But what?

Her body.

She wasn’t as shocked by the answer as she should have been. She’d never been a prude, but she didn’t make a habit of indiscriminately sleeping with guys, either. Her father had always said a bounty hunter did whatever it took to get the job done. She needed to decide right now if she was willing to sleep with Bladen Sloan if it meant bringing down DelCour. Back at the restaurant, she as much as admitted to herself she thought the other bounty hunter was hot. If he was half as good in bed as she thought he might be, having sex with him wouldn’t be an arduous task, that was for sure. Heat was already pooling between her thighs at the delicious prospect. Still, this was one hell of a big step. She didn’t normally proposition men quite this blatantly. Heck, she was practically prostituting herself. Was she really willing to go there? The answer to that was a resounding yes. She would do whatever it took to catch her father’s murderer, and that included sleeping with Bladen Sloan.

She wet her lips. “If we can’t agree on splitting the bounty, perhaps we could work something else out.”

He arched a questioning brow. “What are you suggesting?”

Cindra lifted her chin to meet his gaze. “If you help me track down DelCour, I’ll sleep with you.”

A mix of surprise and intrigue appeared in his amber eyes. She had him, she could tell.

“You’ll sleep with me?”

She gave him her sexiest smile. “That’s what I said.”

He was silent as he considered her words. “While the offer is extremely tempting, Ms. Mallory, I’m afraid I have to refuse.”

She frowned, taken aback. From the way he’d looked at her when she came into the office, she’d been sure he would go for it. “Why?”

Most men wouldn’t turn down an offer like that unless they were gay, married or in a committed relationship, and she wasn’t convinced guys in the last two categories would refuse even then. Intuition told her Sloan wasn’t gay, and since she didn’t see a ring on his finger she assumed he wasn’t married. Which left only one other explanation. Maybe he wasn’t comfortable with something mighty damn close to prostitution.

Damn, she hadn’t considered he might have a problem with that. She’d thought he would be…well…a typical guy.

He gave her a rueful smile. “Because if I took you up on it, I’d feel like I was taking advantage of you.”

Okay, so she had been right about the reason behind his refusal. Great. Not only was Sloan sinfully gorgeous, but he had a conscience, too. Normally, that would have been an attractive quality in a man, but right now it was annoying as hell. She needed help and the only thing she had to offer was her body. She was going to have to convince him to have sex with her. What was the galaxy coming to?

She smiled. “You wouldn’t be taking advantage of me, I assure you. I know exactly what I’m offering you and I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to get you to help me.”

“So I gather.” He was silent for so long she thought she might have to repeat her offer, but then he spoke. “While I appreciate your tenacity, I’m still going to have to decline.”

Cindra ground her jaw. Damn him, and his conscience.

“Fine,” she snapped, getting to her feet. “I’ll track down DelCour myself.”
Head high, she turned and headed for the door. Behind her, Sloan cursed under his breath.

“Wait a minute,” he ordered.

She hesitated, her hand on the knob, then took a deep breath and turned to face him.

He was standing behind his desk, a look that could almost be called concern in his eyes.

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t help you.”

Her pulse quickened. “Then you’ll accept my offer?”

A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “I didn’t say that. Please don’t take this the wrong way. While you’re extremely beautiful, I don’t think a single night of sex would be a fair trade for the nineteen percent difference in the bounty, do you? I mean, we’re talking at least ten-thousand credits I’d be giving up.”

Cindra felt color rush to her cheeks. While she knew she should be insulted, she couldn’t help but admire his negotiating skills. Luckily, hers weren’t too shabby either. Especially in conjunction with the feminine wiles in her arsenal.

She crossed the room to stand in front of his desk, adding a little extra sway to her hips. “Then I’ll sleep with you more than once.” She looked at him from beneath lowered lashes. “Is there a particular number you have in mind?”

She could tell from the way his eyes went wide that she’d caught him off guard. Good. That put her firmly back in charge of the negotiations.

“I don’t want to offend you any more by trying to figure out what your going rate would be,” he said. “But even if I give you the benefit of the doubt and say a single night of sex with you is worth a thousand credits, that would still mean you’d owe me…”

“Ten nights of unbelievable sex,” she finished for him. “Deal.”

Sloan’s eyes narrowed. Clearly, he hadn’t expected her to call his bluff. “Let me make sure I understand this. In exchange for my help, you’re agreeing to provide me with ten nights of sex, of my design, and at the time of my choosing?”

Cindra was a little worried by the way he’d worded it, but she gave him a sultry smile anyway. “That’s exactly what I’m agreeing to.”

Sloan didn’t answer, but she could see the battle raging in his eyes. Finally, he inclined his head. “I’ll draw up a contract and we can make it official.”
She found it hard to believe he was going to put something like that into writing, but she said nothing as he typed the terms of their agreement into the computer. She could only hope he was as thorough when it came to looking for DelCour.

Once Sloan printed the contract, he came around the desk and held it out for her signature. She quickly read it and saw he had simply put their agreement into words. There was something about seeing it on paper that made her blush, and her hand trembled a bit as she signed her name. It wasn’t as if the contract would hold up in any council of law in the galaxy anyway. At least she didn’t think it would.

“So, what do we do first?” she asked, handing the signed contract back to him.

He set the contract on the desk then turned to give her a grin. “You.”

Cindra looked up at him in confusion. “Me?”

Taking her hand, he pulled her gently to her feet. She’d known the other bounty hunter was tall, but now that he was standing so close, she realized how tall he really was. The top of her head didn’t come to his chin. That made him at least six-four. Maybe six-five.

“I think it would only be fair for me to get a partial payment up front, don’t you?” he said softly.

Her pulse quickened as she realized what the bounty hunter meant. He wanted to have sex with her. Right now.

“Here?” she asked, looking around the office. Her pussy purred. The unique situation she found herself in was turning her on like crazy. She couldn’t believe she was doing this.

Bladen released her hand to lightly run the tips of his fingers along her bare arm. The touch of his fingers gliding along her skin sent the most delicious shivers up and down her back. “Why not?”

His nearness made it difficult to think. Or speak, for that matter. Damn, he smelled good. Not like cologne either. Just pure, unadulterated masculinity.

“B-but anyone could walk in,” she stammered.

He reached behind him to press a button on his computer. A moment later, a lilting female voice confirmed that the doors had been locked and the office was now secure.

“Not anymore,” he told her.

Cindra chewed on her lower lip, trying to come up with some excuse she could use to avoid having sex with him right that minute, but for some reason nothing would come to mind. Maybe it was because she was flustered. She could never think when she was flustered. Then again, maybe it had nothing to with being off her game at all. Maybe it was because at that moment Bladen lowered his head to cover her mouth with his.



Watch the Trailer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KfLnViR3JI


Buy it at Ellora's Cave!
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9547-cindras-bounty-hunter.aspx


Happy Reading!


*hugs*

Sunday, September 25, 2011

COMING SOON! from S&M


Badland Warriors: Comanche

Coming Soon! 
Shara Azod and Marteeka Karland

Just a tease...

Aylen has devoted her life to educate children. While she spends her days teaching the children of the WCGA elite, at night she sneaks down to the ruins where the less fortunate live and teach the childern to read and write, and to fight for a better future. Dedicated to her cause, she prides herself on teaching children the truth about the government and the history of humanity. She is determined not to recycle the myths the government force fed the populace.  
But then a myth shows up at her door. Trapped in a horrible earthquake the last people Aylen ever expected to come to her rescue were First Generation Warriors . They shouldn't exist! And they certainly shouldn't make her blood boil and her heart melt. One touch and Aylen’s life will never be the same. But how would they make it out of the government run city back to the Badlands were her Warriors live? And how will she survive in a land full of monsters and mutants? It is a nightmare, but in nightmare you can scream and wake up. In the Badlands you can scream all you want, no body will care.


SIDE NOTE... IMPORTANT!
The Despot, Shara Azod, has formally DIBBSED the guy in the middle. That is all.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's a glamorous life.

The only glamour in this job is what my characters get to live. LOL Those lucky devils can have unending bank accounts, exciting jobs, the best cars, fashionable clothes (looks at self sitting in pj's) and always get their HEA. But that's not to say bad things don't happen. They do, a lot, which is why that HEA is so much more satisfying, the last thing I want to do is get to the end of a book and think the characters haven't earned it. Every one of my characters has glamour, they are etched for all eternity in their own story after all. Whether they're coyote shifters, supermodels or an older woman getting it on with a younger man doesn't matter, they live their 15mins of fame and the bonus is I get to live it with them. Over and over and over again. Often by the time I've gone through the process from idea to publication with a story the glamour has well and truly warn off for me. I've probably read the story that many times I can recite sections without opening the file. So what does a typical day in the glamorous life of an author entail? Well for me it goes like this:-

The alarms goes off at 7am and I ignore it for another 30mins because it's more than likely I've only been asleep a few hours.
7:30am I drag my sorry ass out of bed and start waking the tribe. I'm met with grumbling and often dirty looks but I'm still asleep so I don't notice.
Around 8am I've made my first cuppa, switched on the PC and commenced yelling at the tribe.
By 8:25am I'm screaming myself hoarse because if they don't move it they'll be late and I'll have to write late notes and drive them IN MY PJ'S!
Generally by 8:30am silence fills the house and for a moment I just listen.
8:35am and I'm elbow deep in dirty dishes or clothes or cat vomit. Yeah, you read that last one right. *sigh*
By 9am I'm usually at my desk going through emails and seeing what everyone did while I was asleep. Living on the other side of the world has its problems.
10am I'm opening the latest wip or edits and trying to not think about the floors that need vacuuming or mopping, or the mold growing in the bathrooms or the shower I'm not likely to get to. Depending on the day I could get the next few hours uninterrupted but that's not usual. The phone rings, the door bell chimes, the washing needs to be hung out...
At around 1pm I'll remember to eat only because the cats are hungry and prowling all over my desk to get my attention. Once food is distributed, dishes cleared and possibly grabbed a quick shower, I'm lucky if I get another hour before the tribe start arriving home.
3:30 and the tribe is fed and watered and I'm back to work, well after I get the washing in, load the dishwasher and make a cuppa. Then I've got about two hours before I have to work out what's for dinner, and only because by then the tribe is hungry again and hanging around my desk. Kinda like the cats really. :)
5:30 and I'm in the kitchen hating every second of it. I don't like to cook, probably because I'm not good at it but what I hate the most is the dreaded 'What's for dinner?' question because it doesn't seem to matter what I tell them I'm cooking they're not happy. After 20 years you'd think I'd be use to it. :(
7:30 - 8:00pm I've finally managed to get back to my desk where for the next few hours I write through interruption after interruption. I'll often jump online and do 'promo' (read: chat/do nothing) until the 'good nights' are called out and bedroom doors start closing.
And now the real work begins. From 10pm to around 1am my fingers are (hopefully) a blur as they madly tap the keys.

It doesn't always go this way, some days I get NOTHING done, others I write from morning until night and the tribe fend for themselves. And yes, some days I forget to shower and the tribe arrive home to find me still in my pj's. :)
Pretty glamorous wouldn't you say? LOL

Rhian

Book three in the Coyote Hunger series.

“Doc” Gordie has tried to keep Steve McKenna at arm’s length, but the sexy coyote shifter is under her skin, in her blood and in her heart. No matter how much she fears what he makes her feel, she can’t bear to stay away. After he rescues her from a vicious attack, Gordie is helpless to deny the sizzling attraction burning between them.

There hasn’t been a day Steve has not wanted Doc in his bed, but bruised and bloody is not what he had in mind. The need for revenge is riding his coyote—almost as much as his aching desire to finally claim Doc as his own. But that will have to wait. He must first convince Doc the safest place for her is by his side. When a second attack draws them together, suppressed needs explode, leaving no doubt where they both belong.

But danger is never far behind and Gordie is forced to make a fatal decision that could destroy all they’ve worked so hard to discover.

Buy here.

Excerpt:-

Steve sat enclosed by darkness and listened to the sounds of the forest as it settled into the coming night. The sun had gone down hours ago thanks to the mountains he called home, but true sunset still had a few minutes. He’d lived in Whispering Springs or the surrounding mountain range his whole life. Never once had he felt the urge to leave it behind and explore the world. He took the occasional trip down the mountainside to visit one of the big cities, but there was no appeal in staying away longer than a day or two, a week at most.

He breathed deep, pulling the chilled, late-spring air into his lungs, the accompanying sting of cold meeting warm, a welcome twinge. His house had been finished for two months, but he hadn’t moved everything in until this past weekend. A grin curled his lips as he thought about why it had taken so long. Having his two best friends somewhat occupied with Rowan’s return had slowed down both the finishing of the house and the moving in. Not that he’d complain. Steve was more than happy Rowan had finally come home and even happier to see her reunited with her mate, Quinn.

The night around him grew still, quiet in a way that pricked his instincts, caused his hair to stand on end, and drew his coyote’s attention. Steve slowly sat forward, leaned over to put his beer bottle on the deck beside his chair, before closing his eyes and honing his senses to listen—to smell. The crush of undergrowth beneath running feet hit him first, followed by a body-slamming gust of fear. He scented two shifters but he couldn’t place them. Tried harder to separate them and connect either essence to the memory of its owner.

A howl of agony echoed up the ridge, sliced into his gut and pulled his coyote out with amazing speed. On his feet, Steve was glad he’d forgone shirt and shoes after his shower as he removed his sweats. Free of the restrictive garment, he shifted as he leapt over the deck railing to the ground one story below. He landed with a jolt to every bone but ignored it as he ran through the forest in the direction of the horrific screams of distress.

As he drew closer he could hear the struggles, smell the fear—the blood. The enjoyment. The attacker, in coyote form if he wasn’t mistaken, was thrilled with his catch. A catch Steve had every intention of setting free. His muscles shuddered and it wasn’t just from the exertion of running all out. He thought about stealth but a bloodcurdling cry and bark of triumph changed his mind. Low branches and shrubs slapped into him, tangled with his fur, as he powered his bulk toward the fight up ahead he glimpsed through the trees.

The other animal’s head whipped up, yellow eyes and white teeth glowed in the dusk as he turned in Steve’s direction. A frustrated howl rent the air as the coyote turned from his prey and bolted in the opposite direction. Torn between going after the retreating coyote and tending to the victim, Steve stumbled enough to have the decision made for him. Whoever the coyote was, he had too much head start and the metallic stench of blood told Steve his first concern should be the wounded human crumpled on the ground.

Ripped, blood-splattered clothes covered the too-still body, but there was no mistaking the feminine shape or perfume. He reached her side and shifted back to human form. Uncaring of his naked state, he knelt beside her head and felt for a pulse. The steady beat reassured him but how long would it stay that way? The overpowering aroma of spilled blood masked her scent, but he knew she was one of the pack, her scent was familiar. Too familiar. No! His fingers brushed away hair to reveal her face and Steve’s heart stopped.

“Doc?” The hoarse whisper ached in his throat.

His heart kicked back in with a thud. Adrenaline pumped through his veins and the urge to cradle her in his arms took hold but Steve knew he couldn’t. Not yet. He had to check her injuries, stop the bleeding if he could. He ran his hands down her limbs to check for broken bones. In his limited knowledge he held back a howl of frustration. She was the one who should be doing this. She was the doctor. The person who stitched the cuts, set the broken bones and soothed the bruises.

Hands and fingers sticky with blood, Steve rolled her to her back and breathed a sigh of relief when she moaned.

“Doc? Can you hear me?”

She trembled under his touch but didn’t answer as he tried to find where she bled from the most. Her jeans and shirt were wet with blood but he couldn’t find anything too deep or gushing enough to take the time to stop the flow. He needed to get her to the house. There he could remove what was left of her clothes and see how bad the damage was under light. He could also clean her up and decide if she required medical attention better than he could give.

They were about three hundred feet below his house but with the slope and thick vegetation, that distance may as well be three miles. It would take him longer to get up the hill than it had coming down with the burden of carrying Doc, and Steve knew every second counted. He tried to be as gentle as possible, but she whimpered when he worked his arms under her and pulled her against his naked chest.

In all the fantasies he’d had of Doc cradled against his naked body, this wasn’t one of them. The woman set his blood on fire but carrying her now froze that same blood in his veins. Knowing someone had set out to hurt her—had hurt her—made Steve’s coyote want to hunt down her attacker and do some hurting of his own. He turned and headed for home, careful not to let any branches scrape against her battered body. By the time he reached halfway, shivers raked her from head to toe and he knew shock had set in.

He lengthened his stride. The urgency to get her home gave him the strength to move over the ground quickly. When the large, dark shadow of his house came into view he breathed a sigh of relief and went toward the basement door. Once inside, Steve did something he’d never done before. He closed the solid timber panel and threw the deadbolt home.

Available from Ellora's Cave - BUY LINK

You can find all the Coyote Hunger books HERE

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Safe Sex in Romance by Em Petrova



When writing erotic romance, I often wonder how safety-conscious readers are. It feels clunky to me to stop mid-passionate scene and throw a condom on my hero. Yet if I skip this important step, my editors yell at me. What do you think? Is safe sex in romance a good thing or not? Would you think, “Ewwww. He’s not wrapping up his monkey”? Or do you just assume the condom is in position? And what about the heroine’s birth control? Do we need to know the heroine has the Minerva IUD placed? Just as we surely don’t need to know she’s tweezed one VERY problematic hair on her upper lip since the age of fifteen, dropping info about birth control just kills the mood, in my opinion.

However, after giving this some thought, I wondered if it might be fun to add condom shopping as a scene between the hero and heroine. It might go something like this:

“Oh, look, Marianne. Here’s a glow-in-the-dark condom!”

Marianne giggles and glances around to see if anyone else is in the aisle with them. “Do I need it to glow in order to find it, Rob?”

“Er…no. As a matter of fact, I need the King Dong condoms.” He rubs his manly chest. “Don’t want one to break because it can’t handle my mammoth—”

“No! How about banana flavored?” She plucks a box from the shelf.

“Honey, if you’re that hungry, we can stop off for take-out. I don’t need my banana to taste like one.”

“Or ribbed for her pleasure.” She rubs against Rob like a little cat, purring over the perfectly placed ribs.

“Do I get any pleasure out of this experience? Are the ribs on the inside?”

“All right. What about warming condoms? They have this lubricant that heightens sensation…”

He stares at her, his jaw set in a hard line. “You don’t think I’m hot enough for you?”

“No, I didn’t say that. I mean, we haven’t done it so I don’t know yet—”

“Well, at this rate we won’t have time to do it. I have that eight o’clock meeting and this shopping excursion is taking forever. I’ve bought cars in shorter lengths of time.”

“Go screw your car then, Rob. Because the condom is rather important.” She tries to turn his attention from their argument and bring him back into the moment by selecting a packet of black condoms from the shelf.

He knots his hands into fists and glares at her. “Are you trying to tell me you want someone besides me?”

She throws the box at him and storms off.

Or not. *grin*

What do you think about safe sex practices in romance? Do you stumble over the insertions (haha) or do you expect to see responsible characters? I’d love to hear from you! One lucky commenter will receive a pack of Jolly Pops Condoms. Cute, aren’t they?

Em Petrova

~where words mean so much more~

www.empetrova.com


Skin Truth

Deux

Trois

Tattoo Dream

Silk

The Tempest

Runes

Trefoil

Runestone

Forbidden

Market Place

Bound for Romance

My Sexy Valentine

Isolde’s Wish

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Don't Read in the Closet

A couple great things happened this week. DADT repealed. A special GayRomLit Retreat 2011 Special Edition , Don't Read in the Closet, was released! Timing couldn't be more perfect.

For those unfamiliar with the project and the anthology's masterminds at the M/M Romance group on Goodreads, last Christmas they came up with an idea; it was a hit; and so, this summer, they chose to do it again. Here's how the stories came about:

What could be a hotter way to celebrate summer than with a short custom written story by one of our talented authors? How about a lot of them? Our member authors are being encouraged to indulge us with their creativity. ...write a letter to our Authors requesting a story centered around one of your favorite photos in the Erotic Photos folder. You can even set up a scenario if you're so inclined.
 
Our Theme for this summer is wrapped around our new slogan.

Don’t Read In The Closet.
Stories of coming out in love, being out in love and committing out in love.

 

Okay. So, this special edition is a compilation featuring 27 participating authors that will be attending GayRomLit in New Orleans this October. Whether you are attending the gathering or not - what a great way to introduce yourself to some of the works of our members!


My free story, Alipio, is included in this anthology. The entire anthology is FREE. So why not pick up a copy today? Hope to see you at GayRomLit in October!

DOWNLOAD HERE: Don’t Read in the Closet GayRomLit Retreat 2011 Special Edition


Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, STARbooks Press, Untreed Reads Publishing, Changeling Press, Amber Quill Press, and Riptide Publishing. Check out Bryl's bi-monthly column: My Way   Find out more about the author at: bryltyne.com
 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eliza March Defines Erotic Romance

Erotic Romance - What You Get When Sex Drives the Plot !

I'm not the authority on erotica, eroticism, erotic romance, or anything else of the sort, but I can define what I write. Finally, after several years of struggling with a definition, I think I've found the common ground within all my plots, no matter the heat level.

What I've discovered is that all my books, whether they are contemporary romance (Hot Highland Fling and More Than a Stud) -- cowboy romance (Any Way West and Dual Bondage: Roped and Tied) -- paranormal or fantasy romance (Witch of Air and Fire; The Lion, The Leopard and The WolfThe Moon, The  Madness, and The Magic; Sultry Santorini Sunsets) -- or romantic suspense (Across a Crowded Room), I use the SEX as an integral part of the plot.

The sex isn't just written into the story because it's a romance or because the hero and heroine are attracted to each other. It isn't even a scene filler or the required 2.5 love scenes suggested for romance novels. No. The sex is one of the plot lines, as important to the story as the suspense is, or as much as the romance or paranormal elements are to the unraveling of the tale.

First example: in Hot Highland Fling the heroine, Aisla is on a quest to fulfill her sexual needs and is determined find out what's under a Scotsman's kilt while she's in the Highlands on assignment. The sexual affair she has with Colin has entirely different GMC's from the romantic plot line, but neither can stand without the other.

The sex is as integral to story as the romance. The sex is the story. It isn't an action I can skim over or minimize. Every detail, every sense and impression is necessary to the "sexual plot" and must be given the same developmental time and consideration as the paranormal elements in one of my paranormal stories.

Second example: All the paranormal plots are M/M/F or M/M/M/F. In Witch of Air and Fire, the sex between the hero and heroine is a fated attraction, but the menage with the hero's friend is at first necessary to save the heroine and then turns into something deeper. The paranormal elements of the plot come into play, but the story can't exist without the sexual plot line. 

Third example: The Hollywood Cowboy series are M/F/M menages encompassing a similar sexual goal and motivation as the other contemporaries. Either there is an existing spark of romance which needs rekindling or potential romance needing a gentle nudge by a third party. These books' plots  don't stand alone without the sex, or romance, or the over arcing plot. If one part is missing, the entire story is different.

There isn't sex for sex's sake in the books, it's sex for plot's sake -- driving the plot forward to a satisfying conclusion or a potential for one.

You can find Eliza March on Face book, Twitter and at her blog Eliza March Writes...
  

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Wolf-Spirit series continues with a sequel Chocolate Temptation by a.c. Mason

When I began Chocolate Damsel, I knew that I wanted to build a world in the historic setting of the 1940s Europe during the Nazi invasion. I also wanted to create a race that has been there throughout the ages and would still be around in modern day. That does give me the ability to write stories set in other time periods in the future.

I love the music and movies of the 1940s. There was music and then there was “black” music. The migration of African Americans to France had started before 1940. Music, theater, writing and other arts brought talent from the USA to Paris. Though many of those Americans in Paris returned state-side I was interested in exploring the story of a woman who hadn’t. Into that I weaved part of my family’s memories of the dark days of WWII.

Chocolate Temptation is a sequel in the series rather than a book with a new heroine, Alexia still had more trying times ahead of her. The story continues in the winter of 1940.

The reader will again see Griselda, Gabby, and other pack members. We will also meet some new Shunu’s such as Varor Ulfr a Norse. But I don’t want to tell you too much. Better you meet them for yourself.

Here is a hints to the next story in the series… the working title is Chocolate Gold, it will be set in Libya in 1941. There will be a new hero and heroine. But you’ll have to check my website to find out more in the coming months. Many of your favorite characters will be returning for the next book.

I won’t leave you empty handed here is a look into Chocolate Temptation.

His by pack law, and he wants more than her body. Will she be able to surrender her heart?

Switzerland, the winter of 1940. Alexia, a wolf-shifter, is mate to the Alpha of a powerful clan. Her life, the pack's future and the lives of countless children the pack smuggles out of Europe are in jeopardy. The Gestapo want her blood to breed an unstoppable regiment endowed with her gifts. Cathen, the pack's Epsilon Beta, is charged with protecting her. When Alexia's beloved mate is killed, Cathen becomes Alpha and by pack law, she is his new mate.

On the run from the Gestapo's werewolves with Cathen, Alexia has no time to mourn. Can she resist what she's beginning to feel for her protector, despite her aching loss? Should she try? If she rejects him--not so easy to do--he will die and the future of the pack she loves as family will be in danger. Cathen and Alexia's destinies are bound together, and to find peace and love amid the horror of war, she must accept her fate and heal her new mate.

WARNING: This book contains a sexy Alpha with a sense of old world honor, a pack that shares more than just communal living, and no lack of hot Betas to follow. Graphic sex and M/M, M/F, F/F/F/F encounters.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EXCERPT:

VanWolf lowered to Cathen’s eye level, pulled a bag from his shoulder and placed it on his lap. “I need you to make sure my wife is kept safe and out of Nazi hands. She’s in the next car. I won’t be far behind you. The rest of the pack is already on their way to the rendezvous location.”

The chill in his blue eye iced Cathen’s soul. “Yes, sir.”

VanWolf rose, spun back in the direction he’d come from and exited.

Cathen got up and headed through the adjoining doors between the train’s cars. Passengers slept in their seats as he weaved his way to her. Heaviness weighted his shoulders. Spending the next few days trapped with the blissful Alexia and VanWolf sounded as fun as getting his fingernails ripped out with a pair of pliers.

Alexia sat staring into the night. Then her gaze met his in the reflection of the window. A red shawl covered her head and wrapped over her mouth.

“What is it?” She shifted toward him.

“Come.” He extended his hand to her.

They were all accustomed to vanishing on a moment’s notice. She placed her gloved fingers in his palm. Her touch tormented his senses, igniting warmth within his chest. He directed her back and opened the emergency door. Cold night air assaulted his skin, cooling the inner fire raging. The trained slowed. He buttoned up his long gray wool jacket and put on his fedora. Cars on a road a few miles ahead intersected the tracks. This could be trouble. He hoped VanWolf knew what he was doing. The uncomfortable prickle in his chest told him werewolves were not far.

The conductor shouted and waved at the men getting out of the vehicles.

“When I say jump, we jump, all right?” Cathen grabbed her by the shoulders.

Alexia shook her head with her big green eyes fixed on him. “I can’t.”

“Why not?” Did she expect him to ask the conductor to stop the train? Their lives were in danger. There were creatures neither of them wanted to have an encounter with just ahead.

“I just can’t.” She crossed her arms.

Cathen would see about that, and pulled her near. Not wanting his body to register the feel of her, he leapt and twisted to break her fall. The icy snow bank jabbed into his back. The impact forced his lungs to plead for air. He held her secure to his chest.

“You didn’t have to do that.” With her pointy elbow, she stabbed his sternum, while the softness of her curves stirred a hunger lower that had gone dormant. Being this near to her would only fan a fire better turned to ashes. But such was life and his suffering.

“You’re welcome, princess,” he said.

To learn more about me go to my website: www.acmason.com

Kiss,
a.c. Mason

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Live Interview!

I'm being interviewed LIVE this evening (9/18/2011) at 5p.m. Eastern/4p.m. Central by Casey Ryan of The Cutting Room Floor.

Gotta love his first name, don't ya?

Anyway, you can listen to a live stream of my interview here: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/81947

Casey said there's a chat room you can access as well. Otherwise, just stop by my blog (http://casey-sheridan.blogspot.com) and let me know what you thought. Feel free to leave me any questions on my blog as well and I'll answer them on Monday, 9/19.

Hope to see you this evening!



xoxo,
Casey Sheridan
Bringing the sensual side to erotica
http://www.casey-sheridan.com
http://casey-sheridan.blogspot.com

Recently Released Country Roads Series by Natalie Acres

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Sex Drive (MFM)
Country Roads 1

Lucy Malone is going home to Tennessee. A world away from the stock car racing limelight, the Church Hill farm Lucy reclaims is full of bittersweet memories. As the distant and recent past collide, Lucy rediscovers a love she never lost and professional ties she’s unable to leave behind.

Rex and Luke McDavid have been awaiting Lucy’s return. When she finds her way home, they’re ready to pick up where they left off and claim the woman they’ve always adored.

Unfortunately, before the McDavids can move forward, a villain from Lucy’s professional past resurfaces. Can the McDavid brothers keep Lucy safe and protect her from those hell-bent on destroying her? And what extreme measures will these good ole boys take in order to protect the woman they love?


Pole Position (MFM)
Country Roads 2

As a child, Princess imagined a fairy tale ending. As an adult, she envisions a satisfying conclusion to a storybook romance years in the making.

Abandoned as a little girl, Princess Sterling met Brant Levy and Colt Manning in the mountains of Kentucky. Thanks to Colt and Brant, Princess is adopted. She becomes the pampered child of racing royalty and enjoys a life of luxury.

As Princess matures, she realizes something is missing. With a successful racing career of her own, Princess longs for love and dreams of one day reuniting with the cowboys who saved her from homelessness.

Years later, Brant and Colt drive to Bristol with every intention of locating Princess while she’s in town for a race. As soon as they see her, they know they’re in trouble. They aren’t just hooking up with an old friend. They’re about to seduce the woman they plan to love.


Bang the Blower (MFM)
Country Roads 3

Julie Jenkins should’ve died. After crawling away from one of the worst crashes in drag racing history, Julie faces rehabilitation manipulated by two stubborn cowboys. Somewhere along the way, she discovers her torrid past and accepts her racing failures as stepping-stones to a future filled with love.

Duke and Hank Hinman are troubled by Julie’s accident. They build an automobile with Julie’s protection in mind, hoping she’ll prefer stock cars to dragsters. When tampered brakes nearly put her in the wall, Julie reevaluates career choices. Someone wants to kill her, but the reason behind their quest isn’t clear.

Suspecting foul play will continue, Duke and Hank vow to protect Julie. However, they quickly discover it’s hard to win a race when the opponent refuses to show his face. And it’s harder still to defeat the challenger when the opposition refuses to lose.


http://www.bookstrand.com/natalie-acres

Friday, September 16, 2011

Need a little Christmas?

Christmas is coming earlier and earlier!!
 
I know, I hate it too! Decorations out so early you can’t enjoy Halloween or Thanksgiving without thinking about that shopping list!

You might see Christmas in Dreamland, my release this week, and say WAY TOO EARLY! Cheryl, stop!!

But think about it…if Christmas books came out in December you’d be too busy with actual Christmas stuff. You wouldn’t have time to enjoy it. Maybe too tired of eggnog and candy canes to enjoy the fun…

And the fun with this book is its about a smart woman who is stuck at work with a sci fi spin. So it will take you away from what your holidays will look like!  A little holiday fantasy never hurts:)

Christmas in Dreamland
7th Kind Book One
By Cheryl Dragon
Ménage + Paranormal Erotic Romance
Available Now

Blurb:
Dr. Meg Lyle is a classic geek working on a top secret project deep within a military research base. Being stuck on a project over the holidays sucks, but when three hot members of security make her dreams come true, she knows there’s more to their story than they’re revealing. Are these sexy military studs men in black or aliens? The truth may throw her ordered life into disarray, but either way, Meg’s sex life is now out of the world!
 


Excerpt:
Life inside a self-sufficient military base and research center located in the middle of the desert sounded dangerous and impressive, but to Charlie Smith it was generally dull. People called the facility Dreamland, and most of the stories about it were dreams. Of course, the reality could be even scarier some days.
Day in and day out, routine was the key. Surprises weren’t allowed, but the scientists monitored for possibilities incessantly. Sensors and a no-fly zone kept things predictable. The staff’s work was important, and Charlie preferred this life to the alternative he’d escaped as a child.
Decked out in his usual security outfit of jeans, black shirt and belt full of weapons, he strolled into the biotech lab run by his dream girl. Meg Lyle leaned over a microscope on a lab table—not an unusual posture for her. Her tight rear end stuck out as she shifted from foot to foot.
“Hey, Meg. Adorable as always.”
She grunted in reply and held up her index finger. The woman loved her work, and not much got in the way. Her cat and food were the only things for which Charlie had ever seen her pause. The alien-looking cat had no hair and was a purebred diva Meg called ET. Today, the cat yawned on a nearby metal table.
Charlie checked out Meg even further while she zoomed in on her slides. Meg was a creature of habit. Her hair was pulled back in a long ponytail that coiled to the small of her back, her glasses made her look like the geeky genius she was, and today, she wore a pink and blue floral-print dress that hit her knees and peeked from beneath her crisp, white lab coat. It made her look taller than she was though her shoes were flats that were broken in and kept her from slipping on the slick floors.
The dream of having Meg was shared by Charlie and his unit.
Sure, there weren’t a ton of single women working in this top-secret military base, but it wasn’t just her gender and unique looks that made them long for her. Meg’s quirks ran deep, and she might just be able to handle three men. She was a civilian, for one, and acted like it.
The trio had plans, but with their Marine training, they could wait days without moving a muscle or years without making a move. Timing was everything. Meg clearly wouldn’t figure out their interest until they were ready. Ménage wasn’t traditional, so Charlie could hardly blame her, but a unique woman like Meg was the type who could handle them once they broke the ice.
Charlie had grown tired of waiting and wanted to pounce now. The Christmas break might provide the chance the group had been waiting for. Meg was not on the list of people to fly to Vegas today. If she was staying, their boring security detail had new potential for fun.
With the snap of a control, Meg turned off the machine and smiled at Charlie. “Sorry, what’s up?”
“You’re staying in for the holiday?” he asked.
She nodded. “I’ve got this project, and the big boss doesn’t want it put aside. Besides, what am I missing? My perfect sister’s elegant holiday dinner is just an opportunity for my entire family to rub in that I’m still single. I can’t even brag about my work. Everything is top secret.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll be here. It can be fun when it’s quiet.” He leaned in. “What are you working on?”
“Abductions are up again.” She shook her head. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ve been working on a biological countermeasure. The higher ups want me to refine it. I have no idea how I’m going to test it.”
“Since all the aliens were moved to other locations, maybe the higher ups can do something remotely,” Charlie suggested.
Her nose scrunched, and her glasses lifted. “No, this would completely incapacitate them and cause extreme pain. I can’t do that to some refugee alien. Luckily for humans, it’s totally harmless.”
Charlie watched her close a tube of pale green powder and blow the excess off her table. The government had control of all the refugee aliens. Some had simply crashed to earth while others left the home planet of the Keelons because they weren’t happy with the warrior life. The Keelons weren’t expected to colonize earth, but they had abducted enough humans to be considered a threat. Charlie hoped the general human population never became aware of aliens amongst them. Panic on a massive scale would be dangerous.
He stepped away and tried to make it casual. Petting ET, he wondered what Meg would think if she knew the truth about the trio out to seduce her. Things weren’t so simple here.
After washing her hands, Meg walked over and leaned on the table. “ET likes you. She’s purring.”
“I’m sure there’s another way for you to test your project. A genius like you will figure it out. The idea that you design weapons does seem weird.” Charlie loved her brain and openness, but she never seemed to look up from her work.
“That’s just part of my job. Anything biological is my area.” She rubbed the cat’s ears. “So you and your pals got holiday duty? Bet your girlfriends are pissed.”
Charlie grinned. Meg didn’t flirt much, but every once in a while, he saw a glimmer of her personal side. Her tall form and subtle curves teased men, and she seemed clueless about it. Some guys thought she was frigid or a geek.
“No girlfriends. We don’t have much of a life outside of work. Career military makes it hard. Leaving someone outside Dreamland for months at a time seems cruel. We were overseas for years, too. It’s not right.”
“Please, plenty of men do that. Too bad, there aren’t tons of single women here. Statistically speaking, I should have plenty of male attention, but there are a lot of variables to analyze.” She laughed, but Charlie sensed it was only half a joke.
“Come on, you don’t have a boyfriend amongst your lab guys?” Charlie wanted to make sure.
She blushed and pushed her glasses up her nose. “No! They work for me. That’d just be wrong! It’s hard enough to be a woman around here. I’m not going to invite trouble by sexually harassing my staff. The big guys scrutinize everything. They’re reluctant enough to bring in women.”
He leaned in close to her. “You really think they’d feel harassed? They’d be fighting to get your attention. I bet they all think you’d be offended because you are the boss. The rest of the guys, no doubt, believe you’d be taken by some hot genius who can stimulate your brain and your body.”
“Stop teasing me. You, Henry and Ike can go and get all the girls you want in Vegas once the holidays are over. Then you’ll have some vacation time.” She picked up her cat and walked to the office conveniently built into her lab area.
Had he stepped on a nerve? Women were a mystery he’d never fully understand, but Meg was the only one he wanted to explore. She was the one woman they needed.
He followed her into the office. “Did I say something wrong?”
“No. I’m glad to have friends to get through the holidays with. But please don’t start any rumors about me. I’m not dating anyone—no one here or outside. My work here is too important for me to have any issues. I don’t want to be reassigned or fired.” Meg opened a closet and pulled out some Christmas decorations. Digging through, she picked out a collar with jingle bells and put it on ET.
“Meg, you’re a genius. Any think tank or university would give you your own lab and a ton of funding.” Charlie had overheard some of the offers. The lab guys were jealous of her opportunities and genius.
“Our work here is far more important that anything I’d do out there. My staff is good, but none of them can think the way I do. People’s lives and safety are most important. Commander Hastings thinks I’m a flake, but no one can do what I do here.”
Charlie chuckled. “He does not. You’re quirky. That’s all. Most people here are military or former military. You tend not to follow orders all the time. In Dreamland, they need people who can think outside this galaxy, not just outside the box.”
“They removed all the aliens, so who knows where I’ll end up. My role is supportive and civilian. Following orders isn’t my strength.” She smiled and set out a little Christmas tree on her desk.
“I like a rebel.” Charlie picked up a strand of silver garland and wrapped it around her neck.
Meg rolled her eyes. “I don’t think I’m really a rebel. I was a good student, never broke a law that I know of and lead a very boring personal life. Rebel, no.”
“I don’t buy the sweet innocent act.” He wanted to deepen the conversation, but without the other guys, it wasn’t right. They all needed to be in on the move and to agree it was right.
“I’m not that sweet. Mess with my experiment or my friends and I’ll stick your face in liquid nitrogen. Consider yourself warned.” Meg winked.
“No problem. I’ll steer clear. You have fun with your dust. But if you get bored, you can always join us for meals and movies. We’ll keep you busy and full of holiday cheer.” Charlie left before he said too much.