Monthly Archives: July 2013

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 22 (#sffsat) – Warlock’s Pawn – #FantasyRomance

Many apologies for missing last week. I was a bit tied up. [Shameless Self-Promotion: My contemporary romantic suspense, More than Strangers, came out on July 22. See that cover art on the top right hand corner?]

This snippet is from Warlock’s Pawn and continues from the last one (click on the SFFSat tag at the bottom of the post to read past snippets). Warlock’s Pawn is a fantasy romance inspired by The Arabian Nights. It is available on  LSBooksAmazonBarnes & NobleARe, Kobo, and a few other places.

In the previous post, Alia and Duncan discuss the rules of the Temple, which safeguards the line of succession.

“I am a disciple just like any other. Aside from the man whose cruelty resulted in my conception, none of those who share my blood know I exist. It is my belief even [my father] has forgotten leaving me at the temple’s gates.”

Gripping her chin with his thumb and forefinger, Duncan tilted her delicate face up for better scrutiny. “Those fey eyes do not lie. Even with your face covered, you are as much a symbol of Dionian power as Anora. Those in the city may not bow at your feet for fear of retribution, but they know you are their princess all the same.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!

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One Story’s Evolution – More than Strangers (Now Available at LSBooks, Amazon, & ARe)

A long time ago (February),  in a galaxy far far away (Karachi, Pakistan), More than Strangers was born as a flash fiction blog post as part of the Absolute Write Blog Chain. The prompt was “unfortunate sport,” and the scene was set at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club.

Not long after I hit publish on the blog post, I ran into a public health worker at a book club meeting (yes, there are such things in Karachi). We exchanged no more than a few sentences, but her work was so adventurous (especially compared to mine) I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after we parted ways (okay, I may have Google’d her NGO). Somehow, the opulent world of champagne and polo (Dubai) collided with the one I was living in (Karachi), and the thousand word flash fiction evolved into a novella.

I never planned to write this story, nor did I ever expect an erotic romance publisher to pick it up. Along the way, More than Strangers acquired a bit of sugar and spice (aka kinky sex), but it is ultimately a story about finding love when you least expect it. If you do choose to give it a try, I hope you enjoy reading about Nulli and Jason as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

More Than Strangers - Safe Harbor 1

A Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Buy Links (where you can sample the first chapter): LSbooks, Amazon, AllRomanceEbooks, (GoodReads)

Blurb:

Scorching desert heat, ice-cold champagne, and a world of opulence—the perfect setting for a one-night stand. Certain they will never meet again, two strangers agree to casual, no-strings sex that turns into something more.

Jason Reynolds has his life mapped out, and it doesn’t include a smart-mouthed redhead on a mission to save the world. A security specialist at the top of his game, he is on the cusp of wealth and power. Love is a distraction he simply can’t afford.

Struggling to bury memories of an unforgettable night, Nulli O’Hara chases her dream to a city fraught with violence and death. Six months later, she becomes a kidnapping target, and Jason is the man sent to keep her safe.

More than Strangers charts the journey of two reluctant lovers from the sands of the Middle East to the slums of South Asia. In a perilous world more exotic than fantasy, Jason and Nulli must fight to live and see their happily ever after.

Content Notes: Spicy, Light BDSM, Descriptive Erotic Sex, Light Bondage, Spanking

JustRomance.Me – A Midsummer’s Night Dream-Man Blog Hop – More Than Strangers (Safe Harbor Book 1)

[Edited: Congrats to Jowanna K. for winning a copy of Tower in the Woods along with a few other prizes!]

Welcome! This is my third time joining a JustRomance.Me blog hop. If you came upon this post by accident but would like to join the fun, just click the banner at the bottom of this post and you can start at the beginning. There are lots of prizes up for grabs (including a $50 giftcard and a copy of my very first novella, Tower in the Woods).

My summer romance More than Strangers is being released on July 22nd  (pre-oder at LSbooks now and get 20% off). The dream man in question is named Jason, and he shares a midsummer’s one-night-stand with my heroine in a desert resort in Dubai. His picture is below–keeping scrolling down to read the blurb and a short snippet.

More Than Strangers - Safe Harbour 1

A Contemporary Summer Romance

Blurb:

Scorching desert heat, ice-cold champagne, and a world of opulence—the perfect setting for a one-night stand. Certain they will never meet again, two strangers agree to casual, no-strings sex that turns into something more.

Jason Reynolds has his life mapped out, and it doesn’t include a smart-mouthed redhead on a mission to save the world. A security specialist at the top of his game, he is on the cusp of wealth and power. Love is a distraction he simply can’t afford.

Struggling to bury memories of an unforgettable night, Nulli O’Hara chases her dream to a city fraught with violence and death. Six months later, she becomes a kidnapping target, and Jason is the man sent to keep her safe.

More than Strangers charts the journey of two reluctant lovers from the sands of the Middle East to the slums of South Asia. In a perilous world more exotic than fantasy, Jason and Nulli must fight to live and see their happily ever after.

Content Notes: Spicy, Light BDSM, Descriptive Erotic Sex, Light Bondage, Spanking

Snippet:

He spread his fingers to span her lower back and pressed her body against his.When he relinquished his hold, russet lashes fluttered to reveal her dazed gaze. Her lips were kiss-swollen, and her cheeks were flushed a rosy pink. The sultry look in her deep blue eyes made him certain he could have her here and now.

“If you keep looking at me like that, we’ll get arrested.”

(Note: Public indecency laws are enforced in the Middle East.)

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 21 (#sffsat) – Warlock’s Pawn – #FantasyRomance

Many apologies for missing last week–4th of July weekend came with a few evil day job responsibilities, so signing up completely slipped my mind.

This snippet is from Warlock’s Pawn and continues from the last one (click on the SFFSat tag at the bottom of the post to read past snippets). Warlock’s Pawn is a fantasy romance inspired by The Arabian Nights. It was released last month and is available on  LSBooksAmazonBarnes & NobleARe, and Kobo.

In the previous post, Duncan and Alia discussed veils, reflections and obedience.

Her returning gaze was pensive. “The rules that govern the temple are in place for a reason. Females of noble blood born after the family’s heir are sent to live a life of confinement and celibacy. Before this tradition came into being, blood coated these sands from countless wars of succession.”

His eyebrows rose as her words confirmed his suspicion. “Does Radan know he has an oracle for a child?”

Her small teeth clamped down onto her lower lip. “He has no offspring but the princess. Those who serve the goddess forfeit all ties to the world.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!

Dog Days of Summer – Absolute Write Blog Chain July 2013

This post is part of the July 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is Dog Days of Summer, aka the trigger for a massive writer’s block.  As such, I’m experimenting with a slightly different style this time. Let me know if it’s a complete failure.

Summer hated dog days in July. It wasn’t that she had anything against the month in particular. There was a time when she enjoyed it very much. 

She only wished it wasn’t so damn hot.

No one in the right mind would want to traipse around in seventy percent humidity covered in a fur coat. She was sweating so much her usually silky mane had clumped together, making her resemble an angry perspiring white porcupine. There wasn’t anything wrong with porcupines. In cartoon form, she found them rather cute. She just didn’t look very endearing in her current state, and she would very much rather be lounging by the pool sipping a Bellini.

Instead, she was forced to come out and attend this stupid meeting. She had never understood the obsession with the woods as a gathering place. So the grass was green and there were lots of trees–big deal. It didn’t make the location any less boring. Summer was a city girl through and through, and this whole one-with-nature business didn’t float her boat. Especially not when the sun was blazing down at close to a hundred degrees farenheit.

And it would be, of course, on this exceptionally miserable dog day that she would be forced to run into her ex, who was the idiot who had called this stupid meeting in the first place. He never looked anything like she did on a dog day in summer. No, the damn male always managed to appear gorgeous despite the oppressive heat. It was the short hair–she was certain of it.

Sweat didn’t seem to have the same effect on his appearance as it did with hers. The shiny coat of moisture amped up his masculinity, which, in her opinion, was already on overdrive. It was one of the reasons they broke up.

Compatible males seemed to be born with overbearing genes. Her ex came with an extra couple of doses. He couldn’t back off to save his life. As an only child, Summer was used to doing whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. She did not need some guy telling her horseback riding was too dangerous–especially when he rode horses himself. Hooking up with the man had been the crown jewel on her list of adulthood mistakes.

So why the heck did his presence make her drool? She placed part of the blame on the dog day. Animal instincts were taking over, and the man’s testosterone was palpable in this heat. His jet black hair glittered in the noon day sun as he ambled toward her. His dark gray eyes were particularly mesmerizing in the sunlight.

He also looked smug enough she was tempted to bite his nose of. He made a show of sniffing the air–hinting that he could smell her arousal. Well, of course he could. She was a female in her prime who hadn’t gotten off since they broke up six months ago. The cover of Men’s Health would have that effect, let alone being a few yards away from Mr. Alpha.

What was taking everyone else so long? Summer usually arrived fashionably late to these gatherings, and this time was no different. Something didn’t feel right.

The moment she realized what was happening she broke into a fast run. No way was she going down that road again. It took forever for her to get over him, and she had no desire to repeat the process.

She could hear him gaining on her, getting closer with each breath. It was the damn heat. It was too hot for her to be running. Her heart was beating too fast. Her body felt as if it were about to burst into flames.

He must have planned this. While he was bigger and stronger, she had always been faster. He had never been able to outrun her. But with the sun beating down, and the air hot and heavy,  her muscles refused to cooperate. She felt lethargic, tired, and extremely thirsty.

Sniffing the air, Summer followed the scent of water deep inside the wooded area. There was a small stream close by. She could feel the particles of moisture in the light breeze as she raced through the brush. It was cooler under the shade, and her gait automatically sped up. The distance between them widened. If she could just cool off, she might be able to escape.

She approached the stream and almost breathed a sigh of relief. She was nearly there.

But a split second later, she saw a large shadow on the ground just in front of her. Before she had time to react, she felt his crushing weight on her back. His jaw closed down on her neck, demanding her submission.

Refusing to give in without a fight, she kicked her back legs up and launched him forward using his own momentum. She heard a growl as he flew through the air. The best defense was a good offense, so she snapped her teeth and pounced. She landed on top of him only to have him flip her onto her back.

With his paws on her neck, a low guttural command erupted from his throat. Since he was her Alpha, it was instinctive for Summer to comply. Rainbow colored lights shimmered around them as their bodies morphed.

“That wasn’t fair,” Summer hissed as his lean naked body covered hers. In human form, he was even more breathtaking–hard muscle, long limbs, broad shoulders, and eyes she could lose herself in. “We agreed to take some time off.”

“We did,” he replied in a low husky voice. His large hand circled her neck. He lowered his head and bit her just behind the ear. “Time’s up.”

Summer shivered. The reaction had nothing to do with the fact that she didn’t have a stitch on her. It was still oppressively hot, and her ex’s body radiated heat. When he lowered his hand to cup her breast, a soft moan escaped her lips.

“Do you want me to stop?” His voice was an invitation steeped in temptation. She didn’t have the fortitude to resist.

How bad could just one summer day be?

And that, folks, is my first ever attempt at a shifter romance. What do you think?

Don’t forget to check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://www.iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://radomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com (YOU ARE HERE)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Diana_Rajchel – http://blog.dianarajchel.com/ (link to post)
Elvin-Bala – http://elvinbala.wordpress.com/ (link to post)

Bumped:
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
AshleyEpidemic – http://www.soipondered.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com (link to post)Archive of Past Blog Chains

Book Trailer – Warlock’s Pawn – #FantasyRomance #EroticRomance

After Warlock’s Pawn was selected by Goodread’s PNR NaUBA group to be one of July’s books of the month (join the discussion here), I was given the opportunity for my (then non-existent) book trailer to be posted on the group’s main page for a short period.

At first I simply replied saying that I didn’t have a book trailer, but DH owed me a few brownie points (for … err … stuff). Given, he’s a career bureaucrat and didn’t (at the time) know such a thing as book trailers existed, but who am I to scoff at free labor (with iMovie skills)?

So I traded my brownie points for a short video (which can be described as a one minute powerpoint presentation with background music), and thus a book trailer was born. Comments are welcome, though DH has already told me he agreed to make the trailer, not make changes to the trailer. As such, it’s probably going to stay as is until the end of time (I had more than a few critiques of my own, and no amount of nagging could get the man to change make changes).

P.S. If you look very carefully, you might be able to spot me in this video (we didn’t have the budget for stock images). The background music is a Garageband  creation.