A smuggler and an aristocrat. Who should Tessa chose?
Both professed their love for her, both intrigued her. How could she pick one over the other?
When Tessa was accosted by a smuggler her life took a turn for the better. Or so she thought. Until Nathaniel, Lord Fenniston indicated his interest in her. She had to marry to help her family, but her loyalties are torn.
Either man could be the one, but how can she decide? Torn between them, Tessa must think hard and fast.
Luckily, fate has it’s own way of deciding, and Tessa had no option but to do as it dictates.
A wee tease…
Her one night of bliss, her initiation, as she thought of it, had given her a very definite opinion of what she wanted, expected, from any marriage. However, and there was the rub, how could she say to someone, I’ll only marry you if you satisfy me in the way my smuggler did? You need to make my skin tingle, my insides quiver, and my body react in a way I never thought possible, so I shout and scream my release and beg you for more? Oh and your body, when it gains its own satisfaction inside me, has to react in the same way? It was not something she could introduce into everyday conversation. It wasn’t something most men would appreciate hearing. Men were such touchy creatures they wouldn’t see it as a compliment on their prowess, just the opposite.
Tessa stirred uneasily in her chair. During those long hours of enforced darkness, her highwayman had taught her some very interesting ways to satisfy herself. After the first few fumbling—and embarrassed at her temerity—attempts, she was happy with how to touch and tease herself until she was panting and sated. However, it wasn’t the same. It is not him.
Tonight though, she knew nothing she did would ease the ache deep inside her. The unexpected offer from Lord Fenniston had thrown her somewhat.
Why her? Oh, they were neighbors in Devon, but he had never shown any interest in her. In fact she hadn’t noticed him singling her out in any way, exactly the opposite. One occasional country dance did not show a partiality for anyone. They’d never waltzed, he’d never asked for her hand into supper, and never solicited her company at a picnic or to the theater. No, if anything, she would have thought he preferred Lady Elizabeth Cantor or Frederica Stowe. Nor did Tessa think he chose to spend time with those ladies as a smokescreen for his desire to have her as a wife. They were both too much all woman for that, and she was well aware neither would put up with such cavalier behavior.
Nor would I.
Somehow, Tessa accepted, as she stirred the glowing coals back into flames, Nathaniel Fenniston was not the sort of man to dissemble in that way. It wouldn’t be kind to either lady, and she didn’t think he would ever be deliberately unkind. No, he was an honorable man, but did that mean he was the man for her? Somehow, she needed to find out. On that sobering and complicated thought, she put the fireguard in place and took herself to bed.
Yet again she dreamed of her smuggler. She felt his hands on her as he showed her how to please both him and herself. Heard his voice as he praised her efforts and moaned his appreciation. Recalled and recreated in her dreams how his body stiffened and he shouted out his completion as he spilled onto her skin. Shivered and writhed as his lips met her quim and sucked on the soft flesh there and then drew the hard nub into his mouth. She gasped as her juices gathered, ready to help her fall over the edge of sanity and reason.
Tessa woke with a gasp to see the thin light of dawn creep around her curtains, and to feel the warmth and dampness of her arousal slick her skin. Her body tingled with awareness. Should she?
A quick glance at the timepiece on the mantel told her she had time enough to assuage her needs.
Tessa stretched out to fumble in her nearby sewing basket, to retrieve something she had secreted there.
A few days after her encounter with the smuggler she’d found a package in her bedside cabinet. She had no idea where it had come from, or who had placed it where she would see it so readily. The outside wrapper merely had her name on, and the cryptic message “for your eyes only.”
Puzzled she ripped the paper and unwrapped the fine lawn material that covered the contents. It was a smooth, wooden darning mushroom, with a note attached to it.
When she read the words, Tessa didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Inscribed in a very elegant hand it said: Close your eyes and run your fingers over this. Now imagine what it feels like and use it accordingly until we meet again.
Intrigued, Tessa had done as directed and discovered it was the perfect facsimile of a male staff. “Pego” her smuggler had called it as he taught her how to fondle and taste. At first she’d held it and stroked it, until her mind played games on her. A few nights later, her dreams included him, his pego, and his hands showing her how indeed a humble darning mushroom was the perfect substitute for a man. No, not perfect, she amended, adequate.
Lucas and Thomas believed themselves unusually blessed to have found their third mate within only three hundred years of being a vampire. Unfortunately, once they turned Piers, that empty, lonely feeling is still there, within all of them.
Ten years of strained relations lead them to a ball where an old friend helps them track down a woman they have all dreamt of.
Maryanne has been thrown out of London in punishment for allowing her fiancée into her bed. She is travelling to meet her new horrid husband-to-be, when she is accosted by three male vampires, all claiming to want to love her.
What is a shamed lady meant to do? Her duty? To marry the horrible old lord, or risk loving three men who are the answer to her prayers?
“Tommy, I want you to drain me. I like your bite better.”
Thomas smiled, his eyes, an identical brown to Lucas’s, lighting up at the thought.
Lucas pinched him gently in reprimand.
“And what about me? You don’t love my bite?”
Piers reached out both of his hands, and his mates took one each. A bolt shot through him, pure pleasure. Nothing felt as good to him in this world as being connected to his two men, but it was still there. A loneliness, an ache. Something that did not feel quite right, but tonight they were going to change that.
“I want to drink your blood, Luc. Perhaps I will get some of your strength.” He joked, though they all knew he was partly serious. He hated being so much weaker than his mates.
Lucas leaned forward and dropped the sweetest kiss on his lips, and Piers felt his cock swell. These men aroused him like no others ever had.
“You don’t need some of my strength. You have all of it, Piers. I will love and protect you forever.”
Piers gripped the two hands he held tighter. He was ready.
“Tommy, I love you. Bite me.”
He tilted his head away and waited for the sweet pinch.
Thomas bit gently into Piers’s neck, and his heart sang with happiness. He moaned as Thomas continued to drink, far past the usual stopping point.
Death was nearing. Piers could feel a cold hand gripping his heart.
Lucas pressed his warm wrist to Piers’s open mouth.
“Drink, my love.”
Piers felt the pull of death dragging him down, but the hands that held him, anchored him in the real world. He extended his tongue and tasted sweet, thick blood. Slightly metallic, yet so addictive. He moaned as his body began to regain its strength. He attached more firmly onto Luc’s wrist and drank as much of the blood as he could swallow.
Heat flames licked along his legs and arms, and his chest swelled with power and blood.
He opened his eyes and saw his mates. They looked exactly the same. Well that was all right, he supposed. He gripped their hands tighter and smiled as he searched his feelings.
Oh my God!
“It’s still there!” He jumped off the bed and glared at his mates.
“We don’t understand … how?” Lucas looked at Thomas, who looked equally perplexed.
Anger, pure and unforgiving, poured through Piers. How could they do this to him?
“I will never forgive you for this.”
Tamsin Baker is an Aussie girl who only found erotic romance about ten months ago. Before that she read sexy romance, skipping the plot looking for the ‘good bits.’ Since then she have written and obtained 14 contracts of varying lengths with erotic romance and erotica. She absolutely LOVES reading and writing it! She have two other jobs, kids and a hubby too, but writing is a passion that she has to indulge, for fear of insanity.
M/M is a passion of hers so even in her menage stories, there is always M/M. Female domme is a fun one to write too, but she is open to all genres. One step at a time she is learning to read more and write more. Soon she’ll have stories published in every sub genre of erotic romance – or that is her aim anyway.
Horatia’s plan to join the London literary set takes a dangerous turn. Now that the war with France has ended, Baron Guy Fortescue arrives in England to claim his inheritance. When Guy is set upon in London, a stranger, Lord Strathairn, rescues and befriends him. But while traveling to his country estate, Guy is again attacked. Guy suspects his relative, Eustace Fennimore, is behind the attacks on his life. Horatia refuses to believe her godfather, Eustace, is responsible. Secure in the knowledge that his daughter will finally wed, Horatia’s father allows her to visit her blue-stocking aunt in London. But Horatia’s time spent in London proves to be anything but a literary feast, for a dangerous foe plots Guy’s demise. She is determined to keep alive her handsome fiancé, who has proven more than willing to play the part of her lover even as he resists her attempts to save him.
Thank you, Maggi, for chatting with me today. I want you perfectly comfortable, so picture your favorite place in the world. Now, can you tell us a little bit about the place you’ve pictured?
I’ve visited a friend in her home in Richmond, England many times. The lovely historic town nestling beside the Thames River is often featured in my books. The ton during Regency times traveled from London to picnic in the park where King Henry VIII used to hunt deer. Deer still roam the park. The view from Richmond Hill takes in the graceful bend of the Thames which has been painted by many famous artists.
That sounds wonderful. I’ve been to London once and would love to back. What was the last book you read that made a lasting impression on you?
Seven Nights in a Rogues Bed by Anna Campbell. I really enjoy her writing and her characters are wonderful.
I’ll have to check that out. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
It took me some years. But I studied the craft and honed my voice, so that time wasn’t wasted.
Most excellent. Craft study is the first thing on my agenda everyday. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To have my family around me, all happy and in perfect health.
I completely agree with you and I love that you added healthy. We’ve all suffered with colds this last month. We are very ready for spring. What turns you on creatively?
My mother was an artist. I’ve inherited her love of color, interior design, architecture (especially Georgian) art and sculpture. These things often feature in my books. Old black and white movies can sometimes give me ideas for a story.
My mother used to paint and I keep bugger her to pick her brushes back up. She’s quite talented. Old black and whites, interesting, a new source for plot bunnies I’ll need to check out. What quality do you most admire in a man?
Humor and warmth.
What quality do you most admire in a woman?
I read in your bio that you support the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and that animals are often feature in your books. Can you tell us a little more about this?
Cats and dogs frequently appear in my stories. In A Baron in Her Bed, Horatia rides her father’s magnificent black stallion, The General, without his knowledge.
In my Victorian novella, How To Tame a Rake, Wilhelmina adopts a fox cub, annoying her reluctant fiancé Blake, no end. Here’s a bit:
Spying a statue on a plinth in the distance, Willy strode towards it. Before she reached it, she saw something lying stretched out on the grass. At first, she thought it a pile of autumn leaves. On closer inspection, she found a fox cub. As she knelt down to him, he lifted his head, his dark eyes pleading.
“Oh, you poor, poor thing,” she said, stroking the red-gold coat. How beautiful he was. He’d hurt a leg, probably in one of those horrid traps. It was broken, dangling at an odd angle. She knew just what to do about it. She’d splinted one of her dogs back home when he broke his leg jumping from a high wall.
Picking the cub up carefully, she cradled him against her chest. He didn’t struggle. Perhaps he knew that she was a friend, or was too weak to care.
Willy carried him along the path. As she rounded the corner of the house, she came face to face with Blake.
“I’m glad to see you out and about,” he began. He looked surprised. “What on earth do you have there?”
“A fox cub. He’s hurt his leg. I’ll have to splint it.”
“You’ll do what?”
“A splint. You use a straight piece of …”
“I know what a splint is, Willy! But this is fox hunting country. We can’t keep a fox here.”
“Why not? When his leg is healed he will go and join the other foxes.” Her lip trembled. “And then you can hunt him down and kill him.”
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My children, grown up now.
Aw, I love that. My kids are still young and I totally can see where you’re coming from. They’re the most important thing to me. Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on now?
I’ve just completed Taming a Gentleman Spy – Book Two of The Spies of Mayfair Series. The hero is John Haldane, Earl of Strathairn, the heroine, Lady Sibella Winborne, who comes from a very large family. I’ve grown quite fond of them all, including her acerbic mother, and would like to write more books about them.
Here’s a taste (unedited):
Lord Strathairn picked a full creamy bloom and held it out to her. “You look lovely tonight, Lady Sibella.”
“Thank you, my lord.”
“I always enjoy seeing your mother.”
“Do you? Not everyone does. She is very plain spoken.”
“That is what I like about her.”
“Have you been visiting your estates?”
He leant over her to brush away a branch scattering petals. “You’re remarkably inquisitive this evening. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps because you are a bit of a mystery. You intend it that way, I suspect.”
“We’ve discussed most of my past: my schooling, Eton, then Oxford, and the army.”
“I know only what you wish me to.” She couldn’t explain the feeling she’d always had that his life held more excitement than he revealed. Would he be content concentrating on mundane matters after his years away at war? A keen rider herself, but surely even horses had limited appeal. “It’s just …do you miss the army life?”
“Many men find it hard to settle down. I admit to suffering that for a while.”
“But you’re settled…now?”
“As much as I wish to be.”
She glanced at his profile for a sign of annoyance. She was too inquisitive. He always affected her so.
I am now working on Book three, What a Rakes Wants.
Thank you, Maggi. That was fun.
“This is a dance with which I’m familiar,” the baron said, drawing her close in his arms. “We danced it in Paris long before it came to England.”
She supposed he considered England far behind Paris in most things fashionable. Finding herself pressed up against his hard chest produced the memory of how it looked unclothed. Her breath caught, and she wriggled within his arm. “We do not dance this close in England, my lord.”
He let her go in surprise then took up the pose again, leaving space between them. “Merci. I did not know. You have saved me from making a faux pas.”
She suspected he knew quite well, for the devilry in his eyes betrayed him. “You might learn by observing others, my lord,” she admonished him.
At least now she could breathe. But this was unlike the night they had spent together, when her disguise had protected her. Did he find her attractive?
She had no idea if his charm was merely part of his personality. It shouldn’t matter, for he would choose a bride from the aristocracy, but somehow it did.
His hand at her waist, guiding her, made her recall their time in the hut and his indecent revelations of lovemaking. Her breath quickened at the thought of such an act perpetrated by him on some woman, and even possibly her. His proximity and the strength and pure maleness of him overwhelmed her.
Breathing in the familiar woody Bergamot scent, intermingled with starched linen and soap, she closed her eyes, but that made her dizzy. After examining his masterfully tied cravat adorned with a sapphire pin the color of his eyes, she raised her eyes to his. “I have not seen a cravat tied in that way before. What is it called?”
He smiled down at her. “I believe it is called Trone d’Armour.” The style hailed from France most likely. He was different from the English in other ways too. The French had a disconcerting way of looking at someone. Was he the real Baron Fortescue or an impostor?
I am an Australian author with a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing. My lawyer husband and I live in a pretty, historical town in the Southern Highlands with our spoiled Persian cat, plus the assorted wildlife we feed: chickens wander in from next door and give us lovely eggs, ducks swim in our pool, parrots and possums line up for bananas and seed. I write historical romance, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult novels.
I have not one but two authors for you today and they’re here talking about the music that inspired them to write Claimed By Dragons. As always, you can click on the pretty cover to see the book, Claimed By Dragons, on Goodreads. Don’t miss the Book Trailer and Excerpt below and at the very bottom you’ll find a bunch of buy links. Enjoy!
In an odd Wiccan shop in Salem, Jael pulls an unusual stone from a witch’s wish bag. Little does she know her wildest dreams of adventure and a torrid affair with two gorgeous co-workers are about to come true—in spades.
Jael’s dreamy boss, Roarke offers her the assignment of a lifetime: a photo safari to Mount Kilimanjaro. The African scenery is stunning but the unexpected arrival of her two office crushes, Roarke and Kypton ignites her passion. Just as the trio is getting steamy at a beautiful waterfall, danger intervenes forcing the men to reveal their secret. They’re dragons. And now, to save her life, they have no choice but to abduct a startled Jael to their mountain lair on Kilimanjaro.
In the dragons’ love nest, Jael learns the truth about their origins and explores all the erotic possibilities two eager lovers can offer. Love awakens, but the guys are being stalked by a covert group of dragon hunters and withholding a life or death secret that will push Jael’s courageous heart and commitment to the limits.
Note:This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, menage (m/m/f).
When we were writing Claimed By Dragons music played a big part and we want to share a few of favorites with you today.
Amber Skyze: Music and Writing Are One Since a child I’ve connected to music on many different levels. I love all different types, but lean more towards Rock/Heavy Metal. I listen to music more than I watch television. My CD collection is large and my iPod diverse.
Music plays a huge part in my writing too. I hear a song and picture a story. Not the full story, but a general theme. Sometimes it’s only the title that strikes an idea for a story, but normally it’s the lyrics.
Take for instance Dante’s Desire, published with Ellora’s Cave. I wrote this story after hearing the song I Get Off, by Halestorm. It’s about someone getting off watching another get off. I knew I had to write Dante’s Desire. The book starts with Addison, the heroine, performing sexual acts in her window for her sexy neighbor across the street.
Another Ellora’s Cave book – Spend The Night With Me, is loosely attached to a song. The song Need You Now, by Lady Antebellum starts off talking about scattered pictures. The image struck a chord with me (no pun intended). This book starts with my heroine Brooke looking at pictures of her now deceased fiancé. After hearing this song, I changed part of the scene to her sitting on the floor with pictures scattered around her. She’s packing them away to move forward with her life.
Sometimes my heroes are musicians like Reed Walker in Body Shots, available from Ellora’s Cave. He’s a singer and guitar player. His band plays at the heroines bar. Reed signs a song he’d written for the heroine many years prior, weakening her defenses.
Those are just a few examples of how I weave my love for music into my writing life. Is there anything that plays a big role in your life?
Katalina Leon: I have to listen to music when I write, it’ not an option, it’s a must! I prefer moody instrumental soundtracks when I’m actually writing, but I listen to and love all this stuff too, whenever I need a little break.
Best song to make me wish I’d taken guitar lessons seriously:
Led Zeppelin’s ”Ten Years Gone”
(In this scene Jael has pulled a stone from Witch Casey’s wish bag and had her fortune told by a wriggly snake, now she has to sit still for a moment and reflect on her love life.)
Jael closed her fingers around the stone and thought of another man who worked with her—Kypton. Kypton was quiet and aloof with most everyone in the department, but his gaze followed her longingly every time she walked past.
When she told her friends she liked the manager of the IT department, they teased her relentlessly. They couldn’t picture her with a computer geek. Thing was, Kypton was the furthest thing from a computer geek. She understood why they immediately thought of someone with glasses, a shirt buttoned up tight to the neck, and a pocket protector sticking out of his shirt pocket. That wasn’t Kypton.
What her friends and others in her office seemed to miss was that beneath the subdued exterior, Kypton was smoking hot with pale blond hair and baby blue eyes. His voice carried the softest hint of northern Europe. He pronounced e’s as a’s, and she wondered if Kypton had gone to school in Switzerland or lived near there as a child.
Occasionally she was fortunate enough to peek down his collar and glimpse the silky blond hair on his chest. His broad shoulders and well-defined chest stood out in anything he wore. His arms looked like he frequented the gym, and those fitted khakis he favored as office wear gave her a view of a sexy, tight ass. A hint of smoldering physicality simmered just below the surface as if he were completely capable of picking her up, carrying her into a quiet storage room, and banging her senseless. At least that was what she hoped. She concluded the other women in her office must be blind or foolish not to notice Kypton’s potential. Kypton seemed thoughtful and sensitive too, which was a huge plus. He’d jumped in to help her on numerous occasions, often staying late at work to do so. He also avoided all office gossip or conflicts and went out of his way to help others before he was even asked, which she found pretty damn attractive.
All in all Kypton was a dreamy guy, even if he might appear a bit sedate.
Only problem was Roarke attracted her too.
Roarke was Kypton’s opposite. Roarke was outgoing and authoritative. When he entered the room, others stopped what they were doing to listen. Though he was a manager, he had an artistic, wild vibe about him that was exciting to be near. He dressed well in bold colors like earthy orange or rich purple. It was a treat to watch him walk past her desk and catch a whiff of his subtle citrusy aftershave—that was, if he ever really shaved. His square jaw seemed perpetually stubbled in a grainy, sexy sort of way.
Roarke had coppery skin and the swarthy good looks of a Barbary pirate chief. She half fantasized he was the son of some powerful khan and his mother was some delicate-boned beauty. Roarke was both puzzling and stunning to look at. His sleek nose and chiseled bone structure made his origins difficult to guess. She wondered if there was a tribe of exotically perfect people hiding somewhere on a long-forgotten island, who sneaked away from their hidden paradise now and then to work as office managers.
As a natural leader, Roarke drew people to his side with ease. He spoke passionately with his expressive hands and cognac-brown eyes as much as he did with words. Anything earthy and creative interested him—nature, movies, paintings, or books, he loved them all. His apartment contained a dazzling array of fine books and an impressive collection of beautiful artifacts displayed in lit niches.
A visit to his apartment was not only a physical thrill; it was mentally stimulating to the artist in her to look at the many things he’d collected over the years. Roarke seemed to live in such a different world from the average person, and she longed be to invited in.
Roarke worked as a manager in the human resource department of International Explorer magazine and network. He was well respected and very much in demand.
She’d foolishly told Roarke on the first date she had no intention of getting involved with a coworker, so maybe some of the distance between them was her fault. She wanted to take it back. What a dummy she was for saying that.
That wasn’t to say nothing had happened between them. It had. Twice after a dreamy museum date or trip to the movies on Roarke’s birthday, the date had ended with both of them unable to keep their hands off each other.
Roarke had picked her up, carried her into his bedroom, tossed her onto his amethyst sheets, and lavished her with the best oral she’d ever had. Roarke was a total sensualist and seemed to know exactly what she needed to come hard. She’d loved every second of writhing in his firm but loving grasp and was eager to reciprocate.
She just wasn’t sure where she stood with him. A date once in a while was for chumps. Maybe he was waiting for her to admit that she did want to get involved with a coworker before pursuing her a little harder.
“Never underestimate the power of love.” Witch Casey winked as she popped the captured snake back into the basket.
Jael turned her attention to the woman standing in front of her. Had she been reading Jael’s mind?
“Your dilemma will not be hard to decide. You already know exactly what you want, and you don’t have to choose.”
Jael’s eyes widened.
Dear God, she can read my mind. I wonder if she saw the naughty thoughts?
“I did, dear.” Witch Casey shrugged. “But your secrets are safe with me. Besides, no one believes me anyway.”
(Jael’s life gets crazy fast, when she returns to work to face Roarke and Kypton with the wish stone in her pocket.)
I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Loose Id Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.
From a very young age, Amber Skyze began making up stories–the only child syndrome. Telling tall tales to all her friends she never dreamed of putting words on paper. In fact if anyone asked her if she would write when she grew up, she’d have laughed.
It wasn’t until raising children and reading all those romances that she decided–hey, I can write these. HA! Easier said than done.
When not crafting hot, steamy tales, this New York transplant now resides in Rhode Island with her husband, four children (who force her to work a day job), and three dogs.
She currently writes for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and is self-published.