Today’s Featured Author – David Russell

Today author David Russell shares an excerpt from his erotic novella, Self’s Blossom.


Six-thirty p.m. in the lounge – the prearranged rendezvous time if things had been normal. Selene was first to arrive. Would Hudson now feel inclined to turn up? Would he be in any state to turn up? She noticed on her way that his key had not been returned to reception. In fact, he arrived at seven, looking incredibly coy, bashful and apologetic – just like Selene felt. He was carrying a gold lacquered gift box. She gave him a nod and a smile, beckoning him to sit down beside her. They kissed tentatively – reticently.

“Oh Selene, I really am sorry I got carried away like that. It was dreadful of me.”

Selene patted him on the knee. “Darling, I should be apologising for getting all hysterical like that.”

He put the box in front of her. “I went diving, wanted to come to my end in the depths; felt I couldn’t live with myself, but I was obviously called to find something. I guess I realized one of my ambitions.”

He opened the box. In it was an oyster containing a huge pearl. Selene gave him a hug, tearful in her appreciation of his courage.

“I’ve had to reflect an awful lot on my past experiences, you know. I’ve had to study feminism, and I really feel that if both sides – both sexes open up more, accepting more of each other, then life will be so full and enriching. I know that an awful lot happened between us . . .” he hesitated. “And?” A dreamy glow came over Hudson. “We’ve got so close, taken plunges together; you were so magnetic in that costume.” A lump came to his throat.

Selene was now a quiver with suspense. They were at the point of that final something for which she had yearned so desperately for so long. Selene took the words out of his mouth. ” Let’s make everything perfect – the absolute right time, the absolute right place, and in the perfect way. Let’s take the bridal suite together for our last night here!”

The final overt proposition synchronized absolutely with Selene’s memory tensions. A split second before her utterance, she had a vision of being at a ceremonial hair shearing before becoming a nun, and then of a mythical white wedding (the reality of which had never come near her). She thought of the flying buttresses of a cathedral, stained glass tinted in the morning sun, angled to the light of daring love, lifting to heaven. Hudson had at last uttered the key word to the elusive combination of the ideal seduction! This just had to have one fragment of impulse and spontaneity in the context of everything else being utterly premeditated. The peak of experience had been rehearsed to the finest detail. True seduction was total theatre. To hell with all those ‘ideals’ of ‘naturalness’! She had seen through them in that turgid forest. The true ideal lay in laced artifice! Here was the final trigger. Ages ago, they had talked away all thought of marriage and domesticity. But Hudson’s superb artistry in taking hold of the last remnant of conventionality for the final act of defiance against it. The flouting, the inversion of all the oppressive concomitants of a straight wedding night, was genius. They went into a torrid clinch nearly upsetting one of the tables in the process.

“Oh darling,” said Selene in a half-whisper, “you’ve done everything right; let’s go!”

* * * *

The suite was, of course, available, and the deposit no problem for Hudson. The labyrinth of corridors in the hotel did not slow them down. Having located the apartment, they rushed back to their separate rooms for their belongings. Selene was the quickest to pack, but had a little delay with the lift. They arrived at the suite door simultaneously. What a scene of luxury for the denouement.

Selene now took firm control. “OK Hudson, you go and take a bath while I get ready, and get fully dressed again when you’ve finished. I’ve got some special things in store for you!”

Now all of Selene’s fantasies came flooding in to her. Tonight she was the greatest actress, singer, ballerina, priestess-demagogue. She would dazzle the universe in the visual sphere, and then go on to the realm of touch. Her mastery of the lovely art of dressing and undressing would now be shown to the full. In a flash, her clothes were off. As she fitted her cap, she got a tingling premonition of what was to come. When one had meditated on the art of love as deeply as she had, one knew that the extra precautions, far from detracting from the experience, could enhance it, by stretching the partner’s anticipation.

The outfit to replace her casuals was all in order in her expanding suitcase. First, her brief white satin underwear, then a pale blue body stocking, easy to confuse in the half light with a bathing costume, over it her diaphanous slip, then three petticoats – crisp, archaic, Latin and lusciously provocative, sheer white stockings, and then the purple ball gown in all its splendour. She stepped into a pair of white, lacquered high-heels. A touch of eye shadow and lipstick completed a breathtaking work of art. Hudson had seen her in her other gown, in a bikini, and a variety of outer garments. Now he would know all the stages in between, and then beyond, as she would of him. The bath water lapped mutely in the background.

“Ready now, darling.”

The waste pipe gurgled for a few seconds, then Hudson entered. Crisp, white suite approached purple gown, as moon to tropical night sky. They embraced, near-chastely. Then Hudson drew back, a suspicion of anxiety on this face.

“Darling, are you . . .?”

His question needed no verbal answer, for Selene had left her packet of pills conspicuously on the dresser.

“Shall we?” Come on.”

So now for that languorous, full-drawn-out unrobing, decelerating to the depths of frenzy. For a few seconds, they both felt an adolescent shyness – quite naturally, for this was to be an eighteen-year-old’s dream brought to fruition. They tiptoed. For all their obvious freedom, they each had a slight twinge about the hazard of being overheard. Selene’s wardrobe planning had been right; something would have been lost if Hudson had started the encounter in a bathrobe. After Selene’s hips propelled a last, tantalizing, elevated swirl of her gown, the grand undress began.

Knowing their beauty and proud of it, they matched each other’s motions with caresses of sight. Shoes, stockings and socks peeled gracefully off to open the gambit. Hudson’s jacket broadened his shoulders as it left his body. The buckle of his belt harmonised with the front clasp of Selene’s gown as they were both undone, then the zip of his trousers with the back zip of the gown. Hudson’s fine, tapered legs were now revealed. His torso was bared in two stages: shirt and vest thrust back, and pulled over his head without a struggle, revealing gleaming white briefs – or were they bathing trunks? Selene loved those half way garments. She lit up. Great minds had thought alike about foundation garments for this occasion! Hudson had led in one stage of revelation. Selene was transported by his wonderful body control, with ballet assurance – this smooth, eased, arched shedding of reticence. The dream had come to roost. Who rules love, if anybody? The one who strips first, or the one with more finery to shed? But what did rules matter now anyway? The loose gown was ready. Gentle touches on the shoulder straps lowered it, shimmering, to rest. After that departure from simultaneity, action embroidered the first dream. Selene stepped out of the gown, cast it in the corner, and moved towards Hudson, holding him tightly in her beaming, commanding gaze – him with legs astride, deep chest out, briefs gleaming in the light from the open window. At his deft touch, petticoats flowered, rose and fell, floating to make a crest upon the gown. With a ripple of biceps, and lissom forward thrust of legs and hips, the cloudy slip came up head high, and was suspended for a second in the suspicion of a breeze, then, too, wafted to rest. Now they faced each other, almost as if for a first swim. Selene thrust her breasts forward, and tossed her head, making her hair cascade. Hudson took her hips and swung her round. With an almost imperceptible stroke, the zip of the one-piece parted. Hudson swirled her round to face him again, and slid the garment down the front.

“Bikini belle,” said Hudson, with a giggle.

He sensed the precise moment when his briefs were redundant, enhanced his looks no more for her, or for himself. They dropped, with a thrust of thighs and swing of hips. By being deferred, prepared so well, Hudson’s nudity, for Selene, now became suffused with total beauty.

“Undo me,” she half-sang, raising her arms.

Hudson’s unerring hand tended the clip of her bra, which tumbled asunder and fell on the chair. A breeze kissed Selene’s rising breasts as they were bared. Her own hands removed her briefs, finalising her own nakedness. The execution of those actions had been faultless on both sides. “What a fantastic sense of timing!” cried Selene. Each, to the other, became universe god and goddess. After so many times in their pasts when the brakes had been applied, when both had been frozen by reticence, or had their yearnings derided, the soul’s – the universe’s currents now galvanised their bodies. Now words could be uttered in acceptance of total immersion. With their slow speed they generated maelstroms, their every part revealed with deep exuberance, two bodies showing themselves as two complete presences. Now there was a full, tight-clinched embrace – thigh to thigh, torso to breasts, groin to groin. Hudson, a bit taller, took Selene round the shoulder with his right arm; his left beneath her buttocks, as he swung her on to the bed.

“Now for the real backstroke” cried Selene. She pulled Hudson on top of her, thrusting her breasts alternately in his armpits.

Gradually, Hudson hardened, as if with muscle and bone. He entered Selene delicately. When he had penetrated to full depth, he made a clockwise rotation. Fully erected, fully aroused, Selene responded to him anticlockwise. Slowly the two built up, using all their bodies, legs and groins, repeating the motions of their past swims. Bodies were kneaded, relishing their stately, relentless build-up, making love total in its depth, undulating, higher and lower alternately. Then full and strong it reared! There were two sighs, a lunge, slow whirlpools, swimmers’ wakes. Hudson paused, then put all his weight on his torso. Then, recharged by Selene’s breasts, now fully swollen, build up his speed and depth of thrust, had a body-absorbing struggle through some moments of near-exhaustion. Then the knowledge of certainty shone, flooded on them both, hips in friction – dams’ swinging sluicegates, volcanoes’ glows and thunder’s shudders, glands pumping to fire’s, water’s synthesis, all metaphors blown by that endocrine cataract! At the end of the flow, Selene held Hudson in, turning him again on his back. Sleep claimed them, breathless, riding over their peak.

* * * *

Sweating and still clinched, they arose as a maroon dawn unveiled the night skies, lending a mellowed rosiness to their tanned bodies. With restored light, passion revived. Being two, they had to enact their fulfilment’s wholeness twice. Tempered by one satiation’s level, they went smoothly and took their time – finally to outbrim the first flow. After this, the bed could afford no further comfort.

Selene got up. “We need to freshen up a bit.” She took two bathrobes from the wardrobe, pulled one on, jerked Hudson up by the shoulders and draped the other one around him. “Come on.”

The bathroom curtains had not been drawn. Water now gurgled into the capacious bath from both burnished antique brass caps. They held each other, half-draped, until it filled up. Hudson had almost begged Selene not to cover herself, but saw that, as a last delight, that extra robing and unrobing would complete the idyll – cap the euphoria. Selene thrust the robe from his shoulders; it sank down his arms to collapse on the floor. “You may assist me,” said Selene, holding her arms apart. Hudson’s hands ran down her back as he pushed off the robe. Once more they matched each other in nakedness. The bath (designed for a bridal suite after all) was ample for them both, to soap each other over, put legs to hips, massage, and laugh amidst the bubbles. What an element! With seawater they had started; with bath water they ended.

Book Blurb

SB Cover1A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by
unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to „get one
back‟ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter.

Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to
meets the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene‟s
shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion
builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman
Selene was meant to be.

About the Author

David Russel was born in 1940 and resides in the UK. He is a writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance.

  • Main Poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published in online International Times.
  • Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005).
  • Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013.
  • Romances: Self’s Blossom; Explorations; Further Explorations; Therapy Rapture; Darlene, An Ecstatic Rendezvous (all pub Extasy (Devine Destinies).
  • Self-published collection of erotic poetry and artwork, Sensual Rhapsody, 2015.
  • Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Main CD albums Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube, under ‘Dave Russell’

You can find out more about David on his blog.

Self’s Blossom can be purchased on Amazon UK. You can read additional reviews on Goodreads.

Today’s Featured Author – Gabriel Constans

Today I welcome author Gabriel Constans to my blog. Please enjoy an excerpt from his erotic European romance, Loving Annalise.



The morning sun opened our lust-covered eyes.  Tomas pulled me near in my half-asleep state.  The next thing I knew, we were engaged where we’d left off the night before.

“Damn,” I exclaimed.  “What a wonderful way to start the day!”

As I lingered in our pleasure, he threw on a robe and went into the kitchen to make breakfast.  I stared at the outline of his behind, appreciating his graceful stride as he disappeared from view.

We’d spent months planning this honeymoon.  The kids were with Mutti and Vater in Chicago for two weeks, and we’d rented the cabin in the beautiful Rockies three months in advance.  It stood above a shimmering clear lake, about an hour and a half outside Boulder.  The closest residence was a quarter-mile away, and we were well-stocked with every necessity.  The most essential item we’d packed with care was our freedom—the freedom to explore our love without guilt or remorse.  Our self-imposed exile was over.

The scents of fresh coffee, toast, and bacon, mixed with the sounds of pans, silverware, and clinking glass, drifted into the bedroom.  I pictured Tomas, with a smile of contentment, squeezing fresh orange juice and setting a tray.  His gentle humming, a rendition of an old English love song, mingled with the sounds and smells of the breakfast.

The sun’s rays shot through the window and reflected off my wedding ring.  It had been Omi’s when she’d been married and her mother’s—my great-grandmother’s—before that.  It was a small, simple diamond set in a silver band.  The light reflected a thousand colors of the rainbow.  I looked closer and was amazed by its brilliance.

Jens had been like that ring.  He’d overwhelmed me with his worldliness and intelligence.  But like a fake diamond, he soon lost his luster, and our love faded to a dull gray.


The bike vibrated between my legs as my arms encircled Jens’ waist.  I was scared, but also excited.  The wind blew through my hair as we wound through country roads and back to the city, ending up at a party with Jens’ buddies.  I was in the bathroom for half an hour combing out my snarled hair.  When I emerged, they were drinking, smoking and talking about the World Cup and politics.

“Germany doesn’t have a chance against Brazil.  Their forwards are too fast, and Germany’s defense can’t keep up,” said Jens’ friend Paul.

Jens shot back, “Speed isn’t everything, my friend.  Germany has strength.  They’ll wear them down.  You wait and see.”

“Yeah, look where strength got them: almost annihilated!” replied Paul.

“Why do you always bring in politics?” questioned Jens.  “World War II has nothing to do with soccer, you idiot.  And even if it did, you’d be wrong there, too.  Germany has rebuilt itself from the ground up and is one of the strongest economic powers in the world.  And mark my word, some day the Wall’s going to fall, and they’ll be unstoppable.”

“You must be drunk,” snorted Paul.  “The Wall’s never coming down.  You and I will be dead before that ever happens.  You think Khrushev is going to allow it?  No way!  Never!  The U.S. doesn’t really want it to fall either.  They’re scared to death of a united Germany.  Who can blame them?  It wasn’t that long ago that we were under their thumbs as well.”

“Paul, you have not only lost your mind, but your reasoning ability as well,” Jens grinned.  “Who did you say was drunk?”

They laughed and raised their glasses.  “Mark my words, NATO would love to see The Wall crumble, and by tomorrow night, you’ll see the new world champions of soccer celebrating in Berlin.”

The night went on.  Everyone grew louder and more adamant about his position.  I didn’t dare say a word.  I was too afraid to open my mouth, and I didn’t have a clue about half of what they were discussing.  I was happy to just be there and sit by “my man.”

Around one or two in the morning, we swerved back and forth to the hospital.  Jens dropped me off by the maintenance entrance.  I took off my shoes and snuck in like a burglar.  Kristan was wide awake and insisted I tell her “everything.”

“There’s not much to tell,” I said.  “We just drove around for awhile and went to see a friend of his.”

Annoyed with my reluctance, Kristan exclaimed, “Not much to tell!  Didn’t you even kiss him?”

“No, why would I?” I asked naively.  “We just met.”

She rolled her eyes.  “You’re impossible.”

I told her I was tired and went to bed.  I could tell she was annoyed with my answer and knew I’d kept a lot to myself.  I pulled the cover up to my neck, felt my legs still vibrating from the bike, and thought about Jens.  He must be the most wonderful creature on earth!  He’s so smart and handsome!  I’d die for him here and now.

Jens and I continued to escape the watchful eyes of my benefactors at least four to five times a month.  We went to movies, concerts and parties and took long walks.  Jens did most of the talking and usually decided where we’d go, but I was happier than I’d ever been.  Part of me enjoyed being told what to do and being taken care of.  As the oldest at home, I’d always been the responsible one.  Now I was the youngest.  Jens was seven years my senior.  I didn’t need to make any decisions—he was my mentor.  His presence in my life opened new vistas and possibilities.

Three months later, the inevitable question arose.  When he asks me to sleep with him, will I?  It wasn’t a difficult decision.  I was sure he was the love of my life, and I had no reason to hold back.  He’d suggested I start taking the pill a month earlier, when I’d turned eighteen.  He’d obviously decided already.  And since I’d taken him up on his suggestion, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when.

“When” happened on a cold, windy, Friday night, after we’d gone to see the movie Easy Rider starring Peter Fonda.  Jens loved biker movies. I didn’t understand all the drug references or American slang, but the need to let loose and be carefree spoke to all cultures and languages.

After the movie, we went to Paul’s home and discovered that no one was there.  I learned later that they had it all planned.

Jens was very sweet and restrained himself from attacking me the instant we walked in the door.  I could see in his eyes that he was holding himself in check, waiting for me to “give in” and “let go.”

He kissed me hard, took off my sweater and shirt, but had trouble getting my pants down.  I stopped him and did it myself.  He took off his clothes.  I’d never seen a grown man naked, let alone one this excited.  I stifled a giggle, and we continued our play into the bedroom.

Kristan was right: it was awkward.  All the sensations were new.  It felt strange to have another person inside of me.  But this wasn’t just anyone—it was Jens!  I wanted to show him I was a real woman.  I’d never felt so close to another human being.

That night I went home and didn’t whisper a word to Kristan; it was too personal.  I associated sex with love and was sure we were moving down the yellow brick road to eternal wedded bliss, with adorable children following in rapid succession.  My head hit the pillow with a contented sigh.

Two days later, Jens took me to a ritzy downtown eatery known as Pole-Nord.  I entered with a waltz in my step and a glow in my heart.  I’d borrowed a silver, shimmering, low-cut dress from Kristan and spent hours on my hair and makeup.  My expectations and exuberance filled the room to capacity.  I felt like Jacqueline Onassis; I could have dazzled kings and queens with my brilliance.

As we sat waiting to order, Jens asked how I was doing.

“Great.  How do you think?” I winked.

“You look gorgeous,” he said, but without any spark.

“Thought you’d never notice.”  I smiled coyly.

After a few more moments of my intoxicated admiration and fawning, he began to unravel.

“I’ve got to tell you something,” he hinted.

“Yes…,” I stated with intimate glee.

“I’m not sure how,” he hesitated.

Here it comes, I thought.  It must be hard to propose.  I couldn’t wait much longer or I’d burst.

He moved his napkin on and off his lap several times, took a deep breath, and continued.  “Well, there’s no easy way to do this.”

“What is it, Jens?” I asked with a shy grin, knowing all the while.

“It’s tearing me up.”  He lowered his gaze and his voice.

A flicker of doubt crossed my mind.  “What’s tearing you up?”

How could asking me to marry him be tearing him up?

“She doesn’t mean a thing,” he blurted.

I physically recoiled like a gun.

“What?” I mumbled.  “She?”

“I was only eighteen,” he whispered.  “Her father made us.”

“Made you what?” I asked, hoping against hope.

He looked up.  “Get married, you idiot.  What do you think I’m trying to tell you?”

Ashamed at my own ignorance, I continued to react like a schoolgirl who’d been attacked by the class bully.  “Get married,” I stuttered.  “You . . . you were married?”

Impatient and red-faced, he glared, “Not was married.  I AM married.  Why are you making this so difficult?!”

“Difficult?!” I exclaimed.

I couldn’t believe my ears were being defiled with such obscene hypocrisy.  My outrage embedded itself in his floundering gills.  “You’re married!  You’re telling me you’re already married?!”  He nodded.  “You were married when we first went out . . . when you took me to see your friends . . . when you made love to me?!”   He looked away and nodded again.   “And I’m being difficult?!” I shouted.

I’m not sure why I didn’t stand up, kick him in the balls, and leave right then and there.  I was paralyzed with shock; I simply froze and watched the crap pour from his lips.

“Yeah, I’m married,” he confessed, “but she doesn’t mean a thing.  I’ve never loved her, and she knows it.  It’s no big secret.”

They have no secrets, I thought.  How nice.

“We’d have never have married if her father hadn’t threatened me,” he reiterated.  “Hell, we’d only known each other for four months.”

“What’s her name?” a voice asked, as if it hadn’t come from my own throat.

“Julia,” he said with a hint of appropriate distaste.

“Julia,” I repeated.  It felt sharp on my tongue.

“Yes, Julia,” he echoed.   “I’ve told her again and again that we’re through, but she doesn’t get it.  She and Franz will do fine on their own.  He’ll be much happier without us fighting all the time.”

Reluctantly, I asked, “Who’s Franz?”

“Our son,” he stated, as if everyone on earth knew.

My skin began to crawl.  I felt the blood drain from my face.  “Your son?” the mystery voice continued.  “You have a son?” I asked, as the aftershocks continued to rock my world.   “How old?”

“He’ll be seven this March,” he said with a hint of pride.

My voice left me, and I sat in stony silence.

He whined on and on.  “They mean nothing to me.  Do you hear me?  You’re the only one who matters.  You’ve got to believe me!  Don’t ever think of leaving.  I couldn’t live without you!”

Grabbing my hands tightly, he continued, “You’ve got to understand!”

“A son.  You have a son?”  I thought my head would shatter.  “Why didn’t you tell me?”  My insides were screaming.  My mind refused to believe the obvious, and I whispered with one last hope, “You’re joking, aren’t you?”

“I wish I was,” he said.   “I didn’t want to hurt you.   Can you ever forgive me?”

“No,” I said resolutely.  “Never!”

“It didn’t seem like the right time,” he blundered.  “I tried, but whenever you’d look at me with those beautiful blue eyes, I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t stand to make you cry.”

“And now’s a good time?” I replied rigidly.  “After all we’ve been through?!”

“I understand,” he said gloomily.  “I’m sorry.  I’m really sorry.”

Understand? I silently intoned, continuing to stare with a porcelain face at the blue velvet wall across the room.   He doesn’t understand squat!

“Don’t shut me out!” he implored, squeezing my hands tighter.  “Annalise.  Annalise!”  He shook my shoulders, and I returned to the pain of the moment.  “Say something.  Don’t just sit there; it’s driving me mad.”

“What do you want from me?” I asked flatly.

“Your love,” he lamented.  “Don’t let a past mistake cut us down.”

All my insecurities rushed to the surface, as my need for affection and direction overpowered any reason left in my hollow shell of a body.

An unknown force removed the adrenaline from my muscles and mind; I calmly looked Jens in the eye and said, mysteriously, “I could never leave you.”  I smiled unconsciously.   “We’ll work it out.”

I heard a sigh of relief exhale from his lungs like a gust of wind, as he suffocated me with kisses, hugs and reassurance.  “I knew you’d understand.  You’re one in a million, I tell ya . . . one in a million.”

I retained a semblance of misplaced dignity and insisted he divorce immediately.  “If not, we’re history!” I exclaimed, thinking I was being assertive and strong.

I had a rabid case of snow blindness, and I kept crawling up Mt. Illusion, ignoring all signs of the impending avalanche.

The rest of the evening was a drunken blur.  I doused the bonfire of my betrayed trust with an ocean of booze, demanding “one more” until I had to be carried home.  Throwing up on the floor of his precious BMW was the only inkling of justice I could manage.

True to his word, Jens divorced Julia within the month and maintained contact with his son by buying him expensive gifts, which he delivered with his usual warmth and personal touch . . . by way of the Postal Service.


Then I jumped off the mountain’s ledge into the fiery pit: I irrationally moved in with Jens and his seventy-four-year-old grandmother, Rochelle.  We inhabited the top floor, she the lowlands.

Rochelle was a little senile and talked as if we’d been married for years.  With her failing eyesight and wandering mind, she often called me Netti, as if I were her niece.  Honesty isn’t as meritorious as it’s always cracked up to be.  There are times when fudging the truth a little—or outright lying—is the most compassionate course.   If I’d attempted to tell Rochelle the truth about her grandson and me “living in sin,” I would have drained her pious Catholic heart of all her saintly blood.  She would have turned over in her grave—before she’d even died.

I never met Jens’ wife or son.  Apparently, Julia had more wits than I’d expected and skillfully kept her distance.

The only persistent threat to our fragile happiness, other than the relationship itself, was my family.  The thought of them discovering my living arrangement loomed over me like Godzilla about to attack Tokyo.  They had to know sooner or later.  And if the news didn’t come from me first, they’d hit the roof . . . and the floor . . . the walls . . . and then me.  So Jens and I arranged a little visit.  I told my family I was bringing my boyfriend, period.

The little visit went from disaster to disastrous.

Book Blurb

Loving AnnaliseAfter years of poverty, heartbreak, loss and betrayal, Tomas enters Annalise’s world and shatters the iron casing she’s erected around her heart. Tomas is kind, intelligent, romantic and handsome, but he’s also her husband’s brother!

Once Tomas and Annalise meet, they are forever intertwined and repeatedly ripped apart by fate, self-doubt and blackmail. Her husband, Jens, is a brilliant, jealous and manipulative scoundrel who keeps her psychologically under lock and key, until her passion for Tomas sets her free.

About the Author

Gabriel Constans is a novelist, journalist and screenwriter. Gabriel’s latest works of fiction include Loving Annalise, Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba, The Last Conception, Buddha’s Wife, and Saint Catherine’s Baby.

You can find out more about Gabriel on his website or blog. You can also follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase Loving Annalise at Fast Pencil and Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Lisa Bilbrey

Today I welcome author Lisa Bilbrey to my blog. She is currently working on the second book in her Awakenings Series.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Lisa, a mom, wife, writer. I have three kids, 17, 15, and 12. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We were high school sweethearts. I started writing about ten years ago and found myself falling in love with it. I’ve had to learn a lot, but feel that I’m always getting better.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I put a lot of my feelings into my books. I’m an emotional person, and my characters tend to be, as well. Also, a smart ass. I was raised by smartasses, so it’s only natural that I would be one, too.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I always have multiple projects going on, but the book I am currently focusing my attention on is the second book in my Awakenings Series. The first is Forbidden Awakenings, where my lovely Elle, Sadie, Callum, and Derek are just starting to explore their unique relationship. In book two, Elle struggles with the aftermath of book one, trying to put her life back together. It’s been a long road for this one and I’ve doubted myself too many times to count, but I’m loving the way my characters are being real and honest.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

Well, the best advice was pretty simple. If I wanted to be a writer, I had to write. Instead of talking about it, wishing it would happen, I needed to do it! And I force myself to sit down every day and write a few words. Most of the time it’s crap, but sometimes, it’s not too bad. Also, that the first draft is just that: a draft. It’s the second and third drafts where we make it perfect, where we iron out the little details.

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

The best are the readers. If you’re lucky enough to get people to read your book, they can be amazingly supportive. The excitement they feel, the way they embrace writers that they love, is incredible. The worst part is the self-doubt. When sales start slowing, the doubt grows and you start asking yourself if you were really good enough to be published in the first place.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

My family. Particularly my daughter. She has an amazing imagination and often pushes me to write. She’s even plotted out a book for us to write together, and she’s always asking me how my writing is going. My boys do too, but it’s different for them. I’m lucky to have a supportive family, who understand how important my writing is to me.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

Different ways for different books. The Angel’s Heart Series was brought forth by a dream I had of a woman standing on the beach with a storm brewing around her. It wasn’t until she turned toward me that I realized her tears were tied to the storm. The Journey Collection was loosely based on a pro-football player from my hometown and my son, who is a senior football player this year.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I used to be a pantser, but over the last few books, I’ve realized that I do better with an outline. It’s vague, but it gives me a better idea of where the stories going and helps me stay on track.

What inspired you to write this book?

I can’t say any one person inspired me to write the Awakenings Series. It’s an unconventional series about four people who defy society and live their lives the way they want. With Marriage Equality being such a hot-button topic at the moment, it kind of fits, but it’s more about four people learning who they are and embracing the love of family.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I don’t hate any of them, but there are a few that get on my nerves. Sophie from Angel’s Heart is a bit of whiner, but it fits with the storyline. She’s been through hell and back and deserves to be able to whine, though it gets old fast.

Book Blurb

ForbiddenElle Reid and Sadie Williams are best friends, turned lovers. Always considering themselves to be friends with benefits, they opt to let loose and celebrate after landing a high-profile project with the best architecture firm in San Francisco.

Callum Davis and Derek Flores have been best friends since their first year at UCLA. While they’ve admitted their attraction to each other, neither have the courage to act on their feelings, both fearful of losing their friendship. At least, not until they meet Elle and Sadie at Club Venom.

Elle, Sadie, Callum, and Derek embark on a life-changing journey that defies what society tells them is normal. But when you find yourselves in love with multiple partners, how do you choose? And what will happen when their families find out about their unconventional relationship? Is their forbidden awakening worth unraveling the secrets they’ve been keeping?

About the Author

profilepicsmallObsessive, compulsive, slightly crazed, but enough about her personality. First and foremost, Lisa Bilbrey is a mom to three and a wife to one. She loves to write, and spends the majority of everyday writing. It’s who she is, and what she’s meant to be doing. Words are her life, the air she breathes, and the nutrients of her soul. Finding a love in the written word, Lisa Bilbrey started writing as a way to express herself and let her voice be heard. From the first word she wrote, she’d found her heart and soul.

Always willing to learn, she’s spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.

You can find out more about Lisa on her blog.

You can purchase Forbidden Awakening or any of Lisa’s other books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


Today’s Featured Author: Jolie Mae Miller

TUSEbookToday I welcome contemporary erotic romance author Jolie Mae Miller to my blog. Her latest book, The Unlikely Samaritan, is set to be released March 16th.


Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up in nearby Powhatan.  Now my family resides in Prince George.  It’s a rural county and I’m surrounded by eleven wooded acres.  The great part of living in central Virginia, I’m one and one-half hours to the beach, two-hours to Washington, D.C., and two-hours to the mountains.  It’s great to have so many options.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Since I write contemporary erotic romance, I’ll tread lightly.  I do believe it’s impossible to write a 25,000-word series, and it not reflect anything of its author’s personality or experiences. I’ve always been a rather open-minded person. So, I’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination.

In the series, there are some locations my family enjoys. Since it’s based in Richmond, Virginia, local landmarks like the Jefferson Hotel, The Boathouse Restaurant, Lewis Ginter Botantical Gardens, Tobacco Company Restaurant, Maymont Park, are all places uniquely Richmond, and well recognized.  It thrills me to leave little clues throughout my books, hoping someone may catch on to the meanings.  There are however some facts readers would probably never guess.  For example, Jack Loving’s life is held hostage by the Bowes Family Trust, initially set up by his farmer grandfather, Rudy Bowes.  My grandfather’s last name was Bowes and he was in fact a farmer.  My dad’s name is Rudy.  Another example is the location where Lizzie works, and the location where she is a Madame:  111 East Main Street.  In the book, I mentioned it was the former location of Moestas’s Bakery. In fact, because I am a genealogy geek, my great-grandfather immigrated from Germany, and opened Moesta’s Bakery at the exact spot on 111 East Main Street. The only difference is it’s unfortunately the only address on the block which is a parking lot.  Huge disappointment for me! There are quite a few other references in the books like names, which are personal to me. My plan is to mention at least three authentic sites in each book because it’s fun and I love my city.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

It’s interesting, I oftentimes wait for the story to come to me.  It’s almost like a movie playing really fast in my head.  When I do brainstorm something relevant, I’m immediately met with a multitude of new ideas.  So, I allow the flow to come organically because if I press too hard, I fear it will not flow.  So far it’s working for me, strange but true.    Then, I tend to binge-write my manuscripts.  Normally, I can visualize the entire series’ beginning, middle and end.  Then, I write a very loose outline of where I want to end in books one and two.  Since I prefer to write in first-person, it allows me to feel the characters very intimately.  I absorb myself to the point I’m so emotionally connected, I can feel a scene for days after writing it.  There are certain scenes no matter how many times I read it, I cry.  For example, the boardroom scene in The Good Samaritan where Jack confronts Victoria, I can’t help it.  I cry every single time. The ending of book two, dominated my thoughts.  I prefer to write my chapters in order, but Chapters 34 and 35 were written nearly mid-point of the book.  Even though I dreaded writing those chapters, my mind almost blocked until I did.  Quite a few tears were shed and I was very depressed.  Since I do not share my work with anyone until my betas read it, no one could understand exactly what I was feeling.  There are drawbacks in my opinion for writing first person, at least for me, but it’s that same connection that can also be extraordinary.

Book three in the series, which publishes this summer, I anticipate will be a longer book.  Quite a few questions remain for multiple characters, so I need to tie everything together.  I want to announce that I intend to write two standalone novels using characters from The Good Samaritan series.  Even though it’s not necessary to have read the series, I believe you will appreciate it more if you do.  Additionally, in book two, The Unlikely Samaritan, I laid the groundwork for my next series which publishes April, 2016.  There will be a few crossover characters making appearances.  So, that’s eight books in total by the end of 2016.  For now, my books will center around Richmond, Virginia but may include Washington, D.C and south to the coastal areas of North Carolina.

Please tell us about your current release.

This series is definitely not your cookie-cutter romance novel.  No offense to the amazing authors we all read and love, I decided to approach this series uniquely.  Oftentimes, we begin a book with or without a prologue.  When we do see one, I have found myself often wanting more—to know more, about the backgrounds of my favorite characters.  Therefore, I intentionally designed this series with a fresh new approach.  Book one, is essentially a prologue.  I view it as a platform, or jumping off point for the remaining characters going into books two and three.  As one reviewer stated, “so you’re getting a two for one story. What author does that?!?”  I felt in order to fully explain the seasoned lives of the main characters, the reader needed to experience their lives firsthand.  This series has many, many suspenseful twists and turns.  Just when you think you have it figured it, there’s a twist.

Book one is about the lives of two couples:  Jack and Victoria Loving, and Jeremy and Lizzie Macintyre.  The book begins with a prologue detailing early lives for Jack and Victoria individually.  There is a joint prologue for Jeremy and Lizzie.  As I stated, the book is written in first person, and Jack, Victoria and Lizzie each have their own chapters.  Jeremy has one chapter in the end.  For clarity, I would suggest the readers keep in mind the names of the couples, as each chapter sub-heading clearly details the character speaking.  In minimal terms, this is a story of the haves versus the have-nots.  And, it ponders the age-old question: Does money really buy you happiness?  Also, how far would you really go for your family?  However, it’s really so much more when their lives collide in a most unexpected way.  As the series unfolds, I want the reader to have those moments of shock, suspense and frustration, over missing my well-hidden clues.  Just when you think you know how you feel on certain subjects, you begin to question it.

What inspired you to write this book?

Honestly, what inspired me was truly not the story at all.  It was about writing with a different, unique approach, to the traditional 3-part romance series.  After reading over 250 books per year, I decided the approach was off—at least for me.  I think readers want more backstory, with complex-themed contemporary romance.  We’re in the post-Fifty Shades world.  Readers are clamoring for books that make them think. They want those moments of “I didn’t see that coming!”  Once I decided to alter the concept, I thought about living near a city full of history.  Knowing I wanted to showcase my city, the idea for the series came to me very quickly thereafter.

How did you come up with the title? 

Oh, the title!! I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this subject. What a HUGE mistake it has been to call it “The Good Samaritan”.  Even though it perfectly represents the authenticity of the series, the problem is my genre and the word Samaritan vs. samaritan.  Let me explain…when you type the word “samaritan,” every program wants to capitalize it.  In the dictionary, the primary word Samaritan, refers to a group of people (from the Bible) from the area of Samaria.  The alternate use of the word, means philanthropist.  I’m absolutely using the alternate use of the word.  You can imagine the challenges I’ve faced when Samaritan, i.e. a biblical reference is used in combination with an erotic novel…ah, no.  Not well received.  In the future, I will most definitely research the definitions of my book titles, considerably better.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

Most people will dislike Victoria.  I think she’s misunderstood, and by the end of book one, it’s very easy to have some compassion for her.  Another character commonly disliked is Cindy Hall.  I think we’ve all known a partial version of Cindy in our real lives.  She’s the person that meddles in other people’s lives, gossips, and has entitlement issues.  I’ll admit, Cindy was inspired by a real person.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Book two, The Unlikely Samaritan, Lizzie has a series of confusing dreams throughout the book.  It was very important these dreams were written in a precise way.  Many hours were spent strategizing and making sure the flow was exactly perfect.  I don’t want to give too much away, but technically speaking the culmination of these dreams were a challenge to write in order to make the right impact.

Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?

In book one, Victoria’s character was named Laura.  Even today, when I think of her, I still call her Laura.  One of my betas suggested it could be confusing to have two “L” name female characters.  After much deliberation, I agreed.  I put out a request to a few friends at the last minute, to give me a list of names that sounded bitchy.  I was shocked how many times it kept coming up.  The decision was made just before formatting to call her Victoria, which was inspired by the television show “Revenge.”  I just kept thinking about that show’s character sitting in her wingback chair.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

  • Hillary Clinton, hands down.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with her politics.  She’s a trailblazer for all women, and those cracks she put in that glass ceiling, will one day shatter because she made it easier for those following her.
  • Now this is harder to pick, because I’d like to meet both of these women for different reasons.  Nicole Edwards and Kristen Ashley are well regarded romance authors.  Nicole has proven Indie authors can be successful and I’d love to pick her brain, (plus I really love her books!).  Kristen has an amazing ability to draw readers in and I adore the way her characters crossover between her series.  So, both of these romance authors are amazing!

 Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

  • I love genealogy and have traced my family tree back to the early 1500’s on multiple lines.
  • The common phrase around my house is, I’m a “plethora of useless knowledge.” I love learning random facts and sometimes try to dazzle my family with my brilliance.  They’re unimpressed.

Book Blurb

TGSEbookCan money really buy you happiness?

What would you do to support your family?

The Macintyre family faces struggles of alcoholism and severe financial hardship after having it all and losing everything. Jeremy is forced into the ranks of the long-term unemployed, destroying his family with his alcohol addiction, and leaving Lizzie Macintyre to provide for the family in a most unconventional way. Just how far is Lizzie willing to go to save her family?

Jack Loving Jr., of the Loving family, is sole heir to Richmond’s most philanthropic family’s Trust. He and wife, Victoria, work hard to honor his family’s long-standing tradition of serving the less fortunate, forcing Jack to sacrifice his lifelong dreams. Jack faces serious challenges when someone close betrays him, turning his world upside down. Can Jack create happiness for himself?

When Jack has a chance encounter with Lizzie, never could they imagine their families would eventually need one another.

“I just pray that our children ultimately learn the real joy and satisfaction you receive from having money can be very comforting, and comes when you can spend it not on yourself, but by making a real difference in someone else’s life.”

By…Jack Loving, Jr.

About the Author

JolieJolie Mae Miller is an independent author, living in Prince George, Virginia, with her loving husband and amazing children. Her busy home also includes a Yorkie, a Poodle, and a St. Bernard. Her favorite job is being a Mom and Meme (because she’s too young to be a “GRANDMA!”).

She grew up in Powhatan, Virginia, working in her family’s auto parts business for many years. After her sister received a life-saving transplant, she pursued and was hired by Richmond-based, non-profit, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). She enjoyed thirteen years working in the Accounting department managing various functions. Today, she has the best job, Mom.

In her free time, she enjoys reading and watching baseball.  Whether it’s her husband who umpires, her son or the Orioles.  Additionally, she’s an ancestry junkie, knowing quite well it’s a never ending project.  Jolie Mae is incredibly blessed to have a supportive family behind her while she pursues her love and passion of complex-themed writing. She credits her amazing parents for continuing to be positive, guiding forces in her life. Her love of reading definitely came from her Mom and is constantly inspired by her Dad’s outgoing personality and knack for great storytelling.

You can find out more about Jolie Mae Miller on her website or follow her on Facebook.

You can purchase The Good Samaritan on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and the Kobo Store. The Unlikely Samaritan will go on sale March 16th!

Today’s Featured Author: Ashley Ladd

I would like to welcome author Ashley Ladd to my blog. Following today’s interview is an excerpt from her latest book, Spooky Sojourn.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a mild-mannered customer service rep by day and a masked crusading erotic romance writer by night. I tried to join the FBI, but unfortunately, I have severe hearing loss from my active duty Air Force days which disqualified me. However, the Air Force sent me through college and I went on to complete my MBA and I function with the aid of hearing aids.

I’m also a wife, mother of five, grandmother of two, and I absolutely adore cats. I love to watch movies on the big screen, take long walks, and swim. I’m a regular Trekkie and Food Network addict.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in Colerain Township. Although I still call that home, I also call South Florida, specifically Fort Lauderdale home. I’ve lived in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) for the past 24 years.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes. I’m halfway done with “Gaycation”. It’s an MMF about an erotic MM/BDSM romance writer who attends a gay convention to get ideas and she ends up with way more than she bargains for. It’s fun to write so far and I’m sure it’ll be fun to read.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I wish I could write full time. It’s my dream. But alas, I hold down a full time day job as a customer service representative.

I write between 2-4 hours nightly after I get home from work which is about 1,000 to 3,000 words nightly. You see, my real claim to fame is that I type about 96 wpm. I also try to write for a few hours each on Saturday and Sunday.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I make a very loose outline. I’m more of a pantser and let the story unfold as I go. I know the ending and a few high points in the middle but let the road wind around. I’d be too bored with the story if it was completely mapped out before hand.

What inspired you to write this book?

I stayed in a haunted hotel when I attended a romance writer’s convention about twelve years ago. It was a fun adventure and I promised myself I’d write a book inspired by it. Spooky Sojourn was finally born.

How did you come up with the title?

I was surfing the Internet and saw the phrase “Spooky Sojourn” and thought it fit my book.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I love Harry DeVeaux. He’s so charming and sexy I wish I was theheroine so he could be my hero.

I really dislike Roxanne Cambridge, the villain.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

It would be Haley because she dresses up as Catwoman and saves her hero (repeatedly) from the bad guys. She even jumps her motorcycle over a police car. She’s awesome and has a ton of fun. Haley’s in Purrfect Justice published by Ellora’s Cave.

Or maybe Deanna. She’s chasing ghosts and going to séances. Deanna’s in Spooky Sojourn which will be published by Totally Bound in October of this year.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Probably Make-believe Lover. Becca and her cat Gizmo are transported into the alternate dimension of her favorite comic book world. In this world, Gizmo speaks English. In fact, he won’t shut up! He’s a riot and he tries to steal the show. She gets to fly around on dragons and she has a super hottie for a hero. Make-believe Lover is published by Ellora’s Cave.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I twirled flags in high school and again in the Air Force Drum Bugle & Corps. We marched in the New Orleans Mardis Gras Parade.



Deanna reread her fantasy, barely able to believe she’d penned it, wondering if she should delete it. Did she really want to make out with Harry, a perfect stranger, on a public beach? Did she really want her words on the Internet, even in a supposedly private blog under a make-believe name?

Well, it was confidential, right? As long as she didn’t give anybody the web address or password or tell them about it, it would remain secret.

Enough fantasizing! She had to get back to work. Dragging the files out, she familiarized herself with the ghost sightings as well as Lynette’s and Grant’s history. By the time she finished, she knew how they’d died and the theories about their suicides-slash-murders. She also knew that everybody was afraid to point fingers at the now very influential and powerful Roxanne Cambridge-Anderson. Could Roxanne be behind the haunting nonsense? Did she want the hotel shut down? But that made no sense. The rumors portrayed Roxanne as a murderess. It wouldn’t be in her best interest to keep their legend alive.

Deanna’s temples began to ache the harder she thought about everything, so she decided to go to sleep. Hopefully she’d awake if any hijinks took place in the bowling alley.

About three a.m., deafening booms awoke her. Light brightened lane fourteen and all but one pin lay scattered on the wooden floor.

Groggy, Deanna tried to gather her senses. She looked around then, to her horror, she saw an iridescent figure of a man on lane fourteen picking up a glowing ball. Collecting her presence of mind, she grabbed her webcam, pointed it at the ghostly shape and turned it on. Shaking, she tried to hold her computer steady. Not believing what she was seeing, she knew there had to be a rational explanation. Perhaps some machine was projecting the image onto the lanes. Perhaps a real person stood in front of her in glowing phosphorescent powder.

Whatever or whoever it was, picked up the ball, and knocked down the spare pin. Then the ‘apparition’ bowled three strikes in a row.

Unexpectedly, he turned and glared at her, fire shooting from his eyes. Pins flew from all the lanes at her. Her heart racing, she ducked under the score table.

Book Blurb

spookysojourn_800Someone’s trying to kill Deanna, but is it the ghosts she doesn’t believe in, the rich socialite who might be a murderess, or someone else with a beef against The Gilroy Hotel and Resort that Deanna has just been hired to manage?  The Gilroy’s owners want the ghosts, or whoever is causing the trouble at the hotel eliminated, and they are pressuring Deanna to do the job as quickly as possible. Harry DeVeaux, paranormal investigator comes highly recommended to do the job and against Deanna’s better judgment, she hires him.

Although Deanna thinks Harry’s crazy for believing in ghosts and Harry thinks Deanna has a closed mind to the possibilities of ghosts and they highly annoy each other, sparks fly. Deanna can’t help but fantasize about Harry and inspired by a romance convention visiting her hotel, writes her fantasies in a private blog that Harry finds, hacks, and reads. Ooh la la!

About the Author

Ashley LaddAshley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children and beloved pets. She loves water, cats and playing on the computer.

She’s often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance which she weaves into her stories.

You can find out more about Ashley on her blog or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase her books on Amazon.